The Blonde Runs

Colorado lovin'

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High Nuun Sponsors

As previously mentioned, my Ragnar team, High Nuun, had some incredible support for our 28 hour relay adventure through the Colorado mountains. I wanted to put out a post that referenced them all, though I will be doing some individual posts in the coming weeks.

Ragnar-Officially sponsored our team after winning the Wasatch Back a few months ago. I was not a part of the team when they made their debut, but was thankful to be included for Colorado.

Nuun-Officially sponsored as their name is in our team name: High Nuun. We were well hydrated and I discovered some new flavors I love!
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Kate Farms-Supplied us with delicious Komplete Meal Replacement Shakes
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Got Chocolate Milk-For our refueling purposes.
Start area

Wild Friends Nut Butter-Opened up our world to the most amazing peanut and nut butters out there! Can’t wait to buy a case of Chocolate Coconut!

Kind Bars-An assortment of their bars.

Energy Bits-An algae based energy tablet for extra boost.

Veggie-Go’s-Fruit and veggie strips consisting of ingredients not seen together before! Yum!
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Square Bar-The most flavorful organic, GF, DF, SF bars on the market. Tastes like dessert.

Positive Energy-Like Sunny D with a kick!

Sweaty Bands-Can’t say enough GREAT things about this company and their product. They only headbands I wear! They sent us a pattern to match our theme…
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Handana-Holy Awesome! My new favorite running accessory! Collecting all of my facial secretions like a boss. Bry sports the black one here.
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Endorphin Warriors-Beautiful, simple bracelets with a message to get you motivated. Perfect to run with!
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Roll Recovery-The latest massage roller for better recovery. Easy to use with great effects!

KT Tape-Great for targeting pain relief!

Scott James Jewelry-Sport specific jewelry to commemorate a race or distance. Easy to wear while training or competing.

Smith Optics-Because sometimes you just need sunglasses.

Surprised, blessed, and thankful for ALL the sponsors that contributed great and small for our relay! We appreciate each of you and couldn’t have run this race without your support.


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…as 13502!!

31 days! That is all! Then, Boston!

My bib number is 13502!! This year, there are 3 waves at Boston, each 20 minutes apart. I will be in the 2nd wave, running at 10:20am!

And this is looking SO lovely….

And this is looking lovely too…

How can a girl choose?! I guess I’ll have to get both.

I feel so very lucky to be able to run Boston again. After three more years of marathoning under my belt, I am approaching this one differently. The experiences I’ve had with distance running only benefit me in every way. I’ve learning a lot, but I’m always continuing to learn.


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…an undisclosed number of miles in 2011

Due to some major watche issues this past year, I don’t have a total number of miles for 2011. When Garmin 305 died, I lost several weeks worth of information. Then, I started using the boy’s Nike+, which was a bit finicky. Not to mention, I failed to get any runs off of it for “keeping track” purposes.

It’s actually bothered me a little bit. Or, a lot a bit. I’m a numbers girl, myself; and my Running Log for 2011, which is in the delightfully organized form of an Excel spreadsheet, is incomplete (I know someone can appreciate this).

As of the middle of September, I had 898.17 miles. With another few weeks of marathon training, the marathon, and what I’ve done between now and then, I can comfortable tack on another 500 miles. Maybe even 501.83 for a guesstimated and rounded total of 1,400. This looks reasonable to me (but he would disagree-as this number would only be reasonable when adding mileage on your vehicle). In 2010, I had closer to 1700, but that was due to running/training for 2 marathons. In 2011, I only ran one. So, there.

Next year’s mileage goal? More on 2012 goals in the next post.


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…in cold weather

I wanted to chat a little bit about running in cold weather. Because here in Boulder, it’s been chilly. Teen’s and 20’s, chilly! At least we’ll be warming up into the mid to upper 30’s this week. Our fall has quickly transitioned to winter!

I’m going to give you fair warning, though, and let you know that I won’t be telling you to cozy up by the fire and sip a mug of hot cocoa. Save that for after the run.


One of the most important things to consider is what you’ll be wearing. Keep in mind that you should always dress as if it were 20 degrees warmer. This is due to your body heat; once you get going, you warm up quite a bit. Layering is a good way to start. I typically opt for wicking fabrics that can help with sweating; or those items that offer extra ventilation. On a very cold day, say, below 30 degrees, I’ll wear a wicking tank or short-sleeve top, with a long sleeve running top over that. Often, I’ll also wear a jacket. This is especially the case if there is wind, rain, or snow. I will also wear a hat or earwarmers and a pair of gloves.

My favorite pair of gloves are the Mizuno Running Glove Breath Thermo/Dryscience. They turn your hand sweat into heat! And they are the only gloves that keep my hands toasty warm. Even my fingers! I have other gloves that I wear on occasion, but the tips of my fingers always get so cold! I make sure my Mizuno’s are clean and dry before a run in really cold weather.

For bottoms, I love running tights. One pair is always fine for me.

As far as socks go, I’ll be sure to have a thick pair of SmartWool’s.

When temps really drop, either from a cold snap, or because the sun has set, I will sometimes use a neck gator that can easily slip up over my chin/nose. Another great item to wear if wind is involved!


Make sure that the route you choose is well-lit! While it will likely be dark when you are running, it also may be snowy or icy. Which also means, you might want a pair of these. Just be sure you have a good view for what is in front of you.


I would also recommend a headlamp. My Petzl headlamp is fantastic! And, it is always in my running bag!


Make sure that you have some warm clothes to change into soon after the run. If you are just running from home, I think a nice hot shower is a great way to warm up! Followed by that fire and hot cocoa, of course. However, if you are meeting someone, I recommend bringing an extra pair of socks and tops (sports bras, girls!). I love going out for some coffee or breakfast after a morning run, and I have been able to stay warm and comfortable with a fresh pair of socks and a new top. A pair of Uggs doesn’t hurt either!

