Random Musings on A Thursday

Today is a split run day, 8K in the morning, 8K in the evening with the run being a 2K warm up, 4K fast, 2K cooldown.   One of the things I’ve tried to do with my training plan is have T&T runs mix it up and be more focused on faster shorter runs.  For a number of reasons, one I don’t want the whole day tied up with work and running.  Two speed builds economy of form.  Three it stresses lactate waste systems so they work better. Four I still like to run 5K’s and see if I can beat my existing PR (27:45) so speed running helps.

But then you always remember your first time.

Of course I can’t help but find it a little… funny? that a 5 mile run is a short run these days.  I remember very clearly the first time I successfully traveled for 3.109 miles without dropping to a zombie shuffle at any part of it.   But then you always remember your first time.

This mornings run went a lot better than Tuesdays, 3 minutes faster pacing and I was in zone 2 most of the way, fluttering around the edge of zone 3.   It was also 23 degrees cooler.  And 2 days more recovery time from the big Saturday run.

I do note that Bunny ran her training run 45 seconds per mile faster.   See what happens when she doesn’t have to drag a old dinosaur around behind her?

I was also able to confirm the calibration for my Stryd foot pod,  at both the 6K and 8K mark my watch started beeping about 8 steps away from the line and marked the distance at 4 steps away from the line.  Over the course of 8000 meters it was 4 meters off the mark at measuring the distance exactly.    I was on a 400 meter track this morning that I use most of the few times I have to get up early and run during a weekday.  It’s just down the street from my house and the sidewalks in the neighborhood aren’t in the best shape for dark running so it’s just a fast safe way to get my run in.  And it lets me check my calibration.

If you’ve looked at Stryd in the past but the price tag was off putting then they did release a cheaper option in the last few months.  It’s literally the same footpod they just have all the metrics locked behind a license but if you just want pace and speed there’s literally nothing else out that will give you this level of accuracy.

It really depends on just what you’re looking for in training and running and racing if a Stryd or your watches GPS or just trail markers are enough for you.

This has been a 150 mile month with longer ones to come.   Let’s hope I survive it.

Tape and Taping and Quality Control

I’m really honestly not sure if KT Tape / Rock Tape provides ANY real benefit per science.  The claims border on questionable to say the least and smack of witchcraft and voodoo.   “It lifts the skin away from the muscles and fascia to promote blood flow”  Uh… huh…

But… with that said I can’t say it doesn’t work.  And mentally for me, and your mileage may vary, it doesn’t hurt anything and potentially could help so… why not?  And sisters and brothers I need every speck of assistance I can get.   Other than your giving money to someone for something that may be a waste of money.

With all that said the last three rolls of KT Tape “Professional” that I’ve purchased over the last year have all sucked at adhesion.  Two from a local sporting goods store, one from amazon, all purchased at different times and in three different colors.   I apply them in the standard per KT positions to assist with ITBS on my left leg.

The roll or two I had prior to that from 2016 stayed on not only for the full duration of a run but literally days and 2 or 3 runs and it was only after they started to look a little faded or I thought it was time to let my skin breath did I take them off.   And peeling the tape off took effort.

Not so much with these new rolls, within a half hour they’re loose at the ends, within an hour or two they’re flapping  and by hour 3 on a run they’re just dangling and annoying so I pull them off.

Now it’s possible these days I could have legs covered in petroleum jelly or astro-glide but you’ll have to take my word that’s not the case.  The tape goes on clean dry skin, I’m not any more hirsute than I was before.  So the logical answer by Occam’s Razor is the adhesive on the newer issued rolls is not as good as the older ones, or quality control has gone to hell.  My money’s on KT as manufacturer finding some way to save money to increase profits for the tippy top of the profit sharing food chain by using a lesser adhesive.

Last week I ordered a roll of Rock Tape through Amazon and picked up another roll at one my local running stores to try out.

A couple of immediate observations, Rock Tape isn’t precut strips, just one long roll.  Secondly a new roll of Rock Tape doesn’t quite fit in a KT tape plastic container indicating the tape or center spool is thicker by a fraction of a degree.

