Tuesday, May 31, 2011

!! LOW FUEL !!

Low Fuel


"I know!  I know!  But you're not getting a full tank until tomorrow! 
So stop whining.
You need to go on a diet anyways."
(*Actual conversation had between myself and my mute car*)

The last time I filled up was 05/17, two weeks ago.  And if you remember, I swore that I was going to try and stick to $100 or less a month in gas.  I spent $64 on the 17th and it lasted two weeks, so that means over a one month period I really am looking at spending $128 - that's not cool

Given that I don't want to see anything more than $100 in my monthly summary for the expense "Gas," I opted to just put in a quick $5 which will hold me over until tomorrow.

And gas prices seem to keep coming down...

May 21st

 May 24th

 May 28th

And today (though I failed to get a picture) is was $3.91.  I actually stop on my bike ride to the gym to take these pictures.  I'm sure people pumping their gas think I'm just making fun of them (...maybe I am). 

Anyways, I figure if I can last another day maybe it will go down to $3.89 before I fill up completely.  Who knows!  Either way, I know that I am looking at more than $100 for next month on my current streak, so I have to think about how to cut driving trips.  I might look into lights for my bike so I can ride back home after work. 

I'm still doing well.  I just want to do "great."  Hi.  My name is Kurt and I'm an over achiever!  Live with it!

Ok, I'm off to sleep before I start rambling onto total tangent topics like how I got "used" at work today and liked it or how I got out of work and ran to the grocery store instead of drove.  Oh, and there almost was a fight at the grocery check out too.  People are crazy at night.  I do much better in the morning with all the old people that are up at 4am!

I really need to write my blogs earlier in the day!!

Goodnight bloggers!  Goodnight running shoes.  Goodnight bike.  Goodnight trainer.  Goodnight puzzles.  Goodnight hamper of clean clothes yet to be folded.  Goodnight food.  Goodnight computer.  

...Goodnight Moon!
 How's that for random?
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Questions
1.  Do you avoid getting gas even though you're low for any reason?
I always try to hold out hoping for a lower price when they're dropping.  When prices are increasing I get it whenever I need it.
2.  What signs do you show when you're getting tired?
My topic changes and conversations get more and more abstract.  I think my mind makes better long-distance connections between things when it's fatigued much like my muscles!!  Hmmm... Maybe there's a connection?!

Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Monday, May 30, 2011

REVIEW & Giveaway: Road ID

Over the last two weeks I've had a review on Monday, so I thought "Why break the cycle?"  Today I've actually got a few products all from a company I believe most of us know by name...


Despite their popularity, however, I'd still like to give you guys an insight into how Road ID got started.  When you get a package from Road ID in the mail, they send you a short comic that I think explains their premise better than I could ever explain it. 



Road ID has seven main products, six of which revolve around the idea of providing your identification with an engraved piece of stainless steel like that pictured below. 

These metal plates can be attached to the Wrist ID Sport, Wrist ID Elite, Wrist ID Slim, Ankle ID, Shoe ID, and Shoe Pouch ID.  The Fixx ID is a dog tag style ID that is engraved itself.  Therefore, Road ID has a form of identification for every type of athlete and person.

The metal plate, as indicated, is engraveable with your name, emergency contact numbers,  relevant medical information, and even your own saying or mantra.  However, many people have changes to such information over their lifetime.  Therefore, Road ID offers two options for each ID product, the Original and Interactive Versions.  See a comparison HERE.  The Interactive version limits your lines of engraving but offers an online profile for you to update over time. 

And you know what's really cool?  Road ID even dares you to challenge the durability of the stainless steel ID Tag.  "...the ID tag (the stainless steel part of the ID) has a lifetime guarantee. If you are tough enough to wear your Road ID out, then we will replace it at no charge. I challenge you to destroy them (through natural wear - gunshots and hand grenades don't count)."  How cool is that?

That's basically it.  

"Our dream is to see the day where wearing ID 
is as common among athletes 
as wearing a seatbelt is among motorists." 

Onto the Review!

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REVIEW of Road ID

Thanks to the amazing guys at Outside PR, I had the opportunity to review three Road ID products, the Ankle ID, Wrist ID Sport, and Shoe ID

What Road ID says about their products

ANKLE ID

Just strap her on and go. The Ankle ID is constructed of comfortable and flexible neoprene. We designed her to stand the test of time - but not interfere with your natural physical movement. Like all our IDs, the Ankle ID can be laser engraved with your emergency contact information. The closure system is Velcro and is fully adjustable so that one size fits all (fits ankles up to 11.5"). It comes standard with a 3M reflective stripe to enhance your visibility when training in the dark. The Ankle ID is available in 4 colors and both Original and Interactive versions.

Materials 1. The comfortable part that goes against the skin is neoprene.
2. The closure system is velcro.
3. Elastic holds the ID tag to the band.
4. The silver stripe is highly reflective 3M Scotchlite
Width 1 inch



Wrist ID Sport

The Wrist ID Sport is a convenient and sporty way to incorporate ID into your athletic gear. The Wrist ID Sport is fully adjustable and comes in three sizes: Small (fits WRISTs 5.5" - 6.25"), Medium-Large (fits WRISTs 6.25" - 8.0"), and Extra-Large (fits WRISTs over 8.0"). Available in Black, Blue, Red, Yellow, Pink and Purple, the Wrist ID Sport is not only practical, but stylish as well. It is available in both Original and Interactive versions. Order your personalized Wrist ID Sport today and "Be seen wearing it!"

Materials 1. The comfortable part that goes against the skin is nylon webbing.
2. The closure system is velcro.
3. Elastic holds the ID tag to the band
4. Rubber is used on the "tab" part of the closure system
5. The two silver stripes are highly reflective 3M Sctochlite
Width 1 inch


Shoe ID


Lightweight and durable, the popular Shoe ID can be laser engraved with your emergency contact information. You can simply strap this sexy little fella on your running, walking or cycling shoe. Then, enjoy the peace of mind that comes with having ID every time you step out the door. It’s made of durable stainless steel and attaches to your shoe with a small Velcro strap. The strap comes standard with a 3M reflective stripe to enhance your visibility when training in the dark. The Shoe ID is available in three colors and both Original and Interactive versions.

