10 running things I could not live without.

(Shoes, tank, shorts)

I DID IT!  On Saturday, I woke up feeling more like myself, so I met up with my friends for part of their run.

Sidenote: The girls have now decided that they want to pick out my running outfits sometimes (I am telling them weather requirements, ha)! So the above combo was all Brooke:). Also, if you have ever wondered why my running clothes are always wrinkly, it’s because I haven’t folded a piece of clothing in ten years.  I either stuff it in a drawer or hang it up.

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Jo was running the 5k (it was so tempting to join her, but I knew it would be way too much for me!), so we did her warm-up as we cheered on the half-marathoners.  Jo WON her 5k, which was so exciting.  She is so fast.

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Last Saturday of soccer games.

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I’ve been drinking so many of these lately.

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My sister has a Mother’s Day tradition, and I copied her.  She goes out on a walk with each of her kids individually and chats with them.  I loved getting to do this with all four kids yesterday.  We had Knox this year on Mother’s Day bc his mom needed to switch having him for Father’s Day this year!

This is my new favorite tradition.

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We also had time with my mom and grandma too!

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I think today would be a great day to make my formal declaration of the top ten running items that I could not live without:

*Maurten Gels.  These will be the only gels I take for long runs and races for the rest of my life.  This may sound like a bold statement, but I stand by this.  Never in my life has a gel been taken as easy as these or felt as good as I feel after taking one.  You don’t even have to take them with water like other gels.  And the caffeine ones have 100mg of caffeine in them… get ready to feel QUITE the energy boost.

*This is one of those things where ignorance was blissful (for my bank account).  Once I tried them (AND FLEW), I’ll never look back—> Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2.  I don’t even walk a step in them because I want to get as many running miles in them as possible.

*Spandex shorts with large side pockets to fit my gels and water bottles.  Pockets in anything make me happy, but good ones in a pair of running shorts take things to the next level.  My favorites are these and these.

*My Garmin makes this list.  It may be off on the race predictor, but it is perfection in my opinion.  It gives me all the info I could ever want and need, and I have strong feelings towards the sand color band.

*Dove Deoderant.  I swipe a bit on my chafable areas, and boom… I haven’t chaffed in a very long time.  It’s cheap, and you can grab it anywhere if you forget it and travel somewhere.

*Deena Kastor ha (that sounds creepy).  Her book changed my running brain, and search ‘Deena Kastor podcast’ and listen to each one and report back to me on how it changed the way you view running.

*I like and wear a lot of different sports bras, but when it comes down to race day or a hard workout, there is only ONE type I will wear because I love it so much.

*Same for socks, I wear a lot of different ones and don’t have a problem with them, but when I want to go…. the power stride is for me.  A blister has never happened to me in these socks.

*I know things have changed drastically after wearing and loving Brooks for nine years straight, but I think my body needed a change as I have gotten older (there isn’t a dramatic story that happened after working with them for so long… I simply could not wear them after my injury).  My plantar fasciitis was so bad (I tried everything from dry needling to cortisone shots), and the thing that helped them the most was the Hoka Clifton 8s.  I wear these for most of my easy runs and the rest of the day many times a week.  They feel like heaven when I put them on and help me recover on my easy days.

*My Koala Clip.  I can bring my phone on every run and not feel it on my back.  I don’t leave home for a run without it.  Code HRG10 gets you 10% off!

Those are my top ten items, but honorary mentions go to—>  The Peloton app—> The strength training (and my cycle classes) on here is too good to be true for my running game.  Goodr sunglasses.  If the sun is out, these will be on my face.  LIQUIDIV to stay hydrated, I use one every single day (and the code HUNGRYRUNNERGIRL will get you free shipping and 25% off here).  These ponytail holders don’t leave creases in my hair and keep my hair back the entire run.


I would love to hear about a few things that your running/workouts cannot live without?

Fold or stuff your clothes in drawers?

Have a favorite protein drink/powder?

-UP2U and Fairlife are my current favorites.

Do you like racing 5ks, or do you prefer longer distances?

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I agree with you whole-heartedly on the Lulu Energy bra!!!! It manages to be cute yet supportive enough at the same time!

