TRACIE FERRIS BEGAN RUNNING with a friend who was battling alcohol addition. Now 18 years later, running has become her addiction. “I started running to keep him motivated but got myself addicted,” she says. Last year alone, she ran more than 1,000 miles, and yes, she has a shirt to prove it.
These days Tracie runs over 30 miles a week, competes in marathons, 5ks and teaches her own running group. “I try to do every local race I can,” she says. “Running 5ks keeps me motivated.” The motivated has paid off. Within the last several years Tracie’s placed in several running events and “walking away with a few trophies is always fun,” she says.
At first, Tracie was intimidated to join a running group. “I always thought they were a way better running group than I was a runner,” she says. Now her opinions have changed. Tracie currently runs with The North Idaho Road Runners Club – a non-profit Coeur d’Alene group—The Winter Warriors—a Coeur d’Alene group that runs three days a week—and she now teaches No Boundaries —a group training for the Susan B. Komen Race for the Cure.
Each group is diverse and great to run with, she says. “There’s everyone from the elite runners to the penguin runners.” Although she loves the group runs, Tracie says her solo runs, each morning at 5:30 a.m., is what she loves most. “It’s nice to clear my thoughts for the day ,” she says. “It’s my own personal counseling session.”
But all that pavement pounding requires personalized gear. Tracie says she loves all the gadgets that come with running, especially seasonal running, which can be a difficult ordeal in Northern Idaho. Here’s the gear you’ll catch Tracie running through sun, rain, snow, and ice with.
SHOES: Asics Kayanos—of all different colors – hold Tracie’s feet in place but with enough cushioning that she can’t feel the pavement. “If I had enough money to match my running shoes to each of my outfits I would,” she says.
SOCKS: Asics Hera Bamboo socks that are designed especially for women’s feet. Mesh air channels allow for improved ventilation and the bamboo fibers regulate heat. Most impressive of all is that the socks are made of recycled polyester fibers from recycled bottles. Tracie also uses Body Glide to lubricate her feet and avoid blisters, although she says, “Blisters and black toes are supposed to be a badge of honor as an athlete.”
BOTTOMS: She uses Nike Sport Skits. Tracie says she never thought she’d run in a skit but the pockets are great for cameras and iPods, two of her essential marathon items.
TOPS: Any type of t-shirt as long as it matches her bottoms.
SPORTS BRA: Moving Comfort Sports bars. They’re made of comfortable material with a relaxed fit, she says.
SUNGLASSES: Optic Nerve glasses with four different colored interchangeable lenses. Tracie changes the lenses depending on the season and type of weather.
RUNNING CAPS: Nike, baseball-style, head sweat caps with terry cloth liner.
WINTER RUNNING GEAR: Yack tracks that grip onto any parts of a shoe for traction – she even wears them with her high heels – and a head lamp for night runs.