BCS Marathon Countdown: 2 weeks

Just a few weeks out from race day! This was Thanksgiving week, so you know what that means – lots of pie! Did you indulge on Thanksgiving? Did you still run? I was off this week and had my fair share of pie AND awesome runs! Let’s see how this week went!

Thank you, as always, to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me towards my next goal!!!

Monday

Rest!

My goal this week (and every week ongoing) is to focus more on my nutrition. It was tough this week with Thanksgiving and I didn’t restrict myself, nor do I plan to, but hope to continue healthy eating habits as I feel that that is my next step in furthering my training and becoming faster. Luvo meals are helpful – healthy meals on the go – which I will soon review as I’ve picked up quite a few bowls to try! I’d love to hear nutrition tips that you have as well – how you fuel for running and eat to feel your best.

Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde Luvo Bowl

Tuesday

Plan: 10 miles – 2 miles easy, 3 @ 8:20-8:10, 3:00 easy, 3 x 1 mile @ 8:10-7:55, 3:00 recovery, 2 miles easy

Ran: 10.3 miles/1:29:36/8:42 min/mile

This was a TOUGH one! I definitely took my recoveries seriously! 🙂 Though it was tough, the weather was great and I managed to hit my paces. I felt strong… at times… it’s not supposed to be easy! I got it done and I’m happy with that. 🙂

Tough but solid run!

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.0 miles/46:50/9:22 min/mile

This one felt good – I did this run in my parent’s neighborhood and it was a nice change in scenery. It’s amazing how a change in views can make the miles fly. This run seemed like it was over before I knew it! According to my nifty new Garmin Forerunner 935, my Training Status is “peaking!” I felt great!

I love running in my parent’s neighborhood!

Thursday (Thanksgiving Day!)

Plan: 4 miles easy + Crosstraining

Ran: 4.0 miles/37:08/9:16 min/mile

This run felt good, too! Nice, cool weather and ran with a buddy which made time fly. I also did a spin class at Flywheel, which I hadn’t done in forever! I really missed the classes here. It’s amazing how different each cycling studio is. I much prefer Flywheel to the other place I tried out! I snagged a Black Friday deal on some classes and am excited to be back at my favorite place. It was just an awesome day overall, I got in a great workout, then helped Mom cook Thanksgiving, and had lots of good food!

Happy day!

Friday

Plan: 6 miles, last 4 moderate (8:40-8:20 min/mile)

Ran: 6.01 miles/51:36/8:35 min/mile

Another great run! I’m beginning to think that pumpkin pie the night before a run is the key to feeling fresh! Seriously. I’ve been having some tough runs lately and have felt much better this week. And it’s Thanksgiving week – best believe I’ve had my fair share of pie! Anyway, this felt nice and easy, even during the last four moderate paced miles!

Seen on my run!

Saturday

Plan: Long run – 2 miels easy, 6 miles with 2:00 @ 8:25 mixed in, 2 miles easy + test nutrition/fuel

Ran: 10 miles/1:32:03/9:12 min/mile

This run truly felt amazing! The weather was absolutely perfect – nice, brisk running weather. I actually had to slow myself down some, especially the first few miles. I actually looked forward to my 8:25 intervals and found myself having to slow myself down some. That’s always a great feeling – especially since I’d been feeling sluggish last week! It is amazing how some days, running in the 8’s seems impossible, and other days it feels like nothing! I was happy to end the week on a high note!

The amazing view of White Rock Lake for my long run.

Sunday

Rest!

I did absolutely NOTHING today! And it was GLORIOUS.

How was your Thanksgiving? Did you still run/work out? Did you run a Turkey Trot?

What eating/nutrition habits have you found helped your running or wellbeing?

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MilestonePod (discount code!)

Have you ever been curious about foot pods that track your cadence, stride, rate of impact, and all those other great (and important!) running stats? The MilestonePod does just that. At an affordable price.

Just to get an idea… from the website, the MilestonePod is:

A smart shoe odometer.
Know the total mileage of your shoes. No more manual tracking!

Gait and performance metrics.
Get unique foot-based data not available from other devices. Click to view the metrics we track.

A convenient GPS back-up.
The Pod works everywhere, even indoors. And no charging needed!

