4. Headphones: I have yurbuds and love them. I also saw these over at The Fitnessista on one of her gift guide lists for guys.
5. Race entries: This time of year, entries for spring races are pretty inexpensive!
6. Safety running accessories: reflective gear like reflective vest, headlamp, pepper spray, etc. Or get your hands on some Knuckle Lights!
7. Showerpill: These blew up in the blogosphere maybe a year ago — great for when you don’t have a lot of time to go from run/workout to work or your next event!
8. Arm warmers: Great for transitioning from the weather of one season to the next!
9. The Stick: Thanks to Kori, I now own one of these bad boys and it’s a great complement to my foam roller. And it’s called a ‘toothbrush for muscles.’ How cool is that?
10. Gift cards: I’d recommend one to a local running store (Mpls peeps — Mill City Running), Oiselle, iTunes (for some new running playlist music)
This year, I also decided to include some other runners’ suggestions in addition to my own. Here they are, in their own words:
From Jen, a soon-to-be new mom:
My whole world is revolving around our newest addition. I’m looking for ways to get back in shape from several months off and ways to incorporate baby in the mix. First thing on my list is a jogging stroller. Other thing I’m looking for involve how to make it all work. So this book looked appealing, Run like a Mother, How to get moving and not lose your family, job, or sanity. Or this DVD: Happy Baby Workout-New mom and baby fitness workout DVD.
Non baby related gifts I would recommend are a good foam roller- I LOVE my foam roller!, and a subscription to audible.com for unlimited audiobooks. While training for the marathon I realized I loved listening to books, made the time pass quicker, was able to zone out better, didn’t have the beat of faster or slower music to mess up my running pace. My library has some options but its not very user friendly and the selection is varied.
From Kristen, my marathon training buddy for life:
Fitbit (not really running specific, but health related!)
Winter running gear- new stuff inspires me to get out there and run!
Last year my fiance bought his dad an entry into Grandmas marathon for Christmas. He had been talking about how he wanted to do it, but didn’t know if he could— it was awesome! I would love it if someone did that for me (for a race i wanted to run )
Something I don’t have yet but would love to get are compression socks and/or sleeves. I normally gravitate towards purple, but I kind of like these pink ones from Procompression. Or socks or sleeves in white or black so I could wear them with any running gear. I think they would really help with recovery as I continue to run longer distances.
Another thing that I just got and love is my new Malibu Hike Half Zip from Athleta. It’s a great layering piece for winter running. The main selling point for me is that it has cuffs to cover your hands for the beginning of the run when it’s cold and not have to wear gloves. (Of course gloves are still needed on some Minnesota days ).
From Erin, my everything-fitness guru who is also an Iron[wo]man:
These are THE greatest lightweight tights, and they have super fun colors this season. They say they’re ideal for 40-65 degrees, which is perfect for spring/fall/winters in the South! They’re so comfy I’ve been known to sneak them into non-running situations, too.
From Kori, my speedy inspiration:
My friend raves about her Brooks arm warmers- I’d love those or Oiselle for transition weather or an extra arm layer. Otherwise, I love my Newton Distance U’s! The soft bottom keeps me in good form- I’ll wear them out too fast with bad form!
I realized I hadn’t updated my race recaps page since June (oops) so I spent a little time updating that — check it out!
I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! On Thursday, I raced the St. Paul Turkey Trot and then we had Thanksgiving #1 at my in-laws’ and there was a very special new addition to the family this year. This sweet, little kitty named Pizza:
On Friday, my family arrived at our house and we went to Burch Pizza for dinner. A few months ago, we ate at Burch Steak, which is the upstairs level of the restaurant because my brother worked as a chef there. Since that visit we had been dying to try the lower level neopolitan-style pizza bar and it was delicious! We ordered the Fugazza, which is chevre, shaved onions, oregano, arugula.
