Tag Archives: running gear

First Sunday Shift, $20 Off Of Oiselle, and Other Randomness

First of all, look at how itty bitty Whiskey was a year ago!!

I mean, she’s still itty bitty now. But she’s always been tiny, apparently. πŸ˜‚ Oh well. She’s healthy and happy and that’s all that matters.

In other dog related news “PuppyPuppy” went to go live with his new owners, my father-in-law, step-mother-in-law, and youngest brother-in-law, last weekend. Apparently he’s adjusting well and they’ve finally settled on a name for him! A name that Luke and I both approve of! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰ They’re calling him “Yadi” after the Cardinals player Yadier Molina and I can definitely get on board with that! They were originally going to call him “Po” after the character in Kung Fu Panda and I’m sure glad that’s not what they settled on. He doesn’t look like a “Po” in my opinion.

Look at those ears!!

Anyway, Yesterday was my first Sunday shift, meaning this is my first 4 days in a row of 12 hour days. I am already exhausted. And bruised. And scraped up. And sore… But 2 days are down two more to go!

I thought about running when I got home tonight. Like, I really considered doing it. But I was just too tired and hungry and wanted to wash all of the cat litter remnants off of me. So that’s what I did. But first I had to get all of my shit ready for tomorrow while making Luke his dinner. While also shoving leftover pizza in my face.

Maybe one day I’ll actually start running in the first half of the week. But we’ll see. Haha just watch though, once I finally get used to all of this and actually feel like I can squeeze in a run or 2 after work, they’re gonna switch me to nights and I’ll have to go through an adjustment period all over again…I’m currently praying that one of the other jobs I’ve applied to hires me. I’m just…yeah. Not great right now.

I’m better news, I caved and finally bought a nice, long sleeved Oiselle top!

I’ve been eyeing the FLYTE long sleeve top for a while now, but $68 is a lot for one top…

But I have been wanting to kind of revamp my running wardrobe for a while now. Most of my gear is pretty old and some of it is getting really worn out. And not gonna lie, I just want some nicer stuff. πŸ˜‚ So I bought this top! I’ve heard lots of good things about it and I adore the Oiselle tights I’ve had for a while now, so I’ve been wanting to get some more Oiselle gear. Plus this color is just…😍😍😍

Hahaha it still took me like 30 minutes to actually buy the damn thing! I kept going back and forth with myself, but I’m glad I did finally buy it. πŸ˜‚

After I made my purchase Oiselle gave me a code for $20 to share with friends. So if you’ve been wanting to make a Oiselle purchase now might be the time! That shit is expensive! πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‰

Save $20 on your next Oiselle order.

Plus if you do use the link above I’ll also get $20 off of my next order and I already know what I’m going to get! Lighting bolt tights!!! ⚑️⚑️⚑️

Anyway, I guess that’s all for today.

The lemon grass scented cat litter that we’re currently running gives me a horrible headache so I can’t think of anything else I wanted to mention today, but I know there was something else. πŸ˜‚ Plus I need to be in bed in an hour anyway.

It’s only Monday and I’m already so over this week…

~Ashley

Running is for EVERYONE

I just wanted to take a second to talk about the Nike mannequin that the internet is currently freaking out over.

This photo isn’t mine, obviously. I got it from a quick google search.

I kinda don’t get why people are freaking out. I read a piece of an article earlier today that said this theoretical person could never run, and is more likely to need a hip replacement and is probably on their way to having diabetes. WTF?!?

I’ve seen every shape, size, and body type lined up at pretty much every race I’ve done and I think that’s just fantastic!! And to me that solidifies the fact that EVERYONE can run.

And the fact that ANYONE is running is usually admired and encouraged in the running community. Sure Nike is a controversial brand (but I still buy their gear and run in their shoes πŸ˜‰) but this is something they’ve definitely done right! Running and being active should be accessible to everyone! And that means the clothes and gear should come in varying sizes. Fitness and running isn’t just for thin people. It’s for EVERYONE. And anyone who thinks differently can kindly fuck off.

If anything I can only see this encouraging more people to start running, going to the gym, or embarking on their own healthy lifestyle. I can imagine it could be pretty intimidating to walk into an athletic wear store, being surrounded by fit looking people, fit looking mannequins, and maybe not even being able to find the proper gear in your size. Putting myself in that situation I’d be completely demoralized and might even decide to give up on my fitnesses journey right then and there.

