GTS Runner’s Spotlight: Dawn Burris

by GTSTRUTTER on August 11, 2014

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Dawn and her husband Jon have been running with us for a couple of years now and it’s been great getting to know the both of them. Dawn is the ever encouraging, always smiling, fun-loving runner that any running group would be lucky to have as a a member. She’s gearing up for some big runs and I was lucky enough to sit her still long enough for her to answer a few questions. Enjoy!

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1. How did you come into the sport of running?

Monica Kattner signed me up for a 5K at the first Gusher, May 2010. I was terrified I would not finish but had a blast and really had no plans to run again. A few weeks later, Derek McWilliams talked me into signing up for the RNR San Antonio half marathon in Nov 2010. I trained, ran and have been hooked on running since.

2. Did you ever think you would become an Ultramarathoner? How did that come about?

Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be an Ultra Marathoner. Didn’t even want to consider a full marathon. As I was getting closer to age 50, I wanted to do something more challenging, so I signed up and completed my first full marathon at the RNR San Diego, June, 2013, a few days before the big birthday. Really wanted to then run a 50 miler but did not have it in me, fitness wise, so opted for the Hogs Hunt 50K trail race in May, 2014. Training was side tracked when my dad got ill but I managed to finish it using the Galloway run/walk method. When the race was done, really thought I was over it. I was hurting from head to toe and not sure I would have finished without so many great running buddies who joined me on this adventure. My recovery was quick and opened my eyes that I may be slow but I can go the longer distances.

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3. Do you like training alone or with friends? why?

Training is always challenging. Scheduling around the heat, work and other personal obligations can be frustrating, but it is always fun when I can run with others. I don’t have the discipline when I run alone.

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4. What are some tips you would give to newbie runners out there who are just starting out?

To newbie runners, I say find a friend or two to join you and then find a running group to keep you engaged. The social aspect of running is a bonus that will keep you running mile after mile.

5. What’s your upcoming race schedule like?

I’ve got a pretty busy racing schedule leading up to my first 50 miler in December.

Upcoming race schedule:

Aug 22-Sabine Causeway 5K
Sep 20-Toughest 10K Kemah
Oct 17/18-Ragnar Trail relay in Hill Country 15.5 miles
Oct 25-Chosen Marathon, Gruene
Nov 1-Rocky Raccoon 50K trail, Huntsville
Nov 8-Pleasure Island Half Nov 16-LaPorte by the Bay Half
Nov 27-Turkey Trot 5K
Dec 13-Brazos Bend 50 Miler trail
May throw in a few more before year end and already have several scheduled in 2015

6. Whats a normal week of training like for you? Where do you find your training plans or do you make them up on your own?

Currently using a 20 Week, 50 Mile training plan given to me by The Ultra Marathoner, Laz West. When I decided to tackle this distance, I reached out to Laz and he has been gracious enough to help me in finding a plan and answering my never ending questions. Plan calls for running 5 days a week with a long run on Saturday and a shorter long run on Sunday. I modify the plan to fit my schedule and to join group runs.

7. How did you come to find out about the GTS group and what keeps you coming back to run with us?

A running friend, Cherry Woodsmall, mentioned she had a run a few times with a new run group and invited us to try it. The support and encouragement from this group has been the main reason I am still running. The leadership, encouragement and enthusiasm from Jeremy & Willie have made it a great social event at each training run. As the group has grown, I have connected with so many runners with different experiences and knowledge to share. Everyone is so supportive, I look forward to our weekly runs.

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8. How has the running scene and running community in the Golden Triangle changed in the last few years?

Before the Gusher, put on by Richard & Amie James, I don’t know that I saw more than a few runners. Since then I have watched the running community grow and love that we have many local running groups & events. I can remember running my first half in San Antonio and knew only 2 other runners. Now SETX represents very well at events with 20 or more runners at many out of town events.

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9. Tell us something about yourself that not many of your runner friends know about you.

I am pretty much an open book, if you’ve run with me you know me pretty well.


