Triathlon Training Blog

#OptOutside: REI Co-op to close all stores again on Black Friday and Thanksgiving


#OptOutside: REI Co-op to close all stores again on Black Friday and Thanksgiving; CEO calls on Americans to disconnect from their devices, break up their routines, reconnect with nature

Co-op to invest at least $1 million more in new initiative showing link between health and time outdoors

SEATTLE – For the fourth year in a row, this Black Friday REI Co-op will close all 153 stores, process no online payments and pay more than 12,000 employees to #OptOutside with friends and family. Since 2015, 15 million people and more than 700 organizations have joined the #OptOutside movement. This year, REI is also pledging $1 million in support for the launch of a new center of academic excellence at the University of Washington that will study the link between human health and time spent outdoors.

“The best data we have says that, in any given year, 150 million Americans don’t spend any time outside. That’s half the country. Day in, day out, we’re looking down instead of up, looking at our phones instead of the world around us,’” says REI CEO Jerry Stritzke. “We’re asking people this year to reevaluate that picture of themselves. To see technology as the starting point to a journey outside, not the destination. And to go explore the world with someone they love – on Black Friday and every day.”

To make the case for spending more time outside, REI and the University of Washington are launching a new initiative called Nature for Health. The new center of academic excellence within the university’s EarthLab will broaden and deepen its examination of how time outside impacts our health. It will build on existing bodies of work and explore new ideas like whether a dose of nature can be prescribed alongside traditional medicine to tackle issues such as anxiety and depression. This partnership between REI and the University of Washington grew out of years of collaboration among university researchers and leaders in the outdoor, nonprofit and governmental communities.

“We know there is a link between time spent in nature and our health and well-being. We are working to close the knowledge gap so we fully understand the benefits,” said Joshua J. Lawler, head of Nature for Health and the Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences at the University of Washington. “We’ll then work in close partnership with practitioners and decision-makers to use this information to do things like lower healthcare costs, design better schools and hospitals, and reduce disparities in health and well-being.”

REI is an active investor in the growing body of research establishing the link between health and nature. REI has already invested more than $1 million into efforts by the UW, Sierra Club, UC Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center, UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital’s Center for Nature and Health, and the Oregon Public Health Institute to understand how time outside impacts anxiety levels, ability to focus, childhood development, happiness and other health factors.

Among the findings so far:

  • A seminal literature review by a range of experts at the University of Washington noted that, while more research is needed, “Nature contact offers promise both as prevention and as treatment across the life course. Potential advantages include low costs relative to conventional medical interventions, safety, practicality, not requiring dispensing by highly trained professionals, and multiple co-benefits. Few medications can boast these attributes.”
  • Dr. Nooshin Razani at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital in Oakland has found that a park prescription – a physician’s recommendation to spend time outdoors – can reduce stress among low-income patients
  • In June, a peer-reviewed study by the Great Outdoors Lab (a collaboration between the Sierra Club and US Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center) concluded that getting outdoors improves physical, mental, and social well-being and that the emotion of awe experienced in nature is an important mechanism driving these effects. These benefits can be especially helpful, for instance, in assisting war veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The cohort that participated in outdoor group activities reported improvements in self-confidence, diminished reliance on medications and alcohol, and more.

“The best researchers in the world are proving the case that getting outside is critical to our mental and our physical well-being,” says Stritzke. “It’s time to rethink time outdoors as a must-have, not a nice-to-have.”

The range of benefits to health and well-being from time in nature will be the topic of conversation at a second-annual, daylong symposium on October 24 at the University of Washington. It will also be the topic of remarks by noted author Richard Louv, who will be delivering the second Doug Walker Memorial lecture at Benaroya Hall, Seattle, that evening. Both events are hosted by UW’s EarthLab and co-sponsored by REI.


About the REI Co-op

REI is a specialty outdoor retailer, headquartered near Seattle. The nation’s largest consumer co-op, REI is a growing community of more than 17 million members who expect and love the best quality gear, inspiring expert classes and trips, and outstanding customer service. REI has 153 stores in 35 states and the District of Columbia. If you can’t visit a store, you can shop at REI.comREI Outlet or the free REI shopping appREI isn’t just about gear. You can take the trip of a lifetime with REI Adventures, a global leader in active adventure travel that runs more than 170 custom-designed itineraries worldwide. The REI Outdoor School is run by professionally-trained, expert-instructors who teach beginner-to advanced-level courses about a wide range of activities. To build on the infrastructure that makes life outside possible, REI invests millions annually in hundreds of local and national nonprofits that create access to—and steward—the outdoor places that inspire us all.


Posted in General

Review + Contest Giveway of New line of Performance Bicycle Active wear.

On this page:

  • New Activewear Clothing line by Performance Bicycle
  • Women’s Trill Sport Sleeveless Jersey
  • Men’s Heather Shirt
  • Men’s Cycle Shorts
  • Video Review
  • Contest Details

New Active Clothing by Performance Bicycle

Performance Bicycle announces a new line of active clothing for Men and Women. download flyer here.

They sent me a few things to test out and review on my blog.  So here goes…

Women’s Trill Sport Sleeveless Jersey

Color teal.  Size Large.  Fits true to size.  Love how it looks and feels!

Buy it here 



Men’s Heather Shirt, Size Large.

Soft tech fabric, nice reflective details, one pocket in back with a media cord access.


Men’s Cycling Shorts, size large.

Nice pad and zipper pockets.  Would be great for mountain biking!


Video Review

Contest Details

Here is the deal for the contest:

What you win:

  • A pair of Performance Bicycle Mens Large bicycle shorts
  • Heather Grey Men’s Large active wear shirt.

