Friday, June 29, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Prairie Athena, a long time runner who makes sure to stop and enjoy life whenever she can.  She claims this one is good for a nice easy run and it always makes her smile.  We all need more runs that are nice and easy, right?  Thanks for sharing!

Listen to this:
Teach Your Children - Jeff Healey  Teach Your Children Well - Songs From The Road

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Vacation (continued) - A Top Ten List

Top 10 Comments from Monday's Post - "A Vacation"

On Monday I wrote how I recently took a fall and bruised my ribs.  I complained a little (sorry).  I vented my frustration with not being able to run.  And I discussed the fact that I rarely take a true vacation from running.  If you want the detailed version feel free to click here.  There is nothing I love more than getting comments and suggestions from people who are reading my posts through the various channels.  The responses to this one were so good that I felt they deserved to be shared.  We've all done something that's prevented us from running (or for non-runners, doing whatever it is that we love to do).  Well, as it turns out, a lot of the comments below will apply to anyone who's been in this boat.  My personal favorite is number 10.  Thanks to everyone for taking the time to write. (my own comments in orange)

1. If he wasn't wearing Saucony's, I'd have said FIRE HIM. But, apparently he might know something. - Ok, I'll go with that.
2. Shit happens. - It does indeed.
3. My own list would have at the end, "have a beer or two" :-) - Very good addition.
4. Have compassion for yourself - I never do this but I should try.  Thanks JH.
5. It could have been worse - It absolutely could have.
6. I bet it won't take long for you to get right back into your rhythm.  - Probably (hopefully) right. Thanks, RE.
7. Go ride a bike with your kids instead.  - Great idea.  We did it this morning.
8. That's why I don't run.  - Well, that's not going to change for me but I appreciate the humor.
9. Try and enjoy your vacation from running and most importantly keep breathing (correctly)! - She's right, vacation should be enjoyed.  Breathing is good, too.  Thanks EL.
10. At least you can still rock out.  - And then there's that.

And so I rock.....

Listen to this:
Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers  Twin Cinema - Twin Cinema

Monday, June 25, 2012

A Vacation

Yesterday I fell off a chair and bruised my ribs.  Without getting into too much detail, the chair folded and I flopped over the top of it like a Raggedy Ann doll before landing on the floor.  It wasn't graceful.  Today on my way to the doctor I stared longingly at all the runners we passed on the road while also wincing with each step they took and noting how painful running would be if I tried to go.  It's ok. I'm not totally freaking out here.  It's only been two days since I last ran and I can probably manage a few more before I start to lose it.  That said, I have been in a great rhythm lately with my training and was definitely on a high note before I fell.  So I was both disappointed and annoyed about missing my long run today.  Such is life.  Fortunately, there were no fractures which was a huge relief.  Upon leaving the ER, the doctor looked at me with a furrowed brow and asked, "aren't you on vacation?"  I thought to myself; well, I'm visiting with family, my kids are going to camp on a farm, the beach is down the street and it's summer so technically, yes, I'm on vacation.  But, from running, not really.  All I could come up with was, "kind of".  He was wearing Sauconys with his scrubs.  He got it.  "Look" he told me, "this is going to take time which you happen to have at the moment.  I wish I had something else to tell you, but that's it.  Go get a book and take a vacation."  Then he handed me a list of pre-printed info about my injury and my discharge instructions.  Here's what it said:

RIB CONTUSION: The muscles between your rubs are bruised.  This can be quite painful.

Follow these instructions:
1. Rest
2. Do not do any activities that hurt your ribs.
3. Avoid sudden movements.
4. Ice the affected area for 24 hours.
5. Take your pain medicine as prescribed.
6. Breath regularly (I'm not kidding, it said this).
and finally, in his own words he wrote,
7. Take a vacation from running.

