Monday, September 28, 2015

Gear Review: Oiselle Long Flyte Shorts

Having been a runner for ~10 years, I've spent a lot of time trying to figure out what to wear.  First to avoid chafe, second - to look good.  I've tried on all sorts of clothing, and I've found that Oiselle makes some super comfy stuff that also happens to be total gorgeousness.

*Full disclosure, I'm on the Oiselle Volée, a running club/team for all the ladies (and dudes) who love Oiselle and gives you running connections all over the U.S.  No, I don't get free stuff/paid for this.  Yeah I am kinda biased.

Oiselle is a women's specific running clothes company.  I like them for a couple of reasons.  

1. They do what they can to support and promote women in sport.  Two of their major elites - Kara Goucher and Lauren Fleshman are some of the most bad ass ladies in running - true sisterheroes.

2. Oiselle makes a quality product.  Comfort, durability, no special washing instructions.   

The shorts they make run from stretchy tight fitting, to loose.  They seem to have something for everyone.  The Long Flyte shorts have so far been my favorite for long or short runs.  They cover enough thigh that none of it rubs me wrong.  Also, with no seams, long, sweaty runs don't end in brutal chafe spots.  The waist is much higher than I am used to, but that turns out to be one of it's best attributes.  Try running with one of those hydration belts and not chafing.  You need the higher waist.  I've run a very sweaty half marathon in these and never experienced any riding up or uncomfortable chafe in these.  They get two thumbs up.
I realized also, in my previous entry, I am wearing these shorts.  So take a look at those pictures too for more Flyte love.  This is with my lovely Oiselle Singlet.  Beauty.
These shorts seem to run a tad on the big side if anything, but I'm super comfortable in the pair I have (usually a medium/size 6 gal).  Also, my legs look normal in these shorts, not too tight/cut offy and not too loose. ***side note: Oiselle is bringing in all kinds of seamless styles and I'm betting the bolt tights or juno tights are going to be just as wonderful as these shorts.***

I'm hoping to do more gear reviews in the future.  If anyone is actually reading this, please leave some comments of gear you'd like to know more about!

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Race Review: Night Moves 1/2 Marathon

Organization: Trail Racing Over Texas, Location: Stephen F. Austin State Park

Since I would really like to make some significant improvements on my half marathon time, I decided to sign up for a few races.   This one came up (sent by the hubs) and caught my attention.  Trail racing? Night time? a reason to buy a new headlamp?  Sign me up. (for the gear I used, scroll to the bottom).

I also coerced my best running buddy to do it with me.  Side note: she's training for a 100 mile run in December - send her all your happy thoughts.  Here we are in my kitchen, modeling the goods.

Registration/packet pickup
Trail Racing Over Texas (or TROT) puts on several trail races over the year, and are a great organization.  They spend time not only putting on the races, but on trail maintenance and such.  If you live in Texas, give them a try, you won't be disappointed.

The registration was normal - well organized, and they sent out an email warning everyone of the slick trails (so much rain), cupless racing and packet pick up times.  I appreciated the reminder.  Packet pickup was at my local Luke's Locker and was very quick and easy.

Race Day:
This was a night race.  I had no idea what to do with myself all day.  My normal pool-drinking was out.  So, I went all domestic.  Cleaned, grocery shopped, napped and prepped food for a work function.  Had Siggis yogurt and pecans for my pre-race meal - just like a morning race.  That seemed to work OK.  My friend picked me up around 6pm, we tried on all of our gear and then headed to the trail.  Here we are in the parking lot.  Pre-race selfie.

Everything was very well marked getting to the trail head.  There were volunteers from the moment you entered the park and throughout to the race.  The porta potty situation was excellent.  There were enough, and they were about as clean as you can hope for.  The highlight of getting to the start was the U-Haul shuttle van.  A very cheerful volunteer picked us up at the parking lot and drove us to the trail head.  See below for a mostly dark picture, but it shows the glow bands:

The Race:
The race itself was awesome.  For the half marathon, it was very well marked loops.  I ended up leading a small group and/or running by myself for a portion of the race and never got lost even though there were several points when the trail split.  And to clarify - I wasn't in the lead.  I was just 10 minutes behind the next person.  There was an amazing group of runners up front.

There were some very muddy portions of the race, and a few water crossings...I actually began to appreciate the last water crossing on each loop because it meant that I could clean my shoes off.  The food/snacks were good - plenty of water, gatorade, heed and pickle juice(!).  At the finish/start line there was a food truck, sadly, I forgot to bring money, so I can't say much about that.

My finish time was 2:17, but the cut-off for the race was something like 2am and it started at 8pm, so that was plenty of time for people to finish.  There was also a 5K and a 10K race that started in waves after the 1/2 marathon.  I will do this one again, and if you are in the area (Katy, TX) - I highly recommend doing it.  Can't forget the post-race selfie with our glow in the dark bling!

Gear List -  Eventually I will do a review on some of the gear I use.  This is what I used for this race.  Overall everything performed the way I wanted it to.  No serious chafing, didn't slip too much while I was running through those gnarly trails, and my headlamp performed beautifully.  I ate/drank whatever they provided at the tables.

Headlamp: Petzl Tikka+
Shorts: Oiselle Long Flyte Shorts
Top: Oiselle Winowa Tank
Socks: Feetures
Shoes: Nike Air Zoom Terra Kiger
Handheld Water Bottle: Lululemon/amphipod co-lab

Friday, September 25, 2015

Hi all,

Well, since this is my first post, I will start with some introductions.

That's me.
I've recently entered my thirties, I'm married to a pretty great guy, and I am maybe a wee bit obsessed with my GSP (that's german shorthaired pointer for those not in the know).  Oh, and we live in the Houston, TX area.

Here's one of me with that "great guy" Aka Chris.  Head cheerleader for all of my races.  He is the guy in the cheesehead and Packers apparel on any given race course.  Obviously so I don't miss him.  Go Pack.

I love running, triathlon, and wine drinking...especially the red kind.

This blog will mostly be rambling about my athletic pursuits and some tips on what works for me, what doesn't work, race reviews, and reviews on gear/apparel.  I'll also throw in some family/friends posts and definitely let you all in on any and all of the most delicious (and cheap) bottles of wine.

My History:

I have always been relatively active - youth soccer and softball, high school soccer and swimming, and since then, I've taken up running.  Because in college, running is cheap.  Since I felt pretty accomplished in swimming and running, and had been biking for the better part of 28 years, I decided to do my first triathlon.  It was a small tri in a small town, and I won.  So, I was hooked.  That led me to my first Ironman race in 2014.  I loved it, in a totally hate kind of way.   Since then I've been doing smaller triathlons, and several half marathons.

13.1 - 1:44 @ Katy Half Marathon
140.6 - 13:33 @ Memorial Hermann Ironman in Texas
26.2: 4:09 @the Houston Marathon

My goals for this year (late 2015/ early 2016)
13.1 - Sub 1:40
5K: Sub 21
Local tris - No time goals, I just want to hit the podium.

Now for wine: Currently digging Cab Sauv from the Alexander Valley, but when it's hot - French Rosé is my go-to.

Follow me, hopefully you can glean some useful information from this site, and maybe laugh.