Tag Archives: roadid

Road ID Review: (Road ID Sport/ Ankle Strap/ iPhone App)

Ok, confession time. I have made no secret that I am a Tech/ Gadget/ Accessory guy. When I go out to run, it’s a process. GPS Watch, Heart Rate Monitor, Compression Socks, Compression Shorts, Energy Gels, Hydration Bottle or Backpack (depending on how far I’m going), Dry Fit Visor or Bandana, Sunglasses, Moisture Wicking shorts and shirt, iPod Shuffle and Yurbuds earphones, etc, etc…the point I am trying to make is I run with a lot of stuff. All of it is useful in its own way, but a lot is “nice to have” and not “need to have” stuff, if you know what I mean. I love it but when you look at it all it adds up to quite the little collection of equipment for a sport that is supposedly easy and inexpensive. I saw this cartoon online the other day and had to laugh, because it may as well have been drawn from any random day in my house.

Cartoon

But even when you consider all that stuff, if you were to ask me “out of all of your gear, what is the one item that is really indispensable?” If I had to pick only one thing to carry with me at all times, and was only allowed to carry that one and only one item, I would not even have to hesitate. RoadID. Without question it’s the most important thing I put on every time I go out for a run (or bike, or swim, or whatever). RoadID was my first ever review, and I am now getting a chance to go back and revisit it with a lot more perspective (and sweat, and runs, and miles) under my belt. It was really important back then and is even more so now.

Road ID logo

So, if you are not familiar, RoadID is a company that specializes in producing “wearable Identification” so you can have a permanent source of your personal info on you at all time, with the express intent of it being able to speak for you in the event something happens and you are not able to speak for yourself. It’s EXTREMELY durable- your info is engraved into a metal plate and then very securely attached to one of the various straps. There are a few options to wear it on your wrist: a nylon bracelet strap, a wide rubber strap, a thin rubber strap (resembling a “livestrong bracelet”), and then a bunch of other options like an ankle strap, shoe tag, dog tags, etc. They are all reflective, super durable, waterproof, and designed to stand up to the mast hardcore of workouts and stand the test of time. I can’t recommend this strongly enough. Most likely, you won’t ever have to deal with a situation where you (or more specifically, emergency personnel) even need to reference this, but in that off chance that something ever does, it can literally be the difference between life or death, your loved ones tracking you down in an emergency, etc.

 There was a story shared in one of the online running groups I belong to telling about how the one of the member’s spouse was running in a larger race (a marathon with several thousand runners) and she was waiting for him at the finish line and he never showed up. Turns out he had collapsed (from dehydration/exhaustion…luckily it all worked out ok and he is doing fine now) on the course and was taken care of  by emergency crews at the race immediately and transported/checked into the hospital while they treated him. Since he was not running with any form of identification on him he was registered under the name of John Doe. Long story short it took several hours for the wife to track him down and find out what happened. That story alone gives me a stress headache, and should cement why you need to get yourself one of these. If he had a RoadID on, the wife’s name and phone number (not to mention his own name and info) would have been right there, and she could have been there with him the entire way. If that were me, or even worse, if the shoe was on the other foot and it was my wife that was missing and I did not know where she was/ what happened to her it would be absolutely nightmarish for me. For that thought alone I will flat out never leave the house to work out without this product.

I was given the opportunity to update my RoadID (which is great, because I moved, changed my phone numbers and needed to get a new one), and was graciously provided the chance to order a new RoadID Sport and the corresponding ankle strap. The nice thing about these two products is that the same plate from the wrist strap and be removed and attached to the ankle strap when I want to switch it up. I got the Bracelet ID for my running, and thought it would be a good idea to have the Ankle Strap on hand for when I start my Triathlons next year. (The timing chip issued to you during Tris is typically attached to you via an elastic ankle strap, and this one will serve to hold my RoadID as well as accept the timing chip…2 birds, one awesome stone). I’ll touch on each separately.