But on the flip side, I walk into an athletic wear store and see ALL types of bodies being represented. In that case I’d feel accepted and like I actually belonged there. I’d feel even more encouraged to kick start my fitness/running journey.

Obviously these are just made up scenarios in my head. I’ve never experienced going to an athletic wear store and not been able to find my size (although I do have issues finding sports bras and tights that I like, are comfortable, and functional. but that’s a completely different issue.πŸ˜‰). But I HAVE felt like an imposter when it comes to being a runner sometimes. I’m not super thin or super fit looking. I definitely don’t have the type of body that screams “runner” to the average person.

Just ignore my dirty mirror. πŸ˜‰

But you know what? That doesn’t make me any less of a runner! I run half marathons for goodness sake!! And that goes for any person of any shape, size, body type, or distance you can run. I don’t care if you weigh 90 pounds or 300. I don’t care if you run ultra marathons or can only run around your block. You are a REAL runner and I am proud of you! You belong here in this community, at any running expo, fitness event, or at the starting line of a race. Running is for EVERYONE!!

If this is the hill I have to die on then fine. I’ll gladly do it. I am NEVER going to discourage anyone from running or from starting a healthier lifestyle. The people who are angry about a freaking mannequin need a reality check. These are the same people who say that bigger people just need to go to the gym and workout to lose weight, but then they are really going to criticize Nike for having a mannequin to display the gear they have for bigger people?? The same people they’re saying need to go workout? It’s so hypocritical I can barely even wrap my mind around it!!

Running is for EVERYONE!!

I’ve said it many times in this post and I’m going to continue to advocate that point. And finally, I’m going to leave you with one of my all time favorite quotes:

Image found on Pinterest

My Most Important Pieces Of Running Gear

Alrighty my friends! Do me a favor; quickly scroll through this list and then come back here…

Done?

Ok. πŸ˜„

Notice anything missing from this list? Running shoes, right? I mean, aren’t those literally the most important piece of running gear after all? And then after that a good sports bra, right?

Both of those things are super important, but here’s the thing, we all know that at this point! I mean, look at Runner’s World. At this point the magazine is 90% shoe ads. I stopped subscribing after they got a new editor and chief, but I’ve heard it’s just been going downhill ever since. But they aren’t the only company constantly telling us that we need shoes. Shoes shoes shoes shoes. Runners need their running shoes! Alright. We get it!

But I personally believe that finding the right running shoe for yourself is a very personal thing. Everyone’s feet, body, running stride, etc, are different. Therefore the perfect running shoe for someone else might be an injury waiting to happen for you!

So yes, maybe do a little bit of research before buying a pair of running shoes, but the best possible thing you can do is try on a variety of brands and styles. Run around in them a little bit at the store, and then just kinda hope that they’ll end up working for you. And if not, try again. I know that sounds like a lot of trial and error, but I really believe that’s the best way to figure out what’s going to work the best for you. You can also go to a reputable and trustworthy running specialty store, but take whatever they tell you with a grain of salt. Yes, they want to help you, but at the end of the day no one knows your feet and your body like you do.

Also if you have a particular shoe that works for you, don’t let anyone convince you that you’re wrong! I’m looking at you, people who say you can’t run long distances in Nike Frees!!

And don’t even get me started on sports bras. There is a lot wrong with that particular part of the athletic wear industry right now. I can’t find anything that isn’t super heavy duty that feels like you’re clipping yourself into a straight jacket, that has no pads or underwire (I get why some people like padded sports bras, but I hate them), or that had a bottom band that digs into and chafes the rib cage. I’ve seen women who end up bleeding pretty badly from these terrible sports bra bands. Nike used to make THE PERFECT sports bra for me, but they don’t anymore and I’m so freaking pissed! It’s been YEARS since I’ve had a sports bra that was actually comfortable…

But anyway. That’s why sports bras are also not on this list.

Hahaha oh wow. I really didn’t mean for that to turn into a rant like that. It just kinda happened. πŸ˜‚ But really I think someone needed to say it.

So, let’s get into a more positive track, shall we?

Obviously I’ve got a bone to pick with certain areas of the running gear/athletic wear industry, but there are actually quite a few brands and products out there that I love, trust, and believe in! Which is great because obviously running gear is fun! But it can also make or break your workout (I’m looking at you, terrible sports bras!), help you keep track of your training, progress, time, mileage, mile splits, or whatever, keep you comfortable in certain weather conditions, help keep you safe, provide you with a little extra piece of mind, or just make you feel like a total badass. Which is also super important!

