I’m a creature of habit. When I find something that works, I stick with it… unless something is really pretty or on sale. I wear almost exactly the same thing every time I run. Here’s my outfit for summer (or anytime it’s over 60 degrees). Items are listed clockwise from the top. [These are my own opinions based on what I actually wear – nothing was given to me promotionally or otherwise.]
- Hat – I always wear a hat, even at night, or in the rain, or in the winter (then I’ll supplement with a buff or half buff around my ears). It helps keep sun, rain, bangs, or copious amounts sweat out of my eyes. This is my favorite hat because it’s super lightweight and fits perfectly, but Nike doesn’t make it anymore so I’m always searching for another hat like it before this one disintegrates.
- Hair elastics – Since I have long thin hair that loves to tangle the second a light breeze travels though it, I put my hair into a ponytail, braid it, then use a third elastic to double up the braid before I poke it through the hole in the hat. Yes, it looks like a horse, but it stops the braid from bouncing around or hitting me in the face. Streamlined!
- Headphones and iPod nano 6th generation – I trained for and ran my first marathon without music, but at some point I started training with it, and eventually started wearing them during marathons, too (first time was at my 5th marathon, Portland). Only until recently have I started leaving the headphones at home again. It’s nice to have the option either way, and I never listen to music very loudly, so I can always hear everything around me. The headphones are Sony’s ultra lightweight vertical in-ear headphones (which for years were about $12 with shipping from Amazon, but are now listed at $40, so I don’t know what happened there). Other styles fall off or hurt my ears, but these work perfectly for me. I clip the nano onto my sports bra and tuck the cord down my shirt. Streamlined!
- T-Shirt (North Face Velocitee Shirt) – I have a lot of tech t-shirts, but my new favorite is the Velocitee. Supposedly it only weighs one ounce, and while I haven’t weighed it to check, it is extremely lightweight but not tissue thin, so I feel properly covered while wearing it. This is my go-to shirt now on the frequent hot and muggy days we get here. Fortunately it looks like it’s on sale at most places online that carry it – unfortunately it’s in limited sizes and colors.
- Sports Bras (2) – I don’t know why they don’t make super-supportive sports bras for us less-endowed ladies. It’s as if they think anyone with less than a C cup doesn’t mind bouncing around. I want that stuff locked down tight. So, I wear two. It also creates a perfect pocket for cash, tissues, or even a gel or two. Most of my sports bras are the seamless compression kind from Target, Costco, or Old Navy. I would happily switch to one single super-bra, but have yet to find one.
- Snack-size ziploc baggie – These are perfect to hold some cash tucked away between my two bras so it doesn’t get wet, sweaty, and gross. My neighborhood bodega appreciates it.
- SPI Belt – I actually only wear this when I’m in a race and need to carry my phone or extra gummies or something. Sometimes I even wear two – one in the front and one in the back. I always wear them under my shirt but over my tights.
- CW-X 3/4 Length Stabilyx Tights – If CW-X ever goes out of business, I’m in big trouble. I have worn the brand ever since I ran my first 1/2 mile in regular shorts and nearly wore away the skin between my thighs. I used to wear the over-the-knee shorts version but switched to the 3/4 length because it seems to give my knee (or my psychoses) a little extra support. It also compresses everything to the dickens, locking and loading all your jiggly bits before you run. Streamlined!
- Saucony Hurricane 14 – I wore these for about the past year before buying the Omni’s pictured above them. I really liked the Hurricanes but switched because the video from my running test in Jackrabbit’s store showed I was pronating too much in the Hurricanes. Since the Omnis felt a lot like the Hurricanes, I made the switch.
- Velcro ID (on shoes) – For those with eagle-eyes, that is a little shoe ID I have on my old shoes. I have one RoadID but recently got a pack of 2 cheap write-on ID tags for kids – infuriatingly branded “WHO’S SHOES” which is so wrong that I blacked out the giant brand name on one side and also wear them upside-down so people don’t think I’m a grammar idjiat (which I am, but I don’t want everyone to know).
- Thorlo Experia Mini Socks – I used to be a Wrightsock devotee, but when I switched my gait from heel-strike to forefoot/mid-strike, I started getting horrible new calluses on the inner side of the ball of my foot, which would develop blood blisters underneath them (gross, I know). I battled them with metal callus scrapers, blister band-aids, and anti-chafe cream, and eventually they started calming down, but when I discovered these Thorlo socks with additional padding on the ball of the foot, I felt like I discovered a new friend. A new friend who cares about my feet, and not in a creepy way. So now I wear Thorlo Experias.
- Saucony Omni 12 – I just got these shoes last week so I can’t speak much on them, but they seem okay so far and I hope I can stick with this model for a few years.
- Blue Steel Sports Anti-Chafe Cream – I used to only need anti-chafe cream when running very long distances, but now I use it on my feet on every run. It’s a little spendy at $17 for 3.3 ounces on Amazon, but it works well for me, lasts a long time, doesn’t stain my clothes, isn’t sticky, has tea tree oil in it, and is from Australia, so I assume it’s made from koalas and platypuses, and thus is totally worth it.
- Garmin Forerunner 110 GPS-Enabled Sport Watch – I didn’t wear a running watch for years, preferring to run by feel (and by what my Nike+ account from my nano would tell me later). But when I tried my brother’s GPS watch I was intrigued, so when this model went on sale on Amazon I snapped it up. Now I wear it for every run, and while I try not to look at it too much (failing miserably), I do like having a record of my runs online, and it’s fun to see the map it creates (especially if you run lots of different routes – collect them all!).
- Oakley Flak Jacket Sunglasses – Since I clearly value function over fashion, I wear sunglasses that, while they may look cool on other people, make me look like Geordi La Forge. I can wear these in everything from rain to full sun and they protect my eyes from dust and bugs (because I run that fast). They also stick to my face even when I’m melting like the wicked witch. Streamlined!
The only other thing not pictured that I always wear are the various sunblocks I use which I’ll cover in a separate post. They are that important.
What gear can you not run without? What do you wish someone would start making for runners (besides self-propelled shoes)? Share in the comments!