Other things on my list would be: Oiselle Mac Roga shorts, Balega socks, Brooks Ghosts, Gimme hair ties, my Spibelt, and my Aftershokz. I have zero idea how I ever ran with headphones with wires!!!!!!!

My clothes are kinda a combo of fold/stuff. The intent is to fold, but my drawers are so stuffed that it ends up being more of a squish. lol

I’ve been drinking a lot of those Fairlife drinks, too, bc it’s SUCH an easy way to get protein. I’ve recently really started to track my protein and water intake, and it’s crazy how just doing both of those (I really couldn’t see myself counting all macros) things has made me feel better and stronger. I seriously had to have been massively dehydrated all of the time before :0

I hope your Mother’s Day was LOVELY!!!!!!! :)


It really is just the greatest bra ever made! SO many fun colors too. LOVED hearing your musts… how did we ever run before all of this? I wonder what they will come out with next. Hahah yes to the squish! Now you have my motivated to track my water and protein. That is awesome, SO happy you are feeling so good. Thanks Jen, I hope yours was too!


Those Fairlife protein shakes are my favorite premade ones! My Costco didn’t have them last time I went so I really hope they are in stock when I go this weekend.

Goodr are a staple in my life, even outside of running! Bought a pair for my brother a year or so ago and he is equally as into them as I am. For a polarized pair of sunglasses that are cute and don’t slip you can’t beat the price!


Our Costco was out last month and we were devastated! I hope they have it at yours this weekend! I love that you gave your brother some too… it’s fun to addict our favorite people on our favorite things ha. Have the best day, Maureen!


Hey Janae! Did you know Runner’s Corner sells Good’r glasses for the same price? They’re on my “birthday list” for this month!
I love them too! <3
(Also, does the clip do well on the hip if it's not working in the back? I just wonder how you feel about reaching back to get your phone…seems like I'd maybe trip hahaha! How do you do it with ease?)


My Jaybird wireless headphones for solo runs and Nathan handheld water bottle for long runs are must haves for me. Senita Baseline shorts, feetures socks, and Brooks launch shoes. Also Shalane and Elyse’s cookbooks for learning to prioritize real food to fuel my running.

I fold my clothes- I do my drawers in the Marie Kondo folding method and it makes it so much easier to find what I need! The drawers still get messy in between, but maybe twice a year I spend a few minutes reorganizing and that helps.


WIRELESS HEADPHONES ARE LIFE! How did we used to deal with all of the cords?! You just named off some amazing things that are musts for my running too. Those two women really have done so much for runners. They have shown and taught that we need real food to run well, I love it. Off to go find Marie Kondo folding.. sounds awesome. Have a great day, Mariah!


How do you get the Koala clip on by yourself? I bought one but I can’t get it clipped easily at all. Maybe I need a different bra?


Oh no!! Which bra are you using? It might be the bra! I can clip mine in and take it out while I am running! I can send you a video or something? I hope you are having a great day!


lol-if you are removing it while running, I’m clearly doing something wrong. I’d love to see how you are using it.


Good morning, Janae! Great news that you are feeling so much better and were up for a run on the weekend!! Glad you had a nice Mother’s Day and what a great tradition you started!
Thanks for your top 10 list + runners up. Some of yours have inspired my own choices over the last few years :o) Must haves: Balega socks, Brooks Glycerine shoes, a lightweight very well ventilated hat, and good reflective gear (more often than I like, I’m running on roads with traffic and not a lot of extra room for runners).
I’m a bit of a neurotic clothes folder, but running clothes are tough because the fabric is often too “slippery” to stay folded. So, starts out strong in my drawer and then becomes an unholy mess LOL!
My favorite protein powder is Orgain vegan vanilla flavored :o)
I have more stamina than speed, so I prefer longer distances to he 5K. The half is my fave :o) Have an awesome start to your week, Janae!


Thank you, Janine! It felt so good to be up and going again. YESSS to all of your favorites and such great points on the ventilated had and reflective gear. AMEN! I hope my drawer didn’t stress you out ha. I hope you get a half marathon soon and happy Monday!


My running go tos are my Garmin, Saucony Rides, the athleta shorts with the huge pockets, Nathan handheld bottle, LMNT electrolytes, and my tiny little container for dates and dried cherries. I need to try the Lulu bra, I still haven’t found a bra I love.

