Friday, 23 September 2011

Out over Bleaklow and Kinder

I was there.
Went for a bit of a run today, the plan was to go up from Glossop onto Bleaklow, across the plateau to Grinah, then down south to Kinder and back along either the top or bottom depending on how I felt.
The vast majority of the run was going to be on bog, peat, marsh and generally squishy ground, so a perfect day out for the Inov8 Baregrips. I've been out in them on shorter runs, and a couple of races, but nothing really over 6-7 miles, so this could be an interesting day.

The weather was lovely this morning, so I just took a small backpack (osprey 5.5) with 2 litres of water (with a tab of High 5 Zero), 3 geobars, a mule bar (that I managed to blag, to see what it tasted like), the Montane H2O jacket, and an extra pair of gloves. (along with the normal bits and pieces that normally get taken)
The idea was to visit a few aircraft wrecks, some of which I've been to before, some which I haven't, check out some trods across the moor, and to test my legs out on a slightly longer run. I haven't done any long stuff since the 15 trigs back in July.
Skytrain
Lancaster plaque
Out from Glossop at about 10, slightly blowy, but I went on up Doctors gate at a speed that was a little ill-advised- perhaps remembering the Shelf moor race. I carried on up past where the route hangs a left up James Thorn, up, then down to the river, and up to the Skytrain in Ashton clough, which I hadn't been to before.

Then, a really vicious climb up to the Lancaster and plaque for both the wrecks. I didn't take a bearing, and just went for it, and came out bang on the wreck, which was pretty good going.
From there, I took the mildly circuitous route over to the Trig, (after the climb I really didn't want to peat bash immediately), then to Overexposed.
Herne stones
So far I had encountered 1 person with a dog on Shire hill, and 1 on a mountain bike coming down Doctors Gate.
Cross country to Herne Stones, then Bleaklow head. From here, I broke off East, following a trod that theoretically should have taken me straight across and over to Grinah (eventually). However, pretty soon I noticed that the path was trending somewhat northerly, and I ended up in the middle of Bleaklow with not much to see in any direction, going in the wrong direction. Nothing for it but to turn East and bash across the moor until I could see something useful.
The anvil/ Bike saddle
Eventually I saw the Anvil (sometimes called the saddle- it depends on your physical viewpoint, and whether you are a biker or not), and, at much the same time, found a trod that went in the right direction which became more and then less distinct as I ran along it. It was a nice change from stumbling around in groughs.


Lovely trod across to Grinah


The Anvil at Bleaklow stones is quite a landmark, and from there a fantastically fast and delightful trod took me direct to Grinah stones.
From here things got a little less easy. There appeared to be no trod directly south, so I tucked into my Mule bar- tastes a little more chewy than a geobar, but not much difference that I can see apart from the price- took a sighting across to Fairbrook naze on Kinder which I could see in the distance and made a beeline.

Over the moor- lots of heather- not so fun to run through, then down a clough and back up the other side, across, and then down into Alport clough and back up once more. The ups were very steep, and I think I need to get more of them into my legs- it just feels like a lot of one legged body weight squats for endurance.
The Path across the moor
The correct colour for Baregrips
Still, I wasn't feeling too bad by the time I got to the top, and again sighted for Fairbrook naze and went for it. Slow going over across the bog and heather, and at one point I thought I was going in a little off, so I hung up a little more southwesterly, hit the top of the rise and down into a clough that I was looking for that took me bang into Lady Clough. Perfect.
 The Well

Getting a little tired going through the trees, and down to the bottom, then across the river and up onto Kinder. That was naaaaasty. I was stumbling up the hill, and really knackered. The idea was to hit the landrover track that we saw yesterday on our shroom walk. The going was pretty tough and I was not going fast. Eventually after a lot of heather bashing I found the track and went off West. It wasn't the best track to follow and at one point I went up to beyond my knee in a peat bog. It was a bit of a run/shuffle thing going on. By now I had eaten all my food and was running out of water- and bizarrely, craving haribo. Followed a trod across the bottom of the hill, and by chance came across a Well, with some beautifully clear water, and eventually, the Sabre wrecks. I figured that would happen. Its pretty flat down there, and wrecks of 2 planes are probably going to be obvious.
Sabre Wreck
Liberator

It took a long while to get up out of the valley, but I got to Mill Hill, down past the Liberator, across to Harry Hut and down into Glossop. The worst bit of the whole run was running along the Pennine way in Baregrips. Not a whole lot of fun.
Just about 20 miles in the end, all good fun, my feet held up in the Baregrips, very comfortable for the most part- except on rocky and rough terrain, navigation wasn't too bad. Just need to remember some haribo next time, and I'll be set!

