Friday, December 1, 2017

BOCO GEAR - Review; Your GO-TO performance Visor!

Disclaimer:  I received the BOCO Gear Visor 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.



I have to admit, I am slightly obsessed with this visor.  It is hands down THE most comfortable visor I have ever owned and I wear it for all of my races and running events.   Plus, I don't know if you've noticed, it's sporting the coolest name in the running business!  

I have been blessed to be a member of the BibRave community for three years and over that time, I've tested some pretty cool gear.  When I was asked which BOCO Gear item I would like to review and use, it was a no-brainer choice for me.  I love visors! 

What's great about any visor is that they usually have a lot of breathability on my head.  And, I really like wearing something on my head to wick sweat.  Headbands are great, but they don't keep sun out and I'm no very comfortable running in sunglasses.  I especially like the wicking fabric on the forehead.  It's very comfortable and doesn't get sticky and hot like some visors do! 

The band is a silky stretch material that holds it's strength.  This is an important feature for me because there is nothing worse than getting a visor you love and then after a few wears it stretching out and not fitting snug on your head!  Way to go BOCO Gear! 


Crossing the finish line this October - Twin Cities 10 mile




Here are some of the other features of this very cool visor:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit 
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved Bill
  • Machine Washable 
I find this hat very stylish and comfortable to wear.   And, just like the specifications say it IS machine washable.  It's holds up very nicely after several washes too!  




I jump for joy for BOCO gear and I think you should too!  At $24.00 the price is right to add to your collection!  Make sure to check out our #bibchat on Twitter every Tuesday at 8 PM CST.

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Garmin Forerunner 935: Review

Disclaimer:  I received the Garmin Forerunner 935 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.



It's hard to contain my excitement with my latest product review!  I have been an avid runner since 2011.  In the last seven years, I have been extremely loyal to Garmin.  It's the only brand I've ever owned. 

I still remember my very first GPS watch.  I was so excited to have a running watch that tracked GPS and told me simple statistics like time, pace and mileage. I felt like the coolest cat on the block.  I had arrived, officially, as a serious runner.  

Fast forward another year.  I upgraded.  Then, I upgraded again to the forerunner 235.   The forerunner 235 was the GPS watch that I felt was the absolute "Taj Mahal" of running watches.  It had so many specs and notifications, I was in heaven!  It is truly a watch that does everything.   How could any watch do more? 

But then.... enter the Forerunner 935!   When developing this watch, Garmin thought of everything; from the sleek design, to the multi-sport functions and even the silky feel of the band on your skin.  Yes, as a female, the silky feel is definitely something I noticed. 

I could honestly discuss every aspect of this watch, but in an effort to keep my blog post from becoming a novel, I will concentrate on just a few.  If you are interested in learning more about this watch, please visit the website here.  




TREADMILL RUNNING & CALIBRATION 

Being a Minnesotan, I'm used to running in all weather conditions, but sometimes it's just impossible to run outside; especially at -20 degrees.  I do own a treadmill and I use it frequently.  Until receiving the forerunner 935, my data for indoor runs was sub-par.  Sure, after several runs it seemed that my previous watch would calibrate relatively close to the actual pace and mileage.    

However, I was very excited to see just how awesome this watch does with indoor treadmill runs.  After my first run, I was immediately prompted with a message to calibrate and put in my actual treadmill statistics.  I was very impressed with this function and I'm happy to report that my second run indoors the watch data was EXACT.  Now that's a cool function!  Way to go Garmin!   It's certainly nice to be able to record your stats while using the treadmill.   

VO2 Max 

What is VO2 max?  It's the maximum rate of oxygen consumption after incremental exercise.  Essentially, the higher the number, the better the runners cardiovascular fitness is.  It also reflects the endurance capacity of a runner during exercise.  Elite runners are in the very high 60s and low 70s usually.  Over the course of that last month, I have seen my VO2 max increase which makes me happy! 





