Trails Part Two: Into the Woods

By Michelle Anjirbag
on August 02, 2016

In our last post we talked about what you need to get started on the trails, now let’s talk about where to go. Luckily, the state of Connecticut is small enough that a good run (or hike if the heat has you feeling less speedy) is at maximum a two hour drive away. With state and town parks, a plethora of land trusts, and unique geography that can challenge all level trail runners, we’ve put together a little taste of some of our favorite places to off-road (in no particular order or ranking, of course).

In no particular order or ranking, please accept our quick and dirty offering of places to check out:

Gay City State Park

Our staff at Sound Runner Glastonbury head out to the trails at Gay City State Park Tuesday nights at 6:30 pm, through August 30. The park has a fairly large network of trails, so runners can really tailor their workouts and distances. The terrain is fairly advanced, covered in rocks, roots, and river crossings. Staffer Andrew Judd says, “My favorite path to run is the 6 mile "red loop", but there are side paths roughly every mile to change up the routes and paths. It is a diverse area that is hard to get (too) lost in; be sure to bring your strong ankles.” Find more information here.


Branford Supply Pond and Queach Preserves

About a mile from our Branford store runners can find the Branford Supply Pond, a rolling double track loop with good footing around the pond itself, and more technical single track offshoots. The Supply Pond is dog-friendly, so feel free to have your four-legged best friend tag along – while leashes are suggest most people don’t use them (if you want to learn about hands-free leash alternatives, stop by one of our locations and ask us about Stunt Puppy). That being said, due to its popularity with dogs and humans alike, it’s probably best to make sure that your pup is friendly and sociable before heading out there. Other favorite routes at this location include an out-and-back to the Queach Preserves, or connecting to the Regional Water Company property -- though no dogs are allowed on the latter. Find more information here.


Bluff Head and Northwoods

For those looking for a challenge, or just want to really test how their legs handle an up-hill gradient, head over to the Mattabesett Trailhead off Rt. 77 in Guilford. There are three marked trails through this Guilford Land Trust property; at this particular trailhead hikers and runners have the choice between a direct-but-strenuous hill that feels more like a ladder to be clawed up hand and foot, and a longer, gentler, meandering path to access the trail.  Find more information here.

 

Old Saybrook Town Park (Clark Community park)

Looking for beginner trails? Look no further than the Old Saybrook Town Park. Located off of School House these are a favorite with our Old Saybrook location’s trail running group. The trails are good for runners of all abilities, including flat portions, some long inclines, and a few more technical sections. The individual loops are short, but it is still easy to spend an hour exploring them. Join us at at the Clark Community Park entrance on Tuesdays at 6:30 pm through the end of the summer.

 

Chatfield Hollow State Park

Located on Rt. 80 in Killingworth between the Madison and Killingworth traffic circles Chatfield Hollow offers a mixture of road and trails for all abilities. Featuring nine trails as well as connections to the Cockaponset State Forest system, runners can do anything from enjoying the woodland surroundings while keeping to the even footing of a road, to testing their technical abilities, and everything in between. Find more information here.

 

West Hartford Reservoir

Our Old Saybrook Manager Chris recommends this trail system, saying: “My favorite long trail run starts from Reservoir 6 and goes to the top of Talcott Mountain following the Metacomet trail.  Because of all of the parallel trails and offshoots, it’s possible to get about 16 miles out of this system, as well as take advantage of one of the best views to be found in the center of the state. Some portions can be fairly rocky and technical. The trail up to Heublein Tower is a tough climb for beginners, but totally worth the effort for the view.” Find more information here.

 

Canfield/Meadow Woods Nature Preserve

According to Sound Runner staffer Christy, the Canfield Woods trails in Essex are a must-run, with challenging, well-marked and -maintained trails and a good amount of people without being crowded. The preserve itself boasts over 300 acres and 17 trails with varied terrain through old and new growth forest. Find more information here.

 

Saugatuck Trail

While there aren’t too many trails close enough to our Fairfield location for them to plan a trail series, our Fairfield manager Eileen recommends the Saugatuck Trail located in the Centennial Watershed State Forest. The blue-blazed trail takes runners, walkers, and hikers about 10 miles around the Saugatuck reservoir and has some challenges in the form of rocks and roots. It was also recently featured as Competitor Magazine’s Trail of the Week. You can find more information about this trail system and state forest here.

