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.

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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.

Running faster & farther with 2XU

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik Mid-rise Thermal 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’m a big fan of running in tights. I have thick thighs and most shorts tend to ride up on me. I prefer to run in tights in the cold or warmer weather. I’ve seen other runners touting how much they love their compression tights but I hadn’t tried out a pair. Were they any better than normal running tights? When I got the opportunity to try out a pair of the 2XU compression tights I didn’t hesitate to say “Sign me up!”

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I was so excited to receive my pair in the mail!

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Ahhhh…they fit like a glove.

I opted for the 3/4 tight because we just don’t get that cold here in South Louisiana. I figured I would have much more opportunity to wear these than the full length tight. 2XU tights.png

Here are a few things from the 2XU website about these tights:

GARMENT FEATURES

  • HYOPTIK reflective logos for visibility
  • Compression support for greater protection to abductor, glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles
  • Graduated compression for improved blood circulation
  • Comfort power wide waistband with powermesh for smooth streamlined fit
  • Flatlock seams to reduce chafe
  • High filament yarns for dryness – moisture wicking
  • Antibacterial and UPF50+ sun protection

From the first moment I tried these on I LOVED them. They are quite a bit tighter than my  normal running tights and take a little, ehrm, maneuvering to get them on. They almost remind me of shimmying into a wetsuit. But once on, Oh Em Gee. They feel amazing. They just nicely compress and hold everything in.

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I’m currently training for my fifth marathon and I was anxious to try these out to see how they performed on long runs and during a couple of races I had this month. I’ve logged about 100+ miles in these tights so far and here are some of the things I immediately noticed and fell in love with:

  • The mid-rise is so comfortable. I love that the rise is a little higher than a lot of my other running tights. This means no dreaded muffin top in the back and the power wide waistband really holds in my little tummy pooch (that I’m STILL trying to lose from baby #2). They are not only comfy, but they’re really flattering on all different body types.
  • They never rode down. I never once had to hike them up. Never.
  • The compression is wonderful, especially on longer distance runs. I used them on a half marathon and several long runs 16+ miles. I really think they helped stave off some muscle fatigue by holding everything together = less jiggle = more efficient muscle/energy usage.
  • I never once chaffed in these.
  • The large hyoptik, reflective logo is nice if you’re caught out running at dawn or dusk. It really reflects back car lights to help keep you safe on the road.

These have quickly become my favorite running tights and I feel like I’m washing them several times a week just so I can re-use them on my next run. This tells me I really should invest in another pair.

To be fair, here are a few of the cons I noticed:

  • There is a bit of pilling on the material between the legs right where my thighs rub. It’s not too bad yet but I wonder how they will hold up with continued mileage.
  • While they are a bit thicker than my other tights, I’m not sure how much more thermal capability they add. Again, we don’t get too cold down here so it’s not a huge concern, but I think I might go to my fleece lined tights instead if the weather really dipped.
  • The price point is pretty high. They are definitely an investment.
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Bringing home a PR at the Louisiana Marathon in my 2XU Hyoptik tights!

I truly credit my 2XU compression tights for keeping me going during this marathon training. I’ve had little soreness and joint pain since using these tights on every long run. They are my go-to training pants now. I don’t want to run without them! While wearing these tights yesterday I busted out one of the best 20 milers I’ve ever had. I think they’re a great pair of tights and a good investment into your running equipment.