Monday, March 28, 2016

A Sluggish Run and Big News!

Hey everybody!
I just got done with the most awful run I have had in a while.  There was nothing really wrong with it and I got about the pace I was aiming for...but it was hot and humid and sucked.  While I am glad we don't do the whole snow thing down here, I would sure be happy to be included in spring weather!
Today was also the first day I broke out my tiny little flat shoes so I should really be thanking the heat for preventing me from pushing too hard and hurting myself (again)!
I meant to run the first mile in 11 minutes and the second mile in 10. I dawdled a little more than I meant to in the first mile and it was actually closer to 11:30.  The second mile was closer to my goal and came in at about 10:15.  I know I am not breaking any land speed records here, but I am proud of myself for setting a goal and sticking to it.  I don't usually go out with a speed goal, just a "get this certain distance done eventually, preferably today" kind of goal.  It has worked well enough for me in the past, but I want to start going faster and setting real race goals! I am thinking of this as the first little baby step in the right direction.

In other news, if you happened to read my 2Toms review yesterday, you know that I mentioned I was making a super awesome announcement on the blog here it is!!

This blog is moving homes!!!

Tomorrow morning at 8:00am (east coast time) I will be putting up the very first new post at
I hope you will stop by to check it out!
At ten o'clock tonight I will be switching my Twitter and Instagram names to @LiveSlowRunFast as well...I was going to do midnight to be all cool...but I can't stay up that late hahaha.

After almost two years on this blog it is a little bit bittersweet to be moving on, but I am so excited for the change!!!  So please be sure to stop by and say hello on the new blog tomorrow morning!!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

2Toms SportShield Review

Disclaimer: I received 2Toms SportShield to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Like many runners, I have the opposite of a thigh gap...I call it the thigh overlap ;)
Just kidding....sorta...but between strong legs and the fact that I live in the sunshine state, I usually end up choosing between being way too hot running in capris, or I end up with chafing.

I have tried a ton of products and methods to combat the chafing issue.  Most either don't work at all, or work for a few miles/hours then wear off.  Applying most of these products it also a hassle.  Some don't come out of the applicator well enough, some get all over your hands and won't come off.

I am so beyond happy to say that 2Toms SportShield is my solution! To start off with, it is in a roll on applicator which is awesome.  No more trying to get a stick of stuff to stick to your legs.  It goes on and you can easily apply enough product to feel safe while running.  It also comes in wipes which are AWESOME to carry with you on super long runs where you may need to reapply.  

On that note - I have yet to run a distance where I needed to reapply.  In fact, I also use this when I go out in skirts (the thunder thigh struggle is real here folks) and it has the power to go all day! 

In addition to using 2Toms on my legs when running, I have used it for the sides or my toes when wearing my work clogs (and running shoes)

On all points of contact when wearing new high heels

and on the fronts an back of my ankles when wearing my riding boots (for reference: I have worn these boots for nearly 5 years and I always end up with raw ankles. 2Toms prevented even that.)

Overall I am beyond thrilled with my experience with 2Toms and I will be ordering more for sure as summer is closing in and temperatures are already soaring.

If you also want to try out 2Toms SportShield, use code 2TOMS20 for 20% off!

Have questions about my experience with 2Toms? Let me know!!

Also: be sure to check back tomorrow for an important blog announcement :)

Happy Easter!!!

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Product Review: 2XU VECTR Socks and Performance Run Calf Sleeves

Disclaimer: I received 2XU VECTR Socks and Performance Run Calf Sleeves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Do you ever find a brand you love then feel the need to own everything they make because you know it is going to be AMAZING every single time?  That's how I have felt about 2XU from the very first pair of their compression tights I tried out!  So naturally I was thrilled to have the opportunity to try out the 2XU VECTR Socks and Performance Run Calf Sleeve...and they did not disappoint!

The Socks
The VECTR socks are thin and lightweight with an awesome amount of compression and support around the arch of the foot as well as at the back of the ankle (right above the heel) that not only made my feet feel great, but also kept the sock from slipping while I ran.  I think we can all agree that there is pretty much nothing worse than socks that fall down when you run, or walk, or whatever. Socks that fall down period haha.
Another thing I really appreciated about the VECTR socks was the fit in the toe.  Too many socks are either so tight they cause blisters, or so loose they cause blisters.  Either way ends in I appreciate the fact that the fit in the toe of these socks is perfect.  Fun fact: I wore running shoes under my wedding dress, and these are the socks I wore with them!

