Knockaround Sunglasses – a sunny review

Disclaimer: I received Knockaround Sunglasses 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 let me start by saying that wearing sunglasses is pretty much a necessity year round for those of us living in the South Florida area. More so for the athletes in the bright and sunny south, not only for protection from the sun but also protection from the gnats that seem to come out when its humid or has just rained.

I got two pairs to review, one pair of tortoise shell amber premium sunglasses which I use almost all the time in non running conditions, like for driving and just hanging out. These are classy looking and do not slide down your nose. Plus I got some frosted rubber mint and aqua premium sunglasses, these match my original Oiselle volee singlet perfectly and I will be wearing them to race this weekend actually! Bonus is that I found out that I have a pair of kid sized Knockaround sunglasses that I bought for my toddler years ago that are mint colored too! Twinning will be happening for sure this weekend at the race and kid dash afterwards!

Testing out these sunglasses in hot humid conditions I would say is one of the best ways to find out if they are as awesome as I have always saw on other Instagram followers I have who have sworn by these sunglasses for years. One thing is that they do not bounce, whether you are running super slow or super fast (not really my speed, lol) and they do not fog up when you walk back into a house with ac right after your steamy run. In fact I liked these sunglasses so much that when they had a sale recently I bought 4 more pairs! My toddler loved trying each pair on and has since claimed the other 4 pairs of premiums that I bought has hers. Something that is unique to Knockaround is that you can design your own pair with different colors and some designs, so you can have original designed sunglasses. They have sales fairly often so sign up for email notifications so you can have first dibs at those $5 sale shades!

I have reviewed other sunglasses and have a major running sunglasses obsession and these are on the top of the list of my faves at the moment. Bright fun colors or subtle classy styles, there are so many styles to choose from. Use the following code: BibRaveKnocks20 for 20% off your first order to use until 9/30. That gives you a month to select the right pair! Where else can you find some polarized sunglasses for only $10?

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UnderArmour HOVR Sonic NC

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of UnderArmour HOVR Sonics NC shoes 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!”

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So first thing is first, I really did not expect to ever own a pair of white running shoes but here we are and they are very white! The color aside I was not sure how I would like them. It did take a few runs before they felt broken in for me, which wasn’t too bad but I have been spoiled by some other running shoes that felt broken in out of the box. I think also it might have been my feet had to get used to the higher drop on these shoes. I am used to a 4 mm drop and these are 8 mm drop but after a couple of runs in these I didn’t even notice it.

These shoes are made with a lightweight fabric upper and lots of ventilation holes on the sides so they are perfect for warm climates like Miami. I have never felt my feet heating up in these shoes like other running shoes I sometimes wear. I do not like feeling sweat in the bottom of my shoes after a long humid run, worst feeling and good way to get some feet blisters, something I have definitely never encountered while wearing these shoes!

Responsive ride and neutral shoe so perfect for those who do not over pronate and are looking for something with some bounce but still want a firm running shoe. I will admit they felt heavy the first few runs in them, but that may have also been that sometimes I wear them for my 2nd run of the day and at that point my legs are pretty tired from early morning runs and working all day.

I would have brought them on my recent vacation but decided against in so that I could keep them white as long as possible. When running in Aruba white does not stay white for more than a few seconds, half of the roads I ran on were dirt so basically trail running most of the time. Dust is everywhere so I didn’t bring them with me but I did miss them which surprised me a bit.

At this point I have put in between 50-100 miles in these shoes and they are still remarkably clean but maybe that’s because I tend to not wear them on rainy days. Either way these shoes really have changed my mind about UnderArmour running shoes. So if you are looking for a quality running shoe with a low break in period of time, snatch these up.

Also there is a connect version of this shoe, which basically means you can track your steps, pace, stride length, distance and cadence with the connect version using the map my run app. Pretty cool and that version of the shoe only costs $10 more dollars if you are into all the tech and like to run watch less but want to know all the stats.

 

Miami Marathon 2019

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tropical 5k and am promoting Miami 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!”

I am all signed up for both races of Miami Marathon weekend once again! This is the 3rd year that I will run both the Tropical 5k (as my shakeout run) and the Miami Marathon the next day 😉

Going to share a few of my favorite pics from my Miami Marathons/Tropical 5ks of the past (2013-2018)

 

Save $10 off registration with the code: BIBRAVE19 at checkout!

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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!

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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 🙂

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!

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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.

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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

 

305 Half Marathon – A Race Recap

Disclaimer: I’m promoting 305 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!

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Race day attire (arm sleeves were not required)

Going into this race morning I was a bit tired, had ran the DRI hope for a cure 5k on Saturday morning and ended up taking my daughter into a pediatric urgent care later on for a fever after coughing for a week. Spent a few hours there and ended up leaving with antibiotics and nebulizer liquid for her with instructions to give her treatment every 4-6 hrs and bring her back immediately for anymore fevers. Exhausted and not going to sleep till closer to 10:30pm, I woke up at 3:30am to get ready and head to the 305 Half Marathon. Luckily I had laid out my clothing/shoes and race bag was ready to go so I basically just got up, jumped in my clothes and ate some cereal before heading out.

