Tag Archive | gear

Going By the Numbers

Once video games, TV, and binge watching Netflex has slowed our movement and made us couch potatoes. Now a new crop of technology has started doing the opposite. It began with the Fitbit. Now Smart Watches are taking it a step further. It is getting to be too much?

For me, yes and no.

I got an Apple Watch for Christmas. I admit that I am still figuring out how to use it especially when it comes to workouts and running. For me it is the closing of the damn rings that is taking it to the next level and I realize it’s kind of crazy.

I remember when I read a book about Kathrine Switzer being the first woman to run a marathon. I remember being horrified by her treatment of wanting to be a distance runner, but I also was taken back by the technology of the time. No mapping out the training route in advance for distance. No belts to carry water or fuel. Nothing. Just running. Amazing running, but just running.

Now we live in a time where we basically track everything between our watches and phones. The Apple Watch even has an app that you can use to track your sleep. One morning I woke my son up and as a normal Mom asked him how he slept. His reply was that he would check his sleep app and let me know. WHAT!?!?! We had a conversation about that!

Anyway as a runner, even before my Apple Watch without fail I ALWAYS ran with my Garmin. I liked to see the numbers. I still do and am playing with the Apple Watch to see if I like the presentation as much as my Garmin which I do miss. (Shhhh don’t tell hubby). Although I think it is just because I need to learn more how to utilize the watch for running/workouts. Now that I’ve finished the C25K, I will be slowly setting myself to take the miles up. I need to learn to control my pace again and not let my pace control me. Work in progress.

One thing that I have realized though is that filling the circles becomes a bit of an obsession, but maybe not a healthy one. For example, yesterday I went for 3 miles. I had a fairly active day, but did not wear my watch all day. By the end of the day I realized even though I’m sure that I hit all my daily targets that my calories for the day was under because I didn’t have watch on.

Here’s the thing…… I knew that I was active. I knew that I had a good day. I knew that I hit all my targets for the day, but now I still show an open ring and it bothers me. Like somehow I didn’t meet my targets. Maybe it’s time to control the technology before the technology controls us.

For me: I stopped wearing my watch at night. If I close the circles, I close them. I will work on figuring out the best way to track training and if I’m meeting my goals. Like today being able to put on a pair of jeans that I have not been able to fit into shows much more than any closed circle does.

What to Wear? What to Wear?

As a runner, we tend to become obsessive as race day approaches.


Checking the weather

Deciding on race attire

Checking the weather again

Changing what we plan to wear again.

It’s one of the reasons I like to make my flat runner the night before a race too because then I can see how it all comes together and make any final changes.  I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that thought too.


As an added bonus it makes a nice picture


For many races, you just never know what the weather will bring and you just never know if you’ve dressed appropriately until race day.   The NY Half was no different.   When I signed up, I imagined a traditional Spring race where the weather might be a little brisk in the early morning, but very comfy when the race was finished.   This year was a little different.

It may be mid March on the calendar, but someone forgot to tell mother Nature as she is holding to winter.   That being said, part of deciding what to wear is knowing your body and how you need to dress.   Every runner is different.   I have 2 friends that I run with when I can.   Between the three of us, we are dressed for three separate seasons.   One is always dressed for the coldest possible temperature.    One is dressed what is probably considered appropriate for the temps.   Then there is me…. Usually dressed in shorts with long socks unless it’s mid winter.   That’s because I know how I run.

I run HOT.

You could say that I’m one hot Mama.

You could say it, but it just doesn’t sound right,

but it is.

Here is the thing though even though I know this about myself, I was doubting what to wear to the race. I kept thinking that I should wear long sleeved shirt instead of arm sleeves and maybe I should wear Capri’s instead of shorts.  The problem is that I run in knee length compression socks, so Capri’s turn into full length pants.   Now the reason I was doubting myself is because I was listening to what everyone else was planning to wear, but they were dressing for their race not mine.

Race night came and I had a final consult with Dawn on my wardrobe.   She reminded me of my vest and I added that into the mix which I’m glad that I did.

