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

Posts tagged ‘running swag’

7 Steps to Running a Virtual Race

“Disclaimer: I received a free virtual race entry to the San Jose 408K 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!”

Living in Japan has been pretty great, but one downfall is that there aren’t as many local races as there are back in the states.  That’s why virtual races can often be a good option for those living afar, or maybe for those who don’t want to run with large crowds.  I recently ran the San Jose 408k and I was asked a few times, “How does a virtual race work?”  Well, here are the steps to running your own virtual race!

Step 1: Choose your run – The first thing you will need to do is decided which race you want to run.  I usually look for an event that contributes to a charity that I like and that also has good swag.   I really like the 408k because the benefitting charity for the 7th year in a row is the Pat Tillman Foundation! And sign up early or look for a promo code to save a few bucks! Bibrave is currently offering $10 off with code “Bibrave”! You can still register until September 16th!

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Step 2: Find a friend – You are going to need accountability since you are doing this thing on your own.  Running a race in person provides running support and an adrenaline rush that’s hard to duplicate when running a virtual race.  So it’s good to find a virtual running partner to sign up with you or even better- find a local friend and you guys can run together in person!  I didn’t have a local friend to run the 408k with me, but a couple of other BibRave Pros also participated which kept me accountable during my training and on “race day”.

Step 3: Find a Venue – The great thing about in-person races such as the 408k is that the course is already all marked out for you and usually includes some pretty nice scenery to keep the race interesting.  For instance, the 408k ends at Santana Row (a high-end shopping/dining area) and it’s the only event that finishes there.  So you’ll need to decide on your own (or with that friend from Step 2) where exactly you will be running.  Since the 8k is kind of an odd distance (4.97 miles), it’s probably best to run with a watch so you can measure your distance either before hand or during the run.  My plan was to run my 8k on the track, but I ended up having to hit the treadmill due to rain.

Step 4: Train! – Even though you aren’t running in person and won’t win any timing awards (well technically you’ll place 1st in everything if it’s just yourself) 😉 – You will still need to train so that you can run your best race – because it’s still YOUR race after all.  So give yourself enough time to train, especially if you’re just starting out with running.

Step 5: Race Day!- Once you’re all set with your training, it’s time to prep and run!  The cool thing about virtual races is that you can pick any day and time to run.  Not a morning person?  You can run at night!  Have a busy weekend?  You can run during the week! For the 408k I tried to run on the actual day the race was happening (March 4th), but I ended up running the day after.  Also, unlike a lot of other virtual races, you can still run the 408k as a Remote Runner even though the event has already taken place. So you don’t have to suffer from any FOMO. 🙂  And here’s how I prepped for my 8K!

Step 6: Share your results! – Now it’s time to show off your hard work! Take a pic of your time and post it on your social media channels!  Some events will even have special incentives for virtual races – i.e. all virtual runners email their times to the race director or post them to the Facebook page and fastest times win a prize. The San Jose 408k didn’t offer this type of incentive, but maybe it will in the future!

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Step 7: Collect your swag! Another benefit of running a race remotely is that you don’t have to wait in any long lines or go to any crowded expos to get your swag.  Everything is conveniently mailed to you either before or after the race.  I’m still waiting on my swag, but here is what the SWAG looks like! You can also opt to add on other things such as extra shirts, a tote bag, or a hat.

And that’s it!  Congratulations! You completed your virtual race!  Now you can go celebrate with a post-race brunch (or dinner depending on what time of day you ran). Then rest up for the next one!

So what’s another incentive of running the San Jose 408k as a remote runner? It will qualify you for a bonus medal if you decide to complete the Run the Bay Challenge series and run the Silicon Valley Half! Yay, more SWAG!

Have you run a Virtual Race before?  What did you think?!

~SM

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Rockin’ Out with My Shokz Out

“Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air 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!”

Earlier this year, I tested a pair of wired Aftershokz headphones and they were pretty great…buuutttt wired has kinda become soooo 2016. Cause ya know, some phones don’t even have headphone ports now.  And then Aftershokz stepped up their game and came out with a new version of their bone-conducting headphones – called Trekz Air!

