Yesterday was supposed to be a very exciting day for me. I had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis, Missouri to an open model call for a well-known management agency. This audition to sign as a model for their company could lead to various job opportunities down the road; it was a door, I thought, God had opened for me.
I don’t know about any of you, but every time I am out and about, and pumped to go running, I always forget to bring something I need. Whether that is headphones, arm band, or pretty much anything you’d ever need, I would forget.
If you are a runner like I am, you most likely have a set list of favorite products you love to use. Below I have listed my favorite products and essentials I have learned to always keep with me.
- Arm band! – I have a cheapy arm band I keep in my car in case I leave my nice one at home. And by cheapy, I mean this baby has been sewn back together multiple times from wear after years of running. Nike is my go-to brand for arm bands, because they stay in place during runs, instead of sliding down, but my backup is a $5 band from Walmart.
- Waist band/belt – When I first started training for my half, I thought I needed the top-of-the-line gear, so I bought a running belt to hold my phone and Gu. Turns out, it bounced quite a bit while running and I couldn’t adjust to that. If you aren’t 100% for arm bands, I would say these are second best. I got mine at Academy for $15.
- Towel or cleansing cloths – These will be your best friend if you’re a busy-body like I am! I have a small window each day to squeeze in a run, then I’m back to work or school. These can be found at any sports store. (They’re like baby wipes, but smell much better, leaving you feeling fresh after a workout.)
- Gu Gels and Chews – I have tried many of these, various brands and flavors, and let me warn you, you will find horrible horrible flavors, then you will find some amazing ones; it’s hit-and-miss. My favorite Gu gel flavor is strawberry banana, and no it does not taste like the mouth foam at the dentist, and my favorite chews are strawberry. Disclaimer: don’t even attempt to try the “savory dessert” flavors; you will throw up. Shoot for fruity before runs, so you don’t have the aftertaste of caramel goo for the remaining 10 miles.
- Gloves – I am a wimp when it comes to running in the cold. I have to have multiple layers, including on my hands. These don’t need to be fancy at all; mine were the $2 winter fuzzy gloves from Walmart, and I store these everywhere, so I always have a pair on hand. (Get it? *wink wink)
As a runner, all of these things are super important to make sure you have. There are other products to use, of course, but when it comes to having back ups, these are my go-to’s.
Feel free to comment your favorite products to use!
*T-69 days until I will be running the Go Girl Half Marathon here in Springfield!! I’ll keep you updated on training days, meals, and how it all fits in to the crazy college lifestyle.
Check it out! gogirlrun.com
The pictures finally came in from the Bass Pro Half Marathon I ran two weeks ago. I say this, as many other people have said to me, this is the one to beat. Bass Pro held a huge event and it went off without a hitch.
Have you ever had an off day and coincidentally a stranger says the exact thing you needed to hear?
Well, I am a little over a week away from running in my first half marathon, and the training has been long and grueling. *See below for accurate image of my running.
I’m going to be honest, there were days when all I wanted to do was take a nap. Okay fine, that was everyday. I did cheat a few times and skip a run, but that doesn’t mean I gave up.
I was half way through my 6-week training plan, when my motivation went downhill quickly. I’m a full time college student, working 3 jobs, training in my spare time, and trying to get at least 6 hours of sleep each night. Sounds impossible, right?!
I was beginning to get discouraged that I wouldn’t be ready in time, until this adorable older gentleman comes into the YMCA where I work, and tells me to answer a question for him:
“What is the most important thing you have full control over?”
I stood dumbfounded as I told him I didn’t know.
He said, “Self discipline. You gotta push yourself harder when you think you’ve done your best. You gotta wake up, and say you’ll do more today.”
How could he have known that I needed to hear exactly that to get my butt in gear for this race??
God is good, y’all, and he will sneak in those little wow moments where you need them most. I am now starting my tapering week, and next Sunday is the half marathon.
I have pushed myself harder and did more everyday. That older gentleman had no idea of the impact he had on me that day!
With the help of that older gentleman, and God’s amazing grace, I will finish this race, beat my personal record time, and get a pretty cool t-shirt from it.
“Let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”
– Hebrews 12:1
I did something yesterday that I had previously thought would be impossible for me to do. I registered for my first half marathon!!!!
Crazy, right? A year ago, I would have been happy with simply crawling to 4 miles, but in 5 weeks, I will be a participant in the Bass Pro Cohick Half Marathon (and I will crawl to 13.1 miles).
How do you even survive a marathon is the first question I asked myself. Well, I reached out to a few long distance runners I know, and they gave me some pretty amazing advice. And I am here to pass that advice on to ANYONE who likes running, whether that may be a mile every two weeks, or 10 miles a day. A runner is a runner.
I work behind a desk.
Horrible start, I know, but I stand behind the front desk of a YMCA, and I watch in envy as people walk in and are able to move about freely and workout. I continue, though, typing in paperwork, answering the incoming calls, and managing the flow of members. I am so caught up in my little world behind the desk, that when I step outside to leave, it feels as though I’m taking my first real breath of the day.
There is a world happening around me, and I am selfish to acknowledge it.
I’m going to be honest, there are days when all I think about is the next thing I need to get done; rushing, hurrying to accomplish something. What I don’t take time to realize is, the world around me will continue to turn, the birds will still chirp in the mornings, and my life is a grain of sand compared to the billions of other lives on the planet. In short, the world will continue to revolve, whether I acknowledge it or not.
Why not breathe in every second you can?
I went running the other day, and in the middle of this grueling 8-mile run, I realized I hadn’t thought about anything the entire run- my mind was clear. (This rarely ever happens, by the way.) Usually, I run to relieve stress and I’m constantly thinking of that stressor throughout the whole run, but this run was different.
All I could think of during this run, was how beautiful the day was. I didn’t have a single thought about homework, student loans, work hours or the incessant pain resonating from my feet (begging me to stop, most likely.) I kept looking around at the parks I passed by, the happiness of dogs splashing in the lake, the breeze keeping me comfortably cool and being in awe of the beauty.
“This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
I stopped thinking of the things I couldn’t control, and started thanking God for giving me legs to run with, giving me strength and endurance, and most of all for the day he so-beautifully made.
Some days, I believe it would be easier to sulk in my own moodiness, but I have to mentally kick myself in the hiney and remind myself that God did not put me on this planet, so I could hate half of my days on it.
Choose to be happier. Go outside and breathe in the almost-fall air. And most importantly, wake up with a thankful heart that God gave you another day on this planet.
Have you ever had an experience where you’re sitting in church while the pastor is preaching, and you immediately feel God pushing you to get something off your chest? And the pastor could have said something completely ordinary, like, “My grand kids went swimming yesterday,” but in that instance of time, you felt led to tell your entire testimony.
This happened to me a few weeks ago.