Fitbit Surge Early Review

I love my Garmin 220, but the Garmin Vivofit (pedometer) was only ok. Garmin Connect has had many issues the past few months. When Fitbit announced the Surge in the fall I knew it would be on my birthday list. Yes, it’s a very early birthday present. I have worn the Surge for a week and on 6 runs Four of those runs I also used my Garmin 220 to get a good comparison. Here are my pros and cons.


Love being part of the Fitbit community and having friends to challenge.

Fitbit is very user-friendly and I was able to quickly figure out all I needed to know.

The GPS is very accurate. On the runs that I used both devices they were within .05 on miles and pace.

I have never used a heart rate monitor, this one is built-in and automatically gives me my BPM all day.

I do not have my phone on my body, so it’s nice to get the text message notifications.


All of this has to do with the Running application.

On the running screen it’s average pace, not instant.

You can’t change the fields on the running screen. I would like the miles to be the largest field.

Run Screen

Run Screen

I also would like auto lap vibration alerts and auto pause, which I have on the Garmin.

There is no menu, so you can not go back and see your run on the watch, only on the Fitbit App, once you close this screen.

Summary screen

Summary screen

I’m hoping that Fitbit will change some of these features in an update. Overall I think it is a good watch, but could be made better with a few changes. I will not be giving up my Garmin 220, and will use it for races.

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Hello 2015!

Guess what starts today? Marathon training! On January 1st I committed to running the Eugene Marathon, May 10th. I had been debating if I should run a spring marathon, or tackle a 50k or just contentrate on shorter races. The marathon is such a big draw for me. It’s a huge challenge, not just the day of the race, but all the training that goes into preparing for the marathon. For Chicago I ran over 600 miles in 18 weeks. That’s not including all the cross training. So Eugene it is.


Here are some of my other goals:

1. Continue to find more people to run with, my pace. I have put myself out there all year, and have made a few runner friends, but I need to keep working on this.

2. Train smart and well for Eugene.

3. Plan a Fall Marathon or 50k. I turn 50 this year and was thinking about running a 50k but have not committed to any.

4. Learn a few words in Mandarin. We are going to Beijing in April and I would like to know a few basic words and phrases.

5. Read more books. Since I purchased my tablet in February I have read 16 books. That is about 12 more than 2013.

Any favorite books? Has anyone been to Beijing and if you have what are your top 5 things to do?


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2014 Running Review

2014 Running Review

2 Full Marathons, 7 Half Marathons and 1 15K. Total mileage 1652.

Worst race

The Boston Marathon, my first and only DNF. The full report is here. It was so disappointing and maybe the only time I was ready to leave Boston.

Best Race Weekend

The Chicago Marathon hands down it was awesome! The race itself was pretty good, no PR but a sub 4:30 and the crown support was great. I stayed with my friend, Jamie and we would be as big as houses if we were together all the time. We both love food. Food report here. My sister Pam and niece Manami were also in Chicago. It is always great to see family and we had a great day at the Chicago Art Institute.


Favorite Race

The Frosty Half Marathon. This race was only a few weeks ago and it was very cold and hilly, but it was run by CRR, my running club in MA and I got to see so many of my old running friends. I was also less than 30 second off my PR, which keeps me hopeful for a PR in 2015.

Race I will not run again

Beat the Blerch This race had some good things going for it, but the gravel trail for 12 miles made my ankles hurt for days.

Next post goals and races for 2015.

Do you have any races on the calendar?


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Whistler Vacation

We spent Christmas in Whistler, BC. We went there last year also. The biggest difference is this year there was snow! Whistler is where the 2010 Winter Olympics were and it is a great ski resort. You don’t need your car. All the restaurants and shops are an easy walk in the village. You can also walk to the ski lifts.  We stayed in a condo at the Mountainside Lodge. It was a great size for 4 adults, in a super location, but is in need of some updates and a coat of paint. The staff was very helpful and any requests we made were immediately addressed.

I have not skied in over 10 years, and that was back East with the baby mountains. I was a little nervous to give it a go on Christmas morning, but can say it’s like riding a bike. Once you know how to do it you don’t forget. We had a beautiful, sunny day on the mountain.20141225_102442 (2)

The top of Whistler

The top of Whistler












We had a great day of skiing then had Christmas dinner at Trattoria Di Umberto. It’s a very good italian restaurant. Sorry no pictures. I had scallops over risotto and it doesn’t photograph very well but tasted awesome.

I also dragged everyone to The Whistler Olympic Park for cross-country skiing. Again I had not done this in many years, but had a nordic track back in Boston and being a runner I have endurance. Everyone was great sports about it, but think they would all like to stick to downhill skiing.

