Tuesday, April 29, 2014

The Liebster Award


Last week, amid all the excitement and chaos of the Boston marathon, I received a note from my Oiselle teammate, Lisa Holt, also a runner and blogger, letting me know that she had nominated RWM for the Liebster award.  I had no idea what it was at the time, but awards are awesome, so, naturally, I was thrilled.  I poked around and learned that this is an award given only on the internet from bloggers to other bloggers.  It is a shout out for the blogger who receives it and has a 'pay it forward' foundation, both very cool.  Okay, yes, it's like a chain letter.  But, I was always one of those kids in grade school who felt guilty throwing away the letter, so I will happily pass this one on.  Plus, this version is way more fun for the receiver and takes a lot less time to deal with...no copy machines involved here.  The word "Liebster" has German origins and has several definitions including, but not limited to, dearest, sweetest, lovely, kind, and pleasant.  Of course, I am incredibly honored that this blog is associated with any and all of these definitions.  I should mention that Lisa is a badass runner (smokin' fast), an aspiring triathlete, and, like myself, a XC and track coach, and coffee addict.  When you get a chance, head over to Lisa's blog Run, Tri, & Smile, where you can read more about her running, her racing, her goals, and her life on the whole.  Huge thanks, Lisa, for passing the Liebster torch.  I will do my best to carry it with pride and continue to spread the love.

Here’s how it works.

The nominator asks you 11 questions.

You answer.

You nominate 11 other bloggers to answer 11 questions, and the fun continues. :)

Here are my answers to Lisa’s questions: 

How did you choose your blog name?
When I started this blog, I was incredibly inspired by both running and music and was realizing that, for me, they always go hand in hand.  Music inspires me to run and running inspires me to rock.  Thus, RUNNINGWITHMUSIC.

What is your favorite thing to write about?
I love to write about my racing experiences, as so many people out there, regardless of their age, size or ability, have similar stories and can relate on some level.  I also love writing about my kids (Rosie, age 9 & Grace, age 7) for the same reason.  And, because they always crack me up.


Why did you start blogging?
I was in a bit of a rut with my running, not really sure where I wanted to go with it.  Randomly, I went (on a solo mission) to see AWOLNATION in Boston, which moved me in a way I hadn't been moved in quite some time.  The next day, I ran to the entire AWOL album and found myself newly energized and excited about running.  When I got home I wanted to talk about it and share it with whoever would listen.  And, so it began.
With C.Thorn after seeing AWOLNATION at the Paradise in Boston.  
He's no longer in the band, but he'll always be a part of the inspiration.

What kind of workout makes you feel the best after it is all over?
I feel the best when I have successfully tackled a tempo run (ie. 10 miles w/ 6 @6:45 pace).  To move at that pace, for that long is hard, but doable for me.  If I can manage it and still be smiling when it's over, than I feel like a superhero all day, which is a very cool feeling.

What has been your proudest racing memory/moment?
This past Boston marathon might be at the top of my list right now.  The race itself, and the week-end on the whole, were beyond amazing.  It was the most joy I've felt while running a marathon, from start to finish, by far.  It was also the most inspired I've been by the running community in years.  We were all one, big, happy family....the athletes, the spectators, the volunteers....everyone, and it was a total love fest.  I still get chills when I think about it.


Boston Marathon, April 21, 2014
Why did you start running/triathlons?
I ran my first 5K in 5th grade.  It was love at first run.

What is your “A” race or biggest fitness goal for 2014?
I'd love to PR (sub 3:16) in the marathon this year.  I turn 40 in February of 2015 and I'm guessing that I won't be getting any faster after that.  It's a long shot, but you never know!

Name 5 songs on your iPod?
Bitter Rivals - Sleigh Bells
Faith - I Break Horses
Dragging You Around - Greg Laswell (feat. Sia)
No Miracles - Kid Ink (feat. Elle Varner & MGK)
Giants - Bear Hands

What is your favorite race and why?
I love the half marathon.  Not too short, not too long.  As Goldilocks said, "just right".

If you could give your 16-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?
RELAX

Are you going to pass on the torch and nominate 11 fellow bloggers?
Hell, yeah!

