I have always been curious about Fuel Belt products, but being a pear-shaped guy (read: I still have a gut) I was leery about buying the product because I wasn't sure how they would fit me and I hated to spend 30 or 40 dollars on something I couldn't use. But after scanning their website I noticed that some of their products are fit for us larger waisted guys. The Fuel Belt folks were kind enough to send me two products to wear-test. The first is the two-bottle Wachusett belt. This is a Velcro fastened belt with a pouch and two 10-ounce bottles.
That belt is on the bottom of the photo above. I have run in this belt several times and really like it. The bottles do not bounce and are securely fastened by the slot straps and an elastic cord that can be fitted over the nozzles. It has some elastic in the belt part so it has a little "give" when fastened snugly around the waist. The pouch is just big enough for an iPod Nano, and a gel or two. But it is not big enough for my iPhone. (I wanted to carry my iPhone on some runs so I purchased for 9.95 the medium pouch, which fits over the belt and is made of neoprene. The medium sized pouch is just big enough to hold an iPhone snugly. Since it is neoprene, it will repel water and moisture pretty well, I suspect, even though I will continue to put my phone in a plastic sandwich bag for safer keeping.) All in all, I really like the Wachusett Belt. Here is a link to the Fuel Belt webpage and more info on this belt. (Fuel Belt describes the pouch as being in the back, but I wore it with the pouch in the front, so I could get to my gel and iPod). http://www.fuelbelt.com/fuel_belts/2_bottle.html
The other belt they sent me for testing was the Crush Belt (http://www.fuelbelt.com/outdoor/bottle.html). This has a 22 ounce bottle and a small pouch. The bottle is carried at an angle in the rear. I ran with this belt twice and while I like it, I do not like it more than Wachusetts belt. I found that the bottle leaked a little, and bounced a little. But that minor problem aside, I thought the belt was effective and I was abe to get a gel and my iPod Nano in the pouch. The tighter you cinch the belt, though, the less space you have in the pouch as it is drawn tightly over the body. So don't expect to carry a lot of items in that pouch. I am also a little curious as to why they have a velcro fastener instead of a clip. There is a reason, I am sure that probably relates to their triathlete support and heritage. Perhaps they'll provide me an answer someday.
In all of my long runs leading up to the Disney Marathon I had used an old Camelbak backpack hydration pack. While it met my needs, it didn't make me a fan, because I didn't like having shoulder straps contrict my movements, nor did I like having a heavy fluid-filled pack on my back. Granted, the Camelbak was an older model and they have updated their products in the three years since I bought it, I do prefer a waist pack for hydration now. I would like to try the Camelbak Waist packs in a wear test and may see if they'll be as generous as the Fuel Belt folks.
So, if you are a runner who is not fully "runner shaped" or were a little leary about Fuel Belt products, rest easy, because if they fit me well, they will most certainly fit you. My thanks to Fuel Belt for allowing me to try their products.
28 May 2009
26 May 2009
18 May 2009
I ran the Country Music Half-Marathon on April 25. My goals for coming into this race were twofold: 1)break a 2:30 time, or 2) better my 2:48 best in the half. As you probably now know if you listen to the podcast, I failed at both. This was the hottest day of the year for Nashville, so the heat affected hundreds of runners. So much so, that a good number of those running the full, decided to bail at the cutoff point for finishing the half. I saw at least three EMT teams rushing to treat or treating downed runners. The other factor responsible for my bonking and not meeting either goal was the new course. Aparently race organizers wanted to present runners with a prettier course, more scenic, than in the past. Well, I can tell you that the course was pretty. But it was hilly. Here is an elevation chart from my Garmin that shows you how hilly.
I finished the race in 2:49, which is one minute slower than my previous 1/2 best time. Although I had my Garmin, I had bumped the pause button at some point early in the run and didn't realize it until at least 1/2 to 3/4 miles later. And with all race clocks set to gun time, and the fact that my wave didn't start until at least 45 minutes AFTER gun time, I had no clue as to my total run time or distance covered. I had guestimates, and I knew my pace at any given moment, but with the heat, the hills, and the off-track Garmin, I was frustrated, tired, and bonkalicious.
Gladly, I didn't fall out, hurt myself, suffer dehydration, or die, as one runner did after he finished the half. I survived and learned a great deal about running. Although I had heard this maxim so much in the past :" training is training, race day is race day. You never know what that will bring." It never really hit home until the Nashville experience. I may have cursed my running existence on that day after the finish, but I now realize that I am fortunate to run any distance at all and am thankful to have the opportunity, even under oppressive conditions.
Meeting the FAMOUS Jason of Trilogy Running
After the Race--Not Happy with my performance
Pretty nice medal awarded for surviving the hills and heat.
The Disney Endurance Series medals. My goal is to have one of each.
The rest of the Disney Endurance Series medals
Posted by G at 4:18 PM
Posted by G at 4:11 PM