Showing posts with label Brooks Running. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brooks Running. Show all posts

December 7, 2016

5 Winter Workout Items to Put On Your Wish List {and Athleta Giveaway from one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh}

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by XShadyside. The giveaway gift card is provided by and will be delivered by XShadyside for my readers.

 I'm currently still recovering from my injury, but I can't wait for the day soon that I get to start running again. I'm going to start adding in some workouts this week after not having gotten my sweat on in over a month. That means I'm definitely adding some fun winter running and workout clothes to my Christmas Wish List. Who am I kidding, I rock tights and running clothes as part of my regular wardrobe even if I'm not working out. Here are five items I have my eye on from my favorite brands. 

Also thanks to one of the best gyms in Pittsburgh, there's a giveaway below for a $25 Athleta gift card so you can treat yourself before the holidays! 


5 Winter Workout Apparel Items to Put On Your Wish List 

1. Women's Distance Long Sleeve Running Shirt from Brooks Running ($44)
This is my favorite color and the shirt looks SO comfortable for working out or lounging around. 

2. Spandos Jane Bra from Oiselle ($64)
I LOVE all of the Spandos line which sells out fast. This bra offers nice coverage and is super cute. 

October 27, 2016

The Big Chicago Marathon 2016 Recap {Expo and Race}

I have been putting this off because I don't even know where to begin talking about the Chicago Marathon. I've also been dealing with some foot pain and grad school midterms which can take a person's mind off blogging. Anyone else feel like their marathons go by in a blur? After it's over I only remember certain sites, certain miles, and certain feelings (including those steps across the finish line). 

The Big Chicago Marathon 2016 Recap {Expo and Race}

Because of my grad school schedule I missed some fun things and had to get into Chicago late Friday night. I was feeling like a cold was coming on all week which had me thoroughly freaked out about the race. Saturday morning I ended up taking the train downtown to meet up with Kelly Robert's #SportsBraSquad Shake-Out Run at the Westin on Michigan Ave. I had met Kelly briefly at the November Project Summit in Ontario in July but finally got to have a quick chat and snap a photo with her.  She's fabulous and had a nice big group for a 2 mile shakeout run that included lots of beautiful city views and selfies. 


Also kudos to Oiselle for hooking us up with some swag. I am in love with this shirt! 


You should totally go to Kelly's NYC Marathon shakeout run if you are in town for it! After a quick pit stop at Trader Joe's for bananas, bars, and beet juice with Emily  before heading over to the expo. 

Since this is my third year in a row, I knew what to expect. Things were still really organized as I expected. I suppose I was feeling a little bit anxious about the race and that my boyfriend hadn't up with me yet so I was feeling a bit overwhelmed.  Also the expo is far more crowded on Saturday than it would have been on Friday so that is something to get used to if you haven't been to a big race expo, particularly a World Marathon Majors race one. 


So I quickly grabbed my bib and bothered strangers to take photos of me, despite still being kinda gross looking since I didn't shower post-shakeout run. 


No big race expo is complete without a stop to the Nuun booth to say hello and grab a cute new water bottle to add to my collection. 


I also got to check out the Moji booth and try out some massage products that I took home with me. This Moji Foot Pro is fabulous on the bottom of your tired feet, especially if you freeze it first!


As always, I love all the awesome Nike graphic photo backdrops around the expo. Perfect for getting pumped about the 26.2 miles happening the next day!


I also co-hosted the We Run Social meetup with the fabulous Heather which was nice, despite some people being confused that we were not in fact speaking on the Runner's World stage but rather just meeting near it! 


There was a few more photos before getting showered and relaxing. I grabbed some pasta with Erica for dinner. I had some pasta with chicken and marinara sauce as my pre-race dinner. 


Before bed was iPod and Garmin charging as well as laying out all the goods I needed for the next day. 


{Lululemon Run Swiftly tagged shirt, Lululemon shorts, Ciele hat, Feetures! compression socks, Brooks Launch 3 running shoesHoneyStinger Ginsting gels & Huma gels, Nuun Hydration Lemon-Lime Energy, and Run Gum in peppermint} 

I had worked with Coach Suz (she's fabulous!) to have her consult on my training plan and race day plans and offer her suggestions so I had a general idea of how I wanted to run the race. I was feeling anxious and unsure of how I felt about the race pretty much up until I got to the starting area.  Once I felt the chilly weather (despite not being quite as chilly as I prefer) and all the marathon excitement in the air, I was really happy. 


