Numb Toes and the search for something Mighty in the water…

Okay I’ll start by saying this is a rant post, but also a call to anyone out there who might know of a better way.

Since I am currently benched from running, due to continued neuropathy in my left foot which began somewhere around mile 40 of 111 at SnowDrop, I have decided to hit the pool for no-impact cardio, until such time as I can feel my toes again. I have been to an OMT, and a Chiropractor, and read every article I could find on the internet around what I have going on, and the bottom (of my foot) line is that it is nerve trauma or pinched either steaming from my L4 & L5, or it is isolated to the foot. Given the medical treatment options for either of those areas, my best bet is to go the therapeutic route and give it time and see if it will heal on it’s own, which is typically what happens, and is recommended. So that leaves me little options but to strength train, stretch and do no impact to the likely traumatized areas.  So I borrowed an inversion chair from Trex and hang like a bat at least once a day in my garage. Thus far I don’t know that it’s helping, but it isn’t hurting, so great.

That said I am more than a little worried about making cut-off times at our Prairie Grudge match, without being able to run between now and then. I am also worried about the further trauma that running 100 miles will cause, because I do still plan to run that race. I, like Trex, have observed the noticeable increase in my RHR, which means my endurance abilities are taking a hit. It’s a growing source of anxiety, among other things in my life, which running usually keeps at bay. While my body is trying to heal, I really don’t need the added stress, so that leaves me trying to find other ways to drown my thoughts, and well, as much as I enjoy the ever so rare adult beverage, it would have the opposite effect on my healing tissues and mental health to hit the sauce, so that leaves the damn pool. 

Now, for the record, I love swimming as a sport. As mentioned before I was a competitive swimmer. It’s kinda a thing I was good at. But it’s not running, and I have a sh*t ton of running shoes and gear that will not do me any good in the water. So I need to seriously hit the water harder, which leads me to my rant….

In the last two decades I have moved away from owning music, in a library of files that I had to backup and copy from computer to computer, to become a completely iTunes free streaming consumer. It all started with Pandora, and then overtime I have become a paid Amazon Unlimited customer. I recently added the Garmin Fenix 6 to my gear list, which solved the problem, for me, on how I could ditch my phone for my runs and Bluetooth my Amazon Music playlists offline to my wireless headphones. Yeah me. It only cost around $750 to get a few more bells and whistles which I also use for playing in the mud, not just listening to music.

The problem is that my Garmin plays music to my headphones via Bluetooth, which doesn’t work underwater. Trust me, it’s just the laws of physics at play here, not user error.  As stated above, I do not own any MP3 music anymore–retiring my iPod years and years ago, so the current ‘SwimP3’ options that are pretty much what swimmers are forced to use, don’t fit my needs as a music streamer at all. This ‘option’ basically requires you to download a Ripper / Recorder software to your computer and then to “record” streamed music songs from YouTube to MP3 files. A) I am not sure how legal all that is. B) That sets me back a decade to when I dumped my music library, and C) I don’t have the time or patience for all that hoopla [Insert Sweet Brown Meme here].  Seriously is pool tech more than a decade behind???

Insert Temper Tantrum Image Here

That question landed me to searching around for other streaming devices that might be on the market. So frankly when I became aware that today there exists only one option, the Delphine Waterproof MicoTablet ($200), at least that I could find, that allows you to play either encrypted offline stored or online music from a Streaming service like Amazon and Spotify on a waterproof devices with wired headphones I was more than a little annoyed.   While it seems like a good idea, frankly the concept of the touchscreen for sport usage doesn’t execute well, especially on a device worn on your head in the water.

So I continued my search, surely someone else out there has needs like me, who can’t use their phone, or their watches to play their music and who just need a simple, easy to use, reasonably priced,  device that is capable of storing the encrypted files from streaming services for offline playback.  Well it turns out there are other people out there who think that it is a Mighty good idea to ditch their phones for a tiny lightweight audio player for rugged athletic use. I am referring to the good people at Mighty Audio who have brought us the Mighty Vibe (no, it’s not the adult device you are thinking of, it’s also great for kids too. Okay ya worse still I know. Way worse!)

