Wednesday, August 9, 2017

RUNNING IS GREAT

"Running is great, my friend."
~ E. Ward


I have this friend, let's call her Chicken.  We met back in 2015 at a Oiselle running camp.  Our friendship was instant and though we don't live in the same area, we talk and see each other enough that I've continued to grow closer to her year after year.  We have a lot in common.  We're both 42.  We're both marathoners, though Chicken is a quite a bit faster than me.  We're both competitive, mostly with ourselves.  And we're both ready and willing both to laugh at and make fun of ourselves, particularly in front of a crowd; this being one of the main things that brought us together in the first place. (see above pic)  Last time we hung out, at NEBirdcamp 2017 this past June, we tossed around the idea of running a marathon together at some point.  We have similar goals and we'd like to hit them sooner rather than later.  Why not go for it together?  But, then we're both stupidly busy and have totally different personal agendas and so on and so forth.  So, when we said our goodbyes we hadn't really landed on anything other than "let's think about it".  And that might take a while.  In the meantime, I suggested that we get some virtual training in together over the summer.  We couldn't actually do our long runs and workouts together, but we could check in with each other before and after for pep talks and assessments.  For this, she was in.  I sent her my training plan so she could get on the same track as me moving forward.  Weeks passed, maybe a month, and I hadn't heard from her.  Not a big big deal, but I was eager to see if she'd started in on her summer training so we could compare notes.  I reached out last week to see what was up.  She apologized and in so many words told me she'd been under a rock in many different areas of her life lately and was struggling to catch up and, ultimately, to rise above it. I told her that an apology wasn't necessary, that life is unpredictable and that I'd just wanted to touch base because it had been a while.  So, we caught each other up on our lives, eventually landing on our running.  She asked me how my training was going, knowing that I'm gearing up for an October race.  Here's how our conversation unfolded:

ME: I'm starting to get nervous about all the training that's coming up.  So much f***ing mileage.  Do me a favor and remind me every once in a while that I can deal with it.  Sometimes I forget.

Chicken: You can do the mileage.  That's the damn easy part.  It's just the time.  The running itself is so great.

Me: True.  But motivation gets hard.  I keep coming back to your speech... (one she made at our last Birdcamp about training for the Olympic marathon trials qualifier)....and hearing your brother say, "she's working so hard.  What if she doesn't get it??!!"

Chicken: I love to run.  Sometimes I dislike it when life gets hard or I'm working a ton.  But running is great, my friend.

Me: Yes.  You're so right. But...

Chicken: Running is so fun, Trax.  Wish I could run with you right now.

Me: If only.  

Chicken: Here's the thing Trax:
If our fast running were to go to pieces....we'd still see each other dozens of times over the years.... we'd still be great friends....I'd still love and respect you....I'd still know how kind and smart you are...

Me: I'm actually a really good dancer, too.  You really haven't seen my moves yet.

We talked a lot more after that but this particular part of the conversation really stuck with me.  Maybe Chicken and I will run a marathon together.  Maybe we won't.  It doesn't matter, really.  Because in the end, running will still be awesome and we will still be friends.  Looking ahead to my next race, I might hit my goal and I'll be thrilled and life will be great.  But, I might not hit my goal and that will be a bummer and life will still be great.  My friends aren't going to like me less because I didn't hit my goal.  And regardless, I'll still be running.  Because it feels good and because it makes me happy.  And my times?  They have nothing to do with any of it.  It only took her three different attempts to get her point across.  But, I finally got it.  I get it.  You're the best, Chicken.

