When ICE Isn’t Enough, Get the Road ID App

Road ID Review Cover

I often think about how important it is to have In Case of Emergency (ICE) in your phone. If you don’t think it is, think again. It may be the only way authorities know who to contact in the event of, well, an emergency. I know first-hand ICE works and police and emergency medical personnel do check your phone for it. A little over two years ago, my Mom went for a run in the park and none of us knew she would never come back. If it wasn’t for her having me as an ICE contact in her phone, who knows how long it may have taken for the police officer who arrived on the scene to find out who to call. I was able to alert my family within minutes of the police finding her and we knew exactly which hospital to go to. No question of who my Mom was or who to contact. It breaks my heart that my Mom passed away on that day, but I am thankful we were notified as soon as possible thanks to her ICE contacts in her phone. Until then, I had never thought about ICE, but you can bet it’s in my phone now. And my phone is password protected, which would do me next to no good in an emergency situation. So, what do you do when ICE isn’t enough? Get the Road ID App!

Having suffered a blood clot in my leg (DVT) and lung (PE) just over a year ago, I’m faced with a potentially life-threatening medical condition if I find myself in a dangerous situation. I am taking blood thinners, which means if I were to get in an accident – a car wreck, slip on the ice and hit my head while running, or get knocked unconscious for some reason – not only would I be at a higher risk of bleeding to death than someone not on blood thinners, but medics would have to treat me differently from the start. My ICE contacts know about my medical condition, medication and history of blood clots – but they’re locked away in my phone. My mom’s phone was easily accessible. Mine is not. Is yours?

I usually wear or carry a medical ID/alert tag with me, but there are times I don’t. The one thing I do always carry with me is my cell phone. You can pretty much bet where you find my phone, you will find me – right?! But it won’t do me any good if I can’t speak for myself and my phone is locked with no way to access it. I recently discovered that the Road ID (yes, the same people that make the ID bracelets) has a free app designed to not only let your ICE contacts be known regardless of a phone lock, but keep you safe on the run too.

Using a simple photo feature, you can create a lock screen that has your name, location (if you want it) and up to three ICE contacts and their relation to you. There is also a place to include important information. You can include as little or as much information as you want to. Mine looks something like this:

lock screen

What if you don’t have a medical condition to worry about? You just never know, that’s what I would say to you. My Mom was healthier than she had ever been in her life and something still happened on her run (or shortly thereafter) that caused her to become unresponsive. She could not speak for herself. I read stories (more often than I want to) about runners and cyclists getting hit by cars. What would you do if that happened to you – or someone you love – and it comes down to a life or death situation that required immediate action? Put ICE in your phone and at least consider changing your lock screen when you are out on a workout if you don’t want it there all the time. I keep mine there all the time because of my medical history.

The second feature of the Road ID app is the eCrumb (or electronic breadcrumb) tracking feature that I also find invaluable to runners, walkers, cyclists and anyone who may be out and about on their workout.

Basically, what it does is tell someone (via text directly from the app) that you are going for a run. YOU set a timer for how long you anticipate being out (don’t worry; you can add time as you go right from your phone). You can notify up to five people of your run and they can track you in real time via a text link that is sent to them. They do not need to have the app.

ecrumb set up

Let’s say you’re out on your run and you stop moving for more than five minutes, the app will send the person (or people) on your list a notification that you stopped moving via a message you can customize. This feature comes with a very load alarm that lets you know if you have been inactive for five minutes so you can extend the time (or disable the alarm) and the text will not go out (like if you stop for a restroom break and it takes longer than five minutes). Road ID suggests you customize the alert message to say something like, “Please call or text me to see if I’m okay” in case an unintentional alert is sent out. I have told my husband if he calls or texts after an alert message and he doesn’t get an answer back in a couple of minutes, something is wrong! With the alert, the app sends a link to your contacts (that you sent the “I’m going for a run/bike ride” message to in the first place) with the last known location and tracks your phone for the next 30 minutes after the alert is sent out.  The eCrumb tracking location services update about every minute while you are using the app.

