Tips for Running in the Dark and Gear to Keep You Safe

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Jacket Crops Shoes

Now that the time change has happened, it’s virtually impossible to squeeze in an evening run after work before the sun goes down. Even though Heather and I met for our Prospect Park jog earlier than normal, it was already pitch black when we entered the park.  It is so important to not only use the buddy system when you are walking or jogging in the dark, but also to ensure that drivers and cyclists can easily see you.

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The experts at Brooks shared the below infographic and helpful tips so you all can ensure you are safe when working out in the early morning or evening hours.

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In addition to the above tips, Brooks has also expanded their high visibility and reflective collections this year to include multiple items for men and women alike.

 

brooks-reflective-gear Brooks makes it easy to run safely, regardless the weather. The below are a few of my favorite bright, reflective items that I’ve been wearing this Fall, even on warmer days.

  • Brooks Drift 1/2 Zip – Perfect for colde runs, this jacket has a soft, fleece lining, reflective detailing on the side and back and is wind-proof. I own this in two colors including the neon yellow with blue accents.
  • Brooks 5 inch Chaser Short in Reflective Gray –  I’ve shared my love of Brooks 5 inch Chaser shorts multiple times due to their wide leg openings, wide waistband and lightweight material. But, until last month I had no clue they also had a version with reflective detailing. I have been wearing these on early morning or evening walks and runs when it’s warmer and love that the reflective detailing helps ensure cars and cyclists can see me.
  • Brooks Dash 1/2 Zip – This flattering, cozy pull-over is perfect to wear throughout Fall, Winter and Spring. There is reflective detailing at the wrist and back on the neon yellow color which makes this a great option for outdoor workouts.
  • Brooks Run-Thru Hat– Perfect for both male and female runners, this lightweight hat will ensure that you’re safe year-round while protecting your face from the sun during the day and from the icy elements during those cold, frigid morning or evening runs.

Your turn – Are you team AM or PM? If you’re running or walking in the dark, how do you ensure you’re seen? 

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Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon Race Recap 2016

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Yesterday I had the opportunity to run the Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon for the second year in a row and it was once again a great half marathon right in my own borough.  This years race was even better than last years which says a lot as it was my favorite half marathon that I ran. Admittedly, last year’s inaugural RNR Brooklyn Half Marathon did not go off with a hitch as organizers faced multiple problems including a late start due to issues with ensuring clear roads.  This year it was clear that Rock’n’Roll took all the feedback to heart and did their best to improve.

I headed to the expo on Friday afternoon and while I didn’t love the Manhattan location at Penn Plaza, I will be the first to admit that it was far more convenient than last year’s expo in Greenpoint. The expo was smaller than last year with far fewer vendors, but I also found it to be very easy to navigate. Including the shopping we did in the official race shop, where I picked up a Brooklyn branded Brooks shirt, we were in and out in just 15 minutes.

Saturday morning I woke up at 5:30, got dressed, sipped coffee and made peanut butter and banana sandwiches which I ate while heading to the starting area at Grand Army Plaza. I took an Uber since I was running a few minutes behind schedule, and found myself at the VIP security entrance at the Brooklyn Library just 10 minutes later! I met Zoe minutes later and we quickly checked our bags and then head over to our corral, just in time to find Nicole and stretch before the race began. While we chatted, I made sure to do my pre-race stretching routine which I’ve done during each of my long runs over the past five weeks.

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Check out the gorgeous sunrise the 17,500 runners were treated to as we waited for the 7 AM start? I know the race directors couldn’t plan this but man was it a perfect way to start the race. The weather at the start was 65 degrees, overcast and slightly humid. My only goal for the race was to enjoy the 13.1 miles with Nicole and Zoe for as long as possible. They are both training for the New York City Marathon and therefore our pace would be around their long run pace. As I had a far shorter training cycle than normal for this half marathon, I told them that I would drop back if my glute started giving me any pain or I found it tough to maintain their pace.

