Triathlon Training Blog

Review of StarWalk Dog Activity Tracker by iQPet

A publicist sent me the StarWalk dog activity tracker by IQPet to review on my blog.    My daughter has  a very high energy dog who needs a great deal of exercise, so I thought it was a really cool idea!   It is kind of like a Fitbit®  for your dog, and allows you to set daily activity goals for your dog, and compare your dog’s activity data with that of other dogs.

This is what the packaging looks like.

starwalk package

The device is small and lightweight and fairly easily attaches to a collar.  It is easily charged with a USB cable.

Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to get the StarWalk dog activity tracker working.   We tried to get it working on several phones, and did not have any luck.   It seems it’s only compatible with iPhone 4s and above, and Samsung Galaxy S3 and above, and a few others.

Here’s the result of our attempts to get it installed.  I should have checked the website for compatible devices first, as I would have saved myself some time and frustration.

Nokia Lumina Windows 8 phone

My daughter has a Nokia Lumina Windows 8 phone.  We weren’t too surprised  that the app is not available for a Windows phone.

Samsung Galaxy S2

So,  I tried downloading the app for my Samsung Galaxy S2 phone.  I could not find it in the Google Play store, so I went to the website and hit the download for Android button.  And this is the result:

Your device isn’t compatible with this version.

Screenshot_2015-07-03-01-02-32

Hmmm, maybe that is why they don’t have it in the Google Play store :(

Amazon Firephone

Next, we tried my husband’s Amazon Firephone, which has Google play side loaded onto it.  We successfully installed the app on this phone. Yay!

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  • We watched the tutorial.
  • We created an account.
  • We started to set up the pet profile.  That’s where we got stuck.

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We could not save the pet profile.  Each time we hit the Save icon, it spun for a while.   But nothing happened.  We hit save several times, not sure how to move forward.   Then we’d hit the back button and tried to move to the next step.  However, we could not proceed forward because it said we needed to complete the pet profile.    We went back there and it was gone, so it never saved!

We tried this several times, to no avail.   So, we ended up uninstalling it.

20150703_105937

 

iPhone 4

Lastly, we tried my other daughter’s iPhone 4.

We got a little farther here.   We were able to get the pet profile loaded, but we could not connect/sync to the device because the “next” button was blocked with a text message saying to start with device turned off, but it was already turned off.

We tried turning the device on and repeating, to no avail.  Then we tried turning it off again, and starting over.  Tried swiping all over the place.  Nothing worked.

FOTCCD41

So, all in all, it was pretty frustrating and we cannot use it.  Maybe it only works on newer model phones.     We’re pretty bummed that we can’t get it working on any of our phones.

Posted in General Tagged with:

Saucony Boston Kinvara 6 Launch Party (April 13, 2015 at 7:30 PM)

SAUCONY® SALUTES BOSTON RUNNING WITH LIMITED RELEASE OF

SocialPost-01_grandeKINVARA 6 BOSTON EDITION

Marathon Sports is proud to once again be the exclusive retailer of the Limited

Saucony Kinvara 6 Boston Edition

What:
To kick off Boston 2015, Saucony is celebrating with an early release of the limited Saucony Kinvara 6 Boston Edition, the sequel to the International Editors’ Choice Award for “Best Shoe of 2014” by Runner’s World magazine.

This year’s version of the Kinvara 6 Boston Edition features a bold palette of Beantown-approved colors that will help runners stand out from the crowd on Marathon Monday.With a nod to both Boston’s Irish heritage and the shoe’s namesake town in Ireland, Saucony designed the limited edition Kinvara in a green and gold color scheme complete with iconic shamrocks.

For the 3rd year in a row Marathon Sports is proud to be the exclusive retailer of the Limited Edition Kinvara 6 Boston. Saucony and Marathon Sports are once again hosting a product launch party to celebrate the shoe’s early release. In order to secure a pair, runners can purchase a ticket for the 2015 Boston Kinvara 6 Launch Party here: Saucony Kinvara 6 Boston Edition

The Kinvara 6 delivers Saucony’s lightweight and responsive PowerGrid™ midsole cushioning technology that transmits energy back into the runner’s stride with maximum efficiency and minimal impact. An improved ProLock™ lacing system offers an enhanced and optimal fit for race day.

When:
Monday, April 13, 2015, 7:30 pm

Where:
Marathon Sports
671 Boylston Street (in the Dartmouth/Exeter block of Boylston St.)
Boston, MA

What:
Refreshments and a pair of 2015 Saucony Kinvara 6 Boston Edition running shoes (in the size you selected).

