Thursday, January 27, 2011

Products I Really Like and other stuff

1. If you run trails very often you know every few miles you have to stop and dump the sticks and rocks out of you shoes. I have run 100 miles and never had to removed a shoe to dump the  trash out.  How?  I have a pair of gaiters, but not just any gaiters, Dirty GirlGaiters.  They are great and Cheep!  Actually, I have three pair. Go to their web site and pick out a style.  (They must have 60 or 70 patterns.)  You will never get on a trail again without them.   You can get a pair to match every outfit.  And you get some really interesting comments from non trail runners.   

They are so simple it is amazing.  They are made of spandex and have a tiny hook on the front that slips under  the bottom shoe lace and a piece of Velcro that is attached to the heal of your shoe.  That is it.  They are $17.00 per pair and that includes shipping.  This is one product I will urge you to BUY.  You will love 'em!

2.  Sunglasses, Sunscreen, Chapstick with sun block and a hat:  I learned at Wasatch this year how important these things can be.  I always remember sun screen, sunglasses and a hat but I did not think about Chapstick with sun block.  I did use regular Chapstick throughout the race but that was not enough.  The day after the race I realized my lips were a little chapped.  By the next day they, my lips, fell apart.  It took over a week of putting medicated cream on them to get them to heal.

Even is you are running in the summer in the southeast, where you are almost continuously under a canopy of trees it is still a good idea to use sunscreen.  If you run in the west at high elevation, it is critical to use sun block.  The sun is so much more intense at high elevation it can cook you before you realize you are in the sun.  I also like to have a very lightweight, long sleeve cool max or similar shirt available in a drop bag for those runs in the sun.

I cannot run wearing sunglasses in the woods around the southeast.  I have tried and I fall. If you saw the video from my run last weekend, rocks like that are not just in a few isolated ares they are everywhere.  When I wear sunglasses I can see the big ones just fine, but it is the small rocks that will get me. I do always try to wear a cap.  If is cold, but not too cold, I will wear a thin "skull cap" for warmth and a billed cap over it to keep the sun out of my eyes.  If it is really cold then I wear a heavy toboggan cap and carry a cap for when it warm up.  If I know I will be running for a long time in direct, intense sun and it is hot, then I will wear my "Zombie Runner, desert drape hat."  It is hard to see, but I am wearing it at the 2009 Florida Ironman in the picture below.  As you can see, I am wearing my sunglasses too!  I am also wearing my Nathan Speed belt and carrying my Nathan Quick-Draw bottle.  

I am about to buy a new handheld bottle by Amphipod, the Amphipod Hydraform Handheld with a 20 oz bottle.  I want to try it for two reasons.  It looks like it will be easier to hold and it is available with a neoprene cover over the bottle.  The biggest disadvantage of the Nathan handheld is that when it is cold, you hands freeze.  I have run several times on cold mornings (I mean in the 40s) and my fingers became numb with the Nathan bottle.  Gloves don't seem to help, either.

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