Materials 1. The strap is made of velcro.
2. The silver stripe is highly reflective 3M Scotchlite.
Width 5/8 inch (.625 inch)
Length 3 inches


What I thought About Their Products

Abridged Version

Ankle ID

                                          Pros                                                                Cons
                VERY Comfortable Material (neoprene)                Does take 5-10 minutes to dry
                  Easier for me to wear than a bracelet          Taking it on/off when wearing compression socks
                            Reflective band (safety)                                     Limited Color Options
                       Can accommodate timing chip               Not as noticeable when wearing tights or pants


Wrist ID Sport

                                          Pros                                                                Cons
                                Easy to adjust size                                               Soaks up sweat
                 Plenty of material to wear tight or loose                     Does take 5-10 minutes to dry
                              Lots of color choices
                      Can wear it 24/7 with no worry
                    Conversation starter (it really is!!)


Shoe ID

                                          Pros                                                                Cons
                        No bother to wrists or ankles                                      Limited color choices
                         (Great for non-jewelry wearers)                               Not as noticeable as the above two
                                 Absolutely silent                                     Remember to switch between shoes
                   You never notice it (so light weight)


Unabridged Version

Ankle ID
- Why did I start out with the Ankle ID?  I don't wear jewelry; I've never been to wear anything beyond sewing floss bracelets.  I figured since I wear anklet timing chips during triathlons, the Ankle ID would be the best bet as an ID form that I'd be able to wear 24/7. 

- Extremely comfortable.  The neoprene material is beyond comfort and even if it rubs against your skin because it's a little loose, you will never have any rubbing effects because it's so soft.

- Adjustments.  The velcro fastening system goes all the way around the ankle, so it takes a bit of patience to adjust unlike the Wrist ID and Shoe ID.  After wearing the Ankle ID for some time during runs, cycling, swimming, and all around 24/7, the only real downside is the necessity to take it on/off when I put on compression socks.  Now that it's summer, that isn't an issue, but come next winter, that will be an issue again.  That is why I went ahead an tested out the Wrist ID Sport.

- Triathlete bonus!  For triathletes out there (at least in my experience), the Ankle ID can accommodate ankle timing chips, so come race day, you can simply strap the chip onto your Ankle ID and not have to worry about the condition of the specific strap that they're going to randomly give you. 


Wrist ID Sport
 - Why did I get the Wrist ID Sport?  I figured the Ankle ID may be annoying at times (when I have to take it on/off) and a wrist bracelet may be more noticeable to first responders. 

- Bright color.  This is the first thing I noticed out of the package.  I got purple and it was much brighter than I had assumed it'd be.  In the end, I'm glad.  I like the color as well as the range of color options.

- Width.  The second thought out of package I had was that it was quite wide.  I had expected it to be thinner, but at 1 inch, it is a rather bulky bracelet.  At least in my mind (the mind of a non-jewelry wearer) it seems bulky.  However, over time, you really do get used to it and it has never been a bother.

- Adjustments.  Compared to the Ankle ID, the Wrist ID Sport is extremely easy to adjust.  I often tighten it before swimming and will loosen it afterwards or during a run to accommodate the warm weather.  It's VERY easy and you can do it on-the-run (literally) with ease the very first time!

- Material.  The material is rather comfortable, but not as much as the neoprene of the Ankle ID.  Both do absorb sweat, but since you have no worry of getting it wet, just wear it in the shower and it's all clean!  When I first opened the package, the material seems quite stiff, but after five minutes, it became completely malleable.  So don't worry if you think it seems stiff at first. 


Shoe ID
- Why did I get the Shoe ID?  As a non-jewelry wearer, I was originally intrigued by the Shoe ID.  Given my original experience with a previous shoe pouch, I didn't like the idea of something clunking around on my shoe, so I steered clear.  However, after looking more into it, I figured the Shoe ID (not Shoe Pouch ID) was worth a try, so I ordered just the strap.  I can take the ID metal off of either of the above IDs to exchange it.  

- That's it?!  That was my first thought.  This thing is small (length = 3 inches).  So don't expect people to notice it right away.  Part of me worries that a first responder wouldn't notice it as easily, but I have not asked one to test that thought.  (Anyone know a first responder to ask?)

- Did it come off?  The first couple times I ran with this on, I caught myself looking down to see if it was still there.  You don't hear or feel it at all which is awesome, but surprised me at first.

- Forget it at home.  If you switch shoes at any rate, you have to ask yourself if you'll remember to switch the Shoe ID over.  I've only left it home once because of forgetting to do so, but I also don't switch my shoes too often. 

- Not a 24/7 ID Solution.  The Shoe ID is great... while you're wearing shoes.  For barefoot runners, this obviously is not often at all.  For the rest of us, there are times during the day when you don't have shoes on and plenty of times when you might have shoes on that you wouldn't strap the ID to anyways.  So in my mind, if you're looking for an ID to wear while out on your workouts (minus swimming), then the Shoe ID is great.  For those who prefer 24/7 ID (me), the Shoe ID is not my suggestion.


Overall
As a triathlete who is looking for a wearable form for 24/7 ID, my personal preference goes to either the Wrist ID Sport or Ankle ID.  Despite my history of not jewelry wearing, I believe the Wrist ID Sport will be my all-year solution while the Ankle ID is much more of a summer weather solution given that I do wear compression socks from time to time.  However, I acknowledge that each product has its own benefits and very limited downsides (unless you're extremely picky on color matching your outfit!). 

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Join the ranks of Dean Karnazes, Craig Alexander, Levi Leipheimer, Bob Roll, Liz Hatch, George Hincapie, and Scott Nydham and own your own Road ID piece of mind today!

Team Road ID

Check out each of the athlete's profiles HERE.

Use the below code at get $1.00 off your Road ID order today at RoadID.com

BG8683

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Win your own Road ID

Here's your chance to own your own Road ID product of choice.  Do you really like the Wrist ID Sport or maybe prefer the rubber Elite or Slim versions?  Maybe you think the Ankle ID is your best fit?  Well, I, the guys and Road ID, and Outside PR, want to give you guys the chance to race, train, and be SAFE this summer.  So here's your chance!

