Get out the door & stick with it.


#MusicMonday Vol. 27: Joel Cohen’s Soundtrack to the Worst Run Ever

Music is the soundtrack to your run. I mean seriously, who hasn’t spent hours crafting the perfect running playlist balanced with fast-paced rhythms, consistent beats, and some major motivational anthems to get you through to the finish.

This playlist (and corresponding story) comes from Simpsons Writer Joel Cohen, author of How to Lose a Marathon and inspiration for our latest in-app Challenge. Jams from The Boss, Jack Johnson, and Beck, help set the scene for this hilarious run. Check out the story from Joel and lace up and give it a go for yourself. This might be the soundtrack to the worst run ever, but we promise the tunes aren’t that bad.

“Born to Run” – Bruce Springsteen

You step out the door, shoes laced, a beautiful, crisp morning before you.  All set for a perfect run.  At least it would be if your running partner wasn’t there, waiting.

Running with the Devil” – Van Halen

We’ve all had bad running partners, but I would say this is a particularly poor choice.  Compared to Satan, the guy that complains about his back and constantly stops to tie his shoe is a dream.  Regardless, today you are running with the Devil, who by the way is wearing a pair of way too-tiny 80’s jogging shorts.  Still, the two of you head off, still believing that any run is a good run.

“Take it Easy” – The Eagles

You try the find the right pace for the two of you but it’s hard to settle in when the “clip-clop” sound his hooves make on the pavement is driving you crazy.  Even worse, he starts telling you his “work stories.”

Slow Down” – the Beatles

You ease up a little, hoping the Devil will head on without you.  He doesn’t.

You really have to ditch this guy.  You start walking and motion to the Devil to go ahead without you.  In your head, you’re already planning to text him later and say you heard a “pop” in your ACL and won’t be running for a long time.  Sure, you’ll be lying, but it’s lying to Satan so it can’t be that bad.  Once he’s gone, you walk easy, happily knowing you’ve escaped an awkward situation.

Your National Anthem

How can you keep walking when this comes through the ear buds? You can’t.  You have to stop, no choice.  It’s just one of those things, like if the Macarena (by Los Del Rio) came on, you’d have no choice but to start dancing.  If you are, by chance, from a country where the Macarena is the national anthem, well, then I don’t know what you’re supposed to do.

Stop! in the name of love” – The Supremes

Okay, if the National Anthem didn’t make you stop, this has to.  How can you run past love?

“Sitting, Waiting, Wishing” – Jack Johnson

You’ve stopped by this point, be it for patriotism, dance, love or the love of dance.   Either way, you may as well take a seat.  I’m not sure what the lyrics about “waiting and wishing” refer to though.  Maybe the next song up knows.

Bus Rider” – The Guess Who

Ahh, it was a bus!  That makes a lot of sense.   You still have to get home.  Of course, you never anticipated any of this and now you don’t have either the correct amount of change or a bus pass.  That leaves only one option – hanging onto the bike rack hoping the driver doesn’t see you.

“Home for a Rest” – Spirit of the West

It’s been a harrowing journey.   You ditched Satan, feigned injury and are probably due in court for illegally riding a bus.  It’s time to just settle onto the couch, take a deep breath and relax.  I’m sure whatever song is next on this playlist will let you forget the whole ordeal.  You can just soak in the music and feel better about yourself.

“Loser” – Beck

Enough said.

Inspired yet? Lace up your shoes, hit play, and don’t forget to join the How to Lose a Marathon Challenge.

Joel Cohen

About the author:
Joel Cohen

Joel Cohen is both an Emmy-winning writer for the “Simpsons” and a slow, graceless runner. Between sweaty bouts of gasping for breath, he wrote the book “How to Lose a Marathon”---available everywhere on April 4, 2017. For more, check out Twitter @loseamathon or Instagram @howtoloseamarathon.