Monday, April 19, 2010

Review: Nathan Quickdraw Plus and Adrenaline 10

Ran a 55 minute loop around the airfield today. It felt quick and very easy. I got a chance to test out two new pieces of gear as well: 1.) Nathan Quickdraw Plus Handheld and 2.) Brooks Adrenaline 10.

I tried a few hand held bottles over the past couple weeks but don't remember all of their names. I was inclined to buy the Nathan because I am so happy with my hydration pack. They test their products out on elite runners and although they aren't perfect in design, I feel like their products generally are well made. This was definitely true for the Quickdraw Plus. It fits like a glove. When you put your fingers through the strap, it just fits and stays. There is no effort to grasp the bottle at all so you don't feel like you are carrying weight at your hands. A bottle wouldn't necessarily slow you down, but mentally, I was always adverse to carrying one because I thought it would at least feel heavy enough to be a burden. I have no idea why, but it just doesn't feel cumbersome or weighty in your hands. I did have a little trouble with the screw on lid. After filling it with water, it never seemed torqued down tight enough. I couldn't tell if there was water spillage from the cap or if it was coming out the top of the nozzle or just that it was wet from being filled. I think this worked out okay though. When I started running some water was coming out but I hadn't pushed down the nozzle stopper. So that was my bad - but duly noted that you can't just throw the bottle around w/out plugging it back up. I don't think the cap not screwing down was really a problem either - - and maybe it just looks like it's not completely tight, I don't know.
Anyhow the strap also has a small pocket for keys and a few cards and /or energy gel. I didn't have to put anything in it so I'll have to do a short review when it's loaded up with stuff.

The second thing I picked up were some new shoes. I've been running in Brooks Adrenaline's since 2004 with only one deviation to Saucony that was a mistake by Garry Gribble's Running Sports. (I have a very narrow AA foot and I guess Saucony is a fairly wide shoe.) I have exclusively bought my shoes from Elite Feet otherwise and recommend them to everyone I can.
I was a little worried about the 10 because I've read that there have been a few changes in this model. It felt the same as previous versions when I slipped it on however.

Running in it for the first time today I felt two tweaks: one in my left ankle and one in my right knee. *brow furrows* I was running on the right side of a slightly sloping dirt road however so at the very end of my run, when the tweaks started letting me know something wasn't working, I moved over to the middle. I hope this was the problem. The only other thing that it could be was that I used an old insert in my new shoes. Since Elite Feet was closed, I couldn't buy my inserts because Gary Gribble's doesn't carry them. I might run in the shoes once more on a different terrain before going and getting a new insert at Elite Feet.... even if that is the issue, it's just a $20 solution. Otherwise, the feet felt fine I think.

One other issue that is still bugging me is that I'm getting a little skin irritation on my outer toes even during short runs like this one. Mainly my left foot. I'm wearing those thin drymax socks and a little disappointed in them still. I really wish I could get ahold of the thicker trail version. The skin issue turns to blisters at anything over 10 miles and especially on the trails in the mud. So in a race, I imagine I'd be in for a real problem. And the most irritating thing is that I've never had a blister problem before! I guess that's what training is for though - working out all of these problemos!

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