So, today I wanted to share what I would consider to be my most important pieces of running gear. Obviously if asked, most runners would give you different answers as to what their most important gear is because we’re all different and need and want different things! How awesome is that?! 😊 But for me, these are a few of the things I just can’t live without when it comes to running.

ROAD iD

Safety first, my friends!!

My ROAD iD contains my name, birth year, blood type, and emergency contact. All things that could definitely come in handy in case of an emergency. Plus having all of that right on my wrist means I don’t have to carry my ID or anything else with me while I run, which is nice. πŸ˜„

At this point I WILL NOT run without my ROAD iD. Heck, I rarely ever take it off! It just gives me so much peace of mind knowing that if something were to ever happen to me my husband would be contacted right away. I seriously think everyone should have one!

(PS if you don’t have one yet, you can follow my special link to get you one and save 20% on your order. πŸ˜‰)

Garmin Fenix 5

I am a run by feel kinda gal, so I actually don’t pay a lot of attention to or get distracted by the paces that my Garmin is constantly providing me. Which is a problem that some people run into on occasion and something that can become a bit of an issue.

But, since it’s not a problem for me I always run wearing my Garmin Fenix 5. It’s a super fancy GPS watch and I do enjoy all of the data it can provide me, the biggest thing I’m looking for is my mileage. Yup, I’m the kind of person who can’t end a run at 4.8 miles even if I’m standing right in front of my house (and even though I know that GPS watches aren’t 100% accurate). But keeping track of my mileage is super important to me. It’s how I know if I’m being consistent and actually working hard instead of just phoning it in. Some people can measure that with time, but I prefer miles. Everything else that my Fenix 5 can do is just an added bonus. πŸ˜„

Oiselle Pocket Jogger Capris

You guys, the pants CHANGED MY LIFE!!!!!

I know that’s a little dramatic. πŸ˜‚ But seriously, the amount of pockets on running gear is too damn low!! I don’t need to carry much with me on my runs, but at the very least I like a pocket that my phone will fit in along with a few other pockets that I can keep fuel and chapstick in. But I literally never had that until these pants came into my life. I LOVE them. Now I just need to get the Pocket Jogger Shorts! Not one pair of my running shorts contains enough pockets.

I do have photos of my pair of pocket jogger capris, but they aren’t as good as this one from Oiselle’s website. πŸ˜‰

Trucker Hats

Oh trucker hats! Where would I be without you?!?

Gagging and choking on my hair, and constantly trying to keep my bangs out of my eyes, probably. πŸ˜‚

Trucker hats are an absolute MUST for me during the warmer months. I have what I affectionately refer to as a “choppy hair cut”. There are multiple layers, bangs, it’s kinda long, messy, and nothing is the same length. It can be hard to contain. πŸ˜‚ Even braids and headbands can’t keep it all out of my way. But trucker hats help without holding in too much heat thanks to their mesh backs. Plus I like to have some kind of brimmed hat anyway to keep the sun/wind/rain/who knows what out of my eyes if need be. πŸ˜„

Moisture Wicking Socks

Honestly the brand and style don’t matter much to me. Sometimes I wear compression socks. Sometimes I don’t. As long as my socks keep me feet from getting too sweaty and gross then I’m good to go!

The thing is, one time in my early days as a runner I forgot to switch into moisture wicking socks. It was a miserable experience for my poor, sweaty feet and I have never and probably will never make that same mistake again. I always double check my feet before I hit the pavement, just to be sure that I did indeed put on a pair of my running socks. πŸ˜‚

I’m a simple girl with simple needs. Aside from my Garmin I really don’t have any super duper fancy gear. Obviously there is nothing wrong with having the latest/expensive/technologically advanced/super spiffy gear. But I like to remind people that while all of that stuff can be fun, you really don’t need much to start running. That’s one of the cool things about this sport! It really doesn’t take fancy equipment. You just need a pair of shoes that work for you and whatever allows you to move comfortably over however many miles you want to cover.

Alrighty! That’s all from me for now!

What running gear can’t you live without? I’d love to hear your answers!

But for now I’ll wish you happy Monday and a wonderful new week!!

