Running dry

Everyone is talking about it. It is the talk of the town. It is on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. The excitement is palpable… Did you hear that…

Hyde Park on 14/04/13
Hyde Park on 14/04/13

… apparently spring has arrived!! Yesterday (Sunday) we finally had up to 18C and it was sunny. Yes, sunny. T-shirts sufficed and sunblock was rubbed in. It was windy as well but even the wind was warm. We just didn’t know what to do with ourselves. The husband, Monkey and me went for a long walk in Hyde Park yesterday and it was glorious. It is a bit ridiculous though that it’s mid-April and we don’t really have any leaves on trees. A couple of good days and I am sure that will come. All the terraces outside pubs were heaving and the parks were full of people making the most of the weather. Lovely!

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The Italian Fountains at Hyde Park
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Monkey scootering through Hyde Park – lack of leaves makes it look like winter!

Though you are not here for the weather report are you? No, didn’t think so. How about a report on my feeble efforts to hydrate whilst running?

Karrimor 2 bottle belt from Sports Direct

To go back, as I told you, I purchased an el cheapo waterbelt by Karrimor. Not the prettiest thing in the world but my thinking was that I just wanted WATER, even if carrying this piece of kit made me look like a deranged Barbie.

I first tried it out on Thursday when I dragged my tired ass out of bed at 0520am to get a run in before the day started. I was quite excited – could this be the day my life would be altered forever and I became a running legend; all because I had water with me!? I also stashed some organic jelly babies into the pocket of the belt – for some extra energy. I had no idea if the belt was meant to be worn with the bottles at the front (which I suspect is the case) or at the back so I just went by what felt best. I tried it with the bottles at the front first and it bounced so I turned the belt around. The bottles sat snuggly against my lower back (wedged in by my bum), though I had to wear it around my waist. I just had to turn the belt around to get a drink which was a right faff. 8 kilometers into the run the belt buckle was massaging my stomach uncomfortably, probably muttering a spell trying to summon the Gingerbread Man.

I did 12 kilometer run and for the two sips I took I don’t think it really was worth the stomach pain I got from the belt.

Attempt #2 came on Saturday – my long run day. The day was a mixed bag of sun and cloud but not as cold as it had been. Luckily though, not as warm as it was the day after. I took the belt thinking I will wear it a bit lower on my hips and it would work better. And with the plan to do a long run I would need the hydration. I adjusted the belt low on my hips and off I went. For about 10 metres when it had climbed up to around my waist and I had to push it down again. And again. And again. I ran with my hands on the belt, trying to keep it down. It climbed up and bounced around my waist. For the 20 seconds it would stay down around my hips, it felt good. Too bad I am a woman and the difference between my waist and hips makes it impossible for it to stay put. I turned back home after 1 km to drop it back home and start again – sans water.

My run on Saturday was just over 21km which I was very happy about but I am pretty pissed off that I couldn’t make the belt work.

I have been hearing many good things about the Nathan belt and am considering buying it. Probably in the “Speed 2R Auto-Cant” version as it is supposed to “move perfectly with your hip motion during run” (gotta love a good marketing spiel). Or is it possible for a woman to have a belt which is snug but won’t ride up?

In the meanwhile I have succumbed and bought one of those handheld bottles until I find a long-term solution to the problem. I absolutely hate and loath the idea of carrying something in my hand whilst running (in addition to my tissue) but I did realise during my recovery run on Sunday that I won’t be able to do even 20km without water once the weather warms up. Don’t take this to be a complaint about the weather though – let’s hope this is the beginning of a beautiful summer.

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