Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Yesterday was a bit tough and I learned some valuable lessons.  On Sunday, my seven year old had taken a spill on skis which resulted in a pretty sizable cut on her face and a very swollen lip.  When she woke up Monday morning, she was mortified that the blood she had seen after the fall had turned into a very unattractive scab.  She then yelled at me because I had told her the blood would be gone the next day which she had taken to mean, there would be nothing there at all.  Lesson one, I need to try to be understanding in these situations regardless of how frustrated I am.  She's upset and embarrassed and simply wants to be mad.  I've been there many times.  Oh, and next time, I need to be more clear when I am explaining how something is going to turn out, no matter what I'm talking about.  Later in the afternoon, my four year old refused to go into her gymnastics class, a class she has been in all year and for which she is on a team.  This has happened several times over the past few weeks and yesterday I could no longer keep it together.  So, I scooped her up and left in a fury, leaving behind her shoes and clothes which I decided were not worth getting, though I realized it did look a little strange walking her out with nothing on but a leotard in 30 degrees.  Lesson two, let it go.  I had tried every angle, debated every option, cried a little, and the bottom line was, she didn't want to do it.  I had to let this one go, which is always hard for me to do.  At the end of the day, I was tucking my older daughter in.  She told me I looked sad.  I said I was just worn out and had had a hard day.  She looked at me dead on and said, "but mom, you got your run in, right?"  I smiled and hugged her.  I did get my run in and it was a good one.  Lesson three, it's just not as bad as it seems.

Listen to this:
Strange Attractor - Animal Kingdom  Strange Attractor - Strange Attractor - Single

Friday, January 27, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Molly B.  Oh, how we rocked out on our long drive from NY to SF.  Given it that it was almost 15 years ago, I will hold off on sharing the songs we were gigging to.  Let's just say that we're both embarrassed about it today.  This one, however, is timeless.  Not only is it perfect for running but it will always put you in a good mood.  Thanks for sharing, Mol!

Listen to this:
We Can Work It Out - Stevie Wonder  We Can Work It Out - Stevie Wonder's Greatest Hits, Vol. 2

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Battle

As I've previously mentioned, hills and I, well, we don't tend to get along.  My running teammate and I have been battling them out together for over two years.  I can not deny the fact that before I met her, I rarely tackled them unless it was absolutely necessary.  I have learned, however, that if one is planning to run the Boston marathon, or any hilly race for that matter, it is definitely good to get some hills in during training so as not to go into shell shock when they hit.  Through the years, I've started calling them "the beasts".  "How many beasts are in our workout today?", I often ask my teammate.  Our team name happens to be TEAM BACON, named after Bacon Street in Winchester, a very slight but long and steady incline that we tend to finish our runs with because we don't have a choice.  Such a sneaky little beast it is.  Today, my trusty teammate happened to be on vacation and I had to tackle a nasty hill workout on my own.  I had told her I was dreading it and she reminded me that it is those situations where we don't always have what we need that tend to make us stronger.  Ok, ok, I get it.  This morning I set off wearing full armor.  My watch, because despite how slow my pace is going up the hills, it's always fun to see my pace as I'm flying down as it helps to boost my confidence.  My new 'running' sunglasses; which I recently purchased because I read that it's good to wear them when it's bright out so that you're not squinting which helps your face to relax and, as a result, the rest of your body.  At this point in my life, I'll try anything if it's going to help me relax while I'm running.  And my iPod, which was acting as my much needed teammate.  I was ready for battle.  And today, I actually won -  I fought those beasts head on and I took them down.  And when it was over, I celebrated my victory, as winners like to do, with an enormous coffee that cost more than a new pair of shoes.  These battles, they are worth fighting as they do make us stronger.  Onward!

Listen to this:
Burn It Down - AWOLNATION* Burn It Down - Megalithic Symphony
Osaka Loop Line - Discovery** Osaka Loop Line - LP (Bonus Track Version)

*Heads up: there is some inappropriate language in this song.  But, man, did it get me up those hills!
**This one has a steady build, much like the hills.  Ideal for the long ones.

