My Favorite Running Gear

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014 | Posted under Health + Fitness

Talking about running gear is one of my favorite things to do. It’s probably why I enjoy working at a running store so much! Even though I’ve been working at a running store for awhile now, there’s always something new to learn when it comes to running gear. Running is unique for each runner and different things will work for each of us.

That being said, I do have some things that I like and recommend! I won’t, however, recommend any running shoes. The right running shoe is very dependent on your individual foot, whether you have flat feet or high arches, whether you overpronate or are neutral, and whether you have any injuries or lingering issues. All of those will influence which shoe is right for you. My recommendation: get thee to a running store (a real one — not Sports Authority!) and have them take a look at your feet! We’re trained and we have a lot of experience. We can guide you to the right shoe, and explain why your best friend’s running shoe won’t work for you.

Here are a few things I love to use while running:

 

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1. Nike Dri-fit Knit tank – This is by far my favorite tank top! It’s super long (covers my bum!) and does not ride up while I’m running or while doing hot yoga. The fabric is soft and very moisture wicking. It was actually out of stock for awhile, so I’m happy to see that it’s back!

2. Nike Epic Luxe capri – I have a couple different black capris but I love this pair because of the jersey soft fabric. It’s so comfortable to wear. It’s not too clingy, but it’s also not too loose. It’s a happy medium! It also has two storage pockets (one in the back, and one in the waistband), which is awesome if you carry a lot like me. With my diabetes, I always end up feeling like a pack mule!

3. Brooks Heater Hog – It might be hard to think about winter with it still being August, but winter is around the corner and a Heater Hog is a must have. The Heater Hog is super comfy, especially because it is fleece-lined. Yep, fleece-lined. I have two pairs (one in black and one in pink) and they are some of my favorite things just to lounge around the house with. But it also makes a great outer or mid-layer during the winter!

4. Moving Comfort Luna sports bra – I first learned about Moving Comfort last year when I started working at the Rye Running Company. Moving Comfort is definitely a beloved brand because they come in so many different styles, just like a bra should! Personally, I really like the bras that have a back closure instead of the traditional pull-over racerback. They’re just, er, easier to get off. My first bra, a Fiona, wasn’t supportive enough, but I’ve really enjoyed wearing Maia and Luna, although I think the Luna is my favorite because it offers just a bit more coverage for me.

5. Feetures socks – Personally, I think having the right kind of sock is next to having the right kind of shoe! I have worn some pretty uncomfortable socks and it’s not pretty. I like Feetures because they really contour to the foot, so you don’t have any extra baggy fabric that can cause blisters and chafing. And you can get it in Light Cushion or Ultra Light. I like Ultra Light in the summer and Light Cushion in the winter. Helps to keep my feet at the right temperature!

6. Brooks Nightlife Essential Long-sleeve Half Zip – I have a few long-sleeved tops, but the Essential LS Half-Zip is a great transitional top. You can wear it on its own or you can wear it over another base layer once it starts to get super cold. It also has reflective bands on the front zipper and on each arm, so it helps cars see you once it starts getting dark early. It also comes with a pocket in the back for easy storage.

7. Nathan’s Hydration belt – We own a few Nathan’s hydration products, but this one — the belt with two water bottles — is the one that I use the most often. The front pocket is great to stash my phone and my continuous glucose monitor, while I use the pockets of my capris for my various fuel. The velcro band allows me to comfortably wear it down on my hips. We also have a belt with four water bottles, which Erik used during his marathon and long training runs, and I have a handheld water bottle that contours to the shape of your hand. However, I have found that I just don’t enjoy running with anything in my hand, so I’ve mostly stopped using it.

8. Nuun – Nuun is awesome. It’s carb-free and calorie-free, so it’s not so great as fuel, but it’s perfect for recovery because it helps replace four of the main electrolytes that you lose through sweat and running: sodium, potassium, magnesium and calcium. They come in a bunch of different flavors, although Lemon + Lime (pictured) is my favorite. Strawberry Lemonade is pretty good too. As for fuel, my favorite things to use are GU gels and chomps. For gels, my favorite flavors are Tri-berry, Jet Blackberry and Vanilla. For chomps, my favorite flavors are Peach Tea and Watermelon.

