Thursday, January 28, 2016


“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” 
~ Confucius, The Book of Rites

*Scroll down to view and listen to this playlist w/ Spotify



Escape - Tongues.

You Are The Last Of Your Kind - Rafter

Some Sunsick Day - Morgan Delt



The Balance - Royal Tongues

Jacked Up - Weezer

Yeah Yeah Yeah - Jax Jones

Breaking Free - Night Riots

Future Looks Good - One Republic



Firebird - Galantis

Rule Number One - Sleigh Bells

Adrenaline - Zedd (w/ Grey)

Burn It to the Ground - Katie Day



Lonely Cities - TIGERTOWN

Heartbeat - Tongues.

We'll Never Be Alone - Believe in Giants (feat. Lucy Rose)



Cold Water - Major Lazer

Feels Right - Joceyln Alice

Now Or Never - Saltwater Sun



Gold - Ggoolldd

Ghosts - Alagoas

LIGHT OUT - Javelin



Maps - OYLS

Runnin' - David Dallas

Set On Fire - Magic Giant




Believe - Romes

Late Night (It's Okay) - VHS COLLECTION

Don't Stop Believin' - Journey



Always/Never - DE & The Great Lakes

Hearts On Fire - FMLYBND

Lemon Eyes - Meg Myers (StéLouse Remix)



Come Alive - The Jezebels

Fire - Jack Garratt


Anxious Animal - Syvia  FEBRUARY SONG

Unstoppable - SIA

Let's Dance - David Bowie (The Penelopes Remix)

Keep on Dancing - We Are The City



Listen. Like. Share. Repeat. Rock on.

Monday, January 25, 2016


As most of you know, a typical marathon training cycle is about four months long.  If you've been reading this blog lately, you also know that I'm gearing up to run the LA Marathon in February.  Thus, in regards to training, January has been my biggest month to tackle - aka my MONSTER MONTH.  And, because I have some pretty lofty goals for both this race and this year in general, this particular MONSTER MONTH has been significantly more intense than any of the other biggies from my past 12 rodeos.  Ferocious, really.  Very high mileage, lots of really hard workouts, and several days of double sessions.  Here's a look at last week's schedule so you get a sense of what I'm talking about:
MONDAY - 1/18

22 miles - long run
TUESDAY - 1/19
6 miles - recovery
AM Run - 8 miles
PM Run - 6 miles
AM RUN - Tempo, 10 miles total
2 miles warmup, 4 miles @ 6:55, 3 miles @6:35, 1 mile cool down
PM RUN - 6 miles recovery
FRIDAY - 1/22
AM Run - 8 miles
PM Run - 6 mile
6 miles - recovery
Most would look at this and think I'm completely nuts.  I often do the same.  There is no one making me do the work.  I just have this crazy desire to see how far I can take my running this year.  And my coach is completely behind me.  So, by choice, I'm lacing up 6 days a week and pushing myself farther than I ever thought I could go with the hope that something magical will happen in LA, and if not there, than perhaps later this year.  Regardless of the fact that this particular cycle is a beast and a half, all of my MONSTER MONTHS tend to chew me up and spit me out in time for the taper.  My husband, my friends, even my kids know when the MONSTER weeks have begun.  The only one who tends to benefit is my dog who gets more running in than she could ever imagine.  Everyone else either feels sorry for me, gets annoyed with me, or simply avoids me all together; all three of being totally understandable.  Over these past few weeks, I've given myself a good chuckle as I've thought about all the tell tale signs that I have officially entered my MONSTER MONTH.  Here's a few that I thought were worth sharing, if not to laugh with me, than certainly to laugh at me.  Go big or go home.  Grrrrrr.



1. You go to bed before your 3rd grader every night.
2. You've read the same 3 lines of your book for the past month.
3. You carry food with you everywhere you go - your bag, your car, your jacket pockets.
4. You have no idea what day it is, just whether you have a long run, workout or recovery run.
5. You only wear running shoes because you can't bear to put anything else on your feet.
6. It's virtually impossible to get out of the shower, especially after a long run.
7. Your caffeine intake has increased substantially.
8. You do laundry every other day.  But you rarely use the dryer. 
9. You pray to the weather Gods every single night.
10. You cry tears of joy on your rest day.

