Nike Women’s Half Marathon Race-Day Essentials

Published in: Just For Fun, Makeup, Neutrogena

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race-Day Essentials

Nike Women’s Half Marathon Race-Day Essentials

Two more days.

TWO MORE DAYS! Roughly 39 hours (give or take) until I hit the ground running, literally, for the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco with Team Neutrogena on Sunday.


I’ve been training for the past six weeks, and I’m actually feeling really good about this. By no means am I a hardcore athlete, but I tried to do everything I could to help myself make it through race day.

That’s in stark contrast to the last time I ran a half marathon about 10 years ago, when I did everything wrong. I was in tears when I crossed the finish line of that race because I was in so much pain (one word: chafing). Plus, I think I was just mentally unprepared for it.

This time, I feel ready! I was careful not to overtrain, which is something else that bit me in the @ss last time. Plus, I added cross-training (pushups and Jillian Michaels DVDs) and ate the food I was supposed to eat when I was supposed to eat it. I also took my rest and recovery days seriously.

So, yeah. I’m excited about Sunday, and not just because there will be San Francisco firemen in tuxedos handing out Tiffany necklaces at the finish line. πŸ™‚

I’ve also been preparing/vetting all of my race-day essentials, which, of course include beauty products, because you know I couldn’t go 13.1 miles without doing a little something-something.

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race-Day Essentials

1) Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes, 2) Cle de Peau Perfect Lash Mascara, 3) Tom Ford Brow Sculptor and 4) NARS Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

1. Neutrogena Makeup Remover Cleansing Towelettes

Also known as “my improv shower.” I’m putting a couple of these in a plastic bag and bringing them with me so I can wipe off some of the sweat immediately after the race. I’m also keeping a pack in the car for the drive home, just in case I still feel sticky. $8.99 for a reusable case with a pack of 25 towelettes. Available now at drugstores, Ulta and online.

2. Cle de Peau Perfect Lash Mascara

UGH! — so expensive, but so, so good… If there’s any mascara that can handle 13.1 miles and buckets of sweat, it’s this one. Waterproof, smudge-proof, budge-proof, and it delivers mad crazy length and separation. $50, and available now at Neiman Marcus and

3. Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso

Technically, Tom Ford Brow Sculptor in Espresso is not a waterproof product, but it may as well be. I’ve worn it in 105-degree heat, and it didn’t move, so I expect it to withstand the mileage. $44, available now at Tom Ford counters and online.

4. NARS Mini Satin Lip Pencil in Yu

I may live to regret this…but life is short! So what the hell! πŸ™‚ I got it into my head to wear hot pink lipstick during the race because 1) it really does make everything better, and 2) because it matches my CW-X Bra.

Call me crazy.

NARS Mini Satin Lip Pencil in Yu is one of five lip pencils in the $49 NARS Digital World set, coming November 1 to Sephora and

Nike Women's Half Marathon Race-Day Essentials

5) CW-X Bra, 6) Thorlo Socks, 7) Tri-berry Gu, 8) Roo Sport and 9) TUNES!

5. CW-X X-TRA Support Running Bra III

This bra has officially taken the title of Best Damn Sports Bra I’ve Ever Worn Aside From the Athletica 50 Rep Bra by Lululemon.

I know… Long title.

Halfway through my training, I developed some seriously bad chafing around my rib cage, so I switched to using the CW-X, which has flat seams to prevent chafing.

This bra? Gift from the fitness gods. It’s pricey at $60, but it’s supernaturally soft, halts the chafing, holds the girls in place, and it’s comfortable, even when my mileage hits double digits. $60, and available now at

6. Thorlo Socks

Bomb-@ss padded running socks. Running in these is like jogging atop fluffy clouds… $14, and available at sporting goods stores and online.

7. Gu Original Sports Nutrition Energy Gel in Tri Berry

Like gas for the tank, these are my secret weapons. I plan to bring four of them with me — one to eat 15 minutes before the race starts, and three to gulp down during the run, if I need them. $11 for a box of eight, available now online.

