Tag Archives: running accessories

The Most Stylish Sunglasses for Running: XX2i Brazil1

Disclaimer: I received a pair or XX2i sunglasses 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!

Even though the days are getting shorter and the winter chill is setting in, I occasionally still need sunglasses for running. Having a good pair of sunglasses can make a big difference on a run.  Besides keeping out rays, they also block out wind and other elements, so they are an important running accessory. The XX2i Brazil1 that I am reviewing today are extra special because you get stylish everyday sunglasses that also work great on runs. img_0046-jpg

Continue reading The Most Stylish Sunglasses for Running: XX2i Brazil1

Carry All the Essentials on The Run with SPIBelt

Disclaimer: I received a SPIBelt 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!

Whether you are on a short or a long run, there are essentials that you need to take with you. I usually opt for a running belt as the pockets in my leggings or shorts, don’t hold everything I need comfortably. Today I’m reviewing the latest addition to my running gear,  the SPIBelt performance series.  img_0223-jpg Continue reading Carry All the Essentials on The Run with SPIBelt

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! 

How to Pick the Best Running Shoe for You!

Since I started running more miles, something I get asked about all the time is running shoes. What do you run in? Which shoes do you suggest? How do I pick the right running shoe? Shoes can make or break your run. I learned this early on in my running career. Today, I’m going to explain how to pick the best running shoe for you! Fortunately it’s pretty easy, and by the end of this post you will be well on your way to getting that perfect shoe!

Do Running Shoes Matter?

The shoes you run in matter a lot more than you may think. There are differing & strong opinions on shoes. Some runners swear by one brand or model, and some runners by another. Here is what I can tell you: no person is alike. You have to find the best running shoe that works best for you, your body, your goals & your run style. Just because Suzy Runner loves the ‘model T’ doesn’t mean it will be right for you, and vice versa. Shoes are not something to take lightly whether you run recreationally or are training for a race. Because shoes are so specific to each person, it is important to get fit for your shoes, which leads me to my next point. best running shoe

How to Pick the Best Running Shoe

When I first started running, I just bought some running shoes that I thought were cute. They were comfortable for shorter distances, but longer distances they got uncomfortable. As I mentioned earlier, there are 4 major things that go into picking a shoe: your preferences, your body, your goals (i.e.: distance per week) & your run style. All of that needs to be taken into account when you pick a shoe, so the best thing to do is get fit for a running shoe. 

What’s a ‘Run Signature’?

When it comes to getting fit for a running shoe, getting your gait tested is often something you hear about. There are all different ways gait can be assessed; most common are visually observing your steps or a treadmill with cameras. Run Signature from Brooks takes this to the next level. 

Many times gait analysis involves just looking at your feet & your step. Run Signature, however, looks at how your entire stride functions from your knees all the way down to your ankles and feet. This is why I’m a huge  fan of Run Signature; it gets the entire picture, not just a snippet. 

Every body moves differently, which is why Brooks calls it your ‘Run Signature’. It’s specific to you and your body. It takes a lot of guess work out of finding the right shoe. For more scientific info on how it works, check this out

My ‘Run Signature’

A few weeks ago, Brooks Running invited me down to their beautiful headquarters here in Seattle to test out Run Signature. Not only was it a lot of fun to see where all the Brooks magic happens, I also learned some game changing info about what kind of shoes I need. 

The process is very easy and painless. You put two velcro bands on your leg, around your thigh above your knee and another on your calf. Then they place a sticky triangle on the back of your heel and you are ready to go. IMG_5068

Then you get on the treadmill and do a series of standing squats followed by a short run. IMG_5072

That’s it! Then you get some mind blowing results!!

My Results: I pronate slightly and need a ‘support’ shoe. (I’m giving you the short version, the results are much more in-depth than that)IMG_5077

Why are these so mind blowing?  First, when you visually observe me walk, you don’t see a pronation. It happens when I run and was not something I even knew I was doing. Second, I currently run in Brooks and was running in a neutral shoe. This would explain some of the issues I was having with my knee during marathon training. 

Another thing: your stride can change over time. So, when it is time to get a new pair of running shoes, also get your gait tested. The results can change and you may get surprised like I did! IMG_5074

Based on my Run Signature results, I’ve decided my next running shoe is going to be the Adrenaline GTS (cushion shoe). I would also love to try the Ravenna (energize) or the PureCadence (connect). I have plenty more miles to cover this year, so I probably have more than one pair of shoes on my horizon. IMG_5083

Find Your ‘Run Signature’

Want to find out what YOUR Run Signature is? Here are a few different ways you can do that.

  1. Local to the Seattle area? Visit the Brooks Trailhead store in Seattle and you can experience the Run Signature technology in person!
  2. Running a Rock N Roll race? The Run Signature technology & testing will be available at the “Brooks Run Happy Island” at all the Rock N Roll expos. 
  3. Neither of those possible for you?  Try this in-depth Shoe Finder quiz on the Brooks website! 

Once you find out what your Run Signature and whether you need a ‘support’ or ‘neutral’ shoe, Brooks takes it one step further by letting you choose what experience you want. 

  • Cushion: Soft and protective to cushion your every step.
  • Energize: Responsive and springy to add extra lift to your stride.
  • Connect: Lightweight and flexible to naturally feel your run
  • Speed: Fast and streamlined to propel you through your run.shoe types_brooks

No matter what kind of run you’re looking for, Brooks has got you covered! 


A huge thank you to Brooks Running for having me out to their headquarters and allowing me this amazing experience! 

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. 

IMG_4940
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!

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 are the Orange Mud Hydraquiver & Vest Pack Different?

The Orange Mud hydraquiver and hydraquiver vest pack sound very similar. Because of their name, it sounds like almost the same pack. While these packs are similar, they are very different. Like me, many people are curious as to how these packs compare and which one is right for them. Since I own both and have used both packs on many runs, I decided to compare them both and show you the similarities and differences. Check out my comparison video, side by side photos and my personal opinion on the best use for each pack below. By the end of this post, you can decide for yourself which one is best for you!
IMG_4225-1
Both packs serve the same purpose, easy to use hydration on a run. They share a lot of qualities: comfortable, innovative & adjustable. Figuring out which pack is right for you has a lot to do with what you need, the fit you find comfortable, the distance(s) you run and personal preference.

Deciding between the Hydraquiver and the Hydraquiver Vest Pack?
Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered!

Watch my comparison video below
OR
You can see a separate review/video review for each pack.
 

In my personal opinion, the Vest Pack is great for really long distances or if you want to keep your essentials within arms reach. It is also the better choice if you want a ton of storage. If you don’t want a pack that takes up so much surface area on your body or you don’t like the feel of a chest strap, then the Hydraquiver is for you. The Hydraquiver offers plenty of storage, but the Vest Pack has even more with four pockets up front and pocket in the back.  
FullSizeRender-2
If you need more water on runs, both the packs come in ‘double barrel’ which means they hold two water bottles. On every pack, Orange Mud has made sure the weight of the water bottle(s) is balanced and easy to carry. 
HydraQuiver_Double_Barrel_Pink_Front_1024x1024
Both packs are made very well. You can be sure that any Orange Mud product will serve you will and be worth what you pay for it. 
FullSizeRender-3
Can’t decide? You could buy both and use them on difference occasions or interchangeably.