I cut three strips out of it, the usual size I use with KT tape, one precut strip cut into two for an X and one precut strip left whole to go over it.  The method as offered by KT in their videos.

Another observation is the edges all stuck down well pre run.  With the KT tape I’ve been using there was always a little bit of ‘not quite’ sticking going on at the ends.

I ran a 5K this morning right around 30 minute pacing in warm humid as water world hell setting and then took a shower.  So far the tape is remaining stuck down on all edges.

I’ve got another 5K this evening and obviously a shower after that so we’ll see how it goes and I’ll post an edit on this afterwards.   But so far while more expensive $19 versus $16 the Rock Tape is even with just a single short run’s results sticking far better, much like the 2016 versions of KT Tape Pro did.

Brooks Running Bras Stink

I have owned two Brooks running sports bras since I started running just under two years ago. I started with the Juno model two sizes ago, and now I am into the Rebound Racer. These two bras alone have hugged my girls and kept them nice and snug for all of my major races and long distance runs.  I also own and use a C9 (Champion Target Brand) and a SheFit, which I use for day to day running mostly, choosing the Brooks because they have softer materials and fit better as they are quality bra’s, but they are not without their issues.

Brooks Juno & Rebound Racer Pro’s & Con’s (The short version): If you want a bit more back story read below the bulleted lists for my personal experience in each of these areas.


  • Good soft materials – doesn’t really cause chaffing (with the exception noted below) during distances up to a Marathon.
  • Durable materials – has taken almost daily washings and been worn for over a year (Juno) and a half (Rebound) without showing visible signs of wear and tear (one major exception also noted below).
  • Snug fit – my girls don’t bounce and the front tacky strap adjustment helps synch them in nice and tighten on the fly.


  • Stinky Fabric – After about 3 months of summer wear, both models have a breakdown in the materials and begin to trap odors which are released while wet. NO it’s not just me, or my laundry routine.
  • Outdated Design – Sports bra’s should be easier to get on and off. Especially when one is wet with sweat! See below for my opinion on the matter.
  • Price – are you kidding me? I paid full retail marked up price for mine at local running stores, and if they were perfect I would happily pay that price. But come on, I get almost as good support and coverage from my Target bra and it never stinks!

All in all I would recommend these bra’s for fit and comfort for longish and short distance, mainly because I haven’t found anything else that I like better. But for the price I would like something I love and I don’t love these bra’s. I use them because I bought them and I like to get my monies worth. But given the issues I have had with them I am on the hunt for a better bra for my Ultra distances.

More In-depth experience:

To begin, as mentioned before in other posts, I am rather sensitive to the feel of the material against my skin, so it is EXTREMELY important to me that the materials be soft (to me). I don’t like rough seams or scratchy edges, or stiff materials. And as I am upping my distances chaffing is going to be a HUGE concern.  So to be noted, with the Juno I occasionally had a problem of chaffing just above my breast plate where the fabric sagged into my cleavage. It started happening during my first marathon and happened a few times after that. My guess is that my boobs shrank just enough to allow this to happen, or I simply hadn’t run far enough for it to happen before that time. Either way I don’t like the burning sensation it caused during my post marathon showers.  Since boob shrinkage is a real thing thanks to running, I had to move down a couple sizes and purchased the Rebound Racer, and I have not yet had this chaffing issue, instead I have had a different problem.

With my Rebound Racer the straps compress over my collar bones during long runs and have left bruising on both side after races. Of note this occurs primarily when I have to wear a my Nathan Vest. Now you could argue this is the vest’s fault and not the Rebound, but I wore my vest with my Juno during Little Rock and didn’t have this problem. The fact is that the strap material of the Rebound feels thicker and doesn’t seem to absorb/compress softly enough over my skin and bones to prevent this from happening. Not sure if this is the Bra’s fault but worth noting nonetheless as it is a BIG factor in why I won’t be using it for our 50k.

