Tag Archives: bibravepro

Running Essentials You Need to Survive Summer

The summer weather and heat makes running outdoors uncomfortable and even difficult at times. I have rounded up 7 of my favorite summer running essentials that make those warm runs easier. If you are training for a fall or winter race, running & training thru the summer is a must. I am not a huge treadmill fan, so I do all my runs outdoors. There are several things that I have found make running in the heat more tolerable. 

Summer Running EssentialsSummer Running Essentials 

1) Handheld Water Bottle 

This is a must, especially on shorter runs. Even if it is only a few miles, you will be thankful that you have some liquids with you, especially on hot days. My favorite handheld is the Hydraform by Amphipod. I love it because it is a 20oz bottle and has a huge pocket that fits a cell phone, keys and even some run fuel. I won’t use any other handheld!!  If you prefer a smaller size, it also comes in 16oz bottle

2) Electrolytes!

sipping Ultima in my Orange Mud

Hydration is important year around, but it always seems to be top of mind in the heat. After a good sweat, you need to replace the fluids and the electrolytes lost. Electrolyte imbalance and dehydration are very serious things and not problems I want to be dealing with. I use  Ultima Replenisher every day post workout. I will also fill up my water bottle with it to sip on during the run. It’s delicious & they recently updated their formula so it’s not only zero sugar and zero artificial ingredients, it’s also zero calorie! 

3) Buff 

 Sweat running down your face on a run is not fun. That is where the Buff comes in! I love to use mine to wipe off the sweat. You can also get you Buff wet with cold water or stuff it with ice and use it to cool off! They can be worn all different ways and are very versatile. This is easily one of my most favorite running accessories that can be used year around.  

4) Hydration Pack

I honestly don’t know how I survived long runs last summer without a hydration pack. I LOVE the Orange Mud Hydraquiver. It is comfy, doesn’t bounce, and it doesn’t cover a huge part of your back, so you don’t get super hot. It also has pockets to hold phone and other important running necessities & the water bottle is very easy to clean. You can also check out the Hydraquiver Vest Pack and the Endurance Pack from Orange Mud. Their products are great, you won’t be disappointed. 

5) Body Glide

Chaffing is no bueno. It’s uncomfortable and can really ruin a run. Use Body Glide to prevent chaffing in areas that can rub together like thighs or arm pits. I also have some running friends that put Body Glide on their eyebrows to keep the sweat out of their eyes… GENIUS! 

6) Sunglasses

If it’s sunny, I have a hard time running without sunglasses. On short runs, I like to run in a pair of sunglasses I have from a few years ago. For long runs, I like the XX2i sunglasses – they are super light weight, comfortable & polarized lenses make super bright days easy to tolerate. 

7) A cool, sweat wicking tank

It helps if it’s stylish too, because #RunMatchy!! ๐Ÿ˜‰ One of my favs that is not only super cute but also practical is the Brooks Ghost Racerback.  It’s sheer, super-soft DriLayerยฎ moisture-wicking fabric is very light,  contains a touch of linen, and is perfect for warmer temps. It comes in so many fun colors & it’s on sale!!!  Brooks Running Women's Ghost Racerback Size: Large 592

8) A Comfy Pair of Flip Flops

After a long, hot run, I need to get my running shoes off ASAP! I  always bring along a pair of flip flops to slip into post run. If it is a long run, or super hot, my feet get a little swollen, so throwing on some open shoes like flip flops makes all the difference. I am loving the OOFOS Sport Sandal. It is super cushiony and feels like a dream!  It’s also biomechanically engineered to alleviate foot stress and soreness. It’s perfect for post run or running errands.  FullSizeRender-1

Why I Love My Newest Gear from 2XU [Review + Discount]

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Vectr socks to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. I value authenticity & honesty; all opinions are my own.  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 some time, you know that since I started running, I’ve fallen in love with 2XU. It all started when my sports doctor recommended a pair of 2XU compression tights. Since then, my collection of compression gear has grown. Compression is a HOT topic in the running world. There are many benefits of compression, and it’s a tool that I like to use both on runs and in recovery. 

loving the 2XU booth at the Hot Chocolate expo this year. Also saw them at the runDisney expo!

