Guess what? I totally won my first giveaway today! I was on a break at work and checked Twitter to see that Kara, at It's a dog lick baby world, mentioned I had won her giveaway - my own Road ID!
It is kind of like an early birthday present since my birthday is this Thursday. Plus my winning comment happened to be 11, which is, in fact, my favorite number. Pretty. Stinking. Cool. (At least I think so.) Thanks Kara and Road ID for such a great gift!
A quick IronGirl half marathon training update: I am currently in the middle of week two and so far so good. I completed my first speed workout, which was actually a little faster than was scheduled. I am not super fast or anything, but I don't want to burn out or get injured by doing too much too soon, so I am working on figuring out my pace. Tomorrow I am going to have a go at a tempo workout.
So to run you really don't need a lot. When I first started running I got a pair of running shoes and began around the neighborhood running 30 seconds at a time with just my iPod. However sometimes it is fun to have a few extra things, especially for longer distances. I want to share some of my favorite running gear with you. These are really not necessities, but are simply things I like to use during a run or race.
1. iFitness Belt
My mom had one of these first and after borrowing hers I fell in love. I got one for Christmas and it is great to have. I usually wear it just on long runs or during a race. These belts are worn when running and can hold your gels, iPod, phone, keys, whatever. But the best thing about these belts is that you don't even realize you are wearing it. No bouncing or sliding - this thing stays put! Plus it is waterproof. They come in a few different styles and colors too (mine is blue).
These little things look weird, but they are fabulous. After attending a race expo in October I have been intrigued by these little things. I was sized and got to try them at the expo. Unfortunately I didn't get a pair then, but I asked for them for Christmas and did! They are designed to fit snugly in your ear so they don't fall out. Plus the design allows for great sound quality. Because of the unique design you can hear your music without turning the volume up all the way. I used them during my half marathon and for all of my runs now - they are wonderful!
3. Garmin Forerunner 305
Yes, this is a big purchase, but it changes your running, seriously. After following several blogs and seeing these fancy gadgets and then my mom getting a Garmin herself I had to get one too. It was an early Christmas gift that has benefitted my workouts. This gadget does everything, tracks time, pace, calories, distance, and heart rate. Plus you can set it to do interval workouts, quick bike rides, advanced paths, almost anything you can imagine. I really like using it so I don't have to map out my long runs. I simply put on the watch and run until it tells me I have gone X miles. The Garmin also connects to your computer so you can get a read-out of how the run went including splits, elevation, and pace. I truly cannot say enough good things about the Garmin Forerunner. There are a few different styles depending on what features you want. If you are dedicated to running you should consider getting one. You can find some pretty good deals for the older versions on Amazon.
4. iPod Nano
I love music in general and listen to it a lot. Listening to music while running really adds a little umph to your workout. For Christmas I was fortunate enough to receive the new iPod Nano, the small, square one. It has a nifty touch screen and is so light and compact. I got the 8GB one which holds plenty of music. The iPod also has clip back so you can snap it onto your shirt collar or waistband and be on your way. This thing even has a pedometer function to track your steps. There are volume buttons on the outside so you can just click the top if you need to adjust the volume instead of using a click-wheel. I think it is perfect for runs since it is so lightweight; you don't even realize it there.
5. Compression Socks
There is some back and forth about whether compression socks can do anything for you, but I love the ones I have. There are lots of different brands, but I happen to have some lululemon ones that are just great. The compression socks are said to relieve sore legs and help repair muscle tears. After a long run they are so nice to put on and relax in.
6. Ultimate Direction Handheld Water Bottle
It can get pretty hot here in Florida so making sure I stay hydrated during a run is important. I picked this bottle up at Track Shack and use it on almost every run and race I usually fill it with half G2, half water and it lasts me through most runs. The strap makes it easy to hold so I don't have to worry about gripping a bottle. The holder also has a small pocket which is nice.
Now that you know what I like to have during a run tell me: What's your favorite running gear?
*No companies asked me to write about these. They are simply products that I own and like.