Posted by: Sara | July 13, 2013

My Running Wish List

One of the things getting me through the hardship of unemployment is dreaming of the day when I can check the boxes off my Runner’s Wish List. While running is the kind of sport that can be as minimalist as you would like it to be (and not just talking about shoes), there also exists this wonderful thing called scientific technology and creative innovation that makes running fun, efficient, and colorful. And while this is just a start for me and my list, here are the things I would have on my Christmas list if it was culturally acceptable to give presents for Christmas in July (come on, capitalism, get with it) or if Santa was a runner (which, based on his belly that shakes like jelly, I doubt– some things shouldn’t change).

Here’s what I dream of:

NEW SHOES

Mizuno Wave Rider 16's; Photo Credit: RunningWareHouse.com

Mizuno Wave Rider 16’s; Photo Credit: RunningWareHouse.com

I need new shoes. BAD. And these shoes are awwwwwwwwesome. Okay, it’s possible that I’m just basing it on the colors– I mean, turquoise and hot pink!? Mizuno knows its audience. But truly, I’m a Mizuno girl and these babies are a serious upgrade from my trusty but dusty/bloody/collapsed arch Wave Inspire 8’s that I bought in January after the Goofy Challenge and have worn to the ground. When I last added up my accrued mileage, I was still far from the suggested 600 mile marker at which most professionals would advise getting a new pair of shoes, but I know I will get there in just a few weeks. Here’s hoping I can land a job soon so I get add these $115 babies to my running wardrobe! They’re just so pretty……

FITNESS WATCH

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Fitness Watch; Photo Credit: Polar.com

Polar FT4 Heart Rate Monitor Fitness Watch; Photo Credit: Polar.com

For someone who takes a lot of fitness classes at my gym on top of my running repertoire, having an accurate calorie counter to help me track my calorie burn is pretty much a no-brainer for me. This watch is perfect for handling that task better than the notoriously inaccurate calorie-counters on the gym’s treadmills and elliptical trainers. I’m not looking for fancy bells and whistles– just a watch that lets me know I’m kicking ass. As soon as I replace my shoes, this puppy will soon be on my wrist ticking away the calories as I lift heavy barbells over my head and cross-train in spinning class!

FUEL BELT

Fuel Belt Crush Hydration Belt with 22oz bottle; Photo Credit: ActivewearUSA.com

Fuel Belt Crush Hydration Belt with 22oz bottle; Photo Credit: ActivewearUSA.com

It’s true: I’m reluctantly jumping on board the fuel belt bandwagon. I’ve been torn by this decision, but after reading a Runners World blurb which suggested that running with a bottle of water over long distances could mess up your stride, I’ve been somewhat paranoid. And while I have been trying to switch hands every mile (and wow, that is a huge difference in brain activity!), there’s no beating running hands-free. But as a woman with wide hips, I loathe to get on board with the traditional, multi-bottle fuel belts that I’ve seen people run with because hello, do I really need another reminder that my hips are huge? And I have also considered purchasing a backpack-style fuel carrier, but at a recent race I went to, I overheard a runner refer to two runners wearing such apparatuses as “Camelbaks.” Ouch. Fortunately, there’s the Fuel Belt Crush Hydration Belt that gives the option of going hands-free without having to juggle multiple hydration bottles on my hips like, well, children. Truth be told, when I’m trying to be a cheetah, I don’t want to feel like a hippo.

