Friday, September 19, 2014

Fit Tip Friday: Race Day Gear!

Last night's webinar with Nathan of Minneapolis Running (and me) was all about Race Day Gear.
If you're training for the Twin Cities Marathon (or any fall marathon), I think these tips will be helpful as you start to finalize your gear for the big day.

I'll share the video of our webinar soon, but I thought I could recap here for Fit Tip Friday just a few of the things that we talked about. You should definitely check out the webinar as soon as its available as it will have even more good information. Stay tuned!

What to Wear During the Race:

Rule #1- Test Out Your Entire Race Day Outfit.
Don't try anything new on race day.
Have every detail planned out- socks, shoes, shorts, sports bra, tank, etc.

Shoes: Race Day Gear is about more than shoes, but shoes are still very important.

I am a Brooks Ravennas girl. I always buy a new pair of my same shoe a few weeks before the marathon, ideally in time for my last big run. This way my shoes are "fresh" but I have time to break them in a little bit before race day. 

Do not wear a brand new pair of shoes on race day, even if it’s the same shoe you always wear. You still need time to break them in and you never know that they will be the exact same shoe. 

Extra Shoe Tip! Double-knot your shoes on race day! You do not want to have to bend over and tie them at mile 24….you might not bend back up! Check out THIS POST on Minneapolis Running on how to tie your shoes.

Fuel belt:  If it's really hot or you have been training with a fuel belt or a handheld water bottle, feel free to carry it on race day. However, I do think there will be plenty of support along the TCM course that you won’t necessarily need it, but go with what makes you more comfortable. 
A long cabin run with my fuel belt
SPI Belt for gels or a belt for pinning on your bib number:
Sometimes I use a little “fanny pack” for my gels if I don’t have enough room in my shorts pockets. A lot of people in my run club also use the belts for pinning on their bib numbers, especially if they are planning to shed layers or go shirtless (which is a whole other debate HERE

Do plan ahead if you plan to shed so your bib is on the bottom layer.

For the Ladies only…
Ladies...the most important piece of apparel in my opinion, other than a good pair of running shoes, is a good sports bra. Big or small, it doesn’t matter- a good sports bra can make a huge difference over 26.2 miles of bouncing around.

Moving Comfort is one of the best in the business, and most running stores that carry that brand have the knowledge to size you correctly in a bra that is perfect for you. (I know Running Room in Uptown definitely does). I have also had good luck (and so have a lot of my friends) with the lululemon bras (the Bitty Bracer, the Ta Ta tamer- the names are fun, but they actually work.)

Plan ahead how you are going to keep your hair out of your face. I'm a big fan of BIC bands or Sweaty bands which have velvet on the underneath so that they stay in place. 

Bring an extra hair binder/tie- it would not be fun if your hair tie breaks during the race! I wear an extra one around my wrist just in case.

For the men…
From what I hear…it’s important to put band-aids or a lot of body glide over your nipples.

For everyone…
Body glide- Use it. All over. A lot of it.
If you think you'll want to wear a hat, practice wearing a hat on a long run.
Same with sunglasses.

Worrying About the Weather and What to Wear Before the Race...

For the Twin Cities Marathon, you really never know what to expect with the weather. I ran it on a very hot year and I ran it on a pouring rain year (2008). The past few years, it’s been a perfect 40 or 50 degrees at the start.

Weather Forecast:
Even the 10-day forecast can change drastically. I mean this is Minnesota. Plus, there are some things you can’t control, and the weather is one of them.  All you can control is how you react (mentally) to the weather. If it’s hot you may have to readjust your time goals. If it’s windy, you might have to readjust (unless it's a tail wind, then you're golden!)

In case of rain..
You can start with a poncho and lose it after you warm up.
Visors help in the rain.
Body Glide on your feet to help with the blisters.
Body Glide everywhere when it’s raining.

