Sunday, June 2, 2019

Product Review: Shady Rays X-Series Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays X-Series Sunglassesto review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm back at it again testing the latest sunglasses! This time I had the pleasure of testing the Z-Series sunglasses from Shady Rays. I tested a different series from Shady Rays earlier this year so having the chance to test them again was exciting!


The Specs



  • Sport frame with strong grip made for high speeds. Great for running, hiking and climbing, water-sports, and other high impact activities.
  • Durable gloss clear wrap-around frame
  • Premium Polarized royal blue lenses with amber tint: 100% UV protection / shatter-resistant / salt water proof
  • Includes Microfiber Cleansing Pouch + vinyl brand decal
  • Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken - just pay S+H fee for lost/broken replacements.
  • Every order provides 10 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. through Feeding America

The Run Test

With the weather getting warmer that means that there are more options for outdoor activities. That means more opportunity to really put a product to the test.

Running with these babies has been the most comfortable frames that I have run with. The frame arms are a little longer than normal but they don't really have the "behind the ear curve." This means they were more comfortable with my headphones and hat since they weren't competing for the same real estate on my ears. They didn't slide down my face even with the intense sweat that I can produce, and even stayed in place shaking my head.

The polarized lens are pretty self-explanatory. They make everything you see look better while also protecting your eyes from UV. Just an added bonus!

Biking with these sunglasses was also super comfortable. The lenses are one the smaller, sleeker side of the spectrum making them ideal for being worn with a helmet. That also means that they don't block as much airflow from you face, allowing your body to cool off faster. But at the same time they cover the delicate areas of your face which protect them from bugs and other things that could injure your eyes.

I liked that the arms of the frames are on the smaller side too because they didn't cause as much of a blind spot as other sunglasses have for me in the past.

Conclusion

Aside from the fact they the Shady Rays X-Series Sunglasses look AMAZING they are a top notch pair of sunglasses for any type of athlete. They are super comfortable, fit well on your ears with hats and headphones, and are the ideal sunglasses for biking. I can confidently say that Shady Rays makes some excellent sunglasses that are on the market. Especially since I have tested two different series of theirs. You should definitely try them out!

You can use code "rave" for 50% when you buy two or more pair of sunglasses! That's a crazy deal that you need to take advantage of!

Here's what the other Bibrave Pro's are saying about them:







Monday, March 25, 2019

Product Review: Shady Rays Signature Series

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays Signature Series Sunglassesto 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!


This review is coming at you just in time for some sunny weather! As a runner we have to make sure that we protect our assets when out running. For me one of the most overlooked things is your eyes. My insurance recently started covering my vision insurance for the first time in years so I have been to the eye doctor again. We talked about a lot of things since science has improved a lot since my last visit, which was like 10+ years ago.

Protecting your eyes from UV light is as important now as ever. Now when it comes to running and sunglasses I always look for a balance between function and fashion. The sunglasses I tested from Shady Rays are that perfect balance.

Here are the specs:

  • The frame is made from a durable material
  • The lenses are 100% UV protection
  • The lenses are polarized
  • The lenses are shatter-resistant
  • They have a lifetime replacement warranty
  • AND every order helps feed kids get access to food

The Run Test

Okay so the specs sold me but I was ready to put them through the run test to see how they handled. The frames fit my head so nicely and didn't need any adjusting. The arms are a little wider than the typical sunglasses that I wears yet they are still comfortable. After a few good head shakes they didn't slide at all. They also look awesome and go with the majority of my running apparel.

With all this in mind I knew they would be ideal for a long haul on the pavement or bouncing through some trails. So that is exactly what I did with them. I even wore them during a Spartan Race and they were a great choice even with all the slipping and sliding on the snow.

I always run with a hat of some kind and my Aftershokz headphones. With all three of these on and around my ears they all seemed to jive. I haven't experienced any pain from either, even after a good long run. Unlike some of my other glasses that begin to irritate my ears after a few minutes, Shady Rays maintained comfort.

The lenses are large enough that they give you great visibility. This means more protections as well. The only downside to this is that when I wear them in the car the frames create a blind spot right where my side mirrors are. This is just a coincidence with the size of them and my car. In regards to running they are great!




Conclusion

Sunglasses need to offer you the right amount of protection matched with comfort and function. Shady Rays hit all of these spots with the glasses in their signature series. They are light yet durable and don't slip when engaging in your fitness activity.

They are running a special right now using code "RAVE" at checkout for 50% off 2 or more pair of sunglasses!