Listen to this:
Perspective - Until the Ribbon Breaks

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

MY CHOICE


Last Friday was NUTS.  I got up around 6:00am, made coffee and hustled out the door because I had to get the dog out for a decent walk before the day unfolded and she was potentially ignored.  Around 7:15, I woke my 10 year old up to get her ready for camp.  I had to get her fed, screened up and packed by 8:00 to get her off to the bus on time.  After seeing her off, I had to bang out a 10 miler, my first of two runs for the day.  An hour an a half later, I made a feeble attempt to stretch and then quickly washed my face before rushing out the door again.  I had to get over the post office to mail my 12 year old the shower caddy that she'd forgotten to pack.  I also had to go to CVS to grab her a fresh toothbrush and some soap, and, of course, I picked up a few odds and ends (stickers, hair ties, magazines) to throw in the package because I'd be a pretty lame mom if I mailed just the shower caddy with nothing else.  After that, I had to beeline it back home so I could shovel a couple pieces of cold pizza into mouth and attempt to digest them before gearing up for run #2.  Unfortunately, my window was shorter than I'd have liked (I probably spent too much time in the aisles of CVS, dammit), and therefore I had to gather all my stuff and get going again.  I had about an hour and a half before I needed to be at my younger daughter's Spirit Assembly, an event that I'd missed a good portion of the week before and for which I was given the hairy eyeball.  I decided to drive over to camp, park in the lot and run from there to eliminate any risk of being late.  Right after lunch and just before I was getting ready to leave I had a little moment where I kind of unraveled a bit.  My mother-in-law asked me if I was okay.

I responded with something like, Yes.  I'm fine, thanks.  Just tired.  I'd really hoped to take a nap at some point today but I just can't squeeze it in.  I really don't have much energy for this second run but I have to get going if I'm going to make it to Grace's assembly on time.

To which she responded, But it is your choice, Rebecca.  You don't have to do it.  You choose to do it.  Right?

I looked up and smiled.  Right, I said.  You're totally right.

Okay, so I'm going to re-phrase my entire blog post with this conversation in mind.  Here goes.

Last Friday was crazy but awesome.  I woke up at 6:00am, made some coffee and quietly slipped out the door to walk my dog.  I had about 45 minutes to soak up the morning before the rest of the day unfolded.  Around 7:15, I woke my 10 year old and helped her get ready for camp.  I sat and drank a second cup of coffee with her as she ate her breakfast, something I rarely get to do during the school year because we don't have enough time.  After I dropped her off, I hit the road for an easy 10 miler, my first of two runs for the day.  About an hour and a half later, I got home and stretched, washed my face and regrouped (showers are overrated) before heading back out to hit CVS and the post office.  My mother-in-law needed to go to both as well, so she joined me and we made a stop at the Hot Chocolate Sparrow for iced mochas (beyond insane) before starting our errands.  We both have a weird obsession with greeting cards and spent a little extra time in the Hallmark aisles of CVS laughing at all the funny, dumb, gross cards they had to offer (I bought three, she bought one).  After that, we made our way back home for some lunch, which we enjoyed together as we made plans for the rest of the day.  She was coming to Grace's spirit assembly with me but I needed to get a quick run in beforehand so we decided to take separate cars.  I opted to run from camp for a change of scenery and ended up on really nice, shaded, and gloriously flat rail trail for my six miler.  It was gorgeous and I was totally rejuvenated when I was done.  I toweled off and changed in my car before heading up to camp for the spirit assembly; on time to boot.  I caught Grace looking around and then breaking into a big smile as I made it over to her group for awards.  We listened to announcements and songs and then said our goodbyes to friends and went for ice cream, which I was equally excited about, maybe more so.  I was so pumped that I'd been able to make it all work and could relax and enjoy the rest of the day with Grace.


Shout out to my mother-in-law for reminding me that I do, in fact, make my own choices.  That I choose to do both what I need to do and what I want to do.  And that I'm ridiculously lucky that I can fit my own agenda in around all the other things in my life that are undeniably more important.

