Running

Listening to Your Body: Knowing When to Say When

I was hoping for better today than what had happened. Both my wife and I had received bibs for the prestigious Falmouth Road Race 7 miler in Cape Cod, MA. What was even more exciting was that this was our first year entering the lottery to the hard-to-gain-entrance race and we had both made it through (a feat many told us was near impossible). Yesterday, we made the 90-minute trek down south, navigating the excruciatingly and mind numbingly slow Cape traffic to pick up our bibs and race gear in preparation for this morning's race. But, here it sits on my night stand, since we never made the trip this morning. I decided not to race.

Let's take a few steps back.

It all started a few weeks back on my company's softball team. I play in weekly beer league against other Boston based marketing agencies, and for the most part, it's all in good fun. The biggest issue I have is the games are played on very rough and hard turf, not grass, and sliding will almost guarantee some body part stinging in the shower after each game. For this particular game, I bared the brunt of the field's sandpaper-like vengeance. We were up 14-2 late in the game and I had just plopped a double into left center field. I notice the third baseman had neglected to cover third, and all I needed was a triple to hit for the cycle, so I went for it. Tearing from second base to third, I had nothing but daylight ahead of me, but at the last minute the pitcher went to cover third and received the ball from the outfielder. In order to skirt the tag, I hit the deck and slid on my right slide, tearing a deep, four-inch gash into my ankle. I was safe, but now had a pool of blood in my sock and pouring over the side of my shoe.

The injury is right where the foot meets the leg, so any time my foot moves, it reopens the gash. I've been trying to lay low to let it heal, but it has been glacially slow. I've tried everything possible to speed up the process, but no dice. So, that brings us to 4a this morning.

My head said,"Yes," but my leg said, "Oh, you've got to be insane to think we're running."

Waking up this morning, I was hoping my leg would hold out. For the most part it felt pretty good yesterday walking through expo, but after some rigorous activity, the wound had once again opened up. So, after discussing with my wife, we both decided it would be best to sit out. The injury has sidelined me for training for my first triathlon (can't use the pool) and Chicago Marathon and I really need to get healthy for those. By the time we reached that conclusion, it would have taken us too long to get down to Falmouth and we would have missed the race anyway. 

I've had to sit races out before, but those were because I was clinically injured, so this was my first time of making a judgement call. I'm sure I could have muddled through but listened to my body and in the end made the right call. It was tough not being there with my friends, but it sounds like they all did great and I'll see most of them in the coming months' races.

Have you ever had to make a judgement call day of a race to sit it out?

The Elephant in the Room

The conversation goes like this:
Runner A: "I did the race in X amount of time, but it seems a runner I passed finished with a faster time."
Runner B: "How do you know?"
Runner A: "I noticed from the race results."
Runner B: "So, you are stalking runners?"
Runner A: "No, I was just trying to..."
Runner C: "Mind your own damn business!"
Runner D: "How dare you accuse someone of cheating!!!"
Runner E: "I think Runner A was just making note of an inconsistency."
Runners B,C,D: "Runners A and E are the axis of evil. Boo them!"
Runner F: "Guys, anyone selling a bib?"
Runner G: "Are you talking about me? I have proof I ran the whole race."
Runner H: "No. Runner A is talking about me."
Runner A: "Guys, I'm not talking about any of you."
Runner I: "grobble grobble grobble."
......end scene.

Sadly, this conversation has descended upon the running community like winter's black ice on the running path. And, this issue isn't isolated. I've seen it in numerous groups and circles. It seems each side of the coin is worth more than the other side. But is it?

 Let me break it down for you.
1) There are some runners who are questioning the results of those who ran around them.
2) There are some runners who are accusing runners of cheating.
3) There are some runners who feel they need to tell runners to mind their business.
4) There are some runners who cheat and hide in the shadows.
5) There are some runners who cheat and tell people to mind their own business.
6) All runners get tired of this conversation.

#6 is the clear point. Yet, it still happens. 

And no one wins. Ever.

Let me be clear, I like debate. Debate is good. It ensures everyone is heard. But this isn't debate. I'm not sure what it is, only to say the best way to describe it is to picture one of those old cartoonish fight sequences; where all you can see is a dust cloud of hands, feet, and lot of "#" and "@"s.

My take on the matter is what I said earlier, no one wins. Ever. Are the running communities really there to play judge, jury and executioner? For that matter, what good is it to tell someone to shut their yap? It's all noise that drowns out the good conversation and support that happens within a community.

Do I think cheating is wrong and reprehensible? Yes, I do. Do I need people to tell me they think someone cheated? No. Do I need someone to tell me to worry about myself? No. Do I need the support of my running friends when I'm having a bad day? Absolutely.

Let's use the running communities for they way they were intended. To inspire & motivate during challenges, and to celebrate & champion our accomplishments.

The rest is all crap.

Dopey Challenge: Have a Playlist or Two. Or, Five!

I've been a bit quiet on this front due to as of late, I've been dedicating my time to a real, honest-to-God, legit running article that is with my editor before being published in a national environment (heh, listen to me, "My editor." I'm like a regular Meyer Berger). It was tough to dedicate my time to that and to this, so this sat still while that was completed. Now that is done, this is this and that is that. Umm, err, yes. Quite.

I'm not going to go on about my love for music and running. I've done that enough in the past. The only thing that I will say is I need it to run and give my playlist a lot of thought. More uptempo, heavier, bouncier tracks for 5ks, since I need to sprint the whole time. Slower, more thought consuming, inspirational tracks for longer races so I can set in cruise control for awhile.

Music. My first love.

Music. My first love.

So, how to approach the Dopey Challenge? Well, for one thing, my regular 5k mix has too many uptempo tracks and would drain my energy, leaving nothing for the other three (and much longer) races. So, I needed to determine the right amount of inspiration but also tracks that would keep me on an even keel. The same would go for the 10k and half marathon. The marathon is a whole other story.

I also have to mention, some of the songs are pretty bubble-gummy and ones that aren't normally on my playlist. But, with the amount of running that I will endure over the weekend, anything with a beat will suffice.

