Monday, February 8, 2016

BATTLE MUSIC

"There are no standards and no possible victories except the joy you are living while dancing your run."
~ Fred Rohe


I listen to music (all types) before I run, while I run and after I run.  I have playlists for my warm up, for speed work, for my long run, for my cool down, for hills, for core work, for days when I'm overtired and for days when I'm so amped up I don't know what to do with myself.   In the car, I listen to Sirius XM with my girls (Radio Disney, Pop2K).  My daughter Grace (age 8) can belt out Adele like nobody's business and Rosie (age 11) knows every single word to Flo Rida's rap in Good Feeling.  I'm not afraid to rock out with them, but I do listen to different music (Alt Nation, Sirius XMU, The Wave) when I'm driving by myself.  I listen to music when I'm waking up in the morning (The Coffee House, WERS), while I'm cooking (alt-country, chamber pop), while I'm cleaning (alt-rock, the Joint), while I'm reading (classical) while I'm helping the girls with their homework (Jazz), and while I'm walking the dog (anything goes).  On Monday, I dig deep into Spotify's playlist Discover Weekly, which is created by the Spotify magicians and is influenced by my personal profile.  For a very brief moment I am almost stupidly excited when I wake up on Monday.  Very brief.  At the end of the week, I get ridiculously fired up for New Music Friday, also the work of Spotify deejays.  I've been known to Shazam (is that an official verb yet?) songs in some pretty random places (a bus ride to an XC meet, the movie theatre, a restaurant, a baseball game).  Because if there's something playing and I like what I'm hearing I want to know it is.  I want to listen to it again.  And then I want to share it.  Just yesterday I stopped a gentleman in the parking lot at the YMCA who was driving out and asked him what he was listening to.  It was One In A Million by Da'Ville, in case you are wondering.  I suppose, in some ways, music is like a drug for me.  The more I listen, the more I want.  It gets me high, it mellows me out, it brings me joy and helps me get through pain.  Perhaps I depend on it to much.  But, the cool thing is, it's harmless, it's legal and it's available to everyone.  And I am more than happy to share, which is also legit.  When I race, my music plays multiple roles.  It motivates me, it distracts me, it calms me down, it makes me smile, and it makes me feisty.  A good song will help me take charge, dig in, and bring it home.  Some put on a uniform to head into battle.  Me?  I put on music.  My next major battle is this Sunday in LA.  Here's what I will be listening to.  ROCK. ON.

 RWM LA MARATHON PLAYLIST

Note: Photos up top of me dancing were taken by my daughter Rosie, who was embarrassed but agreed to do it anyway.

Monday, February 1, 2016

GRATEFUL

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” 
~ John F. Kennedy


In regards to running, I have never felt more loved and supported by my friends, family, teammates and fellow runners than I have over the past four months.  I am not a professional athlete.  I do not get paid to compete.  I spend an insane amount of time training for the sole purpose of self improvement.  Well, that's not totally true.  My running life does have a big impact on many other elements of my "regular" life...my role as a parent, my job as a coach and all of my various other passions, including this blog.  In running, as in life, I am continuously setting goals, pushing myself to the achieve them, celebrating the victories, accepting the defeats, learning from them and then re-setting the bar and starting all over again.  After my last marathon, which I ran back in October, I made the conscious and somewhat scary decision to push on with my training instead of taking a much needed break.  I surprised myself with my performance and pulled off something that I never dreamed I was capable of.  Not that I didn't do the work.  I did.  I just didn't really believe.  And now?  Well, now I do.  Not to sound cliché, but I truly feel that anything is possible if you want it badly enough and you're willing to put the time and effort in.  So, I forged on.  Within weeks I was ramping up the mileage and intensity of my workouts.  Everything was longer, significantly more difficult and a hell of a lot more time consuming.  It has honestly been one of the most challenging times in my life, both physically and mentally.  Because not only do I have to train, but I have to make time for all the other things that have to get done....work, laundry, grocery shopping, helping with my kids' homework (fractions, ugh!), driving my girls to all their various activities, walking the dog....no need to continue.  You get it and you probably do it all do it, too.  It's life.  I'm not expecting a medal.  Because, in the end, it's my choice.  But, meshing my 'regular' and 'running' worlds together and making it all work over the past four months has been, well, let's just say, tricky.  And without my family, my friends and all of those I'm connected to through running, it would have been a shit-ton harder.  Basically, I've been living, eating, breathing running and my family has not only been okay with it but, most of the time, they've been willing to work with it and/or around it.  For example, my husband, bless him, has gotten up every morning to make me a smoothie before I hit the road.  He's been up for cooking and eating meals that are ideal for my training needs, no questions asked.  He no longer rolls his eyes when I tell him I'm going to bed at 8:30pm, which has been happening more often than not these past few weeks.  My girls, Rosie and Grace, have been willing to get up 15-30 minutes before their usual wake up time on my long run days so I can get them to school for early drop off and thus get going sooner; often giving me a good luck or a high five to boot.  My friends, especially my running partner, Kirsten, my fellow coaches, my teammates (Oiselle, SISU, Loopsters) my high school athletes, all of whom I'm not seeing or talking to nearly as much as I'd like, have been consistenly checking in, asking me things like how it's going, how are you feeling, how's your body holding up while also reminding me that I can do it, that it's worth it, and that I'm almost there.  Their genuine interest and compassion in this area of my life has meant the world to me.  One can only talk about running so much, which, evidently, is a lot.  If they're sick of it, which they have every right to be, they're getting damn good at hiding it!  My coach, Lowell Ladd of 2L Coaching, has gone out of his way to give me pep talks and advice on a weekly basis, always ready to provide the answer that I need, even if it's not really the answer that I want.  His support alone is a huge reason that I've made it through this insane training cycle.  As of today, I've run 772.9 miles since my last marathon and the guys over at SKECHERS PERFORMANCE, particularly my good friend Dave A., have gone above and beyond to make sure I always have the shoes I need to be successful.  Barring any issues, I will be on the line in LA in less than two weeks.  I'm nervous.  I'm a little scared.  But, I'm also really fired up.  I've done the work.  Anything is possible.  And no matter what the outcome, having this huge crew of awesome people behind me for the past four months has been amazing and invaluable.  To all of them I want to say thanks.  I will be forever grateful.


