super generic girl

the awesomely average life of a girl like all others


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What if you got hurt today?

RoadID

Am I the only super pessimist runner who, on solo runs, always spends sometime wondering about all the bad stuff that could happen that very second and how would anyone she knows find out about it? Just me? Surely not.

I’ve had my share of near-misses with cars (but nothing that’ll make me give up my iPod while running) and I know there’s a reason even 5k events have ambulances stationed at certain points along the course. Bad stuff can happen any time, whether you’re out on a long run away from home or on a quick jog around your neighbourhood.

Oh dear. If you came here to be cheered up, it really wasn’t your best choice, was it? Here, have a look at this squirrel kissing a kitten. It’s okay. You’re not about to be hit by a car while you’re singing along to Will.I.Am and Britney during your run. Probably. Maybe. I mean, who knows, right?

The truth is… you might.

(I’m sorry. Here, look how this kitten hugs his teddy bear!)

But what if you do? Or what if you just get heat stroke and collapse? Or you trip and fall and hit your head? I mean, how many times has that almost happened to you while running?

(Cheer up. You almost fell but you didn’t and you made it home. Look at this panda cub trying to reach the window!)

Anyway, I usually take my phone out with me on my runs, mostly so I can take crappy photos to populate my Instagram and so I can check my email when I’m waiting for the green light. These days, my supposedly super rugged phone is a super rugged piece of crap, though. It takes me about 3 minutes to even load my contacts’ list so, if I’m in a life or death situation, I’m not going to sit there waiting for it to work. Especially because it’ll probably crash twice before actually loading any contacts and if there’s something I don’t need is an anxiety attack over the phone, on top of whatever else is already happening to me.

But even assuming that my phone worked properly (one of these days I’ll stop being such a cheapo and I’ll buy a new one), how many of you have a pin code on yours? So yeah, in a lot of cases, even assuming the stars align and you take your phone and it works properly, it’s still really not the best solution. I have an ICE number on my phone (I recorded it during a First Aid course I took last year), but I don’t want to rely on someone else being able to navigate to that, especially in a situation where timing might be everything.

So I went analog for safety while running and got myself a Road ID wrist band.

I thought I would only wear it out during long runs but the model I got is so discreet that I actually wore it for a couple of days before taking it off. I pretty much immediately forgot it was on my wrist (and I don’t normally wear bracelets anyway).

You can choose out of a few different models, with different colours and sizes (you can even get stuff like a tag for your shoe laces, if you prefer that to a bracelet) and the whole ordering process is very straightforward. You choose everything that gets engraved in the stainless-steel plate. The website has a bunch of suggestions of what to add, if you’re not sure, including tips on what medical information to give and even some inspirational quotes. It shows you what your bracelet will look like and gives you the option to make changes at any time during the process.

Living in New Zealand, I’m pretty used to getting ripped off on shipping costs from some US-based sites so paying around $2.50 for shipping was a really pleasant surprise (only about $1 more than to ship within the US). I got an email informing me that the bracelet had been shipped just two days after ordering and had the package in my mailbox in the time they said it would take for it to arrive.

The bracelet came in a neat metal tin and the Road ID website includes a section on how you can “think outside the tin” and re-use it, which I thought was a really nice touch (also, emergency wine glass!). It included a brochure letting me know that Becky had carefully packaged my bracelet (I’m a sucker for details like that) and some coupon codes to hand to my friends, along with the history of the company.

Road ID have a bunch of other items, all dedicated to safety outdoors (like high-visibility and reflective running and cycling gear) that I encourage you to check out. The bracelets are almost essential to any outdoors athlete, whether you’re a runner or a cyclist, but I think they’re a good idea for anyone who gets out and about (because, well, shit happens). I know a lot of keen hikers who should definitely invest in one of these.

If anyone looks at it and wonders if I’ll ever need it… I really hope I don’t. But I reckon 20 bucks is a pretty low price to pay for peace of mind (not just yours but of those around you too). And if you think it’s unnecessary, I hope I never have to prove you wrong.

My ability to conceal my emergency contacts' information from the internet is only as good as MS Paint allows it to be. Don't judge.

My ability to conceal my emergency contacts’ information from the internet is only as good as MS Paint allows it to be. Don’t judge.

Road ID has emailed me a discount code following my purchase. The code is ThanksVera22242623 and can be used 20 times in the next 27 days (it was valid for 30 days but they sent it 3 days ago and I was too lazy to blog about it then). Go ahead and get $1 off now.

