CloudSwift on Running Sneakers on Track

A little while ago I mentioned I bought new sneakers in my When to Get New Running Sneakers post, but I didn't mention which sneaker company I went with. So, here we are, finally 3 Months of running with this shoe to give you a full rundown on the Pros and Cons of my new running sneaker.

Say hello to On Running's Cloudswift.

And as the name suggests, you will feel like you're running on clouds. I came across the brand On Running after seeing USA Heptathlete Chair Hawkins being sponsored by them and her wearing the Cloudswift. If you're new here, there are 2 Olympians I am very up-to-date with on on social media and that's Chari Hawkins and Georganne Moline, 400M Hurdler - they're a great instagram follow for inspiration and motivation! Anyways, before this ends up a post of me listing all the reasons why you should follow them, let's talk about Cloudswift!

Are they a Neutral or Stability Support Sneaker?

They are a Stability Support sneaker. I have a flat foot - as in quite literally there is no arch in my foot at all. So, I need all the support to makes sure my foot is protected - as running is a high impact support, getting the right shoe for your feet is super important.

Did they take a while to break in?

Before running in them, I walked in them for 3 days - to the library, to my house, everywhere. When I went running with them I had no issues with blisters in the back or any type of pain while running. This type of On Running shoe is not narrow at all.

Did you size up?

I normally get my running sneakers in a size 9 US while my normal-walking-sneakers are a size 8 1/2. I went in store to try them on in a size 9 and they had a comfortable amount of room for my toes and around my foot. I would recommend trying them in store first though before purchasing online.

They have a lot of third party sellers rather than an actual On Running store, so you can check near you if local sneaker stores have them for you to try on before purchasing online from the actual On Running website. Depending on the type of On Running sneaker, you may have to size up. For example, the Cloud X cuts a bit smaller than the Cloudswift, so I would have to try them in person to see if I'd need to go up a half size.

On Running CloundSwift in teal
I'm not even sure what to call this pose....

Do they feel light while you're running?

No. In the beginning, I was hyper aware of how heavy the Cloudswift were compared to my Nike's. Though I should note that my Nike sneakers support was non-existent at this point so really any shoe would feel heavy when I made the switch to a new one. The first time I went running with them they felt  heavy and I felt I was running slower because I still had to adapt to the support of the sneaker.

Three months of running, and I would best summarize them as 'chunky' but comfortable. They take a while to get used in terms of support, and I'm only aware of their "weight" when my running form is a bit off. Like if I'm not landing mid foot with a forward lean then I'm hyper aware of their weight if that makes sense?

Are they comfortable?

Yes. Yes. Yes. Nothing compares to the comfort level of these shoes. You'll really feel like you're walking/running on clouds. No shoe can compare at all. If it helps at all: I bought my mom the Cloud 50 | 50 for her birthday and she loved how comfortable they were as she walked. My sister (that same day they arrived to my house) happened to notice them, tried them on and later that week went to buy herself a pair.

So, in terms of comfort they are mama and sister approved™.

How do they feel during track workouts?

I love them on the track, the support, although took a while for me to get used to in terms of heavy-ness, is amazing. As I'm sprinting, I'm not aware of their weight though- as I mentioned, if I have the right form, they don't feel heavy at all. It's all in your form for these shoes! So anytime I feel them heavy, I know that my form needs some minor adjustments.

How do they feel during hill sprints?

Okay, this is the section I was waiting to tell you all about! The first time I went hill sprinting with them, one of my intervals was a 4'38 pacing/mile. I've never seen those numbers before. I've never seen a 4 minute mile ever as an interval. If you couldn't tell, they are amazing for hill sprints, the support is really just what I needed.

I mentioned the interval to a friend of mine, and she mentioned that I probably had that speed in me all this time, I just wasn't wearing the right shoes. And she's not wrong now that I think of it!

How are they in the rain?

So, they aren't waterproof but I did run with them (because do I look like I have multiple running sneakers for different weathers no no no) and they didn't feel weighed down at all. They felt the same as they would when it was sunny outside. They have a good grip on the bottom, so from my experience I did not feel ~slippy~.

bottom of Cloudswift sneaker
I just want you guys to know I really tried to take an artsy-good photo of the bottom and this is what I ended up with...

What are the laces like?

So up until yesterday, I didn't have any issues with the laces. They are a bit on the thin side, so I really recommend double knotting them to make sure they don't become undone. Yesterday, while I was running they became undone even though they were double tied - I mainly think this is because I didn't tighten them enough though not so much fault with the thinness of the lace, however I wanted to be as transparent as possible.

On Running CloudSwift sneakers
I really wanted to take a jumpe-rope-photo but uh wow that's actually hard to do.

One thing the above photo shows really well is that the middle section of the shoe isn't separate from the sides like most running sneakers which is great because I never have to keep moving the middle section to it's proper center position. Just so you all know what I'm talking about below is a red circle on the "middle and side" being connected:

red circle around middle section of shoe

Jumping wise, how are they?

You may be scratching your head wondering what I mean here - I'm talking about Box Jumps and jump rope. Now, these shoes are magical for jumping. Box Jumps? You'd think I had springs attached to my feet, I! can! jump! high! Jump Rope? I don't think I'll every get over the fact that I can do double-unders - bringing the rope twice under you in one go before your feet hit the ground.

So, 10/10 in the jumping department. One thing I love is that the support is so great with the Cloudswift, and I don't feel like I'm touching the literal ground (as was the case with my previous sneakers).

The funny thing is you don't realize the lack of support your sneakers have until you get new ones, I felt like a new runner once I got these because the Nike's I was running with had non-existent support (they had a long life of 400+ miles run in them).

