My training for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with Team in Training officially starts this week. I got a jump start by beginning a training schedule last week, since I feel that I am woefully unprepared for this whole experience. I found that I already have a lot of the things I need to start training, but I also need to go shopping to fill in some of the gaps. I thought I would post some of my gear to illustrate how much planning goes into these January outdoor runs. Also, bonus – if you make it all the way to the end of the post, there is a coupon code for discount registration for a fun upcoming Richmond run.
One thing that helps me hit the road is this Sprigs wrist wallet that I picked up at REI about two years ago. It has a zipper pocket for my house key and ID, and I can even fit my cell phone in the non-zippered pocket. Since I have exercise induced asthma (super sexy), I can put my albuterol inhaler in the pocket too (hot!) if I feel like I will need it.
I have been a fair weather runner in the past, so heading out for a run in 30-40 degree weather is a whole new experience for me. I have some C9 “cold weather running tights” from Target that I used for the Richmond Marathon/8K last year and they are absolutely necessary on cold mornings. I recently picked up another pair from HIND due to the frequency of my workouts these days. I also wear a moisture wicking top and jacket. I have found that in cold weather, it is best to avoid cotton which can get wet with sweat and therefore make you even colder. I love wearing cotton in the spring and summer, but after taking a high altitude hiking class at REI this fall and spending our honeymoon in the snow in Breckenridge, Colorado, I finally understand the importance of synthetic materials at colder temperatures.
I have also been wearing a sweet hat from Target (C9 again) that has a hole for my pony tail or bun. I made the (rookie) mistake of running once last week without a hat or headband, and my giant satellite dish ears were SO COLD. They tend to stick out and make my whole head freeze, so I have learned I need to cover them up!
I sometimes wear my SPIbelt, which expands from a small folded piece of spandex to a pretty large pouch that can hold a lot of items if you need it to. It works best with flat items like my phone and cards. When I put odd shaped items like my inhaler or a bunch of keys in there, it tends to flop around while I’m running. It is not very flattering, as no matter where I try to place it on my waist, it rides up or down to position itself directly below my tummy roll. It’s a little weird to feel like I’ve tucked all of my personal belongings under my belly fat for safekeeping, but it works.
I mentioned to my friend Adrienne that I think the SPIbelt is designed for runners with flat stomachs, since I have issues with it positioning itself under the “pooch” and because it sometimes flops around while I’m running. She assured me that she has noticed that this happens to every runner she’s seen wearing it, which made me feel a little better.
Adrienne and I went for a trail run last weekend, which was perfect for me since I only have trail running shoes right now. This weekend I plan to get fitted for and purchase my first pair of real running shoes for the road ($$$). Any tips?
I am pretty inspired and intimidated by Adrienne’s running ability. She completed her first marathon last year. Given her experience, I immediately felt like a running date with her would be a disaster, right after setting once up. I am “interval training” right now, which is a fancy way of saying I can’t run for very long without having to stop and walk. It actually turned out to be really fun and I am glad that I pushed myself by running with a much more experienced and faster runner than me. I am also very thankful that it rained the night before, so every time I needed to slow down I could conveniently use the excuse, “ooh, look at those wet leaves/mud/rocks, we should probably walk here.”
Overall it was a really great run that left me feeling strong and optimistic. I am looking forward to finding more local runners who are willing to work out at my pace! Before I know it, I’ll spend my Saturday mornings running 10+ miles (like it or not).
Speaking of stepping out of my comfort zone, remember when I did my first mud run at Dominion Riverrock last year? I am thrilled to be working with another mud run this year (after my half marathon) that not only includes fun trails and mud pits, but incorporates sweet obstacles with names like “pretty ballsy,” “better than a dirty martini,” and “mud bath and beyond.”
Pretty Muddy is a women’s mud run that is coming to Richmond on September 28th. I will definitely participate in this fun, muddy run through Pocahontas State Park, and I want to invite you to join too! From now until the end of January, Pretty Muddy is offering a discounted registration fee to readers. If you register by January 31st, use coupon code GIRLTIME at checkout to receive a $20 discount. You can get all the details and register for the run here: Pretty Muddy Richmond