Category Archives: gear

some of my favs from this training cycle

I read about these arm warmers in Runner’s World.  The company, Louva Gear, was started largely out of frustration for how expensive little sleeves you wear on your arms can be!  I have another pair – yet between on affordable these are, from what I had read about how soft they are, and how they have thumb holes – I wanted to try them.  And I am so glad I did! I LOVE them!! :)  They are softer and warmer than my other pair.  If it’s a really chilly morning in Eugene next Sunday (AH!!!) I’ll wear these for the first few miles.
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THIS has become my routine on long run mornings.  I had tried eggs for a while, but oatmeal does my tummy a lot better.  And of course my big mug of coffee :)  I also have a banana with peanut butter and then a Gu shortly before I start.  I try to eat 1+ hours before my run.  On race day I’ll do about 90 min before.
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My newest compress socks.  My zebras :)  I needed a new pair of compression sleeves and these stripes were 40% off … so of course I opted for the cheapest pair!  If it’s cold on race day, I will be wearing these for sure!
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My 2 morning companions :)  My Garmin (yes I am a type A runner – but I do not look at my pace constantly – I keep track of my miles and mile splits – not constantly checking my pace) and my Nathan safety light.  I have never felt the need for a flash light for me to see – but I do want cars and other people to SEE ME. So I wear this bright flashing light clipped on my waist band.
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And just for fun … when we were at the coast a few weeks ago, my husband joined me on his bike and then running for a bit of my run. He snapped this picture as we headed out onto the beach that first morning.  The sight, sound and smells of the ocean were so invigorating!
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SHOES!

IMG_5334All of a sudden [or maybe impulsively] but yes, with at least a bit of thought, I have found myself with 4 current shoes.  FOUR! You’d think I worked at a speciality running shoe store or something! (which is actually something I’d like to do when my 3 little ones are all in school)

Here’s what and why I’m running in right now …

Mizuno Wave Rider 16 – 8.4 oz, 12 mm drop
My go to favorite shoes! This is my 2nd pair of these and I love them!  The owner of my local running store convinced me to try these after 20 years of running Nikes. I’m so glad he did!  These are my favorite shoes to date! And even though they are a heavy trainer, I would seriously considering running a marathon in them. I use them for my long runs, and often on easy days.

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Nike Flyknit Trainer – 8.0 oz, 7 mm drop
I bought these at a race expo for $30 – not a bad deal considering they retail for $150!  I figured even if they didn’t work, I could wear them for cross training at the gym.  After being very skeptical due to some gnarly heel blisters as I broke them in, these are actually pretty good shoes!  Currently I am using these for speed work and tempo runs.  I do not think they are worth the $150 price tag, so unless I find a steal of a deal again, I won’t buy these again.

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Nike LunaRacer – 5.5 oz, 7 mm drop
I just retired an identical pair of these – my racing shoe from a half marathon down to 5Ks.  In the past I’ve also used these for speed work and tempo, and probably will again once I build back up a bit more.  I’m reluctant to race a marathon in these out of fear that I’ll get too beat up from the lack of support.  Maybe I need to just try?

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Newton Energy – 7.8 oz, 2 mm drop
Newton’s definitely have a cult like following, and I have been very curious yet reluctant to try.  Changing anything in my running scares me!  And the stated purpose of these shoes is to morph you into a more efficiently striding running.  Now that sounds good – but it could mean changing my stride!  Scary!!!
Newton just came out with this shoe and it is meant to be an introduction to their brand – a transition shoe from more traditional shoes to Newton shoes.  The girl at the store sold it to me as a potential marathon shoe. Not sure if I’ll do that. But maybe. Today was only run #1 in them.  We’ll see.  I need not judge or make decisions yet!

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shoes

There’s a reason my new shoes were 30% off …

Ugly for sure.  These are the Nike Lunar Glide 3 which have been replaced by the Lunar Glide 4, so stores want the 3s out and for some reason no one is buying these beauties. So in comes me, always looking for a bargain!

I’m actually in a bit of a shoe conundrum.  I typically have 2 pairs of shoes going, that I rotate between.  I’ve been doing that with 2 pairs of Nike Pegasus.  Both shoes are getting up there in miles (yes I am this anal, thanks to Running Ahead) – 368 and 257.  I have my Lunar Racers which I love for half marathons and shorter, but I don’t think I want to run a full marathon on them – I’m afraid my legs will get too beat up with that little support.  Thus, the Glides.  I am breaking them in to be sure, but I’m thinking I’ll run the marathon on them.   SO basically, I am rotating between 3 pairs of shoes right now – trying to get the most out of every pair! And of course, I did just buy another pair of Pegasus to take advantage of 25% off (I’m SUCH a sucker) but I did read that it is important to get new shoes soon after a marathon to help your legs recover faster.

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Garmin Forerunner 305 review

Almost 2 years ago, I wrote about ordering my Garmin watch.  Here I am finally writing my thoughts about it.   In due fairness to myself, I didn’t use the watch a ton before we found out baby #3 was on the way.  So it’s only been in the past 6 months that I’ve really gotten into using it.

