Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

See and Be Seen – Night Running Essentials (Nathan Sports Discount Code Included)

Disclaimer: I received a Luna Fire 250 RX Run Chest/Waist Light from Nathan Sports 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. 

I am not a morning person. As much as I say how much I love my Saturday morning long runs, it takes the heavens to get my body out of bed at 6:45 am. Ugh. And don’t even get me started about trying to wake up at 5 am on a weekday to run before work. That is just too early. WAY TOO EARLY.

So what I’m trying to get at is that I’m primarily a night runner. I’ve written about this before, but being a night runner has its ups and downs. The weather gets cooler as you run thankfully, but you also have to be more aware of your surroundings. You have to be vigilant about being seen and being able to see.

Here are a few things I do to stay safe on a night run:

  1. Wear reflective gear – Whether it be clothing that has built in reflective strips on it to sticking reflective tape (ie Brilliant Reflective) or just wearing one of those reflective vests, I highly recommend wearing something with reflective properties. People driving at night already have poor visibility and you know that some of them are not always looking at the road. If you don’t wear something bright and shiny, you risk the chance that someone will not see you. Heck, while in Vegas, a car bumped into me in broad daylight. I’m still angry about that. LOL.
  2. Bring a light – As it gets darker earlier these days, I have to bring a light with me on my runs. If I don’t, I just know that I’ll twist my ankle or step in some poop. I’ve tested various light set ups on my runs and most recently, I tested the Nathan Luna Fire 250 RX Waist/Chest light. The light around your chest or waist was super new to me so I was ecstatic when the opportunity arose to test this product. I usually carry a flash light with me, but having a light I could just wear on me seemed really appealing since I wouldn’t have to hold anything in my hands. IMG_1100At first test, I found that the strap that the light could clip onto needed a bit of an adjustment. It is a one size fits all strap so I had to tighten it to just the right length for the light to not bounce around. It took a bit of trial and error to find just the right length. Another thing to consider is whether you want to wear it around your waist or your chest. I personally found that wearing it around my chest or even below my chest was not a good option for me. The strap would almost always slide down my body if I had it positioned around my chest. So for me, the waist was the way to go. IMG_1103I do know others who had better luck with positioning it on their chest though so it may be a body type thing. You are also able to clip the light around other straps if you have a sturdier strap. I found that clipping it onto my FlipBelt worked super well as the light didn’t bounce around as much.

IMG_1511

The light itself is rechargeable and has three settings – bright, brighter, and brightest. Depending on how dark it was and how long I needed the light for, I would set it appropriately by pushing a button to change the brightness. This light is Ragnar approved so if you’re running a Ragnar in 2019, this might be a nice option in lieu of a flashlight.

  1. Listen to your surroundings – Ideally, running without music is what you should be doing, but if you’re like me and listening to music/podcasts is a must, I recommend either turning down the audio a bit so you can hear when others are nearby or wear headphones with an open ear design that would allow you to listen to your surroundings (ie Aftershokz).
  2. Run with friends – If you can, run with friends. I try to find group runs and run in a group in the evenings. If you don’t know where to find a run group, I’d suggest hitting up your local running shoe store and asking them. I run with two run groups that are organized by local running shoe stores and I just love it. Not only do I feel safer running with others, I also get to meet fellow runners who are as crazy as I am about running.

If you are interested in learning more about the Nathan Waist/Chest light, please feel free to ask me questions or read what other BibRave Pros had to say below.

BenJenna – Michael – Erica – Brenda – Lisa – Renee

You can also save 20% on NathanSports.com by using code “NATHANBIB20”. This is sitewide and is good for up to $250.

Question for you: Are you a night runner or a morning runner? And how do you stay safe as a runner?

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Be Brilliant (Reflective) – Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 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! All opinions are my own. 

For the past few weeks, I’ve been fortunate enough to get my hands on another set of Brilliant Reflective strips. Thank goodness too. It’s been so hot lately that I’ve been trying to run at night when it’s much cooler. I tested these strips back in April, but there are a few other things I’d like to emphasize in this review.

Multi-purpose – I have found multiple uses for these strips. In addition to putting them on my running clothes and FlipBelt, I’ve also found that they work very well on backpacks. 🙂 I have a backpack that I typically travel with and after traversing new cities at night, I realized that I’d be a lot safer if drivers could see me when the neighborhoods are not as well lit. I put these stick-on strips on both the straps of my backpack and on the front so cars could see me from both sides. (You can never be too careful.)

This would be also be a great application for families with children. Reflective strips on the little ones’ clothes as well as their backpacks could make them more visible on their walk home from school. You can also put them on helmets and bikes if you’re a cyclist or on your dog’s collar when walking your dog. 🙂

 

 

Visibility – I’ve been pleasantly surprised by how visible these strips are. I was filming videos (seen on my Instagram) of me and my backpack and even without a super bright flashlight shining on them, the strips still reflected back.

IMG_2366

Durability – The stick-on strips stay on clothes for a few washes. The iron-on strips stay on a lot longer. In April, I tried their iron-on ones and they’re still on my clothes. Note that I did have one incident where the stick-on strip fell off about an hour into my run. I think it was because I had touched the adhesive too many times with my hands before applying it to the shirt and so the bond with the fabric wasn’t very strong.

Cost effective – These strips are now $14.95 for a pack (with free shipping) and they come in a variety of colors (black, purple, blue, and red). They’re a much cheaper alternative to reflective wear, which can cost a lot more. You can also buy a multi-pack, which includes one of each color if you want to color coordinate with your gear, for $49.95 (with free shipping). If you choose to buy their multi-packs, you can use the code “BRPmulti” to get 20% off.

Final verdict – These strips really do allow me to be visible to oncoming traffic and I will definitely be using more of them on my clothes especially for the Ragnar Relay that I’ll be doing next April. Eek!

Note: If you’re part of a running group, club, or even a non-profit that may want to educate its members on staying safe in dark and low-light conditions when they’re outside, Brilliant Reflective is having a 500k giveaway where they’re giving sample packs for free (you only have to pay for shipping) for your members to try out. More details can be found here.

If you have any questions for me, please feel free to ask me and I’ll also link other BibRave Pros’ reviews of the product below (when they’re posted). We’ll also be having #Bibchat on Tuesday, Sept 12th at 6 pm PST on Twitter where we’ll discuss running related things and Brilliant Reflective will be giving away a set of reflective strips. Just follow @BibRave on Twitter and tune in at that time. 🙂

BibRave Pro reviews: Paula – Gina – Samantha

Question for you: Have you ever had an incident where someone didn’t see you walking/running/cycling at night? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

Shine Bright – Knuckle lights Product Review (Discount code included)

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knuckle Lights 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. 

With the summer days being so hot and humid lately, I’ve had to resort to night running more and more often. Getting up in the morning is a possibility, but honestly, I’m a terrible morning person. LOL.

With night running, there are two main concerns –

  1. Being aware of your surroundings
  2. Being seen

I love running with music so to address the first concern, I wear my Trekz Titanium Aftershokz headphones. They have an open ear design, which allows me to hear my surroundings. I reviewed them here.

To address the second concern of being seen, I wear reflective tape and I now also use these Knuckle Lights. They are extremely useful and without further ado, my review.

Weight – I don’t like carrying anything with my hands. That’s why I use a hydration vest instead of carrying a handheld water bottle. Something about the extra weight bothers me. I’ve used these lights on several long runs already (10+) and I’ve had no problems with their weight. If anything, they help me remember to pump my arms when I run.

FullSizeRender
Presenting my knuckle lights

Brightness – This is probably the biggest factor of why you’d get lights for your night run. The Knuckle Lights come with 2 lights per set and you get 120 total lumens given off. I did a comparison of my street with very little light at night versus with my street with the lights on. There’s a very big difference. Hopefully my pictures will give you a better idea as to the brightness. 🙂

IMG_1313
Without and with the Knuckle lights
IMG_1483
Using my lights on my soon to be night run
IMG_1514
My lights in my unlit room

Grip – If I’m going to run with something in my hand for a very long time, I need it to be secure. I’ve been known to fling things out of my hand because my grip isn’t that great. LOL. The Knuckle lights have soft silicone straps on it that can be adjusted to the size of your hand and it fits quite well. It also doesn’t chafe my hands, which is good.

Wear and tear – Only having used these for about a month, I can’t comment too much on the wear and tear portion, but I can say that these units are waterproof and can be run in the rain. Since it’s summer and it hasn’t rained, I sprinkled some water onto the lights (LOL) and have had no issues. Hooray. Also, these particular lights are powered by AA batteries. They also have a pair of rechargeable ones if those are more your style.

Price and variety – This pair will cost you $39.99, but if you order before 9/1/17, you can use the code “BRKL2017” to get 15% off your order. Plus, standard shipping is free for all U.S. orders. Yay. That code can be applied to any product. The non-rechargeable ones come in pink, black, and blue. The rechargeable ones come in black.

So there you have it, my review of my knuckle lights. If you have any questions pertaining to the product, please don’t hesitate to ask. You can also read what my fellow BibRavePros thought below.

Allison – Amy – Lindsey – Tedrick

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Brilliant Reflective and Running Safety

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

IMG_8302

I am not a morning person. The only way you can get me to wake up in the morning is if you tempt with a race and a medal and even on those days, getting up is a struggle. Because I can’t really get up early to run, you can guess that I’m primarily a night runner. Night running is very calming for me, but at the same time, it does pose some safety risks. One of the main safety issues is being seen. Neighborhoods are not always well lit and cars may not see you until it’s too late. I recently bought a dinky little red flashing light that I attach to my flipbelt on my runs, but it’s not extremely bright and sometimes, I’m not sure cars see me.

Running with the Brilliant Reflective strips has put me more at ease. I’m still really cautious running by cars (and everyone should be), but at least I know that I’m shining bright like a diamond and that cars will see me. I was able to try both their stick-on strips, which are removable, and their iron-on strips, which are permanent. These strips, when shined on, ARE EXTREMELY BRIGHT. You can see for yourself below.

IMG_8487
Left: without flash; Right; with flash
The strips come in various colors – black, blue, red, and purple. When a bright light source like a flashlight or headlights from a car shines on the strips, the reflected light doesn’t just scatter and appear diffuse to driver. Some materials do this. These strips do not. The reflected light from these strips will shine directly back at the source. This phenomenon is called retroflection. Because light scattering isn’t occurring, the brightness is a lot stronger and will allow me to be seen from 300+ meters away. Hooray!

IMG_8552
The purple strips blend in well with my top during the day and will shine bright when I need it to

Pros

High visibility – Like I mentioned, these strips are extremely reflective and will allow you to be seen from far away. You want to be seen if you’re running at night. If you don’t want to be seen, you’re probably a burgular. 🙂

IMG_8587
Be Seen. Be Brilliant.

Easy to put on – Both the stick-on and iron-on strips are relatively easy to put on. For the stick-on ones, you just have to peel the material off the back and stick them on like a sticker. The iron-on strips require a little more equipment, an iron. I actually didn’t have an iron and had to borrow a friend’s to put mine on. Each strip takes 30 to 45 seconds to iron on and can be re-ironed on if the ends start to curl, which mine haven’t (yet).

Lasts long – I’ve used these strips for a few weeks and have had no problems with them. The stick-on strips, even after washing, stayed secure. I’m not sure how long they’ll stay on for, but I was definitely impressed they stayed on after a few washes. I did turn my shirt inside out when I washed so maybe that made a difference? If you’re worried about them falling off, you can always opt for their iron-on ones, which are permanent and exactly the same price. I would suggest using the stick-on strips on helmets, leashes, and other things that aren’t made of fabric and using the iron-on strips on your clothes.

Price – For a set of strips, it will cost you $9.95 (free shipping). You can probably light up two articles of clothing with one set. This is a great price if you’re worried about not being seen at night. Buying brighter colored clothes can cost a lot so why not just light up your darker clothes for $9.95?

Cons

None

If you are a night runner and need more reflective gear, this may be the way to go. If you are unsure or have more questions, feel free to join in our #BibChat on Twitter 6 pm, Tuesday, April, 11th, where we will be discussing the product and giving a free set of reflective strips. Woohoo! You can also ask me about them as well. See what other BibRave Pros have to say. Use the code BIBRAVEPRO25 for 25% off the already low price of $9.95 + free shipping! This code is valid from now until Tuesday 11:50 pm CT.

Sarah – Jeph – Jessica R – Lindsey – Jen – Gina

What kind of reflective gear do you wear on your nightly runs? Any safety precautions you take?