Therapydia NOLA – physical therapy with heart

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary run assessment from Therapydia NOLA in exchange for this blog post. However, all views and opinions are my own.

I recently had the opportunity to visit the Therapydia NOLA physical therapy clinic in Metairie, Louisiana to check it out and receive a run assessment. Being a runner with a history of knee issues, I’ve been through my fair share of physical therapy clinics. I know what I like and don’t like in a clinic and I know what will get results out of me. I immediately connected with the staff and atmosphere of Therapydia NOLA. They’re definitely one of the “good guys”.

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One of the first things you notice upon entering the Therapydia NOLA clinic is the friendly staff and the warm, inviting environment. I wasn’t in the door two seconds before I was greeted cheerfully by Heidi Ferry, the office manager. I was immediately offered a bottle of water and introduced around to the therapists in the clinic. They have a nice, little waiting area to sit and relax while you wait for your therapists to work with you.

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But, you won’t be waiting long with the way they schedule their patients. Each patient is scheduled personal time with a therapist and evaluated and re-evaluated for every visit. There’s none of the, “Go start your exercises over there and I’ll be with you in half an hour” mess that you often get with the large physical therapy clinics. It’s very, very personal and one-on-one at Therapydia NOLA. I witnessed therapists standing with and over their patient for that hour, giving them instruction on proper form and getting feedback from the patient on their progress and how they felt. It’s this personalized touch that gets patients to work harder, improve, and gain a greater quality of life back. They have a vested interest in that patient/therapist relationship. The therapists care about each patient’s quality of life.

They consistently have the patient in mind. They will work with your schedule to fit you in when it’s best for your busy life. Want to come before work? No problem. They open early several days of the week. Same thing goes for after work. They often adjust their hours to fit the patient. Heidi works with most insurance companies to take all of the headaches out of filing and paying via insurance. And now you no longer have to have a doctor’s prescription for physical therapy. You can call and schedule with them directly if you develop new (or old, familiar) aches and pains. They will perform a full assessment on you and put together a plan to get you back on track.

I loved too that every therapist was an athlete. They were a well rounded group with a CrossFit coach, triathletes, and runners. I know going into a therapy session with a fellow runner that they’ll understand my concerns and my drive to get back out on the road as soon as possible.

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As part of the assessment I had a change to sit down with the therapists and interview them about the clinic. Below are a few Q&A from the Therapydia NOLA team of physical therapists: Clinic Director Jonathan Burke, DPT, Whitney Braswell, DPT, and Jessica Hernandez, DPT

  1. Tell me a little bit about Therapydia NOLA and the services you offer?

Therapydia NOLA is a physical therapy and wellness clinic that focuses on treating all types of musculoskeletal and nervous system dysfunctions and injuries. We treat a variety of issues ranging from injury rehabilitation to sports-specific conditions as well as long-term chronic conditions. We also do injury prevention screenings to prevent future injuries from happening. Our goal is to work with you to create a unique treatment and wellness program that is designed for you and your body.

  1. What sets you apart from other physical therapy offices?

Treatment at our clinic is provided one-on-one by a Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) throughout your entire treatment. We don’t use physical therapy aides or techs, you’ll stay with the physical therapist you’re working with throughout the entirety of your rehabilitation. Manual therapy, or hands-on techniques, is also at the core of our treatment program. Manual techniques are highly specific to the part of your muscle that’s injured and are used to treat soft tissues and joint structures. We use manual therapy as the foundation for treatment and complement it with guided corrective exercises. Our clinic also specializes in offering customized physical therapy services for Women’s Health and Trigger Point Dry Needling.

  1. What would a typical therapy session at Therapydia entail?

We’ll treat your injury by assessing your body’s biomechanics from head to toe. For example, having an ankle injury doesn’t simply mean treating your ankle. You’d have to assess across your lower limbs and core to see which instabilities could be putting extra strain on your ankle. If you come in for an initial evaluation, we’ll perform a screening and depending on your condition look at your range of motion, strength, flexibility, posture, and movement patterns. We’ll take baseline measurements of your movements and use that data to drive our treatment program. We’ll assess and reassess and tailor treatment to your needs throughout the process. For subsequent treatment sessions, exercise-based rehabilitation will be used alongside manual therapy to heal any injured muscles and joints.

  1. What is a run assessment and what are the benefits?

A run assessment is a screening specifically designed to apply to running mechanics. A physical therapist will put markers on you and you’ll run naturally while they observe and take a recording. Afterwards, they’ll use a video analysis coupled with a movement assessment to look at your angles and how you move through the 4 phases of running. We can identify any joint and soft tissue restrictions as well as strength and motor control deficits. The goal is to see how joints across your body move through their necessary ranges of motion and see what injuries you might be at risk for. It’s not just about how your feet hit the groundyour knee, pelvic, and trunk positioning all come into play to when considering your gait. It’s all about getting you to train correctly so your body processes force efficiently as you run. That way, you can prevent future injuries you’re at risk for and prevent joint and muscle overuse.

  1. What advice would you have for a runner dealing with a nagging injury?

Do not continue running through the pain in hopes that it will just go away. Seek out a medical professional that assesses movement to find out what’s at the source of any pain you’re feeling. For example, a nagging and achy knee may be the result of a limitation at the ankle or hip. I would also suggest trying out cross-training. Swimming, cycling, and rowing are great ways to improve cardiovascular endurance. Choose an activity that allows you to perform without pain and supplement this with your running until you are able to run without pain. Often times, athletes say, “I was feeling pretty good so I went for a 3 mile run today” only to end up discouraged because their pain came back. Make sure you have a solid return to a run program following an injury as well. Make sure you work with your movement specialist to work out a training routine that effectively gets you back into running without putting you at risk for injury. At Therapydia NOLA, we use a return to run program that is evidenced based from the University of Maryland.

  1. What’s the number one mistake you see new (and old) runners make?

Blaming any pain or injury on their running shoes or changing shoes to fix the problem. Not having the right type of shoes can contribute to discomfort while you run but the overall source of the pain will have to with your form and biomechanics as you run. Working on your running form and technique will guide you to have a better and injury-free training program.

  1. What is your best advice to prevent common running-related injuries?

I always tell runners to keep to the FIT principle: do not increase frequency, intensity, or time of running too quickly. Your body needs time to adapt to the increased amounts of force that you’ll be putting on your muscles and joints. Keep to proper running progression when increasing distances and keep up a cross-training program on non-running days.

In terms of form, you’ll want to shorten your stride and increase steps per minute (cadence) to reduce stress to your hips and knees during running. Try to land directly under your center of mass to eliminate breaking motion when your foot hits the ground. Make sure you stay upright but lean slightly forward at the trunk with a slight bent knee when your feet land. The hips are an essential area of the body for runners to work on. The musculature of the hips help to stabilize the pelvis during running. The muscles around the hips like the glutes especially keep the pelvis from dropping in single limb support. If this muscle has trouble stabilizing the pelvis then the knee will move inward and the arch of the foot will collapse. This results in improper running form that will be setting putting you at risk of injuring yourself.

Therapydia NOLA was a great physical therapy clinic. I really connected with the staff there and would highly recommend it to anyone seeking physical therapy for an injury or even a run assessment to see where they can improve weaknesses in their form. I’ll be writing up another post shortly on my run assessment and everything it entailed (*hint* it was SUPER interesting!!)

Stay tuned!

Therapydia NOLA is located at 2701 Airline Drive, Suite L in Metairie, Louisiana. You can call them at (504) 507-9375 or email them at hello@therapydianola.com to set up an appointment.

Review of the XX2i Australia1 Polaraized Sport Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the XX2i Australia1 Polarized Sport 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!”

It’s time for another XX2i sunglasses review! This time I got to try out the new Australia1 Polarized Sport Sunglasses.

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I gotta say, these are probably my favorite XX2i sunglasses so far. They are so lightweight and comfortable. It’s been raining like crazy here in Louisiana this past month and rain + heat = mega humidity and mega sweat. They’ve survived through all of that without budging. They didn’t slip down my face at all when I was completely drenched during my run. The nose grips kept the glasses in place but were still very comfortable.

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And the lenses on these glasses are superb! They come with polarized lenses with 8K optical technology. The wraparound style fits my face really well. My eyes are very sensitive to the sunlight but when I put these sunglasses on they just go “Ahhhhhh!” Everything is so crystal clear, you can say “buh-bye” to the glaring sunlight.

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One of the cool things about the Australia1 lenses is they come with a removable padded insert. It snaps in easily for extra protection from wind, rain, dirt, etc. if you’re going to play extra hard. I slipped them on with the extra padding and it was really comfortable. It made them fit my face more snugly and I could feel the padding create a nice seal around my eyes.

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As with any XX2i sunglasses they came with a hard zipper case, a soft cloth case that can be used to polish the lenses, and a sport strap you can place on the ear pieces.

Some other great things about ANY sunglasses you purchase from xx2i Optics:

  • Sunglasses come with a LIFETIME replacement warranty on the lenses and frames!
  • They have a 365 hassle free return policy. That’s right, you have a FULL YEAR to try them out and return them if you don’t like them for any reason.
  • Shipping is always free to the U.S.

If you’re interested in trying out a pair of the NEW Australia1 style or any other XX2i sunglasses you can get them for 50% right now with the Bibrave code XX2iRocks! To find out more about the Australia1 casual sunglasses or any of their other sport sunglasses, go to xx2i.com.

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Staying hydrated with Ultima Replenisher™

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Ultima Replenisher ™ 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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Summers in south Louisiana are brutal. The humidity regularly stays above 80% and the heat index is at least 10 degrees higher than the actual temperature. So, that 96° temp actually feels like 106°. Running and training in the summer is tough. It’s hot. Your pace slows a lot. You routinely sweat 2 to 3 lbs. of water weight off during a run. I am a sopping wet mess after a simple 3 miler. With the heat and added loss of fluids through sweat, hydration and electrolyte replenishing become extra important.

This is precisely why I was really excited to try out the Ultima Replenisher™ Electrolyte Powders.

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Ultima Replenisher™ was founded by a nutritionist and long distance runner and was created for the USTF athletes for the 1996 Olympic Games. The combination of electrolytes, vitamins, and minerals was essential in keeping the runners hydrated and aiding performance.

Ultima Replenisher™ Electrolyte Powders are:

  • vegan,
  • gluten-free,
  • contain no processed sugar,
  • carb-free,
  • zero calorie,
  • contain no artifical flavors or sweeteners,
  • caffiene-free, and
  • made with plant-based colors and real fruit flavors.

The powders are sweetened with stevia leaf. Compared to other sugar laden sport drinks, Ultima Replenisher™ has 3x more potassium, zero sugar, and five other electrolytes and support minerals that are key to performance and hydration: magnesium, chloride, calcium, selenium, phosphorus, and zinc. Replenisher™ also has 167% of your % daily value of Vitamin C in each serving. It’s almost like drinking a multi-vitamin!

What I noticed immediately about the powders is the flavor. These drinks TASTE GREAT. Really. I didn’t notice any of the strange aftertaste you experience in some sugar-free drinks. I tried several different flavors out and really enjoyed every one of them. My only issue is the full scoop was a little sweet for me. I like my water flavored subtly. Cutting the scoop in half was perfect for me. But my husband and kids liked the full scoop flavor better.

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The powders come in two sizes of bulk tubs: a 90 serving and smaller 30 serving canister. You can also get the stick packs (shown above) which are great for on-the-go and travel. I keep a couple of the sticks in my purse for work and in my hydration vest to put back in my water as I drain it repeatedly on my longer runs. The individual serving size package makes them really convenient.

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My whole family loves these powders. I even bought the toddler formula for my kids to get them away from the sugary sport drinks. They love it! They love making their “berry drink” themselves. I’ve actually been drinking a lot more water because of it. The great taste makes it so much easier to get in my water consumption for the day. Before I know it, I’ve downed 80 oz!

I highly recommend trying out the Ultima Replenisher™ Electrolyte Powders. Ultima Replenisher™ and BibRave have partnered to offer a great discount code.

You can receive 35% off your order plus FREE shipping with the code BIBRAVE2016!!

I’ve already used that code twice to re-order. Ha! Guess I’m kinda obsessed with the stuff.

 

Happy Global Running Day!

Happy Global Running Day everyone!!!

I love, love, love this day each year. So many great posts and pictures of people in the running community doing what they love: RUNNING!! I love seeing all the group photos, individual runs, race re-caps, and wonderful running inspiration from all over the globe.

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I had the fun opportunity to run with the Varsity Sports Ladies Running Group early this morning and then they opened the shop early for us and had a catered breakfast waiting! Coffee, mimosas, bacon, eggs, fruit, bacon, biscuits and BACON. I was a happy, happy gal! (Did I mention there was bacon!??)

There are always some GREAT race discounts for National…err… Global Running Day. I’m not going to list them all but I thought I’d put down some good local race discounts for those of you in the area.

Gulf Coast Half Marathon Series

Save $13.10 with code RUNDAY today only

Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans (along with MANY others)

Save $20 off the race entry if you register today

Jazz Half Marathon

Save $20 off your registration fee with code NRD2016

The Louisiana Marathon

Get a Summer Fun Pack (koozie, croakies, and a logo sticker) along with the processing fee waved with code RUNDAY2016

Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon

Get a Summer Fun Pack (koozie, croakies, and a logo sticker) along with the processing fee waved with code RUNDAY2016

New Orleans Track Club Spillway Classic

Register by June 1st before price increase

 

Ok, that’s all I have for now. I’ll update this list as they roll in but there’s some pretty stellar incentives to sign up for ALL THE RACES!!

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Zensah Well Rounded Shorts Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Zensah Well Rounded Shorts 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 really like to run in tights. Capris length is usually my go-to but during the warmer spring and summer months it’s nice to have cooler options other than shorts. Zensah has released a mid-length workout short/tight cross in their Well Rounded Shorts.

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Here are the key features of the shorts from Zensah:

  • Ultra lightweight fabric provides soft, smooth and amazing feel.
  • Wide waistband for flattering fit without digging in
  • Moisture wicking and anti-odor proprietary fabric
  • Seamless Technology = no chafing
  • 4.5″ inseam

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I wore these shorts several times on both short and long runs to really try them out. As much as I wanted to love them, I’m not completely sold on them. There are some things about these shorts that I really like, and some things that I really do not like. I’ll break it down.

Things I really liked:

  • I love the 4.5″ inseam! It’s perfect. Goldilocks approved. Not too short. Not too long. This was really a great length to keep the shorts from riding up and keep my inner thighs chafe free. They were really, really comfortable.
  • They didn’t ride up on me. The legs stayed put during my runs and that was awesome.
  • The wide waistband was super comfortable and flattering. Zero muffin top. Zero.
  • Moisture wicking and anti-odor was on point. I got SUPER sweaty in these and they came out of the wash smelling fresh and clean every time. No lingering odors.
  • The ultra lightweight fabric was as promised – lightweight and cool.

Things I really did not like:

  • The ultra lightweight fabric is pretty darn see-through. I’m usually a small in tights and a medium in running shorts (mainly because I prefer them big and flowy). I’m a size 4 to 6 in dress clothes to put it in perspective. I got the small. They felt great when I put them on, but my behind seemed to stretch them out some (I’m pretty hippy). And when these shorts are stretched they become VERY see-through. Wearing underwear with them was pretty much impossible unless I wanted everyone to see the flowers and stripes I chose to wear that day. Now I’m not opposed to going commando in my running shorts/tights. These were apparently actually made for that. So I tried them out that way. You could totally see my butt crack. ToT-all-Ly. I’m not super modest, so I just wore a longish shirt and ran in them anyway. But I would not be going to any kind of yoga class in these unless I wanted everyone to know ALL my business. Some of the other girls reviewing these didn’t have this problem. Some got a different color and others ordered a size up. I think had I ordered a medium they might have been a little better.
  • There are actually a couple of seams in these along the inseam at the front and back of the shorts. They are made with flatlock seams so they’re very low profile but the placement of the front inseam seam near the crotch was a little uncomfortable for me. I had to really work on positioning them so that the seam didn’t sit on my lady business. I think a medium might have alleviated this some.

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So, final thoughts on these shorts:

  • If you are between sizes, order a size up.
  • They are made to be worn commando, so modest people need not apply
  • They are SUPER comfortable to run in.

Here are reviews by some of the BibRave Pros who loved the shorts.

If you’re interested in trying these out, you can get 15% with the code ZENBIB15!

Streaking through April, Running into May

Another month has come and gone in 2016. I decided to #runstreak for the month of April. It’s something I’d been curious about for a while now and I have seen several other runners do it and make some really good strides. I had finished up my marathon and felt recovered enough to try it. I still can’t believe that I’ve made it through 30 days of running every single day! I’m working on writing a post on lessons learned and my experience starting this #runstreak.

Below are my stats for April (via my Garmin 910XT and Garmin Vivofit2):

April summary

I also ran two 5ks and 1 half marathon!

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New Orleans Track Club Bursting with Speed 5k

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New Orleans Track Club Big Easy, Big Heart 5k

My goals for May:

  • Keep up the #runstreak as long as I can
  • Work on adding some speed work at least once a week
  • Track my calories more consistently
  • We have 3, maybe 4 5k races on the calendar.
  • Keep enjoying running!

Did everyone else have a good April? What are your plans for May?

Fun in the sun with the new XX2i Bermuda1!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of xx2i Optics Bermuda1 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!

If you follow any of my social media feeds you know I love my XX2i sunglasses. I wear those things all the time when I run. I have blue eyes and they are very sensitive to the bright sunlight. Because of this I’m a bit of a sunglass junky. I have a pair in each car, in drawers of the house, a back-up pair, a back-up to the back-up pair, etc., etc. I was excited to hear that XX2i is adding lifestyle, casual frames to their already amazing line-up of sport sunglasses.

Introducing the brand new Bermuda1 sunglasses!!

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The Bermuda1 comes in a very classic, everyday casual frame style. My pair came with the matte tortoiseshell finish and I couldn’t be happier. Because, tortoiseshell goes with EVERYTHING! They will also be available in matte black, black and white, and crystal black finishes.

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The Bermuda1 comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 4K optical technology, ensuring frame durability and lens clarity. Once you put them on you can immediately tell they are polarized. The lens clarity is exceptional and very soothing on the eyes. Mirrored lenses are really big right now so I was pleased to see the blue flash lenses that came in these.

Some other great things about any sunglasses you purchase from xx2i Optics:

  • Sunglasses come with a LIFETIME replacement warranty on the lenses and frames!
  • They have a 365 hassle free return policy. That’s right, you have a FULL YEAR to try them out and return them if you don’t like them for any reason.
  • Shipping is always free to the U.S.

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Each pair of  Bermuda1 sunglasses comes with a very nice zipper hard case and a second soft case that can also be used as a soft cloth to clean and polish the lenses.

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The frames are a little larger than I generally pick for myself because I have a very narrow face. But,they quickly grew on me. The larger eyepieces and frames mean more sun protection for my eyes and face. I recently wore them for a beach trip and loved how they performed. They were very comfortable, and didn’t slip off my face or fog up when I started to sweat. I even wore them on a run to test them out and they were very comparable to my normal running glasses! They didn’t budge!

If you’re interested in trying out a pair of the NEW Bermuda1 style or any other XX2i sunglasses you can get them for 50% right now with the Bibrave code XX2iRocks! To find out more about the Bermuda1 casual sunglasses or any of their other sport sunglasses, go to xx2i.com.

Also join us for #bibchat tonight at 8 p.m. CST on twitter for a chance to win a pair of the new Bermuda1 sunglasses!

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Stay Hydrated with the Orange Mud Hydraquiver

Disclaimer: I received a sample Orange Mud HydraQuiver 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 several runner friends who have an Orange Mud Hydration Pack and they rave about them constantly. I had already been eyeballing them online. So I jumped at the chance to use and review The HydraQuiver when BibRave presented the opportunity!

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I already have a bladder hydration vest that I’m pretty fond of. I love all the pockets it has for all my stuff. So, I was a little skeptical before receiving the HydraQuiver that it wouldn’t be able to hold my stuff. Boy, was I wrong! One of the first things I noticed was all the pockets designed into vest. There’s a large zipper pocket in the back, behind the water bottle storage. It has a key clasp which is a big plus for me. I’m paranoid about losing my keys after losing one at a race.

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There are two expandable, spandex pockets up front that secure with velcro. They expand quite a bit. One pocket will hold my huge phone easily. I put a couple of gels in the other pocket without any issue. I like that my phone is easily accessible on my shoulder. I can get to it quickly with the velcro release if I need it. But, the velcro secured it snugly in the pocket. I never had an issue with it falling out.

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The water bottle is BPA free and holds 25 oz. of liquid. I chose to use a NUUN tab in mine each time since I could easily clean the bottle. I loved having my NUUN on the run! It was also wonderfully simple to pull out the bottle and re-fill it when I found a nearby fountain. No pulling out the bladder and hassling with the cords. It was super, SUPER easy to reach while running and even easier to put back into the holster. Someone asked me if I heard the water sloshing around. Honestly I didn’t! I hear the water in my bladder vest all the time but I don’t remember ever being distracted by any sloshing with the Hydra Quiver.

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I was also concerned that the vest wouldn’t fit my frame or that it would bounce around. Neither of these were an issue. You simply put on the vest, and cinch it up until it’s snug and fits comfortably. I never had a problem with bounce or the vest shifting around on the run. Chafing was also not an issue for me. I’m assuming because it was secured well, and didn’t move around. I used it on several 10, 12, and 13 milers with zero issue.

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One of the other things I really liked about the vest was how lightweight it is! It’s 10 oz with the bottle. Also, the footprint of the vest is much smaller on my back than my bladder vest. That means less back sweat and more body cooling air flow.

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I used it during the Destin Half Marathon. I loved having it with me during the race!

My only complaint about The HydraQuiver is that I have used it so much this last month that it’s now a little stinky from running! Ha! But Orange Mud even has you covered there! They have a handy page on their website discussing the proper way to wash your hydration pack.

This is probably my favorite running item I’ve reviewed so far. Believe all the hype behind the Orange Mud Hydration Packs. They’re designed well, with runners in mind. Since getting my HyrdaQuiver my poor bladder vest has been sitting in the corner collecting dust. Sorry dude.

You don’t need no stinkin’ wires with Aftershokz

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium wireless headphones 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 I’m out on a training run by myself, I often carry music with me as a motivator and to offset the boredom if I’m running in a place with no scenery. I usually run with an iPod Shuffle and a pair of in-ear earbuds. The first 15 minutes before the run I am constantly untangling the wires for the headphones, no matter how much care I take to coil them up nicely. Then, I’m tucking the excess wire into my bra because I cannot stand wires flopping around as I run. Such is the life of a wired runner.

So, when I got the chance to try out a pair of Aftershokz bluetooth wireless headphones I jumped on it. I’ve been curious about trying out a pair, but was hesitant to switch to wireless for fear of losing sound quality.

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The interesting thing about the Trekz Titanium headphones is that they are completely open. They do not go IN your ears, but rather slightly above your ears. They use bone conduction technology which delivers the music through your cheekbones. This allows your ear to be open to ambient sounds around you, providing a much safer listening experience. wkyjmimjuk7pgwhzric3.jpg

The first time putting them on, it took a little adjustment until I got them where they needed to be and where they sat comfortably  above my ear. They immediately connected with my phone’s bluetooth (I have a Samsung Galaxy S5). And I started playing music from  one of my Pandora stations. I was shocked. The music quality was GREAT!! AND I could hear everything going on around me! As I ran around our old downtown area, I could easily hear people talking on their front porches. I heard cars approaching, dogs barking, birds chirping, without losing music sound quality from the headphones. It was amazing!

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They are extremely lightweight and flexible. There is a micro usb charging port right next to the volume buttons behind the earpiece. It didn’t take long to charge them fully and they’ve held a charge for weeks! Aftershokz says they’ll stay charged for up to 6 hours of continuous music play.

One of the other features I really liked was the connect and fast forward button. This button sits on the outside of your left earpiece. You hold it to connect and Audrey Says™ “Connected” in her lovely voice. If you’re not feeling a song while running, just hit that same button twice and it will fast forward you to the next song. This worked great with my playlists and Pandora. I couldn’t ever get it to work with Spotify.

Now they are IP55 certified to repel sweat and moisture but I, again, was reluctant to believe that. I sweat like crazy in our humidity and I’ve waterlogged a few headphones and electronic devices. These things performed great! Several sweaty, sweaty, SWEATY runs plus a rainshower run and they are no worse for the wear.

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I only had two issues with these headphones.

  1. The wraparound headband in the back sticks out quite a bit on my head. I have very thick hair and when I would wear it in a braid, the braid would knock the headband around and knock them off my ears. Aftershokz immediately replied (SUPER responsive people!) to my comment on this stating that they will be coming out with a smaller version for ladies like myself with smaller heads and big ole ponytails. The headband on the smaller one will be shorter.
  2. With these fitting over the ear, I would quickly run out of ear real-estate once I got my sunglasses and hat on (a necessity in our sun and heat). While I didn’t mind all this gear on my ears for a shorter run, it would start to get uncomfortable for the much longer runs and I would have to adjust everything periodically.

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All in all I was really impressed by these headphones. As a safety professional I applaud the open design. I feel so much better going on open roads with these things than I do with my earbuds (I usually have one in and one out – but lose a lot of sound quality that way!)  They’re lightweight, easy to use, great sound quality, and sweat/water resistant. You can definitely see where Aftershokz designed these with athletes in mind.

Join us for #Bibchat tonight on Twitter at 8:00 p.m. CST to discuss running aware and you could win a free pair of these Trekz Titanium wireless headphones!!

Say “Buh-bye” to runner chafe with Sport Shield!

Disclaimer: I received a sample of 2Toms Sport Shield 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’ve ever run for any extended period of time and you have skin, it’s likely you’ve experienced the dreaded chafe. You know, that burning, red, screaming, patch of skin that you usually don’t even find until after the run or worse, when you jump into the shower and scream your head off after the hot water finds it for you. Chafing is caused by repeated friction on your skin with pressure points, most usually clothing or other skin. I am especially prone to chafing around my sport bra area. I have scars from my sport bra rubbing me raw, especially underneath my arms.

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My chafing “ouch” after a recent half marathon

So, I was excited when 2Toms sent me a sample of their Sport Shield Skin Guard and Chafing Prevention to try out.

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The first thing I noticed about the Sport Shield when I applied it was that it was NOT GREASY. I’ve tried a few other skin protectants and they usually go on really thick and have a greasy consistency. Not the Sport Shield. It was very light and it has no odor. I really like that it has a roller ball applicator too. Makes for really easy application and you don’t have to get your hands covered in the stuff to apply it.

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I’ve been using it for about 2 months now and let me tell you, this stuff works! I put it on my usual chafe points before a run and I’m good to go. I live in a very humid, wet Southern climate and the humidity and my buckets of sweat don’t even budge the Sport Shield. It is totally sweat proof and waterproof. I used it all during my marathon training and on race day and had zero chafing in my usual friction points.

2Toms also sent me a few samples of their single use packets. I love these for my purse or gym bag. I keep one in my purse for work, especially if I know I’m going to be walking around a lot in dress shoes. I just rub it all along my heel and Voila, no blisters! It works like a charm. And because it’s non-staining and non-greasy it doesn’t leave any kind of residue on my shoes or clothes.

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And 2Toms backs Sport Shield with a 100% guarantee! 2Toms also makes a whole like of Blister Shield and Butt Shield products for blister, chafing and rash prevention as well as a Stink Free Shoe and Gear Spray to help eliminate runner funk odor from your gear.

And you can receive 20% off your 2Toms order through the end of April with the code “2Toms20”!

I am now a 2Toms convert. This stuff is great! With Sport Shield you can totally say “Buh-bye!” to shower burn!

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