New Runner Gear for a New Year!

I received products from Brooks, Altra, Vuori, Handful, and Vooray as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews.

As we run into 2019  (see what I did there) we’re all setting our running goals for the upcoming year. 1,000 miles? PR in the half marathon? Run a marathon? No matter your running goal, having the right running gear is super important. I thought I’d go over some of my favorite running gear from The Running Event.

Brooks Running

The Brooks Running Ghost 11 shoes are like buttah. There’s so much cushion! These shoes are so great they won the Runner’s World Editor’s Choice award! And I can see why. The mesh uppers are a FAVE. So flexible and comfy. No pesky seams to rub blisters or annoy you. And the mesh upper molds to you foot so well. It’s like wearing a sock with a cushiony sole! They are a neutral shoe with a lot of cushion and a cool DNA LOFT heel crash pad to give you a softer landing. They’re engineered to give you a soft landing no matter where you strike on your stride landing (heel striker here!) They have a good balance between cushion without losing responsiveness. I can see these shoes being great for extended miles and long runs.


Another of my favorite pieces from Brooks Running is the Women’s LSD Jacket. This thing lights up like a Christmas tree!!!! It’s a great, lightweight jacket which is perfect for our Southern winters. I’ve worn it several times on misty, rainy runs and it works like a charm to cut down on the wind and dampness.

Another really cool feather of the LSD Jacket is that it folds in on itself for compact storage. AND it has an elastic arm band so you can throw is over your arm on the run if you decide you don’t need it or want to bring it along just in case. Such a cool, fun feature! I get so many compliments on this jacket every time I wear it.

Altra Running

Another shoe I’m adding to the running rotation is the Altra Escalante 1.5. I’ve always been curious about the Altra shoes. I love that they have a Footshape™ Toe Box. It was one of the first things I noticed when I put them on. My toe had so much room to spread and plant naturally during my stride. It was great! And the Escalante 1.5 had a new stretchy upper (I’m ALLLLL about stretchy uppers now!)

Another cool feature about the Altra Escalante 1.5 is that the shoe is specifically designed for a woman’s foot! The Fit4Her™ technology is engineered for women’s feet!

They are a zero drop shoe so you need to ease into them if you’re used to running with a high heel to toe drop. I used to run exclusively in low to zero drop shoes so it was nice to get back into a lower drop. Zero drop is supposed to encourage a more natural heel and forefoot strike. Another thing to note for the Altras is they’re super lightweight at only 6.5 oz. Almost like wearing air! I can see these being great for shorter distances as I get used to the lower drop and they’re making me itch to get back out on the trails again!

Vuori Clothing

I hadn’t honestly heard of Vuori Clothing before The Running Event, but I’m quickly becoming a convert. The Omni Performance short is really comfy. I was a little leary of the shorter inseam (2.5″) than what I usually run in, but they material is so soft and stretchy that they performed really well. I love the back zipper pocket and the internal key pocket in the shorts. I’m a big stickler for pockets, pockets, and more pockets.

The wide waistband was very flattering and really comfortable as well. They didn’t pinch or bind at all.  The material, as I mentioned earlier, is so stretchy and super soft. I love wearing these not only for running, but also for just running around town for errands. They are really, really comfortable.

Every piece of clothing I saw of Vuori’s at The Running Event was so luxurious and soft! I wanted one of everything! I am lusting after these Halo Performance Shorts!!!

Handful

I’m always on the lookout for a good running bra. Finding one with the right amount of compression without looking like a uni-boob is tough!. Can I just say that OMG their bras are amazing. So soft! Yet still super supportive and the pretty ruching seam in front is flattering for a more natural Silhouette. I got their Y-Back Bra and it performs like a champ! No chafing. No pinching. I could seriously sleep in this thing and not realize it’s on. Many of their bras are fully adjustable which is a godsend for someone with short boob to shoulder height like me (no more loose, falling straps). And all of their bras have an internal pocket for stashing stuff (YEAH POCKETS!!)

And it’s an amazing company full of empowering, “supportive” (see what I did there) women. I need about four more of these bras now!

