Since I am running the Calgary (Half) Marathon on Sunday, I thought I would use Friday's Favorites to write about all my favourite things before, during and after the run.
These are my favourite recovery items. I love the foam roller and I actually own 3 of them plus a travel one. I have one on my main floor, one in my bedroom and one in the workout area of my basement. I use the foam roller almost exclusively on my quads and it band. I can legitimately watch a 30 minute tv show and roll my quads out and enjoy every second of it. It's probably why I never ever have sore quads haha. The black roller I get Greg to use on calves usually after a tough long run and almost after every half marathon. It hurts so freaking bad but it's worth it in the end. All 3 balls are used for various things: tight butt muscles, getting deep in the hips, doing a calf smash, rolling out my feet and so many other things. I used to have a lacrosse ball which I found at Source For Sports in Okotoks for $5 but Penelope always steals it. A tennis ball kinda works but I found the green ball hockey at walmart for $2 and it is more comparable to a lacrosse ball and does the job better then the tennis ball. The red band I use for all of my hip and ankle strengthening exercises which I should be everyday but I have been struggling the last month or two. The purple resistance band, I use for stretching my hamstrings, it band and hips. I buy all of my resistance bands on ebay that way you can get all the same strength. I find if you look at Winners you have to get 3 different strengths which is wasteful for me. Plus ebay is way cheaper. Just keep away from your cats if you have them because they love these and it doesn't take much for them to eat through them. I usually buy 4 or 5 at once and store them in a basket in my workout area.
Next on my list is favourites is my running shoes. I bought a pair of Altra Intuitions at the running expo in San Francisco for super cheap and thought they were so ugly. But they were so cheap and I wanted to try them. I am so glad that Greg convinced me to do it because it has literally been the best (and most expensive) investment ever. However, last June I had so many problems with my intuitions that I decided I needed to switch. I got it in my head that they were the source and so I needed to make a switch. I decided to try out the Altra Torin's and wow have they been amazing. I love them so much better the the intuitions by a long shot. Hopefully these hold out on Sunday. I buy mine on Amazon and they are not usually the latest model but they are significantly cheaper which is what I like better then the latest.
Next is my hydration. I never used to everything and I always complained to Shannon (friend + bootcamp instructor) how sore I always was after running and bootcamp and she suggested I add some electrolytes to my hydration and told me about replenish by isagenix. It's been two years this summer and I still really like it. I also added in extra protein since like most women, I don't get nearly enough as i should. I have struggled to find a protein supplement that isn't like a creamy gross texture because I don't like that stuff. My bff back home tried the splash and said it was like juice and it had no sugar in it. I gave it a try and love it. I use the watermelon flavour and it is great and it's for real like juice and not some creamy like drink. The small container on the left is bcaa's which is also used to prevent soreness after a run and/or a workout. They claim they flavour matched it to the watermelon protein but they didn't. The protein drink is wayyyyy better then the bcaa version.
These are energy chews in cherry blossom flavour. I love these even though I am not totally convinced they actually give me energy but what they do is distract me momentarily and work in a pinch if i feel hungry during a run. They taste really good and are a great source of distraction haha. They are like $2.80 a bag and can buy them at Running Room, MEC + Sportchek and probably a billion other stores in a variety of flavours.
This is how I stay hydrated at home. I tell myself the prettier the water bottle, the more water I drink. Sometimes this works, sometimes it doesn't. I have however been really good at drinking enough water each day so that makes me happy.
On every single run, I will be wearing an energy bra and a cool racer back from lululemon. Always. I never ever deter from this. On the bottom, I will be wearing speed shorts, wunder crops and pants. I never ever deter from these 3. It is all from lululemon but you are able to find a lot on the buy n sell sites so that you don't run out between laundry. I only have 2 pairs of wunder under pants which i rotate throughout the winter months. Both I purchased brand new only because I am super picky about the wunder under pants and it is too much risk to buy them second hand. I have 4 pairs of wunder under crops and 2 were purhcased new and other 3 were purchased second hand for a combined total of $35. I am also picky about my crops and the material used but it's less of a risk to buy second hand then it is a full pair of pants.
