Wednesday, October 31, 2012

RESON8TE: 11 DAYS TO GO (and last day to win a t-shirt)

Friends, family members, runners, and music fans; today is the last day to win a RESON8TE t-shirt on RWM.  Click here for all the details and to enter.  More importantly, though, there are only 11 days left in their campaign to raise the money they need to get this project off the ground.  I REALLY want one of these and have already placed my order.  Take a minute to check it out and support them if you like what you see! Thanks.  

A stylish & functional solution for listening to music, without covering your ears. Baseball hats & visors with speakers in the brim.  No more sneaking the headphones in at the start of a race that doesn't allow them (tsk, tsk) or running early in the morning or late at night without hearing the cars on the street.  Listen while you run, workout, play; without putting yourself at risk.  It's so unbelievably simple.  Join the movement to rock out and be safe.  

Visor (this is the one I want)

Listen to this:
Miracle Drug - A.C. Newman   Miracle Drug - The Slow Wonder

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

It's A Good Day: A Top 10 List


1. Hurricane Sandy has finally moved out of MA.  Sayonara!
2. My family, neighbors, and friends are all safe and no one incurred major damages or flooding.  This one is HUGE.
3. My kids have school today, thank the lord. I love them but...
4. It's sunny and 60 degrees out.  A rare treat this time of year.  And a perfect day for a run.
5. Yesterday I spent more time than I'd like to admit exploring new music on iTunes, creating new playlists, and editing old ones.  As as result, the above mentioned run was amazing!  It's unbelievable what new music can do.
6. Halloween is not postponed as we thought it might be.  I would never hear the end of it from my kids if it was delayed.  And, to be honest, I just want to get it over with.
7. I was able to do some core work (as in sit-ups) yesterday.  Haven't done that in a while.  It was a REALLY long day.
8. I got to watch TREME last night; an awesome show that takes place in New Orleans right after Katrina with a fantastic story line and incredible music to go along with it.  Usually I can't stay awake long enough to catch it.
9. I spent a ton of quality time with my girls yesterday, something I haven't been able to do in a weeks.
10. At the moment, I'm pretty sure I can handle the rest of this week.

Listen to this:
Chills - Yellow Ostrich  Chills - Ghost - EP

Sunday, October 28, 2012

That's Why

This isn't me.  But it's how I felt last Sunday.
A week ago, Sunday, I ran the Green Stride half marathon.  I PR'd.  I was over the moon.  It was one of the best races I've run in my entire 25+ years of running.  I couldn't stop thinking about it for days (clearly I still am).  I went over the details several times in my head because at times I couldn't believe it really happened.  I am not an elite runner.  I never will be.  But last Sunday, I felt like one.  For a brief moment, I felt like I had done something beyond the norm in the running world.  Grand scheme of things....not really.  But, who the hell cares?  There are days (many) when I ask myself why I keep pushing myself.  Why do I continue to put in all those miles every week when it often feels like I'm simply wearing myself out?  Why do I keep doing the track workouts when I'm never going to toe the line as a top runner?  Why?  All it took was one good race.  One banner day.  My question was answered.  As runners, or really, as anyone who works to be better at something, we tend to surprise ourselves on a daily basis.  We push ourselves all the time.  Then we push a little more.  We put the hours in to do whatever it is we are trying to "do".  After last week's race, I can honestly look my girls in the face and say "if you do the work, and you want it, it can be done."  I am empowered by knowing this and I hope it empowers them, too.  At age 37, I get it now.  Because I want it.  That's why.

