It’s always nice to check out a new running store and I got a chance to do that last night. I’m a fancy-pants Ragnar Ambassador which means that I spread the Ragnar love by dispersing info cards at running stores and gyms, holding info sessions where I can assure people that yes, they CAN do a Ragnar Relay, and generally making myself available to answer questions about Ragnar. Our Uber-Ambassador Leslie was in town and wanted to meet with local ambassadors and the most convenient date/time for me to meet up was at the Naperville Running Co. group run last night. About 6 Ambassadors showed up and it was nice to get to meet them. I felt a little bit behind everyone having only done the one Madison-Chicago Ragnar (there was one woman who brought a whole bag full of Ragnar medals from all the races she’s done), but having planned the whole race start to finish for a team of complete rookies and planned it well, I think I have a unique perspective to convince others that they can do a Ragnar too.
Naperville Running Co. was nice! Their selection of clothing leaned heavily towards the big brands like Nike and also logo branded t-shirts for the store. I have to admit that I prefer the harder to find brands that Fleet Feet carries – if I wanted Nike I could go to a Sports Authority. I’m not so opposed to Nike that I didn’t but the cute printed capris that I saw earlier this month at a mini Nike Fashion show. I can’t wear them outside to run in until it warms up but they’ll be good for yoga and the gym. The store also had a big selection of shoes and they must sell to local high school track teams because they had a ton of spikes and racing flats. There was a mini two-lane track around the shoe trying-on area that may have been just for show – I can’t imagine jogging around it to try out shoes.
Most of the group there for the fun run was doing 5 miles and I probably could have kept up but I wasn’t 100% sure and not knowing Naperville at all I didn’t want to get lost or have to whine and make the group slow down. I found another Ambassador named Tia (?) who admitted to not being much of a cold weather runner so I joined her for a 3 mile jog. Not much of a workout, but still adds to the weekly mileage total. I didn’t have any problem with the cold weather because I dressed perfectly. My Craft Storm tights (best investment ever), an Icebreaker half zip baselayer, and the Icebreaker Gust Jacket on top. Can I tell you that even at $250 the Gust jacket is a good buy? I’ll admit that mine was comped from the Fleet Feet Fashion show but I would totally cough up the cash for this jacket. Since it is Merino wool based it doesn’t retain stink and doesn’t need to be washed as much as regular jackets. It also has an amazing combo of breathability and windproofing. It’s got soft shell on the front to keep the wind away and the back is a stretchy Merino wool that is warm but also breathes to help keep your back from staying all sweaty. Other jackets I’ve worn make me feel like I’m creating my own weather system inside the jacket (100% humidity) but in the Gust jacket I don’t even think about temperature and that’s the best of all worlds. Icebreaker needs to send their rep out with jackets for run clubs to do test runs in because $250 seems like a huge initial outlay if you don’t have first-hand knowledge of how excellent the product is. This is probably the same outfit that I’ll choose for the lakefront half-marathon I’m doing this Saturday. The temperature is supposed to be a high of 25 degrees, but on the lakefront there can be some nasty winds which will make it feel cooler – with the Craft and the Icebreaker I should be well covered but not too warm.
After the fun run we went out for a dinner on Ragnar (thanks!) at Flat Top Grill. I always screw up my food at Flat Top – I pick out all the veggies that I like but they never seem to go together in the end product. At least they had someone to help me pick a cooking sauce because I never know which ones I might like. I had my stir fry moo shu-ed into pancakes and I think that may have been a tactical error – they were a little dry and could have used more sauce. Sigh. Someday I’ll get it right there.
It was nice to meet some of the other ambassadors – I’m hoping to hook up with some of them to do our required Info/Q&A sessions at local running stores since it’s easier to do these sorts of things with a partner.
That all for this week – with tomorrow’s half the mileage total for the week will be 26.6 and 101.60 for the first 4 weeks of 2013 – ahead of target for 1000 miles! Back next week with the review of the F^3 Half-Marathon.