Category Archives: Gear

New Gear from UltrAspire

I love getting new gear. I also love getting packages in the mail. Today was a double whammy because I got a package full of new gear!

I’ve been wanting a new pack to run and race with. I love my Ultimate Direction Wink (mine is a few years old and they look updated now), but I want something a bit more streamlined and minimal. Cade loves his UltrAspire pack so that’s where I decided to turn and look for something new.

UltrAspire is a pretty cool company. From what I understand, the guy that owns it (or is otherwise involved) has developed products for Nathan and for Ultimate Direction. It seems that his years of development has culminated in a pretty great product line with UltrAspire.

When Cade ordered his pack last year, the company representatives went out of their way to find him what he wanted even though it was on backorder. Pretty awesome. On this order I put a note that we wanted the items in time for Western States and I got an email the next morning that everything had already shipped. Excellent customer service and turnaround time.

I thought I ordered the package to be delivered to my office, so I was super pumped to see a box on my deck when I got home early this afternoon.

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I opened the box to see this:

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So excited!!

We ordered quite a few things. Cade ordered two extra bottles to fit in his running pack. He has the 2012 Kinetic pack so he ordered two more of the Human 20F bottles.

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I ordered a bit more…

First, before I continue, here’s a cute picture of one of our dogs, Dweasel. She’s helping me type on the deck.

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I drink a lot of water when I run. In the summer, no matter how short the run, I will carry at least a hand-held water bottle. I bought an Isomeric Race 20 for short runs and races. I usually carry a hand-held in triathlons so I can drink on demand instead of waiting for an aid station. This bottle has no pouches to carry food, just a strap that doubles as a sweat wiper.

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I also bought an Isomeric Magnon Handheld. This one I will use for slightly longer efforts- probably between 3-8 miles. It has a pocket to stash some food as well as a sweat proof pocket with a magnetic closure specifically for carrying electrolyte capsules like Endurolytes or Salt Sticks. The magnetic pocket looks pretty cool. I’m interested to see how user friendly it is.

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And last, but certainly not least, I bought an Alpha Race Vest. This thing looks so awesome. It came folded up so tiny!

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I opened it up and am in love already. It is super lightweight and made of a mesh type fabric. I don’t think it will be particularly hot. It has several different pockets in the front including a sweat proof magnetic pocket for electrolytes just like the hand-held I bought. The sides are made of a stretchy mesh and have a little pocket on each side that would be perfect for nutrition wrappers.

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The back has a pocket for a 2 Liter bladder (included) as well as stretchy cords for securing a jacket on the outside of the pack. There’s also a pouch pocket that can be accessed from either side- without taking the pack off! Both ends of the pouch are secured by magnets so I won’t have to worry about things falling out. This is perfect for stashing gloves or a headlamp.

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I’m so excited about this pack. I’m going to have to hide it so it doesn’t go… missing. Cade has already asked me if he can wear it at Western States this weekend. Maybe I’ll let him if he’s especially nice to me, but I get to try it first!

I can’t wait to try out my new gear. I just don’t know which thing to try first!

Logan was “helping” on the deck too.

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* I am in no way affiliated with UltrAspire and I purchased all of these items. However, if UltrAspire thought it appropriate to send me something in the future, I certainly wouldn’t say no!

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What a Difference!

What a difference a tune up makes!

I’ve been really fighting on the bike this spring (Quintana Roo Dulce, 2011). While I can normally roll along pushing pretty big gears and carrying some speed, I just haven’t had it lately. My bike time at the Omaha Women’s Triathlon was not good. People were dropping me left and right and I just couldn’t hang. I thought it was all of the cookies and cupcakes and off-time over the winter…

Turns out it was only partially the cookies and cupcakes and off-time. I took my bike in for a tune up this weekend at Greenstreet Cycles. She got a new chain (mine was apparently way stretched out), a new bottom bracket (mine was all gunked up), cables were adjusted, cassette was cleaned, and everything was all spiffed up.

I took her for a spin last night. WOW! We’re back! I had been so frustrated riding that I just didn’t even want to do it. But last night, I got that feeling back. I was riding on roads that I was struggling to push 15mph just last week and cruising 18-20mph no problem. I was hammering into a pretty good headwind still averaging almost 18mph. I flew up a long hill dumping a friend who had seriously dumped me just a couple weeks ago. Man, that felt good.

We ended up riding just under 30 miles. I can’t wait to go again. What a relief.

My Collection of Shoes

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I love running shoes. I especially love the New Balance Minimus line. These are the shoes in my rotation right now.

Back row from the left:
1. Newton Distance S. I wore these shoes during my Ironman. They are not my favorites because they are a bit too stiff for my liking, but they are good shoes. I don’t run in them much because I want them to be something that they are not- flexible. They are good for days that I want a little extra cushion.
2. New Balance Minimus Road 00. I raced all of 2012 in these super light zero drop shoes, with the exception of Ironman. They are very flexible and have a nice liner for running without socks. This pair is a little rough these days and is retired.
3. New Balance Minimus WT1010. These light flexible trail shoes offer good grip on the trail and have a rock plate. I wore this pair at the 2012 Run Rabbit Run 50 (I dropped at mile 29).

Front row left to right:
4. New Balance Minimus 10V2. These are my current favorite road shoes. They are light and flexible with a 4 millimeter drop. I had trouble with blisters at first, but found that they are much better for me without socks. No socks, no blisters. Works for me.
5. This is a new pair of New Balance Minimus Road 00s to replace the yellow ones.
6. This is a second pair of New Balance Minimus WT1010 to rotate in with the purple and gray pair.

One can never have too many running shoes. I want more!