Run!, Product Review, BibRave

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?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Shine Bright

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective 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!

The time may have changed but more often than not my runs end at dusk which makes it hard to be seen.  Heck even in daylight I wonder how often cars truly see me.  I know I’ve had more than one close call due to distracted drivers and more than one car hood that’s been close enough for me to hit out of anger- I never have though.

Throw in my tendency to run in the bike lane, lack of sidewalks or shoulders in my area and running can be sketchy sometimes.    That’s not taking into account the distraction of cell phones or my personal favorite- eating while driving.  😛

Enter Brilliant Reflective strips.


These things are small but mighty!     With these strips you can turn your regular running gear reflective.  And it’s a way less expensive then some of the running gear they sell in the stores.   They have both iron on and stick on strips and they offer 4 colors- red, blue, purple, and black.  I chose black because I’m wearing a lot of black and gray these days, I figured why not make it a little brighter?


The application process of it all took less then 10 minutes.   The hardest part was admitting that not only do I not own an iron, I would likely burn the house down—Mom!   I’ve had the strips on my clothes for weeks and not only have they handled my sweaty self well, they’ve handled the washing machine really well.     I do wash everything inside out and on the gentle cycle, but I was already doing that so no change there.


I used the stick on strips for regular non washable gear that use 99% of my runs.  This would be my belt, my Orange Mud handheld and my Miles and Pace hat.  The belt and handheld already were a little reflective but more never hurts right?  It was seriously as easy as putting a sticker on your laptop.


These strips are awesome.  They are super easy to use and they shine at the littlest light.  I even love in the daytime.  I actually had a driver acknowledge me when they drove past me the other day- I’ve never had a passing driver actually show that saw me before.   I was so excited!


I only wish I had better pictures but I don’t run with anyone to get a full body shot and when I tried self timer pics they were so bad that they will never see the light of day.  😛 I have a bunch of strips on tanks but I can’t contort my arms to get the picture.

The Brilliant Reflective strips sell for $9.95 and ship for free.  Seriously awesome.   I want more.  I think it’s time for some colors.  😛

Bonus!!!  I have a discount that is valid until 11:59 PM CT on April 11 for 25% of your order- use code BIBRAVEPRO25.

How do you shine bright?

 

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

We Have A Winner

Disclaimer: I received Beachbody Performance 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!

A month or so back I posted about my struggle with fueling properly in long runs and my proclivity for headaches at the end.  I was testing out new hydration choices with calories so when I had the chance to try BeachBody Performance, I jumped on it.   I was open to anything.  😀

From the website-

The Science Behind Beachbody Performance
Rooted in cutting-edge sports science, exercise physiology, and nutrition research, Beachbody Performance supplements feature key ingredients that are supported by the latest peer-reviewed science, athlete input, and top players in the field of exercise physiology and nutrition.
Beachbody Performance products contain state-of-the-art ergogenic (performance-enhancing) ingredients and phytonutrients that are scientifically shown to improve energy, stamina, strength, focus, and recovery. These key ingredients are included in the formulas at their clinically established effective levels. There are no artificial colors, artificial flavors, artificial sweeteners, or preservatives.


When it arrived it was like I had hit the mother lode- so much stuff!! I felt like a kid in a candy shop.  I received-

Energize- pre workout (lemon)

Displaying energize_label_526x526.png

Hydrate- during workout (citrus)

Recover- post workout (chocolate)

Recharge- before bed (vanilla)

And a little guide, which was awesome since I felt a little out of my depth.   Help me!

So let’s talk Energize.  I’ve never used a pre-workout before.   Never really saw the point.  Poor, uneducated Slacker.   I started off with a smaller serving but the first thing I noticed was that I really liked the taste- it’s very lemony.  But I didn’t feel any different.  Hmmm.  I was expecting to feel a kick of something you know?  Next time around, slightly bigger serving. Still yummy but I still didn’t feel any different.  It’s when I was checking my Garmin app that I noticed something odd so I went back and checked the first run too.  Well, heck check those paces- I haven’t hit those paces consistently in months.  Who knew???   And it kept on delivering like that.


Moving on to Hydrate.  I can barely taste the citrus flavor in this but from comments on Twitter I think I’m alone in this opinion.  😛  To me it’s lightly refreshing.   I’ve run every run with it since I got it and guess what??? No long run headaches!!!! Not even after the 10 miler where I ran out water and the temp jumped 30 degrees.  I expected one then but nope, all good.😀


Recover–  now you are supposed to mix this with water about 30 minutes after working out but I prefer milk.   I think it tastes better that way.   Now Recover is designed to aid muscle recovery after a hard workout.  The key ingredients are pomegranate extract and Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs).  They are supposed to help support recovery and promote muscle repair post hard workout.  So did I feel better after?  I’m not sure, it’s hard to say.  I know my calves have been less tight but I also have new shoes sooooo?

