Forget raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens! My favorite things (besides family, of course) come in two major categories – food and running gear. With the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon right around the corner (50 freaking days!), I figured I would show a little love to my favorite running things that help power me through training and race day. Keep in mind, I am no gear expert or claim to write fabulous reviews. This is just my two cents about some products I love.
Sparkly Soul, Inc. Headbands
I am not ashamed to admit that I am completely in love with a headband. Sparkly Soul, Inc. knows a thing or two about keeping hair in place and looking good while doing it. Their headbands are 100% sparkly (or satiny, if you prefer) elastic without that piece of black elastic in the back, and they don’t move AT ALL. I can’t even begin to count the number of training runs and races I have run in these headbands, and they have always stayed in place without squeezing my head. The best part is they look good enough to wear outside of workout. I wear these everywhere – workouts, the office, out to dinner, to jazz up a bad hair day, etc. My daughters, ages 10 and 8, are also big fans and have their own little Sparkly Soul collections. If you are worried about the price (they range from $15 for thin bands to $17 for wide bands), don’t be! They are worth every single cent, and if you think about all of those other headbands you purchase and then never wear, this is a good investment. You can sign up for emails to receive updates on new products and sales. Just do me a favor and buy one already!
Oiselle Mac Roga shorts
My daughter Annie comes by her love of short shorts honestly, and for me, Oiselle Mac Rogas are perfection. I am very finicky when it comes to my running shorts. They can’t be long, but my cheeks can’t be hanging out. They can’t be loose, but there is no way I am wearing what I refer to as sausage casing (compression shorts). They need a wide waistband that doesn’t cut into the muffin top for the dreaded overhand, but they can’t be high-waisted. I was introduced to Oiselle last year, and now, I hate to even wear another company’s shorts. They feel great when I am running, make my booty look phenomenal, wash and wear well, and have a handy-dandy zippered rear pocket to hold things like a gel or keys. These are also great shorts for wearing around in the summer because they have a board short look to them. Super cute and super comfy.
Garmin Forerunner 220
I am a big Garmin fan, having used the Forerunner 2010 since 2012, but when I was graciously upgraded last year (thanks, Dan!), I didn’t know what I was missing with my other watch. The Garmin Forerunner 220 locks into satellites much more quickly than the other, offers more data about the run, and has a pretty color display. It’s also lighter on my wrist than my previous watch. Another great feature – it paused and resumes the timer based on speed, so it eliminates the “Oh-crap-did-I-stop-my-watch” worry after a race. Though it is not necessarily cheap (around $250), it is perfect for my running needs.
Honey Stinger Organic Waffles
I told you I love food and running stuff, so this combines both in one. Having been a runner for six years, I have tried many types of pre-run and during the run fuel, and I have come to the conclusion I am just not a gel fan. I needed something that was tasty and more like real food. Enter Honey Stinger Organic Waffles. These things are like a dessert, and I have found that they provide me with energy and satisfy my food craving. Another selling point for people who watch what they eat – they are USDA organic, dairy free, and nut free. While I love them, there are two things to keep in mind. Since they are a round waffle, they are not easy to take along on a run unless you have a running belt or can meet up with someone who can hand one off to you, and you have to be careful that you don’t choke on a little piece of it while eating and running. Those things aside, they are great, and I plan on having at least one on hand in Cleveland in May.
This is one item that I love and hope never needs used. Road ID is a quick an easy way for me to wear my emergency contact information/health and allergy information on my wrist in the event something were to happen to me on a run or during a race. Road IDs are completely personalized, so you add the information that you feel is important. There are 8 different styles, and you can chose from an original format or interactive format. My personal favorite is the Wrist ID Slim, which is more like one of those silicone bracelets. It’s lightweight, doesn’t get in the way of my watch or other wrist items, and I can pop the metal info part off and slip it on another band. At approximately $20, it’s a small price to pay for piece of mind.