Showing posts with label running apparel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label running apparel. Show all posts

Sunday, January 24, 2016

The Well-Read Runner: SLS3 Run Belt GIVEAWAY!

Howdy, runners!  I don't do a lot of product reviewing on this blog, but you may remember that I've been on the hunt for AGES for a good running belt.

I tried the FlipBelt last spring, and it was an immediate no-go.  The claim that you could wear it hip level and it wouldn't ride up was a total bust for me.  Then, about a month ago I tried a slimmer Nike run belt.  It had two problems: moved around way too much, and it only had 1 pocket.  The 1 pocket fit my phone and my Gu just fine, but because the pocket was so slim, taking the Gu out mid-run left me in serious danger of dropping the phone.  Not a fan.

So, when I was offered the chance to review the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt, I had to say YES, PLEASE.  I am tired of my armband!!  I can't always carry my hydration pack!!  I need another way to carry my phone, nutrition, and extras on the run.

I took the belt out for its first spin on a 5-miler that I did last weekend.  It was cold!:
After my FlipBelt and Nike belt experiences, I wore this one higher at waist level, which I thought would bug me at first (I don't want to feel like I'm wearing a fanny pack!!), but it's slim and blends in with my other black running clothes so I don't feel like it's super obvious.  You could wear it lower if you want, the belt is adjustable in size...I just haven't had much luck wearing stuff at hip-level.  I guess it's just my body type??

I know those pockets look small, but they fit an iPhone with room to spare!

(That's an iPhone 5c in the picture, but I took the photo with my larger iPhone 6s, which fits just fine as well.)
Photo with both pockets (one open, one zipped closed)
On the run, the belt stayed put for the entire 5 miles, and I quickly forgot it was even there.  I was afraid that it would move and bunch up my clothes (especially because I had 2 layers on), but that wasn't an issue at all.  And the two pockets were awesome: I could reach in and grab my phone (which I kept in a pocket by itself) without worrying that I was going to dislodge my key or ID (in the other pocket).

It seems like I've FINALLY found a run belt that is going to work for me.  I'd love to complete my next half wearing this instead my chafe-a-riffic armband.  :)

Want to try one of these bad boys yourself?  SLS3 is offering a free Dual Pocket Run Belt to a lucky runner/reader of my blog.  Just enter using the Rafflecopter below!  If you don't win the giveaway, the belt is currently on crazy-sale via Amazon ($12.90, 57% off the regular price of $29.90!).  Buy it HERE.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

(Disclaimer: I received a free belt for posting this review, but all opinions are mine-oh-mine!)

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: A Hit and A Miss

Week 10 of training for the Mystic Half Marathon is done...only TWO WEEKS to go!

Total distance for the week: 27.62 miles

We had a hit and a miss with my new running purchases from last week.

The hit is my new Under Armour running shorts.  I took them out on two runs this week (including today's long run), and they were awesome.  A little shorter than I am used to, but because they are not compression shorts (super-short compression shorts ride up my thighs in an oh-so-unsightly way), they were still comfortable.  Thumbs up!
Me likey.
The miss goes FlipBelt.  I KNOW.  I am like, the only runner in the world who does not like the FlipBelt.  I had it recommended to me by SO MANY people.  EVERY review I read online was glowing.  "It doesn't ride up!!" everyone said.

Unfortunately, for me, that was not true.  I took the FlipBelt out on Saturday's 3 mile run.  I had it on my hips, like so:
I strategically washed out this photo so you cannot see my stretch marks.  You're welcome. #mombod
Within the first 5 minutes, it was up around my waist.  Which was wicked uncomfortable (and looked weird under my shirt).  And, made my stomach sweat a lot.

Post-run.  NO LIKEY.
I was willing to give it another go. I put it a tiny bit lower for my long run on Saturday.  And...1/3 of a mile in, I was on the side of the road, ripping it off in frustration because it had already ridden up on me 3 times.  Luckily, I had brought my armband in my hydration pack as a backup, so I moved my phone there and continued on.  But I think it's safe to say that I am part of the "small percentage of people" (according to FlipBelt's website) that does experience ride up with the product.  Oh well.  Me and this cursed armband are in it for the long haul, it's starting to look like...haha.

Anyway, on to my workouts!

Monday: Rest. 

Tuesday: 5 miles, easy pace.  So humid!!  I made the mistake of wearing light gray compression capris, and was worried I had a patch of butt sweat on them the whole time (luckily, did not).  Ha.  But, the run itself was not bad, with an average pace of 9:47.

Wednesday: 45 minute tempo run.
  My longest tempo run of this training cycle!  I did it on the treadmill, it went very well, minus the fact that my knee started bugging me again.  Ho-hum.

