Sunday, May 31, 2015

motigo app review: part II

Disclaimer: I received a 25 free cheers to send on Motigo to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I wrote Part I yesterday, you can read it here. For today’s post, I’ll be discussing the part of the app that is Cheering for a Runner.

If this is your first time with the app - you’ll of course need to download it and then register with an email. If you need more details, you can refer to Part I.

At the bottom of the Motigo App screen, you’ll see the following options: Race, Cheer, How it Works, and FAQ. You’ll want to go to Cheer.

Search for Participant Screen.

Then, you can either search for an event and then select your runner through the list of runners for that specific event, OR you can select a participant and then select which race you want to send a cheer for. 

The list of participants for a selected event.

Once the event and runner are chosen, you can select which mile you want your cheer played at. Then, you’ll hit the record button. The nice thing about this is that you can listen to your message and re-record if needed. I’ve made mistakes/sounded like an idiot, so recorded a few messages over. I tend to not listen to the playback, since I don’t like to hear the sound of my own voice haha.

Confirm Your Cheer before sending.

After confirming and sending a cheer,
you receive this message.

When your cheer plays, you receive an email from Motigo alerting you that your cheer just played for your runner. I was happy to get this, because the first time I sent a cheer I was worried that I didn’t do it right. Relief.

I think my only ‘con’ about the app is that the person sending cheers has to pay $1.99 per cheer. That seems a bit steep, especially if you have a runner that does a lot of races that you can be a part of. I’m sure the app will be evolving as time goes on, and I hope there winds up being maybe a subscription based option where you pay so much a month or year and get unlimited cheers. Or perhaps a package of 10, where 1 is free. Something like that, I think you get the idea. I just feel bad that the cheers are for my benefit, so I feel bad having the person giving me encouragement pay to do so. 

I do hope in the future there are some more options. I was fortunate enough to be able to test the app for free - and I really enjoyed being able to cheer for people and also receive cheers while I was racing, so I think it’s something worth looking into, especially for those longer races - half marathons, marathons - or even the shorter ones if your runner is new to racing and could use those encouraging words from friends and family. It’s quite helpful in finishing a race strong. Head on over to their website if you’re interested in some more details or go here if you have questions.

How about you – do you enjoy cheers from spectators, or being a cheerleader during races? I wasn’t able to run a race last weekend, so I went to cheer on everyone else and had a great time. I’d definitely recommend it (or volunteering for a race if you can).

Here’s another SUPER FUN thing happening. Motigo has partnered with Nuun(one of my favorite hydration products) for National Running Day Virtual Run! It goes from June 3–7, and you’ll run a 5k (or longer, if you want). Download the app and add the event to your list. You’ll have a chance to win prizes WHILE you are running! How cool is that? Nuun has lined up some surprise messages from some special guests… I can’t wait to hear who it is and what they have to say! Make sure to hit ‘Start Event’ before you begin, and then listen up for some cheers! Learn more here.

PS Receive 20% off Nuun with discount code 'NRD2015'!

read other Pros thoughts: Angie | Laurel

Connect with Motigo:

Saturday, May 30, 2015

motigo app review: part I

If you noticed on my Twitter feed last night, I posted how I had spent an hour and a half on a post, to have it be deleted. For whatever reason, Blogger wasn’t autosaving, I pressed save and tried to close, and it said I’d lose all unsaved changes. I clicked cancel, saved it, and tried again. Same message, and while I was thinking hit cancel and copy your work before closing it, I hit cancel by mistake. Woe is me. Why 'OK' is the main option for such an event is unclear to me... shouldn't it be 'Cancel'?! Anyway, I’m back re-writing, and have decided to break up my review into two parts since the original had been so long.

Disclaimer: I received a 25 free cheers to send on Motigo to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

I don't know about you, but when I come across people on the sidelines of a race, and they're cheering (for me, or just generally for everyone), I get so excited and happy. If I'm feeling crappy or like the race isn't going well, they make me smile and keep me pushing hard to finish strong.

Have you ever been to a race that had little to no spectators/people cheering? I have. It makes the race a little sad, at least for me. Well, Motigo is here to save the day. It's a nifty iPhone app that allows other people to record audio for you, choose what mile of your race it plays, and cheer you on during your race, even if they can't physically be there to do so.

The app is currently only available for iPhone users, but they do have on their website a place to put your email address to be notified when it's available for Android, so I'd say it's in the works. There is hope, Android users!

