I know I said I'd write about supplements, but I feel I need a little more time to see if it's having any impact on my workouts. So instead, I will discuss the critical topic of what music to listen to while running.

I am a fairly recent convert to running with an iPod.

In fact, when I am running outside, I prefer running without music. On the treadmill, however, I have come to see my iPod as salvation, not just from boredom, but that odd musical selection playing in the gym and attempting to converse with strangers while sucking wind.

With the snowy December we've had, I have only been able to run outside one day in the last three weeks. Let's just say that was an adventure trying to stay on my feet, let alone find a workable pace, while my dog was pulling down the snow-covered trail.

So inside I am jogging, and boredom I am battling.

I will confess that my 13-year-old daughter, Rachel, programs and maintains my iPod for me, as I am as technically challenged as a person can be and not just give up and move to a cabin sans electricity. That means my iPod contains songs and artists to which I would not normally be exposed. And that, my friends, is both a good and a bad thing when you're trying to resist the urge to push the shutoff button and head home for a long winter's nap.

These tiny technological gadgets are difficult to work while lumbering along because the screens are so tiny! That's where watching dozens of episodes of "Name that Tune" come in handy. I can now identify the songs on my iPod within a few notes. And if the song doesn't inspire me in the first few bars, I'm probably not going to be smashing that fast forward button and praying for one of my favorites.

I love music — all kinds. But when you're fighting the urge to quit, it takes a special song to keep those feet moving. I have listed below my 12 favorite songs, in honor of the "Twelve Days of Christmas," which, incidentally, is NOT one of my favorite holiday tunes.

1. "Miss Halfway," by Anya Marina. I love this song because of the lyrics and the singer's resolve.

"I'm going to burn a pie now and then. I'm going to say the wrong things to your friends. I'm going to burn and shine and multiply. And when I do, you're going to see me in her eyes."

2. "The Reason," by Hoobastank. I absolutely love everything about this song. The only drawback to listening to this is that I can't help but sing along.

"That's why I need you to hear. I found a reason for me, to change who I used to be, a reason to start over new, and the reason is you."

3. "Beverly Hills," by Weezer. For us have-not, the lyrics are entertaining and the beat is irresistible.

"Where I come from isn't all that great. My automobile is a piece of crap. My fashion sense is a little whacked and my friends are just as crude as me."

4. "Crazy," by Gnarls Barkley. This has been my favorite exercise song, especially running hills, since I found myself struggling up an incline last summer.

"I remember when I lost my mind. There was something so pleasant about that day. Even your emotions have an echo in so much space."

5. "When the Heartache is Over," by Tina Turner. It's all about surviving, which is exactly what I'm trying to do. And, warning, it is very difficult not to sing —loudly— to this one.

"When the heartache is over, I know I won't be missing you! Won't look over my shoulder, 'cuz I know that I can live without you!"

6. "Last Christmas," by Ashley Tisdale. OK, I don't even know who this woman is, but I loved the original by Wham/George Michael and I'm enjoying the remake.

"Last Christmas I gave you my heart, but the very next day you gave it away. This year, to save me from tears, I'll give it to someone who is special ... Once bitten and twice shy. I keep my distance, but you still catch my eye."

7. "Where is the Love," by the Black-eyed Peas. This hip-hop song was my introduction to the group and I am now a huge fan. I love the lyrics, the politics and the harmony.

"People killing, people dying. Children hurt, children crying. Can you practice what you preach? Can you turn the other cheek? Father, father, father, father, help us; send some guidance from above 'cuz people got me questioning where is the love?"

8. "Not ready to make nice," by the Dixie Chicks. Yes, anger is motivating. I adore the group, hated what happened to them when they expressed their opinions and can't get enough of this song.

9. "Castles made of sand," by Jimi Hendrix. I had never heard a Hendrix song until my daughter loaded him on the iPod. I like a few, but this is my favorite.

"And so castles made of sand fall in the sea eventually."

10. "Dear Prudence," a Beattles remake from the movie Across the Universe. Actually, there are various songs on this soundtrack that I love to listen to while torturing myself. This particular tune is meant to cheer up the depressed and it definitely motivates the weary. It's sung by Evan Rachel Wood, Dana Fuchs and Joe Anderson and is long enough to get you through almost a mile of treadmill tedium.

"The sun is up; the sky is blue; it's beautiful and so are you. Dear Prudence won't you come out and play?"

11. "Show me the money," by Petey Pablo. Not a hip-hop connoisseur and this one is new to me. All I know is it says something about having a hot body.

12. "The heart of life," by John Mayer. I'm not sure Mayer sings a song I don't like. But his work includes a lot of ballads, so some days he's tough to run with. This is not only one of my favorites, it's inspiring and it has a nice beat to plod along to when you're feeling tired and maybe a little blue.

"I hate to see you cry, lying there in that position. There's things you need to hear, so turn off your tears and listen. Pain throws your hope to the ground, love turns the whole thing around. No it won't all go the way it should, but I know the heart of life is good."


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