Wednesday, December 28, 2016

10 Great Races to Add to Your 2017 Race Calendar!

1.  Cherry Blossom Ten Miler.  April 2, 2017.  Not to be missed.  This race is a DC institution and self dubbed "Runner's Rite of Spring".   People travel from all over the US, hoping to get perfect race conditions that line up with peak blooms!  The lottery is over, but they do allow for bib transfers and that window is open Feb. 1-Feb 28, 2017.  People are always selling their bibs as the race gets keep an eye out and put the word out that you are looking! 

2.  Marine Corps Marathon.  October 22, 2017.  "More Than a Race".  So true.  You will feel such emotion and pride for your country running this one.  You will feel an amazing sense of gratitude for our service members and their families.  You can't beat the amazing 26.2 mile tour of the Washington, DC area...staring at the Pentagon, running past monuments, the Potomac River and ending at the Iwo Jima Memorial.  Entry for this race is also by lottery which opens on March 22.  I have run this race 4 years in a row 2013, 2014 and 2015, 2016 and you can click on the year to read my race recap.

3. Navy Air Force Half Marathon  Sunday Sept. 17, 2017.  This race is a great PR friendly course - mostly flat, start at the Washington Monument, through the monuments of DC and Rock Creek Park.  It comes in early September at the perfect time when all your hot summer training lends to a PR on the cool race morning!  It's a perfect race too because it hasn't become so popular (YET!) as it's relatively new and so there is no lottery for this one.  But mark my will grow every year!   Register here:  You can read my race recap from 2014 here

4. Annapolis Running Classic  November 2017 Date TBD based of the Navy Football schedule.  Great race through historic Annapolis.  Not flat and not a PR race, but the after party will make the 13.1 mile jaunt well worth your time.  Lots of micro-brews and oysters in the party tent.  They always have amazing premiums for the runners as well.  You can read my recap here of the 2013 race.

5. Smuttynose Half Marathon October 1, 2017.  Great fall seacoast course and a great medal with the Smuttynose Harbor Seal on the medal!  The beachfront after-party in true New England style is fantastic as well.  Lobster rolls, clam chowder, and Smuttynose Beer!  You can read that recap here of the 2013 race.  I can't wait to make it up north for this one again one day! 

6. Love Run Philly Half Marathon.  March 26, 2017.  Was so fun to run past the rocky steps and run past all the flags that line the Ben Franklin parkway! 

7.  Shipyard Old Port Half Marathon and Lobster Bake.  Portland, ME July 8th, 2017.  Race field capped at 4,500 to keep it small.  Coastal course with Shipyard beer to refresh you at the finish. It's only $60 until 12/31/16 and save 10% by registering through this link:

8. Army Ten Miler.  October 8, 2017.  A great racing distance, the 10 miler and supports a great cause.  This is also a very popular race and sells out very quickly so you have to stay on top of registration when it opens on May 24, 2017. 

9. Revel Mt. Charleston Marathon.  April 29, 2017.  Downhill, speedy marathon starting in the mountains outside of Las Vegas.  Finishes in Las Vegas where I plan to celebrate and recover....racecation!   $105 with a $5 facebook discount. Plus select join a team and join "Team Nuun" for an extra $5 off.    Free photos and finishers video.  They also have the most liberal deferment policy I've seen of any race. 

10. Lululemon SeaWheeze Half Marathon. August 2017 This race is already sold out for this summer and word on the street is that they WILL allow bib transfers this year.  If you don't get a bib, you can still attend the Sunset Festival attached to the race as tickets can be purchased separately if you aren't running.  A great waterfront course in Vancouver plus sunset yoga festival and concert.  You can read my recap of the 2015 race here.  If you did get in for 2017, I am super jealous of course, but  as always want you to have the time of your life!  Check out the guide I put together to help you make the most of your trip! 

11. Thinking Ahead to 2018!  January 2018, plan a trip to Florida for the Clearwater Distance Festival!  A beautiful course with great ocean views.  You can read my recap here.  A fantastic beach destination race but not for PRs as you will cross 2 bridges twice each.  Great post race festival with unlimited pasta and beer.

Product Review: Mizuno Breath Thermo Cold Weather Gear

It's no secret I love to run in the winter.  I don't let the cold weather stop me from my 5am runs.  I prefer to get bundled up and head out in 20 degree darkness than jump on the treadmill if I have a choice.  The key to being successful and maintaining my training over the winter, is the right gear.

Enter the new Mizuno Breath Thermo line meant to keep you warm on winter runs due to it's heat generating technology that uses your body's moisture to generate heat. 

I tested out the Base Layer Crew and I was very happy with it.  Not only was it comfortable, but it kept me at just the right temperature on my 40 degree run.  I also am really happy with the style.  It is a bit longer in the back and fits just right.  I will mention Mizuno does run small, so I normally wear an XS in most brands but I wore a Small in Mizuno.  I really like the blue and orange design as well. 

The Mizuno Breath Thermo Warmalite gloves kept my hands very warm.  I actually got too warm and a bit sweaty mid run and I took them off.  They offer reflective detailing and a storage pocket on top of the hand that could hold a key. 

I have been really happy with Mizuno products lately.  I am normally a huge lululemon and Nike devotee but Mizuno can give them a run for their money! 

Friday, December 23, 2016

Product Review: The Mizuno WaveRider 20 Running Shoe

Nike has changed their Lunarglide with the recent models and not to my liking.  The Lunarglide is technically a stability shoe but it was also such light stability that it was basically a neutral shoe.  The newer versions now have way too much I am in the market for a new shoe.  Runners know that changing shoes is no easy task!  Have to test new models, take them for runs to see how they work for us....who's got time for that?

Mizuno contacted me to send me a pair of the new Mizuno WaveRider 20s and I was happy to test them out since I was in the market anyway.  Perfect timing!

I have taken them out on a 6 miler on the road and worn them during a track workout so far. 

Here are my thoughts:

Look:  I do like the way they look.  They are pretty sharp with clean lines and a bright blue color.  Not to mention the box that they came in was beautiful!

Fit: They are slightly more narrow and fit smaller than my Lunarglides, so it is worth noting that you may have to go up a half size in Mizuno to get a fit that you are used to.  I normally wear a 6.5 but those were too tight and I had to exchange them for the 7. 

Feel:  They definitely gave me a nice neutral ride with a good amount of cushion.  The cushion is a stiff cushion, not a pillowy feel, but I liked that I could feel the road.  They definitely felt responsive.

Overall, if you are in the market for a new shoe- I would try the Mizuno WaveRider 20.  They are definitely a part of my shoe rotation now and will get a lot of miles this marathon cycle.