Tag Archives: gear

Run happy.

13 Mar

That’s what my new long-sleeve running shirt from Brooks says! I’ve been wanting another long-sleeve running shirt for a while, because I only have 2 (and no, I have no problem re-wearing 2-3 times before washing, but I’d prefer not to). So when a Brooks closeout email popped up in my inbox, I decided to check it out.

And fell in love with this shirt:

And it was only $24!

I’m definitely going to run happy in this. I have a busy night ahead of me so I’m out!

Hope you had a great Tuesday (and not a Damn Dreaded Tuesday like my friend B)!

How to NOT Prepare for a Race.

10 Feb


Run only 2 miles the week before.

Let your sore throat prevent you from drinking water.

Have a busy work week plus plans after work that keep you out at least an hour and a half past your bedtime each night.

Ditch your Thursday run for 2 glasses of chardonnay at happy hour and pass out in a chair (at home) before 8 pm.

Eat sweets like they haven’t touched your lips for a month.

Eat food like it’s going out of style.

Stay out late at a hockey game the night before the race.

Plan the race for a morning of cold and snow:

Do (Attempt to) Redeem Your Race:

Fit in an easy 2-3 mile run on Friday and Saturday so that your body doesn’t curse you for springing 13.1 miles on it out of nowhere.

Be a man runner and dress for the weather instead of whining about it. That’s why you bought a $110 Speedy Bullet (blindingly bright) jacket. Wear your UnderArmour tights UnderNeath another pair of running pants. Don some wool socks and winter gloves. Possibly buy a winter running hat instead of your chintzy ear warmer.

Drive only 15 minutes from your house to the start line.

Download a GPS-tracking app so your friend can come out and cheer you on as you run past her house.

Ditch the Camelbak that annoyed you on your last 10 mile run. Stash Shotbloks in your jacket and drink water at the aid stations. Bring a piece of bread with peanut butter too, since you know you love it it helps you not feel sick after mile 8.

Have fun. It’s only running, for pete’s sake.

Would you wear an ear warmer or a full hat for this race?

How have you redeemed a week of poor race preparation?

Extremely Loud and Incredibly Bright.

28 Jan

That’s how I would define my new Brooks running jacket and Aspaeris compression shorts.

In the words of Elf, That’s shocking.

But colors aside, I think my new running gear is going to be good. The jacket fits snugly but a good snug. The bottom black part is elastic so it stretches across my booty and the jacket is roomy enough in the chest and arms for me to fit one or two thin layers underneath. I’m not sure I’ll need to though, since this jacket clearly states that it’s designed for “40 degrees and below.” The jacket is thinner than I expected but when I put it on, I do feel warmer. According to the tag, the “lightweight aluminum membrane retains your heat so you stay warm without adding layers.” For $110, it better live up to the hype. Now I’m wishing for Colorado to cool off so I can try it out. 😉

I really like the reflective details on the jacket – you can see the vertical one at the bottom in the picture above (there’s another one on the right side). There’s also a reflective logo on the left sleeve, and on the back, there’s a reflective logo at the top and then another reflective piping strip along the vent in the middle (never mind the black specks, those are mascara smudges on the mirror that I can’t get off):

And never mind that you can see the stripes of my underwear through the red shorts (buyers, beware). I also like the left inside pocket for holding your mp3 player or phone (the gray mesh part is also a bigger pocket, on both sides):

And the thumb holes:

The black fabric, which is just from the cuff down, is really soft. I’ve never had a jacket or sweatshirt with thumb holes before but I think I’ll like it. At the very least, it’ll force me to not obsess over my pace because I can’t get to my watch!

I’ve wanted the compression shorts because SkinnyRunner raves about them, I don’t like my other tight running shorts, and I’m in love with all shapes and sizes of compression gear – but I couldn’t stomach the $60 price tag. The minute I heard they were 50% off with the code cooleronline (in support of SR’s Ragnar team – I’m not sure if it still works but give it a shot), I snatched them up. And in red. Why not? It’s actually a very pretty red, IMO.

The shorts fit really well – they’re definitely tight and hard to get on, which is the key to compression gear. If it slides on easily, it isn’t compression.

I also like that they come up higher so I don’t feel like my belly is hanging over them or getting some muffin top action. That’s never good. In case you’re wondering, I ordered a medium in both the jacket and shorts. It’s a rare day that I’m not a medium!

But it’ll be a couple of days until I can try these things out – or try running in general because I ended up getting sick. Boo. I started feeling sick on Wednesday but didn’t feel sick enough to stay home so I went to work that day and Thursday. Finally, Friday I felt crappy enough to merit starting the weekend early staying home from work.

