Join Me in the Fast Lane-Knockaround Fast Lanes Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lanes sunglasses 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!”

SUNNY DAYS
It’s spring time, so you can never have enough sunnies to protect your peepers. When the opportunity to test sunglass brand Knockaround’s newest product, Fast Lanes, I jumped at the chance. I have tested the Knockaround brand previously, and came away impressed. I was anxious to see if Knockaround could catch “sun in a bottle” twice.

ENTER THE FAST LANES
How are fast lanes different from the other Knockaround sunglasses?
-clean-cut, rectangular lenses
-available in wide range of classis and vibrant colors
-designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes
-FDA-approved; impact-resistant lenses with full UV400 protection
-embedded “K” logos on the arms 

STYLE 
The color I received was the Grey Monochrome w/ Smoke lenses. To be honest, I was not sure these sunglasses would work out for me. If you look in my description above, you see mention that Fast Lanes were designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes. I personally think my face is on the smaller size, so not sure how they would look on me. Turns out I was worrying for nothing because the Fast Lanes look pretty snazzy on me. I think the slightly larger lenses, are more stylish for casual wear. My Knockarounds are now my goto shades when I am driving.

DURABILITY
Fast Lanes are being marketed as “durable and strong enough to stand up to your fast-paced lifestyle”, so you know I had to test that out. I let my little one hold on to them for about an hour. They were dropped, thrown, grabbed, etc but they held up. I will agree, they are durable. 

PRICE
The Knockaround Fast Lanes sale for $20, that it! You can grab you a couple of pair for that price. If you choose the polarized lenses, they are only $5 bucks more at $25.00. A great price for a quality product. You can even save an extra 20% using my code BIBRAVEKNOCKS1

RECOMMENDATION
If you want some good quality sunglasses that won’t break your pockets, these Knockaround Fast Lanes are a no-brainer. Ample color options, durable and most of all, stylish. Use my code and grab yourself a pair OR two.

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Tar Heel 10 miler (Double Down challenge) Prep

Looking ahead to Tar Heel 10 miler, the countdown is on. I’ve run this race the past 4-5 years and always enjoy it. Training thus far has been going pretty good for most part. I’ll mentoring a group of runners in the PR Squad, so I’m training along side of them. PR Squad is a subpart of the larger Fleet Feet half/full marathon training program. We have done a lot of hills and Interval work during the session. The hill work so definitely help when it comes to tackling the monster known as Laurel Hill at the Tar Heel 10. Just think of a mile long 45 degree angle hill.

There has been one hiccup during training, I caught a stomach bug the had been going around. My whole house had it at some point. Not fun and it derailed one of my long runs. I did go back a few days later and try to do the run. I cut it short because although my pace was ok but my heart rate was high, so I knew I was working harder than I needed to. Aka i wasn’t fully recovered. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND BE MINDFUL OF YOUR HR. Majority of your training runs should have your HR in Green or orange zone, of you’re in red, slow down/stop.

That’s it for now, stay tuned when I post my post TarHeel 10 miler recap.

Tar Heel 10….Again

Disclaimer: I was given entry into Tar Heel 10 as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about being a Bibrave Pro (ambassador) visit Bibrave.com.

Excited to be given the opportunity to run the tar heel 10 miler for yet another year. I don’t exactly know how many consecutive years I’ve done this race, but it’s definitely more than 5 years. This year will be my 3rd year doing the double down challenge, which requires you to run the 4 miler and then run the 10 miler right after. It’s challenging and fun at the same time. Stay tuned as I prepare for this race in April.

Super Bites, Super Flavor-Food Groove Super Food Bites Review

Disclaimer: I received Food Groove Mission Super food Bites 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!”

 

I had never heard of Food Grooves before, but I was more than willing to give their super bites a test. I received a box of 10 Super Bite bags in 3 different flavors. Food Groove Mission was started in Dallas, TX by a husband and wife. Superfoods were already a big part of their lives so they decided to create a superfood snack that everyone can enjoy. He use of bites instead of bars, gives you the flexibility to eat as much or as little as you want and carry them anywhere. He bites are also gluten free and paleo friendly.

FLAVORS
These super bites come in 3 tasty flavors: Mother Earth, Holy Truffle Punch and The Nutty Adventurer. Let’s explore what each contains and I will let you in on which flavor became my favorite.