It was also possibly that things were going super smoothly. I got dressed and had a banana, Salted Caramel HoneyStinger waffle, and Nuun. I took the train into downtown and caught one just as it arrived from the Austin blue line station. I moved through the security checkpoint super quickly this year and EVEN found a port-a-potty with only 6 people ahead of me in line. There were Nike pacers in line too so I'm almost positive it wasn't VIP or anything and was just covered by bushes so it was less crowded. The realist that I am, I was thinking that things were going too smoothly to be true but tried to roll with it. 

Miles 1-5: Pace groups make me anxious because of my self-placed pressure to keep up with the group, but I decided to line up with the 3:30 pacers anyways. Hats off to the guys that were super fun and amazing.  The start is really crowded which kind of helps with runners starting out slower and not going out too fast so I didn't worry. The beginning miles with the pacers was super crowded and for the first 5 mile I was almost tripped and bumped into people multiple times which was really freaking annoying.  It's such a big race and the 3:30 pace group seemed popular. Especially since I have run this race now twice before, I really tried to soak in the race and excitement with no music or anything. My GPS was yet again messed up because of the tunnels so I really focused on just staying with the pace group.

My boyfriend got this cool shot of me running by and smiling at around Mile 3ish. 

Miles 6-10:
 I told myself to just try to settle in, stay comfortable, and follow the pace group but not freak if I wasn't right next to a pacer. The pacers were great with one guy telling the guy in front to pull back. I was feeling great and tried to settle in and stopped at most of the water stops. I wasn't carrying any water because it annoys me so I made sure to stay hydrated.  The miles were moving past especially because I wasn't paying attention to my watch. It was nice to feel comfortable with the pace group and not have to worry about anything but running and keeping them in sight.  Still no music and lots of crowd support! 

Miles 11-15: I feel like in my marathons I always am dreading and waiting for the wall so I talked to Suz about throwing in some faster strides and changing my mentality. This time I stuck with the pace group but was feeling really good and was annoyed by the crowdedness of the group behind the pacers so decided to run in front of the pace group around mile 14. I kept my mentality the same as I had at the Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon this year where I tried to just run where I felt good and not get freaked out by the pace. I also took an extra gel around mile 12.5 as Suz suggested to give me an extra boost when I usually start to freak out on the inside.  The pacers reminding everyone from Mile 11 onwards to stop at the water stops was also super helpful. 

Miles 16-20: Around Mile 16 I turned on the iPod. I also peeked back behind me a couple times before I just kept running and knew that if I saw the pace group pass me, I'd have to keep up-but I didn't see them. I kept telling myself my mantra "I am comfortable, I am strong" and reminding myself how crappy I felt at this point last year and how my legs felt good this year. My breathing wasn't heavy or labored, and I was having fun. Once it hit 18 I tried to periodically check out my watch but not let it determine the race for me.  Around 18 the thoughts that I had a fast enough 3:30 BQ (and PR) in reach but tried to not get ahead of myself because as I knew, the marathon is a 20 mile warm-up with a 10K race.  I saw my boyfriend at Mile 18 who had some water and was literally stunned as I ran by smiling and giving him the thumbs up, telling him I felt great. 

Miles 21-26: Obviously my legs started to hurt after mile 20 as is expected with a marathon. I knew at this point that I was crushing it and only had to make it to the finish. Mile 22 on was just giving it all I had left in the metaphorical fuel tank. I had my music and the crowds to help push me. At Mile 22 was the November Project-Chicago cheer station which was a huge boost to get some cheers and high-fives.  During this last stretch I focused on just getting to the next mile marker.  Making it to the next mile was a nice mental game that helped push me to the end.  The miles blur together now. 

Around Mile 23, pushing it to the end. 
As I got to Mile 25, all the emotions start to hit me. It was different because usually I get more emotional during the race but was surprisingly composed during this marathon (mostly because of my mental game).  Once I was at this point I knew I would make it and tried my best to push it to the end.  As I crossed the finish line I was in tears and just broke down sobbing after I finished. Two different people asked me if I was okay, and I told them it was just happy tears, no worries. 

