Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Finish Line

For this last entry of 2011, I simply want to say "thank you";  to the readers who support 'Running With Music', to the musicians for continuously putting out music that moves us and to my family and friends who give me so much inspiration when I write and when I run. Happy New Year to all of you.  

Listen to this:
The Finish Line - Fanfarlo  Finish Line - Reservoir

Friday, December 23, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick & Holiday Bonus

From FXMarkey.  He had so many suggestions that it warrants a little list.  Check it twice because there is some good stuff on there.  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to these:
Run - Gnarles Barkley    Run (I'm a Natural Disaster) - The Odd Couple
Slow Show - The National    Slow Show - Boxer
Wolf Like Me - TV on the Radio   Wolf Like Me - Return to Cookie Mountain
Dare - Gorrillaz   Dare - Demon Days
Comfort Eagle (the album) - Cake Comfort Eagle - Cake

Legend of the Christmas 5K - from the RUN THE EDGE blog.
The humor is amazing and the message at the end so true.  Worth a read when you have the time.  

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

A Basic Need

My four year old has woken up at least a dozen mornings since Thanksgiving and asked me why Santa didn't come.  I have tried several times to explain to her that even though the tree and lights are up, we have to wait until the end of the month for Santa's visit.  To help with this, we have not one, but two advent calendars where we're either flipping the windows open or put ornaments on a felt tree for twenty five days.  Unfortunately for her, day after day she's still not understanding why Christmas is not happening 'tomorrow'.  At this point, time for her is simply pre-Santa and post-Santa with our visit to nana and papa this week getting an honorable mention.  Yesterday, she let me know that she had added something to her list.  "Really", I asked?  "And what was that exactly?"  She told me it involved Dora but that Santa would know the rest.  I'm still working on this one.  Have I mentioned how much I need running lately?

Listen to this:
Gold on the Ceiling - The Black Keys  Gold On the Ceiling - El Camino

Monday, December 19, 2011

Morning cont.

I recently mentioned that, rather than complain about having to run early in the morning throughout the winter, I'm going to try to embrace all that it has to offer.  It's nice to get a run in before most people wake up because it gives me that extra time to tackle the rest of my day.  It's also a treat to get to have a big breakfast and several cups of coffee knowing that I don't have to worry about running afterward.  I have to remind myself that these small bonuses do make it worth getting up early to run as they help me get past the fact that I don't have really have a choice.  So, a little before 6:00 on Saturday morning I headed out the door with my dog, Lucy, who was wide awake and thrilled that she was going with me.  I decided not to take my iPod since it was still dark and I felt I should try to be alert.  For someone who is driven by music on the road, it was not easy for me to leave it behind.  At first, it felt oddly quiet but I soon became aware of Lucy's breathing which was steady and in time with mine.  Then, gradually I became aware of the simple sounds of early morning.  It was me, Lucy, a snow plow, and all the various nocturnal animals who had not yet turned in.  It was oddly thrilling. There was a groove out there that morning; it was different, but it was my own.  Do I dare say I'm looking forward to next Saturday?

Listen to this:
A Million Years - Alexander  A Million Years - Alexander
From Now On - The Features

Friday, December 16, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From 'Treadmill Warrior'.  If this doesn't make you run faster, I don't know what will.  Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
Chateau - Rob Dougan  Chateau - The Matrix Reloaded: The Album

Thursday, December 15, 2011

When It's Good to Have a Running Partner

Yesterday, I came down with a stomach bug in the afternoon which totally knocked me out for the rest of the day.  I had tickets to see Graffiti6, a fantastic alternative, funk band, for that night but I couldn't muster up the energy to make it happen.  I called my running partner, who was planning to go with me, and told her that not only was I bailing on the show, but that I was probably not going to meet her on Thursday for our workout, as we had discussed.  She understood on both counts.  I went to bed at 8:30 and hoped that whatever had gotten to me would be over by the next day.  When I woke up on this morning I felt pretty wiped, but otherwise, totally fine.  I had planned to take the day off, but after I dropped my kids at school, I decided I could use an easy run to help purge whatever had hit me the day before.  I checked in with my running partner before I headed out.  Here is how it played out:

RT: I think I might go to the Y and jump on the treadmill for an easy 4 and some stretching.  That's about all I have the energy for today.  What are you thinking?
KH: Well, I have my son home from school today and I'm feeling a little burnt out, so I might just take today off.  Plus, I don't think I can motivate to get us out the door in the next 10 minutes.
RT: Cool.  So, I will catch up with you tomorrow?
- at this point, I realize I have forgotten my iPod and decide to turn around.  No, I can't run without it, especially on a treadmill.
KH: So, are you already at the Y?
RT: Nope, I just turned around to get my iPod and I'm leaving home now.
KH: Hmmm.  Ok.  I think we can make it happen over here. We'll get out stuff together and meet you there for an easy workout.  Save me a treadmill.
RT: Sounds good.
- 10 minutes later we're on the treadmill, warming up.
KH: So, you're doing 3-4 easy?
RT: That was my plan, why? What are you thinking?
KH: Well, I was going to take it easy, but now that I'm here, I'm kind of fired up to try and do our original workout, so I think I might go for it. (she's smirking now)
RT: Crap.  Really? (eye roll)  Ok.  Maybe I'll give it a shot, too.  I think I might be able to pull it off.

