Tagged: running

Gear Junkie: Bia Multisport GPS Watch Review & Giveaway

No 'shrink it and pink it' here: it was fascination at first click. Who wouldn't fall for a watch that affirms badassery post workout? Woman owned and operated with a very open, honest dialogue with their customer base and backers, partnering with Bia Sport for our upcoming Bay Area Title 9K was a natural choice. The fastest woman and fastest gal over the line in September will both receive a killer prize pack, including the new-to-market Bia multisport GPS watch. This T9HQ resident gear junkie was thrilled to get her paws on a Bia - and am even more thrilled to announce that Title Nine and Bia Sport are teaming up to give YOU a chance to win a Kickstarter edition watch of your own! Simply register for the Bay Area Title 9K by Friday, August 29th and you'll be automatically entered to win. REG-NOW-BUTTON With the watch fresh off of Kickstarter, I was fortunate enough to meet with the gals from Bia Sport in person and receive a Kickstarter edition Bia to try. I'll admit that I love my current Garmin - we've been through a lot of firsts together - but I was amazed at some of the new features Bia pulled out. Here's the problem: being a tech loving gear junkie means I am not easily swayed. Simply making something cute or colorful doesn't get me excited - it really has to have a punch to it as well. A born and raised Silicon Valley brat with a penchant for technology - and accidental distance runner - I love great gear, and especially all things tech. My first Garmin GPS watch was hardly a looker. It was wider than my wrist and weighed almost as much as my guinea pig, but it saw me through just the same. When you're a slight 5'4 wannabe, every ounce on your trying-to-be-an-endurance-athlete frame counts. I had put up with the 'GPS satellite dance' and having a big, heavy clonker bouncing around my arm because in the end, it did the trick. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="705"] Size comparison of a Garmin vs. Bia from RacingTales.com[/caption] But what about a lighter GPS watch? One that fit my frame better and was better scaled to my person? What about a duathalon or triathalon ready GPS watch -- that comes in fun colors? Enter Bia Sport and their groundbreaking multisport watch. FullBia_Turq   HIGHLIGHTS: - The first watch of its kind designed for women, by women. (Don't worry gents. It works for you too! Check out DC Rainmaker's review here.) - Truly instant GPS: fire up the watch, wake up the Go Stick and you're out the door. Once a workout is completed, it is automatically uploaded to Bia's website: no need to sync after, plug in or seek out a wireless network. - Runners, cyclists, swimmers, duathletes and triathletes rejoice: not only will it track open water swims, but it will have duathalon and triathlon tracking capabilities. They're also working on aquathalon and Jeff Galloway run/walk features. - Don't panic! The Bia boasts a new 'SOS' emergency feature: hold down the single button for 3-4 seconds at any given time and an alert is sent to important person(s,) complete with a Google dot with the user's exact location. - Fun affirmations appear on the recap screen after every workout.
click for Alison's review on RacingTales.com
The Bia is a two-part product. The single-button, touch screen wearable watch never requires charging and comes in a variety of colors. The rechargable Go Stick houses all the GPS - and thus, instant workout upload goodness. While folks initially had concerns about bulk, the Go Stick is no larger than a packet of Gu. It has also been updated to have a life of up to 17 hours - long enough for 100K competitors. [caption id="" align="alignnone" width="504"] Comparison from UltraRunnerPodcast.com[/caption] SIZING: The Bia is made to not sit on the wrist bones and rub them raw; the angled design is made to be worn higher on the forearm, making 'time check' visibility easier to the wearer. Ever open about their product development, Bia recently began including special plastic loops to help the current adjustable velcro band stay-put during rigorous activity. (Kickstarter backers and prior purchasers can request these free of charge.) EASE OF USE: No booklets, no slew of cords, no docks: the Bia's only instructions are a slip of paper that begins "Say HELLO to your Bia and don't freak out." There's no quick start guide needed. Within minutes, I was registered, had my husband set up via text message as my SOS contact, and was ready to head out the door on my first run. The Bia features a single button and a touchscreen. THE NITTY GRITTY: [Editor's note - functionality listing updated 8/29] It's not just a watch, a GPS watch, a stopwatch. Bia's instant updates have begun delivering triathlon functionality. Here's what a user can expect to find function for now, with * designating updates that are still in process. Any and all software updates happen quickly, updating the Bia to have new functionality without the user having to purchase the 'next' model. - RUN: just run, run/walk, intervals, indoor*, laps - BIKE: just ride, indoor* - SWIM: 25 yard*, 50 meter*, open water -MULTISPORT: brick, duathlon, triathlon, aquathlon, aquabike RUN TEST Christina tested this during: road runs, trail runs, track work (to test the 'slap to lap' function) "No more 'GPS dance' when I get ready to go running. I used to start my run-prep with turning on my GPS watch and putting it near a window, or right outside so it could find satellites. Plus, I usually run with my four legged run buddies, who aren't so good at calling for help if I fell and twisted an ankle. Knowing I can send an SOS alert with my exact location makes me feel safer when I don't have my phone. If I were a mom, I'd probably be the type to ask my kid to use the SOS function as a check-in if they were running solo. I'll totally admit I was wary of the Go Stick, but once I found a secure spot it basically disappeared. For my recent half marathon, I stashed it in my Hydraquiver, and have even clipped it to my dog's harness before." [caption id="attachment_7401" align="alignnone" width="717"]Screen Shot 2014-08-21 at 1.57.46 PM A screenshot from Bia's site. Additional information, such as splits for the workout, can also be found online.[/caption] OPEN WATER SWIM TEST Lisa tested this during: open water lake swim "I'm a lifeguard and a swimmer and have to say I was very impressed: I'd never seen anything truly waterproof that tracked open water swims with such accuracy. As the person who tends to swim away from the rest of the group, the biggest thing for me was the SOS. Knowing I could basically call for help to my partner on land is some serious security. I clipped the Go Stick to my goggles outside my cap and was good to go!"   WIN A BIA MULTISPORT GPS WATCH OF YOUR OWN Ready to score your own instant-upload GPS watch? It's simple! REG-NOW-BUTTON Register for the 2014 Bay Area Title 9K by Friday August 29th and automatically be entered in a drawing to win this Kickstarter edition Bia multisport GPS watch: Bia Press - Pink Side We can't wait to see you out at the starting line in September!   Tell us: have you tried the Bia multisport GPS watch? What would your first adventure with your new GPS watch be?