It’s free. And to me it is invaluable for the peace of mind. Two messages could mean the difference between help in an emergency and no help “I’m going for a run” and “Something is/might be wrong.” We do it anyway by leaving notes at home or texting a family member to say we are going out for a run, but why not have an actual way to find us now if the worst circumstance occurs? Road ID suggests this app not replace your physical Road ID, but it is a tool to be used in conjunction with your wristband in case you would get separated from your phone in the event of an emergency.  If you download the app, Road ID will send you a coupon to use for a Road ID.

What is your safety and the safety of your loved ones worth to you? Take a moment to think about it and consider downloading this app. Currently it is only available for iPhone, but Road ID is working on an Android version too.

Tell me about you. Do you carry some sort of ID with you when you run? Would people be able to access your ICE contacts in an emergency? Have you used this app or a similar one? Will you? Do you have a Road ID or will you consider getting one? Do you tell someone when you are going for a run or ride?

Until the next mile marker,

0 - blog post signature

Please Note: I was not asked by Road ID to review this app or compensated in any way. I have very strong feelings about being safe while out on the run – or anytime – and wanted to share this tool with my readers. I use the Road ID app and chose to review it myself. 

Start your training with Runtastic!

runtastic post cover photo

One of the questions I get (and see) on a regular basis is, “How can I keep track of my runs if I don’t have a Garmin?” When I started running, I wondered the same thing. I relied on those I ran with to let me know the distance and pace or mapped out my route before I left my house and kept track of how long I was gone to get an idea of overall time and pace. I saved up after a second summer job to buy my Garmin so I understand they are expensive and not something everyone wants to go out (or can go out) and buy from the beginning. If you were debating on quality shoes or a sports bra, I would say “spend the money now,” but I don’t think you need a Garmin to start running. You can start your training with Runtastic.

It is exciting and inspirational for new runners to keep track of their workouts, especially as they start to make progress. So, what if you are looking for an inexpensive and versatile tool to keep track of your workouts? With Smartphones nowadays, which most of us happen to have, you can now download a phone app – often at no cost – to test out and start keeping track of all of your runs!

I recently downloaded the free Runtastic app and am grateful to have received the Pro upgrade at no cost for the purposes of this review. Please keep in mind, you can download the FREE version in the iTunes/app store and still receive most of the same great features to meet your training needs.

What I like most about the Runtastic app is that it is very simple and hassle-free to use and still captures a wide variety of data – even with the free version.

Start Screen edited

You can keep track of a lot of data with Runtastic inclusing route, distance, pace, speed, time, elevation, intensity, calories burned and you can even add in a heart rate monitor. One of the things I like about this app is it is very versatile in keeping track of as much or as little detail as you want. The app also has a voice component that can recap each mile (or distance of your choice) to you. You can also play music through the app from your iTunes/MP3 playlist. I especially like that you can set a powersong to play at the touch of a button if you need a little extra kick in your workout. Find out about more of the features and if Runtastic is available for your smartphone HERE.

Distance and Pace

Runtastic also keeps a log of your workouts and activity and you can upload it to the website directly from your phone or use the app as your primary source of information. I like that the website has a community component to it where you can check in with friends and post your progress to receive feedback, which is great for beginners and veterans alike. With each workout, you can add your own notes and select the weather conditions as well, which provides for a very detailed training log. I believe it is very valuable for new and experienced runners to keep a training log to reflect on your run and note the things that went well and the things that didn’t.

One workout summary

So, if you are a runner/walker who is looking for a way to track your training, but you are not ready to purchase what can be a pricy GPS device, look into Runtastic! You can download the app for free and try it.

What about you? Have you used Runtastic? What is your favorite way to log your miles? Do you use a GPS watch or an app to keep track of your workouts?