Listen to this:
I love It - Icona Pop    I Love It - I Love It - Single

Friday, June 22, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Yesterday I noticed my mom clipping an iPod to her shorts as she was getting ready to go for a walk.  "What do you got on there?" I asked.  She smiled and said, "you'd be surprised".  I was intrigued.  She then told me that she often finds herself pulling over to the side of the road if she hears a song she likes so she can write it down.  Then she promptly goes home, listens again and purchases it on iTunes.  I never would have guessed.  She claimed that her playlist is totally random but she loves it ALL..."though I think I might have bought a little too much Tony Bennett" she said.  We both laughed.  Turns out she's got everything on there from Norah Jones to Lady Gaga to Ringo Starr.  I asked her to pick a few favorites for today's Reader's Pick.  "That's too hard" she said "because it really depends on my mood."  Fair enough.  So I asked her to pick some favorites based on her mood during yesterday's walk.  Here's what she gave me.  I'm guessing she was in a good mood.  Thanks for sharing, Mom!

Listen to this:
Time Tough - Toots & the Maytals  Time Tough - The Very Best of Toots & the Maytals 
Jive Talkin' - Bee Gees  Jive Talkin' - The Ultimate Bee Gees 
Book of Rules - Heptones  Book of Rules - Peace and Harmony: The Trojan Anthology 
Let's Dance - David Bowie  Let's Dance - Best of Bowie

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Patience, Practice & Sleep

A few nights ago as I was putting my seven year old to bed she started crying uncontrollably.  It was late and she'd been going non-stop all day, so this meltdown wasn't surprising me.  I was, however, unsure of the root of the problem so I asked her what could possibly be so devastating at 9:30 at night.  She told me, dead serious, that she was upset that she couldn't do a perfect cartwheel.  Well that was a totally understandable reason to break down.  I tried to comfort her by telling her that she was, in fact, great at cartwheels (not so, but I'm a mom and she's seven).  She wasn't buying that.  So I explained that she needed to keep practicing to get really good at them.  Through her tears she said, but "I want to be good now."  I tried not to laugh and thought to myself how many times I wished I was just good at running now, without having to put in the time and hard work.  Knowing that the voice of reason was not going to get me anywhere at this point I tried anyway.  "I've been running for years and I'm still not winning all the races.  I wish I could wake up tomorrow and be the best runner out there, but it doesn't happen that way.  I get up and run each day because it's the only way for me to get better. "  She fumed and angrily said that wasn't true...."you bring home awards and medals all the time, mom."  At this point I was starting to lose my patience but I kept going.  I explained that in many of the races that I do, ALL the runners get medals and, yes, in some I win awards, but those are typically in my age group, so people are still beating me.  Then I smiled then and said, "the last big race I did I came in 182nd place.  I wish I had been first, but that would take a lot more practice (and some magic beans, but I didn't say that part)".  Her lids were starting to fall and I could tell she was losing the will to fight.  She still wasn't happy about the whole situation but she told me she was done for the time being and wanted to go to bed.  Hallelujah!  The next day, I would remind her of our conversation and hope that I didn't sound too much like a mom when I explained (again) that nothing happens overnight, practice makes perfect, and nothing is as bad as it seemed after a good night's sleep.  Then I would take my own advice and run!

Listen to this:
Ruin - Cat Power   Ruin - Ruin - Single

Monday, June 18, 2012

Play. Pause. Stop.

Over the week-end about 20 of us went camping at Nickerson State Park on Cape Cod.  We arrived Friday evening and immediately got into the swing of things ie. set up our tents, started a fire, and got out the folding chairs.  Then we sat, relaxed and laughed as we watched all our kids go crazy with excitement about being in the wild.  Saturday morning we were up at dawn with all the other animals, children and daddy longlegs in the area.  By 10:00 I was itching to go for a run as I was tired and a bit draggy and I felt like a run would perk me up.  I grabbed my iPod and headed toward the bike path.  Within minutes I ran into nearly my entire group, both kids and adults, on their bikes headed back up the path.  I paused my music and chatted with them a little before I took off again.  The next thing I know I was at an intersection with no idea where to go.  I paused my music again and asked the two girls in front of me if they new the best route.  They didn't, but said they were going left because it felt right, so I followed their lead.  I was cruising along for maybe two minutes before I was cut off by two labs who were barreling down then hill toward me, tongues out, tails wagging.  This time I stopped my music as I took a minute to pet the dogs and talk to their owners.  Finally, I started off again but this time I didn't press play.  The iPod went in my pocket.  There was way too much going on and I decided I didn't want to zone out for this run.  In addition to all the people out and about waving or wanting to chat, there were wild flowers everywhere and various woodland animals that just needed to be checked out.  Rather than getting lost in my music, as I typically do, I got lost in the moment, bugs and all.  There is no question I love music and that it helps motivate me to run, but it's nice to know that there are other things out there that can push me along and when that happens, I need to take advantage of it.  It was a short four mile run and one of the best I've had in weeks.  Thank you mother nature.