On Running CloudSwift

Last Thoughts

I went to a third party seller with my sister when she went to try them on in person, and when I mentioned the heavy-ness of the Cloudswift she recommended the Cloudsurfer - they're better for training and racing, have great support, feel lighter while running.

The Cloud X are the ONES for racing (and for daily wear too!) - they have good support and they're nice and lightweight. The representative I was chatting to in store was letting me know when I asked for her opinion on the best racing shoe. So, once I run 400 miles I'll most likely be upgrading to the Cloudsurfer and (if my wallet won't cry about it) possibly get the Cloud X for racing.

MY VERDICT on Cloudswift: They're extremely comfortable but also a bit on the heavy side rather than lightweight. For that reason, I'd give them 4/5 stars. They really are great, have amazing support (my flat foot is having a happy running life now) but it would have been nice to have the best of both worlds: support + lightweight.

List of Pros and Cons:

- extremely comfortable
- great support
- Jump-rope/Box-Jumps approved™

- they feel heavy when you're running in the beginning; as you keep running with them they only "feel heavy" when your form isn't 100%.

p.s. I wasn't paid to write this, I just felt like doing a review on my new running sneakers, they really are my favorite sneakers I've ever run in!

Have you heard of On Running? Will you be giving them a try?

sahara end logo

home page of my portfolio - written on it it says: Hi I'm sahara. I write code and run a lot. Sub heading is 'Front End Developer' and below are my social media links

After following this documentation Deploying a React App* to Github Pages specifically and then having to seek other documentation such as: 8 Steps to publishing your portfolio on GitHub, Create Your Developer Landing Page with GitHub Pages, Deploying  React Applications to Github Pages, How to Deploy React App to Github Pages, Publish Your Web Portfolio For Free with Github Pages - In 5 Minutes and about 20 other tabs of documentation that if I kept open for the duration of the 2 days it took to solve my issue my laptop would be functioning slower than a snail, my portfolio site would not work/show up on Github.

The main issue with all documentation is that, as someone who was a beginner to pushing my react-app onto Github, none of it was catered to me. It assumed I knew everything. And as this 48 hours of 40+ tabs showed me, I have a lot more to learn (which is great!) and that the documentation I needed didn't exist.

I asked on twitter for some help after trying to solve it on my own after spending a handful of hours reading endless documentation that had me looking like I was trying to invent a literal lightbulb. Brian Mock (@wavebeem over on twitter!) happened to come across my tweet asking for help and in the end we managed to get my portfolio up and running and I learned how to edit it on both GitHub Platform and locally. Quite literally, if he hadn't offered to help I would probably still be trying to figure out how to get it to work because the documentation I needed didn't exist.

So, in the event that anyone else finds themselves in the same scenario as I did, here's the documentation of how I got my react-app portfolio onto github and how we got my portfolio to actually appear on the link.

What are we trying to do: Get the portfolio on the landing page - so it looks like this and be able to make changes when needed.

Step 1: Create Your Repository on Github

Your repository will be named the same as your exact url. When you create your repository, click Open in Desktop.

Step 2: Open Terminal

You will need to get to where your project is from here as in type in the path to get to your file.

cd = Change Directory

It allows you to get to the directory where your project currently is in - essentially typing the path to get to your project.

So if your create-react-app is in your home directory as was the case with me you would just type:

cd [your react app name here] <- just to note there is a space between cd and your react-app-name

If your react-app is in your documents:

cd documents
cd [your react app name here]

Once you type in your react app name, your command line should read:
[your react app name] your-username-for-your-computer-itself $

a snapshot of me using cd terminal to get to my create-react-project on my laptop
At this point I was following Deploying a React App* to Github Pages so as per their documentation, your next step will be to install gh-pages as a dev-dependency of your app:

The command is:

npm install gh-pages --save-dev

You will be writing this right where you are in your terminal so here's what mine looked like following up from the above screenshot of me getting to my folder:
how the above commands looked in my terminal

After you do this you may get a few warnings you may not - but you should not be getting any errors at all.

Step 3: Open your react-app in your code editor

Granted, I'm pretty sure you never closed it. You will be going to your package.json file, and be adding a few lines.

In the first { } section you will be adding
"homepage": "http://[your-github-name]"  above "name": "your-project-name" which is there.

so format: 
"homepage": "http://[your-github-name]",
"name": "your-project-name",

If this is your portfolio, and you named your repository the same as your exact url without any forward slashing it will look like this format:

"homepage": "http://[your-github-name]",
"name": "your-project-name",

"homepage": "" is right above "name": "myportfolio"
here's what mine looked like!

You will also need to go into "scripts" section of the package.json and add

"predeploy":"npm run build",
"deploy": "gh-pages -d build"

So it will look like this:

"predeploy":"npm run build",  "deploy": "gh-pages -d build"

Step 4: You will now create a git repository in your current project folder

The command is:

git init

When I ran that exact command, I was met with an error that looked like this:

xcrun: error: invalid active developer path (/Library/Developer/CommandLineTools), missing xcrun at: /Library/Developer/CommandLineTools/usr/bin/xcrun

I came across a StackOverFlow Post  with this same exact error. The next step you need to do is open a new window of terminal, do not X out the one you have up!! Just open a new window of terminal. On mac, you have to tap the terminal icon in your doc area with two fingers and you'll see something like this come up:

opening a new window in terminal!

Click New Window.