Note:
Saucony Kinvara are my favorite running shoes!!!

 

Posted in >Running, General Tagged with: ,

Sneak Peek at LeBootCamp Diet

A publicist sent me a sneak peek copy of a new diet book for preview.   It is called the LeBootCamp diet.  I am super excited about this book!

Here is a picture of the preview copy.   The hardcover official book will be released April 14th, you can pre-order it on Amazon.

lebootcampdiet

I love wine, so I hope the diet will include some wine, seeing that it’s a french diet!

The diet consists of Four Phases:

  • Detox – to cleanse your body
  • Attack – to lose weight
  • Booster – To Speed up the Process
  • Maintenance – to Ensure you never regain lost weight.

Leafing through some of the pages, the diet sounds solid.   Detox is a 2 week phase that includes detoxifying foods incorporated into balanced menus.

The detox menus look like fancy recipes, mostly fish, so that part might be a challenge in terms of time it takes to prepare meals.    The amount of food looks reasonable and healthy.   So, it’s not like the lemon ginger liquid diet detox I tried once…I only lasted half a day on that plan!

Here is what the detox chapter says about coffee and wine and chocolate (these things are important to me!):

  • better to cut coffee and replace with green tea if you can.  It was not an all out ban of coffee, and I agree with this statement that green tea is better.   hmmm…this will be tough for me tho.
  • a glass or two of red wine is good for you (score, I’m in!)
  • dark 70% chocolate is in the foods to enjoy list, and is even included in the detox menus …exact quantities are specified of course, but still, woohoo !

One last thing I noticed leafing through the first chapter – they talk about PH and how the diet will strive to give you an balanced ph.    This is something I have talked about based on Joe Friel’s aging athlete studies and I know for a fact I feel better when I eat this way (but I don’t stick to it as I should, because old habits die hard).

I am going to follow this diet plan and see how it goes.   Ever since turning 50, I have gained weight and cannot seem to get it off again.    I blamed it on my shoulder injury, but I cannot use that excuse now, and the upward trend continues.   I hope this book is the answer I seek.   Stay tuned!

Update:

upon further reading, it says

  • wine is not allowed during the detox phase, I guess I can tough it out for two weeks.  Thereafter, one glass of red wine a day is recommended.  My doctor tells me that, too.
  • cut coffee as well for detox phase, but if you really cannot live without coffee, cut to one cup per day.
  • you can modify the menus as long as you stay within the rules of allowed foods and use 5 detox foods per day.   I think this is doable, as long as I can modify …since I really do not like fish that much, but chicken and tofu are allowed during detox.

In general, detox looks like alot of lean meat, veggies, fruits, healthy stuff. no cheese, no eggs, no gluten, no sugar, no red meat, not much carbs, but I do see potatoes and corn tortillas on the menus. (gluten is added later, so this is not a gluten free diet.),

 

Posted in General, Good Books Tagged with: , , ,

Review of Saucony Triumph ISO Running Shoes

inbox

I received a trial pair of Saucony Triumph ISO running shoes for review on this blog.   I almost passed up this offer since I prefer a lighter, minimalist style, but thought I’d give these cushioned shoes a try.  I’m glad I did, read on…

Description of these shoes from the Saucony website:

  • Delivers the plushest, most cushioned running experience we have ever created
  • ISOFIT upper morphs to your foot for a sock-like feel, providing superiour comfort and allowing the shoe to move in harmony with the foot
  • PWRGRID+ provides 20% more cushioning than the previous version for enhanced impact, protection & improved durability

How do they fit?

They fit true to size.  I ordered a size 10 and they fit me well.    I have low arches and Saucony shoes always feel very comfortable on my feet.

Overall Thoughts:

I normally prefer a lighter shoe that lets me “feel the ground”.  However, my boot camp workouts – which include a great deal of plyometrics – were giving me some knee and hip pain.  So, I thought the extra cushioning might be a good idea.  And I was right.  I love these shoes, not only for boot camp, but also for running!

Detailed Review and Pictures:

They arrived in the mail and I opened the box.  I love the colors.  When I get free stuff, I never get to choose color, only size.    But, I really love these vibrant colors:  “Twilight / Oxygen / Citron” is the official color name.

inbox

Here I am trying them on for size with my flannel pajamas.  They go well together, don’t you think?

withpfs

Road Running Testing

My usual long run shoes are Mizuno Wave Inspire, which are classified as a lightweight stability shoe. Here are a couple pictures comparing the Mizuno Wave Inspire to the Saucony Triumph ISO. (And, yes, my Mizunos are old!)

comp2 comp1

I’ve worn the new Saucony Triumph ISO shoes running on asphalt several times, for a total of about 25 miles.    Even though these shoes have much more cushioning than I am used to, they still felt responsive and I was able to maintain my “midfoot landing” running style.    I notice a big improvement in how running downhill feels – much easier on the knees for sure!  And I had less joint pain after longer runs.

