Thursday, February 6, 2020

THIS IS....

"Instead of saying, I'm damaged, I'm broken
Say I'm healing, I'm rediscovering myself, I'm starting over."
~ Horacio Jones


Two weeks ago I was limping as I ran.  But I still ran.
This is denial.
On Friday, Jan 24th, I stopped mid-run, turned around and walked home.
This is acceptance.
On Sunday, Jan 26th I was supposed to race. I didn't.  The following Sunday, Feb 2nd, I was also supposed to race.  Again, I didn't.
This is reality.
For ten days I stayed off my foot and cross trained.
This is patience.
On Monday of this week, I tried my first run.  Four miles.  Not a step more.
This is caution.
On Tuesday, despite my successful run the day before, I did not run again but got back on a machine.
This is will.
On Wednesday, I ran again. Five miles. I so badly wanted to do more.
This is desire.
I have no idea when I'll race again.
This is okay.
‪Two weeks ago it hurt to walk.  This week I ran 9 miles.
This is progress.‬
Last fall I was doing my recovery runs comfortably around 8 minute pace. Today, 8 minute pace felt really hard. ‬
‪This is starting over.‬

Listen to this:
Run - Emika

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

FIRST POST

“It is not enough to be busy; so are the ants. 
The question is: What are we busy about?”
~ Henry David Thoreau

So, clearly, I haven't posted yet this year.  It's not because I haven't wanted to.  I have.  I've actually written up a few different pieces.  I just haven't been able to get them done.  I mean, like, done, done.  I wish I had some really exciting story to share with you on why I haven't been able to put the pieces together and get them published.  I don't.  Life just seems to be a bit crazier than usual lately.  And a lot more unpredictable than in years past.  And the every day things that typically keep me from focusing on RWM for a minute here and there are being thrown at me in full force.  Thus, I just can't seem to get ahead of them.  Which means my windows of time for writing and thinking and editing and re-writing and then sharing seem to be few and far between.  But, that said, I'm not quite ready to throw in the towel and say I'm done with this blog.  Posting here has always been very therapeutic for me.  Whether it's about running or music or my kids or something totally random, more often than not, I end up connecting with a handful of readers who've shared a similar thought or experience and that always helps me process and move on.  Hopefully it helps them, too.  For obvious reasons, my running agenda tends to be the common thread here.  It's the subject that always brings me back; that gives me a reason to open up a discussion, if you will.  Right now, my running situation is pretty lame in that I'm battling plantar fasciitis that does not want to go away despite all my efforts to fight it and because I'm not in very good shape after having taken a couple forced but lovely weeks off over the holidays.  I'm currently training for Boston so I am nervous about both of these situations.  But they are a work in progress.  And I don't have much more to tell you about it.  Yet.  And, then again, between that and the rest of my non-running day to day grind which is all over the place, I haven't been able to churn out the posts as I usually do. Yesterday, I slogged through a two hour run and, in addition to thinking through the reasons why I haven't posted yet this year (see below) I decided that I really wanted to get something published before people started to give up on this blog, myself included.  Which brings me here.  I forced myself to sit and get this one down today because I want to reconnect and because I know that when I get the ball rolling here it will help me motivate to get it rolling elsewhere in my life.  Or, at least, that's what I'm hoping.  So, please don't give up on RWM just yet.  I'm hoping this will be my first of many.  Roll on!

TOP REASONS WHY I HAVEN'T POSTED THIS YEAR....


...UNTIL NOW

~ Because I'm trying really hard to focus on post-run self-care at the moment.  Meaning, not finishing a workout, walking in the door, grabbing my keys and leaving to do errands or siting down to write a blog.  Between my foot, which needs extra TLC right now and my body in general, which isn't quite where I want it to be in terms of strength and flexibility, I'm devoting about 10 minutes to stretching, rolling and core before I move to my next 'to-do'.

