Coros PACE Multisport Watch Review

Gear Review – Coros PACE Multisport Watch

“Disclaimer: I received a Coros Pace Multisport watch to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


The Coros Pace Multisport watch is brand new to the market and as a BibRave Pro, I get to try it out!

Untitled design (4)

First Impression:
The watch arrived in a cube shaped box, everything was compactly packaged. It already had a charge, but I plugged it in anyway. There was a USB charging cord in the box.

I received the red watch, which meant the face has red accents and the band is red. In addition to the charging cord, there were some materials to get it set up and a tool to change the band.

The watch face is round and similar in size to many other GPS watches. The band is flexible. The whole device is light weight. There is a built in hear rate monitor on the underside on the main face.

I added my Road ID to the watch band and followed the steps to get it set up. It was basically ready to use, but I wanted it hooked up to my phone for “all the stats” and so it would sync to Strava. *I use this app to help keep track of my overall mileage.

To get it set up with my phone, there is a QR code that appears on the watch face, which you scan with the photo app on your phone, this is how you get the app. There was no app store process. Then just like that it was connected to my phone.

Next I needed to calibrate it, first with the GPS and second with the elevation. With some touches of the buttons that was done. I like how this is easy and simple to find, and can be done at any time.

I then finished the set up by adding my personal information – height and weight and setting my daily fitness goal. This will make the heart rate more accurate and help you achieve medals in the app.

img_3672

Time to use it

There are 4 buttons around the watch face. One is red, this is what starts and stops your activity or selects the prompts on the screen. There is a button to go back, and then there are 2 buttons to scroll up and down.

I am a runner. The activity settings on the watch are as follows: indoor run, outdoor run, outdoor cycle, pool swim, open water swim and triathlon.

I set out for my first run, I just needed to get the feel of using it. It really isn’t different from my other watches, except the buttons are in different spots.

img_2933

I put it on auto pause, I was not getting used to the buttons being in a different place from my other watch. Auto pause is awesome, you don’t have to ever stop or start your watch if you are waiting on a train, or to cross the road. The only thing is that there is a few seconds delay.

I ran with the watch at a prison 5k. This meant I needed to turn off GPS or any outside communication, so I put it on indoor run mode. The watch did not sync to Strava, which really isn’t that huge, as I can manually enter my data.

img_2686-1

I ran with it at the track a couple of times, I liked using it here for the data. We did an 800 work out and I was able to push the lap button to keep track of my splits. I like how the watch says the track has a tiny elevation gain.

I raced with it at a couple or races and didn’t have any issues. Pushed the buttons and it connects to a satellite quickly, and even if it hasn’t connected you can still push start.

img_3736

I think my favorite feature, besides the heart rate on your wrist is the elevation stats. I like to know what the elevation is at the bottom of a hill and what it is at the top. Then I realize what I thought was a huge climb, was only 50 feet.

img_3620

 

What sets this apart from the competition?:

1.) The battery life, I had this last 2 weeks with no charging. I wore it every day and ran a total of 50 running miles. I am a slacker… I did run about 38 miles this weekend and the watch still has half of it’s battery life.

2.) This has a combination of GPS, GLONASS and BDS which allows for increased performance in challenging areas or rural environments to connect to the satellites.

3.) The Barometric Altimeter is built in, allowing the most accurate elevation readings.

4.) Price. This watch costs $299. – https://coros.com/pace.php

Looking forward to what’s next:

The watch is very new, so many things are still getting updates. It will be able to sync to more training apps, and the ability to have the indoor workouts sync properly.

I am hoping they add more activities like walk, trail run, or hike. If it’s a multisport watch, it should include multi amounts of sports.

I do like that this is simple and no frills, there are no watch faces to change. It’s a watch for the stats and has a battery life that lasts.