As far as sickness goes, it’s been kind of bittersweet. I have hardly any sinus congestion but I have a major headache that I can’t get rid of (even with acetaminophen and lots of water) and some major chest congestion and a hacking cough. Which means I feel well enough to read, bake and take the dogs on slow walks, but I can’t run or do anything that would get my heart rate up. I’m a little bummed because I was looking forward to running this weekend but the smart thing is to rest until this blows over. (I’m pretty sure I’d hack up a lung running anyway and I need to keep what little lung I have.)

I am thankful that I can mostly enjoy being forced to take things easy, instead of being in a Sudafed-induced coma. I’ll live vicariously through reading about all of your runs. 😉

Hope you’re having a good weekend!

Five Randos

18 Jan

1. I had my third physical therapy appointment this morning. Holy crap it was painful! I told him that the top of my shoulders were still tight and he went to town on them. Seriously, nothing that I voluntarily endured has ever come close.

2. I found the running gear version of Sasquatch – the elusive winter jacket or vest with more reflective detail than just a logo on the chest. It does not exist for a price I’m willing to pay. Seriously, almost every jacket or vest that did have plenty of reflective details was a lightweight jacket. Which just boggles my mind because when does a runner need reflective gear the most? In the winter when’s it cold.

So I abandoned that and looked for other options, such as reflective snap armbands:

How cool are those?

But I did fall in love with this UnderArmour jacket:

It is so cute. It has reflective details on the front, back and sleeves and it says it’s for cold temperatures. But do I trust UnderArmour? I should make up my mind soon because right now, it’s on sale for $84.95, down from $85.00. What a deal! {insert sarcasm}

I’m also looking at this Brooks Nightlife Silver Bullet Jacket. A little more spendy at $108.95 but I would save $13 by no longer needing snap armbands.

This looks like a great jacket and no doubt, would serve me well. I could even go look at it in the store since it’s not a closeout (like the UA jacket). My hesitation is that it’s fluorescent yellow. Yes, I realize that is the point of the Nightlife version but I can’t help thinking that I wouldn’t want to wear the jacket anywhere in public. I mean, admit it. You’ve seen those serious runners walking around in their bright yellow gear and even though you’re a runner yourself and totally understand why they’re wearing it, you still find it a bit weird. It’s just soooooo yellow. (I apologize if you’re one of those runners… who knows? I might join you!)

On the other hand, I might just get the pink version of the jacket. It still has all the same reflective details and warmth factor and it’s $8 cheaper. Travis won’t let me run at night anyway so I only need reflective-ness for about 10 minutes when my run is ending a bit late. That just might be the ticket.

3. I got the green light to post pictures of my adorable nephew!

In the hospital

Sleeping at home

With my mom, now Grandma Sheri

Isn’t he the cutest little thing ever? Can’t wait to meet him in person!

4. Meb Keflezighi runs in Skechers. Several months ago, I was reading an issue of Competitor magazine that I got for free from a race. I noticed an ad for Skechers running shoes featuring Meb. My initial reaction was one of skepticism – after hearing about Skechers was being sued for false advertising with their Shape-ups shoes, the whole company seemed like a sham, targeting the same demographic of people interested in weight loss supplements and detox diets. I was actually so intrigued by the ad that I looked up pictures of Meb running in the NYC Marathon so that I could see what shoes he was wearing. I thought it looked like he was wearing Nikes but apparently I was wrong –  he actually does wear Skechers for running.

The article I linked to above talks about how Skechers wants to break into the performance running market and is using their sponsorship of Meb to help it along. Considering that he PR’ed in and won the last two marathons he ran (including the Olympic Marathon trials), I’m not as skeptical about the shoes as I once was. But… I’m not sure that I’ll be jumping on the Skechers bandwagon anytime soon.

5. I have some friends who are doing a juice cleanse.


They’re following the Reboot Standard Program, which has you eat only whole fruits and veggies for 15 days (click on the link for specifics). The benefits are supposedly (from their website, with my comments):

