Imerman Angels

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

My winter running gear (so far)

One thing that people who do not know me should know is that I do not like treadmills. The last few times I have run on one, I have gotten hurt in some way and have had to take time off of running. In fact, I can not remember the last time I have been on one. Running outside is just a lot more than being stationary. I always tell people not to be afraid of winter running! With the right clothing, the cold can be something you do not even think about. Here are some of the cold gear I have been using so far.

This Brooks Utopia Thermal 1/2 zip has worked great so far. I need a better baselayer, but it has done the job during the cold temps so far. All I have worn under this during runs are a long sleeve tech tee and maybe a dri-fit t-shirt of some kind. It has a nice pocket just behind just pass where my hip is and it is quite big. I usually have an iPhone charger, keys and a snack possibly for after the run. The other nice thing about this jacket is that it has a pocket for the zipper when you zip it all the way up. The sleeves also have thumbholes for extra warmth. The only real thing I do not like about the jacket is that sometimes I wish it had pockets on the side. Sometimes I will instinctually try to put my hands in pockets that are not there. 

Brooks Utopia Thermal 1/2 Zip
The Brooks Men's Infiniti Tight II are the first pair of running tights I have owned and I am enjoying them so far. My legs have felt warm and I do not feel constricted in them. It has zippers that go down to the ankle and makes the pants easy to take off. The pants also have reflectivity as shown in the picture below.The tights also have mesh panels behind the knee and a zippered back pocket. I can not think of any downside to the tights yet. 

I also forgot to mention that I sat through a whole Northwestern football game with this jacket on where it rained the whole time  and I did not feel wet at all. 

Brooks Men's Infiniti  Tight II

These Sax Pro Elite Boxers are also the first pair of performance boxers that I have worn. I honestly did not know much about them before I got a pair to try on. The boxers provide some compression and are tight, but not too tight. The most important thing about the boxers is that they are windproof and that is very important for guys during the winter. It also has a nice pouch to, as it  says on the box, to hold your gear in place. 

Sax Pro Elite Boxer

I need to have gloves on when I run. Cold hands can just make a run brutal and no fun.  The Utopia Softshell Gloves from Brooks help keep my hands warm. I like that these gloves have a good grip on them and have iPhone sensors. My hands also do not sweat in these gloves; that is a big plus for the gloves. The downside to these gloves are that they run somewhat big. I tried on the small's and the medium gloves and they both felt big on me. They feel fine when I am running, but I would like for gloves to be a little tighter.

Brooks Utopia Softshell Glove

Using the thumbholes from my top
How it ends up 
This is my winter gear outfit at the moment. They are working well for me so far and I will eventually have to get a jacket at some point. Let me know what kind of running gear you all are running in! Enjoy winter running.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Run chat 11/24

Sorry I have not gotten to put another product review. I have gotten pretty busy with coaching basketball at my high school. Sometimes it is hard to have the energy to sit down at the computer and post something. Answering the #runchat questions are a way for me stay involved with it and get a quick post up.

Q1-One piece of advice for someone who is running their first Turkey trot?

A:Have fun! I have never run a Turkey trot, but that definitely seems to be the idea around them.  Do not worry about time and just focus on pace and form if you have a goal of getting better at running.

Q2-Are you running a turkey trot? Which one? Where?

No Turkey trots for me. Thanksgiving day is all about relaxing and eating lots of food. I also like to enjoy the night before Thanksgiving day.

Q3-Do you rock a hat when running? Visor? Do you look to send a message with your running hat?

I generally wear a hat when I am running; definitely in the winter. During the summer, it is hit or miss whether I wear one. There is definitely no message to send with any of the hats I am wearing during a run. During the winter, the goal is just to stay warm. When the weather is warmer, I just grab whatever hat I have to keep my head protected from the sun.

Q4-When you have to run on a treadmill, how do you kill the time? What's an effective workout for you?

Ugh. This is something I will try my hardest to not do. Originally, I had the never typed out, but at some point it might be something that is a necessity. Since I started running outside, the treadmill became a nag. It also does not help that the last two times I ran on one, I got hurt on them.

Q5-My go-to power word/phrase is____?

Just keep on moving. It does not matter whether involves walking or running. Combining that phrase and mentally trying to shorten the race usually works for me.

This might be another Monday post next week with my schedule next Sunday. Hopefully I can get up a post talking about the winter running gear I have been running in. Do not be afraid of the cold! It is definitely possible to stay active with the right gear.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saucony Guide 7 review

When I first put the Guide 7 on, it felt immediately comfortable. I love the static fit in the shoe. My foot is locked in, in the upper, but it is not too grippy on my feet. It never once bothered me during the four times that I have run in the shoe. I felt like my toes and heel were free to move.  It also has a very breathable upper. My foot looks like it is spilling out a little on the medial side of the shoe.

