Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Running Wardrobe Basics

People will try to tell you that running is the cheapest sport in the world to take up, equipment-wise. "Just lace up your shoes and go!" they say. 

Of course, now that I've been running for almost two years, I know it's not that simple. That's long enough to have amassed a fair bit of knowledge, but short enough to remember what it's like to buy all the basics. Essentially, this post is about what you'll need, where to save a buck, and where to spend it. 

Counter-clockwise, from top right:

Shorts x 2: These are Reebok, bought at Dick's Sporting Goods for around $14.99 each, if memory serves. The style is important; those booty-short styles look great for about five steps. Then your thighs rub together, like thighs do, and you end up with a massive wedgie. You're then left with the decision to pick that wedgie 72 times during your run, or just grit your teeth while it creeps ever further up your buttcrack. These Reebok shorts are very loose, so you don't have that problem, and they also have bloomers inside, kind of like an attached pair of underpants. It keeps you from flashing everyone if you have to bend to tie your shoe, and also gives you the option, on a really hot day, of skipping underwear entirely. 

Singlet x 2: I used to think these were tank tops, but no, they're singlets. (They're tank tops.) I picked up two for  $10-15 each at tj maxx. The most important thing with these and any running tops is to avoid cotton. When cotton gets damp, like from sweat, it starts to chafe. If you're thinking, 'how is a little chafe a big deal?' Google Image search "chafe nipples." Mmmm-hmm.

Sports bra x 2: This is one of the places to spend a larger chunk of your budget. I favor the Moving Comfort Fiona bra; I'm a larger-chested girl, and this gives me all the support I need. One tip, though: if you're going to buy this particular bra, order one cup size up from your normal fit. Depending on color/size, you're looking at $30-50.

Yoga Pants x 2: I bought these basic yoga pants on Amazon. Depending on color and size, they run from $11-20. They've held up really well, and they have pretty much every color available in the fold over waistband. A tip about that waistband—on really cold days, instead of folding it down, pull it up over your belly for an additional layer on your middle. 

Jacket: This was a gift, so I'm not sure of the exact pricing, but I believe it was about $40. The brand is Storm Creek, also purchased on Amazon. You'll want something that isn't bulky, but has a nice warm lining, keeps out the wind and the rain, and is machine-washable.  Personally, I don't like a hood on my jacket. They block my peripheral vision, and they always fall down anyway—I prefer a hat and a scarf, but I'll get into that in a later post. Make sure to hang it inside-out when you get back from your run, too. 

Shoes: This is where I deviate quite a bit from the conventional wisdom. I run in hiking shoes, not running shoes. They're heavier, and not very flexible, but my shoes—Keen Alamosas, if you're curious—have a wide toe box, great support, are waterproof, and as far as I'm concerned, can't be beaten in stability. I ran all last year, four or five days a week, through the worst winter our area has seen in ten years. I did fall a few times, but never because of a slip on ice or snow. If these shoes can keep me safe through that, you bet they have my endorsement.
Regardless of what kind of shoes you decide on, make sure you get good ones, and consider going to a specialty running store to be properly fitted. Your shoes are literally your running foundation. Ill-fitting shoes lead to injuries.  

Capri pants x 2: These are not only your spring/fall transition pants, but an important part of your deep winter gear as well. When yoga pants aren't enough, layer your capris over them. If you feel at all silly, just remember that you just basically made your own compression pants, without shelling out the $70+ compression pants usually cost. Capris usually run about $15 at places like tj maxx and Kohl's. 

Shirts x 2: If you're smaller-framed, like me, this is where you can save a few bucks. Rather than shopping in the women's section, head over to the kids'. A large or XL will offer a similar fit as a women's medium, for around $10 less. 

tl;dr: Start out with two pieces of each clothing type. Shop clearance and discount stores for clothing. Invest in a good bra, jacket, and pair of shoes. 

I'll be back soon for some other running gear-type posts, so stay tuned! 

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Tumblr, add me on Goodreads, and stalk me on Twitter!

Thursday, November 6, 2014


I usually remember on Friday morning that Throwback Thursday was the day before. But my dad just sent me a couple of pictures, which kind of set this up nicely for me. 

I liked this one in particular:

Me, obviously, probably around age seven or eight. I haven't gotten much taller since this was taken. 

My parents, I think, tried to encourage me to have an interest in people by buying me Barbies. I ignored them and carted around her animal friends, like her horse. This is a fairly accurate foreshadowing of myself as an adult.  

The dog in the photo was named Sunny. I have some pretty awesome dogs right now, but Sunny...Sunny was one in a million. She was born right in our basement, one of seven puppies in the litter of a pregnant stray who adopted us. 
I can barely remember what happened yesterday, but I can still remember all the names of those puppies: Brutus, Sunny, Honey, Bunny, Baby, Bear, and Sweetheart. 

We rehomed her mother and the other six in the litter, but Sunny stayed with us. That dog was legendary. Every one of my childhood friends remembers her, probably because she was the one who looked after us while we played in the woods. Utterly sweet to people and animals, but protective when push came to shove—she once attacked and drove off a stray dog that came after my friends and I.
I also like this photographic evidence that, once upon a time, I could pull off bangs. I got bangs for the first time since the nineties a few weeks ago. When loosed upon the world, they stand straight up. I look like Johnny Bravo.

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Tumblr, add me on Goodreads, and stalk me on Twitter!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Who Does This?

So, for my low-key Halloween costume this year, I did this:

Apparently, you can't only purchase two googly eyes from Walmart. Which is fine...I figured I'll get the big pack, stick them in my purse, and anthropomorphize random things as I go about my travels. Like you do. 

However, since Halloween, they've been sitting on my bathroom sink, because I'm a slatternly wench who never puts stuff away. And while I was brushing my teeth the other day, I noticed something. 

Do you see a problem here? Because I do. A very large problem.

If you didn't get it yet, don't feel bad, because it took me several days to notice. To notice that, less the two googly eyes I used for my spider hair, there were seventy-five googly eyes originally in that package. 

Seventy-five. Seven. Five. A number not divisible by two. 

tell you, if I didn't believe that true evil existed in the world before, I do now. 

Like me on Facebook, follow me on Tumblr, add me on Goodreads, and stalk me on Twitter!