gear, Run!

A Few of my Favorite Things

Jumping on the bandwagon here!     And multitasking for the win. 😃    If you’re reading this on a computer, you may have noticed  a menu item called “Goals and Gears” up there to the left?  No?  Well, that’s good then as I forgot all about it and hadn’t updated it in about a year.   Ooof, it was rough.   As I was working on updating it, I realized it could be tied in with the holiday season.  🎁  Gift guides are the all rage right now so why not join in?     And if you’re looking for more details on my favorite things, check out my new page- The Slacker Runs With.

As runners we can all list things we would like to have, things we want, things we desperately need, etc.  I like learning what other runners love  though, what is their tried and true and keeps them running everyday?    There must be a reason right?  So before we get to the wants, how about-

A few of my favorite things-

Shoes– Can’t run without those!

Brooks Pure Flow 4 – current fave with no aches or pains
Mizuno Wave Hayate-   For those times I want to hit the trails.

Socks– Did you know some people run without socks?  How does that even work?

I love my Pro Compression socks.  I’ve always been a bright and funky sock person and rock knee socks on a regular basis so these were just a match made in heaven.  Compression, knee high and awesome patterns? Sold!

Skirts– I never thought I would run in a skirt but I gave it a shot and they rock.  My favorites are both by LululemonPace Rival II and Pleat to Street.   I thought the pleats would drive me batty but then I discovered that there are 5 pockets. 5!   I also love their Speed shorts for training.

marathonfotobugsur
Lulu, PRO Compression, Sunski’s Fitletic all in one shot!

Belt  Fitletic I’ve owned 3 of these belts.  I’ve tried many others but I always come back to to Fitletic.  I hate bounce and wear my belt super low (like butt lift low- I got that comment at a race once😉) and this works great.  It fits everything I need and I can attach my pepper spray to it as well.

Hydration

For most runs, I grab whatever water bottle is nearest to me but for races I carry my own sports drink in an Ultimate Direction Jenny Handy 10oz.    I tend to over hydrate in races so this smaller size works for me. For hikes and trail runs, I have a Nathan Fire Catcher.   I don’t have a bladder for it, I just rely on the 2 10oz bottles in the front.

As for that sports drink- I love Skratch Labs.  I love the orange hydration mix.  Yum.  🙂  Plus it’s fun to say.  For some reason my mother finds it hilarious when I say I am out of Skratch.

WatchGarmin Forerunner 220.  I love numbers and everything it tracks.  Truthfully it probably tracks way more than I know.  I wish they still made real user manuals.  Am I showing my age here?

Sunglasses–  Sunskis  I have really poor eyesight and issues handling too much brightness so shades are a must.  I also tend to destroy sunglasses very quickly.   I love Sunski’s.  Polarized, very affordable and cool looking too?  Score!  And both pairs lasted at least a year.  Win in my book!

Security

Road ID– I don’t carry my ID when I run.  I misplace my debit card all the time, my license would probably run away just as quick.   This bracelet has my name, 2 emergency contacts and any medical alerts I might need them to know.    Stylish and smart all at the same time.  😃

Pepper spray–  Always be prepared.  You never know what you may run into.  They even make stylish colors now.  😊

Other ideas- Wants-

A new PR–  but we can only give that to ourselves, right?

Race entries–  We love our bling but those shiny medals cost a pretty penny- anything helps.  😝

Awesome running shirts–  In the last year, I’ve come to love shirts with sayings on them- inspirational and funny alike.  The internet is full of them.  My favorite?  Check out Pavement Runner and the #WeRunSocial gear.

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Once again, all my favorite things in one pic plus #WeRunSocial

Shoes!!!!– runners are picky- gift cards are awesome if you aren’t sure what their favorite.

Music– the right music can be a big part of running- help them add to their collection.

Go for a run with them!

and here’s an oldie from 2013 for you!

Santa Sweetie

What are your favorites?

What did I miss?

 

*I am not sponsored or compensated for any of the above.  Hell, the companies don’t even know I exist.  😏

Race Day, Run!

Shoreline Half- Recap

Going into this race, I knew not to expect too much.    Partly because I had such an off May and June and I haven’t caught back up yet.   Also, the course description was flat and I don’t do so well on flat courses.  Then there was the humidity factor.   Humidity is a big trigger for my asthma and I haven’t had the best showing at races with high humidity levels.   Case in point-

Rock’n Around the Pier– 2:20:something and the first race I considered DNF’ing
Ventura- 2:34:something Granted there were other issues too, but I walked from mile 6.5 on.    I also felt broken at the end- I almost couldn’t walk back to the hotel.
Surf City– 2:19- 95% humidity? Seriously?

So of course, I head back to Ventura for more pain fun.   Different course but 85% humidity at the start.  I tried not to look but have finally learned I need to be prepared.   I was aiming to run a comfortable race and finish around 2:15.   I don’t know about you but humidity is never comfortable.  So here we go.