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At 7:01 the three of us crossed the starting line together, each with one ear bud in our ear and smiles on our faces ready for a great race. As Zoe lives on the Upper West Side, we pointed out local landmarks and navigate the course as we ran through this year’s course. I prefer this course over the May NYRR Brooklyn Half as it includes a shorter stint on the very boring, monotonous Ocean Parkway.

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The first eight miles flew by as we talked about marathon training, favorite races and injuries. We kept a 9:55 pace, exactly on target with their long run training plans.  There were multiple water stops along the way as well as small bands and local cheerleading groups motivating the runners.  At mile 8.5 as we headed back towards Prospect Park following the turnaround point on Ocean Avenue,  Zoe and I urged Nicole to run ahead as she was having an especially strong race. The next five miles weren’t easy but as we turned back towards the park I just kept focusing on the massage waiting for us in the VIP area.

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When we entered Prospect Park at Mile 10 we were greeted by amazing cheerleaders, family members and supporters as well as the first signs of Fall. During those final miles I walked a 1/4 mile and ran 3/4 a mile to ensure that I was smart considering I only did 3 long runs in preparation for this half marathon.

I finished my 22nd half marathon in 2:14:14 and couldn’t have been more thankful. After fighting through injuries these past few months any day that my legs and body can carry me 13.1 miles is a great day, no to mention the wonderful conversations and laughter that Nicole, Zoe and I shared on the course.

After crossing the finish line we spent the next hour relaxing with fellow runners in the Westin Rock’n’Blog VIP experience which was the perfect way to end the morning. Zoe and I each enjoyed 10-minute massages, freshened up and dove into fruit and food before heading back towards the subway.

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Thank you to Brooklyn and Rock’n’Roll for such a wonderful race and great half marathon!

Your turn – If you raced this weekend, how did it go? 

I was provided a bib and VIP entry as part of my partnership with Run Rock’n’Roll but as always the opinions in this post are my own. 

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Running Forward

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Wearing: Sweaty Betty 7/8 Power LeggingSweaty Betty Pace Setter Run TankBrooks Ghost 9

This weekend I made a conscious effort to disconnect from social media, especially on Sunday. There were many running friends racing their hearts out in Montreal, New York, Berlin and beyond. Once upon a time, each of those races, Berlin Marathon, Bronx 10 Miler and Montreal Half Marathon,  were my goal race. The Berlin Marathon was the last time I laced up my shoes and ran 26.2 miles, crossing the finish line in tears. The Bronx 10 Miler was a great race for me last year, after training hard during my first Summer back in New York. This year, I hoped that Montreal would be my opportunity to run a sub two-hour half marathon after multiple attempts.  Training hard was not a priority this Summer and instead here I sit in late September, trying to figure out what my goal is this Fall. As I have mentioned previously, after giving my body a few months of rest I am ready to train again for a goal.

I spent a few hours this weekend outlining plans and have set my sights and goals on the following races:

  • Rock’n’Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon – October 8th – Goal: Run a strong, smart half marathon. I have no expectation of setting a PR based on my training, so instead am going to run with my friend Mary and focus on a consistent pace, possibly increasing my pace if I feel strong enough during the final miles. The four long runs leading up to the race have given me the confidence to know I can run 13-miles.
  • Prospect Park Turkey Trot – November 24th – Goal: Run a sub 42:00 race which would be a PR versus last years 42:36 time (8:31 pace).  Since I have a solid two months to train for this race, I believe it is feasible.
  • NYRR Jingle Bell Jog – Each year, this race continues to be a favorite due to the cool weather, festive atmosphere and Prospect Park location. Four years ago, I ran a personal best in this race, keeping an 8:57 pace per mile. Based on my training for the Turkey Trot, my goal is going to be an 8:31 pace.

Over the coming months I am going to share weekly training recaps with you guys since many people find them beneficial. I am also going to do more research and speak with some of my coaching friends to ensure I’m training for these shorter distances properly. I am most familiar with the half marathon type of training which includes three key runs per week, so I know I need to figure out the training plan that works best for shorter distances.

So, who wants to join me at some of these races? 

Thank you to Lydia Hudgens for her magic behind the lens in bringing this image to life. 

 

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