Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Posts tagged ‘run japan’

Aftershokz: Aeropex/Trekz Air – What’s the Difference?

Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Aeropex headphones 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 social media, then you already know how much I love my Aftershokz headphones!  I literally take them everywhere and recommend them to all my friends (and even strangers, ha!) If you aren’t sure what makes Aftershokz so special, they utilize a unique technology known as “bone conduction”.  Basically this means that the sounds travel by vibrations through cheekbones into the ear.  In other words, the device goes OVER your ears rather than IN your ears which is beneficial in many ways.

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My daughter even loves them and I love that her ears are protected.

I was previously using the Trekz Air model of Aftershokz which I absolutely loved! They stayed in place and I didn’t have to worry about anything falling out of my ears while out running PLUS they have great sound quality and long battery life.  So when I had the opportunity to try out the new Aftershokz Aeropex model, I jumped on the chance because I needed to see how much more awesome these babies could get.

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Each package contains: one set of headphones, two charging cables, ear plugs, instructions, and a sleek carrying case.

So what were the major differences between the Trekz Air and Aeropex?  I couldn’t wait to find out!

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Aeropex on the left vs. Trekz Air on the right

The first thing I noticed was the carrying case was smaller, sleeker, and also magnetic.  It’s much easier to fit into my purse or gym bag!  The other noticeable difference is the charging cable.  It is not a standard cable and it is specific to this model of Aftershokz – BUT the good news is that you get TWO of them!  So don’t worry, you have a backup!  Why is the cable so different?  It’s actually magnetic which allows for the water resistant capabilities of the headphones.  They are given the IP67 rating which means they can be submerged in water up to a meter deep for a half hour.

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Charging magnetically

After I charged them up, I took them for a spin around the track on a super hot/humid day.  Even though I was sweating like crazy, the headphones held up and didn’t miss a beat. Compared to the Trekz Air, the sound quality is definitely louder and crisper.  They also felt smoother and fit more comfortably than the Trekz Air. And “Audrey” is still there to welcome you and let you know when it’s time to charge up. 🙂

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Jumping for joy over the Aeropex! 🙂

 

I really like running with Aftershokz because I like to “Be Open”.  In other words, you can listen to your music, podcast, or book and hear your surroundings at the same time.  So my next adventure was to take them on a nature walk!

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Be Open – listen to your music and your surroundings.

Then it was off to the gym!  And not just any gym – the family gym!  This little gadget allows me to listen to some blood-flowing music AND my kids complaining all at the same time! HA!  But seriously, I like that I can enjoy my workout music and be aware of my kids while at the gym.

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They are comfortable to wear with a hat and/or shades, too!

The other thing I love about these headphones is the battery life!  They have an 8-hour batter life or 10 days of standby time.  And that is completely true!  I love that I don’t have to worry about plugging them in each night.  I can leave them in my bag and then charge them up once a week or so.  One less thing to remember is always a plus for me! 😉

Was there anything I felt that needed improvement?  For me, the Bluetooth range for my Aeropex was not as long as my Trekz Air.  They are both advertised to have 33ft of connectivity, but I definitely was able to wander a bit further with my Trekz Air over the Aeropex.  It’s not a huge deal, I pretty much always have my phone close – but just an observation.

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So, what’s the price?  They go for $159.95 plus free shipping AND a 2-year warranty.  Personally, I think this is a great deal as I see it as an investment.  You are saving your eardrums and you will have peace of mind knowing that you have better situational awareness wherever you go!  But wait!  There’s more! 🙂  Right now you can save $50 on the Endurance bundle with code “BRBUNDLE”. So you basically get free SWAG! 😉 Don’t miss out! Go to bibrave.aftershokz.com to save right now!

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Overall, I love the new Aeropex headphones and they will for sure have a permanent spot in my bag.

Have you tried Afterhoshokz before?  If so, what’s your favorite feature??

I’m off to review another product! 🙂

~SM

7 Steps to Running a Virtual Race

“Disclaimer: I received a free virtual race entry to the San Jose 408K 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!”

Living in Japan has been pretty great, but one downfall is that there aren’t as many local races as there are back in the states.  That’s why virtual races can often be a good option for those living afar, or maybe for those who don’t want to run with large crowds.  I recently ran the San Jose 408k and I was asked a few times, “How does a virtual race work?”  Well, here are the steps to running your own virtual race!

Step 1: Choose your run – The first thing you will need to do is decided which race you want to run.  I usually look for an event that contributes to a charity that I like and that also has good swag.   I really like the 408k because the benefitting charity for the 7th year in a row is the Pat Tillman Foundation! And sign up early or look for a promo code to save a few bucks! Bibrave is currently offering $10 off with code “Bibrave”! You can still register until September 16th!

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Step 2: Find a friend – You are going to need accountability since you are doing this thing on your own.  Running a race in person provides running support and an adrenaline rush that’s hard to duplicate when running a virtual race.  So it’s good to find a virtual running partner to sign up with you or even better- find a local friend and you guys can run together in person!  I didn’t have a local friend to run the 408k with me, but a couple of other BibRave Pros also participated which kept me accountable during my training and on “race day”.

Step 3: Find a Venue – The great thing about in-person races such as the 408k is that the course is already all marked out for you and usually includes some pretty nice scenery to keep the race interesting.  For instance, the 408k ends at Santana Row (a high-end shopping/dining area) and it’s the only event that finishes there.  So you’ll need to decide on your own (or with that friend from Step 2) where exactly you will be running.  Since the 8k is kind of an odd distance (4.97 miles), it’s probably best to run with a watch so you can measure your distance either before hand or during the run.  My plan was to run my 8k on the track, but I ended up having to hit the treadmill due to rain.