The Calf Sleeve
I. Love. Calf Sleeves.
Ok now that we got that out of the way, I can share that these are perfect.  They are not the tightest compression of all the 2XU products I have tried, but they are a very comfortable level of compression that you can really feel the benefits of.  I like that I can wear them under my pants for work all day and get all the recovery benefits.  When I wear them I can tell a difference in my legs at the end of the day!  With the wedding and having company in town I have not been running as much lately, so I have really appreciated having these sleeves to help me prevent calf strain and shin splints!!

Better Together
Ok so since they are both great separately, they are even better together right? Right!
One of the biggest perks of using socks and calf sleeves rather than tall compression socks is that they are so much easier to put on! I am sure it sounds silly, but the struggle to get tall compression socks on can be really really real.  Plus if you are running in gross conditions, it is easier to swap out short socks and leave the sleeves on than it is to swap out the whole thing.  As I mentioned before I also love wearing the sleeves all day at work, then I can just slip on the socks after work and be ready to run! It is really nice to be able to use each part separately then see double the benefit when using them together.
Overall I HIGHLY recommend the VECTR Socks with Performance Run Calf Sleeves if you are looking for versatile, quality compression for both training and recovery.

If you have any questions please feel free to let me know!
If you want to pick up your own 2XU products, use code TRAIN15 for 15% off your order!

Friday, March 18, 2016

Five Favorite Summer Running Essentials

It is Friday! I kinda can't believe it! As of yesterday evening all of my friends and family that were in town for the wedding have gone home and life is slowly returning to so semblance of normal.  I have also spent pretty much the entire week fighting with my apartment complex over our refrigerator....which is probably from the 70's and keeps quitting at life and ruining all my food.  If you follow along on the blog at all, you know I love food so this is a big problem.

Anyways, since it is Friday, that means it is also time for my favorite blogging day of the week!  Friday Five is hosted by Mar on the RunYou Signed Up for What?, and Eat Pray Run DC.  If you haven't checked out this weekly link up I highly recommend doing so!

Because it was 90 degrees outside yesterday, I am going to jump on the summer time running train just a little earlier than the rest of the I want to share with you my:
Five Favorite Summer Running Essentials!

1) Compression calf sleeves.  I got really used to running in compression tights, but those can be a little warm in the summer months and my legs are pale enough that I need to let them see daylight occasionally.  SO calf sleeves are the way to go :)  I am currently running in a pair from 2XU that I am super in love with (and will be reviewing in full very very soon).

2) Good socks.  When you run in the heat, you sweat.  I know it's gross but it is the truth.  Summer in Florida also usually means a ton of rain, which means your feet get extra wet.  Good socks are essential when it comes to keeping your feet in working condition!  I really like Smartwool socks for suuuuuuper soggy conditions, Wigwam socks for daily use (I just found them at Target too! Major win!), and 2XU socks (to pair with the sleeves!) when I feel like my feet need a little extra oomph!

3) Hydration system.  I am obsessed with my OrangeMud Vest.  Carrying water if you are going further than 5 feet becomes essential in the summer, so finding the gear that makes that work for you is just as magical as finding the right shoe.

4) Anti-chafe stuff.  I have thicker will not be finding any semblance of a thigh gap here.  This means that the thigh chafing struggle is very very real and I have taken many painful showers when I either forgot to use something, or the something I used didn't work.  I am currently loving the 2Toms roll on sport shield. Sure my legs get sunburnt when I run in shorts, but at least they don't chafe!

5) Something to soak up the sweat.  I have several Buffs and I love them because they keep the sweat out of my eyes, which is a life saver.  I sometimes have to trade out or layer though because I tend to burn my nose very easily so if there is no shade on my longer runs I can end up pretty crispy!

So there you have it! My five favorite summer running essentials!  
Is it summer where you are?
What helps you beat summer running heat?!

Happy Friday!!!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Merino Wool Buff Review...and my first post as a married person!