I don’t fold, I just lay my kids clothes into clothes baskets in their closets and mine and hubs into the drawers… Saves so much time!

I LOVE the idea of walking with each kid on mother’s day! Starting that next year!

Hope you’re having a great day!


I still need to try those athleta shorts you are talking about, I have heard the best things about them! I need to try those electrolytes too! Let me know if you try this bra… it really is so great! You are on to something with your laundry put away! Thanks friend, you too!


Ooooo….I NEED to know about this container for your dates!! I use a plastic sandwich bag but it is a messy process to dig them out!


So happy you’re feeling like yourself again. Yay! And I love the idea of taking a walk individually with each kid. Great tradition.
I’m kind of a combo of fold and stuff my clothes in the drawer. My running clothes start out being folded, but then end up just being tossed or stuffed in there, ha. My other drawers are all pretty much folded. I actually need to go through and clean out my drawers again.
My top running items:. My Garmin, Aftershox, my Feetures socks, and the Peloton app. I have been wanting to try Koala clips, but for now my Flip belt works well, and I often forget it’s on.
Have a good Monday Janae ?


Thank you so much, Wendy! I don’t want to relive last week ha. Fold and stuff works great! LOVED reading your favorites and the Flip belt really is amazing. Thanks friend, you too!


I love that you went on walks with each of your kids for Mother’s Day–AND that y’all had Knox this year! What a nice tradition…and what a nice treat!

I ALSO love what you said, in your “must haves” running gear list, about switching from Brooks to Hoka (and now Nike for your racing shoes)–that it wasn’t anything dramatic, just bodies that change as you get older (& the plantar fasciitis flare ups giving a really good and strong bit of feedback to your brain that something needed to shift in how your gear supports your body). It’s like that, isn’t it? Our bodies CHANGE. And that’s ok. Brooks gear was a good friend for your feet and your running habit for a very long time–and now it’s time for more friends, other friends, to support your body and its needs now. :) I love that.

Though I’m focused a lot more on the spin bike and on the work I do on the gym floor for strength training (AND on walks on the trails) and know that my body doesn’t want me to be running these last few years, I *do* have good tried-and-true favorites for my active activities (& I am STILL searching for a good shoe that can support cross training and that can also be OK for weight lifting if anyone has recommendations–I’ve tried on the Reebok Nano XI and that didn’t work, and I’ve also tried on the On Cloud X and that didn’t work…):
1. In Motion tank tops from Athleta–the seamless construction of the tank top AND the positioning of the arm holes against my skin work for me to not really have rashes, chafing, or other related problems near where my sports bra and my arm pit are. And with how much I sweat, that matters!
2. Senita’s vinyasa capris (which for me are full-length leggings) are perfect for trail walks, yoga, barre, AND strength workouts where I know that there won’t be big cardio movements–they move with my body and handle a light-moderate amount of sweat really well.
3. Balega’s hidden dry socks are my blister-free, comfy favorites for strength training days. It’s the right thickness of a sock layer without feeling like it’s TOO much or too thick, and I find that over time they hold their shape better than the Hidden Comforts.
4. Lululemon’s fast & frees, wunder trains, and base pace are perfect for both spin class AND weight training days. I’ve gotten rid of almost everything else in my athleisure bottoms drawer aside from those for both kinds of activities (but I do also have a couple of pairs of Senita’s denalis and a couple of Athleta’s ultimate stash pocket capris in petite length for spin ONLY days–those are compressive and comfy).

Those are very specific non-negotiables for me!!!!

I hope your Monday is a really good one out there. :)


STEPHANIE! So so good to chat with you this morning! Oh I absolutely love what you said about our bodies changing… I just want to clap after reading that paragraph! I’m still just dying to make it to one of your spin classes! Good luck on the hunt for those perfect shoes, it really can be so hard and if anyone has suggestions… let us know! I loved reading your list, you are so good at selling me on products just through your reviews… I want those vinyasa capris right this second. You really know your gear so well, I trust allllll of your opinions! Thanks Stephanie, you too!


Aww thanks Janae!!!! :)

You know, I think you’d actually really like the vinyasas (or anything from Senita with the ‘skin’ fabric, but especially the vinyasas–and I think they come in capri and full-length?). Honestly, imagine something that’s super soft like the lululemon aligns but that is made of a somewhat thicker and *sturdier* fabric and that has side pockets and–with the stitching and seams on the side, almost like how the base pace leggings from lulu are like the fast & frees but in the wunder train fabric and with a seamed leg opening?