Cold bath to relax out the legs, a smoothie with 2 bananas, chocolate milkshake powder, protein powder, milk and 2 teaspoons of crabapple jelly, and a huge feed this evening hopefully should see me right for not aching too much tomorrow...
I'd stick a link in with the garmin track, but the site is down at the moment.... have to do it some other time...

Wednesday, 21 September 2011

Garmin 305 issues

Now this is an interesting one. I wrote a while ago that I was having a couple of issues with my trusty Garmin 305 Forerunner. It appeared to be switching off on me during runs and races.
I narrowed this down to the fact it was switching off when I jumped over a stile or a wall or something, figuring that I was knocking a button or something like that.

I realised that this wasn't actually the case, as it kept turning off recently when I just pressed the mode button.
Odd.
So I uploaded all the run files and information on to the computer and did a soft reset, went for a run- it did the same thing.
Ok.
Hard reset, try again.
It worked ok for 2 runs, and then switched off on me seemingly at random.

I've now looked at what is happening and can't work out for the life of me WHY it is happening- let me explain.
Watch on left wrist. Happily ticking away.
I can wave it around, I can run normally with it, and can do all kinds of things, but I cannot bend my wrist without it switching off.
Once I have the watch on my wrist and I extend it backward, as if I am putting my hand down to hold onto something- like a stile, it switches off, immediately and without ceremony, without beeping, nothing, it just switches off.
I can't replicate it when the watch is off my wrist, but can when it is on.
video
Hopefully the video I've embedded will show that- none of the buttons are pressed, nothing really happens except that the unit switches off.
Anyone got any thoughts? Its served me well for a while, and this really does seem like a technical fault.
Garmin? Got anything to add?

Wander to Shroom rock

Lovely morning, after a blast out and around Cracken Edge Fell race route last night with Glossopdale, we decided that it would be a good idea to have a quick nosey around the Northern edge of Kinder, specifically Mushroom rock over on Fairbrook Naze.
We wandered down from the carpark half way up the Snake, down through the wood and came across some rather fantastic mushrooms and toadstools. I only had my phone camera on me, but managed to get a couple of semi-decent shots.
Looking up

So from that perspective, it seems that the search for Mushroom rock was potentially going to be quite a success.
At the bottom of the hill we wandered around for a while looking for a decent place to cross the stream, eventually deciding on the original place we looked at- but at least we had a very thorough look at all the options.
Along and up Urchin Clough (the second one of 2 that we now know), along a landrover track and up to the edge of Kinder.
From there, it was but a short walk to Mushroom Rock.
Again, not the best quality, but again, just a camera phone.
We came down Fairbrook clough and back along the stream.
Delightful, and a decent recovery day, tomorrow is, after all, another day at S&P...

Mountain Equipment Changabang revisited

My Changabang in use in Wales
I have finally got my Mountain Equipment Changabang back. I lent it to a mate for some reason (rainy day?) a while back, and as I had a couple of other waterproofs, let him have it for the duration- his old Helly Waterproof was shocking and was one step away from the bin. (to be honest, it should have been in the bin, but thats another matter).

So, I have my old Changabang back, its bright orange, no, make that BRIGHT orange, and has a hole in the hood where I slid head first down a piste in Japan and is covered in crap. However, thats only because I got it covered in crap before I lent it to him.
Lets see, its now kind of orange, but covered in stuff, the waterproofing has died a death- but only in terms of DWR, the membrane and the taping are both still fine and intact, and the hood is still as good as I remember.

