5 Spring Running Tips

b5springtips

When you think about difficult running weather, what comes to mind? Apparently for me it’s Winter and Summer. I’ve written several posts on that subject. What I’ve never written about? Spring running tips! Spring may be lovely, but it roars in with its own set of challenges.

I know, I know — we’re almost in summer. But some of you are still dealing with cooler temps — I hope you find something to help you here.

img_4916
Yup, this was Spring!

Wardrobe Amnesia
I still sort of consider myself a new runner, and I’ve been running for 10 years. You would think I have dressing down pat, wouldn’t you? You’d be wrong! Winter and Summer can have their own challenges when it comes to dressing, but for most of us it will either be warm or cold.

Spring can have all four seasons in one day.

What’s a weather weary runner to do? It’s all about the layers! Windbreakers, arm warmers, jackets or tops that zip and unzip — they’re all your friend. You’ll probably be freezing before you run, but you’ll warm up quickly and either need to unzip, tie something around your waist, or shed a layer if that’s a possibility.

Also remember you need to look at way more than the temperature. I see this again and again: but it’s 55F out! Is it cloudy? Is it windy? Is it humid? What’s the dew point? 55 can feel an awful lot like 45 — or 60!

Try to keep your core, your head, and your hands & feet warm — doing so will make you feel warmer overall.

Different runners have different tolerances for cold and heat. You need to know what’s comfortable for you, and don’t worry about those runners in the shorts over there (or the ones in sweatshirts).

April Showers
In almost 8 years of running half marathons, I have only run one in April. April can be nice, but there’s a reason they talk about April Showers. My half was called Mud & Chocolate, was outside of Seattle, and totally lived up to its name — but I knew that going in.

If you choose in the middle of Winter to sign up for an April race, don’t be surprised if it’s not warm. Obviously its location can make all the difference, but everywhere except the south the weather can be very dicey in April (and even in the South!).

If you do get caught in a rainy race or training run, a baseball cap with a long brim (or at the very least a baseball cap with a brim!) just might be your new best friend. Raincoats have a tendency to not actually be very breathable, causing you to feel like you’re running in a sauna — or be too breathable, not keeping you dry. Ponchos (or the ever popular garbage bag) may be better option.

And do not forget the lube! Friction + wet = a recipe for pain

bdelmardash2019
This was an April race. There was snow on the ground just a couple of days before. On this one I would have been better off without the vest, though (always so hard to decide)

Even Worse: Snow Showers!
Yup, Spring Blizzards are a real thing. Heck, three years ago I did a half in Maine on a May Saturday. It was unseasonably warm. As we drove home through New Hampshire & Vermont, there was snow.

Never, ever, ever trust the forecast. Two days before my half the high on race day was predicted to be 50F. The race started in the 60s with lots of sun. I had only brought one race outfit and I totally regretted that decision.

Blown Away
Spring has a tendency to be windy. If possible, plan your route so that you’re running with the wind on your way back, when you’re more likely to feel tired. Accept that you may (and probably should) run slower, because it’s tiring running into wind. Even better, deliberately slow your pace a little.

Don’t wear baggy clothes. You know those crazy Crossfit people who run with a parachute on their backs? Yeah, you don’t want your clothes to create a parachute (a parachute’s job is to slow you down, after all!).

Finally, the wind will make it seem colder than it actually is. Especially if you work up a sweat. Dress warmer than you might if it weren’t a windy day (and make sure that your layers aren’t baggy again!).

Hello Sunscreen, My Old Friend
After the gazillion layers of Winter, it’s easy to forget that you need to put on sunscreen again. Just one sunburn will probably remind you quickly. Do yourself a favor and put it on before you get dressed — this allows you to get at areas underneath your clothes without getting the sunscreen on your clothes.

Doesn’t matter if it’s cloudy. You can get burned on a cloudy day. Don’t forget the sunnies (sunglasses) either — again, even on a cloudy day. Sunglasses do more than just keep the sun out of your eyes; they help to protect them from foreign objects and just protect your vision in general. You will rarely find me without sunglasses on, no matter what the season is.

  • Is it still Spring-like in your neck of the woods?
  • Which season is the most challenging for you to dress for?
  • Do you actually wear sunscreen and/or sunglesses year round?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Strength in numbers

bsolorvsgroup

Today’s topic is are you a solo or group runner? The quick answer for me is both. I believe both have their pros and cons.

Tackling cold together makes it more fun

The Group Run
Nothing will get you out the door quicker for a run than knowing you are meeting other people.

It always feels easier to run with other people (unless, of course, you’re running with a much faster person — like I was last week!). I believe that is part of why it’s easier to run at a faster pace in a race.

You are more likely to stick to the training plan if there are other people along for the run. Unless, of course, those other people tend to cut runs short.