My next complaint with both of these Brooks Bras would be the design. I don’t know about you but I HATE, with a passion, pulling a nasty sweaty sports bra off over my head. Not to mention wrestling into one before my runs. While you have the options to unstrap the shoulders on these models, I tend not to because they are a PITA to re-thread through the eyelet due to the velcro.  I also HATE the old fashion hook and eyelet adjustments on the back. I find myself looking like a contortionist every time the hooks catch over the fabric and won’t find the eyelets!  I would seriously like to see an open front option, and a velcro back adjustment maybe like my SheFit; the key here would be for the fabric and materials would have to be just right as to not cause chaffing or pressure points, I haven’t found my SheFit to be perfect in this department hence why I still wear the Brooks.

But so far my number one complaint about these two bras is that that they stink. Literally. About 3 months of wear during the summer months and both bra’s developed a stink that is released after they get wet with sweat. A smell like dead rotting vegetation wafts up into my nostrils and is most unpleasant during my runs.

Now before you jump to the conclusion that I have poor hygiene or don’t know how to wash clothes let me explain. First I don’t and have never had this issue with any other bra or sports equipment for that matter.  My husband is also a runner and his stuff doesn’t stink.  I wash our running clothes immediately after use in a detergent (Nellies Natural Laundry Soda) which I used to wash my babies dirty cloth diapers and my Roller Derby pads, so I know it is NOT my laundry routine that is the problem.  Again it is only these bra models I have ever encountered this problem.

With the Juno when the problem occurred last summer I tried using Biokleen Bac-Out before washing, as it is an enzyme based odor remover, but that didn’t help. The only thing that has helped is Bleach, which seems to kill whatever bacteria is able to develop by the way the fabric traps in sweat.  I did a sniff test yesterday after I ran in my freshly washed Rebound and it seems to be the mesh fabric that traps the smell. It wasn’t the fabric that lays over my breasts, but the waffle woven dry fit fabric that surrounds the padding on the inside, which I thought was interesting.  So into the bleach it went. Problem solved.  I am sure Trex’s nostrils will thank me. He’s never said anything but I am sure he’s just being polite.

So my search continues. I guess one plus of moving into the ‘itty bitty’ category is that I don’t need quite the support as I did before, so I can move away from these thicker fabric models. Wish me luck in my endeavors to find a replacement for my first Ultra.


NOTE: I purchased all of the products mentioned in this article at retail price, from retail stores, for my own personal use. I have no affiliations with any retailers, company, or suppliers. This is strictly a user review of these products.

Scosche 24 Heart Rate Band

I picked up a Scosche 24 HR band back in May and for the most part it’s been okay.   There are some runs where the readings are questionable (pretty sure I’ve never hit 208 BPM in my life and that it would kill me to do so now) and some runs where there was a lot of drop outs, especially if my watch and my scosche were on opposite arms, and a few runs where it just shut off in the middle of a run.

Hmm you know it sounds like maybe it’s just barely been ‘okay’.

In the last 3 weeks I’ve gotten significantly shorter battery life than it was giving me prior.  And I’ve been very careful after the first unexpected ‘no charge’ incident on my 5th run after a full charge to keep an eye on it and make sure I’m not leaving it on.

Today things took a turn for the worse though.  While out on a run I was getting a high reading on my watch.  My Scosche was on the outside of my forearm so I pulled the strap to spin it where I could see if it had turned off and “Pop” it flew off my arm.

I picked it up and saw it was missing a watch pin (the spring loaded pin that the bands hook on).  Well crap.  I finish the run and come home and the spare pins I have from my Fenix watches are about half a MM too long to fit.  So I google “Scosche 24 pin failure” to find out what the size is, thinking I’d just pick one up and replace it, and I start seeing post after post on Amazon from other people saying they’d lost a pin and theirs was because the case had cracked as well.

Sure enough I put mine under a strong light and one of the pin mounts is cracked.  Well double crap.

This particular area doesn’t seem all that well designed to me.  The screws that hold the top and bottom case parts together are in such a position it forms a natural weak point due to lack of material in this area.  And although I’m not a destruction testing scientist, nor do I play one on T.V., the material for the lower half of the case has that shiny ‘snap like a twig’ plastic look to it.

