Monday, December 16, 2019


Dear RWM Readers,
Well, here we are.  Another year is almost behind us.  It always blows my mind how quickly they fly by.  Especially now that my own girls are so much older.  I try really hard to keep up with them but more often than not, if I blink I'm likely missing something.  Such is life.  I guess I should be grateful that so much is going on, much of it good, that I can barely keep up.  As far as running goes, I had a pretty successful year; finally chipping away at my half marathon PR back in May and then running a couple decent marathons this fall.  I had hoped to sneak in under three hours again this year but it simply wasn't in the cards so I'll be going for it again in 2020 because, well.... why the hell not?  I had the pleasure of guiding Michaela Flaherty at Boston in some pretty strange weather - early morning thunderstorms, rain, glaring sun, mad heat, humidity and then rain again at the finish -  though it was nothing compared to the Nor'Easter of 2018.  She was very pleased to have successfully crossed the line and will be racing again next spring.  My Lexington XC team had yet another incredible season this past fall.  The girls won their Middlesex League Meet and took first place at the EMASS Divisional Meet, something they have now done four times in the past six years which is no small feat.  They finished third in the state of MA last month, edging out their fourth place rivals by one point.  Such a gritty crew, they were.  As always, they were so much fun to coach and while I'm very sad to say goodbye to my seniors, I'm already fired up for next fall.  In the gym, Rosie killed it this past spring, taking third overall in her age group at her state gymnastics meet and, for the first time ever, qualifying for the Regional meet, a goal she set her sights on many years ago.  She also graduated from middle school and is now a freshman at Winchester High. What?  She continues to compete for her WGA team and has also joined her high school team this winter.  I'm so excited (and nervous) to watch her fly over the next couple months.  Grace continued to dominate on the soccer field and also started running XC, which I'm obviously thrilled about.  I wouldn't say she loves running.  Yet.  But, after taking a couple wins at her school races, I can tell that her interest has shifted and is now somewhat piqued.  I even dragged her out with me on a very cold morning this fall for a local 5K which she crushed, taking second in her age group.  After that, she made it clear that she is done with racing in frigid temps, but I'm hoping to get her back out with me next spring.  On the music side, there was a ton of new work flowing from various bands and individual artists this year.  Sia, Beck and the Broods released albums that are constantly on replay for me.  Haim, AWOLNATION and Fitness, a new duo with Kenny Carkeet, formally of AWOLNATION, dropped some awesome singles that will hopefully lead to full albums in 2020.  Super excited for those.  All in, it was a fantastic year (a few of my favorite highlights below) and not a moment goes by when I don't realize how ridiculously lucky I am.  As far as the blog goes, I haven't been posting as much this year as in years past but based on feedback from friends and readers it seems as though it's worth continuing to share my stories.  Either that, or the people I asked are very nice, which is also a good thing.  I'm not sure how things will shape out moving forward but, as I said, I'll continue to write in some fashion as I truly love the connections I've made here and hope that I'm inspiring others or, at the very least, making people laugh at some of the craziness that is my life.  I created this blog back in 2011.  I definitely didn't think I'd still be at it eight years later.  Big thanks to all of you for following along on my journey.  Cheers to a new year and a whole boatload of new adventures for you and I alike.  Stay awesome, my friends.

Rock on,


Ran the Donna 1/2 Marathon down in FL in honor of my Mom

Guided Michaela Flaherty for her first Boston Marathon

w/ Rosie after her State Gymnastics meet

Grace flying to the finish at her XC meet

Rosie's 8th grade graduation

Family week at Lake Winnepesaukee

Yankee Homecoming 10 miler w/ my Whirlaway teammates

Oiselle Big Birdcamp


LHS EMASS Division 1 Champs

Grace taking aim on the soccer field

Rosie taking flight in the gym


Listen to this:

