Monday, August 2, 2010

I Need Your Help

Long run yesterday: 16 miles  
Time: 2:25
Average pace: 8:58
Liquid consumed (water/HEED): 45 oz
Nutrition: 1 Strawberry Cliff Shot at mile 6
Temperature at 7:00 a.m. start: 66*
Temperature at finish:
Bathrooms stops: 2 along the dirt road in the weeds
Elevation gain/loss: 735 ft/735 ft.

When Ken and I set out (he ran the first half with me), I could already tell it was going to be a muggy scorching kind of run. This route is gorgeous with lots of back country roads and mountain views, but there is little shade and a plethora of hills (you like that fancy word?).


Mile 1: I stopped to stretch and crap. Oh no. Already? I swear I went before I left home. Ken stood guard, rolling his eyes thinking, “How could I have married this?”

Mile 4: I left another gift alongside the road.

Mile 8: Kissed Ken goodbye (no tongue). Headed back. Put in iPod to take my mind off of the heat and effort

Mile 10: iPod dies. It’s just me and my breathing.

Mile 14: Run out of water/HEED

Mile 15: Super energetic, talkative and shirtless runner probably on mile 2 of his run comes up from behind. “Hot enough for you? How you doing? Blah, blah, blah.

How the hell do you think I’m doing? I’m on mile freaking 15 of this 16 mile jaunt, I’m dehydrated, my legs are screaming, and oh, hey, we just passed the crap I took this morning!”

Me at the end of it all, not feeling so swell. Yes I have my running tank rolled up because this is the new fashion statement. You should try it:


And now I need your help.

I broke my exciting news last week – that I would be running part of the TransRockies Run with Dean Karnazes, Ultramarathon Man extraordinaire, as my partner. Stage One. 20.4 miles. 2,721 feet of elevation gain. 2,398 feet of elevation loss. I can hear my knees groaning already. But NO I am not complaining. Chance of a lifetime over here.


Check points are every 7 miles, so I guess there will be about three water/food stops on the trail over the course of the 20 miles.

I’m wondering about hydration between check points. Usually I run with 40 oz of hydration in my Nathan fuel belt.


I talked to Outside PR and they sent me this nifty Go Lite Slipstream hydration pack:


I have never used one of these. Apparently it needs a bladder to go inside of it. I couldn’t get in for a bladderectomy on short notice (all the ORs were full), so I’m going to have to buy one.

Like anything out there, there are 20 million options. All I know is I want 2 liters (70 oz). Any of you run with hydration packs? I know you all run with bladders and colons.

Any advice on which bladder to order?

Also, if you were me, what hydration system would you use for the race?

Option One: fuel belt, refuel at check point

Option Two: hydration pack, refill as needed

I know from reading his books that Dean prefers the pack. But, I am my own woman, so I cannot be influenced. Except by you all. So give me your input!

PS: My $100 CSN giveaway ends tomorrow. What are you waiting for? A personal invitation?

Fine Print: Go-Lite and Outside PR sent me this hydration pack free of charge.


  1. I love my 1.5L camelbak! I vote pack.

  2. Ha! I always finish my runs with my shirt rolled up as well. I think it's the best fashion statement.

    During the Burning River 100 mile race by me this weekend, I noticed most people going with the fuel belts (and most of my trail running buddies opt for this as well, or a hand held). I haven't tried either yet though!

  3. I've taken my shirt right off after a few runs recently. Don't fret; I had my jogbra on. However, my oldest was completely mortified and prayed no one would see us.

    I can't comment on either system. Camelback makes a good bladder, though (camels need good bladders to store all that water). Like anything else, though, try it before your big day.

  4. I am so freaking excited for you and have nada in the way of advice. FAIL. :) But I know the masses will weigh in and help... can't wait to read all about it!

    P.S. Good job making it through the tough run!

  5. I've actually run marathons with a variety of hydration devices. My favorite thus far is the Camelback (I have a smaller one). For me, I feel more freedom when there is nothing around my waist. That being said, regardless of whatever I have worn, I have been ready to lose the damn thing at about Mile 20.

  6. I use the Nathan race vest on trail runs and love it. It has a 1.5L bladder, but they actually have bigger versions. The vest is VERY comfy (I think) and has plenty of story for nutrition.

