I was cleaning up the corner of the garage where I store all my triathlon gear. I'm about a year in to the journey and I am surprised about the amount of stuff I've collected. I'm not saying I have 10 bikes or 3 different kinds of helmets - It's more like running shoes and gadgets. I may be slightly obsessive compulsive about gear, but it's more likely that I am just a nerd.
We participate in a gear intensive sport - there is no doubt about it. So as a result I've bought a some things I definitely needed and bought some things I didn't. This afternoon as I took inventory of my gear, I thought it would be fun to share the top 5 cool and top 5 not so cool things in the blog.
TOP 5 COOL THINGS
1. Newton Gravity Running Shoes. It figures that the most expensive running shoes I could find fit and work for me the best. I was running in New Balance until I regularly started doing 5+ mile runs. Then without fail, after 5 miles, the ball of my foot would start hurting really, really bad. I think it was Plantar Fasciitis. So I went in for a fitting and found that during my stride I did not pronate (which I thought I did), but I was a heel striker (which I did not know). The sales clerk also talked me into trying a shoe with less stability. So I bought the Newtons and even my wife agrees the extra $75 bucks was worth it.
2. Garmin 305 GPS Watch. I don't use half the features and I have never plugged it into my computer. I just figured out last week that it has a back light when I push a certain button. So my knowledge is still limited. But I don't care. I take this on every run and bike, and if I forget to charge it or something and don't take it with me, I feel naked.
3. Road ID Bracelet. A straight up good idea from a safety and responsibility to yourself perspective. There is even a space for an inspirational quote. I chose "Get Some" from Tropic Thunder, and I'm not sure why. This one stokes my wife out as well (not the quote, but everything else about it). I hear they have a new model that ties into an online personal and medical history database. Nicely done, guys who make the Road ID.
4. TYR Tri Suit. I should admit that I am probably 10 pounds too heavy to be rocking full spandex. That said, I used to be 80 pounds too heavy to rock full spandex so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on myself. I feel like I perform better in it. I got a killer deal on it at a trade show as well. In addition to races, I wear it a lot training, with a courtesy top layer of course.
5. Amazon Kindle. My wife got it for me at Christmas. An absolutely epic gift. How does it tie in here? I can load tons of books about endurance sports and read them all at once like a maniac. I flew to Vancouver last week and my "carry on" was the Kindle and my Iphone. So a score at airport security as well. Why is this important you ask? Because if I ever start a blog dedicated to air travel I will have a field day on airport security.
Honorable Mention. This blog. It's becoming a nice mental component to my training. Maybe I should start logging blogging hours as training time on BT.com to gross up my volume.
TOP 5 NOT SO COOL THINGS
1. Continental Gatorskin Bicycle Tires. Indestructible my ass. I've had two sidewall blow outs in 3 weeks. I'm currently researching a new tire. Suggestions welcome.
2. Under Armour Visor. I like running in a visor. I like the benefits of having the sun out of my eyes coupled with the benefit of a smaller amount of disgusting sweat soaked fabric at the end of a run due to the lack of the actual hat part. The problem is I'm bald. It offers zero sun protection and I've forgotten the sunscreen on top of the old dome a few times. It's with sadness I must put this item on this list.
3. Toe Socks. I was sold on the argument that they would help prevent blisters. They do no such thing. I still wear one pair once in awhile because I like the rainbow stripe pattern, especially when they are all muddy after a sick trail run. I like juxtapositions. But not toe socks.
4. Hydration Belts With The Bottle Positioned On The Lower Back. I don't care how many lower back extensions I end up doing at the gym over my lifetime, my back will never be able to handle a bottle strapped to it. I don't have a problem with these products per se, but they will never work for me. I have an REI brand belt collecting dust if anyone wants it.
5. Brooks Running Shoes. I tried them once, and I think I ran a grand total of 10 miles in them before I realized I either had to change shoes or leave the sport forever. It was a rookie mistake.
Honorable Mention Now here's an interesting concept - an honorable mention for the top 5 not so cool things. I guess this means that it's not a great product, but since it didn't make the top 5 not so cool things it doesn't exactly suck either, or at least comes in 6th place. I hear they call that a left handed compliment in some parts. Anyway, I'm going to give this one out to energy gels. On the one hand, energy gels have saved my butt a few times, even though they taste like crap. On the other hand, it was an energy gel that leaked into my BlackBerry and seized up the keyboard.