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spring running gear

It’s that time again – time for a new list of seasonal running gear!

You can check out my Winter Running Gear section here, but since spring is upon us, it might be better to just keep reading. 🙂

With the change of seasons, comes many new and exciting things for me – new produce (as I talked about yesterday) and new running gear!  When spring rolls around, it is basically like I have a whole new running wardrobe because I haven’t worn it in the past 6ish months.

Below are a few of my favorite spring running pieces, which could easily transition into summer and fall.  Spring weather varies so much that I often end up over dressing until I get used to the weather.  When in doubt, I always check out the gear check on RunnersWorld.com to figure out what to wear.

T-shirt

-Run: Swiftly Tech from Lululemon

This is the softest, coziest running/workout shirt you will ever wear.  I have then in short sleeve and long sleeve and LOVE them!  It is super lightweight, so it basically feels like you aren’t wearing anything.

Tank Top

I have two favorites!

-Athletic Deep-V from Lululemon

You could use this as your sports bra as well, but I like a little extra support.  My favorite parts of this tank are the mesh back and how it flares out from the bust and is looser over your tummy!  (This is the same in my Winter collection too.  A great all year round piece)

-Sleeveless Twist Top from Athleta.

When I don’t feel like being restricted by a tighter fitting top, I prefer this top from Athleta (which also comes in a long sleeve which I love too!).  It is seemless, so no chafing, and is super comfortable for running, or biking, or any workout you may be doing.  It also does not ride up like other seemless tops seem to.

Sports Bra

– Champion T-Back Sports Bra from Road Runner Sports

Supportive, yet comfortable sports bra that doesn’t give you the uni-boob!  I have always liked champion.

Long Sleeved Shirt

-Hills Pullover from Lululemon.

I prefer long sleeve running shirts that have a zip so that I can zip it up when cold, and unzip when hot.  It is perfect for spring mornings when it is a bit chilly at first, but you warm up when running.

This top is great!  It has the zip, but also has thumbholes and ‘cuffins’ (cuffs that foldover your hands to mimic a mitten), which are also awesome for chilly morning runs.  I have seen similar styles from many other brands as well.

It also has a pocket in the back to store whatever you need.

 

Jacket

-Moving Comfort Endurance Shell from Road Runner Sports.

A shell is a great thing to have all year round.  Pick something that is super lightweight, breathable and at least water resistant so that you can wear it on cooler spring and summer days, or as a layer for winter running.  This is a great shell because it is so lightweight and breathable – and a great price at $68!  I try not to wear a jacket when I run, but sometimes you need that extra layer to block the wind or rain!

Vest

-Pearl Izumi Vest from REI.

A vest is probably the piece of clothing that I use the most!  It is great to keep your core warm.  You can layer it over a running skirt and t-shirt on warm spring mornings, or over a long sleeve top and tights for winter running.  Either way, it is a perfect and versatile running (or workout) piece.

I couldn’t find a photo of the vest that I have, but anything will do.  Mine is probably 5 years old and from New Balance.  It is reversible black to pink, which I love.  It has just a tiny bit of lining to keep me warm on chiller mornings.  I love to wear a running skirt, light longsleeve top and vest to run.

Capri Tights

-Empower Crops from Lululemon.

I am a huge fan of Lululemon’s running tights for multiple reasons.  They are very lightweight, so perfect for 3 seasons, and they really hold you in!  They are not super tight spandex like some are, but still stay put while you are running.  The empower crops have mesh ventilation panels on the back of the knee which really helps to cool you down.  I wear these crops all year round, outside and at the gym.

Skirt

Running Skirt from Runningskirts.com

My absolute favorite piece of running clothing!  I love these skirts.  They sell skirts with briefs or shorts underneath, so they have something for everyone.  They are extremely comfortable and do not ride up at all when running.  And, they have a huge variety of colors.

 

Shorts

-Nike Tempo Shorts from Nike.

I am not a big fan of shorts because they always bunch for me (I prefer skirts or capris in the spring/summer/fall), but when I did wear shorts, these were my absolute favorite.

Socks

PhD Running Light Micro Sock by Smartwool®

Smartwool running sock are my absolute favorite brand.  I have tried many different brands, but nothing makes my feel as dry and comfy as these do.  They have thicker socks for me to use in the winter, and lighter for the summer.  Perfect!

