In Winter Running, Warmer Heads Prevail

Buff HeadwearDisclaimer: I received the BUFF® ThermoNet 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!

Every runner has their go-to gear. It could be shoes, socks, shirts, a watch, etc. One thing I cannot run without is something on my head. For me, my go to is what I call a head sock – well that was until I was introduced a couple years ago to BUFF®.

In the Miami heat and humidity, I sweat profusely on a run. I need to keep the sweat out of my eyes so the head sock worked. I had used a couple of brands that I picked up at race expos, mostly because of design. But when I was introduced to BUFF, I’ve pretty much stuck with them.

BUFF recently launched its new ThermoNet line, and I had the opportunity to test it out. Now, living in Miami I was a bit apprehensive since its doesn’t get to cold here. Luckily we had an early cool front in October and the temperature dipped into the upper 50s – giving me a chance to try out both the ThermoNet headwear and hat.

The new ThermoNet™ multifunctional headwear and hat provide maximum protection from the cold. This comfortable, thin multifunctional headwear is made with breathable, durable PrimaLoft® yarn that is four times warmer than regular microfiber. The result of years of research and testing, ThermoNet™ multifunctional headwear wicks moisture away from your skin while trapping heat inside, keeping you comfortable and dry in even the most frigid winter weather.

When testing both the headwear and hat out, I was worried my head would get too hot Buff Thermonetand they would be itchy. Neither happened. I was pleased with the comfort of both the headwear and hat. They didn’t squeeze my head and were extremely breathable.

I used both on runs during 70 degree weather as well, to see if they performed then and they did. Now, I probably won’t venture to wear these during a summer afternoon run, but I haven’t had a problem with overheated my head when I’ve worn them.

Right now, BUFF has six cool colors available for men and women. If you order by November 21, 2017 and use the code BIBRAVETHERMONET20 you get 20% off your order when you purchase at least one ThermoNet product.

Keep your head warm and get to that finish line.

Advertisements

Skins: Compression Comfort

 

SKINS_A400 product photos_HighRes_32862.jpg

Disclaimer: I received Skins A400 compression shorts 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!

Compression gear is something many runners talk about. Pants, shorts, shirt, socks, calf sleeves, arm sleeves, etc. What compression gear is meant to do is improve blood flow and oxygen to muscles to improve performance.

Every run I go on is with compression shorts. I’ve used calf sleeves in the past, but that was when I was nursing an injury. I’ve exclusively used Nike Pro Combat compression shorts until I was given the opportunity to try Skins A400s.

The shorts were a little longer than I was used to, but I felt the difference throughout my entire quad and hamstring. The fit was perfect, and I could immediately tell the difference. The Skins A400s were working hard during my first long run with them. My legs felt fresher, longer and I couldn’t tell they were one.

To get the full effect of the product, I did something I’ve never done before. I wore the Skins A400s after one of my long runs to see how they performed with recovery. I’m not going to say the recovery difference was groundbreaking, but I will say there was a slight difference. I didn’t feel as sore as I have after a long run of the same distance, weather conditions, and intensity.

Having exclusively used Nike in the past, I could tell the different during and after the training. I’m pleasantly impressed with the performance. I can say the same about the quality of the product as well. First off it is durable. Second off, after a few runs and washes the Skins A400s don’t hold on to odor like my others.

I definitely recommend trying out a pair for yourself. And if you use the code BIBRAVE20 at checkout, you get 20% off through October 2017.

5K Crate: A Treasure Box for Runners

DIkgp7LUwAA7N3T (1)Disclaimer: I received a 5K Crate 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!

Next to setting a PR, there is no greater feeling for a runner than new gear. Whether its shoes, shorts, socks, headphones, gels, etc., we love our gear and look forward to that first run and subsequent ones with this new gear.

If you follow runners on social media, chances are you’ll see us bragging about this new gear. Like most things, running gear can be expensive. We save up for a certain piece when necessary.

However, now thanks to the great people at 5K Crate you can get a box of gear every quarter for a very reasonable price of $59.99 that covers you with running essentials from head to toe. Now, when people see other boxes they think: “Sure I’ll get one nice item and the rest are not useful.” That is not the case with 5K Crate. Not only are all the products useful, but they have partnered with excellent and reputable running brands.

I was excited to receive my first 5K Crate in August. I kept an open mind not knowing what I’d receive. When I opened the box, excitement ensued. The customer experience began positively with a personalized note.

As I went through the contents of the box, the first thing that caught my eye was a Mission Athlete Vaporactive shirt and Enduracool towel. Being from Miami, I’m very familiar with Mission Athlete. They make great quality products that keep runners cool in the high heat and humidity. They also manufacture cold weather gear.