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Thanks for answering my questions Dawn! If you are a local and would like to join the Golden Triangle Strutters for a run or walk go check out our FB page for our current running times. www.facebook.com/gtstrutters 

 

 

 

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Leikr GPS Sports Watch Review

by GTSTRUTTER on May 31, 2014

The Leikr GPS Sports Watch was first seen by many when the company went on Kickstarter to raise funds to develop and mass produce their watch. The Leikr team is made up of ex-Nokia engineers who are also active runners, swimmers, cyclist, marathoners, and triathletes. Basically athletes who wanted a GPS sports watch that would fit their needs perfectly. I contacted the Leikr group so that I could get my hands on one of their watches for a review and they kindly sent me one. My reviews are of my own opinion and are not influenced in anyway by the Leikr company.

The Leikr watch retails for $329.00 which is definitely set to compete with the big boy high end GPS watches out there. Let’s see what it has to bring to the table.

Here is an the unboxing video I did for the Leikr when I first got it out of the box. It is a nice presentation upon opening the box and the contents include:

  • The Leikr watch itself
  • Manuals (Product Safety information and Quick Guide)
  • USB cord
  • Charging Cradle

DESIGN

I really like the look of the watch. It has a high-end sleek look to it and the first thing that is noticed about this watch is how large the display is. It’s a 2” TFT color 320×240 pixel 65K color with 11% reflectance display. It is the largest GPS watch display of all the current GPS watches out on the market right now.

The Leikr’s casing and strap are both made out of medical thermoplastic polyurethanes (TPU) plastic and rubber. This is to ensure that you will not have any type of allergic skin reactions while wearing the watch.

GPS watches are usually bulky thick watches but the Leikr is quite slim with the dimensions being 57.20 x 40.40 x 10.65 mm. When compared to some of my other GPS watches its definitely the slimmest but also the widest.

On the wrist it feels light with it being only being 75 grams and while not uncomfortable on the wrist it does get some getting used to because of the length of the watch. I wear it a little further back on the forearm because of this.

INITIAL SETUP

While you can use the the Leikr watch right out of the box you will really want to setup your watch first which can only be done by heading to their website on your laptop/desktop to configure your watch. These steps are necessary to configure your wi/fi, upload maps, and update the Leikr to the latest firmware. It’s not a complicated process but it does take a bit before you can take advantage of all the features of the watch.

After downloading the wifi driver all you have to do to update/sync your watch is to simply press the two buttons on the left side of the watch simultaneously.

As the map for the united states is not downloaded into the watch you’ll have to do so through the website as well by selecting the areas you run in and then downloading those maps into your watch. The process for this is quite time consuming and I could see how this could get annoying if you do much traveling.

Alright now that the setup is complete lets get to running.

ON THE RUN

GPS Acquisition

The watches GPS is always on unless you turn off the watch or set the watches “Sport Mode” to “Running Indoor” which will turn off the GPS. There is no way of turning off the GPS otherwise.
Leikr’s website claims that it has a “10 second assisted GPS locking” I found it to be more or less similar to other GPS watches when acquiring satellites which was about 2 minutes. The one feature that I did like was when a satellite is acquired the watch would vibrate to let you know.

STARTING THE RUN

To start your run after your satellite is acquired all you do is press the upper right button and you’re good to go.

You have three screens to toggle in between during your run.

  1. Overall metrics screen.
  2. Lap metrics screen.
  3. Maps

The measured metrics are:

  • Time
  • Distance
  • Calories
  • Average Pace
  • Pace
  • Heart Rate

Again the watch was comfortable on my wrist on the run and the screen was easily seen especially when the screen was backlit. I do wish they gave an option to customize the screen to my preference. Some of the metrics are not needed during my run such as the measurement for calories and heart rate (I don’t use one).

UPLOADING WORKOUT

To upload your workout all you have to do is sync it by pressing the two left buttons simultaneously which will then sync it directly through wifi to Strava, MapMyRun, and Endomondo.

OTHER FEATURES

MAP DISPLAY FEATURE

The map feature is a nifty little feature. I could see it being useful for those running in a new area and needing to find their way around. The Maps screen is also the only screen to take advantage the color screen of the watch. Be sure to update your maps so you can actually see the maps.

WORKOUT EDITOR

The workout editor allows you to input your workout or training program into the watch. It’s pretty basic but gets the job done.

WILL IT WORK IN THE WATER?

Unfortunately the watch was not able to get a IPX-8 rating so although it is water resistent it’s not water proof. So there will be no swimming with this watch.