My most recent addition to my compression collection are the  performance run calf sleeves and vectr socks from 2XU. IMG_2562

Vectr Socks

The great thing about compression calf sleeves vs full compression socks is that you can wear your favorite running sock with them. The kind of running socks you wear can literally make or break your run!  

Bad socks = blisters, rubbing and painful miles. Good socks = blissful miles! I don’t want to feel my socks on my run. The best sock is one you forget you are wearing, and the vectr sock is exactly that! 

To find the best sock, look for one with strategic padding and high quality material. IMG_2561The vectr socks feature X-LOCK technology that reduces friction which reduces the chance of blisters. The X-LOCK also supports the arch of your foot and ankle for impact cushioning. 

You will notice there is a specific sock for the right and left foot – this is not because you don’t know how to put socks on. Each sock has specific padding and fit for the corresponding foot. IMG_3129

The vectr socks are breathable (no stinky feet here!) and lightweight making them perfect for any season of running. They are also cute & come in fun colors (major plus in my book)!

Compression Sleeves

I pair my 2XU vectr socks with the performance calf sleeves. They go together like peanut butter and jelly!IMG_3116IMG_2709Could they be worn separately? Yes, but I wear them together. This allows me to get all the compression benefits from the sleeves, like faster muscle warm up & reduced muscle soreness, and the supreme comfort of the vectr socks. FullSizeRender

The compression sleeves are also perfect for all seasons. They are made from a PWX compression fabric that is breathable & sweat wicking. They feature a seamless construction for maximum comfort and come in all different colors from neutrals to brights. IMG_2577

How I use them

Compression sleeves I use mainly on runs or during some sort of activity. I especially like to use them when my muscles are tired or sore. The vectr socks are great on runs too. The padding and cushioning makes for some really comfortable miles. IMG_2968

This combo can also be worn for recovery purposes. If my legs feel tired in the morning, I will put these on to get my legs psyched up for a run later. I also will leave them on for a little bit post run! 

Wearing 2XU gear may induce jumping on runs ๐Ÿ˜› 

2xu jump

Why I’m in love!

All my 2XU gear is extremely comfortable and really helps with my performance. That is what they are all about: human performance multiplied.
They compression sleeves and vectr socks are no exception. They are so comfortable I forget I am wearing them and they make my muscles and feet happy. These are an awesome addition to my compression collection and a great tool to have for long runs & recovery. 

Get 15% off 2XU 

Want to grab some vectr socks and compression sleeves for yourself? Use the discount code TRAIN15 for 15% off!
Valid on full price products only. Expires April 30, 2016. Cannot be used in conjunction with any other coupon or offer. 

My Racing Schedule for the Next Two Months

How is it already the middle of February?! My first few races of 2016 are almost here and I CANNOT believe it. Here is a quick look into what I have on the calendar for the next few months. 

I’ll break it down by race, date & location, why I chose to run it and share any discount codes I have!!! Of course, this is subject to change, meaning I may add races to this #runnerproblems ๐Ÿ˜€

Race: My Better Half Marathonunnamed-2Date: 2-14-16
Where: Seattle, WA
Why I’m Running: this was a last minute race. I really wanted to run the 10K, but it was sold out, so that left me with the half marathon. A runner’s gotta do what a runner’s gotta do right!? Valentine’s Day is one of my most favorite holidays & this race is super festive & has amazing swag. You get a hot meal post race, a pull over, interlocking medals and race bibs that list your relationship status. I’m ALL about it & I even convinced Andy to run it with me last minute. I’d say that is true love.

