Shady Rays – Running sunglasses review

Disclaimer: I received an pair of Shady Rays 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!

sr2

Let me start out by saying I had never heard of this brand before but I will definitely be keeping an eye on them since trying out these sunglasses. In the recent maybe 6 months to a year I have started wearing sunglasses while running on super sunny afternoon runs or when its very humid and the gnats are out. I remember reading once in Kara Goucher ‘s Running for Women book how she mentions to run wearing sunglasses to protect your eyes and prevent some of those eye wrinkles. I never really thought about it till recently and hardly have worn sunglasses while running before but then again I used to be an early morning runner, still am but nowadays on a treadmill so I didn’t really require sunglasses for too many runs. Now though I do a lot of running after work and its blazing hot and super sunny so it’s pretty much a requirement.

I picked a pair of the signature series called blackout polarized, figure I could use them for everyday sunglasses as well as running sunglasses. In fact as soon as I got them in the mail I immediately opened the box and wore them out driving my daughter to swim class. Later that day I got to test them on a run, now Miami running definitely requires a sunglasses that does not steam up because we run in extremely humid and hot conditions probably 10 months out of the year. These were perfect for humid running, no fogging up or bouncing/sliding while running. I have yet to be able to try them out in a race condition but I could see them doing really well with faster running paces, and I will get to try them out in a few weeks for that.

On the website it says:  Our shades feature shatter-resistant (this is awesome for runners with small children who like to throw sunglasses on the ground often!), high-visibility Polarized lenses with durable construction that we stand behind with a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if Lost or Broken. So they will actually replace your lost or broken sunglasses for free, only pay for the shipping charge! That is not even the coolest thing about this company. With each purchase you provide 11 meals through Feeding America to fight hunger in America! Now that is amazing!

I got a chance to wear them for at least 100 miles of running at this point and they do not disappoint me one bit. As a bonus they work very well in keeping gnats out of your eyeballs during the humid after the rain runs as well, because no one wants to stop 30x to pick out the gnats during a run ūüôā

Interested in trying these beauties out, use the code BIBRAVE for 50% off your order of 2 pair of Shady Rays, basically thats a BOGO (buy one get one free) kind of deal! I’m thinking about getting another pair myself, trying to decide which frame/lense combo I should get, they have a fun wooden looking design now too!

sr3

Advertisements

Coros Pace : multi-sport gps watch review

“Disclaimer: I received a Coros Pace multi sport watch 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!”

Let me start by saying I used to just rely on an app on my phone while running to track my time/pace/distance until about 3 years ago after I had my daughter, then I got a well known but slightly outdated gps watch and started using it. Probably not a great idea to get a watch after coming back from 6 weeks off and on the track of losing baby weight. But at the time I just hit start and would run, I never even figured or learned about all the features until years later. Then I got my Coros pace watch and wow, what an amazing watch, it does so many things that amaze me. I know I am behind in the gps watch world but this watch is a smart gps watch, I can even see texts, fb messenger messages and the weather on this thing! Your workouts all sync immediately to your phone so no waiting to see your pace splits or average/max heart rate info after you finish, super fast compared to other gps watches out there.

When I received this watch I was expecting to get in more pool time and start swimming and aqua jogging but so far only got in one short swim while wearing it. I will say I was a little paranoid about putting it under water but then got over it quickly and it works great. I need to learn more swimming moves, maybe Phoebe will teach me since she’s in swimming class now when she advances more and maybe my parent’s pool will be fixed before summer is over to get in more swim time with this watch. But that is not the feature that I was really looking forward to.

I wanted to try this watch mainly because of its wrist based optical heart rate monitor, I have been reading a lot about low heart rate running lately and wanted to see where I was with that. Surprisingly I have found while using this watch that my heart rate is pretty low while even going at moderate pace and even during a 5k where I was pushing the stroller I did not go over 185. The only thing that kind of annoyed me was that during the final half mile of the 5k my heart rate monitor showed extremely low heart rate, which was not possible for my fast pace at the moment. It was due to the huge amount of sweat on my wrist at the moment during the race, after I dried it off a little bit it started to work properly again but it was a bit annoying in the middle of the race to get low readings. So I will say in sweaty swampy conditions the heart rate monitor sensor may be too saturated with sweat to give a proper reading. Although it does seem harder for me to say within the aerobic threshold zone while pushing the stroller for longer distances, especially on humid days (which is pretty much all the time here!). It is super cool to know these stats and work on staying within a certain heart rate zone and there is an option to put an alert so that I know where I am within the zone every few minutes while on the run. I took off the alert for my treadmill runs recently but still have it alerting me while I run on the roads.

