Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Training

Running on Tired Legs – The Secret to a Course PR at the RNR Vegas Half

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the RockNRoll Vegas Half 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! All opinions are my own.

I don’t want to bore you with another Marathon Monday training post so today, I will be forgoing it and just share with you all my Rock N Roll Vegas half experience.

Just know that I have been struggling with keeping up with the mileage as it’s been increasing. My legs have been a bit fatigued with 10+ mile long runs, but I know this fatigue is pretty normal and it’ll better prepare me for the full in a few short weeks. The target this past week was 20 miles during the week with a 20 mile long run totaling 40 miles. I was able to get in 16 miles during the week and a 19.3 mile long run totaling 35.3 miles. I was short 4.7 miles, but considering that *SPOILER ALERT* I beat my course PR on the Rock N Roll Vegas Half, I’ll still call it a win.

And with that, my race report of the Rock N Roll Vegas Half.

Health and Fitness Expo – Rock N Roll expos are large. If you’ve never been to one, be prepared. There a TON of vendors so choose wisely when deciding what to purchase or else you’ll rock around having dropped $100+. Bib pick up was extremely easy. I took a Lyft from the airport and was at the Convention Center in 15 minutes and then picked up my bib with no wait time.

I had a lot of fun talking to vendor reps that I had met at other running events. I’d like to give a shout out to the reps at the Oofos, HoneyStinger, and ProCompression booths for keeping me company as I waited 4 hours for my friend to arrive so I could check into my hotel. LOL.

Race Day (Pre-race) – Preparing for a night race is always tricky. Things to take into consideration:

Meals: Last year, I made the mistake of eating too early (10 am) and by the time I finished the race, I was starving and was grabbing anything the volunteers would give me to stuff my face with. This year, I tried to eat lunch a little later (12:30 pm) and hoped that whatever I ate would digest quick enough and not give me GI distress during the course (like during my Chicago marathon. Sigh). Fortunately, it worked, but I might have also upchucked a LITTLE bit of food during the course so I guess I will need to refine this a bit more. LOL.

Time on your feet: Time on your feet should be minimized for a night race. Knowing that, I still went out and ran 6 miles in the morning because I had a scheduled 20 mile long run for marathon training. LOL. In my defense, I did run much slower and tried to take it as easy as I could. After the run, I went back to the hotel and rested until it was time to get lunch and get to the start line. Even at the start line, I sat down and tried to rest and since I beat my course PR, I’d say it paid off.

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If you must go for a run on the Vegas strip, go at 7:30 am. Very few people are out.

Hydration: Holy moly is Vegas dry. I come from a fairly humid city so being in Vegas completely shriveled me up no matter how much water I drank (and I only drank water; no alcohol was involved). If you are going to run in the desert, drink up. It may be cool, but your body will thank you.

Gear Check: It’s a night race. It’s going to be COLD when you finish. You won’t feel it when you cross the finish line, but give it 10-15 minutes. You will feel it. So packing a jacket is a must.

Race Day (Actual race) – All day, I had been debating whether to race it or treat it like a training run. Since I ran 6 miles in the morning, I was worried that I’d hit a wall at mile 7. So I told myself to take it easy and run by feel. And crazily enough, I actually felt fine. I hadn’t raced a half since June so I was stoked be around other runners and was ready to cross that start line.

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At the start line

As soon as they sent off my corral, I took off. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor ups and downs and you hardly notice them as the Vegas strip lights are pretty mesmerizing. I had seen them the night before, but running through the strip was another type of experience and you can bet I took it all in. The air was also cool and refreshing as I started to heat up. I hit my groove at mile 4 and at mile 5, I saw some BibRave peeps, which fueled me for another few miles.

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Before heading into our corrals

The bands and DJs that were set up along the course also really helped my energy levels. I would hear a Bruno Mars song and I’d just start dancing, which gave me more energy to run faster. LOL I also really like Bruno Mars. LOL. At mile 12, I was losing momentum. The dry winds combined with the sweat stung my face and I was struggling. Then, I ran into fellow blogger, Jim, and with some encouraging words, we pushed each other towards the finish line. (Hi Jim!!!).

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Immediately after crossing the finish – holy smokes, we’re sweaty

Honestly, I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I finished strong despite having run a total of 19.3 miles that day AND I beat my course PR. So maybe the secret is constantly running on tired legs?!?!

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My Shiny New Medal

Official time was 1:54:45 and now I’m just waiting impatiently to claim my results on Athlinks. LOL

Honolulu baby, I’m coming for you!

