Monday, March 21, 2016

The Search for Perfection.. and a Giveaway!

When I started running six years ago my goal was to run a half marathon distance. My training consisted of a few short to moderate distances a week. I tried a couple of different arm bands for carrying my phone in because I have to have my music to jam to while pounding out the miles. I'd sometimes use gels or chomps on my runs but not often, so it wasn't too big of a deal. Fast forward a year and even though I'd sworn I would never run a marathon, there was this nagging question in my mind... could I conquer the 26.2? With the support of a fantastic group of friends and family (Known as the "Hot Runners"), I started training for my first marathon. My bad-ass aunt, who runs 3-4 marathons a year, laid out a training plan that involved numerous long runs gradually increasing to 20+ miles to prepare. Now that I was doing longer distances I realized that I would need to start carrying with me my own fuel to eat during the run. I became obsessed with finding tops and pants that have built in pockets, because my arm band could only carry my phone. I made it through my first marathon and the training and completed several more, always trying to find the best, most comfortable way of carrying my phone and fuel. A couple of years ago I found a waist belt that would fit my near tablet-size Galaxy 5 phone (not an easy thing to find, btw) but it just barely fit and didn't leave much room to squeeze anything else in there.
But, like I always have, I made it work.
I hate things bouncing around while I run and this belt stays put.
Earlier this year I was contacted by the makers of the SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Race Belt about testing out their waist belt and offer my opinion. Always on the search for a better way of carrying my shiz on a run, I jumped at the chance to try it out. So far I've worn it for quite a few runs ranging from my quick 4 milers to my Saturday long run of 20 miles. More and more, I find myself reaching for it instead of the old one I'd been using.
What I normally will pack with me on a long run. That's a lot to stuff in what looks like an itty bitty belt.
Luckily, the pockets stretch out and fit all of it!
It even holds my enormous Samsung phone. Don't mind the random dog hair. It's everywhere.
I love this belt for a few reasons. The seams and the inside are waterproof which is perfect for me since I sweat so much while I run, especially when the temperatures get warmer. I have ruined a couple of my phones just from sweating through arm bands or belts, so this feature alone is a definite plus for me. I also dig that it doesn't shift on my waist or bounce while I'm running. The elastic used is good quality and more firm than some of the other pouches I've seen which is why I think it stays in place so well. In addition, the fact that it has two separate pouches that I can carry stuff in is great. I even managed to stuff my gloves in there when the temperature had warmed enough that I didn't want to wear them anymore.

My only criticism about the belt is that the zipper pulls for each of the pockets seem too small in my opinion. Most of my runs are early morning and, in Utah, that often means wearing gloves for most or all of the run. I find that I have to remove a glove in order to be able to grasp the zipper to open the pouch, which can be difficult to do while running. If the zipper pulls were a bit bigger/easier to grab, this would be the PERFECT waist belt. But that being said, I still use it as my go-to waist belt for my runs.

I liked the belt so much that the good people who make it have offered to give one away as part of a raffle - and who doesn't like free stuff?! If you're not selected, you can still get a belt for a sweet price and 40% off any of their other cool stuff on their site by using the code BLOG40.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

  SLS3 sent me this belt to review. All opinions are my own.

Thursday, January 28, 2016

The Year of Adventure Continues...

Jobs fill your pockets. Adventures fill your soul.

This month marks an important milestone in my life. A year ago I pledged to spend the year doing things that challenge, scare and empower me. Coincidentally, I embarked on this journey with an amazing guy who I had just started dating... we clicked immediately and started planning our life. It was as if the entire universe had conspired to bring us together at just this moment in our lives. He is a perfect partner for me in every way imaginable and an amazing father - both to his own son and to mine.
I have seen and done more in the past 12 months than in all the rest of my adult life. Each adventure brings a smile to my face as I remember the inside jokes, the shitty hotel rooms and the last-minute changes that still somehow resulted in fun to be had.
I'm naturally a pretty independent person. In Brett I have found that while I don't need a man in my life, having one who is my best friend, confidant, lover and the one I want to spend all my time with is pretty damn awesome.
And while it seems completely unbelievable, we've managed to navigate the waters of our first year together without ever fighting. Not once have we raised our voices or spoken condescendingly to one another. It is the first relationship I've ever been in where that is the case and I can tell you that it is incredibly refreshing to be able to have conversations, even the difficult ones, while knowing that it's not going to result in a blow-out argument. That's not to say that we haven't had our share of serious chats, but each one has been done lovingly and without any kind of verbal abuse - and I love that about him.
One of the things I love most about this man is his excitement to share the outdoors with our boys. We make a point to take them to explore every chance we get.  

These two are inseparable when we visit Seattle.

 We celebrated a year together in the place where it all began. A year ago for our 3rd date, we spent a weekend in Moab together camping and rock climbing. I was apprehensive going into the trip because, although I was very interested in him, I also knew that it would go either really well or really badly. And if it's the latter, the last place you want to be stuck with someone you aren't getting along with is out in the middle of the Moab desert in January. Fortunately, we had the best time and have since returned to Moab at least half a dozen times. We even discussed, as we lay in exhaustion from laughter in our hotel room, making it an annual tradition of ours to celebrate the years together there. I very much look forward to it.