8. The RooSport Magnetic Running Pocket

OMG. One of the many traumas I suffered during that other half marathon was due to wearing an ill-fitting running pouch, which bounced up and down on my hip the entire time and drove me ALL-CAPS CRAZY.

My running friend @lassa on Instagram (follow her! She posts beautiful pics of where she lives on Kauai) recommended RooSport.

It’s a slim pouch with a super strong magnetic flap that you can tuck into your waistband, so the pouch doesn’t bounce around. They come in different sizes. I got the large, which holds a phone, three of those Gu Gel things, a contact lens case (see number 10) and one miniature NARS Yu. πŸ™‚ It also has a zippered pocket for keys and ID.

You can position it anywhere around your waistband, but I wear it just above my booty.

GAME CHANGER! I tested it out on a 10-mile training run, and it wasn’t annoying. $24.99 for a waterproof pouch, available now online.

Roo Sport

The Roo Sport in action

9. iPhone

For the tunes, of course! I have a high-tempo two-hour playlist prepared.

10. Vaseline in a contact lens case (not pictured)

Just in case the chafing issue rears its ugly head.


Nike Women's Half, I'm coming for ya. See ya at 13.1! #ntgruninspired #bbloggers #werunsf #notetoself #postitoftheday

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See you at the finish line! πŸ™‚

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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So far, 43 people have commented on this article. How cool is that?

  1. Nicole says:

    Good luck Karen, you’ve got this! I’m more of a gym class junkie, so major kudos to you for training yourself at home. Plus, I’m looking forward to see how well Yu lasts on you during this most inspiring trek. πŸ™‚
    Nicole recently posted … Happy 3rd Birthday, Bagful of Notions! Plus, there’s a giveaway!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Nicole,

      Thank you. πŸ™‚ I love going to gym classes, too! When I had a membership to a gym a few years ago I took so many different ones. My favorite was the spin class. My least favorite was the core class, but that’s mostly because it felt like hard work, LOL.

      What classes do you like to take?

      Oh, and Yu is very long wearing. It’s super pigmented and wears down to a bright pink stain. I just hope that I don’t rub my lips too much and end up looking like a crazy clown!

      • NIcole says:

        Spin is not meant for buns, hun. I always leave in pain. Ow! Right now I’m on a bit of a reformer pilates kick, mixed with personal training, pump, attack and boxing. This regimen allows me to enjoy food and cocktails on the weekend with the Mister πŸ™‚

        Pink lipstick on another part of the face is never cute, but thankfully most people will be running in the same direction and will never notice.
        NIcole recently posted … Happy 3rd Birthday, Bagful of Notions! Plus, there’s a giveaway!

        • Karen says:

          When I read that first line I could hear Sir Mix-a-Lot in my head, LOL! One of these days I’ll get around to doing pilates; I’ve heard it does AMAZING things for the core, which I really need help with. Not gonna lie, I would rather run 10 miles then have to do a core class.

          Do you get to do all this fun working out at the same gym? If you do I’m super jelly!

          • Nicole says:

            When I first started doing pilates a few months back I’d whince from the burn. The return on investment is worth it as I no longer resemble the Hunchback of Notre Dame. I attend one of the few Virgin gyms here in Australia, it’s expensive but their timetable works for me.

            If our workout regimen was mutually beneficial, we’d both have Jillian Michaels’ body. I’ll let you run around in circles while I plank and such.

            Good luck today, Karen. Just say no to chafing and run like the dickens!

  2. Ashleigh says:

    Wow, happy trails Karen! I’m going to have to check out some of that workout gear. Kudos to you! Definitely one of those life milestones you’ll remember forever πŸ™‚

    • Karen says:

      Hi Ashleigh,

      Thank you, sweetpea! πŸ™‚ Are you a runner, too?

      Happy Friday!

      • Ashleigh says:

        Hehe, I’m -trying- to run more, but health and weight loss is my first goal right now (30lbs down!) but I think to take it to the next level running is the natural place to go. I’ve been doing some interval jogging/sprints/walking but I definitely wouldn’t call myself a runner yet! My gym is doing an “intro to 5k” program so the plan is I’m going to sign up for that and do one in January πŸ™‚
        Happy Friday!