Photo Gallery: What a Mother Runner Looks Like

If you saw our previous post on the What a Mother Runner Looks Like, you know that it's some powerful, inspiring stuff. The photo submissions for the project were such a success that their release was split into two parts. We chose to share with you the second edition as the copy is beautifully written and says a lot about the project. You can also see photos from Part 1 here, and the rest of Part 2, here. And again, please feel free to participate in the project by sending us your photos! We will happily share and deliver photos to AMR on your behalf. 

What does a mother runner look like? Strong. And smiley.

Up today: round two of What Another Mother Runner Looks Like. 75 or so mother runners who come in a range of shapes and sizes, but personify what mother runners stand for: confidence, strength, ambition, inspiration, vibrancy. I hope the combined 132 pictures drove home the point that there is no such thing as a stereotypical runner. Sure, there are wisps who whip across the line seemingly effortlessly—and there are a few of them in this collection (and yes, we love you and your little bods!)—but the majority of the pack are runners who might have bulky quads; who might have a little extra bulge on their midsection; who might be far from the “ideal” runner physique. But here’s the thing about the majority of us: we’re dominating the race fields. Some days, we’re running long. Some days, we’re running fast. Some days, we’re just running. We’re setting PR’s and killing the hills. We’re surprised by how running has become ingrained in our DNA, the reward of dedication and consistency. We’re inspiring others to try it. In short, we are redefining what a runner looks like. I wanted to share a few thoughts from Rebecca, who describes herself as overweight/obese since puberty (“and three pregnancies haven’t helped,” she adds). When she submitted her picture, she wrote, [caption id="" align="alignleft" width="320"] Rebecca went outside her comfort zone to participate. That’s some serious strength.[/caption]  “I like your idea for a photo essay: real women, with real bodies. It’s outside my comfort zone, but I’ve decided to include my photo because I think there are plenty of other women out there whose bodies look more like mine than any of the 14 shown so far. And I think it would mean a lot to those other women to see someone more like themselves. Women who equally value the another mother runner community that the two of you promote.” Rebecca: we so appreciate you—and the rest of you—who have put yourself out there. There is a reason why this community is so valuable: it’s as strong and supportive as the collective legs we run on. Again, I ask you to please share this gallery: Facebook it, tweet it, send it to your pals. Thank you, thank you. And here’s the link to Part I in case you missed it. (And full disclosure: I am not in this. I meant to be, but it’s 9:15 p.m. and I have to run at 5:20 a.m. and I have no interest into changing into a sports bra and spandex right now. Raincheck. Promise.)

What Does a Mother Runner Look Like?

