Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Let's talk about...gear.

So let's talk about running gear for a minute. (Or longer. That's cool too.)

Okay - so, I know that getting fitted for good running shoes is a must. And a good sports bra for women is another must. (Especially bustier women. I actually just replaced mine, hopefully it arrives this week!)

I'm looking at you, Fiona.

But beyond that there are a whole lot of preferences and fashion statements and Always do this'es and Never do that's. I started running in August 2012 with the Couch to 5K - I used yoga pants, cheapo gym shoes, a generic uni-boob compression sports bra, and cotton camis. I quickly ditched the cheapo shoes when I got shin splints, and snagged two tech tops for $5 on clearance, but until it got cold that's pretty much what I wore. When I got fitted for real shoes, I got some generic wicking athletic socks too. Once it got cold I added a running jacket I picked up from TJ Maxx with a windbreaker layer and an Under Armour compression top for cold weather, and a baselayer pair of tights made of a merino blend. (Well, I did also buy a maternity running skirt so I could have something to wear while pregnant and running, but I'm not going to count this in this total since it definitely doesn't help me now!) All said, other than shoes I've spent less than $70.

 Said running jacket! It's bright orange in the body, and has thumbholes. Thumbholes! That makes me a real runner, right?

With much of a pregnancy spent running and a year and a half of running behind me minus a hiatus to recover from the c-section, I think it's about time I invest in better gear. Most of my running stuff is from races. I have:

  • Polar Fleece pullover - from the Polar Dash 2013
  • Fleece headband for my ears (I can't stand hats!) - from the Track Attack 2012
  • Sweatshirt - from the Turkey Trot 2013
  • And a bunch of tech tops from the races I've done.

As much as I hate spending money on myself - and I'm due for another pair of shoes, my waverider 15s are definitely ready to be replaced (they're going to be my trail shoes, for getting filthy, haha!) - I think it's time to get some gear that will make my life a bit easier, if for no other reason than at this point I've lost more than 40lbs since my running journey began and well...my pants are falling down. (TMI? Maybe...)

 We'll just call them well-loved..and yes, the tread on the outer edge of the front of my foot wears first. The running store told me I supinate.

So here's what's on my mind, and I'd love opinions. First, socks. I do have a pair of swiftwick compression socks that I won in a contest from Jill over at Fitness, Health and Happiness in Dec of 2012 (I wore them to my first HM and broke the #1 running rule - don't wear anything new on race day! - though I suffered to negative effects, fortunately). But I see all these cute outfits at races with knee-high socks - calf compression socks? Or just decorative? I don't know, but I do think the high socks would stop the rubbing raw the back of my poor ankles occasionally get! What do you like to wear when you run?

And second, running skirts versus running in just tights versus those skirt/capri combos versus capris versus whatever. What are you most comfortable running in and why? Got a brand recommendation for me?

Then of course, there's shirts. But you know...I actually kind of like using my race shirts. But feel free to share if there's something you love!

Any other running gear you love that I should look at?


  1. These are great essentials! What are your thoughts on compression socks? I was debating getting a pair and wanted advice from another runner!

    1. I actually really enjoyed my pair of compression socks, I always got blisters on long runs and yet got no blisters at that first HM! But they washed up kind of weird, they ended up feeling..tacky almost, like the loop part of velcro? It was odd.

      I do think I'd enjoy calf compression ones but googling is a little overwhelming, hah!

  2. I'm really late to this party (do you get notifications?) but I thought I'd share what I like :)

    I LOVE capri shorts with knee socks! I will *not* buy another pair of long pants/tights that I can only wear in winter! It feels like such a waste. Instead, I get capri's and wear knee socks! Instant warm pants and I can utilize them both, together or separate, all year round! I can then wear both together, knee socks with skorts, or only the capri's.

    For summer, I love my skorts and knee socks. When it's too warm, heel socks.

    My favorite shirts are those ones that pooch and have a string close to the bottom. I found them comfortable, cool, and slimming. I picked some up cheap at old navy last year.

    I made the mistake of wearing something new on race day. I knew better too, but I did it anyway :(. Not only did I know the golden rule, but I also knew better than to wear the socks I did... they were... cotton :O. I had blisters 5 deep. I didn't think that was possible.

    1. I do get notifications! But. Not an email address I check! Aren't I smart? *beams*

      I have no idea what kind of shirts you mean! Pics or they aren't real. :D

      All of that sounds interesting. But I am stuck on blisters 5 deep. OUCH!