Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips- A product review

I have been on the search for a product to make my Bob running stroller more visible at night. I take it to run clubs pretty often and now that the time has changed it gets dark pretty much before run club even starts. I always try to wear bright colors on my evening runs and especially so when I bring the little one along but I still don’t feel too safe. I have looked into wheel lights (not sure if they fit my stroller wheels) and installing flashlights to illuminate our path but haven’t came up with anything solid.

That is where Brilliant Reflective steps in, I received a set of the stick on reflective strips as well as the iron on reflective strips. Immediately I knew that I would be applying the stick on ones to my running stroller to help us be more visible on night and early morning runs. Not sure when I will be using the iron on ones as I do not know exactly what I want to iron them permanently on but I’m sure I will figure something out soon. Most likely I will iron them onto  some winter gear, but since it’s not really feeling like winter here yet, I’ll have to wait.

The brilliant reflective strips are very sturdy and easy to apply, I started with applying them around the stroller base and was done fairly quick and used all but one strip. The stick on strips come in 4 colors (black, red, blue, and purple) I got the black ones, which works well with the stroller because you don’t even notice they are added on in the daytime. The iron on strips come in the same colors as the stick on ones. I took a picture before applying the strips and one picture after and if you are not looking very closely, you cannot even tell a difference. The difference is when a flash of light hits them and then it is very noticeable where the stickers were applied.

I took the stroller out on an evening run, I do that fairly often when I cannot find someone to watch Phoebe in order to get my daily run in. We started running when the sun was just starting to set and before the final half a mile was done of our 3 miler it was already getting pretty dark. I’m so not a fan of this early sun setting season, I feel like my running gets a bit more dangerous to do and I usually shorten my weekday runs. My boyfriend was so kind to take these pictures while I ran back and forth along the road to get the best shot of how these reflective tapes work. Took some time to get the right shots as the flash is not the fastest on the iPhone 6s but I think it shows how the tape is visible in the darkness with a light shined on it. We even encountered a few cars while taking the photos and one of the pictures shows just how the tape lights up when the car is starting to pass by us. This is a great product and I will be definitely showing this post to all my mommy stroller runner friends, they could really benefit from this product as I have so far. I cannot wait to try it out again at run clubs this season. I plan on getting another pack of these stick on ones and putting them on my clothes as well to try it out, but I felt safer running with this on the stroller for sure.

For more info and to order Brilliant Reflective strips.

Use code “BIBRAVE25” for 25% off the full order (one time use per customer). The code will expire on Tuesday at 11:59pm.

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips as part of being a BibRave Pro. All opinions are my own.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

3rd Annual Holiday Family Fun Day 5k presented by Mitchell & West LLC – December 3, 2016

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I knew I wanted to do some sort of holiday race this year but not per say with wearing an itchy Santa suit so I decided on this race. Going into this race I knew that I was never going to place as it always brings in all the speedsters in the area (I have seen pics from previous years). Also there is a mile option as well. I’m kinda thinking about signing up for that option as well next year. Awesomely enough the winner for both races was the same, Baptist Health South Florida Kendall Run Club pacer, Ethan Clary.

Anyways back to the race morning, I got ready and was on site an hour before the race, I wanted to make sure that I could hit up the Publix bathroom before the race started. I picked up my race packet, which was a super speedy process and headed back to the car to change Phoebe’s diaper. Of course when you choose something for a toddler to wear you must always keep an extra outfit on hand for any unforeseen issues. Just my luck Phoebe’s diaper leaked right before we got out of the car so I had to do a whole clothing change in the car before setting up the stroller.

The weather was pretty nice on race morning too, not too warm and slightly breezy, which was a bit of a problem on the final jaunt to the finish line. No one realizes just how difficult races with a stroller can be in windy conditions, I felt like I was going nowhere pushing 50 lbs of stroller/toddler. The course was different from the typical Coral Gables course around the Granada golf course and instead ran us through very shaded areas (awesome!) and in front of the Biltmore Hotel. For most of the race I followed a speedy girl whom I knew was finishing her long run at the 5k, figuring if I could keep up with her I could do pretty well. Well I did keep up with her pretty well and ended up with a new stroller PR! Official time: 23:58, 7:43 pace, almost an overall stroller less 5k PR, amazing! I stuck around to cheer on my friends still running the 5k and then for the mile race. Great event and I will definitely be back again next year, most likely doing both races, the 5k and then the mile race 🙂

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The start of the mile race. Speedsters are off!

