Thursday, August 28, 2014


Yesterday, I got up at 5:45am, made coffee, made my daughter's lunch for camp, ate breakfast, checked email, did something else that I can't remember, made more coffee, dropped my daughter off at camp, came back home, told my younger daughter she could put a movie on, crawled back into bed, closed my 20 pound eyelids and tried to take a power nap.  At 9:30am.  Unfortunately, the coffee worked directly against my sleeping efforts, but just resting still felt good.  I haven't felt this wiped since I was waking up with my girls multiple times a night when they were newborns.  And that was mad crazy tired.  So what gives?  I gave it some thought (didn't have to give it much).  Here's what I came up with:

Clover, 11 weeks

1. Last week, we got a new puppy.  It was a total spur of the moment decision.  And slightly ridiculous.  We already have a 13 year old black lab, Lucy, who is a dream dog.  Why we thought it would be a good idea to add a puppy to the mix at this point, well, I really have no idea.  We just did.  She's so damn cute and she's pretty well behaved.  But, she does get up at 2:00am every night to use the bathroom.  Every night.  So, there's that.

Taken by Grace, my 7 year old
(who then asked if I was okay)

2. On Monday morning I ran a 20 miler, which took me about 3 hours.  It was my third of five 18+ milers, which I'm doing in preparation for the Mohawk Hudson Marathon in October.  That (☝) is how I felt after said run.  And, really, how I've been feeling on a regular basis in general.  It's marathon training.  It is what it is.


3. And last, but not least, our LHS XC season is officially underway.  As of today, I have 76 girls on my roster.  Yes, 76.  I am both floored and thrilled.  Of course, after several weeks of perfect running weather, dear old Mother Nature decided to remind us that it's still summer by throwing out temps in the 90s every day this week.  Good, good times.  I definitely get a short burst of energy when I'm with these young whipper snappers, but by the time I'm back home, I'm dragging again.  Too bad we can't bottle that.

I'm a mom, a coach, and a marathon runner.  So, yes, this is my life right now.  I'm tired.  I'm a little crazy.  I'm really happy.  And I'm lucky as hell.  I'll take it.  Life is short.  There's time to rest later.

Listen to this:
I Might Survive - Architecture in Helsinki  

Monday, August 25, 2014


As I write this, I realize it's been a while since I've posted a RUNNERS WHO ROCK interview.  Today, I'm psyched to get back on track, no pun intended, with Teddy Watson, lead singer and songwriter for Stargroves.  Teddy is the founding member of this NYC based band, which is made up of five core members but often includes an extended cast of characters for various recordings and live performances.  Though they are categorized as an indie-pop group, they have their own sound with smooth and sometimes eery, electro-funk undertones (think Stars & Postal Service).  I really dig it.  I think you will, too.  As I always do when I connect with a band, I inquired as to whether anyone in the group happened to be a runner of any kind.  Here's what Teddy's manager told me:

As it so happens, Teddy was an avid track and cross country runner in high school, specializing in the 400m.  He and a few friends on the track team even spent a summer in Iten, a village in the Kenyan highlands, doing high altitude training.  Teddy was recruited to run at NYU, but suffered stress fractures and had to stop running his first year.  He now runs recreationally.

Once again, the world of music and running collide.  I love that.  Of course, I wanted to know more about Teddy's time in Kenya, so I dug a little deeper.  Here's what he told me:

I went to Kenya the summer after my freshman year of high school with a friend of mine who went on to run at Duke.  It was my first time running at altitude, so that was pretty tough, but it was an incredible experience and I'm glad we did it. We could've gone to Colorado or something closer to home for that kind of training but we wanted to get out there and see something new.

Um, yeah. I'd say that was getting "out there".  I'm jealous.  But, back to the music.  The Stargroves just released their first full length, self-titled album in July of this year.  In my humble opinion, it's worth sitting and listening to the entire 62 minutes from start to finish.  In the meantime, get to know Teddy Watson, a runner who rocks.