You will then run the command:

xcode-select --install

this line installs the x-code Command Line tools, you do not need X-Code itself, just the command Line tools to fix the error. After you type in the command, you will get pop up asking for your permission to install the Command Line tools and also see a prompt appear after that pop up in the terminal.

xcode-select --install followed by prompt requesting permission to install

Now, let's go back to our original terminal window with our react-project. Run this command again in terminal:

git init

You should be seeing something similar to this in your command line:

git init initialized empty git repository

Step 5: You will now add the Github repository (the one you created way back in step 1) as a remote in your local (your literal machine/laptop) git

This allows the gh-pages to know where the app will be pushed onto.

The command you would be typing is:

git remote add origin

For my scenario, I was adding it to my Github landing page  and this is what my command looked like:

git remote add origin

Step 6: The built app code gets to be deployed to your github

You will then run the command:

npm run deploy

You will be prompted to put your github username and password in terminal.

If you look at your Github repository you'll notice that a master branch doesn't exist but gh-pages does. The gh-pages is what we just deployed over.

Your Build-App code is similar to your 'public' folder contents in your create-react-app project.

But we actually need our Master branch, so the tutorial doesn't stop here.

Step 7: You will then commit your source code to the master branch and push it onto Github.

As I mentioned before your master branch doesn't even look like it exists on your Github. So we've got to bring it to life.

You will now run the following commands:

git add .
git commit -m " insert message here along the lines of what we're doing, in this instance we are creating a react app"
git push origin master

So let's break down what each of these commands do:
- git add .
 Yes that is a period at the end there. You need that, it's git add SPACE period. This selects all files in your current directory and puts them in the staging area. If it helps, think of it like this scenario:

You have a dozen packages you're delivering to this one house, and when you get to the house, you take the packages out of the truck and add all of them to the patio area i.e. the staging area

- git commit -m "creating my react app"
Keeping up with the story above, you ring the door bell and someone answers the door. They need to sign their name on a device before you can hand them their packages they ordered.

the -m means message and in quotations is the message relating to what you're planning to push onto GitHub.

-git push origin master
The person signs their name and finally you can give them their packages to take in their home.

Now that you have the message of what you're committing, you can push your source code to master branch.

The "message" that you're typing shows up like this on Github:

The "message" that you're typing shows up in a column in github platform

Step 8: Right now your source code is in the master branch and the gh-pages branch has the built app code. We need to switch that around and rename it so the content of gh-pages is in a branch called master.

master branch -> new branch (you can name it whatever you want! In my case I named it latest!)
gh-pages branch -> master branch

latest branch (our new branch) -> set as the default branch

Here's the full process via Brian Mock's screenshot of if you want to rename branch b1 to branch b2

terminal commands to rename branches

That's a lot to take in, but we're going to do it one step at a time.

8.1 We need to open a new terminal window

At this point, we no longer need the one with all of our previous work. So you can open a new terminal window.

8.2. In terminal, get to your create-react-app on GitHub

The commands to do that are similar to beginning steps except now we're going to our GitHub folder on our computer.

For me, to get to my repository on my computer the path is Documents -> GitHub -> My Repository name

Converting that into commands:

cd documents
cd Github
cd your-repository-name

cd documents  cd Github  cd my-repository-name
these are the exact commands I did - remember: my github repository name is

8.3 The first switch we will be doing is master  content -> goes to a new branch name

8.3.1 We need to first checkout out Master branch - kind of like checking out something at the supermarket

The command you type is:
git checkout master

8.3.2 We need to move the master branch to a new name

git branch -m NEW-NAME-OF-BRACH-HERE 

To translate what you're doing in git: You are currently on the master branch, and with the command above, everything from the master branch is being renamed to your new branch you are creating!

I personally named my new branch 'latest'. 

So my command looked like:

git branch -m latest

So, now your local GitHub repository has this newly named branch called latest, but your remote one (Github Platform) needs to catch up.

8.3.3 Now we push the newly created branch onto GitHub Platform

The command you use is

git push -u origin latest

The u is short for --set-upstream.

So now we are pushing our source code to  our newly named branch, latest.

8.3.4 We need to delete the remote branch 'master'.

We do need the branch name master for our next step but we essentially need a clean-slate-master-branch i.e. a new one!

The command you use is:

git push origin :master

This deletes your remote branch Master so it's not chilling around - we already have our new-branch-name with all the info! - and we can then reuse the name master for a branch.

8.3.5 We need to delete the local version of master

Right now the branch name 'master' is still floating around - kind of like you know when you delete a document and it goes to trash but then you have to delete it from the trash? Yeah, so this is like that!

To delete the local version of master, run this command:

git branch -d master

8.4 gh-pages content -> goes to master branch

We need to first checkout out gh-pages branch - so we're back to checking things out of our git supermarket again

The command you type is:

git checkout gh-pages

8.4.1 We need to move the gh-pages branch to a new branch name master

The command is:

git branch -m master

So,  as with the other branch, now your local GitHub repository has this newly named master branch, but your remote one (Github Platform) needs to catch up.

8.4.2 Now we push the newly created master branch onto GitHub Platform

The command you use is:

git push -u origin master

Unlike last time where we deleted both remote and local version of our old master branch, we DO NOT NEED to delete gh-pages. 

8.5 New branch name -> Set as the default branch 

Now let's go to our GitHub platform!

Go to your repository and click Settings:

clicking settings on top right on github platform

Once we're in Settings, on the sidebar click Branches:

click branches, second option in sidebar
When we're on branches we will then click the little down arrow toggle and select our new-branch-name (not master, the first one you did!) As I mentioned above, I named my new-branch latest:

click your new branch you created

And TADA - Your Portfolio/Project is now LIVE!