After 4 miles of cross country skiing.

After 4 miles of cross-country skiing.



We had a great week in Whistler. I ran 3 days as well as ice skated. Have you ever gone on a Christmas vacation?


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Frosty Half Marathon Race Report

This past weekend I was in Boston! I had a great time with my family and friends, and ran Half Marathon #21. It was the Frosty Half, put on by Colonial Road Runners, my east coast running club.

This was a small race, about 225 runners. My sister and Dad were volunteering. We got to the high school about 7:15 and waited in the cafeteria, which was great because it was cold and windy, about 30 degrees. I was able to catch up with many of my old running friends.

We started on time at 8:30. I heard that the course was not flat, but after the Seattle Half, 2 weeks ago, I wasn’t concerned. The first few miles were easy rolling hills. At each water stop and turn there were people I knew. This is always a big morale boost for me. I was pretty sure I was going to get a sub 2. I felt great and all my miles were under 9 minutes. Mile 10 had a big hill that never ended. Finish time 1:56:19, less than 30 seconds off my PR and a solid sub 2. I was super happy.

At the finish line you got your medal and they had a table with cups of water, yes I hate that, but in the gym they had bottles of water and juice. There was also a full breakfast, eggs, pancakes, bacon, sausage, toast, fruit, coffee, hot chocolate.

A few club members posted race photos on Facebook. This one is from Greg Buckley.


No shirt with this race, but an awesome hat and medal. I like races that have different swag. This was a well organized race. Thank you to all the volunteers and CRR.

frostyWhat is your favorite non shirt race swag?


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Seattle Half Marathon Race Report

On Sunday I ran the Seattle Half Marathon. I have not heard many good things about this race, the brutal hills and crappy weather are usually the reasons, but after Chicago I had an empty race calendar and I had to fill it with something.

I went to the Expo on Friday, while we were downtown shopping. It’s a small expo and no matter what race you run, 5K thru marathon, you get the same unisex shirt. I was able to get an x-small though.

Amy and I went to the race together. We got stuck in traffic on the way and got to the start late. Thank you Jamie for taking our bags to bag drop! It was about 22 degrees at the start. Very cold and windy. I spent the first five miles weaving through the crowds of walkers and slower runners. This was my fault not theirs, but it is frustrating and takes a toll mentally. I was glad to pass the 2:15 pacers. Because of the late start I did not have my music ready. about mile 5 I walked and got my music on, I’m glad I did because I needed it for all the hills that were coming.

The course goes over I90 and then through some Seattle neighborhoods. Seattle is not flat. This was a hilly course. I did walk up a few of the very steep hills, and took advantage of the downhill.

We finished in the Stadium and were given our medal, a bottle of water, and a heat blanket. I wish there was a sign pointing to Bag Drop. I walked thru the recovery area and asked about 10 volunteers where it was and no one knew. I finally found it by asking other runners. In the recovery area there was the normal bananas and bagels. But also hot chocolate and Dole fruit cups.

Amy and I had planned to meet at Starbucks at the Armory, so I grabbed my clothes and headed there. I changed and had a coffee while I waited for her.

Official time 2:06:25. Not great but considering the cold, wind, hills and the fact that I am recovering from a cold I’ll take it. It’s not a race I have to run again. Thank you to the volunteers and spectators that came out in very cold weather.

Seattle Half

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Things I’m loving now

I stole this idea from a few other bloggers. I’m struggling to come up with things to write about. My life is a little boring and repetitive. But here are a few things I’m loving now:

Knuckle Lights


I’ve had my pair for 4 or 5 years. They are much better than a headlamp because you can shine the light where you need it, at a car or the sidewalk. Also when I fell during Ragnar this year I broke one of the clips, making the light useless. I emailed Knuckle Lights and they sent me 2 new clips no charge! Great customer service.

Dr. Martens Leyton boots


I had a few pairs of Dr. Martens in college, but they are very clunky. I found these and love them. They are super comfortable, almost like a sneaker than a boot.

Sephora Intensive Instant Moisturizer


I am not a make-up person. But I do try to take care of my skin. When if got cold here last week my skin was so dry. I purchased this because it had great reviews and was only $22 for a big jar. It works great! After 3 applications my skin was back to normal and it is not greasy.


I can’t believe I’m so late to this party. I have binged watched Orange is the New Black, House of Cards and now I’m on to Scandal. What should I watch next?

I’m running the Seattle Half on November 30. I have no goals for this race. I’ve been sick, with a cold, this week and my running has not been good. Hopefully I will be back to normal by then.

What are you loving now?



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