It's honestly something I never, ever, really honestly, never thought I could do, but here I am training to run 13.1 miles in the middle of June. My 10 mile training long run is this Saturday. I've never run 10 miles before.
The thing about running, more than anything, is how much of an accomplishment it feels. I can feel my body getting stronger and I amaze myself each time when I finish a run and I see that I've gotten just a little bit faster and feel just a little bit less out of breath.
Running has become so personal for me-- it's a personal triumph and I love what it does for me-- more than physically, but emotionally and spiritually. Running forces me to take time to think, pray, contemplate and just be: feet pounding pavement, heart throbbing in my chest, breath shuddering through my mouth.
On a practical level, I've learned a lot. I've learned that I need to have eaten before I run, and I know what kind of socks I like best. I also, unforuntately, learned that my toenails don't seem to like running as much as I do. Let's just say I won't be rocking open-toe shoes anytime soon.
Whether you're a first-time runner, a walker or whatever, here's a few of my have-to-haves for running:
>> loose top. I love this one from Adidas because I don't like to workout in anything too clingy!
>> sports bra. Champion's Shiny Seamless Sports bra is my absolute favorite. I'm not too huge on top, but this one is supportive and keeps its shape even after a lot of washes. (and it's affordable!)
>> hat. It rains here and I can run in the rain as long as it's not dripping down my face. This hat from Nike is also just great in general for keeping my hair totally out of the way.
>> running socks. Your basic cotton ones won't do-- especially if you want to avoid blisters. I love love love Asics' hydrology socks.
>> running shorts. I've tried quite a few different pairs, but I keep coming back to the Nike tempo shorts.
>> oatmeal with flax seed! I eat oatmeal nearly every day and especially on days when I run longer. It keeps me full and energized.
>> hydration. You have to drink lots of water to have a successful workout and sometimes water with a little extra kick is helpful. I love Nuun tablets because they don't have all the added sugar like other sports drinks do.
Not pictured: running shoes. Your shoes are really personal-- I currently run in Mizunos, but what you wear could be totally different. Go to a local running store -- especially one with a good return policy -- because you won't know if they work for you until you try them out. If you're in Seattle, I suggest Super Jock n Jill. (you can tell them you know me.) ;)
Just a note-- this is all of my honest opinion, but I've been able to try out a lot of different stuff thanks to the husband's job in the running industry.
Do you run or workout? Do you have some favorite gear?