Running has introduced me to some phenomenal women who I now call friends, that I would have never crossed paths with if it wasn’t for our shared love of the sport. My connection with these women are so strong that I recently decided to create a series where I will introduce you amazing ladies each season in hopes to keep the cycle of inspiration going amongst our community. Here you will learn a bit about each of them, how we got connected and the running pieces they can’t live without during the season.
This winter we chose not to hibernate and shy away from the elements here in “The 6”. We can’t choose the weather here in Toronto but we can certainly choose our winter. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would enjoy running and training outdoors during December – but it turns out, I’m starting to like it more than running in the summer months. Over the last month, we’ve put Nike’s winter running/training collection to the test in the night, during the day, in snow, wind and rain. The brand’s winterized running items provides the warmth and breathability we need to remain comfortable, reflectivity for safety while running in the dark and water resistance to stay dry.
On Jenna: Aeroleft Hybrid Running Jacket // Element Shield Running Tights // Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash Running Shoes. On Anna: HyperWarm Infinity Training Top // Aeroloft 800 Vest, Pro HyperWarm Nordic Tights // Air Zoom Structure 18 Flash Running Shoes. On Sasha: Pro HyperWarm Engineered Print Pant and Tights // Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash Running Shoes
Meet Jenna Wasserman. My first encounter with Jenna was early Spring 2014 at the Nike Queen West Run Club group. I was immediately drawn to her infectious energy and on the days I really didn’t feel like running, she was right there by my side at the beginning of the run setting my pace, while somehow still motivating the rest of the runners as a Nike Run Club Leader. In the daytime, this remarkable little firecracker, originally hailing from Montreal, works in Sales for Prospect Media Group and commutes between Toronto and La Belle Province juggling her accounts and run leader responsibilities.
Why Jenna Loves Running: “I think this quote from Steve Prefontaine sums up my love for running perfectly, ‘You have to wonder at times what you’re doing out there. Over the years, I’ve given myself a thousand reasons to keep running, but it always comes back to where it all started. It comes down to self-satisfaction and a sense of achievement.‘”
Her Fave Items: “The Nike Shield Max Jacket has a cozy brushed jersey interior that can keep anyone warm and the comfort level of this piece can easily be mistaken for my favourite hoodie. Toss in a removable face mask which is conveniently stored in the hood and some built in mitts (both in Volt) and you’re basically set for any condition. A serious must have in any winter running wardrobe. The Element Shield Running Tights are my go-to winter pants. Having short legs, my leggings are constantly bunching at my ankles. Since dreaming doesn’t create height, the element shield running tights are the perfect solution. The lower leg zippers not only offer an added touch aesthetically, but they also create a striking line over the shoes (bunch free, too!). In typical Nike fashion, they’re also reflective for enhanced visibility during those dark winter runs.”
Meet Anna Bediones. Sure, running with Lebron James and #RunWithTheWinners Founder Steph Floss this summer was super dope but during that run I got a chance to meet Anna. It was a meeting long in the making seeing as though I had developed a girl crush on her when I discovered her Instagram account a month prior. A University of Toronto graduate who works in Marketing and Communications as a Creative Consultant, also provides freelance services as a writer and graphic designer. What she’s most known for though is her blog series for US sportswear retailer Finish Line called “Not Just For The Gym” – which is seriously brilliant. Here she styles looks that marry the sportswear aesthetic with everyday street style pieces.
Why Anna Loves Running: “Despite being naturally active, I have never been much of a runner. I played sports but would always find other cardio alternatives to keep fit. The way I look at running now is as a means of constant self-improvement. I don’t look at it as calories burned, time spent or weight lost. I look at it as new challenges and objectives; whether the goal is to run faster, farther or more frequently. It’s easy to hit plateaus in fitness, love and work. I find that running motivates me to maintain a more active and positive attitude in all aspects of my life, than falling into complacency. More importantly, it’s also my way of temporarily escaping the real world and where I can just be myself. I find running to be liberating!”
Her Fave Items: “The entire winter collection is so well executed. Rather than naming every single piece as my fave (every piece is THAT good – if I could, I would). I have narrowed it down to the Aeroloft 800 Vest and the 3M Flash Tights. The vest makes a great laying piece that I also like to integrate into my casual street style. The tights are insane. My affinity to 3M reflective pieces instantly drew me to these. But seriously though, I really do love all of it.”
If you have been following me for the last 6 months you are well aware of my run journey, why I started and my amazing experience at this year’s Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco – if not you can catch up here. Unsure of what races I will be committing to in 2015, I couldn’t afford to not continue running outdoors during the winter. Running indoors until spring would put me far behind those in warmer climates who have been training outside from November until March.
My Fave Items: Being a former athlete and obsessed with fashion I require that my training apparel not only functions well but looks great too. Similar to the ladies, the Flash Tights and Shield Max Jacket have been necessities this season for me, but what I have also found that HyperWarm technology and my Flash Pack running shoes have been critical for taking on the elements. The colour and pattern of my HyperWarm Engineered Print tights and training top set me apart from the other runners on the road and the ultra soft Dri-FIT fabric keeps me warm and dry by wicking sweat away from my skin. The inside of these pieces are lined with a brush fabric that is ultra cozy against the skin. Like most of Nike’s products, they are versatile and can be worn alone or can also act as a base layer under other clothing in extreme cold temperatures. There is absolutely nothing worse than a long run in the snow or rain without proper footwear. My Air Zoom Pegasus 31 Flash running shoes delivers water resistance, comfort and 360-degree reflectivity.
Photography by Nathalia Allen www.amillionminds.ca (@amillionminds)
For more information on any of the above products or to view the full collection head to Nike.com/Women. All featured items are available online and in Nike Retail locations in addition to Finish Line (U.S.), Sport Chek and Sporting Life (in Canada). Special thank you to these ladies for giving me their time and energy on this project, Nathalia Allen, thank you for sharing my vision and capturing amazing images as always, the team at Finish Line and Nike Canada.