The Connection Runners + [shoes]

A Runner's Top Ten

Top ten lists are fun. David Letterman does them, and he's cool - right? Plus, Top Tens come in handy when I have nothing else to blog about (which might be often, kids.)

p.s. Jessica Rowland, if you're reading this: I stole this idea from you. Must give credit where credit is due!

My Top Ten Running Must-Haves

10. Quality running shorts that don't ride up but aren't so long that I look like a female basketball player. Runners got to MOVE. Having a tasty little pair of not-booty shorts is key to avoiding the CHAFE while maintaining fluid strides.

Nike Fundamental Road Race Shorts: Wedgie-free!

9. An iPod full of tunes. A good mix is essential here: I'm all about some hard rockin', pump-you-up tunes (a la Kings of Leon, Jimmy Eat World), but I like to throw in a random, mid-tempo "think" song (something by The Fray or Regina Spektor's "eet"). I'm weird, I know.

8. A clean, clear road, preferably one with minimal breaks and traffic lights. (Note: I'd also love to not have super WT males honk and yell "Yeah, Baby!" while I'm running either. Thanks guys, but you're probably on your way to Wal-Mart. Ick.)

7. For long runs, a few packs of GU and some water. Favorite GU flavors: Orange Burst, Lemon Sublime, and Strawberry Banana. I'm rather looking forward to the new Jet Blackberry flavor. It's kind of sad that I get excited for new flavors of electrolyte and carb-enhanced gooey goo, but it makes me feel all-astronauty and fast (thanks, caffeinated flavors). On a side note, flavors like Chocolate Outrage and Mint Chocolate need to be saved for trips to Baskin Robbins ONLY.

Nothing like warm, minty GU to cool you down during a 16-miler on a hot summer day.

6. Good temps. Give me a sunny day somewhere between 50 and 75 and I'm good to go.
5. A solid, spectator-packed event. Yes, I realize I don't always run when there are thousands of people on the sidelines (except the times I imagine them while I'm dogging it down Hines Drive). However, nothing beats that euphoric feeling of coming down the home stretch to cowbells and cheesy 80's montage-style tunes. Best home stretches that I've been on: Flint Crim 10-miler (bricks, baby) and def the Detroit Marathon finish.
4. Clean, good-fitting, low-cut SOCKS. So important to keeping feet sans blister. Plus, I've become a sock junkie lately. Often times I'll sneak onto REI.com during work to check out their fine selection of sales socks, oohing and aahing over new SmartWool ankle cut runners or North Face crew cut light hikers in celery green.

(In Homer Simpson's voice) "Mmmm... . SmartWool... ."

3. A snug fitting sports bra. Again, no CHAFE. 'Nuff said.
2. Cool beers and junk food. This one is kind of a cheat, but whatever, it's MY blog. Technically, beer and junk food are not "must-haves" to run but rather they are "must-haves" after the run. I absolutely live for running a long race as long as I can quickly obtain a Magic Hat or, at the very least, some domestic kegged beer immediately after. This might just be the reason why the Crim is my favorite race. Free beer and pizza, yes please!

And now for the drum roll a la National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation... ..

1. The will to keep running! Remember, I'm average. I don't love to run all the time. So the will has to be there, even when I don't want to throw on my shoes or when the thought of trekking down the same old trail makes me want to barf. It's all about the WILL.

So that's all! Aren't you excited to have read this post? I hope that, if nothing else, it has inspired to come up with your own top ten list about something VERY interesting and VERY relevant.
Happy Friday, followers!

Today's Point Two: Go buy some good socks. I dare you not to get addicted to them, mwahahaha.