It is 99% what I am looking for, it’s just not waterproof, although it is water resistant.  So that took me to their Contact Us page to ask the question: 

“Does the Mighty Team plan to make a waterproof IX7 or 8 rated version of your product for use underwater (aka lap swimming) with wired waterproof headphones like the Swimbuds? If not PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE, I am begging you to consider us poor water treaders. We need you! If by some miracle your amazing team is way ahead of me on this one, first let me say THANK YOU. Second, any idea when we could maybe hope to see such a device hit the virtual shelves? And third, is there any chance I could help you beta test it?”

I will post an update if I hear anything back.  In the meantime I have ordered from Amazon, two separate stupid damn waterproof swiMP3 devices, H2o Audio’s STREAM w/ waterproof wired headphones, and a pair of Aftershokz Xtrainerz.   I ordered the first because it would arrive fast, and was $60 cheaper than the Aftershokz. But afterwards, I debated that decision.  The first device I ordered fits on my goggles on the back of my head, and according to some reviews, because it is Bluetooth enabled, it can reach your phone on the side of the pool since it is typically above water, and the headphones are wired. But, honestly I don’t see me wanting to use this for running or working out. It would only really have the one use. So after I ordered it I begrudgingly decided to get the Aftershokz instead. Although they are pricey, and they don’t have Bluetooth–I am sure they did this so people wouldn’t try to use it in the water and send it back; I can still use them for running and working out at the gym, I just can’t get calls from my cell phone, not a huge issue but annoying. Sigh. In for a pound in for a penny.

So I will be spending my one Mom day off this year (MLK Day), searching for and recording songs down to mp3 from YouTube, so I can use songs to put on the headphones when they arrive. This is going to take precious hours, hours of my life I will never get back, all because there isn’t a decent, simple waterproof solution yet on the market. Seriously I feel like a kid waiting with my finger on the Play and Record button listening to the radio.

Hopeful for better pool tech news for 2020, and or for feeling in my toes


(Sad) Bunny

How not to run 100 miles

While some of this information applies to a race of any distance I’m going to focus on 100 miles as that’s what Bunny and I are currently training for.

If you read race reports of 100 mile races then you’re probably aware of this recurring theme (actual paraphrased quotes below since I don’t have permission to repost)

“…started out possibly too fast sticking with the lead pack… around mile 50 started having GI issues and couldn’t keep anything down, pace was down to 13 minute miles… by mile 75 I was down to 18 minute miles… mile 90 and the death march had set it and I was lucky to do 30minute miles”

“…started out aggressive, trying to bank time… things went sideways at mile 47… started having to stop and rest every few miles… barely made the cutoffs at the last aid station…”

“…held off on hydration and fueling for the first 20 miles trying to avoid wasting time in the aid stations… bonked hard by mile 40… dropped at mile 73…”

I literally just watched yet another video by a runner doing his or her first 100 mile race. He burned through the first 25 miles in under 5 hours. Then the GI problems started before the turn around and he barely made the finish line before the cut off as a result.

It’s my 110% firm belief that most ultra runners who post race reports and most of the ones I’ve talked to do not have a pace plan. This is anecdotal obviously. Most ‘just run by feel’.

While I believe there are a number of good runners who can do this, I do not believe the majority can do this, especially for their first serious ultra marathon. They run way too fast, out of inexperience with the 100 mile distances or out of ego or out of race jitters or out of ‘this is how fast I run my 20 and 30 mile training runs’.

It’s taken me the last 2 years to figure this out for me personally. Like most I let my ego write checks my legs couldn’t cash. I train at 11 minute miles so I should race at 10:30’s. Then I crash and burned like most race reports… report.

I put my painfully earned experience from our earlier ultra’s to use at our first 24 hour race and for the first time in an ultra I was able to maintain a consistent pacing from start to finish. This went a long way for me to validate both my pace plan and my thoughts on pacing.