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In case you aren’t familiar with bone-conducting technology, here is an explanation straight from the Aftershokz website: “Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.”  Basically, the headphones sit ABOVE your ears rather than going INSIDE of your ears.

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Me and Mount Fuji

Pretty fancy huh?  But how do they feel?  Umm…I barely noticed I was wearing them!  The unique thing about the Trekz Air is that they are the most lightweight model from Aftershokz.  The entire product is made from titanium so that they fit snug and secure…and did I mention that you can barely feel them?  And you don’t have to fumble with ANY wires!  I even ran on some pretty windy and rainy days and they didn’t budge one bit!

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How do they sound?  I was a little skeptical about trying headphones that don’t go inside my ears, because sometimes I like to really jam out (like when I’m cleaning) and tune out everything around me.  So the first thing I did when I put these on was crank up the volume.  And surprisingly, I actually had to turn it down a few notches – the sound was clearer and louder than I had imagined.  I even used them to watch a whole movie while on the elliptical and hit the treadmill during “rush hour” at the gym and had no sound issues either time.

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But could I REALLY hear my surroundings?  Yes! I usually run with my kids or take them along to the family gym so I love knowing that I can hear them as well as my surroundings while running and working out.

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What about performance?   Trekz Air were inspired by elite athletes and I definitely feel that these are an elite pair of headphones.  Music motivates me to run and workout so I always expect my headphones to perform well.  I loved that I was able to just focus on my run while wearing these, rather than adjusting my headphones or worrying about an earbud falling out. I also liked that “Audrey” (the little voice lady in the headphones) talks you through powering on and off, pairing, and playing music.

Overall, I really love this product and I will continue using them for my future runs and workouts!

Who else would love them?  Anyone!  Maybe you are looking for the perfect gift for a special person in your life.  Look no further!  Everyone would love a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Air in their stocking!  They aren’t just for athletes!  They work great with hearing aids too!  Or maybe you share your headphones with friends sometimes but don’t like the idea of sharing earwax and whatnot (yeah…gross).  Well no wax worries here!  And you aren’t killing your eardrums by listening to your music too loud.  So there are lots of reasons why a pair of Aftershokz should always be in your bag!

Price?  $149.95 – This is pretty comparable to other Bluetooth headphone brands.  Plus FREE SHIPPING!

Battery life? – Awesome!  6 hours on a continuous charge!

Any cons?  –  Well I do wish they came in other colors so hopefully they will be adding colors to their line in the near future.

What comes in the package?

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-A charging cable, a sleek carrying case, ear plugs, and an instruction booklet

SWAG BONUS: You can score a FREE Bibrave Trucker Hat with your order!bibrave.aftershokz.com

So what are you waiting for?  It’s time to #beopen!  The only thing you will need to worry about are what new songs to add to your playlist!

Join me on #Bibchat on Twitter on Tuesday, November 28th at 6pm CST for your chance to win a pair of your own!

I’m off to review the next product!

~SM

Hot Chocolate 15k San Diego Review (so close yet so far)

Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Hot Chocolate 15k – San Diego 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! All opinions are my own.
If you’ve been following my blog and/or social media for the last few months, you know how excited I’ve been to run the Hot Chocolate 15k! However, weather and I guess Delta airlines (more on that later) had different plans for me as I didn’t actually make it to the race. Womp, womp. 😦 😦 😦
So this review is going to be a little different than the others…
I had been training for this run for a while now since I heard the course was a little more challenging than others.  Then about a month before the race I found out I needed to go back home to Mississippi to visit family.  Since I only booked a month out, you can imagine what the airline fees were like.  The only return date/time that wasn’t outrageous was of course March 25th at 9pm (the night before the race.)  So I thought, “No big deal…I’ll just be a little tired but I’ll be fine as long as my flight isn’t delayed.” As. long. as my. flight. isn’t. delayed…
Building up to the race I tried to add more challenging elevations to my routine to prepare for the infamous hills that I had heard so much about.  So I did some extra hiking in addition to some longer runs.
And since I knew that I would be going to a flat area for a week, I decided to run the Stairs of Death (112 stairs X 10) the day before I flew out.  This turned out to be a terrible idea because I forgot my compression calf sleeves and the elevation/sitting on the plane turned my legs to Jell-O the next day.  Anyway, lesson learned.
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Stairs of Death

