Saturday, February 9, 2019

Super Food Nutrition in a Convenient Pouch - My Review of Food Groove Super Food Bites

Disclaimer:  I received a box of Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro.   Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

Those that know me are fully aware that I am a junk-food junkie. Healthy eating has been something that I've struggled with my entire life.  I call myself the yo-yo-er.  It's true!  I'll go for weeks with excellent selections and then fall entirely off the wagon.  So, finding quality foods and snacks that are easy to eat and easy to grab are imperative to my success with my health and fitness journey. 

When I was selected to test these super food bites, I was excited.  And to be honest, nervous.  Would these little balls of magic actually taste good?  But, I was intrigued and I love convenience.  Even more... foods that are processed with all-natural ingredients!  Food Groove Mission came to the rescue with pouches filled with yummy goodness!

From their website: 

Superfoods are Mother Earth’s most nutritious powerhouses, providing essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. They can help increase energy, improve brain function and memory, reduce the risk of chronic diseases, maintain a healthy weight and lifestyle, and even extend your lifespan. Incorporate these these unique and diverse superfoods into your diet to fuel your journey.

These super food bites are paleo friendly and packaged with ease-of-use in mind.  If you just want a few at a time. No worries!  They bag can be sealed tight and saved for later making these incredibly easy to EAT and easy to USE.  They come in three different varieties: Mother Earth, Truffle Punch & the Nutty Adventurer.  All of them are delicious.  But, I would say my favorite is Truffle Punch; sweet tooth anyone?  

Unfortunately, I have been injured, so using them as fuel during my runs has not happened yet, but if you put the pouch in the refrigerator they are perfect to then slip in your bag and GO while you're on your run.  I have enjoyed them particularly for snacks that I can throw in my purse and enjoy when the hunger strikes! 

One of the cool things about these bites is {if you've discovered that you love them, and I'm sure that you will}, you can become a member of their "Bite Club."  It's a FREE membership where you can customize your box of 10 individually wrapped pouches with exactly the flavors that you like!  Plus you'll earn 10% off each box after you enroll.  This will satisfy your belly as well as you wallet.  

But first things first, to try them for yourself, you can get 15% off your entire one-time order of these super food bites with code "BIBRAVE15."

Saturday, December 29, 2018


Disclaimer:  I received the ZWIFT RUNPOD to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. 
Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

Minnesota winters can be brutally cold, so as an avid runner, it's imperative to have a treadmill when the weather gets chilly.  I do have amazing running gear to brave the cold, but rain and fresh snow and sub-zero temperatures just are not safe.  Consequently, my treadmill has been a life-saver!  However, it can be challenging to train on a treadmill effectively and it can get quite boring.  

Recently, I was given the to opportunity to try the ZWIFT RUN POD.  I first learned of ZWIFT because I was able to attend the TRE Running Event in Austin Texas.  As influencers, we were treated like royalty and were greeted when we arrived with a private ZWIFT party!   Here we all our as a group!  This is such a great photo I just had to share! THANK YOU ZWIFT! 

The private ZWIFT experience was such a unique opportunity because a few fellow bibrave pros were even able to run on the treadmill as we cheered them on.  It was very cool to watch them run a virtual course on the big screen!  The people of ZWIFT were so accommodating and made sure that our every question was answered!  

Cheering on fellow pros as they ran their virtual course! 
So what exactly does the ZWIFT RUN POD do?  The pod attaches securely to your shoe laces to instantly connect you with a virtual running community from all over the world!  Anyone who has a pod can sync up and run on the same course!   Just tap the pod and GO!  It will automatically turn off with inactivity. 

Here is the pod attached to my laces; it fits securely 
At first, right out of the box, I was a bit confused as to how to insert the battery.  But, with a quick youtube search I found that with a strong grip and a click to the right, the top came off and the battery slid right in!  When you tap on the pod, a green light will appear and you are ready to run!  The pod syncs with compatible devices with bluetooth to transmit directly to the app!  I was able to pair my Apple Watch AND my Under Armour HOVR shoes with ease.  Make sure you download the ZWIFT app!  In addition, the ZWIFT COMPANION app is very helpful too! 

Over the past month, I've had a great time following along with my avatar and watching her run the different courses provided!  You can even run the course in New York City!   One of the functions I really enjoyed was the virtual trainer.  During the run, you are prompted with speed increases and bursts of speed as well as how to properly recover or drop your speed during tempo runs, for example.  This function is great because it's not always easy to know if you're training hard/well enough.  This pod will take that guess work out for you!   Just look at how beautiful this virtual scenery is! 

