My new Camelbak!

After my first trail run a couple of weeks ago, I realized I was going to need a way to carry more water than my Fuel Belt will hold. When I am running on streets I typically plan my longer run routes to include a water fountain or two so I can refill. Not so easy with trail running.

My husband happened to find a 2011 Camelbak on sale awhile back. It was the 70oz. version of the Camelbak Charge 240. I really liked that it had lots of pockets to store things in, such as keys, money, some food, etc. but it wasn’t TOO big.This is the version he ended up buying:

I figured if I was going to be doing more trial running, I would need a Camelbak, too. And so we ventured to a nearby store to try some out. I really, really loved the colors that the women Camelbaks are made in, but alas, I am too tall (I’m 5’11”). I tried on a few different styles of women Camelbaks and they would gap in weird places even after I adjusted everything that could be adjusted. They are just made for a someone with a shorter torso. I didn’t like any of the male Camelbaks they had in stock – all of the ones that were the size I needed were in ugly boy colors.

When we got home, I tried on my husband’s Charge and realized that once I adjusted the straps, it fit me pretty darn well. That particular model/size has been discontinued, butĀ  I managed to find a few online. I’m not a huge fan of the color red, so I went with a lime green color. I ended up ordering from Jenson USA, as they had the best price PLUS free shipping – woo! I had no issues with my order and it even arrived within two days, can’t really beat that.

I will say that you can definitely tell the male Camelbaks are cut differently in the chest area (duh). I had to adjust the arm straps almost as small as they would go and then widen the chest strap considerably to get a good fit. I’m not sure a male version would work on a female much shorter than me.

As much as I would like a Camelbak in one of the pretty girl colors, it was just not meant to be. I can’t wait to take this baby out for a trail run! And now my husband and I will look like the ultimate nerdy running couple with our matching Camelbaks.

What’s your hydration system of choice? Do you use a Camelbak? If you are a tall woman, did you have any fit issues?



Keeping calm when your Garmin dies mid-run

My old Garmin Forerunner 305 has been acting buggy lately. Once in awhile it will refuse to connect to my computer in order to upload my data. A couple of times it has even given my computer the notorious blue screen of death (i.e., crashed Windows). It’s new trick is saying it’s fully charged, when it actually hasn’t been charging at all.

Yesterday I headed out for a 8 mile trail run with my husband. We arrived at the trail head and I turned on my Garmin. The familiar “low battery” message immediately flicked on. I won’t lie – I had a hissy fit. Less than 24 hours earlier, my Garmin was plugged in andtold me it was fully charged. “We won’t have a time for our run!” “What about my training log? I need the data!” My husband, a newbie runner, just kind of looked at me and said, “What’s the big deal? Let’s just run.”

Let’s just run. What a foreign concept. It sounded simple, but I’m a bonafide data nerd. I need detailed records that I can then turn into all kinds of Pivot Tables and Pivot Charts in Excel. It’s fun (to me). I’m a Type A control freak that needs to know exactly how many miles I’ve ran, how many more I have to go, and what my pace is.

There wasn’t much I could do about the situation, so I figured let’s see how long my Garmin holds out. It did eventually die, but at least it held out to our halfway point. Seeing as how we were running an out and back route, I have a pretty good idea of our distance.

More importantly though, the world did not end. Sure, I still kind of pout when I look at my running data and I see a glaring hole where my records for that run should be. But I think it was important for me to be forced to justĀ let go….to just run.

I’m curious to hear from others on this issue. Do you always run with a GPS device?

Although I survived, I guarantee you I will be double- and triple-checking my Garmin battery from here on out.

Vega Sport Review – Part 1

Awhile ago I was sent quite a few samples of the new Vega line – Vega Sport. Vega is a line of different nutritional supplements created by former professional Ironman, Brendan Brazier. The products are all plant-based and the focus is on natural ingredients.

Previously I had tried Vega Whole Foods Optimizer…and I was NOT a fan. But since I had a pile of Vega Sport products to use up I figured why not.

Vega Sport is meant for endurance athletes and is set up as a three stage system. There are products that you take pre-workout (the “prepare” products”), during your working (the “sustain” workouts), and post-workout (the “recover” products).

Prepare: Pre-Workout Energizer

So far there is one product in the ‘prepare’ category: The pre-workout energizer. It comes in lemon-lime and acai berry. The acai berry was pretty good, but I thought the lemon-lime was gross, to be perfectly honest.

The pre-workout energizer contains things like green tea, yerba mate, coconut oil, and rhodiola, in order to pep you up before your workout. However there are only 16g of carbohydrates per serving, so depending on the workout you have coming up this may not be enough of a pre-workout intake. I tried some before a 6 mile run and I definitely felt some zip in my step. However, if I was going for anything longer than 6 miles and I would need to eat some food as well.

Sustain: Electrolyte Hydrator

These are little packets you are meant to dissolve into water. A thing to note here is that they have NO carbs (or calories for that matter) – they are JUST electrolytes. These were alright (but once again, I did not care for the lemon lime flavor, the pom-berry was good though). Honestly though I would rather have a drink with some calories/carbohydrates in it. Perhaps on a short/medium run this would be alright, but it’s not something I would see myself buying.

Sustain: Endurance Bar

This comes in two flavors: mocha and acai berry. I was only able to try the mocha and let me tell you: it was DELICIOUS! I didn’t eat it while running though. I’m not very good at chewing bars while running. I think this would be great if you were cycling or hiking or something like that. Even though I thought was yummy, it’s not something I personally would buy for running.

One bar has 190 calories and 28g of carbohydrates as well as 8g of protein.

I still have four more products to review (it’s a BIG line!) so look for Part 2 to come soon!

New shoes!

I run in a pair of Asics Gel-1150 shoes. It’s what the dude at the running store told me to get after watching me walk/run. At the time I didn’t know much about running, so I just figured he knew what he was talking about and went with it. I’ve never had a problem with these shoes and I’m quite fond of them. I’m currently on my second pair.

Now that I’m marathon training, I have noticed that my beloved shoes were perhaps starting to get a bit worn out. I’m an idiot and haven’t been tracking their mileage. D’oh.

I started looking for another pair, but soon saw that they were hard to find at a reasonable price. I finally found a pair, at a great price, at Volleyball Central. Wow, talk about awesome customer service! Within an hour of placing my order, I had notification that they had shipped already – super! Two days later they arrived.

My old ones are white/silver/purple, these ones are white/silver/blue. My old ones aren’t totally worn out yet, so I still plan on wearing them for a few runs each week.

For their inaugural use, I went to the gym this morning to do the same treadmill hill workout I did last week. The shoes felt great, but unfortunately my tummy wasn’t feeling so hot. I had to skip the last interval and end my workout 0.7 miles early. Lame.

What shoes are you currently running in?