Pre-race Mix: 

This is a mix I use when milling about on race morning/in the corrals. It keeps me calm and focused. Some uptempo stuff, but mostly chill.  In no particular order:

- Appalachian Morning: Aaron Copland (The Boston Pops Arrangement)

- A Tale (Chilluminati Mix): Cirque du Soleil (It's from La Nouba but remixed version on their Tapis Rouge album)

- Love: Delerium (featuring Zoe Johnston) From the Chillout 2003 Album (I lived off of this album while in Hong Kong in '03).

- Heart's Content: Brandi Carlile

- You Can Do It: No Doubt

- Right Here, Right Now: Fattboy Slim

- Howlin' for You: The Black Keys

- Under Pressure: David Bowie & Queen

- This Heart is a Stone: Acid House Kings

- Redford: Sufjan Stevens

- Mystery: Lake Heartbeat

- Aganju (The Latin Project Remix): Bebel Gilberto

- Olympic Fanfare & Theme: John Williams

5k Mix

I need to keep it low key to conserve energy for the next days' events. But, also add in a little something to keep my effort up.

- Lost My Way: Lecrae (I don't know who this is, but the beat is ridiculous).

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Bezerk: Eninem

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Rocket: Mae

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Magic to Do: Patina Miller & The Players (Pippin)

10k Mix

Same idea as the 5k, but a little more diverse music.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- From the One 2: BEEF Wellington

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Theme from Iron Will: Joel McNeely

- Go Kindergarten: The Lonely Island

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- My House: Matilda the Musical Original Cast

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- The Last Starfighter (Theme): Craig Safan

- Rock With U: Janet Jackson

Half Marathon Mix

This one's tricky, since I will be rabbiting my wife for this, so it's really her race. I just need music to keep my pacing her properly.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Carry On: Fun.

- Carry On Wayward Son: Kansas

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Drove Me Wild: Tegan and Sara

- Drowned World/Substitute for Love: Madonna

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Far and Away Suite: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Fireflies: Owl City

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013) 

- Forever: Drake

- Free Ride: Jefferson Airplane

- Give Life Back to Music: Daft Punk

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Higher Ground: Red Hot Chili Peppers

- Hollywood Nights: Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- Make Em Say Uh: Master P

- Mr. Brownstone: Guns 'n Roses

- New Map: M83

- Out of My League: Fitz & The Tantrums

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Rock with U: Janet Jackson

- Rocket: Mae

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Shine Sweet Free: Michael MacDonald

- Steps in Time Finale: Steps in Time (old California Adventure show)

- Test Track (2013 Theme): Test Track

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- The Wave: Randy Edelman (from Angels in the Outfield)

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

Marathon Mix

Really hoping I'm still alive. This mix will be a mess of everything, but I will have a few power songs at the touch of a button if things get rough.

- A Tribute to the Film Composer: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- All I Do is Win: DJ Khaled

- Always on the Run: Lenny Kravitz

- Anything: Mae

- Back to the Future (Theme): Alan Silvestri

- Berzerk: Eminem

- Bounce: Fatty Koo

- Boys and Girls: BEEF Wellington

- Carry On: Fun.

- The Champ: Nelly

- Cowboys Overture: John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Don't Tell Me: Madonna

- Driving the Last Spike: Genesis

- Face to Face: Armin van Buuren

- Fix You: Coldplay

- Flying (Theme from Hook): John Williams (from his Film Night with the Boston Pops, 2013)

- Good Life: Kanye West

- Hall of Fame: The Script

- He Lives in You: Lebo M (Rhythm of the Pridelands)

- Hearts on Fire: Cut Copy

- I Cry: Flo Rida

- I Play Music: Rosie Thomas

- In Orbit: John Williams (from SpaceCamp)

- Kings and Queens: 30 Seconds to Mars

- Lights (Bassnectar Remix): Ellie Goulding

- Lost My Way: Lecrae

- My Body: Young the Giant

- My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark: Fall Out Boy

- New Map: M83

- Nutshell: Alice in Chains

- Party Rock Anthem: LMFAO

- Reflections of Earth: Epcot Illuminations

- Scream: Michael & Janet Jackson

- Shanti/Ashtangi: Madonna

- She Sells Sanctuary: The Cult

- Theme from Soarin': Jerry Goldsmith

- Someone to Call My Lover: Janet Jackson

- Sometimes I Can't Make It Alone: Mae

- SpaceCamp (Main Title): John Williams

- Tapestry of Nations: Epcot

- This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren

- This is Your Life: Switchfoot

- To the World: Kanye West

- Wasted Years: Iron Maiden

- We Will Become Silhouettes: The Postal Service

- When Can I See You Again: Owl City

- Wild Ones: Flo Rida

- WKRP in Cincinnati (Extended Version): TV Theme

- Work Hard, Play Hard: Wiz Khalifa

- Yeah 3X: Chris Brown

What are your musical preferences for race weekend?

DLR Half Countdown #3: Saving Your Energy

The plane just landed and you step out of the airport in the warm California weather. There you are with your list (c'mon we all have one), it's a few days before the race and your goal is to see everything and anything the west coast has to offer. Sound strategy?

Well.......
2 weeks!
 While priority #1 is to have fun, you have a race to run (possibly 2 or 3) and to ensure you have a great time, it's important to build your plan around those races and the energy they require to finish standing upright. That doesn't mean you have to sit in your room and wait for race day, all can be accomplished if you are smart and plan accordingly.

The Theme Parks: Even though, the Haunted Mansion & Big Thunder will be closed over race weekend (yeah, I'm not peeved or anything), there still is a ton to do and you'll want to see it all. That's great! But remember, traipsing through the parks requires A LOT of walking and standing which can wreak havoc on your legs. I'm not suggesting saving your parks days until after the race (although, it'll be great to roam Disneyland with all those medals around your neck), just don't try to do it all. Here's a few tips:
  1.  Don't expect to see everything: You may feel rushed trying to see everything and a) stress yourself out when you can't check off all the rides/shows on your list, and b) not enjoy what you did see because you were running from place to place.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes: Flip flops? No. Crocs? No. Retired running shoes? Check. Wear shoes that will support your feet, not just for walking but also for when you are standing still in lines (and you WILL have to stand in lines).
  3. Take a break: If you are staying on property and/or have multi-day passes, feel free to take a break, especially in the middle of the day when it's hottest. We tend to hit a few things in the morning and then go back to the hotel and relax by the pool. Once we've rested up, we'll head back into the parks to enjoy a few more offerings. 
  4. Save the late night stuff for after the race: World of Color, Fantasmic, ExtraMagic hours the night before the race is a bit dangerous. Some of you may have to get up an hour or two after midnight to get to the race and the last thing you want is to still be washing the sleep out of your eyes as the fireworks go off. Go to bed early.
  5. Take a water bottle with you: A full water bottle as you explore the parks will deter you from other beverages (sugary/alcohol) that look so tempting throughout the day. 
  6. Have fun! While you are there to race, don't let the race consume you. After all, you're surrounded by life-sized cartoon characters. 
Two weeks to go, gang. I hope your training has been going well.  I'm excited to get out there and meet so many of you. 