The app was created by a couple in Denver. Dan was running a marathon in Arizona while Celeste was back in Denver. Although he received some cheers from strangers along the way, it wasn’t enough to get him through the agonizing final miles. It’s then that the idea for Motigo came about. You can read more and watch a short video here.

Ok, so now onto how the app works for when you are running an event and want to add it your race list.


First, you need to download the app from the iTunes App Store. Easy. Next, you register with an email address and create an account.

Go to the bottom of your screen, and ap on race if it isn’t already selected. At the top, there is a ‘Select Your Event’ Option. Within that page you can search for your race. If it isn’t there, go back a ‘page’ and select ‘Request New Event’. This opens up an email, in which you send to the Motigo folks the details of your race – Name and Date.

I had to do this for my first race. I was concerned because I didn’t send the email until 4pm on Friday and my race was Sunday morning. Not only was it not much time, it was also almost the weekend. Lucky for me, I received an email (to the account I registered with) stating that the race had been added and that it was in my event list. Yay! The email was personalized and offered some words of encouragement - bonus points for Motigo.

Another cool feature is that once you select your event, you can share it on twitter, which sends the link to others so they can download the app and cheer you on!

After you choose an event, you’ll receive an email saying that you’ve added the event successfully. The night before the race, I received another email giving me tips on how to use the app while running, and some ways to save battery life. My phone is old and usually dies during half marathons unless I bring my external charger with me, so this was definitely a concern for me. I use Spotify and Nike+ during races, so who knows what my phone would do with another app running. I turned off bluetooth, as suggested, and also changed my mail ‘Fetch’ to every hour instead of every 15 minutes, hoping this would help. You also need to make sure you have GPS enabled (Angie accidentally went into airplane mode for a race, and didn’t get her cheers). It also helps to close all other apps that aren’t being used during the event. I found the email very helpful in figuring out the best way to use the app without draining my battery too much. My phone actually made it till the finish without dying OR using the external battery - JOY! It was about 32% at the finish line (remember though, I take a long time to finish a half marathon ;) )

I use Spotify for my music, and you are able to set up a playlist through the app, but unfortunately that’s through iTunes, which I don’t use. I was nervous about how the app would work if I was also using Spotify, and tweeted my concern to another Pro who had just used the app for a race. He used iTunes, so it wasn’t any help for me, but Motigo responded and let me know that as long as I didn’t close out of Motigo and had it running in the background, I could use Spotify and the app without any issues.

At the race start, I got my phone ready to go, had Motigo open and at the event. When the race began, I hit ‘Start Event’ on my phone, started my Spotify playlist (offline, not streaming), and ran. The app lets you know how many cheers you have for each event, and for this one I had one. I listened for something the whole race, and at mile 12 fellow Pro Angie’s voice came playing through my yurbuds. She sent me a great cheer which made me smile and laugh – a welcome treat since I had been grimacing for quite a bit with hip pain.

It’s a really fun and motivating experience. Another cool feature is that after the race (around 2pm) the cheers for that event show up in your Past Events/Race list and you can re-listen to them… whenever you want! If you couldn’t hear it well (this happened to me during Soldier Field – Nike+ was telling me my mile stats at the same time the cheer was playing, so I wasn’t sure who it was or what they said), you can go back and listen when you’re finished. I went back and listened to all of mine again before writing this post yesterday (ya know, before it was deleted) and they made me laugh a lot. I think if I’m ever having a tough day, I’ll go back into the archives and give a listen to my cheers… to cheer myself up ;)

I’ve used it for 4 races so far, and have loved the messages each time. I find it simple to use, and love how hands on the company can be – I have been receiving emails post-race to see how it went, and letting me know to contact them if I had any questions or problems with the app during the race.

Tomorrow I will post the Cheering on a Runner portion of the app. Stay tuned.

Here’s another SUPER FUN thing happening. Motigo has partnered with Nuun (one of my favorite hydration products) for National Running Day Virtual Run! It goes from June 3–7, and you’ll run a 5k (or longer, if you want). Download the app and add the event to your list. You’ll have a chance to win prizes WHILE you are running! How cool is that? Nuun has lined up some surprise messages from some special guests… I can’t wait to hear who it is and what they have to say! Make sure to hit ‘Start Event’ before you begin, and then listen up for some cheers! Learn more here.

PS Receive 20% off Nuun with discount code 'NRD2015'!

Want to read Angie’s experience with the app? Head on over.

Connect with Motigo:

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

soldier field 10 mile recap

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into Soldier Field 10 Mile to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

Pre-Race Shot taken inside the stadium.

