Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Today has just been one of those really good days.  To start, the Disabled American Vets truck showed up today, so I gathered together some stuff to donate. (I was actually still in bed when I heard the truck coming around. I was a little confused, thinking it was the wrong day for the garbage truck, but then I got motivated to clean some stuff out.) It feels great to clean out some unnecessary stuff, and now I’m motivated to keep going – the truck will be back on the 22nd.  But, it’s worth noting for today’s post that I donated TEN sports bras.  You see, I have not had an easy time of picking out the right one, and now that I’ve finally found it, I can kick those others to the curb (and hopefully support some people less fortunate than I while I do it!). So, allow me to take today’s post to let you know what does work for me when it comes to running…

Here is a picture of me before today’s run:


As I document my head-to-toe gear, it’s worth noting that this is the perfect day to take stock of what’s working – today’s run was the best run I’ve had in a month! Vacation was great, but I just didn’t have any outstanding runs during our time in Disney World or the cabin. I enjoyed running in new places, but for some reason I can’t maintain the same pace away from home. Anyway, that was a bit of a tangent, back to my mainstay running gear, from head-to-toe.

Head: Under Armor visor.  I have been wearing an UA visor for 5 years now. This is my second one.  I definitely recommend a good hat, especially for sunny or windy days.  I have gotten so used to it, though, that I usually wear it at the gym, too.

Top: The Moving Comfort Juno Bra is definitely the best bra that I’ve found in the past five years, and as I mentioned, I’ve tried a lot. I recommend it for anybody with a larger cup size (C+).  I used to wear an underwire style sports bra, sometimes with another layered over it.  I am way more comfortable with this.  With that, I always pair a wicking tank. I prefer a more form fitting tank, but I think that’s just a personal preference thing.

Arm: I always run with my iPod Touch and the Nike+ app. I tried a few different armbands, and my favorite is the Tuneband. A friend with an iPhone recommended it, and I was skeptical at first because the only way for me to get it was to order it online. It turned out to be just right, though, and I’m so glad I ordered it (it was also less expensive than the armbands I was buying in stores). My only complaint is that I wish it had some waterproofing capabilities.  I can’t find any armbands that I like that offer any protection for rain. I have run with my phone in a baggie during a drizzle, but I wouldn’t trust that system in a real rain shower. Ideas, anybody?

The other important piece of equipment on my arm is my Polar F7 Heart Rate Monitor. I really like training with this.  It lets me know when I can push a little harder or when I need to slow down.  What’s been really neat to see, though, is that after going gluten free my heart rate has been staying lower during workouts. I have no idea whether this stems from the change in diet, or if it is just an increased fitness level, but my guess is that it’s a combination of both.

Waist:  Water is my security blanket – much like Linus on Peanuts, I never head anywhere without it. Even if I’m going into the mall, where I know there is an abundance of places that have water, I still feel it necessary to bring my own.  It’s just how I’m made.  Anyway, whenever I run I wear my Nathan Speed 2 Hydration Pack. I have had others, but I prefer the two-bottle system of this one.  It makes things feel more balanced and less bouncy.  (In case you haven’t noticed, bouncy has no place in my running routine.)  If I’m traveling and I don’t want to carry the whole Hydration Pack, I just carry the Nathan Quickdraw Plus and I pop in whichever water bottle I’m traveling with, most recently the Camelbak Groove filter bottle (which I really like to run with because it has a straw).  Both the Hydration Pack & the Quickdraw have pockets, and I love pockets.  A lot.  I have a touch of paranoia about the creepy man in the bushes, so I can carry pepper spray and an ID. If I am running for an hour or more I always carry a pack of Sport Beans, just in case (Yum! Jelly beans are even better when you’re running!).  I really like to be prepared (secret: I envy people with kids because they can carry diaper bags with all sorts of “prepared” type stuff.) 

Bottom:  When I first began running I stuck with shorts or yoga-style pants. Then I went to skirts.  I had probably 5 different skirts, some of which were better than others.  I never tried the Running Skirts brand, and I think I might treat myself to one soon!  As for now, though, I have become a really big fan of tights. I bought a pair this winter, and I was so surprised that I loved running in them.  I thought I would feel self-conscious, but just the opposite was true – I really liked not having to worry about things riding up or falling down. So, this spring I picked up this pair of Under Armor capris. They’re very comfortable, and I can wear them even on the hottest days without overheating.

Feet: SmartWool socks, currently with Asics 2150s, but I can’t wait to buy a pair of these! I try to add a new pair into the rotation every 300 miles or so, and I’m currently at 125 miles on this rotation. Almost there!

So, here’s the rundown:


Well, after the charity pick-up and the perfect run, I did a bit of other running around because we were having some friends over for dinner. Our friends are having their second child, and they had to get rid of some furniture. So, on this day that started with a donation to charity, Mike got a new dining set and upholstered chair – doesn’t that just seem like a perfect circle? We had them stay for dinner, which was a lovely ending to this ideal day – even the weather cooperated!

Oh, I downloaded Windows Live Writer today, and this is my first post using it.  It seems pretty easy to use, and I’m glad to have received this tip from both Caitlin at Healthy Tipping Point and Heather at Running With Sass.  I am so thankful for people who offer tips to new bloggers, like myself! 

I hope this finds you doing well, and I will leave you again with a question (I hope someone reads and responds soon!  Who will be first?!)

What is one piece of running gear that you can’t leave home without?

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