Monday, August 13, 2012

A few of my favorites

Wow! Long time, no post. Life is a wee bit busy around here. 90 mile running weeks, high school sports starting, husband's first 50k, getting 11 kids ready for back to school....whew. :)

Josh ROCKED his first 50k this weekend in just a few seconds over 8 hours. And even though the course looked like this...

(that is elevation over 10,000 feet four times, since he started at one end of the course, ran to the other, and then had to turn around and run BACK)

 he finished looking like this...
Love this guy!!! And I am so proud.
Josh's mom ran the 25k and did an amazing job too. This is a tough (beautiful, but tough!) course, which we are blessed to have right outside our door. I love where I live.

Ok, as promised, here are a few of my favorite (running) things.

One of the best things about running is that you don't need much gear - you can just get up and go as long as you have proper running footwear (and if you are going more than a certain distance, especially in the summer, you should have something to drink, or somewhere to get a drink a long the way). However, there are lots of things that can make training easier/more enjoyable and some of the best products I have discovered I have come across at the recommendation of other runners. So I thought it would be fun to do a blog post on some of my favorite running "things" -shoes, clothes, gear, etc. I have included lots of pics and links for you too.

My favorites!

- shoes - For most runners, the right shoes are essential, and hands down my favorite running shoes are the Brooks PureFlows. You can read my very detailed review in this post here. I have them in every color and love, love, love these shoes. They are light and fast for track work and have enough to them for my longest runs and races. They are the only shoes I wear (and have been that way for just about a year now). Here I am rockin' the purple pair in my half marathon win in July. :)

Since I am sponsored by Brooks I wear lots of Brooks gear, but I truly do love and stand by Brooks shoes and clothes, and I wore Brooks almost exclusively before they sponsored me.

- My favorite shorts are the Epiphany Stretch Short II. They are just the right length and weight, they move with you perfectly and they feel amazing. Brooks makes them in all sorts of cute colors.

- Running tops! My favorite tank, for hot summer runs or running on the treadmill in the winter, is the Epiphany Support Tank II. I have a couple of these and wear them A LOT.

There are many GREAT tops for men and women by Brooks, but my favorite (new this fall)) piece is the rockin' Utopia Thermal 1/2 Zip. I LOVE THIS and know that I will be wearing it tons once the weather cools off (which will be soon here). So warm and soft and cute.

- When it comes to socks, I am a double tab kind of girl. Low enough to be low profile, but not so low that they slip into my shoes on long runs. My favorite are the Infiniti Double tabs.

- I used to run with a Garmin 305 (trusty old Bob) but as Josh says, I ran him into the ground, and now I have been using a Garmin Forerunner 610 for about six months and I love it. I named this one Flash and it locks onto the satellite super fast (and has all over the country), I have never had trouble with losing the signal up in the mountains or in busy cities, it works super well for track workouts, the battery stays charged for a long time, it is very easy to use, and the optional velcro strap is great (and comfortable) for my little wrist. :)

not my stats :)

- Fuel! It has taken me a long time and a lot of trial and error, but I have finally found the fuel that works best for me. You can read my full review here, but I have been thrilled with Fluid Performance and Fluid Recovery. I have been using nothing for fuel but Fluid Performance for my fast, long runs and it works amazingly well - my energy is great and my stomach is calm.

- To carry my Fluid Performance on long runs and races, I run with the Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Thermal-Lite 20 ounce bottle. It is comfortable on my hand, has a nice-sized pocket, is easy to open, close, and drink from, and is a cool color.

- I don't always train with music and I never race with it, but I do enjoy my music at times and I also have listened to several audiobooks while running and that has been nice. I have tried all sorts of earbuds and headphones and the only ones that are comfortable in my ears and do not fall out when I am running are Yurbds. And they sound really good too. :) I am a fan!

- Whenever I run by myself, I carry a small handheld mace. I have never used it, but between the Wyoming farm dogs, the wildlife, and the unknown, I feel better having it.

- I never have been a fan of compression socks while running. I am a huge believer in compression for after a hard workout/run, but I never liked the way the compression socks fit on my feet and feel in my shoes. Last fall when my mileage started getting high, one of my shins started hurting me. It did not hurt at all when I ran and I did not feel it walking, jumping, going up or down stairs, etc. however if I pushed on it, it was very tender. I decided to try some calf sleeves, and they felt awesome and I think they really helped heal my calf. Now I use them all the time! I have tried a few brands and SKINS are my favorite.
- As I said earlier in this post, I am a believer in compression after a tough run. After every long run/tough track work out (over 14 miles or so), I roll, stretch, ice bath, shower, then put on compression tights. I had several pairs that I liked, but my BFF Jennifer sent me a pair of these 110% Clutch Tights and they are incredible!!!! These tights have the best compression out of any pair I have tried (and it is quite entertaining to watch me get them on!) AND, they have pockets and fancy ice packs so you can ice while wearing your compression tights. I believe that these have really helped with my recovery times from races and tough long runs.

- I use my Powerpoint grid roller and my Stick after every run. They hurt so good and keep my muscles happy. :)
 - Bodyglide is your friend. Enough said.
- My Grandma always said that you can't love "things" you can only love people. But I kind of do love my Oakley's. They fit my face perfectly and are so light and comfortable and do not budge while I am running. Plus, they make me feel a little extra tough and cool. :)
I am in denial that the dark mornings and snow covered roads are coming, but here is a post I wrote about my favorite cold weather gear back in December. :)

That's my list! What are some of your favorite running "things"?


coach dion said...

