Sock it to me

Before every big race, I have pre-big-day traditions that, like carb-loading and hydrating, I wouldn’t feel ready to run without. In anticipation of running the Star Wars Half Marathon at Disneyland in ten days, I thought I’d share one tradition that has turned out to be one of the most important, albeit, life changing.

Buying new socks.

12088345_10100805221621448_2303560925920131562_nI instantly feel fifty years older after typing that, but it’s true. One of my favorite race day preparations is heading to the Reno Running Company and scoping out the two synthetic foot coverings that will take me anywhere from ten to soon twenty-six-point-two miles. What color should I get? Should I stray from my favorite brand? Would it be weird if I sniffed them gleefully in the middle of the store because I never thought I could know such happiness?

Sorry, that got weird.

Truthfully, socks are often overlooked by runners (including myself for a long time) and like a great pair of running shoes, they can, and do, make all the difference. From protecting your ankles to warding off blisters and cuts to helping with blood flow — here are four tips for picking the perfect running socks:

  1. Avoid cotton at all costs. Since our feet happen to be one of the parts of our body where we sweat the most, you need a fabric that will control moisture. Otherwise, you risk a soggy foot and bigger chance at a few nasty blisters. Instead, look for socks with synthetic fiber that will wick the moisture off of your feet.
  2. Get the right fit. Since I’m a long lost cousin of Big Foot (size 11s represent…), I tend to buy mens socks because they provide full coverage and better ankle support. And because no part of your body is safe from chafing, a good fitting pair of running socks will protect you from the aforementioned worst feeling in the world. If you’re purchasing at a running store, they’ll most likely have some samples you can try on, or at the least, a good exchange policy.
  3. For faster recovery, try compression socks. Lots of runners wear them on long runs to support blood flow, while others will wear them post-run to reduce lactic acid build-up.
  4. Get funky! Pick your favorite color, pick a bold pattern, pick something that’s you because when your feet hit the pavement, nothing is more important than feeling confident that you’ll have a rockstar performance.

And there you have it! My favorite brand is Feetures, but I’ve also purchased from Brooks and Nike. What’s your favorite brand?

On your mark, get set…

GO! That’s what my mind told me after weeks of deliberation on whether or not I was going to click submit.

After being unhealthy my entire life, after years of self-doubt, no confidence and size 22 pants, I finally decided to take action. I struggled with dieting, lacked consistency at the gym, and couldn’t face reality. Then, I found running. Or rather, running found me.

With the longer miles went the pounds of fat. With the need to focus on other areas, came group fitness classes and fitness friends. With the desire to fuel the body, came better eating habits. One mile on a treadmill turned into a 5K by the Truckee. Thirst quenched for longer distances and bigger medals and my wall ached to add more racing bibs to it. A random emotional panic lead to signing up for a half marathon. “Can’t imagine running another 13.1 miles,” turned into “I think I’m finally going to do it.”

You’ll learn more and I’ll tell more as we embark on this journey to 26.2 together. I plan to share my training journey, new products tested, trails explored, aches, pains and cries for motivation. Whoever you are, for whatever reason you’re reading, I hope you’ll enjoy.

See you at the finish line.