Road Tested: Garmin Forerunner 935®️

Disclaimer: I received a Garmin Forerunner 935®Multisport GPS Watch from Garmin 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!

Little known fact about me: when it comes to transporting things, I like to make things as difficult as possible for myself.

No, no, really. I do. It’s very hard for me to condense. My husband always laments that I’m the least efficient when it comes to packing.

This applies to running too. I have… a lot of things. An iPod. My iPhone. A FitBit. An interval timer. Headphones. Watch. Gels. Belt. Hydration vest. You name it, I probably have it somewhere on my person.

Or… well, I did.

After six years of running, I’ve realized the error of my ways. When I’m running I should carry the least amount as possible, not the most; I’ve been trying to par down my running gear. While these things are all extremely useful unto themselves, there’s gear that can pull double, even triple duty!

Cue the Garmin Forerunner 935®️!

Since getting the watch last month, there hasn’t been a day that’s gone by that I’ve not worn it. I don’t wear it to sleep (but I could, and perhaps should) because it has sleep tracking.

The Garmin Forerunner 935® has so many features that if I were to include them all, I’d be writing a novel that rivals War and Peace in length.

As such, I’m going to share the top three features that I use and as blog posts go up, I’ll be sharing links at the end of this post to other BibRave Pros blogs so you can read their highlights too.

The Garmin acts as my step counter, so the first thing I shed was the FitBit One. My FitBit hadn’t been working well recently. And since I’m trying to par down, making the decision to switch over to the Garmin was an easy one.

My goal is to hit 10,000 steps every day and I do check on this number throughout the day (more than I care to admit). I’m a stay at home mom so on the days that I don’t have a run scheduled, I use the step counter to keep me honest and motivated throughout the day.

Additionally, the Forerunner 935® has a move alert. If I’ve been sedentary for too long, a vibration reminds me to get up and move!

I’ve also said goodbye to the interval timer that I used to clip to my belt because I can just use the one on my Garmin! You can easily set the intervals for distance, time, or open (which means open-ended intervals).

I’m a fan of the Galloway method for longer races, meaning that I use set intervals to pace myself throughout a workout or race.

One of the main reasoned I used a separate interval timer was that it allowed me to change my intervals mid-race. This is slightly more challenging using the Garmin.

For example: Occasionally I begin a run or race at 2 minutes/walk 1 minute and decide that I’d like to switch to a run 1 minute/walk 1 minute. Changing intervals run on the Garmin breaks a run into segments, rather than a continual overall distance.

However, I feel like I’ve gotten better over the past few years about gauging what type of timing I’ll need on a particular day so I’ll continue to use the Forerunner 935® for this feature. The interval timer is getting moved to the back of the running drawer.

Speaking of moving, the third feature that I’m loving on the Garmin Forerunner 935® is its wrist based heart rate monitor. This is a new to me feature; my old watch had a chest strap heart rate monitor, which I rarely used.

I’ve been keyed in on this data the past month. I’m always interested to see my resting heart rate compared to my heart rate when I’m doing HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) or running.

While this is a multi-sport watch, I haven’t had the opportunity to use it during a different type of workout yet. However, the fact that I can use it while swimming has piqued my interest! Without a doubt, I’ll be trying when we open our pool again in 2018.

I could go on and on about the other things that I love about this watch.

The long battery life is unparallel to any previous devices I’ve had.  The texts/app alerts so I’m not constantly grabbing my phone are so convenient. The ability to change music directly from my wrist so I don’t have to constantly take my phone out of my belt is awesome.

The Forerunner 935® stops just short of cooking and serving my family Thanksgiving dinner. (Oh, how lovely that would be!)

I have everything I could ever want or need in one spot and that spot is the Garmin Forerunner 935®.

Reviews from other BibRave Pros:

Jenna
Mai
Gina
Brenda
Vanessa
Frank
Casey
Angie
Lindsey
Emily
Mark
Ryan

What are your must haves during a run? I’m a reformed pack-rat and I’m doing good with the paring down on items that come with me on long runs/races. Do you have any specific questions about the Garmin Forerunner 935®? Leave a comment and I’ll do my best to answer from personal experience and if I don’t know, I’ll ask around to my fellow BibRave Pros.