Race morning-

After 4 hours of sleep I was up at 3.   I had limited my carb intake since Friday and eaten less than normal pre-race on Saturday.   I did this for Wine Country and it worked well so I tried it again.  We were on the road by 4:15.  My mom drove so I dozed off and on along the way.   We arrived 30 minutes before packet pickup so headed to a nearby McDonald’s to use the restrooms and she and S had breakfast.  That place was sketchy.   IMG_1107 Parking was easy and we headed out to the start.    Packet pickup was actually easy.  I think I had birthday luck and got everywhere before lines formed.  I had good port-a-potty luck too.  🙂  Exited one to find about 60 people in line.   They had a map of the course up and announcer going over it.   There were pacers for every 15 minutes starting at 1:30.    The start was self seeded with 4 waves- Sub 8, 8:00, 9:00 and 10:00+.  In keeping with my plan to run a 2:15, I lined up with that last group.    Here’s where I had to contain my inner fan girl.  IMG_1109Earlier while hanging in the grassy area with my mom and S, a man walked past up wearing a McFarland singlet.    I pointed him out to my mom and wondered if it was real or just something they sold in association with the movie.   I then forgot about it as we headed to the start line.  The corral at the start was very tightly spaced and I looked right then snapped my head back.  The flippin’ McFarland running team was standing there!  At least part of it.  Say what!?  They soon squeezed their way through to the sub 8 group.   Then the gun sounded and we were off.

Miles 1-3- 9:14, 9:23, 9:34

So much for lining up with the 10:00+ pace group.  I went out too fast!!    The race has 3 or so miles on the boardwalk- at the start and end.  This meant amazing scenic ocean views, but it also meant running on concrete.   My left leg was pissed early on.  Nothing alarming, I just knew I needed to shake it out.   We switched to black top by the end of mile 1.   I shook off the pain by mile 3.  The next miles alternated between a black top bike path and busy roadside.   I was feeling pretty good but I also realized I was going to positive split this race in a big way.

Miles 4-6- 9:36, 9:50, 9:47

There was a tiny incline for miles 5 and 6 and I loved it.   It made my legs happy.  🙂  Nasty looking dumpster aside, the course scenery was still awesome.  It was a clear, sunny day and the ocean looked amazing.   It was high 60’s, low 70’s which normally I would love but I could tell the humidity was getting to me.  It was no longer a question of if but when.  We hit the turn around for this section a little past mile 5.  Now I knew what I was getting on the way back so I was ready.    The course leaders had also flown by when I was around mile 4- they were flying!  I was pacing myself by following a tall man in front of me.  I did that for about 4 miles before I passed him.

Miles 7-9- 10:32, 10:47, 10:07

I took my first walk break during mile 7.   And another.    Grrr.  I was trying to make up my time in mile 8 when I had a breathing issue.  I had used my inhaler 3x leading up to race start but it wasn’t enough.  I haven’t mastered using my inhaler while running so that meant slowing to a walk, taking out the inhaler, using it and giving my lungs a minute or 2 to calm down.   I need to work on that but I don’t train in humidity.  Mile 8 is usually my favorite mile but I feel like I missed most of it.  I did find someone new to chase pace though.    Up ahead, I saw someone I thought I recognized but have never seen in real life- Hilary @ Embrace the Neon!   I chased her for the next 5 miles.   Running- the only acceptable way to chase people.  🙂  I promise I’m not creepy, I just find someone to pace off of.  IMG_1091Miles 10-11- 11:13, 10:57

I had graduated to walking all the water stops.  I would drink half the water and dump the rest on my head or down my back.    I was so sweaty, it was hard to tell the difference.  Heading back to the boardwalk something funny happened- the arms at the train crossing came down!  I saw everyone ahead stopped but I didn’t want to stand still and wait so I slowed to a walk hoping the train would come through before I got there.  They lifted without a train ever coming through- what?  Then we were back on the board walk.  This is where things got dicey.

The boardwalk wasn’t closed so we were dodging walkers, non-racing runners, bikers, surfers, dogs, etc.    That took so much more energy, mental and physical, than I had.    One woman got off of her bike and parked it horizontal across the path.  I swear she looked at us racers like “deal with it” but that could have been the fatigue making things up in my head.   Another hard part of mile 11?  Running past the finish line.   We had to run past the finish/ start area to head the other direction for a 2+ mile loop before the finish.  Grrr.

Miles 12-13.1- 11:32, 11:00, 8:17 pace

And my lungs protested again.  Once more I slowed to use my inhaler.  I had troubles getting started after that.  I knew I was so close to the finish but I was hot and tired.  I was so sweaty, the shorties under my skirt started sliding- they have never done that.    I took more than a few walk breaks those last 2 miles.  Then it was back on the board walk for the final push to the  finish- dodging people all the while.  Somehow I mustered up energy for a final kick to the finish.

