Road Tested: Weav Run – Music for Running

Disclaimer: The Weav Run app is currently free but I will be receiving a lifetime subscription in January 2018 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!

Now that my racing season is over for a few months, one of the main goals I’ve set for myself is improving my speed on shorter distances.

I feel like I’ve made great strides in my longer runs recently and for that, I’m really proud! However, when it comes to shorter distances, I don’t know how to kick and keep my pace in a higher gear.

Last month I decided that each day I’d get out in my neighborhood and run “the loop” with my faithful pup, Gemma. She automatically makes me go faster and I can push myself for short distances.

In addition to Gemma pushing the pace, I’ve been using the Weav Run app, which is a music app on my phone with pre-set songs that speed up and slow down according to cadence. Say what? 

YES. Check this out!

I was skeptical at first because I think we’ve all heard the mixes where a song is sped up without taking in account the fact that the singer will then sound like a chipmunk. That’s not the case with the Weav Run app, rather the Beats Per Minute accelerate and decelerate while the singers voices are not, making the transition smooth.

Currently the Weav Run app is available on Apple devices. It’s fairly straightforward to use.

You’re able to have the app detect your tempo as you run or you can input your own tempo.

After trying both options, I’ve found that I’m partial to entering my own tempo when I’m running with Gemma. She takes short “marking her territory” breaks I don’t want to have a break in the tempo of the music.

Also, when I enter my own tempo, I’m able to put it for slightly faster that I am naturally able to go and that helps me push my own pace.

The Weav Run app will connect to the Health app so you’re able to record your runs. However, one of the things I’ve been trying to do lately is keep things as simple as possible when it comes to my running and I want all of my runs to be in one place (my Garmin). I’m primarily using the Weav Run app for the music aspect and it’s fantastic. It’s like taking a personal DJ on my run with me – I feel like I’m in the club!

There are currently 25 songs on the playlist and I’ve been jamming to each and every single one of them. Some are old school: “It’s Tricky” by RUN-DMC. Many are more current: “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Cheerleader” by OMI, “Broccoli” by D.R.A.M ft Lil Yachty to name a few.

From what I understand the app’s creative team are in talks with music labels to get more songs on the playlist.

What I love most about this app is that it takes listening to music on a run to another level for me. I’ve fluctuated between needing music to run (when I first started out) to more recently only listening to music on during longer mileage runs or on solo runs.

The Weav Run app makes me excited to listen to music again during shorter runs because of the potential it has to push me along. And run-dance-sing… don’t forget that, too.

Weav Run is constantly evolving – there’s currently beta testing for intervals. I know that they have plans to add more songs on the horizon and I look forward to that because I plan to run further and hopefully faster.

Co-founders, Lars Rasmussen and Elomida Visviki took the time to conference call with BibRave Pros yesterday afternoon to answer questions and share company background; it was very enlightening and much appreciated by the BRPs.

Weav Run has a great presence on social media, which is always a plus in my eyes. At this very moment, the #weavrunstreak is happening – a mile a day for 30 days. I was going strong until I got benched by colonoscopy prep and a tenacious cough but I’m hoping to jump back in because my body needs to move!

Want to learn even more about the Weav Run app? Make sure to join the Twitter #bibchat happening on December 26th at 9pm est.

Do you run with music? What are some of your favorite power tunes? Have you tried the Weav Run app?

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!

BibRave Pro: Garmin Forerunner® 935 (with giveaway news!)

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!

My BibRave Pro one year anniversary is coming up soon! It feels like just yesterday I announced that I was chosen as a BibRave Pro and I can’t believe how quickly it has flown by. It’s far and away ranks highly among the best experiences that has come along with blogging. That’s saying something, since I started an online journaling way back in June 2001.

Through BibRave I’ve met and connected with tons of incredible people, both online and in person – I want more of the in person variety! The opportunities to try so many cool products and races as a BibRave Pro have been wonderful.

What I love about BibRave in general is that it’s consistently good. I love the positivity, the unconditional support from my fellow Pros, the people I meet during the Tuesday Twitter #bibchat!

Last week I got the news from our BibRave Pro coordinator, Erin, that I was chosen to try the Garmin Forerunner® 935 and I lost my mind. If you live anywhere in the New Jersey area, you might have heard me freaking out! I definitely scared a few children (my own so it’s okay).

I charged it overnight, synced it with my phone, and then put it on my wrist. I immediately started getting alerts!

I love my previous watch, the Garmin Forerunner® 220, but it isn’t nearly as fancy!

