Electrodash Recap

My friends from the Color Vibe 5k wanted to do another fun event. We picked the Electrodash in Pittsburgh. It was centered around the Great Lawn on the North Shore which meant plenty of parking and some really nice views. The run itself is basically billed as a running rave with lasers, fog machines, lighted props, and all the electro/house/techno music you can handle. Based on this I can say without a doubt that the event met its hype.

I arrived hours early thanks to living an hour northeast of the city and working half an hour southwest of it. I didn’t have time to go home but I had plenty of time to twiddle my thumbs. Thankfully the parking lot I selected was directly across the street from the finish area and I was able to watch the construction as I ate my prepacked dinner and applied my electro temporary tattoo.

I accidentally rocked this thing for the rest of the weekend too.
After a bit I got out to stretch my legs and wander the Great Lawn. I happened to run into the first member of our group, P, and together we began to trek towards the starting line a half mile or so away. When we were a block from the starting line we found the rest of our group heading to the finish area to pick up a packet. We trekked back and then decorated ourselves before we headed back to the starting line again.
 Clouds rolling into Pittsburgh
P and I
The starting line was beyond packed when we arrived. It was supposed to be a two wave start so we found an alcove to wait in while we watched for the first wave. It never came and the clock ticked past when the second wave was supposed to be starting so we eventually just crammed ourselves into the pack and waited.
 Goofing off before the start

 

Just a small snapshot of the crowd
Finally the DJ yelled go and the crowd surged forward… at a snail’s pace. We joked that it was now the Electrowalk. P and I finally got impatient and took off up the sidewalk while the rest of the group stuck together. Once we got off the road there were sights and sounds every quarter mile or so. It was a constant sensory assault with pounding beats, flashing lights, and eerie fog effects for almost the entire course.

 

 

 

 

As we approached the finish line (a mere three quarters of a mile short of a 5k) we were greeted with a stunning view of the fountain at the point. Then we turned and sprinted up a hill to the finish line party.

No joke. We literally crossed the line into a mass of writhing bodies pulsating to the beat and covered in glow paint and glow sticks. It was an adrenaline rush at the very least. Maybe a bit overwhelming to my almost 30 year old self.
Once all of our group had finished we hung out at the party for a bit before heading home. Thankfully traffic on a Friday night in the city is minimal and it didn’t take me long to navigate my way out of the maze that is Pittsburgh.
Overall, I’m pretty impressed with the Electrodash. For $44 we got a shirt, a bib, a ton of glow jewelry, and a moving party for 2.36 miles. Topped off with a 2 hour party with a DJ on the scenic North Shore of Pittsburgh. If you are just looking for a fun run to share an evening with friends the Electrodash is a pretty good way to do it (and costs less than a bar tab or rolling at rave too).

LiveFit Trainer: Week 5

My second attempt at week 5 went much better than last week. I got in all but one workout (one leg day instead of two) and my nutrition was much better. I did have a pretzel at the mine 5k with Gem but really didn’t have too many cheats.

Baby bis and tris are coming out
My weight has stabilized in the mid-130’s but I can tell my clothes are fitting differently. My jeans are looser in the waist and tighter in the butt and thighs. Some of my fitted long sleeve shirts are starting to feel kind of snug around my biceps too. Overall, the changes are more subtle than the first few weeks but definitely there. I’m hopeful that, with three more weeks of adding cardio, I’ll really see some definition soon.
That’s really about all I have for week 5. So let’s hope some big things happen with week 6!

LiveFit Trainer: Week 4

It’s official! I survived Phase 1 of the LiveFit Trainer! So far I have been extremely impressed with the results. It’s not easy trying to eat clean and fit in 5 workouts a week but I’ve been doing it. I’ve even gone in blizzards and the polar vortex mess or whatever they’re calling it this week.