I would also like to mention again that I really wouldn't have figured out how to get my portfolio up and running if it wasn't for Brian Mock (@wavebeem over on twitter!) so if you're in need of an Engineer to follow on there, head over and give him a follow!

He also helped me figure out how to edit my react app as well, so I'll be writing that documentation to go up next week if you're also lost on that like I was!

I've never really written tech documentation per se, so I hope I explained everything properly and with that I'll see you in the next part of the documentation!

sahara end logo
sahara smiling with medal

Races are all fun and games until you're at the last mile wondering why you've picked running as your sport. Okay, jokes aside, it's been a while since I've been at a starting line, and this past weekend I was off in a 5K USATF race. Usually the days before a race I'm pretty nervous and get worried over what my time will be but this time was a little bit different. The day before, I was in one word chill. Based on my speed workouts and pacing in my long runs a 7'21 per mile was all but secured™.  The day of on the other hand at 7AM my legs were shaking because ohmgod it's race day and can I really get a 21 min 5K? My all time PR is actually a 21 minute 5K, I just haven't raced that time in a while!

What did I eat the day before the race

I usually carb load with some sort of pasta but this time around I opted for a steak and that was about it. I know, fellow racers may be reading this like excuse me what are you doing not eating pasta or some other carb loading food, but I decided to go with a different outlook just to see how it'd effect my energy while running. I really am my own trial and error test person, technically speaking.

What did I eat | drink the morning of the race

My usual breakfast tends to be a toss up between oatmeal or sunny side up eggs. Oatmeal personally feels a bit heavy in my stomach as I run. So my go to race-day breakfast that's light but also a little bit filling was sunny side up eggs. A couple of weeks ago, I met up with a run club and this one woman said that before a race definitely drink 16oz of water and that's it, you're good to go. So, I decided to give this a try.

If you have been here long enough, you'll probably remember me once drinking 3 massive cups of water and my bladder alerting me of its existence while I was on my way driving to the race location. Trying to learn from the past, I filled one massive cup of water and only drank that. But here's the funny part. I don't know if it's just race nerves but before I left the house I practically went to the bathroom a handful of times and when I got to the race location I also went to the bathroom - and funnily enough I overheard a few girls saying that this was practically their 10th time to the bathroom so I'm assuming race nerves bathroom dashes is a thing?

sahara holding medal and envelope
gotta love my nike hijab slipping to cover my forehead! always have to push it back!

How was the race mile by mile

Before I get into this I wanted to mention that I did my 20 minute stretch routine and jogged a bit when I got there which was different for me. Usually I do my 20 minute stretch at home and don't jog but from my speed workouts I've learned a good 5 minute warm up jog is definitely needed. Okay, now let's get to the race. I have raced this course before, so I knew that it wasn't hilly and generally a flat course if we don't count this one hill sprinkled in between. 

Mile 1: There were people at the front holding signs on the pace you were planning to go for you to get into position. There wasn't a pacer which I was sort of disappointed in as in someways following someone can be easier to keep pace. It was fun and speedy clocking in at 7'36 - although not on target of my 7'21 pace I was pretty happy with how I was going. 

Mile 2: During this second mile my armband for my phone that uses velcro to wrap around my arm securely kept becoming undone, so it was a little bit frustrating. I use my phone to track my pace and for my phone to tell me my pace from time to time. By Mile 1.5 this is where the hill made it's appearance. I came and I conquered. I clocked in at 8'03. I was slipping from my 7 target and I was aware I needed to pick things up for Mile 3.

Mile 3: Now, the goal was to push and accelerate ahead at a high speed. That was the theory but did that happen? Sort of. This is where the flat course wasn't so flat. There were mini inclines so not a full hill but more or less a zig zag. One thing I am working on is running inclines in my runs rather than just on Hill Sprint days. This slowed my pace to 8'27.

Last 0.2: Okay so my phone was telling me congratulations your time is 24:XX but the race itself wasn't over. So by the time I actually completed it, I clocked in this last 0.2 at 7'54.

What was my ending time

I ended with a time of 25:44. I secured 2nd place in my age group and won a gift certificate! This was the first time I ever won a gift certificate so this was actually so surprising I was actually in shock.When I first crossed the finish line I was on the verge of tears - this was not the time I wanted. It took me a second to remind myself that crossing the finish line is an accomplishment even if inner me begs to differ.

I try not to get hung up on my time but it's hard not to be at times and I don't want to be a debbie downer that's never satisfied but I think with sport, we always know we can be/do better. I am getting better at appreciating my journey in running as much as I will appreciate getting my sub 20 5K when the time comes; it's a journey on being kind to myself no matter the outcome of any race or run or workout I do. 

sahara smiling with medal
right so I'm not sure why it looks like I have highlighter on but just to confirm the only highlighter here is the sun and my sweaty face - also one piece of hair was poking its way out hence the lil grey line drawn!!

What I Learned

My speed workouts where they called for different paces - Mile, 5K and 10K -  as well as my tempo workouts all had my 5K pace at 7'21 - they were all done on a track. And here's where I recognized my error. The track is flat and there are no inclines so it's almost as if training for a utopia of a road race. Although the track itself is great for 400M/800M repeats, I do think moving longer track workouts to the road to be more prepared on inclines and different paths is the right way forward even if it does mean the existence of stop lights will unbless my speed life. 

One thing I am also looking forward to adding in my schedule are long runs  +  tempo runs that include running on hills and inclines. For the most part, my running route has a few inclines and I save hill sprints for their own day. Now, I'm going to try to find a route that has a few hills sprinkled in.

