BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Hurts So Good

“Disclaimer: I received an Addaday Pro Roller 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 fully admit I slack on recovery. Well, unless you count napping?

I know I should roll. I know I should do my PT exercises. Yet, I never do until I feel something more than a twinge. Bad Slacker. It’s not for lack of equipment. I have a regular old foam roller, a generic stick thing and a random, bumpy roller I picked up at Target one day. Yet none of them ever seemed to really do anything. Could be I wasn’t using them properly either.

Enter the Pro Massage Roller from Addaday.

From the website

First impressions was that it sure looked pretty. But did it work?

I always feel so awkward rolling, somehow it makes me feel uncoordinated. That said, I did notice that this roller can pinpoint soreness much better than my previous ones. Once I figured out the red roller was to pin point problem areas, I went to town on my shins. Not gonna lie, at first I was saying- ow, ow, ow! However after more use, it felt better each time.

I’ve used the roller on my calves, shins, hamstrings, knee, etc. Tried to use it on my feet but that’s a work in progress. I’ve even used the softer blue rollers to gently roll out my neck.

My only wish is that I could get it to dig a little deeper into my right hip/ butt area. It’s my weak spot. The roller is not a replacement for the PT exercises I should be doing on the daily but it makes a great add-on.

My calves are more often than not a little cranky but they’ve felt better since I started using the roller. And for clueless people like me, the Addaday website has a lovely page with links to tutorial videos. Score!

Also, something I discovered quite by accident is that you can move the little roller balls around. I never claimed to be gentle on things (my nickname should be Destructo Girl) so one day I tossed the roller and the handle came off. At first I freaked out a little but soon realized it just screwed on. Whew, but that means the rollers can move- sweet!

I love this little roller ( I’ve already given my other stick rollers to my mom for the tennis team) and hopefully I will continue to use it regularly and not be such a Slacker.

How do you recover?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Get Your Zwift On

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oakland Running Festival 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!

Did you know I have a gym membership?

Yep, for the last 7 years or so. I’m the type of customer they love, I pay monthly but only show up 4 or 5 times a year. Luckily my membership is less than 20 bucks and work reimburses it so it makes it really easy to ignore it. But I hate the treadmill, only need it for emergencies i.e. weather above 105. At least that’s what I thought.

I received a Zwift foot pod to try out through Bibrave and it turns out I like the treadmill- I just hate the gym. Who wants to hook me up with a treadmill?

Zwift is an app built for cyclists and runners to liven up their time on the bike trainer or the treadmill while getting in training miles that they can’t do outside. The app creates virtual running routes where an avatar version of you goes for a run. You can go solo while others are out for rides and runs around you. You can join planned events. You can plan meetups with friends across the country. It’s like a video game where you are the main player.

Now here’s where it gets tricky- there are actually two apps. Zwift and the Zwift Companion. The main Zwift app shows the route and metrics as you run. You can use your phone, tablet or laptop. The Zwift Companion app shows all the upcoming events you can jump in on, runners/ cyclists you can follow and gives you ways to chat or cheer on other runners while they run. However that might require 2 devices.

I have run virtually around London, through a volcano in Zwift world of Watopia and around beaches and mountains in Watopia. Other famous cities are also available. I have run more on the treadmill in the last month even being sick than I have in the last 2 years.

I love the app. That being said, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. My foot pod and I don’t always see eye to eye. On one run it will be fine and on the next run, it’s about a mile behind. I’m not using Zwift to track my overall mileage so it’s not a deal breaker it’s just kind of frustrating when your pace is right there in front of you and so off what the treadmill says. Sometimes my avatar just stops and chills for a bit. I may take photo breaks on outdoor runs but not treadmill runs! I did notice on my last run that my shoelaces bounce off the foot pod sometimes. It made me wonder if the pod was sensitive enough to be confused by my shoelaces. My run this week will have me lacing my shoes in a different way.