And their clothing line is Uber cute too! I’m wearing their Squeeze Play Capri in this picture. I love the cute mesh paneling on the side. They’re high waisted (no muffin top – yay!) and have an internal pocket in the waistband (POCKET!!!)

Their shirts are adorable too! The Flippin’ Awesome Scoop Tank is so cute and versatile! It has a really cool reversible design with a front to back scoop option. And I’m coveting the Peek-A-Breeze Long Sleeve top. Sooo cute with a really great cut out back design. Definitely go check them out!

Vooray

Lastly you need a great bag to carry all your gym gear? Vooray has you covered! They have the cutest gym bags I’ve ever seen. I love all the fun prints and designs of their bags. And they are all just the right size. The ACE Backback (pictured here) has become one of my go-to bags whether it be for lugging stuff to a race or fun trips downtown with the boys.

It has comfortable, padded shoulder straps, water pockets on either side, a large padded interior pocket and additional front pocket. It’s a great backpack for travel, gym, or fun.

They had some GORGEOUS print bags at The Running Event that were so fun and stylish. Who needs a boring gym bag when you can have a floral print one from Vooray!?

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Let’s talk recovery

I received products from Addaday, Arcanum, CEP Compression, NUUN, and Incrediwear 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.

Let’s talk about recovery. Running recovery. Do you do anything to aid in your post run recovery? Eat a snack high is protein right after? Stretch? Foam roll? Nothing?

The older I get I find that I need to concentrate on my recovery just as much as my runs. At The Running Event last month I received several products that I have come to enjoy and now added to my recovery routine.

Addaday Massage

The Deep Tissue Roller for Runners from Addaday Massage is an amazing recovery tool. I have issues with tight calves and a cranky IT band. This thing can really get in there and help work the kinks out. The balls really help you pinpoint the Massage and pressure too. Paired with my foam roller, they’ve been fantastic in getting me back on the road quicker and with less pain.

Addaday also makes a cool Runner’s Tea. It’s a high mountain oolong tea that’s a clean energy source before your run. I used it for my mid afternoon slump instead of my usual coffee a few times. I loved that you could steep each package multiple times. It had a nice flavor with a good boost of energy without all the coffee jitters.

CEP Compression

I love, love Compression socks. I love wearing them during a run and after a run.

I really enjoyed visiting the CEP Compression booth at The Running Event. These guys are passionate about Compression and know their stuff. I love, love, love the Women’s Run Sock 2.0. They have graduated Compression along the calf of 20-30mMHg. They felt so good after I put them in and while I was running. I think my favorite thing about these socks though is the padded cushioning and seamless toe closure on the foot of the sock. This is the first compression sock I’ve tried with padding under foot!! Wow. Felt so amazing.

I wore them after a couple of long runs for recovery and I really like that they offered good compression without overly squeezing my legs into oblivion. They are honestly comfortable enough that I could wear the to bed.

Arcanum Edge

Activated Hemp is the new thing in sports performance. I’m seeing it pop up everywhere. I’ve tried it out before I liked the benefits. What caught my eye for Arcanum is that is applied directly to your skin instead of ingested. They work with trusted industry leader Mary’s Nutritionals to create their performance and recovery products. We were given a Sarco Freeze (pinpointed recovery and topical cooling), The Quill (everyday use), and Sarco Breeze (Massage oil).

The Sarco Freeze felt so good on my sore knee these last several weeks. I would use it both preemptively right after a run and anytime my knee started to get cranky. The immediate cooling action was very soothing. The Quill is a patented activated hemp delivery pen for daily use. This was perfect for the daily stresses and unease of the Christmas holidays. It helped bring more restful sleep and took the anxiety edge off on stressful days. I only used the Sarco Breeze activated hemp massage oil a couple of times on a sore IT band. It seemed to help break up the soreness.

Incrediwear

Incrediwear was a great discovery at The Running Event. They make anti-inflammatory recovery wear. Their products can be worn 24/7 and they even encourage you wearing it to bed to optimize recovery while your body is resting. Their products have been shown to accelerate recovery up to 46%. Per their website:

Our technology incorporates semiconductor elements within our fabric, which when stimulated by body heat, release negative ions. The negative ions activate molecular vibrations that increase blood flow and speed. Increasing circulation helps bring more oxygen and nutrients to the target area, which optimizes the body’s natural healing process and accelerates recovery.