There's also something else I learned in terms of 'mental strength in running'.  So, as I was racing in Mile 2, there was a boy with his dad running - we just finished coming up the hill and we had a few inclines lined up ahead. The boy, frustrated with himself, stopped and ripped his bib off because he felt he wasn't doing the best he could. The father helped calm him down to complete the race but it did make me think of how much pressure we put on ourselves to the point where the sport we love becomes a sport we hate to think of.

If anything, this reminded me that at the end of the day regardless of when you finish a race, the time aside each day to reach your fitness/or other related goals is an accomplishment because not everyone sticks to something and makes a habit of it, but you did. It's important to remember where you started, not just where you are right now. See the whole picture, not just the chapter you're on.

I have my eye on a USATF Championship Race in the 8K distance and though I've never raced the distance before, I look forward to conquering it. And conquering it doesn't have to mean a 30 min 8K, rather just getting to the finish line and learning more about myself as a runner is enough for the race to be conquered™.

Have you been racing lately or working towards making a dream a reality? What's one thing you're making a habit of right now?

sahara end logo
sahara holding laptop

UPDATE 31 October 2019 - LinkedIn Status has changed due to it being confirmed after publication of this post from a representative that they do not have a system to verify the legitimacy of a company, rather it is up to the job seeker to 'report' job postings.

At the time of publishing this, 30 October 2019,  ZipRecruiter has emailed me on 25 October 2019 requesting the company name and are looking into the issue. 

So, let's talk about ZipRecruiter. Last week, I discovered that my data submitted to a job application on their site was given to a third party company. I detailed the sequence of events as it happened via my twitter account in a thread.

So let's summarize the events from last week of data misuse:

On October 15th was the first time I officially started using ZipRecuiter as a means to apply for jobs. I applied to 5 companies on their site that day. On the morning of October 16 I received an email from, let's call this company Company X, asking me to click a link to verify my email address and in the very same second thanking me for verifying and welcoming me to the platform. I never clicked the link to verify, and Company X was not one of the companies I applied to that day.

So I found the support email on Company X website and sent an email requesting the account I never created to be deleted and to know from where my data was retrieved from and how my email and other details were inputed into their system.

Yes, I wanted my account I never created removed but I also wanted to know where they retrieved my data from - your digital footprint is something that should be in your control not in the hands of a company's algorithm to create a fraudulent account from data you never gave consent for them to take.

An hour or so later they replied to my email saying they would remove the account immediately and let me know how my data entered their database. I waited 7 days for Company X to tell me how they got my data, and when they didn't respond I sent a follow up email on October 23 asking how and where my data was retrieved from so that I could act accordingly.

They retrieved my data from a ZipRecruiter application.

It turns out when I applied for a job on ZipRecruiter, Company X has a feature on their site that once someone applies to a job that's also listed on their job board on ZipRecruiter then it creates an account on their website.

So: ZipRecruiter has a job that Company X also has on their job board -> job seeker applies via ZipRecruiter -> Company X creates an account on their website that is never mentioned on ZipRecruiter application.

The only thing listed on the ZipRecruiter application is Company Y, the company that is looking to fill the position not Company X that ALSO has the position listed on their site. So, job seekers may have accounts on company sites like X and not even realize that ZipRecruiter is not regulating enough and companies like Company X take their data to another database.

Company X is now decommissioning this feature after my back and forth email with them requesting how they got my data.

If I wasn't paying attention to my email on the morning of October 16th, I wouldn't have even noticed that an account was created for me without my consent - as I mentioned above Company X didn't even need me to verify my email by clicking, their algorithm verified my email and fraudulent account even though they sent me an email to verify and I never did.

I decided to take a look at ZipRecruiter's Terms and Conditions. I began to wonder what it said relating to third parties taking data submitted through ZipRecruiter. The terms and conditions confirmed the illegality of sharing data with a third party, yet here we are.

Is ZipRecruiter regulating companies that post a job posting? Company X had a feature on their website that when a job seeker applies on ZipRecruiter to Company Y, then the job seeker's data is sent to Company X database to create an account without the job seeker's consent.

How are they keeping track of companies with this feature? Is the only way for companies like Company X to get caught taking data without the job seeker's consent dependent on if the job seeker keeps a close eye on their email? Company X decommissioned the feature the second I requested to know where they retrieved my data from. As ZipRecruiter operates in Europe as well, GDPR, I began to wonder how safe was it to actually use this site as a means to find a job.

I was always told that ZipRecruiter was an external recruiter, so job seeker applies and someone else submits you to the position rather than a direct contact of job seeker applies -> applied to position.

What I found was actually worse.

It turns out ZipRecruiter does not verify or authenticate Users or guarantee that a job advertisement is suitable, legitimate or real. So, quite literally, anyone can say they're a company hiring for XYZ and you as a job seeker can be put in danger if you see an ~official~ looking email from a company that doesn't exist at all setting a time for an interview. Also some people do put their phone number and address on their resume which means they [the person posing as a company looking to hire] have a direct means to access you and know where you live.

So I went through a few job board sites terms and conditions so you don't have to.

Looking for a job means you're constantly on multiple different job boards trying to find opportunities. Most companies use more than one site or just use one particular site to promote their new opportunity. I know going through terms and conditions of a site is something we have to check off on when creating an account, but realistically speaking a lot of us just click check and never read the terms and conditions. So, I decided to go through the terms and conditions or reach out directly where necessary to job board sites and list my findings in alphabetical order to the answer of one question: Does the job board verify the legitimacy of a company and position posted?

