What’s on Your Wish List?

With the holidays just around the corner, I’m sure everyone is busy prepping and buying gifts for their friends and family. It’s such a great time of year to shower others with gifts and, hey, maybe you’re picking up a little something something for yourself while you’re at it. I know I have been.

So, what’s on your wish list as an active person/athlete/runner? I thought I’d put a few things together that I know I’d like to have!

New Kicks

My current shoes trained and ran a marathon, and still have a lot of love left in them. I’ve also got some great cross-trainers and I’m the proud owner of a brand new pair of trail running shoes (to be used this weekend!), but I know a runner will never say no to new shoes!

How adorable are these Christmas Brooks?

 

Fresh Clothes

As a SkirtSports Ambassador I get a great deal on any Skirt product, but who wouldn’t love to get some awesome gear as a gift! I know I love funny running and workout shirts, and gift cards are always a plus.

Headgear

Since testing AfterShokz with BibRave last year I’ve been IN LOVE with mine. I’m sure there are plenty of other products like them out there, but these are definitely my favorite.

 

Socks

I love the fun socks from Sox Box. They have great compression and funny sayings! You can’t go wrong!

Race Entry Fees

If you really love someone, find out a race they want to run and pay for them! There are a ton of races out there that people are dying to run!

Coffee/Snacks

Getting up for those early runs or staying up late to take care of those workouts can be tiring and also leaves us a little hangry. Feed us and tell us we’re strong.

What’s on your list?

 

Road Tested: BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband 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!

Being a BibRave Pro has such great perks, especially when it comes to testing products. I live in south Florida, where it’s basically summer year round and I’m always looking for ways to keep cool when I’m running or working out. This summer has already proven to be a scorcher and technically it just started!

I was super excited to receive my BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband and thankful we got to choose the style and color. I chose the headband because it was less material and seemed like a better fit for me. I have short hair and headbands don’t always work out in my favor. I think it’s the shape of my head, IDK.

Just leave me in my driveway to melt, y’all.

I’ve basically used my new BUFF for everything. Last week I started some new workouts and ran a couple of times (including two 5Ks, go me) to try and restart my fitness regime. I wore it with every workout and, for lack of a better term, it “worked out” great.

The material is super lightweight and stretchy, so I never felt like it was too tight or uncomfortable. One of my issues with head wear is that it has to feel comfortable with my glasses or sunglasses as I need to see things. This BUFF headband fit the bill and held my glasses in place during sweaty workouts or runs.

As far as the UV+ and cooling is concerned, I’ve definitely noticed both of these while using the product. My moisturizer has an SPF, but I don’t tend to put sunscreen anywhere above my eyes when I’m running. Last time I did, I spent the last two miles of a 15K in terrible pain because I was sweating sunscreen into my eyeballs. The material has definitely protected my forehead while out and about. Too bad it can’t do anything about my sunglasses’ tan on my nose.

Hats and other heavy head wear make me extremely hot, but I didn’t have any issue with this BUFF product. It was just the right weight and has magical cooling properties! This is definitely a great product to grab, whether you’re running, working out, or just running errands. It’s versatile and conducive to all your styling cooling needs.

You can get 15% off one of your own by visiting BUFF USA and signing up for their newsletter. Check out the hashtag #BUFFBR for some other great reviews!

This pattern really goes with everything.

Road Tested: The Closer Bra – Handful

Disclaimer: I received Handful’s The Closer Bra 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!

I may be showing my age here but one of my favorite movies growing up was Beaches. If you are (old) like me, you might remember the song from it regarding brassieres. If not, you should probably take a moment to visit YouTube. It’s amazing.

Anyway, as I grew up and grew… a chest, I realized quite quickly that not just any bra will do when it comes to working out. When I first heard about Handful bras, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I have what I consider to be more than just a handful and the first ones I saw were the Adjustable Bra. With the thin straps and product description, I was leery. Could Handful handle me?