I raced Fleet Feet Sports Soldier Field 10 Mile in 2014 as a last minute decision. I believe I registered the week of the race, and boy was I glad I did. Not only was the SWAG awesome, runners had the chance to actually RUN on Soldier Field and Finish on the 50 yard line. You can read about my experience here.

When I was given the opportunity to race this year through the BibRave Ambassador program, I was STOKED. I was planning on registering again, so it made it all the better.


Finisher Medal.

They had multiple days for packet pick-up, including new for 2015 locations in the suburbs (Deerfield, Naperville, and Oak Park), and then Fleet Feet Old Town from Tuesday–Friday 10am–8pm.

I went to Old Town on Thursday around 11am. I parked in the Piper Alley parking garage, and Fleet Feet validated for me, so it was free. I love that they have the bib pickup in the lobby area of the building, then have you to through the back of the store to grab your shirt. It wasn't crowded when I went, but I imagine it really helped cut back congestion when it was (the packet pickup I did the week before had bibs and shirts in the back of the store, and I felt a bit claustrophobic when I was there during a Saturday morning).

Another great thing is that they allow friends and family to pick up packets for you. Pro Angie and her husband Josh weren't going to be able to make it to pickup on time Friday night, so I was able to pickup for them. All I needed was their bib confirmation email and a 'note' stating that they were giving me permission. There was also the option for Race Day Will-Call Packet Pickup, which was $15.

Communication prior to the event was great. Plenty of emails (but not annoyingly so) with the details of the race, packet pickup, tailgate party, parking, etc were included, so it made everything easier.

SF10 was held on Saturday, May 23. We really lucked out with some gorgeous spring/summer weather and mostly sunny skies (though I will admit I prefer more clouds and a bit cooler haha). It was on the mid-50s to start, and I think got up to the low- to mid-70s by the time the post-race party finished around 11:30.

Parking was free and was supposed to be available at the South Lot, Waldren Deck and the North Lot. However, when I got there around 5:55, they had the exit ramp to the South Lot/Waldren closed. I was a bit cramped for time, as I was supposed to meet the BibRave gang around 6/6:15 for photos and to give Angie and Josh their bibs. So that was a little annoying, plus I prefer to park on the South end, buuuuut parking was free, so I'm not going to complain that much. I finally met up with them at about 6:30ish. Luckily, it was still enough time to chat a little, and Josh made it into his corral (2) on time before they closed it off (6:45).

The BibRave Gang! So great to see you all (most)!
Photo courtesy of Angie.

There was gear check, but I didn't need to utilize this. I do know that you had to use the clear bag given at packet pickup for gear check, though. I did love that the bathrooms inside were open for use. No port potty, and no line!

Clearly marked corrals with countdown till closing clocks.

There were 4 different corral colors - Purple, Blue, Orange, and Green - for 16 different waves. The Purple and Blue closed at 6:45, Orange at 7:15, and 7:30 for the Green. Mom and I were in the second to last wave - 15.

My KT Taped and wrapped knee, Zensah sleeves and
Mizuno Wave Rider 18!

I had a leg injury which prevented me from doing my best, but I was able to hang with my mom the whole race, which is always fun. She was nice enough to slow down for me.

My view waiting in my corral.

At the start line.

There were plenty of aid stations on course, a total of 5, which were stocked with both Gatorade and Water - each in different cups. Gatorade was first, water was second. All of the volunteers with energetic and polite. I was with the back of the pack gang, and the aid stations were still well manned and none were broken down or lacking in either refreshment. 

The race is a bit congested at the beginning, as you are running on smaller streets, until you go under McCormick Place and onto Lake Shore Drive where it widens and the crowd can spread out. Headed south isn't the most exciting route, but there was some entertainment (school marching band) and a DJ at the turnaround at about mile 5.5.

The course narrows again when you get on the lakefront path going north to Soldier Field, but generally I didn't have any problems with getting around people when I needed to.

Great view of the Chicago skyline!

We passed the cutest older man running the race around mile 6, and thankfully was able to watch him go towards the finish while I was in the tail-gate party. He was inspiring.

It's a great view going north with the skyline, lake, and then after while passing McCormick Place, Soldier Field comes back into view. The last .5 mile of the race is the best. There are people cheering for you, your name gets called, and then you run into the underbelly of the stadium... just a little more... and you are ON THE FIELD, with a finish on the 50 yard line. It is very exciting to be out there, in my opinion.