As mentioned before, this is only a small taste of what Connecticut has to offer in terms of trails. If you don’t see your favorite on the list, please stop by and tell us about it. Conversely, if you’ve already been to all of these and are looking for something new, check out www.ctwoodlands.org for an interactive map and updates on all of the blue-blazed trails in the state, or the Connecticut State Parks and Forests page, which lists all state properties, locations, hours, and approved activities.

Free From the Roads – Trail Running 101

By Michelle Anjirbag
on July 04, 2016

Happy Fourth of July runners! Summer is the perfect time of year to hit the trails, and what better way to celebrate our nation’s independence than abandoning the constraints of the pavement to enjoy the freedom of the wilderness? Not only can you avoid some of the sun and heat by heading into the woods, but this season provides runners, walkers, and hikers with some of the most ideal trail conditions.  But before you grab your shoes and your favorite pair of moisture-wicking socks and head off-road, there are a few things that you’re going to want to think about.

 

Wet and Wild

Shade helps us to feel cooler, obviously. But it is important to remember to stay hydrated even when not dealing with the sun beating down on the pavement. Keep water or an electrolyte drink on hand, or make sure you know if and where available water sources will be available on your route.


You Are My Sunshine….

The summer indie flick “The Lobster” might be making waves, but don’t aim to be a lobster yourself. While the trails can help protect you from some UV exposure, it is still important to take preventative measures. Use sunscreen, or wear shirts that have a degree of UV protection built into the fabric. Preventing sunburn will keep you more comfortable running (irritated skin + chafing = no-fun-run), and is a good healthy habit generally speaking.  Also, protect your eyes as they can get sunburned as well.


Bugs Bugs Bugs

Expect more bugs on the trails and plan accordingly – a little bit of repellant goes a long way in what can be a more humid, and therefore more insect-friendly environment. Sweat = biting-bug-candy. Also, don’t forget to do thorough tick checks, especially if you’ve run through high grass, loam, or took a more wooded trail. Higher cut socks and tightly tied back or plaited hair can help keep ticks out some of their favorite places. If you do find a tick on you, especially if it is embedded, be sure to get it tested.



Leave No Trace

More well known as the bywords of avid scouts, backpackers, and hikers, perhaps, this is a good motto for everyone to internalize. Leave no trace, also sometimes summed up as ‘leave only footprints, take only pictures’ is the practice of leaving an environment better than you found it, or at the very least, not leaving a bigger, messier human presence behind you. Most obviously, take any trash you might generate with you, but it’s also good to get in the habit of sticking to trails, leaving plants and flowers as they are, and leaving any wildlife you might see alone. These little things will not only keep you safer (staying on the trails = fewer chances of poison ivy/disturbing beehives/etc.) but also keep the trails pleasant for other users. #sharethewoods



Safety in Numbers

Need we say more? Uneven terrain, sketchy cell service, new locations – these things are best met with the original backup plan: a buddy. Even if you are a pro, we definitely recommend trail running with other people. Not only is it more fun, but worst case scenario, you have someone who knows EXACTLY where you are.


Know your Limits

Runners have a habit of pushing themselves, but trails are a good place to practice staying within one’s limits. If on an unfamiliar trail, it’s probably not the best idea to try and set a PR. Likewise, if you don’t know the effects of varied terrain on your body, maybe the 10 mile loop shouldn’t be the first one you run. It is also important to remember that trails require a little more awareness than roads. Try to get into the habit of knowing what sort or terrain your feet will meet for about 25 feet in front of you, so that you won’t be surprised by rocks, roots, or branches.



