SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway

A while back the folks at SLS3 reached out to me about reviewing their new Dual Pocket Run Belt. I gladly accepted as this kind of belt wasn’t something I was already using. I wasn’t sure how often I would actually use it since I already have a couple of different belts with bottles built in, but I figured it was worth a shot. To my surprise I used it on almost every run I did (up until I fractured my foot a few weeks ago).IMG_20160225_094406

 

Here’s what I liked the most:

I liked that both pockets have a water resistant lining to them. In the past I’ve had my phone or money get all soaked with sweat when they’ve been tucked into arm bands or other storage devices. This time none of that happened, it was nice to hand the woman at the coffee shop a dry five dollar bill for a change instead of one saturated in filth. The second thing I liked about the Dual Pocket Run Belt was that the pockets were very stretchy. They easily fit my Droid Turbo cell phone with a case on it, I could stuff a ton of gels, snacks, money, ID, keys, etc. inside without worrying about anything falling out since they zip shut. The other thing I liked about it was how well it stayed put. The waistband is one size fits all and is easily adjusted, and the strap is also elastic so it moves when you move. I wore it front facing and rear facing, and both ways it worked with minimal bounce. I was even able to tuck it under my shirt so no one even knew I was carrying my phone or keys with me. I also liked the fact that instead of one big pocket it was two divided pockets. This meant that I could keep the stuff I didn’t need access to while running like keys, money, ID, and phone separate from my gels and food. I wasn’t worried about losing that stuff on the move because it was totally sealed off from the stuff I was going to be grabbing on the run. I only used this item for road running, but I can see myself using it for trail running a lot as well. When I have my AK 2.0 Vest on I like the bottles upfront, but that makes it harder to store food in an easily accessible place. With the Dual Pocket Run Belt I can see myself storing my food in the belt so that I can carry water in the vest or in a hand held bottle more easily.

Plenty of fuel, and the essentials

Plenty of fuel, and the essentials

Fits it all with room to spare

Fits it all with room to spare

 

Here’s what I think could be improved:

There was honestly nothing I could find to criticize about this run belt. It served it’s purpose quite well and I know I’ll be using it a lot more once I’m back on my feet.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Now if you want your own SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt the folks at SLS3 were kind enough to offer one up for raffle to one lucky reader. Just enter through the Rafflecopter Link below. If you don’t win but still want to get your hands on one of these belts SLS3 is having a promotion through Amazon right now. The belt usually retails for $29.90, but they’re taking off 57% so it’ll only cost you $12.90. Good luck everyone, hope you enjoy the Dual Pocket Run Belt as much as I did! Also 

Link to Rafflecopter

(this product was provided for review purposes, however all opinions are my own)

 

PS don’t forget about the link-up with Erica over at Erica Finds! You can enter a whole bunch of great giveaways each week.weds-giveaway-roundup-2016

Whoa it’s 2016 already?

Creeeeekk….What’s that? Oh the sound of this blog slowly being pulled open again after nearly 8 months. That’s right I’m BAACKK. The past 8 months have been some of the busiest of my life and for my sanity I had to put the blog on the back burner for a while.  I can happily say in the last 8 months I’ve graduated nursing school, begun the process of moving to New York City, and most importantly spent more time running than ever before.

This past summer I ran more trail miles than I ever thought I would before, and one of my favorite days was spent alone running up and down Mount Adams in northern New Hampshire. Besides escaping to the mountains I also ran my first Fell Race, which if you haven’t heard of this style of racing you need to check it out! I would love to see more of these in the United States. I also got my butt handed to me at the Wapack Trail Race. I thought it would be smart to run 18 miles of trails, in 85 degree heat, having only a long run of 10 road miles under my belt….let’s just say I bonked hard and it if wasn’t for the help of two dudes named Bob I would have probably gone home in an ambulance from dehydration/heat stroke. As summer turned to fall I backed off from racing and just tried to put in some consistent miles between finishing my last semester of school. I figured spending less time blogging, and more time running was a good trade off.

Right now most of my time is spent hunting for my first nursing job. I was going to write how excited I was to announce my plans to run the Vermont City Marathon this spring, however last week I finished a run with a familiar nagging pain in my foot. I am assuming it’s another stress fracture but haven’t been able to get an appointment with my doctor because he’s on vacation. Until then I’m wearing the boot that I had from the last stress fracture I had (on my other foot last time). It’s a real bummer but I’m trying not to get too bent out of shape over it because obviously I was pushing too hard and need to back off for a bit. In the meantime I think I might join the local YMCA and try doing some pool running/swimming to keep my fitness up in a low impact way. Some good news is that I’ve got a new product review and giveaway of the SLS3 dual pocket running belt coming up this week. Stay tuned to hear my thoughts about their new product, and for your chance to win one of your own.

