Staying Safe on the Road with Sabre

Disclaimer: I received several products from Sabre Safety 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Summer’s in the South are brutal. The heat and humidity make it really rough. I often have to run around the sun to avoid overheating. That means lots of early morning and late night runs in the dark. And I don’t always have the luxury of running with someone. So I was thankful to be able to try out several of the runner safety products from Sabre Safety.

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The Pepper Gel is really lightweight and fits over my hand comfortably. The strap easily adjusts and sits over the palm of my hand. I can run without having to hold onto it or it jiggling around. I like that it’s gel as opposed to spray too. The gel has a better chance of hitting just the target and not impacting you as well. It doesn’t have the possible blow-back like the spray can. It’s an isolated single stream that has a 20% greater range (12 ft) with up to 35 spray bursts.

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The Personal Alarms were so cool too. The Personal Alarm with Clip & LED light is really lightweight and clips onto your running clothes easily. The alarm is super loud at 120 dB and will definitely make someone stop in their tracks. It easily activates and deactivates with a push of the side button. The LED light is a nice little bonus that helps with visibility at night. And I really like the weatherproof design. With our frequent rain storms that’s an added bonus.

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img_1267The Runner Personal Alarm with Wrist Strap is a powerhouse of an alarm. It screams out a deafening 130 dB alarm that is easily heard from up to 1,000 feet away. It activates with the pull of a pin (kind of like a grenade). To deactivate it, you have to put the pin back into the unit. The adjustable wrist strap was soft and comfortable and fit my small wrists with ease.

If you’re interested in trying out any of the Sabre Safety products you can save 20% off Sabre with code SABRERUN.

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Shading my eyes with Shady Rays

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays X Series Shades  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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

I was able to try out the Shady Rays X Series sunglasses for BibRave as part of being a BibRave Pro. I’m addicted to sunglasses. I need them for my sensitive blue eyes. But I can be picky about shades too. I need them to be lightweight, comfortable, stay put during my runs, and not fog up easily. The Shady Rays X Series delivered on all accounts.

I received the Shady Rays X Series Black Glacier Polarized sunglasses. The first thing I noticed was how lightweight they are. They’re super light and did not pinch or squeeze my head at any of the normal pressure points. I sometimes even forgot I had them on. They’re really comfortable to wear.

The wrap around frame and nose grips help the sunglasses stay put during even the sweatiest of running mileage. They didn’t slip down my nose or flop around at all.

The polarized lenses are really sharp and clear and I love that they offer 100% UV protection and they are also shatter-resistant and even salt water proof.

I can be hard on my sunglasses so the Lifetime Craftmanship warranty and the FREE lost or stolen replacements was a huge bonus. You just pay the shipping and handling fee and Boom, replacement pair mailed to you!

I have a very narrow face and I was a bit worried that they  might be too big or wide for me, but they actually weren’t bad at all. I might like them to be a little smaller for my face, but they were definitely comfortable and didn’t feel overly huge on me.

One of the really great thing about Shady Rays is that they donate 10 meals to fight hunger through Feeding America with every order placed. So you get sunglasses, a family gets fed. Wins all the way around. Such a cool company!

Overall I really liked the Shady Rays X Series sunglasses. The price point is very reasonable for a good pair of running sunglasses. The crystal clear lenses and free replacement was a huge bonus.

If you’re interested in trying out a pair (or two) of Shady Rays sunglasses, you can use code “RAVE50″ for 50% off 2 or more items on their site.

 

Powering up with Super Food Bites

Disclaimer: I received a package of Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

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I have a sensitive tummy. I have to be careful what I eat pre-run. I need something easy on the tummy, not loaded with processed sugars, and lightweight or else I have issues. I have been trying these Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites before my long runs with good success. Each pouch comes with 10 bites. At about 200 calories per pouch they’re the perfect fuel up for a run.

They are made with all natural, organic ingredients and are gluten-free, Non GMO, Dairy Free, Soy Free, and Grain Free.  So good for the body and easy on the tummy. But most importantly they taste great!!

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I really like that they come in a re-sealable bag too. I can pop a few before a short run, re-seal the bag and then finish them after. I also took some along for the ride on a couple of excursions with the kids and I gotta say they loved them. And I loved that I didn’t feel guilty about giving them a healthy snack.

