Tuesday 10: My Zombie Apocalypse Playlist

I don’t usually wear a costume on Halloween (because in my world, every day is dress-up day), but I do love to think about zombies and vampires and demons from Hell — and daydream about the (delicious) crappy candy I won’t be eating. Thanks to Hilah, I had Bram Stoker’s Dracula (the book, not the movie) and The Historian on my mind for a few days, and Richard Kadrey’s Sandman Slim series kept me up way too late with LA/Hell tales. And now, the brilliant people behind the Zombies, Run! app — read my review here — have released a totally badass, Zombies, Run!-themed 5k training program, so once again, I’m all about the Zombies. (I guess I really like spooky stuff; who knew?!)

I did my first workout of the Zombies, Run! 5k training program today, and it was just what I needed. One of the things I miss most about pre-thyroid-meltdown me, is that I could easily run the 3-mile loop around the lake. I’m trying to build up my endurance and cardiovascular fitness again — without killing my adrenal system — so I think a running program intended for beginners is a good place to start. The 8-week, 25-workout training program was put together by running pros, and each workout combines the unfolding Zombie story, coaching, and music from my (your!) playlist.

The workout for today was 10 minutes of walking, followed by 10 intervals of a 15-second run with a one-minute walk, and the workout finished with 10 minutes of “free form running” intended to encourage new runners to alternate running and walking in a way that feels natural. I ran until my heart rate hit about 150 bpm, then walked ’til it dropped to 130. Repeat, repeat, repeat.

If you like the original Zombies, Run! app or are looking to try a 5k training program because you (a) think you hate running; (b) hate running; or (c) want to run a 5k sometime, this is a really fun way to get started. (Dave and I are thisclose to committing to the Run For Your Lives (zombie-infested) 5k here in December, so I’ve gotta hone my zombie-avoidance skills now.)

10 Tunes for My Zombie Apocalypse Playlist

I never, ever run without music — unless I stupidly forget my earphones at home or neglect to charge my iPhone (both of which I’ve done far too many times than I care to recall). Here are 10 songs that I would definitely include on the soundtrack if I found myself in a Zombie Apocalypse (ZA) movie. For the record, these songs are all a great pace for running a 10-minute mile or walking at about 4 miles per hour (which is a sweaty-good speed).

1. Pain Lies on the Riverside, Live
This song would play at the beginning of the movie, when our glamorous heroine (ahem) has no idea that the ZA is coming. It’s just ominous enough to indicate things might not all be sunshine-y soon, and the bass line keeps the feet moving.

2. Bring Me To Life (Kevin Roen Mix), Evanescence

I really can’t justify this song with anything other than “guilty pleasure,” but it’s got to be the remix version!

3. One Way Or Another, Blondie

I love the idea of this song midway through the movie, when everything is really tense… then this tune comes on, like, on a survivor’s radio and everyone laughs… just before a giant Zombie chomp. “I’m gonna getcha, getcha, getcha, getcha…”

4. Rock and Roll Jesus, Kid Rock

Salvation! In the form of Kid Rock. Dare you to not want to throw your hands in the air (like you just don’t care) when he and the backup singers belt out “Testify“!

5. This Corrosion, Sisters of Mercy

Oh, this song! From my “I’m going to pretend I’m super goth and gloomy” days. I wore all black, but I could never achieve the correct balance of ennui and pessimism in my facial expression. I’m far too smiley to be goth, but the extended mix of this song is awesome for dancing alone in your dorm room (in 1988) or running away from zombs.

6. Cold Feelings, Social Distortion

Driving guitar. Mike Ness. “Yeah I got faith, but sometimes fear it just weighs too much, I don’t want to feel, cold winds blowing through me like an empty touch.” What else do you need?

7. Twilight Zone, Golden Earring

Just the right sinister tone.

8. Run Runaway, Slade

Another joke song! Get it? Run, run away! But also, undeniably awesome. For the 80s.

9. Save Me Sorrow, Bullets and Octane

Bullets and Octane doesn’t exist anymore, which is too bad because their live performances were epic and their songs are some of my favorites for running. Just angry enough. (But Gene Louis, the gifted lead singer has a new (totally different) gig, and he’s sounding/looking pretty great, so yay!)

