Tag Archives: music

Running Quiz!

Holy Monday Batman, today kind of stinks. Cold, rain, tired, cranky, blech.

Not really fair to say before 10 am? I agree. But let’s just say that getting out of bed this morning was about as pleasant as watching The Ring by myself in the dark.

So, since I’m sure I’m not the only person in need of something a little fun this morning, let’s do a little running quiz!

One of my absolute favorite runner bloggers Janae posted this quiz a few weeks ago, and I figured I’d partake. I’ll repost all the questions again at the end, and you should answer them too!

Here goes!

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

Honey Stingers! Or, I suppose anything that sounds good in the moment. At Chicago, I had a few orange slices that were being handed out by kind spectators.

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

Marathon, but recently I’m really digging shorter races.

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

Almost always shorts, sometimes capris.

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

Almost always just water—or Nuun! Sometimes Gatorade at races.

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?


6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brookes, Asics or Other?

Brooks baby.

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

Banana and a handful of cereal.

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

1 per week.

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

Either. I used to be all music all the time, but recently it’s back and forth.

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

Hmm, narrowing it down to one reason…that’s tough. I would have to say my number one reason is because when I run, I feel the most like myself. When I run, I am genuinely and completely 100% me…and I don’t think there are many things in life that can bring out that kind of pure self-recognition.


Now it’s your turn! Answer some or all of the questions in your own blog, or in the comments below!

1. FUEL: Shot Bloks, GU, Energy Chews, Candy or Other?

2. Race Length: 5k, 10k, 1/2 Marathon, Marathon, Ultra or Other?

3. Workout Bottoms: Skirts, Running Shorts, Capris, Pants or Other?

4. Sports Drink: Gatorade, Powerade, Cytomax, you stick to water when you run or Other?

5. Running Temperatures: HEAT or COLD?

6. Running Shoe Brands: Saucony, Mizuno, Nike, Brookes, Asics or Other?

7. Pre-race meal: Oatmeal, Bagel, Banana, Eggs, Cereal or Other?

8. Rest Days: 1x per week, 2x per week, never ever ever or Other?

9. Music: Have to have it or go without it?

10. #1 reason for running: stress-relief, endorphins, you love to race, so you can eat all the cupcakes you want, weight-loss, love running for social reasons or Other?

Mulan music, weekend things, and GOTR love

Why have I not used “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” as my pump up song for every race I’ve ever done EVER???

This is such a no brainer, and when it came on my Pandora station mid-shower yesterday, I decided that it will now be my pre-race anthem forever.

Sure, the title/lyrics of the song are a bit sexist—and by a bit I mean a lot—but in the end, Mulan proves that being a WOMAN is not only good enough—it’s better. So take that.

{Glee Cast radio was the station, in case you’re wondering how you too can hear such an epic song}

Ready for the most random post of your life?

Okay, good.

I just have too many things I want to talk about, but none of them are really worthy of a singular post. Is anything I write really worthy of publication though? Whatever, you’re here…right?

Cool. So, to start out, I want to give some snapshots of last weekend, as it was spent in my most favorite place on Earth with some of my most favorite people on Earth. And I say “some of” because Kate Winslet, Kara Goucher, and T. Swift all couldn’t make it. Next time, girls.

[An aside…I’m obsessed with Kara Goucher. I love Shalane and Desi too, but there’s something about Kara that I just adore. It’s probably the fact that her son Colt is the cutest thing in the world (and he’s probably already faster than me), and Kara’s a runner who isn’t afraid to show her vulnerability. You go KG. And on that note… Runner’s World, why the f didn’t you send me the cover with Kara on it this month? I didn’t want semi-creepy-looking-though-still-fast-as-shit Ryan Hall, which you decided to send me instead.]

Where were we? Oh yes…my weekend.

My brother Scott, my cousin Lily, BF, and myself

In a nutshell, I jammed as much as I could into the 36 hours I spent with my family at our summer house. Some highlights include:

A trail run with BF. We tackled 6.5 miles and some serious rolling hills of a gorgeous forest trail. It’s my favorite trail run in the world, mind you, which admittedly isn’t saying much—because I think I’ve run about 3 different trails in my life. Still, it’s spectacular and it’s actually the trail that inspired me to run outside more years ago. And I’m still tallying…but the mosquito bite count for this run alone is at about 2,500 right now.

No, you’re right, this is not a picture applicable to trail running.

Swimming with my Granddad. If there was a lifetime fitness award, it would go to my Granddad. He has been a consistent exerciser his entire life, and even now at the age of 79—he still manages to get out there. Since the only swimming he can do at our summer house is on the lake (aka, open water) I joined him to both try out my own open water abilities and play lifeguard.

Waving from the raft!

I also remembered that I’m terrified of swimming in open water and should probably practice that.

Beach sunset followed by ice cream. Do I really need to explain this one? Here are some photos to prove myself:

Oregon coast love ❤

16 mile long run followed by blueberry pancakes. Emphasis here on the blueberry pancakes…I credit them with my willingness to get the run over with. I’m convinced if you imagine delicious post-run food awaiting you the second you’re done, you’ll actually run faster.

This would, however, not work with imagining a Whey 1000 Maxx Green Soy TurboCharged 50mg protein smoothie. At least…not for me. No. Long run refueling needs to be solid, real food…and while I personally kind of suck at making pancakes, my Uncle Dave is a pro and it was his promise of hot cakes that got me through the hills on Sunday morning. And sorry, there is no photo available as I was too focused on expediting consumption instead of developing my food blogger resume.

This is how close people will get to you for post run photos. It’s okay Uncle Dave, your pancakes make up for it.

Oh yea, back to the whole long run highlight.

I tend to go on food digressions, in case that’s news to you.

Anyway, I ran long, which I was happy about, and it wasn’t too tedious, although the terrain was never really flat the entire time.

Talk about a hilly course. There really wasn’t an alternative though, and in the grand scheme of things—testing my flatlander legs out on some real elevation changes will benefit me in the long run…long run meaning Chicago, which is all flat. I can actually draw their elevation chart for you:


-Wakeboarding. On Friday I said that I needed to redeem myself for my massive face injury that occurred the last time I wakeboarded. And although I was a bit nervous at first, I eventually got into my groove and claimed my redemption over that little board.

Look ma, I still have both my cheeks!

Impressed with how much I was able to accomplish in 36 short hours? Yes me too…BUT when I need to capitalize on time, I make it happen. And the good news is I’ll be heading back this weekend for more lake fun, family fun, and pancake fun.

Although round two of a 6 hour car ride there and back isn’t exactly awesome…

Good thing I capture the on-goings of these road trips:

This is me, in the car. No I will not photograph my ice cream, but I will document the most boring moments of my life for you to see.