We also ordered the Polpo, which is pizza with marinated octopus, tomato sauce, arbequina olives, fresno peppers. Good, but not as delicious as the Fugazza. We also had to order some dumplings and decided to try the cheese dumplings with lamp stroganoff:
We also enjoyed their 25 cent small treats again – I had a chocolate-dipped coconut macaroon and a peanut butter truffle. Just the right amount of sweet!
On Saturday, we did some Small Business Saturday shopping and had Thanksgiving #2. No photos but I promise you, my mom’s cheesy potatoes and cherry cheesecake were enjoyed very much.
After a restless night of sleep, I got up when my alarm went off at 6:15 a.m. I felt lazy so breakfast was coffee, a mini blueberry Clif bar and a mini Balance Bar that I found leftover from HLS. I scored free parking by parking a little ways away, but it gave me a chance to get a little warm-up in before the race. After a minor fiasco where they couldn’t find my bib at first, I finally secured my bib and race shirt and jogged back to my car to strip down to the layers I planned to race in. When I got back to my car, I noticed my toes were in pain from the cold which had happened to me the prior weekend. It was about ten degrees warmer, so I was confused. I wasn’t wearing the warmest of socks, but didn’t have any issues with them last winter. Perhaps the shoes I’m running in currently are just that much thinner?
It was nearing race time, so I headed to the start time and I positioned myself near-ish to the front. I knew that this was the type of race where there would be some walkers starting closer to the front than they should, but I also get anxiety about starting too close to the front. But again, I regretted starting further back than I should have and had to do a lot of weaving for the first quarter of a mile or so.
(can you believe it was 60 degrees last year on Thanksgiving day?)
Minus a little phlegm (sorry, TMI, but that cold I felt coming on has only gotten worse since then), I felt really good and decided to push hard for as long as I could. Since I hadn’t been running a ton, I wasn’t sure how long I was going to be able to hold the pace, but (spoiler alert) I actually ended up with negative splits.
The course was an out-and-back and besides a few inclines, it was pretty flat. My left hamstring started acting up at barely a mile in and then I started getting hungry right around the turnaround/halfway point. After that, for the rest of the race I kept focusing on maintaining my pace and not getting passed. Before I knew it, I could see the finish line in the distance!
24:30 / 7:54 pace
18th in AG
All weekend I was debating if I had indeed achieved a PR. My official time was a 5K PR but my Garmin and RunKeeper both showed a short course. But thanks to Twitter and Katie, I checked the website and since it was a certified course, I’m calling it a PR!
Who else turkey trotted?
Any tips for keeping my toes warm this winter while running?
I haven’t been talking about it much, but I was scheduled to sit for my personal training certification this past Friday. I haven’t been talking about it because quite frankly, I’m really disappointed in myself for slacking on the studying. So Thursday afternoon I was faced with a tough decision — take the exam, severely underprepared and know that it would be quite likely I’d have to retake the exam (and pay another fee) or just reschedule and go into it more prepared and pay a lesser fee (and not have to drive the hour and a half each way to the exam site). Ultimately, I decided to pay the rescheduling fee and wait until March to take the exam. So friends, you might not see me much between now and March!
On another note, I wrote a little “what I’m thankful for”-type post over at We Run This Blog — check it out! On a less serious note, here are a few of the material things I’m thankful for lately:
Stouts — especially this one. Sad note to add to this one. Really working on cutting back on my alcohol consumption (that makes it sound like I drink WAY more than I do) because it’s one of my migraine triggers and I’ve been having them frequently again. Bummer.
In running non-news, a little later than last year, I’m starting to take a look at races for 2014. I mean, last year at this time, I had already committed to running Ragnar Relay. But unlike last year, I’m not really itching to run again. I’ve kind of been enjoying the time off. And I’ve been loving the high intensity spin classes I’ve been taking bright and early on Tuesday mornings.
With all of that said, I just signed up to run a turkey trot tomorrow morning — maybe I’ll get to 20 races this year after all!
