Friday, October 28, 2016

Friday Five October Runfessions

Ah, here we are at the last Friday of the month, meaning it's time for reflection, Runfessions, and the Friday Five 2.0!  So here we go and I will try to make this post, "of the season."

1. I runfess that this has been a really odd Fall - we still have temperatures in the 80's here in Nashville.  It's also been incredibly dry.  That means that the normally extraordinary gorgeous Fall we typically get here in Tennessee, has not really materialized.  Some trees are beautiful, but so many are just dropping their leaves.  And I'm disappointed!  It's doesn't FEEL like Fall and definitely doesn't FEEL like Halloween.

2. I runfess that the changing season has messed with my sleep.  I find myself staying up later than I should and the dark mornings have completely turned me into a zombie.  If you've ever watched zombie movies or TV shows, they don't really run, they stumble around.  For those of us who try to be morning runners (even if it's not our natural inclination), stumbling around is a bad way to go about it!

3. I runfess that I've only really done one Halloween race ... and I didn't even do it in costume.  It was during the "Twilight" craze though and a friend and I ran in shirts that said "I run with vampires."  A ton of runners really love Halloween races and dressing up - does this make me a not fun runner?

4. I runfess that even in the final weeks and days before the New York City Marathon (ah! scary!), I have over-indulged in the Halloween candy that has placed itself all over the office.  My favorites that have been tormenting me?  York Peppermint Patties, M&Ms, and Midnight Milky Ways.

5.  I runfess that I am going to be really relieved when I'm done with marathon training.  This isn't my first round of marathon training, but this one has been really difficult, more of a burden.  It might have been the crazy hot and humid summer, but I'll be thrilled to get back to more "normal" mileage.

I'm linking up with some of my fav bloggers who are hosting this week.  Give them a visit!  Thanks to Marcia's Healthy Slice, Fairytales and Fitness, and Running On Happy.

Do you love Halloween?
What's your favorite Halloween candy?

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sunday Runday: So Wrong It's Right

Before I get into what happened during SundayRunday, let me just say that this is the first week that I feel like I've finally bounced back from the horrible cold/flu/Ebola virus/black plague that seemed to want to cling to me for what felt like an eternity (translation: nearly four weeks).  Of course it hit during the most important weeks of marathon training (thanks).  Luckily, this week I had decent runs - single digits, but starting to feel normal again.  Saturday I got in a great short run with a friend I haven't seen in a long time, which was so nice.  And then there was today ...
New runners, don't let anyone fool you - even those of us who have run a long time don't always do things the "right" way.  I did a lot of "wrong" things today, but spoiler alert: it all turned out okay!

Mistake 1: I got up early this morning to register for the Oak Barrel Half Marathon (tiny local race that is absolutely wonderful).  I got in (yay!) and considered getting up to do my long run, but went back to sleep thinking - why start early and run in 40 degrees when I can sleep just a bit more and run in 50 degrees.  
Mistake 2: When I did get up, I got back into bed to eat my pre-long run breakfast and flip channels so that I would have a little time to digest.  I settled on "Everest."  No idea why.  This isn't my thing.  Mountain climbing makes me anxious and spoiler alert 2 of this post: this doesn't end well for about half of the climbers.  Anxious and depressed are two bad ways to start a run.  I just couldn't tear myself away from it though!  And then by the time the movie was over, I was in that awkward place of "do I eat lunch now and try to run or run while hungry?"
This actually was well made and I'd recommend it if it is your thing.
Mistake 3: I opted not to eat a full lunch because I thought it would make me feel too heavy and I had big plans for this run.  So I did something you really shouldn't ever do, I tried something new before a long run (insert horrified gasp).  I got some great snacks at the Great Smoky Mountain Half Marathon and hoped they would settle well on my stomach.  I downed a Picky Bar before leaving the house and tucked a Honey Stinger Waffle in my pocket for once I got there.
These were both super delicious and did NOT result in any gut bombs.  Winner winner!  I plan to buy more of both of these things in the future.