Listen to this:
Trippin' by Sir Sly

Monday, July 24, 2017

RWR:MEET ERIN, OWNER OF JASYOGA

"My inspiration and muse has always been the athlete, and my mission is to help as many athletes as possible use yoga to achieve their goals." 
~ Erin Taylor


We are long overdue for a RUNNERSWHOROCK interview so today I am more than thrilled to introduce you to the fabulous Erin Taylor of Jasyoga.  I first met Erin back in 2014 at a Oiselle Birdcamp out in Bend, OR.  We, the campers, were gathering for a running-related retreat, if you will, and Jasyoga was part of our package.  Erin had initially hooked up with Oiselle back in 2011 when she taught a class at their headquarters. It was "love at first hamstring" and she's been the birds' yoga expert ever since.  I am admittedly not a yoga/meditation person but after one session with her, I, too, was hooked.  She has this insanely magnetic personality but her vibe is super calm and mellow at the same time.  I found myself waking up extra early (pre-coffee...no joke) just to sit, chill and listen to her voice.  I've stayed in touch with her since then and have been eager to profile her here so you can learn more about her and Jasyoga.  A little background on Erin in her own words:

I was a journalist and started teaching yoga on the side for a while before deciding to pursue it full time.  I've been teaching yoga to athletes for over a decade but my practice officially became Jasyoga in 2010.  I first started doing yoga as an injured collegiate basketball player.  If you've ever been injured you know — you'll try anything to get off the bench.  Reluctantly at first, I rolled out a mat and in those early days I always wished that yoga would speak more directly to my needs as an athlete.  Since no sport-specific yoga solutions existed at that time, I eventually stopped waiting for someone to connect the dots for me and did it myself.  This led to big results both for me as an athlete — I haven't had a significant injury since — and in my ability to serve other athletes.  My inspiration and muse has always been the athlete, and my mission is to help as many athletes as possible use yoga to achieve their goals.  Over the years, my practices have evolved to suit the needs of all kinds of athletes with all kinds of different goals.

Originally based in Seattle, Erin moved to London in 2014 on account of her husband's job.  This ended up being the catalyst she needed for scaling Jasyoga to help more athletes.  While her team in Seattle continues to coach Jasyoga clients in the PNW, she has focused on building Jasyoga Video, a subscription-based video service that now has more than 100 yoga for athletes videos.  Which means we all can now can Hit Reset anytime, anywhere!  Erin has kindly set up a code for RWM readers - RUNNINGWITHMUSICRESET -  to use for a free month of Jasyoga Video.  Personally, I will be starting today as I have no excuse not to and neither do you.  Now, let's meet Erin, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.

RUNNERSWHOROCK:ERIN TAYLOR

Name: Erin Taylor
Where you're from: Berkeley, Seattle
Where you reside now: London
Age: 34
Occupation: Founder + Head Coach, Jasyoga


RUNNING & MUSIC
What do you love most about running? 
It keeps me connected to my strength and resilience, and to the athletic experience and other athletes. It’s also a creative way to express whatever I’m feeling. 
What do you love most about music? 
It can be whatever you need it to be—from energizing to calming—and is a super supportive, readily available resource.


ERIN'S FAVORITES:
Band (current, all time or both): Currently loving Sigrid, top longtime faves include Bonobo, Ulrich Shnauss, Robert Plant & Joni Mitchell
Album (current, all time or both): Coldplay’s Ghost Stories—this was the soundtrack to a marathon labor before giving birth to my daughter and it supported me to be in a very magic space.
Race venue: I don’t do much racing but I love most courses in Seattle
Music venue: The Gorge in eastern Washington
Race distance: 5K 
Show you've seen live: That’s a tough one! Robert Plant at Chateau St. Michele in Washington was pretty goosebump inducing.  Coldplay’s Mylo Xyloto tour was pretty special, too.
Ice cream flavor: Coconut



THIS OR THAT
Sweet or salty? Sweet 
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? Coffee in the am, tea in the afternoon… or I could say coffee in the US, tea in the UK lol
Summer or winter? Autumn—it’s the best of both



MORE MUSIC INFO:
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? Liam Gallagher
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Led Zepplin
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? The Gorillaz
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Red Hot Chili Peppers