Listen to this:
Unstoppable - SIA

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


DATE: 1/19/16
TIME: 8:30AM
TEMP: 14℉
WIND: 20MPH (w/ 30mph gusts)
WORKOUT: 22 miles
ANGRY DRIVERS: Avg rate of 3/mile
NUMBER OF TIMES I USED THE 'F' WORD: at least 30 (probably more)
BRUSHES W/ DEATH: 1 (almost run off the road by an angry driver)
FROSTBITE: Highly probable

So, today I ran for BACON.  Well, actually, I ran because I'm training for the LA Marathon in February.  But, after stepping outside to walk the dog this morning and feeling the temp (painfully frigid) along with the wind (beyond brutal), I decided that I would be running all 22 miles specifically for the Baconator of the Week (BAW) Award.  What's that you ask?  The BAW is a prestigious award given out by friend and fellow LOOPSTER, Dave Schultz, to the runner who heads out to battle the worst winter conditions imaginable and makes it through to tell their story.  Well, damned if I didn't make it through.  It was touch and go.  And it wasn't pretty.  But, it's done.  And that is all that matters.  Quick play by play for you.  I started out at 8:30am on my own.  The shock of the first few steps was like nothing I've experienced in quite some time.  My face stung.  I couldn't feel my ass.  And my legs were on autopilot.  Typically I run my first mile at an easy 9 mile pace to warm up.  Today, I clocked my first mile at 7:55.  Not because I was going for speed.  Oh no.  I was so GD cold that I had to move faster simply to function.  Yes, it was that bad.  At one point I ran by a dead, frozen squirrel and I heard myself saying (out loud), "Tough break, buddy.  But, trust me, you're better off."  This made me wonder if I am certifiably nuts.  Don't answer that.  After about 6 miles, I stopped at my friend Kirsten's house to grab her for the next 15 miles or so.  She's training for a May marathon, so she's currently my running partner in crime.  THANK THE LORD.  When she saw my face, she asked me if everything was ok.  I just nodded and told her we should go before I thawed and had second thoughts.  So, off we went.  The sidewalks are really bad here in Winchester, so we had to run single file on the road for most of our journey.  As you can see from my stats above, we had a very high rate of angry drivers per mile.  They just don't like sharing the road with us.  Next time I might put a sign on my chest that says "I would rather be on the sidewalk".  But, I digress.  We chugged along at a steady clip, fighting the wind like nobody's business, often feeling like we were running in place which must have looked hilarious.  We also had a nice long stretch where the road was both icy AND sandy and the wind blew both steadily into our faces.  That was awesome.  After cluing her in on the BAW and my goal of winning it, she began to chime in every time we braved an element that would get us more points.  We both agreed that the aforementioned stretch should count for double points.  Of course, Dave will have to make the final call on that. Around mile 11, unbeknownst to us, my watch died.   Broken?  Frozen?  Who knows.  But, the next time we looked we had no idea how far we'd gone since our last checkpoint.  We almost cried.  I swore a lot.  We put our heads together and landed on a number of miles that we felt good about and kept going.  As we neared the end (miles 18, 19, 20), I stopped talking all together.  Kirsten could tell I was struggling and coached me in to the finish, giving me several much needed pep talks.  As we rounded the corner on mile 21 (15 for her), I told her that I probably would have died without her.  "Me, too." she responded.  And we laughed, because it was kind of true...."dying" being a relative term in running.  

1 mile to go.  Yay.

Kirsten took a quick photo before I left...for BAW proof.  Yes, I was as miserable as I look.  I said goodbye and headed home.  I live exactly one mile from her.  And here's the best get from my house to hers is a straight shot on BACON STREET.  No joke.  BAW aside, we have called ourselves TEAM BACON since we started running together 6 years ago.  How crazy is that??  Seriously, if I win this award, I will be sharing it with Kirsten as she deserves it as much as I do.  And if we don't win, it's all good.  This run was a huge feather in my cap.  And it will only make me stronger.  Get ready LA.  I'm coming.  But  Mmmmmm.



