Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Some Say Size Matters

Today I went back to the Parcours Lake ARMY obstacle course for an hour-ish run. It went really well although temps are in the 100s so the heat was killer. Since most of my distances are short and the long ones are out-and-back, I've been able to hand carry small water bottles. This weekend however will be 8-10 miles out-and-back, so that'll be 4-5 miles before I can refill a bottle. I'm starting to really think about hydration systems. I'd really like to try a Nathan women's pack but my local Dick's Sporting Goods only carry Camelbaks. ...And only one women's pack which felt like a chaffing nightmare when I tried it on. I might have to just bite the bullet and order a Nathan from The Nathan Intensity pack got 5/5 stars so it'd have a great chance of working out. $85 though... and they say running is cheap cuz all you need are a good pair of shoes. *shrugs*

A lot of people seem to use the bottles that strap to your hand. I really, really don't like carrying items so I can't see this working out for me. I tried the Nathan Quickdraw Elite ($14, Dick's) and it was better than a regular bottle since you don't have to grip it as tight. - But with water, an energy gel or keys.... ugh, too much. I left it behind.

Speaking of energy gels.... since I'm starting to up my milage finally, I've also been thinking about different sources of energy. With my food issues, I've been hesistant to try almost anything with chemicals. But considering my location (BFE), I can't find much more than GU and Clif shot bloks at Dicks, a half hour a way. I know I can't do GU except possibly vanilla - but vanilla flavorings, even in natural products like Rice Milk make my hands ache and swell. Weird. Powerade Zero (no corn syurp) has worked ok I think. I can't drink anything else on the grocery shelves (ie: Gatorade, G2, Powerade, etc). So, I ended up calling the Clif Bar customer service because their site lists ingredients but still, things like carmel color and flavorings can be allergen derrived. I told her I tried Shot bloks and was curious was Gluten/Corn/Dairy free. She admitted that all their products may have trace amounts. This means, you can have one package that was cross contaminated but buy the same thing again and it can be free of allergens. I'm willing to try anything however, if they really don't think it's in there. So, she is sending me samples of allergen-free (hopefully) items! If they work, I can start buying them online. Happiness!!!

Items for me to try:

Luna Moons (like Shot bloks): Organic Brown Rice Syrup, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice, Organic Brown Rice Syrup Solids, Pectin, Citric Acid, Colored With Black Carrot Juice Concentrate, Natural Flavor, Ascorbic Acid (Vit. C) , Organic Sunflower Oil, Carnauba Wax, Palmitate (Vit. A), Tocopheryl Succinate (Vit. E).
* Red Flags for my food allergies are citric acid, Natural Flavorings, juice concentrates and vitamins.

Electrolyte Splash (like Gatorade): Organic Evaporated Cane Juice Crystals, Natural Flavor, Colored With Vegetable Juice Concentrate.
* I LOVE seeing like 3 ingredients in a Gatorade alternative. The Natural Flavor though throws a red flag for me.

I've read of some runners using dates for a natural energy source. I have been wanting to try this but first need to locate dates with no additives. There is a Fresh Market, 2 hours a way in Destin, Florida that I know carries fresh dried dates. So, next week, on my monthly visit down there I will pick some up. Now... I probably should email her about how in the world she carries them.... in baggies? Sounds messy...

When I got home from my run the UPS man (a.k.a. Santa Claus) came with a a package for me! I received the Garmin Forerunner 405 with heart rate monitor.

So far I went through the short Quick Start - an automated little tutorial on the actual watch. Very easy. To set the time and dates all you had to do was get a GPS signal. It automatically updated. Nice.. easy. In fact, if you read the manual - everything was simple. But then later, I tried to put the HR strap on someone else to take his heart rate and realized I had forgotten what buttons to push to see it. Sooo I am seeing that the device is easy to use, but you have to know how to do it. Like, that HR is under the "Training" menu on the watch. So getting to that screen was where I faltered. But.. still, I really think it'll take me a couple times to do it to remember it. No big deal.

Other cool notes about the watch: the fact that I walk into the room and it auto updates all my stats to the Web site. Also, that my route gets updated to my profile and I can see exactly every drunk-driver looking swerve I made on the road. Fun. I also am loving if you get lost, it will guide you direction-by-direction back to your start. I'm going to test that on a dog walk here soon.

One thing I'm not loving,... since the watch has the GPS unit inside (all others are a device on an arm-band), you can't swim with it or wear it underwater. I used to sometimes just hop into the shower with my old Timex Ironman GPS watch (without the unit on my arm of course). I didn't even think about it. I don't swim - and have no goals to include swimming but it was just nice to never worry about the unit and water. However, this for me, is not a serious detraction.

Also, its size is a slight consideration. It isn't crazy huge - especially on a man. But how much people complained about it's size worried me before I bought it. But, heck, it's like the 1st watch to have the GPS actually in the watch. And the arm GPS units are huge - I've used one for years and it was a pain in the winter time especially with layered clothes. I'd MUCH rather be wearing this all-in-one watch. And it's not so big that it'd look odd while you're running. Now, for a woman, wearing the watch with casual clothes, - I would do it if I was afraid to leave it in my car or in a desk drawer. It's not that odd. But, I probably wouldn't put it on if I wasn't going running and I could just leave it safetly at home. I think if a runner is put off by the size of this watch, then they probably aren't serious enough about running to even buy it. The technology that this watch brings, ......size really shouldn't matter.

Now, I just gotta get the basic functions down for this Saturday!

1 comment:

  1. oh snap love this post sooo fun! I should have bought you some dates to send you cuz I am pretty sure I can get them here in spgf...anyway I will be shopping sunday so let me know if you need anything...if I remember I will look for some running energy type items that may work. Also love that your Garmin shows your drunk driving swerves that cracked me up!