On the Run with Gear and Trails

Following my frustrating injury, I got back to running on August 16th. It felt so good to get back out there that I ended up running 6 days in a row. Even though it’s only 1.6 miles around Duke’s East Campus Wall (and I only did 1 lap), I accept it as an accomplishment that I ran more consecutive days than I think I have ever done. My average pace is about a minute faster per mile than it was on the beach, too.

Run by the Bronto statue at the side of the trail
Give the old bronto a salute while you run by on Ellerbe Creek Trail.

I am working on upping my distance now, and so I decided 3 miles today would work out. But I also thought that, while the East Campus Wall is great for short runs, the trail is sloped, which makes me worry about an uneven gait. So, today was Ellerbe Creek Trail, which is actually closer to my home anyway and more shaded, since I’m not an early riser.  It was great for me, and I did notice that I had a bit of a heel strike on my right foot, so my gait concerns were justified, I will keep running this trail for a while to straighten all that out.

There are two other things that have made my more recent runs better: my headphones and my new utility belt. At these short distances, I don’t need to carry water, but I do need my phone (for music and Nike+ Running app) and my car keys. I tried an armband and hated it. I bought a running belt for about $40 specially designed to hold my keys and phone, but it bounced the entire run and was terribly distracting and uncomfortable. Then I saw FlipBelt. I was going to buy one (and may still – later), but it really is a nylon-spandex tube with some slits in it to stuff your gear into, so I just made one from an old pair of running pants I don’t wear anymore. 15 minutes with scissors and a sewing machine, and I had my DIY knockoff.

Long story short: IT WORKS. It stays on my hips, doesn’t bounce, and I don’t notice it at all. Honestly, it is the best thing ever. I can also use it to put my ice pack in after my run to wrap around my ankle as I’m doing now.

The other thing I can’t live without while running are my Sennheiser Adidas PMX 680i headphones. I was skeptical about them, but they stay put, are comfortable, and the sound is really fantastic. Plus, sweating won’t destroy them. I have put them through their paces, and the sound is just as rich as it was the first time I used them. When you’re trying to build your way back into running strong, you need to get all the distractions out of your way, and the FlipBelt and headphones are how I do that.

High Instep Shoe Lacing
Though more comfortable this way, I think I need different running shoes.

Next, I need to find the right shoes, because mine aren’t quite doing it for me. When I meet my month challenge of running at least 3x a week, I’ll reward myself with a new pair, but in the meantime, I will say that this method of tying your shoes does make things more comfy for those of us with high arches.

Note: I have been in no way compensated for my opinions. They are my own and not influenced by anyone else.
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