SLEEP FUNCTION

The Forerunner 935 syncs effortlessly with the Garmin Connect App and my Iphone 6.  It is in this app, that I gain so many other valuable statistics.  I am definitely a data nerd so I enjoy browsing the app to find my daily stats.  One in particular that I really love is the sleep functionality.  I wear this watch 24/7.  The only time I take it off is to shower (even though it's waterproof) and to charge.  Sidenote:  I rarely charge this watch.  It's battery life is amazing!

This watch is sleek and comfortable to sleep in and I absolutely love the alarm!  It gives me a gentle vibrate to wake me up.  Because I wear it to sleep, I have completely eliminated my noisy clock alarm and my husband doesn't even know I leave the room for my early morning wake-up calls.   For an added bonus, there is a snooze function.  I must admit that I've used the snooze function a few times. 




Along with the alarm, the Forerunner 935 will record your sleep statistics based on your movement during sleep.  With two little boys and early morning visits to their bedroom, it's funny to see where I spike and when I'm sleeping deeply.  



GPS 

One of the most exciting things for me to see after I complete a run is my GPS map.  The Garmin Connect App does a fabulous job pinpointing your exact locations.  Someday, I'd like to try to make a cool pattern out of my GPS map.  How cool is this data? 


 

 

STATISTICS 

I truly believe there is not much else this Garmin can do.  But, here are a few of the added statistics that this watch has:
  • Heart Rate - I really enjoy knowing my heart rate at my fingertips while training
  • Steps  - I have a 10,000 step goal daily
  • Intensity Minutes
  • Floors climbed
  • Stress - according to my stats, my stress level is low.  YIPPEE!
  • Calories in/out
  • Sleep - I could get more sleep, but couldn't everyone?
NOTIFICATIONS 
 
As I stated before, I am a data nerd and notifications are one of my favorite aspects of this watch.  This watch will receive text, call, movement, and social media notifications. Don't worry, if you don't want to get all of them, you can use your phone settings to turn them off!    It has also completely replaced my Garmin Vivosmart for all of my activity notifications. 
 
 
 
 
I honestly could gush about this watch for days and days.  I am a Garmin lover for life and this watch has made me a true believer.  In my opinion, it does have an above average price of $499.  But, what I will say is - this watch delivers!  If you are debating at all whether this watch is for you don't be nervous.  It will absolutely fill your needs and then some! 
 
Happy Running! Now, go buy that Garmin!








Thursday, November 16, 2017

Eagle Creek 60L Duffel - Fits The Kitchen Sink!

Disclaimer:  I received the Eagle Creek Hauler Duffel 60L 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.




Being the avid fitness enthusiast and outdoorsy girl that I am, when I found out that I had the opportunity to test the Eagle Creek 60L Duffel I was crazy excited.  First of all, I love the products that Eagle Creek produces.  If you haven't read my review of the Eagle Creek Pack-It, you can check that out here.

Second, who doesn't love a great duffel?!  But, the coolest feature of this bag is that it transforms from a small package for easier storage, to a duffel AND a backpack!  Check out my video below to see the transformation! 


My favorite feature of this bag is the ability to use it as a backpack.  With two crazy little boys, I like to have as little in my hands as possible.  For those of you who are parents, you know that excursions can quickly get out of hand if your children need to bring the kitchen sink with them when they go!  Between having enough snacks and water and changes of clothes, your ordinary bags can get full quick and they get heavy!

Not with this duffel.  It only weighs 1 lb. 12 ounces and holds the kitchen sink! The straps around your shoulders are cushioned enough to feel comfortable for the long haul.  I recently took it on a shorter hike with my family and hardly knew it was on!  Plus, isn't this color fantastic?  Your husband's will approve.  On that note:  My husband is 6'8" and this fit him comfortably.



If you can believe it, aside from our enourmous back-packing packs, my family only has one other sport utility backpack.  When we purchased it a few years ago, the claim to fame was that it could fit all of your esssentials.  Honestly, I barely get water bottles and a few jackets in it.  My kids have now started using it because it is just so small.  

That is absolutely NOT the case with the Eagle Creek Duffel!   The main compartment seems gigantic and we have had no trouble hauling our essentials with us.

