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2018 Races…TBD!

Thursday, February 23, 2012

**Giveaway!** BTB Sport Optics: Serious Running Shades

Yes, you read that right...it's a Serious GIVEAWAY! 

In the relatively short life of Serious Case of the Runs I've managed one single giveaway (that was fun!).  Apparently, I'm way behind the times in blogland :)  Luckily the peeps over at BTB Sport Optics (based out of one of my most favorite places ever: Salt Lake City, Utah) caught drift of my lack of giveaway-ness and asked if I'd like to try out a pair of their sunglasses, and then give a pair away in celebration of said wear test. 

I do love free (who doesn't?).  But more than anything, I love free stuff that is relevant to me and my readers, and seriously running related (obviously).  Those are my only two requirements.  Well, that and I gotta really like it based initially on it's 'bookcover' (call me judgey).  So, a Serious Case of the Runs BTB Sport Optics review was a perfect marriage.

I'm not going to get all technical...mostly because I don't know any techy stuff about sunglasses...and because really technical reviews bore the crap out of me.  I just want to know the good stuff, and, if any, the really bad stuff.  So here goes!

I was a tad apprehensive at first because I love the sh** out of my Smith District's, and have faithfully stuck with them a record 2-1/2 years.  But, I've been curious about other brands of late so it was good timing I suppose :)  I played around on the website to get a feel for the company and what they're all about.  Holy affordable eyewear, Batman!  Besides their low prices, I also learned that you can get shot with a .22 caliber firearm at close range and you'll receive a mere dimple in your BTB Sport Optics lens...so that means they're pretty darn tough, which is a really, really good thing for us trail runners and for anyone with a tendency to drop their glasses/not keep them in a hard case :)  You can learn more about their glasses features HERE.

I played around some more and settled on a pair of their Running Sunglasses, specifically the BTB 850.  When they arrived, I'll be honest...I wasn't totally hot for them based purely on aesthetic reasons (and it's really silly, actually)...the top of the frame isn't straight, it curves downward a touch, which I don't think really flatters my face shape.  Does that even make sense?  No?  Well, ignore that then :)  I refused to let that affect my thoughts on the glasses.  I'm pretty good at being nitpicky about my running gear and I reminded myself of that little factoid. 

Since we run in the early mornings, and this time of year it's still dark out for much of the run, I didn't get to test them out for a bit.  But, as soon as I did I haven't hesitated to grab them on my way out the door for runs, or for anything outdoors for that matter.  I LOVE these glasses!  They even traveled to the sunny beaches of Mexico recently where they performed awesomely, as expected.

They are so lightweight, and the fully adjustable nose grips keep them right where I set them, so I forget they're even on my face most of the time.  I don't have to keep reaching up to push them back up to the bridge of my nose (which is something I've always had to do, especially while running).  And, they don't bounce around!  They stay in place.  Imagine that!  And, I love how they sit on top of my head when I don't need them on my eyes (while inside or it's too dark out).  The BTB 850s are relatively low profile and they hug my rather large cabeza very nicely :)

At first glance, and really every glance after that, you don't get the feeling they are all that well made.  They are sort of...cheap feeling.  You know when you hold something you can generally tell if it's well made or not?  Well, I was wrong about my BTBs.  They may feel cheap but they are very well made and are holding up extremely well.  I've dropped those suckers on their lenses more than a few times, on varying terrain (not on purpose...I just have butterfingers sometimes :)), and still haven't been able to scratch, dent, break, or really do any harm to these sunglasses.  It's quite astonishing actually.  Color me happy!  Oh, speaking of color, I really dig the amber lenses.  I've always worn darker, smokey lenses in my sunglasses, so I wasn't sure how I was going to like the amber tint.  Love it.  Definitely lighter, obviously, but I'm still not squinting or feeling like I need a darker lense even staring nearly directly at the sun.  (Hey, I needed to really test these suckers out :)) 

As a little bit of an incentive to try out their product, BTB has given me a code to share with my awesome readers, for 30% off a BTB Sport Optic purchase.  Booya!  Just use SERIOUS 30 at checkout and you'll save some bucks on a pair (or more!) of shades that are already seriously affordable.

Oh wait, I haven't even mentioned how freakin affordable these glasses are.  Everything BTB sells is under $50.  They believe that high quality doesn't have to be synonymous with high price.  I can dig that.  The BTB 850s that I picked out retail for $39.95.  A polarized version would only put me out another $10.  Ummm, yes, sign me up! 

So, all in all, I give my BTB 850s a 9.5/10 stars.  I dock a half star for that silly aesthetic reason I mentioned earlier.  That's seriously the only thing though.  I love, love, love these sunglasses and am looking forward to putting them to the 50 mile test at Zane Grey in April, and then, of course, the 100 mile test later on :)

Oh, that's right, the Giveaway!  The lucky winner will receive a pair of any of BTB Sport Optics sunglasses, winner's choice!

I'll keep it nice 'n simple: You just need to leave a comment below in order to qualify.  That easy! 

I just need your name and a quick little snippet telling me where you'd first want to take your BTB Sport Optics if you win.  Have fun with it!    

I'll put each name I receive in a hat and my lovely husband, Geof, will get to draw the lucky name.   

I'll keep this open for the next week or so (the more entries the better!) and then announce it right here on Serious Case of the Runs.