 

By some miracle we had cool weather at the start, I was debating on checking a bag or not but ultimately changed my mind, also changed my mind about needing arm sleeves for the race (good choice!) I did sit in my car for awhile in my Every Mother Counts hoodie to wait as long as possible before heading out into the cool weather. This wasn’t the 55 degree weather was predicted originally on the weather channel app but rather 60-62 degrees. Not bad but when the wind whipped through the buildings/hotels on South Beach it could feel quite nippy. Not bad though as usually this race is quite warm or even kind of rainy, in the past 6 years, this has been the coldest it’s been for this race. So I basically walked quickly to the port o potties and peed before meeting up with another running friend, Stephanie (TheCookieRunner) at the Miami Beach clock and she gave me a cool Momentum bracelet that would remind me later in the race to Just Breathe. We talked for a little bit and then I headed into the starting corral, where it was warmer with all the people crowded in. Talked to my friend, Carmen before the start and vowed that I would try to stick with the 2 hour pacer as long as possible. Starting I felt fresh and the cool air helped me in staying ahead of the 2 hour pacer at least for the first 7 miles of the race. They gave the pacers speakers filled with Miami/running related songs and just general anthems to pump you up: PitBull, Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce, Cake, AC/DC to name a few I heard while running with the group. At mile 6 I saw our Every Mother Counts South Florida ambassador, Esther and was cheered on by her. I think the ascend up the MacArthur Causeway slowed me down a bit but then a friendly cheer from my friend/mayor, Harolyn around mile 10 helped me get back out of my head and speed up a little for the final 5k of the race. Along the way lots of iRun runners were cheering us on and at the end Frankie Ruiz was running back to find his fiance to cross the line together, got a high five from him as I passed. Then Hector from iRun was about half a mile from the finish line and urged me to go faster, so I followed his instructions and sped up to even kick it up a bit and not let some other runner (guy) pass me at the finish line!

Something I did different during this race that I haven’t done before in a half marathon was not take in any nutrition. I think it helped that I had half of a bowl from Chipotle the night before and cereal race morning that helped fuel my race. I brought my Honey Stinger chews with me but never took them out of my back pocket of my awesome pocket full Oiselle pocket jogger shorts. So weird but somehow it worked, I do train with them generally and use the starting at mile 6 but this time I just didn’t need them.

I crossed the line in just under 2 hours, like literally 40 seconds or so before the 2 hour mark, I pushed at the end a little and my splits show it but I did not feel totally depleted. The course was slightly different at the end, which I did not realize until we were running it, I’m glad because that running straight into the blazing sun at South Point Pier is no fun after 12 miles!  Right after the finish line after collecting your medal and water there was a pots and pans PR station where you could hit the pots and pans together in celebration for a new half marathon PR. I had no PR but saw a couple people taking advantage of hitting the pans. It’s been a couple years since Miami has celebrated in the streets with pots and pans from a Heat championship win or Castro death, haha So some folks were very eager to hit them. After that was a long line to take pic in front of the official finisher backdrop, but I had no time to stand in the line but I think it would’ve been nice to get that free photo. I got some pretzels and the food tent had the regular runner food: bananas, fruit cups, pretzels, cookies, bagels and then pastelitos, empandas and some other little hispanic dessert cups. Very cool but I was not really in the mood to eat anything and no sweets after the race. I really just wanted to get home to my sick toddler and get some rest time. I went to the Storm Series tent and collected my category 4 medal before looking around at the other sponsor tents and then heading back to the car. Took a couple pics first and headed back to the finish line for a cool pic of my medal when Frankie Ruiz and Carla Duenas were crossing the finish line together, caught a few pics and then headed back to the parking garage. The weather was awesome for the cool down walk back to the parking garage, almost a mile away. Did not have the extreme soreness when I got home and got out of my car after sitting down and driving for 25 minutes from South Beach like I was expecting.

Great race and afterwards got an email from Athlinks to remind me to claim my new half marathon result and check out my pictures later on that evening. If you do not already use Athlinks, you need to get create a profile and add all your race results from the past. You can have all your race results on one site incase you ever wonder what was your PR for a certain distance or how fast/slow you ran for that race. You can also add friends/rivals and see what races others in your area are doing, so cool. Plus the Athlinks people are super helpful and only a tweet away from solving any issue you may run into.

If you are interested in doing this race in 2019 right now the prices are the lowest they will EVER be. Register in the next 2 days and only pay $60! That is extremely low for a half marathon! I am posting below exactly how affordable prices are for the next week or so for the half marathon and the 5k option. So hurry so you can get your 3-0-5 medals and oh if you somehow missed this race but want the whole set of medals you can purchase your 3 medal when you register for the 0 in 2019!

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