If my review hasn’t convinced you to consider a Coros Pace Multisport Watch, check out what the other pros had to say: CoreyLindseyMaiMichael – KimRyanKevin

Keep tabs on Coros – WebsiteTwitterInstagramFacebook

 

 

Advertisements

Run Madtown 13.1

Run Madtown 13.1 – Race Recap
“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Conquer the Capitol 19.3 Challenge to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

If you missed the first part of the Conquer the Capitol Challenge, the 10k, you can check that recap here. For my to the point half marathon review, check out bibrave.com.

Sunday, May 27, 2018.
Rise and shine!!! Hotel coffee and gas station bagels, breakfast of champions.

Another hot day was upon us, pre-race emails had warned us of this. We had been drinking all the water and Gatorade. The forecast had race time temps in the 80’s.

There was no race day packet pick up, to get your things you needed to attend the expo/packet pickup the day before. I will say as a challenge participant we had 2 different bibs with the same number to wear. We also got a shirt for each event, as well as a long sleeve light weight hoodie for the challenge.

We made it to the Capitol with plenty of time before the race, and again with the most awesome on street, FREE, parking spot, a block from the finisher’s party. There were port-o-potties set up in the area too.

Josh and I parked ourselves near the gear check area. We managed to meet up with Dan again as well as fellow Corridor Running board member Warren. They all were talking race strategy and what not, I just wanted to finish.

As we chit chatted, I spotted another BibRave Pro, Dye. I had met her last August at the Madison Mini. We took a photo together and she realized her bib was missing. Luckily the kind race folks got her all taken care of.

After all the pre-race pleasantries and mosquito bites, we all proceeded to take our places in the corrals. There were pacers for this event so you could self seed near them. The National Anthem was sung and we were moving.

The beginning of the half marathon course was similar to the 10k he evening before. started with the hills, including Observatory…oof! However, the reason I like this event was in the past we always ran through the arboretum. This year the course was very similar to the fall Madtown event, and took a western route, through residential neighborhoods and boring roads.

BJJ_3865

FREE race photos!

Don’t be fooled though, there were still hills! I think I am still climbing the one near mile 9. Once on top you could see the Capitol across the lake, so that was cool.

I mentioned the pre-race emails and the heat warnings. There were supposed to be 10 hydration stops with water and Gatorade. I was too lazy to count, but in 6 miles I had one Gatorade stop. Running at different paces makes for different race experiences, and when it’s hot it’s hard to staff those aid stations. I just wish if it’s advertised, it’s available. Also the water and Gatorade were different at each stop, sometimes second, sometimes Gatorade was sandwiched between water. I am happy this was available, just makes it nice when it’s all the same.

Alright…. I was just running my own race and about 3 miles from the finish when I came upon an ambulance loading up a runner. I hope the person is ok. This also got me thinking for the next mile. I looked at my bib and saw that it had a printed sticker on it with my information, but nothing if there was an emergency. When I removed my bib there were no lines on the back to write information in case of an emergency. Yes, the race has your bib number and would know who you were, but what if someone stole your bib, or you illegally transferred it? Next, just run with an ID, there are many options – for you shoes, a bracelet, or add to a watch band. Safety is this easy.

Am I done running yet? The heat was proving to be tough, but a guy speed walking had managed to pass me so I had a new goal, beat that guy!!!! It also helped as I could see Dan up ahead. They both pushed me to the finish up that last hill.

A 2:24 finish time, definitely not my best, but also not my worst. A finish is a finish!
I crossed the finish line and a volunteer placed a medal around my neck. I went straight to that bottle of water. I hate the post race headache. There were also boxes of banana pieces and orange slices – orange slices are the best! Then you could grab a bagged lunch from Panera – a sandwich, chips and cookie. From here was the post race party. Chocolate milk was back and as cold as ever!

EE1X1643

There was a separate tent in this area for challengers to grab their third medal. clink, clink, clink.

I was with Dan and we were in search of shade, I found Josh, Warren and Dye and met a new friend, Julia. We talked about our races and whined about the heat. It was so hot I even drank a Michelob Ultra – GASP – and despite what the can says, it is not the Superior Light Beer, LOL.

We all parted ways after a brief photo shoot. It’s always nice to catch up with others. If you see me at a race, say hi!

