whatcha listenin to?

it’s about that time in training when people are starting to put together their race day playlist. i never used to run with music but now it’s kind of a crutch for me. of course, often times i have it so low i can hardly hear it but it’s still my security blanket during races.

i tend to get stressed if i hear my feet or my breath. this brings up a whole other issue though- blog post later on the pro’s and con’s to running with music… there are lots of varying opinions on this topic.

anyway, i’m often asked what i run to. whatcha listenin to? well, i’ll tell ya. i usually always have a blog post for each new race with my race day playlist. i like to train to the same playlist i’m going to run to. that way i know what songs are coming when, how i should feel (or shouldn’t feel) when certain songs come on, which songs were my milestones during training, etc. yes, I KNOW, this is my type A personality talking. wouldn’t it be nice to just hit “shuffle” and run along? for me, not usually!

anyway, i always like to post a little disclaimer when posting the music on my ipod 🙂 don’t hold any of the songs against me. also, we always like for you to share too!

here’s my (work in progress) current playlist and my “why’s” for my next race:

*i never told you- colbie callait- i like to start to a fairly slow song so i don’t start too fast
*electric feel- mgmt- think it has a groovy beat
*love is a battlefield- pat benatar- because i loooove her
*‘till i collapse- eminem- great words- “sometimes you feel weak…but you gotta find that inner strength…”
*let’s go- trick daddy- perfect rhythm for me
*fallin’- alicia keys- can really zone out in this song
*always be my baby- david cook- love that someone can make me like a mariah carey song- thought that was an impossible feat
*blue jeans- jessie james- fun song; just makes me want to throw on my cowboy boots
*elevator- flo rida- the best beat when i need a small boost
*in color- jamey johnson- this song came on while alone on the trails and i was having a really great run; great memory for me
*she’s country- jason aldean- can’t help it- just love it
*chop me up- justin timberlake / timbaland / three six mafia- 3 of my favorites all in one song
*love lockdown- kanye west- makes me think of climbing hills when i taught spinning- gives me strength
*beast of burden- lee dewyze- loove this song and love lee
*outta your mind- lil jon / LMFAO; need a pick-me-up? this is your song (you’ve been warned though!)
*all around me- flyleaf- may need to slow down a little after that last song
*fireflies- faith hill- still remember this was the song that came on during one of my first lone runs in 30 degrees, full wind, and i just focused on the music and ran through my desire to stop
*get low- flo rida- fun memories
*reflex- duran duran- takes me back to 5th grade
*by your side- sade- mine and keith’s first dance at our wedding; “our song”
*swing- soulja boy- love the rhythm
*stay- sugarland- don’t mind me if i’m singing this as the top of my lungs when it comes on
*live like you were dying- tim mcgraw- best race finish memory ever; painful finish and was considering walking with 1/2 mile to go and this song came on and carried me to the finish
*carry out- timbaland/ justin timberlake- clever
*georgia brown- g love and special sauce- my favorite little girl and my favorite band (other than led zep!)
*i still haven’t found what i’m looking for- u2- who doesn’t just love it when this song comes on
*love removal machine- the cult- because the cult are badass
*break the ice- britney spears- because britney is badass 😉
*southern cross- crosby, stills and nash- have loved it since i was a little girl
*hot summer night- grace potter and the nocturnals- love her voice
*not afraid- eminem- really, just a big eminem fan
*remember the name- ft. minor- “10% luck; 20% skill; 15% concentrated power of will; 5% pain; 50% pleasure….”
*numb- linkin park/ jay z- love the collaboration
*edge of seventeen- stevie nicks- because it’s stevie nicks; why else
*highway 20 ride (live)- zac brown band- awesome live band
*black dog- led zeppelin- my all time favorite band
*kandi- one eskimo- like it
*it’s me bitches- swizz beatz- play it when i’m needing a boost to pass someone

ok, ok, i know this was long! it’s my current work in progress- about 3 hours but planning to get up to 5.5 hours.