Also very cool feature is basically alerting me to everything that my phone sends alerts for: texts, facebook messages, weather alerts, slack messages, whatsapp messages. And the range between where my phone is and my watch goes pretty far so I can use the bathroom at work and get alerts when I don’t even have my phone with me! I can even ignore a call that is coming in to my phone from a click of a button on the watch.

Recently at a party all my friends were checking their heart rates by strapping on my watch and we were trying to figure out why certain people had such heart rates. So not only for fitness, this watch is a party conversation piece/game, seems the males in the group had higher heart rates than the ladies. Sometimes I just randomly check my heart rate while at work by using this watch.

The data screens can be customized to show heart rate on top with overall moving time on bottom, or pace/time. or distance/pace and you can switch through the screens while on the run too! A neat thing that I have noticed is that when I pause my run, this happens when I run to the park with my daughter to play in the playground I can still monitor my heart rate and see my distance, time moving/time paused info on the watch. I kinda like watching my heart rate slowly return to low after stopping while she plays. Each time you hit your exercise goal for the day it awards you an Exercise Time Goal Achieved badge on the watch and on the phone app you will earn badges for distances achieved for each of the sports (running, swimming, cycling) which is pretty cool. Will be earning all those running badges soon enough as I have a fall marathon to start training for soon!

I haven’t gotten the chance to try the cycling feature on the watch yet, currently debating if I really need a bike or not. Miami is not a safe place to ride bike so I am pretty fearful of riding around here, maybe if I go on vacation I will try out the cycling feature.

This watch is made by a well known cycling helmet company and is well made and comparable to other well known gps watch brands currently on the market. They are still releasing a few firmware updates for the watch so every few weeks there is new features being added to the watch, can’t wait to see what new updates are in store for June. But as of right now, I am in love with this watch and will not be using any other GPS watch to track my running/swimming/cycling progress. I would never wear my other gps watch while not running but this one I almost never take it off. Plus the battery life is amazing so I hardly have to charge it. I have had this watch for about a month and have only charged it 2x since and have used it to run pretty much everyday and sometimes twice a day and I have still never ran the battery lower than 27%. According to the official site the watch battery lasts for 30 days in standard mode or 25 hrs in gps mode so sounds likes it would be perfect for even up to 100 mile runs! Not that I am ready for that just yet but maybe a 50 miler next year?

You can find out more about this watch here. 

KT Tape – my review

Disclaimer: I received KT Tape 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!

So for a few years now (maybe 4 or so) I have been seeing KT Tape on runner friends and I have always wondered about it, I even bought a pack on sale once just in case I would need it. I never opened it, it was the original KT Tape in the neon pink color, then I lost it somewhere when I started having some aches. Luckily BibRave gave me the opportunity to try out an array of products from KT Tape and just in time too!

Back at the beginning of January I started getting some medial shin splints in my left leg and I was unsure of how it happened. I have been training nearly the same way as a year ago and hadn’t experienced any shin issues during that time so I was confused. Inner shin pain after I finished a run when I was just walking around started to really freak me out, I thought for sure it was the dreaded stress fracture. I continued running and even ran a marathon and two halfs with the pain until I changed up the shoes I wore to work. That made a huge difference but I digress, I started using KT Tape when it was sent to me, first the gentle tape (my skin tone and softer than the pro tape) but my application was all wrong and decided to take it off after one run. The Gentle tape is useful to use for a day or two and very discreet to wear as it is similar looking to an ace bandage in the color but works stronger than any ace bandage. I think it would be especially useful for carpal tunnel taping since it is less noticeable in an office setting.¬† The KT pro tape all comes in a handy plastic box that will keep it safe when you throw it in your gym bag, very helpful for athletes on the go.