How to enter:

  • Add a comment to this blog post by August 1, 2016 and answer two questions.
    1. what you love about cycling and
    2. Where is the location of the Performance Bicycle nearest to you?
  • Use your real email address on the comment form.   Note, this is only shown to me, and I promise not to share your email with anyone else.   I’ll only use it to contact you if you win!
  • Retweet for extra entries! Be sure to tag @triblogcarol so I know!
  • I will choose one name at random on August 2nd 8am ET.  Winner will be announced here, and sent an email.  Winner has 24 hours to reply, or else I will choose another random name.  And so on
  • Enjoy!!!


I received these articles of clothing for free from an ad agency in order to review on my blog.

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Hurricane ISO 2 Combines All Of Saucony’s Technologies to Create A “Ride That Is Comfy, Cushioned, Responsive and Stable”

 LEXINGTON, MA (January 25, 2016) – Maintaining its relentless commitment to elevating the running experience through innovation, Saucony today announced that the all-new Hurricane ISO 2 with

EVERUN™ has been named “Editor’s Choice” in the Runner’s World 2016 Spring Shoe Guide (March 2016 issue, on newsstands February 2). The Hurricane ISO 2, featuring Saucony’s EVERUN™ continuous cushioning technology, received the highest marks of the shoes reviewed by the Runner’s World shoe lab, its wear-testers and editors for the 2016 Spring Shoe Guide to capture the prestigious award.

This is the second Runner’s World award for the brand’s flagship supportive running shoe: The inaugural Hurricane ISO was named “Best Update” in the Runner’s World 2015 Summer Shoe Guide.

“The newest version of the Hurricane combines all of Saucony’s technologies to create a ride that is comfy, cushioned, responsive, and stable,” said the Runner’s World review of the shoe. Testers’ highest praise was reserved for the fit and comfort of the well-padded, two-layer upper that hugs the heel and midfoot while providing plenty of room up front for your toes. New for this version are layers of EVERUN material in the midsole−where it cradles your foot as it sinks in and then bounces back as you push off. The new triangle-lugged outsole design improves the shoe’s flexibility, while firmer material under the inside of the heel and arch controls inward rolling.

“This is a fantastic accolade for one of the most legendary shoes we’ve ever built,” said Pat O’Malley, president of Saucony. “Winning another award from the Runner’s World editors for the Hurricane ISOspeaks to the powerful momentum we continue to build, creating game-changing technology for the industry and most important for runners everywhere. The Hurricane ISO 2 is a clear result of the passion, hard work and collaboration between the whole Saucony team; we are extremely proud of this prestigious recognition.

Hurricane ISO 2:

The new Hurricane ISO 2, the brand’s leading supportive trainer, now features a full-length EVERUN Topsole and EVERUN Landing Zone, TRI-FLEX outsole and ISOFIT upper. A Dual Density medial post provides unwavering support without sacrificing flexibility or light weight.

EVERUN’s patent-pending Topsole construction process positions a 3mm layer of Saucony’s revolutionaryEVERUN foam material closer to the foot, directly under the sockliner, instead of embedding it in the midsole below a layer of rigid cement. This construction process distributes propulsion force over more area, reducing local peak pressures while delivering a dramatically more lively and responsive ride.

The EVERUN Landing Zone and heel insert provide remarkable impact protection, maintaining cushioning properties three times longer than standard EVAs while returning 83% of the energy absorbed, according to research in the Saucony Human Performance and Innovation Lab.


The Hurricane ISO 2 is available at select specialty running retailers and at The suggested retail price of the Hurricane ISO 2 is $160.00.

 To find a retailer near you, call 800-365-4933 or visit

 Runner’s World is the largest and most influential media brand in the running space. To read the entireRunner’s World 2016 Spring Shoe Guide, check out the March issue of Runner’s World on sale at newsstands February 2 or visit

About Saucony: Saucony, a division of Wolverine Worldwide, is a leading global running lifestyle brand that fuses performance, innovation and style to create compelling footwear and apparel with its widely recognized brandsSaucony and Saucony Originals.  Founded in 1898, Saucony continues to inspire runners everywhere with its award winning innovations, including EVERUN™, ISOFIT™, Geometry of Strong™, PWRGRID+™, and the Total Run System™ apparel line. At Saucony, a good day is when we get to run. A great day is when we inspire someone else to run. For more information, go to

Posted in General


Saucony recently sent me a pair of the  HURRICANE ISO 2 WITH EVERUN™ running shoes to test ride.

First, the facts:

Their website describes the shoe as

“The long run just became longer with The Hurricane ISO 2. This perfect blend of comfort and durability features an EVERUN topsole, delivering smoother transitions and all-day cushioning. Plus, the new ISOFIT upper helps stabilize your foot while you enjoy a long day on the road.”

The shoe is rated as a stability shoe with plush cushioning.

The size they sent me was Women’s size 10, which is my usual size.   This shoe is true to size.   The toebox has plenty of room.

Overall Impression

I love this shoe.    It has a great deal of cushioning, but does not in any way feel bulky or stiff.     I mildly over-pronate, and this shoe worked well with my stride.   I generally prefer a light more minimalist shoe, but the Hurricane felt lightweight, flexible and comfortable, even though it has a plush sole.


Here is the box, always exciting to get a new pair of shoes from Saucony!


I love the cyan blue color scheme, bright  and reflective!


They look and feel great!


This picture shows how they flex!


Kitty Approved!

And, they are kitty approved.  My cat, named the Professor, is very smart, so you should listen to him!






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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.


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!


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


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.



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.


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.

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