The only thing I did notice on an 8 mile run was a little soreness in my bunion on the left foot.   My right foot felt great, it’s just my left foot that is sensitive to this.   The reinforcing bands on these shoes in that specific area of the mesh upper (see orange arrow in photo below) is made a little firmer than other shoes I wear, so that spot didn’t stretch to give my bones the extra room they need.    Since most people don’t have this problem, it won’t impact you at all.  I just have wide feet , and my left foot has this annoying bunion problem.   This might make me limit these shoes to medium length runs between 6 and 8 miles.   Unless I can figure out a way to prestretch that spot, or cut a little relief hole there.  Most of my shoes have such a hole already, just by normal wear and tear.  I don’t think that firm webbing is going to stretch on it’s own.

Note: thinking more on this later, it could also be the lack of stability in these shoes that bother that bunion.  I’m not really sure.  Anyway, this is a problem with my left foot, and only on longer runs.  

Note 2: thinking more, I don’t think it is due to lack of stability. My Kinvaras are also a nuetral shoe and have not ever felt any bunion pain wearing those. (love the Kinvaras).   I really like these Triumphs too, so may try to cut a slit in that reinforcing band so I can make these my long run shoes.   Still deciding on that, I’ll post again if I do.

closeup2

Boot Camp Testing

Wearing them to boot camp workouts was perfect!   Boot camp is a very high intensity workout that involves alot of sprinting and plyometrics.   My hips and knees take a beating during these workouts, and generally hurt the day afterwards.   The extra cushioning that these shoes provide helped alleviate this post workout soreness.  And I did not feel any different during the running sprints.

The only thing I do need to get used to is the wider footbed.  As compared to my lighter shoes, the footbed is 1/4″ wider.  So,  I found myself hitting the edge of the shoe against the blocks, and tripping a bit on some of the jumping activities.   I think this is just a matter of me getting used to the new dimensions I am working with in these shoes.  I definitely plan on wearing these for Boot camp workout to save my joints!

Snow Day Testing

Oooo, this was a fun day.   We had 6 inches of snow here in North Carolina.  We don’t usually get that much snow and I love running in it!

I ran twice, each time about 4 miles.  The first day was a slippery slush like mess on the roads and sidewalks.   I also ran on some trails, where I made fresh tracks in fluffy snow.   It was glorious, and these shoes handled the slick conditions well.  Being brand new, they had good tread.   And one thing I like about a slick snowy run is the practice of a midstrike foot landing and lifting the foot off the ground without pushing off.  If you do that wrong, you slip.   If done right, no slipping!

The second snow day run was in deep snow.  I took some pictures so you can see how deep it was.

The shoes performed really well.   The temperature had risen and some snow started to melt in spots forming big puddles.   I sloshed right through them getting my feet all wet.   I was pleasantly surprised that they did not get waterlogged and feel heavy afterwards.    Love these shoes for snow running!

Deep fluffy snow!

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New shoes are comfy!

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Making an angel

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General impressions

These shoes are great!  I will definitely wear them for boot camp and medium length runs.    In general, Saucony shoes fit true to size and feel great on my feet.

Happy Training

Disclaimer:  I got these shoes for free in exchange for reviewing them on my blog.    Even so, my review is an honest impression of what I think of these shoes!

 

 

 

Posted in >Running, General Tagged with: ,

Follow CobbMobb Athletes during 2015!

I am super excited to be part of the CobbMobb racing team for 2015.    And big news today – the CobbMobb website is now LIVE!    Check out the athlete profiles by clicking on the Team button.   Read team blogs, view gallery of race photos, and shop for team apparel in the online Store.

Follow me and my teammates online via web, twitter and facebook!   Happy training as we gear up to a great 2015!

CobbMobbSwimBikeRun

If you are in need of a new saddle for your bike,  read this post about the Cobb V-flow Plus!

 

Posted in Cobb Mobb Team, General Tagged with:

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You are reading Triathlon Training Blog: my journey from couch potato to triathlete! Are you thinking you'd like to get started in the sport of triathlon, but you don't think you are lean enough, or fast enough, or athletic enough? Think again ...(read more)

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