DLR Half Countdown: Post #2: What Should I Pack?


Okay, gang, we’re a little less than 3 weeks out for the big races in Anaheim. Last week, I told you how I keep myself calm and focused when stuck in the sea of runners, otherwise known as the Start corrals.

But, today I wanted to talk about what to bring to make sure you remain focused on your running goal and not where to find running socks the day before the race starts. Let me also say there are a lot of bloggers out there giving similar advice on the matter. To that, I say check them out, too. Look at folks’ different perspectives, but also look at the similarities to aid in your decision. 
So much stuff. And that's just running gear!
While running may be the simplest of sports, ironically runners bring tend to bring the most crap, since we are so particular. Destination races are tricky, since you have to be prepared for anything and everything without over-packing. My wife and I are no exception. I will check, double check and triple check the weather in the days preceding a race, but inevitably I won’t trust it and dump my running drawer into my suitcase.

“To carry on or not to carry on?”

By all means, carry on! The airlines these days just aren’t what they used to be and the last thing you want is your favorite pair of racing flats to end up in Fargo, North Dakota when you need them most. You don’t have to carry it all on, but your race day attire should never leave your side. Here’s the running gear that goes in my carry on:


1x half marathon racing flats (I’ll wear my back ups on the plane)
1x running socks
Running belt (a game day decision)
2x headphones (I HAVE to run with music)
Garmin 610 + charger
2x compression shorts
1x running shorts
1x singlet
iPod shuffle + charger (See why)
iPhone + charger

My "can't run without" gear + iPhone (not shown)

Although, I will be running a 10k and a half marathon, in a pinch I could get away with most of the same gear. 
And since a lot of my readers are of the female persuasion, I asked my wife to share her carry on gear to give you ladies a sense of what she brings (she pulled rank and removed her run-dies from the picture). 

The missus' gear.
1x running shoes (she's not as shoe crazy as I am)
1x running socks
1x headphones
1x iPod + running armband
Garmin 210 + charger
1x running shorts
1x singlet
1x sports bra
Sports tape
Travel deodorant
1x Sweaty Band
1x Road ID


"Check that stuff!"
Now, all the extra crap we tend to check in our bags. While still essential, if it were to get lost I wouldn’t be SOL on race day.

1x 10k racing flats (I'm pretty particular about my shoes, but most folks can get away with 1 pair)
3x running socks
My RoadID
GU gels/Honey Stingers
Band-aids, Tylenol, Bio-Freeze, Ace Bandage, Body Glide
Sunblock
1x compression shorts
1x nubby ball
1x travel roller stick
4x running shirt
2x running shorts
Bathing suits
Comfy shoes for after the race/walking around. I have these great Chaco Kolb flip flops that are amazing. Expensive, but my arches are well supported.

If you forget anything or your luggage gets lost, remember Don't try anything new on race day! Buying stuff is great at the expo, but be careful! If it's tried n true things like GU or similar, you're probably okay. Shoes, shorts, shirts, new foods, bras, run-dies tend to be a bad decision. 

As I mentioned at the top of the post, use this as directional advice as well as other folks' posts. But, at the end of the day you have to be comfy, so pack what you need!

Hope this helped and happy running!




Motivators (A Guest Post I Did)

Here is a post I just wrote as a guest host on Patty's blog: Reach Your Peak about running and motivation. Enjoy!


Running & Motivation
Running isn’t easy. You really have to want it to succeed. Running requires a lot of self-discipline, sacrifice and effort to make it work. And, even after you think you’ve found the perfect approach, running will turn 180 degrees and kick you in the face. Sometimes, it’s too much to handle and you just want to throw in the towel, and that’s when you need a good support system. In this sport of self-inflicted torture sometimes you need someone there to pick you up and get you back on track. This can be a family member, a coach, or even other runners who share in the same experiences (I believe the running community is a great example of how camaraderie is prevalent, even in the face of competition). After all, we runners don’t race each other, we race ourselves.
But, what if you are on Mile 18 of a marathon and there’s no support group? What if you are on a long training run, miles from home, and suddenly lost all motivation to continue? What if it’s 5 in the morning and it’s raining? There won’t always be a shoulder to lean on. That’s when we runners need to dig deep and find the motivation within ourselves to forge ahead. Sometimes, it may be a happy thought that gets you through the extra miles, and other times (from what I’ve heard are most effective) are mantras or key messages runners say to themselves to keep going. Finding motivation may be easier for some than others (I sometimes have trouble with it). But, I found some examples of what runners use to keep them going and wanted to share their inspiration through the perspiration.
Here are a few examples. See if they are similar to your methods. If not, what do you do to keep yourself motivated?

Get in gear & hustle!      Source: Internet

Breaking Up the Miles: Especially during longer races, breaking up the race into more manageable pieces may help to keep you motivated during the race. Do the math. If it’s a marathon, I like to break it into two half marathons with the first leg being a slow, methodical half marathon.

Run 1 Mile at a Time: Don’t think about the miles you ran, think about the mile you are running. Put yourself in the now by enjoying your current mile.

Focus On an Object in the Distance: Say to yourself, “If I can just get to that point…” Doing that will get you to focus on the race and not dwell on the mileage number. Refresh every time you get to that point. This is particularly easy for Disney races.

