So, recently I was on a long run of about 15 miles in preparation for the Philly Marathon (which feels like it is just around the corner). I thought to myself, "ugh! I need to remember to buy a heart rate monitor" because I have been told that heart rate is one of the best ways to measure progress. In any event, as I thought this to myself, I looked down and realized I was totally geeked out in gadgets. From my head to my toes, I was a complete running dork. See? And because I am an organizational dork as well, I numbered the photo with the areas of gadetry. Note: this is an actual picture of me after my run. I didn't just go grab all my gear and throw it on. I really did run 15 miles looking like this (and I had my iPod on too). Hot.
Let's break this sucker down by number.
1 = Sweaty Bands headband
I *love* Sweaty Bands headbands. I cannot begin to tell you how much I love them. I first found them about 7 years ago when I got back into running after my son was born. The headbands are terrific: velvet on the one side, ribbon on the other and nice elastic to keep it on. It keeps the hair out of my face, looks super cute and is machine washable. I was shocked and awed when I picked up my packet at the Philadelphia Rock and Roll Half Marathon expo only to find an entire huge booth of Sweaty Bands. I may or may not have run over and petted those gorgeous headbands. I took a picture and sent to my other runner friends. Behold -- headband heaven.
The one I am wearing in the photo is hard to see, but it's red and white polka dots.
2 = SOAS tri tank
I had recently received my SOAS triathlon tank from SOAS, and I thought this would be a great opportunity to see how it performed on a 2.5 hour run. I've already blogged about my preliminary use of the tank, but I was thrilled with how it worked on my long run. No chafing, very comfortable and super functional (it has a few nicely sized pockets in the back). Plus, it's flattering. And ... it matches with my polka dot headband.
3 = Garmin Forerunner 910xt watch
I love love love my Garmin Forerunner 910xt triathlon watch. It is the one piece of running/tri gear that I truly would not give up. I wasn't even in the market for a new watch. But my old Garmin (the Forerunner 210) suddenly died on me, and when I went to the store to replace it, I realized it made more sense to spring for the triathlon watch. The watch goes in the water and is designed for triathlons: there is an easy way to change your timing for each leg of the event, while still tracking total time and distance. I mostly use the watch for running these days, and it tracks my total time, instant pace and total mileage.
4 = Fuel Belt
This one is a relic: I bought my Ironman Fuel Belt back in 2002 and it's still going strong. It was made before the days of iPhones, so the little pouch in front barely fits my phone. But I hate the redesign of the belt - I have tried the newer models and much prefer mine. Despite looking like a dork, I love my fuel belt and find it necessary for long runs and races. I recently tried a hand-held water bottle, and I will do a review of that soon. Suffice it to say, though, I am back to my belt. If it ain't broke and all.
5 = CEP Compression Calf Sleeves
I've seen runners and triathletes wear compression socks and sleeves at many races. I was curious, so I bought a pair of CEP Compression Calf Sleeves at the Rock and Roll expo - I grabbed the hot pink but they make a ton of other colors. I am way too picky, and my feet are too finicky, to wear compression socks, but I thought the sleeves would be a good thing to try. The theory is they increase blood flow and circulation in the legs, which makes you run and recover faster when you wear them during or after a run. I'll do a review of the sleeves soon, too, but these work better on recovery runs than long runs for me.
6 = Yankz! Speed Laces
I bought these Yankz! speed laces this triathlon season. Speed laces are a godsend in a tri: you don't have the time, energy or dexterity to tie your shoes well after the bike and rushing through transition. Speed laces are made of stretchy material, so you just pop your foot in the shoe, give a little tug and get running. I recently bought a new pair of sneakers (since taking this picture) and did not bother with the speed laces, since all I am doing these days is running.
So there you go: a tri dork by the numbers. Stay tuned for my review of some of the things in this post! Happy mid-October. Can you believe it?
See you swoon,