Running Gear!

I will update this post as I update my running gear.

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Hydration:

  • I use a Nathan Handheld Bottle Carrier. It lets me use just about any bottle that I have clean, and it has a pouch on it to hold keys and some gels. ORIGINAL Purchase price was about $20. So look for a newer model that is about that price.
  • For bottles that I run with my favorite ones are my Nuun Bottles. They are the right size and I like the little grippy bumps on the top section. You probably wont want to spend the going amazon rate on these. Just look for something in the same size and texture.
  • As for what to hydrate with, that is a fun one.
    • Gatorade is the old stand by, but sometimes it is more or less than you want.
    • Nuun is what you want if you don’t need the calories from your drink, but want electrolytes and flavor. My favorite flavors are
      • Citrus Fruit
      • Grape
      • Tri-Berry
      • and the now discontinued Iced Tea
    • Skratch Labs, this stuff is great, but a little expensive depending on where you get it. It goes down nice and clean, no after taste, but can be super sticky if you get it on yourself. It has calories and electrolytes.
    • GU Hydraton Drink Mix, also good, but I find it does have an aftertaste. But if you are out running 4-5 hours, you might want to have it in the mix just for a variety of flavor.
    • Camelbak Rogue Hydration Pack, this has been in use for about 5 years now. I take it on any runs where I will be out of the way of water stops and over 6 miles.

Nutrition:

Here is the list of my staples. I will occasionally toss something else in, but these are in use every week.

  • GU gels, I could not function without these when the mileage gets up there. There is a huge variety of flavors and they have a decent selection of non caffeinated to highly caffeinated gels depending on my needs. Note that is a difference in price when going from regular GU to Roctane. I find I like the roctane more in the summer when I am sweating more.
    • Salted Watermelon – Lightly caffeinated is my favorite caffeinated one. Not too sweet. I buy it buy the case 3 times a year.
    • Lemonade Roctane – No caffeine, heavy on the salts. Great when its super hot out. I also buy this buy the case about 3 times a year.
  • Cliff Shots, These are like GU, but they are a bit thicker and their non caffeinated versions come in different flavors. I am a huge fan of the vanilla, it is the easiest thing I have ever found to eat while running. Its easy on the stomach, no after taste and is good hot or cold.

Lighting:

When running before the sun comes up, or when its setting or down, it is important to have some sort of lighting solution. 1. So you can see where you are going and 2 so others can see where you are. Don’t get hit!

  • Headlamps, I don’t have this exact model but something similar. I suggest getting one that has a always on mode and a blinking mode.
  • Shoe Lights, I have Night Runners, and they are fantastic. Not only do they provide me with some great ground cover for my lighting, but they make it very easy for people to see me when running down the road.
  • Arm Bands, I have a few of these from random events that are all different brands. They have shown that the more lighting you wear at night while running the less likely you are to get run over. (DUH) But a key to that is not just a bright light, but something that shows the movement of legs arms and a torso. So that at a distance they see multiple lights all moving.
  • Clip on lights. If I am running long with my camel back I like to put an extra light on there. The one I have linked is similar to the little red one I have.

Headwear:

  • Hat/Visor, just get something wicking and comfortable. I have probably 20 hats and visors now since it seems quite a few races give them away. Some are better than others I would just say try them out.
  • Sun Glasses, I have XX2i glasses and I have loved them. I have a sunny lenses that is your normal sunglasses style and I have replaceable yellow lenses for days when it is overcast or going to get dark, but I still want eye protection. Here is a link for a free pair!
  • Headphones, this will depend quite a bit on your ears and what device you use to play your music. I personally use CHEAP Bluetooth headphones for any runs that are 3 hours or shorter, and then some not so cheapo wired ones for marathon 5+ hour runs.

Footwear:

This is going to be up to you and your feet. I can tell you I run in…

  • Brooks Glycerin shoes for the last 3 years.
  • Hoka Bondi shoes as my long run shoe last year. I am about to get a new pair for this year.

Socks! I probably have more than I need but I find I like different socks for different distances.

  • Short distances socks (8 miles and under) I like are Puma all sport socks.
  • Medium distance socks ( 8 to 20 miles) I like to wear Nike running socks. they have a bunch of types. I like the ones that are a bit longer on top for medium runs and have extra arch support.
  • Long distance (20+ miles) I wear compression socks like this.

Clothes:

  • Wear what feels good. I like to have shorts with some built in underwear, the best is the Nike 5 inch compression legs built in. I can’t fine a link right now, and I have only seen them a hand full of times, so when I do see them I buy as many as I can.
  • For cold running I own a few pairs of various mens running tights. Thin to thick for those 40f days to the 20f days.
  • Tops in the summer is almost always a tech t or tech tank top from a race I have done. I don’t really buy tops anymore just use what I get from races.
  • Tops in the winter are long sleeve tech tees, tech hoodies, and running jackets.