Location, Location, Location

 

We are lucky that Connecticut has tons of runner-friendly trail systems all over the state that are pretty well maintained and marked. Look up local state park systems, or check in with town municipalities which usually have maps available either online or are trailheads. Also, you can always stop by one of our locations and ask us where we run. Our Fairfield crew can point you to routes that mix roads and short trails, or stop by Branford and ask about Branford Supply Pond or what we like to call “the dump run” (a repurposed transfer station that lets you take advantage of the highest point in town and has some pretty great views). Or alternatively, you can always join us in Old Saybrook or Glastonbury for our Tuesday Night Trails series. Meet us a bit before 6:30pm at the Town Park in Old Saybrook, or at Gay City State Park in Glastonbury starting July 12. Also, stay tuned for our next post where we will break down some of our runners’ favorite places to run across the state.

In Review: Pearl Izumi Road N3

By Michelle Anjirbag
on June 20, 2016

written by staff contributor Andrew Judd:


New season, new blog post, new shoe. While we all have our old tried-and-true trusty favorites when it comes to running shoes, that doesn’t mean we aren’t always on the lookout for something to add to our current training rotation. Today, I want to talk about a shoe that is brand new to us: the Pearl Izumi Road N3.

side view of the Pearl Izumi Road N3

The run:


I got my first pair of these a few months ago and they immediately became a staple in my running diet. So far they have felt good across a variety of paces, terrains, and training runs. Whether speedwork or a more relaxed pleasure run, there is a balance between the shoe’s cushion and its more responsive feel. The secret? The signature Dynamic Offset paired with Pearl’s Energy Foam. Due to the dynamic offset the entire midsole has a slight curve to it. This propels a runner forward no matter if they are a faster, more aggressive mid-foot striker or a more relaxed heel-striker. This evens out the transition between steps to create a less jarring feeling, without the bulk of the extra cushioning that other shoes add to absorb all that shock. The Energy Foam is a good soft foam with just a little extra bounce and give, creating a harmony between feeling the road, and feeling cushioned.

pearl_topview

The fit:

In the upper, Pearl Izumi has found an equilibrium between a light, sleek feeling, and still hugging the foot, holding it in place. The open toe-box will not only accommodate but feel good on almost any foot shape. This balance makes them feel perfect on a short tempo-pace day, hugging the foot and staying secure,  yet feels breathable and and relaxed enough to do your long runs in.


The Conclusion:

Looking for something new in your life? Come try out this cool new shoe from Pearl Izumi and see what I’m talking about. I know I have been enjoying mine! Whether it’s a 5K tempo run or your weekly long run, they always feel exactly appropriate. My stride always feels strong, consistent, and mostly importantly, pain free!

Meet the Runners - Benny

By Michelle Anjirbag
on June 06, 2016
1 comment

We have some pretty cool people who run with us and love the sport. They keep us in business and are the core of our running community. So in honor and celebration of them, we’d like to introduce our runners to you, starting with Benny.


Benny has been running with Sound Runner since the Branford store opened in 2001. A firm advocate of cookie Wednesdays, he’s one of the best human resources we have for beginners and old hats trying new races alike. We sat down with him (cornered him promising muffins for his cooperation) before our group run with Altra to find out a little bit about his relationship with running.


SR: When did you start running?

Benny: 15 years old


SR: Why do you keep doing it?

Benny: Love to run.


SR: At what point did you wake up and say to yourself, “I don’t just run, I am a runner”?

Benny: I’ve never examined this… It’s just part of my whole life.


What do you think makes a runner?

Benny: Desire, a fun attitude, willingness to explore, socially outgoing, not dead.


SR: What advice would you give to someone just getting started?

Benny: Keep at it. Find a friend. Remember it’s like life, good days and bad days, and you’ll at some point have an awesome experience.

 

SR: What is your most memorable race outfit?

Benny: Nylon and cotton from the seventies

 

SR: What about your most memorable race?

Benny: Yankee Homecoming Newport Mass, got off of work, drove to the race, ran 60 min flat for ten miles.

  

SR: What was your favorite running experience to date?

Benny: JFK 50 miler. Epic. 

Keep an eye out as we introduce more of our runners. Want to meet Benny and run with the legend himself? Come to our group runs at our Old Saybrook store, Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., 238 Main Street, Old Saybrook, CT.

May You Stay Hydrated...

