The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'


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…Oiselle Window Tights Review

Window Tights

Oiselle asked for the #straightscoop on the Window Tights.  Honestly, it seems I’m always looking for an excuse to wear these pretties!

  • Function: I’ve put these beauties through the test with yoga, hill sprints, and a middle-distance run. They were perfect for every workout! The hidden back pocket is also a necessity for me.
  • Fit: Let’s face it–not all tights are created equal. What a boring world that would be. But these tights, even without a drawcord, don’t budge! There is a bit of give (not bunching) in the Nyelle leg fabric, especially in the back of the knee, so if you want a snug fit, size down.
  • Style: Holy gorgeous! The waistband and ankle prints are fem fierce, the lateral ankle curve/zipper and mesh panels are flirty, without sacrificing overall function.

*I am also wearing the Wazzie Wool Tank which is amazing! 90 minute yoga and not a bit of sweat on my torso. Longer bodice covers the hips comfortably. I’m thinking a perfect addition to my summer mountain running wardrobe.

Buy them at Oiselle!  Window Tights Wazzie Wool Tank

XO,


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Bird Camp Colorado Partners

COSIt’s no secret that I’ve been running for Oiselle since 2012. In that time, I have seen the company evolve in so many way and it’s been exciting to be a part of that growth. Upon our return to Colorado last fall, I was asked to co-lead the Colorado regional team, as Oiselle had just recently expanded to include nearly 1700 team members world-wide. With over 50 girls representing Oiselle in Colorado, Lisa and I have had the opportunity to organize meet-ups, cowbell corners, and generally get to know some pretty amazing women.

At the end of 2015, Oiselle suggested regional running camps to those leaders who might want to provide a running-specific weekend for the gals in the local areas. Lisa and I were in, straight away!

We’ve been busy planning and promoting our Colorado Springs camp, that will be held next weekend! One of the most exciting bits of the planning process has been reaching out the local, and some not-so-local companies, asking for their partnership.  I find it amazing, the generosity of SO many companies and their founders.  Never underestimate the human hear.

This post is actually a shout-out to those companies for their support of our #BirdCampCO next weekend.  We are so very thankful for their generosity!  We will also be chatting about them over the next couple of weeks on Facebook, IG, and Twitter. Clickity-click on the images to head to their websites!

 

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Hank Orange logo

Hope foods logo

 

Justin's PB logo

 

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Noosa Logo

 

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Pt6.PRO.deal.Liberty.back.OUTLINED

 

Stance logo

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XO,


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…Oiselle Izumo SS Review

I was contacted by Oiselle to give a #straightscoop review on a few of the new S16 styles that have recently been released.

Izumo Short Sleeve

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I took the Izumo out on its inaugural run as a layering piece when I was visiting a friend in Washington last week.  It worked beautifully, but I was interested to see how it would hold up solo.  And so, I threw a 6×1 minute hill sprint at an 8%+ grade at it and the results were amazing.

  • Wicking:  Even though we have a dry climate here in Colorado, don’t underestimate the ability to still sweat it out.  The Izumo wicked and had a “barely-there” feel throughout the warm up, workout, and cool down.
  • Seamless:  The Izumo is part of Oiselle’s seamless collection, so there are no annoying seams which means no annoying chaffing.  While I’m not prone to chaffing, I can be just as bothered by seams as the next gal.  These tops are cut from tubes.
  • Versatile:  I loved the subtle, delicate detailing on the sides of this top.  You can see a bit of it in the photo above.  One of my favorite things about Oiselle is that the clothes are so versatile.  Even the smallest detailing allows me to wear their tops from day, to run, to night.
  • Fabric: If you’re familiar with Oiselle, you are familiar with the legitimate hype behind the Lux fabric. Those who love it would gladly make their everyday “live-in” fabric.  Well, the Arque Nyelle fabric is so butter soft, that I’d suggest it to be the Lux’s sweet little cousin.

