I get a lot of questions about running.
I'm no expert here.
I just decided I wanted to start running one day because I'd heard it was a great calorie burner and my fat ass needed to do SOMETHING.
I didn't grow up running, other than for the sports I played- volleyball and softball, which are NOT running sports.
Other than that, I didn't run.
Didn't want to.
Had no desire.
After I tore my ACL in my left knee in 2001 during a volleyball game I pretty much ruled out running. Like EVER.
Then in 2005 when I got my breast implants I used THAT as an excuse, too.
Ummm... that's what a good sports bra is for. (I wear Moving Comfort Juno and it's worth EVERY.SINGLE.PENNY)
So yeah, I never wanted to run or ever even THOUGHT I'd be a runner.
Then, when I decided I was sick of being fat, I picked up running.
I just researched running programs. I'd heard people talk about C25K before so I started that up.
I had a pair of old Asics that I wore for a long time.
I ran in an old pair of shorts that rode up my rubbing thighs and a cotton short sleeved t-shirt.
At that point I didn't own a good sports bra, so I ran in 2 bras usually.
But over the course of my short running career, I've picked up some great advice and products that I love and that make running a much better experience, for me at least.
Here are some of those things.
You certainly don't NEED these to start running, but they do help if you plan on running for any length of time.
1. GOOD SHOES
Go to a running store and get fitted for professional running shoes. I wear Brooks Ghost 4's and love them. The people at the running store (RunOn! and Luke's Locker are the ones in Dallas) will analyze the way you walk and fit a shoe specifically for YOU!
It makes all the difference in the world.
2. A GOOD SPORTS BRA
If you're large chested (like me) fork over the money for a good sports bra.
You can check out Moving Comfort or Sierra Trading Post and 6PM for deals on the Moving Comfort Juno (the sports bra I wear & swear by)- they have sales sometimes.
And don't forget to always check Retail Me Not before purchasing anything online for a possible coupon code.
I can't run without my music. I have a tiny iPod shuffle that clips on my sports bra.
I also run with my phone in an armband (which I hate by the way- that shit rubs my spray tan off! hah!) if I plan on running for awhile, just for safety purposes.
You can check out my playlists HERE and HERE. They are a little older, but I still jam to most of those songs.
I'll make a new playlist soon.
4. WORKOUT GEAR
I like Ruffles With Love tanks. I have eleventyhundred of them. I like them because they are sleeveless and I sweat like a whore in church when running. And they're cute and have witty sayings. HOLLA! They're also not tight in the stomach, a bonus when you're running and everything jiggles.
AIN'T NOBODY GOT TIME FO DAT!
I love Moving Comfort Momentum shorts, too. They have a thick waist band that I like and sit perfectly on my hips.
If it's cold (let's face it, I don't run in anything below 50 degrees- I'm a Texas girl at heart and would MUCH rather run in 100+ degree heat, and I often DO!) then I will wear my Brooks compression pants.
Those suckers were EXPENSIVE, but if you run in the cold- WORTH IT.
I have a Garmin Forerunner 110.
Yes, it's expensive, too. But it tracks time, distance, pace, heart rate, and calories burned.
It was my favorite splurge and I don't ever NOT use it when running.
I run around my neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods so it's a great tool for me.
I got it off Amazon for about $230.
6. BIC BANDS
These are the headbands I use ALWAYS. They keep my hair out of my face and they come in all different colors and styles.
Oh, and they DON'T MOVE.
Not even when my hair is a schweaty beast.
Okay, I don't actually use this technique, but I've gotten a lot of questions about breathing while running.
I've heard if you chew gum when running that it helps your breathing.
I don't know, I just try to focus on breathing normally.
I take 2 breaths in and 2 breaths out when running. Kinda like "hee hee who who", you know, how they say you're supposed to breathe through contractions when in labor??
Yeah, like that. With the "hee hee" being breaths IN and the "who who" being breaths OUT.
Although if you've ever BEEN in labor you know the last thing you are focusing on is your breathing and more so about getting that damn child OUT without wanting to slap your husband so hard for putting you in that situation and just STANDING THERE LIKE HE IS DOING!
No? That's just me?
I don't really do any rigorous stretching before running.
Maybe if my legs are a little tight I'll fling that long bitch up on the mailbox and stretch it for a hot minute.
Otherwise, I start out slow. Like painfully slow. Almost a walk.
I do recommend starting out slow (probably walking) for a warm-up. Like for 5 minutes.
I typically run my first half mile preeeeetttttyyyy slow and then speed it up.
And you DEFINITELY need to stretch AFTER a run.
I sit on the floor (read: fall to the ground because I'm so tired) and stretch out there.
Don't ask me what stretches I do. I just make that shit hurt a little. I don't know. You know how to stretch.
Okay, this is the HARDEST part of actually running.
KNOWING you can do it. THINKING you can make it further than you can.
Look, running is a mind game. I've said this a million times over.
If you THINK you can't make it any further, you'll stop.
But if you push out those negative thoughts that creep in your mind when you feel like stopping you'll really surprise yourself!
Last Sunday I went out for a run. I had no idea how far I wanted to go.
I knew I wanted it to be more than 5 miles. But when I got to mile 4 I was nearing the street back to my house and thought "well, I'm already close to home I might as well stop, I'm kinda tired"... but I IMMEDIATELY knew that I'd be disappointed if I did that. I KNEW I had more in me. I KNEW I wasn't done yet. I KNEW I wasn't tired.
So I pushed those thoughts out of my head, cranked up my music and FLOATED MY ASS RIGHT PAST MY HOUSE.
I say floated because that's the feeling you get when you have Runners High.
Knowing I wanted to stop, BUT JUST KEPT GOING gave me that Runners High.
And I ended that run at 7 miles.
Running is hard. That's why I like it. I can lose myself for the duration of a run.
I can drop all the labels that I carry on a daily basis.
I'm JUST A RUNNER. And I like that.
It takes a lot of determination to become a runner. It doesn't just happen naturally for most of us.
Most of us have to MAKE ourselves love running.
And still, TO THIS DAY, I have a hard time saying I LOVE running.
I love how I feel after a run.
I love that it makes me feel powerful.
But it's taken a lot of work for me to get to even that point.
I really think there's a runner in everyone... you've just got to dig deep bring it out!