However, at The Running Event, I received a Y-back Bra to try. Let’s just say I was kicking myself for not giving Handful a try sooner. I quickly requested more from my husband for the holidays and have since built up quite the collection.

Then word came out that there was a new bra on the block, Handful’s The Closer Bra.

Touted as Handful’s most supportive bra with a front closure, I was 100% in to try this one. And it does NOT disappoint. Things that I love about this bra:

  • Softer than soft material – Seriously, one of my favorite things about Handful is how amazing the material feels. They must be using some sort of magic with it because it’s so comfy.
  • Lights Out™ Pads – These are removable pads that tuck into a pocket in the bra. Honestly, when I first tried Handful I was like – what do I need MORE padding for? But these are great and they do their job.
  • The front closure. – With an S-hook to pull it together and zipper, I am easily able to get in and out of this bra. Because dancing around your bathroom, trying to remove a sweaty bra is NOT a pretty sight.
  • Mesh top with adjustable straps. – Everything about this bra makes sense. It’s perfectly designed.

I’ve worn it for running. I’ve worn it for weight lifting. And honestly, I’ve worn it for just hanging out because it’s that comfortable.

I’m running the Allstate Philly Hot Chocolate 5k tomorrow morning and you can bet that I’ll be wearing this bra underneath my BibRave shirt.

The cut of The Closer Bra gives slightly more coverage than the other bras from Handful, which makes sense with the support it provides. Overall, I like everything that Handful has to offer and I’ve already ordered more that’s on the way.

Have you tried Handful apparel? If you’d like to give it a try, use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off. 

Check out what my fellow BRPs have to say:

Becky
Mai
Christine
Thanh
Jessica
Angie
Lissa
Renee
Stacia
Kim
Stephanie

 

What to Pack for a Hike

My new hiking pack, something I’ve desperately needed if I’m going to do the #52hikechallenge, arrived this week! I’ve been so excited about it that I’ve spent far too many hours gathering and packing and repacking it with all my gear. Then I realized this is information worth sharing, so here we go with what to pack for a hike!

First, let me give a shout out to a very important list you should refer to if you’re planning your own forays into the backcountry. The National Parks Service has posted this 10 Essentials to pack when you #optoutside.  I don’t quite have everything on this list, but I’m working on it and plan my hikes accordingly.

The spread. It’s very purple-y.

Here’s what I never leave home without:

  • Day Hike Pack – This pack from Camel has a space for a water bladder, has an internal frame, and is intended for day hikes. It’s a bright color (I love any shade of purple) so I can’t mistaken for an animal.
  • Water – In addition to my water bladder, I carry two, 32 oz bottles of water, too. Tip, if you store them upside down, they won’t freeze at the mouthpiece. 
  • Map & Compass – It’s important to know how to use them, too. Many local wilderness rescue groups offer classes on this topic, often for free. Always remember to tell someone where you’re hiking, how far, and when you expect to be back. Check in with that person when you get home.
  • Extra Clothes – Because I’m prone to blisters, I bring a pair of toe socks, as well as an extra pair of dry wool hiking socks. I also pack a down vest, an extra thermal beanie, extra thermal gloves, and a Buff.
  • Survival Gear – A lighter or matches, a headlamp, a basic first aid kit, a knife, some handwarmers, and an emergency whistle are what I keep in my pack at all times. On day trips I keep my survival gear to a minimum because I’m careful to follow the trail and be super aware of my surroundings and map.
  • Personal Gear – Sunscreen, Lip Balm, my asthma inhaler, my TomTom GPS watch, and sport sunglasses are all essential for a comfy hike at high altitude.
  • Snacks – The most important things! I’ve always got a nut based snack and an apple at minimum.
  • Fun Stuff  – A small notebook which is my Trail Journal, a pen, a selfie stick, and my #womenwhohike patch.

I hope that helps you decide what to pack for your hikes!