 I was also able to get in a short shakeout run while in Mississippi but then I decided to rest my legs until race day.
The Hot Chocolate Expo was the Friday and Saturday before the race and they do not offer race day packet pick-up.  I was pretty bummed that I was going to miss the Expo because I knew there would be lots of photo and swag opps…but luckily I had a friend who picked up my bib and extras for me.  Hot Chocolate is pretty accommodating about having someone else pick up your stuff for you in the event you are unable to attend the expo.  All they need is a copy of your ID (digital or printed) and they’re good to go!
From what I heard, the expo is fun…but a little crowded and parking is a pain and costs $5-$10 because it’s downtown and parking downtown can be stressful.
When I saw a picture of my bib I got even more excited!  I was only a couple of days away from rolling in the chocolate!
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I even picked out my race day outfit before I went out of town!
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And then I looked over the race course to get an idea of what to expect on race day.
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Then on Saturday I headed to the airport to catch my flight back to San Diego!  I was supposed to fly out of Mississippi at 4pm but a storm came rolling through around 3pm and the flight got delayed until 5:30pm.  This meant that I was going to miss my connecting flight in Atlanta.  Since there were no other flights headed to San Diego, the only option they had for me was to fly out the next morning at 6am.  My Hot Chocolate dreams were crushed. 😦
I still wanted to gain a sense of what the race was like so I interviewed a few of my fellow Stroller Warriors to find out their thoughts!
Rochelle:  “I thought this race was very well organized from corrals to potty placement and amount of potties (weird but so important to me) to chocolate pick up and the fact they had bags to place over your mug to take it home! I thought that the swag was great! Nice jacket, medal, visor (given with code), and the mug of goodies at the end of the race. Love that pictures are free. Oh and whoever they got to run the water stations were AMAZING! They were so loud and enthusiastic handing out water and Nuun while cheering us on. I could hear them well before I could see them and that gave me an extra push to get to them for my hydration.
Not sure if there is anything I would say I disliked yes those hills were insane BUT that has given me such a sense of accomplishment.”
Christina: “I loved everything we got. Jacket, medal, chocolate!! I disliked the hills.  I would definitely do it again, just not prego.”
Laura: “I personally loved them [the hills]. It made the finish more rewarding. Yes the hill after hill after hill was challenging, but it was worth it. Especially the bling, jacket & visor. I don’t think there was anything I disliked about it, it was very well put together and organized. The volunteers were great, the aid stations were always stocked. The free pictures were great too! I don’t think I would do it again only because I usually just try to do races one time but it should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list!”
Heather: “I loved that they handed out chocolate during the race 😂 I wasn’t running for time so I had fun with it and carried the chocolate with me to snack on as I ran! I disliked the traffic and parking for packet pick up and the race itself. I know there aren’t a lot of options since it’s downtown, but I’m glad I gave myself an extra hour before hand. I would totally do it again because I love the jacket and the chocolate.”
Nell: “I loved the hills. I dislike the pavement.  Will not do it again…off to bigger races to chase.  I loved the medal and jacket.”
Well it sounds like everyone enjoyed the race for the most part and would recommend that others run it at least once.  Another thing that was kind of a bummer was that they changed the race date a couple of months before the actual race.  The original race date was March 18th, but moving it to the 26th meant that it was the same day of another big race in San Diego.  I think there could have been more participants had there not been a date change.
So what was the SWAG??

A cinch bag and a sweet jacket!  Everyone raves about the Hot Chocolate jackets and I know that is a big incentive for some to register (it was one of my motives).  They are also pretty cool about switching out sizes at the expo if needed.  They are a good quality and I really love that it’s a full zip instead of a pullover!  They also offer free race photos which I think is fantastic swag!

And of course, the medal!

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Ahh..that beautiful medal that was so close yet so far! Well the good news is that Hot Chocolate races are happening all over the country so I’m sure I’ll have the chance to #RunforChocolate in the future!