Mistake 4: Normally I just do my long runs with Nuun in my water.  Apparently this is not normal and I was wondering if some additional fuel might help me.  So 2 weeks before my marathon, I decide to try some things to see if it works (and why try on a short run what you can try on a long run?).  Just in case, I picked a loop path that had a full service bathroom.  I packed two Honey Stinger products - gel and chews.
The gel I got down, but the texture still gets to me (its thinner than GU, which I can't stand).  The chews were great - two servings to a package - though I wasn't crazy about this flavor.  I think I'll try some new flavors next week.  So I shouldn't have done this, but I really feel like these things helped me today.  No gut bombs and I believe they got me through my 16 miles!  These will likely become part of my routine.  Honey Stinger where have you been my whole life?

So there you go, the SundayRunday that was so wrong for so many reason, but at the end of the day, went so right.  And today, I needed it to go right because my marathon training has not been as I had hoped and dreamed.  So new runners, don't despair or get too Type A if life happens - you can still oversleep, get in the wrong state of mind, try new things at the exact wrong time, and it can still all work out.

Today I'm linking up with a couple of my favorite bloggers for the Weekly Wrap.  Thanks to HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin for hosting!

Have you ever done all the wrong things?
What is your favorite mid-run fuel?

Friday, October 21, 2016

The 5 C's of Running Socks

Ah, the running sock.  For so long it has been relegated to the shadows, a necessary though unexciting purchase, hidden behind the much flashier running shoe.  Running socks began to enter into the light when knee-high compression socks started to grace the legs of pros.  We've come a long way since the basic white and black generic sock were our only options.  Before you run out to buy a new pair, here are five things to consider:
1. Cushion - Different socks have different levels of cushion.  More cushion sounds good right? Could be as long as you don't mind a little extra sock.  I tend to opt for higher cushion socks for long run days or in colder weather and pick up my thinner socks when it's warm and/or it's a shorter run.  The thickness of your socks can also impact how your shoes feel, so keep that in mind.
Left - high cushion.  Right - low cushion.
2. Compression - There is a lot of literature out there that speaks to the benefits of compression - support, circulation, etc.  Since so much of running relies on happy feet, its not surprise that you might want to consider compression.  Running socks can run from zero compression, to targeted compression (usually focused on the arch), to medical grade compression.
Did I mention Swiftwick is from Tennessee?!  Woo hoo!
3. Construction - Anyone who has worn the wrong socks knows that it can really hinder a great run.  Make sure your sock comes up high enough so that there isn't any rubbing with your shoes.  Some brands (Feetures and Swiftwick among them) have a Y heel design that prevents bunching.  Others, Wright Socks in particular, have a double layer to avoid blisters.  Pick the construction that works for you, but pay close attention to seams and make sure you get the right size for your feet.
Left - low profile Feetures with achilles-protecting tab.  Right - Wright Socks double layer.
4. Composition - Like any piece of running clothing, you're going to want it to wick - no one wants soggy socks!  Get socks intended for running and made with runner friendly materials.  You may have seen some socks made with wool or a wool blend that are supposed to help with wicking and stink.  Icebreakers is one of the biggies in this area.  Personally, I don't prefer them, but I know some people do.

5. Color - Hey if you get the first four right, pick something that appeals to you.  If you have running clothes you're excited about (even the lowly running sock), you might be even more motivated to get running.
Running socks fit for a princess!
Today I'm linking up with some fabulous bloggers for the Friday Five 2.0.  Thanks to Running On Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for hosting.  Check them out!
What are your favorite running socks?
How often do you replace your running socks?

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Why Doesn't Nashville Love Running?