I tried out the Women’s Performance Capri and socks. I really liked both. The capris were a good thickness and comfortable. I wore them for a couple of runs during short runs and then a couple of times after runs. The tights felt good both during and after. I could see wearing these on longer runs. I really liked the socks too. They are nice and thin and we’re very comfortable.

NUUN

I’ve been a big fan of NUUN for a long time. I like to drink NUUN during my runs and during the day for extra hydration. I just started drinking the NUUN Immunity and Energy tabs for recovery too. I love the immunity and energy boosts they give me.

I recently started drinking it hot in the afternoon too! Who knew it was so good hot! I little stretching, rolling, and warm NUUN is just what the recovery ordered.

I’m most excited about this new release from NUUN: their new performance endurance drink for use during the run. It will be another good add to my post run recovery. Hydration, hydration, hydration is a huge key to quicker recovery.

Running on pace with the Weav Run app

Disclaimer: I received a year of access to Weav Run 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!

Do you run with music? Music unlocks happiness – sports psychology shows that when you move in-sync with a beat, your body releases endorphins. Regularly active people can improve their performance 10-15%. I run/walk with music often and I usually gravitate toward songs with hard, driving beats. I’ve often read that songs with a beat per minute (bpm) of 165 or higher are optimal for running. Songs with these bpm tend to drive your cadence up and promote better, faster running. But if you’ve ever tried to make a playlist of songs with a specific bpm it can be a nightmare. Just finding songs within your bpm range is tough. Finding songs you like within your bpm range can be even tougher.

The Weav Run solves all of these problems for you! Weav Run “adapts songs so every time your foot hits the ground, the beat matches your step.” Weav Music adjusts the speed of the music to your pace. It speeds up when you speed up. It slows down when you slow down. And it does this without losing music quality. The songs still sound great.

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The folks at Weav Music rely on the Weav Mixer and the Weav Player to achieve this. The composition is mixed and controlled by the artist to sound great as the playback speed increases or decreases. Currently the app has 25 tracks, most of which are fairly current pop/dance/R&B tracks. I really liked the songs. They are a lot of the same type of music I regularly listen to when I run. If I didn’t like the track I could easily skip to the next song. They are working with artists to gain licenses for another 30-35 tracks to be added early next year. I was allowed to beta test the next release of songs, and let me tell you they are great!! I found several new songs that I love to run to both with and without the app. There are a lot of current tracks coming. You guys are going to love them.

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There are two settings when you start up the app. You can have the music follow your pace. You speed up, the tempo speeds up. You slow down, and the song slows down. Or, you can set the tempo to a specific cadence. This is good if you’re trying to achieve a specific cadence or say, you want audio cues to make you slow down.

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Weav Music is creating an interval mode with 9 different programs driven by the music to be released soon.

The app works with your Health app on your iPhone and pairs with Strava to record your runs. You get a lot of great data within the app at the end of your run and it even gives you the option to share it to social media.

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Right now the Weav Music app only works with iPhone. You can download it in the app store here. They are programming and tweaking the app for it to work with the Apple Watch soon with more features being added shortly after.

Overall I really enjoyed the Weav Run app a lot. It was a great change of pace from my usual music playlists. I discovered some great new music to run to. I liked how the songs changed tempo with my pace a lot. It really helped keep my cadence steady and motivated me to push the pace a little harder. I can see me using the app frequently in the future, especially as they release more and more music.

BOCO Gear hats review

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear Trail Hat and 360º 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!

I’m an outside runner. Very rarely will you find me on a treadmill. I prefer being outside even if it’s 95º with 100% humidity. And because I run outside so much I sweat…a lot. So I’m always wearing a hat or visor to keep the sweat out of my eyes and to additionally protect my face from the harsh sun. I find that I almost always gravitate towards my BOCO Gear hats. They’re super lightweight, comfortable, keep the sweat out of my eyes and they’re machine washable. All huge wins for me.

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I have several varieties of BOCO Gear hats. The Technical Trucker, the 360º Visor, and the Trail Hat. For this post I’m reviewing the 360º Visor and the Trail Hat.