I nominate*:
ONCE UPON A (L)IME
MEGHAN'S WANDERINGS
PIECEOFCAKERUNNING
FUELEDBYLOLZ
TRAINING,RACING,PACING
MOMONTHEMOVE
WORKOUTTOWINEGLASS
ALIONTHERUN
FITANDFED
ITSAMARYTHON
KATIEMOVES

*note: if you already received a Liebster you do not have to do it again.  See below for details.

Listen to this:
Run And Hide - Paris Carney (feat. D-WHY)



LIEBSTER INFO
My questions to you:
How did you choose your blog name?
What is your favorite thing to write about?
Why did you start blogging?
What kind of workout makes you feel the best after it is all over?
What has been your proudest racing memory/moment?
Why did you start running/triathlons?
What is your “A” race or biggest fitness goal for 2014?
Name 5 songs on your iPod?
What is your favorite race and why?
If you could give your 16-year old self a piece of advice, what would it be?

The rules:
Thank the blogger who nominated you.
Answer the 11 questions given to you.
Nominate 11 other bloggers (generally with the same number of followers, though it can be tough to tell; ideally less than 500).
Post 11 questions for your nominees to answer.
Comment on your nominees’ blogs to let them know you nominated them.
Have fun spreading the blogging love!

Friday, April 25, 2014

MEET JOSH & 'WE WILL BE LIONS'

RUNNERS WHO ROCK


Today, I'm fired up to introduce you to Josh Martin, singer and keyboardist in the up and coming band, We Will Be Lions.  Josh recently reached out for a couple reasons.  First, he wanted to give me a heads up about the band itself and then more specifically, he asked if I'd like to hear their new single, "Burn Me Like A Disco", which is set to be released on June 17th of this year.  We Will Be Lions is a San Francisco based band and have described themselves as a "psychedelic glam-rock band inspired by the likes of David Bowie, The Flaming Lips, and Tame Impala."  As a music fan, I too, am inspired by the likes of those three musicians so, naturally, I was intrigued.  I took some time to listen to their debut EP, You Will Be Heroes, which was released back in March, and I totally dug it.   So, I wrote him back and let him know that I would, indeed, love to hear the 'Disco' single and that I'd be in touch closer to June to do a piece on the band and the song.  Then, on a whim, I asked if anyone in the band happened to be a runner.  His response..."Funny you should ask, I'm a fairly obsessive runner, just did my first marathon a few months ago at Quarry Lakes!"  Well, I'll be darned, I thought.  A rocker and a marathoner.  What are the chances?  That changed everything.  I have been itching to do a RWR piece on a musician who is inspired by both running and music and I had hit the nail on the head with Josh.  I sent him another note and asked him if I could profile him for this series and he jumped right on board.  So, without further ado, meet Josh....a rocker who runs.

GLAM ON: WE WILL BE LIONS

Name: Joshua James Martin
Where you're from: Occidental, California
Where you reside now: San Francisco
Age: 27
Job: Server at Cafe De La Presse and a musician
Web site: www.wewillbelions.com

RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running?
Running is synonymous with thinking in that its linear, individual, and creative.  It's a structured activity but it can take you anywhere, just like music.

What do you love most about music?
I love performing something that I created.  There's something extremely liberating about baring your soul to complete strangers.

Rocking out at Cafe du Nord

JOSH'S FAVORITES:
Band (current): The Flaming Lips
Band (all time): Neil Young
Album: Neil Young, 'After The Gold Rush'
Race Venue: I've only run one official race at Quarry Lakes in Concord, I liked the course
Music Venue: The Fillmore in SF
Race distance: Marathon, of course
Live show: The best show I've seen is the Flaming Lips and Tame Impala on Halloween at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium, that was the night they became my favorite band.
Ice cream flavor: I would have to say Mint Chip



THIS OR THAT:
Salty or sweet: sweet and salty together
Live or recorded: definitely live
Coffee or tea: coffee
Summer or winter: summer





MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? 
The Books
Which band or artist (no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight? The Beatles
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Neil Young
Which band would you like to have playing alongside you during your next marathon? Fleetwood Mac

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both? 
Electric Feel - MGMT  
Apocalypse Dreams - Tame Impala  
Destroyer - The Music Lovers  
DLZ - TV On the Radio  
Uncertainty - Jaguar Ma 

