TRE Influencer Day

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

The Running Event is a huge convention for the running industry. Brands and those involved with anything running related, from nutrition to medals to recovery to gear (just to name a few) converge in Austin, Texas for this week-long show. Closed to the general public, this is a chance for vendors to explore new products and prototypes, hear from innovators and inventors, and connect with others in the field.

Besides new products and prototypes, there was something else that was brand new to The Running Event this year was… ME. The coordinators of The Running Event partnered with BibRave to bring 20 bloggers/social media influencers into the exhibition hall for TRE Influencer Day. I was lucky enough to be chosen to explore The Running Event and it was beyond awesome.

Group A for awwwww, yeah!

The BibRave Pros were split into two groups of 10 with official Team BibRave tour guides, Andy and Steph. We were on a tight schedule with plans to visit 10 booths within a two and a half hour span throughout The Running Event. The (Vooray) swag bags we received at the Welcome Reception had goodies and gear from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, HandfulVuori, CEP, Incrediwear, Zwift, Brooks, and Nuun. These are the brand we visited on the expo floor.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about their products, designs, and visions for each brand. Hearing the passion and excitement from each of the brands presenters made us understand the vision and thought process behind the products.

Throughout the month of December I’ll be putting these products to the test and sharing my own thoughts and opinions about them. But for now, here’s a small peek on the extremely cool morning at The Running Event.

Arcanum

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not something I knew a lot about prior to TRE. The buzz regarding it has been great so I was interested in learning more about its benefits and how it can be used during workout and recovery.

At TRE we met Lindsay of Arcanum. We learned her personal story about her autoimmune disease and how activated hemp assisted in her recovery. CBD oil can be used pre and post workouts, aids with sleep, and even helps to combat anxiety. I was interested to learn that she uses the Sarco Breeze as moisturizer on her face to help with redness and acne.

Arcanum means mystery within and in this case, it’s the activated hemp.  But don’t worry, I won’t be keeping my thoughts a mystery regarding Arcanum. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Arcanum Sarco Breeze, Sarcho Freeze, and The Quill in the upcoming weeks.

Handful

As with anything in this world, there are wants versus needs. For me, a good bra is a need. I have a generous “handful” and it was great to hear from the ladies of Handful bras and apparel. One of their original goals was to make a sports bra NOT have the dreaded uni-boob. Well, they have succeeded!

From there they’ve added more to their line, including this Flippin’ Awesome Tank which they demonstrated at TRE.

Along with the Y-back bra, the lady BRPs also received leggings from them in our swag bag. While we visited their booth they also gave us each a sweet Handful hat, which I’ve been wearing non-stop since I got home.

Vuori

California founded company, Vuori was founded with the goal of making technical clothing for workouts that would transition to casual wear. The brand started with men’s clothes; however women began to gravitate toward wearing them and they saw the want for it, they expanded to include a women’s line too.

We were encouraged to feel the materials and check out their clothes. Incredibly soft and modern/stylish. I have my eye on the Halo pullover.

I always find it interesting to ask what the brand name derived from because I think it says a lot about the vision of the brand. In this case, Vuori means mountain!

Vooray

Hooray for Vooray! These gear bags had me at hello. The goal of Vooray is to offer great bags and a price point under $100.

The folks at Vooray were very receptive to ideas, asking for input and opinions on the spot which was awesome. I especially like the bag above has a ventilated shoe pocket for stinky shoes after a workout.

Our swag bag was the Vooray ACE Backpack (you can see many of us wearing it in top picture) and they also gifted us the Active Fanny Pack while we were there. I know that both will get a lot of great use!

Addaday

Next stop on our tour was to Addaday, which many associate with their massage rollers and therapy tools.

However, the first thing we learned about was their new full leaf runner’s tea! The importance of keep the leaves full, not crushed, is that to preserves nutrients. We were able to sample the tea and also get packets to try at home, which I’ll share more about in my upcoming review.

In our swag bag we received a muscle roller, which particularly rocks because my hamstrings have been tight lately. The Addaday booth also had a sweet set up with chair and foot massagers. I think we would have been perfectly content hanging out there all day!

Alas, there was more to see and do at The Running Event so we were on to the next!

Nuun

While some of the products and brands we were introduced to were ones I’d not been aware of previous, I’m not new to Nuun. It’s always been a tried and true for me and I usually grab a tube when I visit my local running store. I was looking forward to trying the samples but I didn’t really think I’d be hearing things I didn’t already know.

Boy, was I surprised!