How to Enter:  (Max of 6 Entries)

You may include all of your entries in one comment or separate them as you see fit.

MANDATORY
- Be a follower of this blog, Becoming An Ironman.  (1 entry)

OPTIONAL
- "Like" Road ID on Facebook, HERE and let them know I sent you over.  (1 entry)
- "Follow" Road ID on Twitter, HERE and tweet "Train and race safe this summer with @roadid and @becomeanironman #roadid."  (1 entry)
-  Blog, Tweet, or Facebook post about this giveaway (including a link) and Road ID's general awesomeness.  (1 entry for each)

Ice Cream / Popsicle POINTS (not actually redeemable as entries, but worth undying blogger love!)
- "Like" Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman on Facebook, HERE.  (1 virtual Ice Cream Cone)
- "Follow" BecomeAnIronman on Twitter, HERE.  (1 virtual Popsicle)



** Giveaway will run until 12:00 PM Noon Wednesday, June 8th.  
The winner will be chosen via Random.org. **


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay Safe. 

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TODAY

4:30 AM
Alarm goes off
Breakfast
Check email, blog, etc. online & pack for work.

5:20 AM
Sunrise

5:30 AM
Head off on my bike for work
12 miles

6:17 AM
Get to work
Snack time!
Wash up
Pre-opening to-do list

7:00 AM 
Work

11:40 AM
Break Time #1
Change and hop on treadmill for 2 miles (with my new shoes!!)
Mile 1 @ 7:04
Mile 2 @ 5:27

12:10 PM
Back to work

2:15 PM
Break Time #2
FOOD!!
...and stretching

2:45 PM
Back to work

5:00 PM
Close up shop
End of day to-do list

5:30 PM
Head home
11.7 miles

6:15 PM
Arrive home
Post-workout snack
Shower
Online


# of hours today that have already passed: 20
# of hours I've been awake: 15.5
# of hours I've worked: 9
# of miles I've logged: 25.7

** If I didn't work until 10PM during the week, I would totally get up at 5 AM and log my cycling miles in.  There is NO ONE on the road and it's so much easier than mid-day when people yell "Sidewalk!!" at you as they drive by.  

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Questions
1.  How was your day? 

2.  When do you prefer to log your workouts in?  Do you like the up early, done early mentality or the after work stress relief?
My preference changes, but while my body does better in the afternoon (after warming up and getting going), the summer heat is a b*$&% and early mornings have their advantages.


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Week in Review X

Week in Review
Friday May 20th through Thursday May 26th


It may have taken me longer than expected, but HERE IT IS!
Let me just say that while I'm sure there are more than one of you racing this weekend,
MAN were you guys busy this past week with stories and tons of reviews and giveaways!

Enjoy your Memorial Day Weekend!!


GOOD LUCK

1. Big Daddy Diesel has his first triathlon of the season coming up this weekend!  Check him out HERE


CONGRATULATIONS

1. Breaking Ninja posted her race report from the White Lakes Half Iroman II HERE

2.  Helen @ Helen Phipps did a the St. Anthony's triathlon AND a swim portion of the Gulf Coast triathlon relay and murdered the swim!  Check it out HERE

3.  AJH @ Age Groups Rock ran a Corporate Cup 5K.  Check out her race report HERE

4.  Katie @ Run for the Bikini ran the Blue Point Brewery 5k.  Read all about the race and their beers HERE

5.  Coy @ First in Philly ran the Scenic City Trail Half and is yet another trail runner that makes me want to join in!  Check out her race report (and pictures) HERE.

6.  Kevin @ Half Tri-ing has the race reports from the Rohto Ironman 70.3 HERE (swim), HERE (bike), and HERE (run). 

7.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! of Team Happy Pants blessed the Gear West Duathlon with his presence grabbing another first place team finish!  Check out the muddy photos HERE.

8.  HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Stephanie @ My Thorns Have Roses.  Check her 29 birthday wishes out HERE.  

9.  Summer @ The Blue Line Runner raced her very first triathlon, the Lake Oconee Oly Tri and  would you believe she won her age group?!  Awesome job Summer!!  Check out her race report HERE

10.  Evan @ Getting Off The Bench and Into The Triathlon raced his first triathlon and ended up in the ER.  Now there's a story!!  Check out his race report HERE


ATHLETIC INFO

1. Kristin @ Gotta Love Triathlon put together an awesome post looking at how to fuel for an Ironman.  It's a lot to think about and work on, but totally manageable.  Check it out HERE

2.  Are you a mind over body or body over mind based athlete?  Danny @ A Quest for Running Perfection uses the book What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Marakami and posted a video of his response.  Check it out HERE

3.  Wondering how Ironman Texas panned out?  Run Tri has the average times for all age groups HERE.  How do you think you would have done?

4.  Wondering how Ironman Lanzarote panned out?  Run Tri has the average times for all age groups HERE.  How do you think you would have done?

5.  Ever wondered what the difference between an Ironman and Iron Girl race is?  Austin @ Enjoy The Ride has the inside scoop!  I must say these "Women's Only" races seem to be worth their while!  Check it out HERE.  

6.  Danny @ A Quest for Running Perfection has a great post concerning mental toughness and comparing top racer's abilities.  I can't say I like the comparison of specific stats outside of comparing yourself to a previous self, but it brings up topics of interest for sure.  Check out his discussion HERE.

7.  Have you heard of a 70.3 race called the Intimidator?  Chloe @ Running With A Bottle of Wine has a picture of what I have to assume is the exact inspiration for the name of that race.  Go over and check out the hill that is a part of the bike course HERE!!

8.  Ever have Runner's Knee?  Megan @ Watch MeGo Run posted some great info on some stretches and exercises to help alleviate the pain.  Check it out HERE

9.  Self-Awareness.  Troy @ Coach Troy Jacobson posted about the need for athletes to hone their skills of self-awareness and I cannot agree more with him.  All the stats in the world won't do you justice if you're not self-aware.  Check out his post HERE

10.  Can you name the top ten most commonly violated USAT rules? Kristin @ Gotta Love Triathlon posted them HERE.  See how well you can do. 

