Aftershokz Operation #GiveGoodVibes is a Success!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones to review and a pair of Aftershokz Titanium headphones to gift to a friend 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 was so proud to have the opportunity to be a part of the recent Aftershokz #GiveGoodVibes campaign.  I was first introduced to these amazing bone conduction wireless headphones about two years ago. My husband gifted me a pair of Titanium headphones for Christmas. I could not believe the sound quality, it was amazing –the bone conduction technology allows you to hear without obstructing the ear! I felt much more confident listening to music while I ran solo and I knew my hearing was much better off with these than the old pair I was using.

Let’s not forget, while Aftershokz sent a pair of Air Trekz for me to try out, they also sent me a pair of the Titanium to gift to a friend as part of their #GiveGoodVibes campaign. how amazing is that?!  Now, who was I going to gift the other pair to…? That was the big question. I have so many wonderful friends that love running and did not have these!

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So small and lightweight! Loving my Air Trekz!

After thinking loooonng and hard, I decided to gift the Titanium headphones to one of my best friends, Jill.  She was training for her first trail half marathon and was working really hard to meet her goals. Jill is a very selfless person. She is a preschool teacher with two young children and her husband travels for work, which causes her to get really creative in finding the time to train for races. She does not have a good pair of headphones that are lightweight and safe for running. She is one of those moms that goes without things she wants to give her children, family and friends things that they need. She was a perfect candidate!

So, I decided to surprise her with the headphones at her trail race! I was also signed up to run the race. We traveled down together with our husbands to the race. I watched her run with joy at this race, despite the horrible, muddy course we had to endure due to the heavy rainfall that month. She persevered and finished the race when some people decided not to even show up to start due to the weather-she did amazing! After we received our medals and cleaned up, I gifted her a card telling her how proud I was of her and gave her the headphones. She was shocked! I could not film this due to the poor cell phone service at our cabin, but the look on her face was priceless.

We now are both happy owners of Aftershozk. I am so grateful for this opportunity to give back to a great friend and runner! I highly recommend these headphones to runners but really anyone looking for a way to use headphones that are safe for your hearing and conducive to high-quality sound experience.

#GIVEGOODVIBES

Check out these other fun #GiveGoodVibes stories from my fellow Bib Rave Pros!

With Purpose and Kindness  

ScootADoot

Jenna Runs

 

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I am officially a Zwift Runner!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift FootPod 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!

Running confession time: I have never enjoyed running on the treadmill. Several years ago, I joined a gym just for treadmill use in the months of January and February, when the weather is icy here at home.  It was as I was training for the second marathon that I realized there was value in using the treadmill for training. Regardless of my respect for the device, I still find it a dull experience. Enter the Zwift Run app and footpod!

 

 

First Experience

Prior to getting my Zwift footpod in the mail, I had not heard of Zwift for running, only cycling, so I was very excited to try this out. I quickly checked out the Zwift run website and found that I would need the following for use:  A treadmill, the Zwift footpod or smart sneaker, supported gear, and an electronic device to run the Zwift App. (Full disclosure on the supported gear: my iPad was too old to support the Zwift app so I had to use my Andriod device, which is still in Beta testing. I found if you have an android device, you still will need a laptop/Apple TV/ iPhone/iPad for a fully integrated experience.) 

So, I created my free Zwift Run account. Then, I downloaded the Zwift app to my laptop and the companion app to my phone.  Next, I took the footpod and paired it with the Zwift software on my laptop. The settings are pretty fun to play around with so that you can customize your avatar.  I then opened the Zwift companion app and picked a training run to get started. I set up my laptop beside the treadmill at the gym and I was off!  It was really fun to see “myself” running in “Watopia” with other cyclists and runners.  Once I was done with a 2-mile test run, I was able to look at my companion app to see my run route, Pace, Cadence, and splits.  I was pleased with this as I knew in past running on treadmills did not provide me with truly accurate run stats.  I could begin to like this treadmill thing!

 

My one big take away with the setup: calibrating the footpod to the treadmill run is the most important step as it sets the foundation for future Zwift runs and the accuracy of your run cadence and pace. Don’t get frustrated with this part. It took a minute for my Avatar to pick up the pace and get going; so have patience and let the technology do the work.

 

IMG_20181210_215355_564A few days later, I was really excited to do my first virtual group run as part of at BibRave Pro run with my BRPs who were at The Running Event in Austin, Texas! I got to the gym early, set up and was ready to go! Once the run started, I realized that my footpod did not want to pair with the software. I tried multiple times and chalked it up to a wifi issue and I was majorly bummed. However, at the end of the session, I noticed my footpod was not lighting up! I went home and changed out the battery in the footpod and VIOLA, the footpod pair instantly with the software.

 

 

Third Time is a Charm

My third Zwift Run went rather smooth. I had a new battery in my footpod and decided to do a Zwift 101 training run.  I had zero issues with any of the gear or devices and can I just say I love the companion app?! As I run, I was receiving training advice and rationale for the type of training run I was completing. Time fly by as I watched my avatar run on the computer screen and before I knew it my training run was over. People walked by to check out the avatar and ask what I was doing. It was pretty cool to show off the technology to the runners and coaches at the gym!

I have had another Zwift run since then and I am sooooo looking forward to my next BibRavePro Zwift virtual run on Tuesday, December 18 from 7:30-8pm EST. Please join us! It is open to anyone!

