Sunday, August 31, 2014

Safety First and a Glimmer Gear GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: I was sent a Glimmer Gear arm band to review, provide my honest opinion and giveaway. No other compensation was provided. This post may contain affiliate links. 

Fall is in the air!  Someone tell me how it is September already?!  Time sure flies.  Maybe it is the little kids or the busy days, but I swear, just yesterday, I was dating things 2012.

But the problem with fall is that sunrise happens later and later and the 5:30 a.m. run that seems like a great idea in the summer becomes a not so safe idea.  It is DARK at 5:30 a.m. these days and will only get darker.  So what is a girl to do?

Enter Glimmer Gear.  From their website: Glimmer Gear® was created for those who want to enjoy the outdoors doing what they love, whether it's running, hiking, cycling, roller blading or just taking a walk around the block. Our products allow you to enjoy the outdoors at night safely. Providing you with merchandise equipped with LED ribbons, causing you to be highly visible to those around you.

Source: Glimmer Gear

You can pick flash or non flash LED lights and you can be seen up to a 1/4 mile away.  So now, the only dangerous thing about me running at 5 or 5:30 a.m. is my BRF grumbling about how early it is!  

This is the arm band all lighted up.

I think the arm sleeves look pretty good too!  Both would be awesome for middle of the night runs in a Ragnar relay race!  They even have cycling jerseys!

I bet SD Dad would love that!  Here is my armband:

They stand behind their product and even have a great warranty policy.  Please note that the armbands are not sold in pairs.  

They are having an AMAZING Labor Day sale right now.  Use code LABORDAY for 50% OFF any product thru Monday 9/1/14!  After that, you can use code SDMOM for 10% off any purchase.  But don't wait for the sale to be over, use the 50% off code!

One more thing.  The generous people at Glimmer Gear are allowing me to GIVEAWAY one LED Arm Band.  How fun will it be to be able to run when it is dark and quiet without having to worry if people will see you?!  You know the drill.  Enter on the Rafflecopter link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Contest runs 08/31/2014 to 09/07/14 at 11:59 P.M. PST

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited. 1 winner will be selected via the Rafflecopter widget.  Open to Residents of the United States 18 years of age or older.
Winner will notified via email (if available) and blog post, and will have 48 business hours to claim prize.
If original winner does not claim prize within 48 business hours an alternate winner(s) will be selected.
Contestants must enter on the Rafflecopter in order to win.
All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn.
Winner(s) will be provided the prize directly from Glimmer Gear.

I am so looking forward to cooler mornings but as you will see in upcoming posts, I am as big of a baby about the cold as I am about the heat.  Ha Ha!  Are you looking forward to darker mornings?  How will you change the way you run and your gear?

Good luck and as always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

Friday, August 29, 2014

Friday Fascinations - Hoka One One

Can you believe it?  This is my 100th post and as soon as I realized that, I knew my 100th post had to be about my favorite shoes.  Today, I am going to write a little love letter review of why I love my Hokas.

The word Hoka is from the ancient Maori language and is roughly translated to mean "now it is time to fly".  From their websiteHOKA ONE ONE incorporated minimum drop geometry along with a rolling rocker design to promote consistent rhythm in the runner's foot strike.  This just means that even if you have poor form, these shoes are so well cushioned, you will be protected against your own self!  

Here is my story of how I found and fell in love with this brand:

When I decided to start running, I thought I could download the Runmeter App and lace on my cute Nike Frees and just start running.  But you know, that isn't how it works.  I started noticing, almost right away, that my feet HURT.  I got to the point where I could barely walk and someone told me about Laces Running store.  

I didn't even make it thru the door when Coach Mike at Laces "diagnosed" my Nike problem.  He said, "You are in the wrong shoe!"  So we tried on a bunch and he finally said the original Hoka Bondis would work for me.  These shoes, especially compared to the Nikes, felt like I was running on pillows.  My feet felt protected and my foot pain healed over night!