I have one on each shoe, and as you can tell, it is a staple in my running wardrobe/gadget collection.

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So, what exactly is it? The MilestonePod is a small device that clips on to your shoe. It’s nice and secure, so once it’s on, it’s on. It never needs to be turned on or off, it just “wakes up” once you start running. So you literally clip on, sync to the app on your phone, and forget about it forever while you enjoy the bundle of running stats it gives you!

What information does it give you, anyway?

The MilestonePod will sync to the MilestonePod app after your run and tell you the following metrics:

  • Foot strike
  • Rate of impact
  • Distance & duration
  • Leg swing
  • Ground contact
  • Cadence
  • Stride length
  • Runficiency score
  • Shoe odometer
  • Pace

Yep. It tells it all. See a list and details about these metrics here.

Here is an example of what the MilestonePod App looks like:

I love this little tool because not only do I know my own running better, but I know exactly how many miles are on each shoe, I know which model shoe I run best in, and I know when to replace shoes. All of these things are serious factors in preventing injury. ANYTHING to help us keep pounding pavement, right?

Some other things I’d like to note for the MilestonePod:

No GPS signal needed

The MilestonePod uses sensors and an accelerometer, so it is not dependent on a GPS signal. You won’t need to wait for a signal or worry about running indoors or in the woods. The Pod works anywhere and everywhere.

No need to recharge

The Pod uses a standard watch battery that usually lasts longer than the average pair of shoes (4-6 months). So take one device off your daily recharge list!

Syncs via Bluetooth in seconds

No need to carry your phone on your run. Sync to your smart device after you get home. Don’t worry about forgetting – the tiny Pod has enough memory to store up to 20 hours of running or walking.

Lightweight and durable

The MilestonePod weighs 13 grams, so you won’t even feel it on your foot. And don’t worry about the weather – the Pod is waterproof!

New shoes? Same Pod!

When it’s time to get new shoes, there is no need to get a new Pod. Simply reset your Pod in the App and input your new shoe information. No run history will be lost.

So, the part you’ve been waiting for!

DISCOUNT CODE!

Code “PodTeamJenna33” gets you 33% off your entire MilestonePod order. Valid November 21-December 5, 2017 only at MilestonePod.com.

(The pod retails for $29.95, so this makes one pod only about 20 bucks! And no, I do not make money from sharing this!)

*Additional MilestonePod deals coming up!*

Trot. Sync. Shop. 11/23/17 – Sync a run from Thanksgiving Day (1/23) and receive a 23% discount reward in your App. Meaning, each Pod will be only $23.00. Valid at MilestonePod.com or participating retailers. U.S. only. Earned code valid for 23 days.

Give one. Get one. 12/1-12/15/17 – Buy two Pods, get the second one 1/2 off. Runs December 1-15. Global.

National Free Shipping Day.  12/15/17 – Free shipping on all orders December 15th.

I always get questions about this little yet mighty gadget, and I hope that some of you will get an AWESOME deal on one for yourself and experience the power of knowledge! Who doesn’t want to improve running form and efficiency?

ENJOY and PLEASE let me know if you get one, how you like it! Or if you have questions, do not hesitate! I am happy to talk about products I love. Especially RUNNING products I love. 🙂 Run happy!

BCS Marathon Countdown: 3 weeks

Race day sure does have a way of sneaking up on us, huh? December seemed SO far away, and now looking at the calendar – the BCS Marathon is just THREE WEEKS away! On December 10th, I will be running the BCS Half Marathon in College Station. Am I ready? You bet your bottom! Thanks to Lifelong Endurance for training and preparing me for the “big day.” 🙂 Let’s see how this past week went!

Monday

Rest day!

11/13/16 – it’s been exactly one year today that I ran my first full marathon!

Tuesday

Plan: 8 miles – 2 miles easy, 12:00 @ 8:20-8:05, 3:00 rest, 2 miles easy

Ran: 8.01 miles, 1:11:08, 8:53 min/mile

I did an evening run. I felt stiff and less than motivated to start, but once I hit the 8-minute intervals I felt better and better. I felt good afterwards and decided I really need to focus more on nutrition. I’m a sucker for sweets and I’m starting to feel it… I’m excited because I get to try Luvo meals! That will make quick & easy healthy meals really easy.