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I absolutely loved this top.  Not only for the above mentioned reasons, but I really liked the color, too!

Buy it now through Oiselle!

XO,


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Aussie East Coast Road Trip: Brisbane, Brissie, Brisvegas?

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Nick and I arrived in Brisbane, late on 28 December, coming up from the Gold Coast. We had plans to meet up with some friends who happened to be in town visiting family for the holidays, and they were kind enough to let us stay with their family for a couple of nights on a lasts minutes notice (better then doing all the hostel research, trust me). Gordon and Laura are our Aussie “counterparts,” so to speak, in that Gordon and Nick were the two involved in the work transfer which landed us in Australia, and them in America. It was nice to see some familiar faces as they gave us the grand tour of Brisbane over the next day or so, complete with a riverside picnic…

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A visit to the Buffalo Bar, an American-themed bar which offers a mish-mash of fare including Stromboli, a Clam Bake, Wings any which way, Duck and Waffles, Steak, and Hoagies. Totally random. A little bit of this and that. But, it also offers a variety of whiskey US “craft” beers (Coors, Sierra Nevada, Rogue, Big Sky, Founders, and a few others I had never heard of). It was nice to taste a little bit of home in a glass. While I understand that everything is relative, the beer in Australia is different that what we are used to in the States (as is the wine, but that’s for a different post), and I know Nick, in particular, has missed the beer culture in Fort Collins, Colorado, and surrounds.

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While I’m still not quite sure why Brisbane is sometimes referred to as “BrisVegas,” and most of my research confirms that no one else really knows why either, I can assure you it is nothing like Las Vegas! So, don’t be fooled. Perhaps just a tongue-and-cheek nickname, as we sometimes give to our American cities (i.e. Chi-town or Bean Town).

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The morning of the 30th, I was fortunate enough to be able to run with Tyra, who is part of the Oiselle Running Team. After following her on IG, then finding out we would be moving to Australia, I was determined to find a way to meet our one Aussie teammate, despite the fact she lived 1200km away. It was such a pleasure to chat with Tyra, who made pushing the pram with her little one along the river look effortless. I don’t know how those mama’s do it! This beautiful route gave us a stunning view of the city.

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Later that day, we picked up Tia and Jason (Nick’s siblings) from the airport and we readied ourselves for the next part of the trip: flying to Cairns (pronounced CANS) and heading back south. We stayed at a serviced apartment close to the airport on the night of the 30th.

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28 December to 31 December
This Stretch – Around Brisbane – Airport, beach, city, etc…but I’m not including that in the overall mileage, because that might be too nit-picky.
Total – ~1370km/851m

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XO,


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…two valuable Aussie lessons learned during a 101k relay

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On 28 September, I learned two vitally important lessons on a 32k relay leg.

Not long ago, I started running with a sweet gal here in Canberra. She invited me on a group long run and after some soft hazing I was immediately asked to join one of their two relays teams running the upcoming Sri Chinmoy 101k relay. I said yes, immediately.

While I was initially going to run Leg 4, I switched with another relay member to take on the longest Leg 2, at 32k (about 20 miles). I had been building up to running about 10-13 milers for my long runs, but I knew the 20 miler would be an effort, and I was up for the challenge.

The day started cool, but began warming up as I stood around, waiting at the exchange between Leg 1 and 2. Good thing I had lathered on the sunscreen. Amanda and Phil would be coming in for the hand-off to Jasmina and me. Our portion of the course would take us on a steep climb to the Mt Arawang summit, took us along the backside of the National Zoo, and had us finishing at the National Arboretum. It was truly a beautiful course, predominately on trails, with kangaroo sightings, gate climbing, and only a little bit of terror…

VALUABLE LESSON #1
The deadly snakes and spiders that I am terrified of in this country have NOTHING on the magpies. While I’ve been looking down at the trail all the time, paranoid about the snakes that aren’t even out yet, I realized I should really be looking up, at those annoying black and white birds that sing that beautiful, throaty song. At least during the spring. Swooping Australian Magpies. This is a very real thing, readers. More in Canberra than other Aussie cities.