When I got the last issue of Runner's World in the mail, I checked the cover and flipped right to the article that listed "America's 50 Best Running Cities."  As you may have guessed from the title of this post, Nashville doesn't make the list, and that bums me out.  There are five categories they looked at on a weighted basis:
1. Run (40%) - things like races, clubs, running stores, etc.
2. Parks (20%) - ideal places to run
3. Climate (20%) - how close the city gets to ideal running temps
4. Food (10%) - proximity to healthy food
5. Safety (10%) - how safe it is to run
Trying to get over my immediate disappointment, I started thinking about what makes Nashville different than a place like Chicago (my hometown and ranked at number 11 on the list).  Nashville as a city is growing out of its shoes, seeing a major influx of people (especially young people), new stores and restaurants, housing builds, etc.  I cannot imagine that food or safety would take Music City off the list and if Atlanta (ranked number 38) makes it, then climate couldn't be the primary factor.
I've been impressed by the number of great places to run here too.  There are parks and a greenway system that traverses the entire city and some surrounding suburbs (see my post on the greenway here).  So that leaves the biggest category, the Run category - all about the community and running events.  Having lived here nearly 3 years, I'll tell you there isn't a ton.  There are a few running clubs (East Nasty being one of the largest), a few running stores (love you Nashville Running Company), and a surprising small number of races in Nashville proper (that rarely sell out).
I recently got on BibRave, a site where you can read and leave race reviews.  Not only are there few Nashville races listed, but the reviews left for those races are not written by Nashville residents (with a few exceptions).  I just don't get it.  It's not an easy city to run - it's pretty hilly here (but come on, San Francisco is number 1 and those hills are way bigger).  Nashville is an amazing city that's been getting a lot of publicity.  I just don't understand why the running community is slower to follow.
My sincere hope is that things change and change quickly.  I'm going to do my part, reviewing the races that do happen in and around Nashville, writing about great places to run, and supporting my local running stores and clubs.  Let's love running Nashville!

Did your city make the list?
What makes your city a great place to be a runner?

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Thursday Disney Magic

So I won't deny that it's been a tough week.  Not a horrible week, but a tough week full of really long, intense work hours.  I've needed a bit of a pick me up and today I got just that of the most magical variety - the Disney magical variety!  In case you missed the announcement last week, not only is the Pro Bowl coming to Orlando, there is going to be a 5k in partnership with Disney that takes place on Disney property.
Try not to judge me, but I'm not a huge football fan.  I am, however, a HUGE Disney fan and love finding some unique Disney experiences that involve running.  This sounded cool, but no way was I going to be able to swing a trip down to Disney for it.  And then .... I found out today that I am going to have to be on Disney property for a work event that also coincides with the Pro Bowl activities!  What are the odds?!  I'm so going to try and run this one now.  Let's hope there is a medal :)

And then I got home.  It might be childish, but getting things in the mail makes me really happy (even if I know they are coming).  If you've never heard of Harveys, they make really fun bags/purses/accessories out of seat belt material.  That also makes them super durable.  Last year, they came out with these great bags for the Disneyland Diamond Anniversary that had throwback designs.  I snagged the Pirates of the Caribbean one last year during the Disneyland Half Marathon and my friend chose the Peter Pan design.

There were a number of others to choose from as well including Autopia and Enchanted Tiki Room - all were amazing, but with a $198 price tag, I couldn't justify more than one.  I absolutely love my bag and get compliments on it all the time - especially at Disney.  I pretty must stalk most things Disney including the Disney Store site.  Recently, I saw one of the designs - Dumbo - pop up there and without thinking twice, I added it to my cart and ordered some Disney magic!
Adorable right?  And it arrived today!  And I love it!  And if you think I'm not going to connect this to running, you have another thing coming ... because I can't wait to bring this baby out for next year's 5th anniversary Dumbo Double Dare, part of the Disneyland Half Marathon Weekend!  Because these were made specifically for Disneyland's 60th anniversary, they won't be around forever.  A little to frilly for you?  There's also a Star Wars design on the Disney Store site in a few different styles.
This would be so fun for anyone running the Star Wars Half Marathon (Light Side or Dark Side)!  Sometimes all it takes to help turn your week around is a little Disney in your life - and a reminder that I have some exciting runDisney events in my future!

