Documenting My Running Vlog on YouTube

Do you ever feel like declaring a goal out loud helps you hold yourself accountable?  Also, have you ever stopped to realize that the ability to invest 100% of yourself in the training towards your running goals is perhaps even more acknowledgeable than the race itself?  I’m ‘Documenting My Running Vlog on YouTube’ thru the running and training of my quest for you, and a little bit for myself.

21st Century Runnermomcoach

Now before you get all judgy on the lack of video quality, shaky footage, no make-up sweaty face Corrie, let me preface with saying that my purpose towards documenting my training serves two-fold.

The first purpose is as I’ve already mentioned, which is to allow all you other runners out there to get a feel for what I do in my training.  And yes, I’m open to constructive comments, recommendations or questions.  I’ve accumulated notes over the years and experience from previous training.  In addition, I try and read as much as I can about different training plans, methods and philosophies and the science behind each.

What’s worked for me the best, with a little amalgamation, has been the 1/2 and full marathon training plans out of the Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon Training.  I’m currently using the advanced 1/2 marathon training plan and have implemented hilly route days for strength, additional before and after strength and mobility work, and plyometric work since I’ve noticed that my fast twitch muscle fibers seem to have gotten lazier as I’ve aged.

The second purpose of me documenting my journey is so that hopefully someday I can look back and be able to have made progress and learned better, more efficient, and more creative ways of “vlogging” my runner’s lifestyle.

And…after all, my kids tell me all the time that I’ve gotta get with the times.  So, that means spreading my influence, blog and journey out over social media, the web and YouTube.

What You See Is What You Get

You’ve also probably already noticed, that I am usually my “organic” self in my videos.  Meaning,…no make-up, hair hastily pulled back and whatever running clothes I threw on in the morning.  I don’t believe that image is everything and stand by values of believing that content and message is always more important.  So, what you see is what you get!

Summer is Near

As I prep myself for the upcoming summer months and having my kiddos home during the day, as well as the beginning of summer XC coaching and training, I realize that I should let you know that I’ll be dialing back just slightly in my blog posts.

Being a Mom always comes first for me, and the summer months is a time that I always try and be very present not only as a Mom but also with my coaching.  I will still try to remain somewhat consistent with blog posts (perhaps only 1-2 times per week), even if it’s not the typical Monday, Wednesday, Friday.

Happy Running Hump Day!!


A Runners Guide to Downtown Cedar Rapids and the NewBo District

I’ve been a Cedar Rapidian (Cedar Rapids resident) for almost forty years.  I’ve also been a runner for the large majority of those years and have trained thru many miles on the trails and streets of our town.  I’d like to share this blog post called, ‘A Runners Guide to Downtown Cedar Rapids and the NewBo District’ and hope that it will be helpful to you whether you’re visiting the city for the first time or looking for a runner’s perspective and resource tool for a new route to get you going in a new direction.

Rejuvenation after the Flood of 2008

As with most everything in life, there is a yin and a yang or relative concept of balance.  Although our city experienced a devasting blow with the massive flooding that occurred in 2008, the silver lining of what came from that was a rejuvenation of the city and a few specific areas like the NewBo Market and New Bohemia District, the Downtown Riverfront and the Czech Village area.

The new thriving area and beating heart of the New Bohemia District and Czech Village area include easy access to the Cedar Valley Trail System.  The paved trail travels south all the way to Ely and includes several “pit stop” and restroom amenities at about every 1.5 – 2 miles.  Much of the trail on this stretch going south as it transitions into the Hoover Trail system, is tree-lined and offers a nice “tunnel” of shade for enjoyment even thru the blazing hot summer months in Iowa.  There are only a few slight elevation changes along this stretch and could mostly be considered “slightly rolling”.  For a runner training for any longer distances of a half or full marathon the distance, one way, if starting at the NewBo Market, is approximately 8.5 miles thus making a great training run of 18-19miles total.

Cedar Valley Trail – Southbound

If traveling southbound on the trail you’ll get a chance to run along the river and past a couple of our cities factories.  You’ll also experience running up and over the train tracks next to Tait Cummins Sports Complex and past some watershed area, where the occasional woodchuck or deer can be spotted.

A few additional perks of running an out and back route from the NewBo Market are that you can choose a nice refreshment or snack after your return to the NewBo Market.  I personally love a smoothie from Get Fresh Juice Press.  Perhaps even take a little time to stretch on the lawn or meander thru some of the fun shops like RayGun, The Iowa Running Company Shoe store, or even the NewBo Market vendors.

Prairie Park Fishery Trail and the Sac and Fox Trail

The Prairie Park Fishery Trail is one of my favorite spots for any sort of speedier running or specific shorter distance work because the 1.6 mile trail loops around the Cedar Lake and is marked at every tenth of a mile.  The scenery is not too bad either.

Additional Perks to this section of trail are that you can hop right onto the Sac and Fox Trail extensions and wind your way all the way to the Indian Creek Nature Center.  This part of the trail becomes pea gravel and is a nice surface to run if you’re looking to get a break from pounding the pavement.

Nurture the Brain and the Body

Have you heard of the app?  It is an internet based app that a very bright group of high school kids at the Iowa BIG school developed for runners.  More specifically there are 19 different routes that a runner can access in and amongst Cedar Rapids.