Food Groove Mission was founded in Dallas, TX by a husband and wife team who are both endurance athletes. They wanted a healthy, portable, energy packed snack that would fit their on-the-go lifestyle. They not only developed a snack that checked all these boxes but they loaded them with superfood like organic dates, organic peanut butter, and dark chocolate.

From their site:

“Superfoods are Mother Earth’s most nutritious powerhouses, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. These natural power sources can help increase energy, improve brain function and memory, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, and even extend your lifespan. We believe that incorporating these unique and diverse superfoods into your diet will enhance your well-being. Our goal is to help you achieve your goals and discover your superpowers by giving you the highest quality superfoods to fuel your journey.”

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✔️ Good for you.

✔️ Easy to transport.

✔️ Taste Great!

They fit all my snack goals in one nifty pouch.

If you’re interested in trying Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites you can purchase them online direct from their site here. Code BIBRAVE15 gets you 15% off your order too!

The Running Event Recap

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

Last month I had the insane opportunity to attend The Running Event (TRE) in Austin, Texas. If you’re not familiar, The Running Event is the premier running event/conference/expo for running retailers. All the biggest running names are at this event showing off their latest up and coming products and designs. It’s generally not open to the public, but I was invited to attend as an influencer for BibRave. Such an amazing opportunity! I’m going break the two days of awesome down for you guys.

Zwift Running Event

We all began to trickle into Austin on that Thursday afternoon. We were to meet up at a conference room in the Hilton for a meet and greet, SWAG reveal, and Zwift Running Event.

We got so much amazing SWAG from so many wonderful vendors at TRE. I felt like a kid at Christmas! Many were some of my favorite brands I was already familiar with (Brooks, Altra, NUUN, CEP Compression) and there were several new brands I was excited to try out (Handful, Vuori, Addaday, Vooray, Incrediwear, and Arcanum)!

We settled in, getting to know each other better and then it was time for the Zwift running event!

Several of our Bibrave Pros jumped onto two treadmills and ran a virtual group run on the Zwift app with Bibrave Pros all over the country. It was so cool to watch the app and how it linked up runners from all over.

As we wrapped up the Zwift Running Event we got a huge surprise. We had all been invited to the Brooks after hours party!! But first up, dinner: Texas BBQ.

Brooks Party

With a belly full of BBQ we strolled over to The Brooks party being held in the Cedar Creek Courtyard.

Of course we had to wear our new Brooks Women’s Reflective LSD Jackets to the party. LOVE all the reflective print on it!

We were all just chilling, hanging out with a beer when who freaking walks in???? Des Freaking Linden (no, that’s not her middle name, but it should be) she graciously took photos with all of us runnerds fangirling over her. After that wish-come-true experience we rolled out to the dance floor to shake our booties. We had a great time dancing the night away to the cover band Suede. They were so good!

Bibrave Group Run

Early the next morning the whole Bibrave family met up for a fun group run through downtown Austin and up to the Capitol.

It was fun having our sea of orange running through downtown in the quiet, early morning hours.

The Running Event

Immediately after the group run we went over to the convention center to walk the expo floor and check out the latest and greatest products from running gear retailers such as CEP Compression, Brooks, Altra, Handful, Vooray, Vuori, Addaday, NUUN, Incrediwear, and Arcanum.

It was so interesting and exciting to learn about some of the new, up and coming products and the technology behind some of my favorite tried and true gear.

Overall, the Bibrave Running Event experience was so amazing. I’m still riding the high from all the fun. I’ve been testing all the gear out all month. I’ll be writing up a couple of blog posts on the gear in the next couple of days.

Better life, Better Performance with iKOR Performance CBD Hemp Extract

Disclaimer: I received a discount on the iKOR Performance CBD Hemp Extract delivery service 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 been reading a lot about Hemp Extract and it’s benefits for anxiety and sleep but I hadn’t seen it being promoted as an athletic performance enhancer until iKOR Labs. So I opted in to try it out.

IKOR Performance CBD Hemp Oil claims to assist with faster recovery by reducing inflammation and oxidative stress, better performance through boosted mood, and faster delivery to the body through its liposomal encapsulation technology.