The bracelet style ID I ordered, The RoadID Sport, is a single strap with a loop on one end and Velcro closure. This is good because you can size it as needed. This is great if you are wearing it a little higher up your arm to accommodate an additional something on your wrist like a wristband or gloves, this is easy to adjust and stay secure. It’s a basic black nylon woven strap and the white stitching on either side is actually reflective material, so it reacts and is pretty noticeable when any light hits it. There is even a little white rubber box seen into the band that says ID on it in case people are looking for it. The nice thing is that (by design) all the materials used to make this are built to last. There is no clasp to fail, the strap is Velcro, and even the engraved plate is metal hooked onto elastic loops to attach it to the strap. So everything is completely sweat/waterproof. I don’t think twice about going for a summer run (where I know it will be completely drenched by the time I’m done running) or jumping in the pool with this on. All in all, it’s as durable as it is important. Great product and highly recommended.

 Wrist Blacked Out

 The ankle strap is about an inch wide piece of foam to rest against your leg, with a nylon Velcro closure that wraps around and fastens it securely. The closure also has reflective material all the way around, and a built in place for the engraved ID place to affix to the strap as well. I’ve worn it now on a few runs and bike rides, and I literally forget it’s on. At least with my wrist, I’m always aware of it because it’s always right there in my line of sight. With the ankle strap, however, I sit down and go to take my shoes off and “oh yeah, the RoadID”. It’s nice I know that it won’t be a distraction when it comes time to train for and participate in my upcoming Tris. There’s not terribly too much to say about it, it’s a strap that holds a little metal plate that is engraved with all of your personal info. It exists solely for one single purpose and it completes this purpose extremely well.

Ankle Blacked Out

I hope I have stressed the importance of this item enough, and the last word I want to say on the subject is: dude, it’s twenty bucks. If you are willing to trade your Starbucks for a week or two in exchange for a piece of gear that can literally save your ass in an emergency, why would you not do it? There’s a lot of frivolous running gear out there that you definitely do not need, but this is not one of them. I honestly feel like this should be mandatory.  Just do it.

 The other aspect of this review that I wanted to touch on is another new offering from RoadID; their new iPhone app. This free app is in keeping with the same safety minded approach to your workouts as the wearable identification, and is actually intended to compliment, not replace it. But the basic premise of the app is this. It allows you to set up to 5 contacts to be notified via email or text that you are out on a run/ bike ride/ workout and offer those contacts a link where they can track your workout path and location in real time on an online interactive map. The interactive map is important because that means that they get a text or email with a link to the map that they can access from any device that can get to the internet, so they do not need to also have the app downloaded in order for you to utilize this. The location is provided by your phone’s GPS.

App Icon

This is huge for me. I always run with my phone anyway. Now I know that if she ever has any question, my wife can log in and see exactly where I am. In addition to my family being able to gauge how far I am from home, there is also a built in feature that can be enabled where if the user is stationary for more than 5 straight minutes it will notify all of your selected contacts and send them info regarding your location. The logic behind this is that although the app does not know if you have actually been in an accident or not, being stationary for 5+ minutes can be a very good indicator of that. The app plays a warning to the user as it nears the 5 min threshold, in case you stop for a bathroom/water break, are changing a bike tire or just bumped into an old friend and have been chit chatting and lost track of time. And lastly, on top of all that, the app allows you to set the lock screen of you iPhone (the screen that comes up when you press the power button but have not done the “slide to unlock” thing to get into the actual phone yet) with your name and the name/phone numbers of your emergency contacts as well. This will allow first responders to call your peeps from your own phone in the event of an emergency. Just imagine if the “Hospitalized Hubby”  from the story above had his phone and this app enabled when he went down. It could have been a drastically different story, both for him and his emotionally put out wife.

So Real-Time Tracking, a notification if you are stationary for 5 Min or more, and a Lock screen on your phone with access to your emergency contacts. That’s one hell of a good set of safety and tracking features.