Last 5 Songs you listened to today? 
Smells Like Content - The Books  
Repeat Pleasure - How to Dress Well  
The High Road - Broken Bells  
Cocoa Hooves - Glass Animals  
Venice - The Books  

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

RACE REVIEW: BOSTON MARATHON

"Unfortunately, it takes a tragic event like this to bring good people together.  
Luckily, it isn't difficult to find good people in a great city like Boston."
 ~ David


Wow. Where to begin?  It's going to be hard to put the experience I just had into words.  But, I'll do my best.  On Sunday night, I had the pleasure of having some of my Oiselle teammates over for dinner, a lovely and much needed distraction.  Instead of stressing about the race, I got to spend several hours hanging out with friends, both old and new.  We discussed everything from fried calamari (this was a very eye opening conversation) to family life to race tactics.  Once again, I was reminded how insanely lucky I am to be a member of this amazing family.

BIRD LOVE
The birds took off around 8:00 and shortly after that I headed up to bed.  Huge shout out to my husband for both cooking AND cleaning up.  I owe him one.  Monday morning...race day...was gorgeous.  My husband drove three of us, myself, John and Nicky, out to the Hopkinton State park drop off.  I've known John for a while, but had never met Nicky, who trained with John all winter.  It should come as no surprise that we became fast friends.  Runners always do.  The ride to Hopkinton was seamless, if not frighteningly long.  So...many...miles.  We hopped out and jumped into the crazy long line for the shuttle to the start.
Nicky, John & I waiting for the shuttle.
 Nicky and I decided to duck into the woods and use the ladies room.  Nothing like getting to know someone even better than you already do (which was not at all) than by squatting next to them behind a bush.  The bus dropped us off and we slowly made our way over to the athlete's village.  It was eerily quiet and, for a brief moment, we thought the bus might have left us in the wrong spot.  We hailed down a park ranger who assured us that we were headed the right way.  As it always is, the athletes village was total mayhem.  The crowd was insane and the lines for the port-o-pottys were beyond insane.  Sadly, I had no choice but to wait, which I did, for about 45 minutes.  At this point, I had a serious heart to heart with my bladder, letting it know that it better be good to go after this break, because this would be it for a long time.  Turns out, this one quick bathroom stop was all I had time for as they were calling my wave to head down to the start when I got out.  So, off I headed again.  Holy crap, it was really happening.  My nerves were in high gear, but I was ready to get going.  As we lined up, we were efficiently squished into our corrals like sardines.  I found my buddy, Kelly LeCours, which was such a nice treat as my nerves settled down a bit just by having her next to me.  At that point, the temp was 59℉ and I started to get a little nervous about the heat.  I got the sense that a lot of us were.  And there was absolutely nothing we could do about it.  And then, suddenly, the whole crowd moved together in a wave-like motion toward the line.  This was it.  Game on.  I was hit by a rush of excitement as I took those first steps on the course.  I had to curb both my enthusiasm and my pace as I was incredibly eager to fly down the street.  In marathoning, this is my classic blunder and I was doing everything in my power to reign it in.  As you can imagine, it was not easy.  After a couple miles, I settled into a steady groove.  I began to soak it all up...the spectators, the runners, the noise...all of it.  It was like being on the set of a movie; the scene was one big, wild and crazy party where none of us knew each other but we were all having the time of our lives.  The crowds on the side were amazing.  I have run 3 other Boston marathons, but nothing compares to this one in terms of the number of people who came to cheer us on.  People held up signs, rang their cowbells and generously handed out everything from orange slices to popsicles to cold, wet sponges.  There was not a single dead spot.  And that was awesome.  The race volunteers were the oil in the machine.  Hail to them.  Without them, there truly would be no race.  I did my best to recognize this and thank them at every stop, which still would never be enough.  