Race: Disney Princess Enchanted 10Kprincess-half-marathon-medals-3Date: 2-20-16
Where: Orlando, FL
Why I’m Running: This race is part of the Glass Slipper Challenge. You run the 10K on Saturday followed by the half marathon on Sunday. This gets you a glass slipper medal & seeing that Cinderella is my favorite Disney princess of course I HAD to do it. 
(this years medals pictured above)

Race: Disney Princess Half MarathonIMG_4314Date: 2-21-16
Where: Orlando, FL
Why I’m Running:  What girl doesn’t want to run the Disney Princess Half Marathon??? This was on my bucket list once I started running. I am gonna feel like a kid all over again. I am even wearing a costume. I can’t wait! I don’t know if I will ever run another Disney race again so I am making the most of it. 

Race: Hot Chocolate 15KPhoto Mar 01Date: 3-6-16
Where: Seattle, WA
Why I’m Running: I ran this race last year and had a blast, so I’m back for another year. The swag you get is amazing and the chocolate fondue post race is delicious. Swag includes a bag, a really nice hoodie/jacket (I wear mine all the time) & a beautiful medal. If you love chocolate, this race is for you. If you like to have fun, this race is for you. Not feeling the 15K, run or walk the 5K! You still get all the swag, minus the medal, and all the chocolate!
Discount Code: BIBRAVESEA – gets you a free hot chocolate headband when you register!

TENTATIVE: Dallas Rock & Roll Half Marathon. Screen Shot 2016-02-13 at 1.18.12 AMDate: 3-20-16
Dallas, TX
Why I Want to Run: I really want to run a race with my running buddies in Texas! A few of my fellow BibRave Pros are running this race and I think I could convince my BRF (best running friend) Angela to run it too. I’m not sure if I can swing the travel, so we will see. If I go, I’ll run the ‘remix’ which is a 5K on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday. I know, I’m crazy, but go big or go home right?! 

Which races will I be seeing you at???

Stay Sweaty!

How to Keep You Legs Warm on Winter Runs

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik tights 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!

It’s January and I’m still running outside. Last year I took the winter months ‘off’ of running because I couldn’t fathom the idea of running in the cold, wind & rain. Sure, I live in the PNW, so our weather is not as extreme as some other areas of the USA, but it is certainly not ideal running weather. This year I signed up for a few winter races, so I am training outdoors. Like I mentioned last week, winter running conditions can be tough, but thankfully there are a lot of great products to make it more tolerable. IMG_1024

I have long legs and I am always cold, so finding a way to keep my legs warm in cold temps was a must. A pair of regular leggings just wasn’t cutting it, so when I was introduced to the 2XU hyoptik  thermal compression tights, they became another one of my winter running must-haves. Not only do you get all the benefits of a compression tight, these thermal tights are lined with fleece so they keep you nice and warm. The fleece is not bulky or hot, they feel like other leggings I own, yet are much warmer. Unlike some other thermal leggings I have tried, these are really comfortable and easy to move in. They also have reflective logos so you are more visible in low lights. This is super important year around, but especially in winter when the days are so short. IMG_0472.JPG

With our temps in the PNW, wearing these tights alone keeps me plenty warm. The coldest I have worn these in is 30 degrees.  Some of my BibRavePro buddies that live in colder places have used the hyoptik tights as a base layer with a pair of sweats over and stayed plenty warm. IMG_0882.JPG

For me, the hyoptik compression tights have really cut the wind chill I used to feel on runs. I really feel warm and toasty after the first half mile. Once my muscles warm up, these tights keep them insulated. It’s not a stuffy insulated, however, the hyoptik tights are still breathable. They let the sweat out and keep the warmth in! IMG_1114.JPG

The hyoptik tights are not only functional, but they are also very comfortable. They have a thick waistband that doesn’t cut in and sits very comfortably on runs & zero chaffing with the flat seams. They are also great to wear for recovery if you are out and about on a chilly day. The 2XU hyoptik tights would also be a great base layer for snow sports! Since I dislocated my shoulder the last time I was on the mountain, I have not tried this yet, but next time I go, I will be wearing my 2XU!IMG_0801.JPG

I am so thankful to have added these to my running wardrobe this season. They have made winter runs much more tolerable and allow me to get out and train on a regular basis. These will be my go to tights until the weather warms back up.IMG_1012.PNG

If you aren’t a fan of full length tights, 2XU also makes these in a 7/8 tight and a crop. Check out the 2XU Hyoptik collection HERE.

