So, no one said “no, don’t run the Philly half.” Shocking. I knew that was going to happen, you guys are convincing. I still haven’t signed up but, I’m inching closer.
I feel like I’ve gotten my “kick” back with running all of a sudden. In fact, reading Anne’s post yesterday felt like I was reading about myself. It’s not that I wasn’t enjoying running recently but, after the HOHA 5 mile race, I just slacked off a bit on the mileage, had no races to train for and got excited about other things like rolling hills. Signing up for my 10K race and putting a training plan together was exactly what I needed to get excited again about it.
Case in point:
I was seriously giddy about that run all day! The plan was a 4 mile tempo run. I wanted to keep my warm up/cool down miles between 8:50-9:10 and the other 2 between 8:20-8:35. Here’s how it panned out:
- Mile 1: 8:55
- Mile 2: 8:38
- Mile 3: 8:25
- Mile 4: 8:57
I’ll take it! A great run and a gorgeous day for it. The temps dropped about 10 degrees and it was 78 when I started my run. What a difference 10 degrees makes! In 88 degree weather I’d be dying without my camelbak, drenched in sweat and cleaning up a disgusting pool of water from the back of my legs on the seat in the car (that’s when leather seats are not preferable). In 78 degrees, I barely missed the water and didn’t even need the nasty “sweat towel” I keep in my bag. I try to never wish away the precious summer days but, running in cool weather is so much more enjoyable.
Since I’m on a running high again, I thought I’d do a list of my favorite gear/gadgets for running. They say all you need for running is a good pair of shoes but, sometimes the other stuff is worth it.
Top 5 Running Gear:
1. Garmin Forerunner 305
This is the most expensive single piece of “equipment” I own for running and it was worth every penny. I think I paid $150ish over a year ago for this but, Amazon is selling it for $138 now and I’ve definitely seen it even lower than that recently. The Garmin gives you the obvious information like your pace, distance, calories, elevation, etc, but, for me, it’s been much more. It’s helped me become a better runner with it’s “training” settings when doing speed work intervals, it’s helped me push myself during tempo runs and it’s even gotten me “un-lost” with it’s GPS map feature! Considering it’s not much more than a good pair of running shoes, I think it’s worth the investment. And no, I don’t think Nike + even comes close in comparison.
2. Lululemon Ta-Ta Tamer
Let’s talk about boobs, shall we? This is hands down the best bra I’ve ever owned. If you are a C cup or above, I highly recommend this one because of it’s support. I’m no DDD or anything but, without the proper support my back starts to hurt while exercising and those uni-boob sports bras just do not work. Is this expensive? Yes. Are your boobs worth it? I think so.
3. Bondi Bands
You can see this amazing headband in action here, a 1/4 mile before finishing my first half marathon and in the same exact spot it was when I started almost 13 miles before. I was completely skeptical of this headband because I had never used one that didn’t slip off my head 10 seconds into my workout. I think it’s a combination of the width and the material but, this thing sticks! They have a bunch of fun colors, designs and sayings on their website to choose from too. I wear mine all the time and don’t wash it nearly enough. I need more.
4. Sony MDR-J10 Headphones
Headphones are like headbands for me, I feel like I’m completely in the minority because the earbud ones everyone has that came with their “i-whatever” don’t even stay in my ear while sitting completely still, let alone running. I have no idea how people can exercise with those horrendous things. I‘ve gone through 4 different sets of the type that wrap around your ear and these are my favorite yet. They are comfortable and they stay put. They’ve also lasted the longest so far. I think the sweat eventually burns headphones out and I had never gotten more than 6 months of life out of other brands I tried but, these have lasted me almost a year now.
5. Camelbak Aurora
Ah, my summer savior! I have this model (in blue) which holds 50 oz. It’s fitted for women and I have to say it is completely comfortable. When you tighten the straps it fits high up on your back and with my headphones to drown out the sloshing, I forget it’s even there. It’s got 2 pockets in the front with plenty of room to store keys, cash, phone, gels, whatever. Cleaning it is probably my least favorite part but, I’ve yet to buy any cleaning kit and have managed to keep it free of mold or mildew so far. If you live anywhere south of Alaska, I’d definitely recommend a camelbak. I personally, can’t stand running with things in my hands or around my waist so this was the best option for me. With a 50 oz. capacity, it’s usually good for about 10 miles in moderately warm weather.
What are your favorite gadgets/gear?
Do you go through lulls with your favorite sport (running, biking, swimming, etc.)? If so, what gets you out of them and excited again?
*I was not compensated in any way for these product reviews. This information is solely based on my opinion and personal use of the products bought with my own money.