Review: Knuckle Lights… See and Be Seen

Disclaimer: I received a set of 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!

If you follow me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter, you’ve surely seen my early am running posts.  As a busy wife, mom, and 5th grade teacher, running at 4:45am makes sense. When I try to run in the evenings, helping kids with homework, making dinner, or simply feeling exhausted all get in the way.  It’s no surprise that at 4:45am, it is dark outside and I have found myself in need of a light of some sort.  Enter Knuckle Lights.

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Similarly to  Dan Hopkins, founder of Knuckle Lights, I too have tried carrying a flashlight with me and wearing a headlamp.  The flashlight was annoying since I didn’t like having something in my hand that I had to carry.  The headlamp was annoying because 1) it’d leave a line indent going across my forehead (and it’d still be faintly visible when I went into work) 2) it’d hurt my head.  When I found out about Knuckle Lights, I couldn’t wait to try them!

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Here are my thoughts after testing out my Knuckle Lights…

Pros

  • Lightweight – hardly felt them there!
  • Bright – it was easy to see in front of me!
  • Steady – the wide beam of light did not bounce around, even with my arms moving!
  • Adjustable – the knuckle lights can be made smaller or larger depending on hand size and/or with gloves.
  • Magnetic – great for storing at home and once the sun comes out! (Since I usually wear my SPIbelt, I was able to attach my Knuckle Lights to my SPIbelt once the sun came out.)

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Cons

  • Sweaty – Yes, they made my hands sweat.  Not really too big of a deal because when my hands would begin to feel a little sweaty, I’d simply adjust where the knuckle lights were placed.

The Knuckle Lights that I tested out were the Knuckle Lights Colors.  Here are the specs:

  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET — The units connect together magnetically. The soft silicone straps can be adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves.
  • 120 TOTAL LUMENS — The super bright lights provide a wide flood beam, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving.
  • BATTERIES INCLUDED — Each Unit Operates on 1 X AA Battery.
  • WATERPROOF — Units can be used in any type of weather.
  • Price point: $39.99 and ALWAYS free standard shipping for US orders

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Knuckle Lights has recently come out with a new, rechargeable design!  So, if you’re looking for a product that can be recharged, be sure to check out the new design.  (I’ve been using my Knuckle Lights for about a month now and the batteries are still going strong!)  There’s also the original Knuckle Lights design.

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So, if you’re an early morning runner such as myself or a late night runner, then you need to ditch your flashlight / headlamp and get yourself some Knuckle Lights! BONUS: Use code “BRKL2017” for 15% off your purchase at https://www.knucklelights.com/ (expires 9/1/17).

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros thought about their Knuckle Lights.

Mai     Allison     Amy W.     Lindsey     Tedrick

Until next time,

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When One Door Closes

When one door closes, another opens. As I was sitting in the San Francisco airport waiting for my connecting flight, I watched pilots and flight attendants walk past. This reminded me of the time in my early 20s when I flew to Texas to interview for a job as a Southwest flight attendant. I didn’t get the job. I didn’t even make it past the first round of interviews. I was disappointed. I really had envisioned my life as a flight attendant. (This was during my 1.5 year break from college.)

Today, all of the sudden, I had a revelation. If I had gotten that job as a Southwest flight attendant a decade ago, I probably would never have finished college. If I had never finished college, I would have never become a teacher. If I had never become a teacher, I would have never traveled to China, Honduras, and Mexico to live and teach abroad. If I had never traveled to Mexico, I may have never picked up running since I began running while living in Mexico. My life, therefore, would be radically different.

Clearly, in those early years of my 20s, God had different plans for my life. Jeremiah 29:11-13 states, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” NIV

This is hard for me. I am a strong, independent woman who likes to be in control. It’s not easy for me to give up control of my life. Today, however, I will choose to remember that sometimes the plans we make for yourselves are not God’s plan for our life.

I am appreciative for where I find myself now, a decade later. I am married to the love of my life, I have two fantastic “bonus” children, I am a 5th grade teacher, and I am a 15 time marathoner. I’m so glad God knows the desires of my heart and has great plans for my life.

