Sunday, May 20, 2018

Product Review: Rudy Project Rydon Frozen Ash with Impactx-2 Photochromic Clear to Laser Brown (hr) Lenses

Rudy Project Rydon Shades

Disclaimer: I received a pair of  Rudy Project Rydon Shades as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

Along with a sneak peak of the film GODSPEED: Race Across America, I also received a nice pair of transitional shades from Rudy Project.  In particular I received the Rydon Frozen Ash shades with Impactx-2 Photochromic Clear to Laser Brown Lenses.  That's a long title and way to say that these shades change color from almost clear to brown letting in as much as 73% light to as little as 17% light when things get sunnier.  

Here's a side by side comparison between Super G Lobbie and I:


They almost look clear on Lobbie, and while not much different on myself in the car, they have tinted a bit more brown.  Now that shading doesn't get really dark, but what's nice about it this time of year is that these glasses perform well in LOW light situations.  Though great for some sunlight as well, these shades with these particular lenses give just enough color to low light, (aka grey landscapes), especially when driving, running, or I would assume cycling, to help make things more defined.  A lot of us have sunglasses for when it gets really sunny, but what we don't often have is a pair of sunglasses that helps or transitions in between partly cloudy and grey landscapes on days when we are out and need a bit more clarity.

In addition to the great lenses on these Rydon shades, the frames along with the lenses are so light.  They are awesome for running or biking.  Also, they are super sporty and cool looking, fitting right in with the sports scene.  They come with a hard impact case as well as a soft case which can also double as a lens cleaner.  Rudy gives a 2 year warranty as well.  You can get these glasses now for 30% off with the code GODSPEED, the movie by Fathom Events that comes out on Tuesday!  Enjoy!


Movie Review: GODSPEED: Race Across America

GODSPEED


Disclaimer: I received a sneak peak of the upcoming movie by Fathom EventsGODSPEED: Race Across America as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

A long time ago, in what seems like another age, I was actually a cyclist before I was a runner.  Running, other than an attempt at track back in 8th grade, came into my life back in 2002 when I got burnt out from cycling.  The next few years I did several sports that mixed both road and off road biking and running, (and kayaking), including an adventure race.  That said, my roots are originally in cycling, even dating back to my first ever bike race circa @ 1989 when I was in high school.  The RAAM, Race Across America was an event I had known about for a long time, so when the opportunity came to get a sneak peak for a film of the event along with demoing some glasses from one of the sponsors, Rudy Project, I was all in for that!!!

GODSPEED: Race Across America is a film/documentary about the 2015 event when Jerry Schemmel, a sportscaster for the Colorado Rockies, and Brad Cooper, CEO of US Corporate Wellness, joined forces in the two person relay to ride the 3,000 mile event.


RAAM departs in Oceanside, CA and finishes in Annapolis, MD.

Jerry and Brad competed as Team Enduring Hope, seeking to raise money for orphans in Haiti.  Just before the race, Brad had a major accident, but he didn't let it keep him down as his competitive nature sought to push the team forward through endless hours of cycling all times of day and night, in heat and downpours like some have never attempted on two wheels.

The movie is well put together for a cycling documentary and truly shows the heart of both these men along with their team, which includes many of their family members.  While ultimately their purpose and strength comes from God, the movie is not preachy.  it is a story...of their own Enduring Hope as they seek to compete and help others have hope in circumstances not easy in the land of Haiti.


Brad and Jerry chat in Kansas for a moment along the side of the road, per website.

The scenery is beautiful, and the film crew did a good job capturing the glory of our great nation from seaside in California to the plains of the Midwest and down through the hills of the Eastern states and into Maryland.  Below is a picture of Brad cycling through the countryside of Illinois.





During the film, as Brad and Jerry continue to race, they decide not only to push for their own win of the 2 person relay division, but to try and compete against others in larger divisions, including one particular German 4 person relay team.  I won't spoil what happens...but I will say, I'm not sure I would have wanted to ride some of those miles in that weather at that time of day along that side of the road...I know that sounds vague...but you'll know the moment I am talking about when you get to it!!!