Mother Earth
This was the inaugural flavor of the super food bites, enfusedwith a wholesome combination of unique berries, seeds and nuts. These bites give off a sweet and tart taste with every bite.As you can see by the ingredients list, all good things go into these bites: Organic Medjool Dates, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Golden Berries, Organic Unsweetened Coconut Chips (Organic Coconut), Organic Almonds, Organic Flaxseed Meal (Organic Ground Flaxseeds), Organic Almond Flour (Organic Almonds), Organic Açaí Powder, Protein Blend (Grass-fed Lean Beef Protein Powder, Egg Protein Powder, Vanilla Extract, Monk Fruit Extract, Sunflower Lecithin), Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Rooibos Powder, Raw New Zealand Manuka Honey Umf 16+

The Nutty Adventurer
A burst of peanut butter goodness. I am a big fan of peanut butter so I went into this testing thinking that this flavor would be my favorite, but it was not. These bites were delicious but they were one up’d. Ingredients: Organic Medjool Dates, Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Golden Berries, Organic Unsweetened Coconut Chips (Organic Coconut), Organic Almonds, Organic Flaxseed Meal (Organic Ground Flaxseeds), Organic Peanut Butter (Organic Peanuts), Organic Almond Flour (Organic Almonds), Organic Açaí Powder, Protein Blend (Grass-fed Lean Beef Protein Powder, Egg Protein Powder, Vanilla Extract, Monk Fruit Extract, Sunflower Lecithin), Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Rooibos Powder, Raw New Zealand Manuka Honey Umf 16+

Holy Truffle Punch
A pure spark of dark chocolate. Now we come to my favorite flavor, holy truffle punch. The one thing I like more just as much as peanut butter, is chocolate and these bites definitely tickle the taste buds. These are great healthy alternative for after meal snack. Ingredients: Organic Medjool Dates, Organic Dark Chocolate (Organic Cocoa Mass, Organic Coconut Palm Sugar, Organic Cocoa Butter), Organic Pumpkin Seeds, Organic Goji Berries, Organic Cacao Nibs, Organic Golden Berries, Organic Unsweetened Coconut Chips (Organic Coconut), Organic Almonds, Organic Flaxseed Meal (Organic Ground Flaxseeds), Organic Almond Flour (Organic Almonds), Organic AçaiPowder, Protein Blend (Grass-fed Lean Beef Protein Powder, Egg Protein Powder, Vanilla Extract, Monk Fruit Extract, Sunflower Lecithin), Organic Chia Seeds, Organic Rooibos Powder, Raw New Zealand Manuka Honey Umf 16+

PRICE
These tasty treats can be yours for only $3.99 a pouch, or you can get a box(10 pouches) for $39.99. Join the Bite Club and you can customize your 10 pouches any way you wish and even decide when you receive.

RECOMMENDATION
Ever have the urge to snack during the day but you feel guilty because your snacks aren’t healthy? These bites are a no-brainer and healthy alternative to other snacks.

For Chocolate and Hill Lovers-Allstate Hot Chocolate Charlotte 15K/5K Race Review

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com

I was excited to be able to run the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k for the 2nd year in a row.  I was anxious to see how the race had evolved after it’s inaugural race in 2018. 

