Saturday, February 5, 2011

Rainy day = new gear

I have been leading an occasional group run for a Meetup called 5K Begin-agains, and I was supposed to lead one this afternoon. Unfortunately, the morning ice left the trails in slippery shape, which forced me to cancel the run. Since the roads looked like they were in decent shape, I took the opportunity to head out and do a little gear shopping. I had a Groupon to use at Philadelphia Runner in Glen Mills, and I have been interested in checking out the new Merrell Barefoot Trail Glove shoes at Trail Creek Outfitters, which is in the same shopping center.

Santa forgot to get me a running vest (or I forgot to ask for it). While at Philadelphia Runner, I found a perfect vest, in my size, from Nike. It's almost identical to my Brooks Essential Run Jacket, except for the color, but without the sleeves. This vest will make a nice outer layer for cooler days, but it is probably not enough for the coldest days. I picked up a few little things while I was there, such as Body Glide, and some speed laces. One thing that I liked about this store is that they have a treadmill so you can try out their running shoes. I even saw one of their customers using it while I was there. The Groupon definitely made the trip worth it, but since the store is not real close, I will probably not be a regular customer.

My next stop was Trail Creek Outfiters, where I knew the Merrell Trail Gloves were in stock. These shoes were just released earlier this week, and I have had my eye on them for a while. I have been looking for a new minimalist shoe that would look more traditional, and that I could wear with heavier socks in colder weather. I have been using Vibram FiveFingers for about 10 months, and they are great shoes, but they are not something that I really want to wear all the time. The Merrell's have a nice, casual appearance, so I can wear them on and off the trail. The only downside to buying them here is that they do not have a treadmill, or any place to try them out, besides walking around the store, so I gave them a thorough walk in the store before making the decision to go ahead and buy them. I was very impressed that they were true to size, and their fit is snug but roomy. I will write a more thorough review of them later, once I have had a chance to try them for a few runs.

After my shopping, I got on my indoor trainer, and did some spinning for about 50 minutes. I got a chance to try out some other recently purchased gear. I recently bought a new WTB Pure V Race saddle, and went ahead and installed it before my ride. It was better than my old saddle, but I think I need to do a few adjustments to get it perfect. I also picked up a Travel Trac Book Caddy at Performance Bike, so I could do some reading while spinning. It worked out perfectly with my Kindle and I look forward to being able to catch up on a few books while doing my workouts. Combine that with some Pandora on my BlackBerry and it was perfect... almost. If only I could find a better way to get the garage warmed up. My ceiling mounted heater can only do so much.

Tomorrow, I am going to get outside and take advantage of the daylight hours (and hopefully some of that elusive sun) to get a good run in. Take care!

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