Monday, January 23, 2012


I have always been in awe of and inspired by elite runners.  I am particularly impressed by women like Kara Goucher, who compete at this top level and are able to balance out their running career with their family life.  I will never compete with this group of women, but I aspire to be like them in the choices they make to stay fit and be healthy and happy in running and in life.  Today I realized that without knowing it, I have also been inspiring others with the choices I've made.  Jeffrey M. makes deliveries to our house on a weekly basis and we have worked with him for about 5 years.  We don't know each other well, but if I’m home when he delivers, he always tells me how impressed he is with running routine.  If I’m out on the road, he always honks and waves if he drives by in his truck.  And for each time I have run the Boston Marathon, there has been a card from him in the mail wishing me the best of luck.  Today he saw me as I was heading out to my car and asked me to hold up.  With a huge grin on his face, he said “I just need to tell you something…I finally quite smoking.”  He went on to say that he’d been trying to do it for years and that lately he had been inspired by others, especially the runners he sees when he's out working, to make this change in his life.  He let me know that, despite being a smoker for over 20 years, he decided to go cold turkey and it was BRUTAL.  Throughout the process, he said, he would always think of people like myself who are out there each week, and he continued to remind himself that if we runners could commit, then so could he.  As he was leaving he said, “I know this conversation might seem a little strange, but I just had to tell you this because I wanted you to know what an inspiration you are for me".  I was totally floored.  How great it was to hear that my love for running can inspire someone else and my pace has nothing to do with it.  As he was walking back to his truck he said, “ running is next for me, I know I have it in me.”  I smiled and told him what a bad ass he is.  Tomorrow, I'm sure he'll be inspiring someone else.  Hopefully, I will, too.

Listen to this:
Comeback Kid - Sleigh Bells  Comeback Kid - Comeback Kid - Single

Friday, January 20, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From M. Saxe.  A good assortment of songs here.  Works for running, dancing, driving, whatever.  For some of us, variety is key.  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to this:
Shake It Out - Florence + The Machine  Shake It Out - Ceremonials
Rihanna - We Found Love   We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - Single
Pounding - Doves  Pounding - The Last Broadcast

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Beyond the Run

In the past couple weeks I've had conversations with two different people who have started running with their kids.  One of the women I spoke with had never been a runner and was slightly intimidated by it.  She has three children and thought she might feel more comfortable, and "less embarrassed", if she started going out with them.  Fortunately, they were more than happy to do it with her.  She finished a 2 mile loop and was thrilled that she'd managed to run the whole time.  Her kids loved it and couldn't wait to do it again so now she has to stick with it.  My other friend started running with her 10 year old daughter because she had expressed interest in the sport.  She thought it might motivate her daughter and help her to enjoy it more if she ran along with her for the first few runs.  Now her daughter goes out on her own on a weekly basis and is loving it.  I, myself, had just started running with my 7 year old before the winter hit.  She always beamed throughout the entire run and when it was over she was thrilled with what she had accomplished.  I am so looking forward to doing it more often this spring and I know she is to.  Unless your kid is a speed demon at an early age, you aren't going to be able to run fast or even sort of fast when you hit the road with your budding runner.  And that's not the point if these runs.  As stated by David Willey, Editor-in-Chief of Runner's World Magazine, "the joys of running aren't always about the run."  This could not be more true.  Between spending time with your child, exposing them to healthy habits, and sharing with them something you love (or want to love) so that maybe one day they will, too, the experience goes way beyond the run itself.

Listen to this:
Don't Go - Hothouse Flowers  Don't Go - The Best of Hothouse Flowers

Monday, January 16, 2012

Just One Song

This morning in Franconia, NH it was -8 degrees.  My dog stared at me for a minute, as if to say, "really?" before she shuffled outside.  My husband had already left since he did not have the holiday off and I needed to get the rest of us up to the mountain by 8:30 am for a meeting.  As of 7:55, my 4 year old was still hiding under her covers pretending to be asleep so I had to bribe her with a 'treat' (I was going to have to come up with something pronto) to get her out of bed and into her ski clothes.  Meanwhile, my other daughter had decided to make a treasure map and was in the process of counting out 10 paces to the bookshelf with zero desire to stop what she was doing and no intention of getting ready to go.  Despite the temperature outside, I started to break a sweat as I was trying to get everyone ready and load up the car; almost positive that I was going to be late for work.  Somehow I managed to pull it off and by 8:15 we were on our way.  No one was happy, myself included.  None of us had eaten breakfast and the girls were tired, extremely cold and mad at me for making them motivate.  At this point, I had nothing to offer so I turned on the music.  It was a song we all knew so I turned it up.  I looked back and their heads were bopping up and down.  I smiled at them.  Then we all started to crack up a little and we quickly began to forget about or painful morning.  All of this in just one song.  Bottom line...music is so insanely powerful.  It can help lift the tension in almost any situation.  It is so easy to give into.  And, for me, today, it was a total game changer.  Hallelujah!

