Due to the fact that I am probably watching movers load up a truck in the rain as you are looking for a new post, I decided another guest post was in order! Please welcome Heidi! I will be back tomorrow or Monday with pictures! Have a great weekend!
Figuring out what works for YOU!
Hi! This is Heidi – the wannabe runner behind run-around-aroo. I jumped all over the chance to write a guest post for Heather here at Running with Sass…so here I am!
Best named snowboard run ever!
I like to consider myself a runner although I’m not exactly speedy, I am definitely not an expert and I am just as likely to have a crappy run as I am to have a stellar one. See…I truly live the life of a wannabe!
Basically I am pretty average but I give myself a lot of credit for trying! I’m such a believable wannabe I’ve even managed to talk The Husband into competing in a dualthon relay with me!
Chris and I – Minneapolis Duathlon – August 28, 2010
I have spent the last three years of my life trying to figure out works for me with running – awesome-sauce shoes, fanny pack fuel belts, and overpriced gadgets. Since you are all the dedicated readers of a running blog I thought I’d let you in on some not-so-secret secrets that I discovered along the way!
First…the most important thing to [most] runners – SHOES! If you run in shoes they are a pretty big deal for you. If you don’t…well, my advice is of no use to you as I’ve always run with shoes, sorry!
In the past I have suffered through insane shin splints and bloody gross toenails because of my shoes – not any more! I have finally found shoes that I love. I have not had shin splints in years *knock on wood* and although I have lost the occasional toenail it is not bloody and painful like in the past.
Saucony Ride & Mizuno Wave Rider 13
Finding my beloved running shoes was not easy. Actually, it is a lot like trying to find a guy worth spending time with…I excitedly picked out a pretty pair of shoes that felt good, took them to the gym for a trial run and then dejectedly returned them to the store. The process was frustrating but eventually I won out!
My very credible advice…
– Don’t be afraid to try out multiple running stores in your area – if your options are limited do what you can with what you have…my closest “running store” is 1.5 hrs away, but I race in that area a lot so I stop by then.
– Grill the “experts” that are selling you shoes. Don’t hesitate to talk to different people at the same store – everyone has their own take on things and you’ll get valuable information!
– Make 110% positive they will let you return your shoes if they don’t work out in the next week or so. Try out your shoes out on a treadmill, indoor track or very clear, paved bike path. If they don’t feel just right don’t be afraid to take them back and try out another pair!
– Once you find a pair of shoes you love…buy online! Usually shoes are cheaper online, especially at the beginning of the year when last year’s model is no longer on store shelves. I just bought my second pair of Mizunos online!
The new Mizunos survived their first trial run!
When I found my shoes it was a fast and hard fall into true love. Figuring out what worked for me in terms of carrying along water and food on my runs is a whole different story. I am still trying to figure out what works the best for me! There are just so many options out there!
– Stash water and gel/chews along your route. This can work pretty well if you know your route in advance. I tend to get bored and want to check out a new, interesting neighborhood so this didn’t work too well for me! It also weirds me out to drink for a water bottle that has been sitting all alone behind a random tree…
– Wear pants with a wide waistband. Sounds odd, but if I need to carry just my phone and maybe a baggie of treats I fold them into my waist band. Works great, I promise!
– Bribe you husband/friend/mother to bike alongside you on longer runs. Ideally they will be good company and a source of water and food. This works pretty good with my mother (she even has a basket on the front of her bike!), but The Husband gets bored and ditches me…
– Carry the necessities on your body. This works the best for me. I’ve carried a water bottle in hand but it was just annoying the entire run! I own a fancy dancy Nathan Hydration Belt and it does the trick. I don’t wear it like a normal person but it works great for holding two little water bottles, various snacks, house key, etc.
My blue Nathan belt also works great as part of my Monster Dash costume…
Pre-race at Team Ortho’s Monster Dash Half
As for what type fuel you take on the run with you…that is all trial and error, and sometimes the error really sucks, so don’t go trying new things during a race!
I am still trying to figure out what to do for fueling on my runs – I’ve tried Gu, Chomps, Hammer Gel, Sports Beans, etc. and pretty much hate them all! The gels feel gross in my mouth and the chewier options are so sweet they hurt my teeth. I pretty much gave up…until recently!
Thanks to my Holiday Blogger Exchange gift from Shannon at A Better Me I have discovered Honey Stingers and they are amazing! They are small enough to chew while running, they taste like “healthy” fruit snacks and they don’t hurt my teeth! I love them…seriously, if you are struggling to find a fuel while running check out Honey Stingers.
Now, just in case you haven’t already spent you entire year’s earnings on astronomical race fees and every other “must have” do-dad in the running world let’s talk about all of the crazy running gadgets out there…namely GPS.
Most importantly…do you really need a GPS device to run? Heck no! Does having a small computer strapped to your wrist make calculating/pacing/tracking easier? Yay, most likely.
My very own wrist computer!
For my first 2.5 years of running I made do without any form of GPS. I wore a cheapo sports watch from Target (which I still wear, every.single.day) and I used mapmyrun.com to figure out how far I went. I had to remember street names and I know that sometimes I just guessed (I really zone out running) but it worked for me…for 2.5 years!
Just this past year I caved and bought myself a Garmin 305 for my birthday…I even let The Husband sign the imaginary card so he could feel special.
So excited it finally arrived…at work!
I love my Garmin. Yes, it is pretty big and sometimes it takes f.o.r.e.v.e.r to locate satellites but it is so nice to know my pace/distance/HR instantly. No more doing math while running! Yes!
So…I have shared with you all of the wisdom I have. I recommend you take it for exactly what it is…wisdom from a wannabe. I’m still working on figuring out who I am as a runner and what works for me but I know it helped me to read about other people’s adventures. I hope I was of some help to you!
If you have to give one little tidbit of advice that you learned while “finding yourself” as a runner what would it be?
And if you are looking for me wisdom feel free to come visit me over at run-around-aroo. I have a whole plethora of random facts to throw out…and of course “interesting” stories about my life as a runner, wife and cat parent!