❌ AngelList

This took longer to find that I thought it would. AngelList's terms of use has a main section and three sub-sections: Terms of ServiceTalent General TermsSource TermsJobs Terms. The section that we job seekers care about in terms of verifying the job offer is in Terms of Service and Talent General Terms.

Terms of Service: According to IV. Limit of the Company's Obligation section B. Verifying Due Diligence, AngelList does not verify materials or information provided by entrepreneurs.

Verifying Due Diligence. We are not responsible for doing diligence on the Entrepreneurs, Investors, Job Seekers or other users you meet through AngelList or verifying any representations, materials or other information provided by Entrepreneurs, Investors, Job Seekers or other users to you.

Talent General Terms: According to V. Release and Indemnity they do not verify the accuracy of any content.

Without limiting the foregoing, you acknowledge that Users are solely responsible for (i) verifying and ensuring the accuracy, completeness and legality of any Content; (ii) determining the suitability of any Candidate for any job or opportunity posted through the Services (including, by way of interviews, vetting, references, background checks and other similar actions);

❌ Dice

Dice is fairly new to me - I discovered them as I was looking for jobs on NY Times Jobs and one of the links led me here. Based on their terms and conditions, your use of the site is entirely at your own risk and they do not verify the accuracy of the job posting.

The Company does not evaluate or censor the resumes, job listings or other information posted to the Site. Moreover, the Company is not involved in the actual transaction, if any, between potential employers and candidates. Consequently, we have no control over the quality, safety or legality of the job listings or resumes posted to the Site, the truth or accuracy of such job listings or resumes, the ability of employers to hire candidates or the ability of candidates to fill job openings.

✅ Elpha

Elpha is a community where women in tech talk candidly online - think Reddit + LinkedIn but better. After reaching out to Elpha via email, the Co-founder and COO Kuan Luo confirmed that they verify the companies by doing their own research and by talking with the founders/team directly.

In terms of submitting an application, the open roles for the company they themselves verify are listed on Lever, GreenHouse or AngelList. Kuan also mentioned that they rely on member feedback to ensure that the Elpha community members have a positive experience connecting with and interviewing at their partner companies.

❌ Glassdoor

According to section D. Applying on Glassdoor, they do not guarantee the identity of an employer and caution job seekers when applying to jobs. You as the job seeker are responsible for verifying the job posting. A snippet of their terms of use is below:

Glassdoor does not guarantee the identity of an employer or any individuals working for any employers, and cautions job seekers when applying to jobs. Glassdoor does not guarantee the validity of a job offer and cautions job seekers to verify the validity of a job offer before taking an adverse action regarding their current employment situations. You are solely responsible for verifying the accuracy of any employer or job offer.

❌ Indeed

According to Indeed General Terms of Service, 1A, they do not guarantee the identity of an employer and caution job seekers when applying to jobs. You as the job seeker are responsible for verifying the job posting. Unless it says 'apply on company site', I would advise not to apply on Indeed.

Indeed does not guarantee the identity of an Employer or any individuals working for any Employers, and cautions Job Seekers when applying to jobs. Indeed does not guarantee the validity of a job offer and cautions Job Seekers to verify the validity of a job offer before taking an adverse action regarding their current employment situations. Job Seekers are solely responsible for verifying the accuracy of any Employer or job offer.


LinkedIn is universally known as the best way to look/search for jobs, here is what I was able to determine from their terms and conditions:  They specify that companies are not allowed to intentionally misrepresent a job, hiring company or poster. Companies also do have to pay to post their job posting, and LinkedIn must accept the job posting.

Also included in 2. Job Services:

Without limiting the prohibitions in the User Agreement or any other applicable agreement, you agree that you will not, and you will not enable or authorize any third party, by virtue of the Postings, Destinations, or use of the Jobs Services, to:
  • Create Postings without a reasonable and legitimate intent to hire for a bona fide job opportunity or the specific position listed.
In order for someone to make a LinkedIn Business/Company page they also have a criteria to meet as a means for verifying the legitimacy of a company including: your personal profile must be at least 7 days old, have multiple connections to demonstrate strong networking skills to show that the profile is not a fake, and an email address listed that is from your company (i.e. not a personal email such as gmail or hotmail).

I reached out via email to clarify their terms and conditions and according to a Member Support Consultant only authorized personnel can post jobs for specific companies. However, they do not have a specific system that verifies all of the job postings on LinkedIn but they do have a well equipped team to handle any report of certain job postings that could be false.

For this reason, after much consideration, I've decided to give them a hazard sign. They do have some sort of criteria, but at the end of the day they do not have a system that verifies all of the job postings on LinkedIn and it is up to the job seeker to report job postings that seem illegitimate. 

✅ TechLadies

TechLadies is a great community that connects you with the best jobs and opportunities in tech. After reaching out to TechLadies via email, the CEO and Founder Allison Esposito Medina confirmed that they vet each job posting to make sure the company is real to the best of their ability. They look at fundraising sites such as Crunchbase, search for founders online, and view sites, such as Glassdoor, for reviews of the application process etc. to piece together if the company is legitimate. Although Allison mentions that this isn't entirely foolproof, what sets them apart from others is that their site is paid and they charge hiring fees. So, the company aiming to be on their job board must be established enough to have a budget set aside.

By charging hiring fees and requiring payment to be given the privilege of being on their job board, this weeds out fake companies/start-ups with no actual end goal. The job posting is not posted on their job board unless the payment has gone through.

