Category Archives: Health

UA HOVR Shoe Retired

For a full year, I ran (almost) every single day with these shoes. I might have taken a day or so when travelling to wear a different pair so these won’t be sweaty in my luggage. However, now that it’s a year later I have decided to retire these shoes.

I tend to overuse shoes. Hell, I still have a pair of Nike Pegasus 31s from my first Marathon that have well 1,000 miles on them. Why? I’m super cheap, they aren’t torn to shreds yet, the insoles are still thick enough that I’m not running directly on concrete, and well why not? I know, many “professionals” say to change out your shoes every 400-500 miles, but if they’re not ripped up or feel worn or you aren’t hurting while running, I say keep running.

Here’s the final mileage sheet from the UA MapMyRun app:
2019-02-14 10.43.05

Here’s the “AFTER” pic of over 365 runs (gross). Remember, these used to be WHITE!
2019-02-23 18.15.25

Time to find new shoes and new tech to play with.

UA HOVR Shoe Rain & “Phoneless” Run 2

A few days ago I had to run in the rain for the first time with these shoes. Needless to say, it wasn’t too pleasant. It’s obviously not water proof, and I wouldn’t want them to be. It’s a running shoe, not a rain boot. But I kept running, just for you. The integrity of the shoes are still solid, but as you can see, white is still a stupid color. I rinsed it off with the hose right after, so they’re back to being… sort of white.

I’ve decided to focus solely on the phoneless run aspect of these shoes. I’m assuming that’s what is the primary goal for these shoes, because, to be honest, I don’t see a huge benefit from adding stride/cadence to an already data rich app. It’ll add some sort of accuracy, but I think phoneless is a better focus.

That being said, I’ll give a few things I’ve noticed so far. Starting off with the obvious. The shoe syncs with the phone app post-run perfectly. YOU just need to remember to open the app after the run. I forgot this morning and had to run back downstairs to flip over the shoe to wake and sync it. It synced perfectly. Do I dare wait a few days to see if it keeps all the runs? Oh, that’ll be hard on my OCD-like tendencies…

When running without the phone/app you’re obviously going to be missing some data. Stats not found in said runs are: heart rate (I’m connected to my Apple Watch), intensity, elevation gain, map, and weather, and music. A side note, I do like seeing music as a stat since you can kind of estimate if you’re running better or worse during a specific song.

One new feature with the addition to the HOVR shoes is the “personal coach tip” where it tells you if you’re doing a good or poor job at running based on your cadence and/or stride length. It’s a little confusing and hard to think about practically when you’re just out there running.

Another problem is that I’m getting conflicting “tips”:

Again, I’ll have to do more research. But this is going about the same speed on each day, but very different tips.

Another thing to note is that I’ve notices a drop in estimated mileage when running “phoneless.” I’ll estimate an average of about 8% difference in mileage as compared to using the GPS enabled MapMyRun app. I realize the app might not be 100% accurate either, but 8% difference seems like a lot. I’m curious as to what’s being calculated. I do make short stops at red lights, so perhaps I’m losing some distance when I slow to under 15 min/mi.

All that being said, it’s a solid shoe and I’ll keep running with these… for science? For you. Now let’s talk about an extended no-sync stint. …Nah…

UA HOVR Shoe Second 5 Mile Review

I wasn’t going to write another post so quickly but I wanted to add that the Map My Run app actually saved the stride length and cadence in the second run.

Also, yes, it does show up in the app during a run. I actually think this is a good feature if you happen to be running on the treadmill with the shoes and place the device (phone/tablet) on the treadmill display.

UA HOVR Shoe First 5 Mile Review

Here’s my first five mile review. I’ll start by saying my UnderArmour HOVR shoes were provided to me by UnderArmour to test out. Selling out, big time.

