Monday, January 23, 2017


"Find something you love then do it for the rest of your life."
~ Max Fisher

Last week I posted a photo of my sandwich on Instagram.  It was an elaborate combination of eggs, avocado, tomatoes, red peppers and cheese on whole wheat toast.  In the caption I wrote the following:

Okay, fine.  It is not a very exotic sandwich.  In fact several people replied that they'd made and enjoyed something similar that very same day.  But, I was still proud of myself for going outside of my kitchen comfort zone, if you will, and eating something other than cereal for dinner (yes, my husband was out of town).  A friend of mine who read this post reached out to me via text and said something to the effect of, Trax, how have you gotten this far without figuring out how to cook for yourself?  It's a fair question.  I explained that my husband went to culinary school after college and while he opted not go the chef route for his career, he is an incredible cook.  He also likes things done a certain way when he's in the kitchen, something I learned way back when we started dating.  I, on the other hand, have no problem with prep work and cleaning.  Thus, this has become my role.  And I'm good with it.  To which she responded, Wow, your husband went to culinary school?!  You are so damn lucky.  Which is true.  Then she said, so what else have you not told me about yourself that I should know? It was a joke, but it got me thinking.  Since I started this blog, I have thrown so much out there about myself; my running life, my personal life, all of it, really.  In some ways, exposing it all has its drawbacks.  But, it can be incredibly rewarding, too.  Clearly, or I would have shut things down years ago.  And while there are already quite a few things you do know about me at this point - I love to run, love music, love my family, am addicted to coffee, have a stupidly large collection of hooded sweatshirts and (now) that I don't know how to cook.  There are quite a few things that you may not know.  Today, I will entertain my aforementioned friend and you (hopefully) with a few random things that you might not have known about me but may find interesting, funny or both.  Have at it.


1. I have moved 11 times.  Seven times as a kid - IL, NC, CT, GA, IL, CT, NY.  And four post-college - CA & 3 different cities in MA.  I've now lived in Winchester, MA for 10 years, which is the longest I've ever stayed in the same place in my 41 years.

2.  I do not have a creative bone in my body.  Can't cut in a straight line.  Can't draw.  Can't sew.  Can't do anything crafty; much to the dismay of my children.

3. I love classical music.  I don't ever post it up here or talk about it but I really like listening to it.  On the other hand, I loathe country music.  Yes, this is two in one, but they are related.

4. Pizza is my favorite food.  No shocker here.  Last meal on earth?  Easy.  Pizza from the Chilmark Store on Martha's Vineyard.  No question.

5. I was a basketball cheerleader in junior high.  I'll just leave that one right there.

6. I'm an avid reader.  I wasn't when I was growing up.  But, over the past few years I've become a bit obsessed with books.  My good friend Andrea (Born & Read in Chicago) is contributing to my obsession.

7. Rushmore is my favorite movie. Bill Murray my favorite actor.  Max Fisher my favorite movie character.  And Wes Anderson my favorite director.  I know this is 4 things, but it's kind of an all-in-one package.

8. I've broken two bones.  My left wrist in kindergarten when I fell off a jungle gym.  And my right wrist in high school when I fell while I was snowboarding.  I still love to climb jungle gyms.  I'm done with snowboarding.

9. I have never worn makeup.  I don't know how to put it on.  And my goal is to die without learning. (yes, I'm fully aware that I probably need it)

10. I am named after my mom.  She goes by Becky.  I can't stand it when people call me that.  So, that's out there now, too.

Listen to this:
Fireproof by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


My running partner, Kirsten, and I have been training together on and off for about 7 years.  We're currently ramping up for a May marathon.  Winter training is always particularly challenging for us for many reasons including, but not limited, to the weather which in and of itself is a constant battle.  And yet, here we are again.  We're either crazy, stupid or both when it comes to running.  But, in some sick, twisted way that I can't explain, and I'm guessing she can't either, we love it.  At least, I think we do.  As 40+ moms with busy kids and part-time jobs we are often struggling with both motivation and exhaustion.  So, we support each other, complain to each other and we laugh with and at each other often.  Here's small peek into our typical daily madness.  You'll probably laugh, too.

Sunday, January 8th
8:02pm (via text)
Me: Hey, long run tomorrow?
Kirsten: Yes. I have 15
Me: Me, too.  Yay.

