Gear Check

I had some shopping to do yesterday.  I had credits and coupons for Sports Authority and REI and I intended to put them to good use in preparation of upcoming adventures.

The sporting goods store was the first on my list.  I have signed up for my first marathon in November and I had two items in mind to help me prepare.  First, I needed a new pair of shoes.  I have been loyal to Mizuno Waveriders since I first started running almost 5 years ago (yiks!  has it really been so long?).  I usually stock up on the retiring model through online retailers as they are clearing inventory to make room for the newest model.  I have never had trouble with this strategy until now.  Apparently, they redesigned the toebox (or my toes have grown?) because the shoes now cause my toes and forefeet to go numb on long runs regardless of the lacing.  Obviously, that is a serious liability in a pair of shoes that will have have to make it 26.2 miles (which BTW is about 4 times the distance of the height of an average airliner).  Now, I know I have waxed poetically about my Vibrams, but they are just a too minimal for that much use.  I found a happy medium between the two: Saucony Kinvara.  It was love at first step.  I’ve done about 10 miles in them already and I love the combination of squish and weightless flexibility.  Can you tell which shoes are the new ones?

evolution of the shoe

I also needed to pick up a new running shirt.  I have a thin compression heatware Underarmor shirt that has seen me though all of my warm weather races.  I love that shirt; it has served me well.  Its light grey fabric is stained from the Georgia red clay that coats me in adventure races (I call that orange sheen my “red badge of courage”) and has holes all along the front from the pins that affix my race numbers.  Brightroom Photography can probably recognize me by that shirt alone.  The shirt has one shortcoming for this race; however, it is too short and rides above my water belt.  This is also the case with all my other warm weather shirts.  As a result, when I need to carry water in the summer, I tend to end up with a permanent abrasion around my hips from the rubbing of the belt.  Not really the best look for bikini season.  So, I picked up an ultralight tank that is long enough to stay under the belt.  Now if I could just figure out a way to carry water that doesn’t make me feel like I’m waddling with saline implants on my hips…


After an afternoon run (come on now, you didn’t think I would be patient to check out the new gear, did you?), I proceeded on to REI to see what I could find for my Italy trip.  Yeah, that’s right.  The trip scheduled for summer 2013.  What? Too soon?  I told you I was a planner.  Besides, my mom was starting to get a head start on acquiring needed items for the trip and I can’t let that happen now, can I?  I do have a semi-reasonable justification if it will make you feel better:  I can test the items in the heat of this summer to make sure that they are worthy of a transcontinental journey.  There, better now?

So, I decided to get this perfect travel skirt.  It’s long enough to meet Italy’s modesty requirements (especially needed with all of the museums and cathedrals I know we will be visiting), yet is made of high tech fabric that will dry quickly.

I also fell in love with a pair of Jambu shoes that seemed perfect for navigating the uneven walkways of Italy, but couldn’t stomach the $100 price tag.  Which leads to the final leg of the shopping trip…

When I got back home, I logged on to Sierra Trading Post and promptly located the same shoes for $40 after a variety of discounts.  I also tossed in a pair of shorts, another skirt, and two tops. All this begs the question:

Is it too early to pack?




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