If you are going to spend your time running, you need to have the best gear. Below are my musts, my favorites, my can't live with-outs!!
  • Running Shoes. This is the MOST important aspect of running. You absolutely have to have the best shoes. Best does not mean most expensive. I think these were $70? These are Nike Air Pegasus. They are super light weight, have stability, great cushioning, and they are super cute! These are the old version. I have newer shoes and I still wear these on long runs. They are SO comfortable.
  • Obviously, this is not part of your "gear". However, this is my happy place. They have ALL things running. And they are super nice and super helpful. You may not have a "Gary Gribbles" but I highly recommend checking out the "running stores" in your area. Places like this are the place to buy your shoes. At Gary's (and most running stores) they fit your shoes for you. Then, you can go outside and run in them to see how they feel. You can also take them home and run in them (inside), if you aren't happy with them you can return them for a different pair. I cannot stress how important it is to find the perfect shoes. Without them, you run the risk of injury and a future of miserable runs.
  • This is almost as important (to me) as the shoes. This watch is FABULOUS! It tells you the time, distance, and pace. It has a "virtual partner" mode where you can enter in a goal pace and it will show you how far ahead or behind you are during a run. You can also save and upload all of your runs to connect.garmin.com
  • These are DryMax socks. I actually received these in a goody bag from a race. I love these because they have extra cushioning. They keep your feet the perfect temperature and very dry. Any moisture wicking socks should do the same trick. I just happen to love this particular brand.
  • Spandex shorts ARE A MUST. You don't have to wear them alone. Put them under your normal gym shorts or under your sweatpants. Why are they so important? Chafing. That is why. Your inner thighs will be rubbed raw without them. They are also moisture wicking which helps keep you comfortable.
  • If you are blessed with large ta-ta's this is the bra for you! Well...it is for me. It is the most supportive sports bra I have found. This is super important if you plan to run for any length of time. There are some things that just need to stay in place. Another tip...wear TWO bras :)
  • If you are a momma and you often take your kiddo with you on runs this is the BEST stroller. It is super easy to push and maneuver.This is hands down the best baby gift I received. It is the BOB SE Revolution Stroller. I LOVE it. It is so easy to collapse and the suspension on it is ridiculous! My little man started running with me early on. You can also purchase a bar that locks in to put your car seat on. My little man slept through every run!
    This past year instead of running, my endurance event was childbirth. My only race of 2013 was my favorite Bass Pro. I love that course because its home to me. I love all of the sights and all of the sounds. I love  running into people I grew up with. I love it because it is flat! This year I obviously didn't do anywhere close to winning my age group. I finished with a time of 1:55:54. Not the worst but definitely not the best. My goal was 1:50. But not too bad after just having a baby...right? Anyway, fast forward to now. It's a new year and I have a new goal 26.2.
    I  actually don't want to run a marathon. I really have no desire to run 26 miles. The most I have ran is 20 and that wasn't fun for me. I have to. HAVE TO. The biggest reason is to prove to myself that I can run 26.2 miles. Which is precisely why I ran my first half-marathon...to prove that I could. Another reason, is that my dad ran one. My 60 some year old father ran a marathon. The one thing I can't get over is the flashbacks I keep having of my last half. When the 13.1ers split from the 26.2ers and I silently sent praise to Jesus that I wasn't one of those poor 26.2ers. I always praise Jesus for being a 13.1er on every single race, when we get the the point where the course splits in two different directions. In April, I will be one of those poor souls.
    I googled "why 26.2 is better then 13.1" I found nothing. So, I will share with you the sad little list I came up with in an attempt to motive myself.. (if you are looking to me to motivate you to run 26.2 miles you should probably find a different blog)

1. You get a MARATHON shirt. Shirts are a big deal...they are a wearable trophy.

2. You will probably feel like a rock-star...and maybe death. Probably death.

3. Longer/Better runner's high?....maybe?

4. More calories burnt = More food you can eat!

5. Carb loading....enough said.

6. Marathon medal.

7. To be able to mark it off my bucket list....and to be able to prove that I could do it.

* I should really seek counseling for always having to prov
e things to myself. It would probably be a lot less painful.  Wish me luck...send me prayers...and hopefully this will be the last thing (physically) I need to prove to myself. And....if you have ran a marathon I would gladly accept additions to my list.

Many have asked me how to begin running. This is what I did and what worked for me {my story}.

{background} I'm from a "running family" my dad has always ran. His brothers and father all died of heart attacks at young ages. He decided he would work as hard as he could to not have the same tragic conclusion. My little sis ran competitively in HS and was a stud (going to state all four years). and I...well I ran in middle school. I liked it but I felt my time was better spent...not running. So that was the beginning and ending to my school running career. 

{fast forward to 2010} I began running because I had a lot of free time on my hands. I had just graduated with my bachelor's in December and I was waiting to begin my master's degree in the fall. I was only working part-time at a detox center. I also knew that I would probably lose weight if I started running {which like all girls, was constantly on my mind}. I signed up in January for the Garmin half-marathon (13.1 miles) that would take place that following April.

{the first steps are the hardest...}
I started by getting a membership to the Y. I knew that I would not run outside in the winter, there was no point in kidding myself, I just wouldn't. I started out running 2 miles a day for a couple of weeks (that was all that i could do). On Saturday, I ran 2.5 miles. Once I got used to running 2.5 miles I increased my mileage during the week to 3 miles and... then four miles. All the while I would increase my Saturday mileage. I made Saturday my long-run day, and the Saturday run was always longer than the mileage I would run during the week. On Sunday I didn't run, it was my rest day. Eventually, I got up to 6 miles a day and that was my constant. Once I got to 6 miles I stopped increasing my weekly mileage and just focused on increasing my weekend mileage. I worked all the way up to 13.1 miles a couple of weeks before the race. You can find training plans on the internet. My favorite can be found at the bottom of this post. Some of the plans you have to purchase, and others are free. I always used the free ones. You can also download apps on your phone. A favorite app for many starting out is Couch to 5k ( 3.1 miles). Many half-marathon training programs have you only run 9-10 miles before the race. I didn't like that, I wanted to be completely prepared. I ran 13.1 miles a couple of times before the actual race so that I knew I could do it. If you can run 9-10 miles, you can probably run 13.1. What pace should you start out running? I just ran at a pace that was comfortable for me. You don't want to start out too fast because you will not only tire out quickly, but you run the risk of injuring yourself.

That is, in a nutshell, how I started running.

                                   favorite plans:

  • Marathon by Jeff Galloway
    I bought this book. I really liked it because it gives you timed goals training plans. It explains all things running!
    Happy running :)