As I waddled towards the fountain with my Goose Island beer in hand, which tastes effing amazing after a marathon, I was SO damn happy. You can see it in this photo below. That moment of relaxing, with a beer in hand, all by myself was is my favorite post-race moment to savor. 

 I was ahead of the 3:30 pacer, completely surpassing my A goal for the race. I grabbed my bag and had texts from friends. Suz texted me that I crushed it. I was confused because friends were saying I had run 3:34 because the live tracking on the app had gone by gun time not chip time (which I later found out) and caused me to freak out that my results were messed up. 


Suz texted me my actual race results which made me feel awesome. 3:27? WHAT?!

I met up with my boyfriend and some friends and was on top of the world. ON TOP OF THE WORLD. I was kind of in disbelief that I ran a marathon in crushing my goal time and it wasn't that painful. I mean my legs hurt, and I don't think I could go faster but I did it. Despite not really believing in myself until race morning. Over a 7 minute PR and a nice cushion over my 3:35 Boston Qualifying time.  

Third time's a charm, Chicago. I LOVE YOU. 


The race was a little warm (not as much as last year thank goodness), but perfect for hanging out afterwards. After frantically finding the results tent I learned that their tracking system was down and others had messed up tracker times so I felt confident that my time was not completely messed up. I threw some sandals on and just hung out with friends jamming to the live band. 


Oh and I used my beer ticket to grab my free beer (the one at the finish doesn't count-I love you Chicago). It was so sunny out I actually got a little sunkissed on my face.  


After a shower and some relaxation, I headed out to Small Cheval for my post-marathon meal of choice-a burger, fries, and a beer. Amazing


Finally the night was ended with a few more beers and some Jeni's Ice Cream in Wicker Park. I was going to go for the double scoop, but the triple scoop was the marathoner's special for the same price so obviously I went with that. The perfect end to the day! 


The race day was better than I imagined and now I'm a little worried I won't have a better marathon!  Thank you again everyone for all the love, support, and good vibes!

What is your favorite big race moment? 

September 29, 2016

Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon 2016 Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received a free 3-pack Tourpass through my Rock ‘n’ Blog ambassadorship. As always, all thoughts & opinions are my own.

If you read my blog or follow me you know that I love Philadelphia and run multiple a races a year there! Thanks to school stress, I wasn't looking forward to trekking up to run the  Philly Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon that I was able to run thanks to my Tourpass perks as Rock 'n' Blogger. Of course once I got into the city and visited the expo that all disappeared, and I was excited to run! 




Like I mentioned, school gets in the way of my mini adventures and weekend plans this semester, so after a late afternoon class on Friday and then coaching my 10K group from Charm City Run on Saturday morning I finally packed up and hit the road to Philadelphia. After coaching I was feeling really nauseous and out of it, which aren't good signs when everyone seems to be getting sick at the first sign of Fall around the corner.

I ended up getting to Philadelphia Saturday afternoon to stop by the expo and grab my packet as well as have some fun taking photos. There were lots of nice vendors and the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia specific gear was especially nice this year. Going to the expo always gets me excited for the race! 


After the expo at the Convention Center we stopped at the nearby Reading Terminal Market to grab some lunch and some doughnuts from the Amish market. 


Yes, my boyfriend and I ended up eating those 6 doughnuts over the course of the afternoon. Whoops

Swag from the expo

Race Day

Last year I was running this race 3 weeks after the Chicago Marathon, and I was running 3 weeks before the Chicago Marathon so it was a very different race experience for me. 

It was also a really special race because the Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon was my first half marathon ever.

December 11, 2015

Brooks Running Fall 2015 Apparel and Adrenaline GTS16 Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary top and bottom from Brooks Running to review on my blog as well as a pair of the Adrenaline GTS 16 shoe before launch to wear test. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

I have always been a HUGE fan of Brooks Running. Their Ghost running shoes were my first ever pair of real deal running shoes I got fitted for. I love that their slogan is Run Happy. I ran my first marathon in their Ravenna shoes.  I even got to tour their new headquarters when I was out in Seattle for Hood to Coast.  I love that the brand is really supportive, innovative, and does awesome things like sponsor the Beer Mile world record holder. They also just started a really awesome running community called The Run where you can talk about-you guessed it, running! with other people via message boards. That's why I was really excited to work with Brooks Running after being invited to check out The Run community-I've been dying to work with them! 