And then we shifted gears and we were off.  Headphones on and rocking out, we ended up running together at various speeds for a total of 7 miles, pushing each other throughout the workout.  I ended up finding a hidden stash of energy that I didn't know I had.  It was a very satisfying run and I would not have even attempted it had I not had her there with me.  Halfway through the run, she looked at me and said, "this is when it's good to have a running partner." I could not have agreed more.  

Listen to this:
The Bones of You - Elbow   The Bones of You - The Seldom Seen Kid

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

The Morning Warrior

There are so many runners who get up early and brave the elements on a daily basis.  I'm in awe of this group and I applaud them for their drive.  As I've mentioned, I rarely head out for a run until I've had a cup of coffee and some time to wake my legs up a bit.  It wasn't always this way.  I used to be able to jump up any time and hit the road with no added fuel and still half asleep.  But, I am 36, I have 2 kids, and I'm way more tired than I used to be, so this is just the way it is now.  Throughout the winter, due to a shift in our family's schedule, I no longer have the luxury to run when it works for me on the week-end.  I have no choice but to get up early on Saturday morning and get out there before the day starts.  This shift in routine is extremely difficult and often slightly painful.  Here's the's 6:00 AM, it's pitch black out and it's a balmy 11 degrees.  Motivation level, zero.  And yet, it has to be done.  So, I roll out of bed, get dressed in 5 layers of fleece and microfiber, and set out, slowly and rather unsurely.  For these runs there is typically no one else on the road, so it's just me and my music.  Here's when the singing and, yes, dancing are helpful tools and totally acceptable.  I might be dragging and ridiculously cold, but I am free to do whatever it takes to make this a run worth getting up for.  So, this winter I will attempt to embrace the morning, savor the freedom, and remind myself every Saturday that it can be done.  For four months only, I will join the morning warriors.  Oh boy!

Listen to this:
Born With A Broken Heart - David Wax Museum   Born With a Broken Heart - Everything Is Saved

* For Jackie R. who gets up at 3:00 am to get his run in.

Monday, December 12, 2011

When In Doubt, Do

In October, my teammate and I ran a 5K in Plymouth, MA.  It was hot, humid, and the course was hilly.  Let's just say conditions were not ideal for a personal record.  At the end of the race we were both a bit frustrated with the outcome.  We were determined to run one more 5K before the end of the year with hopes of getting better weather, a flatter course, and ideally, with those factors working in our favor, a faster time.  So, we went ahead and signed up for a race on a Sunday morning in December not thinking, at the time, about the fact that this would be during the holiday season which typically goes hand in hand with late night festivities.  This past Saturday afternoon, my teammate saw my husband and told him that she was likely to bail on our race, which was the following Sunday, because she was so tired and wasn't feeling up for it.  I talked to her later that evening and we decided that, despite the fact that we were both low on energy and going out again that night, we would go ahead and run and just treat the race like a regular workout.  We decided we would attempt to have fun and try not to worry about the results.  When I got home at midnight, I looked to see if she had texted me with a change of heart, which we both said we might do, but there was no message, so we were still on.  I picked her up on Sunday morning and though we were both fully committed by now, we were both pretty wiped out and neither of us had high expectations.  At the starting line, we smiled, high-fived, laughed a bit and off we went.  I'm guessing that something about our approach to this race released some of the pressure that we tend to put on ourselves and set us free to run just for the hell of it.  We both finished with faster times than we've had all season, feeling totally elated and stronger than ever.  It was truly amazing.  Chances of this happening for even one of us that morning were slim to none, but you just never know.  It's normal to question whether it's worth doing something when there are so many variables that lead us to believe it might not fall into place that way we want it to.  My new philosophy in this case - when in doubt, do.

As a side note to this story, my teammate decided to listen to her iPod during the race, something she doesn't normally do.  Afterwords, she mentioned that the music helped her out and that it will likely be something she adds to her routine from now on.  She specifically said, "I loved listening to the cheesy, pop songs when I was running because they made me smile and that made me go faster."  Amen to that.