~ Because since adding a second dog to our household, my choice so no complaining here, my next 'to-do' is almost always getting the dogs out for a walk.  Both are very energetic and get bored easily.  By the time I've dropped the kids, run and stretched, etc. they are usually giving me the stare down which means, time to focus on us or we will be really annoying until you deal.  If I even attempt to sit and write when they are in this state?  Forget it.  Let the barking begin.

~ Because between the foot and the fact that I'm out of shape the races I had planned to run in January are not happening.  Which means I have no good pre, post or race day stories to share with you.  And writing about the long run or repeat 400s is just about as exciting as watching paint dry.

~ Because my girls, age 12 and 15 are ridiculously busy after school and I am their driver.

~ Because this is my older daughter's first year competing on her high school gymnastics team.  It's a winter sport.  And there are a lot of meets.  And I'm trying to got to all of them.  Because I love watching her do what she loves.

~ Because in those short blocks of time where I might be able to sit down and bang out a post I'm finding that I would rather have coffee or lunch with a friend.  My life is nuts right now.  It's much harder to connect with people in person.  So, I'm making the effort to do it whenever I have time.  It doesn't happen a lot but I really value it when I can make it happen.

~ Because if I do have a window of time and I'm not running, stretching, driving my kids around, watching my kids do their thing, or meeting up with friends, I'm probably ready to go to bed.  Sorry.  Not sorry.

Listen to this:
Holy Horses - Temples


Monday, December 16, 2019

2019 YEAR IN REVIEW


Dear RWM Readers,
Well, here we are.  Another year is almost behind us.  It always blows my mind how quickly they fly by.  Especially now that my own girls are so much older.  I try really hard to keep up with them but more often than not, if I blink I'm likely missing something.  Such is life.  I guess I should be grateful that so much is going on, much of it good, that I can barely keep up.  As far as running goes, I had a pretty successful year; finally chipping away at my half marathon PR back in May and then running a couple decent marathons this fall.  I had hoped to sneak in under three hours again this year but it simply wasn't in the cards so I'll be going for it again in 2020 because, well.... why the hell not?  I had the pleasure of guiding Michaela Flaherty at Boston in some pretty strange weather - early morning thunderstorms, rain, glaring sun, mad heat, humidity and then rain again at the finish -  though it was nothing compared to the Nor'Easter of 2018.  She was very pleased to have successfully crossed the line and will be racing again next spring.  My Lexington XC team had yet another incredible season this past fall.  The girls won their Middlesex League Meet and took first place at the EMASS Divisional Meet, something they have now done four times in the past six years which is no small feat.  They finished third in the state of MA last month, edging out their fourth place rivals by one point.  Such a gritty crew, they were.  As always, they were so much fun to coach and while I'm very sad to say goodbye to my seniors, I'm already fired up for next fall.  In the gym, Rosie killed it this past spring, taking third overall in her age group at her state gymnastics meet and, for the first time ever, qualifying for the Regional meet, a goal she set her sights on many years ago.  She also graduated from middle school and is now a freshman at Winchester High. What?  She continues to compete for her WGA team and has also joined her high school team this winter.  I'm so excited (and nervous) to watch her fly over the next couple months.  Grace continued to dominate on the soccer field and also started running XC, which I'm obviously thrilled about.  I wouldn't say she loves running.  Yet.  But, after taking a couple wins at her school races, I can tell that her interest has shifted and is now somewhat piqued.  I even dragged her out with me on a very cold morning this fall for a local 5K which she crushed, taking second in her age group.  After that, she made it clear that she is done with racing in frigid temps, but I'm hoping to get her back out with me next spring.  On the music side, there was a ton of new work flowing from various bands and individual artists this year.  Sia, Beck and the Broods released albums that are constantly on replay for me.  Haim, AWOLNATION and Fitness, a new duo with Kenny Carkeet, formally of AWOLNATION, dropped some awesome singles that will hopefully lead to full albums in 2020.  Super excited for those.  All in, it was a fantastic year (a few of my favorite highlights below) and not a moment goes by when I don't realize how ridiculously lucky I am.  As far as the blog goes, I haven't been posting as much this year as in years past but based on feedback from friends and readers it seems as though it's worth continuing to share my stories.  Either that, or the people I asked are very nice, which is also a good thing.  I'm not sure how things will shape out moving forward but, as I said, I'll continue to write in some fashion as I truly love the connections I've made here and hope that I'm inspiring others or, at the very least, making people laugh at some of the craziness that is my life.  I created this blog back in 2011.  I definitely didn't think I'd still be at it eight years later.  Big thanks to all of you for following along on my journey.  Cheers to a new year and a whole boatload of new adventures for you and I alike.  Stay awesome, my friends.

