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

BibRave + The Running Event = A HECK OF A GOOD TIME

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.

Picture this: You’re traveling solo to the new-to-you city of Austin, Texas. You get off the airplane and your eyes bounce around the airport, in search of the color orange.

The faces you’re looking for are ones you’ve never seen in person (save for a few, whom you’ve met previously at races); You know them from social media posts, Twitter chats, and the occasional conference call. You’ll be spending the next two days with these people and it’s a bit nerve-wracking.

And then there they are, beacons of light in orange, wearing their BibRave hats and shirts and huge smiles.

In that instant, you know that you’ve found your family.

As a BibRave Pro for the past two years, I’ve had so many awesome opportunities. However, I’ve got to say, this opportunity was the granddaddy of them all! A trip to Austin for The Running Event and the chance to meet 20 fellow BibRave Pros and 5 members of Team BibRave, the staff that includes Tim, Jessica, Julia, Andy, and Stephanie.

Once I received word that I’d been selected to go, it was a pinch me, I’m dreaming moment and that sentiment continued throughout the course of two day adventure!

We didn’t have anything “official” on the agenda until the Zwift Welcome Reception that evening but it’s clear to see that you can’t keep Pros apart. After arriving and meeting up with Kim, Chris, Brenda, and Mark, we took an Uber to our hotel. Once getting settled we decided to have lunch at Moonshine.

It started with four of us and after sending out a quick text to let everyone know where we were, we ended with 14!

From there a few of us branched off to take a quick tour of the city. I’d never been to Austin before but from the brief time we took walking around, I know that I must go back!

Don’t Mess with Texas or Casey, Mark, Chris, Gina, me, Tedrick, and Kim!

After our quick walk about town (and visit to Voodoo Doughnut, natch), we headed back to the hotels and got ready for the Zwift Welcome Reception.

Zwift is a virtual game that you use on the treadmill. For those attending the conference, our representation were the “chosen” four!

A run was set up with our other Pro friends and they all “met” up in the game at 5:45 for a 5k run. Cheering them on was so much fun. Give me a pompom and let me loose!

 

I was given a footpod from Zwift (the device that connects you to the virtual game) and we’ll be doing another BibRave virtual run on December 18th so I’ll be able to give you my full review on that in a couple of weeks.

Earlier in the week, Team BibRave announced the winners of The BibRave 100, a comprehensive list of the 100 best races in America, voted on by runners. Benjamin the lion is The BibRave 100 mascot and we were excited to see him in attendance! Of course my roomie, Kim, and I had to take a picture with the lion of the hour!

The welcome reception is also where we received an incredibly generous amount of SWAG from companies at The Running Event.

Holy moly, it was honestly like Hanukkah and Christmas morning all rolled into one. And maybe my birthday too.

My eye doesn’t know where to go first!

Following the reception we went for barbecue dinner and then finished up the evening at the Brooks Party. A good number of us wore the Brooks LSD Jacket that we’d just gotten and soon realized just how reflective it is.

Jessica, Kim, and myself

Can we say awesome? That’s a lot of reflection! Check out the picture above and see if you can spot the same jacket without the flash.

Due to the early morning wake up (3:30 for Kim and myself) we decided to head out early from the party. However, just before we left, we got to meet Des Linden, this year’s winner of the Boston Marathon. What a great way to wrap up day 1!

The following morning we were up before the sun, as we prepared for a 6:30am BibRave group run. It was such an awesome experience running around Austin in a big orange pack. I might sound a little bumpkin-y here but city running is certainly different than running here at home.

Thanks to Larry Castillo Photography for the amazing shots during the group run!

Kim and I even ended up twinning in our Skirt Sports Temper Tantrum print and BibRave shirts!

Team BibRave had a great spread of food set up for us after the run, which was so awesome and appreciated. We grabbed our bagels and ran back to the hotel room to grab a quick shower and get ready for TRE Influencer Day!

TRE Influencer Day was so epic, I covered it in a separate blog post. Click here to hop over!

From Philly to Austin, With Love

Whoa whoa whoa. How is it November 28th already? This month has been filled with running, food, family, running family, more food, and lots and lots of Philadelphia pride.

Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent about half of them in Philadelphia.

It kicked off on Friday, November 16th at the Health and Wellness Expo for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. I chose to run the Rothman 8k this year so I had to get into the city to grab my race packet.

Time was NOT on my side because I (stupidly) scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my son that afternoon. So rather than enjoying the city and visiting Reading Terminal for lunch, I took a train in, ran over to the Convention Center, grabbed my stuff, and ran back to catch the train out of the city… all within an hour. A new travel PR!

The race was on Saturday and started at 10:45am. I didn’t need to be up before the sun, which was nice but I was also totally thrown off by this turn of events. What train should I take? What should I eat? Who would I meet up with for the 8k?

Thankfully I got into the city with at least an hour to spare, naturally, so I took my time walking to the race village. Then I stationed myself in between the finish of the half marathon and the start of the 8k.

And nearly immediately found people I knew!

Larry and Amy from the Sub-30 Club were also running the 8k. Hooray! Larry is a pacer and offered to help pace me through the miles, which was awesome.

The 8k course is along the river, so it’s a standard Philly race in that respect. The distance makes it special though and it’s a nice way to be involved with the Philly Marathon weekend.

We did 30/30 intervals and he stuck with me through the entire race. I wanted to finish under an hour but with self-seeded corrals and the course being congested nearly the entire time, we finished at an hour and one minute. Ooof. So close, yet so far! There was a finish line for the kids race that faked us out, which was cruel but finally we crossed the actual finish line with smiles on our faces.

I did this race in 2011 and it’s grown up in the last 7 years. 2011 there was 1,460 runners, a cotton t-shirt, standard bib, and the knowledge that you ran the race as the awards for your achievements. This year there was nearly 3,500 runners, a tech t-shirt, personalized bibs, a beautiful medal (and the knowledge that you ran the race).

In between this and my next Philly adventure, it was Thanksgiving! We hosted this year and I think we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the leftover tunnel.

Since we were hosting, there were no Turkey Trots for us this year. Instead my son Lucas and I opted to take part in the #TotheStarbucks run.

I heard about this awesome, free event from Rachel and I was immediately drawn in because… well, just read part of the description of the run.

Join us for a morning fun run, the Saturday after Thanksgiving! We run (or walk! That’s ok too!) we have fun, and then we eat some donuts outta a trunk (oh and there’s Starbucks nearby if that’s your jam!) the route is TBA but always has a short 2.5mi and Long 5min distance. 

A given, am I right?

Through the years of running in Philly and going to City Fit Girls retreats, I’ve met lots of people and many of them were at the #ToTheStarbucks run. My son started out running with us and nearly immediately took off to run ahead. I knew that he was in good hands because these were all good folks and I’d meet him at the Starbucks, of course.

Let’s review. A run, handmade medal, donut, photos, and being cheered on. CAN EVERY DAY BE LIKE THIS?

Not to be outdone by Saturday, on Sunday we went to (you guessed it) PHILLY for the Eagles/Giants game. I grew up in central Jersey so I was mostly surrounded by Giants fans, including my dad.

However being in south Jersey for nearly half my life, I now know the “error” of my ways. My son is an Eagles fan which means that we are all Eagles fans. My first game ever was as insane/fun as I expected it to be. And the Eagles WON (it was looking a little dicey at the beginning).

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’ve got more Philadelphia fun on the agenda for 2019. My first scheduled event is the first weekend of April, I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 5k, representing Team BibRave!

Speaking of BibRave, I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin, Texas for The Running Event‘s TRE Influencer Day! This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given (along with some of my fellow BibRave Pros) as a perk of being a BRP.

I’ve never been to Texas before and this will be a short, jam-packed trip. I can’t even properly articulate how pumped I am. I’ll work on that before tomorrow since I’ll be sharing a lot of information on Instagram Stories and maybe I’ll even try my hand at the live feed (gulp, I’ve never done that before!).

What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Have you been to Austin before? Anything I MUST do? I can’t even promise I’ll have the time to do it but I’ll try!