I was very glad to see Rudy Project as one of the main sponsors and will have a review of their Rydon Shades shortly.  The movie comes out on May 22, just two days from now.  If you an endurance athlete of any type, I would deeply encourage you to go see it.  I enjoyed it and believe you will too.  



Kudos to Rudy Project for sponsoring a great endurance/cycling movie!!! 


Sunday, May 6, 2018

Product Review: Aftershokz Trekz Air in Forest Green


The Aftershokz Trekz Air include a case, a pair of earplugs, and a charging cable along with the headphones themselves.


Disclaimer: I received a pair of  Aftershokz Trekz Air as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

Like many of you reading this right now, I often listen to music, audiobooks, and/or podcasts on some of my runs.  I have done this in the past with an old 4 GB mp3 player and wired headphones.  This mp3 player is older than some of my kids and has no potential to ever be bluetooth!!!  As many of you as well, I have listened to people rave about wireless bluetooth headphones, including the Aftershokz bone conduction headphones that allow you to hear what you are listening to while also keeping your ears free to listen to the world around you.

I finally decided when BibRave had another opportunity to try out the Aftershokz Trekz Air that I would try them out and figure a way to get one of my other devices that was bluetooth capable to work with them.  The first device I synced with the Trekz Air was my tablet which was a breeze.  I was listening to music and TV shows within moments.  My wife tried them out and used them on another floor of the house while music came from the tablet on a different floor.  Then I had to see if I could figure out a way to clear enough space on my phone to grab some music, download and sync it to the Aftershokz.  Even though this meant I had to download a different music player to my phone and move some music around from one provider to another, again, within too much work, I was again within moments, listening to music and podcasts pretty quickly.  One note, on all the runs I went on, I had used downloaded music and podcasts except for one.  While streaming works well at home or within location of wifi, on one run, I forgot to download a podcast so once I got so far into the woods, then that stopped playing and I had to switch back to my music library.



My son says I look like Lobot from Star Wars with my Aftershokz Trekz Air.

So, the Trekz Air work well with any bluetooth device.  How about sound, fit, ease of use, etc?  Sound:  They sound incredible.  Bone conduction technology basically sends the music through your cheekbones so your ears hear it, while the headphones fit around your ear, leaving the ear itself open to the environment to listen for traffic, (human, auto, or animal), as well as other noises.  The music and podcasts I listened to each time I took the Trekz Air with me sounded crystal clear.  

Fit:  Fit does take just a little getting use to, but once you get it, they weigh nothing, so you almost forget that they are on your head.  They do stick out a little in the back, so as I transitioned from winter running gear to spring, I had to figure out how to keep my head warm while also using the headphones.  I was able to figure out how to wear a BUFF® with them.  They do not bobble around and yet are not too tight.  Just snug enough to stay on but as I mentioned, without you noticing them too much.

Ease of Use:  There are only 3 buttons.  The two sound buttons control the sound and power.  The multifunction button is just that, the button that transitions you between music and music and phone calls.  Yes, that's right, while synced with your phone, you can use these even in the midst of a run to receive calls and even navigate through call waiting!!!



So easy to use your pet lobster might steal them.  Lobbie Approved!

The Aftershokz Trekz Air come with a case and charging cord.  They are sweat resistant and have a 6 hour battery.   Head to bibrave.aftershokz.com and save $30 off a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air today!  You will be glad you did!!!  Enjoy!!! 


Aftershokz Trekz Air.
Charging port and sound/power buttons.



A lot of powerful music and sound for something so small.







Wearing the Aftershokz Trekz Air on my long run in the woods.  No problem hearing the music as well as the sounds around me.







Sunday, April 29, 2018

Product Review: Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest

The Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest is very versatile and has a plethora of pockets!!!



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

Have you ever felt on a run like you'd enjoy having a hydration vest that could more securely fit you, have pockets for water bottles on shorter runs and a back pocket for a hydration bladder for a long run, or both for an ultra?  Maybe it could also have several storage pockets, be lightweight and breathe really well even while giving you that great custom fit?  Perhaps it could also do this without totally breaking the bank?

Enter the new Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest.  It has 7 pockets as well as a cinch cord.  Now, 3 of those pockets would traditionally be used for hydration, but they don't have to be.  There are 2 on the front which hold 2 12oz Hydraform Flasks that are ergonomic and have what the company terms Jett-Squeeze caps.  Those caps securely hold fluids and can either be lifted up to drink from with your teeth or hands.

