Favorite Things: Running

Running is my soulmate workout.  Nothing makes me feel more amazing than a good run.  It eases my soul, it’s good for my body and it makes me feel like a badass.

I’m guilty of being a running gadget junkie.  Running shouldn’t take more than just your legs and a pair of shoes but getting awesome gadgets and gear is something I have always enjoyed.  There is a lot of running stuff out on the market, here are my favorites.

1. Garmin Forerunner 205

If I had to pick just one thing to run with besides shoes it would be my Garmin Forerunner 205.  I have had this watch over 4 years and I absolutely love it.  It’s big, bulky and looks like it should be used to communicate with Dick Tracey.   I know that there are smaller and fancier models on the market but I’m still in love with this one.  It’s been with me through so many races and it holds a special place in my heart.  Its died on me a couple times but I’ve always been able to bring it back to life.  I don’t know what I’ll do when we have to part ways.

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2. BoB Dualie

My BoB is another old friend of mine that is near and dear to my heart.  I scoured Craigslists for months before I found someone selling it for $300.  At one point I would have thought spending that much on a running stroller was insane but I knew it would be a valuable asset to my training.  I’ve logged countless miles pushing this stroller.  I wish it had an odometer so I could bask in my own awesomeness.  Because running is hard but running pushing a double stroller is a whole new level of hard and it makes me feel like a badass.  There have been many runs that I’ve cursed this stroller as I’ve pushed it.  Yet running with it has made me a better runner.  Pushing a stroller on 90% of your runs actually makes you a better runner when you’re running solo.  Its like always doing speed work and hills but really you’re just pushing 80+ pounds of kid and stroller.  If it wasn’t for this stroller I wouldn’t be the runner that I am today and I wouldn’t have been able to run as many miles as I have either.  While this cost me $300 it’s worth it’s weight in gold.

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3. Dr. Teals Epsom Salts

I discovered these amazing epsom salts while training for my marathon.  A dear friend brought them over to my house after a long, hard run and I was forever grateful.  I love soaking in a hot bath with these aromatic salts in the water.  Do they work wonders to ease muscle soreness…I’m not sure but they do make me feel better so I call that a win!

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4. Brooks Running Shoes

When I started running I was wearing an old pair of Nikes that I’d had for 5 years.  After running on them for a few months I decided it was time to invest in a good pair of shoes.  I went to the local running store and tried on several different shoes but my feet fell in love with the Brooks Adrenaline.  I’ve gone through many pairs of shoes and have been fitted again and again but I always go back to Brooks.  Brooks shoes just fit me the best and provide me with the best support and comfort.  I’m currently wearing the Brooks Ravenna.

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5. Chocolate Shakeology

Everyone recommends drinking chocolate milk after a long run.  Milk always upsets my stomach, especially after a long run.  I started drinking a chocolate Shakeology after my long runs.  It’s like chocolate milk on steroids.  It’s got protein and many other super foods that help me feel recovered.   More info on Shakeology here: https://runningthroughchaos.com/2014/08/22/so-what-is-shakeology/

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6. Spibelt

I bought this Spibelt at a race expo a few years ago and I love it.  It fits my phone perfectly and is great to wear when I’m just running by myself and don’t need to wear a hydration belt.  It doesn’t ride up or bother me in any way.

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7. Nathan 2 bottle Hydration Belt

I used to run with a 4 bottle hydration belt but I hated it. It was heavy and never seemed to feel right on my hips.  I ordered this one from Running Warehouse a few years ago because it had an adjustable waistband. I didn’t want to carry 4 bottles anymore. I’d prefer to carry less water and refill my bottles as needed on long runs.  I usually have to make potty stops on long runs so I just fill up my water if needed.  This belt even has a big enough pocket to fit my phone and I usually add some tissue too because I haven’t mastered the snot rocket!

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8. Nuun

I have a very sensitive stomach when I run.  I can’t handle gatorade or any other electrolyte liquids.  I struggled through a lot of stomach cramps before I found Nuun.  I usually only use a half of tablet in my water while on long runs but I love the light flavors and the fact that it doesn’t make my stomach cramp up.  This is the only product I can use while running. I haven’t found a gel/chew that doesn’t hurt my stomach but at least with Nuun I’m getting the fluids I need on my long runs.

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9. PiYo

I’m a runner that hates to stretch.  My lack of stretching has caused me a few injuries too, most recently Piriformis Syndrome that took several months to recover from.  Stretching is usually something I skip but I’m try my hardest to stop that bad habit.  I discovered PiYo, a pilates/yoga workout,  a few months ago it’s really helped with my flexibility and forces me to stretch my muscles.  I try to add it into my schedule a few times a week and it’s really helping me.

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10. Knee Brace by Mueller

I have a knee that bothers me occasionally.  Especially if I start to ramp up my training.  Over the years I’ve worked on my form and have had improvement but it hasn’t gone away completely.  If I start to train a lot it will bother me occasionally and I’ll wear this brace and it helps support my knee.  It’s not a perfect solution for my runners knee but it helps me out a lot too!

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What are you favorite running things?  I’m always looking to try new things and I’d love to hear what’s working well for you too!

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