Fun Summer Running Gear

Fun Running GearI participate in various forms of movement and physical activity but I think I would have to say that running is definitely my physical activity of choice, or at least I am most stubborn about it.  There is something about just being outside with your thoughts, listening to your breathing or boom of super loud music in your ears, that just makes me so happy.

I have mentioned before that when I am not feeling super motivated I will purchase a new pair of running socks to get me excited about running.  Socks are my go to because out of all the running gear I could be buying to motivate myself socks are the cheapest.  But this got me thinking what are my favourite running things?  This is when I realized there are very few things besides my running watch (which I honestly feel could be any brand), orthotics and sun block there are only a handful of things I feel I couldn’t live without.

So here they are the items I feel like without them running would be that much more difficult.

Run Gear1. Lululemon Stuff Your Bra: This bra is nothing short of incredible! Not only does it offer amazing support, the bra itself has tiny little pockets for your keys, cell phone, tissue, lip gloss, tiny little sunblocks.  Sure it is a bra so you don’t want to be stuffing a water bottle in there, but for a house key or your iPod or cell phone this bra is perfect.  The addition of items to the bra’s pockets doesn’t compromise the support it offers, this bra is also awesome in the gym to carry around your music so you don’t have ear phone cables all over the place.

2. Lululemon Run Inspire Crop: another lulu gem.  I love these pants because the mesh on the back of the leg.  I am not much for running in shorts on longer runs however that can become challenging on hot days.  The mesh helps to cool down your leg while still giving you some good coverage.  Also as #1 didn’t give you enough options for storing things, these guys have a nice little pocket on your backside for keys, cards or whatever you would like to put in there.

3. Fuel Belt: The fuel belt above is from the Running Room, it isn’t necessarily my very favourite ever but it is one that has lasted me over 5 years and came in at under $25 so I really have no complaints. Regardless of the brand you choose if you are running more than 5k and it is warm out you should be bringing some water with you and for body balance reasons I find hands free is the best way to go.

4. WATER BOTTLES: as mentioned above water and hydrating is an absolute must during your day, and more importantly when you are outside in the sun being active.  Personally I have two of these little guys threaded onto my fuel belt, one is filled with straight up water and the second normally has some type of electrolyte concoction in it. I like these little bottles because they aren’t overly heavy, and to be honest running with water can be annoying but I am always thankful for it after a long run.

5. Running Hats: I am sure I have mentioned this in the past. I don’t do well with sunglasses, I get too sweaty behind them and become uncomfortable pretty quickly.  I prefer a hat, not only for the reduced sweatiness but also for the protection from the sun.  I am a ginger and therefore burn pretty easily, plus who doesn’t want to protect their face from the harmful rays of the sun?  Now there is a difference between a regular old baseball hat and a running hat.  Running hats are so much lighter and breathable than other hats out there.  To be honest I have no idea what brand my hat is, I went to a Sport Check and bought a hat for $20, the back is mesh and the rest of the hat is made of light weight material.

There you have it. These are my tired and true items, if you didn’t notice I am not much for spending huge amounts of cash on my running gear (I guess besides my slight Lululemon obsession). I find the key to good summer running gear is to make sure the materials used are light weight, breathable and whenever possible moisture wicking!   I understand that I didn’t list my running shoes here which are arguably a must have when running, however when it comes to shoes we all have very different needs and feet.  Personally I tend to buy the same brand year after year, but always try on various brands when purchasing a new pair because designs change, shoes fit differently from year to year and you never know when you might find something that is better suited to your needs.

Happy Wednesday Everyone!

Let me know what your favourite running gear is in the comments below, I am always on the look out for fun new running stuff.

 

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Weekend Round Up – Running Like the Wind

Hello Everyone!  Happy Monday and I hope you all had a restful and amazing weekend.  This weekend was definitely amazing for me.   This past weekend my sister arrived in town from Vancouver for a bit of a visit, and she got in the same morning of the Gingersneezes run club 10k race. So not only do I get to spend some time with my sister I had her in my cheering section during the race which was pretty phenomenal.

Run Club Shirt Collage

Back in April I had started up the Gingersneezes run club, to help build a little running community, and to hopefully help show people who really don’t consider themselves runners that anyone can be a runner as long as they are willing to lace up their shoes and put in some effort.  With the help of my running buddy Susan we started the Gingersneezes run club,  we built a community where no matter what your skill level, pace or experience you would be supported and encouraged to keep on trying.  This past weekend each of the 5 women that joined had the opportunity to show themselves that they really are a group of runners.

Run Club Collage

We had all signed up for the Shoppers Drug Mart Run for Women and Susan and I made sure to ensure the training the run club was doing would help everyone succeed.  Having done the route before in other races I was sure to incorporate hill training (it was one of those nasty routes where they put a substantial hill right at the end of the race) and various strength training exercises in the weekly routine. Each of the run club members were dedicated to showing up every week for our group runs and were even more committed to making sure they scheduled in their weekly solo runs.  Leading up to the race there were nerves and doubts, but the closer the race came the more excited the run clubbers became.

Run Club Love Collage

Each of the run clubbers were encouraged to set some goals for themselves for their first 10k race and were also encouraged to pick a partner to run the race with.  I am beaming with pride to say that each of the run club members smashed the goals they had set for themselves and far exceeded any expectation I had had for them.   All in all it was a pretty amazing morning of huge accomplishments for everyone!

