Category Archives: Reviews

How to Rock Your Runs with Pink Aftershokz this October!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of pink Aftershokz 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!

Can you believe it is already September?! This year is flying by!! Fall is near and that means October is right around the corner. October is when we bring out all the pumpkin stuff, and it’s also breast cancer awareness month. One of my favorite companies, AfterShokz is joining the fight against breast and ovarian cancer by going (Bright) Pink with some pink Aftershocks headphones! unspecified

Aftershokz created some limited edition open ear Trekz Titanium Pink headphones that are only available now thru October 31st. My long time readers know I love the color pink, so when Aftershokz told me about this campaign, I was SO EXCITED! I already have a pair of Trekz Titanium, and love them, I take them on almost every run with me. When I found out they made pink Aftershokz,  I was very excited to get some in my favorite color. img_7230

Besides being my favorite color, these pink Aftershokz headphones support a great cause. For every pair sold on aftershokz.com from September 1st to October 31st, 2016, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non-profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness. How cool is that?! 

The Trekz Titanium from Aftershokz are amazing. Here is what I love:

– open ear design allows you to be aware of your surroundings while you enjoy your music and/or calls
– wireless, so you won’t be tangled in cords
– sweat resistant
– they don’t go inside or over your ears, so you don’t need to worry about them falling out while running 
– a single charge gets you 6+ hours of listening time!
– extremely comfortable
– you can turn your jams up as loud as you want without damaging your hearing! Because these headphones are bone conduction and not in your ear canal, it won’t affect your hearing. cool huh?!
added bonus: a portion of proceeds raised from each unit sold will go back to Bright Pink to spread awareness about breast and ovarian cancer!!

For more info, you can read my previous review of them HEREimg_7196

#AwareWithPink

Since I love social media, I think it’s super cool when a social media post can help do some good. Check this out –> Every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink to extend the awareness. Spreading the hashtag will fund Bright Pink’s ongoing efforts to educate and drive awareness about how being proactive can make all the difference. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!  img_7280

Gift with Purchase

If you purchase a pair of PINK Aftershokz, be sure to use the code “PINK” at check out and receive a free small storage case! This storage case is very nice and not included normally. unspecified-2
 
If you are looking for a great pair of bluetooth headphones for running, you will NOT be disappointed with Aftershokz. Be sure to check them out! 

My Feet Earned This!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS 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!

Since I started running, when I go get a pedicure, someone almost always makes a comment about how beat up my feet are. I don’t think my feet look that bad, but I do get the occasional blister or bruised toenail & I get more calluses than an average person. #RUNNERPROBLEMS. When you are logging #allthemiles, it can take a toll of your feet – not only aesthetically on the outside but also on the inside. Thanks to OOFOS, your feet have some help to recover from a hard workout too. 

Post race recovery usually includes compression, self miofascial release, or even take an ice bath. None of these techniques, however, address one of the body parts that may need some attention: your feet! No matter how comfortable your running shoes are, after a long run or race, your feet need some relief. I remember when I finished my first marathon, my feet felt like they weighed 100 pounds. I couldn’t wait to get my running shoes off!

My Feet Earned This – OOFOS Sandals

I usually just bring a pair of flip flops with me to change into post race.  Now that I have a pair of OOFOS sport sandals, I make sure to bring my OOFOS instead of my everyday flip flops. Why?? Because OOFOS are so much more comfortable! They have special cushion that absorbs impact and make your feet feel AHHHMAZING! It is literally like walking on air, especially after a long run. See what I am talking about in this 53 second video: 

How I use my OOFOS Sandals

While OOFOS sandals feel amazing post run, they are also great for everyday use. Since it is summer, I try to be in flip flops as much as possible. I have worn my OOFOS to take my dog on a evening walk.

 I have worn them out and about post run. 


I have even used them to go to the lake and stand up paddling board. 

Fun Fact: My mom tried my OOFOS on and liked them so much she almost didn’t give them back to me. Now I know what to get her for her birthday!! LOL.

OOFOS are extremely versatile and not to mention comfortable. These sandals are biomechanically engineered to alleviate foot stress and soreness… how cool is that?! 

Interested in learning more?

They have men’s and women’s styles, lots of fun colors and you can even choose between a slip-on and a flip flop. Check out OOFOS Sport Sandal (the one I have). I also really love the OOlala Sandal.