10. Don’t Leave Me This Way, Communards

This song is just an exuberant good time – and I love the idea of a newly-turned zombie chasing after a friend, singing this song to them. Gives a whole new meaning to the lyric, “Aw, baby… my heart is full of love and desire for you…” when the singer is trying to make the object of his affection dinner.

Turn it up to 11.
Don’t Fear The Reaper, Blue Oyster Cult

Cowbell. The end.
This is a video of the band back in the day, circa 1976.

And here they are in 2002 with significantly better hair and an equally awesome rhythym section.

More Zombs

5 Cool Things About Running With the Zombies
Zombs on the Costa Rican Beach
Zombie Attack Preparedness (ZAP) Workout
Austin is Safe from Zombies… For Now

What songs would be on your Zombie Apocalypse playlist?

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22 Responses to “Tuesday 10: My Zombie Apocalypse Playlist”

  1. Cynthia says:

    I’d forgotten all about The Communards! Thanks for making an old thyroidless punk rocker happy this morning!

  2. Lydia says:

    We put one of these on our front door, and I have a second one in reserve for the back window of my ’68 Chevelle when I finish the rebuild.

    Don’t Stop Fighting.

    Thank you for the playlist!

  3. Heather says:

    I’ve heard of the run for your lives race. Sounds beyond fantastic.

    • Mel says:

      We’re almost committed. Torn between thinking it’s fun and being kinda freaked out. WOOT!

      • James says:

        You should do it! We ran a similar race here in Jacksonville, FL (the Zombie Buffet 5k) this past weekend. We were quickly infected, but it was fun trying to keep your flags as long as you could. If you have a choice, BE A ZOMBIE! :-)

  4. Mel says:

    Great Playlist! I would add “Run For Your Life” by The Creepshow

  5. Hannah O'Connell says:

    What do you use for headphones while running? I have a bitch of a time trying to find some that are comfortable and stay on.


    Have you tried making this?!

    sweet potato amazingness=paleo candy haha

  7. Cara says:

    I don’t eat the way you do but I still (usually silently) follow your blog because I love everything else on here and felt compelled to tell you this morning. Zombie run? Sisters of Mercy? I think I smell cloves and aqua net! I stumbled here one day searching for roller derby or vampires or something and now I find myself coming back again and again. You have great book recs, amazing workouts, fun music and black clothes to boot…with boots! You have such a great mix of punk rock and classy lady…I love it because it’s how I want to be too…I just do it with beans and rice instead of pork roast :) 40 is the new bad ass.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks so much for commenting — and I’m glad you’re enjoying my wacky mix of stuff. I always feels weird when I talk about, say, Kid Rock and Jane Eyre in the same week, but I like what I like :-)

      40 is the new 20. Ahem.

  8. Ms Jane says:

    Jesus built my hot rod by Ministry!

  9. Lisa says:

    Don’t Leave Me This Way has long been on my list.. but thanks for the Golden Earring I had completely forgotten about this one. BTW – chocolate chile is defrosting for lunch as we speak. You’re the bestest!

  10. Hey there! I am in day 31 of my whole30 (going for 60) and I have to say that I use your cookbook and website daily! I own Peach Jam Skates and carry your Rollergirl book… anyways, I wanted to also say that I have had this app for the summer, and actually made my way through the entire thing and I am hoping for another “chapter”. I love it!

    My suggestion for tracks is Santigold – Go!

    It has a great sort of creepy-feeling intro and I found it got me in the mood to run from zombies all the time!

    • Mel says:

      Hey, Roller Sister! Thanks for posting!

      The Zombies, Run! app really is great, isn’t it? Thanks for sharing the Santigold track; she’s awesome.

  11. tirzahrene says:

    Do it! I just did the RFYL: Baltimore last Saturday. My first official running event, and we (my sister, her friend, and I) walked most of it. SO much fun. We all are now zombies.

    But seriously, when else do you get sanctioned obstacle play plus zombies? Do it.

    I managed to get into the race by pretending I wasn’t scared out of my head and almost nervous enough to puke…it worked.

    • Mel says:

      Thanks for this comment! We’ve been having trouble committing ’cause we were worried about the obstacles and the zombies — but it really does sound like fun. Thanks for the encouragement!

      • tirzahrene says:

        It was lots of fun, and we could – and did – walk around any of the obstacles that we didn’t feel up to tackling. And when they say “minor” electrical shocks, it really is minor. Have fun!

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