P.S.  Here’s some pictures I was able to scrounge together from the past 8 months, that’s all for now!

Post Fells Race

Post Fells Race

Top of Mt. Adams

Top of Mt. Adams

My first DNF from this fall

My first DNF from this fall

Half Marathon the day after the Fell Race

Half Marathon the day after the Fell Race

After the 1st climb up Bretton Woods Ski Resort

After the 1st climb up Bretton Woods Ski Resort

My First Trail Race

 

This weekend I ran my first official trail race! It was the Emerson Trail Race in Concord which helps raise funds for the Emerson Pre-school. There were two race options available; a long course (9.9 miles) and a short course (5K). I opted for the short course since I’m still working on SLOWLY building my mileage back up this year to prevent more overuse injuries. I woke up Saturday to a beautiful sunny day, and was excited and anxious on my to the race. I met some of my friends from Runner’s Alley at the race and for most of us it was our first trail race so we were all pretty excited for a new racing experience.

Runner's Alley Crew

Runner’s Alley Crew

Coming into the race I had looked at last years results and saw that a lot of the really competitive runners from the area ran the long course last year. This made me hopeful that I might be able to place on the short course. I’ve also been running these same trails in Winant Park since it’s literally right behind the hospital that I work at. My friend Ty and I lined up near the front since we were hoping to get out front early. The race went off and a few guys speed right to the front. I knew they were in the long course so I didn’t try to catch them, but they were flying at a pace faster than my 5K pace. It was really impressive to see how fast these trail guys can motor up the hills we hit about half a mile in. There was a split where the long course and short course separated and when I looked back I couldn’t see anyone behind me. I was didn’t realize how fast I had gone out until this point. From that split on I just tried to keep a steady pace and not burn myself out before the downhill finish. Luckily I was able to stay up front and ended up winning the short course! I have never won a race before so this was kind of fun, and my friend Ty came in second right behind me. I know that most of the real competitive guys ran the long course so it’s not real impressive, but none the less it was fun leading the pack for a change.

Team Saucony Peregrine

Team Saucony Peregrine

Emerson 2All in all I had a great time racing the trails. I liked that it was a much smaller field than a lot of other races, it made things more laid back and you could tell a lot of the other runners knew each other pretty well. I knew running a trail race would take a lot more out of me as I’ve been running more trails this spring already. I had no idea just how sore I would be after racing though. Even just doing the short course really beat me up. My knee feels normal, but my quads, glutes, hips, and calves were pretty sore the next morning. I took Sunday off but ran yesterday (in the middle of the hottest day we’ve had yet…yes I’m a glutton for punishment) and my legs still felt pretty lead filled. Despite my soreness I can’t wait to do more trails this summer and I’m already planning out my next trail race.

 

Trail Running Film Fest coming to Concord!

Trail Movies, Beer, Friends! What could be better than that?!?! (except maybe peanut butter?)Film Fest Photo

 

This week I’m going to be attending the Trail Running Film Fest being put on by Rainshadow Running.  I first heard about this online from The Ginger Runner, and I was pumped to find from my local running shop that the festival was making a stop in my area. This Wednesday night you can see a ton of films all about trail running! The films start at 6pm at Red River Theaters in Concord.  Runner’s Alley will be there raffling of some gaiters, gift cards, and  giving $5 coupons to each person attending.

If you want to know more about the films being shown head over to The Trail Running Film Fest website here, and you can buy your ticket in advance here. I’m pretty excited that they’re making a stop in NH (which can sometimes be a pretty boring place) so check this out Wednesday night cause it should be a great time! Who wouldn’t have fun with movies about running, beer, raffles, and friends!

 

Goals for 2015

This year has been full of ups and down, but mostly ups! Since I’m still rehabbing my knee and can’t run as much I’ve decided planning for races I can’t even run yet is a better idea.

Run a 1:30 or less half marathon

When I ran my first half last spring I had no real expectations, all I knew was that I wanted to run sub 1:45. I surprised myself by finishing in 1:34! I probably could have gone faster but I was holding back a little bit because I had no idea what running 13.1 miles would be like (and that beer I drank at mile 9 slowed me down for a little bit with all the carbonation).  I really want to run more halfs next year. I loved the combination of distance and speed required to run a good race so I’m hoping next year I can PR and run 1:30 or less.

