Saturday, December 26, 2015


Dear RWM Readers,

As I look back on 2015 I'm realizing two things.  First, it was yet another amazing year.  And  second, I am so insanely lucky.  For me, it was a wild and crazy ride; as runner, a mom, a coach and a new and very proud 40 year old (also known as a "Master" in the running world - I love that).  It's funny, each year seems to get just a bit nuttier and hell of a lot more fun as I get older.  I love that, too.   Many thanks to all of you for sharing the adventure with me.  Here's a quick look back at some of my most memorable moments as well as the music that inspired me along the way.  I'll look forward to reconnecting with you in 2016.  Until then, rock and run on.

All the best,

RWM 2015

Blizzard #1 (of 4) in MA
SONG:Hanging Around - Charli XCX

Rosie (age 10) ripping it up at Cannon Mountain
Franconia, NH
ALBUM:Control - Milo Greene
SONG:Hollow Moon (Bad Wolf) - AWOLNATION

LHS spring track begins.  And it's still snowing.
ALBUM:Our Own House - Misterwives
SONG:Get Behind This - FLOR

Oiselle Pre-race Meet up & Dinner
SONG:Let It Happen - Tame Impala

Glen Doherty 5K with Grace (age 8)
Winchester, MA
ALBUM:Froot - Marina & the Diamonds

Poughkeepsie, NY
ALBUM:The Helio Sequence (self-titled)
SONG:The Shade - Metric

Meredith, NH
ALBUM:Dancing at the Blue Lagoon - Cayucas

w/ my #birdsisters, Ashley & Nicole
ALBUM:My Love Is Cool - Wolf Alice
SONG:Dreams - Beck

NH Reach the Beach
NH State Parks
ALBUM:XOXO - Family and Friends
SONG:The Emotion - BORNS

ALBUM:JR JR (self-titled)
SONG:Alive - Sia

4th Place MIAA All State Finals, D1
ALBUM:Second Site - Hey Rosetta!
SONG:Cannonball - Skylar Grey

& Oiselle Meetup
ALBUM:Light Me Up - Bronze Radio Return
SONG:Water - Ra Ra Riot, Rostam


Monday, December 21, 2015


"Running allows us to totally appreciate life - the ability to move, breathe, feel alive. We can check out of our heads or figure out life's many problems. It's beautiful therapy."
~ Andrea Duke

I am honored and thrilled to close out the year with one last RUNNERSWHOROCK interview with none other than the fierce and beautiful Andrea Duke.  Andrea has run 46 marathons since 2002.  She crossed the line at her first, the inaugural Washington D.C. marathon, in 4:35:21.  After that, she claimed she'd never do it again.  And we all know how that goes.  In 2008, four months after giving birth to her son Noah, Andrea ran a marathon PR and qualified for Boston, at that point, officially hooked on running.  But, it wasn't until 2012 that her running "career" truly began.  In a horrific twist of fate, Andrea's son Noah, who was 4 at the time, tripped, twisted his leg and shattered his femur.  While Noah laid in a full body cast, unable to move and in excruciating pain, Andrea would lace up her shoes and get out on the road as a means to cope.  Running was her outlet, her way to feel, her way to tolerate her own pain, her way to help her daughter, and, ultimately, her way to help her son get his life back.  And as Noah recovered and began to get stronger, Andrea did, too.  A little over a year after the accident, Andrea was the first woman across the line at the Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans Marathon in 2:58.  In her own words:

There I was, on a stage getting asked, “So are you going to go for the standard?” The what? “The Olympic Trials standard.” “Ummm, the what?” Fast forward 8 months, with a professional coach guiding me, I ran a 2:41:12 at the Chicago Marathon to qualify for the 2016 Olympic Trials Marathon. In two years, I went from a social runner to a professional elite runner.

