June 7, 2013

A Few of My Favorite Things

As promised (and because I want that Debby Downer post to not be on top), here are a few of my running favorites!

Long Run: I have 2 favorite long run routes, and I enjoy running them in the same way- slow and Garmin-less. The first is along the bay with Sam. It starts flat, passing the water, then eases into some rolling hills into the "fancy" area of town. Back to the water for the finish, and our typical route is 12 to 18 miles depending on the side streets, etc. The other is a 24 mile route, starting from my house and running through two different towns, miles and miles of flat countryside.

Hill Run: There is only one hill in my town. Yep, one. I haven't done hill repeats in many years, but I do take my XC runners there for some pretty kicking workouts. There is an 8 mile group run that we do sometimes. The guys like to run the ups hard and downs easy, but if Sam or Robyn are there, we usually just poke along at easy pace. However, if I am the only girl (which occasionally happens), I do my BEST to stay with Brad who is a hill master. I prefer to get my hill workouts from the trails, which are confined to the State Park 20 minutes away.

Speed Workout: Hmmm. I go through phases where I love and hate speed workouts. If you've read this blog for awhile, you know that for a few years I refused to go to the track. It was totally a mental thing for me, but this past training cycle I feel like I've FINALLY overcome this fear/dread/hate. Proof of this was in my last mile repeat workout of the cycle; I CHOSE to go to the track, instead of my usual flat block or park loops that I used to do regularly. I can't stand middle distance track workouts. My favorite track workout is probably 400s, but I like to do a LOT of them. My favorite in college was 20 x 400. Crazy, I know. I liked these because you could run them slower, but they were still fast! If that makes any twisted sense at all... I also like 800s, but prefer them on my park loop (paved half mile path). If I am doing a road speed workout, I like 1.5-2 mile repeats.


These are the Brooks Versatile shorts. The ones shown are the 5" inseams. I wear these for coaching, especially when I run with the kids. They are super comfortable, but long enough to be "coach-appropriate."

These are the Brooks Epiphany shorts. They are my FAVORITE training shorts. I have them in a ton of colors. They are stretchy and withstand TONS of sweating. They are also slightly fitted, as to not cause my typical "crack kills" problem that I have with some shorts.
*The Brooks Infiniti shorts are also some of my favorites, but they are *tad* shorter than I like. I am quite tall.

This is my go-to summer top. It's the Glycerin Long Bra Top. It has built-in boobs, which I need because I am flat, and enough spandex to not ride up and let your gut hang out (which I also need because I have a food baby). Note- I size DOWN for this top. In my opinion, it runs large, but maybe I am just THAT flat. LOL. Plus, this top comes in SO many fun colors and patterns. I have 4 of them.


I wear one of these type visors nearly every day, mostly for coaching, but occasionally on extremely sunny runs. I developed sun spots on my forehead from years of coaching without protection. Once I hit 30, I decided I did NOT want to have leather skin at 40 and started wearing visors and super sunblock.

I will refrain from listing ALL the Brooks shoes that I own, but I do have a few that I want to highlight because they are just THAT great.

These are the Green Silences, and I don't run in them anymore. I buy them specifically for coaching. I used to have the precious blue pair shown above, but was running in them during my dog attack and the blood soaked into the leather and would never come out. I have an ADORABLE brown/teal pair that I wear for coaching and to school on "jeans day." They are super light and breathable, but trendy enough to wear with non-running clothes.

If I could only have one shoe for speedwork and racing, it would be the ST Racers. I am that OCD girl that changes her shoes and reties them 100 times before a run, and 200 times before a race. THESE SHOES HAVE NEVER FAILED ME. I've done all different sorts of speed workouts and raced every distance in these. I do, however, have nearly the entire Pure line of shoes and race/workout in those, too. This one, though, is my trusty sidekick. Never a blister, never come untied, never bother me. Perfect.

The Launch is my daily training favorite. Of course, right now you can't buy the Launch. It is on hold until July sometime. Therefore, I am swapping it with my old favorite, the Ravenna. Both GREAT shoes. The Launch is a touch lighter, and I've just fallen in love with it the past few years. I especially love the color shown above. I am on my 4th pair of these. LOL.

M-word (I am still too burned to actually said "marathon", but I do recall a few good ones I have run.) My favorite marathons actually have nothing to do with PRs; so you can go ahead and divert your attention AWAY from my marathon list to the right. I really can't narrow it down to just one; so I did pick my top 3 in no particular order.

The RnR Seattle Marathon is AWESOME! The course is not easy, but I just love Seattle- the weather, the course, even that hill at Mile 20. I have great memories from both times I ran the marathon there (one for fun and one racing).

The Wineglass Marathon in Corning, NY. This race is BEAUTIFUL! It is a small marathon, but offers a lot. The town of Corning is really neat. The course is flat, but runs through "wine country." You get a small bottle of champagne in your race bag and win wine as AG awards- score! I had a lot of fun the year I did the race.

The New York City Marathon. I will never run this again due to the cost being to the moon, but when I did it, it was a "modest" $165. It was by far the most exciting marathon I've done. I have never in my life been so distracted while running! So fun!

Half Marathon My favorite half marathon IS actually my PR Half, the Kiser Coastal Half Marathon down here on the beach. It has blown up the past few years since the oil spill, but I think for the better. The course is much better marked now and offers great prizes/goody bags. Unfortunately, the race is during Thanksgiving break, and I've not been in town the past two years for it. The race is sometimes warm (always a risk on the beach, even in the winter), but runs on the paved trails of Orange Beach State Park.

Shorter Distance Races Yeah, I am going to lump all these together. I really love the Double Bridge Run in Pensacola. It is the only 15K around, starting in the downtown area, running through Gulf Breeze, and finishing beachside. It is HARD and WINDY, but BEAUTIFUL. I have done this races for years, even when injured I suffered through the 5K- haha, wouldn't miss it!

And I LOVE any 5k where I can wear a costume. No really, the Ghost River Run is one of my favorites. I got 2nd place last year in my morph suit and turtle shell. The post race party is a total blast, and the awards are a hoot! It's Saturday of Halloween weekend.

I also really like a 5K that's coming up next weekend, Hot Trot. Yes, it is BLAZING HOT. It's right on the beach and doesn't start until 8. Nice, huh? The fun part is the finish. You can run through a sprinkler and then straight beachside for a party! They give away the coolest coffee mugs for AG awards, too.

Well, I think that's a wrap for now. Say a prayer for me. I'm about to take 66 kids to a track meet in central FL. Run Happy!


  1. Anonymous6/07/2013

    These are a few of my favorite things...you've got me humming now. :)

  2. You've got me thinking about long runs now, ans there are a couple of my favorite ones that need running soon, will have to be next weekend.

  3. Funny how we like a lot of the same things:)

    And there's just something about long runs. Sans Garmin, nothing but distance underneath you and friends to entertain you!

  4. I love the Versatile Shorts too! Now I am curious to know how many pairs of gym shoes you do own. :-)

  5. Awesome list! Have you tried Nike tempo shorts? I wanted to like the Brooks short but they always seem to ride up.

  6. Nice list and a great way to focus on everything you love about running. I am so glad you are doing track workouts these days and have gotten over the fear. Love all the photos!

  7. I was so excited to read Seattle RnR as one of your favorites. That was my first marathon so it will always be special in my heart. I am glad you mentioned the sun spots too. I always wear sunglasses but need to start thinking about visors and hats. I am convinced any sunblock I apply sweats off after a few miles.