Friday, April 8, 2016

2016 Addition of Running things I LOVE!

Wow, I just realized that it has been 2 years since I did a post on things I love!  Time to remedy that situation!!!

1.  My Garmin 220.  Yep, still one of my most favorite running devices.  Gives me all the information I need including pace and distance, but also I can create workouts and send them to my watch.
Starting to build a new work out!
This function is HUGELY helpful because when Coach Jenny sends me some of her crazy and fun speed work sessions, I can just let the watch do the work.  No more having to guess at how many minutes you are at what pace.  The watch times the segments you set and beeps at you to tell you to slow down or speed up.  It really helps to not to have to stare at a watch to know these details!  Someday I might move up in the Garmin ranks to a different Garmin (maybe the 235 that has the heart rate monitor built in:), but my heart is and always will be with my Garmin watches! As I said two years ago, I love the big colorful screen, the ease of moving through the menus, and the color of the bands!  I still don't get a quick lock on satellites as promised, but I am willing to ignore this one fault.  I will also admit that Garmin Connect can be a little hard to use, but they have gone through many iterations and each one is better than the last.  I give them two thumbs up for the improvements in the creating a work out section alone!

2.  Rock My Run app I still use pandora on occasion, but I have totally fallen in LOVE with this app.  You can pick run mixes based on what type of music you like.  Here lately for some reason, I have been all about 80s music mixes.  I love the fact that with a membership (which I have the rockstar membership) that I can either stream or download the mixes.  I use them not only for running, but also when I am doing strength training or just walking across campus.  The mixes really help me get through tough workouts.  You can also tailor the mixes to meet the BPM you need or want.  I usually don't use this function, but I hear it is really fun to play with.  I also love the fact that Another Mother Runner makes mixes and then releases them to this app.  I am not a huge pop fan except when running, so it exposes me to some pop music and artists that I actually usually end up liking.  I think with a free membership, you can stream one mix a month but I guarantee you will fall in love and want to buy a membership.  Do be aware that certain features are not supported in the free app and that there are ads.
3.  My Saucony Kinvaras  The last time I did this type of blog posts, I was never ever changing my mind about Nike Vomero's!  Now I am firmly in the Saucony camp.  I have tried both the Saucony Triumph (holy moly cushioned) and the Kinvara (very light cushioning), and I love them both.  My Triumphs were with me through my Chicago marathon training and kept me healthy.  My kinvaras are helping me get back to optimal health.  I also wear Kinvaras at work as well, since my job allows me to wear comfortable shoes.    I just love the way they feel all day, every day!  Again, shoes are something very personal and should be picked based on what you need for your body and your gait.  Right now this shoe is what works for me, but that can always change!
4.  My Balega socks.  I have tried EVERY running sock out there, but I just can't find one that works for me like Balega.  They are uber comfortable, don't rub or cause blisters, and don't allow themselves to be eaten by my shoes. I prefer socks that come up a little past the back of the shoes (not the no shows) and these socks are the perfect height on me.  They are my go to running sock and come in all kinds of cute colors and patterns.  My feet aren't digging compression right now and luckily they are tight, but not compressive and my feet love them.  I honestly wear them every day all day because they just feel so good.
5.  My Pro Compression socks.  For when my feet are digging compression, these are my go to socks and sleeves.  I did the Chicago marathon in my jailbreaks and just love them.  I wear them not only for recovery, but for long runs, or whatever work out I am up to.  I don't feel like I get too hot in them at all.  I have tried a few other brands but I always go back to my pros!  They have great sales all the time and I LOVE the fun colors!  
6.  Running partners.  I said this before, but I will say it again, running partners are what keep me running some days.  Having accountability AND a great therapy session all rolled into one is key for me.  I am blessed that my Mel is faster than me, just like Robin, so she can really push me on my speed work, but also stay with me on easy days and just chat.  She trained with me for most of my training runs for Chicago, and while she is training for an ultra and our running plans don't match up right now, she still tries to run with me at least one easy run a week.  Heck, she even did 1.5 hours of pool running. Talk about a trooper!!!!  She even bought me a selfie stick so we could have better photos during our runs:).  I met Mel at a local race of all places and we have been friends ever since.  

7.  Technical Trucker Hats.  Those words I never thought I would put together in a sentence, but I LOVE my technical trucker hat from Another Mother Runner that I got for the Chicago marathon last year.  Nuun also has one I am eyeing super hard right now as well.  I am a hat girl when I run, and I just love the breathability and the functionality of this type of hat.  It seems big and bulky, but it fits lightly.  I also love the fact that it helps my head lamp stay in place better on my little head for night runs.  Bonus, it even looks cute to just wear when I am not running, versus some of my other running hats that just don't look right on my head unless I am running.  I only have one TTH at this point, but I am on the look out for another one!

There you go!  Just a few of my favorite things right now 2016 edition.  I am getting ready to go to three different expos in the new two months so I may have a few more things to add.  

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