chords and cadence

Another runner's writ

Archive for the month “January, 2013”

Relationship status

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Enough said.

Four weeks (and a couple days) ’til the big day!

‘Til then, my tunes consist of:

Alt-J (My new jam, ‘Breezeblocks’)

The Devil Makes Three

The Eagles (Specifically ‘Their Greatest Hits 1971-1975′)

Dave Matthews Band ‘Away From the World’ album (This song)

run happy

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Rave Run: Percy Warner Trails

I’ve been hankering for some trails lately.picstitch

And some hills and mud, but, duh.

I hate to admit I haven’t hit the trails since being back in Nashville after going home to Colorado (thanks to marathon training!). My legs were all: ‘Hey, this isn’t concrete/flat/stable’, so I guess that means the trails and I need more one-on-one time.

Okay, fine, if I have to!

The deets:

Mileage: 7+ miles. NikeRunning only picked up 6.66, and that was after a 12-minute warm-up.

Tunage: I recently bought Railroad Earth‘s album ‘The Black Bear Sessions.’ Key tracks: ‘Colorado’ (Of course!), ‘Stillwater Getaway,’ and ‘Railroad Earth’ but I recommend the whole thing. I listened to it almost twice through.

Trail: At Percy Warner, the Warner Woods Trail (2.5 miles), plus the Cane Connector Trail (4.5 miles). Hills, tree roots, tree stumps, horizontal trees interrupting the trail, slick rock, ravines, and mud. This baby’s got it all (and my heart).

Time: From car door to car door, it took about 1:25. Granted, I was a little slower because I stopped to catch my breath take pictures, and yes, maybe I slid and fell on my butt a time or two. But hey, not bad for negotiating washed out trails, mud, and misbehaving spandex.

This wasn’t my first rodeo at Percy Warner, but I haven’t officially professed my love for this run yet. I haven’t yet raved about it on the internet.

So, Percy Warner, consider yourself raved about. Congrats! See you soon.

Forecast: Rain, 18 miles, and a chance of gratitude

I wasn’t really jumping up and down about it.singing-in-the-rain-1

It was a long day on the training schedule (read: 18 miles), there was a 142% chance of pouring rain in Nashville all day, and it was a Sunday which meant my gym wouldn’t open until the leisurely hour of 1 pm.

Pull out the rain jacket, grab a towel and flip-flops for the drive home: It might get wet.

I met up with my group for marathon training who looked a little less enthused- but no less determined- to hammer out some mileage. Instead of a rock mix last week, our playlist would be a cacophony of squeaky wet shoes, swishing rain gear, and audible rain drops incessantly making themselves known.

We set off with a little less urgency than the week prior. Some had gear to (try to) protect them from the elements, others’ attire just shrugged ‘screw it!’ Mine was a rain jacket that was ditched after three miles. ‘Screw it!’

Running in the rain without music was unexpectedly entertaining. Instead of getting lost in drum beats, I got lost in the beats the rain made on the pavement, and the changes in tone when I would run over a wooden bridge or by a thicket of trees. I even heard frogs!

Without headphones, I was forced to pay attention to my breath and stride, and meditated over my endurance for another 14 miles… 10 miles… 5 miles. I was challenged to be more in tune with, well, me.

After a little less than three hours, I got back to the car and had a text from my best friend: “Please don’t tell me you’re running in this…” And I admitted my insanity: “Well I was, but not anymore!” Woops? I could see her rolling her eyes at me…‘Taylor!!!! Crazy girl…’

It wasn’t an idyllic situation at first, but I finished more challenged in a completely different way, and came away with gratitude. Challenges force us to grow, think, and feel, and if we don’t take advantage of opportunities in which to do so, what the heck are we doing here?

I won’t ditch the headphones for every run. It wasn’t that life changing. Next Sunday I have 20 miles, and if it is raining again on Sunday, I will have already rigged a way to keep my tunes waterproof. I’ll listen to a little classic rock, maybe some dirty rap, but I’ll give myself a couple of miles to hear what the rain has to say.

Songs for hills

steep-gradeHills. The doctor called yesterday, and he prescribed hills.

So I did hills.

I ran with the East Nasty Running Group and I tend to ditch the headphones when other people are around, so I ran the hills sans beats. It cured what was ailing me (thanks, Doc.) but had I brought the tunes, I would have put on this playlist produced precisely for a challenging, gritty, lovely hill workout.

Sabotage by Beastie Boys

Welcome to the Church of Rock and Roll by Foxy Shazam

Younger Us by Japanroids

Marathon Runner by Yellow Ostrich (I’m a little obsessed with this song; it’s on another playlist.)

Ain’t Nothin’ Wrong With That by Robert Randolph and the Family Band

Here I Come by The Roots

Wicker Plane by State Radio

My Name is Jonas by Weezer

10 A.M. Automatic by The Black Keys

Salute Your Solution by The Raconteurs

Black Leaf  by Cave Singers

Cousins by Vampire Weekend

Girl Named Tennessee by NEEDTOBREATHE

Countdown by Beyonce (Yes, Beyonce.)

Hill repeats, anyone?

2013: Cheers!

photoAlthough this is my virgin post of 2013 (Happy New Year!) it will not be about my (sure to be insanely original) New Years Resolutions. No sir. You’re welcome. Cheers.

However, I will be mildly self-indulgent and reflect (briefly!) on 2012. And then we’ll really move on. You’re welcome. Cheers.

I finished out 2012 having run over 1,200 miles, four half-marathons, one 10k, at least one mile for 42 days straight, and more hills than you can shake a Garmin at. I ran at 10,000 feet, the desert, and sea level. I ran happy, and I ran sad. I ran in rain, snow, sleet, and heat. Through all this running, I ran into a new passion and I have never been happier in my life. (See what I did there?)

I also did the little thing of packing up my car and moving halfway across the country by myself to the city of my dreams and now I’m living happily ever after frequenting honky tonks and bluegrass jams, but that’s for another blog.

2012 was good to me and I was sorry to see it go. 2013 has got to step it up, big time.

Might I run into Kenny Chesney/Luke Bryan/Keith Urban out in Nashville somewhere?

Might I hit 1500 miles?

Might I not only finish my first marathon, but another one six weeks later?

(I’m gonna say yes to all three of those. Ah, the power of positivity.)

My first marathon (in beautiful Asheville, NC) is in eight weeks, on March 3. As the training mileage increases, so does my excitement, anxiety, and frequency of Icy Hot applications (my apartment smells faintly like the stuff and I am totally okay with it).

The Country Music Marathon and Half in Nashville is April 27th, seven weeks later, and I signed up for 26.2. I figure after a week of recovery, I can jump back into a reasonable training routine and be just as ready. (Anyone else done this? Pointers?)

Besides races and personal goals, I decided to dedicate to giving back this year too. I’m excited to say I have volunteered with Girls on the Run, a non-profit program that gets girls from 3rd through 8th grade active, into running, and promotes healthy living and positive self-esteem. At the end of their 12-week program, they run in a 5K race. I’ll be running with the girls twice a week for practice. I can’t wait to ignite a passion for activity and establish self-esteem and good habits in the hearts of some sweet little girls!

So there you have it. That’s what 2013 looks like for me, although the race entries will hopefully increase. Nothing like smashing goals and setting new ones! How far will you go?

Oh, and I gotta give you some music in this entry. Welcome, The Lone Bellow. Rootsy folk + harmonic vocals + soul. They will blow up in 2013, mark my words. Enjoy!

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