The Gear Goodies

Since I can’t write about an actual run today, I figured I’d write about one of my favorite things; winter running gear!

Back in the day, when I first started to run, I would wear a plain old t shirt, sweatshirt, and whatever leggings I had on hand. I remember buying a fleece hat from the Gap to keep my ears protected. I looked like a goof.  My arsenal of goodies has (thankfully) gotten much more functional and cute, and has upped my game, sincerely.

I’ll go from head to toe!

Zeal Optics are the sunglasses I’ve been wearing for about a year. Their website is down but they can be found on amazon. They also have a great facebook page filled with photos of athletes wearing their glasses and goggles. I love my Orb’s. They are shaped a little like goggles, a little like aviators (big ones), so they block out a lot of gunk, wind, and other irritants when I’m on the run. They also make a great headband (a must in my book). If it’s too dark out, I can put them on top of my head and forget that they are there. Love them!

Lululemon Running Toque’s and  wide headbands have made my winter runs bearable. I loathe cold ears, so I never leave the house without one or the other. The ones I have are made of luon, though I believe they’ve changed the name of the fabric this year; it’s now called rulu, for running luon. They also have a Brisk Run Headband that I probably should get, since it’s even wider than the headband to cover the entire ear. My neck warmer from them has been a lifesaver when it’s freezing outside as well.

I have boobs, which I try my hardest to strap down. For years I wore two bras, but have found success with the Moving Comfort Fiona.  It has a racer back and three hooks and eyes that help to hold me in really well and minimize bounce.

Because of the boobs, I never like running tops on me. I have tried them all, but am too self conscious. I have many from Lululemon (the run swiftly really performs nicely), Nike, Oiselle (love their short sleeve shirts for Summer), to name a few. The top I reach for the most is the Seamless Athletic Tee From Target. I like that it is thicker and fits close, but doesn’t show every bump and lump. It’s cheap too, at $24.99, so I don’t feel so bad blowing my nose on my sleeve when I run out of kleenex. Runners do what they have to do. Believe me, I have heard of worse!

I often like vests to keep my chest warm. Any will do from hi-brow to low, from L.L. Bean to Lulu. In the dead of winter I layer with pullovers and Lululemon always comes out with fantastic ones. My favorite is the Alpine from last year. The Define Jacket, made of Luon, is great too. They both fit close, which helps me feel warm, but wick so I don’t get clammy with drying sweat.

Last year, when I first learned of Lucy Athleticwear, I ordered a pair of their Propel Capris and a pair of the Propel Tights. I’m often a 10/l in bottoms, but customer service said I should order a medium. I’m glad I did. They have a bit of compression, which is nice and keep me toasty. I have heard good things about C-WX Pro Compression Tights, so they are on my list of things to try in the next couple of months.

I am in need of new running socks and was going to restock my Lulu No-Show Ultimate or my trusty Nike 6 pack, but I recently tried Zensah Compression Socks and love them. I think I might try a few other brands and see which I like best. The RunLove Running Compression Socks from are adorable (they have hearts on the calves). The black ones are backordered until November 30, but I definitely want to try them.

When I was training for my first half marathon last year, I went to my favorite Raleigh running store to get my gait analyzed and to try to pick the best running shoe for me. I was surprised to learn that I needed a neutral shoe. The Mizuno Wave Rider 13 in a half size larger (9) than my regular shoe size (8 1/2) that I bought that day were fantastic. I found that I am the kind of runner who likes to “feel the ground.”  I always thought I preferred cushioning, since I’m (ahem) a little cushioned myself. I bought two more pair of the 13 and figured I’d be fine buying the Wave Rider 14 online. Dumb move. It turns out that the 14 fit shorter in length than it’s predecessor and I spent the Spring and Summer running in shoes that didn’t fit properly. In July I ran the Old Port Half, in Portland, Maine and struggled the entire way. My toes were cramped, and at mile 9 I wanted them to just fall off. I went back to Raleigh Running Outfitters in September and they sized me up in the 14 (a whopping 9 1/2). I wasn’t so sure they’d work, but again I was wrong. The moral of the story; get fitted by people who know about running shoes instead of being new models online. Lesson learned.

The Zensah Compression Socks and the enormous Mizunos

Finally, I couldn’t run long distances without my belt. For the past few years I have strapped on the GoLite HydroSprint Women’s Pack, but I’ve recently purchased the Classic Collection 4 Bottle Fuel Belt. I was hoping to use it tomorrow for my 11 miler, but that will have to wait until the ankle is feeling a lot better and the swelling has gone down.

Oh, and how could I forget my favorite Gu? The Vanilla Bean is delicious! I actually crave it when I’m not running!

What do you love? Any of the goodies on my list?

3 thoughts on “The Gear Goodies

  1. Well, since I am a boy I cannot comment on the majority of your gear =) However, I appreciate good gear as well.

    Being on a budget I have found great success with Target/Champion and the C9 clothing. Sometimes I feel like a running billboard for C9. I tend to find something that works and stick with it though.

    I actually have three pairs of gold toe brand athletic socks that were a christmas sale last year (3 for 2.00).

    I wear a 12 year old pair of Smiths sunglasses that have interchangeable lenses. Mostly I stick with the normal dark lens.

    My favorite two recent purchases were a Buff rag (replacement for bandanas) and a pair of Thorlos coolmax socks.

    I really enjoy your blog’s sense of humor, reality and personality!

    1. Thanks for commenting!

      I’ve heard a lot of good things about Smith’s sunglasses. My Zeal’s are getting kind of tired, so I may be needing new glasses soon. I’ll have check into the ones with the different lenses. Since you mentioned socks, I’ll add that I just tried a pair of Swiftwick socks, and am in love!

      I probably like running gear (and talking about running gear) more than the average bear.

  2. There are times my wife swears I should have been either gay or a woman because of my love for broadway musicals and shopping. Oh well. I am relatively new to running and still very much wide eyed about everything. I am looking forward to catching up with your posts concerning training and to follow along on your journey to a marathon. (egads, I hope I’m not too late…)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.