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Running tools: part 1 October 30, 2011

Posted by Merrilee in Running.

For the last few weekends, I’ve been doing long runs on my own. As much as I love the LMJS Saturday runs, I’ve realized that getting there and back (and associated chit chat, etc.) burns up at least an hour, which even for me is a 6 mile opportunity cost. One of the things I’ve appreciated about running over biking is that it’s WAY more efficient and I’m not spending my whole weekend training. So yesterday for example, I did this 10 miler and was home by 8 am in order to pick up my mom from the airport.

Glutton for Hills

[WordPress.com won’t actually let me embed the route in this blog post, so you’ll have to click through to see. If you do, please note the hills on this route — I’m not whining when I talk about running hills in my neighborhood!]

Since I’ve been doing more solo running, I have appreciated the little things that make my running life nice so I thought I’d do a series on my favorite running tools. Feel free to add your own in the comments!

1. My phone: if I could leave the house with one thing, it would be my phone. I have an Android (a smart phone) and it’s loaded up with apps (more about some of those in another post). My phone is also a security blanket — if I get too tired, I could call for a ride or use Google maps to see how to catch a bus back to my starting point. I’ve never done either of these things but sometimes when I’m 3 miles into a 10 mile run, I start to think “there’s no way I can make it up those hills at the end!” I am easily bored so I make up new routes all the time. I know I can’t really get lost if I have a map in my hip pocket. To go along with my phone I also have…

2. My headset. I hate cords (how do you all manage them?), and I have tiny ears, so ear buds just pop out, so I invested in a (riduculously named) Motorola MOTOROKR S9-HD bluetooth headset. I love it. I love it so much that when I lost my first ones IN MY HOUSE, I bought a new one. It’s totally overkill for the handsfree driving experience, but I love it for running and the gym.

3. Although I don’t always take it with me, I also love my Garmin Forerunner 305. It’s a slightly older model but I love being able to track my pace, and when I bother to download the data, it is fun to geek out over that. I used to train religiously with a heart rate monitor (and I encourage that for people who never have) but I find that I seldom feel the need to slap my band on any more. When I can drag myself to the track, the Garmin is indispensable for seeing what my pace is. (And as a side note, I know the best way to get faster is to go to the track and I always have a good time when I do, but I find it hard to motivate myself to get there.)

I’m going to continue this in another post, so stay tuned!



1. bananaoilmovies - October 31, 2011

Hmm. Bluetooth headset … you may have convinced me. 🙂

2. RoseRunner - November 1, 2011

that run is sweet for the first half…and then yikes, hill! So where is a good track to run at in Oakland? I always stick to lake merritt and the treadmill for speed workouts (with my garmin 305) because I don’t know where to find a good track.

Merrilee - November 1, 2011

@RoseRunner, the Piedmont High School track is good, and our group does a track workout there on Tuesday nights. I can pass on the details if you want.

3. Sesa - November 1, 2011

Hey, did you change your blog address recently? I just thought you had taken a long break from blogging …

I, too, can never leave the house without my smartphone. I look forward to your next post on apps. I used to track my runs on Runkeeper before splurging on my Garmin.

And I also have the 305, which seems to be the favorite model among runners I see. I just like the big screen and buttons, and I have no desire for something sleeker or more attractive. I have the HRM and would love to use it (I’ve read about the benefits of using one to get faster).

Anyway, I’m glad I finally found your blog and plugged the correct address into my Google Reader 🙂

4. Merrilee - November 1, 2011

@Sesa thanks for asking about the status of my blog. I did take a super long break from blogging after I got injured in March (or whenever it was). I was tired of whining and when I got better, it felt slow and tenuous, so I continued not blogging. Now I’m running and feeling good, so encouraged to blog more. It’s funny, I never mind reading about other people’s troubles (in fact I find it helpful), and of course as a blogger I love to talk about ME so I don’t know what’s up with that!

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