Monday, February 13, 2012

These Are a Few of My Favourite Things

"When the dog bites, when the bee stings, when I'm feeling blue I simply remember my favourite things and then I don't feel so bad".  Or so the song goes.   I usually lace up my shoes and go for a run.  That run generally involves a few of my favourite things:

1.  My ipod shuffle.  It's a second generation shuffle and it is pure genius.  It's portable and incredibly unobtrusive.  It is basically an tiny ipod mounted on a clip.  I love it because I can clip it on to my fuel belt or my coat pocket and if I want to skip a song, it's right there and all I have to do is hit one button.  It holds 2GB of music, which is a lot for something so small and compact.  I think at most I've had 1GB of music on it and that was at least a day's worth of tunes.  The battery life is amazing as well.  I can go weeks without charging it and I use it almost every time I run (4x a week these days). 

2.  My Compressport socks.   I have two pairs of these run altering, life changing socks (big props, I know!).  A full compression pair (knee high) and a "short" ankle length pair.  Both of these socks have these incredible little dots on them that actually grip the insides of your shoes and keep your feet from moving around in your shoes.  Absolute genius.  And they offer amazing compression and arch support. 

The full compression pair are hands down the best pair of compression socks I've ever worn. 

And the short ones, well I am going to have to get a few more pairs of these to add to my running sock collection.  One in each colour of dots I think.  Fun!

3.  GU Energy Gels.  I love these things.  I know so many people who have issues with eating on the run.  They don't like the flavour or texture of gels.  I have to admit I did find them kinda strange the first time I tried them and I tried just about every kind of gel out there before I settled on these.   The range of flavours is great and every Christmas they feature a holiday flavour.  The first year they did it they made Mint Chocolate.  Oh YES.  2 of my favourite things in a gel.  Sign. Me.  Up.  I wasn't the only one that loved them.  Due to overwhelming demand, they are now a flavour that is in regular rotation.  This Christmas they featured Peppermint Stick.  I'm a sucker for anything candy cane flavoured so I grabbed a bunch of them.  Tasty and kind of refreshing on a long winters run.  I can't imagine I'd enjoy them when it's +30 and humid but as a winter time option, I love 'em.   The other incredible product that GU makes is Roctane which I refer to as Rocket Fuel.  Cause that's what it is.  I don't know what they put in this stuff but it is incredible.  It's supposed to help buffer lactic acid build up during ultra endurance events or harder efforts.  It does just that.  I used it in pretty much every race I did last year.  The taste takes some getting used to and the flavour range is somewhat limited compared to the regular GU line up.  They did however, come out with a chocolate raspberry flavour that goes down quite easily.  It's not easy to find so when I do find it, I stock up.

4.  Xtend BCAA's.  What are these you may ask?  That's exactly what I thought when I first heard about BCAA's.  BCAA stands for branched chain amino acids.  This stuff is right from the body building world.   According to Scivation, the company who makes the brand that I use (xtend) BCAA's help speed recovery, decrease muscle breakdown and cortisol levels and avoid fatigue by blocking entry of fatigue inducing tryptophan into the brain.  All handy things when you're pushing yourself on a long run.  I mix 1.5 scoops into my electrolyte drink for my long run and I swear it makes a big difference.  It's super sweet so that takes some getting used to but apparently BCAA's that aren't flavoured or sweetened taste like a$$.  So, I've opted for sweet, thankyouverymuch.

5.  My iphone 4s.  Yes, I'm an Apple lover.  No PC for me.  I suppose that is a by product of working in the creative industry for as long as I have.  I had an original iphone that I just recently replaced with the new 4s.  I can't believe how much faster this phone is.  And how much better the camera is on it.  That's one of the big reasons I love it.  I know, kinda lame, right?  It's a PHONE for the love of Pete.  But, I take it with me on almost every run I do.  Why?  Because you never know what you're going to see.  Yes, I know I should be running but sometimes I see something so amazing, so beautiful, I wish I had a camera.  Well, worry no more.  Now that I bring that with me on my runs, they do seem to take a bit longer than they should.  But really what does that matter.  After all it's all about the journey, not the destination.

What are some of your favourite running things?


riley said...

I have a 2nd gen shuffle too! It's indispensable in my running arsenal - apple eschewed function for form with touch-screens after that, so it's one of the last ones you can flip fwd or backward to songs or adjust volume by feel alone. You don't have to be looking directly at it - can't do that with the current iPod.

I'd add my flashy neon striped underarmour shorts, runkeeper and my newly discovered favourite thing to the shuffle to round out the list - audio books. Never thought running while listening to a book would fly, but a couple of hours with a trashy paperback makes for a pretty dramatic Sunday morning run, I don't do it all the time, but when I do, I'm really in my own world :)

Love the list, Pk!

Phaedra Kennedy said...

I know! I absolutely love my shuffle. I don't know what I'll do when it actually kicks the bucket!

I used to use RunKeeper but it totally sucks the battery life on my phone. I now have a Garmin 305.

Audio books eh? I may have to give that a try!