The cavernous pocket for the hydration bladder will hold a up to a 2 liter bladder.

The pocket on the rear of the pack can hold up to a 2 liter hydration bladder.  If you are not using that, it's also a great pocket to leave unzipped and store those extra clothes/layers as you take them off.  For example, during one long run, I decided to take off my gloves and I simply reached behind me and stuffed them down into the pocket without having to take the pack off.  If, however, you were using that pocket for a hydration bladder, there is also a cinch cord on the back to hold extra layers.  

Big enough for a phone or some bars, gels, iPod, etc.  Notice also the hose clip for an optional hydration bladder.
That accounts for the 3 pockets mostly, but not necessarily given over to hydration, but there are 4 more pockets.  The 2 pockets on the front sit above the pockets for the flasks as shown in the picture above this paragraph.  I could snugly fit a phone in one pocket, (a phone in a case nonetheless), and put a couple of bars and gin gins in the other pocket.


Another pocket sits just below the entrance to the hydration bladder slot and another sits on the bottom right hand side.  Both have zippers.  I also received the little smiley face clip on blinking light for late night runs.


The last 2 pockets both have zippers and are on the back of the pack.  One sits just below the zippered pocket where you can insert a hydration pack and goes halfway down the length of the pack.  The other pocket sits just below that and zips up and down as opposed to across, but the pocket spans the width of the back of the pack, probably a good 4 inches or more.

In addition, the pack is lightweight and has "cooling free-flow AirMesh™ construction."  This should work well in the summer when things can get sticky!!!


Notice the cooling mesh system that runs the entire back and chest of the pack.  
In addition to the pack coming in 2 different sizes, each of those sizes has 3 straps across the front and one to each side in order to further customize the fit for every individual.  

Overall, while I haven't had the opportunity to use the pack with a hydration bladder, everything else has been stellar.  The pack is easy to customize the fit, the bottles don't slip out of the front pocket holders, most of the rest of the pockets are all within easy reach.  The one or two that might not be would be for the hydration bladder and the one underneath it.  However, you'd typically take the pack off to refill a hydration bladder and could then get into the other pocket.  This still leaves you 5 other pockets to use for those items you need easy access to during a run.  As I mentioned above also, if you don't use a hydration bladder, the ease of use to simply reach behind you and stash gloves, hat, extra layers down the center of the pack is so convenient.  I love it.  And that's how I feel about the pack as well.  In addition, this pack seems reasonably priced at just $100.  

I also have a quick 1 minute video on my Instagram that you can check out @zbultra, which is also my Twitter.  Enjoy!


Sunday, April 22, 2018

Product Review: CTM Band

My CTM Band helped loosen up my ankle for a great 10 miler the other day!

Disclaimer: I received a CTM Band as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

As many of you know, I am a BibRave Pro and we have many opportunities to try out various pieces of gear.  Recently I received a CTM Band.  The band is a tool that uses  compression, tension, and movement therapy to help "improve flexibility, athletic performance, and reduce muscle pain and soreness."  in particular, the band is helpful in reducing muscle spasms, releasing knots, breaking up scar tissue, increasing range of motion, activating muscles and speeding their recovery.  

The band works on the idea that many tools use compression or tension to help an athlete with the things just noted, but that what needs to be done is to combine compression, tension, and movement to help your muscles achieve myofascial release, (MFR).  Myofascial release (according to wikipedia!) is defined as : "an alternative medicine therapy that claims to treat skeletal muscle immobility and pain by relaxing contracted muscles, improving blood and lymphatic circulation, and stimulating the stretch reflect in muscles."  



The CTM Band in blue. It comes with 4 detachable attachments to use on various parts of the body.

I first had an MFR massage back in 2015 in Montana as I prepared for the Bangtail Divide 38K outside of Bozeman.  It helped loosen up several areas in my legs, back, and shoulders, and I went back for a second one after the race.  When we moved to Western New York State, I looked for and finally found a massage therapist in the Rochester, NY area that also specializes in this technique.  