In case of Sun/Heat:
Body glide.
In the rain or the cold, you can adjust and still keep the same goal in mind. In the heat, it can be tough. The people who aren’t affected by the heat are few and far between. If it really is hot, you will need to adjust your time goal.

In case of cold:
Ideally, you WILL be cold at the start. The colder the better!
Bring layers- layers to shed in your gear check bag or layers to toss to the sidelines. 

Arm warmers : I have used these for the start and then either tossed them to a friend, or if I have made my own out of tube socks to toss. Some people think the arm warmers look silly, but they really work for me.

Addtional Race Day Gear Tips!
Tell your friends and family what you will be wearing so they know how to spot you in the crowds.

I highly recommend putting your name on your shirt. I use electrical tape in a contrasting color from what I’m wearing. You can write it in marker on your arm. I swear, it will make a HUGE difference.

As an enthusiastic TCM spectator, I also have to tell you that it makes a difference when I can yell “Go Dustin” to a stranger vs. “Go #308” or “Go green shirt guy!”. Give us your name!!!

It will make a huge difference to you as a runner too, I promise. In my 50 state quest, I run a lot of marathons in cities where I don’t have any familiar faces in the crowds and it helps me a lot to have someone cheer “Go Jessie!”. Even at the Berlin marathon, where apparently the “J” sound is not a common one, the cheers of “GO YESSIE” still gave me that extra push.

What to Wear After the Race...

Be sure pack warm dry clothes in your gear check bag- sweat pants, a sweatshirt and maybe a camera or cell phone if you don’t have anyone meeting you at the finish. You will want pictures to document the experience!

My husband likes to pack flip flops, no matter the weather; a more comfortable shoe and fresh socks is a good idea.

Compression Socks
I have tried them during and after a race. I don’t feel that they made a difference for me; however, enough people believe in them that I am not writing them off completely so definitely try them out after the race if you’d like.

Okay- that was a lot of information! If you made it through the whole thing, thanks. I hope you found a useful tip or two to help you on race day!

....don't stop until you make it to the capitol!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fitting Remarks: A Reflection on my 2014 Minneapolis Summer Bucket List

Labor Day has passed us by, so I suppose I should concede that summer is on it's way out... It doesn't officially end until September 22, but I figure it's time for me to reflect upon my summer bucket list and see how I did. Here we go!

1. Leave  a note for the elf on Lake Harriet. Come back later and search for a personalized response.

Done! I left him a note on a Sunday and came back to see what he had to say a few days later.

I asked him what the secret is to becoming a faster runner like him. He told me below...
The secret to speed is to be a maniac! Good to know. I'll get right on that.

2. Take an outdoor yoga class with the Yoga Garage
Sort of...I wasn't able to take a class with Meggan as the instructor because her Wednesday night class conflicted with the strength conditioning for runners class I took at the Calhoun Beach Club. I was, however, able to take a special morning yoga class with Luminous Yoga with Meggan as another participant!

I also fit in another one of Emily's (of Luminous Yoga) regular classes last Tuesday. It was lovely! Tonight is your last chance for outdoor yoga with The Yoga Garage on Isles (Wednesday at 6:30 pm).

3. Bike to SeaSalt Eatery
Done! We did this over Labor Day weekend.  The line for food was crazy long, but it was worth it. I loved my shrimp tacos and we also shared some pickled herring.

I think I get bonus points as we also made it to Sandcastle on Lake Nokomis this summer (Doug Flicker's joint). We had never been here before and stopped by for lunch after checking out the Wiener Dog races on Labor Day weekend.

4. Stand-up paddleboard
Sort of...We paddleboarded quite a bit at the cabin this summer...

...but never in Minneapolis, which is a  bit of a fail, especially because we even bought one of THESE to pull the boards behind our bikes. We'll be ready for next summer I suppose!

5. Spend an afternoon on the Relaxation Station
Done! I definitely accomplished this at the cabin this summer. But the new star of the lake was the fun station. Not quite as relaxing as the relaxation station but it’s good to know we have a station for every necessary cabin emotion...