Find Something to Tell Yourself that You Believe In. Don’t say, “If I finish this marathon, the Cubs will win the World Series.” First of all, that’s not personal to your effort. Second, it’s just unbelievable. Instead, say to yourself “This race is mine,” or “I’ve got this.”
Some others:
· “I’m ready for this.”
· “This race won’t beat me.”
· “Another mile down.”
· “Focus.”
· “Speed. I am pure speed” (My personal go-to)


At the very heart of it, motivation needs to be personal to you. You can have all the support in the world, but at the end of the day it’s you logging in the miles and not every mile is going to be sunshine and roses. Hopefully, finding a way to make it just a little bit easier through positive affirmation or race day tricks to manage distance will get you through that next run. See you on the course!

Summer Running Tips: Staying Smart & Safe

Who doesn't love summer? Summertime is a time for family gatherings and parties, but ask any runner and they'll tell you summer is the time when normally quick 5 mile runs turn into sweaty, hallucinogenic death marches where one feels like they are going to melt into the road. I am reminded of this just today, as my 6 miler felt like a one way trip to the sun. At one time or another the majority of runners across the country know what I am talking about. Of course, if you are in Alaska this is the one time we envy the crap out of you.

"It's so damn hot." Picture Source: Lessoncast.org


For those of you new to summer running, I wanted to put together a few tips of how to navigate your runs during the hottest time of the year. While these are good, make sure to adjust your runs that best fit your style of running and to always consult a doctor if you aren't feeling well.

1. Understand the Weather: Is it hot, humid, both? You need to understand just what you are dealing with before heading out. While the temperature is a good indicator how the outside will be, you need to take a look at the humidity. Humidity measures moisture in the air, so basically if the humidity is high (lot of moisture in the air) it will be tougher for your body to release sweat, trapping in body heat. Therefore, it's best to look at the heat index which calculates the temperature and the humidity so you can plan accordingly.

Also, look to run early in the morning or evening when the sun isn't so hot. 

Check the Temp, Humidity & Heat Index
2. Clothing: While layering is best during the winter, summer is the time to shed the clothes. Remember, when running it'll feel relatively 20 degrees hotter than it really is, so make sure your clothing accounts for it. Wear thin, light colored, wicking clothing to move the moisture away from your body and keep you comfortable. If it's sunny out, wear a runner's hat and sun glasses to protect your head and eyes. They may take some time to get used to, but definitely worth it.

       

3. Accessories: I already mentioned the hat and glasses, but also it's good to run with a water bottle. Hydration is always key, but during the summer it's extra important. Various running companies have designed runner-friendly water containment devices that are easy to carry on long runs. Find one that works for you.
                           

4. Sun Protection: Protecting your skin is important, especially on long runs, so use sunblock to keep you from burning. I use at least SPF 30 that's designed for activity so you won't sweat it off.

                             

5. Know When to Say When: Just like you know when you've had enough July 4th punch, you need to make sure you are using common sense when to stop running. Heatstroke is an all too often occurrence with runners who just want to get in that last mile. Some symptoms are getting lightheaded, dizziness, nausea, confusion and lack of sweat (your body is running out of moisture). If any of these happen, you may be experiencing heat-related illness and should stop immediately. These are not the only symptoms so make sure to do more research on the matter so you can be smart about running.

The other issue to look out for is water intoxication (hyponatremia), or ingesting more water than your body can handle which alters the blood-sodium mix in your body. This is a very real concern so make sure to test your water intake on runs to see what works best for you.

As mentioned above, these tips should not take take the place of a doctor's recommendation or research you do on your own. Rather, these are just a few tips that I have found useful in my summer running and I wanted to share. I hope you all have a great summer and get in some safe quality miles.

Happy summer running!

Friday Run Funnies: What Non-Runners Say

Over the course of the weekend I'll be finishing the new look of the site. In the meantime, have a go at some things non-runners say that make runners laugh. Heard any of these?
Ugh!

  1. I once ran like a 4:15 mile in school
  2. I easily run 20 miles up and down the tennis/basketball court, football/soccer field
  3. I only participate in "sports"
  4. Wind sprints are basically a 5k
  5. Why do it if you aren't going to win?
  6. How do you keep score?
  7. Do cities have professional teams?
  8. So, it's like jogging, right?
  9. You're one of those running nuts?
  10. I'd do it, but the shorts are too short
  11. I run a ton in my Nike Shox
  12. Oh, what's that Kenyan's name that wins all the races?
  13. Do you really poop yourself?
  14. I'm not willing to part with my toenails
  15. You just spent 4 hours running and you're happy about it?
  16. If men run 26.2 miles, what distance do the women run?
  17. Sweet runner's tan!
  18. I tried running once but I got a blister
  19. My Kinect is enough exercise for me

Overcoming the Funk: Help Me Get My Running Mojo Back!


As I sit here, writing this week’s post (weekly?), it will have been about 8 days since I have gone out on a run. Sure, I may have walked 500 miles around Disney World last week, but for all intents and purposes, not one structured run. This is really odd, since I usually put in about 5 runs a week (if I’m not injured or having a post-race rest), but lately my motivation, well has been…..nonexistent.



I know I need to get out there, I have a slew of major races on the horizon like the Disneyland Half Marathon & 10k, Chicago Marathon, Wine & Dine Half Marathon, and the tortuous Dopey Challenge in January. The urgency to get ready is real it’s just nothing, nada, zip, zilch, no go. I’ve been racking my brain trying to understand the reasoning and I think I have it down to a few reasons (although, this is nothing more than fruitless attempts to find rationale and not the sheer fact I’m being lazy). 

"Meh." Source: Internet

Weather: Hey, I know it’s summer. Suck it up! Any runner will tell you summer running sucks, but you endure. I see the rain outside or look at the temperature and go, “Eh, I’ll go in the morning tomorrow.” Which, once tomorrow comes, the snooze button just looks so tempting I have to indulge.



Location: As I get more accustomed to my new city of Boston, I’m finding it’s really not that conducive to running (just like how no one here will rent to dog owners, yet everyone has a dog). The path along the Charles River is broken or mismatched concrete and on one side of it you need to stop every half mile for a stoplight. I guess I was really spoiled by the long stretches of Chicago’s Lakefront path, where you could just go and go without stopping.



