The Grid : Revolutionary Foam Roller Review

Last year, the Green Girl purchased The Grid : Revolutionary Foam Roller.

I had been looking for a compact foam roller to store in my car trunk for use after runs when I came across the Revolution Foam Roller.

From past experience, I understand the importance of a high density foam roller. After flattening a couple of rollers, I finally purchased a 36" roller that contained a 5" PVC core with 1" polyethylene exterior foam. I love my PVC core foam roller and I use it religiously.

The Grid is manufactured by Trigger Point Performance Therapy and features their trademarked Distrodensity Zones, Matrix Technology and an environmentally friendly design.

The Grid is 13" long and 5" in diameter so it's perfect to store in my car and according to the description, it is designed to withstand constant, heavy, and repeated use without breaking down.

After using it for about a year, I can attest to the roller's durability. It has spent many hours in the trunk of my car under the hot sun and it didn't warp or melt in any way. The PVC core has withstood the weight of my body and the roller has maintained its shape.

The roller is also really easy to carry around - I just stick my arm through it and hold it from the bottom and then I can tuck my rolled yoga mat under that same arm.

I must admit that I have a hard time differentiating between the Distrodensity Zones when I'm rolling on it but that does not diminish my satisfaction with this product.

It also didn't hurt that it came in my second favorite color, orange.

For home use, I prefer a longer foam roller but the Revolutionary Foam Roller's compact size makes it portable and convenient for use on the go.


SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player Review

The Green Girl received the SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 Player that was on her holiday wish list from her sister last Christmas.

I went from my 512 mb Creative Zen Nano Plus to a 4 gb device that could store up to 1,000 songs.

In addition to the internal memory, the Sansa includes a microSD/microSDHC memory slot for additional expansion.

The reason why I wanted a replacement player had nothing to do with the limited storage capacity.

Despite the fact that both devices were manufactured back in 2005, the Zen Nano Plus lacked a number of features offered on the iRiver iFP-795T and I became unhappy with the device.

I ultimately chose the Sansa Clip+ for the following reasons:
  • The OLED screen
  • The Sansa Clip+ only weighs 0.92 ounces
  • The convenience of the built-in clip
  • The device is reasonably priced

I've taken it on a handful of runs and trips to the gym and I must say that I am extremely satisfied with my Sansa Clip+. The small size makes it easy to carry and the clip is very convenient.

The menu structure is straight forward and intuitive. I like how audio books and podcasts are separated from music. The controls are easy to maneuver without looking and are perfect for use while running.

My biggest complaint was easily remedied after a little research.

Out of the box, the Sansa Clip+ had a really low output threshold. I discovered the noise limit was imposed by the European Commission. After I chose 'Americas' as my region, I was able to pump up the volume to my heart's content.

The Sansa Clip+ also includes a digital FM tuner with 40 presets and a built-in microphone for recording.

As far as I can tell, the only downside of the Sansa Clip+ is that it doesn't come with a software package that allows you to easily make playlists.

With the SanDisk Sansa Clip+, I've finally found a suitable replacement for my beloved iRiver iFP-795T.


The Workout Sports Duffel Bag Review

Good Hope Workout Sports Duffel Bag
The Green Girl purchased a Good Hope Workout Sports Duffel Bag after winning not one but two CSNStores.com blog giveaways from Tiina from One Crazy Penguin and Tim from 26.2 Quest.

I had been wanting to get a new duffel bag since I started working out at the gym at my work.

I'm a cheap Green Girl so I wanted an inexpensive, lightweight yet sturdy, compact bag but I wanted a separate shoe compartment.

I liked that the Workout Sports Duffel Bag's dimensions were 10.5" H x 17.5" W x 9" D and it only weighed 1.66 lbs.

The bag is constructed of 600d rip-stop polyester and 420d nylon twill. The main compartment is lined and contains one inner zip pocket.

The bag is surprisingly well made. The zippers open and close easily and feel sturdy.

Good Hope Workout Sports Duffel Bag front zippered section
The front of the bag features a zippered flap section. When unzipped, there are three plastic pockets that expand and a mesh pocket.

The pockets are not large enough for standard sized shampoo/conditioner bottles but they would be perfect for smaller bottles. Deodorant would fit perfectly in one of those pockets.

Good Hope Workout Sports Duffel Bag side pocket
The vented shoe pocket is on the left side of the bag and on the right is a small pocket with a Velcro fastener.

The duffel comes with a detachable, cushioned shoulder strap but it does not have feet at the base for additional protection.

