Light It Up

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights 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!

My town has a lack of street lights and sidewalks.  The sidewalks that it does have tend to be very uneven and of abnormal heights.  Seriously- the city was actually sued at one point due to this.   Throw in the occasional mountain lion sighting and cranky dogs and I had plenty of reasons to not run at night.    All of which I embraced wholeheartedly but I really, really dislike the treadmill so something had to change during these dark winter months.   I ventured on one evening run last winter with a flashlight to guide my way.  Not bad but not great.    I tried again this winter.  Again not bad but not great.  Also I kept accidentally hitting the setting for the emergency flash on the flashlight.  Oops.


Enter Knuckle Lights.   These pint size puppies pack a punch!   They come with a charge right out of the box and I was unprepared for how bright they would be.  I saw stars for a few moments after I pointed the first one right at my face.  Oops.    Ok, so they blinded me in close quarters but how would they work on the run?


Freakin’ awesome!  My first time running with them didn’t end in full darkness so while I thought they helped cars see me in the twilight, I didn’t really feel like it was a good test of them.  My next run with them was after work and returning home so in complete darkness.   I geared up and set out for my run.  I was surprised just turning on one of the lights, I felt like I could see everything so much better, what would two do?  Holy crap, the night lit up.  Not only could I see the ground and the bushes and everything around me, I knew cars could see me.  In fact I was worried I might blind an oncoming driver!   Now, granted I haven’t asked one to stop to get their opinion.  😛


In fact I love the lights so much that I did something I thought would never be possible.  I ran after work in work town.   I always considered that route to be off limits in the dark- not anymore!    Now I didn’t go all the way into the state park because I do want to do a daylight check for downed trees thanks to all our recent rain but I got pretty close.  Yay for more running options!!

Now for some technical jargon from the website-

 

  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET: The 2 units are held comfortably on your hands with soft silicone straps. The straps are easily adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves. The units connect together magnetically so they can easily be stored when not in use. The units are super lightweight at less than 3 ounces each.
  • 280 TOTAL LUMENS: Each unit is 140 Lumens on high power, so you get a super bright 280 Lumens combined. The LED pattern is a WIDE FLOOD BEAM, so it puts out light in all directions, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving.
  • 3 POWER SETTINGS: High, Low and Blinking.
  • BATTERY LIFE PER CHARGE: 4 Hours on High Power | 8 Hours on Low Power | 14 Hours on Blinking.

 

There a few things I wish were slightly different-

  • I like to run with pepper spray and have a free hand to grab it.  More often than not, I run with both Knuckle Lights in one hand.  They are super light weight so it’s not noticeable at all.
  • I run with a handheld water bottle so with my desire to keep a hand free for my pepper spray something has to lose and that is my water.  So far all my runs with the lights have been shorter and that has been fine but eventually I will need to figure something else out.
  • The order of the lights- Instead of High*Low*Flash, I wish it was Low*High*Flash.   Now, I have that preference because I start running at twilight or later so it gets darker as I run. I imagine that morning runners like the standard set up because it gets lighter the longer they run.

All in all, I love these little lights and wish I had them sooner.  I can see them lighting the way for my runs for a long time to come.  It almost makes me sad that the days are getting longer again.  Almost.

Want your own Knuckle Lights?  Use code “bibravepro” for 10% off your order.

Do you run in the dark? 

How do you light up your path? 

 

Weekly Recap 2- Of stress and rain

Yikes, last week was a little rough.  I still can’t pinpoint exactly why but if you read my last post you know I was feeling massively out of sorts last week.   The feeling only went away when I ran.  Or tried to nap but that was rare.  I started the week with a migraine and my stomach was being its asshat self.   I also admit that my food choices were less than stellar.  Boo.

Anyways, let’s get to the workouts!  Or what resembled working out.  😛

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday- Stress– Rest  In all seriousness, I foam rolled and stretched every one of these nights.     Between all the rain and the longer commute, job stress and just life, I was freaking out.    I knew I was only running one evening during the week due to my weekend running plans so I kept pushing it back due to the weather.    I really needed to run.


Thursday- 3 miles Oh thank goodness, a break from the rain and I ran.    I was planning on running at home but knew that the longer drive home zaps my energy and willpower.  I changed into my running clothes after work and made the last minute decision to run from work as I was walking out the door.   I always treated my work route as off limits in the dark but I decided to chance it.   It was just what I needed.  It was slow but also oddly the fastest 3 miler I’ve done in months.  Considering I was dodging branches, I’ll take it!   The smell of the eucalyptus trees and the sun setting on the ocean was just what I needed.  For a blissful few moments, my brain was quiet for the first time all week.