Sunday, March 10, 2019

Product Review: Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I have been eyeing up Stunt Puppy for over a year now since the initial campaign with Bibrave. When they did their first campaign I was still living in Hawaii and didn't have any pets. Now that I've moved back home and have three dogs and friends with dogs I was eager to try this product out!

The Product

The Stunt Runner is a hands-free leash that is made so you can conveniently that your dog with you on the go. The material is made from a durable webbing that is so smooth but strong enough for big dogs too. On the runner end there is an adjustable waist strap that buckles together, on the dog end is a strong clip, and in the middle is the stretchy leash.

The part of the leash that I appreciate the most is that on the dog end where the clip is, the material isn't stretchy so if you need to hold your dog for any reason you have something firm to hold on to.


The Run Test


I was a little disappointed in my dog Wickett when we first tried out the leash. Wickett isn't much of a runner dog since he is so small. However the leash was still a good fit for him. Since he is so small that makes him very fast. So when we go walking, if he sees another animal he usually likes to take off running for it. Knowing that he was securely attached to me was reassuring.

At the end of his walks we always race back to the door. So we did get in some run time with the leash. He is used to being let off his leash when we run back to the door but I liked using the Stunt Runner Leash because we could still run without letting him run wild.

I did have a fun opportunity to try out the Stunt Runner Leash with my best friend's dog Lily. She is a mid-sized pitbull mix. This girl has some power! Having the leash connected to my waist rather than my hand made a huge different when we took her for a hike. She definitely jerked me several times when running around but since the leash was buckled to me I was able to hold my own more than when using a hand leash.

During the hike we did a few short runs with the leash and one of the things that I noticed was that since my arms were free I kept a better pace than when I would hold a leash with her. I know she definitely enjoyed the runs just as much as I did.

The one thing I had to be careful with was at one point on the hike she found a smell that she had to get to which was down a bank. Since it was icy I didn't have a lot of traction and she started taking me down the bank too. Luckily Mike was there to hold me back so I didn't go down. It was something that we can laugh at that made the hike fun.


Conclusion


Regardless of the size of your dog the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash would change your life! Running with our pets is a lot of fun and when you can make it easier then why wouldn't you? Being able to use both of your hands at any point while walking, hiking, or running is better than only being able to use one. Your form will be better and you will have a stronger control since they would be attached to your whole body not just your hand.

See what the other BibravePros are saying:


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Product Review: Zwift

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Run Pod 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!


This has been one of the funnest products that I have tested for Bibrave. What Zwift is is a virtual world where people get to run or bike from their home or gym. You wear a tracking pod on your shoe and it send it to the app which shows your avatar running. 

The idea is to make running on the treadmill fun again rather than being on a dreadmill. I can say from the very beginning of TRE that it was very fun and interactive. I loved that you get to customize your avatar to look just like you and see him running along the beach or up a mountain. It's a great distraction when being stuck running in a gym in the middle of winter.

The group run feature is pretty cool. Using the Zwift Companion app you can sign up for group runs with runner from all over the world. You can choose which pace group is closest to the pace you want to run. Then when you launch the Zwift app it gives you a prompt to join the group run. Everyone starts at the same time, and you can see you pace and their paces along the side. It makes it fun with you run with others because you can see how much faster you would need to run to catch up and pass them. 

Also using the Zwift Companion app you can join a training plan. These plans are the best plans I have used since they are gathering data from you in real time and telling you how to adjust your pace for the desired workout. It tells you what pace to start out on and then has a progress bar of how much longer you have before a pace change. Running repeats was super fun because once I ran through the start line it told me when to increase the speed on the treadmill and what to set it to. Then since you are on a treadmill the your pace will remain the same, so there isn't any cheating. 

As you progress through your training runs, group runs, and normal runs you gain experience which levels you up. Each time you hit a new level you unlock a new outfit. So you know that anyone that has pink running shoes has to be a certain level within the app. I like that feature so much because it makes me have more respect for these avatars since I can tell which ones put in the most treadmill time. 

During Christmas they even had Santa's sleigh soaring through the air which made the run very fun. Some of my favorite brands like Nuun even have banners in the virtual world which really makes you feel like you are running in a real place. I've run in Central Park, London, along the beach, but I can't seem to find the volcano that everyone else has. I will have to be on the lookout!

Conclusion

This app is changing the way we train and run on a treadmill, simple as that. It's becoming fun again and allows you to have a killer training plan even when it's winter and too cold to log any miles outside.




