Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Orange Mud Hydraquiver Vest Pack 2 Review -> WIN ONE! :)

Trail photo at BigK Guest Ranch by running friend, Laning Leo Davis.

I have been excited about the Orange Mud company since I first learned of them. They make the first bottle style of running pack I came across (the Hydraquiver ~ REVIEW HERE). I had a waist belt before that, but it was prone to leaks and I grew tired of it dripping on me and in my car.

I have never been too keen on the idea of bladder-style hydration systems.
Let's be honest. I hate washing dishes. And, a bladder is just way more work than I want to try to keep clean and fresh.  Bottles are easier to fill and easier to clean. 

I have been quite pleased with my single bottle hydraquiver. It has been my water carrier and purse-on-the-go since I have had it.... Except it's summer... and I am a trail runner training for 50k!. I need to have more than 22 ounces on the go for a long trail run.

It became clear a second bottle would be necessary, so I was grateful when Orange Mud was gracious to let me test the Vest Pack2 out!

This little vest is meant to ride high, is SUPER LIGHT (437 grams/0.96342 pounds, empty), and fastens in the front with just one click.

I wasn't sure I would like the extra fabric of the vest, but this pack was designed a bit differently than the original HydraQuiver. The vest fabric is thinner, medical-grade mesh. It's very breathable, and I found it SUPER comfortable.

My first big test run with it was on a 20 mile trail run.

I filled both bottles, brought along my phone, space blanket, fuel, and car key. And I had enough room on the straps and in the front pouches for twice as much stuff! My long sleeve shirt came off at mile 4, and I just balled it up and strapped it to my pack with the convenient bungee.

No bouncing.

I never thought about it again!

How much stuff do you need for a run? 
I can fit all this into/on my vest pack, and I could have easily fit more gels or phones into the straps!

  • long socks, 
  • long sleeve shirt, 
  • several gels and a bar, 
  • cell phone, 
  • arm warmers,
  • car key, 
  • space blanket (not pictured, but it fit!), 
  • rain jacket, and 
  • 48 ounces of water 

The pack will, of course, be more comfortable the less you carry.. but it is nice to have space if you need it.

The jacket bungee is perfect for winter running; but, if I want to skip the rain jacket, I can bungee a 3rd bottle (not included) to the pack for another 24 ounces of hydration. Three bottles means 3 different drink possibilities!

This is why I LOVE this pack. 

All of the closures and fasteners are easy to use and of sturdy quality.

I thought I had found a flaw with the pack in the adjustable side straps. 
Being smaller, I have them cinched up (but they do go even smaller!). There was some loose webbing in the way of my arms (chafing potential), but I figured out that I could re-loop the strap through and then ... no problem at all.

Cost evaluation
At $149.95, it might seem a bit steep. But, for about the same as a new pair of similar quality shoes, this is a good investment for anyone in need of hours of hydration, on the go.

This is a product I would stretch my shoe budget to get. I still love my single barrel pack, but this does the job and more, comfortably. My running partner will inherit my single-barrel HydraQuiver, I like this vest so much!

Something else I like: Orange Mud is MADE in the USA.

Want to try one for yourself? Orange Mud is going to give one to a reader here!

Enter the Rafflecopter contest below for your chance to get a Vest Pack 2 for free! (ends 5am 7/30 pacific) 
*Sign in with Rafflecopter. Blog comment required!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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If giveaway is sponsored by an outside entity, then winner will abide by their prize fulfillment periods, which may be as long as 180 days, depending on the company. Please know that I choose the companies I work with very carefully and only choose companies that I think are reputable and honest. I cannot be held liable or responsible, should a vendor choose not to fulfill a promised prize.  I will do whatever I can to try to get a company to make good on a promise, but there are no guarantees. 
Have fun, and good luck!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Closer Than the Shirt on Your Back

Well, I didn't fall apart. Or go hide in a cave (though it is tempting at times).
That's the good news!

The bad news is that I am most certainly carrying the double-dominant gene for stubbornness- which can be both a blessing and a curse. 
(If you missed my last post, you might want to catch up there first. I must have hit on something with many readers, because I have been blessed with encouraging and heartfelt comments, G+ comments, tweets and emails ever since. Thank you for every single one of them.)
My foot is still a little "off", but I have decided that it is tendonitis of some kind or another.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Not-So-Pretty Thoughts

This post will be a little off-the-cuff, so I apologize in advance if you stumbled over here looking for something light and cheery with a neat and tidy wrapping.

I'm feeling far from that today.

This morning I woke up and realized two things:
 #1 My foot hurt too much to apply pressure to walk normally. 
This was not the case yesterday. 
I kind of thought that I had brilliantly overcame another obstacle-- That I had babied my L foot enough to get over whatever happened to it last weekend ( which didn't start hurting until later in the day, several hours after running 17 miles and working at a race).

 #2 The 4th of July is FRIDAY and not Saturday. Don't ask me how I had the day of the week wrong, but I did. And, the combination of #1 and #2 means that I would need to register tomorrow to race on the 4th, but that does not seem prudent. :(

Here I am again.
Wondering how I am such a train wreck as a runner.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Rule #1, Just Stay In The Game

The last few weeks of training have been a roller coaster ride. 

Running a threshold workout on the trail is not easy!
Trail miles are just not the same as road miles. I tried to run a workout (T paced) on the trail recently, and was using a heart rate monitor.

This was a crazy idea- at least on the trail I chose.
I didn't have to run very fast uphill to get my HR up (and above) tempo zone. Then, as soon as I ran downhill, my heart rate dropped and was impossible to keep in Tempo zone.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

4 weeks of 50K training done! <<~ Gah!! A bunch of numbers.

It's been a while since I have posted anything training related, so it's time to make some updates! 

I can hardly believe I have 4 weeks worth of scheduled runs to post about. It's been a LONG time since I followed a race training schedule. What a blessing it is to be aiming for a race goal!

Here is (was) the plan for May.

Week 1:
Easy 6mi 8:43
Quality Session: Easy 7mi w / 6 strides
Easy 6mi 8:43
Easy 7mi 8:43
Easy 5mi 8:43
Quality Session: Easy 8 w / 6 strides


The first week pretty much followed the script.  Things started off feeling way too easy, until the reality set in that I am now running 6 days a week (and not 5).