Recently, many of us from Bibrave joined up in a virtual run!  We were able to schedule a group run during a time when many of us would be available to join.  VOILA!  At the start time, we were all synced up and running together!  *Remember to calibrate your running speed or the pod will not be as accurate, however.   It truly was so fun to see the names of my friends running alongside me; all virtually from all across the country! 

I have already used this RUN POD a lot!  I use it regularly as a supplement to my training as I have found it comes in handy!  Plus, it definitely makes my runs more fun!   And, at $29.99 it's an inexpensive investment that will surely liven up your same-old boring treadmill runs! 

Thursday, December 20, 2018

A Runner's Guide to Gear - PART TWO

Disclaimer:  I received these products mentioned below to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. They were given to me at the TRE Running Experience in Austin, Texas. 
 Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

Look at all the amazing SWAG!
Last week, I introduced you to some amazing products that were given to me as part of being an influencer for Bibrave at the TRE running event in Austin.  As I said before, this was such a fun event and a great experience.  If you'd like to hear about the products I reviewed in PART ONE, feel free to click here.  Otherwise, hold on to your hats as this blog will focus on the rest of the wonderful products I was gifted.

You will see a general theme with this post, as I tried to group these products together.  Most of them do have a direct correlation with running and recovery!   And.. with my suspected plantar fasciitis, I was in desperate need of these recovery products! 

At first, when I was gifted these shoes, I was worried.  As a runner who has preferred ultra cushion since I started running in 2011, the zero-drop platform in these shoes was a concern.  But, as with anything new, it's also best to break them in slowly.  

After many miles, mostly on the treadmill, I can now say that these are the shoes that I grab when I'm ready to run!   

I really love the tread/patterned foot bed on these shoes. I can feel the traction immediately from heal strike to toe.  My feet turn over easily, and this may just be me, but I feel that the extra traction and position of the tread on these shoes actually propels me forward as my heel comes off the road and/or treadmill. 

I have also really enjoyed using these shoes to cross-train!  I use them frequently for my HIIT workouts and they are light and not cumbersome!  All in all - great shoe.  I have not run any long distances in these shoes just yet as I want to be comfortable first. But, I will continue to build mileage to see how that will go for me in the future.   


These products were completely new to me, so I was very interested in what they had to offer.  So what makes them so special?   Arcanum products contain activated hemp which has been shown to enhance recovery and performance in athletes!  I was definately intrigued.

In my package from Arcanum, I was gifted the Sarco Breeze Massage oil, The Sarco Freeze topical cooling lotion and the Quill Pen.   I have used and enjoyed all three products over the last month.  If I had to pick a favorite, the massage oil wins!  It has a light scent and because my foot has been so sore, I've been using it at night before bed.  When I am done applying it, I put socks on. Not only does it help me with my sore muscles, my feet are incredibly smooth as well!  

The quill pen aids in healing and has an advanced dosage controlled delivery system that you dispense on your inner wrist.  I have been using it before bed and have noticed I drift off to sleep quickly and stay asleep so that has been great as well.  I can't say that there is a direct correlation just yet with my sleep patterns, but it sure doesn't hurt! 

I have used the Sarco Freeze a TON!  Here is a video that I did one evening before bed. But, I may not be using it as directed because I LOVE it as a healing hand cream.  ** Note to self, don't touch your eye after applying to your hands! The menthol in the cream will make your eyes burn.    My hands feels like butter and I am so excited because I really struggle with dry hands in the winter months! 


I must admit, I have never been a "roller."  It's true!  Should I be?  Absolutely!  I've just never been one to take the time to roll.  However, that ALL changed when I've been plagued by nagging and irritating foot and heel pain.  Because all runners self-dianose themselves; come on... you KNOW it's true!  Because we all self-diagnose ourselves, I have plantar fasciitis.  It is manageable at this time, largely due to this magical invention!

I AM A BELIEVER!  Give me all the rollers!  This magical massage roller has helped my foot to feel so much better and if I roll after a run, I have found that I am able to run the next day!  It's a runners dream and is very convenient and easy to adapt and use!   I have been multi-tasking in the morning while I get ready!


While we are chatting about recovery and pain, this is a nice transition into CEP compression socks!  Again, I have never been one to wear compression.  I have tried other compression socks before, and maybe I just didn't have the right size, but I always felt like my circulation was hindered.   This feeling of tightness and tingling made it very difficult for me to even want to try another pair.

