In addition to running lately, I’ve been getting back to my freelance work, so I’ve not been able to post every night.  I do research for a wonderful author who’s published many books and articles, and this is her second book that I am working on.  She works for some great institutions, and she is such an amazing human being at the same time – I am so lucky to have met her a few years ago. It allows me to do some historical research, some law-related, but not all, which is a nice break from what I do on a daily basis.  It’s great to learn from the research you are doing, and from the person you work for, at the same time.

Anyway…the weather is changing here, and if it’s possible, I think my body is trying to reacclimitize, but this time, rather than to the heat, to the cold.  I have noticed my asthma has been kicking in while running, and today my doctor told me it’s alright to double up on my steroid inhaler as I approach a long run day, or a race day.  She prescribed a higher level steroid inhaler for me, so I’m going to start taking that soon and see if it makes a difference. 

Tonight, I ran 6.32 miles (per the trusty Garmin 405) and my legs were fine, my body was fine, my lungs were not, and neither was my confidence.  I know, my biggest problem while running is mental.  I need to have more confidence in myself.  I find myself out there sometimes, doing well, physically, and then I start to wonder when  it’s going to fall apart, or I start to think about walking, and then it starts to go downhill.  At times, I thought to myself, “no one can take this time away from you, this is your time” and that seemed to help, but only for a short while.  Not to turn all of you out there into therapists, but if there are ways you can suggest to help increase your self-confidence, or books you’d suggest I read, I’m all ears for suggestions.

So here are reviews on products I’ve recently used for the first time:

CS By City Sports Women’s Endurance Run Tight: 

City Sports here sells tights under their own name, for a bit less than the brand names like Asics.  I realize not all of you (or most anyway) don’t live near me, so here’s the info: they are 87% polyester, and 13% spandex, and they are worth every penny, plus you can buy them online.  There is a bit of elastic at the ankle, which keeps them close to the skin, and there’s a drawstring at the waist so you can adjust as needed, as well as a few pockets to throw an iPod into if needed. 

I bought a pair of full-length tights and one of the capri length pairs.  Both have kept me quite warm – and dry. Saturday’s run was in 36 degrees at the start (yep, pretty friggin cold if you aks me) and tonight’s run was in the rain and half of it was in darkness (read: decreasing temps).  Parts of me got cold and wet on the run but not my legs.  Oh, and they sold the full length tights in XS, so I was psyched – not that I think I’m tiny but I’m short, so the length is perfect!

Nike Thermafit Running Gloves: (click on that link for a picture, it was the only one I could find)

They’re pretty much black fleece, with a little key pocket in the palms, very nice detail! I did notice that they took about a day to dry (maybe a bit less) after I wore them on Saturday for my 8-miler.  I will say, they totally kept my hands warm, and I think the rest of me, in turn, too.  When I took them off, I did notice the rest of me would get colder, and as soon as I put them back on, I was nice and toasty warm again.  Definitely worth the $20 or $25 I spent on them.

Petzl HeadLamp:

This picture is from Amazon, but on REI’s online site you can also see the 4LED lamp version.  My headlamp has the 2 LED lamps.   It is pretty bright and on a night like tonight it was good to show cars I was on the road, as well as elluminate the road so I could see where there were leaves, pine needles, etc. However, if you live in an area where there aren’t a lot of street lights, I might suggest you go with the 4-LED bulb.  This is useable for proximity lighting – you can shift it around, so tonight when needing to see what I was stepping on, I angled it down toward the ground. It is very lightweight and I’ve never had it move around on my head at all. However, I do wish it was a bit brighter for nights like tonight when it was raining and a bit slippery outside.  

A Race Like No Other, by Liz Robbins 

This is an AWESOME book, about the 2007 NYC Marathon.  I swear, after this book (described on the Harper Collins website), I almost want to run that race, if only NYC didn’t scare me so much.  (I always feel like there is a sign on my head that says I am from out of town.)  It was such a fast read – it discusses the experiences of the elites like Gete Wami, Paula Radcliffe, and Jelena Propopcuka, as well as Martin Lel, Hendrick Ramaala, and Abderrahim Goumri, as well as some of the elite wheelchair racers like Edith Hunkeler.  (One thing I didn’t know about, but which pisses me off, is the drastic difference in what wheelchair racers get paid for winning vs. the runners!)

Anyway, the writer is equally adept at telling the story of runners like you and I, who race for the sake of racing, and run for our own private reasons. She tells the story of a cancer survivor running a marathon for the first time, hitting the wall toward mile 21 or so, but still perservering. She tells the story of a former alcoholic, who even served time for her addiction, who runs an 8:40 mile, and of some of the background stories of folks who volunteer at the marathon. (If you read Runner’s World, there were some excerpts that were included in a recent issue.) There is a great bibliography at the end that refers you to newspaper and magazine articles as well as books for further reading. The writer traveled to Europe and Africa to interview the elites in their homes, and saw where they do their training, as well as discussed some of the difficulties they’ve had to overcome. This book appears to be well-researched, and written in a very easy to understand prose.

If you are needing inspiration or motivation to keep on running, or get back into running, even if you are not a marathoner, I suggest you pick up a copy of this book – you won’t be sorry.