The app offers live gps tracking for runners as they tour around our city via one of the offered routes.  The routes highlight many of our historical landmarks such as Brucemore Mansion and Czech Village, notable areas of the city like the above mentioned NewBo area and Cedar Valley Trail, and even navigate you thru a couple of local road races courses i.e. Especially For You Race Against Breast Cancer.  Within the app and the live navigation, there is also audio tour and educative recording which plays to inform you about each specific route or landmark.

The routes vary in distances from just over a quarter mile all the way up to 15.2 miles.  And if you find yourself feeling a little competitive the RunCRwith.Us app has teamed up with the Iowa Running Company shoe store and is offering a fun contest.


From May 12th to May 19th RunCrWith.Us is holding a contest! Run a route and tweet us at #runcrwithus to get credit. The person who ran the most miles by the end of the week gets a prize! 1st place gets a $75 gift card, 2nd place $50, and 3rd place $25 all from the Iowa Running Company!

The and Iowa Big students even took a few minutes (14min and 48 sec to be exact) to sit down with me and tell me a little more about the app and what went into the design and development of it.  You may listen to it on my RMC Podcast on iTunes or thru the link on the right of this website page.

Cedar Rapids Can Be Fun to Explore thru Running

Like I said, I’ve been a resident of this city for quite some time and I still enjoy discovering new running routes, beautiful scenery for my photo run journal and seeing other outdoor enthusiasts doing the same.

What better way to learn and acquaint yourself with your city, than being active and fit at the same time?!





Drake 10k Road Race Review and Week 1 of 10 in Training for My Half Marathon Goal

Last weekend, as some of you may have already noticed on social media, my family and I went into Des Moines for the Drake Relays Road Races.  The Road Races include three different distances – a 5k, 10k, and half marathon.  Joel, Tori and I each ran the 10k distance and in today’s post, I’ll give you my Drake 10k Road Race Review.  I’ll also explain my current training goals with some personal 2018 race aspirations and details on ‘Week 1 of 10 in Training for my Half Marathon Goal’.

Post Race on the Infield of the Drake Track

Drake 10k Road Race Review – Course Elevation

I fully understand and want to preface with my road race review, that my experience is solely my own.  Take from today’s post what you will and with a grain of salt.  Also, neither Drake University or the Road Race coordinators have anything to do with my blog review for today.

The three road races start in front of the Drake Stadium and Knapp Center on 27th Street and at the north end of the Drake campus.  Both the 5k (overlapped and run on the same route as the 10k) and 10k courses were in my opinion, pretty flat.  There were maybe some very mild rolling elevations as you can see thru the elevation chart thru the course link here.

Drake Road Races Combined Elevation Chart. *Click on image for a link to full size map and chart.

My Garmin recorded that there was only an overall elevation gain of just 88 ft. and total loss of 104 ft.  I’ve attached a screen picture of the analytics page from my Garmin Connect dashboard and you’ll see the elevation gain and loss per each recorded mile of the 10k.  You can see where I dropped off my HMP tempo pace thru miles four and five, which was supposed to be 7:14 – 7:23.  I’ll explain more about how I came up with this specific pace window and why as you read further.

Screen shot image taken from my Garmin Connect Dashboard after upload from 10k race.

Road Conditions and the Surrounding Environment

Of course, hence the “road races” label that Drake has chosen you can conclude that all three of the courses were on city and neighborhood streets.  The 10k route was an out and back, thru some housing neighborhoods and over one overpass bridge.  The nice aspect of the majority of the specific streets that the route ran on, was that it was two wide lanes (one in each direction) with a hefty median and grass strip thru the middle.  This was nice from the aspect that there was plenty of room for runners to spread out, and retrieve water from volunteer stations without too much congestion.

It also seemed to be a spectator friendly course because of the median in the middle and the sidewalks and frontage along the roads.  I would also say that for the most part the streets that ran thru the neighborhoods weren’t too gnarly, uneven, or chewed up from Iowa’s winter concrete expansion and contraction.

The first mile and the last mile from Drake Stadium were course marked with cones and the entire course was nicely marshaled with city government officials to stop or direct traffic for runner’s safety.

Water Stations

The 10k course at least had ample water stations.  There are only 2 marked on the map, but realize that the volunteers were on both sides of the streets on the out and back course.

If I’m being honest for constructive purposes, I would recommend to the race coordinators to advertise in race packets or something for walkers to try and walk on one side of the road and runners to take the other.  This could alleviate some zig-zagging from runners around and thru walkers and potential tripping by either parties once the courses overlap as the different race distances combine coming back towards the finish at the stadium during the last mile and half.

Fun Finish on the Blue Oval

As you come into about the last quarter mile of the race, you descend and make a hard left turn into the Drake Stadium.  Thus the larger number in elevation loss over gain on my Garmin analytics.  The last 300m is completed rounding the track clockwise (the opposite direction that track races are run in) to the finish on the 100m straight away.

This was fun and a bit nostalgic for me, as I had remembered running there as a high schooler and how exhilarating that feeling was knowing my feet were touching the same blue rubber as the “big dogs” and professional runners.  Runners like Carl Lewis, Micheal Johnson, Gwen Torrence, Flo-Jo and others.  There was even one year I can remember when Micheal Johnson, who used to be known for his gold track spikes, threw one of them up into the crowd after winning the 100m dash.  He’d probably be shunned by today’s litigatory hyper standards.