9. The StickIt sounds scary, but it’s actually super awesome for recovery. Many people know about foam rolling, but Erik and I found it really difficult to maintain balance on those foam rollers when we’re super tired. The Stick is basically a foam roller, but you don’t roll on it like a traditional foam roller. You hold it and massage it into your muscle, going as deep or as gentle as you like. It’s a lot easier to maneuver and control the pressure.

 

Of course, this is not a comprehensive list. There are a few other things that I like to wear or use, but this is probably what I would consider the essentials for me!

What do you like to run with? Anything I should try? 

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Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

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The Weekend: Friends, the Great Minnesota Get-Together, and a Dinner Cruise

Monday, August 25th, 2014 | Posted under Minneapolis

Happy Monday! How was your weekend? Our weekend was so busy!

On Friday, one of Erik’s friends arrived from New York with his girlfriend. They arrived late in the evening but we still ended up talking until about one o’clock in the morning, so there was no chance of me waking up early enough to go for a run before I had to be at work at 10:00.

Most of my Saturday was spent at Run N Fun. I worked with two girls around my age, and they are super nice so we had a nice time chatting in between waves of customers. Our store also provides us lunch on Saturdays (how awesome is that?!) so we ordered burgers from Burger Jones, which is in our shopping complex (Calhoun Village, near Lake Calhoun). I had been to Burger Jones a couple times before, so I decided to order what I had the last time I was there… which was last Wednesday! I had a Junior Burger (about the size of a slider) with caramelized onions, cheese and BBQ sauce, along with a side order of onion rings. Their onion rings are thick onion rings, not those dinky rings like you get in the freezer section. Blech.

After work, we all went to Psycho Suzi’s, this faux-tiki lounge in Northeast Minneapolis. It was so much fun. We’ve been there several times. They have really awesome deep dish pizza, but we also got their barracuda wings which is fried chicken with buffalo and bleu cheese dipping sauces. We also tried their fried Snickers, which was pretty good although I don’t think I’m really into most fried foods. It just ends up mostly tasting like the breading and it’s not that great. Then later that night, we came back to our house and we used our new fire pit for the first time! We also made s’mores which was super fun. I love s’mores!

Speaking of food, on Sunday Erik and I went to the Minnesota State Fair for the first time! Unfortunately Erik’s friends had to leave earlier in the morning, so we didn’t get a chance to all go. But Erik and I went to the Fair for about four hours, which honestly was plenty of time. My hips and feet hurt so much at the end! We did a lot of eating: Pronto pup corn dogs, fried lobster on a stick (so-so), cheese curds (amazing!) a strawberry milkshake, a fried Twinkie on a stick (overrated), and, of course, a big bucket of Sweet Martha’s chocolate chip cookies! Which deserve every ounce of hype they get. They are soooo good!

Well, we didn’t eat all of the cookies! But they fill the bucket so much that you can’t even close it, so we had to eat some of them. I mean, we had no choice.

We spent a lot of time just walking around the fair. We went into their Haunted House, which we were pretty disappointed with. It was pitch-black inside (which makes sense) but because of that we couldn’t even see how scary the costumes were! Everyone was just a black silhouette. And there was this girl right behind me who kept shrieking into my ear which just got annoying after awhile. We didn’t go into any of the animal buildings (there are several of them), but we saw plenty just on the street. A cow moo’d right at me! It startled me, but it was pretty funny. We also saw a couple of guys wrangling four sheep who were basically having none of it. They were trying to so hard to wriggle out of the ropes tied around them! We also saw some of the butter carving, which was pretty cool. It wasn’t a competition like the movie, but instead it was just one woman carving the busts of all the girls who were competing for the Princess Kay of the Milky Way competition (a sort of beauty pageant for dairy farms). It was pretty neat!

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After the Fair, we drove over to Lake Minnetonka for a dinner cruise with my work. The owners of Run N Fun invited the staff of all three stores plus some of the local reps for a cruise around the lake. It was very hot and humid, and toward the end of the evening it started raining. But we had pretty good weather and the sunset against all the storm clouds was actually very pretty! Erik and I spent most of the evening chatting with the Brooks rep and his wife, who had also recently moved to Minnesota this past winter. We had a lot to bond over!

