Review of Buff DryFlx Hat and Neck Gear

Disclaimer:  I received a BUFF DryFlx Hat and NeckWarmer to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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I am familiar with Buff products and have owned a few neck gaiters in my running lifetime, so I jumped at the chance to try out Buff’s new DryFlx line! I chose a bright Turquoise color as I needed a little pop of color for my cold weather gear. As soon as I opened the package, I could feel the difference in this Buff. It was lightweight, smooth, reflective but had an almost silky feel to it.  I immediately loved it.

According to Buff USA, the DryFlx material is

lightweight warmth for cool weather activities, with 360º reflective design for visibility from dusk to dawn. The 4-Way ULTRA STRETCH fabric is highly breathable and quick-drying for all-day comfort.

What the Buff site doesn’t say is how much attention this gear receives. Each time I wore it I had new compliments from the color to the fit to the fabric.  Extra bonus you cannot see: UPF 50+ sun protection! I primarily used mine for running in cold weather less than 30 degrees, but also wore it to my son’s hockey practice and found it to keep me toasty warm without being too heavy!

Check out the hat and neckwarmer – I highly recommend both!

Right now you can get 10% off by signing up to receive emails from Buff.

More fun facts about Buff:

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  • There is a Buff line for your canine companion.
  • Now offering free shipping on orders of $40 or more.
  • Buff has been around since 1991.
  • They can do custom gear!

 

 

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Falls 100 Ultra Trail Marathon – Another chapter in my trail adventures!

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Stunning views from a hilltop on the course.

ATV trails were rocky but would be very runnable in dry conditions.Let me tell you, this race did not end the way I initially planned. I signed up for the inaugural Falls 100 Ultra Trail Marathon in Falls of Rough, Kentucky after it popped up in my Facebook timeline about 4 months ago. I was already planning to train for the New York City Marathon but had been looking for a 50 miler in the cooler weather, and Falls100 fit the bill with a race date of December 1st.

I am not a trail runner by default. I primarily ran on roads until 2017 when I trained for my first Ragnar Trail Race. However, I had completed a few trail runs and 40 miles on trails in Tennessee earlier in the year and I was ready to go further on trails. The Falls 100 seemed perfect as it fit my timeline and it was very close to home-my mother in law has a summer place at Falls of Rough and of course, she was fine with us staying at her place for the race. A no-brainer! My husband, on a whim, decided to sign up with me. He has never done distance past a marathon and had never completed a trail race at this distance, so I was happy to have him give this a go. A looped course with multiple aid stations, manageable elevation and in the cold of December? PERFECT!

Training went off without a hitch. I ran trails for two-thirds of my training. (I did run roads for about 4 weeks leading up to the NYC Marathon. Then, it was back to trails for the remainder of my training.) Kentucky weather was not really cooperating; we were getting lots of precipitation. It made it difficult to train on trails without hurting the integrity of the trails for sure! Either way, I was excited about this race.

The Falls 100 is put on by Central Kentucky Race Management. The race directors are not strangers to endurance events and one is the director of Elizabethtown’s Backyard Classic, so I felt comfortable running this inaugural race. The course is on an old ATV park property that is privately owned, so the main downside is that there was no preview run for this race. However, the race directors were very good about communicating with runners leading up to the race; and they were very honest about course conditions! It was going to be a wet race. Also, in the days leading up to the event, the temp changed from the high 30s to race day temps of 50s and 60s with chances of thunderstorms! Unreal weather for Kentucky at this time of year. So much for my hopes of running in cold, snowy weather…

The race started with everyone huddling under canopy tents as it rained sideways. It was all downhill (actually uphill) from there. I started out with my friend, Jill, who was running her first trail half. We did well, but joked about how slippery the uphill climbs were at first.

Unfortunately, there was a sign down at our first turn, and we followed the herd…the wrong way, for over a mile! We got turned around and back to the right spot, but that put me behind more than I liked. Jill told me to go ahead of her to make up some time and off I went. People were in good spirits for the most part, despite the rain. I ran into my friends, Abbi and Glenn. They were having a great time and invited me to join them for a bit, which was fun and took my mind off the mud, which we compared to peanut butter at this point, because that is what it felt like you were running in….if you are from that part of the state, you would know the dirt there is clay and silt. When you mix that with water, well, you get cement (or peanut butter) like conditions!

