Dry Martini: Begin the training montage

When last we spoke, I was about to run a half marathon of my own devising and, then, hightail it to the airport to head to Orlando to sort out some Mom-related stuff. Which is sort of what I did.

My only deviation from the plan was that my half wasn't a full 13.1. Lightening started to hop across distant (but not distant enough) clouds around mile 12 and I pulled the plug. All told, it was a less than spectacular run through air so humid you could chew it on a morning I was just so tired my very marrow wanted to take a nap already. Still, I did what I could. Even a lousy run is better than no run.

That’s what I’ve heard, anyway. I have some doubts.

I took this after my not-a-real-half-half because I had salt deposits all over my face after the run. That strikes me as less-than-ideal, right?

The flights to Orlando passed as flights do, which is to say: cramped and bumpy, which is the best one can anticipate. The Southwest flight attendant reminded us to “be kind to each other out there” when we landed in Orlando. Given how the past few weeks on both a global and personal level have gone, I nearly draped myself over said flight attendant’s shoulder and wept. I suspect such an act would earn me a visit by Homeland Security and a cavity search. I refrained this time because my ride was waiting.

I spent the next few days Not Running. Other life events took priority. They involved a lot more driving than I’d anticipated. And so it goes.

One of the upsides of the trip was that we went through boxes of old photos. This was 1990 or so. Such a trendsetter.

I did manage to work in a brief two miles on a hotel treadmill because I needed to burn off some “arg,” some “sigh,” and a little bit of “really?” The only downside is that said treadmill faced an entire wall of mirrors so that I could watch the waves of impact move from my feet, up the loose skin on my thighs and belly, and back down again. My horror at the ravages of age and motherhood quickly turned to amusement. I can only take my vanity seriously for so long, y’all. And as I worked up a righteous sweat, drops of which I could see bouncing off of the ends of my hair, I once again realized that a body that works is much better than one that doesn’t.

I did toy with the idea of getting away from the mirrors and running outside — I was near a famous running trail and the National Training Center — but I burst into flames at the very idea. I doff my Saucony Freedom cap to Floridian BAMRs. How do you run on the surface of the sun? As a cousin of mine suggested: is it the humidity that keeps you from bursting into flames?

A lovely visual metaphor for my feelings right now. Plus, I still feel this way about slides.

I’ll get out on those trails next time. There will likely be many “next times,” too. While the situation down south is no longer a crisis (twss), it will still require my presence as often as I can make it happen. This whole sandwich generation thing is for the birds — and the particular bird I’m thinking of involves one of the fingers on my hand.

It is, however, teaching me to focus on what’s working well right now. Even though my to-do lists are spawning their own baby to-do lists, I’m back home again and officially training for a small race in New York City in November. Nine miles on Sunday led to five Tuesday morning and six today, which I may or may not have run by the time you read this.

Right now, the running is going well. It’s not fast, even by my own definition of fast, nor is it especially graceful. Yet I am thankful for it, if only because it’s time when I don’t feel compelled to do anything other than run. I’m certain my attitude will change once the mileage starts to pile up — there’s 12 on the plan for Saturday and 14 (!) for the following Sunday — but for now I’m going to wallow in this moment of gratitude.

Speaking of mileage piling up, my podcast list is getting kind of thin. I’m addicted to NPR Politics right now (yes, I’m that kind of geek) and always love Pop Culture Happy Hour. And, of course, the AMR podcast, unless I am the co-host that week, because I know what we all said already. I'd like to add more to the list, though, to get me through the long runs to come. What are your favorite podcasts?

(A note: I always, always, always read the comments, even if I don’t always, always, always have the mental capacity to respond. This community is amazingly supportive and full of great ideas. Mostly. There are a couple of you I’m keeping an eye on… ;))

69 responses to “Dry Martini: Begin the training montage

  1. the other podcasts I listen to are America’s Test Kitchen and Pocket Talk (scrapbooking)
    Even though I am not a mother and stopped running in 2015, I continue to listen to AMR because I love the content.