EXPO
Sadly, my better half couldn’t get off work early enough for us to make it to Charlotte in time for the expo. I was looking forward to the chocolate samples, but lucky for me, a couple of my Bibrave sisters picked up my packet for me and even dropped it off at my hotel for me. 
SWAG
I can honestly say that Allstate Hot Chocolate races has some of the best swag I have ever received at a race. This year was no different, as the participants received a full-zip winter running jacket with hood. The guys received black and women color was a reddish maroon color. To top it off, the jackets have thumb holes.
RACE DAY
The forecast for race morning had changed a few different times. Up until friday, there was a 60% chance of rain on saturday morning but it changed friday night. The rain was supposed to hold off until around 11am, which would give me more than enough time to finish and get back to my hotel. I stayed at Aloft and the starting line was like a 4-5 block walk, so not bad at all BUT it was low 40s. It was cold but I still opted for shorts and short-sleeve shirt because I knew I would warm up pretty fast once the race started. The starting line area(also the finish line area) had booths already set up for the finishers. Huge shoutout to Allstate for being the only booth that though to bring heater towers. They had 3 and a lot of the runners gathered around them to stay warm before the race start. The 5k began at 7:30, and 15k was scheduled to start 15 minutes later. We started 3 minutes later than scheduled because some of the 5k runners arrived late so we gave them time to get out on the course. The 15k started and within quarter of a mile, we had already hit our first hill. As with the whole route, it was full of uphill and downhills. The crisp temperature helped keep me refreshed throughout the battle with the hills. About halfway through the race, it began to drizzle. Thankfully it wasn’t a downpour, but the drizzle wasn’t bad enough to really cause any issues outside of making it hard to see out of my sunglasses. The volunteers maning the water stops were great and were constantly yelling their support. The police officers controlling traffic were also a huge help. You had to fight through 1 last uphill before crossing the finish line. I finished about a minute and a half slower than 2018, but I was satisfied seeing how the course had more hills than last year.
POST-RACE
Crossing the finish line you are greeted by volunteers handing out medals, before you can pick up a cup of Nuun and bottle water. The post-race festivities were about a 100 yards away from the finish so just a short walk. In the finisher’s area, you could take a picture in from of the Hot chocolate inflatable, but more importantly you can pick up your post-race chocolate mug. The mug contained a section of warm melted chocolate, cup of hot chocolate, rice crispy treat, marshmallow, banana and chocolate sticks. None of that food stood a chance, I finished it all off before starting my walk back to the hotel. There was also a booth that was serving tacos and rice.
Recommendation
No brainer, Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Charlotte is a must run. Yes, it is challenging but it is still a fun race and very well-managed. Did I fail to mention, FREE RACE PHOTOS. Hopefully I will run it again in 2020 to make it 3 years in a row.

Check All the Boxes-Brooks Ghost 11 & Canopy Jacket Product Review

I received Brooks products(Brooks Ghost 11 and Brooks Canopy jacket) 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!

The Brooks brand is well-known throughout the running community, whether you have used them or not, is a personal preference. I personally have loved Brooks since I stumbled upon them when I first started running. When I began running, I was clueless to the idea of running shoes. I was running in some Nike Shox and was having severe shin splits. I started doing my research and had a gait analysis done at a running expo for which Brooks was sponsor. After that day, I bought my first pair of Brooks and haven’t looked back since. Needless to say, I was all smiles when I saw Brooks gear in our swag bag from The Running Event. I was given a pair of Brooks Ghost 11 and a Brooks Canopy running jacket.

BROOKS CANOPY JACKET(Nightlife)

·         Wind and Water Protection(breathable wind and water-resistant fabric keeps you dry)

·         Storable Hood

·         DriLayer Seal Fabric(lets air in, keeps rain out)

·         Packs into its left-hand pocket

I love this jacket! Not only does it keep you warm on those crisp mornings/evenings, it is water-resistant. The water-resistant aspect is what I have been lacking with other jackets I have tried. Others brands I have tried have either been too light, thus not keeping you warm, or not breathable, thus you are sweating heavily because no air can get in. This Canopy jacket merges both worlds together perfectly. Extra benefit with the Nighlife color I received, is it has the neon yellow accents as well as built in reflective areas so you can easily be seen at night and pre-dawn. I took this jacket out for several runs and loved that it wasn’t too heavy, as well as, the option to use the hood or snap it back. The last and probably one of my favorite features is it is packable. That’s right, the whole jacket can pack right inside the left hand pocket, zip up, and has a nice band you can use to attach to your arm. I was able to put this to the test during one of my recent long runs. The temps were in the high 30s when I started out but pushed its way into the mid 40s halfway through my run. I was able to take off the jacket, pack it into the pocket and continue my run without having to worry about the hassle of securing the jacket around my waist. 

BROOKS GHOST 11     

I mentioned earlier that Brooks was one of my favorite brands, well their Brooks Ghost are one of my favorite shoes. In all I think I have had at least 3 or 4 pairs of Ghost, dating back to the Ghost 8.  

·         Balanced, Soft Cushioning

·         Segmented Crash Pad, so no matter how your foot lands, you get a smooth ride

·         Soft, Secure Fit

I always have high expectations whenever the new Ghosts drop, and these didn’t disappoint. I had been waiting to buy a pair, but thanks to the generosity of Brooks, I didn’t have too with their inclusion in our swag bag. The Ghost are considered a Neutral running shoe, and that is what seems to work best for me. I felt the same cushioned ride during my runs as I got in the previous versions of Brooks Ghost, with the added feature of DNA Loft softness and BioMoGo DNA responsiveness. These 2 technologies work together to provide a just-right softness underfoot without losing responsiveness and durability. The shoes are not too hard or soft, they fit somewhere in between and when you are running they feel a bit lighter. I could definitely feel the difference in the responsiveness in the shoe on the foot strike, it almost felt like it was bouncing back. This benefit is especially valuable as the miles start adding up during a run. The stretch fabric used to construct these beauties is breathable, so you don’t have to worry about your feet sweating as much.

