The excitement I get from new running/athletic goodies or gear is something only fellow runners and/or athletes will understand and appreciate. Two particular items that have me jumping up and down lately (literally) include this fantastically cool hat
equipped with a hole for my pony tail! How awesome is that?! It truly is genius. No more running around with a big ball on top of my head after stuffing my bunned hair inside my winter toboggans. And then, Santa came early this year…
These will come in handy for those early dark days this winter. By the time I get home most days, there isn’t much daylight left. I was just about to purchase a headlamp so I could look like a running toolbox, and so I didn’t have to carry my iPhone with its flashlight app (which eats the battery up in no time, by the way). Then, one of my running buddies told me about knuckle lights. They have a fairly wide stream of light, and are bright enough so vehicles can see you coming (and wonder what on earth you are). 😉 Holding my stun gun is presenting a challenge, and I may end up having to run with just one light. Hey…it beats falling into a hole somewhere.
Before I started running hardcore, I thought the warmest outdoor gear would be the thickest, heaviest, fleeciest sweatsuits. Boy was I wrong! I couldn’t believe how warm my layers kept me at first, and now that I’ve experienced the freedom of running without all that extra bulk and weight of thick clothing, I’ll never go back. As I mentioned in this post, I have to do my warm up inside because it’s physically painful for me to stand around in the cold stretching. Anyway, my favorite pieces are Nike StayWarm
and UnderArmour Coldgear.
The two brands are comparable, both fitted, not compression, have the same percentage of warmth (a thin layer of super soft fleece inside), are super comfortable, and have convenient thumbholes on days when you don’t need gloves. The only difference is that UA has a zipper pocket on the side, which comes in very handy for keys or a phone. Both brands tend to be very expensive, and there are much cheaper versions of the same clothing by Reebok and Adidas. But, if you are patient and can wait until they go on sale, you can get some really great deals. The Nike shirts retailed at Dicks Sporting Goods at $55 starting in November. I stalked them for months and finally bought one in February for $37. I really wanted more than one color, but that’s still pretty expensive by my standards, and I really had all I needed. Then, one day in late June, Dicks advertised an extra 50% off clearance sale and I ended up getting several more of those shirts for $13.99! Sure it was summer, but now I am reaping the benefits of my treasure hunting. 🙂
One more item I’ve added to my getup recently is compression socks,
which I tried out after reading up on all of their benefits. I ordered mine through ProCompression after seeing them raved about and sported by SkinnyRunner. They frequently run specials for 40% off and free shipping, and sometimes they run out of stock on some colors, but they are super friendly and helpful, quick to ship, and offer a quality product.
Other ways I’ve saved on my gear is heading to the outlets or other discounted stores like Marshalls, Ross, or TJMaxx. Even Kohl’s carries Nike and Reebok, and they always have great sales there. My family usually gets me gift cards for those places for my birthday and Christmas, and I get my money’s worth. I also watch for online coupon codes at a number of different sites. Amazon.com and kellysrunningwarehouse.com are two of my favorites that always offer some awesome deals, and usually free shipping.
As you can see, I love running goodies, and even more, when I get good deals on them. 🙂