Brooks Running offered to send me some apparel to review as I enter the new year and chase bigger and bad-asser goals. I was interested in trying the Brooks Running Drift Shell jacket (Retails for $135) and the Greenlight Tight (Retails for $90) because I wanted some cold weather gear that was also bright and high visibility for these dark fall and winter days. Just a note, I find that Brooks running tops run a bit small so I got the Drift Shell in a size medium and the tights in a small.  

The Drift Shell is breathable and lightweight while also providing great waterproof and windproof protection.  I love the pattern and the fact that it's lightweight, has multiple water-resistant pockets, and is a little stretchy. It also was semi-fitted so it was a nice layer on top when the weather was windy or wet and wasn't flapping around as I ran, even when I wore it during a really windy night leg of Ragnar Vegas last month! 

Post-3 AM Ragnar Vegas leg in my Brooks Running gear
I did find that I would sweat a lot when I wore this as a layer which was the only thing I didn't like about the jacket. 


I was mostly drawn to the neon green Greenlight Tight because of its appearance and cool pattern but was happy to find out they are super practical. They are reversible so if you wear them with the fuzzy side in like I have been you'll stay warm but if you where them reversed with the smoother pattern side in you'll stay cool!  I LOVE THESE TIGHTS


I wore them during Ragnar Vegas and they were awesome for staying bright during my night run.  Unfortunately the weather has been pretty mild in Baltimore so far so I haven't gotten to wear them as much as I'd like, but I wore them to the November Project workout yesterday and literally got 5 compliments/questions about what brand they were from various people, including a random guy on the bus who told me I'd never get hit by a bus in those, haha

Besides the fact that I love the print and color, the tights are super soft and wicking with a nice wide waistband that stays put so I'm not constantly pulling them out even after doing lots of burpees and squats at NP. They also have super cute ruching on the side hem at the ankles which is a nice touch. 

I spotted these tights at the
Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon expo!
After receiving the apparel, Brooks asked me if I wanted to wear-test the new Adrenaline GTS 16 running shoes. I have never worn their best-selling Adrenalines before but have enjoyed have a few pairs of more supportive shoes that I've gotten through reviews for runs when I need more cushioning, especially during recovery runs or when I need to do a lot of walking. Superficially, the shoes I received are in my favorite colors of a light teal and hot pink, which is obviously awesome. 


The Adrenaline GTS 16 are heavier than I would wear for everyday running, but they do have responsive cushioning and provide a lot of support all through my foot. I actually really like wearing them to things like November Project where I'm doing lots of jumping and plyometrics because of the support they provide. They fit nice and snug on my foot and I liked the upper, however if you have wider feet the toe box might feel a bit narrow so try them on before you buy! 

Crunching it out at November Project-Baltimore
According to the Brooks Running website " the BioMoGo DNA midsole responds to every step and the full-length segmented crash pad that gives you ultra-smooth heel-to-toe transitions". Overall, I think it's a great shoe to check out if you need some extra support when running.

Definitely check out Brooks Running and add some of their apparel or shoes to your Christmas wish list!   


Have you ever run in Brooks shoes or apparel? What's your current favorite piece of running gear? 

September 28, 2015

Chicago Marathon 2015 Training Recap {Weeks 11-14}

{Read about Weeks 1&23&45&6 ,7&89&10 of my training} Weeks 11-14 of training are here already.

Be sure to check out the hashtag #breathedeeplyandrunchi on Twitter and Instagram for more snippets of my training! 


Chicago Marathon 2015 Training Recap

Obviously I've been busy and training has been going okay although my marathon goals have changed from the beginning of training. Since I'm being on training, here's a big ol' 4 week recap
Week 11

Week 11 was a really great week of training with just over 40 miles in for the week. I've added at least one day a week of just lifting in the gym at school which makes me happy. My tempo run this week was done on a cooler day, and it was one of those runs where my tempo paces felt really natural.  

