Archive for the ‘ Running ’ Category

Fun with Yaktrax

  I had a great weekend! I got a chance to take my new Yaktrax out for a trial run. So much fun! 🙂

Yaktrax are well, exactly like you see in the picture, steel coils attached to a rubber frame that fits snugly over your shoes. They’re designed to provide extra traction on ice and packed snow. Not just for running, they also are ideal for walking and hiking.

We had just gotten a influx of snow on Saturday, so Sunday, once I knew the snow had been packed down a little, I strapped on my Yaktrax and headed out to my favorite nearby trail. The weather was beautiful and there were only a few other people out on the trail including a bunch of cross country skiers – so want to try that sometime!

I ran five miles although it didn’t seem far because I was enjoying it so much. It took a little while to get used to running on the snow as the terrain was uneven and my foot stride was different from normal because my feet would sink into the snow more so than during my typical asphalt runs. But once I got used to it, my pace picked up a bit.

I did see a couple other runners during my snow run who didn’t wear Yaktrax and seemed to be doing fine, although I didn’t stop to ask. 🙂 I would recommend them to someone nervous about snow running or wanting a more sure footing when they headed outside for the day. Next up: trying them out on ice! 😀

Happy running!

Running Around

I feel like I’ve been running around all week – both figuratively and literally. Between getting in some last training runs before my half marathon on Sunday and working on my novel, I haven’t gotten many opportunities to blog as much as I usually like. Despite next week being Thanksgiving week, I’m looking forward to the free time I’ll have as a result of NaNoWriMo winding down and my race training coming to an end.

I’ve managed to find blocks of time to concentrate on my writing which has been awesome! It’s always rewarding to see that word count go up even though I know it’s only my first draft.:) I hope you are faring well in the writing of your novels as well – whether you’re participating in NaNoWriMo or not. The only downside to working diligently on my novel is that I haven’t had as much time to devote to blogging or visiting other blogs. ARRRGGGHHH! Do you think it’s possible to duplicate myself in order to multitask to my heart’s content??

And the Philadelphia Half Marathon is finally here! This Sunday (at 7am – the race organizers are sadists) I’ll be running with thousands of others participating in both the marathon and the half marathon. I’ve been training steadily for this race since the spring as I was coming back from an injury and wanted to give myself plenty of time to up my weekly mileage and my long runs without injuring myself. Fortunately, it seems like my plan worked and I feel great! Because this is my first long race after an injury though I’m not looking to set any PRs instead focusing on crossing that finish line strong. 😀 Even better, two of my uncles and my cousin are also running so I’ll have a built-in support system on race day. Sweet!

Does anyone else feel like this month has them being pulled in twenty different directions?

Write on my friends! (The finish line is in sight!)

Winter’s Here: Cold Weather Running Gear

  With the first snow already hammering the East Coast in October, I’m not optimistic when it comes to having a mild winter this year. It’s forced me to think about how I’m going to continue my outdoor running while staying warm and not falling on my tukhus. 😉

Although there are many great cold weather running options, I’ve listed a few of my favorites. And while the items below are the clothes and I gear I favor, I always try to buy bright colors or, if that’s not possible, gear that has reflective strips is a good second choice. Cold weather almost always goes hand in hand with less daylight making it even more important to buy bright colors that are easy for motorists to spot.

 

Nike Element  – This lightweight jacket makes for a great transition jacket going from cold to colder. I like to switch over to a heavier Nike jacket that’s full zip and has thumb holes and pockets inside the sleeves that you can tuck your hands into once it dips below freezing. Not only do these jackets wick sweat, but they keep you warm while still having plenty of ventilation. The only downside is that they don’t cut wind as much as a wind-breaker type of running jacket would, but because I don’t live in a super cold area these other jackets work perfectly.

 

 

 

Nike Long Sleeved Dri Fit Shirt – I layer as needed when it starts to get cold and I love my dri fit shirts. They wick away sweat and keep me warm and comfortable during my run.

 

 

 

 

  Nike Women’s Running Tights – I have a couple pairs of running tights that are very similar. I prefer ones that have no zippers up the calves and a pocket to keep a car key or gel pack. Running tights are surprisingly warm so I’ve never layered anything like socks or skirts or shorts over them, although some women like to do this for either added warmth or because they feel more comfortable than just wearing curve-hugging tights alone.

 

 

 

 

SmartWool Running Socks – Wool running socks? You’ve got to be kidding, right? That’s exactly what I thought until I tried a pair. Now I wouldn’t try anything else. They keep my feet warm and blister free even during my long winter runs.

SmartWool Beanie – Once again SmartWool makes a great product that keeps me dry and wicks the sweat away. It is definitely worth spending a little extra money to get such a quality product.

 

  Stablicers & YakTrax – To be honest I’ve always wanted to try these over my running shoes to see how they work for me. However, anytime I would use them the snow is too deep and my shoes would get soaked in minutes. Maybe this will be the year. If so, I’ve heard that the Stablicers, although more money, are more comfortable and work better than the more commonly used YakTrax, so I’d invest in those first.

As for gloves, there are several pairs that look great, but I tend to go the cheaper route and buy the three packs of cheapo black gloves from Target and those have always gotten the job done for me. 🙂

Hope you’ve gotten some good ideas. Happy running! 😀

 

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?