To finish up this random post, let me show you what was waiting for me when I returned home Sunday night.

I was giddy with excitement and totally unsuspecting that GOTR would send such wonderful goodies!! I’m actually not sure if the top they sent is supposed to be worn for the actual race, so that’s yet to be determined, but you can bet your britches that I’ll be using every last thing they sent.

What are britches? Are they pants? Underwear? Can someone tell me why I use outdated expressions that I don’t even understand?

A big THANK YOU to GOTR for showing me, and all other Solemates, so much love. It makes me feel even better about raising money for them.

SPEAKING OF WHICH, what a wonderful transition for me to probe you to donate!!!

If you want to learn about my fundraising efforts for Girls on the Run while training for the Chicago Marathon, check out my page here.

If you feel inspired to donate, I will love you forever, as will thousands of excited little girls all around the country.

So, if this were a school essay and it had come time to write a conclusion, I would now realize that this post was about 10,000 different things, and I was probably going to get a D on my essay.

But this isn’t school, it’s blogging—my blog to be exact—and in this world, I think the more haphazard, the better.

I also don’t know why I am continually justifying my lack of continuity today. I don’t care, you don’t care, I’m done.

Oh, and as for the CIM decision…not telling, YET.

Do you have a pre-race pump up song?

What’s your favorite post long run breakfast?

I love a huge bowl of oatmeal 

Is there an age that’s too old to have Glee and Disney music on your iPod?

If your answer is anything but, “NO! NEVER!” kindly get off my blog.

BF B-Day and Weekend Snapshots

I am pressed for time today, but I do have some photos from the weekend to share as well as a birthday wish to give…


We’ll be celebrating tonight with some festivities, presents, and other birthday-related shenanigans. I am definitely the bigger fan of birthdays and holidays and general over-the-top merriment in the relationship, so I think I am typically more excited about his birthday than he is. But, hopefully my 24-hour bombardment of birthday wishes, emoticon-filled texts, and delicious treats helps get him in the spirit. In case he reads this post—I’ll leave my specific plans secret— but details will follow soon.

I know, you were horrified about missing out.

Now, just four days late, here are some snapshots from last weekend. It was an eventful one indeed.


Remember when I talked about that bacon cheeseburger from the second happiest place on earth on bad mood Friday? Here it is, in all its glory, and it was perfect. I think I have a real deal huge burger about three times a year (red meat and my digestive system tend to hate each other), which means that when I go for it—it’s all the more spectacular.

Huge Blue Moons don’t hurt either.

No, those are not jeggings, just clown feet combined with BP jeans.

Another once-in-a-blue-moon event that happened this past weekend (DID YOU SEE WHAT I DID THERE??) included a trip to the bowling alley. We were planning on going to the synonymy, but we had time to kill before dinner and the show. So obviously going bowling was the best option. We each won one game, and check out the results of the second game:

So the obvious next step is joining a league with sweet jerseys with inside-joke nicknames on them. Mine will be “Bird.” Original, I know.

Then after some delectable sushi (which I am SUPER into right now, so if you want to go—please invite me), it was off to our adult date at the Seattle Symphony.

And by “adult” I really don’t mean adult at all.

YOU GUYS. Let me tell you about this special show. This was a “Disney” themed performance, meaning there was not only a stellar selection of the best scores and songs from Disney movies, there was a screen projecting said movies behind the orchestra.


I was dying, if you couldn’t guess, and every time I think I’ve grown out of my 6-year-old Disney princess phase and have become a functioning adult, something like this comes along, and I’m back to infantile giddiness and giggles.

Lucky for me, I have a boyfriend who a)goes to this kind of stuff with me b) still dates me despite my behavior and c) may just love it himself. I know BF wasn’t quite as rainbows and glitter about this as I was, but let’s just say I saw that foot tapping and a smile on that handsome face more than once during the show.

I know you love it when I sing Mary Poppins and Little Mermaid songs in your ear, baby…you’re welcome.

Which brings me to Sunday morning, in which this occured.

I had two goals for this run, the first “long run” since I regained run-ability.

1)Go slow

2) Finish

I was very content with this level of expectation for myself, and while my pacing was not exactly what I would have liked, I did accomplish both goals. I am really trying to get it into my head that long runs are supposed to be slow, and relatively speaking—this pace was right around the slow mark I need to hit. However, it terrifies me to run long runs so much slower than I’m supposed to run the actual marathon at the end of it all, so it needs some getting used to. A happy medium perhaps, at some point.

Anyway, I would show you my splits—but that would require me figuring out how to upload my Garmin data. You see, I’m just now realizing how often I need to charge this thing and how not to reset it during a run. Baby steps…the whole “uploading data” thing will come in time.

I can tell you that it didn’t feel awesome. It wasn’t awful, and I was happy to have retained some of my endurance over my running hiatus, but it definitely didn’t feel how 14 miles felt a few months ago.

But, like, DUR. Just goes to show ya…running takes patience. Of which I have none. But I’m trying.

So there you have it. Remember how I said I was “pressed for time,” initiating that this would be a brief post?

Yea, fail.

Apparently I just like to hear {watch} myself talk.

Have a lovely day, and prepare for some 4th of July wonderment, blogger-love, and Favorites coming up tomorrow!

In the meantime…how was your 4th of July? How is your “Every Single Person is Hungover Today” Day going? Did you take work off? Was asking your boss for the day off awkward? Did you eat as much watermelon and me? NO YOU DIDN’T.

Friday Favorites, Celine Dion, and Puppy Creeping.

Welcome to my blog, friends.

Happy Friday!

How are you?

In this week’s edition of “Robyn is creepy and takes pictures of other people’s dogs without them knowing,” I present to you…Mr. Newfoundland.

“Oh, you want to take my photo? Okay, I’ll just put on my most adorable face for you. Did you notice how fluffy I am?”

Oh, you wanted to see him closer up? Don’t worry, here he is again.


I tried really hard to look at his tag for his (her?) name, but the owner came out of Bartell’s and I had to pretend like I wasn’t just about to kiss his pooch on his big fluffy head.

I basically love everything today. My mood is impeccable for some reason, meaning that Friday Favorites is not only necessary, but it might include one too many exclamation points, attempts at humor, and use of caps lock. SORRY I’M NOT SORRY.

When you’re an injured runner, and you come across an A+ mood, you squeeze every ounce of happiness from it you can.

And this is no ordinary good mood, this is like smile-at-everyone, plan exciting events two years from now, channel happy thoughts to everyone you know kind of mood.

