Review: SPIbelt & 5K Recap

Before I ran my first marathon in Cleveland last May (2010), I purchased a SPIbelt to carry some essentials when I ran.  I had previously used another belt, made by Amphipod, I think, and it hit me in the wrong spot on the waist & caused a nice abrasion after my first half marathon.  Before you think I am dissing Amphipod, I am not, I actually have a hand-held water bottle made by them that I love.  The belt was just not for me.

I purchased the pink SPIbelt to match my marathon outfit.

While I believe the SPIbelt is a brilliant idea, it does not quite work as the website claims.  The website claims the following:

The SPIbelt does not bounce, ride or shift while running or doing other activities.

I beg to differ.  I have never been able to get the SPIbelt to NOT bounce.  It never really was that big of a deal until yesterday, July 4th, during my 5K race.  I wore my SPIbelt during a 5K only because I carried my phone with me.  Aaron stayed home with Hannah so she wouldn’t have to stand around too much with her arm in a cast & sling.  Normally I wouldn’t carry my phone in a race of such a short distance.  Anyway, in addition to the SPIbelt I wore a Nike running skirt.  This was the skirt I wore, but in black:


Do you see how it is split up the side?  There are built-in biker/booty shorts under the skirt, thank God (I’ll get to that in a bit).

As I am running the race, my SPIbelt is bouncing all over the place.  I am irritated, but not surprised.  Oh well, lesson learned, right?  Well, the story doesn’t end there my friends.  As I finished the race, I began to walk around to cool down.  My normal routine when wearing the above skirt is to reach slightly up under the skirt to pull down the shorts a bit, as they ride up a little.  Imagine my surprise when I find that the back of my skirt is stuck up under my SPIbelt!?!?!  So, I had been running with the back of my skirt stuck up under my SPIbelt for God knows how long.  It could have been half a mile, it could have been 2+ miles.  I would love to publicly apologize to anyone that was behind me and was subjected to my almost 40-year-old self in booty shorts.  Running skirt = cute; booty shorts = not so cute on someone my age.

On a side note, the SPIbelt does hold a lot of things – phone, keys, gels, etc.  It is durable, but does not stay in place no matter how tight you make it.  I thought maybe this was just me & my body shape, but I have spoken with several others and everyone has said the same thing, though they haven’t had the unfortunate experience of practically mooning the racers behind them.

Onto the recap.  This was my first ever 5K race, so I was super excited!  Even though I have run a 10K, half marathons and a full marathon, the 5K requires a completely different strategy.  While pacing yourself seems to be important, running at a faster pace than I am used to in races was also a must.  I have been running my tempo runs at a fairly fast pace (based on my heart rate training), so I knew I could do it, but I was still unsure of how it would go.  I figured any time would be a PR since I had never run a 5K before and then I would know how to strategize better next time.

The day started out humid & overcast.  The race started right on the dot at 8 AM.  I did warm up for a little over a half a mile & then stretched some, as I knew that I couldn’t wait until a mile or so in for my legs to warm up in such a short race.  I think that is the first time I have ever done this in a race.  The first mile was all about finding a pace that I felt somewhat comfortable in, yet I was still pushing.  I knew that pace would be somewhere under 9 min/mile, but because of the humidity, I was not sure where it would be.  My first mile was done at an 8:14 pace.  Okay, cool.  A little faster than I had thought it would be, but I felt good and kept pushing on.  Mile 2 had a bit of a hill (incline is probably a more appropriate term) and I slowed a little bit.  Finished out mile 2 at 8:28/mile.  Once I knew I was in mile 3, I picked it back up a little.  I knew that I could hold on for a mile.  After running several half marathons & 1 full marathon, I knew that this was the home stretch.  When we made the turn for the finish line and hit 3 miles (3rd mile was 8:15/mile) I pulled out all the stops.  Finished in 25:41!  My last .10 of a mile was at a 7:04/mile pace.  I was thrilled with how I ran this race, especially in the humidity and it gives me a good reference point for speed work in training for my upcoming half marathon.

Now, of course, I can’t wait to run another 5K and am actively looking to find one that works with my schedule.  Not only are they a lot of fun, but a great place to work on speed and they usually cost much less than the half or full marathons.

You didn’t think I would finish this post off without talking about gluten-free food, did you?  If you have never run or attended a road race, you should know that there is almost always food for the runners at the end.  Common food supplied to runners for refueling are bagels, water, chocolate milk, bananas, oranges, cookies, etc.  It really just depends on the race.  If you have to eat gluten-free, sometimes you glance over at the choices & cringe.  Other times you are desperately grabbing for anything and quickly scanning the label (if it has one) for gluten and then getting into your body as quickly as possible.  Fortunately whole fruits – bananas & oranges are almost always present and naturally gluten-free.  Chocolate milk is usually safe, but double check to make sure.  I have yet to see a gluten-free bagel provided, though maybe one day soon.  When I ran a half marathon in Atlanta last year, they handed out Go-Gurt yogurt, which says “gluten-free” right on it.  The race I ran yesterday had bananas & oranges and I had those in addition to a couple of bottles of water.  While the bagels looked good, I was plenty satisfied with what I had.  It would be nice if races would start providing coffee at the end of the race.  Winking smile

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