Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Archive for February, 2017

6 Reasons Why The Hot Chocolate 15k Will Give You FOMO

**Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Hot Chocolate 15k in exchange for an honest review as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro, and check out Bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

Next month, I will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k and I could not be more stoked!  I’ve been wanting to participate in this event for a while so I knew I could not miss out again this year.  In case you’ve never heard of this event, you basically run and consume chocolate for 9.3 miles…and then take a chocolate shower at the finish line.  Okay, maybe the last part isn’t true…but I assure you that there will be multiple opportunities to fill up on all things chocolate.  So here are six reasons why I think YOU should also attend a chocolate-filled running party!

  • The Amazing Cities! – The Hot Chocolate race travels to over 20 major cities with amazing views.  Some of these include: Las Vegas, Minneapolis, Orlando, and of course…San Diego!  There’s bound to be an event near you so there is no excuse for you to miss out!  Check out the full list of cities here.

 

  • Charities! – Participating in the Hot Chocolate Race Series means you get to contribute to a local charity.  One of the charities benefitting from this race is the Ronald McDonald House.  These facilities provide a comforting and encouraging place for families to eat, sleep, shower, etc. while their children receive treatment and care for difficult medical issues.  They even offer an onsite school for siblings of the hospitalized children.  And if you really wanna make a difference in your community, you can fundraise and score a free race entry!  It’s a win-win for all!

 

  • Training Plan! – Maybe this is your first 15k.  Maybe you’re coming off of a running hiatus.  Maybe you’re looking to set a new PR (personal record).  Either way, you will need some time to train.  Training for a race can seem overwhelming.  When do I run intervals?  When should I complete a long run?  When should I cross-train?  When should I rest?  Well the Hot Chocolate run takes out all of the guess work and provides you with a weekly training plan that goes straight to your inbox!  In addition, you will receive tips on hydration and recovery and advice on running gear!  You can also calculate your pace with the McMillan Running Calculator so you can customize your plan.

Here’s a little peek at how my training is going starting with a sample of my weekly training plan! 😉

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  • Chocolate! – This seems like a pretty obvious reason, but I don’t think you realize the amount of chocolate that will be present at this event!  You will literally be taken to a wonderland of chocolate!  There will be chocolate opps at the Expo as well as tons of photo opps with Chocolate mascots!  There will be sweet stations at various stops throughout the 15k! You will receive tons of chocolate goodies at the finish line followed by an all out chocolate party!  Here’s some more info on the chocolate goodies!

 

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Diagram courtesy of hotchocolate15k.com

 

And just in case you’re wondering how I’m training for the chocolate portion of the event…  😉

I gotta make sure I’m prepared, right?  Ya know… “nothing new on race day!” 🙂

  • SWAG!!!!!!!! – Okay this is where you will really want to pay attention. There will be SWAG GA-LORE at this run!  You will be greeted at the finish line with a large mug full of marshmallows, bananas, pretzels, and duh…chocolate! (see above diagram) You will also receive FREE race photos! Then there’s the medal…chocolate gold!

 

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photo from hotchocolate15k.com

You will also get a high quality finisher’s jacket!  Not many races offer this type of thing…so even if chocolate isn’t your jam, this fitted jacket alone should motivate you to register for the nearest run!  There’s even a spot at the Expo where you can switch your size to guarantee the best fit.

 

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photo from hotchocolate15k.com

  • BONUS SWAG!!!! – And the last reason you won’t want to miss the Hot Chocolate 15k is that you can receive bonus swag!  Use code “SDBRHC” for the San Diego race (check out my race discount page for more codes for other cities) to receive a sweet visor!

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And just in case you aren’t ready to commit to a 15k just yet, have no fear!  There’s also a 5k option, but less swag!  Or become a volunteer and score a little swag along with all of the chocolate epicness!

Ready to run for chocolate?  Come join me in San Diego!  Here are some quick facts:

Date: March 26th, 2017

Location: Petco Park

Pricing – 15k: $74 – 5k: $49  But hurry, the price will increase soon!

But don’t just take it from me, here are some testimonials from other Bibrave Pros  courtesy of Bibrave.com:

Haley says: “The course was very scenic and I had a good time. Plenty of aid stations, and they supplied Nuun and water which was a life saver for me because I forgot my salt tabs.”  Read the full review here.