Proof.

And all of this came to a head, when at the 10k mark, some of our teammates were waiting to cheer for us, and WARN us of the swooping Magpies up ahead on the course. We were given a hat, to wave it around in hopes of warding off the swooping. My heart skipped a beat. Maybe two. I really didn’t want to be attacked and have to get stitches from some bird who felt I was threatening a nest and thus pecked my head or my eyes or my back or something of that nature. I think I started waving the the hat around my head immediately, even though I didn’t see any Magpies. Jasmina calmly told me that I didn’t need to do that yet…

We saw several Magpie on the telephone wires and on the ground. I waved the hat, I looked around frantically, but we ran through the grassy knoll unscathed. I’m pretty sure the birds knew I was a Oiselle runner, and thus, one of them. Bird to bird, we had an understanding.

I pretty much have no choice but to not run, or not leave my house, until breeding/nesting season is over. So, November. And if I do leave my house at all, I must wear only black, gray, and white. I’d hate to provoke them by wearing orange, yellow, and purple during this time.

It’s no wonder that I see bikers with zip ties attached to their helmets, or eyes glued to the back of their helmets (Magpies won’t attack if they see you looking at them). But I refuse to wear those things will running!

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Jasmina and I continued on, chatting, hiking the hills, watching for Magpies, and climbing over gates. While I was originally somewhat concerned about navigating the course, the RD had marked it all quite well! I never questioned which turn to take which really took the guesswork out of it all. Thank goodness.

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The final 10k was fairly uncomfortable with the heat. I can’t say it was considerably HOT, temperature wise, but the direct sun, and very little shade made whatever the temperature was feel much warmer. We’d get a little bit of reprieve when the wind kicked up, which felt so nice. The few miles leading up into the National Arboretum and our exchange point were uphill. I think Jasmina and I were both ready to hand over the run to our strong Leg 3 ladies.

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And when I went home to clean up and nap, I saw this:
Sunburn

Oops. (No, I’m not a lefty. Yes, I wear my watch on the “wrong” wrist.)

VALUABLE LESSON #2
There is a hole in the ozone layer directly over Australia, and the usual 30 SPF I use in the Mile High State of Colorado does NOT work. I am no stranger to sun exposure. Having lived the majority of my 33 years in sunny Colorado, at 5280 feet, and I am adamant about wearing sunscreen daily. At least on my face, if not elsewhere, depending on the season and my clothing and the type of activity. Knowing that Canberra is not at sea level, but at about 1800 feet, I naively assumed that what I would usually use on a Colorado mountain run would be suitable for a trail run in Canberra. Not. So.

Looks like I’ll need to up the sunscreen (sun cream?) anti whilst here… Understatement of the century.

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All in all, it was a fabulous day and the race was a lot of fun. Of course, I can say this nearly two weeks later!

XO,


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…Sydney 1/2 Marathon (aka 21k)

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Well, this is the start of the Sydney Running Festival…who wouldn’t want to run in this race, just based on the backdrop?! Whether for pleasure or for pain?!

While originally planning to run with Nick, he had to pull out due to some nasty shin splints. No one wants to run a 1/2 marathon on that sort of pain. Luckily, I had a new running friend, Amanda, who wanted to take the trip to Sydney with us. I was happy to have a race partner! I would also be representing fivemore, who had Oiselle tanks designed with the FiveMore running logo.