Listen to this:
Walking On A Dream - Empire of the Sun  Walking On a Dream - Walking On a Dream

and in honor of Team Bacon:
Ain't Nothing Wrong With That - Robert Randolph & the Family Band Ain't Nothing Wrong With That - Colorblind (Deluxe Version)

Saturday, December 10, 2011

99 Cents

Ahhh...Saturdays.  They are such a treat.  No pressure to get my kids up and out the door to school.  Plenty of time to have one and maybe 2 cups of coffee before I even think about running or whatever else I have to do.  Lately, I've been adding a little bit of excitement to each Saturday run by purchasing a song on iTunes that I may have heard over the last couple days that I know will get me going.  Not only does this get me fired up to hit the road, but it puts that extra skip in my step as I get started.  I find myself playing it a couple times to explore the sound and then forgetting completely about how cold it might be or how tired my legs are; at least for the first mile or two.  All of that for just 99 cents.  Such a bargain.

Listen to this:
Miike Snow - Black & Blue   Black & Blue - Miike Snow

Friday, December 9, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Wendy B.  She claims she listens to "weird, old stuff."  Works for me.   Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
The High Road - The Feelies     The High Road - The Good Earth
Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins    Cherub Rock - Smashing Pumpkins: Greatest Hits

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

The Old 'New'

I am constantly on the hunt for new music.  There is nothing better than finding an artist or album that I like and taking the time to explore their sound or it's story, respectively.  That said, every once in a while it's good to pull out something from the past; to listen to the artists that helped influence much of what we listen to today.  I can't deny that much of my love for music is rooted in many of the albums that I discovered throughout my tragic years of junior high.  My husband (who also has a passion for music) recently suggested that we sit back and listen to U2's Joshua Tree, which was released in 1987, from start to finish.  As each song played, we talked about where we were when the album came out, the memories that certain songs brought to mind and how we shared the experience with our friends at the time.  For both of us, this album had such a strong influence during a time in our lives when music had a huge impact.  I was totally blown away by how moved I still am by this album.  Without the work of artists like these, we wouldn't have the work of the new artists that we're listening to today.  Next time you're scrolling through your music library, consider taking some time to rediscover an old album.  Enjoy the old 'new'.

Listen to this:
Exit - U2 (Joshua Tree)  Exit - The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered]

and if you have the time, listen to this, too:
One Tree Hill - U2 (Joshua Tree)  One Tree Hill - The Joshua Tree (Deluxe Edition) [Remastered]

Monday, December 5, 2011

Look Up

On Saturday I went for a run in Franconia, NH.  This was my first of many runs that I will do up there this winter.  Despite the fact that it was chilly, it was a crisp, sunny afternoon and unlike last year, there wasn't any snow on the ground yet.  I have a love/hate relationship with the running up in NH.  It is almost impossible to find a run in this particular area that doesn't include several long, often steep, rolling hills.  While I know these make me stronger, they are not my favorite.  Unfortunately, I do not have a choice, so I  complain about it once or twice at the start of the season and then I try and accept it for what it is.  I find myself "tackling" these runs.  I grab my ipod, turn up the volume and zone out.  When I get to the first hill, I usually tuck my head down, lean forward and trudge up while trying not to think about it too much.  When I get to the top, I tend to quickly shift gears and enjoy the easy cruise down the other side.  This is how it goes for most of the run.  On Saturday, I happened to look up and to my left when I got to the top of Sunset Hill Road.  I did a double take and then I paused my music and stopped completely. I had to take a minute to stare at this incredible view of the mountains with the sun behind them.  It was surreal.  If I hadn't looked up for that random moment, I would have missed this small treat that the run provided.  What a shame that would have been.  This was another one of the moments when I realized how much more running has to offer.  Don't forget to look up.

Listen to this:
Stay Gold - The Big Pink   Stay Gold - Stay Gold - Single

Friday, December 2, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Dina H. (my live music partner).  Oh, how we miss you!  Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
When I'm Small - Phantogram  When I'm Small - Eyelid Movies (Bonus Track Version)

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Free Therapy

The holidays are wonderful.  They can also be extremely stressful.  I feel like I get about a day to digest after Thanksgiving and then "it's on".  While I love every part of this festive season, I often start to unravel very quickly due to all the chaos.  My kids, in particular, start to sense the excitement as the countdown to Christmas begins.  Bedtime starts to extend into the later hours of the evening until it's virtually impossible to get them to sleep without bribing them.  Then there are the gifts and the ever present need to be creative.  Last year, the only thing my four year old wanted from Santa was a rainbow.  That was a little tricky.  There are also the family logistics to figure out.  While it's important to make it work, getting to see everyone around the holidays can be difficult.  Basically, there are times when it gets so overwhelming I could use a little therapy in some way, shape or form. For me, and so many others, this is when a run is such an incredible tool.  It's amazing how helpful it can be to hit the road with a friend to discuss or not discuss how to make it all happen while maintaining holiday cheer.  On the other hand, after leaving Target having broken out in a sweat in the toy aisle, going out for a solo run can be an effective way to calm the nerves and drown out some of the noise.  In either  case, the miles often tend to fly by and the problems start to seem a bit smaller.  In this case, the mental release is the focus and the exercise element is just an afterthought.  The Doctor is in.