The Running Event Recap

Disclaimer: I received admission to The Running Event, a travel stipend for my trip and products from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, Brooks, CEP, Incrediwear, Nuun, Vooray, Vuori and Zwift 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!


Being a Bibrave Pro definitely has it's perks! Usually it's in the form of a free race entry or free products to test. I was one of the lucky Pro's who was chosen to travel to Austin, TX for Influencer Day at The Running Event. The Running Event is a trade show where all brands that make running products get to showcase their latest goods. 

We had three main events throughout the weekend from Thursday to Friday including The Influencer Reception Sponsored by Zwift, a Bibrave group run, and tour of The Running Event (TRE) expo.

Thursday

After arriving in Austin the majority of us all met up for lunch to finally meet each other, some for the first time. It was so awesome to finally meet some of the Pro's that I have been connecting with on social for over two years. We instantly bonded like we were lifelong friends! After some much needed food, sightseeing, and exploring we headed to the Hilton Austin for the Zwift welcome reception. 

The Influencer Reception sponsored by Zwift.

Thursday evening we were welcome to Austin by Zwift. Zwift has been the leading the virtual endurance industry with its virtual cycling app. The app just recently was made for runners on a treadmill, which was released at The Running Event. How it works is you wear a shoe pod which tracks your movement and transmits it to the app which shows your avatar running in the virtual world. 

I along with Vanessa, Brenda, and Lindsey were the "chosen ones" for the Zwift virtual 5K. We were pacers for the race which was available for others to join as well. We had about 20 other Bibrave Pros running it with us. The entire experience was riveting! For years I've been connecting with Pros from all over the country, yet haven't had to opportunity to meet them in person. Zwift made it possible for me to run with them, and made the experience much more rewarding. It was actually motivating to run with pros like Lisa and Alastair during the run because I wanted to make sure I was keeping up with my peers.

After the run I was able to view my Ultimate Swag Bag from TRE. Here is what I received:
  • Addaday Massage Roller
  • Altra Escalante 1.5 Running Shoes
  • Arcanum Edge Quill, Freeze Ointment, and Breeze - Sport Massage Oil
  • Vuori Running Shorts
  • CEP Compression Socks and Merino Trail Socks
  • Incrediwear no-show, ankle, and knee-high recovery socks, and compression pants
  • Zwift Running Pod
  • Brooks Ghost Running Shoes, Reflective Jacket
  • Nuun Electrolyte, Energy, Vitamin, and Immunity Tablets
  • Vooray Backpack
It was quite the surprise to be honest! I didn't have much time to look everything over right away because I was participating in the Zwift run. 

Next I went back to my hotel to shower and change, and met the Pros at Iron Works BBQ for some delicious fuel. After dinner we were all invited to an after party sponsored by Brooks. There was a live bad, compimentary beverages and dancing. We even got to meet Boston Marathon Champion Des Linden.

Friday

Today was the big day! We woke up early for a Bibrave group run at 6:30am. Not the most fun time to meet up after being at the Brooks party but the weather was so amazing that it didn't matter. It was low 70's for our run. We started at Hilton Austin and then made our way to the Austin Capitol building. Along the way we had a professional photographer taking pictures of us. 

Since we got carried away taking pictured I decided to duck out with a few other pros and head back to our hotel. We changed, grabbed a quick bite, and then headed to The Running Event!

TRE is a big convention where all brands that make any type of product for running showcase their latest products. The regular expo is designed for suppliers, store owners, and distributors of running gear. For example, if I owned a local running store I would have gone to see what new products I might want to stock in my store. We were there for Influencer Day.    

Influencer Day is the last day of the expo where other social media influencers like ourselves get to walk through the expo and see what everyone has to offer. Our tour group sepcifically stopped at all the booths that we received swag from, to learn more about them, and to thank them.

First stop was Arcanum Edge:

I had never heard of this company so I was very excited to hear about there product, since I had recently tested CBD oil earlier this year and became a huge hemp advocate. What sets them apart is that they use activated hemp rather than CBD. It was explained that CBD is an isolated compound from the hemp plant, where activated hemp is using the whole components (i.e. absorbic acid vitamin c verse eating a fresh orange).

We received The Quill which is a topical cream to be applied to the wrists for maximum absorption of the nutrients, Freeze which is a post-workout recovery cream, and Breeze which is a massage oil that balances skin moisture levels.

For my full review of Arcanum Edge see my blog post.