THE PEPPERS

LAST ONE: 
Today, I feel like….(fill in the blank)
I need a burger, which is how I feel most days.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both? 
It’s super rare that I get to run without the stroller and I like to be unplugged with my toddler in tow - I really miss running with music! But sometimes my faves pop into my head, and they really help to push me through.  I can use all the help I can get while pushing that thing, it’s like running with a shopping cart with a very large, wriggly turkey in it.
Don’t Kill My Vibe, Sigrid 
You’ve Got the Love, Florence of the MachineThe Broadway Project (during a calming, meditative run)
Anything Beyonce



Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Good question. I have like 10 different nursery rhymes stuck in my head right now!

Also about music/video:
People ask me all the time why there's no music in my videos (video.jasyoga.com) and it's because music—like yoga—is such a personal experience that I don't want to insert my personal preferences into other people's Reset. If you've ever been in a yoga class and the teacher puts on a song you can't stand, you know what I'm talking about. That being said, my colleague Sarah Mac has curated some Jasyoga playlists on Spotify for anyone looking for some musical inspiration to play in the background. Details here: http://www.jasyoga.com/posts/jasyoga-soundtrack

Listen to this:

Thursday, July 13, 2017

SUMMER GOALS

“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
~ Henry James 


Back in early June, I sat down and listed out my summer goals.  I'm a task-oriented person and I knew that putting them down on paper would increase my chances of following through.  My list is both long and lofty.  But, I love a good challenge and I knew I was ready and willing to put in the time and effort to achieve each and every item.  I'm happy to report that, so far, things are going really, really well.  At this rate, my potential success rate is looking good.  With a month and a half left, I'll be kicking it into high gear to check everything off.  It's not going to be easy, but you know what they say....when they going gets tough, the tough get ice cream.  Or something like that.  Stay tuned.

SUMMER GOALS

1. Eat ice cream every day.  So far, so good.


2. Take naps as often as possible.  Extra challenge...two in one day.  I know.  CRAZY.


3. Spend as much quality time with my kids as possible.  Grace is more than willing to help with this one.  Rosie, not so much.


4. Read books.  Lots of them.  My dear friend, Andrea over at Born and Read in Chicago is helping me out with this one.


5. Wake up early for sunrises at least twice a week.


7. Meditate daily.  I'm really excited about this one.  Working hard to slow down, practice mindfulness and let go using Headspace.


8. Explore new music.  Twist my arm.


9. Break the rules a little.  Lucky Charms for breakfast.  Need I say more?


10. Take the path less traveled.



Listen to this:
Glory Days by Sweater Beats

Thursday, July 6, 2017

RACE REVIEW:MURDICKS RUN THE CHOP 8K

This past Tuesday, I headed over to West Tisbury for the Murdick's Run the Chop Challenge.  Every year I look forward to this race for a few reasons.  First, it's on July 4th, which, in general, is just always a fun day.  Second, it's on Martha's Vineyard, one of the most beautiful, laid back, free-spirited places on earth.  And third, having started running it back in 2007 when I was a youthful 32 years old, it's an opportunity for me to come back each year and test my fitness.  The race doesn't start until 9am, which for me is kind of brutal as I tend to get up at the crack of dawn and by 9 o'clock I'm already on my second breakfast and my third cup of coffee.  Thus, I have to tweak my morning routine a bit to make it work.  Not that big a deal, but still.  The later start also means we're always battling the heat and it's easily in the 80s by the time we get going, sometimes hotter.  Clearly, neither of these factors are big enough to prevent me lining up.  As you may know from reading my last couple posts, I've been struggling with a cold and some related sinus/ear issues, on and off, since mid-June.  Along with my health, my running took a hit and it has taken me a while to get back on the road consistently.  Thus, I had zero expectations for this particular race.  As many runners do,  I tend to put a lot of pressure on myself to perform well regardless of what's going on in my life.  Knowing this, and not wanting to make this race anything other than a hard push and a good time, I made a conscious decision the night before that I would not wear my watch and would just run by feel, ultimately letting my body call the shots.  I realize this may not seem like a big deal to some, but it is for me.  I've been running competitively since high school and I honestly can't remember the last time I didn't race with my watch.  After writing this, I realize how ridiculous that may sound, but it's true.