There is a chance it is residual from a little celebration I got to have yesterday with BF…

cue “aweee” track

Yesterday marked 4 years of dating! There was another “gray zone” year in there as well (I was abroad, etc.) but technically we have been gf and bf for FOUR years. Crazy. Tomorrow we’ll be officially celebrating by climbing Mt. Si (weather permitting) and going to a nice dinner downtown.

For your viewing pleasure, us then…and now:

Babies. First month of dating, and really sober too.

We have grown up so much. And changed a lot.

Dating your best friend is fun. Photobooth is also fun.

Moving on, let’s talk about some sweet things, yes?

Friday Favorites!

Cherry (regular flavor?) Blow-Pops

I’m into painting my nails again, don’t ask why. Also, this is an incredibly close-up look at my hand.

My sweets preferences are normally geared toward chocolate, ice cream, and things like that. Candy isn’t high on the list, but when I see one of these babies in the 25 cent bin at a gas station, I can’t resist.

It’s probably a nostalgia thing, because I think we got them in first grade on some special day or something. But to this very day, I think they are delicious.

Also, are these “cherry” flavor? I don’t actually know, I just know by the wrapper color. The gum is always so satisfying to bite into— and for that 5 minutes it actually stays a chewable consistency.

Our Garden!

Thriving! Greens! Growth! Life!

Way back when, I told you about our gardening endeavors, and I only halfway believed the whole venture would work. Sure, I know it’s pretty straight-forward, but it’s hard to believe that some little green plants and seeds could actually amount to any real food—particularly given the lackluster gardening skills of the caretakers.

Lucky for us, Washington weather is essentially a Mecca for new gardens. Alternating days of sun and days of rain treated our little square of dirt very well, and we currently have kale, spinach, chard (the winning grower, in my book), snow peas, pansies, beets, radishes, and various herbs growing.

I love it, and I’m obsessed with the fact that I can walk outside and pick a few leaves of greenery to add to my eggs in the morning. The Earth is amazing. Why haven’t people figured this out?

Oh, that’s what the whole “eat local” preaching is about? Oh yea…I forgot. Good work, progressive peeps.

My Garmin!

You have totally never, ever seen this picture on anyone’s blog ever.

Okay. This is kind of a lie. I’ve only been able to use this new beauty running twice given the whole “I can’t run right now” thing. And yes, it was purchased in my subconscious money-spending spree on running devices.

BUT, I have needed one for a long time, and I already understand why everyone is so in love with these. I think it’s going to be really helpful, as demonstrated when I was accidentally doing a 7:45 pace in the first mile of a “slow, don’t-aggrevate-your injury” run.

Whoops….thanks, G.

PSYCHED to use this gadget for reals.

“It’s All Coming Back to Me Now” by Celine Dion/Glee

Okay, first of all…that video.

You guys, Celine is a goddess.

And okay…the Glee version is sort of magical as well.

I’m obsessed with this song right now, and I’ve decided that it’s going to be my “coming back to running” anthem. And if you think I’m not capable into turning my runs into Broadway-status, epic solo performances, think again. You can bet your bottom dollar that I’ll be blasting this fabulous love song in honor of my real return to my running shoes.

Annie reference there…speaking of musicals. Did you catch it?

Just so you know, also, you can really turn most love songs into being about running—particularly heart ache songs when you’re injured. Lame/weird? Maybs.

But, next time you’re injured and you hear Jason Mraz’s “I Won’t Give Up On Us” on the radio, I challenge you to not relate it to running.

You’re welcome for potentially ruining any real-life relationship meaning that song had for you.

Medal Hanger!

Running! These are for that!

Way back when, my sister got my this for me off Etsy for my birthday. 6 weeks later, it arrived, and I LOVE it! Really beats hanging medals off of a curtain rail…and all those hooks make me eager to do a lot more racing…

And speaking of racing, I thought I’d share this humorous/ironic little tidbit of info I learned today.

So we’ve all heard me bitch carefully describe how hilly the Tacoma Marathon course is. I’m not one to make excuses, but truly it was part of the reason for my less-than-stellar finale to that race. Yada yada, been there done that…if you’ve read my blog for a bit, you know that story.

So, imagine my reaction when I learn that they have announced their “BRAND NEW!” course…which is described as “a scenic point-to-point NET DOWNHILL course.”

Those assholes.

Not only have the killer hills been taken out, but the course is absolutely spectacular now. Like, so spectacular— that I really want to do it, spectacular. And I’m sure you know that me saying that means it’s really pretty awesome—given the whole, “I fell over and almost passed out” thing. Check it out if you’re so inclined…I just thought the whole thing was amusing. Don’t worry, that BQ totally wouldn’t have been no problem on this fantastically easier and prettier course.

It’s fine.

No, no…no bitterness today. Today is about exclamation points and giggles.

God did I just say that? Wow…clearly, there is an invisible endorphin-filled syringe in me right now.

And that comment really sounded druggy. I don’t do drugs, I swear. Only caffeine and Aleve.

Rambling done, post done. Have a wonderful weekend everyone! And please let me know…

What is your favorite childhood candy? Do you think it’s acceptable to fawn over other people’s pets? What are your weekend plans? What are your favorite things this week??

Friday Favorites: Massages, Wanderlust, and Metabolism Overload

Good morning! I hope everyone’s excited for their weekend endeavors—I for sure am. Some upcoming highlights will include seeing one of my best friends perform in Footloose, lots of spinning, trying some local brews, and (hopefully) painting my new garage sale purchased dresser.

I rage. That’s what I’m really trying to tell you.

No running in there, but it’s okay…

I had my first experience with a sports massage yesterday, and although I went into it expecting to shriek in pain and hobble out crying, it really wasn’t so bad. Sure, it wasn’t necessarily pleasant, but homegirl masseuse (Nancy) definitely knew her stuff and she worked the crap out of my IT band and other muscles I don’t remember the names of. I’m wonderfully sore today, and she said with rest and icing and rolling and all that jazz —she gives me a quick recovery time.

Note to everyone: If you give me these kind of diagnoses, I will love you forever and we will be BFF. Even if you don’t have a PhD, that is overlooked for the sake of positivity.

She was fairly certain that standard IT band tightness is my issue, and she was pretty quick to blame the hills during the marathon for igniting all these leg problems. INTERESTING NANCY, ME TOO. In fact, I plan on blaming those hills for every problem that has and will ever happen to me from now on.

….kidding. But only kind of.

Let’s stop all this injury rubbish though, shall we? Injuries go away, running will return, and right now it’s Friday.

Friday Favorites have been gone for far too long, so let’s hop to it eh?

