Friday, September 8, 2023


"Get faster. Get stronger. Get inspired. In under 6 minutes."

I have been a long time fan and follower of the Six Minute Mile Newsletter. Created back in late 2019, this newsletter caught on fast and instantly picked up steam during Covid as the guys behind it had lots of time on their hands and even more to write about and those of us who were stuck at home were eager and willing to take advantage of all that it had to offer.  Chock full of running, cycling and fitness related info that includes everything from shoe reviews to nutrition info to PT suggestions to inspirational stories that you might never have heard otherwise, Six Minute Mile truly has something for everyone.  The emails come twice a week and readers can either do a quick browse of all the hot topics which typically takes about, you guessed it, six minutes, or do a deep dive into the subject matter as links to more details are always provided.  

Personally, it is now something that I legitimately look forward to getting in my inbox and gives me a good reason to check my email which, as a high school track coach, I'm quickly learning most people under the age of 21 no longer do.  So, why am I telling you all this?  Well, first because if you don't already, you should take a second to subscribe.  I'm guessing if you are an RWM reader you likely share my interest in fitness-related news.  It's really a no-brainer.  But also, and I'm really excited about this, because as of this week, RWM will have a music-related spot in the newsletter each week.  I have curated a list of unique gems that I feel others, like yourself, should know about.  And mind you, I do not discriminate.  I'm throwing out songs from all genres - fast, slow, pop, techno, funk - all of it.  Maybe you want to run to it, do some yoga to it or cut a rug to it or perhaps you just dig it and want to learn more about the artist.  All good things.  I plan to compile the songs into a playlist made specifically for RWM & Six Minute Mile readers so you can find them all in one place each week.  Big thanks to the Six Minute Mile crew for letting me jump on board their platform with some music related news.  Hope you find some new and different tunes that you're both fired up about and eager to share with others.  Six minutes.  And a song.  Let's do this.

Wednesday, July 26, 2023


"But it's all right here, right now
In your hands and still out of reach somehow
This endless precipice
Or honey whatever it is
Oh, it just don't get better than this"
'This', OK Go

It's been a minute.  And I wish I had some awesome story or epic adventure to share with you.  But, I don't.  Truthfully?  Mid-summer is always the point in the year when I wonder whether it's worth keeping a blog going.  There's not a lot of racing on the calendar.  I don't have a lot going on with coaching or my girls.  Well, that's not true.  Rosie & Grace are, in fact, quite busy.  Just not with things that involve me.  But you get the point.  Things are relatively quiet.  At the same, this little lull in run/mom/work life during the summer is usually the calm before the fall storm, if you will.  And this year, the "storm" will be totally different as Rosie will be flying out to Colorado for her first year of college.  What??? 

Fun fact, I created this blog back in 2011.  I was just starting to get serious about training and racing.  It was my first year as an assistant XC and track coach over at LHS.  And Rosie and Grace were....wait for it...5 and 7 years old.  I can't even.

Here we are now.  Twelve years later.  I've run 31 marathons.  I'm the head girls XC and track coach over at LHS.  Rosie is 18 and Grace is 16.  Rosie has just graduated from high school and Grace is going to be a junior.  And if I'm being honest, it still hasn't really hit me that she's leaving.  Totally nuts.  All of it.

As far as running goes, the last race I posted about here was Boston which went relatively well all things considered.  It is a pretty crazy story if you're curious.  A few weeks after that, my Whirlaway teammates and I lined up again for the BAA Half.  I have never felt more physically exhausted before a race then for this one.  Like, the morning of, I was seriously wondering if I could even finish it.  And, as you can see, I basically slept my way through it.  Ok, I didn't.  But the photo above does capture exactly how I felt at the moment.  The combination of the end of our spring track season at LHS, the end of Rosie's senior year and the general fatigue I was still feeling from the marathon had me in a virtual puddle.  I had no business racing again.  But, we've all be there, done that.  For the next six or seven weeks I was kind of a hot mess.  My running was garbage.  Every mile felt terrible.  I was tired all the time.  Taking naps at 5:00pm and then getting in bed again at 9:00.  Physically I was hanging by my fingernails and I thought it was because I had too much going on and I couldn't get ahead of it.  Not so.  After multiple different blood tests, I finally learned that I'd been dealing with Mono which I'd probably gotten right around the same time that I raced the half.  Honestly, I was thrilled to finally figure this out as I was starting to think there was something very wrong with me. 