The next piece of gear I saw was Spigen bluetooth headphones.While I don’t run with music often, these headphones are great on the run and in the office.

Then I made my way to every runners favorite piece of gear – socks. 5K Crate included a comfy pair of Zensah compression socks that work well especially in sweaty conditions, making sure my shoes don’t turn into ponds.

Speaking of the heat and humidity of Miami, 3 packs of La Fresh travel sunscreen wipes came in handy and made me a fan of the brand. One of the things we forget before a run is sunscreen. These wipes make it easy to remember and protect you.

Lastly, two huge Epic wipes. I’m not going to sugar coat it. I sweat a lot on runs and yes that tends to mean I get stinky. These full size body wipes work great, and they were appreciated by the patrons at my local bakery that I hit up after a weekend run to get breakfast for the family. I would be remiss if I didn’t congratulate Epic Wipes for their recent victory on Funderdome. It was much deserved.

Six great, usable items in one 5K Crate. As previously mentioned, the cost per quarter is $59.99. The total retail price of the items I received was $129. That’s a phenomenal deal and extra money saved that can go towards a race entry. A true runner’s treasure box.

If you haven’t checked out 5K Crate yet, head over to their website and see what they are all about. You won’t be disappointed.

Hot! Hot! Hey We Got It! Hot Chocolate (15K)

Hot Chocolate 15K Tampa MedalDisclaimer: I received a free entry to Hot Chocolate 15K Tampa 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 son’s favorite movie right now is Polar Express. Yes, its August. And yes, he watches it every day. You see he loves trains, like most 5 year olds do. He’s intrigued by how they move, the gears, the lights, the steam. I’ve read him the book several times, but to him there is nothing like the movie. 

There is a scene in the movie where Tom Hanks gets on the loud speaker and asks “Is anyone in need of refreshments?” Then servers come out singing and dancing to the Hot Chocolate song. When this part comes on, if I’m not in the room already, Gavin yells for me. We jump, dance, and sing the song too.

Gavin and I share a lot of great things with each other. Movies, sports, playing games, building forts and running. It was he who got me back on the running wagon. After he was born, my weekly soccer and basketball leagues went to the wayside. Not wanting to lose my fitness, I strapped Gavin into the running stroller and took off. He loved the wind in his face or blowing the flags that he usually held. Now, he rides his bike while I run.

Given all this, I can’t find a more fitting way to make my BibRave Pro debut in the Hot Chocolate 15K in Tampa on December 17, 2017. I’ve heard a lot about the Hot Chocolate series and am excited to be running in my first one. Just as exciting is a race in a new location for me.

My sister lives in Tampa and I have run parts of the course already. But never raced there. The trek on Bayshore with the water on your side is awesome. It is so picturesque. And you never know who you will see out there. I’ve run into Hulk Hogan, Triple H, Warrick Dunn, Derek Jeter and others.

I’ve never run a 15K, which makes this race even more intriguing and an automatic PR. For me, I haven’t mastered the middle distances yet. And this will be right smack in the middle of marathon training. At the same time, I’m not missing a chance to post a fast time. I feel it fits right into my training, as this cycle I will be focusing a lot on speed work.


HC_HATThis race is going mean a lot for me. I’m sure I’ll be singing the Hot Chocolate song the whole time as I’m waiting to see my entire family at the finish line. I also can’t wait for all the fun and cool swag.

Best of all, you can join me at the start and finish line too by registering for the race. You can get a cool HC15K had too by entering the Hot Chocolate 15K Tampa discount code BRHCTAMPA17.

Get Your Race Discount Codes

As a runners we’re always looking for new races and race codes. As a #BibRavePro I’m happy to share our discounts with you. Hope to see you at the start and finish line of some of these great races.

DECEMBER

12/1-3/2017 – Palm Beaches Marathon –  West Palm Beach, FL

https://www.thefitteampalmbeachesmarathon.com/

Use code “PBMBR20” to save 20% on any single race – full, half, or 5k.

12/2/2017 – Run Laughlin –  Laughlin, NV

http://runlaughlin.com/

Use code “BIBRAVE20” to save 20% on your race entry.

12/02- 03/2017 – Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio – San Antonio, TX

http://www.runrocknroll.com/san-antonio/

Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off Half and Full, valid until 11/26.

12/3/2017 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Scottsdale – Scottsdale, AZ

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/scottsdale
Use code “BRHCSCOTTS17” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!  

12/10/2017 – BCS Marathon – College Station, TX

http://bcsmarathon.com/

Code “BIBRAVER17″ saves 10% on your race entry.

