My Favorite Winter Running Gear, Updated

It’s that time of year again, folks!

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One of my top viewed posts around this time is My Favorite Winter Running Gear! But that’s a few years old now, so I wanted to give you guys and update of what I’m using now!

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Neon Puffy Vest. Of course, it doesn’t have to be neon, but that makes it more fun (and you more visible!) $34.99, Gap. (I got mine last year on the clearance rack for under $15.00.)

Full-Zip Quilted Jacket. This is Target’s mock of some of the more pricier brands. I got it for Ragnar Relay when I realized it was colder in the Adirondacks in September that I thought it would be! I also wear this jacket when I’m not running, like to and from the gym because it’s really flattering and I just love it. $34.99.

Half-Zip Pullover. Any brand would work. I really like Xersion’s because it’s really soft, comes in pretty colors and its flattering. Its long and has thumbholes (the dealbraker). Half zips are nice because you can regulate your temperature by unzipping the zipper if you get warm. I also have a fleece-lined Nike Half Zip (from Marshall’s) that I love, too. $17.99, JC Penney.

Fleece-Lined Tights. I don’t have these exact tights but they are on my wishlist! They are a bit pricey, but I think they’d be worth the investment. I usually wear a regular pair of running tights but having a fleece-lined pair would be nice on those extra cold days. $79.00, Athleta.

Smart-Touch Gloves. A necessity all-around. I love the smart-touch because I can easily check my phone or adjust a playlist when I’m running without taking them off. They are small enough to stash in pockets once I warm up, too. $2.00 for two pair, Target.

Fleece Headband. I’m still using the Nike headband I blogged about last time, still loving it! It keeps my ears warm and earbuds in place. This is the updated version.  $18, Nike (But you can probably find cheaper versions just as good elsewhere.)

Smartwool Socks. I’ve been running in Smartwool sock for years (and all year round!) I’m a huge fan of these socks. They keep my feet toasty. $16.95, EMS.

Here is what I’d wear given the temperature:

0-25 Degrees – Jacket with long sleeve underneath, puffy vest, fleece tights, gloves, headband
26-35 Degrees – Jacket with long sleeve, fleece tights, no vest, gloves, headband
36-45 Degrees – Long sleeve half zip pullover, regular running tights, gloves
46-50 Degrees- Thin long sleeve, running crops
50+ Degrees – Short sleeves, crops or shorts

What are your winter running must-haves?

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What’s Inside My Gym Bag

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Look, its my gym bag! I’ve always wanted to do one of these posts–I finally had the time to do it! This is my gym bag–but the funny thing is, I rarely bring it to the gym. Maybe I should just call it my running bag, since it goes with me to most races and when I drive somewhere to run.

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I haven’t touched anything in here since the Vermont City Marathon. I haven’t ran since then!

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That’s a lot of stuff.

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1. Aquaphor | 2. Tums | 3. Hat | 4. Sunglasses | 5. Visor | 6. Tylenol | 7. Body Glide | 8. Tennis ball | 9. Makeup removal wipes | 10. Kleenex | 11. Injinji toe socks | 12. Deodorant | 13. ProCompression socks | 14. Spare hair tie | 15. A medal from the Camp Chingachgook Challenge Half Marathon (never took it out, apparently!) | 16. Garmin Forerunner | 17. Pepper spray  | 18. Flashing tail light | 19. Pink Lemonade Nuun | 20. A cowbell | 21. Tape and pre-wrap |  22. Spibelt | 23. VS body spray | 24. Handheld Waterbottle

What’s in your gym bag that you can’t live without?

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Weekend Happenings

Friday night:

Friday was pretty low key! I made some home made pizza for Chris and myself, complete with some cheese from the Cheese Traveler.

