Hello August…

The worst part of fall marathon training is that most of it occurs in the summer.

I don’t like the heat. I mean, you probably wouldn’t know because i’ve been doing my share of mid-day runs along the river…outside…in the heat and sun. But it usually involves stopping at ALL the water fountains during the second half.

And sure, I did do three races in July…but none of them were quite as good as earlier in the year when the weather cooler.

My poor garmin is getting dusty because I refuse to have digital proof of how awful my paces have been. I mean i’ve actually been eying this training shirt. LOL

But i’m 54 days out from the Adirondack Marathon, which means its time to really get serious. To decide if I have a PR goal, or merely a course-PR goal.

You see, that sucker is HILLY.

And while the first half is crazier hills than the second, the last time I ran this my goal was to beast the hills. And I did, and then the wheels came off by mile 17 and the ‘rolling hills’ in the later miles felt harder than the spikes.

So I plan to spend August ramping up both the strength training (adding a 3rd day a week), the hill training (wherever I can) and, as usual, distance (August’s schedule includes a 16, an 18 and a 20 miler). Dusting off the garmin so I actually know how fast (slow?) I’m going. And hoping that August is mild (yeah, I know….likely not happening).

I’m also going to up my hydration game (my running buddy h2o is about to get in some more miles) and maybe go back on the music (my single-ear sports bud isn’t getting its exercise either). Might be a good month to run to Zac Brown and Jimmy Buffet. oooh – virgin pina coladas in the h20 pouch? LOL

So, if you need me this month…i’ll be out running hills, feeling tropical and thinking fall.

Confessions of a Running Metalhead

So this weekend, while sitting outside relaxing with the hubs and noticing that someone had read one of my blogs (yes, I check daily, and yes I LOVE my readers!), he said to me…

“You’re a really good writer, but you need to branch out on your topics. All you write about is running.”

So after I went all ‘Rudolph after Clarice tells him he’s cute’ (lol), I told him, okay, I will write about music this week. But as they say to write what you know… I am going to give you my top six favorite running songs. And why I love them.

People might be surprised that they are ALL metal. But its because a) I LOVE metal and b) you can’t run fast to a slow song. Its about trying to keep your feet to the beat. So make it a good one.

These songs make it onto ALL of my speed playlists – be it a 5k, half-marathon or just Thursday Sprintervals. They were there when I set my 5k PR (Turkey Vision Quest playlist) and kicked asphalt at the Blackstone Valley Half (2:01 or bust playlist). They are those songs that when I hear them when i’m not running, they make me wish I was running.

They are:

6. Ready to Rock – Airborne
Why? The lyrics start with “Went down to the crossroads, made a deal with the devil. Sold my soul for a guitar. Became a rock & roll rebel” Plus those O’Keefe brothers are mad talented. Love the whole Black Dog Barking album.  But this song? As it surges, so do I. I’ve put it on repeat before and run the whole time to it. Its fast and hard and my sub-8 mile pace song. Are you READY????

5. Electric Eye – Judas Priest
Why? Its fast. Its fun. I’m listening as I write this and can’t stop moving my foot. It moves.

4. Stand Up and Shout – Dio
Why? Cuz its Dio. And like the others on this list, starts out with a bang. And never slows down. Plus I love the lyrics. “You’ve got desire so let it out. You’ve got the power.” YES… So what if I lip-sync on the treadmill.

3. Riding on the Wind – Judas Priest
Why? Cuz its awesome. From drums to guitar to them together…. i’m just trying to keep up. And Rob’s vocals are spot on.

2. Death Alley Driver – Rainbow
Why? Ritchie freaking Blackmore. Because the song starts out setting a great uptempo beat. And the guitar solo mid-song just makes me smile. And push the pace even more. And the lyrics are SO running.. “You’ll never win the race, but you won’t give up the chase” resonate with this mid-packer.

1. Kickstart My Heart – Motley Crue
Why? That opening. This is my leadoff song for most races. It kicks in fast and hard early and just sets the groove. Guitar, to Drums (tommy sets a killer beat) to Vince’s scream..it just moves. And so do I.

So…. how many of you are itching to run right now? Or tapping your foot? LOL Who else is secretly a running metalhead? Are any of these on YOUR must list?

Rock on my friends…🤘🏻🤘🏻

Seven Weeks & Seven Songs…let’s marath-on!