Until the next mile marker,

0 - blog post signature

iThe iGreat iPhone iCrisis iOf i2012

Normally, I don’ have time to be on my iPhone all day, but since I’m not working, I’ve been using it a lot – especially when I am not home. I don’t have the iPhone 5, but I like liked the iPhone I do have. It is was good for things on the go – like blogging and social media and emailing. For me, it has been like a home office to go. And it fits in the palm of your hand. You can literally carry your phone and everything you need, especially if you have a case like the one I am giving away.

So when my iPhone decided to blow up stop working lose everything freeze up and never unfreeze have an issue today I was not happy. At all. I was even more unhappy when I went to the ends of the Earth to find the information Apple needed to find out what was wrong with it (serial number-pass key-all while screaming through that useless Google phone thing in Gmail-yes I know I could find an Apple Store) and Apple told me it was my anti-virus software that clearly “messed it all up.” Really? REALLY?!

If nothing else, I have been reminded to keep things in perspective-

These two got a lot of hugging today-

Speaking of which, all of my photos are gone too. Everything from the last four months, which I don’t understand since I backed everything up to iTunes on a nightly basis when I charged my phone.

Good thing I can’t figure out WordPress right now either. My life has apparently become a technological nightmare.

Speaking of nightmares (bad luck comes in sets of three’s right and when you reach three, you’re done forever, right?)-


As of last week, I no longer work as a 9-1-1 Dispatcher. It’s sad (at least, I am sad), discouraging and hopefully what was truly meant to be.

So, while I am looking for full-time employment that offers decent pay and benefits, I’m working on something I’ve always wanted to have – a freelance writing career (help me decide on a business card here). Since most job searching is done online these days, I have a lot of time to blog and “wonder if my iPhone has the latest upgrade it possibly could.” It is this type of thinking that clearly created my Great iPhone Crisis of 2012!

What about you- Do you rely on your phone? Is it for fun, business or both? How do you back up your stuff (apps, music, pictures, etc)? What would you do if faced with a phone crisis?

Until the next mile marker,

New Blog for Me. New Giveaway for YOU!

I started blogging a couple of years ago through Blogger – I had no idea what I was doing, and I was pretty sure no one would read my blog. I remember the first comment I got because I was so excited I went screeching to my husband that someone landed on my page!

Since then, my blog has evolved from its humble beginnings, been through several design changes, acquired its own domain name and now – it’s officially self-hosted on WordPress. I’ve been researching making the switch for quite some time now and admiring all those blogs that already have. I decided now is the time. Don’t ask me how I did it because I didn’t. My blog re-design was done by the fabulous Rita at Blog Genie (more about that later). What do you think? I love it!

As a thank you to my readers who have been with me since the beginning and to those of you who have joined me more recently, I have a fun little giveaway to celebrate my new look.

What do you carry with you on every run? I usually always have hydration, my phone, ID and a few dollars cash just in case. If I’m out on the trails or going for a short run and don’t need my hydration belt, I often find myself still carrying it because I need the pocket for my other essentials – primarily my phone. I sometimes wish I didn’t have to take my whole belt if I just need these few items and my shorts or jacket has a decent-sized pocket. I also don’t want everything just flopping around in my pocket where I can’t find something if I need it.

That is why I am so excited to find the iChameleons iPhone 4/4s-Hard Credit Card Case!


With this phone case for the iPhone 4/4s, you can leave your purse, wallet (or fuel belt!) at home because it is just grab and go! It is perfect for anyone who wants to carry less stuff, even if you aren’t out running or exercising. Its stylish, ultra slim and protective and it holds up to two cards. I have been carrying my ID and debit card in mine and it is perfect. I often grab my phone and my keys to run a quick errand so I don’t have to carry my whole purse with me.

The case is closed at the bottom of the card holder so your cards won’t fall out and they also fit in snug enough so they don’t come out the top either. I get compliments on my case all the time at the grocery store, drive-thorough window and when dining out. You will love this case.