Rock on,







RUNNING WITH MUSIC 2019

Ran the Donna 1/2 Marathon down in FL in honor of my Mom
JANUARY ALBUM:LA FORCE-LA FORCE
JANUARY SONG:PEOPLE(feat. Adele Kosman)-LINES

Guided Michaela Flaherty for her first Boston Marathon
FEBRUARY ALBUM:AARTH-THE JOY FORMIDABLE
FEBRUARY:ALL I WANT-BROKEN SOCIAL SCENE

w/ Rosie after her State Gymnastics meet
MARCH ALBUM:DON'T FEED THE POP MONSTER-BROODS
MARCH SONG:SHOW YOU WHAT I CAN DO-ROYAL TEETH

Grace flying to the finish at her XC meet
APRIL ALBUM:IN THE LAND OF-WINTERSLEEP
APRIL SONG:START A RIOT-BEGINNERS

Rosie's 8th grade graduation
MAY ALBUM:LSD-LABRINTH, SIA & DIPLO
MAY SONG:SAW LIGHTENING-BECK

Family week at Lake Winnepesaukee
JUNE ALBUM:HOLLY - SLEIGH BELLS
JUNE SONG:OUT OF MY HEAD - LOUD FOREST

Yankee Homecoming 10 miler w/ my Whirlaway teammates
JULY ALBUM:HARD LUCK-ROYAL TEETH
JULY SONG:BLOOD BROTHERS-AMY SHARK

Oiselle Big Birdcamp
AUGUST ALBUM:ENTERTAIN YOU-BRONZE RADIO RETURN
AUGUST SONG:YELLOWJACKETS-FITNESS

SEPTEMBER ALBUM:THE DARKER THE WEATHER/THE BETTER THE MAN-MISSIO
SEPTEMBER SONG:ONLY HUMAN-MISTERWIVES

LHS EMASS Division 1 Champs
OCTOBER ALBUM:IN THE MORSE CODE OF BREAK LIGHTS-THE NEW PORNOGRAPHERS
OCTOBER SONG:HALLELUJAH-OH WONDER

Grace taking aim on the soccer field
NOVEMBER ALBUM:KIN-ELECTRIC GUEST
NOVEMBER SONG:NOW I'M IN IT-HAIM

Rosie taking flight in the gym
DECEMBER ALBUM:HYPERSPACE-BECK
DECEMBER SONG:THE BEST-AWOLNATION