Just a word about the hood system.
Over the past couple of years I have tried on a number of jackets by a number of different manufacturers. Arctery'x, MHW, Rab, TNF, Haglofs etc. None of them have come close to the hood system in the Mountain Equipment range. As an example, I have a MHW Argon Jacket now in my possession, and although it is good, it works well, and it sheds water, whenever I have the hood up, all I can think about is how it just doesn't grip the head, and stay on and around the head as well as a Mountain Equipment hood. With OR without a helmet.

Putting my old Changabang on and putting the hood up was like shaking hands with an old friend. It fit well, it worked brilliantly, and it stayed on my head and moved with it, no matter what I tried to do. (ok, maybe in that respect its not quite like a handshake, but you know what I mean).

So, I grabbed a bottle of Grangers 2in1, threw the jacket in the washing machine, put a couple of cap-fuls in the drawer and turned it on to delicate wash. I should probably point out here that we don't use biological soap as a matter of course, neither do we use washing powder. If we did, I'd have to run the washing machine on a cycle with nothing in it first in order to get the residue out- because otherwise it might damage the membrane in the jacket. That isn't a good thing.

The jacket came out, and went on the washing line, and eventually dried. This is NOT the end of the process. To restore the DWR (Durable Water Repellancy) you have to heat the material. This is why a lot of re-proofers recommend tumble drying the garment before use, but only if the manufacturer recommends that it is ok to do this.
(the reason why some jackets should NOT be tumble dried is because the seams are heat sealed instead of sewn and then taped- if you expose a jacket with seams like that- the MHW Dragon Jacket is a good example if you look at the hood- you end up with a jacket in component parts. Not a good look).

One of the reasons for me not to tumbledry my Changabang was that the care label has looooong since faded away, so I have no idea if it is a good idea or not. Another reason is that I don't own a tumble drier. We do have a hair drier though, so I appropriated it for a while, and used it to heat up the fabric, paying more attention to the areas that get a greater amount of use/abrasion (rucksack strap points etc).

(I was once asked which setting to use a hairdrier on for the best effects... my answer was that I didn't actually know hairdriers had any other settings apart from On and Off).

Anyhow. The Changabang is back. It's not quite as water-resistant in terms of DWR as it was, and although it beads water, it does wet out relatively quickly even though I've re-proofed it. I suspect that a bit more of a heat treatment is needed, so I'll continue to hairdrier it and test it out in nasty conditions and we'll see how it goes.
The main thing is that I have realised is just how shockingly bad the MHW hoods are in comparison to MEQ hoods. My next mountain jacket will most probably be a Mountain Equipment one, and it will be a Changabang if they still make them in a few years time when I need it. However, if anyone has a brand new Mountain Equipment Changabang in a size small that they want to swap for a Mountain Hardwear Argon size small (used maybe twice), drop me a line!

Monday, 19 September 2011

Gloves for normal people

I have cold hands. I have always had cold hands and have tried various things to try and make them not be cold. One of the best tips I can give in terms of keeping cold hands warm is wear a hat.
After that, wear some gloves.

Now the problem with this is that if your hands are already cold once you put the gloves on, your hands are probably going to stay cold. This is because there is no heat source in the glove itself (unless you spend a LOT of money on a pair with a battery pack and heater) and all the glove does is insulate your hand from the outside world. (or not).

I'm on a bit of a quest to find decent gloves which keep my hands warm, are either waterproof or quick drying, and enable me to do stuff- like ropework or whatever without getting cold, wet hands. Does such a thing exist? I don't think so, but here are some thoughts on gloves which don't cost horrendous amounts of money which I have used in most normal situations (by that I mean day to day and lower level walking/running as opposed to mountaineering/scottish winter type stuff).

Powerstretch Gloves
Mountain Hardwear Powerstretch gloves
Look smart and are made of Powerstretch fleece. They aren't windproof, and if you stand around doing nothing, they provide just a little more protection than not having anything on. For walking and scrambling they are great, and for running in REALLY cold weather they are good as well. If its just a bit cold they may end up being a tad warm.
They do NOT dry quickly. Despite my thoughts that powerstretch would dry fast, it doesn't. I was on a run with Lynne, me in the Powerstretch and her in wool "thinnies"(see below). It rained, her gloves were dry by the end of the run, mine were still saturated and making my hands cold. After washing them yesterday morning, its now the afternoon after, and they are still pretty wet.
Good for an extra layer on a walk in or a run around, as long as you aren't going to be out for a long time in the wet- thats a quick recipe for cold hands.