Listen to this:
The King And All of His Men - Wolf Gang   The King and All of His Men - The King and All of His Men - Single

Monday, November 28, 2011

Just For Fun

Last Thursday morning, my husband and I drove over to Oak Bluffs, a town on Martha's Vineyard, for their annual Thanksgiving day 'fun run'.  We showed up and for a moment thought maybe it wasn't happening, but then we saw a handful of people heading into the local police station.  It was windy and a little chilly, and we quickly realized why no one wanted to stand around outside.  We signed the forms and headed inside to get our numbers.  The woman at the table handed them over in addition to the ribbons we (along with all the other runners) would be receiving at the end of the race.  She told us she had decided to reward us with them ahead of time so she could avoid standing out in the cold all morning.  Made sense.  At first, it was looking like maybe only twenty of us were going to run, but slowly, several other groups began to trickle in.  I heard someone ask, "is there a clock for this race?" to which the race organizer answered, "there is if you are wearing a watch."  That got a lot of laughs.  It was getting close to the start and everyone started to gather.  The organizer stood in front of us, smiling and very excited.  He mentioned that this race, which started not many years ago, helps to raise money for the elderly in need who live on the island.  He said that we were just out there to "have fun" and there would be no official clock, that it wasn't an official course, there were no mile markers, and that there were no prizes at the end.  He did let us know that we could all join him for a swim in the ocean after the race if we were interested.  As someone who races often, part of me was wondering what the he-- I was doing there when I could have run 3.1 miles in my own neighborhood.  But that wasn't the point.  I looked around in awe as I realized that 250 of us, a record number of participants, came out to support this great cause and there was absolutely nothing in it for any of us other than some exercise and a good time.  "It's a fun run, people" he said, "and that's all we're out here to do."  That was the point.

Listen to this:
Dropped - Phantom Planet   Dropped - Raise the Dead (Bonus Track Version)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

A Gem

It's late November and I'm with my family on an island in MA.  Typical weather for this time of year here is cold, windy and bitter.  I step outside this morning to go get a cup of coffee and the sun is beaming down on my face.  The temperature gauge in my car says 50 degrees.  What?  I walk toward the coffee shop and see a guy sitting outside on a bench with his dog wearing a huge grin.  "Flip flops?" I ask, because this might be pushing it a little.  He laughs, "on a day like today, I have no choice.  This might be my last chance."  I wasn't planning on running today but how can I possibly resist?  It's just too good to be true.  By the time I hit the road it's at least 10 degrees warmer and I'm sporting shorts and a t-shirt.  I am giddy.  I gotta believe no matter what kind of runner you happen to be, or even if you're not one, on a day like today, if you choose to go out, you're going to rock it.  A day like this is so rare and such a treat.  Or, as my brother-in-law said today, "it is a gem".  Enjoy!

Listen to this:
Sleigh Bells - Treats (the album)  Treats - Sleigh Bells
(Note: since I missed Reader's Pick yesterday, I'm posting an entire album by a band that a friend of mine recently told me he loves.  There's not a song on this one that isn't perfect for running.  Thanks Craig.)

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Share the Love

Every year my immediate family comes together for the Thanksgiving holiday.  We get to see each other quite a bit in the summer, but then we go long gaps without visiting and rely heavily on the phone and email.  We arrived at my parents house yesterday amid the typical chaos: several hugs and kisses,  kids running around and screaming within minutes, and unpacking the car to dig out items that we'd brought for birthdays that had passed since summer.  When the dust finally started to settle my sister looked at me and said, "I have some great new running songs for you".  I smiled.  Courtney and I do not have a lot in common.  She's four years older than me and that age difference often made it tricky for us to relate to each other when we were growing up.  Today, yoga is her passion and she loathes running.  For me yoga is ridiculously hard and I love to run.  She's an amazing cook and I couldn't do it if my life depended on it.  She's very fashion forward while I shop at the gap and my favorite purchase is a nice pair of sneakers or a cool t-shirt.  But the one thing we do share is a love for music.  I will often get a text from her that says, "Listen to this song. It will blow you away" or "Go buy this album immediately."  Often one of us will get so fired up about an artist that it warrants stopping everything and making a phone call to discuss.  I can always get her to come see live music with me if I give her enough time to figure out the logistics to get to Boston.  What we love the most, though, is just sitting down after dinner with a glass of wine and trading new songs and bands, talking about them, breaking them down, and often, purchasing them on iTunes, which can get a bit dangerous if the night goes on too late.   There have been years in the past where we've had trouble connecting due to our differences but our passion for music has always remained constant and lately has grown into something that we both really value.  I realize how lucky we are to have this one thing that we like to share with each other.  We are close in other ways, but mostly, we are grounded with this love of music and without it, our relationship might be totally different and not nearly as fun.

