A Solo Runner’s Best Partner – My Sabre Safety Products Review

“Disclaimer: I received Sabre Safety Runner Series Products 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!”

As a solo runner I am my only running buddy for most of my runs. I will occasionally take Ollie, my 100+ lbs St. Bernard puppy for a run but she is loud regardless of what she is doing so taking her out in the morning before everyone is awake is a chance I won’t take and when the sun is up this time of year she overheats very quickly. I will take the kids in the stroller when I go for a walk but these do not account for the majority of my runs.

So when I was offered the opportunity to make new friends with Sabre Red safety products designed for runners I didn’t have to think twice. My wife worries about my safety each time I go out in the dark and I can’t really blame her. There are so many dangers out on the road in the daytime and these are amplified when the sun isn’t even up yet. Drivers are less prepared to see runners for one but it is the time of day when one might be more susceptible to an attack. This isn’t something I like to think about but when I am running in the quiet of the morning it will hit me when a car passes me from behind that I didn’t hear coming or I hear a car door slam nearby.

Full disclosure is that before I tested out these products I had only ever run with handheld lights for visibility and safety. I had hesitated to ever carry more due to it seeming cumbersome to due so and not wanting to chance injuring myself in the process of defending myself.  The Runner Pepper Gel Spray takes away that worry with several features. Firstly, it has a hand strap which means it takes zero effort to hold while running so I don’t have to worry about trying to not lose my grip of it and it would be in the right position to discharge if need be. Secondly, there is a safety locking top that keeps it secure and prevents accidental discharge. The final safety feature involves the spray itself. It is made of a gel, which “virtually eliminates wind blowback and only affects what it contacts”.

This bad boy pictured above may be the crown jewel of the entire set. This personal alarm straps perfectly onto the wrist and is activated by pulling the pin at the bottom. The pin is secure enough that it is very unlikely to get jostled out of place on a run unless it is pulled out. Let me warn you that if you plan on testing this personal alarm out  then you should do so away from people as much as possible. It has a loud as heck alarm, which tops the meters at 130 dB and this can be heard from a whopping 1,000 feet away. This is more than enough to scare off a would-be attacker and bring attention to your emergency.

If you like the idea of a personal alarm like that one but don’t think you’ll need that much kick or would like to make sure you can be spotted in the dark, well Sabre has you covered there as well.

Sabre Light with Clip

This personal alarm with an LED light and a clip is a fantastic tool. The light has settings that allow you to choose between a solid or flashing (two speeds) light. TI he clip is strong enough to be attached to an arm strap with a phone or a piece of clothing. It is lightweight and the alarm still packs quite the punch. It registers at 120 dB, which is still good for a 600 ft range. It might seem redundant to carry both alarms but I am a fan of taking extra precautions. It requires no effort to bring them along with you and with one having a light and the other having a higher range then you really have nothing to lose and everything to gain by using them both. You can see in my photo below that I am using all three products and it couldn’t have been easier to do.

Now that I have used these products on both walks and runs by myself and with my family I won’t ever feel alone on a run. Sure, I won’t be able to strike up a conversation with them but they will provide me with a sense of safety and security, which is something a running buddy provides. If you’ll take another look at my first photo you’ll see that Sabre provided me with a second personal alarm/LED light and pepper gel spray. They did this so I could provide them to a running buddy of my choosing. Even though my wife doesn’t run she does frequently take walks and hikes with the kids. She can’t always bring the dog because three kids and a dog is a lot to handle. For the peace of mind that having these items with provide to her and I, I am very grateful. I’m glad my wife and I will get to #RunTogether with Sabre.

Right now you can enter code ‘SABRERUN’ for 20% off

Follow Sabre on Social Media

IG: @sabresafety

Twitter: @SabreRed
See what my fellow BibRave Pros thought about their

Mai

Meridith

Taushah

Fallon

Lisa

Janell

Shannon

Samantha

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Experience That Chafe-Free Guarantee – My Runderwear Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Runderwear boxer briefs 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!”

At some point or another as runners we have all probably either experienced or worried about chafing. That not so fun experience that irritates skin in the absolute worst of places. Chafing is bad enough when you start to experience it at the end of a run. Well, if you experience it not that long into a long run then you know there will be nothing but suffering until you are done and after. Chafe free underwear for runners seems like a novel concept but it isn’t something I have personally seen before learning about Runderwear.

Before I tell you too much about my experience with them I do want to explain how they work because Runderwear have nailed it. They are so confident in their product, as they should be, that they offer a chafe-free guarantee: “Runderwear’s whole ethos is about creating chafe-free performance clothing. Runderwear clothing has no side seams and is label-free to prevent irritation and rubbing. Runderwear technical fabric is extremely soft, breathable and highly effectively at wicking sweat away from the body, ensuring you remain chafe-free in ultimate comfort, no matter how many miles you run.” How do they do this? They explain the process for ensuring this “mesh panels containing micro perforations to increase breathability and sweat removal from your skin, ensuring your core temperature is optimised.”.