  • Boost the number of fruit/vegetable servings you can ingest in a day.  Well, duh! It’d be kind of hard not to, when that’s all you’re eating.
  • Break the cycle of unhealthy eating.  Watch me binge on celery.
  • Retrain your brain to crave fruits and vegetables.  If I can’t kick chocolate in 15 days, I couldn’t do this either.
  • Manage your weight.  I always manage to weigh something.
  • Promote a lifestyle that will lower risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, cancer, macular degeneration, cognitive decline and mental illness including depression. General healthy living does this too.
  • Promote longevity. Everyone dies.
  • Decrease aches and pains in joints and muscles.  I wear Skechers for this.
  • Improve your immunity.  Ok, you got me here.
  • Promote increased energy levels. and increased bitchiness levels.
  • Promote healthy skin, nails and hair.  Only if I stop tanning, biting and dyeing.
  • Gain greater access to digestive enzymes locked away in whole produce through juicing.  Like in kale? Ew.
You can probably tell that I’m not a huge fan of “reboot diets” (which IMO is just a fancy word for detox). Running the risk of being called a hypocrite (since I eliminated sweets from my diet for a month…), I don’t think it’s ever necessary to eliminate entire food groups from your diet, barring an actual food allergy, in the name of “health” or “cleansing.”
Personally, I would go insane if I couldn’t eat cereal. I eat cereal every day. Unless we’re out of milk. And then I cry myself to sleep.
I’d love to hear your thoughts –
Which running jacket would you choose above?
Would you ever wear Skechers for running?
What do you think about reboot/cleansing/detox programs?


ColdGear my butt.

9 Jan

So I mentioned that I got my Under Armour Compression Tights and my new Nike (Golf) jacket in the mail. I tried them out during my chilly run on Saturday and I have mixed feelings.

First, let me say that I absolutely LOVE the fit and feel of the compression tights. I seriously would wear them all day long and never take them off because they’re so comfortable. I wasn’t sure that I would like the weird men’s-underwear-looking elastic band around the waist (you can see it in the video on their website) but it is seriously comfy. No muffin top action there. And my favorite part – they’re actually a little too long. Not like my 2XU compression tights.

I have perfected the awkward picture in one try.

But unlike my 2XU tights, these don’t feel like recovery compression tights. My 2XU tights are so tight, they’re almost like getting a wetsuit on (you should see how small they are!) and I can actually feel them doing something to my legs when I’m wearing them. The UA tights are a good tight, but I am skeptical about their muscle-fatigue-preventing powers. Thoughts?


Anyway, I wore my new duds out my run Saturday morning at the butt-crack of dawn. Seriously, the sun was just beginning to rise when I went out. It was about 25 degrees and I wore a long-sleeve tech tee, my new Nike jacket, and a fleece vest on top. On bottom, my UA tights and SmartWool running socks (seriously the best socks ever for cold runs). I also wore a fleece ear warmer and fleece gloves.

Katy didn’t understand why I was bending over and not petting her

Why did I head out so cotton-pickin’ early? I was supposed to run with a friend at 8 am and figured we’d do about 3 miles. Since I had 8 on the schedule and wanted to be done after running with my friend, I got up to do the 5 before meeting up with her.

So, I got geared up and after a breakfast of instant oatmeal (that I’m trying to get out of my cupboard) with raisins, I set out with the pooches for 3.5 miles, after which I would drop them at the house and go do another 1.5 before driving over to D’s house.

Immediately, my legs were cold. But maybe the tights work on some kind of heat exchange so I just need to get moving for them to warm me up, I thought.

Not so much.

My legs froze. My butt froze. I was not enjoying it.

But I kept going because I had to. I dropped the dogs off and gritted my teeth for another 1.5 miles. Just a few more minutes until I can warm up, I told myself.

I got back and grabbed my stuff to head over to D’s, when I found out that she wasn’t feeling well and didn’t think she should run. So I was on my own to finish out the last 3 miles. Crapit. My legs had just thawed out and I had to head back out into the cold. But I wanted to be done more than I wanted to be warm so I did it. It wasn’t pretty but after a spoonful of peanut butter and 3 Shotbloks, I did it.

Luckily, for those last 3 miles, I brought Harry Potter with me (on my iPod) and for some reason, having mental stimulation like listening to a book or sermon makes time pass a lot faster during a workout for me than listening to music. So the cold wasn’t as bad during the last 3 miles (but it was probably mostly that the sun was out by then too).

All in all, I ran 8.27 miles in 1:32:40, an 11:12 pace. I feel pretty good about that, considering I was running with ice legs.

So unfortunately, while I like the UA leggings and am definitely going to keep them, they’re not going to be appearing on any more 25 degree or colder runs. I told Travis that I think my problem is that I’m too cheap to buy the actual leggings made for those temps. I saw some at Boulder Running Company when we were buying our shoes – they were a lot thicker but they were also something like $120. In Minnesota, I think I could justify that because it’s a lot colder there, and for longer, than it is here in CO (except for this winter?!?!). But by February, I’m going to probably be wearing shorts again so…

About the jacket, since I wore a fleece vest over it and it wasn’t raining or windy, I don’t really have an accurate assessment (not that you probably care, since I’m most likely the only one cheap enough to buy a golf jacket for running) but it did keep my arms warm (and not too warm)!

