Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Random Updates

Back in November, I wrote a status update that went something like "I'm so glad I don't have anymore double digit runs to do until 2015!!"

Ahhh...famous last words.

I registered for a half marathon in December.

It was irresistible.
I couldn't say no.

I will be in San Diego visiting my parents for Christmas. And there happens to be a half marathon while I'm there. And it's DOWNHILL. And it ends AT THE BEACH.

So, I'm running the San Diego Holiday Half Marathon....which means a few more double digit runs in 2014. Sunday, I ran 10 miles. I was super pleased with a 9:55 pace, on tired legs (I'd raced a 5k the day before) and a hilly route. But really - why does my face look so wrinkled in this picture??


How was your Thanksgiving? Mine was just FABULOUS! Guess who actually got to come home for a day??? That's right, the BF Mark. I mentioned at the end of October that he has been away at some National Guard training. They haven't had much time off (I think they've had 3 days off since October 20th - including weekends). I was super excited to see him on Thanksgiving, and of course decided the best way to spend time together would be running a race - duh. Someone asked if he brought me flowers...he did not, but he ran the Turkey Trot with me at my pace and that's pretty much the runner's equivalent to flowers.

I spent ate my Thanksgiving meal with my surrogate family, the Senfts. Delicious food and great company!

Sunday the 30th was the second race in the York Road Runners Club Winter Series. This was a BEAST. It's a 4 mile race, and I'm not exaggerating when I say the entire last 2.75 miles is uphill. The whole first half mile is DOWN a steep hill, then you spend a little time on flat ground before winding back up again. It was TOUGH. But, I finished in 38 minutes and didn't walk one step - I was proud!
 
Several folks from my school run the series too!

And of course there's always a crew from Gruver Fitness!

So, that's been life lately.





Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Must-Have Winter Running Items

Do you have a runner on your Christmas gift list? Or are you a runner looking for some good winter gear? Look no further! Here are some of my faves!
(plus a ProCompression discount code for you!)

1. Compression Gear -
There's a whole myriad of compression gear out there, but my personal favorite comes from ProCompression. I own 3 pairs of their "marathon socks", 1 pair of "calf sleeves", and 3 pairs of their capri leggings (which, by the way, are on SALE right now for $50 -- combined with the discount code at the end of this blog post, you can get them for $30!!! That's why I own 3 pairs!)  I know a lot of people who run in their compression socks, but I prefer to wear mine for recovery. I love their stuff because it's comfortable enough to wear all the time.

I've been known to show up to brunch in a skirt with calf sleeves under it after a long run.

 
I wear the socks after a long run or a hard workout to help my legs recover faster. 

2. Gloves
Gloves are absolutely essential for cold weather running! I love the cheap gloves you can find at Target or WalMart for just a few bucks. They're nice because I don't get overly stressed if I lose them, or decide to toss them during a race. My favorite gloves are from Under Armour. They're lightweight and have fleece on the outside of the thumb and forefinger for...snot wiping. Yup, it happens. I like these gloves, and my cheapy gloves, because they're breathable. Any runner would love a pack of gloves like these in their stocking!
 

3. Winter Tights
The absolute BEST purchase I made last year for winter running was a pair of Polartec tights from Athleta. I waited until their Cyber Monday sale (coming soon!) and got them for 20% off. They're a little on the expensive side, but I promise they are so worth it!! I get hot when I run, even in the polar vortex, so I loved that these pants not only kept my legs totally wind free and warm, but they are super breathable so I never felt like I was suffocating. (I have them in black. But these blue ones are fun!)

4. Hand Warmers
Next time you're at Target, cruise through the dollar section and grab a few packs of hand warmers. These would be fabulous in a runner's stocking! They're cheap and effective. I hold them in my hands at the beginning of races, because my hands are always cold at the start. But, the thing I use them for the most is to keep my phone warm. It sounds weird, but my iPhone shuts down if it gets super cold (like it did this winter) or the battery drains really quickly. So, when we're out for super cold long runs, I tuck a hand warmer in my SpiBelt with my phone and it works like a charm!

5. Hydration
Hydration is easy to forget about in the winter when it's cold and we're not sweating as much. However, it's just as important to stay hydrated in the winter! My favorite form of hydration, besides good old water, is Nuun. It has a lighter flavor and is only 8 calories per tab. It doesn't leave me with that sugary, sticky taste in my mouth that Gatorade does. It makes a great stocking stuffer (and is super portable!) because it comes in nifty little plastic tubes! My favorite flavors are Lemonade, Cherry Limeade, and Grape.

So how about that ProCompression code? (check out my sweet tights in the picture above!) 

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This gets you 40% off your order until December 15! Go get some goodies!!

Thanks FitApproach and ProCompression for providing me with a pair of marathon socks to review! (but seriously readers - I LOVE this stuff, even without a freebie...I have bought plenty of it!)