Race volunteers having a moment together before the start.
My plan was to break the race up into three parts.  For miles 1-16, I wanted to hold steady at a comfortable tempo pace.  For miles 16-21, the dreaded hill section, I would give myself a little more cushion with the pace and try to just stay relaxed.  And then, for 21 though the finish, I would just go for it with whatever I had left.  The heat was becoming a factor by mile 10 or so.  I started to take 2 cups of water at each station, one to drink and one to pour over my head.  The sun was beating down on us and there wasn't an ounce of shade.  Lesson learned, ALWAYS where a visor when it's sunny.  In the end, I had 2 solid miles left in me after the hills and then my legs decided they were tired.  Really tired.  My pace did slow a bit, but I knew I had enough in me to make it to the finish at that point and that all I had to do was hold on.  Easily the longest 16 minutes in my life.  In the end, it was the crowd that carried me in.  The cheering was deafening, which was exactly what I needed.  I crossed the line with a time of 3:23, which I was more than pleased with.


Not my best, but far from my worst.  The first person I saw was race director, Dave McGillivray, who must have been dealing with logistics at the line.  I took his hand in both of mine and thanked him profusely.  He gave me a big smile and thanked me back.  Then, I turned and hugged the next runner who came in behind me.  Then I hugged the woman who gave me my medal.  Then I hugged the woman who wrapped the blanket around me.  I didn't say much.  I was totally out of fuel.  But I smiled and hugged anyone who was ready and willing.  And a lot of people were.  There was so much love in the air you could almost taste it.  I slowly (very slowly) walked to the end of the race zone and through exit gate, and then I looked up to see my husband standing across the street.  To my surprise, he had left work early to come see me finish.  I was so thrilled to have him there with me and so exhausted that I almost cried.  Almost.  We then chilled out in the Commons for a while, him eating lunch, me drinking a Starbucks passion fruit iced tea (the drink that rocked my world) and not moving, as we waited for John to finish so we could give him his bag.
POST RACE BLISS
Eventually, we ambled (okay, I ambled, Jeff walked) over to our car and we headed back home to Winchester.  Later in the evening, I relaxed, enjoyed a well-earned beer, and thought back through both the day as well as the week-end on the whole.  The experience was epic, life changing, surreal... I won't go on, but I could.  Somehow, I've managed to put a lot down in words here, but there is still a piece that will always be left unspoken.  And it is that piece that I will cherish the most.

Listen to this:
Don't You Give Up On Me - Milo Greene  

Monday, April 21, 2014

TODAY I RUN

FOR BOSTON


“Keep looking my way. My head is held high. 
You wanna bring me down? I dare you to try.”
~Unknown

Listen to this:
The sound of 72,000 footsteps headed into this great city.  Pure joy.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Today In Boston I....


1. Watched with pride and excitement as the city came alive at 7:00am.


2. Met and hung out with my Oiselle teammates
(Ellen, Allie & Anne)


3. Watched Sally Bergesen & Lauren Fleshman fly in the BAA 5K.



4. Noticed these ducks.
(seemingly annoyed that we were in their park)


5. Had a lovely conversation at Dunkin Donuts with Bart Yasso
& Jeff Galloway (standing behind us, purchasing his coffee)


6. Stood in awe as I watched Sally, who had literally just busted out a sub-19 5K, effortlessly set up at the Oiselle booth at City Sports.


7. Continued to stand in awe as Kara Goucher snapped a photo of her fans
with teammate Lauren Fleshman by her side.


8. Walked down the middle of Newbury Street, which is currently closed
for the marathon.  TOTALLY surreal.

All before lunch.  Needless to say, it was a pretty spectacular morning.

Listen to this:
Embrace - Goldroom  

Thursday, April 17, 2014

THANKS. AGAIN.


As most of you know, a marathon training cycle is typically about 4 months long.  Four very long, often physically brutal, and for this particular cycle, painfully cold, months.  Wait, why do I do this again?  Kidding.  (sort of).  When I get to this point, just a few days before the race itself, I tend to look back and reflect a bit.  Because for all of the workouts that were so hard, where I found myself frustrated and wanting to throw in the towel, there were an equal number of runs that made me feel like I was a superhero.  A feeling that is not only amazing, but is likely one of the main reasons that I continue to run these crazy ass races over and over again.  I also like to take a moment at this stage to recognize how unbelievably lucky I am to have such an incredible support system, without which I would never make it to the start line (knock on wood).  So, here's to you.  All of you.