From iKOR’s website:

iKOR is a clean, natural source of recovery enhancing CBD that protects your body from the stresses of training, improves recovery from intense efforts and helps you maintain a positive mental state. The most bio-available CBD product on the market, iKOR is a highly protective anti-oxidant, an effective anti-inflammatory and a powerful mood booster.

I used iKOR Performance CBD Hemp Oil for two cycles of 7 days. Immediately I noticed a calming effect after starting the cycle. My anxiety was much lower and my sleep was much better and more restful. I wasn’t as anxious before workouts. I ran three different races while on iKOR Performance CBD Hemp Oil and I did feel like I recovered quickly after each race. I wasn’t as sore as I have been in previous races.

The iKOR Performance CBD Hemp Oil worked well for me mostly in the respect that I felt more well rested and less stressed while on a 7 day cycle. This translated to my training well by giving me more energy for my workouts. My only con to report would be the taste. It’s an acquired taste. The citrus flavor just mixed oddly with the hemp oil in my opinion. I got used to it quickly though.

If you’re interested in trying out the Performance CBD hemp extract you can save 20% off w/ code BibRave20.

Trying out the UA HOVR Sonic Shoes

Disclaimer: I received a discount on the UA HOVR Sonic Running Shoes delivery service 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 recently had the opportunity to test out the UA HOVR Sonic Running Shoes as a BibRave Pro. I’ve tested out some other UA running shoes in the past and really liked them.

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The first thing I noticed about these shoes was the lightweight mesh upper. I love shoes with mesh uppers. They are so breathable and they hug your foot like a glove. These felt so good when I put them on. They just molded right to my foot. They are really flexible and responsive. Running in Louisiana in the summer months means your shoes get soaking wet with sweat. These shoes dry out quickly with the airy mesh uppers. This is a huge bonus on back-to-back run days. No-one likes running in wet shoes.19378-DEFAULT-l.jpg

These are a neutral shoe with a good amount of cushion. I liked how responsive they were on the road. I did several short runs (3 to 4 miles) and a couple of longer runs (10 miles or more) to test how they performed. I loved these for the shorter runs. They felt really good. I could feel some foot fatigue on these for the longer runs but nothing terrible. I think they would just require a little more build-up running to get my feet and legs used to them.

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Here are the specs on the shoe from UA:

  • UA HOVR™ technology provides ‘zero gravity feel’ to maintain energy return that helps eliminate impact step after step
  • Compression mesh Energy Web contains & molds UA HOVR™ foam to give back the energy you put in
  • NEUTRAL: For runners who need a balance of flexibility & cushioning
  • Soft knit upper dries fast & provides a breathable, compression-like fit that delivers lightweight directional strength & unmatched comfort to help you go the distance
  • Ventilated midfoot panel increases breathability
  • Unique tongue construction is attached to the footbed by stretchable support wings to maintain a snug fit throughout the foot
  • External TPU heel counter for additional support & structure
  • Removable, anti-microbial Ortholite® sockliner molds to the foot for customized comfort & cushion
  • Blown rubber under the forefoot is lightweight yet incredibly responsive
  • High-abrasion rubber placed under the heel to help absorb ground contact
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Weight: 8oz/225g

I’ve enjoyed running in them and wearing them around town for errands. I’m looking forward to running in these more. They not only feel good, they are really cute and stylish.

Going the Extra Mile with Mercury Mile

Disclaimer: I received a discount on the Mercury Mile delivery service 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!

Being a runner who works from home a lot I tend to live in running clothes. I wear running clothes when I wake up, go for a run, shower, and then change into more running clothes to work. I love shopping for new running clothes. A new shirt or new pair of Capri tights somehow motivate me to go running.  I recently had the opportunity to try out the Mercury Mile delivery service for workout/running clothes. Before I hear you all groan, this is not a subscription service. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE. You only sign up for a box when you want a box. You only get a box when you request one. AND you can receive more than one box a month is you want.

So, here’s how it works.