  2. Thinking, praying and cheering for you, your mom and family. Life can really suck sometimes, but thank you for the reminder to focus on what is going well. Many hugs from southern Illinois.

  3. As far as podcasts go……Bulletproof radio, the complete guide to everything, conscious runner podcast, dirtbag diaries, invisibilia, radiolab, ask me another, the moth and pop rocket are some of my favorites. I may have a podcast problem. 🙂

  4. I love love love Pop Culture Happy Hour too. They are my current #1. I’d suggest the following, in no particular order: Reply All, both Radiolab ones, the Mystery Show (the belt buckle episode was my favorite episode of all from last year, but listen to the other episodes to get the feel and build up), Invisibilia, Death Sex and Money, and America’s Test Kitchen <– spent the winter listening to this while running circles on a track-surprisingly interesting. Whatever it takes to keep you moving forward through the next months.

  5. I’m a loyal This American Life listener. I also just started listening to Radio Lab which I like. I’ve been known to throw in a few What You Missed in History Class and if I need a laugh Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me. Someone in the Train Like A Mother Club just mentioned there is a Babysitters Club Podcast out there done by two guys talking about the babysitters club series of books from the 80’s . I may have to check that one out! Ha!

  6. Continued thoughts and prayers for you and your mom during this tough time Adrienne – I’ve watched my parents in their struggles with their parents and I really feel for you. I’m going to show my ignorance here but WOW I had no idea there were so many podcasts!!! I’m so excited to find some of them as AMR is the only one I’ve ever listened to! Thanks for your humor and honesty Adrienne and I cannot wait to read your next post/listen to your next AMR podcast!

  7. Runners World podcasts, Extra Mile, and Run, Run, Live are some of my go to podcasts now that I’ve binged listened to and caught up on AMR.

  8. Thinking of you with your mom and the challenges distance and health create. I am also in upstate, and I keep reminding myself that, come fall, I will feel like a rockstar after running through this summer’s heat and humidity. You’ll be ready for NYC! And, I tend to be a music runner, but on three and four hour runs, I would listen to Car Talk reruns. It makes no sense, but I actually enjoyed it immensely.

  9. Loving Running on Om and Real Talk Reflections with Nicole Antoinette for some longer form interviews in addition to many of the ones posted above.

  10. I’ve never listened to a podcast- congrats on getting “out there”- I am fortunate (I guess?) to have a tight schedule that forces me to leave my house by 6:15 so I get out by 4:30 for my runs. It’s nice watching the moon set and the sun come up. P.S. I am 63 in a couple of months and I am NOT OLD…so you are definitely not old!

  11. As I sit here having put my morning run off so long, I’ve kind of messed up my whole morning, I am doubly impressed at you getting it done AND am determined not to change out of my running clothes until I do too! For podcasts, these have been listed, but after AMR, I am now really enjoying the two Runner’s World podcasts. NPR has too many awesome ones to list, my current faves are This American Life and Ask Me Another.

  12. Malcolm Gladwell has a new podcast called “Revisionist History” that is the best. I also always listen to Slate Political Gabfest and The West Wing Weekly. I also listen to about 100 book related podcasts that I won’t bore you with!

  13. So many podcasts! Running podcasts: How Was Yoir Run Today, Runners Connect, the Running Lifestyle Show, Run this World with Nicole DeBoom, The Runners World Show, The Connect Run Club podcast, Marathon Training Academy, Diz Runs With. General health/fitness: Endurance Planet, Whole Life Podcast, The Fat-Burning Man Show, The Paleohacks Podcast, Mind Body Musings, Foodist. General: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, Ask Me Another (an NPR quiz show), Breakdown (legal case studies, season 1 was fascinating), This American Life (I recommend #589), The Simple Show, Book vs. Movie podcast.