~Ashley

Team ROAD iD

You guys!!!!! I’m super duper excited to finally be able to announce that I get to be apart of ROAD iD’s ambassador program this year!!!!!!!! πŸ˜„πŸ˜„πŸ˜„

If you’ve been following me for a while then you might already know how much I love my ROAD iD. I wear it all of the time! When I’m running, walking my dogs, or doing anything or going anywhere, really.!I seriously consider it to be one of my most important pieces of running gear. I even wrote a blog post about what ROAD iD is and why I wear it a few years ago. So I’ve been pretty loyal to this brand ever since I just kind of stumbled upon it back in 2015.

Lol as I was looking for photos for this post I realized that my teal ROAD iD band had seen 3 different Garmins before I finally broke it. πŸ˜‚

I had honestly never heard about ROAD iD until the day before my very first race/half marathon ever back in 2015. I went to packet pick up the day before my first half feeling super excited and very nervous since I literally had no idea what to expect, about the race and whether or not I could actually cover 13.1 miles on foot sure, but also because I had never done anything like this before and had no clue what to expect throughout the whole process. So when I revived my packet I didn’t even make it to the car before I had torn into the envelope containing my first ever race bib (it’s still displayed on my bedroom wall along with all of my medals and other race bibs 😊). Number 136. I admired it for a while, just kinda soaking it all in. But of course I was curious as to what else was in that envelope. I found advertisements for other local races, a coupon for the KC Running Company Stores, and a coupon for $5 (at least I think it was $5. Hahaha it might have been more. Cut me some slack guys, it’s been a while! πŸ˜‰) off of a ROAD iD order.

At that moment I didn’t think much of it. I was too busy freaking out about my first half/race ever. But a few weeks after I finished my first race (which you can read about here, if you’d like 😁) I decided to visit this ROAD iD’s website. I did have a coupon after all. πŸ˜‰ Hahaha I hate to sound super dramatic, but my life kinda changed at that point!

I immediately fell in love with the idea; a customizable, wearable ID tag. A place where you can put super important info that you never really want to need, but would definitely be happy to have on your person just in case anything were to happen. Better than having to carry your ID with you for sure! Especially since your ID doesn’t usually include your emergency contact’s info. So I ordered one that day, along with a super spiffy 13.1 badge, since I was a new half marathoner and all. πŸ˜‰ And now about 4 years later I still have my original face-plate and that 13.1 badge. They have certainly stood the test of time! They haven’t worn down at all and they barely have a scratch on them! 😊 I did eventually manage to snap very pretty teal stretch band by taking it off and putting it back on thought. But it took me almost 4 years to do that! So I’d definitely say they are durable!!

I wear mine EVERYWHERE! At this point I rarely even take it off! In the summer I end up with some really funky tan lines because I also wear my Garmin pretty much all the time. So my left wrist always ends up with two weird pale spots on it.πŸ˜‚

For real though I think everyone should have one! At this point I’ve got my mom and dad wearing them and i’m currently working on my two sisters and my brother. πŸ˜‰

My mom has a seizure disorder which is included on her ROAD iD, along with a medical alert badge. She wears hers all of the time and it make her feel like she can actually go out in public and live a normal life despite her medical issues.

My mom is rocking some super sweet badges on her pretty pink ROAD iD.

My dad does all sorts of crazy things!! He hikes, runs, and climbs mountains, when he’s not busy driving semi trucks, training drivers, or basically running a trucking company, often accompanied by his Russian Bear dog, Niko or the “All American girl”, Barbie. So it was a pretty obvious choice for him to wear a ROAD iD during his many adventures.

My dad also rocks a pretty pink ROAD iD. If anyone needs a male model for anything you should probably hit him up on Instagram @martiniiijames.

I think it’s such an important piece of gear for anyone who has medical issues, does any kind of adventuring, traveling, or just enjoys walking their dog around the block. It’s certainly one of those things that’s better to have and not need it than to need it and not have it. Mine has definitely given me and my family a little more peace of mind while I’m out running. I literally will not run without it.

I think at this point I’ve gone on enough about how much I love my ROAD iD. Hahaha I’m just so super stoked to be able to represent a brand that I love and believe in this much! And to make things even more exciting I have a special link you can follow to get 20% off of your next ROAD iD order!!

Click here to save 20% on your ROAD iD order!! 😁

Seriously my friends, if you don’t have a ROAD iD yet, if yours needs updating, or if you know a friend or family member who could use one, follow the above link, save yourself some money, and get yourself a little extra piece of mind!