-The Pandora App

For those of you with a smart phone, who do not currently have this app, I highly recommend it. It’s probably my most used one (with the exception of my email and probably Scramble with Friends), and ever since I got it I’ve had a lot more music going on in my life. My favorite new habit is playing it while I’m in the shower—making cleaning time all the more enjoyable.

Although it’s already pretty enjoyable, seeing as it doesn’t happen as often as it probably should.

I have a very specific routine of listening to the Glee Cast radio while in the shower (songs from musicals and Disney movies are clearly the most belting-worthy), and then I switch to some country crooners for the rest of my preening process.

By preening, I mean getting dressed and putting my wet hair in a bun.

And by country crooners, I mean holy hell I am completely a country music person how did this happen and will it ever stop?

And speaking of musicals…

-Spring Awakening

No matter who you are—Broadway fan or no—if you get the chance to see this show, GO. You may have heard all the hype behind it that took NYC by storm a few years ago, and I can assure you that the actual show delivers. I saw it for the second time a few weeks ago, and I was even more impressed than the first time—which never happens.

It’s wildly scandalous, in the best kind of way. It’s not really a family show—so don’t say I didn’t warn you—but I think it would be hard to find another stage production that gets more  passionately real than this coming-of-age story.

– This Quinoa Creation

Remember when I said that recently I’m doing things I don’t normally do? Well I’m about to do something else…give you all a recipe!

Now, the “cooking” that goes on in our household normally consists of either rotating between the same 4 meals, making green smoothies and pb&j on rice cakes, and going to our local grocery store for pre-made food. There’s rarely something new and exciting, however there is one thing we consistently have that is one of my absolute favorite meals. It’s easy, it’s great for runners/athletes, and it makes me think that I have a bit more of a culinary repertoire than steaming vegetables and cooking rice. Which sometimes doesn’t even work.

Anyways…lots of protein, lots of different flavors, and LOTS of leftovers.

1 cup quinoa

1 can black beans

1 can corn

steamed greens- we usually do kale or spinach

1 zucchini, sauteed or steamed

dried cranberries

sunflower seeds

Instructions: Put all ingredients in bowl. Mix. Serve! BF and I normally put this mixture in some tortillas for a quinoa taco concotion, but it can easily be done in a bowl. Also, I recommend some sort of dressing—we use the Goddess dressing from Trader Joe’s, but it’s up to your preference. Also, there will be a lot of leftovers—which is one of the best parts.

-Garage Sale purchases

This is the aforementioned dresser that I bought last weekend. West Seattle was having 360 garage sales on Saturday, yes you read that number right, and some of the proceeds were going to various worthy causes. In other words, there was mayhem all over my neighborhood in the form of crazy people scuttling around in search for other people’s junk. I really didn’t want to be one of these people, however there was one item I was in some desperate need of and had been putting off for far too long.

My current dresser from IKEA is about one loose screw away from completely dismantling and falling apart. The bottom drawer is completely dysfunctional, I can only open one drawer at a time or else it will fall over—standard, “I only wanted to pay $100 for this and didn’t even put it together right” first-world problems.

So, off I went into the garage sale inferno, coffee and neighborhood map in hand.

Not kidding, the THIRD house I drove by had the above dresser sitting right in front, and about 3 minutes between seeing it and making sure it was use-able, cash was exchanged and now she’s mine.

Suggestions for a paint color?? I’m thinking of getting all Pinterest-creative with this endeavor. Something not too girly, but something that will dress up a nearly all-white room.


Now, I’m adding this to my favorites list with some bittersweet-ness. Does that even make sense? I don’t know, go with it.

I love to travel, and when asked what my favorite things are—it is definitely high on my list. In fact, next to running…traveling may be a contender for the top spot in my favorite things.

However, this is making the list this week specifically because I am experiencing some big time nostalgia for Europe and intense wanderlust. I made the mistake (was it a mistake? maybe just a tease?) of reading one of my friend’s blogs this morning—and she happens to be living, traveling, and experiencing Europe completely independently, and it all sang to a deep yearning within me.

Honestly, if I were single and without a job, I have a very strong feeling that I would be far out of the U.S. When I was abroad, I was close to the happiest I’ve ever been, and I promised then myself that I would see more of the world. I loved the feeling of being self-reliant, navigating my way through new places without knowledge of the language, all by myself. It was liberating, it gave me a whole new appreciation for just how wonderful this world is, and it’s something I dearly miss.

Truthfully, no one really wants to hear about abroad experience…with perhaps the exception of your grandparents and other people who visited the same places as you. So I’ll spare you the details. However, I’m making you look at some of my favorite photos from Europe—hey, I needed an excuse to look at all my old photos.  I’m really gunning to get the opportunity to scratch this itch before too much time passes. I feel like part of me is missing, and while I am so appreciative of all that I have here, I do know that there is a lot more I want to see.

Trevi Fountain, with gelato in hand. Apparently I painted my nails then also?

In Prague—my 21st birthday. Splendor.

Santorini, Greece. DONKEY RIDE!

The best beer, the best chocolate, and the best roommates. And Mean Girls.

my backyard in Prague, NBD

Ferry boat off of Athens.

On a Greek island, drink in hand, broke as crap, and in love with life.


That’s all for today! I would also like to state that I had one of those unending hunger streaks last night when I got home, and it still hasn’t let up. After snack after snack after dinner after frozen yogurt, I’m still a bottomless pit. Which is kind of fun, but a little daunting. A massage effect maybe? I took today off from any activity in hopes of slowing down my appetite…but this feels like a very belated post-marathon insatiability. GIVE ME ALL THE FOOD.

NOW YOU! What are your favorite things this week? What are the best places you’ve traveled to? Paint color recommendations for my dresser?  Fun weekend plans? If you have a long run, just don’t tell me. Or lie. 




Friday Favorites: Naughty Books and Cheeseburgers

Hello beautiful people.

How’s it going? Thanks for your thoughts on yesterday’s manifesto on lady issues. Clearly, it’s something I feel strongly about, but there are definitely multiple sides to the issue. I think the most important takeaway is to remember that everyone is fighting a hard battle, and we should all be on the front lines of attack for our fellow gal pals.

But moving on.

Welcome to Friday! I hope your week has been splendid, and you’re getting all Spring-fevery with all the flowers, racing, and sunshine in the air. Had my previous agenda not been changed, I would be gearing up to hit the road tomorrow for Oregon for the Eugene Marathon. And I admit…I’m a little bit sad this isn’t the case. Am I glad I got an extra week of training? Definitely…especially in terms of letting my knee get better. But, I was/am really hoping to do this race—and I’m getting sad with all the emails I’m still receiving about the expo and my virtual race packet.

Oh well, next year Eugene.