I also used the Motigo App while running, and got 2 cheers, which always gives me more kick in my step. If you don't know what it is, look into it, and come back here for a review in the next few days :)

Active military men and women are handing out the medals and bottles of water. Obviously had to thank them all for their service. It's an honor to get a medal placed on me by an active military member. Then I heard from behind 'Hey, BibRave - are we getting good review?' and I turn around to see a man walking towards me. After having running brain, I completely missed asking for his name, but I let him know I thought it was a great race again this year. It is extremely well organized and executed nearly to perfection. I loved this race in 2014, and I loved it again in 2015. Yes, the free entry was great, but it doesn't sway my opinion. I would have raced this year even if I had to pay, that's how much I enjoy it. He also mentioned that I needed more sunscreen during the race... yep, I got sunburn! Story of my pale-skinned life.

After finishing.

After a few quick photos mom and I walked off the field, got a cup of Gatorade, and made our way outside where we received the Refresh bag - - an awesome perk for the race. Inside was a banana, fruit snacks, pretzels, Skinny Pop popcorn, a Clif bar (trail mix), and Lemonheads. They give you some of the best (and higher quantity) snacks post race.

I headed on over to the icing station and got my leg wrapped with ice. The guy who wrapped my leg was very nice, and did a great job getting the ice to stay on my leg (they use saran wrap, which works great at keeping it in place, even when I was walking). 

Someone mentioned donuts, and I was so excited thinking they had some.
What a disappointment haha.

On our way to the tailgate party, I grabbed a Dunkin Donuts Iced Coffee sample, and saw there was also bottles of Muscle Milk and samples of Naked juices. I headed for the beer and got the last 312 Urban Wheat. Whoooo! Thank you Fleet Feet, for providing a tastier beer than most other races... and one that is based in Chicago (or at least used to be... I don't think 312 is made here anymore, but plenty of others from GI are).

We finally met up with Josh and Angie to chat and hang out. We cheered on some of the final runners from inside the party (we could see them on course and cheered them on just a bit before turning into the stadium). The great thing about the course is that once you make it to mile 5.5, you're on the LFP, so you are still able to finish if you are a bit slower. I think they allowed finishers who were past the pacing requirement, which I think is lovely.

The Tailgate party had a band, beer, and I think even some food. We sat on the hill and caught up, discussed the race and other races, and then were asked to leave at 11:30 - closing time.

In our rush to get out of the parking lot and meet up with the gang, neither my mom or I paid much attention to where we parked. And so, with Josh and Angie in tow, we went searching. Originally we were on the right level, but somehow missed the car, and tried the other levels. Finally went back to the original level where we found it - oops. I gave Josh and Angie their shirts, and we said our goodbyes - until October!

I will definitely be doing this race again next year! You can read my BibRave review here or all of them here.

Check out Angie's recap here and Kim's here (she's the one I missed seeing pre-race, was so bummed!).

Friday, May 22, 2015

mizuno wave rider 18 review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

New in the box! Great color!

It's no secret. I love being a BibRave Pro. It's such a supportive, kind, and energetic community to be a part of. The people are amazing and have become some of my best running friends, even though most of us live hundreds of miles away from each other, and I've only met a few in person.

Another thing that's awesome about being a BibRave Pro? I was chosen to test out a pair of Mizuno Wave Rider 18! How fantastic is that?! I've heard so many runners talk about their love for Mizuno shoes, and the Wave Rider style in particular. So, when I heard I would be receiving a pair, I was ecstatic. Thanks to BibRave and Mizuno for this wonderful opportunity.

And what was even more exciting (I know, how could there be more?), is that when I opened the box, they were the most perfect shade of blue. My husband saw them and said that it's as if they could read my mind when they chose which color to send over.

Most runners know, choosing a shoe can be a tricky business.... especially if you are new to running. I've been running for about four years now, and sometimes running shoes are still a mystery to me. I was fitted for a pair about a year after a started – after my first half marathon, actually. I had gotten some blisters, and learned that I was wearing a half size too small, which wasn't allowing my feet any room for swelling, which then turned into blisters. 

I stuck with that model (and upgraded with it when it did each year), but last year during a half marathon, I wore my trusted brand and style, and ended up with blood blisters. Not to say it was just the shoes – perhaps it was the potholed, uneven street that played a part. I don't think it was the socks, since it had been a pair I have worn for many a half. Maybe it was an anomaly.

Anyway, after that I decided to try out new shoes. I figured maybe something with the new upgrade wasn't suiting my feet properly. I've found some shoes that have worked well, but I'm not sure I LOVE them... and we want to LOVE our running shoes, right?!