Disclaimer: I received a Merino Wool Buff to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Ok before we get started with this post, I just have to throw it out there that this is the first post I am writing after getting married yesterday!!!! I am so unbelievably excited and just had to throw it out there ;)

But now on to the real purpose of this post!

If you have been following along on this blog or any of my social media, you probably already know that I LOVE Buff products and I really don't like to be cold.  After my experience with the Buff Thermal Hoodie, trying out the merino wool Buff was a no brainer for me!

To start off, I love the color options and I am obsessed with the vivid blue color of the Buff I was sent.  

These wool Buffs are a bit longer than the traditional Buff so they take a little extra folding and arranging, but the layers keep your ears so toasty it is unbelievable! Over the years I have come to really appreciate wool (especially merino wool) for its ability to provide great temperature regulation without adding a lot of weight or bulk.

Like all the rest of the Buff products I have tried, I loved the fact that I could wear the merino wool Buff without it feeling too tight but also without it ever slipping! I hate things feeling too tight around my head, but I also hate things slipping off. The fact that Buff is always able to deliver both qualities and keep my poor little ears warm never fails to amaze me. Well there's no wiggle but my pictures are wobbly lol. 

Because the merino wool Buff is so comfortable I also spent a lot of time wearing it around the house.  It got a little chilly (at least by Florida standards) and I didn't want to turn on the heat, so it was a nice way to keep my head warm and my hair out of my face!

All in all, I would never hesitate to recommend a Buff product and the merino wool Buff is no exception.  I love this Buff and think it is the perfect accessory for runners (and ever non-runners) looking for a non-slip and light weight way to keep your head ears and neck warm!

If you have questions about the Merino Wool Buff feel free to let me know!!

Saturday, February 27, 2016


It is fi-na-ly Saturday and I have two whole days off in a row and I am so darn excited!!! I have a very full weekend planned and it's blowing my mind a little bit.  I am really really not the type to make plans two days in a row.  I like quiet time to recharge, but the opportunities this weekend just couldn't be passed up!

Today we are kicking it off by heading to Universal Studios for Mardi Gras and the Fall Out Boy concert! I am geeking out a lot!  I have never been to Universal so I am obviously way excited to see and do all the Harry Potter stuff (we are already planning lunch at the Leaky Cauldron!) and how can I not be so far beyond excited to see Fall Out Boy?! They are on literally every running playlist I make.  #NoShame

Sunday is a total change up.  We are heading up to the Ocala area to check out the Live Oaks International...which is a big deal horse show with show jumping and a Combined Driving Even which is something I have never actually seen in person.  Plus the Budweiser Clysdsedales are there!

Be sure to follow along on my Twitter and Instagram this weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Big plans? Relaxing at home? Tackling the chores you've been avoiding (aka what I should be doing!)?

Friday, February 26, 2016

Five Ways Weddings are Like Marathons

It has been a seriously insane week of non-stop running around.  Only one actual run has happened so far, but I feel like I have been flying around all over the place trying to get stuff done.  This wedding planning thing is no joke...and now that we are just two weeks and one day away, all the little pieces are needing to fall into place ...and they are taking more than a little nudging!

It is also time for the Friday Five hosted by Mar on the RunYou Signed Up for What?, and Eat Pray Run DC.  If you haven't checked out this weekly link up I highly recommend doing so!

With all the insanity I wanted to take a little break for some smiles and laughs.  SO! I am sharing with you today:
Five Ways Weddings are Like Marathons!

1) You have to make a LOT of preparations.  For a marathon you do all your training runs, for weddings you book all your vendors and make arrangements for your guests.  The jury is still out on which is more painful and time consuming! Of course leftover cake tasting samples at the beach is never a bad thing!

2) The rehearsal is key. How will you know how fast you can expect to run your marathon if you don't do some training that simulates race day.  I am hoping the wedding rehearsal will shed similar light on how the next day will go! Because weddings and marathons are full of surprises


3) A coach can be the most valuable asset. While I have never considered myself a "good enough" runner to have a coach (I know I know skip the lecture I am telling it to myself right now lol) I have seen so many instances where they are able to make a runner so much better than they ever thought possible.  They also provide structure and a reassuring presence.  Weddings have coordinators.  The day I found Rebekkah at Runway Events I knew she was exactly the coach I needed to make it through this all in one piece!  Like a good coach, a good coordinator keeps you going when things are a little dicey and they are there to congratulate you when you succeed!  SO many times they are the unsung heroes that make the magic happen :)

4)  You can't prepare for either without putting it all over social media. Every long run must be documented or it didn't happen.  Every vendor booked and every bridezilla moment must also be shared for posterity.  We won't even talk about how many selfies I took/shared after my makeup and hair trial yesterday...

