Wednesday, March 31, 2010

fanny packs are cool again. (ok, maybe just functional.)

I come from a generation that openly mocks fanny packs. Truly, not a whole lot could be dorkier or funnier, which is why I chose an NPR fanny pack as my donation "prize" a few years ago. I rocked the fanny pack long enough for a picture in the office, then eventually lost the dust-collected awesomeness in a few rounds of spring cleaning.

However, now that I'm running a lot I kind of regret the loss of my NPR pack. Sometimes on those long runs you just need the ability to carry more "stuff"....cell phone, keys, Gu (and transit card in case everything goes wrong...). If I could just get past the hardwired reaction I have to that Style thing.

Still, my man picked up a nifty piece of gear at a running expo in FL and I'm here to say I've seen the light.

The SPIBelt is pretty darned handy, and quite the upgrade from my public radio prize. It's stretchy, so it's always going to be at its smallest form around your waist. And, it's stretchy so when you want to overpack for your run it can accommodate most requests. I think at max we've gotten a full-sized iPod, a Blackberry (pearl), keys, transit cards, random spare change, and a couple of Gu shots in there. We could have pushed it but you know, that whole packing light to run a half marathon thing got in the way.

So far, it's also quite durable. And, it comes in many colors and varieties. And it's reasonably priced. They have several options on the website, and the one J got has a great system for attaching race numbers.

Embrace your inner dork. You already did with convertible pants, may as well go for the whole ensemble, right?

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Needs more juice

I know we're on the tail end of winter, so this is more something to log in your memory for next season than anything else. Or, if you end up traveling somewhere that requires winter gear, this will certainly help you.

I fiddled with a few combinations of glove options this year, and will admit I haven't totally solved it. I really do hate giving bad reviews, but after this pair of gloves was so strongly recommended by someone I feel that I should warn the world. Or something.

I bought the Mountain Hardwear Power Stretch gloves a few months ago, with the idea that they'd be perfect for hiking and backpacking. As advised, I bought them with a simple mitten shell to layer over them once at camp. Sounded like a good idea at the time, and it really is a pretty solid piece of advice. Minus the detail of these gloves.

My hands were never warm. I couldn't feel my fingers after awhile. I was warmer with a much thinner, non-warmth-promising shell by itself than I was with these things. I tested them in wind, not-wind, mist, not-mist... but always cold (duh).

When I went to return them, I was told "but you have to be *active* for them to work properly. [ie. not just sitting around]" Ok.......busting my butt up the side of a mountain with full pack and actively moving trekking poles.... not active enough to activate the power of the Power Stretch? *Rolls Eyes* Whatever. Something's wrong when all of you is sweating, save for your fingers which you can't actually feel.

Search elsewhere, these gloves are not it. They weren't for me, anyway.