Sunday, December 25, 2016

2016: THE YEAR IN REVIEW

"Year's end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us."
~ Hal Borland


Dear RWM Readers,
Once again, I can't thank you enough for joining me for yet another crazy year.  My first post in this blog was on September 11, 2011.  Never in my wildest dreams did I think I'd still be sharing my stories with you five years later.  It's such a treat for me to connect with you through this medium; something I look forward to day in and day out.  I can only hope that you get as much out of it on your end as I do on mine.  I have to say that wrapping up another year is very bittersweet for me.  I love looking back on all the memories; the moments that made me laugh, helped me grow, freaked me out (both in good ways and bad), inspired me and ultimately kept me going and got me through.  But, at the same time I'm a little sad.  Sad that Rosie and Grace are another year older.  Sad that my high school XC season is over and that my athletes are moving on to their next adventure.  Essentially, just sad that time is literally flying and that I can't do anything to slow it down.  I had some pretty incredible experiences over the past twelve months.  Three marathons, two summer camps (one as a camper, one a counselor) and a State Championship, to name a few.  I also had my fair share of challenges.  Some that I managed to overcome.  Others that I'm still dealing with on a daily basis.  But that's what it's all about, right?  These are the things that make it all worthwhile.  The things that shape us and make us who we are.  And in the end, all that matters is this....that 2016 was a fulfilling, exciting and insanely rewarding year for me as a mom, a coach and an athlete.  Which it was.  Lucky me.  Happy New Year to all of you.  See you on the flip side.

Rock on,






RWM 2016
JANUARY
Rosie (11) & Grace (9) in FSC race mode
ALBUM:HOW HARD I TRY - FILOUS
SONG:1000 FORMS OF FEAR - SIA

FEBRUARY
ALBUM:NEW KINGDOM - GIVERS
SONG:ANXIOUS ANIMAL - SYVIA

MARCH
#teambacon
ALBUM:PHASE - JACK GARRATT
SONG:QUARKES - SKYES

APRIL
#TEAMCRON
ALBUM:WINTERSLEEP - THE GREAT DETACHMENT
SONG:FREE - BROODS

MAY
LHS TRACK & FIELD 
2016 MIDDLESEX LEAGUE MEET CHAMPS
ALBUM:OPUS ORANGE - ANATOMIC
SONG:BORN READY - DISCO FRIES

JUNE
ALBUM:SANTIGOLD - 99 CENTS
SONG:FIREPROOF - COLEMAN HELL

JULY
SUMMER VACATION
ALBUM:CONSCIOUS - BROODS
SONG:WOW - BECK

AUGUST
ALBUM:CLEVER DISGUISE (EP) - GORDI
SONG:FOLLOW THE LEADER - WAYARERS

SEPTEMBER
FIRST LHS XC RACE OF THE SEASON
ALBUM:THE LOVE THAT REMAINS - SAVOIR ADORE
SONG:LAID LOW - THE NAKED AND FAMOUS

