With less than seven weeks to go until the Country Music Half Marathon that Jamie, John and I are running (and probably walking for at least a few minutes), it’s the perfect time to reflect on what motivates us to take that next step on a training run or finish our early-morning walks (and by our, I mean Kerri Davis’). For most of us, it’s music. Here’s what’s on our iPods:

  • Jamie Roberts listens to “4 Minutes” by Madonna and Justin Timberlake at least four times in a row during an average workout. So that’s actually 16 minutes!
  • Emily McMackin, who needs tunes to help her get through spin class, also relies on the same Madonna and Justin song. But only once. Then she moves on to other motivational hits like “Circus” by Britney Spears and “You Shook Me All Night Long” by AC/DC. (AC/DC and Britney Spears in the same sentence, who knew it could happen?)
  • Megan Pacella, who participated in the half marathon with Team Hammock last year but has yet to commit this year (although I’m sure her announcement will be coming any day now) keeps her workouts on the cutting edge with the psychedelic sounds of MGMT. She responded to my query about what she listens to with this: “Kids by MGMT!” So I can only assume that she, like Jamie Roberts, puts it on repeat until she’s finished exercising.
  • Kerri Davis, our resident daily walker, says Beck puts a pep in her step every morning.
  • Barbara Logan prefers podcasts to music. “It keeps my mind occupied,” she says. “Some of my favorites are NPR’s Marketplace Money, the Splendid Table and Fresh Air.”
  • Bill Hudgins gave me a great song suggestion that I actually bought the moment he told me this story: “Years ago when i did aerobics, the big peak pulse song was ‘Holding Out for a Hero’ by Bonnie Tyler. Almost five minutes long, it would either kill you or make you stronger.”
  • Also bringing us a blast from the past is Summer Huggins, who turns up—among other songs from the ’70s, ’80s, ’90s and today—”Copacabana” by Barry Manilow.

Great, now I want a piña colada.