Ghosted…the only acceptable way-Brooks Ghost 14 Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Ghost 14s 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!”

To say I was just a little bit hype when I learned I would be product testing the new Brooks 14s, would be an understatement. I have run in Brooks for a number of years, with the Ghost model being my favorite. Brooks has been really good over the years at evolving their technology, which has kept their customers running happy. Let’s take a closer look at the new Ghost 14s and some of it’s highlights.

Carbon Neutral
The Ghost 14 are Brooks first carbon neutral running shoe. You may ask what does that mean, will that means this technology is assisting Brooks in achieving a zero carbon emissions by year 2040, which will aid in a healthier planet. Brooks to a major step in converting materials used in their shoes to goods that were recycled. I don’t know about you but we got to make taking care of Earth a major objective, after all we only get one. Any company that is doing their part to protect our Earth, deserves to be supported.

DNA Loft Cushion Technology
The dna loft cushion makes sure you have a soft ride and your feet stay happy. Brooks DNA Loft is made up of: EVA foam, rubber, and air. If you have been wearing Brooks as long as I have you might wonder how the DNA loft stacks up with some of Brooks’ previous technologies, like: DNA Amp, Flash and BioMoGo. Lets take a look at a quick comparison:

  • DNA AMP has the highest energy return, offering a super springy ride that propels you through your run.
  • BioMoGo DNA hits the sweet spot between softness and responsiveness: it’s not as soft as DNA LOFT, but feels softer than DNA AMP.
  • DNA FLASH is our lightweight cushioning, built for speed. Soft but not quite as plush as DNA LOFT, you’ll find DNA FLASH only in our fastest racing and training shoes. DNA FLASH technology is also infused with nitrogen.

Test Drive
The most important thing is how well they feel during workouts/runs, because everything else goes out the window. I took these Ghosts out for a few runs that ranged from 3 miles, up to 10 and they did NOT disappoint. The softness of the cushion was real and I didn’t find that my feet were tired after the runs, even if they had just been pounding the pavement for up-teen miles. They fit snug to my feet, while a nice bouncy tread. Bottomline, if my feet are happy, I AM HAPPY.

Recommendation
If you are a Brooks shoe fan, even if you aren’t a usual Brooks wearer, you will not be disappointed in this shoe. Snug fit, light and they come in an array of colors for both men and women. Added benefit….your feet will look great in those post training run shoe pics.

I Keep Coming Back for the Chocolate -Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte

“Disclaimer: I received an entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte 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!”

Year Number 5 complete. I was super excited to get back to IRL racing and taking on the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K in Charlotte. I admit I was a little worried I might have trouble running this year due to an address mix-up. I registered for the race back in September & paid extra for my packet to be mailed, and we ended up moving in December. I had my mail forwarded, but I didn’t even think twice about this race packet…..until I received an email saying it was shipped. You guessed it, my first response was “oh *$%#”. I emailed the coordinator and tried to contact postal service to see if I could do anything. I thought maybe the postal service would re-route, but they couldn’t. The packet was due to arrive on 2/8, with the race being on the 19th. Postal Service coudln’t do anything, so I was forced to watch the tracking each day as the packet got closer and closer to my old address. On the 8th, the status said delivered but then switched to forwarded. I thought “great, they will send to my new address” Today is the 26th and the status still says “forwarded”. I still traveled to the race and went to the customer service booth at the expo. I explained what happened and they printed my a new bib on the spot, great that was the most important thing. As far as the swag, they didn’t have anything extra of my size but they gave me a code to order it, and it would take 4-6 weeks.

As for the race itself, you could feel the excitement in the air by all the runners. Everyone was excited to be running in person after having to do it virtually last year. The DJ was playing catchy tunes, as well as providing some pre-race entertainment. 

The starting corrals were packed full and before you know it, we were off. We were off right into a uphill incline. This race has so many hills, yet I keep torturing myself because I have to maintain my legacy status. I have run the race every year it has been around, so that’s 5 years. 5 year legacy also came with a nice legacy gift, an insulated mug. Back to the race, because I had run in many years in a row, I knew what to expect and monitored my pace accordingly. I watched all the ambitious runners handing out too fast, and thought in my mind..”ill be seeing you again soon”. One thing that I did notice was that the pacers were going much faster than the pace they were suppose to maintain. For instance, the 8:00 pacer was well out in front of me and I was running sub 8 miles. Between miles 6 & 7 is a hill that I named “The humbler” because it does just that…humbles a runner. I was greeted with water and medal upon crossing the finish line. Once you make your way to the finisher’s village, you are greeted with more music and the answer to your chocolate dreams; hot chocolate and melted chocolate, along wtih all the fun things to dip: banana, rice krispy treat, cookies, graham crackers and marshmallows.

