ShadyRays Shades – Live Hard? They’ve Got You!

shadyraysDisclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays Shades 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!

Sunglasses and I have a sordid past. My favorite ones usually don’t last long and I think it is because I am a little hard on them.  I have a pair of polarized shades but recently parted ways (read: I lost them) with my non-polarized pair, so I was excited to get the chance to try out some new shades as a BibRave Pro.  The Shady Rays Signature Series Blackout style seemed like just the right pair for me. I love wearing non-polarized lenses for trail running; I feel like I can see in front of me better than with polarized lenses. And, these sunglasses have 100% UV protection, which all runners need. But, I also loved that the company really promotes the durability of their product. I am a mom (which means kids sometimes accidentally get a hold of my sunglasses) and I run, but I also like to bike, swim, hike and just in general play hard. These definitely could be put to the test with my lifestyle.

I was dedicated to another brand of sunglasses, but after using these shades for a few weeks, I can definitely see the appeal of trying out other Shady Rays styles as well as their polarized lenses.  Here are the reasons why I am digging Shady Rays:

  • Lightweight – I can barely feel these on my face! They don’t move when I run either.
  • Stylish – I have the Signature Series, Blackout (non-polarized) style seen below; this is a classic frame that never goes out of style!
  • Affordable – There is a nice price range for all budgets!
  • Mission  – With every order placed, the company secures 10 meals to fight hunger through Feeding America. 
  • Live Hard Warranty – lifetime craftsmanship warranty & free replacements
  • They offer prescription options for eyeglasses and sunglasses as well as snow goggles.
  • You can purchase gift cards online for your friends!

I have worn these for several weeks now in rain, cloudy and sunny conditions and I would highly recommend them for others with an active lifestyle on a budget.

Visit ShadyRays.com and use code “RAVE” good for 50% off 2+ pairs from the Shade Shop!

 

Find Shady Rays on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter!

Don’t just take my word for it! Find out what my fellow BibRave Pros think about Shady Rays –>  Ken Stands on Things 

 

 

 

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The Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash Earns a Pawsitive Review

 

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash 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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My baby boxer, Booker and his new Stunt Runner Leash!

If you are a dog owner, you realize dogs are our family. We are a very active family and our dogs will do lots of hiking, running and outdoor activities with us. We currently have two furbabies in our house. Ella is a 6-year-old boxer that came to us via boxer rescue about 4 years ago. She is happy to lay around all day on the couch until she sees someone putting on running shoes. At that point, she is up sitting by the door near her harness box ready to go for a walk or run. She is my literal “road dog” and will run up to 10K distance with me. Booker is our new boxer puppy. He is 6 months old and curious about everything. He enjoys chewing on anything he can get his teeth on, playing with his human brothers and taking long walks. We have not started running with him yet but he is doing well on a leash at this point.

When I had the opportunity to try out the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner leash, I did question the value of the leash as I do not really have any issues running with Ella on a regular leash. But, I heard so many positive things about this product, I thought “Why not?”. It couldn’t hurt, right?

Let me tell you, the Stunt Runner leash is a game changer! This leash allows for greater flexibility for my dog while helping me to maintain my running form.

 

 

The first time I used this with Ella, I realized my arms were not crossing over like they did with the regular leash. I could hold my arms correctly and there was no pull from the leash. Ella seemed to recognize the difference and seemed very relaxed while running as well! I also like that I can take my fule with greater ease because my hands are not full holding a leash. I feel like this hands-free leash really helps me run smarter.

The leash appears very durable and high-quality. I also love that it is reflective! I am using it 4-5 times a week for dog jogs and walks with both dogs. I love the swivel snap hooks; I can use one hand to connect the leash to the dog harness. My 11 year old loves to use the leash too with the puppy. It really is super easy for everyone to use! Stunt Puppy gets 8 paws up from this family!

I have to say I am super excited to try out more products (harnesses, collars, etc) from Stunt Puppy. Check out their website and social media sites:

Stunt Puppy: https://www.stuntpuppy.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/Stunt_Puppy

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/stuntpuppy/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/stuntpuppy/

So now that you know more about Stunt Puppy, I want to know if you run with your dog? And, does anyone have boxers that like to run? I would love to hear more from you.

See how well Snowflake and Virginia fared with the StuntRunner Leash here.

Lila loves her Stunt Runner Leash!

Jessica reviews the Stunt Runner Leash.

Andrea’s family enjoys the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash!

Samantha’s Review

Chris gives Stunt Puppy a whirl.

Why I am running the Honor Run Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Honor Run Half Marathon race 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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A field of flags in Louisville, KY honoring our veterans.

I am so excited to run the Honor Run Half Marathon this year!  It is held in Florence, KY every year during Veterans Day weekend.  The best part? All of the proceeds from the race benefits Honor Flight Tri-State, an organization dedicated to veterans. Specifically, Honor Flight serves veterans by flying them to Washington, D.C. to visit their memorials. All World War II, Korean War and Vietnam War veterans aged 65 and older, who served either stateside or overseas, are eligible.  Fun fact: My husband has applied to volunteer on an Honor Flight. He has never been selected to travel with them but it is an honor just to apply.

This race is meaningful to me in a variety of ways. While I have never served in the military, I come from a family of many Navy and Army veterans. I grew up at the local V.F.W. with my grandparents. I was actively involved with the junior chapter of that V.F.W. and I was taught early on the sacrifices so many brave men and women faced when they served their country.  Additionally, my father in law is a Marine. My family feels it is very important that we honor and respect all veterans as we exercise our daily freedoms.

I am looking forward to this race because it is a way for me to give back. While I can never repay Veterans for their service, I can certainly use my passion for running to honor them. And, this race I will run in honor of my Father in Law, L.V. Boyd. He passed away when my oldest son was two. I miss him greatly and if he was still around I know he would call me crazy but secretly be proud of my racing adventures.

LV

My Father in Law.              Marine. Staff Sergeant. Paris Island. Marksman.

Find out more about this race, happening Sunday, November 10th, 2019 @ 7:00am here.

See the course map here.

I will have a *discount code coming soon* so watch for details here on that.

In the meantime, check out the blog recap my friend and fellow BibRave Pro, Corey wrote on this race last year.

I hope you will consider joining me for this race in 2019!

 

New Year, New Me?

Aside

New Year, New Me!

*insert record scratch here*

black vinyl record playing on turntable

Photo by Elviss Railijs Bitāns on Pexels.com

Just kidding! It is 2019 and I am going to be the same me as I was in 2018. I don’t do resolutions, you see. I just work to continue to improve on myself and my work. My goals may change every year, but I kind of like me as a person.

2018 was pretty epic.

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BUT, Goals for 2019 are as follows:

  • Be the best role model I can be to my sons.
  • Support the women in my Moms Run This Town/She Runs This Town running group as they work towards their own goals.
  • Spend the most quality time I can with people I love.
  • Have fun and give back to the running community in my role as a BibRave Pro!
  • Volunteer More
  • Start a project I have been putting off for over a year now (to be revealed soon!)

Beyond that, I have some fun things planned, including running a few distances for a new PR and running races again with friends! I would say watch more hockey, but that is going to happen organically whether I plan it or not!

Curious-what are your goals for 2019? Do you make New Year Resolutions or just “wing it”?

 

 

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

 

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!