Wishing you a very happy Thanksgiving!

Road Tested: Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 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!

When you think of Fall, what do you think about? For me it’s all about getting outside as much as possible – fall racing, fires in the fire pit, hikes, crunching through leaves, you name it!

That’s why I was excited to be picked to try the Eagle Creek Duffel through BibRave. Because while we’re running around, getting outside as much as possible, a do-all bag is key.

Check out how small the duffel is able to fold up! I love this not only makes storage easy but it’s also a great way to pack an extra bag if needed. When we go on vacation, we usually need an extra bag for the things we pick up along the way and having one that can be packed on the way there and then expand to a full duffel works out really well.

I thought the Eagle Creek Duffel would be great to bring to races, and it was.

My family joined me for the Run Inspired 10k in Delaware and I knew that I’d want to bring a change of clothes and (perhaps more importantly in the eyes of my husband) we needed to brings things to entertain my children while I was running. We packed everything in the duffel, with room to spare.

I was very grateful I had that change of clothes because it was lightly raining during the race and I was thoroughly soaked by the time I finished.

By the way, the bag did great in the misting rain. I had everything in the main compartment and it all remained dry. The bag is water repellent but just keep in mind that if it’s really raining hard, you’ll want to get your bag to a dry spot.

The bag is super lightweight, weighing less than 2 pounds total which does matter when you’re packing a ton of stuff in it! And that’s exactly what my 12 year old son, Lucas, did this past weekend.

He’s a 2nd class rank Boy Scout and this past weekend went on a camping trip to Annapolis. After he was wearing the bag around the house and looking at it with interest, I thought it would be a great way to really put this bag to the test.

This weekend was the first cold snap we’ve had, with temps down in the 20s overnight. For the camping trip, the 60L bag fit all of his clothes, from thermals to sweatshirts.

He had a great time sleeping in a tent, taking a tour of the Naval academy, and watching the Navy football game. Once he returned and after he got settled, I asked him what he thought of the duffel.

“It was great! You were able to stuff a lot of things in there and it fit a lot. If I couldn’t use it as a duffel bag, I could always sling it over my shoulder. The zippers worked great. I’d use it again if I got the chance.”

(And then he gave me the puppy dog eyes.) (Which I think means that it’s no longer MY bag, but OUR bag.)

A few of the other BibRave Pros have flown with the Eagle Creek Duffel 60L and they say that it’s the perfect size for a carry on, which is awesome too! I’m looking forward to taking it on future trips with me.

Check out reviews from my fellow BibRave Pros: JennaMaiLaura – Fallon

Join us for the Eagle Creek Twitter #bibchat on Tuesday, November 21st at 9est! I’ll be there and it’s always an awesome time!

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’.

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

I’m a 2018 BibRave Pro (and you can apply too!)

Disclaimer: I received BOCO Gear 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!

Happy November!

2017 has been a great year for me, running wise.

I hit a hard fought half marathon goal in the spring at one of my favorite races, the AC April Fools Half Marathon. I’ve had the opportunity to travel, to race local, to do more training runs and really enjoy running. And I’ve done this all as a BibRave Pro.

Last week I signed on for another year as a BibRave Pro and I couldn’t be more excited that I’m returning for 2018. I’ve had a lot of friends ask about the program and I’m happy to share that BibRave is looking to expand the Pro group to include more bloggers!

That’s right, from today through November 15th you can apply to be a part of the BibRave Pros! Feel free to tell them I sent you. 😉

Through the program I’ve gotten to try a lot of great products, races, and SWAG. Do runners like their swag or what? Most recently I’ve had the opportunity to try the BOCO Gear, which includes both the hat and the visor that Tedrick and I were sporting at the Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half.

I was pumped when I heard that BOCO Gear was making BibRave headgear because I’m a huge fan of the BOCO gear products I own.

