Tag Archives: Gear

Some podcasts to run to…

I’ve been running with podcasts lately. It’s an interesting change to having the crazy disco and dub step pumping in your ear. Sometimes it can leave you running and nodding, or laughing out loud as you turn a corner in the conversation. I do notice that I tend to run a bit slower with a podcast (I think – that could just be correlation not causation). And you can’t listen to a podcast when you have the intervals lady telling you to “sprint…now…GO!” Or actively ticking off every KM. So podcast listening helps me be a bit less focused on the minute-by-minute and more on the journey.

So what am I listening to, and why?

Ultrarunner Podcast
No, I’m not an Ultrarunner. But it does intrigue me.
These are around an hour, and always include an interview with a prominent ultra runner.

Get the podcast – but don’t linger on the website to check out the “black toenail” gallery.

Run run live
This is kind of interesting. Chris Russell is a marathoner, writer, and a bit of a thinker. He talks about running from different angles – the experience, the strategies, the shoes and the lifetime goals.

Also – zombies.

If you’re in the mood to learn and reflect, why not enjoy the writerly qualities of this podcast?

The runners roundtable
I’ve listening to one of these where they tackle the controversial minimalist/maximalist shoe question. Kind of hilarious, although it was hard to keep the participants straight once the discussion got heated.

Try it here.

Another Mother Runner

I can’t give enough love for this podcast. Two ladies chatting about running, mothering, and all of the business that goes with it. Its conversational, not confrontational, often poignant, often funny. This one speaks to a place I am in my life right now. These ladies also kick monster butt (IRON MAN, anyone?) – but also have plenty of room to celebrate those of us who think a run around the block is a biiiiig deal.

Try the podcast, stay for the community.

Happy listening folks!

Bia will bia here soon!

I got a Bia update this morning letting me know that I will soon be having the awesome sports watch on my arm!

Wheeeeee!

At the bottom of the email was the following advice about free engraving…

We’ve dialed in our engraving process. Use the code BOOM when they order before June 1st and your friend can get their GoStick engraved with their name, phone number, or motivational mantra for free.

So gawn, get a bia!

Shopping extravaganza

I visited the SMH Half Marathon expo to pick up my race bib today. Now I know the reason they decided not to mail the bibs – they had a whole shopping experience set up to extract cash from runners.

It worked for me – I stopped by the GU stall and bought some gels to try. I’m not convinced I need them, but it seems like it’s such a popular option that I thought I would give it a try.

Since Skirt Sports had a stall, I dropped in there and ended up buying a skort and a top for doing yoga in.

They also had a stall for something called “Hooded” – it’s an adult version of those hooded towels for kids – the idea being that if you are camping you can use it to protect your modesty while you get changed. Oooooookaaaaay!

Kamay Botany Bay

Oh Kurnell. What a beautiful spot for a morning run.

The Big Run folk are hitting their stride in terms of organising the STS events. Kamay Botany Bay / Kurnell this morning had great parking and a very efficient start wave progression. The 10k and 7k runners were sent off within a timely 2 minute window.

As usual for me, the first couple of K were pretty unhappy. My friend John caught up with me and told me the joke about 2 pigs in a warm, sunny field – they were bakin’! He also told me that my sis was close behind, so I decided to wait for her once I hit the cliff-top portion of the run. I had earlier promised I wouldn’t let her run off! What a gorgeous view, looking out over foamy ocean breaking up against the sandy cliffs. I did a little yoga and obliged a couple of people who wanted a photo of themselves enjoying the majesty.

Source: Sydney Trail Series

There was a reason sis wanted a guide on the clifftops

I enjoyed this course. It was absolutely beautiful. The water views were reward enough for getting out there first thing to run through the bush. Although, just as we headed inland, the course confronts you with a hill made entirely of sand. Ok, its not totally sand – just the narrow trail is sand. Urgh. WHERE DID MY SPECTACULAR VIEWS GO? WHO PUT ALL THIS SAND AT THE EDGE OF THE WATER? Seriously though, Sis overheard someone complaining that they didn’t realise there would be sand.