I wasn’t the only crazy at the gym!
The results for 4 weeks of training have been outstanding. I never expected to see progress this fast and it’s not just noticeable to me. Paul is seeing the changes and I just keep lifting more every time I go to the gym. It’s almost unbelievable!
I’ve gone up 50 pounds on leg press alone
And physically, the changes are visible and show in my measurements too. So here’s where I’m at as of the end of Phase 1!
Body Part          Start          Phase 1
Neck                 13.5            13.75
Chest                 33               33
Waist                 28               28
Hips                   38               37.5
Biceps               11               10.5
Thigh                 20               22
Calf                   13.5            14.25
Weight             137             134.5

 

 

 

And that’s all for now! As I move into week 5 I will be adding back more cardio with my weight training. Things are about to get more intense as I move into phase two and I’m really looking forward to seeing what happens as I continue to get stronger!

FitBit

First things first, I guess I need to introduce someone. Friends meet Paul, the new guy in my life. He’s a runner and he lifts. Yeah, he’s awesome!

Ready for a run
Anyway, Paul bought us awesome little gadgets, called FitBit Flex, for Christmas. We’re still playing around with them and figuring out what they can do but so far it’s been neat comparing our goals with our actual daily activity and calorie burn. We are connected through the app on our iPhone and we can cheer each other on or taunt each other (which may be even more motivating right?).
The Fitbit Flex is a wearable tracker that monitors your activity, diet, and sleep patterns. It’s surprisingly simple, easy to use, and comfortable. The device includes a large and small wristband which hold the tracker, a wireless sync dongle for your laptop or other device, a charging cable, and the free app for iPhone or Android.
Fitbit wristband with Flex tracker
After three days of wear I’ve found that the wristband is as comfortable as the rest of my bracelets. It was a little hard to snap into place the first few times but it’s either loosened up or I’ve gotten the hang of it. The Fitbit can be worn in the shower or rain so it doesn’t have to be removed often. And with an estimated battery life of 5 days there’s no reason to take it off most days.
The Flex can be synced to your smart phone via Bluetooth so you can check your stats and progress as often as you want without a cord. And tapping twice on the wristband gives a readout of your progress via five lights. Each light represents 20% of the goal you set (steps, distance, calories burned, etc) and when you reach 100% of goal the lights flash and the band vibrates. It’s never been easier to check your progress in seconds.
60% of the way to my goal
Other features include sleep monitoring and nutrition/calorie tracking. Tap the device rapidly and it begins sleep mode. In the morning tap it rapidly again and it will send the information on how often you were restless through the night to your app. The Fitbit can even be set for silent alarms so it will vibrate at a predetermined time. It can also sync with other apps like Run Keeper and My Fitness Pal. Along with the ability to join groups and connect with other Fitbit wearers, the app will award you badges for new milestones to keep your motivation high. Fitness trends are displayed via graphs and charts and additional band colors are available on the Fitbit site to blend in with your fashion choices.
Overall, I would say this is a great device for motivating yourself and friends for a small price tag. It’s addictive for checking progress and motivating yourself to get all five lights. And the app is easy to use and update. It’s light, flat, and comfortable plus it doesn’t stand out on your wrist. There’s not much more that I could ask for in such a small tracker!
Oh, and yes, I do have the best boyfriend on earth!
Have you tried any of the trackers on the market? Do you use one? What are your thoughts on the usefulness of these devices? 

Why I INB

In the five years since I’ve started running I have learned a valuable lesson. It’s fine to be a bargain shopper… but not when it comes to your athletic gear.

When I first started the Couch to 5k program I wore some craptastic shorts from the bargain basement and a cotton t-shirt. I would slap on the same socks I would wear for every other activity and the same shoes I wore to mow the lawn or walk the mall. I’ve never been a fashionista and that applied to my workout wear as well.

Then I graduated to half marathon training and, with the longer distances, came more discomfort. Chafing, blisters, sweat that just wouldn’t dry, even nagging injuries. You name it, I had it. I realized that I had to invest in my gear so I could live this new, healthy lifestyle. I started with a real shoe fitting at the local running store and then I started paying attention to what other runners were wearing or talking about.