Maybe it’s a QC issue, bad choice in materials for the case or just bad design but whatever the case it’s unusable at this time.   I might be able to design and 3D print some kind of cage to put the unit in and that will attach to the 24 band or possible one of the old version’s velcro bands.   But that’s not going to be an option for 99.999% of their customer base.

I’ve dropped them an email explaining the situation, hopefully there will be a happier outcome but at this time I’m not sure I can recommend the Scosche 24.   There’s no android app to check firmware, I’m getting random shutdowns, battery life seems to have broken after 3 months and now I find you apparently have to really baby the case putting it on and off or you’ll crack it.

I’m hoping these things get fixed as I really, really, like the Scosche, it’s far more comfortable to me than a chest belt, the readings are almost, for me, as good as a chest monitor and in general it’s a good piece of kit, when it works and doesn’t break.


Week 2 of our 50 plan has come and gone and we did our back to back long runs over the weekend.  One of the things I’ve put in our training schedule is one weekend a month we do both long runs on the same day, one in the morning, one around 9:00 p.m.

This weekend we did the night run on the Snake trail at Turkey.  There’s a reason it’s called the Snake trail.  We had to shoo off, go around or jump over about half a dozen copperhead snakes between 18″ to maybe 30″ long.   Copperheads are typically non-aggressive and rarely fatal although they can leave you with some pretty nasty tissue damage.

The snakes were somewhat easy to spot in advance, it was the giant spiders constantly spinning webs across the trail as we did the multiple out and backs that were really annoying.   Being the slowest #boatanchor member of the group running I ran in front mostly to set the pace and as a result I got to clear the path of all the spiders and webs as we ran.  Mostly by running through the webs.

On week 5(ish) of dropping carbs from the diet and I’m still feeling the hit to some degree.  My pace is off by a fair bit for one, heart rate still on the high side for any given pace and in general just don’t feel ‘fast’ not that I ever did but it’s worse. A factor in this is that I don’t really have a ‘low intensity’ speed so converting stored fats to fuels is slow for me.

One semi-interesting thing is that even though we’d already done one 9 mile run that morning the second 9 miles that evening didn’t feel much different than the first one.

On a more useful topic is lighting.  Running Wife #1 forgot her headlamp and I didn’t have the spare I normally carry with me so I loaned her my headlamp and used the backup backup light I carry in my bag.  It’s one of many flashlights I’ve carried for a few years now, a Quark / 4 Sevens light, I’d give the model but you can’t get them anymore.   On medium which I used it puts out about 160 lumens OTF which I found very usable.  Not great at that setting for spotlighting far up the trail but I didn’t need to see that far out.

The biggest take away is that a light that’s not in line with your face is far more useful in terms of spotting hazards that might trip you up due to the sole fact that it casts shadows you can see unlike a light 1″ above your eyes.

As a result I’ve been doing a fair bit of research on lights, specifically L shaped lights I can use to attach to a belt or vest or carry easily and more naturally in my hand as I run.

I have some very specific needs though which makes it tough (impossible) to get a perfect light.

I’m currently looking at the following (no direct links as they are likely to go dead over time)

WowTec A2S ($30 on Amazon at the time of this post)

Skilhunt H03 ($30 to $45 depending on where you get it)

Skilhunt H03 RC ($55 various places)

Zebralight 600 Mark IV ($85 from vendor)

Armytek Wizard ($65 from vendor)

Armytek Wizard Pro ($80 from vendor)

I’ve ordered the WowTec A2S, got it today actually and a Zebra to test out.  Will likely pick up a Skilhunt as well.

Here’s the bigger problems I have – None of these lights are programmable so you have to use the settings they come with.

None of them have the perfect light levels for me.  I’d like a medium or high around 250-300 lumens to get the best efficiency at that level for me.   I’d like another setting in the 150-190 lumens range.   One that’s around 20-30 lumens and a ‘moonlight or firefly’ mode.

I need them to have a decent spill as well as okay spot but without a hot spot and I need it in a warm color range to make it easier to spot things like snakes that are almost the same color as the dirt I’m running on.  Warmer lights to me make it a fair bit easier to distinguish smaller color changes in greens and browns.