“Billed as America’s Athletic Classic, it is regarded as one of the top track and field events in the United States.” – wikipedia

Nelly in the Barn – Second Verse Same as the First.  A little bit louder and a little bit worse!

I’ve discussed in previous blog posts my quest for 2018 in still going after my goal from 2017, which was to try and qualify with a half marathon time to run the New York City Marathon.  As I mentioned previously, I missed my mark last year at the Marion Arts Festival Half Marathon last spring.  It took me some time to get over being ungrateful and placing blame on Mother Nature as it was yet another day of race conditions like my Boston Marathon was in 2015, cold, rainy, windy.  De Ja (friggin’) Vu!

The reality for me is that declaring goals out loud is scary and yet I want to be transparent and honest about the ups and downs of my own personal journey with running and racing.  Now, after spending the winter running and soul-searching and reminding myself of my “why”, I’m approaching the same goal with tenacity and tenaciousness in 2018.

Week 1 of 10 in Training for Half Marathon Goal

Last week was week 1 of 10 going into the training for my first planned attempt for a qualifying half marathon time of 1:37:00, which I think will be the Sturgis Falls Half Marathon on June 24th.  I was scheduled for a quality run last week of 6 miles with 4 miles at HMP(half marathon pace).  I have been training in the 1:35:00  – 1:37:00 window just for a little buffer, which equates to a 7:14 – 7:23 HMP average mile.  So, as you can see by my Garmin analytics (at the bottom of the page) the run went well but I’m keeping nose to the grindstone and focusing on doing some of the things that I pushed to the wayside last year that had always had me running faster before, like strength and mobility work, AIF (active isolated flexibility and stretching), and as always diet.

I will add that I’ve added Amino Energy supplement into my routine.  Using myself as a test subject here and no I’m not sponsored in any way by Optimum Nutrition.  I’ll elaborate more on my reasoning for adding this into my training fluids intake and my findings thus far, perhaps on my Coaches Corner blog post on Friday.

I’ll probably shoot to do a once a week post regarding my own training and how things are going.  Things I’m observing and assessing as I go, and what’s working or what’s not.  Again, with the intent of allowing you to pull from it what you want or to learn from my mistakes at the very least.

Mile Repeats Tomorrow

My next speed workout or quality run will be seven miles with 3 x 1 mile repeats in the middle.  The mile repeat pace being based off of 10k race pace, which for me is 6:54 – 7:03 avg. mile.  I’m going to try and shoot for neg. splits on the repeats.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

Been enjoying the sunrises and morning light shows (as J. Bo,my running bestie likes to call it) the last couple of mornings.  Had almost forgotten what spring sunrise running felt like.  Soul Food!!




This Year’s Boston Marathon Is a Lesson For Us All

Boston Marathon Desi

It’s been all over the news….the iconic and epic win by the American woman, Desi Linden.  Watching how the race unfolded on Monday, had me almost in disbelief and tears of joy at the end.  There were so many lessons on running and achieving your goals that were re-established for me and so many on that morning.  Lessons like, “Keep Showing Up!” a mantra that drove Desi thru the 26.2 miles after she had verbally declared to fellow American elite Shalane Flanagan, and had mentally already resigned to thinking she’d drop out at some point because of the harsh weather conditions.  Or the lesson we watched play out on the course between Desi and Shalane and about how serving others, can perhaps become a gift in itself.  And even the resonating quote in my head right now by Bill Bowerman “There ain’t no such thing as bad weather…just soft people!”  This year’s Boston Marathon is a lesson for us all!

Mother Nature Humbles Us All

Do you notice any trend in all of the pictures of above from this year’s Boston Marathon?  Rain, wind, cold, and icky conditions!  I can sympathize with this as the conditions we had for the 2015 Boston marathon were almost identical as documented here by the and

  • “2015 – 44 degrees; driving rain and wind”

  • “In addition to the rain, the 2018 marathon is poised to be one of the chilliest in recent years. When the first wave of wheelchair athletes cross the starting line in Hopkinton on Monday, it will likely be just below 40 degrees. Meteorologists anticipate temperatures in Boston will crawl into the upper 40s by the late afternoon, and the National Weather Service pegs the city’s high temperature at 52 degrees for the day. This year’s temperature will likely mimic what we saw for the 2015 and 2009 marathons, according to WBZ meteorologist Barry Burbank. Monday’s race will be a far cry from Patriots Day in 2012, when it was dangerously hot.”

I’ve been finding myself thinking and saying out loud, that “April is having an identity crisis!”  But perhaps the “spring” weather as of recent all over the United States should be considered more of a norm?  Regardless, Mother Nature and the weather she gives us on race day is an extrinsic factor and one that as much as we’d like, we have absolutely no control over.  So, what can we do but just try to adapt and hang on right?!

I watched a video on YouTube with Desi Linden’s coach, Kevin Hanson, and how he was a personal fan of the weather conditions that morning being in Desi’s favor and contributor of her victory.  He talks about Mother Nature “throwing a big dilemma at everybody” and how Desi is a master at making her competition hurt and want to back off.  She loves Boston because it is already a difficult course and then on top that and the weather, she had an upper hand going in with her race strategy.

