Wish I had planned some cool giveaway, but that sounds like a lot of work.
Instead, I am going to shamelessly announce that I just got my free Wright socks in the mail!!! I am so excited to try them out. Runnerslounge is the best!
I do want to broadcast a 200th post giveaway, courtesy Mel of Tall Mom on the Run! Win cool Pearl Izumi running shorts...who doesn't want those? And as I love you so much, please don't forget to mention that I sent you over!
Also, check out my colorful tofu dish, embellished with onions and peppers...yummy, even if I say so myself.On to the subject of Fuel belts.
One of the reasons I enjoy running (and I'm sure you'll agree with me) is that feeling of levity...the feeling that I am soaring and everything is alright with my world, as long as I can keep on running. But would you feel that way if you were weighed down by...
I bought this belt when I first started to train for a marathon...more than a year ago. Very functional, as you can see...2 bottles for water and gatorade, and 2 decent sized compartments that can house just about anything you will need on your run. But I've never been a fan of fuel belts. After a couple of half-hearted attempts at wearing it on my runs, I gave up, finding it far more convenient to run several out and back loops around my house, filling up on water, gatorade, fruit and GU at my doorstep fuel station every few miles.
But, as I have started to venture into unknown and uncharted territory, I feel a more compelling need to wear this contraption, to carry the innumerable things I never needed to carry before...water, gatorade, GU, a snack, money, car keys, cell phone and camera...without having to juggle them (I've always thought it would be so cool if humans had more than 2 hands). I also think it's not acceptable (*ahem*...after the first few times), to take a swig out of your running buddy's water bottle or steal a snack from him/her everytime I feel the urge to refuel, no matter how nice he/she is about sharing.
So in anticipation of Sunday's long run (if this weird tendon pain I'd been having since the morning will ease up by then!) when Glenn and I intend to traverse the pretty neighborhoods of Watchung and Gillette, I decided to try out my fuel belt one more time...on my 8-mile practice run last evening.
After tightening the belt (to prevent it from jiggling about and bruising my mid-section) and filling it with all the aforementioned accessories, I strapped it around myself and set off on the 8-mile adventure, feeling a little like a pack mule.
I was a bit self-conscious...people I knew would probably wonder why I was wearing all these bottles, when I was mere blocks away from home. Then I realized the only person who would even think that is me. Everyone else in the neighborhood knows me as the crazy running lady...would a few sloshing bottles and jangling keys make a big difference?
I started out slow...it's my high mileage week, and I didn't want to aggravate the pain in my tendon. The pain is right above the ankle, on the outside of my right leg, and didn't bother me after I started running.
Now, on my local runs, I refuel once every 5 miles. I know...that's not enough fluid, I risk getting dehydrated, hyponatremic, and all that good stuff...but it's what I'm used to. I take 2-3 generous gulps of water and gatorade and a mouthful of banana every 5 miles and it has done the trick. But when you are burdened by a fuel belt, you tend to take a swig every 1/2 mile. For one thing, the fluid is right there, why not chug it down? Besides, the more you ingest, the less you have to carry.
So after 3 miles of filling up on water and gatorade, I was moving along at a fast clip, hoping to get home and safely into the restroom before my bladder exploded. The contstant rubbing of belt against belly didn't help. Meanwhile, I didn't even notice that my new sunglasses were fogging up and collecting pools of sweat under my eyes.
The last 3 miles were completed sans fuel belt. 5 miles are good enough for my maiden fuel-belt adventure. Hope I last longer the next time!
So, the verdict is, fuel belts are a good investment, if you can build rest stops into your run every half hour or so. They prepare you for heavy lifting, keep your hands free for clicking pretty pictures, and take your concentration away from things like annoying injuries and cheap sunglasses.
Happy weekend, all!