And just like that we’re one week closer. 49 days to Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

Getting excited yet? I sure am!! 😁

Training is still going great…run, lift, rest, repeat.  This week was just a 12 mile long run. Nice and easy and right on pace. 😀 And i’m looking forward to a sweet 16 on Sunday.

Hope you all enjoyed last week’s helpful tips. And this week, in honor of the 7 week mark, I bring you 7 songs…Disney songs of course…that best describe running Disney.

This is by no means a playlist, more the Marathon told by songs. 😀🏃🏻‍♀️❤️

  • Be Prepared – this one is pretty obvious. Train, plan, organize, and be ready to roll bright and early race morning. (Or should I say dark & early?  Either way…the pixie dust will be flowing and you won’t even notice.)
  • Heigh-Ho – it’s race morning. Off to work we go!
  • Let it Go – I always say no matter how well you prepare, you can’t prepare for everything. Weird things happen race day. Be it weather, or a cold, or that runner cutting you off on course.  It happens. Let it Go. Don’t let whatever it is ruin your race.
  • Life is a Highway – You will spend a chunk of time running Disney’s ‘highways’.  Its okay, because its wide and open and full of entertainment!  Characters and Pirate Ships and Army Men and whatnot.  The portion not in the parks is no less quality than the miles that are.
  • Go The Distance – Whatever distance you’ve chosen for race weekend, know that you got this.  Its all you.  You can…go the distance! (Even if at like mile 21 you’re tired and have stones in your shoes from running the warning track and you just wanna quit.  Just keep swimming…er running.)
  • It’s a Small World – The World Showcase never looked so good.  When you get there and you know you’ve got just 1.2 miles left, you celebrate and let the crowds carry you.  That last mile is pure adrenaline. And…a small world after all
  • Hakuna Matata – No worries! Because Disney is truly the most magical race on earth. And your run will be the experience of a lifetime.  So breathe deep, smile for the photographers and let this problem free philosophy be your guide through the miles. 

There is also one non-Disney song that I’ve heard during the races both times i’ve run. Its simple…and obvious…but oh so true.  “Don’t Stop Believin”

How ya feeling fellow disney runners?  Are you ready?  Because in just 49 days… You Can Fly!

I play the road

I woke up with a song stuck in my head. And it stayed with me through my five miler today. At mile 3 it caused an a-ha moment. Thank you Zac Brown!

I play the road. And the highway is my song.

I was never a team sport girl. Serious lack of hand eye coordination kept me off the high school sports fields. I couldn’t hit, throw or kick a ball very far. I also don’t want to be responsible for a team losing because I’m the weak link.

I’m self-competitive. I like to win, and by that I mean beating old times and old distances. Pushing myself to improve, for me.

I spend hours a week practicing my sport. Time alone out on my field of choice, the streets of Massachusetts.

The road is my gym, my teacher, my friend. It is always there for me. It expects nothing in return. It is what I make of it.

I am an athlete. I am a runner. I play the road.

I got the music in me

One of the most popular questions runners ask each other is “do you run with music?”

And my typical response is “when I’m inside yes, when I’m outside no.” But that’s not entirely true.

I always have music in my head.

When I first started running I carried my MP3 player with me at all times. It was a crutch, a security blanket, a way to not get bored and to keep my mind occupied.

Then one day I read an article in Runners World magazine about running without music and decided to give it a try – outdoors only of course. On a treadmill I need all the distractions I can get!

And I discovered that I really enjoying running mp-free.

I notice more of my surroundings. Which is not only safer in this world of distracted driving, but lets me see things I might not have otherwise noticed.

Things like the stone walls in the woods, the hawk flying overhead, the deer standing in the field hoping I don’t notice him.

Nature starts to take on a song of its own – the chorus of the peepers, the wind through the trees, the stream rushing over the rocks.

And then – there are the songs in my head. From years of carefully cultivated playlists comes a memory full of favorite songs. Songs that I can recall at a moment’s notice to get me through a boring or rough patch of route.

And sometimes they pop unwilling in there. Yes, I did once find myself singing along to Rainbow Connection on a long run.

From Rainbow Connection to Rainbow’s Death Alley Driver – my songs run the gamut. But are always there when I need them.

So do I run with music? Yes, always. You might just not see it.