Monday, April 30, 2012


I'm continuously in awe of the brain and what it's capable of.  My eyes flew open at 5:45 this morning and I was unable to go back to sleep.  So this is how my week is going to be, I thought to myself.  I decided I might as well get up and start writing down the "to-do" list that I began to create in my head last night; the one that kept my mind spinning and crushed my hopes of falling asleep.  This Sunday, after four long months of training, my running teammate and I will be tackling the Providence marathon.  Incredibly, my brain can already sense the stress, the excitement, the fear; a solid week before the actual race.  Oh boy.  After multiple (unneeded) cups of coffee, I hopped on my computer and found an email from my teammate sent at 7:30am.  She dreamed that her bib for the marathon was stolen and she could only run bandit so her time wouldn't be official. " Yep", I said to no one in particular, "I get it".  And I felt bad for her, but at the same time I took comfort in the fact that she is going through the same thing I am.  The nerves have officially kicked in and my brain and I are on a perpetual playdate until Sunday.  Awesome.  I do love running, I do love running, I do love running.

Listen to this:*
A Little Less Conversation (JXL Remix) - Elvis Presley   A Little Less Conversation (JXL Radio Edit Remix) - Elvis: 30 #1 Hits

* This one is for you, KH

Friday, April 27, 2012

It's Friday-Reader's Pick

Today's pick is a bit different.  This one's from 'runninHIGH' (awesome, right?) who shared the bands that inspire him as opposed to specific songs.  Sometimes it's just too hard to narrow it down.  Aren't we lucky that this is often the case?  Thanks for sharing.

Listen to these:**
Black Rebel Motorcycle Club - Baby 81  Baby 81 - Black Rebel Motorcycle Club
Gary Clark Jr. - The Bright Lights - EP  The Bright Lights - EP - Gary Clark Jr.
Band of Horses - Cease to Begin  Cease to Begin - Band of Horses
Buffalo Killers - Let It Ride  Let It Ride - Buffalo Killers
Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not  Let It Ride - Buffalo Killers
Silversun Pickups - Carnavas  Carnavas - Silversun Pickups

** Links are to the artists' bestselling album.  Figured I'd provide a place to start.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Up Up And Away

This morning my seven year old came downstairs with a big smile on her face.  Our short conversation made me realize how unbelievably lucky I am; as a mother, as a runner, and as someone who gets to be both at the same time.

R: Hey mom, yesterday I ran for 8 minutes straight during P.E.
Me: You, did?  That is awesome.
R: Well, I did have to take two short breaks to catch my breath, but otherwise I did the whole thing.
Me:  Eight minutes is a long time.  You should be really proud of yourself.  Where did you do the run?
R: Oh, our class did it together in the gym.
Me: What fun. How did it make you feel?
R: I felt like I was flying; like a superhero.
Me: Ah. I know exactly what you mean.

And then off we flew.

Listen to these:
Superman - R.E.M.  Superman - Lifes Rich Pageant
Powerman - The Kinks  Powerman - The Darjeeling Limited (Original Soundtrack)
I Was Zapped By the Lucky Super Rainbow - Flaming Lips  I Was Zapped By the Lucky Super Rainbow - I Was Zapped By the Lucky Super Rainbow - Single

Monday, April 23, 2012

Take It And Run

Over the past week, due to the fact that I was on vacation and didn't have my running partner (yes, I missed her terribly) I listened to music for all of my workouts.  Clearly, I love running with music.  That said, after multiple one to two hour runs even my own well thought out playlist was starting to get old.  This rarely happens and it made me realize that I needed to freshen things up and pronto.  When I got home I started poking around other blogs and sites to see what people and in many cases, other runners, were into.  My effort paid off in spades.  I was thrilled to discover a song by an artist that I love to listen to but would not think to run with as he's typically kind of mellow and, some might say, slightly odd.   This song, in particular, kind of blew me away and I couldn't wait to hear it while I was out on the road (see below).  I thought it was pretty cool, too, that I found it through a fellow runner who I'm pretty sure shares a similar passion for music.  Naturally, I continued to explore and dug up quite a few new gems from various sources.  Two lessons learned and ye shall find and expect the unexpected.  Then take it and run.    

Listen to this:
Machinery of the Heavens - Patrick Watson  Machinery of the Heavens - Wooden Arms

