BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Cross my Heart

 

Disclaimer: I received a Phone.Flask.Vest from Orange Mud 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 a couple of Orange Mud products- the handheld and the Transition towel.  I love them both but I’ve really had my eye of their hyrdation/ gear packs.  Have you seen them?? So pretty!  You know runners love their gear right?  Then I saw the Phone.Flask.Vest and was like- wait, what?

PFV
source

I mean logistically how was that going to work?   Don’t get me wrong, looked awesome but that mannequin looks noticeably flat chested- I may not be Dolly Parton but I’m also not flat chested.   I was confused.  At the time, they weren’t any pictures of the pack on women on the site either (there are now).     I was intrigued enough to want to try it.

It arrived and it was even smaller than I thought it was going to be.  However there were plenty of pockets.  On the front side- there was the flask packet, another pocket directly in front of that, a key pocket, and a pocket on the shoulder.  The entire back was a pocket complete with an extensive shock cord.    The included flask was 450ml.  Which if you’re like me, I had to look that up-15oz.  😛


Getting it on was a little tricky- silly me forgot to loosen any of the straps, ha!    Once I did that it just a matter of finding the right fit.  Which, I am not going to lie- I have to adjust the fit every run.  However, the fault for that lies purely on my abnormal upper half- most of the time I’m a Cish cup, however there are times I’m above a D cup.  Yeah, it’s fun, but I guess you could say I tested the pack in a variety of ways?😛


Ok- now for the running with it part.  As long as I had it tightened properly- I never had any bounce.  It only moved around on one run and I think I was just too tired to get it properly situated.  Either that I was freakishly small that day.   One quirk about the straps is that they tighten towards the back- so to tighten it- you pull it to the back.  It was a little awkward at first but then I adjusted.    It’s super lightweight and I can barely feel it when it’s on.


A full flask fits perfectly in it’s pocket and it worked great but to be honest I didn’t use it much.  There were a few reasons.  I kept forgetting it, I was only running a few miles and didn’t need water or I needed more so I carried a handheld too.   My phone was also problematic.  I have Iphone 7+ and the thing is huge.  It does fit in the front pocket with flask in place but it’s a very snug fit.  I preferred to run without the flask and put my phone in the flask pocket.  Then I kept my pepper spray and chapstick, sometimes and entire body glide in the front pocket.    My inhaler went in the shoulder pocket for easy access.  The only pocket I had issues with was the key pocket.  It’s small- very small.  But then my new car key is huge- I was bemoaning that fact while buying the car.   I didn’t even have the pack yet.  😛   Instead I keep a little hook on my key and attach it to the shock cord and place it in the pocket on the back.

Not only have I run with the pack every run since I got it, it has so far stood up to my treatment of it.  I am hard on gear.  I have a tendency to toss things around and I expect them to be able to handle that.  For example- when I run after work, I am often parked in odd locations.  The only door I open is my driver side door.  I won’t open any other doors or the back of the car.  I don’t want to dump the sweaty pack on the passenger seat post run ( I need another transition towel!) so I slingshot it from my seat to the back of the car.  With all my stuff still in it.  I don’t care how it lands as long as it’s on the very back of the car.  😛  So far, this hasn’t hurt it!

So a few things that could make it better-

2 buckles.  There is only one buckle on the left side.  While I can now get it on and off without taking my hat or glasses off, it would be a lot easier with 2 buckles.  Sometimes it’s like taking off a sweaty sports bra.   I also have a small head, so this would a very snug fit for those with more of average size head.  Hmmm, that sounded odd.

I’ve got a theory (it could be bunnys) While I have plenty of leftover space on the straps, I wonder about the sizing.  I measured multiple times and ordered a S/M because according to the site that’s what I needed.  However I’m kind of wondering if the L/XL would have made the pack itself fit even better due to my ummm, upper half.  It makes me wonder if the sizing for woman should be more like S/M for those who wear A/B and L/XL for C and higher.  But again that’s just a theory and not one that I could test out.

Want to your own or anything at Orange Mud?  Use “BRPPFV” for 10% off.

Want to read more thoughts on the pack?

AngieBradleyCaseyJamesHeatherMai

Ever used a pack like this?

What do think?

Anyone catch that reference?

BibRave, Run!

Summer Racing

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Salinas Valley Half Marathon 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!