Shalane called Desi a “Sacrificial Lamb”

Haven’t we all had those moments when we’ve been out on a run or in a race and we suddenly find ourselves scanning for a porta potty?  That is just what happened this year with Shalane Flanagan.  It was only a few miles in (maybe between miles 4-6) and Shalane decided to “Nascar Pitstop”.  As I was watching live coverage of the race get underway and saw some sort of dialog happening between Shalane and Desi and then Shalane suddenly peel off and duck into the blue relief stations, my stress level spiked and heart skipped a beat with worry and not knowing what was going on.  Next thing you know, Desi is slowing down as well and when you see Shalane jump back onto the course it is very clear thru Desi’s body language and backward glances that she’s encouraging Shalane to get back in the game with the then still tight pack of elites.

After hearing follow-up interviews with Des and Shalane we now all realize how phenomenal that show of sportsmanship was and how Desi had humbly resigned her own race to helping Shalane.  In fact, Des had already mentally figured that she would drop out at some point and verbally declared that to Shalane offering that she would stay in as long as she could and do what she could to help block wind or keep Shalane in the front-running pack by trying to manipulate the pace for her.

Finding this out about Desi and her selfless act and sportsmanship towards Shalane made me so proud and gave me something to hang onto from a coaching standpoint as well.  The irony and karma for Desi was that when she shifted her mind to helping and supporting someone else it gave her a new purpose and goal, which paid her back in the end.  The media keeps referring to it as “storybook stuff”.

“Keep Showing Up”

On the coattails of the irony of Boston Marathon morning, the last poignant reminder I received was to run the mile you’re in.  This seems to be a lesson that I keep learning over and over, and am continually working on ways to be present and adaptable as a runner.

Desi and I imagine all of the runners who had to run the always challenging Boston course and dealt Mother Nature’s winning poker hand that day, were forced to really have to bargain with themselves thru out the duration of the 26.2 miles.  It’s easy to forget sometimes all the long training weeks and all the mornings you wanted to stay in your cozy warm bed instead of getting out to log miles, and when your body and mind start playing “I want to quit!” tricks on you, to just throw in the towel.  BUT, we need to be resilient and present and a bit tenacious and keep plugging forward one step at a time.  We have to “Keep Showing Up”!

Happy Running Hump Day everyone!!  Have faith that Mother Nature will eventually relent, and that your training will all come to fruition.  Keep your chin up and remember the power of positivity in your running!!




Who to Watch at this Year’s Boston Marathon

I”m such a geek for the marathon and have been anxiously awaiting this year’s Boston Marathon.  I always try and block off Patriots Day morning for myself so that I can tune in and hoop and holler like it’s the Super Bowl or March Madness.  The field of elite professional runners this year is stacked and is going to be an exciting shakedown to watch.  Here is a recap of a few sources mentioning the U.S. elite team as well as my own personal opinion on Who to Watch at this Year’s Boston Marathon.

The 2018 Boston Marathon Elite Field

46 Elite Athletes from 13 Countries Invited for 122nd Running on April 16 .

You can check out the field thru the Boston Marathon website link above of all the professional runners from across the globe that will be running in this year’s marathon.  But I want to give specific attention to the US field of runners from both the men’s and women’s side.  In no particular order here is the list;

US Elite Men

  1. Dathan Ritzenheim.  (PR – 2:07:47, Chicago 2012)
  2. Abdi Abdirahman.  (PR – 2:08:56, Chicago 2006)
  3. Galen Rupp. (PR – 2:09:20, Chicago 2017)
  4. Ryan Vail.  (PR – 2:10:57, London 2014)
  5. Elkanah Kibet.  (PR – 2:11:31, Chicago 2015)
  6. Timothy Ritchie.  (PR – 2:11:56, Sacramento 2017)
  7. Shadrack Biwott.  (PR – 2:12:01, New York 2016)
  8. Scott Smith.  (PR – 2:12:21, Frankfurt 2017)
  9. Andrew Bumbalough.  (PR – 2:13:58, Tokyo, 2017)
  10. Non competitive – Meb Keflezighi (PR – 2:08:37, Boston 2014)

US Elite Women

  1. Deena Kastor.  (PR – 2:19:36, London 2006)
  2. Jordan Hasay.  (PR – 2:20:57, Chicago 2017)
  3. Shalane Flanagan.  (PR – 2:21:14, Berlin 2014)
  4. Desiree Linden.  (PR – 2:22:38, Boston 2011)
  5. Serena Burla.  (PR – 2:26:53, Osaka 2017)
  6. Sara Hall.  (PR – 2:27:21, Frankfurt 2017)
  7. Molly Huddle.  (PR 2:28:13, New York City 2016)
  8. Kellyn Taylor.  (PR – 2:28:40, Houston 2015)

The US Elite Men Runners I’m Personally Interested in and Why

I would say that I’ve been following the elite marathon circuit closely now for the last decade.  Of the top fastest US elite men coming in, Dathan Ritzenheim (nicknamed The Ritz), Abdi Abdirahman (also nicknamed, The Black Cactus) and Galen Rupp have my personal interest. However, all of us ‘Ritz’ fans were given a sudden blow by his Tweet on this last Wednesday.  My heart goes out to him as I know how frustrating it can feel to invest so much time and effort and make sacrifices to then not have all the stars align the way you have planned.  I will keep fingers crossed that he is able to come back from his setback with vengeance and we’ll all get the chance to root him on again later this year perhaps.

