Sunday, June 23, 2013

Running Essentials

Is there anything better than snuggling up on the couch on a rainy Sunday morning with an iced coffee in your favorite cup, a quiet house, and your list of blogs to read open on your laptop?  :)  Didn't think so!

I've been struggling to get motivated to run.  I only went twice this week: 3.5 on Wednesday and 5 on Friday.  Plus Body Pump on Tuesday.  I think I'm still in relax/winding down mode from the school year (I teach first grade).  Hopefully I'll be back up and at it next week since there are only 12 weeks until my next half!  Woohoo!

So I was thinking about some of the essentials I use when I run.  Before training for the half I just ran, my essentials basically would have been an iPod and a pair of sneakers.  But once I started logging those miles, I realized I needed more!
*note - I wasn't asked to review or sponsor any of these products.  They're just ones that I use on a regular basis.*

For my birthday, I got a Garmin Forerunner 10.  I don't know how I ran without it before!  I have it in pink but it comes in other colors too.  It's so incredibly helpful when it comes to learning to pace myself on longer runs and to push myself on shorter runs.  Plus the website that you upload all of your runs to is so similar to Map My Run, but you don't have to waste your phone battery running the GPS since it's all in the watch!  :)  The watch shows my pace, my distance, calories burned, total time and more!  The site shows my route, the weather during my run, elevation, splits, and SO much more!  I absolutely adore it!


Which leads me to music!  I CANNOT run without it!  Some people enjoy running to nothing, listening to their own breathing, but me?  I just can't do it.  I get bored.  I HAVE to have my music!  I have a playlist on my phone with some good running songs, but coming up with a 2 and a half hour playlist is hard!  And can get expensive!  I rely on Pandora for my music.  They have workout play lists and they're not half bad!

For my longer runs, I realized I needed something to keep my going and keep that "I feel like I'm running through quicksand" feeling away.  Solution?   Jelly Belly Sports Beans!  I just can't do the gels...they gross me out.  Don't get me wrong, the Sports Beans don't taste fabulous, but they do the trick!  And the ones with caffeine give that extra boost on those longer runs!


Socks.  Oh boy did I learn quickly how the right pair of socks makes a world of difference!  I was getting blisters all over the tops of my toes from wearing cotton socks on my longer runs.  Big mistake! I switched to a seamless, moisture-wicking sock and it made a world of difference!  I only have one pair since they were so expensive ($12/pair!), but rumor has it that Target sells ones that are similar and they're way cheaper!  :)  They're definitely on my next Target trip list!

Last, but not least, Bondi Band head bands!  (  My hair is really fine and it was always falling in my face and getting in my eyes, even with a ponytail or other kinds of head bands.  I discovered these gems the day before the half at the expo that was going on during packet pick up.  Life changing!  Not only did it actually stay in place all 13.1 miles, but it kept my hair back and was sweat-wicking so it kept the sweat out of my face too!  Amazing!  I highly recommend!  I got two while I was there...both in support of the Boston One Fund.  They have a ton of fun designs and colors.  I'm officially hooked and wear one every time I run now!

So those were my "A-Ha!" essentials that I discovered while training and now can't live without!  Of course, there's sneakers, headphones, iPhone arm band, etc. but those were things I always used and didn't really change up too much when I started training.

Do you have any running/workout essentials that you can't live without?

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