Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Reviews of Running Stuff

I've been meaning to throw at least a few words out regarding different things I've had a chance to try and now enjoy, mostly running related, for now.

To throw another plug out there, The Clymb has been a great place for me to try out some items I've heard about, but was unwilling to invest the money trying them out.  Outdoor stuff for half or more off.

I always only brought water.  Mostly because I hated the heavy sugar of sports drinks.  Well, I've found a permanent favorite in these guys.  Electrolytes without the sugar.  Very light taste and light drinking, nothing heavy feeling at all.  Easy on the stomach while running.  They come in boxes of 4 tubes, 12 tablets in each tube. 1 tablet in 16oz of water and it fizzles away like an alkaseltzer.  Enough said--great hydration helper.

Garmin 410
I love keeping track of my activities 'behind the scenes'.  I don't like bulky big things while running, or while doing much of anything outdoors.  This little baby answers my problems.  Easily picks up satellites, and keeps them.  Running through the Redwoods and forests has always played havoc with my huge backpacking gps, as well as my phone.  This has yet to lose its satellite tracking no matter where I am.  Must be the antennae built into the wristband.  And works indoors on a treadmill (which I don't do).  Waterproof.

Hit a button, and start running.  Forget about it.  Tracks my route, and everything in between.  It does things I don't use as well like below-pace reminders or a 'virtual racing buddy' and such.  When I get home and get within 6' of my computer, the data downloads automatically.  Another button push on my running site and its downloaded from there to my online run tracking (My MapMyRun Profile)

I love my fuel belt.  I can't tell its there when I'm running.  2 small 8oz jugs, can't tell you have water, easy one-hand in-out.  Pouch holds plenty of gels or keys.  I also have in this picture: a Nathan blinking light (though its usually in the front) lots of blinky settings--love it.  I also have my RoadID around the pouch and my mp3 player attached to that.

Brooks Pure Project: Grit & Connect
Brooks Grit: Trail Shoe

 Brooks Connect: Road shoe

My new running shoes!
As my running has progressed (not even a year yet), my shoe needs have changed.  I have previously been transitioning to a lower heel drop ratio which makes my form so much easier to run.  My 2 previous shoes were 12mm and 8mm.  Both of these are 4mm, I noticed the difference immediately and fell in love.

Super light weight and flexible, great traction.  The low lugs on the Grit make it comfortable on the trail or road and wide spacing keeps mud from building up.  The Grit's design was helped by Scott Jurek, the same ultra-runner who helped build the successful Cascadia.  7.2 oz Connect, 8.9 oz Grit. Brooks also makes 2 other road models in the Pure Project line.  I got the Connect because they are zero guidance or support.  The other models offer a bit of each.

The Connect won Best Debut by Runner's World.  The Grit has been getting great reviews from Trail runners and I love em both.  Fantastic shoes I will be running in for awhile.

Vivobarefoot Evo
One of the first 'barefoot' shoe makers and now have one of the widest selection.  Used and promoted widely  with the POSE method.  They are normally a more expensive shoe for me to just try, even though I've only read great things about them.  When they came up on The Clymb for $50, I went for it.  

100% Vegan: soles made from recycled rubber; Drilex performance lining with environmentally sustainable Sorona yarn.  Zero drop and only a thin 3mm sole, 1mm is a puncture resistant layer.  Can roll them up in a ball so flexible.  No cushion and a true 'barefoot' shoe.  I can't run in them, I'm not at the zero drop or zero cushion place, if I ever get there.  But I wanted a nice looking zero-drop shoe I could wear to work and not look too goofy.  These fit the bill, keep my legs and calves working while I'm at work, comfortable, feel like I'm wearing slippers.  If you are a barefoot runner, these get rave reviews and seem to be very durable (think a recent review I read from a girl that was at over 500 miles on hers).

Still a few things missing from my running gear.  Need more cold weather clothing.  Need a rain running jacket (my rain jacket is too 'unbreathable' for running).  Also looking at running packs, especially the ones by Nathan.  I love my fuel belt.  But as I begin running longer distances (which is my goal), I would like to be able to stash a map (long trail runs), camera, a lunch, or other small items.  

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