Tag Archives: running

Looking Forward to Spring Running and Favorite Running Gear

I’ve been thinking about running A LOT.

I ran twice during the month of February, both adventures while I was in Las Vegas, taking in the warmth and sunshine and mostly the lack of snow.

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Winter has been BRUTAL here and early on I made a promise to Nick that I wouldn’t run outside unless the temperature was over 30 degrees and that running space wasn’t icy or extremely dangerous.  I’m pretty sure the only days that this has happened in Scotia since I first made the statement in January were while I was westward.

On top of normal winterness of CDNY, it has seemed extra windy and doubly snowy this time around, making the idea of winter running completely laughable.  I see a group of running bad-asses in their neon orange and yellow tops, making their way through the roads of the park I work in and I am baffled at their ability to log miles during the past several weeks. 

Then again, every time I have thought “I could go for a short run now” weather-wise has been in the middle of the work day and therefore not conducive to actual “lace up and go” time.  And every time I’ve seen said bad-asses has been in the middle of the work day, so maybe I should cut myself some slack.

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The other night I laid in bed unable to sleep and reread my half marathon recap. Again.  A few nights later when I couldn’t sleep I went through my entire #THS13point1 Weekly Training Recaps from start to finish.

I’m just starting to think about 2015 race plans, though most of my internet running friends are already in the depth of training for their big races. 

The idea of a 50 mile trail relay has been floating around the office, which would be a completely knew experience considering I’ve done “trail running” one half of a time if you count my getting lost on a short cut through wooded parts and still keeping myself at jog when trying to find my way back to a neighborhood. 

At the end of last year I was toying with the idea of a marathon and was sold on the idea of running another half. Right now all I care about is starting to log outdoor miles consistently again.  I know I will be chasing down a new 5K PR after last year’s record yet disappointing finish

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I also know that instead of rereading thousands of words I wrote before and after training last year, I could be holding plank for thousands of seconds to become a better runner.  There’s a list of intentions I’ve set for myself for the month of March to set myself up to be a stronger runner, and core work is, as always, on the list. 

Another activity to get myself set for spring running is organize and prep my gear.  As I cleaned out my running drawer and storage areas, I put items I never wear for any number of excuses in a donate pile and only kept the pieces I really love.  There’s no use holding on to something that makes me feel uncomfortable when on a run.  Plus, now I’ve made a bit of room for me to restock on my favorite running gear. 

Favorite Running Gear w numbers

1. BAMR Bands. I have a handful of headbands I like to wear, but BAMR Bands are my favorite headbands for running, without a doubt.  I’ve never had a problem with them staying on my head no matter how long I’m running, or how sweaty I get.  These bands have great patterns – including sparkle! – and do a great job of keeping my hair and sweat out of my eyes as I’m logging miles.  Made by a member of the HLB Community, Katie Heddleston of Healthy Heddleston, BAMR bands supports Every Mother Counts with every purchase made!

2. Prescription sunglasses for cheap, from Zenni. Are you familiar with Zenni Optical? It’s one of the handful of websites I now know about that sell prescription eye glasses for REASONABLE PRICES.  So reasonable, that I didn’t think twice about ordering a pair of sunglasses when my prescription got updated.  Because I bought them during a BOG2 deal, Including shipping they cost me less than $10 total, which means I’m not afraid to lose them, break them, or decide I need better ones when the time comes.  I have ordered glasses from this site NUMEROUS times now, and hbave been really happy with the experience.  I recommend the service in real life on the regular, especially for prescription sunglasses!

3. GymBoss Interval Timer.  I love this little gadget for keeping track of run:walk intervals, timing circuit workouts, and adding timed sprints to my runs.  I’ve had my Gymboss for years and the products available have really upgraded since I first bought mine. There are SO many colors and a MAX option, now!  I also use my timer for non-fitness stuff, too – like setting focused task sessions at the office or rewarding myself with a break after 90 minutes of writing.  

4. C9 by Champion Performance Tee. This is the classic short sleeved performance top sold at Target, which means I can often find them on clearance as the seasons and fitness trend colors and necklines change.  I have a lot of race and event performance t-shirts, but I like to purchase these when I can find them at a good price in a BRIGHT color.  Since I do a lot of road running, I can never have enough neon running gear. 

5. Cambelbak Water Packs.  I bought my Cambelbak used through a friend and then purchased a new mouth piece set from EMS online.  This water pack system was a great tool to have when half marathon training last summer.  I know there are lots of different sizes available and I’m really happy with mine, which I believe is an older version of the HydroBak. It holds just enough water for long runs and the pocket comes in handy for holding fuel. 