11.  Danny @ A Quest for Running Perfection posted an AWESOME set of simple exercises for anyone who does a majority of cardio workouts during the week.  As runners and triathletes, we all crave our cardio, but it's important to do some strength and circuit training to keep all of our muscle groups strong and healthy.  Check out his exercises HERE.  I'll be doing them myself now too. 

12.  Amanda @ Run to the Finish has a great post going over the differences and examples of low-profile running shoes.  Check it out HERE

13.  Aimee @ I Tri To Be Me is even able to add to Amanda's info by offering points from a Minimalist/Barefoot Running Seminar that she attended recently with some pretty big name speakers.  Check it out HERE

14.  You can still workout while you're pregnant.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! posted an article published about his wife Pharmie and her races while being pregnant HERE.


STORIES

1.  Do we (the athletic majority) need proof that fast food is bad for you?  No.  But it's worth a laugh anyways.  Amanda @ Run to the Finish posted some hilarious images proving that fast food is in fact bad for you.  Check it out HERE

2.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! has another laugh for you; You're never too young to go aero!  Check it out HERE.

3.  Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run made a trip to a little ol' place called EUROPE!  Wanna see some pictures?  Check them out HERE.  

4.  Austin @ Enjoy the Ride read an article in Triathlete Magazine about exercises for swimming warm up and had a bit of his own opinion about them.  For absolutely hilarious entertainment, click on over and check out his thoughts HERE

5.  Children say the darndest things.  And then sometimes they say just the right thing to cheer you up!  Stephanie @ My Thorns Have Roses needed some brightening and not once, but twice her daughters were able to be that little bit of sunshine.  I love these stories!!  Check it out HERE

6.  Megan @ Watch MeGo Run has a great post into the mind of a runner.  Check out her thoughts on why we push ourselves so hard HERE


GIVEAWAYS

1.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! has two entries into the ALARC Legends 5k/10k race for any local athletes to win.  Check it out HERE.

2.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! has an H2O Audio giveaway HERE

3.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a Sunglass Warehouse giveaway HERE going through June 2nd.

4.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a Yurbuds giveaway HERE going through June 2nd.

5.  Amanda @ Run to the Finish has a Running Gear giveaway HERE.  

6.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a HeadSweats hat giveaway HERE.  

7.  Kristin @ Bigger Girls Can Run Too has a BondiBand giveaway HERE

8.  Megan @ Watch MeGo Run has an Allied Medal Display giveaway HERE

9.  Forward Foot Strides has a Body Glide giveaway HERE

10.  Amanda @ 5 Miles Past Empty has a Saucony shoe giveaway via OnlineShoes.com HERE

11.  The Hungry Runner Girl has a Moving Comfort sports bra giveaway HERE

12.  Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman has a UTag Sport Bracelet giveaway HERE


REVIEWS

1.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a review of sunglasses from Sunglass Warehouse HERE

2.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a review of Ironman Yurbuds HERE.

3.  Jess @ Run With Jess has a review of the book Run Less, Run Faster HERE.

4.  Mel @ Tall Mom on the Run has a review of a pair of Keen shoes HERE.  

5.  Megan @ Watch MeGo Run has a review of a medal hanger from Allied Medal Displays HERE

6.  RDM @ Running Diva Mom has a review of a HeadSweats hat HERE.  

7.  Kristin @ Bigger Girls Can Run Too has a review of a BondiBand headband HERE

8.  Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman has a review of the UTag Sport Bracelet HERE.  


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Thursday, May 26, 2011

You Guys Are Just Too Awesome...

Today started out with a rather odd trip to Autozone.  For those who don't know, you can get Check Engine lights checked at Autozone for FREE!  I specifically buy my oil there for that very reason; I use their assistance often enough.  Anyways, I was driving around yesterday when my check engine light came on.  I wasn't able to stop in yesterday, so I headed over first thing today.  I go in and get someone to come out with the computer plug in.  And guess what?  The light's gone!  Where'd it go?  I have no idea.  I honestly thought it would turn back on when I went to leave, but thankfully is hasn't yet.  I'm pretty sure my car is a three year old that enjoys throwing temper tantrums. 

Then I went out to look for new running shoes.  I found a pair of Adidas that fit well, the Adidas Swyft Cushion.  The only thing was, I needed more room in the toe box, so I tried to order a size bigger but the computers were down.  So I went to another store and found a pair of New Balance I thought might work, but I'm holding out hoping that I can get the Adidas.  If they're still not able to order them by tomorrow, I think I'll just pick up the New Balance shoes and maybe see about getting the Adidas as a back up or alternate pair.  Who knows.  Either way, at least I'm back to buying sale and clearance shoes instead of up-marked, high-tech shoes!  haha  More money for food!

Let's see, what's next?  Oh, I had a meeting for Girl Scouts.  Yes, I'm still doing a bit of work for them, but nothing major.  Thankfully it was a beautiful day so we went to Starbucks and sat outside in the sun.

Then I went for a bike ride.  Since I'm going to be working during the day tomorrow and will be on the weekends as well, I figured I'd try to find a way to ride to work.  I google mapped the directions, made some alterations, wrote them down, and headed out.  Eleven point four miles later, I made it to work where I got greeted by "And here's Lance Armstrong himself!"  It's funny how people of different active backgrounds see each other's sports and workouts as incredibly difficult while think nothing of their own.  But overall, the roads were fine and I'm going to be up and out the door by 8AM tomorrow to be to work by 9AM.  Hooray for saving gas!  I just have to figure out a way to stop on my way back and pick up my new running shoes; haven't figured that out quite yet.

I got home after all of this, showered, ate a snack and decided that instead of heading to the gym to swim or out for a run, I should sit down and catch up on all of your blogs.  Three hours later, I don't even think I've made a dent!  haha  It gets more and more intriguing every week with new twists in your lives, new PRs or races, funny motivation stories, stories about your kids, stories about hard times you're going through, and even the simply one-picture posts of something hilarious from your day.  I'm sure you all can tell when I finally sit down to write the Week in Review because you start getting comments on last Friday's blogs and wonder "where the heck has he been for the last week?"  Yes, I live under a rock.  As long as the Earth is considered a rock and you call the Southern hemisphere "up."  Then I live under that very large rock. 