Name: Teddy Watson
Where you're from: Northern VA
Where you reside now: NYC
Age: 23
Occupation: Musician and Student

What do you love most about running?
The way it makes me feel afterwards, running just makes the rest of the day great.

What do you love most about music?
I love performing live, getting to see other cities and share our music with folks.

Band: (current, all time or both) Stars
Album: (current, all time or both) Takk by Sigur Rós
Race venue: Franklin Field (Penn)
Music venue: Jammin Java (Vienna, VA)
Race distance: 400m
Show you've seen live: Arcade Fire at Glastonbury
Ice cream flavor: Ben and Jerry’s Half Baked

Sweet or salty? Sweet (and sour)
Live or recorded? Recorded usually
Coffee or tea? Tea (preferably Ketepa)
Summer or winter? Winter
Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? I would say Arcade Fire because they’re amazing live, but I’ve seen them four times, so probably Stars.
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? LCD Soundsystem
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Torquil Campbell
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? I find myself listening to Blink-182 or Ratatat a lot during runs, something energizing.

Teddy w/ Charlie, Brad, Brian & Max

Top 5 Songs for running?
Mutt - Blink 182  
Twin Cinema - The New Pornographers  
Rebellion (Lies) - Arcade Fire  
I’d Like 2 CU - Envelopes  
My Only Offer - Mates of State  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
According to my iTunes: (all from The Innocence Mission's 'We Walked In Song')
Lake Shore Drive  
Into Brooklyn, Early in the Morning  
Love That Boy  
Happy Birthday  
BrotherHood of Men  

Thursday, August 21, 2014


So, yes, I just went to running camp.  I'm sorry, it's clearly difficult for me to stop talking about it.  It just,'s not very often that a 39 year old working mom of 2 gets to head out to one of the most beautiful places in the country (Bend, OR) to meet and run with a ridiculously huge group of women who are all passionate about their sport.  And yet, life moves on.  Back in MA, our high school XC season has officially begun.  It's time to re-focus.  But, before I do, I have one more Birdcamp post.  And this is it.  I promise.  Rather than give you a detailed play by play of each day, which I'm sure many of my teammates will be doing on their own blogs (check out this one by Once Upon (L)ime); I am going to mix it up a bit and give you a tried and true RWM Top 10 List along with some pics from my adventure.  I met some amazing people out there, I laughed a shit ton (is that a real word?),  I learned a boat load and I had a freakin' ball.  It was an experience of epic propotion and I will be forever grateful to the women at Oiselle for giving me the opportunity to be a part of it.  The word Oiselle alludes to that feeling of weightlessness that most runners know and love. That sense of flight – when the legs go fast and the heart goes free.  As a runner, I don't always have this feeling, though I sure as hell wish I did.  But, as a member of the Oiselle team, my head will always be up and my wings out.


1. You find yourself sharing a suite with multiple people that you have never met and you're totally okay with that.

w/ @mellebeth & @hroberts123
#1617 ROCKS (& smells like bacon)

2. Your only modes of transportation are your feet and a Peter Pan bus, which sometimes catches on fire.  Wait...what?

Smith Rock State Park

3. You intend to stay up and hang with your friends at the end of each day but then you're way too tired pull through.

w/ @momonthemove2 & @wotowglass
4. You eat snacks 24 hours a day.

The Snack Table  (mmmm snacks)

5.  All you want to do in your free time is go to the room and take a nap.

With fellow MA Bird, @runonsweetfrie

6.  You determine which pair of socks to put on in the morning based on how good or bad they smell.

Cooling down post race w/ Fleshman & Co.

7.  When your not running, eating or sleeping your posting photos to Twitter and Instagram...the same photos that all your other teammates are posting.