As it happened Bob Stearns was also at that 24 hour race and as a result of his machine like pacing I googled him and found out in some circles he’s called “The King of Pacing” and has extremely in depth and well planned pace charts that’s taken him out to 200+ miles.

This just added more validation I think to my way of thinking.

The reason pacing is everything in an 100 mile race is once you get behind the 8 ball, once you get into a deficit it’s extremely hard to come back.

A compatible and individualized pace plan for a given runner will always feel too slow at the race start. But that pacing is critical. A runner needs time to process calories both ingested and converting fat to fuel. A runner needs time to process lactic acids and flush them out of the system. A runner needs time to process fluids to replace those lost in sweat and urine.

Without that time a runner will start running a calorie, fluid and fatigue deficit which will end badly usually. GI issues will come up and ingested items will start coming out whatever the nearest orifice is, not to be gross. Muscles will get overstressed and fatigued leading to an inability to run and navigate technical terrain. Nerves will get overstressed and start firing erratically leading to race killing cramps.

Pacing, pacing, pacing, it’s what will get a runner to the finish line, strong, in the fastest possible time, with the least risk of injury to body and health.

Pacing in fueling – A runner should start consuming calories a couple of hours pre-race and continue to consume between 200 and 350 calories an hour. The average person can process, convert ingested calories to fuel, on the order of about 250 calories an hour. Any more calories than that will start to pile up in the digestive tract leading to the dreaded GI issues as the body has very good systems to deal with excess while under high activity. i.e. you’ll start puking it out.

It’s important to note that obviously you’re burning far more than 250 calories an hour. Don’t worry, your body will start converting all that fat you’re carrying into fuel. But this requires some resources, it requires extra water, blood and energy. If you’re at the ragged edge of your abilities the body doesn’t have these to spare. And you bonk.

It’s also important to note that the brain/central nervous system runs on carbs. So during an ultra most runners, even keto/fasted/fat based runners, should focus on ingesting carbs, these are what your brain and twitch reflexes are going to be short on.

Anecdotal: I knew from training runs and our ultra races that I can process about 300-350 calories an hour safely and over our 24 hour race I stuck with this for all but the last few hours where I started increasing my intake as it was looking close to whether I’d hit my goal mileage or not. As a result I was fine for the first 21 hours. Then I started getting that bloated, sluggish, ‘thanksgiving dinner’ feeling. The extra calories hurt, not helped my performance.

Pacing in hydration – This is more individualized. On a summer run I consume between 20 and 32 oz an hour. And still lose up to a lb an hour. But stay on top of it. The early stages of dehydration have no real symptoms or feelings other than your performance will start to decrease. As the imbalance gets worse the body will start pulling water everywhere it can and the biggest source is the blood. Which unsurprisingly is a big performance hit.

Monitor your urine output and color. If it’s infrequent and dark, you’re not drinking enough. If it’s very frequent and colorless, you’re drinking too much and are potentially diluting your electrolytes to a dangerous degree. These are basic rules of thumb and subject to the individual.

If you start to pee and it’s the color of Coke, then you’re in a potentially serious situation and should consult with the medical staff at the aid stations. They will likely pull you as Rhabomylosis can be very dangerous and I speak from personal experience.

Pacing in speed – This may not be easily possible to figure out without running stupid long distances. It’s a safe bet it’s going to be 90 seconds to a 2 minutes slower than the 30 mile training pace for large number of runners especially newer ultra runners. I know it wasn’t until we’d run several ultra distances, 4 50K’s and a 50mile that I ended up with a good handle on what might be the best pacing for us for 100 miles.

I know from own training and racing that a 100 mile pace plan feels crazy slow at the race start. You want to be out there, you don’t want ‘that guy’ beating you off the line, it’s his first 100 for goodness sake. But it’s sticking with that pace plan, regardless of how ‘awesome, full of energy, great’ you feel at the start of the race that will have you reeling all those people who blew out and blew up later on down the road. Sticking with the pace plan is how you’ll PR your times while at the same time enjoy the race instead of it being a miserable trudgefest of pain, fatigue and projectile vomiting.

At least that’s my thoughts on the subject.