The CTM band is probably about 2 inches wide by about 6 feet long, (that's an educated guess, but not exact measurement), and has 4 attachments used to really pinpoint the muscle issues.  These attachments unscrew so that in smaller sections of your body, like an ankle, or the bottom of your foot, you can modify the band and just use 1 or 2 of them.  They look like black golf balls professionally cut in half with something like a rock climbing bolt threaded into them to maintain strength.  




The attachments are easy to unscrew so you can modify the band from 1-4 depending on the area of the body.

Remember, with the CTM Band, movement is key, but you only need to use it on each area of concern for up to 2 minutes!  There are several videos at the website instructing you how tight to make the band, (not too loose, but comfortably painful), and giving you directions on how to use it for a variety of issues from shoulders to elbows, legs to feet.  Check out CTM Videos.

While I have used the CTM Band on just about every section of my leg, I use it almost daily on my lower right calf muscle in order to loosen up the muscle and the pull it has on my ankle.  My ankle has been very tight recently and this along with some work from the band occasionally on my foot for PF, seems to help loosen it up some in order to get it ready to run, especially if I have just woken up or come home from a long day at work on my feet.



Using the band on my legs the night before my recent Sloppy Fools Trail Run.



The CTM Band retails for about $40 and comes in several different colors.  If you use the code "CTMBIBRAVE", you can save 20% off the cost, making it a pretty good deal for a tool that will be an "upgrade" (as the founder notes), over using a foam roller or stick.  Try it out, you may just find it's a great little investment for treating what ails you!!!  Enjoy!!!

Glad to have used the CTM Band before my long run the other day so my ankle could loosen up!






Thursday, April 12, 2018

Remember Why You Are Running the Newport Rhode Races---Benefits

Rhode Races Newport logo


As a race draws closer to reality, it's always important to remember why you are running said race.  Many of our BibRave Pros are running the Newport Rhode Race this weekend in Rhode Island.  Now, we all have our individual reasons for running, but oftentimes those things overlap with our fellow runners and friends.  Let's see if we can name 10 as reminders for everyone this weekend:

10.  I like to run.  This should be obvious.  But halfway into the event...remember, this is what you trained for, it's okay to smile!

9.  There's beer at the end of the Rhode!  Ok, that's a pun...but it's also true.  The Rhode Island Brewers Guild will be there with free post race beer to go with....post race pizza!!

8.  My friends/family/spouse/significant other/arch enemy/dead zombie follower are running it.  Cool!  Make sure to smile and have some fun.  Sometimes these events become more than they are as they bond us to one another even more so than just a couple hours beforehand.

7.  I've never run a marathon/half marathon/5K.  That's awesome.  You can do this.  In doing so, you join an awesome group of people from around the world that often treat each other like family.  My Twitter, Instagram, and Google+ followers would make this statement absolutely true!  Meeting some of them in person has certified it!

6.  I've prepped for months for this and I am seeking a PR/PB and/or Boston Qualifier, (BQ).  Now, some of you are saying...what?  Personal Record/Personal Best.  (Lots of people use PB now, but I am old school, I use PR, I think it sounds cooler.)  This winter hasn't been easy, but if you have been training in it, then you have been made more complete, more solid, and tougher.  Go out and get it!

5.  If #6 or #7 is true of you, return to  #9 and let that soak in again...(that's kind of punny too.)

4.  You are running while others are spending the weekend doing their taxes!!!  There's really nothing else to say on this one.

3.  These races support 3 local charities.  Sometimes in my life, it has been running for others that has gotten me out the door and/or to the finish line.  Maybe that's a good one to remember too.  You may be running for someone who cannot right now, but really wishes they could.

2.  If #3, #4, or #5 is true for you, go back to #9 and enjoy another one after the finish line!!!  Woohoo!!!

1.  The number one benefit of running the Newport Rhode Races:  You get to run along the beach, drink beer, eat pizza, and have a good old time!!! So enjoy it!!!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Top 5 Things Runners Can Look Forward to at the Newport Rhode Races, April 11

View of the Newport Rhode Race coming up this weekend!
BibRave is a partner of this coming weekend's Newport Rhode Races and in preparation here are 5 things runners can look forward to this coming weekend on April 15, 2018:


5) Beach Beauty:  From the pics I have seen, this should be a stunningly beautiful beach course.  Here's a description from the website:

"The first half of the course highlights the best of Newport with craggy shores, wide open ocean vistas, historic mansions and intricate architecture.  After passing Easton’s Beach at the half way point, the full heads out to Middletown past Hanging Rock and Surfer’s End to a challenging course with more gorgeous views.  The race finishes back along the water at Easton’s Beach."

