I am not much for doing product reviews, something about companies not liking the word "fucking" in their reviews. Whatever, squares. I have, however, benefited from other people's experiences with various products, so I thought I would share about a couple of things that make running suck less for me.
I have been running in the Asics Gel - Fortitude for over 2 years now.They are apparently for people with freakishly short, wide feet. I had crippling (ok, dramatic, but that shit hurt) toe pain with every shoe I had tried before these. Since there are not many of us garden gnomes that run, these shoes are sold in about 2 stores worldwide. Fortunately, one of those stores is near me. I keep waiting for them to be discontinued. That will rock.
Run belt: For about 4 years I have been using an Amphipod belt.
I like it immensely better than the admittedly better looking Fuel Belt brand for several reasons: 1. you can get the bottles out of and back into the belt without being a Cirque du Soleil level contortionist 2. You can choose how many bottle holders to put on it and you can add or remove pouches for carrying Gu and such. 3. The stretchy, wide belt fits snugly enough to not bounce when running without having to cinch it so tight it cuts off the circulation to your lower trunk.
Go Lite Rush Hydration Pack: My Go Lite Hydration Pack. This is the newest of my running tools and I am a HUGE fan.
I got it to replace my Camelbak pack for longer trail runs. I liked my Camelback pack but the one downside was that to get to the food storage, you have to remove the pack, so I would end up running in my run belt and hydration pack. Which resulted in me looking much like a Machu picchu pack mule. Not cute. Plus the Camelbak would rub on my run belt which bugged the crap out of me.
The Go Lite does not come with a bladder (the plastic, bag thing that holds the water and you drink out of) I love my Camelbak hydration bladder, so I wanted to keep it. This pack allowed me to do that. Plus it gave me TONS of storage. There are two front pockets on the waist strap for easy access to my camera (an essential for me), my inhaler, and my food. There is also a large, backpack type compartment that you could carry my cell phone, first aid kit, more food, a light jacket, gloves, a book... (ok, a race would have to be going REALLY badly for me to stop and read, but it gives you an idea of the space)
Gu Chomps - Lindsay turned me out on these. "The first one is free, little girl"
Thanks, Linds. I am going to look like a total puss in rehab when I say my drug of choice is Blueberry Pomegrante flavored.
I was a die hard Cliff Shot blocks girl, but let's be honest they are too big and too hard (shut up, G) and their new packaging, while easier to eat out of, does not fit in anything. Not in my run belt, not in the Bento box (I provided a link for non cycle types, since last time I mentioned the Bento Box SQ thought it was some sort of sex toy) Anyhoo, since I am so slow I need to pack a lot of stuff, very irritating to have odd shaped packaging.
Gu Chomps are smaller, softer and now that they have other flavors they taste just as good.
My other nutrition consists of Gu gels Vanilla bean flavor only. All of the other flavors make me gag. To be honest I hate them, but they do not upset my stomach, are easy to eat, and you can buy them anywhere. Word of warning, if you offer me a Gu gel of ANY flavor after 20 miles of running I will typically try to gouge your eyes out with my thumbs, but they are a necessary evil in the running world.
For longer distances (runs over 20 miles, bikes over 50 miles) which I have not done in so long I barely remember what I ate, I use Perpeteum from Hammer in one of my water bottles. The flavor, meh, but not so repellent that I won't use it, it does not give me gas, and I find that my recovery is WAY faster after big efforts. (Highly anecdotal, no real data, so take that for what it is)
Last weekend at mile 15 I was hurting and I tried a Gu Rocktane for the first time (Katie A. swears by them and gave me a couple to try.) I will admit I tried it by accident and it tasted like cough syrup since I was expecting my boring ol' vanilla. However, within 5 minutes I felt like a new woman. I hate to review something I have only tired one packet of one time, but I was seriously hurting and then all of a sudden I am running like I was on fresh legs. I can't say it was the Gu Rocktane for sure (or the fact that I was almost done and on a downhill section) but I came in looking so good the guy at the finish line joked that I needed another loop I was too peppy. This is a highly suspect review. Take it with a grain (or truckload) of salt, but I think they are worth a try.
Yes, for me this is a necessary running tool. I have had one camera die in the line of duty, so I did a quite a bit of research before purchasing my current baby.
Olympus STYLUS 850 SW Water Proof Digital Camera - 8.0 Megapixels, 3x Optical Zoom, 5x Digital Zoom, 2.5" LCD, in Pink of course. :)It is a great camera. The pictures are pretty good for a point and shoot and it is easy to operate when you are delusion inducingly low on oxygen, glucose, or patience. I have tested all three extremes extensively.
All in all I love this camera. Things that I am not crazy about with this camera:
1. The wheel you use to change modes is difficult to operate sometimes. Ok, I will give you that mine may be encrusted with body sweat, dried Gu, and other sticky nastiness (not that, G, *eyeroll*) from being used when I run. It is irritating, but not a deal breaker for me.
2. Olympus makes you use XD cards which you need a converter for to plug directly into your computer and is not interchangeable with other cameras like the more popular SD cards. Not a huge deal for me.
3. Not great in low light conditions.
GPS (timing/distance/elevation gain device)
I use a Garmin 305 like just about everyone else. I am the type of nerd that has to know the numbers. There are a billion reviews on them. They are big and ugly and akin to running with a Volkswagen Beetle on your wrist, but you can operate and read them while running and, again, I have to know the numbers, so it is a necessary evil for me.
To clean up the GPS data (you cannot believe the elevation data on the Garmin software it needs to be cleaned up as it is always artificially elevated) I use Bimactive.com. It is free, easy to upload your Garmin data to and cleans the data through the USGS site. It usually matches all of the race sites elevation profiles except for ones that use Avocet altimeter data like PCTR. Take that for what it is worth. Told you, I am numbers nerd. These things bug me.
10 hours ago