Lets address the portion of the chafe-free guarantee that talks about comfort no matter how long you run. My first test run in these was at the DC Wonderwoman 10K race series in Arlington. It was not only humid and a little warm that morning but it was a race so I was pushing myself. This meant extra sweat and higher stride turnover so my legs were rubbing together way more often. Well, the Runderwear held up. They are moisture wicking so the sweat was not a problem and on top of that the fabric is breathable so there was actually a little bit of air flow, which meant I was running cooler than normal. I experienced absolutely no chafing whatsoever after that 10k. It was marvelous!

One big culprit for chafing are seams, especially seams that move around over the skin ask you are moving. Runderwear has taken care of that by eliminating the seams from their underwear. It is amazing how different underwear feels without seams. It feels like a piece of performance wear but better. It is hard to describe just exactly what the difference feels like but it is noticeable. An extra perk of the seamless design is that the underwear moves with you and stays in place, regardless of pace, unless you adjust it with your hands. Knowing that they wouldn’t bunch or ride up I decided to give them a shot on a run sans shorts. You can see by the photo above that they don’t look all that different from compression shorts so I didn’t feel so awkward about doing so. I felt like this was the best way to truly test them. Wearing shorts, whether with or without a liner, might affect how they work. Turns out it didn’t matter whether I wore them with shorts or without. They never moved, I never chafed and I loved wearing them.

If you are not a fan of the boxer brief style, they do have standard briefs too and I would expect that the seamless design and same breathable fabric will offer the same results I experienced. If you have ever dealt with chafing from your underwear or even if you prefer to run commando, and I know there are lots of you out there who do, I would give these a shot. Since I rarely buy myself any of my running gear I will be asking for these from my wife, who is responsible for all of my underwear purchasing.

From now until the end of the May you can get 20% off your order with code “BIBRAVE20” at https://www.runderwear.com/ .

Follow Runderwear on social media:

IG: @teamunderwear

Twitter: @runderwear

Facebook: @RunderwearOfficial

If you would like to learn what some of my fellow BibRave Pros thought of Runderwear then check out their reviews below.

Ken

Janell

Jenn

Mai

Joe G

Scott

A DC Wonder Woman Run Series Dallas Update

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Run 5K/10K Dallas 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 has been a hot minute since I announced that I would be running the DC Wonder Woman Run Series 10K in Dallas. What have I been up to? Well, in short I have been training! I haven’t put in a ton of miles but I have gotten some in, which has made a world of difference in my life. Not running during the months of February and March was difficult for me because of how I sometimes define myself as a runner. Without running I don’t always feel like my best self. Thankfully I still worked out and build a good base for when I started pounding the pavement again.

I’ve averaged two runs a week since the start of the month and while I would prefer to be putting in more miles I have had to build my mileage up slowly so as to not get injured again. My Achilles has been holding up well so far and (knock on wood) I haven’t had any discomfort while running. I’ve needed CBD, anti-inflammatories, stretching, icing and rolling to keep it that way but so far so good!

Not all of my miles have been great. I’m actually happy about this though. I got my bad run out of the way this training cycle. At least this way I know how well I am able to cope with it in case it happens on race day. I have averaged between 6-12 miles per week with mostly easy runs but I have managed to get in two speed workouts, which included some 400 repeats this morning and cardio wise I am feeling great going into race day. I’ll throw in a couple more miles on Thursday and then shut it down until Sunday.

Ultima WW

One bit of cool news that I got last week is that Ultima Replenisher will be on the course on Sunday. My wife turned me on to Ultima and I am glad she did. She doesn’t workout without it pre and post-workout. I just happened to sneak a little from her stash this morning after my 400’s and I am a fan. I’ll probably bring a bit of my own to hydrate before the race and I know I will have some after.

There is still time to register using the link below. When you register you can use this extra special code “WWBIBRAVE” you can save 10% off your registration (which is already a reasonable price if you ask me). The code is good for 10% off across all of their events so even if you can’t join me in Dallas then you can use it for one of their other races.

If you are there on Sunday you’ll see me wearing my BibRave orange and I hope you’ll come find me to say hi!

Register HERE

Follow DC Wonder Woman Run Series on Social Media

IG: @dcwonerwomanrun

Twitter: @wonderwomanrun

Facebook: @DCWonderWomanRun

One for the Women in my Life – The DC Wonder Woman Run Series

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Run 5K/10K Dallas 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 has now been almost 3 months since my last race and I am so very happy to announce that I have found my next one: The DC Wonder Woman Run Series 5K/10K Dallas on Sunday, April 28th! So many things stand out to me as to why I decided to take part in this event. Lets talk about them, shall we?!

1.  Inspirational stories from the @dcwonderwomanrun women in our lives/ Wall of Inspiration—your turn to write down why you are a Wonder Woman.

WW race wall

This is actually a combination of two unique things about this race that really stood out to me. The women in my life, namely my wife, inspire me to be the best person I can be both daily and throughout my life. I want to hear amazing stories from racers and the women in their lives! Who doesn’t love to be inspired? The second part is the wall. It is one thing to see these stories on social media but seeing them before and after the race, written by that person is soooooo cool! I can’t wait to read all about the amazing people I will be running with.

2. Location. I got really lucky here. The packet pickup and start line are centered around Texas Live! in Arlington. It is 15 miles from my front door, which means I can wake up at a normal time (normal for me) on race day and not feel rushed. Not only that but Texas  Live! is a really fun area. There is lots of awesome dining options. Family Events and Live Music during the week and on weekends. I highly recommend you check out the calendar of events for race weekend. I’m guessing you will find something you like. Texas Live! Events.

Image result for texas live

 

3. The Gear. The DC Wonder Woman Run Series has a leg up on the competition when it comes to race gear. They offer two choices when it comes to racing shirts (a women’s cut tech tanks & a unisex tech shirt) and each of these kits comes with a commemorative tote and some rockin’ wrist cuffs. The youth kit is extra cute as it includes a cape with the finisher’s medal. If you want to upgrade your race day kit you can snag a visor, some tattoos, a car magnet and a pair of Wonder Woman cape socks, which I think are extra freaking cool!

WW Race Gear

4. Photos. If there aren’t photos then the race never happened! In this case that also includes video. That’s right, video! After you are done conquering your 5 or 10K on race day you can expect to relive your experience with free photos and video, which are made available for download after the race. Paying for race photos is never fun so getting them for free along with video is a big perk in my book. Especially when there will be opportunities to get photos with Wonder Woman herself!

WW Race Day Photos.PNG

 

When you register you can use this extra special code “WWBIBRAVE” you can save 10% off your registration (which is already a reasonable price if you ask me). The code is good for 10% off across all of their events so even if you can’t join me in Dallas then you can use it for one of their other races. This really will be a fun race day experience and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Register HERE

Follow DC Wonder Woman Run Series on Social Media

IG: @dcwonerwomanrun

Twitter: @wonderwomanrun

Facebook: @DCWonderWomanRun

Compression Without the Fuss – My CEP 3.0 Tall Socks Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of CEP 3.0 Tall Socks 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!”

When I received my CEP 3.0 Tall Socks it had been about 6 weeks since I had run last and I wasn’t planning on running for a few more weeks. So why would I need them? The easy answer is that I am heavily reliant on compression gear. Especially socks. My feet and lower legs are problem area for me and I need support when I’m working out.

While I am not running right now (to keep my Achilles safe) I am doing intense circuit training and HIIT workouts on my stationary bike and with a jump rope. I still need the support and compression to help with blood flow. Not to mention the compression for recovery.

The CEP 3.0 Tall Socks rely on medi true compression technology for optimum recovery and performance. The 3.0 goes “with a new design that takes advantage of high-tech yarns, new HEIQ clima management, and a more natural fitting toe box…”. Let’s touch on these things. The yarns used for the sock make it stretchy enough to get on and off without a ton of effort, which makes them different than other brands I’ve used and do use. This is big for me because after an intense workout I don’t feel like wrestling with my socks to get them off.

The clima management technology is also something that endurance athletes will appreciate. As we get into spring and into warmer temperatures that means we will all start to sweat more. The 3.0 is designed to keep you cool when the temperatures outside rise along with your body temperature. This technology isn’t just for keeping you cool but keeping you dry as well. I don’t know about you but I don’t want to have to contend with my compression gear being super wet after a run either. I never once had to deal with that. This technology works. It means you can even wear them without having to wash them after each use.

A toe box that is naturally fitting now seems like something I took for granted. Just because something has good compression doesn’t mean the toe box has to be narrow to be tight. The 3.0 nailed it here. Once on I didn’t feel any restriction in the toe box and I still felt a good amount of compression across the whole of my foot.well.

For performance during my workouts the 3.0 Tall Sock exceeded my expectations. The handful of times I threw on the socks for recovery immediately after a workout or after I felt like my feet and calves responded very well. As I mentioned earlier, my feet, Achilles and calves are areas I have to baby because it will come back to bite me if I don’t. These are a pair of socks I would highly recommend you check out if any of the points I covered are important to you.