By Michelle Anjirbag
on May 23, 2016

Summer is coming. While we all know that hydration is an important part of a healthy, active lifestyle, sometimes we underestimate how much we need to pay attention to changes in our hydration needs as the weather changes. To make things easier for our athletic- and athleisure-type friends, we’ve got the skinny on hydration, and tips and tricks to keep the summer sun from making you melt.

Human beings are two-thirds fluids, and we lose that fluid throughout the day even if we are not participating in strenuous exercise. Think about how many times we can be sitting around, running errands, or at work, just pushing away that parched feeling because there are other things to do or it doesn’t seem that important. That is the habit to break; if you are feeling thirsty, you are already dehydrated. While this at first feels only mildly uncomfortable, not taking in as much fluid as is lost can quickly make one feel sick.

As with anything, early recognition is the key to prevention. Two early warning signs that it might be time to drink a bit more are feeling thirsty and darker colored urine. Other symptoms can include dizziness, tiredness, headache, using the bathroom less frequently, and dry mouth, lips and eyes. If left unaddressed, dehydration can lead to weakness, loss of stamina, and heat exhaustion.

Once we know what to look for, however, it becomes easier to be mindful of our bodies’ needs. Keeping a water bottle on hand throughout the day can help us remember to drink more. If water alone is just not cutting it, trying infusing some with citrus, herbs, and other fruits, or diluting a favorite juice. If you find yourself in need of something more than water, rehydration tablets that contain a mix of amino acids, vitamins, carbohydrates, and electrolytes from companies such as Nuun, Gu, and UCAN are good options with a variety of flavors.

Need to improve your hydration habits but not sure where to start? Check out some of our staff and running club’s favorite tricks:

  • Keep a bottle with you -- Becky, Old Saybrook running group
  • Avoid salty foods, and take trails and shady roads on hot, sunny days -- Benny, Old Saybrook running group
  • Drink constantly, rehydration takes time -- Steve, Old Saybrook staff
  • End your run with a jump in the ocean -- Amylu, Old Saybrook running group
  • Drink lemon water in the morning (half a lemon in a glass) -- Brielle, Marathon Sports apparel buyer
  • Alternate electrolytes and water, or be sure to have one electrolyte drink a day -- Chris, Old Saybrook manager
  • Wear appropriate clothing, you can always remove layers -- Leslie, Old Saybrook running group
  • Have a water bottle with Nuun -- Lisa, Branford manager
  • Have the temperature of water you like to drink with you; I make sure I have cold water with me because I don’t like room temperature water -- Melissa, Old Saybrook running group

 

For more information on recognizing dehydration, check out the NHS and Red Cross pages on the topic. Have some questions, a favorite water stop, or some tips and tricks of your own to share? Add them in the comments or on our Facebook pages!

10-22-2015 - Bimbler’s Bluff 2015: My first 50K

By Sound Runner
on October 22, 2015

By staff contributor: Christy Lucas

Here was my thought process back in February.

*Hmmm there’s not enough of those corny oval stickers on the back of my car yet (actually, it’s getting a little obnoxious).

*I need another challenge to push me out of my comfort zone.

* Why not sign up for a trail race – they look like fun in the YouTube videos.

So…I went online and found the Bimbler’s Bluff 50k, a race within 20 minutes of my house – perfect – sign me up!

The Bimbler’s actually tack distance onto the end of their runs so this particular race isn’t exactly 50k (31 miles) it’s 50kish’ whichu ends up being more like 32.5 miles through some challenging, but beautiful trails in Guilford and Madison. The spectacular view from the top of the bluff makes the entire race worth it!

YOU’RE CRAZY!

If you have trained for and run a marathon, you’ve certainly heard this……”You’re crazy! I don’t even like to drive that far in my car!”

Maybe we all have a little ‘crazy’ in us, but what I learned after crossing the finish line of my first marathon, 3 years ago, is that it’s actually not hard to run distances some people only drive. The key is to put in the training suggested for a particular race/distance. Getting your butt out the door for all of the training runs leading up to the race is the challenge. The race is your payoff and the fun part!