BATTERY LIFE

In my experience when conserving the battery life to the max meaning turning it off when not in use. I was able to get just about the stated 5 hours of life. They are working on this and hopefully a future update will address this.

TECHNICAL SPECIFICATIONS

Processor – 300MHz Arm Cortex A8
On-board Software – Leikr custom software on Linux OS
GPS – Leikr optimized high-performance GPS
Display – 2” TFT color 320×240 pixel 65K color with 11% reflectance
Data and Map storage – 8 GB
Connectivity – WIFI 802.11 b/g/n, USB 2.0
Accessory support – ANT+ enabled accessories
Buzzer/vibra – Yes/yes
Battery – Build in Lithium Polymer
Battery time (active mode) – 5 hrs (current software)
Casing – Medical PC/TPU plastic
Waterproof rating – IPX-6 (water resistent)
Strap – Exchangeable, medical TPU rubber
Dimensions – 57,20 x 40,40 x 10,65 mmWeight75 gr
PROS & CONS

PROS

  • Large 2” screen
  • Low profile watch
  • Nice backlight
  • Once setup, easy to use
  • Vibrating alerts
  • Maps
  • Updates and good support

CONS

  • Price – $329
  • Lack of waterproofing – No IPX-8
  • Lack of customizable data fields
  • Short battery life

OVERALL

As a GPS watch, it does everything that you would expect it to do and does it well. The watches large display is a big plus and the Leikr team does a great job of updating it’s firmware. For the price of $329 the Leikr team really needed to make the watch waterproof and fix the short battery life, especially when trying to compete with watches at the same price point. It is a solid GPS watch but not for the price point that it is currently at.

To purchase the Leikr for yourself you can do so by following this link: https://leikr.com/shops.html

If you have any questions or comment please leave them below.

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GTS Runners Spotlight: Aimee Smith

May 2, 2014

Getting to meet all of the runner’s in the community is one of the many reasons I love the Golden Triangle Strutters. I remember meeting Aimee when she first came out to run with us. She happily let me run with her and we had a great time but little did I know that she […]

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Running Groups in The Golden Triangle

April 8, 2014

If you haven’t heard of our contest for the Biggest Loser Run/Walk check it out at  “Who do you want to see run the Biggest Loser Half” It’s not too late to sign up and join our team Golden Triangle Strutters.  Join our team and input code GTSTRUTTERS for 25% off entry for both the […]

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GTS/Biggest Loser contest

March 27, 2014

Run the Biggest Loser with the Golden Triangle Strutters! Here are your candidates. Contest officially starts Monday March 31st and ends Sunday April 13. Canidates were selected from run/walk organizations around SETX. Candidates reason for running the Biggest Loser Half Marathon Beaumont will be posted Monday along with more details about each run/walk group. Person […]

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GTS Runners Spotlight: Jesica Sykes

March 27, 2014

Jesica is one of those Strutters that always lightens up my day when I see her. She’s a fantastic person and is determined to get her training miles no matter what! Together with her husband Damien they make such an awesome team! It’s great to have people like Jesica in our GTS family. Find out […]

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GTS Runner’s Spotlight: SARAH SHIGLEY ZARATE

March 19, 2014

I first got to know Sarah when we both volunteered at packet pickup for the gusher a couple of years ago and ever since then she’s been a good friend to me. She juggles her work and family life with her running/workout schedule like a pro. She can usually be seen at our runs either […]

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GTS Runner’s Spotlight: John Brack

February 27, 2014

John Brack is an all around good guy who can be seen posing with the goofiest of smiles. There may not be anyone out there who has more fun with running than he does. He’s been a regular to our group runs for some time now and has been improving on his times ever since […]

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Austin Super Spartan Race Giveaway

February 22, 2014

So I’ve done a lot of road races and I’m about to do another marathon on March 8 but I’ve only done one obstacle course race. Why is that? Well first off the one I did wasn’t very challenging. It was fun but I told myself I wouldn’t do another one unless there was an […]

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What kind of runner are you?

February 7, 2014

I’ve been around running long enough to come to the realization that there are many types of runners out there. I’ve come up with two main categories and they are the Frunner and the Racer. What’s a Frunner? Well thats a fun-runner. Meaning they go out to races to have fun, take in the sights, […]

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