#LUCKYME

Listen to this:
RWM DAILY SONGS 2018

Monday, December 9, 2019

2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE & GIVEAWAY

"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
~ Mark Twain


Nothing like jumping right into December with a full blown snowstorm.  Mother Nature just went ahead and ripped the bandaid off this year, didn't she.  But, it's good.  It pushed me right into holiday/deal mode.  And, as a result, for the first time ever I'll be posting this gift guide kind of early.  Well, I guess it depends on who you ask as this feels pretty early to me but half the world probably already did a majority of their shopping on Black Friday & Cyber Monday; both of which seem to still be going on a week after the fact.  Whatever.  A lot of us like to take our time and put more thought into it, right?  Let's go with that.  Seriously, though, I do love this time of year, primarily because of how excited my girls get as soon as we hit December 1.  Lights up.  Check.  Wreaths up.  Check.  Elf on the Shelf.  Check.  Side note - they no longer believe that he moves around in the middle of the night and watches for Santa and yet they still expect me to do it.  Now, the game is more like, will Mom remember to move it before she goes to bed?  Super fun.  This season stirs up such good energy and there is so much good, solid family love that floods in and lingers throughout the entire month.  I always find myself soaking up every bit of it.  Plus, regardless of what you celebrate, who doesn't love picking out a gift for a family member or friend that you know they will be thrilled about?  Like, you find yourself smiling as you purchase it, despite the cost, because you know it's going to make their day.  Okay, no, it's not all about gifts, but if you're looking to spoil someone, this is definitely the time to do it.  Below you'll find a few of my favorite gifts; running related, music related and a few other gems worth knowing about.  I love everything on this list and would buy every single one of them for myself and for most of my friends.  They have all been tested by yours truly.  Hopefully you'll find something on this list that calls your name or that of a loved one.  And if not, just go down to the bottom and enter the RWM HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY as it is one that you are not going to want to miss out on.  Merry Everything, my friends.


RWM 2019 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE


JAYBIRD VISTA True Wireless Headphones: Just when you think Jaybird can't make a better product, they go and do it.  These headphones are a total game changer and I could not love them more.  I have child-sized ears and they fit snuggly and comfortably with no issues.  They are sweat proof, waterproof and shatter proof, basically life proof.  They have a 16 hour battery life and sit in a charging case that fits easily into your pocket.  Running, climbing, hiking, skiing; go and do anything with these babies.  Turn it up and never go quiet again.  The retail price is $179.99 and worth every penny.


LANDGROVE COFFEE: Who doesn't want coffee as a gift?  A hot cup of coffee on a cold day has got to be one of the few (or many, depending on who you ask) perks of this cold, dark season.  I discovered Landgrove coffee this summer and I am a total convert.  This family owned business is based in Troy, Idaho.  I buy the Espresso roast, but have also tried their Guatemala bean and both are insanely delicious.  On top of a rich, robust flavor, much of the coffee is direct and fair trade which means the owners of Landgrove have a personal relationship with the producer and pay them fairly for their product.  I can't say enough good things about this company and its product.  You'll have to order some and see for yourself.  Coffee prices vary but range from $11 to $16 per pound.


THIRSTY AARDVARK CUPS: An insulated cup is the perfect accompaniment to your coffee gift, right?  Or perhaps you just need a new water bottle or tumbler for yourself.  Either way, Thirsty Aardvark offers several different styles and colors for all of your drinking needs.  They are stainless steel and double wall vacuum sealed so your coffee stays hot or your NUUN stays cold but the flavor of either one of them doesn't linger in the cup.  And, unlike their competitors, this line is not quite as cost prohibitive, which I personally believe is as it should be.  Retail value depends on size and style and ranges between $10-$20.


NOXGEAR TRACER 360 PERFORMANCE VEST: Running in the dark is not ideal but many of us do it.  The Tracer 360 is a super light, weather resistant, battery powered vest that will keep you safe no matter when you hit the road.  There are multiple sizes so it fits just right, but it can also be adjusted once it's on.  The lights, for which there are several colors, are both reflective and flourescent.  This is such a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life who wants to walk out the door at any point in the day and, more importantly, to always be seen.  Retail value is $69.95 though today, 12/9, it is on sale for $39.95.


OISELLE QUILTED CREW: Okay, truth. I have two of these. It is, by far, the warmest and coziest top in my closet.  Think wearable blanket.  I have to hide them from my daughters.  It's just that awesome. I love a good sweatshirt but this one has a little flare and makes me feel like I've put myself together a bit more than when I'm in my usual hoodie.  I know, it's a stretch.  This is my life.  For real, though, I wear it almost daily.  And I'm sure it will be a year rounder for me.  Because, let's be honest, you can always use a good crew or three. Retail value is $86.