There were fewer hills and more sprinting than the previous week and lots of turns which I felt in my arms and core the next day!
Saturday: 6.8 mile run in 1:05
When I left my house to meet the Kristens, it was seven degrees. I’m pretty happy with my wardrobe decisions (tights, long sleeve with a zip up jacket and a hoodie, a hat and gloves) except my sock choice. I wore compression socks and my big toe was numb within minutes of starting our run and then painful shortly after. We ran around two of the Minneapolis lakes which was awesome (see photo above) and there were a surprising number of people out running, but on one side of one of the lakes, the wind was pretty wicked.
I’m really glad we decided to get out for that run, despite the bitter cold, because the rest of the day was spent eating and drinking…
…and cheering on the Gophers (who lost).
Sunday: Absolutely Arms
I felt like Sunday’s arms class was a bit easier than normal — I’m not sure if that means I’m finally getting my strength back, if I was doing something wrong, or it was just an easier class. But regardless, it was a good class and felt good to get moving!
I’m slowly working my way back up to working out at least five days a week which is what I’ve found makes me feel the best. I think it’s going to mean going back to working out in the mornings since I’ve found that I’m just not motivated to work out after work.
I had been crossing my fingers for no rain so I was thrilled to wake up to dry skies and a zero percent chance of precipitation for the next few hours. For my outfit, I settled on capris, my Oiselle singlet and arm warmers and a headband. After a Picky Bar and some coffee, I drove to Mandy’s house and we walked to go get our packets.
In terms of positive energy and all-around “warmandfuzziness,” there’s nothing quite like a Girls on the Run 5K and I noticed that this year, it was even more overwhelming because the program has grown so much here in the Twin Cities! I remember being a running buddy at the first 5K where there were just the girls from the two schools, the coaches and their running buddies. Now, the program has expanded to five sites and the 5K was open to community runners for the first time ever.
We got our packets and then met up with Amanda and Kristen before heading out for warm-up stretches!
The four of us ran together and I tried to keep us at a pace that could keep us warm — OK, maybe keep me warm. The wind + my bare shoulders wasn’t pleasant at all. Once we finished (which was awesome because people were cheering so loudly….for the GOTR girls behind us!) we cheered on the girls who were coming across the finish line.
Then, we went inside to warm up — my Oiselle Happy Hoodie never felt so good!
It was fun morning — seriously, if you’ve never been to a Girls on the Run 5K — try and check one out!
Can you feel the excitement? Well, if you can’t, let me tell you — I’m pretty gosh darn excited. And I think I just used up my exclamation mark quota for the year.
After being pretty sedentary for the past month, last weekend I got off my butt and have started easing back into running.
Saturday: 3.04 miles in 31:51 (10:29 pace)
I met up with Andrea bright and early Saturday morning to get a few miles in. It was crisp with a pretty decent wind, but we warmed up quickly. I noticed right away that my legs weren’t necessarily happy and my left foot had the familiar twinge of my PF, but that all faded pretty quickly and I finished the run feeling great.
Sunday: 2.38 miles in 22:40 (9:32 pace)
I wasn’t planning on running again on Sunday, especially since I was actually a bit sore after Saturday’s run. But the sun was shining and the pup was practically begging me to go for a run. So I bundled up and we headed out. Almost immediately, I discovered that I had overdressed. While the air temp was pretty chilly, the sun (and my fast running companion) kept me nice and toasty.
I took Monday off as a rest day, but was back at it on Tuesday for a spin class. Later, I noticed how funny and opposite the two posts I wrote that day were:
I feel like a high-intensity spin class first thing in the morning and an amazing burger later that evening balance each other out pretty nicely.
I’m looking forward to the Girls on the Run Twin Cities 5K this weekend and another spin class next week. Finding a new yoga studio is also on my to-do list!
Crock pot pulled [insert meat name here] sandwiches. The latest was Iowa Girl Eats’ italian beef sandwiches and they were amazing.