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace.  So, Tuesday it was so warm/humid, I looked like I had showered when I got home.  Thursday, I had to run in my winter gear, because it was 37 degrees when I started.  I thought I had seen the last of you for a while, winter gear!!

This run was just okay.  I had a fast average pace for an easy run (9:24), but my knee was bugging me again and I feel like I went fast just so I could get home quickly and in one piece.  Meh.

Friday: Rest.   I needed it after 2 wonky knee days.

Saturday: 3 miles @ race pace.  This run was a bit of a, so that I could test my new shorts and FlipBelt (already talked about that), but two, so that I could see how my knee felt.  If it bothered me again on this run, I was going to shorten my Sunday long run.  I didn't want to make the knee worse before race day.  However, I did this entire run in my local park, on nice even trails, knee pain.  So I am 99% sure this knee thing is from running on cambered roads, as I mentioned last week.  Yay for a pain-free run!  If only I had more non-road running options.

Oh, and I was a tad fast...9:35 (goal was 9:45) I've said before, I tend to go too fast vs too slow on these race pace runs.  At least it was only by a little bit.

Sunday: 12 mile long run.  My LAST really long run before the race!  And it was fantastic.  I did part of the run in the park, in order to give my knee an easier time, and it did not bug me one bit during the entire run.  I started out at 7am with great cloud cover and temps in the 60s--perfect.  I took 2 Gu's during the run (non-caffeinated, at 4.5 miles and 9 miles), and just like last week, not a single peep from my stomach.  I am so psyched about this.  They also gave me a great kick, as I always felt a bit of energy come back within a mile of fueling.  I think I may have finally figured out how to control my ridiculous stomach!

I did have to stop for a pee break at Tim Horton's...AGAIN...I think I am just going to have to plan for this on race day.  It always happens between the 6-7 mile marks.  I guess I better study that race map for porta potty stops.

The sun did come out around mile 4, which was a little rough, but I had a good amount of water with me so I pushed through.  My second Gu at mile 9 really helped me out, and my mile splits in the last 3 miles were some of the fastest of the entire run.  Ended with 10:05 average pace, faster than I intended for a long run, but I just felt good!

And came home to chocolate chocolate chip pancakes, which is never, ever a bad thing.

I am linking up again with Tara's Weekend Update at Running 'N Reading (a fantastic blog for runners and readers alike!!).  Check it out!

How was your running week, friends?

What's your favorite post-early-run breakfast?

Sunday, May 10, 2015

The Well-Read Runner: SHOES!

Week 9 of training for the Mystic Half Marathon is done...only 3 weeks to go!

Total distance for the week: 27.94 miles

An exciting week for running apparel around here!

First, my Mother's Day gift from my husband and the kiddos came early.  Not one, but TWO new pairs of running shoes!:

WOOHOO!  The first pair of running shoes I got fitted for at Fleet Feet (last year) was the Nike Lunar Eclipse 3.  It was one of the only shoes I tried on that did not make the bunion on my right foot (super sexy, I know) hurt like crazy, because the shoe has a super wide toe box.  I went to buy a new pair at the end of last year, and of course, Nike stopped making the 3, so I switched to the almost-identical Lunar Eclipse 4.

Well now...of course, they've stopped making the 4, and moved on to the Lunar Eclipse 5.  I really like my 4's though, and saw that a few retailers were still selling them here and there, so my husband offered to nab me two pairs before they sold out.  Huzzah!  My current pair of shoes only has about 220 miles so far, but it would be nice to be able to rotate shoes rather than wearing 1 pair down until they've got nothing left.  I'm quite excited about being able to do that in time for race day!  :)

In other news, my mother-in-law sent me a $50 Amazon gift card, which I used to buy myself a much-coveted FlipBelt, as well as a new pair of Under Armour running shorts:

They should be here this week.  The FlipBelt will hopefully replace my dreaded iPhone armband, and the shorts will replace my black Adidas running shorts that I've had since 2007 and are about to fall to pieces.  :)

Anyway, on to my workouts!

Monday: Rest.  Well-deserved after last week's race!

Tuesday: 5 miles, easy pace.  This run went okay, but it was SO HUMID!!  Kind of unusual for Rochester at this time of year (especially at 5am).  I suppose this is good practice for race day though...Mystic, though not necessarily warmer than Rochester, is almost always more humid, given its coastal location.  I went out on the run with stick-straight hair, and came home with some serious volume:

One thing about this run--I started to get a slightly-sore twinge in my left knee for most of it.  I've had knee issues when I run on shoes that are past their retirement date, but otherwise have not had problems.  After the run, I ran the problem (pun!) past a few of my running friends, and after ruling out shoes/insoles as a problem, I think it's likely related to the fact that I've been almost exclusively running on the left side of roads throughout this training.  And, as most roads tend to do, they have a slant in the shoulder that goes down to the left, putting my left foot at a weird angle much of the time.  More on this in a minute.

