An Award!

Well, it’s Monday again and I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving!  My friend Sara from Life Between the Miles nominated me for a Liebster Award.  Yay!  Here’s goes!

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1. What is your current health related goal?

Basically just to maintain where I’m at right now.  When I started getting back into fitness and really getting into running about a year ago, I lost a lot of weight.  In fact, when I went to get a physical done for our health insurance, they told me that I was in an unhealthy range for my body fat percentage and that I needed to gain weight.  So, I actually have gained a little bit and I feel really good right now.

2. What is your biggest irrational fear?

That I will lose one of my children.  I can’t imagine anything worse and sometimes no matter how safe you are and how much you protect your children, accidents happen.  I don’t think I could go on if I lost one of my children.

3. Do you enjoy wrapping presents?

No.  I used to when I could take my time and add ribbons and bows and make it look pretty.  Now the kids are usually helping me so it’s really just a race to get them done as quickly as possible before one kid starts having a meltdown because the other one is hoarding the tape and they can’t get the scissors to cut and the paper is tearing and…cue the tears.

4. What’s your favorite cross training activity?

You all know how much I love my Body Pump!

5. If I came to visit you, what would we do?

I would probably cook you a nice dinner and have some really good wine out on the patio with the fire pit going.  Then we’d spend a night on the strip doing the tourist thing, eating at a great restaurant and going to see a show.  We’d most likely go for a run too if we were not too hungover.

6. You have 2 weeks off of work and 2 round trip plane tickets to ANYWHERE. Where would you go and who would you take?

Hmmm, this one is tough.  I wouldn’t leave my kids for two weeks, so I’d definitely have to buy a couple of extra plane tickets.  And since they’d be coming along, I’d probably go somewhere tropical because they love the beach.  Hawaii maybe?  Or Australia?

7. What’s the most embarrassing thing that has ever happened to you during a run or race?

This would have to be the day I went out for a solo trail run and got sick with the stomach flu about half way through.  I had to call my husband to come pick me up and as soon as he did, I threw up right next to the car.  It was not fun.

8. Tell me the 3 best days of your life. Or at least the first 3 that pop into your mind.

I know for most people the best days of their lives are the day they got married, or the day that their child(ren) were born.  Honestly, those days were great, but they were also full of stress and a lot of fatigue.  I think the best 3 days of my life have been what would look like just average days to anyone else, but they were the best for me because everything just was perfect those days.  I can remember one day in particular when I was home with the kids.  We went to the park or some sort of outing, came home, had lunch, took naps, woke up, played, had dinner, baths and bed.  But, the thing that made it amazing was there was no fighting, no struggle to get the kids dressed or brush their teeth.  Everyone got along, we laughed and had such a good time hanging out together.  Those are my favorite days…when we have a lot of fun doing nothing special.

9. Okay, you HAVE to eat a fast food meal. What restaurant would you choose and what would you order?

I actually love fast food.  I don’t eat it very often because I know how bad it is, but on the occasion that I do, OMG it tastes so good.  Fast food is the absolute best after a wine night.  Nothing beats a hangover like a greasy burger, right?  My favorite is probably In-N-Out.  Mmmmmmm.

10. Have you ever met a celebrity?

Yup, quite a few actually.  I definitely got to rub shoulders with the most famous at the Howard Stern Birthday Bash.  It. Was. Amazing.

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11. Share a picture of yourself in non workout clothes!

At our last family photo shoot, our photographer wanted to take a few pictures of my blog.  I thought this one turned out super cute.

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12. If you could choose to have a ‘do-over’ and switch careers, what would you choose and why?

I would have been a professional organizer.  I am super organized (and a little OCD) and I love organizing things and having everything just perfect.  I think I would have really done well in that line of work.  But at this point, I don’t really want to start over.  I’ve come too far with my current career.

13. If you won the Olympic Gold Medal – how do you think you would react?

Hmmm, I’d probably be in disbelief and super excited.

14. What do you want for Christmas?

Shoes and an art supplies organizer for my kids’ playroom.  Hehe, yeah I totally asked for something for Christmas that’s actually for my kids.  But, it will declutter the playroom so much.  I told you I should be a professional organizer.

15. What skill do you lack?

Creativity.  I can copy the shit out of anything (thank God for Pinterest), but when it comes to thinking up my own stuff like art projects for the kids, birthday party ideas, hair styles, even my own fashion, I am absolutely clueless.