The next day I had my first 20 miler of marathon training and by Monday morning I was feeling that speedy 5k + the 20 miler.

Michelob Ultra Fort Lauderdale 13.1 – November 13, 2016

Third time doing this race and the course is a little different than last time I did this race, back in 2014. Less twisty turns this year and more A1A.

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The morning started with a wake up alarm at 3:30am in order to have enough time to get to the race by 5:30am. Once we arrived in the parking lot closest to the starting line I quickly headed to my favorite place to pee before the race, McDonalds across the street. I was not the only one who had this idea this year, apparently people are realizing that it’s better to pee here than in a portapotty! After that I headed quickly to the starting line since the line for the bathroom had taken up a lot of time. There I saw a couple of friends and we took some pics before the race started.

After the gun had went off I stayed ahead of the 2:00 pacer, I was trying to keep the 1:50 in my view but soon after I lost him in the crowd. Going through the small tunnel is always a fun part of the race since everyone wastes their energy early in the race by screaming and cheering once in there since it echoes. The neighborhood parts were nice and quiet with shade from the large trees which is always a plus in SoFla races. The major flaw that I saw in the race was something that was uncontrollable, mother nature. Apparently it had rained a lot in the past couple of days and there was a lot of standing water in the street, covering the whole road in most places. Treading through water at the 5 mile mark was not a good feeling, I was scared of the possibility of blisters and the squishy sound of wet sneakers around me was oddly gross to me. Anyways I seemed to do pretty well in this race, in fact much better than I expected. At this point in my running I just kind of want to finish a half marathon by the 2 hour mark, funny how only 2 years ago that was my ultimate goal. So much has changed since then, I’m beginning to think that whole “faster after baby” isn’t really a myth after all.

Finishing time was 1:54:37! Somehow I stayed ahead of the 1:55 pacer without even realizing it. Saw a couple of my 1k run club friends before the finish line which helped boost me to the line. After I crossed, I collected my medal, got a pic with Derrick, who finished just a minute before me and went to find the beer. Just kidding, well kind of, I first dropped a Nuun tab into my finish line water and headed to the food tent. Got a banana and a few Picky Bars. I was super stoked to find they were giving out Picky Bars at this race, they are $2 something and only really sold in Trader Joe’s so I made sure to get some for the road. Love those bars, but that’s another post all together. After I had an Ah, Fudge Nuts! Picky Bar I went to the Michelob tent to get my free beer. In the past I have been able to get more than one but they have gotten a bit more strict to only allowing one per beer ticket on the bottom of our bibs, kinda lame. They gave out a nice drawstring bag with white sunglasses and a Michelob Ultra visor, pretty good swag. Anywho I got my beer and had a couple of sips before I just gave up on trying to drink it after the race, I was extremely tired from waking up so early and ready to go. So we looked at the sand sculpture and headed to the buses to take us back to the starting line. These were not the nice a/c buses but school buses, luckily it did not take too long to get back to the car, I did hear a story that one of the bus drivers got lost and took a detour through Ft Lauderdale/Hollywood airport, haha. I had not heard until I had already left the race that there had been a runner hit while on the course, later we found out he died. I do not blame the race directors or volunteers for this as the race was blocked off and nicely directed by the cones but the inconsiderate driver who hit the runner. Unfortunately the police did not charge the driver with any offenses, hopefully this does not happen at any future events. #MilesForArthur

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Honor Our Veterans 5k – November 5, 2016

This weekend was jam packed with races so I’ll start with the first race of the weekend and make another post about the 2nd one. This 5k was kind of a last minute race. I had originally planned to do a free 5k it was on Hollywood Beach, which is about a 45 minute drive for me. When I found I could get a discount on this race I decided it was a better idea to do this one since it’s only 5 minutes from home and I would most likely be doing it alone with Phoebe. It worked out great, just kinda sad that there were not awards for age groups because I totally would’ve placed in my age group. I am proud to say that it is now my fastest stroller 5k to date!

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When I walked outside Saturday morning I knew it would be a great race day because the weather was cool for once and not raining. I got there about 45 minutes early to pick up my race bib because with the timing company they used for this race they take back their timing chips after the race so only bib pickup the day of the race. I was a little nervous because this was the same company who timed the Derby 5k back in April and who totally left me off the results. I got my bib and took Phoebe with me to the bathroom, not an easy task in a tiny bathroom with a big running stroller but I got it done. As I was heading back to the starting line I overheard some college guys joking about how they would keep up with me and be fine for the race. I laughed in my head about this and thought “yeah right!” Later during the race I saw the group again and they were a mile BEHIND me, hehe. Their shocked faces were just the right amount of fuel to push through at a much faster pace for the next mile. Also the owner of Go Run, Doug passed me while on his bike pacing the top guys and mentioned that I had great form, it really helps when you get praise like that from a top runner. There was a lady in front of me the whole time but during that last .50 I managed to pass her and stay ahead of her. Sometimes like in Ragnar I like to count the amount of people I can pass in the last mile. Like usual, Phoebe was asleep after the first mile and continued to sleep for another 30 minutes after we finished.