Abdi Abdirahman has been a strong runner and a four-time Olympian.  I became very interested in following him after seeing him place third in the 2012 Olympic Trials.  He also placed third at the 2016 New York City Marathon and has 4 Olympic team qualifications under his belt.  Although, he has had a bit of a teeter tottering with DNF’s and a little less than stellar finishes.  Perhaps he will give us all an entertaining and standing ‘O’ performance on Monday.

Speaking of the Olympics, Galen Rupp has some Olympic hardware of his own.  Galen had an impressive high school cross country and track and field career and history of records, but then also went onto run impressively for the University of Oregon Ducks and continues his professional running career under the long-standing partnership with Coach and infamous distance runner Alberto Salazar.  Rupp also placed third in the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics and placed second in last year’s Boston Marathon.  Although a little fresher on the marathon circuit, it seems Rupp has been shooting for the stars and comfortable with his position in amongst them.  He is the marathon rookie to watch!

Even though he’s running competitively this year, I’m always a rooting fan of Meb Keflezighi.  He gave us all hope after the 2013 Boston bombing by coming back so tenaciously and giving America and all runners the reassurance of proving it simply isn’t that easy to take us down.  He’ll be running this year for charity and for Team MR8 – named after the 8-year old child and one of the bombing victims and Martin Richard Foundation.

I have always wanted people to know it was the memory of Martin and the other Boston victims that was on my mind during the 2014 Boston Marathon. That is why I am so honored to be running the 2018 Boston Marathon as [a] member of Team MR8.

The US Elite Women Runners I’m Personally Interested in and Why

Let me start with one of my current idols and who I feel would make one of the sweetest post-race stories if she were able to win this year’s Boston Marathon.  The “Cold Execution” runner Shalane Flanagan grew up in Marblehead Massachusettes and considers the Boston Marathon course as her hometown course.  Maybe even more driven to win this year’s marathon so that she can close out her career on a high with knowing that not only had she won the 2017 New York City marathon and really gave the marathoning world whiplash with proving the ability of current American women distance runners, but also to contribute and cap off the family running legacy of marathoning in Boston.  A great article from Runners World speaks a little more towards Shalane’s “Unfinished Business”.

Then, of course, there is who I like to refer to as the “American Mother of Marathoning”.  Deena Kastor took the baton with this title from the previous “American Mother of Marathoning”, Joan Benoit Samuelson.  She also brought American distance runners hope when she won the bronze medal in the marathon distance during the 2004 Athens Olympics.  I also love that she, like so many other marathon runners, got her start in the direction of her successes with cross-country running.  Last but neat least of the reasons I want to see Deena run well on Monday is that she is returning to running the marathon distance competitively after becoming a mother and entering the ‘masters’ division.  And what better hope for all American women runners than to see a gracefully aging woman and mother still be able to run and challenge her body.  Deena Kastor on Boston: No Pressure, All Gratitude

Desi Linden, Jordan Hassay and Molly Huddle will also be fun to watch.  Desi has had my admiration since 2008 when she qualified to run in the Olympic Team Trials as well as the same year she placed 5th at the Chicago Marathon.  In 2009 she became the second fastest American Woman in the marathon distance at the IAAF World Championships.  I still can’t even get used to calling her by Linden, since I first knew her as Desi Davila and her name just rolled off the tongue.

Jordan Hassay is similar to Galen Rupp on the women’s side, in terms of being the rookie to watch for female elites runners.  She was also so recognizable by her long blonde ponytail with braids and who tore up the track in high school and college as a 1500m and 5000m runners.  Jordan too trains under Alberto Salazar and under the Nike powerhouse.  She continually climbed the distance records ladder from the 10,000meter to now owning several third place marathon titles from Chicago and Boston.

Here also is a link regarding this year’s US American Women’s line-up at Boston.

Live Coverage of the Boston Marathon

So, like I said before I will be blocking off my Monday morning to cheer on all the US men and women distance runners.  My good friend and running bestie will be joining me this year and get to witness first hand how raucous I can be while watching the race.  I’m sure I, like so many of you, we will be inspired by these runners, motivated by their efforts and impressive fluid form and running ability and charged for another 365 days towards our own goals and training quests.  Here is a link on how to tune in also found on the B.A.A. website.



Motivational Running Music

Motivational Running Music

Yesterday I spent a couple of hours compiling my current running music playlist with links to everything via iTunes.  Most of the music I have on my list include songs with motivational lyrics or a good beat.  I know not all runners are music listeners but I wanted to share some motivational running music for those who are.

I posted my playlist to Apple Music and made it public for any of you who may want to download if you have an Apple Music membership.  Otherwise, you can listen to each song and or download via the direct links on my RMC Podcast and Music Playlist page (link can be found in the menu header also).  I will forewarn you that there are a few songs with explicit lyrics.  The entire playlist consists of 60 songs, 3 hrs and 57 min worth.  Perfect for a marathon or long training runs.  I hope you like it or find a few songs that you can jam to!

Click here for a link to My Playlist in Apple Music

*Click on the link below for direct access to the page where all songs are listed.

RMC Podcast & Music Playlists

I’ve already tackled the music debate in one of my previous blog posts called The Running With Music Debate.  In that post, I briefly talk about my opinions on pros vs cons.  I also included some other online articles pertaining to the top as well as a bpm music chart.  The playlist I’ve included as my Get to NYC 26.2, has mostly (I emphasize mostly) songs that have kept me going strong thru long tempo runs and or mile repeats.  For those of you that are music lovers, What songs motivate you or do you like to run to?

