The Essentials of Running: Part Two

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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.

Get Dressed:

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.

Get Fueled:

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.

Get Ready:

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!

Happy Trails!


Originally published @ Happy Life 7/10


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  1. Rah! Rah! Hobo runners!

    I have also had great luck at finding shorts and shirts on sale at that store with the red bullseye (my store actually has a lot of stuff on sale right now). And, another piece of advice on clothes that took me awhile to learn – light colored clothes are much better and cooler than dark colors. As I find things on sale, I am slowely replacing those dark colored items.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      GOOOO, HOBOS! YEs, on the light-colored clothes thangy. Never dark. Unless one runs in climates less killer-heaty as Texas!

  2. I agree with everything you said, except maybe the shoes. I splurge on shoes. I pay $100 and i don’t even care. i’ve run with crappy shoes and it was the pits.

    • Um, I never said I buy crappy shoes, only pointing out that one can buy good shoes at a reasonable price. I have had the more expensive shoes and honestly, the differences are minimal. But, I totally get what you’re saying.

  3. Love your list! I run in a lot of very old clothes (I guess I am a hobo runner too) and eat scandalous food too!! But I do love that you can run anywhere, anytime…it doesn’t require anything special except the right shoes (and bra of course)!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Shoes, shoes, shoes! And a bra…even for the itty-bitties.

      The funniest thing about my running lately is one of my sponsors is a specialty running store. They are HORRIFIED at my clothes! Makes for a good laugh when they try so hard to undo my hobo ways.

  4. Great post! I’m not usually a gym clothes hound, even though I love Lulu Lemon. But, lately I have splurged on a few new pairs of nike running pants. There just comes a time when you’ve got to retire some of the old workout clothes!

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      Ha! That’s what my sponsors are ALWAYS telling me! Truth be told, some of the new stuff I thought I’d hate, but oh man, I’m so in love with. Still, I rarely match. HOBO!

  5. Great post! I’m looking to start running again after a *cough, cough mumble 5 year mumble, mumble* hiatus. Thanks for the inspiration to get out there again!

  6. Very encouraging to those of us who are beginners (again – after a more than 5 year hiatus!) Just because the hair is graying, doesn’t mean we have to give in to the downward pull, now does it? I probably won’t be getting any sponsors in my lifetime, but I “sure ’nuff” (as we say in Texas) do appreciate the advice.

    • Mrs. Tucker says

      I LOVE that you’re back at it…doesn’t matter how long you’ve been gone! I always say that when I die, someone will probably find my body on a street somewhere because I was out running. I plan on doing it till I just can’t any more. Thanks for coming by and filling us in…Run, Hilary, RUN!


  1. […] nothing.   The physical, mental and spiritual benefits, the healthier lifestyle and shopping for breezy shorty shorts, are within your reach.  It’s just a matter of starting (the easy part), continuing (takes grit) […]

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