Currently, Andrea runs for the Oiselle Haute Volee elite team, and her main focus is training for the Olympic trials which she will run in Los Angeles on February 13.  I will be there to watch and I literally CAN NOT wait.  I'm hoping we might get to cut a rug on the dance floor later that evening.  We'll have to see how tired she is.  After that, she'll shift her focus to OCR (obstacle course racing), because, well, she might as well kick her badassery up a notch next year.  I love this woman.  I am so lucky to know her.  I am inspired by her daily.  I think you will be, too.  So, let's meet Andrea, a RUNNER WHO ROCKS.


Name: Andrea Duke
Where you're from: San Antonio, TX
Where you reside now: San Antonio, TX
Age: 36
Occupation: Professor, Mom, Runner
Oiselle profile:

RUNNING & MUSIC What do you love most about running? 
The therapeutic “ME” time, pushing my limits and gaining incredible self­ confidence from reaching new goals.

What do you love most about music? 
How I can find release in it during any emotional state, I can always find a song that will “understand me” whether depressed, angry, needing motivation, excited, happy! Music allows us to find a place where we can relate and maybe even find solace in the lyrics and rhythm.


Band (current, all time or both): No Doubt
Album (current, all time or both): Currently obsessed with the new Adele album, as it speaks to me closely.  All time would be Madonna’s “Confession on a Dance Floor”
Race venue: Disney Marathon  Running through the parks is magical ;)
Music venue any venue: I’ve traveled around the country for musical artists and each has their own special vibe, just put me somewhere with music and I’m happy.
Race distance: Marathon!
Show you've seen live? Madonna, always and forever!
­ Ice cream flavor: Cookies & Creme

Sweet or salty? Sweet
Live or recorded? Live
Coffee or tea? “Coffee in the morning”
Summer or winter? Summer

Which band or artist would you go see tonight if you could? No Doubt
Which band or artist (wait...but no longer alive or playing together) would you go see tonight if you could? The Beatles

The one and only Gwen Stefani

Which band or artist would you like to have dinner with tonight if you could? Gwen Stefani
Which band or artist would you like to be playing alongside you during your next race (or long run)? Justin Timberlake

Today, I feel like(complete the sentence)....I need a nap.

Top 5 Songs for running, dancing or both?
Bieber & Diplo: Where Are You Now?
Rage Against the Machine: Renegades of Funk
Buju Banton: Love Sponge
Eminem: ‘Till I Collapse
Madonna: Iconic

Last 5 Songs you listened to today?
Beyonce: Flawless
Nicki Minaj: Moment 4 Life
Adele: Hello
Salt n Pepa: Shoop
Justin Bieber: Sorry


Want to tap into your inner badass?  The good folks over at the Reebok Spartan Race Series have generously donated a one free race entry in honor of Andrea and her entry into the OCR world.  The winner will get a one time shot at any open heat (non-confirmed start time) in any Spartan Race in the continental US.  We're going to keep this one simple.  In a couple words, tell us the greatest obstacle that you have overcome or still have yet to tackle.  Andrea will read your comments and pick a winner at the end of the week.  Retail value of this prize is $75-$225, depending on the race chosen.  Good luck!  #AROO

Wednesday, December 16, 2015


On Sunday, December 6th, a group of us ran the Cambridge Winter Classic.  I was really fired up for this one for a few reasons.  First, it's part of a fun and well organized three race series (spring, fall & winter) and every year I try to run all of them if I can make it work.  Second, the course is flat and fast.  I've been training my ass off these past few weeks and I had a PR on the brain so I was ready to go for it.  And third, we picked this specific event as a meetup for all the local Oiselle team runners and quite a few of us were going to race and then head to brunch afterwards.  I love racing.  I also love brunch.  Maybe more.  Even though we're all teammates and live in the MA area, we're all different ages (I'm pretty sure I am the oldest), we have different jobs with different schedules and we're all spread out across a variey of MA suburbs which aren't necessarily right next door.  Basically, we don't get to see each other as much as we'd like to.  So, getting together to do what we all love (race and eat) is always such a treat.  My running bud, Kirsten, who lives in Winchester with me, would also be joining us as an honorary Oiselle bird for the day.  She hadn't raced a 5K in a while and was pumped to throw her hat in the ring and see what she could do.  So, yes, lots of good stuff going on related to this one race.  Fast forward to last Sunday.  Around 9:00am, I scooped up Jess, my one Oiselle teammate who actually does live next door and then we headed over to grab Kirsten.  This particular race always has a big turnout, in this case over 3000 runners, thus it was key for us to get there early so we'd have time to get our numbers, warm up, use the bathroom and probably use it again.  We arrived around 9:30, parked easily and headed over to the main area to grab our bibs and shirts.  It was a beautiful morning, but it was pretty chilly, somewhere in the low-mid 30s.  All three of us were bundled up in layers and wearing gloves when we headed off for our warm up.  By the time we finished, the sun was starting to work its magic and we were ready to shed a layer and ditch it in the car before we headed over to the start.

