Saturday, April 28, 2012

I Go Running and Buy New Luggage

On Saturdays, M and I often go out for a breakfast diner date.  It started back when I was in residency and doing overnight shifts.  He'd pick me up from the hospital and we'd go grab a bite and I'd go to sleep for the day when we got home.  Nowadays, it's a charming holdover, a reminder of the days of incredible sleep deprivation.

Sometimes, I run home from breakfast.  After I get some carbs in, I decide to work them off.  Today I turned in five miles.  They weren't my best miles.  They were slow and kind of ugly, and I have decided it's time to junk my 10K playlist.  All the music is just too slow now.  So I need to go get a strong round of 80s music.

In other news, I have finally replaced my hosteling backpack.  Oh, I'll keep the Horrible Ugly Green pack for a few years yet, in case I need a pack with great lumber support which to run from the zombie apocalypse.  But sadly, it has outlived its usefulness as a traveling item since I avoid checking luggage whenever possible.  It's carry-ons for me these days.

I settled on the Osprey Porter 46.  It's a carry-on sized duffle with backpack straps.  It narrowly beat out the Rick Steves Convertible Carryon.  It made me a little sad to not love the convertible carryon, because I am a total Rick Steves fan girl.  (He's just such a delightfully loveable dork.)  And I wanted so much to like it with its fabulous pocket locations, built-in laundry section, and a secret document pocket in the bottom.  It had a secret pocket!  So cute! But alas, the backpack straps killed it.  When I packed it with every single thing that was on my packing list for this summer, it was far from full.  But it's a soft-sided bag, so even with the load secured by tie down straps and the sides cinched as tight as they could go, it was very floppy.  It flopped when carried as a suitcase.  It flopped in backpack mode.  When I put it on my back, the straps cut into my narrower girl shoulders, and started rubbing raw spots.  That's actually pretty bad news in a back pack when I know we'll be carrying our packs for longer than 30 minutes.  So sad.  Maybe just a simple sternum strap could have saved it...

So I tried the Osprey Porter 46, which has stiffer foam sides that compress the load so it doesn't flop.  And the straps have a sternum strap and suspension clips (like my hosteling and backpacking backpacks do) so the load balances off my hips and doesn't touch my shoulders.  After 30 minutes, no raw spots.  It won because it doesn't cause me discomfort.  Oh, the first world problems, right?

So that's it.  The saga of finding new luggage is over.  Now it's just a matter of finding time to make myself a snuggie sack for the hostels and getting all the rest of the fundraisers pulled together.

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