Monday, July 30, 2012

For Coffee & NUUN Giveaway

Today my running partner and I ran 10 miles.  We got a late start (my fault). It was sunny and very hot.  I was tired.  She was tired.  The stars were just not aligned for a good run.  I'm not ashamed to admit that today, I ran for coffee.  Yes, with each step I took, I could only think about the iced mocha waiting for me at the end.  We runners; we run for our health, for our sanity, for a good cause, blah, blah, blah.  You get the point.  Once in a while, though, it more simple than that.  And that's ok.  Personally, I think it's good to have something to fall back on.  Not every run is going to be a great run for me, but it's guaranteed that after every run, no matter how it goes, the coffee is going to taste damn good.  So let's hear it.  Why do you run?  Take us beyond all the standard reasons, the ones that make you sound good when you're explaining it to your friends, and tell us what else keeps you going.   Leave a comment below and you will be entered to win a tube of nuun (12 tablets) in the Kona Cola flavor.  It's fizzy and delicious and another good reason to run.  The winner will be picked randomly and announced on Wednedsay, August 1st.  Run on!

Listen to this:
After Hours - We Are Scientists   After Hours - Brain Thrust Mastery

Friday, July 27, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today's picks are from Kathryn P.  This girl always has a smile on her face and an unbelievably positive attitude.  You can't stand next to her and be in a bad mood.  It's incredibly refreshing.  Her picks today are all over the map because for her it's not just the song itself, but how it makes her feel when she's listening.  She likes songs that pulse through her bones, that she can feel in her blood and that sometimes bring her to tears.  She loves songs that remind her of growing up and songs that remind her of the good things in her life.  She craves inspiration, peace and completion in her music and seeks out the songs that will give her that.  When she was explaining this to me, she said, "I know it doesn't make sense so write it however you want to make it sound good."  Actually, I didn't need to change anything.  It makes perfect sense.  Thanks for sharing, Kath!

Listen to these:
Young Blood - The Naked & Famous  Young Blood - Passive Me Aggressive You 
International Love - Pitbull   International Love (feat. Chris Brown) - Planet Pit (Deluxe Version)

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The 'Dancing Hurdler'

Source: Huffington Post
To me, this says it all.  Michelle Jenneke, 100M hurdler from Australia who just raced at the Barcelona Junior World Championships, has a warm-up AND a victory dance.  With a smile on her face, this girl is completely groovin' out as she gets ready for her race.  When it's time, she gets serious and puts on her game face.  She flies through the race, wins it, congratulates and hugs her competitors and then dances some more.  Her passion is almost tangible.  This girl loves to run, she loves to race, and she clearly has fun doing it.  You'll read that some have made light of the scene and others have mocked it, but I say if rocking out helps Ms. Jenneke prepare, all the power to her.  May we all feel this way at some point when we're running, racing, or doing whatever it is we love.

Listen to this:
Faster Horses - MNDR   Faster Horses - Faster Horses - Single

Friday, July 20, 2012

Reader's Pick & Life is good Running Team Offer

Today’s picks are from Roland J. and Emily S., both members of the Life is good Playmakers team.  To give you a little background, the Life is good Playmakers is the non-profit, action-arm of The Life is good Company.  Their mission is to help children overcome poverty, violence and illness by partnering frontline professionals who dedicate their lives to caring for them.  

Life is good Running Team: Special Offer
In October, the Life is good Running Team will be running the Greenstride Half Marathon in an effort to raise funds and awareness for Playmakers' campaign.  Join their team and not only will you be helping them help kids but you will also receive some incredible perks from Life is good.  And to sweeten the deal even more, if you join NOW you will also get this Life is good cap and water bottle (see pic), both ideal for running in the summer heat.  For more information about Life is good Playmakers and the Running Team email or call 781-838-1615.  Come run with us! (yep, I've already joined the team)

So, back to their RWM music picks...I’m just gonna give it to you in their own words because I simply can’t describe it any better than they did.  Thanks for sharing! 

