Surviving Winter

I had my longest run to date, 17 miles, on Sunday.  The region was just coming off from a “polar vortex” so it was 17 degrees when I started and there was still ice and snow in many areas, especially on the trail around the lake.  But, there was no wind and it was sunny!

So, this is what I wore:532955_402466669900933_8475123495248727979_n* Loosely knit hat with fleece edging on the inside from Dick’s Sporting Goods

* “Buff” type wrap that I could wear over my mouth but I was actually plenty warm so I just pushed it down to around my neck

* Tight fitting wicking shirt as base layer (from Target)

* Nike Women’s Pro Hyperwarm Nordic top (it has a funnel neck)

* Lands End ThermaCheck fleece gloves

* Sugoi MidZero Tights

* Wool socks

* I wore my regular running shoes but I wish I had worn my trail shoes for the ice and snow – but that wasn’t too horrible.

And I was absolutely comfortable during my whole run!  The only problem was my fleece gloves became very wet and when I took them off at the midway point to refuel, they were cold and gross.  Next time I will stick another pair in my CamelBak.

If it has been windy, I would have worn a windproof layer between my top layer and my outer.  I would have also wrapped my feet in saran wrap (over my socks).  I don’t have wind pants but I might have worn a pair of looser pants over the tights. I want a winter running skirt (to keep my butt warmer!) but I hate things shifting around so I probably won’t go that route.

For skin protection, I put on a layer of very thick hand cream on my hands right before I left and I used Body Glide around my eyes to help with the salt.  If it had been windier, I would have used cream on my face, too.

I also had my CamelBak with me.  I was worried about the line freezing and I don’t have an insulated cover so I filled it with very warm water right before I left and I blew out the tube after every drink.  The line stayed clear until mile 14 or so and I think the only reason it froze then was that I wasn’t drinking often enough.

Running in the cold is actually pretty nice and, honestly, I prefer this to 80 degrees!  However, I could do without the ice 🙂

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Product Review: Saucony Swift Armwarmers

I am a hot runner.  Literally.  No matter what the air temperature, I always return absolutely dripping in sweat (sexy, I know).  I hate starting a run freezing but I know that if I layer too much, I will be regretting it within 2 miles. There have been many times that I have worn a long sleeve shirt and really regretted it.  I would love to wear a short sleeve shirt or tank with arm warmers but I have a long love/hate relationship with arm warmers due to the size and shape of my arms.  Any that were large enough to accommodate my size were fugly (and usually men’s) so I would just mutilate my husband’s tube socks and make my ghetto warmers.  Serviceable but looks horrible in pictures!

Enter Saucony Swift Armwarmers!  I snagged a pair of these after Thanksgiving. I was super excited because they have real sizes (not just “one size fits most”) and the colors are sharp!  I opted for just the carbon, for easier matching.

From Saucony.com
From Saucony.com

I tried them on right away but didn’t get a chance to use them until this past weekend.  For my long run (14 miles) on Sunday, the weather was overcast but in the low 40s by the time I started at 7:30 am.  I knew I would be too hot with a long sleeve shirt so I decided to try a short sleeve an my arm warmers.  They were absolutely perfect!  I did not have any weird “muffin arm” at the top and there was absolutely no chaffing and they didn’t budge a bit.  I am very sensitive to any little irritant when I run and I honestly forgot I was even wearing them!  I did not try out the “mitt” feature because I forgot it was there 🙂  I can’t wait to wear them again!

If you place your order by January 4, 2015, you can save 20% off from these or anything else from Saucony with the code “newyear20” – just sharing the info., no benefit to me.

Review: Fabletics

I heard about Fabletics (affiliate link) a few months ago.  It is a membership program for exercise apparel.  You sign up, complete a survey, and they recommend outfits for you.  You can can review their choice for you before it ships.  You can skip a month (or many!) or choose to have it ship. If you decide you like it, you are charged $49.95 but you can easily return pieces if you don’t like them.

I was very curious to try this service.  I tried one once before but the sizing was rather… severe.  XLs fit like Ms and it was clearly geared to the yoga set.  Fabletics offers up to XXL and seems to be more my speed.

I had an Active discount so my first outfit would be $25.  I love a bargain so I decided to give it a shot!  I chose the Eureka top in L and the Camacan capris in XL.