Thursday, April 19, 2012

When Duty Calls

My family is currently in the midst of a whirlwind trip down to Florida.  We decided to squeeze in visits to both my parents and my husband's parents, who happen to live at opposite end of the state, with a short jaunt through Disney World in between the two, all in one week.  I'm not quite sure what we were thinking when we booked our trip but at the time it seemed like a brilliant idea.  I have been eagerly awaiting this quality time with my girls as well as to catch up with both sets of parents.  I have to admit, however, that I was a little stressed about how to fit in my last little bit of training for the marathon that I'm running in May.  For the first few days of our trip I had no problem making it work.  I was able to get up early and out the door before the girls were up and ready to go.  I knew, however, that when we got to Disney, there was going to be an issue as our time was limited and my running was not really part of the itinerary.  As we were checking in on Tuesday afternoon, I was still telling myself that I might be able to pull it all off.  We were having breakfast with the princesses the next morning, but perhaps I could get up early for a run and still make it to the castle on time.  I even went so far as to ask the front desk if there was an official Disney running path that I could use.  "Oh yes!" she said excitedly.  Then she handed me a small map that showed Mickey Mouse in running shoes, jogging around a dotted path of .97 miles.  Hmmm.  I decided I would just not worry about it and figure it out the next day.  So, off we went to the park for some major Disney fun.  Three hours later my head was reminding me that I still had to wake up early and run while my legs were telling me there was no chance in hell that they were actually going to do this.  By the time we got to bed, all four of us in one room, I was coming to terms with the fact that my run was simply not going to happen.  At that point, I was so tired that it didn't really matter.  When we woke up I said, to no one in particular, "well....I couldn't get my run in and that's ok."  Then the girls and I wondered out loud whether the princesses that we were about to dine with ever went running before breakfast.  To which I said, "they very well might want to, but when duty calls, they have no choice in the matter."  I'm no princess, but that morning, my duty as a mother called and I, too, had no choice in the matter.  And that is always as it should be.

Listen to this:
Love Today - Mika  Love Today - Life In Cartoon Motion

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Boston or Bust!

Best of luck to all the Boston Marathon runners.  Before your race tomorrow, perhaps take a minute to pause and reflect.  With the 10:00 am start, there is ample time for this; as your riding on the bus, waiting in line for the port-o-potty, then waiting in line again, taping up your feet, whatever.  Pat yourself on the back for making it to the starting line as that, in itself, is no small feat.  Then, if you're up for it, pat someone else on the back and tell them good luck.  This will send both of you off feeling good.  Because the bottom line is, you're both pretty bad-ass.  The weatherman tells us it's going to be warmer tomorrow than usual.  Not ideal.  As mentioned recently, the running gods don't always make it easy for us.  My advice is to eat a popsicle or drink an icee (you know, the ones from 7-11) before you go.  It will help to bring your body temperature down a bit which then might help ward off the heat for a little while.  I can't take credit for this tip as I read it somewhere, but I don't remember the source, so I'm just going to steal it today.  I won't deny that I'm not a little sad that I won't be in Hopkinton at the start tomorrow as I've been there for the past few years. The Boston experience is like no other; incredibly emotional and always very moving for so many reasons.  But, I will be watching along with so many others, and hoping for the best for all of you.  GODSPEED!

Listen to this:
Beck - Sexx Laws  Sexx Laws - Midnite Vultures
Break It Down Again - Tears for Fears  Break It Down Again - Shout - The Very Best of Tears for Fears

Friday, April 13, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Jane S.   She's young and spritely and her enthusiasm is tangible.  I try to stand near her with the hope that some if it will rub off on me.  Her first choice, a song by the Strokes (love em), motivates her with its fast beat.  Her second one by Mika, she likes simply because it has a lot of energy.  Have already added both to my playlist.  I think you should, too. Thanks for sharing, Janie.

Listen to this:
What Ever Happened - The Strokes  What Ever Happened? - Room On Fire
Grace Kelly - Mika  Grace Kelly - Life In Cartoon Motion

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Ting Tings

Monday night my friends and I had the pleasure of seeing The Ting Tings at the Paradise in Boston.  Prior to this show, I knew them as that band that sings 'That's Not My Name', a popular hit I'd heard on the radio.  It's definitely a catchy song but, to me, not much more than that.  I'd also randomly seen them play as guests on Yo Gabba Gabba, a bizarre kid's show that my five year old enjoys.  To be honest, I wasn't really sure what to expect from them.  To my surprise, I was completely blown away.  This alternative pop/duo hails from London and is comprised of Jules Di Martino and Katie White.  Despite the fact that it's just the two of them, their volume and energy rivals that of a band of several more.  Her voice is high pitched and spastic, in an oddly good way, and when paired with his hypnotic drumbeats, their sound is incredibly powerful.  She's tiny and almost fairy-like but totally fierce.  Though slightly less showy, his presence was strong and just as intense as he supported her vocals on multiple levels and with various instruments.  The entire show was an adventure and it seemed as though most of us were thrilled to be along for the ride.  Some might say the only let down of the evening was that they only played for about an hour and a half.  For the five of us who all have kids and had to get up early the next day this was totally fine.  Yep, we're old, but we still love a good show.  As is often with music, the sound of their album, though solid, is nothing compared to what you get when you see them in person.  GO SEE LIVE MUSIC!

