Being Seen in the Dark

I want to tell you a story. I went for a run early morning. It was pouring rain and it was still pitch black out. I started my run around 5:16am in downtown Minneapolis. I ran through the streets and then around Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis. During my run, I saw three other runners, handful of pedestrians, and four cyclists. Out of all the people that I saw on my 4-mile run, two cyclists had lights, no one else had any lights or reflective.

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To me, that is complete stupidity. If you do not have reflective or lights, you are 100% not seen. Bright and colorful clothing does not help when it is dark out. Ultimately, you are out on a run or cycling because you want to take care of yourself. So why are you not protecting yourself while out on that run or bike ride? Here is what I do when I am out on a run in the dark. Here is my list of must haves:

  1. Headlamp: I use the Black Diamond Ion It is cheap and it does the job. Nothing too fancy.
  2. Tail Lights/Shoe Lights: I love these things. The Nathan Sports LightSpur LED Foot Light is awesome because you attach it to your shoe and you are good to go.
  3. Reflective Hat/Headband: I am a big fanboy of Buff® USA products so I have a couple of their reflective hats and headbands.
  4. Reflective Strips: I put these things on everything. I work for Brilliant Reflective so obviously I like the product but I wish I knew about them earlier. All you do is put the strips on your clothing and you are good to go.

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Whether you are training for something or you are just a daily runner, consider this: if you get hit by a car, a bike, or step off the curb wrong because you couldn’t see it, you will not be able to run. Take care of visibility and safety like you take care of your training and physical fitness.

#KeepTheRunOn!

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Four Week Half Marathon Training

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Denver Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have four weeks to train and run a half marathon with an elevation 6x higher than Minneapolis.

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After Grandma’s Marathon, I decide to not race the rest of the year. My race was a bit disappointing and I felt like I wanted to get back to the basics of running and make my way through the year in a casual running routine. I also took myself away from most running activities in the month and a half or so after Grandma’s.

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The past couple of weeks I have been getting back into it. I started listening to running podcasts, wad up BibRave Podcast! I got back to running with WeRunMPLS, m local running club. I also started to run some longer distances. It was all starting to feel great. Well last week, my girlfriend and I decided that we want to take a trip to Colorado this Fall. We want to do a little hiking, a little beer drinking, and enjoy the outdoors before the tundra of Minnesota winter comes in. I am in Chicago for the Chicago Marathon, Brilliant Reflective will be an exhibitor and sponsor so I am going out to help and I am going to be cheering on all the BibRave Pros running the marathon! So, we decided to go middle of October.

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Do you know what else is happening middle of October in Colorado? The Rock N Roll Denver Half Marathon. When I found out that the half marathon would land right in the middle of our trip I was pretty excited. I just can’t resist! Last week I signed up for the Rock ‘N Roll Half Marathon in Denver. I have four weeks to train.

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My training schedule will go like this: each week I will have 4 days of intervals/fartleks/thresholdruns, 2 days of easy runs, and stretching/yoga/cross-training every day. I will also have 3 long runs with the most number of miles being around 9.

I am beyond excited to run a Rock ‘N Roll race. I have only heard great things about it. I am pretty pumped that I am able to sneak this in during my travels in Colorado!

Do you think I can have a good training month? Have any suggestions? Comment below!

#KeepTheRunOn!

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Tips to Get You Out the Door to Run

Once in a while, or maybe more often for some, a runner experiences this extreme desire not to go running when they know they have to. Whether it is still dark out and you do not want to get out of bed or you just came home from work and all you want to do is Netflix and nap. These annoying urges that keep you from getting out the door can be silenced with these five tips that will get you out the door an out on a run.

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Minneapolis, MN – Andrey Ablamunets

1. Put on your running shoes: just having them on will trick your body into wanting to get out there for a jog. If you are a morning runner, sleep in your running gear.

2. Drink a cup of coffee: getting up and making a cup of coffee will get you ½ way to out the door. First half is just standing up.

3. Listen to a running podcast: Runner’s World and BibRave Podcast are two of the best. They will get you inspired to go run. Just make sure you download a couple episodes for the run as well.

4. Ask a friend out for a beer: make plans to go somewhere with a friend and then run there. Make sure that you only have a couple drinks so you can run home.

5. Shut up and go run: walk up to the mirror, tell yourself to shut it, and then go running. Sounds simple but it is most effective.

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Minneapolis, MN – Andrey Ablamunets

Ideally every runner would be motivated 100% of the time and these issues would never come up. Since that is not true, it is important to have little tools in your arsenal so that you can overcome any speed bumps in your routine. Looking for excuses to not go for a run is a common activity. Use these tricks to trick yourself into wanting to go for a run. By having your body conditioned to wanting to run after an activity, you will have an easier time making sure that you get every training run done.

Let me know what gets you out the door for a run. Comment below!

#KeepTheRunOn

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Orange Mud Makes Your Run Easy

Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud P.F.V as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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One of the main things that makes runners annoyed as can be is having to carry a bunch of stuff with them Ok, ok, maybe it’s just me that gets super annoyed. I am a pretty minimalistic runner. I hate having to carry my phone, keys and water on me. That’s three more things that I have to carry on top of already wearing shoes, shorts and a tank. So when I saw Orange Mud’s new Phone, Flask, Vest I jumped on the opportunity to give it a shot.