Philadelphia Marathon BOCO Gear hat

BOCO Gear Ragnar visors

When I first started running, I got used to wearing hats for most of my runs. When it’s raining, it helps keep my glasses from getting filled with water droplets and when it’s sunny, I obviously can’t wear sunglasses so hats and visors are key in blocking the sun.

Plus, I get to represent BibRave! I’ve been wearing my visor and hat to the gym and on nearly all my training runs/races lately.

I particularly love BOCO Gear because they’re breathable and lightweight. My cranium needs to breathe!

The BOCO Run Hat has an adjustable band in the back that feeds into the hat so it’s hidden away. The BOCO 360° Visor® has a one piece elastic band that comfortably slips on my head. Depending on the day and the headgear choice, I thread my braid or ponytail through the hat band or over the elastic and I’m ready to go.

Since I wear my hats/visors to the gym (it’s early and it’s way easier than brushing my hair and trying to make it behave) and on runs, I’m always washing them. They’re machine washable, which is a must for me!

At first I was careful, washing them on delicate cycle and air drying. More recently, the visor slipped in with the regular laundry and thankfully, it was fine! I do choose to air dry, as I do with much of my work out gear to prolong its wearability. For the record, the tag says hand wash but all other literature says machine washable.

From a personal standpoint, I think that I like the visor a bit more than the hat, because the hat has a flat brim, whereas the visor’s brim is curved. I’ve been wearing the hat more casually and the visor for working out.

Everyone is loving on the BibRave BOCO hat!

They are both heavily in rotation and are ranked among my favorites when it comes to grabbing something when I’m on my way out the door!

Will you be applying to be a BibRave Pro? Are there ambassadorship programs that you’re a part of that you love? (Besides being a BibRave Pro, I adore being a Momentum Jewelry Ambassador.) Do you wear a hat or visor while working out? Talk to me in the comments, we love them!

Road Tested: Fun Run Box

Disclaimer: I received the Fun Run Box Oktoberfest 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!

Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve become a huge subscription box fan over the past few years. I love being surprised by the goodies included in the box and trying lots of new products.

The Fun Run Box takes the subscription box to a whole other level! Integrating the idea of a subscription box with an online social media challenge team, the Fun Run Box is an innovative way to inspire and motivate runners (and walkers) throughout the month.

So how does it work? The Fun Run Box (FRB) has a series of different challenges. The Oktoberfest 5 Mile Dachs Challenge box had $75 worth of products for $45. There’s also a subscription option; you can sign up for month to month service at $35/month, 3 months at $34/month, 6 months at $33/month, or a year at $32/month.

As a BibRave Pro, I got to try the September box challenge aka the 2nd annual Octoberfest 5 Mile Dachs.

Click on the picture to watch the box dance!

My FRB arrived toward the end of August and everyone is very careful not to post the contents of the box before the start date of the first of the month, as to not spoil it for anyone participating who is waiting to receive the box. The box comes with a challenge rules list and also lets you know what team you’re “competing” on.

Oh yes, did I mention that the challenge is a competition? For the 5 Mile Dachs, the teams were Doxie (woot woot!), Dashie, and Diggity – each with its own hashtag so you could track your team and cheer on everyone!

There are 6 categories for the challenge and through Instagram and the challenge specific Facebook page, you’re able to post and share your pictures throughout the month. The photos with the most votes actually win a prize of a $50 gift card for the Fun Run Box Shop and all members of the winning team with at least 1 photo submitted receive a $5 gift card.

The posting pictures and voting on a separate page was a bit confusing for me. From what I understand, you can post on Instagram or the Facebook page and the go to a separate webpage to vote. Personally I was more focused on taking pictures and having fun with the challenge rather than winning so that’s what I chose to focus on.

I got to work immediately, wearing my FRB 5 Mile Dachs Trucker Hat to my first race expo on September 1st in Virginia at the Vacation Races Shenandoah Half.

Fun Run Box Review

From there I used the rest of my challenge items throughout the month – all of which are things I’ll be using for a long time to come (well, except the food items because those are long gone).

