Monday, October 15, 2018

Sleep On It! A Performance Pillow Review

"Disclaimer: I received a Bedgear Performance Pillow to use and 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!"

So I know a lot about Performance Products, both in my personal and professional lives. Not only am I a runner, I work as the Communications Coordinator for a company that makes equipment specifically for testing Performance Textiles. Seriously, I am up to date on everything Performance. At least I thought so until I heard of Performance Pillows. 



Bedgear offers a wide selection of Performance Bedding options, everything from Pillows, to Mattresses, to sheets and blankets. Their products were developed by a father who's son suffered from allergies and had a hard time sleeping on the hot, stuffy hypoallergenic products that were available on the market. He cut up some performance fabrics to make a pillow for his son and Bedgear was born.

Bedgear's philosophy is that sleep is a personal thing and everything from the temperature to the height of your pillow can greatly affect your sleep, and for that reason, they have several different series of pillows, all with options within each series so you can find your perfect fit. To find your perfect fit, they have a Pillow ID system that asks a series of questions to determine the best pillow for you. It asks questions about your size and sleep preference. I took the quiz and was paired with the Lightening 2.0 in the Storm Series. 



First thing I noticed when I unboxed my new pillow was how heavy it was. Seriously, if I decided to have a pillow fight with this bad boy, I would easily take down any opponent. This wasn't some dainty pillow that would be losing it's shape. Next thing I noticed was that it was really cool to the touch. The exterior fabric was silky and smooth and actually felt a bit chilly. This is due to the Ver-Tex® fabric which draws heat away from the body and stays cool to the touch. The heft comes from being made of several layers, all that offer cooling, ventilation, support and comfort.

I was seriously excited about using my new Bedgear pillow as soon as I received it. I am a notorious light sleeper coupled with a super early wake-up call - 4:30 am most days so I can put in a run or gym workout before having to be at work at 6:30 am. Anything that helped me to get better sleep would be greatly appreciated! 

Did I also mention it's super pretty? Look at that cool pattern!
So how did it work for me? Pretty darn great! The pillow was super comfy, soft, yet firm and amazingly cool. I use a ResMed S+ system to monitor my sleep each night and before getting my Bedgear Performance Pillow, my average sleep score was in the 70s-80s. My first night with my new pillow, I scored a 94! And I've consistently seen more and more 90s since. I feel like I've slept much better and more deeply. I've even slept right through my alarm a few times in the last month, which, while not optimal, was something I've never really done before. 

Can't argue with the numbers

All and all, I am fully convinced by my Bedgear Performance Pillow and highly recommend it for anyone wanting to get the most out of their sleep-time.

Interested in trying it out for yourself? You can order online at www.bedgear.com and use discount code BIBRAVE15 good for 15% off your order, (excluding WOW Deals), valid through 11/30/18, online only.


Friday, October 12, 2018

I'm a Buff Girl: A Product Review

"Disclaimer: I received a Buff Original Multifunctional Headwear to use and 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!"

Yup, I'm a Buff Girl. Unfortunately when I say that, I don't mean buff as in the super strong (though I am working on it with my Burn Boot Camp membership) what I actually mean is I am a big fan of the brand, Buff, USA.


I have always loved their super practical, super comfortable headwear. And, if you are a regular reader of my blog, you may recall that this summer I got to try out a lot of their cool lifestyle products like Run Cap, Arm Sleeves and Insect Guard (check it out here if you missed it: Live More This Summer. And while I really loved each of these, I always seem to gravitate back to the Original Multifunctional Headwear as my go-to running accessory. They are just so versatile and so comfortable! 

Anyway, when I recently learned that Buff had redesigned their Original Multifunctional Headwear and at first I got nervous. I mean, this is my go-to item and it was perfect, why change it? Well, I'm pleased to say that I'm happy they did because it's even better than before! 

One of these items is way
more stylish than the other
So what did they change? First up, they are now made with 100% recycled REPEVE® Performance Microfiber. Basically, 2 plastic bottles that were retrieved from beaches and/or streams were recycled and made into performance fabric, which was in turned made into my Buff. How cool is that? Also, now they offer UPF 50 Sun Protection instead of UPF 25. So they block way more harmful UV radiation. They are also more comfortable with a new 4-Way Seamless Ultra Stretch design. 

