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Dec 31, 2012

2012 vs. 2011 statistics recap

Rest day on the schedule.


2012 Stats:

  • 264 days of running
  • 1,639 miles
  • 25,448 feet of elevation
  • 237 hours 54 minutes of time running
  • Average speed 6.9 miles per hour
  • 169,605 calories burned
  • 17 days of cycling
  • 166 miles of cycling
  • 10 hours and 21 minutes of cycling time
  • 17 strength training sessions

2011 Stats:
  • 265 days of running
  • 1,579 miles
  • 18,009 feet of elevation
  • 226 hours 59 minutes of time running
  • Average speed 7.0 miles per hour
  • 151,737 calories burned
  • 32 days of cycling
  • 336 miles of cycling
  • 19 hours and 48 minutes of cycling time
  • 55 strength training sessions
I think it's fair to say I should have done more cross training in 2012.  I did much more in 2011 and even that probably was not enough but at least I biked around 3 times per month and lifted weights more than once a week in 2011.

I'm always amazed at my year end results.  I certainly improved as a runner this year(even though I need a rest now).  Just look at the amount of elevation difference.  Quite a difference in my hill training in the two years.  I'm also really surprised by the number of days running each week.  A very consistent 5 days a week running but I also ran 60 more miles in 2012 and that would have been more like 85-95 had I not take a break at the end of this year.

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

Dec 30, 2012

2012 year in review

Well it was a very exciting year on the home front for Detroit Runner.  As you may or may not know, I don't set yearly goals so I have nothing to compare this although I do have a 2012 vs 2011 post written that I'll likely share tomorrow.

Here are the highlights of things I did in 2012 --

I ran 15 races during the year including 2-5k's, 3-10k's, 1-10 miler, 7 half marathons and 2 marathons.  The most I've even ran in a year.  You can read all the race reviews HERE.

I received a medal in every race ran this year!  You can go HERE to see them all.

Ran my first trail half marathon - actually my first trail race ever - It. Was. Hard.  I got to meet Marshall Ulrich there.
Me and Marshall Ulrich at the North Country Half Marathon
Ran 2 marathons; The Flying Pig in Cincinnati and Grand Rapids Marathon - Flying Pig was the hardest marathon of the four I've run.
Flying Pig expo
Grand Rapids Marathon
Ran ZERO miles on the treadmill.
I logged every single mile outside
I PR'd in the Marathon only this year but by a huge margin - 20 minutes! 3:38:45 at Grand Rapids
Celebrating after the GR marathon
I logged 1,639 miles.

Won an AG award in two races - St. Mary's Mercy 5k in September and Jingle Bell run 5k in December.
Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5k
St. Mary Mercy 5k
This is the first year I've ever run a race in December.
Jingle Bell 5k
I completed 39 gear reviews on running merchandise - you can read about them HERE.

I ran two races outside of Michigan -- Glass City Half marathon and Flying Pig Marathon - both are fantastic races.
Glass City Half Marathon
Flying Pig Marathon
I ran 3 races with the Renewal by Andersen Team.
Ann Arbor Half Marathon
Brooksie Way Half Marathon
Jingle Bell Run for Arthritis 5k
This is the first time I've ran two half marathons within 6 days of each other; Brooksie Way Half marathon and Brückeläufe Half marathon.
Brooksie Way Half Marathon
Brückeläufe Half marathon
And last but not least, I was the official Blogger for the Kona Running Company, blogging about each of their races.

Allen Whitehead, Race Director
Sham Rock N Roll 2012
Solstice Run(nka Kona Run) 10 mile
Alan Whitehead with Hanson's elite runners Clint Verran & Luke Humphrey
Photo used with permission of Carter Sherline/Frog Prince Studios 
Wicked Halloween Run
Alan Whitehead with Morgan Whitehead

I hope your year in running was as good as mine and i look forward to a successful 2013.

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

Dec 29, 2012

Brooks Ghost 5 review

Rest day on the schedule today


About a month ago, Brooks was kind enough to send me a pair of their Ghost 5 shoes for review.  Here's what they sent:
The Brooks Ghost 5
I chose the blue/white color mainly because I have a pair of bright yellow shoes so I thought I would go with a more traditional look.  It's nice to have a pair of shoes that are not crazy colors although I do like crazy colors for running shoes.  First impression right out of the box is that I like the look of these shoes.  They have a great style to them.  Of course, I did not pick them for style and, really, as long as I love them for comfort, I wouldn't care what they look like but its a bonus these look nice.