Sealskinz active gloves
Sealskinz activity gloves
Waterproof- as in, totally waterproof, but are cut a little odd. I think I might have bought a pair that are a size too small and thus they aren't the warmest of gloves- they basically prevent the flow of blood around my hands. I'm sure if they were bigger, it might help. However, although they are waterproof, they don't actually feel that warm when standing around, not much insulation.





Sealskinz general gloves
Sealskinz general gloves
Warm, waterproof (to a point) and generally pretty good. Love them, but should the water get into them, if they spring a leak or something they get cold and wet very fast. Once wet, they don't dry fast at all. Like the Powerstretch, I washed these yesterday and they are still sopping this afternoon. Also, the different layers of glove (inner, waterproof inner, etc) can get twisted up and its quite a task to get them back into sync to be able to put the glove on. (after drying, even after 4 days I still couldn't get the things on so that my fingers went to the end of the finger hole in the glove).





Sealskinz "handlebar" lobster gloves
Sealskinz lobster gloves- (with extra mud)
Warm, as in Really warm (primaloft insulation), waterproof, 2 fingers in each "mitt" type finger. I have to say, although they aren't the best for articulation, they are fantastic as a glove/mitt combo, used them all last winter, and was very very happy with them. Brilliant. Added bonus is that because there are only 2 "fingers" when they dry a bit funny, its easy to get your actual fingers back in the glove where they are supposed to be. I love them to bits and suspect they will be the main "warm" glove again for this winter). I think they cost around £40




Extremities "thinnie"
Originally bought because it was a cheap glove. In my naiivety I thought it would be windproof, and was very disappointed when I walked outside the shop and down the street and my hands were no warmer than if I had not had gloves on. Didn't use them for years, partially because they aren't warm and partially because of a massive seam down the blade of the hand that just isn't comfortable. They have a new lease of life now, though as fell running gloves, they are as good for protecting the hand (if not better) than the MHW powerstretch, they dry faster than the powerstretch and they don't crazily overheat your hands when you run. Good as a liner glove as well.


Outdoor designs windpro
Outdoor designs Wind pro
Distributed by Equip in the UK who also distribute Rab. These are made with Polartec Windpro which is a slightly windproof fleece material. Wind resistant, (not 100% windproof), warm even when wet and dries quickly. I unfortunately don't own a pair, but Lynne loves hers for standing around wet and windy crags. They eventually wet out and get a bit chilly, but that takes a good couple of hours in driving rain. These got washed yesterday and were dry when we got up this morning. Suffice to say I shall be buying a pair of these, or very similar for this winter.





Outdoor designs Stretch on
Cheap, not exactly anything proof, a good underglove. Dry quite fast, same kind of deal as the Extremities glove, but with less grip. Apologies, I don't have a pair to hand (haha) to take a picture of. They work well, but really don't keep your hands warm unless you are on a mission, keeping your exercise rate high.

Silk Liner gloves
Useless on their own. Buy a pair if you have a bigger glove and want an underglove. They boost the performance of a bigger glove by quite a lot. In the UK, a silk under glove with the sealskins lobster glove will see you through most things. As you can see from the picture, they aren't the most robust of things, but its made of silk, and really, you wouldn't expect them to.




Lynnes wool thinnies
She runs in these, loves them to bits, and has had then for a very long time. Made of wool, an excellent inner glove, brilliant running glove, and dries very fast, even when out exercising. They don't need to be turquoise, just in case you were wondering.









Icebreaker Merino base layer gloves
They look like the silk liner gloves above, and are a little thicker, however, they are as fragile, if not more so. For £20 a pair, they certainly aren't cheap as a base layer glove, are pretty much rubbish on their own, and rip quite suddenly and with little warning. Great if you have lots of money to throw at them, or have hands which never have hang nails or rough patches of skin which might rip and destroy them. Again, sorry I don't have a pair to take a picture of, they self-destructed on me this year.