  14. Best of luck with everything. Two podcasts I enjoy are Five Thirty Eight Elections and The Sporkful “Eat more, eat better, and eat more better”

  15. I’m in North Carolina and find it too hot to run unless I get out at 6:00 a.m. and even then the humidity is brutal. I can only imagine how it is in Florida. As for podcasts, in addition to AMR, I listen to The Running Lifestyle, l’ll Have Another (which is a running podcast) and Stuff You Should Know. Best of luck on your training and keep us updated!

  16. With the caveat that I’m not a runner, so I don’t know if you look for particular features in podcasts to run to, I will say that as a fan of The West Wing, I am very much enjoying the West Weekly podcast.

  17. I am a Florida BAMR, and, man oh man, has it been a hot summer. Impossibly hot. Improbably hot. Miserably hot. The podcasts I like, besides the ones you stated, include the new ones by Runner’s World, and, if you don’t mind a considerable dose of salty language and if you have a secret love of pop culture, The Read is very diverting and lots of fun. 🙂

  18. I love Stuff you should Know- and since you are a fellow geek I am betting you will enjoy it also. A very varied subject matter and interesting tangents. You can pick and choose which ones sound interesting. 99% invisible is also very interesting. I am always looking for a podcast that will make me laugh- so would love to hear any recommendations in that realm. Also just started listening to “Code Switch” which is about race- very timely topic. Hang in there.

  19. took a bit of time to get thru all the comments, here I thought I was the only one that listen to podcasts.. 🙂
    I didn’t see Death, Sex and Money listed, I find it mighty informative and funny, sad and enlightening all good things for podcasts, and selected shorts– I love being read to. Prayers that things with Mom turn out to be easier than they sounds.

  20. Favorite podcasts: Two Gomers (start with Season 1: Two Gomers Run a Half Marathon); Books on the Nightstand (just ended but hundreds of episodes); What Should I Read Next?; 2 Knit LIt Chicks; Reduced Shakespeare Company; Filmspotting; Filmspotting SVU; For fans of TV or TV criticism — Talking TV with Ryan and Ryan and The Televerse; Stuff You Should Know. I listed The Gomers first because it is my favorite podcast of all time and I listen to 20-25 podcasts a week. To know the Gomers is to love the Gomers.

  21. My (second) favorite 😉 podcast is The Satellite Sisters.
    I can’t recommend it enough!
    Side note – running helped me get through the Alzheimer’s journey with my mother.

  22. I only run with podcasts!!! My favorites are How to do Everything, Invisibilia, Hidden Brain, Mystery Show (only one season so not a huge life committment), Mortified (as a writer, you’ve got to love this one!), Reply All, and This American Life. I was recently stuck in a latrine for 3 hours in the middle of a long run and it was torture to not listen to podcasts (I had to keep my ears open in case I could hear someone approaching to alert them and get them to bust me out of the latrine!). You know, a typical long run.

  23. Prayers are coming your way that you find sanity through the caregiving and minutia that needles at your brain, I’m sure. Your mom also has my prayers. I love the Human Race and RW but literally stopped twice in my tracks to sob on the last Human Race podcast. It hit a little too close to home for me. Wishing you the best in your training and be as kind to yourself as you can.

  24. I like The Runner’s World Show, The Human Race, Dear Sugars, Modern Love, and Happier With Gretchen Rubens. At least those are the ones I’m enjoying the most right now.

  25. Holding you in the light with all of these issues with your mom, Adrienne. But a very cooling non-harsh light, I am a heavy sweater too and appreciate the head that comes off light-bulbs. 🙂

    If you like Pop Culture Happy Hour, try the Pop Cast. No Such Thing as a Fish is also AMAZING and HILARIOUS. I do not use all caps lightly.