Safe to say, I will be doing this race again next..torture hills and all. I highly recommend checking out Charlotte or any Hot Chocolate races in the future.

Race Week-Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k Charlotte

It’s race week for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte. Looking forward to getting back out there and doing my first solo IRL race of the 2022 season(i did a marathon relay last weekend). I am already a Legacy for this race, I have run it every year since it began there and I think this will be year 5. I am already thinking about all the chocolate goodies that will be waiting for us at the finish line on Saturday.

This will also mark the first race my family will actually travel with me to attend since Rona showed its ugly face over a year ago. They are excited to get to get out the house and travel, even if it is only a 2 hour ride.

My packet was mailed but still has not arrived, so I am sweating about that. The good ol us postal service is seeing delays everywhere. 

Have you ever run an Allstate Hot Chocolate race? If so, which city was your favorite? Let me know in the comments.

Welcome Back IRL racing- Philadelphia Marathon recap

After almost 2 years, I finally happy to toe the line at my first marathon since the pandemic wrecked havoc on the world and running community. The race…Philadelphia Marathon. I was scheduled to run this race last year and deferred to this year, rather than getting a refund. I admit I was still a little nervous knowing I would be in the presence of thousands of other runners, not knowing if they were has vigilant as I was in trying to stay safe during the pandemic. My worry eased a bit, when we received an email from the Philadelphia Marathon about 6 weeks prior to the race that they were requiring all runners to have proof of vaccination to participate. For those that didn’t want to do that, the option was provided to go virtual or defer to 2022.

Now that I decided to run the race in person, the decision loomed on whether my family would make the trip with me. We ultimately decided that they would not because my son is only 4 and we wanted to protect him. Although I really wanted them there, and ultimately I think it played a part in how I ran the race, I think it was the right thing to do.

The marathon was on Sunday, I decided to arrive on Friday evening so that I had a day to just relax and rest my legs heading into race day. The half marathon was ran Saturday, so I was able to walk a block from my hotel and see the runners come through. After cheering on the runners, I took the half mile walk to get to the expo. They seem to have a good system in place for entry, with one line for runners with their vaccination cards and another for the runners who uploaded their cards to Crowdpass ahead of time(i was the latter). I also made the decision to purchase my items online, so all i had to do was pickup them from the store. The expo itself, left much to be desired. It was very small for a race this size but I am sure Covid restrictions paid a part in how many vendors were allowed in the establishment, etc.

Race morning arrived, I woke up about 3:30am to begin preparation. Temps were in the high 30s, so I opted to bring a throw away jacket since my legs rarely get that cold. The race provided shuttle buses from several locations downtown, one being about 50 yards from my hotel. I hopped on the shuttle that left about 5:15am. All runners were required to mask up on the bus. We arrived at the starting line about 10 minutes later and got through security without issue. 

Race began promptly with the elites being sent off a couple minutes after the wheelchair participants. My wave starting around 7:15am. It was good to see so much crowd support out there, it is probably one of the things I missed the most during covid shutdown. One thing I noticed around mile 4 was…there were way more hills than I was expecting. The Philadelphia Marathon promotes itself as “flat and fast”, but it was anything but flat. Luckily, where I live is lots of hills so I was trained for them…I just hoped I didn’t have to run on them in the race. Lol. The hardest point of the race is probably the miles 19 through 21. This is because this part of the race is a run out and turnaround to head back to finish line. So, you are heading towards mile 20 and you see runners coming back on mile 24-25. The last 3 miles were tough as they were mostly uphill, but I endured and finished with my second fastest marathon time of 3:45(I ran a 3:41 2 years prior). I feel subconsciously, I did not push myself the way I would have if my family was there. I don’t think I wanted to risk anything happening and not having any support there with me.

All in all, it was a great race weekend and Philadelphia did a good job in managing it safely. Thank you Philly and welcome back to IRL racing.

Star so Bright, I Gotta Wear Shades-Knockarounds Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround shades 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!”

Suns Out, Shades Out! Whenever Summer rolls, your shades becoming an essential component to any outfit, in additional to everyday running accessory. With that in mind, there was no way I would turn down helping Knockaround and their Summer Running Kick-off.