In the meantime, check out BTB's website, and don't forget to use the code SERIOUS 30 to receive 30% off your BTB Sport Optic purchase!

Good luck!

Paige, out.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Chicago has a way of sucking in the winter, though this winter has been quite mild and, dare I say, lovely?  Regardless, we felt the need to take our Serious Case of the Runs for a vacation, and border-hopped for six days.  We were in serious need of some sun exposure and all natural vitamin D.  Our feet were also in need of sandals and, of course, sand between the toes.  So that's exactly what we did.  And we packed just as much in the way of regular clothes/swimwear as we did running clothes :)

The resort we stayed at, just north of Playa del Carmen, is part of an eco park.  It's huge, like something over 350 acres of pristine and protected land hugging the Caribbean Sea.  Lush mangrove forests, 150+ species of birds, flowers, fresh water rivers flowing through the resort, and cool underwater caves that you could dive into.  So it was totally up our alley.  Anywho, we did one run on the treadmill because it was getting late that day and we were feeling vacation lazy.  It was a great workout.  I mixed in some decent climbing and worked my legs pretty good.  One thing the 'mill is good for, climbing :)

The rest of the time, we ran through the eco park and discovered all the cenotes (the underwater caves) sprinkled about the park, peaked in the plant nursery, and dodged iguanas (those things are like squirrels down there).  The runs were short, but it still felt good to get out and get the paper white legs moving, especially in such gorgeous weather (sunny, 80s, breezy!).  After almost a week of no kale, too much sugar, and our fair share of Dirty Monkeys and Coronas, it was GREAT to get home and crawl back up on the wagon.  And eat kale.  I missed kale :)  And tap water for that matter.

Anywho, here's a little vacation in pictures for your winter wearied eyes.

We headed to Tulum to check out the Mayan ruins on Monday.  It was super pretty, and picture perfect...

It's Geof the Mayan!
Our tour guide dude was hilarious.  He had the funniest accent.  He claimed to be Mayan, but he sounded like a mix between an American "accent", Scottish, Irish and a touch Kiwi.  It was like he couldn't decide what he wanted to be :)

Other than heading to Tulum, strolling 5th Avenido in Playa del Carmen, kayaking the rivers, running, and attempting to eat our way to a spare tire, we did a whole lotta this:

Under this:

And then got all pretty on Valentine's Day:

It was a great wintermission. 

And now it's time to buckle down and get jiggy with this Zane Grey 50 training. 

Paige, out.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Homo ultris runneris

I feel human again.  And it is such a wonderful feeling.  I had forgotten how lovely it is to feel like a functioning member of society...particularly of the genus Homo and species ultris runneris.

Ultris runneri, as seen in the red rock wilderness, circa 2011

I have now had two wonderfully speedy runs in a row (I was worried my legs forgot how to turn over), and have enjoyed some fantastic running in general since my last post.  And amen to that; Geof was on the verge of removing my Best Running Partner Ever title ;)

Saturday we headed to Palos to get in a short trail run, and some hills.  The trails were in bad shape so we stuck to the gentler yellow trail, hoping to avoid causing too much damage to the soggy terrain.  It was pretty nasty.  Palos always feels gross as it is (on account of the horse manure, mostly), and Saturday was no exception, but after a couple miles, and knowing it was my last run in the shoes I was wearing, I allowed myself to fully embrace the gross.  Soupy mud, soggy horse poop, sticky clay, and the moldy scent of a half-thawed winter combined with humidity.  Ahhhh, Midwestern trail running at its finest!  We ran clockwise so that we could have the good hills for climbing (rather than descending), and running all the way up Big Bertha was quite a treat!  A couple of muscles in my right glute that had been on an extended leave of absence since Javelina 100 decided to wake up and join the fun finally.  Breathing not nearly as hard as I have in the past pushing up that hill, we reached the top and both agreed we needed to do some more hill work before spring racing begins :)

Geof found out he got into the Wasatch 100 on Saturday evening, and immediately set about formulating a race strategy/plan on Sunday morning.  I am so pumped to get to head back there and get in another round of pacing and crewing, especially because it's for my rockin' husband.  It's a truly awesome experience and the course is disgustingly beautiful.  So, we've got that on tap for September, and lots of awesome training to do before then! 

I still need to figure out what my big race will be this year, but I've got other fish to fry before I make that decision.  I look forward to having some supremely good news to share in the next couple of months; fingers, toes, legs and eyes crossed!

I've recently culled a pair of really great road shoes.  I like to try out lots of different road shoes, different brands, different styles.  But I always, always find myself coming back to Brooks roadies.  This time I picked up a pair of the Brooks Launch.  They're pretty wonderful.  Cushy, light, and downright comfortable.  The Mizuno Wave Riders I was trying so hard to like are now out of the rotation.  The ankle collar was too stiff and annoying.  I dreaded running in them.  In my opinion, you shouldn't have to work at liking your running shoes.  You should LOVE them the moment you slip them on and prance around for the first time.  There are rare exceptions, of course, but for the most part that's how it should be :) 

It's great to feel like an ultris runneris again and I'm finally starting to look forward to Zane Grey in April.  I'm sure there will be days where I'm cursing it, but for the most part I am really excited for a new challenge (and what a challenge it will be!).  After a little vacation getaway this weekend we'll really crank it up again.  On on!

Paige, out.

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