It's a hot S.O.B. out there!

Monday, June 18, 2007

It has warmed up here in the good ol' Midwest.  We were headed to my parents to celebrate Father's Day and I decided that I would just take off, head towards our destination, and have my wife pick me up on the way.  I left the house a little after 7 am and stuck to the local paved trails as long as I could before I got out on the road.  I ran past a bank around 8 and the temp already read 90 degrees.  I made my way to Old Route 66 and just kept chugging along, sweating profusely.    I had a bandana unfolded on top of my head and my visor pulled over that to keep the sun off the top of my head and neck. People driving by had to think I was nuts....which I suppose makes sense when you look at the majority of people would do their best to avoid the situation I wanted to be in.  I got in just over 19 miles before my wife came by honking.  I would have liked to gone a bit further, but being that I have not done much heat training yet and I was 100% exposed to the sun with no shade in sight, I'd say it worked out just right.

run on Rt. 66

a belated Happy Father's Day to all the dad's out there!!!

Posted by Travis at 3:53 PM 10 comments  

Review - Nathan Speed 2

Friday, June 15, 2007

As you may have noticed from the end of my post a few weeks ago, I also picked up a Nathan Speed 2. I purchased the X Trainer Plus and had not so good results. Mainly the issue came down to how the pack fit or in this case did not fit around my waits. This is understandable considering the belt is said to fit waists from 42''-26'' I'm on the lower end of the waist measurements at about 29'' so finding a pack that conformed properly could be an issue overall. Or would it be? Enter the Nathan Speed 2. , so I though this might be the ticket. I picked up the size small and within a minute of putting it on knew that the fit issue of the former belt was not going to be the case here.

Part 1 - Design

This pack comes in several colors, pink, blue, and the standard Nathan colors of gray and yellow. It also comes in 3 sizes; SM 26-32", MED 32-36" & LG 36-42. The belt is made of stretchy fabric and it attached together by Velcro. It has 2 - 10oz. bottle cages that are directly attached to each side of the belt. The cages are fixed in their position and cannot be moved. 2-10oz. flask like bottles are included. Between the bottle cages is a pocket. that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin fabric divider the give it a front and a back section.

Top View - Bottle Cage view. The bottle cage is build specifically for the Nathan bottle or at least one of the exact shape. They are made from a flexible plastic. The cage is sewn directly to the belt by way of elastic straps. The bottom strap keeps the bottle from falling out the bottom. The sides are attached by 2 short elastic straps on each side of the cage that have 4 strips of a rubber-like thread that give extra grip to the bottle to keep it in place.

Top View - Pocket. The pocket pictured above is the only pocket on the Speed 2 that measures about 5 inches across the top and tapers to the deepest point of about 3 inches. The outer facing part of the pocket is made of a mesh webbing and has a thin nylon fabric divider with a Velcro tab that give it a front and a back section. The back section of the pocket contains a key holder. The beauty of this pocket is the mesh. Since the mesh used has larger then average holes in it, irregular shaped items can be squeezed in better. If the item has a corner on it, it can simply push out of one of the holes instead of poking you in the back. The pocket is divided into 2 sections. Though I'm not 100% sure this is useful, it does allow you to put items that you don't want exposed or for a marginal bit or organization.

Front View - Full pocket. Here is an example of how much can fit in the pocket. As you can see, I have 2-1.25oz Gels, a larger then normal cell phone and my pill case for my S! Caps and my car key. Though not all of those are items I would carry on race day, I could easily fit a few more gels, or some anti-chafing stuff, a few bandaids even a baggie of electrolyte drink. As a side note.. this waistpack came in a combo pack with a Nathan Quick Draw Plus so some additional storage is found on the handheld.

Part 2 - Performance

I put on the pack the first time for some easy road running and was happy with how it held up. I was able to get my whole workout in without having to be angry at the pack for bouncing around or being uncomfortable. The second time I wore it was for my long trail run and had the same results as the road run. The 2 smaller bottles may be a turn off for some. I found them to be nice because unlike a singe bottle pack that may shift from side to side (at least on me) it was for the most part balanced and did not shift around at all. For me I only carry water in the small bottles and use my handheld for my electrolyte drink. Not that you could not use the packs bottles for mixing drinks in. The opening of the bottle with the lid is surprising large and easy to fill. The divided pocked actually comes in quite handy on the run as it give you a feel of where you are after as opposed to everything being piled in one spot. If 20oz is not enough, you can step up to the Speed 4 which also adds a small zippered pocket on the front of the belt. It would also be possible to add an extra flask and zippered pocket to the Speed 2 for a more customized solution, which is what I plan to do. I am going to add one more 10oz flask and a small zippered pocket. I wont need them for everyday use, but will add and remove them as necessary.

Final Thoughts

This pack has performed great. It has an excellent, no bounce fit. I found it to be extremely comfortable and easy to adjust on the fly. The fact that it comes in 3 different sizes is a plus for those with smaller waists or those looking for a more custom fit. Lastly, the ability to add/remove flasks, pockets, music carriers.. etc make it a flexible choice.

*Note - I have no affiliation with Nathan or any other products mentioned or shown in this post. These are merely my opinions and preferences.

Posted by Travis at 5:43 PM 2 comments  

I'm a SLUG

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Training has been going well since Ice Age 50. I decided to actually take some time off and rest up my legs. I was coming off of an injury going into McNaughton 50 in April and was not 100% how I was going to hold up over the 50 miles. I came away feeling pretty good and not hurting. I took one week off then started training up again. 3 weeks later I ran Ice Age and was sore, but not in an injured way, just the way someone who had never run a 50 before might feel after running 2 of them in a months time.

So here I am back at it. I'm easing into things. 2 weeks ago was easy, low mileage runs and a some time on the bike. Last week I put in 40 miles along with some cross training and some speed work. I got the workout from Olga who was gracious enough to share it with me, Thank Olga!!!. Once again a testament to how great the ultrarunning community is.

2 mile warm up

4x800 meters at 6:20 mile/pace

2 mile cool down..

whoo!! I forgot what it was like to run like that. I really enjoyed picking it up for a while. I also had some mid distance road and trail running in the mix as well.

This week starts my full on training schedule.

Monday - Easy run and Yoga

Tuesday - Weights and stair climber/hill workout

Wednesday - Speed workout

Thursday - medium distance run, weights, and stair climber

Friday - Off or active recovery (easy bike or swim)

Saturday - Long run

Sunday - Medium run

Well, that's what I'm up to for the next 7 weeks until I taper for PCT50 on July 28th.

On another note, I've joined the St. Louis Ultrarunners Group (SLUGS). I look forward to reaching a little farther into the ultra scene, making some new friends, and learning from those who have more experience than I do. I'm also signed up for the Flatlanders 12 hour run in Fenton, MO on September 2nd which is a race put on by the SLUGS. This should answer that burning question of "how far can I run in 12 hours?" :)

Until next time...

Posted by Travis at 10:02 AM 1 comments