I’m not sure how I found INKnBURN to begin with but I’d guess it was a post on a running forum. I went to their site and found so many styles and colors that I really wanted to try. I decided to start with a Run or Die shirt and fell in love from there.

There are three very important factors in athletic wear: fit, function, and flattery. INB has all of this! Every article of clothing is designed to fit your body. Not hug it, not squeeze it, not hide it, just lay over it like a second skin. The function of the INB line is unbeatable. Want to run a 100 miler and never change your clothes? Do it in INKnBURN! Want to feel dry in humid weather? Do it in INKnBURN! And, as for flattering, the colors and styles speak for themselves. Who doesn’t love to wear fun clothes?

Everything I do… I do in INKnBURN
I’m not even close to kidding when I say that you need to go to INKnBURN’s website, register an account, and then use the code ‘saratoldme’ at checkout. It’s not because I’m an ambassador. It’s not because I was paid to say that (I wasn’t!). It’s seriously the best and coolest athletic gear ever made.You won’t regret it!
I wouldn’t own this much INKnBURN if it wasn’t true!

Kona Kase Review

How many times have you seen a new granola bar, energy gel, healthy snack, or recovery drink on the market and wanted to try it? Have you ever looked at a product online and clicked away without buying for fear of ending up with another case of something you hate? Do you wish you could try samples of everything until you find out what works for you?

I know I sure do. I have a pantry shelf full of protein bars, whey powder, granolas, energy gels, and other supplements and snacks meant to improve my performance and fill in the gaps in my nutrition. The problem is that I never know if something will work for me until I try it… and then I’m stuck with the leftovers if it doesn’t. Until now!

Kona Kase offered to send me a sample Kase and I jumped at the chance. What is a kase? Well, it’s a financial and nutritional miracle in box delivered once a month.

For just $15 a month one of these boxes will show up on your doorstep every month. Inside you will find a smorgasbord of healthy samples. This month I received a KIND bar, a bag of Half Pops popcorn, Mama Chia chia squeeze pack, 18 Rabbits granola bar, a Clif Shot energy gel, a One Bar fruit bar, a Dr. Will bar, and an Osmo active hydration mix packet. Also inside were a card with a motivational quote (wouldn’t that be perfect when you’re having trouble getting out the door) and a grading card so you can keep track of what you like or dislike from each kase.
In the future, Kona Kase will be offering the ability to purchase the products you love right from their website. The best part is they offer multi-month programs and the ability to cancel your subscription at any time without penalty. You can also earn rewards by referring friends using your own personalized link.
So, if you’re ready to sample ’til your heart’s content, then sign up risk-free and give them a follow on Facebook and Twitter. You’ll save a bundle, get to try out the hottest products, and perfect your nutrition in one handy little package!
Disclaimer: I was provided a free sample by Kona Kase for review. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

Wave Sayonara Review

The following post is sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno.

I’ve been dying to try Mizuno shoes since they came out with the Mezamashii project. I was stuck in the same old brands and the same support and the same cushioning for years. I stuck with what worked for me but I still wanted to explore all the new technology and innovation. So when Mizuno offered to let me try out the new Wave Sayonara I jumped at the chance (pretty much literally!).

The Sayonara will replace the Wave Precision and Wave Elixir. It is supposed to be a hybrid between the two, between cushioning and lightweight speed. The perfect blend I suppose for runners like me who like to run long but also race often.

The technology is based on waveforms and force dispersion (ever thrown a rock into a pond and watched the ripples spread?). The name of it is U4ic. This new midsole foam reduces weight without giving up the cushioning and impact reduction. The toe box is also wider (thankfully for me!) and the upper (the mesh part over your toes and forefoot) has almost no stitching to prevent blisters and chafing plus make the shoe more flexible. The insole was also upgraded for comfort. The women’s shoe weighs in at a mere 7.1 ounces. For the men, you’ll be carrying 8.1 ounces.