Listen to this:
Take A Walk - Passion Pit  Take a Walk - Take a Walk - Single

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today's reader's pick is from Jim H.  It's a bit of a different twist on the old stand-by.  He's a big fan of Pandora and he likes to set his station to Lettuce.  Then he just rocks out to whatever unfolds.  I happened to see this band live with Jim and I know they are a major funk fest.  So, naturally, I was intrigued to see what else might be played on the 'Lettuce' station.  Since Jim wasn't specific about his picks, I decided I would share the first three songs that Pandora had to offer.  Here's what I got.  Hope you enjoy them as much as I did.  Thanks for sharing, Jim.

Listen to this:
Outta Here - Lettuce  Outta Here - Outta Here 
Bridge to 'Bama - Soulive  Bridge to 'Bama - Doin' Something 
Planet of the Superkids - The Greyboy Allstars  Planet of the Superkids - A Town Called Earth

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

A Moment

Once in a while you hear a song that makes you put down what you're doing and listen closely.  It makes you stop your conversation and say, "excuse me for one sec".  It makes you stop mid-run and turn up the volume.  It makes you....kidding.  But in all seriousness, today I was listening to Metric's new album, Synthetica, and I had one of these moments.  I would never in a million years think that Lou Reed would partner up with a band like this and when I heard this song it made perfect sense.  On this track, called The Wanderlust, Emily Haines' sweet, high-pitched voice, meshes bizarrely well with Reed's deep, scratchy drawl. Together they are so insanely different and yet, the song fits together just so.  I happened to hear it for the fist time in my car.  So, I played it again.  And then I added it to my playlist and ran with it.  And then I played it for my husband during dinner.  Am I a dork for getting excited about these simple things.  Yep.  I'm totally fine with that.  Go listen.  See what you think.  And if this particular song doesn't do it for you, well, there are lots of other moments like these; short sweet and awesome.

Listen to this:
The Wanderlust - Metric  The Wanderlust - Synthetica

Monday, June 11, 2012

Lollipops, Michael Jackson & Air Guitar

On Saturday morning, I drove over to Waltham, MA to run a 4 mile race.  My motivation was low but I had signed up a while ago and figured I might as well get the t-shirt.  This race, called the Tailgate Trot, was created to honor a Waltham resident who died at the young age of 51.  He was a scholar and an athlete and he lived his life as one who always wanted to give to others.  Each mile was run for a specific charity and the proceeds were divided equally between these four organizations.  Before it started, I walked over to the raffle table and noticed a rainbow of cookie lollipops frosted in the colors representing each of the four charities.  I smiled and thought of my daughter who would have thought these were AWESOME.  My mood shifted and I was fired up to be there by this point.  As if on cue, a deejay started right in with 'Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' by Michael Jackson.  As I warmed up, I made a mental note to dig deeper into the Michael Jackson catalog when I got home.

Four Miles for Four Reasons

Minutes into the race I noticed a guy in front of me bending in a strange way every few steps and occasionally lifting his head back in a jerking motion.  Despite the fact that we were trudging up a hill I felt I had to know what was going on.  As I got closer, I saw that the guy was wearing headphones and realized that he was actually playing air guitar.  The fact that were racing and that our pace was pretty swift did not seem to faze him in the least.  I was in complete awe.  When the race was over, I walked up to him and asked him if he was, in fact, playing air guitar.  "Oh yeah", he said,  "it's what gets me to the finish line every time."  Whatever it takes, I thought.

