Disclaimer: I received items from Handful, CEP Compression, Brooks, and Vooray 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.
Oh, the weather outside is frightful.
Actually, that’s not true. Other than a random snowstorm in November that we were not expecting and a teeny tiny bit this month, December has been fairly mild thus far here in New Jersey!
I don’t have a deep-seated hate for my treadmill by any means but I do have a bit of self (and husband)-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) so I’m happy to get outside as much as possible.
In my TRE Influencer Day post I mentioned that I’ll be trying out the products I received for review purposes and sharing my thoughts throughout the month. There were many; it really was the ultimate runner’s swag bag!
Over the past weeks I have been trying these products out and I’d say that they fit nicely into three categories of my fitness: Outside, Inside, and Recovery.
Obviously some of the products fit in more than one category, which I’ll mention as I go along. My Type A brain likes to break things down into bite-sized pieces when it comes to blog posts.
Since Mother Nature has been blessing us with the good vibes, let’s kick this party off with some of the products I’ve been using OUTSIDE.
Let’s talk about bras, baby.
There are a lot of things that I’m open to trying but new bra brands are not usually one of them. Why? Well, let’s just say that I’m not lacking in the chest area. Years ago I found a bra that works for me so I’ve stuck with it.
However… Handful’s Y Back Bra is ah-mazing. I’m seriously mad at myself for not giving them a chance sooner. The material is so soft and I’m a fan ruching in the middle, giving a more defined shape.
Handful Squeeze Play Legging has been in my rotation since I got them! The high waist works well with my hips and I’ve worn them for running (both inside and outside). The folks at Handful have a love for ruching as seen on the top panel of the leggings in the back. The front of the panel has a pocket where I keep my car key.
I usually don’t put my workout gear in the dryer, to make it last longer. These are made from a light-weight spandex that dries incredibly fast.
I don’t have particularly long legs so the length is a bit long for me but it’s suggested on the website that the pant can be worn stirrup-like. In the picture above I cuffed them under so you can see my CEP Compression socks.
Before going to The Running Event, we supplied BibRave with our calf measurements so we could get the perfect fit for the CEP Compression socks.
I chose to wear the Trail Merino Socks during The Light Run. They’re warm and cozy and I like the cushioning on the bottom. Compression wise, they weren’t too tight and felt good on my calves; when I took them off after a few hours of wearing them I didn’t have ridges on my skin.
My trainer has been having us doing a lot of step ups on the box, skips, lunges; you name it, we’ve been doing it. I’ve been rocking the Compression Socks for Recovery after particular challenging workouts (read: all of them) and they’ve been a big help helping with soreness and quicker recovery.
I mean, if they’re good enough for Meb Keflezighi to wear during his Boston Marathon win, I suppose they’ll work for me!
While CEP Compression and Handful are both new to me, Brooks has been on my radar for what feels like as long as I’ve been running. I own Brooks apparel and when I get shoes at my local running store (Mullica Hill Running Co.) the Ghost model is always a contender.
Supportive and comfortable, I wore them for the BibRave 3 mile run in Austin, on the plane, during The Light Run, and on the treadmill while checking out Zwift. They’ve been fantastic and I can see myself running happy with them for many miles.
But, of course, Brooks is more than just shoes! Can we discuss the LSD jacket? This light-weight, reflective jacket is perfect. I layered it over a long sleeve during The Light Run and in 32 degree weather I was comfortable and cozy.
If you watch the time-lapse video above you can see how easy it folds up into a small pouch so that you’re able to shed a layer if you happen to be too warm AND there’s an arm band for easy carrying!
There are only two things that I could envision making it slightly more perfect – a hood and thumb-holes!
This little black backpack packs a huge punch! Packed away in there is everything that I reviewed in this very blog post and then some (including the Nuun bottle in the water bottle pocket, that review is to come).
I wore this backpack all around The Running Event, as did many others in the BibRave Pro group.
Since being home, I’ve been using it non-stop. If there’s one thing I love, it’s a lot of pockets and this one has a small laptop pocket inside the larger zipped area and an inside small zipper pocket with mesh, two side bottle pockets, and front pouch packet.
The outside is made from nylon, making it easy to keep clean and the adjustable straps are padded, making it comfy to wear.
The ACE backpack is versatile and I can tell you that I have a few family members that are already eyeing it up. I just might have to invest in a few more Vooray bags and with a price point of under $100, I won’t even feel a little guilty about it. The VooCrew also gifted us the Active Fanny Pack while we were visiting their booth.
I am loving trying these products out and sharing my thoughts on them with you! Let me know if you have any questions on what I’ve posted so far. And be sure to watch here for more reviews coming throughout December regarding Arcanum, Vuori, Addaday, Nuun, Incrediwear, Altra, and Zwift!