Next I tried out the KT pro Tape and got the application right for my specific aches and it worked like a dream, I wore it for 3-4 days before it started to slightly peel off and get some fraying from showers/drying. I thought it might take forever to dry after a shower but that tape dries very quickly and if you are in a rush I read that you can dry it even quicker with a blow dryer on the cool setting. I wear compression sleeves usually after my long/hard effort runs and did not want soaking tape under the sleeves but it never was an issue. It dried so quickly I did not even think about it. Due to the taping of my current issue it wasn’t so noticeable either. A lady that I am helping train in a couch to 5k program at work said she noticed but it was pretty discreet and wanted to know more about the tape. And that was when I was wearing the Pro tape in sonic blue! I gave her a rundown of the following info. Also if you need to remove the tape after a day or so for some reason use baby oil or remove it while in the shower for an easier and painless removal because this tape really sticks!

Here’s a breakdown of the KT Tape products I was sent to try out:

GENTLE TAPE: 100% Latex Free Cotton with Gentle Adhesive, Lasts 1-3 Days
PROTM: Synthetic Tape Lasts 4-7 Days
PROTM WIDE: 4″ Wide Stripes Lasts 4-7 Days (still haven’t tried this one yet)
PRO EXTREMETM: Extra Strength Adhesive Lasts 4-7 but works well in hot/humid conditions (so Miami 95% of the time!)
ORIGINAL: Cotton Tape Lasts 1-3 Days and is very similar to the Gentle tape.

IMG_5524

I am still trying out the Pro Extreme as I write this review and it works just like the Pro Tape but seems like it will stay on longer and work better in the hot humid conditions of most of my Miami runs. I think it will be very useful this summer if I am still having these aches, which I do not anticipate but luckily I have a solution if I do.

Another thing I really like about KT Tape is that you can go on their YouTube channel and find out how to tape pretty much every possible ache/injury you have and the instructions are easy for any non medical person (like myself). I have a friend who is also a runner and has used KT Tape to help tape her friends before big half marathons. She is a true believer in the power of kinesiology tape in general and prefers to use KT Tape brand over other brands. In the recent years I have noticed more and more taped up runners at races than 5 years ago, so if that doesn’t convince you that it works I don’t know what to tell you.

Want to try it out or do you already love KT Tape and want a great discount? Use the code : BIBRAVE30 to save 30% on your order at KTtape.com

 

pjuractive 2skin – anti chafe gel review

Disclaimer: I received some samples of pjuractive 2skin 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!

IMG_3671

I used to be shocked about chafing issues before I had a baby and then after I learned really quickly how horrible chafing really was. I also used to wear capris for running before I was pregnant so that probably deterred some possible chafing. I learned postpartum what kind of chafing could happen when running in the hot, humid nearly year round Miami weather. Not sure what changed post baby besides my body but possibly the fact that I was exposing more skin than before. Either way I discovered it a few months after having my daughter on a particularly toasting late summer/early fall morning run. I always wear Oiselle bras and decided to wear the team bra for this 13.1 training run to see if I could wear it under my singlet for an upcoming half marathon. I had not had any issues prior with my Oiselle bras and chafing but when I took off my tank top I could see raw red skin and when I jumped in the shower, ouch! It was then that I discovered I had to do something about this chafing thing that I never had experience with before.

 

Of course I tried all the typical stuff that I could find at Target or the pharmacies but everything would rub off or sweaty away after more than 5 miles. I was really beginning to think that perhaps I was stuck just incurring under bra chafe scars forever, and in Miami there is rarely a cool weather run where you don’t sweat. I don’t have chafing issues when its cold out but this fall/winter there was only one week of 50 degree weather here and even then I was sweating. I do a lot of treadmill early morning runs so I can keep an eye on my daughter while she is still sleeping and the treadmill is outside on a patio. So I get all the warmth of humid mornings and sweat more than running on the streets so I was starting to get some crazy chafing from my armband where I keep my phone to track my miles.

Then this January I got the opportunity to review this anti chafing product so I jumped, or really ran at the chance in hopes that I could finally be pain free in the shower after a training run/race. At first I was very skeptical about how it would work and if it would work but I am happy to report that it does work, better than anything I have used in the past.

IMG_3967

First trial run – a short 3 miler in the late afternoon – figured I should try it a few times before I used it for Miami Marathon a few weeks later. Worked well for the warm day.

Second trial – humid morning treadmill run – 7 miles – longer run than usual wearing a singlet/tank that usually can get pretty chafe friendly when it is warm, finished with no arm chafing and no thigh chafing.

