Remember that time I said I would post often about my running progress on here? And you actually believed me? Welllp, sorry to let you down but as a peace offering, here’s a post about how my running has progressed and some of the gear I’m using.
So today’s the perfect day to write this as I’m currently trying to rest up what I think is a slight groin pull. Advil seems to have taken care of most of the ache, so I think I’ll try to give it a good go out there again tomorrow, after about 4 days of mainly rest. It’s not too bad of a pain and it goes away when I run, but I figure it’s best to try and get rid of this one month before the half marathon, rather than overtraining on it and making it worse.
My longest run to date was last Friday at 9.5 miles. Feeling pretty good about this, as I still have one more month to add those last 4 miles. The goal is starting to feel attainable, though the heat is not helping me in getting in my runs. I love hot weather, so it’s odd for me to complain about it, but just having slightly cooler mornings would help. Or some clouds. Butttt, I don’t want to ruin it for everyone else, so I hope the weather keeps up! It’s better than the cold weather, for sure.
I’ve also managed to chop about a minute and half per mile off my average pace. It’s still a slower pace of only 10.5 -11 minute miles, but I seem to be able to keep it up for long distances and it’s a major improvement for me, so I’ll take it! Just had to focus on consciously running faster and taking my stride from heel-toe to striking on the balls of my feet for better propulsion.
Here’s a short list/review of some of the stuff I’m currently using to aid my running:
UNDER ARMOUR COMPRESSION TANK – Pretty happy with this, it definitely wicks sweat well without showing it. It also seems to keep fairly cool on hot days and doesn’t seem to chafe my arms on long runs. Also, I recently discovered that it has a zippered pocket large enough to hold my iPhone.
MIZUNO WAVE INSPIRE 6 SHOES – Just picked these up about a week and half ago and I’m finding them to be at least as nice as my old Mizunos (that turned out to be a size too small, due to foot swelling during distance runs). They’re very meshy, so your feet stay quite cool while you run, and also very light. They’re also built for people who slightly over-pronate so they offer good stability. I use them in conjunction with Dr. Scholl’s inserts for knee pain.
NIKE AERO SPORT HEADPHONES – Was looking for some headphones that looped over the ear, but weren’t earbuds, so these were really the only option. The sound isn’t that great but earbuds always fall out of my ears and I have an insane fear of getting earaches and infections, so having something block my ear canals from the wind/elements seems like a good thing. The padding is also rubberized, so it’s easy to clean and doesn’t get too sweaty. It also comes with a cordkeeper clip-on, which works alright.
iPHONE + RUNKEEPER PRO – I can’t say enough good things about this little app for the iPhone. It keeps track of runs (and other types of exercise that you can enter manually) beautifully and you can get lots of stats on their easy-to-use website. I used to use TrailGuru and I have to say, it was garbage compared to this. The free version is awesome, but if you’re a moderately serious runner, I’d recommend ponying up the $10 to get the audio cues and support the developers. I’ve had a couple issues here and there with the tracking, but I believe it has something to do with the iPhone’s GPS, rather than the app, and the errors are few and far between. Two thumbs up.
ARMPOCKET – I’m still on the fence about this one. I tried it out last week when I got it and it chafed the hell out of my arm. It may be that I just had it on too tight. Haven’t used it since as it’s been so warm out that I really don’t want to have anything on my arms, if possible.
GLUCOSOMINE/CHONDROITIN – Just started taking this supplement today, so I can’t comment on its efficacy, however it’s supposed to improve/ease joint pain, so I guess it’s worth a shot. The pills are huge and gross tasting, probably because they contain things like “parts of crab exoskeleton”, but not so bad that I won’t try and finish the bottle. They say results come after a month or so, but I’m mostly just taking them for preventative purposes, since they don’t seem to be harmful.
Other than some of the things I’ve mentioned above, I feel like things are going pretty well. I’ve also been reading some books on running- Running for Peak Performance and Running Well - that I’ve found pretty helpful. I’m sure this post was only interesting to runners, but I thought I’d put it out there, since sometimes I’m looking for inspiration in other people’s progress.