Things got a little muddier as the course went on and once I hopped back onto the paved road for the last 2 miles or so of the course loop, I began to wonder how my husband was faring. He was in front of me and faster than me. As I got close to the start/finish line, I saw him at our makeshift aid station by the car and stopped to chat. He was not happy that the course conditions weren’t making things any easier for his first 50-mile race and wanted me to consider dropping down to the marathon distance with him. I told him “Let’s go out on to our second loop and talk about it” and off we went. We decided going into this loop that we would not try to go full out and just have fun, which is what we did. There was a lot of laughing and sliding at this point. We talked to many others who were finding the course not as fun this loop around. Several were dropping down to shorter distances. As one man remarked, “At this point, this is not about athleticism, this is about staying upright”! I was suddenly thankful for all of the yoga I had been doing to help with my core balance at this point.

As we got closer to the start/finish, I thought more about my ultimate time goal for this race and how I had prepared and I knew there was no way this course was runnable (for me). I did not want to walk 50 miles. I wanted to run 50 miles! Even more so, I knew to attempt 50 miles wasn’t the safest bet. My husband told me I had nothing to prove and going on would mean risking injury from running in the dark in these conditions (I had no poles to assist in the climbs up slippery ATV trails), or from the chance of thunderstorms for later in the evening. It was then I knew he was right and instead we agreed to finish together. It made me happy to know this was my decision and that I was FOR THE FIRST TIME, finishing a race with my husband. He even agreed to hold my hand as we crossed the finish line together! Haha– You know what they say-partners that run together stay together. No seriously, I was very proud of him for completing his first trail marathon and I was happy to do it with him. Our friends met us at the finish line with big congratulations and we received our medals with huge smiles. We learned after we had finished that many others had dropped down their distances due to the weather and trail conditions. I give ALL of the finishers out there kudos for starting and completing every distance because that course was something you could not train for at all! It was not my day to run but it was my day to finish a trail marathon distance with my husband, which was a great experience.

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Crossing the finish line together!

The race directors/race management company was amazing and very accommodating. The aid stations were well stocked, we never ran out of water or electrolytes, and the course was well marked as trail races go. I loved the swag and the course scenery. As we left, we told the race directors we would be back in 2019, pending no crazy rainfall amounts in the days leading up to the race!

Until next year, Falls100!

See my BibRave Review of the Falls 100 here.

Running Smarter with Sabre!

“Disclaimer: I received a Sabre Runner Pepper Spray to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

As the member of an all women’s running group, running safety is a topic that comes up quite a bit. When I was asked to test Sabre safety products, in particular, the Runner Pepper Gel with an adjustable hand strap, I was excited about the opportunity.

My box from Sabre arrived with the following products to test:

Runner Pepper Spray

Duathlete Pepper Gel

Personal Alarm with clip and LED light

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For this review, I want to focus on the Runner Pepper Spray. In the past, I have carried traditional mace and a whistle for safety reasons. The pepper gel is new to me and I was unsure of how effective it could be until I started reading more about the Sabre products on the website. Sabre touts gel that is police strength protection level, minimizes blowback and has a spray range greater than 20% of most other brands.   

Additionally, this product is a unique combination of CS military tear gas, red pepper, and UV dye.

You can read more about the product for yourself on the website, but here is a summary of why I really liked using this product:

  • The hand strap was easy to adjust when I needed to wear gloves, etc.
  • The canister is lightweight. I did not notice it on me once I started running.
  • I can get up to 35 short bursts with this one canister. Hopefully, I never have to use it, but is nice to know I have a good volume with one purchase.
  • It is affordable!
  • The company offers free training videos and easy use instructions.
  • The twist lock is easy to use but also feels secure when not in use.

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See the full FAQ for the Runner Pepper Gel here.

Follow my IG page for more posts about this product and follow #SabreBR to see other user thoughts/reviews! My fellow Bib Rave Pros have reviews up as well – check out:

She Runs by The SeaShore

The Marathon Lady

Running Around the Boyz

She Runs By Faith

 

My NYC Marathon Experience

Man, sitting down to type this out took me a bit. It has been almost 3 weeks since I ran the 2018 TCS NYC Marathon. I have been struggling with what to write about this experience and how it went. There is so much detail to this experience, it is overwhelming to think about putting into words, but here it goes.