Do you take your workouts outdoors in the winter? 

Stay Sweaty!


Wanna read more? Check out what other BibRavePros thought

Frank // Mark // Cass // Jessica 

Compression Benefits & Why You Need it, Runner or Not!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU compression tights 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 & write race reviews!

Whether or not you should use compression is a hot topic. You will find people who swear by compression socks and others who think compression gear is silly. Makes sense because different things work for different people right? When I started running, I had no idea what compression was, so I didn’t use it. It wasn’t until I had an unhappy thigh muscle that I was introduced to compression leggings by my sports doctor. As you will see, there are lots of compression benefits whether you are a runner or not. IMG_8803

The best compression tights

There are several ‘big’ compression brands that make all different kinds of compression gear. Hands down, 2XU makes the best compression leggings. They extremely comfortable and work very well; they feel like a second skin. Whether you wear them to exercise in or for recovery, they are very functional. My muscles are so happy after they get some time in 2XU compression tights.  

In my first pair of compression tights

When my sports doctor recommended them to me, he told me to get a pair of 2XU compression tights. They helped me recover from my unhappy muscle and get back to running. Those were the regular compression tights and they worked wonderfully. These elite MCS compression tights are another level of comfort and technology. I love these even more than my first pair. See below for what makes the MCS tights super awesome.IMG_8802

How do I use them?

I do run in compression tights from time to time; however I mainly use them for recovery. For example, once I get home from a long run or a big race, I put on my compression tights for the rest of the day or the day following the race. Post-leg day, I like to wear compression tights to help combat the muscle soreness. FullSizeRender-2
If I am up for a run and my muscles are super sore, I will run in my compression tights and my muscles feel great. I also like to run in them when it is cold. Sine the blood flow to my muscles is increased, my legs stay warmer in the cold. compression benefits

What are the compression benefits for everyone?

After any kind of exercise, we all suffer from muscle soreness to some extent. When you muscles get strained, the micro-tears cause soreness and when the muscles repair they get stronger. By using compression gear, the blood flow to your muscles increases meaning that those tears recover faster and your soreness goes away much quicker. This also means that you can bounce back faster and kick more butt in your workouts because you recover quicker. Whether you are a runner, a cross fitter, a walker, a weight lifter or you love Zumba, compression tights will help with your recovery. IMG_7675

If you do not exercise, compression is still helpful because again, it increases blood flow to your muscles. What that means for the non-exerciser is that it can help reduce swelling. If you have swelling/fluid retention in your feet or ankles, compression socks may help. (Be sure to check with your doctor first) It also helps with circulation and for people with certain medical conditions compression can be helpful.
I like to wear compression socks or tights on airplane flights as it helps with the circulation while I am sitting for long periods of time. 

compression benefits
on the airplane

Why the Elite MCS Tights are worth the investment

The new MCS tights from 2XU are the BEST. The technology is out of this world. MCS stands for muscle containment stamping. This creates a targeted compression as there is a support system traced over each key muscle group on the inside of the tights. Not only is this muscle mapping extremely effective, the felt on the inside of the tights that creates the mapping is very comfortable. The tights smooth lines so there is no uncomfortable chaffing or rubbing. This makes the tights feel like an extension of your body, you almost forget you are wearing them.compression benefits

The MCS tights also make you look like a bad a**. I don’t know if it is the black and gold that catches peoples attention or small muscle mapping details on the outside of tights, but people looked at me differently when I wore these around or trained in them. Seriously. I do not say this to toot my own horn, it’s the tights!
I have gotten lots of compliments and questions on them.  These tights make you look like you mean business. Not only are they effective and will help you become a better athlete, they also up your level of bad-assery which is a major plus in my book. ๐Ÿ˜€ FullSizeRender-1

Don’t just take my word for it 

If you aren’t already convinced that you need a pair of compression tights or of compression benefits, check out some of my fellow BibRave Pros reviews –>

Angie // Jeremy // Katherine // Kim // Laura B // Heather

Tell me: Do you use compression tights or socks? What questions do you have about compression benefits?