I am thankful to have OOFOS as another way to help me bounce back into my next workout quicker and keep my feet a little happier! 

Amphipod Hydraform: The First Handheld Bottle I Like!

Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod Handheld 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!

If you have been reading my blog for sometime, you know that somehow I managed to survive half marathon training last summer without a good hydration strategy. I tried a hydration belt & didn’t like the bounce. I desperately wanted to use a handheld water bottle, but I didn’t like the feel for long distances. This winter, I found hydration packs, which I love; however sometimes you don’t need a pack, but you still want to bring water on your runs. Enter Amphipod Hydraform – the first handheld that I love! IMG_4868

Amphipod Hydraform

The Amphipod hydraform is the first handheld water bottle that I like to use. The other handheld water bottles that I tried were awkward and uncomfortable to carry and didn’t have any storage. The Amphipod bottles are ergonomically shaped, which makes it very comfortable to carry for short to long distances. The design allows it to fit better in your hand and the thumb/hand strap is very comfortable. You won’t get a hand cramp carrying this bottle! IMG_4903
 
The water bottle cover has a huge pocket that holds my iPhone 6 with enough room for keys, a snack & some tissue. I tried putting a iPhone 6 Plus in the pocket and it fit too! I love all the storage the bottle has. You can take this on your run and not have to bring anything else with you. I love that I can take this water bottle with me & leave my running belt at home. I stay hydrated & can carry all my running essentials. 

How I use it

I have taken this water bottle with me on short 3 mile runs, middle distance 5 to 7 mile runs, and I even ran a half marathon with it!

crossing finish at half marathon!
crossing finish at half marathon!
 
It was so pleasant to use during the half. I carried fuel, my phone, keys & Ultima (electrolyte powder) along with my ID and some cash. So convenient and easy! I was glad I had the handheld with me that race as there were not as many aid stations as I would have liked. IMG_4984

Why I’m in love! 

  •  Extremely comfortable to hold & run with
  • Insulated sleeve, keeps water colder longer
  • Huge, expandable pocket to hold phone and other running necessities 
  • Squeeze & squirt cap makes for easy drinking while running! No need to open or close the bottle to get a drink. 
  • Very easy to carry despite size & storage. Holds 20oz of H20!
  • BPA free bottle (no chemicals leaching into water)
  • Dishwasher safe for easy cleaning
  • Wide opening on bottle for easy filling + adding ice
  • Lots of storage!
  • BONUS: they are made in Seattle!!!

Hands down, this is the best handheld water bottle I have ever used. There is enough room for storage & plenty of water. IMG_5086

Where to Buy

Amphipod makes several different sizes of handheld water bottles. The one that I have is the Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra. It holds 20oz of water and has the extra large pocket. They also make a 16oz bottle – the pocket is still supposed to be able to hold a iPhone 6. 

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super easy and comfy grip!

They have plenty of other water bottle options available on their website as well. Check them out HERE or use the store locator to find them at a running store near you!

How I Eat Healthy Even With a Crazy Schedule

Disclaimer: I received Luvo meals 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!

My schedule has been CRAZY lately. I am not the kind of person that prides themselves on being busy. However, there are seasons of hustle, and right now is one of them. Between training clients at the gym, working with online training clients, prepping to teach stand up paddle board classes this summer (more on that later), working some events for Quest & training for the marathon this weekend… life has been crazy! 

I am ready for it to settle down a bit. The good news is, I really enjoy all the things I’m doing, so while things get hectic at times, it’s fun. One thing that can be challenging whether you are training for a marathon/half marathon or juggling a busy schedule at work is healthy eating and good nutrition. When you are pressed for time, cooking and preparing a healthy meal can easily fall to the bottom of the list. luvo #2

One thing that works very well is preparing a bunch of food ahead of time – meal prep style. Cook a bunch of chicken breasts, bake some fish, make some quinoa & steam veggies. Then you throw it on a plate & warm it up for a quick meal. I love doing that, it makes lunch and dinner a breeze. However, I know that sometimes it is hard to find the time to prep food ahead of time. My back up plan for those types of situations is Luvo frozen mealsIMG_4747Luvo has literally saved me this last week! I have been able to maintain my nutrition and marathon training even during one of my busiest weeks. All I have to do is open the freezer & I have dinner! 