Listen to this:
The Electric Version - The New Pornographers    The Electric Version - Electric Version

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Let it RESON8TE (& Enter to Win a Shirt)

Those of us who ran the Reach the Beach Relay were not allowed to have anything sitting inside or covering our ears throughout the entire race.  Translation:NO HEADPHONES.  There were 12 people on each team, running 200 miles in 24 hours.  We were being dropped off and picked up by our vans at 24 different transition areas, sleeping outside in tents, sharing the highways with cars, and running during the middle of the night.  Take that scenario and multiply it by over 200 and you've got a lot of logistics to deal with.  So despite the fact that I wasn't thrilled about it, I understood the need for this rule.  All of us wanted to listen to music either before, during or after we ran our individual legs, so we tried to get creative.  One of my teammates bought a camouflaged bandana at a general store and wrapped the cord around it leaving the buds sitting by his ears - not ideal.  I coiled them around my headlamp strap, getting them pretty close to my ears, but in the end, not hearing much.  I ended up getting annoyed and just put them in my pocket.  Some people just cheated, keeping one in and leaving one out or just breaking down and using both.  I'm not saying that was ok, but I understood why people did it.  What to do?  Enter RESON8TE, a startup company this has created hats and visors with speakers in the brim.  Brilliant!  We no longer have to worry about whether or not headphones are banned at an event.  We can head out at 5:00am (or you can, at least) and listen to tunes while not stressing about the cars coming up behind us.   We can run and listen to music safely.  By having speakers in the brim, we can rock out, zone out, or focus on our race and stay in tune with our surroundings.  Problem solved.  Though they aren't available yet, you can pre-order the lid of your choice at a discount today and join the campaign to help fund this innovative product.  Run, don't walk, to and check it all out.  Then help them spread the word.  Personally, I REALLY want one of these and I'm betting that you do, too.

ENTER NOW for a chance to win one of these t-shirts from RESON8TE:

1. COMMENT below on how you would use your RESON8TE hat; running with your little one in a stroller, working in the yard, climbing Mt. get the gist.

2. "Like" this post on the RWM Facebook page. Then "Share" it with your friends, family, etc.

3.  Tweet @runningwmusic is giving away RESON8TE t-shirts here:

4. Or just go to, order your lid and help get these out to the world! (make sure to let them know you came from RWM in the comment box when you place your order).

Two winners will be chosen at random on October 31st. Remember, to visit their campaign and help get this badass product to everyone so we can all rock out to music, hear everything around us and be safer on the trails and roads.

Listen to this: (how cool it would be to hear it with your new RESON8TE hat)
Sunday Afternoon - The Black Angels  Sunday Afternoon - Phosphene Dream (Deluxe Edition)

Monday, October 22, 2012

Green Stride Half Marathon:A Race Recap

Yesterday was a day of many firsts for me.  It was the first time I'd run the Green Stride Half Marathon in Newburyport, MA (if you race and your local you should add this one to your list).  It was the first time I'd run for a cause which many of you know was the Life is good Kids Foundation.  It was the first time I've coached a team of adult runners of various ages and levels, in this case the Life is good Running team.  It was the first time I've had a VIP experience at a race with front row parking and my own special bathroom, which, in a race as big as this one, was a HUGE bonus.  On a more personal level, it was the first time I had trained with a coach to reach a specific goal.  It was the first time I'd worn racing flats for a half marathon.  It was the first time I decided to throw caution to the wind and go out faster than I normally do.  And it was the first time I truly believed I might be able to do something big that, in years past, I hadn't thought was possible.  Yesterday was also a day of taking risks.  It was risky to wear my flats for 13.1 miles when the longest I'd ever worn them before was in a 5K.  It was risky to push the pace at the start and try and hold on.  And it was risky to trust myself and my decisions to do all these new things.  All of these firsts along with all of the risks made the rewards that much sweeter.  I realized how unbelievably gratifying it is to run a race for a cause instead of for a personal best.  I was able to let go of all of the pressure that I typically put on myself and run solely for the kids who benefit from the Life is good Playmakers.  THAT was my purpose yesterday.  I was there, also, to be a good coach for the runners on my team.  To make them feel comfortable and remind them that they had worked so hard over the past few months and they should be incredibly proud of that.  It was to  encourage them to have fun and embrace the experience; which for most of them was totally new.  Then, after making sure I had fulfilled my role as coach and honored the organization that brought me to the race, only then could I focus on myself.  This left me about 5 minutes total, which I used to deal with my iPod right before the start.  It was hands down one of the best races I've done on so many levels.  And the reward, well, the PR was nice, but the biggest reward was seeing it all come to fruition for everyone else.