When you look at running like that it loses one of it's charms... The you don't need anything appeal. I love the idea of running out the door with nothing more than shorts and shoes on...

But then you should see me mid winter as I leave for a long run up the mountain!!!

MiZFit said...

my lacrosse ball :)

Gracie said...

I don't run with a lot of things, either - right now what I'd LIKE to find is a decent cotton jog bra. Fruit of the Loom stopped making my size in the style I like :( and I don't like fancy jog bras.

Canuck Mom said...

I have been wanting to try the clutch tights!! I am also going to try the fuel you mentioned, as my belly is picky. Your coach sounds AWESOME!! What a blessing to have a coach like him and I checked out his blog.....WOW. He won my heart with all the amazing fundraising he has done. Love it!! I have to say my favorite gear tends to be Brooks stuff. Tried the Pure line, but my body did not like them. So I am a Raveena girl.:) I also love my foam roller and I am a compression sock girl as I have one wimpy ankle from a sprain years ago, so the socks offer a little more support.

L.A. Runner said...

I love most of those things, too! I can't wait for you to try the new Flows this fall. I have a feeling you will love them even more. I tried them on at a "preview party" through a local running store, and they are awesome!

About the Epiphany shorts... I love them, too, but I only have the Is. Is there a difference? I notice the pleat in the IIs is new, but other than that? Cut? Feel?

jayloh said...

Funny. I was just thinking of your early morning wilderness runs and wondering if you brought mace with you.
A lot of your faves are mine, as well. I need to find a good pair of sunglasses. Your Oakleys look like a good place to start. :)

Just Plain Jackie said...

Love, LOVE my Yurbuds ... I have hot pink ones I bought a few years ago at a race expo.
My favorite sunglasses are Nike brand I got at Costco. My head is ginormous, and it's hard to find hats and glasses for me, but these have been perfect.
Socks: Wright brand I found at a running store (or maybe REI?) They are 2 layers, and the inside feels like silk. Love'em!

Meaghan said...

What a great, great post!! Thank you! I would LOVE to try out the 110% tights, and also need to get my hands on a pair of the Yurbuds - I've heard great things about them.

I run in the Brooks Adrenaline, and have been for a few years. I'm fiercely loyal to them. However, your review of the Pure Flows makes me want to try them out.. Hmmmm...

Thanks again for the post! said...

I love my Zeal Optics sunglasses. The lenses adjust to the light and they are light and form fitting on a petite face. Lately I am doing homemade sport drinks. They help my stomach big time. said...

I love my Zeal Optics sunglasses. The lenses adjust to the light and they are light and form fitting on a petite face. Lately I am doing homemade sport drinks. They help my stomach big time.

Julia said...

i have that foam roller and it is absolutely my newest most favorite thing ever! im obsessed with all things compression. i cannot get enough of it! im so excited your husband did so well and conquered those crazy mountains. ummmm wow. that map is CRAZZYYYYY!

Penny said...

Congrats to Josh and his mom. That is awesome. Love your review on things you love. I so want to try the new pure flows. I have a foam roller but so want a stick that way I can take it to the gym or on trip when I run my next marathon. Things are finally slowing down for me. Both of my boys left for college this year, so I'm an empty nester and I'm hating it. I cant quite crying. I miss them so much. I never thought it would affect me this hard. Right now I would welcome all that business that comes with getting kids ready for school. You have a beautiful family.

misszippy said...

I'm with you on compression socks for after, not during. And I love the brooks singlet you show--I need a few new ones right about now so will check it out.

My current favorite is my Oiselle distance shorts--I have two pairs and wear them for all my long runs and races.

Suz and Allan said...

I can only imagine getting 11 children ready to start school! Congrats to Josh and his mom on a great race.

Raina said...

That is a pretty good list! My favorite short distance speed shoe is the pure connect. I am in LOVE. I also am pretty thrilled to have a good fuel belt right now.

Love the photo of Josh. congrats to him!!

Allison said...

Congrats to Josh and his mom (and to you on your July half-marathon win)! Also, thanks for your list of favs. I'm glad to use your list as a jumping off point for different things. I've often wondered about the necklace you wear. Where did you get it from? What does it signify to you? I haven't found any mention of it throughout your posts and would love to know more. Thank you for who you are and all you do. Good luck!

Beth @ Miles and Trials said...

I love all my Brooks clothing and the Pure Flows and Connects are my go to shoes. The only thing I would add to the list is my Brooks Running Skirt. I absolutely love the skirt with the snug shorts underneath that don't move and protect me from the dreaded chub-rub! I've run all my marathons in this skirt, love it.

Congratulations to Josh and his mom!

Shirley said...

How many miles are you getting on your PureFlows? Am wondering because Brooks says 250-300 due to the lighter (and fewer) materials. (I bought my first pair this year, have just gone past the 200 mile mark--and the heels are showing some wear.) Thx!

DeVore Family said...

Love love love my lululemon speed shorts. I have like 8pair! They have 2 pockets in the front perfect for gels and a zipper pocket in the back...seriously I will NOT run in anything else! I do like pure flows but my very favorite shoe is the saucony kinvara.