Oh, and yes, I went all out with the red, white and blue because it was July 4th and I like to go big.  The morning of the race was gorgeous, warm but totally dry, which is rare for this time of year.  Lucky us.


As usual, I was up at 5:30am.  I sipped some coffee and tried to relax while I waited.  And then waited some more.  For the record, I really wanted a second cup, but I didn't do it.  Too risky.  I left around 7:30, got to the school around 8:00, grabbed my bib and shirt and then took off for my warm up.  It was already pretty hot when I got going and by the time I was back I was sweating profusely.  It's a smallish race so I did notice a few people looking at me and wondering why I was already soaked.  Gotta love it.  A little side story here.  I stood in line for the bathroom and listened as the people next to me had the following conversation:

Guy: Where's Mike?
Girl: I think he's off running.
Guy: Oh yeah, he's probably off doing his 20 mile warmup.
Both laugh.

That's right folks.  A lot of us, regardless of whether we're fast or slow, like to warm up before we race.  Does it seem weird?  Perhaps.  Is it weird?  Not really.  You can't go from zero to sixty in your car without seriously stressing the engine.  It's no different for our bodies.  As a runner and a coach, I 100% guarantee that you'll have a better race if you get the wheels spinning prior to the start.  Don't believe me?  Try it next time.  Still think it's ridiculous?  To each his own.

Okay, so back to the race.  It was just before 9:00am, I was warmed up and ready to rock.  I won't lie and tell you that I didn't reconsider using my watch.  It's kind of scary to let go and run without knowing how you're pacing yourself.  But, once I got to the line I'd talked myself back into it.  I chatted with a few gals who were also wearing Oiselle, running gear being one of the great uniters, while I tried to stay calm and breath, reminding myself many times that this was supposed to be for fun.  Finally, we were off.  I'd give you the detailed play by play but there really wasn't one this time around.  I settled in behind a couple women, hoping to use them for pacing.  I grabbed water at the first mile and shifted gears a bit.  I had no idea what kind of time I was running and I've never felt so free in a race before.  There were no mental games.  I was just cruising, feeling good, letting my legs dictate and going with the flow.  It's a hard course, and the heat makes it tougher, but I was feeling really good and my body was responding each time I surged.  I got through miles 1-3 pretty comfortably and then mile 4 felt about 20 minutes long, but it didn't matter because I didn't know my pace and there was nothing I could do about it.  And because of this, I didn't really care.  I just wanted to be done.  Someone told me I had the lead right as I started in on my final mile.  I was fired up but without knowing who was behind me while also knowing I didn't have much left in the tank, I knew it was still anyone's game for the win.  At the final turn for the finish I saw a woman waving her hands madly and I had a feeling someone was gaining on me so I dug as deep as I could to stay in first.  I crossed the line in 32:19, my fastest time to date, which I was thrilled about, mostly because I beat my 32 year old self.  But the best part was that I was overcome with pure joy and elation, a post-race experience that hasn't happened for me in quite some time.  I hate to sound cheesy here, but I was so ridiculously proud of myself for following through with my plan and then having it play out even better than I'd hoped.


Before I'd left for the race that morning, my kids had wished me good luck and told me to bring home the fudge....or else.  They were joking.  Kind of.  I did bring home the fudge.  Lots of it.  But I also brought home a fresh batch of confidence in myself and my body.  We runners battle illness and injury and whole lot of other crap.  But, in the end, our bodies are going to do what they are capable of on the day.  And in most cases, when we consistently work hard day after day, despite the small bleeps in the radar, it's more than we expect.  I need to remember that.   We all do.