Step 4: Train! – Even though you aren’t running in person and won’t win any timing awards (well technically you’ll place 1st in everything if it’s just yourself) 😉 – You will still need to train so that you can run your best race – because it’s still YOUR race after all.  So give yourself enough time to train, especially if you’re just starting out with running.

Step 5: Race Day!- Once you’re all set with your training, it’s time to prep and run!  The cool thing about virtual races is that you can pick any day and time to run.  Not a morning person?  You can run at night!  Have a busy weekend?  You can run during the week! For the 408k I tried to run on the actual day the race was happening (March 4th), but I ended up running the day after.  Also, unlike a lot of other virtual races, you can still run the 408k as a Remote Runner even though the event has already taken place. So you don’t have to suffer from any FOMO. 🙂  And here’s how I prepped for my 8K!

Step 6: Share your results! – Now it’s time to show off your hard work! Take a pic of your time and post it on your social media channels!  Some events will even have special incentives for virtual races – i.e. all virtual runners email their times to the race director or post them to the Facebook page and fastest times win a prize. The San Jose 408k didn’t offer this type of incentive, but maybe it will in the future!

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Step 7: Collect your swag! Another benefit of running a race remotely is that you don’t have to wait in any long lines or go to any crowded expos to get your swag.  Everything is conveniently mailed to you either before or after the race.  I’m still waiting on my swag, but here is what the SWAG looks like! You can also opt to add on other things such as extra shirts, a tote bag, or a hat.

And that’s it!  Congratulations! You completed your virtual race!  Now you can go celebrate with a post-race brunch (or dinner depending on what time of day you ran). Then rest up for the next one!

So what’s another incentive of running the San Jose 408k as a remote runner? It will qualify you for a bonus medal if you decide to complete the Run the Bay Challenge series and run the Silicon Valley Half! Yay, more SWAG!

Have you run a Virtual Race before?  What did you think?!

~SM

How I Fell in Love with Running Again

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It’s been six months since I traded in beaches and burritos for high-rises and ramen.  And during that time, my relationship with running has a been a bit rocky.  I really loved running in San Diego – the scenery is beautiful, the weather is always perfect, and there are races every weekend – it’s a runner’s dream! And of course,  I can’t forget my running club and BRF (Best Running Friend) – @TheHungryRunner_

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So leaving all that behind and moving to a new country with narrow sidewalks (or zero sidewalks at times) and actual unfavorable weather sort of derailed my running momentum.  It was also a bit depressing not having my running friends and weekly races to look forward to.  Because of the move and the transition, my running became inconsistent and I sort of felt “lost” with my running.  What am I training for?  Why I am I running? What am I even doing?! I definitely began falling into a running rut. 😦

Another challenge was finding quality places to run close to my house.  Basically I have three choices: a track, a treadmill at the family gym, or a running path with a decent view of Mt. Fuji on clear days. Kind of an adjustment from the assortment of beaches and trails I had to choose from in SoCal.

After a few weeks, I basically lost my running motivation and began just running minimal miles each week. I stopped focusing on running so much and started embracing the Japan life.

Then I missed the idea of having running goals and began running a little bit more.  I started taking advantage of the track (speed work anyone?) and started aiming to run a little more (or a little faster) each week. In December, I did the WeavRun streak challenge and successfully ran for 30 days straight.  The streak really helped motivate me to challenge myself and work on cadence. I even started to incorporate more strength work and found out that I love kettlebell swings, box jumping, and ball slamming!

Then after New Years I took two whole weeks off!  No running, no gym, no counting miles, reps, or calories.  I just took time to relax without worrying about not getting in a run or workout session each day.  I literally stopped to smell the roses! 😉

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I took the time to not only reset physically, but also mentally and spiritually.  I decided to write out some goals for the month, the year, and next few years.

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After my little running sabbatical, something magical happened… IT SNOWED! And I HAD to run in this winter wonderland since I knew it would only last a day.  I ran slow so I wouldn’t fall, but it was super refreshing and peaceful!

Then I started building up my weekly mileage again and found out that the track isn’t so bad. You can zone out and not worry about traffic, work on your speed, and its super soft and much better on your joints than road running. 🙂

I’ve even discovered some beautiful running paths in the nearby parks.  The forests in Japan are green and super dense, which makes for some peaceful and reflective running.

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What I discovered through this transition was that I don’t NEED super lofty race goals or shiny medals (although those are nice) to enjoy running.  The break reminded me why I started running in the first place.  Because I LOVE it!  Sometimes preparing for races can get stressful, so I realized that I actually needed a break from all the bling chasing.  It finally dawned on me that I don’t HAVE to run…I GET to run!!  Last week, I went out on a run with no pace/distance goal at all.  I just slowed down, took in my surroundings, and enjoyed the run! I fell back in love with running by letting the run lead me instead me leading the run.

So what’s next??  Well the SWAG is not lost, y’all!  I’m still an ambassador for Bibrave and this year I will be an ambassador for Sweat Pink too!

Okay, back to the races.  Races aren’t really that prevalent in my area, but I’ve kind of enjoyed having my weekend mornings open to new possibilities.  However, I do have my eye on a couple of local races coming up…so stay tuned!  Also, I’m excited to announce that I will be participating in some Virtual Races this year too! So I will be reviewing those as well!

I’m also working on possibly starting up a mom’s running group in my community because I’ve had a few new moms ask me about where to start with running. And I would love to share the running LOVE!

I’m really glad that I have found my love for running again and I can’t wait to share my excitement and motivation with everyone else this year!

IMG_8332“Run often. Run long. But never outrun your joy of running.” ~Julie Isphording

And P.S. – I still miss my BRF! 😉

I’m off to chase some goals! 🙂

~SM

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