The sandy climb was interesting. I had to keep jumping out of the way of people returning from the turnaround point. So I knew that it wouldn’t last forever. On the other hand, there was no one in front of me, no one behind, only people going the other way. I did become a bit paranoid that I had gone the wrong way around the loop! It turns out not. Near the top, a fellow calls out “doing well – 300m to the turnaround”, and sure enough – I was soon greeted by a sign with a U-shaped arrow on it.

Now it was time to hurtle DOWN those sandy hills! At one point, I found myself in a leafy tunnel, leaping down a soft-sand corridor on my own private roller coaster, gliding effortlessly toward a field of grass that shimmered with many colours in the sun.

I decided I would finish strong. The MC for the say made a comment that my running strong to finish was “just what you want to see, good for the sport”. Hell yeah.  He might have been talking about the free bacon sarnies, but I’m taking the compliment anyway!

I got some fruit, asked Sis to buy me a coffee from the Pablo & Rusty van (pour over – very fresh ad delish), and we chatted while stretching. I even practised by yoga headstand with great comedic effect!

The photographers were hiding everywhere on the course – I am looking forward to some really nice photos when they appear on Geosnapshot.

Being a trail run, I thought it would be a good time to test out my new running backpack. Despite not really having anything essential to carry in it, I used it to hold my jumper, water, chapstick and phone. It was super comfortable. I am winning at backpacks!

Verdict: Another great morning!

Update: I downloaded some pics of myself from Geosnapshot.com – very happy!

Some impulse purchases and zen night running

In my search for mandatory running gear, I decided to treat myself to some arm warmers. I’ve wanted these for ages, and finally took the plunge. I wanted to get some funky coloured ones, but after spotting this very warm and functional offering from Skirt Sports, I went with basic black (with a built in mitten!)

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In the picture they look sturdy, sleek and warm.

In real life, they are sturdy, sleek and warm, with a great fit, comfortable silicon grippers AND AN IPHONE POCKET ON ONE ARM. Wow.

I took them out for a test run this evening. Wearing long pants, tshirt and the arm warmers, I felt more than dressed. The arms stayed very toasty and warm for my entire run. The iPhone pocket was slightly uncomfortable until I rotated it toward the back by about 1 degree, and then it was instantly unnoticeable.

Verdict: Winning at warm arms

Also in pursuit of my mandatory running kit, I purchased a waterproof jacket and a running backpack. I went to an outdoors store after work on Wednesday. I was in a bit of a state – very tired, maybe a bit stressed, but determined to at least feel some jackets. I felt some jackets, didn’t love any of them, and stumbled off to look at backpacks when I was picked up by Yuri, the lovely salesperson. He is a soft-Spoken, non-judgey trail running person. He took me in hand and showed me an Osprey backpack and I kind of fell in love. It’s a 9L capacity in a really pretty green. It can hold a water bladder if I decide I want that at some point. It has lovely supportive hip panels with pockets for food and things, lots of adjustable straps, a whistle, a toggle to lock on your bike helmet and not one but TWO places to hang your walking poles. Note: I don’t use walking poles. Best of all, it is sized, so I got one that fits very nicely on my back and doesn’t rub at all. You can’t even feel it’s on.

Maybe I was over-tired, maybe I was falling in love with soft-spoken Yuri and his amazing knowledge of backpacks, but when he showed me the jackets, it didn’t take long for me to choose one. At first I was repelled by the jackets, but after a while I realized that none of them would make me “happy” in terms of look or feel. All of them made me look somewhat cartoonish, and all of them made me feel like a duck. Quack.

I usually go for slim, tailored (or at least fitting) clothes. Rain jackets are NOT my thing.

After I realized I couldn’t buy for looks, I started to evaluate which offered the most comfort, least noise, and best value. Yuri explained what the requirements for mandatory race gear, going so far as to explain the exact definition of a “waterproof” jacket. He even went and got a fleecy jumper for me to try on under the jacket to give a realistic feel of running with warm clothes on. I tried them all on a few times – even the very expensive ones, but found that price didn’t equate to “best for me”. I found a lovely-looking and expensive jacket with luxurious fabric that just felt…wrong. I found a light lilac jacket by North Face was shaping up well, and I committed right then and there. I am so glad I decided to go to a store instead of taking a punt at online shopping. Just going by the online specs, I wasn’t even interested in The North Face jackets on offer, but in the flesh, it’s the jacket that fitted me best.

I didn’t get the fleecy jumper, but I am having flashbacks to the feeling of snugness and warmth coupled with its light and soft feel. It was like wearing a hug.

Green and lilac… I will look like a suffragette out on the trails! I managed to get a bit of colour and fashion into my running kit, and quite a bit of comfort as well.

If I am honest, I am a little scared to take the expensive purchases out for a test run! But in spite of that, I actually feel confident that I made the right calls. Bring on the rain!

Yoga fails and acceptance

I’ve actually been enjoying my yoga classes. I focus on doing it well rather than being the best. Our teacher (who does all our classes) is very technical in all she does. She wants us to do it right. This is exactly what I need! I have realised that although I thought I was ‘very flexible’ I am ‘very flexible at certain places’. I use that flexibility to cheat my way into all kinds of positions, but that hasn’t been doing anything for my whole body – just over working and over stretching certain bits.

On Thursday, I was focusing on doing it right. Upward facing dog, push up through the hands, roll the toes over and into downward facing dog. Push down through the hands and fingers… I didn’t realise my toes had rolled off the back of the mat and whoosh! My pushing down through the fingers sent my mat flying forward and my toes stuck in place. I managed to fall flat on my face in a static yoga pose. Surely that is an accomplishment!

I am still looking at buying a wet weather jacket and running backpack for Glow Worm. Its a jungle out there! By ‘out there’ I mean on the Internet, buying a jacket. In desperation I wrote to the race organisers asking what they actually mean by ‘waterproof’ and could I just cut a hole in a bin liner to poke over my head? No. No, apparently that isn’t ok.

I repaired to YouTube to check out reviews of jackets – hoping to find the right one. And then I found this review.

Halp! I might stick to the roads. Forever.

Gear gear gear

I am starting to have to get myself prepared for the man many runs I have planned. I need to get myself a gear bag / running pack, waterproof jacket, whistle and maybe a hydration belt. Though I dunno about that. For a half marathon in the city, there will literally be water EVERYWHERE, so my little hand held will be fine.

I’ve also added re-reading Dean Karnazes’ book Run! 26.2 Stories of Blisters and Bliss to get me into the running mood. I love his attitude – suffering is transformative, struggle strengthens, and failure means learning… but martyrdom & misery  nowhere to be found. I’ve been feeling very lazy and flubbery lately. Dean is the perfect antidote.

I am trying to settle on what gear to get for Glow Worm. I keep gravitating to a brand called Salomon, which have some very spunky gear at wiggle.com.au. I am slightly miffed that the women’s gear seems to be $20 more than the block’s gear… but whatevs. I need something that will fit, not something that will save me $20. Of course if it fits, AND saves me $20, that’s a bonus too!

Its a backpack, or go with the Nathan Speed 2, as worn by Unsporty Woman in her P2P triumph. So many choices.

I am kind of feeling a backpack will be a good option for me, since I am going to have to carry mandatory gear for Glow Worm anyway. Like a waterproof jacket. I have no idea what is going to be acceptable for this. I have a very large ‘shell’ jacket that isn’t waterproof at all. I think it offers mild protection from the wind. But am I going to have to shell out $300 for something waterproof?  My attitude to waterproof is that its pretty impossible, and the difference between ‘water proof’ and everything else is that ‘waterproof’ just leaves a layer of cold air around your clammy, cold skin. How do I even begin to evaluate this stuff? waaaah! I just look for the thing that looks awesome and on sale. The bargain hunter in me is desperate to snag the  sexy-looking Salomon super-duper jacket on sale at wiggle.com.au, despite it being a size too small. I’m sure I could squeeeeeeeze in!