Finally, I walked back to my car, tired and hot, and noticed the above jeep parked next to me.  I smiled again.  I felt good.  I got a good run in.  I rocked out to a little Michael Jackson.  I witnessed my first ever runner's air guitar.  I helped raise money for four good causes.  And I had fun.  All before 11:00 in the morning.  Yes, I thought, life is good.

Listen to this*:
Wanna Be Startin Somthin'  Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (Single Version) - The Essential Michael Jackson 
Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough  Don't Stop 'Til You Get Enough (Single Version) - The Essential Michael Jackson 
Smooth Criminal  Smooth Criminal - The Essential Michael Jackson
*All from "The Essential Michael Jackson"  The Essential Michael Jackson - Michael Jackson 

Friday, June 8, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

Today's pick is from Ed W.  He's an avid music fan who also happens to be incredibly cool and chic.  He doesn't love to run, but does it because he knows he should.  When he runs he listens to music.  He likes this one because it's "new old school" and straight up "great stuff".  I'll buy that.  Thanks for sharing, Ed.

Listen to this:
North Side Gal - JD McPherson  North Side Gal - Signs & Signifiers


Thanks to all of you who entered the National Runner's Day Oiselle Giveaway.  Your reasons for why you run are incredibly inspiring.  If you haven't had a chance to see your fellow runners' responses, it's worth taking the time to do so.  Maura Adams is our lucky winner.  She writes, "After 20+ years running just feels like home."  Amen to that.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

National Running Day GIVEAWAY

Today is National Running Day.  If you didn't get outside today, do it tomorrow.  If you can't do it tomorrow.  Do it this week-end.  Grab a friend, your sister, your dog, your iPod, whatever and MAKE IT HAPPEN.  We all run for different reasons - our health, our sanity, our love for the outdoors, the list goes on an on.  To celebrate this inspirational day, RWM will be giving away a *OISELLE prize package that includes a pair of Lori shorts in color indigo and a 'Running is Elemental' t-shirt in color dusk.  To win this awesome set, all you need to do is share with us why you run.  What is that makes you lace up and walk out that door?  Comment below or post to RWM on Facebook.  The winner will be picked at random at the end of day tomorrow, June 7th.  Best of luck.  And happy running!

*These are women's running clothes but, gentlemen, they would make a great gift and would get you major credit for "getting it" so make sure to enter, too!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Run, Dance, Move

Last night around 7:00 I was up in my office and my seven year old came in and started jumping up and down on the couch.  I stopped working and watched as her movement steadily increased.  We are usually settling down in our house at this hour and yet, within minutes she was bouncing around the room like a pinball showing no signs of settling.  In so many words I asked her what the he** was going on.  She shrugged her shoulders and looked at me like I should know the answer because she had no idea.  And then I had an "ah-ha" moment.  It has been raining since last Friday and she's been either at school or inside without any real exercise for eons (in kid years).  I, myself, am like a caged animal if I've gone too many days without a run, so I knew exactly how she felt.  Personally, I also tend to get in a bad mood when I don't get out on the road.  Fortunately for me, the lack of movement just makes my daughter giddy and wound up like a spring which I'll take any day over cranky.  If I could have gotten her outside for a run or a game of soccer, I would have, but it was night and raining and she was already in her pjs so that wasn't an option.  It was clear that she would not be going to bed any time soon and we needed to do something physical so, naturally, we decided to dance.  We put on some MIKA (her choice) and we rocked out.  Three songs later I could see some signs of exhaustion and I took the opportunity to switch gears and calm her down.  Success.  This morning when I walked into school one of my friends told me her son was climbing up the walls last night; she couldn't figure out why and it was driving her NUTS.  Rosie and I looked at each other and smiled.  We all need to "rock out" in some way shape or form.  Run, dance, move.  Whatever it takes.  Rock on.