TECH:

  • Garmin 920 XT, thsi is the best all around TRI watch out there. It lets me track running, cycling, swimming, weights and rowing. It might be overkill if you just run, but it is a great device for me.
  • Garmin HRM Run, Great Heart rate monitor that also does some running dynamics for you. It will not only get heart rate, but cadence, left right balance, vertical movement and ground contact time. Very good information to have when you are trying to look at improving your cadence stride or overall pace.
  • Garmin HRM TRI, same as above but will also take Heart rate date while swimming.
  • Samsung Galaxy S7, music and what not.

That is it for now, at least for my list of the things I currently run with.

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Bike Commuting! (Rain or Shine)

Lets try this again. I got to about 1k words and it just didn’t save. So this might be a little less wordy than the last version you didn’t get to read.

I had written a post a nice long post that was just too whiny to publish. I needed to talk about all the bad things going on at work, but you didn’t need to read about it. ( That is why you didn’t get a post last week.)

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Last week it was just looking to be a beautiful week, so we decided to try to bike to work. What do you know… its possible! I had done it twice before, but Quix and I had never tried together. There was one kind of scary spot on the way there, and if we get out of work too late (and the research campus across the street is closed), there is one kind of scary spot on the way back. But because of the great number of one way roads in Austin, the way to work is just over 4 miles, and the way back is just over 6.2015-10-26 18.42.53Our first ride into work, I wore my laptop backpack, and that was not very comfortable to ride in. Our second ride into work, also had us doing a OWS and run after work, so I used my big TRI bag. That made me feel very unstable and it was just overloaded with stuff.

2016-05-27 19.16.27Over the Holiday weekend REI had a sale and a 20% off any one item deal going on, so I stopped in to look at racks and panniers. I ended up getting a very nice rack with an interesting locking system. (Topeak Explorer Bike Rack ), and a bag that works with it (Topeak MTX Trunk Bag EXP). I didn’t realize the bag was $99, I thought it was $65, but I used that 20% off on it, to make it at least $80. Once I was home and looked it up on Amazon, it would have been cheaper to buy it on Amazon, so that’s what I linked you to up there.

FB_IMG_1445114724501(What big red looked like the day I found him.)

Once we got home I attempted to hook it up to BIG red, my old Schwinn I have been working on and… well, big red is too old, and didn’t have the correct holes in its frame to support a rack. So after moping for a few minutes, I looked online how to fix it. I decided to go return it at REI and get one that just attaches to the seat post. It turns out that big red is SO OLD, that it has a non standard diameter seat post, and to put one on, I would have to use so many shims that it would end up unsafe.

I talked to the bike mechanic there to see what he thought. He had the parts, but didn’t know where they were, and they were closing in the next 30 minutes. So I just took all the stuff I had already bought back home. We had places to go and people to see, so I just left it all undone for the day. We went to a fun pool party some friends were hosting, but thankfully there are no pictures from that event.

2015-10-18 20.47.40(Once I got big red mostly fixed up.)

Come Monday evening, I was feeling bummed about the rack not working, and went to go clean up the giant mess of bike stuff I had made in the front room. While putting things away I found an old flashlight mount I had that fit perfectly on the seat post, and provided a bolt that I could use to secure the rack to! HOORAY!

2016-05-30 18.16.04It only took about 10 minutes after finding the part to getting it all put together, tightened down and ready to go.

2016-05-30 18.16.22That gets us to Tuesday! We rode to work with the new set up. I really wish I would have gotten some pictures with the bag packed. I had a change of clothes for work, clothes and shoes for the gym, and stuff for lunch all stuffed in there. It was a little heavy but manageable on the way into work. It started to rain about 11am, and didn’t stop until 6pm. We left when the rain stopped and decided to skip the gym in favor of getting home while it wasn’t pouring.

Looking back we would have been fine, the rain didn’t start up again until late in the evening. We did still get to the grocery store and stocked up for the week. I think it only added about 10 more lbs to the bags. It did affect my stopping distance.

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Speaking of stopping, after the grocery store we passed Performance Bicycles and I suggested we stop in and have them take a look at Quix’s brakes. They were not functioning as well as I would have hoped. We have to take her bike in on Sunday to get new cables and brake housings. I guess that’s what happens to a cruiser if you just let it sit in the shed for 5 years.

Well, that would be our cycling to work adventure for the week. Here are other things that happened…

We volunteered at Cap Tex Triathlon Sunday morning. It was a blast to do bike check in. That might be my new favorite volunteer position. Sadly, because of the weather Monday morning, the race was turned into a run only. Swim and bike legs were both canceled.

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2016-05-28 14.03.00Saturday was opening day for the Hawaiian Falls waterpark, and after a nice Shoal Creek Bike ride, and a little hood run, we went there and enjoyed the first day of slides. Well, I enjoyed it until the 3rd slide when I got my eyes wasted by opening them at the bottom of a slide. Then, I rubbed my eyes with sunscreen covered hands. Needless to say after we did the next 3 slides and lazy river, I was having serious issues keeping my eyes open and not tearing up. So, into the EMT tent I went. Then we spent the night in a dark room getting eye drops every few hours for a while. But, I was all better the Sunday morning when I got up.

2016-05-28 16.16.26Well, I think that is a recap of most of my internet-safe adventures!  Until next time, Keep your eyes closed at the bottom of the slide!

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