Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Well, last week was rough but it's over.  I'm done moping.  Lessons were learned.  Don't overdo it.  Life is too short.  Time is precious.  Etcetera.  Etcetera.  Today, I'm celebrating.  Here's why:

1. It's my daughter's 5th birthday and she's over the moon.  Her excitement this morning was contagious.  All she wants for her birthday is glitter paint pens and gem stone stickers.  Could it all be that simple?
2. It's 45 degrees out and partly cloudy in Winchester; perfect running weather.
3. I can breathe through my nose for the first time in a week.  This sounds ridiculous, but it's so nice.
4. Sleigh Bells just released their second album, Reign of Terror, and it far exceeds expectations.  Check it out.  Fantastic for running and rocking out.
5. I received a Starbucks drink coupon in the mail yesterday which I will use today to get a ridiculously large and high priced coffee without the usual accompanied guilt.
6. It's still light out at 5:30 in the evening.

I'm thinking that's plenty to get me fired up about my day.  Hope you, too, can find a reason to celebrate.  It feels freakin' great.

Listen to this:
Take It Easy - Surfer Blood  Take It Easy - Astro Coast

Monday, February 27, 2012

Training Recipe

As I mentioned, last week during our winter break I attempted to follow my marathon training plan in addition to working at the mountain and skiing with my family.  On Monday, I managed to drop my girls off at ski school, drive down to a relatively flatter area, run a 14 mile loop, hop back in my car, change into my ski clothes (in the car), drive back to the mountain, dash to my hour long shift and pick my kids up by 12:30 to then ski with them for another 3 hours.  Monday evening, I was feeling pretty damn proud of myself.  On Tuesday,  I woke up feeling strong and ready to do it again.  Though the run was only 6 miles, my shift happened to be much earlier than the day before so rather than run it easy, as the schedule advised, I ran it at my tempo pace in fear of being late for work and the rest of my day.  Again, I made it all happen, though the fatigue was now setting in and by Tuesday night, I was starting to feel worn down.  When I woke up Wednesday, my mind was telling me I needed to get out there and keep it up, while my body was saying there is no freakin' way you are doing anything today.  My friends and co-workers took one look at me and told me to go home and get back in bed.  So, I did.
Sadly, for the rest of the week, not only could I not get the running in, but I could barely make it to work and I had no energy for the skiing that I had been so excited to do with my family over the vacation.  Bottom line here, my family and my health are more important than my running schedule and they should be my top priority.  I am not a competitive athlete.  Is running important to me? Yes. But there are times when I can ramp it up and times when I should coast.  This was one of those times.  Below is a blurb from a recent Active.com article that I wish I had read before we headed off to vacation.  It is the method I will use moving forward no matter what I'm training for.  There is "training recipe" for every situation and, as I learned last week, it's worth mixing it up.


Use a planner (digital or paper) and plug in your life schedule first. Include your travel, obligations you can't get out of, holidays, and other events that may be potential training obstacles. Then begin to plug in your training around it. While doing so, consider your busiest days, your calmer days, and develop your training days with the flow of your life. For example, if you have a spring break vacation scheduled with the family on your longest run, move your run to the week before. Follow a longer tapered program where the vacation long run is cut back, but run at a harder effort (e.g. 6 to 7-mile run versus a 12-mile run).

If Mondays suck the life out of you, schedule an easier paced run that day and balance the energy demands so you can recover efficiently and train harder on a lower stress day. If you work 12-hour shifts three days on and four days off, take the first work day off (rest); the second as a short, easy cross-training workout; the third off; and then train four days with a hard easy pattern. There is an optimal training recipe for everyone and all you truly need to do is create your plan with the flow of your life. When you do, you'll recover quicker, improve faster, and run stronger.

Listen to this:

*download this song for free at the above link.  so awesome.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today's 'Reader's Pick' is from yours truly.  There are several reasons for this.  First, I've been home sick all day and have had ample time to explore the depths of my music library.  Second, a good song always gives me a boost, which I could use right now.  And finally, I couldn't muster up the energy to push someone for their pick the way I usually do when I'm low on suggestions.  So, here you go.  Hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Listen to this:
Brazen - Heartless Bastards  Brazen - All This Time

Thursday, February 23, 2012

"Sick" - The Runner's Version

~ inspired by Shel Silverstein

I cannot do my run today.
I cannot swing it, there's just no way.

My nose is stuffed, my throat is sore.
I got NO sleep the night before.

It's raining cats and dogs out there.
I'll go tomorrow, I will, I swear.

