Whoever said that running was an inexpensive sport was lying. Sure, you could just grab the pair of shoes you have lying around the house and take them for a spin but chances are it’s going to hurt more than it will help. Back in the day when I first started running, I would set out on a chilly morning (yes 50 was considered very very chilly) with two cotton long-sleeved shirts to go running. TWO COTTON SHIRTS!!! Thankfully our running industry has evolved and jumped on opportunity to monetize our outfit selections and well, vanity.
I’d go ahead and categorize my running enjoyment and success in three parts: fashion, food, and friends.
It’s entirely evident and safe to say that I am obsessed with Lulu and Janji. Hey, if provided the opportunity to wear a combination of the two all day every day I would be a happy camper! I do happen to be a brand ambassador for Janji because and it’s my goal (though I admittedly have been slacking) to spread the word about the great work that Janji is doing (yes that sounds like a church mission but it’s not).
Janji is a running company that makes awesome performance running apparel. Not only that but 10% of the sale from each item goes to help fund clean water products. They currently support Kenya through the program Evidence Action and did I mention they have pretty sick running gear?
^^ Yep, that guys is definitely checking out my Lulu pants and wishing he had pockets too.
Let’s talk about the lower half of the body. A little thing called puberty occurs and that combined with running changes your body in ways that you cannot predict. Again reminiscing to my high school running days, I used to acquire every color of Nike shorts imaginable and dress in a different pair every day. These days my quads would like to say “oh hell no” to that style and prefer the likes of Lululemon capris. I discovered that these fit every angle of my quads, calves, rear, and even cover my stomach. Real talk there’s no thigh gap present and while I b$tched and moaned, I realized that these legs that have taken me through 16 half marathons (3 of which I ran 1:40 or faster) and one full marathon. I have to appreciate my body for what it can do rather than curse it for what it is not.
I also love the Janji altitude tights that have a solid back pocket and yellow accent zippers on each leg. You know, because running should be fashionable and again, there’s an added bonus of giving back!
FOOD IS FUEL
Oh how I love good food. This is very evident in my many Instagram food pictures accompanied by the hashtags #runtoeat or #eattorun. Generally, the former is in regards to all the delicious treats that I splurge on after running and working out. (Admission I’m giving up sweets for lent so these posts may be far and few until Easter) The latter refers to all of the good nutrients and items that I use to fuel my runs and keep me moving right along. While I’m a huge proponent of natural foods, I can’t get on board with raisins or baby food mid half marathon.
I have spent some time testing various gels and energy bars and and finally discovered my favs – anything Honey Stinger – waffles, gels, and gummies oh my. Everyone has their go to product but I have been a fan of this company for some time. My sister first introduced me to them a few years back (she always seems to be in the know with running stuff) and I was hooked. I eat a 1/2 to full waffle with 1/2 to full banana pre long runs and races and have alternated mid race fuel between the acai/honey gel or the grapefruit gummies. None of that gag reflex flavor or struggle to chew while running. Don’t believe me? Test it out.
As for post workout/run/race fuel, I’m still in the process of figuring out that magical combination (besides NUUN, the active electrolyte). If I am good about meal prep, breakfasts waver between overnight oats and oatmeal/nut butter/banana and dinners of sweet potato, kale, and eggs. Maybe I’ll have some inspiration or a jump start on a new meal plan following my next Inside Tracker test or when I actually have a decent amount of space to cook and can actually house leftovers in a fridge. I am on the hunt to make my body and mind feel as good as I believe they can. I want my training to follow suit and as my friend Jenna reminded me, “it all goes back to nutrition”.
FRIENDS FRIENDS FRIENDS
For me, the community that I surround myself makes me the happiest human on Earth. It’s these people that have made my time here in New York so memorable and it’s the people who I see weekly (usually in the morning) that make me excited to drag myself out of bed. I sound like a broken record but my favorite activity is to workout (often in the form of long runs) and then find a fun place to get coffee and breakfast. Day made.
“Always find time for the things that make you feel happy to be alive.” – Gone for a run