I have used this app now on several runs as well as a few bike rides, some as far as 17 miles. It’s kept up and accurately reflected where I was when I was out there. The nice thing is, it plays nicely with other apps, too. I recognize this is a matter that is largely determined by the user and their particular iPhone, but every time I run I already have my phone on because I am an avid user of Charity Miles (www.charitymiles.org), and I am happy to report that the RoadID app runs right along and does not interfere with the Charity Miles app. A little something for me, a little something for others. All good. It does deplete your iphone battery faster with the GPS constantly running, but that was a reality that I was already dealing with by using the Charity Miles (as it also uses the phones GPS to track you) and adding the RoadID app does not make it deplete any faster than it already was. So it’s a free app and has no negative ramifications at all. Again, it does not make sense not to use this if you can.

 *I am attaching some screen shots of the app so you can see what I am talking about, or you can follow this LINK directly to the app store and download it yourself. Again it’s free and designed to protect you. It seems like it’s in your best interests to use it. I know that I now consider it an integral part of my workout. Yes, it takes a few extra swipes to get it up and running, but for me it’s worth it. 

Lock Screen Blacked Out Map Blacked Out

As always, these reviews are designed to point you in the right direction. Check out the RoadID Website HERE  for yourself and see if you agree with me/ decide for yourself if this type of product is worth it. Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps.

______________________________________________________

I am approaching this review from my standard viewpoint of what I believe the core interest of this blog really gets at: that is to say I am presenting my review by looking at this product from the perspective of a person who is relatively new to the running world, has some weight to lose and wants go about losing the weight by starting to incorporate a more active lifestyle and want to know how sift through the volumes of available gear/ equipment out there.

One of the great benefits to running a blog like this one is that it puts me in a position from time to time to receive various products to use and review for you. Oftentimes, these items are provided to me free of charge. This is the only type of compensation I have ever received, and my acceptance of these items in no way constitutes any obligation to provide an unwarranted positive review. My opinions on the products are unfiltered and 100% my own.

**This product was provided to me free of charge, but again, this does not influence my review or views on the product in any way**

Also please note that these are the personal opinions and experiences of one individual (me) on my personal blog, and intended to be taken as such. I personally, and The Running My Ass Off Blog do not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

**Sorry, just have to cover my ass here. These are unbiased reviews, intended only to help. I’m not going to try and sell you anything, nor do I want you to take my opinions as the final word on any product. Let me help you figure out what you should check out, and then check the stuff out for yourself to see if you like it.**

Holding Steady For Real / Long Runs Done – Got My Peeps Lined Up / Bittersweet Goodbye To My Lake

So I have said this before, but this time, there is actual truth and some time behind it.
I am holding steady at my current weight. Whereas before I had a little consistency and I thought it was lasting, every time I proclaimed to be steady in the weight department, I would drop down a little more. I’m happy to report that I have been within one pound of 208 (120 pounds lost) now for close to a month, and I think I may have finally found the balance required to keep it there. Of course, I may have just given myself the kiss of death and doomed my scale to show a different number again as well…
It’s taken a lot of getting used to, but I am getting more comfortable with eating more. I take one day off a month where I just let myself just really go for it… I use race day since it’s a day where I know I’m burning a ton of calories and it’s kind of a way to reward myself. Not as much with the actual food per se, moreso with the mental day off and not having to think/ (over)analyze any food choices / and just relax and enjoy myself. I also use that day to treat myself to some things that I would not want to go for any other day because the calories would just not be worth it. Case in point, after my Half Marathon, I really want to go to lunch at one of my two favorite places to eat in Philly. I will either be at The Famous 4th Street Deli eating a literal mountain of corned beef and eggs, or at Tommy DiNic’s in the Reading Terminal eating one of the best things you will ever put in your mouth, their (recently voted “best sandwich in America) famous Italian Roast Pork sandwich. Seriously, it’s insane how good it is. Easily over a thousand calories just for the sandwich alone but worth every single one of them… But I digress… back to the weight. I know come the xmas holiday season (once my second half marathon is over on nov. 18th) that it will take some re-adjusting again, as I will not be running my long training runs and burning 1000-2000 calories at a shot anymore., but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it. I plan on keeping up on my own little “maintence” routine to keep me active and sane. That schedule should provide some burn and balance to help keep me in check. But again, that is then, this is now. Here’s hoping that I can maintain the 208 for another month, and then another…