~ To my husband, who is my biggest supporter.  
~ To my kids for their patience and understanding when mom was too tired to deal and their readiness to step up when this was the case.
~ To my extended family & friends who consistently checked in to see how it was going.
~ To my coach, Lowell Ladd (of 2L Coaching) for his guidance and support.
~ To Kirsten, my good friend and running partner, for dutifully joining me for most of my long runs.  Bless her.
~ To my Oiselle teammates for their amazing bird love.
~ To Oiselle (the company itself) for keeping me both stylish and comfortable, 24/7.  Not an easy task.
~ To NUUN for keeping me hydrated.
~ To RUNNERBOX for all the goodies and new products that I've gotten to try. 
~ To Yurbuds for always keeping the beat, and NEVER. FALLING. OUT.
~ To Spotify for being my music oasis.
~ To Saucony for the 3 pairs of Rides that carried me along.  Literally.
~ To the Loopsters for being so damn cool.
~ To my LHS runners who keep me inspired day in and day out.
~ To the great city of Boston.  Just because.
~ And finally, to you, dear readers, for allowing me to document this crazy nut-job experience and your willingness to be along for the ride.

So, again, THANK YOU.  On April 21st, I'll be running Boston with all of you in mind.  And I am forever grateful.

Listen to this:
Keep On Running - Andy Bull  


* Congrats to Tom S., winner of the RUNNERBOX Race Day Survival Kit.  May you always be ready.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

GIVEAWAY: RUNNERBOX RACE DAY SURVIVAL KIT


You are a runner.  Doesn't matter how fast or slow, whether you run 3 miles a day or 60 miles per week, whether you love it or you do it because you have to.  You run.  And that is all that matters here.  It's a week before your race.  The one you signed up for a year ago, or the one you snuck into last week because a friend persuaded you to join them.  Maybe it's your first marathon (holy crap) or the 5k you've never tried but have always wanted to.  Again, doesn't matter.  All that matters is that race day is approaching and you want....no, you need to be prepared.  So close your eyes.  No, really.  Close them.  And you think to yourself, "how nice would it be if someone went out and gathered all the best race supplies; everything I could possibly need (and might not necessarily think of myself), put them all together in a neat little box and dropped them on my front door."  To which I would then respond .... ABRACADABRA and ALAKAZAM.... (yes, I have always wanted to do this)

....VOILÀ.  Just like that, your prayers have been answered by, the one and only, RUNNERBOX.  Their Limited Edition Race Survival Kit has magically appeared in your mailbox.  Ok, fine, I sent it to you.  But, I like the magic version better.  Seriously, though, spring is race season for many of us and thankfully, RUNNERBOX has got us all covered.  With this Race Survival Kit, they will make sure you get to the line with everything you need to start smart and finish strong.  They've got you covered for your pre-race training run, through the race itself and to your post-race recovery.  All of it in one fell swoop.  Or, I should say, in a neat little box.

RUNNERBOX SPRING RACE SURIVIVAL KIT
You can see why I love this company so much, right?  Click here to see a list of the specific items in this box of amazingness.  I wish I had one of these kits for all of you, but, alas, I only have one.  Enter below to win this baby.  It's quick, easy and freakin' awesome.  Not into contests?  I get it.  If you still want to get your hands on this puppy, head right over to therunnerbox.com and enter RWMRB13 at checkout to get 10% off your order.  It's a win-win.  Huge thanks to the RUNNERBOX crew for helping us all survive.  This contest is short and sweet so don't wait to enter.  I'm guessing a lot of you have races coming up so I want to get this puppy out ASAP!  Good luck.  Now, hurry.  GO!!!

