Whew! I just got back from a training run for my race next weekend, and I am some weird combination of exhausted and energized. How does that work? Haha 🙂 I figured I’d share a little bit about my running journey and the things I have that make running easier and more enjoyable for me. This post will contain affiliate links, but they are all things I absolutely adore!
First of all – I honestly do not really like to run. I know that sounds weird coming from someone who just ran 4.5 miles voluntarily, but it’s the truth. I do, however, enjoy having something to train for. For the past couple of years, I’ve been running the Dogfish Dash up at the Dogfish Head brewery in Delaware. I have run a few 5Ks in the past, and the year before I started signing up, the Dash was a 5K or a 10K. I figured I’d do the 5K that year, and then train some more and maybe do the 10K the following year. Nope! They changed it to just one race, 8K, which is just under 5 miles. I’d never run anywhere near that far before, but I decided to go for it. It’s a great challenge (and I pretty much have to re-train from scratch every year), AND it’s an excuse to go visit one of my favorite breweries. (Yes, there is free beer when you finish!) Having something to train for keeps me relatively active, and recently has been something I can do with my husband. All of that together makes it worth doing for me, even though it’s not my favorite physical activity. Here are some things that make my life easier when running:
Good running shoes. I bought a pair of Brooks Ghost 9s recently and I absolutely adore them! To be honest, I did not go through the whole “go to a running store and get fitted” thing, although I know I should have – maybe when these wear out, if I’m more of a “serious” runner (lol), I’ll give it a try. I ended up finding them at DSW, and they are exactly the level of comfort and support I need.
A belt for my phone. My husband still uses my old armband I bought for a much smaller iPhone I owned a few years ago. Now, I have a 7 Plus, and there’s no way it would fit in that tiny thing! I’d been running with an old iPod with Nike+ technology, but somehow neither that nor my Fitbit was accurately recording my distance. I wanted to use a GPS enabled app on my phone (I currently use RunKeeper), but didn’t want the bulk of having that giant thing on my arm. Enter the TuneBelt. I freaking adore this thing. I don’t even notice it while I’m running, it’s big enough for my phone, and it has a separate pocket in case I need to throw keys or ID or anything in there.
Bluetooth headphones. Maybe I’m just a weirdo, but headphone cords annoy me. I feel like I need to constantly tuck them in, make sure I don’t accidentally hit them and jerk them out of my phone or ear, or adjust them so they don’t annoy me when I run. I can’t attest to how they hold up over time, battery life, etc. because I just got them, but I really like these Otium headphones so far. They were super easy to connect to my phone, and are actually comfortable! I don’t remember the last time I did a whole run without adjusting my headphones, but I made it almost 50 minutes today. I would’ve forgotten I was wearing them if they hadn’t been playing music, haha! They come with 3 different sizes of ear tips, but I was fine with the ones that were on them already. I will come back and modify this if I ever have any issues, but so far I am super impressed with them.
I’ve also started using Spotify for my music – it will connect to RunKeeper and play songs based on your preferences and your pace! (Whaaaaaaaaaat?!) My playlist today only had a couple songs that I had heard before, but I liked them all and they were definitely matched to my pace. Technology is pretty cool!
Do any of you have any favorites that help make running (or other exercise) more enjoyable? Anything I should try?