Sunday, October 4, 2009

Running Gear

4 miles in the rain. Ahh. With a big shock to myself, I didn't hate every single step. Now, this doesn't mean that I loved every second as I sped around the loop but I was able to enjoy a few moments. As I was running in the rain, I was thinking about what a big difference my running gear made. I was always of the mindset that you should get the good gear as you get better and pretty much "earn" it. In some sense, that makes sense. However, on the other hand, for someone like me who really really struggles with the workouts, good quality gear makes my life (and run) just a little bit easier. So, here is a run down of my usual running pieces:

1. Sneakers
I've been a converted Asics fan for quite a bit. They are so light and comfortable. I got a new pair about a month ago and I love them. Introducing my Asics Kayano 15. The best thing about them is that somehow, they stop me from kicking my ankles. I couldn't figure out why, but for years I would kick the inside ankle on my opposite foot every 10 steps or so, so a 5 miles run would leave them pretty raw and bruised. Not a problem anymore!

2. Clothes
I jump around in a lot of brands, but I think my favorite is Under Armour. I didn't realize what a ginormous difference sweat-wicking clothing makes. I was always under the impression that cotten tanks were fine and it was no big deal. For shorter 3 milers, I still don't really care but if it's raining or I'm running a long run, I now really appreciate the difference these make. For example, it was pouring today during my run, and I was only mildly damp at the end. No dripping at all. Today I was wearing my UA long sleeve and Nike running capris. My absolute favorites are the UA Quickstep shorts, too cold for them today though:

3. Watch
For my birthday last year, my mom got me a Garmon Forerunner. It is so technologically advanced that I'm pretty sure I can command satellites with it if I finally got around to reading the whole instruction manual. I probably never will. However! It's very useful for other reasons. First and probably most importantly, calculates distance so I get in the full length of each training run. Second, calculates speed. I find this especially helpful for keeping my walking recovery speed up and my run speed down because I'm really trying to pace myself. I can also use the lap timer to set mile splits, see my heart-rate, calories burned, elevation of course.... amazing thing. With all this data, I should at least be able to fine tune some of my training, right? It's certainly an investment piece but a really amazing tool. My one and only complaint is that the chest strap it comes with is way too big for me. I currently have part of it tied up with a hair tie which give me a nice lump on my back and I'm still always hiking it up. However, my mom just ordered an XS one for me, so that will be fixed soon. Minor complaint and easily fixed.

4. Fuel belt
I don't actually have one of these yet but I want one! I'm thinking of getting the Wachusett Belt for water, Gatorade, and to hold a snack (I start to starve after 7 miles). However, I think the 4 bottle one might be better for longer runs? I really despise holding a water bottle as I run. I suppose I could always refill though... hmm. Things to think about. I'm a pretty thirsty girl. Suggestions?

5. iPhone and headphones
Enough said. How people can run sans music is beyond me. BORED. I was all about Stephen Kellogg and the Sixers on todays jaunt as I will be seeing them (for the 6th time!) tonight.

6. Recovery food!
For the last mile of my run, I usually just think about what kind of recovery food I get to eat. Goal is for high protein and nutrient dense. Today was an apple and my favorite: low-fat chocolate milk. I've been buying cases of it in the little kid lunch box size, in vanilla and strawberry too, so I can have one waiting for me in my car. Mmm. So good and so worth running for. Plus, I don't like regular milk so whenever I can cram it into my diet with lattes, protein shakes, or chocolate is a good thing.
So that's a pretty complete run down of my running gear! Are there any things that you can't workout without? (And of course, don't ever forget the SPF! I had 30 on today... and it was pouring). :)

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