Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GEAR REVIEW: BUDSLEEVES


Once in while a piece of gear comes along that I get really excited about.  Budsleeves happens to be one of them.  For this review, I'm going to mix it up a bit.  Rather than list out all of the product information, I've decided to break it down for you using a photo series.  Got to keep things interesting, right?  Here we go:


1. This is how my headphones usually look when I take them out of my bag in preparation for a run.


2. This is how I feel when I attempt to untangle them.  Translation: annoyed, frustrated, & impatient.


3. This is a Budsleeve.  How does it work, you ask?  Just shimmy your headphone chord through the sleeve and VOILÀ!  No more tangles.  Ever.


4. This is how I look and feel when I've pulled my headphones out of the bag with their Budsleeves on.  Booyah.

And if all of this doesn't make you want to try them, I don't know what will.  These babies come in for just under $11.  But, the folks over at Budsleeves really want you to give them a shot.  And I do, too.  Because they are awesome.  So, for the next week, if you purchase them through RWM they will give a 50% discount (around $5).  Just use the code RUNNINGWITHMUSIC at checkout and you're in.  Go get 'em.  And rock out, tangle free!

Listen to this:
All - Blackbird Blackbird  

Monday, July 21, 2014

RECIPROCATED COACHING

“To be a runner is to learn continual life lessons. To be a coach is not just to teach these lessons but also to feel them in the core of your marrow."
~ Martin Dugard

Felix (behind MASCO shirt) w/ his LHS teammates
EMASS D1 Championships @ Wrentham 2012

Felix, one of our former LHS runners, is currently training for his first marathon which he'll tackle next month.  In my personal opinion, an August marathon sounds like hell, but he's young and spritely, so the heat and humidity don't seem to phase him.  Ever.  In high school he was crazy fast.  Though he no longer runs competitively in college, he is still crazy fast.  Early on in the summer, I suggested we try and get a run in as I, too, am training for a marathon.  "Yeah, for sure," he said.  Then, he let me know that he'd been doing most of his long runs at a 6:45 pace.  You can go ahead and laugh here.  I did.  So, we grabbed a cup of coffee and talked strategy instead.  He let me know his goals; listed here in order of priority....first, he'd like to beat his brother (hopefully his brother doesn't read this), second, he would like to qualify for Boston for which he needs a 3:05, and third, he'd like to run a sub 3:00.  All of them are both lofty and attainable.  We agreed to check in throughout the summer and maybe grab another coffee as I sure as hell wouldn't be running with him any time soon.  Sunday morning he texted me to let me know that he'd crushed (my word, not his) his 24 miler; easily completing the run at a comfortable 6:19 pace.  Just...really?  I am always motivated, inspired, and in awe of young runners.  Their drive, dedication and general enthusiasm towards both running and racing is almost tangible.  Just being near these young chickens makes me want to run more and be better.  And this is a great thing.  But, hearing how smooth and "fun" this training has been for him has also highlighted how much tougher and, well, not always fun, my own training has become as I've gotten older.  I'm not feeling sorry for myself.  I'm just being honest.  On Sunday,  I got a little dose of my own coaching medicine, so to speak.  Here's how our conversation rolled out:

FC: Hey Coach.  Check out my activity on Strava (clicked on the link to get the details of the previously discussed long run)
Me: Holy SHITE.  You smoked it.  I hate you.  No, I don't.  Just jealous.  You're going to crush this marathon.
FC: I felt really great.  Perfect conditions.  It was awesome.
Me: Fantastic!!  I got 16 in today.  50 miles total this week.  Not bad for an old person.
FC: That's great.  And you're not old.
Me: Thank you.  But, I still wish I was faster.
FC: Which is good.  Everything starts with a goal.  You've got the discipline!
Me: True. True.  Thanks Coach.
FC: Reciprocated coaching.  The best way.

I love being a coach.  And I am more than happy to take coaching advice from my fellow runners.  Particulary reciprocated advice.  Knock 'em dead, Felix.

Listen to this:
Left Hand Free - Alt-J  

Friday, July 18, 2014

FRIDAY FIVE

Run for your life, my love
Run and you don't give up
It's all that you are
All that you want
I will be close behind
~ The Fray, "Run For Your Life"

Michelle & her husband running the Goruck Light
Rockaway Beach, NY

As I knew she would, my good friend Nicole Devine, will be providing you with today's Friday 5.  Though I've never met her in person, I feel as though I've known her for years.  Like myself, Nicole is a wife, a mom, a runner, and an avid music fan.  Beyond that, she's just a really cool cat.  Thanks for stepping up, Nicole.  And happy Friday everyone.  Rock on.

In her own words:
This friday five is special to me because most of these songs were included on the playlist I used to train for a recent event I completed called the Goruck Light.  It's a military inspired endurance challenge event that can only be completed as a team.  This was my first event in almost 7 years, and I was fortunate enough to be able to complete this with my husband and 45 other teammates; inspired along the 5 1/2 hour path by our cadre.  It was a fantastic day, and these songs, some newer than others, led the way during my months of training.


Delta Spirit - Idaho  
Last of the Light Brigade - Stimulator  
Ben Pearce - What I Might Do  
Lilly Wood and the Prick - Prayer in C  
Bleachers - Shadow  

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

BACON, MOVIES & SWIMMING



Today's post is brought to you by my girls, Rosie (age 9) and Grace (age 7).  Enjoy.

This morning when we woke up it was pouring rain.  Our parents were bummed because we're on vacation and they hate being stuck inside.  We were psyched because when it rains we get to go to the movies.  First, we had breakfast at a diner.  We had pancakes.  Mom and Dad had eggs.  All of us had bacon.  Fun fact, bacon is Grace's favorite food.  But, we all really like it.  Then, we went to see How to Train Your Dragon 2.  The movie was awesome.  You should see it.  Mom cried.  Dad might have cried a little, too.  When we got out of the movie theatre, it was sunny out.  YES!!!!  We hurried home so we could throw on our suits and swim.  And the rest is history.  Summer rocks.


Listen to these: 
A/B Machines - Sleigh Bells (Rosie's pick)  


Rude - Magic (Grace's pick)