Thursday, February 13, 2014

A few of my favorite things...

I love this movie. This movie is one of my favorite things! When I heard that there was going to be a remake, I thought: blasphemy! Why remake a classic? And no, I didn't watch it. I just couldn't.


Recently one of my favorite bloggers, Marcia, at Marcia's Healthy Slice, wrote a post on her favorite running things. It was fun to see what she likes. 

As a long time runner, I've seen lots of trends, lots of advice-good and bad, and lots of products guaranteed to enhance your running experience. 

So, ala Marcia, here are a few of my favorite running things, things that truly making running even better for me:

This innocent looking tube is actually a frenemy of mine. I've had regular foam rollers but none that get into the muscles like this one. It has grids on it and ridges, which for some reason loosen up tight tissues better than a standard foam roller. This baby hurts me, but I feel so much better when I use it. My construction working husband refuses to roll on it--last time I offered it to him for his back pain he told me that I would "have to call 911" if he ever rolled on that again. Hah! Who's the tough one in this household?

Let's be honest here..what runner hasn't experienced chafing? Even today, I had some chafing under my arms from the seams of my shirt. Sometimes you don't even realize you've been chafed until you take a shower and the hot water hits the spot--ouch! And then there's chafing in--ahem--the netherregions. I've tried a variety of products for this. Vaseline, desitin, triple paste, body glide...nothing was great. Until I discovered chamois cream. Cyclists use it all the time. I love this stuff! When I bought some recently, the guy at REI asked me if I was cycling outside this winter. When I told him I used it for running, he said he had never thought of using it for that. Hello Chamois Butt'r--you've got a whole other market out there! What I really like about this cream is that it is non-greasy. So no more white streaks on my clothing or car seat. Which means no more silly questions or comments that I '"sat in something". And my bottom is pain free. It's all good.

Do you GU? I hear that a lot of runners GU. Unfortunately for me, GU is not my friend. GU contains fructose, which is a sweetener, and for some of us unfortunate, sensitive souls, triggers multiple trips to the portapotty during a race. My ex brother in law used to call it "IBS" aka "I'll be stopping". I tried many different products. Clif gel contains cane sugar and is very tummy friendly. The only issue I have with these products is choking them down during a race. The Razz flavor tastes like raspberry jelly, and doesn't gag me like some of the other flavors. I cannot run and gel. I take a quick walk break to gel and drink water (you have to drink water with gels or else they will haunt you!). The only complaint I have about these is that I have had issues with opening the packages during races, even tho there is a little slit at the top. Sweaty hands and a slippery package don't work well. I've learned to snip the top with a scissors before I head out. Voila! 

Since I've had kids, I hate things around my waist. I cannot wear a fuel belt...the jostling of the bottles and belt is so distracting to me! I like to run unencumbered. When I ran Disney a few years ago, I realized that I needed a place to put a few things for the race. At the expo, I stopped at the Spibelt booth. I bought this exact model, because it is waterproof, and I run with my phone. I still have this same belt. I use the Spibelt every time I run. It is flat and lays low on my hips. It doesn't move. It can hold my iPhone, my car key, 2 Clif gels, and 2 packs of Chamois butt'r. Here's a picture of the Spibelt in action: 
This is not me..thanks to I missed your giveaway! You sell the spibelt well!

If you run outdoors all year round like I do, there are times that you may run in the dark. When I was training for the Chicago marathon, there were a few mornings that I had to run at 430am to get my miles in before I went to work. I thought that running around my local retention pond would be a safe bet. I was wrong. I couldn't see my feet on the ground. Even scarier was the rollerblader who came flying at me out of the dark. Who was the bigger idiot? I won't debate that point but I did get myself one of these headlamps. The Petzl Tikka headlamp is great--the beam goes far enough ahead of you that you are able to see any possible hazards AND you are visible to cars (and rollerbladers). 

For the past 4-5 years I have been dealing with plantar fasciitis (PF). For a while, it was really bad. I had also developed a bone spur in my heel, which was all part of the package. My podiatrist did shockwave treatments which broke up the scar tissue and fixed my heel pain. But I still get PF after I run. I roll my arches, I stretch my feet, I ice them too...but nothing has helped me stay relatively pain free likes these compression sleeves. They aren't cheap, but worth every penny in my book! I'm wearing them as I write this! One caveat...they are sold individually, so if you have PF in both feet, you need to buy 2 of them. But I don't ever want this common running issue to keep me off the road!
I'm sorry, but I love puns...

These truly are my favorite things. I'm not sponsored by any of these companies, nor have I ever received any free products to try. But if they want to send them to me, I'll be happy to receive them!

Everyone has their favorite must have items. What are some of yours?


  1. I've always wanted a Spibelt and so far nada. I have an iFitness belt I won somewhere that doesn't hold nearly as much. I hate when I can't get gel packs open. Drives me nuts!

    1. I really do like my Spibelt. One of my colleagues at work likes his Flipbelt. As long as it lays below the waist, I'm good. Do you use a fuel belt? I just can't bring myself to use one. I think it would make me crazy!