As for now, I’m easing into the depths of taperdom. That’s an actual place, I’ll have you know, and it involves a lot of sleep, a lot of eating, and a lot of on-again off-again nervous stomach. I’m wavering back and forth between feeling really amped and really nauseated—which is normal, except that it’s still over a week away and the real taper anxious energy hasn’t even started yet. Be warned, if you come across my path next Thursday, Friday, or Saturday, I might scream at you in a fit of unused-endorphins-induced rage. I apologize in advance for any violent Tweets, blog posts, comments, or general anxious energy I throw into the universe.

Okay, it might not be that bad. But when you put together a unhealthfully competitive person, a hilly marathon, and the potential for a PR—you get a groveling, weepy, bagel-stuffed Bird.

BF, all I can say is I’m glad you’re also racing so if you need to run away from me you have an excuse.

Truthfully, I am feeling pretty good about how things are shaping up. My knee started hurting again a bit, which is annoying, but it seems that as long as I do a lot of hamstring stretching and knee icing, I’m keeping it mostly at bay. At this point though, I’ll be racing no matter what— inflamed bursa or not.

Enough of this banter though, Friday Favorites is the name of the game today, and onward we go!

iPod Shuffle

I recently made the switch to this little baby from my old nano for running, and I cannot believe I hadn’t done so earlier. The nano was fine, but the ease in not having it strapped to my arm and having the cord dangling and flailing about it infinitely more enjoyable. Also, since I’ve been going back and forth between music-running and non-music-running, this makes the transition much easier.

Gossip Girl


I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again.

Yes I still watch Gossip Girl, and yes I still love it.

Do I get really pissed at the characters as if they’re people I actually know? You betcha. I’m right there along with the high-school girls who gather together on Monday nights for a “OMG SO SCANDALOUS!” viewing session.

In case you used to watch, and have since given up due to never-ending story lines and Serena being annoying (I don’t blame you), allow me to give you a few snipits of info for what’s currently going down in the “Upper East Side.”

Dan sucks, he really needs to cut his hair, and his pretentiousness has gone up about 1000%. He wrote a NYT bestseller and then basically cried when it went to number 11. GET OVER YOURSELF DAN.

Blair and Chuck aren’t together, and I hate it. They writers know this is all anyone cares about anymore, therefore they are intent on making it not happen, thus ensuring I will continue to watch vying for the next big pent-up sex scene between these two.

Serena really really sucks, which seems to be the case since the first season ended.

Jenny is off the show, so is Vanessa.

Elizabeth Hurley is a guest star this season, which is kind of weird. She and Nate hook up, which obviously I’m jealous of, but the age separation is a bit much. She’s hot, but there’s really only so much you can cover up with makeup and way-too-tight dresses, Liz.

That’s all that matters, which obviously is very little. And yet, my DVR continues to record this show, and I continue to cuddle up with anticipation to watch it.

Maybe I’ll grow up someday, but not now.


50 Shades of Grey

I realize I’m way behind the ball on this one, but I do have a funny little thing that happened when I innocently—promise!—decided to start this book.

As I was perusing my Nook’s suggested reads, I came across this book and the title was super familiar. I knew this book was all the buzz among people my age, and obviously it was selling like hot-cakes, so I decided to go for it. Why not? It’s probably decent—and the title sounds like it could be some interesting modern writing, hey…maybe even some innovative prose and highlight-worthy lines.


This is a sex book. I started reading, and while it wasn’t the most cryptic or advanced writing, it was interesting enough. The further along I went, I quickly realized that it was actually the hot-and-heavy, explicitly detailed bedroom scenes that made this book so popular. This is definitely the kind of book I would have hidden from mom—just like Forever by Judy Blume. Did anyone read that?! I credit that book for teaching my 11-year-old self about what sex actually entailed. None of Judy’s other books are like that, and let me tell you—I read that naughty little paperback cover-to-cover at least 5 times.

Moving back to the point, obviously I’m going to finish the 50 Shades of Grey series.

Red Robin

Anyone who says they don’t like Red Robin is lying to themselves. And if you are, in fact, one of these Red Robin naysayers, you probably shouldn’t be reading my blog—and you should instead be in confession for blasphemy.

Was that inappropriate?

Oh well, most of this post has been about gossipy teens and dirty sex books, so let’s just continue along that thread.

Now back to the burgers. It is safe to say that I never actually order a burger at a restaurant except for Red Robin. Also, I probably only ever go once or twice a year, because let’s face it—it takes about that long to digest a meal from RR. But oh do I love those few and far between excursions I do get to take.

Red Robin has been a family favorite ever since they plopped themselves down in the center of Colorado Springs (my hometown), and I can remember the sheer joy of hearing we’d get to go their for dinner.

In reality, the food is good, not incredible, but it’s the whole atmosphere that makes RR the Happiest Place On Earth II (obv Disneyland is number 1, do you know me at all?). The bottomless freckled lemonade, the balloons, the french fry baskets, and the super annoying but addicting “Happy Birthday” jingle they sing no less than 10 times per trip are what make Red Robin an amusement park of a restaurant.


Okay, we’re done for this week…I hope I didn’t frighten you too much with my tapering, over-the-top GG coverage, and adoration of RR bacon cheeseburgers.

I’d like to say GOOD LUCK!! to everyone racing in Eugene, and Big Sur, and everywhere else this weekend. I know you all will crush it, and remember to run your race and enjoy every minute of it!

TELL ME YOUR FAVORITE THINGS! Or, tell me something from your childhood—either a book, a movie, a tv show, etc.—that made you feel “grown up.”

Have a great weekend!

Friday Favorites: Musical Guilt

Let’s briefly recap why I’m glad it’s Friday, shall we?

Well okay, you don’t really have an opinion, because this is my blog. So like, either keep reading or don’t?

I hope you’re still there…

ANYWAYS. This journey toward why this Friday couldn’t come at a better time started bright and early on Monday morning. That’s right, this has been a whole week of Friday buildup. I awoke to a text from BF at 6:15 am (he gets to work at 5:30, it’s intense, you can feel sad for him) and all it said was, “Um…I have your keys.”

In some lazy Sunday night stupor, I had decided to leave my keys inside his car, therefore leaving myself stranded at home. I work from home, so it wasn’t totally catastrophic, but since I normally work from a coffee shop every day in order to avoid sitting on the couch in pajamas all day eating while working, my normal day was somewhat derailed. So my week started in a stranded-all-day-on-the-couch state of blah. Yes I know, why should I complain about this? Well, let me just tell you that you never want to leave the house more than when you HAVE NO WAY OF ESCAPE. It was claustrophobic, and I got nervous.

Yes, I could have walked somewhere, whatever. But I did need to work. And my bike doesn’t have air in its tires, at least I don’t think it does. I’ve ridden it probably 3 times since I bought it last July. Good investment, Robyn.

