My Marathon Prep and Music: 60 Songs That Will Keep You Going!

Rajesh Sawhney , 22 Jan 2013

Rajesh is the Founder of GSF Accelerator and GSF Superangels. My favourite thing about him though is that he brought private radio (Times FM) to India in the early nineties (way before any of us were “RJs”) so as you can imagine, the man knows his tunes! xoxo

Rajesh Sawhney (photo courtesy |
Rajesh Sawhney (photo courtesy |

My Timing: 2 hours, 20 minutes and 33 seconds

It was in the first week of December post GSF2012 that I decided to run my first half marathon. Like last year, I wasn’t sure if my knee would hold this time, but I decided to give it another try. Unfit and emotionally drained from the intense experience of curating the GSF Accelerator and GSF2012, I needed a new goal to keep me motivated.

I started to train for my first half marathon. Long walks helped initially. I started running short distances on the treadmill in the second week of December 2012, followed by interval runs. My knee did hold on, but it felt a little shaky when I pushed for speed or distance. Just when my resolve began to waver, help came through a book I was reading.

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces
Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

“What I think is that a good life is one hero journey after another. Over and over again, you are called to the realm of adventure, you are called to new horizons. Each time, there is the same problem: do I dare? And then if you do dare, the dangers are there, and the help also, and the fulfillment or the fiasco. There’s always the possibility of a fiasco. But there’s also the possibility of bliss.”

Joseph Campbell, The Hero with a Thousand Faces

It was around Christmas time that my son, Rohan, came back from school for his winter break. I shared not only my goal of running my first ever half marathon with him, but also my fear of my knee not being able to hold through the run. That night, while we were exploring marathon music together, he told me to just run through the pain and to simply ignore any fear. I did push on, achieved 5 k in the last week of December, 10 k in the first week of January and finally pushed myself to 21 k on Jan 11, albeit on treadmill.

And here I am now writing this blog the night before the marathon, still short on actual road running, but motivated to complete the marathon by a wonderful quote my friend Lizzie Chapman shared with me this afternoon:

Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of All Night Runner
Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of All Night Runner

“Most people never get there. They’re afraid or unwilling to demand enough of themselves and take the easy road, the path of least resistance. But struggling and suffering, as I now saw it, were the essence of a life worth living. If you’re not pushing yourself beyond the comfort zone, if you’re not constantly demanding more from yourself—expanding and learning as you go—your choosing a numb existence. You’re denying yourself an extraordinary trip.”

Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man: Confessions of All Night Runner

I feel good that I have undertaken this adventure…

To share this feeling of joy, here is my list of 60 songs that I have kept for company in my first ever half marathon. They are not in any particular order… but for the best impact, I suggest that you shuffle them.

1. Eye of the Tiger (Survivor)
2. Temple of the King (Rainbow)
3. Demons (Imagine Dragons)
4. Its Time (Imagine Dragons)
5. On Top of The World (Imagine Dragons)
6. Dirty Paws (of Monsters and Men)
7. Mountain Sound (of Monsters and Men)
8. Little Talks (of Monsters and Men)
9. Skyfall (Adele)
10. Sink or Swim (Tyrone Wells)
11. Thriftshop (macklemore Featuring Wanz)
12. Californication (Red Hot Chili peppers)
13. Zombie (The Cranberries)
14. Staying Alive (Bee Gees)
15. We Didn’t Start the Fire (Billy Joel)
16. Runaway Baby (Bruno Mars)
17. Yellow (Cold Play)
18. Clocks (Cold Play)
19. Reason (Hoobastank)
20. 21 Guns (Green Day)
21. Losing my religion (R.E.M)
22. Carnival of Rust (Poets of the fall)
23. The Rising (Bruce Springsteen)
24. Keep on Running (Spencer Davies Group)
25. Dog Fays Are Over (Florence and the Machine)
26. I Believe I Can Fly (R Kelly)
27. I Will Survive (Gloria Gaynor)
28. Paradise City (Guns N’ Roses)
29. November Rain (Guns N’ Roses)
30. Sweet Child of Mine (Guns N’ Roses)
31. Bed of Roses (Bon Jovi)
32. We are the Champions (Queen)
33. Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen)
34. Brick in the Wall (Pink Flyod)
35. Hotel California (Eagles)
36. Nothing Else Matters (Metallica)
37. Imagine (John Lennon)
38. So Young (The Corrs)
39. Everything I Do I Do For You (Bryan Adams)
40. One Love (Blue)
41. One Hand in My Pocket (Alanis Morrisette)
42. Every Teardrop is a Waterfall (Coldplay)
43. Freebird (lynrd Skynard)
44. All Rise (Blue)
45. I Miss You (Blink182)
46. Waiting for the End (Linkin Park)
47. Riders of Storm (Frewick remix featuring Snoop Dogg)
48. The Diary of Jane (O2)
49. Beautiful Day (U2)
50. Walk of Life (Dire Straits)
51. Turn the Page (Metallica)
52. Highway to Hell (AC/DC)
53. Coming Back to Life (Pink Flyod)
54. Wish You Were Here (Pink Flyod)
55. Fly Away (Lenny Kravitz)
56. Its My Life (Bon Jovi)
57. Message in a Bottle (sting)
58. St. Elmos Fire (John Parr)
59. C’mon (Tiesto v/s Diplo)
60. Tokio Hotel (Noise)

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