This week I did a really solid 20 mile run despite falling and scraping my knee in the dark on the first mile of the run as I was on my way to meet up with a group to run with.  My knee was a little sore but my hand took a bit hit. I awkwardly tried to hold a tissue on my hand during the run and cleaned it all up after I got him. Falling during running will never not be embarrassing.  I also happened to be decked on in my new favorite Brooks Running hat and an appropriate Brooks shirt.  


Post-run Cream Cruiser ice cream sandwiches at the farmer's market also make me feel better about my fall (see bandaged knee).

So big, but of course I ate it all. 
Week 12
This week had slightly lower mileage than I wanted but lots of great, shorter workouts. I had two 4 mile runs that felt really hot, humid, and hard. This week also included a super fun November Project-Baltimore workout that featured our awesome yearbook photos thanks to Pixilated

 This week's long run was 15 miles which included the Charles Street 12 Miler race which didn't feel as great as I wanted but was still a fun race.  

Double-thumbs up aka my classic running pose
Week 13
On Labor Day a bunch of us November Project-Baltimore people traverbaled and went down to the NP-DC workout.  It was super fun to visit another tribe and get in some different #hillsforbreakfast at Meridian Park.  
Loving my fresh new DC tag
This week also included a bunch of running including NP-Baltimore workouts on Wednesday and Friday as well as the Shake Shack Track & Field Run on Tuesday.  

My long run started out with me planning on only running my 17 miles, but the route I ran with some November Project people on the northern part of the city to Charles Village and along to the Robert E. Lee Park trails proved it would probably be a few miles longer. The group I was running with was running 20 miles and since I was feeling good I decided to get in my 22 mile run. It was nice to have a group of people to motivate me and made the run less painful than it otherwise could have been.  We finished the run just in time because as I sat down at breakfast to eat my chocolate chip pancakes at Light Street Cafe with the run gang it started to rain.  I was thinking about breakfast for the last 1/4 of that run! 

It was weird how chill I felt afterwards when I finished 22 miles. I took a moment to sit by the Inner Harbor and stretch and soak in the moment. I saw my friend on his way to work right after and he said I looked like I was about to start my run, not be finished with such a long one! Training doesn't get easier, but certain parts of it are definitely different each time around. 

Repping my Momentum jewelry shirt and Footnotes of course
Week 14
This is the week where school and my new schedule really started to catch up with me so it was struggle to fit in some workouts and runs.  I had a quick treadmill run one day and a quick lifting session at school on Monday.  I also had to take a rest day on Tuesday instead of on Sundays like I frequently do. 

My long run was a 17 miler (for real this time), and I was totally mentally not feeling it. I got up super early and the city was eerily quiet and seriously foggy. I was feeling so over training and waking up really freaking early to run this morning but thank goodness for running with NP-Baltimore people who kept me motivated and entertained throughout the run.  

Yep, that's the Inner Harbor. Totally looks like The Mist attacked.
Sunday was the super awesome Empowered by Gundalow event. We didn't get quite enough people to sign up to run with me which makes me sad, but I totally understand because there was tons of races this weekend. I was happy enough to go help out with the barre class at Pop Physique. I definitely felt the burn-it had been a while since I've taken a barre class. My legs were especially feeling it since it was the day after my long run, yikes.  

The after-party at Ryleigh's Oyster was really fun and reminds me why I love Gundalow Juice and all the amazing people who are involved with and support the company and the Baltimore fitness community.  

{again thanks to Pixilated for the fun photobooth!}
The bad: Weeks 11 & 12 I really needed to be more hydrated. It was another hot and humid stretch of weather. Weeks 13 & 14 I was noticing really how tight my hips have been. It's probably due to the lack of stretching plus all the sitting at desks in school during the week. 

The good:  I'm happy that I made it through my 20 and 22 mile runs and that they actually felt pretty good. No injuries and not even much post-long run soreness which is weird to me, but I'm not complaining. So happy to be starting taper! 

Things to Focus on: I really need to tighten up my schedule and actually plan workouts for the beginning of the week when I'm busiest so that they happen. I seriously need my morning runs as stress-relief. 

This post was linked up with Weekend SnapshotsWeekly Wrap, and MIMM.  

How was your week of workouts?  Do you get really tight from sitting all day? Have you ever fallen running?