I've had an opportunity to run in these about 25 miles.  As with most of the shoes I've worn in the past, I can pretty much tell with the first run whether I'm going to like them or not.  To be honest, I've not had a huge amount of luck with Brooks running shoes in the past.  I've worn the old Brooks Ghost 2's and the Adrenline's as well and frankly was not that impressed with them.  Not that they were uncomfortable but I just did not see myself running many long runs in them and never really got that comfortable with them, however.......

The latest pair of Ghost 5's have restored my faith in the shoe company.  I know that many of you have loved your Brooks shoes for many years but I must have been on the outside of that opinion.  These shoes, however, are very comfortable and I'm happy to report that it's a shoe I would recommend.  There's basically a few things that I look for, for myself, when getting a new pair of shoes:
  1. I like a shoe that wraps around my foot well
  2. I like a shoe that keeps my heel in place
  3. I like a wide toe box
  4. I like cushioning
The Ghost shoe wraps well around my foot and keeps my foot in place.  There nothing worse than your foot moving around in a shoe and this one does a great job in keeping your foot in place.  While I like this, I didn't like the way the shoes are tied.  As with many shoes, there is a place for the lace to go through on the tongue of the shoe.  I understand the need for this so it keeps the tongue in place but on the Ghost 5, there are two of these.  I'm not sure I understand the need for two and it make it tougher to tie/untie the shoe.  Of course, the real key here is comfort and this has it!
Two loops for the tongue? Not for me.
One of the worst things for me in a running shoe is a heel that moves around.  The shoe is made well when it comes to this.  I feel like my foot is planted well in the shoe and it does not move around.  It helps make me forget I even have shoes on and makes for a very comfortable fit.  I also like that the heel is a bit higher(or at least it seems so to me) on my foot.  The old Ghost to me always felt like the shoes were low in the heel which made them feel like they were not on all the way.  These are completely different and my foot, especially my heel, feels great in these.
Heel feels comfortable
I also must have room in the toe box.  All the shoes I've run in from Brooks have always had a nice roomy toe box.  I want the feeling that my toes can move around in them and these have that even in this traditional 12mm drop shoe.
Nice roomy toe box
The cushioning on the Ghost 5 feels great.  It's not too pillowy but it also does not feel really hard on my feet either.  I tend to run 85% of my running on concrete and asphalt so the cushioning features are really important to me and my legs.  Ha!  I've not had any issues at all and the comfort continues to be there when running on these hard surfaces even for long runs.  I also feel the shoes worked equally well on the trails although I don't run on too many technical trails.  Most would probably be better suited for a trail shoes if you run the trails mostly.
Tread for hard and soft surfaces worked equally well

I'm happy to report that the brand is back on my list of recommended shoes and I'm excited to have another brand option as I look for new shoes to wear this coming season.  In fact, based on all I've heard from others, I'd be excited to even try their line of Pureproject shoes that they had out for the last couple years.  It seems they have been on the cutting edge of shoe technology and I'm happy to be part of their years of knowledge once again.

Interested in learning more?

Go to their website, HERE.

Go to their Facebook page, HERE.

Go to their Twitter page, HERE.

Plus if you are interested in buying them or any other Brooks shoes, please help support the blog and click on the Brooks link on my sidebar when purchasing.

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

* Note - I received a $100 brooks voucher for running shoes in exchange for this review.  All opinions on this blog post are my own and I was not paid or required to give a particular opinion on the product.

Dec 27, 2012

Joby 3-Way Camera Strap Review

Rest day on the schedule.


Several weeks ago Joby send me their latest product offering.  It's the 3-Way Carrier Strap.  As I'm sure  like many of the bloggers out there do, I take lots of pictures especially for reviews of products.  This product, of course, is geared towards photographers, but I felt the product fits in well with my blog given many of the people that read the blog also take pictures for their blog as well.  Here's what I was sent:

As you can see, this is a three in one product.  It's made for three positions:

  1. Neck strap
  2. Wrist strap
  3. Shoulder strap
I've used this for all three positions and it really is a very simple product to use.  The first thing you do to screw it onto your camera body.
Connects to camera and hold strap in body
As you can see there is a standard screw so that it can be attached to the bottom of your camera body.  Once it's on there, its very secure and will not fall off.  This is made for a DSLR camera and can hold the weight of your camera and lens.  It hold the camera quite well.  You can see in the below picture, in the wrist strap position,  There is also an orange tab to allow you to adjust the wrist strap to fit your wrist.
Comfortable wrist strap
Here's a picture of it attached to the camera body:
Easy to use and connect to camera
I think I probably used this 70% of the time because the wrist strap is very comfortable and gives that extra support that you need to not have to worry about the camera falling.  It makes for taking a quick picture at any time.
High quality
Not only is the strap comfortable, but it's also made extremely well and should last many years to come.  In order to pull out the strap so that you can use it as a neck strap, all you have to do is push a little button on the bottom of the strap underneath the camera and simply pull the strap.  This releases a mechanism so you can pull out the strap.  You can then push the button back in place and the strap will stay out like a neck strap.
Strap pulled from mechanism
The strap is also very comfortable for your neck and did not irritate it.  The cord on the strap is also very high quality and is strong so no need to worry about it breaking.  As you can see here, I've got the strap around my shoulder and I'm not holding the camera.
Of course, you can use it like you do any other neck strap as well.  Then once you are done using the camera, all you need to do is push the button and the strap rolls back into the bottom of your camera.  
It really is an ingenious design.  Very simple to use yet so complicated design.  The engineering on this product is amazing.  It's done a great job not only helping me take pictures for the blog but also taking all pictures.

At $39.99, it's worth every penny and if you use a camera at all, this is a product you should put on your list.  Perhaps an after Christmas gift for yourself?

Interested in learning more?

Go to their webpage, HERE.

Go to their Facebook page, HERE.

Go to their Twitter page, HERE.

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

Dec 24, 2012

Dec 23, 2012

Saucony Utili-Mitt ViZiPRO Mitten Review

Rest day on the schedule today.
Saucony Utili-Mitt ViZiPRO
I received these a couple weeks ago and have been testing these out.  I purchased these from Runningwarehouse(dot) com, my current favorite internet running store.  I got a great deal on these too.  They are normally $39.95 but were on sale for $27.77 and I got an additional 20% off = $22.22.  A great deal for these high quality gloves.  $50 on Saucony's website - who would pay that for gloves?

I've run in them at pretty cold weather - high 20's and all I can say is Yikes - my hands were freezing!  Well, sort of.  Most of my hand was pretty cold but my thumbs were really cold.  These are rated for the coldest weather but I'd have to disagree with that.  I'd say these are more like low 30's and higher weather.  Anything in the 20's, I would not use them.

I've got a couple other pairs of similar style but the other brands were also quite thin.  Of course, these are thin as well even though Runningwarehouse shows them as medium thickness and for the coldest of days.  I would rate them as thin thickness for cold days.
USB clip light rechargeable for 100,000 hours!
Convertible from mittens to gloves - stash in the glove itself.
Thumb/forefinger openings
USB light clip up close
I do like several features about these including:

  • The ViZiPRO orange color - helps to be seen in the dark
  • The reflective parts of the glove - also helps to be seen more
  • The changeable glove/mitten - a great feature especially as you start to warm up.  Cold at first - use the mittens; warmer? - pull back the mitten to reveal gloves.  The mitt covers are wind/water resistant as well.
  • The rechargeable USB LED light clip - another great safety feature.  Not only can you turn it on but you can also put it on flashing as well so you can really be seen.  It will give you 100,000 hours.  About 2 hours per charge.  They even sell just this for $10 - worth it!
Things I didn't like include:
  • The cloth wipe for my nose.  Normally I love this feature on most gloves but it's in the wrong place.  I carry a water bottle in one hand so I don't it it on that hand but my free hand I use it.  It's not in the right place and when you go to wipe, the light is right there going into your eyes.  They should have placed the wipe on the thumb portion of the glove like most manufacturers.
  • Thinness of the glove - if these are supposed to be for the coldest weather, they need much more protection.  I've only got one brand that's warm enough for the coldest temperatures and I can't seem to find them anymore.  This was the reason I bought these.  Oh well.
  • The convertible thumb and forefinger.  This is so you can use your cell phone with touch screen. I would have rather seen the special material for this especially if you were paying full price.
  • Cost - while I got a great deal(worth $22 for sure), I'd never pay $40-50 for these.  That's a crazy high price.
Have a great day and....Keep Running!!!!

Note:  I purchased these gloves with my own funds.  All opinions here are my own.