Monday, July 28, 2008

New toys and good runs

I got in a nice easy 16-miler early Saturday morning on the Capital Crescent Trail, there and back from Bethesda down to the Kennedy Center. Average heart-rate was 138 keeping a 9:09 pace, so I was definitely training in my correct zones. Temps were much cooler than recent weekends so that was surely welcomed (as was the flat and shaded route).

While running I got to enjoy some of my new favorite running toys (yes, I'll admit it - I'm a gear whore). Earlier in the week I picked up a Nathan Sports HPL #020 Hydration Vest. I've heard great things about it from other trail/ultra runners so it's something I've been wanting to get for quite some time now. I tested it out on some mid-length trail runs during the week and was surprised at how comfortable the vest was. It didn't budge during the log-hopping and tight corners, so it gets an A+ for staying put.

My one issue with it, though, is the mouthpiece. It's difficult to open/close and I can barely get any suction through it. The mouthpiece on my CamelBak works 100 times better. Ah-ha, I've got an idea! I swapped the tube and mouthpiece assembly from the CamelBak and put it on the Nathan Vest. I think we have ourselves a winner!

Actually, one more thing about the vest. During the run you could hear the water swishing back and forth pretty loudly. Since I was the one setting the group's pace for a good portion of the run (who's bright idea was that?), people were commenting that I sounded like a metronome. Tick-tock-tick-tock. Then again, I was the only one wearing a hydration pack so maybe they all make noise and I just hadn't noticed it before. Everyone else had either hand-held bottles, which make much less noise but are somewhat annoying to hold for long periods of time, or a waist pack that stashes a water bottle like this one, which I have yet to try. I didn't mind the noise of the Nathan pack at all, but since we passed so many water fountains on the CCT I think I'll reserve it's use for medium to long trail runs or any type of run where I can't refill a bottle every couple of miles.

Nathan Vest and Chocolate GU. Awesome.

I also recently discovered the joy that is Chocolate Outrage GU. I had previously been using the Tri-Berry, Lemon Sublime or Plain GU flavors and thought I had found my personal favorites. Boy was I wrong. Chocolate GU is like brownie batter disguised as endurance fuel! As a former fat kid, I don't think there's anything in the world that could make me happier. It's so good that I'm tempted to eat it as dessert after meals. Luckily I have at least some self-restrain.

Chocolate GU, *drool* Oh, sorry. Self-restrain, right...

On the jumping side of things, Sunday was scheduled to be my day of skydiving for the weekend. I was really looking forward to it too since it's been over 2 weeks since I've jumped. Oh, and I have a paycheck waiting for me at the dz, so that's even more of a reason to head down. Unfortunately, mother nature brought upon some torrential downpour yesterday (Sunday) so it was one of those days where, aside from my run, I just sat around twiddling my thumbs. Oh, and I caught up on the latest season of Weeds. Love that show.

In total, 21.5 miles this weekend (50 for the week) and 0 jumps. No skydiving= bummer, but the runs were great so I can't complain. Until next time... adios amigos.

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