4)  Boston Qualifier:  Yup, you heard that right, this race is a BQ race!  Get after it and get into the big one in New England!!!

3)  Beer @ Friday Night Packet Pick-Up:  The Newport Storm Brewery is the host for packet pick-up on Friday night, a VERY well known local brewery.

2) Beer After the Races w/Pizza from Piezoni's:  The RI Brewer's Guild will be there and there will be GREAT local pizza from Piezoni's!!!

1) BibRave discount saves 10%:  Use code BibRave through April 11, 2018 this week and you can still save!  But hurry, only a limited amount of spots are left!!!

If you are racing the event, go out and enjoy it and the local beauty of New England!!! :)

Sign up here: https://runsignup.com/Race/RI/Newport/2017NewportRhodeRaces?aflt_token=kHB6YWZowEhxLmTligbs8JWaeM097EZh


Sunday, April 1, 2018

2018 Racing Season: Sloppy Fools 4-Mile Trail Run, Honeoye Falls, NY, March 31

Training for the Sloppy Fools 10 days out could have been cross-country skiing instead of running!

Mid to late March found me over at Mendon Ponds Park doing a prep run for the upcoming Sloppy Fools 4-Mile Trail Run.  When I got there though, the picture above indicates what I ran on for most of my 4-mile trail run that day: hard packed snow.  There were still people cross-country skiing on it as I ran by in my trail shoes!  If I'd known that I might have brought my own skis!

A week later, and all I could imagine as the temps increased and the rain fell just a few days before the race was a muddy quagmire of sodden low points with water that would likely go above my shins!  (Ok, maybe I played out a worst case scenario, but it was definitely a possibility.)  

The picture below however was my view as I drove up yesterday to the Hopkins Point Lodge on the other side of the pond from where I had trained 10 days earlier:

A beautiful morning even if  a bit chilly at the start.  No snow in sight!


Packet pick-up was pretty easy, Dave, who directed the race and also sold me my most recent pair of trail shoes 2 weeks ago, found my bib and handed me some safety pins.  Unfortunately, he explained that the printer he used for the t-shirts and sweatshirts was a failure and everything had to be redone!  Oh well, things like that happen and I'd rather have a quality product later than a piece of trash now.

Even though most, but not quite all, of the snow had melted, it was still pretty chilly outside.  Temps were probably in the 40's with a good bit of wind.  I took a few pictures, got some things around, and then eventually went out for a short warm-up as more and more people started to show up for the event.




Hopkins Point Lodge was a new start point for me in Mendon Ponds Park.

Just before the 11 AM start, (which I appreciated because it allowed the temps and sun to come up and I didn't have to get up at the crack of dawn, or worse, before it!) , a friend of mine from work found me and we chatted as the race announcements were given.  

The course was a lollipop configuration, which is normally fine, but today would mean that the main section of mud that we would see in the first quarter mile, we would also see again shortly before the finish line back at the lodge.  


A view near the start of the race before it turns to mud!
Knowing that the first quarter mile had a lot of mud, (since I ran in during my warm-up and had the muddy shoes and wet socks to prove it), and that the course then immediately went uphill, I went out a little faster than normal to get ahead of some of the crowd.  After the downhill, as we turned left and started rolling back uphill on some double-track, Don, my friend, passed me but I kept him in sight.  This was how much of the race would play out as he and I would keep each other in sight, catch-up to one another, talk a little, and then one of us would pull up ahead of the other either due to the trail narrowing/people needing to pass and/or just normal speed changes uphill/downhill/flat.

