Yesterday afternoon I went to Jack Rabbit and bought myself a Fuel Belt. It looks like this:
I wore it running this morning and liked it. I didn't love it for the first part, but I think I got used to it and sort-of forgot it was there by the end of my long. I was definitely glad I had it with me. The one I got has 4 8-ounce bottles. You can buy bigger, 10-ounce, bottles, but I figured I'd test this out first and see how I liked it before I invested any more money.
I had read some reviews on Amazon about it the bottles in front being a problem and people were hitting their hands on them. I didn't have that problem at all. My main issue is that I wore the belt around my hips (since I can't stand having anything around my natural waist) and because the bottles hit against my hips, over time, the belt slid up slightly. It wasn't a big deal. I just pushed it back down a few times over the course of my run and kept going.
I actually really liked having the bottles in the front. I thought it was a lot easier to get to them than the ones in the back, so I ended up drinking the ones in the front first and then switching and putting the empty ones in the back. I'm sure that's all wrong, but it worked for me, so I'm just going to go with it. The other complaint I read in reviews was that the bottles leaked a little bit. I didn't have that problem at all, but I did notice that the condensation from the bottles dripped down my leg and made me wonder if it was starting to rain.
I liked having it in general. I definitely felt like a dorky runner. The only good thing? All the other dorky runners say HI to you! Well, that's not true. The other Fuel Belt people were very friendly. The Nathan people were semi-friendly. Everyone else was a typical self-absorbed New Yorker. (I was one of these people as of yesterday, so I don't think I'm being mean here).
For my long run this morning, I wanted it to go better than the last 12 mile run I attempted. I decided that in order to get that last 12-mile run out of my head, I should have a change of scenery and skip going to the Park and instead run on the Westside Path. I ended up leaving the apartment shortly after 6 this morning, so it was pretty quiet on the Western Front. (sorry, I couldn't help myself).
The last couple long runs, I've run South and I've liked that a lot. Running North on this path isn't that easy. I mean, it's fairly flat, so that's easy. However, it turns out that you have almost no markers to let you know where you are on the grid that is NYC. At one point, I was so distressed that I was only at 125th Street, only to look up and see that 132nd Street was the next street sign (turns out that 125th Street goes diagonally for a while there on the far West side, which is why it's possible to run the fastest 7 blocks ever).
I knew that I needed to get to somewhere around 165th Street for it to end up being 12 miles today. After I realized that I'd never really know when I was actually at 165th Street, I decided to just run for 70 minutes heading North and then turn around. At the turn around, I took a
3 minute walking and eating break and ate the mini Clif bar I had brought with me (stuck in my Fuel Belt pocket!).
And then it was back to running. I realized when I got almost home, this run was pretty mindless. I didn't really think of anything interesting - or anything at all, really. The only thing of note was that on my way North, I saw a dead rat in the pathway. When I came back South, it wasn't there. I have no idea what would have happened to it, since I can't imagine who would have wanted to touch it! I hope a dog didn't get it. Ick.
I guess that it's good that 12 miles ended up being pretty mindless. I'm still going with my slow and steady approach to these long runs and it's working out beautifully! We're off to Michigan tomorrow morning and Thursday will be spent flying and driving up North. That means a rest day in my books! Friday and Saturday it should be easy to finish up the 6.9 miles that I've got left for this week! Sunday will be another rest day before starting up again next week.
I'll fill you in on all the workouts when I get back to civilization next week! I'm hoping they'll include some good open water swimming too!
Distance: 12.40 miles
Maximum HR: 175 (83%)
Average HR: 163 (77%)