{Friday Faves} Reads, Runs & Raves

I spend a lot of time on the Internet during the week- hence, being a multimedia editor – and I tend to come across some pretty cool, weird and awesome things, especially related to running (because I work at the running mecca). I’ve decided I’m going to share these things with y’all every Friday with my Friday Faves. This is by no means an original idea, tons of bloggers do it, but now you can add mine to the list. But, mine will be a little different in that it’s not going to be just about running, but rather things that made me laugh, things I found interesting or just things that I find random and awesome and want you to know about. So, to kick off my inaugural Friday Faves, here ya go!

  1. This will just make you smile- There’s Running and Then There’s High-5 Running via Greatist
  2. I recently took a day trip up to NYC and was reminded how much I absolutely love that city. So, when I saw the NY Mag series about why we all love NYC I had to share – NY State of Mind via New York Magazine
  3. My kind of running playlist! – Sub-4 Marathon Playlist via Enthusiastic Runner
  4. Staying Strong Through Injury- via LV Runs NYC (sidenote: Lora has been cleared to run so a HUGE congrats goes out to her!!)
  5. My very own gift guide for runners! – via Me! (Fit Girl Happy Girl)
  6. “Clipped” by Oiselle– The story of one women’s running apparel company’s quest to make a USATF/USOC/IAAF approved singlet for the Olympic trials. 
  7. This is usually how I feel on Fridays – “It’s astounding how much one’s stress level goes down with the simple act of switching from skinny jeans to yoga pants.”

skinny jeans to yoga pants

Happy Friday y’all! I hope you run strong on your long runs and have a great rest of your weekend!

If you have some extra time don’t forget to connect with me on social media!

Facebook: facebook.com/FitGirlHappyGirl

Twitter: @FitHappyGirl

Instagram: hannahmcgold

Pinterest: pinterest.com/hannahmcgold

Fit Girl Happy Girl’s Gift Guide for Runners

I was looking at my calendar earlier and couldn’t believe Christmas is in less than two weeks (and Hanukkah has already started!). I’ve been wanting to make a gift guide for awhile now but haven’t been able to get around to it until now so I guess this can be a gift guide for last-minute shoppers like myself who are buying for the runner in their life.

Also, this gift guide may look vaguely familiar to my own Christmas list submitted to my mom roughly two weeks ago because well it is. I figure many of the runners I know would also like the same things I like however, I’ve also made some additions to include my favorite tried-and-true running gear, accessories and apparel. I hope your runner likes them! (Sorry boys but this list basically applies to girls only… maybe you’ll find a great idea for your girlfriend or significant other?)

  • Oiselle Roga Shorts – I just ordered these not too long ago and have fallen completely in love with them- honestly I don’t know if I’ll ever run in anything else! The beauty of these shorts is really in the waistline because it is designed similarly to the waistline of yoga pants. Therefore, unlike some other running shorts I have, you don’t get a super sinched in, pinching feeling around your waist when you’re running and they feel like they aren’t even there! Also, there’s a pocket in the back for keys/ID/Gu and built-in undies (I happen to know some runners who go cammando with these- that’s how comfy they are!).
  • Sparkly Soul headband – I have tried many headbands in the past while working out and they ALWAYS fall off my head. Not Sparkly Soul headbands. They have stayed put through some of my longest, sweatiest runs and haven’t budged during my fastest races. Also, they are super sparkly and I get tons of compliments for them all the time!
  • Garmin Forerunner 10 – This is the perfect GPS watch for runners who don’t need all the bells and whistles of a standard GPS watch. This is Garmin’s “beginner” watch and it does everything you need it to – distance, pace, time, calories burned and records. Also, it is $129 which is vastly less expensive when compared to some of it’s more advanced counterparts.
  • Lululemon Hot Cheeks running skirt – I mean this is unnecessary but it’s too awesome not to add. I told my mom I really wanted this for Christmas and when she asked me why I couldn’t come up with any other reason except it’s cute and sometimes my butt gets cold! It’s really for the runner who has everything.
  • Race bib holder – I think this is the greatest idea ever! It’s a great way to display your bibs and accomplishments for all to see and it’s decorative!
  • Zensah compression socks – I’m a huge fan of these compression socks! They aren’t too tight but they feel great while running or after for muscle recovery. I wore them in a recent 5-K and felt great the whole time even though it was a little chilly out. They helped to keep my blood flowing in circulating in my calves.
  • Erica Sara Say It Do It bracelet – I love the whole idea behind the Say It Do It bracelet because it is customizable for your running goals. You can get a goal or motivational saying engraved onto the bracelet and pick your band of choice! This is a great way to personalize a gift for the runner in your life.
  • Believe I Am Training Journal – Super cool stocking stuffer, especially as we are approaching a new year! The Believe I Am training journal was inspired by elite runner, Lauren Fleshman, and it’s the perfect way to keep track of your runs while staying motivated. Also, I just think there’s something amazing about putting pen to paper especially for a running log (no offense, Daily Mile!).
  • Oiselle Flight Kit – The Oiselle Flight Kit is really perfect for any runner on the go. It’s packed with Nuun Hydration tablets, Picky Bars (can’t get them here on the East Coast yet but you’ll get them in the kit!), a Runfinity scarf and so much more! It’s a totally new take on a “gift basket.”
  • Pedicure – Although it’s winter and most of us aren’t strutting around in sandals, a little primping is always welcome, especially when we keep our feet crammed into running shoes and winter boots during the colder months.