First of all, if you told me 20 years ago I would run the NYC Marathon one day, I would have called you a liar. I remember watching that race on television and thinking wow, those people are amazing. I thought this race was only for elites. Boy, was I wrong! Now, let’s be clear, I did not qualify to run this race based upon time. I decided to run with a charity team, Team Every Mother Counts (you can read more about that decision here) as it was a charity close to my heart and they invited me to join their team. It was clear once I was in New York City, and especially clear on the morning of the race, that this race was for any runner. There were runners of all ages, pace, ethnicity, religion, and size. They are all there for different reasons, but the morning of the race, we could all feel the electricity and suddenly, we were all there for one reason, to cross the finish line of the largest and most prestigious marathon in the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This trip was an adventure from the time I put my foot on the plane to fly into NYC. I will fast forward to the morning of the race, where my travel partner and running friend, Rhonda and I get up to start the first leg of our journey to the start line. We had an AirBandB flat in Queens, so we had to get up around 4:15 am to get ready to leave. We hit the subway around 5:15 and immediately spotted another runner and chatted with him. He was from Paris and this was his 6th NYC marathon. He looked to be in his late sixties or early seventies. He told us about running other world majors and how this one was his favorite. We decided to follow him to the start!

We arrived from the Subway to the Staten Island Ferry around 6:40 am. We waited impatiently, but happily in the warm ferry station until our 7 am destination ferry arrived. The ferry holds hundreds of people, so we all piled on with happy marathon workers greeting us and cheering for us. It was wonderful. The ride over to Staten Island was beautiful. It was sunny, about 50 degrees and the view was priceless.

The ferry ride was about 30 minutes long. Then came the bus to the start line…oy. The bus ride to Fort Wadsworth took about 90 minutes. It was not a long trip, just slow because we were in small lines of traffic behind many other buses. People started asking to get off the bus so they could walk or jog to the start. Some were afraid they would miss their corral time. We arrived around 10 am and the security line did not take long. We were advised to take the ferry to the bus instead of the bus all of the way and I am so glad we did (the ferry has plenty of bathrooms and places to sit). I hugged Rhonda good-bye and I was on my way to my corral. I made it as my drop bag truck was packing up! I did not realize they were calling my corral next-we apparently had to go to a line 45 minutes before our start time to get into our corral where we then waited 30 minutes for the start. (Pro-tip: don’t stop at the porta-johns at the front gate of Fort Wadsworth; proceed to your corral area for plenty of porta-johns, coffee, food, etc).

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Arriving at Fort Wadsworth and the Start Line

The corral was FULL of buzzing energy. So many people smiling, laughing, enjoying the weather! Once the cannon went off, we were shuffling to the start and then we were off. You can read many race reports about the course itself and the highlights of the course; as someone who was in NYC for the first time and running the course for the first time, I feel like I missed a lot but here are some of the things I remember most clearly.

  • The first two miles are uphill and so crowded. But, running through Brooklyn is amazing! You will feel like you can run forever. I remember seeing awesome signs, a man in almost no clothes holding a huge stuffed fish, so many people in costumes, and so many people cheering/shouting out your name or whatever was on your race singlet.
  • The volunteers are amazing. Yell out what you want; they are there and at the ready with what you need. This includes the aid stations and as I witnessed later, the Biofreeze stations.
  • The transition from Brooklyn into Queens got me. It goes silent as you run across the bridge. There was one group of men on top of a roof holding a sign that said “Welcome to Queens” and it made me smile through teary eyes.
  • I told myself I wasn’t going to stop and pee but after we came off of the bridge, there were all of these potties and no one around so I went for it. NO LINE is amazing.
  • As we arrived into the Bronx, I remember a huge man standing up on something high above the crowd yelling at us, “Get outtah here” in his best New York accent. It made us all smile. The Bronx had some great cheering sections and hands down some of the best music!
  • Around mile 22 I started telling myself this was it. I was getting ready to be a NYC marathon finisher and had to remind myself why I was running to get me through. People were starting to really hurt at this point. I saw lots of people start walking, pull over to the side, get sick, etc. I remembered my youngest son’s advice before I left home, telling me if I got tired and wanted to start walking to NOT walk and keep moving forward; to keep running. I did. I vowed not to slow down, not to walk, not to stop. I keep moving forward, dodging people. It was then that I spotted the 4:05 and 4:15 pacers and decided to try and catch them.
  • Right before Central Park, I apologized to the 4:15 pacer. I told her I knew I was on her heels but I wanted to keep her feet in my line of vision. She laughed and said no worries; and promised that we were going to finish this together.
  • We hit Central Park. This was the part I was NOT ready for; this part is so hard. Not because it is the end, but because it is THICK with people. The crowd is roaring; you cannot hear anything, even your own thoughts in your head. You cannot see much. The course is also tight and thick with people; some just stopping and some trying to stick with the tangents. I pushed forward, ahead of my pacer. I wanted to cry. I knew I could not catch the 4:05 pacer, there was not enough room or time, but I would pretend like I could! You run the last part up a hill here. It was crazy and amazing and overwhelming and no words can describe this finish area.

