Gift Guide 2012: The Lady Runner

I’m a big fan of holding out til holidays to ask for big ticket items. Then again, I love a stocking stuffer, too.

Ok, I just like presents.

Correction: I like nicely wrapped presents.

And I LOVE Christmastime. It’s my favorite time of year. Everything is prettier in lights, we always get a REAL Christmas tree, gift-giving is almost as fun as gift-getting, and I love getting Christmas cards in the mail. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.

Speaking of gift-giving, some of you might be wondering what to get the lady runner/athlete in your life. Here are a list of my favorite things. Click on the image to go to the website.

Note: Do not attempt to buy workout stuff for someone who doesn’t already workout or who has not expressed a desire to own workout stuff. This could be extremely insulting and ruin your holidays. Trust me.

1. Garmin Forerunner 10: $129.99

It’s got all the basics for half the cost: pace, time, distance, personal bests. It’s great if you don’t need/want all the stats. And it’s pretty and small!

2. I am in love with my Saucony Kinvara 3s: $100.00

Hello, gorgeous! They’re a great lightweight shoe for those of us with higher arches and, again, SO PRETTY!

3. Race Bib Coasters: $22.00

What a creative way to commemorate a great run! What will those geniuses over at Etsy think of next?!

4. Sugoi Women’s MidZero Tight: $55.95

AKA my favorite winter running tight EVER. Seriously, these are cozy and they breathe. I don’t know how they did that, but they did.

5. lululemon What the Fluff Vest: $158.00

I’m a HUGE fan of a running vest. My arms get freakishly warm in the winter. This one is especially warm and, duh, pretty to boot!

6. Erica Sara Designs Love Note: $78-98

Write your friend/running buddy/wife/daughter a note to take with her on her runs. Erica will engrave it for you (in your handwriting) and put it on a beautiful charm. A good luck charm for the lady runner in your life.

7. Oiselle Indigo Melange Arm Warmers$32.00

The perfect way to stay warm but have options. And they’re so on-trend!

8. Cross-training Gift Cards: The sky’s the limit!

   

It’s cold out there and sometimes even the most dedicated runners want to head indoors! Plus, it’s a great way to stay in good physical health. These are my favorite places to sweat in NYC, in case you are my Secret Santa 😉

There are so many other fabulous gifts out there, if you run into a problem and need a woman’s advice, feel free to holler at me. I love to shop. If all else fails, a day at the spa is always in order.

Get going, everyone! Only a few more hours til Cyber Monday is over.

Now go out and run!

Winter Running

This time of year is probably my 2nd favorite time of year to run. First place is always Fall. 50°. Shorts. Long sleeve shirt. Love.

Fall in New York is just the best.

Winter running is awesome because I don’t sweat like a beast and I can run in the middle of the afternoon instead of the crack of dawn. Yay!

If you’re not dressed to run in the Winter, it can be a miserable experience.

 

Cold days + wrong gear = treadmill

For my 34° (feels like 29°) run in Central Park this morning, I was a tad overdressed but here’s what I wore:

LONG TIGHTS! It’s getting cold out there.

I’m wearing: Saucony tights (they don’t make them anymore, but these are close) and everything else is lululemon. Why? I have yet to fall in love with a pair of lululemon winter running tights. Don’t worry. They’re working on it.

My jacket is not available now, but the Run: Nuthin’ But Run Jacket and I threw the Run: Swiftly 1/2 Zip Long Sleeve on underneath.

 

I love a 1/2 zip anything. I get hot when I run but reserve the right to get chilled by a brisk wind all of the sudden. The half-zip keeps me running through all seasons. Love this.

I have a secret. I always wear a tank top underneath. Why? Isn’t that too much? Here’s the hard, fast truth.

The Cool Racerback is long enough to cover my lower back and upper butt and that is my key to staying warm. One good gust blowing up my back or down my bottom and I’m getting in a cab.

CRBs 4-eva!

So, yeah. I like to be cozy. This morning, I could have replaced the long-sleeve 1/2 zip with a short sleeve and been plenty comfortable.

My favorite gloves (until that cold air starts blowing down from Canada) are the Brisk: Run Gloves:

Easy access to my iPod or iPhone. Me likey.

And then the Brisk: Run Headband, which is the best way to display a pop of fun color on your run, especially if you’re running in the dark!

