Current Fall Running Favourites!

It’s FALL!!! A runner’s favourite seaon! For many, fall marathon or other distance training is well under way. The weekly kilometers are getting up there. As the window of daylight continues to shrink, the temperatures slowly drop and the runs get longer and/or more frequent, I start to find it more obvious the gear I reach for on the daily. These are my current go-tos that I have been turning to regularly. I love to try new gear, fuel and apparel all the time, but I have been noticing that I have been coming back to these six items again and again in the last few weeks!

Altra Escalante

These shoes. They are so unbelievably comfortable!!! And so light! They make me feel like I am running with the freedom of bare feet, but with cushion to keep me feeling energized and springy, and obviously protect the soles of my feet. Also, the square-shaped toe box allows my toes to take their normal (extremely unique, lol) positions vs. being squished together, which can lead to blisters! It didn’t take me more than a few runs to transition to the zero-dop of Altra runners, but I have always been a forefoot striker so that may explain it a bit…give yourself time to transition, as they suggest, especially if you are a heel striker. I just ordered a second pair in blue. Yessssssss. Here’s a bit of info on heel-to-toe drop if it’s something you aren’t familiar with.

Nathan Fireball Hydration Vest with double flasks

I hadn’t used a hydration vest on long runs in the past, but lately I find if I’m going for any more than twenty kilometers, which I am every Saturday because it’s FALL MARATHON SEASON, it’s way smarter for me to have two water bottles, plus a place to put my long sleeve when it’s time to come off (and it always comes off…such an over-heater) and a few extra pockets for lots of fuel and some toilet paper. I don’t live somewhere with water fountains or places to stop in for water on the long run, so this is an excellent piece of gear! I was skeptical of chafe when I wore this vest over just a tank for the first time, but it never happened! The longest run I’ve been on with the Nathan is 30km. It took a tiny bit of getting used to because it’s obviously bulkier than being vestless (duh), but it’s super comfy, obviously adjustable, and I think it might even result in me running along a little more smoothly to minimize vertical oscillation (and sloshing of the water in the bottles when they’re no longer full). There is room for a reservoir in the back pack part, but I have yet to use that option. Another wonderful thing about this vest is it has some reflective detailing. When the long run has to be squeezed in before a weekend shift at work, I am thankful for any extra visibility.

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don’t have the water bottle in there in this pic, was using that pocket for my phone!

Oiselle Firecracker Reflective Long Sleeve

I just got this, but I’m already in love! It keeps my neck/collar-bone area warm and my arms and hands (with the thumb holes to keep the sleeves over the hands), but the cropped style doesn’t leave my torso sweating and steamy, wanting to rip a layer off less than a kilometre in. The material is thicker than a shirt, but not like a hoodie or half-zip, AND it’s beautiful. I’ve been layering it on top of a super thin tank and it’s great for early morning or evening runs. The paintbrush pattern is reflective, which was my number one purchasing point. Living in Northern BC means that even now in early Fall, it’s pitch black at the beginning (or all, depending on the distance) of an early morning run, and it’s dusk by the time I hit the road in the evening. I’m obsessed with reflective! I need to mention, the fully reflective Speed Tights I bought last season from Lululemon are AMAZING and beat out any other reflective item I’ve ever owned, hands down, but since I learned how much I love shorts (took like thirty years) I haven’t been wearing them yet this season. It’s not cold enough yet! #dontyouhatepants … oh, speaking of reflective paintbrush print and hating pants, I just ordered the mini-stride shorts from Oiselle in the same colour as this top. Ensemble?

Nakd Bars

I first bought these for a snack at work, but then brought one with me on a run because they are simple and taste good. The ingredients are just dates & nuts! I like taking two with me on a long run and taking small bites whenever I feel like it. I’ve been trying to find other fueling options that work for me because most gels are so sugary that my teeth hurt after, and sometimes they send my guts into a panic. I get so hungry on long runs! Soooooo hungry! So, these have been awesome for giving myself something to actually EAT vs. a gooey substance that doesn’t resemble food at all. I do still use Cliff Shots (razz) and Endurance Tap, but I think incorporating some chewable food is really working for me.

FlipBelt Classic (now that I have one that fits properly)

Initially, I decided that I wasn’t a fan of the FlipBelt because it would slide up from my hips to my waist when wearing any sort of semi-slippery material pants or shorts. I gave my first one away. Then, the spring marathons came and I didn’t have anywhere to put my gels, phone, and whatever else I needed to have on me on race day. So, I invested in a size smaller and now I am all about the FlipBelt! It stays put 99% of the time, and it’s like adding that pocket big enough for a Samsung in a Lifeproof case that all pants and shorts should have, but only like 1% actually do. There is an elastic leash inside the belt with a clip to attach a key or fob and not worry about it falling out, since there are no zippers on the FlipBelt classic. I can store my phone (in it’s bulky case), my headphones for if/when I decide I want them, and whatever else I’m bringing with me that I haven’t put in my vest, if I’m wearing that too.

There are even flat water bottles you can purchase that slide into the belt! I have the larger one and I can slide it in right at the small of the back. Not my top favourite way to carry water, but an option I have used often. The main thing is my phone stays flat against the lower abdomen, doesn’t bounce around and is easily accessible for safety, music, runfies or whatever!