Listen to this:
They Done Wrong : We Done Wrong - White Rabbits   They Done Wrong : We Done Wrong - It's Frightening

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The "Turkey Trot"

Thanksgiving is a mere 2 days away.  Whether you celebrate this holiday or not, there is a 5K race in almost every city across the country on Thanksgiving day or over the holiday week-end.  "Turkey" and "trot" do go so well together, right?  People sign up for these races more often than others because they are easily accessible and can be a lot of fun.  They tend to be casual and accepting of all types of runners, sometimes even strollers and bikes for kids.  They usually end with a party of some sort with good food, hot coffee or cold beer.  If you're lucky, you might even get to hear some live, local music.  What's not to like?  I, personally, don't need a good excuse to get out there, but I can think of several such as, it can be fun to do with your family, or it will get you out of the house for a few hours when you need a break from your family, or it can help you justify a very large turkey dinner, need I go on?  Whether you are a runner or not, why not try it this year?

Listen to this:
Lazy Eye - Silversun Pickups  Lazy Eye - Carnavas

Sunday, November 20, 2011

The Unexpected

It happens often.  I wake up planning to go for a run.  But maybe this particular day, I'm battling a cold, or perhaps I overindulged the night before, or even more likely, I'm just totally exhausted from whatever I have been juggling over the past few days.  Whatever the case, mentally motivating, not only to get out there, but even to say, I'm going to get out there, can be extremely challenging.  It feels as though my running shoes are sitting there staring at me and so I'm trying to avoid them each time I walk by.  As odd as it sounds, these runs often turn out to be the best ones.  For me, nine times out of ten, when I head out the door expecting the worst, my head and legs decide that the release of energy and endorphins from this run are exactly what I need.  As I start off, I'm willing to accept the fact that I'll be trudging along at a snail's pace and then something happens.  I suddenly feel light on my feet and capable of so much more than I had planned.  And for this particular run, all of the sudden, I feel really good which is totally unexpected.  You just never know.  I love that.

Listen to this:
Cracks (featuring Belle Humble) [Flux Pavilion Remix] - Freestylers  Cracks (feat. Belle Humble) [Flux Pavilion Remix] - Cracks - EP

Friday, November 18, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From R.A.  "It starts out slow, once it gets pumping it's all good!"  She tells me she likes to listen to this one on repeat.   Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
Lose Yourself - Eminem  Lose Yourself - 8 Mile (Soundtrack from the Motion Picture)

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Run With It, Listen to It, Wear It!

Running With Music t-shirts are now available for purchase.  Made by Next Level,  lightweight 100% preshrunk cotton jersey.  Ladies size M (0-4) and L (6-10).  Or, men's size "tight" if you're up for wearing a purple shirt.  Seriously, if enough guys are interested I'll order men's sizes, so please let me know.  Price is $20 (includes shipping and handling).  Model, Kirsten, is wearing a ladies M.  **email to place an order.

**email to place an order.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Make A Statement

Over the past 6 weeks I have been working on changing my running form so that I strike the ground mid-foot as opposed to landing on my heel, which is how I've always run along with about 80% of the population.  This has been incredibly challenging and very frustrating as it slows me down and gives me an additional variable to focus on during my run.  That said, research shows that runners who strike mid-foot tend to end up with less injuries than those who strike on their heel.  I have had several injuries over the years, so I'm willing to make the effort if this is truly the case.  To support my effort, I decided to try out a new pair of "minimal" running shoes; straying from the fit and style I have worn every year since college.  When I purchased them, I decided to go all out and get the neon turquoise and yellow version rather than my usual white with a splash of color.  I'm not going to lie, when I put them on this morning, I felt like superhero. They are totally wild and I wasn't sure I could pull them off, but I went for it.  From a fashion standpoint, the shoes are one of the few things a runner gets to play with.  Let me sum up the various comments that I received throughout the day:

"Wow, those are awesome!" - from my daughter, Rosie
"Whoa, look at Mrs. Trachsel's shoes" - from a mom at rosie's school who was pointing out my shoes to her daughter
"Oh my, those shoes remind me of the Reeboks my gym teacher used to wear in the 80s" - another mom at school
"Nice, those are cool. I like 'em"- from Kirsten, my running partner
"Yo. Do they make those shoes in the same colors for men?" - from a total stranger yelling across the street at me in downtown Winchester

Ok, I can appreciate the fact that by wearing these shoes I'm standing out more than usual.  And I know that there was some sarcasm in a few of these comments.  But, you know what...why not make a statement?  I'm a runner.  Check out my freakin' bad-- shoes.