Moving on. Since then, every single day of this week has felt like a Thursday night. You know, when you’re pumped because the next day’s Friday and you can begin looking at the weekend forecast and plan your weekend Target and Trader Joe’s adventures? I love Thursday nights. But NOT when they are actually a Tuesday afternoon pretending to be Thursday and laughing in your face when you realize you are actually three days away from the weekend.

Fast forward to today, because this whole “why I’m all anxious and thrown off” endeavor is taking too long.

I realized this morning that I had left my computer cord in the outlet at the Starbucks I worked at yesterday. I have forgotten my computer cord all of two times in my life, and this time just happened to occur when I worked from a Starbucks that was far from my home. And my computer was dead. Awesome.

Time wasted, and I felt like I was walking around with “FAIL” tattooed on my forehead.

So with all that random banter over with, I welcome you to the REALITY of it being Friday and my forgetful/distracted week coming to a close.

I’m getting back into Friday Favorites this week, after a brief hiatus last week. Woooo lists of happy things!

This week, I’ve decided to theme the Favorites list according to my own personal music preferences, because recently there’s rarely an hour in my day where I’m not listening to some Pandora, iTunes, Spotify playlist. I like the feeling of sound-tracking my life, even when that soundtrack includes the same songs over and over again.

Now, part of this post about my music comes with a serious disclaimer, and it’s one that I’ve had to internalize for myself.

You know how everyone has a guilty pleasure song or artist that they try and hide within the rest of their “normal” music? It’s the one you never want people to see on your iPod, and heaven forbid it comes on when someone else is listening to your music. Yea, ok. We’ve all got one. Me though? All my music choices are like that.

Okay, maybe not ALL, but A LOT of the music I listen to is definitely on most people’s “no one can know I like this” list, and especially my running music. Am I ashamed? Not really, I know what I like and I’m going to listen to it. But am I slightly embarassed? A little. Several of my music choices are those that 14 year old girls croon to while sharing headphones with their best friend outside of Forever 21 at the mall.

However, I know that a lot of people out there are actually in agreement when it comes to some of these selections. Fact: Every single person, no matter who they are, can find a Glee song they like. There are so many! How could you not? And so, without much further ado (because there has already been a shit ton of “ado”…what does “ado” even mean?), I give you my current musical selections. Some are “normal,” some should be reserved for pre-teen karaoke sleepovers, and some are completely random.

Maroon 5

I need to come out of the “they’re so overplayed and not that talented” closet and admit that I have and will always love Maroon 5. I know a lot of their songs sound the same, and sure they might have a Nickleback-esque to them, but I don’t really care. Ever since “She Will Be Loved” spoke to my 16-year-old hopeless romantic heart, I always find myself enjoying Maroon 5 songs. I’m not huge on “Moves Like Jagger” fan, because the whole context just seems weird, but otherwise it’s pretty safe to say that I always have a Maroon 5 song stuffed somewhere in my musical repertoire.

Taylor Swift

If you’ve read this blog before, this comes as no surprise. I freaking love Taylor Swift. Unlike Maroon 5, I actually don’t think there is one T Swift song I don’t like. The scale of my fondness for her songs goes something like, “Fun and Catchy” to “OMG THIS WAS WRITTEN ABOUT MY LIFE.” I love her, I have Pandora station of her, and I’m a glitter covered t-shirt away from posting a YouTube “I Heart Taylor” video. 


BUT I do love her. My sister and I saw her concert and it was everything your high school self wanted it to be.

Glee Music

Now, I am actually a bit pickier about my Glee selections than you might guess. I really only like about 30% of them (not to be way-too precise or anything), and I typically preference the songs from musicals, the mash ups, and the big belting one-woman-show numbers. BUT, when I do find a gem of a Glee song, I hang onto it with all my might. I still regularly play songs from old seasons while on my runs, and I admittedly find myself favoring them over the original versions. “Faithfully” from the Season 2 finale anyone?

Glee is great to run to though, and I think it’s hard to stay in a bad mood when a group of beautiful and famous 20-somethings pretending to be loser teenagers are singing to you.

Lana Del Rey

This one isn’t a guilty pleasure choice, and she’s actually been overwhelming my playlists recently. I like running to Lana, she makes me feel all “don’t-give-a-crap-bad-girl” about things, because obviously that’s exactly the kind of person I am. I love her voice, her lyrics, and her general style.

Britney, Kelly Clarkson, and Rihanna

I figured these three could be lumped together, because I think everyone has at least a small spatter of these three somewhere in their music collection. They never seem to get looked over, no matter how many new playlists I make or musical phases I go through. In an exercise sense, you can’t really get better than these three for some pump-you-up girl jams that are loud and fast. And the “S&M” remix with RiRi AND Brit? Don’t even get me started.

Croony, Sappy Country Music

There isn’t a particular artist for this one, but it’s a music guilty pleasure I’ve been victim to ever since I discovered Tim McGraw and Keith Urban as a boyfriend-less high school freshman. I’m not huge into country music, but there’s a variety of super cheesy, over-the-top love songs (normally by men) that ignite my desire to belt loudly in the shower. Examples include, “Love Your Love the Most,” “Then,” “Making Memories of Us,” and “It’s Your Love.”

BF, please don’t read this post. And if you do, please stay with me. I promise I’ll never make you listen to Brad Paisley.

The soundtracks to Wicked, Spring Awakening, Les Mis, and Hairspray

I really really sometimes wish that I could go back in time and be a choir/theater/glee club person instead of a softball/basketball/track person. Well, that’s not really true, but I do have a very strong feeling that there is another universe in which I am a Broadway star who can sing like Barbara and dance like Beyonce (yes, interesting combo…just go with it). Something about musicals speaks to me, and I find it highly entertaining to listen to shows all the way through, imagining I’m the lead.

Drama queen? NEVER.

I also believe very confidently that there is an alternate universe in which I’m a 6’8″ NBA star, just to give you some perspective on the variety of my hallucinations  imagination.

Anyways, I love songs from musicals, and I have a dream of running an entire race to the Les Miserable soundtrack. It would be epic, except for the times I’m weeping when Fantine dies and sings to Cosette. Damn you Victor Hugo and Schönberg for tugging at my heart strings EVERY TIME.

So, in addition to some Jason Mraz (new album is SO GOOD), O.A.R., and Sarah Barielles, this is essentially the core of my musical choices, both while running and not.

If you’re still reading and not shaking your head while thinking, “Wow Robyn, maybe you should try growing up or something,” I hope you enjoyed my musical admissions.