Oh, and they released a bunch of really cool, really cute designs. I had a really hard time choosing one, but ultimately went with the Groove. It's bright, colorful and literally matches everything since it is rainbow colored. I LOVE IT! Especially on cloudy, dreary days. It really brightens up my run and make me feel warm and sunny inside.

No really, I even wore it when I did and 8 mile training run during a hurricane earlier this month!

So yeah, a truly awesome product, made much more so. What's not to love about that? You can pick up your own redesigned Original Buff online here: https://www.buffusa.com/ 

You can follow Buff on Twitter here:  Buff_USA
and on Instagram here: Buff_USA

And if you haven't followed me yet on either of those, you can find me here on Twitter: RunNerdGirl
and here on Instagram: runnerdgirl


Friday, September 28, 2018

3rd Quarter Check In

First of all here are my 2018 goals along with the current status (Goals are listed in orange). 

  • Run 1009 miles - me and a friend are splitting 2018 miles
    • I'm a bit ahead on this goal as I've banked a few miles here an there each month just in case something comes up. Luckily this year I have yet to run into any extended breaks (please don't have just jinxed this!!) so as of today, I am at 813 miles of the 757 I needed to be on track for 1009 for the year. My partner is training for an Ultra (it's this weekend, wish her luck!), so she's well ahead of schedule at 892 miles. Combined we are sitting pretty at 1705/2018. Each of us only need just over 150 miles each to finish out the year which will be no problem, esp with me training for 2 more Half Marathons and starting training for my first ever Marathon.
  • Run 18 races
    • I'm well and good on the 18 race goal. As of Sept 30th, I have run 11. Currently, I have registered for 5 more (Color Me for Life 5K, Great Pumpkin Run 5K, Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon and 5K, and Huntersville Half Marathon. I know for sure doing 2 others (Gobble Wobble 8K and Santa Run 8K), just have not registered for yet. I also may do another 10K in Nov but haven't fully decided. (You can join me at Savannah and save $15 on the Half or Full with discount code- RNRBRP2018).
These are the 2018 Savannah Rock n Roll medals. Pleased to say I'll be earning 3 of these beauties! 

  • Place in 4 races
    • This goal is already met and then some! I'm now at SIX placings! 3rd at New Years Gnome Run 5K, 2nd at Kings Mountain Half Marathon, 1st at Come See Me 5K, 2nd at Moonlight Bootlegger, 1st at Common Heart Firecracker 10K and 3rd at Summerfest 5K!!!  I'm half hoping for one more at the Great Pumpkin Run in October, but it's kind of a long shot, so we'll see... 

  • 1200 Twitter followers
    • Done and Done! Current follower count is 1,284
  • 1000 Instagram followers
    • Not sure if I am gonna make this one. Currently at 793. I've upped my Instagram game a bit, but it is still slow going. If you have any Insta tips, please post in the comments. 
  • Run 4 Half Marathons (Tobacco Rd., Kings Mtn, Run & Ride, Rock n Roll Savannah) with a new PR in at least 1
    • 2 down, with 2 more registered for 
    • New PR at Tobacco Road.
    • Running Rock n Roll Savannah Half on Nov. 3rd
    • Running Huntersville Half on Dec. 9th
  • Do an Obstacle Race (Warrior Dash) 
    • Done and done! This was a total blast. So much fun! I can't wait to run it again Although one of my friends is trying to convince us to upgrade to the Spartan. We'll see...
Our crazy messy crew
  • Renew as BibRave Pro
    • This doesn't happen until late Fall, so no update on this goal, but I *think* I am doing a decent job as a Pro. I've met all my requirement and try to post quality content. And I have been LOVING some of the awesome things I've gotten to test! Some of my favorites include Aftershokz Trekz Air bone conducting headphones and my Bedgear Performance Pillow. Love getting to try out such cool things and tell others about them!  
  • Blog more - 4 per month at least 
    • Some month's have been better than others (I'm looking at you, May and August) but I can say that I have overall done a much better job of blogging than in 2017.  So far I am at 33 (including this post) for the year, which averages out to 3.67 posts per month which is ALMOST 4, so I'm calling it a win. 
  • Keep a consistent training plan/journal (Using the Believe Training Journal) 
    • Ummmm... pass. Yeah, I suck. Said amazing training journal has sat in my desk drawer, cold and unloved. I am having a bit more luck with the pocket calendar, but mostly for scheduling BibRave stuff, not training. Recommend a system that you love for me to try in the comments below to help a girl out. 