Listen to this:
Giants by Lights

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

THESE RUNS

"The beautiful part of living is to realize the joy of being alive."
~ Terry Mark


It's 4:45am.  I want more sleep.  I need it.  But it's not happening.  I'm up.  I head upstairs to make coffee.  My dog, who has no concept of time, hops up and greets me excitedly.  Always ready, she is.  I step outside.  It's cool, low 60s, sunny, dry.  Perfect.  I sip and relax.  Today is the first day in a several that I feel almost human.  Almost.  I've been fighting a cold/sinus/ear infection for weeks.  On Monday, I finally went to the doctor to get meds and quickly learned that I'm allergic to the antibiotics she prescribed me.  It was ugly and I'll spare you the details, but I was in fetal position for 24 hours as it worked its way through my system.  My last run was Saturday and, even then, I probably shouldn't have run.  So today, Wednesday, I'm back on my feet and I'm itching to go.  Can you crave a run?  Sometimes you crave what you need.  I need this.  I lace up and feel the caffeine kicking in as I continue to wake up.  I grab Clover and turn my music on, but I play it low and go with a mellow playlist for a change.  I don't need the extra boost at the moment.  I'm flowing, slowly, which is okay because it feels really good.  I'm not an early morning runner.  But, I understand the appeal.  It's peaceful, quiet, still.  The morning is mine.  Today is different.  I don't need to push myself.  I don't want to.  I'm not going for it.  I'm just going.  I'm so grateful that my body is responding; to be out here doing what I love.  Do things happen for a reason?  Who knows.  I work, I train, I race, I rarely take a break.  It was time.  I'd forgotten about these runs.  The runs where pace and distance are irrelevant.  The runs that keep me smiling for hours long after they're done.  The runs that remind me why I run.  These runs.  Yes.



Listen to this:
Maintain by Vilde

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

DIARY OF A RUNNER


Emails, texts, training log entries and ramblings between my coach and I over the past week and half:

FRIDAY, 6/9 (while up at Northeast Birdcamp)
Lowell,
Unfortunately, I've come down with something.  Have a sore throat and body aches.  I'm guessing it's because I'm run down from training and organizing camp.  I was supposed to do 7 this morning but stopped at 5 because I had nothing in the tank.  I'm going to play the rest of the weekend by ear.  Just keeping you in the loop.  Have I mentioned how much I HATE being sick?
Have a great week-end,
Rebecca

Rebecca,
Oh yuck, sorry to hear about the bug that got you.  I hope it passes quickly.  Do what you can this weekend but don't sweat missed miles.  This is about as good a time as any to miss some mileage.
~ Lowell

MONDAY, 6/12
Morning Lowell,
I successfully got 150 of us through Oiselle Birdcamp but, as you know, I paid the price.  I struggled the most on Saturday with a fever (sweats and chills....good times).  Sadly, I wasn't able to run for the rest of the weekend.  But, it happens.  I might try and get an easy 5 in today, but I'm still a bit off so will take it very slow.  More soon.
~ R

WEDNESDAY, 6/14
L-
Quick status for you.  Feeling better but still pretty wiped and can't breath out of my nose.  Not sure about this race on Sunday unless you feel like I should try and do it as a workout.  Also, I'm going to do my intervals tomorrow instead of today unless I hear otherwise.
Thx,
R

Rebecca,
I would definitely push the workout back and see how you feel on Friday.  Sunday's race is not important so I'm fine with you skipping it unless you feel a lot better going into it on Sunday morning.
~ Lowell

SATURDAY, 6/17
Morning Lowell,
Still not sure if I should race tomorrow or skip it and run long.  I feel a lot better but it's been a rough week.  I'm traveling Monday so I have to shuffle Monday and Tuesday's workouts either way.  I have time to run long tomorrow so perhaps I should take advantage of it?  Let me know what you think.
Thx,
R

Rebecca,
If you are 90% and have time to run long on Tuesday, I suggest racing.