Look at those shoes!  I didn't know what to think of them.  Are they supposed to look like orthotics?  Some of my running friends made fun of me and called them "moon boots."  But hey, if Laces thought they would work, I believed.  And I wore the heck out of this first pair!  I still use them for trail running and hiking!

I moved onto the Conquests per the recommendation of, you guessed it, Coach Mike.  The Conquests aren't as gushy as the Bondis and are a much more rigid shoe.  They are about $170 retail (ouch!).  I got my Half Marathon PR in them at the SD Women's Half.

But I wanted the comfort and the wide toe box of the Bondis back and I found a great deal on the Bondi 2 on Gear Buzz.  

These shoes I love.  LOVE LOVE!  Gushy and wide toe box and still feel like you are running on air.  And they are black and white and pink and not the "boyish blue."  But again, all good shoes must come to an end and I recently had the opportunity to try on and fall in love with buy the Cliftons.  

Here is a picture of a whole bunch of Cliftons:

These shoes have been winning all sorts of awards and are hard to come by.  I haven't really run in them yet (they are so pretty!) so expect a full review soon.  But here is what the "experts" are saying about them, specifically Holabird Sports.

Runners World LOVED this shoe!

I also have my eye on the Huakas ($150).  Pronounced Wahka and not HooAhKAh.  Check out this video all about them.

So stay tuned for a review on the Cliftons and then, a review on the Huakas.  I want to incorporate trail running and the Huakas are a dual surface shoe.  So excited!

What is your favorite running shoe brand?  Why?  Have you ever tried Hokas?  Do you love them as much as I do?

In case you were wondering, I was not compensated in any way shape or form for this post!  These opinions about these shoes are my own.  Honest solid opinions!

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Wednesday GIVEAWAY Roundup!

Welcome to another edition of the Wednesday GIVEAWAY Roundup! I go looking for GIVEAWAYS around the web and put them in one place so you don't have to. As always, I am entering these GIVEAWAYS too! So here we go! 

1.  As always, we will start with my super awesome GIVEAWAY of the week.  This week, I am giving away the best running (or cycling) socks ever.  Fitsok.  You have got to try these.

Enter to win here (a coupon code too)!  Ends 8/30.

2.  Nicole at Fitful Focus is giving away a variety pack of Kushyfoot socks!  

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/2.  

She is also giving away an entry into a Spartan Race of your choice + a Sweepstakes to win passage for two onto the Spartan Cruise in March.

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/2.  

3.  Leslee at Her Happy Balance has an awesome Food Should Taste Good giveaway on her Blog including a $100 VISA gift card.

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/3.

4.  Debi at 14 Half Marathons in 2014 is giving away an X-1 Women's Momentum sports armband.  

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/1.

5.  The Naturally Fit Sisters have teamed up with Sox Box to GIVEAWAY your choice of socks.

Enter to win here.  Ends 8/30.

6.  GIVEAWAY Queen Erica at Erica Finds has three GIVEAWAYS for you this week.  

She is celebrating Back to School with Peanut Butter & Co and one winner gets 2 jars of PB and 2 jars of jelly!

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/2.

She is also giving away Torie & Howard organic hard candies 2 winners get 2 4 oz tins and one 6 oz bag of candies.

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/3.

Finally, she is giving away a Yumvelope subscription box!

Enter to win here.  Ends 8/31.

7.  Denise at Healthy Disney Family is giving away a KitchenAid artisan stand mixer.

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/25.

She is also giving away Activz Whey protein shake and Dial body wash!

Enter to win here.  Ends 8/29.

8.  Annmarie at the Fit Foodie Mama is giving away a prize pack of samples of all that Skoop has to offer plus a Skoop Blender Bottle.

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/1.

9.  Mary Jane at Live Love Fitness (and fellow sweatpink sister) is giving away a Bolder Band!

Enter to win here.  Ends 8/31.

10.  Laura at Fit Mama Love is giving away some varying resistance Thera-Bands and a 6 pack of Lyft sticks.  

Enter to win here.  Ends 8/28.