The Oiselle Flock @ the Deschute Brewery 5K

8. You shower 2 and sometimes 3 times a day. 

Floating down the Deschutes River 
w/ @momonthemove2

9. It's not the least bit weird to discuss whether or not you've gone to the bathroom before your run with someone you've just met.

w/ Lesko on our last night
(we did not discuss our bowel movements)

10. You plan to get home looking re-energized and fit and instead you roll in with an extra 5 pounds and totally exhausted. 

Dessert from the doughnut cart
(yes, that's bacon)


Listen to this:
Sweet Ophelia - Zella Day  

Monday, August 18, 2014


"I’m gonna let my heart decide if this is real
A thousand pictures can’t describe how I feel
It’s like the world doesn’t exist, but I can still see it’s (the) heart that I’m hearing."
~ Galantis, 'The Heart That I'm Hearing'


This morning, as I was running around looking for shin guards, making breakfast, pounding coffee and getting my girls ready for soccer camp, I suddenly realized I had an ear to ear grin spread across my face.  I also realized that, despite all the stress and chaos of this Monday routine, the smile was just kind of stuck there.  At one point, my 9 year old daughter stopped what she was doing, gave me a strange look and asked me if everything was okay.  "It's all good, Rosie", I told her, "it's just the Oiselle Effect."  She rolled her eyes and mumbled something to the tune of "whatever".  I just laughed to myself, as I continued to get them ready, with the smile still plastered across my face.  Did I look ridiculous?  Probably.  Did I care?  No, I did not.  In truth, I couldn't really help it.  What's the Oiselle Effect, you ask?  I'm so glad you asked.*


The feeling of 100% pure joy that flows through my body when I think back on my experience at running camp (aka BIRDCAMP) in Bend, OR.  The electric buzz in my head and in my heart that automatically goes off when I conjure up the memory of those four long and incredibly powerful days that I spent running, eating, sleeping and just being with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  That feeling of weightlessness and flight that I knew existed but that I now truly understand.  And, most importantly, the specific feeling that I will do everything in my power to call on next time I am mid-race or hard workout and I want to reset my mind and take it to the place where I soared to new heights as both a runner and a person.  

Listen to this:
Surrounded by Your Friends - Hooray For Earth  

*Note: Full blog post on BIRDCAMP to follow once I get this ridiculous grin off my face and my regular life somewhat back to normal.

Friday, August 15, 2014


"So all you fly mothers, get on out there and dance.
Dance, I said!"
~ Salt-n-Pepa, 'Push It'


As I recently mentioned, I am currently out in Bend, OR hanging with over 100 of my Oiselle teammates.  We are a colorful group of women from all over the country who are as passionate about running as we are about each other and the company we represent.  Within minutes of our first meal we became one big, happy, crazy, tight-knit family and the energy level borderline electric.  The whole thing is just a big dose of awesomeness.  In light of this (forgive the cheese factor) magical experience, today's Friday 5 will be a group of songs that the women who work and/or run professionally for Oiselle are inspired by at this particular moment.  When I asked them to chime in, a couple of them didn't have to think twice, a couple had to give it a little time, and one of them wanted to use "Happy" but I wouldn't let her, so she went with a song by her current favorite artist.  (Sorry, KMet)  It is an eclectic mix brought to you by a badass group of women who I both admire and respect.  It should be noted that Sally, chief Oiselle bird, threw out the one song that could potentially inspire a late night dance party.  Happy Friday everyone.  Rock on.

Runaway Baby - Bruno Mars (Kristin Metcalf, Team Leader)   
Anna Begins - Counting Crows (Sarah Lesko, Corp Dev & Master of Fun)
The Wolf Is Free - Lily & Madeline (Lauren Fleshman, Pro Runner)
Ghost - Ella Henderson (Kate Grace, Pro Runner)
Push It - Salt-N-Pepa (Sally Bergesen, owner of Oiselle)

Tuesday, August 12, 2014


“You see, the what ifs are as boundless as the stars.” 
~ Sally Gardner, 'Maggot Moon'