5) You do the important stuff, then there is good food, alcohol and a party.  This is self explanatory. I pick races for the party after (ok and the medals) and people go to weddings for the receptions!  This doesn't make the first part any less meaningful, but the second part is always way more fun!

If you have read all this way thank you for indulging me and letting me try my one shot at being a comedy writer.  I don't think they are going to want me to write for any big shows, so you'll still find me right here tomorrow ;)

Happy Friday!!

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Bulu Box Review: My first subscription box service

Disclaimer: I received a three month subscription to Bulu Box to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Are you a subscription box lover? I have always been a bit skeptical because I am not a huge fan of surprises.  I like to know what I am buying before it comes home with me.  However, I have always been interested in trying small samples of stuff before I commit to buying a full size package.  Bulu Box was the perfect way to test the subscription box waters!

When you sign up for Bulu Box they give you the option to choose between a more weight loss focused box or general box with their usual mix of healthy snacks and supplements.  I went with the regular box since running is usually all I need to stay at a good weight.

One of the first things I noticed about Bulu Box was that they had very good communication.  When you sign up for a box you get an email that lets you know when it will be mailed.  Once it is mailed they send another email with the tracking information.  

When I go the email that my first box was on the way I was so excited! Unfortunately due to weather further north it didn't make it on the originally projected date (obviously through no fault of Bulu Box) and I had to wait a couple more days for it to get here.  Having the tracking number was amazing though, because I could be sure that it hadn't just been delivered to the wrong address instead.

When the box got to me I was so excited to see the variety of samples and goodies it held!  What made it even better was that it had many products that I would not otherwise have tried because I would not want to commit to a full size purchase.  

The one concern I had about the first box was that perhaps my idea of healthy and the Bulu Box idea of healthy were not quite on the same page.  While the fruit sticks looked promising, I am not usually a fan of weight loss enhancing pills or energy patches.  That said, I was more than willing to hold out final judgement for the second and third boxes.  I will say that I was not impressed at all with the protein brownie (all protein taste, no brownie taste) but fell in LOVE with the fruit snacks.  Maybe I am just a kid at heart, but they made the perfect mid-run pick me up when I hit the trails and needed just a bit of sugar to keep me going.  They were also great in airports and the friends I shared them with also shared my enthusiasm!

The second box was much more up my ally. 

 It arrived on time this time around (thank you weather for cooperating!) and it had many more samples that I was very interested in from the start.  It included protein powder, some fizzy energy drink mix, hand lotion and a honey cough remedy.  Of course this is the one winter that I didn't get my crazy cough so I haven't had occasion to try the honey.  Not that I am complaining about not having a cough...but I am keeping the samples on hand for when it eventually comes!  Of the things I have tried from the box, the chocolate peanut butter protein powder is my favorite! I tried it in my oatmeal for a little boost of flavor and nutrition and loved it.

I am still anxiously awaiting my third box in the mail and can't wait to share the goodies with you!

Overall I am much more interested in Bulu Box in particular and subscription boxes in general after this experience.  I think it helped me when the first box didn't fit my interests all that well but the second one was much better.  The price for Bulu Box is only $10 a month ($5 is you use the code BIBRAVE5 ) and it is really fun to know that there are fun new things waiting in your mailbox at the end of a long workday.

Have you tried Bulu Box? Do you enjoy subscription boxes?

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Happy Hump Day!

This week is flying by...and I cannot believe the ridiculous weather we have been having this week! It has been so sunny and warm then the night before last there was apparently a torential rainstorm! I got out to the barn to ride but the arena was under water so I spent a little quality time grooming the horse I've been riding then went back to town to run errands before work.  I wound up working on Monday rather than having the day off, so I feel like I have spent the entire week playing catch up! Not exactly the best way to kick off the week, but I think I am almost back to where I need to be...just lacking in the sleep department!

