Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Songs in the key of life

In a recent post, I mentioned my excitement about attending the Coachella Music Festival, as I pondered how to reconcile marathon training (and a scheduled 20-mile run) with three long days of music in the hot California desert. It’s taken me a while to return to the topic because a) the traumatic events in Boston occurred the day I came home, b) I unpacked, re-packed, and immediately left town again for work upon returning from Coachella, and c) I developed a gnarly upper respiratory infection, courtesy of a massive dust storm that kicked up on Day 3 of the festival. Ah, the rock ‘n roll lifestyle.

But make no mistake: Coachella was epic, and well worth all of the exhaustion, dehydration, and sinus-grinding dust inhalation. This is a running blog, however, and not a hipster music blog, so I won’t drone on about my favorite performances. (Although just because I cannot resist, my top five of the weekend: blur, The Postal Service, Tame Impala, Bat for Lashes, and Band of Horses. If anyone wants to comment, debate, or hear more, then feel free to comment or email me, and let’s chat.)

I had some pretty grandiose plans for this long weekend with friends that involved getting enough sleep, drinking plenty of water, and of course, getting in that 20-mile training run. About two hours into the long weekend’s adventures, I knew I was pretty well sunk, and decided to just give into the hedonistic revelry that is Coachella. But that’s not to say I didn’t get in some good workouts. In addition to the long miles of walking around the grounds of the Empire Polo Club for three days on end, I pulled off what I like to call the Coach-athlon:

RUN: When I woke up on Day 2 and realized that there was no coffee to be had in the house where I was staying, and no coffee shop closer than six miles from me (how is this possible in modern America?), I did what any sane person would do: I put on my running shoes, stepped out into what was already nearly 90-degree heat, and ran the six miles to the closest Starbucks.
This may have been the first run I've completed while wearing
a beer garden ID tag. RUN: CHECK.

BIKE: Every day, my friends and I hopped on some bikes that we'd brought with us, and rode the 4 or 5 miles each way to and from the venue in order to save ourselves the expense and hassle of parking, shuttles, etc. Aside from one small bike crash, and the utterly miserable ride back on the final night of the festival during the dust storm, it worked out beautifully.
That's cross-training, baby! BIKE: CHECK.

SWIM: Okay, I never actually swam while I was at Coachella. But I did spend most of the weekend wearing a bikini, so I think that’s close enough:
There is just no accounting for the things people wear at Coachella.

Sometimes life gets in the way of training, and we just have to let it roll right over us. I work very hard at pulling it all off in my day-to-day life, but I don’t always succeed. I am a runner in training, but I am more than just a runner. That weekend, I was also a lover of live music, a friend catching up with old pals I don't get to see often enough, and a hard-working partner in a business who took a long weekend off. And those are all pretty important notes in the chorus of my life, too.


  1. Swimsuit totally counts...and I'm sure you were waving your arms around as if you were swimming.

    1. Oh, you know it! And soaked with sweat from 90-degree temps. As close as a person can get to swimming without water. =)

  2. I was not at Coachella, but I think I would wholeheartedly agree with this top 5: blur, The Postal Service, Tame Impala, Bat for Lashes, and Band of Horses. SO jealous!

    I can't believe you ran out in the desert like that. You are my HERO.

    1. Training this time around has definitely had some adventurous extremes! =)