11.  And finally, my friend Brian, AKA Pavement Runner is giving away an Under Armour Heart Monitor.  Armour39 is a performance heart rate monitor that tracks your heart rate, calories burned, real-time intensity and “WILLpower."

Enter to win here.  Ends 9/3.

Well, there you have it.  11 awesome bloggers.  15 amazing GIVEAWAYS.  1 post.  Which ones will you enter?  Make sure to come back here and tell me what you won!

Good Luck and as always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

Monday, August 25, 2014

AFC Half Marathon Recap!

As you may know, America's Finest City Half Marathon or AFC Half is the final stop on the way to the Triple Crown.  A means to an end so to speak.  Otherwise, why would almost 8000 people do a race in the middle of August in San Diego?  

It is bad news bears when the temps are already 70 degrees at 5:40 a.m. and the race isn't even scheduled to start for another hour and 20 minutes!

Let's back up. I did the Carlsbad Half and then La Jolla with an injured hip (Egad!  That hip again?!). I HAD to finish AFC and get that Triple Crown. So I set my "flat mamma" out. As usual: my Spandits top and capris, my Panache sports bra, my Headsweats visor, my new Fitsoks and my Hoka One One Conquests (but I did end up wearing the Bondis).  Long story short, I couldn't get my timing chip on my Conquests because they have lock laces.

My alarm was set for 3:30am so I could do my business and get to the parking and shuttles by 5:00 am. I was able to get on and was greeted by this sunrise at Cabrillo Monument. 

Yes it was early but I didn't have to worry. There is a benefit in the getting everywhere early mentality. They couldn't start without me (could they?)!

I had my pre race breakfast. A slice of Trader Joes flax and chia seed bread with Nuttzo!

Then I was able to meet up with Inge and Aime. Love these ladies!  Inge is one of the ones who convinced me to do the Triple Crown in the first place!

Then I met up with some more women from MRTT including Cecelia (who did the lululemon SeaWheeze in Vancouver the very next weekend!)!

The line to get into the line to get into the potties!  This was a CF!

This is the start line. No corrals so you line up where you think was appropriate.  This was a little weird for me.  I had NO idea where my pace would be!

Here is the course. You can read my friend Shane's recap here since it was essentially my own run!  But here is a little map of the course.  Every Half goes the same for me.  After about 5.5 miles, I think, "Wow!  This is going by quick!"  I do this EVERY TIME!  Then when I got to the flat at Harbor Drive and we were running in the rental car lot, I felt like I was a fire brand being burned  from the top and from the bottom thru the black top!  ACK!  Not OKAY!

And then I was done. Faster than La Jolla (I was injured) but slower than Carlsbad. I don't know...

I had to have my Vega Revovery right away. I could feel my self depleting. 

I knew all things would be perfect because these 2 were on the course at Mile 12.5!  Seriously!  When I know these two and SD Dad are waiting towards the end, it keeps me going.  

Then I got in line for the Triple Crown and had to take a pic with my friend Thia!

My whole family including my mom, my sis and my brother in law wanted to be in this pic. And I say, "Darn right!  This is my moment!"

Here I am. I earned it!

And I was glad to give Shane a ride back to his car. He was hurting bad!  He gosh darn better I hope he recovers soon before he has to pace me at Phoenix!

Me and family headed over to Islands after the race for a cold beer and SOUP (filled with salt and liquid)!

Now you tell me if there is anything better after a race than tortilla soup from Islands!

So yes. It was worth it. I really like the course and would have liked it to be in a colder month. Not August!  Out of the three, I like the Carlsbad time frame the best.  I really like the AFC course but here is a tip from me: Don't go thru the sprayers on Ash Street.  You will get your shoes wet and it will cause blisters and chafing.  Just smile and give the "OMBAC Rainforest" a wide berth.  If you ever do this race, you will know what I mean!

What I would change about AFC:
1.  The start time.
-  No more 7:00 a.m. start time.  It is inhumane.  The sun is out at 6.  Start at 6.  Finishing this warm race at 8 is a lot better than finishing at 9!
2.  The month.
-  No more August.  Why not October?  Or November?  Something cooler than August when there is NO MARINE LAYER!