Jenny says: “I actually really liked the course, I didn’t feel like there were any moments where I was disappointed. The finish was nice because it was pretty much all down hill from mile 8 on.”  Read the full review here.

 

See you next month!  I’ll be the one covered in chocolate! 😉

~SM

 

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Shocked by Aftershokz

Before I get into my review, let me tell you a little bit about my relationship with headphones.  Our relationship throughout the years has been, well…a bit complicated.  It’s usually hard to find a set that fits consistently and doesn’t die out quickly.  I’ve also had issues with some not jiving with my iPhone – for whatever reason, some headphones will activate the voice control on my phone and interrupt my music.  This is the most irritating thing to ever happen on a run.  You get into a zone and then suddenly your music stops and Siri asks, “What Can I Help You With?”  Annoying.

This has led to a graveyard of headphones in my junk drawer.  It’s quite sad, but I don’t really know what to do with them.  I feel bad just throwing them out like garbage when I know they meant well and they tried, they really tried…but the relationship just wasn’t working out and we had to part ways.  So I just keep them there for emergencies in case my first string headphones (a popular wireless brand that used to be endorsed by a certain music producer) get injured and I need to call upon a backup pair.

So when I heard there was a brand of headphones that don’t actually fit inside your ears, but rather go on the OUTSIDE of your ears, I was intrigued.  I originally thought, No way these will work at all!

Allow me to introduce you to…Aftershokz!

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Aftershokz headphones are different because they are bone-conducting.  What does that mean?  Basically the sound is transmitted through your cheekbones to your inner ear via vibrations – avoiding your eardrums altogether.  Pretty sweet, huh?  No more worrying about killing your eardrums with all that loud music and most importantly, you can listen to your music while staying aware of your surroundings.  That second part was especially important to me since I run alone sometimes or while pushing my kids.  Whether I’m running on a scenic path or around the neighborhood with a lot of traffic, I like the idea of being able to hear everything around me while still enjoying my tunes or a Bibrave Podcast.

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You will first have to charge up your headphones even though they’re wired, but don’t sweat, it doesn’t take too long.  The first thing I noticed about the Aftershokz headphones was that they fit really well!  Even during a 5-mile run, they didn’t budge!  And I could hear the music loud and clear! Now, if you are used to listening to your music at an obscene volume level, these will take a little getting used to…but your 50-year-old eardrums will thank you later.  😉  I could also hear my surroundings, which is great for trails!

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Then I took my Aftershokz for a spin on the bike in the gym!

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This was both good and bad. The good – I usually watch a Netflix show while I’m on the stationary bike and these headphones really bring your shows to life!  If there was a train or a car in a scene, the sides of my head would vibrate – so it almost makes your favorite shows interactive. 😉  The bad – I could hear my surroundings a little too well.  As in…other people’s conversations in the gym.  So that part was a little distracting as I like to kind of zone out while I’m cross-training or strength training.

So what about that microphone part?  Well, I put it to the ultimate test.  I took it outside and made a phone call to an automated service.  Gasp!  Yes, and guess what?  I didn’t have to repeat myself one time and I was transferred correctly the first time, every time.  I was…Shocked.  Also, when I received a notification on my phone I didn’t get an alert tone through the headphones, but the music did lower briefly and then increase again.

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Can you hear me now?  Just kidding.

How much does it cost?  This model – the Sportz Titanium with Mic runs $59.95 and comes in 2 colors.  You can learn about their other products here.  And they always offer FREE shipping!  They also offer a 45-day return period and a 2-year limited warranty.

So here is my overall impression:

Pros:

  • Open-ear concept – I liked being able to hear my surroundings while outside
  • Sweat-resistant
  • Good fit – lightweight and comfortable
  • Reasonable price plus free shipping
  • In-line controls with options to play, skip, and pause
  • 12 hours of music on one charge
  • Good quality microphone

Cons:

  • Being able to hear conversations in smaller areas
  • No option to adjust the headband – while it worked fine for me, I’m not sure these are one-size-fits-all
  • The power source is the heaviest part and is at the bottom of the wire, close to the headphone jack…which makes it a little cumbersome
  • Wired – I’ve sorta gotten used to the wireless life so it takes a little adjusting to go back to wired headphones.  However, it’s nice to know that these won’t automatically die after about 2 hours of play.