I was prepared for the early morning pre race chill.   I had throwaway sweatpants and robe which I wore to the start.   Once I removed them in the corral,  I’ll be honest I was cold, but quickly warmed up once the race started.   Even removing my throw away shirt by mile 2  which I ended up just tying around my waste.

In looking at my race photos, you can see that not many people chose the same way as me.   Not sure why because I was comfy while racing.   I kept moving my arm sleeves up and down.   Gloves off and on.    I honestly believe that if I had added layers or longer pants my run would not have been so good.  I was just right (for me).


I dressed not to impress but to keep from overheating.   Believe it or not even dressed like this, I was sweating.    I will admit that the back of my upper arms were feeling the chill from the wind burning some with cold.    I think if I were to run another cold day like this, I might choose different arm warmers.

One thing that I would do differently though is check a bag.   I didn’t really think it through and didn’t realize bag check was right there when you came out.   After the race I was meeting up with everyone at a Starbucks.  We did have a car that was parked in the city the previous day to drive home in that I put extra warm clothes in for after the race.    The only problem with that bag is I exited the Park at 61rst street I believe and I needed to go to 81rst street.    Walking that far after a Half isn’t bad.   Walking that far while your dressed for summer with only a heat sheet isn’t good.   Thank God when someone was getting ready to throw away their head sheet, I asked them if I could have it.    I used that as a skirt.   I’m thinking without that second heat sheet, I would have been in trouble as I was shivering some.

All was good though when I entered the warm of Starbucks and got a hot latte to warm me up.   Plus by that point, I knew that my bag was not far away.   The driver of the van was nice enough to bring the bags to Starbucks, so from that point on all was good.

In the past, I have dressed for the weather at the start.   I found it is so much better to be cold at the start and even finish, but be comfy on my run.

Today was that day:)

Do you run hot or cold?




What to Wear? What to Wear?

Weatherman, Weatherman, What do you see?

What is the weather going to be around me?

Well if you are on the East Coast, the answer is who the Hell knows.

weather  Every day it is something different.   We literally went from 9 degrees to 46 degrees with in a day.


Now I don’t mind running in all types of weather as you really have to do what you have to do.   Some days that might even mean hitting the treadmill, but those are rare days.    What is driving me a little batty is that every day is something different.

Case in point –  3 runs within 4 days.  Each day was something drastically different.   The last run where it was warmer, I made the mistake of checking the weather.  The weatherman lied about when the rain was coming and I got caught in a torrential rain too.  Boo, weather people.  Boo!

No Joke.

No Lie.

It is making it so hard to figure out what to run in.   Now I’m not one to be cold, but I also don’t like overdressing for a run either.   These changing temperatures are making it difficult to know what to wear.   Normally in February it is easy to know what to wear.   Layers, Layers, and then some more layers.   And while that may be true some days this February, it is not true every day.

Do I need to cover my head?    Do I need gloves today?    Do I need a jacket or will my vest be enough?

Again, who the Hell knows.

A lot also depends on pace, because with a slower pace.   Today, although not a faster pace is fast enough.

As my good friend, Genine, said as we were discussing what to wear, “No matter what I do, I will regret something along the way.”

Pretty much sums it up.   But I always go on the side of regretting wearing too much than too little.

This is why at the end of some of my races I look a little like a bag lady.

Philly Marathon

Philly Marathon

But this system works for me.   It might not work for everyone and that is what I love about running.   To each their own:)   The trick is to find out what works for you which can also change on any given day?

How do you decide what to wear?


Night & Day!

The day after my epic coming of the rails run, I had a 14 miler to do.  I planned this one a little better as I knew that the whole point of this run was to run on tired legs.   My legs were tired.   It was still hotter than Hell, but I was determined to make it a good run.

First I decided that I would go later in the evening.   It is hard knowing that you are going to start a long run that won’t finish till the 10:00 PM news comes on, but still better than running in the heat of day.   Second, I plotted out a route that would allow me to meet some of my fellow MRTT Mama’s for miles 3 through 8.   They were supposed to be running a slower pace and I thought it would be good to have company for some of the run.   It was just what I needed even if they had me going a minute or so faster for those miles than my legs wanted to go, but still worth it.   As Janna pointed out, I did miss my tempo run the day before:)   I even had Helen run with me for an extra mile once the group was done.  She thankfully slowed down and it was nice to run with her as I don’t often get a chance.