What gear is essential for you when you #optoutside? 

Take Me Back to Colorado

Disclaimer: I received a New Original BUFF®️ 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!

I realize while I wrote a race recap for Vacation Races 5k, I never wrote about the second half of the Elk Double, the half marathon.

It was absolutely incredible; in fact, the whole weeks vacation was one that I’ll carry with me always. Being able to run and spend road time with Jenn is something that I always enjoy.

Jenn wrote about the details of the 2017 race. Words can’t express just how glad I am that I got to experience her hometown race with her and just spend time with her and her family. It’s hard to have friends that you don’t get to see all the time but it makes the time you DO get to be together that much more special.

Instead of focusing on the details of the race, I would like to narrow in on one of the things I appreciate the most about Vacation Races.

They are very tuned in to the “Leave No Trace” mindset. Their races are cup-free, which means that they have hydro-pouches available with registration or you can bring your own hydration pack (as seen above).

After running a few other races recently where I’ve had to wade through smashed paper cups on the ground (oh, the woes of being a back of the pack runner), it really stands out to me just how much of a difference using a hydro-pouch or carrying a pack can make.

I’ve been trying to be mindful about my global footprint and the small chances I can make that may make a lasting impact and trying hard to implement them whenever possible.

I am by no means perfect and there are some things that are so convenient to do (paper plates, plastics, etc.) but I want the beauty of our earth to last a long, long time. This isn’t a new concept or even a unique one, but I do want to create less waste and reuse when possible.

Which leads me to the New Original BUFF®️ I’m testing through BibRave. BUFF®️ is a huge part of all my runs, whether using it to wipe sweat away, keep my neck warm, my hair back, the list goes on.

I’m particularly stoked because the new BUFF®️‘s microfiber is made from 2 recycled water bottles that have been removed from oceans and landfills. A little less plastic floating around out there in the world works for me!

As is always the case, there are a ton of designs to choose from. However, I’d just gotten home from my Colorado trip and realized that I didn’t get anything souvenir related for myself. Problem solved!

I’ve used my New Original BUFF®️ on a few training runs during some absolutely hot and humid days and most recently at the Bird-in-Hand half marathon last weekend. With a UPF 50 I’m protected by the sun during those sunny runs.

Bird-in-Hand was anything but sunny however, there was still a bunch of sweat. What can I say, I’m a sweater!

With my previous half marathon being in the mountains of Colorado and this one in the hills of Pennsylvania, it was a nice way to transition from point A to point B. Good memories were made at both with my rock star friends and right now I’m just enjoying life and feeling fortunate that I’m able to have all these incredible experiences.

What small (or large) things are you doing to help the environment? 

Video: Greecie Girl Headbands Review and GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a fabulous Friday! I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the videos we’ve posted lately so I figured that I’d make another one. Included are a few life updates and review a new-to-me product, Greecie Girl Headbands (pronounced Greece – I asked!). Enjoy!

Want to see a few pictures of Greecie Girl products in action? SURE YOU DO!

Dream Big

Treadmill run on a cold, snowy day (is it spring yet?)

If you’re interested, be sure to check out Mary’s sites. You can enter our giveaway down below but if you just can’t wait to order, the code 15off will save you 15% off orders over $24. WOOHOO!

Greecie Girl Headbands website

Greecie Girl Headbands on Etsy

 

Click the pic to enter!

One winner will win TWO headbands from Mary at Greecie Girl Headbands! Want to enter? Be sure to click on the picture above. Giveaway is running now until 3/20/2018 at 12am, est. Winner will be contacted via email for information. In the event that we do not hear back within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Are you a social media fan? You can find Greecie Girl here:

Twitter – ishlass
Instagram – greeciegirl

What’s In My Gym Bag?

Since starting CrossFit, I’ve managed to acquired a bunch of new swag. My gym bag is full of some gear that I definitely could not do without – and I want to share some of it with you!

