Running Gear I Love

I wanted to say “Running Things I can’t Live Without”. .but that’s a little dramatic and I seem to make do when I make it out of the house without fill-in-the-blank thing. Except a sports bra. That’s a deal breaker.

Disclaimer: I bought all these with my own money and am not getting any compensation from any company for this information. This is my own honest and unbiased review.

The piece of running “gear” that I feel has made the biggest impact on my training is my Garmin GPS running watch. I have the Forerunner 220 with the hard HR strap. It is an excellent middle of the road watch. It will do all the normal GPS watch functions along with the ability to create workouts in GarminConnect and download them, as well as the HR monitoring which is crucial for HR training. One of the other things I like about my 220 is the ability to set a LOT of different screen options. Some screens can have up to 3 metrics showing at a time, it’s great for data junkies (and to keep yourself distracted!).

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Garmin Forerunner 220 and Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt!

Next up is my FlipBelt. It is SO much better than a arm-band. SO MUCH BETTER!! It doesn’t bounce or jiggle and stays put. I keep my phone, a couple GUs and a chapstick (and sometimes my keys) and have never had a problem with it. Definitely a must if you carry your phone with you on each run!

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FlipBelt is in the middle of the #FlatRunner!

Thirdly is my RoadID. Working as a RN for many years in both Level I Trauma Center ER and ICU, I know how important it is for first responders to be able to have accurate and easily accessible information on a patient who is unconscious. RoadID has many different kinds of hardware (bracelets, shoe fobs, etc) and they have 2 different kinds of actual IDs. The first has an online database with an 800 number to call for all information, and the 2nd is whatever you put on the band itsself (stand alone). I love the online database as it’s easy to update, thorough and easy to access. On my band, I have my name, husband’s name and phone number as well as my birthday then the 800 number/website for first responders to access my info. Each band is given a unique serial # and PIN (located on the back of the band) which the first responders have to put in to the website or give over the phone, so your personal medical info is secure and not just available to anyone.

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Left to right: Fitbit Charge HR, Garmin 220, RoadID, Silicon wedding band. Can you guess what my favorite color is?

Lastly, a hat or a visor, sunglasses and compression socks! My go-to compression socks are from ProCompression(you can see the pink with stars in the above #FlatRunner picture). Fun, bright colors and just the right amount of squeeze. Great for racing, training and recovery.

Hats/visors. . whatever your preference. I never thought I’d like wearing one to run, but they work very well at keeping the sweat out of my face. I also never knew how great it was to have RX sunglasses until about a year ago. Worth every penny of the investment. Keeps my eyes from watering and feeling so tired, even on days when it’s not super bright out!

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Nuun trucker hat (one of my favorites!) and my Oakley RX sunglasses. Also note the short ProCompression socks!

These are a few of my favorite running gear items. What are your “cannot run without” items?

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Week 2 Training Recap!

Week 2 is complete! I ran 16.95 miles (can I please round up to 17?!) and ran 6 days this week. I’m very glad today is a rest day!!

I finally figured out the heart rate monitor thing. PSA to all girls with larger breasts (and the bras to go with them): The HRM goes physically UNDER your bra. Not below it. I had been wearing it actually below the band on my bra. . apparently the correct placement is directly under the girls. I’ve had much better luck now after I moved it up, and then adding some electrode conductivity gel. SO much better readings! Here are all the things I had tried PRIOR to moving it up under the bra:

  • Electrode gel
  • New battery (it’s less than a year old and Garmin says it should last 2 years)
  • Updating the firmwear on my Garmin 220
  • Wetting down my shirt (in case it was static caused by my “performance fabric” aka non-cotton workout wear)
  • Swapping to a Polar HR strap I had laying around.
  • Washing the strap (even though I’d washed it less than a week ago)
  • Super soaking my HR strap before I used it

**most of these tips I found from DC Rainmaker. . one of the “web gurus” on all things training gear related. Here is the link to his original post on this: Troubleshooting your Heart Rate Monitor

Here is what “bad” looks like:

Bad HR data at Garmin Connect
Bad HR Data on Garmin Connect

And here is what “good” looks like:

Good HR Data on Garmin Connect
Good HR Data on Garmin Connect

 

I’m training with Nick from Tranbarger Training Systems. He also trains triathletes, not just runners. His plan is a bit different than I had been doing when I was training on my own. I’m trying to get used to the “new normal” of this type of training. I’m sure as the workouts get more challenging I will look back at these 2 build weeks and laugh. . and wish for them to repeat! So far so good though.

Other stuff going on this week: I went to the doctor Friday. I’ve been having some left upper quadrant abdominal pain after eating for about the last 3 weeks. It was getting to the point I couldn’t let it go any more. My Dr did labs, xrays and scheduled an ultrasound for next week. I’m hoping it’s something simple, and not something  more complicated like gallbladder or ulcer. I will NOT be happy if I have to abandon my training because I have to have my gallbladder out! Or if my mesh from a previous abdominal surgery has moved and it has to be removed. Seriously, not happy. Please send no surgery vibes!!

We went as a family to a wedding on Saturday, after the kids had early morning football. It was a good day, but the kids were pretty tired by 9pm, so I took them and went home a bit early. Did I mention I’m so glad today is a rest day? I will be meal planning, grocery shopping and doing laundry. Ahh, all the glam work of a Mom :)!

Two Weeks in Review.

So..I missed the ball on this one last week. Oops.

I will give you the last couple of weeks reviews, and my summary for February!

The week of the 17th was awesome. Three runs, and strength class. Whew!

The week of Feb 24th  I was sick. Fever, sore throat, body aches. Started on Sunday the 23rd, and I did not really feel myself until Friday of this week. I took from the 22nd until the 25th off. I probably over did it a bit.

Once again, Lora over at Crazy Running Girl had a post about “Should We Run When We’re Sick?” right on time with when I was feeling like crap. Here is the link if you’d like to know her take on it as well. I think she is right on with her “don’t run if you have a fever, body aches, feel really bad” statement. And the “Head Rule” she mentions is good as well.

I will be honest. I’m not one to lay down and do nothing, especially since there is always SOMETHING that needs done–laundry, dishes, picking up toys, vacuuming, etc, but Sunday I laid down on the couch. My husband came over and asked me “Are you OK??” See above. I never lay down! Anyway, I had a fever from Sat-Monday. It was no good. I’m glad I took those days off to rest and let my body heal.

So…Final tally of miles for February!?

31.1 miles. (0.7 of those were on the elliptical, but the rest were runs). I’ve not done over 30 miles in a month since November (and really, I don’t think that should count as 13 of those were my half marathon) so really, more like October. Felt great. My IT band has been fussing a little bit, but nothing a foam roller can’t fix!