Look at the beautiful colors! 
However, that is NOT a problem with these socks!  CEP compression socks are silky and comfortable.  They have an adequate amount of compression without feeling too tight and they stay put while running!  I like that the top of the socks are tight enough to stay put at your knee, but loose enough to not leave a mark when you take them off!  I have run twice in the sleeves and both times I didn't even know they were on.  My toes were comfortable.   They were not too scrunched and I felt that I was able to wick sweat away easily!

Let's talk about washing - I absolutely did NOT dry these.  I was just afraid to, so I hung them to dry, but they did amazing in the washing machine!  No shrinkage or color fading either!   Because my foot has been sore, I have also worn the recovery socks while at home!  Here they are as I lounged in front of our Christmas tree!

These compression socks are all priced around $60 and have a 150-200 wear guarantee before the compression starts to lesson!  I think that's great!  Because honestly, all socks after that many times wearing would need to be thrown out anyway!


WOW!! Incrediwear outdid themselves when it comes to what was in our swag bags!  Incrediwear is scientifically proven to increase circulation which in turn leads to less pain, swelling, fatigue and stiffness.  I was gifted THREE pair of socks, all of different lengths and some amazing capris!  I definitely enjoyed the capris the MOST! They fit me like a glove and are true to size.  They are comfortable yet breathable.

When I am on the treadmill,  I usually run in as little clothes as possible, but for the sake of this review I wore them to run!  I was pleasantly surprised that they didn't so much as shift an inch during my run and they wicked away my sweat effortlessly!  I was never too warm!  I am very happy with these capris, and actually  - they are best worn for recovery, so I have worn these multiple times for just every day activity.  I love them!  Thank you Incrediwear!

How amazing are these capris??

As far as the socks - they are light and comfy.  I have worn them for activity and for work days as well.  My feet were comfy and cozy and I cannot report any problems! 
I feel so blessed and so spoiled to have been given the opportunity to test and review so many amazing products!  Thank you to Bibrave, all of the amazing sponsors and to the running event for making this all possible!

Friday, December 14, 2018

A Runner's Guide to Gear - Part ONE

Disclaimer:  I received these products mentioned below to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. They were given to me at the TRE Running Experience in Austin, Texas. 
 Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

The Running Event that was held in Austin, Texas is truly a runners paradise!  If you are interested to hear more about my experience at this event please refer to my earlier blog post where I tell you all about it!  But, the purpose of this blog post is to review the products that I received while there! 

Take a seat, because you just may find that MUST-GIVE gift in this list of amazing products! 

Every runner needs a great pair of shoes.  I have been running in Brooks for several years now, but had yet to try out the GHOST 11's. Imagine my excitement when these beauties came in my runner swag bag!  

I have always been a fan of Brooks simply because of the cushion alone!  I feel like I am walking on clouds of air and running in them is even better.  My stride is effortless and easy when I wear these shoes.  Plus, they have seen lots of treadmill miles since it's so cold in Minnesota right now.  The streets have been icy, so these shoes and I have spent some time together.  They are priced mid-range and come in a variety of nice colors as well. 

As if a pair of Brooks shoes wasn't enough I received the LSD lightweight, waterproof jacket!  I was incredibly excited about this jacket and honestly, the reflective properties were so completely unexpected, I almost jumped back when I looked at the photo after taking it!  This jacket is AHH-MAZING.  For me, it's one of those gear items that I've always put off buying.  But yet, I always wanted a lightweight and completely waterproof jacket just like this one!   

This picture shows just how reflective this jacket really is! 

I am beyond excited to try this jacket out in the Spring!  Currently, in Minnesota this isn't warm enough for outside running, but I absolutely see myself throwing it on for my early morning runs when it's just a bit too chilly for exposed arms.  The reflection will be perfect for the dark mornings!  I definitely will be seen by cars and you can never be too careful! 

Until the running event, I had never heard of VOORAY.  I am now so in love with these bags I wish I could have one in every single color! From backpacks to duffels, to totes and MORE this company makes super cute, affordable, fashionable AND functional bags for the exercise lover.   I wanted to take every single bag from the display!  You can see just how cute the bags are by the display at the expo! 

Pink camouflage!  I am in love! 

We received the black backpack at the expo.  It is shown above in the first picture and below in the grouping.  It is soft as silk and very comfortable to wear.  I was so impressed by the quality and cuteness,  I immediately ordered more bags for myself and as Christmas gifts too!  Vooray thought of even the smallest details!  For instance:  the gym bag in the darker floral has an enclosed shoe compartment!  Vooray - I am in LOVE and you definitely have a customer for life!  

Hydration is of vital importance for all runners and athletes.  That is no secret.  What makes NUUN so popular amongst runners is the optimal blend of electrolytes that are in each tablet and with very little sugar!  Each tablet will enhance a 16 ounce bottle of water.  