Third trial –¬† Miami Marathon, basically 26.2 miles of warm and windy running conditions. I failed to realize that I needed to put the 2skin under the bottom of where my phone armband lies and missed a spot under my opposite arm and boy did I realize it on that post race shower! Oooouch! Everywhere else that it was applied had no issues and no chafe burns but those spots that I missed did. I also let my boyfriend use some of my small trial pack on his chest, men get the bloody nipples issue during marathons often and especially in the humid weather. He usually uses medical tape because the other anti chafe stuff does not work well for him either, anyways he did not have any bloody nipples at the end of the race and he was out there on the course even longer than I was. So men, it works for preventing the bloody nipple thing too!

 

Fourth trial – A1A half marathon this past weekend. I hadn’t really been running too much in the past few weeks so for the short runs sometimes I would skip using it but for this race I knew I had to apply it liberally. The weather report was showing 71 at the start and quickly getting warmer as the hours passed so I applied the 2skin to my arm where I failed to for the marathon a few weeks earlier and under my arm where I had gotten chafed also. This half marathon was even warmer than Miami Marathon and super humid at the start with some drizzly weather in the first couple miles and I got no chafing whatsoever! Hooray! Finally found the winner for anti chafe gel that I have been looking for now for almost 3 years! I brought the small pump bottle along with me in my race bag for this race and I will keep that bottle in my race bag until it runs out and I have to buy more! Luckily you do not need to use a lot to get the job done ūüôā

I haven’t ever done a triathlon but from what I have read on the pjuractive website and other reviews about this product is that it is great to use for this multi sport event. Maybe one day I will do one and would definitely be using this product for that kind of race.

This is how it works! It’s long lasting and does not block your pores and all that is required to remove it from your skin is soap and water and most likely you will be using that after a run/sweat session/race anyhow! Want more technical info, check this link for more info about 2skin.

Adidas UltraBoostX Running shoe Review

Disclaimer: I received Adidas UltraBoostX 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!

boost4

When I first started running in 2012 I actually started running in Adidas shoes. They were cheap Adidas ClimaCool Oscillation running shoes and Adidas trail running shoes that I found on a website for a good deal. I didn’t really know the reasoning for paying more for a better running shoes. I used to think that getting shin splints were because of increasing mileage and maybe at the time it was partially the reason. Later I found another brand of running shoes and paid more for better quality. I hadn’t gone back to trying out Adidas running shoes though and I had always wanted to try out another pair. I have often seen some super speedy local runners wearing Adidas Boosts and was curious to see how they would work for me, or not. When the opportunity arose I jumped at the chance to try out these new Adidas.

boost3

 

I got them in the mail a day before I arrived home from my vacation in Aruba so I was excited to arrive home to a large Adidas box! First thoughts were: Wow, these shoes are very lightweight and cushy. I had never tried any of the knitted style running shoes and they really do fit like a sock. I always wore a pair of socks with them when running but right out of the box I tried them on without socks. Just walking around the house at first I could feel the squishy Boost base. Also the heel has a cup that keeps your foot stable while running/working out. I thought it would bother me since the rest of the shoe is very flexible but I did not even notice it while using them.

First run: 4 miles – First 2 miles felt like running on clouds, after a mile I felt a bit of shin discomfort. I figured it was because I hadn’t really been running on the road for a week since I was on vacation and most of my runs were on dirt roads. That week I was in taper mode for my first ultra, a 50k race.

Next run: 3.5 miles – Post 50k dilemma I was less inspired to run much that week but still managed some miles in the new UltraBoostX. Due to the extreme heat (record breaking actually) my run became more of a run/walk so I wouldn’t pass out from a heat stroke. Again I felt some shin issues. It was then that I researched more about these shoes and discovered the heel/toe drop is the conventional 10 millimeters and I have been running in minimalist low drop (3-4) shoes for the past 4 years now. So going to a higher drop shoe puts a lot of pressure on my shins and these shoes only succeed in giving me shin issues. I can use these shoes for fast short runs on treadmills or tracks where the ground is softer but pavement and longer distances have proven to cause shin splints in me at least. I think that for someone that is used to higher drop shoes, these would feel like running on clouds with that Boost base but for me they just don’t seem to work. They seem to work for short fast mileage though so maybe for a fast track run. This is after running in these shoes after around 50 miles and 3 weeks of use.