But overall, I loved it.  The course.  The people.  The scenery!  My time was SLOW but so be it!  All things considered, I am happy!

Tell me, does heat get you when you run?  Is there a race you love which is jut in the wrong month?

As always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom

Saturday, August 23, 2014

A His & Hers FitSok Review and GIVEAWAY!

Disclaimer: We were sent Fitsok socks to review, provide our honest opinions and giveaway. No other compensation was provided.  

SD Dad and I just celebrated our 10 year wedding anniversary. 10 years is a big freaking deal. At least to me anyway. He was so thoughtful with my gift and we had the most fun night out. (Thanks to my sis for babysitting!)

So when Bryan from Fitsok reached out to me, I had an idea. His and Hers reviews!  As you know, SD Dad has become quite the avid cyclist and I thought he should wear Fitsoks while riding and I should wear them while running and both of us write reviews!

Here is what SD Dad had to say (his words):
I had the chance to try out the Fitsok CF2 low-cut socks for bicycling.  

I was excited to try them out so I washed them up immediately in anticipation of my first ride.  For my first ride, I went on a fairly short ride just in case these didn't perform as expected.  When I put them on, they were a perfect fit, snugly supporting my foot and feeling great. On to my ride...put on my shoes and jumped on the bike. 

Couldn't really tell a difference right away other than the initial comfort of the socks.  After an hour of riding my feet still felt great and didn't seem nearly as sweaty and hot as usual.  After the ride my feet felt great.  I tried them again on a much longer ride and they still kept my feet cool and dry.  These are far superior to the socks I've been using and since my first time wearing them I've only ridden with these socks and no others.  I've even gotten to a point where I wear these on the weekends when not riding since they are so comfortable.  I wear a size 13 shoe and 48 bike shoe and the socks fit perfect.  

I am not a huge fan of low cut socks in general so I probably will get some quarter socks next but I will DEFINITELY keep wearing these high performance socks.  

My turn: 
You know me!  I like LOVE color!  I need color, I crave color.  So these immediately caught my attention.

 These socks are so amazing I have completely changed what I wear when I run just to have the chance to wear these.  I used to run in skirts and long compression socks but now I wear capris and these socks.   Because I LOVE them.

So what makes these socks great apart form the cool colors?  Well first of all, they are right-left specific.  Which means that all the necessary padding is on the right part of each foot.  

I still wear my Crazy Compression socks for recovery.  That won't change.  Those socks make me happy and make my tired legs feel good.  But during the run??  I will wear Fitsoks here on out!  Look at my outfit for the recent America's Finest City Half Marathon (recap coming soon, I promise!)!

My new standards: Spandits over the knee capris, Hoka One One, Headsweats visor, Panache bra and of course, my Fitsoks!

The amazing team over at Fitsok have agreed to let me GIVEAWAY a 3pack of the Jewel Pop F4 to one winner and a 3pack of the CF2 Cush to another winner.  That's right!  2 winners!  (If there is a different sock you want, we can play it by ear!)  You will LOVE these socks!

Enter on the Rafflecopter widget!

Contest runs 08/23/2014 to 08/30/14 at 11:59 P.M. PST

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited. 2 winners will be selected via the Rafflecopter widget.  Open to Residents of the United States 18 years of age or older.
Winner(s) will notified via email (if available) and blog post, and will have 48 business hours to claim prize.
If original winner(s) do not claim prize within 48 business hours an alternate winner(s) will be selected.
Contestants must enter on the Rafflecopter in order to win.
All winning entries will be verified. If a winning entry cannot be verified as completed, a new winner will be drawn.
Winner(s) will be provided the prize directly from Fitsok.

Which Fitsok caught your eye?  Do you like SD Dad's choice better or mine?  If you don't want to wait to find out if you won, you can use code SOCIAL14 until August 31 for 15% off your entire order.

Good luck and as always, I wish you Happy Feet,
SD Mom (and SD Dad)