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.01 miles, 48:56, 9:46 min/mile

It took a while for me to warm up again, but felt great by mile 4! Sometimes by the time I get in the groove, it’s over! Still loving my new Garmin Forerunner 935 (full review here)

Thursday

Plan: 4 miles easy + Cross-training

Ran: 0 miles + spin class

I did a lunch-time spin class, which went well. Then in the afternoon I bent down to fed my pup and just moved my knee wrong. I was about to head out for my run but it hurt – bad! I was so worried that it would turn into something major. I took some Ibuprofen and opted to rest it and see how it felt in the morning.

“Throwback Thursday” to last month – the Tulsa Run

Friday

Plan: 2 miles easy, 5 miles @ 8:40-8:20, 2 miles easy

Ran: 9.02 miles, 1:23:44, 9:17 min/mile

So, I woke up and my knee felt OK (HALLELUJAH!) I went ahead and headed out for my run and the knees felt fine and, though the run was tough – mentally and physically – I was just thankful that I wasn’t injured. I had to stop and collect myself a few times and remind myself “I can do this…” and I got it done. I listened to the BibRave Podcast and they were talking about the importance of sleep, which I think I really need to focus on. I haven’t been sleeping well lately.

Saturday

Plan: Long run! 12 miles – 6 miles easy, 4 miles @ 8:40-8:20, 2 miles easy

Ran: 12.00 miles, 1:48:37, 9:03 min/mile

This run felt really good, although I did have to stop again a few times to collect myself mentally and physically. I ran on my own today and without music, so it was a little lonely… but the views of the lake made up for it. The first 6 miles flew by and felt easy, then miles 7-12 felt like eternity. I was going against the wind for much of my up=tempo miles which made me a little cranky. I also ended up walking about 40 minutes back to my car because when I run alone I rarely plan my route perfectly. I was exhausted by the time I got back to my car, but tacos made it all better. Overall it was a solid run with some challenges and some silver linings!

Sunday

Rest day!

Looking ahead at next week, I’m excited for a little bit of a change of pace (literally) in my scheduled runs (a 10-miler tomorrow!) and hope to do lots of group runs since I am off work this week! I hope everyone has a happy Thanksgiving!

Do you have any end-of-year races coming up?

Upcoming Races!

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

I have a few (AWESOME!) races coming up, so I thought I’d lay them out for ya! One to cap of 2017, then a couple to kick of 2018! I’m excited to travel for a couple of them and explore new places! I’ve also included the links AND a few promo codes so you can save some moolah and run with me! 🙂

THANK YOU to the coaches over at Lifelong Endurance for training me for each of these races and making me feel 100% confident and READY at the start line, no matter the distance!

BCS Marathon Half – College Station, Texas – December 10, 2017

www.bcsmarathon.com, code “BIBRAVER17” for 10% off!

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I’m excited for this one! Less than a month away! It’s in College Station, which is about a three hour drive for me, so I’ll be headed out on Friday for the expo, then stay the night. I never been to College Station, so I’m excited to explore and have a nice, fresh view! I have heard GREAT things about this race from local running groups. It’s a fast course with a great post-race party. What more could I ask for?

Hot Chocolate 15K – Dallas, Texas – February 3, 2018

www.hotchocolate15k.com/dallas, code “BRHCDAL18” for a free Hot Chocolate cap!

I have run this race before and it quickly became a tradition. I love everything about it. Cool temps, organized, and quality SWAG! Not only do you get chocolate (in many forms!) at the finish, but they always include a sweet jacket. I’m excited for this local race and know a handful of others running it, so it’ll be a “fun run” and memorable meet-up with run friends.

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Statesman Capitol 10K – Austin, Texas – April 8, 2018

www.cap10k.com, code “BibRaveRunsCap10K” for $5 off!

The Statesman “Cap 10K” is an iconic race in famous Austin, Texas. First of all I LOVE Austin. Just the fact that I have an excuse to go to Austin is exciting enough. Now I get to race there! I will be driving down with a friend or two for this one and can’t wait for the experience. According to a fellow BibRave Pro, this is her “FAVORITE RACE EVER!!!” So, I can’t wait to see what it’s all about! It looks like a blast, and post-race partying in Austin will be totally worth the trip!