And I am not sure of you noticed me slip it in there at the top, but I already have my MAJOR 2019 Goal lined. I'M RUNNING MY FIRST MARATHON at Tobacco Road in March!! That's crazy! I'm still not ever sure why crazy me has decided to do this, probably so I can answer yes once and for all when people ask if I've run a marathon. Feeling like it will totally be a one and done kind of thing, but I have to get that one. I ran the Half at Tobacco Road this year and loved it, so I think it will be a great first Full. Training will officially start in Nov. after Savannah. You can join me at Tobacco Road, register with discoutn code trmrave19 for $20 off either the Half or the Full - https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com/

How about you? Tell me how your 2018 is going so far. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram if you haven't already to help me meet those 2018 number too. 


Saturday, September 22, 2018

Happy Fall Y'all (Yeah Right, this is SC)

“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance  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!”


Today is the first day of Fall. Any minute now, the leaves are sure to change to orange, red and gold, the days will get cooler and the air crisp instead of humid. 😃😃😃 

YEAH RIGHT!! I live in SC, it's going to be Summer until approximately mid-December. Don't believe me, today the temperature is forecasted to be 90. Happy Fall Y'all indeed! We're not getting a break from the heat and humidity for a while yet. 

So, since the Summer heat is planning on sticking around, I'm going to embrace it and just keeping all things Summer going strong. Cause if you can't beat 'em, join 'em I say. 

  • Tank tops and flip flops through December. Why not? 
  • Ice Cream and Sno Cones? The more the better. 
  • Crazy giant bugs? Ugh, do we have to? 
  • Yummy Summer flavors like Watermelon and Mango? Now that's more like it, bring on the Gatorade Endurance!!


Since the heat and the humidity plan on sticking around for a few more months, I'm going to keep up with my Summer hydrating strategy of dosing myself heavily with Gatorade Endurance, especially during my long runs  well into the Fall and probably Winter too. Before this summer I'd traditionally been a Water-Only Runner, at least for during runs sticking with electrolyte drinks for pre-run and recovery, but after having the chance to test out Gatorade Endurance back in June - check out my blog post about that here - http://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2018/06/gatorade-endurance-releases-2-new.html - I've really noticed a difference taking in the extra sodium and electrolytes during a run. 


So yeah, I've been doing more runs with either just Gatorade Endurance or with a bottle of both water and Gatorade Endurance, and my crazy hot mid-afternoon runs have been much more bearable and I feel like I recover much more quickly. So much so that I invested in a fancy new dual belt so I could carry a bottle of each on my upcoming long runs for first Half Marathon and then my first Marathon training. 



Speaking of my next Half Marathon, Rock n Roll Savannah, guess what the on-course refreshment will be? That's right, Gatorade Endurance. And you know what they say, nothing new on race day, so yay for training under the same conditions as race day. In fact, according to a recent article in Men's Journal, Gatorade Endurance is the on-course choice for over +300 races around the country including the New York, Boston and Chicago Marathons, plus, all Rock n Roll races. I've found that most races have the Lemon Lime, but I really hope they consider changing over to the Watermelon because I am really digging it. But either way, all flavors are engineered the same and offer the same benefits of the electrolytes, carbs and calories you need to perform your best. 

Want to check out it out for yourself? You can purchase Gatorade Endurance products from most retailers, but to guarentee the fun Summer flavors, you can order online (they even have a pack with the Mango Gels and Watermelon Thirst Quencher already bundled here - https://www.gatorade.com/products/endurance/endurance-new-flavor-pack  Plus, orders over $50 ship for free. 

And please, if you have any say whatsoever in the weather, or know of any good "cool weather summoning" dances, could you hook a girl up? Just because I am used to running in the heat, doesn't mean that I'm not ready for ACTUAL Fall and not just hypothetical Fall. 

Oh, and also... Want to join me in Savannah? Register here: http://www.runrocknroll.com/savannah/register/ and use code “RNRBRP2018” to save $15 on the Marathon or Half Marathon.