Depending on the weather, I could be wearing one, two or all three of these during a run. The one on the left is from Under Armour and is my rain jacket. I love it to pieces. It was a great investment and works perfectly on those rainy day runs. The other 2 items are from Lululemon. I did have a great running pullover from lululemon but I had to damage it out because it was pilling and leaking the fluff on the inside all over my layers of clothes and ruining them. It was a sad day when I had to do that and hope that I can find something as awesome but better quality come winter time.
This is a bunch of random favourites in one photo. The water belt I only just invested in and seriously it has been worth every penny as i did my long runs for the calgary marathon during some warm mornings. I can't believe I went so long without one. Below that is the fanny pack sorta thing. I use it to store my iPhone and chews for short runs and races where i don't use the water belt. It is fantastic and I like it way better then my flip belt. I got it for $6 at Winners. To the right of that is 2Tom's Sport Shield which is fantastic for chaffing. It works wayyyy better then body glide and won't ruin your clothes like using vaseline or coconut oil. You can buy it at the Running Room for like $14 or maybe cheaper, I don't remember. Beside that is KT Tape which I use to tape my knee. I had gone months without using it but after I fell off my bike a few times on a icy bike ride, it's kinda not ever been the same so i tape it up during my long runs. I tried buying stuff on ebay because KT Tape is so expensive but I was allergic to whatever they use for the adhesive and so I am back to using KT Tape. If anybody has a good cheaper alternative let me know. It is usually $23 where sold but sometimes Shoppers Drug Mart has it on sale for $19. On the bottom row on the left hand side is my headlight. It was purchased for camping but I usually only use it for my early morning runs when it is still dark outside. Mine is from kid section at REI (american equivalent of MEC) because I wanted a pink one but they are available at most camping stores for about $20. The final item on the bottom right hand side is used during those races where you need to wear a bib and don't want to poke holes in your pretty lululemon. At least that is why I use it haha. I paid $12 at the Running Room for it last year but I have seen them at Winners for about $6.
My last photo of my favourite running things is all about keeping warm or the sun and hair out of our face. On hot days or even sunny days, I wear a hat because it keeps me cooler and I don't wear sunglasses when I run so it keeps the sun out of my eyes too. I have quite the collection of hats these days - 5 or 6 now. 3 are free for finishing the Lululemon SeaWheeze, the one shown is from our trip to California last November and a couple from when I had short hair and needed my hair out of my face when it was too short for a hair tie. The buff on the left I purchased at Running Room because it is breathable and can be used in a multitude of ways. Ironically, Calgary Marathon had a photo contest on Instagram where you #showyoucanada and I won it and got a free buff - which is identical to the one that I already had. It was great because Greg couldn't steal it but now both girls probably will haha. These are available at all camping, outdoor and running stores for about $23. The grey headband below the hat is used for a ear warmer on the not so cold days. It's really wide and in my opinion, too big for a headband so it's really quite perfect for a ear warmer. Below that is my mittens that i use when it is cold out and they are perfect. I am currently missing one though so I hope i find it because I don't want to replace them in the fall. On the far right is the top knot toque and it has an opening for your hair to come out. It is fantastic and I love it so much. And below that is an actual headband that I use a headband very very rarely. Mostly because I think it makes my ears look big.
If you look closely, I seem to be missing 2 things, my running watch and my headphones. I like my running watch but I forgot to include it until I was finishing it up. I have loved everything about my Apple iWatch Series 2 Nike Plus since I got it at the end of October - except for the running app - which was why I got that watch in the first place. Most of the running apps were crap and didn't work properly or consistently or was just plain inaccurate. However I found an app earlier this month which is the highest rated running app for the iWatch and once I figured out how to use it and fix what I saw on the screen, I was really happy with it. Here's hoping it holds out for me haha.
The second thing missing from this list of running favourites is headphones/earbuds. And that's because I haven't found a pair that I have liked. I have tried beats by dre, bose, apple, monster, skull candy, jaybirds, yurbuds and so many more that I cannot remember. I hate something about all of them or they end up being expensive pieces of junk. I have been disappointed so many times that I refuse to spend real money on them anymore. I ordered a pair of the Happy Plug Sport earbuds from Best Buy and they should arrive today and I hope they hold out on me during Sunday's race. I would love a pair of the Apple Air Pods but they are over $200 and are backordered for like ever.
And so there you have it, all of my favourite running things. What are your favourite running things?