Monday, January 9th
7:24am (via text)
Me: It's 6 degrees out.
K: At least it's sunny.
Me: Glass half full.  Nice.
K: Trying because on the inside I'm crying.
Me: Yes. Me, too.
K: What to leave from your house?  If so, what time?
Me: Sure.  Any time after 8:45
K: Do you have Aquafor?
Me: Yep.  Not sure I have enough for my entire body.  And yours.  Kidding.

In addition to our intermittent conversations about life, family, & friends there were several statements from both of us about the weather and the conditions ie:  Holy shit it's cold....I can't feel my fingers...ooh, that wind really sucks...okay, i can finally feel my fingers, out for that black ice....holy shit it's cold.  Until the last 2-3 miles which were up and over a massive hill and were pretty much done in silence.

K: Coffee?
Me: Hells, yeah.  I'll drive.
We might of said some other things.  I don't remember.  Doesn't matter.

1:13pm (via text)
Me: We did it.  And now I'm tired.
K:  What was our total mileage?  15.5?  I'm taking a 15 minute nap.
Me: Yes. 15.5.  Good call on the nap.  I'm going to Whole Foods.  Super excited.
K: So disciplined!
Me: No. Just want/need food and have none in the house.

5:39pm (via text)
Me: Holy crap, I'm exhausted.  Could easily go to bed right now.
K: Totally.
Me: Just gotta make it to 8:00.  Tic. Toc.
K: I get to drive to Tewksbury (30-45min drive) for hockey practice at 7:30.  Joy.
Me: Wow. Awesome.  Can you take a nap at the rink?  Kidding.  Sort of.
K: I wish but there's no heat in the "warming room". Sweet.
Me: Bring a blanket and curl up in the car??  Coffee?

---> couldn't resist
Me: Humor is getting me through at the moment.

Tuesday, January 10th
Me: Morning. It's a balmy 14 degrees out.  I have 7. You?
K: Son of a birch! Why is it still so cold??  Yes.  I'm doing 7 as well.  Want to come to me?
Me: Sure.  Regular time?
K: Yep. See you then.

Listen to this:
Team by Krewella (explicit)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017


"Nothing connects to the moment like music."
~ Dau Voire

Back in December, the lovely Jessica Kane, who works with Sound Stage Direct, reached out to see if she could contribute a music-related piece to RWM.  Not surprisingly, I was both excited and intrigued.  She threw out several cool ideas and together we landed on this one.  Below you'll find Jessica's top eight picks for songs that will get you fired up and ready to fly.  I'm already lacing up.  I think you will be, too.  Listen, enjoy, and share as you will.  Thanks to Jessica for the killer playlist.

by Jessica Kane

Whether hitting the gym or sprinting around the block, it pays to have a set of tunes to keep you energized and motivated. In fact, a 2014 study from Whitworth University suggests that both Mean and Peak Power levels increase when athletes listen to self-selected music.

Here are eight songs of various genres to get your blood pumping!

DMX - X Gon Give It to Ya (Dirty)
DMX often marries his uniquely gritty voice to forceful grooves and surprisingly inspiring lyrics. Even so, this song takes the cake. You may recognize it from Deadpool's ironic slow-mo walk; my workout playlist shan't go without it.

DJ Rekha - Akh Mastani
There are few genres as pulse-pounding as Indian bhangra, combining irresistible beats with compelling vocals and resonant string accompaniment. Akh Mastani never fails to push me to new heights of physical exertion.

Andrew W.K. - Take It Off
Though I'll be the first to admit that Andrew W.K. is not for everyone, there is no denying the explosive power behind his party anthems. Take It Off is one of my all-time favorite workout songs--the opening drop crackles with tension, building up to Andrew's throaty roar of "Take... It... Off!" At this point the beat takes off at a full sprint, with relentless bass, epic guitar chords, and Andrew's signature piano accompaniment. If any song can push you to crank out that extra burpee, it's this one.

Felix Laband - Red Handed
One can't go at 150% effort forever. Rather than high-octane, crash-through-the-wall energy, the masterful Felix Laband offers a subdued electronic journey that nevertheless carries effective pacing for exercise. I find this song ideal for running and biking, as it provides a few minutes of mental respite from the relentless thump of most workout songs while the pensive tone makes me look around and enjoy the scenery.

Tove Styrke - Even If I'm Loud It Doesn't Mean I'm Talking to You
This is a relentless little electro-pop number by Swedish sensation Tove Styrke. The beat and hooks are irresistible and the in-your-face lyrics are perfect for busting through your next set.