The course had some sections I had run before on my own and also from last year's A Midsummer Night's Madness Trail Half Marathon, as well as some new stuff I hadn't seen before in Mendon Ponds Park.  I found my climbing legs were up and at it for the race and enjoyed being able to pass others going uphill.  I had gone to my chiropractor the other day to be ready for the race and had also been using a new ankle sleeve post-work to help rest my ankle.  On top of that, I have been testing a new product as a BibRave Pro, called the CTM Band.  The picture below shows my using in on my left quad.  (CTM stands for Compression, Tension, Movement.)  The idea is to add movement to the compression and tension already on the muscle to help break up knots and scar tissue while also helping the muscle activate and speed recovery.

Underneath that band are 4 solid half circles pressing into the leg to help loosen up the muscle.

As we came down into some lower sections and started running across boardwalk, I wondered, since Dave had mentioned we'd be over by it, if we were going to run up the stairs near the Devil's Bathtub.  Yup.  This is a steep section of stairs made into the side of a short but aggressive hill from one of the low spots in this area of eskers.  I ran up the first third and walked the rest and then for a few seconds at the top to let my heart rate stabilize.  This was the only section I walked all race.  Eventually I caught up to Don again, but had to stay behind him as we started going back downhill on a steep narrower section.  It was through here that I noticed I was really dry and cleaning my lungs and throat out a lot.  I stuck another Gin Gin in my mouth which helped some.  These along with my ginger berry Sportland Tea, helped keep my tummy solid during the race.  

After running through a rather squishy open field, I knew we should be getting closer to the finish, but I also knew that Dave had redone the course and sent an e-mail that said the course was now 4ish miles.  I figured 4ish miles could be anything from just a pinch over 4 to several 10ths over 4.  But, I figured if it was closer to 4.5 or above, he'd have said 4.5.  I might have been wrong on that last part...  Anyway, Don caught back up to me, and as we got closer to home, and another section of mud before the last main section of mud, (and both saw at separate times a runner hacking on the side of the trail), he took off and put about 30 seconds into me at the finish.  I powered through that last section of mud and as I turned the corner out of it to run uphill to the finish, I gave a quick glance back to see how close the next runner was and did my best to keep them at bay.  I finished in 47:36 for 4.55 miles and 40th place out of 118 racers.  Not bad for my first race of the year.  

After a couple of s'mores, (not the easiest post-race food to put together after a race, very sticky and tricky!), I set out to re-hydrate with my Nuun Orange & Mango Orange that I had also used pre-race on the way to Honeoye Falls for the race.  Don and I hung out for a few minutes talking about our weekend plans, listening to age group winners and raffle winners being announced before heading our separate ways.  



Don and Brad, (L to R), post-Sloppy Fools 4-Mile Trail Run.

Having not raced since December, I was eagerly anticipating this race and wondering how my body and legs would respond.  I must say I was very happy with the results.  Under 10:30/mile pace on these trails with some cool temps, mud, and hills, I felt very good.  Praise God for an awesome race.  What a beautiful day as well.  I really enjoyed getting to run with Don and he definitely helped me set a good pace.  I think we encouraged each other on without really realizing we were doing it.  Thanks again also to NuunSportland TeaBibRave, and the Ginger People.  Thanks also to Dave and Maggie from Medved, where I am proud to be part of the Medved Endurance Project.



Happy Easter! Go out and enjoy God's beautiful Creation!!!





Thursday, February 22, 2018

Product Review: pjuractive 2Skin Anti-Chafing Gel


pjuractive 2skin Anti-Chafing Gel is great for everyday activities as well as sport training and competition.

Disclaimer: I received a collection of samples from pjuractive to review 2skin anti-chafing gel as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

Winter sports training is hard on the body, and especially the skin.  Between dry, cold conditions and heavy winds, any part of your body exposed to the elements can pretty easily get chapped or chafed.  In addition, as our body heats up, the moisture in the air along with our own sweat soaks the lower layers, and to be honest, even with all our wicking clothes, we can get pretty wet.  These conditions within our own body and clothing also promote various concerns like blisters and chafing, even chapping if the wind blows through the clothes.  Now, take all that and mix in dry heat conditions in various home and work conditions and your skin can really get irritated.  This isn't news to anyone of course...but what can help?