Because CrossFit is made up of so many different movements and skills, it’s important to make sure that your body is taken care of – especially when a workout includes a high rep scheme or heavy lifts.

I was hesitant at first to just go out and buy gear, primarily because I hate buying things just to be a cool kid. I want to know that if I’m buying gear, it’s because I know it’s something I need, that will protect me in some way, or support my performance. For example: I have yet to buy olympic lifting shoes. These shoes are specially designed to assist ankle mobility and help athletes lift heavier weights by allowing their bodies to get into optimal position. Knowing that my ankle mobility is pretty good and that I’m still very much learning and improving in my olympic lifts, I don’t feel like it’s necessary that I drop $200-$300 on shoes just to look good.

After a few weeks, though, I did some evaluating and determined that there was one thing I could definitely use: grips. The volume of pull-ups, toes to bar, hollow holds, and other bar work that we do results in some gnarly calluses and puts me at risk of ripping my hands. Anyone who has done gymnastics knows just how AWFUL hand rips can be. They are the literal worst. Clay and I did a lot of research (the CrossFit market is flooded with products… not all of which legit), and found Victory Grips. These are designed by a former gymnast, are durable, provide great hand coverage, and are really easy to break in. Since using them, my hands haven’t ripped once. I started out with their leather grips, which I liked, but didn’t do well with the bars in our gym, and have since switched to the stealth grips (pictured), which are synthetic. I love them.

For Christmas, Clay filled out the rest of my gym bag needs. He hooked me up with a weight belt – something I’ve wanted for a while, but like Oly shoes, I didn’t want to use it as a crutch for bad weightlifting form. Belts provide more core stability when lifting heavy loads – but if you don’t take the time to learn how to brace your abdominals and low back properly, even a belt isn’t going to help you. I use mine when lifting heavy or when the volume of a workout is pretty high and I’ve found that it’s helped make me even more aware of keeping my midline tight and consciously working to protect my back.

While I wish I looked as badass Camille Leblanc-Bazinet, I do have those knee sleeves she’s wearing, so that’s close enough for now. Clay also grabbed me these Rehband knee sleeves for Christmas and I’m really glad he did. Now, I’ve never had knee problems, thankfully, but in the past year or so I’ve noticed that my knees crack and pop a lot more than they used to. I also find that they get sore a lot easier – which is probably the result of me becoming decrepit. These sleeves are made of some sturdy neoprene offer compression and support when I’m lifting heavy. We found new 1 rep maxes last week for our squat cleans and hang snatches… I was definitely glad I had my sleeves on when I pulled 205 from the floor and caught it in a front squat!

I generally try to be judicious about what gear I buy – I want to make sure that the equipment I’m spending money on is going to help me improve as an athlete and ensure that my body is protected and can stay in the game for the long haul. Each of these items has so far proven to do just that.

Cold Weather Running – Bring It On!

Disclaimer: I received 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! Applications are open now through November 15th for the 2018 year. As always, all opinions are my own.

The weather here in New Jersey has been cooling down considerably and I have to admit, this is my FAVORITE weather to run in!

Why? Well, primarily because when I’m running I find that my body temperature mixed with the cold air makes it perfectly comfortable. I’d much rather run in layers than be sweating all over the place.

My go-to clothes for colder weather runs are a long sleeved moisture-wicking shirt with my running jacket layered on top (seen in above picture). That jacket has been with me since I started running and it’s done more than its fair share of training runs and races with me.

I usually opt for running capris or pants, depending on the level of coldness. Gloves that are touchscreen compatible are a must, too, for all my picture taking/social media posting needs.

Recently, I got the BUFF® ThermoNet™  Multifunctional Headwear and Hat to add to my cold weather running gear arsenal. Having reviewed the BUFF® Pack Run Cap in the past, I knew I’d be getting a quality made product and looked forward to trying these out in the cooler fall/winter temps.