For Cross training: I tried them out with a popular workout app that I use pretty often from another shoe brand. The results were that they were very comfy for jumping jacks and jumping exercises in general. I felt the cushy Boost especially well and I did not have any shin split issues.

boost2

My verdict is : These shoes are very attractive and work well for short runs/ Hiit style workouts. They didn’t work for me for significant distance runs but for short sprints they perform very well. If you have ever wanted a shoe that cocoons your foot and hugs your arch, these are the shoes for you.

 

 

What’s in your #FitnessCloset?

fitness_closet_thumb

I read a post recently by Heather of Through Heather’s Looking Glass about what was in her fitness closet, and it gave me the idea for this post. Originally this blog topic was started by Brian of¬† Pavement Runner. So I started looking through my room, most of my exercise gear is in drawers so I took it all out and organized it better for the pictures at least. I’d say most of my fitness gear was bought in the last 1.5 years as before that I didn’t work out too consistently other than yoga & pilates before that. I really didn’t need real exercise gear since I would mostly exercise inside my house. I’ve realized that Adidas pretty much owns me, I just can’t help but buy more of their stuff, it lasts and fits great. Also I have lot of C9 for Target stuff, I adore Target so it was only a matter of time before I would discover their fitness clothing section. Now onward to the pictures:

IMG_1027              As you can tell when I find a shoe I like I buy more than one pair, 3 pairs of Adidas Oscillation running shoes & 2 pairs of Adidas Kanadia trail running shoes.

IMG_1032Lots of tank tops,¬† I live in south Florida, it’s almost always summer here. All Adidas on the left side. C9 by Champion for Target on the right side with one New Balance tank on the bottom.

IMG_1034Tee shirts for running. Left side “I Run This Body” shirt from Saucony. Top right side C9 by Champion and bottom Adidas Go Run shirts.

IMG_1037¬† This year’s race shirts & some yoga pants. My favorites are the two gray ones ūüôā

IMG_1029Running tights – 3/4 length – I love to run in these & Adidas makes the best ones, my favorites are the tech fit ones. Basically almost all Adidas (3 rows) and some Nike, C9 ones on the far right.

IMG_1036Running skirts & shorts. Don’t wear these too often, sometimes for races. Can’t wait to wear my RunningSkirts polka dot skirt!

IMG_1030Cold weather gear – I don’t get too much use out of this, as we hardly get any cold days in Miami, I’ve maybe used this stuff about 10-12x in the last year. Adidas jacket, C9 Jackets & half zip ups, RunningSkirts reflective heart on sleeve shirt and Adidas climacool long sleeve. Long tights: Adidas & c9 for weather 40-50.

IMG_1039Compression socks by RunningSkirts, Zensah calf compression sleeves (I adore these), 2 of my 4 yoga mats: Eko Manduka & Diane Von Furstenberg NM + Target, my Gaiam foam roller (my new love), 5lb dumbbells & 3 lb dumbbells.

And that’s my fitness closet so far, make sure to check out Pavement Runner’s blog post for links into other’s fitness closets.

Favorite Organic Makeup

So I started this blog to review organic products so heres a review of my favorite organic makeup products.

I first stumbled¬†upon¬†¬†Physicians Formula Organic Wear¬†¬†products while looking at Burt’s Bees products. I had been trying to convert to organic food and wondered if there was any organic makeup around. Seeing how Burt’s Bees didn’t have any eyeliners or powders I was disappointed since I had tons of their other products.¬†Until I looked over and noticed Physicians Formula Organic Wear. I hurriedly snapped up a Black Night Organic (black) eye liner pencil. Also threw some Organic Loose Powder in my cart as well. Since then I have gotten more of their Organic Wear and have been very happy with it so far. Sometimes I have to reapply the eyeliner but it’s worth it, knowing that I’m not putting dangerous chemicals near my eyes anymore.

It’s mineral makeup for the most part but without all the harsh parabens and chemicals¬†normally placed in cosmetics. Also it’s packaged very eco friendly, using 93% less plastic than typical packaging. Mineral makeup just stays on the top of your skin, therefore not absorbing in and causing pores to clog. So it’s ideal for¬†everyone not wanting to clog their pores or absorb harmful chemicals.

I’ve including some links for the product lines mentioned:
Physicians Formula Organic Wear
Burt’s Bees
Both can be found at Target