6. See a bear
Fail. No bears. My spellcheck changed that to beers. There were plenty of beers this summer, but no bears.

7. Make it to a Twins Game. Bonus Points- take a Nice Ride bike to get there. Extra Bonus points: Get on the kiss cam!

 I did this twice- once with my work team and once with Dustin in the Legends Club. No bonus points though. That would have been pretty awkward to get on the kiss cam with my work team, right?

8. Go to a church supper in a small town- preferably a lutefisk dinner
Fail. I had planned to go to strawberry festival in Little Cannon Falls, but we had the wrong weekend and missed it completely. I did, however, participate in a small town 5k! That should count for half a point, maybe?

9. Catch a pike or another “big” fish. (A Muskie would be bonus points!)
Fail. I don't even think I picked up a fishing pole but I did put a worm on a hook for one of my nephews. That should count for something!

10. Eat something on a stick at the Minnesota State Fair.
Not quite. Dustin and I made our yearly trek to the fair (read all about it HERE), but I never actually had anything on a stick. Even if I had tried, I sure couldn't have eaten as many items on a stick as THIS GIRL <-- holy cow, that's impressive! But I did get a full fair experience, minus the actual something-on-a-stick.

12. Attend a summer concert at the Lake Harriet bandshell
Done. We walked over there a few weekends ago for some music. It was so lovely! Sometimes I forget how beautiful Lake Harriet is, but this was a timely reminder.

13. Pick a winner of Best Jucy Lucy between the 5-8 Club and Matt’s Bar.
Done! I went to the 5-8 Club for the first time a few weekends ago. I have to admit their Jucy Lucy was really good. It's such a tough call, I don't know which one is better! I think they are both awesome. So maybe I didn't actually pick a winner, but at least I have tried them both and can have an opinion.

14. See an outdoor movie in the park.
Fail...I had high hopes of going to see Back to the Future at the Linden Hills park in August, but something came up and it didn't fit in my schedule.  I'll have to try again next summer!

15. Lawn bowling at Brit’s Pub
Fail...This just never happened. Next year!

16. Go to the Mill City Farmer’s Market
Fail, though I did make it to the Linden Hill Farmer's Market multiple times. 

FYI, you can now bring your dog to the Linden Hills Farmer's Market, which is new from last summer. Our neighbor's food truck, Hot Indian, often makes an appearance there. If you haven't tried this food truck, you should!

17. Have an ice cream date at Sebastian Joe’s
Done! We walked over to the Linden Hills location last Saturday night after fully recovering from the capitol run. Dustin had the ginger ice cream and I had the Open Street's Cycle-delic (mango, chocolate chips, sea salt, raspberry). Yum!

18. Go to an old-school drive-in...

19. Go to Taylors Falls and the Franconia Sculpture Park!
DONE and DONE! Read all about it in THIS POST. We combined these three items into one lovely summer day.

20. Run a trail race
DONE, DONE, and DONE. And maybe more this fall --> I am registered for THIS RACE and one of THESE

21. See the Lake Creature!
Fail...we never met over to see Minnie the lake creature on Lake Powderhorn. Sorry Minnie...

22. Visit Isles Bun & Coffee

We headed here after the City of Lakes half marathon for a quick lemonade and a puppy dog tail (to celebrate Dustin's sub-1:30 PR!) Sugar overload....Dustin went with the big cinnamon roll and the unlimited frosting, I did a puppy dog tail.

23.  Visit Wild Rumpus bookstore
Done! No pictures, but I did stop by here a couple of times when we were in the area, but not with my nieces or nephews (which would have been more fun...) If you have young kids or neices/nephews, take them HERE, they will love it!

24. Bonus: Pizza Farm!
Done! Read all about it HERE. I'm pretty sure this will be on my fall bucket list as well, as it was a lot of fun.

Well, there you have it- my reflection on my summer bucket list!