Conclusion
So, if you want a decent glove for not too much cash, that is warm, wind resistant and grippy, go for something made of polartec windpro. If you are going to be moving fast, get a thinnie, make sure it dries out fast, but take note that weirdly enough, Powerstretch doesn't.
If you want properly waterproof, go sealskins.
And if you want something to be very very warm and insulated, make sure it has primaloft in it.
For a decent system this year, I'd have a pair of Extremities thinnies for running, Wind Pro for standing around in, and the Sealskinz Lobster Mitts for nasty weather.
Having said that, I think that the longer you are out, and the slower you are moving, the more gloves you should take with you. As one pair gets wet and cold, you can always have another dry and warm pair to whip out and put on.
Be prepared.

Hopefully that should have given you a bit of insight into what I have in terms of gloves. Not to say that there aren't a million and one more ideas out there about what is good. I suspect I shall be buying more gloves this year, as I mentioned, I get cold hands. Below are a few links to the companies mentioned above, be prepared, some of them do a LOT of different ones. Before you buy, make sure they fit. Happy Shopping. 

Outdoor Designs
Extremities
Sealskinz
Mountain Hardwear
Icebreaker

Wednesday, 7 September 2011

Wreck run with IDP

Blowing a hooley this morning, and rain battering against the window. Certainly not conducive to getting up and heading out for a run, especially not with the slightly soggy shoes from last night.
The orginal plan was to go out onto Bleaklow with Ian from Dark Peak (IDP) and nav around all the aircraft wrecks, that was the plan until we worked out how much running and racing we were both intending on doing in the surrounding couple of weeks.
An alternative plan was hatched that we would do a few of them, and then this morning it seemed like the apocalyse had come, I went for a run last night and I was feeling a bit like I really didn't want to go out.

IDP on the phone convinced me that it would be lovely to meet at the Blacks and head out up the moor to find a couple of the wrecks up that way. He was meant to be leading out on a run this evening, so it was going to be relatively easy going. Perfect. I'll get me kit on then.

The weather was changing from relatively sunny and bright to hammering down with rain (sometimes horizontal) and force 4-6, apparently gusting up to 7+ on the tops. Right. So a pertex top might not quite be warm enough, Windstopper is probably the way forward, so the Dragon Jacket it is then, and a vaguely waterproof layer of a pertex Litespeed jacket in the bumbag just in case it gets really really nasty as a spare layer.
Shorts or tights? C'mon, its still "summer". Shorts all the way.
We met up over at the Blacks and had a rather good run up onto the moor. The peat was slippy, but he had no more grip in his old Mudclaw 330s than I did in my Roclites- for the majority of the time anyway. I felt that the 2litre bum bag was just a tad small for what I needed, basically because I can't fit a full size map in there, or water, which would have been useful.
Having said that, a 3litre bag wouldnt be able to fit a map in either...

We went past 2 wrecks and followed a few trods that are used for the High Peak Marathon. Good to see places where they lead, even if, with the cloud down, you couldn't really see where they were coming from or going to...
After going up Near Black clough we went skirted over a fair amount of moorland, and then came back down Far Black Clough. My Dragon Jacket held up well, despite some periods of driving rain, and the underarm vents were most useful- as ever, a good choice, even though its meant for very cold mountainous conditions.
Ian had the Kamelika Smock and sung its praises. The fabric is very good, breathable and stretchy, and certainly nowhere near as expensive as an eVent top. He was saying that if it got really really nasty then the Goretex Proshell just gets pulled out. Interesting. We both were still relatively dry despite the changable and ocassionally foul conditions.

A delightful run was finished off with a bit of a stream crossing which cleaned off the shoes, and even though the Garmin was fine up until that point, I managed to turn it off as we got out- I suspect that it was a bending back of the wrist that did it this time, as opposed to it spontaneously switching off.... so I'm going to have to keep an eye on it. (Its odd, lots of people are obssessed with stats on the run, I barely look at the watch when I'm out, hence why I'm always astonished when I get to the end of a run and its not on).