Off the the start

Kirsten and I did some dynamics and a few strides (for anyone on the LHS XC team reading this, yes, I did my strides) and then the three of us walked over to the line.  We quickly spotted a few gals with Oiselle singlets on and introduced ourselves to both Kyle and Cecil.  While the five of us chatted and waited, we listened to the race director announce the fact that the course, which is the same for all three races in the series, was now officially USATF certified and us not to give him any crap if our watches said something other than 3.1 at the finish.  Then he went on to say that if we did have a discrepency, than perhaps it was time we all faced the fact that our expensive GPS devices are never 100% accurate.  That got a good chuckle from the crowd.  Finally, it was 9:30, so after some quick hugs and high fives, we were off.

As I mentioned, I had high hopes for myself at this race.  My goal was to run it in under 19 minutes.  I haven't done this since college, so it was a lofty one.  But, with my recent marathon traning, I've managed to get my time down to a 19:05, so it wasn't too farfetched.  Funny, it doesn't sound like much, but the difference between a 19:05 and a 18:59 is huge for me.  I've been stuck in the low 19s for over 3 years now.  Grrr.  My plan was to start off at a 6:15 pace and hold that through mile 2. After that, assuming I wasn't dying, I was hoping to let it loose run the final mile in just under 6 minutes.  When we got started, there was quite a bit of bustling due to the size of the crowd and I had to hop up on the sidewalk to find some room.  Within a couple miutes, though, the crowd began to spread out and I was able to find a spot, settle in and get a rhythm going.  I passed mile 1 in 6:10.  Ok, I thought to myself, that was good.  I had a little wiggle room, but was pretty close to my target.  I was breathing hard, but I felt like I could manage, so I tried to settle my nerves with some deep breaths and focus on the fact that I only had to hang on for 2 more miles.  At a 6 minute pace, this was definitely going to be tough for me, but mentally, the sound of only 2 miles to go when I'm typically running 26.2 was incredibly easy to digest.  I didn't see the marker for mile 2 so I just tried to hold my pace and stick with the runners who were around me.  Eventually, I started to feel the burn in my chest and I had a feeling we were getting close.  But, when I looked at my watch, it said 2.8 miles.  Close but not as close as I'd hoped.  And then something strange happened.  My playlist, which I knew was exactly 20 minutes long, started over.  I wasn't totally sure about my pace, but I was pretty convinced that I'd been holding steady in the low 6s.  Thus, if my playlist was done than I should be done.  Up ahead, I saw people turning for the final .1, so I attempted to shift gears and bring it home.  At the corner, I looked up at the race clock.  It said 21 minutes.  My reaction?  WTF?  And then I thought, well, maybe I was more tired than I realized.  And then, whoa, I'm not even close to my goal time.  And then, wow, what a major bummer.  Yes, I went through that whole range of emotions in .1 miles.  When I crossed the line, I stopped my watch and checked it multiple times hoping that the official clock was wrong.  No dice.  21:19.

Does this thing WORK??

