Monday, August 25, 2014

RWR: TEDDY WATSON of the STARGROVES


As I write this, I realize it's been a while since I've posted a RUNNERS WHO ROCK interview.  Today, I'm psyched to get back on track, no pun intended, with Teddy Watson, lead singer and songwriter for Stargroves.  Teddy is the founding member of this NYC based band, which is made up of five core members but often includes an extended cast of characters for various recordings and live performances.  Though they are categorized as an indie-pop group, they have their own sound with smooth and sometimes eery, electro-funk undertones (think Stars & Postal Service).  I really dig it.  I think you will, too.  As I always do when I connect with a band, I inquired as to whether anyone in the group happened to be a runner of any kind.  Here's what Teddy's manager told me:

As it so happens, Teddy was an avid track and cross country runner in high school, specializing in the 400m.  He and a few friends on the track team even spent a summer in Iten, a village in the Kenyan highlands, doing high altitude training.  Teddy was recruited to run at NYU, but suffered stress fractures and had to stop running his first year.  He now runs recreationally.

Once again, the world of music and running collide.  I love that.  Of course, I wanted to know more about Teddy's time in Kenya, so I dug a little deeper.  Here's what he told me:

I went to Kenya the summer after my freshman year of high school with a friend of mine who went on to run at Duke.  It was my first time running at altitude, so that was pretty tough, but it was an incredible experience and I'm glad we did it. We could've gone to Colorado or something closer to home for that kind of training but we wanted to get out there and see something new.

Um, yeah. I'd say that was getting "out there".  I'm jealous.  But, back to the music.  The Stargroves just released their first full length, self-titled album in July of this year.  In my humble opinion, it's worth sitting and listening to the entire 62 minutes from start to finish.  In the meantime, get to know Teddy Watson, a runner who rocks.

RWR: TEDDY WATSON

Name: Teddy Watson
Where you're from: Northern VA
Where you reside now: NYC
Age: 23
Occupation: Musician and Student
Blog/website: www.stargroves.com

RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running?
The way it makes me feel afterwards, running just makes the rest of the day great.

What do you love most about music?
I love performing live, getting to see other cities and share our music with folks.


TEDDY'S FAVORITES:
Band: (current, all time or both) Stars
Album: (current, all time or both) Takk by Sigur Rós
Race venue: Franklin Field (Penn)
Music venue: Jammin Java (Vienna, VA)
Race distance: 400m
Show you've seen live: Arcade Fire at Glastonbury
Ice cream flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked

THIS OR THAT?
Sweet or salty? Sweet (and sour)
Live or recorded? Recorded usually
Coffee or tea? Tea (preferably Ketepa)
Summer or winter? Winter
MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? I would say Arcade Fire because they’re amazing live, but I’ve seen them four times, so probably Stars.
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? LCD Soundsystem
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Torquil Campbell
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? I find myself listening to Blink-182 or Ratatat a lot during runs, something energizing.

Teddy w/ Charlie, Brad, Brian & Max

Top 5 Songs for running?
Mutt - Blink 182  
Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers  
Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire  
I’d Like 2 CU - Envelopes  
My Only Offer - Mates of State  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
According to my iTunes: (all from The Innocence Mission's 'We Walked In Song')
Lake Shore Drive  
Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning  
Love That Boy  
Happy Birthday  
BrotherHood of Men  

Thursday, August 21, 2014

RUNNING CAMP: A TOP 10 LIST


So, yes, I just went to running camp.  I'm sorry, it's clearly difficult for me to stop talking about it.  It just, well...it's not very often that a 39 year old working mom of 2 gets to head out to one of the most beautiful places in the country (Bend, OR) to meet and run with a ridiculously huge group of women who are all passionate about their sport.  And yet, life moves on.  Back in MA, our high school XC season has officially begun.  It's time to re-focus.  But, before I do, I have one more Birdcamp post.  And this is it.  I promise.  Rather than give you a detailed play by play of each day, which I'm sure many of my teammates will be doing on their own blogs (check out this one by Once Upon (L)ime); I am going to mix it up a bit and give you a tried and true RWM Top 10 List along with some pics from my adventure.  I met some amazing people out there, I laughed a shit ton (is that a real word?),  I learned a boat load and I had a freakin' ball.  It was an experience of epic propotion and I will be forever grateful to the women at Oiselle for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.  The word Oiselle alludes to that feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love. That sense of flight – when the legs go fast and the heart goes free.  As a runner, I don't always have this feeling, though I sure as hell wish I did.  But, as a member of the Oiselle team, my head will always be up and my wings out.