Coolest tread pattern ever!
Enough technical talk. What everyone really cares about is how do they feel? The truth is….
They feel like marshmallows or maybe clouds. I’ve been running in minimalist shoes since last year and the feeling of 10mm of cushion under my heel threw me for a loop at first. The 10mm drop on this shoe is slightly more than I would desire but it’s extremely low for a Mizuno (most are 12+mm).
Once I got over the initial feelings of falling forward I began to feel… springy. I really don’t know how else to describe it. It was like I was being propelled forward and had more bounce in my step. It’s definitely not an unpleasant feeling. I think these shoes will be a permanent addition to my rotation after Burning River. It’s a little too close for me to do more than short runs in these right now but I’m dying to test them against a half marathon later this summer!
The Sayonara will hit the markets early in July 2013 and will retail for $119.99. I’d say they are definitely worth a shot if you are a neutral runner. They are also advertised for slight pronation and supination. So if you’re old trainers are feeling a little flat be on the lookout for the launch of these puppies soon!
Even toddlers know comfort (if not left and right)

Week In Review: Week 7!

Time flies when you’re having fun! Ummm, training hard? Sleeping 9 hours a night? Spending double digit hours running? Yeah, that’s fun right?

I’ve been meaning to write a post about keeping your body in top shape during blocks of heavy training (and I know what I’m doing is moderate by most standards but it’s the hardest I’ve ever consistently trained). I’m really trying to nail down the things that make me feel better and experiment with recommendations from other runners to find more recovery tricks. So if you’re interested look for that soon!

Now onto the nuts and bolts fun:

Monday: 10 minute warm up, walk at 8% incline for 5 minutes, walk at 2% incline for 2 minutes, cool down. Ab Ripper X afterwards. Total: 4.5 miles

Tuesday: 2 mile warm up, 3 x 10 minutes at 5k pace with 3 minutes recovery between, 1 mile cool down. Total: 7 miles

Wednesday: 90 minutes of 9:1 run/walks. Total: 9 miles

Thursday: 1 mile run + weights.

Friday: 1 mile warm up, 5 miles of hills, 1 mile cool down. Total: 7 miles

Saturday: Rest.

Sunday: 10.6 miles of hills!

Sunday’s elevation profile
Total: 39.1 miles
It’s funny how that seems like low mileage to me after having a few weeks in the mid 40’s – 50’s. Not that long ago I would have been stoked about running this much and now I feel like a slacker for not hitting 40. The good news is the coming week is going to beat that slacker feeling right out of me!
How was your week? How are you keeping track of your training in relation to your goals?

Training Week 4

Well my highest mileage week in probably EVER is over! And I survived! I can’t believe I can say I ran 50 miles this week with no ultras or marathons to pad my total. And I ran all of those miles in 9:23:32. Wish I could do that when I run a 50 mile race! We also had our first snow of the season this week so it made for some interesting runs!

Gem in the snow

So what does a 50 mile week look like?

Monday: Walk 3 miles at 15:08 average pace on a 1% incline plus weights.

Tuesday: 1 mile warm up, 6 miles at steady state pace, 1 mile cooldown. Total: 8 miles @ 9:50 average.

Wednesday: 8 miles of 9/1 run/walks on the trail. Total: 8 miles @10:59 average.

Altras in the snow

Thursday: 1.5 mile warm up, run 5/4/3/2/1/2/3/4/5 minutes hard with 2 minutes recovery between, cool down. Total: 7.5 miles @ 9:45 average.

Friday: Walk 6.5 miles on 1-7% incline increasing .5% every .5 miles. Total: 6.5 @ 14:58 average.

Saturday: Hang out with family and exchange gifts. Stuff face, drink too much wine, and laugh a lot while the kids play in the snow.