RECCOMENDATON
Yes and Yes, to both products. I feel like the canopy jacket is a no-brainer, good jackets are hard to find and this once checks all the boxes for me. I also really love the Brooks Ghost 11, but if you require a shoe with more “support” this may not work for you. I know Brooks also makes a support shoe that will check the boxes for you, like the Ravenna or Adrenaline.

Get The Edge-Arcanum Product Review

I received Arcanum products(Sarco Freeze, the Quill, Sarco Breeze) 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!

Prior to The Running Event I had never heard of activated hemp being used as a recovery or performance aid, nor had I ever heard of the brand Arcanum. We received 3 of their products in our swag bag for TRE, but I don’t think any of us actually knew what to do with them. The following day when we got to visit The Running Event, the Arcanum booth was the first one we visited and we learned a lot of great information. If you read my previous posts about TRE, you know what I mentioned that the Arcanum representative was by far the most effective speaker. She delivered valuable information, without overselling her product. After speaking with the representative, I was eager to give them a try.

ACTIVATED HEMP
When hemp is heated at high temperatures, it’s bioavailability increases, meaning it is able to enter the circulation in the body and have an active effect. This activation creates an increase in the effectiviness of the cannabinoids and other healing ingredients in the Arcanum formulation. Activated hemp has been shown to support recovery time and performance by upregulating your cells, allowing them to communicate and carry on the reactions necessary to help the body recover faster and smarter.(via Arcanum website www.arcanumedge.com)

SARCO BREEZE
First product I tried was the Sarco Breeze, which is a moisturizer and sports massage oil. Its features:

·         Hydrates your skin and good for all skin types

·         Facilitates muscle recover and soothes aches

·         Designed for full body use

·         Addresses soreness, discomfort, overuse, irritation

I took the Sarco breeze with me when I traveled for my last race of the 2018 calendar year, The Kiawah Marathon. It was a marathon so I figured I would have a good amount of soreness to give the product a good test. After finishing my marathon and showering, I broke it out. My calves were really sore and I had cramped up after I finished the race, so I decided to start there. I am not exaggerating when I say, I felt an immediate difference once I applied the Sarco Breeze. I am not saying the soreness, immediately disappeared but I could feel the tingle letting me know it was starting to do its thing. I would say about an hour after applying the product, my calves felt like new. The soreness had subsided and I could walk around with that looking like I just ran a marathon(you know the walk. Lol) I later applied to my quads and hamstring areas, to get them back fresh. I was impressed with the response. This is also good to use if you are receiving and giving a massage to/from your significant other.

SARCO FREEZE
Next up, was the Sarco Freeze. Some of its features/benefits:

·         Immediate cooling relief

·         Addresses soreness, discomfort, overuse, irriatiton

When you are impatient and won’t relief instant, you reach for the Sarco Freeze. I slept wrong one night, and I woke up with a little back pain. Before I reached for some icy hot that I had in the cabinet, I grabbed the Sarco Freeze to give it first crack and the pain. It was easy enough to apply and within maybe 3-4 minutes the cooling powers powered up and my pain was gone. I only wish I had discovered the powers of activated hemp sooner.

THE QUILL
Last up and Arcanum’s newest product was The Quill. This seemed to be the product the representative was most excited about, since it is really an item that could be used on a daily basis. Features/Benefits:

·         50 precise 2mg doses of activated hemp in every application

·         Relief in as little as 5 minutes

·         Dermal delivery for more accurate dosage control and better absorption

·         Targeted delivery system of transdermal nutrients

The representative showed us that The Quill is most effective applied to the inside of your wrist and rubbed in using your other wrist(similar to how you see ladies apply their perfume). The amount of time before you can start to notice a difference can vary based on the individual, but for me I think it took about a week and a half of daily use before I felt a little different. I felt a little more energized each morning and also noticed that I wasn’t getting as sore after workouts or runs. I looked at it has daily maintenance and made sure I applied my daily dosage, just as if I was taking daily vitamins.