The TURBO!!!! modes I have no use for personally.   I just don’t see a point in having a light that in theory can throw 1100 to 2500 lumens for all of 30 seconds before the temp controls cycle it down significantly nor having a light that on the highest sustained power that doesn’t burn it up lasts an hour.

“Why don’t you get a dedicated trail running light?”

Good question, best answer I have is that Trail running specific vendors are lagging behind lighting technology and in general aren’t cutting edge in technology.   Not that bleeding edge is necessary or even a great thing but when it comes to a light the fewer batteries you have to potentially carry, the tougher the thing is, the more light it throws per watt, these are all good things.  And frankly most of them are pretty expensive for what you’re getting compared to the rest of the lighting world.

As I test these various lights specifically as options for trail running at night I’ll post my thoughts of each one, stay tuned.


I installed a SSL cert on the site to make sure that browsers, particularly Chrome, will behave when visiting.  Without HTTPS support which the certificate provides browsers will start whining about it and quite possibly eventually stop displaying them without a user clicking “yes it’s okay to go there” in some kind of pop up.

Do I think SSL has its place?  Of course.  Is it necessary on a site such as this one that displays static information to visitors and doesn’t process any kind of interactions and allows for the transfer of no personal or to be honest data of any kind?  Eh, maybe not so much.

But there you go, all socket layers are secure.

Garmin (of) Course

I used my Garmin Course function for the first time this last weekend.  This was on a Fenix 5X but it’s available on a lot of the running models.

It worked very well with a couple of caveats.  To use the Course and a Training workout at the same time you have to start a Run, hold the menu (middle left on a Fenix) scroll down to Navigation, Course, select your Course, Do Course which will take you back to the Run main screen.  Then do the same thing and select Training, My Workouts or Training Calendar (whichever) and then select your workout or day then Do Workout which takes you back to the main Run menu then select Start (upper right).

That’s caveat one.   The other one is that you have to have Course and Map data screens installed on your activity.  What I found was since the course was 1 lap and we were doing 3 laps after the first lap the Course screen was blank, just black.   But I could use the Map datascreen to show the path that we’d just run and voila we could repeat it as often as we wanted.

It helped because for the first time outside a marked/laid out race course this was the first time we’ve ever run the route that we intended to run at Turkey mountain other than the Powerline out and back.   On the return loop of the first lap I went left instead of right at a Y and it was obvious within 30 feet we were off course.

I’m not sure when I might want to use it again but it’s nice to know it’s there.

Nathan Vaporkrar 12L – His and Her Thoughts

Bunny did a fair bit of research looking specifically for a hydration vest that would work topless or semi-topless in her case.   She tried several and for reasons she’ll go into in a bit she landed on the Nathan Vaporkrar.

I like my Ultimate Direction FKT but I really like my Salomon Advanced Skin 12.

I recently ran my UD in a tank and ended up with a chafe line on my chest after only 15.5 miles.  Granted it was about 20 degrees past sweaty here in Oklahoma in May but still.  The UD has some bounce on me which contributed to  the chafing result.

Note: wearing the UD with sleeved shirt of any length or even a sleevless shirt that’s not a tank top I’ve never had a problem with chafing.  It does bounce on me more than the others.

But… I do like trying new things so when I had a chance between a sale, a coupon and a gift card from work to get a Nathan Vaporkrar for next to no out of pocket I decided to give it a try.

So… What do I think about it?  I’ll concur with Bunny that the material is soft, softer than the other vests I have and use.   The XL fits me, #clydesdalerunner, if barely.   I have about 2″ of strap left in the chest straps, 0″ in the side straps.  So I realistically have about 1″ to spare since that 2″ of strap is divided between two because of the V shape of the chest straps.

The upper chest pockets are better than the Salomon and the UD.   They expand well and my Pixel 2XL will fit in one with a case on it no less.  Not that I could carry one there as it bounces on my collar bone but it does fit.