Very nice, vibrant colors. Capris are not see-through!
Very nice, vibrant colors. The top is soft and the capris are not see-through!
The capris had fun detailing on the sides and along the waist.
The capris had fun detailing on the sides and along the waist.
Pre-run
Pre-run

Pros: The capris fit well and did not fall down!  The waist and abdominal area was a bit loose but I still had no problems keeping them up. I couldn’t have gone smaller because my calved definitely maxed out the stretch at the bottom.  The top fit well and had very long arms that could easily cover my hands (see above!) and could cover my butt when pulled down.  The sleeves were easy to roll once I warmed up.

Cons: I wish the capris had a draw string and a small pocket – but few at this price point do.  The shirt rode up when I had it pulled all the way down but stayed put when I kept it just below my hips. The long arms were nice but I would have liked thumb holes.

Overall: I was very happy with the outfit and kept it!  I feel the quality was just right for the price (even minus the discount) and I didn’t feel like a fashion reject 🙂

If you’re looking for a fun update to your running duds, I recommend you check them out!

Running Happy in My PPEs

Yesterday was National Running Day so I took the dog out for an easy 3 miles.  Before I did, I decided it would be a perfect time to start breaking in my new kicks in preparation for marathon training that starts on Sunday.  I mentioned before that I try to find good deals for my running gear and these shoes – in my model and size – were significantly discounted because of their unusual color.   Behold, my Purple People Eaters (PPE)!

Sorry it's blurry - my running companion was not happy about waiting!
Sorry it’s blurry – my running companion was not happy about waiting!

As I was lacing them up, I was thinking how… unusual they look.  I mean, they are REALLY bright!  A little fugly, even.  But then I thought that these shoes are going to see me through a lot of training and my first marathon!  Suddenly, they were the most wonderful shoes I have ever seen!

The dog and I then did a spectacular, Garmin-less, joyful run!  We hit the hills strong – true story, I used to breath so hard on one hill that my hands would go numb and I would start considering the possibility that I was stroking out – and took a couple of breaks to roll in the grass and act stupid (him more than me).  Don’t get me wrong, I did breath hard and sweat and work but I felt so strong and happy!

(I am a big fan of the Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother books and the authors.  Even if you aren’t a mother, there is a ton of good advice for how to manage training and your real life.  They have a very active blog, message boards, Facebook page, and they also do weekly podcasts.  They “hosted” a virtual 5K on Mother’s Day – women trained beforehand using their training plan and then the authors released a special hour long podcast to accompany the runners.  I’m finally listening to it now and let me tell you, it is awesome!  It is a very empowering broadcast that focuses on finding your joy in running and it is very encouraging to those who are struggling or just starting out.   Plus, the ladies share some of the favorite running tunes so it has a nice track to go with it.  I highly recommend you give it a listen and I know I will relisten to it a couple of times.)

A lot of the messages that I heard on the podcast were replaying in my head on my run yesterday.  About how I was doing something that the majority of American’s would never dream of doing just by lacing up my shoes.  How my pace doesn’t matter but the fact that I keep trying does.  How I need to find joy in my run and not let it become drudgery.  All of these things keep going around in my mind and I found my pace was good, my form was good, and I had a smile on my face the entire time.  It’s so easy to become fixated on the numbers on your watch and your age group standing but at the end of the day, the fact that you did it is all that matters.  I thought that was a great reminder on National Running Day!  “Run Happy“, indeed!

New Gear!

I love buying new gear but I (try) to keep it on a strict budget.  I’m as happy as a kid at Christmas when I can score a deal for something on my wish list.

This week’s finds:

Brooks D’lite Mesh Tank  – Normally $28 but the pink was on sale for $18.  I really like this tank!  It is mesh so it will be cooler once the region reverts to its normal, swampy summer self but it’s not see through.  It is also longer so you don’t have to worry about it riding up under a water belt.  I look forward to trying it out on a run soon.  I fear the tank is a slippery slope, though.  Next thing you know, I’ll be wearing actual SHORTS to run!  Ack!

Brooks D’lite Tank

CamelBak  – Normally $55, got it for $30.  Yes, I’m now “that girl”.  Just for long runs, though!

CamelBak Aurora

(I swear it’s just a coincidence that everything is pink…)

Front
Front
Back
Back

 

And, not a deal but it is so awesome!! I LOVE this shirt!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Have you found some good deals lately?  What is your latest purchase?  I’m always looking for stuff for my wish list!  My Running Gear Pinterest board is getting a bit stale so do share!