The good news is that I FINALLY made it out to run last night.  I joined to MOAT group for a garage run and got in some hill training Florida style.  You know you live somewhere super flat when you find yourself running college parking garages to train for inclines.  It is not the most thrilling approach, but it gets the job done!

Today I am back to work then I have the day off tomorrow to finally catch up on all the things I've been trying to do!

So, have you ever run a parking garage? Or do you have real hills?

Have a great Wednesday!

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Ultimate Coffee Date: February 2016

It is the first Saturday of the month and that means it is time for the Ultimate Coffee Date!

The Ultimate Coffee Date

I am currently sitting at the dining room table typing and drinking my coffee in a hustle as I get ready for another crazy day at work!

If we were having coffee I would share with you that yesterday was an insane day at work.  It was our sale that is even bigger than Black Friday and our corporate office didn't turn on the sale prices in the for the first 3 hours we had to check and correct the prices of every item on sale.  Eek.

If we were having coffee I would tell you how glad I am that I live in Florida rather than somewhere north of here.  It was about 50 degrees yesterday and I was freezing. Then I remember other people are dealing with a whole bunch of snow and actual freezing weather and feel pretty lucky.  It doesn't make me any warmer, but it is a nice pick me up.  If you live somewhere with super cold weather and lots of snow I am very sorry!
If we were having coffee I would want to talk to you about the fact that I am getting married next month and I still can't quite entirely believe it! So far this month has been crazy with all the meetings I have been scheduling to get everything planned.  When we got engaged and set a date it felt like such a long time to plan, and now that it is almost here I am realizing how much I should have done earlier!

If we were having coffee I would ask you if you are running any races soon.  I have not been running as much as I should and I REALLY need to sign up for a race soon to get some motivation!

If we were having coffee I would ask you if you have big plans for the month and if January was good for you!  I hope your month is off to a good start!!!

Friday, February 5, 2016

Friday Five: Fitness Trends I Want to Try

It's Friday! That means I am linking up with Friday Five hosted by Mar on the RunYou Signed Up for What?, and Eat Pray Run DC.  If you haven't checked out this weekly link up I highly recommend doing so!

It seems like every time you turn around there is a new fitness craze.  I am often way too busy during the hours that these things are offered, or I am too far away from where they are happening.  I was a PureBarre fiend for a few months since I drove past two studios twice every day.  Eventually we moved and the cost of the membership and the distance to the studio caused me to nix the habit.  That said, I realized there is a big fun fitness world out there and they some of these crazes really do live up to the hype!  So, this week I want to share with you the 5 fitness trends I want to give a shot!

1) SUP and SUP yoga. Ok this trend has been around for a while now, but I think it is still trendy so I am putting it on here!  I am just straight up too terrified to try this kind of thing in Florida because I am convinced I will fall off into the water and be eaten by an alliator.  Disregard the fact that I have only seen two real live alligators since I moved here. The danger is real.  That said, Stand Up Paddleboarding looks like a blast and I just really really want to try safer waters.

2) Spin class. Again, this is not a new concept, but I feel like spin classes are really having a moment and I want to get in on it.  I think it would totally destroy my legs but in a kinda upbeat and fun way right?

3) OrangeTheory. These studios are popping up everywhere! I am usually skeptical about all the claims these fitness studios make, but I really like the concept of their workouts targeting a certain heart rate zone. Plus it is displayed so you can be all competitive with the other people in the class. Whether they know it or not. 

4) Camp Gladiator. Is this a fad or does it just keep popping up in random places in my life?  I feel like it doesn't have the media attention so much, but I keep hearing so many little bits and pieces about it that I feel like I need to give it a shot.  Not to mention the idea of group workouts that are still different all the time is very appealing!

5) Aerial yoga.  I mean does it not look like the coolest thing ever? The only thing that has held me back so far is my acceptance of the fact that my upper body strength does not exist so I am a little scared that I would not be able to keep up!  That said, the yoga studio I go to does offer aerial classes so I need to sign up soon!

Have you tried any of these? Do they live up to the hype? 
What wourkout crazes are on your must try list?!

Have a great Friday!!