Hat/Visor

Morning Run Cap from Athleta

Love that this hat (and they have a visor!) is mesh.  It is well ventilated, yet keeps the rising sun out of my eyes.  Plus, I love anything pink. 🙂

 

I hope you find this information useful  Spring is the perfect time to run – sunny skies, but the air is still a bit cool which is perfect for running.

Have fun!

zucchini pasta

Today was a “use-up-everything-we can-in-our-fridge” kind of day, since our fruits and veggies are on their last legs!

I started my morning with a big juice!  In my mix were the following:

  • 1 green apple
  • 1 small pear
  • 3 celery stalks
  • 1 beet
  • 1/2 orange
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 4 stalks kale

I love the addition of the orange and lemon in my juice!

I love drinking my juice while I am getting ready in the morning.  It tastes great, is a healthy way to start the day, holds me over after my workouts until breakfast, and gives the fruit ample digestion time before filling my belly with real food!  On my way out the door, I also enjoyed some oatmeal in an almost empty almond butter jar, but I guess I didn’t take a photo! 🙂

My workout today was a 7 mile run and my Jillian Michaels DVDNo More Trouble Zones!  As I have said before, I don’t love workout videos, but this is broken into 10 minute circuits and it is hard!  You can make it easier or harder by increasing or decreasing the weights that you use.  It works your entire body in 40 minutes, which is awesome!

On my lunch break, I took a quick trip to my favorite workout gear store, Lululemon!  I got there and the entire window was plastered with Operation Beautiful stickies!

I loved it!  Operation Beautiful is so great.  Caitlin came up with this wonderful idea to make girls and women feel confident in themselves and their bodies.  She suggests that women post messages anywhere they can with words of advice and confidence for other women to see!  For example, on a mannequin in Lululemon it said, “Love your thighs!”.  There is so much pressure today for girls to be thin, so much so that it makes us crazy!  It is so important to be healthy and comfortable with who you are!  You can read all about Caitlin’s ideas behind Operation Beautiful here!  I love that Lululemon is being a part of this.  They had post-it notes at the front desk and told you to write something down.  There were notes everywhere, on mannequins, in the fitting rooms, on shirts – awesome!

This note was in my dressing room!

Of course it instantly made me feel great about myself!  I mean, how could it not?!  I should have bought that shirt I was trying on. 🙂

My day got even better when I got home because I had an exciting package waiting for me – my spiral slicer that I bought on Amazon.com.  It was so cheap, I just had to get it! 🙂  It was perfect because I have had a few zucchini’s in my fridge just waiting to be used.

I immediately tore open the package and started spiraling!

How cool is that?!

We decided on a zucchini pasta dish loaded with veggies, tomato sauce and pesto – yum!

Three zucchini’s looked like enough.  You could definitely make this dish without this slicer, as well.  Just chop up the zucchini or grate it.  I guess it would be more of a penne than a spaghetti!

Carrots, yellow peppers, grape tomatoes and snow peas.

We heated the veggies on the stove-top, just long enough to heat them through and stir in the tomato sauce and pesto.

It was great!  The zucchini did not taste exactly like actual pasta, of course!  But, in a way it did.  It was think and chewy, just like spaghetti and the flavors pared perfectly with each other.  We served out zucchini pasta with some sliced bread.

winter running & walking

I love to run in the winter.  I might be weird, but there is something about running in the cold that invigorates me!  It is hard to get out of my warm and toasty bed and go out into the cold at 5am, but after the initial shock I’m always happy that I am out there.  Being all bundled up and breathing in the cold, fresh air makes me feel free; like there isn’t a care in the world.  Living in the city, I normally have to run up and down the streets of Southie during the winter because it is much too cold and windy to run along the water.

The city is so still and calm.  The sky is dark and the street lights flicker.  The streets are silent; no cars, no people talking, no nothing.  Nothing except my feet hitting the ground.  I love the silence.  This is my time to think and to just be.

For some reason, winter running is more freeing to me than running during other times of the year.  I think it is mostly because of the lack of other people around.  The city streets are bustling at 5am on a summer or fall morning, but not on a winter morning.  Try it sometime, you’ll love it! 😉

Perhaps another reason why I love winter running is my winter running gear!  It is much more of a pain to get dressed to go out, but the gear is much more exciting than shorts and a t-shirt!  I am a big fan of Lululemon’s running gear.  They are practical and cute!  Layering is key for winter running.  Depending on the temperature, I like to wear a base layer, a mid-layer, and a top layer.  I omit the mid-layer if it is warmer.  The thickness of running tights varies as well, depending on the temp.  And, of course, socks, hats and gloves are all important too!