Summer running- happened so fast, summer runnin’- had me an asthma attack.

Haha, couldn’t help myself.  😛

Every summer for the past few years, I’ve run a half marathon in July.  Always near the beach, sometimes on the beach.  Last year the heavy marine layer and my asthma conspired together to make me want to swear that off.  😛   Combine that with what is shaping up to be a crazy busy July and it seemed like a good idea to pass on running a half next month.

Instead, I’m taking it inland.   I’ll be running the Salinas Valley Half Marathon on August 5.  Salinas isn’t that far away so it will an early morning drive up to run the race before driving back home.  This is actually a race that has been on my radar for a few years.   The course is through vineyards and crop fields which is my favorite and it seems to be the perfect size crowd for me.    Last year’s race was actually canceled due to the smoke from the Soberanes fire, we were on fire for what seemed like forever last summer.   😢

Ok back to some fun stuff-

  13.1-mile course along the agricultural fields and vineyards of Salinas Valley

  • –       Begins at historic Soledad Mission, ends at Pessagno Winery

    –       Travels along River Road Wine Trail, passing several wineries and tasting rooms

    –       Post-race wine tasting, music, awards, bbq lunch and more

    –       This is in the heart of “Steinbeck County” where many of Nobel Prize winning author John Steinbeck set his novels and short stories.  (A humorous sign placed at one of the hills calls it “Beast of Eden;” a play on words to Steinbeck’s novel, East of Eden.)

    –       Crops are identified along the route

Beast of Eden- how awesomely punny is that?  Plus, it starts at a Mission.  Fun fact- California has 21 Spanish Missions.  I’ve been to 3- used to sing in the choir at one actually- so this will be #4 for me.    And it will be half #27.  😛

As for that beach race in July?  I may run the 10k.  We shall see.  😛

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Give Me a Boost

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Adida’s Ultra Boost X 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 think I’m in love.

If you’ve been following along for awhile now, you know I’ve bee struggling with shoes since last year when they changed my beloved PureFlows to an unrecognizable shoe.  I’ve been through numerous shoes since- various brands and types.  Some I’ve suffered through and then “donated” to my mother’s emergency stash for her tennis team and others I full on returned to the store.  Sorry Running Warehouse.   I hate returning shoes, I feel bad.   So when an opportunity came up to try the Ultra Boost X from Adidas you’d think I would jump on it.  But I deliberated- I’ve become leery of new shoes and these looked different.   Curiosity won me over.    Then I was overly impatient to get my hands on them or more like my feet in them. 😛


These are so different than any of my other shoes.  In some ways they feel like more shoe than I am used to and in other ways they feel like less shoe.    The more shoe comes from the sole- I went from a 4mm drop to a 10mm drop.  Whereas my previous upper was more of standard upper and the Ultra Boost X foots your foot like a sock.  In the beginning I wondered if I even needed the shoelaces or if they were just for looks.   And a floating arch? I could stick my finger through it- how would that work?

Ok- first some data straight from Adidas-

Adidas snip

Ok, first impressions- what the heck is on my feet?   They felt so tight.  I kept loosening the shoelaces.   Turns out I just wasn’t used to the arch support.  I kept trying thinner socks before I realized the shoes are actually slightly too big.  Oops.   Thicker socks and 3 runs in was all it took and I was all adjusted to the extra support and cushion.  🙂


Then I started to notice something.  My shin pain was going away.  My knee pain was a thing of the past.  My feet and ankles were happy.   Was this for real?  It had been so long my legs hadn’t hurt in some way I felt like it was a trap.  I was to the point that I was wearing them for every run but the longest run I had completed was 8 miles.  I didn’t know what to do about San Diego.  Should I try the Ultra Boost X for 13 miles?   Spoiler: I did and they were awesome, my feet felt great for all 13 miles.


In short I am loving these shoes.  I do have some concerns though.  1- go to a store and try them on.  Mine are big, which I correct with either thick socks or 2 pairs, but I think  I probably could have and should have sized down.   Never thought I would say that.  2- the cost, these shoes are not cheap but then again injuries and pains aren’t either so it’s 6 in one, half dozen in another.   One of the Pro’s who met with an Adidas rep said that they were made to last longer than most shoes so we shall see.   You know I will report back on that.  😛  That said, I have already added a price alert to ShoeKicker to let me know if they ever go on sale. 😀😀. Too bad Adidas doesn’t want to give me a pair in every color.  Until then I’ll just keep running in these.