The fact of the matter is I love essentially every kind of music. I can find a favorite tune in any and all genres, it just so happens that the songs I keep on repeat are stereo-typically a little “cheesy.”

I hold my head high though, and when you see me mouthing the lyrics to “Circle of Life” while pounding down the sidewalk during sunrise, you’ll know I’m in my happy place.


NOW YOU! Let’s hear it, what’s your musical guilty pleasure?

Friday Favorites: Girl Scout Cookie Tangent

This morning I ran, and it was excellent.

Well okay back up, pretty much every factor involved in this run was working against me, and I didn’t escape it void of any knee pain…but oh boy, did it feel good to run.

To continue on my bad-blogger theme of talking about the weather, I’ll paint a quick picture of what this morning looked like:

Rain, alternating between heavy sudden downpours and lighter sprinkles. You didn’t really know what you were going to get with the rain this morning, and it delivered a smorgasbord of intensity and directional changes. With that said, there was also my least favorite running element present this morning—wind. I can deal with rain, I can even deal with snow, but let it be known that I hate wind with a fiery loathing passion. So that was neat. It was also quite cold, as demonstrated by the fact that my fingers were completely void of any healthy color once I was done. They were a pale yellow, and I’m pretty sure I could have had someone run over my hand with a bike without me even flinching.

Okay, this is getting boring…maybe weather talk should get the boot. But I am very happy with that fact that I was able to run, and it was only a little bit slower than my normal semi-fast-but-not-too-fast pace. My knee bothered me, but once I was done it felt very normal which was encouraging. I think so long as I keep up my icing and stretching and rolling routine, I’ll be able to pull off runningthrough this bursitis.

It’s nice to have a run under my belt after 4 days of being all Whine Birdie Whine and RICE Birdie RICE. Still being cautious, but feeling optimistic. And let’s get real, who can’t be optimistic on a Friday? Especially when Friday means it’s time for some Friday Favorites!

If you’re new, every Friday I like to talk about some of my favorite things, both of the present moment and of all time. Lots of the time they are about food. Other times they are about Glee songs. However, they are all little parts of life that make me smile, and you should play along to! Comment below with some of your favorite things, I love to read them.


My “Look I ran a marathon” Oiselle T-shirt

It took my forever to work up the gall to buy this pretty blue shirt, but I’m so happy I did—and it’s fun having a piece of “runner” clothing that isn’t actually worn during running. Actually, I suppose you could wear it running, but I’d rather wear my permanently smelling old tech tops instead.

I wore this shirt on Monday, when I was feeling particularly down about my dumb knee, and it made me feel the teensiest bit better. I’ve preached the importance of remembering that you’re a runner, even if you’re hurt or in a rut. Wearing this shirt on a downer-day helped me to remember that even if I couldn’t run right then I will be able to again and I was still able to claim the 26.2 title. Thanks, Oiselle. You ladies are awesome.

The Runner’s World Quote of the Day

I’ve gotten in this 21st century habit of checking through all my iPhone gizmos before my eyes are really open in the morning. I really dislike this habit, and although it actually helps me wake up and I find it oddly soothing, I would much rather spend the first ten minutes of my waking day away from technology.

However, the best part about this routine is that I get to start my mornings with a lovely little email from Runner’s World, featuring the “Quote of the Day.” You can sign up to receive them on their website, and it’s really fun/motivating to wake up to the words of wisdom from various runners. Often times the quotes are about running, sometimes they’re about life. Sometimes they’re from Kara Goucher, sometimes their from your Uncle Buck who happens to love running, but no matter the source or the content they always manage to get me started in the right frame of mind.

Also, if I’m about to go for a run, there’s no better motivation than hearing some Yoda of Running jargon beforehand. Or, if I’m feeling lazy—these quotes can be a friendly kick in the butt. I recommend signing up. I don’t recommend playing Words with Friends when you are still half-dreaming.

{A note to all my iPhone game opponents: if you’re wondering why you receive game updates from me before 6 am…this is why. Nice to start my day with you, and yes…I do consider it a disadvantage that I play my moves while still in sleep delirium. Your welcome.}

Girl Scout Cookies

I know I’m preaching to the choir, and by choir I mean the entirety of the United States, when I say that I effing love Girl Scout cookies. Below are my specific reasons, because listing is fun, and I don’t want to bore you with trying-to-be witty prose about the perfect symmetry of Samoas.

  • They are little

As I mentioned last week, I really love little things. These cookies are no exception, particularly because small cookies=more cookies available to eat. People like how Girl Scout cookies are “portion controlled” compared to the normally over-sized nature of other desserts. Sure, this is great, but when I think of something being small, I think, “Oh, that means I can eat MORE of them.” Dessert is more fun when it is divided into 3 or 4 or 8 miniature parts, as opposed to one whole…don’t you think?

  • There are many options

As a cookie savant, my palate is very eclectic…and by eclectic, I mean that I enjoy too many different types of sweets to pick just one. The Girl Scouts of America have recognized this problem, and they have come up with the wonderful solution of providing many flavors that I enjoy, and I consequentially purchase.

If we’re talking specifics…this year I’m into Samoas and Trefoils, although Thin Mints and Tagalongs are long time favorites and have also been purchased.

Also, I hate these new names. When I was a proud GSC seller myself, they were called Caramel Delights, Shortbread, Thin-Mints (no alternative there eh girls?), and Peanut Butter Patties. All kids of the ’90s will agree.

  • They can be stored

I’m actually not a big processed food person, but I do appreciate the fact that you can freeze/store these little gems so that they can be enjoyed for a prolonged period of time.

I think it’s safe to say that for the month-long period of time when Girl Scouts prowl the streets and supermarkets, they are easily the most popular girls in town.

Are you wondering yet why I’m not 200 pounds? Yea, me too.

My “Girl Power” Playlist

I’m into Spotify nowadays, and I like that you can make your own playlists. This past week, I found myself listening to a high number of you-go-girl music and decided to create a femme-centric playlist.

It pumps me up, it keeps me entertained, and it inspires me. Thanks Katy, Lana, and Kelly. You make me want to run and spin and climb Everest and fight the good fight.

Boom! Favorites completed. Sorry for that tangent about my obsession with cookies…that was unplanned, I swear. Maybe I have inspired you to contribute $4 to the adorable badge-clad chickies at your local grocery store next time you’re there. I hear the new lemon ones are all the rage…just rumors though.

Please tell me what you are digging today, and because now I’m curious…what’s your favorite kind of GS cookie? Are you doing a St. Patrick’s Day race? A corned beef and cabbage cook-off? A Guiness keg stand? I don’t recommend this last one…stick to the lighter brews, but if you are doing this…tell me how you accomplished such a feat. You must be Irish.

