Monday, October 13, 2014
I was going to call this blog my favorite running gear. Then I started writing it and ending up talking about more than gear, so this is really about my favorite running/workout resources:
Well, running really starts with a great pair of shoes and I really recommend finding a great running store in your area. For me, it is Naperville Running Company. They not only fit me for my shoes, if they donít work out I can return them and get a different pair. They also have a lot of events: Running groups, running clinics such as learning how to use a foam roller, and this is where I took Running 101 (go from walking to running a 5k), Running 201 (go from running a 5k to running a 10k) and my current Half Marathon training program. The owner is great and the staff is awesome and supportive.
Workout pants: Love my FILA SPORTģ Pocket Reflector Skimmer Capris Ė the back pocket holds my phone. The waist band does not roll over and they stay up. Iíve had more expensive brands and these are my favorites!
Cold weather running gear: Last year I bought Paradox Merino wool base layer Ė pants and ľ zip top. These are great for wearing under a pair of running pants and a long sleeve running shirt. I wore them the last 2 weekends in mid-30ís and that was all I needed along with a pair of running gloves!
Headphones: When I run alone I listen to music and really struggled with cords pulling, drove me crazy. I splurged on a pair of Bluetooth headphones Ė Jaybird Bluebuds and I love them! They stay in my ears and I can even answer the phone when Iím running if I have too.
Apps: I do use RunKeeper to track my runs and my progress. They have a free version but I did upgrade to Elite. It lets me know my pace as Iím running (sometimes accuracy is depending on the weather), but also marks my distance which helps me. The Elite version lets me compare my runs historically.
Visibility: Itís getting dark early! I run mostly on the running paths near my house during the day, but sometimes after sundown. At some points I do need to cross the street and I want to be seen. Our running store sponsored a Pub Run by Nathan products and they have all sorts of cool visibility products. I ended up getting 2 clip-on LED Strobes. The batteries last for a 100 hours and they can be set to a solid light or a flashing light. I put one on my shirt and one on my shoe. They have a lot of cool products at nathansports.com
Hydration: Another shout out to Nathansports.com Ė when training for the Half Marathon, I went back and forth, did I want to wear a hydration belt? If I was running a full marathon I think I would need that or a vest, but for a half marathon in the Fall? So, I am sticking with my Nathan Speed-draw Plus insulated bottle. It holds 24 ounces of water and the grip fits in my hand Ė you cannot drop it. My car key, license and misc. items fit in the zipper pocket. It is pretty handy.
My Running group: I donít know that I would get out there for these long, long training runs on my own. Running with my group on Saturday mornings has me feeling really confident about the Half Marathon coming up in 27 days!
A good playlist: OK, I like my tunes when Iím running alone and I know Iíll want my playlist updated for the Half Marathon. Especially, now donít get me wrong, I like U2, but I donít like that their new album has infiltrated my playlist when I did not purchase it. Not a fan that iTunes allowed this! I have U2 in my mix, but songs of my choosing.
Foam Roller: I have a cheap one and will probably upgrade soon. I cannot emphasize the importance of stretching and rolling. Rolling out my IT bands and my quads makes such a big difference. If you have not tried it, you should. Videos on YouTube and SparkPeople.
My trainer: Katie makes sure she really challenges me in my workouts and pushes me more than I would push myself. She works on my balance, my agility and exercises for runners. When I went to a seminar at the running store, the physical therapist said that you can run a 5k, but when you go to run longer distances, if you donít have the leg strength or core strength, youíll end up being a hot mess. She really stressed strength training and I know it has made a difference for me.
My Asthma/Allergy doctor: getting my sinus infection cleared up and getting my inhalers has helped my breathing immensely! Now I can run much better and my times have improved!
My Sparkfriends: Every day you inspire me, cheer me on, and encourage me. What a great community.
My Family: Last but certainly not least! My husband sometimes thinks Iím crazy, but he calls me on Saturday morning when he thinks my long run is done. He does need to work on the math and figure out how long it takes to run 11 miles and adjust his call time! My nieces one of my daughters have signed up to volunteer at the Half Marathon and will be there to cheer me on!
Iím sure there are things or people I am forgetting, but that is my list for this Monday morning!
Sunday, October 05, 2014
Well, Saturday was a little chilly for our run. 37 degrees, a little rainy and a yes a few snow flakes. I was trying to be prepared, really I was! The night before I was looking for my energy things that I bought earlier in the week and told everyone not to touch - they were nowhere to be found! Then I could not find my running gloves anywhere in the house, car or garage - really??
Friday night, my hubby and I went to see the 7pm Gone Girl which was sold out, so we got tickets for the 8pm Gone Girl. We grabbed a bite to eat and some wine while we were waiting. Great movie - we both loved it - I read the book and he did not. Come early Saturday morning - we run at 6:30 around 20 minutes from my house and I was tired. No way I can skip as one of my running buddies went to see Fleetwood Mac the night before and said she would show up to run because she knew I would be there to run with her. How do I not show up? She is out at concert until 1am and I'm in bed by 11:30.
Well, it was chilly, we were tired, but we rocked that 10 mile run! We finished with just under 11 minute per mile pace. Legs felt heavy, it was a little chilly and windy, but we were out there and we were in it together. I love my running group! There are about 8 regulars in the 11 minute per mile pace group - strong women and so much fun. Diana is our pace leader and she is awesome. They have me feeling so positive about this half marathon.
After the run, home, showered and drove into the city to spend the rest of the day and evening painting my youngest daughter's condo in the city. It is small, about 700 SF, but it is now all freshly painted - living room/dining room/bedroom/bathroom/kitchen/hallway. A friend of hers from work helped on Friday night, we were there most of Saturday and then they finished up on Sunday.
I organized her stuff today and we packed up the moving truck today. Wow, I'm exhausted! Hope everyone had a great and productive weekend!
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