Ever worn Adidas?

What do you run in?

 

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll San Diego 13.1 Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Diego 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 Rock n Roll.

This race made a liar out of me in so many ways.  Ok, maybe just changed my mind about some things.  😛

Going into this race, I wasn’t a fan of large crowded races, preferred rural views and hated humidity and flat made me cry.  But I had heard great things about the Rock n Roll races, San Diego in particular, and always wanted to run one but never made it work.   Until now.  And now?  Well I still hate humidity.


The odd thing was that going into this race I wasn’t stressed at all.  I wasn’t worried about the miles or how long it would take me.   I was mildly concerned about the humidity I knew I was coming but even at the Bibrave meet up I was just joking that I should probably run with my inhaler in my hand.    I still wasn’t sure what shoes I was going to wear and I was mostly irritated that I had to run with a portable charger because I didn’t think my phone was going to last the race.   I was also taking a race shuttle for the first time ever but I managed to sleep better than I did for my previous 2 races.

Race morning-

I woke up and knew that my food choices the day before were not going to sit well.   Well yay.  I dressed, decided on wearing the UltraBoostX, bibbed up and headed for the shuttle bus.    They were charter buses not school buses- sweet!  I checked the weather, saw 86% humidity and then tried not to think about it again.

Once at the starting line outside of Balboa Park I just followed the crowd.  We came upon about 6 port-a-potties and I was confused.  Ummm, 6?  For 30,000 runners?  As I got further in I found more scattered around in lines.  There were probably between 50-100 around.   I ended up parking myself near the solutions tent and just runner watching.  People were everywhere!  They even had a fitness warm up going on- I thought only small town races did that!  I met up with Mai and after hitting the baggage trucks we ended up sprinting across the grass to the We Run Social picture meet up by corral 3.    We just barely made it!


After meeting some more IG people in real life, listening to the National Anthem and ditching my top layer, I headed for my corral.   I was in corral 19.  Of 37.   They were releasing the corrals at a steady pace so once I found an opening in the fence I stopped and just waited for the corral to get to me.   I hopped in and pulled my phone out to take a pic only to realize it was almost dead.   Grrrr.    I plugged in my portable charger and turned off anything in the phone that was non essential.   The race announcers were doing a great job of keeping everyone pumped up and things were very organized.  I suddenly found myself at the very front of my corral on the start line and it was go time.

Miles 1-3 9:41, 10:22, 10:48

Haha, ok starting at the front apparently put wings on my feet.   Slow your roll, Slacker.  There was a guy on a megaphone shouting inspiration at us as we ran by.      It was crowded but I was ok with it, I had to dodge people sometimes but I knew I wasn’t breaking any records so it wasn’t a big deal.


The first music distraction was a DJ on a bridge or was it a band? I should have written notes!    The first aid station was well stocked with plenty of water and Gatorade and awesome volunteers.  The gloomy clouds and some of the buildings I was running by made me feel like I was more in San Francisco than San Diego but I was enjoying the sights.  And sounds- to save battery life- I hadn’t turned on my headphones.   There were college kids handing out beer around mile 2 as well.  There was a selfie/ picture station too but it may been in the next set of miles.


Miles 4-6 10:28, 10:31, 10:44

Oddly, I hadn’t really slowed down yet, I was walking the water stations but that was it.  The streets were still crowded, water stops were every 2 miles, live music was every few miles.  Around mile 4 we headed into more residential area but I notices that the cheering increased.  Yeah, we were near an aid station but this was too loud.   Turns out I was coming up on Harriet!  I passed her and told her she was awesome.    I mean, 94!   Geicko had a full on bar on mile 4.5.  You name it, they had it.  😛

My legs were feeling good and surprisingly so were my lungs.  I was beginning to feel optimistic.  Then at mile 5.3, my stomach cramped in a rather unpleasant way.  Oh come on!  I took a walk break and deep breaths to try and calm it down but I was a little ticked.   And I would be nauseous for the remainder of the race.