Listen to this:
Happy - Robert DeLong  

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, April 13, 2014

LET'S RUN

"We are all a little weird and life's a little weird, 
and when we find someone whose weirdness is 
compatible with ours, we join up with them 
and fall in mutual weirdness and call it love."
~ Dr. Seuss

About a month ago, a woman named Kelly reached out to me via Facebook.  She explained that she'd gotten my info through my ambassador profile on Oiselle.com.  Turns out, she runs on a team that is affiliated with the company, she's admittedly obsessed with their clothes and she has recently applied to be an ambassador herself.  Check, check and check.  Like me, Kelly is an avid runner and a mother of two young girls.  In a nutshell, she let me know that she lived pretty close by, that she would be running the Boston marathon and that she would be in the same wave and corral as me.  Crazy, right?  But that's not all.  She then mentioned that she would be running the last 10 miles of the course with a friend in a couple weeks and asked if I'd like to join them.  I gave it a thought for about 12 seconds and then replied, "hell, yeah!"  So, we exchanged numbers and agreed to be in touch as the day of our run got closer.  This past Thursday, I told my husband my plan for the next day.  In so many words, I let him know that I'd be driving in to Boston, parking by the finish line, hopping on the T with two ladies that I'd never met, riding out to Newton and running back to Boston with them.  "Wait," he said, "you have no idea who these women are and you're spending the morning with them?"  To which I responded, "Well... um... yea."  He looked back at me and said, "Cool.  Have fun."  Confirming, once again, that nothing even remotely bizarre in my running-related life phases him anymore.  On Friday morning, I headed off to the city, thinking, for a brief moment, that it was indeed a bit odd that I had agreed to hook up with complete strangers to go for a long run.  Though, clearly, I wasn't too concerned about it.  At one point, I called to check in with Kelly and let her know I wouldn't have my phone but that I had blonde hair and was wearing a purple shirt and that I'd be waiting in front of Marathon Sports so it would be easy to find me.   As I waited, I had a very lovely conversation with Shane O'Hara, the manager of the store, who had just run into the city himself.  Though the store was closed, he was getting ready to do an interview about the marathon and he kindly offered to let me wait in the store for my running partners.  It was chilly out and I was in shorts, so I gladly took him up on the offer.  Kelly eventually arrived with her friend Carmela and after a brief intro session, we headed off to the train.  Stupidly, I had only brought a $20 for my T pass and, unless I wanted to carry 16 dollar coins back in my pockets for 10 miles, I was going to need to borrow a couple bucks from my new friends.  Talk about an easy ice breaker.  We headed out to Newton, chatting the whole way about our families, our jobs, our hobbies and whatnot and by the time we got off the train, it was not the least bit strange that the 3 of us were headed out for a 10 miler together.  Our run was awesome.  We tackled the entire hill section of the course, including Heartbreak, talking through some of the miles, and quietly enjoying the scenery through others.
We even stopped in front of the Johnny Kelley statue for a photo and did a brief interview with Channel 4 news in regards to how we felt about the blue and gold flowers that were blooming along the course.  (Symbols of Hope).  Eventually, we eased our way back into the city, ending at the finish line, which is already in the process of being set up.  I got some serious chills and took a moment to myself, thinking about how unbelievably intense this scene was going to feel in 10 days.  I also made a mental note to stuff some tissues in my pockets on race day.  Finally, we grabbed a sandwich, Carmela treated me to a chocolate milk (bless her) and we all hugged goodbye, agreeing to find each other at the expo on Saturday before the race.  And with that, I was off.  With two new friends/fellow runners to boot.  The running world is such weird, crazy, beautiful place.  It's so different than anything else I am part of, in a good way.  I often feel like I'm in la la land when I am amongst runners....a place where we are all friends, even when we are strangers, where we all support each other, and where we all feel both welcome and comfortable on any given day.  Call me crazy, but I love it.  And I'm guessing many other runners out there feel the same way.  And to all of them, as I did to Kelly, I'd probably say the same thing..."let's run".