Recharge– I’m not going to lie, I had the hardest time with this one.   I don’t eat or drink anything other than water past a certain time due to my GI issues usually so most often it was really hard for me to remember to drink this before bed on workout days.  So very hard.

So some issues I have encountered-

How the heck do you easily transport it?   Since I run after work during the week, I’ve been taking the entire container of Energize and Hydrate to work on Mondays and bringing them back home on Fridays.  I also took both containers to Livermore with me.  Not exactly convenient.  I could probably premix in water bottles but I have a tendency to lose water bottles.    While I love the taste of the Recover, I do have troubles mixing it completely.  Whether I mix it in the blender bottle or in a cup with a whisk I have issues.  Again, that could just be me.      Also, my commute gave me some issues with the time frame.  Energize is recommended to be used 30 minutes before exercising.  Which is great if I run from work.  If run in home town and drink it on the way there, I inevitably arrive needing a restroom and hometown locks those all up.    Similarly, Recover is usually later than 30 minutes post workout because of my commute.  However those are issues very specific to me.

So what are my thoughts overall?

I really like the Energize and Hydrate- I will keep buying those.    As for Recover and Recharge, I am still on the fence.  I have quite a bit left of those though so I have more opportunities to to see if I can work out the kinks there.

Have you ever used Beachbody?

Do you use a pre-workout?

How about a recovery drink?

 

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Light It Up

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights 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!

My town has a lack of street lights and sidewalks.  The sidewalks that it does have tend to be very uneven and of abnormal heights.  Seriously- the city was actually sued at one point due to this.   Throw in the occasional mountain lion sighting and cranky dogs and I had plenty of reasons to not run at night.    All of which I embraced wholeheartedly but I really, really dislike the treadmill so something had to change during these dark winter months.   I ventured on one evening run last winter with a flashlight to guide my way.  Not bad but not great.    I tried again this winter.  Again not bad but not great.  Also I kept accidentally hitting the setting for the emergency flash on the flashlight.  Oops.


Enter Knuckle Lights.   These pint size puppies pack a punch!   They come with a charge right out of the box and I was unprepared for how bright they would be.  I saw stars for a few moments after I pointed the first one right at my face.  Oops.    Ok, so they blinded me in close quarters but how would they work on the run?


Freakin’ awesome!  My first time running with them didn’t end in full darkness so while I thought they helped cars see me in the twilight, I didn’t really feel like it was a good test of them.  My next run with them was after work and returning home so in complete darkness.   I geared up and set out for my run.  I was surprised just turning on one of the lights, I felt like I could see everything so much better, what would two do?  Holy crap, the night lit up.  Not only could I see the ground and the bushes and everything around me, I knew cars could see me.  In fact I was worried I might blind an oncoming driver!   Now, granted I haven’t asked one to stop to get their opinion.  😛


In fact I love the lights so much that I did something I thought would never be possible.  I ran after work in work town.   I always considered that route to be off limits in the dark- not anymore!    Now I didn’t go all the way into the state park because I do want to do a daylight check for downed trees thanks to all our recent rain but I got pretty close.  Yay for more running options!!

Now for some technical jargon from the website-

 

  • 2 LIGHTS PER SET: The 2 units are held comfortably on your hands with soft silicone straps. The straps are easily adjusted to fit any size hand and even over gloves. The units connect together magnetically so they can easily be stored when not in use. The units are super lightweight at less than 3 ounces each.
  • 280 TOTAL LUMENS: Each unit is 140 Lumens on high power, so you get a super bright 280 Lumens combined. The LED pattern is a WIDE FLOOD BEAM, so it puts out light in all directions, providing a steady, even light in front of you that does not bounce around, even with your arms moving.
  • 3 POWER SETTINGS: High, Low and Blinking.
  • BATTERY LIFE PER CHARGE: 4 Hours on High Power | 8 Hours on Low Power | 14 Hours on Blinking.

 

There a few things I wish were slightly different-

  • I like to run with pepper spray and have a free hand to grab it.  More often than not, I run with both Knuckle Lights in one hand.  They are super light weight so it’s not noticeable at all.
  • I run with a handheld water bottle so with my desire to keep a hand free for my pepper spray something has to lose and that is my water.  So far all my runs with the lights have been shorter and that has been fine but eventually I will need to figure something else out.
  • The order of the lights- Instead of High*Low*Flash, I wish it was Low*High*Flash.   Now, I have that preference because I start running at twilight or later so it gets darker as I run. I imagine that morning runners like the standard set up because it gets lighter the longer they run.

All in all, I love these little lights and wish I had them sooner.  I can see them lighting the way for my runs for a long time to come.  It almost makes me sad that the days are getting longer again.  Almost.

Want your own Knuckle Lights?  Use code “bibravepro” for 10% off your order.

Do you run in the dark? 

How do you light up your path?