Lack of Races: Boston also doesn’t have a lot of road races in/near the city. We haven’t gotten a car yet (no one has a car in Chicago so we didn’t need one), so any races in surrounding suburbs are out of touch. I used to do one race a month, now it seems like 1 race every 2-3 months. I’m the kind of person who needs that race motivation to get serious; otherwise it’s just running for health, whoop-dee-doo.



What’s the Point?: As mentioned earlier in the post, we went down to Florida last week to see friends and family. While there, we went to Disney World and I couldn’t help but notice the amount of electric “Rent Me” wheelchairs that were in service. I understand these are invaluable to those who truly need them, but clearly there were a plethora of those who didn’t require any help (we saw one lady get out of hers to get in line at the turkey leg cart). It really struck me in a way that I can’t shake. If other people don’t care about their health and we as a society enable them milk the system to their advantage, why the Hell am I running 50 miles a week. Heck, maybe I should just by a Hummer and buy a house next to a fast food restaurant. This should be motivation for me to work harder, yet it’s had some kryptonic effect on me.



Running Has Gotten Boring: Yep, I said it. Running has gotten boring. I’ve been through slumps before, but this is different. Music that once got me motoring is now flat and my feet seem heavy. It used to be on my runs, someone would pass me and I would get a little flame within to say, “Go get that guy.” Now, it’s like “Meh, I’m good.” This is the scariest of them all, as I really do love to run and participate in this passionate community of runners.



Perhaps, this is all some kind of pity party and I should just put on a pair of one of my many running shoes and kick myself in the ass to get out the door.



So, I’m asking you, running community to help me get my running mojo back. It’s somewhere out there, stranded on the side of the road, a blown-out tire without a pump. C’mon guys, be my pump (is that weird?) Tell me if you have ever been in a running funk and how did you pull out of it. New music, mental techniques, heck, I’ll even listen to astrology charts if it works.



Help me get back out there and enjoy the miles.




In My Ears

Yes, I haven't posted in awhile. New city, new job, blah blah. Let's all just move past it.  There's a lot I want to talk about and will get to it in due time, but tonight I want to continue my series on good, check that, great running tunes. If you haven't read my first post on some great tracks, you can read it here The Importance of Music When I Run

I gots ta have the music!

Music is just as important to me as my racing flats. Being a musician, I have a deep connection to it and need it to do my best. The songs I recommend may not do anything for you, but for me they make me fly. Here are some tracks that have been recently rotated in my race mix:

1. Workin' Day and Night: Michael Jackson
From 1981's "Off the Wall." Uptempo and filled of funky grooves. Sure, the guy was batshit crazy, but he made Thriller. Thriller.
Grade: B+

2. Good Life: Kanye West (feat. T-Pain)
Two things I hate, Kanye West and AutoTune. Why do I love this song? More importantly, why do my splits improve 18 seconds when this song comes on? Someone figure that out and get back to me.
Grade: A (hush hush)

3. Give Life Back to Music: Daft Punk
Opening track of their new Random Access Memories album. This song is the balls! It lays down the smoothest grooves that set your mind on aural cruise control, letting your legs just run. It certainly doesn't hurt that the drummer on this track is legendary studio legend, JR Robinson. You may recognize his drumming from MJ's "Off the Wall" and "Thriller." Thriller
Grade: B+

4. This is What It Feels Like: Armin van Buuren (feat. Trevor Gutherie)
Wanna have some fun? Powersong this betch right when you think you have nothing left in the tank. You're welcome.
Grade: A

5. Viva la Vida: Coldplay
Sure this song is a little played out, but Coldplay to white people is like new car smell. You absolutely love it, but have no idea what it's made of. I just tap my feet and move on.
Grade: B (something made me want to type and A, but I fought it off)

Hope you enjoy the tunes in this brief post. Next week, I'll have some good material on recent races and all the crazy runDisney stuff that's been going on. Stay tuned!


Thoughts on the Boston Marathon

 *****This was written right after the bombings occurred, but added new information at the end of the post******

I haven't been able to post in a few weeks as some of of you know, we have recently moved from Chicago to Boston, and between learning the job, finding a place to live and shuttling back and forth between the two cities has really taxed my time.

I was excited to write my first Boston post about how neat the new city is and its running heritage, but in light of the recent circumstances, I'm just going to write for a bit. I can tell you this isn't going to be about how the explosion happened a few hundred feet from my office and if I wasn't in Chicago over the weekend packing I would have been at the race blah, blah. This isn't about me, there are far worse off today due to the tragedy. But, before I leave the subject, the outpouring of friends to see if I was there and okay has been tremendous. I can't decide if I am more thankful they checked in on me or grateful that I am known as their "running guy."

Since the tragedy happened, I have found myself almost in a daze. Not really asking questions or being angry, just more shock than anything. I watch the news and listen to the stories and hear of developing information, but I am having a tough time comprehending what happened. There are events in our history that have seen greater devastation to both man and property, but this just seems different, almost as if it's personal. The running community and those who support us were personally attacked for just being in a large group and celebrating the accomplishments of the day. It's not like the race was political, nor was it religious, it was community of people who worked tirelessly to qualify for a demanding race and the people who love them and the sport of running. The irony of this happening to this sport has not been lost. My heart truly aches for those personally affected and I hope they find happiness in the future.

I also think about how this will change future mass races. I wonder if the liability will be too great to secure public roads and we will have to race loops out in a field? How will security be handled? Will we still be able to go into the Magic Kingdom early in the morning to cheer on loved ones? Will people shy away from the sport? These are just a few questions that I'm sure are echoing across the running universe today.

April 15 will be a day we will never forget. Whoever was responsible for what happened has demonstrated the utmost intolerable cruelty I can imagine. But if they think this will keep us from doing what we love with the people we love the most, they are more absurdly brainless than one can fathom.

I, for one, will not shy away. I will continue to embrace this sport to whom I've dedicated blood, sweat and tears to for too long. I will be undeterred in my goal of one day reaching Boston, not as a spectator, but as a participant. As the name of this blog states, we must continue to run forward, not forgetting the events that transpired yesterday, but celebrating the lives of those affected and finding inspiration in the countless humanitarians who jumped into the fray to save lives. We, as a running community must continue to work harder and strive for greater achievements, because that's what we do.  Runners don't race each other, we race ourselves and as we celebrate together in triumph, we also mourn together in tragedy. 