  26. I just adore you and your writing, Adrienne. Thought I’d tell you that.

    Podcasts– This American Lufe, The Moth radio hour, More Perfect are some of my favorites. I also second the Start Up recommendation! Did I say More Perfect? I’m on my phone and it’s hard to tell. Lol

  27. I love Invisibilia from NPR, Revisionist History by Malcom Gladwell (a pretty new podcast) and the Working podcast from Slate. Working is my favorite — there are a million epsiodes, most about a half hour long, and they just talk about what people do all day at work, everything from bail bondsmen to White House schedulers, to dog walker. Such a cool window into other people’s lives.

  28. No podcast recs that aren’t already here, but just wanted to send a virtual hug. And to say that this post made me LOL multiple times, so that’s something. Hang in there.

  29. I love podcasts! My addictions these days are for Reply All and Startup from Gimlet Media; Invisibilia from NPR; and Note to Self from WNYC. Radiolab is a another great one. Snap Judgement and Intelligence Squared have been recommended to me, but I haven’t dug into those yet. Good luck with the miles and the flights and your family. I really love your humor and your humanity. Keep on sista!

  30. AMR is at the top of my list but I also like the Runners World podcast. Other favorites are Fresh Air with Terri Gross, and Wait wait Don’t Tell Me with Peter Sagal. Good luck to you with your training!

  31. The Gist from Slate, Radiolab’s More Perfect, which is about the US Supreme Court–fascinating, and a real eye-opener, Overdue. Looking forward to listening to some of the recs here. Good luck with your mom, Adrienne. We had to get my late mom into assisted living some years back, and for various reasons it was a tough time. And she was right here where we live-can’t imagine having to deal with it cross-country. Strength!

  32. The allusionist for very witty etymological fun. Hidden Brain from NPR. Pretty much anything from the Radiotopia line. Freakonomics and Planet Money- much more interesting than they sound. And, since you are visiting home regularly, Mortified podcast can help you be relieved that you are an adult. Best-

  33. I’m going to cast another vote for the Running Lifestyle podcast, great guests and good nutrition information.

  34. Podcasts: Here’s the Thing, with Alec Baldwin. Improv Nerd with Jimmy Carrane. Ted Talks. Giant Pool of Money. I’m going through the same thing with my parents. It’s HARD.

  35. I’m a fellow NPR nerd (especially right now with the RNC happening!). I really like Invisibilia, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and have you listened to Serial already? (Season 1 is much, much better than Season 2 IMHO.) Have you checked out Revisionist History yet? I’ve heard good things and it’s on my list of podcasts to try. Running more miles weekly (I’m in 13.1 HRT group) means I need more good stuff to listen to!

  36. I love reading your articles! You are I seem to be on similar paths in life. Most of the time we are both on the same training schedules and I almost always have the same reactions to said training runs. I’m living vicariously through you on your marathon, however. I look forward to following you on this journey and hope to someday be training for a marathon the same time as you. The sandwich thing… totally understand and sympathize. As for podcasts, everyone has such great suggestions. My favs are of course the AMR podcasts, Two Gomers Run for Their Lives, This American Life, America’s Test Kitchen, Everyday Runners, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, The Coach Jenny Show, The Connect Run Club Podcast, Run This World with Nicole DeBoom, Embrace Running, and The Extra Mile Podcast.

  37. If you like NPR Politics, try Slate’s Political Gabfest. I’m also loving the new Radiolab podcast, More Perfect, about the Supreme Court.

  38. I agree with everyone else’s suggestions above! Also, “Death, Sex, and Money”, “Running on Om”, and the “The Longest, Shortest Time”. Good luck as training ramps up!!

  39. Podcasts I love: Run to the Top, The Running Lifestyle Show, Heather Dubrow’s World, I’ll Have Another with Lindsey Hein, Detective, The Mind of a Murderer. 😉

  40. Have you ever listened to Rhett and Link’s Ear Biscuits podcast? My 12 yr old son introduced me to them and it cracks us all up! The Walmart episode is classic! Happy running-

  41. Keep up the good work! I am an NPR addict too. I highly recommend embedded (when it comes back from summer break) and 99 percent invisible as well. Good way to break up the long runs. Enjoy!