I'm into Monday's blog posts, so I'll finish them all tomorrow after work.   But let me just tell you, you're pure awesomeness puts me to work every week!  And I love it!!

Keep being awesome!




Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

And the Doctor says...

NEW SHOES

The orthopedic doctor saw nothing wrong with my foot or my leg (I had them check the runner's knee issue too).  No strains, no fractures, no tears to speak of.  He really had no idea what the issue could be, but he did suggest I continue the stretching I've been doing because it could only help me.  Finally, he figures that since my current running shoes are the first real stiff pair of shoes (also the first officially fit running shoes I've had), that those could very likely be the cause.  He's not 100% sure (no one can be), but either way...

I have a green light to run!

(*crowd applause*)

I am officially in the market for a new pair of running shoes!  My goal is to have a new pair this weekend so I have the next two weeks to transition into them and try and wear them in. 

On another note, I stopped by the grocery store on the way home to pick up bananas.  I go through two a day usually and I'm extremely picky about their ripeness.  Anyways, I go in to get three bananas and I walk out with bananas, three packs of 93/7 meat (they had $2 coupons on each because they expire today - stick 'em in the freezer and they're good!), celery, a squash, broccoli, and a thing of greek yogurt (yep, I decided to give it a try). 

If the rule of thumb is "Don't grocery shop when you're hungry," I shouldn't be allowed within 100 yards of that store no matter what time of day it is.

Now I have to go ride a bit before work.  I might even do a short run on my break at work today.  Ooooo...

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Questions
1.  Tell me something that has made you smile this week.
I'm smiling right now at the prospect of being able to run again!


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Who Would Have Thunk It?!

So it turns out that having a full time job does cause for rearrangements in my daily schedule and scrunching of free time!  Who would a thunk it?!  Consider this praise #1 for all of you bloggers who have full time jobs that don't involve blogging.  I'll figure out the daily schedule eventually, but for now, trying to fit training, eating, and sleeping in around a full time job is tough on it's own (I'm already resorting to working out on my breaks). 

Anyways, here are some randoms...


WORK
I'm loving the new gym job.  There is still roughly a week of training to go before I become a certified master of all things, but once that's over, it should be smooth sailing.  It's great to work with a lot of fitness minded people.  One of my coworkers has run multiple marathons, one does professional sparing, and another does Brazilian jujitsu.  Crazy, right? 

TRAINING
Since last week was a bit of a slower week, I decided to push my rest day until Monday and did my long day - a 42.5 mile outdoor ride - on Sunday.  It was a lot of fun having an adventure ride (as you could tell I'm sure from my random thoughts HERE).  Monday felt great as a rest day though I wasn't as physically exhausted as I usually am going into rest days.  I expected that today I'd feel all kinds of energized, but after I got to the gym and hopped in the pool, I was anything BUT!  I couldn't even hold my 50 splits at 40 seconds and did a 500 in 7:24.  Ugh!  My body either wasn't having a morning workout or just wasn't up for anything today.  Oh-well.  We all have down days.

DOCTOR
Tomorrow is my orthopedic doctor's appointment.  Therefore, I'll have an idea (minus any MRI's, XRays or other tests they may have me do) of how my running will be going for the near future.  As you may notice, I have the NERelay scheduled for June 11th and 12th and my leg is 21.4 miles, but the Ortho may advise against that.  Just in case, I have a stand by runner who agreed to take my place last minute in case I can't run. 

Now if the doctor tells me I need to take more than a month off or something, I might have a problem sticking to that.  I have the half iron in July and it's my A race.  I may very well consider racing it and risking ruining the rest of the season in order to finish that race.  Again, do as I say not as I do.  =P

FOOD
I know I say this a lot, but I just can't seem to eat enough lately.  I had breakfast before working out, a snack when I got back, lunch before work, a more than full dinner at work, and a snack when I left, but I still only managed to keep the starving monster at bay.  Even one of my coworkers made a comment on how much I ate.  I need to plan better for eating!  I'm doing a good job keeping up with having salads, fruit, and yogurt for snacks though instead of grabbing ice cream or whatever is "convenient." 

Also, someone at work made a comment about how losing pounds and looking better is 80% food and 20% exercise.  While I may see where he's coming from, I certainly work on the 99% exercise and 1% food perspective.

Ok, I'm off to read the NASM Essentials of Personal Fitness Training until I nod off to sleep.



If you haven't already click on over HERE and enter my GIVEAWAY for a UTag Sport bracelet.

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Questions
1.  When you get crunched for time, what gets the boot first?  And what do you always find time for?
I've gotten to the point where even eating gets put on the back burner and I just chug bottles of water to keep hungry away.

2. Do you have any suggestions for healthy, but quick meals and/or snacks?
My go-to quick meal (at home) is Swai (a fish) with either broccoli or squash, but it's also not filling at all.  I need ideas for dinner at work (cookable or reheatable in a microwave) and quick meals at home.


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  

Monday, May 23, 2011

REVIEW & Giveaway: UTag I.C.E. Sport Bracelet


Awhile ago (HERE), I asked if anyone had heard of the company UTag and it seemed that no one had.  Therefore, before I get into the review of their I.C.E. Sport bracelet, I'm going to tell you a little bit about the company as a whole and what they offer.

UTag was created to provide a variety of methods for carrying emergency information such as medical info, emergency contact info, personal info, and personal documents in a highly convenient manner.

To do so, UTag offers three products depending on your taste and preference.

The Digital Dog Tag...

Source

The I.C.E. Card...

Source
And the UTag Sport Bracelet...

Source

The next question is, where does all of this information get stored?!  All of UTag's products have a USB key that insert into your PC computer's USB drive which brings up a single screen.

Source
With a password, you are able to input your medical information, emergency contact information, and create private folders for any personal documentation and such that you would like to carry with you.  Anyone without a password (i.e. Emergency Medical Personnel) is only able to view the medical and emergency contact information.  So if you get hurt, the EMTs can plug it into their laptop, check out your medical info in order to give you the best treatment and contact someone to let them know what happened. 