Robyn vs. Universe

Oh universe, you are a funny little devil.

It seems that my decision to publicly proclaim my new-found admiration for running music-less would come to bite me straight in the butt this morning. As you may know, yesterday I admitted that there is a lot of serenity in running unplugged, and that I was no longer afraid of running sans iPod. So to this, the universe said, “Oh yea little missy? Let’s just see about that.”

Let me explain:

I was planning on doing a 12 mile run this morning to log some good miles in the dry weather. I started off feeling strong, and I was psyched to be running on such a fog filled morning. For me, fog really enhances the primal and solo aspects of running, and today Seattle was laden in a thick layer of heavy fog.

So off on my merry way I went, and just when I passed mile 1, kaboom…silence. I checked out my iPod which originally appeared to be half full of battery, and the screen only flashed with that ominous dead battery signal.

You know the one…it’s so sad.

To this, I could only snicker. I actually considered giving out-loud props to whomever controls the karmic circumstances of our world. There I was, proudly proclaiming that music was no longer my running clutch, and to that I received the response, “Prove it.”

Now, I would like to make it known that I did say I do still use music frequently, and I never go a whole run without listening to music at least for a bit. Alas, the universe decided I needed to practice what I preached, and I was hand delivered the opportunity to run 11 miles in the quiet.

So after I shook off my initial humor at the irony of the situation, I was forced to confront the purism of running head-on. I was a bit scared at first; before when I’d turn off my iPod, I always had the decision to turn it back on if I wanted. Not this time, and I recognized this present situation as a test.

Note: Yes, the practical realist would stop me right now and say, “Actually Robyn, your iPod died because it obviously didn’t have enough battery and you were the one that mistakenly didn’t charge it enough for the week.” 

Sure, whatever.

However, I prefer to side with the mystical reasoning behind this coincidence. And that’s why I spent 11 miles having a one-on-one with the universe.

During my quiet run, I realized that if I am going to have a running blog, I am really going to need to meld the thoughts and ideas I share in this space with my own running. No, I never ever intended or intend to fabricate or exaggerate anything I say on here, but I am realizing that if I’m to devote my time and writing to such a specified topic, I am really going to need to embrace it wholly and practice what I preach.

I think we all come across situations where we give great advice or ideas to others, but when it comes to applying them  in our own lives suddenly those great ideas seem daunting.

Why is this?

Personally, I think it’s because the most rewarding and enriching parts of life—the parts we have no problem encouraging everyone but ourselves to take on—are actually the harder routes to take on. For instance: it’s very easy for me to run with music, even though I know that there are so many advantages to using my running time for reflection and quiet. So while it might be easy for me to rant about unplugged running, actually going out and doing it is a whole other ballgame.

I really respect the people who live and act in the same way they advise and teach others to. It shows honesty and a deeper level of empathy and understanding. I’m really going to try and commit to this, within the spaces of my running blog, my running life, and my everyday life.

So there you have it. My attempt at a more light-hearted blog post turned into another philisophical rant about life. Clearly I have had a lot on my mind, and I’m grateful to have  a place to divulge it all. Don’t worry though, the trivial day-to-day jargon will come shortly.

If you’re still there, thanks for reading 🙂

Cheers to December 1st, and the for-real beginning of the countdown to Christmas!



Running Purism

For the majority of my running career, I was always horrified at the thought that my iPod might die in the middle of a run. Music was the essence of a steady pace and entertainment during my runs, and it was unimaginable to think of spending over an hour out on the roads with only the thoughts in my head.

I guess you could say I’m a plugged-in runner. I really enjoy using the time spent running as a chance to zone out and focus on listening to music and sweating through the miles. Although my music doesn’t change all that often, I treasure the songs I use for running and each represents a different aspect of my running for me.

So why is it, since the marathon in October, have I been pulling out my headphones and running in silence…and enjoying it??

This is a very new phenomenon for me, and it isn’t completely regular, however during each run I’ve been having this urge to participate in my surroundings without the distraction of music. It’s really different and odd for me—music has always been my constant as a runner, and I was always in shock at the people who could spend miles and miles inside their own heads without an upbeat tune keeping their feet moving. My running friend Rose refers to this type of runner as a “purist,” which I really think is the perfect description. Because running is in so many ways just this—pure. It’s simple, it’s primal, and it requires very few external resources.

Running without an iPod is the essence of this running purism. Without the distraction of various songs in our heads, we must channel our attention to the rhythm of our breath, the tapping of our feet, and the hum of our surroundings.  When we unplug from our distractions, we can absorb our surroundings so much more wholly.

I feel that this thought was what initially jolted me to turn off my iPod one cold Seattle morning. It was dark and calm out, and I had the sudden desire to hear the sound of the ocean that I run by all the time. All at once, I was completely in awe of the peaceful solitude I felt without my music. All my senses seemed to be heightened; I could hear the breaking waves, the “arping” seals, and the cooing seagulls. With the exception of occasional passing headlights, I really felt completely alone with my surroundings, and there was something very therapeutic about the whole experience. Without music, suddenly these other facets of running overwhelmed me all at once, and I felt very curious to play around with this new-found running technique.

It would be a lie to say that I saw the light and now run in meditative silence alongside the sea creatures and rainbows. No, not even close. I still start most of my runs with my iPod, and I do still keep it on for a full run from time to time (note: hills are nearly impossible to tackle without an epic “Dream On” anthem playing at top volume). However, I’m no longer scared to run without music. During almost every run I unplug from my headphones, if only for just a small portion of time, and enjoy all the external beauties surrounding me. I have found that without headphones, I give much more acknowledgment to others passing by, my pace is kept much more precise, and I am actually more distracted than I am with headphones. However, this distraction is driven by appreciation and admiration of everything surrounding me, as opposed to hearing Taylor Swift sing so precisely about the aches of love (for the hundredth time).

I guess my point is this: By allowing my attention to focus outward during a run, as opposed to solely on the beat filling my ears, I have learned to appreciate running in a whole new way. For a long time, I loved the feeling I got after a run. Sure, while I was plugging the miles I knew that I was accomplishing something, but my mind was always adrift; focused on the afterward. By unplugging and submitting to the nakedness of running without a fixed playlist, I have learned to love running in the present. My awareness of the things around me during a run has brought me in touch with the purism of running, which is all about enjoying the run itself. Even if I only occasionally remove my ear buds, this new found appreciation of “running in the present” has heightened my admiration for the sport. Channeling our energy into the present moment is one of the hardest things for people to do, and running is one of the few activities that, if done with diligence, yields an ethereal sense of stillness and peace.

Do you run with music? Book on tape? What are your thoughts on unplugging ourselves during a run?