With a Rebel Yell…Bitchin’ ‘Bout (Ear)Buds

With all my carrying on about the past two half marathons, I forgot to mention one MAJOR problem in each race…my damn Yurbuds.  Let me be clear…the debate about whether to run with music is a nonissue to me.  Like margaritas with Mexican or mayo on a BLT, I gotta have it, and everyone else can just shut up and leave me to my tunes.  Be a purist if you will and soak up the zen, but I shall listen to my music during runs and races (you name it…mostly alternative but lots of cheesy pop, Rocky music, R&B, rap, jazz and 70s music thrown in too, kept low enough so I can hear ambient noise and the incessant cheers of “Jesus, lady, you are so damn fast!” as I fly down the streets.)  I am still present in the moment and soaking up my surroundings, but a little Vampire Weekend or Billy Idol never hurts when I am climbing my own personal version of Heartbreak Hill.

I’ve gone through several cheap headphones in the past several years, and I’ve hated them all.  I am a heavy swearer sweater when I run (yet amazingly delicate at all other times), and the stupid things constantly slip out of my ears after the first few miles.

I thought I had solved the problem once I discovered Yurbuds, which are supposed to “twist-lock” into place and are guaranteed not to fall out.  I asked for the Ironman Inspire Pro series for Christmas in 2012, just as I started marathon training and began logging more miles.  Sis and bro-in-law delivered, and I thought my problems of sweaty ears and slipping buds were solved; plus, the set came with the cool controller on the cord to adjust volume, move through tracks and accept phone calls on the run (“No, honey, I’m not cooking tonight, care to pick something up on your way?”).

They’ve inspired nothing but failure ever since.  The silicone enhancers (which come in several sizes to fit your ear perfectly) fell off easily, and I lost one about thirty seconds before beginning my marathon last year (mon dieu!)  I’ve lost several more since.  I ordered a replacement set, and they worked for a bit, until the last month or so, until they started falling out around Mile 3 of every run.  I followed the website instructions and washed them thoroughly.

Alas, at about Mile 3 of Rock the Parkway a few weeks ago, before I got bitchslapped by the urge to vomit, they started slipping out on me.  I twisted more than Chubby Checker, but they just wouldn’t stay, a fact which bothered me less and less as the urge to die became more and more pressing.  I let it go (along with my PR dreams and a significant amount of water weight) and hoped for better last weekend.

They fell out again, and I lost the left enhancer somewhere in a sea of Runegades and Lycra around Mile 4 of the race.

So, F*&^ you, Yurbuds, right?  Well, wrong.  I wandered into my local running store last week to nab a 20 oz. handheld water bottle for the race and noticed that Yurbuds has come out with some behind-the-ear earbuds made specifically for women…the Focus for Women series.  They were under $30, so I bought them on impulse and got so excited that I ripped the package in half getting them out.

Bummer.  No mic controller.  Seriously, Yurbuds?  WTF?  You know we want this!  I hate you!

I was going to try and return them, shredded package and all, but I decided to take them out for a quick spin yesterday, as I needed to get my first shakeout run in since the race.  Despite several days of rest and a fairly intimate relationship with my muscle stick, you can still bounce a quarter off my calf muscles (sadly, the only part of my body that can qualify as “tight.”)  They just won’t seem to relax, though I have rolled, cajoled and sat on my ass to no end.  So I’ve rested, until yesterday.

Strange how restless I feel having taken three full days off from running…I don’t normally go crazy during tapers or feel like a lunatic if I miss a run or two, but I have definitely felt it these past few days.  Oscar the Running Coach also was feeling it, having not run with me for close to a week.  The bad thing about training your dog to run with you is that you train your dog to run with you, meaning that if you shortchange him/her, somebody’s going to get it.  This time his fluffy dog bed paid the price, as he ate the stuffing out of it in a clear plea for a 3-miler, minimum.

We headed out, with my new earbuds in place, held in the perfect spot by the behind-the-ear piece.  I wanted to hate them, but I couldn’t.  I couldn’t feel them at all.  It was like I had nothing in my ears.  The earpiece held them in place perfectly, the sound quality was better than my Inspire Pro losers, and I could still hear ambient noise…they were perfection except for the lack of the controller.

Did I mention they were perfect?

I was in a quandary…I found comfortable headphones that I’d already purchased and used, but I still wanted an external controller so I could tuck my iPhone in my SpiBelt and not have to deal with it!

