I'm linking up with the Weekly Run Down, please head over to Kim and Deborah to check it out.
Monday: 4 miles easy, and then a trip up to the Big City to complete Operation Poke-Poke (pardon my my irreverence, I am very grateful for the vaccine and owe a debt that I cannot repay to the many, many people who got the vaccine from a theory into my arm).
After the shot, I did isometric arm curls and isometric chest presses. Right afterwards, I visited my office where I kept up the isometrics and added in some one-armed wall pushups. Two hours later I was back home and I did a strength workout. Obviously this is not science and individual results will surely vary, but in my opinion I think the activity helped with the arm soreness.
Tuesday: I can't say whether the side effects to shot #2 were the same or slightly better, but running was off the table. I didn't sleep very well on Monday night, and I had a bit of chills and some warm spells (no fever) plus what I can only describe as a hangover.
I was 100% certain that I would be 100% on Wednesday, so I asked my coach if I should catch up on Tuesday's planned easy 5 miles or stick with the planned rest day. Her verdict: skip it!
Wednesday: I felt like a million dollars, and enjoyed "following coach's orders".
Thursday: I was so ready to run! 2 mile warm up, 3 miles at pace, one mile cool down. Strength in the evening.
Friday: an easy 3.
Saturday: long run day! I had 9 miles and was able to meet up with friends for the middle section. They chose a park with a 2 mile trail that I had never been to before. I hesitated since I like a good out n' back rather than a loop-de-loop, but the park turned out to be Long Run Gold. It's a paved path with a ton of variety in elevation and scenery. The only downside is that there isn't much shade, so I wouldn't do a long run there on a super sunny day, but it was my area's stereotypical overcast day so it was perfect.
The run got a bit tough after the group dropped off in miles 7 & 8, but it wasn't that bad and I kept the ol' left-foot-right-foot act up. For mile 9 I used a technique that I picked up from Laura Norris (truly, I don't just read running blogs, I take notes), which was to count down by tenths of a mile. Once I was in the last 0.2, I was able to pick up the pace and really gun it.
All About My Hydration Vest
The big, big notable of Saturday's long run is that it was my first run ever with a hydration vest!!! Not only was it good, it was so good that I do not think I will ever be able to run without one.
I hesitated so long in getting a hydration pack because they're expensive and I imagined that they would be awkward to wear. It just didn't seem natural to wear a backpack when running. There are a million hydration packs on the market with a billion reviews (seriously, every vest on the market has a bunch of "this thing is the greatest thing ever" reviews followed by a bunch of "this thing ruined my life" reviews). But after I ran out of water on last week's long run I made myself fight through my analysis paralysis and picked something that looked like it would do the job with the criteria:
- Less than $100.
- 2 liter bladder and room for another water bottle in the front pocket.
- Female specific "one size fits most". I saw so many negative reviews on sized vests. Examples: "I'm 5'1" and 100 pounds soaking wet but the extra large was way too small" paired up with "I'm 5'9" and 200 pounds and the medium is OK but I wish I'd gotten the small". Knowing that small, medium, and large are all correct tee shirt sizes for me, I didn't want "size drama" from my hydration pack. Pro tip: the vest arrived with all of the straps in the tightest position, so there was an OMG moment when I attempted to try it on for the first time. I quickly figured out how to loosen things up, and for sure this vest would fit a smaller person and a much larger person. The front strap slides up and down so you can position it anywhere that your chest needs the strap to be.
At first I wasn't sure if it was worth bringing the backpack on the run since yesterday was a fairly cool day so I knew that my normal 10 oz water bottle should be enough, and I was looping past my car every few miles so I could have refilled if needed. But I'm running a race next weekend, so I didn't want that to be the first time that I used the pack (or not use the pack and let it sit around for more than 2 weeks without trying it) so I decided to break it out for its trial run.
The only negative thing that I have to say about the pack is that my back felt pretty warm toward the end of the run, but weather wise it was an "uncanny valley" kind of a day where it was neither warm nor cold. I think all runners know what I mean when I say that I spent 9 miles trying to decide if I should take my outer long sleeved shirt off - it was too warm to keep it on but too cold to take it off.
Now let's talk positives:
Hydration on demand!!!! There are two kinds of people in this world, and what both kinds have in common is that they cannot conceive of the idea of drinking 8 glasses of water a day. One side thinks that's too much, and my side would feel dehydrated if we ever drank that little. Guys, I drink water like a fish. I carry an 18 oz water bottle with me at all times and I refill it constantly throughout the day. The only reason that I drink as little as I do when I run is because I'm distracted. Even for my 3 & 4 milers I usually take my 10 oz FlipBelt bottle so that I have something to drink during my cool down walk afterwards. For long runs, it takes a bit of coordination to pull the bottle out of my belt, uncap it, and then drink. I *can* do this while running, but usually I take a quickie walk break or pause to drink. 10 oz of water isn't very much, so I'm very stingy.