Queen of the castle...her castle

My younger daughter, Grace (age 7), has a hard time with transition; particularly, when it's something new.  Unlike her sister, Rosie (age 9), little Grace would be more than willing to hang out with me, and only me, every single day.  It's flattering, but let's face it, it's not healthy for either of us to spend that much time together.  This summer, not surprisingly, Rosie went off to sleep-away camp for four weeks. Grace, being 7 and, well, being Grace, was very happy to stick close to home; skipping off to a local camp each day, but then settling back into her own bed at night.  The best of both worlds, really.  Tomorrow, I am headed off to Bend, OR for a few days of "grown up camp" with my Oiselle teammates.  Much to her dismay, I am leaving Grace to hang out with my in-laws (bless them) while she attends a camp near their house on Cape Cod.  Don't get me wrong, she adores her grandparents.  But, the one-two punch of both going to camp solo along with mom and dad leaving her by herself for a week was almost too much for her to handle.  Almost.  As I tucked her in on Sunday night, the tears started to flow.  I did my best to comfort her, but there wasn't much I could say to make the situation more digestible.  She was scared, and she had every right to be.  And, as hard as it was for me to see her in this state, I knew this would be good for her.  She threw out every possible "worst case scenario" and I tried to throw back a realistic, but suppotive response to each one:

Grace: What if I don't know anyone on the bus?
Mom: You might not, Grace.  But, that's okay.  You'll know the counselors and they'll help you.
Grace: What if I don't know anyone in my group?
Mom: You'll make new friends.
Grace: What if there are no girls in my group?
Mom: Grace, come on.  There are always girls at camp.  
Grace: What if I don't know where to go?
Mom: Grace, no one is going to let you get lost.  You will have plenty of help.  I promise.
Grace: What if I can't do it, Mom?
Mom: It might be a little scary, Grace.  But you can do it.  You need to try and be brave here.  It's hard, but I know you have it in you.
Grace: I don't know.
Mom: I do.

I laid with Grace until she fell asleep and then went to bed with my fingers and toes crossed.  What I didn't tell her but thought about as I laid there is how many times I've struggled with my own "what ifs".  As a kid, as a grown up, as a mom, as a runner, as a coach, as a wife, as a friend; I have faced and still face them daily and do what I can with what I have to take them on.

Somehow I managed to get through these:
What if I don't get into a good college?
What if I can't find a job?
What if I don't like what I'm doing?

And I'm still working on these:
What if I'm not making the right decisions as a parent?
What if I'm not able to help my high school runners improve?
What if I crash and burn during my next race?

Turns out, we are who we are because of the "what ifs".  The strength we conjure up to tackle them builds our character and enables us to do what we do and do it well.  And, if it doesn't work on the first shot, to try it again until we get it right.  It's not easy to explain this to a 7 year old.  But, I'm guessing she's going to feel it in her own way.  And the strength that she gains from facing that first "what if" will undoubtedly help her take on the next one.  And the next.  And the next.  Go get 'em, Grace.

Listen to this: 
Walk This Way - Mø (Lido Remix)  

Monday, August 11, 2014


"Long distance running is 90% mental and the other half is physical."
~ Rich Davis 

DATE: August 11, 2014
TIME: 5:55am
WORKOUT: 18 miles

iPod: ✔︎
Bia: ✔︎
GU: ✔︎
Visor: ✔︎
Coffee: ✔︎✔︎✔︎
Appreciation for nature: very high
Love of running: up there
Motivation: getting there
Level of dread: minimal
Desire to be done: off the charts
Level of sanity: depends who you ask

Listen to this:
East of Eden - Zella Day  

NOTE: Soundcloud link is a remix. iTunes link is the original version.  Both are fantastic.