I am entering what is known to the avid runner community as “taper week”. Basically what it means is you are tapering off your training the week before a big race to rest up for the race day push. Another way to say this is that all of my long training runs are finished for the first half marathon. I’m as ready as I’m going to be, both physically and mentally. I am looking forward to some decent weekly runs, a lighter (in comparison to recent weeks) weekend long run, and then some easy runs next week to keep loose and get ready to go for my first Half Marathon. I am excited and very slowly getting less nervous and more confident. Still around 50/50, and I am so happy it’s almost go time. Let’s do this bitch. I have a great group of people to run with, and ironically (it’s actually pretty awesome, actually), the group is the same as my very first 5K back in February (well, plus one extra friend (Donna) I hope to bump into during the race). First and foremost I will be running with my co-workers Maureen and Lauren. We have all been going at this since jumpstreet and have been support for each other the whole way, so getting to reunite the group to tackle this 13.1 is going to be great. Looking forward to re-creating this picture, only without the snow, winter gear, some extra pounds, and Lauren’s closed eyes… In addition to the work crew, I have a (previously mentioned) friend Donna who I met years ago through visiting my wife (then girlfriend) up at her college where they played rugby together. Donna is another one of those friends who I kind of always viewed as already in shape, so when she reached out to me to let me know that she started running again and was planning on doing the Rock and Roll, I got excited. To be able to hang with the likes of those who were out running miles even years back while all I was doing was running to McDonalds for quarter pounders is still a little bit humbling to me. And lastly, and most importantly to me, I get the chance again to run side by side with my Uncle Mario. Uncle Mario is a more experienced runner who whose first race after completing the Philadelphia Marathon last year was to take several steps back and very graciously run my first 5k with me. He has been a sounding board and one of my biggest and most vocal supporters literally step of the way. From before I even started any of this, he’s been there for me, so to be honest it only makes sense (and really means a lot) for me to be able to come full circle and run my first Half with him as well. Really looking forward to it. 11 days and counting.

So the big move is coming up this weekend, and with it, I say a very fond farewell to my lake. Yes, I know it’s not mine. Don’t break my stones, you know what I mean. Sure, I can still drive up there, only difference is that instead of being 15 minutes away it’ll be a 45+ minute drive each way. So it’s do-able but just not convenient anymore. Especially when I have my choice of multiple options within 5 minutes of my new place (and a treadmill in the basement), one of which being a just shy of 3 mile (each direction) paved running path that is literally minutes from my house. It’s just like the lake, except there is no view except trees and the backs of houses, and it’s out and back and instead of a big loop. It fits the bill perfectly, but I have come into my own running at Peace Valley Park/ Lake Galena, both physically and emotionally, and I’m really going to miss it. I understand they run a 10K there every year, maybe I’ll look into running in that race, just for nostalgia’s sake. Something to look into for the future, at least. The Horsham Power Line Trail will be my new primary training spot and I’m looking forward to it. As much as I have grown at the lake, I’m hoping I can equal and surpass it on the Power Line Trail. Look for me if you’re ever out there. Here’s to moving on to bigger and better…

Anyway, that’s enough for now, but I will be back soon. I have this month’s photo update coming up, as well as another product review for some badass running gear from http://www.inknburn.com!

More on that soon, and until next time, take it easy.

Andy

***ROAD ID PRODUCT REVIEW AND GIVEAWAY***/ Thoughts on my changing body

Having lost all the weight that I have I am faced with a few undeniable truths that have admittedly taken some getting used to, specifically in regards to my new body (in comparison to the way I used to be and was VERY accustomed to) I have discussed all these before, but I have a point to make and it all bears repeating:

1)     First, I used to be hot all the time. Desk fan in February hot. Fog car windows up in the wintertime hot. No more. Now I am frickin freezing all the time. I actually caught myself thinking out loud yesterday that I should bring a sweater into work to keep for when they really crank the Air Conditioning and it gets too damn cold to think.