But, then I did a double take.  My watch distance said 3.47 miles.  Again, WTF?  I know the GPS systems are often off, but it's never been off by that much.  I started to look around and noticed that other runners were doing the same thing, looking at their watches and then looking at the race clock and then comparing all the information with each other.  I walked over to a group of men to ask them about it and one of them looked up and said, how did you like that 3.45 mile race?  What??  I replied.  Yep, he said, the lead car took a wrong turn and lead all of us on the wrong route which ended up being 3.45 miles.  No.  Way.  I said.  Way, he said.  Then, I started to hear a lot of talking, shouting even, as people realized what had happened.  I was really bummed.  But, not as bummed as a lot of the people around me.  As my teammates started to roll in, it was confirmed that yes, we all had run a 3.45 mile race, not a 5K.


Jess, Kirsten and I found each other and discussed the situation.  It was laughable and highly annoying.  All three of us had goals and because of the discrepency, we had no idea where we could have truly netted out.  We cooled down together and continued to talk, fume really, about what went down.  Jess and I said goodbye to Kirsten, who couldn't join us for brunch, and headed over to meet up with the rest of our teammates.  When I walked into the restaurant, the first words out of my mouth were, hey ladies!! Congrats on all your 3.45 race PRs today!  That got a good laugh.  Although, it was, in fact, true as none of us had ever raced this distance before.  And I can safely say that none of us will ever do it again.  Aside from Jess and a couple other birds, I hadn't met any of the crew that had gathered, so I got everyone's names and then we all settled in to enjoy our brunch.  Amazing how easy it is to hang with a group of people that you've never met when you share a common interest.  By the end of our meal, I felt like I really knew everyone and decided I wanted to invite the whole crew over for dinner because I hadn't had enough time to chat with each of them.  Halfway through, we all got an email from the race director that said the following:


Congrats on finishing the Winter Classic 5K + some today. As you have probably figured out, the Cambridge Auxiliary lead car missed the first turn resulting in a 3.45MI course distance. 

As someone who knows the pain associated with 3.1 miles, I'm deeply sorry for the extra tenths. On the bright side, it's a slightly better excuse to enjoy a couple more cold ones. 

The Winter Classic 5K

And that was that.  Would I have broken 19 if it was a true 3.1 course?  We will never know.  And I wondered about it for a while, but now, for the most part, I'm over it.  I was more than thrilled with my overall place (3rd woman), very happy to have placed as the first Master, a category that I am insanely proud to be in these days.  And, getting to spend time with my teammates, well, that was fantastic.  So, I'll chalk it up to a weird, but really fun day.   In the end, getting 12 super cool gals together to talk about runninng and life for 2 hours was pretty priceless.  There will always be more races.

Listen to this:
Set On Fire - Magic Giant

CONGRATS to Amy Upshaw and Ellen McKinna, winners of the SKECHERS giveaway.  Please email me your addresses and shoe sizes (for running) ASAP.  Thanks to all for entering!  And thanks again to SKECHERS for the shoes.  May you all have a very fast day.

Monday, December 7, 2015


NOTE: I will not be offended if you want to skip my suggestions, scroll down & enter to win the SKECHERS!

On the day after Thanksgiving, my daughter, Grace, (age 8) handed me her Christmas list.  My reaction?  Wow.  I suppose it could've been worse.  Some of the items on her list include (but are not limited to):
~ a top hat 
~ a magic 8 ball
~ fairy furniture (ie. chairs, tables, pots, pans) for the fairies that come visit her in the night but that she never sees - yes, she believes.
~ a fairy spells book (with real spells, not fake ones) meaning, don't get me a book and write them yourself, mom, because I won't believe that.
~ a giant giraffe stuffed animal (as tall as my room) I asked her what she would do with this.  She told me she'd just hang out and talk to him.  
~ a long hair wig think Crystal Gayle.
Sweet, bizarre, wonderful Grace.  Clearly, this year is going to be a bit challenging in regards to making her wishes come true.  I'll let you know how it goes.  In the meantime,  I do have a few suggestions for the runner in your life.  This list is always a ton of fun for me to put together.  Throughout the year I try out a boatload of running-related products including everything from apparel, food, drinks, shoes, and gadgets and the goodies listed below are the ones I think are worth sharing.   Whether you're looking to give to someone else or you need some ideas for yourself, all of these are, in my humble opinion, totally awesome.  Check them out and have an amazing holiday season! 


