Monday, August 7, 2017

A Conversation With My Camelbak

Funny how some runs are very uneventful while others become quite memorable. Today's was quite a memorable one. Besides, the loose pit bull I made friends with by turning and running in the other direction, the drug deal I witnessed, taking a picture of two cyclists (one from Colorado and one from Virgina) that asked me if I'd mind taking a pic of them (they referred to me as "Nice Guy"),  and seeing fellow runner and friend Amanda Coble at Lebauer Park and a drive-by honking from Lisa Garrison,  I had a lot going on in this run from the get go and I knew that as I started out.

First, I was trying my new Bondi 5's without my custom orthodics. I've been wearing Bondi 5s and love them, just wore out the pair I had. This time, however, I was trying the new pair with regular sports orthodics and my metatarsals pads instead of my custom orthodics. The custom orthodics seemed to be pushing my feet outward and I already tend to do that, so thought that extra outward push might be contributing to my Achilles issues.  Love my Hoka Bondi's. Took me a year to finally find a long run shoe after my previous one was discontinued. Yes, I know some don't like the Hoka. There's one professional in the area that seems to think they are the anti-christ. Ha! But for me they have been a savior and work well.

Anywho...back to the memorable run. So, first there was the possibility of shoe/foot woes on this run. Second, I was trying out a new method for hydration. I usually carry a handheld bottle. Never have liked how the hydration belts felt on my waist. The only problem with a handheld is that I have to plan my routes where there is either a water fountain on the route or a convenient store where I can get more water/Gatorade. Not too terrible of a problem, but it does limit where I can run. As my 16-year-old often tells me, "First World Problem, Dad." But even still, thought I'd try one of the hydration packs that you wear on your back. Ultra runners wear them a lot. So, the day before the run, I headed over to REI. After picking myself off the floor, upon seeing the cost of these packs, I started pilfering through to find the cheapest one that worked. Not only were they overpriced, they were all big and bulky. Finally, on a separate isle I found a smaller pack that held 50oz. I tried it on and it felt pretty good. My hand held holds about 22oz, So, I thought 50oz would be awesome. This was less than half the price of the others ($50). Pleased with my find I headed home. After getting home, I discovered why this pack was cheaper. It was a hydration pack for kids! Kind of apropos since I often buy my shirts in the kids department. Those are cheaper too! (There are a few benefits to being a small dude.)

I'm behind on my marathon training. Lots going on between work, vacation, training my runners for 21 different half and full marathons and going to visit my mom who has Alzheimer's. My training tends to take a backseat. I'm about 3 miles behind in my long runs, so today, I really wanted to get in my 12 miles so I wouldn't get even further behind. Last week's 11-miles was rough. I ended up running later in the day and the heat got to me. Another reason I was looking for a better hydration solution. So, this morning, I filled up the "Kiddie-Camelbak" with 40oz of water and added two Nuun electrolyte tabs. I've found that using plan water with the electrolyte tabs and then using the GU packs (Chocolate Outrage is my favorite) works really well with me and my tummy. Gives me what I need without that Gatorade hangover. After putting in the tabs, I let it sit for a while before closing the top, so all the effervescent bubbles could dissipate and not get trapped in the bladder of the kiddie-camelbak causing a geyser-like eruption when I first opened the hydration valve.

Finally ready, off I go. Immediately, I was not happy with all the sloshing going on behind me. Sounded like a washing machine on my back. I'm thinking..."This is going to dive me crazy!" Before even reaching the one mile mark, I'm trying to think of places I can stash the pack at the halfway point. No way I'm going to be able to tolerate this for 12 miles. I keep running. On top of the slosh, the sippy tube keeps popping me in the chest. Another annoyance and possibly a chafing catastrophe! So, in my head I'm already writing the "Dear John" letter to my new Camelbak. No way this relationship is going to last.

Mile 3 ticks by and I'm well into my mental letter. While listing all the benefits, I have an equally
long list of annoyances of why we can no longer continue this relationship. Then an odd thing. I'm at mile 6. Had the slosh disappeared? What about the chest popping sippy tube? Gone too? Hmm... maybe I need to rethink this "Dear John" letter. By this point, I've ditched the letter and I'm talking out right to the pack. Here's my conversation:

Me: It's not you it's me. You are doing a great job. I just can't take your incessant sloshing.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Think of it as a soothing ocean tide caressing your back.
Me: Are  you crazy? It's driving me nuts! Not to mentioned the hydration tube whacking me in the chest with every stride.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Well, possibly it's because you bought a kids pack which isn't designed for man-boobs.
Me: I prefer to call them pecs and I don't think the size of the pack is the problem. Maybe if I just tuck the tube here it will work better.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Maybe if you reduced the size of your man-boobs...I mean pecs that will help.
Me: You're a real comedian. Hmm...maybe if I twist this tube a little here and tuck it there, ahh, that seems to work.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Real genius here.
Me: Okay, now that I have that problem solved. I'm actually getting use to the sloshing sound.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Yeah, I believe all that sloshing is your hydration you'll need on this run. Why not take a sip?
Me: Wow, that was pretty easy.
Kiddie-Camelbak: Go figure.
Me: (around mile 8) You still there? I almost forgot you were there. You stopped riding my back. Get it? Riding my back? Ha!
Kiddie-Camelbak: Now who's the comedian
Me: (mile 11) Where's the sloshing sound?
Kiddie-Camelbak: I believe you've sucked down just about all the water.
Me: Whaaaa? You mean I drank 40oz on that run?
Kiddie-Camelbak: Well, from how soaked your clothes are I'm thinking you needed it.
Me: Man, it wasn't even that hot/humid today. I'm thinking we might be able to work this thing out.
Kiddie-Camelbak: I already knew that.

Check out my run on Strava:

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