I registered late for the challenge, so it was kinda pricey at $145, but I enjoy running in Madison and visiting when the Hawks are not playing a sport. The races I have done, while they have some hiccups, are always well managed. Hope to get back soon, perhaps again for the Mini.

Josh and I had enough time to go back to the hotel for a shower, sometimes that is rare post race with check out times. Then we made sure to hit up a local brewery. We checked out Vintage Brewing. It had an old school diner vibe.

After another stop at the Hy-Vee, with 3 new Wisconsin beers in tow, we were back on the road, and headed towards the Hawkeye state.

Don’t forget to claim your results on Athlinks!

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest – Gear Review

“Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod®️ PureRun™️Minimalist Hydration Vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I have run many miles, and many of them with some sort of pack. I am familiar with bladders, bottles and flasks. What intrigued me most about getting a chance to try this vest was the versatility to adapt to bottles, flasks or bladders.

amphipid

The vest arrived with two, 12 oz Hydraform™️ bottles, one for each front drawstring pocket. There are 3 front buckles with adjustable straps. There are two front zipper pockets. The back is like a back pack with two separate zipper compartments, one large enough to house a bladder. The front even has a clip for the hose. There are also cords to carry a light weight coat or something on top of the pack. I also received a fun light up smiley face too.

When I received this vest, I was in the midst of training for my 25th marathon. However, I wanted to make sure before I took it on a long run, I would have no problems. The maiden voyage was just across town and back. I stuck my phone in the front zipper pocket and it fit! I have an iPhoneX. I also just carried the bottles with me, so I could get the feel.

Everything fit fine and was easy to adjust. I should note the vest does come in two sizes, so check your measurements before ordering. The only thing that is strange, as a woman, the placement of the bottles just looks “strange.”

I  ran next with the vest to a race day volunteer job. I was going to be directing runners at a corner. It was also very cold that day. The vest fit over many layers of clothes and when it warmed up, I was able to easily stash the extra clothes in the pockets.

I take gear testing seriously! I brought the pack along for a group training run. I was going to run at least 13 miles, and the route was along the highway. The one thing I appreciate about this is the bottles that come with it. It’s easy to bring water and an electrolyte on your run. I did find out that if you don’t tighten the drawstring on the bottle pocket, it will bounce and/or fall out! The vest was also great to hold the treasures I found along the way.

Then it was time for my last 20 mile long run before the marathon. I didn’t hesitate and grabbed the vest, filled it with all my snacks and drinks.

I also packed it full of warmer clothes, and an empty flask and deodorant on my way to the Iowa spring football practice. I didn’t even get checked in the security line and I was able to be fresh when I got there.

Up until this point all the runs in the vest were in cooler weather, meaning I was wearing multiple layers or a long sleeve top.

On race day, the Run Crandic marathon, I choose to wear this vest. The race course had many aid stations, but it wasn’t my first race and I wanted to have my snacks and at the least water when I wanted it. Race day temps would end up near 70 degrees, so I ran in a tank top with the vest. While it was nice to have everything I needed, I was happy to see Vaseline at an aid station as the chafe around my neck and arms was not pleasant. Maybe it was the necklace, sports bra and fresh hair cut…no clue, it just wasn’t pleasant. I am also of the school where basically all gear chafes, or all glasses fog up. I am sure if I gave my vest some adjustments, it would have fit better and I wouldn’t have any chafe. (at mile 17.5, I had no time for that) I will also note, I didn’t feel extra hot or extra sweaty due to wearing the pack.

If you are looking to finally get away from a hydration belt, I would recommend this vest. It’s not complicated, and easy to use and adjust.  The material breathes and you can carry just about anything with you because of it’s versatility. It is available online for $100 – http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/purerun-vests/purerun-minimalist-24

Check out what other BibRave Pros had to say: Andrea – AlastairMeridithRenee 

Keep up with Amphipod on TwitterInstagramFacebookWebsite

Grandma’s or Bust!