ThermoNet™ in Crash Berry

However, when I got them in September, it seemed like we might never see the cold weather here in New Jersey! Summer decided to linger a bit longer than usual and it made me concerned how I’d accurately get to try and review the BUFF® ThermoNet™ gear.

You see, the ThermoNet™ isn’t just a regular BUFF®. It’s actually made with a special material (PrimaLoft®) which is 4 times warmer than the microfiber of the original BUFF®!

Additionally, it pulls the moisture away from the skin so you don’t feel all gross and sweaty.

Thankfully it’s cooled off considerably over the past few weeks so I’ve been able to get out there and use both the headwear and the hat.

I love the versatility of the Multifuctional Headwear and the fact that I can use it thirteen different ways. Most often you’ll find me sporting it neckerchief or face mask style.

It’s perfect for the coldest of weather running and I already have big plans to wear it during my next run, The Light Run.

I know, I know… I said in one of my recent blog posts that I was done for 2017! However, The Light Run is an non-timed, fun run through a nearby town to take in all of the holiday lights. A lot of my local friends will be there and it’s always a great time! How could I not?

What are your must-haves for winter running? Besides clothing, I always make sure that if I’m running at dawn/dusk/night, I have my Knuckle Lights and noxgear Tracer360 vest.

Be sure to join us for the BUFF® ThermoNet™ #bibchat on Tuesday, November 14th at 9 est! There are always some great giveaways during #bibchat, just sayin’.

See if you can guess what I’m giving as gifts to my favorites…

If you’d like to save money at the BUFF® website and gear up for winter running, you can receive 20% off your entire order at www.buffusa.com when you purchase at least one product from the ThermoNet™ collection. Includes ThermoNet™ Multifunctional Headwear, Hats or Balaclavas. Enter code: *BIBRAVETHERMONET20* at checkout. Expires: 11/21/2017

Want to read more about BUFF® ThermoNet™? Swing by my fellow BRPs blogs: AmyAngieMattJessicaCasey

Road Tested: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Titanium wireless 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! All opinions are my own.

BibRave - AfterShokz Trek Titanium wireless headphones review from scootadoot.org

Can we talk about this picture?

This is a picture from my half marathon this spring, the Atlantic City April Fools half. I achieved a hard fought PR during that race and when I look at this picture, do you know the first thing I think? (Besides that was a great race!)

Why is there a wire coming out of my nether regions?!

Not that it diminishes any positive vibes I feel toward the race or about my PR. However, dude, seriously? Not the cutest.

Therefore, when I had the opportunity to opt in for the wireless AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones I raised both hands in the air… and waved them around like I just didn’t care. And hey, I’m able to do that because there are no wires on my headphones now!

I was curious to see how they would work. As soon as they arrived, I charged them for a couple hours and then they were ready to go.

The AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones easily paired with both my iPod and iPhone. Personally, when I’m running I’d rather have it connected to my iPod so I don’t drain my phone battery, even if it means carrying an extra device. However, I do love that it will hook up to my iPhone because they got rid of the headphone jack on the latest phone.

I’ve been wearing them for all sorts of activities: running (obviously), weeding my flower beds, walking the pooch, vacuuming the pool. Anything and everything. With my old earbuds, I’ve accidentally yanked them from my ear during activities. That doesn’t happen with these!

Conclusion: It is so much easier to maneuver with wireless headphones.

AfterShokz are not only wireless but they are bone conduction headphones. What does this mean? Unlike ear buds or headphones that sit on top of the ear, the earpiece of AfterShokz sit in front of the ear, on the bone. How do they work?

Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them. – AfterShokz Technology 

It’s fantastic to have my ears open so that I can be cognizant of the people, cars, and other things around me. I actually stopped doing a lot of my training runs with music because I wanted to be aware of surrounding noises and now I can be while enjoying music.

Since the earpiece sits outside the ear rather than in/on, I wondered if my music and podcasts would be heard by others when I wore them.