Once I crossed the finish line, I was full of JOY. You could not wipe the silly grin off of my face. I saw people falling and medical team members were everywhere. I pushed forward through the line of runners to find my drop bag and put warm clothes on.

This race is amazing. I went in thinking I would just run to have fun and not worry about my time, but it turns out my 4:15 was a PB. I was very happy about that but mostly grateful for the experience, which as usual, taught me more about myself as a runner and as a person.

I want to thank each person and group that supported me during my training and fundraising. Your donations, texts, emails, and messages of support meant the world to me and gave me the ability to push forward even in the most trying times. I am a better person because of this experience, where I can give back to a cause that means the world to me and combine that with my love for running. I am grateful for this life!

You can read more about my “why” here.

You can read more about running for Team Every Mother Counts here.

Read my Bib Rave Review (and write your own race reviews) here: Bib Rave Review

Running for Every Mother.

It is hard to believe that just over a week ago I ran the TCS New York City Marathon. I am still in awe of that experience (you can read my full recap here soon). Even more amazing is the fact that I was able to run as part of an amazing charity team: Team Every Mother Counts. Thanks to the generous support of so many, I was able to meet my fundraising goal and have an amazing purpose for running of this race. Runners always talk about their “why” and for the NYC Marathon, my why was every mother.

I was so humbled to have some amazing running friends support me for an interview with the Louisville Courier-Journal as well to tell my story:

Kentucky mom runs to fight maternal deaths after near-tragic pregnancy

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OOFOS OOriginal Sports Sandals – Recovery shoes with a distinctive style and feel!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos Ooriginal Sport Sandal to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have a shoe confession: I have too many pairs of shoes! I love shoes! I love high heels, boots, sandals, flip-flops, flats…you name it, I have them. My mom says I get this love of shoes from my grandmother. She always had a closet full of shoes and I remember getting into her closet and trying on all kinds of shoes. I loved her dress shoes the most. As I grew older and can pick out my own shoes, I usually preferred the most uncomfortable shoes; you know, the most stylish (and usually the most expensive) types!

Then I met running. Now my favorite pair to wear hands down are running shoes! That being said, I do wear heels, flats, and boots when I am not running. Over the years, I have noticed that running has really put some wear and tear on my feet and legs, and mostly in the form of plantar fasciitis or shin splints. I had heard about recovery sandals but was never really keen on wearing them because well, I thought they were not attractive nor easy on the wallet. I mean, let’s be honest, if I am spending a lot on shoes, it is going to be for racing, not recovery, am I right?

BibRave asked for some of us BRPs to test out the Oofos OOriginal Sports Sandal in Cloud White. What did I have to lose? When I received the package of shoes in the mail, I was hesitant. Then, I slipped them on and it was like “OH MY GOODNESS, these are like little clouds for my feet to rest upon.” It took me one night of wearing them to make me a believer! My only regret is I did not try these out sooner!

I then started to research the Oofos technology. It was there that I found their foam technology is patented; only Oofos uses this certain type of foam in their products that takes the pressure off of your joints.

From a recent study:

“OOFOS absorb 37% more impact* than traditional foam footwear materials for the perfect blend of cushion and stability.
Then there’s our patented footbed. It cradles and supports arches to reduce energy exertion in the ankles by up to 20%* when compared to competitors’ footwear. So walking is easier. Recovery is faster. And yOO actually feel better. “

Other cool facts about OOfos:

  • OOfos are not made with any harsh chemicals or dyes and are latex free
  • You don’t have to be a runner to wear them! They help people with all types of foot discomfort.
  • You can wash them in the washer to clean them!
  • They have a 6-month warranty.
  • For every pair you buy, 3% goes directly to breast cancer research. Find out more about Project Pink.