Thursday, September 20, 2018

#BeBrilliant, #BeSafe, #BeCute

Disclaimer: I received a Brilliant Reflective Strips Family Pack 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! 


This past Winter, I first tried out Brilliant Reflective Strips back when I was running most of my runs in the dark and just loved how they made me much more visible and much safer on my runs. I applied them to several of my outfits and even a pair of my shoes - you can read about it here - http://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2018/02/be-safe-be-seen.html



Super Easy, Barely an Inconvenience to Apply
Brilliant Reflective Strips are super easy to add to your clothing. For step by step instructions, go ahead and click the link above to my previous post about Brilliant Reflective, but basically, all you need is an iron, a paper towel, the strips, your item and like 5 minutes (and most of that time is waiting for the iron to warm up). Place your strips where you want them, cover with a paper towel, iron for a minute or so, please off the plastic and BOOM, reflective clothing achieved! 

Brilliant Reflective even has some really cool application suggestions and how-to-videos on their website here - Placement Guide - Videos


But, Brilliant Reflective Strips are for way more than just clothing! All kinds of things can benefit from some added reflection like book bags, hats, strollers, helmets, bikes, leashes... anything you wear, hold or ride outdoors!. 

And to make things even more fun, Brilliant Reflective recently released Family Packs, their same awesome, durable reflective product, but in super cute fun shapes that kids (and tbh, everyone) will love. So adorable! 

Family Pack Shapes
Taken with the Flash on so you can see them GLOW!

How cute!

My daughter was super excited about the shapes, especially the animal ones. She immediately claimed the animal shapes for herself. She put the butterfly immediately on her bike helmet and is still deciding where she wants the elephant. My guess is that either the elephant, or maybe the flower will be making their way onto her book bag soon. And they are super simply to apply, just place like a sticker, no ironing needed, so they can go onto all kinds of surfaces.



As for me, I am loving the shapes too. Even though it is still technically Summer (well, until the weekend anyway) the sun is waking up a bit later and going to bed a bit earlier these days and my runs are starting to get a bit longer as my Fall Half Marathons are approaching. So I snagged the adorable heart to add to the back of my running belt to give me just a bit more sparkle in the early dawn hours. 

Ready to SPARKLE and SHINE

Interested in blinging up your and your child's gear with some Brilliant Reflective Strips? Well, lucky you because I have a discount code for you that will give you 30% off of your entire online order! Check out their shop here - https://brilliantreflective.com/shop/ and use discount code *"BRP30"* which takes *30% off* when you check out! 

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Going with the Flo

So, a hurricane hit South Carolina this weekend, maybe you've heard. 

Radar Map of Friday Night 9/14
As I sit here typing out this blog, I can hear the pitter patter of rain drumming on the outside of my windows. Occasionally, a large wind gust will rattle the siding. I live n SC just south of the NC border under Charlotte. All in all, it's pretty much just like any other summer storm we have. Well, except so far at least, no thunder and lightening, so all things considered, it's actually a bit better than your typical summer storm. The actual storm part, not just the wind and the constant rain, is supposed to be hitting our area in a few hours still. 

We've been very lucky in our area in that conditions have been way more mild than news and weather stations reported that they could be. Hurricane Florence, now Tropical Depression Florence, came in a much more mild storm the original projects and has continued to rapidly deteriorate as it limped across SC.  And I've been doing my best to keep from getting all cabin fevery. 

First off, I figured on Friday that there would be no way that I would be able to get my long run in on Saturday morning. So, after work, off I headed to put in 8 miles. The wind was a bit whippy and got hit by a few sporadic, what I would call "heavy sprinkles" but the storm had actually sucked out a bit of the humidity in the area and the cloud cover left it nice and cool. Overall, it was one of my better recent runs and I was able to manage a decent pace throughout. Very happy with that.

Friday Run - Wind Hair, Don't Care

On Saturday, the rain started. It raining and rained and rained a bit more. Never terribly heavy, but consistent. Every once and a while, I could tell that one of the heavier rain belts would roll in and the rain would pick up for a bit, but just as fast, it would go back to the slow and steady sprinkling. After being cooped up all day doing chores around the house and watching some TV with the family, I decided to make a break for it and do some running in the neighborhood. Didn't want to stray too far in case it started back up again, and if I run every street in my neighborhood 2x, it is just over 3 miles. The roads were fairly wet, so my shoes and socks go pretty squishy, pretty quickly, but it wasn't a terrible run by any stretch. I run in far worse conditions, so again, happy that I was able to get out there. 

