Finally, a warning and a commentary on stupidity

  • Wednesday, February 11, 2015
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 I'm not a huge fan of writing about kit...but sometimes it has to be done. For years I've run with a simple grey backpack which I paid just £5.00 for. It is nothing to write home about, just two internal compartments and about 4litre capacity. I've loved it because it has punched way above it's weight performance wise compared to more pricey models and it's comfortable enough that you forget it's there. I green commute a fair amount, running home from work and that's where the size of  the £5 grey has counted against it, there is limited space for clothes. I just turned 50 and my fantastic colleagues clubbed together to give me a generous lump sum and so I spent some time researching new bags before settling on the red Inov8 race pac pictured. It's roughly a third bigger than my old one and so I can fit in a little bit extra on my way home. It came with a 2litre water bladder but I've removed it preferring to drink from a bottle. I like Inov8, a solid British company with an ethical mindset and good quality equipment who put a lot of thought and care into the development of their products.
Also for my 50th, my wife got me this Sony SWR50 smart watch running Android Wear. I won't talk about the Android features as the big attraction for me is the fact that this model is the first smart watch to feature inbuilt GPS and I've coupled this functionality with an app called Ghostracer to track and log my runs. The app is still in beta but seems promising and the developer is enthusiastic, proactive and willing to quickly implement suggestions and add functionality. I've never run with a GPS watch and so I'm enjoying the novelty of looking down at my wrist and seeing my run stats in real time.Once the watch is within range of my phone the data uploads automatically to the web. The other draw for me is the fact that the watch is waterproof and I don't have to worry about it getting rained on!

Finally, a warning and a commentary on stupidity. I love my Inov8 Mudroc trail shoes and for really deep mud they can't be beaten. Mine take a battering especially in the muddy British winter and often need cleaning. Mostly I take them into the shower with me but occasionally I'll throw them into the washing machine for a deep clean. Sadly the last time I did this I used a high heat and then put them on top of a radiator to dry quickly. You can see the result on the right, the adhesive binding the sole to the upper has melted and the shoes are now only good for the bin. I hate making schoolboy errors when experience should make me better and I'm really kicking myself. The irony is that I was saying to my wife a few days before that the uppers were showing their age but the soles were still good for a long time. Every run from now on will be a Vibram Five Fingers run I guess!

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