Run Gear Recap: Back to {Polar} HR, Altras & Active Accessories

After briefly grieving the loss of my trusted training partner, G (aka Garmin 405), last summer, I unexpectedly fell into the technology-free running zone. After running with a GPS strapped to my wrist religiously for three years, it felt completely unnerving refreshing to run without stressing about stopping a watch right at the red light or hearing a beep every ~8 minutes (on a good day) or looking down every 10 seconds (on a bad day) to see the tenths of a mile tick so slowly by.

Fast-forward 12+ months and I’m so used to running watch/tech-free that it feels more normal than not to be completely clueless. I may check the clock before I head out and again when I get back, map out the distances so I know how far I went (at least according to the accuracy of MapMyRun) and get a time-check from Kate if she’s with me. It works. I haven’t lost speed or endurance – or at least not thanks to running watch-less – and I’ve probably gained a few notches of sanity.

All of that to say, when a Polar HR rep asked me if I’d like to try one of their new products, I paused. Do I want another GPS watch? Do I really want to battle with the HRM? Do I really care about the stats?

Sure, why not. We’ll see how it goes. No, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t fun to have here n’ there.

Polar HRM_running

And just like that, the watch-shot is BACK.

Meet: Polar’s RC3 GPS.

The Heart-Rate monitor and I are feeling it out. I’ve worn it a few times, and used it to stay in a Zone (2?) for a long, slow-and-steady run two weeks ago. I’ve tested out the “Other activity” feature to see how these morning boot-camps are adding up. It’s an interesting data feed to keep up with!

I am a big fan of the recaps (read: data) the watch provides.  If you’re a stat-nerd (embrace it), this watch should be on your wish-list. My mind isn’t quite there yet, but even I can appreciate having the numbers at-hand should I decide to pick them apart. And when I’m ready to go for another marathon, half-marathon or sprinting PR, there’s no doubt in my mind that this training tool will work its wonders.

This particular watch made its race-day debut with none other than Tony Horton and my first 5K of the Fall season.

Polar HR_Tony Horton 5kPolar HR_Tony Horton 5k_watch

More to come!

(RW Festival, MCM 10K, Backyard Burn 10-miler – to name a few!)


Speaking of that Runner’s World Festival…

As a member of their blogging team, I recently received a pair of Altra ZeroDrop Intuition’s to test out. It’s definitely been a year of new footwear!

Altra DropZero Intuition

These zero-drop shoes are flat, light and totally different than anything my feet have slipped into before. I’m breaking them in with my standing-desk at work, and taking them out for a running adventure soon! Any tips for a first-time minimalist tester? Happy to learn from the experienced – all ears!


Speaking of running adventures….

Thanks to our new office location and a new car-less lifestyle, my plan-for-the-day skills have had to simplify everyday commuting. I often rely on my love for the DC bike-share, metro and/or bus system (and, of course the wonder that is Uber). But, our office also happens to be a perfect-evening-run 6 miles away from my ‘hood. And this running-commute is made possible thanks to lululemon pockets (all over crops, tights & running shorts alike) and this:


Active Accessories on-the-go pouch fits my phone, metro card (well, you know, just in case) and keys quite comfortably. It’s easy to hold onto and protects all of the above from sweat. Win, win!


Full disclosure: the products above were sent to me free of charge. The opinions expressed here are my own.


What’s on your run/bike/swim/walk must-have gear list this fall?


Filed under running, running gear, training

3 Responses to Run Gear Recap: Back to {Polar} HR, Altras & Active Accessories

  1. I’m such a data nerd also … embrace it! :) I think my Garmin is my must-have, although my original one broke, and now I’m using my husband’s, which is already on its last leg …

  2. I’ve heard great things about Polar GPS watches.
    I use a Garmin but haven’t turned it on in five weeks since my Ironman. It’s been great not dwelling that I’m going too slow, etc.
    Sounds like you have a fun Fall running season on the horizon! My only suggestion about the shoes would be to ease in slower than you think you have to!
    On my must-have list for fall is a pair of trail running shoes! I LOVE running trails and need to get a pair!

  3. For the minimalist shoe run, just plan on a short one. Your calves will be burning quickly! Also, stick to the streets the first time because trails + minimalist shoes take even longer to get into the groove with. Rocks/roots can be painful if you hit them wrong in those guys! :-)


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