Originally posted on my IG:

First off, I’d like to say that it’s nice to get a free pair of shoes to replace one of my pairs of shoes I’ve run over 1.5k miles. Before I get my rear handed to me, I have to justify running so many miles in one shoe that I didn’t have any problems with the pair and other factors left me using the shoe…

So what are the UA HOVRs? They’re a bluetooth enabled running shoe capable of linking to your phone, or running standalone. You can sync the run with your phone after the run and it apparently saves the run with all the data, including GPS*. I’ll be honest, this really reminds me of another wireless enabled ****+ shoe/sensor, granted better technology. But what year is it, 2006? The HOVRs are perfect for those who don’t already carry their phone or have a fitness watch, but still want to track their run with stats. I always run with both phone/watch, so I have little need for the “offline” part of these shoes’ tech. Setting up the HOVRs is easy, move the right shoe to “wake” and place it on a flat surface, open the Map MY (Run/Fitness/ETC) app, tap the shoe icon at the top right, follow instructions, and that’s it.

The UZ HOVR shoe is an attractive shoe, though, I was given a WHITE pair. I realize these are “tester shoes” but are white any cheaper to manufacture than any other color? It’ll get… not white real fast. I can’t complain much on color, I guess.

Putting the shoes for the first time, I feel the material hug my feet perfectly. Weighing in at 1lb 4.25oz (576g) it’s a decently light shoe. For comparison both of my [competitor shoe] is a tad lighter at 1lb 3.25oz (545g). It’s a little taller than most running shoes, but I’m assuming that’s due to the internal sensor. First steps with the shoe I feel a higher arch than I’m used to, but it isn’t a bad thing. It was time for a run.

As a running shoe it performed as expected. It held my feed in without letting it touch the ground while cushioning each stride. Despite the added weight and thick padding, the shoe is super airy; not ideal for 40F degree morning weather. But perfect for those sweaty summer days. They should have sent these out then. The run was a run. Comfortable, didn’t add any discomfort during or after. The “bounce” on each step is like walking on airAdequate running shoe, but this was only the first 5 miles.

The tech. As stated above, it’s easy to setup. However… Looking at the app I don’t see any difference between running with or without the connected shoes. Wasn’t I supposed to see stride length, cadence, what? If it’s only available WHILE running, I don’t see the point. I’m not staring at my phone when running. I’ll have to do more research and come back to this post or a future post.

Would I recommend this shoe? Well, let me get back to you on the tech side. But as a running shoe, I would. I felt it was light enough but also supported my feet very well. Come back in 30 days, maybe I’ll take the time out of my busy schedule (/s) and write up a follow up.

*EDIT: I was wrong when I originally wrote that it included GPS as part of the technology. I don’t know if I misread or it was taken out of literature, either way, it does NOT store GPS data as seen in my follow up post.

Long Time No See

It’s been a while. So, I’ll cross post this elsewhere. I haven’t been up to much lately since being unemployed for 7 months. Recently got a contract for my previous employer, so that’s good. I’ve been keeping up on my workout regiment, which included a lot of running and a new one of Xbox workouts. 

Now, before you roll your eyes let me finish. The Xbox workouts are great tools to get gamers moving. It can even be challenging even to the fit person as long as you make your workout what you want it to be. You can make it easier, or even add intensity. One pro-tip. Ignore the Xbox points and the camera, it might hinder your workout in that you might want to work too hard or take it easy too much just to pass goals. Work within your comfort limit and have fun.

Time has passed and it’s been almost two years since I played hockey as a regular (not a sub). Last night was my first game back, and I can’t say “it’s like I never left” because well I felt BETTER than before. The speed was still there, maybe more. But I do have a lot more stamina and don’t even need my inhaler anymore. Also gone are the days I need to eat four hours before a game, just no buffets 15 min before a game please.

I just checked my email and realized I have two weeks until the Monterey Soartan Race. When did that happen?! Man, time flies. I hope I’m ready for it!

Update: second day after… I’m pretty sore. Legs and back hurt like crazy. I limped through a 4.25 mile run this afternoon just to get some cardio. But it was painful…

2015 Year End Review

2016-02-02 19.10.43

The holidays are over and I’ve been meaning to write-up my 2015 review but I’ve been busy working out/running full-time preparing for the 2016 Spartan Race; starting with Temecula the 30th, I don’t have much time to get ready.

2015 was a great year for races. Although I started my running “career” October of 2014 with my first 5k, I really took off in 2015 (no pun intended). I finished my second 5k; as well as my first 10k, half and full marathons. My completed OCRs include Rugged Maniac, Gladiator Rock ‘N Run, and NINE Spartan Races.