Also, because it’s the season of giving, nothing says Happy Holidays to the runner in your life like donating to their favorite charity. If you don’t know what their favorite charity is, or you think they might not have one, consider donating to Girls on the Run or Mighty Milers, two great outreach programs with a mission to get kids running.

I was not compensated for any of these suggestions. Any of the products I already own I paid for myself.

Monday Motivation: I can and I will

Setting goals is always scary, especially when you tell people about them. It takes courage to set goals because if you try to achieve them but miss the mark, it’s disappointing, not just to you but to other people. But it’s important to be confident in yourself and even when you might miss your goal, take comfort in knowing you tried your best and gave it your all. I have some big goals for 2013 and they scare me but that’s okay because I believe I can do them and that’s what matters. Don’t be afraid to dream big!

I can and I will

Week 5: Sub-50 10K Training

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Me and my friends Cassie and Madeline doing our Race for Recovery 5-K

Another great week of training has come and gone. I had some really great moments this week including an (unofficial) 5-K PR, a fantastic trail run and the Race for Recovery. I also ran my highest mileage week ever this week for a total of 27 miles!

I started off training this week with some cross-training on Monday. I did 2 miles on the elliptical and then 40 minutes of strength training. According to my training plan, I can either rest or cross train on Mondays and so far, I’ve cross trained every Monday. No rest days!

Tuesday’s run was a 3 mile tempo and I hit every split at my tempo pace or under which was really great. My first mile came in at 7:57/mile which is really fast for me and I was honestly a little surprised to see that on my watch. My second mile was a bit slower at 8:06/mile but still below my tempo pace of 8:12/mile. In the third mile I decided to try to kick it up and hit 8 flat but hit 8:02/mile which was still pretty awesome. Since my paces were so great I decided to run .1 mile extra to see what my 5-K time would have been and I finished at 24:14 which is by far my fastest 3.1 miles ever and it felt great!

I decided to run trails with two of my speedy coworkers on Wednesday because we had some trail shoes to test out. I was a little apprehensive about running with them because they are just so much faster than me but they assured me they wouldn’t leave me behind so I went. We ran about a mile and a half to the entrance of the trail which was kind of annoying because the shoes were clearly not meant to run on pavement but once we got to the trail they felt great.

The actual trail part of the run was about 3 miles of very steep inclines and jagged declines. The trail goes up a mountain near our office and gets pretty narrow on the way up but the views are beautiful. I will admit though, the ascent was pretty hard and I was forced to hike for some of it. I’m not too great at trails but I do really like them, especially the downhill because I feel like I’m literally frolicking through the woods. The entire run was just over 6 miles but it took us longer than the average 6-mile run just because we all run trails slower than we run on the road.

My ankles and achilles were killing me on Thursday post-trail run but I had intervals on tap and couldn’t skip out. I had to do 3x1200m at race pace (8:02/mile) with 400m easy pace in between. I did these on the treadmill and although they were not fun, I was surprised at how good my ankles felt once I actually got running.