This bag is also water-repellent and I just learned it even has straps to fit on your car rack!  Although, if you're planning on driving through heavy rain, I'd keep the bag inside.  This bag is small enough to be used as an airline carry-on, but big enough to have all of your much needed essentials at your fingertips when traveling.

I'd say for it's price point of $99 you can't go wrong.   If you're looking for a perfect bag to pack and go or take on a weekend excursion, look no further.



Don't Forget!! You have an opportunity to WIN one for yourself at our #bibchat on Tuesday, Nov. 21st.  8 PM CST.  Be there or be square! 

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

5 Reasons YOU should run the Century Link Turkey Day 5K

Disclaimer:  I write this blog post because I am a Bibrave Pro and want to fill you in on a GREAT race. The Century Link Turkey Day 5K in Minneapolis, MN. 
Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador),
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.






As soon as Halloween is over, it seems as though we are bombarded with Christmas!  Stores have their pre-decorated Christmas trees ready and waiting for 12:01 am on November 1st to start the Holiday Season.  I don't know about you, but it seems as though there is a major holiday that gets easily forgotten?  

Thanksgiving is one of my favorites and every year, that poor turkey seems to get forgotten.  This year, let's make sure that we don't forget!  As a runner, I'll be focused on calories IN and calories OUT!   But, first - I'll focus on how to burn some extra calories before I induldge in all the scrumptious food! 

Here are 5 reasons why I think you should the Century Link Turkey Day 5K:

  • It's a GREAT way to burn some calories before you induldge.  Did you know that the average American eats 4,500 calories at their Thanksgiving feast? 

  • First EVER finishers medal.  Its pretty neat and who doesn't want more bling in their collection? 







  • Great long sleeve cotton/tech finisher shirt!  Isn't it cute? 






  • Low cost registration!  At $40 this registration can't be beat!  PLUS!  If you want to register early, use code "TURKEYDAY2017" for 10% off your registration! 

  • My personal favorite is FREE race photos!  I love when races include photos - it's not very often you get a photo of yourself mid-run and FREE!  That's reason to register in itself!


If you're looking for a FUN race that's close to home, go check it out!  Grab your friends, pull on your running gear and get to that starting line on Thanksgiving day! Don't forget, if you want to register early, use code "TURKEYDAY2017" for 10% off your registration! 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Got Turkey? Then you need to Run the Century Link Turkey Day 5K

Disclaimer:  I write this blog post because I am a Bibrave Pro and want to fill you in on a GREAT race the Century Link Turkey Day 5K
Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador),
and check out BibRave to review, find and write race reviews.




I couldn't resist this cartoon because honestly, it really made me laugh!  For years and years, Thanksgiving has been a time when family comes together to celebrate each other.  Most of us eat a FEAST meant for kings that fill our bellies for days!  I love Thanksgiving!  It is one of my favorite times of the year.  I barely lift a finger at Thanksgiving.  Is that fair?  Maybe not.  Is it glorious?  Absolutely.  

No pressure for gifts, no pressure to prepare food.  I can sit back and relax and enjoy the family around me.  Now THAT'S what I call Thanksgiving.  

Unfortunately though, and here's where the stats come in.  The AVERAGE American eats 4,500 calories at the traditional Thanksgiving dinner with ALL the trimmings!  Say what?  How can this be?  

Do you want a way to off-set a bit of those calories?  If you're local to the Minneapolis, MN area, you may just want to get yourself registered for the Century Link Turky Day 5K.  The race starts early enough for you to have a great run, have a lot of FUN and earn the races FIRST EVER finishers medal!  

I bet if you look hard enough, you can even snag a picture with your favorite Turkey! 


How cute are these pilgrims?  Are YOU brave enough to run in costume?

I say that's a WIN!  Grab your friends, pull on your running gear and get to that starting line on Thanksgiving day!  If you want to register early, use code "TURKEYDAY2017" for 10% off your registration! 

Saturday, October 14, 2017

It's FUN on the RUN in a BOX!

Disclaimer:  I received the FUN RUN BOX 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.