Does your current life reflect the one you had envisioned for yourself 5, 10, or 15 years ago? Tell me about it. I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time,

Making Smart Food Choices

Food. We are surrounded by it everyday almost everywhere we go. How do we make smart food choices while on the go, while traveling, while stressed, while sad, while happy, and while celebrating? 

  
I’ll be honest with you and say there’s no easy answer to this. This involves hard work and making conscious decisions. I still struggle with this myself. I will say, however, that I have had a few victories lately that I’d like to share.

Victory #1
While at a teacher conference recently where breakfast and lunch were provided, I was presented with a table full of pastries upon arriving. Those close to me know that I love, love, LOVE maple bars! Last year, I even had a student who brought me a maple bar to school everyday for a week straight! I, however, confidently walked past the maple bars, headed to the fruit trays, put some cantaloupe and pineapple on my plate, and walked to my table. When I got to my table of 7 other teachers, guess what many of them had on their plate? Yes, that’s right… maple bars! The smell wafting my way almost made me walk back over and pick up a maple bar for myself, but I didn’t! Yay! Victory!


Victory #2
I don’t know about you, but when I travel, I normally take some kind of candy with me to munch on. While I was preparing for my current vacation, however, I did not purchase any candy! Nope, no Skittles, no M&Ms, no Hot Tamales, nothing! Victory!


Victory #3
It’s so easy for me to mindlessly eat. As read above, I eat while traveling, while stressed, while sad, while happy, and while celebrating. Nearly every emotion is connected to food! While vacationing, it’s so easy to mindlessly eat while sitting at the beach, laying by the pool, or relaxing in the room. Today, however, there’s been minimal snacking. One way I have combated the snacking has been by consuming plenty of water. I, in fact, have drank over 3 liters of water today! That may seem like a lot, but you should have seen how much Sweat came from my body today on my run (walk / jog). Lots of sweat, lots of water consumption, and minimal snacking! Victory!


How do you make smart food choices? Do you have any tips to share? What do you struggle with when it comes to food? 

Until next time,

Thursday Thoughts

I’ve said it once I’ll say it again… Thursday is my favorite day of the week. Why? Well it’s because you’re excited about the weekend, but the weekend isn’t quite here yet. By the time the weekend starts you are sad because you know the weekend is coming to an end. What’s your favorite day of the week? 

Disclaimer: this blog is going to be filled with a lot of random thoughts. Not all of the thoughts will pertain to running. 

Can you believe that three weeks from today school starts?  I told that to a friend yesterday and her response was, “It seems like just yesterday summer vacation started!” As much as I love summer I’m actually very excited for the new school year! Out of my nine years of teaching, this will be my first time to be at a school for more than two years! 

Wow! I just counted and I’ve been on summer vacation for six weeks now. It doesn’t really feel like it’s been six weeks. But on the other hand it does. A lot has happened this summer. I ran a marathon in Utah, the daughter traveled  to Europe, and as a family we traveled to Napa, San Francisco, San Diego, and Palm Springs. In two days, the husband and I leave for another week long vacation! Yes, we are truly utilizing our summer vacation!


Do not be fooled however, because this summer has not been all sunshine and happiness. There’s been some trials and struggles but what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Right? 

Through the struggles, I find myself being incredibly thankful for my husband, for my parents, and other friends and family members who have been so supportive. Truly I am blessed beyond measure. 

It doesn’t do any good to stay in the muck of struggles. Instead, you must move on and trust that God knows what he’s doing. How am I moving in and trusting God? Well, I’m finding projects to work on. Naturally, I am someone who doesn’t do well being still.  So I’ve worked on a few big projects this summer which included doing some curriculum work as a side job, organizing my pantry, organizing my closet and transitioning to flexible seating in my classroom. 


As you can see, these Thursday thoughts are quite unorganized partly due to the fact that I am writing them by speaking into my phone while out on a walk at 5:30 in the morning. Some of the best thoughts are done in the wee hours of the morning. My 4:50 AM partner is moving to the other side of the town, so I may be having some more solo wee hours of the mornings in my near future. 


