With the new year in full swing, a lot of my friends and family members have made the commitment to working out and getting healthy in 2011. I’ll admit, I’ve never really been one for resolutions, but fortunately, I’m one of those types that enjoys working out. I go through lulls, however, throughout the year when I skip workouts and eat poorly, but it really doesn’t take much to get me motivated to get back at it.
I typically run during the spring and summer months and a bit into fall. I’m not at all a true runner, nor am I fast by any measure, but once I find my groove, I really enjoy running. Ok, I don’t always enjoy the actual running, but I love the way I sleep at night and the sense of accomplishment I feel from a good, long run.
In 2008, I ran my first half marathon. Here’s a picture of me and Hannah (6 months) just back from our first run together. She trained with me for that half marathon, thanks to my friends who had surprised me with a jogging stroller when I was pregnant.
So, my favorite gear.
Most important: shoes. If you are committed to running, I suggest spending the bucks for the right shoe for you. It makes all the difference. I have friends who love Mizuno and Saucony, but I am a Nike girl, through and through. My current shoe is the Nike Vomero 4. No, I didn’t get them because they’re pink (not gonna lie – I LOVE that they are pink!) but because they are super cushy, hold my narrow heel nicely and hit just the right spot on my ankles. They also provide the arch support that I need.
Speaking of arches, I have high ones that need lots of tlc, so PowerSox are my fave. In fact, they’re the only socks I run in. They give a little extra support around the arches and cushion at the ball of the foot. And they are not expensive at all. Three pairs come in a pack for less than $10.
I’m not a busty girl, but a good sports bra is a must for running. I like the Adidas Training Energy Bras. When I return from a run, I put mine in a sink of sudsy water and then hand wash and rinse it before I go to bed. This is gentler than a machine wash and will help it last longer. I always line dry my sports bras – the heat from the dryer can cause the fabric to deteriorate and the elastic to lose shape.
For outer gear, I am not terribly picky. I am not opposed to going for a run in a pair of shorts and an old t-shirt, because let’s face it, running clothes take a beating, especially if you do any trail running. However, I do have a few favorites in this category. I love Brooks Podium SS. I have one in white and pink. It’s lightweight, fits loosely and wicks moisture away. I always wear my pink one on race day so that my family can spot me in the crowd. I’ve been running in these shirts for about 4 years and they have held up nicely.
Since I am a mostly fair weather runner, I typically run in shorts, but in the fall, I will wear capris or pants. I prefer the shorts with the undies built in – they are just more comfortable for me. I have the Nike Tempo shorts with DriWeave. They are so comfortable around the waist and are the perfect length (I’m about 5’5”). You’ll never catch this girl running in shorty shorts!
There are times when I do run in pants, and I like Brooks Glycerin Running Pants. They are looser fitting, comfortable at the waist, and wick moisture away. I am not a big fan of running tights, although I know lots of people that love them. I just feel better in something a bit looser.
I know. I know. The water bottle fanny pack. Under no other circumstance do I condone a fanny pack, and yes, I am aware that it may look dorky, but this is a must have for me on long runs. This is the one that I have – the Nathan Muse Women’s Hydration Pack. It sits nicely on the waist and surprisingly, the bottle does not jiggle around. There are also two pockets to hold a cell phone, car keys, chap stick and whatnot. Sometimes I carry a little bag of pretzels or gummy bears in there.
So, overall, I don’t spend a lot on running gear. I do buy a new pair of shoes each year, but as for the rest, purchasing quality gear as paid off. For some items, the initial investment may seem like a splurge, but it can be balanced with less expensive pieces elsewhere.
Happy running, friends!