That's the basic overview of UTag and their products.  
Amazing, isn't it?!

Now, are you ready for a full review?

I can't hear you!!

That's better.
Let's get to it!!

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REVIEW of UTag Sport Bracelet

Thanks to UTag, I was able to review their UTag Sport Bracelet.


What does UTag say about it?

Here are their specs...
  • Aluminum construction with mini USB chip
  • Comes with nylon / Velcro wrist strap
  • Can be worn around the neck as a mini Dogtag (chain not included)
  • Compatible with Windows ME, 2000, XP and Vista (also works on my Windows 7)
  • Supports USB 1.0/ 2.0 standards
  • Secure 'Private Folder' to store scans / copies of important documents
  • Weight 6g
  • CE and FCC approved
  • UK IP tested IP57
  • 10 year data retention 
(From the website...)
"UTag Sport Bracelet is a micro DogTag worn on a nylon strap (included) and is designed to be universally recognizable by both first responders and emergency personnel, it is the first reference in case of emergency.  Each UTag micro DogTag is constructed out of durable aluminum alloy and embedded with a mini USB chip.

It is weatherproof and water resistant up to 1m.  Each mico tag has a Windows compatible program for storing and updating your personal information.  In addition, there is a secure “private folder” for storing scanned copies of personal important documents. With the click of a button, UTag switches to your choice of 7 different languages for emergencies abroad. The UTag Sport Bracelet and micro Digitial DogTag is extremely lightweight, weighing only 6 grams.

UTag is perfect for anyone with an active lifestyle, including but not limited to: Runners, Campers,  Travelers (corporate or pleasure, abroad, mission tips etc), RV’ers, Seniors, Athletes, Boaters, Surfers, Cyclists, Skiers, Hikers, and anyone else who values having their information available in case of an emergency."


What do I say about it?

Abridged Version

                                   Pros                                                                     Cons
                             Comfortable                                                     Not MAC compatible
                           Easily adjustable                                        No fancy color options (pink or blue)
                      Simple to use software                                    Limited Emergency Contact Listings
                 Ability to update info any time                             
         Travel (able to carry copies of documents)
              One-click translation to 7 languages


Unabridged Version

Out of Package Thoughts...
The band was thinner than I expected, but it was to my delight as I typically don't do well with bracelets or any type of jewelry.  The color is a nice type of what I'm going to call "royal blue."  Since the band is adjustable via velcro, it doesn't require any lengthy initial fitting; just pop it on and adjust it as you go.  On one side of the centerpiece USB drive is the UTag ICE product logo.  On the other side is the universal medical symbol (snake with staff).  Both are also on the metal USB encasing as well along with "USB" and an arrow pointing to a tab.  Pull on the small metal tab and out comes the USB.

At first, I thought the USB drive was going to require some special adapter; it looks much smaller and thinner than the USB drives/keys/flashes than I'm used to.  However, it slips into the port easily as is and you're ready to go.

Software Thoughts...
My computer is set up not to automatically open any inserted drive, so the software has to be opened manually through the corresponding folder under "My Computer" section.  Otherwise, the software should pop up automatically. 

In order to input your information, you can input your password (there is a factory default until you change it) and click on "Log In" at the bottom right hand corner.  This are then changes to multiple buttons; "Edit Medical Information," "Edit Personal Details," "Private Folder," and "Logout."  All of your information is quite easy to input.  The medical info section even has preset allergies and conditions you can simply check.  My only quarrel is that the personal info only allows for two emergency contact people.  I put in both of my parents since they both know my medical history to a "T" and would be the best help, however, I'd like to include my roommate since there's no chance either of my parents are going to be able to come pick me up if need be.

A nice feature of the software is instant translation to seven languages (English, French, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese, German, and Spanish).  All seven flags are at the top right corner and with one click, the entire screen is translated to that language.  So even if you get hurt overseas, you're good to go.

Another useful feature for travelers is the "private folder."  You can include anything in here and it is only accessible by you since you hold the password.  You can store copies of your license, passport, personal documents, and such.  If you ever get robbed or simply misplace those items while overseas, you know it's not an easy fix.  Having a copy on hand (literally on your wrist) is incredibly convenient.

Finally, the information you store on the software is able to be updated any time you'd like.  Are you thinking of moving soon?  No problem.  Change your address.  Did your emergency contact change phone numbers?  No problem.  Update it.  Did you start a new medication?  Log in and change it up.  This is by far the best feature of this product!

How is it to wear?
Like I mentioned above, the smaller than expected band turned out to be a very nice in my mind.  Most of the time, I don't even notice I'm wearing it.  A bit of science for you - your nerves are mainly set to notice changes in sensation, so when things on your body don't move or change pressure, temperature, and the like, you no longer mentally notice that they are there.  I wear my bracelet tight enough to not move, but not tight enough to restrict blood flow.  Therefore, after awhile, I physically don't even notice it's there.

However, given that the USB drive can pop out and go back in, unless I have something to physically do with my hands I will from time to time find myself playing with the USB.  What can I say, I'm a child at heart!


Final points...
PROS
- The bracelet is very comfortable and easily adjustable
- The software is simple and easy to use
- You are able to update your information any time there is a change (if you move, start a new medication, change a phone number, or are diagnosed with a new illness)
- The "private folder" allows you to carry scanned copies of documents such as your license, passport, or medical sheets along with the lyrics to your favorite song and the grocery list that only you (holder of the password) can access.  This is great for traveling purposes!

CONS
- Not currently MAC compatible (sorry mac lovers, but you'll have to search out a PC to update your info)
- Only available in pink and blue.  This may be quite limiting for you fashionistas out there.
- Only two emergency contact listings.  Personally, I would like to have three, but beggars can't be choosers.

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Buy it NOW!

For anyone interested in the UTag Sport bracelet or even the Digital Dog Tags or I.C.E. Card, head over to the UTag website and check out the product descriptions.


If you'd like to be safer out on the road as soon as possible, hit the red "Store" tab at the top of their page and buy one today!