THE STICK

Marathon Stick; Photo Credit: thestick.com

Marathon Stick; Photo Credit: thestick.com

Because my foam roller, tennis ball collection, and rolling pin sometimes just doesn’t cut it, especially when I’m traveling. I’m still not willing to believe that my rolling pin wasn’t what almost caused me to miss my flight on my last trip. But in seriousness, this gadget does a great job getting the kinks out better than a foam roller. It’s like a fine-tooth comb for your muscles. After getting this, I don’t want to hear it anymore, IT band…

RUNNING JACKET

North Face "Better Than Naked" jacket; Photo Credit: northface.com

North Face “Better Than Naked” jacket; Photo Credit: northface.com

Specifically, I’d love a running jacket for the elements. It’s been an incredibly rainy season here in Washington, DC and, while it’s summer and staying warm is deeeeefinitely not a concern right now, who’s to say the rainy season won’t stop when the days get cooler? And honestly, the over-priced, non-insulating nylon jacket that the RAM Racing folks sold for $60 at the December 2011 DC Hot Chocolate 15K just won’t cut it anymore. And, just as my dad taught me a long time ago, if you buy something that might cost a little more upfront and take care of it over time, you won’t have to spend the money replacing it if you buy something cheaper. (This is the same rationale that I used when browsing the Kate Spade sales, hehe!) This North Face “Better Than Naked” jacket promises to keep your core temperature intact even as it protects you from such elements as rain, snow, and wind without bulking you down. Much like how God gave ducks their oily feathers as protection against the cold wind and water, North Face gives humans this stunning must-need jacket for DC runners who battle clammy humidity even through the winter months. Say no more!

ROAD ID

On a more serious note, this is actually one of those items that top my list. The co-founder, Edward Wimmer, has the kind of story that resonates soundly with me. I live in an urban area. The entrance to the trail requires running through a very busy part of the city for me. There’s really just no escaping that and I’ve had a number of close calls with vehicles, some of them my fault (gotta learn) and most of them, the driver’s fault (I’ve learned by now, but some haven’t). And while I always try to run with some form of ID on me, the day will come on which I decide I don’t want to run with my iPhone pouch

The Wrist ID Sport; Photo Credit: RoadID.com

The Wrist ID Sport; Photo Credit: RoadID.com

saddling my arm down so I will need to preserve my identity while running just in case something happens. That’s what this product is for. You can customize the information you put on it and there’s even room for a running mantra for the sake of removing the worst-case-scenario morbidity out of an item you wear while performing at your best.

RUNNING BLING

Behind every strong female runner is the piece of jewelry that makes

EricaSara Designs Custom Wish Necklace; Photo Credit: EricaSaraDesigns.com

EricaSara Designs Custom Wish Necklace; Photo Credit: EricaSaraDesigns.com

her feel fierce and feminine. Ladies, come on, tell me this isn’t true. It’s one of the reasons I wore dangly amethyst earrings during my first marathon– because I was told the stones were good luck! And it’s why I was super bummed out to have lost my custom-made 26.2-39.3 charm necklace after DC’s Yoga on the Mall back in May (I’ve been tempted a hundred times to go back to the grassy knoll where it probably still is but I don’t have the guts to look like a crazy person combing through the grass). I was recently introduced to the beautiful designs of EricaSara through a running blogger friend of mine, Dorothy of MilePosts and I’m truly addicted to the stunning simplicity of this jewelry, especially after I swore I saw a woman wearing one in a Body Pump class that I went to. And she really did look fierce with this thing shining around her neck and even inspired me to get my knees off the floor during a series of push-ups at the end of class. So, I literally can’t wait until I get back to the workforce because I will soon have one of these stunning necklaces around my neck and, while I wait for that day to come, I’m trying to decide what I’d like it to say. Right now, I’m thinking, “Be present” will be on there somewhere. I’ve got big things on my plate right now; I’m traversing two paths. One of them is the road to my fourth marathon and the other is my career path. The end goals are unknown, daunting, and so panic-inducing that I have to stop and think about the manageability of the bigger picture. Focus on one run at a time, focus on one interview and one application at a time. One step, one mile at a time. And I firmly believe that having something tangible, something you can physically touch or feel has a lot of power to ground you when the doubts and fears start to swirl. Can’t wait until I have this around my neck.

So, what’s on YOUR running wish list? (And don’t say you don’t have one!)

***This post is not intended for solicitations. I’m just an average runner expressing my views!***


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