A few years ago Skechers introduced their performance shoe line created specifically with the serious runner in mind. They are now worn by the likes of pro-runners Meb Keflezighi and Kara Goucher among so many other runners of all levels of ability, myself included. This year I had the honor of becoming a Skechers Performance Ambassador.  The GoRun Ultra Road is one of their newer releases and I'm not exaggerating when I tell you that I am totally obsessed.  This shoe does not allow you to sink like it's competitors due to a highly responsive underfoot ride.  It's also insanely light given the high level of cushion with the added perk of a knit upper for breathability.  They are ideal for long runs and recovery days, but will work for almost any type of training.  It is, for lack of a better description, my dream shoe.  It may be a bit strange to put running shoes on your wish list.  But, then, so is a top hat and a long hair wig, so, why not?
* Want to try them now?? Yea, you do.  Scroll down to enter the RWM Skechers giveaway.

I love all things Oiselle.  Most of you probably know this.  And there are so many stellar winter items on their site right now.  But this vest is, hands down, my top pick.  Winter weather is a fickle beast, particularly for runners.  We start off cold, warm up, get too hot, then the wind picks up and we get cold again and so on and so forth.  The Gilman vest solves a lot of those problems.  It provides a layer of warmth for your core and a shield from the wind.  But, it's also light and airy, so if you heat up, it's barely there, which is exactly what you want.  Plus, it has a reflective design on it for running in the dark.  Goldilocks comes to mind as I write this as everything is "just right" with this baby.  

Feetures socks are always on my list.  They are beyond amazing as they have kept my feet comfortable, dry and blister free for thousands of miles.  Literally.  I've run 2,158 miles to date this year and they've all been in Feetures socks.  And just when I didn't think they could get any better, they introduce this funky line of limited edition striped socks.  Proving that running socks can fit well AND have some personality.  This is the perfect way to complete the running outfit you'll be giving or potentially receiving.  If you've been good, of course

When you're feeling like you just can't make a decision or don't have time to deal the elves over at RUNNERBOX will happily do the work for you.  This special edition gift box is filled with fun seasonal flavors and accessories pertaining to your athlete’s chosen field of endurance (run, bike, or swim).  There are so many good treats in these boxes of joy, all hand selected and tested by RUNNERBOX first so they are guaranteed to be awesome.  Added bonus - all orders received before 12 PM EST on December 20th will arrive before Christmas.

Because so many runners tend to also be coffee drinkers, and because I am a huge coffee fan in general (yes, I might have a small problem), I have added Jamaican Blue Mountain Coffee to the list.  This stuff is truly the nectar of the Gods.  The rich bold flavor is likely above and beyond anything you have ever tasted.  Yes, it's pricey, and, yes, it worth every penny.  I'm salivating just thinking about it.

The idea behind this book is so cool.  Poet Kostas Patinios reached out to artist Pola Hadjipapa asking her to "marry" a poem that he'd written to a sketch that she'd drawn and posted on social media.  So she did:
---> Earlier that morning Pola had gone for a run next to the sea - her every step a game with the waves, up and down, back and forth. Her sketch - a simple, playful line with circles and curves - reflected the question that Kostas posed in his poem: "If feet had brushes, what shapes would they draw?"
From that point forward a bond was formed and this project unfurled as they shared drawings and texts, one influencing the other with running as the common subject matter.  Over time it became apparent that, for both of them, running is a way of life and an endless source of inspiration.