Another thing that didn’t really work for me was the timing of the group runs. There are a variety of group runs and workouts available but with me being on the West Coast and my work schedule, most of them happen when I am at work. The ones that don’t happen during work hours happen around 3:00 AM in the morning and I haven’t started liking the treadmill enough to give up sleep. I did try to jump in on a Zwift Academy Tri 5K race but I was 10 minutes late and no hope of catching up with the speedy folks. A few more later options would be nice.

I really do like using Zwift. I have big plans for this year so anything that gets me running more in the dark Winter months is a plus in my book.

Want to try out Zwift? Come run with me!
Use code BibRave15 for 15% off (valid on first 1000 pods only)

BibRave, Product Review

How to WIN Laundry Day

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oakland Running Festival 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!

Nobody likes to smell… Or at least I hope not.

There have been a few times I have finished a long run in the middle of summer and kind of scared myself. I only do laundry once a week so I always tried to plan my long runs around laundry day but sometimes life happens. As I only have space for one laundry hamper everything goes into the same one which then makes me wonder what kind of cross contamination is going on with my laundry.

Plus I have a tendency to only wear the clothes that are on the top of drawers so that means the same shirts, shorts and pants. Over and over and over again. Anyone else do that?

Like this- 4 different runs, same pants

So yeah, sometimes I was concerned about how clean my clothes were. I always follow all the directions- wash on cool or cold, inside out, gentle cycle, line dry, etc. but still I wondered.

Enter WIN Detergent.

WIN is specifically designed for the materials found in active wear. Most laundry detergents are designed to be multipurpose. Which is great but sometimes our running gear could use a little help.

From the website-

  • The very properties that allow fabrics to wick moisture away cause them to attract oils.
  • As bacteria from your skin consume those oils, they create gases which give synthetics that telltale sweaty smell.
  • WIN has ingredients not found in most supermarket detergents that are optimized to remove oils from synthetics.
  • Not only do those oils cause odor, they impede performance. By removing them, WIN makes your apparel wick better and last longer.

I’ve been using WIN, the scented version, for about a month now. It has a very light scent- in fact I can barely smell it. But then my nose doesn’t always work so well. But I can say that my clothes have no lingering running funk smell on them! Woo hoo!

I really gave WIN a test when I left my race clothes from Holiday Half in a plastic bag for the next few days because I was still traveling. Oh boy. It passed the test!

Now the directions say to use half a cap for regular loads and a full cap for large loads. I tend to use more than directions call for. That’s more due to my brand new piece of crap washing machine than anything about WIN.

And WIN is available on Amazon and you can ship it with Amazon Prime! Sorry, joined the Prime crowd this past month and may love it a little too much. 😛

Use discount code RAVE4WIN to save 20% off any WIN purchase through January 15, 2019.

Do you wash your gear right away or let it wait?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Let Me Sleep On It

Disclaimer: I received a Bedgear Level 2.0 pillow 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 love sleep, sleeping in, naps- love them. Problem- I’m a total night owl who often struggles to fall asleep. This can be caused by a variety of things on a nightly basis but it makes for a sleepy Slacker.

I upgraded my bed last fall which a fiasco in its own way as I ended up returning the first one 90 days into 100 day trial but I never upgraded my pillows. Change is hard! And who is to say that what I bought would be any better than the current 3 I used or tried to on a nightly basis?

Then, Bedgear presented itself. I thought the name sounded familiar and oh, hey they made my mattress protector! Which I love so I was optimistic. The pillow choice started off with a quiz. Wait- I didn’t study!😂

The Pillow ID is designed to find the right pillow for you- the one that fits your body temperature, size, and sleeping position.   Based on my answers, I was recommended the Level 2.0 pillow.    The 2.0 refers to the pillow height- 0.0 being the thinnest and 3.0 being the thickest.