Take 2

Just when we thought we were on the road to recovery…

Georgia had her 6 week follow up appointment with her surgeon on Friday. we dropped her off early that morning so they could take x-rays and do whatever other tests they needed to do. later that day when we picked her up, we were told she is “flawless” and healing beautifully. they told us we had about 9 more weeks of rehab but we could resume some of our old normalcy. She would still need to be confined when we aren’t home but could go without her sling on all flooring other than anything slippery. Yay! we were super excited.

Fast forward to Sunday night- we took Georgia out for her last walk of the night and, all of a sudden, she was limping very dramatically and appeared to be in pain. once we figured out that is wasn’t the right leg (surgery leg), we realized it was her left and appeared to be as bad as the right one was before surgery. we took her in, iced her, cried and went to bed.

So, we have now met with the surgeon and confirmed that her left ACL is completely torn. she will have to go back on friday for another surgery (same one as 6 weeks ago) and they said for us to expect to pick her up on Monday. last time i thought 2 days was bad- now 3 days!

We’re devastated for her. of course, we know that it’s what we have to do. unfortunately, her right leg isn’t quite strong enough to take on the weight of her left so she’s completely unable to walk.

Positive thoughts are greatly appreciated 🙂

milestone ride


i love milestone runs. you know, when you get to a distance or place that you haven’t previously gotten to. those are the easiest runs to remember. of course, the bad runs are even easier to remember, but we won’t get into those. (this is supposed to be a positive post!) regardless of how hard your milestone runs might be, they’re still milestones and those always deserve a little pat on the back.

i’ve been a little bummed lately with my complete setback in my marathon training. one of the main things we talked about when starting the marathon training (in july), was how excited we were for all of our milestone runs. i’ve run 13.1 miles a dozen or so times (training and races combined) but i’ve never done anything above. i’ve had to sit back and watch my group run their milestone runs. while i’m truly excited for them, i’m also sad for me.

fortunately, for my mental and physical being, keith has convinced me to go on some rides with him and his buddies. i’m not much of a cyclist; still a little nervous on my road bike. it’s tough to be a cyclist in memphis. not many people respect cyclists, the streets are in terrible shape, you have to stop at lights every few minutes, and it basically feels like a live game of frogger.

until this summer, i had only ridden my road bike a handful of times. most of my riding time over the years has been spent on my mountain bike. we had one 20 mile ride this past spring but it was stressful and exhausting. in the past, i always passed when keith invited me on rides. well, with this nasty little stress fracture, i haven’t had much of a choice so i’ve taken him up on some rides. we’ve ridden about 5 times around the city, about 20 or so miles and we’ve ridden in hernando with some friends (great country roads with no traffic) for about 25 miles or so. these rides we do aren’t really very leisurely- we ride pretty hard and try to maintain a certain pace. by the time we’re done, regardless of the distance, we’re sweaty, starving, and spent but i’ve never been sorry i went.

well, somehow keith convinced me to join them for a 40 mile charity bike ride today (benefitting st. jude). actually, keith and the guys did 70 miles but one of the other wives and i did the 40 miles. we had 3 options- 20, 40, or 70. i could’ve taken the easy way out and just done the 20 since that’s about the most i’ve done before, but no. it was tough and we rode hard. when we split from the guys at mile 20, we payed close attention to my bike computer to make sure our pace was reasonable and we never got passed (i know, i shouldn’t care but we sure were loving passing guys!)

if there’s one thing running has taught me, it’s that you can usually push through more than you think you can and milestones are well worth the challenge. well, today was my first milestone in a while and my tight quads, achy calves, sore tush, and blistered hands were well worth it.

Post Op Week (almost) 6

Well, as you can tell from the picture above, Georgia must be feeling a little better!

We got home Friday night from the Cooper Young 4 Miler to find Georgia at the back door and the pen broken completely wide open. Unfortunately, we were too much in shock to take a picture.