Stay safe out there my friends! Wishing you all many happy healthy miles and lots of amazing adventures!

-Ashley

Weekly Recap: January 21st-27th, 2019

I’ve felt kinda tired and off this week. By Sunday I was definitely feeling run down and like I was right about to come down with a cold or something. Damn. Like and I had been doing incredibly well at not getting sick this cold a flu season. But I guess it was inevitable that I’d end up getting sick eventually. My immune system isn’t the greatest…

Monday:

  • 4 miles

Monday was a cold one!! Felt like 8 degrees out and was cloudy and windy. I felt kinda like Randy from A Christmas Story in all of my various layers, but at least I was relatively comfortable during my run. πŸ˜‚

I talk all about how I gear up for super cold winter runs here, if you’re interested! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜Š

Tuesday:

  • 3 miles

I was feeling very, very meh on Tuesday. I didn’t exactly want to run but I felt pretty decent once I got out there.

Anyway, it was drizzly and cold. Warmer than the day before though. Hahaha we’ve still got some big piles of snow, slush, ice, and mud everywhere. So it’s been an interesting couple of days. πŸ˜‚

Wednesday:

  • 4 treadmill miles

Woke up to an inch or so of new snow!! I was super duper excited about getting another snowy run in, but my husband texted me and told me the roads were super slippery. And they were…it had rained before it snowed so there was just a nice little layer of ice underneath it all. So I took to the treadmill for 4 miles on Wednesday.

It was no fun… every once in a in a while I can get a decent treadmill run in, but most of the time treadmill running just saps all of the life out of me. But about an hour after I had finished and was laying around feeling sorry for myself and just messing around on my phone I got some really exciting news!!! I can’t tell you what yet, but I am so freaking stoked!!!!! It made my day so much better after that sad treadmill run. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜„

Thursday:

  • 45 minutes strength training
  • 25 minutes yoga

Woop woop! Got a decent strength workout done on Thursday!! Then a nice yoga practice done in the afternoon, including a few headstands. I used to practice my headstands a lot and at one point I was really good at them! But I kinda fell off for a while. But I was super stoked to find out that I’m still capable of holding one for a while! I’m currently using the wall as a safety net because I do kinda fall backwards sometimes, but still, it’s not as bad as I thought it would be! 😁

Also, my watch says my strength session was 55 minutes long because that’s including the warm up and cool down. I just can’t be bothered to keep track of that and sets and whatnot. πŸ˜‰

Friday:

  • 35 minutes on the stationary bike

I was pretty sore on Friday! Tired too. Decided to spend some time on my stationary bike to help loosen up my legs a little bit. Mission accomplished! πŸ˜„

Saturday:

  • 7 miles

It was another cold day on Saturday! Not as cold as Monday was, but still pretty chilly! I got 7 miles in for my “long run” this week. Hahaha for me personally, that’s not really a long run. Especially since I’ve been doing “medium long” runs at 5 miles. So really I should probably be doing at least 10 for my actual long run. But oh well, still happy with my 7. πŸ˜‰

I felt pretty good for the most part! All in all it was pretty decent run.

Sunday:

  • 30 minutes of yoga

I actually woke up feeling ok today, but as the day went on I started feeling a little worse. I’m tired, a little bit achy (but not from my run yesterday), and my throat has been a bit scratchy. I’ve been hoping that I’d make it through cold and flu season unscathed, but it’s looking like that’s not gonna happen.

I spent my day resting, drinking tea, and I did a little bit of restorative yoga with a couple of headstands thrown in just for fun! πŸ˜‰πŸ™ƒ I’m hoping a little bit of rest will help keep this from turning into a full blown thing, but we shall see.

Total Weekly Mileage: 18.10

I’m moving that weekly mileage up at a snail’s pace. But hey, a snail’s pace sure beats not moving forward at all! Or even worse, going backwards! So I’ll gladly take it!!

Slightly unrelated, but does anyone else feel like the month of January is going by at a snail’s pace as well? Like, I swear it’s been at least 3 months since Christmas, but nope, it’s been about 1. What the heck is up with that?!?

Anyway, wishing everyone a happy Sunday!