I have managed to maintain my workout regiment, eating habits, and weight through all of the obstacles of life that was thrown at me so far. I still have cheat days and haven’t given up ice cream! I just happen to work out more on those days. I’ve noticed I’m REALLY bad on race days. I typically have started the day with a fatty McDonald’s breakfast and my recovery meal is In ‘n Out or something like that. It’s not that bad, depending on the race because I’m running, lifting, and sweating for 1.5 to 5 hours. With all the junk food I’ve consumed I’m glad I’m not back at my starting weight.

Spartan Races have tested me a LOT this year. I’m not a super fast runner and I’m not a heavy lifter. This works out great, except for the fact that I lift the same weights as guys bigger than I am. I’ve found that my favorite obstacles are Tire Flip, Tyrolene Traverse, and Rope Climb. I have a love/hate relationship with the Hercules Hoist. The first couple hoists I pulled it up easily, but lately they’ve been adding a lot of weight to it and from what I hear it weighs as much, if not more, than I do… Lastly, I friggen HATE the damn Spear Throw. I ended the calendar year 2-7. If I had a back yard I’d set up a hay bale to practice on.

I even participated in the Spartan Race World Championship course. I can’t stress enough the keywords “participate” and “course.” I ran the exact same course as the elites, as I always do, just did not compete in the qualifying heat.

Through the year I’ve also managed to join a team and met many people through my travels and races. Some good stories and good people out there. A good thing about Spartan Race that I truly enjoy is that even though it’s a race, many people are out there to help one another to conquer the obstacles set before us. My advice to anyone on the fence who has managed to catch a Spartan Race on TV, read about it in a magazine, or heard a coworker or friend talk about recently, SIGN UP. Don’t be afraid. Finish. Become STRONGER. Sure, I still sometimes get butterflies before a race. It goes away once the race starts and the blood and adrenaline are pumping!

2015 was a good year for racing, fitness, and my general health. I have a total of at LEAST fifteen Spartan Races “planned” in order to get a 5x trifecta. It’s going to be a bumpy ride, but I’m ready for it. Here’s to a safe, stronger, fitter 2016!

Beasts Aftermath

So, after back-to-back Spartan Race Beast weekends, the second one being the toughest and also the World Championships, I find myself not 100% recovered yet. For the most part I’m okay, but while doing my regular trail run my hamstrings are a little sore and I couldn’t take off as quick and long as I used to. I did manage to run about halfway up the mountain without stopping; even sore and slow that’s pretty good.

Well, there’s no sense in looking back, I should be looking forward as Seattle Super is coming up next weekend. No more time to recover just jump back into it. I missed it already, I asked for more, I shall receive. I can’t wait!

Damaged Toenails

Hrm… Do I dare post a picture of my damaged feet? Ha I don’t want to scare people away from here. Maybe I’ll post it and password protect it.  What say you?

Edit 8/31 23:36: One down, one to go! I didn’t think I was going to lose both big toe nails. And the all of a sudden the right one filled with liquid. Nope, that one’s coming off too. Ugh. Well at least they’ll both be off for my back to back Spartan Race Beasts.

Edit 9/3 08:31: Whelp the second one just came off… That’s one less thing to worry about come 23 days from now. I’m now down four toenails this year!

Finger Status

Only a few people know this but a few weekends ago I took the wife to the gym at work. I was demonstrating how to do box jumps… Apparently, incorrectly, too; because when jumping up to a high one I managed to swing and slam my hand into the leather wrapped box and hit the only exposed (on purpose) wood piece.

Well, today I got the results from the X-rays and, yes, there’s a micro fracture like I originally though. Not good as I leave for a Spartan Sprint in under a week. There’s no way I’m not doing a Spartan; so we’ll see what happens at the specialist…

1 Year Health Anniversary

Today marks the one year anniversary that I decided to get off my butt and do something about my weight and health. My heaviest to lightest differential is FIFTY, yes, 50 POUNDS. I’ve gained about 5 pounds back, but it’s all muscle weight. I’ve been yoyoing at this number for a while, so this might be a good weight to maintain. Overall I feel better, sleep a little better (albeit still not enough), eat a LOT better.

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