Later when I checked my nike + run club app I discovered that I had ran progressive miles the whole race! That is amazing for me because I usually run the first mile the fastest and get progressively slower during a 5k. When I finished I grabbed a water for my Nuun, a granola bar, and a banana and went back to the finish line to cheer on the rest of the finishers. Overall I think it was pretty well organized and due to the small field of runners there was no weaving in and out to get through the walkers and slower runners, which is a pain with the stroller.

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Been a long time.

Lots has happened since my last blog entry, including getting pregnant & having a baby. My baby is now 6 months old, half a year has passed by already! Time is flying. Since my last posts I’ve done a couple half marathons and a full marathon (while pregnant). Lots of running, lots of miles to recap (if I can remember!)

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Completed 1000 miles of running and some walking in 2015 and am on pace to possibly double that amount this year. 2016 started quietly with a 16 mile day, split into 3 runs. Have already ran a couple of races while pushing my baby in the stroller, two 5ks, a 4 miler and a 10k so far.

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I will be updating more frequently so stay tuned!

 

Run Wild – February 8, 2014

Running a 5k six days after my first full marathon seemed like a dumb idea when I signed up for this race about a month before. Luckily it ended up really well for me. I usually really hate races that start later than 7:30am but I did this race last year and had a lot of fun so I tried to not be too bothered by the 8am start time. Plus races at Zoo Miami are a lot of fun, getting to run by all the animals. Sometimes I even go and walk around the zoo afterwards but this year it was just too hot by the time the race was over. My aunt said she would be there but I never saw her till after the race was over, I did run into Matt and a girl from FIU Run Club. It was her first 5k race so she was pretty excited. I lined up 10 minutes before it started and the announcers kept telling people to not have their kids up at the starting line but most people did not listen. That is the issue with zoo runs, the beginning is always a mess with dodging and practically jumping over little kids or strollers but then it gets better when you get around them.

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Hop!

Hop!

I felt pretty strong despite only doing one post marathon run before this race. Another great thing about zoo races is that they almost always have finisher medals. Finished the race, jumping over the finish line timing mat, seems to be my signature move. Haha. I got water, picked up some reusable bags, coconut water, some greek yogurt and a banana before heading back to the finish line to see my friends cross the line. Then I waited on the side to see my aunt and her friends cross the finish line, cheering them on as they reached it. Afterwards we took way too many pictures and waited in line for some yummy baked goods from Corner Bakery Cafe. Then watched the awards ceremony, and they started giving awards to the top 4 in each age group! So I ended up being called up and cheered on for my 4th place finish! Wish all races would have top 5 finishers in every category. The course for this race was a little bit short, and they told everyone at the start of the race, this was a new PR for me. Who would’ve thought I would PR less than a week after a marathon!

4th place in age group.

4th place in age group.

Close Up.

Close Up.

Miami Marathon – February 2, 2014

A year ago I told my coworker that I had just signed up for a half marathon, at the time he had said soon you will be signing up for a marathon. At that time I said “No way! A marathon is way too much for me” actually believing that I could not do a full marathon. When I signed up for this race I had just finished the Tropical 5k, which is the 5k the day before the big race. There was a race blitz and I decided to sign up for the half marathon distance since it was 20% off by the time I got a chance to sign up. At the time I hadn’t even ran my first half marathon, yet was planning for a year in advance to run another one, the Allstate 13.1 Miami Beach was still a month away.

Fast forward to June, when I finally was cleared to start running again after my surgery I decided then that if I could survive such a big scare then I could run a full marathon. I started training a bit early in September since I was not sure how the holidays would go and effect my long runs. It is a good thing I did since lots of things came up the last few months of the year: a friend’s wedding & all the events that come with weddings, baby shower, unexpected races and travel. Since the Fall here is generally (not this year) slightly cooler than the rest of the year there are tons of races and I had to sign up for a lot of them I had to alter my long runs at times. For the most part I got in most of my long runs and two 20+ milers during training luckily still.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetastic.

sparkle duct tape lettering, got the idea from Fannetasticfood.com. Amazingly stayed on through sweat & rain!