    If you just need a bladder, then I would recommend you one that can be opened up completely (like a zip lock bag) to dry out, so it won't mold. Or store it in the freezer and flush it with denture cleaner every now and then... Can you tell that I did some research in this field! ;-)

  7. i don't feel like i can give a good answer as i do not hydrate while running. so i'll be looking into whatever you decide here!

  8. I am a hydration pack kind of girl. Don't like things hanging/bouncing on the hips. I have always worn Camelbaks when riding or running and have been totally happy. And Camelbak does make the BEST bladders, FYI. My hubby has a couple of the Nathan hydration vests and he likes them very well. I have tried them on b/c the pockets on the front straps to carry "stuff", ie - gels, camera, TP :-), are very convenient. BUT, I don't like how their straps interact with my "girls", small as they are. In this regard, Camelbak straps win out! Have fun at Trans Rockies - how awesome!

  9. Where did you run along a dirt road in the weeds yesterday, BTW???

  10. OMG, I started my 16 miler at 9:30 yesterday, so it was noon when I got done. Iwas so freaking hot; it was awful. I am ready to run in snow again.
    I use a camelback on all of my long runs. I prefer it to a fuel belt that goes around my waist, plus it holds tons more water. My bladder came with my camelback, but you can probably buy one separatly.

  11. I prefer a pack (even though mine is a cheapy piece of sock a couple years older than my son). A belt around by waist gives me rage and bounces like mad when you bomb down a trail. I'd go with the biggest dang bladder you can. I like to be prepared.

  12. If you go for the pack, I'd recommend a Camelbak quality in my opinion.

  13. I've only worn waist belts, but between the bladder-style (Camelbak) and bottles (Nathan) I prefer the bottles. The bouncing is about the same (and annoying with both!) but the bottles are much easier to clean. Plus, in a really cold race the tube of the Camelbak has frozen solid, leaving me with no drinkable water at all.

    On another note, being from Tennessee reading about how "hot" your run was makes me jealous... I'd have to run at 2am to find temperatures of 80 degrees this week! May be time for a vacation out west!

  14. How did I miss that news? Thats so exciting!

  15. I think I'd go for the pack, too. I did for my 50k and it was so easy for them to refill it, I just kept it on my back the whole time!
    You're going to have SO much fun!

  16. Oh my, this is my kind of talk.

    I run with the Nathan Intensity Womens Hydration Vest and I love love love it. I did however, just recently buy a new bladder for it because the one it came with sucked after a while.

    I bought this bladder from Running Warehouse:

    It has a ziploc type opening so you can stuff it full of ice and fill it w/o that crappy screw cap that prevents you from filling the bottle all the way. It also reverses itself for easy cleaning and drying! LOVE THAT.

    They have 1L, 2L and 3L sizes too! Man, I so wish I could be with you. Amazing amazing opportunity!

  17. Oh and to add, during my 50 miler, I only refilled my pack once at the half way mark. I didn't refill it at all on the 50K.

    At the aid stations, i made sure to drink their water from the cups and not from my pack to preserve my water for when we're running inbetween aid stations.

  18. My 16 yesterday was sucktastic, too. Go figure!

    No help on the belt or the pack - if I use anything I just use a handheld and refill as needed. I think having anything moving around on my back or waist would drive me batty!

  19. i've never worn a pack...and i can't do fuel belts b/c i think they are what causes my stomach upsets. i go w/ a hand held and refill as needed.

  20. I don't use a hydration system - water is for the weak - but those I know who do (and there are a LOT of them) say that it's important to try different ones, as some don't fit some people well. You can't do that by internet sale, of course. Generally, women seem to prefer CamelBak to Nathan, it seems.

    I say: siphon out of Dean's.

  21. I think the fuel belt is more comfortable, and I don't like straps on my shoulders while running.

    For the 16- a second gel might provide a blast of sugar/caffeine :P

  22. i prefer a handheld so i'm not really any help with that, but i do suggest rolling up your tank like that with Dean!!! He'll love it!!

  23. It didn't come with a bladder? What a ripoff! Oh yeah, it was free. Never mind. I vote pack, but you need to run with it before you run with God because you may chaff in areas you've never chaffed before. Chaffing and crapping while running with God would surely not get you into heaven!!!

  24. I think you should go shirt rolled up all day every day. Esp while in vegas. sweet abs lady! I don't do the fluid belt thing so whatever jamoosh says, I concur.