Listen to this:
Anxious Animal - Syvia

*Note: Top photo, clockwise from upper left: My daughter, Grace, at morning drop off, post-run w/ Kirsten, my daughter, Rosie, ready to rock, post-race w/ Coach Lowell, post-race w/ my husband, Jeff, post-race with Dave A. of SKECHERS.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

RWM DAILY SONGS:2016

“Music produces a kind of pleasure which human nature cannot do without.” 
~ Confucius, The Book of Rites

*Scroll down to view and listen to this playlist w/ Spotify

Anxious Animal - Syvia

Unstoppable - SIA

Let's Dance - David Bowie (The Penelopes Remix)

Keep on Dancing - We Are The City

1000 FORMS OF FEAR - SIA - JANUARY ALBUM

HOW HARD I TRY - FILOUS - JANUARY SONG


RWM DAILY SONGS 2016
Listen. Like. Share. Repeat. Rock on.

Monday, January 25, 2016

MONSTER MONTH:A TOP 10 LIST


As most of you know, a typical marathon training cycle is about four months long.  If you've been reading this blog lately, you also know that I'm gearing up to run the LA Marathon in February.  Thus, in regards to training, January has been my biggest month to tackle - aka my MONSTER MONTH.  And, because I have some pretty lofty goals for both this race and this year in general, this particular MONSTER MONTH has been significantly more intense than any of the other biggies from my past 12 rodeos.  Ferocious, really.  Very high mileage, lots of really hard workouts, and several days of double sessions.  Here's a look at last week's schedule so you get a sense of what I'm talking about:
MONDAY - 1/18

22 miles - long run
TUESDAY - 1/19
6 miles - recovery
WEDNESDAY - 1/20
AM Run - 8 miles
PM Run - 6 miles
THURSDAY - 1/21
AM RUN - Tempo, 10 miles total
2 miles warmup, 4 miles @ 6:55, 3 miles @6:35, 1 mile cool down
PM RUN - 6 miles recovery
FRIDAY - 1/22
AM Run - 8 miles
PM Run - 6 mile
SATURDAY - 1/23
6 miles - recovery
TOTAL MILES:78
Most would look at this and think I'm completely nuts.  I often do the same.  There is no one making me do the work.  I just have this crazy desire to see how far I can take my running this year.  And my coach is completely behind me.  So, by choice, I'm lacing up 6 days a week and pushing myself farther than I ever thought I could go with the hope that something magical will happen in LA, and if not there, than perhaps later this year.  Regardless of the fact that this particular cycle is a beast and a half, all of my MONSTER MONTHS tend to chew me up and spit me out in time for the taper.  My husband, my friends, even my kids know when the MONSTER weeks have begun.  The only one who tends to benefit is my dog who gets more running in than she could ever imagine.  Everyone else either feels sorry for me, gets annoyed with me, or simply avoids me all together; all three of being totally understandable.  Over these past few weeks, I've given myself a good chuckle as I've thought about all the tell tale signs that I have officially entered my MONSTER MONTH.  Here's a few that I thought were worth sharing, if not to laugh with me, than certainly to laugh at me.  Go big or go home.  Grrrrrr.

TOP 10 SIGNS THAT YOU'VE ENTERED MONSTER MONTH 
OF MARATHON TRAINING

"I GOT THIS"

1. You go to bed before your 3rd grader every night.
2. You've read the same 3 lines of your book for the past month.
3. You carry food with you everywhere you go - your bag, your car, your jacket pockets.
4. You have no idea what day it is, just whether you have a long run, workout or recovery run.
5. You only wear running shoes because you can't bear to put anything else on your feet.
6. It's virtually impossible to get out of the shower, especially after a long run.
7. Your caffeine intake has increased substantially.
8. You do laundry every other day.  But you rarely use the dryer. 
9. You pray to the weather Gods every single night.
10. You cry tears of joy on your rest day.

Listen to this:
Unstoppable - SIA