friday love+list

Several months ago, like May or June, I was peer pressured into signing up for a half-marathon. That’s not entirely true, but I like to think about how encouraging my friends were when I moved on from running 5ks, to running a 10k (in August) and later, in pursuit of a bigger/longer challenge. I’ve been training all summer long, and have really enjoyed my longer runs. All that said, the race is tomorrow, and thus this running-themed love+list. I actually own almost all of this gear and if not the exact thing, then something like it.

When I first started running, I ran in some old sneakers I’d owned for years. This works for some folks, but didn’t work long for me. I chose this pair based on my liking them. Seriously. I don’t really want to admit that because after a couple of years, I’m a little more educated about how to choose shoes and why but let’s be real, if you’re just starting out getting in shape, I wanted to at least be motivated by liking what I was wearing. I got really lucky with these 1. New Balance 890s – they are a great fit for my foot and this was the first of now two pair. The 2. Nike Women’s Fast Pace Running Tank Top, I got specifically for this race. Unless it’s during the winter, I have to run in tank-tops. I get overheated quickly and equally annoyed with sleeves or straps on other shirts. Plus, the top kind of matches the shoes, but that really wasn’t the reason I bought it. Entirely.

I’m also a fan of running blogs. Like SkinnyRunner, SweatOnceADay and Once Upon a Lime, which I check almost daily for motivation. I run nowhere near as fast or as many miles as these ladies, but they’ve indirectly helped me get where I am. Unsurprisingly, I have been compelled to try some of the gear they use like these 3. ProCompression Marathon Pink socksYou can run with these, or wear them after your run, but essentially it’s a tight long sock that helps open the blood vessels in your legs, for a theoretically faster recovery time. They absolutely work for me. They’re kind of expensive ($50), but if you sign up for their mailing list or read any of these blogs, they have discounts quite often. I  got a 4. Garmin Forerunner 405 for my birthday this year–basically, a watch that monitors your pace, distance, time, and a thousand other things I’ve just started learning about. It’s great for any kind of running workout I do, long or short, and while it’s absolutely not a necessity, I’ve really enjoyed using it and track my runs a little bit better.

I’m a little fickle about what I spend money on as it relates to running because I’ve always thought of it as being a pretty pure sport. You don’t really need much to run, other than to be able. There are plenty of people touting the benefits of running barefoot, and while I don’t like running in cotton shirts, they certainly don’t impede my progress. I was really surprised then to find these 5. Women’s Active compression shorts at Old Navy for $13. So, I have several pair. They’re not the most high-tech, but I’m also not the most high-tech runner, so it works out. Finally, I’ve had to train for this half-marathon (and, in general) during the summer and honestly, it sucks. I live in Tennessee and this has been one of our hottest summers on record. This 6. Nathan Quick Shot Bottle is a life-saver. It straps on to your hand, so it’s not another thing you’re holding, or having to worry about and especially useful at avoiding the sometimes perilous water stops.


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