BibRave, Product Review, Run!

#SKINSorNOTHING

Disclaimer: I received a pair of A400 Compression Shorts from SKINS 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 normally try to come up with catchy titles for my reviews but nothing can really top their own hashtag.   😀

When the chance came up to test compression shorts from SKINS, I was excited.  The brand I was wearing no longer made the style I owned and my pair was getting a little ragged.   The weather here was staying pretty warm so shorts would be fine for a few months.


The website has a handy little size calculator which I took advantage of but I was still a little concerned when the shorts seemed really small upon arrival.   Then a little more concerned when they seemed snug around my calves when pulling them on.  Ummm, my thighs are bigger than my calves, how is this going to work?   Surprisingly well- the material is like magic!  Silky soft and stretchy but tight in the right places.   How do they do that?

Ok, let’s get technical-

  1. Innovative ADAPTIVE Technology keeps you warm when it’s cold and cool when it’s hot
  2. A-Seams for comfort and durability without chafing
  3. 360 degree reflectivity
  4. Lower rise sits comfortably on the hips
  5. Easily accessible waistband pocket
  6. Wider waistband for comfort
Dynamic Gradient Compression
SKINS most advanced compression technology increases muscle oxygenation, stabilizes active muscles and reduces blood lactate build up, to enhance performance and speed up recovery time.

Now, I am a big fan of compression so what did I think of these?


They were longer than I thought they would be. They felt a little snug on the first run- maybe too snug.  Either that I was just now realizing how badly my last pair had worn out.  After a few miles my legs felt great.   That was the only time the legs felt too tight.  Every other time has been golden.  I’ve worn them for short runs, almost every long run since (dang laundry issues!) and my trail race.  In fact, the only parts of my body that didn’t hurt post trail race with all its’ hills were the parts covered by the shorts.  Coincidence? Probably not.

I feel like the longer my run the better my legs feel in them.  My upper legs have felt great on my long runs lately.   I credit the shorts because the rest of me is falling apart.😛


I wash them after each run and they’ve held up great so far.  I do line dry them.  But I line dry 80% of my clothing so that’s no big deal.

My one gripe is the waist.  If you check the data I pulled from the website up there⬆️ it says “lower rise sits… on hips”.  Umm, not so much.  At least not for me.   The shorts go up to my rib cage.  That is high people!    Now I don’t know if I just have an odd shaped torso or if I need a smaller size.   I honestly don’t think I could fit into a smaller size but maybe I’m wrong?  Maybe I should try folding down the waist band.  We’ll see.  

Waist height aside, I kind of love these shorts. 🙂

Check out more opinions- some people tested the full pants-

LindseyJessica  

Want your own? Use code BIBRAVE20 to save 20%. 

What do you run in? 

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Kick the Dust Up

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Horizon RTT  from Under Armour 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!”

Surprisingly enough, dirt and trails are a few of a my favorite things.    I say surprisingly because in some ways I am a huge germophobe and if I’m not in running gear, odds are high that I’m in a dress and heels.    Get me on a trail though and I turn into a 5 year old and run free.  Sometimes a little too free but that’s another story.


When I had the chance to try the Horizon RTT’s from Under Armour, I almost jumped for joy.   My current trail shoes were trashed and it had been way too long since I had run recklessly down a mountain.  I needed it.    Then they arrived and they were so pretty.  But hopefully they wouldn’t stay that way for very long, I wanted to get them good and dirty.

Ok, let’s cover the technical details first-

UA Snip
from the website

Ok, first impressions.

This is a serious shoe.  So much sturdier than my previous trail shoes.   How was that going to feel on my feet?  Ok, where’s the dirt? 😀  My first run in them was a couple laps around the lake.    Not bad, nice traction, good grippy feel, I never felt like I was going to skid out in the loose dirt.


Next adventure- 3 Bridges Preserve, a new trail with a little more zig-zag up than I was expecting.  😛     The shoes felt good, kept me sure footed on the path and helped me explore a little more of what run town has to offer.


Other adventure- An unexpected illness turned a planned Bishop’s Peak hike/run into a calmer ocean trail adventure where I took the shoes over paved paths, hard packed sand,  sandy dunes, boardwalk, gravel and roads.    No problems at all.  And something else I noticed that day?  This hike was done with my mother and she had just purchased a new pair of trail shoes that day.  Her shoes and socks were full of dune sand when she took them off but mine weren’t!