The 360º Visor would be my all-time favorite. I prefer visors. I have a long pony tail and a visor allows me to place it anywhere on my head without the hat getting in the way. The 360º Visor is great for so many reasons.

  • I love the internal sweatband that rests on your forehead. It really keeps the sweat out of my eyes during my run.
  • Wicking material on the outer also keeps the sweat away and helps keep you cool.
  • The elastic back fits my head without squeezing my brains out. Some visors are too tight with that elastic band (I have a big noggin). But the BOCO Gear 360º Visor just hugs it snuggly without giving me a headache.
  • Machine washable – HUGE, HUGE plus for me. I’ve thrown this thing in the wash so many times and it comes out like a champ every time. It gets really smelly after a couple of runs and being able to wash it frequently helps so much!

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Pretty much the exact same thing can be said for the Trail Hat.

  • It also has the great wicking sweatband at your forehead.
  • It’s made of wicking performance fabric
  • It’s super lightweight. I mean this thing weighs nothing!!
  • It’s a little different in that it has an adjustable back closure instead of the elastic band.
  • The Trail Hat also has a flat moldable bill, that can also be custom printed. Mine has a cute BibRave logo on the underside of the bill!

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If you haven’t tried a BOCO Gear hat, you’re truly missing out. They have a huge variety of designs and colors in the BOCO Gear store or you can even have them send you a quote for your own custom design! I promise you’ll be super happy with your purchase!

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Two things that should be on your running Christmas wish list

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the Health Warrior Chia Bar and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 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 like finding and trying out new items for running. Sometimes they’re a winner and sometimes they’re just meh. If they’re a winner I integrate them into my weekly running routine easily. I tested out two new products recently and I’m now obsessed with them: the Heath Warrior Chia Bars and the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel (60L).

First let’s start with the Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 60L. I fully expected this to be your standard, everyday gym bag type duffel. Boy, was I wrong! This thing is so much more! The people over at Eagle Creek really, really, REALLY thought this bag through. It’s features are truly made with the user in mind.

  • It’s ultra lightweight! It only weighs 1 lb 12 oz.
  • It can be carried as a backpack with padded straps. These are removable and it can be carried by the top handles alone as a duffel. I LOVE this feature since I schlep gear through airports a lot and I need hands free as much as possible. This was a HUGE selling point for me.
  • The fabric is abrasion resistant and water-repellant. Combine this with the huge side pockets and it’s great for stowing wet running clothes. I used these side pockets after a rainy trail run and my gear in the middle compartment stayed nice and dry.

  • Foam padded bottom to protect your contents for when you drop it on the ground…like me. I’m lazy and throw my bags around like crazy.
  • Lockable zippers with storm flap to shield the zipper from rain.
  • Six lash points to attach the bag to a roof rack. (I didn’t test this feature out but still cool!)
  • Folds in on itself when not in use into a much small package. I LOVED this feature too. I love that I can stow it away easily in my trunk or closet when I’m not using it or even put it in my luggage for an extra bag for all my souvenirs and SWAG.

Secondly the Health Warrior Chia Bars have now become a staple in my daily diet. I did not to expect to like these as much as I did. I really like things with chia and use chia a lot in my running fuel (smoothies, gels, etc.) so I was anxious to try these.

I got the Vanilla Almond and Chocolate Peanut Butter flavors and they came with this SUPER cute Marathon Training coloring book!!

Out of the two flavors I liked the Vanilla Almond the best. It seemed to meld the chia seeds, oats, nuts and nut butter flavors better than the Chocolate Peanut Butter flavor. I’m not a huge chocolate fan (I know, I’m weird) but the chocolate and peanut butter flavors were mild in that bar.

These little guys are awesome. They are only 100 calories and 4g to 5g of sugar. They also pack a nice 3g of protein, 4g of fiber and 1100 mg of SUPER good for you Omega-3s. They’re perfect for a pre-run fuel or daily snack without weighing you down. It’s so hard to find a good snack that’s not loaded with sugar that I can carry around with me. These things are compact and really yummy. They helped curb the cravings and hunger monster. I find I’m now putting them in every bag and stashing a few in the car for snack emergencies. Ha!