If you’re interesting in running next year’s Hot Chocolate 15k San Diego on 3/18/18, register here.

And you can vote on next year’s Swag!

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Hurry, you only have until April 5th to cast your vote!  Vote here!

Did you run this year’s Hot Chocolate 15k/5k?  What did you think?  Share your review on Bibrave.com to help out fellow runners!

See you at the next event!

~SM

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

 

 

Look Fly with a SPI(belt)

If you’re like me, at one time or another you have tried running while juggling at least three things in hand…and not like one of those cool running juggler people either.  More than likely, you probably look uncomfortable and not to mention inefficient. Which is why I was stoked to learn about the SPIbelt!

So what is a SPIbelt, you ask?  Well the name says it all!  A SPIbelt is a “small personal item” belt designed to hold all of your essentials while on the run…and you also kind of look like a rad secret agent with your handy belt. 😉

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I’m gonna go ahead and state the obvious…yes, it kind of looks like a glorified fanny pack at first…but I assure you…they are much cuter and less bulky than a fanny pack.  And if by chance you DO love fanny packs, then I am confident that you will also love this SPIbelt.

There are several SPIbelt options to choose from. I had the chance to review the SPIbelt Performance Series in pink!  Here are a few quick facts about the SPIbelt:

  • It holds most smartphones
  • It’s bounce-free
  • It has 4 loops for energy gels
  • It fits waist sizes up to 52″
  • It’s weather-resistant, but NOT waterproof

And it came with some SWAG! Yippee!

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These stickers are great to spice up boring hydration bottles! 🙂

It also came with some instructions, which is perfect for us visual learners.

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So before I tell you about my experience with the SPIbelt, let me tell you how I lived life without one.  Now, I usually push a stroller on my runs which normally blows cause of the extra weight, uneven terrains, hills, etc.  However, the one great thing about pushing a stroller is that you always have a place to store your things.  My Bob Revolution has cup holders, zippered pockets, and a huge storage basket.  It’s basically like the Cadillac of strollers.  But a couple of times a week, I do have the opportunity to run stroller-free and this is where I run into logistical problems.  Where do I put my keys, cash, phone, etc.?  Most running shorts don’t have pockets.  At best, there is a tiny inside pocket that will hold one key and maybe some cash.  I’ve had to run many races with my key tied to my shoelaces, money hidden in my shoe, all while holding my phone. It’s awkward and annoying.  Which by the way, phones are getting bigger so they aren’t as easy to hold for 3+ miles anymore.

So I was overjoyed to finally try a SPIbelt!  It was perfect timing since I am training for the upcoming Carlsbad Half Marathon and I have been adding in some longer runs.  I couldn’t wait to ditch the kiddos so I could try this puppy out.

It was super easy to put on and adjust before heading out for an afternoon run.  It took a little time to get used to running with it the first time.  It almost felt like trying to run when your six months pregnant.  The extra weight on the lower part of your stomach feels awkward at first, but then you get used it after a mile or so. I was really surprised at how well if conformed to my body and didn’t bounce throughout my runs.  Even when climbing some pretty steep stairs!

I also liked that I had place to store my pepper spray!

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Another one of my running adventures was to Sunset Cliffs in Ocean Beach.  This is also a very hilly and windy area and I liked being able to store my keys and phone without the worry of my things falling off scary cliffs.

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Another great time to use your SPIbelt is when taking your dog on the run!  It’s a great place to store baggies so you can quickly clean up after your dog and continue on with your activity!

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And if your dog is big enough, they can rock the SPIbelt too! 😉

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So let’s talk about the functionality of the pocket and the loops.  I’m not a huge energy gel person just because I’m not a fan of most of the tastes and textures, but I like the energy blocks or anything that has more of a “gummy bear” texture.  The loops were kind of tight and I had to work to get anything in there.  Design wise, I imagine it’s to keep the SPIbelt as small and flexible as possible…but function wise, I wasn’t a huge fan mostly because I don’t have a ton of patience for that type of stuff.  Not a big deal though, because I can easily throw the energy supplements into the zippered pocket part.

