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Looking like a pro

When I returned home from the great white north, I was welcomed by a sea of packages. Isn’t it nice to be loved (or to order yourself gifts)? I ripped them open to find some great running apparel and an overpriced, but gorgeous, leather bag (yay Nordstrom Anniversary Sale).

Now back to the running apparel. Recently I took the plunge and ordered new running shoes. I couldn’t decide between models, since both felt comfortable, so I did the mature thing and bought both. Unfortunately the running store I’m loyal to did not offer either in my size, so I went to Brooks online to find them. Of course along the way I was roped into purchasing my first running skort. Buying online is becoming a bad habit for this gal, I always end up with more than I intended…

A box arrived two weeks ago with my shoes and skort, sadly the skort was defective so I had to wait for a replacement. But the shoes? They are so pretty! I know you’re not supposed to buy shoes for the color, but luckily they feel great and look awesome. The picture does not do them justice. The Ravenna comes is a neon lime color and the Adrenaline is a gorgeous purple. Since they arrived I’ve worn the Ravenna several times. I’m quite the fan (this is my third pair) and they have treating me well on my runs.

And yesterday I finally donned the running skort out on the road. I can’t give a full review as I’ve only worn it for a short period, although I must say it looked damn cute (I modeled it in front of the mirror for a while). I was nervous that the spandex shorts would ride up, but they have a thick piece of gripping plastic on the bottom of each leg to keep it on your body. So far so good. Does anyone have suggestions for other running skorts that are flattering and comfortable?

But perhaps what excited me the most was the package from Fila. You see, during a recent Twitter Chat Fila was kind enough to give away some of their new toning line. I didn’t realize it at first, but I was a lucky recipient! They sent me a Space Dye Toning Resistance Tank to enjoy. Damn is it sexy. I tried it on immediately after opening the package and found that it sucks you in and hugs your curves. The only issue I saw was the built in bra. My girls were not made to fit in these contraptions so it was a tad awkward trying it sans sports bra (I looked like a Renaissance woman with the girls popping out the top). Looking forward to taking this thing for a spin at the Healthy Living Summit this weekend.

Going for a run in the whole outfit – skort, tank, and shoes –  I felt absolutely fantastic. Sometimes looking great can make you feel great. Who knew? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t typically doll myself up to go for a run, but on occasion it is nice not to look so shlumpy.

So what is your favorite cute running apparel? What do you wear that makes you feel like a champ?

Also, who will I be meeting at HLS this weekend? I seriously need to get my act together and pack…

Water yourself

I’ve said it before, well maybe I haven’t written it, but staying hydrated while running is insanely important. So important that I’ve spent quite a bit of time experimenting to find the best method for me. I’m sad to say that I haven’t found the optimal technique, but I’m still open to ideas.

During races I make sure to check how many water stations will be available.  If it is a short race (5 or 10k), I won’t take a bottle. For most trail races I come equipped with my handheld, trails are quite variable and three miles may take longer than expected.

This is also the water bottle that I have used during training. With 22oz of water it is perfect for an eight mile run.  When I am going to run longer distances, I try to plan my route so I can refill my bottle (you never want to be without H20). Although I’ve come to know and love my Nathan’s, some days I feel like it is weighing me down. I know it doesn’t weigh quite that much, yet it changes the distribution over my body. Another downside? When my hands get sweaty (which they inevitably do) it can be frustrating to hold something.

Seeing many of my fellow runners wearing them, I decided to purchase a waist pack. Again I went with the Nathan’s option and purchased the triangle waist pack. For my first trail run with the waist pack, I didn’t notice any discomfort. And then I wore it on a 12 mile training run. Less than four miles in I noticed that my stomach was bothering me. The pack was too tight around my waist and it was causing adverse side effects. Loosening it up, the pack just flopped around a bit. I couldn’t make it through wearing the pack and abandoned it after seven miles. After the difficulties I felt that day, I decided it would be best to research alternative methods. My friend’s mother is currently using my pack while she walks each morning. I hope she has better luck than I did.

Recently my coworker gave me a hydration backpack as an “early going away” gift. (Another way of saying he hadn’t used it in the seven years he owned it and it would be better off with me.) I’m not sure if I am going to try it while I run, but I think it will make a great hiking/biking hydration option. Unfortunately it is the no-frills model, there are no compartments for storage, but maybe that will make it lighter and less cumbersome.

I’m still looking into my options when it comes to hydration packs. I believe that there may be a more ergonomic handheld out there, which may be my best bet. Until then, I’ll stick with my Nathan’s. Gotta stay hydrated, especially in this ridiculous heat!

What methods do you use to stay hydrated while exercising? Are there any accessories you can suggest?