There was no real reason to wear my flip belt during last week’s Maple Leaf Indoor Marathon. There are tables for storing your supplies in all four corners of the track. You could pick up your earbuds or cell phone as easily as retrieving a water bottle.
And yet in just a few short weeks I’ve gone from wondering when I’d ever get around to wearing this Christmas present that clashes with most of my running clothes (mine, like the one in the photo above, happens to be turquoise) to feeling like I’m running naked without it.
Because the belt clings to your body, there’s no distracting rattle or jingle. My key goes on a clip that I then tuck inside one of the comfy fabric slits that serve as pockets, and I never have to think about it until after I’m done — unlike every single pre-2016 run when I’d periodically glance down at my shoes to make sure my key hadn’t worked its way out of my laces.
Last time I ran this marathon I wore an mp3 player on an armband that chafed badly over 5 ½ hours. This time I tucked the gadget into one of the slits on my belt, along with the earbuds until I wanted them. In between, I forget they were there.
I didn’t really need my phone during the race — it’s not a smartphone so it’s not super useful beyond basic communication — but since I already had the belt on, I figured, “Why not?” I never glanced at it once, but I wasn’t aware of its presence, either.
There are only two downsides to this belt that I can see:
One is that, because I tend to wear it under my shirt to avoid the color-clash problem, it gets really sweaty on long runs. (But then again, so does almost every other clothing item on my body, and it’s just as easy to wash as a T-shirt.)
The second problem is that if I wear the belt with the slits facing out, I can lose stuff. During my 20-mile run at an indoor YMCA track I was horrified to discover, coming around a bend, that someone was picking up my sandwich bag containing my fuel: two peanut butter-honey balls that probably looked somewhat like testicles from a distance. I hadn’t even realized they were gone. And I would’ve been pretty bummed to discover they were missing around mile 15.
Luckily I was able to retrieve them, and I quickly turned my belt inside out. With the slits facing my abdomen, there was very little risk of anything else falling out.
I was extra grateful for those honey balls when it came time for refueling. And ever since I started wearing my belt “slit sides in,” I’ve never had another problem.