BUT when the water is in a tube, there's no coordination or slowdown required. All I have to do is put the tube in my mouth, bite the valve, and drink. And when there's a 2 liter supply, there's nothing to ration (at least not for the distances that I currently run). So that's the huge game changer that's making me say after just one run that the backpack will be coming with me on all long runs from here on out, and probably a good deal of my shorter runs this summer.
More storage options!!! I've joked before that my flip belt is so big that I can fit my house in there but there are some exceptions. There's no good way to carry my airpods case, so I have to commit to headphones or no headphones at the start of the run. I also can't put sunglasses in the belt. Oh hey it's really nice to have pockets on the front of my backpack for both of these items.
For purposes of carrying my phone, the FlipBelt is #1 so it's not going anywhere, but the back pack will be the place for all of my other carry-on items from now on.
Comfort!!! It feels good, and once I started running, I honestly forgot that I was wearing it. I'll update you once I wear it with a tank top.
FWIW Another reason why I hesitated to get a hydration vest is because it looked like kinda a pain to clean the bladder AND let's be honest, I'm kinda lazy. One tip that I've seen is that a lot of people (gasp) don't clean their bladders! No, they're not dirty birds, they are high efficient human beings who just toss the whole kit n'caboodle in the freezer between uses. So that's what I'm doing.
So the moral of the story is: based on one use I am sorry that I waited so long to try a hydration vest. I have been wrong about many things in my life, and this is one of many examples of where it's good to be wrong. I am very happy with the vest that I got for the reasons that I listed, but I can't say "OMG this is the ONLY vest in the world and you should drop everything and get one RIGHT NOW!!!". I think it would be really interesting to try other vests, but oh snap, I think this one is going to last for a long time so I don't anticipate moving on anytime soon.
So many runners were wearing hydration vests at my race yesterday. I was a little confused--it was cold and it was only 10 miles. But after reading your post, I understand why! Which vest did you settle on?ReplyDelete
Yep! It's like a big old light switch got turned on and now I know that I don't have to chose between long runs and water. I put the link at the start of my rambling, but here it is again: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01NALJI53/ref=ppx_od_dt_b_asin_title_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1Delete
I feel the same about my hydration vest. I love it and can't imagine not running with it. I bought it last summer and used it all winter too. Love the storage. Glad your vaccine shot did not hold you back too much this week. Have a good one!ReplyDelete
I get it! After just one run this vest is practically a member of my family.Delete
Glad you were wrong about those side effects. It's so unpredictable.ReplyDelete
I don't have a hydration vest and don't plan on one. Though many like it. I trained for a full marathon without one so I guess I'm good lol
I was wrong about hydration vests, not side effects lol! Agree, if you've gotten to a full without a vest you don't need one;-)Delete
Interesting idea about freezing the bladder...with the idea that the temp kills any bacteria? I had trying to clean mine, definitely a reason I don't wear it much.ReplyDelete
I think the idea is that mold can't grow in the freezer. I saw just enough people say it on message boards to make me think that the idea has merit.Delete
Okay we can compare vests! Mine is completely different, and I had some chafing under the arms. Yours looks like that wouldn't be a problem, but having a hot back WOULD be a problem for me. But I agree with you- I love it. It's crazy I've run so long in Florida without one. I'm determined to fix the chafing problem so I can still use it!ReplyDelete
High five to the "first week with a vest" club! I feel like I saw a few reviews that said the pack was comfortable in heat, but it's all very subjective. I'm hoping that having water will balance out any heat issues. Yesterday was a "too hot - too cold" day and I was wearing two shirts, so I just haven't done the full range of testing yet.Delete
Your experience with the hydration vest has me intrigued. I have tried a handheld and a hydration belt and don't love either option. Glad you've had such a good first experience with it!ReplyDelete
I was so reluctant to try one b/c they are expensive and I was certain that it was going to be uncomfortable. But now that I know differently good times are ahead.Delete
I love that hydration vests have so much extra storage space! And I love not having to carry a bottle in my hand. I have a feeling I will be using mine alot during the summer months!ReplyDelete
You and me both!Delete
I have a very similar-looking Nathan. I do keep it in the freezer “in season” but the Nathan bladder really is easy to clean, and I turn it inside-out to dry completely before putting it away. It can get warm on your back, but if you start with it frozen (fill halfway and freeze, then fill the rest of the way for your run), it feels great for most of a long run. I use it most on my bike,ReplyDelete
That's a great tip about starting with partly frozen water! I will try that.Delete
Glad you found a HV you love! I wore a fuel belt for years before finally biting the bullet. As tired as I might be post-run, I always ALWAYS rinse out the bladder and straw after use and let it dry out. On hot days I ice throw ice in the bladder and it's like air conditioning!ReplyDelete
I don't have the kitchen space to leave it out and I just don't feel like I would ever get the hose dry. That's why I'm Team Freezer.Delete
Total win on the vest! Sounds like we had similar vax hangovers LOL I had some grogginess, for about 24 hours, but nothing major. My arm, though. HOLY OUCH! Had I waited on the shot (and gotten it Friday morning), this morning's 13.1 would not have been so pleasant. Crazy how everyone is reacting differently to the vaccine.ReplyDelete
I know! So many people had no reaction what so ever. I'm glad that you had a few extra days between the shot and your race.Delete
I love that you love your hydration vest, Birchie!ReplyDelete
I was thinking that 2 litres might be too much (most ultras only require 1.5 litres).
