Race Preview: 2015 Rogue Run

September 20th would be a great day to be in Medford Oregon for the annual Rogue Run event. Including a full marathon, half and 10K, this event will be sure to have great views and the perks are all there. A BQ course, food and drink, finishers medals, and a mostly flat course along the Bear Creek Greenway. The races are point to point, and I can personally say that it is a great place to run! Continue reading

Featured Website: ShoeKicker

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As much as we like to think of running as an “inexpensive” sport, it comes a surprise to nobody that we tend to SPEND a lot of money on running gear. Sometimes I look down at myself and I strip everything off of me that isn’t necessary. It’s pretty freeing. However, it’s obvious to all that there is one piece of gear we just can’t do without – running shoes.

However, even though running shoes are a sound investment, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t have the opportunity to try to locate the most affordable option. I’m not saying we should all just hit the streets in $15 no-name shoes from K-Mart, but why are we just OK with plucking our favorite pairs off the first website we go to without first checking around and seeing if we can get it cheaper somewhere else. I mean, every dollar saved is one we can put towards a Gu packet or two right?!

ShoeKicker is a site (currently in beta) that functions similarly to Kayak.com, the website that peruses the internet for the best flight, hotel, and travel deals. ShoeKicker was started, founded, and is led by Imran Khoja, who used to run at Williams College. He got the idea when he was on a run (a place where all good ideas seem to originate) and was ruminating on the fact that he couldn’t find his shoe, in his size, at an even reasonable price at any store in Boston. ShoeKicker was born right then and there.

Continue reading

Race Recap: Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 8/15/15 (Eugene, Ore.)

Pre-race line up! Look at the record breaking number of participants!

Pre-race line up! Look at the record breaking number of participants! Photo credit: Bryan Mumme

Saturday evening, August 15, was a warm one. It was warm, and the sun shined beautifully, even through the forest fire laden skies over Eugene. About 4:30 p.m., I was off to the Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 event, held at the gorgeous Silvan Ridge Winery in the exceptional wine country near Eugene. The Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 event has been held for many years now, this year was the 5th annual event, and I have always wanted to attend. The race is a benefit for The Jane Higdon Foundation.

Arriving just after 5 p.m., parking was simple, with participants parking in mowed open field just off the winery. The short walk from the parking area to the winery allowed us to take in the impeccable views of the area, and the winery building. Packet pick-up was occurring in a covered area just outside of the winery. Participants collected their race bibs, complimentary, etched Silvan Ridge Twilight 5 wine glass, and an event shirt if purchased during registration. As we had to take our wine glasses back to the car, next year it would be fantastic if the wine glasses were handed out as we cross the finish line. Continue reading

Running with Kids – Ages and Stages

Kids at the Tiki Run 2012

When you look at the start list (or results) of road races these days, you’ll notice that most races have more female participants than male. A 60/40 split seems pretty common. Many of these women are also moms, who have managed to figure out a way to balance time to go running with time spent at their job (staying at home or out of the home), childcare, home responsibilities, and husband. There are many organizations who are run by and for women with children, from Stoller Strides to Another Mother Runner, and probably many others that I’m not aware of. Continue reading

Race Preview: 2015 Forest Grove Lions Club Run & Walk For Sight (Forest Grove)

Lions Club

The 15th annual Forest Grove Lions Club Run & Walk for Sight will take place on Saturday, September 19th at Pacific University in Forest Grove. Participants can choose from the 10k, 5k run or walk, and a “Tot Trot”. All proceeds support the Lions Club’s mission to provide glasses to those who need them.  Continue reading

Featured App: Vima Fitness App

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Everyone knows that there are a variety of apps out there for tracking your runs. Each offer different features for athletes with a variety of specs, details, and sometimes gobbledygook. Tracking your running data is great, but it can be a little overwhelming at times. I have crossed over to try different apps over time, and have quickly deleted because of the sheer number of settings, pages, and features that were confusing or that I just didn’t want.   Vima is a new running app that has a pretty straightforward and minimalistic aura about it. I mean just look at the start-up screen:
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There is a record button to get your run started, a history button to glance back at previous runs, and a GPS signal meter. Just hit record and be on your way. And even when you start running, things stay simple. image
But just because the app is sleek and simple, doesn’t mean that there aren’t in-depth features as well:

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  • Realtime and post-run stats and a map of your run, color coded by speed
  • Voice Feedback at set time or distance intervals so you don’t have to look at the screen
  • Pause and resume button
  • Share on Facebook, Twitter, or email
  • Connect with Apple or Pebble watches to see your stats on your wrist in realtime
  • Split Times
  • Calories
Apple Watch Features:
  • Start tracking from your wrist without getting your phone out
  • Realtime stats including time,distance,speed,and pace
  • Pause and resume
  • Save the run

I have used the app over my past few runs and have enjoyed it. I’m not one to look at my phone while I’m running, so the simplistic style didn’t bother me. I found the summary page to be more aesthetically pleasing than my current app and actually had a few more details visibly present that I really liked (Average and Max Speed), as well as an elevation chart that seemed to be more understandable and accurate than my other tracking app.

unnamed (2)One feature that I didn’t find was automatic pausing. In my other tracking app, it senses when I have stopped (at a stoplight for example) and pauses my run accordingly. It then automatically starts up again when I move. This is something that I have obviously become accustomed to and was something that I didn’t realize I missed until it wasn’t there anymore. I could pause by hand no problem (and it’s really not expending that much energy to do so), but this feature would be great in a future update.

Currently the app is free, which will let you save your 10 most recent runs. For $4.99/year, you will get premium features (ad-free, voice feedback, unlimited saved runs, colored pace maps) that the free version doesn’t have. While an associated cost is a necessity to get this app off the ground, and less than $.50/mo is more than reasonable, with all of the other free running apps out there this may need to be something that changes in the future to stay competitive. Right now, you can try out the premium version free for 10 days.

Overall, this seems to be a solid venture into the run tracking realm. Sometimes people are tied to their “tried-and-true” apps, but this one offers the most simple “plug-and-play” set-up I have seen. That is something I, and I’m sure a ton of other like-minded runners, can definitely appreciate.

Vima has Bike Tracker and Walk Tracker apps as well.

Download on the iTunes Store