Tuesday, December 29, 2020
Monday, December 21, 2020
On Saturday I took on the Frosty Looper - 8 Hour Challenge. This was the first time I've tackled an event of this kind and despite the fact that I trained for it by running a shit ton of miles, I really didn't know what to expect. In a nutshell, I would be completing as many 3.75 mile laps as I could in an eight hour window. Originally, the race was supposed to take place in New Jersey and when I signed up I thought, or more accurately, hoped that I'd be doing it in person. As the race got closer and things were actually getting worse, as far as Covid goes, I realized that driving to NJ and staying in a hotel for a race would not work if I was going to see my family for the holidays. I reached out to the race director and told him that I was sad to miss it but that it was no longer in the cards for me. He let me know he understood and told me that I could still run it virtually and submit my results but that I would not be eligible for awards. A bummer but totally fair. Not that I was assuming I'd place, but it's always fun to have something to shoot for when you decide to take these things on. Since I'd been training for this for months there was no question for me as to whether or not I'd be doing it, even if I had to do it on my own. If anything, it was a test of my fitness and mental fortitude and I was "excited" to see what I could do. Unfortunately, after Thanksgiving the Covid situation continued to get worse and just a few days before the event was set to take place, the state of NJ told the race director that he could not hold the race in person. I'm guessing that he knew it was bound to get called, but it was still a blow after all the work his team had done to make this thing happen safely. Thus, the 2020 Looper was officially postponed to 2021 and the 2020 race was now virtual, if you so desired. The upside here being that I was now back in as an official entrant since all of us were doing it as a solo effort. So, with just a few days to go until race day, I tried to get my head back in the game and to get myself fired up for this ridiculous virtual adventure. And then, the Thursday before race day, we had a full blown blizzard here in the Boston area. We got over a foot of snow and the temps dropped below freezing where they were predicted to stay for the foreseeable future. Classic Murphy's law. Sure, Rebecca, you can do a virtual race but we gotta make it legit by throwing you the worst possible weather and road conditions in the books. Now, you can go for it! Oh, and have fun out there!
Friday, December 4, 2020
2020 HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE
Price:Ranges from $12-$42
ATHLETIC BREWING CO. - I love a good beer. But I'm not a big fan of how alcohol impacts my sleep or, for that matter, my performance when I'm training. Last year I was on a quest to find a high quality Non Alcoholic beer and after several fails, which I won't mention here, I finally discovered Athletic Brewing Co. They make a great tasting N/A Craft Beer with high-quality, all-natural ingredients. It's ideal for those with an active lifestyle or anyone who just really enjoys beer but doesn't want to sacrifice taste. Plus, have a few as there is no risk for a hangover. Seriously, if you want to switch things up you will not be disappointed with ABC. My local liquor store sells it but you can also buy it and get it shipped straight from their site. Note: Use code RTRACHSEL20 to save 20% on your first order.
JAYBIRD VISTA - These were on my list last year. And, well, they just have to be again. Because, in my humble opinion, they are the best accessory since sliced bread. Wireless. Waterproof. Sweatproof. Shockproof. Dust proof. Isn't that enough proof? Pop them in and turn them up. You don't even know they're there. For running or working or doing whatever it is you do with music. Never go quiet again. Note: Use code RWM to take $10 off your order. US & Canada Residents only.
NUUN REST - Any product that "aids my relaxation responses" is a no brainer for me. NUUN Rest's blend of magnesium, potassium and tart-cherry are all known to help you relax while also releasing tension from overworked muscles. Please and thank you. I like to heat mine up and drink it before bed. Each tube has 10 tablets. We all need rest during the holiday season, right?
KENYAN RUNNING BANDS - Who doesn't want to wear a bit of motivation while they are working to reach their goal? These beautiful Kenyan Running Bands are handmade by the Maasai people who are based in a workshop in Narok. Artisan Design, founded by Rob Paddock, is the only UK company that stocks these bracelets which are fairly traded direct from Iten. 10% of all sales are given to local young runners as they work to achieve greatness in sport plus you are helping support the local Maasai communities.
HALOLIFE MASKS - Every stocking should have a mask in it this year. Might as well make it a high quality one. The HALOmasks are durable and adjustable. They are available in three sizes and come with replaceable filters. They are also really cool. Well, as far as masks go.