Then it was time to do the last 4 1/2 miles by myself.  At first it was hard, but then I realized that it was only because I forgot to put my music back on.  For the record and safety, when running on roadways I do NOT use headphones at all.   I play my music right from my phone.    I also stopped at the local 7-elleven to refill my water bottles with cold water as I really hate warm water.   The man at the counter looked at me and all my lights a little odd as did some of the people in the parking lot.   Not sure if it was how sweaty I was because I was a hot, hot mess or the lights.   Either way I went on my way.

shortly after this stop, I had a group of teen boys (God, please don’t let my boys be this obnoxious) yell at me that I should wear reflective gear while running, but in a sarcastic tone while laughing at me.  I just yelled back, “you think?”   Then under my breath said a few things I will not mention on my blog.   This did get me thinking.   What do people think the point of all m reflective gear is?    I have been doing most of my runs ALONE at night with some of the streets not having good lighting.   I want to see where I am going and I think more importantly, I want to be seen!   Truth be told, I worry about drivers when I’m running during the day.   I worry more about drivers when I’m running at night because most are not expecting people to be out when it’s dark.   I’ve said before, my goal for every run is to make it home safely and if looking like a Christmas tree helps you see me at night, I’ve got no problem with that because you know I love Christmas trees!

So what do I wear…..


  1. Headlamp
  2. Reflective Vest (mine is pink)
  3. Nathan Runner’s flashlight
  4. Armband reflective lights – I wear mine on my running belt
  5. Nathan Strobe lights – one of front of the vest and one on back
  6. Another Strobe light on my belt
  7. Reflective running gear
  8. Pepper Spray – not reflective gear but I think important safety gear

Most of these items were either purchased at my local running store or Amazon.  To the average person, I may seem a little crazy with my lights maybe even bordering on OCD.   That’s ok as long as you see me coming:)

What do you use for night running?

Water, Water everywhere and Not a Drop to Spare!

If you live in Jersey, you are used to hot and humid summers.   Summer heat is great when you can lounge at the pool or surf the waves at the beach.   It’s not so awesome when you are running in it.   The last few long runs I’ve been lucky enough to have days so hot and humid that my town even has cooling centers due to heat advisory and air quality.  I’m a firm believer though if you wait for the perfect conditions to run, you will never run.


I’ve run a lot of long runs in extreme heat.   A few of my MRTT Mama’s are joking that they think that I am training for Death Valley.   I’m not but I sometimes feel that way too!

Even though to those driving by me running on an 87 degree day with 66% humidity, I may seem stupid, I will say that I am not.   This is not to say that during my run I’m not thinking the same thing, but I do really put some thought into my runs and I do take the weather into account.  Unfortunately, for me many of my runs are during the day.   If I was one to wake up at the crack of dawn I might not have this problem, but I like to sleep.   So I have adapted and adjusted.

Here are four things that I always do for a long run!

  1. I do not go out empty handed.   Actually, I do because I have a Fitletic Hydration Belt; but I ALWAYS have water.   My belt has 4 bottles that allows me to carry 24 ounces of water.
  2. I map out my run to utilize routes that usually have the most shade.   I may not (ok never) follow my map exactly, but it is a nice general guide.   I adjust as I go.
  3. When mapping out my runs, I plan for water stops.  Yes, even with my belt I need to refill.   On yesterdays 15 miler, I refilled two and a half times.   Sometimes I know exactly where I will stop (park or store), but often times I make sure that I am running in an area where there are people I know whose houses I can stop to refill.    I’ve also been known to see a perfectly good stranger outside and ask if they have some water to spare.   You will be surprised how nice people are:)
  4. Go slow!!    This is easy to do in the heat when your legs become heavy the further you go, but so many people try to maintain their pace in the heat.    Don’t!