RELIEF: This citrus scented balm is made by the same geniuses who created Body Glide, bless them.  The gentle heat therapy can be used to aid blood circulation and relax muscles and joints.  Roll it on before or after your run for instant warm relief and to help aid with or restore range of motion.  Like Body Glide, it, too prevents chafing and skin irritation.  Awesomeness in a stick.
RUNGUM: With essential ingredients that include caffeine + B-vitamins + taurine, Run Gum is a quick and safe energy solution that works for anyone on the go.  Pop a piece of RunGum in pre-workout for a quick energy boost.  Then chew another piece post-workout for aid with recovery.  Double awesome whammy.
SPORTBEANS: This sweet treat is quick and easy solution for the oft-needed mid-run fuel.  They're soft and easy to chew and they taste as good if not better than the traditional Jelly Bellys.  Be warned...they're slightly addictive.
NUUN: A tube of NUUN is the perfect stocking stuffer for both the runner and for anyone who needs to hydrate on a regular basis, which applies to most of us during the holiday season for many, many reasons.  So many delicious flavors to choose from with caffeine and without.  NUUN is your holiday hydration solution.
PERFORM ATOMIC HEAT: Much like the Relief balm, Atomic Heat cream can be rubbed on muscles and joints to help relieve acute and chronic pain.  Again, good for the runner and any active person who needs support, particularly during the cold winter months.  It should be noted that this stuff is heavy duty (like, don't rub it on and then wipe your lips) and you only need a small dallop for maximum effect.  The heat is instant and insanely intense.  Like, wake up in the middle of the night feeling the heat, intense.  Yep.  That good.
ATHLIGHTS: Keep yourself or the runner you love safe this winter with AthLights, the world's smallest safety lights for athletes.  They are bright, compact and easy to use as they are magnetic.  Just stick them on your clothes and hit the road.  Stay safe.  Be seen.  Run when you want.

************** SKECHERS GIVEAWAY **************

Not only am I in a giving mood.  But the good folks over at Skechers are feeling festive, too.  When I mentioned that I was putting this gift guide together, they jumped in and offered up, not one but two pairs of shoes to giveaway to a couple lucky RWM readers.  I already raved about the GORun Ultra Roads above, but, honestly, I'm a huge fan of the entire line of performance shoes and I feel strongly that every runner should try them.  So, I'm thrilled that I get to offer up a pair of GORUN Ultra Roads and a pair of GORUN 4s.  What better way to kick off the new year than with a brand new pair of sneaks?  Details on how to enter are below.  Huge thanks to Skechers for providing the shoes for this contest.

1. Comment below.  Tell us....what's the most unique gift you've ever given or received?  You can also just say you want to try the shoes, but what's the fun in that?
2. Post the following message on twitter: I want to #haveafastday with @runningwmusic & @skechersGO this holiday season.
3. Send an me an email letting me know that you want to #golikeneverbefore with Skechers this holiday season.
The fine print: This contest is open to US residents only.  The winners will be chosen on Wednesday, December 16th.  Colors may vary.  Retail value of the GORUN ULTRA ROADS is $115.  Retail value of the GORUN 4s is $100.  Good luck!

Listen to this:
Light Out - Javelin

Monday, November 30, 2015


As I mentioned in my last post, our family had grand plans to run a turkey trot together down on Cape Cod this past Thanksgiving.  The race started at 8:00am and as of 7:20 my girls were still sound asleep.  My husband and I debated waking them up but opted out and drank coffee instead.  Mmmmm.  Coffee.  They finally rolled downstairs in their pajamas around 7:40 and we still could have pulled it off, but Rosie, who never admits to being tired and is always up for anything, looked at us and told us she just didn't have it in her.  So, we bailed.  And we gave thanks for the ability to be lazy and hang out together, which was lovely.  I considered being lazy all week-end from a running standpoint, but I didn't have that in me either.  Shocker.  Thus, on Friday morning, I got up in the dark (5:30am) and beelined it back to Winchester so I could grab my stuff and bust a move over to the LHS Alumni Race which was being held in Lexington on our home XC course.  I did have extra incentive to get over there beyond the race itself.  The event is a fundraiser for our team, so we can go to big meets like Nike Cross Regionals (NXN), which the boys were headed to after the race.  It also brings back runners who have graduated from LHS, both to run and to spectate.  I've been coaching for 5 years now, so I am always excited to catch up with the kids that used to be on the team.  And, finally, the race was being timed by 2L Race Services, which happens to be the company that my own coach, Lowell Ladd, owns and operates; coaching being a side gig for him along with parenting, cooking, cleaning and many other things.  I've been training with Lowell for over 2 years now and I've never met him in person, so I was psyched to finally put a face to the name.  When I arrived, Lowell and his brother Aaron, a friend and fellow LHS coach, were setting up for the race.  I introduced myself and gave Lowell a hug, which was a risky move as not everyone is up for that.  But, he's done so much for me since we started working together that I felt like it kind of had to be done.