Bottom line: I love it.  Here is why …

  • flexibility in knowing my distance (I don’t have to remember a certain route I did to later plot on mapmyrun or gmap-pedometer to know my exact distance)
  • knowing my pace and how far I’ve gone as I run
  • my main reason – ability to do speed workouts without a track or treadmill (more on this in a minute)

My main dislike would be the size …

Garmin makes plenty of smaller watches geared for women, but this watch had the best reviews for the price, so I went with it – knowing it was on the big side.  And I say it’s a dislike, but I use it every run and I hardly notice it’s even there. It more just looks funny! :)

Another note: I do not race in it.  When I race, I want to run based on feel, not be consumed by my watch.  I also know that it would stress me out in a race if my watch did not match up with the course mile markers.

Back to speed workouts.  This is where the watch has become essential for me.  I can set it for most any type of workout – distance/rest time, distance/rest distance, time/rest time, time/rest distance.  I use the 1st 2 options the most – for mile repeats, 400’s, 1000’s, you name it.  There is also an advance option where I can set it for a variety of intervals in 1 workout (a ladder workout – 400-800-1600-800-400 or for say 3 x mile and 4 x 200 in the same workout).  The watch beeps when it’s time to start and stop intervals, making it super easy to just head out the door and RUN.  As I said, this is so key since I do not have a track or treadmill available.  And honestly, even if I had either of those, I’d choose this – to just run on the roads! (or trails – it works anywhere!!)

So yes, I love my Garmin :)

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latest look

I’m going to be a SIGHT.  Oh dear. The things that I think oh I’ll never wear that always seem to come around on me.  I just ordered these – compression calf sleeves.  I’ve read about how they can help recovery time. My calves have been sore lately as I’ve been upping my miles, so I figured I’d give them a try.  I got the sleeves instead of socks because I was worried about sizing with the socks – with the sleeves, the size is based on the measurement of your calf.  I didn’t want to also worry about how it fit my foot.  I did order from Running Warehouse because of free shipping and free returns.  We’ll see!  I’ll post an update soon on what I think of them :)

And THESE are my newest shoes … notice the PINK laces????  I did NOT when I ordered them.  Makes them a bit over the top.  Shoulda gone with the blue. Oh well.

So when you pair the shoes with the sleeves … wow.  I’ll look like “that person” running down the road!

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running gear

(sorry if there are any guys who check this blog – this post is about sports bras, clothes, and shoes)

I am often asked which sports bra I wear, or if I need to wear 2 since I am nursing Cora.  I always get excited and say, “NO! I’ve found the best sports bra!” I have 4 of them :)    It’s worth the money.  The link is to Moving Comfort’s website, but you can often find it cheaper somewhere else.

I love shopping local and supporting non chain stores.  Yet I also love convenience and a deal.  It’s a tough one to balance.  Lately, I’ve gotten into Road Runner Sports – they do a VIP deal which right now costs $1.99 and it gives you free shipping and 10% off on everything you buy for a year!  I should say, the 10% does not apply to on sale things.  BUT, there are sometimes sales that they only open to VIP members – a few months ago, I got a pair of shoes for 40% off.

My running shorts of choice are the Nike Tempo Short.  I don’t like snug shorts, so I wear a medium.   They are super comfortable!!

Obviously, the most important gear is your SHOES.  I am often asked which brand is best … all of the top brands are good.  The KEY is going to a speciality running store, like Fast Break in Chattanooga, and getting them to properly fit your foot for the right shoe.  Once you find a shoe and a brand that works, it is best to stay with that brand.  I’ve worn Nikes since I started running in 7th grade.  The one time I tried Adidas, I sent them back after a month because I had foot problems.  Some people love Adidas. It’s all about what fits your foot best!  My current shoe of choice is the Nike VomeroOf course it’s their most expensive shoe but I just love it!  It has a crazy amount of cushion that really helps my knees, hips, and back.  Yet it’s also light weight.

I laugh at how in high school we all wore cotton t-shirts, socks, etc. How did we survive???? :)  Running gear as come along way. A lot is over done.  Yet the basics are pretty nice!

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going the distance

You’ll notice on the side bar, I have 2 sites that I like.  My brother just told me about the GMAP measuring tool.  I’d used www.mapmyrun.com in the past … but www.gmap-pedometer.com is better!  It’s a great tool to plan a run.  On Wednesday, I used it to map out a run.  It said it was 4.25 miles.  When I ran it, my Ipod chipsaid the distance was 4.18 miles.  Only .07 difference between the 2 on a hilly course – not bad!  Now I might think otherwise on a 20 mile run when I thought I should be done but had .35 miles to go! Yet all said, I was impressed at how close the 2 were.

I do like running with my Ipod chip – it not only tracks distance, but pace per mile.  Being a type-A runner, I like to know my pace about as much as my distance.  And I never say, oh I’m going to go on a 30 minute run. I always set a specific distance. It gives me more motivation to push myself – the faster I’ll run the sooner I’ll be done! (I drove my highschool teammates C R A Z Y with that philosophy)

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