        • Karen says:

          Congrats on your weight loss! It’s a lot of hard work. Have you been following a weight loss plan? Oh, and you will have so much fun when you do the 5K in January. Races are a lot of fun! πŸ™‚

          • Ashleigh says:

            Thanks Karen πŸ™‚ Yeah, I’ve been doing a program through my gym that mixes nutrition, cardio, and weight training. They help you lose the pounds the healthy way, instead of starving yourself. I’ve learned a lot and have seen great results. Thanks, I will! Good luck tomorrow!

          • Karen says:

            It’s amazing how much of a role nutrition plays, isn’t it? I definitely notice better results when I try make healthy choices. Also, kudos for doing weight training. I used to religiously lift but have fallen off the wagon. πŸ™ I miss doing things like bench press! What type of weight training do you do? Do you lift heavy, or do lighter weight with lots of reps?

            Happy Saturday! πŸ™‚

          • Ashleigh says:

            Yes, nutrition is everything! Eating healthier has also helped in the cooking department, I feel like I’m no longer burning or under-cooking everything, and has helped me to spend more time making and enjoying my meals. πŸ™‚
            I do lighter dumbbells, 3-4 sets of 12-15 reps each, between 8 and 20 pounds depending on what I’m doing. (my poor weak shoulders…) Lots of squatting, which as really helped a knee injury I had from years ago. kettlebell workouts for my hips and core and resistance band workouts for back and core. I’m not into the machines mainly because I’m afraid I’ll do them wrong! And I’m probably a long way off from being able to do a pull-up. πŸ˜› But I’ve never been happier and look forward to healthier days and a more energetic life.
            Cheers to fitness!

          • Karen says:

            Do you have any cooking sites that you like to visit? I really enjoy Her recipes are delicious and generally easy to make. I also follow a bunch of healthy cooking gals in Instagram. I just wish I had more time to make meals! Often times I resort to making the same things (fish, rice, veggies) because at the end of the day I’m so tired and just want to get it over with.

            Oh…thank you for reminding me to do my squats! πŸ™‚ It sounds like you’re doing lots of variety, which is great.

            Funny that you mention doing pull-ups. El Hub has a pull-up bar and I think that will be my next fitness goal!

  3. Agata says:

    Karen, once again – good luck. I admire you for doing a half marathon. I will be happy if one day, hopefully soon, I can run a 5k. You are an inspiration. And I love all your essential tips. I have a pair of Thorlo socks, they are great! I need to get that pouch ASAP!!!

    I’m sure you will do great!
    Agata recently posted … Smells Like Memories

    • Karen says:

      Hi Agata,

      Thank you! A 5K is an admirable goal to work towards… I know you can do it!

      I love my Thorlos so much that I have literally worn a hole through them. πŸ™‚ They are the best socks.

      By the way, are you still doing Zumba?

      • Agata says:

        Ha ha, you make me giggle with your comments, Karen!

        I am still doing Zumba. I could not live without it. I didn’t go at all last week because of my heel so last Monday I decided to go because my foot felt a little better. Of course, it was a bad idea and I made it worse. But that only shows how much I love my Zumba classes. It’s not just the workout itself but the instructors are 3 wonderful women and all the girls that I became friends with through Zumba are so nice. We call ourselves a “zumba family”.
        Agata recently posted … Smells Like Memories

        • Karen says:

          Oh how fun! Exercise classes don’t feel like work when you can do them with friends. That’s wonderful that you were able to meet people through class, especially since you work from home (makes it less lonely, I bet!). Do you guys hang out outside of Zumba?

  4. Katherine M says:

    Good luck! It looks like you are well prepared. The Roo Sport looks awesome! The last half marathon I ran was last year – the Fredericksburg, VA Historic Half. It was a super hilly course. I’ve heard the Nike Women’s Half is a good course at just about every location that they do it, so you should be in fine shape for it. It’s definitely important to have a good bra. I swear by ones by Victoria’s Secret and Champion’s. Enjoy the race and enjoy the accomplishment! Good luck!