It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. Want a good book to read? Stop by and see what’s new in the world of literature!

Snow in October! ARGH! Normally I do my long runs on the trails close to my house because they are relatively flat and stretch for miles and miles. But with the snow and the frozen crust of ice on it that formed overnight, there’s no way the trails will be clear for my run today. So I decided to hit the gym, although 9 miles on a treadmill is not fun :(, only to get an email that the Y is closed until noon! What a bust! Meanwhile I had a shindig planned Saturday that had to be postponed until Sunday afternoon, so I need some time to prep for that so my time is sadly limited. Oh well, best laid plans and all that. 🙂

I’m still listening to The Marriage Plot by Eugenides and really enjoying it. It took a little while to get used to Eugenides style of narration, but once I did I quickly got sucked into the depths of the novel. I highly recommend the book or, rather, the book on CD.

Other than that, I’m only reading one (only one?!?) book this week:

  The Taker by Alma Katsu – I’m enjoying this debut novel by Katsu with it’s unique story about a doctor that has a chance run in with a woman who has a mysterious past. The present is interspersed with flashbacks of who the woman is and how she came from 1817 to live to today. The novel reads almost like a fable or a fairytale, which feels fresh and unique.

I hope you are enjoying your readings this week as much as I am! 🙂

Booking It

  I’m reading a really good book right now called Split. It’s about a teenaged boy who comes from a home of domestic violence. The book takes its readers through his journey as he deals with his family and especially his tendencies toward becoming just like his father. As he learns to deal with his anger, he learns how to use running to pour out all the rage and channel it through his feet pounding the pavement.

I think one of the reasons I love running so much is because it’s so similar to getting lost in a good book….wait, wait, hear me out! When I read I forget everything else and drift off beyond my stresses even if it’s for a little while. I’m sure it’s the same for many readers. The allure of the escape. Well, for me running takes it one step further. The physical act of sweating and beating my body (not to be too dramatic or anything…) into doing what I want it to do, to cover those miles and come out at the finish, exhausted but proud.

Running is my way of dealing with stress, of feeling great, and being proud of what I can accomplish even when it’s difficult. I can see why the protagonist of Split uses running to work through his anger. I love being a reader and I love being a runner and it’s fun when the two worlds collide.

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It’s Monday, What Are You Reading?

It’s Monday, What Are You Reading? is hosted by Sheila @ Book Journey. A wild literary romp filled with a wonderful array of books bound to delight all kinds of readers. Stop by and check it out!

I’m having a wonderful holiday weekend. It began with an exciting game of mini golf followed by a splendid day touring around Brooklyn and then a bbq with friends. I love a nice three-day weekend. 🙂 I hope you all had a wonderful, relaxing weekend as well.

Here’s what I’ve been reading:

  Kara Goucher’s Running for Women by Kara Goucher – Filled with anecdotes, tips, and training schedules, I’m greatly enjoying the insights that Goucher offers to her readers. She’s an inspirational runner who seems to throw her heart and soul into her training and it pays off. I’ve followed her ups and downs through the many articles that have been written about her in Runner’s World. Her passion for running and girl-next-door spirit has made her an inspiration to runners, especially women, everywhere.

 

 

  It Gets Better edited by Dan Savage and Terry Miller – Partners Savage and Miller took the initiative to post a YouTube video of themselves telling gay youth that “it gets better.” Their response to the recent spate of homophobic bullying and teens subsequently committing suicide set off a firestorm of similar posts by people everywhere recording their personal experiences as well. This noble effort to try and give kids hope while making more people aware of the bullying that has become an every day occurrence for some kids has since been edited into this insightful book.

 

  Tentacles by Roland Smith – I really enjoy Smith’s writing style and eagerly jumped into this second book in his Cryptid Hunters series. His characters are smart and uniquely gifted and just happen to seek out animals largely thought to be fictitious, i.e. cryptids. A fun romp through exciting locales, Smith’s readers are treated with admirable heroes, dangerous foes, and deadly monsters. 🙂

 

 

 

What have you been reading lately?

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Boston = Runner’s Mecca?

My girlfriend and I headed to the beautiful city of Boston for a wedding this weekend. Driving through the city to our hotel in Cambridge I noticed something odd. Everywhere we looked people were running. A lot of people. Big people. Small people. People in full running gear. People in T-shirts and soccer shorts. Old. Young. It didn’t seem to matter – everyone in Boston seemed to be running!

After pointing out the umpteenth person running through the streets, across the bridges, along the river, my girlfriend, “Okay, Sam. I see them. There are a lot of runners…” So maybe she didn’t share my awe and wonder at such an exciting spectacle, but that didn’t dull my enthusiasm.

At the hotel I noticed a map in the pile of welcome materials for guests. I pulled it out and looked at it. A gasp of delight escaped my lips. “Look at this! Look at this!” I ran over to my girlfriend and waved the paper in her face. She smiled patiently as I hurried to explain my new found treasure. “It’s a jogging map!” I breathed in reverence. I’d never seen a jogging map provided for hotel guests before. So cool.

What better way to get to know a city and mingle with the locals than to jog along the same paths they traverse every day? Feeling like a giddy kid I laced up my sneakers and went out on a running exploration of Boston.

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