OCTOBER
ALBUM:GROUPLOVE - BIG MESS
SONG:IT'S JUST US NOW - SLEIGH BELLS

NOVEMBER
ALBUM:THREE - PHANTOGRAM
SONG:KIDS CONSPIRE - ROYAL TEETH

DECEMBER
ROSIE IS XCEL SILVER JUNIOR A DIVISION 
ALL AROUND CHAMP
ALBUM:TRUST - FLUME
SONG:KIDS CONSPIRE - ROYAL TEETH


🎶 RWM DAILY SONGS 2016 🎶

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

RWR:MEET KARA, MOM & PRO RUNNER

"Be unrelenting.  If you don't believe, then who will."
~ Kara Goucher


In just three shorts weeks we'll be wrapping up another year.  Totally nuts.  Here on RWM I wanted to go big and close things out with one last RUNNERSWHOROCK interview.  As you can imagine, I'm ridiculously excited that I get to do it with none other than the fierce and fabulous Kara Goucher.  It took multiple attempts to write this introduction because, as far as I'm concerned, it's virtually impossible to summarize this woman's achievements in a paragraph or two.  If you're a runner or you're interested in running in any way, you probably know of her and all that she's done on the track, the road and beyond.  Back in 2000, Kara began to blaze the trail, if you will, as a collegiate athlete at University of Colorado where both as an individual and along with her team, she took the NCAA title in cross country.  From there she became and continues to be one of the greatest American long distance runners of our time.  I won't give you all of her stats as there are just too many to list out, but I will highlight a few things that are worth sharing on the off chance you don't already know them.  In 2007 she represented the United States at the IAAF World Championships in Japan and took the bronze medal in the 10,000m, the first and only time an American (man or woman) has taken the podium in this distance at this specific event.  The following year she ran her first marathon in New York City taking third place with a smokin' time of two hours and twenty five minutes.  It was the fastest-ever American women's marathon debut and an American course record.  She then came right back the next spring and took the podium again in Boston.  Her third place finish marked the first time an American woman had been top three at the Boston Marathon in twenty five years.  Within this five year window she also competed for the United States at both the 2008 Beijing Olympics on the track and again in the 2012 Olympics in London in the marathon.  The list goes on and on and she's nowhere near finished.  But, personally, what I love about her the most is that despite her superstar status as a runner, she's a loving mom and a very down to earth gal.  I don't know her well, but I do know her enough to tell you that she's just a super cool person all around.  I had the pleasure of meeting her when she was in town for Boston back in 2014.  She lit up the room with her smile and while I was totally starstruck she was insanely kind and humble, pulling up a chair next to a group of us that she'd never met and joining us for dinner like it was just another day.  I've always known she was a big music fan, favoring pop tunes to get her motivated, but the fact that ABBA is one of her all time favorites is just the icing on the cake.  This woman rocks in so many ways and I'm thrilled to give you another small peak into her amazing life.  So, let's do this.  Meet Kara, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.

RWR: KARA GOUCHER

Where you're from: Duluth, MN
Where you reside now: Boulder, CO
Age: 38
Occupation: Mom/professional athlete 
Blog/website: karagoucher.com

Racing (flying) at the 2016 Olympic trials in Los Angeles

RUNNING & MUSIC:
What do you love most about running? 
I love pushing my body to limits and finding out what I’m capable of.  But I also love the meditation and calmness it has brought to my often frazzled brain.
What do you love most about music? 
Music is a great outlet for me.  So many strong memories are tied to music for me, listening to my mom’s 45s as a kid.  I love the way it can give me such a strong emotion - sadness, happiness and everything in between.


Post race w/ son Colt & husband Adam Goucher

KARA'S FAVORITES:
Band: (current, all time or both) REM
Album: (current, all time or both) Currently Twenty One Pilots Blurryface 
Race venue: The streets of any city
Music venue: Red Rocks Amphitheatre
Race distance: Marathon
Show you've seen live: Dave Matthews Band
Ice cream flavor: Mint Chocolate Chip





THIS OR THAT?
Sweet or salty? Sweet
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? Coffee
Summer or winter?  Both-equally





MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? Aerosmith
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? ABBA
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Madonna
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Twenty One Pilots


ABBA

LAST ONE: 
Today, I feel like….(fill in the blank)
Crazy hopeful.  I’m coming back from an injury and I’m seeing real progress.



Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Dancing Queen - ABBA
Crazy in Love - Beyonce
Cheap Thrills - Sia
Paper Planes - M.I.A.
I Love It - Icona Pop

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
24K Magic - Bruno Mars
So Baby Pull Me Closer - Dj Suparii
Starving - Hailee Steinfeld
Heathens - Twenty One Pilots
All I want for Christmas is you - Mariah Carey (this one maybe 20 times!)

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

2016 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE


Well, we've made it to December which, to be honest, kind of blows my mind.  I have been so wrapped up in my kids' sports schedules, my LHS teams' fall XC season and my own marathon training that the days have literally just come and gone and now were here.  Boom.  The nice thing is that I actually have a little more time now to focus on the holidays and all the prep that goes along with it.  According to my kids, the Christmas season is by far the best.  Not just the day itself but the whole joyful (crazy) month!  Though little Grace will tell you that Halloween is a very close second.  Both of them have made their lists.  Not a shocker.  Rosie, age 12, only has two main things that she would like this year - cooking classes (love it) and a phone (not as thrilled about this one, but also not surprised).  Grace's list is, yet again, totally off the wall.  In fairness, she's only 9 and she still believes.  But, she's also a total nutball which we love because it always keeps us guessing (and laughing).  Here's just a few of the items that Grace would like this year:

~ A spy watch  A real one.  So... yeah.
~ Flannel sheets with giraffes on them  Passed this off to my mother-in-law.  She loves a good challenge.
~ Giraffe footed pajamas  Thank you Amazon Prime.
~ Giraffe earrings, preferably dangly  See above.
~ Gotcha gadget gag set  Think whoopie cushion, fake gum that snaps, handshake buzzer, etc)
~ Giant inflatable ball  Yes.  It's exactly what it sounds like.  But it's human size and she can get inside it and roll around the house.  Because that makes sense.)

