Puffin Picks 11.30

Both November and 2018 are quickly drawing to a close. This is sort of an in-between period for me – my next training cycle is just starting to ramp up (but for what I don’t know, more on this in a second), my blog traffic always slows down in December so it’s my chance to do some housekeeping.

Not terribly exciting perhaps, but necessary.

Read prior Puffin Picks posts.

Note: Some of these links are Amazon affiliate links where I may be compensated if you purchase items or click on the links. Read my full affiliate policy. I only link to items I have, use, or want and would recommend regardless of potential reward.

My personal affiliate link guideline: Would I recommend this to my mom?

Night Runs

For most of November, the Bay Area had terrible air quality due to local wildfires. The poor air quality kept us runners either indoors on the treadmill or out of commission entirely. Last week, the rains arrived!

This was wonderful news both for the firefighters and for the Bay Area generally since our air cleared up pretty much overnight.

I have a friend who organizes night trail runs for a local triathlon club. He was so antsy to get running again, he didn’t even wait for the rain to stop before the next run was planned, and I was invited along.

I haven’t done much night trail running. I’ve volunteered at the Night Sweats night marathon, but I’ve never run it. But I was desperate to get out and run too, so what the heck.

Even as a dyed in the wool solo runner, night runs are not something I would ever do by myself. However, in a group of 3 or 4, where everyone is together and the path is lit by the collective lumens of everyone’s headlamp lumens, it really was kind of amazing.

Adding to the effect that first night run was that it was still a touch drizzly. Up in the park where we were running, it was super (super) foggy, creating an amazing environment. It was very moody, the way our lights deflected off the fog. It was straight out of a horror movie (I was extra super glad to not be running alone).

I’ve never run in anything like it before.

Night Run Gear

For night runs, I’ve been using a combination of lights:

  • SPIBeams – the lights are built into the hat! The lights in this hat aren’t bright enough to be used by itself on the trail (it’s great for urban runs and night walks) but it’s super comfortable and gives a nice overall light to the path; and
  • A Petzl Tikka headlamp, worn around my wrist.

Headlamps worn the usual way tend to give me a headache. Plus, the angle of the light flattens out the appearance of the surface you are running on, making depth perception difficult.

Carrying a light lower makes the rocks more 3D and easier to see (and avoid tripping on).

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Homecoming (The TV Show)

I tried to listen to, but never really got into, Homecoming the podcast. I just can’t seem to find a fiction podcast that I can get into.

This show is first in media (as far as I know), a TV show based on a podcast.

Homecoming is about a center in Florida for returning veterans. It helps them readjust to civilian life after returning from war.

Weirdness ensues.

The show is directed by Sam Esmail (the man behind Mr. Robot – check out the first season of that too if you haven’t- you can skip seasons 2 and 3 as far as I’m concerned) and has a really distinct and cool visual style.

The show is also the rare 30-minute drama, making it super bingeable.

Homecoming is on Amazon Prime

The Daily Creative

The Daily Creative a new podcast from Todd Henry, the author and creator of The Accidental Creative, a long-time podcast favorite of mine.

As you can likely predict based on the title, this podcast is daily and averages about 2-3 minutes long. So ‘I can’t fit another podcast into my day’ is not an even remotely valid excuse for not checking it out.

The episodes are quick ideas, tips, or things to think about during your day, specifically geared towards those doing ‘creative work’ (which he defines very broadly).

A few of the topics so far are things like dealing with fear or failure, fear of success, expectation escalation, and the differences between ‘fast twitch’ and ‘slow twitch’ thinkers during the brainstorming process.

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66ºNorth Vik Jacket

At long last, cooler temps have arrived!

I’ve just started spring marathon/ultra training. I haven’t yet decided what my big spring race is going to be. However, I’m a coach and pacer for a spring marathon training group in the Bay Area, so I’ve started training with them.

I just don’t know what I’m training for… yet.

It can get chilly standing around before a run as we wait for everyone to arrive. And I also always get super chilled after a long run (this is true even for long runs in August- it might be 90 degrees, but after I finish, I quickly get chilled).

My go-to jacket for pre-and post-run is a fleece jacket I got a few years ago in Iceland (people who know a little something about keeping warm) The Vik Polartec Jacket from 66º North.

Keeping my ears warm in my Vik Jacket after the Oregon Coast 50k

Warm, super fuzzy (I do love anything fuzzy), long arms with thumb holes (I do love anything with thumb holes). And an admittedly slight funny looking hood that fits super-tight around your head.

The hood might look funny, but as a person who hates for my ears to get cold it’s perfect – not an atom of cold air gets through this hood.


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