The lower pockets for the water and gels are not as good as the Salomon, not even close.  About the same as the UD.   The reason I say this is I have a harder than normal time fitting my UD soft flasks in them than I do with the others.  The UD has a toggle string on theirs so you can adjust the fit precisely.  The Salomon is just stretching.

The lower outer pocket is really where the Salomon shines compared.   On the Nathan there’s enough room to fit about 3 eGels (my preferred gel based fuel).   The UD is about the same.  The Salomon’s are kangaroo pouches that are huge compared to the other two and stretch like crazy.

The chest attachment methods though go strongly to the Nathan, then the UD and trailing in distant last the Salomon.   I do not care for the fiddly tiny ass little clips that Salomon chose.  I’ve had them come undone on me while running if you don’t have them pulled tight.   The V straps and the large buckle of the Nathan is a welcome thing at all times and especially when you’re tired.

The Nathan 12 has no side pouches but due to the strap they have they’d have to route the straps like the Ultimate Direction FKT does where it runs through the pockets.  I’m not a fan of the UD side pockets but they’re somewhat functional.

The Salomon’s side pockets are better than both with the vertical zippers and I can easily fit my Pixel in one for easy access and all the gels I normally carry on the other side.   On the Salomon I use the front kangaroo pockets for trash and paper towels primarily.  My nose runs like a broken water hose when it’s cold out.

As we move to the back I give the nod to the Nathan for storage slighly over the Salomon and UD with one major exception.  The Salomon’s kangaroo pouches are far more usable in a general fashion than the Nathan’s as they’re accessed from the top.     The Nathan’s though hold a bottle in a easy to access way.  I found putting a frozen water bottle in there a decent way to get some heat relief.  It lasts about an hour currently before it’s all melted and still cool enough to be enjoyable.

I like the the big pouch layout of the Nathan the best, I like their bladder hanger better for sure than the Salomon.

Bladder, they all support a bladder but the Nathan is the only one of the three that comes with one.  The Salomon comes with two half liter soft bottles, long skinny ones that I don’t like and gave away.  I prefer my long neck UD soft bottles.   The UD came with two 20oz hard bottles when I bought it and I like them but the old style nipples they have wear out far quicker than I liked.

So which one? With one exception, but it’s a important one, and cost being equal I’d say go with the Salomon, then the Nathan Vaporkrar and then the UD although 2nd and 3rd are a tough call.

That exception though is if you’re going to be doing long runs with these vests against your skin then go with the Nathan.

But if one of them is a significant savings over the others then that likely moves them up in the ranking a fair bit because when you get right down to it none of them are head and shoulders above the others although for me the Salomon is the winner when it comes to storage by a fair bit.

The ‘two cents of a women’… 

As Trex said, in the months before our first marathon I spent countless hours researching hydration options that would fit my needs/preferences. I am still searching.

After watching online video reviews, promotional videos, and reading tons of articles from the best of the best, I narrowed my search to 6 packs. These being:

  • Nathan VaporKrar* Racing Vests 4L & 12L
  • Salomon Advanced Skin  5Set Pack and 12Set Packs
  • Salomon S-Lab Sense Ultra 5 Set and 8 Set Packs

I borrowed a friends S-Lab Sens Ultra 8 set to wear on a run. I also wore Trex’s beloved Salomon & UD vests, which didn’t fit of course, but gave me an idea of storage and general ‘wearability’. I spent an entire afternoon at our local running store, Runners World, where I wore my sizes in all these vests and was able to test out stuffing these vests with gear, bottles, and nutrition.  In the end I bought the Krar 12L because,  as TRex has also found, it was wearable against my skin or over a tank top for the 95+ temperatures of our Oklahoma Springs and summers, and had enough storage for longer trail races.  The Salomons failed me miserably when I tried them on in my summer tank top. They both caused red marks in a few minutes where they rubbed on my shoulders and back. The material is just too rough. This was a huge disappointment as I really liked the storage options of these packs a bit over the Nathans. But I am all about comfort and slightly less about storage.

So why the Krar and not the “womens vest” designed by Stephanie Howe, the VaporHowe? Because I wanted a more subdued and gender neutral color and more important the sizing on the Krar (MM) I found fit a women with my curves better than the Howe. Sorry Stephanie, we just aren’t all built that narrow framed.

TRex pretty much covered all my likes and dislikes with these vests. After purchasing the Nathan I wore it for the first time, like a rookie, on our first Marathon, where it dumped cold rain on us. I have also worn it on our long trail races and runs in all temperatures (below freezing to sweltering heat), both with a bladder and without, usually with Trex’s reject Salomon skinny soft bottles, and I have not once had any chaffing or bouncing or annoying adjustment issues.  I personally carry an iPhone 7 (not the plus) and it fits in the lapel pockets without bouncing on my collar bone as it is considerably smaller than the dino-sized Pixel2 Trex carries. Just sayin.

But at the end of the day I have one major disappointment with this vest and most all of the other vests I researched. What’s that you ask?  I’ll tell you.

They are not designed to accommodate breasts. 

Now I am not sporting anything close to double letters in my size, but the simple fact is that regardless of how big/little mine are, I don’t like bottles over my boobs. They jut out from my chest and cause a visual distraction, as well as squish my girls even more than my sports bra’s do.

‘Just use a bladder or belt instead’ I am told. First I don’t need a bladder on shorter distances or supported races as it adds too much weight. I prefer a bottle to hold my electrolyte drink of choice and bottle for water sometimes combined with a bladder, plus room for my phone and gels. Most hydration belts still don’t fit all I carry on long races well.

When I wore the Salomons I put the bottles in the front kangaroo pouches and liked the location, but they bounced way too much since they weren’t designed for bottles.

Another problem is that vests not designed with the curves of breasts in mind, require tighter oddly angled strap adjustments which can cause pressure points. I have only found two vests on the market that sort of address my complaint, those being the UD Jenny Jurek Ultra Vesta, and the UltrAspire Astral Vest.  The Jenny, looked promising, but in the end I didn’t like body layer materials of Trex’s Scott Jurek UD, so I knew I wouldn’t want that one against my skin come this summer. Turns out I was right.  I do wear the Jurek hydration belt when I am not sporting my Nathan, but it lacks in storage, and bounces unless its tighten within an inch of its life. But the UD Jurek collection belt & vests do have some waterproof pockets, unlike the Nathan or Salomon, which is needed with all the water I am sweating in this heat!

And while I haven’t tried the UltraAspire which, like the Jenny, sort of solves the bottle placement problem, it looks kinda ridiculous and unnecessary how it curves the fabric around the breast. I know, given reviews and descriptions I’ve read, it won’t be as soft as the Nathan on my skin, and I also wanted a vest my DH could wear in the event he needed to, and frankly the UltraAspire would look simply ridiculous on a man. It also can’t compete in terms of storage for longer trail races.

So in the future, for my own edification, I will post my write-up/rant about what my ideal vest looks like. But for now I agree with TRex’s assessment of the Krar. And while it could use a curvy women’s touch, it’s soft and smooth like butter on my skin and that makes it a win.

TellTale Heart (Or Not)

So on our 30 minute recovery run on Wednesday ‘my’ heart rate was in the 160’s seconds after the run started.  Obviously wrong.  I can’t hit 160 with a 8 minute sprint.

So I try various things, I stop and start the run.  I take the Fenix off my wrist in case it’s picking up cadence, nope the LED’s aren’t on.  I pull the Garmin HR belt away from my chest.  My HR goes up.

I take the chest belt off.   Still reading between 160 and 180, it’s going up and down incrementally as I jog along without any sensor against my skin and with the LED’s on the watch turned off.

I’m left going…. WTF?

I end up averaging 160+ BPM for that run.

All I can say is lately I just can’t depend on anything to read my HR correctly.  I’ve gone through two Scosche’s, 2 HR belts, changed the battery in my HR sensor and they’re all just jacked up.

And yes I know my HR wasn’t that high.  Fingers on neck and counting my pulse and I’m getting around 120 (ish) BPM which would be spot on for the pace that I was doing.

It seems like I’m just generating some weird anti-technology vibe since last fall that keeps jacking with whatever system I use for HR measurements.   So annoying.