2)     Second, My ass is gone. It mysteriously disappeared. Now it’s not totally a shocker, I did set out to lose the weight. I guess I was just hoped it would be more belly and less ass to go though. My butt falls asleep all the time now when I’m sitting too long…and I have a desk job, so I’m generally dealing with a tingling backside come the afternoon.

3)     And Third, and most importantly, I used to be a rather imposing figure. I never had to worry about much in terms of physical harm. In the words of one of my closest friends (which is why he could get away with saying this) when we were talking about me forgetting to lock the deadbolt on the apartment door I lived in at the time one night: “seriously, who’s going to steal the 300 pound man?” He knew as well as I did that if I was up and looked angry, odds are most people looking to break in would pick a different target. This too, sadly, is no more. I love my new body, I love the energy I have, the way my clothes fit me and the way I generally feel now. But I still have to wrap my head around the fact I am not the giant people mover that I used to be. In the words of my brother Chris from just this past weekend when we were talking about it; rather than being the big guy in the crowd, now I’m “just another dude in a v-neck t shirt”.

This third point is where I want to settle and discuss, because while it thrills me that I am no longer easily distinguishable by my girth alone, it does present a new set of worries that honestly never crossed my mind before. I am very in tune with my body now and very aware of just how big I am (or should I say “how big I am not anymore”). This is especially prevalent in terms of when I am running; which is typically done alone and in off the beaten path areas, like the jogging path around a lake. If something were to happen to me, while I am much healthier, I simply do not have the sheer size I used to which could much more easily fend things and/or people off; especially for instance if you catch me on mile 8 or 9 of a long run. This is a concern, and while the odds are nothing is ever going to happen, the chance that something might does warrant at least some consideration.

For this reason I became interested in a company called Road ID. They make products that, as the name would imply, serve as a wearable ID that you can incorporate as part of your workout gear and have on you to speak for you, even (or especially) in the event something happens and you can’t speak for yourself. I was given the opportunity to order one for myself and then review it for you, and I am happy to do so.

So let me hit you with the basics first off: what exactly is a Road ID and why specifically do I like it? Like I mentioned, in its most boiled down explanation, Road ID is a wearable form of identification that you incorporate into your everyday workout gear. It is intended for runners, cyclists, swimmers, or basically anybody whose workout takes them outdoors. There are various different styles to choose from, a few different bracelet models, one for your ankle, one that attaches to your shoe, and even a dog tag looking necklace version. It consists of an engraved metal plate that has your info permanently etched into it (for longevity and durability’s sake) and then some form of strap to attach it to yourself. The dog tags are obviously on a chain, the bracelets, ankle strap, and shoe model are all attached to an adjustable strap to wear.

I ordered the smallest of the three various sized bracelets, the Wrist ID Slim. It comes on a rubber bracelet, much like the standard issue “Livestrong” or other “Cause” style rubber bracelet. So it’s the rubber bracelet with a tiny metal cuff on it, maybe an inch long and the same width as the bracelet itself that has all my ID info on it. In the 5 lines of text that is allowable I was able to fit: my full name, my nickname, what town I am from, my home phone number, my wife’s name and her phone number, my date of birth, some medical info, and still had enough room to throw in a little motivational saying: “Running My Ass Off”.

If god forbid something should ever happen where someone had to read this, in this wireless Internet information age what’s engraved on that metal cuff can get you access to most of my important info, especially if you are a medical personnel who has the tools to access that kind of info quickly.

To me this seems like a no brainer. Much like insurance, it’s something that you don’t ever want to use but it can be a life saver (literally) if you ever do need it. I’m not going to belabor the intent or function of this anymore; it’s a wearable form of ID that is there to protect you in the event you need it. Simple, functional, important.

Just as important as the function is the form of the product. Or in other words, even though it’s clearly an important piece of equipment,  if it either impedes your training in any way, if it’s inconvenient, or if it’s ugly as hell, people are not going to buy it/ wear it. Say what you will about the principle of the matter, it’s the truth. So let me address that as well.

