Awesome holiday running gifts

ER posterized

Today’s run (street): 2.5 miles
Yesterday’s run (street): 3.2 miles
Thursday’s  run (street): 3.2 miles
Last Sunday’s run (street): 3.8 miles

It’s the first day of Chanukah,  Christmas Eve and of course Holiday, the arbitrary period of time of celebration for Pastafarianism. I finished up business for 2016 on Thursday and worked from home which allowed me to get out for a run in the morning. The day before, when I was still in the office, one of my managers gave me a very thoughtful holiday gift – an Under Armor hat and running gloves. I wasted no time trying them out and wore them on my Thursday morning run.

I was off from work as of Friday and out until January 3rd. That should give me an opportunity to get in some extra running miles. Yesterday’s run was similar to Thursday’s. I mixed up my route but ended up covering about the same distance as the day before. We were expecting overnight visitors, so I had to be finished up and presentable before they arrived.

Winter running gear makes me happy

This morning I got out early  so I could get in my run before our guests woke up. I dressed for 43° weather and clipped a flashing light to a pocket in my running pants in deference to the still dark skies. I was almost out the door when my daughter mentioned that it had started raining. I took a quick peek outside and confirmed that she was correct. I added a running rain jacket, switched my Zantes for my Cascadias and went out into the dark, wet morning.

I don’t love running in the rain but with good gear it’s not really a big deal. My jacket kept my upper body dry and I was careful to avoid the puddles that form where streets intersect. I wasn’t feeling particularly ambitious and, as the conditions for running weren’t particularly good, I ended up cutting it short. I felt that 2.5 miles was more than enough today.

Later in the day we had a family holiday lunch. That included my drinking a Guinness that (surprisingly) didn’t put me immediately to sleep. Gifts were exchanged and I was very excited to see that my wife had made me an awesome Emerging Runner collage. She took many photos and images from my posts going back to the start of the blog in 2008. It includes a lot of artwork I’d made, as well as pictures of friends and family. It will go up in our guest room / office / “fitness center” to inspire me, along with the other bibs, pictures and other running mementos.

We have a lot planned over the next eight days and I’m looking forward some rest and relaxation. I’m wishing my friends and family great holidays and great running as this weekend.

Free to be free of Nike Free

Yesterday I awoke to the sounds of torrential rain and percussive surf and thought I’d miss my opportunity to run in the morning. I considered the idea of running even under those conditions but I knew I wouldn’t really like it. About an hour later the skies began to clear and I optimistically changed into running clothes hoping that the rain would pass. My wife and kids had already headed across the boardwalk to the beach and I came by to say hi before heading south. I had my Adidas trail shoes on so I stayed on the sand for about half a mile before deciding that I much preferred the boardwalk as a running surface. I decided to run from end to end a few times since, according to a sign on southern end, the boardwalk measures 1 mile. In the space of that mile the area changes from neighborhood to hotels to tourist traps and then back to hotels. The one thing that’s consistent is the beautiful and inspiring water on one side or the other. The rain came back in the middle of my run but it was light and cooling. The only negative was that my glasses fogged and limited my ability to see much beyond the immediate distance. In all I covered 5.2 miles under 9:00 per mile. What pleased me about that was that the beginning part of my run was relatively slow because of the sand yet I still maintained a decent overall pace.

Later that day, after we all showered, we set off into the town for lunch and then hit some stores including Nike and Under Armor outlets. At the Nike store I saw they had the Frees so out of curiosity I tried on a pair. When I put them on I noticed they felt more like a slipper than a running shoe and when I walked on them I was surprised by how unnatural and unbalanced they felt. Maybe that’s the point but no thank you. After that we headed to the Under Armor store and I tried a pair of Apparition running shoes, also out of curiosity. At least this shoe felt supportive and balanced. I’m not really interested in UA shoes and I didn’t think at $90 that these shoes felt as good as some competing brands. I don’t really like the UA brand anyway, I’m sure the clothing is top notch but I don’t care for the hyper-competitive edge they convey in their marketing.

On the other hand my daughter happily picked up a running shirt on sale and later got a t-shirt elsewhere that said “I am a girl, I am an athlete, and running is my sport. Well said.