OMG I’M SIGNED UP FOR A MARATHON!?! Part 3: Getting In Gear

Yes folks this series has a new title – still haven’t figured out exactly what I was thinking in the first place signing up for a marathon but I need to get over it & accept the fact that I did it!  Also, things are getting real now – I received my invitation to the Marine Corps Marathon first time marathon participant’s dinner the other day.  I registered for it and on Friday, October 29th I will be attending the dinner with my lovely date, my sister Nancy.  Nanc has been my date for many events ie: work parties, and now this – LOL!  I know that Troy would love to attend if he could & I hope that he’ll be following me online on Sunday, October 31st (our Halloweeniversary) and cheering me on as well.  The rest of you are invited to cheer me on if you’re in DC that day or via online – God knows I need all the prayers I can get!

Now with my first marathon less than 10 weeks away I am in full swing with training mode so I thought I’d share with you my gear:

  • The Complete Book of Running for Women by Claire Kowalchik.  This book is amazing!  I highly suggest it to any woman out there who’s thinking about running at all – even if you’re not even going to be racing it’s extremely beneficial!  I reference this book all of the time and the rest of the title holds true: Everything You Need to Know About Training, Nutrition, Injury Prevention, Motivation, Racing and Much, Much More.  I enjoyed this book so much that I sent a copy to my sister Nancy and together we followed the bronze training program for the Harvard Pilgrim 10K.
  • One of the things the book talks about is clothing, most importantly shoes.  At the beginning of the year I was finding that my feet were going numb & I was having shin splints.  So when we were at the Wrenthem outlets in April I talked to the guy there and come to find out I had really cheap shoes.  He hooked me up with a great fit.  I now rotate between 2 pairs of Saucony’s the ProGrid Omni’s & ProGrid Triumph’s and I have not had foot or shin problems since!  Having a good pair of shoes is key, I highly suggest going to a foot/shoe expert to get matched up just right.  Here in Williamsburg, Virginia – go visit Jim at Colonial Sports!  Also, come to find out the other reason for the numbness in my feet was because I tied my shoes too tight.  Socks are also extremely important, make sure you wear something breathable and not plain cotton socks – I personally love my bamboo socks but those are pricey so I picked up a pack of active wear socks at Target.  My running shorts mainly came from Target as well in almost every color – a couple of pairs I bought at TJ Maxx but I personally love the fit of the one’s from Target!  My shirts vary but I try to make sure I wear something breathable on a regular basis – it’s not great to wear 100% cotton because it holds in the sweat & heat!  For colder weather I usually wear my cycling jacket made by Pearl Izumi.
  • Since I have 2 kids & they are usually with me a good jogging stroller was really important.  I did a ton of research on them this winter and found that the BOB strollers are truly the best – worth every penny!  First I went to the BOB website to find out which stroller would be best for me. Then I purchased it through another site where I didn’t have to pay tax or shipping & handling.  I also went ahead and got the car seat conversion piece which was great because I didn’t have to wait for Tedy to be “big enough” to sit on his own and they now have their own little trays for drinks and snacks.  I also got the handlebar console for my water bottles and keys and phone, etc. This behemoth double jog stroller is amazing!  I absolutely love it!  I think having a good jog stroller is key – it’s also a great way to get the whole family involved.  Sophia & Tedy both enjoy going for rides – Tedy usually naps & Phia acts as my coach tending to shout out “FASTER MOMMY – RUN FASTER – GO MOMMY GO!”  Our dog, Toby joins us on many of the runs as well.  He is a great running companion.  I only take him on 5K runs or shorter though because he is a small dog & I don’t want to wear him out too much.  Every once in a while Tyler, our cat, will follow us up or down our street – that makes me a bit nervous sometimes because he really wears out quickly!  Yet it’s nice to literally have the whole family involved in my training.
  • I also have a Nike+ & iPod Nano to assist me with my training.  With these tools I can track how far or fast I’ve gone & be entertained along the way.  The great thing about the new iPod Nano is that it has a mini speaker so you don’t need to always wear your headphones which is essential if you’re running with kids.  Phia loves to dance in the stroller & sing along to the music as well!  I upload my runs to Nike Running & dailymile as another source of motivation – dailymile has been great because it’s a Facebook style forum & I have other friends that live in other states on there was well so I know I’m not alone with training!
  • Protecting yourself from the sun is very important.  I had LASIK eye surgery done in 2009 (greatest money ever spent) so I really need to protect my eyes.  I went to the Oakley Vault at the Wrenthem Outlets in April and got myself a nice pair of pink polarized sport sunglasses.  I also wear sunscreen & bug spray – kill 2 birds with one stone with Bull Frog Sun Block!  I always make sure I have water with me – when I have the jog stroller I fill up a couple of LL Bean Canteen’s or I use my CamelBak Pack! Finally I wear a hat – the key is to make sure it’s one that you don’t mind getting nasty sweat stains all over!

Well I think that’s about all of my gear that I use on a regular basis for training.  One thing I am currently looking for is a good refueling food during my long runs – I am allergic to all nuts & soy so I haven’t had much luck yet – please let me know what you’ve used so that I can start testing those as well.  I hope that you all have found this post informative, especially if you’re thinking about hitting the road of the running world or are currently in it.  Also, feel free to post your gear as well – there is so much out there that it’s nice to see what other people use or have tried and liked or disliked!

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