Enter in pjuractive 2skin anti-chafing gel.  This breathable, water resistant gel forms a protective layer or film on the skin that doesn't block the pores while preventing chafing on any area of the body.  Made in Germany, 2skin is not as thick as petroleum jelly yet, a bit thicker than say olive oil.  You simply put a few drops on your fingers and then rub in onto the area of concern.  Multiple applications will make a stronger protective layer.  



You can see it was a moist day by my hat, I'm looking a bit weathered, but the anti-chafing gel 2skin kept me from having any issues on the run.

I have been using pjuractive's 2skin anti-chafing gel now for well over a month with no issues.  I have even applied it to my forehead and face to help with wind burn and it seems to work for this fairly well.  For those of you wondering, it is a silicone based gel that "strengthens the skin's cell structure and distributes pressure over a larger area" according to the website.  I have had no issues using it and the gel is so much easier and way less messy than using things like petroleum jelly.  In addition to sports like running, cycling, hiking, or skiing, pjuractive 2skin anti-chafing gel is great for those who wear high heels and/or need protective equipment at work that often can rub and cause irritations as well.

Check it out at https://us.pjuractive.com/pjuractive-2skin-anti-chafing-gel and give it a try especially in these winter months and as you get ready for those summer sporting activities.  Enjoy!


pjuractive 2skin works well while snowshoeing as well!


Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Project 18: An Introduction

It's the mountains, figurative and literal, that really challenge us in life.  Killington Mountain, Vermont, from the Under Armour Vertical K race I did there August, 2017.
Sometimes in life, we need to choose, purposefully, to challenge ourselves so we can move over the mountains we are already in the midst of facing.  Instead of the pursuit of pleasure, it may be through the pursuit of pain, that we grow the most and are capable of achieving more in life.

Perhaps, in this case, pain is not the right word.  Perhaps...in order to face a mountain, a person must seek out different ones in hopes of making oneself stronger for the hardest ones of all...the stresses and pains of everyday life...the losses one feels from sins and mistakes made over the years...hurts made and hurts received...dreams dashed...loneliness in a sea of people...death...

Now I'm not meaning to sound morbid or depressed.  But why do we challenge ourselves?  Type A or Type B, it all boils down to one thing...seeking a better self in the midst of feeling inadequate or not 100% yourself.  That said, before I go any further, I believe a truth that many may not believe or perhaps have not pondered that I learned one day when I use to be in ministry.  A fellow pastor mentioned this on a podcast: "Most people, in their lives, seek to perform certain actions or achieve certain accomplishments in order to obtain an identity.  But, as Christians, our identity is established in Jesus Christ, and out of that, flow our actions."

Christian or not, it's important point to think about:  do our actions lead to our identity or do our actions flow out of our identity.  Doubtless, some will say it's a circular argument, that our actions lead to our identity and then out of our identity flow our actions.  But, if that's true...why are so many of constantly recreating our identity every passing year, if not every passing season?

Food to ponder...unfortunately, not really the point of this blog...but the point of this blog includes these thoughts in my own mind...because in 2018, under Christ, I want to change who I am.  Hence, Project 18.  It's simple really, my goals are these:

Read 18 chapters of the Bible a week, on average, during the year.  This is to draw me closer to God and an understanding of who He is and I am.

Run 18 miles a week, on average, during the year.  2012-2015, this was not a problem.  But the last two years have seen a significant drop and struggle in my running, despite some good races.  

Lose 18lbs by the end of 2018.  I need this for my running, my work in retail, and my home life.  I need to be stronger and fitter to "do life."

Give out 18 encouraging, helpful, meaningful, and/or positive comments to others a week, on average.  This is to challenge society's as well as my own desires, to be critical, cynical, or gossipy about others.  

Raise $1800 by the end of the year for Blood:Water.  This is an organization I have raised money for before and believe in as they help several people groups in Africa with water and HIV/Aids issues.

None of these are huge mountains, but right now, where I am at, they will each challenge me in 2018.  Two weeks in, I am already feeling the challenge.  These won't be easy, but they are all possible.  In the end, whether I fully accomplish each one or not, I hope the differences will make me a better servant of God and others...for that is my identity...and I need some reminders of it.

Enjoy!

Snowshoeing, January 2018.

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