12/10/2017 – Honolulu Marathon – Honolulu, HI

http://www.honolulumarathon.org/

Use code “BIBRAVEHNL” to save 20% on your race entry!

12/10/2017 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K St. Louis – St. Louis, MO

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/stlouis
Use code “BRHCSTL17” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

12/10/2017 – Jingle All the Way 5K & 15K – Washington, D.C.

https://www.runpacers.com/race/jingle-all-the-way-5k/

Code “BibRaveJingle” saves $5 off the 5K or 15K.

12/17/2017 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Tampa – Tampa, FL

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/tampa
Use code “BRHCTAMPA17” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

12/17/2017 – Mount Dora Half Marathon – Mount Dora, FL

http://www.mountdorahalfmarathon.com/
Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save 15% on the half or 5k!

2018

January

1/7/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Francisco – San Francisco, CA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/sanfrancisco
Use code “BRHCSF18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

1/13-14/2018 – Rock ‘n’ Roll Arizona – Phoenix, AZ

http://www.runrocknroll.com/arizona/

Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off Half and Full, valid until 1/7/18.

1/20/2018 – F^3 Lake Half Marathon – Chicago, IL

http://www.f3running.com/
Use code “bibrave13” to save $6 off the half and “bibrave5” to save $5 off 5K!

1/21/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/atlanta
Use code “BRHCATL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

1/28/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Houston – Houston, TX

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/houston
Use code “BibRaveHCHouston18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

1/28/2018 – Miami Marathon – Miami Beach, FL

http://www.themiamimarathon.com/
Use code “BIBRAVEMM18” to save $5 on race entry!

February

2/3/2018 – Sedona Marathon – Sedona, AZ

http://www.sedonamarathon.com/

Use code “18BibRave” saves 20% on race entry!

2/3/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Dallas – Dallas, TX

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/dallas
Use code “BRHCDAL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

2/4/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/atlanta
Use code “BRHCATL18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

2/10/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Charlotte – Charlotte, NC

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/charlotte
Use code “BibRaveHCChar18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

2/11/2018 – Palm Desert Half Marathon – Palm Desert, CA

http://www.palmdeserthalfmarathon.com/
Use code “BRPD18” to save 10% on race entry!

2/17/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Nashville – Nashville, TN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/nashville
Use code “BRHCNASH18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

2/18/2018 – A1A Fort Lauderdale Marathon and Half Marathon – Fort Lauderdale, FL

http://a1amarathon.com/
Use code “BIBRAVE” to save 15% on the Marathon, Half Marathon and 5K.  

March

3/4/2018 – 13.1 Miami Beach – Miami Beach, FL

http://www.run131series.com/miamibeach/
Use code “BIBRAVEMB18” to save $5 on the half marathon!

3/4/2018 – Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans – New Orleans, LA

http://www.runrocknroll.com/new-orleans

Use code “BIBRAVE15” to save $15 off Half and Full, valid until 1/29.

3/4/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Seattle – Seattle, WA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/seattle
Use code “BRHCSEA18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

3/4/2018 – The Alamo 13.1 & Alamo 26.2 Marathon – San Antonio, TX

http://alamo131.com/
Use code “BIBRAVE18to save 18% on your race entry!

3/18/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K San Diego – San Diego, CA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/sandiego
Use code “BRHCSD18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

3/18/2018 – Tobacco Road Marathon and Half Marathon – Cary, NC

http://www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com
Use code “bibrave1” to save $20 on race registration!

3/24/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/indianapolis
Use code “BibRaveHCIndy18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

April

4/7/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/philadelphia
Use code “BRHCPHILLY18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

4/8/2018 – Hapalua – Hawaii’s Half Marathon – Waikiki Beach, HI

http://thehapalua.com/
Use code “BIBRAVEHAPALUA” to save 10% on race entry.

4/8/2018 – Statesman Cap10K – Austin, TX

http://www.cap10k.com/
Use code “BibRaveRunsCap10K” to save $5 on race entry.

4/14/2018 – Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/minneapolis
Use code “BRHCMINN18” to score a BONUS Hot Chocolate branded cap!

4/26-28/2018 – Illinois Marathon – Champaign-Urbana, IL

http://illinoismarathon.com/
Use code “2018bibravebonus” to save $5 on race entry!

May

5/5/2018 – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – Indianapolis, IN

https://www.500festival.com/running/mini-marathon/
Use code “BRP2018” to save $5 on race entry!

5/19/2018 – Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon – Harper’s Ferry, WV

http://www.harpersferryhalf.org/
Use code “BIBRAVE5” to save $5 on race entry!