PICKY DRIZZLE - Think taste explosion in your mouth. I mean, that should be enough. Made with cinnamon, vanilla and superfood maca, it's the perfect addition to your oatmeal or a dipping sauce for your fruit....or your finger. I actually put a dollop into my coffee. Mind blown.
***** 2020 WINTER GIVEAWAY*****
2 pairs of Wyeth Designs Earrings2 NUUN water bottles4 Tubes of NUUN1 jar of Picky Drizzle1 Bag of Picky PB&J Granola1 Variety Pack of Picky Bars1 pair of Oiselle Power Puff mittens1 pair Oiselle Power On tights1 Oiselle Trucker Hat2 Artisan Designs Kenyan Running Bands2 HaloLife Masks2 six packs of Athletic Brewing Co.2 issues of Like the Wind Magazine1 pair of Jaybird VistasLet's get right to to it, shall we? It's been a hell of a year and I just want to give some cool stuff away. No games or questions for this one. Just add your name in the comments below along with the name of a friend that you'd like to share all these goodies with. You can also jump over to RWM on Instagram and enter again there. Winner will be chosen randomly on Friday, December 11th. Huge thanks to all of the companies that contributed to this giveaway. Good luck. *US Residents only
Listen to this:Solid Gold by Sheppard
Wednesday, November 18, 2020
by Uma Sanker*
"Running is a sport in which you can either choose to find yourself or lose yourself."
Reading the Big Nate books growing up, one thing that I always admired about the protagonist of the books, Nate Wright, was that he never gave up on his ambitions. Whether he’s being thrown in detention for the millionth time in a row, or his friends are telling him that it really won’t work out with Jenny, he keeps working towards his goals. Even if they’re quite questionable goals sometimes.
When I first started to run competitively, I was definitely more of a Chad - the insecure, chubby boy who’s one of Nate’s various friends and does things cause he enjoys doing them, not because he’s good at them. In sixth grade, when I walked to room 274 to scribble my name on the cross country sign-up sheet, I was someone you’d expect to have their head buried in a book. I was someone who you’d expect to be on the math team. Someone who you’d never expect to see busting out a six minute mile. Nate would have probably called me a nerd who needed to, “get a life,” much like he frequently said to Francis. I didn’t really have anything that I wanted to work towards at the time; nothing to ground myself. I hadn’t found who I really was yet.
Running is a sport in which you can either choose to find yourself or lose yourself. You can choose to work your hardest and be the best version of yourself, or mindlessly drag yourself through miles on end. One causes you to find yourself, and one causes you to lose yourself. The work you put in, the training that you dedicate yourself to, all define who you are as a runner. Both paths will get you to the same place, but in different ways.
Nate embodies the confidence that I tried to when I placed my name on the sign-up sheet. He doesn’t care what other people think about him. He shamelessly goes after what he wants, and doesn’t give a crap about what other people may think. He doesn’t strangle himself by conforming to the stereotypes that the world has provided him with, and in doing so, he’s found himself.
In the process of finding yourself, it’s quite easy to lose yourself. I remember in my freshman year of cross country, that my summer training - although I did 200 miles, all of them were half-hearted. It was apparent that I cared, but I didn’t have the motivation to improve. The moment you begin to feel like you can’t improve anymore is always a point at which you lose yourself.
The way to combat losing yourself is hard. You may think that the obvious answer is, you need to find yourself, but it’s not that simple. It’s a battle that occurs within the mind; it may not be visible on the outside, but can be an ongoing struggle. It sounds so easy to not be sucked into the trap of succumbing to your ego, but it’s ultimately easier said than done. I had to shatter my ego; wake up and realize that the world was not waiting for me, to continue to find myself. Although Nate has a huge ego, he doesn’t succumb to it. He knows, although he verbally never says, that he can improve. He knows that he can keep working on himself. Yet, he stays true to himself and doesn't change for anyone but him. Maintaining that balance, is key.
I like to think of running as a beacon within a storm; the competitiveness. Throughout my middle school years, cross country and track fed my inner competitive side I never knew I had. I started to grow an idea of what I was looking for. High school further showed me I had long ways to go, but that I was stronger than I realized.