My iPod doesn't have a charge.
The blisters on my feet are large.

I'm out of Gatorade and GU
There's so much other stuff to do.

My teammate already got hers done.
Without her a long run is just no fun.

What? What's that you say?
You say today's a short and easy day?
G'bye.  I'm going out to play!!

In truth, I am sick and a bit run down. I have been trying to fit in my runs with both work and skiing in the afternoon with my family.  It was too much.  I wasn't able to run yesterday because I had nothing left.  I need to continue to remind myself that I love to run and that it truly is fun and I when I don't feel that way, it's time to lose the watch and the training plan and just run because I want to.

Listen to this:
Brains - Lower Dens   Brains - Brains - Single

Monday, February 20, 2012


Top 5 Reason to Wear Sunglasses When You Run

5. When it's cold out, the extra shield on your face, though slight, can make a huge difference.  This morning in Franconia, NH it was 8 degrees and even though my chin was numb, my eyes felt pretty good.
4. If you happen to be running on dirt roads and, as in my case, sharing these small roads with trucks and snow plows, they help keep dust and other small particles like can tabs from flying into your eyes.
3. If you are running a new route as I was today, they help to hide your frustration when you have no idea where you are and then your anger when you realize you've gone a mile downhill in the wrong direction.
2. They keep you from having to squint which helps to relax your face and, in theory, the rest of your body.  The jury is still out on this one.
1. They make you feel like a total bad ass regardless of how fast you are running or how far you go.

Personally, I think number one, alone, makes it worth wearing them.  You be the judge.

Listen to this:
Greenback Boogie - Ima Robot   Greenback Boogie - Greenback Boogie - Single

Friday, February 17, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Jackie R. who I'm in awe of because, among so many other things, he can pull off 12 miles at 4:30 in the morning and still show up at school to drop off his daughter with a smile on his face.  Unbelievable.  Thanks for sharing, Jackie.

Listen to this:
Countdown - Beyonce  Countdown - 4

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Only A Runner

Here's the scenario: it's 4:45 am and my daughter is hugging the toilet, fighting a stomach bug.  I'm holding her hair back; half asleep, half awake.  She then tells me she wants to take a bath.  Um, ok, it's 5:15 in the morning, but, sure let's take a bath.  I'm fully awake now.  I get the bed remade and start the laundry.  At this point I'm thinking, as only a runner would, she won't be able to go to school today and I need to get my long run in.  How am I going to make that happen?  My options are limited.  I either leave when she gets back in bed or I don't go.  Hmmm.  As I'm thinking about it,  I run downstairs and charge my iPod as there is no way I can get through a 10 miler at this hour without music.  At 5:30 I get her out of the tub and settled back in and decide to change into my gear.  My husband tells me he needs to leave around 7:00 and then turns over and falls back asleep.  I stare longingly at my bed, which I could so easily just crawl back into, and then I quickly run downstairs and grab my shoes.  It's a balmy 16 degrees out, I have not had caffeine and I've slept for about 4 hours - less than ideal but it is what it is.  I'm hoping Flo Rida and his 'good feeling' are going to help me through this one.  Am I crazy?  Yes.  Most runners are.

Listen to this:
My Country - Tune Yards  My Country - Whokill

Monday, February 13, 2012


Last week I let my four year old know that in March I will be coaching the same high school girls team that I worked with this past fall and that she is going to be picked up from school by a sitter three days a week.  This doesn't seem like a big deal except for the fact that she is overly attached to me at the moment and has a hard time with any type of separation.  It makes all of our activities extremely challenging.  I thought telling her now might help prepare her for the change to come so the shock wouldn't be as intense.  After I told her this, she stared at me for a few minutes; I could see the wheels were spinning.  Then she said, "you already did that, mom, why do they need the 'coacher person' again"?  So, I tried to explain that I wanted to continue to help them be stronger and better runners and to support them as they try to meet their goals.  Blank stare.  "So, when is the race?" she asked.  I told her that there will be lots of races since the season lasts three months and the girls will be running races every week.  I was pretty sure I wasn't getting through to her, but I kept trying.  The she asked, "so when will you be done with running?"  I smiled and gave her a hug.  "Hopefully, Grace, I will never be done with running".  And I thought to myself, 'sorry, kiddo, you can't fight this one'.

Listen to this:
Don't Let it Get to You - Rostam  Don’t Let It Get To You - Don’t Let It Get to You - Single

Friday, February 10, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Anonymous who writes, "Get your groove on, baby!"  I love it.  Thanks for sharing.