Ash in the snow

Sunday: 17 miles @ 10:40 average pace. Really nice day on some easy trail and road plus one giant hill!

Elevation profile of Sunday’s long run

Totals: 50 miles/9:23:32 or 11:15 per mile average.

Now I get to reward myself with my first cutback week just in time for Christmas! And hopefully just in time to PR at a NYE 5k!

How’s your training? Got any fun holiday plans?

Oops and Oats

Wednesday at work was INSANE! I seriously thought I was going to die! My company has an ATV for when we work offroad but my boss told us we didn’t need it where we were going. We got to the site and our contact told us to follow him. We started sideways across the hill and then turned a sharp right to go straight up! The hill doesn’t look so bad in the picture until you put it in context. The hill was about a 45 degree angle and that little orange thing in the background is a bulldozer at the bottom, which had to pull us off the hill!

You can see where we drove up the grass/hay side and then were stopped by the mud which then caused us to slide backwards and sideways into the wall of waste soil! I’m thankful that pile was there or else we would have gone sideways over a 5 foot embankment and flipped the truck! Super scary moment of the day right there!

The good side was that I received something new to try and we all know I love new things! Nairn’s Oatcakes offered to send me a sample of their cookies and crackers for review and I accepted because I’m adventurous a pig. I’ve been taking the mixed berries cookies to work with me and not only are they yummy but they are also convenient! Each box contains individually wrapped packs of a few cookies. Portion control and packable for the win! If you want to pick up your own Nairn’s cookies you can find them at here.

Dislosure: I received this product for review from Nairn’s. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own.

Fast in Faas

If you follow me on Facebook or Twitter then you already know I’ve FINALLY been putting my bike from last Christmas to good use! It’s helping me fit in some easy cardio and cross train my legs on my non-running days which is something I should have been doing all along. Plus the CycleOps trainer means I can cycle in front of the TV watching the same crap I’d be watching while NOT working out. 😉

It’s been a struggle to keep my motivation up since Sandy has pounded the east coast. We’re safe and sound here but the nonstop rain has kept us all indoors. (Keeping NY and NJ in our thoughts!) I don’t mind the treadmill so much but it lends to easier distractions: hop off and change laundry, run upstairs to get more water, interrupted by kids 10 times in a half hour, and so on…. Anyway, I got a package in the mail yesterday that drastically improved my chances of actually working out today!

New PUMA gear! I’ve never tried the brand and I had no clue what to expect so naturally I jumped at the chance to give it a go. My first impression when I opened the box was WOAH! The bright colors really stand out. I’m not normally very ‘loud’ but these combinations are attractive without being too overbearing. The green and orange shorts with the white shirt don’t scream ‘Look at me!’ And the black jacket with hot pink accents is feminine and bold but not crazy. The shoes are a whole different story with the blue and pink but athletic shoes are supposed to be fun! First thing this morning I tried the ensemble out. I probably should have waited for a run day but I’m too impatient. (I did however clean the mirror before snapping a pic… Bonus points for me!)

Second impression: The FAAS Split shorts are SHORT! I don’t usually mind short-shorts but these also don’t have a liner. I felt breezes in new places and I’m not sure I liked that. I tried putting on some underwear but cotton under tech shorts felt even worse. I’m not sure that I would risk running in these outside for fear of flashing unsuspecting bystanders. Cycling outdoors would also be iffy because of the risk of exposure. Comfort-wise these shorts feel great on. The elastic is firm but not tight (for reference I got a size Medium) and they didn’t chafe. From a quality of material and fit standpoint these are pretty awesome for the MSRP of $35.

