Running Products: Brilliant Reflective, pjuractive and BibBoards!

So, it’s January and you may have decided to start running as one of your New Year resolutions. Heck, you might even have stuck to it — keep it up! Or you might be a seasoned runner who’s taken only a few rest days in the last few years. Well, for you and everyone in between, here’s some running products I’ve come across recently that you may find useful.

Brilliant Reflective Strips

I generally don’t do a great job of staying visible in the dark. In fact, most of my running clothes are either black or grey. Doh! These reflective strips from Brilliant Reflective come in Iron On, or Stick On varieties, and also in multiple colors.

pjuractive 2skin

This is one I could definitely use. pjuractive 2skin is an anti-chaffing gel. I would be prone to a little chaffing, especially on longer runs. Just this morning I wore my new club shirt and my poor nipples have been sore all day. TMI?

BibBoards

These interest me. On one of my last races, part of the swag was a set of magnets to hold your bib. One of my magnets was broken, so I didn’t use them. A friend who was also running that race did try the magnets and regretted doing so. However, these BibBoards look like they would hold the bib securely. Anyone tried these?

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2017 in Running

In 2017, I logged a total of 1132.5 miles. That’s an average of 94 miles a month, or 22 miles a week, or a 5K every single day!

I ran a total of 226 times. This means every time I left for a run, I ran an average of 5 miles.

It’s weird now as a runner, that being sick is worse because I can’t get out to run. I was out sick and unable to run for 21 days in 2017.

All of that running took 184 hours and 7 mins, which means my average pace was around 9.45/mi — this includes road, trail, stroller runs etc.

I participated in five races throughout 2017: Krispy Kreme Challenge at the start of Feburary, Running Of The Bulls 8K in June, Night Nation 5K in August, Cup Cake 5K in October and the amazing Race Across Durham 10 miler in December.

My favorite races were the Running Of The Bulls 8k and the Race Across Durham, both organized by Bull City Running Co.

It took four pairs of running shoes to get me through this year:

  • Hoka One One Clifton 3 (445 mi — Retired)
  • Hoka One One Clifton 3 (390 mi — Retired)
  • Hoka One One Clifton 3 (255 mi — Active)
  • Hoka One One Challenger ATR 3 (25 mi — Active)

I like Hokas. 🙂

The Challenger ATR’s are for trails, which in 2017 became my new favorite running terrain, and the Eno River State Park became one of my favorite places to run.

2017 was the year for PRs: 4:18 for 1K in September, 7:24 for 1 mile in March, 23:45 for 5K in September, 51:34 for 10K in February, and 2:04:58 for 13.1 miles in May.

Aside from PRs, I ran my longest ever distance at 16 miles.

2018

In 2018 I would love to get my half-marathon time well under 2 hrs (hopefully in March at the Tobacco Road Marathon). I am also aiming to get my 10K time down to 50 mins or less.

In addition to just running, core strength training is something I need to work into my routine.

Also, in 2018 I will be part of the BibRave Pro team, which is an amazing opportunity to run and review races for free, plus review some of the newest running products on the market. Check out bibrave.com for race reviews before signing up for your next race!

 

Screw It — Winterize Your Old Running Shoes!

I was listening to a recent BibRave podcast and they were talking about a DIY hack to winterize your (old) running shoes. The trick involves screwing a number of sheet metal screws into the soles of your shoes to provide better traction on hard packed snow and ice. What a neat idea!!

So I did a bit of research online and found the following video which explains what to do.

I couldn’t work out why Liz wasn’t keen on me trying this out over the holidays and winterizing an old pair of Hoka Cliftons. It seemed like a no-brainer to me. I was planning to order the screws on Amazon to have everything I needed.

It all became clear on Christmas morning when I opened a set of YakTrax! She’s the best. I’ll just have to tuck this idea away for another time — like when I wear out the YakTrax.

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Tech: Convert Your Strava or GPX routes to Google Street View Hyperlapses

I came across a website that can covert your GPS running data into Google Street View Hyperlapses. I exported a GPX file from my morning run and produced the video above.