Monday, December 9, 2019


"The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up."
~ Mark Twain

Nothing like jumping right into December with a full blown snowstorm.  Mother Nature just went ahead and ripped the bandaid off this year, didn't she.  But, it's good.  It pushed me right into holiday/deal mode.  And, as a result, for the first time ever I'll be posting this gift guide kind of early.  Well, I guess it depends on who you ask as this feels pretty early to me but half the world probably already did a majority of their shopping on Black Friday & Cyber Monday; both of which seem to still be going on a week after the fact.  Whatever.  A lot of us like to take our time and put more thought into it, right?  Let's go with that.  Seriously, though, I do love this time of year, primarily because of how excited my girls get as soon as we hit December 1.  Lights up.  Check.  Wreaths up.  Check.  Elf on the Shelf.  Check.  Side note - they no longer believe that he moves around in the middle of the night and watches for Santa and yet they still expect me to do it.  Now, the game is more like, will Mom remember to move it before she goes to bed?  Super fun.  This season stirs up such good energy and there is so much good, solid family love that floods in and lingers throughout the entire month.  I always find myself soaking up every bit of it.  Plus, regardless of what you celebrate, who doesn't love picking out a gift for a family member or friend that you know they will be thrilled about?  Like, you find yourself smiling as you purchase it, despite the cost, because you know it's going to make their day.  Okay, no, it's not all about gifts, but if you're looking to spoil someone, this is definitely the time to do it.  Below you'll find a few of my favorite gifts; running related, music related and a few other gems worth knowing about.  I love everything on this list and would buy every single one of them for myself and for most of my friends.  They have all been tested by yours truly.  Hopefully you'll find something on this list that calls your name or that of a loved one.  And if not, just go down to the bottom and enter the RWM HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY as it is one that you are not going to want to miss out on.  Merry Everything, my friends.


JAYBIRD VISTA True Wireless Headphones: Just when you think Jaybird can't make a better product, they go and do it.  These headphones are a total game changer and I could not love them more.  I have child-sized ears and they fit snuggly and comfortably with no issues.  They are sweat proof, waterproof and shatter proof, basically life proof.  They have a 16 hour battery life and sit in a charging case that fits easily into your pocket.  Running, climbing, hiking, skiing; go and do anything with these babies.  Turn it up and never go quiet again.  The retail price is $179.99 and worth every penny.

LANDGROVE COFFEE: Who doesn't want coffee as a gift?  A hot cup of coffee on a cold day has got to be one of the few (or many, depending on who you ask) perks of this cold, dark season.  I discovered Landgrove coffee this summer and I am a total convert.  This family owned business is based in Troy, Idaho.  I buy the Espresso roast, but have also tried their Guatemala bean and both are insanely delicious.  On top of a rich, robust flavor, much of the coffee is direct and fair trade which means the owners of Landgrove have a personal relationship with the producer and pay them fairly for their product.  I can't say enough good things about this company and its product.  You'll have to order some and see for yourself.  Coffee prices vary but range from $11 to $16 per pound.

THIRSTY AARDVARK CUPS: An insulated cup is the perfect accompaniment to your coffee gift, right?  Or perhaps you just need a new water bottle or tumbler for yourself.  Either way, Thirsty Aardvark offers several different styles and colors for all of your drinking needs.  They are stainless steel and double wall vacuum sealed so your coffee stays hot or your NUUN stays cold but the flavor of either one of them doesn't linger in the cup.  And, unlike their competitors, this line is not quite as cost prohibitive, which I personally believe is as it should be.  Retail value depends on size and style and ranges between $10-$20.

NOXGEAR TRACER 360 PERFORMANCE VEST: Running in the dark is not ideal but many of us do it.  The Tracer 360 is a super light, weather resistant, battery powered vest that will keep you safe no matter when you hit the road.  There are multiple sizes so it fits just right, but it can also be adjusted once it's on.  The lights, for which there are several colors, are both reflective and flourescent.  This is such a great gift for the outdoor enthusiast in your life who wants to walk out the door at any point in the day and, more importantly, to always be seen.  Retail value is $69.95 though today, 12/9, it is on sale for $39.95.