Second stop was Handful Bra:

Handful is a company that is striving to make make women feel empowered and confident while running and in every day life. Their products had no wiring, room for padding, and no bounce. They work a lot with women who are diagnosed or have beaten breast cancer to help them find a bra that gives them back their confidence. Their clothes have a balance of function and style.

Next was Vuori:

Vuori makes some of the most comfortable clothing I have ever felt. From silky soft sweatpants to lined running shorts, I fell in love with everything. Their clothing is very versatile made to look great at work but still functional and flexible enough for hiking, running, and yoga. I'm pretty sure we all said "oh sh*t" when we touched their clothing. 

For my full review of my Vuori shorts see my blog post.

Vooray was next:

Talk about a dangerous booth! Vooray makes bags in all shapes and sizes, from backpacks to duffels and all in between. Their designs are very floral and simple which makes it ideal for men and women. What sets them apart from other companies is that they keep business cost super low which allows them to focus more on quality, and gives you a more affordable higher quality bag than competitors. 

Before I even left Austin I had bought one of their duffel bags online because I fell for it so hard. 

For my full review of my Vooray Backback see my blog post.

We went to Addaday next:

We all know Addaday from their amazing rollers, hand rollers and foam rollers. I was so stoked to get the hand roller because I have been eyeing it for some time. At their booth they wanted to talk to us about their latest product which is an Oolong Tea designed for runners. The tea leaves are hand picked in Taiwan and not cut or crushed. This means all the nutrients and antioxidants are still naturally whole and ready for absorption. What's also amazing is that since the leaves are whole, you can rebrew the tea up to 6 times and still receive the benefits from it.

For my full review of the Addaday hand roller see my blog post.

Next we were off to Nuun:

Nuun will always have a place in my heart! I love nuun, hence my I am a Nuun Ambassador too. Here at their booth that talked about the different types of nuun they offer: Electrolytes, Vitamin, Energy, and Immunity.

They even had sample for us to try too. That was the best part because some of the flavors I wasn't sure I would like, and hadn't bought them before. Being able to taste them made all the difference, and I ended up liking the flavors I didn't think I would. 

For my full Nuun review see my blog post.

Incrediwear was our next stop:

We all know the benefits of compression, right? I learned so much more at from Incrediwear than I ever knew. They make preventative compression and recovery compression. Their speaker was Olymypic Runner Manteo Mitchell who ran his race on a broke limb. Using the recovery compression from Incrediwear he was able to make a full recovery and run again in less than a year. Their products range from ankle compression for pregnant women, socks, knee braces, and more to help specific parts of the body recover.

For my full review of Incrediwear see my blog post.

We kept the compression going and went to CEP next:
CEP needed no introduction since they are one of the leading compression sock companies, and making compression for over 65 years. What sets them apart from other companies is that they started with medical application for patients before making products for runners. So they know what they are doing. They talked about the correct amount of compression in specific locations like more in the feet and less in the ankle which helps prevent water retention to increase blood flow.

Check out this blog for my full review:

Altra Running was our second to last stop:

Altra makes a very unique style of running shoes that I have had my eye on since I ran Runner's World Grand Slam, which was sponsored by Altra. Their shoes are know for a zero drop from the heel to toe, meaning that your whole foot is on the same plane which is more natural. They also designed their shoes in the shape of feet which contour the foot better. They showed us several different shoe styles and what each is good for. They even let us check out their latest trail running shoe which has been rated the #1 trail running shoe.

Run to this blog for my full Altra review:

Our last stop was at Brooks:

Brooks again needed no introductions. We are all familiar with their shoes and brand. they were primarily there promoting their shoes since that is their bread and butter. I was a bit more interested in their gear because I love the feel of it all but I learned a lot about what makes their shoes different. They have a special plate in the sole of the shoes that directs the impact energy upward back into your stride, rather than out to the side. So there is a bit more spring in each step because you're using your own momentum to push off with each step.

Check out this blog for my full review.

After our guided tour was over we had until the expo closed to view all the other booths. There were lots of new brands with unique products and some of our favorites like Orange Mud. We got so many samples and free swag from everyone that I needed an extra bag just to carry the stuff I got that day, let alone the swag from the TRE sponsors. 

Final Reflections

I'm humbled that I was chosen to be a part of this amazing weekend! To meet so many Pros would have been enough but to get all the swag and explore Austin too made it the trip of a lifetime. Huge thank you goes out to Team Bibrave for all their hard work arranging this for us and to all the companies that sponsored our Ultimate Swag Bags.

