Saturday's "Get Out of the House" Run

Current Situation -  Steady Rain and Blah
So that brings me today. Yeah, today is going to be a rest day. I would probably be safe running around the neighborhood again, but ugh, it's just yuck out there. With no treadmill options for me, if I run, it's outside, so I guess for today I won't run. Everything should clear out by tomorrow, so I'll just wait until then. This has me slightly under my goal miles for the week, but I am ahead of the game for the year, so I'm okay with that.

For those of you who are still in the path of the storm, stay safe. For those of you who the storm has passed already, I hope you came out safely and don't have too much of a clean up ahead of you. All in all, I am thankful the storm was so mild. I know there were some lives lost and I am so sorry for that, but again so thankful that it was not worse. 

Stay safe out there everyone!

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Summer Training Makes Fall Races

After having no specific goals for several months, I am back in the swing for things for training for a litany of races that will keep me on point until my (gasp) first Marathon on March 17th. 

After Sat. long run. I am wasted! - So hot, So humid!!
And let me tell you kids, I may be in Fall training, but it is still hot as Hades out there. I've been trying hard to keep a positive outlook about the heat, especially since longer and longer runs will creep into my schedule. My mantra these days is: Summer Training Makes Fall Races. If I can maintain my speed and endurance in 90+ degrees, I am going to KILL my Fall and Winter races for sure. 


Getting one of each of these shirts
First Fall race is the Rock n Roll Savannah weekend, Nov. 3-4. I am officially on Week 4 of my training plan for the Half Marathon, but I am also running the 5K and the 1 Mile races cause, well, if I do I get a pie. No serious, they do a Sweet Georgia Pie Challenge where if you run the 5K and 1 Mile races on Sunday, you get a Peach Pie. I'm 100% in. I'm pretty psyched that my training plan is pretty much aligned with the Fleet Feet Sports Fort Mill, so I get to long run with my peeps, so yay! Their goal race is the weekend after mine, and I am still deciding if I am going to crash that race too. If I do, I'll probably run the 10K or even the 5K cause I have done two back to back Halfs before and am in no hurry to do that again. Especially since my second Fall season Half will be just a month later on Dec. 9th - the Huntersville Half. 

After those 2 Half Marathons, up next will be the Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte on January 19th. Last year was Charlotte's first year hosting a Hot Chocolate race and it was pretty darn great. I actually ran 2 back to back (Atlanta and then Charlotte) and pushed way too hard after not recovering from the Atlanta race so and in bonked the last 2 miles, this year I have high hopes of setting a new 15K PR. It will be mainly up to the weather, so fingers crossed that it cooperates. Either way, PR or no, there is chocolate and lots of it at the finish line and the swag for Hot Chocolate races are always amazing. 

After that, it is pretty much Marathon on my mind until March 17th when I run my first at the Tobacco Road Marathon in Cary, NC. January and February will have me doing the longest runs I've ever done and I am 100% already sweating it. Here's to hoping I can find another crazy to long run with me in the dead of the winter. At least I won't have to get up at the crack of dawn to avoid the Summer Heat like I am for long runs now, so there's that. But either way, the long runs will get done. At least, that is the plan.

So, an ambitious schedule for sure, but I'm pretty excited about it. And if you are interested in joining me on any of these races/adventures, I'd love to have the company. And I even have discount codes to tempt you.

Want to join me in Savannah? Register here: http://www.runrocknroll.com/savannah/register/ and use code “RNRBRP2018” to save $15 on the Marathon or Half Marathon.

Want to join me for Hot Chocolate Charlotte? Register for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k or 5K Charlotte with coupon code: BRHCCharlotte and get a free HC Arm Band. http://bit.ly/2J81tPw

How about joining me for Tobacco Road? I have a sweet discount for either the Full or the Half Marathons - $20 off with code trmrave19 when you register at www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com. I could use all the support I can get!

Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mornings Made Simpler with Detach

Disclaimer: I received Detach Premium Hydration 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 am unique in that I am a pretty lazy active person. Or maybe not, maybe others are just better at hiding it than me, but yeah, despite the running and cross training I manage to pull off each week, it's usually despite a massive inclination to lay around doing an amazing sloth impression. 

