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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An Ode to Oiselle Roga Shorts

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Disclaimer – I was not gifted these shorts to review,  I have bought every pair of these shorts shown in the post. They are my favorite kind of shorts and I will continue to buy more as long as they keep making them (please never stop!) 😉

I have been thinking of making this post for years now!

My introduction to roga shorts started in the summer of 2014, I had heard of Oiselle for a few months at that point. It must’ve been when Kara Goucher joined Oiselle that I really took note of the company, run by a women, only women’s running/performance clothing. So thank you, Kara, for being the introduction I needed to this obsession. I remember subscribing to the emails and wondering if I would ever have the guts to run in shorts because the roga shorts looked really comfy and cool.  A few months before I joined the Oiselle Volee team I went on vacation to Washington DC and went to a running store that had some rogas on sale! I don’t remember the other colors they had but I grabbed a pair of burgen (burgundy color) ones and bought them immediately. I would be lying to say that I wore them to run on that trip, I didn’t but I did bring them along with me on a side trip to Philly that same vacation and used them to hang out and sleep in even! They were so comfy I figured if I never had the guts to wear them out to run I would be living in these shorts for hanging out at home.

Fast forward to a few months later and I had bought a couple more pairs, I started wearing them for walks with my boyfriend and out in public and it had been years really since I had owned a pair of shorts. My confidence was starting to grow with these shorts, who would’ve thought that would happen? Not me, for sure! A couple months later I started running in these shorts, starting with treadmill runs and then later on for evening runs (one memorably disaster of a run when I tripped and hit my head I was wearing these shorts even!).  When I found out that I was pregnant, the roga shorts became my go to short to run in, the capri tights I ran in were starting to constrict the belly too much and summer was hitting early and I was suffocating outside. I did buy one pair in a larger size but realized after one run that they were too loose and I could stick with my regular size throughout the pregnancy since they were low slung and the waistband was not tight under the belly. I ran a couple half marathons and some shorter race distances in 2015 wearing them. After that I never wore  capris/tights again unless it was freezing outside and even when it was 45 degrees for a 5k once I wore my rogas lol.

In 2017 I wore my rogas for the marathon distance at Miami Marathon, the cold rainy year and also the year I got my marathon PR. Was it the rogas or the weather that helped me PR by 40 minutes? Who knows? Maybe equal? I have worn other Oiselle shorts for races but I swear by the roga shorts.

I used to worry about chafing with shorts but that rarely has ever happened to me while wearing these magical shorts. They have performed through extreme downpours and major heat. I have even extended my love to other variations of the roga short family in the recent years: toolbelt rogas (for all the pockets), mac rogas (for all the shortness & air) , summer rogas (lightweight & airy), and recently OG rogas (like a go tank for your booty) . They also make a longer roga short that would work really well for hiking or running if you want more length to your shorts but I haven’t really tried them. And if you aren’t into shorts, they even have a couple different kinds of roga skirts (with short or with a brief under)! A year or so ago they even released a roga dress, basically a dress made out of the stretch woven fabric they make the rogas of! Is there any end to the awesomeness of roga material?  I hope that Oiselle never discontinues this awesome short/fabric and makes more awesome prints and more colors. You can never have too many rogas!

In daily life I get home from work and immediately change into roga shorts even if I am not going for a run after work, rare but it happens at times. I wear these shorts when taking my toddler to swim class and grocery/Target shopping days. They are comfy and don’t look like running shorts so you can definitely get away with wearing them nearly everywhere. In the 4 years I have been wearing my original burgen roga shorts and would you believe they still look as new as the day I bought them. Through the washer/dryer every time and still as awesome and stretchy as ever.

Here is the story of how the roga shorts came to be! Basically these shorts are a hybrid between a yoga pant and a running short, comfy like a yoga pant with the wide waistband but with the performance stretch and fit of a running short without all the bulk. I am glad the first running short I tried was a non poofy roga short instead of diaper butt  running shorts, I was lucky! But it’s never too late to change it up and try the roga shorts. These ultra stretch woven shorts dry super quickly after you stop running, I have even known some women who wear them to paddle board. Overall these are my favorite shorts and I hope to continue wearing them and setting PRs in all distances.

Get to shopping – here is the link the best running shorts : Oiselle

 

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!

#NotRunningWithoutYou

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. 

Run for cover

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of activities, tragedies and low mileage. About 3 weeks ago I ran over to the neighborhood nearby mine to see the FIU bridge be brought over and placed over the road, 5 days after it collapsed taking 6 lives. I traveled under that bridge 4 of those days, each morning with my toddler in the backseat of my car. It could have been us kept going through my head when I heard the news, it was a bridge to connecting my work place to the city of Sweetwater. For a few days I really had a hard time sleeping and I think that my stress from it was affecting my toddler. I know the miles could’ve helped but I required more sleep and no long run that weekend. The following week started out okay and was able to start my week full of running but by that Thursday I just wanted to rest. I was starting to get a sinus infection and did not run at all that weekend, the next week brought on all new challenges. Phoebe ended up getting a very high fever last Tuesday night and my next couple of days were spent trying to get it down and a mix of urgent care/children’s hospital visits. Now she is doing better and I have a little less stress about her health this week and starting to ramp up my mileage again.

Life sometimes gets in the way of your plans, fitness goals, workouts and as hard as it is to wake up early after slacking off for a few weeks due to a lot of stressful situations I am happy that I am feeling better and getting back to my mileage goals. I started out the year hoping to run 40+ miles each week to be able to hit 2018 miles before 12/31/2018 and even though I sort of see that goal slipping away I know it’s still possible with some determination. I also wanted to run the Keys 100 50k this year but I’m not really sure that I want to this year. Maybe next year I will be ready for it, I don’t want to slack off this summer or anything, in fact I want to work harder and work on my speed for the fall season of races. I plan on doing the Space Coast Marathon this year and that means that marathon training would be starting again in July! Summertime marathon training, that should be fun, I know this humid/hot hot heat running will make me stronger when the weather gets a little better. I plan on getting serious too about my strength training too which I have not been serious about in a very long time, probably contributing to my slowing paces.

Socially the last few weeks have been pretty busy, Phoebe has met and took pics with 3 different Easter bunnies and did an egg hunt and even rode down a large slide ride with my sister and her cousin, Logan. Despite my exhaustion and our rounds of illnesses in the past few weeks it hasn’t been too bad lately in gaining lots of experiences and adventures.

Also something that I have been involved with lately is helping train some of my workplace’s employees in running a 5k race. I jumped at the opportunity to help with pacing duties for the program and have really enjoyed helping others conquer their goals. We are about halfway through the program right now and they are training for the Corporate run 5k at the end of this month and most of the runners are doing very well. Most of them also are not new to running but a few are very new to run, a couple are just getting back into it and want the accountability of a group run session to help them stick with it. Just 6 years ago I was training using a c25k training app on my phone, it would’ve been more helpful if I would’ve had a group to train with. I have been running/pacing with the group 2 days a week now and get in a few miles beforehand because driving home to change and back would take at least 30/40 minutes. It’s a nice and easy way to give back to the running community by helping others become better runners.