Also as a side note, if you can perfectly end your 15 miles at a Dunkin Donuts you are golden!   Nothing like an iced caramel latte to help cool you off and put back any calories you may have burned off!

I will not lie, yesterdays 15 miles in the heat was a killer.   By the time that I got home, my clothes were literally dripping with sweat and felt like I had been swimming in them.   Yuck!    That being said, I do keep thinking that once cooler weather comes that all this pushing myself in the heat is going to make for some nice fall running or at least that’s what I tell myself!

I have also come to the realization that it just might be time for me to take my hyrdation up a notch on my runs.   I’m looking at hydration vests.   I realized yesterday that as soon as I run out of water, I wilt.   Then I thought about heading to the hills of Vermont where there are no local friends homes to stop.   So it’s once again shopping time.   I am so glad that running is a sport that is free.  Ha!!!

How do you stay hydrated?

A Little Help From My Friends!

I had a great run yesterday.   It wasn’t because I was fast because I wasn’t.   It wasn’t because it was easy because it wasn’t.  It was great because I had the support of my fellow Mama friends to gt me through it!

Yesterday I needed to do 12 miles.   I didn’t feel like doing it.   I couldn’t do it in the morning since I knew that I wouldn’t have enough time to get it done while my youngest was at his summer program.    I didn’t want to do it during the day, so that left the evening.   Unfortunately, I couldn’t get out the door till around 7:00.   I literally was running down the street as my husband was getting home.   Hey, dinner was on the table!   What more can a man ask for?

Anyway, I thought that I would be fine to be back before it got too dark.   I thought I went out prepared.   I wore my pink reflective vest, socks, and wrist bands.   I even work a small light on my visor.    Then about 5 miles into it, I am beginning to realize that I made a slight miscalculation on the sunset.   I ask Siri what time the Sun will set and find out that I miscalculated by more than a half an hour.   At this point, I am literally miles from home.   I didn’t want to have to call my hubby to pick me up and I wanted to get my run all the way in considering this was my first real week of marathon training.   Don’t want to get off on the wrong foot.   It’s not dark yet, but I know it’s coming.    What’s a Mama to do?

Call for reinforcements!!

BAMR Friends!


My long running routes, I usually loop to a local park.   A park with facilities and water fountains that I use to refill my bottles with.    As I was getting closer to thus particular park, I messaged the queen of night time blinky running, Janna.   As a plus, she is also only a 5 minute drive from the park.   Unfortunately, she was in the midst of a piano lessons but informed me that Dawn was at the park.    She told me that if Dawn didn’t have any blink on her that she would sent some back with her.   As I was running in the park, I started to call Dawn but then saw her across the parking lot!    Once I caught up with her, she informed me that unfortunately she did not have any blinky on her but would happily bring me back some after picking her daughter up at Janna’s!    So while waiting for Dawn to come back, I ran a half a loop around the park with another BAMR from my MRTT group that Dawn had been running with.    Then Dawn came back.   Suited me up so that I could safely make it home and off I went.

I finished the run, but did get slower as the miles went by.   More so because I wanted to be safe and visibility wasn’t that wonderful.    My headlamp may be good for camping, but it is not a running headlamp.   I did change my return route up a bit to stay on streets that I knew had some lighting.    By the time I got home it was dark, but i got in my 12 and that is really my goal.

To top it off my pace was off the whole run too.   I should have been running at a 10:45- 10:55 pace, but ended up running an average of 11:09.   Part of that is because I didn’t double check my pace before I left and really thought that I was supposed to be running an 11+ pace as I have been.   My bad.   Although, I don’t know that I had a faster pace in me anyway.   I guess I will see next time!

After coming home, getting a protein smoothy, stretching, showering, and eating; I went online and bought some more blinky’s to be better prepared next time.   I already had some, but I realize that what I have is more for dusk time running not it’s dark running.    The goal of all my runs is to come home safely and if I have to light up the night with my runs to do so, I will:)

Do you run at night?

What is your favorite night time running accessory?