You can still use your camera, charger and all phone controls without removing the case. It comes with a cap for the charger if you don’t want to leave it exposed, but I leave mine off most of the time unless I am worried about rain and am going to be outside.

When I initially purchased this case, I was hesitant because, as you can see in the picture above, it does not have a lip across the front edge of the phone. I was worried about durability and protection for my phone because I am hard on my phone and have even dropped it on more than one occasion. Not having that lip would be the only downside of this case and in fact, I would not have purchased it had I known it didn’t have one, but I didn’t find out until afterwards. I am completely impressed! It is made out of a polycarbonate shell (it’s hard) and is impact resistant and flexible. I have been just as hard on my phone as usual, even dropped it and nothing has happened to the phone. There is a small scrape on the back of my case where I dropped it on concrete, but I am more than okay with that because that is what the case is there for.

The iChameleons iPhone 4/4s-Hard Credit Card Case also comes in seven fun colors so you don’t have to pick just one. It is also very simple to put on your phone and there is no disassembly required.

Want to win it? iChameleons has graciously offered to give one lucky winner a pink case. Please note, the case  is only compatible with the following phones:

  • iPhone 4 (4th Generation) 16gb
  • iPhone 4 (4th Generation) 32gb
  • Verizon iPhone 4 16gb
  • Verizon iPhone 4 32gb
  • iPhone 4S 16gb
  • iPhone 4S 32gb
  • iPhone 4S 64gb
Here’s how to enter:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you don’t want to wait, you can purchase your own case in the color of your choice from iChameleons. The case is $22 plus shipping to you.

The giveaway runs from now through midnight on September 30, 2012. I will announce the winner here sometime after that. Please check back to see if you won.

Thanks for entering and following!

Until the next mile marker,

Please note, I was not compensated in any way for this review or asked for a positive review. I purchased this phone case on my own and then contacted the company to inquire about hosting a giveaway for my readers.  Many thanks to iChameleons for your generosity. 

It Only Takes One Insta(gram)nt…

Hello, my name is Sara, and I have an addiction to social media. Step One is admitting it.

Remember when all we had was the old AIM? Does anyone know if that even still exists? Never mind, I probably shouldn’t know. As if onetwo three four five social media platforms were not enough, I now have a sixth one.
Welcome to Instagram. In one instant, I was hooked. 

(Note: Many thanks to my dear friend Julia at Pain, Pride and Perseverance for introducing me to this awesome new addiction! I always wondered how you got such fabulous photos.)
Combined with Picframe and Camera+ (both iPhone apps) there is no limit to what I can create. It’s practically a Blogger’s dream come true.  
So, what better way is there to spend Mother’s Day then playing with photography apps for hours on end?
My mother-in-law has been wishing for a picture of all the family’s dogs to hang on her refrigerator (we got her a magnetic picture frame from Disney World with all of the Disney dogs on it) and our attempts at lining five of them up for a group photo have been less than successful. We’re lucky to get two or three together. Enter Picframe: 
Do you know how long it took me just to get each one?!
Lady is my sister-in-law’s, Grace and Sadie are mine and Mollie and Maggie are my mother-in-law’s. We love dogs, could you tell? I would say Lady was the most photogenic yesterday. Sadie was just plain horrified that I wanted to take her picture?!
Really, Mama?!
My mother-in-law wanted help with her flower beds for Mother’s Day so we spent the afternoon shopping for flowers and planting them. 
Herbs and purple daisies. 

I have decided I love Foxglove!
I also got some herbs for our garden: Orange Mint, Chocolate Mint, Flat Leaf Parsley and Cilantro. I can’t wait to plant them and start using them!

If you’re on Instagram – I’d love to follow you and see your photos too! I am @wordstorunby.
To all the mothers, I hope you had a fabulous day full of family, friends and fun. 
Until the next mile marker,