Running Safety with Ripple

Disclaimer: I received product/service in exchange for this post about Ripple, a device to assist with running safety. All opinions are 100% my own.

A few months ago, I was out on a lunchtime run when a co-worker yelled a “hey” my way. I didn’t hear her and that really concerned me. Yes, I jam to my “run war room”  and it helps keep me moving, but I wasn’t really thinking about running safety. Right around the same time, I was contacted by Ripple to give their safety solution a try, so I decided it was something definitely worth talking about here.

Ripple

Running Safety with Ripple

Ripple is a wearable running safety device that I’ve decided to use for running. It clips on my running belt or I can slip it in my pocket to keep close and feel safe. You may have noticed it on my fleece’s zipper in some of my running Instagrams, too!

Here’s what Ripple Safety shared with me that made me say yes, this is something I want with me:

Ripple is not another panic button safety device. It is personal safety for the modern world – solving both emergencies and uncomfortable situations. Unlike all other personal safety devices on the market, Ripple is a tiny (size of a dime), discreet button linked to the user’s smartphone, which can be accessed without anyone noticing. The device connects users to a live, personal backup team so, instead of calling for help, the help calls you.

Trained Ripple professionals handle alerts 24/7. Click the wearable device, and the user will immediately receive a call from the Ripple monitoring team to his or her smartphone. They know who and where the user is, and have resources to immediately dispatch emergency services if the user needs it. If a user requires emergency help, but can’t talk on the phone, he or she can click three times and the monitoring team will  send first responders directly to their location.

My Experience with Ripple

Since the start of the year, I’ve been running with Ripple. The app was easy to set up – it took me about 10 minutes to get my info and Greg’s (as my emergency contact) entered in and location set. It does run on my phone 24/7, so even if I don’t have the device on me, I still can call for help. I was worried about this a little, but it’s not killed my battery or data – score!

To be 100% honest, I found the  Ripple device a bit sensitive until I got used to it – I actually accidentally called support 3 or 4 times (and the kids did it once!). Thankfully, support is super friendly and just asked if I was okay, then they were understanding that I’d clicked on accident. Now, Ripple just goes along with me on my runs so that it’s ready to call my emergency number on one click or 911 on three.

running safety

Thankfully, I’ve not had an unsafe or emergency situation, but I am so glad to have this at my fingertips. When I fell a few weeks ago, I was able to get up and call Greg, but just knowing that if I’d been hurt worse that Ripple could have helped felt so good.

And note, I’m all about running safety, but Ripple is perfect to put on your keys, purse, or belt loop for general safety…and I can see it even being great for parents to give to kids in case they have a need for help!

Don’t just take my word for it! Here is a personal testimony about Ripple about using it not just for running, but for safety in general.

About Ripple
Ripple Network Technologies, Inc. was co-founded in 2015 by Rees Gillespie, the creator of Ripple, and his lifelong friend, Jaime Gomez. Rees was inspired to create Ripple after his mother, a real estate agent, continuously asked him to call and check on her while attending showings with unknown clients. Inspired by wanting to ensure that everyone had instant access to a support network that can be utilized anytime, anywhere, Rees set out to create a trusted safety solution service that empowers users to live their lives knowing someone always has their back. To learn more about Ripple, visit Ripple Support or follow on Facebook and Instagram.

Running Shoe Fitting

(Disclaimer – I went shopping for a new running shoe all on my own. I was so impressed with the experience that I wanted to share it here. All opinions are my own.) (This post may contain affiliate links.)

When I started running seven years ago, I knew nothing about the gear and importance of a good running shoe. My only thought was that I needed athletic shoes. Due to my recent CrossFit injury, I started seeing a chiropractor and it’s become clear that because everything is connected, good shoes are a must.

Running Shoe Fitting at Fleet Feet Sports Pittsburgh

Why it took me seven years and 3 weeks into training for my third half marathon is a mystery to me; however, I am so thankful that Fleet Feet Sports (in Pittsburgh’s South Hills) offers running shoe fittings. As far as I know, these are a free service from their store – as you’ll soon see, I was immediately hooked on a pair and bought them (so maybe it is rolled into the price?).

After the Half Marathon Kickoff Training Run, I went to Fleet Feet and met Brad. He took me to a bench and starting taking a listen to my concerns in finding a good running shoe. We talked about my history with running, my goals for this year’s half, my chiropractic care, and what I’d done shoe-wise to this point. I was wearing basic athletic shoes from Under Armour, and while they weren’t bad, they weren’t great for what I was putting my body through.

Your feet take on 3-5 times your body weight with each running step, Brad told me. Insane to think about – making it clear that it is so important to have a good running shoe.

After we chatted, he went through the next steps of Fleet Feet’s Fit Process and watched me walk barefoot. Pittsburgh’s Fleet Feet store has the Fit Id, so I stood on the machine which took images of my foot and confirmed things that Brad noticed while doing his initial analysis. We found out my feet are two different sizes (like most people) and that I’d been wearing the right shoe size (a 10, which gives me some space for running motion). My arches are high enough that he recommended an insert and my heels are just a wee bit wide, but for the most part, my feet are pretty normal (or “neutral” in shoe terms).

Picking my Running Shoe

That doesn’t mean Brad was able to pull just any pair of shoes off the shelf. Because I had no brand preference (hey, newbie), he took control and went to the back. The one thing he did ask was whether I had any color preference. When Brad returned, he had three pairs of running shoes for me to try on as well as a running sock.

Did you know that running socks are fit for your left and right feet? My mind was blown.

First, I tried the New Balance 880v7. It felt supportive but cushiony and really cradled my feet. Next up were Saucony’s from the ISO series – I want to say the Freedom ISO. These were SO cushiony I felt like I was on a cloud and could propel myself right across that finish line with no issues. Heavenly. Last I tried Hoka One One and was also pleasantly surprised with the comfort. It came down to the Saucony’s and New Balance and after the fall in week 3, I decided I needed the stability of the New Balance (although I loved all three).

The Final Details

Before I could check out, Brad measured my foot for an insert. This will last me through two running shoes, so probably next summer I’ll go for another. He cut it down to size right there in the store so I was sure it fit my shoe. Such a win!

I picked a pretty pair of Balega running socks and headed to meet Brad at checkout. I was seriously wowed by the service at Fleet Feet and with my purchase. Honestly, I wanted to switch out of my “old” shoes (only worn for three runs at that point) and go for another run, but with almost 16,000 steps in the day already, I knew better. My shoes would need to wait to make their debut until Monday (and that they did).

Was there some sticker shock? Nope. I knew coming into this I’d be spending a good amount of money. The price is totally worth it – these are going to last me through the Half (about 200 miles of training and race) and this fall’s 10-miler (about another 200) plus random training in the summer. In the past, I’ve spent $50-75 a few times a year on shoes that “just worked”!

If you are in Pittsburgh and part of our running scene, I highly suggest you check out Fleet Feet. If you just love running, do yourself the favor I should have seven years ago and get yourself a good pair of running shoes now.

Note – as we started our conversation, I also chatted with Brad about compression socks that I received as a 10-miler participant, more to come on that in another post!