Maybe it was just the overall excitement of my first race.
You know, setting a goal and actually seeing it materialize and all that. Or maybe it was the overwhelming insider feeling I had of being in the club, a runner, one of us, when I walked into the Run Expo to pick up my packet (and a few other treats . . .) And I may still be coming down off the post-race high. But whatever the case, these are some things that came my way at the end of half marathon training that I have found to be just darn great.
I know what your thinking: “Fanny pack?!? Is this Blob for real?” Get past that. I’m serious. The SPIbelt is so very non-fanny-pack. It’s for Small Personal Items – get it? It is tiny, but it holds a ton. Even when it’s holding a ton, it truly does not bounce. I wore it for the first time during the Half Marathon (major no-no trying out new gear on race day) and there was no chafe. If you drive to where you run, you need this for your keys. If you’re iPhabulous and track your runs in 4G, you need this for your phone. If you’re running ten miles or more, you need this for your Power Bar Strawberry Banana Gummies (really, they’re the best). If you are like the most fabulous non-blob diabetics I know, you should have had this months ago. The bottom line is that if you’re running, you probably need this.
I still know what you’re thinking: “Gross.” But they’re not. Not only are these sport headbands the polar opposite of gross, (which, if I remember correctly is the oh-so-technical classification of “Super Cute”), but they are also perfectly functional. In fact, and here’s a sticking point, Sweaty Bands do exactly what they say they are going to do. They stay put. And the look great even after a million miles. This is another piece of equipment I tried out for the first time on race day (I’ll never learn.) Check out how well-positioned and good-looking it is even at Mile 12. Still not convinced, check out their site for a scrolling photo album of famous women athletes rocking Sweaty Bands and feel inspired.
Now I really have no idea what you might be thinking. A mat. A mat?! How about the floor, you pansy. Or a beach towel. Or a throw rug. Or a $12.99 swath of rubber from Target. Well, nothing against the Target bargain, because I rocked a mat like that for the first four years of my yoga. Regular readers here know it’s no secret that I have a thing for Lululemon Athletica. In fact the first really nice yoga mat I had was from Lulu, but times have changed. I find that I spend over half my practice trying not to slip out of whatever pose I happen to be approximating. I know that the don’t-let-me-slide-into-the-splits” muscles are different from the full expression-of-triangle-pose muscles, and now that I’ve been doing yoga long enough to know the difference it’s time for an upgrade.
I the stores where I live, The Mat comes in, as far as I can tell, black and teal. The teal however is the “black swan” of yoga mats. (1) Seeing one in a class is an unexpected surprise ( dang, check out that stylin’ yogi); (2) The surprise has a major impact (envy.); (3) The surprise is rationalized in hindsight as if it could have been expected (Oh well, it IS just a yoga mat after all.) I’ve been toying with the idea of getting The Mat for a while. Since my twice weekly Run Group meets at my loca Lululemon, I’ve had several opportunities and near misses with getting one. But I missed my chance to snag The Teal One. I think they ordered the black mats and the teal mats in something like a 50:1 ratio. But that what makes it great. At a pre-marathon sale event at a local running store I saw the Teal Mat and it was under the perfect circumstances. It was the only yoga mat in the whole store, it was The Mat, it was The Teal One, and I got a deal.
You may also now be thinking, “Ok, but what the heck does a yoga mat have to do with the Half Marathon.” Well, if you know running you know stretching is key. And if you know me, you know treats are key. I’m trying to up my yoga and get in at least a little bit every day. I’m still not quite there, but The Mat is definitely reinvigorating my commitment. Also, I ran over thirteen frickin’ miles, I earned it.