The Metaphor of My Running Playlist

My heart goes out to the victims and their families of the Vegas shooting. I can’t imagine how terrifying a time that was. My heart also goes out to those in Edmonton who faced a terrorist and fell victim to such extremism. May they find peace and solace in these troubling times.


Running has always been a part of my life. I’ve played sports since I could kick, throw, and swing. Then in high school I discovered wrestling (thanks Doug!) and I ran even more. Until I entered university running was just a way to keep in shape for all the other sports I played. It was never a sport itself.

Then it was. My first race was a relay race in western Maryland. Teams of two would take turns running a five and half mile loop through the woods. For. Six. Hours. We took second and I was hooked. Since then I’ve run four half marathons and several 10k races. Mostly, I’ve just run. Not for training. Not for racing. But just for the sake of running. Call it “me time” or “exercise time” or “nuts” but I enjoy it. I just wish I had more time for it.

Sometimes I run to music and sometimes I let Mother Nature provide the soundtrack.

Here are the top 10 songs in the playlist I listen to on my runs and why I run to them…

1. Lose Yourself – Eminem

The beat for this song start my run perfectly. It matches my cadence. Lose yourself in the music, the moment and that’s exactly what I do. I tune out the world and tune into myself – my footfalls, my breathing, and the road ahead. Suddenly, my frustrations with the kids, my honey-do list, and the million other worries of adulting melt away behind. I outrun them all. Did I mention the bpm (beats per minute) is spot on?

2. America’s Sweetheart – Elle King

This is just a fun song. While I’m usually too out of breath to sing along, I try. Out there where no one can hear me I can sing my heart out without puncturing eardrums. So kick out the jams, kick up the soul / Pour another glass of that rock and roll and I kick up the pace and pour another glass of kick ass.

3. The Light – Disturbed

This song is moving and I love the grungy vocals behind the usually heavy metal band. This song is about seeing the positives, seeing the light no matter how bad things seems to be. Sometimes darkness can show you the light. By the time I get to this song I’m at mile 2 and this one settles me in for the next 3+ miles. Don’t let hope become a memory. Because there are many things I hope for – money, health, family, travel…

4. Love Run Out- One Republic

The drums. The piano. Driving. Pulsing. Invigorating. I’ll be your light, your match, your burning soul. Well, duh. I’m your hubband, DW, I’ll be what you need to me to be. Even on those days when you get growly at me. Even on those days when all “my best” traits are shining through in our offspring. Don’t worry, my love will never run out.

5. Hall of Fame – The Script Ft. Will i am

This song makes me feel like I can conquer the world. You can move a mountain / You can break rock. I can and I will. Okay, maybe not move a mountain, but I can run up this really big hill. Maybe I can’t break rock but I can break my personal best by running just a bit faster.

6. My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

I love the energy of this song. I get lost in the song and forget that I’m 5 miles into my run with another 1.2 to go. So light ’em up up up / I’m on fire. I’ve run this far, on fire I am. This song provide me that boost of energy to finish my run strong rather than limping, sucking wind, and begging for someone to come get me.

7. Hey Brother – Avicii

I just love to sing along with this one, even if it is difficult to do when you’re this far into a run you’re supposedly doing for fun. The water’s sweet but blood is thicker. Family is important and by this point in my run I’m headed back to them. So close to loved ones and food. So refreshed and feeling new, albeit worn out. Plus the bass is pretty wicked sweet. I can feel my feet nearly leave the ground.

8. Demons – Imagine Dragons

This song is a bit slower than the others. For good reason, too. I’m nearing the end of my 10 song playlist and I need a little rest, slow the pace just enough to hold the notes and belt it out before getting back to where people can hear me. With a little luck, I’ve been able to outrun my demons and leave them far, far behind.

9. The Fighter – Gym Class Heroes ft. Ryan Tedder

Hell yeah I’m a fighter. That’s why I’m out here getting my miles in. So I can fight harder. While I’m not exactly sure what I’m fighting, other than the old me in order make a healthier, new me. Ya ever feel like your train of thought’s been derailed / That’s when you press on Lee nails. Fake it until you make it. Be the best you can be until can be better.