Taking a Poll

There’s a lot of debate over running with music and more specifically whether or not it should be allowed during races?  Obviously, it is very much an individual thing as to preference but clearly, some race directors discourage runners having earbuds in their ears by posting in their rules ‘No Earbuds Allowed’.

I’m curious about how other runners feel about whether or not a runner should be allowed to run with their music playing music out loud though.  We’ve had a few geniuses thru out the years during cross country season come with “jammy packs” that are like a glorified fanny pack equipped with speakers.  It’s a riot and makes easy run days fun.  BUT, would this be annoying during a race if someone came blasting up alongside you while you’re mentally trying to stay focused and in the “zone”?

I think this is a great idea for a poll on social media.  Runner’s running during a race and playing their music out loud – Yay, or Nay?

Happy Running Hump Day everyone!




RMC Podcast Interviews Monica Nieves About the Run CRANDIC Races

Last week I blogged about our upcoming RUN CRANDIC road races in an effort to build the hype and spread the word.  I continued that momentum with interviewing Mark Powers with Corridor Running and did my first official Q&A interview for my new RMC Podcast available on iTunes.  It was a ton of fun getting to know Mark’s own personal running journey and to hear some of the details and a little about the inaugural Cedar Rapids and Iowa City marathon, half marathon and 5k.

RMC Podcast Interviews Monica Nieves About the Run CRANDIC Races

Today’s post takes the Run CRANDIC baton and keeps it moving with an interview with Monica Nieves.  Monica is the Director of Special Events for the Iowa City/Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau.  She is this year’s RUN CRANDIC race director and was accompanied by Laura Jaime, who is currently a U of I student doing an internship with the ICCCVB.  Both of these women were able to give another insider’s perspective and tell us about some perks of the race as well as some more details pertaining to the course itself.

Run to the Toe of the Nile Kinnick Statue and Chocolate Milk for All

If you’re able to tune in and take the time to listen to my podcast, you’ll get to hear Monica speak about some of the other aspects of the race and the festivities surrounding race day.  Her first point was to talk about the course.  According to Monica you can be rest assured, safety was a major priority when working with the Public Safety entities of both Johnson and Linn counties and the course succumbs to this by traveling south on Hwy 965 in a single lane of the two-lane highway.  From personal experience with a point to point marathon, this can be seen as a bonus for the spectators and supporting family or friends of runners.  With the course still being split 50/50 and open to traffic, it allows spectators to travel along its route and enables fans more opportunities to cheer.

Monica mentions some “cheer zones” that will be designated along the route and posted to the Run CRANDIC website.  Stay tuned for that!  She also mentions the unified efforts of some of the other corridor communities, like Swisher and North Liberty, partaking in the race day cheering and fan support.  From some perspectives, the route includes some quieter zones where there may not be a considerable amount to entertain or look at.  But, perhaps this is the nature of living in Iowa and we should see it as more relaxing and zen?  It will make coming into Iowa City and the Kinnick Stadium area even more climactic.

According to Monica, the 26.2 goes to the very tippy toe of the Nile Kinnick Statue.  Apparently, there will also be some sweet tummy filling rewards as well like chocolate milk.  We all know that chocolate milk has the perfect 2:1 ratio of carbohydrate and protein and is the quick and easy post-run fuel choice of many.  Hats off to Dan and Debbie’s creamery in Ely (also located at the head of the Hoover Bike Trail) and the Amana Creamery for supplying the post-race beverage. We run for chocolate milk!! This needs to be a t-shirt slogan if it isn’t already!

iTunes RMC Podcast Interviews Monica Nieves About the Run CRANDIC Races

My podcast was officially accepted and went public with iTunes on Monday.  Yay!  My aspirations with it are to continue carrying forth my incentive to motivate, inspire, inform, and nurture camaraderie for runners.  As well as lend positive karma back into the running world.

Again, as with this whole blogging thing I’m learning as I go.  I’m learning not only how to try and conduct interviews with decent sound quality, content and questions, but also how to get over feeling shy about putting myself out there.  I’m realizing that sometimes with podcasts you can’t always see body language or facial expressions.  So I will try to continue to learn to articulate well, and hopefully portray guest’s in the light in which I’m seeing them in.   Thanks for being patient and for taking your time to listen and support!


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A Local Run Club Defines Itself by Community Outreach

A Local Run Club Defines Itself by Community Outreach

Last week I wrote a blog post about the Cedar Rapids and Iowa City partnership and inaugural marathon distance and RUN CRANDIC races happening on April 29th – Excited About Our Local Road Races.  Within that post, I mentioned an upcoming podcast and Q&A with one of the RUN CRANDIC race contributors, Mark Powers and his role with the Corridor Running Club.

Today, I’m excited to share the 2nd official podcast for another new endeavor of mine, RMC Podcast (stay tuned for a link on the website homepage to my iTunes podcast channel).  I highlight Corridor Running Club and Mark Powers role with the Run CRANDIC races but also dig deeper with asking some specific details about race morning and the course challenges.  “A Local Run Club Defines Itself by Community Outreach”

In the Presence of a Local Icon

I met up with Mark at a local coffee house (thanks Scooters Coffeehouse) and I think I could’ve sat there all day and listened to him tell me stories of his own running adventures and lifelong journey with running.  I was immediately humbled and with perked ears of his most recent travels running 50k races and ultras.  One each week for the last month in fact.  We laughed and both agreed that it’s another level of ‘crazy’. ;D

Mark has been running for over 40 years and has been an active member of the local running community for 10 years. He enjoys the camaraderie that comes with being involved with Corridor Running, knowing that there’s support and motivation when running together you just can’t get running by yourself. Mark joined the Corridor Running Board in August 2013 hoping to make an even greater impact on our running and racing community. He looks forward to serving the needs of the local running community and the members of Corridor Running.