The Workout Sports Duffel is the perfect size for hitting the gym after work. The compact size allows me to easily carry it along with my laptop and purse.

Good Hope Workout Sports Duffel Bag
Despite its size, it's surprisingly spacious.

With my bulky running shoes in the shoe pocket, it easily fits two sets of workout clothing, a baseball cap, a jacket, and small towel.

The dual-zippered top flap opens and closes easily and is secured by a small Velcro flap at the end.

I am very pleased with the Workout Sports Duffel Bag!


The Green Girl's Northern California Morning Run

Running along railroad tracks
The Green Girl went for a short run this morning before work.

I'm up in Northern California visiting my family for the extended Memorial Day weekend.

The morning air was cool and crisp.

I decided to run on the gravel along the railroad tracks towards Congress Springs Park. The rocks crunched beneath my feet with each step.

Sunrise over Congress Springs Park
The sun gently warmed my body as I ran.

The quietness of surburbia surrounded me.

When I ran under the giant steel power poles, I could hear the buzz of electricity flowing through the power lines.

Brookside Club of Saratoga
I decided to follow a path down to Brookside Club of Saratoga.

I recalled visiting the club back when I was in high school for some sort of event.

To the right of the narrow road, there were antique cars and automobile parts scattered across a grassy patch.

I immediately thought of one of my favorite television shows, American Pickers, and wondered if these pieces were worth a lot of money.

Antique cars
It was the perfect way to start off my day. I returned to my parent's house feeling refreshed and focused.

I'm looking forward to surprising my little niece by picking her up from school today.


RunJunk.com 10% Off Promotional Code

The Green Girl wants to share a promotional code for RunJunk.com that will give you 10% off your purchase.

Simply use the discount code 'FRIEND' when you place your RunJunk.com order and if you'd like to give the Green Girl referral credit, please list 'The Running Green Girl' in the Referred By box.

RunJunk.com has a great selection of running accessories at great prices. They also offer free shipping on all orders over $50.

I became a huge fan of RunJunk.com when they overnighted me a bottle of SUCCEED! S! Caps the day before I left for Greece for the Athens Classic Marathon at no additional charge.

Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag Review

Green Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag
Last week, the Green Girl purchased a green Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag to carry all of Lexa's essentials.

The water resistant Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag features an expandable bottom zippered section, a mesh pocket on the inside flap with a key connector, reflective trim, a dual-zippered enclosure, rear strap for light attachment, and Velcro straps.

The wedge has a volume of 72.62 cubic inches but can be increased additional 45.59 cubic inches when the expansion section is unzipped.

Road biking essentials
All of Lexa's essentials fit easily in the saddle bag:

Road biking essentials inside the Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag
I was impressed by how much could fit inside the little wedge.

Inside the compartment, there is an elastic on one side and a pocket on the other.

With some effort, I slid the rolled spare tube into the elastic and I tucked the emergency Co2 in the pocket.

Zip expansion option
I clipped my red metro.net flashing light to the rear strap. I will also add some first aid essentials in the event of an emergency.

When I went for my longer ride this weekend, I was able to slide a few snacks in there, too. This made me happy since I love to eat.

The bag feels sturdy and well constructed but not overly heavy.

I would imagine opening up the zipped expansion section would make the bag bulky but it's nice to have that option available should I need it.

Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag straps
The bag easily attaches to the two vertical bars on the bottom of the saddle with the two top Velcro straps. A third strap on the rear of the bag attaches to the stem.

The flap is designed to be somewhat stiff so if you were to forget to zip it back up, your items will more than likely still be secured.

The Green Girl's new Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag
The bag is sized so that it doesn't stick out beyond the saddle.

I was concerned the wedge would swing with the movement of the bike but I was thrilled to discover the wedge was completely unobtrusive.

I would recommend the Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag without hesitation to any cyclist looking for a practical, reasonably priced wedge.


The Green Girl's First Long Ride with Lexa

Lexa on the Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail
After the success of the first Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome National Walk the day before, the Green Girl was ready to take Lexa out for their first long ride on the Huntington Beach Bicycle Trail Sunday afternoon.

I hadn't gotten a workout in since Thursday morning and I was anxious to get in a nice, long ride.

I parked my car at Bolsa Chica State Beach and headed south on the bike path.

I was pleased to see how more comfortable pedaling was after adjusting the saddle height last week.

I was looking forward to going on a longer ride sans time constraints since most of my rides so far have been in the morning before work.