You think I came up with this all on my own?

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Nominations?

I’m actually not going to nominate anyone.  I’m bad I know, but this is a really busy time of year for everyone and I don’t want to make anyone feel like they “have” to do something.  So if you are a blogger and follow my blog, feel free to award yourself. (:

And That’s a Wrap!

One of my 2014 New Year’s Resolutions was to run 14 races in 2014.

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Prior to this year, the furthest I had ever run at any one time was 8 miles.  My initial goal for this year was to complete just 1 half marathon.  And here I am with 5 under my belt, along with several other shorter races and I’m signed up for my first full marathon in the spring.  Here’s what I’ve done this year:

  1.  February 17, 2014 – Moms Run This Town Virtual Half Marathon, 1:47:26
  2. April 5, 2014 – Corporate Challenge 5k, 22:31 1st Place Age Group
  3. April 12, 2014 – Xterra Trail Run Half Marathon, 1:58:20 4th Place Age Group
  4. May 10, 2014 – Mom’s Rock 10k, 47:00 1st Place Age Group, 2nd Place Overall Female
  5. May 18, 2014 – Wildland Fire Awareness Trail Half Marathon, 2:17:26 1st Place Overall Female
  6. June 14, 2014 – Dads Rock Too, 1 Mile Fun Run, Not Timed
  7. July 4, 2014 – 4th of July 5k Blast (participated as an Angel for my TEAM TRIUMPH), 31:04, 2nd Place my TEAM TRIUMPH team
  8. July 12, 2014 – Las Vegas Triathlon Club Sprint Triathlon, 1:28:16, 8th Place Overall Female
  9. August 10, 2014 – E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon, 1:53:26, 1st Place Age Group
  10. August 16, 2014 – Moms Run This Town Summer Virtual 10k, 52:42
  11. August 25, 2014 – Moms Run This Town Summer Virtual 5k, 23:30
  12. September 21, 2014 – Midnight Cowboy Run 5k, 22:55, 2nd Place Overall Female
  13. October 26, 2014 – Temecula Half Marathon, 1:55:18, 14th Place Age Group
  14. November 15, 2014 – Fit Foodie 5K, 21:34, 4th Place Age Group

So, there you have it.  14 races in 2014.  I’m feeling very accomplished!

 

Did you have any New Year’s Resolutions?  Have you met them?

The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend Recap

Last weekend I had the exciting opportunity of attending the weekend long events at the Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend as an Ambassador.  And to make things even more fun, my BFF (and BRF) Sarah from Sarah ‘n Spice was also chosen to be an Ambassador, so we got to make it a super fun girls weekend!

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We headed out of Vegas on Friday morning and got into San Diego just in time for the Light Up The Night VIP Cocktail Party.  This was held at Florent Restaurant and Lounge in the Gaslamp District in San Diego.  At this party, we got to rub shoulders with celebrity trainers, instructors, and chefs and also got to sample some really yummy food and cocktails.

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After that it was back to our room to lay out our racing outfits for the morning and hit the hay early.

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On Saturday morning, we were up bright and early with a beautiful view on the San Diego harbor.

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We got dressed and headed over to the Hilton Bayfront for the 5K race.

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The course was awesome.  Right along the water and flat.  Perfect conditions for a PR!

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We walked around the Finisher’s Village a bit and then headed over to the stage for a hilariously fun warm up with The Run MC.  This guy is awesome.  I immediately recognized him from the Temecula Half Marathon (he also did the warm up and post race ceremonies for that race).  He is funny and energetic and has got some great dance moves!

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After that was a quick stretch with Kristin McGee and then it was time to head over to the start line.

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This was Sarah’s first race ever, so I was really hoping she would do great.  This was my last race of the year, so I was also hoping to perform well, although I really didn’t have high hopes for a PR.  While I’ve been staying on track with running, I haven’t done speed work in a few months, so I wasn’t sure if a PR was going to happen for me.  But as usual, I just decided to give it my best and have fun.  There were about 1,400 runners, so we were in the second start wave.  The first wave was off and about 5 minutes later it was our turn.