Well, problem solved, I hope.  I got my Active Gearup email this morning advertising various types of headphones and noticed the Outdoor Tech Adapt, an adorable little doohickey that turns your iPhone into a wireless device.

I googled it to find an image for you, and this came up, which is frankly too priceless not to share…when I get mine, I’m going to hoist my A-cup boobs into the top of my sports bra and take a selfie just like this, because I just have to!


Now that I’m done giggling…

So I can clip this to my belt, singlet, whatever, and just plug my headphones into it instead of my iPhone.  Genius.  Active.com had it on sale for $19.95, which will bring my grand total to still less than the Inspire Pro Series.  I’ve read several good reviews, so I pulled the trigger.  I can’t wait!

More, more, more!

What I’m running to:  Fancy by Iggy Azalea



28 thoughts on “With a Rebel Yell…Bitchin’ ‘Bout (Ear)Buds

  1. I wish I could give you some advice, but as a purist, I no longer run with music. I am looking forward to seeing your selfie, haha! It’s amazing how in the advert that my eyes were immediately drawn to the product 😉 But what I’m more interested in is what’s going on in the background. It looks like a fist fight.


  2. Thanks for this post! I’ve been on a mission to find earbuds that actually stay in place while running and I’ve come across nothing that works yet. These ones sound promising!


  3. I remember buying my first yurbuds at an expo and they were awesome. They actually fit you on the spot. It was great because you could have two different sizes. Now that they have become so big that uniqueness is gone. You hope that one of the three sizes included in the kit fit your ear.
    I finally lost a bud from my original purchase 7 years ago. Now I am left scrambling…. I feel your pain.


    • I loved mine at first and hated to turn on them, but I tried everything and just couldn’t get them to work. I really hope that the behind-the-ear piece and Tech Adapt are the solution (considering I’ve spent $50 now!)


  4. I haven’t been running with music since I joined a run group, but I used to absolutely require it in order to run. I used the free earbuds that came with my iPhone though, they were meh. I just never wanted to spend a bunch of money on headphones because I’m cheap. But these sound pretty good!


  5. Thank you for this post! I became a “purist” not because I don’t like running with music, but because I got tired with fiddling with slippery ear buds while running. I’ll give these a shot!


  6. I love tech gadgets, especially for the iPhone. That is very cool, except to get it at the $19.99 price you have to buy pink! I guess I could get over that, but I might just spend the $39.99 for a more manly color. 🙂


  7. Okay so I think you just sold me on new Yurbuds. I got some for Christmas and I HATE THEIR GUTS. I really wanted to love them because my husband is sweet and got them for me, but they are just the worst. So right now I’m running with crappy iPhone earbuds that fall out every 5 seconds unless I have a headband on to keep them in place. Do not like.

    I’m going to Target on my lunch break to see if they have these and maybe pick up that little wireless thing later because that’s cool.


  8. I love my yurbuds, but I have lost some of the buds too. I also busted one pair at mile 10 of a marathon, which sucked big time. That was totally my fault though

    I love the idea of the outdoor adapter. I hope it works for you. I’m tempted to try the behind the ear yurbuds, but I did just buy three pairs of clearance sale regular yurbuds for $8/pair at target.


  9. I use JayBird wireless headphones. They work awesome and I don’t have an issue with them falling out. They have a controller built right into the earpiece so you don’t have to find the controller on the cord. A bit pricy though. Just a thought if your current solution doesn’t workout.

    I also suffer with the tight calf muscles. I totally sympathize. I’ve tried just about everything under the sun to get them to loosen up too. Stretching, icing, BioFreeze, rolling…My best solution so far is a heating pad, not icing. I use it directly on the calf and the next day the muscles are released.

    Your blog gave me the giggles today. Thanks!


    • Thanks for the tips! I appreciate it and may try the heat on the calf muscles tonight. I’ve used Thermaheat packs on my quad once before my marathon to try and loosen up adhesions, and it worked wonders…makes perfect sense for the calves, but I never thought of it! 🙂


  10. I (stupidly) listened to people’s advice that said to ditch the music during my first half marathon to “soak up the zen” and “really experience it.” It was my only mistake during that race. Stupid people.


    • I hate stupid people. I listen to music during every run and race, and it doesn’t block zen! I hear the crowds and the runners, and I experience plenty of the joy and pain, but with the added bonus of being able to focus in on my music when I need it! 🙂


  11. Pingback: Product Ho: Spending My Money So You Don’t Have To | Maybe Marathoner

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