I found trail running is just that, FUN and makes you feel like a kid again. It’s a completely different animal from road running – mentally there’s no zoning out. You either stay focused or you end up flat on your face (yup did that) but the mental aspect seems to make the time go by much quicker and the miles that much more enjoyable. Speaking of ‘enjoyable’, trail runners are the friendliest people I’ve met while running. It was so nice chatting with so many people along the course – also making the time fly by.

If the comradery of the other runners wasn’t enough, the volunteers were AMAZING! They braved the chilly weather (in the 30’s at the start) helping us cross streets safely, filling water bottles as we came into each aid station and provided tables full of anything you could want. There were M&M’s, bananas & oranges, grilled cheese and PB&J sandwiches, chicken noodle soup, boiled potatoes w/ salt to dip them in (my personal favorite) and so much more!  THANK YOU – THANK YOU – THANK YOU volunteers!!! 

The race was well organized and very well marked as long as you paid attention. Thanks Will for keeping me on-course when I didn’t pay attention.

Also, a big thank you to my soundRUNNER friends, Benny and Chaz for your encouragement and course/race tips!

Last but not least, thank you to my husband, Tom and daughter, Kaitlyn for freezing their behinds off to support me…again. You’re the best!

To sum up my Bimbler’s Bluff experience:

*Yup, there’s another oval sticker on the back of my car.

*I was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone.

*Trail running IS as fun as it looks in the YouTube videos.

Being my first ultra, my #1 goal was to just finish within the 10 hour time limit.

Based on my training runs I was hoping to finish between 8 & 9 hours.

Actual finishing time: 8:05:17 – Bonus, I finished in the top 10 of my age group! There were only 13 of us but who’s counting.

This was one of my favorite race experiences on all levels and I highly recommend it – I will definitely do this one again!

8-15-2015 - Preston's Road to New York: Volume 3

By Sound Runner
on August 15, 2015

I know what you are going to say..."Where are all of these blog posts?" Well, to be quite honest, I have been slacking. Not slacking in the general sense of life, but definitely on the blog posting part of this marathon experience. One of the things that have limited my blog posts has been the introduction of our new stores. Two of them! Can you believe it? We are all pretty pumped! I can't wait to spread the soundRUNNER vibes.

Where am I at you ask? Well, I am 4 weeks into my training plan. So far so good...for the most part. I have experienced some firsts recently.

  • I have fallen on a run. You might find it hard to believe, but I have yet to fall during my 8 year running adventure.
  • I have explored new options to stay chafe-free. I think I have settled in on the right cocktail. No one ever wants to see this again.
  • I have now, on multiple occasions, awoken prior to 6:30 am to go for a run. As a matter of fact I woke up this morning at 5:40 am to run.
  • I have knowingly gone on a run in middle of the pouring rain.
  • I have had my running shoes, the Hoka One One Clifton 2, stolen off of my porch. Crazy thing is...I wear a size 14, they were soaking wet and they had no inserts. 
  • I have figured out that I like running with water. Thank you Nathan for my insulated run bottle!

I have started playing with nutrition. So far I have been running with Clif Shot Bloks. The flavor is good and I think I am more of a solid guy than a gel guy. Since I have been running with the Shot Bloks, I have switched over to straight water. I am much more interested in chasing something sweet with something plain and refreshing than something sweet with something sweet and refreshing.

As for my training, I have been using a program called Runtrix. Thank you Meg and Matt Moran! It seems to be pretty spot on so far. I do have to say, there are some times that I vary from the program, but it does do a good job of keeping you honest if you actually use it. I was pretty impressed with the information I gave it to analyze and how it generated my program. So far, nothing has been too hard. There have been days that I definitely do not want to run, but the idea that I have to squeak out 26.2 miles keeps me on my game. Track workouts...well those are tough. I don't mean tough in that I can't complete them, but tough in that I have trouble staying true to the program. I have been running them by feel and have been going way too fast. I think it may be time to use my watch in a different way.

I know I said I would make my schedule public, which has been harder than expected with everything that has been going on. To let you all know I have been pretty regular with long runs on Saturday. If anyone wants to join me, feel free to email me at preston@soundrunner.com. I have been trying to get out between 6:30 and 7:30 am. Next week I have 13 miles that needs to be run between 1:50 and 1:53.