The model I got (the Wrist ID Slim), as the name implies is very small, not intrusive at all, and comes on a very discrete, nondescript rubber bracelet. I actually took it off of the bracelet it came on and put it on my Livestrong bracelet that I wear when I’m running. It fits perfect and you honestly would never know it was there. After wearing it on an 11 mile run, I can say that it didn’t rub or cause any distraction on any way. It weighs next to nothing so I am very pleased in that respects.

The engraved plate is your standard dull silver stainless steel color, not remarkable or flashy, but modern enough to look current and sporty. It kind of blends in with the bracelet and did not affect my run in any way, which I suspect is entirely the point. I chose the slim because I didn’t want anything big and in your face, although what I sacrificed in size with the slim as opposed to the larger “sport” or “elite” versions is an even more obvious ID and an extra line of engraveable text. I was ok with it because I was able to stay low key and still pack in all the info I wanted to on the slim, otherwise I would have been happy with either of the other 2 bracelet options, both are cool/sporty enough that I would not mind wearing them.

Most importantly, with this Road ID, it gives my wife peace of mind.  When I’m out running she always knows roughly where I’m at, but for example, the 6 mile trail around the lake is a pretty damn big place, so pinpointing me exactly is tough to do. That peace of mind to me is worth the price tag in and of itself.

Speaking of price, this is not a “luxury item” or “break the bank” piece of gear, The price tag for my bracelet? $17.48. Seventeen bucks and change for peace of mind seems like a pretty good deal to me. Even if you go for the most expensive model they offer (the Wrist ID Elite at $29.99) you’re not talking big bucks here.

So it’s safe to say I’m a fan of the Road ID and readily recommend it. It really is an ingenious thing, so simple but very powerful all at the same time. I have already decided it’s going to be a part of my running gear from today on.

***HERE”S THE GIVEAWAY PART***

I am actually so impressed with my Road ID that I worked with the account representative and secured one (actually, a gift card big enough to cover the cost of any of their products) to give away to one reader who agrees with me and would want one of their very own.

So all I have to do is run the giveaway, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing. So here’s how it’s going to work:

To enter, answer one of the following two questions in the comments section of this blog post, or answer one of the questions in the form of a comment in the posting on the Bigandysrunning facebook page.

Since this blog is based around both weight loss and running, I’ll hit you with a question intended for each group:

                       Weight Loss Readers:

  • Since you are most likely just beginning your training and looking at longer and longer runs/workouts in your future, what kind of safety concerns might you have?  

                  And for the more established runners:

  • Have you ever had a close call on the road?

**you don’t have to answer both, just pick one**

You can also “like” Road ID on facebook or “follow” them on twitter for an additional entry. You have to like them, and then come back here and let me know in the comments though in order to get your extra entry.

And that’s it. The deadline to enter is 12:00 noon, EST on Wed, Sept. 12th. So there it is: my first official product review is in the books, I hope you like it.

**I also included some pics so you can see what I’m talking about. I have blacked out most of my personal info because….well, it’s my personal info.

 ______________________________________________________

I am approaching this review from my standard viewpoint of what I believe the core interest of this blog really gets at: that is to say I am presenting my review by looking at this product from the perspective of a person who is relatively new to the running world, has some weight to lose and wants go about losing the weight by starting to incorporate a more active lifestyle and want to know how sift through the volumes of available gear/ equipment out there.

One of the great benefits to running a blog like this one is that it puts me in a position from time to time to receive various products to use and review for you. Oftentimes, these items are provided to me free of charge. This is the only type of compensation I have ever received, and my acceptance of these items in no way constitutes any obligation to provide an unwarranted positive review. My opinions on the products are unfiltered and 100% my own.

**This product was provided to me free of charge, but again, this does not influence my review or views on the product in any way**

Also please note that these are the personal opinions and experiences of one individual (me) on my personal blog, and intended to be taken as such. I personally, and The Running My Ass Off Blog do not accept any liability from the purchase or use of any products reviewed on this blog.

**Sorry, just have to cover my ass here. These are unbiased reviews, intended only to help. I’m not going to try and sell you anything, nor do I want you to take my opinions as the final word on any product. Let me help you figure out what you should check out, and then check the stuff out for yourself to see if you like it.**