The first ingredient is white chia seeds…a mega superfood. Chia is such a great fuel for runners because it has protein, carbs, fiber, and absorbs liquid to aid in hydration.

I enjoyed these so much I joined their reward program and have ordered 4 more boxes!!! EEP! You get discounts for your orders and just for following them on social media.

If you’re looking for something new to put on your or someone else’s running Christmas list, I highly recommend both of these products. Great companies, well-thought-out products, that are actually usable and tasty.

 

Oofos Project Pink Sport Sandals Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOahh Sport Project Pink 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!”

I love my OOFOS sandals and shoes. Like, love, love them. I have several pair and I practically live in them. I swear they help keep my heel pain at bay. They are my go-to shoe for recovery and just lounging around the house or town.

OOFOS has a whole Project Pink line that I just love. $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased will go toward breast cancer research.

I received the OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandal to try out. I’ve been eyeballing these for a while but was hesitant to try them out because I have fairly narrow feet. I love sport sandals and had a pair for years that I just recently had to let go. But, with narrow feet, they can be hit or miss on the fit. If they’re too wide, they just flop right off. These were just perfect! Narrow enough that my feet fit in them snugly, but not too narrow that they were squeezed in.  Plus they have this super cute pink ribbon on the sides.

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These sandals are made with the same specially engineered OOfoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows. And the pillows don’t compress. They STAY FLUFFY and SQUISHY all day!

The technology behind the OOfoam allows the foam to absorb 37% more impact than traditional shoes, reducing the stress on your feet and body. This helps your joints and feet rest, relax, and recover. They also provide superior arch support and just really cradle your feet.

I actually wore these all day to Legoland recently and my feet and body felt great at the end of the day! They were great too because they dry out so quickly. We got soaked on The Quest for Chi ride and I was the only one with dry feet after a few minutes.

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I really like these OOahh Sport Project Pink Sandals a lot. They are super comfy and a good sandal option for the upcoming cooler months since you can easily slip them on over a pair of fun socks. You can even wear them for a little SpOOky fun for Halloween.

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A Review of SKINS™ A400 Compression Tights

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the SKINS™ A400 3/4 Skyscraper Compression Tights  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 love running in all things compression. I have a plethora of compression running sleeves and socks and have come to love running in compression tights just this last year.   SKINS™ manufactures all kinds of compression gear from bras to shirts to shorts to tights. What started in 1996 as an idea by an Aussie skier for better, longer performance has not grown into a multi-national company with over 160 products.

I had the opportunity to test out the A400 Skyscraper 3/4 Compression Tights. I personally like the 3/4 length because it’s perfect for our warm climate in Louisiana. I rarely have the need to wear full tights unless I’m traveling or racing further up north. We just don’t get that cold. I was a little leery about testing these out in September and October since we are always still in the upper 80s and 90s then. But one of the first things I noticed was how thin and lightweight the tights are. They didn’t feel overly hot when I got them on but they still offered a good amount of compression. This is due to their “ADAPTIVE Technology” which is supposed to keep you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot. I did not ever feel like I was overheating wearing these.

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I logged a couple of long runs and several short tempo runs in these and they really felt great. I really liked the wide waistband and higher rise to help tame my muffin top and support my abdominal muscles. The bonded hems and flat seams did not rub or chafe anywhere. The compression technology is supposed to minimize muscle vibration and drive more oxygen to your muscle which results in improved performance. I definitely felt the support from the calves all the way to my lower back and abs.

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I’ll break down the Pros and Cons for these tights.

Pros:

  • Thin material and lightweight so they’re great for warmer climates.
  • High rise really helped support my abs and lower back and tamed some of my middle area squishy bits.
  • I felt they offered a really good amount of compression. I definitely felt more supported and had less muscle vibration (or jiggling).
  • The flat seams and bonded hems were great. No chafing and no rubbing at all.
  • Reflective print on the side. This was an added bonus. I like running clothing that ads on reflective print. This is especially important with black tights.
  • The gusset design in the waistband is genius. It really improved the comfort and stretch and support all around the waist. No binding or pinching or rolling.