Listen to this:
Stop Mary - Graffiti6 (expected release for this album is 1/24) 

Friday, January 13, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Mary Ellen F.  She loves the whole album, but this one is her favorite.  These guys seem to be very popular among RWM readers...good for both running and cutting a rug.  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to this:
Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Cake  Short Skirt/Long Jacket - Comfort Eagle

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

A Runner's Story

My sister-in-law, the same one who hasn't updated her playlist in over a year (eh, hmm), lives in NYC and runs in Central Park.  When shes training for a marathon, which she does often, she runs two and sometimes three grueling laps around the same six mile loop.  As much as she loves running, she tends to dread the long runs.  Music and NPR help her pass the miles, but there is only so much a iPod can do.  Yesterday, she'd run six miles and she was getting ready for her second lap when she stopped at a light to wait for it to turn.  Another waiting runner looked at her and said, "sorry I almost spit on you back there".  They both laughed and started talking.  After the initial pleasantries, they started to dive into other topics, one being the forefoot running style the he'd recently switched to.  He then mentioned he was meeting a friend but asked her if she'd like to join them for her second loop.  She was quick to say yes and happily put her iPod away.  Time flew while the three of them were running, chatting, and comparing stories and in what felt like no time, they'd finished their lap.  They said their goodbyes and all agreed to try and find each other again soon for another run.  My sister-in-law called to tell me about this run for several reasons; first, she was psyched she'd done a 12 miler, second, it wasn't boring for a change and third, she'd met some cool people that shared her interest in running.  Oh, and as a bonus, she'd learned a different route through the park.  Running, even for the most passionate runners, can be hard to mentally take on some days.  Stories like this remind us why we do it, and that most runners have a lot in common, including their love for the sport and an appreciation for the little things that make it worthwhile.

Listen to this:
Can't Keep Time - Foreign Born  Can't Keep Time - Person to Person (Bonus Track Version)

Monday, January 9, 2012

Add and Delete

Some of us run with music.  Some of us race with music.  I do both.  Then there are those who don't run at all, but love music and use it to inspire whatever it is they do.  I get it.  It's really important to a lot of us.  For me, the playlist is everything.  Particularly for a race.  Each song serves a different purpose.  So, when my sister-in-law mentioned that she hasn't updated her iPod in over a year I was floored.  Days later my running teammate mentioned that she had to skip certain songs on her playlist as she was cruising through a 5K because they were too slow.  People, this should not be necessary.  I will admit that for some runners and/or music fans, the same 12 songs will always motivate them no matter what.  And for those people, all the power to you.  But, for most of us, we need to update our music to reflect the changes and new inspirations in our lives.  Squeeze and Big Audio Dynamite just don't cut it for me these days.  No disrespect to these bands, which I still enjoy listening to, but they do not take me to that next level the way they used to; and there is so much amazing music out there now that will.  I get so fired up about new music that when I upload a new song or artist to my playlist and it comes on during a run, my pace automatically quickens and I often find myself smiling with giddiness.  If that's all it takes to make a run more fun (and often less painful), then why not?  It's a new year, take a minute to add and delete.  Fresh start, fresh playlist.

Listen to this:
White Knuckles - OK Go  White Knuckles - Of the Blue Colour of the Sky

Friday, January 6, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From "TheKidfromtheLou".  He claims that both of these songs get him pumped up before a run or a race.  And, as he says, make sure to "blast em!"  Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
My Body - Young the Giant  My Body - Young the Giant

Take the World - She Wants Revenge Take the World - Valleyheart

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Grab A Friend

On Monday, I received an email from a fellow runner and he closed his note with this statement, "there is no better way to start the new year than running with your friends!"  How great is that?  Grab a friend and go running.  Go.

Listen to this:
Sick Muse - Metric  Sick Muse - Fantasies

Monday, January 2, 2012


I do tend to make them.  I rarely follow through with them.  But, for a while, it does make me feel like I have something to work toward.  Here's my list for 2012.

1. See more live music - this one I might actually take on.
2. Eat less candy - this one lasts about a week, but that's better than nothing.
3. Stretch more - for some reason, I can never carve out the time for this, but I will keep trying.
4. Ditch my watch more often on runs - harder than it sounds.
5. Run with my daughter every week - this is hers, too, and we're fired up about it.
6. Get up early and run with the Highlanders (my local running club) - it never happens but I want it to.
7. Inspire more people to run, to listen to good music and to listen to music when then run - a bit dorky, I know, but I had to put it on there.

And there you have it.  Whether you make them or not, it's the start of a new year for all of us and anything is possible.  So here we go.

Listen to this:
I'm Not Going to Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Black Kids  I'm Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How to Dance With You - Partie Traumatic