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

Posts tagged ‘womens running’

Feet in the Clouds

*Disclaimer: I received a free pair of OOFOS footwear 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!

“Your Feet Earned This!” – That’s the motto from OOFOS footwear. These little babies are not like any other type of footwear you’ve tried in the past.  These will literally change your life.

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At first glance they look like foam-platform sandals. Then, you put them on your feet and the magic happens.  It immediately feels like you are walking on clouds. On. Clouds. For real.  So what exactly are these magical cloud sandals?  Well here are some quick facts:

  • They absorb more shock than other foam footwear
  • They reduce stress on knees and back
  • Extra arch support to relieve pressure from hips, knees, and ankles
  • Soft and flexible so your foot keeps a natural stride
  • The OOfoam cushion lasts the life of the sandal
  • Machine washable and safe for showers
  • Super light – they even float!
  • Get more details here!

When I first received the OOFOS sandals, I thought they would be great for recovery after long runs…especially while training for the upcoming Hot Chocolate 15k.

 

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Recovering in my OOFOS and LEGend Compression sleeves!

But then I realized that I never wanted to take them off!  I wore them all around the house and they were great for folding laundry and doing the dishes!

 

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Dishes aren’t so bad in my OOFOS!

I have high arches and occasionally experience lower back pain, so slipping these sandals on felt like a dream!  They especially saved me after a grueling hike up to Potato Chip Rock (Elevation: 1800-2000 ft.)

I don’t think my back and hips would have recovered as quickly without the OOFOS! They were even light enough to throw in a bag for a little relaxation time to soak up some vitamin sea. 😉

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It doesn’t get better than beach time with some OOFOS!  Clouds! Really…Clouds!

I also took them along on a trip.  They were perfect for foot recovery after a long day of sight-seeing (almost 6 miles to be exact).

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As a bonus, I liked having comfy sandals to protect my feet from questionable hotel carpet. 😉

As you can see I’m wearing a pink pair of OOFOS with a ribbon.  That’s because they are from the Project Pink line.  For every pair sold, $10 will be donated to Dana Farber Breast Cancer research.  How amazing is that?!  You can make an impact on the world while reducing the impact on your feet. 😉  Check out the Project Pink collection here.  And don’t worry guys, there are plenty of options for men too!

Pricing ranges from about $45-$65 with free shipping/returns and they are also available in select countries.  There is also a 6 month warranty.

So if you are experiencing any foot issues such as plantar fasciitis, hammer toes, bunions…then I highly recommend giving the OOFOS a shot!  Or if you just want to experience the feeling of walking around on clouds, then order a pair and see for yourself.

They feel just like clouds!

#FeeltheOO and your feet will thank you!

~SM

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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

 

 

Running for Food

I recently participated in the John Hancock – Cooking Light & Health Fit Foodie Race Weekend in San Diego.  This year, the event occurred in Fairfax, VA; Austin, Tx; Tampa, FL; and here in San Diego.  It’s a full weekend filled with fitness demos, cocktails, parties, and a 10k/5k with celebrity appearances.  The Fit Foodie Race also proudly supports the American Diabetes Association.  The event ranges in price from $55-$160 depending on how involved you want to be with the weekend; however, there are usually Groupon deals with significant discounts.  I actually participated in the 10k for free!  But more on that later!  Let’s move on to the review…

Packet pick-up was at Road Runner Sports the day before the race and I got in and out pretty quick.  I received my bib and t-shirt, but they were also selling some cuter t-shirts and tanks.  Then, the best part happened!  We got to meet not one, but two race legends – Bill Rodgers and Meb Keflezighi!  Bill was super friendly and chatted about his time running through the streets of Boston.  Meb was also quite gracious and his daughters were even sprinting behind him on the treadmills!

The race was held downtown and the course ran through the Embarcadero and Seaport Village.  It started around 7am, but I got there a little late and ended up parking almost a mile away.  Oops.  I was a little confused on exactly where the start line was, but that was just the beginning of my confusion.  But it was actually a very beautiful day and even got pretty hot later in the morning.  I also ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior and friend as well as my 4-year-old – whom my friend helped push along the way.

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Now, let’s talk about the course- The 5k course just did one loop around Embarcadero and was pretty simple.  The 10k course, on the other hand, was a bit of a cluster.  First, there were a couple of splits during the course where the 5k runners went in one direction and the 10k runners went in another.  Then, at one point, the course took you down a not so glamorous part of San Diego – filled with graffiti-covered industrial buildings and glass in the streets.  I also had the pleasure of running by a homeless gentlemen who was yelling out obscenities and threats to us.  I am not normally bothered by the homeless, however, for a moment it slightly took away from my fun race experience…especially since I had my daughter with me.  Anywho, I digress.  My biggest complaint about the course was that after a while it just became a bunch of confusing and never-ending loops.  I even encountered a woman who had run an extra 3 miles because she got misdirected on the course.  However, I will say that the course was filled with a good amount of friendly volunteers who were directing the runners as well as passing out water and keeping the energy flowing.  I just didn’t like having to ask, “Is this the right way?” at every turn.

