Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

The Winter Woes and Overcoming Them

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium 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 are just tuning in to my blog, well…I have to apologize that you haven’t come at an opportune time. Things are still pretty rough for me. My mind wanders and for some reason, it has a tendency to gravitate towards negative thoughts. And with the holidays in full swing, it’s gotten a lot harder for me to be optimistic.

I try though. For the past month or so, I’ve been listening to podcasts almost every chance I get – when I run or when I’m driving. It keeps my mind occupied so negative thoughts don’t creep in. Listening to music has been harder with all the love songs out there. It’s rare that I can find a song that won’t make me cry. Boo.

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So for now, podcasts it is. In a way, it’s a blessing. I’ve always been a creature of comfort. Even as I’m typing this, I’m in bed underneath my weighted blanket. I like the routine…almost a little too much. By forcing myself to listen to podcasts, I’m realizing that there are things worth learning. Here’s my list of the podcasts I’ve been listening to and if you have time, try listening to one. You might like it 🙂

The BibRave Podcast – a show about all things running (I recommend the Leadville 100 episode if you ever need a reason to motivate yourself to run)

NPR’s Hidden Brain – focuses on different topics in human psychology (for those thought provoking moments)

NPR’s Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me –  a game show format on the week’s current events (for laughter)

NPR’s How I Built This – Interviews with entrepreneurs and their journey (I recommend the Spanx or Reddit episode)

Stuff You Should Know – super random topics, but there are a wide range of ones to choose from

Hooray for distractions!

Anyway, a huge thanks to the Aftershokz crew for making these distractions possible. Running while listening to podcasts and also being able to listen for nearby cars or bicyclists have made my runs a lot safer. Also, a thank you for making a pair of reliable and comfortable wireless headphones that don’t stick in my ear and make my ears sore. I’ve been wearing these so often that I sometimes believe they’re an extension of me. LOL. Really though. I’ve had them on and forgotten that they’re on my ears.

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For a more thorough review of the headphones, I’ve reviewed a pair of the Trekz Titanium Minis here. This time, I received a pair of the regular Trekz Titaniums and they’re in green and I just love them. I thought they’d move around a bit more when I run since they’re a bit bigger, but turns out, both sizes work on my head. Whoo.

To read more about what other BibRave Pros had to say: Ryan – Sara – Jenna – Meridith

Soooo what podcasts have you listened to? Any one that I should be aware of? I’m always on the lookout for new interesting ones. No sad ones please. The world is kind of too chaotic for that right now. Recommendations extremely welcome. Please and thank you!

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Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

Running out in the Sun – BOCO 360 visor edition

Disclaimer: I received a free BOCO 360° Visor® 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 run during the day, you need three things – a hat/visor, sunglasses, and SUNSCREEN! When I first started out as a runner, I was terrible about those things. I would just go out sans sunscreen (I know I know I’m basically asking for skin cancer) and just run for an hour. Now, I know better. Also, I’m getting a little older and turning the big 3-O next year and have to actually start taking better care of my skin. Boo.

Prior to the BOCO visor, I had been wearing an old visor from my Triple Crown Challenge days (2015) and it had been kind of falling apart. It was fraying at the top and every wash to get rid of the sweat and smell would just make it more worn down. The visor was study, but maybe a bit too sturdy. It’d look deformed after some time. Maybe it wasn’t machine washable? Oops.

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Enter the BOCO 360° Visor. This visor is awesome. It’s super soft so it won’t rub against your forehead. It has a lightweight wicking material at the sweatband that prevents sweat from come pouring down my face. This is such a plus for me. Mid-race, my eyes usually burn from all the sweat. IT’S NOT PRETTY. And honestly, everything about this visor is really soft. I love the material and even though it’s soft, after several washes, it still retains it’s shape. Seriously. It’s amazing. I’ve worn it on a LOT of my outside day runs and it saves my eyes from squinting since it shades my face from the sun. It’s also made of really breathable material so it shouldn’t cause anyone to break out in the forehead region. 🙂 Unfortunately, there’s not much more that I can say about a visor except that it’s really useful and super soft. LOL. I know. I said that already, but it really is. 😛 They also make custom trucker hats and visors too! Ah, now I want another one -_-.

So I guess I’ll just leave you with photos of me wearing it. 🙂

 

If you have any questions about how awesome this visor is, let me know! 🙂 If you don’t trust me, trust the other BibRavePros. We all had 3 months to wear this visor and the reviews are positive.

Amy – Meridith – Jeannine – Lindsey – Angie – Vanessa – Jessica – Frank – Fallon – Gina – Dane – Shannon

So what do you wear to keep the sun out of your eyes? A hat? Visor? Sunglasses?

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

The Post-Marathon Recovery

Since I posted about my the days leading up to the marathon, I thought it’d be fitting to also post about my recovery following the marathon.

Immediately after the marathon, my body was in complete shock. My legs hurt and I never wanted to run a marathon ever again. LOL. Despite those feelings, I knew that I had to keep moving after crossing the finish line or else my legs would stiffen up so I pushed on. I got to gear check and within seconds, I changed out of my running shoes and into my OOFOS sandals.

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS sandals 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. 

These sandals are AMAZING for post-marathon recovery! AHHHHH-MAZING! I don’t rave about things all too often, but I can’t stop raving about how great these are for recovery. Just the other day, I was walking around and some woman stopped to talk to me about how great they are for her feet. LOL. True story.

The traditional running shoe is designed to be responsive. They’re supposed to take the energy you force down and propel you forward. The OOfoam that these OOFOS sandals are made out of do the opposite. They absorb (they say 37%) more of the impact and this ultimately reduces the stress on your feet and body helping you recover faster.

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Damn right my feet earned this. 🙂

After I ran my first marathon last year, walking around hurt A LOT. I didn’t change out of my running shoes and ended up hobbling around because my joints hurt so much. This time around, I made sure to bring my OOFOS sandals with me to gear check and after putting them on, my legs felt an immediate relief. Honestly, I was skeptical when I first wore them pre-marathon. I didn’t think it’d make that much of a difference. I was so wrong. The OOFOS sandals have made my recovery a lot smoother. I was able to walk up and down stairs a lot easier (which was great because the Chicago public transportation system requires you to walk up and down a lot of stairs) and later that night, I was able to walk around downtown and meet up with more people to celebrate. I would say that by that night, I was walking at about an 80%, which I thought was amazing.

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So how have these sandals helped me in terms of running? My first run after the marathon, which was also a 5k race (LOL) took place 5 days later. That race? It took place on a hill. Yep. My time wasn’t amazing, but it was still pretty impressive to me especially since I had practically torn all of my leg muscles 5 days prior. Since the 5k, I’ve run 6 more times and each run is getting easier. Thank goodness too because I have a Rock N Roll LA next weekend. I know. I’m crazy, but it’s okay, I got this.

I feel like I’m a broken record, but I cannot emphasize how great these are. I’m not at a 100% with running yet (I’m maybe at 80%), but I feel like these really helped me move around more normally. Check out my Instagram. I have proof. I was bouncing up and down without pain and it was the greatest thing ever. I like them so much I’m going to end up buying a pair for my mom. 🙂 Luckily, they have a variety of OOFOs shoes because my mom is picky about what she wears.

If you do end up buying a pair online this month, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness month, OOFOS is donating $10 for every pair of Project Pink shoes sold to breast cancer research. 🙂

If you have any questions regarding the shoes, please feel free to ask me or any of the Bibrave Pros below. I tested the women’s OOAHH Sport Project Pink Sandal, whereas the others may have tested the other types of shoes.

Christi – Kim – MeridethJennaGisgieVanessaPaulaAubreneKolbe – Heather -Amanda – Bradford – AngieLaura –  Emily – Jennifer – Stephanie – Melissa – Mark

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Hello AFC half. We meet again.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into America’s Finest City half 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. 

This year really is flying by. In only 5 short days, I will be running half marathon #17 at America’s Finest City half. This will be my second time running the race and I am definitely more prepared relative to when I first ran it two years ago. Yay for consistent running!

Anyway, I have three goals for this race.

  1. Don’t get injured – I just raced this past weekend and am still feeling the muscle fatigue from it. My muscles are sore and I’m having all sorts of aches and pains (rib pain – is that even a thing?, slight muscle calf discomfort, and some stomach pain) when I’m running. Yikes! I’m also still in the midst of training for the Chicago marathon so getting injured is something I absolutely need to avoid. I need to be in tip top shape for the marathon if I’m ever going to break 4 hours. That means taking it easy during this race.
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    AFC 2015 
  2. Beat my course PR – The first time I ran this race, I struggled A LOT. It was very humid and I wasn’t used to it. I was training in an air conditioned gym on a treadmill. LOL. This year, I’ve made sure to train in the same weather I’d be running races in. I don’t plan on beating my overall PR, because honestly I’m pretty sure I’d injure myself if I tried. I do want to try and beat my course PR though. This race holds the record for my slowest half marathon time so I do want to try and redeem myself. 🙂 BUT, if there are any signs of injury, goal #2 will be thrown out the window and and goal #1 will take priority.
  3. Enjoy the scenery and have fun – After running SeaWheeze in Vancouver, I think I have a more new found appreciation for scenic races. After living in San Diego almost my entire life, I think I’ve taken a lot of it for granted. San Diego is a really pretty city so I need to start appreciating that and what better way than by running through it.

Wish me luck!

If you want to run this race with me, you can use the code “BIBRAVEAFC20” until Wednesday, 8/16/17 to get $20 off your entry online. You can also still register at the expo, but the code will not work then.

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

The many uses of SmellWell + a SmellWell giveaway

Disclaimer: I received SmellWell pouches 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. 

Exciting news everyone! I have been given the opportunity to host my very first giveaway! I’m so excited and I hope you are too because I’m giving away SmellWell pouches! I promise you that they will make you and your stinky items smell SO much better. 🙂

You have from now until Friday, Jun 30th, 12 am ET, to enter my raffle located at the end of this post to win a brand new set of SmellWell pouches. (Each packet includes 2 pouches). I tried these pouches a few months ago on my smelly items and when asked to try them out again AND host a giveaway, I, of course, jumped at the chance.

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One of these could be yours!

The Basics

  • SmellWell pouches prevent bacterial growth by removing moisture from your shoes (No bacterial growth = no odor/stink)
  • They are non-toxic and all natural.
  • They work 24/7 and last for 3 to 4 months.
  • They can be used for your smelly shoes, gym bags, cars, travel, boxing gloves, etc.
  • They leave your smelly gear smelling really nice.

If you don’t wear socks when you wear your shoes, chances are your shoes smell nasty. I mentioned in my last review that I had a pair of SMELLY flats that I didn’t dare part with. They were my favorite pair of shoes, but because they made my feet smell so bad, I just put them into a corner and hope that the smell would go away after a few days. Nope. It took ages for the smell to go away. Now, with SmellWell, I can just slip in the pouches and leave them overnight and the smell is gone.

They work with all sorts of shoes (flats, rockclimbing shoes, running shoes, hiking boots) My boyfriend doesn’t wear socks with his rockclimbing shoes. Nasty. LOL. I put those pouches in overnight and it worked like a charm. The smell caused by the bacteria disappeared and left his shoes smelling like flowers.

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I also found that they work really well with my boxing gear too. I just slip them into my gloves or wrap the pouches with my wraps, leave them in my gym back overnight, and then the smell is gone. My wraps really have never smelled that amazing after a workout. LOL. img_0543Ever since trying these out, I’ve included them as an essential in my travel packs. I used to have to air out my dirty clothes before re-packing them into my luggage. Traveling through Europe with a backpack of dirty clothes was kind of gross. Now, I just put the pouches with the dirty clothes in my backpack and not have to worry about it stinking up my other clothes. 🙂

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I love these SmellWell pouches and I hope that you have a chance to try them out too. You can enter the raffle below. Some options allow you to enter once a day so make sure to drop by and enter every day to increase your chances. I will notify the winner on Saturday, July 1st. 🙂

If you don’t win my raffle, you can order one for yourself here. You can buy 2 and get the 3rd one free if you use the code “BIBPRO10.” 

Enter here for a chance to win your own SmellWell Pouches

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

Footcare – 2Toms Footshield review

Disclaimer: I received 2Toms‘ FootShield 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. 

Ever have a blister on your feet? Maybe from when you’re trying to break in those cute ballet flats or sandals? Or from when you’re running a half marathon in humid weather? Oh I definitely have and let me tell you, it’s not a pleasant feeling.

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2Toms FootShield and compression socks to keep the blisters away

“2Toms mission has always been to provide the best comfort and care to athletes by offering the most technologically advanced products available anywhere.”

2Toms’ most popular products include the BlisterShield and Sportshield, a blister prevention and chafing prevention product respectively. Most recently, they came out with FootShield, a perspiration barrier for your feet. I was fortunate enough to try it out and here’s my review of the product. Enjoy!

How it works: FootShield comes in the form of a roll-on applicator. You roll the solution onto the bottom, top, and sides of your feet, wait a few minutes for your feet to dry, and voila, you’re on your way to a blister free day. As mentioned previously, Footshield creates a perspiration barrier. That barrier prevents your feet from getting sweaty, which also means it reduces your chances of getting blisters. As a runner, I cannot love this aspect of the product more. Blisters suck and if I can prevent them, I will.

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Brought Footshield with me to Texas, where is was HUMID as hell

The formula 2Toms uses also contains natural anti-fungal ingredients that fight bacteria, which minimizes odor and your chances of getting Athlete’s foot. That’s a nice perk, don’t you think? 🙂 The roll-on also smells of spearmint, which I can totally get on board with.

My experience: I’ve applied FootShield several times before going out on long runs (even a half marathon on a super humid day) and never have I come back with blisters. I have also applied FootShield and gone out in sandals and ballet flats and have not experienced any irritation. I should mention that I’m not as prone to getting blisters nowadays, but I will say that my feet are not as sweaty after application, which I’m extremely grateful for. This will definitely help me during the humid summer.  It allows me to wear socks for multiple days without having to do laundry. Hooray!

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Happy feet. Happy life.

I will continue to use it all summer long (races and marathon training included) and hope that I never have to repeat my AFC experience. Ouch.

Join us for #bibchat on Twitter at 6 pm PT on Tuesday, June 27th. We’ll be giving away a bottle of Footshield to two participants. Also, if you would like to buy a bottle, they are $15 and you can use the code “2TOMS20” for 20% off your entire online order. 🙂

Check out other BibRave Pros’ review of the product below.

Merideth – Kim – Connie – Amy

Are you prone to chafing? Blistering? Have you tried their products? What was your experience? 

 

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Mini – Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Minis 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. 

It’s been a month since I last reviewed a product, but I’m back with a review for the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini headphones and it’s a good one. 🙂 I’ve been testing these out for almost a month and a half and honestly, I don’t know how I ever went on runs without them. Let’s get down to it, shall we?

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What are type of headphones are they? The Aftershokz Trekz Titaniums are a set of wireless sports headphones that have an open ear design, meaning they do not stick directly into your ears. Instead, they rest on your cheekbones and sound is delivered to your inner ear through mini vibrations. TrekzTitaniumBoneConduction

 

What advantages do these headphones have over other ones? 

  1. Wireless – There are no tangled wires that can get caught on things as you run. Ever run by a branch and have your headphones catch on them and pull your earbuds out? That will never happen with these. Wireless headphones are also huge right now ever since the new iPhone 7 came out and did away with the headphone jack.img_8636
  2. Open ear design – The headphones sit over your cheekbones and are never directly put into your ear. This allows you to hear outside noises, which is especially important if you’re a runner. You’ll want to hear if others are running by you and if cars are nearby. These headphones allow you to be alert and safe while out on your run. If you really don’t want to hear outside noise, these headphones actually come with a pair of ear plugs that you can use. It may sound counterintuitive, but all you have to do is put in your ear plugs, put on your headphones, and ta-da, you’ll only hear your music, podcast, show, etc. I did this while on a 3 hour flight and it was a total game changer for me. I went from not being able to hear my podcast because of all the outside noise to hearing my show crystal clear. I will always try to fly with a pair of ear plugs and these headphones from now on.img_9213
  3. Multipoint pairing – This is kind of a nifty function and I don’t actually use it all too much, but it is cool to note. You can pair the headphones to two different devices. The most common combination would probably be your iPad or computer and your phone. If you were watching Netflix on your iPad or computer and then got a call, your headphones will automatically switch to your phone. Once you’re done with the call, the headphones will automatically switch back.

Are there other noteworthy features? Yes, of course. 🙂 My favorite feature is that I can use these headphones to talk to people on the phone. Some headphones have mics that are inconveniently placed and I will have to move the mic closer to my mouth to talk. The mic is well positioned on these headphones and the person on the other line hears me perfectly fine.

Controls are very easy to use. If your music is playing, double click on the multifunction button to skip a song. Click once to pause or play a song. You can adjust the volume with mere clicks. If you don’t have music playing and someone is calling you, click once to answer and click again to end the call. Easy, right?

Despite the open ear design, the sound quality is surprisingly still very good. I’m not an audiophile or anything, but I’d give these an A. 🙂

The headphones are lightweight. They don’t bounce when you run and fit very well around your ears. Also, if you need to take them off, you can just have them hang around your neck without any fear of them falling off.

The battery life on these lasts anywhere from 5 – 6 hours. 🙂

Are there things you didn’t like about them? As I said before, these are my opinions and yes, I did find a few things I didn’t like about them, but I think they’re very minor issues.

If I wore them long enough, my neck would feel a little sore, but I think this might actually be due to “text neck” if anything. Also, if was very windy outside, I wouldn’t be able to hear my music very well.

If you’d like to learn more about these headphones, please feel free to ask me or check out other BRP reviews below. They have two sizes – the regular or the mini. I have a small head and tried out their mini and it fit perfectly for me.

Amy – Jenna – Jessica – Frank

You can order your own through bibrave.aftershokz.com and get a free Stainless steel water bottle with your order. 🙂 Also, join us on Twitter @BibRave for #BibChat on Tuesday, May 30th at 6 pm PST for a chance to win a pair of Aftershokz Titanium Minis. 

Have you tried these headphones? How do you like them?