Just as a quick example: I learned about the different types of Nuun (caffeinated has the colored cap, while non-caffeinated caps are write) and the Immunity boost (which I’d heard about from Ash’s review but hadn’t yet tried myself). Obviously I’ll be sharing a lot more information once I’ve tried them all in my upcoming review. Also, at their suggestion, I’m planning on trying Nuun warm and maybe even a Nuuntini. Fancy!

Incrediwear

Incrediwear is another new to me product that I’m really excited to use during my workouts. It always says something when you hear directly from an athlete that has had great success with products. World class sprinter, Manteo Mitchell, shared his story of breaking his leg during the 4x400m relay at the 2012 London Olympics. Despite the break halfway through his lap, he finished the race and helped his team get a second place victory!

Afterward Manteo was looking for something that would aid in his recovery. Incrediwear has done that for him and he’s passionate about their products. It was great to hear him speak about the brand.

While I don’t currently have any injuries, I’m looking forward to using Incrediwear products during my training and recovery. I’ve already checked out the Sport Socks during a recent run and they were great!

CEP Compression

CEP Compression was next and while I’ve worn compression socks before, I really had no idea about how and why they worked. The pressure from the compression accelerates the removal of metabolic waste as well has assists in keeping you stable while running in addition to reducing swelling.

The products are made in Germany by Medi. Medi is the brand that make compression for medical purposes while CEP is their athletic branch.

We received compression socks and Merino wool socks to try during training/recovery and I’m looking forward to trying them. In the past I’ve always fought to get compression socks on however I learned a little trick called the toe pocket so I’ll be trying that with CEP Compression!

Altra

The next stop on our TRE tour was at Altra. I’ll admit, this is a brand that I didn’t know too much about prior to visiting their booth. I think that the idea of zero drop shoes was always something that made me nervous, mainly because I didn’t know what it was or how it would pertain to me.

I was also very interested to learn about the Fit4Her technology which caters specifically to the female foot. We were able to see a number of different shoe styles as well as see a few of the new colors coming out in 2019.

Compared to what I usually wear they are super lightweight. I got a pair of Escalante 1.5 (Silver) to try and I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts when I hit the road.

Brooks

Our final destination on the official BibRave/TRE tour took us across the expo floor to the Brooks booth. I’m well-versed with Brooks apparel  but I’ve never run in their shoes before last week!

I’ve considered getting Brooks shoes in the past but have always wound up sticking with the shoes I’m currently in for fear of change. However, I was given a pair of Brooks Ghost 11 at TRE (some of the other ladies were given the Adrenaline GTS 19).

I’ve been wearing the Ghosts for my runs and training sessions since then and they’ve been working really well for me. More thoughts on those and the LSD jacket coming soon!

Final Thoughts…

We learned about Zwift the day prior at the Zwift Welcome Reception so we didn’t spend time with them at their booth however I did get the chance to wave as we passed by at the expo. We had a bit of time after our TRE tour to stop look around and stop at a few booths along the way. Unfortunately, Kim and I had to get back to our hotel to check out so we didn’t get to stay too long but it was fun to swing by StuntPuppy, PROHairTie, Untapped, MUD, and Boco Gear.

What stood out to me the most at each brand we visited was their intense excitement and love for their products. The passion for their products stand out and it’s clear that this is how they get better and evolve each step of the way.

Before we said goodbye to our group, we had to take the obligatory group selfie!

I love these people.

Thanks BibRave and TRE for the amazing experience! Let’s do it again in 2019!

Want to read more about The Running Event? Check out the BibRave Pros blogs:

Jessica, Vanessa, Kim, Teddy, Mai, Nicole, Mark, Jenna, Corey, Amy, Ryan, Gina

Road Tested: Nuun Immunity

Disclaimer: I received Nuun Immunity 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!

As a teacher staying healthy is pretty much key to do, well, anything. I was really excited when BibRave offered the new Nuun product Nuun Immunity to try! I try all kinds of things to keep me healthy (like crossing my fingers and using hand sanitizer abundantly) during the school year and I was stoked to try this.

I was a little wary of the flavors at first, I’ll be honest. My favorite Nuun is the strawberry lemonade, so that’s normally all I buy. When the citrus and blueberry tangerine showed up, I wasn’t so sure! I tried the citrus first and was surprised at how much I enjoyed it. It reminded me of the lemon-lime flavor I’ve tried before. It took a while before I mustered up the courage for blueberry tangerine, though. I’m not a huge fan of blueberry for reasons I’m not sure about. It grew on me, though. I even tossed it to a co-worker who said she was feeling a little icky last week and she liked it. So, two thumbs up here!