The shirt I received is a size small. I think the cut runs on the smaller side because I was having issues with bunching up. Whenever I reached over my head or leaned over the bottom rode up and didn’t fall back into place when I straightened up. This usually happens when I order a size too small so I don’t believe that it is a cut or quality issue. For a basic tech tee (MSRP $20) this shirt works just fine. It breathes, it doesn’t have a fabric neck tag, and it has the silky slide-over-your-skin feel. However, it doesn’t have flat seams. This could be a HUGE potential issue on runs over 5 or 6 miles or in the rain. Cycling 6 miles on the trainer in it didn’t pose any problems though.

The jacket is the Faas Microfleece Hoody and it is by far my favorite item in this package! The colors, the feel, the fact that it actually has a HOOD all make it superior to many of my other light jackets. This hoody does feel heavier than many of my jackets and I probably wouldn’t use it for exercise until the temperature is close to freezing. Obviously it was too warm in my house to wear it on the bike but I’m wearing it now! It is definitely comfortable and I love that it has an iPod-sized breast pocket! The only thing I don’t love is the zipper. For a hoody that retails for $90 I expect a sturdy zipper. The zipper on this is cheap plastic and I had trouble with it before I ever put the hoody on. Give me a good quality zipper and this hoody would be on my Christmas list in every color they have!

Lastly, the shoes! The Faas 550’s are comfortable! I think they are also sized slightly smaller than my usual brands. I ordered a size 8 (my usual) and I can’t wear my thicker socks with these. With thin socks the fit is perfect although the toebox feels tighter (narrower) than I’m used to. I couldn’t find the heel to toe drop information on the Puma site but I’d be willing to bet that it is the standard 12mm. It feels a little high to me in the heel since I’ve been running in 8mm and zero drop shoes lately. The cushion is heavenly though and I think these will be perfect as cross trainer or track shoes. Due to the toe constriction issue (probably should have asked for an 8.5) I don’t think I could wear these for a longer run but that’s not a quality issue so much as a sizing issue. The upper and laces feel of average quality. The real difference in these shoes is all in the sole. The rubber/foam blend differs in each Faas shoe from the minimalist, lighter 200 to the heavily cushioned 900. The 550 is right in the middle and feels springy enough to absorb the impact of landing but not overly cushioned enough to impact toe off or reduce power. I’ll probably give these a few miles on the road as soon as I get a dry day to really get a good feel for what they can do.

Overall, I think PUMA has done a great job making gear that’s right in line with the wants and needs of the average runner and athlete. The quality isn’t over the top but neither is the price. For an average Joe or weekend warrior this tech tee or these shoes are probably perfect. If trail or ultra running is more your style then this probably isn’t the line for you. However, for cross training today these pieces were ultimately comfortable, affordable and attractive. I’d say PUMA scores an 8 out of 10 overall with the Faas line!

Fresh Ink (& Burn)

I’m now in week 6 of marathon training and still going strong! I have to say that the more comments I get on here, FaceBook, Twitter and DailyMile the more motivated I feel to keep up with it. I can’t let all of you down now, can I?!

Sunday was a little rough. I was scheduled for 14 miles but we had to take our niece about 4 hours away to meet her grandmother for a visit. After a 9 hour round trip, including a stop for lunch, I didn’t feel much like running and the temperature was still in the high 80’s. My wonderful husband wouldn’t let me quit though. He practically shoved me onto the treadmill as soon as we got home and I felt better for it (once it was over!).

