Before I get into it, there were a few things I forgot to mention in yesterday’s recap post.
1. I just have to say that the city of Ardmore did a great job organizing the race – there were plenty of water stops with water and gatorade and everything flowed extremely smoothly from the expo to the shuttle service to the post-race activities. It was an awesome event and it’s only the second year. I have a feeling to A2A is going to be a long-lasting tradition on Oklahoma!
2. It was a very small race with only 1,400 participants. Compared to my previous two halves it seemed so tiny! However, I really enjoyed the smaller crowd. It was really intimate and made it feel more unique. If you’ve only participated in big city races, I’d highly recommend checking out a smaller race for a change of pace!
3. I used a lot more gear for this race than usual. Wanna hear about it? Well, too bad because you’re going to
I bought this belt for the Route 66 Half last November, but never ended up using it. I decided I wanted to give it a try for the A2A and really enjoyed it.
It fit perfectly and never moved or bounced while I was running. I was able to carry my point-and-shoot camera, a gel, chapstick and my car key (which is kind of large) with room to spare.
If you’re looking for a small gear belt, I’d highly recommend this one.
Garmin Forerunner 305
By now, everyone knows what a Garmin sports watch is, and this one is an old model that you can only buy on Amazon now, but I wanted to talk about my experience running a race with a GPS device.
I liked having the ability to track my pace, but I kind of hated constantly knowing how much further I had to run before the race was over.
I usually run races without any time-keeping device and it’s great because I can zone out more and focus on how my body feels and not constantly worry about how much further I have to run.
I also checked the damn thing obsessively. Like once every 10 seconds or more. I couldn’t stop. I felt like an addict.
I don’t know if I’ll continue to wear it during races. It made the experience feel sort of unnatural – like I was trying to control it too much. I don’t know if that makes sense, but roll with it.
Like I said, these shoes have a lot less stability than I’m used to and I was worried that would cause pain in my lower legs and knees. However, they were great!
I did get a blister on my right big toe (my bigger foot), but I’m really impressed with how my legs felt after the race. I had some muscle fatigue and soreness but my joints felt great.
The shoes were light and provided nice cushion throughout the 13 miles.
I’m a fan!
I also ran with a cheap pair of sunglasses I bought at the expo.
I look hawt in that picture, right?
Anyways – the sunglasses were great. They stayed in place and didn’t squeeze my head.
I’ve been meaning to buy some for awhile now but didn’t want anything expensive. I lose sunglasses within an average of three days if they’re expensive. Cheap ones somehow manage to stay in my possession for years. Funny how that works out.
Any other time I’ve tried to wear sunglasses while running in the past, I’ve ended up tossing them on the side of the road in frustration. The fact that these made it to the finish line made them worth the $10 (which is a huge expenditure for me right now. I’ve become insanely cheap since deciding to move).
Also, as you can see in that highly unflattering photograph – I was wearing my iPhone on my arm and listened to Pandora for musical entertainment during the race.
This was not by choice, but because my shuffle remote adapter is broken and I’m too frugal right now to replace it.
Running with Pandora wasn’t as enjoyable as having a set running playlist, but the variety was nice.
Overall, I think my experience and choices of what to take for the race worked out pretty well. I usually just run with my shoes. clothes and my iPod shuffle so having the extra stuff could have been annoying.
Each run and race calls for a different set of gear choices, but I foresee the belt and sunglasses getting a lot of use in the future.
What gear do you rely on for running? Are you a gear minimalist or a gadget hoarder?