Finish marathon training as a healthy runner

Last season training started out great, but as the miles increased and school began I definitely got thrown out of my rythym. This caused me to bunch long milage together, skip workouts, and try to play catch up. At the time I was so focused on getting the miles in. Instead I should have been focused on staying healthy. With bad training habits, less sleep, and more stress my body started to revolt. I ended up with some pretty bad Patellofemoral Pain (Runner’s Knee) that I still haven’t gotten rid of. My knee and I have been in quite the on again, off again relationship for the past few months. The good news is that it’s getting better, and I really like the new PT I’m working with. Next year I want to run another marathon, but I want to do it smarter. I know if I would have been healthier I could have run a much better race.

Run some trail races

At the end of this year I really started to fall in love with trail running. I ran cross country in high school but never really thought of it as trail running, however this year I started running more trails in hopes that the surface change would help my knee pain. It didn’t really make much of a difference but it did spark something inside of me and I found myself being drawn into the woods more often. I like the lack of traffic, people, and distractions. It’s a different experience feeling totally focused in on what you’re doing step by step. When running the trails you’re almost laser focused in on each step, it’s not as easy to go into autopilot. It’s kind of counter intuitive but it feels more meditative than road running to me. I don’t know if it has something to do with being more present and in the moment, but I find it easier to leave life’s distractions behind, and just focus on not falling flat on my face. I can’t wait to take more time to run trails next spring, especially because we just got state park license plates to entry to all NH state parks is free!

If I’m healthy run a 50K by the end of the year

I’m really just throwing this out there but I want to run a 50K. I know it sounds cray with how badly I crashed and burned on my marathon this year, but I’ve heard from others it’s a very different kind of challenge and its just something that’s been lurking in the back of my head for a while now. I know this goal will only happen if I can stay healthy next year so I’m just gonna wait it out and see how things go. If it happens in 2015 that’s awesome, if not there’s always next year!

 

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

This was a much more successful week for me. Not because I accomplished something big, I didn’t run very far or very fast, and I didn’t accomplish the milage goal written on my training schedule. This week was successful because of the small victories. It’s not news that I’ve been feeling a little disappointed with my running and eating lately, but this week I made some small changes that I’m hoping to build on next week. For me if I try to change my routine too rapidly I just get overwhelmed and sit in a static state on the couch, frozen in place.

The first thing I did was meal plan! After eating some healthier, homemade, non-processed, or restaurant made meals I found myself waking up feeling more refreshed. I just feel better when I eat better, and I certainly run better. Even though I only planned for the second half of the week, since I was in VT until Tuesday, starting small has brought back some inspiration. I’m looking forward to starting next week off on a positive note.

My second small victory was getting some somewhat pain free running in. I had some achilles pain which went away but was quickly followed by patellofemoral pain syndrome. I’ve had this before and my sports doc says it’s basically irritation/inflammation beneath the kneecap. Unfortunately the only thing I can really do for it is rest/ice it. This only allowed me one 8 mile run while in VT 😦  On Wednesday I still upheld my #verbal for November Project and showed up to Harvard Stadium with my friend Christine who was visiting from the Denver tribe. I walked about half the stadium and made sure once I felt a little tightness in my knee I stopped before things started to hurt. Thursday I woke up expecting to feel soreness but my knee was feeling ok. Unfortunately I was waking up at 3:30am to get back to work.

After a really crappy at work I came home feeling exhausted and grumpy and not in a mood to run. After a semi-unintentional nap I basically shamed forced myself into going running. I knew I would just go short since I didn’t wanna push my knee too hard. Jogging up my hill in the light rain and cool breeze took my mind off everything else stressing me out. I don’t know what came over me but I was drawn to the trail behind my neighborhood. I usually run most of my miles on the road just because that’s what I’m used to and pretty much all my races are on the road. For whatever reason this trail run was exactly what I needed. The light rain and overcast sky left the woods enveloped in a misty haze. It felt like I had left civilization behind, and I liked that. It was just me, the trail, and my shoes. Even though it was a short three mile loop this run really left me feeling rejuvenated. My knee felt good, and my mind felt clear. Sometimes it just takes a change of pace to get back on track. This run also made me want to start running trails more often, even inspiring me to buy a pair of Merrell Allout Fuse from 6pm.com on killer discount.

I know this was a longer read than usually but if you’ve stuck in there through my poor sentence structure thank you! I chose the Emerson quote at the top because I feel like it perfectly summed up my feelings about this week. I’ve learned I need to be more patient with myself to get back on track; something I hadn’t really thought about until after my stress relieving trail run.