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Win a UTag Sport Bracelet

I also have the incredible privilege of making one of you lucky readers safer on my very own.  I have one UTag Sport bracelet to give away.  It's your choice for pink or blue, but either way, safety is included standard!

How to Enter:  (Max of 6 Entries)

You may include all of your entries in one comment or separate them as you see fit.

MANDATORY
- Be a follower of this blog, Becoming An Ironman.  (1 entry)

OPTIONAL
- "Like" UTag on Facebook, HERE and tell them I sent you over.  (1 entry)

- "Follow" UTag on Twitter, HERE and tweet "Stay safe on the roads with @iceutagus and @becomeanironman #iceutagus."  (1 entry)

-  Blog, Tweet, or Facebook post about this giveaway (including a link) and UTag's general awesomeness.  (1 entry for each)

BROWNIE / CUPCAKE POINTS (not actually redeemable as entries, but worth undying blogger love!)
- "Like" Kurt @ Becoming An Ironman on Facebook, HERE.  (1 virtual brownie)

- "Follow" BecomeAnIronman on Twitter, HERE.  (1 virtual cupcake)


** Giveaway will run until 12:00 PM Noon Wednesday, June 1st.  
The winner will be chosen via Random.org. **


Stay fit.  Stay healthy.  Stay Safe. 

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Random Workout Thoughts

As we all know, when we work out, we have some VERY odd and random thoughts.  Today I was in the saddle for two hours and forty minutes, so I had plenty of them.  I thought I'd share a few...


(At AutoZone...)
I bet these guys wonder if I even have a car. 


Why is everyone wearing purple?


"Close for private event."  Hmmm...  I wonder if I could just walk in.


Liquor store sign - "Free Delivery."  
Lyndon would have that delivered!  I should let him know about that.


Multiple verses of... 
"I'm a psyyyyyychooooo.  I'm a psyyyyychooooo.  Who rides 40+ miles in their free time for fun?  Me!..."


HAHAHAHAHA  This is gonna' be a b*#@&!!!!  HAHAHAHA
(...as I was zipping down a hill at 35 mph thinking about my return trip)


I just got passed by a boat!  Haha  
Got passed by a boat.  Got passed by a boat.  Everyone look at me 'cause I just got passed by a boat!
(to the tune of "I'm on a boat" by Lonely Island)


one...
two...
three...
...seven...
...twelve...
Is there a scooter parade I didn't know about?!
 How many scooters did they make this year?


The bike you ride should be according to how fast you are.  Yes, it should.
Therefore, you need to give me your bike.


Dead Squirrel!  Oh, Amanda.

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PS.  Shhhh!  Don't tell anyone, but if you're really good, I'll have a review and my very first giveaway for you tomorrow!

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Questions
1.  Do you have any good random workout thoughts from this weekend or the past?


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Dear Big Business, I See Past Your Games!

I was driving to the gym the other day when I noticed something.  This "something" made me second guess what I saw.  Could it be true?  Am I hallucinating?  Am I dreaming?  (*pinch myself*)  Ow!  Ok, maybe not.


Do you see what I'm talking about?  It's in the center of the photo.  Just to the left of the pole.

Do you not have eagle eye vision?  That's ok; I'll blow it up for ya'.


Gas is $3.99/gallon.  I paid for gas at that very station earlier this week and it was $4.09.  And the Mobil just up the road dropped ten cents as of today down to $4.09, so gas prices seem to be dipping again.  Is this just a tease?  Are they trying to make us feel like $3 something is a great price after paying $4 something?

Oil tycoons and big business, you are a fishy bunch and I don't trust you  (aka, I have no idea what's going on, but I still know $3.99 is a lot more than gas used to be and will not get sucked into this possible mental game).  I'm still sticking by my trusty infinite mpg bike as much as possible.


PS.  I had a great first day on the job at my new job at the gym.  Plus, it's going to be clear tonight and tomorrow after a straight week of rain, so I'm off for a 20-30 mile ride right now and hopefully a 60 mile ride tomorrow!  Gotta' make up for not being able to run somehow.

EDIT: I did 17.2 miles before it got too dark, but I think I figured out one new place I'm going to try and venture off to on my long ride tomorrow.  I always get excited for these adventure rides!

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Questions
1.  Has anyone else noticed a dip?  Do you know what's going on?
I admit I'm completely ignorant when it comes to news and what's going on unless I read about it on a blog or hear it in person from someone.

2.  How did your weekend start out?  Do you have great weather to enjoy?
It's going to be beautiful, so hopefully I can avoid a sunburn and enjoy it!


Stay fit.  Stay healthy. 

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week in Review IX

Week in Review IX
Friday May 13th through Thursday May 19th


GOOD LUCK

1.  Evan @ Getting Off The Bench And Into The Triathlon has the OC Tri Aquathlon coming up.  Best of luck!!  Check him out HERE

2.  Coy @ First in Philly is racing her first trail half marathon.  Check her out HERE.  

3.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!  Gross! is teaming up with Matt again for Team Happy Pants at the Gear West Duathlon.  Check him out HERE.


CONGRATULATIONS

1.  Mark @ Wait... You Run? ran the TC 1 Mile and did so in VFF Bikilas!  Check out his race report HERE

2.  Richelle @ Running Towards A Higher Calling also ran the TC 1 Mile.  Check out her race report HERE

3.  Pharmie - wife of Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?!... Gross! - is our third member to run the TC 1 Mile.  Tic-Tao-Toe TC 1Mile!  Check out Steve's report HERE

4.  Erin @ See Mom Run Far ran a local 5K on Saturday and hit a new PR and was the first female to cross the finish!  Awesome job!  Not to mention her 11 year old son WON the race.  Check out her race report HERE

5.  Heather @ Run Faster Mommy ran the Myrtle Beach Mud Run on the team Mudda Truckers.  Awesome name!  Check out the race report along with some great before, during, and after photos HERE

6.  AJH @ Age Group Rocks ran a local 5k.  Check out here race report HERE

7.  As I've mentioned already, Amanda @ 5 Miles Past Empty raced the White Lakes Half Ironman II and made it to the finish before they pulled her off due to weather conditions (way to gut it out!).  Check out her multipost race report HERE (swim), HERE (bike), HERE (run), and HERE (final thoughts).  