Dimity over at Another Mother Runner sent ustweet earlier this week saying, "these  #motherrunners stand for exactly what you do: strength, confidence, beauty, awesomeness." She was right. Without disclosing too much information, we are happy to promote their photo essay, What a Mother Runner Looks Like. Please, feel free to participate in the project by sharing your photos! Be proud of your work, of your body and YOU! We will happily share and deliver photos to AMR on your behalf. 

What Does a Mother Runner Look Like? 14 Exhibits and Counting

October 1, 2012; By, Dimity

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="500"] My very amenable, very brave running buddies, who stripped for me last Thursday morning, to begin a photo series. I asked the dogs to take off their collars, but they protested: they’re boy runners. Running with us is emasculating enough.[/caption] So I’ve had this idea fermenting in my head for six months now: a photo essay titled What Does a Mother Runner Look Like? A collection of pictures that celebrates the bodies that have carried us through all kinds of miles. I want to show that kickass strong and stretch marks go together–and that, despite what the cover of Runner’s World may broadcast, all sizes and shapes of bodies can be and are runners.I waffled for a long time, though, because I know how easily we women can fall into the how-great-is-her-body and how-much-does-mine-suck game? And I am not willing to promote those kind of sports. (Running? Yes. Jealousy? No.) So here’s my caveat: if you’re going to go into this post with a coveting attitude, covet just one thing: the fact that these women are so proud of their awesome, capable bodies, they’re willing to put them on display. I recruited a couple of pals to kickstart the project, because nobody likes to be first to the party. Initially, I had a very rigid idea of what I thought would work (individuals only, sports bras, short or skirt, in front of plain backdrop, whole body, head cropped off) and then I realized being rigid doesn’t make anybody’s life–and especially mine–easy. What follows is the beginnings of the album: some are group shots, some are alone, some mostly show bellies, others show full bodies, some are headless mother runners and others aren’t. As I work on being flexible, we want you–all of you, no matter how fit you feel, no matter how many little stretchy rivulets run along your abs, no matter if you’re currently channeling badass or not–to join in. Please send us a picture of yourself as a mother runner. You can be with a pal (the two- or four-legged kind); you can crop off your head or not (or ask me to do it); you can be as revealing as you want. (We’d prefer to see you in a sports bra, please, to keep some consistency with the pics.) Might be good to take the pic before a run so we don’t get you in all your sweaty glory, but we’ll take that too. Info to include: Age; number of kids (fine if you don’t have any); number of years you’ve been a runner; proudest running moment; favorite body part (no wiggling out of this one). Pull it together and send it to: runmother at gmail dot com. I will then pull it together in some cool photo album app thing and so the world will know what a mother runner looks like: proud, human, strong, badass. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360"] 43 years old, 2 kids, running for 2 years.[/caption] Proudest running moment: Just a month ago when I got to run Hood to Coast, I was very overwhelmed after finishing my last leg. Favorite body part: My brain because it is one part that keeps getting better with age well for me anyway; knowledge and wisdom increase with the years. If it has to be a visible part, it’s my legs. I truly believe that running saved my life and got me out of postpartum depression for good. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360"] 2 kids; runner for 18 years.[/caption] Proudest running moment: finishing my first marathon in 1999. I felt like I could have kept running even after 26.2 miles! Favorite body part: My arms! Always the easiest part to show how hard you have been working out! [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360"] 46 years old, 3 kids, running for 25 years.[/caption] Proudest running moment: clocking 4:01 at the Big Sur Marathon. Favorite body part: my calves. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360"] 40-something; 2 kids; runner for 6 years.[/caption] Proudest running moment: standing at the starting line of my first marathon. Favorite body part: my legs. They have carried me countless miles and they’re stronger than I give them credit for. They respond to strength training and hill running by getting stronger. If I would just listen to my legs instead of my head, I would run faster and farther…. [caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="360"] 48; 2 kids; runner for 4 years.[/caption] Proudest running moment: running my first marathon in 2010 while my daughter was going through chemotherapy for her kidney disease was a huge physical and mental achievement for me. Favorite body part: my thighs. I used to hate them: all fat, huge, giggly, with cellulite. Now they are toned, strong, and can carry me anywhere and as far as I want them to go. They still have some cellulite, but that’s ok.

2 kids; runner for 2 years.

Proudest running moment: finishing a half-marathon at the end of a 70.3 triathlon. Favorite body part: my eyes, because they never change.

45 years old; 3 kids; runner for almost 4 years.

Proudest running moment: going sub two-hours in half-marathon in April 2011. Favorite body part: my legs for sure. They’re strong and lean.

Left: 39;  2 kids; runner for 2 years. Right: 39; 2 kids; runner for 1.5 years.