Stay Sweaty!!

My 2015 Fall Running/Race Line Up

Fall is my favorite time of year to run races. Why? Because you get to train and do most of the running in the summer which means nice, warm weather. I ran my first half marathon in October of 2014 and really enjoyed the whole training season, running outdoors and using runs as a way to enjoy the really nice weather. 

This fall I have a lot of exciting races lined up….more than I ever have before (considering this running thing is still new to me). I am kicking off ‘racing season’ this weekend! I cannot wait. Running the races make all the training runs worth it. fall race line up

  1. Ventura Half Marathon!!!

    When: September 13th (this Sunday!) 
    Where: beautiful Ventura which is about 1.5 hours north of L.A. in Southern California
    Why I’m Excited: This is my first official California race as well as my first race repine’ BibRave! I cannot wait to run with the palm trees and be back in my college stomping grounds. I am a little nervous because my training had a few bumps in it, but over all I am excited and ready to rock this race with all some of my SoCal running/blogging friends! 
    Link: http://bit.ly/1HibwvJ

  2. Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon – Merida

    When: October 31st 
    Where: Merida, Mexico! 
    Why I’m Excited: So many reasons!! First of all, Merida is ~2.5 hours from Cancun, hello beaches! Secondly,  I have always wanted to run a race in Mexico. Third, this run is at night and I have never done a night run before. And last, but not least, there is a huge Day of the Dead celebration in Mexico that is on November 1st; this race will be part of that celebration in Merida. 
    Link: http://www.runrocknroll.com/merida/

  3. 12Ks of Christmas

    When: December 20th
    Where: Kirkland, WA 
    Why I’m Excited: This race is a unique distance & I love Christmas! I wanted to run this race last year but I wasn’t in town.
    Link: http://www.promotionevents.com/12ks/12k_info.htm

  4. 2016 — Glass Slipper Challenge 

    When: February 2016
    Where: Walt Disney World – Orlando, Florida
    Why I’m Excited: I freakin’ LOVE Disney princesses (Cinderella is my favorite)!! This is my first ever Disney run and will be my first time going to Disney World! The glass slipper challenge is running the 10K on Saturday and the 1/2 Marathon on Sunday…bring it on! 
    Link: http://www.rundisney.com/princess-half-marathon/

There is one other race I have my eye on, but I am still on the fence about… the Seattle 1/2 Marathon. It is Thanksgiving weekend. The course is beautiful, but the weather not so much. It depends on the year, this last year it was dry so it can go either way. I was spying that race last year after finishing the Portland 1/2 Marathon in October, I was like why not?! I chickened out though and decided to take a break. Well…this year may be the year. We will see. 
What do you think? Should I run Seattle 1/2 Marathon??

Will I run more races than this? I hope I do! These are the big ones on the books so far ๐Ÿ™‚ It’s so crazy to think how much I have fallen in love with running and racing. I think it’s the races that I really love ๐Ÿ™‚ 

post jingle bell run last year (2014)
post jingle bell run last year (2014)

I am so excited about this race schedule, like I said it’s more than I have ever run before! This also means that I won’t have a ‘running off-season’ in the winter, meaning I will have to continue running and training thru the nasty wind and rain here in the PNW. Last year I went on some casual runs on nice days, but that was it. I am not too excited about winter running, but it will be a new experience for me and I might end up loving it. 

Let’s Chat:
Are you a runner? 
Running any race this fall/winter? 
Will you be running any of these races?!

Stay Sweet! 

p.s. if you are a runner, download my race checklist here — it’s everything you will need for race day! 