Tuesday, January 12, 2016


In February, barring any issues, I’ll be toeing the line at the LA Marathon.  I ran my last marathon, the Mohawk Hudson, back in October, so I didn’t get much of a break between the two training cycles.  Three, maybe four blissful days.  After which I immediately got on the phone with my coach to discuss the game plan for this next race.  Given how tired I’ve been these past couple weeks,  I’ve been asking myself if I’ve bitten off more than I can chew with this quick turnaround.  But, with less than five weeks to go until race day, there’s no looking back.  Game on.  LA will be my 3rd marathon in less than a year and my 13th overall.  Call me superstitious, but I do think it’s a bit eerie that my birthday is on February 12th, and that I’ll be running lucky #13 on the 14th.  (pause for effect...I know, it's a stretch)

Post track workout w/ Felix

As I've been ramping up for this marathon, I’ve had the good fortune of getting to do several of my hard workouts with one of my former LHS XC runners.  He’s young and crazy fast so my workouts - 8 x 800 at a 6 minute pace, for example - are a complete walk in the park for him.  Ahhh youth.  Seriously, though, having a friend/rabbit alongside me for these tough training sessions has been invaluable.  So much so that I’ve found myself wondering if I could even pull off these workouts if I’d been on my own.  Yes, my friends, I am plagued by self doubt.  It is not one of my finer qualities.  And it is something that I desperately need to shake out of my system, at least as much as possible, in order to achieve anything of substance in LA.  Easier said than done.  Last week, I set out for an eight mile tempo run, again, with Felix, my trusty runner friend/rabbit.  Bless him.  I’d been fighting a cold since Christmas and as we warmed up I heard myself saying something along the lines of:

"I don't know how this is going to go, Felix.  I've been struggling with low energy all week due to this bug.  I’ll be surprised if I can pull this off."  

To which he responded, with a smirk on his face,

I know exactly how this is going to go.  You’re going to hit every mile at 6:35 because it’s what you’re supposed to do.  You say this before every workout for whatever reason and you always get it done.  This one isn’t going to be any different.  

You see, despite my doubt, which often has me wondering what I’m capable of before I even lace up my kicks, I am a really hard worker.  And, usually, if I want something bad enough, regardless of how hard it’s going to be for me, I will do whatever it takes to make it happen.  Is it tricky to have the work ethic of a horse with the self doubting devil always sitting on my shoulder?  Yes.  Yes it is.  Maybe that’s what keeps me keep coming back for more; the fact that I continue to prove myself wrong each time and I’m damn proud of it.  That's kind sick,  isn't it?  Either way, as we began our workout, Felix said something interesting.  Something like:

You are and I are similar.  We're not super confident or cocky, but we're both willing to work our butts off to get it done.  The difference, though, is that when I’m staring down a hard workout, I like to lace up and step into the ring.  I get myself ready for the fight, embracing the challenge, and not only do I want to win, but I want to crush it.  You, you’re always ready for the fight, but you're never quite sure how it's going to play out, which sets you back before the bell has even rung.

I listened quietly to the younger, and this case, wiser jedi as he imparted his logic.  And as I processed his theory, still busting out mile repeats, mind you, I thought about all the times I tell my own high school athletes how important it is to have a positive attitude regardless of how tough the workout might be.  It drives me nuts when one of my runners steps up to the line on the track and spits out something like, "Ugh, I just CAN NOT do this today."  To which I often respond, "well, no, now you probably can't.  Because you’ve basically set yourself up for failure before you've even given yourself a chance to try.  This always annoys them, but that’s my job, so I don't care.  For all these years, I’ve looked at self-doubt in a different light than negativity.   They're similar, yes.  But, while I doubt, I’m still smiling, excited, in a way, to see how things might unfold.  I've always felt like that was not the same as just saying "I can't."  What I realize now, at age 40, is that when it comes to training and working to achieve goals of any kind, it all falls under the same umbrella.  Doubt, fear, anxiety, all of it will have the same impact on a workout before the work begins.  Start off fierce.  Have a fierce workout.  Start off annoyed, be annoyed with the workout.  Start off unsure.  Stay unsure the whole time.  Even if you nail it.  Well, that sucks.  As Felix predicted, I successfully completed my 4 x mile repeats in 6:35 as planned.   Doubt and all.  Then he said,

Next time you’re staring down a hard workout, why not try something different?  First, accept that it’s going to be hard, because it will be.  It’s supposed to be.  Then make a conscious decision to prove to yourself that you are not only capable of doing it, but perhaps even doing it better?”

Um. Yeah.  I responded.  That sounds like a f***ing great plan.  Screw you, doubt.  The gloves are up.  Let's dance.

Post mile intervals & attitude adjustment.