    • Karen says:

      Thank you, Katherine. I’ve never tried the VS sports bras. I’ll have to check ’em out! How did you do on the hills during your last half? I actually love running up hills. Down is another story. Have a great weekend!

  5. Alison M says:

    Rock that run, girl! I love that you will be wearing hot pink Yu. I often put on lipstick before cleaning the house. So much more bearable πŸ˜€
    Alison M recently posted … Subtle Sparkle With Berry Lips

    • Karen says:

      LOL, Alison! I do the same thing when I have to clean. If it makes chores a little more fun, why not? I hope you have a nice weekend. Do you have any fun plans?

      • Alison M says:

        We spent the weekend getting a lot of much needed housework done (yay, for caulking the chimney, lol!). It was beautiful weather and it was nice to spend some time working together with my husband. He and our daughter also started on her comic con costume and it was way too adorable to watch them work.

  6. Jen says:

    You’re so inspiring, and I loved this post! I’m a small mileage jogger, usually on the treadmill but I’m known to do day hikes. I already added the Roo Sport to my wish list and will save the name of the sports bra. Good luck on the half!

  7. Jen says:

    Oh my gosh! Just found Nike’s website for their SF half related gear and I’m in heaven. Hide my wallet! Awesome colors.

  8. Kristal P says:

    Hey nice shoes! I have those same ones, and they helped carry me across the line for my first 5k last month. I enjoyed it immensely. Good luck and enjoy! πŸ™‚

  9. Erin says:

    Yu will be perfect! Blister Block type products work great for preventing chaffing too!
    Erin recently posted … Three Mini Fragrance Reviews: Girl, Reveal, and Wood Sage & Sea Salt

  10. Sarah says:

    Good luck on your race, Karen! I just ran the San Francisco Marathon in July and it was such a scenic and awesome place to run a race… Have fun!

  11. Kay Easson says:

    I love that most took the “toast” question about making toast. Ha! Guess it shows that making “a” toast is pretty much obsolete, except at rehearsal dinners and wedding receptions. I don’t think I have ever made “a” toast. And, I rarely make toast. I prefer to eat bagels for breakfast.

  12. Kay Easson says:

    Before I got married my initials were “KP.” I certainly hated that. I didn’t have a middle name, because my mother thought one name was enough with my fairly long last name–Parkhurst. In school, on all the forms, I had to enter “none” when asked what my middle name was. I became known as Kay None Parkhurst. I guess that I claim my initials were KNP, Now, my initials are KPE, and I love them. Thanks dear Husband!

  13. Mimi says:

    Just wanted to wish you lots of luck for your race Karen!! Hope you have a fun day with some great weather too. πŸ™‚

  14. Deretta says:

    Karen, so proud of you for doing this race! Strong, fit AND pretty!!

  15. Tatiana says:

    Don’t know if it’s going to be sunny or foggy in SF, but don’t forget to wear some sunblock, just in case.
    As far as chafing, these two are my go to products for preventing it.
    I think I prefer the former over the latter. But that’s just because I ride horses. And when you spend a couple of hours riding horses in sunny, hot, mid-peninsula weather and you get all sweaty you get chafing in some darn embarrassing spots.

    Good luck and have fun!!

  16. Pamela says:

    Good luck Karen! Thanks for contributing to a great cause!

  17. Lesley says:

    All the best on your run tomorrow, Karen!! I’ve seen your mileage on the treadmill and you definitely got this!! I ran my first half in March and had only run a 15k prior. So YOU GOT THIS!! You are super prepared! I didnt carry anything with me except my phone, Jack Black lip balm and paper towels for my always-runny nose. It was freeeeeezing the in March when I ran and that was probably the hardest thing to overcome.

  18. Kim says:

    I’m not even remotely surprised that you are prepared like this. I hope it all worked out GREAT! And I’ve already made notes on your rec’d products. Congrats again for doing this!!! πŸ™‚

  19. lena says:

    i just realized that @lassa is erika from makeupbag. i used to read her blog a loong time ago. was bummed when she stopped blogging. seemed she took it up again a short while last year huh. oh well. i still got you, babe!
    lena recently posted … Review: Revlon Wintermint Nail Polish

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