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Cons:

  • No key pocket. This bugs me. Most of their other models have a key pocket built in. For some reason the Skyscraper does not. I almost always run outside a few miles from home. I need a place to put my car key. I had to have my friend carry it for me a couple of times.
  • They can be a little see-through. These are not for the modest or for wearing wild undies underneath. Because they are thinner material they are a little transparent, especially in the booty as they stretch out. Just know this. I wore a long shirt and didn’t really care.

Overall I really liked these tights. I think they are a great addition to my training gear and will be usable year-round for me. I think the design was well thought out and executed.

If you would like to try out a pair of SKINS™ Compression tights you can save 20% off your order with code BIBRAVE20 through October.

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5k Crate Runner Subscription Box Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the 5k Crate Runner Subscription Box  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!

These days I think there’s a subscription box for everything: beauty, clothes, kids,  science for kids, dogs, cats, wine…you name it, there’s a subscription for it! I’ve seen several subscription boxes being advertised for runners as well. The reviews on some of them have not been too good. The boxes are often filled with random energy bars and gels and not much else. Well, this is NOT the case for 5k Crate. This box was crammed packed with some really, really cool runner gear.

First,  a little about 5k Crate. It’s a quarterly subscription service with each box designed specifically for runners. The subscription costs you $59.99 a quarter and they send you gear specified to your gender and size. You get 4 to 6 handpicked items each quarter and the shipping is free.

The gear in this quarter’s box did NOT disappoint. Inside the box there were:

  • A women’s Mission Vaporactive Alpha Short Sleeve V-neck T-Shirt – in my specified size. And in my favorite color…PINK! I really liked this shirt. It was moisture wicking, thin, and not too tight and clingy. I can see it becoming a repeat in my weekly running apparel.  (Value $25)
  • A Mission HydroActive Cooling Towel – I have a couple of these and they’re really nice on the hot, hot summer days we have in the South. (Value $10 – $15)
  • A pair of Zensah Peek Running Socks – Loved these! Such a cute color and great fit. Love Zensah’s products. (Value $14)
  • A pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – Our team had mixed reviews on these but I honestly loved them. They fit well in my ears and didn’t pop out. They connected really easily to my iPhone and the battery life was pretty impressive. The sound quality was really great as well. I was very impressed by these headphones and they’re quickly turning into my new faves. (Value $27)
  • Two Epic Wipes – There’s a reason they market these as “The Massive Wet Wipe” because these things are HUGE! You can seriously wipe down your entire body with one huge wipe. It felt AMAZING after a hot, sweaty run. I used one right before I had to run to the grocery store after a run and I felt amazingly refreshed and not quite so stanky. I can see these being very versatile. (Value $5)
  • Two La Fresh Travel Lite Sunnyside Lotion Wipes – I threw one in my backpack and one in my purse for emergency sunblock if needed. They are each SPF 30. (Value $1)

As you can see there is well over $80 is merchandise and gear in the box and all of it is very relevant to any runner.  I liked everything that came in the box. You can get a little better view of everything in the box on my “unboxing” video below.

The new OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe – A Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes 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’ve been a huge fan of the OOFOS sandals for a while now. I wear them constantly and they are so comforting to my feet after a long day of being in dress shoes or running the streets. When OOFOS released their first fully closed shoe – the OOmg Low I knew I had to try them out! All the benefits of the OOFOS sandal, with a closed toe?? YES PLEASE!

The first thing you notice about them is how lightweight they are. Nothing was lost when they added the closed top. It’s made of a breathable OOtex mesh upper with a 4-way stretch so your little toes are ensured lots of room to wiggle.

They’re made with the same OOFoam footbed that have made OOFOS so popular. The OOFoam technology absorbs 37% more impact than traditional shoe foam. This means less stress on your feet, back, and joints. This helps your body relax and recovery. They are soooo squishy and sooo comfy. Your feet seriously go “Ahhh” as soon as you put them on. It’s like walking on a bed of pillows.

The shoes are an investment, but they’re an investment in your body’s recovery. They’re made to last 6 month to a year, depending on amount of wear and usage. As with my OOFOS sandals, I get almost immediate relief from the minor heel pain I experience after hard runs, and I can really feel the pressure taken off of my sore joints and feet.