6. Spark Energy Drink Mix. Yup, I’m on that bandwagon.  I’ve been ordering these pouches to use before workouts [and after late bar trips] for the past several months from several of my friends who are reps. There are a BUNCH of HLB members out there who are selling this stuff along with other Advocare products if you are interested in learning more.  I’m digging the Pink Lemonade, Pomegrante, and Fruit Punch flavors best so far, but I still have several more to try!

7. Mizuno Wave Riders.  I’m toying with the idea of buying myself new ones right now, because I mean – LOOK AT THEM: Mizuno Wave Rider 18’s.  The 17’s have been so good to me, and they are nearing the end of their safe and healthy mileage, for sure. And I love the minty color scheme for certain!  Though… then I start thinking about braining out and trying other Mizuno’s… if I’m going for looks 100%, I dig the style of the white Wave Sayonara 2s, but I know better than to choose a running shoe based on looks alone. No matter what I decide, when it comes to new running shoes, I think I’ll set some fitness goals to reach in the next several weeks to EARN those new running shoes.

8. EMS Women’s Fast Mountain Lightweight Coolmax and Wool QuarterSocks.  These are my favorite socks for running and honestly, for just wearing around the house, too.  They are comfortable and thick without being over poweringly warm.  I like that they cover my ankles and they fit my foot nicely.  I end up buying a few pairs just about every time I shop at EMS. [Though I do want to notes that Feetures are another favorite running sock that I plan to buy more of ASAP!  I wore them for my half marathon and didn’t have any blisters post race!]

9. Lands’ End Women’s Polartec Aircore 100 EZ Touch Gloves.  I bought a few pairs when certain patterns were marked down on clearance and they are terrific for when I am running.  The touch screen finger tips make iPod and phone usage easy and when my hands get too warm and I want to remove them, I clip them together and attach them to my SpiBelt.  No need to hold them as I jog or keep room for them in a pocket or in the belt itself.  I’ve noticed that these gloves often go on sale for $5 a pair, so be sure to check out L:andsEnd.com if you are interested!

What are your running gear favorites?  What items do you take on EVERY long run?  What do you swear by?

I Run, Therefore I Am

Let’s talk running.

 

 

This summer, I was doing a fairly job making running a priority in my life.  Not summer of 2011 good, but maybe 2010 good.

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Then, as happens in life, THINGS started happening.  And, as happens, at first I was doing a grand job keeping up with the running.  I was traveling to the Midwest on a just about a weekly basis, but I was managing to stay committed. Sometimes I managed running while on the road, but even if I didn’t, most of my trips were so short that I was able to keep up with my running plan [which at the time was just a sticker chart I made myself to aim for 3 runs a week] when I was at home in New York.

 

But then, as happens in life, THINGS kept happening, and some of them were hard, and things changed.  I brought my running gear to Chicago with me to run out the emotions after spending time with and saying goodbye to my grandmother, and the run did me in.  I ran. I cried. I walked. I ran. I cried some more. I continued this rotation until politely vomiting* in a ditch and heading back to the hotel to shower off the disgust and face the day of travel ahead of me.

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When I returned home from that trip to Chicago, I stopped running.  It was crunch time before HLS and I didn’t even pretend to make working out a priority.  Sleep was a priority.  Time for myself was a priority.  Nutritious meal choosing was a priority. Running was not a priority.

 

Two and a half weeks later, I found myself completing two mega-short, yet mega-important-to-me, runs in Minneapolis.

 

The first was Friday morning before registration.  I planned to run out to the sculpture garden and back to make sure I knew the route before the HLS Fun Run Sunday morning. I invited Kelly, Alicia, and Mindy to join me.

It felt good.  It felt good to run with three of my closest friends, and the girls who help motivate and encourage me in running each year.  It felt good to run together, to not have pressure, to take breaks, to sweat out some eagerness, and to start the day off with some activity.  I liked that at any given moment, any one of the four of us was “leading” the pack. I liked that it happened naturally and that even though that out of the three of them, I’ve only ever run with Alicia by my side before (we’ve run many a races together,) it felt like running a couple of miles together on a Friday morning was completely natural and something we “do all the time.”  It felt like I was a runner running with my runner friends.  And I liked that.