Not only are they delicious, they are also the healthiest frozen meal I have ever found. Many of them have at least 20g of protein & everything is cooked/steamed in a pouch. These do not taste like a frozen meal! When you transfer it from the pouch to your plate, it looks like a professionally plated meal. Who doesn’t love eating beautiful food?! 

IMG_2592Most of the meals take 5-6 minutes to cook. 5 microwave minutes can feel like an eternity when you are hungry haha! Unless I have ‘meal prepped’ some, I cannot make dinner in 5 minutes. With Luvo, you have a quick and healthy meal that you didn’t have to prep. Such a lifesaver! What more can you ask for? 

I loved this tandoori chicken! It was spicy but oh so good!
I loved this tandoori chicken! It was spicy but oh so good!

I always have a few of these in my freezer so when life is crazy by choice or because of something that is out of my control, I know I can maintain my healthy eating habits. These are also great to curb post run ‘hanger’!! Just pop it in the microwave and within 6 minutes you are chowing down on a gourmet meal. 

Due to my allergy, all the entrees I tried are gluten free, however not all Luvo meals are. The gluten free ones are clearly labeled on the box, so be sure to check for that if you have an allergy.

Chicken Chili Verde is my all time favorite!
Chicken Chili Verde is my all time favorite!

There can be some shady things in the frozen aisle, but Luvo is in a league of it’s own. They use real, quality ingredients, don’t add preservatives or anything fake, and focus on making nutritious meals. Use the store finder to see where you can find Luvo meals near you.IMG_5043

Luvo is a stand up company that makes delicious food with great nutrition. Since I have had the chance to work with them, I have seen what an amazing company they are. They care about where food comes from and won’t sacrifice quality or do anything that harms the environment. I love it when I find a company like Luvo that you feel good supporting and they make amazing products!IMG_4744

Summer Running with XX2i Hawaii1 + Discount Code

Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Hawaii1 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!

The sun is shining, warmer temps, longer days… summer is here! I am SO happy because summer is my favorite part of the year. I love to run in the sunshine, so you may be surprised to know that I never had a pair of ‘athletic’ sunglasses. I never felt like I needed them until recently, so when I was offered the opportunity to test out the Hawaii1 sunglasses from XX2i, I was very excited! xx2i hawaii1

Before, I always ran in my regular shades. I never had a problem; however the shades were not designed for running. You can get away with regular sunglasses on shorter runs and even on longer runs too, but there is definitely a difference we you use sport shades.  The warmer it is the more I sweat, and my sunglasses started to slip. On really bright days, I found myself squinting even with sunglasses on. Sport shades are made with all these things in mind and using them on long runs has been really great.  IMG_4718

XX2i Hawaii1

 I was really excited to try out the newest model of sport shades, the XX2i Hawaii1 model as this company is one of the best in the industry! The frame is carbon fiber, which means it’s super light weight, and the lenses are polarized with 8K optics. This makes for super crisp vision even on the brightest days. They are extremely lightweight and easily adjustable, which means they fit any face shape and work for lots of different activities.  

See it in Action

 I used these sunglasses on short and long runs. I also used them for reading in the sun and they worked great! I loved that I could easily pull them back on top of my head if it got cloudy and I didn’t need them. xx2i hawaii1 xx2i hawaii1

Pros & Cons

PROS 
extremely lightweight
easy to adjust to fit your face
flexible frame + nose piece 
nice case & cleaning cloth included 
amazing warranty and guarantee!
 
With the frame being so light weight and flexible, you almost forget you are wearing them & there is no pinching behind the ears. Zero headaches with these sunglasses! 
 
CONS
Took me a while to get adjustment right for my face
 
When these arrived, I was seeing the bottom of the lens & I didn’t like that. At first I thought the lenses were smaller then what I was used to, but it turned out I just had not adjusted the nose pads correctly. It took me a few tries, but I finally found a fit that worked. Thankfully these have an adjustable nose piece, so you can adjust according to your face shape & preference. xx2i hawaii1

Discount code

Wanna pick up some XX2i shades of your own?  Use code XX2irocks for 50% off!! They have sport shades and casual shades + an AWESOME guarantee & return policy so you can feel good about purchasing from them. (see below – it’s the best I’ve ever seen!!)