Running through Mono is not the best idea and I don't recommend it but in fairness to me I didn't know I had it.  The net-net here was that running pretty much sucked for all of June and part of July.  But I still managed to slog my way through quite a few miles.  And instead of training and racing I just ran a lot of easy miles with friends from all over the place.  Which I loved.  I met up with my best friend Laurie in CT.

I got a few runs in with my friend Jayne who I reconnected with after having run a marathon together back in 2015.  That was an unexpected surprise.

I even ran a 5k with Grace.  Which she never does with me so I was obviously thrilled.  Though I tried hard not to show it.  Which I probably didn't really accomplish.

Bottom line, life was pretty crazy in the spring and then quiet and weird at the start of the summer.  Running, as I know it, was on the back burner for a while as I focused on getting my energy back and just spending as much quality time as I could with my family.  It's now late July and I've finally turned a corner with my health.  Thus, I'm also slowly starting to ramp it back up as far as my training goes.  All my racing this fall (5 miler, 10 miler, marathon) will have a team focus for a change, which I am super excited about.  At this stage in the game it's a lot more fun to compete with friends who share the same goal then to keep chasing the solo goals on my own.  On top of that, I'm guessing starting the school year off with only one kid in the house will be very different, fun, sad, quiet, strange, all of the above.  And I suppose all of this will give me a few more things to blog about as we close out the year.  So perhaps I'll keep things going for a little while longer.  This was, indeed, a mega rambler.  Thanks, as always, for following along.  

Listen to this:
This by OK Go

Friday, May 12, 2023


 “There’s a lot of healing & a lot of forgiveness in these songs,...It can be scary to face your fears & ask the tough questions, but sometimes you have to step into the darkness in order to find your light.”
~ Pete Francis, on his new album 'Brighter Days'

When I was growing up, there was this really cool kid that lived down the street from me.  His name was Pete.  He didn't go to my school but we hung out in the same circles during the summer.  Two things I remember about this guy.  One, he was always the center of attention, in a good way.  It didn't take much for him to make people laugh.  And two, he was always singing.  He carried this huge Beatles song book around with him and would randomly open to a page, look at you and say, "Oh, I love this one.  Want to hear it?".  To which you obviously had to say, "yes, yes I do."  Pete might not even remember this as we were in grade school at the time without a care in the world.  But I have a vivid picture of the scene in my head and I remember thinking, there is no doubt this kid is going to be a musician of some kind.  Fast forward to now.  His solo album, 'PTRN SKY' releases today, May 12th.  What happened between now and then?  He went to Middlebury College, founded the indie band Dispatch, rose to fame quickly, quietly battled depression while he was touring and recording and finally decided to step away from the band to focus on his mental health and well being.  But in most cases, the fire and drive for singing and songwriting never leaves the artist. And thankfully for us, he channeled his healing into his work which eventually lead him to his solo career and the launch of his new album.  In his own words:

“Sharing is in and of itself an act of healing....There’s still a lot of stigma and shame when it comes to talking openly about mental illness, but I think when we share our emotions and our experiences in real and constructive ways, we invite others to do the same, to feel less fearful and isolated, and there’s something really liberating about that.”

I am so honored to introduce you to Pete and to share his story and music with you.  So much gratitude to him for opening up to RWM and letting us peer through his lens to understand what brought him to where he is now.  Hope to see you soon, Pete, and, yes, I still want to hear that song.  Without further ado, let's meet Pete, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.


Name: Peter Francis Heimbold
Professional Name: Pete Francis
Where you're from: Riverside, CT
Where you reside now: Old Greenwich, CT
Age: 47
Occupation: Singer/Songwriter/Musician

What do you love most about running? 
Finding a cool pair of sneakers to run in.
What do you love most about music? 
Music is my meditation.