Finish- 2:14:39

We were given our medals and herded into the grassy registration area.  This is where my only real race gripe came about.  The race promised tacos and beer at the finish line.  Which were there but all I wanted was water.  I could not find a freakin’ water table! I looked everywhere, even my mom and S couldn’t find one when they met up with me.  I had read about other bloggers having this issue at races but had never experienced it.

I was so hot and sweaty and I just wanted to cool down.  I took off my shoes and belt and passed them to my mom.  I went down the beach, climbed over the rocks and walked right into the ocean.    I heard her yell that I had paid a lot of money for the socks I was now walking the beach in.  🙂   It was seriously amazing.  If I didn’t have my bib or my Garmin on I may have just sat down in the water.   I hung out there for a bit before heading down the beach to the stairs back to the boardwalk.  I didn’t trust myself negotiating the rocks the a second time.

All in all, I really liked the race.  Even with falling apart at the end (thanks humidity) I managed to come in under my goal time for the race.  Granted it wasn’t comfortable but it was fun and a great way to start a birthday.   🙂   After changing at a nearby In n Out (fries- Diet Coke!) we headed up the freeway to Santa Barbara for some birthday shopping.  S’s birthday was the day before.    My legs were feeling pretty good after the race but I kept popping my toes out of joint, grrr.  Sorry if you’re squeamish.    This isn’t something that’s new, I’ve had the issue for years it just seemed to happen multiple times yesterday.   I managed to restrain myself shopping wise but did come away with a new skirt and pair of shorts from Lululemon.    Oh and a purse from Macy’s.   A great but tiring day.  I was in bed by 10pm.   🙂  IMG_1149

How do you celebrate your birthday?  I’ve yet to have any cake!

Ever had to dodge the public while running a race?

Ambassador, Run!, Slacker

Dress Rehearsal

It was the weekend before SLO, so of course I made sure to get in all my workouts right?  Ummm, no.     I had good intentions but was feeling tired on Saturday.  Even after sleeping in.  I ended up helping my mom move a bunch of rocks.  After multiple buckets of lifting rocks and carrying them, my hamstrings were cranky again.  I decided that counted as cross training and was good or the day.    🙂

When too tired for miles, Mizuno make great yard work shoes.
When too tired for miles, Mizuno make great yard work shoes.

Sunday though was going to happen. Last longish run before SLO.   My training plan called for a 75 minute 2/3 progression run, each third progressively faster.    On race days, 75 minutes could mean 8 miles, however on long run days, that would be more like 7.  Having not run on Saturday, I was internally hoping for 9 at an easy pace.   Since I know the likelihood of breaking 2:00 this weekend is small, I was fine with longer, slower miles.IMG_0136

I was a little sore from the rocks, oops, so I headed to the lake path for a flat surface.   I headed out before lunch!!  Who am I?  My mom came with me, she was going to walk laps of the lake while I was running.     I walked my usual warm up and just got to running.   I didn’t feel up to the 2/3 plan but I thought maybe I could run the first have around 10:45 and the last half around 10:00.  That sounded like a solid plan to me.    That’s what I thought I could do, I was wrong.  But in a good way for once!IMG_0150 I didn’t feel like I was moving faster but according to my splits I was.  I’m not sure how I hit those when I was feeling super tired but no complaints from me!    Mile 6 was a little slower as I had run into my mother again and walked a bit with her.  At that point, she was planning on only one more lap and I was torn between 2 or 3 more miles.  It was a warmer day than planned so I decided to be smart and call it at 8 miles.  It was in the 70’s by the time we were done.    Last longish run done!  Bring on the taper- oh wait, my plan doesn’t have one!IMG_0134It’s crunch time for the race now, so I set out on Sunday in a potential race day outfit.    I had purchased a new skirt at Lululemon the week before so I wanted to test it out.  SLO has a Lululemon now, well kind of, it’s only open 3 days a week, and my first time there cost me some money. I love their shorts so I bought a new pair and a skirt.    Oops!  I think I am a skirt fan now.  If I could have an unlimited budget at Skirt Sports and Lulu, that would be awesome.   Well, there and Mizuno too.  🙂  Endless shoes and skirts!!

I also hope it is partly the shade.  :)
I also hope it is partly the shade. 🙂

Over all the outfit worked well.   I am still not sold on the shirt and I will be wearing full compression socks but the skirt is a go.  It turned out to be super comfy for 8 miles and that was without any Body Glide.     I figured that was the only way to figure where the hot spots might be.  🙂   Since my mom was with me, I asked her to take a pic.  I think another goal of 2015 is to finally get a decent race pic.   Seriously, the pics from Surf City and Wine Country were so bad.   So bad.    Actually breaking 2:00 might be easier than a good race pic.  Ha!   My sock tan makes me laugh.  I don’t wear full compression socks that often, just long runs and races but check that out!

Does moving rocks count as cross training?

What do you like to race in?

Do you take good pictures?