8.  Breaking Pace also ran the White Lakes Half Ironman II.  Unfortunately, a knee pain made her decide on a DNF at T2, but do you believe this lady took on a Half Iron as her very first triathlon?!  That takes guts!  Check her out HERE (race report coming soon). 

9.  Nemo @ The Adventures of Yellow Dart is our third blogger to have raced the White Lakes Half Ironman.  Two race tic-tac-toes this week means an awesome week!!  Nemo, despite a lack of training and a human genetics exam two days prior, pulled off a third place finish with 4:20 finish!  Talk about awesome!  Check out his race report HERE

10.  Katie @ Run for the Bikini ran a 5k coming in third overall, first female!  Awesome job Katie.  Check out her race report HERE.

11.  Cari @ Running a Crazy Life ran a half marathon and despite getting lost on the race course (the winner ran 16 miles due to being lost too), she finished!  Check out her race report HERE

12.  Steve @ Steve in a Speedo?! Gross! raced a duathlon as a part of Team Happy Pants.  Check out his race report and flashy running shorts HERE. Also, here are some amazing photos from the race - check out the "Battle Cries" section HERE.

13.  Troy @ Coach Troy Jacobson raced the Leadman EPIC 250.  Let me just say, I'm happy to see a triathlon where the swimmer gets a bit more advantage!  Check out Troy's race recap (including a mention of Ironman pro Chuckie V) HERE

14.  Heidi @ Swim. Bike. Run. Blog. raced the New Orleans 5150 and placed 5th in her age group qualifying her for the age group championships!  Check out her race report HERE

15.  Colleen @ IRONDIVA raced a Rev3 Half Ironman Triathlon.  Check out her race report HERE

16.  Michelle @ Swim Bike Run raced the Kinetic Half Ironman last minute and managed 2nd female overall.  Kick A$$!  Awesome job Michelle.  Check out her race report HERE

17.  Megan @ Watch MeGo Run and her hubs ran the Bay to Breakers 12k as a racecation!!  Check out her race report HERE.  

18.  Chloe @ Running With A Bottle of Wine raced the Gulf Coast 70.3 Triathlon and learned that she's got some mad skillz!!  Check out her race report HERE. Check out some of her teams amazing signs HERE

19.  Sam @ Run With Sam and her friend Amy ran the Harper's Ferry Half Marathon.  Check out the race report via a guest post by Amy HERE

20.  Kevin @ Half Tri-ing ran the Rohto Ironman 70.3.  Check out his dual post race report HERE (pre-race) and HERE (swim).  I'm sure more is to come.

21.  Austin @ Enjoy the Ride is our second blogger to have ran the New Orleans 5150 triathlon.  Check out his race report HERE


ATHLETIC INFO

1.  Want to start a running group?  Amanda @ Run to the Finish posted some ideas on how to do so.  Check it out HERE

2.  Looking for advice on how to start out with a race?  The Hungry Runner Girl put up her pieces of advice for you benefit.  Check out her words of wisdom HERE

3.  Here's a new triathlon for ya, the Leadman Epic 250.  While Troy @ Coach Troy Jacobson raced it - read about it HERE - Michael @ Slowly Tri-ing read about it in a magazine HERE.  All I can say is "Bring on the 5k Swim!"  About time swimmers get an advantage!  

4.  Want to run a marathon, but afraid of the extended sun exposure?  Coy @ First in Philly found an underground marathon run in Germany you might be interested in.  Check out a video HERE

5.  Heather @ Run Faster Mommy also has a new type of race to tell us about, the Spartan Race.  Much like the Warrior Dash and the other varieties, but with its own little spin.  Check it out HERE


STORIES

1.  Love brownies, but do you look away for the sake of "healthy eating?"  Aimee @ I Tri To Be Me has a solution with her secret ingredient brownies!  Check the recipe out HERE to see how Aimee made brownies healthy without turning up one single eyebrow!

2.  Michael @ Slowly Tri-ing shared a story about her six year wedding anniversary with her best friend and husband Jim.  Check it out HERE

3.  A Runner's Fuel made a trip to Yosemite and has some AMAZING pictures.  Check them out HERE.  And even more HERE

4.  Michelle @ Swim. Bike. Run. has a story about the strongest boy she knows.  Her cousin Ben could use your thoughts and prayers.  Read her story about him HERE

5.  The Hungry Runner Girl has a story about her dear ol' Dad!  He's gone through a complete transformation with exercise, eating, and lifestyle.  It's quite the story.  Check it out HERE

6.  Ever have issues with choosing a lane at the pool?  Julie @ Tri-ing to be Athletic depicts an all too common scenario at the pool HERE.  If you want a laugh, check it out!  Plus, she's got awesome pictures.

7.  Heather @ Run Faster Mommy has put her name in for Fitfluential.  Check out her video HERE

8.  Tonia @ Racing With Babes is up for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs and is asking you for your vote.  Check her out HERE

9.  Jess @ Run with Jess is also up for the Circle of Moms Top 25 Health and Fitness Mom Blogs.  Check her out (and a comic) HERE

10.  Remember the MTV show MADE?  Heather @ Run Faster Mommy brings the show up in asking you what your "far fetched" dream would be.  Check it out HERE

11.  Caroline @ Canadian Runner in Exile caught her own son (the 4 and a half year old), the ladies man, in action.  He is hilarious!  Check him out HERE

12.  Caroline @ Canadian Runner in Exile is stealing the spotlight this week celebrated her tenth wedding anniversary this week.  Check out the wedding story HERE

13.  I'm Totally The Turtle has an awesome story about her son asking to exercise with her!  I personally love these stories.  Be an example for your kids and they'll follow.  Check it out HERE


GIVEAWAYS

1.  Michael @ Slowly Tri-ing has an "Awesome giveaway" with too many stuff to mention here going through May 28th.  Check it out HERE.

2.  Karen @ Working it Out... has a 4All by Jofit giveaway going through May 22nd HERE


REVIEWS

1.  I have a review of the Sigvaris Athletic Performance Socks HERE.



Stay fit.  Stay healthy.