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The second was that Sunday morning HLS Fun Run, which was another out and back.  I thought, and even mentioned to the group, that I wasn’t going to run fast and that the group could plan on 10:30/11:00 minute mile pacing if they were going to follow my lead.  I encouraged others to run faster and pass me if they wanted, and then we took off towards the garden.

 

After a minute or two of running, I looked around and noticed a bunch of my favorite friends, new and old, were near me at the front of the line and smiled, taking in the energy around me.  The group talked about our love for city running and my several-year-long goal to run a sub-30 minute 5K came up in conversation.  I shared that I was in no way prepared to run sub-30 now, and that one of these days I was going to actually train and do it.  The girls near me were all super uplifting, and then someone asked what we were currently pacing.  I looked down at my Garmin and was a bit shocked to see that my planned 11:00minute mile was no longer; we were keeping a steady 9:15 pace.  This was encouraging in itself, but a few words from Ari and Nicole stayed with me from that morning.  They may not even remember saying anything at all, but their belief in my ability to run and reach my goals really helped to light a fire in me.  I think back to the conversation often and every time I do I find myself re-inspired to go after what I want in terms of my running life.

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After taking some awesome group photos at the Walker Sculpture Garden, I ran back to the hotel with Danielle.  Elizabeth from My Neon Running Shoes joined us for part of the run, too, and we had a nice time chatting as we made our way back to the hotel.  When Elizabeth split off from us to run an errand, Danielle and I continued chatting; mostly about how awesome it would be if we lived near one another and could run together ALL THE TIME.  This was our first time running together since my “healthy living journey” and I really wish it was something we could do more often.  [Seriously. Let’s work on that teleportation machine, scientist!]  Danielle has had SUCH an impact on the person I am today, and it really cherish that short run we got to take together.

 

When I came home from the Summit, as has happened every year since 2010, the passion I have for running and my running goals was reignited, but this year in a new way.

 

Instead of training for a race or PR, I simply want to train to truly FEEL and BELIEVE I’m a runner.

I want to run 3-4 times a week, no matter the distance, no matter the route, simply because I ENJOY running and because running makes me a happier, healthier human.

I want to know that each week, I’m going to log some miles.  I’m going to spend some time on the road.  I’m going to put my running gear to good use.

I want to improve, of course.  I want to build my endurance. I want to improve my speed.  I want to do better and be better.

 

I want to run a sub-30 minute 5K, of course.  And I know it’s possible.

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Since returning home from the Summit I’ve run 3-4 times a week, every week.  Running is starting to really feel like a part of me, again, and for that I’m grateful.  I think changing how I think about running [less in the “train for a race” and more in the “be a runner” mindset, that is] has really helped keep me consistent.  Without a training plan written out for me to follow, there have been a few changes to my running routine that I’ve really taken a liking to in the past few weeks.

 

I run 2-3 evenings after work, and once on the weekend.  [want to hear some tips on running in the evenings, after a day at the office? Read this: I’m a PM Runner]  I don’t think about it too much. I look at the weather at the start of the week and decided when I’m running [I do enjoy taking a day off in between runs, still] and then I run on those days. If I don’t want to run, I run anyway.  This started after I had a mini-revelation that the only thing I needed to do to FEEL and BELIEVE I’m a runner is simply run. So now I run. A few times a week. Every week.

 

I’ve stopped running with ear buds in, for the most part.  I lost my iPod in Minneapolis and I’ve embraced the listening to the sounds of the neighborhood over the sounds of podcasts and have really enjoyed the change.  I thought it would drive me BONKERS not having distraction when I run, so this was a welcomed surprise.  I have used my phone once to listen to an episode of EHG once, and I think I’m really going to rely on this method only on days I really am dreading the running, as a sort of “reward” for getting it done. [or maybe what I mean is a bribe?]

 

I’ve been focused on one mile at a time.  A method I picked up on from a friend several months ago, I’ve kind of fallen in love with the evening runs of “run a mile, rest, repeat.”

 

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I run without my Garmin at least twice a week.  I’ve been using map my run to plan out and back routes to accomplish in the evenings, especially.  I especially love a good one mile out, rest, one mile back.  It’s my go-to on days the office-work leaves me exhausted and cranky and has become my favorite way to exhaust emotions of any kind. [angry run, celebratory run, complacent run, eager run, etc.]

 

I ran 2 miles without stopping for the first time in a VERY long time the other day.  And I had negative splits.  And I paced almost the exact pacing as I did two days prior running 1 mile out, rest, 1 mile back.  And it felt like the biggest accomplishment of my life.  Which may explain why I love running so much.