I cannot say enough about these sandals! I wore them after all of my long runs for my NYC Marathon training runs as well as in the recovery days after the marathon. I also slipped into them after a long day in work shoes. My feet and legs feel so great after having them on even for 30 minutes. I get compliments and questions on them when I wear them out; they have a distinctive look and style to them that get noticed. My mom, who has plantar fasciitis wore them and now wants a pair (she is not a runner).

Oofos makes a variety of sandals and shoes. Check them out and try them! With free ground shipping and a 30-day return policy, you do not have much to lose, but a lot to gain by trying them out.

Visit Oofos at https://www.oofos.com/

How my birth experiences prepared me for endurance running.

Running:  The Back Story

In order for me to tell this story, you have to know I was not a runner as a child or young adult. Growing up I rode horses, played basketball and was on the dance team. I did not like running. I despised the running portion of our annual PE fitness test in school. I thought cross country runners were weird. I thought marathons were for elite athletes. Back then, I obviously knew nothing about running.

Fast forward a few decades and I married an athlete who ran marathons for fun. I was skeptical of his hobby but listened to his stories because I loved him. We decided to have kids. I bought a book about preconception fitness. It suggested what else? Running! So, I started jogging as a way to increase my fitness and prepare my body for other things.  I still didn’t like running.  At the end of that year, I found myself in great shape thanks to exercise and diet, and I also found myself pregnant. I knew that I did not want the typical birth experience, based upon all of the research that I had done.

Now came what I did not realize at the time; training for my first endurance event was about to begin.

Pregnancy and Birth

As for many women, pregnancy and birth changed me.  I knew I did not want to experience the medical model of care; pregnancy is not an illness.  So, I began reading as much as I could about the more holistic, treating birth as normal, midwifery model of care. My first pregnancy was pretty normal but my birth experience did not meet my expectations. I was not a “normal” patient, asking for things that most patients did not know they could/should ask for…you know, things like the right to refuse treatment, informed consent, etc.  I had to fight off the anesthesiologist who told me repeatedly I would change my mind on no IV/no pain meds.  I had to fight to keep my support team in my room. I had to fight to get out of the bed and move around or eat/drink during labor (these things are hospital policy but merely a convenience for the hospital, not for the mother). I was so focused on keeping a cascade of interventions from happening to me, I did not get the joy of having birth happen to me.  After 24 hours of start and stop labor, I did have an unmedicated vaginal birth, but I was ready to get out of that hospital as quickly as I could. As we left, my nurse-midwife said, “See? You didn’t even need the hospital?”. Those words stayed in my head and two years later when I was pregnant again, I decided I definitely did not need the hospital and began planning my home birth.

 

My second {home/water} birth was the perfect birth for me. I had a team of professionals, including a certified nurse-midwife and doula, along with my family to support me.  I ate, drank and labored where I wanted; I could squat, straddle, lay down, or turn upside down if I needed to in order to help guide my baby.  After six hours of consistent laboring, my baby was gently and quietly born in my garden tub with a roomful of people who knew exactly how to support me.  I had been preparing for this day since I left that hospital two years previous.

Much like running, birth was not easy; laboring and giving birth was hard work and I loved every single minute of it.

Training for Big Moments

So, the big question: How did my birth experiences prepare me for endurance sports?  Well, the midwifery model of care really puts the power of birth into the mother’s hands.  She is the center of the model and must prepare for that role, psychologically, physically and emotionally.  This same responsibility lies upon runners as they prepare for races. While people can support and cheer you on, ultimately you have to do the work yourself.  Here is how I see the similarities between preparing for birth and endurance running:

  • You should train your mind and body for the event.  Everyone is a little different, but most endurance athletes follow a training plan. This includes following a healthy diet, resting, hydrating and staying on top of training miles and avoid injury.  It includes back to back long runs to prepare your mind for running on tired legs.  I typically can hit my race goals if I take care of myself and follow a good plan. The same goes for when I prepared for birth, starting at preconception and moving forward, I did the best I could to prepare my body and mind for birth. This not only included a healthy diet, but I also followed an exercise plan with lots of walking when I could not run, yoga and meditation. Rest was also super high on my training plan for birth!
  • People will tell you it is painful or that it is not possible.  Life lesson: Naysayers are everywhere.  When I was preparing for birth, people told me I would end up begging for pain meds. They criticized my home birth decision because they assumed it was dangerous.  When I decided to run my first marathon, I heard all about how running was bad for your knees or that it sounded painful.  Because I am who I am, instead of feeding into this negativity, I use it as a time to educate people who really know nothing about birth or running. If they can’t/don’t want to learn truths, that is not on me. I also make sure I surround myself with people who are positive and believe in me (another good life lesson).
  • You need a good support team/crew. As far as I am concerned, having a good support team is critical to my mental strength.  In birth, this includes people who understand your goals and know your likes/dislikes.  They are there to tell you that you can do this! The same goes for running. That crew member who will change your shoes for you and shove pretzels in your mouth after 9 hours of running while telling you how bad@ss you are is a game changer.  At your low points, your support team is there to nurture and guide you; at your high points, they are there to celebrate with you.  Good support is critical and a key to success.
  • You may hit a wall and you will go through dark places. I feel for most women and runners, 90% of their experiences are mental. Your body can handle most things as it designed to do; birth and running are no exceptions. But you have to know and believe those things.  If you train properly for birth or racing, you can avoid hitting a wall.   But most women in labor, as well as most endurance athletes at some point during their event, go to a dark place and start to doubt they can complete the task in front of them.  I think to experience this dark place and come out of it helps prepare you for the next time. Having gone through labor twice and now training for my third ultramarathon, part of my training is to think ahead about ways to manage my low points. 
  • The experience is transformational.  I remember distinctly the sounds and smells in that hospital room as I gave birth to my first son. The same goes for the first time I crossed the finish line.  I will never forget those times. There was so much preparation for those events and it was hard work. But, the person that emerged from those events is a more confident person who understands the meaning of hard work and sacrifice to meet the goal.

 

One of my favorite quotes on birth and women is this:

“Birth is not only about making babies. Birth is about making mothers–strong, competent, capable mothers who trust themselves and know their inner strength.”

― Barbara Katz Rothman

My nurse-midwives were the first to help me embrace the power I have as a woman and really dig to find my inner strength. They helped to reinforce the fact that my body is not the broken vessel many providers, hospitals and mainstream media would want us to believe. They helped me harness fear, pain and doubt and nurture confidence, strength, and triumph.  They helped me face the biggest and most important challenge of my life: giving birth.  Now, when I am faced with the challenge of training for a new race, I just think, “If I can give birth, I can do anything I set my mind to do.”

Words I would use before motherhood now take on new meanings. I am not timid; instead, I am confident. I am not nervous; instead, I am excited. I am not weak; I am strong. Giving birth to my sons has prepared me for so many things in life, including becoming the mother and runner I am today.

Brilliant Reflective Strips are fun (and promote safety) for the entire family-a Bib Rave Pro Product Review

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective Strips to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have to admit, when I first heard of this product, I was skeptical. Maybe because it sounded too easy? But, as a runner, I know it is important to stay safe AND it is starting to get dark early and stay dark longer, so I thought, what is there to lose? It turns out, I am so very happy I had the opportunity to test these out as a Bib Rave Pro!

I received my samples in the mail. I received both the Blue Iron-on Segmented Runner and the Red Stick-On Family Reflective versions of this product to test.  I also did a little product research before receiving the product in the mail and I was happy to learn the following about their product mission:

Our primary mission is to reduce automobile-based injuries to children, runners, walkers and cyclists. We do this by:

  • Raising awareness of the benefits of wearing reflective material and;
  • Offering Brilliant® colorized 3M™ Scotchlite™ Reflective Material to apply to anything you wear, carry or ride on outside. They are Stick-on and Iron-On reflective products in a variety of colors, shapes and sizes for different applications.

My son was very excited to try the Family pack first. He used them for both his backpack and his cross-country water bottle!  I loved that they immediately lit up the backpack (it is now getting very dark in the morning at the bus stop) and he thought that the shapes and graphics were really cool! They were super easy for his little hands to manipulate and he had complete creative control over the look of his design.

 

I was hesitant about the Iron-Ons and how difficult they may be (I also never use an iron, so there is that disclaimer!) but I did have a newer long-sleeve running shirt with hardly any reflective safety on the back, so I thought that I would try the blue segmented iron-on product here.  The results? Super easy and the color really pops on the shirt! Even my husband used the word “bright” when describing the effect.  You can see a quick tutorial on how easy it is to iron these babies onto your fave gear now at https://www.instagram.com/bluegrassbamr/channel/

I love that these products are easy for everyone in the family to use! We are making a list to also add these products to our dog leashes, bike helmets, and the boys’ inline skates!