RECOMMENDATION
I think all three of these products are worth a try. I know you may not know a lot about activated hemp but the stuff just works. Do your own research if you must, Arcanum even has some good information on their websites and you won’t get popped for using performance enhancing drugs. Lol. If I had to pick a favorite of the products, I would probably go with Sarco Breeze. I think the fact that it could be used all over your body and works great for massages, won me over. Give Arcanum as try and get the Arcanum Edge.

Zwifty-Zwift Run Product Review

I received a Zwift footpod 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!

 

What is a Zwift, you might say? Well up into recently, you would have never heard of Zwift unless you were in the cycling world. Zwift was a program/app that allowed you to train indoors and connect with cyclists around the world in a virtual world. If you read any of my posts you know I am a runner, not a cyclist, so why did I get a Zwift pod? Because now Zwift has stepped into the running world. We received footpods in our Running Event swag bag, so let’s see how it turned out.

SETUP
In my previous posts about TRE, I told you about a few pros doing a Zwift run on the first day we were in Austin. The rest of us got to watch and cheer them on. On December 18th, the Pros that didn’t get to run during TRE weekend finally got there chance to test out the Zwift Run. Before I tell you about the run, let me tell you what items you will need to get started.

·         Zwift Footpod or connected shoe

·         Download the Zwift app

·         Device to run Zwift (phone, laptop, ipad, etc)

·         Create a Zwift Account

·         Treadmill

The last item listed was a big deal for me, because I simply do not like running on “dreadmills”. Even if it raining or 20 degrees outside, I will go outside before I ever seek out a dreadmill. So, my first order of business was trying to find one. I don’t go to gyms and couldn’t find a friend that owned one, so it took some finessing. I found out Planet Fitness offered Day Passes to nonmembers, so I applied online and was given one.

THE VIRTUAL WORLD
I must admit the setup was pretty cool. Bibrave already had an event sent up for the date and time, so we just had to log into it. Once you log in, your virtual character appears at the starting line. The starting line header shows how much time you have left before the run begins. As more people sign in, their characters appear at the starting line with you with their name. There is even a message bar that you can communicate with everyone. Once the countdown reached zero, we were off. Based on what pace you entered when signing up for the event, the zwift app tells you what to set your treadmill at. We did a tempo run, so the pace changed several times during the run. Each time, the app would tell you what to set the treadmill(for instance, “increase treadmill to 6.2”) As you are running through the virtual world, you see all our friends running along with you. We even had a santa clause sighting in the middle of our run. Your friends can give you “thumbs up”, and after you finish the workout, you get a workout summary. There is even a saved screen shot of your character in the middle of the run. In addition to group runs, Zwift also has training plans you can use.

RECCOMENDATION
I am still not going to be a treadmill guy, BUT if I have to run on a treadmill at any time, I definitely will be using Zwift. Zwift managed to make something I think is so boring, more fun. There is nothing like running along with virtual friends and exploring a virtual world, whole lot better than running a staring at a tv monitor for miles on end. Don’t hit the treadmill without powering up Zwfit, and make some friends join you…the more the merrier.

Vuori Shorts Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Vuori shorts 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!”

 

Vuori is a new company to me and might be new to you as well. I am always willing to give newer brands a try, so I was pleased to have received a pair of shorts in our swag bag from The Running Event. Vuori was born in California, and its products are functionally built to move and sweat in, but designed with a casual aesthetic aimed to transition effortlessly into everyday life. 

 

SHORTS
The shorts I received were the Vuori Trail Shorts. Per their site, the trail short is their lighest weight all-purpose athletic short.

      Elastic waist band

      Coolmax anti-odor liner

      Athletic fit

      Front Pockets

      Back zip pocket

      Stash Pocket in liner

      Fits to Size

      7” inseam

I can’t say enough about these shorts. Their description is right-on, these shorts are super comfy and very lightweight. I took a few runs in these shorts and I could barely tell they were even there. The weight allows for these shorts to just flow freely and gives you the feeling like you are running faster.(that’s half the battle right?) The pockets are a welcome benefit, you can hold car key or stash one of your gels. 

 

RECOMMENDATION
I LOVE LOVE LOVE these shorts. Not only the these shorts but all the products are soft and comfy. We got a chance to look at many of their products during TRE, and everything felt amazing. Do yourself a favor and go to their website and get yourself some Vuori. You will NOT be disappointed.