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And now it’s Monday and I’m ready for the week. It’s eight o’clock in the morning and I’ve already been up for three hours! I went to hot yoga this morning at Modo Yoga and now I’m hanging out at Caribou Coffee until my first class at 9:30. I know it’s pretty crazy to get up so early, but I want to stay consistent with my workouts and I think doing it first thing in the morning is going to help me a lot. Plus, I’ve noticed that my blood sugars are easier to manage during workouts if it’s early in the day versus in the afternoon or evening.

How was your weekend? Anyone else go to the Minnesota State Fair or your own state fair? 

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Friday Finds

Friday, August 22nd, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

816192fe424d44e8ba890dc1cbd4f0f4Being friends with your neighbors could save your life

This guy is hiking the real Oregon Trail 

More proof that millenials are the best

Another take on the question of when to have kids 

Love is not enough for marriage

Four sure-fire ways to completely ruin your marriage

Clearing up some major misunderstandings about vaginas

40 Fun Facts About HGTV

I didn’t watch Friends much, but I found these plot holes funny

Messy rooms equals brilliance

 

We have our first houseguests visiting this weekend! A friend of Erik’s from New York is arriving this evening with his girlfriend and they will be here for the next couple of days. We have plans to visit the State Fair, although I have to work tomorrow so I won’t have as much time to see the Fair. We’ll definitely have to go back another day!

I’m hopeful that I’ll have time to go on a long run this weekend. I haven’t done much running lately except for what we do at Orangetheory. At work, we get a new pair of running shoes for our birthday, so I used it toward the new Brooks Trance shoes. They are stability shoes with a lot of cushion, and so far I really like them but I’ve only worn them on the treadmill. So we’ll see how they perform out on the road!

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31 Days of Awesome: Week Three

Thursday, August 21st, 2014 | Posted under Health + Fitness

f1446d7b5ce56fd9186b93b9fb5e07af busy week! I managed to work out 5 out of 7 days this week, which is definitely less than I had hoped for, but all my workouts were great.

Friday – Orangetheory Fitness

Saturday – Rest

Sunday – Rest

Monday – Hot yoga at Modo Yoga Minneapolis

Tuesday – Orangetheory

Wednesday – Modo Yoga

Thursday – Orangetheory

 

As you can see, I’ve developed  bit of a pattern with two studios in Minneapolis, both of which happen to be right next to my job at Run N Fun so it’s pretty convenient! In fact, I officially signed up to be a member at both places, although they are both temporary memberships — Orangetheory for a month and Modo Yoga for two months (via a Groupon). But I will probably sign up for a more permanent membership because I am really enjoying both places.

Orangetheory is great because it is strength training and running, which are two things I’ve always liked but the classes give more structure so I’m not overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do each day. Having someone tell me what to do is much better for me! Hot yoga is not something I ever thought I would like but it’s really growing on me! It’s definitely very hot and very sweaty in there, and I’m still not very flexible or good at a lot of the poses. But I think I’m getting better. I think one thing I like about yoga is that it’s very similar to ballet, which I did in college for a few semesters. The heat isn’t as bad as I thought it would be, although you have to be prepared. I went to my Monday class without a mat towel and I ended up slipping and sliding all over the place!

I’m still trying to figure out the exact times that I’ll be going to class, but as soon as I get my September work schedule, I’ll be able to figure out what I’m going to do and on what days. My goal is to do Orangetheory twice a week, hot yoga three days a week, and then one long run on the weekend, plus a rest day.

Saturday and Sunday were unintentional rest days. Saturday we were going to go hiking in southeastern Minneapolis, but we ended up missing the last tour so that didn’t work out. On Sunday, I was going to go running the morning but it was raining, and then later in the day I just wasn’t feeling so well so I stayed home.

 

Are you a member of a gym or studio or do you prefer to go it alone? 