Roland’s pick: The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes  The Fighter (feat. Ryan Tedder) - The Papercut Chronicles II
When it comes on at the gym or during a run, it's ON.  It's about living life, persevering, and bouncing back when life or circumstances hands you something that knocks you down.  We've all had those times in our lives and struggled through them, but many popular/quotable movie lines (including Batman!) tell you it's not about those times, it's about how you respond. I don't like to quit. I like to fight.  Well, love really, but fight to go on, move on, persevere, etc. when I have to.
Emily’s pick: We Are Young – Fun.  We Are Young (feat. Janelle Monáe) - Some Nights  (note: she likes the Glee version, too)
I love the song...I love the spirit of feeling young, no matter your age, and running helps me feel that way.  I had a particularly amazing experience recently when running the Goofy Challenge in Disney World (Jan 2012).  I had "We are Young" on my playlist and I was working my way through the half-marathon.  I had been standing on the dark highway just next to Epcot Center with about 27,000 other people since 4:30 and was SO EXCITED to start the race.   At 5:30 we started and then we ran for about 4.5 miles on the highway to Magic Kingdom.  I ran in the dark on the highway for what felt like forever...until the Magic Kingdom started to appear.  I got closer and closer and then it felt like all of a sudden I ran through a "back door" gate and I'm on "main Street USA" in the Magic Kingdom.  And at EXACTLY that moment that I entered Magic Kingdom and could see the beautiful castle with the first glimmer of sunrise appearing in the sky, "We are Young" comes on my iPhone--and I was moved.  I was literally pumping my fist in the air to the beat of the song, singing OUT LOUD, "Tonight...We are let's set the world on fire, we can burn brighter, than the sun!!"  I felt like I had all the potential in the world and could do ANYTHING.  I was motivated and inspired.  The line in the song that says, "Carry me home tonight..." made me feel like I was singing to my very trained and capable feet...just carry me home.  I just might have run that half-marathon a little faster than I was planning know, since I had a marathon to run the next day :)  But it was an amazing and incredibly joyful experience.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Facing the Heat: A Top 10 List

As I headed out the door this morning I heard my father-in-law yell from another room, "wait, you're going running?"  It's 86 degrees out but with the humidity it feels like 106, so I even questioned my decision for a moment.  But, I had been inside for the last few days and my five year old pulled the waterworks at camp drop off so I just needed to get out there.  Most people would advise you to avoid running in the heat and humidity when it's this bad.  They might also say that if can you run inside or cross train that's probably the better choice.  But, despite all the warnings, some of us still just need to hit the road.  Clearly, there are a lot of reasons not to run in the heat, but as I cruised along today I came up with quite a few reasons to just go for it.

Top 10 Reasons to Face the Heat & Run Outside
1. You can run slower and fewer miles/minutes than usual and it's still very impressive.
2. You can run through the neighbors' sprinklers and they won't give you the hairy eyeball.
3. Most of the people who pass you in a car or on a bike give you a shout out (ie. lookin' good or nice work) and that always gives a little boost.
4. You can run on the wrong side of the street if it's shadier and drivers will completely understand.
5. You can feel free to run in a sports bra(ladies) or shirtless(gents) and no one will think twice about it.
6. You have every rite to shuffle or even walk up hills and it still counts as part of the run.
7. You can take a nap mid-day and the people you're with will not only get it but probably think it's a good idea.
8. You have undeniably earned that $5 ice latte and/or a burger and a cold beer for dinner.
9. When you're fellow runners tell you they ran inside or took the day off you can shrug and say, "oh, really? I got out there and it wasn't that bad."  And you don't have to tell them how bad it was.
10.  When you're done, you will definitely feel like a total badass for the rest of the day!

The heat is on, baby!

Listen to this:
Pound the Alarm - Nicki Minaj  Pound the Alarm - Pink Friday ... Roman Reloaded 
Note: This song, in particular, moved me today. As Nicki sang about how it was 'getting hotter and hotter' I felt as if she was speaking to me directly.  It was incredibly motivating.

Monday, July 16, 2012

The Sign

I am not a patient person.  It's one of my worst flaws.  It's something I've been working on all my life, and particularly now that I have children.  But, it's a constant battle.  It's now been three weeks since I fell off a chair and bruised my ribs.  For two long weeks I waited (impatiently, I'll admit) for the pain to subside so I could run again.  Last week I got back out on the road, probably sooner than I should have, but I'm impatient.  It was no surprise that I wouldn't be able to start right out of the gate and feel as good as I did before the fall, though I secretly hoped that might be the case.  The first few runs were slow and uncomfortable.  I was still sore and my legs were getting used to running again after the time off.  It was extremely frustrating and there was nothing I could do about it.  I just had to be patient.  Before I fell, I had been successfully following a training plan created by a coach who was helping me break a specific time for a 5K in August.  When I checked in with him last week he suggested I start over and re-set my goal and race date rather than pick up where I left off.  He knew I was frustrated but the bottom line, he explained, was that I needed to take my time, do it right and, yes, be patient.  It's now the start of week four and I'm still fighting my way back to a normal routine.  Today, I happened to be walking my dog, head down, music on, annoyed about my physical situation, when she stopped abruptly to smell something. I looked up and noticed something dangling right in front of my face (see pic).  I smiled and said out loud to myself and anyone else who was listening, "ok, I get it.  Thanks for the sign."