Band (current, all time or both): PINK FLOYD
Album (current, all time or both): MOONDANCE BY VAN MORRISON
Music venue: RED ROCKS
Race distance: SHORTER THE BETTER ; )
Show you've seen live: RADIOHEAD AT ROSELAND IN NYC

Sweet or salty? BOTH
Live or recorded? BOTH
Coffee or tea? TEA
Cup or cone? CUP

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? THE WOOD BROTHERS
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? MILES DAVIS
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? STEVIE WONDER
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? PARLIAMENT-FUNKADELIC

Legendary Pink Floyd (Photo: YouTube music)

Today, I feel like….....….(fill in the blank) HANGING OUT WITH MY DOGS

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?

Friday, April 21, 2023


"And if you abandon all your hopes 
and dreams, you'll find
That it's no use to be tender or 
that you had tried
Oh, that you had tried"
Frankie Rose, 'Anything'

On Monday, April 17th I completed my 10th Boston Marathon.  You will probably not be surprised to hear that it did not go as planned.  But marathons rarely do.  There was some good, some bad and a little crazy mixed in and after a few days of processing I'm finally ready to break it down.  So, here we go.  As you may know from my last post, I was running this year as part of a Masters (age 40+) women's team (otherwise known as pretty fast, older women) and we were going for the title in this category.  As you also might know, after many months and an absolutely insane training cycle Amy (left) and Lauren (right) are now like sisters to me.  So for this race, I wasn't running for me, but for us.  Which is a really cool way to approach a marathon.  All three of us managed to make it to April healthy and in one piece which in, and of itself, is a miracle.  A quick story before I get into the actual race.  The Tuesday before race day I was doing my final workout with my friend, Steve.  We were running full speed when I tripped on a pretty significant tree stump and went down hard on my side.  Given that we were mid-run, I popped up, dusted myself off and finished the workout.  The soreness set in later that day and when I woke up the next morning I couldn't really twist my right side without substantial discomfort.  Not that it mattered.  I didn't need to do much twisting.  And I only had a couple more short runs to do before game time so I was not particularly worried about it.  And that's the story.  Put that on your back burner for now.  On Saturday, our team had a track meet and I was on my feet for five hours.  That was not ideal.  But the girls slayed and the meet was awesome.  So it was worth it.  On Sunday I went for a short two mile run, which felt great, and then tried to put my feet up for the rest of the day while also trying not to stress out about the weather for Monday which was looking sub-par.  

Sunday night I laid out my gear, ate some dinner and then watched a very bad movie to kill time before I went to bed.  Standard procedure.  My plan was to get up at 4:30, have some coffee, walk my dogs, drive into Boston, park my car at the hotel where Lauren and Amy were staying and then walk with them to the bus which would be leaving for Hopkinton at 6:45.  So, I was tucked in with lights off at 8:30pm.  I know, crazy early.  As usual, my eyes popped open before my alarm and I was up and moving at 4:25. 

Clover, who lives for food (first) and attention (second), was right at my feet as I headed downstairs.  Enzo, our strange little rescue dog, was like, Dude!  It's the middle of the night.  What is happening right now?  Can you please close the door behind you and be a little quieter.  Thanks.  Clover and I hung out for a bit and then, much to Enzo's chagrin, we went for a walk in the dark.  The weather was ok; as predicted, a little chilly and slightly misting.  Not terrible racing conditions if it stayed this way.  But you and I both know that never happens when you want it to.  I took off for the city at 5:30am and made it over to Copley Square with no issues which was lovely.  I found Amy and Lauren easily and we gathered all of our gear and walked over to the buses.

We found a spot to sit and wait as they weren't loading for a few minutes and we wanted to get off our feet.  Note that Lauren and I saved our blankets from our last Boston marathon which was a pro move as they were perfect for keeping us warm and dry and then could be easily tossed when it was go time.  The ride out to Hopkinton was about forty five minutes and went relatively smoothly aside from when our driver slammed on the breaks to avoid hitting the bus in front of us as we got off the exit.  That got the heart rate going a bit.  We unloaded and headed over to the post office which is where our team always meets and waits before the start.  Quick shout out to the below race volunteer.  Normally, if you leave the official start area, which we were doing, you have to walk all the way back to the beginning of the official entrance to get back in which is about a half mile from the post office.  Lauren thought to ask this guy if he'd let us sneak through the gates when our wave was called so we didn't have to do the extra walking.  He just winked and said come find him when it was time.