TechLadies is a closed community so in order for applicants to even view the job board, they have to apply to be accepted into the community. Allison confirmed that TechLadies does not share or sell anyone's data and the only time a company will receive an application from a TechLadies member is if the member applies to that job specifically.

⚠️ Way Up

This is a company that was not straightforward in their terms and conditions on whether or not they verify the accuracy and legitimacy of a job posting. They do not verify candidates (job seekers) who apply for jobs but they do not mention if this is the same attitude towards employers. However, they do mention that they may look into job postings at their own discretion but they are not obligated to.

The reason why they have a ⚠️ rather than a ❌is because they do not explicitly say they do not verify the job posting rather they say can look into the job posting if they feel like it.

At the start of their Terms and Agreements:

For avoidance of doubt, WayUp disclaims any responsibility for any employment or contracting opportunities, employment or contracting services, or any other services or products acquired or made available through our Services

In section 2. Verification:

By registering with our Services, you hereby authorize WayUp to verify any representations and warranties you make either pursuant to these Terms or within any materials submitted during the registration process, including conducting background checks, contacting any provided references, and reviewing public records. You acknowledge that while WayUp reserves the right to verify these representations and warranties, WayUp is not obligated to do so, and may choose not to do so, at WayUp’s sole discretion.

In section 3. Listing Employment or Contracting Opportunities:

For avoidance of doubt, each Job Posting must comply with all restrictions hereunder, including those governing the submission of User Content and general use of our Services. WayUp may, but is not obligated to, make an independent investigation of the Job Posting to ensure full compliance with these Terms. If WayUp determines, in its sole discretion, that any representation or warranty made by you pursuant to these Terms is in any way false, incomplete, or inaccurate, WayUp may, at any time, reject, remove, or suspend or delay the posting of your Job Posting, in whole or in part. WayUp may, but is not obligated to, provide you with an explanation for the rejection or removal of any of your Job Postings from our Services.

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Sahara hand on top side of head on the track

Starting to make something a habit is always the hardest part of actually doing said habit. I'm pretty sure we all know the saying it takes 30 days to make a habit and it's most likely something we all think of once the new year comes around. Last week, I managed to convince a friend of mine to do a 10 Day Ab Workout Challenge with Chari Hawkins (Team USA Heptathlete) with me, she noticed I posted it on my Instagram Story and wanted to know what it was all about. Today is Day 8 of the challenge where every day Chari Hawkins uploads a new video with the ab workout for the day and we're both still going strong - last home stretch!

Working out is something that's been ingrained in my own routine for a few years now.

I've been consistently working out more seriously these past few years and so doing a workout is quite literally like clock work each day that's not my rest day. I mentioned in previous posts that I've been running track since I was 13/14 and prior to that I was always active in Basketball, Soccer and Karate. No matter what my schedule is, getting a workout is always apart of it.  I used to run in the mornings but when I had a temp job months ago I moved all my workouts to the evening. They're still in the evenings as I use my 9-5 for applying, blog work and coding challenges. Working out is so ingrained in my schedule, that a day without working out on a day not designated as a rest day is the equivalent to question marks. If the workout doesn't fit where it always was, then it's time to shift it around not shift it out of your life. Even if it means working out at 1AM.

sahara smiling at camera with hands on top of head on the track
evening photos = quality needs saving

Quite literally, the track, my yoga mat for floor ab workouts, my jump rope to work on coordination and stability etc. is kind of what I describe as being home. I had a stiff neck and shoulder for 2 weeks and couldn't run because recovery™is the queen in this house and if I'm not 100% it's heat pads and ice on loop. To be honest the illogical side of my brain wanted to go running after 2 days even though I was still using head pads on my neck and shoulder but the logical stopped my brain stopped that plan from going into motion. And by that I mean my mom gave me the look and I was back on my ice for my neck.

You really don't realize how important your shoulder girdle and your neck are for running until you suddenly can't tilt your neck and your shoulder is the equivalent to question marks - your daily reminder to pls upgrade your pillow. When I finally got back to running I swear it's like I finally found my way back to my home™.

Now I wouldn't be me if I didn't go on a random tangent. Let's get back on topic.

Making a habit stick is the hard part, but the hardest part is trying to jump over the hurdle of 'there's always tomorrow'.

The most important thing is to take that first step to start.

Taking the first step is always the hardest one. The reason for that is because whatever it is you choose to do, it's something that isn't a set part of routine yet so it's not like clock work that you return to it each day. Take the 10 day challenge for example, you're doing something everyday for 10 days and by the end of it on Day 11 you may still want to get some sort of workout in because you've already gotten used to it being in your schedule. If we diverge away from running for a bit, let's talk about blogging. So you may or may not have noticed that this is my first blog post with my official domain. I actually started blogging three years ago with a friend and in the end my friend didn't want to continue but I decided to keep going with it - uploading once a week- and here we are three years later, me typing this post.

sahara smiling at camera with hands on top of head on track
the more I look at this photo the more I realize taking evening track photos precisely 5 minutes before sunset was not the greatest idea

I've had my fair amount of breaks in between from when I was finishing up my degree to taking breaks for inspiration but I've always come back to my blog because I genuinely enjoy writing my tangents of thoughts to actual sentences. If there's something you enjoy doing, you'll always find your way back to it.

Whenever you're starting something new there's always that feeling of trying to start at your level 23 rather than at your level 1 because you feel you have to be ~perfect~ at everything from the start. One thing I will say is to enjoy your progress to get to where you want to be rather than saving your enjoyment for the destination. The whole process of learning and becoming better at whatever it is you've chosen to add to your day-to-day is the best part of the journey because that's where your self-motivation to what you want to bring into your life starts to thrive.