Running has a community like no other and I'm honored to be a part of it.
Support those affected.
Please do what you can to support the victims, heroes and the city of Boston.

Here are just a few of the places/spaces you can help.

1) Red Cross 
2) Salvation Army
3) If you saw or know anything related to the incident 1-800-494-TIPS (8477), text the word TIP to CRIME (27463), or call 1-800-CALL-FBI (225-5324) and choose prompt #3

***UPDATE*** I wrote the post above in the airplane. As I made my way towards home on Mass Ave. there is huge police presence at Newbury and surrounding streets. Boylston is still closed off. The other thing I noticed was a about 200 runners with USA flags running the Charles River. This is a great town!

*****EVEN MORE UPDATES*******
After a tense few days (and being locked in my apartment due to the lockdown), things have returned to normal. Bostonians have returned to being indifferent and apathetic which is good. But, there definitely feels a new sense of community with everyone, and a lot more runners are out.  

2013 ChiTown Half Marathon & 10k Race Recap

This morning, my wife and I ran the 10k portion of the All Community Events' "ChiTown Half Marathon & 10k" at Chicago's Lakefront. I have to say, the race experience left something to be desired, but a little redemption from the race organizers at the end. 

chi town half marathon
ChiTown Half & 10k
Similar to last week's 5k, it was cold and windy, with a slight expectation of snow (luckily, it held out). Since we live right next to the lake, we basically rolled out of bed and walked to the Start Line which is a really nice luxury (since there are so many lakefront races). There was a pretty decent turnout, but it didn't seem as large as last week's St. Paddy's 5k. Both the half and the 10k started at the same time at 8:15, but they did have pace corrals so folks could line up appropriately (although, there were walkers in the 8:00 pace corral - have you walkers not read my etiquette post?)

The first issue with the race was starting the race through a very tight (like 4 runners wide) blow up gate, funneling runners through and a poor way to start a race. I, however didn't mind that much since I was taking it easy on this race. Fighting a cold I lined up with the 9:00 pace group and planned to coast through the race. The course was to take us north on the Cannon Drive running path and then back down by the lake, but that all changed at the half mile mark. I had moved up a bit and was probably around 60th place, then at the half mile mark I saw a volunteer move the 10k turnaround sign directing us 10k'ers back down a parallel path we had just run. Heading down the path, all of sudden there were a bunch of cars parked in the middle of the path, making us run around them, which I had never encountered in a race before. We, then continued down the path, past the soccer field and up towards the Lincoln Park Zoo. However, there were zero signs and racers were on every fork of the path with no race marshal in sight. We continued south and then down the underpass at North Ave to get to the lakefront path. Imagine my surprise when I saw a bunch of 10k'ers coming back at us! A pacer going in the opposite direction had an 8:10 pace sign so I figured the turnaround must be just ahead. Nope. A few of us continued on the lakefront path and hit a water station (the only one I had seen) and a ton of half marathoners coming straight at us! It was a complete and total cluster! A few fellow runners and I compared notes and tried to figure out what went wrong as we continued down the path (upstream of everyone else). After about a half mile, later, I saw my wife running in the other direction. She mentioned they stopped the 10k a few miles back and restarted, meaning us front runners were now running an inaccurate race. After being directed as best as possible to the Finish line, my race length ending up being 6 miles.

Pissed didn't begin to describe how I felt. The entire race there were ZERO course marshals, not even at the water station! I made my way to the race tent and asked for the race director and was told he was going to make an announcement in a few minutes. After about 10 freezing minutes, the race director made his way to the stage. He couldn't have been more than 25 and was visibly uncomfortable. After stammering a bit, he did what every race director should do: he took the blame for the mix up. After communicating his team (including volunteers) made a huge error (at the 10k turnaround sign), he then discussed how he stopped the back half of the race and brought them back to the Start line. This meant I didn't get an official time, which was fine for me, but anyone who needed this time I could see why they'd be upset. He, then proceeded to tell us we could have a full refund, plus $10 off our next ACE race. I have never seen a race director offer a refund, so I give him and All Community Events a lot of credit.

While the race was not ideal, ACE handled it like a professional race organizer should, they immediately owned up to the mistake and offered a way to correct the issue, a huge win in my book. Other racer organizers (Hot Chocolate & Turkey Day run, I'm looking in your direction) should maybe take a page from ACE on how to communicate concerns with races.

I will continue to run ACE events in the future.

Disney World Introduces Offical Dopey Challenge & New 10k!

Well, the worst kept secret is now official. Starting in 2014, Walt Disney World will be adding a new challenge and a new race, a 10k, during the WDW Marathon Weekend in January.
Dopey
Are you Dopey enough to run 48.6 miles?
From RunDisney's blog:
"The most magical miles on earth just got a little more… challenging, but only in the most exciting way of course! The 2014 Walt Disney World® Marathon Weekend presented by Cigna® will feature the brand new Dopey Challenge, a four race event complete with six, that’s right, SIX finisher medals to take home!
Runners may feel a little Dopey and even a bit Goofy at weekend’s end, but after all, they will have finished 48.6 magical miles!  The Dopey Challenge will start with a 5K on Thursday, the inaugural Walt Disney World 10K on Friday, the Walt Disney World Half Marathon Saturday and cap off the weekend with the Walt Disney World Marathon on Sunday. Those who register for the Dopey and complete each event will not only earn four race medals, but will also take home the Goofy Challenge medal and the all new Dopey Challenge medal.
With the addition of the Dopey Challenge comes a whole new race, the Walt Disney World 10K.  The timed 6.2 mile course will be hosted at Epcot® on Friday morning. Minnie Mouse will join the likes of her pals Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck and Goofy as the inspiration for the 10K medal.
You can join in on the fun when registration opens April 9, or sign up early with the Runner’s World Challenge on April 2. There are limited spots for both the Dopey and Goofy Challenge, so be sure to sign up to receive an email reminder for registration launch to reserve your spot at the starting line!"

