Thursday, August 29, 2013

Panther Vision Power Cap

Since I've been essentially doing my runs in the dark these days, I was excited to be able to try Panther Vision's Power Cap.  Sadly, I haven't really run with a lot of lighting products (I wear reflective stuff, though!), probably because I didn't used to run in those kind of conditions, and when I did, it was on well-lit streets.  I haven't rolled my ankle since my first run out, but I often wish for more lighting during some parts of my run.

Included with the cap was an LED light that can be pinned or attached magnetically to clothing.  I found the whole thing to be a little heavy for some of my thinner running clothes, but placed strategically, it's always good to be visible with a noticeable red color.

Now for my review of the cap itself.  I was sent a women's size, so it did not want to stay on my head.  I'd put it on, make it tighter, etc., but within 10 feet, it'd start slipping off.  The "head" box just was too shallow to accommodate my large-ish head.  Other than that, it didn't feel heavy, and the light was a soft white light that made me feel more sure-footed during the darker parts of my run.  All you have to do is squeeze a small area of the "bill" of the cap, and you're good to go!

The first concern I had when I saw the cap was washing, though the tag specifically said it's fully washable once the batteries are removed.  The battery pack is located toward the back of the cap, and the batteries pop out pretty easily.  I just followed the typical procedure that I use for washing my hats -- toss in cool wash, and don't let it get in the dryer!

It's definitely nice to have a clean cap instead of something that wouldn't be able to be washed!
FTC Disclaimer: I was provided a sample product but was not otherwise compensated to write a review.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Throwback Thursday: My Best Friend's Wedding

I am not sure I've ever done any "throwback" posts, but I stumbled upon this picture when I was helping my "buddy" out with her wedding slideshow.

And she's getting married this weekend!

Now that she lives up north, I maybe get to see her once or twice a year.  The last time was when I flew up there for work after a half-marathon last year.  Still, as I was writing her card, the "inside jokes" came flooding back, and I believe that we will always be a part of each other's lives.

On a less sappy note, here are some random/general life updates:

- As you can probably guess, I'm super busy!  My days consist of waking up, squeezing in a workout, shower, commute, work, commute, dinner, getting ready for the next day, unpacking/laundry/car washing (or niece visiting), break down, and collapse in exhaustion.  There hasn't been any time for TV, lounging, or my usual number of sleep hours, decent food preparation, etc.  I hope things settle soon, as things have been like this for a month now, and it's starting to make me feel a little bit ill.  I have spent too long on this post, being typed in bits as I try to get other stuff done.

- I washed my car yesterday, as it was a desperate/disgusting situation, and I finally have a driveway to use for washing.  It wasn't as hard as I thought it would be, though after a while it got dark, which made it hard to see what I was doing.  Since it was so dark, I had to forego vacuuming the inside, cleaning the inside windows, and wiping the interior for now... maybe tonight as I pack for the wedding.

- Running in the hilly neighborhood has gotten better, though we have yet to break the 4-mile mark, mostly due to time constraints.

- Product reviews are coming soon!  (Pending the first item.)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

A Case of the (Morning) Runs

First morning run in the new (hilly!) neighborhood.  No peacocks this time -- only a cat.

Armed with my Garmin, "The Ukrainian" showed me some of the ground he covered when he went running the afternoon before. The run was supposed to be short and quick, just to familiarize ourselves with our new surroundings.

It was around 5:30 AM, as dark as you'd expect, and somewhere in the first mile, I avoided some uneven paving only to hit an abnormal bump... abnormal in that it was on top of the uneven part, about the size of a really large grapefruit. Rolled my ankle... and had to limp around for a while... but after a while, I was generally fine.  This isn't the first time I've rolled my ankle on a run, but this one definitely hurt the most and scared me a little.  I expect it will be sore for a day or so.

In our last mile, the Ukrainian kicked a small uneven portion of the sidewalk as we were going up a long uphill.  I have never seen him take a tumble before (I certainly have taken many), so I freaked out, but even with his bloody knee, he assured me he was fine.  I feel guilty, because I know that if he hadn't been running with me, he would have run differently, and this wouldn't have happened. =(

Once the most injurious(?) 2.57 miles of our lives were over, I demanded a wound-wash, pulled out the first-aid kit (which we thankfully brought over in our move just the day before), and did clean-up duty. 

I definitely need to adjust to running a longer route.  Four miles is about where I max out in the morning due to time/safety constraints, and in the evenings, I often get home too late (and tired!!).  Hopefully, this will get easier.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Exercise vs. Hardwood Floor

Well, it's certainly been a while.  I have wanted to write, but each time I start, I change my mind about posting what I've written. 

Things on the running front have been pretty quiet.  I have a couple of big races lined up in the first half of next year, which kind of scares me, because I can feel that my running endurance is nowhere near where it should be.  After a 5K on July 4th, my racing for this year pretty much ended, due to a combination of factors such as lack of races that allure me and our big trip in November that leaves us kind of strapped for time... and superfluous race funds. 

Speaking of funds, I'm a homeowner now! Now that we've at least got a bed and refrigerator, I consider ourselves moved in, because we finally got to spend the night, on the nine-month-i-versary of our wedding. The couch, dining room table, and TV can wait... right?!

I'm still in that weird mode in which doing anything takes much longer, because I am unfamiliar with where things are located (at least the half of things that are not still at the apartment).  Plus, there's always that "icky" feeling that I get in any new place, even though I KNOW I have cleaned the heck out of everything.

Part of all this new-ness is getting my exercise routine to some state of normalcy.  Prior to this change, I had been working out 6-7 days a week, running about 3 of those days.  The past couple of weeks have been "weekdays only," as you might guess, though moving and initial yardwork are no sneeze.  Additionally, now that I've quit the gym, I have no other option but to work out at home.  As for running, I did my usual route around my old place one last time last Thursday and have yet to explore the new neighborhood.  It's been getting darker each morning (~5:30 AM), so these days, I wait for "The Ukrainian" to be available in the morning to run.  This is particularly important now, because as I was driving out to work, I saw three male peacocks walking freely on the next block that would have given me a cardiac episode had I seen them on a run by myself.

Anyway, I instead cranked out the iPod and did Insanity.   I know those workouts so well that I only need the verbal cues, so this works out well for me.  Now, I'm used to doing these workouts in socks on carpet, so I need to figure out what to do on this new surface.  For now, socks on a large rug worked decently (some rug tape on the bottom would make it even better), but I'm pretty sure the poor rug will die if I keep at it... not to mention, there are sometimes TWO of us working out.

I've done a little research and am not certain any of the solutions will work without turning any given room in our small-ish house into an outright gym.  We have a second bedroom that currently is going to store things that don't fit in other rooms, but I would hate to get used to having a "gym" and then losing it later if kids come along.  So I'm stuck with the living room, and I really need to protect the floor -- I'm so paranoid about the wood on the floors that I have only been using a specialty cleaner on them.  This definitely means NO shoes (I had the same rule in the carpeted apartment, too, hence working out in socks).

I'll post an update when I (hopefully!) find a solution.  Meanwhile, any input is appreciated.