10. Iron Man – Black Sabbath

My heart is in the classics, my parents music. How cool is it to listen to a sci-fi song on your run? Dude time travels to the future, hits a magnetic storm on his return and turns to iron. No one listens to his warnings of an apocalypse so he kills them, becoming the apocalypse he warned of. Plus it’s good old Ozzy Osbourne with Black Sabbath. On certain runs this is my cool down, stretch afterward, song. After a good run I feel like an Iron Man. Though not the killing kind because I’m too tired. And I don’t kill. Except that run. I killed that run.

What do you like to listen to when you run?

Now go run and catch me on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook!

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From Mark Remy at dumbrunner.com

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Body Like A Bugatti

I’m going to show you two vehicles and I want you to decide which one you want to drive to work. You’ll certainly get the boss’s attention with either of them, but which one would earn you an invite back to work? Especially if you took your boss for a spin. 

You probably picked the Bugatti Veyron. I sure as hell did. It’s a 2.6 million dollar vehicle. It’s oil change is $20,000. It’s set of tires is $30,000 and will need to be changed every 2500 miles. It’s a high performance machine that can reach 60 mph from a standstill in just over 2 seconds. This is a high maintenance vehicle if I ever saw one.

While that dump truck is powerfully strong, it’s certainly not high maintenance. It runs on dirty diesel fuel. It takes about 45 minutes and a downhill to reach 60 mph. It’s not a luxurious ride.

I want my body to work like a Bugatti.

Unfortunately, I’ve been driving it like a dumptruck. I’ve been fueling it with diesel instead of high octane. I haven’t gotten it up to speed, revved the engine, or treated it like the machine it could be. Sweets, and salty chips don’t make an engine or a body run well. Sitting on my butt doesn’t work either. It takes exercise and eating right to make our bodies like the well oiled machines others would be jealous to drive. 

You see, there may only be 40 bugattis in the world, but this is only body we’ve got. It’s even more rare, even more precious than a 2.6 million dollar car. The difference between our bodies and the cars is that our bodies get stronger when we run them hard. Our bodies run smoother, more efficiently. Whereas cars wear out, need oil changes, new tires and $21,000 routine maintenance to prevent them from breaking down while running hard. They don’t get strong with workouts. 

It’s time to eat right, time to exercise right, time to get this machine running better than a Bugatti.

In Lieu of a Good Post, I Give You A Shoddy Post

I’ve been racking my brain trying to think of what to write today. I was going to write while the boys watched a movie on this rainy day. But they were watching Goonies. I watched, too. I couldn’t help it. I can’t think of any words of wisdom about parenting other than Just Do It.

Now it’s supper time and I’m still sit staring at that blinking, mocking, jerk of a cursor.

I didn’t go running yet. I can’t think of any words of word of wisdom to help motivate you to get moving other than Just Do It.

I don’t even own Nikes. I run in Sauconys.

It’s raining. Did I mention that? Perhaps I’ll get my run in after the boys are in bed. I do enjoy a good run in the dark and rain. There’s practically no traffic. One time I even got to race the train.

I won.

Perhaps he let me. But still…

I won.

Time to cook the chicken.

Don’t you love the smell of rain?

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DW asks me, “How will I know you have Alzheimer’s?”

 

Accountability

It’s a big word.

Like responsibity.

We all have responsibilites.

Cooking.
Cleaning.
Keeping the kids alive.

So when you fail at your responsibilities you are held accountable. Or me. I’m held accountable, too.

Two weeks ago I set a goal for myself to quit drinking Coke and to start running regularly. Both have happened, but not quite like I imagined. First, I ended up not quitting Coke all together. I cut back to two per week. I was drinking six. It was a combination of six cans and 500mL bottles. That’s A LOT of sugar. So two is much better than six. A step in the right direction.

My other goal of running regularly while hasn’t been a total success, has been a step in the right direction. I ran once the first week (two weeks ago). I ran twice last week. So far I’ve only run once this week. Crash has been accompanying me on his bike. We’re up at 6:30, a bite to eat then we’re out the door by 7. However, this morning, Bang was awake so he jumped in the jogging stroller, Crash jumped on his bike and the three of us took off. My goal time pushing a 50+ pound stroller for 4 miles was 36 minutes. We made it in 35:32.