Pre-race w/ Coach Ladd

Thankfully, he was totally fine with it.  Of course, I had to get the obligatory photo, too.  After we chatted a bit, I stashed my stuff and headed off for a few miles before the race was set to begin.  I needed to cobble together a 10 miler, so I was planning to get 5 in beforehand, run the 5K, and then cool down with an easy 2 afterwards.  When I got back, I checked in with Lowell about my race strategy, a luxury I don't usually have because he lives in PA and we have to work via phone and email.  That was a bonus.  I'd just done an interval workout (800 repeats) on Tuesday and I was still pretty beat up from that.  In addition, my energy level was low in general due to a long Thanksgiving day and my early wake up.  (I know...excuses, excuses).  Lowell told me to push the flats and to stay anaerobic on the hills.  Oh, yes....the hills.  Our course has 2 of them (Baskin & Loring) and they are nasty.  And we do Baskin twice.  So, based on Lowell's suggestion, I'd be taking it "relatively" easy for a good portion of the course, which I was totally fine with.


For the record, the above image doesn't do it justice.  It's brutal.  And, after running it, I now have even more respect for all the athletes that have to tackle this course at any point in their lives.  I did have a lot of fun, though, seeing several people (runners, friends, parents & coaches) along the course who cheered for me, which is always nice.  I rolled across the finish line in a respectable 21:12 (6:50 avg), a time that I was more than pleased with given the degree of difficulty and my overall energy level.

Aaron, who had worked the race so that Lowell could run, was sitting at the finish and when I crossed the line I gave him a quick "How YOU Doin?" hand gesture because, well, why not?  Then I headed back out for my final 2 miles of the morning.  No cheating on the workout when your coach is there, right?  I would never.  When I got back, I learned that I'd won a gift certificate Greater Boston Running Co., the local running store, for being the first woman, which I was more than thrilled about.  I also got to spend a little more time with everyone who had come to spectate....Sevana, Katherine, Maya B-T, Alex, Sophie, Lucy, many great ladies to catch up with.  And then, finally, it was time for me to head back home.  I said goodbye to the LHS crew and to Lowell and Aaron, wished Coach Babcock and the boys who were running NXN good luck, and headed to town for a coffee before going back home.  People ask me all the time why I race.  I tend to give standard answers like...because I like to challenge myself or because it gives me a runner's high.  But, in the end, the best part of racing, regardless of how I approach it, is the love and camaraderie that goes along with it.  Because in the running world, it doesn't matter what kind of athlete you are...young, old, fast, or slow; we are all one big happy family and everyone is welcome.  #RUNLOVE

Listen to this:
Air Traffic Controller - People Watching

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.” 
~ Jefferson Bethke

So, despite being seeded 9th as they headed off to the MIAA All-State finals this past Saturday, the LHS XC ladies ended up finishing an impressive 4th.  That's right baby, fourth place in the state of MA in their division.  I was and continue to be stupidly ecstatic.  They ran together, they ran for each other and they ran their hearts out.  It was such a perfect ending to an incredible season.  And while I would have been proud of them no matter what, to see all their hard work come to fruition was truly the icing on the cake.  They are an amazing crew, I'm so thankful for my time with them and I will miss them terribly.

While I'm sad that our XC season is over, I'm incredibly fortunate to have several other things on the calendar to look forward to.  Never a dull moment.  Thank goodness.  Here's what's coming up.