Listen to this:
Runaway - Mr. Little Jeans   Runaway - Runaway - Single

Saturday, July 14, 2012

BIA: Quick Update

They did it!  Bia's GPS Sports Watch has been successfully funded.  Very, very exciting for the founders and all of us who supported the project.  I'm sure my fellow runners will be envious next year when I'm sporting this fancy gadget.  If you haven't checked it out yet, you might want to. 

Listen to this:
Do What You Want - OK Go  Do What You Want - Oh No

Kickstarter Update: Bia funding SUCCESSFUL

Friday, July 13, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick & BIA-SPORT INFO

Today's reader's pick is from Sylvia Marino; mother of three, open water swimmer, and co-founder of Bia, a multi-sport GPS watch designed specifically for women (though men seem to want one, too).  She swims with a SwiMP3 and runs with an iPod.  She likes to listen to action movie music and pictures herself in her own movie (think Gladiator).  She also loves to rock out to old Journey, and really, who doesn't?  Thanks for sharing Sylvia.

Listen to this:
Don't Stop Believin' - Journey  Don't Stop Believin' - Journey: Greatest Hits

Bia is currently live on Kickstarter, a funding platform for creative projects.  In the next 10 hours, they need to raise about $50,000 ($350,000 raised already) to launch their product.  I personally have backed this project because I believe there is nothing else out there like it and as a woman who is an avid runner there is no denying that a watch like this is long overdue.  Check out all the details at Kickstarter:Bia.  And hurry up because if you think it's as cool as I do, you need to back them ASAP.  Go.  Now.  Hurry.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Not Great, But Great

This summer my girls are going to camp in Brewster, MA for three weeks.  From day one, my seven year old, who needs constant entertainment, skipped on to the bus without looking back.  My five year old, well, she would rather go to the dentist with me if she had the option.  The last two mornings, she shuffled onto the bus, a little hesitant, but willingly and waved goodbye.  Yesterday when she woke up she decided she simply didn't want to go anymore.  As we got ready to leave the house I hugged her and said I understood while trying to come up with a creative way to explain that she didn't have a choice.  When we approached the bus stop, the tears quickly started rolling down her cheeks and she continued to remind me that she STILL didn't want to go.  When the bus arrived, I gently lead her up the stairs as all the other parents stood by watching and waiting patiently for us to finish our conversation which was going nowhere.  She finally got on, but she wasn't happy about it.  Both of us were sad and angry in our own ways.  It was not a shining moment for either of us.  From there I went running.  It was hot and humid, my legs were tired and my ribs were still sore.  But the stress rolled off me with each step.  The heat helped me forget about my frustration and the music helped to drown out my worrying.  It was not a great run.  But it was a great run.

Listen to this:
I'll Believe In Anything - Wolf Parade  I'll Believe In Anything - Apologies to the Queen Mary

Monday, July 9, 2012

My Walking Days Are Over (for now)

After a two week break due to an injury I'm finally running again.  It's slow going, but it's soooo nice to be back on the road.  When it comes to exercise, I like to be efficient with my time so I'm not a huge fan of walking.  In this case, it was all I could do, so I had to roll with it.  After logging several long, slow miles, I must say I have a new appreciation for walking and what it has to offer. In the first week, I was still pretty sore, so I was really just shuffling.  On these days, I often took my dog who used to run with me when she was younger but has started to slow down in her old age.  On the hotter days, she'd often pull the "sniff and stall", her own move, where she would pretend to be smelling something of interest but was really just taking a little rest.  Rather than be impatient and pull her along as I normally do, I found myself looking up and taking it all in.  When I run, I get in the zone and lose myself, so this was something new.  And I loved it.  Every day I discovered something really cool, something unique and it was always worth stopping for a closer look (see pics below).  On of my walks a group of people in a jeep pulled over to get directions.  Before they took off, I asked them what band they were listening to which they were happy to share with me.  We chatted for a bit and then I borrowed a pen and wrote down the info on my hand so I could come back to it when I got home.  There is no way I would have done this or stopped for anything, really, if I had been cruising along on a run.  So, yes, my walking days are over for now.  But there will undoubtedly be more injuries.  And probably a lot more walking.  And I'm ok with that.
COOL PLANT (from the cactus family)  

Listen to this:
Real Love - Delorean   Real Love - Subiza

Friday, July 6, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today's pick is from GT.  Perfect choice.  Great for running.  Great for listening.  Just freakin' great.  Thanks for sharing, G.