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When I got the vest I was a little confused on how to wear it. It seemed small and a bit uncomfortable. Luckily, Orange Mud has a bunch of pictures to show you how it works. I started to fiddle around with it and decided that the best way to see if it works is obviously to go for a run. I threw on my shoes and packed my phone, keys, a BibRave Buff and the water flask in the vest and took off.

At first, it felt kind of weird. I realized that I did not tighten the straps on the side or the back. Once I did a little trouble shooting, the vest stopped bouncing while I ran and the flask’s straw was out of my face. The vest sits up pretty much covering your chest. The flask is the biggest compartment, but there is another on that holds your phone. I have an iPhone 6s and it fit in there perfectly. Over the right shoulder is another area to stash something and below the flask is a small pocket for your keys. in the back is a pocket where a larger item can go. I was able to stick my rain jacket in there.

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I am really impressed by the design and features of the Orange Mud P.F.V. It is simple and holds all the essentials. It takes a little bit to get used to the way that it sits on your chest but after you get passed that point you can enjoy the run without having a bunch of stuff bouncing on you. The price is a bit on the high end, but considering your are eliminating 3-5 other items I would say that it is worth it.

If you want to try the PFV out, let me help you out with the price! Use “BRPPFV” code at checkout and receive a 10% off discount. Try it out and let me know how you like it in the comments below!

#KeepTheRunOn

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What It’s Like Running a Goal Race (unsuccessfully)

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Grandma’s Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

When I train for a marathon, I train in two ways. I am either training to run a race that I am interested in or excited about or I am training for a goal race. I have trained and ran five races that I was just interested in running and two that were goal races for me. This year, in April was the first one and last month, Grandma’s Marathon was the second one. Total of over six months of training for these two goal races with Grandma’s being the one where I was hoping to run a sub 4-hour marathon.

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I want to start off and talk about how iconic and special Grandma’s Marathon is. If you live in the Midwest and run marathons or have a “one day I will run a marathon” mentality, you probably have Grandma’s Marathon on your list. I have wanted to run this race for many years now. There is just a vibe that Grandma’s Marathon gives off that people fall in love with. It is remarkable how addicted people get to this race. Everything from the extremely fast course, to the views, to the partying, and of course the traditions. I was stoked to experience all of that.

I felt prepared going into marathon weekend. Almost too prepared because I was feeling a little too confident. Physically I was exactly where I wanted to be. Training went well, earlier marathon showed my potential, and I was able to make it through the Spring season without any major injuries. Mentally, well we’ll get to that. The night before I was running up and down the frontage road between my hotel and Highway 35. In my mind I was going through the list of things I need to bring with me to the starting line. Water, Nuun Hydration tablets, Bib (definitely can’t forget that), long sleeve because it is supposed to be chilly, a BibRave Buff® head band, and my shorts and jersey. I remember stretching after that and my mind was just kind of blank.

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Fighting for a cup of coffee with the rest of the runners in the hotel, I grabbed a cup of coffee and a muffin. Walked over to the free school bus shuttle that was filling up with runners to be taken to the starting line. I sat next to a guy with his headphones on and thought that I would throw mine in as well. I don’t run with headphones so I use them as a pre-run mental clearance.

Running around brand new Chevy cars in the dealer parking lot next to the starting line corral in Two Harbors, MN, I wasn’t thinking about anything. I had my routine and I just followed it. There were no corral numbers so I figured I had plenty of time to jump in the bathroom line and do my pre-marathon ritual. Unfortunately, that was not the case. With about a minute before the starting of the race, I walked into the end of the race corral. Definitely not where I wanted to be. I look around and I see that I am next to Pacer 4:45 and boom the race starts.

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This is where I was not prepared mentally. Instead of running my own race, I ran someone else’s. I am not the best at pacing myself consistently so I chose to try to catch the Pacer 4:00 with whom I planned to run with from the beginning. That was my mistake that I believed caused me to miss my mark completely. By the time I caught up to the 4:00 hour pacer, knew that this was not going to be the race where I break 4 hours. I had to make a decision: try to keep up with the pacer and risk injury or DNF, or slow down and enjoy the race.

By mile 14 the sun was beating down hard. The temperatures where close to 70 degrees and I knew that this was not going to happen. I decided to enjoy myself. I knew that the time is not going to be something that I would be proud of but I wanted to make the last half of the race as enjoyable and memorable as possible. I did just that. I enjoyed all the sprinklers that were set up. Gave HIGH FIVES to all the spectators, tried to look good for the WeRunMPLS crew that was out there supporting the runners, played catch with a football while I ran past the college guys, and even enjoyed a beer at mile 22. After the race, I enjoyed all the free food for all the runners but unfortunately that was cut short. Feeling dehydrated, I had to get back to the hotel and recover.

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I ran my goal race at the best physical fitness that I have ever run a marathon, but I completely missed on the mental side of it. Without any mental prep days leading up to the race and before the race started, I made a crucial mistake and was unable to recover from it. Does it suck? Yeah totally. Marathon training take a ton of time and effort and it is no fun when you screw it up. Am I going to complain about it? Not one bit. By missing my mark, I have opened up the door for a 2018 redemption.

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Grandma’s Marathon 2018, registration opens up October 1st, 2017

How did your races go in the first half of 2017?

Keep The Run On

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