Hi Running Buddies! 

How is your running going? Are you getting your miles in? If you are like me, you do most of your training runs after work and since it is winter that means it's dark. Lame! Today I want to talk to you about running safely at night with the help of Nite Ize. 

Disclaimer: I received a box of Nite Ize products thanks to Bibrave's BibRavePro ambassadorship. You can learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews. As always, all opinions, typos, and silly pictures are my own.

Safety Tips for Running at Night

PictureDon't mind me, just lit up like a Christmas tree...
First let's go over some safety tips for running at night.
  1. Don't run alone. Call me, I'll run with you!
  2. Run in a public place with other crazy people exercising in the dark.
  3. Don't wear all black! (The Hubbo is bad about this!) 
  4. Be seen! Wear light-up accessories so you look like a freaking Christmas tree ::Insert Christmas Tree Emoji Here::
  5. Tell somewhere when you are leaving and when they can expect you to be back
  6. Don't assume the car will stop for you.
  7. Keep your cell phone with you in case you need to call someone. 
  8. Know your route and have a backup route in case something interferes.
  9. Obviously - Don't talk to strangers! Stranger danger should still be alive and well even in your adult life. 
  10. Wear a headlamp to avoid holes and other ankle injuring obstacles. 

How Nite Ize Can Help You Stay Safe

Nite Ize (Night Eyes) has a ton of helpful products on their website that aren't all related to running in the dark. They have everything from mobile device accessories to LED accessories to hardware. Click here to see more of their products. But today we are going to be focusing on being seen by cars, cyclists, and other runners to help us train safely at night.

First let's talk about the  Shoe Lit shoe lights. I got a pink one and a green one. They have other colors as well such as red and blue. These are super easy clip to your shoe through your laces. I've had mine on my shoes for 2 weeks and I never take them off. I don't even notice them when I'm not running at night. You can order them online for $4.49 and make all your running buddies jealous, right Angie? :)  

If you were a child of the 90's like myself you will totally be super excited about this one. It's a light up slap bracelet! The SlapLit retails for $11.99 and is full of safety, fun, and nostalgia! 
(Photo bombing Chihuahua not included.)

SlapLit in the dark.
Every runner needs a good headlamp. When I first put this one and walked outside to the road in front of my house I had to be super careful because this is so bright it was shining across the street onto my neighbors house! I didn't want them to think someone was trying to peek in their windows even though I was on my side of the street! Ain't nobody got time to get arrested for being a peeping Tom-Runner! 
The STS Inova Headlamp comes in blue, orange, and charcoal and retails for $34.99. 
The cool thing about this headlamp is that you swipe across the top to turn it on. If you swipe one way it is a white light that is super bright. If you swipe the other way it is a red light! It's called Swipe-to-Shine technology and it's pretty amazing. It's also waterproof. 

The Visibility Test

I decided to enlist the help of the Hubbo and his camera for this test. I'm wearing my typical winter running outfit. Blue jacket, running tights, and shoes. All have a small amount of reflective accessories that came on them. Below I took two sets of pictures. Series 1 is with my normal outfit on and wearing all my Nite Ize accessories at different distances away from the camera. Series 2 is me just wearing my normal running outfit alone at different distances away from the camera. 

Which one looks less likely to get hit by a car?
Series 1
With Nite Ize on.
Series 2
With out Nite Ize on.

Questions! Do you wear all black when you run at night? What tips can you share to help runners stay safe at night?

If you've had the pleasure (or torture) to hang around runners for any amount of time, you know that we have a language all of our own. AND WE LIKE TO TALK ABOUT RUNNING A LOT! 
You may have wondered to yourself, "What does PR mean?" or "What does BQ stand for?" or even "How far is a 15k?" But you probably didn't want to ask for fear of sounding like you were out-of-the-know or fear of dragging the conversation on any longer and having to pretend like you care. I get it. I know I have wondered those exact thoughts myself. So don't worry, Boo! I got you! Today I am demystifying all that runner's jargon for you with my very own Guide to Runner's Language!