Listen to this:
Let's Dance - David Bowie (The Penelopes Remix)

Monday, January 4, 2016


Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.
~ Roger Caras

My husband and I adopted our dog, Lucy, back in 2003 when she was somewhere between 1 and 2 years old.  When we went to pick her up at the shelter, she bolted out of the shed and hopped up on the picnic table where we were sitting.  It was instant love.  We didn’t have kids at this point, so she was our first baby.  When we brought her home, she was shy and timid.  She’d been in an abusive household for the first year of her life and had spent most of her day in a crate, thus everything was new and scary.  We lived in an apartment at the time so things like the elevator spooked her to no end and she would often bark at foreign (usually inanimate) objects like statues and trash bags blowing in the breeze because she’d never seen anything like them.  Over time, she began to get used to her new routine.  I worked from home back then so Lucy and I would head out together at least 3-4 times/day.  As she got older, I started taking her running with me.  Just a  few miles at first, but then as she got used to it, she could hang with me for as long as 6-8 miles.  After a few stops to use the bathroom, she'd get into the zone and fall into pace with me.  She truly was the best running partner.

Swimming (& fetching) at Lake Winnipesaukee

Lucy also loved to play fetch, both on land and in the water, and she was, like so many of her kin, totally obsessed with chasing squirrels.  She went everywhere with us and her energy was endless.  Hiking, running, swimming, all of it.  When the kids were born, Rosie first then Grace, Lucy got the hint.  She was still top 'dog', but Rosie and Grace would ultimately be running the show.  We managed to get her out and I ran with her when I could, but our routine no longer revolved around her and she knew it.  So, she huffed and puffed a bit and then she claimed the couch.  It was a fair trade as far as we were concerned.

Standing guard (sort of) as Rosie slept

Eventually, we ran out of space and moved to the burbs.  We upgraded to a house with a small yard and there were tons of new trails nearby.  It was pretty close to dog heaven as far as we could tell and she was very happy to be running free again.  As she got older, 7,8,9 years old, she started to slow down a bit, but not much.  She could still run, though not as far, and she would often stand guard on our lawn, making it clear that she was the protector of what was inside.  In August of 2014, we got a second dog; a puppy named Clover.  At first Lucy wanted nothing to do with her.  She was now about 11/12 years old, often tired after her walks, and she had no desire to deal with a pesky little one in her face.  Clover got the picture right away and learned that if she wanted to hang with Lucy, she needed to just be chill and maybe give her a few licks every once in a while, but that was it.  Gotta love dogs.  At the same time, though, we noticed a spring in Lucy's step with the new kid in town.  Before Clover arrived, we'd often offer to take Lucy out and she'd just shrug it off and lay back down.  After Clover came into the picture, when we went to grab the leash, Lucy would come right over, albeit slowly, to let us know that she was not going to be left behind.  Lucy lost about 5 pounds that first year from all that exercise.  Youth does have it's benefits.

The Queen and her underling

About a month ago, Lucy got sick with an infection in her pancreas.  After a visit to the hospital and some heavy meds, she was back on her feet.  She was clearly slow, but relatively steady for a 14 year old dog.  After Christmas, the infection resurfaced and this time she no longer had the strength to fight back.  So, this past Saturday, we had to say goodbye and let her go.  It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make in years.  And even though I know it was the right thing to do, I wasn’t prepared, and the heartache was and still is beyond anything I could have imagined.  She was my friend, my running partner, my shadow, my sidekick, my protector and so much more.  I take comfort in knowing that she had a very full life with a family that loved her to pieces.  She never did catch a squirrel.  Perhaps she’ll get him in her next life, wherever she may be.  Rest in peace, sweet Lucy.  You will be so missed and your spirit will be forever in our hearts.


~ We taught her how to trust again. She taught us that laughter heals almost anything.
~ We taught her how to swim.  She taught us to be brave and try new things regardless of how scary they might be.
~ We taught her how to fetch.  She taught us that if you do something long enough, you'll get really damn good at it.
~ We taught her that rest is key. She taught us to get outside and move as much as possible.
~ We taught her how to share.  She taught us to play with EVERYONE.
~ We taught her how to run for miles.  She taught me to stop and smell the….um…everything.
~ We taught her how to be flexible. She taught us that simple is often better.
~ We taught her not to beg.  She taught us to appreciate everything and that no treat is too small.
~ We taught her how to sit.  She taught us that a little praise goes a long way.
~ We taught her how to go to the bathroom outside.  She taught us that accidents happen.
~ We taught her how to deal with the heat and the snow. She taught us that every season has something amazing to offer.
~ We taught her to be safe. She taught us to always protect the ones you love.

In the end, we both taught each other to live life to the fullest and to love unconditionally; lessons that I will carry on with me, with her in mind, for the rest of my life.

Listen to this:
Keep on Dancing - We Are The City