I am in New Hampshire today and gearing up for a little run in the freezing cold!  Good thing I was prepared and brought my favorite winter running clothes with me!  Here I am all ready to run in 15 degrees!

With my YakTrax for traction in the snow!  These are awesome and work great, especially for running up those snow covered hills!  Find them here or here.

And, some pictures from my run!

As you can see, I am super bundled up!  Here are pictures of some of my favorite winter running items (and where I found them)!  Note: I am not wearing all of these items today, but I am wearing most of them!

Base Layer

– Smartwool Midweight Long Sleeve Top from REI

This shirt is so comfy!  It’s great to layer under a sweater on a freezing cold day as well!  And, I just love the color :).



Mid Layer

– Nike Long Sleeve Cold Weather Hoodie from Road Runner Sports

Cozy sweatshirt with wicking properties.  Great for a regular sweatshirt as well – it’s lined with fleece!


Top Layer

– Velocity Running Jacket from Lululemon

I use this for running, as well as for my rain jacket.  The hood zips into the jacket, and the sleeves have thumbholes and cuffins that fold over your fingers to act as mittens!  What could be better?!


Tank Top

– Athletic Deep V Tank from Lululemon

You could use this as your sports bra as well, but I like a little extra support.  My favorite parts of this tank are the mesh back and how it flares out from the bust and is looser over your tummy!


Sports Bra

– Champion T-Back Sports Bra from Road Runner Sports

Supportive, yet comfortable sports bra that doesn’t give you the uni-boob!  I have always liked champion.


Tights

– Spirit Run Tights from Lululemon

So comfortable!  Higher tummy, so you don’t have to keep yanking up your tights while running and ruching at the calves, so they don’t ride up!  There is also a zippered pocket in the back for your keys, or a snack :).


Socks

– Smartwool PhD Running Socks from REI

These are a must!  My absolute fav!  The higher cut is great for winter, so that they fit under your tights and keep your ankles warm.

Gloves

– Manzella Convertible Windproof Mittens from Road Runner Sports

These are warm gloves, that have a windproof cover you can pull over your fingers when it is really cold.  When not in use, they tuck into the glove -genius!


Hat

– Luon Running Hat from Lululemon

Cute hat with a hole for your ponytail to fly out the back!

fashion & food

What to Wear

It is tough to figure out what to wear when heading out for a morning run when you haven’t felt the air yet.  The summer is easy, because it is basically always a t-shirt and running skirt for me!  But, the fall is tough!  In the summer, I usually take my clothes out at night, so I am not disturbing my sleeping husband :-).  But, in the fall and winter, I always check the weather first thing to figure out an outside temperature.

Runners World has a great tool for runners, called What to Wear.  You type in the temperature, windchill and conditions and it pulls up some recommendations for clothing!  How cool is that?!  I love this tool, and almost use it everyday.  Yesterday before my 20 mile long run I watched the weather channel and looked up what I should wear.  At 45°, a windchill of 8 mph and a drizzle, it recommended that I wear a long sleeve tee, vest to block the wind and either shorts or thin tights.  I went with all of those recommendations and decided on capri tights.  It was perfect for my run!  The vest made me hot at times, but I was definitely happy to have it when the wind blew.  Thank you Runnersworld.com for this awesome tool!

 

What to Eat

In other news, we went out for a delicious birthday dinner last night with my folks!  We tried out the fairly new Franklin Cafe in South Boston.  It was delicious!!  I could not have asked for a better dinner.  I started with a Pineapple Martini, made with pineapple infused vodka.  Yummy!  Then, since I couldn’t decide on a dinner, I ended up with two appetizers: Fish Tacos and Mac N’ Cheese.  It was a super decision on my part.

Inside Photo from website

Fish Tacos: served “Baja Style” with chimichurri, black beans and lime – YUM!

Mac n’ Cheese: served with wild mushrooms, house-made ricotta and thyme – WOW!

It was the best dinner I have had in a long time, and mac n’ cheese was perfect after the 20 mile run!  The one downfall – they do not serve dessert!  But, that’s ok considering we were all stuffed, and had leftover birthday cake waiting for us at home.