It’s not TOO different from the way that looks (yay side pockets), but with a really soft fabric. I think that on recovery days they’d fit the bill, and even with the warmer months setting in, in the cooler mornings when you’re walking the kids to school or running errands before the heat really sets in they could be good (OR in cooler evenings, or on days where you want a thick and sturdy enough legging to wear with a top like when hopping on a plane or something…).

Try them for yourself and let me know. Honestly, I think you’d really love them!!

And honestly, if anyone has recommendations on a good pair of shoes that can work for cross-training and for strength workouts that include some lifting, some box step-ups, some monster walks, and some similar body-weight conditioning work that requires something more substantial under foot than, say, the flat converse sneakers that so many people seem to wear on the lifting platforms at the gym, I really would love recommendations (because aside from heavy deadlifts, and maybe somewhat heavy squats on the smith machine, I’m not getting into power lifting/olympic lifting territory here…). I need a bit of a wider toe box so I can spread my toes wide enough to stay grounded through my weight training, but something supportive enough under foot to still be comfy when I hop on the treadmill to walk before and after. Honestly–I would LOVE the advice! :)


Randomly scrolling and reading everyone’s lists this morning and saw your shoe challenge Stephanie. Take a look at Strike Mvmt shoes. I do CrossFit but we also regularly run anywhere from a mile, 800m, 400m in workouts where we also squat or do weightlifting that requires stability. I struggled to lift in running shoes but then also to run in the flatter Reeboks you mentioned. These new shoes have a slight enough drop & cushion that I can run and jump comfortably while also feeling stable. They are also wide ish in the toe box. Maybe they will work for you!


Oh Carla THANK YOU!!!!! I am looking up these shoes now–and if they seem like a good possibility with a good return policy in the website information, then they’re going in my budget as a possible shoe to save for!! :) :) :)


I hope they work – I was honestly shocked the first time I wore them and ran a bunch of 400’s w/no discomfort during or after!


I recently organized all of my exercise clothes. I have many bins and I organized them… for example…tight running shorts, loose running shorts, tank tops, short sleeves, long sleeves, cycling shorts, swimming suits, patterned running tights, and plain running tights. All of my sports bras go in one container. I am blaming this on the Home Edit show on Netflix. I labeled all of the bins. It does make my morning easier and putting these items away is easier too. I did start folding all of them as well and have them organized so that I can see everything in each bin. That way I don’t buy something I already own. It is so bizarre for me to be this new person but I love it!!!


All my running/cycling shirts get hung up in the closet. All my shorts (unfolded) and socks are either on armoire shelves or drawers and I use running shoe boxes (tear the top off) to keep them sorted and as drawer dividers (Marie Kondo inspired).


I’ve been thinking about buying premium racing shoes for a while but haven’t done it yet. However, the more positive reviews I read, the closer I get to pulling the trigger. It feels like Nike has been at the forefront of this movement but I’m seeing other brands putting out their own now. I’ve been running in the ASICS Gel-Nimbus for 10+ years at this point. I run in them every day and put WAY more miles on them than I should. ASICS has two pair of premium racing shoes – Metaspeed Sky and Metaspeed Edge (I’m guessing their version of the Vaporfly and Alphafly) at the same price point ($250).

If I’m going to buy my first pair of premium racing shoes, should I start with the Vaporfly and maybe experiment with ASICS’ version second?


I completely agree with you on Maurtens! It’s a game-changer, especially for people who have stomach issues (me!).

I really like the water pack that I carry. It’s from REI and it comes in an XS so it fits better than others I’ve tried. I also agree on biker shorts with deep pockets. The CRZ Yoga ones can even handle my iPhone 13 Pro Max.

I’m definitely a folder.

I’m not really a protein drinker, but sometimes I’ll add vanilla Orgain to pancakes or oatmeal.

I prefer longer distances but short distances are fun to change stuff up.


The Maurten gels are amazing. They go down so easy! Also, how have you not folded!? I love folding clothing. I find it therapeutic! LOL.


Hope you’re having a great day!

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