Life is good Running Team 2012
Listen to this:
Where Will We Go - IAMDYNAMITE   Where Will We Go - Supermegafantastic

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Embrace the Taper

As I was driving my girls to school today all I could think about was what a perfect morning it was for a long, easy run.  It was a crisp 47 degrees, the sun was shining, there was no wind and the trees were bursting with color (cheesy, I know, but they were).  Alas, there would be no long run for me today.  I have been training for a half marathon since August; working diligently with a coach for the first time since college, putting in more miles that I have in years and this is my much-earned week to taper.  My running partner alway says "don't f*@k with the taper."  And she's right.  A taper is designed to give the legs and body a solid break before a race.  If I had gone ahead and run today, I'd have been screwing myself and all the hard work I've done would be for nothing.  I'm tired.  I should be tired.  I need this taper to rejuvenate my muscles.  Despite seeing other runners on the road cruising along on this picture perfect day, I need to stay home and stretch, get a massage, walk my dog, just rest.  I know this.  Most runners do.  But, what I also realized today is while the taper helps us physically, it helps even more so mentally.  I am craving a run today and probably will be tomorrow.  I am eager to be out there with the other runners on the road.  I am hungry to move my legs.  By holding back, I'm feeding this urge to run.  On Sunday, I know I will most likely be chomping at the bit, ready to go, and when the gun blows, my mind will be two steps ahead since it's been wanting this for days.  How cool is that?  So, yes, I will indeed, embrace the taper.  Hmm.  I have some extra time now. Coffee anyone?

Listen to this: (if you're tapering, you should have PLENTY of time)
Heavy Mood - Tilly & The Wall   Heavy Mood - Heavy Mood


Monday, October 15, 2012

La La Land VS Reality

In an ideal world, this would be my morning:

6:00 Wake-up
6:00 - 7:00 Make coffee, check email, make lunches, listen to NPR.
7:20 - Wake up girls.  Relax as they easily jump out of bed and start their day.
7:20 - 8:00 Get them ready for school, picking out outfits of my choice, feed them a quick breakfast and still have plenty of time for them to brush their teeth.
8:05 - Leave for school.
8:15 - Drop both girls off, waving sweetly from afar like June Cleaver did to Beaver every day.
8:30 - Head out for my run.
10:00 - Stretch, do core work, and enjoy a second cup of coffee and begin to tackle the rest of my day.

Yes, I know.  It's not like this for anyone.  Even June probably had some mornings when she was pissed off at the boys and just kept it to herself because that's what you did back then.  It just doesn't work this way for most of us.  Lately, it's been more like this:

6:00 - Wake up.
6:05 - Realize we don't have milk for coffee and make a fast break to Byrne Dairy before my husband has to leave for work.
6:30 - Make MUCH NEEDED cup of coffee
7:00 - Check email and then remember today is the deadline for my entries to the upcoming invitational that my XC team is participating in and panic that I haven't gotten it done.  Pull out the results of the past 5 meets and determine the top 14 runners on my team so I can get their names in the system before it's too late.  Break a sweat as I dig up the web site and pray that I can still get them registered.
7:17 - Turn to see Grace standing at the door and brace myself as she tells me she doesn't really feel like going to school today.  Explain that I can't have this conversation right now and feel bad that I don't have the time focus on her.
7:32 - Run downstairs to make lunches and then run back up to wake up Rosie and try to motivate Grace who is now back in bed.
7:44 - Start to lose my patience when Rosie claims she now only wears skinny jeans and will not wear the other 3 pairs that are in her drawer because they are boot leg.  Give in and let her wear the one pair of skinny jeans she has that are in her hamper....they're really not that dirty.
8:05 - Run a brush through Rosie's hair; Grace doesn't really need it.  Squeeze a dab of toothpaste on Grace's toothbrush which she then takes with her in the car.  Toothpaste isn't that bad for us, right?
8:08 - As we're dashing to school, let the girls know that I'm going to have to wake them up earlier if we don't start to make it on time.  Realize, I might as well be talking to myself.  Grip the steering wheel as Rosie tells me she forgot to eat breakfast and she's hungry.  Decide that a granola bar is sort of like breakfast and pull it from her lunch.  
8:17 - Run in to school, late for Rosie on time for Grace.
9:00 - Remember that Rosie has ballet today and that I haven't done her laundry so she has nothing to wear to class.  Throw in a small emergency load.
9:15 - Attempt to start a blog entry but then re-focus on our upcoming neighborhood Halloween party involving over 50 kids, pizza and a parade.
9:30 - Hear I song I like on Pandora and start exploring similar bands in iTunes.  Completely lose track of time.
9:45 - Refocus.  Take a breath.  Grab my iPod.  Throw on my sneakers.  Revel in the fact that it's October and it's 60 degrees out.  Feel the wind in my face as I head down the street.  Wave to a neighbor.  Smile at nothing in particular.  I'm running.
10:35 - It's all good.  I got the run in.  I'm pretty sure I've the rest of this day nailed.  Maybe.