Most my workouts are pre-Sunrise
The recommendation is to eat a pre-workout meal 2-3 hours before a workout. 2-3 hours!! Yeah right. You know what I am doing 2-3 hours before most of my workouts? Sleeping.. For example, here's a typical morning for me: 

This morning I went to Burn Boot Camp for the 5:30 am camp. Do you know when I set my alarm to go off? 4:40 am - a mere 50 min before my workout was to start. Not terrible you say, well, now take in account the fact that I hit my snooze alarm twice. Now we are at 4:58 - 32 min pre-workout. So now I have to check my email real quick (my office has Hong Kong and China locations and I like to take a glance at what I can expect to be asked of me from my Asian counterparts when I arrive into work.) So, by the time I do all that (plus check out any Facebook, Twitter or Instagram messages), yeah, I'm actually standing up for the first time at 5:10 am, 20 min pre-workout. And I have to leave the house by 5:20 to get there in time. So yeah, I've given myself 10 whole minutes to get dressed, brush my teeth, grab something to drink/eat and exit the house. 

Should I do better? Heck yeah. 
Will I do better? Doubtful - I know who I am.

Anyway, where I am going with this is I need for my hydration and nutrition options pre-workout something quick that I can grab and go and will kick in pretty much immediately.

This is where Detach Premium Hydration has become a bit of a lifesaver for me. I can grab a bottle of this straight from the fridge, drink it on the way out the door and feel pretty much immediately energized. Detach is made with all plant based nutrition, including superfood ingredients, organic coconut nectar and organic wildflower honey and no artificial sweeteners. It also contains purified sea salt which gives me that bit of extra sodium I need for a hard workout. Plus, it tastes really good too!

If I am feeling super ambitions (the night before of course) I will make up a Smoothie to grab in the morning using Detach as the base. My two favorite Detach Smoothie recipies are as follows:


Detach Pina Colada
1 Bottle of Detach
1 cup of frozen pineapples
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Berry Berry Coconut Smoothie
1 Bottle of Detach
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 banana 1
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Both super easy peesy. Both yummy and get me energized quickly. Both I can grab and drink as I am running out the door. 

Want to try out some Detach Premium Hydration for yourself? Right now, they are offering a super amazing deal where you can get a free case of 12. Like seriously, FREE! All you do is pay the shipping cost. Here's the direct link to place the 12-pack straight into your online cart for checkout:
bibrave.drink-detach.com Or, you can visit their site at www.drink-detach.com and use discount code BIBRAVE at the Checkout. 

Also be sure to check out Detach on their socials - 

What about you? Are you a morning person? What do you do to make your mornings go smoothly? Or, do you have any yummy smoothie recipes to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, August 13, 2018

Taking the Marathon Plunge

I am going to run a marathon. 

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG 

Now that that is out of the way... 

It's been a week since I pulled the trigger and made the official decision to sign up for my very first marathon. And I'm only freaking out a little as you can tell from above. 


I survived the first Half, how hard could the other Half be? 
So here are the details. I will be running the Tobacco Road Marathon on March 17, 2019 in Cary, NC. I ran the Half this year (my current Half PR) and it was a great race, nice and flat with great support, so I decided to up the ante this year. Here's hoping that Tobacco Road is good to me 2 years in a row. 

Training will not officially start for my first marathon (gasp) until November, but in the meantime, I plan to keep myself pretty busy in obsessing over every little thing such as training plans, what should my time goal be, whether I should get a coach, how I should change my nutrition, what to wear, how to train, what changes do I need to make when training for this huge distance, should I keep racing while training, how will I do my longest runs in the middle of winter, how do I keep from getting injured, and last but not least (and actually probably not last) what will I eat immediately after?

And of course, I will also but for now, the hardest part, registering, is done. Yup, I'm registered. Whew. 

Signing up is just step one, but it's a BIG one!

Want to join me for moral support? I have a sweet discount for either the Full or the Half Marathons - $20 off with code trmrave19 when you register at www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com. I could use all the support I can get! 

Until then... just breathe, just breathe, just breathe...

And feel free to pass on any marathon tips or tricks in the comments. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What's Your Karma (Ring)?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Karma Duo Silicone Ring set 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!