SUNDAY, 6/18 (RACE DAY)
Hi L-
Pretty sub-par performance today.  Not really surprised, but always a little disheartening when I feel like I should be stronger than I am.  Heat/humidity were a big factor for me.  By the 3rd mile, I had nothing left and no will to fight.  It was a good workout.  That's about it.  Ugh.

Rebecca,
All I wanted out of this race was a good hard workout/effort.  I didn't expect a good time, so I am not disappointed in any way.  Onward and upwards, right?
~Lowell

MONDAY 6/19
Yes, onwards!  42 years later and I'm still hard on myself for underperforming, even when I know it's not necessary.  What I really could use is a gentle nudge from you the day before races like these reminding me that it's a workout, just to push hard and not worry about time, to relax and have fun.  Because I am never going to be able to say that to myself.  :)

Rebecca,
Yes, I can definitely give you that reminder before races.  I won't get this exactly right, but there is a quote by Arthur Lydiard that I really like.  It goes something like this when talking about big training cycles, "You will be running last when others are running in first.  But, when it matters most, you will be passing them."

Training cycles are a key component of a good training plan.  You can't be sharp and PR all the time.  Like many things in life, being 100% at one time or for one thing usually comes at the expense of something else.  You can't have your cake and eat it, too.  So, you have to pick the right spot to be 100% and accept that the times when you are not is a part of the process and journey.
Best,
Lowell

MY TAKEAWAYS:
1. Your body calls the shots. Listen to it.
2. Every race has a purpose and it's not always for the PR.
3. Training cycles are necessary and key.
4. Don't be so damn hard on yourself.
5. Trust your coach.

Listen to this:
62 Moons by Chaos by Invitation

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

NORTHEAST BIRDCAMP 2017

"You can do what I cannot do.  I can do what you cannot do.  
Together we can do great things."
~ Mother Teresa


Last week 150 women from the Oiselle team met up at Camp Foss in Strafford, NH for our 2nd Annual Northeast Birdcamp.  It was very similar to last year's camp; just a bit bigger with about 60 more people, more organized; because, being the ring leader, I knew what I was doing this time around, and a hell of a lot warmer (thank you, Mother Nature).  A lot of the gals were returning campers, but many were new and some were very recent additions to the team, which is a nation-wide crew of over 3000 women who love to run and to share that passion with those around them.  To an extrovert, our camp is a dream come true.  To an introvert, it's potentially their worst nightmare.  But, those of us who have been on the team for a while and who knew the camp drill, did our best to ease the minds of those who had trepidation about joining us before we made our way up there.  I didn't have a chance to talk to every single camper but the vibes I got were good and people seemed happy so hopefully everyone eventually settled in and by the end we all left as a new, bigger, better run-family, if you will.  Given that many of the women who came are active bloggers, I'm going to keep my post relatively short and sweet and give you the breakdown with photos.  Personally, I had a ball and have already started my countdown for next year.  In the meantime, I have the memories of all the amazing things we did together to keep me going.  It was incredibly bittersweet to say goodbye, but just knowing these women are out there and on my team is...well, it's powerful stuff and I'm insanely lucky to be a part of it.

NEBIRDCAMP 2017


we ran together,


we learned together, 


we swam together, 


we indulged together,


we flowed together,


we rolled together,


we caffeinated together,


we waited in line for that caffeine together,


we laughed together,


we ate good food together,


we reminisced together,


we bonded together,


we relaxed together,


we geeked out together,


and, in the end, we went our separate ways.  
But we will stay....always....together.