It was late, probably close to 1 am, and i was getting some things out of the car as Keith looked in the window and said, “guess who’s at the back door.” i was racking my brain trying to figure out who in the world was in our house and why this person would be greeting us at the back door. There was just no way it was my sweet, crippled Georgia. I was right. It was my not so crippled, not so sweet Georgia! Ok, ok, she’s always sweet, but, come on! She’s sooo not the type of dog to bust out of her pen that she’s been fine in for 5 weeks.

She did remind us how smart she is though. Since the door to the pen was double locked, she somehow managed to get the pieces that put the pen together off completely and just opened it wide up. (don’t worry steven and dave- no damage done- she’s really that smart)

So, on to Saturday (and the picture above). Keith decided to tape the pieces that hold the pen together so that she would have to work a little harder, however, he only taped the top one. We never, in a million years, thought she would do it again. We left and came home a few hours later and this is what we found. She managed to get the bottom open just enough to crawl under and was lounging on the couch when we walked in.

Now, keep in mind she’s not supposed to walk unassisted, much less jump, for several more weeks so she’s definitely grounded. She goes in Friday for x-rays so we’ll know the percentage she has healed or if she has done any damage. We haven’t noticed anything out of the ordinary so we think she’s ok!

Back to the pen 24/7. We had finally started spending some time on the couch but now that she’s grounded, she’s back in the pen and, for some reason, this means i am too. I just can’t stand the sad face when i’m on the couch and she’s in the pen so i guess we’re both grounded. I’m ready for Friday so we can get some news and hopefully transition to phase 2 of rehab!!

To sum it up, she’s feeling much better 🙂

Race Day

It’s hard to believe the Couch to 4 Miler is over. i distinctly remember that first monday of training when we ran through torrential downpours. i thought for sure i would lose some of you. nope, you’re stronger than that. then came the 120 degree days. ok, surely i’m going to lose some people, i thought. nope, not even then.

Not that i wanted to lose anyone; i just know how hard it is to commit to running. i know because i do it. it is definitely easier to sleep through the rain and run on the treadmill when it’s hot outside, however, neither of those things are as gratifying as meeting up with your running group and getting through it together.

I thought for sure i would cry when everyone walked down to the start of the race and i was left behind. i kept telling keith how i just knew i would be sad that i wasn’t running but that honestly never crossed my mind once we got there. i was so excited for all of you. i had a blast looking for everyone as you passed me at the start and then there was nothing more gratifying for me than seeing each and every one of you head towards the finish line.

Thanks for contributing to such a fun couple of months and a super night.

MOST importantly, BEST WISHES to toby and ansley who got engaged after they crossed the finish line!!!!

What a perfect way to end an already perfect night 🙂

standing:  teresa sweeney*mimi trouy*keith ritchey*drew pairamore*wendy ansbro*toby long*katie dickinson*sarah prosser*jim harwood*muffin dixon*thomas whitehead*chris kauker*lauri prather*wheeler alcala*trey robison*katie suda*al alcala*julianna donahue*brad christian*susan schwartz*ansley murphy*toby sells*henry valk*tim hatcher*stephanie gifford*jennifer robison
seated:  penelope huston-baer*star ritchey*julie pairamore*latasha cornett*holly hazlett*stephanie jones*lindsey mackie*sara haiar*erin shea*cindi pontoni
not pictured:
adele wellford*alanda aldridge*ann leatherman*ashley triplett*brandon morrison*carla cash*dave brown*erin sutton*heather boren*jennifer sammons*jennifer treece*jeremy poag*kate bondani*kathy carruthers*katie keane*kristin croone*laura brown*lauren king*lori turner*mary allison cates*megan arthur*meredith flatt*niel prosser*oksana woloszcuk*sally heinz*sara yarrow*sarah beth saylor*sophie moskop*stacy sheffield*steven hoover*tammy golwen*tiffany yates

