Thursday, June 28, 2012

Nathan Intensity Hydration Vest Review

As you all know I've been looking for something to carry water in/with during my longer runs.  I've been struggling to find a water bottle that doesn't leak and is comfortable.   I was recently given the chance to try out Nathan's Intensity Women's Racing Vest.

I wore the vest on a four mile run on a hot day.  I filled the internal bladder with cold water, put it in the backpack and strapped it on.  I was surprised as to how light the pack felt when I had it on.  I normally hate things touching my back when I work out, but this seemed ok.

I put my phone into another compartment and off I went.  I had the hydration cord wrapped around the front and I opened the valve.  I started running and quickly noticed that there was a slow drip from the valve.  I needed to keep it on the "closed" setting while running.

The valve was easy to grab and to bite and use while running.  However, opening the valve did take some getting used to.  I wish that it didn't drip on the open setting.

The vest is made for women so it doesn't chafe and it fits you in all the right places.  Its easily adjustable.  I liked the two front pockets located on the straps.  This would be great for a key or Gu should you need them.

The vest holds almost 7 liters of water.  You can of course fill it as much or as little as you'd like.  There are also some straps that you can use to lash a jacket to if you're out in the elements.

Overall the pack has two front pockets and two rear pockets=lots of storage for anything you need on your run.  And the fact that its lightweight and comfortable may make this my new favorite running partner.

Take a peek at the Nathan Intensity Vest and order one here:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Fairfield 5k Race Review

I just ran another PR!  I didn't intend for this race to be my best race ever.  All the conditions were off.  It was hot, muggy, I was exhausted from a LONG week at work and I hadn't been on my regular training or eating routine.  So I was going out for a fun, flat course.

There were 1500 runners in the race so the start "gate" was clogged with tons of people.  It was extremely slow getting off the start and even the first quarter to half mile there was a lot of bumping jostling and tactical footwork.  I'm not a fan of this but it does keep me from starting off too fast.

There were water stops at the first mile mark and the second mile mark.  I really wanted water half way through and had sped up in anticipation of the short break but I took water as the second mile mark.

I love the fun that this race offers.  Bagpipes, a rock band and a sprinkler all kept me occupied.

This was my first race with a different iPod than I normally run with.  My old iPod died and I had to use a replacement that Apple had sent me for an older model that was recalled.  I wasn't in love with the bigger iPod but my headphones worked well.  It was my first race with my newest pair of headphones.

My first mile was nice and slow, then I sped up during my second mile.  I was on pace to come in FAST (for me), and I think I psyched myself out a little bit and ended up slowing down during the last mile.  Either way, it was fast and flat and it was a great run. Now I really have to pick up my training to beat this new PR time!

My uncle and aunt both ran the race and had great times.  The biggest news is that my husband, Matt, ran the race too and not only finished the race, but did so WAY under his goal time.
Here is a picture of all of us after the race:

Friday, June 22, 2012

Sunscreen Infographic

As some one who is super cautious about sunscreen, I thought this was interesting...

Monday, June 18, 2012

Running Shoe Infographic

I found this infographic from REI and through I'd share...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

New Mat

Well after less than a year with my yoga mat, it has started to break down :(  I felt bonded with my mat as it was the one I used when I really started to practice yoga on a regular basis.  However, the peeling is bad enough that its tough to maintain my grip when doing arm balances.

So, I've done a ton of research and I've asked around.  I spoke with some company reps and finally, I've ordered the Manduka black mat pro.  I wasn't head over heels with getting another Manduka mat, but this one has a life time warrantee.  Im anxious for it to arrive and to take it through the break in period.

I also have a hand towel coming from Manduka.  Its part of their Equa line that is supposed to get stickier as it gets wet; perfect for the type of yoga I practice.

I will keep you posted on how I like all of it!  I am going to be practicing on the front porch in Maine soon.  I have a MP3 of a traditional yoga class where I practice and I'm going to use that while I'm away.
I'm hoping to "bond" with the mat while I'm away too :)

Garmin Humor

I can relate to this now that I've moved to a place that loses Garmin reception randomly....

Thursday, June 14, 2012

June Race Review

This past weekend I ran a five mile race in Brookfield.  I ran this race last year as well.  Last year it was 60 and cloudy.  This year it was sunny and 80!
However, it was a BEAUTIFUL day!

There were more runners than last year and even more walkers.  The race benefited JDRF.

I wore my Garmin so that I wouldn't go out to fast.  I did anyway and at about 3/4 of a mile in there is a hill.  It felt like a killer, but soon after that I got my groove back.  Before I knew it, I was at the two mile mark and I got a water break.  I walked for the water as I was hot and thirsty.

You run back by the same station a mile later and I got water again.  This time I dumped it down my neck to cool off.

I settled into a slower pace for the last mile or so and stopped once briefly to relax my IT Band.  I'm not sure if its a blessing or a curse that I can tell when its getting tense.

And as it goes in every race, before I knew it I was at the end.  My uncle had on bright blue and finished well before me and he was there cheering me on.

Since this was a smaller race as it always is for longer short distance races, I was in the back of the pack of finishers.  I was happy with my time though. It was almost four minutes faster than last year's time.

This is the third in the Brookfield four seasons series.  Now all I have to do is run the Halloween race and I get this year's "special prize" for people who have run all four!

Next up, a 5k in Fairfield (flat and hopefully fast).  Then, the rest of the summer off!

Here I am at the finish.  
Here with my aunt and uncle and a family friend, Jennifer.  Jennifer and I have run together at a few races and I always love seeing her friendly face at races!

Friday, June 8, 2012

These made my day!

See more here:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Summer Heat

So its summer in New England finally.  And that means, warm, humid days.  It happens every year and it seems it happens suddenly.

Regardless, its always an adjustment to start running in the heat.
First of all, I need to hydrate better all day, not just before and after my run.  I am trying to come up with an easy way to keep track of how much water I drink.

Secondly, I need to use electrolyte drinks like Gatorade and Nuun.  I am going to stock up and have a little supply on hand.

I'm trying out new types of energy drops, gels, etc too.  I get sick of things quickly but I do like having a supply on hand so I am going to head out to a local sports store and buy a sampling.

Its officially shorts and tank top season too!  No more need for a top layer or capris!

Most importantly, I need to remember sun block!  I avoid the sun like the plague and getting funny tan lines around my iPod and running sunglasses isn't on my wish list.

On my way home I use a yoga towel to protect the car from getting all icky and I always have face wipes on hand too.

I don’t mind running in the heat.  In some cases I love how it feels.  However, when it gets really hot, I do try to run in the morning or the evening to avoid the worst of the summer heat.  Either way, I’m happy summer is finally here!