What’s going on in your running life?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* the use of the word “politely” here may be an exaggeration.  Have you ever seen a polite vomit?

This Week I Will 5

 A Review of Last Week’s Goals:

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>> Eat leafy greens daily.  5 for 7. Grading myself with a B for this goal, as I hardly EVER make eating greens a priority and managed to eat 1 ½ servings of mixed greens a majority of the week.
>> Stick to the meal plan. I did fairly well here, but come Friday and Saturday went off book a bit. Not on the meal plan? A trip to Wendy’s we took Friday evening. I care not, it was delicious!
>> Three training runs.  Boom. Boom. Boom. Really happy with last week’s training log, which also included 4 miles of walking on Saturday.
>> Three strength workouts.  2 for 3 here. Really want to focus on my strength training goals this week!
>> No M&M’s until Friday.  Not only did I make it until Friday, I didn’t eat any almond M&M’s until SATURDAY this week!  I’m going to try the same goal again this week, too.

I was a bit lax toward my goals when the end of the week hit, but when I weighed in Sunday, I had dropped 2 pounds since the previous Friday, so my healthy choices clearly are out weighing my unhealthy ones.  My main overarching goal this week is to keep the momentum throughout all seven days and focus on making one healthy decision at a time!

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This Week I Will:

Run up the big hill 4x.  The last time I tackled hill training, I ran the hill twice, and afterwards still had enough energy to jog home at a semi-speedy pace.  This time I really want to push myself on these repeats for a strong workout.  I’m eagerly planning to conquer this training run!!

Run 60 minutes Garmin free.  I had a lot of success finding an appropriately timed podcast and running through until I heard the outro music last week. [I had 45 minutes Garmin free on my plan] and hope to do the same this week.  I like to run without the pressure of pace every so often during my training to help remember that I love running for the sake of running – no matter what the speed!  When I get home from a Garmin free run, I usually track my distance using Map My Run.  I’ve been pretty pleased with this method so far this year.

A Lazy Girl’s Brick.  First of all, 5 year ago Heather laughs in my face at the idea of doing any sort of exercise being considered “lazy girl’s” ANYTHING.  I don’t ever plan on doing any sort of multi-event race.  Though I do find my dual/tri-loving friends incredibly inspirational in their pursuits, I just don’t have a desire to train in one activity I only sort of enjoy [biking] and one activity I pretty much loathe [swimming; to me, water means bathing or drinking topical drinks near it, not fitness activities].  My kind of “brick workout” is a lot less intense than my friends biking 20 miles after running a 10K – a timed one mile run [I want to see how fast I improve over the summer!] followed by some serious Yoga’ing in my personal studio; the back porch.

Core work & shoulder shredding. Today I will do 15 minutes of core work, even if I have to break it up into 3 mini-five minute segments to fit it into my day.  And I will make time to do my favorite STSL workout; 7 Moves for Shredded Shoulders. It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve last had it in my schedule.

Get 300 total strength training #supersummer points for the week.  My core work and shoulder shredding will bring me 125 points to start, It’s up to me how I earn the remaining 175 points.  Places I’m looking for fresh ideas: My 50 point and 100 points workout Pinterest boards, Bex Life, and my old Best Body Bootcamp workouts.

Drink at least 3 liters of water daily.  I really missed it on the hydration front toward the end of last week and want to make sure I’m staying properly hydrated during the warm weather and many workouts I’m planning on knocking out this week!  I’ll be tracking on a post it on my water bottle every single day this week, even the weekend!

#getyourfreggies – 5 servings daily!  Friday resulted in an #HLBinstamission to show off the fruits and vegetables you’re eating with the hashtag #getyourfreggies and it couldn’t have come at a better time for me.  I know that when I make getting a certain number of fruits and vegetable servings into my day a priority, I naturally choose healthier options.  And with so much wonderful produce in season at the moment, this shouldn’t be too difficult to master. I plan to tally up my totals each day on instagram with proof photos of what I ate.  Love the accountability I’m feeling from my instagram friends!

Take one full rest day!  See all those fabulous workout goals above?  Gotta have the balance; I’d really love to take one day off this week of EVERYTHING.  No running, no MAJOR working, no strength training; just some true R&R.  We’ll see how this goes…

 

What healthy intentions are you setting for the week?  Tell me about them on twitter and show me the proof on Instagram by using the #Make1HealthyDecision hashtag!