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It was DELICIOUS and one of the best pizzas I’ve made so far! The only thing I wasn’t a fan of was the fake sausage–the lightlife brand. It didn’t even taste like sausage–just like fake meat product. At least it added a bit of a protein, but the rest of the pizza was really good. The cheese we used was mostly mozzarella but also some slices of Havarti from Demark. Chris went to the Cheese Traveler to pick up some. It was pretty fantastic on our pizza.

Perfect pre-long run dinner, if you ask me!

Saturday:

Saturday morning I finally did my 12 mile long run…after getting up early and just laying around until about 10am, I went out. I drank a few glasses of wine on Friday night so I wasn’t sure how the run was going to go. Fortunately, it went GREAT. I tackled most of the hills (only walked a few times and only for a minute or two), and powered up the tough ones. I finished 12 miles at a 10:06 pace, which is one of the fastest times I’ve done that route. One of the hills is about 2 miles long, too, so it was tough! I was pretty proud of myself. I stopped at mile 10 for some water, decided I didn’t need a Gu and ran the last two miles home.

Long Run Stats

Distance – 12 miles
Time – 2:01:30
Average Pace – 10:07/mile

For the first time I wore my Pro-Compresson socks during my run. I’ve been having a lot of tightness and a little twinge in my left calf lately, so I figured wearing them couldn’t hurt. I actually really loved wearing them! I got them on sale a few months ago in the hot pink color, they’ve just been waiting in my drawer for marathon training to finally amp up.

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Needless to say, I was a fan! Just hoping my calf starts to feel 100% soon!

Anyway, after devouring some leftover pizza for lunch, I spent most of the afternoon on the couch watching Dateline: Real Life Mystery. Man, that show sucks you in!

Saturday was also my friend Lyndsay’s birthday! We had reservations at the Ginger Man in Albany on Western Ave. I lived down the street from this restaurant for four years during and after college and had never been. Finally Saturday was the night! My sister and I each got a class of the Pino Grigio, which was pretty tasty.

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Once our party got there we sat in the back with our group. My friend Melissa and I shared the cheese board for an appetizer. We chose the following cheeses: the Dublin Irish Cheddar, the House Blend, and the Boursin, which was blended goat and cream cheeses. The board came with crackers, fruit and some dried cranberries. All of the cheese was delicious.

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For my meal I got the veggie sausages, with quinoa and cous cous, which was $22. For that price I was expecting a tasty entree.

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However, I was not a fan of this meal. I didn’t like the sauce that it was served with. I couldn’t put my finger on the flavor but it just wasn’t great. The beet sausage tasted like beets, but not really much else. I like beets, but lets be honest, they do taste like dirt. My favorite part was the curry carrot sausage because it had a sweet flavor, but the butternut squash one was so spicy it left my mouth burning and I couldn’t eat it. The quinoa was so bland that I didn’t finish it–I’ve made qunioa myself tastier than that. There was absolutely no seasoning to it, which was very disappointing. The cabbage on the side was pretty good because at least it had some flavor. Overall, a very sad entree. Normally I love the meals I order and I never complain, but this one was just bad.

My sister was kind of let down by her dinner too (the paella, she said, tasted like Uncle Ben’s rice) so for dessert we split the carrot cake. We needed redemption.

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The cake was thick and moist, but the portion was small. For $7 I was expecting little bit bigger ( I can get a huge slice at the Spectrum, of all places for like $4 and something). I would have liked a few layers of cake with some cream cheese frosting in between. The flavor was good, but I guess since I’m obsessed with the carrot cake from the Spectrum (which I found out comes from J&S Watkins), I compare it all to that.

Despite my disappointing entree, everything else was pretty good at Ginger Man. The cheese board was great, and the ambiance of the restaurant was really nice and the service was good. I’d go back for drinks and desserts, and for the cheese board. 😀

Ginger Man on Urbanspoon

Sunday:

Sunday morning I got up pretty early–my sister and I ended up taking a Body Pump class at my gym, since it is Bring a Guest Free Month. She’s used to crossfit, so it was fun to take her to Body Pump. She liked it!