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Catching up with BibRave Founders: Tim and Jessica!

Question for you: Have you ever felt like a million bucks crossing a finish line? If so, which race was it at and why?

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Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

After “Nuun” Delight – Nuun Immunity Review

Disclaimer: I received a two tubes of Nuun Immunity 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! All opinions are my own. 

Training for a marathon is hard. Putting in the miles. Eating right. (LOL. I really don’t.) And most importantly, drinking right. Every day, when I get a break at work, I force myself to get up and go get a cup of water. If I don’t, I know I’ll regret it on my run in the evening. Hydration is important pre-run and most definitely post-run.

I was introduced to Nuun a few years ago at a Health and Fitness Expo. I tried their electrolyte line, more specifically the Lemon-Lime and fell in love with it. Seriously, I requested the Lemon-Lime tubes from my Secret Santa last year and got 5 tubes of them. LOL. Since then, I’ve also bought their watermelon flavor and strawberry lemonade. 🙂

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Nuun is different from other sports drinks in that it comes in the form of a tablet. Think Alka Seltzer tablets. You can drop one of the tablets into 16 oz water and in a few minutes, you’ll have a sports drink. There’s no shaking to get the tablet to dissolve (which is great after a hard workout because who has the energy to dissolve a drink). IMG_9040

A month and a half ago, I was able to try out their new Immunity product line. It differs from their electrolyte line in that it focuses more on keeping your immune system in tip top shape. When you’re in a high stress environment (working out, traveling, working on a tight deadline), you’re more likely to come down with something. (I always came down with something after taking finals). These tablets are supposed to help you with that.

The Nuun Immunity line contains a mix of electrolytes and botanicals like tumeric, ginger, elderberry, and echinacea that help protect you against the common cold or even the flu. Currently, they have two flavors: Blueberry Tangerine and Orange Citrus. I was able to try both and my favorite of the two has got to be Orange Citrus. It is very similar to Lemon-Lime has a nice moderate flavor. In my honest opinion, I wasn’t a huge fan of the BlueBerry Tangerine, but many other BibRave Pros preferred it over the Orange Citrus. It’s just a matter of preference.

With my marathon training ramping up, I’m not taking any chances and have included taking Nuun Immunity every few days. And *fingers crossed*, I haven’t come down with anything yet. The true test will definitely be trying these when it starts to get colder. Brrrr.

If you’ve never tried these tablets, I’d definitely recommend. They’re typically $7 a tube and each tube contains 10 tablets. I really like trying out their new flavors and not everything is a hit, but I have found flavors that I will always return to. They also have vitamins and performance lines too, which I haven’t actually tried, but will try within the next few months. I am not a fruit fanatic so getting in those vitamins should probably be a goal for me. LOL.

Nuun tablets are available at most local running shoe stores and at some grocery stores. If you can’t get your hands on any locally, you can order them online. If you’re in the U.S., you can also use the code “HYDRATEBIBPRO” for 20% off your entire online Nuun order. This offer lasts until the end of October 2018. 🙂

See below for my fellow BibRave Pros’ reviews of the Nuun Immunity line. I will update with more of their reviews as they post them. 🙂

Jenn – LindsayRyan – Amanda – Randy

Question for you: What are your go to sports drinks? Do you also drink Nuun or something else? What are you favorite flavors? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Trekz Air – The Newest Aftershokz Bone Conduction Headphones

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones 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! All opinions are my own. 

If you remember a year or so ago, I tested out the Trekz Titanium Mini wireless headphones and LOVED them! Well, the brand that made them, Aftershokz, has come out with their newest pair of wireless headphones and they’re called the Trekz Air. They have all the things that I loved in the Minis and put them in the Airs:

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Bone conduction technology – The transducers in the headphones guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears.

Open ear design – Because of this technology, their headphones have an open ear design. The headphones don’t need to cover your ears or be in your ears. This allows you to hear the outside noise and make you more aware of your surroundings when you run.

Sweat resistant – If you don’t sweat when you run, you’re doing it wrong. LOL. I sweat a ton and I love the fact that they are still in great shape.

Long battery life – I use these for phone calls, listening to music, and podcasts so I love that these last around 6 hours. 🙂

Noise cancelling microphone – Making calls while on my drive has been such a time saver.

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The biggest difference between the Minis and the Airs is that the Airs are lot thinner and therefore lighter. So if you’re concerned that the Trekz Titaniums might be too bulky around the head, you should opt for the Airs. I love both of them equally. The sound quality on both of them are great and I just couldn’t go back to wired headphones.

If you want to purchase a pair of Trekz Airs, they currently have a bundle, which saves you $55. It includes the following:

A cell phone power bank, which allows you to charge your phone or your Trekz Airs when they’re running low on battery

A stainless steel water bottle, which insulates everything that’s in it. It keeps hot liquids hot and cold liquids cold. 🙂

A portable storage case, allowing you to store your headphones.

A pop socket, allowing you to grip your phone more securely. 🙂

And of course, a pair of the Trekz Airs!

If you want to order the bundle, you can order them here

I’ve spoken to a few of my friends who’ve converted and they all say they’re pretty darn swell. 🙂 Post your questions below if you have them. 🙂

If you don’t believe me, read other BibRave Pros’ reviews of the Airs below:

Andrea – Brenda – Ryan – Aubrene – Deanne – Shannon – Dane – Karen – Katy – Ben – Nicole – Janelle

 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Summer Training and a Gatorade Endurance Review

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products 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!

And boom, it’s SUMMER! Can you believe it?

To be honest, it doesn’t even really feel like summer yet. It’s been pretty much June Gloom in Southern California these days. However, there are warm ones where I regret not waking up earlier to do a long run. The warm weather will be good for me though. I will begin to train for the Honolulu marathon soon and I need to get used to running in humid weather. If you’ve followed my running journey, you’ll know that my body does not adjust well to humid weather. If it goes above 72F, I’m a goner. LOL

To prepare for summer training, I’ve started loading up on some hydration gear and fuel. First off, I purchased a 4L endurance vest from Orange Mud. This was more for my travels in the next few weeks, but I figured it couldn’t hurt to get a hydration vest that could hold more fluids for my 15+ mile runs. I already have a Amphipod PureRun Hydration Vest that holds 2x 12 oz bottles for my mid length runs, but I would use up all of my fluids by mile 15 so I needed something larger.

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In addition to the hydration vests, I was fortunate enough to be able to try a few Gatorade’s Endurance products – more specifically the Watermelon Formula as well as the Mango Energy gels. Their Gatorade Endurance formula has twice the amount of sodium (300 mg) and more than 3x the potassium (140 mg) of traditional Gatorade, but is much lighter in flavor, which I can appreciate. My stomach is super sensitive while racing and something with a lot of salts and is light in flavor is just what I need. If you’ve ever had regular Gatorade, know that the flavor is probably 5x as dilute which is nice if you have a sensitive stomach. I’ve taken it on runs anywhere from 5-8 miles with no problems to my stomach. Even though the formula is designed for on course training, I’ve also used this drink to hydrate after runs and it’s worked great for me.

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The item that surprised me the most was their mango gels. I’m used to taking sweet gels (chocolate, espresso, honey, etc) so when I took their mango gel, I was taken aback because it was salty! LOL. The taste was a bit strong at first, but after taking more of it, it actually tasted like a light mango. Also, the gel is MUCH MORE DILUTED OUT when compared to your other gels (GU, Honeystinger, Hammer Nutrition, etc). I was shocked at how easily the gel went down. I even took half of it without needing water to wash it down. That was the most impressive part about this gel. 🙂 In terms of how it sat with me, I wasn’t able to test it for long mileage, but I did take it at mile 4 and ran with it for 5 miles without any issues to that’s an bonus in my book. 🙂

IMG_7236 (1) With all of my new hydration gear and fuel, I’m basically ready to start training. Now if only my legs would get with it. 🙂 If you have questions about the product, please feel free to ask me or read one of the reviews from other BibRave Pros who have tested these products out.

BibRave Pro Reviews

Lindsey – Karen – Lissa – Katy – Jessica – Kevin – Amy – Jenn – Vanessa – Ang – Corey – Barb – Ben – Emily – Brenda – Amy P – Eric – Meridith

Question for you: What things do you need for summer marathon training? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Heat, humidity, and hills oh my – RnR San Diego Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon 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! All opinions are my own.

I would like to have said that I crushed this race, but then I’d be lying. Conditions were not the best, but I conquered another half marathon and that’s all that matters. I also had a fantastic time at the expo so really, I have no real complaints. Without further ado, my race weekend report.

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Saturday – I had a pretty difficult 3 mile shake out run in the morning, but shrugged it off and headed to the expo. While I waiting to get onto the Trolley from the Old Town Trolley Station to get to the expo, I met a fellow San Diegan who followed me on Twitter and Strava. He asked me if I was “Mai,” I said “Yep,” and off we went to have a 15+ minute conversation about racing and after our talk, I’m considering picking up trail running. LOL. His name is Tim and he’s an ultra runner. You can find him on Twitter. 🙂

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After our talk, I entered the expo, picked up my bib, walked through the huge Brooks section, took some awesome photos at their photo booth and made my way over to the HoneyStinger booth where I volunteered there for 2 hours. I ran into a lot of people I knew at the booth and had a great time chatting with other runners. 🙂IMG_6670

I then met up with BibRave Pro Founders Tim and Jessica Murphy, and fellow BibRave Pros Bridget and Steph for lunch at Rustic Root. After lunch, I headed back to the expo, walked around some more and ended up dropping over $100 on this pretty little Orange Mud product for my Mt. Fuji hike in July. No way am I dying from dehydration. LOL. Anyway, that was all the excitement from the expo. 🙂 I called it an early night and passed out at 8:30 pm.

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Race day – I woke up at 4 am and was out the door by 4:15 am. I parked at the trolley station again and made my way down with very no issues. From the trolley stop, it was about a 1.5 mile and a half walk up to the start, which was a nice warm up walk. 🙂 I met up with friends and at 6:25 am, I crossed the start line. From the start of the race, I could feel that something was off. It was taking a lot more effort to run and when the sun came out around 7 am, I knew I was toast. I had forgotten my visor and my sunglasses so for a good portion of the race, I was squinting and wiping the sweat off my brow. Sigh.

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The course itself was very fun. You start off fairly flat and then head downhill. Another mile later, you get some rolling hills. I saw the mile 4.5 bar with their assortment of alcoholic beverages. I ran the blue mile a little bit later, where volunteers hold up flags and there are posters of US troops that have fallen lined along the road. By mile 7, I was pretty much toast. My left foot was tingling non-stop and the ball of my right foot felt like a big blister was coming on. I started overheating and had to pour a few cups of water over my head to cool down and around mile 9, I started doing a run/walk. At mile 10.5, we hit the last really large hill and it was mostly downhill from there. Taiko drummers were performing at the top to keep us going and goodness, I needed every little bit of it. Running downhill was easier, but I was running out of gas.

Then, an angel by the name of Vanessa, came running by. LOL. She’s not really an angel, but in this scenario, she was mine. 😛 Vanessa was someone I met through a friend and when she ran by me, she told me she’d run with me. I didn’t want to slow her down since I knew she ran faster than me, but she insisted that she would stay with me. For the rest of the miles, she stayed with my pace and kept me going with her pep talks. I pushed when I didn’t think I could anymore and was able to stay at a moderate pace. I crossed the finish line destroyed, but because of her, I was able to complete the course in under 2 hours, which was my original goal. Thanks to her, I finished it in 1:59:13, which I most definitely recorded in my Athlinks profile. 🙂

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Not every race is going to perfect and this race was a perfect example of that. But I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that some days, you just have bad runs and some of those days are during races. But even on those days, you can still achieve a lot if you have the right people beside you. 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever had a bad race and if you have, how did you recover from it? 

Side note: Today is Global Running day and the Rock N Roll Race Series is having a sale! If you want to run one of these, this is probably the best day to sign up for one. 🙂

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

COROS Pace – GPS Multi sport Watch Review

Disclaimer: I received a COROS Pace GPS Multi Sport Watch 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!

If you would like to purchase a COROS PACE watch, you can go here and enter the code “MAI” for $30 off the watch.

Look out other GPS watch competitors, there’s a new GPS watch out on the market and it’s made by COROS, the company that brought you OMNI, a smart cycling helmet.

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I’m pretty excited for this brand to be branching out to GPS watches and the PACE is the first of a few watches they have in store for us. I’ve been testing the watch out for 3 weeks and it’s been great for what I need in a watch. Please note that I’m not a triathlete (yet) and so I will primarily be focusing on the running aspect of this watch. Several other BibRave Pros have reviewed on the swim and cycling portion and their reviews can be found below.

GPS tracking – I was shocked by how fast my watch would be “GPS ready” once I selected the outdoor run option. In less than a minute, it would sync. It would maybe take 10-15 seconds. Even at a super crowded race like the Rock N Roll San Diego, my watch was able to get a signal within 10 seconds. This made me super happy. You don’t want to be that runner not able to cross the start line because your GPS isn’t ready, right? Or the person holding up the group run, which I’ve been very guilty of on more that one occasion. 😦

Distance tracking on outdoor runs – So how accurate is the watch on distance? 9/10 times, it’s pretty darn accurate. If you are too lazy to set your settings to auto pause and instead pause manually like I do, you’ll find that the distance will be shorter than you actually ran. I spoke to COROS and they believe this is because my manually pausing and resuming is causing the watch the lose the GPS location briefly.  Now I just put it on auto pause. Nevertheless, I have a feeling this won’t be an issue for much longer as COROS is continuing to update the software to address issues that customers have mentioned. This is a new product for them after all. 🙂

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Distance tracking on indoor runs – This is a bit more of an issue currently. I mostly do outdoor running now, but on the few times I was on the treadmill, I noticed that the distance was off by a bit. This isn’t really a big concern with me since I’ve experience this with other watches as well. It seems to be a common issue. Anyway, COROS is already working on this issue though so it should be resolved in the next firmware update.

Steps – I found that although the distance tracking wasn’t always accurate, the steps counter was pretty spot on. I was pleased. 🙂

Syncing – The data on the watch syncs really quickly with the COROS app (compatible on both Apple and Android phones) and you can also sync your data with the Strava app. Note that the outdoor runs sync to Strava, but currently, the indoor runs do not.

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Battery life – I run 4 times a week maybe averaging 3.5-4 hours and I had to charge this watch about every 10 days or so, which was really nice. When I wasn’t running, I’d still use it as a regular watch so it was being used 24/7. The battery life in GPS mode is expected to last 25 hours though.

Data metrics –  Most runners are fans of data. Pace, max heart rate, splits, distance, cadence, etc. You name it, runners want to know. This watch has a lot of statistics available for you. This was the first watch that calculated my stride length. I have no idea how it did that, but I’ll take it. 🙂 It currently does calories burned, steps, laps, cadence, stride length, pace, speed, heart rate, lap time, lap distance, lap cadence, lap stride length, elevation, total ascent, and total descent just to name a few.  LOL. It currently does not do VO2 max nor intervals, but it is expected to be in the next few firmware update. It now does intervals and VO2 max!!! Hooray!

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And here ends my review of the watch. I visited the COROS booth while I was at the Rock N Roll San Diego health and fitness expo and they’re really excited about the new updates. They were really interested in user feedback so I expect their next update to incorporate lots of customer feedback. If you’re looking for a new watch, I would recommend looking into this one. 🙂 If you have any additional questions about this watch or would like me to test something out, please let me know and I’d be happy to test and report back.

BibRave Pro Reviews

Corey – Lindsey – Kim – Ryan – Kevin – Angie – Josh – Jenna – Mark – Amy – Michael

 Question for you: What do you look for in a sports watch? Any particular features? 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Knock Around with KnockAround Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Polarized Premium Sunglasses 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!

Now that I’m a little bit older, I’ve decided that I should probably try and take better care of my eyes and skin. That means that I need to keep wearing sunglasses. I’m terribly forgetful about bringing my sunglasses with me and I squint constantly when I’m driving towards the sun and it’s blinding me.

I’ve been wearing the Knockaround Polarized Premium Sunglasses for a few weeks now and I really like them. They’re not really meant for high intensity running since they fog up after a few miles, but if you’re going out for a jog or just lounging around at the beach, these sunglasses are a great buy. I’m not going to lie. I look pretty fabulous walking around in them. LOL. Really though. Look at how pretty I am below. HAH.

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They’re cheap too! The Classics start off at $15 and the Premium ones are $20. So you don’t have to invest a ton of money just to look cool and it isn’t the end of the world if you lose a pair. You can just buy another one. LOL Surprisingly, with the name Knockaround, I thought these shades would be falling off my head like no other. I put my shades on my head when I’m indoors and a lot of the times, they slip and fall to the ground. Womp womp. These babies have stayed on my head without slippage. Hooray!

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I will note that for some reason, these shades appear to get smudgy a bit fast. I blame my oily fingers and the fact that I keep touching the shades. LOL. Nothing a fiber cloth won’t fix. 🙂

The laid back feel of these shades are really awesome. Picture yourself on the beach sipping a Mai Tai (is that what people drink? I have no idea since I don’t really drink) with these shades on. You’ll be feeling so fresh and so fly. 🙂

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If you want your own pair to look fly for the summer, you can use code “BIBRAVEKNOCKS” for 20% off your entire order! 

If you want to read what other BibRave Pros thought, read below:

Amanda S. – Corey – Jeaninne – Kevin – Randy – Stephanie – Janelle – Bradley – Teddy – Karin – Amanda W.

Question for you: What are your favorite pair of sunglasses? Fashion or function?