Friday was my rest day which was good because my legs were completely dead and it gave me time to rest up for the Race for Recovery on Saturday morning. I took part in NYC Running Mama, Michele Gonzales’, Race for Recovery to raise funds for Sandy relief efforts on Saturday. She asked that everyone run either a 5-K or 10-K wherever they were so I ran with two of my friends at a local 5-K in Bethlehem. My roommate and I ran to the race start line to add on an extra 1.3 miles and ran the 5-K with our friend. It was great to get out there and although I didn’t time myself it felt good to run watch/GPS free for once!

I had my long run on Sunday and when I woke up, looked out my window and saw rain, I was less than thrilled. I procrastinated the run until noon and finally made myself get out the door, suck it up and get over the fact that I’d have to run in the rain. Turns out my run was fantastic! I did an 8-mile out and back run in 1:19 (9:31/mile). My legs felt so fresh and strong, I really couldn’t believe it. I almost wanted to keep going but towards the end of the run it started to rain harder.

During my long run I did a lot of thinking and couldn’t help but realize this is the first training cycle I’ve done where I haven’t felt super tired or achy or sore and I am so thankful for that (knock on wood!). I’ve never felt stronger and my paces are feeling much more comfortable. My goals with this time-goal for a 10-K was to get faster overall and I’m definitely starting to notice some changes.

I hope your training went well this week too! Also, I know I haven’t been blogging as much as I used to but that will change soon! I’ve been so busy getting acclimated with my new job that I’ve just felt completely shot by the time I get home after work. But don’t fret, I’m going to make an effort to keep it up :)


Week 4: Sub-50 10K Training

Personal BestLast week’s training was really phenomenal- seriously I think I had a breakthrough. I’m not just talking about a running breakthrough- although my paces were on point and I had good mileage- but I’m talking about a personal breakthrough. I work with a lot of really good, really fast, really experienced runners. So, when I have a new goal, sometimes I get embarrassed because it’s not as amazing as the goals my coworkers have but I often forget I JUST started running in February and it really is amazing to see how far I’ve come in such a short amount of time.

My new goal I’m working on right now is to run a sub-50 10K, mostly because I want to get faster, but also because I’ve never had a time goal for a race. I also just found out I’ll be running my second half marathon in January (yikes/yay!) so I’m now trying to merge both trainings into one. But, I’m really excited about both of these goals because they will be the perfect way to bring in the new year. Also, this training so far has taught me to not be ashamed or embarrassed about my goals because every runner is so different. All that really matters is that I reach my own goals and even if I don’t, so be it, it’s not the end of the world.

That being said, my training was GREAT last week. I started off on Monday with some cross-training and tried a new bootcamp class at the gym. I’ve never done bootcamp before but I thought it would be a good idea to switch up my strength training. While the class was only 30 minutes and I used lighter weights, it turned out to be harder than I thought! My legs and arms were sore for days, although I tried to convince them otherwise…

I had a tempo on Tuesday which was a little difficult on dead legs but I nailed my goal pace of 8:06/mile for 3 miles! Then, on Wednesday I ran 5.3 miles on the treadmill after work. I was kind of dreading this run and as I headed to the gym, I seriously thought about turning around and going home. However, once I got going I felt really great (despite my still-sore legs) and I ran at an easy 9:26/mile.

Thursday was a speedwork day and I knew this was really going to be challenging. My plan had me running 3x1200m intervals at 8:02/mile with 400m easy pace in between. After a two minute warm-up I started on the first interval and felt surprisingly good. I made it through the entire workout without any resting or walking which was the first time I’ve done so with speedwork, so I was pretty excited about that!

I ran during lunch on Friday with a bunch of coworkers. We did a great 4.5 mile out-and-back in the neighborhoods and trails around our office. We said we were going to take it really easy but ended up picking it up a bit and running an average 9:16/mile.

I rested on Saturday because I went to NYC for the day (!) but did my long run on Sunday. I was only supposed to run 6 miles but felt so good and decided to run a little over 7 miles. My pace was also great, with an average of 9:14/mile with faster intervals in the mid- to low- 8s!

Overall, my training was really great and I am becoming much more proud and less embarrassed about my sub-50 goal. I think I will be able to hit it, especially with the adrenalin associated with racing.

How did your training go last week? Let me know in the comments below!