Thursday, February 4, 2016

Tent Sale Set Up Day

Want to know the best feeling ever? When you are scheduled to work for 12 hours then get off work three hours early!  Can I get an amen hallelujah for that?!
What doesn't feel so great is when you can feel your coffee wearing off and you are nowhere close to done for the day.
When I realized I was getting off work early I briefly thought about going for a run, then the skies opened up yet again (do they not know it is supposed to be the dry season here in Florida?!) so I quickly nixed that idea!
That said, I did manage to get over 10,000 steps in today at work! We are setting up a giant tent for a sale this weekend so there was a lot of walking around all day today.  My schedule doesn't really free up until next Friday, so I am buckling down and doing all I can to stay healthy through the craziness!
For now, it is time to curl up on the couch with a well earned beer and watch Harry Potter until bed time!
Hope you had a great day!!

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Wedding Planning Wednesday Update

Alrighty, so it has been a while since I did one of these posts...and I just have a lot on my mind that I wanted to share!

To start with, our wedding is just over a month away!  How crazy is that? It's insane to think that we have been engaged for well over a year now. I have no idea how people can plan a wedding on short timelines. I am impressed with their mad skills.

The best decision I have made regarding wedding planning since my last wedding related blog post (or really the best decision in the whole process) was to hire a Day of Coordinator.  If you are getting married in the Orlando area, contact Rebekkah at Runway Events.  Even though she is technically just our Day Of Coordinator, she has gone above and beyond to provide recommendations for all the vendors I have not booked yet and from the very first consultation I had with her she made me feel like this whole thing was going to work out just fine.

On the downside of things, I am still waiting to hear from one bridesmaid about whether or not she will actually be attending the wedding.  So that is fun.

On the other downside, the friend who was going to be our officiant let me know yesterday that she wasn't going to be able to make it due to a lot of scheduling conflicts, so I am now scrambling to find a new officiant with only a little over a month to go...and my wedding is at one of the busiest times of the year. Luckily I really have the very best DOC so I at least had an idea of where to start!

Back to the upside of things, next week is going to be a ton of fun.  I have an appointment for my hair and makeup trial (in the morning before work so I am going to look fabulous for my shift haha) on Wednesday then our venue visit back out to Birdsong Barn with Rebekkah to make a solid plan for how things will go on the wedding day!

It is finally starting to feel just a little more real!

Question: If you are married, did you use an officiant that you did not personally know? I am freaking out a little so tell me happy stories ;)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hello February!

Does anyone else feel like January went by way too fast?  I still have some Christmas lights up in my dining room...oops.  But the tree is gone so that counts for something right?!

Since it is the beginning of a new month, I want to take a look back at how I did on my goals for last month. Spoiler alert: not great.

-I did yoga about half the days of the month, so not a terrible start but I want to do better this month.

-I ran maybe 20 miles total for the month.  It was bad.  I need to work on scheduling better if I am going to hit my 100 mile/month goal this month!

-I shared photos almost every day though I need to get better about adding them to my Facebook album.

-As for my goal of 5 blog posts per week...well if you follow along here you know that was a total bust in January.

So overall I pretty much flopped on my goals in January which makes me like pretty much everyone else out there I suppose.  The good thing is that I feel like I set goals that I can easily refocus on at the beginning of each month.  Here is hoping I do way better in February!

Luckily I had a pretty productive weekend and I have today off as well (leading up to a VERY busy week at work) so I am tackling some of the big projects that can't wait.  AKA wedding invitations are finally sent and thank you cards from our wedding shower are in the works ;)

I also got this wreath's hanging on our door at the moment but it is actually part of our wedding decor.

I love when I can get things done and have the instant gratification of getting to use something immediately.  Here's hoping nobody decides to "borrow" it off our door!

My big goal for today is to finish Thank You cards...and when I need a break I can take some time for yoga, a run, and scheduling some blog posts! Helloooo doing better on my goals already!

Did you set goals for 2016? How did you do in January?

Sunday, January 24, 2016

2XU Thermal Hyoptik Tights Review

Disclaimer: I received 2XU Thermal Hyoptik tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

If you have been reading my blog for a while or follow me on social media, you already know I am a HUGE fan of any and all things 2Xu.  (P.S. if you don't follow me on social media you should probably go ahead and check out my Twitter and Instagram!)
I am so happy to tell you that the 2XU Thermal Hyoptik tights delivered to just as high a standard as all their other products I have tried.

