Sunday, September 25, 2011

Happy Fall! Autumn Running Essentials

Well technically as of last Friday, fall is officially here. Of course with weather like this...


It's hard to believe that cooler weather will actually happen, but I am fully confident that Mother Nature will send us some gorgeous, cool, non-humid weather in the near future. Preferably in time for my 20-miler planned for next Saturday, but hey, who's counting, right?

But when that mythical weather does indeed come our way, here are my essentials.  (Editorial Note - I have not been paid in any way to promote these products - these are just my unbiased opinions, for better or worse)

Asics Thermpolis LT Hoodie
Asics Thermopolis LT Hoody, $68; asicsamerica.com for stores
I bought this hoodie last year at the NYC Marathon Expo because I thought it would be a useful item, and I ended up living it in all season long.  The fabric is a bit heavier so it's probably more appropriate for those chilly mornings that will come in late fall, but I swear, it's the softest/coziest fabric ever. It also has little thumb holes in the sleeves that come in handy when it's chilly enough your hands are cold in the early miles, but not quite so cold where you want to bust out the gloves. I'll probably hold off on buying another one until this year's marathon expo so I can get one with the NYC logo on it again...but it's well worth the money.

CW-X 3/4 Length Capri Stability Tights
CW-X 3/4 Length Stability Capri Tights, $87.99; roadrunnersports.com
I usually wait until it's in the 30s to bust out full length tights since my legs heat up rather quickly, so I find capris the perfect compromise. Now does the compression technology really work? Well, I personally don't believe in "magic" tights, socks, or whatever - but I do feel a difference when I run in my CW-Xs vs my capris/tights or shorts.

Nike Fast Pace Tank and LS Baselayer
Nike Fast Pace Tank, $25, and LS Baselayer, $35, runningwearhouse.com
As the weather gets cooler, it's allll about layering with lightweight pieces. I like starting with a tank and then a long sleeved sleeve top because a) the lightweight tank supposedly helps block the cold from your chest and b) I can strip down to the tank in the event I do get warm.  These Nike basics are among my favs in my wardrobe because they are so lightweight, it feels like you are wearing nothing.

Brooks NightLife Jacket II
Brooks NightLife Jacket II, $100; brooksrunning.com
As the sun rises later and sets earlier, doing at least some of your runs in the dark because an inevitable fact of life.  I think Brooks' whole NightLife line is absolutely genius. Sure the bright yellow might not be the most flattering color, but it sure does make you visible in low-light conditions. I pulled the jacket because a windproof/waterproof jacket is an essential part of any fall running wardrobe, but really, I think the whole line is fabulous.

iFitness Mini Running Belt
iFitness Mini Sport Belt, $18.50; ifitnessinc.com
Sadly, the transition to capris and then tights, generally means the loss of pockets - and nowhere to stash keys, gels, ids, etc.  If I'm not stashing my stuff in my water belt, I love my iFitness belt.  Out of all the belts I find it's the most bounce-less, and the pocket is large enough to fit my trusty iPhone.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

A Running Roundup

It's been a busy few weeks! I can't believe it's been so long since I've updated - I guess these 40+ mile weeks have been taking their toll on me. My life has been sleep/run/work/eat for the past three weeks, with some ups and downs along the way. Here's what you missed...

The Bronx Half Marathon - or the Race that Never Was. 
The Bronx Half Marathon was supposed to be my 6th qualifying race for the 2012 marathon, and the third qualifying race for the 2012 half marathon. But Mother Nature had her own ideas...
Um yes, that's a hurricane heading towards NYC 
Um yes, that is indeed a  hurricane heading straight towards the NYC area! Obviously NYRR had to cancel the race.  Of course the storm ended up missing most of Manhattan - but hitting us in CT instead. We lost power for some time and my running routes were messed up a bit from storm damage, but all's well that ends well.  And, I still got marathon/half marathon credit, too.

First 20 Miles in the Books...
First 20 miler is *done*.  This was on the sched for the weekend right after our little hurricane experience. Since I was a bit nervous about storm damage (dodging downed power lines and trees on major hills for 20 miles did not sound like a good time) and most of the area was out of power (so no traffic lights..eek!) I opted to head to the city and run circles in Central Park.  I had company for most of the early miles, which was nice - it helped keep my anxiety down about how long I had to go.  I was feeling pretty good the whole way and ended up being rather pleased with how the whole run went overall.
The Garmin stats
Along with Some Recovery
 However, the week after my 20 was pretty rough.  I managed to get in 30ish miles, including a long run of 13, but my legs were just wiped and felt pretty lead-like for most of the week.  I was also stuck on the dreadmill more than I would of liked - but it rained a ton, and the ground just couldn't handle it after our little hurricane encounter two weeks ago, so roads were starting to flood out a bit. Safety first!

...And Even More Recovery
Last week was supposed to be a return to normal training - but my legs were just not feeling it. I tried to stubbornly stick to my training plan anyways - which included trying to run 40 miles before heading out of town to go back to my alma-mata for some Gator football. I've done switch-arounds like that before for half marathon training, but clearly it wasn't such a brilliant idea during full marathon training..and my body just couldn't handle it. I ended up skipping my planned long run on Thurs - my legs were just so sore, tired, and dead I was worried the run would do more harm than good. I thought about trying to make it up on vacation, but my coach talked me out of it and just said to enjoy the weekend. Which I promptly did. But I did make time for one special workout....
Just a game of catch at the Swamp
Ok, so tossing around the football on Florida Field isn't really a workout. But it did make my weekend!

Back to the Present
Now here we are, all caught up.  I'm trying not to fret too much about the missed long run last weekend, and move forward with normal training this week.  Only 7 weeks to go before the big race...it will be here before I know it!

Have you ever skipped a workout or two? How do you handle the missed mileage?