Some pillow specs from the website-

  • Dri-Tec® fabric to continuously wick away heat and moisture, stabilizing your temperature so you can get your most solid sleep.
  • React® foam has all the perks of a memory foam, without the sad sag or heat build-up. Designed to move with you, it cradles your head while supporting your neck, shoulders, and spine.
  • Air-X® Panels
  • Flexible, three-dimensional material vents warm air away from the body.

Yes, I use satin pillow cases

But how did it feel?

Game changer people, seriously. I’ve gone from 3 pillows and sometimes a stuffed animal (like I said- it was rough) to just 2 pillows on a nightly basis. In fact I tossed one of the older pillows completely. I feel like I fall asleep quicker and I don’t toss and turn. Which is how I used to sleep when I was younger- I’d burrow into a spot and not move all night. I haven’t done that in years. The bump out on this pillow is perfect for my shoulder as I always start out on my left side. Even if I do turn to my back, it still supports me well.

The pillow is awesome by itself too and I did try that for a few nights but unfortunately my GERD wasn’t too fond of that so the second pillow came back.

I’ve even been going to bed a little sooner these days. I choose to believe it’s because the pillow makes sleeping so nice and not that I am getting older.😛 My only issue is that my pillow cases are a little big for it, so now I’m on the hunt for smaller sized satin pillow cases. They have to exist somewhere.🤔

If you love sleep like I do, I definitely recommend checking out Bedgear. I even have a discount! Use code BIBRAVE15 to save 15% on your purchase (excluding Wow deals).

How do you sleep?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Get Your Shine On

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!

With Fall coming, runners often rejoice in the much better running temps.  However we also creep ever closer to the end of Daylight Savings time and the sun sets so much more quickly.  For an evening runner like me, that is not great.

A road running runner’s number 1 priority is being seen by traffic.  I have lights so I can see but how do I ensure that driver’s see me?  As a local safety add espouses “pedestrians don’t wear armor” and I would lose in a battle with a car.

I have a one of those basic “Hi-viz” running vests but it never seems very bright to me.  Some of that fancy running gears goes for more money than I would spend on a race.  I see those light up, fancy flashing ones online but let’s be real- that’s just one more thing I would need to remember to charge and I know sooner than later I would forget.

Brilliant Reflective to the rescue!!  Brilliant Reflective offers Iron on and Stick On strips by the pack that you can add to your regular clothing, running gear, cycling gear, dog leashes, etc to let drivers know that you are there.  Brilliant Reflective is super bright and works via retroreflection.  Which means it returns more reflection back to the driver than standard gear so they can better identify you as a person.

BR Info

Not only does Brilliant Reflective help keep you safer, it super easy to use.

Pick out the running clothes you want to apply Brilliant Reflective to, get your iron, iron on.  Done!  It’s that easy.  Now your standard running gear, which if you’re like me you wear the top 4-5 shirts in the drawer over and over, is safer and visibility friendly.   You can wash and dry like normal.  This is not my first time using Brilliant Reflective, I have the iron on strips on a couple of pairs of crops and tanks from over a year ago and it’s still going strong.    In fact the crops just ripped but the reflection was just as strong as when I first ironed it on.

Still shining a year later

I rarely run without my pack or trucker hat, so I took the stick on strips and went to town on them.   Now you see me- every time I run.  And what’s super cool is that when I want to wash the hats, I just remove the strips, let them hang from my hamper and then put them back in place later.

 

That might not work with my pack (haven’t tested it yet) but that’s where the price point comes in handy.  A pack of Brilliant Reflective strips is only $14.95… and they have colors and fun shapes!  I just could just change up my color scheme every time I wash it.  Which I need to do more often but that is not the point here.

I love this product because it easy, it’s affordable and it helps keep me safe. I’m still on alert when I run but at least I know drivers have a better chance of seeing me now.

Want your own Brilliant Reflective?  Use code BRP30 for 30% off your entire purchase!  I think I need to go buy myself the shapes pack.  😛

How do you stay safe and visible when running?