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Benefits of Virtual Experience

I have to say, I was skeptical at first. But honestly, once I figured out the battery in the footpod was my main issue, I have had a great experience with Go Zwift Run! The benefits of being a Zwifter:

  • The virtual experience is pretty awesome and you never have to run ‘alone’! There SmartSelect_20181207-164826_Stravaare multiple daily events you can jump into or try a workout/training run.
  • This is a boon for training using a treadmill; the workouts and training tips are great.
  • You can set goals for yourself and the app tracks it all (distance goal, time goal, even calorie burn goals –this app will tell you how many pieces of pizza you burned on your run)! I am a visual person and love to see the readout at the end of my run.
  • You can follow other Zwifters, give them kudos on runs and make new friends all over the world from the comfort of your home or gym.
  • Zwift app links with all of your favorite running apps, including Strava and Garmin.
  • This makes running on the treadmill less boring! Treadmill companies should def get on board with Zwift and make this a “thing”.

 

FootPod Discount

Need a Zwift FootPod? Use Code ‘BibRave15’ for 15% off the footpod (good only the first 1000 purchased with the code)!

Don’t take my word for it! Read other BibRave Pro reviews on this product by searching for #ZwiftBR now. If you are into technology and/or treadmill running, you are probably gonna want to learn more!

Corey T. Queen over at Go Corey Go has his review up now here.

With Purpose and Kindness review has some great treadmill running tips!

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!

Don’t just believe my boxer, Ella! Read reviews from my fellow Bib Rave Pros 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

 

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/

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. 

Review of Nuun Immune System Support

Disclaimer: I received Nuun Immune System Support 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!

When I had the chance to try out Nuun Immunity, it was really perfect timing. My husband and I had just discussed our favorite (and least favorite) ways to hydrate while training for our upcoming races.  While I have had Nuun in the past, the immune system support was new to me! Runners all know how important hydration is for our bodies, but I was more interested in the immunity support aspect of this particular line.

Nunn

I hopped online to read more about what set this product apart and here is what I found:

…nuun immunity’s propriety mix of botanicals and electrolytes aids in the protection of your immune system. with a balance of anti-inflammatories (including turmeric & ginger), free-radical fighting antioxidants (such as elderberry & echinacea), and our hydration-optimized blend of electrolytes, nuun immunity packs a triple punch in supporting immune health and protecting against common cold and flu symptoms.

I was provided one tube (10 tablets) of both the Orange Citrus and Blueberry Tangerine flavor. I have to admit, I turned my nose up at the second flavor description at first, but more to come on that in a minute… Each serving is one tablet mixed with 16 ounces of water. I decided to drink one 16 ounce serving pre-run and post-run daily.

blog post Nuun

 

My thoughts on this product from a runner’s perspective?

  • Flavor  – While the Orange Citrus wasn’t overly citrus, I was pleasantly surprised by the Blueberry Tangerine (it was my fave of the two).  Both were mild, refreshing, not too sweet and definitely effervescent.
  • Consistency – You have to shake or mix the tablet into the water well before drinking.  It goes down pretty smooth; not “chalky” at all.
  • Ingredients – The product is organic, vegan and ingredients are listed plainly on the website and tube.
  • Portability – The tube of tablets are easy to stick in my gym bag. I can easily drop one into a 16 oz water bottle after my work out! I can also mix several tablets into a larger container and store in the fridge for up to a week, which makes it super easy to not have any excuses for being “out” of my go-to hydration after a run.
  • Effectiveness – I cannot say I felt any more “immune” after using the product, but I can say that both of my kids had started back to school at the time I was using it and they became ill (think colds and stomach virus) but I did not. As a mom, that is a huge WIN for me.
  • Bonus – the FAQ section of the website allowed me to easily locate if this was safe for my children to drink and revealed all allergen information I was looking for (nut free, gluten free, etc).

Overall I would definitely recommend this product to others (not just runners) who want a boost to their daily hydration and nutrition routine.  The product is relatively inexpensive and does the job.

Do you want to try out Nuun Immunity?  Use code HYDRATEBIBPRO for 20% off, good through the end of October. Note this code will only work on the US webstore nuunlife.com and not on nuuncanada.com. 

 

 

5 Reasons to Run Under Armour Mountain Running Series: 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!

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1. Location, location, location! I mean, these views, people- you will be hard pressed to beat the scenery from this single track race that includes 360 views from a volcano rim. Check out more beautiful photos on their Instagram page here.

Bib Rave Pro UA Mt Bachelor

2. There are so many amazing things to do outside (besides race). Ski, raft, hike, bike, and more! Check out the amazing adventures that await you and your friends/family/crew here https://www.mtbachelor.com/

3. This is a Pet-Friendly Location – Bring your dog and let him feel the wind in his hair in the off-leash Ruffwear Dog Park area! (But make sure you follow leash/harness rules for all other areas!)

4. Multiple Distance Options – Not ready for the 50K? That is okay, there are 5K, 10K and 18K options – something for everyone!

5. Sweet SWAG – For those that race for the bling (or the $$$), this race offers athletes a Finisher Medal, Under Armour Long Sleeve Technical Running Tee, and 3-Month MVP MapMyRun Access to Training Plans, Nutrition, and Insider Product Content.  Plus there are cash prizes for top finishers!  How cool is that?

Now that you know more, are you ready for an awesome adventure? Of course, you are and I can’t wait to hear more about your experience!  

Under Armour Mountain Running Series: Mt. Bachelor takes place on 9/15/18 in 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