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The course area was pretty small, looping around different areas and then heading back to the start line.  There were a lot of people, so it was a lot of maneuvering around and there was one really bad choke spot where it was single file and I got stuck behind a couple of people, but other than that, the course was really nice.  I’m not a huge fan of 5Ks because I push myself so hard that my whole body hurts for pretty much the entire race.  I really enjoy the long distances better where I can get in the zone and pace myself.  But, at least with a 5K it’s over pretty quickly.  I forgot to start my Garmin, so I had no idea where I was at pace wise.  I just kept pushing and pushing until I got to the final stretch and then I pushed even more to the finish line.  I felt like I was going to die when I got done.  I grabbed some water and got out my video camera so I could capture Sarah coming across the finish line to complete her race.  When she came, I was so excited for her.  She did it!!!  She has been working really hard for this and I was so excited to see her accomplish her goals.  After a congratulatory hug, and some waters, we went over to the results board to see how we did.  She ran faster than she ever had and finished in the top 30% of all runners.  I couldn’t be more proud of her.  And I scored a PR!  Previous to this, my fastest 5K was 22:31 (7.15/mile) and that was back in May.  I hadn’t been able to beat that ever since.  So I was in complete disbelief when I saw my time for this race.  21:34 (6.57/mile).  Holy moly!  I broke under 7:00/mile!!!  Woo hoo! I got 4th in my age group, 8th overall female and 26 overall.  Not to shabby at all if I say so myself!

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Once we were recovered a bit from the race, we headed over to the Finisher’s Village.  There were tons and tons of booths set up with juices, bars, coffees, massages, running attire and a beer garden.

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We also did some post race workouts with Patrick Goudeau and some more yoga with Kristin McGee.  There were also several cooking demonstrations with Chef Robin Bashinsky and samples of the food he was cooking, as well as prizes given out all day by The Run MC.  All in all, is was a great was to spend the rest of the morning and we had a really good time.

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After some R & R in the room, we headed back over to the Gaslamp District for some dinner and drinks.  We had dinner at Berkley Pizza, a total dive, but with great food and an even better beer selection.

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Then we hit up Barleymash for our favorite Framboise.

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And one last stop at The Tipsy Crow for a drink before catching a ride on a pedicab for a little tour around the area with our hysterical driver Yadi from Lebanon (he was seriously the best!).

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On Sunday, we got up and headed back over to the Hilton for a 60 minute celebrity yoga session with Kristin McGee.

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She is so awesome.  She is super sweet and nice and a really great instructor.  She led us through a pretty tough workout (especially being post race), but it hurt so good!  We got to chat with her for a few minutes and she gave Sarah and I a couple of her DVDs to try at home. I’m really excited to try them out because I haven’t done yoga in a while and it really shows!

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After yoga, we had a yummy brunch consisting of egg white frittatas, chicken sausage, greek yogurt parfaits, oatmeal, fruit and delicious Stella Cidre.  It was held on an upstairs patio at the hotel overlooking the bay.  It was a beautiful view and a beautiful ending to our fun weekend.

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On top of all the fun we had, we also raised over $1,100 for City of Hope.  Our initial goal was $500 and we more than doubled that.  Thank you so much to everyone who donated.  It really means so much to us and to our dear friend Tom.

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All in all, it was really a fun filled weekend that I would definitely do again.  I really want to thank all of the wonderful people at the Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend for giving me the opportunity to attend as an Ambassador.  I would definitely recommend this event to anyone looking to have some fun fitness and food wrapped up into one weekend!

Fabulous Fabletics! {and a Fit Foodie 5K Race Winner}

I’ve professed my love of Fabletics before, so as a huge fan already, I was ecstatic when I heard they were going to be one of the sponsors of the Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend in San Diego, where I will be attending as an ambassador.  As part of the ambassador program, Fabletics sent us each an outfit of our choice.  I already own several of their workout pieces, but you can never have too many workout clothes, right?

I wore these really great running shorts for the E.T. Full Moon Midnight Half Marathon:

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And I always gets tons on compliments on this racerback top when I wear it to my gym class:

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I am in love with these ombre leggings:

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And now, I’ve got a pretty sweet running jacket and new running capris to add to my collection:

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I can’t say enough good things about Fabletics.  The quality of the clothes is top notch.  Everything is comfortable and very stylish and I love having a new workout outfit each month.  Their customer service is awesome too.  One of my pieces didn’t fit right, so I was able to send it back and get a new one super fast, all free of charge!  Now that is what I’m talking about.  Great style, superb quality and excellent customer service.  Definitely a winning combination.

Fabletics by Kate Hudson offers high performance fabrics and fashion-forward styles. Get a complete outfit for only $25 (Top + Bottom) by visiting their website here.