My treadmill resets at 100 minutes so the actual time was 2:32:25. Not bad!
On Monday I did an intense leg workout with my trainer. I’m really enjoying how much more I can do now without suffering (as much!) the next day. We did step ups with 10 pound dumbells in each hand, pause squats with a 10 pounder (hold for 2 seconds at the bottom), and lunges with 10 in each hand. After that it was calf raises with my feet at different angles to hit all the muscle fibers. I was stoked that I could do it all without an issue the day after my longest run of the training cycle!
The best part was waiting when I got home though! My package from INK N BURN was calling me to work out again. I resisted but I did try everything on right away! If you know me then you know I love, Love, LOVE INB gear! Maybe you remember when I ran the Lt. JC Stone 50k in 2011 wearing my Run or Die shirt? I do!
Somewhere on the way to 50k and still smiling in my favorite shirt!
I was practically bouncing out of my chair all day waiting for my lunch break so I could go try out my newest outfit. As soon as my time was up I rushed to the gym. I was only scheduled for 3 miles today but you can’t be a pansy when you’re wearing Ink N Burn clothes!
Could this outfit be any more awesome?!
Let me start the review with my first thoughts. I would NEVER run in denim. I can’t imagine that I have enough Aquaphor to deal with the resulting pain despite the massive supply in my basement. So when I found out INB was making denim-print tech shorts I jumped on them! These have a built-in liner that fits like a glove, doesn’t rub or move, and breathes amazingly well. The print is so realistic that I could probably wear these in public without anyone realizing they’re not real jean shorts. The camisole fits perfectly too. The straps lay just right without rubbing or twisting and the built in shelf bra is supportive but not constricting. And, of course, all the seams are flat so they won’t chafe. The print and colors are to die for too!
Now back to the good stuff! I hopped on the treadmill and I could instantly tell it was going to be a good run. My legs were sore but not dead and my breathing settled into a steady rhythm right off the bat. I ran the first mile at an easy pace and then decided to put my new clothes to the true ultra test, hills! I started doing quarter mile hill repeats with a quarter mile flat in between. I varied the hills from 2 – 5% incline and kept the pace the same the whole time. When I reached 3 miles I just wasn’t ready to be done yet so I continued on to 3.25 or so and then walked to 3.5 as a cool down. I wouldn’t hesitate to wear this outfit for my next long run!
Not a bad lunch run!
I’m going to try the outfit for strength training tonight. I promised my friend I’d help her get into a workout plan so I’m meeting her after work at the gym. There’s no doubt in my mind that I’ll be just as comfortable tonight as I was at lunch. And I’m really stoked about my first personal training ‘client’!
Looking cute AND tough in the gym ROCKS!
The camisole even has a built in key or GU pocket.
The only thing that made my day even better was my Ultra Running magazine’s arrival. I opened it up to find the Umstead results front and center! And, of course, my name is right there. I’m officially famous now right?!
Someday my picture will make it in there too!
*Disclaimer: I bought these items. They were not given to me for review and, as always, all of the opinions expressed are my own!

Give the Gift of Peace of Mind

I mentioned in my Race and Relax post that I was given a GoSportID ‘Inspire’ bracelet as part of the race swag. It is artfully engraved with my name and my motto (which I stole from Marshall Ulrich), “As far as I can, As fast as I can”. On the back is my husband’s name and cell number. Since Savannah I have worn it pretty much every day. I even contacted GoSportID to see if I could get different band sizes because the ones I received with mine are too large. Imagine my surprise and delight when they offered to send me, not one, but two different sizes of bands to make sure I got the right ones!

I was (and am) so impressed that I decided to do a review for everyone to see. I have one of those ‘other’ sport ID bracelets (in fact I had a second one that got lost in my running gear somewhere) and I even bought one for my husband. Our safety is important to us but so is our hygiene and those other bands soaked up sweat and trail dirt to quickly become discolored and smelly. We don’t have this problem with our GoSport’s. The band is silicone and comes clean with soap and water. Simple!

Speaking of bands, I am uber impressed with GoSport’s color selections! You don’t have to make up your mind which is great when you’re indecisive like me! I can use pink when I feel girly, black when I feel hardcore, or change to any of the EIGHT! colores to match my outfit of choice for the day. And the best part is it’s a simple ‘slip on, slip off’ process!

So if you or the runner in your life need a way to stay safe on the road please don’t hesitate to order a GoSportID! With five choices of band sizes (S-XL) and a few choices of different ID’s there is no reason anyone should fear running alone again!