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Tuesday Wisdom

Tuesday, August 19th, 2014 | Posted under Tuesday Wisdom

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25 Things You Might Not Know About Me

Monday, August 18th, 2014 | Posted under About Me

860507527ef8aec1a9d9143901e30397I did a 25 things list a few months ago, but when I saw this meme on Julie of Peanut Butter Finger’s blog, I immediately saved it for a time when I might need a blog prompt. And that day is today!

 

1. I’m happiest when… I’m hanging out with my husband

2. …Especially if it… involves traveling to another city or state or really any kind of adventure!

3. I’ve always wanted to… skydive

4. My family and I… don’t see each other as often as we’d like. It’s been more than two years since I’ve been to Oregon!

5. I was a terrible… artist. And still am!

6. My first job was… working as a cashier at Burgerville (a local fast food joint in the Portland area).

7. I could probably eat popcorn everyday. I basically can’t buy it, otherwise that is what happens.

8. I stole… candy out of those bulk bins at Cub Foods. What?! I was like nine years old! And you did it too, you know it!

9. I was born on the same day as… Lucille Ball.

10. My all-time favorite film is… my default answer has been Ghost World for about ten years, but I’m not sure if that’s true anymore. I don’t know if I have an all-time favorite film.

11. I do a pretty mean… impression of nobody. I’m just not talented like that.

12. I’m still mad… I didn’t study abroad. (stealing this from Julie, but it’s true.)

13. I met my husband… online and I’m not ashamed to admit it!

14. I always knew I wanted… to be a mom.

15. I’m not afraid to… to go on roller coasters.

16. I make the best… eggs over easy. It took a lot of practice, but I’m pretty good.

17. I have almost no… musical ability. I can’t even carry a tune.

18. I always cry… at the Zillow commercial with the soldier who comes home to his wife and daughter. Gah! Gets me every time!

19. I’m (now) a Minnesotan, but I will always wish I lived in New York City.

20. I spent… way too much money living in New York. But it was worth it. (Usually.)

21. I wish my folks… could visit more often.

22. At 5, I was deeply in love with playing with my Barbies.

23. I believe if everyone traveled more the world would be a better place.

24. I can’t stand… know-it-alls

25. Whenever You’ve Got Mail is on, I’ll watch it.

 

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Friday Finds

Friday, August 15th, 2014 | Posted under Friday Finds

b432b54c74dac39f103a8ed15c9273ddIt’s not you: weight loss really is harder for women

Tips on growing older well

Guitarists holding giant slugs

Being 29 is basically the best

God does not give you more than you can handle

5 common mistakes when developing habits

A runners’ guide to grocery shopping

 

Erik and I are heading out for another Minnesotan adventure tomorrow! We are taking a day trip down to southeastern Minnesota. We’re going to check out some cute towns, do some hiking, and admire the mighty Mississippi.

On Sunday, Erik’s mom is going to come over and see the house for the first time. It’s not quite completely “put together.” We still have some lingering boxes and nothing has been hung on the wall. Not a gosh darn thing. We’ve got a lot of hammering to do!

But one thing that is set up is my new Macbook Air! Although it wasn’t entirely intuitive since I swear I stared at it for a solid five minutes before I found the power button. I have it connected to my desktop display, and it’s so nice having a fast computer again! I had no idea just how slow my computer was until I got this baby!

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31 Days of Awesome: Week Two

Thursday, August 14th, 2014 | Posted under Health + Fitness

1905_1346858552Another week down in my challenge to work out every day for 31 days. This week was a little more successful: I worked out six days instead of seven!

Friday – 3 mile run

Saturday – 3 mile run

Sunday – Corepower Yoga Level 1

Monday – Orangetheory Fitness

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday – Orangetheory Fitness

Thursday – Candlelight Yoga at Yoga Sol

 

First up are my runs which dramatically improved this past week. I’m not sure what I was doing differently but I just felt a lot better during them. I think I found a good run / walk interval that works for my body — I run 4 minutes and then walk 2 minutes. I’m still averaging a little more than a 13 minute mile, but my run intervals are an average of 12 minutes which is good for me! I just need to work on endurance so I can stay at that pace for longer.

