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Nov 24, 2015

Slow down of the blog

As you may have noticed, I have not been posting here as much lately.  I've been a bad blogger!  Frankly, I have not had much to talk about running wise.  I'm still running - in fact, I'll probably end over 1,400 miles for the year but there is nothing new to share with you.
I do tend to use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram more and it's very easy to use them rather than get on a computer and type up a post.

Given that, I am still doing product reviews and I'm also doing race reviews.  The only thing is that I'm not running any races until next March!  I know that seems like forever for me but my plan is to run my 100th race (and I've already run 99 races since September) in March because it was also my first 5k ever.  It's the Corktown 5k race in Detroit and it's a great race! So.........that means no race reviews until then!  It's actually very strange for me not to race for six months!  I've had a hard time not being able to sign up for a few races but it is saving me money and I can deal with it.

I'm planning my 2016 racing year now and will add to this list over the next couple months.  I'll also post a summary of my year sometime in December as well.  Until then, follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for things that come to my mind that I post there.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Nov 11, 2015

Nov 8, 2015

Swiftwick Pursuit sock review

A few weeks ago I received a couple pair of Swiftwick Pursuit socks for review.  Here's what I received.
Swiftwick socks
Swiftwick makes numerous lines of socks and I've pretty much tried them all, and wear them all, at this point.  Their Pursuit line is made with merino wool.  I never thought I would be one that would like wool socks but these have much more of a tech feeling to them meaning they are not itchy like you would expect from wool socks.

These socks are also their thinnest line of socks they make.  I used to wear their Pulse line which is also a really thin sock but they stopped making that line  (which I really loved!) so this is my next best choice.  The most unique feature to the Pursuit line is the merino wool feature.  The wool does several things for you.  It helps keep sweat off your feet when it gets warm.  In fact, sometimes when I finish my run, my feet feel cool since my feet stay dry.  In addition, they also help in cold weather too to keep your feet warm.  You would not think that they would be good for all seasons including Summer but they really help wick the sweat.

These pair are the "five" length and Switftwick makes numerous lengths including zero (which is like their no show length) up to length twelve (which is like a full compression size that goes over your calf)

Now I would not be one to pick out this length especially for summer but I do notice for trail running that they do a better job of keeping dirt out of my socks.  A benefit I would not have known had I not been sent this length.  For Summer though, I prefer the "one" length which is high enough that you protect your skin from hitting your shoes.  In winter, these will be perfect and provide a little extra protection from the elements.
Five length
The fit on these, just like all the rest of their line of socks, is incredible.  I've been wearing Swiftwick socks for several years now exclusively and I've been very happy with them.  They don't move around at all and I never get blisters wearing these.  Also the compression is really nice on the feet.  It's not extremely tight but it does not feel loose either.  I also like the compression around the ankle since, as a mostly trail runner, it helps keep out debris.  I never have issues when using them on the roads either.  The sock comes with the seamless toe which is the same on all of their socks.
Same fit as all their sock lines
Overall, another great pair of Swiftwick socks.  These will definitely be my "go-to" sock for winter this season to help keep me from freezing.  Give me warm feet and I can run in any weather!  I would recommend picking up a pair and trying them for yourself.  Retail prices vary based on the length but start at $12.99.

Thanks to Swiftwick for sending these to me to test.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Disclosure:  I received two pair of Swiftwick Pursuit socks in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a particular opinion other than an honest one.

Oct 12, 2015

Milestone Pod review

About a month ago I received the Milestone Pod for review.
Milestone Pod

The Milestone Pod is a tool to help you keep track of miles on your shoes.  It's quite a simple little product.  You take the pod and put a battery in it, attach it to your shoe and then sync you phone to keep track of your miles.
What comes in the package
If you are like me, I always forget to write my miles down.  Of course, I can always go back and look on my Garmin to see what I ran but that is such a pain.  Usually, I include them in my daily calendar so I know when to get new shoes.  This device goes on your shoe and you don't even notice it's on there.  When you first get it, you do a quick update to the pod to get it ready to run with.
Updating the pod
As you can see, you can see the miles also on the pod as well as on your iPhone with a quick push of the pod and it will light up briefly.
Mileage on the pod
After your run, tap the sync button and it will add your run to the Milestone Pod log.
The log shows your pace, time of running, distance and cadence.  It also shows the number of miles you have done per month.
As you can see, the log keeps track of all runs so you can go back and look at them.  For these four runs, I logged the following on my Garmin.

Sept 16 - 6.60 miles
Sept 22 - 4.80 miles
Sept 30 - 5.43 miles
Oct 4 - 5.43 miles

While they are different from the Milestone Pod, I "calibrated" the first run on September 16th to get it exactly what my watch said so that it would become more accurate as Milestone Pod recommends.  As you can see, the pod appears to be off from my Garmin subsequently by about 0.4 miles for each run.  Perhaps I needed to keep calibrating it but I figure it's not something that should have to be done each run otherwise, there's no point to the product.

I would also like to note that when I run with my running buddy, I'm usually about 0.2 miles further than him as well based on his watch.  Given that, it's likely the Milestone Pod is not off as much as shown plus I can't say that my Garmin is not perfect either.  All of these runs were done in the woods which does have an effect on the GPS watch.

Overall, for tracking shoes, no matter what source is correct, the difference is only about 1-2 miles per week so still fairly reasonable.  Well, reasonable at least for tracking mileage on your shoes.
Run log

It is nice that the Milestone Pod will show other details of your run including time you started, length of time, calories, steps, pace and footstrike.
Run details
In addition, it features cadence which I presume is fairly accurate given it's on your shoe.  It also shows your stance time (although I'm not sure what use it is for me), and rate of impact.  The rate of impact is showing 100% low but, I did notice on another run, I was 100% high and running on cement so that also appears to be accurate.
Run details 2
The pod also measures your average stride length.  Mine being about 31 inches I would believe is short because I tend to shorten my stride while running on the trails.  It also calculates your leg swing and your overall efficiency.
Run details 3
Each time you sync, you can see the battery level of the pod and the last time you synced it.  You will notice that my shoe type shows "other Pearl Izumi" because they didn't have a list for the N2 trail shoes I was wearing.
Pod status

Shoe information
In addition to the iPhone sync, you can get an email sent to you with details about how to help you improve things.  In this case, I had emails sent regarding cadence.
As you run more, you are rewarded with new awards to help you save money as well.  It certainly is better than just receiving a little digital award.
Overall, I like the concept of the pod in your help to keep track of miles on your shoes.  You can reset it and move it to another pair of shoes once those shoes are retired but the company suggests you get one for each pair of shoes that you run in and keep track of them all that way.  While the device sells for $25 each, I'm not sure it's worth the money to buy one of these for every shoe.  I wear at least five pairs of shoes!

My biggest suggestion for the Milestone Pod is to offer something that allows you to move it from shoe to shoe and sync the shoe you are wearing.  If you are like me, it will save you from buying one of these for every pair.  It seems this could be accomplished fairly easy by making some kind of clip in order to make it easier to switch to your shoes.  I really cannot see buying it for every shoe.

If you are interested in learning more, you can order them online at the Milestone Pod website for $24.95.

Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Disclosure:  I received a complimentary Milestone Pod in exchange for this review.  All opinions are my own and I was not required to give a particular opinion other than an honest one.


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