Chicago Marathon 2017: shoes

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What started out as a light at the end of the tunnel I was in has turned into the brightest star in the sky for me. This past Sunday October 8th I ran 26.2 miles for the first time in my life. And not just for myself, but to bring clean water to those who need it in Africa. Through the help of many who donated out of love, I was able to provide clean water to 26 people for their lifetime! One person for each mile I ran in Chicago on Sunday. Aside from the amazing support system I found in my friends and family, many people have been interested in what I used to help me get through the training and prepare myself mentally and physically to run my first-ever marathon. So I’m going to take some time, write a few posts, and make a few videos on what helps me log my miles, run farther, and run faster.

The essentials:

For someone just starting to run, there are a few essentials you need to run. These are nonnegotiable items that without running would be very hard if not nearly impossible.

  • Running shoes. (I know there are barefoot runners out there, and more power to you if you’re one of them!)
  • Running clothes. (shorts, shirt, bra, and socks)
  • For long distances, a water bottle to stay hydrated and a way to fuel yourself (for distances over 10 miles).
  • Reflective gear/lights if you’re running in the dark. (i.e. early morning or late night runs)

Nice to have:

  • A way to track your run. This can be anything from a printed map of your route to using a device or your phone with GPS to track your pace in addition to your distance and route.
  • Something to carry your stuff including that water bottle. I.e. your keys, phone, and anything else you might need to keep with you while running.
  • Headphones/music to listen to. This tends to help on those really long runs.
  • Gym membership/access to a treadmill to pace yourself and incorporate incline training.


Today I’m going to start out basic and talk about shoes. I know I’ve written about shoes and the importance of getting fitted before but this is more specifically related to the shoes I used to train and get through my first marathon. And yes I went through two pairs!

I got fitted by Fleet Feet Sports in Lincoln Square back in August 2014. I was fitted and fell in instant love with the Brooks Ravenna 5. As running shoe brands keep coming out with new models, the old models get discontinued so it is nearly impossible to find the Ravenna 5’s these days. I upgraded to the 6 when I had to, and they worked just as well for me. It was when I tried the 7’s that things started to go awry. I quickly stopped using my new 7’s and switched back to the 6 (thankfully they were still available and I was able to grab up an extra pair). So the Ravenna 6 is what I ran in during Marathon training and through the race itself.

I love these shoes, but unfortunately they are hard to find since now the Ravenna 8’s are out! I plan on trying the 8’s in hopes they may be better than the 7’s, but I also am open to other shoes. Being a part of the running community in Oak Park, I have been given many opportunities to try other brands and types of running shoes during a short and sweet 3 mile run or sometimes a little longer. I’ve found that running in shoes for 3 miles is a decent way to test them out and enjoy trying other brands of shoes to see which types help or hinder my running style.

What shoes do you wear while running? Do you like more cushion or less? Or somewhere in-between? Do you have a source for old, retired shoes and if so, please comment below!


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