  42. Best of luck with your training and everything else from another member of the sandwich generation. I can’t offer any podcast advice, as I generally don’t listen to anything while I run. Can you fit some easy trail running in, and get lost in the scenery?

  43. I always recommend The Moth. The storytellers come from all walks of life. The stories are funny, sad, thought-provoking, and always entertaining.

  44. Marathon Training Academy, Tina Muir on Runners Connect – Run to the Top, and of course Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me

  45. I’m loving Invisibilia … Just started their second season but I’m listening from the beginning. They look at the invisible things that impact us all. Not a great description, but a cool listen. I also really like the new podcast from Runners World and their bonus one, The Human Race. For what it’s worth, I’m a fan of yours! Blogs, podcasts and #dailtcorgi ! And now I sound like a stalker. Good luck on all your training!!

  46. Good for you for getting out there and doing what needs to be done! Current favorite podcasts: “Presidential”….a brief history of each president past and present (currently on Warren G. Harding); “Stuff You Missed in History Class”….FASCINATING; “America’s Test Kitchen”….lots to learn, thought it can be a bit dragging at times; “Read-Aloud Revival”….because reading aloud=important and this podcast is SO inspiring. And OF COURSE AMR! 🙂

  47. Check out Denny’s podcast is a fav of mine, especially the episode where he interviewed me. Except, I have never listened to that episode in totality as I cannot stand the sound of my own voice.

  48. I love reading your story. The podcasts I enjoy are Happier with Gretchen Rubin and HerMoney with Jean Chatsky.

  49. I second all the various NPR podcasts. Suprisingly Awesome is a newish one put out by one of the guys from the Planet Money team. Dinner Party Download is also good. And a subscription to Audible would give you tons of marathon length books!

  50. I am really into Invisibilia right now. I also love This American Life. I am a longtime Jillian Michaels listener as well.

  51. Stuff You Should Know is a good podcast, and Malcolm Gladwell has a new one- Revisionist History-which I’ve enjoyed. Also… Totally understand your “sandwich situation”. Bless you.
    Lived for 10 years in the O area- a great and challenging place to run, but a great place to live.

  52. You are going to great! Here are some of my favorites: NPR’s Hidden Brain and Planet Money,, Curious Handmade, TED Radio Hour, On Being with Krista Tippet. Enjoy!

  53. The whole NPR catalog awaits! I dig catching up on Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, and occasionally Fresh Air. The Human Race is a new (not NPR, RW) one I’m enjoying. My spouse raves over WTF with Mark Maron.

  54. You are soooo gonna rock that marathon!!
    I usually trend anything running/vegan/food/funny. Therefore, I listen to: Rich Roll Podcast, No Meat Athlete, Rock Creek Runner, the Human Race, Joe Rogan (please look up his interviews with Greg Proops-like 2 hrs long,just two comedians riffing, great for those long runs as long as u don’t mind profanity), Food Heals, I am sooo going to check out the Pop Culture Happy Hour on your recommendation !

  55. You are going to be brilliant Adrienne. I always listen to Marathon Talk – a UK based podcast. Discovered them at the same time I found AMR and always listen to both on my long run. I feel for you with your Mum, we really are in the sandwich generation aren’t we? x

  56. Stuff you missed in history class (not exceptionally produced but super fascinating info… Start w the one about Hercules Mulligan), Two Dope Queens (NSFW!), The Gist, invisibilia, double x gabfest, five thirty eight (Nate Silver), and I just discovered Runners World’s podcast….

    Best of luck w all the things. We are rooting for you!

  57. I really like the Slate Political Gabfest and Whistlestop (for a dose of politics AND history, Super Geek alert!)

  58. If you’ve never listened to The Gomers, they are quite entertaining. The seasons have been first half, full, sub 5 full, first tri, etc. I think you would enjoy the marathon training seasons (2 & 3?) while training for NY.

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