You can also check them out on social media here:

 

And, I’m very excited to announce the winner of a pair of tickets to the Fit Foodie 5K Race and Finisher’s Village:

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Congratulations Anne!  I’ll be in touch with you!

Fit Foodie 5k Race Giveaway!

Remember when I told you that I will be attending The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend on November 14-16 in San Diego as a Fit Foodie Ambassador??  Well, guess what?  The Fit Foodie Weekend organizers have been so generous as to offer up a pair of tickets the 5K race and Finisher’s Village!

This event is the ultimate celebration of food, family, and fun.  I am so excited to be a part of the event as a Fit Foodie Ambassador, if you are in the area, I hope you will join me!

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The Fit Foodie 5K Race Weekend is jam-packed with delicious food, cooking and fitness demonstrations, a yoga session, and a Power Systems Obstacle Course Bootcamp, led by celebrity trainer Patrick Goudeau.  Also expect to rub elbows with editors and contributors from Cooking Light and Health magazines who will be on hand to share tips and tricks for maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

Additionally, 10 percent of the sale of each ticket for the 2014 series will benefit City of Hope, a leading treatment and research center for cancer, diabetes and other life-threatening diseases.

I appreciate your help and hope that you will join me on this journey to health, happiness, and giving back.  Hope to see you there!

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To enter to win, leave me a comment below telling me why you got into running!  Then follow the Rafflecopter link to enter!  Contest ends Friday (11/7) night at midnight (PST).  Winner will be announced on Monday, 11/10.  Good luck!

Temecula Half Marathon Race Recap

Last year, around this time, if you would have told me that I would run 5 half marathons in 2014, I would have laughed in your face. At the time, the longest I had ever run at one time was about 7 miles. My goal for this year was to run 1 (yup, just 1) half marathon. And here I am, with number 5 in the books. It is an amazing feeling.

But what is even more amazing than that, is that my husband just completed his very first half marathon. And let me tell you, this was not a beginner’s half marathon. Quite the opposite. And he rocked it. I am so proud of him.

We got into Temecula Saturday afternoon.

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We made it there in time to hit up one winery (Doffo), which I would highly recommend (and coincidently led to us purchasing the most expensive bottle of wine we have ever bought to date).

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We then went to Garage Brewing Company for a casual dinner. Great restaurant. Sort of like the Subway of pizza. You go to the counter, pick your sauce and cheese, and then they build your pizza for you out of the expansive array of toppings they’ve got right there for you to choose from. They had a really yummy Mango Hefeweizen that I got to go with the delicious pizza. Great little place! After that we hit the hay so we could be up bright and early for the race in the morning.

We got up at 5am the next morning and I was really indecisive on what to wear for the race. It was in the 50’s and the weather predicted it warming up to the high 60’s by the end of the race. I wasn’t sure whether to wear pants or shorts, or a long sleeve shirt or tank top. I consoled Runner’s World’s nifty little website where you put in the conditions and it tells you what to wear. It told me shorts and a tank, sop that’s what I went with. We drove over to the parking area where we would catch the bus to take us to Wilson Creek Winery (the start/finish area) and I immediately was so worried about my attire choice. I was FREEZING. My body was shivering. But, as the minutes ticked by, it gradually started to warm up.

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We picked up our race packets, got our bibs on and our bags checked and headed over to the stage area for a fun little warm up to Thriller (you know, it being Halloween season and all). After that it was time to go!

We lined up at the start line, gave each other a kiss and we were off!

If I had one word to describe this race it would be H-I-L-L-Y. Holy crap was it hilly. I don’t think there was a single flat section of the entire course. The first 5 miles was an out and back and were gradual hills. Then we ran past the start line for the back 8 miles. Those were the most intense 8 miles ever. The only thing that I could compare it to is the Xterra Trail Half Marathon I did. Every single hill was really, really steep and once you got to the bottom of a hill, there was another steeper, higher and longer hill in front of you.

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A lot of people walked the hills. Some people started out charging up them, and then started walking halfway up. I ran up each hill, but ran very, very slowly. In fact, I think someone walking up a hill passed me at one point.