Grandma’s or BUST

“Disclaimer: I received entry into Grandma’s Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

That’s right, I am headed back to Duluth! If we are getting technical it’s my sixth time to Duluth. I took a family vacation as a kid in 1993, I ran the half marathon in 2014, and then the first Great Grandma’s challenge in 2015, the black flagged 2016 marathon, and the almost as hot 2017 marathon.

2018 is the year for perfect weather, you heard it here first!

Why am I returning?

  1. I want to eat at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill. In all these years I have not done that, and it’s located at the finish line.
  2. I am going to run the 5k on Friday night too. I will be in town for packet pickup, might as well do the Great Grandma’s challenge again.
  3. The lake – Lake Superior! I have never jumped in post marathon – GASP! My first half was cold, the 2015 marathon was rain, the 2016 marathon I had to find my husband in the medical tent, and in 2017 I met my friends at the beer tent.
  4. It’s a great event. I feel this needs no blurb, great events keep people coming back.
  5. The medal! GM Medal Reveal FB 2018

I feel those are my top 5 reasons to get back. I hope to cross all those things off the list.

What has you returning to a race? Why would you travel to something year after year?

Bibrave Partners with Athlinks

BibRave has a new partnership with Athlinks.

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Athlinks_Logo_Horizontal_2C_RGB

What is Athlinks?

  • An online collection of your race results. Find, share and claim your race results up to the last 10 years
  • Connect with friends – meet at a future race, have a friendly competition or cheer each other on.

I have been an Athlinks member since 2009 – it’s cool to have your race results all in one place. However, when I originally joined, I found myself having to add all my races to the database, and due to so many races, I gave up, it was a lot of work to search websites for results and wait to see if they were added.

Periodically since that time, I would check in and some of the bigger races would show up on my profile to claim. That is easy, the system recognizes your name and you just hit the “claim results” button.

Now, I am willing to give the website another try. There have been many changes to the site to make it more of a community.

You can follow friends, when you follow them you can see if they raced the same events as you. This stat also tells you if you won or lost against them in that event. It’s a nice friendly competition, but when you are a slow runner, seeing all the losses on your profile isn’t a great feeling, ok so maybe it’s a little motivating.

I also am having an issue following accounts that are private. They can follow me, but I can not follow them back. I can also not see who my followers are, unless I go through my emails. *Maybe I am just missing something?

You can also add future events to your profile to see who will be there, complete with a countdown. This allows you to put in your time goal as well.

There were a few other things I am still struggling with:

  • My PR’s are not accurate. I have a couple marathon relays on my resume and they are counting that as my marathon PR.
  • I signed up 9 years ago, I can not change my email address to the one I prefer to use today. *I am working on getting this changed

athlinkspr

Moving forward – I am curious to see what incentives and discounts will be available. The website has grown, and in fact before January 8, 2018, those who sign up for a new Athlinks account or existing members who claim a new race result are eligible to win great prizes – from race entries into the Leadville Race Series and the Life Time Tri Series, to a one-year premium TrainingPeaks subscription. To learn more and “Win 2018”, visit https://app.athlinks.com/win2018/

As I continue to get email notifications, I will keep up with my Athlinks account just as I have in the past. Who knows maybe a giveaway will entice me to actually add the races that are not in the database.

You can get your free account online at Athlinks.com or get the app on your phone. If you want you can follow me too – https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/114826986

 

 

 

A Visor For All Conditions

Product Review – BOCO Gear 360° Visor®

“Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear 360° Visor® to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aBibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Whether it’s to keep my hair under control, the sun off my face or my head warm; I can easily be spotted running with something on my head.

In fact you might have seen me in a BOCO trucker hat or a Boco stocking hat. BOCO (as some of you Coloradians might know) is short for Boulder, CO – where the company was “born.”

All this rambling brings me to the newest addition to my BOCO Gear collection, the  BOCO Gear 360° Visor®!