Listen to this:
The Gold - Manchester Orchestra

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

CELEBRATE RUNNING

GLOBAL RUNNING DAY


I RUN TO.... relieve stress, to think, to cope, to mourn, to celebrate, to clear my head, to unwind, to check in, to check out, to learn, to challenge myself, to stay sane, to be happy, to be healthy, to set an example for my kids, to set an example for my high school athletes, to connect, to reconnect, to strengthen bonds, to discover, to explore, to give back, to inspire, to be inspired, to defy age, to break boundaries, to set new ones, to rock out, to be a better mom, coach and friend.....TO LIVE.

******* RWM GRD GIVEAWAY ********


Global Running Day is a day for people around the world to celebrate the joys of running, share our passion for the sport and encourage runners of all levels to get moving.  Today I'm celebrating GRD with Nathan Sports, Skechers Performance and Jaybird Sport.  All of these companies support and encourage runners of all levels to get out there and be their best.  They also make products that enhance your overall running experience.  Which is why I'm partnering with them and sharing the love with you.  If you run, then you're a runner no matter why you go, how far or how fast.  So, hit the road.  And then enter the giveaway.  In whatever order works for you.  Happy trails!

THE GOODIES:
1. Nathan Running Box (includes)
~ Cool Ultra Cooling Towel - Cool off! This copper infused towel cools surface temperature by up to 30 degree when wet instantly and absorbs moisture on the spot!
~ Hipster - The #1 product across all categories of running essentials, the Hipster can hold it all (your keys, gels, ID, cash, lip balm, tissues, hair tie and sunglasses, too). This colorful line of sleek, stretchy training paks expand to fit much more than you think!
~ SpeedShot Plus Insulated - This insulated handheld keeps 12 ounces of fluids colder, longer, and has a pocket for running essentials.
~ Power Wash - Eco-friendly, pH neutral and fragrance free, our new detergent formulation is ready to combat your smelliest workout gear.

2. Skechers Performance VIP CARD
~ Purchase one pair of Skechers Performance Shoes at 50% off

3. Jaybird Sport Freedom Wireless Headphones
~ Freedoms (website winner)
~ X3s in new Road Rash Color (Instagram winner)

HOW TO ENTER:
Comment below.  In 5 words or less, tell us WHY YOU RUN.  Four winners will be picked on Wednesday, June 13th via random.org.  Contest for U.S. residents only.  Huge thanks to Skechers, Jaybird and Nathan for supplying the treats.  Good luck and happy running!
Note: Find RWM on Instagram (@runningwmusic) to enter again.

Listen to this:
Magic - Amy Stroup

Thursday, June 1, 2017

THE REST OF IT


A conversation with my 10 year old last Thursday:
Grace: Mom, are you running this week?
Me: Nope.
Grace: For real?
Me: For real.  I need a break.
Grace: How long has it been?
Me: Haven't gone since Sunday and won't start back up until next week.  
Grace: Oh my gosh, Mom.  Is that, like, the longest you've ever gone without running?
Me: Nah.  I've gone longer.  
Grace: Are you dying?
Me: (laughing) No, Grace.  Not dying.  Not yet.  
Grace: Do you miss it?
Me: (still laughing) It's only been 6 days, Grace.  And I'm enjoying the time off.  But I appreciate your concern.
Grace: (thinking) So....what did you DO all week if you weren't running??

THIS KID!!  But, seriously, it's a fair question.  In a nutshell, beyond my typical every-day stuff, I did a whole lot of this....

Hiking in NH with the fam

and this....

Coaching @ EMASS Divisonals
post-race w/ the LHS 4 x 800 relay team

and this...

Watching & cheering @ Grace's Memorial Day soccer tournament

and, best of all, this....

NADA!

....and at the end of the week, after some good, quality time with my family, my friends, my high school track team, my dog and my coffee maker....I sat down and had a reflective moment with myself.  Yes, I love to train and race and chase my goals.  But, I both appreciate and need the time off to reconnect with all the other elements of my life; with the people and things that make me happy and keep me fulfilled day in and day out.  I may not always be able to run.  But, I will always have the rest of it.  Lucky me.



Listen to this:
VACAY by Sunny & Gabe