TNF Locals

I am very excited to share that in August I became an official ambassador for The North Face brand!

Invitation to join TNF Locals

I am ecstatic about the opportunity to be part of this program and look forward to representing The North Face as an ambassador. My Athens Road Runners shirt is one of my favorites – comfortable and lightweight – and it is The North Face brand so I look forward to testing out more of their products.

Chandler at Sweat Hope 5K

Over the next few weeks I’ll be sharing more about the program and my thoughts on the Thermoball jacket I received last week! If this post peaked your interest, I think they are still accepting applications – apply through the link on their Twitter profile.

Do you have any gear from The North Face for running? What would you recommend? I need to add to my current collection!

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App Review: Strava

Happy National Running Day 2014! Join me in celebrating with a run today and read more at runningday.org. Today seems like the perfect day to tell you how I am currently tracking my miles…

I run to reach my goals. National Running Day 2014

Strava is my new favorite app (website) for logging my training and running. Before I got my Garmin watch I used Nike+, and I loved that Nike allowed me to track miles on shoes. I thought that I had written a blog post about how much I loved Nike+ but apparently I never did. Nike+ is awesome and what I would use if I didn’t have a Garmin. I miss it sometimes but I also love having a watch! I also tried Dailymile and Garmin Connect for tracking miles but I have complaints about both. Dailymile is not very user friendly and I could not figure out how to automatically load from my Garmin to Dailymile. I had to upload it manually from the website or mobile site. My biggest complaint about Garmin Connect is that there is not a place to track shoe mileage (I don’t think Dailymile has this feature either). Shoe mileage is one of the most important things for runners to know! These are just a few of the reasons that Nike+, Dailymile, and Garmin Connect were not right for me.

Which leads me to Strava…I learned about Strava because someone created a club for Athens Road Runners. Strava was created for athletes, and I definitely think it is more popular in the bike community, but it works great for runners. I am using Strava to do two important things for my training: track shoe mileage and track my miles and compare miles to friends (Evan) and groups (Athens Road Runners). Strava is very easy to use and upload data from my Garmin watch. There is also a Strava app that will let you track running or cycling from your phone.

Another exciting feature of the app is people can add “segments” and Strava knows if I run those segments based on GPS data. I ran at Salem Lake and it automatically added me to a leaderboard for a Strava segment, which I think is really cool! There are other features that are available with a premium account, but currently I am using the free version and it is doing everything I need it to.

So now the only thinking lacking about my new favorite run app is more people to connect with and follow their training. Please, join me on Strava and lets track our training together!

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Meg’s Miles

megsmilesThis morning I joined with my Athens Road Runners group to run for Meg. Meg Menzies was tragically killed by a drunk driver on a morning run earlier this week. I finished 6.2 miles with positive thoughts in her honor. The Facebook event created for Meg’s Miles describes it like this:

This Saturday, January 18, 2014, no matter what your distance, no matter where you live, run for Meg. Take in the fresh air, be aware of your surroundings, keep your headphones on low, feel the heaviness in your lungs, the soreness in your legs, and be grateful for it–for all of it. The sweat, the pain, the wind, the cold…everything. Be grateful for that moment.

I read that statement multiple times. I read it slowly and I read it fast. On our cold run today I was better aware of my surroundings and grateful for my ability to run. Very grateful.

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Speed Workouts – Birthday Edition

As I reflect on 2013, I am very appreciative of the Wednesday morning 5:30 am track workouts with Athens Road Runners. I know this might sound painful if you are not a morning person, but there is something special about meeting this community every week early in the morning at the track. Since starting this weekly workout, Wednesdays have become one of my favorite days of the week; I am up early and usually feel great all day after pushing my limits at the track (runner’s high anyone?). Speed workouts are an important addition to every runner’s training, and I encourage you to try it if you have not yet! I am not in Athens this week so I got Coach Al to email me the workout. It was not as much fun without the group but I did it on my own Wednesday morning to celebrate turning 24 and now I am sharing it with you, give it a try sometime in the next week! (or on your next birthday, if you want to make it your birthday workout too!)

Athens Road Runners Members at the UGA Track

“I was thinking about you this morning …Happy early birthday! We are going to do 3 individual miles after a mile warm up.  The concept is to drop down the time with each progression. So you want to run the first one at about 75% effort then rest a good 3 – 4 minutes then the 2nd one about a 85 – 90% effort rest 3 -4 minutes than the last one give it what you have left. Then a good cool down. I really want to start working y’all into a tempo run per week. Tempo is defined as an effort that is just difficult enough without being race pace…I like to call it barely a talking pace…kind of like a one word answer pace if that makes sense. A good tempo workout would be about 3 m iles or 20 minute sat that pace. This workout for tomorrow is designed to start zeroing in on that desired tempo pace.” – Al Jeffers.

I did this workout on a straight mile-long sidewalk near my house and here are my results:

Mile 1 – 7:44
Mile 2 – 7:55 (into the wind)
Mile 3 – 7:21

As you can see, I went a little faster on the first mile than Al suggested, but still was able to give everything on mile 3. These are great times for me, and I never knew how fast I could be until I started working out with Coach Al and Athens Road Runners members at the track. Oh and fast is a relative term, different for every runner. Let me know how it goes if you try this workout! And if you live in Athens I highly recommend joining Athens Road Runners for 2014 :)