Listen to this:
The Ting Tings from Sounds from Nowheresville

Give it Back  Give It Back - Sounds from Nowheresville (Deluxe Edition)
Hang It Up Hang It Up - Sounds from Nowheresville

Monday, April 9, 2012

A Test From Above

Most of you who have run a marathon or tackled something similar know that even if you train religiously and take good care of yourself throughout the process, on race day there is always an element of luck involved that you simply can't prepare for.  Today I felt as though the running gods decided to give me a little test.  It's as if they were saying, "Ok, Rebecca, you've followed your training plan really well, but have you given the outside factors that you can't control any thought?  No?  We didn't think so.  So, today, we're going to make it a little challenging for you because you know as well as we do that the stars are not always aligned perfectly on race day and we just want you to be ready."  As I was running along today I couldn't help but picture them with their clipboards in hand; sitting me down to let me know how the run was going to play out:

"Good morning.  Getting ready for your last long run today?  Atta girl.  Unfortunately, you're teammate is not going to be able to join you today as her daughter has a stomach flu and can't make it to school.  We know you enjoy doing your long runs with her but we feel like you've gotten a little too dependent on having someone along with you to pick up your spirits when the miles start to drag.  But, not to worry, you have your music, right?  Wait, oh, what was that?  You didn't charge your iPod because you assumed you wouldn't need it?  Tsk Tsk. You know better.  Better plug it in now and wait for a little charge.  What else?  Oh, it's been a mild winter which has made your training that much more bearable so today, when you head out, it's going to be ridiculously windy and it will stay that way throughout your entire run.  It's tough, we know, but it's good for you.  Now, make sure to pay attention while you're running.  We have a feeling you might take a wrong turn at some point since you typically just follow along with your teammate and don't really look at the street signs.  That's going to be a bummer as you will most likely look up and have no idea where you are.  No doubt you'll get very annoyed when you have to back track to figure it out.  And you know that water fountain at mile twelve where you normally get a drink?  Don't count on that.  It doesn't seem to be working today.  Sorry, we really had no control over that one.  Finally, remember all those jelly beans you ate yesterday on Easter?  Well, we do.  Those are not going to sit so well with you later in your run.  All that sugar might cause some cramping.  Bet you won't let that happen again, eh?  But, hey, you're in great shape otherwise and we believe in you.  So, get out there and make it happen."

If only I had known.  But, that was their point.  It's impossible to plan for everything.  So despite the fact that I was cursing the running gods today, there was part of me that was yelling, "what else you got?"

Listen to this:
Florida - Modest Mouse  Florida - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

Friday, April 6, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today, we're taking you back.  I'm not gonna lie, I used to dance around to both these songs; one in high school, the other in college.  I'm sure that was amusing.  They were the ideal rap/pop combo.  I'm wondering if tough-girl Kellie M., who picked today's gems, did the same.  I would have paid to see that!  Both are timeless and slightly tragic which makes them that much better.  Thanks for sharing, Kellie.

Listen to this:
Let's Talk About Sex - Salt-n-Pepa Let's Talk About Sex - 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Salt-N-Pepa

and (wait for it....)
Wannabe - Spice Girls Wannabe - Spice

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Oh, The Places You CAN Go

This morning, my daughter asked me if we could go for a run together this week-end.  "Of course," I said, "I would love to."  Out of curiosity, I asked her what she liked most about running.  She said, "when you run, you can go wherever you want."  So true.  When you run, I thought, you can not only go anywhere on the map, but you can mentally take yourself to so many different places and across so many levels.  I didn't explain this second part to her as she's only seven, but I loved using her quote as another way to explain how I feel about running.  So, then I asked her where she wanted to go with me for our run.  She smiled and said, "Dunkin Donuts?"  Umm.  Ok.  That's not really what I was thinking, but why not?  We'll be getting out there, enjoying the fresh air, moving our legs, and, most importantly, spending time together.  Is it healthy to stop mid-run and eat a munchkin?  Not really.  But all those other things are so much more important that I say, to hell with it; at least for this particular run.  I want my daughter to love running.  And eventually, I want her to realize that when she's out there on the the road she can go wherever she wants both physically and mentally.

Listen to this:
Where The Kids Are - Blondfire  Where the Kids Are - Where the Kids Are - Single

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Beyond Tired

I sat down to write yesterday and within five minutes I found myself gazing out the window staring at, well, nothing.  I was pleasantly spacing out.  My teammate and I had just completed our fourth of five long runs that morning and I was hoping to get a post up before school pick-up at three.  Clearly, it didn't happen.  Throughout the day all I could really think about was how tired I was and how I was going to make it until 9:00 pm (yes, that's what time I go to bed lately).  Fortunately, this gave me something to write about, despite the fact that I couldn't muster up the energy to do it until the today.  Better late than never, right?

Top 5 Signs That I Am Beyond Tired:

1. As I was showering, I seriously considered sitting and/or lying down for just a "few minutes". I didn't, but I really wanted to.

2. I found myself excited for my my dentist appointment because it gave me a valid excuse to lie down in a ridiculously comfortable chair for thirty minutes.

3. By the time my meeting with the director of my daughters' school was over, I was curled up in a  ball in her chair with my jacket over me like a blanket.  Fortunately, she knows I'm training and didn't question this.

4. As I was walking my dog toward our usual trail, I took an unexpected turn toward Starbucks instead.  I didn't seem to have any control over this decision and I was okay with that.  My dog was confused.

5.  Each time I walked into my room, my bed looked as if it was smiling at me.  I might have said, "stop doing that"; I'm not 100% sure.

Four down, one to go.  We are finally seeing the light at the end of this very long tunnel.  Hallelujah.

Listen to this:
Pressure Zone - Beck  Pressure Zone - Midnite Vultures