What makes this visor so special? Well I will tell you:

  • Terry cloth liner across the forehead to reduce sweat from dripping on your face
  • elastic band on the back, no readjusting
  • machine washable
  • black under the brim to reduce glare
  • the bill is curved and fits like a normal hat – no crazy flat brimmed nonsense
  • dry tech polyester

Now – how did I make the most of this visor?

While I have been wearing it from time to time on my runs, to shield my face from the sun (which is important all year round.) I put this to it’s first test as I wore it during the Detroit Marathon, in wind gusts close to 40 mph. The visor never budged, I never worried about losing this as I ran the last few miles in a head wind.  It’s a pain if you have to worry about keeping your hat on, and uncomfortable to run with your hand on the top of your head, to keep your hat on.

Second… I have been enjoying this as an addition to cold runs. I need my head and more importantly my ears covered when it’s cold outside (insert dramatic story of my ears being frostbit as a kid.)I prefer to wear a stocking hat or multifunctional head wrap. However, those items do not block my face from the sun. It’s sooooo easy to just throw the visor on, on top of the hat – BAM, sun protection.

I think if there were a downside to this visor, it would be the sizing. For my head size, it’s fine. I like that there is no extra adjustable strap to deal with. For others it could be too big or too small.

My favorite thing about this – it’s machine washable. I don’t have time to hand wash stuff, and the running gear that requires that treatment gets neglected. This just makes taking care of my visor so much easier.

The pros may have additional thoughts on BOCO Gear, so check em out: Amy WMeridithJeannineLindseyVanessaFrankKolbeStephanieMattCaseyJessica FallonGinaSamantha

BOCO makes a lot of products – check out their website, or maybe get your own custom order.

Follow BOCO Gear on TwitterInstagramFacebook.

 

Health Warrior Chia Bars – review

Review of the Health Warrior Chia Bars

“Disclaimer: I received 2 boxes of Health Warrior Chia Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

I can’t resist a good bar, with that being said I have also had my fair share of disgusting bars. With so many options out there, I was happy to try out the Health Warrior Chia Bars.

I ripped open the brown cardboard box, when it arrived, to find 2 boxes of Health Warrior Chia bars inside. I received the chocolate peanut butter and vanilla almond. In addition to the bars, there was a cool surprise – The Coloring Book, Marathon Training.

What the heck is chia, and why should you eat it? Well it is that plant seed that grows into a pet, but it’s also a superfood – the most nutrient dense food on the planet!

chia boasts more omega-3s than salmon, more protein than an egg, more calcium than milk, and more fiber than flax

This superfood is combined with other ingredients to make a gluten free, soy free, dairy free and vegan bar, yet only 4-5 grams of sugar. These are near 100 calories and help you feel full as they contain protein, fiber, fat and omega-3.

How do they taste? This is where I am always skeptical. I love all the benefits these provide, but I am not going to eat them if I don’t like them. I am here to say, these are good!!!! They taste like a granola bar…the flavors I received, taste just as described. You get a whiff of vanilla before you bite into the vanilla almond and you just can’t go wrong with peanut butter.

I think my favorite thing about these are you can see the ingredients that are listed on the label. They are not a mushed up, dried out, chalky square.

I found myself taking these with me to work. They are the perfect snack to hold me to lunch time.

I also snuck them into Camp Randall, Kinnick Stadium and Carver Hawkeye Arena. Who wants to pay concession stand prices for bad for you food?

I have my eyes on the new sea salt caramel flavor and I would like to try their line of pumpkin seed bars too. Ok, who am I kidding, I would like to try them all as all my boxes are empty!

I think the only bad thing about these bars is when the chia seeds get stuck in your teeth.

I mentioned a coloring book – that’s right!!! If you place an order through this link – http://healthwarrior.link/colorbookbr you will be sent the Marathon Training coloring book. It’s funny and filled with the truth about marathon training.

I was able to stay in the lines!

I know the other pros were sent other flavors so make sure to check out their thoughts: CaseyBrendaJessicaPaulaStephanie MattAmyJanelleLindsey Emily Samantha 

Stay up to date with Health Warrior by following along on their social channels – TwitterFacebookInstagram