  25. Definitely shirt rolled up!

    Uh...that's what you were asking right?

  26. I don't have advice on which hydration types to use. And I don't exactly know what that race is gonna be like other than you are running with the running superstars. Here's a random thought: Since you have quite a number of followers, can't you just ask your followers to stop at random intervals and fuel/quench your thirst?

  27. Not sure about the bladder, but the no tongue was a mistake.

  28. I am still so jealous! I have the Nathan speed 4 waist pack and absolutely love it! I think it's super comfortable and easy to use. I like how I don't even really notice it on my runs.
    I don't have any experience with wearing a camelback during runs, but I have worn a similar type thing on long hiking trips. They are comfortable, but I could not imagine wearing it for running. I get sooo hot when I run and I could just see it getting completely drenched by my sweat!
    Go to REI and get a good bladder for the pack, then try it out on your next run and see how you like it. You might really like it, or you may hate it. Either way, I think you should try it out sooner rather than later. It would suck to wear the backpack the day of the race and absolutely hate it!

  29. I don't have a pack. I don't deserve one yet.... But I wish I did. My vote is Pack. How much does 70 oz weigh anyway? The thought of wearing a 2 L bottle of Coke on my back doesn't sound appealing, but I'm not SUPER WOMAN like you.

  30. I prefer option 1... the pack may chafe your shoulders.

  31. You gotta try the pack to see how you would like it. Maybe run without the bladder just to see how it fits.

  32. I am glad I came across your blog. I am a new runner with a goal of training for and completing an ultramarathon. I am learning a lot reading through your posts. Thank you!

  33. Saying goodbye with tongue would have made the run least it couldn't have made it worse!

    I'd vote pack. All of the trail runners use those packs so you'd fit in better. Vain? yes. True? yes.

  34. hmmm id go for the pack-- but I would practice with it first just in case you HATE it!

  35. I vote the pack. Don't use a camel back bladder. It never looses the rubber flavor. Ick.

  36. I would say the pack too. The belt will swish too much. But, both of them will get bothersome at one point.

  37. i love that you shit outside. twice. then ran by it. that is epic. and exactly why i love your blog. great job on the run.

  38. I have a North Face back pack thingie (why am I so retarded and can't think of the proper name??) that's 72 oz and I LOVE it! It's made for a woman so the shoulder straps are closer together. But it does rub my shoulder if I am wearing a tank so be sure to Body Glide galore!

  39. I'd go with the beer had, with the tubes that come down from your head - sort of pre-camelback it is timeless and ingenius in its' simplicity... could really help you here!

  40. I love my hydration pack. I use 1, 1.5 and 2L bladders depending on the run and weather. On trails the hydration pack is great because your hands are free all the time. If need be I use a pack and belt. The bladders aren't so great for anything other than water. I carry chocolate milk in my belt.

  41. I'd go with the hydration belt you've been accustomed to running with. It has worked so far.

  42. I don't always read the comments on your blogs (though I do always read the blog), but I knew this one would have good comments. Some have been informative and others have made me LOL! Love the humor here.

    I like my Camelback waist belt, but it's hard to refill during a race or on a long run, so for those I carry a hand-held, too. (I could drink an ocean when I run.) I put Gatorade in the Camelback and water in the handheld and refill that at aid stations. I also have a Camelback backpack but it bounces too much when I run and makes my back extra sweaty.

  43. I've been using my 50oz camelbak lately and I love it -- I like it way better than my Nathan belt. (And the camelbak already comes with the bladder, so much easier to figure it out!)

  44. I've never tried our camelback for running--which we normally only use for skiing--as sit seems like it woudl make me crazy with that on my back, but I do wear my fuel belt when necessary (i.e. 10+ training runs, marathon races) and I completely hate having something around my waist. I finally broke down and got a couple of handhelds for hubs and I this summer, as I realized that I now need water even for a short 3-miler in this damn Nebraska humidity. I don't mind holding that too much, better than the fuel belt. May have to try the camelback on my long training runs coming up...and how TOTALLY EXCITING to be doing the while thing in the first place! Good for you!!!

  45. Argh my typing is horrendous today!

  46. I'm a handheld H2o bottle fan (for as long as it lasts....not so practical these days), and would definitely vote towards what you already know works for you! If you can make it 7 miles in between, you'll be fine. :) And Dean {probably} won't judge...