Chub Rub - The unfortunate occurrence that happens when parts of your body are a little chubbier than you'd like and rub together while you run. 
Example - See my thighs.

Rungry - The insatiable hunger that ensues immediately after a long run. Also occurs as you ramp up your mileage while training for a long distance race. 

Hangry - When you are beyond Rungry and so hungry you are angry, irritable, and just unpleasant to be around until food is in your belly!

PR - Personal Record (Seems Americans use this one more)

PB - Personal Best (Seems like the rest of the world uses this one)

5K - A 3.1 mile race

10K - A 6.2 mile race

15K - A 9.3 mile race

25K - A 15.5 mile race

Half Marathon - A 13.1 mile race

Marathon or Full Marathon - A 26.2 mile race

Ultra or Ultra Marathon - A race that is any distance longer than 26.2 miles. That means that my first marathon was technically an ultra coming in at 26.5 miles since I elected to do the extra detour. 

The Wall - The invisible force that jumps out and smacks you in the face as you are running a great race ultimately taking away any chance at a PR by making you super exhausted and tired all of a sudden. Often shows up when you've gone out too fast in a race.
Example - I hit the wall at mile 22 and it was all bad news from there! 

Skinny Up! - No, this doesn't mean go on a crash diet. It is a directive shouted out by a running coach letting you know the group is taking up too much of the road and you need to line up so you won't get hit by a car. Safety first kids!

Car Back! - A car is approaching your running group from behind you. Look out!

Biker Up! - A person on a bike is approaching you from the front, be aware and share the road!

Hole! - A runner yells this out who may be 10-15 feet ahead of you so you will know not to step in the hole in the ground and injure yourself. 

BQ - Boston Qualifier or Boston Qualify or Boston Qualified
Also means to run a marathon fast enough to meet the criteria to run the Boston Marathon. 

Little Potty - A polite way to tell your running group you have to urinate. 
Example - I need a little potty break.

Big Potty - A polite way to tell your running group you have to do the opposite of urinate. 
Example - Runner 1: I need to go to the bathroom. Runner 2: Do you need to go Little Potty or Big Potty?
Runner 1: Big Potty!

Bling - Another name for the finisher medal you get when you finish a race. 

Bib - The number you must wear when you run a race to help race directors keep track of who's who for safety and timing reasons. They are usually made of Tyvek material and are impossible to pin on your shirt without looking like a drunk toddler helped you. #AlwaysOffCenter 

Swag - The extra "free" stuff that you get when you register for a race. Sometimes they are awesome product samples, t-shirts, tech shirts, gloves, bags, water bottles, etc. 

Marathon Maniac - A club of maniacal marathon runners who run marathons.   A lot of marathons. Each Maniac is assigned a number and often they are displayed on social media like this:

Half Fanatic - A club of half crazy fanatical runners who don't go all the way. Also assigned an individual number like this:

The Course if Flat - A lie other runners or race directors tell you to make you falsely believe you can run this particular race with less effort than expected while aiming for a PR. 
Definition #2 - A vary rare phenomenon not seen very often in long distance races. Most runners equate a flat course to the existence of Unicorns, Big Foot, Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, and El Chupacabra. 

The Course is Hilly - A true description of most half marathon and full marathon courses. 
Definition #2 - The immediate description from every runner who has ever been lied to about a flat course. Also could be the reason many runners missed a PR. Example: I didn't get a PR because the course was so hilly!

Question! Leave a comment and tell me what terminology you use with your running buddies?

My last two blog posts (which you can read here and here) were the first two installments in my mini-series of my favorite websites. The first one was about DailyMile which helps you track your miles that you run, bike, walk, or other exercises you do throughout the year. The second one was about Bloglovin' which can help you keep track of all your favorite blogs that you like to read on a regular basis. For my third and final installment of My Favorite Websites series, I'm going to introduce you to fairly new one that I stumbled upon when I was on Twitter one day. Well, actually BibRave found me, but whatever, you get the idea.

Disclaimer - I have no relationship with BibRave and was not compensated in anyway for this post. All opinions and typos are my own.

