Every weekend for the past month I’ve been going on a 6 mile run. Because I’m no longer doing Bikram yoga, I have some more free fitness time on my hands, and running has always been my activity of choice. So, usually, every Saturday I hit the treadmill and sweat my butt off. When I started in October, I could do my 6 miles in nearly 59 minutes– not bad, but not that great. By last week, however, I finished up my 6 miles in just over 53 minutes– nearly a 6 minute improvement!
While I’m proud of that, this week I thought it was nigh time to hit the real road. The weather has finally turned gorgeous, and today was the perfect, sunny, breezy, cool, clear day. I went online and checked out a nice looking route on the Rillito River Walk that was about 5 miles long. I grabbed my iPod, threw on my sneakers, and headed out.
Now, here’s a question for all you runners out there– what on earth do you do with your keys/iPod while you run? I shoved my key button in my sports bra (classy, right?) and held my iPod in my soon-to-be-sweaty hand. It was really rather cumbersome and annoying. At least the Prius doesn’t require me to ever actually take *out* my key (that would have been a little too much class), but does anyone have any advice for this?
This is the path I initially set off on. However, after running for about a mile (and having a lot of trouble getting used to pacing myself after so much treadmilling) I got confused about where to go. The path I looked up showed a loop that I unfortunately never encountered– and nervousness made me turn back and run back to my start point prematurely and not ever find the elusive loop.
So I started off in the opposite direction. I had a lot more luck this way– I only got a little confused once, and made it down to Alvernon before turning back, about 1 1/2 miles. I was feeling more comfortable and was able to pace myself. At first, I found myself going a little bit too fast– somehow running outside makes me feel like I’m going slower– but I found my happy spot and was able to maintain it for the rest of the run.
There I am in all my sweaty, red-faced, post run glory. I actually really enjoyed this experience, though my left knee was a little extra-achy by the end. It’s difficult to gauge a time/distance, but what with all the confusion and re-tracing of steps, I’m happy with doing about 5 miles in 53 minutes. Not a great time, but a good start. Once I get more comfortable with a route, I can start improving on my speed.
So, to all the would-be runners out there, here are my two absolutely MUST have running accessories:
If you are going to run at all, the #1 thing you should invest in is a damn good pair of running shoes. Blowing about $100 on shoes may seem like a lot, but if running is something you are serious about doing, your feet, knees, and body will graciously thank you. If you don’t believe me, just trying running in your cheap-o target sneakers for a week. If you end up with sore shins, knees, and feet, don’t blame the running, just go get your cheap ass out to get a pair of good shoes. I strongly suggest trying out different shoes to see what works best for you– I went to Jack Rabbit in NYC, where they analyzed the way I run with a video and recommended the shoes that work the best for me. This was a super neat, free service they offered, and while I did get my shoes there, there were basically the same price as any other store, and now that I know what shoes work best for me, I can get them anywhere!
I can not emphasize enough the importance of a good playlist for running. Not only with it help you pace yourself, but it will also completely motivate you. Just think of how you feel when you hear the latest terrible pop song at a club– you just NEED to get up and dance! Well, running is no different. Pick out the songs that you skip around to at home when no one is looking and throw them on your iPod. Sure, I was out in nature, and I could have been listening to the beautiful sounds of the desert– but that wasn’t what I was there for. When I go hiking, nature can be my playlist, but when it comes to trying for a good-paced run, no one can top Flo Rida.
My current playlist:
- California Girls- Kate Perry
- Hot Boyz- Casiotone for the Painfully Alone
- Get Low- Flo Rida
- Merry Happy- Kate Nash
- Single Ladies- Beyonce
- Disturbia- Rihanna
- I Gotta Feeling- Black Eyed Peas
- Tik Tok- Ke$ha
- So What- Pink
- Worked Up So Sexual- The Faint
- Sexy Back- Justin Timberlake
- Poker Face- Lady Gaga
- When I Grow Up- The Pussycat Dolls
- Somebody Told Me- The Killers
- I Kissed a Girl- Kate Perry
- Paper Planes- M.I.A.
- World Go Round- Busta Rhymes
Anyone have any good songs that get them pumped? I’m always looking for additions!
So, comfortable clothing, a sports bra, and a good pair of socks are also nice, but as long as I have the my sneakers and iPod, I’m set.
That being said, here’s my running wish list:
- an iPod nano with armband case
- a pair of headphones that WON’T fall out of my ears every five minutes
- a nice pedometer/timer/watch
- a pair of good running pants with a POCKET to hold my car key
Anyone want to give me an early Christmas present?