So I’m holding myself accountable. Crash knows the plan is to get out on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. He asked me why we skipped last Friday. How can I teach him responsibility and accountability if I don’t hold myself to the same standard? Lead by example instead of do as I say not as I do.

If you’re looking for me in the morning, I’ll be running the roads. My favorite biker beside me. If he’s awake, my favorite stroller rider in front of me.

I’m No Quitter…

According to the internet, Mark Twain said he has quit smoking either hundreds of times or thousands of times. Either way, that’s a whole lotta quitting. I’m not a quitter. I don’t give up.

That’s why I need to quit Coke again. I went three days without last week. I think I can go four this week. No Coke ’til Friday!

Crash and I had a beautiful run this morning. I ran. He biked. The sun shined. Last week we ran/biked four miles. This week’s goal is 12 miles – four miles Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Our goal time is 34 minutes for four miles. Last week we made it in 33:52. Today we made in 32:56, a minute faster!  This is roughly three minutes slower than my best, but I’ll chalk that up to having not run for a few months. Even then my running was as sporadic as the times my kids are willing to clean. I’d like to get back to running regularly again.

I used to run at night after the boys were in bed. I have just now started going first thing in the morning. Crash is an early riser so we have a small breakfast of either a bagel or English muffin then hit the road. Skip the OJ. I love OJ with breakfast. But OJ sits heavy and will often make a reappearance at around mile two or three. Stick to water. It’ll stay down.

895ae34a9d5beca1c1df0bcef31d7b91These 7 am runs can only last the month of August, though. Come September the boys will both be in school and will have to start getting ready at 7 am. Not kosher with the 7 am run. I would go 6 am, but because of how our substitute teacher system works online, I usually start job hunting at 6 am. Will I be ambitious enough to run at 5:15 am? Considering that DW and I get our quiet time together after the boys are in bed, I don’t see myself going to bed early enough to get up at 5 am. My dad does it. Though, he gets up at 5 to go to work , not go running.

This is when I need to “up my game”. If I can’t find the time, I need to make the time. There are 24 hours in a day. That’s 1,440 minutes. I’m sure 30-45 of those can be dedicated to running. Especially if it means getting Crash out for a bike ride, too. Bang would join us, but he’s been sleeping in. Soon enough he’ll be pushed in the running stroller while Crash bikes. He loves to see the train tracks, the tanker cars (he calls the white ones ‘milk tankers’) and the tower of fire at the natural gas plant. And the ‘big fans‘ too. Hopefully, getting them out running with me will instil a desire for exercise as they grow older. I’ll cross my fingers. I won’t hold my breath.

Do you enjoy running? What part of the day do you dedicate to exercise?

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Our view on this morning’s run/bike

 

 

Life Happens

Have you ever had the best plan ever, then something unforeseen happens. Or perhaps just normal, every day routine happens. But your best plan ever never happens. Life happens.

Back in January, I set a goal for myself. I wanted to run a thousand miles this year. It’s the second year in a row I’ve set this goal. It’s the second year in a row I’ve failed. Perhaps three’s the charm? Anyway, I just looked at my running log. It’s been 57 days since I ran last. Really? Yep, on October 15th I ran 10k. Haven’t run since.

Thanks life.

I’ve been trying to figure out when I can get my runs in. I could go early in the morning. However, I can’t justify getting up at 5 am for a run. Plus, the kids are light sleepers in the mornings. Our squeaky floors would surely wake them. I could go right after school. However, that’s play time with the kids for an hour before it’s time to get supper on the go. Until Crash starts getting homework. Once that happens, homework will come first, then play.

I could go after the kids are in bed. That’s when I used to go most often. I don’t mind running in the dark. Actually, I used to look forward to it if it was snowing. The silence that comes with newly fallen snow is incredible. Pair that with the darkness and the Earth becomes a magical wonderland. However, the evenings have become us time for DW and I. The kids are in bed and all is quiet. So we watch a couple shows on TV. Do I give up time with the kids to go running? Do I give up time with DW to go running? Ain’t no way in hell I can make that decision.

