I needed water.
There was a fountain up ahead, and I pumped my arms up the tiny hill to get to the park. The two minutes it took to get there seemed like an eternity as the sun shone high from the sky, even at 8:45.
But I didn't need numbers to tell me something I already knew: This was summer running at its finest.
Summer, though, is not so much about the best clothes. Many of us can get by with a good pair of shorts, supportive bra (current favorite: Moving Comfort Juno, which is on sale!) and tank. To get through the hot season, we require gear that keeps us healthy, safe and happy.
Pro Compression low socks. I sweat from head to toe, literally. Factor in puddles from summer storms, and my shoes and socks can be wrung out at the end of the run. Such conditions make it imperative to have a good pair of socks. Socks that wick moisture. Socks that hug the foot without being too tight. Socks that don't slip, move or bunch. Socks like the Pro Compression trainers.
Why is it so important? An ill-fitting sock can rub, chafe and cause blisters in dry conditions. The damage will be that much worse on sweaty, wet feet.
Pro Compression trainers hit me slightly above the ankle, keeping the back of the shoe from rubbing the skin. The socks feature a built-in "Stabilizer Zone," which promotes balance and support; a non-slip design to keep your sock in place; and advanced materials for maximum comfort and moisture control. The icing on the cake? They are made in the USA.
The low trainers come in 13 colors and at $25 for two pairs, they are comparable to other running socks.
Looking for something a little different? Pro Compression also has the PC Runner, a premium running sock that is lightweight, durable and extremely breathable. As for the style, it's what you have come to expect from the creative folks at Pro. Translation: They are flipping fabulous.
Nuun. According to Owen Barder, author of "Running for Fitness," you will generally lose around 17 ounces during an hour run, or 8.5 ounces during a 30-minute run. [Source] People who are heavy sweaters can lose more water during that time period. Hot, humid conditions can also increase fluid loss, making it imperative to stay hydrated – even on those 30-minute runs. Nuun has an optimal blend of electrolytes that will help keep you hydrated. And, it tastes great. Before a summer run, I prepare a bottle of Nuun to drink while I get ready and a second to take on the outing.
Naawk. There seems to be some debate over whether you really need sunscreen but as someone who is fair-skinned and red-headed, I burn easily. Burning = Bad. I've tried a lot of sunscreens in my life but none have compared to Naawk. I was first introduced to the brand when I ran Hood to Coast, and I have loved it since. At our house, we have a bottle of sunscreen in the stroller, in the diaper bag, in the trunk of each car and in the bathroom. We are never without it. I'm a particular fan of the continuous spray SPF 30. It's not greasy and it smells good. I also like that I don't have to goop up my hands. Why? Take a gel 45 minutes into a long run and get back to me. Naawk also has an eco-friendly sunscreen pouch with a carabiner – perfect for clipping on a backpack when you go hiking or on the diaper bag for a day at the pool.
Now for the giveaway!
One lucky reader will win a pair of Pro Compression PC Runner socks, along with a betty designs Nuun bottle, two tubes of Nuun (watermelon and strawberry lemonade) and, count them, three bottles of continuous-spray Naawk sunscreen. Enter using the widget below.
Remember, you can always save 40 percent on Pro Compression marathon socks and sleeves using the code PRO15. Save 42 percent sitewide, even on low trainers and PC Runners, this month with the code JUNE.
Disclosure: I was not compensated in any way for this post. Pro Compression is providing the PC Runners to the winner and Naawk provided me with sunscreen to share as I saw fit. The Nuun bottle and tubes of Nuun are provided by me because I love you all so much. A big thanks to Pro Compression for supporting this giveaway.