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As for my racing goal – right now I am focused on getting fast(er) at the Half Marathon distance, so I will be going all-out for the BCS Marathon Half (aiming for the 1:40’s) and may run the shorter distances as “fun runs” or tune-ups. I will leave that up to Coach!

Will you be running any of these races? Let me know!

What other races are you excited about for 2018?

Veteran’s Day Relay!

This weekend, I had my usual long run with my running group – 14 miles! A little longer than my typical long runs lately ranging from 10-12 miles, and I struggled a bit. But I hung in there and got it done. I didn’t quite run the last 15 minutes at half marathon goal pace (7:50ish) as Coach prescribed, but I got the miles in and time on my feet.

Then, I got to take part in something really special! That afternoon, I headed to the Run Texas Frisco store for the Veteran’s Day Relay. I had no idea what to expect but I knew I had to wear my USA pants and I knew that I wanted to honor our military and veteran’s on Veteran’s Day.

We ran with the flag up and down a busy street near the running shop. It felt a bit odd at first, but the support shown was amazing. People honked and waved and police officers turned on their lights. It was a very overwhelming feeling to show support for our country. I can’t even imagine how proud and honored our Veteran’s feel. As they should. Thank you to everyone who has served our country.

Even Derby showed her support!

It was a great (busy!) day! 14 miles and tacos, followed by running to honor our Veterans. Thank you Run Texas for hosting this great event and thank you to Lifelong Endurance for prescribing my 14 miler 😉 really though, I wouldn’t be the runner I am today without you!

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Did you race or run this weekend?

Happy Medal Monday!

It’s not the “bling” that counts, it’s the experience and the memories. But medals can be a nice (shiny!) sentimental item to remind us of our accomplishments. I thought I’d share a few of my recent medal moments…

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through each journey and continuing to make me a stronger runner. I couldn’t do it without you and we’re just getting started!

Thank YOU for all of your support!

Now, the good stuff!

Plano Balloon Festival 5K & Half Marathon – September 23rd & 24th, 2017

I was a happy camper with a 5K PR and a solid Half Marathon, despite the heat and humidity! Running both races got me 3 medals! And, best of all, my parents and my fur-baby were there to greet me at the finish!

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Portland Marathon (Half) October 8, 2017

If that’s not a grin of sheer happiness and pride, I don’t know what is! This was my best half marathon to date. It felt great, I PRd, and I had an amazing time. This race was proof that the process works! Just a short while of adding in speed-work and I ran even faster than expected.

In addition to a medal, the Portland Marathon gives you a commemorative coin, a pendant, a rose, a poster, and a seedling! Some really sentimental items. I will never forget this day.

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Tulsa Run 5K and 15K – October 28, 2017

This is another one I will never, ever forget. Every moment. I ran a solid 5K (2nd in AG!) AND got to run with my DAD! Again, I got additional bling for doing both races! I also visited Tulsa, OK for the first time and loved it!

There you have it! My latest bling! Happy Medal Monday!

What do your medals mean to you? What is your favorite commemorative race item besides a medal? What means the most to me are photographs and memories! But my other favorite item besides a medal so far is the Portland Marathon poster.

DAV 5K – Tulsa, OK

I just wanted to share a little bit about a really neat race that’s happening in one of my new favorite cities since running the Tulsa Run last weekend!

The DAV 5K is on November 4 at Guthrie Green It’s a run, walk, roll and motorcycle ride that thanks those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day. Registration for all events is now open at www.DAV5K.org.

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Looking for a 5K this weekend? Use code SAVE5 for $5 off!