I think I did pretty well, but there were some things I didn't fit in that I really wish I would have. I suppose there's always next summer. Stay tuned for my fall bucket list, coming soon!

**As summer comes to a close, did you squeeze in everything you had hoped to? Please share in the comments!  

Please share any fall or winter bucket list items that you think I should add to my upcoming list!

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tilda Tuesdays: The Minnehaha Dog Park and the Wiener Dog Races.

Happy Tuesday!

Tuesday is supposed to be the day of the week when we are the most productive in the office.  So...good job being so efficient friends! Now it's time for a little bit of cute dog distraction to break up all this productivity. It's time for Tilda Tuesday!

Today's post is about one of Tilda's favorite dog parks, the Minnehaha Dog Park.

We don't go to this dog park as frequently as the airport dog park, but when we do go, Matilda LOVES it.

She loves the sandy areas. She loves the wooded areas. She loves the beaches. She kinda loves the river, but not so much that we have to give her a bath afterwards.

Since it has been a really wet summer, we were worried that this park would be flooded, or at the very least, extremely muddy. Yet we went over Labor Day weekend, and it wasn't bad at all! We spent about an hour and a half letting Tilda run crazy at the park, before heading to..drumroll please....THE WIENER RACES at Lake Nokomis!!!

Oh my gosh, this was the cutest little event ever! It was organized by the SandCastle restaurant. I read about it on the Sidewalk Dog blog a few weeks ago, and pencilled it into our calendar.

The event featured a pretty short course for the races- actually, less than 50 yards...There was a woman calling out the "heats" and starting each one with a Ready, Set, Go!

 These dogs were IN IT TO WIN IT! 

Spectators lined the course, of both the human and canine variety. 

The below picture is a wiener dog named Annabelle, who took home the big win in the finals. She didn't let anything distract her. This wiener is a winner!

And for your viewing enjoyment, here's a quick video of the races:


The wiener dog races at Lake Nokomis were such a cute event for dog lovers of all kinds. We will definitely be back next summer. Tilda seemed to enjoy it too, though I'm guessing she would have crushed those poor dogs in a race.

Matilda wants to know, when are the vizsla races??
I suppose she can have her moment of glory next year at the Fast & Furry 8k!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Weekly Recap: Luminous Yoga and Another Successful Capitol Run!

Another week has passed us by and fall has definitely arrived in Minneapolis. I am not quite ready to pull out my fall jacket. I'm going to resist as long as I can! The cooler temps have made running a bit more pleasurable though.

Speaking of running, here is how last week turned out in Fitness:

Monday: 10 miles with 7 hill repeats in the middle. I did this workout with the Calhoun Beach Running Club the day after the City of Lakes Half Marathon. My legs were definitely still tired from the race the day before but I have recently read a lot of articles about the benefit of training on tired legs, so maybe this wasn't such a bad idea after all. I muscled through it, but took Tuesday off from running to recover.

Tuesday: No running. Took a 60-minute outdoor vinyasa class with Luminous Yoga at Lake Calhoun with my friend Vicki. It was lovely.

Wednesday: 5.5 miles with Matilda. It was windy, rainy, and surprisingly cold. I thought Tilda and I would do two lakes, but she didn't seem to be enjoying herself so I cut it short. In the evening, we had our last strength conditioning for runners class at the Calhoun Beach Club. Overall, I really enjoyed this class and I hope that it made me stronger! We'll see at the OBX marathon...

Thursday: 8.5 miles with my friend Meggan. She had mile repeats on her schedule, so we met in the morning to do the warmup together and then did our separate workouts. I had three 10-minute tempo intervals. I feel like I struggle to hit the same paces in the morning that I can easily hit after work, so I'm thinking I need to save the workouts for the evenings and only do easy runs in the early hours. What do you think? Is it easier for you to run hard in the morning or after work?

Friday: 45 minute "mini-barre" class at The Barre in Edina. This was a condensed version of their 60 minute class. I prefer the 60 minute class because you do a lot more arm work. The 45 minute class still does plenty of core/planks, quads and glute work, but I would rather get take the full 60 minutes of "lift, tone, burn!"