Friday, August 8, 2014


We could all die here today
But before I'll let that happen
I'll dance my life away
~ Prince, '1999'

80s joggers sporting their leisure suits

Today's Friday 5 is brought to you by cool cat, Jeff T.  He also happens to be my husband.  When you ask him if he runs he typically responds, "only when chased."  In truth, he does get out there once in a while but it's not really his "thing".  Music, on the other hand, is and always has been.  Good thing I married him, eh?  One of our favorite things to do is sit on our front porch at night after the kids have gone to bed and dive into our iPod, often digging back into past decades or listening to tunes from our various adventures.  For today's playlist, he's taking us back to 80s; one of the best decades for music, though easily one of the most tragic for fashion.  Thanks for chiming in, Jeff.  Rock on and happy Friday everyone.

In his own words:
I took it back to where it began for me; the '80s.  Really tough call.  So many good ones.  I tried to focus on what has/will stand the test of time, but that is of course a relative endeavor.  And then you throw in the running part, which I don't do willingly.  In any event, here's I where I netted out.  Hope you enjoy.

1999 - Prince  
Hot Hot Hot - The Cure  
Burning Down the House - Talking Heads  
In God's Country - U2  
Let's Go - The Cars  

& a special bonus track to ring out the decade:
The Sounds of Science - Beastie Boys (wait for it at 1:39)  

Thursday, August 7, 2014


"There is no substitute for hard work."
~ Thomas A. Edison


At the moment, I am gearing up for a 9.25 mile tempo run.  As I drink my coffee, I am having a serious heart to heart with my head and my legs.  The breakdown of the workout is as follows: 2 mile warmup followed by 2 x 2.5 miles at 6:45-6:50 pace with a quarter mile rest between sets followed by a 2 mile cool down.  Oh Lordy.  Last night, my mother in law asked me why I do these workouts.  "It sounds awful" she said.  I laughed.  "It is kind of awful," I told her, "but it's also kind of awesome".  She looked at me like I was crazy, which was totally fair.  Seriously, though, why do I do these workouts?  I am not an elite athlete.  My performance as a runner impacts no one but myself.  No one, including my coach, is standing next to me making sure I get them done.  So, why?  Because they're fun?  Ah ha ha ha ha.  No.  I can't, in my right mind, tell you I do them because I enjoy them.  That would be a lie.  Here's my best shot at explaining it:

1. Because they add variety to my training.
2. Because they are a welcome challenge (most of the time).
3. Because they push me out of my comfort zone, which we all need once in a while.
4. Because they help me get stronger and faster.
5. Because I like to tell my high school runners not only that I get it, but that I know their hard work will pay off when they are tackling the same workouts.
6. Because they boost my confidence as a runner, mom, coach & person.
7. Because they help to justify my post-run coffee habit.
8. Because they give me bragging rites, regardless of whether I choose to use them.
9. Because I can.
10. Because when they're done, I feel like a superhero for the rest of the day, which is a damn good feeling.  No cape required.

Okay, I'm leaving now.  Really, I am.

Listen to this:
Run-Time - Imogen Heap  

Monday, August 4, 2014


For those of you who run, or do anything running-related, you are likely familiar with Running Times magazine.  Published by Rodale, a health-centric company, each issue contains a variety of features including, but not limited to, training tips, shoe reviews, recipes, and personal stories.  I would agree with an Amazon reviewer who states that it's "a magazine geared toward serious runners, serious athletes, AND the rest of us who are serious ABOUT our running".  Not the faster runner, mind you.  Anyone who cares about running in any way will benefit from reading it.  As a high school cross country and track coach, it is one of my go-to resources for information and suggestions that I frequently apply to my job on a regular basis.  As a relatively competitive runner who is still seeking to learn and improve, it is the perfect accompaniment to my training.  But, enough about the magazine.  Today, I'm fired up to introduce you to Jonathan Beverly, the Running Times editor-in-chief.  A runner since high school, Jonathan has run 26 marathons and countless other races all across the world.  In addition to a runner and writer, he's a husband, a dad and high school cross country and track coach.  Somehow, he also manages to find time for music in his busy schedule, although he's yet to see a live show that has knocked his socks off.  Fortunately, there is still time for that.  Okay, so let's roll.  Meet Jonathan, a runner who rocks.