All veterans, active-duty service members, reservists, National Guard and ROTC or service academy cadets are eligible for exclusive benefits on race day, including a free registration. Veterans may also participate in the DAV 5K using a wheelchair or hand cycle.
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Registration is $30 for adults ($25 with discount) and includes a race shirt, race bib, and timing chip.
This year, there is also a Virtual Race registration at $40 where participants can run or walk wherever convenient!
The DAV 5K National Series is presented by DAV (Disabled American Veterans), a nonprofit organization that helps more than 1 million veterans in life-changing ways each year.
Watch a video from DAV5K for more here.
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Review: Garmin Forerunner 935

Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate

 

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Garmin watches. They are well-known to the running community as reliable GPS watches. There are many different kinds of Garmin watches, and the Garmin Forerunner 935 amongst the highest ranks. It is a “Premium GPS Running/Triathlon Watch with Wrist-based Heart Rate” priced at  $499.99. Some key facts about the Forerunner 935, from the Garmin website:

  • Offers advanced running and multisport features in a comfortable watch you can wear all day, and it only weighs 49 grams
  • Provides elevation changes with a built-in barometer; altimeter and electronic compass help you keep your bearings
  • Evaluates your training status to indicate if you’re undertraining or overdoing it and offers additional performance monitoring features
  • Provides advanced dynamics for running, cycling and swimming, including ground contact time balance, stride length and more
  • Battery life: up to 2 weeks in watch mode, up to 24 hours in GPS mode, up to 50 hours in UltraTrac™ mode (with wrist-based heart rate), or up to 60 hours in UltraTrac™ mode (without wrist-based heart rate)

So, the watch is lightweight (comparable to my Garmin Forerunner 235), fully waterproof (made for swimming), can track running, swimming, and cycling, and has an AMAZING battery life.

It also has a plethora of features, of which I am still exploring, including evaluating your training “status” (over/under training), calculating your VO2 Max, tracking your sleep, the ability to download apps and watch faces, plug in workouts, receive notifications and more (much, much more).

The model comes in all black with a black band, but Garmin and other retailers offer affordable colorful band replacements. I got myself one in a light blue, shown below, though I haven’t changed it yet because I’ve actually been digging the black. It matches everything and looks nice and sleek in any setting (running, work, play).

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This review focuses on my thoughts about the Forerunner 935, but for all the specs and technicals, please visit the Garmin site here.


So, my thoughts!

Right out of the box, I LOVE the look. It looks modern, sleek, simple, and it’s NOT huge. In fact, a side-by-side comparison proved that the face is smaller than the face of the Garmin Forerunner 235. This is important to me, because some of the top-of-the-line watches are too big and heavy for my liking (ex: the Fenix 3).

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I love that it has my basic requirements for a watch: tracks my runs (obvious one!), is water-proof, has a great battery life, and has built in wrist-based heart rate tracking. These says, almost all watches have it and it’s a feature I desire especially considering I know I will not wear a chest strap. Plus, I have found heart rate to be a valuable piece of information in running, despite my previous indifference to it. It’s also good-looking which, in all honesty, is also a basic requirement for me.

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The additional features that it has that I’ve been loving (and that I didn’t have previously with the Forerunner 235) are the training status feature and the VO2 Max feature. Since this watch has countless features, I will focus on a few that I have been using and utilizing in my training and that really stand out to me as a unique feature.

Training Status

I enjoy the Training Status feature, because I always wonder – am I doing enough?… am I doing too much?… I feel like you may have wondered this as well. So I think this is an extremely useful tool and is easily understood. From the Garmin website:

Training status shows you how your training affects your fitness level and performance. Your training status is based on changes to your training load and VO2 max. over an extended time period. You can use your training status to help plan future training and continue improving your fitness level.

Peaking

Peaking means that you are in ideal race condition. Your recently reduced training load is allowing your body to recover and fully compensate for earlier training. You should plan ahead, since this peak state can only be maintained for a short time.

Productive

Your current training load is moving your fitness level and performance in the right direction. You should plan recovery periods into your training to maintain your fitness level.

Maintaining

Your current training load is enough to maintain your fitness level. To see improvement, try adding more variety to your workouts or increasing your training volume.

Recovery

Your lighter training load is allowing your body to recover, which is essential during extended periods of hard training. You can return to a higher training load when you feel ready.

Unproductive

Your training load is at a good level, but your fitness is decreasing. Your body may be struggling to recover, so you should pay attention to your overall health including stress, nutrition, and rest.

Detraining

Detraining occurs when you are training much less than usual for a week or more, and it is affecting your fitness level. You can try increasing your training load to see improvement.