Clearly we have a giraffe thing going this year.  We've also shifted from last year's magician theme to a spy/prank motif.  And the ball?  I have no idea where that came from.  Let's just say it's a very good thing I do have a little extra time at the moment.  On a separate but somewhat related note, I've taken some of that time to put together a list of goodies for the runner in your life or to add to your own wish list this year.  These products are from the many awesome companies that I've connected with since I started this blog; some new and some tried and true.  Whether they look like good picks or not, at the very least they will hopefully spark some ideas.  Though, in my humble opinion, they are all stellar and you are pretty much guaranteed to get "best gift giver" award if you go with any of them.  Just saying.  Regardless of what and when you celebrate, I hope you all have a fabulous holiday season.  Merry everything.

RWM 2016 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

Price: $108
*Currently on sale for 25% off at Oiselle.com

Being cold sucks, this jacket makes it better.  Think wearable blanket.  I have sported this gem every day since it arrived at my door back in November and I've no doubt I will continue to do so throughout the entire winter.  Fair warning, when you wear it people often reach out to feel and/or pet it.  It's pretty irresistible.  And worth every penny.

SKECHERS GOMEB SPEED 3
Price: $65

We all have our own shoe preferences, particularly when it comes to running, and I'm definitely not going to tell you what to wear.  However, if you're ready for a change or you're in the market for a new and different or dare I say, better, racing flat then look no further.  With its snug fit, mesh upper and seamless interior, the GOMEB SPEED 3 is my go-to race shoe for everything from the 5K to the half marathon.  It's light and airy with just enough support to go the distance.  Plus, the price is totally on point.  And, of course, Meb wears it, which just makes me feel faster when I have it on.  Maybe it will do the same for you.  They're worth adding to your list for that alone, right?

Price:$74.00
 *janjicorpsfriends for 15% off 

When you give someone a gift from Janji, you're giving in more ways than one.  Janji designs high performance running apparel that, when purchased, helps make a difference in the lives of others.  So, for example, if you buy your running bud this super cool hoodie, 10% of the sale will go toward toward supporting clean water projects in areas that need it the most.  It's a no brainer.  And hoodies rule.  (Note: Janji is offering RWM readers a 15% discount on this baby. See above)


Price:$39.99

I am a big believer in compression and you will often finding me sporting calf sleeves or socks before, during and/or after a race or hard workout.  Supposedly, they increase blood flow and help with muscle recovery.  More importantly, they keep me warm.  People often ask, "do they really work?"  To which I respond, "if they feel good and help you run better, does it matter?"  Grab these insanely cool calf sleeves from Zensah for the runner in your life or for anyone who happens to be active, really.  Compression is everyone's friend.

Price: $29
(note: use promo code RWMRB13 for 10% off all web store items incl. subscriptions)

The holiday edition RUNNERBOX is always on my list.  The folks at RUNNERBOX make your life easier by hand picking a unique mix of running related goodies and wrapping them up in this neat little package.  No guess work.  No way you can go wrong.  Done and done.

Books:
The Memory of Running by Ron McLarty
Run the World by Becky Wade
Racing the Rain by John L. Parker

Everyone loves a good book.  These three really moved me and, in my humble opinion, whether you are a runner or not, they are all worth a read.  The Memory of Running and Racing the Rain are novels; both beautiful stories.  Run the World tells pro-runner Becky Wade's story as she journeyed around the world to learn about running in other cultures; an incredible look into the meaning of running for ourselves and beyond.  There's always more time to cozy up with a book over the holidays and throughout the rest of the long, dark, cold winter.

STOCKING STUFFERS


Picky Bars - delicious little squares of nutritional awesomeness


NUUN - a healthy hydration solution in a tiny little tube


Momentum Jewelry - chic, wearable inspiration


Hank Orange Headbands - Run hard, tame the mane, look cute


FOMO Eyewear - Polarised, UV protected, durable, cool


Listen to this:
The Fire - French Horn Rebellion & Savoir Adore