Running stuff I like.

(Today’s guest post is by one of our incredible friends and supporters of Sixty Feet, April Olive.)

This morning I did my last training plan run before the half marathon! Woohoo! This is actually a blessed low mileage week leading up to the event, so I’ve been really enjoying that, and I’m totally looking forward to no running the next two days. In case you don’t know, I am not a natural at this running gig. I am a running non-runner. It has been work every day, every step of the way. So, yes, I am going to enjoy the next couple of days!

In the past couple of weeks, I’ve had a few people ask me about what I’ve done, what kind of gear, etc…, that I like, what I use. So I thought I’d share the things that came to mind right away and where to get them for yourself should you like to check them out!

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The Books:

  • The Courage to Start by John “The Penguin” Bingham. I actually read this book a long time ago, but if you are also not a runner, or have never run before, or want to use running as a major player in changing your lifestyle, this is a wonderful motivation book. John shares his own personal story, and along with that re-evaluating what success is. From this book is perhaps John’s most famous quote, “The miracle isn’t that I finished, but that I had the courage to start.” Love that!
  • The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer by Whitsett, Dolgener, and Kole. This book. I am so thankful for this book. It is packed full of great advice, insight and encouragement for us non-runners. Specifically, it focuses on the psychological aspects of long-distance running, such as visualization, positive mental messages, and other mental strategies. It also gives great advice on the practical parts of this, like shoes, running in weather, eating, etc… I used this book for all of that, but not the training plan because I had a shorter training window to work with and I was doing a half. BUT, it has been invaluable to me. “This is marathon running for real people, people with jobs and families and obligations outside of running.” If I were to lose this book, I’d be major bummed. So don’t even ask me to loan my copy to you! :)
  • Marathon: The Ultimate Training Guide by Hal Higdon. I used Hal’s Half Marathon Training Plan Novice 1 to get ready for this half. It’s a 3 running days during the week, long run on the weekend training plan. I’ve been happy with it so far, stay tuned to hear how it ends for me. :)

The Online Encouragement:

  • Runners World. I follow them on Twitter @runnersworld and really like the articles they share every day. I really love the pieces written by Kristin Armstrong.
    Hal Higdon. Also on Twitter @higdonmarathon
  • Run Sixty Feet. On Twitter @RunSixtyFeet this is my team I’m running my half with! We run for the imprisoned children of Uganda.
  • “The Penguin” John Bingham. On Twitter @jjbingham he inspires the non-runner types like me.

The Socks and Shoes:

  • Thorlo Experia Socks. I don’t always wear these socks when I’m running, but when I have a long run, these are my preference. They are pretty lightweight and fitted but without being tight, the kind of tight when you are running and thinking “my socks are tight.” I think about lots of things when I’m running, but these socks aren’t one of them. They are pricey, I think I paid $14 at Academy Sports for a pair. And that’s why I don’t wear them on all my runs.
  • Brooks Glycerin Running Shoes. I’m on my 2nd pair of these and I’m really happy with them. Also pricey, I bought these at our local running store, Big Dog Running Company. I don’t have a thing for handbags, or Jimmy Choo’s so I figure springing for a pair when the last one is breaking down, is gonna be alright. 😉 I’m a neutral runner, but if you pronate or supinate, you should do some research on what shoes would be best for you. Big Dog is great because they will put you on a treadmill and video your running form to help determine the best type of shoes for you.

The Headgear:

  • Hat for Cold Weather. Ok, so my hat isn’t really a hat, it’s actually a neck gaiter. But I have found that using it on my head is what works great for me. I pull it over my head to right below my ears and roll it over to get double coverage on my ears. Ear aches really stink, so I try hard to prevent those, and I like the gaiter also because I can vent the top of my head! If you don’t have one, you could take a knit hat and just cut out the crown of the hat, and you would have the same thing.
  • Tifosi Sunglasses. I run usually in the mornings after I get the kids off to school. It’s very rare that I run when the sun’s not up. You really should wear eye protection from UV rays when running this frequently. I picked up the Tifosi Radius sunglasses at Big Dog also, and they are awesome. So lightweight, and fit to my face so comfortably. They also came with a case and 2 other sets of lenses that I can pop in and out, though I don’t use the others. Not only are they great for the UV protection, but I also really like to wear them because I run on the road, and there’s quite a bit of dust and debris that gets kicked up by cars going by, and these keep that crap out of my eyes.

Other Stuff:

  • Vitaminwater Essential Orange-C. This is not intended to be a electrolyte replacement drink, I just like to drink it after I run to replenish fluids when I want something besides water.
  • Be Kind Bars. I like to eat one of these a little while after I run. I really like the Maple Glazed Pecan Sea Salt bar. My second choice is the Cranberry Almond.
    Extreme Sport Beans. So I have only used these a couple of times as I’ve hit the 8-10 mile run mark. They are jelly beans that have caffeine, carbs, and electrolytes to provide quick energy. I like the Cherry flavor.
  • Starbucks Iced Caramel Macchiato. I don’t always have one of these, but if I can, I like to about an hour or so before I run. I have a finicky stomach, but this seems to work well for me. I get the Tall and it’s about 170 calories.
  • Body Glide. This is a must, especially for long runs or when running in rainy or humid conditions. This stuff is wonderful because it provides a barrier between your skin and moisture from sweat and water logged clothes.

So there’s my list. I hope it helps, and if you have some must-have’s or go-to’s, let me know. Now get moving! :)

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