Inside the post office we were warm and dry and had our own bathroom for the next two hours which was pretty much as good as it gets for a pre-race set up.  We were all incredibly grateful for this.  I stretched a little, put my legs up for blood flow, ate some more food and tried to stay calm.  This is also when I started to notice the soreness in my rib/armpit area.  Whenever I moved my arm to stretch or grab something or did anything abrupt like cough or sneeze I would get a little jolt of pain.  Obviously, this was making me nervous.  I asked around for Advil but then decided against it in fear of potential stomach issues.  Lauren tried to ease my mind and tell me it would be fine once I get going which I appreciated and hoped was true.  Maggie, Lauren and I were all starting together in Wave 1 so at 9:40 we said our goodbyes to the rest of our crew and headed over to our assigned corrals.  True to his word, yellow jacket guy let us into the start area by quietly opening up the gates for us.  Bless him.  The three of us wished each other good luck and then went to our corrals.  Right after the below photo was taken it started to rain.  Steadily.  Impeccable timing, as always, from Mother Nature.  I tried to keep moving in my little square as I waited the twenty minutes for the first two groups to get going and then reluctantly handed over my blanket just before 10:00am.  Then, finally, we were off.  Giddy.  Up.

Miles 1-6 (6:56, 6:42, 6:41, 6:38, 6:53, 6:38)
I had two goals for this race.  I wanted to run smart.  And I wanted to help my team take the Masters title.  If I was able to do both of those things, I thought a good time and perhaps even a personal best was in the cards.  My training had gone well and I trusted it.  If I ran in control, I was due for a good day.  My goal pace was around 6:45 per mile so, after navigating a pretty crowded first mile, I gradually clicked into a rhythm making a point not to go too fast down the first section of the course.  This first 10K went by smoothly and I was feeling both confident and excited.

Miles 6-12 (6:38, 6:40, 6:51, 6:40, 6:46, 6:48, 6:41)
I stayed right on track for the next 10k.  I watched as people flew by me during this section taking advantage of the downhill ride.  Rookie mistake, I thought to myself with a smug grin on my face.  We all know the race doesn't start until after Heartbreak Hill.  And if you don't, well, I'm sorry.  Buckle up because it's gonna be a hell of a ride and it's probably gonna hurt.  I started to feel a little low on energy at the end of this section so I grabbed one of the Maurten gels with caffeine that they were handing out and hoped that it would give me a much needed energy boost.

Miles 13-21 (6:47, 6:50, 6:55, 6:43, 7:10, 7:07, 6:57, 7:08, 7:31)
And it did for a couple miles.  But then, I faded again.  My legs were just feeling so heavy and tired.  I didn't have any pep whatsoever and I'd really lost my rhythm.  At the halfway everyone was looking up at the camera, waving, smiling....YAY, WE'RE HALFWAY.  I was like, holy shit, we're only halfway.  For the next few miles I could not do anything other than look at my feet and plow forward.  If I saw the mile markers I knew it would stress me out because I wasn't even close to the finish.  I also could no longer look at my watch.  I didn't want to know my time anymore.  I just wanted to get through the hills in one piece.  As you can see from my pacing, the wheels were wobbling but by no means falling off.  I sure as hell felt like they were, though.  But then, I looked up and I was at mile 19.  I could not believe it.  I'd gotten through eight miles and most of the hills and I was okay.  Not good.  But okay.  For the next 1.8 miles I could not stop thinking about the fact that I had to use the bathroom.  People talk about peeing in their pants while they run.  For the love of Pete, I tried.  Because I did not want to stop if I didn't have to.  But it was not working.  My mind was like, yea, no way.  We're not programmed to do that and it's just not gonna happen.  Finally, I stepped off.  It had to be done.  A mother was helping her toddler in the single porto where I'd stopped.  The door was open and they were talking, mom was giving her a, “great job, kiddo”.  I was like, “can I please use this?  Like, now?” She graciously grabbed her daughter and moved out of the way and I quickly took care of my situation.  When I was done, I looked at my watch for the first time since the half.  I was floored to see that I wasn't that far off my goal time.  And even more so to know that I only had 6 miles to go.  I remember thinking, LET'S F***ING GO, Rebecca.  You can do 6 miles in your sleep.  