I’m also at the end of my marathon training (AW YEAH IT’S TAPER TIME) and have been drinking Nuun Immunity the day before my long runs and during my long runs to keep me hydrated. I’ve found myself feeling great during most of my runs, even in the South Florida heat. Some of the days are just sweltering and the extra boost from nuun definitely helped get me through some challenging miles.

For the most part, I’ve felt strong and healthy! I can’t say that I’m always one hundred percent because teaching is like bathing in germs, but I’m grateful for the extra boost that Nuun Immunity has given me! And I’ll be taking it to Chicago with me, so stay tuned!

Check out www.nuunlife.com and use HYDRATEBIBPRO for 20% off! Enjoy!

New Year Water Challenge

Many, many folks have done a 30 day water challenge wherein they commit to drinking the recommended 64 ounces a day for a month. But guess what? I’m doing the same thing! (Bazinga!)

IG

I drink a lot of water. A lot of flavored water. Flavored with leaves. Black leaves. Okay, Earl Grey. I drink a lot lot lot of hot Celestial Seasonings Earl Grey tea.  Somewhere in the neighborhood five, twenty ounce cups a day. That should count for my 64 ounces of water, honestly. HONESTLY. And really, it can’t be that bad because I sleep like a log all night, every night. Caffeine, schmaffeine.

It’s totally bad. I know.

The real problem with this  habit is the sugar. Basically, I’m consuming a small sugar cane plantation every month. A big can of white sugar sits beside the hot water dispenser at the office and I just pour it into my cup. It’s horrible, I know. Something needs to change or I will be diabetic in the very near future.

my addicition

I even have a cup (or stein, as you will) right before bed.

So why have I decided to be a follower? Great question! Well, aside from the aforementioned risk of diabetic shock descending at any moment, I’m curious to see the changes drinking 64 ounces a day will bring. If I can flush some toxins and get rid of the circles that have been under my eyes since childhood I will be so happy. I’m also hoping healthier skin will help fade my adolescent acne scars. Let’s not mention the laugh lines and crows feet entrenching themselves in my face. I turn forty this year and it’s starting to show. Water, nature’s cure-all, to the rescue!

The "Before"

The “Before”

The plan is to go from five or six cups of tea a day to two in the morning. Then I’ll divide the sixty-four ounce daily intake into eight ounce segments throughout the rest of the day. Using my favorite race sticker covered bottle, fruit infusions, and Nuun should help me say on track. In 30 days I’ll check in and let you know if my bags took a flight home. If you don’t hear from me, I’m laying on the kitchen floor in front of my electric teapot, slipping into a diabetic coma.

 

What’s your method for staying hydrated? Are you a water or sport drink person? Show us your water bottle on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram!

Baby Got Wasatch Back

Best team name ever.

Yes, those are ninja stars.

Yes, those are ninja stars.

Now that that’s out of the way, let the race recap begin!  I’m still recovering from the epic experience that was Ragnar Wasatch Back.  Utah brought all the extremes…heat, cold, elevation gain and loss: this race was no joke.  I’m a bit of a Ragnar Veteran, so I thought this weekend would be just another Ragnar.  I was prepared for the lack of sleep and the shenanigans.  I had hydration under control thanks to the NUUN station  at the start line.  I had my new Skora Tempo and my Core…just in case.  I had brought my biofreeze and compression socks and my DoTerra Blue Rub.

Most of all, I was so very excited to see my friends!

sailor moon gif

Ninjas, Ninjas, Ninjas!!!

I was not, however, ready for the elevation.  Altitude is a real thing, people.

My Ragnar weekend started on Thursday with a 12 hour road trip to Salt Lake City, Utah from Riverside, CA with my fella and teammate, Ian. Yes, it took us 12 hours.  Mostly because of the Electric Daisy Carnival happening in Las Vegas.  Stop and go from Baker to Vegas surrounded by kids with drugs in 115 degree heat. Normally, this wouldn’t be a problem, but we had a race to get to!

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The 15 freeway is a really, really long freeway.

Once we got into Utah, though, the 80 mph speed limit sure brightened things up.  All the ninjas had already gathered at our fearless leader, Eric’s, parent’s house, who so graciously let 13 runners take over their house.  We didn’t arrive until around 2 am and our wake-up call (or rather violent shake) was scheduled for 4:30 am so that we could get to the start line in Logan, UT by our 8 am start time.  And so it begins…

pre race

 

Ninjas at the Start!

Ninjas at the Start!

Being in Van 2 has its advantages.  Once we kicked off the start with Van 1, we were able to grab some food and prepare aka screw around before our actual legs, which didn’t start until around 1 pm.  So we hit up the IHOP and ate all the pancakes, then followed some of the runners of Van 1 to check out their course.