Listen to this:
White Lies - Max Frost  

Thursday, April 10, 2014

TAPERING (AGAIN): A TOP 10 LIST


For those of you who have been reading this blog for a while, you might recall that I get serious ants in my pants during taper time.  And, who doesn't, really?  On April 21st, I'll be running my 9th marathon in Boston and, as expected, the ants are in full force.  It's all good.  I've learned that it's just part of this crazy marathon process and I have to do my best to roll with it.  I will say that this particular taper feels a bit more intense than most.  This race has been on my mind in some way, shape or form for the entire year.  Last April, I watched the day unfold from St. Augustine, FL, where I was on a short vacation with my husband.  We did our best to enjoy the week-end but we found ourselves stopping and staring in horror every time we passed a television.  It was impossible not to.  At one point I looked at him, ready declare that I would be doing everything in my power to be on the line in Boston the next year and before I had a chance to speak he just nodded his head as if to say, "Yes.  I know, I get it." So, here we are, a year later, and now, especially during this taper period, the Boston marathon is all.....I...think...about.  Literally.  Okay, I'm also thinking about my family and my job, but you get the point.  This is the big Kahuna, the one I have been talking, writing, and thinking about for months, and I am so insanely thrilled to be a part of it, especially as a runner. Once again, I am trying to fill the extra time with some fun and/or interesting things that I don't typically get to do when I'm training.  Here's a few things I've come up with.  Any other suggestions, send them my way.

TOP 10 THINGS TO DO WHEN TAPERING FOR A MARATHON (AGAIN)

1. Grab coffee and/or lunch with friends whenever possible, particularly those I haven't seen in a while.
2. Go get my nails done.  I'm thinking blue and yellow?  Thoughts?


3. Watch all of the Oscar nominated movies from 2013.
4. Read the two books on my night stand:
5. Take some long walks in the woods with Lucy. (she's 12, so we go slow and steady)


6. Pack my kids and myself for our upcoming trip to Florida. (this will take all of about 4 minutes, maybe less....but it's something to do).
7. Shop for the Easter Bunny.  Mmmm.  Jelly beans.


8. Turn my 3rd floor bedroom, which is currently an American Girl doll oasis and fort for my kids, into a guest room for my in-laws. (not really fun and/or interesting, but has been on my "to-do" list for months)
9. Take some time to go back and listen to my non-purchased music.  Long overdue.
10. And last, but not least, spend some good, quality time with my girls.


Listen to this:
Big Deal - Dream Machines  

Monday, April 7, 2014

Heartbreak (Hill) Music

Heartbreak Hill in Boston
(kidding, but it is what it feels like)
I have run the Boston marathon three times over the past 7 years.  As you all know, I am motivated and driven by music when I run and race.  But, that said, Boston is one of the few races where I can pause my music during several sections of the course and let the sound of the crowd carry me.  I love that.  I'm guessing the crowd is going to be a huge motivating force for most of us this time around.  HUGE.  And even with that, when I am starting up those hills that lead to Heartbreak, I'm sure I will be leaning heavily on will.i am and CHVCHES, among others, to help push me along and to drown out the various emotions that start taking over at that specific point in the race ie. fear, doubt, anger, and the overwhelming urge to step off the course and sit down.  (happens every time)  This year, I am planning ahead.  Not that you can really plan anything that happens in a marathon, but still.  Knowing I will need this critical bit of support for this brutal 5 mile stretch that ends with the hill from hell, I have been on a mad hunt for some new music with the hope that it will help spark some fresh motivation on race day. The hills in Boston are alive, whether I like it or not.  It might as well be with the sound of music.  It's that or my breathing. I'll take the music.  Here's what I've found.  Got anything else?  14 days in counting.  Tic toc.

❤ HEARTBREAK MUSIC ❤
No Miracles - Kid Kink (feat. Elle Varner & MGK)  
Check it Out - will.i am & Nicki Minaj  
Transition - DWNTWN  
Zvvl - CHVCHES  
Children of the Sun - Fire In The Hamptons  
Rescue - Yuna  
Mirror - Kat Dahlia  
Stargazer - Fire In the Hamptons  
XXX 88 - MØ(feat. Diplo)  (Note: I am digging this whole album at the moment. It's sizzling.)

Friday, April 4, 2014

Meet Joe De Sena (& Spartan Up)

RUNNERS WHO ROCK


I'm so excited to introduce you to badass runner and rocker, Joe De Sena, creator of the Spartan Race Series.  A Spartan race is an adventure like no other, a trek into the unknown, with challenges that tend to push participants to a whole new level, both mentally and physically.  Voted the #1 obstacle race by Outside Magazine, it is a race for men and women of all ages, shapes and sizes.  The races are super intense and incredibly demanding and yet they have been successfully tackled by thousands of finishers including several who are dealing with personal challenges above and beyond a Spartan obstacle.  Cancer survivors, whole families dealing with obesity, young kids with terminal illnesses and so many more have joined the Spartan movement.  Joe wants to give all of the Spartan competitors a life changing event that they will never forget.  And based on what I've seen and read, so far, he's been insanely successful.  After learning about Joe and this amazing race series, I can not wait to Spartan up myself.  Want to join me?  I thought so.