~Ashley

How I Dress For Cold, Dry Winter Runs

How do you dress for cold runs? Well, I’m not sure. But I can tell you how I do it. πŸ˜‰

Honestly I think that gearing up for any kind of weather condition is a very personal thing. Everyone runs at different temperatures and everyone experiences the elements in different ways. So while one runner might be wearing shorts and a t-shirt when it’s 40 degrees outside another might be wearing tights and a light jacket. Neither runner is wrong. If you feel comfortable then you are dressed properly!

That being said, dressing for the cold and I mean the real cold, I’m talking single digit temps here (or even real feel temperatures in the single digits) can be kinda tricky. But before we get started on how I gear up for the bitter cold I just wanted to note a couple of different things;

First and foremost the importance of moisture wicking material! It is absolutely CRUCIAL to wear materials that are going to move moister away from your skin in the winter. Being wet and cold is a dangerous state to be in. You can develop hypothermia rather quickly in very cold conditions so you’re going to want to stay as dry as possible. Moisture wicking material will help. Especially the layers closest to your skin. I try to wear only moisture wicking material, but when it’s super cold and windy out I’ll usually throw a cotton pullover hoodie on over the rest of my moisture wicking gear.

Secondly, I’ve specified dry conditions for a reason. Running when it’s cold and wet (snow, ice, sleet, freezing rain, etc.) is a whole different animal. We’ve already talked about how important it is to stay dry when it’s cold out, but that’s not to say you can’t run when it’s cold and wet out. That just takes a little bit more prep, slightly different gear, and the ability and willingness to exercise caution (especially in icy conditions) and modifying or cutting your run short as need be.

Okey Dokey! Now that that’s out of the way, here is how I dress for cold, dry winter runs!!

So yesterday was a pretty cold day here in Kansas. Cold enough that even I wasn’t super stoked about running outside. πŸ˜‚ It was 22 degrees with a real feel temperature of 8, cloudy, and with winds coming in from the south east at about 16 mph. Honestly it’s the wind that always gets me. I HATE it.

But, I would most definitely rather run in the cold wind than run on a treadmill (which I am lucky enough to have as an option. I’m well aware of that fact. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜) so I decided to gear up and do my run outside! One of the most important aspects of gearing up for the cold is layers! Layers that you can take off or adjust as need be are also very helpful. But layering your clothing probably will make a huge difference in how you feel in the cold.

(Sorry in advance for the not-so-great photos. I’m working with the bad lighting in my house and an iPhone camera here. πŸ˜‰)

My layers laid out on my bed.

Alrighty, let’s start from the bottom and work our way up! I like to go with one pair of socks. Crew cut to help keep my ankles warm. I’m kinda tall so my pants sometimes don’t cover them. πŸ˜‰ In life in general my feet are always freezing, but when I run they are always hot and sweaty, so one pair of thin socks is all I need when it’s dry out.

I always go commando while running. I’m just more comfortable that way. So when the winter winds start to blow I double up on pants. At least when the temperatures are super low. That wind can really cut through a single layer and that can make your crotch really cold and nobody wants a cold crotch. πŸ˜‰ So I like to wear a pair of fleece lined leggings with with either a pair of windbreakers or nice thick sweatpants overtop.

For the top I wear a sports bra of course, followed by a thin shirt. I’m rather fond of quarter length sleeves, but a long sleeved shirt is also a good option. Followed by a running jacket. I LOVE my Nike one. It’s got thumb holes which are always fantastic. Vents in the armpits and a little bit thinner fabric on the back and under arms where most people tend to get hot and sweaty. Plus it’s a quarter zip which can really come in handy if you start feeling a little too warm. You’d be surprised how big of a difference that can make!

Anyway, like I mentioned before, on particularly windy days I’ll wear a pullover hoodie on top of all of that. It really helps keep me from feeling that cold wind. A nice windbreaker jacket would also probably help but I do not have one of those. πŸ˜‚

Then come the hat, gloves, and a bandanna that I borrowed from my dog. πŸ˜‚ So the hat and gloves are pretty obvious. Gotta keep those ears and fingers warm! I just wear cheap little cotton gloves. Nothing fancy, but they work for me. And I’m sure they’re are better beanies for winter running, but my Carhartt has never done me wrong! I know some people prefer to run with just earmuffs or whatever because a whole hat on your head does get pretty warm. I’m not a fan of just having my ears covered though so I like a full on hat. If I start feeling too hot I just take it off for a few minutes.