Listen to this:
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People (I couldn't resist)  Pumped Up Kicks - Torches

Monday, November 14, 2011

The Fun of It

Yesterday, my seven year old daughter, Rosie, asked me if we could go for a run.  She's never suggested this and typically she gets tired after about a half a mile walk, so I did not take her very seriously.  I suggested she ride her scooter and I'd walk beside her into town.  But, that's not what she meant.  "I want to go for a run, like you do - a real run."  So, this was different.  I decided to roll with it.  We both got our sneakers on and some running clothes; a collared shirt and velour pants for her, but hey, whatever works.  Then we were off.  After about 3 minutes, I looked over and she had this fantastic ear to ear grin.  She was bouncing up and down, looking behind her, looking at me, taking it all in.  Then, she said, "mom, I'm liking this."  We took 2 breaks to walk a bit, but made it into town with no complaints, running and chatting the whole way.  I could feel the pride she was exuding.  We then decided to have lunch, not something I normally would do when I am halfway through a run, but she is seven and my rules don't apply.  At this point, I assumed she'd want to walk home or hop in the stroller that my husband had brought down with my four year old, but not a chance.  She was running back.  We made it into a race with the others and she laughed and waved back to them all the way up a half mile hill and back to our neighborhood.  This run was such an amazing one for so many reasons.  First, I had such an incredible bonding moment with my daughter.  This was unlike anything we've done together.  She knows running is something I love and she wanted to feel it and understand it, and share it with me, which was so awesome.   But, more importantly, I noticed this: she was having so much fun, she didn't focus for a second on how hard she was working.  And this pretty much sums up what I love about running.  I know running is work and it's always really hard and for some, it's a lot of other things, both good and bad.  But, for me, and clearly for Rosie, it's so much fun the rest doesn't seem to matter.

Listen to this:
Wired - I Break Horses  Wired - Hearts

Friday, November 11, 2011

Truth & Salvage Co. Contest Winner

Congrats to Richarda Ericson, the winner of Running With Music's first reader's contest.   Ric and I used to rock out together in our dorm room at Colgate University which makes the win that much sweeter.  She'll be getting the Truth & Salvage Co. t-shirt and CD, compliments of the band.  Hope you enjoy it, Ric!
Thanks again to the band and to everyone who entered.

Come join us for the show tomorrow night at the Brighton Music Hall if you are in the Boston area.

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Joe H.  One of his "old-time favorites".  Thanks for sharing.

Listen to this:
If I Can't Change Your Mind - Sugar  If I Can't Change Your Mind - Copper Blue

** Note: Stay tuned.  Truth & Salvage contest winner announced tonight.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What Will Make Me Better?

What's going to make me a better runner?  Several of the athletes on the cross country team that I coach ask this question on a weekly basis.  Should I eat differently?  Should I sleep more?  Should I run more miles?  Should I do more speed work?  How do I get myself up to that next level?  The answer to this one is simple, really.  You are already doing it.  Just by asking yourself the question and giving thought to the answer, you're on your way.  And beyond the stats, the fitness level and the nutrition, and all the other variables is the attitude.  Without a good attitude, there is no reason to put an effort into rest of it.  You might not run a faster time each with each race, but your mind will be stronger and you will want it more and eventually, this will get you there in more ways than one.  If you want to be better, you will.  And it's your attitude that will be behind it all.  All of the girls on my team show up every day with a smile on their face.  So, they're already halfway there.  Now, I'm trying to do the a coach, as a runner and as a person.  Practice what you preach, right?

Listen to this:
Steve McQueen - M83 Steve McQueen - Hurry Up, We're Dreaming.

Sunday, November 6, 2011


A huge congratulations to all the NYC Marathon runners who finished today.  Most of us know how much time and energy go into training for a marathon.  It is a huge commitment both physically and mentally.  To run 26.2 miles in accomplishment unlike any other.  As a runner and a music lover, I particularly liked this quote from Molly Pritz, today's first US woman to cross the finish line, when asked about whether she was worried if she'd be out there running on her own.

"I really don't care if I'm in a group or not. I've trained to run my own pace, and that's what I plan to do. I've got a bunch of secret songs I'll hum to myself to maintain my pace. I have a different one for each of my different paces. I just hum the chorus lines over and over."  

This statement reaffirms my feeling that music will always carry us when we need it.  And that is so cool.

Listen to this:
Lions in Cages - Wolf Gang   Lions In Cages - Wolf Gang - EP

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Aimee B.  Turn the volume up on this one.  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to this:
Do-Wah-Doo - Kate Nash  Do-Wah-Doo - My Best Friend Is You

Thursday, November 3, 2011


This morning I ran into a friend as I was dropping off my girls at school.  She asked me if I was about to go running and told me how envious she was of me that I could muster up the energy to get out there.  I asked her what she meant.  She said, "I want to go running.  I tell myself all the time that I'm going to make it happen.  I buy the shorts and the shoes and I get it in my head that I'm ready.  But, then, I don't do it.  I just can't seem to get over the hump."  Admittedly, I'm not an expert on motivation and there are always days when I can barely get out there myself, but what I did tell her is that "the hump" doesn't have to be so big.  Why not make it a bit smaller and easier to get over?  Eliminate the "but" and just say "i want to".  Then make the goal something that is attainable.  3 miles instead of 5.  1 mile instead of 3.  A long walk instead of nothing.  And then try it again. And keep trying until you do it.  And, when you're ready, raise the hump.  "Ok", she said.  "No more 'buts'".  And then we high-fived.