The track of the day is here, I didnt have a camera, the bag wasnt big enough, so I don't have any delightful shots of a misty and wind blown Bleaklow. Next time maybe. 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Glossopdale run- another chance for the 305

After hard resetting the Forerunner 305, (because of the issues I had with it in the past couple of races). Slightly concerned that its totally screwed up and not ever really going to work properly.

Cut a long story short, well, it worked. No issues.
Even jumping over stiles (which is what I think knocked the button on one of the races), falling over and rolling in a field, rain, mud and all that kind of stuff. It worked perfectly.

If you have issues with your Forerunner, download everything you can and hard reset the thing. Seems to have worked for me so far. Going out on another run tomorrow so we'll see how that one goes...

I was on a chillout run today, after the race on Sunday and a hard session at S&P yesterday. While out on the run I wore a Salomon Speed 2 gilet. (I know, I know, there are Speed 3, and maybe even Speed 4s), however, its the first time I've really worn it in anger, and it worked well as a body windprotection layer. When the rain started falling, I pulled on a Montane Litespeed, and that was fine, I wasn't running at full speed or anything like intense tempo- just trying to keep it sane and relaxed, and I didn't overheat, which was good. I reckon thats autumnal chillout run wear sorted, though 3 layers would be a bit hot for hard sessions, I suspect that I'll have to cut down on a layer and just create more heat through effort.

Still wearing shorts. (and they're still white. ish.)
11.5km, 393m ascent, avg hr 135 (with a bit of amusement in the middle- we got a bit distracted by the cows and missed the path)

Glossopdale club run werneth low by ttbudd at Garmin Connect - Details

Sunday, 4 September 2011

Gear thoughts for winter

So I'm arriving at a dilemma.
We're coming into autumn, and then into winter, living in the Peak district and running a lot is going to be quite amusing. I have plenty of walking kit and warm stuff for slow moving activities, and a good lot of kit for mountainous activities.
Not a whole lot of gear for the fast paced running that I'm planning on doing. As long as the weather stays nice, it will be fine. However, as soon as it gets nasty and claggy, things could well get interesting. I'm certainly not going to sit at home sipping cups of tea just because it happens to be a bit wet outside.

However. Neither do I particularly want Hypothermia.
At present my base layers are fine, I have no issue with them, except that they may even be too warm. A couple of long sleeved t-shirts might come in handy.

Waterproof top- needs to be incredibly breathable, and water proof.
Pertex works to a point, and my Montane velo H2O jacket has been brilliant for the past couple of years. The delamination is really starting to spread across the jacket. Its good to a point, but it just isn't breathable in the slightest. I want something a little more heavy duty and much much more breathable.
I appear to have a couple of choices.

OMM Cypher smock. Which seems pretty good. eVent fabric, breathes really well, very weatherproof, not a "rustley" fabric, close cut, very lightweight and generally an excellent choice.
I did see a relatively recent review of it which seemed to indicate that it melted when worn with a rucksac, in much the same way as my Montane featherlite.
Hmmm. I don't particularly want a jacket that melts on me when I run, especially if I'm paying more than £100 for it.

Montane Spektr smock- again eVent fabric, a close cut and hyperlightweight mountain running jacket, with a design that means there are no zips. Rolls up small, seems to be pretty good, though its a bit of a leap to get a jacket with no zip as the ventilation which you might end up needing might not be so good. The hood doesn't have a peak, but its designed to be used with a hat. Interesting.
Hmmm

Rab demand pull on. Again, eVent, a smock, and well designed. Cheaper than the other two, but more designed for mountainous use rather than high paced running, or so I am led to believe. Still, it looks like quite a contender. The hood is apparently pretty good too.
They all pack away ridiculously small, all breathe very well, and all have a look in. Anyone have any strong thoughts for or against any, or have experience with them melting when used with rucksacks? That would be very annoying indeed.