Mark enlightened me with his honest and candid stories of how he developed a love for running and how he now just wants others to give it a try no matter what pace or how far it ends up being.

Mark also sets aside race times, finish placement or bragging rights by spending most of the last half of a decade ditching his watch or any GPS unit.  The “Run by Feel” is a concept I am personally still tuning in to and have difficulty with, being Type-A.  But to his point, when you’re running those kinds of distances the race becomes more of a function of getting to the finish and no watch or stats tracking is going to change the mental tenacity and grit that it requires to pull yourself thru.

Along with getting to know Mark as an individual runner, I also asked him a little about his role as the current Corridor Running President and what the running club is all about.

Any Time. Any Pace

“Corridor Running welcomes runners and walkers of every age and athletic ability. It is common for prospective members to worry that they are too slow to join a running club. We’re here to assure you: You’re not. Whether you run a 13-minute mile, a 5-minute mile or anything in between, we’re happy to have you become a part of our running community.”

Corridor Running supports the running community thru its volunteer board of directors and hosted races.  Mark speaks towards the Corridor Running race calendar and gives a brief description of each during his Q&A.  And a small plug for the club, they always encourage new members to join or sign-up to volunteer at their races on their webpage.

The Corridor Running Club’s mission is to promote healthy lifestyles through running events and community outreach. Corridor Running contributes a portion of every race dollar to local youth and families, supports local elite runners and partners with local charities to raise funds through running events.

Corridor Running is a non-profit running club serving Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the surrounding Corridor areas. As a member of USATF and the Road Runners Club of America, we host and sponsor races of various distances throughout the year. We sponsor weekly group runs and training workouts throughout the Cedar Rapids, Iowa City and the surrounding Corridor areas, as well as volunteering and social events.

Corridor Running and RUN CRANDIC

The Corridor Running Club is also a heavy hitter with the coordination of the upcoming Run CRANDIC races – the marathon, half marathon and 5k.  There has been a powerful partnership quad squad developed between the Corridor Running Club, Think Iowa City, Cedar Rapids Metro Economic Alliance, and Go Cedar Rapids.  It was fun to hear about a few of the “behind the scenes” elements and science that went into the coordination of the races, that most of us runners take for granted.

Needless to say, after sipping on some tea and being completely geeked out by Mark’s personal running journey, Corridor Running and the races they host as well as the RUN CRANDIC race preparations and inauguration success formulas, I left Scooter’s anxious for the end of the month and what’s to come.  And with a rejuvenated internal cheerleader self,  who is eager for race season and spring to blossom.  

Have a listen to my podcast and Q&A with Mark Powers and I challenge you to suppress feelings of excitement about the upcoming races.  Also, stay tuned for my next podcast guest Monica Nieve’s, the Director of Special Events with the Iowa City  / Coralville Area Convention & Visitors Bureau and this year’s RUN CRANDIC race director.

Meet the New Kids in Town with the RMC Podcast

A few months ago the co-owner of a new specialty shoe store coming to town, reached out to me via my school e-mail address and was excited to show their support of our school running programs.  The shoe store is called Heartland Soles and they currently have a store in Johnston, IA and are opening up a new store in Coralville.  Yesterday, I finally got the chance to meet two of the store owners, Jordan Andrews and Madison Waymire.  They were good sports and let me run a Q&A with them, which I’m posting below as my inaugural RMC podcast episode called “Meet the New Kids in Town”.

A Little Background First

Two high school sweethearts from Kansas City, both avid runners, got married and opened their dream store together this summer in Johnston.

“We met on the high school cross country team, then we ran in college together,” Lindsey Andrews said. “We were undergrads at Columbia College in Missouri, where I was a six-time All American.”

A little background first – Lindsey and Jordan Andrews are the owners and operators of the Heartland Soles store in Johnston, IA and both have impressive running backgrounds.

Lindsey is from Lee’s Summit, Missouri and completed all 4 years of high school and in college in XC/T&F. In high School, she was never an all-state runner, but qualified for both XC and Track State meets. After high school, she competed at Columbia College where she dropped her 5k PR from 20:07 to 17:00 and earned 6 All-American honors. She then competed for the University of New Mexico for her 5th year and was part of the 2015 NCAA XC Champion team.
“We believe this is a great opportunity to serve high school athletes in the area, to help them stay healthy and have a great track and field/cross country season and career.”
Jordan also grew up in Lee’s Summit, MO and was able to compete in 2 high school cross country State meets and 2 NAIA National Championship cross country meets. Since the age of 15, he has wanted to work in a running store and loves learning about the differences of shoes and how they can greatly impact a runner’s success.