Now, on to the bandana! Honestly I really need a good buff or something, but I do t have one and this is what I’ve got to work with. A buff or a bandanna or a balaclava will give you some extra face and neck coverage, which can be necessary when it gets crazy cold out. You can also pull them up over your nose and mouth to give your lungs a little break from the cold air. I know some people like to run with their nose and mouth covered the whole time and I’m sure that’s pretty practical in places where it gets even colder, but I prefer to just wear the bandanna and pull it over my mouth and nose as I need it.

And last but not least sunglasses!! I actually wear my sunglasses during a good majority of my runs for several reasons. First off, my eyes are pretty sensitive to bright lights. So even if it’s cloudy out I still like to wear them. Especially if there is snow on the ground. They also offer a little more protection from the cold. Sure it’s not a lot, but it is something! Especially on those really windy days or when it’s so cold it feels like your eyes are gonna freeze.

And that’s it! Once all of my layers are on, I lace up my shoes and head out into the world ready to face the elements! Sure I feel a little bit like Randy from A Christmas Story, but hey, at least I feel relatively comfortable whenever it’s extremely cold out! πŸ˜‰

So this is what works for me on dry, windy days, when temperatures get into the single digits. As you can see, while I do have a few really nice pieces of winter running gear, I don’t have too many crazy fancy things for when the weather get crazy cold, but I am able to make it work! I do have the option of running on the treadmill but I like to avoid that whenever possible. πŸ˜‚ But obviously that’s not an option for everyone, so I just wanted to say that it is possible to get out there and be relatively comfortable even in low temperatures!

Alrighty! I think that about covers it for today! Happy Tuesday!!

~Ashley

Training For β€œOperation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” Begins Today!

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I’ve been trying to figure out just exactly what I wanted to call this training cycle. Haha is that weird? Last year I went with “Half Marathon Training Round Three” but that wasn’t exactly going to work this time around, so after some thinking I figuredΒ β€œOperation Two Half Marathons In Two Days” worked just fine! πŸ˜‰

But yeah, my training plan officially begins today! I am Kicking off this training cycle with a rest day, as is pretty usual with the Garmin training plans that I use haha. I’m ok with that though. Mostly because I basically forgot this was coming up until some point yesterday evening. That’s my bad. πŸ˜‚ I guess being in vacation mode for most of the week kinda threw me off but it’s all good! At least I’ve got today to start to mentally prepare for all of the training that’s coming my way. πŸ˜‰ Especially since I did absolutely no running while we were in Branson. The little town our cabins were in seemed super sketchy and I didn’t feel safe going anywhere alone, let alone running several miles by myself. And it turns out it was a super sketchy place because we ended up getting some fishing gear (along with a leatherman’s tool that my grandpa gave me…) stolen. So it was probably a good decision not to run there.

But while we were there I did get a new pair of running shoes at the Nike outlet store, so at least there’s that! The pair of Free’s that I had been running in were getting super worn out and were pretty much at the end of their running life, so they’ve officially become my new everyday shoes. And the pair of Free’s that were my everyday shoes got thrown away. They served my very well, first as running shoes and then as everyday shoes, but they were basically ripping to shreds and it was long past time to get rid of them.

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From left to right; my new running shoes, my now everyday shoes, and the shoes I finally threw away. Haha it’s hard to tell in this photo, but they were in rough shape.

I think it’s pretty exciting to kick off a new training cycle with a new pair of shoes! And of course I’ve still got my Nike Pegasus to run in as well. I like to have at least two pairs of shoes to rotate between. So now I’m all set on that front!

Anyway, getting into half marathon training mode should be interesting, considering that I haven’t done a whole lot of running this month. Between the heatwave and our family vacation I just haven’t really been feeling it. But the weather has gotten a little less hot, our vacation is done, and I’m feeling ready to get this show on the road! So things are kicking off with an easy 3 miler tomorrow and we’ll just see how that goes! πŸ™‚ I’ve learned a lot training for and then completing my first 3 half’s, so now that I’m armed with that knowledge I’m pretty confident for this training cycle. Well, I’m also a bit terrified because I’m running two half’s in two days, and I’d be very confident if I was just doing one, orΒ  a couple a few months or weeks apart. But all in all I’m pretty exciting to see how this all goes!

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Mile 11 of the Longview Half Marathon, 2015, 2016, and 2017.

Okey dokey then! Getting back into the swing of things and back into running. I’m ready to go! Bring it on!

Until next time,

~Ashley

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