Miles 7-9 10:57, 10:35, 10:28

6 and 7 slowed me down while I tried to get myself under control.  We passed the relay exchange a little past 6 and once again I thought I really need to do a relay.   There was a man handing out tequila shots at one point saying that while we may think it was too early for tequila, he thought it was too early to be running so why not meet in the middle?   😛  We had entered Normal Heights and I thought it was an awesome name so I had to take a pic.    At mile 8.4 the marathoner’s split off from the pack and the crowd thinned up a bit.   I was still feeling nauseous but I was trying to ignore it, I wasn’t going to let my stomach win.  I was listening to the on course entertainment and truthfully some interesting conversations from the runners around me.    My legs were feeling ok but by my standards this course was flat and I knew I would eventually be sore if I didn’t get a hill somewhere.


Miles 10-11 10:58, 11:06

We were coming into Balboa Park and I could hear drums and see the big inflatable guitar guy and I knew I was almost to mile 10.    Yay!  Except, around mile 9.5 the battle my lungs had been fighting the humidity got harder.  And my lungs started to lose.  I had to walk again and use my inhaler.  Grrr,  Of course, just past mile 10 was the first real hill of the course and my lungs were being whiny.  I walked it.  I also had a moment where I thought I was going to lose my cookies and may have mentally swore off pizza.   😛  I turned on my music just to drown out my breathing.

Miles 12-13- 9:45, 11:14

So, yeah coming out of the park lead to a decent downhill and I flew.   I was still taking walk breaks due to the humidity and my lungs.  The last mile was a struggle.  I thought I had kissed a sub 2:20 goodbye and I was pissed.   I haven’t seen that in 2 years and that I had gotten so close, I almost cried.  But I sucked it up and kept going.   The crowds were cheering, runners were walking away with medals and I was still taking walk breaks.  Grrr.   The finish line was in sight and I decided enough was enough and just ran for it.

Finish- 2:19:56

I crossed the line and bent over wheezing.  Medical was on me in seconds.  Damn, you’re fast!   I felt embarrassed but said I was ok, I just needed a moment.    It wasn’t until I got a hold of myself and received my medal that I looked at my watch.  I did it!   It’s been so long since I’ve seen I’ve been below 2:20 even if it is by the skin of my teeth.


I made my way through the picture station and then the food goodies before attempting to find my mother.  It was crowded!   We met up and hung out for a bit before I realized I needed to return to the hotel.  So much for the finish line festival.  That nausea and cramping I had been fighting reared it’s head I was very glad that my hotel was 2 blocks from the finish.  I could hear Micheal Franti though and he sounded great.

Overall, this was an awesome race.  I would recommend it to anyone.    The course and the crowd support was great.  The aid stations were on point.  As was medical.  😛    Now I want to run another one.  😁

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

San Diego Bound

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Diego 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 race weekend!!!

Dang that one snuck up on me fast!   Well, truthfully, June snuck up on me.  Where did it come from?  😛


My first Rock n Roll race is this weekend!!!!  I’m not counting last year’s DNS.  😕 Dude, is this thing as big as I think it’s going to be?  I mean I’ve run Surf City and San Francisco but I have a feeling this is about to make those seem like small potatoes.  For example- I know there are at least 32 corrals.  32?!  Holy crap!   I’m somewhere in the middle there but that’s a lot of people in front of me and a lot of people behind me.

I am looking forward to this weekend.   This should be my biggest expo (Rock n Roll – you  better live up to this!!) and I am looking forward to meeting some blogging and IG friends in real life.   Yay!!!

Then there’s the city itself.  I have family there but I haven’t been since I was like 7 or something so I remember nothing.  I’ve heard great things so I can’t wait to see it with adult eyes.  Expensive parking aside, grrr.    My hotel is pretty close to the finish line for the finish line festival ( and the bay!).  I think.  I’ve been known to mess up hotels before.  Funny, stressful moment-  I actually changed hotels a few weeks ago and realized on Thursday that I had never canceled the original booking.  Oh crap!

I am torn on what shoes to run in.  I’ve been running in Adidas UltraBoost X but the farthest I’ve run in them is 8 miles.  They are also slightly too big.  But then my Brooks aggravate my calves for the first 3-4 miles and I just hope they loosen up.   Hmmm, there’s a lot of questions there.

I may also be taking a trolley to the start.  Holy crap, first time in pubic transportation.  Well, unless Uber counts.   But I’m still on the fence about that, mostly because I haven’t figured out how it works, haha.

Do you think I can figure it out? 

What are you doing this weekend?