Friday Five – Five Ways to Have Happy Feet

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme in honor of National Running Day this past week,

5 Ways to Have Happy Feet when you have Plantar Fascitis

or as Happy as our feet can be:)

1.  Shoes, Shoes, Shoes

Hoka One

Don’t skimp on your shoes.    If your lucky, you can even find last years model of a normal $170 pair of shoes at DSW for only $70.   I love my Hoka One’s.  The joke in my MRTT group is that they are made with magical unicorn horns due to the price.   I will say that I do think there is some magic in them.  These are the shoes that I was meant to run in!   Every foot is different, so you need to find the one that your foot was made to run in but I love mine:)

2.   Roll, Roll, Roll your feet

Rolling Foot

This was recommended by my podiatrist and it is one of those things that hurts so good.   A iced water bottle.   This is probably the cheapest trick in my bag of tricks, but it feels so good.   Plus, I can pop the bottle out of the freezer and roll my foot out while making dinner or any time of day.

3.   Stretching

I usually start off the day by stretching my calf before I even get out of bed.  Then there are a few that I do during the day, but by far, my favorite stretch is to have my toes on the stairs and just bring my heals down.

4. Taping feet before running

Taping feet Taping Feet

I just started doing this and it has already made a huge impact on my feet.   It only takes a few minutes to do and I haven’t even noticed the tape while running.

5.  Orthotics

I had a pair made and they are in the process of tweaking them because the arch was made too high on one which was making the pain slightly different.   More in the arch of the foot, but still not alleviating the heal pain.   That being said, I could tell it was making a difference overall.   I was sorry to give them back, but hope to have them back in my shoes in another week.

Have you every dealt with foot pain?

What have you done?

Friday Five – Where is all Your Stuff?

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Ways to Organize Your Fitness Gear


I would like to say this is what it looks like everyday, but it doesn’t.   This is what it looks like after a clean up.   To be honest, this is what it looks like most days.


Not too bad, but not as good as when I first organized.

Some days worse, but you don’t need to see that!

1.  Bags – different activities require different gear.  Therefore, I have these things in their own bags that I can just grab and go.   I’ve got a yoga bad, a running bag, a gym bag, and a swim bag.   Might seem overkill, but it works for me.   This way when I’m heading out I can just grab the right bag.

2.  Shoes – I don’t know a runner who only has one pair of running shoes.   Maybe this is just the runners in my circle, but most of us have several pairs of shoes.   Plus we find it hard to let go of our old ones.   I keep my shoes under my bed which is right next to the bins in the picture.   This way everything is right there for the taking.

3.  Bins, Bins, Bins – the smaller bin contains smaller things that I use all the time such as my Garmin, running hat or headbands, gels, ect

The back bin holds all my aforementioned bags.

The front bin which has a lid holds miscelanous items that I need but not every day – night running vests and lights, extra belts, ect, ect.

4.  Bags, Bags, Bags – Under my bed, behind my shoes is a bag filled with tutus ( you know I have more than one!).   In the bins, I have my extra belts in a bag, my night time running equipment in a bag, my race day stuff in a bag.   You get the idea.

5.  Clothes – Just like I have to change out my normal wardrobe by the season, I change out my running clothes by season.   Then all my running shorts, pants, shirts ect will fit into one of the bigger drawers in the dresser.   I have a hook to hang vests and jackets above the bins.

My goal is to keep everything contained and out of the way.   There is a method to my madness to because if it’s left out hubby might actually see how much stuff I have.   Then he might begin to ask questions.   What he doesn’t know, he doesn’t need to know:)

Where is all your stuff?

Spring Cleaning Has Begun!

I don’t know about you, but it seems like my workout clothes, gadgets, belts, ect are multiplying.   Now some of this may be because I have bought a few things here and there.   When I first started working out, I took a trip to Target and bought some lovely workout wear thinking that I was good to go.   Then I realized that this only covered the basics.   As I mentioned in a previous post though, I have a few different “gym” bags for various activities as each requires specific items.

Case in Point….

Gym Bag – This would be considered the traditional gym bag with lifting gloves, workout towel, jump rope and such.