The only limit is yourself.

Perhaps the most cliche line you'll ever find written on my blog, but it's true. I was recently watching a YouTube video of Sydney McLaughlin and she mentioned that the only limit was herself. So much of what we choose not to do - regarding something that can contribute to our growth - is inner us pulling us back from our potential. Making something a habit is more down to how much you are able to mute the inner voice trying to take you away from something that is a stepping stone for your personal growth.

I've ben toying with the idea of writing an 'I Will' list for the start of every week or maybe even everyday similar to a To-Do list - something about I will do XYZ rather than I want to do XYZ sounds more definite to me. A lot of making something a habit comes from within you and your own personal drive to always be better than you were the day before.

sahara on track moving hand mid-photo
we love a good blur, this is what happens when you move your hand the same moment as you click the button on your tripod remote

When I was doing ab workout Day 7, Chari Hawkins mentioned that although she posted the videos for the workouts, it was us who made the active decision to set aside time to include the workout in our day. And she's right. We didn't have to do the workout, but we made the conscious effort to make sure we got it done. It's just us holding ourselves accountable. Well, she did say we'd have abs at the end of it so I guess that's a good incentive to keep showing up with my yoga mat because my abs are now holding me accountable for their existence.

You don't have to wait for tomorrow or the beginning of a month to start something.

Although I've definitely waited to start something at the beginning of the month in the past, it does make more sense to start the very same day (or if you're a night owl reading this, this is the only acceptable reason to think tomorrow is a good idea too) to start that blog, workout schedule or even start learning how to play the piano. The more we push it off, the more inner us starts getting comfortable with the idea of 'tomorrow' until 3 months pass and we're still saying we'll start it tomorrow. 

Start by putting one foot on either side of your bike and suddenly you're in motion with something new as your pedals and your hands on the handle bars holding on for dear life as you direct through this starting period. But soon your hands won't grip so tight on the handle bars, and you won't be as tense pushing forward because starting's the hard part. Keeping going on the other hand, once you made it a habit to continue coming back to it, is the easy part.

So let's talk about starting something new and making habits - what's something you want to start and make a habit of?
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Sahara running on the track
slowly getting the hang of setting up my tripod + running  hence why it's a lil blurry

Running sneaker shopping is always fun and stressful at the same time. There's so many different options and it sometimes feels like you're in a never ending loop of comparing one sneaker pair to  another.  I recently was in the running sneaker hunt for a good couple of months. This is mainly because I couldn't find a shoe that I absolutely loved and had great support. Since I have a flat foot, support is massively important to me -  if I can feel the ground I don't want it!

I usually stick to buying Nike's but decided to change this time around because of how they treated Allyson Felix and other runners/athletes when they became pregnant and started a family. So, thought this was the perfect time to see what other sneaker companies are out there. Nike is pretty dominant so of course they would be my first option but while on this search for the one™ I came across a lot of different brands I either haven't heard of or didn't delve into at all. 

So, what are some quick questions I ask myself when deciding if it's time for a new pair?

How much mileage have you put on them?

According to my Adidas Running App 315 miles, and according to several articles online 300-500 miles should be the amount of mileage you put on a pair of running sneakers. A good tip is input your shoe on your Nike Running App/Adidas Running app the second you buy them and start running with them so the app you're using can track the mileage on them. Depending on where you're running - treadmill, indoor track, outdoor track, road running - you may have to purchase a new running sneaker once you hit around 300 or nearer to 500 miles.

How's the support on the bottom?

Chances are your calves might let you know it's time for a new pair before you remember to check your mileage.

Road Runners/Outdoor runners: Around the 300 mile mark check the support of your sneakers. You're going on a lot of different types of terrains/inclines. When you first get new sneakers, the grip/pattern on the bottom is very prominent. As you keep running with your sneakers, that grip starts to flatten in a way and soon the grip is thinned down.

If you can quite literally feel the ground as you're running, it's time for a new pair.

Indoor Runners: You may have a bit more time with your sneakers, nearer to 400 miles due to not running on different terrains.

The support and grip on my sneakers were very worn out, to the point where on the top/mid food section of my sneaker started to get so thin that it started to look like there were going to be holes on the bottom soon. So, I took that as my cue to look for a new pair!

Sahara stepping in blue nike sneakers

Do you have any pain when you're running?

This goes back to your support. Remember how I said your calves may let you know it's time for a new pair before you check your mileage? That would be because since running is a high impact sport, when your shoes lose their cushioning you may feel muscle fatigue and pain either in your shins, or your knees.

The one thing I love about running is that it's all YOU! By that I mean, you're not depending on the mechanics of a bike as cyclers do - you're depending on your legs going one step in front of the other. Your foot is directly hitting the ground to go faster.

I've gotten shin splits before for not swapping my previous shoe out in time, so thankfully this time around it didn't come to shin splints!

IF: You've run a good amount of miles on your shoes, feel minor pain/discomfort while you're running and/or the support on your shoe isn't that great anymore - it's time to get a new pair.

Where to Get Running Sneakers

As I mentioned, I ended up comparing a lot of different shoe brands, thought to add a small list of companies I was debating between: Adidas, Newton Running, Brooks Running, On Running, New Balance, Asics and Under Armour.

I will be mentioning where I did get my new running sneakers from (the shoes pictured above are my old ones that I always ran with) in the form of a review to help anyone out if they're looking at the brand I ended up sticking to. You may be wondering what the brand is, and I'll give you a hint, it's one of the companies from the list! Take a guess?

When was the last time you bought new running sneakers?