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Then came the post-race fun and food!  We were greeted at the finish line with a tote bag of goodies and medals! There were a lot of live demos, raffles, contests, samples, and the chance to test drive a Lexus.  Now, since we started the race a little later than everyone and got confused along the course, this meant that we ended later than most people and ended way later than the 5k runners. Many of the sample areas had pretty long lines by the time I arrived and I didn’t have the patience to wait at all of them.  Also, some tables had run out of things which was a little disappointing.  Then there was the big “food area” that was really hyped up leading into the event.  But I was a little let down to discover that this was nothing more than a tiny plate with two tiny food samples on them. 😦

The DJ was good at holding everyone’s attention and kept the party atmosphere flowing.  I was also thankful that I got my pics and autographs from Bill and Meb the day before since the lines to meet them after the race were pretty long.

So what was the SWAG?!

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I will say, there was actually quite a bit of swag and I like the phrase on the back of the shirt.  If I had more patience, I would have waited for more swag but I felt that I received a good amount! My two favorites from this haul are the Country Archer Beef Jerky and the Jambu full-size notebook with pen.  There was also a beer garden, but I didn’t check it out because I had a little one in tow.  I also loved the medal, especially the pink ribbon! (The 5kers received a medal with a blue ribbon).

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Overall, I enjoyed the event – although I don’t think I would pay the full price for this one, at least not for the 10k.  Next time I would do the 5k to avoid the confusing course and so I could get to the post-race party quicker to score more samples and swag.  I’m not sure what the Friday and Sunday festivities were like, but I guess I was expecting a little more food on race day since “Food” is what the event is supposed to be all about.  I also recommend running it with a friend so they can join in on the party fun.

There were also free race photos!  Bonus SWAG!

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So how did I run this race for FREE??  Well the Fit Food Race Series offers ambassador  positions for each of their locations.  The ambassadors offer giveaways on their blogs for free race entries.  I found one of the ambassadors on Instagram and ended up winning a free race entry!  You can find her blog at Runs and Roses.

Have you run the Fit Foodie 5k/10k?  What did you think?

See you at the next event!

~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

Buff® USA Review

One of the perks of being a BibRave Pro from Bibrave.com is that I get to test out running products for free in exchange for an honest review.  How cool is that?!  The first product that I had the opportunity to try was the Buff® USA.  You might be asking yourself, “What’s Buff®??”  Well, I’m here to tell you that it’s awesome and it will change your life!  Yes, your life will forever be altered.  It has many uses and is great for all outdoor activities.


***Checkout this video  from  BuffUSA.com demonstrating all of the ways to sport your Buff®!

Before discovering this little gem, I was always on the search for headbands that would properly stay in place during my runs.  I would get frustrated when they would fall out during a run or stretch out quickly and no longer be of use.  But then I found Buff®!  I can wear it so many ways and not have to worry about it falling out.  The first place I wore this baby was on a run at the lake.

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It was a beautiful day to use my Buff® as a headband and I liked knowing that my hair was being protected since I had just gotten it highlighted a couple of days before.

The next time, I tried my Buff® out as a wristband.

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Although, this is not one of the official ways to use the Buff® per the website, I still liked using it wipe my face since it was pretty warm this day.

Then, I took my Buff® on a little trip to the trails!

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The Buff® USA can be used as a dust mask for dusty trails OR you could use it to disguise yourself from a sneaky mountain lion! 😉

After the trails, I brought my Buff® to the beach!

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This time I used it as a cap which served as protection from the September, SoCal sun and the salty air!

I even took my Buff® to a theme park!

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That’s right, LEGOLAND pirates also enjoy using the Buff® while performing outdoor activities on their Lego pirate ships. 😉

The Buff® USA comes in allllll types of color combos and patterns.  As you can see from my pics, I chose a National Geographic® print in a pink/purple color.  Go checkout the website to see all of the beautiful colors/patterns to choose from!  You could even choose a Survivor® Buff® and pretend like you’re on a desert island with your own tribe.  The sky’s the limit!

I also liked that I could put my Buff® in the freezer before going out for a summer run to keep my neck and head cool.  You can’t do that with a headband, ladies!  So that’s what I did before going out on a sunset run…

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Look how adorable it is next to a flower bush…It’s like a work of art!  A functional work of art and well worth the investment!  I’m really excited to use my Buff® during the winter when it’s cold in the mornings and evenings and my lungs are on fire from inhaling the cold air.  I will be able to cover my neck and mouth…and presto!  My run just became more comfortable and I might even be able to extend my normal run by a few miles!

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what to expect from this product since I was so unfamiliar with it.  I kind of thought it looked a little ridiculous and never really considered adding it to my running gear toolbox.  I was pleasantly surprised at not only the comfort and functionality of Buff® USA, but also the ease of use and the fashionable look that it provides.  I would definitely recommend this product to all of my friends and I can’t wait to add some more to my collection!

Also, if you plan to run the Marine Corps Marathon next month, stop by the Buff® booth at the Fitness Expo to grab your official Marine Corps Marathon Buff® headwear!

It’s way more fun to run…in the Buff®! 😉  What’s your favorite way to wear your Buff® USA??!

Again, I received this product as part of the awesome BibRave Pro program.  Don’t forget to review all of your races on Bibrave.com


And join BibChat every Tuesday on Twitter at 6 pm PST for your chance to score free and discounted running gear! Thanks, Buff® USA

~SM

 

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