If you would like to help me get closer to my fundraising goal please check out my CrowdRise page: https://www.crowdrise.com/jamesranton

I am raising money for OutRUN38. You know these guys! They got the first Half Marathon together in Branford, CT...MY HOMETOWN! In addition, they help raise money and awareness for cystic fibrosis, as well as encourage healthy living through running, walking, swimming, etc. They have been very instrumental in helping new runners feel supported as well as keeping seasoned runners on their game. I sincerely appreciate the community they have helped build on the shoreline of CT! Check out their Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/outruntheodds/

 

5-5-2015 - Preston's Road to New York: Volume 2

By Sound Runner
on May 05, 2015

HAPPY CINCO DE MAYO!!! 

I know, I know...it has taken too long for a second blog post. Little did I know getting back into it after a long and grueling winter season would be so hard! Well, I am back into it. I have had 3 straight weeks of 20+ miles and have really been enjoying running with everyone at our running groups. It is always cool to catch up with friends, it makes the runs seem so much easier. I swear my 3 miles runs are harder than my 7 mile runs just because I am running with people. It has also been really nice to mix it up. Running with a group has helped me tone it down. If I were out there on my own, every run would be a race...probably would not help those long miles so much. 

One of the things I have lacked on is coming up with a regular running schedule and figuring out where I am at for a marathon training plan. I do figure I have some time, but that time is quickly creeping. I know you should not start too early, but I would like to have a strong base leading into the long miles.

My diet? Well you know how that goes. That is harder than starting to run. I have begun to pay attention to portion control and what I am eating before bed, but I do have to say that those cookies and cocktails do call my name. My mantra has always been, "I run to eat." I think that will always be my wiring, but the one thing I can and will try very hard at is limiting the amount I indulge. 

I knew this endeavor would challenge my organizational skills and refrain. So far, I was right and I have not even started training yet. 

I swear I will get a calendar up with my runs on it! I do want you all to help me maintain accountability. It is coming. Until then, I have been joining in on a lot of the group runs that we have to offer. I would say that if any of you need a kick in the butt or would like people to run with, join us!

GROUP RUNS - BRANFORD          GROUP RUNS - OLD SAYBROOK

PS - The beautiful thing about running outside are the sites you get to see!

4-9-2015 - TomTom MultiSport Cardio GPS Product Review

By Sound Runner
on April 09, 2015

by Marathon Sports Staffer Jamie Norton -

The TomTom Multisport Cardio GPS packs a ton of cool features into a slim and affordable watch. Perhaps its most intriguing characteristic is its ability to detect heart rate without the use of a cumbersome chest strap, utilizing a Mio optical HR sensor. I will explore this feature as well as many others in this brief review of my experience using the Multisport Cardio.

Right out of the box, I was pleased to find the watch extremely easy to use. A single 4-direction button is used to navigate through a few simple screens where you can view your history, start workouts, and adjust the settings. Two presses of the button get you straight from the home screen into run mode. The watch is designed with functionality for indoor and outdoor running, cycling, and indoor swimming. From there, you can break it down into preset auto laps, interval workouts, pace or heart rate ranges, and race mode where you can match up against previous runs or races. Once you are in an active workout mode, the screens are customizable to show 3 different metrics at any given time, one of which can be changed easily by pressing up or down on the button during your workout. Overall, the watch interface was certainly intuitive and user friendly.

The main question we get in the store with any GPS watch is: does it work well? Especially with the optical HR sensor, I was eager to test how this watch stacked up with its competitors as far as accuracy. I had no problems at all with the GPS functionality of the watch. The “Quick GPS” feature keeps a cache of satellite locations stored when you connect the watch to a computer (or to the TomTom mobile app via Bluetooth), and on most days it took no more than 5-10 seconds to connect. For me, this was a huge asset to have in a GPS watch. There’s nothing more frustrating than being ready to run, stepping out into the cold, and having to stand there and wait for 2 minutes to connect to satellites. Most of the time I would get fed up and start running without the GPS connection, which of course defeats the purpose of owning the watch. I also found the distance measurements to be consistent and accurate, which I was pleased to see out of a non-Garmin GPS unit.