Wednesday: 9 x 400 intervals.
  Knocked this one out of the park.  Managed not to walk between any of the intervals (only jogged).  I only have 1 interval workout left before the race (10 x 400), I can't believe it!  I remember when I did my first one and never thought I'd be able to hang in there for 9 or 10 in a row.  (And, side note, no knee twinge today...I was on the treadmill.)

Thursday: 3 miles easy pace.  This run went great.  I used one of my new pairs of shoes, which felt wonderful, and I had no knee pain (though I did try to run in the road, rather than in the shoulder, for much of it--something that is easier to do on an early-morning run with no traffic).

Friday: Rest.  And I got to spend it chaperoning Small Fry's field trip to the farm.  Good times!!

Saturday: 11 mile long run.  This was supposed to be Sunday's workout, but I moved it up a day because 1) they were calling for possible Sunday morning thunderstorms, and 2) I wanted to do it before Mother's Day, because long runs make me crazy tired and I didn't want to be sleepy all day long on my BIG holiday.  :)

I got up early for this one (5am, with the intention of leaving at 6am), and I almost wish I got up earlier.  We are having an insane heat wave in Rochester right now (it was 91 on Friday, a record-breaker), and it was already 71 degrees by the time I started out.  Luckily, the sun was at my back for a lot of it, but this run definitely reminded me of what the summer will feel like soon!  Thank goodness for my Nathan hydration pack, I took in a LOT of water today.

Overall, this was a great run.  I started off feeling strong, though I did start to get my knee twinge again at mile 2.  I started paying more attention to how my left foot was hitting the pavement, because when I looked down, I noticed that I kept hitting hard on the outer edge of my left foot even on flat surfaces, almost as if I was expecting the left-side slope at all times.  When I made a better effort to flatten my foot falls, the knee twinge went away almost immediately.  For the rest of training, I really need to stay conscious of this, because I don't want an injury before race day.

I only had 1 Gu left at home, so I decided to take it around the halfway point.  I stopped for a quick bathroom break at mile 6, then took the Gu as soon as I started running again.  This was a non-caffeinated Gu (all the others I tried were caffeinated), and I had ZERO stomach cramps/problems after eating it.  Not a single one.  This is a miracle for me and my sensitive stomach!!  I immediately went out to Fleet Feet after the run and bought a huge supply of these.  They will definitely be my race-day fuel of choice.

I flagged a little in the last mile, but overall I did great.  Average 9:59 pace that stayed fairly consistent throughout.  Feeling ready to do this thing!!

Sunday: 5 miles @ race pace.  Oh man, was I dreading this run.  Reason 1: running at race pace the day after a long run sounded way painful.  Reason 2: I got ridiculously, unashamedly drunk on Saturday night, thanks to my lovely husband who made me an AWESOME steak dinner after the kids went to bed, and then split a bottle of wine with me.  The steak and the wine (and the peanut butter pie for dessert) were to die for, but given that I have had very little alcohol during this training cycle, that half-bottle of wine was trouble.

I didn't even bother setting an alarm for Sunday, because I knew when I stumbled into bed that there was no 5am run in my future.  Sure enough, I woke up Sunday with a hangover and a very sour stomach.  Luckily, throughout the day the situation did improve, and it was nice to have the day to get pampered by my boys and hang out with them at Ontario Beach Park:

However, this all just put off my run until after my kiddos went to bed (roughly 7:30pm).  It had been a hot day (mid-80's) and while the sun was going down at this point, it was still outrageously humid.  But I put on my big girl panties and got out there anyway.

Not gonna lie, the first two miles were a struggle.  My stomach was still not entirely happy, and it felt like I was trying to breathe underwater in that humidity.  However, by mile 3 I felt like I was hitting a groove.  And I actually did a great job keeping race pace (9:38 average overall, 9:45 was the goal).  One thing I did notice is that when I hit a hill, I get nervous that I'm going to fall too far behind pace, so I tend to overcompensate and go way too hard up the hill (usually around 9:00-9:10).  This is something I will have to be careful of on race day, because I don't want to lose all my steam on those hills.

In the end, it was a bit of a struggle, but 5 miles were done, and well-paced to boot!  I did look like I had taken a shower when I finished though.  Did I mention it was humid?

I am linking up again with Tara's Weekend Update at Running 'N Reading (a fantastic blog for runners and readers alike!!).  Check it out!

How was your running week, friends?

Anyone else primarily a road runner?  How do you deal with those sloping shoulders wreaking havoc on your knees?

Pick your poison: if you had to run in either 20 degree snow, or 80 degree humidity, for the rest of your days, what would you choose?  (Honestly, I think I'd have to go with the snow, but I could be biased because I'm still sweating.)
Imagination Designs