Listen to these:
Shake Our Tree - The Rosebuds  Shake Our Tree - Birds Make Good Neighbors (my choice)
Lollipop - MIKA  Lollipop - Life In Cartoon Motion  (Rosie's choice)

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Fifteen Years Later

This past Friday, my dear friend/wingman and I drove five hours to attend our fifteen year college reunion in upstate NY.  Back when we registered, we thought it would be both easy and fun to bunk together in the very dorm that I lived in freshman year.  It should have been no surprise to us that the rooms are still small and stuffy and that the beds are incredibly uncomfortable but it shocked us nonetheless.  I'm sure when were were eighteen we were totally unfazed by the strange smells and the communal bathrooms but at age 37 it was a little tough to deal with.  Fortunately for us, several good friends from our class were staying down the hall so despite the lack of frills, we were pretty happy with our decision.  Saturday morning, a bunch of us met up to go for a run.  Fifteen years ago we had an uncanny ability to stay up all night, both studying and, well, not studying, and then to roll out of bed at the crack of dawn and go running without thinking twice about it.  Fifteen years later, that is no longer the case.  It took us a little while to get going but we we gave ourselves credit for motivating as it was clear that the majority of our peers were still asleep and would be for several hours.  In this particular group, four of the five of us ran together on the cross country team and the fifth, though not on the team, was also a big runner.  Between all of us, a lot of miles were logged over the four years that we were there.  We all had a little skip in our step as we headed down the same roads that we used to train on day in an day out as students.  Fifteen years ago, the smell of manure used to make us gag and we often had to avoid stepping in it as we ran by the many farms in the area.  Fifteen years later, the farms on our route smelled exactly the same.  As we ran, it was as if no time had passed.  We jabbered away just like we used to, but instead of talking about classes and parties, we brought each other up to speed on our families, our jobs and the happenings in our lives.  We reminisced about some of the funny moments during the cross country season (including the time our coach handed us briefs and told us we would no longer being wearing shorts for our races - what?) as we tackled the same huge, rolling hills that used to challenge us back in the day.  Forty five minutes flew by in what felt like five minutes and despite being a little sad that it was over, this run was undoubtedly one of the highlights of my weekend.  Fifteen years ago we ran together; happy, healthy and excited about what lay ahead.  Fifteen years later we ran together; happy, healthy and excited about what lay ahead.

Listen to this:
Elegant Design - Pond  Elegant Design - Beard, Wives, Denim

Friday, June 1, 2012

It's Friday - Reader's Pick

From Meggie S.  She's a fellow runner among many other things including, but not limited to, a writer, and a soon-to-be doctor.  I typically paraphrase reader's comments when they provide info on their favorite picks but Meggie's are so detailed (in a good way) that I'm going to just lay it out there in her own words. Thanks for sharing!

Listen to these:
Stronger - Kelly Clarkson  Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) - Stronger (Deluxe Version)
~ "My Believe I Am 'Strong' shirt is one of my favorite pieces of clothing to wear.  This song reminds me of that shirt when I'm running as well as reminds me that I am STRONG."
Domino - Jessie J  Domino - Domino - Single
~ "I think the beat is good for easy running or helping me slow down my breathing on a tempo (run)."
You've Got the Love feat. Candi Station - The Tributes  You've Got The Love (In the Style of The Source Feat. Candi Staton) [Full Vocal Version] - Karaoke (In the Style of Chart Hits of the 90's), Vol. 14
~ "Heard this in spin class once and loved it"
Note from RWM: I immediately purchased this one.  It's incredibly motivating
Like A Prayer - Madonna  Like a Prayer - Like a Prayer
~ "Who doesn't love this song?" 
Note from RWM: Apparently no one as it was last week's Reader's pick, too!  Props to Madonna.
What Makes You Beautiful - One Direction  What Makes You Beautiful - Up All Night (Deluxe Version)  
~ "For my inner 12 year old"

Check out Meggie's Blog The Thinks I Can Think where she shares her thoughts on running, reading and other such musings.