Follow CEP Compression on Social Media:

Twitter: @CEPCOMPRESSION

IG: @cepcompression

FB: @CEPSportswear

You can see how some of my fellow BibRave Pros feel about the CEP Compression 3.0 Tall Sock as well.

Danielle

Lissa 

Kim

Becky

Jenn

 

 

And Here We Go – Houston Marathon Race Weekend

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Chevron Houston Marathon 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 last few months have been quite the adventure. I’ve embarked on a journey I never thought I would have ever been on ten years ago. I started and completed training for a marathon. Tomorrow I will line up with thousands of other people trying to do one thing. Run 26.2 miles.

This was me nearly three weeks ago after cutting a 4 mile easy run short due to a sore right Achilles. Since then I have only used the stationary bike and done low impact cardio to keep my fitness at a certain level. I didn’t want my first marathon journey to end before it started. According to my Garmin I have maintained my fitness and now that it is race weekend I have officially made it.

Packet pickup is done. Race short pickup is done. Both were done very easily as the system for check in and pickup was incredibly easy and the volunteers were helpful and all smiles. Meeting my awesome fellow Bib Rave Pros Juan, Jenn and Brenda was awesome and I feel incredibly blessed to share this experience with such awesome people.

The weather on Sunday is slated to be on the colder side (32-35) at the start of the race. For that reason my wife and I decided that it would be easier on her and the kids to stay back in Dallas for this one. I have had them cheer me on in the cold before and it wasn’t easy on her and little kids from warmer climates don’t do well with the cold. My wife and I were very torn up about this because she knows what this means to me and wants to be here for me to see me finish. I wanted her to see me do what I had worked so hard to do. She was at home watching the kids for my long training runs so she is as much a part of this as I am. This race is for her far more than it is for anything else.

Thankfully I have my fellow BRP’s here with me to make sure I finish in one piece.

I hope you will follow me for just one more run until this adventure is completed. You can download the Chevron Houston Marathon app on your smart phone or track my progress HERE.

Follow the Chevron Houston Marathon on Social Media:

Twitter: @HoustonMarathon

IG: @chevronhoustonmarathon

Run Globally From Anywhere – My Zwift Run Review

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Pod 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!

The treadmill is one of those tools that many find necessary for their training and yet not nearly as enjoyable as being out on the open road. One can see why though. Treadmills aren’t out in the fresh air, the scenery is always the same (unless you like to move your treadmill around) or it requires a trip to the gym. Sometimes it is a combination of all three. Luckily, I was able to test out something that is a partial solution to those problems and makes the treadmill experience A LOT more fun.

What is this magical solution? It is Zwift Run. Zwift Run is a way for you to connect virtually with other runners, from around the world and knock out those treadmill miles. All you need for Zwift Run to work is a treadmill, a footpod and a device (tablet, phone or computer) to run the Zwift app. You can use Android or Apply and it is recommended that you use a tablet or a computer for optimal results. I used my phone and while it worked there were some things I didn’t get the full benefit of because of that. You can also hop on a Bluetooth treadmill and do it without the footpod and device.

The first step is to check what equipment works best for your Zwift run experience here.  Then, if need be you can purchase a footpod from their shop here and then setup an account at https://zwift.com/en/run/. Once you have your footpod there is a very quick pairing process with your device through the app that leads you to calibrating the pod to your treadmill speed. This is a very important step as not calibrating the speed can lead to some funky results. In fact, the more times you do this calibration the better your experiences will be. I paired it the morning before a BibRave 5K virtual run for the first time and it worked, for the most part, quite well. I had a few hiccups during the run with the speed being off but was told that more calibrations would get the two to sync better.

Zwift Pairing

Now to the running. Zwift Run has created virtual routes in places like Richmond, New York and London for you to run alongside strangers or friends either on your own time or during a specific even setup within Zwift. The main screen on the Zwift Run app has a calendar that shows the events for the day and where they take place. You can literally (virtually) run through the streets of London without leaving the comfort of your home on a Tuesday afternoon. If you are the kind of person who happens to love group runs but are out of town and away from your group or most of your running friends are spread across the country you can set up virtual events to get together with them anyway!

I am, quite honestly, the latter. Almost all of my running friends (and fam) are all over the place so this is the only way I can run with them without traveling. Running on the TM is also something I do out of necessity but don’t enjoy because starting at my garage wall is not a ton of fun. When I have Zwift open on my phone and I hop onto one of their courses while on the treadmill then the garage disappears around me. The best part about Zwift Run is that the app is free. All you need is a connected device, a treadmill and the app. Don’t be afraid of the treadmill anymore or let it be an excuse to skip a training run. This app adds a little bit of zest to your TM runs!

Right now code “BibRave15” is good for $15 off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com.

Follow Zwift Run on social media:

IG: @gozwiftrun

Twitter: @GoZwiftRun