To start with, there is the compression.  While I think it is a little less than in the 2XU Elite MCS Tights, it still provided a great amount of support for running and recovery!  I was also a big fan of the mid rise and the wider waist band which prevented the compression from squeezing everything "up and over." I think we can all agree that it is not a good look ;)

The next awesome thing about these pants is the reflectivity.  Hyoptik (pronounced High-Optic) products are made to keep you visible and the highly reflective marks on the pants do the trick.  Since winter means not only cold weather but also shorter daylight hours, this is a great safety feature for all the after dark runs.  Also: have you ever tried to take a picture of your own leg being reflective? Not. Easy. But I think you get the idea ;)

Finally, we get to the actual point of the pants: warmth.  Now I know living in central Florida I am the last person you would think about taking winter wear advice from....but believe me when I tell you I am a total wimp when it comes to cold.  If it is under 60 I am convinced the world is ending!  Today I went for a run and I think it was maybe 40 degrees out (dear FL, please get your act together asap!) and I didn't get cold! It was amazing!  Whatever these pants are made from is what I want my entire wardrobe to be made of.  Perhaps the best part is that they did not get hot either.  You know when it's cold outside and you workout so you sweat then get warm/hot then you stop and you are sweaty so you get cold?  That is what happened on the upper half of my body today in my long sleeve athletic shirt from another brand that will remain nameless.  By the powers of magic and science I never once flet like my lower half was getting cold or hot.  The 2XU Thermal Hyoptik pants are just phenomenal at regulating your body temperature!  Ok and they look fun and sassy in gym mirror selfies!

Overall I cannot recommend the 2XU Thermal Hyoptik tights enough! They are comfortable, warm, and make running in the cold bearable!
If you have questions about my experience with these pants please feel free to let me know!
Or give me a shout if you are a 2XU lover too!

Friday, January 22, 2016

Friday Five: Cold Weather Running Essentials

Good morning! I hope you are staying warm wherever you are!  Florida has felt awfully cold for a couple weeks now....then the roof of my mom's porch caved in from the weight of the snow and the northeast is under blizzard I am starting to feel a lot warmer and luckier!

That said, I wanted to share five things I think are essential to running in the colder months. And I am linking up with Friday Five hosted by Mar on the RunYou Signed Up for What?, and Eat Pray Run DC.  If you haven't checked out this weekly link up I highly recommend doing so!

I know just a second ago I was talking about how the "cold" down here isn't really all that cold in the big picture, but I am going to go ahead and tell you I am a big weenie when it comes to not being warm/hot so I am totally qualified to tell you what to wear on a wintery run ;) Oh and I grew up in central Washington there is that haha

SO: My five winter running essentials:

1) Warm pants. 
I am currently loving the 2XU Thermal Hyoptik tights.  They are fabulously insulated without being bulky.  Obviously running in bulky heavy things is not fun...but neither is having your booty feel frozen the whole time (a HUGE peeve of mine) so these are a great balance of both. (Spoiler alert I have a full review of the pants coming soon.) I have also heard about down shorts that can be layered over your running tights and I am on a mission to find some of those!

2) Warm ears.
Cold ears might be worse than a cold booty, just saying.  I live in the Buff Thermal Hoodie because it is easy to flip down if you get too warm, but you can also add a headband underneath if you need two layers of warm.  I have not had to do that yet and I hope to never again live somewhere that such a thing would be necessary!!

3) Warm fingers. I have been slacking on this this winter and really regretting it. Have I mentioned I hate being cold?  With milder winters I prefer to just get those cheapo stretch gloves that tend to go on clearance for 50 cents or so after Christmas...mostly because I am not a responsible adult and lose one of the gloves within the first few days. Or the very first day.  In worse winter weather I like to either wear good quality gloves or mittens.  I have some wool mittens I made years ago that are fantastic! Mittens actually keep your fingers warmer because they can hang out and share their heat with each other.  I am all about that.

4) Warm sorta dry toes. While we don't get the snow like the rest of you, there is some cold rain and resultant cold puddles which can lead to all sorts of foot discomfort including really bad blisters.  I suppose that is the case when you fun with wet feet any time of the year, but cold wet feet just feel worse.  I am a SmartWool sock lover.  They regulate your body heat well and they don't chafe even when you get them really really soggy.

