I am normally pretty conservative when buying clothing but I try and spend more when it comes to workout gear. I've found that, like many things, the better product is, most of the time, more expensive. I'd rather buy a good pair of shorts once than keep purchasing them as they disenigrate in my wash. I am a Nike girl through and through. I just haven't worn a Nike running shoe I didn't like and over time, realized most of my running clothes were from a brand that just fit me well, lasted a long time, and were also very comfortable.
I wore Nike tempo shorts, the Nike Miler Tank, and Nike Air Relentless 3s. I was unsure about my shoes at first, normally I switch between Nike LunarGlides and DualFusions but these were on sale so I got them instead. I went through three pairs of shoes training for this race and shoes are expensive so I thought I'd try to save some and get these. I felt as though they might not have been the best for trail running as they didn't feel as supportive around the ankle as my other shoes but I finished injury free and my feet felt good the whole race. I probably won't be a repeat buyer and will go back to my standbys.
Lululemon Bitty Bracer, despite it's absolutely ridiculous name, this bra is awesome. I returned it twice because I kept thinking it was too tight (hello, that never happens) but the girls that work at the store convinced me keep the size I had and to go for a long run in it...if I still didn't like it, I could take it back for a full refund (pretty great return policy). I took it for my 20 mile training run and loved it. She was right, as soon as I got my heart rate up, the material just melted into your skin. It is a great bra that gives is comfortable and supportive. Worth the money. I tried many different sports bras on longer runs and most caused some chafing from a seam under my arm that didn't bother me during normal runs (3-5 miles) but over the course of a couple of hours were pretty painful.
Smart Wool running socks. Seems strange to use wool as the material for a hot Florida run but these socks have been great. They last forever, they wick moisture away from your skin and I've never gotten a blister while wearing these socks.
A run belt. I bought a SPIbelt one for the Gasparilla and my marathon. It is way better at holding my phone steady and easily accessible than my arm band and I can also pin my race bib onto it if I want. It is super easy to adjust/tighten/loosen while I'm running and the wide elastic doesn't dig into your skin. I spent a couple of extra dollars to get the water resistent one mainly because of my phone. During the race this held about 20 dates and a pack of Gu Chomps (Blueberry Pomagrante-my new favorite!).
Bluetooth Headphones. If you listen to music/books/podcasts while you run, these are worth the investment. I got the Motorola S10-HD Bluetooth headphones for my birthday last year and love them. I have ears the size of a small child and most headphones are really painful to wear, these are great and come with multiple ear bud sizes, are water resistant, and not having a sweaty cord hanging from my face is wonderful.
Music/Books. I have a Spotify and and Audible account that I got when I started training for my half marathon last year. I try to get books that I can get lost in (Harry Potter has the best narration/Gone Girl had the WORST/Divergent and Hunger Games trilogies are just ok). I started the last book of the Hunger Games around mile 20 of my marathon and it helped take my mind off of those last (what ended up being) 9 miles. For music, I like Spotify so I can switch up my playlists frequently and not get bored. Honestly, I didn't plan for the race playlist I made to have 26 songs, that's just the magic of the marathon folks.
Roar- Katy Perry
Work B**tch- Britney
Merry Go 'Round- Kacey Musgraves
Cocaine- FIDLAR (not to throw anyone under the bus here but this is Matt's band de jour....I thought it would be a sweet reminder he was waiting for me but it was a loud reminder that we share different music preferences)
Dark Hourse- Katy Perry
Holy Grail- Jay Z
Back to the Beginning Again- Switchfoot
All Night- Icona Pop
Celebrity Skin- Hole
Itchin' on a Photograph- Grouplove
Can't Hold Us- Macklemore/Ryan Lewis
Hard Way Home- Brandi Carlile
Badge and Gun- John Mayer
Sweeter- Gavin Degraw
The Man- Aloe Blacc
The Mother We Share- CHVRCHES
4x4- Miley Cyrus (clearly I have no shame when it comes to music and can easily enjoy cheesy pop music....this was unenjoyable)
Follow Your Arrow- Kacey Musgraves
The First Single- The Format
In Love with A Girl- Gavin Degraw
Mirrors- Justin Timberlake
Brave- Sara Bareilles
Silver Lining- Kacey Musgraves
I also listened to the whole Twin Forks album...twice. I love it...I know Dashboard Confessional isn't for every emo girl but this little heart o' mine sure does miss some good Chris Carrabba songs. This was a perfect fix.