Listen to this:
Maps - The Yeah Yeah Yeahs  Maps - Fever to Tell

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Slow Down and Be Grateful

In November, the gears tend to shift a bit.  Daylight savings hits and throws me for a loop as the days grow shorter so quickly.  Then, the holiday decorations come out in full force and immediately stress me out as I start to think about how much I need to get done in the next couple months.  This month, I'm going to make every effort to slow things down...easier said, than done.  I'd really like to take this month to just be grateful.  For my family, my friends, my neighbors, my legs, my iPod...the list goes on and on.  Yes, I know the cheese factor is high, here.  But I need to remind myself of all of these things as the chaos starts to swirl.  This afternoon I listened as the girls I coach huddled at the starting line for their league meet.  One of them said to her teammates, "we love to run, and we love this team, so we should just be happy." And then they were off, and they were all smiling.  I am so grateful for that moment.

Listen to this:
Steady As She Goes - The Raconteurs   Steady As She Goes - Broken Boy Soldiers

Monday, October 31, 2011

A Thought On Fear

This quote made the hairs on the back of my neck stand up.  Though I do feel fear sometimes motivates us, more often than not, I feel it fear can hold us back.  On this day, we celebrate fear, but on most other days we try to avoid it.  Hmmm.

"Fear plays an interesting role in our lives.  How dare we let it motivate us.  How dare we let it into our decision making, into our livelihoods, into our relationships.  It's funny, isn't it?  We take a day a year to dress up in costume and celebrate fear."

~ as said by James Spader on 'The Office', 10/27/11

Listen to this:
Cannonball - The Breeders   Cannonball - Rhino Hi-Five: Modern Rock Blender - EP

        **************************** Happy Halloween! ******************************

Saturday, October 29, 2011

"I Used to Love This One"

As someone who is interested in music, I feel as though I'm pretty tapped into the current trends.  I realized today that this is not the case when it comes to pop/dance music.  I do tend to lean toward alternative picks when I make suggestions, but I must say, there is nothing like fighting my way up a hill or to a finish line with a song like 'Dynamite' by Taio Cruz  blasting in my ear.  I had heard a couple songs in the last week that I thought would be good ones for running and I played them for the girls' cross country team that I coach at the end of their practice this morning.  As we were stretching, I was hearing, "oh, I remember this, I used to love this one."  Ok, so, I'm a few months behind in the pop world, which might have something to do with my age.  However, these songs, even if they are "old", still got everybody fired up and I was seeing some head shaking and lip-synching as I looked around the circle.  I guess the bottom line is, songs like these are timeless and will never fail to shake up the scene.

Listen to this:
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - Rihanna   We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - Single
You Make Me Feel...(feat. Sabi) - Cobra Starship  You Make Me Feel... (feat. Sabi) - You Make Me Feel... (feat. Sabi) - Single

Friday, October 28, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Kirsten H.  Go Team Bacon.  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to this:
That's Not My Name - The Ting Tings  That's Not My Name - We Started Nothing

I like You So Much Better When You're Naked - Ida Maria  I Like You So Much Better When You're Naked - Fortress 'round My Heart

Thursday, October 27, 2011


I am still a bit beat down today, which means running is out of the question.  My only option is a walk with my dog in the rain.  Clearly this is not going to get my heart rate up it won't really fill the void, but it's all I've got so I'm rolling with it.  I grab my iPod and plug 'Vampire Weekend' into Pandora (an app that I'm sure most of you have, but for those of you who don't, it's fantastic).  I know this band never fails to put a kick in my step, even if it is just a walk.  Then, as we're cruising through the woods, songs start flowing out of Pandora that I've never heard of by bands like Sea Wolf, Ra Ra Riot, Cold War Kids, and so on.  So, I'm fired up.  Now, this walk that I was taking because I 'had to' has turned into a total music exploration.  On top of that, walking, instead of running, lets me focus a bit more on the song itself and gives me a different appreciation for the rhythm and melody.  Yes, I am a total dork.  But, today, I feel really lucky to have something else that inspires me as much as running.  So, I'm replacing "it's Friday" with "for music" and I'll leave it at that so I don't offend anyone.  T G F M.