Current Favorite Show
I don’t watch TV (besides sports) but I’ve tried giving some shows a shot — most recently, Revenge and American Horror Story. After giving up on those, my current fave show is Comedy Bang Bang (LOVE YOU REGGIE WATTS) and I can’t wait for Girls to return. I think I’m sensing a theme, here — I think thirty minute shows are good for my attention span.
Current Wish List
An indoor trainer for my bike and a happy, healthy holiday season for all of my family and friends!
An oil change and a massage (not necessarily in that order).
These — baked ‘em over the weekend and swapped out the chocolate chips for Andes creme de menthe baking chips.
My life. I’m pretty darn lucky to be healthy, have an amazing husband and family and so on. Can’t ever complain about that!
These days I only take off my Oiselle Podium PJs when I need to a) wash them or b) go into public.
Thanksgiving! Bring on the food and Black Friday shopping!
My friend Ashley’s wedding weekend kicked off with her zombie bride-themed bachelorette last Thursday (fitting, since it was on Halloween night). Andrea even made her famous dessert:
There was no pole dancing for this bunch.
Unfortunately, I had an early client meeting on Friday morning so had to miss out on the later evening festivities. But it was still a lot of fun. Then, on Saturday, it was the big day!
Grad school friends, including the beautiful bride!
I was going to get my nails done and get a blow out, but I decided to save my money and make my gel manicure from a few weeks ago last one more day (and I even got a compliment on my nails!) and do my hair myself. I had already saved some cash by re-wearing this dress I bought and wore for a summer wedding. I threw a blazer over it, bought new shoes, bangles and a necklace ($30 total from Forever 21). Pretty proud of myself!
Besides all of the amazingness that was Ashley’s wedding, it was a pretty less-than-spectacular weekend. So on Sunday afternoon, I had some pie with a friend to cheer myself up…
…and then gave into the time change and went to bed at 8:30. Here’s to a (better) brand new week!
I’m pretty sure that when my alarm went off at 4:45 a.m., I laughed out loud and muttered “yeah right.” But knowing that I’d be charged if I didn’t show up to class and that Mandy was waiting for me, forced me to drag myself out of bed. But really, I hadn’t taken a spin class in months, but was looking forward to getting back on a bike! Plus, my favorite instructor was teaching.
Class started out pretty good, legs felt strong and it felt nice to be spinning again. But by the third song I was cursing myself for pushing so hard already during the warm up. I was tired and my legs didn’t want to move very fast on the “hills.” I also realized that the piece of toast with almond butter that I ate before class was not enough. I felt like such a rookie.
But then came the post-class rush and I felt fantastic the rest of the day with TONS of energy. Excited to have spin back in my life
Wednesday: Does eating count?
As you might remember, I just started a new job about a month ago. (Where did October go?) On Wednesday, we had a team offsite at this amazing place called Create Catering. Just a couple of the many dishes we were treated to:
Chef working his magic.
Saturday: Long walk with the hubs and pup and race spectating!
It was a gorgeous fall day — perfect for a walk by the river. J, Cole (the pup) and I also headed over to St. Paul to cheer on Andrea who rocked her first half marathon!
It was also Andrea’s birthday!
Sunday: Absolutely Arms
I was looking forward to this class all week, even though I’d never taken it before. But it combines two things I love: the KrankCycle and TRX. And, as I found out, a lot of other stuff!
The class was basically circuit training — we were broken up into groups and some of us started on the KrankCycles and others on the floor and rotated through different exercises. We kranked, did TRX work, pushups, ab work, rowing, squats, burpees — and lots of other fun stuff. My arms were jelly by the end and by the next day, my whole body felt nice and sore. Definitely missed that feeling!
I had no desire whatsoever to run at all this week. Maybe next week. Or maybe not! All I know for sure is that I’m racing on November 3 (race #18 of the year) and will be forced to run then
Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Tell me about your workouts. Do you have any more fall races?