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.

 

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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 Versatility of the UV Reflective Half BUFF®

Disclaimer: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® 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 so many running friends who are BUFF® fanatics. They love their BUFF®. But being a Southerner, it’s always so warm for us. I wasn’t sure I would use a full BUFF® very much. The opportunity popped up for us to try the UV Reflective Half BUFF® recently and I wanted to check out what all the fuss is about.

One of the first things I really liked about this Half BUFF® was that it has reflective print. This is all the rage right now in a lot of active wear and I LOVE it. I love, love that added safety feature. It lights up like a Christmas tree with the BUFF® logo and reflective stripes when you shine a light on it.

The half length was perfect for me. I could easily wrap it around my wrist for an nice little cloth to wipe away sweat on my brow and  hankie to wipe my nose. The thin, sweat-wicking material  was great when I used it as a headband on several runs. It kept the sweat from running in my eyes and was so lightweight I totally forgot I had it on.

Here is the description from the BUFF® website:

Half the length of original UV BUFF® headwear, the UV Reflective Half BUFF® option offers efficient thermal properties, built-in sun protection, moisture management and reflective strips that are ideal for runners. Able to dry quickly and control odor, this sweat-wicking layer fits easily under a helmet. It’s a versatile, go anywhere piece wearable at least nine different ways. 

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays*
  • Reflective strips
  • Multifunctional
  • Exceptional Moisture-wicking with its 4-channel fibers
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax® Extreme fabric
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Polygiene® Active Odor Control
  • Quick drying

All of the above is totally accurate! I even used it at a recent race to keep my hands warm before the race start. It worked like a charm!

The BUFF® is so versatile. I have really enjoyed bringing it on my runs. I swear it’s the MacGyver of running gear. Every runner should have have one.

 

Valentine’s Day Gifts Full of Runner Love

While I love chocolate just as much as the next gal, I don’t particularly want a huge box of it, especially during marathon training which just so happens to fall during Valentine’s Day for me this year. I personally prefer more practical gifts, and if they are related to health and running then it’s a double WIN for me. I’ve compiled a nice little list of some of my favorite runner things right now that would go great in any runner Valentine’s Day basket or gift box.

Valentine's Day runner gifts

  1. 2XU Mid-rise Compression 7/8 tights – I love, love, LOVE these tights. They are seriously my new favorite pair of tights to run, walk, jump, lift, eat, or binge watch Netflix in. I did a full review of them here, but SERIOUSLY they feel like buttah when they’re on. They hold all your jiggly parts in and provide enough compression to keep you feeling fresh and spry on your long runs. And how SUPER CUTE is that pink X down the leg!?!? (they come in other colors too if you *gasp* don’t like pink). You can get 20% off your 2XU order through February 29th with the code Run20.
  2. Buff UV Headband – I really like this headband in Cail Pink.  Pink and paisley…what’s not to love?! Plus the Coolmax® Extreme fabric is so soft. It’s great for those ehrm…”I didn’t really feel like doing anything to my hair…not even brush it…shut up” days. You put this headband on and you look cool, stylish, and so not like you just rolled out of bed 10 minutes past your alarm clock.
  3. Oiselle Flyte Tank – I have a couple of these tanks and they are sooooo comfy. I really like the seamless construction and the fact that it’s made to fit loose, not sausage-casing-tight like a lot of running tops. It hides that little guilty cheeseburger pooch I have really well. Plus it’s longer than most of my other running tops so I don’t have to worry about it rolling or riding up to expose my underbelly.
  4. Perfect Bars – These bars are soooo yummy! They are perfect for pre-run fuel or just a middle of the day snack. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and full of complex carbs, protein and 20 nutrient dense super foods. They don’t mess with my tummy, which can be very sensitive to sugars pre-run. The almond butter ones are really good, or pick up a sample pack to try all the great flavors.
  5. 2Toms Sport Shield – I’ve recently been turned onto this stuff. It’s Ah-May-Zing. Seriously. I love that it rolls on for easy application and it isn’t heavy or overly greasy.  I’ve worn it through several long runs (even a recent 20 miler) with zero chafe or burn in my usual bra areas. It’s a must have for any runner’s bag. You can get 20% off any 2Toms order with the code 2Toms20 through April!
  6. xx2i Optics France1 Sunglasses – These sunglasses come in so many fun colors!! I LOVE them! I posted a full review on them here. Wearing sunglasses while I run is a must. Gotta protect my peeps. The xx2i ones are really lightweight and comfortable and fit my face well. I love their lifetime guarantee and the fact that you have a whole year to try them out and return them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Great product. Great company. You can get 50% off your order right now with the code XX2iRocks.
  7. Running Princess Tiara Visor – I’m a sucker for a cute visor. I have this hat in both black and white. It’s one of my favorite running hats. It’s a Headsweats brand which means it’s super comfy and the tiara embroidery and rhinestone bling on the front make it girly fun. Every girl needs a tiara! I’ve washed these hats in the washing machine many, many times and they hold up really well. The rhinestones are still intact and the hat has held it’s shape well. I do air dry it though.
  8. Garmin fenix 3 – This is the QUEEN of all GPS fitness wearables right now. EVERY runner is lusting after this thing (including me). It pretty much does it all plus a bag of chips. It’s some serious runner tech. The runnerd in me squeals every time I see one. I could write love sonnets about this watch. One day you will be mine…one day.

Hope you enjoy this list of some of my favorite runner things any runner would love for Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter).

What are some of your runner gear lusts this year?