  1. You create an account and fill out a runner profile describing your running style, size, and you can even input notes in for your stylist for things you like and dislike. For example, I put in my notes that I do not like sleeves. I prefer tanks to t-shirts. And I like bright colors. This part is free.
  2. Whenever you’re ready select a delivery date to receive a box. There is a stylist fee of $20 charged up front.
  3. Get your box and try everything on in the comfort of your home. I LOVED this part. I could try it on and move around the house to see how it performed. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve picked something at the store to only find out it fits weird after I get moving, bunches up, etc.
  4. Keep what you want. Send what you want back in the pre-paid postage envelope. This was SO easy. I just put the pieces I didn’t like back in the bag they sent and put it in my mailbox for pick-up. Within three days I had an email verifying they’d received it.
  5. They charge what you keep against your stored credit card minus the $20 stylist fee. If you keep nothing then you’re out the $20.

I ordered two different boxes this last month to see what all I would receive. Both had a good mix of shirts, shorts, and tights. I ended up keeping about 2 to 3 pieces out of every box. Size exchanges were super easy. I simply emailed my stylist and asked for a different size in one tank I really liked. She dropped it in the mail immediately and it was at my door in 2 to 3 days.

I would recommend following them on Instagram. They periodically have a huge sale where everything in your box is 50% off the normal price. I scored some really cute pieces that way!

I really enjoyed the Mercury Mile service. I received a few pieces that I would have never chosen for myself in the store but then ended up keeping them after trying them on. It made me venture outside my normal running clothes bubble and try out some new brands and new styles.

If you’re interested in trying out Mercury Mile you can use the code BIBRAVE10 to save $10 off your stylist fee.

Knockaround Premiums sunglasses Review

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Knockaround Premium Sungalsses 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!

Having light colored eyes they are very sensitive to sunlight. So, because of this I am a sunglasses hoarder. I keep several pairs in each car, in drawers on the house, at my desk at work, in the bathroom, in the playroom, etc. But I also have small children and I’m fairly active. I’m hard on sunglasses. I sit on them. I pull the earpieces off. I scratch the lenses. I need sunglasses that are reasonably priced. But I still want ones that are stylish and offer excellent eye protection.

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I had seen several other runners talking about Knockaround sunglasses on Twitter and Instagram and always thought they were cute but had never tried a pair. I was excited to be able to try them out as part of the Bibrave Pro program.

I tried out the Knockaround Premium sunglasses. They come is SO MANY cute, fun colors! It was so hard to decide what color to choose!! I chose a pair with mirrored lenses and a pair with matte lenses to test out the difference in lens quality and durability.

I love the look of mirrored lenses but they scratch so easily. So far these mirrored lenses have held up well! I just put them in the handy cloth protective pouch and throw them in my purse when I’m not using them. I saw no difference in lens quality between the mirrored and matte pairs.

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I really like the wider fit of the classic frames. They offer a really good amount of protection around the eye as well as UV400 protection

So, how they perform on a run?

GREAT! They didn’t budge! They didn’t flop around. They didn’t slide down. They stayed put, even on several of my really sweaty runs. I even wore them to a 5k race and they performed perfectly.

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Starting at only $15 a pair it’s hard not to snatch up every color they offer!! Plus you can customize your own pair for just a little bit more. It’s so much fun to pick out lens, earpiece and frame colors!! And they have some amazingly cool limited edition releases that you have to check out.

Right now you can save 20% off one single order at Knockaround with the code BIBRAVEKNOCKS. I highly recommend grabbing you a pair, or several.

The Wonders of KT Tape®

Disclaimer: I received a sample of KT Tape® 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 always seen people taped up at races with KT Tape® and have even asked, “What is that? What’s it supposed to do?” I kind of poo-pooed the idea that tape could really help with an injury and never bought into the idea.

Then I got injured.

Peroneal tendinitis and bursitis in my foot sidelined my running. The pediatrist recommended rest, icing, and then slowly get back into running and tape up the foot. Tape.

So, I bought some cheap athletic tape from the drug store and watched some videos on how to tape my foot. It helped. It really did. But it was also very, very stiff and uncomfortable. It would last a few hours and I was constantly re-taping.

Then I remembered I had received some pink KT Tape® as a gift. I got online, looked into it, watched their video on how to tape up my foot and set out about my day. It stretched! And breathed! and stayed put! and helped with my pain! WHAT???

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I’m telling you guys. It sold itself.

Then Bibrave offered the chance to test out several different types of KT Tape® and I quickly raised by hand. Yes, please!

