Friday Favorites: Week One

Over the past few years on my running journey, I have accumulated a small collection of running accessories/gadgets/things I just can’t live without. I certainly don’t have as many as some people I know, but these are just a few I have found handy and thought might help some of you that may be new (or not) to the running world! I decided to break this post up into a mini-series over the next few weeks because of #fridayfaves and all. 
Shut Up and Watch Me Run (see what I did there?!)
I recently switched from a TomTom to a Garmin this summer. I loved my TomTom but I was on the hunt for a new watch and a good deal sucked me in. Next thing you know, my vivoactive3 arrived in the prettiest box and I took it for a run. I really love having a watch that looks like a regular watch but has all the things I need for running and more! You can read all the nitty gritty details on the Garmin site, but I highly recommend it. I opted for the white band with rose gold hardware and I feel like it matches everything! I had a few issues with my first run just trying to figure out the watch itself (I didn’t read the manual!) but after a few minutes, it was pretty self-explanatory. I love so many things about this watch. I wear it 24/7 (except I charge it while I shower) so I knew I needed something that matched my day-to-day apparel, but also seamlessly transitions into my workouts. At one point, I had a steps counter, run watch, and a regular watch. I spent more time swapping out watches and remembering to charge them or just wearing 2 at a time. That was awful.

There are probably a hundred features I haven’t even found or tried yet but I mostly use it for running and the related data and seeing how I slept. I know the wrist HR monitor is not going to be the same as a chest strap monitor, BUT if you aren’t tracking your HR at all during your runs it definitely gives you an idea of when you may be pushing yourself into the red zone for half the workout. I don’t have the version of this watch that stores music (I don’t run outdoors with music) but I’m sure it’s just another added bonus if that’s your thing! The battery life is great – I always try to charge it when it starts getting towards the 30% level. It stays charged for a few days (depending on your GPS use). You can use pre-downloaded workouts, track multiple activities, and the GPS connects so quickly on outdoor runs. One of my favorite features is the Garmin Connect app. I’m an engineer so reviewing tons of data is basically my favorite pastime. This app makes it super easy and even incorporates little infographics of the weather…like I need a reminder that it was super hot and raining. #thanks

My husband also happened to get sucked into the really good deal I mentioned above. So, we have matching watches. He has the black band with black hardware version and it’s so sleek. BUT! The coolest thing about our watches?! Nothing to do with running. He decided we needed better watch faces. So, he designed some. I highly recommend you check them out if you have a Garmin – you’ll see his personality shine through. The Dinosaur was the first face he made and the most recent is the Broccoli Chasing A Donut…so, download them. They are free and bring all the entertainment you could need throughout the day.

But for real, the watch is great! I still accidentally hit something and end up on watch views I didn’t know I had, but love to discover. You should read the manual. It probably explains more than I could! I skipped reading the manual. Who knew it had so much information?! 😂

@wmacart Garmin watch face designs:

Download “The Running Foods” here

Download “Dinosaur” here

Body Glide
Chafing. Even the word sounds hurty. For the longest time, I used petroleum jelly before or after a run to soothe my poor skin. Texas summers and running are not a good combination. Actually, sweating and skin are not a good combination. I would end up raw where my shorts hit my legs, and gasp, where my sports bra seams dug into my skin. How is that even possible? Oh, and that weird realization where the back of your arm rubs against your tank top? Yowzers! Showers and chafing, also a terrible combination. All the ouch. The consistency was also icky, then you’re running and sweating, and rinsing it off is just downright difficult. I had basically given up and resigned myself to living the chafed life.

But one night, there I was, strolling around looking at socks and running shoes (I was supposed to be buying a new golf polo…but, I got distracted!) and stumbled on some Body Glide. It was in a hot pink stick and basically begged me to buy it. So, I did! I tried it on my very next run. SUCCESS. Nothing hurt. It glides on smooth and is as easy to apply as a stick of deodorant. Side note: that’s what I thought it was at first when I saw the packaging. I used to wear my sports bra inside out to prevent the seam from rubbing my skin. Now, I can wear my clothes like a normal person and not worry about searing pain in a post-run shower. Go. Get some. You can thank me later.

They have so many options. Prevent those pesky blisters, chafed thighs, and everything in between. They even have a cream (I haven’t tried this option yet!) but I have been so impressed with how well the For Her stick has worked, I can’t wait to try! It’s just a bonus that it’s #veganapproved and sold at so many convenient locations!

Foam Roller
I’ll do a whole post on this later but you should ALWAYS make time to stretch. And roll those tired leglets/glutes/lower back out to help your recovery. You will feel so much better. I’m awful at stretching so I have had to make it a priority to allow 10 minutes at the end of a run or workout for it. I’m even worse at remembering my foam rolling but it really does help. We just ordered this roller because our last one basically bit the dust and collapsed under our ice cream and beer weight bodies. Shoot. But also, check out the color of it. It looks like a box of crayons exploded. We had to have it!

I will say this roller hurts, but in a “wow, that’s so painful but my legs don’t feel like bricks anymore” kind of way! If you don’t enjoy deep tissue massages, this foam roller may not be right for you. I’ll do a follow-up post with foam rolling/Thera Cane/tennis ball massage etc. so you can get the whole scoop on my post-run recovery guide.

Thanks for stopping by!

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