The Start
As seen above, the start, in and of itself, is amazing. I have only dreamed of running in such spectacular places with iconic locations as my background. I know people probably say the same things about cities in the US, but when you are actually there, you just can’t really believe it! Once you get over the sheer awe of where you are, you realize this is a pretty big race. 3,200 for the full, 7,800 for the 1/2; not to mention the 11,900 running the 9k and the 5,000 for the 3.5k fun run. Those are decent numbers. A lot can go wrong when organizing a race event for that amount of people. A lot can go wrong for races of a much smaller number. We’ve all seen those failures. But not this one! Organized, easy to figure out where you need to be, and given the world “issues” leading up to this race (even in the very city I was racing), I felt very safe. My mother wanted to know. 🙂

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The Course
The course is truly beautiful, taking you almost immediately over the Sydney Harbour Bridge, which is closed down from 4am-11am. From there, you weave around the sights of Sydney, with either the Opera House or the Bridge in nearly every view. I wanted to keep my head up, eyes up, for this one. When I’m too focused on a time or a pace, I tend to miss so much around me. Let’s be honest, I tend to miss a lot around me when I’m NOT racing at all! So, I kept in my conscious to just take it all in and enjoy this course. The course was predominately made up of out-and-backs with hairpin u-turns, but I think that was sort of the point so you could remain in the heart of Sydney. It lightly rained off and on during the first half of the course and remained overcast and cool for the rest of the race.

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The Finish
The final quarter mile or so, has the runners on the harbour boardwalk and finishing at the steps of the Opera House. Ah-may-zing. Amanda and I crossed the finish together, holding hands, and with our arms lifted high. Okay, not really…
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The finish line festivities were a bit spread out to get everyone moving and prevent any clustering. Catherine had a delicious spread in a nearby pergola, for those on the fivemore running team, including coconut water, fruit, and energy bars. And with another Opera House backdrop, pictures couldn’t be denied.
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So, you pretty much have to put this race on your wish list.

XO,


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…playing on Bondi Beach

When I moved to Australia in July, I was well aware that there was ONE store in the whole of this beautiful country/continent/island that sold Oiselle. And I was going to connect with them. I didn’t care how far from Canberra it was. Luckily, Fivemore was located in Sydney, a mere 3 hour drive from where Nick and I are living. For us, this is about as far a drive to many of our favorite Colorado mountain towns, and a weekend getaway. After visiting Fivemore upon my arrival, Catherine, the owner, and I started discussing the possibility of some PR opportunities surrounding the Sydney Running Festival in mid-September. She had some amazing ideas that would certainly get me out of my comfort zone, and put this mountain girl in her place. Sweetly, and gently, of course. And as this past weekend began approaching, all systems were go for a fun, and memorable weekend.

On Saturday, I arrived at Bondi Beach to meet Sally (Fivemore’s very own running coach) and Catherine for a Oiselle soft sand running photo shoot. As it turns out, there really is a proper running form to adhere to when soft sand running. You don’t just go out and run on the sand for a few miles and expect to look and feel awesome. Sally gave me some pointers (as she is an expert, and the face of a huge soft sand running event in Manly), but I know I just looked liked a wannabe, fumbling next to her graceful stride. Where were the dirty trails? The steep mountain grades? The 14,000 foot peaks? Toto, I have a feeling we’re not in Colorado anymore… But given some time, I think I could really enjoy this soft sand running bit. Granted, there is the ONE technicality of the lack of sand in Canberra.

A few photos Nick snapped. Maybe I can get my hands on some of the professional shots at a later date.

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Following the soft sand running, the ever-generous Catherine, set up a surf lesson for me, for a true “two worlds collided” experience. Because let’s be honest, what popular sport in Australia is not so popular in landlocked Colorado? I’m not going to lie, I was pretty nervous. And that’s putting it lightly. But I think I held it together fairly well. And once I was in the water, I forgot to be nervous at all.

Getting all of the ocean floor details from Conrad.
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I even stood up the majority of the time! No comments on my form, but based on the fact that I even stood up at all on my first go, I’m pretty sure I’m a natural. 😉

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And the consensus? I LOVED it! I know I wasn’t on any big waves or anything, but just after an initial lesson, I am fully interested in giving it another go! Bring on summer!

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XO,