Walt Disney World® Marathon
  • $160 by June 18, 2013
  • $175 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
  • $190 on or after August 14, 2013
Walt Disney World® Half Marathon
  • $160 by June 18, 2013
  • $175 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
  • $190 on or after August 14, 2013
Goofy's Race and a Half Challenge
  • $340 by June 18, 2013
  • $370 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
  • $400 on or after August 14, 2013
Walt Disney World® 10K
  • $95 by June 18, 2013
  • $110 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
  • $125 on or after August 14, 2013
Disney Family Fun Run 5K
  • $60 per participant
Dopey Challenge
  • $495 by June 18, 2013
  • $525 between June 19, 2013 and August 13, 2013
  • $555 on or after August 14, 2013
runDisney Kids Races
  • $15 per child
Mickey Mile
  • $30 per child
Race Retreat Packages
  • $120 Half Marathon Package
  • $120 Full Marathon Package
  • $200 Goofy's Challenge Package
 So, who's up for a little running in January???????

Race Etiquette: Racers & Organizers, We're All in This Together

As much as we all want to run the perfect race, inevitably there will be race day obstacles that will require us to modify our strategies. On some occasions, the race day changes are beneficial (i.e starting early to account for extreme heat), but for the most part, they are usually a hindrance that have the potential put us in a bad race mentality. 

These obstacles are most noticeably inflicted by our fellow runners who are too tuned into their own race strategies to be cognizant of others, or runners who are so new to races they aren’t familiar with the unwritten runner’s code of etiquette. Not to be left out, race organizers also need to ensure they are doing their part to make sure everyone feels comfortable (to some degree) when the gun goes off.

To see what irks runners the most, I conducted an extremely unscientific survey (Twitter, Facebook, Always Running Forward website), asking runners what peeves them the most? As you read on, see if you agree or if you even have been guilty of some of the items listed.

Runners

1. Corral JumpersDefined as racers who did not qualify for a specific corral who weasel their way into a faster one to start early.
This is my absolute biggest pet peeve! If you didn’t earn it, you shouldn’t be there. Organizers set corrals to make sure runners are racing with people who have similar skills, thus a smoother overall race. Corral jumpers clog the system, forcing runners to serpentine and even add the potential for accidents. Just don’t do it!

2. Walking – Before you blow a gasket, I don’t want you to think the issue is with walkers overall, everyone getting out on race day is already a win. In fact, Jeff Galloway is a big proponent of systematic walking during a race. The problems arise in where and when walking occurs. A few examples kept rising to the top of the list:
            a. Stopping without notifying racers – If you have to stop and walk, make sure to move out of the flow, raise your hand up, and gradually slow down. Some runners will even yell, “Stopping” to alert folks behind you. C’mon, do you really want a runner ramming into you at Mile 21? Probably not
            b. Walking wideWalking wide refers to more than 2 walkers side-by-side or in the center of a race path. Races, typically don’t have wide paths (we’re spoiled with Disney races), so when there are more than 2 walkers side-by-side, it gums up the race and is a real potential for injury. Runners may have to jump on the median, or even slip outside the course to get by. If you have a group together, please start farther back in the race to where it’s more manageable for everyone.

3. Stopping at a Water-Aid StationDefined as the act of going to the first volunteer and stopping immediately. It’s extremely dangerous to do this, there a ton of runners coming in behind you and the area is most usually very slippery. If you need to stop, by all means do so, but work your way through the aid station and then slow down/stop near the end to make sure you and other runners are safe.

4. Taking More Than Your Fair ShareDefined as overindulging in the post-race goodies. Bagels, bananas, Powerade, cheese spread? (Disney), all provided after a race to keep runners moving after a long race. Yes, the costs for these are included in your registration, but a lot times there is just enough to go around. You are not going to be the last person to finish, so please remember that before you grab 4 bagels and 3 bananas.

5. Attitude – I can’t believe this even showed up on the list, but I guess I’ve seen a few. The absolute thing I love most about running is it’s a “low attitude, high camaraderie” sport. When you PR, folks are genuinely excited for you and bummed when you had a bad race. If you fall down, someone will help you up and they aren’t going to care what your shoes look like. People race the course and race themselves. That’s what matters.

So, that’s the runner-to-runner pet peeve. What about races themselves? Well, I also received some great feedback on race organizers and runners’ expectations:

Race Organizers

1. Inaccurate Race Length – If a race is advertised as a 5k then it should be 3.1 miles, not 3.2 or longer. A lot of runners use races for qualifying for other races and need them to be precise. USATF certify your race.

2. Poor Communication – Both on the front and back end. Make sure racers know of any last minute changes before the race and then keep the lines of communication open after the race, especially if there are major concerns. For instance, a race organizer here in Chicago had an absolutely abysmal race. They had poor bib pickup, lost racer’s times, even had multiple racers for one bib. When runners took to social media to express their frustration, the organizers took too long to respond and when they did, their message was more or less, “Sorry, stuff happens.”  It peeved a lot of runners who vowed not run that race again, myself included. Runners are social people, be social with us.

3. Poor Bib Pickup/Expo – If we can get our bibs fast, we’ll probably stick around and spend some money. Make packet pickup smooth and create a fun expo atmosphere. The Chicago Marathon has a terrific model.

4. Goody Bags – I think we can all agree a lot of the stuff in goody bags goes to waste. Organizers should consider e-bags, which contain waste (and production costs) and force the runner to decide what’s most important.

5. Oversold Races – Organizers know the course, they should know how many can safely navigate it. No one wants to run shoulder to shoulder for the entire race.

So, those are the top instances as defined by the running community. While the post was many about peeves, there is also some praise that needs to be called out.

Spectators: The more the better. Who can deny the best feeling in the world is turning onto Main Street USA and seeing the amazing group of spectators cheering you on?
Names on Bibs: Runners like when spectators call out their names during races. It certainly helped me during my last marathon.
Great Courses: Disney owns this one. But, if you don’t have a billion acres of theme parks, think about scenic areas in your region that may be fun to run.
Great Races: For every bad race there seems to be 100 good races and we don't want to forget that. If you are getting good feedback, keep doing what you are doing.

Are there peeves or praise that I have left out? I want to hear about it. Post feedback below, Always Running Forward Facebook Page, or Twitter (@disnyrunr24)

Happy Running!