But, I will get back into it. All that endorphin and “me time” is a needed factor in every life. Thanks to a post and a small discussion with Dave over at Runs Wit Faust, I will indeed be getting back on the road. Back on the trail, too. Running in the woods is even better. But I can’t go there after dark. I’m lucky I don’t get lost during the day let alone at night. Plus there are things that might eat me at night. I’d rather have supper than be supper.

Prior to this break from running, I would run for nearly an hour. Perhaps if I shorten my runs to a half hour (for now) I can make the time to go running. Something has got to be better than nothing, right? And perhaps I can rotate when I go – sometimes after school, sometimes after the kids go to bed. Or perhaps life will find something else for me to do.

But I hope not, because I like running and running likes me. And my poor running shoes miss me dearly.

A Kick in the Arse

The hardest part of going for a run is putting on my shoes. Well, that and running up hills. Finding the motivation and making the time to go can be difficult. So I’m going to leave these here to look at later. These will hopefully be my kick in the arse to help me put my running shoes on.

And my fitbit is sad. So I need to run so I can kick my friend’s (and my mom’s, dad’s, brother’s, and sister-in-law’s) butts. Lace ’em up. Tie em’ tight and hit the road or the trail or the treadmill!

The Passports

We applied for Crash’s passport on July 7th at a U.S. Consulate. The appointment went so smoothly it was eerie. We knew we were scheduled to travel on the 21st and it was supposed to to take 10 days for the passport to get to us. However, if it took 12 days it would arrive the day we were planning to leave. I really wasn’t counting on the government to give a rats ass when we were planning on traveling. I couldn’t have been more wrong. It only took 8 days. Eight.

DW and Bang’s passports were ready at the passport office last Monday. The passport office is 3 hours away. Fortunately, a trustworthy friend was going there this weekend anyway. WHOO. She got a gift card to the liquor store 🙂 She’s a teacher. We know she’ll use it. She’ll be returning to town on Sunday with our final 2 passports.

So we’re all set. I’ve already began making a list of things to remember to take. Socks, underwear, shoes, and other important things like Stuffies.

Now, I just finished a 10k run while pushing Bang. He loves going with me. He’s finishing his bedtime snack of toast and yogurt  (or bed lunch as his Nanny calls it). Then it’s up the stairs and into bed. Crash is having a sleepover at Nanny and Pop’s house. So it’ll be a quiet evening, though starting a bit late. It’s all good. It’s summer time.

Sorry, no deep, philosophical thoughts or profound lessons today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.

Kick in the pants

run viewHere is a view from our run yesterday.

Bang has been asking and asking to go for a run. He loves to go in the stroller and get pushed while I run. We see log haulers, cement trucks, excavators, train tracks, trains, and windmills (which he used to call big fans). He loves it.

I haven’t been running for 6 weeks. Hence, I’ve fallen way behind (major understatement) in my 1,000 mile challenge. He was asking and asking and this morning’s weather was good, except for the wind, so we went. He was hoping I’d go 8 miles because at the 1/2 way point to turn to go home is a gate which, of course he’s named “the gate” that he likes to pee on. We’re four miles from civilization and since the world is a boy’s urinal, why stop him.

Unfortunately, we didn’t make it to the gate. The head wind we were fighting was just too much. He was disappointed at first, but accepted it after I told we’d try to make it to the gate next time. As you can see in the photo, we have a view of the water for almost the entire trip. Most of the time there is at least one cargo ship docked here. Last summer Crash was able to ride his bike to the gate with me. I was impressed.

We had been riding farther distances each time we went. We started just riding around town and would total about 3 miles. Then we rode out of town for a 4 mile ride. Then one day he wanted to go over the next hill so we ended up going 6 miles. After that I asked him he wanted to ride to the gate. We made it. Though we ended up fighting the wind and some rain on the way back. Bang is getting pretty adept on his bike and I don’t foresee his training wheels lasting the summer.

Bang provided me with the kick in the pants I needed to get running again. Now that it’s light outside until 9:00, I should be getting out after they’re in bed when I typically go. But I’ve gotten used to sitting and relaxing during this quiet period in our house. So we’ll see who wins this evening… shoes or pajamas?