It doesn’t get easier

‘Seriously, shouldn’t this [insert distance] be easier by now?!?!’

Just about every time Trex and I set out to run we utter some form or another of this phrase at some point during the run. Whether it be a short and sweet tempo run or a the warm-up for our long slow run, it seems we have some false expectations that it would have somehow gotten easier over the years given the number of miles we have logged. We somehow have this feeling like one day we will set out to run a snappy 5K and it won’t feel like we are trudging through the last miles of a marathon. 

Since we both have logged well over one thousand miles each, [Over 3200 miles at this point Bun] with our longest break being under a month in the last two years straight I tend to scratch my head a bit also when everything seems to whine and complain on an ‘easy’ day. It begs the question, why is there no such thing as an ‘easy’ day after all this time? 

Well I think the answer is fairly simple. It’s not easy because running is work. It’s overcoming inertia in the form of the body at rest, and by the laws of physics and biology our body will always fight us to return to that easy place of comfort (aka not moving). Therefore running will never be easy and it will always feel like work. PERIOD.

But I think also, in our case, we keep pushing the bar further and further out with each new goal we achieve, and frankly we haven’t really stopped to smell the roses. We have continually pushed our bodies to go further, and now into the realm of Ultra distances, which are not for the faint of heart or body or mind. We have relentlessly moved forward in spite of the warnings our bodies have given us, and protested when our bodies revolted. Stubbornly we have forced upon ourselves the willpower of our minds to keep going even when it means we might regret it later.  With each new goal our mindsets shift the bar but our bodies remind us just how much work it will be and just how quickly we can get right back to where we started. That is why it never gets easier. We have to know with every step that we are pushing ourselves, otherwise I think we would feel entitled and unappreciative of our achievements.

To be honest I would settle for a little entitlement right about now, but I suppose there is nothing wrong with a hard day’s work, as the saying goes. So here’s to many more months ahead of hard work, sweat, blood, and maybe some tears that will bring us to our next Ultra adventure.


Gear has been packed, unpacked and verified and repacked. Packing lists confirmed and double confirmed. Nutrition plans have been laid out, prepackaged for each time we pass by a drop bag.

We’ve put in a reasonable amount of time on feet, treading that line between getting better and getting injured.

The weather though has not been cooperating with it raining and raining and more raining. And it’ll be raining off and on over the next umpteen days. So we’re anticipating the track being a slog fest of mud.

Which is only fair, our first 50K was perfect weather so in the interests of there being balance in the runnerverse this would will be hot, humid, muddy and we’ll get drenched.

And you know what, that’s just one of the things you have to come to expect, as they say, you take the good, you take the bad and there you have the facts of running long distances on a regular basis.

7 Weeks and Counting

We’re 7 weeks out from our first 50mile race at Rocky Raccoon which is in Huntsville Texas just north of Houston.   So I get to go back to Texas again which is my fabled birthplace.

“He tripped and fell and kept trying to get up and falling again, that’s how he hit his head 18 times on that rock.”

7 weeks out means 4 weeks of serious training left to get in shape for our first 50 mile race.   Due to injury and to get full value for my entry fee I’m planning on using 14 hours and 59 minutes of the allotted 15 hours we have to finish.   It only seems fiscally responsible to get all the value I can out of the trip cost after all.

4 weeks from now we’re capping our training with another 50K run, the FleetFeet Go Short, Go Long, Go Longer.   Then we’ll start tapering down assuming that 50K doesn’t kill me. Or my dear RW doesn’t kill me.  I run under constant threat of death from ‘accidents’ at her hands.  She has her alibi’s all planned out and has probably practiced crying in the mirror to make sure they’re believed.   “He tripped and fell and kept trying to get up and falling again, that’s how he hit his head 18 times on that rock.”

We’re thinking of trying to make a road trip up to Robber’s Cave which is the site of a brand new 100 mile race which happens on Dec 30th.  There’s a practice run on the course of somewhere between a few and 20 miles that a local running group is going to go on and ultra runners being the people they are they’re the more the merrier type. The 20 miles lines up with our planned run for that weekend so its an option for sure.