Swim Bag – Goggles, swim cap, towel, shower items as I like to wash the heavy chlorine scent off before leaving.

Yoga Bag– Yoga mat, yoga foam block, towel for mat,

Running Bag – chap-stick, sunglasses, few dollars, Gu, and odds and ends

Then you add running jackets, watches, rollers, hydration belts, regular belts, ect, ect and before you know it, my workout gear has taken on a life of it’s own or at least a whole corner of my room.   Now I don’t mind that it’s taken over my corner, but I do mind that it’s a hot mess.   On top of that it was getting very hard to find anything.    It was time to realize that something needed to be done.

What needed to be done required a trip to Target again.   I hit the organization section and found two different size storage bins that would help. I already had one bin with a lid.   Although, I had been trying to pretend that I didn’t need more storage, I was only fooling myself.   Without further ado, I will show you the before and after.


corner3Yes, I am embarrassed but these things happen to a busy mama and I just forgot to take a picture.  I did take one after I started and I had dumped everything all over my bed.


Ok, feel better.


cornerI feel a peace and tranquility now.

Things are organized.

Things are easily accessible.

And lastly, things are neat. The bigger bin has my various bags and extra bags.   Smaller bin has things that I might need on the go.  The taller bin which has a lid now hold things that aren’t used frequently such as night time running gear, extra belts and such.

Slowly I’m making progress.   I even started organizing my kitchen too.   One drawer at a time.


It may take a while, but I do feel like I’m getting there.   Maybe by the end of the year, I will be fully organized.

How do you stay organized?

The Most Expensive FREE Sport Ever!

We’ve all heard the expression that anyone can run because it doesn’t cost anything.


Now I don’t know who said this, but they are an idiot.

Just saying:)

From the outside looking in, it may appear that running is a “free” sport as there is no charge to run in the street.    I would love to think that running is a free sport.    I would further like to convince my husband that running is a free sport, but he is a smart man and an accountant at that so I believe he knows better.   Yes, I would like to think that running is free, but I am only fooling myself and no one else.

The second hydration belt I bought because I liked the waterproof pocket of it compared to the first one WAS totally necessary.   The shoes that need to be replaced as the miles add up.   The shoes I bought that didn’t feel right when I used them that needed to be replaced (plus  they squeaked). The Gu by the case from Amazon to keep me  going.   The running tights, the sports bras, and on and on the list goes.  We won’t even get into race fees here as I’m just talking about “gear.”  Yes, running does not have to break the bank, but I think once you hit a certain point in your running you do need to dip into the Piggy Bank not just to prevent injury but also for comfort.

That is where I am at right now.


As the weather changes, I am an the search for the perfect running jacket.   Yes, I did buy a nice jacket recently.   I really like it, but I’m not sure if it will be the right jacket for me to run in.   This may end up being only something to run in when it is REALLY cold and snowy.   This will also be a  great jacket for playing in the snow.    I do know that I tried to use it for my half this past weekend and I got too warm in it relatively quickly. The temperatures at the start was in the mid twenties.   Underneath the jacket I had a base layer of a long sleeved under armour and a short sleeved heat gear shirt.    Yes, I do know that I tend to run hot so for me this jacket might not be the right fit to run in or I need to adjust my layers.   So off I am looking for another jacket when I’ve already made a decent investment in one and it is driving me nuts.  (For those curios – I got the Athleta Maribel Ski Jacket on sale, of course).   I think I need something more breathable, but I also want something waterproof.

In my search, I have found many jackets that I would get in a heartbeat if I wasn’t worried about the price.   Then there is also the part where you think that you are getting something that will fit your needs and realize that it doesn’t.   Case in point the jacket that I just bought.   Sometimes you need to take things for a test run to find out and sometimes you need to take it on several test runs.   I’m not giving up on my sleek warm waterproof jacket, but I know that I need other options too.   And so it goes with running in a place with fluctuating temperatures.   Just like your normal wardrobe, you need different things for every season of running.

Light Jackets,  Rain Jackets, Heavy Jackets, Layers…

On and On it goes..

Admit it, you’re running gear is busting out of the drawers too or is that just me?