Product Review: Addaday, Arcanum, Nuun, and Vooray

Disclaimer: I received products from Addaday, Arcanum, Nuun, and Vooray 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!

In this blog post I will discuss the different accessory products that I received from The Running Experience.

Addaday

From Addaday we received their roller stick. I have always wanted one of these because of the versatility and function. All the different points and edges on the stick really get into your muscles and release those pesky lactic acid pockets. Since there is some extra spacing between the rollers it allows you to get a deeper massage than you would with a normal foam roller.

The stick can be used for so many different areas of the body to affect recovery. I use it mainly on my legs, since you know I am a runner and all. But I've really grown to like rolling my feet, and shoulders. I'm one of those people who holds all their stress in their shoulders, and this is a great device to help release some of that tension. It's also small enough to fit in my gym bag so I can roll on the go. 

We also were able to try their new Runner's Tea. It's an oolong tea that is grown in Taiwan, hand picked, and never cut or crushed. So the antioxidants are still intact to give you the most nutrients possible. The flavor is light and creamy. Since the leaves are whole you can reuse them up to six times and still get the benefits from them.

Acranum 

We received three products from Arcanum: the quill, freeze ointment, and breeze massage oil. Arcanum makes products using activated hemp with is an intact version of CBD oil. The main different is that CBD is isolated and activated hemp is whole so you get the most benefits from it. The quill is a daily cream that you apply to the soft tissue of your wrists for direct blood absorption. By using the direct absorption method rather than orally you don't lose any of the nutrients from metabolism. 

The Freeze ointment is heaven on earth! It's loaded with different plant products like arnica to increase blood flow while also having menthol to cool the muscles. I love applying this when I get out of the shower. It's so refreshing and gives your body a slight tingle.

The Breeze massage oil is designed to balance your skin's moisture levels. Some people have dry skin from under producing glands where others have oily skin from over active glands. This oil, loaded with activated hemp works for both gland types to help them reach a balance. I have a pesky dry spot on my arm this winter and have been using the breeze oil on it once a week. It has really helped to get rid of the dryness that winter can bring. 

Nuun


If you haven't heard, I love Nuun! I've been a huge fan of their's for years. We got several different tubes from them to try out. Each tube has twelve effervescent tablets that you add to water. After a few minutes you have great tasting, electrolyte filled water. Nuun electrolytes are just as they sound, only electrolytes. I drink at least one of these tablets a day, especially during a workout. Watermelon and Strawberry Lemonade are my top flavors.

Vitamins were a surprise to me, I didn't think I would like them as much as I do. I try to stay away from taking vitamin supplements, as I would rather get it directly from food. What's great about this type of Nuun is that they have vitamins that most people tend to be lacking, and they aren't in mega high doses. They are just enough to give you a boost without creating expensive pee like other vitamins. 

Energy is my favorite of all their products. These tablets are fortified with a single serving of caffeine as well and electrolytes. These flavors are dynamite! Cherry Limeade, Mango Orange, Ginger Lemonade. Ugh I just love them all because caffeine dehydrates you when you consume it, so when you drink it with electrolytes then you don't feel as depleted.

Last but not least is there new brand called Immunity. These are super special because they are loaded with zinc, turmeric, elderberry, ginger, and echinacea which is all good for you when you are not feeling well. I prefer to drink these hot as Nuun tea, since these flavors are much better hot in my opinion.

Vooray

I was blown away with how fast I fell in love with this company. We got a backpack from them which contained all our other gear inside. This backpack has more pockets than you would every expect. In the main compartment there is a place for a laptop or tablet and a zipper pouch, two bottle pouches on the side, and another smaller compartment on the front.

The bag is made with high quality materials making it extremely durable while also resisting water. I love taking this bag to work because I know the snow and sleet can't get inside my bad and ruin anything. 

To attest to how much I enjoyed the backpack I also bought one of their duffel bags. While our backpack was a solid black they have so many other designs for their other bags. In the case of both bags I'm still amazed about how much I can fit into each of them. I always have at least one of them with me at all times because they have replaced my other bags.

Reflections

Between all the accessories that we received at TRE they all had something in common, they bring out the best in us. The Addaday roller helps to reduce recovery time and promote healthy muscles, all the arcanum products help your body to find balance and recovery, Nuun keeps your body full of all the nutrients it needs, and the Vooray bag saves me time and energy by only having to use one bag for all my stuff.