Listen to this:
Summertime Clothes - Animal Collective   Summertime Clothes - Merriweather Post Pavilion

Wednesday, July 4, 2012



I was recently asked to review TrailMix, an app that lets you manipulate the tempo of the songs you're listening to while you're working out.  Not only do I love to run with music, but when choosing my songs, the beat is a huge factor so my curiosity was instantly piqued.  I downloaded the app, chose my playlist and headed out for a run.  First, I tried the manual setting.  I set the BPM (beats per minute) to my preferred pace and listened as each song played at that specific tempo.  I'm not going to lie, it sounded a little strange to hear the songs pick up or slow down to match my selection.  But at the same time, I liked that as I tried to hold a steady pace, the beat of the music never changed which helped to keep me motivated.  There is a lot of music in my iTunes library that I don't run with (but love to listen to) because the pace is too slow and I immediately got excited as I thought about all the new songs that I could potentially add to my playlist if I used TrailMix with them.  I also tried the automatic setting and listened as the tempo of each song increased or decreased in time with my steps.  I played with this a lot as it was a bit funky to get used to and slightly odd to hear songs at a different tempo.  But I was digging the way some of my slower songs would pick up as I built up steam and could see how this would help push me during a speed or hill workout.  I loved experimenting and found myself continuing to play with the app after my run was over.  Do I want to listen to Jack Johnson at faster pace while I'm driving in my car?  Not really.  But if I'm on a run trying to push it up a hill and all I need is a slightly faster beat to help me out, it's pretty cool to have that option.  

For the next 24 hours you'll be able to download the TrailMix app at a reduced price of $0.99.  Go try it out! 

Cool Fact:
According to scientific research, “synchronizing movements with music enables athletes to perform more efficiently, resulting in greater endurance.”
Karageorghis, C., & Priest, D. (2008). Music in Sport and Exercise: An Update on Research and Application. The Sport Journal.

Listen to this*:
Ooh La La - Goldfrapp   Ooh La La - Supernature *(then listen with TrailMix)

Monday, July 2, 2012


Last week I made several discovories.  Due to some bruised ribs I was unable to run.  I typically get out there five or six days a week, so my predicament was not ideal.  I tried to get creative and come up with something physical that I could do to replace the running.  I quickly discovered that almost every potential alternative requires some form of twisting, pulling or folding at the mid-section.  Thus, my only option was to walk.  And I'm not talking power walking.  I had to walk without moving the upper part of my body like a robot; avoiding any sharp turns or movements while keeping my arms tucked tight at my side.  I'm guessing I looked pretty odd to those who passed me but it was all I could do so I went with it.  I discovered that I do not want or need a vacation from running.  I'm all for taking a break once in a while and running without my watch or veering from my training plan, but I need the running on so many levels and it goes way beyond the physical release.  Running clears my head in a way that nothing else can.  When I get home from a run, I am ready for whatever is thrown at me.  Some people need retail therapy.  I need running therapy.  It's that simple.  All that said, within a day or so I discovered how important it is to give my body time to heal.  The simplest things like tying my shoes, brushing my teeth, even laughing, were difficult with a sore mid-section and I needed to do all of those things, especially the laughing.  So, despite feeling anxious and wanting to just run through the pain, I discovered I could be patient and rest.  I'm not good at either of these things, but I was glad to discover that I could do it when I needed to and I found strength in that alone.  Finally, on my long robot walks, I discovered some incredible music.  I set Pandora to the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, a band that I love to run with but haven't taken the time to explore beyond the few staple songs on my playlist.  I am newly obsessed with lead singer Karen O's voice which is sultry and totally mesmerizing.  I realized that every one of their songs is awesome for running, dancing or both and I would bet that it's impossible for anyone not to notice this when they hear them play.  Not only did I dig deeper on the Yeah Yeah Yeah's collection, but I also discovered some amazing new bands such as Ratatat and Cold War Kids (thank you Pandora). I discovered that music sounds different when I'm walking because I can focus on the song and hear the notes and lyrics in a way that isn't possible when I'm running.  And that was pretty cool.   Most importantly, though, I re-discovered how important my family and friends are when I'm struggling to get through something that's difficult.  Their support last week was endless and I was so grateful to to have them to both vent my frustration and remind me that in the grand scheme of things, it really wasn't that big a deal.  EUREKA!

Listen to these:
Kiss Kiss - Yeah Yeah Yeahs   Kiss, Kiss - IS IS - EP 
Party With Children - Ratatat   Party With Children - LP4 
Royal Blue - Cold War Kids   Royal Blue - Mine Is Yours (Deluxe Version)