Fun Run Box Review

Roll & Go Massager in action after the Rock ‘n Roll Philly half marathon.

What I really liked about the FRB Challenge was that they included a training plan for each week. Honestly, I wasn’t able to follow it exactly with my training for other races happening but I did try to incorporate it as much as I could.

Fun Run Box Review

Finally a “running” challenge that my husband was all about participating in…

Toward the end of the month, I ran my 5 Mile Dachs. Since the day I decided to run was during that string of extremely warm temps, it was accomplished on the treadmill. Thankfully I got to get some speed-work done while watching my guilty pleasure, The Challenge on MTV.

Fun Run Box Review

Can you spot the bib on my board?

Want to get in on the fun of the Fun Run Box? Code BIBRAVE will save you 15% off any subscription box at https://funrunbox.com/bibrave

Mark your calendars, the Fun Run Box #BibChat is happening on Tuesday, October 17th at 9pm EST. And if you want to see how my fellow BibRavePros fared with the Oktoberfest challenge, swing by and visit:

Amy – Henry

Have you ever participated in a Fun Run Box challenge? What do you like about subscription boxes?

Road Tested: OOFOS Project Pink

Disclaimer: I received OOFOS Project Pink 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 turned 40 years old this year.

Not too much has changed in my daily grind. 40 feels much like 39 did. However, I was told during my annual well visit that it was time for a routine mammogram, along with colonoscopy due to family history. I scheduled the mammography soon after (I’m still working up the nerve for my colonoscopy prep)(I’ll get there, I promise).

I asked friends about their experiences during a mammography and most told me that while it was not the most pleasant life experience, remembering that it would over quickly seemed to help. I figured I’d be in and out of the women’s center with minimal discomfort.

Which I was.

Until they called me the next day to let me know that I had “asymmetric dense breast tissue” and I needed to come in for more images. After a 3-D mammography and an ultrasound, I was informed that I’m absolutely fine.

But I have to tell you, those five days between the phone call and when the doctor came in the room to speak to me were some of the most stressful of my life.

Attempting not to think about it didn’t work. Reassuring myself that it was probably “nothing” didn’t work. At the age of 40, I’ve already lost a friend to breast cancer. I have a dear friend who is living with Stage 4 breast cancer. There are friends, family members, acquaintances and people I haven’t yet met that are battling every day.

Cancer sucks, there’s no two ways about it.

Which is why we need to fight. And if there’s something I can do to help, in any way, I will do it.

Enter OOFOS Project Pink.

OOFOS Recovery Footwear’s head of Marketing, Duncan Finigan, is personally affected by cancer; she was diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced breast cancer in 2014.

Once Duncan received her diagnosis, OOFOS chose the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as the cause that the company wanted to support. For over 70 years, the Dana-Farber team has worked toward finding a cure through research and patient care.

Through the Project Pink collection, OOFOS donates $10 of every pair sold to breast cancer treatment research at Dana-Farber all year long! 

OOFOS is currently almost halfway to their $100k goal

The Project Pink Collection is made up of the Men’s and Women’s OOAHH Sandal, the Men’s and Women’s OOcloog Clog, the Men’s and Women’s OOriginal Sandal, the Women’s OOcloog Luxe Clog, and the Woman’s OOlala Sandal.

All are nearly identical to the regular line of shoes, however the Project Pink Collection has a special pink touch to every shoe, whether it be the logo (along the outside sole) or the awareness ribbon on the Ooriginal Sandal.

OOlala Project Pink Sandal

It’s hard to describe just how amazing the OOFOS shoes are on your feet, but trust me when I say that I’ve heard about them for awhile before having the opportunity to try them.

They are magical! 

From the moment I first slipped my feet into the Oolala Sandal I realized that I’d been missing out. The way the shoe cradles the foot is perfection. I can feel how the shoe moves with my foot and against the ground in a rocking, flexible motion.

Of course, OOFOS explains this way better than I can with this video!

I’ve been wearing OOFOS everywhere since I got them. If I don’t have running shoes on, these have been my go-to shoes, with a few exceptions (a baby shower, for example).

The only thing that I have to say is that I wish I had gotten OOFOS a heck of a lot sooner! When I was dealing with my plantar fasciitis, they would have been helpful in relieving the pain and in recovery. I pray every day that I never have to deal with foot issues again, but if I do, I know that I’ll be relying on OOFOS!

OOFOS Project Pink Twitter #BibChat is happening on tomorrow, Tuesday, October 3rd at 9pm EST. Join us there!

Please remember that breast health is so very important. To share words I wrote two years ago that are still just as relevant:

Now a word to cancer. Cancer, I’ve got to say, you suck. You’ve messed with my friends, my mom, my dad, my friend’s families, children… and I’m sick on your shit. I will gladly walk, run, and shout from rooftops if it will bring awareness and funds for research to finally find a cure.

Won’t it be an amazing day when we kick your ass to the curb for good?

It truly will.

Road Tested: Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Collar

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Collar 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.

Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar

In February my best friend, Gemma, and I were able to test out the Stunt Puppy Leash, which we absolutely love. In fact, we love it so much that we recently gifted one to Jenn as a housewarming present. (I’m all about practical housewarming gifts.)

When I caught wind of another opportunity to try a Stunt Puppy item through BibRave, I was definitely interested. Although, when I saw it was a collar, I wasn’t sure that we’d be the right fit. Gemma needs to be on a harness when she’s walking or running; the harness gives me more control over her and she isn’t able to pull. She’s a small but mighty girl!

Once I was able to confirm that we could test it without hooking the leash directly on it, we were in!

Go Dog Glo Dry Collar in action

There were quite a few colors I could pick from when it came to the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar but I knew immediately that the Orange Reflective would really stand out on Gemma. And it does! They also have Yellow Reflective, Pink Reflective, Royal Reflective, Ocean Reflective and Red Reflective; there’s a good variety to choose from.

Orange is one of my favorite colors and it really stands out against her dark coat. Her visibility is important because we are often out in our neighborhood in the early morning hours. It has a 3M Reflective Edgeguard trim along the middle that catches the light at any angle. I use Brilliant Reflective on my clothing, it only makes sense that she has prime visibility as well.

Durability wise, she’s been wearing this collar for a little over a month and the reflective trim has started flecking off a bit near the adjustable buckle.

Not a big deal, but worth noting.

Stunt Puppy designed the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar with flat, quick release buckle collars.

Personally, I’m a fan of buckle collars for dogs because they aren’t able to slip them easily and if for any reason they get caught up on something like a fence or branch, I’m able to quickly and easily open the buckle and release her. It hasn’t happened yet, but better safe than sorry.

The overall feel of the collar is flexible plastic, which is how the collar is stink-proof and waterproof. Miss Gemma has a tendency to roll in disgusting things so this is a great feature for her.

If something smells like death, you can bet that girlfriend is going to drop to the ground and get that death smell all over her. It’s one of her less endearing qualities.

Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar

Exhausted after a hard morning of running and playing.

The collar also comes with two D rings. One is for a leash and the other is for tags so they don’t get tangled and reduces jingle noise. You might notice that I have neither on Gemma’s collar at the moment. Her tag’s O ring that I use to attach it to a collar broke and as I mentioned earlier, I don’t use the leash directly on the neck collar. Even still, I’ve been happy with the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar and how it’s worked for Gemma.

Gemma and I are in agreement, the Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar gets two thumbs and 4 paws up from us!

The collar retails for $26.00 If you’re interested in getting it, code BIBRAVE917 will save you 20% off your purchase at https://www.stuntpuppy.com/.

Tonight’s Twitter #BibChat is with Brilliant Reflective (doing my best to be a there!). Stunt Puppy’s #BibChat is happening on Tuesday, September 19th at 9pm EST and I can’t wait because I’m sure that there will be many, many dog pictures. You should join us, Gem and I’ll be snuggling and chatting.

Want to hear more about the Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar? Swing by BibRavePro’s blogs:

Lindsay