Over the past year I so, I have noticed a huge increase in the number of people who wear silicone rings during athletic endeavors. Personally, I've never worn rings while running, mainly because 1) metal rings are uncomfortable while running and 2) TBH my engagement ring and wedding ring are actually a bit too large for me and I'm afraid they'd slide off once I got sweaty. 

I was given the opportunity to try out a Karma Duo Silicone Ring recently and I was excited to see how I liked them for myself. I picked out the Karma Duo in Pearl White which came with a white base and 3 pretty pastel colored cores - Blush Pink, Champagne Mauve, and Lavender. They are hypo-allergenic, non-porous and non-conductive. Plus they are super strong and super cute!


When I first received them, I had lots of fun trying out the different color combinations and trying to figure out my favorite. Ultimately, I could not decide so I took to social media, asking both Twitter and Instagram to vote on their favorites. When all the votes were tallied, Twitter preferred option 3, the Lavender, while Instagram gave the win to option 2, the Champagne Mauve. 

And while most people wear silicone rings as such, Karma Rings are way more than just alternative wedding rings. How to wear your Karma Ring Duo is totally up to you personally what it means to you. In fact, Karma encourages their rings to be used for more goal setting than and personal symbolism. I thought it was pretty neat what Karma had to say on their website about the different symbolism for different ways of wearing your ring. Here's what they had to say:

Left and Right Hand Symbolism
  • Left Hand - The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with creativity and controls the left hand. Therefore, rings worn on the left hand symbolize a focus on mindset, creativity, and personal philosophy.
  • Right Hand - The left hemisphere of the brain is associated with logic and controls the right hand. Therefore, rings worn on the right hand typically symbolize logical awareness and a desire to control one’s behavior and rationale.
 Individual Finger Symbolism
  • Thumb (Will Power) – The thumb is independent, while working in tandem with our other fingers to accomplish various tasks. The thumb represents logic and will power, a symbol of controlling ones thoughts and actions. 
  • Index Finger (Authority and Ambition) – Also known as the “Power Finger”, the index finger represents Authority, Power, Leadership, and Ambition. Historically, Kings, Priests, and healers wore rings on the index finger because it was believed to be especially powerful. 
  • Middle Finger (Identity and Materialism) – The middle finger, being the tallest, is associated with ones purpose in life. As the center of the hand, it symbolizes personal identity and things most important to us. 
  • Ring Finger (Emotion, Creativity, and Heart) – The ring finger connects to the artery that runs directly to our heart. It symbolizes feelings of affection and love. It is also characteristic of one’s creativity and artistic self.
  • Little Finger (Relationships) – The little finger or “pinky” is associated with confidence in both personal and business relationships. It is related to our attitudes towards other people, intimacy, and personal attitudes toward oneself. The little finger faces the world, and watches our back as our friends do.
Visit their site here for more information: https://karmarings.com/pages/style-guide



So according to this, me wearing my Karma Duo on my Right Hand, Ring Finger symbolizes a logical awareness of trying to control my emotion and heart. Totally makes sense to me from an athletic standpoint in that pushing through tough workouts is a mind over body kind of struggle, the knowledge that I know I can keep going and keep pushing, to not give in to the voices that say it's hard and to just give up. 

And since I am looking at things through the lens of symbolism, I decided to research the symbolism of the different colors I had in my Duo - Ivory, Lavender and Pink. Here's what I found: 


Pretty neat, eh?  I am definitely going to explore this more when planning out my Duo choices and goals I focus on during my runs and workouts. 

Overall, I've been very pleased with a product that I've never thought was for me before and tend to find myself wearing it when I am not doing athletic activities even. In fact, the other my day while I was getting ready for work, my daughter brought my ring over (with the pink core, her favorite) and said to me, "Here, Mommy. To help you focus today." It was super sweet, and it did help me focus that day, specifically on how lucky I am to have such a sweet, thoughtful girl.

Want to get a set for yourself? Order online here: https://karmarings.com/ and use discount code BIBRAVE33 to receive 33% off your order. 

Follow them on Socials here:
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Monday, July 23, 2018

Speedy Summer Shoes: UA HOVR Sonic Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic Shoes 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! 