 

I wore these both with and without socks to test them out. Without socks my feet sweat just a tiny bit, but much, much less than I had suspected they would. They were totally comfortable and I experienced zero rubbing or blisters after wearing them most of the day running errands all over town. I also wore them with some little low ankle socks and I gotta say, I preferred no socks personally.

Definitely order a half size up. I usually wear an 8.5 in a running shoe. I was sent a size 9 and they fit perfectly. An 8  would have been too small. They paired really well with my flowy linen pants and some of my cute, casual knit skirts and t-shirts to run around town.

The shoes come in three fun colors and are totally machine washable. I highly recommend the OOFOS OOmg Low Shoes. Your feet deserve a little OOh-la-la and pampering. You won’t regret it.

BeachBody Performance Stack Review

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Beachbody Performance Stack 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 do a lot of shakes and smoothies for meals. I have a Nutri-bullet that I love and I throw the kitchen sink in there. I’m always looking to try out new supplements and proteins in my smoothies so I was super excited to try out Beachbody’s Performance Stack of exercise enhancers. The Performance Stack includes four different training formulas to be used at different times of excerice:

  • Recharge – to be used before
  • Hydrate – to be used during
  • Recover – to be used immediately after
  • Recharge – to be used at nighttime

All Beachbody products have been NSF-certified – meaning they have been tested to comply with the NSF’s banned substance standards.  You can learn more here.

ENERGIZE

Energize is designed to be used pre-workout. It’s supposed to help you focus and workout harder and longer. You are to mix one scoop with 8 oz of water 30 minutes before exercising.

It contains Beta-alanine to help reduce lactic acid build-up, Quercetin (a phytonutrient) to help delay fatigue, and a low dose of caffeine to help give you an energy boost. It is sweetened with Stevia. I found it pretty sweet with just 8 oz of water. I diluted it a bit more and found the lemony citrus taste very palatable.  Did I notice a big performance enhancement? Not really much more than my normal daily cup of coffee before a run. I would recommend this if you’re not a coffee drinker for a little pick-me-up before a workout.

HYDRATE

I really like Hydrate a lot. I’m always on the hunt for a good electrolyte replacement to use during my runs since I sweat so much.  I drank this during my longer runs and after to replenish my fluids and electrolytes. I get wicked headaches if I don’t replace my fluids after my runs and the smooth, citrus flavor of Hydrate helped me gulp down several glasses of water…and no headache! It also contains Quercetin to help endurance, various electrolytes, and low-dose carbs to help keep you going longer.

The taste was nice and mild. I don’t like an overpowering flavor or sweetness in my hydration. This stuff was perfect. Just a mild flavor that didn’t coat my tongue or give me any stomach distress. Good stuff.

RECOVER

The Recover formula is to be used within 30 minutes after your workout to help with muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.  It’s comprised of pomegranate extract, 20 grams of protein, and branched-chain amino acids.

I drank this both straight with water and in a fruit smoothie. It was super easy to pour and mix in the nifty shaker bottle you get with the Beachbody Performance Stack. I found it to be a little sweet and chalky with a noticeable after taste. But hoestly, it was nothing different than most protein recovery drinks I’ve tried. I liked it much better blended into a smoothie. I really liked that it had 20 grams of protein per scoop. I usually drink my smoothies with almond or cashew milk, so I like to add a good protein in there for muscle recovery.

RECHARGE

Lastly in the Performance Stack is Recharge. This one was probably my second favorite. I loved the vanilla flavor. It was also pretty sweet and a little chalky by itself, but it blended superbly into my fruit blends and gave it a nice, creamy vanilla flavor.

Recharge is to be consumed about 1 hour before going to sleep. It’s supposed to help reduce DOMS and promote muscle recovery. I really liked that it has tart cherry extract. I drink tart cherry juice as an anti-inflammatory and for muscle recovery often, but it’s SUPER tart. This stuff tasted much better. And each scoop has an additional 20 grams of protein and more branched-chain amino acids to aid in muscle re-building.

You can get the whole Beachbody Performance Stack here and it starts out at $199.95. Beachbody backs their products with a 30 day money-back guarantee, so no harm, no foul if you want to try it out and don’t like it. Out of all of the products I would probably buy the Hydrate and the Recharge again