Sunday, April 15, 2012

Trail update, Brooks Pure Grit & Other Trail Gear...

Settle down, grab a coffee...this is gonna be a long one! I have so much I have been meaning to post but with work being crazy before vacation, and all the vacation prep and travel, it kind of got away from me. I have been keeping up with you blogs as much as possible and I want to wish good luck to everyone who is running Boston on Monday! Enjoy the experience, you have EARNED it!!!!!

Things I am learning:

Trail running continues to be AWESOME! Trail buddy & I have been setting one day a week aside for all day is Just so much fun! We hardly notice that 3 or 4 hours passes by....except when one of us realizes we need to get OUT by a certain time and we have to figure out is comical really! We still use the tracking programs. So far logyourrun & mapmyrun seem to be the most accurate. I did try alltrails & it is a fantastic app because it not only tracks your run in real time so you can see your route on a satellite map, but you can take photos, drop a pin at their location, and add text so that your run/route tells a story. My only complaint is that it dropped signal once and lost part of our route. I'm going to give it another chance though because I'm not sure if the problem was the program or the low battery issue we were having. This is strictly route tracking though. No pace or mile splits, though it does place mile markers and tracks total time and distance. I still run my garmin no matter what, but it's mileage is always, always lower. Like a mile or two lower. Part of it is the auto-pause function that I use, but even when I didn't have it set like that, it still tracked lower. Not sure why the great discrepancy between programs?

We were having battery life issues on our iPhones until I complained to SD about this & he informed me that turning off the wireless and turning off the screen would solve this. Holy,moly, this works!!!! Went from dead battery inside 4 hours to 65% left! Clearly I am not the tech savvy one in this operation!

We have learned the hard way that falling is part of trail running. You can be careful as careful can be and still go down. I have fallen and had many close calls. Trail buddy fell 3 times yesterday, and the prickly bushes scratch us every time. I carry a first aid kit in my pack. We are considering helmets ;-D

Following mountain bike tracks leads to the best trails! Not kidding. They build bridges across boggy areas and streams and tend to mark their trails with brightly colored tags. Pink and black striped trail marker biker, you are our favourite! I almost feel like I should leave a thank you note tacked to a tree! In lieu of that, yesterday we cleared a bunch of branches off the trails that had fallen in a recent storm as we ran along.

Looks tiny, carries TONS!
Having the right gear helps. Since I haven't yet found a Gatorade selling corner store in the woods & the care and maintenance of a pack mule seemed like too much, I am now the proud owner of a Nathan Intensity hydration backpack. It is freakin' awesome! Not only does it hold 2 liters of fluid in an easy to clean, sturdy bladder, but it also has plenty of storage room. Don't laugh, this is what I pack in it: wet wipes, hand sanitizer, first aid kit, sandwich (PB& honey is my fav), trail mix, dried fruit, emergency whistle, extra hair ties, ID, money(not sure why, still hoping for that corner store or a burger joint I guess ;)), phone in an otter box (because I fall and I like my phone), bandana, extra socks. Go ahead, laugh, cause the best is coming: there are 2 of us running so trail buddy carries all the other stuff I don't carry, including emergency glucose tabs and practically a whole roll of TP!better safe than sorry, right? The pack fits well, it is made for a woman, and once I got it adjusted for me (which was an easy matter of adjusting 3 straps), there is no bounce. I does not impact my running one bit. It feels part of me, if that makes any sense? Also, because of the design of the bladder, there isn't any audible slosh from the fluid I'm carrying. I thought I'd hear it, but there isnt any sound except that of my feet on the trails and our laughter! Also, zero chaffing...even in a tank top. And that's saying something, because I am a hot, sweaty mess after 4 hours on the trail!

We are getting possessive about "our trails" now. Yesterday, we were posatively indignant that another runner appeared on the far side of "our lake" where we have lunch and we had to look for another place for a potty break afterwards!

I bought a pair of Brooks Pure Grit trail shoes at the recommendation of the owner of the running store I go to and after muddying them up and thoroughly trail testing them, my opinion is that they are awesome! According to a recent Runners World article, they are considered a hybrid trail shoe, that is they can cross to road or gravel well. I have not done this but its nice to know i can if need be. They have a sturdy lugged sole and the same feel as my pure flows, which is nice in that I don't notice a markedly different feel to my running in this shoe. But it does have some nice features like a reinforced toe and water seems to drain quickly from the shoe. The fabric of the shoe and toe is tough. I can't count how many times I have caught my toe on a rock and stumbled and it is intact. No rips or damage that I can see.

I have purchased a set of Dirty Girl Gaiters but haven't tried them yet.  I am hoping they cut down on the debris collecting on my socks and in my shoes.  I'll review those once I've tried them out a few times. 

We are getting somewhat better at navigating.  There is hope ;-)

While on vacation, we discovered running mecca: Gigantic Nike store in Caesar's palace...we were like kids in a candy store.  Thing 1 got this great shirt:

In the Nike it!


Frickin' Fabulous at 40 said...

LOVE reading about your adventures! Would you recommend the hydration backpack for half/marathon running? Or is that a bit too much?

Tina @GottaRunNow said...

Your hydration pack sounds great! The helmet and the money in the woods - ha, ha! Have fun trail running!

abbi said...

Sounds like you are having a blast, totally agree with you on the Nathan pack, it is awesome!

Ransick said...

Sounds like you are becoming a hard core trail runner! Very cool! Next thing you know we'll be reading about your ultra :-).

Rachelle Q said...

Trail running sounds like so much fun! I love to go hiking and some of my hiking trails would be great for trail running. Love the shoes:)

Jamie said...

You are doing so great on the trails! We are going to go trail running tomorrow in the afternoon :)

Coy Martinez said...

I'm so jealous of all this trail running you get to do AND AND AND the new Brooks Trail shoes! I didn't even know they made those BUT, now that I do, you better believe I'll have a pair for my next trail race! Funny enough, I also pack TP, I'm famous for being out and needing to "go" and leaves just hurt to bad HAHAHAHA!!

Suz and Allan said...

I like the look of those Brooks trail shoes. I didn't know they made trail shoes either!