Would you LOOK at all the different varieties of NUUN we were given at the expo!  I couldn't believe it!  Just for fun I adorned my small tree with NUUN ornaments! 

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Tree

I have used NUUN in the past but I was especially excited about the tablets that had added caffeine!  Over the past few months I have given up  soda, so I'm enjoying the effervescent flavor of the caffeine NUUN!  The cherry - lime is my favorite! 

There are four different varieties of NUUN;  electrolytes, immunity, vitamins and performance.  Whatever your looking for they've got you covered! 

I am starting out the review of the handful products with this video because it is so powerful and really expresses the mission statement and the LOVE these products portray.    Please take the time to watch.

I was truly spoiled by Handful at the expo.  Not only did I receive a pair of leggings and a bra I was gifted another bra and tank too!  I had a lot of fun making this video about how to wear the Flippin' Awesome Scoop Tank.  How cool is the name of that tank?  I paired the tank top with the Squeeze Play Legging and the Y-Back Bra!  So cute all paired together!  

The squeeze play leggings fit like a glove and they have a beautiful ruching in the back.  I feel comfortable wearing these to workout AND to run around town!

I was also very excited to receive a SECOND bra!  How generous of the women at Handful!  The adjustable bra, as shown in the picture below, is so comfortable I've been wearing it not only to workout, but as an everyday bra as well!  It has three different strap configurations so it fits any top you have!  I will be buying more in other colors for sure!

This is the criss-cross configuration

Cute rushing in the front eliminates the uni-boob! 


I have already used these shorts quite a bit!  I was so excited at the weather in Austin, I immediately wore these shorts for our group run through the streets!  They have a wide and comfortable waist band with a wicking liner as well.   With the heat and humidity during my run, I found that they were quick drying as well.

I am really in LOVE with the army green color as well, although they do have a great color selection.

What makes these shorts unique?  They are Anti-odor, moisture wicking and protect at UPF 50!  In my opinion they are a bit expensive at $58.  However you do receive 10% OFF your first order and there is always free shipping!  They do fit true to size and I love the 2.5 inch inseam!  When I run, I tend to sweat a lot, so the less fabric the better!

And it these amazing products weren't enough!  I have more to review for you, so look for another blog post coming soon!  We sure were spoiled!

Thursday, December 6, 2018


I was given the opportunity to attend the TRE INFLUENCER DAY at the running event in Austin, Texas as part of being a BibRave Pro.  I was also given a travel stipend and other running related items for my participation. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

Part of the BibRave Pro team at the State Capitol.  Photo Credit: Larry Castillo Photography

This past weekend was an absolute BLAST!  Not only did this Minnesota girl escape the cold "BOLD NORTH" to a warmer climate, she got to experience a runners paradise!  But, don't worry!  A snow storm awaited me as I stepped off the plane when I returned home!   The TRE event was a nice break from the frigid temperatures and it was even more fun to meet fellow bibrave peeps whom most I've not met in person and only in our little corner of the internet. 

So, what is TRE?  It is a premier conference and trade show for running specialty stores.  It is not open to the public and is just for vendors to browse up and coming trends and products in running.  But this year,  I was able to attend as special guest influencer.  I was beyond excited!! 

This event took place at the Austin Convention Center and was full of running related gear.  Was it heaven?  Close to it for sure!   This was the inaugural event and is a 3-day expo featuring many amazing brands showcasing gear!  Picture a race expo, only far less people and full attention from the brands! *I will be reviewing each item I have received so look for those reviews coming soon! 


After arriving in Austin, Thursday around lunch time, I quickly met up with some of the other bibrave pros attending the conference.  We had lunch and explored the city!  I am a sucker for murals and fun photos, so we walked about the city to explore some of what it had to offer!  As you can see, we had some fun shenanigans with photos!  

Thursday evening kicked off our first meet and greet with ZWIFT.  This was so much fun because it was the first time all of the bibrave pros were brought together to meet one another.  It was there, that we were presented with our epic SWAG bag full of amazing goodies for us to enjoy!  See below for a pic of the amazing goods.    

The purpose of this event was, first and foremost, to come together to cheer on some fellow pros as they ran a virtual 5K with the ZWIFT run pod.  Are you a treadmill runner?  You will LOVE the zwift running pod.  Are you an outdoor runner, but the winter has you blue?  You will LOVE the zwift pod.  Do you just want to run a virtual run with friends and compete online?  You will LOVE the zwift pod.    It attaches to your shoe so you can run virtually with anyone on the internet that also has the pod!  How cool is that? 