Shattered glass at breakfast: bad omen or bad ass?

Shattered glass at breakfast: bad omen or bad ass?

Ragnaring like a boss...in business casual attire complete with phone and belt clip.

Ragnaring like a boss…in business casual attire complete with phone and belt clip.

Around this time we also learned that a fellow Ragnarian had collapsed on the course.  A 46 year old man from Park City, Utah, Tyler “Ty” Rasch, collapsed and later passed away (more information here).  While the cause of death is still unknown, this was frightening news.  I didn’t train in the altitude or heat at all and here this guy, who was used to this climate, had just died during this race.  It was a very sombering reality check.  I take this race stuff for granted.  My heart goes out to his family and friends, who were with him during this race and had to watch all this go down.  Just terrible.

We met up with Van 1 at exchange 6.  El Capitan Eric took over as runner 7 and our van headed out to kick some serious miles.  Around this time the temperature was reaching into the 90’s and our elevation was up in the 5000’s.  This sea level SoCal girl was definitely feeling the altitude.

When Vans Collide

When Vans Collide

The handoff!  Go, Eric, go!

The handoff! Go, Eric, go!

I was runner 8, the second runner in our van, which means I got to run and be done.  Seriously, having to wait around to run when your van is “on” is torture.  My first leg was 7.1 miles of what seems like perfectly nice, flat land.

Looks nice, right???

Looks nice, right???

The first few miles felt like I was drowning.  I could not get a hold of my breathing.  Once I got into a nice steady breathing pattern, that’s when I realized I was melting.  I could not drink enough water.  I had my NUUN on hand but my Van had to stop twice to refill my bottle.

van support

The rest of the van had very similar legs, with lots of heat, lots of hills and lots of miles.  By the time we handed off to Van 2 for the night runs, we were desperate for rest.  Luckily, Eric’s folks were close and we were able to get some food from an actual kitchen, take a shower and use a real toilet, and actually get a little rest in a real bed before our projected early, early morning runs.

The hills are alive!  With red ants and selfies within selfies within selfies...

The hills are alive! With red ants and selfies within selfies within selfies…

The second leg of our race started at 1 am and we had some pretty quick runs with elevations in the 6000’s and temps in the 50’s.  My second leg was super short and super cold!

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There wasn’t a mile marker on this run, though, so the only way I knew it was over, was the mile long back up of vans at the exchange.  This race had about 1000 teams!  That’s a lot of vans, man.  I came into the exchange looking to hand off to Tim, but I couldn’t find him anywhere.  I stood there about 10 minutes before we found each other.  Turns out, he’d been standing out there the whole time.  Doh!  Things you miss at 2:30 am.

giph3

I was feeling pretty good after my run, so I took on the role of driver.  The head honcho, Eric, needed to rest as he was gearing up for the gnarly run up Ragnar Hill in the morning.  Traffic was pretty heavy at every exchange and by the time we arrived to handoff to Van 1, I was suffering from severe nap-jerks.  Runner 12, Jana, came in around 7 am, and then it was time to fuel!  We headed to this really cool diner that seriously had the best breakfast food I’ve ever had.

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I’m not quite sure what happened after this.  All I know is I was eating and then I was asleep and then it was time to run again.  But first we had to support the big cheese, Eric, on this baby:

Ragnar Hill

Ragnar Hill

Yes, that is a 2000 ft. elevation gain over 10.3 miles in 90 degree heat on a few hours of sleep and after already completing 2 grueling legs.  This is the shit that legends are made of.

Waiting to support Eric on this monster.  That's a ski lodge.  A SKI LODGE!

Waiting to support Eric on this monster. That’s a ski lodge. A SKI LODGE!

I was up next, so I got to watch these runners come into the exchange after this run.  It was the most inspiring thing.  I was in awe after watching them grind up this mountain and then cry when they passed on to their next runner.  Seriously, the most breathtaking view of the whole course was the determination and then elation on these runners faces.  And they got a special medal!

eric

Oh, Captain, my Captain

So Eric ran up this mountain, and it was up to me and Tim to run down.  This was my last leg.  The downhill was really freaking hard on my feet.  I hadn’t had any issues at all thanks to my new Skora Tempo, ProCompression socks, biofreeze, and KT Tape (this is my recipe for success, btw), but on this leg, the back of the shoe starting cutting into my achilles and all I could think was PAIN.  I also developed big huge blisters on my arches from this leg.

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last leg

But the view was spectacular!

