Monday, February 29, 2016

An Ode to My FuelBelt

My FuelBelt and I have been on quite a journey!

It's been with me for nearly every mile (except the stroller runs) I have covered on foot for the last 10+ years.  I don't usually track yearly mileage but I can say with certainty that it has THOUSANDS of miles on it.  It's held strong through (at least) two full marathons, (at least) ten half marathons, half way through a pregnancy, weight gain and weight loss.  It's been there for my race walking days, my run/walk days, my triathlon days, my "oh my gawd I hate running but I love running but I hate it" and during my great comeback of 2015.  It has been present for every single one of my PRs to date.  It's carried my water, my ShotBloks, my phones, my inhaler, my Chapstick, a marble (in case I lose my own), a PB&J sandwich one time, back up safety pins from when I was coaching (inevitably someone would forget theirs), sunscreen for the EXTRA long coaching days, my gloves and arm sleeves for when I overdressed and started peeling gloves off.  The bottles have been replaced twice.  The caps have been replaced once more. One bottle was sacrificed in the great Porta-Potty incident of 2014. I've had to cut fraying fabric off of it.  The FuelBelt even carried a banana for more miles than I'd care to admit while coaching in Cleveland.  There were even bets placed on how long the belt could carry that banana.  I lost the bet but it wasn't the belt's fault.  There was actually a medical emergency that I ran to help and the banana was run over by an ambulance.  True story.
RIP banana.
That FuelBelt has been damn faithful to me.  Which is why it pains me to have to retire it.  A couple weeks ago I went for a run and it would.not.stay up.  It literally slid off my waist, over my butt and would have gone right to the ground had I not caught it.  I had to hold it up while running back to my car where I abandoned it and went back out to finish my run.  My 40 pound weight loss (!!) has proven too much for my poor FuelBelt.  No amount of adjusting will keep it on my waist anymore.  :(

You've done good though, my friend!  I'll always have fond memories of our time together.  But it's time for you to rest now.   I hope you view this transition as a wonderful send off into the sunset and not like you are getting replaced by a younger, prettier model.  But you kind of are.  I took a new FuelBelt for a 5 am running date recently.  And the bright and shiny new belt stayed in place.  The new belt still has big shoes to fill, and needs to prove it's worth still, but staying in place is the first hurdle any FuelBelt of mine must tackle.  Here's to the next 10 years of my athletic adventures!

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