Friday, August 10, 2012
Gear, Gadgets and Accessories, OH MY!
Yes! These are my actual stats from the past 8 weeks. Word of caution, if you like gadgets and things that make life simplistic and convenient then by all means make a budget line just for running. Seriously if you are going to fully drink the "Kool Aid" (will explain in a future post but you catch the drift) and fully immerse yourself in this running thing then please know that it can cost. Between race registrations, buying new gear and replacing gear, GPS watches, arm bands, fuel belts, shoes, orthopedics, heart rate monitors etc it can all add up.
Granted now a days with the state of our economy people don't have that extra $$$ to drop on this and a lot of people are of the mind set that running is "free" and essentially it is; BUT I like gadgets, I like gear, I love races therefore I budget and bargain shop for the things I want.
So any way let's start with applications; Nike + (we have a love hate relationship), RunKeeper, and Garmin are three GPS tacking apps that I am familiar with. Provided they are working properly *gives side eye to Nike and Runkeeper*, they will track your distance, pace, and how man calories you burn. They allow for you to listen to your own music that is already down loaded on your phone. You can also post your runs on Facebook and Twitter, along with a map of your run route. Nike has changed it's website to where you can map your run prior to going out on the trail, however they track it by the most trails or areas that are tracked in your area by other Nike+ users. Personally I like to use Mapmyrun.com the tool takes some time to get the hang of using but it is effective and very accurate none the less.
I have not broken down and purchased a GPS watch as of yet because I have not felt the need to drop that amount of money on it as Nike + is doing me good thus far. These apps are available on iPhone and Android phone and tablets.
There are all kinds of belts you can purchase it just depends on what your need is. I just needed a regular old running belt to hold my ID, car key, mace (very important ladies) and my asthma inhaler. I lucked up and purchased one from Walmart it also has the toggles for holding your bib during races. The belt allows for me to run hands free without feeling as though I'm carrying my whole life in my hands and I love it.
For my long distance runners or runners who feel as though they need hydration during their run, fuel belts are great. I have seen all kinds of fuel belts and people tend to rave about this particular one above. As I begin to push my distance I'm considering one and I'm beginning to search for one as I need it to hold my things, including gels (we'll get to this later). Normally these will range from $20-$40 depending on where you get them from. To get the best bang for your buck I would try the following places: walmart.com, seirratradingpost.com, amazon.com and Marshall's.
Once again, I'm not one for carrying stuff with me when I run. When I first started out I was holding my phone in my hand or throwing it is the pocket of my jacket while running and can I say it was a pain. I finally broke down and purchased an arm band to hold my phone while I ran. As with fuel belts arm bands can range in pricing I got mine from amazon.com for $5.99 and so far it has sustained me, however it has been scraping up against the back of my arm while I run leaving painful abrasions, so I'm clearly on the hunt for a new and more comfortable arm band. I will keep the one I currently have as a back up. You can find arm bands at: target.com, walmart.com (or your local Walmat store), seierratradingpost.com and amazon.com.
Ladies, ladies, ladies ladiiiiessss...if you are like me then you want to look cute while out there getting your fitness on. Gents I'm not to sure if you all want to look good while out there or not but from what I have seen while in the gym and out on the run trail you all are looking pretty damn good...distracting even. LOL! Any way, I have been introduced to running skirts or skorts which I think I may need some getting used to them. My legs are for the most part big because I carry all my weight in the bottom (yessss hip, thigh and butt all around) so I am slowly trying to work my way to a comfort level where I can wear running shorts with out feeling self conscious about it.
Moisture wicking is your friend people, remember I said in a previous post that "cotton is rotten" (there are some cotton shirts that are moisture wicking) from my experience cotton holds in the sweat, the article of clothing gets heavy and just sits against your skin and for me that is quite uncomfortable. Now with cotton socks your foot begins to slip as you perspire and this can cause blisters on your feet. Moisture wicking socks keep your feet from getting hot and allows the sweat to evaporate through the mesh in your shoes. Additionally, wicking the moisture away from your body can help you stay cool through out your work out.
You can get moisture wicking shirts, tops, shorts, skirts, socks, pants and skorts from the following places: walmart, Marshall's (I got a pack of six for $5.99), TJ Maxx, Target, sierratradingpost.com and Kmart. If you want to spend that extra $$$ for your items then you can hit the sports stores like Dick's, Modell's and Sports Authority.
A good bra will make you feeeeeel goood. Yes it will as there is nothing worse than working out and having back and shoulder pains after wards because your girls were flopping out of control all over the place. In my opinion it doesn't matter how big or small your chest ladies are you still need a good sports bra. I have a thing for Champion and Jog Bra however I have heard that Moving Comfort has some great bras and the price is moderate to high. I have seen some nice, sturdy looking bras in Walmart so if your pockets are say. "No" to the Moving Comfort or Jog Bras then try Walmart and Target. Target sells a lot of Champion brand items so you are bound to find a good bra there.
Though I'm natural I still don't like for my hair to get wet, especially when I have it twisted up to do a twist out later on. It gets bushy in the midst of all the humidity and I can't deal with it. So I have invested in scarves and bandannas to wrap around my head in order to soak up the sweat. The scarves that I use are $1 from Walmart or any beauty supply store and they seem to work really well at keeping the sweat from rolling into my eyes and wetting up my hair. There is also moisture wicking head bandannas as well. I have not tired them to fully tell you if there is a difference between them and the cotton scarf but I'm ordering two the end of this week so stay tuned for an update.
Though this may not be a complete list (there will be a list #2 soon) but this should be enough to get you started with arming yourself with everything you need to go deep into this thing called running and fitness. If you all have any additional questions just feel free to ask. Until next time you all be blessed.