Bomba Estéreo - Fuego
This woman can rap! This song's sound is perfectly balanced between hardcore gangsta and pumpin' summer jam; there's just no way not to feel like an ultimate badass when the catchy chorus accompanies that glorious burn in your quads.

Phunk Junkeez - Move It
Without a doubt, the Phunk Junkeez have earned the "Phunk" part of their monicker. Combining funky beats with rock guitars and compelling rhymes, the Junkeez earn their spot on this list with this toe-tapping gem.

Caravan Palace - Lone Digger
With a killer beat, delicious vocals, and the irresistible groove of electro-swing, Lone Digger is a toe-tapping song that brings a touch of modern class to my workout playlist. I have been known to bust out a few roadside dance moves when this song comes up during my jogs--but can you really blame me?

May these songs liven up your exercise routine!

Jessica Kane is a music connoisseur and an avid record collector.  She currently writes for SoundStage Direct, her go-to place for all turntables and vinyl equipment, including Rock Vinyls.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017


"Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day."
~ Edith Lovejoy Pierce

A couple of weeks ago my friend and fellow coach, Chas, asked me if I'd set any resolutions for 2016.  No I said  I don't typically make them.  He seemed a little surprised by my response so I gave him my thought process on it.  I'm a pretty goal oriented person I explained.  I have quite a few (both running and non-running) and they're kind of ongoing from day to day.  I think about them a lot, I talk to others about them even more and I'm striving for them all the time.  So, I guess I feel like making resolutions on top of that might add a whole new layer of pressure that I'm not really up for putting on myself.  Okay he said.  I get that.  He then went on to let me know that he'd set one for himself back in January and was happy to report that he would be closing out the year having successfully achieved what he had resolved to do.  Nice!  I said.  That's awesome.  And I meant it.  It's a serious challenge for anyone to claim they are going to make something happen and then to actually see it through from start to finish for an entire year.  I can understand how it would feel pretty damn good to say you got it done.  Not surprisingly, this notion of making a New Year's resolution has been resonating with me since we talked and I've been giving the whole thing quite a bit of thought.  In the past I've looked at resolutions and goals as one in the same.  But I'm now realizing that they fall in two very different categories.  When you resolve to do something, you are making a firm decision to do (or not to do) it. You and I both know that I'd love to resolve to run a marathon PR this year.  But, sadly, it doesn't work that way.  That decision is for my body to make on race day and as much as I want it to happen, there are no guarantees.  I knew that when I set this goal in 2016 and despite the fact that I made several attempts to hit it, I was not, in fact, able to make it so.  That said, running a marathon PR has been and will continue to be one of my biggest goals for this year.  What I can do, though, is resolve to do everything I can from a training perspective to be as prepared as possible the next time I toe the line.  Whether it happens or no is to be determined.  But at least I can say I kept my resolution.  So, my goals are my goals.
~ run a marathon PR
~ help my high school XC team win the State Meet again 
~ visit, eat, run and hang with as many of my friends and teammates from around the country as possible
~ make Rosie and Grace laugh (most likely at me) at least once a day, if not more (this won't be too hard)
~ eat less sugar and drink more water (yes, this a goal, not a resolution.  I'm being realistic here)
~ worry and stress less, relax and chill more (this is a biggie)
~ fear less, smile more
Some are the same as last year.  Some are new.  And there are probably others but I just can't think of them right now because it's 6:30am and I've only had one cup of coffee.  Seriously, though, whether I reach them or not, I will resolve to aim for them as often as possible.  At the same time, I can resolve to do a lot of other things in my life that don't necessarily add pressure; just help make it a little better.  Things like:
~ resolve to tell my kids I love them at least twice a day
~ resolve to call my parents once a week (we talk sporadically, but not enough)
~ resolve to stretch after every run, even if only a little
~ resolve to learn and grow as a coach as much as possible
~ resolve to wake up every morning and have one positive thought before I start my day (Chas will appreciate this one)
~ resolve to run once a week without my watch
~ resolve to step outside my comfort zone (in running and/or life) at least once a week
~ resolve to support my kids and their passions whenever and wherever possible
~ resolve to remind myself how lucky I am before I go to bed every night
Happy New Year everyone. Here's to goals and resolutions, both new and old.  Let's do this.

Listen to this:
Kingdom - NAATIONS