I got the Guide 7 in a size 11 and assumed it would be tight. In my Brooks shoes (Adrenaline 11&13), I wore 11.5. My current Ravenna's are a size 12. I have about a thumbs length width in my right foot. It fits a little truer to my shoe size on my left foot, but I still feel like I have enough room in the toe box. I would probably go to an 11.5 in this shoe due to the fact that my foot looks like it is kind of spilling out a little. 

The Powergrid cushioning is very comfortable. It is very supportive without making the shoe heavy. I got a bruise under my forefoot area the second time I ran in the shoe. That may have just been due to the socks I had been wearing. It did not bother me during my next two runs when I changed socks. I also walked around it a few times while at work and felt supported and comfortable.

I liked that the stability zones are spread from the heel through the mid-foot to provide stability and comfort. I am a mild to moderate pronator and I felt very stable in the shoe. The dual density EVA on the medial side is supportive and cushiony without feeling like too much shoe. I do not like to sound to repetitive, but the full length Powergrid is a nice touch.

The shoes felt great while running. I ran in them four times. It is only a ounce lighter than the Ravenna 4, so I would not say that is a huge difference between the two shoes. The big difference is the 8mm drop in the Guide 7. It is a little different at first, but after the first couple of runs, I enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the tight, yet comfortable grip in the upper. My foot never feels like it is going to come out of the shoe. It is nice to have a guidance shoe that I can run in without it feeling like it is making my feet heavier. It is a soft ride from heel-to-toe. The deeper flex grooves and flared forefoot make it a very responsive ride throughout.

I also have some winter running gear that I have tried on that I will talk about on Monday or Tuesday. So far my winter running if off to a good start.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Run chat answers 11/10/13

Q1: What tips do you have for overcoming post-race blues?

First, I would enjoy the day. The hard work you put in for the race, wether it is a 5K or half-marathon, had paid off (typically). Take a moment to be proud of yourself and friends that may have run with you. Do not forget to thank people who have supported you on the way to the race and came out to watch you. 

Second, take a break from running for a while. Training, especially for longer races, can be quite taxing and dreadful at times. The body will thank you for the time off and whenever you go on the next run, it will be that much more fun because you missed it.

Q2: What's your favorite distance to race? Why do you like it?

Half-marathons. The races are a distance everyone can do, but it is still challenging enough. It is just the perfect distance. Marathons are fun, but they are just a different beast.

Q3: Have you ever purchased "official" race photos? What would you call a fair price for photos?

Never. They do not do anything for me. I typically just look at them to what my form looks like at various points. It is difficult to say what a fair price would be for them. They are typically so expensive, that I do not even look at the prices when they are sent to my inbox.

Q4: Do have races on your 2014 calendar yet? Which ones?

This is a fun question! A friend and I have looked into doing the Chi-Town Half Marathon. I have a few cities I would like to visit next year (Austin, Nashville and Memphis to name a few). Maybe doing a race in one of those cities would be a fun way to see them and get a race in.

Q5: What's the farthest you've traveled for a race? Which one? Why did you choose it?

I guess the Chicago Half-Marathon. It is the first race half-marathon I ever completed. I only did it twice and do not like doing it because it is on the opposite side of the city from me. Maybe I will do it again sometime in the near future.

Monday, November 11, 2013

I ran!

I ran! 

I woke up on Friday and felt pretty good. This article got me really itching to run. I also really wanted to try some new gear that I got(more on that in a different post). It had been nearly four weeks since I had run; a week due to the marathon and three because of this annoying bone bruise. I felt scared but I had to give it a shot at some point. 

It surprised me how good I felt after a mile. The knee felt good and I had a little pain. When I felt the knee starting to hurt, I forced myself to walk for a tiny bit, then I would start running again. It felt really good to be out there and not limping along. 

The run ended up being a little shy of four miles. Despite how good I felt, it would have been really silly to try and push it more. The pace stayed even for three miles and I had a great finish to the run. I iced and took an ibuprofen when I got to work. The next step in the bone bruise test would be seeing how it felt the next day and that worried me. 

The results: it felt ok. It hurt to keep my knee at a 90 degree angle while sitting. It also hurt to straighten it out after keeping it a 90 degree angle. It also hurt to get up after sitting for a while. I never thought this bruise would last for so long, but a couple of people I have talked to said it could be at least a few more weeks. 

With that being said, it looks like I will not be able to run on back-to-back days for a while. I will keep icing and loosening up the muscles in my hamstring and quad. I used the Orb quite a few times last week and my legs felt great. My knee and I are going to be in a fight for the next few weeks it looks like. I hope it does not expect me to just sit around and be a bum for multiple weeks. 

That is all I have to say today. The first "snow"of the year is currently happening as I write this post. I will be ready for winter running with some of the new gear I got. Time to use the Orb and attempt a four mile run; just do not tell me knee! 

P.S. Expect a product review blog at some point this week (I hope).