What is BibRave?
BR is a website that collects race reviews written by runners. I've contributed 3 reviews so far since I signed up in December. (Dye Hard Fan Dash, Nike Women's Half Marathon, and the Route 66 Half Marathon
BR is still pretty new so they don't have a ton of reviews from all over the country, but if you have recently completed a race you can write a review and help out future runners who want to know more about that event. The website is pretty user friendly. All you have to do is set up an account or you can log in with your Facebook profile and search for the race you want to read up on or review. 

This site is kind of like Yelp but focused on publishing reviews for runners to help them find their next race or find out need-to-know details about an upcoming race. I know as a runner, my first question is always about the course. Is it hilly? I'm a total weenie when it comes to hilly races. I know, I know, I need to add more hills to my training. Thanks Coach! 
I know people's opinions of races will vary based on their experience which is why this site is nice because once they get a good inventory of race reviews you will be able to read multiple race reviews on the same race from different people and find them all in one spot. By the way, I think all races are hilly because I'm a weenie. 

But anyway, this new website made my top 3 favorite website list because I think a couple groups of people will like it and I'd like to see more races on there as well. As much as I'd like to try, I can't run all the races and do reviews on them...

1. Run Bloggers. We like to write, we probably have a few race reviews we can publish right away, and we like seeing our "work" "published" online in other places than just our own blog. Makes us feel famous! ;)

2. Traveling Runners. If you are going to travel to an out-of-town race you probably need some details about it before you decide to drop the cash. I know I do. Being as no one is compensated for these race reviews you can probably find some pretty candid and honest feedback on the website. I know I like to share the good, the bad, and the ugly on my race reviews.

How to Follow BibRave?
Instagram: BibRave

Leave A Comment!
Do you like look up race reviews before you sign up for an event?

I've decided to do something a little different on the blog today. I'm planning on doing a two-part (or maybe more) blog post series where I will share a couple favorite/helpful websites I use all the time. No. These companies has not asked me to do a post on them, I just think you all will love them too. 

The first website I want to share with you is great tool for runners called, Dailymile. Every once in a while I'll do a monthly mileage check-in on my Blog Facebook page where I ask how many miles you ran last month. Sometimes people comment about how many they ran, or wish they ran, or state that they didn't run enough. I can totally relate on all those. In fact, in June I only ran 2 miles! 2! Who just runs 2 miles in a month? I shouldn't even call myself a runner after month like that! 

A few people have asked me how I keep track of my miles or what type of log I use? I use a free website called DailyMile.  DM is a log for tracking miles that you run, swim, bike, walk, or even other workouts. It also works like a social media platform and you can friend others and you have a news feed that shows you the activities they post. 

You can set up a profile with a picture, list your upcoming races and goals, and even join challenges to keep you motivated. I recently joined a 100 mile winter warrior running challenge that my running club is putting on. I think I'm losing but eh...#redhairdontcare. 

Speaking of motivation...It will send you an email saying that your friends miss your training if you have a gap in posting your workouts. Total Guilt Trip and it totally works on me too! 

A running buddy of mine uses DM to keep track of how many miles she has on her shoes so she'll know when it's time to buy a new pair. That's pretty smart if you ask me! 

Screen Shot from my Daily Mile account.
You have to manually enter in all of your workouts (or if there is some other way to do it please tell me!) but if you do, it will give you stats such as how far you have ran in a week or month. How many lbs you've burned off, how many donuts you've burned off, how many TVs you've powered and how many times you've ran around the world. 

Here's how I did in 2013:
  • Trips Around the World:  .02
  • Pounds Burned:  19
  • TVs Powered:  20
  • Gallons of Gas Saved:  32
  • Donuts Burned:  364
  • Total Miles Ran: 544

Here's a screen shot of my profile if you were wondering what it looks like. Sorry it's kinda small. You can find me on Daily Mile here.

Also, let's ignore the fact that my profile says I've logged Zero miles at the time I took this screen shot. And we'll be friends if you can just ignore the fact that I'm too lazy to redo it now that I've actually logged 10 miles this week. Deal? 