For this test, I asked my husband if he could hear what I was listening to while I stood next to him. When I had the sound low, but still able to hear, he wasn’t able to hear much. As I increased the volume, he was able to slightly hear muffled noise of what I was listening to but he said it wasn’t a distraction.

Occasionally when I move the wrong way (bend over to tie a shoelace, for example) I’ve lost the sound for a moment or two. I’m not sure exactly why, maybe the Bluetooth wasn’t able to connect for a moment? Either way, it’s so minimal that it doesn’t pose much of an issue.

Conclusion: You can be aware of your surrounds while running and stay safe, while enjoying music and podcasts. (And also not be rude to others around you!)

Other AfterShokz Trekz Titanium specifics that I found useful (and you might too):

  • they hold six hours of charge before needing to plug in
  • extremely lightweight (so much so that I’ve forgotten they’re on my head a few times!)
  • flexible, durable, and sweatproof
  • you can receive phone calls on them
  • 2 year warranty

Interested in getting a pair of your own? If you order now and use the code FREECASE you can score a BONUS portable storage case (as seen in the video below). On the rare occasions I’m not using my headphones/iPod, this is the perfect place for them to be! (And no more wires in odd places!)

Join us for the Twitter AfterShokz Trekz Titanium #bibchat on Tuesday, August 29nd at 9pm est. Never taken part of a Twitter chat before? Use the hashtag #BibChat and follow along with the questions posted by BibRave and share your responses! I’ll be there as scootadoot so be sure to say hello!

Don’t just take my word for it! Please feel free to swing by other BibRavePros and see what they’re saying.

Road Tested: BUFF® Pack Run Cap

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF ® Pack Run Cap 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! All opinions are my own.

More often than not, when I’m working out, I’m wearing a hat or visor.

Hats are my current go-to purchase at race expos and I’m always looking for the perfect one. What makes a hat “perfect”? In my eyes, it’s something that’s breathable, lightweight, and easy to throw in my bag or on a fuel belt.

Enter BUFF® Pack Run Cap!

Received the BUFF® Pack Run Cap less than two weeks ago and it’s already heavily in rotation! This pattern is known as MEEKO MULTI.

What makes this cap so great? So glad you asked! There’s a couple of reasons why it ranks high on my list.

Number 1 – Lightweight and breathable: I can check these off the list first! This hat is super light, in fact, it doesn’t even feel like it’s on your head because it weighs a single ounce. Uno. One.

The side panels are a mesh-like material; BUFF® calls it fastwick, which is something you can find with many of their products. What does that mean? Well, when I’m working out, the material is moisture wicking and keeps me cool! I’ve tried other caps that have held in the heat which does NOT feel nice when you’re working up a sweat, but this is cool and airy.

Number 2 – It’s bright! In addition to the great colors, there are a couple of reflective areas on the cap! The BUFF® logo on the front and strip on back add to visibility in the early morning/evening hours.

Number 3 – You can pack it! I mean, really pack it! Fold the sides of the brim in, roll it toward the back of the cap, and wrap the adjustable slide around. Easy as pie!

Number 4 – It’s washable! Hand-wash or machine. I rarely hand-wash anything, so I was happy to see that I could toss it into the machine. After washing it three times it maintains its shape and vibrancy! I let it air-dry on a rack and because it’s so lightweight, it dries quickly so that’s it’s ready for my next workout.

Number 5 – It has matching arm sleeves! I don’t have these… yet. Is it too early to start my Christmas list?

Join us for the Twitter BUFF® Pack Run Cap #BibChat on Tuesday, August 22nd at 9pm est. Never taken part of a Twitter chat before? Use the hashtag #BibChat and follow along with the questions posted by BibRave and share your responses! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll gladly help.

Want more opinions? Check out the reviews of my fellow BibRavePros!

Janelle – Dane – Angie – Heather – Lindsey