Gear Up

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Last year, around this time, as the mercury started rising and the humidity kept pace with it, my running tapered off. I had dreams. I was going to run the Chevron Houston Marathon in January and be in the best shape of my life for my October wedding. Unfortunately, I lost my motivation and didn't get it back until cool weather arrived again. It was too late to bare super-toned arms for my wedding and too late to register and train for the marathon.

But, this isn't a sob story. Luckily, the marathon happens every year. So, I'm getting back on the horse and going for it again, but this time I'll have help. Not only have I signed up for shorter distance races to keep me running through the summer, I've enlisted some gadgets and cool gear to make me want to embrace the heat and go for that ten mile run.

There's nothing more annoying than a belt bouncing around your hips while you're on a long run, but going without water is not an option. This guy stays put. The whole time. Period. GoLite HydroSprint, $40.

I personally prefer to run early in the morning before the sun had risen. The only caveat is the dozens of early morning commuters that have trouble seeing me. Well, I can't pave my own sidewalk, so I got a couple of these Nightlife Magnetic LED Lights to put on my clothes. Problem solved! From Brooks Running, $15 each.

By far, the BEST purchase I have ever made for my running. The foot sensor keeps track of how far I've gone and lets me know every mile or so. At the last 400 meters, it counts me down to the finish line and, man! does that get me pumped. When I get sluggish, I call up my PowerSong (The Beatles: Back in the U.S.S.R.) and it gets me going again! Nike+ Sport Kit for use with the iPod nano, $29.

The only thing I don't like about the Nike+ gadget is the inaccuracy of the sensor. A mile isn't always a mile on that and I discovered that when I ran my first race. The Garmin Forerunner 305 is way more accurate and since I don't usually run on a measured trail, it's the best way for me to track my distance. At $300, it's a bit pricey, but if you are serious about running, it's worth the investment.

I bought two of these the other day at the recommendation of the salesperson at the Finish Strong by my house, and I'm glad I did. These really are great for summer weather. They're super lightweight, don't stick to you, and they wick moisture away fantastically. Don't worry, guys! They make men's versions as well. Saucony Empress Short Sleeve in Sonic, $32.
Just between you and me, runners generally do not have the sexiest feet. Mine are dry, cracked, blistered, and sore. Lovely. I think I'm going to have to give this a try. I've heard good things about it. Once I try it, I'll tell you for sure! Sante Active Pedi-Relax System, $20.


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