5) Warm thoughts.
By that I mean start the pot of coffee before you go out for your run so you can think about how delicious and warm it is going to be by the time you get back! It works for me ;)

Did I miss anything?  What can you not run in the cold without?
Thanks for stopping by!!

Buff Thermal Hoodie Product Review

Disclaimer: I received Buff Hoodie to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Running in the cold sucks. Ok doing anything in the cold sucks. I love things that keep me warm and I love anything made by Buff so the Buff thermal hoodie was pretty much made for me!

To start out with, the hoodie is majorly cute. 
While it is made with fabric for athletic pursuits, it's also great for pulling on with any outfit. 

That said it is an awesome piece of equipment for running. 
The best part is that the neck warmer is keeps it snug so if your head gets too warm while you run you can flip it back. I loved it because the fabric is snuggly  and warm but isn't heavy. This means that when you flip it down it isn't heavy but also doesn't flip around annoyingly. If you read my reviews you know I don't like anything that wiggles while I run!

Florida weather is so unpredictable that I really appreciate the ability to wear it up or down comfortably. I've run in stocking caps and thermal ear warmers before and it's so hard because if you no longer need it you have to suck it up or figure out how to carry things. 

Overall, if you also hate a cold noggin and ears I HIGHLY recommend the Buff Thermal Hoodie!
Have questions I didn't answer? Let me know!!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

XX2I USA1 Review

Disclaimer: I received XX2I USA1 sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

You would think that, living in Florida, I would have the sunny weather eyewear thing down to a science but I really truly don't.  Athletic sunglasses were new to me and there are so many options that I had no idea where to start.  Of course using nothing wasn't really working either because squinting into the sun just doesn't feel like a safe option...especially when you are running near a busy road.  When I got the opportunity to test out the XX2I sunglasses as a BibRave Pro I was so excited to finally take on the challenge of figuring out what worked for me in a pair of running sunglasses. I had no idea I would get lucky enough that my trial and error really didn't involve any error.

For me, the biggest adjustment in wearing these glasses was a result of the size.  I am used to oversize fashion type sunglasses so the fact that these were smaller (which obviously makes them far and away more suited to athletic type activities) meant that I could see the frames when I was wearing them.  This is obviously not a flaw of the glasses, but something that I had to get used to nonetheless.  A perk of the size difference was that they were (obviously) much lighter than what I am used to and sat much better on my face.

The nose-piece wings are adjustable on these glasses which made it easy for them to fit snugly on my nose without pinching.  I can be very picky about how things feel, so it is nice that I am able to make all the adjustments I need to get these to sit just right.  The arms fit snugly against my head but not are not so tight that I feel pressure or get a headache which is another frequent problem I experience with glasses.

So how do they perform while running?  I will say that my first test run did not go as planned because I was in the shade for the vast majority of it and had no need for sunglasses.  That said, I wore them on top of my head and they didn't budge which, to me, is actually a very important feature.  I constantly have my sunglasses on top of my head and I don't like when I have to worry that they are going to be bouncing around or flying off.  

When the sun finally came back and I was able to take the USA1s for a proper test run I had the same no-bounce experience.  I loved that they were so lightweight and moved so little that it was easy to forget I even had them on!

In addition to the fit and feel, I also LOVE the blue lenses.  I had never tried them before and just assumed they worked the same and it was a looks thing.  Now that I have worn them I love how the blue lenses work.  I find that colors are not distorted they way they are with typical black or brown lenses. They do a great job of blocking out the extra light without changing how you see what you are seeing.  

I have started using my XX2I glasses for just about everything because I like how they let me see so much more clearly.  This sometimes includes driving...or sitting in traffic which is more often the case!

So what is the takeaway? I am in LOVE.  I can't believe I went so long without proper running sunglasses.  They obviously block out the sun, but they are also great for running in the cold/wind because they keep your eyes from watering so badly! They fit well and stay comfortable while you run...unlike the growing pressure you sometimes get from glasses that don't fit as well.  If you are in the market for new running sunglasses I would highly recommend giving these a try!

Have questions about my review? Let me know!!