It’s week 9 of Half marathon training and I guess I’m half way there. Progress is being made and I’m having a lot of fun with it. I’ve also been reminded just how prone to injury I am, and am treating my body with as much care as possible. The one thing that this running ‘journey’ (for lack of a better word) has taught me so far is that: I actually quite like clothes shopping.
As someone who really isn’t into fashion, clothes shopping has always been one of those annoying things I have to do when my clothes are not really appropriate for wearing out anymore or I have an event that requires something new. But with running gear it’s different. I really love it. Lululemon especially. I was talking with a friend about it, and we couldn’t work out why the sudden shift from selector to someone who quite happily spends in a store and wants to return often. But I figured it out: running makes me feel good and the running gear that I wear makes me feel strong and capable. It’s like a cape for superheros!
I’ve got myself some lovely t-shirts with the sweat wicking fabrics and some great running crops (capris) and now even an operation move running hat! I’ve even bought myself some skirts to try when the weather warms up. The running gear is probably worth more than all the rest of my clothes put together. But it’s so worth it to feel comfortable when I run.
When it comes to actually running, I’ve had more down time than I would have liked, but the long runs on Saturdays seem to be going well. I’ve let go of the crazy time that I first thought I wanted to meet and am now happy with crossing that finish line as my reward. It will be a PB no matter what, and I really want a race this year that I can actually run. (I’ve just been diagnosed with a calf injury that will need attention before I can run again, but I will do all that’s required to help it recover as quickly as possible).
I’ve switched to the Galloway method for my training. It’s a 2:1 ratio of running then walking and it’s working for me so far. I program the intervals into my watch and it beeps at me when I need to run and it beeps again for those walk sessions. Last week I ran further in my area than I had before and I actually ran out of footpath to run on and had to turn around. Whilst I’d love to have kept going on the road, it has no shoulders and the cars are all doing 80km (or more) and I’m still nervy about being cleaned up by one. Safety is a priority when I run (as I’m sure it is for most people), so if it means that I have to do some doubling back on the same paths, then that’s what I’ll do.
I really feel like I’m finding my feet with running now. It bothers me to miss a session but I know it’s a long term plan. A byproduct of all the running is that I’m getting slimmer, but more importantly fitter. For me it was never about losing the weight, though I’m happy that I have as it makes running easier. Weight loss isn’t something that I am motivated by, but I do love fresh air and the chance to get out and just do something for me. It’s my few hours a week to clear my head and just not think about anything but the lyrics in my ears and keeping up the cadence. As an over thinker, it’s a dream.
I’m also beginning to love the hills. Rather than curse them, I’m starting to enjoy the challenge of running up them and the thrill of zooming down the other side. It’s like you get to be a kid again for a moment without a worry in the world. Last week I ran up one hill that had been defeating me for a long time. I may have fist pumped at the top! haha I’m now at the stage where the long run distances will all be longer than I’ve ever run before. I’m really excited to see how far I can go and how to keep well fueled along the way.
Since I really wanted to tell you about my new love of running gear, here’s a list of my current faves:
- Lululemon Bang Buster Headbands (the only headbands ever to stay put on my head)
- Lululemon Swiftly Tech Short Sleeve tops
- Lululemon Mod Moves Crops (5 pockets!! pockets are hard to get in exercise gear)
- Injinji Toe Socks (Mid Weight for cold days and Light Weight for warmer days)
- Hoka OneOne Bondi 3 running shoes
- Moving Comfort Juno Sports Bra (She Science is where to find them)
- Garmin Forerunner Watch with HRM (I have the 210, but I’m dreaming of getting either the 220 or the 620)
- Apple iPod Nano clip on (I need new headphones, but clipping this to my sports bra makes it easy to reach and it doesn’t move when I run)
- Operation Move Hat (as an alternative to the headbands)
- 2XU Compression Race Socks (I wear them for recovery because they are come in prettier colours than the recovery socks – I’m not even kidding)
I’ve found that having the right gear helps me feel comfortable and confident to get moving. I see it as an investment in something that I want to do long term. And I spoiled myself with a pair of lululemon crops when I first started running in 2012, and I find it hard to switch brands now, especially as they seem to be the only ones who have the side pockets. You don’t have to spend a whole heap to get running, but this is my hobby and it’s nice to treat myself to things that I know will get a lot of use. I also shop at the outlet, where most things are 30%-40% off. The outlet is awesome!!
I can’t wait to see how the next month goes. I’m taking my running gear with me to the Problogger Training Event on the Gold Coast next week and I’m hoping to get a nice long run in the glorious Queensland sunshine! So fun!
Part 3 coming late September x
If you missed it you can read Part 1 here