Unless you have it all figured out, and I'm sure there are some of you who do, I suggest you determine what it takes to make it feel, if only for a brief moment, that you live in la la land.  Then do that every day.  

Listen to this:
Change - Churchill   Change - The Change - EP

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Be Better & Have Fun

In the beginning of our cross country season, I sat the girls down and explained that I had two main goals for them.  First, I wanted them to come to practice each day with the desire to improve.  Second, I wanted them to have fun doing it.  I told them that if either of these things wasn't happening, then there was a problem and we needed to talk about it.  I have almost sixty girls on my team, all of various levels and though I didn't feel like I was asking a lot, I knew that I was giving them something to think about.  I haven't spoken to any of them personally since this talk, but I've noticed an obvious shift in attitude and desire which has made my job significantly easier and more pleasant.  On Tuesday, after the long week-end, my five year old woke up and told me she didn't want to go to school anymore.  The extra day off was clearly working against me and rather than feel refreshed and ready to go she was hiding under her covers and claiming that she was too tired to get ready.  My patience was wearing thin as I made lunches and fed my other daughter.  Finally, after about thirty minutes I realized she wasn't coming down.  I went upstairs and sat down next to the mound of covers that was my daughter (she was not happy about this shot btw).

Grace, not having fun.
I was reaching for something, anything, to get her going.  Time was short and my creativity was lacking so I said, "Grace, as a mother I have two main goals for you".  Really? you ask as you're reading this.  And, yes, I know, but it was all I could come up with and, to be honest, my role as mom felt synonymous to my role as a coach at that moment.  So, I continued, "I want you to be happy and have fun and I want you to try to be a good person every day.  If you can do these things, you will make my job as a mom so much easier."  This was a slight variation on my original request to my runners, but ultimately, they were still the same goals.  She was paying attention now and though she didn't have a lot to say about it, I could tell the wheels were spinning.  I am hoping the outcome of this talk will be similar to that of my team, but we'll see what happens.  I am a mom, a coach, a wife and an athlete.  When it comes down to it, it is my goal to be better at all of these roles and, more importantly, to have fun doing it.  Thanks to my girls and my athletes who continuously remind me of this goal and help me get closer to reaching it on a daily basis.