TOP 10 REASONS YOU KNOW YOU'RE AT RUNNING CAMP

1. You find yourself sharing a suite with multiple people that you have never met and you're totally okay with that.

w/ @mellebeth & @hroberts123
#1617 ROCKS (& smells like bacon)

2. Your only modes of transportation are your feet and a Peter Pan bus, which sometimes catches on fire.  Wait...what?

Smith Rock State Park

3. You intend to stay up and hang with your friends at the end of each day but then you're way too tired pull through.

w/ @momonthemove2 & @wotowglass
#birdlove
4. You eat snacks 24 hours a day.

The Snack Table  (mmmm snacks)

5.  All you want to do in your free time is go to the room and take a nap.

With fellow MA Bird, @runonsweetfrie

6.  You determine which pair of socks to put on in the morning based on how good or bad they smell.

Cooling down post race w/ Fleshman & Co.

7.  When your not running, eating or sleeping your posting photos to Twitter and Instagram...the same photos that all your other teammates are posting.

The Oiselle Flock @ the Deschute Brewery 5K

8. You shower 2 and sometimes 3 times a day. 

Floating down the Deschutes River 
w/ @momonthemove2

9. It's not the least bit weird to discuss whether or not you've gone to the bathroom before your run with someone you've just met.

w/ Lesko on our last night
(we did not discuss our bowel movements)

10. You plan to get home looking re-energized and fit and instead you roll in with an extra 5 pounds and totally exhausted. 

Dessert from the doughnut cart
(yes, that's bacon)

BIRDCAMP 2014: FLY ON

Listen to this:
Sweet Ophelia - Zella Day  

Monday, August 18, 2014

THE 'OISELLE EFFECT'

"I’m gonna let my heart decide if this is real
A thousand pictures can’t describe how I feel
It’s like the world doesn’t exist, but I can still see it
...it’s (the) heart that I’m hearing."
~ Galantis, 'The Heart That I'm Hearing'

HEAD UP, WINGS OUT

This morning, as I was running around looking for shin guards, making breakfast, pounding coffee and getting my girls ready for soccer camp, I suddenly realized I had an ear to ear grin spread across my face.  I also realized that, despite all the stress and chaos of this Monday routine, the smile was just kind of stuck there.  At one point, my 9 year old daughter stopped what she was doing, gave me a strange look and asked me if everything was okay.  "It's all good, Rosie", I told her, "it's just the Oiselle Effect."  She rolled her eyes and mumbled something to the tune of "whatever".  I just laughed to myself, as I continued to get them ready, with the smile still plastered across my face.  Did I look ridiculous?  Probably.  Did I care?  No, I did not.  In truth, I couldn't really help it.  What's the Oiselle Effect, you ask?  I'm so glad you asked.*


THE 'OISELLE EFFECT'

The feeling of 100% pure joy that flows through my body when I think back on my experience at running camp (aka BIRDCAMP) in Bend, OR.  The electric buzz in my head and in my heart that automatically goes off when I conjure up the memory of those four long and incredibly powerful days that I spent running, eating, sleeping and just being with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  That feeling of weightlessness and flight that I knew existed but that I now truly understand.  And, most importantly, the specific feeling that I will do everything in my power to call on next time I am mid-race or hard workout and I want to reset my mind and take it to the place where I soared to new heights as both a runner and a person.  

Listen to this:
Surrounded by Your Friends - Hooray For Earth  


*Note: Full blog post on BIRDCAMP to follow once I get this ridiculous grin off my face and my regular life somewhat back to normal.

Friday, August 15, 2014

FRIDAY 5

"So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance.
Dance, I said!"
~ Salt-n-Pepa, 'Push It'

BIRD CAMPERS

As I recently mentioned, I am currently out in Bend, OR hanging with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  We are a colorful group of women from all over the country who are as passionate about running as we are about each other and the company we represent.  Within minutes of our first meal we became one big, happy, crazy, tight-knit family and the energy level borderline electric.  The whole thing is just a big dose of awesomeness.  In light of this (forgive the cheese factor) magical experience, today's Friday 5 will be a group of songs that the women who work and/or run professionally for Oiselle are inspired by at this particular moment.  When I asked them to chime in, a couple of them didn't have to think twice, a couple had to give it a little time, and one of them wanted to use "Happy" but I wouldn't let her, so she went with a song by her current favorite artist.  (Sorry, KMet)  It is an eclectic mix brought to you by a badass group of women who I both admire and respect.  It should be noted that Sally, chief Oiselle bird, threw out the one song that could potentially inspire a late night dance party.  Happy Friday everyone.  Rock on.

 
Runaway Baby - Bruno Mars (Kristin Metcalf, Team Leader)   
Anna Begins - Counting Crows (Sarah Lesko, Corp Dev & Master of Fun)
The Wolf Is Free - Lily & Madeline (Lauren Fleshman, Pro Runner)
Ghost - Ella Henderson (Kate Grace, Pro Runner)
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa (Sally Bergesen, owner of Oiselle)