1. Thanksgiving - 11/26  I love this holiday.  We typically spend it with my side of the family.  And while, I'm a little bummed that I won't be with them this year (we all just met in Florida for a family wedding and couldn't swing both), I'm really looking forward to switching it up and hanging with Jeff's side of the family on Cape Cod.  Should be a nice, quiet, relaxing couple of days with lots of laughs, a few naps, and a boat load of good food.

2. Chatham Turkey Trot - 11/26 - This one is new for us since we aren't usually on the Cape for turkey day.  My girls have just gotten into running and Rosie, in particular, is always up for a 5K. Our whole family is planning to run this one together which is always a blast.  The cool thing about this race is that they don't keep track of times or places.  It's just a fun event where you can get out and spend time with friends and family.  So cool.  Added bonus?  Calorie deficit in preparation for the big meal.

3. Rosie's Birthday - 11/29 - Little Rosie is turning 11.  Wait...what??  We'll be celebrating with friends and family both on the Cape and in NH.  And while my heart breaks a little every year that she gets older, I am so proud of the girl she has become.  Sniff, sniff.

4. Cambridge Winter Classic 5K - 12/6  Really fired up for this one.  I'm meeting up with a bunch of my Oiselle teammates to race together and then to grab brunch and catch up.  These ladies are coming from all over MA/RI/NH/VT area and I haven't seen many of them in a long time, so I'm almost giddy.  The race itself is awesome, too.  Great crowd, great swag, great costumes...more like a party than a race.  Highly recommend it if you are in the area.

All of these events are focused around family, friends, food, and fun.  I love that.  And I am so insanely thankful.  For all that has happened and all that lies ahead.

Listen to this:
We Can Glow - Royal Teeth or listen w/

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


This coming Saturday, my Lexington High School XC ladies will be competing at the MIAA All-State Finals out at Stanley Park in Westfield, MA.  It is a meet that they had to qualify for, which they did last Saturday at the EMASS Divisional Meet by taking 2nd place in their division (top 4 teams moved on).  It's both the culmination and the pinnacle of their season.  These girls have worked unbelievably hard to get to this point and, regardless of how this meet plays out, I'm so insanely proud of them.  Though it goes by fast, the XC season is actually pretty long.  We start training in late August and we're ending now, in mid-November.  It can be tough for the girls to stay fit, motivated and healthy for 3+ months.  But, somehow, they always manage to pull through.  A lot of that has to do with the strength of their team.  They love each other, support each other, train with each other, cheer for each other, lean on each other, laugh with each other, cry with each other, and at the end of the day, there is no way they would get to this stage of the season each year without each other.  It's a loud, crazy, driven bunch of awesome girls and I wouldn't want it any other way.  To give you a sense of what it's all about, here's a look at how it all breaks down in numbers.


1 season
13 weeks
56 runners

2 coaches
68 practices

7 League meets
7-0 League meet record

Ocean State Invitational

3 Invitationals (Clipper, Ocean State, Bay State)
1 EMASS Divisional Meet
1 MIAA All-State Meet

110 pairs of sneakers (minimum)
500 sports bras (give or take)
50ish pairs of compressions socks/sleeves

thousands of gallons of water and gatorade
hundreds of pre-meet bagels
an insane amounts of bananas

3 banana costumes
4 pies (nice work, Lucy)
0 jars of homemade jam (still waiting, Lucy)

 lots of pep talks
3 fundraisers

1 ALS ice bucket challenge
1 car wash

30ish bus rides
13 team dinners

w/ Hayley, Paige, Emelyn & Ashley

4 awesome captains
thousands of high-fives
millions of push-ups (ok, maybe not, but it felt like it)
countless hard workouts

40-50 shakeout runs
a shit ton of strides
a whole lot of foam rolling

10 long runs
thousands of spikes
too many Baskins

1 scavenger hunt
1 banquet
a little blood
buckets of sweat
a few tears
a boatload of laughter

and a whole lotta #RUNLOVE

Listen to this:
Light Me Up - Bronze Radio Return or listen w/