Early in the week I discovered what has now become a new love! Running with a weight vest, this is something that may sound painful and extreme but it has added a refreshed feeling to my runs. When I tell people I run marathons they take one look at me and assume I must be kidding. My stature of 5’6’’ with wide shoulders and stocky upper body make most people think I do power lifting, so it comes as quite a shock when I explain I have ran as far as 76 miles at one time. I am now getting the same looks when I try to explain the benefits of my weight vest. Oh my weight vest is amazing, it fits snug and can hold up to forty pounds with small dowel shaped weight insert. The inserts can be placed in rows of ten, two rows in the front and two in the back; I have started with ten pounds. Don’t want to start out with too much as I want to avoid an injury. It quickly occurred to me as I strapped this vest on to run around Fort Drum, New York that it strangely resembles a suicide bombers vest. Add the look on top of running and I am not sure it’s a safe idea to pound the pavement with my vest on, but run I must. The idea of a weight vest popped into my head after doing a trail run with another ICEdot Athlete, named Chris. Chris and a few others and I met up in Charlotte to do a quick jaunt around a three mile trail; Chris shows up with a weight vest and proceeds to blow us all out of the water. For the next week all I could think about was getting a vest, I scoured the Internet for information on weight vests and the benefits and dangers of running with one. Finally after a trip to Charlotte, North Carolina I stopped at Dick’s Sporting Goods and became a proud owner of my next running buddy. In the past I have had other running buddies ( a tire I drag, a gas mask, a rock, a log, and finally my dog), though I still use the other running buddies I don’t really always want them with me. Quickly I discovered the running best was different! I noticed a ring on the back I can attach a D ring to which means I can drag my tire together, a double date with my running buddies! The snug feel made me even happier as I realized it doesn’t bounce and then I strapped it on to do a short two mile out and back loop. HUMBLED. I am glad to say, I finished this run but it sure took some intestinal fortitude, the two miles was over three minutes slower then an average run. I knew the running vest would give me another shot, I felt I owed it to the vest to push harder and find an established routine with said vest. A few nights ago I strapped Mr. Vest to my body and decided on a four mile loop near my house, I knew once I got into the loop I could finish ( I had no other choice). Around two miles I began to get fatigued, then like a cool wind I felt lightness and I begin to pick up the pace. I knew endorphins had taken over and I decided what is four miles so I pushed it to five then six and finally I finished with a 10k. Though it was slower then most of my 10k training runs I felt a bond finally emerge between Mr. Vest and myself. In a weak moment I told the vest I loved it, silence. Awkward.
NOTE: I will be participating in the Spartan Death Race in Vermont in June please check in weekly for an update on my training. Also, taking suggestions on what to name Mr. Vest!
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