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When race day started to approach and I started to taper a bit it was a very strange feeling, since I hadn’t tapered for any races since March. I will admit I might have been a bit more agitated by things around me also at the time. Otherwise I was feeling very confident in my training and the goal was to just finish the race feeling good. I’m proud to say I accomplished that goal and was able to make my final mile the fastest in my splits.

Before the race selfie.

Before the race selfie.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Waiting with Matt in Corral F.

Race day morning I got up early, I’d say 3:30am and got ready to leave for the race, packing a small bag of things I might need. I got a ride with my aunt, who was doing the half marathon that day, she kept being negative about how she was probably going to get a call from a race official to pick me up from the road. Those kind of comments do not get me down, instead they just make me more determined to prove them wrong. I dropped my bag off at my aunt’s Galloway group tent and headed to the AAA to use the bathroom. When there’s a real bathroom I will take it any day over a smelly port a potty and luckily I got there just in time for them to open up another ladies bathroom. Then I headed to find the F corral where I would wait till the race started, it was a bit confusing to navigate especially with sooooo many people waiting around. Eventually I found it and sat down on the curb to wait, I find resting my legs as much as possible before the race begins helps me conserve more energy. I’ve never been one to stretch and hop around before a race and it’s always worked for me. My friend Matt met up with me in the corral and we started out the race together. I did not want to start out too fast so he kept me slow for the first couple of miles till he dropped off at the first water spot to stretch out his legs. I never really understood why people put their names so big on their shirts for races till I did the same, at first it was a bit weird having strangers scream “GO LISA” but eventually it really really helped me. I liked all the crowd support right over the Venetian Causeway, a giant mob of cheering faces. I stopped at a few water stops in the first half but all the water stops in the 2nd portion, by then it was getting very very warm. Even when the race started at 6:30am it was already close to 80 degrees so I knew I had to stay as hydrated as possible.  Basically the first 12 miles were super crowded since 75% of the people were signed up for the half marathon distance. Just around the time of the split I saw a couple people start to walk, I started cheering and telling them to get going and finish the half strongly. By the time we split off it was desolate and only a couple runners ahead and a couple behind but pretty quiet. Less cheering squads except at the water stops, usually there were cheerleaders there which were helpful and cheered for me by name. I have to say the Coconut Grove residents who were out in their front yards cheering and giving everyone water/snacks were awesome! At around mile 16 in Coconut Grove the skies started getting dark and when the wind picked up I knew we were about to get some rain. Quickly I pulled out my phone to put it in a plastic baggie so it wouldn’t get soaked and my grandma was calling. I picked up and told her I had 10 more miles to go and had to get off the phone because rain was coming. Five minutes after I hung up with her it started pouring, so for the next 5 miles I ran through the rain. Ran by an awesome resident giving out ice cold beer just before the Rickenbacker Causeway but didn’t partake in any. I just wanted to keep up the momentum because I knew if I would slow down for too long I would get lazy and walk too much. That was the hottest part of the race, there is no shade out there with Biscayne Bay beside you. Back in Brickell I passed lots of brunch’ers who cheered me on drunkenly while stumbling down the sidewalk, that was pretty amusing. I was so happy to see that mile 25 sign that I increased my speed and it ended up being my fastest mile of the whole marathon! But that last mile did seem the longest with a steep bridge just before the final .40 , I trudged over it and once I turned the corner and saw that finish line arch I sprinted to it. Never had I felt so accomplished after crossing that finish line. I got my medal and put a Nuun tablet in my water immediately and grabbed a banana from the food tent. Then met up with my aunt and her running friends at the Galloway tent to rest, I knew I had to keep moving for a bit longer so that I wouldn’t get really stiff afterwards. By that time the side of my knee was aching and I was kind of hobbling around, my IT band. Never have I had a problem with it before, but probably going those 26 miles for the first time aggravated it. When I got home later that day I made sure to ice it and put my Zensahs on, seemed to help. For the next few days my quads and hamstrings were achy but nothing crazy, so I rested and did not run for 3 days after.

Almost to the finish line!!

Almost to the finish line!!

1st Marathon medal.

1st Marathon medal.

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Got my trusty Zensahs on & still got all my toenails!

Here are my mile splits:

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Overall I felt that this marathon experience was a great one. I didn’t worry about my finishing time, this race’s goal was just about finishing and feeling good still. I succeeded and signed up for next year’s marathon again. Can’t wait!