I was done!  Time to relax and take some pictures.  Here’s a wrap up of the rest of Van 2’s legs and bringing it home to the finish line.  That’s probably the best thing about being Van 2…you’re done at the finish line.

van 2

 

Jana ran us into the Finish Line in Park City after about 30+ hours.  Time to celebrate!

finish line

And the coolest bling in the race game! All 12 of our medals connect to form one super badass medal.  Mine is the one that says “eries”.

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Ragnar Wasatch Back was the very first race in the Ragnar series.  It is definitely the most difficult Ragnar I’ve ever participated in.  What an honor to be among these fine adventurers!  I’ve been out of the Ragnar game for a year but the bug is back!  I’m thinking Vegas?  There’s a double medal series for Utah and Vegas…Saints and Sinners, anyone?

Nuun – flavored hydration

I guzzle at least a gallon of water daily. Crisp, cold, refreshing — and oh so necessary in the summer months.

So when I heard other runners rave about Nuun, I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. I loved my water. And really, I didn’t see the need to replace it.

Last spring, I first sampled Nuun at my local running store. Employees put it out instead of water after a Saturday morning group run. It quenched my thirst, but I wasn’t used to flavor as I usually just drink plain, old water. I liked it, but promptly forgot all about it.

Months passed, and a few friends mentioned Nuun. They loved it, they raved about it, they wanted more. I knew I had tried it, and didn’t hate it, but remembered little else.

So in June, I ordered a variety pack of Nuun tablets. I’ve been sampling ever since.

A few of the chicks decided to test it out with me. Here’s what the chicks had to say about our taste test experiment.

Brooke

Hydration is important for any athlete, especially one who lives and in Florida. As my daughter would say, “It’s soaking hot,” even when one runs in the early morning.

I used to use Nuun regularly after my long runs. My favorite flavor is the Tropical Fruit, which I actually purchased because I liked the color of the tube. I’m a big water drinker, but sometimes, it’s nice to have something with a bit of flavor.

I hate to admit this, but I’ve also found that Nuun can help a hangover. We used to host a fiesta on Christmas Eve, with tacos, my mom’s fabulous enchiladas and margaritas, natch. Well…tequila and Santa do not mix, friends. My husband and I were exhausted. Lucky for us, the kids were a little too young for Christmas Morning Excitement and Nuun helped us feel much more festive. (And we’ve since moved the party to a couple of days before Christmas, haha!)

Meri

Nuun chatter is everywhere! I first heard rumblings about it on Twitter and it quickly spread to blogs that I enjoy reading. Now personally, I’m a water drinking gal, but curiosity got the best of me and I had to give it a go. The kiddo and I made our way over to the local running store (you know the cartoon characters that have dollar signs in their eyes? That’s what happens when I walk through the door) and checked out the flavors they had to offer. After chatting with the employee, I settled on tri-berry and lemon-lime.

nuun1Meri’s Nuun stash

I’m a big fan of the tri-berry and will be picking more of it up soon. You’ll notice in my picture that the tube’s gone. Yeah, used that all. Lemon-lime is decent but not my favorite. The watermelon was a gift from Victoria. Who gives tubes of Nuun as gifts? These running nerds, that’s who!

And friends, the watermelon is my favorite favorite (so good that it deserves two favorites)! Since my running store doesn’t have it in stock, I’m going to have to order more. I’m heading south to Florida soon and plan to use my Amphipod handheld bottle with Nuun during my runs down there. I’ll admit, I’m a bit nervous about hitting the pavement down there but I think that the Nuun will help keep me hydrated and balanced.

Vic

As I’m sure you already guessed, I’m a watermelon Nuun girl. I’m actually drinking a glass as I write this.

I first tried a few flavors from a mix pack. I expected to love the fruit punch flavor…you know, because I love fruit punch. Yeah. Not so much. I enjoyed the grape (it’s not purple, folks!) and was surprisingly wooed by tropical fruit. I don’t like tropical fruits, how can this be? The only thing I like about pineapples is chopping them up!

I was thrilled to find tubes of watermelon at my local running store. It was love at first sip.

You want to know more about Nuun? So did I.

According to the product info on the Nuun website, Nuun is packed with electrolytes, light flavor, no sugars or carbs, and is portable.

Nuun comes in tubes, 12 tabs are inside each tube. You drop one tab into a pint glass of cold water and watch it dance!!

We three chicks are sold! And there are many more flavors to try. (But not lemon-lime. Thanks for taking that one for the team, Meri.)

But don’t worry, we still love our good, old water. It’s not going anywhere.

Have you tried Nuun? What flavor are you obsessed with? What flavors do you want to try? How do you hydrate?