Tuesday, November 11, 2008

All The Gear And No Idea

I am a dirty girl!!! Ok, let me back up and rephrase that. I went to the "dirty girl gaiters" online store and bought two pairs of gaiters. These are great little devices that help keep dirt, mud and stones out of your shoes while running trail, and a lot of my friends have recommended "dirty girls". After I got divots taken out of both my heels at Cactus Rose, I decided it would be a good idea to invest in these for Sunmart, Bandera and Rocky. Don't go all Freudian on me, but my choices were "Hog Wild (b&w)" and "Lime Gatorade Hurl" (though I wish I had picked "the wall" now).

And speaking of feet and blisters, I have decided to try pre-taping my feet for the longer races (past my usual "oh, I've got a blister. Let's slap some duct tape on it"). I did a lot of research online and found a number of articles on feet taping by Denise Jones and John Vonhof. They seemed to favor Elastikon and Micropore tape, using Tincture of Benzoin as an adhesive. So a quick trip to zombierunner.com and I will soon have a whole bunch of taping supplies to experiment with.

I've also been trying to figure out what type of gel works best for me. I've had good results with both Crank Sports e-gels and Hammer Gels. The only problem is that I'm usually too lazy to use them - too messy and far too much fuss. Then I noticed at Cactus that John - my runner - was using big containers of hammer gel (called Hammer Gel Jugs) - and squeezing them into flasks that he carried with him. "A ha" thought I, "that could be the ticket for me". So I bought a couple of jugs, along with some gel flasks and holders (to clip onto my shorts, armband or handheld). Let me just say that Hammer Nutrition has some of the best customer service I've experienced while shopping for running gear (to rank alongside Drymax socks and runningwarehouse.com). They responded to my questions promptly and made me feel as if I really mattered. I just got notification of my order and they have also thrown in a whole host of freebies including 3 different flavored gel packets, samples of heed, recoverite and perpetuem, some energy bars and a free gel flask. These guys rock. If you've never shopped with them before, click on the referral icon (in the menu to the left) to get 15% off your first order.

The two flavors I got were orange and Espresso (for the latter stages of races when I need that sudden shot of caffeine). I steered clear of the vanilla because I have plenty of vanilla flavored Spiz. If you use Hammer gels, what is your favorite flavor?

Anyway, enough shameless plugging. Yesterday I decided to make up for my lack of miles this weekend by doing a nighttime traverse of Ken's followed by a road run around the hills of Ladera Norte. I sent an email out to the HCTR list to see if anyone was interested in joining me, and Henry and Naresh both bit. We had such a good time. Ken's looks so different after dark and none of us had run it at night. We did a little bit of "exploring" (ie getting lost) while nattering away. The night was still and humid and we all wondered where "winter" had gone. Coming back along the flats, I hit a nice rhythm and fell into that elusive groove where running is easy. We got back to the cars, switched out to road shoes, topped up our water and set off into the hills. Midway through the run, the rains came together with a lovely breeze - it felt terrific and refreshed us. We stopped after climbing to the top of one of the hills, turned around and enjoyed the view of the city at night.

It was a great run that reminded me of all the reasons I enjoy this sport: good scenery + good company + good friends = good times

1 comment:

cymrusteve said...

I agree, can't beat the Hammer Nutrition products or their customer service. First class!

Good luck with their free samples. Recoverite is a classic....