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Honestly, as tough as the hills were to get up, they were ten times more difficult to get down. I really dislike running down hill. So much so, that I’d rather run an entire race uphill than have to deal with that kind of steep down hill ever again. It just makes my entire body hurt. Around mile 8, I was hurting pretty bad from all the up and down and I was really hoping that Vince was doing okay. We hit the turn around and a few minutes later I passed him on his way to the turn around. He was running with the 2:00 pacer! We high fived each other and instantly I got a second wind. That last 5 miles I felt much better. It was still hard work getting through the hills, but I started really concentrating on my form and was able to maneuver the down hills with considerably less pain that in the previous miles.

I finally reached the mile 12 marker and couldn’t have been happier. There were some people out on the course for the last mile with signs and cheering us on. I rounded the last bend, saw the finish line and ran like hell. When I crossed the finish line, I threw up my arms and smiled a big smile. It was over. I survived. I ran the entire thing without stopping. I got my medal and some water and waiting for Vince to finish.

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About 5 minutes later he came around that bend, crossed the finish line and threw his arms around me. He had also run the entire race without stopping (and he didn’t even drink any water the whole time!). I’m so proud of him. This was a really tough course, especially for a first half marathon and he crushed it.

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Our official times:
Me 1:55:17.5 (14th age group, 39th overall female, 99th overall)
Vince 2:00:27.1 (20th age group, 78th overall male, 135th overall)

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And, boy, I tell ya. The competition was stiff on this one. Those Californians…they are amazing. The overall winner’s time was 1:18:04.1. That’s a 5:58 pace. On those hills. He is a 35 year old gentleman from Encinitas. Blew us away with that time.

In the end, I was really happy I went with shorts and a tank top, because it really started to warm up. The course was beautiful. Most of the race was on dirt roads through wine country. Beautiful hillsides of vineyards and you could see the hot air balloons in the distance. Very lovely.

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After the race was over, we picked up our wine glasses and headed over to the tasting area. I really couldn’t stomach the thought of drinking wine at that moment, so I opted first for a glass of almond champagne to celebrate our finish, and then switched to beer. Great recovery drinks haha!

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When we were done with our tastings, we took the bus back to our car, and went back to our hotel room to shower. After that we hit up some more wineries. Bel Vino for one of the most informative wine tastings I’ve ever had from Dennis, along with a beautiful lunch outside listening to their live house band and enjoying the view of the hillside vineyards.

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Then off to Hart for some great reds and fun conversation with the wine pourers. And finally, Wiens for some yummy wine, but a not so informed pourer (can’t win them all).

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After that we hit up Crush and Brew for some dinner and beer flights (we were a little wined out at that point) and then we went back to the hotel room where we were asleep in bed by 7:30pm.

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It was a great little weekend getaway. I loved running with my husband. I am so proud of him and I love that we can have little race-cations. Good times, good times!

 

Did you race over the weekend? Tell me about it!

Spartan Sports Armband Review


Do you listen to music when you run?  I don’t.  But the only reason why I don’t listen to music is because I’m too busy listening to my beloved Howard Stern.  I’ve been listening to him faithfully for over 16 years now.  He is THE BEST.  Witty, funny, current, and entertaining.  Often times I will find myself bursting out laughing while running because of something he is doing on his show.  And yes, my neighbors probably think I’m crazy.  He can make 10 miles seem like 10 minutes.

Now you all know, as I’ve said before, that I really hate anything on my body when running.  But, in order to get my Stern fix in while I’m running, I need to bring my phone.  Up until now, I’ve been using a cheap armband that I bought online that while it has served it’s purpose, it definitely was not the best made arm band on the market.  I recently had the opportunity to try out a new arm band made by SpartanFive.

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SpartanFive sent me the Sports Armband for the iPhone 5 to use and review.  As soon as I opened it from the package I immediately could tell that I was going to really like it.  It is made out of luxury lycra covered neoprene with PU leather on the front cover.  I love that the material is so soft and flexible, yet the armband feels very sturdy.  The scratch resistant cover allows access the touch screen on my phone when it is in the armband and it doesn’t slip on my arm at all, even when I get sweaty.

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After using it for a month, it hasn’t stretched out.  I can even fit my phone in it without taking it out of the case.  It is water resistant and washable and also had a reflective strip on the front, which is really great for this time of year when the daylight hours are getting shorter and shorter.  It even comes with a set of ear buds that have a shorter cord with volume control right on the cord.  I now have a set of ear buds dedicated just to running!

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So goodbye cheap old armband and hello luxury SpartanFive armband!  I am very happy with this product!

I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Tomoson.com. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.