Monday, January 28, 2013

How I Saved Myself Hundreds Of Dollars

Did the title catch your eye? Good! It was supposed to.

But I must tell you this is no get-rich-quick scheme nor is it how you can save hundreds off your car insurance. No, this is just a simple running tip I feel the need to share with you.

So, how did I save myself hundreds of dollars? Two words: Ziplock baggies.

Scratching your head yet? Great. Keep reading.

Remember last autumn when I took a great fall while trailing running? Sure, you do. It was epic! I mean, it happened right smack in the middle of my training for the 7 Bridges Marathon. Well, I didn't share every detail about that spill, but now you will get to hear (in the words of the late Paul Harvey) the rest of the story.

After my spill in the early pre-dawn hours that Saturday in August, I hobbled back to my car to check out my wounds and clean myself up. Seeing I only had a couple of cuts and scrapes (one on my knee - which has left mark, and one on my elbow) and not feeling any pain (YET!), I headed back out on the trails.

My Nathan's handheld water bottle.
However, during this loop, I noticed a sticky substance on my shirt. Since it was on my right side and near the area of the cut and scrape on my elbow, I thought it was blood. And being mixed with my sweat and the dirt, that is why it was sticky.

Hey, it was before 6 a.m. and I was on mile 5 at the time, so it made perfect sense to me.

But when I got back to my car to once again clean up, I quickly realized it was not blood on my shirt and nor was the sticky mess coming from the cuts on my elbow. It was coming my from handheld water bottle.

I don't recall exactly how I fell. All I remember is being upright one second and then skidding along on the trail the next. But apparently when I fell, the pouch on my water bottle hit square on the ground, causing a GU gel to EXPLODE!!!

My Nathan's handheld water bottle is my lifeline. I love it, and carry as much as I can in there based on the mileage I'm planning to run that day. Since a 20-miler was on tap that day, I had a GU, a couple pieces of gum and my cell phone in there. I only had 1 GU in there since I was on a 1.5-mile trail loop and would be making regular passes by my car.

I carry my cell phone with me all the time. You never know what might happen, so I like to keep it with me in the event of an emergency.

See? The phone fits nicely inside the baggie. FYI-that's
my bride's PINK phone. HONEST!
You can only imagine the fear and dread that ran through my mind when I realized a GU exploded inside the pocket of my water bottle. I just knew my iPhone was destroyed. I just knew it.

My stomach was churning, and I felt like I was going to be physically ill as I unzipped the pocket.

Sure enough, my phone was covered in GU, but thankfully it was also very well protected by the Ziplock baggie I had it in. (I was not looking forward to explaining to my bride how I ruined my phone and was going to have to spend money we didn't have to replace it.)

For a while, I had been placing my phone in a Ziplock baggie when running. At first, I only did this on days it was or might rain. Then I started to doing so every day during the hot summer days to protect it from my sweat. When I got the Nathan's handheld water bottle, I put it in one every day since it was right there by water and could be affected by it in some fashion.

Let me just say, I am so thankful I had enough sense and/or wisdom to use a Ziplock baggy all the time. It saved me a lot of headaches.

By the way, I recommend using the snack size Ziplock. Nearly all cell phones can fit into it (haven't found one yet that won't), and you don't have the excess baggy to deal with.

Happy running!

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