(my) Runner’s Guide

Congratulations are in order to all those who ran in the 2011 Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon. It was a remarkable day in miserable conditions. It was cold, rainy, windy, hail-y… I was not a happy camper and I was only there for an hour cheering. I can’t imagine running 26.2 miles in that… or even 13.1, or the 5k, or the 1.2 miles for the Kid’s Marathon. Good job to all those that ran!

My training is about to officially kick off at the end of the month and it got me thinking about the things I need in order to train properly. I don’t necessarily need these things, but I have them and I use them and some of them have actually helped me improve so I wanted to write about them and tell everyone (you six people) my opinions on them.

Shoes: Nike Zoom Structure Triax, Brooks Racer ST5, Vibram KSO

Nike Zoom Structure Triax – The Nikes are the only shoes I’ve ever “ran” in. I bought a pair when I first started running and that’s what I’ve stuck with because 1. I finished a marathon in them and 2. I didn’t get hurt when training for it in these shoes. I’m on my third pair of Nike Zoom Structure Triax and that’s really why.

Brooks Racer ST5 – The Brooks Racer ST5 is a shoe I initially bought because I loved the way they looked. They feel amazing and are incredibly light. I run in these shoes on my easier days just to get a different feel. They are really awesome though.

Vibram KSO – I bought these because I wanted to try them out. They are different for sure, but I like them. They make you really run on the balls of your feet and in turn reeaaaallly make your calves sore. I would like to run trails with them honestly, but have yet to.

Accessories: Garmin Forerunner 405, Spibelt, Road ID

Garmin Forerunner 405 – I just bought the Garmin Forerunner 405 in December after finishing my second marathon. I only bought it because I finally admitted to myself that I liked running and I really enjoyed keeping track of my miles. I use RunKeeper to log all my miles and using this watch is amazing. It’s a GPS watch and can tell you all sorts of information during and after a run. I have it set to where it shows me my mileage, time, and heart rate (I wear a monitor occasionally). I also have it to where I set my goal pace and it shows me how far I am ahead/behind of that pace. It really is amazing and my speed has really improved. It also has helped me get to know my body a little better. I can feel speeds now and how my body feels. <--- That doesn't make any sense, I know.

Spibelt – I bought a Spibelt after reading an article online and seeing them at the expo in OKC. It has been a (potential) lifesaver. When driving to go on a run, I put my key in one of the pockets along with my Clif Shot. I also carry pepper spray because in March of 2010, I was bitten by a pit bull while out on a run and am now terrified of dogs while running. It won’t stop the dog, I’m sure but it could distract them… my thinking at least. I also put my phone in one of the pockets. This has saved me numerous times as well. I had it when that dog bit me so I could call my parents to come pick me up (as I stood on top of a brick mailbox). I have called my mom when I was caught out in a thunder storm that snuck up on me when I was 8 miles out. I had to call my aunt one time when I rolled my ankle pretty good 4 miles out and couldn’t make it back. Thanks the Spibelt, I was able to make it home alive in all those situations….

Road ID – I haven’t had to use this just yet, thank goodness but I wear it all the time just in case. It is a bracelet with my full name, hometown, emergency contacts and medical information engraved on the metal part of the bracelet. I like it a lot and highly recommend it to everyone

Nutrition: Clif Shot

Clif Shot – I admittedly have only tried 3 flavors. I’ve had the Razzberry Clif Shot, Chocolate Clif Shot and Lemon Lime Clif Shot. The Razzberry one was turrible but the other two were fantastic and that’s why I have only stuck with those 2 because I don’t want to risk being out on a run and trying a new flavor only to not like it. The chocolate one tastes exactly like chocolate and the lemon lime one tastes exactly like lemon lime Gatorade, which is fantastic. These give you a boost in the middle of a long training run.

Technology: RunKeeper

RunKeeper – If you are wanting to get into running at all, even just a little and you happen to have an iPhone or any kind of phone that has GPS capability… get this app. It is the BEST! I tell everyone about it. You can upload your run to RunKeeper and it will track your total miles, show your elevation change, heartrate if you track it and it will even show you your run on a map. I’m a huuuuuge fan. If you do join RunKeeper, be sure to join my street team. I used to use RunKeeper on my phone, but since I got the Forerunner 405, i just upload the runs from my watch to the website. The website is very easy to use also, so that helps.

I used to run while listening to music/talk radio but have since abandoned the headphones and now I really enjoy getting out there and listening to my breathing and my feet hitting the pavement. It’s just a simple way to not think about anything really. No stress, no worries (except being murdered by a car/dog). It’s just you and the road. Awesome. When I did have my headphones in, I only had my left one in (so I could hear those dogs chasing me). I only listened to talk radio while running outside for some reason. I never could get into music with beats because it would mess with my head. Talk radio just made me zone out and listen to talking. I liked it when I did do it.

Fin.

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