How to Take Your Workout Music to a Whole New Level

Go wireless!!!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Plantronics BackBeat Fit headphones 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!IMG_5356

Let me start off by saying that testing and playing with these headphones was SO much fun! I am married to the gadget king and I finally was able to one up him in the world of fitness tech! He is so eager to get his own pair of BackBeats! They are the best headphones that I have ever run with. Not only are they super easy to use, but not being tied down to your phone or device with wires takes running (and almost any activity) to a whole new level. The Plantronics BackBeat Fit combine hands free controls and wireless headphone technology for a whole new listening & running experience. You can keep your phone in your pocket or in your belt on your run and control volume, skip a song, pause music and even answer the phone or use Siri without ever touching your phone. 

I had seen wireless headphones before, and always thought they were cool, but never felt like I really needed a pair. I was wrong. I’m disappointed I did’t invest in some earlier! If you are going to buy a pair of wireless headphones, make sure you buy the right ones because they are not all created equal. 

The BackBeat Fit cover ALL the bases. You can use them for casual listening AND working out. I will cover more details through out the post, but they really are the best wireless headphones, especially if you plan to use them for any sort of exercise. They have a flexible design that fits comfortably and stays put for all levels of exercise. It is also adjustable for all different ear shapes and head sizes. You can use BackBeat Fit at the gym OR for outdoor training – day or night. “The safety-oriented eartip design lets you hear some of your surroundings and the reflective finish helps you be seen at night.” How cool is that? IMG_5454I used these headphones primarily on runs. (and it is true that you can hear your music really clearly yet also hear enough to be aware of your surroundings)IMG_5942

For casual listening.IMG_6071

To stay in my own world at coffee shops or in public places. IMG_6053

And even on a FaceTime convo! IMG_5953It was awesome not having to worry about being tied down to my device. At home, I could walk away from my iPad, iPhone and even my computer but still hear  what I was listening to.  On runs I didn’t have to worry about catching my arm on the headphone cord or deal with it waving in the wind. It also makes for way cooler running pics (no cord photo bombs!) ๐Ÿ˜€ 

no wires!!
no wires!!

The BackBeat Fit have an 8 hour battery, so depending on how much you use them, they don’t have to be charged every single day. The headphones talk to you when you turn them on (it’s really cool) and they let you know what the battery level is at that time. If the battery level starts to get critically low while you are using them, they will tell you that too. When you plug them in to charge, there is a light on the earbud that lets your know when they have reached full charge. IMG_5357

In case these headphones weren’t already cool enough, they are also waterproof and sweat proof! This is excellent news for people who live in Seattle (like me haha) and for people who sweat a lot (also me on hot runs). They also come with a case to store the headphones that then turns into an armband that you can use on your runs! My iPhone 6 fits in the armband, if you had a larger phone it would not fit, but you could use it to hold your keys or other running essentials. 

Oh and last thing, they also have an app! If you loose/misplace your headphones, you can use the app to locate them. Plantronics has seriously thought of everything with these headphones! 

Like I said, I used these headphones primarily for running and they were a DREAM! I really believe that my faster pace is partially due to using these headphones allowing me to focus more on running and not having to fumble around with my phone as much. While I used them running, you could easily use these for gym workouts too. Imagine leaving your phone in one place while you lift and still being able to listen to music! Or not having to deal with getting your arms tangled in a cord?! If you want to take your workouts and your music to a whole new level, get some wireless BackBeat Fit headphones! IMG_5369

If you want to try to win a pair of these headphones, join me and the other BibRavePros on #bibchat TONIGHT (9/1) at 6pm PST on Twitter. Search the hashtag #bibchat and you will find us! Plantronics and BibRave will be giving a pair of headphones to one lucky winner who participates in the the chat. 

Let’s Chat:
Have you tried wireless headphones?
What kind of music do you like to listen to when you workout? 

Stay Sweaty!!
I’ll see you all tomorrow for workout Wednesday!

See what other pros thought of the BackBeat Fit:

Chadd // Jessica // Jenny // Josh // Heather