Bittersweet ending

It’s inevitable. We always get to this point in training; when we’re wrapping it up. Every season, when i’m planning the next group, i start to dread the early mornings and late nights. I stress about getting the programs just right, ordering t-shirts, making the routes, and simply trying to be there for every runner. I start out telling myself, “it’s only x number of weeks.” Then it happens…every time, where i’m sad to see it go.
Don’t get me wrong. I love getting my Tuesday night’s back but i don’t love that as much as i love being with the group. Of course, for me and many others, we’re going right into the Half Marathon training but i already feel like that ending is just around the corner.
I love the last week of training because you really get the sense of accomplishment. I don’t believe that you always have to train for a race in order to run but there’s no better feeling that topping your training off with a race. It’s really like the prize you get for all the hard work you put into it. However, the race usually means the program is over. As happy as i am about the race, i’m sad to see the Couch to 4 MIler coming to an end.
I love to watch the friendships that are made throughout the training. Keith and i pay closer attention than you might think 😉 We always go home after each run and discuss the run- who was where, who seemed to struggle, who seemed to help who, etc. From the “coaches” perspective (by the way, i don’t love the word coach- i think of myself more as the mother hen. sometimes “coach” is associated with mean or the person who yells at you and i never want to be thought of like that), we love nothing more than seeing 2 people who didn’t know each other before push and pull each other throughout the training.
Hopefully we’ll continue to see those of you who aren’t carrying on with us to the next race. we’ll miss you!

(pic above from Forrest Spence 5K)


I woke up this morning and forgot that it was 9/11. once i realized i had forgotten, i felt kind of bad. i thought to myself, i don’t ever want this day to become forgotten or become lessened. i took a moment to say a little prayer for those who lost loved ones on that day and remembered what i’m grateful for (the 2 pictured above, to name just a few things).

Rather than blog about running or eating or even georgia (gasp!), i thought i would spend a few minutes remembering that day:

I woke up at my normal early time, got ready for class (i had decided to to take a break from my career as a social worker and was in law school at the time), and went in the den for my routine bowl of cheerios i ate every morning in front of the tv. i turned on the Today Show just after the first plane hit. Matt Lauer was talking; there was tons of confusion. i called a friend whose brother works in that area of NY and while we were on the phone, the second plane hit. Still confusion.

I went ahead and got my stuff together for class and headed out the door. things just felt a little eerie so i called my dad. i think, by this time, all hell was breaking loose. my dad was on the other line with my sister who was just beginning her freshman year at LMU in Los Angeles. LAX was on lockdown and all students were quarantined in the school. she was in complete panic so dad and i just talked for a minute or so. he told me to get to school and stay there. i then called my mom, who works for the Attorney General. there was also a lot of confusion there. i believe our federal building had gotten bomb threats and downtown was in a bit of panic.

I got to school and it was so strange. nobody was going to class. everyone was in the law school watching the tv’s in the lobby. it was completely silent. some people were crying. some were calling family members. what a strange day. it felt like it lasted forever. i think we stayed in the lobby for hours and were completely glued to the tv. as scary as it was, i remember having such a great feeling of pride. over the next few hours, it seemed, people were flying their American flags. i remember driving home that day and seeing houses with their flags up and it just brought tears to my eyes.

8 months later i happened to be in NY when they were removing the last beam from the fallen towers. it was a huge ceremony- all the police officers, coast guard, firefighters, family members, mayor and so on, walked from the ravished area and through the streets of NY with the beam carried out like a casket belonging to a fallen soldier, with the American flag. this was a really special moment. i was there alone, alongside complete strangers, and everyone was hugging and crying. i went and saw the wall where the names are etched and there were thousands of pictures, letters, stuffed animals; it was a feeling i can’t even put into words.

In some ways it seems like all of that was just yesterday but in other ways, it seems like something i read about in a book.

Do you remember where you were on 9/11? take a second today to think about it and to remember what you’re grateful for today!