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What is KT Tape®? To put it into the simplest terms it’s stretchy athletic tape. You can read all about the elastic fibers and benefits here. So, take basic, blah, athletic tape. Make it stretchy and breathable, better widths and add fun colors and you have KT Tape®!

It comes in several different fun colors and prints and widths and adhesive strengths to meet your taping and athletic needs. I was sent the following:

  • KT Tape® Cotton (pink) – this is their normal, basic tape and it was hands down my favorite. The cotton was breathable, stuck to my skin well, stretched, stayed put and didn’t irritate my skin.
  • KT Tape® Pro (blue) – Made with 100% synthetic fibers. It was very breathable and stretchy as well. It stayed on well too. I felt I didn’t get much more use out the synthetic as opposed to the cotton. They were pretty much the same to me. So it would come down to fiber preference honestly.
  • KT Tape® Pro Extreme (black) – This is the Pro tape but with a higher adhesive for wet (or really sweaty) application. I wore this on on a really, really humid, sweaty run and it stayed totally put. I was afraid the extra adhesive might make it painful to remove but that wasn’t the case! I really liked this one for those hot, ultra humid runs.

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  • KT Tape® Pro Wide – the strips are 4″ wide and made to be applied to large muscle groups like the lower back and quads. I didn’t have any injury of large muscle groups so I didn’t use this one, but it’s exactly like the Pro tape, just wider.
  • KT Tape® gentle tape – this one has lighter adhesive and good for everyday wear. I wore this one for work under my socks just for that extra little support while my foot was healing. Super comfortable and easy to remove.

I’ve been using KT Tape® now for over a month and I LOVE the stuff. My foot is healing and mostly better but still achey. So, I use KT Tape® religiously for long runs and races as an added bit of support and precaution.

And if you’re worried about how to use the tape for a specific body part they have tons of great videos that are easy to follow. They explain exactly how to apply the tape and step-by-step instructions. You can find the videos here.

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Check out KT Tape® and you can save 30% off your online order by using the code BIBRAVE30.

A Review of the Aftershokz Trekz Air

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Aftershokz Trekz Air 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 running by myself, I often carry music with me as a motivator and to offset the boredom. Running with music can be a safety risk since headphones can block out the surrounding ambient noise. Being open and aware of your surroundings is important when you’re running outside.

When I got the chance to try out a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air bluetooth headphones I was anxious to try them. I liked the Trekz Titanium headphones and was curious how the Trekz Air compared.

The interesting thing about the Trekz Air 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.

The first time putting them on, they immediately connected with my iPhone’s bluetooth. And I easily started playing music from  one of my playlists. The music quality was GREAT!! AND I could hear everything going on around me! As I ran around my neighborhood I could easily hear cars approaching and people running behind me without losing music sound quality from the headphones. It was amazing!

They are extremely lightweight and flexible. The Trekz Air are 20% lighter than their counterparts and could immediately tell when I put them on. I could barely feel them on my head.. They never became uncomfortable or felt heavy on my ears. The back wraparound titanium connector also seemed to hug my neck a lot better, reducing how much my ponytail would bang around on it. I think this is part of their new “organic design” supposed to increase comfort.

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 over a week! Aftershokz says they’ll stay charged for up to 6 hours of continuous music play.

They are IP55 certified to repel sweat and moisture. I got caught in a pretty good downpour on one run and they performed great! I never lost connection or sound quality and I was completely soaked.

And music quality was excellent. I find that there is loss of music quality in a lot of headphones that are not “in ear” but the Trekz Air really delivers great quality music. The bass (they come with EQ presets) was shocking and music and podcasts were so clear. Their website states that “PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass”.

The only comment I have on the headphones is I wish the “power on” button was the first button on the earpiece as opposed to the second/middle button. The buttons are tiny and I found it a little hard to find and press the power button while I had the headphones on. Most of the times I would have to remove them to turn them on or off. This is not a huge issue, but then you don’t hear “Audrey” tell you if they’re on and connected until you start playing your music. After some practice I got a little better at it, but it would be easier if it was the first button on the earpiece.

All in all I was really impressed by these headphones. 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. These have quickly become my new favorite headphones for working out.