Friday, May 8, 2020

Favorite Things

I've been listening to a new podcast recently, Run Hard Mom Hard, hosted by Nikki Parnell and Stef Wenninger. It's nice listen on my long runs.  I appreciate getting to hear ultrarunning moms chatting with one another, since my runs nowadays are either with the baby or by myself.  Listening to this podcast while on my runs almost takes the place of getting to run with friends who are moms -- almost.

Nikki and Stef begin each episode of the podcast by naming their current favorite things.  I like hearing what running gear the hosts are finding helpful, and it made me think about what my favorite running things are in this season of my life.  Here's what I have come up with (in no particular order). I've provided links for each.

1. The toys I keep clipped into the jogging stroller
Right now I have two toys clipped into the stroller, to help keep Teddy, my 6-month-old, happy during runs.  Well, maybe not happy, but at least mildly entertained. They are a soft, crinkly version of The Very Hungry Caterpillar and a llama teether.

2. Aquaphor
Nothing fancy, but Aquaphor has been saving me when I wear sports bras that aren't necessarily the best fit for me.  A little on my chest where the band rubs is enough to prevent nasty chafing.

3. Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra
As a nursing mom, I currently have a bigger chest than I've ever had before.  For several months, I continued to run in my old compression sports bras, and I just lived with the inevitable chafing I got from every run.  When I finally acknowledged that I deserve to be comfortable when I run, I didn't have a clue what my actual bra size was anymore, so I tried several different bras from Lululemon and Brooks.  I had to return a couple before I finally found a winner.  It was the Brooks Dare Racerback Run Bra, in an embarrassingly large cup size.  It doesn't chafe, even on a 22-mile run without lube.

4. Lacrosse ball
My feet have felt pretty tight lately, so I've been using a lacrosse ball to help release tension.  It feels really good to stand on it, hit different tight spots, and raise and lower my toes while on the ball to loosen things up.  A lacrosse ball is nice and hard, and it seems like a good size to provide pressure.

5. Old Smartwool shorts
These shorts must be five years old, but I only wore them a handful of times over the years -- until these last couple months.  For whatever reason, I tried them out again on a long run, and ever since then, they have been my go-to shorts for all my long runs.  I haven't had any chafing from them, and I like how they are nice and light, with a zippered pocket in the back.  Unfortunately, they no longer carry the exact short, but these ones look similar.

6. Headphones - Trekz Air
I have Trekz Air headphones, by Aftershokz (disclaimer - they are a Team TROT sponsor). I listen to podcasts on almost all my runs, and these ones are great because they are bone-conducting, meaning they do not sit in the ears.  This leaves me free to hear traffic noises, bicyclists, etc.

7. Salted watermelon Gu
My husband Joe says his favorite Gu flavor is strawberry banana.  I can't imagine how that could be anyone's favorite! But to each their own.  Mine is salted watermelon lately.  I had an epiphany a couple weeks ago -- when I fuel properly, my long runs go a lot more smoothly.  Gee, what a concept!

8. RunCool Ice Convertible Gaiter by Nathan
I tried using a regular buff as a face mask one day a few weeks ago, since the greenway trails are so crowded now, and it was way too hot and scratchy.  Then I tried using the RunCool gaiter by Nathan (disclaimer - they are a Team TROT sponsor), and it actually felt cool and breathable. Now I bring it on every run. (Pro tip: I wash it in the shower after each run so it's clean for the next day.)

9. Skechers GOrun Razor 3 Hyper
Just like with my running bra situation, I put off getting new running shoes for a long time, despite getting notification after notification from Strava that it was "time for new shoes." Part of the reason for this is that I was buying so many things for Teddy (mostly in vain attempts to find that "one thing" that would keep him happy and prevent him from being so darn irritable 24/7) that I felt guilty about also buying anything for myself.  Anyway, due in part to the foot soreness I was experiencing (see #4), I broke down and bought a new pair of shoes.  This is the pair I chose. Bonus is that the red ones are discounted! They've been great on the roads, although I must admit I have slid back down a couple hills in them when I've ventured onto mountain bike trails. They have little traction, so best to stick to roads in these.

10. Nike sheer running shirt
In San Antonio, the highs have been in the 80s or 90s since March. My Nike sheer running shirts are super old, but they look like this one available on Amazon. They are super light, and I love that they have a little bit of shoulder coverage (as opposed to a tank top), since I get sunburned on my shoulders super easily.

That's it!  I'd love to hear what other gear people are finding useful lately.  Leave a comment and let me know!

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