Sunday, May 27, 2012

Harder, Better, Faster, STONGER

Eeek!  Music.  It makes me run HARDER BETTER FASTER STRONGER!

Seriously, who doesn't like some good tunes whilst pounding out a tough run on the pavement?  I get asked a lot for running playlists, so rather than make random suggestions, I thought I would compile what for ME would be the ultimate running playlist. 

Before I get to said playlist, a taste in music is eclectic.  This means that I love it all.  And for different reasons.  Sometimes I love a song because of the message in the lyrics or because I'm a fan of a specific band.  Sometimes a song just has a great beat and makes me run faster.  And some songs remind me of something or someone special...a memory from my life that makes me smile, takes the focus off of the hurt and make the run just a little easier.

So here it is.  Without further ado...NO JUDGING!

Andrea's Ultimate Running Playlist

1. Great Day to Be Alive- Travis Tritt
Of course I started with country.  And Travis Tritt.  Why?  Simple.  Every day IS a great day to be alive.  Especially if you're running!

2.  White Doves- Young Empires
New. Awesome. Inspirational.  Love some of the lyrics: it takes a thousand miles to reach the stars tonight; and you will find your dreams they come alive.

3.  Let It Ride- BTO
I have always claimed to have been born in the wrong era.  I love the groove of the 70's.  And that is why I love running to this BTO classic.

4.  C'Mon (Catch 'em By Surprise)- Busta Rhymes Diplo and Tiesto
Makes me run fast.  Like a fox.  Like a maniac.  Like a Kenyan.  A white Kenyan.  With short legs and a long body.  Very un-Kenyan like as a matter of fact...but a gal can't dream, can't she?

5.  Sofi Needs a Ladder- deadmau5

6.  Runnin' Down a Dream- Tom Petty
No explanation needed.  I AM running down a dream.  Many of them, actually.  But most specifically, 26 marathons, 26 different places, see to the right if you're confused...

7.  Don't Stop Believin'- Journey

8. Long Hot Summer- Keith Urban

9. Eye of the Beholder- Metallica
Every running playlist needs some Metallica.  Yes.  Every single one.  Laughing?  Whatever.  You'll see.  Download some.  It will get you through some tough spots on any and every run, I promise.  Plus it takes me back to my misspent Northern Ontario roots.  Kenora Dinner Jackets and pit parties.  Rock on.

10. Sad But True- Metallica

11. Sexy And I Know It- LMFAO
Nothing says sexy like running.  Running is Sexy.  Strong is Sexy.  Healthy is sexy.  Having endurance most 20 year olds don't even know exists yet, SUPER sexy.  And we all know it!

12. Save Me San Francisco- Train
I love the lyrics.  I smile and laugh.

13. Here I Go Again- Whitesnake
It's summer.  It's hot and humid.  I'm driving my boat.  In it are ARJR, Ellis, Haney and Bergie.  We are just pulling up to the Yacht Club Dance and this song is playing.  We just stole beer from someone else's boat and chugged it in a sauna to avoid a short but crazy rainfall.  What a great memory.

14. Banjo- Rascal Flatts

15. Not in Love- Crystal Castles f. Robert Smith

16. Run this Town- Jay Z
Jay Z is badass.  Therefore I become badass when I run this town.  I mean run in this town to this song.  Super street, that's me.

17. Paradise City- Guns n' Roses
For a period of my life, I partied like I was a rockstar.  To be specific, a rockstar in GnR.  Or at least like GnR bandaid.  While those days (?) they are certainly behind me now.  This song certainly gets me moving.  and when you're running this can't be a bad thing. 

18. Shake it Out (Benni Benassi Remix)- Florence and the Machine

19.  Stinkfist- Tool
Much like Metallica, I can't imagine a running playlist without Tool.  These guys have pushed me through some pretty tough marathon spots.  Tool, if (I mean when) you read this, you rock.  Completely.

21.  Electric Feel- MGMT
A nice slow beat to wrap it all up.

And that is all I have to say about that.  Like I said, my taste is varied, but to me, music for running is not about sticking to a certain genre or band.  It's about motivating me to run Harder.  Better.  Faster. Stronger. 

My suggestion?  Start downloading.  And then get your butt into shoes and onto the pavement.  Preferably singing the whole time!

Saturday, May 19, 2012


It's true.

I am not running in the Ottawa marathon next weekend. 

I am not running in the Ottawa marathon next weekend.