Name: Jonathan Beverly
Where you're from: Born in Nassau, grew up in Maine
Where you reside now: border of Colorado and Nebraska
Age: 50
Occupation: Editor in Chief, Running Times

What do you love most about running?
Its ability to transform you into someone else and its ability to transport you somewhere else, away from the internal noise.
What do you love most about music?
Its ability to transform a moment and its ability to transport you to other moments, places and emotions.

The great PAUL SIMON

Band (current, all time or both) Paul Simon
Album (current, all time or both) Paul Simon: Rhythm of the Saints; honorable mention: Kenny Chesney: Lucky Old Sun
Race venue: Carrountoohil, County Kerry, Ireland (Irish Mountain Running’s highest peak)
Music venue: No opinion
Race distance: 10 Mile
Show you've seen live? Usually disappointing
Ice cream flavor: Coffee, Coffee, Buzz, Buzz, Buzz

Sweet or salty: Salty
Live or recorded: Recorded
Coffee or tea: Coffee
Summer or winter: Winter

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? James Taylor
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? John Denver
Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Jack Johnson
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Boston

When and where was your best race experience and why? Jersey Shore Marathon, 1997.  Got the marathon right, ran a PR (2:49, first time under 2:50), negative split, passed the stragglers in the lead pack all second half. Finished 4th.  Beautiful course, beautiful day.

Which race would you like to do over it you could and why? 2000 London Marathon.  I was living in Belgium, in the shape of my life, aiming for London.  Got the job as editor and swapped London for Boston, did the expo, parties, schmoozing, and bombed the marathon.  Never got that fit again.  Then got old.

Which race is on your bucket list and why? Route du Vin Half-Marathon, Luxembourg.  Love the region along the Mosel river, would like to return and run a beautiful race there.

Which race would you recommend to your fellow runners and why? Tour Du Lac 10 Miler, Bucksport, ME.  Pretty, challenging 10 miler around a lake in my hometown, now it its 39th year.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Little Wonders - Rob Thomas  
Gonna Fly Now (Rocky) - Bill Conti  
I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For - U2  
Peace of Mind - Boston  
Hurts So Good - John Cougar Mellencamp  

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?

All from Cat Stevens' Tea for the Tillerman
Where Do the Children Play  
Longer Boats  
On the Road to Find Out  
Wild World  
Oh Very Young  

Friday, August 1, 2014


“Summer afternoon—summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” 
~ Henry James

(One of my favorite summer moments)

Oh, sweet summer.  It's not over yet, but we're getting close.  Thirty three more schedule and carpool free days to soak up with my family before the gears shift and the fall chaos ensues.  And I plan to milk these last few weeks for all they're worth.  Which is a lot.  Just yesterday, as I sat outside and goofed off with my 7 year old, I was reminded how important it is to cherish these brief windows of "agenda-free" time.  Every minute is so fleeting and so incredibly valuable.  Sniff sniff.  Okay, so here's my 'to-do' list for the month.  I'm off and running.  Happy August and rock on.

~ Start getting my girls ready for school (clothes, supplies, reality check, etc.)
~ Polish up my high school XC training plan for the upcoming season.
~ Visit with my old friends Laurie, Molly, Weezie & Kate, who I haven't gotten to see in way too long.
~ Ramp up my weekly mileage as I get ready for my fall marathon starting with a 17 miler on Monday. OH BOY!
~ Head out to Bend, OR to run, race and play with my Oiselle teammates.  
~ Spend as much time as possible with my kids before school and fall sports takeover.  
~ Eat more ice cream....because summer is not over yet!

The House - Air Traffic Controller  

Strange Desire - Bleachers*  

Note: This is just one song off this amazing album.  Do spend some time with this one.  It's so damn good.