Grace, having fun!
Listen to this:
Life's A Beach - Django Django  Life's a Beach - Django Django

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Rebel Light: A Review

This past Thursday morning I took some time to listen to a new cut from indie band The Rebel Light.  The song is called 'Goodbye Serenade' and is one of the tracks on their new EP to be released in a few weeks.  Alan Steil, one of the bands three members, describes it as "inspirational trip down memory lane."  The song has a strong, steady cadence that immediately pulled me in and held me there throughout its entirety.  The lyrics took me on a ride of sorts and my mind wandered in several different directions as I attempted to piece it together.  It was quite a moving adventure.  The video highlights this inspirational notion with various clips of events from around the world that are sown together to show how truly amazing this place can be.  Alan writes "I hope that it helps inspire people to have a better day!"  It did for me and, without question, it will for so many others.  The song is a gem and the video beautifully strengthens its meaning.  I found myself watching and listening to both several times, each time with a slightly new interpretation.  What a fantastic way to start my day.  Like so many up and coming bands, The Rebel Light needed to keep costs down to make this EP and therefore recorded and mixed it themselves; recording their vocals in the bathroom and the drums in a wood shed.  Talk about passion and drive.  I can't wait to hear what else these guys have for us.  Take a minute to listen, watch and be inspired.  Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

The Lesson

Last night my seven year old got home from ballet, looked at me dead on and told me she absolutely had to learn how to tie a bow.  I asked if we could have dinner first.  She shook her head no and said it couldn't wait.  Apparently, one of her friends, who happens to be younger than her, noticed that she couldn't tie her shoes and made a point to ask her why.  Really, all she had to say to her friend was that she typically wears vans, crocs, flip flops or boots, so, up until this point in her life, she hadn't really needed to figure it out.  But, she didn't think of that response at the time and instead walked away frustrated and embarrassed.  So, I turned off the water on the stove, grabbed my running shoes and sat down on the floor next to her.  I then proceeded to give her step by step instructions on how to tie a bow, which is much harder than I thought it would be.  We tried the two rabbit ears and that didn't work so we went on to the the snake going around the hill and through the hole (or some version of that).  After about thirty tries, she finally go it.  To her credit, she never lost her cool.  She kept at it, over and over and over again until it finally made sense to her.  When she sat back and looked at her first bow, she stared in total disbelief.  To be sure it wasn't a fluke, she started over and tied it again.  Success.  YES!  That night, she went to bed with one of my sneakers because, she told me, if she woke up early she wanted to keep practicing.  Totally made sense.  At 10:00pm she was still awake, giddy with excitement and unable to sleep.  I finally told her she had to call it a night but smiled as I walked away as her excitement was almost tangible.  Conquering this small task was one of her biggest accomplishments to date.  As a mom, a coach and a runner, it was one of the greatest lessons in determination, persistence and patience that I have witnessed in my life.  Later than night I read the following quote by runner and writer, Amby Burfoot, "Running teaches all of us that goal setting, persistence and tackling one mile at a time can lead to unimaginable achievements."  Running, definitely...among so many other things.

Listen to this:
In the Summer - Crystal Fighters  In the Summer - Star of Love

NOTE: I was told not to move the shoe from her bed as she wanted to see it when she got home.  Today,  I bought her a pair of shoes with laces.

Monday, October 1, 2012

OCTOBER & Winner of the RWM T-Shirt

I have a love/hate relationship with October.  I love how the summer travel comes to an end and I get to have more time hanging at home with my family and friends.  I love the excitement that builds each day for my kids as they countdown to Halloween.  I love running and racing in October as I tend to feel faster in the cooler weather.  But there are some things I struggle with, too.  I don't love the fact that my daughters want to wear their Halloween costumes (Spider-girl and a purple Monster this year) all the time and everywhere including out to lunch with my in-laws and to church.  I don't love the amount of candy that comes out and always seems to be available as neither I, nor my girls can resist it.  I'm not wild about the fact that it starts to get darker so much earlier.  But change is good.  And when it comes down to it, October marks the start of something new; a series of special events and holidays that my family, in particular, tends to get totally fired up about.  So, I'm going to brace myself for the chaos, accept the high sugar content and hopefully ride it out gracefully or, at the very least, pretend to.  Happy October, everyone.

Listen to this: 
October Song of the Month
Jackinabox - Turin Brakes   Jackinabox - Jackinabox


Congratulations to "Yo Mama Runs", the winner of our RWM t-shirt giveaway.  Please send your address to so we can send you your new shirt.  Thanks for celebrating with us and being part of the RWM community.