Overreaching

Your training load is very high and counterproductive. Your body needs a rest. You should give yourself time to recover by adding lighter training to your schedule.

No Status

The device needs one or two weeks of training history, including activities with VO2 max. results from running or cycling, to determine your training status.

So, with all of these different statuses you can assess if your training load is too much, too little, if you need rest, or if you’re right on track. I think that, as always, it’s best to listen to your body, but a lot of times it’s hard to tell what our body is telling us. So, I think this is a really practical, useful, and comprehensive statistic that we can use to assess our training.

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VO2 Max

The VO2 Max is a little more complicated, but I have also found it extremely interesting and helpful. After all, oxygen plays a huge role in any endurance sport. So what even is VO2 Max? From the Garmin website:

VO2 max. is the maximum volume of oxygen (in milliliters) you can consume per minute per kilogram of body weight at your maximum performance. In simple terms, VO2 max. is an indication of athletic performance and should increase as your level of fitness improves.

The Forerunner device requires wrist-based heart rate or a compatible chest heart rate monitor to display your VO2 max. estimate. The device has separate VO2 max. estimates for running and cycling. You must run either outside with GPS or ride with a compatible power meter at a moderate level of intensity for several minutes to get an accurate VO2 max. estimate.

So, the watch shows the VO2 Max after my run. So far, it has slowly continued to go up, which is a good sign according to the meaning of the number. My personal VO2 Max Has ranged from 50-53. From what I’ve read, elites are in the 60+ range. I enjoy seeing this number to further confirm that I am, indeed, improving. If my VO2 Max were to start lowering, I would know something’s changed. I look forward to learning even more about VO2 Max and ways to utilize this number in my daily training.

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As mentioned, these are my thoughts on just a few of the many performance features of the Forerunner 935. Other features include Recovery time, Training load, Predicted race times, HRV stress test, Performance condition, Functional threshold power (FTP), and Lactate threshold – all of which I’ve also found extremely useful and interesting. See details on each of these features here.

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Besides specific training features, things I have noticed about this watch:

  • Impressive battery life (I’ve charged about once a week at running 6 days per week, and it barely even needs it)
  • Easy to use and figure out functions
  • Good-looking – sleek, lightweight, watch face not too big
  • Screen is easy to read while running in any lighting (back-light for dark runs)
  • Heart rate, distance, and other statistics seem accurate as far as I can tell/am concerned

So, overall, I am absolutely loving this device. I think that this watch is perfect for any runner and I would highly recommend it. It is versatile, sleek, performs well, and has (LOTS) of unique features. Though I did get to test this watch through BibRave, I would pay retail price for it and it would be worth every penny.

*I will continue to test the Garmin Forerunner 935 and add any additional comments below this line!*

Here are links to some other helpful reviews of the Garmin Forerunner 935, covering different features in detail:

Widgets and Face Customization – http://brendaruns.tumblr.com/post/167887416998/review-the-garmin-forerunner-935-disclaimer-i

Virtual Partner and Performance Condition – https://beardontherunblog.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/garmin-forerunner-935-multisport-gps-watch-review/

Interval Workouts and Heart Rate Monitor – http://www.scootadoot.org/2017/11/22/road-tested-garmin-forerunner-935/

Notifications and Battery Life – https://sherunsbytheseashore.com/2017/11/25/gear-review-the-garmin-forerunner-935-and-some-of-its-awesome-features/

UltraTrac Mode and MultiSport Functions – https://livinglovingrunner.com/2017/11/27/garmin-forerunner-935-bibrave-pro/

Sleeping Patterns and Productivity – https://franklyrunning.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/garmin-forerunner-935-review/

Conditions and Watch Faces – http://azsungoddess.weebly.com/blog-posts/a-look-at-the-garmin-forerunner-935

Ultra Running/Trail run test! – https://trailgatersanonymous.wordpress.com/2017/11/28/all-i-want-for-christmas-is-a-garmin-forerunner-935/

Race Predictor and Garmin Connect App – https://marathang.wordpress.com/2017/11/27/training-with-heart/

Do you use a GPS watch while running? What are specific features that you enjoy?