Joe and his crew are giving away one free race entry* for any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any 2014 Spartan Race in the continental US.  It's quick and easy to enter below. (CONTEST OVER).  Not into contests? Totally cool.  You can also  click here to get 15% off a race entry when you decide to sign up.  Many thanks to Joe for the great prize and for taking the time to chat with RWM. Now read on to learn more about Joe and why he is a runner who rocks.  AROO!
* Note: Spartan race entry fees vary from $95-$125

SPARTAN JOE DESENA


"If you want to change your life you have to change your frame of reference."

Name: Joseph De Sena
Where you're from: Queens, NY
Where you reside now: Pittsfield, Vermont
Age: 45
Occupation: CEO Spartan Race
Blog/website: Spartan.com

RUNNING & MUSIC:
What do you love most about running? The freedom.
What do you love most about music? The inspiration.

Over the wall, mid-race.
JOE'S FAVORITES:
Band (current, all time or both: U2

Album (current, all time or both): Time Space: The Best of Stevie Nicks

Race venue: Killington, Vermont

Music venue: Jones Beach, NY

Race distance 50 miles

Show you've seen live? Dave Matthews

Ice cream flavor: Häagan DazsVanilla

THIS OR THAT:

Sweet or salty? Plain

Live or recorded? Recorded

Coffee or tea? Water

Summer or winter? Winter


MORE MUSIC:


Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? Frank Sinatra


Which band or artist (no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Frank Sinatra

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Frank Sinatra and Alicia Keys (I owe her dinner)

Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race? U2

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Empire State of Mind - Alicia Keys  
The Funeral - Band of Horses  
Stand Back - Stevie Nicks  
All I Want Is You - U2  
Bullet the Blue Sky - U2  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
SAME AS ABOVE

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Taper, Race, Relax, & Spring (maybe)


April 1st.  Spring is in the air.  Kind of.  I like winter.  I do.  But it's a really long season.  And after this one, in particular, I am so freaking ready for spring.  I'm not talking about those glorious, 60 degree days, filled with an abundance of sunshine that we often get in Spring.  Those are nice.  But, I'll be happy with a few (consistent) days in the 40s, sun or no sun.  Funny thing, perspective.  Beyond the weather, April is a big month for me.  Huge, actually.  As most of you know, I'll be running the Boston marathon on April 21st.   My husband has to work and my girls will be with their grandparents.  It will be a completely solo mission, and I plan to just soak up the greatness of the day on my own.  Well, not really on my own.  As I did in March, I'll get to catch up with my many of my Oiselle teammates again and will be trying (this time, with a car) to track down some of the Loopsters throughout the week-end.  (dinner, anyone??)  Then, once the dust settles from Boston, I will be flying down to Jacksonville to meet up with my girls and visit with my parents for a relaxing weekend in the hot Florida sun.  Yes!!!!!!!!!

April 'To-Do' List:
1. Taper. (I am stupidly excited about this one)
2. Put away the hats, mittens & scarves. (I'm doing it...even if we still need them)
3. Prepare my high school distance squad, mentally & physically, for their first outdoor meet.  GO LEX!
4. Ship my own girls, on their first ever flight without mom and dad, down to FL to visit my parents.  Whoa.
5. Dive, literally, into the Boston Marathon.  The whole week-end.
6. CELEBRATE
  • the race being over
  • the awesomeness of Boston
  • the fact that I have 3 full days sans kids to chill with my husband
  • that it's not snowing (please, Mother Nature. PLEASE.)
  • that I don't have to eat bagels, bananas or GUs for a good 2 months
7. Not run.
8. Go to the beach and relax with my family.
9. Watch Rosie & Grace play soccer on the week-ends.
10. Sit back, relax (even more), and listen to some good music.

Happy April, everyone.  Pray for spring.

APRIL MUSIC OF THE MONTH

SONG:
Water Fountain - Tune-yards  


ALBUM:
Sweet Disarray - Dan Croll