I always wear my running shoes for walking/running errands a few times before I give them the running test. I need mine to break in a bit before wearing them for pounding the pavement... get them loosened up a bit. I'm not sure what it is, but if I wear them for running right away, they're too stiff and my feet always feel uncomfortable. I know some people like to run in them right away, and that's cool. Everyone has their own way of doing things :)

Ready for the expo in my BibRave shirt and Mizuno Wave Rider 18s!

I wore my Wave Riders to drive to work a few times, I wore them on my trip to California for Tinker Bell Half Marathon Weekend, and I wore them in the parks for a few days. I felt they were ready to race in by the Tinker Bell 10k. I normally wouldn't wear a pair of running shoes for running the first time during a race, but I felt it would be ok.

Wearing Mizuno Wave Rider around Disneyland –
The Happiest Place on Earth!

I was right! They felt awesome running in, and even though I did a lot of walking due to an injury sustained at the 5k the previous day, I still had no issues. When I got back to the hotel room, my feet felt good. Off came the shoes and sock and... NO BLISTERS! Huzzah. This is actually a huge win for me. I've tried a lot of shoes, and I believe it's because I need a large enough toe box, I end up getting a lot of blisters on the inside of my foot right above my toe (the area where people get bunions). They honestly look like they would give me blisters, since they seem a bit more narrow than other shoes I've worn, but I haven't had problems with this.

Tinker Bell 10k.

Tinker Bell 10k outfit, including the Wave Rider 18.
They matched perfectly!

I've worn them for a few runs since, and still no problems. I'll be wearing them for the Soldier Field 10 Mile on Saturday, and I'll post how the shoes went along with my race recap. Look for it next week. They're lightweight and I feel they give me enough stability. Also, I would say they are true to size. I usually wear an 8 for my running shoes, so I got an 8 in the Wave Rider (it's always tricky deciding on a size without trying on... I'm always afraid it'll be too big or too small, you just never know with a new brand). These fit very well, and I wouldn't have chosen a different size.

Traveling in style!

Now, onto the more technical information about the Mizuno Wave Rider 18 (found on the website):

The Wave Rider is made with Mizuno Wave Technology. What is this? It's an effective mechanical midsole. As your foot touches the ground, Wave reduces and redirects impact forces away from your foot. It's a compact form, so it means the shoe can still be sleek and lightweight.

• Disperses impact forces away from foot
• Progressive, tunable support
• Lightweight, company, responsive
• Doesn't break down over time

Awesome color options! Left is women, right is men.

Another key aspect of the Wave Rider 18 is the U4ic – U4ic midsole delivers optimal shock attenuation, durability, and a superior ride that's 30% lighter than AP+. It is Innovatively light and well cushioned.

SmoothRide Engineering™
SmoothRide is the result of years of development designed to the most fluid, smooth, rocking-chair like motion in every step. It begins working the moment your foot touches the ground. Flex Grooves in the heel promote natural movement from the back of your foot to the front, initiating that rocking-chair motion. The AP+ Midsole gives the shoe a bouncier feel. And Flex Grooves and Flex Controllers in the forefoot work together to smoothly continue the roll forward to give your foot a more solid platform at toe-off.
• Smooth, rocking motion throughout your stride
• Increased flexibility
• More power at toe-off

Durable carbon rubber that allows for longer wear.

An ideal heel fit and secure midfoot embrace make this lightweight trainer feel like a part of your foot.

The parallel Wave in the heel, lightweight U4ic midsole and optimal amount of forefoot flexibility all work together to make every stride smooth and flowing.

• Refined toe-spring delivers a smooth, effortless toe-off
• Upgraded premium sock liner provides more rebound and resiliency at every foot strike
• New outsole design with added durability and shock attenuation

Ratings on the website – 4.3 average! Sounds like a good choice to me.

Neutral Shoe Allows for a natural foot motion
Weight: 7.8 oz
Style: 410656

So there you have it. I'll keep you posted on how they continue to wear when I begin Chicago Marathon training next month :)

Mizuno will be sponsoring #BibChat on Tuesday, May 26 at 8pm CT. Make sure to follow BibRave and Mizuno, and follow hashtag BibChat to interact with other runners! The topic is 'Every Mile Changes You', and Mizuno will be giving away THREE pairs of Wave Rider 18s!! AMAZING - you don't want to miss out!

Another fun thing to kick off #BibChat next Tuesday? A #BibChat Fun Run Tuesday morning in Chicago! Join if you can; details below :)

Have you ever tried the Mizuno Wave Rider? What's your go-to shoe? Have you gone through the process of trying lots of different styles and brands to find a pair you love? 

Connect with Mizuno Running:

Read other reviews from fellow BibRave Pros!