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Now that the Winter Series races are over with, I can do my long run on Saturdays and Sundays can be devoted to strength training. I’m hoping that body pump helps with marathon training in the long run! (no pun intended).

I’m sad the weekend is over–but I’m currently watching the Oscar Red Carpet. Anyone else think Argo is going to take over the Oscars? It was such an intense movie!

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First Race of 2013 – Bill Hogan 3.5 Miler

Happy New Year! I hope everyone had a fun and safe start to 2013. Monday night Chris and I hosted a small get together of a few of our friends, so ringing in the new year was pretty awesome.

We had a blast!

I wasn’t sure how I’d be feeling the next morning, but I woke up pretty early to send off our friends who had stayed over, and after drinking plenty of water and having a green juice for breakfast, I felt pretty good. I decided to head over to U Albany for the Hangover Half Marathon/Bill Hogan 3.5 mile race. A bunch of my friends were running the half so I figured I’d join them and run the short distance. I wanted to star the new year off on the right foot. 🙂

It was freezing and windy–which made me sort of glad I wasn’t running the half marathon. We headed down to the start area at noon, which is an awesome race start time, by the way. Beautiful day, no? The past two years I’ve ran this race the weather had been perfect. I guess now it is our time to run in the cold and snow.

I didn’t feel particularly great during this race–probably because of my crappy eating habits lately and too many drinks the night before…which made me realize it is time for a change. Need to get back on board with the healthy eating, cutting out sugar, etc.

The GPS running app on my phone told me the race was actually 3.75 miles, and I ran it in 35 minutes, averaging at a 9:25 pace. I’ll take it.

Race Stats

Distance – 3.75 miles
Time – 35:21
Average Pace – 9:25/mile

Afterward I stretched and drank one of my favorite post-run recovery drinks, Cheribundi!

Even though I didn’t feel the best during the race, I’ve been feeling relatively pain-free lately during my runs, but the past few days my leg has felt a tad uncomfortable. I’m going to the sports doc later today and hopefully he can tell me what’s up. Wish me luck that it’s nothing horrible! 😉

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Running at Night Safely

Wednesday night after work I braved the cold air and darkness to go on a run. Running has been hard for me lately. I’ve been struggling with motivation to run since I’m loathing the treadmill and dreading running in the dark (more so for my safety…) and the cold temperatures.

 

Wearing our reflective gear during Ragnar Relay was a must!

Since I figured I have a bunch of running safety gear already, I’d do it. Here’s what you need if you want to run at night:

  • Headlamp – mine is a Totes headlamp that isn’t running specific, but you can find special running headlamps at specialty running stores or sporting stores like EMS. I got it for Christmas from my parents one year!
  • Bright clothes – I have a ton of neon green running shirts that I’ve gotten from past races, so I make sure to throw one over my long sleeve running jacket for extra visibility. There’s nothing worse to wear then dark clothes when running at night.
  • Reflective vest – my mom gave me two reflective vests–one is an LL Bean brand and one is Nathan–I think they are older so I couldn’t find the exact ones online, but one like this Nathan reflective vest is great!
  • Reflective arm straps -again, my mom gave me four of these reflective straps to wear on my arms and legs when running at night. They make you super visible to drivers!
  • Blinking tail light – I acquired a few little blinking red lights somehow, probably with some race swag bags over the years, but they flash red and its great to put on the back of the vest for some extra visibility. This Nathan blinking red light seems like it would work perfectly.

I realize I never had to pay for any of my safety gear. I have no excuse to not run at night. Thankfully I run mostly on sidewalks, but its still great to be visible to drivers when I’m crossing streets. I felt like a glowing beacon when I was running. At least drivers could see me! Nothing makes me angrier when I see runners/walkers/cyclists riding/running in the dark at night with no reflective gear. Be safe, runners!

Now, handling the cold is another ballgame.

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