The Forerunner® 935 is really awesome and has great features like a heart rate monitor (really pumped about that), step counter, sleep monitoring, calories burned, V02 max, gym, running and swimming features (among others), and that’s just to name a few.

I’m still learning all the watch has to offer because there’s a lot!

I’ll keep you posted as I go along about all the new and exciting things I come across. I’m sure there will be many!

In the meanwhile, there’s a Twitter #bibchat happening this evening and there’s going to be a Garmin Forerunner® 935 given away to a participant!

If you’re the lucky one then we can both find out all the cool things TOGETHER. Join us tonight on Twitter at 9pm est.

Race Recap: Run Inspired 10k

With fellow BibRave Pro, Ryan (IRUNONBEER)

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Run Inspired 10k race 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!

You know the song from Grease that goes: “I’ve got chills, they’re multiplyin'”?

I’ve decided to change that lyric to “I’ve got hills, they’re multiplyin'” in honor of the Run Inspired 10k!

Eating hills for breakfast, indeed.

The 2nd annual Run Inspired 10k in Winterthur, Delaware was held on October 15, 2017. The race benefits Operation Warm, which provides winter coats for children living in poverty. It’s a great cause and one that I was happy to support.

The start and finish were in the same location, and surrounded by the “race village”, which is where the Finishers Party was held. Bib Pickup could be done on Friday or Saturday at the Delaware Running Company or (as I opted to do) day of at the Registration tent for no additional fee.

At the bib pickup I was given my race bib, a long sleeved poly-blend women’s cut shirt, and a drawstring bag.

Parking was in a field, on a hill, overlooking the race village. There was also premium parking available a bit closer to the race village. The only issue was this year’s weather was rainy prior to the race, leaving the grass wet… which made for wet socks and shoes. Not ideal, but thankfully I prepared ahead of time by slathering my feet with 2 Toms Foot Shield.

There were 747 runners/walkers during this race (the 2016 inaugural race hosted 1,397 participants) and the management encourages both runners and walkers to participate.

Corrals are self-seeded with paces up to 10 minutes and then a “walkers” corral. A suggestion would be to extent the running corrals even further, as I know many (such as myself) employ the run/walk/run technique. The course was a bit tight at the beginning of the race and spreading paces out a bit further might assist with that.

As for the course, it was absolutely gorgeous! Hosted at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, there was beautiful fall foliage and many things to look at along the way. From reading a previous review on BibRave, I knew that the course would be hilly (something that those from the area wouldn’t automatically assume because most of Delaware is flat as a pancake).

It was definitely a challenging course! I took advantage of the flat portions and the downhills as much as possible.

The volunteers stationed along the course and at the water stations were fantastic and encouraging. There were smiling faces everywhere. A portion of the course (1.5 miles) is along the road and it was clearly marked off with police officers directing traffic. I felt very safe.

The last push of the race was, unsurprisingly, uphill. It would have been very easy to be disheartened but my family was waiting for me and I could see them cheering. I usually don’t bring my family along to races because I fear they’ll be bored but with the knowledge of the Finishers Party, I knew there would be activities to keep them busy.

I returned to find my younger son’s face painted and my older son “tattooed”. They also loved winning prizes at the Operation Warm tent and were encouraged to keep playing, which is something I appreciate. And something my husband appreciated even more while trying to keep them entertained!

My older son saw me coming during the last stretch and ran on the grass beside me for the last two tenths of a mile. He was so excited and it was so great to have him there! As I crossed the finish line, I was given very cute medal. This race was not even close to my PR from last fall, but it was such a challenge, I was proud that I got it done.

Took my Eagle Creek Duffel along to carry the family’s stuff! Review to come soon.

There was a long chute in which I was able to grab a bottle of water immediately and get a good amount of snacks! They had popcorn, chips, soft pretzels, cheese curls, lemonade, and iced tea. It was a great spread, especially for a 10k. My kids had their eyes on my snacks immediately (and naturally, I shared with the kiddos).

Each finisher also got a drink ticket on their bib with their choice of either beer or wine. I opted for the Dogfish Head Namaste (and naturally, I shared with my husband).

The Finishers Party had food trucks, a musician, beer garden, vendors, and more. It’s unfortunate that the weather was overcast. Had it not been, I think we would have stayed longer. After sipping my beer and enjoying a few songs from the musician, we decided to pack it up and head back to the car.

Overall, it was a great morning and a race I’d consider returning to in the future. It was most certainly inspiring and Operation Warm is a worthy cause!

Unless another race comes along that really inspires me to sign up, the Run Inspired 10k was my last of 2017. Never say never, of course, but I’m looking forward to maintaining for a few months rather than training.

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.