Let’s Talk Gear

Yes, yes I know. I already have a gear page on my blog. It’s not the most up to date, but if it was, it would be a vast page.

So let’s talk about the important stuff. What do I run with? The smartass answer to that question would be: shoes.

But we’ll start down there, if you will, with socks. Every runner knows the importance of a good pair of socks, and a lot of us are loyal to a fault when it comes to a brand. For me, that brand would be the Thorlo Experia socks. They’re light weight, cushioned, and breathe extremely well. Recently they’ve come out with a compression line as well. I’ve got two pairs already and love them. A little lighter than the standard model, but still plenty of cushion.

Moving up from there, we get to the all important Watch. I, like many. Utilize the Garmin Forerunner 235. Gotta have my heart rate and all my other data. I absolutely love it.

Side note, have other Garmin users noticed a quicker satellite pickup with their watch? Mine seems to be going super quick.

Next up, I’m a big sunglasses guy. You’d wear sunglasses if you were going on a 10+ minute drive, so why not when you run? Same difference.

Last year, I invested in a pair of Tifosi wrap around sunglasses. Oh man, these were worth the cost. Super light, comfortable, and don’t fog up. Sometimes I think they make my face look like an insect in race pictures, but that’s a personal problem.

I also have a pair of Bahamas 1 from XX2i as well. I use these mainly as a casual pair, but they can easily double for running as well.

Otherwise, I’ve got a cheap pair from REI and from the Ironman line of gear. These are both fine, but not as good as the Tifosi pair. That extra $50 makes a difference, guys.

And that brings us to the rest of the head.

I love my hate. Never go on a run without one. Normally I’ve used standard running hats (the Shamrock Marathon gave us a finishers hat, one of my favorites). However, even since I picked up a BOCO Trucker’s hat at the La Jolla Half Marathon my life has been changed. I’ve already accumulated a few BOCO truckers hat, and my BibRave one should be arriving in the mail soon.

Sometimes, instead of a hat, I’ll bust out my Buff instead. This is absolutely perfect for moderate (think around 50 degrees) temperature runs. It can double for warming my head, but also just as a sweat catcher.

I do own a buff from the Polar Dash as well. But due to its size, it’s better utilized (for me) as a neck and face warmer once winter descends.

Thats it for my warm weather gear! Once winter arrives, I’ll revisit this post with some winter gear.

What kind of gear do you like to use, or never leave home without?

#MidwestProblems

I’m Wisconsin born and raised, currently living in Iowa, and interviewing for jobs in Minnesota. I also went to college in the Twin Cities metro (just on the Wisconsin side). Basically, I’m a Midwest guy for life.

As those of you in the Midwest know, running here is an adventure and a half. In the summer, we’re bombarded with warm temps, and suffocating humidity. Plus, in Wisconsin and Minnesota, the mosquitoes will probably just carry you away.

And then there’s winter. I’ve run in air temperatures as low as -14 in the past year, and who knows how cold the wind makes it. Plus your casual blizzards in March, and this year (in Iowa) we had a significant amount of ice as well. I legitimately may own more cold weather gear than warm weather gear.

But the reason for this post is the warmth we’re experiencing in central Iowa. Yesterday, I woke up at 4:30 for a track workout, hoping to avoid the heat, only to wake up to 85 and humid weather. I mean, I guess it wasn’t in the 90s?

We’re in the midst of a very warm summer. Looking at the forecast, today is the coolest day…with a high of 85. Throw in the humidity, and it’s rough out there.

Around this time of year, we see a lot of posts about the benefits of running in warm weather, especially if training for a fall marathon. And I totally agree with all of them. Even when the temperature drops to the 60s, it is noticeable on a run. For a fall marathon that may drop into the 30s? Yes please.

I read an article once saying that training in high humidity was comparable to altitude. I don’t know about that, but I’ll take it.

So if you;re looking at the forecast and dreading the heat and humidity, just remember it will all pay off in your fall race.

“Why You No Like Us Anymore?”

I think most of us runners have, in some capacity, a group of people that we run with.

Whether all of your runs are with an organized group, or if you just have some friends that you get some miles in with. We all, likely, run with other people at some point or another.

I’m big on group runs, especially for those Saturday morning long runs. It’s a lot easier to get 15+ miles in with a group of people than it is to do it solo. But sometimes, I think, it’s good to fire off some long runs on your own.

The title of this post is something that was said to me by a member of my running group here in Ames. I haven’t been at a group run in over a month. Yes, running a crap ton of races did impact that. But now a big impact of this is coming with my new training schedule as laid down by my coach.

And as much as I love running with everyone in my group, I’m fine with this. My two best training cycles were the ones going into Grandma’s Marathon 2015 and for Milwaukee 2015 (until I got hurt of course). For both of those, I had a significant amount of time to myself on solo runs.

I’ve got a feeling that a lot of these solo runs will continue, as I continue to approach travel season.

It’s also good for me because, as I’ve mentioned on this blog, I tend to wind up running alone quite a bit in my marathons anyway.

Just an Easy 6

First of all, Happy 4th of July folks!!

I always enjoy the 4th, in part because of fireworks, but also because it’s honestly one of the few holidays we can enjoy in nice weather in the Midwest. But that’s not really the point of this post.

The 4th weekend is also one of the biggest running and race days of the year. If you live in the Milwaukee metro, the big race is the Firecracker 4, and in the Twin Cities it’s the Red, White, and Boom races. And frankly, wherever you’re reading this from, there is a race near you today.

So for me, it felt odd to not participate at all in the race day festivities. An easy 6 was all I had planned, and that’s what I did. Meanwhile, my Facebook, Twitter, and Insta feeds were filled with red, white, and blue racing photos. For me, it felt odd, after so many races in May and June, to not be out there.

There’s nothing wrong with taking time to train (obviously), but normally it’s me running this and that race. I guess it’s just a little bit of no race FoMo hitting me today.

Thats it for today! I hope you all have a great rest of your 4th, and a great start (and remainder) of your training cycles.