The cycling experience is vastly different from running. It was good practice for me to learn to maneuver around the foot traffic, skate boarders, and beach cruisers. Interestingly enough, I found the runners and non-beach cruiser riders were more likely to have better beach path manners.

Lexa on the Santa Ana River Trail
A few miles south of the Huntington Beach Pier, I noticed a lot of cyclists branching off to a fork on the right. I decided to follow their lead and ended up on an underpass below Pacific Coast Highway.

There was a sign designating the route as the Santa Ana River Trail.

I was thrilled to have found a way to continue riding without ever getting near a road.

The Santa Ana River Trail
I've discovered I have a hard time maintaining balance if I take a hand off the handlebars. I have to pull over and stop if I want to take a sip of water.

I yearn to snap pictures like I do when I'm running but there's no way I could do that while riding. The cool part is that I can have Lexa pose for my pictures when we're out for a ride.

My knees were feeling good but my lower back was getting progressively tighter and the saddle was starting to hurt. I decided I would look for a good turnaround point.

Lexa's first ride over a wooden bridge
I saw a wooden bridge in the distance. I was wondering if Lexa could ride over wooden planks when I saw a guy on a road bike cross over it.

Excited but nervous, I gingerly rolled onto the bridge. It wasn't as bumpy as I'd expected.

Instead of crossing over to the other side, I decided this was a good time to head back since my lower back was really sore and tight.

We ended up doing 22.1 miles on our first long ride.


The First Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk Was A Success

Chalk Angel at the Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk
The Green Girl is thrilled to report that the first Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk was a success.

Preliminary walk figures show a total of more than $874,000 was raised nationwide for the Angelman Syndrome Foundation.

The final numbers have not yet been tallied but we had over 250 participants and 50 student volunteers.

Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk Registration Table
As I mentioned back in January when we first started planning this event, we chose Shane's Inspiration Universally Accessible Playground as the location.

There were a total of two volunteers who undertook the task of organizing this event, a father of an child with Angelman Syndrome, Pankaj, and me.

Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk participant goodie bags
Neither one of us had any prior experience with event coordination but we are both passionate about the cause and we were determined to make it happen.

I used my project management skills to put together a project plan using free project management software from huddle.com and Pankaj and I tried our best to whittle away at the seemingly endless list of tasks.

I reached out to a friend who had event planning experience and leaned heavily on her for support throughout the process.

The Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk

Every time a family approached me on Saturday and told me how happy they were that there was finally a walk right here in Los Angeles, I had to choke back tears.

The Green Girl and her niece, Jade, with some of the Los Angeles Angelman Syndrome Foundation National Walk volunteers
My niece, Jade, and I made the rounds, thanking all the participants. Jade signed ::thank you:: as I expressed my gratitude for their support of our walk.

I was filled with so many emotions as my niece and I walked hand in hand up and down the 0.2 mile sidewalk course.

Team Pirate Isaac 2011
My heart burst with happiness when my niece signed ::pirate:: when we walked by Team Pirate Isaac 2011.

There was something about seeing the Team Pirate Isaac 2011 family proudly carrying that banner made all the hours of hard work worth it.

Pankaj, we did it!


Morning Ride and Saddle Adjustments on the Beach

Lexa on the Belmont Veterans Memorial Pier
The Green Girl took Lexa for a ride on the Shoreline Pedestrian Bikepath before work yesterday.

I really look forward to my morning rides. I love running but I really enjoy the sensation of the wind hitting my body and whipping through my hair as I ride down the beach path.

This was my first ride with a Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag attached to Lexa's saddle. I was pleasantly surprised by how unobtrusive it was.

Road biking essentials
I filled the pouch with some road biking essentials:

Road biking essentials in my new Serfas LT-2 Medium Speed Bag
When I was fitted a couple of weeks ago, the saddle was lowered significantly. I went for a couple of rides and the insides of my knees really started to bother me.

Since I had my new multi-tool with me yesterday, I was able to stop and adjust the saddle height. I raised it a few times until it felt comfortable when I pedaled.

I'm still getting used to leaning forward as I'm riding and resisting the urge to sit up and hold the top of the handlebars. I observe other cyclists and the positioning looks so uncomfortable to me.

Stopping to adjust Lexa's saddle height
To ensure Lexa is properly fitted for me, I am going to schedule a professional fitting with Coach Steve. In addition to being the Sole Runners' head coach, he's also a USA Cycling Coach and USA Triathlon Coach.

Once I am confident we are properly fitted, I am going to start building up my mileage to prepare for Tour DaVita.

Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandal Winner

The Green Girl is thrilled to announce the winner of the Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandal Giveaway.

I love how the sandal features Spenco's patented Polysorb Total Support insole. It's amazing that a sandal can offer so much arch support and stability.

There were a total of 133 entries submitted via blog reply or email.

The winning number, 125, was randomly selected based on results from random.org.

The winner is Monica. You will be receiving a pair of Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandals in your choice of style, color, and size.

Congratulations, Monica! Please send your mailing address and sandal choice to giveaway@therunninggreengirl.com.

Thank you to everyone who participated and a special thank you to Spenco for this awesome giveaway!


Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandal Giveaway

Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandals
The Green Girl is very proud to team up with Spenco Medical to sponsor a Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandal Giveaway.

As I mentioned in my review, the Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandal has changed my life. I can finally walk around in a pair of flip-flops like 'everyone else'.

The sandal features Spenco's patented Polysorb Total Support insole.

Spenco Polysorb Total Support Insole

The Polysorb Total Support Sandal is a dream come true for me. I am so happy to have found such a comfortable and stable sandal with arch support that actually fits my small, wide feet.

One lucky winner will a pair of Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandals in their choice of color combination and size, men's sizes 7-13 or women's sizes 6-10.

Men's Black/Pewter

Men's Khaki/Chili

Women's Caramel/Coffee

Women's Dove Grey/Pink

Women's Dove Grey/Purple

Women's Black/Black

If you would like a chance to win your very own pair of Spenco Polysorb Total Support Sandals, there are two ways to enter this giveaway:

Bonus Entries (can be submitted in a reply to this post or via email):
  • Visit the Spenco Medical website and tell me which Spenco products you think would enhance your workouts
  • Blog about this giveaway
  • Tweet about this giveaway

The deadline to enter is Thursday, May 19th at midnight Pacific Time. The winner will be announced on Friday, May 20th. This giveaway is limited to the U.S. and Canada.

Nathan Trail Mix Belt Hydration Belt Winner

The Green Girl is thrilled to finally announce the lucky winner of the Nathan Trail Mix Belt Giveaway.

As I mentioned in my review, I love my green Trail Mix.

The belt fits so well and is so comfortable that even when weighed down, I sometimes forget it's around my waist.

There were a total of 76 entries submitted via blog reply or email.

Thank you for your patience with the contest extension that was a result of the provider outage.

The winning number, 50, was randomly selected based on results from random.org.

The winner is Allison from Life Inside A Five Ring Circus! You will be receiving a one size fits all unisex Nathan Trail Mix.

Congratulations, Allison! Please send your mailing address to giveaway@therunninggreengirl.com.


The Green Girl Won The Big Prize

$20 money card line starts here at the Performance Bikes Long Beach
The Green Girl headed over to the grand opening of the Performance Bikes Long Beach store this morning.

It was advertised that the first hundred customers would receive a $20 money card.

The store opened at 9 am but there was already well over a hundred people in line when I arrived at 8:30 am.

I decided I would stick out the line for a chance to win prizes from spinning the wheel.

$20 off your total purchase today
Us back of the liners were thrilled when they ended up giving every single customer in line a $20 money card.

Some people opted to bypass the wheel spinning line and headed into the store. I was determined to win something cool so I waited patiently in the line that wrapped around the store.

Performance Bikes Long Beach Grand Opening
The right side of the store was covered by a three-tier wall of bikes.

Accessories filled shelves on the left and apparel was featured in the center of the floor.

In the back, there was the Spin Doctor Bike Repair service center with a shiny new pegboard wall and tools with bright blue grips.

Spin Zone virtual ride
In between the racks of bikes, there was a Spin Zone virtual ride station.

I was still waiting in line when Jay from Tri2Thrive arrived.

I got really excited when I saw one of the prizes was a Hurricane HP Micro Mini Pump.

The Green Girl won the Big Prize at the Grand Opening of Performance Bikes Long Beach
When my turn came to spin the big wheel, I kept repeating that I wanted the Big Prize and I squealed when it actually landed on the red Big Prize wedge.

I quickly grabbed the mini pump and Jay snapped a picture of me posing with my prize next to the lucky wheel.

Pearl Izumi Sugar Shorts
After a great deal of deliberation and consideration, I ended up purchasing a pair of chamois padded Pearl Izumi Sugar Shorts.
The shorts were regularly priced $55 but they were on sale for $45. Performance Bike was taking 15% in celebration of the grand opening so combined with my $20 money card, the shorts came to $20.

It was a fruitful grand opening visit for the Green Girl.
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