For the most part, I also was pleased with the optical heart rate functionality. I am certainly not a hard core HR person, and would never use a strap, so being able to access that data in a non-invasive way was a huge plus; I have started to incorporate it into my training and been pleased with the results. It took me a few times using the watch to figure out the exact position that worked with the HR sensor, but now that I’m used to it I can usually quickly troubleshoot when the sensor gets out of place. When it is locked in and working it seems to be totally accurate. In addition to simply displaying your heart rate, the watch has several screens geared towards HR training. Using the TomTom web interface you can customize the heart rate zones as you would like them to appear on the watch, and then it will tell you what “zone” you are in at any given time. This is useful for people looking to target certain kinds of intensity levels or workout benefits, be it tempo runs or burning fat or recovery. Once you’re done with a workout, the web interface will tell you how much time you spent in each of the HR zones.

All in all, the TomTom Multisport Cardio, along with the rest of their line of GPS watches, provide an excellent option in the ever expanding GPS watch market. Come by your local Sound Runner and we’d be happy to show you the lineup and talk about how they would fit into your specific training needs!

For a limited time TomTom is giving up to $40.00 back! Come by our stores to learn more about this offer.

3-12-2015 - Preston's Road to New York

By Sound Runner
on March 12, 2015

by staff contributor Preston Ranton

As I awoke this morning, from yesterday's carbohydrate binge , I thought to myself "Man...I think it is time to get back in the game."


I had ended 2014 on a pretty strong note. I participated in the Sea Leg's Shuffle 10 Mile Road Race (my first race over 5 miles), my first half (Hartford Half Marathon) and finished the year with a handful of PR's in some smaller road races. I began 2015 really strong also. I ran 23 days straight in January, participating in our Winter Warrior Challenge and then was laid out by the plague or so it seemed.

My son, Cooper, spent the better end of January and the beginning of February absent from school and passed on his illness to his good old papa. I was able to make it out for at least a walk the first 2 days of sickness, but that third day there was nothing that could get me out of bed. It was then that my month long hibernation began.

This winter has been the worst for most outdoor activity...I am sure you all agree. I wish I could say that I am the type of person to get myself on the treadmill when the elements don't suit me, but I am not...I just can't do it. Every morning I would wake up and say to myself, "I really should get up and get my butt out the door." But that was quickly followed by a, "Nah, I can start later."

During this hibernation I have been running roughly 1 day a week and indulging in all of the great restaurants that Branford has to offer. It is not helping my bank account nor my growing stomach. I would like to take a moment here to thank Jared from Home for somehow knowing what type of special to entice me with whenever I visit. 

Three weeks ago I was offered an opportunity to raise money for a great charity, OutRUN 38! They have asked me to run the New York City Marathon! Wow! The New York City Marathon!  It is such an honor to even be offered such an opportunity. For a few days I said, "Thanks, but no." Who has time to do that? Who wants to run longer than 3 hours at a time? Well...I guess a lot of people, but I didn't think I was one of those people. A few more days passed and a few conversations happened and guess what?! I changed my mind. Looking back 8 years, I said I would never run more than 5 miles. Last year I ran my first 10 mile race and half marathon, this year it looks like I am doing a full marathon. This is an event that will change my life and will be a true test of my organization and time management skills. Being a dad, a husband, community member, and the GM for a couple running stores definitely does not allow for much time to run. It's funny, you would think because I work at a running store, I would have more time to RUN!

So, back to how I felt this morning! After a day of carbo loading and not using the carbs effectively, I have decided it is time to roll. I am not beginning my "training" yet, but it is time to get out of the rut and at least get consistent. I am going away this weekend for a mini vacation and plan to start back on Monday! I am going to let the nasty weather pass this weekend before I start my routine...I think starting on a good weather note is the thing to do. 

I am excited for this new chapter and to see how it changes me. I am also nervous...26.2 miles is a long run!

In the coming months I plan to update you on my progress. I will also share my running schedule and invite all of you to join me on my runs. I will need the encouragement to get me through this and sharing my schedule will hold me accountable.

I look forward to sharing with you.  See you on the road!

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