Speaking of the future, what’s next for Run Strong Run? I have Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver on tap for October and the California International Marathon (CIM) in December. Use BIBRAVE15 to save $15 off of Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver half marathon and use code RUNSTRONG10 to save $10 off of CIM

Do you ever find yourself needing to clear your mind of random thoughts? What’s coming up on your schedule that you’re excited about? 

Until next time,

Race Recap: San Diego Craft Classic 

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Craft Classic San Diego race 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!

As stated in my Friday Feels blog, this was my first timing running a race in San Diego.  I, therefore, didn’t really now what to expect when I signed up for the Craft Classic half marathon.  Now that I’ve completed the race, I’m ready for more San Diego races and perhaps a relocation down to Southern California! 😉 

Our first stop upon arriving to San Diego was Road Runner Sports, the location of the race expo. Bib pick up was well organized, quick, and easy. My race swag included a pint glass, a racer back tank top, and a customized bib!


One of the things I was looking forward to about the race was the Green Flash Brewery beer at the finish line!


Since I was on a family vacation with the husband and two kids, they all got to join me at the expo. They enjoyed trying all the Nuun flavors and the Honey Stinger waffle and energy chew samples. 

Earlier in the week, while on Twitter, the Fat to Finish Line gang reached out to me and told me to stop by to say hi at the expo. So, that is just what I did! It was so wonderful to talk about weight loss (since I too have gone from fat to finish line) and Ragnar races. I have yet to do a Ragnar, but it is definitely on my bucket list. 


That evening, I prepared myself for my half marathon (as best as I could since I had recently taken a month off of running). One of the things I do in preparation for a race, is I lay out everything for a #flatrunner picture. 


The next morning, I woke up at 3:30am. My goal was to leave the hotel at 4:15am so I could catch a shuttle to the starting line at about 4:45am. (The shuttles ran from 4:30 – 5:30.) I ended up being right on time, got a front row view on the shuttle, and made it to the starting line with a little over an hour to spare!


I had the pleasure of meeting up with my fellow BibRave Pro ambassador, Mai, at the starting line.


I also got to meet up with some fellow ProCompression ambassadors too! 


In no time at all, it was time to line up at the starting line. There were two waves of runners: the under two hour group and the over two hour group. Maria and I waved goodbye as Mai and the other Pro ambassadors started in wave one. A little less than 1.5 years ago, I earned my half marathon PR of 1:52:32. I will get back there someday, but today was not the day. 

 

Maria and I ran together for the first couple of miles and then I began my walk/run intervals for the remainder of the course. Taking a month off of running really takes a toll on one’s ability to run. 😂 

The aid station at mile 3 was probably one of my favorites since they had popsicles! Yes, popsicles at 7am when you’re hot and sweaty are the BEST!


From that point on, the race was fairly uneventful. I had the 2:30 pacer come up behind me at about mile 6 and two thoughts came through my mind, “Ugh! Am I really that slow?! Hmmm… can I keep up with him?” Sadly, yes, I really was running that slowly and no, I was not able to keep up with him. Don’t be fooled by the smile on my face… yes, I was having fun, but my body was revolting against me! Side note: way to go 2:30 pacers! 


The next notable event happened sometime between miles 9 – 10. This is where we approached a monstrous hill. It was steep and long. This hill even has its own split on the race results! It’s the King of the Mountain split. The hill may not look that scary in the picture, but it was a beast! 


Slowly, but surely I finally made it to the finish line! I stocked up on some Honey Stinger waffles, filled up my water bottle, and made my way to the Green Flash beer garden. 


I walked around and took a few more pictures before heading back to the hotel. 


Interested in seeing more of the Craft Classic San Diego course? Be sure to check out my Craft Classic San Diego 2017 video! While you’re at it, please also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking SUBSCRIBE. 

Overall, I’d highly recommend the Craft Classic San Diego race! You can read my full race review at BibRave.com and while you’re at it, read other reviews and/or write your own race reviews! 


Until next time,