Run Safe

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Why I Run?

Doesn't it seem like you have to answer this question more than you should? Isn't it strange how it makes so much sense to you and absolutely no sense to so many of your friends and family members? When I was out on the trails last weekend, for my 12 mile run, I started to ponder this topic. On a whim I decided to pull out my phone and capture my thoughts with the intent of writing this post. As the moment unfolded there were a couple funny moments that made this too priceless not to share with you directly. Unfortunately, it's not very easy to share a simple audio clip so this is being shared as a file which you will need to download (I think) here.

I think I should clarify one point in this audio about competition.  I love watching competitive running.  I'm envious of the speed and power I see in competitive runners.  When I went back and listened to this it sounded like I was minimizing those that do run competitively-that was not my intent.  I was speaking to the masses of runners who struggle with calling themselves runners because they feel they are not fast enough.

Here's a couple pictures from the run that morning.  Silver Springs State park in Illinois.

Monday, August 19, 2013

I Am Funny Shirts-Review

I was recently contacted by the creator of I Am shirts, Matthew Perret, and asked if I'd be willing to check out their line of shirts.  Matthew explained they had a large collection of shirts which included an entire line of running shirts.  How do I turn down that?!  I was asked to pick out my favorite and it arrived three days later.  When the shirt arrived I found a fava bean with the company logo on it.  According to "legend" this bean is supposed to bring luck.

The first thing I noticed about this shirt was it's softness.  In watching the intro video on their website I learned this shirt is made of a blended material which included a material called rayon.  According the I Am, this gives the shirt an already washed feeling and over time the shirt will continue to get softer and softer.  Another interesting fact about these shirts is they dye they use.  The inks are eco friendly and are a unique formula used only by the I Am brand.  The ink is dyed into the shirt rather than printed onto the shirt.  The design has a weathered  look to it.

So I know what you're thinking, "can I run in it?"  While the shirt is not marketed or sold as a running shirt I had to know if it was a shirt that could be added to my running days.  I wore the shirt out on a 6 mile run the first time out.  The temps were mild (low 60s f) which allowed me to stay pretty cool during this easier, slow paced run.  The second time I wore the shirt out, I intentionally waited for a warmer day.  We haven't had too many really warm days here in the midwest recently so it took some time for that to happen.

While I waited I wore the shirt out to the casino one night to see if it would bring me any luck, of course I took my new lucky bean with me.  I must say I was looking sharp in my "Your pace or mine." I am shirt with some jeans and nice shoes but the bean, well let's just say it didn't live up to the hype.

It's not easy to take a selfy of your sweaty armpits
Back to the hot run.  On the warmer day, I ran about 4 miles in the shirt and worked up a pretty good sweat.  This would not be a shirt I would run in again.  It wasn't to the degree of wearing a cotton shirt but after a couple of sweaty miles it became an issue.   As I stated earlier this shirt is not marketed or promoted as a running shirt and given that fact, I can't really call this a negative.

If you stick with using this shirt as your fashion statement running shirt or for running on those cooler days you'll be happy.

One finally note about the I am running shirts they are all individually hand made and made in the USA.  Head on over to their site, maybe you'll find your next favorite shirt there....well,
second favorite to your RunJunkEes shirt :)

Friday, July 26, 2013

The Handana Review

Recently, I had the opportunity to try out a pretty unique new product called the Handana.  It's marketed as a "high performance sweatband for running and other sports."  Here's the description from their website "It’s made of soft, durable wicking SupplexTM LycraTM fabric that wraps around your hand allowing you to use both sides of your Handana hand to wipe sweat from your eyes, nose, neck or forehead. Your hand and fingers are completely free to keep your stride smooth, steer your bike or to open snacks and water bottles."

I was contacted about trying out the Handana and was surprised when it showed up in the mail two days later.  My opinion, fast shipping is usually a good indicator of someone who is passionate about what they are doing and that was further confirmed after inspecting the quality workmanship of the product.  Here are some of the product highlights:

  • Made of SupplexTM LycraTM fabric that is soft, durable and wicks away moisture
  • Comfortable, glove-like fit
  • Multiple sizes and colors
  • Machine washable
  • Lightweight, natural fit around your hand
  • Perfect for allergy sufferers and people who sweat
  • Great for running, cycling, yoga, racquet sports and more!
  • Made in the USA

The Handana can also be worn on either hand.   I asked for the same size that I would normally wear in a glove. The fit was snug but not to the point of uncomfortable.  There were several factors in my testing favor on the day one of testing the Handana. Several days prior I was involved in a rollover car crash and in my effort to get out of the car I cut my hand up pretty bad. The wound was still bandaged and raw on the day I ran with the Handana. In addition to the wound I decided to go on a trail run on a day with high humidity and temps in the upper 80's.  

The Handana performed as described and then some.  It effectively provided a simple way to wipe the sweat from my face. Normally on a hot run like this a hat, headband or visor will help but short of a gutter strapped to my forehead I don't think anything will keep all of the sweat away.  I would usually take my shirt off and carry it to use as my towel. The Handana allowed me to keep my hands free. It also added a little extra protection for my booboo.  

Another benefit of the sticky hands.  I usually end up with some degree of gels and/or sports drink on my hands when out on a run.  But on my second Handana run my tactic  was to carry my handheld in the same hand as my water bottle.  Only problem here was now I couldn't use It to wipe the sweat however it did a pretty decent job at keeping my hand sticky free.  I almost wish I had one for each hand. 

On my third run I first soaked the Handana with cold water. The thought was to use it as a cooling towel. I didn't feel this worked too well. It was great at first but it didn't stay cold.  This is not a marketed feature of the product but thought it would be worth a try. 

In addition to running, I could see this being useful in other activities such as cycling, yoga and probably many more I'm not thinking of. 

One other use I'm going explore with the Handana is to use it as a way to keep my hands warm.  Don't get me wrong in the dead of winter these are going to cut it alone.  But, as an added layer under your gloves or mittens they would work great.  

In addition to my running adventures I also play the bagpipes. I told Katie, the founder of the Handana company, I think these might be an effective option to blocking the wind but still leave enough freedom of movement for my fingers. 

If you'd like to learn more about the Handana or their product line go to