Cold Weather Running Gear Must Haves

runninggearAs the weather has made her switch to colder, frosty mornings, I have had to change up my running gear. This is my first fall/winter running, as I’m still a newbie. After reading up on cold weather running gear “must haves”, I’ve come up with my own list. These are the items I swear by and run with religiously in the cold!

1) Asics PR Shelter Headwarmer

In my opinion, a headwarmer is the way to go since it keeps your ears warm while allowing heat to escape through your head. Even though the air feels chilly when you first step out the door, your body warms up quickly and you don’t want to be sweating 2 miles into your run.

2) Asics Women’s Quinn Jacket

I ordered this jacket a while ago from Amazon when it was on sale. It’s really warm, but not heavy feeling. I have been loving it for chilly morning runs.

3) Flipbelt 

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(under my jacket) Not necessarily a “cold weather” accessory only, but it’s a product that I truly love! I’ve had one since last spring and I never run without it. I’m weird about having too many things on my wrists and arms, so the fact that this allows me to have my arms free is awesome. I also love that I don’t have to worry about it falling down. I had a hard time finding an armband that wouldn’t slide down because my arms are kinda small (workin’ on it 🙂 ). This is the perfect solution. It comes in lots of fun colors and fits my phone, money, FOB for my car, and fuel for long runs. (P.S. Fashion tip: Please don’t wear this over your clothes. It looks hideous that way. It’s meant to mimic the band of your pants or a belt people!)

4) Garmin Forerunner 10

A must have for any running weather really. I love my Garmin Forerunner 10. It’s simple enough, yet tells me exactly what I need and want to know! It does take usually 2-3 minutes to find the satellites before a run, but I’m usually warming up then anyways. This has been essential in improving my pace. When I started seriously running this past spring, I remember thinking I was “comfortable” at a 10:30 min/mile pace. Now my “comfortable” pace is around 9:00 min/mile. It’s amazing what training with a GPS watch can do for you!

5) Nike Women’s Epic Run Tight

I absolutely love these running tights. They’re so comfortable and keep me warm in cold weather. I can picture myself logging many miles in these tights. I see they’re $85 now. Believe me, I love running gear, but did not pay that much!

6) Fingerless Gloves

I picked up fingerless gloves at the Dollar Tree for the Fox Cities half marathon in September, thinking I’d toss them along the way. However, I ended up really liking them! I tend to get hot then cold, then hot again so these are perfect for cold weather running. They keep my palms warm while letting some heat out of my fingertips. And if I lose them or toss them, I don’t care because they’re so cheap!

7) Mizuno Wave Exlixir 8s

These are my very first pair of running shoes. I curse the day I will have to retire them. We’ve been through a lot of miles together and hopefully there are a lot more miles in our future. Unfortunately, I forsee myself needing a new pair in the spring. I’ll continue to love them this winter while I still can, as they’ve been discontinued. 😦

I could ramble on about my favorite running things for hours, but I’ll spare you and leave you with this- Invest in yourself this weekend. Be a #WeekendWorkoutWarrior. Be thankful to MOVE, SWEAT, and just BE. {have a great weekend!}

What are your running must haves in the cold?

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Fox Cities Half Marathon Recap Part 2

Time to recap the best part of the race-the actual run!

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It was a chilly start to the half marathon last Sunday, as the temps were in the low 40s. I shivered up until a couple miles into the race. I was really happy with what I decided to wear because as I warmed up I didn’t get hot.

Running Gear for Race Day

  • Mizuno Wave Elixir 8s
  • Garmin Forerunner 10 GPS watch
  • Pro Compression socks
  • Nike Filament Dri Fit compression shorts
  • Flipbelt
  • Champion long sleeve semi-fitted shirt
  • Koss FitClips
  • Fingerless gloves from Dollar Tree (bigger spender, I know)
  • BandIt Headband (Etsy)

One mistake I realized right away was that I should’ve worn my sunglasses. The sun was so blindingly bright it threw me off a bit in the beginning. It was difficult to see too much in front of me. I guess that happens at 7am on a fall morning.

I tried my best of remember information I learned at the Good Form Running clinic over the summer; namely to keep my upper body loose and use quick, short steps. I felt comfortable right out of the gate and settled into my race pace. I hit about a 9:00 min/mile pace for the first 8 miles. Before the race, I was guessing that’s the pace I would keep as I always run faster on race day (I train at 9:30 min/mile usually). I also attribute my quicker speed to all those fabulous signs out there! My favorite of the run: “Running is a pain in the butt, but you guys sure do have nice butts!” 🙂

My splits:

  • Mile 1: 8:53
  • Mile 2: 9:01
  • Mile 3: 8:46
  • Mile 4: 8:52
  • Mile 5: 9:06
  • Mile 6: 8:59
  • Mile 7: 9:07
  • Mile 8: 9:20
  • Mile 9: 9:37
  • Mile 10: 9:50
  • Mile 11: 10:13
  • Mile 12: 9:43
  • Mile 13: 9:39
  • Total time: 2:02:46

As you’ll notice my pace slowed as I got deeper into the race. This was because I began to feel my right hip tighten and begin to hurt. I was fighting through some pain, however, it was a blip on the radar compared to the pain I was in last year. As I passed mile 8, I thought of the debacle that was last year’s half marathon. I thought to myself, I’m not that same girl anymore. I’m a fighter. I also happened to see a sign that said, “Pain is only temporary.” Yep, keep truckin’ Nik. At mile 11 my music decided to stop and I could’ve reset it, but thought, why bother? I could see the park where the finish line was by then and decided to run the last 1.5 miles without music; just body and mind pushing myself to the end. I never realized the mental battle that goes on with runners before I called myself one. Yes, running is physical, but it’s also very mental. That’s one of the {many} beautiful things about running; it gives you confidence, that I can do anything mindset. And that’s why I love running.

As I rounded the corner into the park at mile 13, it rushed over me that I was about to finish. I was about to reach my goal. You work so hard for 5 months and then….it’s over. It’s bittersweet really. I loved training and I loved racing. My excitement radiated as I saw my dad waiting for me at the finish line. I couldn’t help but feel elated and emotional. Running will be forever tied to the loss of my mom. It has been a form of therapy for me. To see my dad and know the support he gives me; it’s hard to describe how much that means to me in words. My mom was always my biggest cheerleader with my dad being a close second. In some way, I feel that even though she’s gone, I can still make her proud.

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I was adorned with my finishers medal, grabbed my shirt, and headed to the finish line to wait for my hubby. My dad was sent text messages with our ETAs so we had an idea of when hubs would finish. I was amazed to see him cross right around his predicted time, a very respectable 2:29:59. I am SO proud of my husband. I’m the one who has pushed us to pursue races and luckily he’s always right by my side. I’m a pretty lucky girl, I know. 🙂

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Many runners get that “now what?” feeling after a race. I am of course looking forward to the Brewers 10K this Saturday, but also enjoying the accomplishment that was my second half marathon. I proved to myself that I can do anything if I set my mind to it. Honestly, I felt defeated after last year’s half, but without that struggle this half marathon would not have been as sweet as it is.

And how sweet it is. 🙂

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