This Head I Hold - Electric Guest  This Head I Hold - This Head I Hold - Single

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Too Tired

Yesterday my girls and I got home from school and headed to the front door.  I was carrying their backpacks and two pairs of ice skates.  They were carrying something of little importance that seemed to justify my effort.  My four year old stood on the front porch, shivering and asked me to hurry up.  I mentioned that she could make things easier for me by opening the storm door so I could get the key in and get us inside.  She claimed she was too tired and she didn't want to.  "Really?" I said.  "What if I was too tired to be a mom and didn't want to do it?  Could I just quit?" Ha ha ha, I chuckled to myself.  She turned around and said, "you don't know how to quit being a mom."  Fair point.  Then my seven year old chimed in, "like your running, mom.  Even when you feel too tired, you still go out.  You don't ever just quit running."  Well put, Rosie.  My four year old was still not buying it; annoyed with both of us that she was still standing there.  Despite the fact that it wasn't getting through to her, I still loved the overall message.  Just because you're too tired, you can't always quit.  And if it's something you love, you don't necessarily want to.  Eventually she'll get it.  We all do.

Listen to this:
No Way - The Naked and Famous  No Way - Passive Me Aggressive You

Monday, February 6, 2012

Clear Blue Sky

Today my teammate and I did the first of many long runs to come.  We've been following a new training program for an upcoming May marathon; one that is significantly more challenging than we are used to, and it's beginning to take a toll on both of us physically.  For this run, we were on the road for 2 hours and 15 minutes.  At mile 7 she said she couldn't believe that we'd only been running for an hour.  I reminded her that an hour was, in fact, a long time.  We both laughed at this.  At mile 9 we both started to get pretty tired and by mile 11, all of our aches and pains were in full force.  At this point, our stories had all been told, our questions answered, and we were both getting very quiet, just focusing on getting it done.  At mile 12 we were coming down a hill and I told her to look up.  The sky was so blue it looked fake.  "Incredible", she said.  "Unbelievably gorgeous," I agreed and we both just took it in.  At that moment, we forgot about the pain we were feeling.  It was surreal.  "It is amazing", I said, "that even when I am this exhausted, I can still have moments like these that make me so thrilled to be out here."  Clear blue sky.  Today it was truly that simple.

Listen to this:
Black Tambourine - Beck  Black Tambourine - Guero

Friday, February 3, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Kara P.   She likes anything by the Black Crowes.  This one is classic; from their album 'Amorica' which I, personally, think is one of their best.  Thanks for sharing, Kara.

* For those of you who reside in the Boston area, Kara happens to be an incredible massage therapist.  Whether you are in training, stressed out, or just looking for an amazing massage, I can't recommend her enough.  She is based in Arlington, right on the bus line, and with plenty of parking.  I will go out on a limb here and say that she's worth the extra miles if you live further out.  For those of you who don't live nearby, sorry.  But, perhaps it's worth asking her if she could recommend someone in your area.  If they are as good as she is, you will be thrilled.

Listen to this:
Wiser Time - The Black Crowes  Wiser Time - Greatest Hits 1990-1999 - A Tribute to a Work In Progress

* Healthy Space Muscular Therapy
   Kara Passerello
   p  781 330 6234
   e  kayraah@yahoo.com

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Four of us went out last night to see Graffiti6, the artist behind February's 'album of the month'.  Sadly, what we didn't realize was that when the tickets say the show starts at 7:00, and the band you want to see is the opening act, then you better be there right at 7:00 or you're gonna miss them.  To our dismay, we did not get to see Graffiti6 live.  We did, however, get the pleasure of hanging out, having a few beers, listening to a band we'd never heard of and enjoyed feeling like we were 22 again.  The bottom line, going to see live music is always a good time.  I'm not going to lie, I wish I'd gotten to see Graffiti6, but I did get to gig out on a Tuesday night with some good friends, which never happens, so I'm over it.
I do want to share this album with you as it is one of my favorites and was just recently launched on iTunes.  The songs have an alt/pop vibe with some funky undertones.  The lead singer's voice is almost spooky as it sounds slightly far away, yet it still manages to grab hold and sink in deeper with each song.  Most of the tracks are upbeat with a rhythm that tends to get my feet tapping and head bopping (yes, dorky) without my realizing it...perfect for running or anything I'm doing that requires energy.  This one is worth your time.  Enjoy.

Listen to these: 
Graffiti6 - Colours
Never Look Back   Never Look Back - Colours 
Stone In My Heart   Stone In My Heart - Colours
Annie You Save Me  Annie You Save Me - Colours