Misery loves company, right? Running with a group in adverse conditions feels a lot less difficult than running alone in the same conditions. Running in a Nor’easter with a group definitely made it more fun!

But sometimes I need my alone time to think through things, too

The Solo Run
You have more flexibility of where and when to run.

Despite the built in group that comes with racing, you’ll be on your own during the race (unless you’re really lucky). I believe in the specificity rule: do in training what you’re going to do in your race. If you’re running a trail race, run mostly on trails. Try out your race day outfit and fueling before the big day. Sometimes tackling those hard runs by yourself are the true confidence builders.

While running with friends can make the run go by quicker — sometimes literally — it’s also so easy to run at a pace that just isn’t right for you. A pace that could potentially lead to injury.

Sometimes we can work through things on our own easier than if we’re in a group — sometimes it’s just the opposite, of course, but there can be real peace in a solo run.

Final answer?
I started out as a completely solo runner, mainly because we were new to the area and I didn’t know anyone. I joined a local running club, but never found my BRFs there. Then I joined a summer running group, and made running friends I still run with sometimes (I’d run with them more often if our schedules synched up more often!).

I actually do love to run in a group, but finding the right group — people you actually can run with — it’s not always easy.  There are also times I truly just need to be out there by myself.

  • Which type of running is your jam?
  • Or are you like me, having a foot in both camps?
  • Have you found your BRFs (best running friends)?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

What to eat when you just can’t eat

bstomach

Hopefully this is the blog post you will never need, but if you do, I hope it’s helpful to you. Having stomach problems is never fun. You can either help or hinder your healing with the right foods.

The BRAT Diet
I got really familiar with this one last week — luckily I already knew about it. BRAT stands for:

  • Bananas
  • Rice (preferably white)
  • Applesauce
  • Toast

These are foods that are easy to digest and good for an upset stomach.

Usually I’m all about the brown rice, much to Mr. Judy’s chagrin, but when your stomach is upset, white rice is your friend. It’s just easier to digest. I won’t say Mr. Judy was actually happy I was sick, but he was happy he didn’t have to eat the dreaded brown rice. Soon, honey, soon.

Eggs
Unless you have a sensitivity or an allergy, eggs are generally an easily digestible protein. You’re probably less active, so you won’t need as much protein as usual, but if you don’t get any, your body is going to turn to your muscles for its protein.

You don’t want to lose your muscles, right?

A little immunity boost + much needed digestible protein

Bone Broth
I almost always have bone broth around. I don’t actually enjoy drinking it on its own; usually I use it as a base for soups. However, I drank a whole lotta bone broth while sick and while recovering. It’s another easily digestible source of protein, but if you believe the hype, it will cure anything that ails you.

Probably not, but it is soothing to the stomach in addition to an easy source of protein.

Potatoes
Rice is a little easier to digest than potatoes, but potatoes aren’t far behind. White or sweet, it’s all good.

Whipped topping + juice flavored gelatin for more soothing protein

Jello or Gelatin?
Jello got its reputation for stomach soothing sort of the same way bone broth did — it’s the gelatin. The problem with actual Jello is that it’s usually full of additives and sugar. It may soothe your stomach but it’s not doing a whole lot for your health.

Making home made? That’s a different story, and it’s really not that hard. There will still be a fair amount of sugar, but there will also be easily digestible protein — again. And let’s face it, unless you’re a vegetarian, jello is a nice sweet treat. I started craving sweets, no doubt because for a week I wasn’t eating a whole lot at all. Home made jello will soothe your stomach, provide you with easily digestible protein, and curb your cravings for sweets.

I used Vital Proteins Unflavored Beef Gelatin (Amazon Affiliate link here) — make sure you don’t buy the Collagen Peptides, as that won’t gel — although you can use that in cold or hot drinks for the same benefits, minus the sugar. Great Lakes is another commonly recommended brand.

Chocolate: for Medicinal Purposes Only
I’m not kidding! Okay, so chocolate isn’t necessarily good for an upset stomach — it’s high in both fat and sugar. Ginger, on the other hand, is a known tummy soother (as is peppermint — I drank a lot of ginger tea!). I prefer to get mine in the form of dark chocolate covered crystalized ginger. I have that on hand because I also like to use some for long runs & races.

I ate it several times a day while my stomach was still upset, and it did not upset it further. You can, of course, stick to the teas or use ginger candies or plain crystalized ginger or grind up ginger root in your smoothies.

Bland, easily digestible food for when you’re feeling better

When you’re feeling better
It’s time to start adding in some actual lean protein: chicken and fish are usually good choices.

Raw vegetables, unfortunately, are hard to digest when you’re not feeling good. I’m used to a lot of veggies and a high fiber diet, but I went pretty much a week with nary a vegetable.