RUNNING HOME BY KATIE ARNOLD: It's always key to have a book on the list.  Either to give or to get. I loved this memoir by runner, mom & writer Katie Arnold. I'm just going to use the Google Books description because it is spot on.  Katie Arnold an..."Outside magazine writer tells her story — of fathers and daughters, grief and renewal, adventure and obsession, and the power of running to change your life." It's a beautiful story and one that all of us can relate to in some way.  I could not put it down and definitely plan to read it again.  I will also be buying multiple copies to give to friends this year.  Retail price is $19.38 on Amazon.com.

STOCKING STUFFERS



NUUN IMMUNITY - NUUN is the ultimate stocking stuffer because who doesn't need to hydrate?  Throw a tube of NUUN Immunity in every stocking because we really need extra hydration and immune support during the holidays.  Even more so during the break when hugs and kisses are frequent and germs are spreading like wildfire.

HONEYSTINGER CASHEW BUTTER & MILK CHOCOLATE BARS - These are a repeater from last year's guide but a new flavor.  Drop one of these bars into each stocking as well because everyone likes and needs a good snack and these are so good that even your picky teen will eat them.  

KOALA CLIP - These are also a repeater.  But, the new Koala Clip Lux has a small pocket on the inside for a key or credit card, or in my case, for my frequent coffee card which I obviously take with me everywhere I go. 

SMELLWELL - these little inserts saved our lives this fall.  It rained non-stop and between my own running shoes and my daughter's cleats, our shoes were in constant need of these gems.  Drop them in and they go to work, not only drying out your shoes but also eliminating odor.  Please and thank you.  Especially for the cleats.

DEMETER ATMOSPHERE SOY CANDLE - Traveling for the holidays?  Take your favorite scent on the road with you so you can always think of home or whatever it is you're missing.  Demeter offers these candles in recognizable scents ranging from salt air to new baby to thunderstorm. Use them to relax, to remind you of home or both.

PAIN CAKES - These 'stickable' cold therapy patches relieve your pain and swelling and stay in place on their own. No need for tape or wraps.  It's so easy.  You just open and press the pain cake on your areas of need and then go about your day.  Because who has time to sit during the holidays?  Genius!  

********** THE RWM HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY **********


I honestly didn't think I could top last year's giveaway but as I lay it all out here I'm not so sure.  I am so excited about all these goodies and will be giving them away reluctantly as I'd prefer to keep them all for myself.  No, no.  I would never do that.  Enter below and you and a friend get a chance to share this treasure trove of treats from companies that I love and believe in. In few words, tell us your favorite things about the holiday season. Not required, but enthusiastically encouraged. Make sure to put both of your names and an email address in the comment. You can also jump over to RWM on Instagram and enter there.  It is also not required that you follow all of these companies but it would be great if you did.  Winner will be chose via random.org on 12/15.  Huge thanks to all of those who contributed to this package of love.  Good luck.  *US Residents only


Giveaway Includes:
1 pair of Jaybird Sport Tarah Pro Headphones* (Freedoms pictured here)
Oiselle Lux Beanie & Power On Mittens
4 Tubes of NUUN Immunity & 2 SF Water bottles
2 x $40 gift card for use on koalaclip.com*
2 Lbs (Espresso & Ethiopia blends), 2 pairs of work gloves & 1 trucker from Landgrove Coffee
1 pair of SmellWell shoe inserts*
1 Box of Honeystinger Milk Chocolate Cracker N' Nut Bars & 
2 Honeystinger Limited Edition NYC Marathon Truckers
2 Pain Cake Ice Packs
1 Noxgear Tracer 360 Light Vest
2 Demeter Atmosphere Fragrance Candles
*Note: Jaybird, Koala Clip & Smellwell items will be shipped direct from vendor.

Listen to this:
We Got Love - Teyana Taylor