For all of the reasons that I love running, there is one that stands out most prominently. Sure, running is good for me, it keeps me balanced and sane, it keeps me from getting fat, it connects me with other like-minded individuals, and it provides a forum for the goal-oriented part of my psyche to do its thing. But here it is: Mostly, running just feels right. It feels good, like something I was meant to do.
I love the simplicity of the motion, and in fact, I love the simplicity of the entire sport. I don’t need spare tubes and tire irons, or a rack of cams and a rope, or skis, poles, bulky boots, and about 10 lbs of winter clothing. It’s just me and a pair of shoes, and I love that about running. Okay, shorts and a sports bra are kind of essential too, and I know some of you will argue against the shoes, but you get what I’m saying - Simplicity.
So, when the awesome folks at The Wilderness Running Company asked me if I would like to do some product reviews for them, I was flattered, but a little unsure. I mean, I’m sort of anti-gear when it comes to running.
Way back when I was 22, I spent five months backpacking on the Pacific Crest Trail. The biggest of many lessons I learned on trail: Less is more. And when you spend 2600 miles learning something, it’s not easily forgotten.
As an ultra runner, however, the truth is that some gear is important. The first thing that comes to mind is hydration. If you’re going to run solo for 20-30 miles (or more), you need an efficient way to carry food and water. You need to be comfortable for that kind of distance, so the right shorts/tights/shirt/sports bra/jacket become important. And, of course, those things we use to protect our precious feet: shoes. All are important.
Knowing this, I was game to review some products for Wilderness Running. Then I looked at their website. Here are the first two sentences from the front page of their gear store:
“The simplicity of wilderness running is among its greatest charms. To scamper through the wilds unencumbered by a heavy pack is to tap into something uniquely pure and primal.”
Um, did they say simplicity? Did they say primal?
And this, from the section of their website called The Trail Running Life, “Wilderness running is about feeling really alive. Awake.”
Okay, clearly these are people with whom I can see eye-to-eye. In fact, I’m pretty sure they have been reading my personal journals or something. I can definitely work with people who think like this.
I even saw fit to write up a report of my favorite Tahoe escape, The Flume Trail, for the Destination Trails section of their website. There are some pretty awesome trail reports there, so I feel honored to be included among such company.
The other true confession is this: In my past, I have frequently worked in gear stores. I worked at a high-end gear store in Minneapolis for two years, and upon moving to Tahoe, I spent a few years waxing skis and slinging gear right here in Truckee. In other words: I know how to speak the language.
So the upshot is this: In the next couple of months, you’ll be seeing more gear reviews here at Daily Adventures. I’ll be tapping into my inner Gear Girl, and she’ll be bringing you all the latest and greatest. (And I swear that Gear Girl will not refer to herself in the third-person, because that is, like, SO annoying. Um, yeah, I promise.)
Big thanks to Wilderness Running for giving me this opportunity, and to you, reader, for reading my reviews. It’s been kind of challenging embarking on this new genre of writing, but it is through challenges that we learn. And I love learning! (So look forward to learning a lot more about gear here at DA!)