Friday, January 24, 2014

I Love it When Running and Jesus Meet! {7 Quick Takes Friday}

Earlier this week, I began writing a post for today, just something simple, as basketball games and doctor appointments had left little time for me to construct anything relatively enlightening, and potty training has hijacked my sense of humor until the tighty whities rule.  Practical posts aren't necessarily my favorite to author, but because there are about 2 or 10 of you, my dear readers, who actually dig the practicals, I'm your gal!

Thanking God that I can still run...farther than the mailbox or away from the male offspring most likely to nail me with a Nerf Gun (it's their way of saying, "I love you"), I thought I might whip up a lil' list of running essentials for the post, a few good things that keep me cruisin' all year long.

But then.....

My sister-in-law forwarded a beautiful post to me from A Holy Experience (she knows me well!), and it literally left me on my knees.  Thanks to her, I've been thinking about this man for a good day and a half now:
{Photo and story can be found at A Holy Experience Blog}
And, I've been praying even harder about Ann's inspiring reflection of Cliff Young, a 61 year old farmer and his unlikely, unexpected victory in a 544 mile ultra marathon competition (that he signed up for just for fun, to see if he could finish. Without having trained. Lawd, Lawd.)  It would be pointless for me to summarize such an incredible story here, when Ann has already mastered the art of story telling. I shy away, as well, from the attempt at an articulate expression of the impact that this magnificent account of courage and humility has had on my spiritual life...and on my "running" life as well. Perhaps later.

Investing a few minutes of your time into Ann's Post "How to Get Through The Dark Places" will either leave you scouring the internet for a great pair of muck boots, or it will bring you back here to Pin my list of essentials, because you've never wanted to run ever before in your life....until now. (I hope it's now!)  Either way, I promise you'll love it...and want to share it with your family and friends, whether you're a runner or not.

If exercise is already part of your weekly routine, you probably already have a nice little stash of tops and bottoms that can easily cross over into running, so, for that reason, I haven't included any specific apparel on my list.  
Amphipod Hydraform handheld water bottle is the bottle I use on my shorter runs (4-8 miles).  Being well hydrated before you run is extremely important, but unfortunately, most of us head out the door without even considering hydration.  A handheld bottle is a great insurance policy. For longer runs, I like the Nathan Speed 2 Waistpack . Since your muscles are 80% water, you can bet that taking a few sips along the way will ensure a more energized run.

Nuun electrolyte enhanced drink tabs are all that I use for electrolyte replacement, which is important for everyone who exercises at a vigorous level for at least an hour or more.  Gatorade, Powerade and similar drinks aren't an option for me (a few reasons why).

Asics Gel Nimbus 15 running shoes have been my shoe of choice for the past 10 years, because it's the shoe that fits my foot the best.  Finding the right shoe is imperative before you begin any sport.  Remember, when it comes to running, it's fit over fancy.
* You can read more about how to find your perfect shoe here.  *
Remember that your running shoes are for running, and aren't meant to be worn all day long and then to be run in.  The mid-sole of your shoes need at least 24 hours to decompress between runs.  What shoes do I wear when I'm not running? Asics Gel Lyte33 are my ultra comfort shoes for cross training, walking and for long days of football games and wrestling tournaments.

Wearing a hat when you run is a great way to keep your hair out of your eyes and to give your face a bit of sun protection as well.  I am so glad that many companies are making hats with reflective material for early morning/evening runs when there is little sunlight. Brooks High Visibility Running Hat is my favorite so far.  It's light, comfortable, moisture-wicking and easy to throw into the washer after a sweaty run.

The Garmin Forerunner might be a bit of a splurge, but I cannot imagine training for any race, or staying motivated to meet a PR without it.  When I'm not training, it's nice to be able to run free in any direction without having to mentally calculate the miles, since the watch does it for me.

Whether you're a runner or not, wearing protective eye wear whenever outdoors is very important for long term eye health. Over the years I've worn everything from Oakley's to the inexpensive C9 line from Target.  The better lenses are often pricier, but they also afford great clarity and eye coverage, allowing the eyes to relax in sun exposure. Optic Nerve Omnium PM sunglasses are an affordable brand that perform well. Although I've never owned a pair myself, I have heard great things about Tifosi who also makes an affordable line for runners.

Next to finding your perfect pair of shoes, wearing a superior pair of socks is the best way to protect your feet from the pavement pounding. Thorlo Socks are my absolute favorite.  They are soft, durable, hold their shape, and best of all they are made right here in the U.S.A.  Added bonus: you can try a pair for FREE!!! Check out their website for more details.


  1. Tifosis are excellent! I have had mine for 3 years and love them as much as the first time I wore them.

  2. I LOVED that post from Ann too! I cried as I read it!

    1. I cried too, Katie!! Posting Cliff's picture today made my eyes well up with tears again!

  3. Goodness, I cannot wait to be able to run again!! Before beginning a training program, I like to treat myself to a new piece of running gear---sunglasses are at the top of the list this time! I will definitely check out Tifosis. Oh, and I can't live without my Garmin! I feel lost and naked on a run without it. Not even exaggerating.

    1. I was just thinking that after our baby is born in June, I'm going to treat myself to a new pair of shades for running....because I know they will fit! ;) Great minds think alike!

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  5. WOW!!! That story was phenomenal!!! The fact that he just kept going and ended up not only winning but setting a new record when all he wanted was to see what he could do - AMAZING!! Thank you for sharing the link to that story!


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