As the weather gets colder, I don’t necessarily add layers, but I change them. Always a moisture-wicking first layer, but I may opt for one of the new fancy-schmancy jackets lulu has right now. Stay tuned for that review! More is not always better, sometimes you just need a warmer single layer.

Dear Santa,
I want this.
xoxo
Abby

So, there you have it. Now you’re dressed and ready to go out in the cold and run your butts off. Hey, who will I see at the NYC Runs Hot Chocolate 5K/10K on December 16th? I’ll probably try to wear my brightest lulu so my husband can spot me (he misses me pretty regularly, I have no idea how).

Congratulations to the HUNDREDS of you who PR’d this weekend in Philly. Can’t wait to read all the roundups.

What are your go-to cold weather pieces? Am I missing something awesome? Tell me!

Now go out and run!

What Marathon?

Hello from post-Sandy New York City! JB and I are just fine, have power and no flooding. In other words, we are the luckiest people on the island of Manhattan.

Just outside our apartment building.

Down the block.

As I walked around my part of town and surveyed the damage, I became even more appreciative of our good fortune. Many of my friends and classmates are without power, cell phones, and all the amenities that go along with that infrastructure. And there is no end in site for them, as Con Ed works to get the power back on.

Pumping out one of the basements in Stuy Town.

This was washed ashore A FULL CITY BLOCK and demolished a car. Thankfully, it wasn’t a person.

This storm was no joke. People were killed. People are now homeless. NYU Langone Medical Center lost power and had to transport more than 200 patients to other hospitals in the middle of the night last night. Thankfully, we have a massive team of First Responders here to help.

Ready to go.

Thankfully, we still have a President who believes FEMA is important enough to fund.

Our city is trying desperately to hold it together and help one another. Downtowners, come on uptown. We got you. Our beloved Central Park is being cleaned up. Our Rivers are still washing stuff onto running paths. We have a lot to do to bring our city back to normal.

The sirens have been going all day and night. I’m just glad they’re responding to emergencies.

Debris under the FDR.

The clean-up effort has already begun and is tremendous. I high-fived a sanitation worker over on Avenue C today who was kind enough to smile at me as I passed by his job site (a massive tree that had toppled over). The city services are out in force!

The scene from Broad St. into a below ground parking garage this afternoon.

One of the tunnels that merges with the FDR downtown.

But we have a long, long way to go before things are back to where they need to be in order for us to get back to school and work and life. You know what the last thing on my mind is?

The New York City Marathon.

Yes, I am part of the Medical Team. But right now, my efforts and energy are elsewhere.

Both Bloomberg & Wittenberg say the marathon will happen and I believe them. There is far too much money in it for them to cancel such a main event for the city. It will turn into some “enduring spirit of New York-ers” sort of PR event and the city will make lots and lots of money.

I don’t care.

I feel for you who have trained for it and would be so, so disappointed if it were cancelled. I do. I’ve been there. But you know what? Let’s put things into perspective and quit bombarding the {New York} Road Runners Facebook page and Twitter account with your panicked messages.

It’s going to happen. Come as planned. Quit your bitching.

Yada, yada, yada, the bleachers are up. Quit freaking out.

That’s two days in a row that I’ve sworn on my blog. I supposed hurricanes bring out my saucy side.

As for my New York neighbors, there are plenty of places to volunteer now that we are all out of work and school for a few days:

Our NYC Marathon Medical Team needs more volunteers since so many docs were pulled away because of Sandy. Email me: runstrongereveryday{at)gmail{dot)com if you are a medical professional or student who would like to volunteer on Marathon Sunday.

Please, give of your time, your talent, and your resources to help those who are in need and those who are helping to get our fairy city back on her feet. If anything, just be thankful it wasn’t you. And quit bitching about the marathon.

(There I go again…)

Now go out and run!

PS. I will see all of you at Flywheel Sports (11:30am @ JCC), luluelmon E 66th St., and the Javits Center tomorrow. Sweating, hugging, and volunteering. Hope to see some of you there! 

Hurricane Sandy: DON’T PANIC!!!!

Oh man, I’m already hearing about people deferring and registering for a Spring marathon. While I totally get this kind of panic, I want to warn against it.

The weather isn’t really a sure thing until the night before.