Here’s the back of the jacket if you’re interested:

And the stretchy side:

Also a sad little side note: the jacket has a cinch at the bottom and the little plastic thing rubbed against my UA tights, so now there’s a fuzzy spot on my tights. ::tear::

What do you wear on your legs for cold runs? Help a girl out!

New Running Gear!

30 Dec

Even though my family is wonderfully generous and I got lots of great presents for Christmas, I didn’t get any running stuff (which was secretly what I wanted the most, but it’s also the hardest to buy for someone else so I totally understand why they bought other things).

So after thinking long and hard about the running gear that I would most like right now, and shopping around for the most reasonable prices (I think I can only handle spending $100 on running tights once in my life), I bought the following:

Underarmour Coldgear Compression Tights – $49.99

For every run I’ve gone on that’s been colder than 40 degrees, I’ve worn Smartwool long underwear under my regular running pants. It works but the long underwear doesn’t stretch at all and I don’t like having to wear 2 layers. So hopefully these will solve my dilemma.

I bought a medium because that’s almost always what my size is, but according to my waist/hip measurements and their size chart, I would be an XXL. So I’m crossing my fingers that they’re the ones on crack, not me.

Nike Windproof 1/2 Zip Jacket – on sale for $29.23!

I’ve been wanting a running jacket for a while but am so cheap that I almost pass out every time I look at their price tags. {Side note: What happened to me?!?!} This jacket is cute, on sale, windproof and water resistant (which is all I need because I don’t usually run when it’s pouring outside). I also bought a medium in this.

I’ll let you know how I like them after they come and I have a chance to try them out.

I haven’t tried out my new shoes yet because I was a big lazy butt last night and this morning. I watched Sweet Home Alabama on TV (love that movie!) and then slept in until 7. I’ve just been so tired this week – I don’t know what my deal is. Usually, I’m wide awake once I get up but this week, I get up late after getting 8+ hours of sleep and still want to go straight back to bed.

Anyway, I’m going for my run after work today. And I’m actually excited because it’s supposed to be about 45 degrees and almost all of the snow we had has melted, which means no more slipping, sliding and accidentally stepping in ankle deep puddles.

What is the most important thing for you to have/wear on cold runs?

First tri of the season tomorrow!

3 Jun

 Tomorrow is my first triathlon of what promises to be a very exciting 2011 race season. And I am READY!

I have tapered this week with only 2 workouts – I swam 800 yards on Tuesday and ran 1.93 miles on Wednesday. I was going to go on a bike ride last night with Travis but I had a margarita with dinner instead (and I had been feeling a little tired so I figured, I’d rather rest than push myself to do another workout). The margarita was delicious and wonderful at the time but this morning, I woke up with a headache (like I knew I would). These days, whenever I drink alcohol, no matter how much or what type, I always get a headache. Boo!

I am also volunteering at packet pickup tonight (since the race is being put on by my employer last year and the race director is a friend of mine, they asked me for a last minute favor) so I wanted to practice my transitions and get all of my gear packed up last night (which I did – and holy crap, I forgot how hard it is to get a wetsuit on!). Tonight after packet pickup, I am going straight home to bed. I figure I can be in bed by 9:15 or 9:30.

Tomorrow, we are going to leave the house around 5:30 (5:45 if Travis is dragging his feet), which means I will get up around 5:00. The transition area opens at 6:00 but my wave doesn’t go until 7:15. While I want to get a good spot, I don’t know if I want it that bad. It’s a 45-minute drive so we’ll still get there by 6:15/6:30. I plan on getting body-marked at packet pickup so I should be able to just walk right in to the transition area.  Then it’s time to set up my stuff, check and recheck everything, and wait.

My fueling strategy is that I’ll eat a slice of whole wheat bread with peanut butter whenever I’m first hungry (usually right when I wake up) and drink some water. Around 6:00, I’ll eat a banana and drink some more water. Then unless I’m full, I’ll eat another slice of peanut butter bread around 7:00. Bananas and peanut butter toast are are my tried-and-true foods. I’ve tried dried fruit and yogurt  before races but never felt quite right. During the race, I will eat 3 Shotbloks during the easy stretch of the bike and try to drink some water then too. I’ll probably drink some water at the run aid stations (depending on how hot it is). I thought about wearing my Camelbak for the run but decided against having the additional thing to worry about in transition. Maybe for the Oly triathlon I’ll consider it more seriously.

I’ll post a race recap in the next couple of days. In the meantime, get out there and enjoy the sunshine!

Are you racing this weekend?