Friday, October 21, 2011

My Current Gear Crushes

Friends, I am loving Pinterest.

After establishing a board for Clothes, Shoes, Food Porn, Dessert Porn, Beverages, Places to Visit, and Full Of Win (oh, and also Worst of Pinterest...someone had to do it), I of course created one called Running Gear. My Running Gear board is full of stuff that I would totally buy tomorrow if I won the lottery, or whatever is the equivalent of winning the lottery for someone who doesn't play the lottery (mathematician, you know).

What's currently on my Running Gear board?

roga shortOiselle Running Women's Roga Short, $44

I am almost universally a compression shorts girl -- I have yet to find a pair of loose running shorts that don't chafe the hell out of my inner thighs. (You're welcome for that image.) I'm intrigued by the Roga Short, though. The material looks like it's maybe a little different than most other loose running shorts I've seen. Kind of steep (I'd say $25 is usually my limit for running shorts), but hey, we're talking about a magical world where I've won the lottery-equivalent, here.

The Long Roga Short ($47) is also on my board -- sometimes more length helps prevent the chafing as well. Again, slightly rich for my blood (my current blood, at least), but a girl can dream. Then again maybe they're extra-special magical and worth the dough if you've got it.

brooks seamless arm warmersBrooks Seamless Arm Warmers, $25

I'm eying these guys for Cal International Marathon in December. Word has it that it's usually pretty chilly at the start of the race, but in my experience, wearing a long sleeve shirt in a long race is a HORRENDOUS idea unless it's below freezing. (I ran in one when I was on a ski trip in Whistler & it was 25° F -- that was about right.) So arm warmers it is. I love the Brooks gear that I have & these have gotten pretty good reviews, so I'll probably go with them.

I'm also considering a pair of tech gloves, at least to throw in my bag in case it's extra-special cold and/or raining. These Nike Lightweight Women's Running Gloves ($18) are my current pick. I'm open to something cheaper / non-name brand if it is functional & serves the purpose, though my experience with ski gloves & liners suggests that $18 is actually not exorbitantly over-priced for good tech gloves.

hanson-brooks capHanson-Brooks ODP Cap, $20

A good running cap is pretty high up on my list of gear I actually need right now. Currently I have this disgusting Sauza sun visor that I got for free at some Cinco de Mayo event they were sponsoring like seven years ago. It's been through some untold (and, frankly, disgusting) number of hot, sunny runs and has probably doubled in weight at this point via salt I've sweated into it. Though it has more or less served its purpose, it's pretty gross by now, and not very fashionable, and certainly won't be much good in cool / rainy weather. Since I'm using their marathon plan, I thought it would be kind of cool to get a sweet Hanson-Brooks cap.

smartwool graduated compression socksSmartWool PhD Graduated Compression Ultra Light Socks, $38

After a lot of reading & talking to my sports docs & PTs, I'm convinced that compression socks don't actually do anything if you wear them while you're running (some people swear they're more comfortable, which is fair, but there is no evidence that they've ever made anyone run faster). On the other hand, I've come to really love wrapping my lower legs with ace bandages after a hard run, and there IS actually some evidence that wearing them afterward speeds recovery time. I have a bunch of SmartWool ski socks that I love, so I was excited to find out that they have also make graduated compression socks. Maybe one of these days I'll actually get around to buying a pair.

HaberVision McKenzy Sport Sunglasses, $77.50

habervision mckenzy sunglassesI bought my last pair of sport sunglasses (who am I kidding; my last pair of sunglasses of any kind) at the Rock N Roll San Jose Expo last year. While they've held up pretty well (especially for $20, as they were on clearance), they've got their share of nicks & scratches, are missing the rubber bit off one of the ear pieces, and are certainly no longer anti-fog. I just learned about HaberVision recently -- I don't know all the details, but supposedly they're doing fancy-schmancy-quality sunglasses for cheap by doing everything online. Supposedly $77.50 is good for these particular sunglasses (suggested retail = $155, apparently). I don't know enough about sunglasses to speak with authority on the matter, but they look and sound comfy. And again - lottery-equivalent.

trigger point grid foam rollerTrigger Point "The Grid" Foam Roller, $40

I got my current foam roller for about $15 back before I really knew anything about foam rolling. It is literally a cylinder of blue foam that has slowly collapsed over the years into a kind of Coke bottle-type-shape. As you can imagine, this makes it pretty useless. I've heard lots of good things about the "The Grid" model, particularly its rigidity, meaning it retains its shape (and usefulness) for longer. All it would have to do to justify its price tag is outlast three of my old ones, which is probably not hard, as a couple of months was realistically all it was good for.

What about you -- any current gear crushes to share?

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