Miles 22 - 26.2 (6:55, 7:02, 7:05, 6:59, 7:06)
I was now able to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  And I was pretty damn happy about it.  I was smiling.  I was looking around for the first time in the race, seeing the crowd, soaking up the noise and feeling the vibe.  I was even passing people, likely those who'd gotten too excited at the start and flown down the first half.  Sorry, guys.  Now you know.  I was going to be okay and I knew it.  I felt like garbage.  My rib hurt.  My legs hurt.  My shoes were waterlogged.  The rain was getting heavier with each step.  But I was getting it done.  I turned left on Boylston and felt the joy rushing through me as I slogged toward the finish.  I knew it wasn't the time I'd wanted.  But it was damn close.  And it was one of my biggest, and ultimately my best, mental battles ever in a marathon.  And there have been many.  Thirty to be exact.  Thirty freaking marathons.  I was so proud of this one.  So, so proud of the effort and the fact that despite wanting to give up and walk or even quit a few times, I'd kept it together and finished the damn thing.  Final time: 3:02:06.  

When I saw the photographer as I walked to get my blanket I made a point to stop and document the moment.  I wanted to remember this one.  This was a good one.  This one is worth telling the grandkids about some day.  And then the heavens opened up.  Literally.  It started pouring buckets.   Hard, cold, driving rain.  Obvs.  A volunteer gave me a second blanket to hold over my head and I shuffled to the hotel to find Amy and Lauren and get out of my wet clothes.  It was about a half a mile walk to the hotel.  It felt like a second marathon.  I heard my name from behind me and it was Lauren.  I almost cried.  Never have I been so happy to see a friend.  Not just someone I love, but someone who had just done what I did and who understood how I felt without any explanation.  It was so what I needed right then.  And bless this woman.  We got up to her room....HER ROOM...and she let me take a hot shower first.  Now, granted, she couldn't get her shoes off, but still.  That is next level selflessness in my book.  So much love for both her and Amy who got me through this training cycle, the day itself and will most likely be with me when I line up again.  We didn't take the Master's title.  We came in second.  We were heartbroken.  We lost by one minute and eleven seconds.  Basically, my bathroom break.  Sooooo, yea.  In some ways, though, it didn't matter.  All three of us had fought tooth and nail to give everything we'd had for each other and that is a beautiful story, one that I will always cherish.

Speaking of stories.  When I woke the day after the race and turned to get out of bed I screamed so loud the neighbors probably heard me.  My right side was so sore it was like knife blades were shooting through me when I moved it in any direction.  I mean there is post-marathon soreness but this was something else.  I consider myself pretty tough but I was not okay.  And everything I did, putting socks on, sitting down, standing up, coughing, sneezing; holy hell, a sneeze.  The pain was excruciating.  I ended up going to the doctor, mostly for piece of mind because I knew there was likely nothing I could do for it.  I just really wanted to know what was going on.  And he confirmed, that, yes, the rib was broken.  An x-ray wasn't necessary.  He could hear the click of the bone in his stethoscope when I took a deep breath.  He was baffled.  "You fell about a week ago.  Why does it hurt so much now?"  I smiled.  "Well, I had a slight increase in activity recently", I told him.  He finally got it out of me.   "YOU RAN THE MARATHON???" he said as he laughed out loud.  I smiled and shrugged.  Had to be done.  Who knows if this impacted my time.  It doesn't matter.  The day unfolded as it was going to.  I was just along for the ride.  A ride that just keeps getting crazier every year.  What's next?  A little healing.  Some rest.  And then back in the saddle like always.  Same horse.  New ride.  Let's go.

Listen to this:
Anything - Frankie Rose