Listen to this:
Boy - Ra Ra Riot   Boy - The Orchard (Bonus Version)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Run Down

Too often I take on more than I can handle.  For some reason I always find myself saying, "sure" when someone asks me to do something and saying "just go" to myself when I might not be up for going.  Lately, I tend to pack my days as full as possible as if I might win a prize for the amount of tasks I get done with a bonus for making it on time.  We all do it.  And to be fair, most of the things I'm running to are things I've chosen to do and that I love.  So, really, I can only blame myself.  But when I continue to pile things on my plate, on top of the every day things that need to happen, things begin to crack, or in my case, shut down.  You would think after all these years that I would have learned to pull back when I start to feel this wave of chaos coming on.  Running through bronchitis, not a good idea.  Taking a week off and starting fresh, better idea.  Thus, I will continue to remind myself whenever this pattern repeats itself that I don't like having to slow down any more than necessary.  Easy, right?

Listen to this:
Better - Regina Spektor   Better - Begin to Hope (Bonus Track Version)

Monday, October 24, 2011

"The Power of Buzz"

This morning I was listening to XM radio and heard a deejay say, "I believe in the power of buzz."  I thought about this one for a while.  The 'power of buzz' can apply to almost anything.  It could be the buzz I get from my first cup of coffee or perhaps it's the buzz I feel in my gut when I'm about to race or maybe it's the buzz I feel when I hear a song for the first time and I can't wait to play it for someone.  I could really take it in any direction.  I realize this was not necessarily the 'buzz' the deejay was describing, but it was working for me and I liked the way it sounded.  That said, what he's most likely talking about is also something that might be worth wrapping our heads around.  It's 'the buzz' that gets us excited, gets us talking and sharing and, as a result, gets other people buzzing.  It's how we learn about new music, new books, new technology and so much more.  What's the buzz, people ask, and how do we get more info?  It's a little piece of what makes each day unique and thrilling and helps to keep us guessing.  So, may you embrace the 'buzz', however you interpret it.

Listen to this:
Little Talks - Of Monsters & Men    Little Talks - Little Talks - Single

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Soulive & Lettuce

When I was young and spritely, just out of college and living in San Francisco, I used to see live music on a weekly basis.  I could even pull it off on a week night and make it to the office on time the next day.  I so often wonder how I did that?  I was reminded, last night, how a band could have such crazy energy and produce such an electric vibe that it is totally possible to lose track of time while also tapping into a hidden source of energy that I was not aware I had.  The night started with Soulive,  a jazz-funk trio that we've seen several times over the years and who never disappoint.  Soulive has this eery way of taking their listeners in one direction, steadily building up, creeping almost, shifting up to the next octave, and then, taking a 90 degree turn into something totally different that, oddly, fits together perfectly with the groove they originally started with.  It's mind-blowing, really.
You can imagine our surprise, then when Lettuce comes on stage, a funk group that we've never heard of made up of members of Soulive and an additional horn section; a "sideman supergoup" as described by iTunes.  These guys quickly and effortlessly took the evening to a whole new level.  They picked right up where Soulive left off, giving us a similar sound but something fresh that could only be produced with all the pieces of this new group.  The horns, alone, were worth the extra effort to stay out a bit longer.  There was almost a hectic vibe in the room at this point as the excitement level was growing totally insane.  It was truly an incredible thing to be a part of.  And, to my surprise, I made it until the lights came on.

Listen to this:
Up Right - Soulive   Up Right - Up Here

Speak E.Z. - Lettuce   Speak E.Z. - Rage!

Friday, October 21, 2011

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Matt J.  He sent me several, so I'm just randomly selecting two.  Will save the rest for later.  Enjoy!

Listen to this:
Airplanes - Local Natives   Airplanes - Gorilla Manor

Let's Go Surfing - The Drums  Let's Go Surfing - The Drums

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Carb Overload

For those of us who race, figuring out what to eat the week before an event, right up to the night before, is always a bit tricky.  I have had 3 conversations on this topic with fellow runners in the past week, so I figured I would share what I know.  According to sports nutritionist Monique Ryan, it is not possible to fill your muscles with glycogen from a single meal.  Carbo-loading should really start 2-3 days before the race as opposed to the night before.  About 90% of your calories should come from carbs alone during this period.  I find it's good to stick to simple foods like rice, pasta, oatmeal, bagels; foods that are high in carbs but NOT high in fiber.  My biggest meals before a race are breakfast and lunch on the day before the event.  I used to load up on carbs the night before which was really overloading as I would go to bed uncomfortably full with too much to digest.  Now, I opt for a smaller meal, early in the evening which helps me fall asleep easier and feel lighter in the morning.  So far, this formula seems to pay off for me.  Clearly, everyone has different theories and methods that work for them, so to each his/her own.  Happy eating.
To those of your who could care less about running and/or food, sorry I didn't grab your interest on this one.  Will try to hook you back in with today's song.

- Reference: Runner's World, November, 2011

Listen to this:
Hoop of Love - Dominant Legs   Hoop of Love - Invitation