WARRANTY: Lifetime Warranty! No questions asked, you break or scratch them, send them back to be replaced for a nominal shipping and handling fee! 
RETURN POLICY: 365 Days! We know it may take some time to try on and get comfortable with a pair of sunglasses bought online so that’s why we give you a full year to do so! 

How to Pack for a Race like a Rockstar! Starring Eagle Creek

I haven’t always loved running, but I have always LOVED traveling. Now that I can combine running and traveling for a ‘race-cation’, it’s been a ton of fun! I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a last minute packer. I put it off till the day before and then my suitcase can be a real mess. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport bags are a game changer for packing, especially when packing running/workout clothes. 

IMG_0732I hate that feeling you get when you are on your way to the airport and you know you forgot something. I can’t always pinpoint what I forgot, but you know an essential is missing. Then it drives you insane until you figure out what it is. That is the WORST. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing right? One of the reasons I love the Eagle Creek bags is because they make it easy to make sure you have everything. You put it all away into the nice little compartments and you know it is there. You won’t forget to put it in your suitcase! 

Another reason I love them is because it makes transporting sweaty clothes and dirty shoes much easier. One time when I came home from a race in Mexico, I had to wash EVERYTHING in my suitcase because my sweaty clothes left everything damp. That would not have happened If I had used Eagle Creek bags. 

There are so many ways you could use these bags! Watch the video below to see them in action. I show you what I pack when I am planning on running on vacation and you can see how these bags all fit into my carry-on suitcase! 

Pretty cool huh?! 
How would you use these bags? What packing tips do you have for a race or a trip? I would love to know! Please share in the comments below.

One more thing: if you would like improve your fitness or running, I can help you! Loose weight,  improve your mile time, or even work up to jogging your first mile! Email me and I’ll fill you in on all the options to work with me. I only have a few spots open for the month, so hop to it! thesweetblondesfitlife (at) gmail (dot) com

Disclaimer: I received a set of Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport bags as part of my association with the RockNBlog team. I was not required to review them, but I loved them so I wanted to share with you. All opinions are my own.

Get your Tropicolor On with The Color Run

Disclaimer: I received a swag kit +  free entry to The Color Run as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity and honesty, all opinions are my own. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro & check out BibRave.com to review and write race reviews!
 
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You know you’re a runner when… you jump at a chance to run a race! As you may recall, my Spring race schedule is really busy in April and June, but I didn’t have any races planned in May. There were several races I was interested in, but hadn’t committed. Now that’s changed and this weekend I will be running The Color Run in Seattle!
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Tropicolor! 

This will be my first time participating in The Color Run. While I love to run, the idea of getting covered in colored powder didn’t really appeal to me. I was really excited about this years theme, Tropi-Color, and was feeling adventurous, so I decided to sign up. I love pineapples and everything tropical & it sounds like Color Run is bringing the vacation to me! On the Tropicolor course we will be bathed in a tropical array of colors and delicious island scents as we run through the shade of palm trees, arches, and island-style music. I CANNOT WAIT!
tropicolor-course-map
 Plus my friend, Carleeh, always talked positively about the Color Run the last few years, so why not run it! I am really excited to share my race day experience with you!

The Color Run

If you are not familiar with The Color Run, it’s a run that is less about your running time and more about having the time of your life! The Color Run is a 5K with only two ‘rules’: 1)wear white at the starting line. 2) Finish plastered in color!

After finishing the race, the fun continues with an unforgettable Finish Festival with music, dancing and massive color throws, which create millions of vivid color combinations. Sounds like an awesome post-5k party!
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Run Baltimore + Discount Code

The Color Run has events ALL over the country! The next one is coming up in Baltimore, where I just was last weekend!
the pretty city of Baltimore!!
the pretty city of Baltimore!!
It is taking place at the famous Camden Yard Sports Complex. If you are in the Baltimore or East Coast area, check The Color Run out! Get $5 off registration using code BRP16
Next Monday, I’ll be sharing my Color Run race recap & picking a giveaway winner. Be sure to enter the giveaway by commenting below for your chance to win your own Color Run swag pack. Sign up to run a race today and if you win the swag pack, you will have even more Color Run gear to sport at the race! 
 
Does the Color Run come to your city? Have you ever run it? 
 

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