OISELLE QUILTED CREW: Okay, truth. I have two of these. It is, by far, the warmest and coziest top in my closet.  Think wearable blanket.  I have to hide them from my daughters.  It's just that awesome. I love a good sweatshirt but this one has a little flare and makes me feel like I've put myself together a bit more than when I'm in my usual hoodie.  I know, it's a stretch.  This is my life.  For real, though, I wear it almost daily.  And I'm sure it will be a year rounder for me.  Because, let's be honest, you can always use a good crew or three. Retail value is $86.

RUNNING HOME BY KATIE ARNOLD: It's always key to have a book on the list.  Either to give or to get. I loved this memoir by runner, mom & writer Katie Arnold. I'm just going to use the Google Books description because it is spot on.  Katie Arnold an..."Outside magazine writer tells her story — of fathers and daughters, grief and renewal, adventure and obsession, and the power of running to change your life." It's a beautiful story and one that all of us can relate to in some way.  I could not put it down and definitely plan to read it again.  I will also be buying multiple copies to give to friends this year.  Retail price is $19.38 on


NUUN IMMUNITY - NUUN is the ultimate stocking stuffer because who doesn't need to hydrate?  Throw a tube of NUUN Immunity in every stocking because we really need extra hydration and immune support during the holidays.  Even more so during the break when hugs and kisses are frequent and germs are spreading like wildfire.

HONEYSTINGER CASHEW BUTTER & MILK CHOCOLATE BARS - These are a repeater from last year's guide but a new flavor.  Drop one of these bars into each stocking as well because everyone likes and needs a good snack and these are so good that even your picky teen will eat them.  

KOALA CLIP - These are also a repeater.  But, the new Koala Clip Lux has a small pocket on the inside for a key or credit card, or in my case, for my frequent coffee card which I obviously take with me everywhere I go. 

SMELLWELL - these little inserts saved our lives this fall.  It rained non-stop and between my own running shoes and my daughter's cleats, our shoes were in constant need of these gems.  Drop them in and they go to work, not only drying out your shoes but also eliminating odor.  Please and thank you.  Especially for the cleats.

DEMETER ATMOSPHERE SOY CANDLE - Traveling for the holidays?  Take your favorite scent on the road with you so you can always think of home or whatever it is you're missing.  Demeter offers these candles in recognizable scents ranging from salt air to new baby to thunderstorm. Use them to relax, to remind you of home or both.

PAIN CAKES - These 'stickable' cold therapy patches relieve your pain and swelling and stay in place on their own. No need for tape or wraps.  It's so easy.  You just open and press the pain cake on your areas of need and then go about your day.  Because who has time to sit during the holidays?  Genius!  

********** THE RWM HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY **********

I honestly didn't think I could top last year's giveaway but as I lay it all out here I'm not so sure.  I am so excited about all these goodies and will be giving them away reluctantly as I'd prefer to keep them all for myself.  No, no.  I would never do that.  Enter below and you and a friend get a chance to share this treasure trove of treats from companies that I love and believe in. In few words, tell us your favorite things about the holiday season. Not required, but enthusiastically encouraged. Make sure to put both of your names and an email address in the comment. You can also jump over to RWM on Instagram and enter there.  It is also not required that you follow all of these companies but it would be great if you did.  Winner will be chose via on 12/15.  Huge thanks to all of those who contributed to this package of love.  Good luck.  *US Residents only

Giveaway Includes:
1 pair of Jaybird Sport Tarah Pro Headphones* (Freedoms pictured here)
Oiselle Lux Beanie & Power On Mittens
4 Tubes of NUUN Immunity & 2 SF Water bottles
2 x $40 gift card for use on*
2 Lbs (Espresso & Ethiopia blends), 2 pairs of work gloves & 1 trucker from Landgrove Coffee
1 pair of SmellWell shoe inserts*
1 Box of Honeystinger Milk Chocolate Cracker N' Nut Bars & 
2 Honeystinger Limited Edition NYC Marathon Truckers
2 Pain Cake Ice Packs
1 Noxgear Tracer 360 Light Vest
2 Demeter Atmosphere Fragrance Candles
*Note: Jaybird, Koala Clip & Smellwell items will be shipped direct from vendor.

Listen to this:
We Got Love - Teyana Taylor