Saturday: 18 mile long run with the Calhoun Beach Running Club. Yesterday was the big "capitol run" for our club, where everyone runs from the club to the capitol along the Twin Cities Marathon course.

It is a great opportunity for people to get familiar with the TCM course, including the hills coming up from the river and the rolling hills on Summit Avenue. It was too early in my marathon training to do 22 miles, so we hopped in 4 miles into the route to join for the last 18 miles. It's a really fun morning run. I think we had 45-50 people participating! I have posted about this training run many times in the past (HEREHERE, HERE).

For the past several summer capitol runs, I have had to run a modified route because my marathon is not the same day as the Twin Cities Marathon. The same was true this summer. I still enjoyed 18 miles of the route. I felt great.

We kept our average pace under 9's (I think around 8:50's).  I took two Hammer Gels and there were three organized support stops manned by volunteers from our club that had Powerade, water, and other snacks for us along the way.

Today, Dustin, Matilda, and I slept in and eventually went for an easy 5.5 mile run.

FYI, I found my response from Mr. Little Guy in the elf tree! I'll be posting about it Wednesday in my summer bucket list recap.

It was such a gorgeous day that we decided we needed to get more fresh air. Its weird- as a runner, I often don't "count" the time that I'm running as time outside...I always feel get a little FOMO (<- fear of missing out!) if I'm only outside when running and I want to do more and more on a beautiful day. I know that I'm getting plenty of fresh air when running, but for some reason, it doesn't always feel like it counts.

Anyways, after tooling around on our bikes for awhile, we made a pit stop at the Fulton brewery for a quick bite at the Tollfeson's Family Grill food truck.

Total: 5 days of running, 1 yoga class, 1 barre, 1 easy bike ride, and 1 strength day. I felt like this week was pretty well balanced!

Here's what is new in Fitness Fashion!
My running shoe of choice, the Brooks Ravennas just came out with a new ombre color scheme!

I LOVE it and ordered a pair right away. I won't need them right away, as I am already running in a new pair of Ravennas right now-

...but I do like to have another pair on hand so that I am always prepared. So I purchased this new pair in the awesome ombre hue and they will be next in line after my neon pair hits 500 miles...

Yes, I do diligently track the miles in my shoes. I figure it's the least I can do to prevent injury. In fact, after a longer run last week, my shins were hurting. I checked my mileage and realized my last pair had 570 miles on them. It was definitely time to recycle that pair and move on to my backup pair!

That's all from the Right Fits this week. I hope you had a great week- do anything fun in fitness or try anything new in fitness fashion?

Please sign up HERE for the next webinar with Minneapolis Running. We'll be talking Tips for Gear for First Time Marathoners. Would love to have you there!

Fitting Remarks: Marathon Fueling for First Timers

Hi all!

I've been working with Nathan Freeburg of Minneapolis Running on a weekly series of webinars for first time marathoners. You can watch the first one of this series below and you can sign up for the next one HERE 

It's more fun if you participate live as you can ask us questions directly while we're talking. Nathan has been running for twenty years and is very close to qualifying for Boston (sub 3:10 for him). He has a lot of knowledge to share!

I'm pulling from my experience with 16 marathons to hopefully offer some insights and tips to help you on your marathon journey.

Come join us next Thursday at 9 pm CST!

Nathan and I will be hosting three more of these live Google hangouts for the next three Thursday nights at 9:00 pm CST. The dates are September 18, 25 and October 2. You can join us live and ask questions, or watch the replay at your convenience.

Next Topic- September 18: Race Day Gear:
What will you race in? Do you have non-chafing, technical fabrics that you’ve tested during training? Also, It would seem fall marathons rarely have consistent weather. They can be hot, cold, rainy, windy, etc. We have a few tips to help you navigate the unpredictability of ever changing weather patterns.

Hope to hear from you soon!