Running on the Road

bibrave 100Yesterday, as I was packing for this week’s business trip to Dallas, I texted my boss two simple words – “running clothes.” She responded almost immediately that it was the first thing in her suitcase.

I’ve often been asked how I keep to my training schedule when traveling for work. It’s actually extremely easy. It helps to have a co-workers who are runners as well. We help keep each other honest, and go for at least one run while on the road – two if the trip is more than 3 days.

In some cases, I’ve reached out to the #BibChat and #RunChat communities for advice on routes. The other good part is meeting fellow runners who I’ve become friends with through social media.

This has afforded me to run in some great locations and explore different terrains. Not to mention put faces to names, and more than likely have a beer with them after. Running on the road is actually a lot more fun and something I look forward to while traveling. It helps break up the time, and get me out of the hotel.

Last year, I ran in 10 states and 18 cities. So far this year, I’ve hit 4 states and 11 cities. After this publishes, it will be 5 and 12. My goal is to run in all 50 states at some point during my running career – right now I’m at 17 since returning to running in 2013.

Speaking of running different routes around America, BibRave just launched its “The BibRave 100” where they are compiling a list of the top 100 races. Races can be anything including marathons, 13.1, 10K, and 5K. Whether it is best bling, best expo, best course, best all around, BibRave wants you to nominate it. It is easy to do, just go to www.thebibrave100.com.

If you’ve never heard of BibRave, you should also check out their website – http://www.bibrave.com/. There you can search reviews of races, and review races you’ve run. You can also join the community on twitter every Tuesday night at 9 pm EST for #BibChat where you can talk to other runners, meet some great people, and learn everything you need to know about running.

So, when I’m asked how are you able to run while traveling? The answer is easy – everyone helps keep me on track. I’ve set up goals, am eager to meet friends I interact with weekly, and I like pounding the pavement in new locations. It’s as simple as just packing my running clothes.

 

Fueling the second half of 2017

nuunIt’s hard to believe we are halfway through 2017 already. So many of us have had a great first half of the year, and we are poised to continue the momentum through December. In terms of running, this year has brought many great things for me.

January began with getting my first ambassadorship with a company and product that has been a staple in my life – Nuun. Training in Miami, I need to focus on hydration just as much as any other aspect of running. With Nuun, I can do that through a clean product that tastes great.

Every morning I have the Nuun vitamins with energy (blackberry citrus) to start my day. In fact, because of Nuun vitamins, I was able to kick my three cup a day coffee habit. Before a run take down a glass of Nuun energy to give me the extra kick I need for training. And now through their new product, Nuun performance, I have an extra boost on long runs.

My first big test of the year was the Miami Marathon in January. I went in feeling great and looking for a PR. Right before my corral hit the start line, it began to pour. It was already cold – about 55 degrees – to make matters worse there was a 15 mph wind. The rain didn’t stop the entire race. I just told myself to push through and hit my marks.

Crossing the halfway point I was 8 minutes under my goal pace. I didn’t know whether to slow down to conserve or keep going. I felt great, but knew a wall was coming. At mile 20, I was shivering bad, but still felt good. I was also 10 minutes under my pace at this time. At mile 23, I looked at my watch and knew I was going to hit my goal, so I backed off and enjoyed the last wet and cold miles.

As I saw my family and one of my running partners, who pushed me during the training, 300 meters from finish line, the celebration began. Not only did I set a PR, it was by 33 minutes. It was a great confidence booster after an extremely tough 2016. Running

After taking one week off, I went right back into training there was a half marathon and two 10Ks on the schedule. I hit March strong, setting PRs in all three races.

May brought a completely new challenge, racing the Wings For Life World Run. It’s hard to describe this race, since it is unlike any other. Racing against 150,000+ people who are running at the same exact time around the world, is an amazing feeling. Adding to it, not knowing where the finish line is because you’re trying to out run a car.

The feeling a car chasing your adds a completely new element to the race. My goal was to get in a 15K before the car caught me. Around mile 10 I began to pull off my pace knowing I hit my goal. Then I heard a faint honking. It was time to sprint as the cars were coming. I ended up finishing 11 miles crushing another goal.

As the weather began to get hotter and knowing my next races are not until September and October, I took June off from hard training. It was a maintenance month, keeping my base but resting my legs. However, another accomplishment happened on World Run Day – Brooks endorsed me.

So far, 2017 has been a strong year for running, but there are still many goals to achieve. As the second training season begins, it’s my most hated time of the year – hot and humid in Miami. But enough of the complaining – training makes a stronger for a reason.

How was your first half of the year?

What do you have in store for the rest of 2017?