Left: Proudest running moment: crossing the finish line at first mud run with 18-year-old son. Completely unassisted; no one had to carry me, as in an EMT. (Ha!) Favorite part of body: my kids. They always make me smile, and they are a part of me. Right: Proudest running moment: finishing a hateful 11 mile training run in preparation for my first half-marathon. Favorite body part: my butt. When I lost weight after pregnancy and while nursing, my behind was pancake flat. Running has made me curvy and strong again.

40-something; 4 kids; runner for 25 years.

Proudest running moment: finishing my first 100-mile race with my family and my BRFs by my side. [Editor's note: forgot to ask her what her favorite body part is. Dang it.]

55 years old; 1 kid; runner for 35 years.

Proudest running moment: when I qualified for Boston at my very first marathon at age 48. Favorite body part: Love my legs because they continue to carry me through long runs and over hill and dale.

2 kids; runner for 2 years.

Proudest running moment: finishing the Twin Cities Marathon with friends. Favorite body part: TBA.

1 kid; runner for 12 years.

Proudest running moment: with so many distractions and commitments, every single time I make it out the door for a run. Favorite body part: My waist. I’m psyched I have one. We’ll end with this beauty of a shot, taken by a professional photographer. The mother runner on the left writes, “Can you disclose this picture was from Laura Mahony, a professional photographer, who knows her lighting? It’s way more flattering than I would have gotten with a cell phone.” But wait! There's more! Be sure to check out the first set of photos Another Mother Runner received, and check out the post with the second set, Part II! Enjoy! 

Comfort Food Gets a Healthy Makeover

We spotted this article on Runner's World this morning as our little toes and fingers were freezing off and talk of soups, casseroles and hearty meals had us counting the clock for lunch. However, in gearing up for the holiday's we're doing our best to stay true to our fitness goals and maintain the hard earned shape we gained over the summer. Enter, this article! You know we love our cream and a good bar of chocolate, but there is no harm in implementing a few of the tips below to keep you feeling fresh after that big bowl of homemade chili. Enjoy! Oh baby, it’s cold outside. When the weather outside is less than forgiving—like it is where I live in Pittsburgh—comfort foods sound great. But some of these foods pack a pretty hefty calorie punch, which can make your next run feel more like a waddle. Here’s how you can still eat your favorite winter foods in an enlightened way. Chili  Make a chili with 95% lean ground meat, or a mix of lean ground meat and ground turkey breast. Add some beans, canned tomatoes and spices for flavor. Soups and stews Stew meat is extremely lean. Add veggies (fresh, frozen or canned) for a comforting meal that tastes great. When making chicken noodle soup, think more broth and veggies and less noodles. Try using a whole grain—like barley—instead of noodles for a nice chew. Hot cereal  This is one of my personal favorites. Instead of buying the presweetened varieties, buy plain oatmeal and add a protein source (skim milk, soy milk, hemp milk, almond milk or protein powder), a sweetener (preserves, maple syrup, honey, brown sugar), fruit (fresh, frozen or dried) and spice (ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, even a dash of cayenne). Mac and cheese  Play with a mac and cheese recipe too much and you may get a very unsatisfactory dish, but you can swap a few ingredients for a lower calorie treat. Try using evaporated skimmed milk instead of whole milk or cream. You can also use less cheese if you use a variety with a stronger flavor like Gruyere or Fontina. Chicken pot pie  Mark Bittman offers a great recipe for this true comfort food, which is typically full of fat in other recipes. Check it out here. Other substitutes
  • If a recipe calls for two cups of pasta, use one and add more vegetables.
  • Replace one cup of sugar with 2/3 cup and add extra sweetness through vanilla, sweet spices and fruit.
  • Cut fat from baked goods by replacing fat or oil recommendations with Greek yogurt, canned pumpkin or applesauce.
  • Add thickness to soup by adding pureed beans or split peas. It’ll make your soup creamier, more filling and add fiber and protein.
Think about improving your nutrition by adding instead of omitting. Add more vegetables to vegetable soup or throw in a few canned pumpkin cubes (keep in freezer and use as needed), throw some shredded cabbage into a salad and add dried fruit to a stew or chili (dried plums in a beef stew and tart cherries in chili are excellent). Look for more tips on making your calories work for you in my new book The Active Calorie Diet. Enjoy and stay warm. -Leslie Have a question for Leslie? E-mail her. (Please write "Ask the Sports Dietitian" in the subject line.) NOTE: Due to the volume of mail, we regret that Leslie cannot answer every e-mail. And for more guidance on fueling and diet, check out Leslie's Sports Nutrition for Coaches.