ProCompression PC Racer socks

Not only do I love the squeeze and supportive feeling provided from compression socks, I LOVE THE COLOURS. I am a bit of a shop-a-holic…but I don’t really give a shit if I accumulate tons of stuff that revolves around my biggest passion. It’s fun! For a long time I was strictly about either above-the-calf socks, or regular socks. One or the other. I decided to try the shorter ones to mix it up and I really love them!

racer

woo these ones are on the way!

They aren’t as warm, which is good for sunny Fall afternoon runs, and I feel like they give even more support in the calf/achilles area than the tall ones, which is a place I need it. Variety: the spice of life!

 

One thing that isn’t on this list (yet?) but I am stoked to review is the Lightning Layer from Oiselle, which is also en route. It’s like a non-ugly safety vest for running. I’ll let you know how that is when it shows up! I hope your Autumn running has been as enjoyable as mine has been so far! If you’ve already raced, I hope it was AMAZING and congratulations! And if you’re still training for an upcoming event, I’M EXCITED FOR YOU!!!!

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Why Oiselle is Awesome (+training Recap Mar. 27-Apr.2)

So, see this racing singlet? I’m pumped to race in it going forward and to rep this company because they are wicked! Oiselle is a Seattle-based running apparel company established in 2007. The apparel is made by and for women athletes. and they’re brand is about success not just in athletics, but in life! Oiselle’s mission is to build a family, or sisterhood of support, at all levels from beginner to pro. It’s always growing, and part of that sisterhood is the Oiselle VolΓ©e, which is the team of amateur runners I’m now part of and what the singlet above represents. “We are only as strong as the bonds we build. We work hard to raise the bar in terms of how women support other women, fostering strength and leadership – not just through healthy competition but in daily actions, big and small.” Oiselle encourages savouring wins, owning losses, speaking up for what we believe in, supporting each other and setting big goals and going for them, hard. “Go fast, take chances.” They also have a professional team made up of incredible women who are are making a difference in the world of athletics (girl crush, Kara Goucher), AND a team of emerging elite female athletes who make up the Haute VolΓ©e team. These ladies are working hard to compete at the highest level of their sports and have the support of Oiselle and the VolΓ©e along their journeys.

The reason I chose to join the VolΓ©e is because some of the things I believe in most (goal setting, growth, pushing our limits, running as a way of life, women building each other up, equality, etc) line up exactly with the messages that Oiselle conveys. I can’t even wait to head to Seattle in three weeks for the Tenacious Ten, which is presented by Oiselle, and to run in this girl-power event with my friend Whitney and a bazillion other people who care about all the stuff Oiselle represents! And to wear the freakin racing shirt!!!!

I should probably mention that their gear is the best. Just don’t order lots at once or you will get unpleasantly suprised with duty charges from Canadian customs..

Favourites: mini stride shorts, new satellite tank, flyte tank and flyte long sleeve. I find the bottoms fit big, so I order a size down than usual.

 

Weekly Training Recap

MONDAY March 27th

Planned: 4k EZ, 3k hill climb @5% with max heart-rate goal, 4k EZ

Actual: 4k EZ, 3k hill climb w/ a couple breaks and trying not to die, 3k struggle shuffle

this day was the final evidence of some burnout happening, I let Coach Andrew know and we planned the following three days SUPER easy and a Skype for the following morning

TUESDAY March 28th

Skype with Coach! Aside from talking about resting, we are planning some fun stuff for the Fall marathon training cycle in preparation for the California International Marathon in December; things like REALLY “scary” goals and lots of coverage of the process, training plans if you want to join in and run this race (excellent choice for a first marathon, they even have their own first-timers program) and tons of training tips to follow along with and get to know Coach Andrew and the rest of the crew at Lifelong Endurance!

Hard nap.

11.84km easy – average heart-rate 150
5.5km on my own, a little >6km with the Learn to Run Clinic (10min run/1 min walk)

stretching

WEDNESDAY March 29th

60 minutes in the pool + stretching + many naps

I don’t trust the swim data – I was indoors!

THURSDAY March 30th

more naps

11.7km easy total – some hard hills, HR wasn’t as low, but kept it easy effort

8km on my own + just under 4km with the Learn to Run Clinic

FRIDAY March 31st

back in the game! Timed intervals, sooooo sweaty!

“I was just going really fast” face

3k super easy warm-up, [4x 5 min @ 7:35/mi, 3 min recovery jogs], 3k cool down – amazing. Felt strong af.

 

SATURDAY April 1st

Long run as workout: 16km (10 miles)
3mi easy, 2mi fast, 2mi easy, 2mi faster, 1mi closing hard

Pit stop at the end of the 3 mile warmup, looks like I stopped completely when I turned around at halfway, and then quick calf stretch and had to grab my headband off a post at around 8 miles because I was overheating from the start and ditched it earlier because it’s SPRING NOW WOO! No gloves today, either! I’d love to run this workout on 10 miles of flat, but we must work with what we have.

SUNDAY April 2nd

Easy 8km along the 8k road race route next weekend! 

Great week!!! Local race coming up next weekend for me! The Prince Rupert 1/2 Marathon (& 8k), which follows a 14 mile (22.5km) training run on the Saturday, so we will see what happens!
 

Three weeks out from the Tenacious Ten in Seattle!

oiselle

Eight weeks out from the Calgary Marathon!

calg