But regardless we keep slogging on, we did 5K yesterday of hill repeats on a 50-60 degree hill and it was nice seeing the improvements we’ve made.   The last time we did this particular hill which has been awhile, after one or two ups I’d be at the walking up and running down pace.  This time I was able to sustain a faster than a walk up all the slopes for the entirety of the run and was hitting 7 minute miles on the runs down.  It’s amazing how much gravity helps the clydesdale runner speed up.  🙂

Running Gear Must and Must not haves – Bunny’s List

My list of running gear is ever growing.

When it comes to hobbies and recreation, unlike those of us (a-hem Trex) who are gear heads from the start, I am of the mind that one eases into gearing up in case the venture loses its appeal early and I am trucking off to Goodwill to donate stuff I don’t use anymore.

Unlike other girls I actually preferred to protect my assets by wearing black motocross padded pant$.

So I generally start inexpensively, buying the least amount of gear possible for whatever new thing I am trying out. For example when I started playing Roller Derby my first pair of skates were under $200, my pads set and helmet under $150. By the time I retired from the sport my skates alone, which included high end bearings, wheels, plates and trucks, boot, toe guard, and stopper, were $1500. That doesn’t include the $300 for pads and helmet, or the $95 custom dentist made mouth guard. Yikes! Keep in mind this was my hobby before I had kids 😉

As with any one who becomes serious about their interests, whether it be an athlete, musician, or machinist,  you learn there is a difference between the cheap equipment and the expensive stuff. Just ask any professional golfer what’s in his golf bag. But while there is a difference in the quality of a product and how it generally feels, and moves etc, it is the talent and hard work of the person using the equipment that makes the most difference. I would wager to guess that Tiger Woods could pick up just about any 9 iron and put that ball on the green.

With running, like Derby, I eased my way into the sport, buying first a couple pairs of Asics Nimbus, soon realizing they weren’t going to be what was needed to get the job done. Ten pairs of shoes later, I have slowly but surely acquired and purchased more and more running gear; so much so that I have one large dresser drawer, half my closet, and one side of our hall closet dedicated to all my running stuff.

I have found that like with skates, and pads there is some running gear you don’t cheap out on, such as shoes, socks, and sports bras. But when it comes to clothing I am cheap. So far for general training purposes, and shorter distances, the inexpensive versions of things like shirts and pants are about 80% as good, if not more, over the super expensive stuff when you take into account the wear and tear, frequent washings, and occasional bleaching’s. But for Ultra distances  I am finding that materials and seam placement is going to make a HUGE difference, which is why I just plunked down $65 for a pair of shorts rated for ultra-running to replace the ones that recently caused me to have to run with a thick layer of Desitin where this product is typically applied. Ouch!

At the moment my biggest complaint is that I haven’t found a pair of underwear, shorts, or tights, that doesn’t have a seam or gusset stitching right in the wrong place. With all so called ‘seamless’ underwear there is a major chafe point (CP) where they join the front and back fabric with a rear/crotch seam.  I own several pairs. That seam shows under leggings and tight skirts. I have to go with a thong if I truly want seamless. I have looked and looked and I thought I had found the ones that might work, however when I read the reviews one of the negative reviews was from a women with the same problem I have! It ‘seams’ like the running clothing industry has some catching up to do when it comes to comfortable underwear. Why not go commando you ask? Well I have done this as well and found the seams in the the crotch of the pants eventually give me the same issue. So if you happen by this post and have any recommendations for  running shorts, underwear, or compression tights that are actually seamless in the crotch area, not just visually but physically, then please leave me a comment!

I just purchased some new shorts and tights from some bigger name brands who supposedly design gear with longer distance in mind. I will provide experiential opinions and reviews of such items in future posts,  but since, over the past year and a half,  I have acquired quite a bit of running gear, the vast majority of which I have gotten my money’s (or Trex’s) worth out of it, and because I rely on product reviews and runner blogs for recommendations, I figured I should pass along a few myself. So here is my current (use daily) and past (retired) inventory and what I liked/disliked about them.

Bunny Gear:

Road Shoes: Note I have a wide but average length foot. My width is not in the toe box like all the companies tout, it is in the forefoot at the knuckles, so I am still stuck looking for and purchasing Wide widths in most brands where available.

  • Altra Escalante (Mens 7.5, because the women’s weren’t wide enough! #annoyed / Up to 8K) –   Most comfortable shoe I own, but these are only great for short distances on flat, straight paved trail or road, not much else. Wore these for my first 20 mile run and found them lacking in the cushion/support department. Also annoyed that the women’s version wasn’t wide enough, probably not buying this shoe again since I can’t wear them for a lot of the current distances we are running.
  • Hoka Clifton 4‘s (Women’s 8 wide/ 5K-Half Marathon) –  Wore for my first full Marathon mainly because I trained in them. I liked them, but do find the Gaviota’s fit my foot shape just a tad better so I have relegated them to my Saturday or mid distance run shoes. My one complaint is that Hoka is tapering their toe boxes too much these days!  I don’t mind duck feet shoes if it means my feet don’t hurt after runs!
  • Hoka Gaviota (Women’s 8 wide  / Half Marathon+) – I have raced Half-Marathons, our 20 Mile, and have run the vast majority of our paved long runs in these shoes. They have good bounce and cushion and they fit my wide foot better than other shoes I have tried. I do still have to buy them in a Wide width however as the regular squeezed my foot.

Other Retired Road Shoes:

  • Asics Nimbus 18 (Women’s 8/ Up to half marathon) – Purchased when I was dealing with Plantar based on reviews that they were the best for this. Found them to be too narrow for my feet and just not up to the task of providing support and space for longer distances.
  • Hoka Clifton 3′s – (Women’s 8.5 / half marathon) Initially these were a bit narrow, but I got used to them and found I really liked them. These were my daily and long distance shoes until they wore out and I tried the Clifton 4’s.

Trail Shoes

  • Altra Timps (Women’s 8.5 / Marathon + / Moderately technical terrain) – Have worn for all short and long distance trail races and runs this year. Generally well cushioned, noticing some breakdown in support now after about 200 miles. Fit isn’t great however. I can’t use the last eyelete to lock lace as it hit the top of my foot and hurts. They are a tad sloppy because I had to go a half size up to accommodate my wide forefoot. My foot slips a bit in the shoe when we run Carl or Lip buster. I don’t quite feel like they grip sandy rock or slippery muddy surfaces as securely as I would like.  All that said, I ran a full trail marathon in them without any issues so can’t rule them out as a solid option as my alternate trail shoe.
  • Altra Lone Peaks 3.5 (Women’s 8.5 / Very technical terrain) – Newly purchased on sale since I need to figured out what I will be running our first 50K in.  I have run a total of 7 Carls in them and am extremely happy with how they performed on the steep rocky accent and decent laps we did this weekend. They fit a little better than my Timps, not as sloppy (yet?) and they grip the ground like no bodies business.
  • Topo Terraventure (Women’s 8.5 / 5k) –  Wore these in the early days of our trail running, but realized quickly they were not supportive enough for long distance for me. So I mostly use them to mow my lawn in or occasional run short runs. I liked the width of these but I feel every rock under my feet in them so they just aren’t padded or cushioned enough for my sensitive feet.

Hydration Vest & Belts:

  • Nathan Vapor Krar  (Marathon +) – Used during all major long distance runs after 30k for self-supplied hydration and supplemental nutrition. Highly recommend for comfort and lightweight materials. Storage pockets in back are a bit hard to reach for my short arms. Wished pockets in front were a bit bigger.  See our detailed review of this pack here.
  • Ultimate Direction Jurek Endure 1L (Half Marathon) –  Use for all daily summer and winter runs. Hard bottles are easy to refill. Have extra bottles I often fill and freeze and keep as spares in my car for swapping out during our longer weekend runs. Love the water proof pocket for my cell phone and car key. I think ALL utility belts and vest should have this. Storage is extremely limited, but works for shorter distance needs. Don’t like how narrow the band is, and the velcro will eventually give out, rendering this belt useless unless is repair it some way. Have to synch belt super high and tight around my waist to keep it from bouncing.
  • Flip Belt Zip w/  11oz bottle (5K – Half Marathon, supported, cooler weather) –  Used this prior to buying the UD for all my cooler weather shorter runs. Comfortably fits my iPhone, my car key, 2 gels, and the hard bottle which fits snuggly with no bounce.  Also found this is a great option for taking to an amusement or water parks for carrying phone (in a waterproof case) with cash and car key. Would like to see this come in a PUL material or with a waterproof pouch.
  • Cotopaxi Veloz 6L Hydration pack  (Half Marathon  – 30K trail) – Used up to 30K prior to purchasing the Nathan. Limited front pocket storage doesn’t allow for much storage of alternative liquid fuel options plus gels and cell phone. Stiff shoulder straps were not ideal for longer running. Liked because the straps and pockets don’t compress by boobs. Huge design win. Also like the pocket arrangements in the back compared to Nathan. Like the Kangaroo pocket which I used to store extra bottles of electrolyte fuel. Paired with Flip Belt for cellphone storage.


Used for every Run unless otherwise stated.

  • Halo II Sweatband Pullover –  I hate sweat in my eyes and these really work. I have been using Halo’s since 2006 and I have never been unhappy with any model or version. HIGHLY recommend.
  • Injinji Toe Socks –  After my first run in a pair I have never worn anything else. I have these in various weights and lengths for trail summer, trail winter, road summer, road winter. LOVE THEM. HIGHLY recommend.
  • Garmin Fenix 3HR – Bought mine from Trex when he upgraded to the 5. Have worn it every day since, on every long run, in the pool to do lap swims, etc. This is a great watch! I feel like it will last forever. A few minor glitchy issues every so often, but nothing a reboot and sync didn’t fix. Functions I couldn’t live without are the Garmin and Custom Workouts features, and GPS Livetrack.  Also occasionally use the compass, and course mapping. I use notifications for text messages, and still get amazing battery life. I love how durable this watch feels. I debated on getting the 5s because of how big this watch is on my wrist but I have come to like the security of a large piece of durable hardware on my wrist. Kind of like Wonder Woman’s wrist cuffs!
  • Stryd Live – Bought since it was less expensive than its predecessor so I could more precisely run our distance intervals and paces for races. Since Trex and I run according to HR levels and not power I use it for distance only. There is some evidence that Power Training for Trail running is reliable however it’s rather complex to figure out and frankly as my fellow Oklahoman Sweet Brown would say  “ain’t nobody got time for that”
  • Wahoo HR  – Handed down / gifted / loaned indefinitely to me from Trex when he graduated to Garmin and his Scoshe. Had no real issues to report.  Have had to buy a few replacement bands, but I buy the cheaper generic knock offs from Amazon.
  • RoadID II – all the cool kids are wearing them these days. Plus I had to have something to put my ‘Winner’ charm on when I beat Trex in one of our earlier races. Since then as tradition, we typically gift Distance charms following big milestone. I wear mine constantly and never take it off like a wedding band, because I am lazy, unlike Trex who changes his band to color coordinate with his watch bands.
  • Plantronics BackBeat FIT – Waterproof Wireless Headphones – Love these. If you need a pair of headphones that you can always count on, rain, snow, sleet or shine, these are an excellent choice. I have two pairs and will buy more when these finally quit working. I love the fact that the connecting wire between the ear pieces stay off my head and neck the controls are easy to use to adjust volume, skip music, answer calls etc. And most important for a trail runner like me  (GASP!) who likes to have a bit of music in the background while I run, they are very durable and water resistant. I have taken them in the shower and been in pouring down rains in these. I have taken calls on the trail using them and the microphone sound is pretty decent according to most receivers. If you are picky about sound quality of your music then they may get a few points in the minus column as they are not Bose quality in that area, but I can hear my music and they keep me from having to hear Trex whine and complain all the time and they have held up through a lot of wear and tear.
  • OOFOS: Recovery flip flops – Love these. Wear them all the time, not just for when needed post run. I wouldn’t recommend the lighter colors for anything other than home use as they pick up grime and turn black and ugly fast, but otherwise these are a MUST HAVE.
  • Target Champion C9 – Tops, tights, and shorts. I generally use Target C9 wear for my daily short distance and even long distance runs. Besides the THINX sport shorts they have been my only shorts. I own some race shirts and my CDRC shirt, but generally unless I am wearing matching gear with Trex, then I am probably wearing something from Target. As I said above these are great for the price and how well they hold up.

Other Stuff worn/used as needed Occasionally:

  • Zensha Compression calf sleeves (usually for trail and long long distances) – Like these, no complaints.  Feel they help as are designed.
  • Rock or K Tape – I preferred K tape over Rock tape until their quality of materials stopped adhering to their former standards. My issue with Rock Tape still holds, they fray around the edges and also leave glued edges on my skin when I peal them up. But as of this post they seem to hold better than my last rolls of K Tape so I will stick with them for now.
  • Pandana buff – This is a light weight neck cover that worked well for me in the winter. Will probably buy a Buff brand at some point just because they are available everywhere in so many fun patterns. Likely Trex and I will have matching ones at some point.
  • Black Diamond Head Lamp – These have been worn on our Snake trail and Midnight Madness in the dark. Good for night time paved trail runs IMO, but read Trex’s run report to get a more technical perspective on how to avoid spiders and snakes when running in the woods at night.
  • Mace: Small Hand Held Pepper spray – I carry this on occasion when I run solo. I fit it in my hand comfortably rotating the head so I can press the trigger easily without the need of my other hand. If you have ever encountered a stranger on the trail or road that eyeballed you a little too long then you will understand why this is a part of my arsenal.
  • Speedo Large 35L Teamster Backpack – Bag I use to haul all my crap around with when traveling to races. I have owned a few of these over the years, including one as my diaper bag, my Derby Bag, and originally as designed as my swim gear bag. The water proof bottom and extra large opening is ideal for all sorts of stuff.

Girl Gear:

  • THINX Sports Shorts – I wrote about these a little while back, and unfortunately I made the mistake and wore them during a long hot run recently and found that the thick inner fabric was too coarse and the seams in the crotch were in the wrong place resulting in the above aforementioned need to apply liberal amounts of Desitin where they caused serious chaffing. These are being relegated to short distance running only which means I am going to have to find an alternative should the stars and moons align again.
  • Sports Bra’s – I wrote about my experience with my go to bra’s here but I wanted to include the updated list here
    • Zensah  Seamless Sports Bra:  Zensha has been a good fit so far for long distances. The reviews hold true, light and soft, but I wouldn’t recommend for larger busted women as this product won’t support you enough.
    • SheFit Sports Bra
    • Brooks Sports Bra
  • Diva Cup #2 – I have been pleased with this for daily use, but not for running. Which is why I am trying the FemmyCycle next. Since women are all shaped and sized a bit differently I recommend researching here a bit before buying.
  • FemmyCycle report coming soon.
  • Pibella Travel Pearl – Because sometimes I don’t feel like sitting on a porta potty seat or baring my a$$ to the world when nature calls. Highly recommend carrying individually wrapped Femwipes or toilet wipes and practice practice practice! Seriously, practice in the shower for a good week then with clothes on only after you have achieved expert level status in your aim and can insert this thing blindly with one hand. Also don’t wait till you have to go like a race horse, it will get messy.

I think that pretty much covers what I generally wear or carry on my person, or have worn for running. Obviously this will adapt and change with experience and distance.  Lastly, I  want to give a heart felt shout out to real people who take the time to write reviews and blogs that provide solid information about the products you use in your everyday running and why or why not. Sponsored reviews are nice and all but they tend to gloss over the nitty gritty and downplay the issues that could wind up costing someone like me hundreds of dollars in gear that doesn’t work for me. That kinda thing really chafes IYKWIM!


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