And speaking of the zippered pocket, I thought it was great except for one thing – Getting the phone in and out was kind of a hassle.  I think if I had taken the case off (I have an iPhone 6S), it would have fit a little better.  However, due to my children I never take the case off.  I also run with Bluetooth headphones sometimes and I felt that at certain points during the run (mostly if I had to stop), the phone and the headphones didn’t sync as well – meaning the song would go in and out or completely stop.  But it was only if I stopped in certain spots and wasn’t a complete deal breaker.  The other issue is if you want to change a song or if you needed to pause your run (like when using a running app).  I typically run with a Garmin so pausing or stopping wasn’t an issue, but changing a song or declining a call was kind of a pain.  If you are going to keep your phone in there with a few other things, I suggest trying to keep it in there for the duration of the run.  Or else you will be spending extra time trying to squeeze it back in the pocket.

I think the SPIbelt Performance Series comes at a reasonable price as well – $25.99 with free shipping on U.S. orders.  And you can save 20% using code “BibChat2016” until November 18th, 2016.  There are also come nifty accessories that you can add, like a race bib holder (so you don’t put holes in your fancy race day shirts) and an H20 companion.

Overall, I really liked the SPIbelt and I know I will be using it more as the half marathon draws closer and my runs become longer.  I think it’s a great tool that all runners should check out and they make great gifts for a runner in your life! I know I’m grateful for mine!

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Don’t forget to catch #BibChat this Tuesday on Twitter at 6pm PST.  You will have the chance to learn more about the SPibelt and maybe even win one of your own!  Chat with you then! 😉

You can also read what some other BibRave Pros thought of the SPIbelt Performance series:

Erica’s Review

Carolyn’s Review

*Disclaimer: I received the SPIbelt Performance Series 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!

Can’t wait to review the next product!

~SM

Be a Real Life Superhero!

Do your kids love dressing up and role playing?  Well if they enjoy being superheroes and saving the day, then checkout Superfly Kids!  It’s a place where you can create custom capes for both yourself and your littles.  Yes, you can play dress up along with the kiddos!  These are great for both everyday fun and parties or special occasions.

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The steps are simple to follow to create a unique cape:

First you pick a size – I picked “sidekick” for my almost 4-year-old.

Then you pick a color – I picked “purple” out of 12 options.

Choose an emblem – I picked “heart” out of 8 options.

Then an emblem color, cape letter, and cape letter color.  I let my daughter help pick all of these options since she was the one that was gonna be rockin’ it.

Then you get to preview your creation and make any changes!

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My cape arrived about a week later, although per the website, it says it takes about 2-3 weeks.

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Then it was time to see my creation in person!

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Ta-da!  Pretty rad, huh?

Then it was time to put my cape into action and my tiny hero couldn’t wait to test it out!

This is her superhero stance by the way.  And she’s about 37 inches to give you an idea on the size.  She’s kind of a smaller 3-year-old so it was a little big, but not enough to slow her down.  She also really loved the colors and that it had her initial on it.  She ran around in it all day without it falling off so I was pretty impressed as well.

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That’s her “flying” stance by the way.  Overall, we both really loved the cape and I think it would make a great gift for any hero in your life, big or small!

The best part about Superfly Kids is that they offer “Cause Capes”. You can create, donate, or fundraise for a cape that will support a various cause.  You can learn more about these capes and the supported causes here.  If you are interested in being a real life hero then I definitely recommend getting involved with Cause Capes!  You will bring joy and happiness to a child who is going through a difficult situation.  If you love scoring swag like me, then you’ll definitely love giving some back to a deserving child!  Generosity is a fantastic superpower! 😉

Another way you can get involved is to donate or participate in The Super Run!  I actually ran this 5k earlier this year and thought it was a fun event for the whole family.  Check it out and look for a Super Run event at a city near you! You can refresh your memory on my experience (and the swag) at The Super Run with my previous blog post here.

I think the Cause Capes as well as the custom capes from Superfly Kids are a fun and creative way to turn the whole family into real life superheroes!

**Disclaimer: I received a free custom cape from Superfly Kids in exchange for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.

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