Overall, I wore the shoes for about 20+ miles of mixed routes and surfaces since I received them.  Full disclosure, that unplanned sickness kept me from testing them in my favorite way.   My favorite part of trail running is careening wildly down a mountain side in a barely controlled fashion.  Yes, people usually look at me like I am crazy but I love it.  I need a trail shoe that grips tight so I can run free.  Being sidelined kept me from 2 planned mountains.  Boo.   So as soon as I can run crazily down a mountain, I’ll be back with an add on to this review.  And probably a big smile on my face.  😛

That said, I do have some thoughts on the shoe.  While the outsole is great for traction, I feel like it is very stiff on your foot.   Now maybe I have just become used to a more cushioned shoe lately thanks to my everyday running shoes.   I have a tendency for taking the wrong turn on trails and turning a 5 mile run into 9 or 10 and I think more cushion in the sole would be nice.  This can also probably be corrected with a good pair of inserts, I’ve just never had any luck with those. We shall see.   However I plan on putting in many more miles in these in the months to come.  😀

Want to hear more? Check out these thoughts by other Bibrave Pros-

TedrickLindseyJessicaCasey

How do you run on trails?

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, 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, Product Review, Run!

Pack It Up

Disclaimer: I received Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport to try 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!

Sometimes I wonder if my car smells.  Stay with me here.😛   I commute to work, which on a good day – zero traffic, all green lights, tailwind, not a cop in sight, don’t ask me how fast I am driving- could take me 35 minutes but in reality is closer to an hour on bad days.  I try to keep it clean but my car usually ends up looking a little lived in.  Throw in the fact that I run after work 2-3 times a week and carry everything in my car and well, it’s not pretty.

First thing I do post sweaty run is take off the sweaty top layer.  It gets tossed wherever it lands.    I wish I could say I always took it inside to the laundry when I got home but well… 😒  Then there are the socks.  Not running socks, that would be gross.  Knee socks.  On cold mornings, I often wear a pair of knee socks on the drive to work then take them off and toss them on the floor of the passenger side to put on my heels.   They were only worn for an hour but still, there would be times there were 3 pairs on the floors.

Ok, now that I’ve scared you all, where am I going with this?


I was able to try the Eagle Creak Pack-It Sport Active Set.   Game changer, people, seriously.  My car has been clean for weeks!!!  No messy clothes lying around!   Plus it’s cute and despite how it sounds above I am a sucker for organizational products of all kinds.

So what is it?  It’s a 2 piece set- a Wet Dry Fitness Locker and a Shoe Locker.    Let’s talk about the Fitness Locker or my new favorite thing.

From the website-

  • Separate clean clothes from sweaty workout wear: put your clean and dry gear in the front, and dirty and damp clothing in the back
  • The internal baffled divider allows you to pack more or less in the front and back depending on what you’re bringing
  • TPU-coated fabric for even more water-resistance and odor protection
  • Top grab handle so you can conveniently hang it inside a locker
  • This organizer has a top load opening giving you easy access to clothing and gear
  • Machine washable
  • Ultra-light, water-resistant fabric
  • Agion™ Antimicrobial treatment helps contain odor and prevent microbial growth on the Sport™ organizer


I can fit an entire running outfit in the back pocket, pants, socks, shirts, long sleeves, Buff, watch, everything.    Once I change, my work clothes then fit in the back pocket.  Post run, the sweaty gear comes off and goes right into the front zipper pouch.    The back clothes have never smelled sweaty even with the close proximity even after more than an hour.  Hmmm, I just realized I’m doing it backwards.  Oh well, works for me!


I can’t wait to travel to races with this.  I usually change post race and need to stash my sweaty clothes somewhere and I won’t put them in my my overnight bag.     Now the only downside and it isn’t really a downside- some of my work clothes don’t fit in the pouch- some of my skirts and dresses are too poufy.   They never fit in my gym bag either so nothing’s really changed there. 😛

The Shoe Locker–  pretty standard, it carries your shoes and keeps the smell and dirt inside the locker and away from your stuff.   Sounds simple, right?  But I think we’ve established I’m odd right?  I found a way it serves me better.  It holds all my water bottles!


I swear I’m not crazy.  My car has cup holders, yes, they are often too small or all filled already and I am left with water bottles rolling all around the passenger side.  It was even worse when I was carrying the entire Beachbody container too, now I have little containers.   One day I shoved all the bottles in the Shoe Locker and it was awesome!  I may never put shoes in it again!

Want your own?  Use code SPORT15 to save %15.

Want to hear other’s thoughts?  Gina  Tedrick Jen Mark
James

What kind of bag do you use?