SHOES: PEARL IZUMI
Trail – E:Motion N1 – $125 (www.pearlizumi.com)
Road – E:Motion M3 – $125 (www.pearlizumi.com)
Injinji – $12-$15 (www.injinji.com)
I swear by these socks and until someone tries them, they are a little weird-ed out by the toe sock theme. I wear injinjis during all my runs – to help keep a lot of the dirt out between my toes that would otherwise rub and cause blisters. I also like my feet to feel dry and since my toes don’t touch skin to skin, I never have to think about it and get grossed out again! After long trail runs it’s funny to compare my feet to someone who is wearing regular socks – mine come out dirty, but WAY more clean. Admittedly, they do feel weird until you put your shoes on then you don’t think about it again.
There are three thicknesses – Lightweight, Original Weight and Midweight. I only run in Original and Midweight and I wear Lightweight to work or whenever I wear regular shoes that require socks. I prefer running with the No-Show on the road and Mini-Crew on the trail to keep debris out. Not much else to say here except to TRY THEM! Oh yeah, I saw on FB that they were going to be coming out with some crew length styles in 2014 – YES!
UltrAspire – ~$55 (www.ultraspirestore.com)
When I first started trail running, I took my pink 1.5 L Camelback everywhere until I started having a few issues: back chafing on my spine and pilling on the front of my favorite running tops from the straps rubbing. Because I didn’t just have the money to simply replace it, I started using handhelds. One morning LeftLane sports had a special on UltrAspire packs for 50% off and I jumped on it immediately and bought the Spry (1L) pack without the bladder. Like I said, I really started to like carrying handhelds – and, if I really needed a bladder, I could purchase on separately. I used this pack for a while and really, really liked (liked as in past tense because I no longer have it – another story I will have to tell later) for several reasons:
Color – I am not the biggest fan of primary colors and I especially don’t want a pack that is solid red or blue (too plain, boring and unisex looking) – I want something bright and pretty. This lavender-like color coupled with the slate grey was definitely a keeper.
Hydraform Handheld Pocket™ – 20oz. – $19.50 (www.amphipod.com)
I have tried so many other branded water bottles, but this is the one for me. I avoided buying this one for the longest time because of the color. Yes, I said that. After trying it out, I try to only use this one. The design is ergonomic and hit fits comfortably in your hand. It’s easy to pull the top open and it’s easy to close. I remember after breaking my finger that I quickly grabbed a different water bottle before my run and I had problems squeezing the water out because my finger was absolutely useless – it was this run that confirmed why I like it. I don’t want to struggle or have my hand in a position that is uncomfortable for hours on end. It’s just really a no-fuss, easy-to-use type of bottle. Several other styles available.
Geez, I am on a roll with my blogging – let’s see how long I can keep this up? The truth is that I always have things to blog about but I get lazy and then the moment passes.
First of all, I have been experiencing a weird feeling on my left calf. I didn’t think too much of it until yesterday when I noticed it was significantly more painful. I iced last night, slept with compression socks and then iced again this morning but the pain was still there and I was really, really worried. I called my coach who immediately told me to get a deep tissue sports massage so I left work early to get worked on. The massage was sooo painful! Almost immediately I was told that it was a muscle spasm. We spent one full hour just working on my gastrocnemius muscle and it just wouldn’t let up. Of course I am all worried because the timing is so bad! My coach thinks I am dehydrated and depleted of minerals – she is probably right though because even though I am working my ass off with all this training, I am totally neglecting my normal diet. I don’t drink enough water and my bf is always telling me to drink more. Last week I had major headaches and my tongue felt really weird and dry and then I remembered that I hadn’t had much to drink over the past few days. Crazy huh? True. Also, I am putting in around 45 hours a week in at work and always short on time. It is rare that I have anything decent for breakfast and dinner (lately anyway). I eat a good lunch but then I just fall asleep with an empty stomach. Heck, when I eat at home, I do it standing up. Regardless of what is going on with my calf, my habits must change! I am going to try to prepare my meals on Sunday for the week ahead. Let’s just hope this spasm thing goes away ASAP! I took today off and am going to rest tomorrow too. Fingers crossed!!!
OK…enough thinking about that! I finally got my Boston Marathon stuff! So excited! I assume I shouldn’t wear it until Boston – right? I am a little disappointed with the shorts, I ordered a small and they seem a little snug. I think I need to try them on again to make sure I am not crazy. Either way, the colors rock – lime green is one of my faves (behind grass green and then neon pink)!
My blog has been pretty dull lately and that is simply because I am SO busy! I guess that is much better than having a boring life right? Anyway, I can’t believe that we are only 6 weeks away from LA Marathon! Seriously, can you believe it? With that in mind, it is time to prepare for other things…
Every marathon I run has to be meticulously planned – yes, things happen and I will tweak things here and there but overall there is a lot of time spent on just planning the darn thing – far more than the training schedule. This marathon (LA Marathon) kicked off with a 20-week training plan, and most recently I have been experiencing with gels since my stomach is acting all sorts of funky lately. Seriously, it is making weird noises as I type! With only a short amount of time and plenty to do including Surf City Half, Los Angeles Chinatown Firecracker 10k, a move to a new apartment, testing out my new racing shoes and purchasing my new outfit (say what you will but I can’t race in the same thing twice), I really don’t have much time for else. The next point of attack is making a list of things that I cannot be without the morning of the race. As silly as it sounds, there is no need to stress yourself out at the last minute since you already have so much on your mind. Give yourself a little break and prepare ahead of time.
Having said this, I thought I would put my simple list of 5 things I can’t do without on race day but that list quickly turned into 7!
Here are the things you won’t catch me without at LA Marathon:
1. ROAD ID ANKLET ID (www.roadid.com) – Seriously, this is one of the most important things I depend on whenever I am running and you should look into getting one too. Better safe than sorry!
Did I grab everything?
I have always considered myself a simple runner. The only things I ever needed for any run or race were a watch, sports bra, shorts that don’t climb and shoes. I wish I could say that was still the case but it isn’t, in fact I literally have to take time each day and prepare my running bag for the next scheduled workout: outfit, shoes, tape for my PF, Garmin watch/heart rate monitor (not to mention I have to charge this the night before), ipod, sunblock and recovery drink. (Sometimes the preparation actually takes longer than the run itself!) While I would love to reduce the amount of things I need, I don’t want to be without any of them, especially the watch and shoes.
Sometimes I feel like people really do too much for me. Today I was surprised when my good friend gave me some special gifts for the holiday. Besides feeling a little overwhelmed, a part of me thought I must be a running freak or something — let me tell you what I got:
- KT Tape – Kinesiology Therapeutic Tape (almost always referred to as Kinesio Tape)
- Book – Once a Runner
- Book – The Runner’s Literary Companion: Great Stories and Poems About Running
- Movie – Running on the Sun
- Jamba Juice gift card
This person knows me so well — the tape was definitely needed. I have been using some other cheap stuff to tape my arches (plantar) and I didn’t really want pay $12 for a roll! The cheap stuff I use has worked surprisingly well but using this stuff feels like putting on new socks. Do you know what I mean?
The books, well I’m excited to have them and I can’t wait to read them. I have to first finish The Vampire Chronicles and I am only on the second of 7 (The Vampire Lestat).
Leading up to my marathon, I watched a lot of running movies and videos including Spirit of the Marathon and this was on my list. I know someone who plans on running Badwater so Running on the Sun was definitely next on my list.
The gift card — well I am a Jamba Juice and Robek’s Juice junkie. I already used the card and enjoyed my Berry Topper.
Seriously, that was so nice, but I would have been happy with a card (well, a running card). JK