The website currently doesn’t support downloading your finished hyperlapse, so I had to perform the following steps to achieve this.

  1. Uploaded my GPX to gpxhyperlapse.com and adjusted the settings until satisfied with the output speed and frames.
  2. Add the Nimbus Screenshot & Screen Video Recorder extension to Chrome.
  3. Started screen recording and downloaded the finished video. It was in .webm format which I’d never heard of.
  4. Used an online video editor to crop the video to the frame size (removing rest of browser window, etc.).
  5. Converted to mp4, and uploaded to YouTube.

In other words, quite an effort really, but interesting all the same.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

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I hope everyone has a wonderful Christmas weekend and enjoys some quality time with friends and family. Rest, rest and more rest. That’s my plan for the next week. Of course, a little running will be woven in here and there!

Here’s a wee video I recorded over six years ago now! How time flies! Enjoy!

Added: Hot Chocolate 15k – Charlotte, NC

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Hot Chocolate 15k Charlotte as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I just signed up for the Hot Chocolate 15k in Charlotte, NC — my first race as a BibRave Pro! For those not familiar with BibRave, it’s a website where you can find and write race reviews.

As a BibRave Pro (Ambassador), I get to fuel my running passion by participating in races and reviewing running related products and then telling everyone about it!!

The Hot Chocolate race series is hosted in cities all over the country and they offer both 5k and 15k races. I have signed up for the 15k (just under 10 miles) and will be running through the streets of Charlotte on 10th Feb 2018.

Take a look at the swag — I loooove the shirts.

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During signup I opted to have the race packet mailed to me. That saves me having to take off early from work to drive to Charlotte for the race expo. Nice!

Another cool option is assigning runners to different starting line “corrals” based on their estimated pace. I submitted a pace of 8.30/mi for the course. To my surprise, the online form requested some evidence for this. I attached screenshots of official results from recent races.

I’ve only been to Charlotte a couple of times, so I’m not too familiar with the city. I do know that running around city streets is one of the best ways to explore! It’s one reason I love Durham road races.

It’s going to be a cold morning – I don’t need to see a weather forecast to know that, so a nice hot cup of Hot Chocolate is going to go down very well.

Want to run it with me? I have special code for you, if you’re thinking of signing up. Use the code BibRaveHCChar18 to snatch a Hot Chocolate branded cap!

I’m looking forward to meeting some of the other BibRave Pros!

Vertigo is Horrible

vertigo.pngI blogged recently about experiencing dizziness during my run last Saturday, while visiting Ireland on business. I thought at the time it was simply related to a combination of jet lag and dehydration.

The dizzy feeling went away on Sunday, and as I blogged then I felt just fine, hopeful I’d get back out for a run on Monday evening.

This wasn’t to be.

On Monday at work the dizziness returned. By lunchtime I had thrown up in the restrooms and had to be taken home by a co-worker.

I could write a whole post on the sole topic of getting an appointment with a doctor in Northern Ireland, but to cut a long story short, I ended up in A&E (ER) on Monday evening.

It was vertigo, as we had began to suspect. The only relief from it could be had by lying down flat and not moving. The doctors gave me an injection to take the edge off the dizziness and nausea, and prescribed some pills to do the same.

Each day brought only a slight improvement to my symptoms. I was not recovering as quickly as I had hoped. It was Thursday before I was able to work again without my head spinning. I didn’t drive to the office that day. I worked remotely from my parent’s house.

I felt really bad about being flown over to Ireland to train people and then being out sick most of the week. I am thankful to my work who understood and gave me the time to rest.

Friday was my first day physically back in the office after my exit on Monday, and yet even now on Sunday I’m still not back 100%.

Vertigo is horrible.

This week it has prevented me from working, and also from running. I still think it’s going to take a few days more before I even attempt a run.

However – there is some good news. What Vertigo didn’t prevent me from doing is catching up with family and friends. I was very happy to meet and hang out with my little nephews and niece for the first time.

So, an eventful trip to Ireland to say the least. I’m sitting in Boston airport, waiting on my plane to Raleigh. I’ve missed my wife and kids. I am looking forward to getting back to normality all around.