You know the hardest part of doing a blog? Coming up with clever titles for posts. So
forgive me for this one. Yesterday, I did my 15-mile training run, and finally tested out the new CamelPack I got for Christmas. I would’ve tried it sooner, but I didn’t realize the backpack I got didn’t actually come with the bladder. So I had to order that after the holidays. I got the Gregory Dipsea 6 Daypack, in pink, of course. I then ordered a 2-liter bladder for it, which fit perfectly in the pack. There is a fancy “tube management system,” which basically means there are a few holes in the pack to route the tube through to keep it in place while you’re running. I wish it came with instructions because it took me a solid half hour to figure out how to set it all up. But I finally figured it out and headed out the door for my usual route on Kelly Drive.
In case you weren’t lucky enough to be in town yesterday, we had a 62-degree sunny day in Philly. I know global warming is a bad thing, but I am not minding these insanely mild winter days one bit. Wearing capri pants and a t-shirt in January just blows my mind. It was funny to see the people who clearly didn’t look at the forecast, and were wearing hats and gloves and coats. Anyway, this run seemed so much easier than the 13-miler I did last weekend. Maybe it was because I finally kicked my chest cold and I could actually breathe. Maybe it’s because I was well-hydrated and actually ate properly before I left. Regardless, it definitely gave me a confidence boost going into Napa. I found myself getting into the groove again, when your run starts to feels mechanical, like your muscles are just moving without you even making an effort.
I was a little nervous about wearing the CamelPack as it seemed pretty heavy. Imagine carrying a 2-liter bottle of soda while running, and that’s basically the weight of the pack. The pack itself was very lightweight, and has a very low profile. It doesn’t cover your whole back, or stick out very far. I felt like a dork wearing it, but I guess no more than when I wear the hydration belt (aka fanny-pack).
I was pleasantly surprised to find that once I started running, it barely felt like I had anything on my back. The shoulder straps are well-placed and have a fair amount of padding. It also has a couple straps that go across the front of your body, which helped keep the pack from pulling my shoulders back, and made the weight evenly distributed. It was also much easier to drink while running just by picking up the tube, rather than pulling a bottle from my back off a belt and putting it back. Another benefit was not having to wear my armband. I usually have my ipod, my phone, and my keys in my armband, which makes it a little heavy and makes me feel a little lopsided when I run. Having the pack on allowed me to throw all my stuff in there, and freed up my arms.
The downside to the pack was how sweaty my back was. I definitely think this will remain a fall/winter hydration solution. I’ll stick with the belt for summer. I’ll be crossing my fingers for more of this amazing mild weather for my next long run, which won’t be for a couple weeks. Next weekend is the Chilly Cheeks trail run, which I will be sure to post about, as long as I don’t die while running up the mountain (50-50 odds on that).