I’m going to break from my typical weekly blog format and write a little about training in my home city of Portland. I’ll even narrow it down to my little neighborhood of St. Johns. The parks, shops, bars, cafes, restaurants, and small town attitude help curate a fairly particular lifestyle, with running as my anchor. St. Johns has access to Forest Park, one of the country’s largest urban forest reserves, with over 80 miles of trails at the foot of the iconic St. Johns Bridge. For a slightly less adventurous day, you can enjoy the 2km loop under the lumbering sequoias of Pier Park, or head to the newly constructed track at Roosevelt High School for an interval session. If you’re training for your next road race, hit one of the many bike paths or make the short trip to Sauvie Island and enjoy the flat road around thousands of acres of farmland with views of Mount Hood, Mount St. Helens, and Mount Adams. Once you’ve logged your miles for the day, stop in for locally roasted coffee, famous Portland craft beer or one of the many artisan food options dotting the neighborhood. Sounds like a runner’s paradise, right? Let’s not forget that to enjoy all the running and non-running entertainment, you also have to endure a cold, wet climate for about two-thirds of the year and this excuse stops many runners from becoming their best. It rarely snows or freezes, but winters can drag on with gloomy, wet skies for weeks at a time without reprieve. Fortunately, there is gear out there that feels like it was designed exclusively for the Pacific Northwest, gear that allows you to overcome these dreary months so you don’t have to miss a beat enjoying your routine. That’s where running shoes with GORE-TEX liner come in. If the waterproof and breathable protection of GORE-TEX products is not in your running arsenal, you’re missing out. With the Brooks Ghost 9 GTX® Shoe or the Cascadia GTX® Shoe, you don’t have to stress about that first ice-cold puddle that looms mid-stride through Forest Park in January or the dew that clings to early morning paths. Not only will your feet stay dry and protected from the outside elements, but running shoes with GORE-TEX liner also allow sweat and moisture to easily escape from the inside of the shoe. I truly believe there is no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear, so #owntherun and don’t let the weather or poor road conditions put a dent in your lifestyle. Waterproof, breathable running shoes with GORE-TEX liner have taken away weather as an excuse to get out and run, now it’s up to you to tackle the rest. From now to November 8, sign up at gore-tex.com/owntherun and answer the question: What will you conquer to #owntherun? Weekly giveaways will include Brooks Ghost 9 GTX® shoes and a grand prize of head-to-toe running gear. Share the #owntorun hashtag with family and friends and eliminate any and all excuses to take that first step out the door. See you on the trails!