Update: I am especially thankful for my GoSportID this Thanksgiving! My husband and I did a Turkey Trot this morning (look for a racing update post later!) but the race itself was pretty uneventful (if a PR can ever be uneventful!). However, the top finishers were posted very quickly and we realized we had just missed out on age group awards. So we decided to head home and get the holiday feasting started!

About ten minutes out from the race we slowed down to cross some railroad tracks. As we crossed them we heard what sound like an explosion. My husband and I both thought we’d blow a tire or something. I looked into the side mirror just in time to see car parts and glass go flying past us and the front end of a minivan skid to a halt beside us. Both my husband and I were sure we’d been hit.

We pulled over and as we stepped out I was already calling 911. The man driving the van jumped out and started demanding that I NOT call the police. He was obviously heavily intoxicated or high. My husband and I examined our vehicle and found no obvious damage so we locked ourselves in while we waited for the police.

Once the police arrived (and the railroad crew + wrecker to get him off the tracks) my husband and I stepped out to give witness statements. It turns out the drunk driver tried to say that he hadn’t been the one driving and that a family member had been in the vehicle and had gone for help after the accident. My husband and I knew this wasn’t true and the real story came out that he’d passed out at the wheel and woken up just in time to avoid hitting us, striking a telephone pole instead and ripping off the entire right undercarriage of his van.

Shaken but otherwise fine my husband and I made it home safely to our children and a Thanksgiving feast. However, I have never been more thankful for the small band and metal plate on my wrist. If that drunk driver had hit us, or if he had become violent when I refused to hang up on the 911 operator, we could have been identified and given medical treatment immediately. I don’t think I’m ever taking my GoSportID off again!

Ringing in the Holidays with a new Tone!

LG recently offered me the opportunity to review one of their new products, the LG Tone (HBS-700) Wireless Stereo Headset. Of course, I jumped at the chance because I’m a technology junkie!

The LG Tone booklet says “The LG Tone Wireless Stereo Headset brings you the high-quality audio experience of stereo sound with the convenience of Bluetooth technology. Up to 10 hours of listening/talk time keeps you connected to your music and social life whenever you need it. With its unique around-the-neck wearing style and sleek design, LG Tone ensures your comfort throughout the day.”

This little device is basically a do-it-all headset. You can connect with Bluetooth to your phone or iPod touch and then listen to your music while you go about your day or your workout. It’s water resistant so you can sweat in it! Believe me, I sure did! When a call comes in it vibrates and you can then use the controls on the neckstrap to answer the call. And thanks to multi-connection capabilities you can listen to music from your iPod and not miss a call from your phone. You can even connect to your computer!

LG also offers the free (!!!!!) BT Reader application that allows you to listen to your text messages. I couldn’t try this function out because I have an iPhone and it is only available for Android at the moment but I’m sure I’ll love it when it makes its way to the iPhone platform!

So on to my personal experience with the LG Tone! I can be pretty technology-stupid sometimes. I love it but I can never figure out to use it! Thankfully the LG Tone didn’t pose a problem for me. I pulled out my iPod and my LG Tone manuals and synched them up in about 60 seconds. It took me about 2 minutes to figure it out with my iPhone but even that went amazingly well for someone with my technological capabilities!

I promptly took it to the gym for a 3 mile treadmill run. I found that I could easily listen to my music without feeling like I was tied to the treadmill or that my earbuds would be painfully ripped out if I slipped too far away from my iPod on the console. The sound quality is excellent, better than my skullcandy earbuds. The only downside is the bouncing of the neckstrap. I found that focusing on keeping my stride smooth and my footstrike soft eliminated this problem (so maybe it’s really a plus?). A couple 3 mile runs and a 7 miler later I am pretty sold on the LG Tone. I don’t know if I’ll keep using it for my outdoor runs because of the bounce factor but for treadmill runs and everyday activities I will definitely be using it plenty!

Overall, this is a great gift idea if you have an athlete with a penchant for electronic toys! I definitely recommend it if you’re still looking for just the right gift!