But for runners who drink like a fish, it's the right fit! This will work well for your race next weekend.
Exactly, it's a big problem to not have enough water but totally OK to have more than I need.Delete
Operation Poke Poke. I might have to b orrow that. totally with you on the admiration, but if we can't laugh, when can we? I'm trying to move my arm, but arm/shoulder workout would not happen right now.ReplyDelete
So glad you found a hydration vest that works. I'm also Team All the Water, all the time. Almost finished a 20 oz on a barely mild 4m because I can't do dry mouth.
100% if we don't laugh we'll cry. I'm a big fan of the term "Faucci ouchie" as well. I'd heard it before you left it in a comment, but that always makes me giggle. Last year I didn't realize that I needed to eat before I run until I started doing it, and I think it's going to be the same story on the water. Now that I know what it's like to run with water on demand I probably won't go back to the old way.Delete
Awesome running, Renee! So glad to read that your side effects after the 2nd shot weren't too bad. I went to Body Pump class (virtual) after my first shot, and I think the arm movements helped with soreness too. I get my 2nd one next week. I'm also a fan of counting down the final tenths of a hard run or even a race.ReplyDelete
Yay for your 2nd shot!!!Delete
Ugh. I hope that I don't have a vaccine hangover tomorrow. Eek.ReplyDelete
I am on team no water. I just can't drink it. I had to drink like three glasses before my vaccine last time and I thought I was going to drown on th inside. Is that possible? I joke that I am the next step in evolution: I can survive without water.
Yep, water is totally individual. The only time I'm not chugging is when I'm sleeping.Delete
I am almost positive I have the same hydration vest. I bought mine at REI and I also like it a lot. I haven't done a really long run in a long time so I have not used it in over a year. I was good about cleaning the bladder but then got lazy. Eventually I bought a new one but now since I have not it, I might need another one. When it goes get hot, fill half of it with water and freeze it. Then the next morning fill it up with more water and you'll have cold water for your run. The best!ReplyDelete
Nice! I can't wait to try freezing water this summer.Delete
Thanks so much for the detailed thoughts on the hydration pack. I am someone who drinks their 8 oz glasses of water every day, but I run most runs without water (or I stop at water fountains on the way). I am super-intrigued now to try a hydration vest, though.ReplyDelete
I was surprised by how much I liked it. Unfortunately all of our water fountains are still in quarantine.Delete
I'm glad you like the vest so much! I keep thinking I want one, but I agree, toooooo many choices!! I am the "hardly drinks" camp. I carry one small water bottle on my 19 mile runs and unless it's hot or humid out, I'll only drink maybe half of it. Some day I'd like to be out on the trails running and I think I'd like a vest. Maybe this will be the year!ReplyDelete
I cannot even when there are 50 million choices and 50 million reviews. But I'm happy that I finally plowed through it and got my vest.Delete
sounds like you did the right thing with resting after your vax shot! and hooray for the hydration vest! I love mine! I drink so much water it's kind of insane. I sweat a LOT too especially when it's warm but let's be honest I'm just a sweat-er, period. I used to put a full bladder in the freezer AND have the collapsable bottles filled as well in the front pocket ha! AND still had enough room to put other stuff in there. Total win if you ask me!ReplyDelete
Yep! You described my life perfectly. That's exactly what it's like.Delete