Headsweats Hats: I LOVE these hats. First off, they do all the things a hat should do. They keep sweat out of your eyes, keep the sun from prematurely turning my face into a prune, provide a platform for sunglasses and headlamps, keep rain out of my face, and hold stray hairs at bay. All awesome things. But these hats just somehow do all of that better. They fit wonderfully and are so lightweight. I know some people don't like to wear hats because they think it will heat them up, but this is definitely not an issue with Headsweats hats. I love these puppies so much I have since given away all of my running hats which aren't of the Headsweats variety. I won't wear anything else. This is pretty obvious when you see my Headsweats hat collection:
Part of the reason I wanted to do the San Francisco Marathon was because they used Headsweats hats last year onto which they branded their marathon logo. No. Lie. They had better do it again this year!
Garmin Forerunner 305: Oh, Garmie. How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I know that everyone and their father has a Garmin nowadays. But there is a reason for that. This thing will change the way you train and run forever. You'll know exactly how far and how fast you're going. You'll get to see awesome satellite maps of your run. I don't even use mine to half of the capacity that it is capable. Since a new model (which I really, really want!) is soon to hit the market you can find some pretty good deals on 205/305's nowadays.
Balega X-Athlete Hidden Comfort Socks: It took me some trial & error and false romances with some other sock brands. But I finally (luckily) found my one true sock love. Just do yourself a favor and try these out. I could take a Balega sock picture that looks just like the hat and the impending skirt photo, but I will spare everyone. I told my mom to try out these socks. She did and promptly bought 6 more pairs. She won't run/walk in anything else, either!
Clif Shot Bloks: I gave up Gu's when I found this. Something chewy like a gummy bear is so much more appetizing than gels. My favorite flavors are Cran-Razz and Margarita (extra sodium). Ever since I started running with these I don't run with Gatorade anymore. Just plain water and the bloks.
New packaging on left, old packaging on right
And Clif has even done something new with the packaging. Less waste and more efficient. Win-win for everyone! I took the new packaging on my recent 20 miler. It works awesome. You tear off the top and just squeeze the bloks out as you need them. Previously I would put the bloks I needed into a plastic baggie. And while I would not define the feel of bloks as sticky, they are definitely tacky. This leads to siamese-block-stickage and tacky fingers. While running it is a little cumbersome to quickly grab just one blok of the desired flavor when they are all in a bag together. Two big thumbs up for the new streamline packaging.
Runningskirts.com: These ladies introduced me to the world of running skirts. I remember reading about running skirts in Runner's World in 2004 and I thought they were the most ridiculous thing ever. Running in a skirt?! But I read a bunch of reviews and how many women raved about running skirts. I bought my first (the black/yellow one below) and was hooked. They are cool, comfortable, and much more flattering than shorts. This style has two side pockets which are much more accessible than pockets on traditional running shorts. Who likes to go fishing around inside their shorts for that pocket in the liner?
Amphipod Micropack Land Sport: This is more of an honorable mention because I haven't used the second one I bought ever since I discovered running skirts (about a year ago). The skirts have a sleeker profile about the waist and it just looks ridiculous to have this pouch stuck in them. But in the days when I wore shorts you couldn't beat this pouch. Just read my sad ode to my first pouch here.
p.s. I also LOVE handheld water bottles. I used the older version of this one for years (mine didn't have a pocket). When I stopped using the amphipod I transitioned to this bottle since it had a pouch where I could stash keys & even fuel. While both aren't bad at all, I think I am still on the search for the perfect handheld water bottle. Suggestions?
I am hoping to get the "new" favorites post up the end of this week. I've got a couple of updates to the things mentioned above.