I had such an amazing weekend in Albuquerque! Seriously, it was an unforgettable experience and so incredibly inspiring. I had the opportunity to attend Altitude Camp with Brooks Running and train with the Brooks Beasts. It was so cool to see what training like an elite runner is all about, including learning about their workouts, nutrition, coaching, and more. And, of course, I loved spending time and catching up with my favorite blog ambassadors, so it was a fun reunion for me, too! Actually, a lot of awesome things happened over the weekend at Altitude Camp, so I decided to share them in a Top
10 24 list. (There was NO WAY that I could have fit all of the great stuff that happened into 10 items!) Ok, here we go!
1. Seamless travel. No delays or hiccups. Travel to and from Albuquerque was all smooth sailing!
2. Beautiful weather. When I left Boston on Friday morning, it was 18 degrees F and snow and ice covered the ground, so arriving in Albuquerque was basically the best thing ever. Hello, sunshine!
3. The hotel (and its adorable front desk staff). Brooks picked a wonderful hotel to host our stay. It was really nice, and the staff was super accommodating to our endless requests for more water and coffee. #thingsrunnerslove
4. New running gear. Woohoo! Brooks totally hooked us up! More details below!
5. Reuniting with friends. My gosh, I love our blogger group so much. What an amazing group of women runners. I’m so lucky to know them and absolutely love spending time with them. They inspire me on so many levels.
- Pick Up Tank Top (formerly named the Go-To Tank - also my favorite running tank ever): I love this tank because it stays put. I'm not a fan of flow-y tops that fly up and ride up during workouts. This tank is a reliable racerback that feels as good as it fits. It's soft, stretchy, and really moves with you. It's a staple in my workout gear (I wear them for all kinds of workouts), and it's perfect for layering as well as wearing on its own, especially for super sweaty workouts. FYI: A bunch of different colors are on sale for just $21! Time to stock up! 🙂
- Greenlight Capris: I can't believe these are my first pair of Greenlight Capris. I've heard other people rave about them in the past, and now I know why they're so popular! They fit really well with a wide, flat "power waist" that slims and stays put. They come up pretty high on your waist (but still below your bellybutton), so there's no need for a drawstring. And the fabric is very Lululemon-esque: smooth, soft, and hugs in all the right places. FYI: Some colors are on sale for $45 right now!
- NEW Juno Sports Bra: The Juno is my favorite sports bra for running, so I was happy to hear that Brooks recently made some minor upgrades to further improve it. Now it's lighter, more breathable, and easier to get on and off. (They reshaped the keyhole in the back to give you a little more space to get out.) The stitching is now fully-bonded, which means it won't rub or chafe your skin. And, of course, it still has it's signature front-adjustable straps, which ensures the perfect fit. It's also an amazing sports bra for breastfeeding moms!
- Chaser 3' Shorts (on Meghann and pictured below): I have a couple pairs of these shorts already and love them for warm weather workouts, so I'm especially excited to own this new pattern! These shorts are lightweight and move with you while the knit "power waist" stays put without a drawcord to keep you comfortable. The waist also has two pockets (one sweat-resistant; fits an iPhone 6), which are super convenient for fuel, keys, IDs, etc.
6. Meeting new runner friends. Brooks invited quite the awesome crew of media folks to Altitude Camp, and I’m so glad that I had the chance to get to know some of them. Aren’t runners just the best!? Related: My new runner friend Anoush recently wrote this piece that I really liked, so I just wanted to share: There Really Are No Set Rules For Marathon Training.
7. A track workout at altitude. Sprinting at 6,000+ feet was realllllly challenging and “fun” at the same time. My lungs only felt like exploding out of my chest a few times!
8. Pushing myself. Guys, running at altitude is crazy. Within seconds, I felt a difference in my breathing. I remember during the warm-up thinking: How the heck am I going to get through this workout? I wanted to stop and walk after the first 400 meter jog. By the end of the workout though, I managed to shave off about 8 seconds from my first 200 meter sprint to the third (and final one – thank God)!
9. Finishing a track workout at altitude. Seriously, it’s a workout that I will never forget! It also inspired me to incorporate more of this type of training into my regular workouts.
10. Listening to Danny Mackey talk about what goes into coaching the Brooks Beasts. His philosophies are so inspiring and have resulted in amazing accomplishments for the Beasts. Brooks really has something special with the relationship between Danny and the Beasts!
11. An early-morning trail run with the Brooks crew, which was probably my favorite part of the entire trip. What an incredible experience, and I can’t thank Brooks enough for it!
12. Trying out new trail running gear. The Cascadia Running Jacket is frickin' awesome (and its not just for trail running). It's made from a water- and wind-resistant fabric, so it shields you from rain and wind, but has plenty of ventilation too with cutouts on the sides and underarms to keep you both covered and cool at the same time. You can even throw it on over your pack, thanks to an expandable back panel. And, this is really neat, when the sun comes out and you no longer need the jacket, you can fold it up, nice and neat, right into its own front pocket. How cool is that?
I also loved testing out the Caldera Trail-Running Shoes! They're super cushy, but lightweight and responsive at the same time. They provide a good amount of stability, which kept me cruising along on the tricky terrain. I didn't think I would notice all that much difference between a regular running shoe and a trail-running shoe, but the Caldera definitely made for a more comfortable ride on the trail run!
13. Catching up with my friends/blog buddies. I’m so fortunate to know these ladies, and I love that I consider so many of them "real life" friends now!
14. The sights and sounds of a trail run in Albuquerque. #blessed
16. Feeling allthefeels on this run. Without sounding too cheesy, this run was emotional, cathartic, and maybe even a bit spiritual (?) for me. I haven’t run very much since November because of a hip injury. I'm doing physical therapy twice a week now, which has helped tremendously, but it's a slow process. I was just so grateful to get in some running without a ton of pain.
17. Taking a moment post-run to articulate how running makes me feel.
18. The energy-bar competition. Brooks challenged us to create homemade energy-bars, which were then judged by the Beasts.
Our bars were a mix of oats, almond butter, honey, and chia seeds with a drizzle of almond butter and honey on top. Recipe credit goes all to Emily on this one!
19. Our team winning the competition!!
20. Having a cookout with the Brooks Beasts. I really enjoyed getting to know some of them better and learning more about their individual training. Shout out to Katie Mackey, who answered ALL of our questions! 🙂
21. Spending time with these lovely ladies. I know I’ve mentioned this a few times now, but they're truly the best!
22. Finally meeting Brian from Pavement Runner. I've followed him for YEARS on social media, so it was great to meet him in person!
23. The Albuquerque sunset.
24. Taking over the Brooks Running Instagram Stories on Saturday. It was such a great opportunity, and I had a ton of fun sharing our adventures with their followers!
Question of the Day
How does running make YOU feel?