We were treated like royalty from the start form the representatives at Zwift.  They are an amazing company and I will say I have loved running with the pod so far.   A thorough review of this product will be following in the weeks to come on my blog as well.  


Thursday evening was a night I won't soon forget!  We were so blessed to be invited to the biggest running party of the year at the BROOKS VIP EXPERIENCE.  This was a private VIP party to celebrate the running event.  We had an incredible band to listen to and all of the libations you can imagine.  We danced our feet right off and made lasting friendships laughing and dancing the night away! 

Plus - every serious runner's dream - meeting THE Des Linden.  I had to snap a picture of her and she graciously accepted!    

As influencers, we received a pair of Brooks Ghost 11's and an amazing reflective jacket as well.  This is just what I need for my early am runs in the dark so I am stoked to be able to represent Brooks just like the real running pros!   This jacket is so COOL! 


The next morning, bright and early and fueling on about 4 hours of sleep, we met in the streets of Austin to do our first ever Bibrave group run!  This was such a fun run!  How cool for me, especially being from MN, to run the streets of Austin in late November, in a tank top and shorts.  I was sweating in no time and loved running with my fellow pros.  We ran through the streets of Austin like we owned it and had so much fun!  Most of us even were sporting some of our new gear given to us the night before!  

Here is a great pic on the street with a few of my friends!


After our run, we quickly got ready to attend the expo where we had private presentations from the vendors.  It was so much fun talking with them and making new friends along the way.  I, unfortunately, did not get any pictures at the expo itself.  I was too busy documenting my journey at the expo on my instagram stories!  Whoops!  Make sure to tune into my instagram page runningaroundtheboyz for more FUN there! 

We walked around the convention center until about 1:00pm and then had the rest of the afternoon to ourselves.  I really wanted to explore more of the city, and since I was leaving very early Saturday morning, I jumped on a scooter and toured the city on my own!  I did some shopping, saw some of the famous Austin murals and had an all around great time!  it's amazing what you can discover when there is no timeline!  I had a blast!  Here's me on my scooter.  If you haven't used on - you MUST! 

A trip to Austin would NOT be complete without the famous Austin postcard!  It was a beautiful day and I was so happy to have ventured off the beaten path to see this!  

This trip was an incredible adventure and I had so much fun!  I will cherish the memories forever and it has strengthened my bond with so many people!  I only hope that TRE will bring us back as influencers next year!  

Sunday, November 25, 2018

When a little EXTRA protection can go a LONG way!

Disclaimer:  I received SabreRED Runner pepper spray to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), 
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.

With all of the running-related crimes happening around the United States, it's hard not to be concerned about our safety while out on a run.  As a woman, who mainly runs very early in the morning and often in the dark,  I've taken notice!   It's a shame that we have to be concerned with our safety while we're doing something we love; especially when we want to enjoy our surroundings and connect with nature or even simply just clear our minds and relieve stress!  

I have always had a small pepper spray that I routinely carry with me when I am out by myself.  Thankfully, it's never been used!   However, I was recently given the opportunity to test out the SabreRed Runner Pepper Spray and I am so excited for this product!

You may be thinking... 'With everything runners have to carry while running, how will they have room to carry one more thing?'  Great news!  This pepper spray has an adjustable hand strap and it requires no grip.  It sits effortless around your hand via the strap and the spray is cradled in your palm.  I have used it several times while out on the run and I've barely noticed it's there! Shown below in this picture.

Additionally, I love how easy this pepper spray is to use!  Just a quick click of your finger and you are ready to FIRE!

It’s as easy as a quick flick of the finger to activate the stream of pepper spray! It’s inconspicuous, the hand strap makes it easy to carry and it will help keep you SAFE on your run! #SabreBR #bibchat @SabreRed @BibRave #bibravepro #safetyfirst #selfdefense

Because I run in the dark for the majority of my runs,  I also run with lights for safety.  You can imagine my suprise when SabreRed also gave me the personal safety alarm as well to try!  This product has an intense alarm that can be activated if needed and also a blinking light.  It fits easily on your clothing - I have worn it attached to my hydration belt.  Who can't be excited for another level of protection and a blinking light in the dark!  It's also very affordable too at just $14.99.  It just doesn't pay NOT to be safe!  See this product below.

Also - because I love to live on the edge,  I HAD to spray it.  I will say that it sprays in a very even orange stream and a long ways!  I hope I never have to use it, but if I do I'll have a long distance!

If you're interested in hearing more about this product, make sure to check out our #bibchat on Twitter at 8PM CST on Dec. 4th!  You will be eligible to win some pepper spray of your very own just for participating!