Dec 3, 2018

Running for the Dogs: K9s United for K9s 9K Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the K9s United for K9s 9K to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The K9s 9K marked my first race in a loooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnngggggggggg time. No, I don't feel like I'm really exaggerating that. It's been and up and down year and in all of that, running unfortunately took a back seat. It did feel good to lace up and get out there for this race this weekend.

Race Morning

Race morning meant packet pick up for  me. While a local Florida race for me (I like saying "local" and "Florida" together) it was however a bit of a drive, so I didn't really want to drive all the way up Friday after work just to get my bib. Thankfully they offered up race morning pickup, pretty standard for a smaller race. It was super easy. Parking wasn't too bad when I arrived at the park and they were using one of the ticket buildings for pickup that made it smooth. It included a race t-shirt, a drawstring bag, and a couple other small things from the vendors / sponsors. I was in and out in 5 minutes and back to my car to get my bib on my kilt. Then it was a simple walk down a hill to the start / finish area by a pavilion. There were plenty of police cars, as this was benefiting K9 units, a police helicopter, and several pop up tents with tables.

The Race

The race itself was pretty nice. The race had a 5K and 9K, both starting together. It was an out and back course, shared, so once most of the way back, the 9K group had to go out and back again. It made for a fairly easy run. All flat paths around the park. The start was a little clunky. With both races starting up together, on a not too wide path, with walkers for the fun run and runners alike, it clumped, a lot. But it worked out pretty quickly.

The water stops actually worked out pretty well. There were 3 stops but they were place strategically. Stop #1 was where the 9K runners turned around for a 2nd lap, so you saw them three times. Stop #2 was in the middle, so you passed them three times as well. Stop #3 was at the far end turn around, so you saw them twice. All in all, that made for plenty of available water.

The weather was overcast, which kept it from getting too warm. All in all, it was a good day and a good run. Despite not running much, I did better then I expected.

My official time was 1:19:33, giving me a 14:13 pace.

Post Race

I returned to the finish just as the awards were starting. I crosse the line, received my medal and a bottle of water. I didn't see any post race food around, but with the crowd for the awards, it may have been there, may not. I check the board for my official time, which was cool because they had a screen constantly running over the results.

Final Thoughts

All in all, this was a fun little race. Easy, flat course, plenty of water, and an alright view.

Check out my review on bibrave.com for the race and review your races!

Nov 17, 2018

Upcoming Race: Mount Dora Half Marathon | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Mount Dora Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Looking for a half marathon to finish out 2018 with? Why not join me at the Mount Dora Half Marathon here in sunny Florida. It's been an up-and-down year - without a lot of running - so I'm happy to be pushing towards something and getting back at it. Perhaps you can join me for some winter running.

Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5K

My favorite distance to run is a half marathon. It's a challenge for me but also one I know I can push through on my bad days. That's why I'm excited to jump back in with a local race, the Mount Dora Half Marathon. You can join me December 15th and 16th, 2018 at Elizabeth Evans Park in Mount Dora, Florida located northwest of Orlando. There are two races for your running pleasure a 5K on Saturday and a half marathon on Sunday. If you're feeling adventurous, you can even run them both!

I haven't run the race before, but I'm excited for the course from reading what they have to say about it.
For the last 6 years 2000+ runners have fill the streets of the historic town of Mount Dora. This small town of 13,000 is filled with tree lined vistas of waterfront neighborhoods and lake-hugging roadways. Catch the rising sun through the gracefully swaying Spanish moss and watch the breeze dapple the lake’s surface with flashes of sunlight. The gentle rolling hills give this course a uniqueness of its own. 
The reviews on BibRave also look great - checking BibRave is a must for new races for me. It's described as "gorgeous and challenging" and as a "small race [with a] big heart". Pam, who has run it every year since it started, describes it as one of her favorite races.

Join Me

Are you sold on joining me on race day? Being from the northeast - even though I'm a Floridian now - I'm so looking forward to running in Florida December weather. So come on out and join me!

Sign up now

Oct 27, 2018

Luvo Flipped Bowls Review Part Deux | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Luvo Flipped Bowl Sampler Pack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I recently received some of Luvo's Flipped Bowls to taste test. Earlier you may have read my post on the Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce and the Kale Ricotta Ravioli.
Stroganoff is a dish I do not frequent, but is something I was interested in trying their variety of it. It starts with whole wheat rotini, the antibiotic-free chicken meatballs we saw in the penne, and then add Luvo's creamy stroganoff sauce. It also includes a mix of some vegetables as well. While not my favorite it was pretty good. It is definitely something different that is a good now and then.

The stats on it a pretty good, offering 16g of protein (1/3 of which are from plant-based sources), 1/2 cup of vegetables, and 34g of whole grains.

Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Wine Sauce

Next, we have yet another set of Italian flavors: the garlic wine sauce. They add this sauce to whole wheat rotini, white beans, greens, and antibiotic-free chicken meatballs topped with a blend of parmesan and mozzarella cheese. While sauce is pretty good, overall this bowl as not for me. The reason why is the white beans. I personally just do not like the texture. I ate them - as they were in the bowl and I know a healthy addition - it is just is not for me.

This also offers some great stats: 17g protein, another 1/2 cup of vegetables, 32g of whole grains, and no sugar!
The last bowl goes green and by green I mean pesto sauce. Whole wheat penne, antibiotic-free chicken meatballs, yellow squash, all combined with their creamy pesto sauce. I usually do not go for pesto sauce on my noodles - I'm more a red sauce kind of guy - I really enjoyed this one. It is quite a pleasant surprise. It is a good combination, I enjoy some yellow squash, and overall enjoyed this bowl.

The stats on it a pretty good, offering 17g of protein (1/3 of which are from plant-based sources), 1/2 cup of vegetables, and 31g of whole grains.

Oct 19, 2018

Luvo Flipped Bowls Reviews | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Luvo Flipped Bowl Sampler Pack to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I love food. I know, a real bold statement there. I do love food and in particular I love to cook. Cooking is relaxing, enjoyable, plus it allows me to make healthier options. However, cooking takes time, something I don't always have. Sometimes you need something quick. The problem comes that quick does not usually equal healthy (quick != healthy for my fellow geeks). This is where Luvo enters. I've reviewed some of their meals in the past - which I enjoyed. I even tried some of their Planted Power bowls - which were also good but lacking in one thing to me: meat. I'm all in favor of vegetarian and vegan options but for me personally I like a protein with my lunch. Now, I received round three, the Luvo Flipped Bowls.
I'm going to start off with easily my favorite of all the bowls. It's their take on an Italian classic, penne and meatballs. It starts with whole wheat penne and adds a tomato basil sauce. They also add something you'll see a lot in these bowls: antibiotic-free chicken meatballs. Lastly, they add a blend of cheese. I love this one. Overall, the meatballs are pretty good. They're not grandma's meatballs, but they're a good addition to a bowl like this. The sauce on here is what makes this really good. It's much better than what you normally get out of a quick meal like this. I may have added a little bit of extra parmesan cheese myself, but that's just how I do pasta.

The stats on it a pretty good, offering 17g of protein, 1/2 cup of vegetables, and 31g of whole grains.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli

I know I mentioned my desire for meats in these bowls, but the other I'm reviewing in this post has no meat... but it is another Italian twist. Their ravioli starts with a ricotta ravioli and adds to kit kale, spices, and another good red sauce. I'm personally not a kale person, but it's good in here. It adds to the dish without being too much for me to dislike the kale. It's a good twist and better than any ravioli you'll get from a can, despite the chef on the label.

This also offers some great stats: 12g protein, another 1/2 cup of vegetables, and 14g of whole grains

More to come

I'll have a couple more reviews in a future post for you. Be sure to have a look out for some stroganoff, some pesto and even some garlic wine sauce. Follow my Instagram @itshighlandjohn to see more as I try them.

Oct 15, 2018

Upcoming Race: K9s United for K9s 9K | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the K9s United for K9s 9K to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm excited to have some races coming up to end my year. It's been an up-and-down year - without a lot of running - so I'm happy to be pushing towards something and getting back at it. I'd like to tell you about a race I'll be running here in Florida and maybe you'll decide to join me.

K9s United for K9s

I'm excited to take part in this race that's a part of a growing race series for K9s United. You can join me on Saturday, December 1st, 2018 at the Apopka Northwest Recreation Complex for the K9s United 9K for K9s. This race day actually includes 3 races. Choose from the 1 mile fun run, the classic 5k, and the more challenging 9k. Both the 5k and 9k are timed, while the 1 mile run is untimed. They even offer a virtual 5k or 9k options, so you can still be part of the fun and earn a T-shirt and medal.

The best part is it all is supporting a great cause.
100% of the proceeds will benefit K-9s United an organization that is committed to supporting and honoring K-9 law enforcement officers who detect, protect and serve our communities by giving them the best equipment, amenities, and quality of life during and after their service, and memorializing those who give the ultimate sacrifice. K9's United is dedicated to providing the necessary equipment and training K9 law enforcement officers need in order to protect communities across the country, as well as memorializing those who give the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.

Join Me and SAVE!

Want to join me on race day? Use the code BIBRAVE18 to save 10%. Being from the northeast, I'm so looking forward to running in Florida December weather. So come on out and join me!

Sign up now

Sep 1, 2018

Rock Around with Knockaround: Sunglasses Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Knockaround Premium sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

There's no doubt in the importance of protecting your eyes from the sun. It's easy to remember right now in the summer time, but UV protection is important all year round. With my recent move to Florida, I feel like I get a reminder every day, which I'm alright with (it's part of why I'm here). My latest test into eye wear comes with in the form of Knockaround Premium sunglasses.

Who is Knockaround?

Knockaround was founded in 2005 by Adam "Ace" Moyer. The goal was to create sunglasses that were practical and stylish. He wanted to offer quality sunglasses that won't break the bank. I love the story of the name Knockaround. Here's how founder Ace describes it:
Growing up, my dad had a pair of sneakers in the garage that he’d wear when he mowed the lawn. He called them his ‘knockaround’ sneakers—you could count on them, they were dependable, and you didn’t care if they got beaten up.

So, I just applied that idea to sunglasses. I wanted them to be affordable, if you lost them or broke them, no big deal. The Knockaround name seemed like a natural fit—like, I’m just going to knock around this pair of sunglasses.

How are the glasses?

The premium glasses are a great little pair of glasses. The Premium glasses are a unisex frame that is a "fan favorite". They offer UV400 protection with FDA approved, impact-resistant lenses. The frames themselves have a quality feel to them. When I first tried them on, I have to be honest they felt a little snug on my head. I have a large noggin. I was a little worried how they would feel with longer term wear. That's where I was pleasantly surprised. I put these glasses through many full days in the parks at Walt Disney World. During none of those days did they ever feel tight, give me any sort of headache or leave me uncomfortable. In fact, they were great all day every day. I loved the way they felt and the way they looked. That's not to mention the large number of options you can get them in to match your personal style, or your mood of the day. Oh, did I mention of a pair of polaraized glasses, they cost just $20? Well, they do.

The Takeaway

These sunglasses live up to every goal set by their company. They're high quality glasses and feel good and protect your eyes. At just $20 (or less) they definitely won't break the bank, or leave you worried about losing them. Not to mention, you can also save 20% with the code BibRaveKnocks20. These glasses are definitely ones that will stay in my rotation. I also may even grab some other pairs because who doesn't like to match their gear for the day?



Jun 30, 2018

Not Quite Bendy | LiveMoreNow | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received some BUFF® gear for a part of the LiveMoreNow campaign as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro, and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

As you've read, I've been testing some BUFF® gear. Last time I talked about the UV multifunctional headbands (still working great, if you were wondering). I'd like to talk a little bit about the Pro Run Cap. This cap provides sweat wicking to keep the perspiration back, ventilation, and UV protection. In addition, they offer the hand feature of spots your sunglasses can fit into to stay secure upon your head. I actually discovered this accidentally, trying to put my sunglasses on top of my cap only to have them go into the hat. I guess that's why you should always read all the packaging. I've taken the cap out in Florida sun, for a day in the theme park. Sweat stayed back, head stayed as cool as it can in the Florida heat, and no burn came to my head. Despite being black, it never felt hot. Between the lightweight fabric and then cut ventilation, the breathability was great. It really is my go to cap for the sun now.


The yoga's come along, I'm still not great or fully consistent, but life has thrown some major curveballs as me as of late. As always, I'm pushing forward. I have to and will persevere. As I do, I hope to make yoga and running go hand-in-hand, side-by-side in my regular workout routine. Here's to living more now!