Waterproof trousers- this is an interesting one- I was looking at the Montane featherlite pants, just as something to keep in the pack- but I actually want something that is going to be waterproof when I put it on, not just a windproof. I'm not looking for something that will get me through a kit check, I want something that is going to work for me on the hill.
The OMM Kamelika pants look pretty good- softshell, apparently very runnable in, waterproof and stretchy.
I'm pretty sure that Montane are releasing the Minumus pant early next year, or maybe even this year. I've heard excellent things about the Minimus Jacket, and Im pretty sure that the pants will be just as good. Not sure how nice they will be to run in, but we shall have to see.
Other than that I'm a bit stuck on the gear front. Really, I don't expect to be running in them, they'll be there for emergency only. Lynne has a pair of Paclite pants that would work up to a point, but they are a tad bulky for the current bum bag.
Maybe I need to re think the pants.

Bumbag, 2 litre Inov8 one seems to be going well, but I really miss the water when Im out for a longer run. The 3 litre one might work quite well as it has a waterbottle integral to the design. More gear space, more water. Could be good.
The OMM 4litre bumbag is also tempting, but maybe I should just stick with the 5litre osprey talon that I reviewed here. (apart from the minor fact that it is also Lynnes...)

I run in shorts all the time, and in winter adventure races in the past have used CWX tights. Those, and salomon x-trail tights, which are 3/4 length ones. Both pairs I have are old and another winter is, I suspect, going to see the end of them. I've tried a pair of Montane Mountain Fury tights and they just don't fit in the slightest. I seem to be the wrong proportions for them to stay up as I run, they just fall down, which is really annoying as they seem to be pretty well made.
I might have to look into 2CXU, which seem to be the triathletes brand of choice. As long as they stay up, I don't really care.
(Might need to get some new shorts too. White for preference, and just above knee length!)

Shoes, shoes, shoes, shoes. X-talons? might be a bit cold, but very light and awesomely sticky. Mudclaw 333? Crazy good grip, though I have heard stories of studs coming off- not sure if that particular problem has been fixed yet. O-rocs- originally an orienteering shoe, but has retractable steel studs, might be good on ice... though according to Baba, not so great at contouring.
Anyone know if Inov8 have fixed the mudclaw problem? Montrail no longer do the highlander, and the sportiva ones look pretty tame.
The only other one that I might think about is the new Salomon fellcross, but at £120, thats quite an outlay. If Im shrewd I might even get 2 pairs of old season inov8s for that, which would mean dry shoes on each outing...

Ah, gear decisions. I tell you what, I'm glad Im not a serious mountainbiker or I'd be paralysed by the sheer amount of possible kit I could buy, let alone by the amount of kit in the house, I'd never leave the house for fear I've taken the wrong tyre/ wheels/ bike/ etc. At least with running I just pick up my gear and go.

So. Anyone have any thoughts on the gear? Any experiences? Or better suggestions or ideas? Even better, anyone got some they can lend me, I promise not to break it, just try it and see if I like it...



Garmin forerunner 305

Grrr.
So I've run 3 races in the past 3 weeks, and each and every time, my Garmin Forerunner 305 has turned off in the middle of them. One of them may have happened when I went over a stile, the resulting backward bending of my hand may have bumped the button and switched it off. But the other 2 times, and in the run with Matt and Rob, it seems to have switched off spontaneously.

Now, I'm not so much of a stat freak that I'm in a raging anger about not having my HR and pace stats to geek over at the end of the race, however, it is a bit annoying. Especially when it hasn't happened at all, ever, and then all of a sudden, in 3 races, at the end of the summer season, each and every time I've come in to the end, looked to switch off the watch, and, lo and behold, a blank screen.

Each time I have switched it back on, and looked where it turned off. Today, it was having none of it.
I've already deleted most of the records off the device, thinking that maybe it was excessive amounts of data that was making it crash. After today, it would seem that I was wrong.
Hmmm.

So the next thing to do is hard reset, which is quite easy to do, but completely wipes the unit back to factory settings. Holding the mode and enter buttons and then switching it on.
Boom. Hard reset done.

So now I've done that, I'll have to get out and run with it, see if it works.
If it doesn't, next step, shouting at Garmin.
Fun fun fun.