Weather people often overstate for dramatic effect. See: Hurricane Irene.

Damage from Hurricane Irene in NYC. Staggering.

The decision to defer or to just not run is a very personal one.

On the one hand, you’ve trained for this for months and  to have Mother Nature screw you at the last minute just plain sucks. One of my friends said she’d run another one that is also nearby but is two weeks later. That’s one way to go.

Uh-oh, spaghetti-o’s!

On the other hand, if the race coordinators are going to hold it despite a little rain (read: not during a hurricane, but a rain storm), I’d run as long as I felt safe. I mean, we train in the worst conditions over very long, hot summer days. Why should a little rain stop you?

You’ve battled the heat (you sweaty beast, you!), why not the rain?

Get a hat. Wear fitted gear. Make sure your shoes have good tread. Smile.

This is what I would wear. Fitted tank, fitted shorts (both made of Luxtreme), rain resistant lightweight jacket (if it’s lower than 55 deg), and a hat to keep the rain out of my eyes.

The choice is, obviously, yours. But remember, you can’t predict Marathon Sunday weather, which is why we don’t abandon a long run just because the weather isn’t optimal during training.

If you’re not obsessed with getting a PR or hitting a specific goal (anyone left?), give it a shot. Have some fun. Be the badass who ran a marathon in the rain and lived to tell the tale.

My last two marathons, I was just happy to finish feeling good. No PR. No BQ. But I was really proud of my performance and felt seriously awesome for powering through.

I earned that medal. I’m proud of that medal. And I didn’t PR, not even close. Totally worth it.

Just a thought.

Now go out and run!

What I Did With My Summer Vacation

Hello friends. How are you?

Summer is officially over. Well, not “officially” officially since the Summer Solstice is actually the official end of summer. But Labor Day weekend certainly marks the end of summer for most of us in the working/school world, to be sure. So, Summer is over. Welcome to School Year 2012-2013!

What did you do with your Summer? Beach? Vacation? Sleep? BBQs? Trips? All-around fun stuff?

That’s nice.

This is what I did:

Studied.

Studying. Every day.

I got dressed up in scrubs day after day for 4 weeks of Anatomy cadavar lab. My scrubs weren’t comfy. How do those gals on Grey’s Anatomy look so darn cute in theirs?! Oh, btw, there are official Grey’s Anatomy scrubs for sale. Oh yes.

Not the best fit.

I studied every day. Seriously. Every. Day.

Studying…sort of.

And here is what I did with my Summer Vacation:

Immediately after passing my last class, I ate at one of my favorite restaurants with my study buddy and JB.

All dressed up and someplace to go. Finally!

And there were drinks. Lots and lots of drinks. And I was home and in bed by 9. Lightweight.

Mmmmmmm…you know how I love a mojito.

 

I read a non-school book.

I read this on the plane to and from Chicago. I want those 4 hours of my life back.

I ran. A lot.

I’m not real fast but I am BRIGHT!

I went to Chicago where I kayaked down the Chicago River and learned that the Great Chicago Fire jumped the river. Yup. Fire jumps. No pictures from the kayaking, but I did get pretty wet, no thanks to JB constantly paddling water into my back. We did stay at a nice hotel that had chairs that had chairs that made me look like I was in Alice In Wonderland.

GIANT CHAIR!

And then I slept. A lot. And napped. Every day. And walked around my fair city with JB. And had my favorite cupcakes. And slept some more. And ran with JB. A lot. And went to one of my favorite places in the city.

It’s like coming home.

And watched movies. Snow White & the Huntsman was alright. I still don’t get all the Hunger Games hype. Anchorman is still hilarious. We had both Law & Order and Misfits marathons. I slept so much that the bags under my eyes, previously feared to be age lines, are now gone. It’s amazing what sleep and relaxation will do for a person’s youthful glow. Perhaps I’m not old yet……well, except for that my baby brother turned 30, hence the Chicago trip.

All in all, my Summer Vacation, short though it was, was refreshing and just what this doctor (-al candidate) ordered.

Up next, the Marine Corps Marathon!

What about you? Did you run any fabulous races? Achieve any Summer goals? Have the most savage tan on the beach (you really should wear your sunscreen)?

Here’s hoping you feel refreshed and ready for marathon season to kick off!

Now go out and run!