On a personal note I set a PR for myself finishing in 51 minutes and 52 seconds and came in 28th out of 261 participants.  My initial goal was to finish in 55 minutes so coming in almost 4 minutes under my goal felt pretty great.

After everyone had wrapped up their race and a plethora of photos were taken by our cheering section we all headed home to get cleaned up before our celebratory BBQ.  We all gathered back up to share stories of our race and look at some of the pictures that were taken that morning.  After the main meal Susan and I presented our runners with medals in the form of cupcakes commending each of them on their hard work and progress over the past few months.

Run Club Cupcakes Collage

We may have all reached our goal of completing the 10k race but that does not mean that the run club is finished.  Gingersneezes run club will be starting up for a second session beginning September 9th. So if you can run about 5k and are interested in working on endurance and speed drop me a line to join. Just click on this link and let me know you are interested.

Happy Monday everyone.  Have a great day.

Weekend Easter Edition

This past weekend  we had some extra time so my husband and I decided it would be a great opportunity to head to Toronto to see some friends. Leaving right after work Thursday we arrived early and were still able to hang out with our hosts and give them their Easter baskets.

Easter Drive

I figured I should take advantage of Toronto being a much warmer city than Ottawa I decided to tackle my long slow run Friday morning. Rarely having the opportunity to run in a new city it is always so much fun to lace up and hit the pavement to see what is around.  It somehow always makes the run go bye so incredibly fast because everything is something new to see. The only downfall of the bigger was there way more interference with my Nike+ sports watch and it took about 2 km for it to finally pick up a signal. So besides that minor blip on my run everything went well and I was able to get in a nice 8 km loop before we started the day. 

After my run Friday we had a quick bite to eat to tide us over for our 7 km walk to meet some friends for lunch at C’est What.  The service maybe wasn’t the most awesome out there, but the food was amazing and our waitress was sweet so it made up for anything that was lacking.  After lunch we had all decided that it was so beautiful outside that we should attempt to find a patio somewhere to keep the hang out going.  After chasing the sun for a couple of hours we all decided it was time to go home to begin preparing for the evening. FriendsCollage

That evening, our wonderful hosts taking into consideration my eating habits and all of my dietary restrictions made us an amazing meal of avocado chicken, quinoa and steamed broccoli.  The meal literally couldn’t have been better suited for me and it was delicious, definitely a recipe I am going to steal.

Saturday was filled with Dim Sum and shopping, and ended with some more relaxed hang outs and watching hockey night in Canada.  To all my Edmonton friends out there…did you see the Oilers game?!?

After a wonderful weekend with friends it was time to get back on the road and head home to Ottawa, the trek back is never a fun one but it is always so worth it.  Thank you to all of our friends that made our weekend so great and we hope to see you all again really soon.

Happy Monday everyone! 

How did you spend your Easter long weekend?

Just a little side note to everyone in the Gingersneezes Run Club, today is our first run!  Hope to see you all there! 

Fun Filled Day

There are so many fun things happening today I am not even sure where to start. I guess I will start with the weather as that seems like a very Canadian thing to do, especially this time of the year. I know I am fooling myself by thinking that it is almost spring, but it is just so beautiful out today, and by beautiful I mean only a couple degrees below zero. This weather has inspired Susan and I to hit the pavement instead of running on the gym’s human hamster wheels. I couldn’t be more excited to get some fresh air and start running on the ground again. I am also pretty excited to get my first outdoor run out of the way, it is generally the most challenging and often times discouraging. Seeing how the ground beneath me isn’t moving on its own I always find that I don’t end up running as fast and I have to exert so much more energy to get anything done, treadmills are tricky like that. But besides the run possibly being a bit more challenging I am still extra excited to be doing my cardio outside today and not getting frostbite while doing it.
convention
Today is also the Mala Gala which is being put on by our downtown Lululemon. It is in the Ottawa convention center and is just a free hour of yoga for all those who are interested. I am excited because I haven’t really been in the convention center since it has been rebuilt so it will be nice to have a look inside. The yoga practice is being held in their ball room with a wall (or ball?) of windows, which means we should have a beautiful view of the Canal and the Parliament buildings. I will be sure to bring a camera so I can capture some shots of the view for everyone. I think they are expecting a few hundred people so it should be a nice energy filled practice.

With so much to look forward to it is difficult to be in a bad mood today, and like I had promised I have finally taken the time to beautify the core workout I recently created. It was a great workout to add to the end of my cardio day seeing how it only take 10-15minutes, but by the end yours abs definitely make an appearance to say hello. Depending on your fitness level you can definitely up the amount of time in plank position to 1 minute instead of 20 seconds and for added weight and resistance you could add a medicine ball to the toe touches.

ab workout

If you aren’t familiar with hip dips they are done in low plank by lowering your hips from one side to the other, it really works your core and you will definitely feel it. Another you may not be familiar with are the Crazy Ivan’s, please click on the link for a visual description of how to perform this one. I recommend doing one side then moving on to the second side.

I am currently working on a legs and glute workout which will be super helpful for anyone who is planning on joining our Gingersneezes Run Club. Building up leg and glute strength is a great way to prevent injuries while running, so I hope to have that to you in the next week or so.

That’s it for now, I hope that everyone is having a great Tuesday and that you are able to get outside for a run too.

Do you add mini strength workouts to your cardio days?
Are there any strength workouts you would be interested in seeing?