Thursday, January 22, 2015

Nite Ize: Lighting up my run!

Disclaimer: I received Nite Ize gear as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Unfortunately I have not gotten outside as much as I would like to lately to test my new nite ize gear. First I had the flu for whatever seemed like forever.  Then there has been lots of black ice, not worth taking the risk even during the daylight hours can be dangerous.  And of course just the busy life of a marathonmom, her kids and ultrarunner husband.  Niko joined the pre-swim team this year so he has practice every Wednesday and Thursday.  Emir runs in the morning those days and I run while they are at practice and since ms Una is home with me, I stick to the TM (I'm not taking the double BOB out in the dark! I do have some sense ;-) ).

Despite all of this, I have had a couple opportunities to check out all the stuff nite ize sent me.  I decided it would be easiest to just make a list of the various items with descriptions and pics since they generously sent A LOT of stuff :-)

testing out my gear
INOVA STS Headlamp

This is a multi mode dual color LED headlamp.  Which in simple terms means that it has a white light and 2 red lights.  The first thing I noticed was that there were no buttons.  The headlamp has a swipe to shine technology.  I was a bit concerned about this as currently it's cold out so I'm always wearing gloves however as it turns out it was no problem.  I was easily able to swipe the light on while out on the run with gloves on.  I was also concerned about accidently turning the lights on/off due to the swipe technology.  After some investigating, I discovered there is a lockout mode to prevent accidental swipes.  

swipe one way for white, other way for red
The other thing I noticed immediately was how bright the high setting on the white light was, WOW!  I have on occasion been on the trail when darkness hit and my current headlamp just didn't feel like quite enough.  Not a problem with this headlamp.  Both the white and red lights have five modes including high, medium, low, strobe and lockout.  The battery life varies depending on mode however I was very pleased to read that medium lasts 26 hours as I will be attempting my first 100 miler this year and will need something with decent lighting that won't die in a few hours.  I also like the option of being able to use the red light.  Other features were that it's waterproof up to 1 meter and I also found that it was very comfortable to wear.  I really didn't find anything that I didn't like about this headlamp.

demonstrating the red light

LED Marker Band

marker on the back of my head
The marker band has two modes glow and flash.  It has an adjustable band with a buckle for a quick release.  The website says it's perfect for your upper arm, which is true.  I however chose to wear it around my head (I know sounds weird).  I had the lit up part on the back of my head since I had the headlamp on the front.  It was actually quite comfortable there.  I'm sure you could also wear it around your thigh.  It's really bright.  I have no way of actually knowing for sure but according to Nite Ize it is visible up to a mile away.  The on/off button is very easy to access and easy to push when on the run.  My kids were also infatuated with it.  They would totally wear it out on walks in the dark such as for Halloween or in the summer when we are out for a walk to get ice cream or on the boardwalk at the shore.  They think it's fun and makes them more visible for me to keep track of them and also more visible for safety when crossing streets. 

makes a great headband


slap bracelet
This is exactly what it sounds like, a slap bracelet!  I literally have had to hide this from ALL my family members because they keep stealing it.  I have to admit, it's just so much fun to slap it on your arm, leg, waterbottle, running stroller, pretty much everything.  Like the marker band, the slap wrap has two modes glow and flash and has the same awesome brightness.  The on/off switch is easy to operate even when running.  These too will be awesome to have on hand for the kids for night time activities.
"bibcat" testing out the slap bracelet

everyone's favorite

front and back of shoelit
Yes, this is a light that goes on your shoes.  I was very excited by these because I have always thought I should have some light on my shoes when running in the dark.  I mean the more visible I am the better.  I was sent the green color but they also come in blue, red and pink.  They are very easy to clip onto your shoe laces even after you have already tied your shoes you can slip them right in there.  The clip is nice and secure so there's no worrying about them moving or falling off while running.  The lights turn on by twisting them.  It's not really hard to turn them on but not really something easy to do while running so I just turn them on before I start my run even if it's not dark out yet.  I thought they had a nice glow to them.  They are not super bright but definitely bright enough to be seen.  And they are another fun/safety tool that could be used with the kids.  
shoelit in motion

all lit up!


In addition to safety gear, nite ize also makes organizational products.  I received a curvyman and a wide variety of gear ties.  While I have not yet had a chance to use these, as it would require me to actually take the time to organize things around my house, I know they will come in handy in the near future.  The curvy man is a cute little guy that is perfect for wrapping headphone cords around or I could see us using it for charging cables for the phones or our watches.  The same goes for the smaller gear ties.  This year we have numerous trips planned for races and to visit Emir's family in Bosnia.  We inevitably always have to pack tons of cords which almost always end up tangled.  These should definitely help put an end to that.  The larger clippable twist ties will be great for attaching bags to our suitcases, for sleeping bags or whatever else we need to bundle.  It's not easy to travel to Europe with 2 little kids! 

Friday, January 9, 2015

My Epic Struggle at the PHUNT 50K

I knew about two weeks before the PHUNT that it was not going to be a great day for me, not even a good day and that's if I ran it at all.  I was sick as a dog.  I was laying in bed with an almost 104 fever, shivering like I was outside naked in 50 below weather even though I was wearing flannel jammies with two hooded sweatshirts and two pairs of thick sweatpants over top followed by 5 blankets and yes I was still cold.  My body hurt so bad.  On the occasions I reached consciousness and knew I needed to get up an take medicine, I literally would lay there thinking about it for an hour, mustering all my strength just to get out of bed and walk 10 feet.

The week of the PHUNT things had improved a lot but they weren't great.  I still was having on/off low grade fevers, full of lung and head congestion, sore throat and hacking away like there was no tomorrow.  I managed to make 2 or 3 very short 30-40 minute runs on the treadmill that week but even that was no easy task.  Despite the major struggles I made up my mind that I was going to at least start the PHUNT.  I knew if I didn't at least go and try to run it that I would always be left thinking "well maybe I could have just done it even if I just took my time."  I also knew that this year the PHUNT was 2-25K loops, so if things were real bad after the first loop, I didn't have to go back out.