Unboxing

FEATURES

When the package arrived, I had not 1 but 2 pair of Knockaround Torrey Pines Sport shades. Both came equipped with their on soft protective pouch, to help keep those scratches at bay. Some of the key features of these amazing shades are:

  • Polarized lenses
  • Rubber nose pads
  • Metal spring hinges
  • UV400 protection
  • FDA approved, impact resistant lenses

 

The rubber nose pads may not seem like a big deal but they make a big impact. The rubber nose pads ensure that whether you are running a mile or 20 miles, the shades maintain a high level of comfort and stay snug on your face(no bouncing). No need to worry about having that indention on your nose once you take them off, like some other shades. The metal spring hinges give the shades sturdy support and gives you the added comfort that these shades are made durable.

COLORS

I don’t even know where to begin when it comes to the color options for Knockarounds, because there are tons. The 2 colors I received were: Victory Lap and Clear Gray/Red Sunset. In addition, you have colors like Black Ocean, Pool Blue/Sunset, Desert and Battleship. There are at least 5 pages of color combinations, and if you still don’t like any of those….you can customize your own pair.

Summer Time

PRICE

Knockarounds are very reasonably priced, with a range of around $20 up to $55(deluxe and special editions). Even with he prices being so reasonable, it is hard to find a time when Knockaround doesn’t have a nice discount code available. Like right now, use code BRKnocks1 to get 20% off your order. (offer expires 6/30)

RECCOMENDATION

It’s a no-brainer, if you need some new shades or even just want some more stylish ones, Knockarounds has got you covered. Don’t just buy 1, they are better in pairs, so buy 2. Remember BRKnocks1 for 20%off your order.

Updated Race Discount Codes

April 2021

4/3/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Philadelphia, PA

Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat

4/3/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Louisville, KY

Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat

4/10/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Minneapolis, MN

Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat

4/10/2021 – Milwaukee Marathon – Milwaukee, WI 

Use code “BR10” for 10% off

4/10/2021 – Virtual Women’s Half Marathon – Anywhere, USA

Use code “BibRAVE$5off” for $5 off any distance

4/17/2021 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K – Detroit, MI

Use code “BRHC20” for a free HC running hat

4/17/2021 – Blue Ridge Marathon – Roanoke, VA

Use code “BIBRAVE20” for 20% off

4/25/2021 – Delaware Marathon – Wilmington, DE

Use code “DELAWARERAVE21” for 10% off

May 2021 

5/30/2021 – Coeur d’Alene Marathon – Coeur d’Alene, ID

Use code “BIBRAVE15” for 15% off

June 2021

6/12/2021 – The Governor’s Cup – Helena, MT

Use code “GovCupRave21” good for 10% off

6/19/2021 – Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, MN

Use code “BIBRAVE1021” for 10% off 

6/26/2021 – Missoula Marathon – Missoula, MN

Use code “BR2021” for $5 off

August 2021

8/28/2021 – Santa Rosa Marathon – Santa Rosa, CA

Use code “RUN5” for $5 off registration

September 2021

9/18/2021 – Air Force Marathon – Dayton, OH

Use code “AFMBR21” for 10% off

9/25/2021 – Sanford Fargo Marathon – Fargo, ND

Use code “RUN5” for $5 off registration

October 2021

10/16/2021 – Urban Bourbon Half Marathon – Louisville, KY

Use code “BIBRAVEUBHM2021” good for 10% off

10/17/2021 – IMT Des Moines Marathon – Des Moines, IA

Use code “BIBRAVE21” for $10 off registration

November 2021

11/13/2021 – Hilton Head Marathon – Hilton Head Island, SC

Use code “RUN5” for $5 off registration

Embrace the Turtle 🐢-Turtle Gloves Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves Midweight Winter soft gloves 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!

FEAR THE TURTLE

As winter approached, one of the many things I started to think about is “winter running”. I mean i run outside all year long so I am always looking for ways to avoid frostbite and keep my digits properly circulated. I had heard of turtle gloves but never owned a pair….and to be totally honest, I never seen myself running with mittens. I have always had some version of 5 finger gloves with the fingertip material so you could still use your touchscreen. The opportunity presented itself and I couldn’t pass it up.

AVAILABLE COLORS

There is no lack of variety when it comes to color choices. There is sure to be one or two colors that tickle your fancy.
*Charcoal w/ Orange Trim

*Charcoal w/ Blue Trim

*Charcoal w/ Kelly Green Trim

*Kelly Green

*Lime Yellow

*Orange

*Pink

*Red Crimson

*Royal

SIZES

FEATURES

*Technical Fabrics

*Wicking & Breathable

*Wind Resistant

*Water Repellent

*Adjustable Venting

PERFORMANCE
I was delighted at how these turtle gloves performed. I am an early morning runner so it wasn’t too hard to find some mornings that were cold enough to put this mittens to work. On each of my runs, i started with them in mitten form and by mile 1, my hands would already be sweating. Each time I would have to convert the mittens to fingers out version to finish the run. Throughout the run, I never had any feeling of cold or freezing from my hands which is a big difference from the normal gloves. Previous gloves I have tried would often require me adding some handwarmers to make sure I didn’t get frostbite.

