Friday, March 28, 2014

My 13 Running favorites for running 13.1 miles

I'm still learning a lot about running and only starting my journey to be what I would consider a "runner." I like running, but when people say that I'm a runner I automatically go "ehhh, I just like to run." Or, "Oh, um, I guess." While I might not be a super serious runner, the fastest runner or be filled with an all consuming, obsessive love for running (like the way I feel about horses) I still get out there get it done.  Last summer when the doctor told me I couldn't run the last 10 weeks of my pregnancy I was devastated.  Running is something I genuinely love to do on a regular basis and I also knew how incredibly difficult it would be to start running again after so much time off.  So, during that time of zero running when I was hugely pregnant I made a goal that before Paxton's first birthday (and before my 30th birthday) I would train for and run another half marathon.  I made a goal to loose the baby weight and to get myself back into shape through running.  And you know what?  I did.  I did it.  Almost. Tomorrow it's going to happen!

Running is something I've enjoyed for a long time, but there are certain things that make me enjoy it even more.  Here is a list of my top must-haves and the things I've found to work so far.  
(None of the above images are my own.  Source - google images)

1. BOB Revolution SE - I simply would not be able to go run without this baby to carry my baby!  This is my top favorite, most important, couldn't live without it item. 

2. Bose IE2 headphones (and an awesome playlist!) - I always had earphones falling out of my ears and I hated constantly having to adjust them.  These headphones are worth every penny and the sound quality is incredible. 

3. Nike dri-fit featherlight hat - I can't stand my hair flying into my face and eyes when I run and this hat actually stays on my head, keeps my hair out of my way and shades my face on hot sunny days.  All around win.  I have it in 3 colors and I will be getting it in pink next!

3. Asics Gel Nimbus shoes - I get a new pair of these every year.  I have been running in them for years and years and I don't want to mess with a good thing so I keep getting the same thing.  They work for me.

4.  Running Skirts compression socks - these are the only compression socks I've tried and I love them.  I run in them all the time.  I recently bought a pair of CEP's and can't wait to expand my compression sock collection. 

5.  Running clothes that make you feel good - Speaking of running gear like the socks I mentioned above, I love running gear that is not only comfortable, light weight, quick drying and has pockets in all the right places, but that is also super comfortable, flattering and doesn't ride up, chafe and do other unfortunate things that will drive you up the wall after .1 mile not to mention after 10 miles.  Gear is mega important.  Spend the money on something you not only want to wear, but is also going to make you feel comfortable.  I'm a big fan of Lululemon. 

6. Energy - There are a zillion energy gels and running fuels on the market.  I am still figuring out which ones I like and what works for me.  I try and do everything I can organic, so finding an organic option was important to me.  I found the organic Stinger energy chews at our local healthy grocery store and I like them. 

7. Water bottle - hydration is key and you can't just drink water while you work out or after.  You have to drink a ton of water like All. The. Time.  (Especially if you are breastfeeding.) Get a water bottle you love.  My favorite is a pink Life Factory glass bottle.  I love it so much I even got the baby one.

8.  Nuun - low calorie, no sugar or carbs, lots of flavors, and packed with electrolytes to replenish you after a sweaty run.

9. Anti- chafe stuff - get yourself some Bodyglide or something.  Seriously.  I forgot to use some on my 10 mile run and lets be honest... I'm never going to have that thigh gap, my thighs are large and in charge and no matter how nice my running skirt is after rubbing skin together mile after mile it's going to hurt.  I rubbed a nice hole into my thighs.  And under my arm.  And where the bottom band of my sports bra rubs.  Lesson learned. Those rub marks hurt like a bitch so don't make the same mistake I did and use some anti-chafe stuff. 

10. Sunscreen - another lesson I recently learned on a run.  You would think that an almost 30 year old woman that coats her baby in sunscreen all the time would do the same for herself... yah.  Oops.  I have a bucket load of natural sunscreens I like and use all the time like Badger, Honest Company, Burts Bees, Babyganics and California Baby.  (Do you guys know about the EWG Skin Deep website?  It's awesome.  Get informed about what's really in the products that you put on your bodies largest organ.)

11.  Origins Leg Lifts - like fancy icy hot.  Feels oh so good to rub legs down with this after a long, hard run.  (I love Origins products in general. Hopefully they are really as healthy/natural as they claim to be.)

12. Cross train and stretch - Running can be bliss and it can be torture and it can be many things, but it can't be everything.  Get on that yoga mat.  Do that exercise video. And for me, go ride the horse. Variety is the spice of life.  I really want to get into foam rolling!

13.  Follow motivational things/people on social media - these days there is no shortage of motivation out there.  I think it is amazing how a group of women I've never met provided me with help and support the other night about a running question on my Instagram page.  I lovelovelove that. We are all working towards our own goals and personal achievements.  It doesn't mean we can't lift each other up on the way.  There are women with 3 kids winning marathons, ultra runners and people that get up at like 3 am to log their daily miles that make me gawk in awe ... and also kind of make me feel like barfing. I see people running something like 17 miles at a pace that I couldn't do in one mile,  but then I tell myself running is so hard and it takes a long time to get fast and to run far. You don't have to run fast or go far today.  Just go.  And then I go run and push myself a little bit harder. 

These are a few running items I don't have that I want to get eventually, so if anyone has any suggestions on kinds/brands please let me know!

Foam roller.
Sunglasses for running/activity.  I like big ones.  
Running watch. I use my phone... but so many "real" runners have cool watches!
A sports bra that I actually love.
A running belt.
A handheld water bottle.


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