This page is a work in progress. As I find products and companies that I LOVE, I'll list them here! If you have any suggestions of things I should try (especially if you have a hook-up and can get me those things for free or seriously discounted), let me hear them! :)
Garmin Forerunner 305 GPS Receiver With Heart Rate Monitor. I used to be stuck running on roads where I could drive the route ahead of time to check the distance (can we say pain in the neck?!). With this, I can run the local multi-purpose trails or get out into the AMAZING system of metroparks that we have in my neck of the woods! The only time I've ever had a problem getting signal is if I'm going into really dense woods. It can take a little bit of time and effort to get used to having a mini-computer on your wrist, but it's worth it to learn everything you can about this amazing tool and what it can do for you. I've certainly become a better runner since buying it. It comes with Garmin Training Center software and it syncs up with my Garmin Connect account AND my dailymile profile. I usually see it for the best price on Amazon (especially now that there are newer models out.
Zensah! I cannot say enough good stuff about this company and their products. I have 2 pairs of their compression socks and a pair of compression leg sleeves and LOVE THEM! I get some pretty nasty shin splints and these really DO help! I feel like my legs recover quicker from more challenging runs when I wear the compression gear and I love how I can match just about any outfit (a great thing for those of you who dress up in your awesome costumes for races [I'm not there yet ... someday.])! If you're unsure of what size would be best for you, Zensah's website has a TON of information. If you can't find what you're looking for on the web, check in with their great customer service.
Oh, chafing ... thou art a heartless b*!#@. You never know where on your body is going to rub raw next; an annoying seam in your shorts, loose skin that doesn't quite fit inside your sports bra, INNER THIGHS (nope, not bitter at all) ... you get the idea. There are many different brands and products out there and Body Glide is one of the best (IMO). There are several kinds of Body Glide, but I have Body Glide Anti-Chafe For Her. There are a variety of sizes for all your needs. I keep an 0.8 oz stick in my gym bag at all times (small and convenient)! Body Glide even has sunscreen, warming, and liquified powder formulas. Check out just SOME of the options here on Amazon.
I've used headlamps for years (woot backpacking), but I've never LOVED one until I bought the Petzl E91 PL Tikkina 2 Headlamp ... in lime green, of course. :) But if lime green isn't your thing, it also comes in electric blue, french rose (pink), and orange. It has 2 lighting modes that you can switch between with the push of a button: maximum (23 lumens to a distance of 23 meters) and economic. I use the economic when I'm running through town or in areas with decent street lighting just to illuminate any cracks in the pavement. The things I like the most, though are the wide (and secure) headband and the casing itself. The casing is curved to fit comfortably against your forehead and contains both the LEDs and the 3 AAA batteries. I KNOW that sounds like it would be heavy and bulky, but it isn't. When you DO have to change the batteries (it will take a while, trust me ... I left this sucker on in my gym bag over the weekend in my car and it STILL hasn't died yet), the casing is easily opened for access to the batteries and bulbs. If the Tikkina 2 isn't exactly your style (i.e. you want something EVEN FANCIER), Petzl has some other great options too. I can't wait to take this thing on a backpacking trip and REALLY put it to the test. I was actually turned onto this headlamp by a friend who has the same one and he's a HARD CORE outdoorsman.
Fuelbelt Sprint 10-Ounce Palm Holder With Pocket (Kiwi Green)
Saucony ProGrid Ride 4 (LOVING them so far)