The pain is just as much as critical a part of the refuge as the serotonin. Workouts are the stepping stones to success, races are the mile markers. Pain is a part of all of it, but it is a constant that doesn’t change. The pain shows that you’re improving. The improvement is the motivating factor to find yourself; the constant desire to improve and to be the best version of yourself. Remodeling yourself from having a Chad mindset, to having a Nate mindset. Trying not to lose yourself amid the process. Quoting what Nate says when he begins to do something, practically anything: “What could possibly go wrong?”
Listen to this:
*Huge thanks to Uma for letting me share this post with the RWM readers. It is such a pleasure to work with you and watch you grow both as a runner and a young woman. Stay after it.
Tuesday, November 3, 2020
Where you're from: California, in the southern part
Where you reside now: Seattle, WA in the southern west side
Age (if you're ok sharing): 46 or 12...depends on the day
Occupation:Mom & Running Coach for people who aren't competitive, who like beer & doughnuts
Podcast: Why We Run
Fav Radio Station:KEXP.ORG
What do you love most about music?
Band (current, all time or both): UGH! I want to pick all of them, but Built to Spill is pretty wonderful.
Album (current, all time or both): Led Zeppelin 'Houses of the Holy'. I know, cock rock...but I love it.
Race venue: Avenue of the Giants marathon in Weott, California
Music venue: Bottom of the Hill in San Francisco
Race distance: 1/2 marathon. I can still walk the next day.
Show you've seen live: I've seen The Mountain Goats many times, and cry each time. They're great.
Ice cream flavor: Anything that has something crunchy in there.
Sweet or salty? Yes.
Live or recorded? Yes.
Coffee or tea? Coffee.
Summer or winter? Summer.
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? PJ Harvey
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? Otis Redding or Aretha Franklin or both together.
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Tom Waits. I've always wanted to meet him and I know so many people who have and say he's so great. I also want to meet his wife, Kathleen Brennen, who is an amazing producer.
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Bruce Springsteen...cause tramps like us.
Today, I feel like….(fill in the blank): making soup and being cozy.
Mr. Blue Sky - ELO
Juice - Lizzo
Comeback Kid - Sharon Van Etten
Straight to Hell - The Clash
Huffer - The Breeders
Oops. That was 6.
Moonlight Mile - The Rolling Stones
September Girls - Big Star
Pretty Good - John Prine (another good 2020 anthem)
Sweet Baby - Ted Hawkins
Mockingbirds - Grant Lee Buffalo
Sunday, October 18, 2020
"When you run your first marathon, more things seem possible. When you run your first ultramarathon, everything seems possible."
~ Michael D'Aulerio
Last Sunday I raced the Mine Falls 50K Not virtually. It was a real, live, in person event with other runners, bib numbers and start and finish lines. I know some of you have already gotten out there again but this was my first official race of 2020 and by the time Sunday rolled around I was giddy like a toddler on Halloween. Seriously, I have never been so excited to race, maybe ever. And while my expectations weren't super high simply on account of the fact that, for me it honestly didn't really matter how organized or well attended this even was, the first annual Mine Falls Trail Running Festival did not disappoint.
Running is such a simple sport, you know? But then, I guess when you're out in the woods for multiple hours during a pandemic it becomes a bit more involved. As of Saturday our forecast looked perfect. The race was taking place up in Nashua, NH which is about a forty minute drive for me. Temps were expected to be in the low 50s at the start and then work their way up to the mid to high 60s for the finish. I have a couple new run friends, Brian and Addie, who are ultra experts and both have been incredibly helpful to me as I have started to dip my toes into these uncharted mega mileage waters. No joke, I would have been up shit's creek without their guidance as I prepared for this rodeo. The race director let us know that there would be water and fuel stations but asked us to consider carrying our own fuel in an attempt to avoid over crowded stops. Fine by me. I've been practicing with a water vest for my last half dozen long runs so I was happy to wear it. I laid out my stuff the night before the race and then checked in with Addie to make sure I wasn't forgetting anything. I told her headphones were "optional but not recommended" and asked if she thought I shouldn't bring mine. "Fuck that" she said. "I always have to have my music." Clearly I was very glad to hear this from an expert. See how helpful she is?? Since I was driving up in the morning for the 7:00am start, I tucked myself in around 8:45 which is a full fifteen minutes before my usual bed time. I know...crazy.
Listen to this:
Feel Good (feat. Bre Kennedy) - Super Duper