Overall, I was literally SHOCKED by the Aftershokz headphones!  I’m now a believer in bone-conducting headphones!  I’ll definitely be using these more often when I’m in an area where I need to hear my surroundings.  I think I would invest in a pair of the wireless ones in order to use them ALL the time since the wire gets in the way sometimes.  I also didn’t use the microphone feature a whole lot as I prefer to text or just ignore calls altogether while I’m running so it’s not something I would need right now.

But wait!  There’s more!  My headphones came with….you guessed it!  SWAG!

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Yep, they came with a sweet water bottle that I use all the time!  I love that it’s stainless steel so it doesn’t hold all the bacteria that plastic bottles do.  It also has a screw-top, leak-proof lid and keeps my water super cold all throughout my workout!  It’s sleek and fits in most cup-holders and well, I think it looks pretty snazzy. 😉

Want one for yourself?!  Order a pair of Sportz Titanium w/mic and score a FREE water bottle (a $14.95 value) of your own!  But you must use this link! —>  http://bibrave.aftershokz.com

Don’t you want to fall in love with your own pair? 😉  Happy running!

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And catch me on #Bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 6pm PST!  You may even win a prize! 😉

***Disclaimer: I received a set of Aftershokz Sportz Titanium headphones with microphone along with a water bottle for free to review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro and check out Bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews!

~SM

 

Living like a LEGend

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Legend Compression Wear Sleeves 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!”

When I first thought of “compression wear” I thought about something medically related and not necessarily something associated with running or athletics.  So I was interested to try the compression leg sleeves from Legend compression wear.

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I was a little skeptical about trying these at first.  I figured they would be too tight, cut off my circulation, or just be really uncomfortable in general.  They come in three different sizes based on your calf circumference and I ordered mine in Medium.  You can learn more about the sizing here.

I first decided to try them out for a few miles on the treadmill!

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I was really surprised that they weren’t uncomfortable at all during the run.  They didn’t fall down and they didn’t cut off my circulation.  Score!

But what are the benefits of utilizing compression wear for sports?  Well, according to umm…Legend (sorry, couldn’t resist)… “They provide calf support, shin splint relief and decreased fatigue.”  They also “promote blood circulation for maximum power, ability and faster muscle recovery.” ~Legendcompressionwear.com

All of this sounds FAN-tastic so I couldn’t wait to try them out after running the Carlsbad Half Marathon.  I had just received the Legend compression sleeves a few days before the half marathon, so I couldn’t actually run with them on race day since I didn’t have enough time to test them out prior to the race.  I have suffered from shin splints and calf pain on and off over the last couple of years and I was worried that after running 13.1 miles my legs would be really sore and fatigued.  So as soon as I got home from Carlsbad, I immediately slipped on my Legend compression sleeves!

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I pretty much wore them for 24 hours straight after that.  And although I had a little overall body soreness, I can honestly say I had NO calf/shin pain or soreness.  At that moment, I was IN LOVE with this compression wear.  The sleeves and I were literally inseparable.  They were in fact…Legen….Wait for It….DARY! (Thanks, Barney 😉

I then wore them pretty much everywhere for a week! Like I said…inseparable…like we were officially in a relationship.  I wore them to the park, hiking, to the grocery store, around the house, etc!

They were great for cross-training too!  I took them on the stationary bike, “rock-climbing” at the park, doing squats, core work, you get it.

Then, my kids passed their little germs to me and I was sick for a week. 😦  But, I finally made it out for a short run and of course I didn’t leave the house without my trusty compression sleeves. 🙂

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Overall, I really loved these sleeves.  I originally didn’t think compression wear was for me, but now these will definitely be part of my running, recovery, and just “athleisure” in general. LEGend’s tagline is #rightnottight and I can honestly say that is exactly what they are.  They even come in some pretty dope colors, now I need some more to match my different running outfits!

As for pricing, they run $44.95 from Legendcompressionwear.com.  It may sound a little pricey, but it’s well worth all the pain and soreness that you will avoid with these babies.

You can also save 20% by using code “Rave20”.

And remember… “Heroes get remembered, but Legends never die.” ~The Sandlot (cause the Sandlot rocks) 😉

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Join me Tuesday, February 7th on Twitter’s #Bibchat at 6pm PST where you can learn more about LEGend compression wear and chat with some awesome running folks!

I’m off to review the next product!

~SM

 

 

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