When you’re feeling better, adding in some green smoothies is a great way to reintroduce veggies. Blending the veggies helps make them much easier to digest. I have a smoothie board on Pinterest here, and I added several smoothies that are good for upset stomachs and foods to eat for an upset stomach to it (some day maybe I’ll make that two boards).

  • What’s your go-to “cure” for an upset stomach?
  • What foods do you find to be easily digestible?
  • Have you had a green smoothie recently?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

What wouldn’t I try?

btry

Today’s assigned topic is what new fitness gadgets would you like to try? Follow me for some time, and you’ll find that I am game to try pretty much anything. You’ll find just a few of my product reviews here.

bgarminvivomove

Garmin Vivomove HR
I still love my Vivoactive, but I must say the beauty of the Vivomove is enticing. In fact, I was just boring Mr. Judy with my description of it. While I would love to try out this smartwatch, the price is still rather steep for me.

I’m hoping that the Vivoactive 3 will continue to come down in price, but I sure wouldn’t complain if Garmin wanted to send me a watch to review! You can order one here(Amazon Affiliate Link).

bgridvibeplus

Triggerpoint GRID Vibe Plus
What’s better than a Triggerpoint foam roller? How about one that vibrates! Why not let the foam roller do all the work for you!

My GRID roller gets a lot of use. I do love that it’s hollow — it just fits in my carryon and I can stuff things into the hollow space. I’d willingly give up that space to have the thing vibrate — the only thing better than a roller that massages you is a real massage. You can buy a VIBE roller (Amazon Affiliate link) here.

boofos

OOfos OOmg Low Shoes
Most people Ooh and Aah over OOfos. Initially I did, too. Until the side of my foot started to bother me — and my OOfos bothered me, too. After a lot of PT work, my foot feels a lot better and now I can wear my OOFos Sandals again.

I need shoes I can slip into and out of as I go in &  out with the dogs, and the OOmg Low Shoes look great. If you go the the OOfos site, they now come in cool colors, too! Or buy the black ones at Amazon (Affiliate link) here.

bssswimsuit

Last but not Least Skirt Sports
Did you know that Skirt Sports has swim wear out? They do! I haven’t tried a suit yet, but I’m hearing really good things about them — find the swim collection here. And you’re in luck! You can get $15 off and 15% off using the codes AWESOME and AWESOME15. Minimum purchase of $30 before discounts, good until 4/29, one time use, and some restrictions apply.

  • Have you tried OOfos?
  • Have another recovery sandal you swear by?
  • What do you want to try?

btuesdaytopics

Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Proud to be representing Skirtsports

I am so proud and excited to have been chosen as one of the 2016 Skirtsports ambassadors. Seriously, I have been acting as an unofficial ambassador for them for years — I can’t begin to tell you the number of times I’ve gotten “cute skirt” in training, in races, and shouted out “Skirtsports”!

Clothes for real women

From the Skirtsports Website:

We pride ourselves on making products that fit real women’s bodies

Of course all companies say that; Skirtsports really means it.

Yes, there are shorts attached to the skirt and pockets!

I am a curvy girl. I am vertically challenged. And I am not reed thin. Let’s just say I don’t have a thigh gap. When I started running I tried running skirts from several well known brands — they always rode up and/or gave me a wedgie.

And then I discovered Skirtsports: Hallelujah! They don’t ride up! And they have pockets on the attached shorties. Pockets large enough so I can stash a cell phone and my ipod and some fuel.

And I am all about the pockets!

But Skirtsports is about so much more than just running/workout clothes.

Inspiring women to move

Running ought to be simple and inexpensive, but the truth is not so much.

That’s where Skirtsports’ Kickstart program comes in. They help women who probably would never be able to start running through mentors, coaching, tips, and more.

But wait, there’s more!

Maybe you’ve seen the #REALwomenmove hashtag?  For every 5000 of these hashtags, a real woman who might not have the opportunities so many of us take for granted gets an outfit and a free entry into a race. 

skirtsports_top
Top is soooo comfy and I love the message

Sharing Skirtsports with you

I hope by now you’re inspired by the Skirtsports’ message, just as I am. And maybe ready to take the plunge and try out a running skirt. They’re like potato chips — you can’t own just one!

Use code SKIRTLOVE20 for 20% off full priced items at the Skirtsports website.

Basking in the glow of a new PR in my Skirtsports Happy Girl Skirt

All the outfits shown here? They were bought with my own money. Before I became a Skirtsports ambassador. They are not inexpensive, but they’re worth every penny and they have awesome sales. Now that I’m an ambassador, yes, I get a discount. 

But I promise you: I’d still be buying Skirtsports if I hadn’t made the cut.