Wednesday, July 10, 2013

just do it


I ran my very first race this weekend.  A new 5K here in Madrid through the beautiful Casa del Campo.  I know 5 km isn't much to people who've been running for years, but for me it was a major accomplishment.  Words cannot describe how excited and proud I felt to participate, and finish, and with a much better time than I'd anticipated too!  So in honor of small goals and huge achievements, I dedicate this post to the runners out there, beginning and advanced.  Go on, get your run on.

Some running essentials...

For running outfits, I like to go either loose on top or loose on the bottom.  Still can't quite bring myself to get out there in just a sports bra and leggings, but maybe eventually I will, if for no other reason than it is 100ยบ here.  For now, here are a few ways you can stick to the rule of One Tight, One Loose:

1 / 2 / 3 / 4 / 5 / 6 / 7 / 8 / 9 / 10

1. Lululemon workout clothes are extremely expensive, and honestly I find their whole uber-friendly sales staff horribly grating, but their stuff is superb.  I got one of their high tech tanks and I'm in love with it.  So once in a while, reward yourself with something luxurious like their Swiftly Tech Racerback Tank to work out in.

2. Pair your slinky tank with some roomier pants like these from Nike.  I tend to prefer woven fabrics for looser workout gear because then it won't cling to you as much.

3. Another option is a loose t-shirt up top with some little capri leggings underneath.  I absolutely love Under Armour Heat Gear, and my absolute favorite is the Men's UA Tech T-Shirt.  I cut the neck wide and roll up the sleeves, but that fabric floats and wicks and breathes like nobody's business.

4. Pair the oversized t-shirt some great sports leggings like these.  You'll want to invest in some leggings designed specifically for exercise because they breathe and wick sweat so much better, and also these have a little hidden pocket inside for your keys or ipod shuffle.

Regardless of your preferred running style, here are some essentials that everyone needs:

5. My absolute favorite sports bras are actually from Target.  They are supportive enough without being too substantial, come in all kinds of bright and happy colors, and are super affordable.

6.  Unless you're sporting a super short pixie, you'll need to keep your hair out of your face.  These magical rubber bands stay put forever and don't pull any hair out or get tangled when you take them out. 

7. & 8. You'll need good sunscreen, both for your body and your face.  Don't skip this, even if you're avoiding peak sun hours.  But you would never go out without sunscreen, right?

9. I used to just run in whatever shortie socks I picked up at H&M, but once I started running longer and harder I also started getting blisters.  I recently invested in a pair of these Nike anti-blister socks and I am a total convert.  They feel a little weird at first, not nearly as stretchy as normal socks and ridiculously thin, but once they're on your awareness of them completely disappears and your feet feel joyously free and dry.

10. Last, but definitely not least, you need a good pair of running shoes.  You should go to a specialized running store and have them do a gait analysis and make sure you're getting the right ones for your particular body.  I had a lot of fun finding my shoes, and a year later they are still going strong.

So, now you're ready, get out there and hit the pavement!

Do you run?  Have you done a race before?

12 comments:

  1. I've been knocked out by allergies since the beginning of May, but once allergy season is over I will be back on the pavement. I can't wait! I get ridiculously excited by the thought of new shoes and light rain and well-planned running playlists. I have never run more than 6 km at a time, but I love it nonetheless :)

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    1. Look at me going on and on about myself. CONGRATULATIONS! Your very first race, that is TERRIFIC! :D

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    2. Thank you! It was a pretty huge accomplishment for me, the longest distance I've run. but now that I know I can do it, with energy left to spare no less, I am going to push myself more and more. Always nice to connect with others who run regularly as well, we could help push each other! I used to run with pumped up running music, but then I switched to podcasts and audiobooks, which I found so engrossing and distracting (in a good way) that I'd hardly even notice I was running. But recently I've discovered the joy of just running with no noise. Just my breath and my feet hitting the ground, the occasional tweeting bird or two. It's pretty awesome.

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  2. That's awesome! Go you! I've yet to bite the bullet on signing up for my first race, but have wanted to. Are you planning on running more races?

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    1. Thanks! You should totally do it. I set it as a goal for myself last august (!) and only just did it now, but I needn't have waited to so long. It was such a rush, and such a great motivator. I highly encourage you to do it! And yes, I'm definitely going to do more. I think running season is over here in Madrid because it is so crazy hot in july and august, but come september I plan on doing as many as I can! Maybe work my way up to a 10K even...

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  3. I am seriously impressed and that is coming from someone who can't even run for a bus. Well done you. I love the picture of you - taken by the awesome Director of Photography?

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    1. Ha! Thanks Sue! You'd think I'd be in pretty decent shape after a lifetime of dancing for a living, but running has been a real challenge for me and this really felt like a huge accomplishment. And yes, that photo was taken by dear Husband. He spent the whole morning there with me encouraging me and snapping photos before and after. What can I say, I'm a lucky gal ;)

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  4. Congratulations! Racing is pretty addictive.

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    1. Thanks Anya! I remember when you ran your first race and I was so inspired! Have you kept it up? Are you running longer distances now? I can totally see getting addicted, it was such a high! Definitely going to do more come september...

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  5. Congratulations! You can really be very proud! I also started running this summer, and the better I get the more I like it. It really was a pain in the ... at the beginning. But once you pay 150 euros for running shoes I guess you have to keep going. Hopefully I will continue when it gets cold, rainy, dark, and gray in winter. Nothern Germany isn't the nicest area for outdoor sports.

    www.anythingbutmeandmymonkey.com

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    1. Thank you! Absolutely, the better you get the more you can enjoy it. The beginning was pretty horrible for me too. As a dancer you'd think I'd have been in decent shape, but after just 15 minutes I would want to die! But I stuck with it and I'm so glad I did. And yes, having awesome (and pricey) shoes can be a great motivator. It is hard to keep up in the winter, but if you get the right layers on and a hat with a brim, I actually kind of like running in the rain...

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    2. Yes, run in the rain and you feel like Rocky! :)

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