Fall in Minnesota is a time when we embrace fall colors, colder temperatures, nearly perfect running weather and beer.  You can imagine my excitement when I got to test out the month of September's FUN RUN BOX with an Oktoberfest theme!  September's box theme was 5 mile Dachs and it had beer themed goodies! How cool is that?  

What is a FUN RUN BOX?  Just like the slogan - ' running motivation - delivered ' that's what this box has!  If you're someone who likes to compete virtually with others and get extra motivation for weekly challenges than you'll love this box!  



What makes the FUN RUN BOX different than other subscription boxes is the support and motivation that you receive when the box is delivered.  Be sure to join the private Facebook group too for others around the country that will be doing the challenge with you!   

For this box, I was on Team Doxie.  If you look at the picture below, you'll see the information on how to participate to win extra prizes and gain extra motivation.  Each week, there are new running tips, so this box appeals to not only beginner runners but also experienced runners!  Also, if you post a creative picture with one of the products you receive AND use the given hashtags, you are eligable to win a team prize too! 


In this Oktoberfest box I received: 
  •  Headsweats "5 Mile Dachs" Soft Trucker Hat
  • Themed Black Short Sleeve Running Shirt
  • Travel Roller
  • Regrained Honey Cinnamon IPA Granola Bar
  • Beer Flavored Jelly Belly Beans
  • Race Bib
  • Dachs dog shaped magnet
  • Challenge instructions

It was full of great goodies.  Plus!! I was very intrigued with the beer flavored jelly beans and they were delicious!  What a great novelty gift! I'm almost sad I ate them!  



I would have to say that my favorite things in this box were definitely the jelly beans and the technical shirt!  The shirt is a women's cut, true to size and it fit great!  And, of course it performed very well when I completed my 5 mile virtual challenge run!


5 Mile Dachs Challenge at 5am!  Go TeamDoxie!

If you want to try a box for yourself, use code "BIBRAVE" for 15% off any box!  Plus,  make sure to join us as we talk all things FUN RUN BOX at our twitter chat on Tuesday, October 17th, 8PM CST.  Search BIBRAVE and the hastag #bibchat for details!

Friday, October 6, 2017

Compression done RIGHT! SKINSA400 Compression Pants Review

Disclaimer:  I received SKINS Compression A400 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.



"IT'S EQUIPMENT, NOT CLOTHING"

That is a great slogan for the SKINS Compression A400.  When I found out that I would be testing and reviewing these compression pants I couldn't have been happier.  Many of my running friends rave about how amazing SKINS clothing is and I must say their reviews are accurate!  From the moment I put them on,  they felt completely and totally comfortable.  

What I noticed right away was that the pants, while providing optimal compression, were easy to get on.  If you can imagine the commercial of the girl trying to get into her skinny jeans and button the top button.... that's a lot like what I feel like when I try to put on other compression pants.  Many of them are SO tight it takes an acrobatic act to get them all the way up!   Plus, when you finally DO get them in place, don't even try breathing!

I commented right away  to my husband that  'these pants feel just like silk.'  They are lightweight, breathable, and have advanced temperature and moisture management.   I recently wore them during a race and when I was finished the pants were wet on the outside but I felt completely dry on the inside!  How cool is that?  I had absolutely no chaffing and remained very comfortable throughout my run.   I especially like the high-waist design;  it holds me in perfectly in all the right places. 










Typically, I run in the very early mornings when it's dark.  In Minnesota in the Fall, the temperatures vary from about 35-50 degrees.  While testing these pants in the early morning, I never felt too hot or too cold.  However, due to our very dark mornings, the only feature I wished this particular pair of pants had was reflection.  Reflection is a very important component for me and it is something that I look for on all of my running gear.  I do know that other models of SKINS compression do come with reflective properties.


All in all, these compression pants will certainly become a staple of my running wardrobe!  Make sure to get yours now! 

Through the month of October,  SKINS is honoring a discount code.  Used code BIBRAVE20 for 20% off your order!  Plus check out our bibchat on Twitter.  8 PM CST.  You could WIN a pair for yourself!