For real.  I even wrote it twice to be sure.  Ever notice how when you say something out loud or write it down, it suddenly becomes that much more real?

I have to admit, it hurts.  While my knees, hips and back are not hurt at all (and are likely silently rejoicing, if body parts can rejoice) by this turn of events, my heart is.  And my soul.  And my psyche.  When you are hyper-focused on a goal as marathoners tend to be, it can be a harsh reality to admit that the finish line will just not be crossed.  As I've reflected most recently, it certainly isn't just about crossing that proverbial finish line, but really is more about the process in getting there. Choosing not to run in Ottawa needs to be seen and felt as just that, then...a part of the process.  A part of the process that will ensure I am strong, fit and healthy when I hit up DC in October for the Marine Corps marathon.  I am thinking of this as the GIFT I am giving my future self so I am ABLE to train at the level I truly, truly want.

Dear Body: Today I am giving you the gift of PERMISSION.  Permission to rest, recover, HEAL, regain strength, fitness and health so in the future, you can be pushed to sub 3 and you respond with NO PROBLEM!

The silver lining in the cloud?  I get to be a supporter and spectator in my home city marathon, the Scotiabank Calgary Marathon.  Next weekend, starting in the wee hours of Sunday morning, you will find me with the fabulous team from lululemon manning a support station.  FUN!  I've never really been a race spectator before, and I have to say I'm looking quite forward to supporting runners, cheering them on and perhaps even running with them for a short distance when they might really, really need something like that.  I always appreciate the support I receive during races and am thrilled that I get to be on the giving end next weekend.  Also, because I know the lemons NEVER do anything halfway, dare I say that this will be the most awesome of support stations that runners have ever seen.  There will be music, there will be dancing.  There will be signs and sun salutations.  And from me?  Free hugs to all runners, of course!  That is if they have time to stop for one!

And in case you're wondering, I do have a running goal.  Another one.  Or an extension of the same one that I've had for a while.  First: regain health, fitness and strength so when July 1st hits, this body is going to be so ready for Marine Corps marathon training that I will be UNSTOPPABLE.  Next:

I run a sub 3:00 marathon on October 28th, 2012.

For reals. 

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Nike vs Garmin

It's official.  My Garmin 405 died a long, slow, painful death.  It was a good run with that Garmin while it lasted.  It only took me a year to figure out how to use it beyond its basic function and then after what seemed to be constant malfunction, I can't actually say that I'm feeling overly sad that the Garmin 405 and I will no longer be running together.

This morning, I took the Nike GPS system out for a spin.  Just a test drive to see if this system will be a better fit into my running life.  Liked the look (although kind of hoping they make it in pink, liked the LACK of a bezel, liked the ease of moving through the different functions.  Like that it only costs about $250.00.  Did not like the length of time to link to satellites or the bulky feeling on my wrist, albeit I have small wrists! Seemed pretty straightforward and easy to use and I particularly enjoyed the digital fireworks show and excitement when I broke the 5 and 10km records on the watch, set previously I might add by a 19 year old practically Olympian male pole vaulter.  Perhaps my speed isn't totally lost after all!

Nike!  I'd like a custom pink GPS system please!
However, I'm not totally sold.  Not yet anyhow.  I hear whispers that the Garmin 910 is pretty damn awesome and shouldn't be overlooked just because I happened to have a bunk experience with the 405.  Truthfully, I kind of feel Garmin and Nike are vying for my running love.  I'm like a princess in running gear waiting for the Garmin and the Nike to joust for my affection.  What's a gal to do?

Garmin!  I'd like a custom pink GPS system please!  And maybe a free one?
Runners, can we weigh in on this debate, please?  Thoughts one way or another?  Although I'm enjoying my back to basic runs for reals, I know me and I therefore know that there will be a time when I am ready to head out for some serious speedwork in the form of intervals and I'm not even sure if the Nike system can be set up for specific distance repeats. 

Has the past poor performance of a Garmin 405 forced this princess in running gear into the arms of the Nike GPS?  Will she continue to be haunted by the ghost of Garmin past?  Or has the 910 tugged at her heart strings just enough. Only the input of other runners can possibly save this decision.  Stay tuned.

P.S.  I'm actually more of a mermaid than a princess.  Seriously. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Inner Cowgirl

With music like this I wonder why I waited so long?  Country Love.  Is anyone else feelin' summer?  Because I sure am!

Makes me think I should break out the boot and stick around for Stampede!