Daily Mile does have an App for the iPhone. It is called Electric Miles when you are looking for it in the App Store on iTunes.

I only use this to enter my miles and nothing else. The app isn't the most robust and sometimes it has some issues. So I only use it when I want to remember to put my miles in quickly and I'm not at a computer. 

Disclaimer: I have no relationship with Dailymile. I'm just sharing a website that I find helpful to track my workouts. 

                                    Leave A Comment!
Do you use a mileage log? Is it a website or some other form of digital log or do you use a paper journal?

With the end of the year approaching fast, you may be starting to think about your goals for next year. I'm sure at least a few people will plan to start a new fitness routine on January 1. Hopefully some of those people will plan to take up running next year as well! If you are one of those people, here are my top 7 running tips for beginners. 
1. Don't start to run in extreme temps. 
Extremely hot or extremely cold weather is difficult for even the most seasoned runners to deal with. If you are trying to stay motivated to reach your goal, extreme temps won't help. In fact, you'll probably hate it, hate yourself, and hate me for not stopping you. Trust me, I've been running a while and I still HATE running in the summers here in Oklahoma. So hot, so humid, so awful. If you plan to start running on January 1, maybe start at an indoor track or on the treadmill. Or, you know, just pack up and move to a part of the country where the weather is nice year round. I'm sure that's an option.  

2. Proper Running Gear is a must! 
You don't have to go out and drop tons of cash on all the latest technical gadgets, but make sure you have a good pair of shoes and at least one outfit made from tech material. NO COTTON! My running coaches always say, Cotton is Rotten! So avoid it for your running attire. 
It gets wet, it doesn't dry quickly, and it can rub you the wrong way and cause chaffing. No Thanks!

Bert and Ernie. BFFFL
3. Get a buddy. 
Every fitness and health blog will say that if you have an accountability partner you are less likely to quit before you reach your goals. Having a running buddy is good because it gives you someone to talk to help the miles go by. It will also be harder to back out of running plans if you know someone is getting up at 5:00 am to meet you. Nobody likes a grumpy friend!

4. Plan ahead. 
Okay, I know I said that I'm not exactly the best at planning ahead, but there are a few things you'll need to consider when you want to start running. Should you take water with you?  Where should you meet up with your running buddy? How far are you going to run that day? How will you know when to take a walk break or when you've reached your goal distance? Do you need to bring sunglasses for a sunny run or a hat for a rainy run? Knowing these things can make for a better start for your running goals.

5. Use Free or Cheap Technology To Help You.
RunKeeper and MapMyRun are aps you can use on your smart phone that will help you know how far you've gone and what your pace is. There are also several C25K (Couch to 5K) aps out there that can help train and tell you when to run intervals as well.

Also, DailyMile is a fun running community to join, kind of like Facebook for runners. Their ap for smart phones is called Electric Miles, and you can friend other runners and track your distance, pace, and how you felt over time. Your profile will even tell you cool things like how many donuts you've burned off, how many lbs of fat, how many TVs you've powered and how many trips around the world you've ran. I'm currently at 0.02

6. Join the Club. 
Legit, I wouldn't be as focused in my training if I was doing it alone or just with the Hubbo. He's great, but  know I can talk him out of a training run if I really want to. 
We joined a local running store's club that holds training programs for all kinds of distances. Strolling Moms, Couch to 5K, 10K, Half and Full Marathon groups are all organized by them and it takes a lot of the guess work out of it and makes it easier to train for my goal race. Plus, I've been able to meet a lot of really cool people that I probably wouldn't have crossed paths with otherwise. 

7. Sign Up
Stephen Covey said "Begin with the end in mind."
Even though his book, 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, may not have been written with running in mind, it applies here as well. 
If your goal is to run a 5K, then sign up for a 5K that is going to happen a few months after you start training. This will help you keep your goal in mind and stay focused on what you need to accomplish. It also puts the pressure on you to not slack off during your training because you can't cram for a 5K like you can cram for a test at the last minute.  

Hope these helped! Happy Running!