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!!

Saturday, January 2, 2016

Ultimate Coffee Date: January 2016

I can't quite believe it's here, but it's the first Saturday of 2016 so I am joining in on the Ultimate Coffee Date fun!

The Ultimate Coffee Date

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I think winter finally found us down here in Florida! It's still warmer than a lot of other places, but the highs are going to be in the 60s and 70s for as far out as my weather app will go! And lows in the 40s! While I feel like a wimp thinking this is cold (especially as my mom seems to get more snow and single digit temps daily) it is a little bit of a shock to the system after being in the upper 80s for the last forever!

If we were having coffee I would tell you that I haven't taken the Christmas tree down yet. We got a real tree this year and it looks a little sad by now, but I just don't want to admit that Christmas os over! Plus it looks really pretty in the living room!

If we were having coffee I would tell you how much I am looking forward to 2016! Last year was a pretty big year with moving and changing jobs, but this is the year that I get to get married and get to have all my family come down to celebrate! 
(I would probably also drag out my engagement photos and make you look at all of them lol) 
This will also be my first full year in Florida and I couldn't be more excited.

If we were having coffee I would tell you that some of my friends are driving through Orlando today and stopping to have lunch with me! I haven't seen them since May and I am so excited!!!

And after all that, I just might let you get a word in edgewise!

What are you looking forward to in 2016?!

Friday, January 1, 2016

Friday Five: Resolutions 2016


Today am linking up with Mar on the RunYou Signed Up for What?, and Eat Pray Run DC for the Friday Five link up.  If you haven't checked it out already you's a great way to discover new blogs about running and fitness :)

It is officially the first day of 2016 so naturally I want to share with you my five resolutions for 2016!

Are you a resolution setter? I am very goal oriented in general so I am always setting some sort of new intention to work towards.  However, I like to think of the New Year as an opportunity to reset my focus and narrow down some of my big goals for the year.  SO without further ado, here are the things I want to accomplish in 2016!

1) Do yoga every day: I always feel better after I do yoga, but it can be hard to carve out time for what feels like a luxury when I am crunched for time.  This year, however, I will make it a priority to do at least a little bit of yoga each day.  I have already made a chart to fill in each day I practice.  The most exciting part is that, even without knowing I was setting this goal, Charlie got me a Manduka yoga mat for Christmas so I am even more motivated!

2) Run 100 miles each month: This is a resolution that I already know I will struggle to accomplish, but it is also a goal that I am ok with working towards each month. 100 miles per month is a pretty big goal, but I think it can be reasonable for me and it is challenging enough to keep me going.  This goal will also keep more more motivated to keep a record of all the miles I do run and to improve throughout the year.  I might have to work out some sort of reward incentive for the months I do hit my goal...perhaps a trip to the lululemon outlet will be in order ;)

3) Blogging at least five times per week: There is no denying that I slacked off on my blogging towards the end of 2015.  I lost focus and told myself I was too busy.  Blogging is something I enjoy so I want to make it more of a priority in 2016.  Consistency can mean different things so this may be a goal that chagnes through the year, but I think it is a good place to start.

4) Take a picture every day: In college I took a ton of pictures.  Pictures of everything.  Now I find that I do not take as many and so many days disappear into the hustle and bustle of life.  I want to make a 2016 album on Facebook and upload a picture per day so I have something to look back on on New Years Eve next year!

5) Start my own business: This is probably the biggest and scariest goal on my list.  I want to start my business online through Etsy and possibly at local craft fairs.  It is a huge leap that I keep putting off for so many reasons, but 2016 is going to be the year that I chase my goals and dreams!

And that a wrap! I am so excited to see what this year will bring and  to challenge myself to be my best self in 2016.

What are your goals for the new year?!