Best of all? Pricing is super affordable. The  Iron-Ons range from $10 to $14.95 per pack. The Family Stick-Ons are 14.95 per pack.

You can order here and use code BRP30 for 30% off your order!  

 

Running with Wonder Women: What it means to be part of an all women’s running group.

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the DC WONDER WOMAN Run Series as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated with Wonder Woman. I was a huge fan of the original television show. As far as I was concerned, I would never come across a woman as amazing as Lynda Carter. I mean, I did not know any women who were beautiful, confident, strong, and kicking bad guys’ butts on the daily.  To this young child, she was incomparable and I wanted to be as “bad” as she was when I grew up.

Lynda-s-caped-crusader-role-is-still-her-biggest-to-date-481550Fast forward almost 30 years later to the day I joined my local Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town (MRTT/SRTT) chapter.  I initially joined the chapter because I was looking for other women who were training for half marathons. I had not run that distance before and did not know any women around me who would even think about running that distance with me.  I was nervous;  scared, really that the women in this group would be uber competitive, perhaps reject the notion that I was even a runner as to this point I had “only ran 5Ks”. I was at best a fair-weather runner.  Even with my hesitancy, I joined the group knowing that I could always leave the chapter if it did not work out. Little did I know, it would be one of the most life-changing things I had ever done (second to having children)!

When I entered the group, I watched silently for a bit; there were only around 200 women in the group and the chatter was about training for half marathons and marathons *gulp*. These women all had positive things to say about running and even met up to run together. Wow! That was intimidating to me. To this point, I had only run with my husband (far behind him, not really with him) or by myself. On a whim, I decided to show up for a group run. I was nervous but determined to push myself forward in my running journey.

What I found at that meet-up, and subsequently moving forward, was an amazing group of women. There were vast differences: Many, but not all, were mothers. Some were in training. Some ran for fun. They were running all paces. They were all shapes. They were all sizes.  But, there was one core component that bonded these women: they were all runners there to encourage others in their running journey.  Wonder Women.

These women told me I could do whatever I wanted to do. They told me I was a badass. They became my mentors and my friends. They goaded me into hitting the register button on more than one race. They had confidence I would finish my first marathon, triathlon, and ultramarathon well before I did.  They are with me at my highest times and at my lowest times of running. They pick me up when I get low.  I want the best things for them in life, just as they do for me.

Now our MRTT/SRTT group is over 1200 strong.  The women in this group have cheered each other on to amazing things–things I never saw the original Wonder Woman could do! As a matter of fact, as I watched the 2017 Wonder Woman Film (Gal Gadot version),  I thought to myself, “Wow, she is amazing. I feel like I know her. Wait, I know a bunch of women just like her! My running friends should have been in this movie!”

They are marathoners. They are triathletes. They are ultra runners. They run pushing strollers. They are Ironman finishers. They are mothers. They are strong. They are loving. They are compassionate. They are badasses. They are unforgettable. They are Wonder Women.

To celebrate these women, I am hosting a DC Wonder Woman Run Virtual 5K/10K meet up in my city.  Many of them will be running with me.  You should check out the race series and find a location near you– the series is in California (Sacramento, Oakland, San Jose, or LA) or virtual.  Use code WWBIBRAVE for 10% off registration. 

There is still time to register and run Mt. Bachelor

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Under Armour Mountain Running Series: Mt. Bachelor as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Here is why you should run the third race in the Under Armour Running Series:

Mt. Bachelor  

**The VIEW**

Need I say more?

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The race website describes the course by stating…

A ONCE VOLCANIC MOUNTAIN IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST OUTSIDE OF BEND, OR THAT BOASTS 360-DEGREE VIEWS FROM THE PEAK OF THE VOLCANO.

Additionally, if you are still on the fence, don’t forget the race offers:

  • 5K, 10K, 18K and 50K distances (including a prize purse for 50K winners!)
  • Generous course cut-off times
  • An amazing runner package!

Click here to read my blog outlining the Top 5 Reasons to Run Mt. Bachelor in detail!

 

UNDER ARMOUR MOUNTAIN RUNNING SERIES: MT. Bachelor TAKES PLACE ON 9/15/18IN MT. BACHELOR, OR. 

 

You can use Discount Code: BIBRAVE20 for 20% off your registration now.  See all of the details and register at http://www.uamountainrunning.com/event-locations/mt-bachelor