RECOMMENDATION
Without a doubt, I recommend this turtle gloves to any winter runner or anyone doing anything outside in the cold; going to a parade(those were the days), etc.

Are you ready to order your own? Visit turtlegloves.com and use code TURTLEBIBRAVE for 15%.

Savannah Bridge Run (virtual) Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Savannah Bridge Run(virtual) 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!

With the pandemic wrecking havoc on everyone’s running calendars, I took the time to start looking into some virtual races. My rationale being virtual races will help keep me motivated to crush out the weekend miles through the winter months. I had heard about the Savannah Bridge Run in previous years, so when I was given the opportunity to participate virtually, I jumped on it.

Not only was the Enmarket Savannah Bridge Run ranked in The Bibrave top 20 of races under 10 miles, but runners also refer to it as “The South’s Toughest Bridge Run. Although I certainly missed the opportunity to run of the beautiful bridge in Savannah, I made sure to incorporate some bridges in my virtual run. 

I chose the Double Pump Challenge, which consists of a 5K, followed immediately by a 10K. I took on the strategy of taking the 5K a little faster and coasting through the 10K. I knocked out the 5K in a time of 22:20. I followed that up with a 10K time of 51:50. The weather probably accounted for why I didn’t see very many runners out on the trail.

Post run was very organized, as the race provided a link for you to upload a screenshot of your completed run and also an opportunity to submit a photo for a contest. All finishers swag will be mailed out after 12/5 and I plan to update this blog with some pics.

Hopefully some normalcy will return soon and maybe i will be able to participate the Bridge Run in person for 2021. Until then find you some fun virtual races and keep running. Running Is Not Cancelled.

Let’s face it, it’s the new Norm- Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask Review

Disclaimer: I received a Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask 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”

It’s been a while since my last post, and the world has gone through more than a few changes. Most, if not, all of us have had our entire race calendar cancelled due to Covid-19. I was lucky enough to get 1 live race in before everything started to shut down. As runners we are starting to have to embrace the new norm(or new norm for the time being), which involves face covering and social distancing. So when the opportunity to test Body Helix new face mask was presented, I jumped at the chance.

Let’s look at the tale of the tape for the Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask:

1. Reusable and Washable:
it goes without saying, most people want something that can be washed and reused vs having to keep buying disposable items

2. Flexible, closed-cell fabric which prevents the transmission of water, viruses and germs

3. Disposable filters 

4. Large over-the-ear strap helps reduce the ear soreness you typically get when wearing something for an extended period of time on your over your ears.

5. Very Light and fabric is only 0.5mm which helps during hot temperatures

6. Optional nasal bridge controls air leakage and also helps reduce the dreaded glasses fog

7. Simple measurement helps to ensure more customizable fit for your mask and maximize protection.

Installing the filter

Style
As far as masks go, this is one of the more stylish ones I have seen. I kind of felt like Bane(from Batman) when I was out running or Jason in Friday the 13th, depending on who you ask. Lol

Test Runs

Let me start by saying, I’ve never run with any type of anything covering my nose and mouth. Even in cold weather, I will still have my nose uncovered so I knew this was going to be a new experience. The summer heat has been no joke here in NC, and it is made even worse by the high humidity percentages. The first morning I went out on a 10 mile run, temps were 77 degrees and the humidity was 100%. I know….I know.. pure torture. I was amazed at how easy it was to breath while running in the ultra light mask. I was able to breath freely through the miles but I did have to stop and remove to get hydration.

My second run was a shorter distance but I experienced the same results. My breathing was fine, but again the high humidity just made everything more difficult so mask was soaked with sweat by the end.

RECOMMENDATION
This is a product I would recommend, not only because of the current state of the world but I can see myself using it after we finally get through this Covid craziness. The only thing I could see as an improvement would be if they design a snap in for the disposable filters, rather than adhesive. This will take out the issue of trying to line it up so that all the holes are covered. Head over to bodyhelix.com and grab yours. Use code BR15 to get 15% off your order of $40 or more.

Here are what some of my fellow BRPs had to say

Jessica Danielle