June 22, 2016

Then and Now

Every once in a while, I'll think back to things that I did when I first started running. Sometimes I laugh. Sometimes I cringe. Other times, I simply shake my head. I generally operated in a blissfully ignorant posture. In some ways, I think that really worked for me and there were definitely things that I could have benefited from knowing about. I figured it would be fun to look back about 5 years and see what I was doing then as compared to know.

Then...I was buying a few wicking tops at TJ Maxx or Target. I wore really basic running shorts or capris. I had half of a drawer in my dresser dedicated to workout clothing.
Now...I have two drawers full of tech clothing - tank tops, short sleeved shirts, long sleeved shirts, half-zip tops, skirts, pants, shorts, and even a vest. My running wardrobe has definitely improved and diversified!
At a race in November 2011 - that was my only long-sleeved
tech shirt at the time. 
My first Sparkle Athletic skirt (back then they
were still Team Sparkle) - summer 2012
Training runs
Then...I ran solo. My training runs were generally structured simply on mileage alone. I used Map My Run to map out a route before I left since I didn't have a watch that tracked distance.
Now...I still run solo most of the time. When I'm looking to PR at a race, I'll follow a detailed training plan with prescribed runs and associated paces.

Then...I ran with a cheap Timex watch from Target that had a stopwatch function. Funny story-I actually captured my exact race time with that watch during my first half marathon. It still sits in my jewelry box but I can't figure out how to change the time to be correct.
Now...I have a Garmin Forerunner 220 and also run with my Fitbit Flex. I also have run with my husband's Forerunner 10 in a pinch. I have become a bit of a data geek as I learned about the importance of different tempo runs as well as speed work. My Garmin helps keep me accountable.

Then...I went to the running store to get fitted. Hooray, I wasn't a total newb! I wore a pretty significant stability shoe. I believe it was the New Balance 1260 if memory serves me correctly.
Now...Still hit up the running store for my shoes. I recently was fitted for a neutral shoe, which is a departure from my typical stability shoes. And I still wear New Balance.

Race registrations 
Then...I was a little more spontaneous with race registrations and didn't think about each year in terms of the running seasons.
Now...I'm a little more thoughtful about my races and am more focused on choosing new races.

Then...I struggled to consume anything on a run. After getting a stern lecture from a friend, I started trying mid-run fuel. The same friend gave me a few gels to try before my first half and I hated them. I would occasionally munch on a few bites of a Balance bar mid-run for fuel.
Now...I carry water on my runs and routinely bring fuel for any run over 6-7 miles. My preferred fuel is Clif Bloks in strawberry, tropical punch, or margarita. I also bring gels on really long runs for diversity. But one thing has remained the same, I have always preferred fruit-flavored fuel.

Did you do anything as a new runner that makes you scratch your head now?


  1. Its always fun to look back and see how we've progressed over the years. That's quite interesting that you've changed from stability shoes to neutral shoes. Do you think your feet have changed that much, or do you think you should have always been wearing neutral shoes?

  2. I think I had that same Timex watch but I never ended up using it for running because I couldn't figure it out..lol. There was a time early on in my racing career that I would were that watch Along with my Garmin because although the Garmin showed distance and pace on a run, I also wanted to know what time it was and I didn't know how to get the Garmin to show all that data. Fun times! -m

  3. Back to when I started running... Nike tempo shorts were all the rage, I had no race teeshirts, I didn't own any compression, and I didn't travel with a lacrosse ball to massage myself out, lol

  4. Really interesting post! It's fun to see the transition from "just getting into it" to "running is part of my lifestyle." I think the wardrobe and the strategy of your races shows that. I'm similar to you in that the first running shoe I had was max stability. I think a lot of people need that when they are starting out! Great post.

  5. I'm still a newb at the training thing. And I'm still trying to figure out the fuel thing. But I've learned how important strength training is for runners and to not get injured. When I used to go out and just "run" and not worry about that. Thanks for the post. :)

  6. Isn't it funny to look back and see how far we've come as runners? I love it!

  7. Not join a running group! No Garmin. Then there was the gel hat -- it actually worked quite well, but man, did I look dorky!

  8. My first marathon -
    I never stretched or rolled, had no hydration, and no sort of fuel/food at all.

  9. My first race was a half and I trained in random t shirts and sweats. Once I finished that first half, I signed up for every racecation I could afford. Now I'm more picky.

  10. Wow! You have a good preparation. I also a runner and i agree with your sharing. I remembered that my first race was two years ago. It was a nice memory. ^^

  11. It is funny to look back! My list is a lot like yours.
    I use to get to feeling so sick if I even tried to to drink water on a run, and the first few times I tried chomps and GU I thought I may die lol I still can't do chomps or GU but I found sports beans work fairly well :) and Nuun has saved me as far as hydration goes.

  12. I really miss you guys' posts! Are you taking a little blogging break too? It's okay if you are, I was just thinking the other day that I hadn't seen anything from y'all in awhile!

    1. Hey girl! Yup, a little summer vacation was needed for both of us. :) Thanks for your sweet comment!