Coralville Heartland Soles

Lindsey and Jordan chose to expand on their vision of growth into the Coralville area and brought on board Madison Waymire to help them.  Madison has her own legit running history as well and is currently closing out her senior year running for the D1 local University of Iowa Hawkeyes.
Madison grew up in the Des Moines area and went to Dallas-Center Grimes High School. While at DCG she accomplished many top 4 finishes at the State meet including two 800-meter State Titles. In cross country, she was able to finish in the top 14 in all 4 years that she competed. After high school, she ran 1 year at the University of Missouri and transferred to the University of Iowa. Currently, she is competing in her last year of track. While at Iowa, she won the Big 10 Sportsmanship award and has been one of their top distance performers.
The new Coralville shoe store will have their grand opening this Friday and Saturday 3/30 – 3/31.
They have a great location right down on the Coralville Strip, close to the U of I and the bike/run trails.
They show their support of all the local schools and runners with a school singlet from each upon their walls.  Prairie High School is even amongst that mix too! 😉
“To extend our support for student-athletes we offer a 10% discount on their shoes and spikes. Along with this discount, we give the schools 5% of those sales right back to you at the end of each season.”  

Meet the New Kids in Town with the RMC Podcast

Madison and Jordan were great sports to take a few minutes out of their preparations for the grand opening to do a quick Q&A with me.  It was a fun way to get to know them each as runners and individuals.

This was my first Q&A with anybody as Runnermomcoach and the RMC Podcast I’m gearing up to start.  I promise to get better sound equipment for the future but hopefully, you’ll still enjoy listening and getting to know Madison and Jordan thru the recording below.

Willingness to Collaborate

I left the store yesterday excited about some collaborating ideas we came up with between Heartland soles and Prairie Girls XC program.  Perhaps a Q&A with Madison at our cross country camp so that our high school girls can hear first hand what life is like as a D1 runner and how to make that transition.  Or perhaps, we’ll do a run from the store up to the U of I Ashton cross country course, which was our State Qualifying course last season.  They were super supportive and willing to collaborate and now my head is spinning with all kinds of possibilities.  How fun!

Happy Fri-Yay and have a great long run this weekend!!

Excited About Our Local Road Races

Excited About Our Local Road Races

Happy Hump Day Everyone!!  Sun is shining, and the weather is great for spring running!  I’m super stoked and pumped about a new marathon, half marathon and 5k road races being brought to my local community.  This will be the first time Cedar Rapids and Iowa City offers a full marathon race along with the half and 5k distances, all on one morning of festivities.  So many of my friends and acquaintances will be toeing the line to head south towards Kinnick Stadium (home of the Iowa Hawkeyes football team).  Go Hawks!


The route, which starts in the heart of the NewBo neighborhood in Cedar Rapids, follows the CRANDIC train line along Highway 965 through Swisher, North Liberty and into Coralville. The half marathon picks up in North Liberty and the 5K joins in Coralville.  All three of the routes will end at historic Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City.

The exciting aspects of this race are that it starts down in the heart of Cedar Rapids in the NewBo Districts, where there has been established a fresh and beating heart of life and energy.  There are a few rolling hills that I have personally run on the first half of the marathon route.  To note there are several bridges to run up and over on 33rd Avenue.  Then as runners travel south and progress towards Kirkwood Community College, I would prep for a nice climb up and over the hill on Kirkwood Blvd as you run towards Prairie High School.  Aside from that the majority of the second half seems fairly flat until you approach Kinnick Stadium coming into Iowa City.  The Run Crandic website offers nice maps and a virtual tour of each of the routes.   Thanks RunCrandic!

Also, a nice added bonus that the race is offering a gear check and FREE shuttle from the Kinnick Stadium at the finish to the start at NewBo.  This feels big city race organized and should enable runners to take their attention away from a little more of the logistics and comfort or convenience details that morning and put focus towards rocking their race.

A Good Cause

Did you know that the proceeds from RUN CRANDIC  are getting donated back to the surrounding school districts to support their health and wellness programs?  I LOVE this message and it rings true to me especially in relation to a post I wrote not long ago pertaining to the necessity to keep physical education in our schools. Mom Blog Monday – “Let’s Get Physical!” an Advocacy Alert to Help Save PE!

Hey Party People!

Let’s just take a moment also to high five the pre and post race party stuff.  Newbo is gonna be buzzin’ like a beehive during race packet pick-up on Saturday the 28th and who doesn’t love free samples and race swag?!

Don’t forget to leave time after your race to celebrate with friends, and other runners at Big Grove Brewery down in Iowa City.  And how cool is it that Big Grove is offering free ICB’s (icy cold beverages) and food?!  Rock on!!

You will receive your medal at Kinnick, we invite you to join us at Big Grove Brewery to continue the celebration! Your registration includes one free beer and a meal at Big Grove Brewery.

Q&A with Race Directors and Corridor Running

In an effort to help promote the upcoming races and to continue nurturing the running community and camaraderie within, I am meeting with the race directors of the Iowa City and Coralville Convention and Visitors Bureau and Corridor Running to do a Q&A (questions & answers) blast.  Stay tuned to find out more about the race, its’ features, and some fun get to know you questions.

“Rock Your Race!”

If you’re already signed up for one of the three races happening on the morning of April 29th then you’re probably working towards and getting close to the peak weeks of your training plan for this race and can soon look forward to the taper.  Or perhaps you are running just for fun and the experience or are a bit more laid back.  To my personal friends that are running  and to all RUN CRANDIC runners, have fun and “Rock Your Race!”