By Katarina Conrad
I haven't always enjoyed running. In fact, I didn't start running until I was after forty, and only because I was inspired by one of the ladies (now our coach) from our very first 8-week KHR session - Varun. Soon after we finished the course, she wrote a post on her Facebook saying how after only eight weeks of KHR training, she was able to run 6 miles straight, something she was not able to do ever before. That made me wonder if I too could run 3 miles without dying. Only a few years back I attempted a local 5K and I barely made it to the finish line. My friend Walter had to coach me the whole time so I wouldn't pass out from lack of air.
After Varun's post, I decided to run 3 miles around my neighborhood. And to my shock, I ran a 9 minute mile! I was flying and I wasn't winded at all. That made me decide to sign up for a race, but not any race, a marathon (26.2 miles). And not any marathon, one of the hardest on the planet - The Great Wall of China marathon with 5,164 stairs, equivalent to climbing three Empire State buildings! So, I gave myself 6 months to train!
Out of 100 scheduled runs, I only missed a few due to traveling. It didn't matter if it was freezing cold, rainy or hot outside that morning, I would still go for that scheduled run. To keep myself motivated I made some changes to my running to help me look forward to it.
My 6 Must Have Items That Makes My Jogs Enjoyable and Safe
I run between 25 to 30 min a day, no more no less, so I don't bother bringing water with me. But, this is what I DO bring:
I bring my phone for two reasons, safety and because of the next thing listed below that makes me look forward to my runs.
2. Reading/Listening Apps
I have a couple of listening apps. I use the Audible app to listen to my favorite books. This way I read about 1-2 books a week. 52-104 books a year! I also like Blinkist to listen to a summary of a book I am taking interest in, to determine if I am going to buy it. If you don't want to spend money on books you can download an app called Hoopla to access free audibles from your local library. Listen to Present Over Perfect if you haven't already!
3. Running Belt
I use our KHR Running Belt to put my phone, a doggy bag, and pepper spray in. After searching and trying many running belts, I finally settled for this one. It's sleek, thin, sturdy, it won't make my phone move and has 4 pockets and no zippers to deal with.
To listen to my books, I bring one cordless left earbud with me. No cord, no tangle, no hassle. One is enough and is for safety reasons. You want to remain aware during your runs, as well as run against the traffic and have one free ear facing the road. This way a car can't follow you, or if you ever need help, you can jump in front of upcoming traffic.
The ear buds I have are on sale on Amazon.
5. ID Bracelet
Last but not least, I wear my name tag bracelet for my safety if I ever get in an accident. And yes, we had a lady in our neighborhood hit by a truck and wasn’t identified for 24 hours because she did not have anything on her to identify her.
This alarm is excellent at drawing attention to you for help. It produces a loud, 140 dB, continuous piercing sound when you pull its cord! It can easily draw people's attention even in a far distance and scare attacker away. Whether you are a kid, college student, a jogger, lone worker, elderly, a night owl, this alarm can help you be safe. It's an easy and necessary security supply no matter if you are at home or walking outsides lonely at night, jogging or traveling alone, hiking etc.
Hope this helps you enjoy your jogs and help you feel safer!
7. Pepper Spray
I love my NEW KHR Pepper Spray! It's professional grade but small enough to stick in my running belt instead of my alarm keychain. I also like to have it near by if I am at a party or walking alone in a dark parking structure. No matter where I take it, I like to have it handy, preferably in my hand. It also makes a great gift for your girlfriend or family member!