This is not a paid/sponsored post. Road ID didn’t not contact me about writing this. I paid for my bracelet like everyone else and I’m writing about it because I truly believe it’s a great product that everyone should consider getting.

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A runner’s Christmas wishlist

Back in the day, I started running because I thought it’d be the cheapest possible way to exercise. All I needed was any pair of old shorts and an old tshirt, some sneakers (and, with the size of my shoe collection, I had a few to choose from already) and the willingness to get my butt out of the door. No membership fees, no monthly payments, no big expenses.

*pause so we can all stop laughing at how wrong I was*

Like anything else, if you get really into it (and one can say writing a blog almost solely dedicated to running qualifies as being “really into it”), it gets really expensive really quickly. At first, I think, came the dri-fit shirts. I got posh and decided running in cotton shirts was too gross. Then, with the first knee pain, came the doctor’s appointment (another $40) and the medical advice to buy proper running shoes. Hello, $300 receipt. Then, since I had the fancy shoes, I got a little more excited about taking them out. And so came the receipt for the first ever running event (Wharf to Wharf on Waiheke Island), which got me completely hooked onto crossing finish lines. Since then, I’ve been averaging about one official event per month. Some are fairly cheap, others do make me think I’ll have to resort to instant noodles for the rest of the month (mostly because some of these events are out of town and involve travel expenses). Fast forward a few months and I got hooked on trail running. This means mandatory equipment for races, in some cases. Hi, expensive hydration pack with all sorts of stuff inside.

Anyway, you get the point. This stuff’s not cheap. So I’m always on the look out for good deals on running-related stuff. I’ve got a list. I’m pretty sure it’s filled with stuff all runners want to have. So, if you have a runner in your Christmas gift list (or some extra money floating around that you might want to use to start the Super Generic Girl Running Fund), this is a good time to take notes.

gu gels garminnikeshortscamelbakapple earpodscompression socksspibeltnecklacehead torchglovesRoad IDrunning books

1. Gu energy gels are the perfect stocking fillers a runner can ask for. At about $3 a pop, these little things don’t come cheap.

2. Garmin Forerunner 10. Or any Forerunner. Or, whatever, any GPS watch. I’ve been using the Nike+ watch (powered by TomTom) and we have sort of become best buddies.

3. Running shorts. Or any running apparel, as long as it’s cute. Oh and the right material. I suppose that’s important too.

4. Camelbak hydration pack. Especially useful for trail runs or long road runs, especially if you enter events and like avoiding the water stations.

5. Apple EarPods or any good headphones for runners.

6. My Cep compression socks are simultaneously my most expensive and my most amazing pair of socks. Don’t think a runner can have too many of these but, for the price, I think one pair is pretty much enough. Has to be.

7. Spi belt. I bought a hydration belt a couple of months ago and it sucked because there was no ideal way of adjusting it to my waist without it ending up jumping up and down while I ran. I heard these are quite good in that aspect. All I want is a way of not carrying my phone in my hand the whole time.

8. Running necklaces. Down here in Kiwiland, they aren’t too keen on giving out medals at running events. You’ll probably get a medal for a full marathon (and, even then, not all full marathons), but you are very unlikely to get one for anything below that. Some achievements, though, deserve to be celebrated with something long lasting. When we ran our 35k trail run, I headed to The Run Home on Etsy and got S. a customised necklace with her name and the distance and location of that race. Beats a medal, I think… but I still wish we’d gotten medals.

9. These running nutters sometimes decide that darkness isn’t a good enough excuse to stay home. I pack my head torch every time we head out for the trails, just in case. Also good for after work runs in Winter, when it’s pitch black by 6pm.

10. Tech gloves. Because surely I’m not the only one who checks Facebook while waiting for the pedestrian lights to turn green, amirite?

11. Road ID bracelet. If I happen to run my way to afterlife, there are a few things people need to know like: my name, my emergency contact details and that under no circumstances should my obituary refer to me as a “jogger”. Just the basic important stuff.

12. Running-related literature. I’ve got an Amazon wishlist the length of an ultramarathon. Lisa Tamati‘s Running to Extremes is just one of them, among a long list of practical marathon training guides. Basically, anything that’ll make a runner want to keep reading while, at the same time, put the book down and head out for a run.