Oh, heavens. I’m questioning my sanity on this one FOR REAL, but it’s too late now to be a wuss about it.
Last year, I completed my first ever 13.1 at the Atlanta Publix Half Marathon. Go read here if you’re interested in the full story. And this year, I decided to repeat the insanity for several reasons.
First, I’m my own biggest competitor. I want to run it better. Specifically, the last 3 miles. This is a very hilly course and brutally so at the end. I want to be better trained this year and my only time goal is to come in under what I ran last year.
Second, health and endurance. Training for this half has been and will continue to keep me active during a time where I am overwhelmed and stressed and generally crankypants with everything going on. Not to mention it will counteract all the stress-eating happening, DAMN YOU GIRL SCOUT COOKIES! I have to fit into a bridesmaid dress for a wedding coming up next month and this will certainly help to keep the size of my arse from getting out of control.
Lastly, I just like to run and I want to get better at the sport in general. I’m discovering all sorts of new things as I train with longer distances than I’m used to. For instance, the first two miles are the toughest for me. Mile one is a battle with my breathing and my body… but it gets the kinks out. Mile two is a battle with my brain. I get bored and cranky and wonder why I’m doing this nonsense. And then something happens in mile three. Honestly? I think my body and brain just submit and accept the fact that this is what I want them to do… and then all is right in the world. I can cruise, for the most part, unless there are crazy hills to deal with, YUCK!
So as I’ve been training the past few weeks, I’ve realized I need to get some new gear. Note: This is not an ad and I’m not being compensated for this post. Just sharing what I bought and how I liked them!
First, it was time to get new shoes. I knew I was pushing the lifespan of my beloved Brooks Ghost 5s, but when I started having pretty significant calf pain after running in them, I knew their support was blown out. So I went to the amazing Big Peach Running Company in midtown and knew I wanted the Brooks Ghost 6s in the fabulous gray/navy/neon pink combo. Big Peach was wonderful to work with and when the color/size I needed weren’t in that location, they said they could have them shipped directly from a different store to my home. I purchased on Saturday afternoon and they arrived Tuesday! In addition, they included a free pair of Feetures running socks (which I love, by the way) and a hand-written note. Amazing customer server, for the win.
Next, I needed some new headphones that don’t fall out of my ears and something to hold my phone/house keys while I ran. It’s one thing to stuff a few things in the inside waistband pockets of my crops or inside my sports bra. It’s another to look like I have an unfortunate tumor growing out of my spine/hip/abdomen/boob. So, I went on a stalking mission of my fellow runner/blogger buddies and found CarrotsNCake’s summer running gear post. And in there, I found exactly what I needed!
I had a gift card for Amazon that I wanted to use, so I went there. Plus, hello, free 2-day shipping with Prime! I could get my new things FAST!
I bought the Koss Fit Clips headphones because they’re designed specifically for women and because their reviews say that they STAY PUT. I hate fighting with my headphones when I run! Plus you know I had to get the coral color – it’s so Peachy!
As for the lugging of stuff on my runs, I was torn between the SPI belt and the FlipBelt. In the end I went with the SPI belt. Tina mentioned she prefers the SPI belt in the summer, since the FitBelt is a bit warmer to wear. I’ll decided on the lighter one because I’m a sweaty beast. I must say when I opened the package I was shocked at how tiny the SPI belt is!
How is that gonna hold my phone, keys and ID?
So I decided to stuff a Quest bar and my clunky keys inside to test it out… and whoa, this little pouch is so stretchy!
Awesome. I was wondering how the sweat factor would do with the SPI belt because the material is thin (but sturdy). Luckily, I had a race yesterday and got to try out the belt, the headphones and the new shoes! It was a 10K race and I scored a big PR! Woot! Happy to say that the SPI belt was great, though I learned that I need to wear it higher and tighten it more. It’s also a bit tricky to get things in/out of it when you’re running. But that’s just a lesson to me that I should stop fidgeting with shit and just run! My new Brooks are like old friends… they are awesome and felt great. The headphones were fantastic, too. They stayed put and felt like they weren’t even there. Definitely so, so happy with my purchases!!
Now, if the weather in Atlanta would stop being 38 degrees, rainy and windy, that would be GREAT. Come on, Spring!!
What’s your favorite running gear? What shoes do you swear by?