Disney World Wine & Dine Half Marathon Registration


Don't forget today is the first public day to register for Disney's Wine & Dine Half Marathon, November 8-9, 2013. This is my absolute favorite half marathon race! For those of you who have yet to run (what are you waiting for?), the course starts at Disney's Wide World of Sports and ends in Epcot with a pretty sweet party with all the Food & Wine kiosks open for business. There is also a 5k (untimed) and kids' races.

See you there!

You can register here: 2013 Wine & Dine Half Marathon Registration

Entry Fees and Deadlines
Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon
  • $175 by June 18, 2013
  • $190 between June 19 and August 13, 2013
  • $205 on or after August 14, 2013

Mickey's Jingle Jungle 5K
  • $50 per participant

runDisney Kids' Races
  • $15 per Kids' Dash participant
  • $30 per One Mile Run participant

runFinish Line Party Tickets
  • $74 by August 13, 2013
  • $84 between August 14 and October 29, 2013
  • $94 on or after October 30, 2013

The Importance of Music When I Run

Before I get into this, I have to say music is my first love. I have been a drummer for over 25 years, worked in a recording studio, ran live sound for bands like The Temptations, The Go-Go’s, Skillet & Jars of Clay to name a few, and even had the opportunity to be in the opening cast of Tapestry of Nations at Epcot. Needless to say, music is in my blood

There is just something about the way music can evoke an emotion. Without needing any other sense but just hearing, it can make you laugh, cry, smile and even get your heart pounding. Don’t believe me? Go to iTunes right now and grab these tunes to see, rather listen to what I mean…

The Teaching Montage – Dave Soundtrack
Define Dancing – Wall E Soundtrack
Main Theme  - Hook

So what does this all have to do with running? Music, of course has always been tied to sports in some capacity. Whether it’s to stir the home crowd into a frenzy when the home team is down, or when athletes are about to hit the Start line with that last minute tune to set the mood, music has the amazing ability to get you to react.

The same works for me when I run. Plain and simple, I need music to perform at my best as it gives me the extra mmph I need when the miles get longer or I need a burst of speed. I won’t get into the divided camps of runners are proponents of music and those who say it hinders runs since you can’t hear your body or traffic, etc. Either way you want to run is your business, I just wanted to talk about how it affects me and share some tried and true tracks that really influence my running.


Always Running Forward (with my headphones on)
To find the best tracks for my run I have a bit of a scientific approach, which includes plotting my runs in Excel and then seeing where my peaks and valleys are in terms of performance and then setting my running mix to counter those spots where I need improving (say what???) Yeah, I’ll post the instructions some time in the future.

1. When Can I See You Again – Owl City. This bubble gum track is from the movie Wreck-It Ralph and is a recent addition to my running mix. I have to say, I absolutely hate overproduced, digitally created tracks that seem to have taken 4 minutes to produce (like this one), but hey, I’m running so I let a few of ‘em slide. The driving beat of this track really gets me going, while the overlaying synth pads remind me of a time when I used to write a lot of house music. Overall, a fun track.
Grade: B

2. Hall of Fame – The Script. This track is one of my Nike Powersongs (a Powersong is a song you can queue up during your run with just one touch of the button). Of course, this song is all about “getting it done” and it pushes me into an extra gear, even when I’m already in 6th gear. I’ve found this song really works at Mile 20 of a marathon or the last 1,000 feet of a 5k. During this year’s Goofy Challenge, when I broke my foot at Mile 6, this track essentially played over and over for the remaining 20.2 miles.
Grade: A

3. Heart of the City – Jay-Z. Hova! Set your run in cruise control and just enjoy Hova layin’ it down. My running buddies know when this track comes on because I bob my head the whole time.
Grade: B+

4. To the World – Kanye West, R. Kelly, Teyana Taylor. “Let me see you put your middle finger up to the world…” Another one of those “get the Hell outta my way” tracks. I mean, when this comes on I’m gone. Everybody has a song or two on their mixes that say, “I might not be better than you, but today I’m faster than you.” This is one of mine.
Grade: A

5. Wild Ones – Flo Rida (featuring Sia). This is a fun track. Pumping beats and bass just cut the way for some serious running. I feel faster when listening to this monster, and really enjoy the run. I think what’s cool about it is there are so many nooks and crannies that make this song fun (listen to the cool keyboard lick at the 1:33 mark). Put it on and enjoy your mileage!
Grade: B

6. All I Do is Win - DJ Khaled, featuring Ludacris, Snoop, Rick Ross. “Luda!!!” So there I am running, minding my business and all of a sudden I got punched in the face…. by this song. Boom! If this song is playing YOU. WILL. NOT. BEAT. ME.
Grade: A

7. Defying Gravity – Wicked. This track is awesome. It’s another one of my Powersongs. Truth be told, it starts out pretty slow, but thanks to my Pro Tools skills, I edited it so all the uplifting parts fit perfectly without all the talking. I absolute love Idina Menzel in this show. Her voice just resonates just right through me out on the course and turns on the jets.
Grade: A+

8. Knock the Cover Off the Ball – Randy Newman. The main theme from the baseball masterpiece “The Natural.” If you are any bit of an athlete you know and love this song.
Grade: A

9. Main Theme to Iron Will – Joel McNeely. Most of you Disney fans will recognize this cinematic gem from the Fountain of Nations show at Epcot. I have a ton of Disney Parks tracks on my playlist but will save that for another post. I like this track because it’s light, fast and makes me feel like I’m at the front of the pack.
Grade: A+

10. Little Wonders – Rob Thomas. This is from the Disney movie “Meet the Robinsons” and it’s on my mix because not every track can get your heart racing. There also need to be tracks that keep you calm and focused. I still remember hearing this track in my very first half marathon (I was passing through the car toll way at Animal Kingdom). This track relaxes me and I think adds a bit of reflection time on my run. Very Zen.
Grade: B

11. Skateboard Chase – Alan Silvestri. From the movie “Back to the Future” which I have an ungodly obsession with. But, c’mon this movie is part of my childhood and that theme is just incredible. “Shhiiiiiiiiiittttt.”
Grade: B+

12. Reflections of Earth – Epcot Illuminations show. Just put it on your mix and go run. You’re welcome.

Grade: A+

So those are just a few of the current tracks that occupy my running playlist. Do you agree? What are some of your favorite running tracks? Let me know!