Are you thinking of running the Pro Bowl 5k?
What picks you up during a rough week?
What is your favorite Disney ride that you would love to see on a Harveys purse?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nashville Running: Long Hunter State Park

Just outside of Nashville is a wonderful little place called Long Hunter State Park.  Along with places to grill, gather, play volleyball, and rent kayaks, is a running trail.  I'm coming off of two weeks of being sick (I'm talking apocalyptic - like Ebola meets the Bubonic Plauge) and a foot injury (when it rains, it pours).  This felt like the right place to reconnect with the running world.
Tennessee Pride!
The trail circles a lake (don't get too excited, it's not a very large lake) - a little over two miles around.
There are all kind of people here every time I go - walking, running, enjoying the scenery.  There are no pets or bikes allowed, so that does make it a little safer for runners as well.
Nearly the entire path is shaded (at least until all the leaves fall of the trees - we are having a seriously extended summer here in Nashville).  It was also a really windy day and all of those trees helped block a lot of it, but I was still able to benefit from the breeze.

There is also a lot to look at (besides people) on this path including wildlife and some educational signage about the plants and animals you can find here.  You can get your run in with a side of education!
This is one of my favorite parts - there's this great bridge where you have water on both sides and can see everyone out on the water.  If you're doing a long run here, it requires multiple loops, but generally I don't mind because it's just lovely.  So if you're around Nashville and looking for a little escape, give Long Hunter a try!

Do you mind running "short" loops?
What are your "must haves" for a run location?

I'm linking up with some of my fav bloggers today for Tuesdays on the Run!  Check out Marcia, Patty, and Erika!

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Lindsay Loves BibFOLIOS!

I fully admit that I can be a bit overly nostalgic about souvenirs, but I have been hanging onto my race bibs for pretty much as long as I have been running.  For years, they sat in a pile - I didn't know what to do with them, but I certainly couldn't just throw them in the trash.  I was proud of them and thought there had to be a better way.  I discovered BibFOLIOS from Gone For A Run a number of years ago and I absolutely adore them.  For anyone who doesn't know this site, they offer great things for runners (fun place to go present shopping for the runner in your life) and they have even gotten into the virtual race game.
Remember those old photo albums that held a bunch of pictures that you could flip like a Rolodex?  This is a similar principle, but for your race bibs!  They have really great designs - everything from the standard album I have (above) to wall displays to albums that can be personalized with photos to bamboo albums to dry erase albums (to record your PRs on the cover for example).  Prices can range - most of the standard albums are about $40 and can go up to about $65 for the wall albums.
When you order one, they send you two of these vinyl sleeves that you can put your bibs in (I put two in each and "double side" my sleeves).  Although it's extra (a set of 12 sleeves costs about $8), I would highly recommend you get a bunch more because you're going to want them.  Bibs are all different sizes with holes in different places, so unless you want to punch a bunch of holes in your bibs, you'll be much happier with the sleeves.  Along with the sleeves, there are other accessories including extender rings (standard rings will hold about 50 sleeves), a metal stand, and an inserts for your race stats and/or reviews.
Album on the left is sitting on the optional stand.
I did buy the stand (costs about $8) and rather than buy the extender rings, which would have made my BibFOLIO album too large for said stand, I just bought a second album!  I have also purchased several of these as gifts and I can tell you that they are a home run.  Apparently I'm not the only one who keeps their race bibs!  Full disclosure, I was not asked to write this post by Gone for a Run or compensated for it in any way.  All views are my own and based on my personal experience with these products, which I think are wonderful.  So check them out at www.goneforarun.com.

Do you hang onto your race bibs?
Any other race memorabilia you keep?