If you are a regular reader of my blog, or frequenter on my Twitter page, you've already heard me sing the praises of Under Armor's HOVR Sonic shoes. (For new readers, check out my review from February here: Shoe Review - Under Armor's New HOVR

This time, I received super stylish black

Loving them for Summer running!
You may recall that when I first wore these shoes, it was in the winter, and on my very first run in them, I thought to myself, These are going to be the PERFECT Summer running shoe. Oh man, was that first impression correct! The thin mesh is a godsend for the heat and humidity here in SC! They also have a ventilated midfoot panel increases breathability. They are super comfortable and my feet do not overhead when I run in them.

So how do they perform? Again, I love these shoes!! I've consistently worn them for races, long runs and speed work and continue to be impressed by them. These are a neutral shoe that provide a wide range of balance, flexibility and cushioning. They provides a ‘zero gravity feel’ that maintains energy return and helps eliminate impact step after step making my long runs seem not quite so long on my feet. 

On July 4th, I wore my HOVR Sonics for a race, the Common Heart Firecracker Run 10K, that I had run also in 2017 and I fully believe that these shoes helped me run much better, faster race. Same day of the year (full on SC heat and humidity), same course, heck, even the exact same outfit with the exception of the shoes and this year, I shaved 5 full minutes off of my finishing time and went from 6th place division to 1st! I've run every single race that I've had since receiving my first pair in Jan in these shoes (with the exception of 2 trail races) and have had similar experiences for each race.

This time, I received the Non-Connected version of the shoe and I can honestly say, there is no performance difference between the two. If you are interested in all of the cool data that the Connect version has to offer, they are for sure worth the extra $10, but if you are not a data-nerd like me, than you will be perfectly happy with the Non-Connected shoes.

Under Armor HOVR Sonic shoes are priced at $100 for non-connected or $110 for connected versions and are currently available online and at retailers all over. Also, be sure to follow Under Armor Running on social media to keep up on the latest news -
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UARunning
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uarunning



Friday, July 20, 2018

On the Go with NuGo

“Disclaimer: I received  a variety box of NuGo Egg White Protein Bars as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


One thing that I've always struggled with is what to eat before and after a run or a workout. There is a lot to consider in the equation. Will it sit well on my stomach? Will it provide enough energy for me to not bonk out during my workout? Is it easy to grab and eat cause I am hella lazy and will not be meal prepping most likely? 

I was recently afforded the opportunity to try out a new solution to all of the above, NugGo Egg White Protein Bars


According to their website, they are made with the highest quality fruits and nuts and non-GMO egg white protein. They are also whole food paleo and certified gluten free. Depending on which bar, they have 12-14 grams of protein per bar. All the ingredients are simple and clean, which I appreciate because I've had issues with chemically protein bars upsetting my stomach. 

So they are really great for you, but how do they taste? Pretty darn good, especially the Blueberry and the Maple Pecan (though the Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter are super yummy too). And they for sure met all of my above mentioned criteria. Tasty, easy on my stomach, convenient and kept me full of energy. 

I tried out my NuGo Egg White bars during a variety of situations. The first one I just had for a snack, just in case it didn't sit well, but it was just fine. Next I had one before a run. No problems! I had several straight after Burn Boot Camp classes as our trainers are all the time telling us to get in at least 20 g of protein within 45 min of our workout and these were a great, convenient way to make a dent in that immediately after since I could just have it in my car waiting for me after class. Several were used as mid-morning coffee breaks while at work to keep me energized through slow mornings. 

Shhh.. don't tell the campers...
I even smuggled one in to Girl Scout Day Camp as a refresher during a long day of boating, crafts, hiking and archery. And yes, I hid from the girls while I ate it so I wouldn't have to share. 

And finally, I saved my last bar to fuel up pre-race the morning of the Common Heart Firecracker Run 10K. Let's just say that, while I cannot 100% give credit solely to NuGo, I did place 1st in my division for the race, so there's that. 

Overall, I really liked the NuGo Egg White Protein bars and plan to stock up on some more. On their website, there is a convienent search for local places that carry NuGo products here - https://www.nugonutrition.com/where-to-buy/ and I was excited to see several places in my area. 

Or, you can also order directly online and have them shipped directly to you. And, until Aug. 3rd, you can save 15% off your online order with discount code BIBRAVE 

Learn more by following NuGo Nutrition on social media : Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram