Thursday, August 18, 2011

Pivlock V90 Max, one word WOW!

I wasn't planning on doing  a review of these glasses for this post, but these are AWESOME! I've run and ridden in Maui Jim's, Oakley's, Tifosi's, and other Smith's for that matter, and the Pivlock V90 Max has rapidly become my favorite.

I have never cycled or run in a frameless glass before, but I'm hooked. The field of vision and airflow are stellar. I sweat like a horse, and with the 60 days of 100 degree plus temperatures we've had here in Dallas this summer these glasses have been a blessing. The air flow keeps my sweat to a minimum, and out of my eyes. This has long been one of my pet peeves of running or riding in sunglasses. At the same time I can't go outside without shades for even the shortest time.

They weigh in at less than an ounce, and come with 3 lenses, the main lens, a reddish all purpose/lower light lens called Ignitor, and a clear. The case is impressive, but overly big in my opinion, as you can't carry it very easily on the bike or on a run to change lenses. Changing lenses the first time is a bit nerve racking, because it feels like the lens is going to crack, but it doesn't, and after the first few time it's very easy to change them. For you optical clarity snobs, I find these on par with its competitors. Oakley's, in my opinion win the clarity battle, but the V90 is right there. The rubber nose piece and ear socks keep the glass in place, and they don't bounce around when running, which I HATE! The V90 Max fits medium to large faces. I have a large face and these fit great. For smaller faces there is a Pivlock V90, which is essentially the same glass in a smaller version.

I do have a few cons on this product, first is you have to carry the bag as a portable case, because the case is too big and frameless glasses don't lend them selves well to being unprotected when not in use. Secondly, I sooooo wish these had an available polarized lens!! Lastly, they are a little hard to clean, due to the lack of a frame there's nothing to hold on to while cleaning the lens. It takes a little practice to hold the edges and clean. All in all though, there is little chance you'd get me to trade these glasses for something else when cycling or running. Totally top notch.

Smith's website is here, and they can be found on twitter here.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Food, food, food, and exercise!

So, I used to be way over weight, I've been battling weight issues for most of my life, except for now. Why the big change now that I'm  in my 40's? Well, to paraphrase a now seemingly genius past president, it's about the food, stupid! Until this not so little point gets driven into your skull your body won't change too fast.

You can do what I did for years, exercise like crazy and not change your eating habits and watch the scale and your clothes not change. You can not exercise, and not change your eating habits and buy new, bigger clothes a couple times a year. Or, you can change the way you eat and exercise a moderate amount and see drastic changes. The "Biggest Loser" type weight loss occurs when you you watch very carefully what goes into your body and exercise A LOT! 

Having become quite hooked on running and cycling I spend a great deal of time talking with people that understand the ratio listed in title of this post. Food is about 75% of the battle, exercise being about 25%. However, I'm a bit in the bubble, and I sometimes don't realize just how many people don't get this. So, if you've heard this over a hundred times you can fall asleep now, but if not read on. Here are a few tips that will make changes in your body with out too much pain:
  • More colors on your plate - Yes, this means fruits and vegetables, get over it!
  • Limit soda - Diet included. Water is what your body needs, diet soda is just plain nasty stuff.
  • Limit sugar - Sugar is terrible for you. Our obesity epidemic and the wide use of sugar coincide, coincidence? I don't think so!
  • Limit fried foods - Fried Snickers, seriously, c'mon!
  • Limit dairy - It's basically liquid beef, and as a protein source there are better choices
  • Shop on the outside walls of the store - If it comes in a box or can, it's processed. Processed means you can't pronounce ingredients, this is never good!
These just scratch the surface, but they will effect huge change in your body without deprivation. Diets don't work, it's got to be a permanent change. It's not that hard really, you just have to be consistent and committed. Can you still have chocolate cake, buffalo wings and beer? Yes, but every once in awhile, truth is as time passes, these foods don't taste as good as you remember. The only person that won't be happy about these changes is your doctor. Of course, you be seeing them near as much so does it really matter?

Eat right, play hard and enjoy life, for a long time!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Top 10 Holiday Presents for Runners

To start let me be clear, these are totally biased, strictly unscientific, and completely my opinion. I get asked this a lot by my non-running friends: "What should I get for my (fill in running friend, spouse, co-worker here) who runs?" Excluding the gift certificate to a local running store (LRS), if it my pick these would be my choices, in descending price order:

1. Garmin 410 GPS w/heart rate monitor. Yeah, I'm historically a Polar guy, but the improved bezel on this puppy is pretty sweet, add that to all the functionality of the 405, and I'm drooling a little. The price is a bit steep at $375, but a definite under the tree winner! You can see the product here, and you can follow them on twitter @garmin

2. Newton Running Gravity. If you want to improve your form and lower your splits, you're barking up the right tree here. throw in the reduction of knee, back and hip injury and it's very hard to go wrong with shoes. Be forewarned, you have to do some work here too, it's not just the shoes. At $175 they are a bit more than a premium running shoe, but last considerably longer. You can see the product here, and you can follow them on twitter @sirisaac

3. The North Face Windstopper Hybrid Full Zip. This Flight Series jacket fits true to size, and advertised, keeps the wind out. However, it's got venting in all the right spots to keep from over heating. Awesome when the mercury dips around freezing! At a $135 it's not a bank breaker. View it here, and follow them on twitter @thenorthface

4. Native Endo Sun Glasses. I love these. You can run, ski, snowboard, bike, post activity chill out in them. Haven't failed me yet. They look great and work in a wide range of situations. I'm a fan of the Maple Tort, for $109 and a GREAT warranty these are a virtual no brainer! View them here, and follow them on twitter @nativeyewear

5. Craft Zero Extreme Concept Base Layer. Seriously, before this top I pretty much thought base layer was base layer. This shirt is unbelievable. It works in a very wide range of temperatures. It can be worn alone or in combination with layers. In all cases it's near perfect at every temperature!! At $75 it's not cheap, but it's worth it; you can read a review by @ironbrandon here, which is spot on. View it here, and follow them on twitter @craftofsweden.

6. Brooks Vapor Dry 3D Stadium Pant. Again this pant gets my nod for versatility and a wide range of use. These can be worn in almost any temperature, and if you add a base layer pant,they can be worn in very cold weather. They also don't look bad in the dropping off the kids at school or as a lounger. For $60 you're getting an above average pant at an average price. View it here, and follow them on twitter @brooksrunning

7. Mountain Hardwear Micro Chill Zip Tee. Why get this $55 fleece pullover instead of an Old Navy $9 model? Lots of reasons, loft, feel, pilling, durability, warmth, it's a constant companion on chilly days. View it here, and follow them on twitter @hardwear

8. Amphipod RunLite 4 Hydration Belt. This is the only belt I've ever used that didn't bug me while running. Bottles are movable and removable, add ons are varied, one size fits most, and it comes with a pouch that holds a smart phone or like device. $45, view here.

9. Runner's World subscription. Love it or hate, we all read it, and it's $12/year. View it here, and follow them on twitter @runnersworld

10. Body Glide. The penultimate stocking stuffer for the runner. And if this was in order of value it'd be first! For the price of a movie, it makes going long much nicer. $10 for the big one. View it here, and follow them on twitter @bodyglide

I hope this will help someone lower their panic level. Enjoy your holidays, and see you out there in some really sweet gear!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Just the Half...

OK, I'll admit it, I've said it. When I'm wearing a marathonshirt people will ask if I ran it. My response, "Nope, just the half". The second it leaves my mouth I kick myself. Yes a half is less daunting than a full marathon, but it's still 13 miles. Seriously, that's pretty darn far, considering that it's a 15 or so minute car ride on the highway.

There was a time when running a 5K was a major accomplishment for me. I have to complete a full marathon, I haven't had the time for the increased training. My first half was done from the couch to a half in 10 weeks. That was not the best plan. It basically turned into a suffer fest for me. I learned a lot in that first half. Mainly that it is a major accomplishment, but with proper preparation a half is an attainable goal. So is the full for that matter. You just have to set a goal, find a plan (there are lots) and be consistent. If you want to get serious, you can reach out to a coach; it also helps to find some running partners. A local running specialty store can point you in all these directions.

I'll do my full this coming year, but "just the half" will always hold a special place in for me. It was my first running goal that truly tested me on a mental and physical level. Don't deny your self the credit for completing a half, don't let anyone else deny you of that either. If a full is your goal, the half is a great stepping stone. If a half is your goal, run it and enjoy it, after all it is "half the distance and twice the fun"!!!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Finding a great workout shirt is EZ!!

I don't often get worked up about a technical T-shirt. Like most of you active type folk have a few more tech tees than you need, but how many of them can you wear with jeans and not be "that guy"? Well the Brooks EZ T is the shirt for those of you that demand a top notch tech tee and just like the wicking properties for stuff other than your work outs.

Mine has rapidly risen through the ranks and is an overall favorite. The shirt wicks better than most, drys in record time and allows you to wear it in a non-fitness environment and not look like a dork. Lastly, the best feature is the softness. It doesn't feel as abrasive as most technical shirts. My nipples certainly can attest that this is true.

Most times in life it's the simple things that bring us the most happiness. This little piece of gear has been a pleasant surprise. I had no anticipation it would be my favorite running shirt. For something that you pretty much wear every time you go out it's nice to enjoy wearing it. I plan on culling out a couple of the nasty ones and replacing them. It's always nice to "Run Happy" to borrow a phrase.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Insanity has its benefits!

So seriously, as a parent there are multiple opportunities to be driven crazy by the kids we love dearly. That's because the moments of enjoyment kids provide far out weigh the moments of insanity. I wouldn't trade those moments for anything, neither would most parents.

Well, in an odd parallel, the Insanity workout I have embarked on with my wife is very much the same way. This work out requires shorts, a shirt, shoes and a desire to improve yourself. The workouts are about 40 or so minutes long, and most of the routines end up with me on the floor gasping for air in a puddle of sweat. However, those moments of less than an hour per day have provided me with a 9 pound weight loss and my clothes fitting very differently. All that in a whole 2 weeks.

I have gone from having "Ab" to truly being able to see "Abs" along with assorted ripples and bulges in places that haven't looked that way since college or some ever. The pain involved is short lived for the payout received, so Insanity definitely has it's benefits. Try it with me, you'll be sore, but not sorry!!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

The Spring's The Thing!!

Running is very cool. It can certainly be addictive, as can other endurance pursuits. They make you feel good on lots of levels. Endorphins are God's little gift to those willing to sweat it out! The accomplishment makes you feel good. The exercise makes your pants fit better, your posture get better, and your head is just plain clearer.

Spring is a great time to re-invent yourself. I've chosen to reduce my running and do some more bike riding. I also want to add some mixed cardio and weight work. I've decided I'm gonna do the Insanity work as well as the 3 day Shakeology cleanse. I've kinda plateaued, so I think this is just the thing to get myself cranked be up again. Looking forward to it actually. For me exercise is about goal setting. Little ones, big ones, ones I know I'll need help to achieve. I used to spend a lot of my time doing fairly destructive behavior. Eating BADLY and doing ZERO exercise, but that all changed in November of 2008 when I signed up for my first half marathon. Can't do with out working out now.

Wanna join me in my "springing" into action? C'mon it'll be fun!
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