Friday- Rest   Jacked up my back again while getting ready for work, it hurt just to move.  So I spent the day deciding how crazy I was.  Which also probably contributed to my stress level this week.


Saturday- Road trip!  Up early on the road heading towards Carlsbad.  My back was super sore but not outright painful.  Guess I am crazy.    Bonus to this trip was that my uncle recently moved to that area- so added perks were staying with family and no hotel fees!  Even if the grounds of his new house made me feel like I am doing something wrong with my life.  


And the fact that I typed grounds, it’s not  big but still.   I went to bed early and just tried to get a decent night’s sleep.


Sunday- Carlsbad Half Marathon.  I only ran 14 miles in December, what was I thinking?!   But more on that next time.  😛

16.2 miles for the week.  I kept my work week miles low as I knew what was coming in Sunday.   I may be a little crazy but I have been trying to up my weekly mileage in a sane way.    But still, doesn’t everyone jump their long runs from 7 to 13?     Looking to this week, I am hoping to be a little calmer.  Rain is still coming and my road is still closed, man I miss it, but I’m hoping that I will deal with it better this week.   Fingers crossed!

How was your week?

Share something random!

 

Water, Water Everywhere

I’ve been a little radio silent this week which is odd because I can’t shut my brain up or calm the hell down.

I don’t know if it’s the rain, the longer commute now that my usual road is closed, the fact that I have a race this weekend that I woefully under trained for, or that we were supposed to learn more about the merger this week.  Whatever it is, I have been freaking out all week.   Giant ball of stress over here.

The extra drive might not be so bad if wasn’t for the rain.  The rain is ridiculous.   One way means I have to go 15 miles further south before turning back north to get to work via another highway.    You know the rain is intense when everyone is voluntarily driving 30 where they usually do 80 with no honking horns or tailgating.  I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve hydroplaned.   So I took another way on Wednesday.    Still longer and how I would get to work on Saturdays.  Yeah, no.  I can’t do that road in the dark.  Something about knowing there’s a 2000 ft drop to my right just freaks me out, throw in rain and fog and I don’t think I could grip the steering wheel any tighter.   I realize this is nuts as my normal commute is through a canyon prone to landslides on one side with a steep drop on the other but I’ve driven that road for the last 4 years.

This rain is intense.  We’ve lost 2 more roads- they’ve washed away.  New verdict is my road won’t re-open until mid February.   😢    I need to get over this driving stress soon.

Thursday I actually googled the differences between the symptoms of panic attacks and heart attacks.  Hypochondriac, much?    I’ve been freaking out at the oddest times.   Feeling like my pulse is racing and oddly nauseous.   What is wrong with me?!?!?!?   I keep checking my heart rate on my Fitbit constantly. There were other reasons I looked it up let’s just leave it at that.


 Finally, I had enough and with a break in the weather, I bolted and ran.  For 35 blissful minutes, my brain was calm.  All I could think about was not falling on my face in the dark- dodge the branches.  Well that and how loud I was huffing and puffing at the end of a little 3 miler.  I just told myself it was because mile 3 gains 100+ feet.  Let me lie to myself ok?

I just need to chill.  I need to be more like the guy who saw the streets were too flooded to drive and thought- “well, I’ll just ride my surfboard”.

How do you get to that level of Chill?

Any tips?

Weekly Recap 1-Rain and Mudslides Oh My

Why is that short work weeks seem so long?  Maybe it’s because we try to cram 5 days work into 4?     Maybe it’s just one of those questions that will never be answered.  😛

Last week saw a better training week which is surprising considering the skies are dumping water on us and I have a fierce desire to avoid the gym the first few weeks of the year.   Seriously, I know that CA is in a severe drought and that we desperately need water but we are not equipped to handle this much water at one time.   Downed trees, power outages,  highways are flooded, in fact as I type this I have no idea how I am getting to work on Monday.  My main way to work has been closed since Friday evening due to a massive landslide.  Considering I drove past 2 pretty large slides already last week and they didn’t shut the road for those, the fact that the road has been closed for 2+ days is kind of alarming.

But enough about mudslides- let’s get to the running!


Monday- 3 ish miles.  That ish makes me a little crazy.  My Garmin decided to go a little crazy and lose satellite for the first part of my run.  Like most runners, I know the first mile from my house very, very well.  My watch always beeps at one particular street sign.    It didn’t.  Grrr.  It took another 2 blocks.    It’s not like I was setting any speed records, I was feeling overly sluggish but the drop in data really aggravates the type A data nerd in me.

