Nike’s Just for Her VIP Night

My friend Lindsay and I headed out to Potomac River Running’s Tyson’s store Thursday night for a special Nike Just for Her VIP Night. We’re both planning on running the Nike Women’s Half in D.C. next month so we figured this would be a fun, pre-race get together. I had really good intentions of cranking this post out Thursday night so it’d be up Friday morning, but I was too nervous watching the Syracuse game that night and too fired up after they beat one-seed Indiana to be able to focus on writing!

Lindsay & Me at the Nike Event

Lindsay & Me at the Nike Event

I’ve been to similar events before, but this one was by far the best yet – they did a really good job. The first 30 RSVPs to show up received free Nike swag bags, but despite being there fairly early we didn’t stand a chance since apparently some people showed up hours early. We filled out some surveys to give Nike some feedback for a chance to pick a plastic easter egg that might reveal we won a prize. No luck there either, but we quickly turned our attention to the table where ladies were mingling about and enjoying wine, nuun cocktails and snacks. I wasn’t in the mood to drink anything so I just grabbed a water, but I did load up on some snacks!

Cocktails

Cocktails

Snacks!

Snacks!

We had a bit of time to wander around the store and check out all the great gear. You could even sign up for free massages! I drooled over the Nike wall of gear for awhile before deciding on a few things.

Wall of Nike Clothes

Wall of Nike Clothes

The Nike reps gave a quick presentation on Nike+ before letting people go back to milling about the store. They called everyone to attention a few more times throughout the night to showcase some new Nike gear (good stuff!) and also did a bunch of raffles every 15-25 minutes. Before switching to my Garmin I used Nike+ for a few years back when it was an iPod attachment and then a wristband and shoe pod. I really like the improvements they’ve made to their free app and think their updated Nike+ GPS watch with Tom Tom is pretty awesome. I was really hoping to come away with one in the big raffle at the end of the night, but unfortunately did not win out. Don’t tell my Garmin I said that, because it’s already been finicky lately and I don’t need it getting jealous and breaking down on me. 😉

Nike+ Presentation

Nike+ Presentation

To enter the raffles you had to buy something Nike from the store. I wish they’d let everyone get at least one ticket for free and then gave more entries to people who purchased items, but that was really my only complaint of the night. I managed to find a few things I really wanted anyways and since I just passed the $50 mark, I got a free pair of Nike performance socks to go along with them! I picked up a great new Nike running hat. Let’s just say it was time – my white running hat I’ve been wearing since training started for my 2011 Twin Cities and Marine Corps Marathon races is getting a bit worn. I also got a new orange top that is identical to ones I already have in green and white. They are oh so comfortable and I love wearing them on the run or to the gym or spin class. I figured I’d go with Orange in honor of Syracuse taking on Indiana in the Sweet 16 later that night!

Nike Running Hat

Nike Running Hat

New Nike Running Top - So Orange!

New Nike Running Top – So Orange!

I’m so glad we made it out for this event. It was a lot of fun and I’m getting even more pumped for the Nike race now. I can’t believe it’s just a month away!

Best Running Shorts Ever

The Christmas before last I got a pair of Athleta’s Hana Run Shorts, and they quickly became my favorite pair of running shorts. Lightweight and breathable, these were perfect for those hot and sticky summer runs in D.C. Made of a micropolyester material they call Swiftek, these shorts wick moisture away from your body and dry quickly.

I have them in black with a white band just below the waist and a flowery detail in white on the left leg, so on top of feeling great, they look great too. These shorts sit low on the waist with a wide elastic waist band that has a drawstring so you can wear them as tight as you want, and have a built-in brief so you can run sans anything underneath if you want to. These shorts don’t bunch anywhere or rub uncomfortably even on my longest runs, and I put them to the ultimate test wearing them for my last marathon in 70+ degree weather.

marathon11

I used to wear spandex capri-length shorts even on a lot of the hottest days because I just didn’t love how any of my running shorts felt, but these have completely changed that for me and are easily the best running shorts I’ve ever had.

The black ones retail for $39, but you can currently snag select sizes in other colors for just 19.99 on their website. I treated myself to a couple new pairs at the sale price adding a coastal green and an asphalt pair of the Hana Run Shorts to my always expanding running gear collection.

Athleta Hana Run Shorts

Athleta Hana Run Shorts

(Note: Athleta in no way compensated me for this post or asked me to write it, I just really love their clothes and especially these shorts.)

Listening to An Olympian

I saw Magda Boulet, an Olympic marathoner, speak at Pacers in Alexandria last night and loved it! My only brush with Olympic glory came when I won a raffle in the sixth grade to carry the Olympic Torch as it passed through our elementary school grounds on its way to Atlanta, so getting to meet a real Olympian was pretty cool. Her story is really inspiring. She actually became a U.S. citizen on September 11, 2001. Magda shared details about her experiences starting with a disastrous race at the Twin Cities Marathon that left her thinking about giving up on professional running altogether to the race of her life in Boston where she qualified for the Olympics. She talked about the devastation of dropping out of the race in Beijing due to a fluke injury and her hopes for London 2012.

Magda provides training tips and stories from her own experiences.

Robert Gillanders, a local physical therapist (PT) and marathon runner, also spoke at the event. To say that I’m not really one to go to a doctor for injuries is a bit of an understatement, but I actually really liked what he had to stay. He talked about how common running injuries are, but noted that physically being in pain doesn’t have to be a necessary part of running. He views himself like a mechanic that can assess where you are weak and how you can get stronger in those areas so you can be more efficient, take on higher training loads and see performance gains. Magda talked about using a PT for “pre-hab” rather than rehab. She said she needed someone to look at all the pieces and see what was missing so she could get better.

Going to events like this always gets me all motivated to get out and run, but they also get me excited about new gear. Despite my background in communications and marketing, I’m a total sucker for these kinds of things. My favorite from last night – the 008 hydration vest from Nathan designed with input from Magda. Like me, she hates running with anything around her waist, in her hands or in her pockets, so this backpack is perfect. It’s super light and has pockets in front for easy access. We’ll see how long I can hold off before making this my next purchase!

Check out video of the event at MoveForwardPT.com.