When all is said and done, you’ll be glad you made it outside! And, of course, when blizzards hit, or you just can’t find the motivation, find a dreadmill for your workout. Or, make it your off day, and don’t sweat it. Literally.



…without her Garmin

Today, we say a fond farewell to Garmin. 305 served me, mostly well, these past 4 years. And with it, I’ve had my best marathon and my worst; my fastest track workouts and my slowest, injury laden 2-milers. While Garmin was attempted to be revived several times, its final breath was taken and its energy was depleted cradled comfortably in its dock on my dining room table because I just wanted the battery to die FOR CRYING OUT LOUD since it was kicking up a storm and refusing to die what with its constant turning on and off, on and off, every few seconds (Sheesh. Let a blonde sleep!). Garmin 305 is survived by its 30-year old owner who just won’t stop running.

I’ve been on the hunt for a replacement. I wanted to find something non-Garmin, but they seem to have nitch in this running-GPS-watch market. These are the watches I crossed off the list:

1. Nike+ SportWatch GPS powered by TomTom

The boy has this watch, and I’ve used it on occasion (and now, since I’m without). The GPS is really finicky and neither of us have a lot of faith in it. I have run a complete workout without it ever “linking.” I’m way to Type A (although I say I’m “Type A-“) to get a GPS watch that only works when it wants to. I need reliability.

2. Timex Ironman Run Trainer

I really, really wanted this watch, since the Timex Ironman series is so well-known. This particular watch comes out sometime in October of 2011. But, when I started researching and talked to a guy behind a watch counter at a well-known outdoor sporting equipment store, I was sure this was not the watch for me. Apparently, its’ GPS component, powered by SiRFstar IV™ (a no-namer), is just as unreliable as Nike’s TomTom. So much for that.

3. Polar RS800

Because who has heard of Polar?! Exactly.

Here are the two I’m considering:

1. Suunto t3d $189.00

Suunto is a fantastic watch. But, I’m still looking into this one. I’m not sure about the GPS technology. Sounds like another no-namer.

2. Garmin 410 $249.99

Because Garmin has the nitch. And mine DID last 4 years, which is pennies on the dollar with how much use I got out of it.

I need to make my decision sooner than later. The boy will need his watch back soon. And I’ll need some reliability soon. I mean I am in training mode!



…with a fritzy Garmin

I’m pretty sure that my Garmin 305 is about to die. It’s showing signs that it’s loosing the will to live. Just a few weeks ago I had written a wonderful and heartfelt epitaph for this priceless accessory that I won’t and can’t run without. That one piece of running equipment that I feel naked without.

A few weeks ago, Garmin decided that it didn’t want to turn on. This, after a night of sleeping on the dock. Well, then. I replaced it and went for my run with the BFF. Upon returning, it still wouldn’t turn on, even with all the tricks of hitting “mode” and “reset” at the same time. Awesome, I thought. Just getting into marathon training and Garmin dies. Great timing. I seem to have that.

But then, low and behold, a day or so later, it decides to turn on, work like a charm, and act as though nothing ever happened. Let by-gones, be by-gones.

But I was skeptical.

Then a couple of weeks passed. And, although I mostly forgot about that incident, it was still in the back of my mind. Now, in the forefront.

See, I was running my speed workout last night. 5×800’s. Or so I hoped. The rain started to pour. A somewhat abnormal occurance for dry Colorado, since we are considered the high desert (but hey, I get mountains and 300+ days of sunshine, and I do love my sunglasses). I was completely fine with playing it easy and doing my workout on the dreadmill. Something I usually steer clear of. But it’s my new shwanky gym that’s open 24 hours and it’s only a few steps from my new apartment. So, why not? Just this once.

But apparently when it rains, everyone thinks they are workout whores at 6:40 pm, so naturally every machine was being used. Fine. I went back upstairs and got ready to run outside. This is actually a process. What to wear? A jacket or long sleeves? Shorts or capris? What to do with my hair? Should I wear a hat? And off I went in the downpour. Not quite, but comparitively…

I ran my 2 mile warm up (which wasn’t so warm) and started my 800’s. After my 2nd 800, my watch dies. Or, at least stopped responding to any button I touch. The main “real time” screen is showing, but I can’t get it to rotate through any others, or even turn off. So, I run a 3rd 800 back, only guessing the distance and timing and pace. But now it’s dark and I’m mostly upset about the watch. I decide that surely the treadmills must be open now. I’ll go down to the gym to finish the final 2 800’s and my cooldown. Nope. Everyone is still working out. Interesting since I’ve never seen it packed like this. Or used for that matter.

It hasn’t been the greatest of days anyway, starting at 7am, so I decide to take a shower, eat, and just go to bed. I put Garmin on the dock, just to see what would happen the next day.

This morning, I woke up early for an easy 3 miler. I plan on the dreadmill. But once again, Garmin surprises me. Revived, I take it on the morning run and it works like a dream. After the run, it becomes “screen stuck” again. I leave it on the dock.

This afternoon, I plan a 7 miler, and hope beyond hope that it works. It does! Yet now, with the same issues as earlier. But in addition, it is now randomly turning on and off, even as I type this. It’s like it knows…

I suppose that by now, Garmin has run its course. I have had it for 4 years. I need to prepare for the worst. But, the thought of buying a new, expensive watch right now, is a little daunting. After playing with the boy’s new Nike GPS watch, I’m not sure it does everything I want it to. So, I’m sure I’d get another Garmin.

Which sports watch do you use? Would you recommend it?