Now that you have pondered the possible physical, mental and spiritual benefits of Running for Your Life (as opposed to actually running for your life: OMG, WILD DINGO!! RUN!!!), let’s get to the essentials of running.
Running is one of the easiest sports to begin. Get dressed and get out the door. (consult a doctor if you have any medical concerns) BOOM! You’re a runner!
It’s also one of the least expensive, unless you’re a gadget/clothes hound. If that’s the case, the market is packed with stuff I drool over, yet don’t so much have. And there’s my point. The beauty of being a runner, of getting out the door to run, is as simple as you need it to be.
My list of must haves:
1) Great shoes. Period. Note: I didn’t say expensive shoes. I buy most of my running shoes at Academy, a local sporting goods store. I think the last pair I bought there cost around $60. I also never buy them in the women’s department because I like a little more width. Runner’s secret #51: buy your shoes at least one size too big. It keeps your toenails healthy.
2) Shorty running shorts with the built-in liner. Breezy! I am partial to Nike and typically buy them in the boy’s/men’s department because the sales are better (my cost: no more than $10-$15 per pair, in the late fall/winter). I have been toying with the idea of a running skirt, but haven’t found one I like yet.
3) Sweat-wicking shirt. I live in Texas and I am in a sleeveless running shirt 9 months out of the year. These things work and are worth the cost (I have never spent more than $10 for one….in the boy’s/men’s department!).
4) Cushioned running socks or thin running socks, your preference. I buy these at Academy too. A little pricey, but I only buy them about once every three years. Note to significant others: they make great stocking stuffers!
5) Visor. I spent $5 on it. I have sensitive eyes and need the protection. Yet, in the heat of the summer, you’ll find me on the shady side of the street carrying it because it’s too danged hot for ANYTHING on my head.
6) Sunglasses. I just splurged on some Optic Nerve glasses, which I love, but prior to that I think the ones I used came off the sales rack at Kohls. Maybe I spent $7.
I’m such a running hobo.
7) Sports bra. Get one that supports your efforts; try some on, then bounce vigorously in it (in the dressing room, momma!! sheesh!). You can find them on sale, but spend what you need to spend. Mine was $15, but keep in mind I need less support than most gals.
I also have a few fun non-essential gadgets (a cool runner’s watch and an iPod), but I went DECADES without them and ran just fine.
Please do not ask me about some of the delicious, yet scandalous food I eat; it will horrify you.
Yet, for the most part, I eat as healthy as possible. Runner’s secret #12: once you start running, you start to make better nutritional choices because you find when you don’t, your runs suffer, I.E. you suffer.
During the week I eat mostly fruits, veggies, whole grains and lean meats. But then again, I’m also a red meat consumer, eat sweets every day and imbibe in the occasional umbrelly drink. I pay the most attention to my diet the day before a run. Once you eat something that interferes with your runs, you start paying attention. The key is moderation.
You’re ready to run. Don’t let anything complicate the simplicity. Don’t worry about what you’re wearing, or not wearing. I certainly don’t. I’m as mismatched as they come. Yet, I’m most certainly a runner.
Don’t worry about your current nutrition; running will show you the way. Step by step, running will change more than your waistline; it will change your attitude and vision.
Now that you’re dressed and properly fueled, get ready to run. Get ready to sweat, to pray, to cuss, to feel, to sing, to breathe, to fly, to stretch more than your muscles; get ready to live!
Seriously. Get ready.
Next time: Ready, Set, RUN!
Originally published @ Happy Life 7/10