Tuesday/ Wednesday– Work was busy and the rain came.   I carried my running gear around with me just in case there was a break in the rain.

Thursday- 2.6 miles  There was a break in the rain so I changed after work and headed back home for a nice evening run.    One bonus about running in the dark is that I feel zero need to push the pace.  It’s one of the few times I can run easy and have it actually be easy both in feel and pace.     Throw in dodging puddles and piles of dirt and debris and it really keeps things easy.   The break in the rain was nice but dang that temp dropped fast.  Make up your mind weather!   I kept it short because my stomach chose to be an asshat on Thursday but I wouldn’t let it completely win.

Friday- Rest What else?  Luckily I worked the early shift at work because the mountain decided to come down about 30 minutes after I drove through.  Yikes!

Saturday- Rest  I celebrated a little too early about the no more Saturday work days.  It was off to work.  Closer location and only for a couple of hours but it was kind of funny how quickly it came about.    It was pouring rain outside all day, my stomach was still an asshat so I pushed my long run back a day.


Sunday- 7.1 miles There was a break in the rain mid-morning so I made a run for it.  I layered up in preparation of the rain in case I was caught in it.  I was overheating by mile 2.    The Buff came off in mile 3.  I used the wait at a traffic light during mile 4 to peel off my jacket.   The weird thing was the damn wind.  It was so windy it was pushing me backwards at times.  The wind tried to take my hat off more than once.   Damn near lost it when I was running over the freeway–never getting it back from there!     It was extremely windy but it was a warm wind.   My pace was a little erratic thanks to hills and the wind but overall it wasn’t that bad.   My 3/1’s kind of fell apart thanks to some of the hills though.  I need to work on that.    Not bad for my longest run in months but man I feel out of shape.

12.7 miles for the week.  Moving in the right direction at least!   Slowly.  😛   As for this week, the rain is still here so I am not sure how my week day runs may go.  Like I said, I’m not even sure how I’m getting to work.    As for the weekend, I am debating how crazy or stubborn I am but more on that later.

How was your week?

How is your weather?

 

 

 

 

2017- The Year Of

It’s that time of year where social media is full of reflections on the previous year (mine is here!) and goals or resolutions for the new year to come.  This is not that post.

I don’t do goals.  Goals are a 4 letter word in my book, literally and figuratively.  When I first joined the blogging world and Instagram, I followed along, all the cool kids were doing it- why not me?  I tried, I did.  95% of the goals I set for 3 years were spectacular failures.   The more I tried, the more I failed and the more I stressed.  It was a vicious cycle.

The problem is that I don’t like goals.  They rate up there with the word “potential”.  I hate that word.    90% of the time potential is always followed by the word “but”.  I’ve told employees over the years that I will never use it in their performance review and so far I never have.     But I’ve gotten sidetracked.

Goals don’t work as incentive for me.  They work for some people and that’s great,  they’re just not my jam.   Fessing up to a goal free 2016 took a lot last year, I was afraid of the reaction.   That said, I think a goal free 2016 went quite well- most miles run in a year and I ran a freakin’ marathon.  😀😀 Yeah, I’m still on that.

So that brings me to 2017.  I may not have goals, but I do have a word.


2017 is all about the challenge.  I want to challenge myself, not just in running but in multiple ways in life.  2017 is shaping up to be an interesting year in a variety of ways but instead of letting it push me along, I want to do my best to be driving the bus not just a passenger.


This is primarily a running blog so lets talk about running.    In 2017, I want to Challenge myself with some speed.  I have never been fast but I used to be speedier than I am now.     I’m not putting a number on it, I’m not even putting a finishing time on it.  One race finish does dictate speed.     I let myself use my health issues as an excuse for far too long, I was too lazy to put in the work, whatever the reason was, it’s time to put in the work and see what I can do.

Right now I only have a few half marathons on the race schedule, Livermore and Destination Races Santa Barbara being the key ones.  I do have the crazy desire to run another marathon but the only one that really intrigued me was Revel MT. Charleston.  However, it’s April 29 and I just don’t think there’s any way that I will be ready to run it.  Plus, it’s in Nevada and well, that’s a drive.  😛  So instead, it looks like I stick with my 1 half a month schedule February to summer and then reassess for a fall marathon.   While I am Challenging myself this year, I don’t relish the idea of 20 milers in the CA summer heat.    😛  I’ll do it if I have to; it just doesn’t sound fun.

I want to apply Challenge to more aspects of my life as well.  There are so many ways that I need to expand my horizons and step outside my comfort zone but I’m saving those thoughts for later date.   The water hasn’t quite boiled yet.

So, 2017- Year of Challenge…

Let’s do this.

Slacker