Musings from our embedded Beacon Journal photographer Karen Schiely...

"So apparently running purists do not think it wise to listen to music while running. Maybe someday I’ll work up to this tad bit elitist view but definitely not now. I ran three miles for the first time in my life (on a wickedly hot day mind you) and I could not have done it without my tunes! As for safety concerns, I’m mainly a trail runner anyway so traffic isn’t really an issue unless a deer herd runs in front of me. I don’t plan on running the 8k, 10k or half marathon listening to music. Just running with tons of people will be motivation enough for me.

For now, I need to hear that thumping driving beat in my head to just keep going. I need to hear some “Stomp and Holler” by Hayes Carll to make it to the next marker. Then I tell myself after “Mr. Blue Sky” by the Electric Light Orchestra (don't judge me, it’s a great running song) that I can make it to the next. And that's followed by other faves: Hackensaw Boys, Rhiannon Giddens, the Afghan Whigs and Steve Earle.

I’m less focused on the pain in my legs as the tunes are driving me forward. Granted my running jams are a bit more mellow that most but they all have a strong solid beat that keeps me going. My absolute favorite running song is “Bob What’s-Is-Name” by the Chandler Travis Philharmonic. It’s like you’re running with a New Orleans street jazz band behind you cheering you on. If you haven’t heard it, I highly recommend you give it a listen.

The Swedish pop group ABBA’s song “Take a Chance on Me,” was inspired by running. One of the band members would repeat the beat out loud that would become the phrase, “take a chance on me.” This is at least how I remember the story - a bit of trivia from my childhood days of listening to Casey Kasem’s Top Forty.

It’s amazing what the brain retains. I also remember that Anne Murray passed on “I Honestly Love You,” working out great for Olivia Newton-John. I do not however remember how Peaches and Herb got their names. I’m assuming nicknames. Oh yes…and “Take a Chance on Me,” is one of my running tunes. And of course “Dancing Queen.” Seriously, how could it not be."

- Karen