On Sunday night I tried Corepower Yoga for the first, and probably last, time. It just is not my style of yoga. While the room was warm like hot yoga (actually it was cooler than hot yoga but warmer than regular yoga), I did not like the pace of the class. This was a pretty fast-paced, flow yoga with fast music going. I like my yoga to be challenging, but I don’t like it to be fast. I like the kind of yoga where you transition more slowly from pose to pose, with the atmosphere more zen and meditative. That’s the whole reason I take yoga versus a dance or strength training class. I like my zen!

Speaking of strength training, I tried Orangetheory Fitness for the first time on Monday and I am in love! It combines my two favorite things: cardio and strength training. The class time is split in half, with 30 on the floor doing strength training circuits and 30 minutes doing cardio intervals (either on the bike, elliptical or treadmill). The instructors change up what the intervals will look like each class, so it’s never the same but it’s great if you’re looking for speedwork. It’s a nationwide chain and you get three free trial classes! Sadly there aren’t any in Oregon and there are only a few in New York, although there are plans to open locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Westchester. The membership is a little expensive — it’s $99 for 8 sessions a month. Thankfully I get a 10% discount for working at Run N’ Fun, which is in the same shopping complex (we’re two doors down!). Also, the people at the front desk were just so friendly! I’m a sucker for friendly people.

On Tuesday I decided to take a break from working out. I’ve been having some lower back pain since the end of July and I had a massage on Tuesday morning, and decided that I should just take it easy. I was back at it on Wednesday for another trial class at Orangetheory. Tonight, I’ve decided to take it easy again, but this time I’m going to do a candlelight yoga class at a donation-based studio in Northeast Minneapolis called Yoga Sol. I’ve never done candlelight yoga before but it sounds heavenly!

Tomorrow I have my third and final trial class at Orangetheory. Since it is kind of expensive, I’ve signed up for just a one-month membership. They don’t have contracts, so I can try it out for another month and see if it works out for my schedule and if I continue enjoying it or it’s just an infatuation. Hehe. I’m also planning on signing up for a two month membership to Modo Yoga, the hot yoga studio I went to last week. They have a Groupon special going on that makes it a steal! Between those two and running on my own, I think I might be set! If I like Yoga Sol I might try there as well, since it’s close and donation-based, which would be good for both my schedule and my wallet.

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Currently

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014 | Posted under Currently

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Reading… Fifth Avenue, 5 AM. It’s a history of Audrey Hepburn, Truman Capote and the making of Breakfast at Tiffany’s. I am a huge fan of Audrey, so I’m really enjoying the book!

Watching… True Detective. All of our regular series are on hiatus right now, so we decide to pick this up show up. It’s pretty good, although a little dark and moody.

Playing… Candy Crush. I know what you’re thinking. Is that game still around? Well I got tired of play 2048 after winning it a few times, and the Lumosity games were starting to get a little monotonous too. Since Candy Crush changes each round, it’s more interesting.

Remembering… my senior year in high school. In light of Monday’s tragic event, I’m reflecting on the period of time after a classmate of mine committed suicide. We weren’t close, but I had known him a long time and always thought he was a nice, friendly guy.

Wondering… if I’ll ever have an experience as a therapist working with someone who is severely depressed or suicidal and if I’ll know what to do or say.

Trying… a bunch of new fitness classes and absolutely loving a couple! I can’t wait to share all about them tomorrow!

Organizing… my home office. I got a new filing cabinet from The Container Store, so I’m trying to get some of our important papers more organized. I feel like now that we’re homeowners and moving into the next phase of our life that I really need to start staying more on top of papers. It’s only going to get more complicated!

Buying… a new Macbook Air! My laptop is pretty much dead (it’s classified as vintage!) so I decided for grad school to buy a new computer using my student loan money. Right now I use Erik’s laptop, and have my laptop hooked up to a desktop monitor because the display on my Macbook Pro is cracked. Sigh. It really sucks, but I’m excited to have a new computer!

Excited… for the State Fair! It starts next week and it was so funny, one of the sales associates at Apple starting talking to me about the State Fair and all the things I should eat while I’m there. Haha.

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