Aug 20, 2017

Cap it Off: BUFF® Pack Run Cap | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the BUFF® Pack Run Cap 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!

My favorite piece of gear of the summer months has always been the UV Multifunctional Headband, formerly the UV Half BUFF®, ever since I first reviewed it here for you. It keeps the sweat off my face, protects me from the sun, and is very versatile. The latest product I've been give to test is the BUFF® Pack Run Cap. It looks like they've packed all that multifunctional goodness into a runner's cap package.

What's special about the cap?

The cap is lightweight and breathable, but it is also packable. By packable, I mean you can throw it in your bag, it can smash up and come back out and straight onto your head. I'll give you all the description, straight from their site:
Ultralight and ultra smart, the BUFF® Pack Run Cap is built to go the distance. Super streamlined, exceptionally light and highly compressible, it’s comfortable for the long-haul, but can easily be folded and rolled to stash in a pocket. The four panel design and stretch materials hug the head for a secure fit that doesn’t bind, while a low profile sweatband provides moisture control without added bulk, and the polyester materials wick away perspiration. The crushable polyurethane brim snaps back to shape and combines with the UPF protective materials for sun protection on long races and extended training days.
The material of the cap is very lightweight and has a bit of stretch to it, giving it a very comfortable fit. There's also a small drawstring on the back so you can get it just to the right snugness.

How does it work?

The cap is another great pice of gear from BUFF®. I already mentioned how lightweight and comfortable it is. I took it for run in some hot and humid summer runs. Now, it's not been a hot as it usually is this time of year, but it was still August and still humid. I'm a guy who sweats. Despite the miles and the humidity, the hat kept all the sweat off my face. It never felt too hot on top of my head, which is always my worry for summer running gear. With hats in particular, they always get too warm for me. It my testing so far, I've not hit that wall with this cap. While it did work well, it did need a hang dry afterwards, but I see that as a sign of a good work out.


As far as it's packability, it works as described. Scrunch it, stuff it, throw it in your bag and it still came back out ready to go. Frankly, there's nothing overly firm about it, so nothing to get messed up. The brim seems to keep its shape well. The UV protection seems to work well. Nothing overly scientific about it, but I wore it when I ran and the top of my head did not get burnt.

The Takeaway

The cap works great. I'm a big fan of it. I like running visors, but my head not full of hair can't handle them without getting crispy. Most running hats are just too hot on my head. This cap gives me all I love about BUFF® in a hat form. I also hate throwing hats in bags for fear of them coming out with a lopsided brim, but the Pack Run Cap doesn't suffer that problem. It's super lightweight, comfortable, portable, and delivers everything I expect from a BUFF® product.

#bibchat

This week's #bibchat will feature BUFF and the Pack Run Cap. Stop by on Tuesday, August 22nd at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the BUFF® team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway with bibchat, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What do you wear to run?

Jul 30, 2017

Luvo Bowls Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received Luvo meals 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!

Quick and easy often doesn't equal healthy. Luvo Frozen meals give you nutritious, delicious, and smart choices. If you're a regular reader of this blog, you may remember last year I reviewed several of their Steam in Pouch™ meals. As I said then they're quick, easy, healthy, and most importantly tasty. I received the opportunity to review their product again, so I was super excited to try out their new bowls and Planted™ Power Bowls.

So what are they?

Luvo is more than just a frozen meal. Their philosophy is simple "We believe that when you eat well, you feel and perform better in all aspects of life, so we’re on a mission to make wholesome, delicious meals more accessible for all." That philosophy shows with their meals. They create well rounded meals, with less sugar and sodium, and use lean proteins and whole grains. They use a "fact-based approach to nutrition that is supported by credible 3rd party sources like the World Health Organization and the Harvard School of Public Health". They also are teaming with WhyHunger and A Sense of Home give you a company really making an effort for the environment and the community.

What did I try?

Since I already know I love their Steam in Pouch™ meals, I took this time to try out their bowls and Planted™ Power Bowls.

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice


This is one of my favorites. This is a vegan bowl, made with Forbidden Rice, shiitake mushrooms, pineapple & cashews. This is a very tasty dish on it's own. I'm a big fan of fried rice and this is a tasty mix. While it works as a meal, I also thought it would be great to split as a side. Not only that, I may have had this more than once and added some chicken the second time around, making it very much not vegan, but quite delicious to me.

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese


This was a surprise dish for me. I've heard of cauliflower being used like this, but I've never been a fan of cauliflower itself.  In the name of review, I decided to try it out anyway. In addition to the roasted cauliflower, it includes brown rice noodles in a creamy sauce with panko style topping. I'll admit, at first when I took it out, it surely smelled like roasted vegetables. However, the taste was great. I think this is a fantastic healthy take on your classic mac & cheese. This will definitely be one that lives in our freezer, as my wife enjoyed it as well.

Mighty Masala & Greens


The next dish I tried was another of the Planted™ Power Bowls. The Might Masala & Greens included brown jasmine rice, green garbanzos, cabbage & kale. This bowl was not quite my personal flavor. It was a good healthy mix, but just didn't tickle my taste buds like the others. It had a little bit of spice, which was nice. This is one I may try again, with a little something to mix it up. I'm always willing to give things a try, and a second try.

Chicken & Corn Chowder


The last dish was the chicken & corn chowder. While summer time wasn't really the right time for it, I enjoyed this one as well. It is made with white chicken, kale, sweet potato & white beans in a savory dijon-herb base. I think the best part of it was that "dijon-herb base". It gave a good and unique taste to this. I even enjoyed the kale, which I've not been a fan of in the past. This is one I'm looking forward to again, I'm just going to wait for the fall for it.

The Takeaway

I love Luvo meals. They give you healthy choices that are also quick and easy. Great recipes, healthy substitutions, and made with ingredients from people-, animal- and planet-friendly practices. As a runner, we need good fuel. We also don't always have much time. Overall, you won't find a match for these any where else in the freezer section.

What do you eat when you're short on time for meal?


Jul 26, 2017

DNS: Crystal City Twilighter (Almost) Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Crystal City Twilighter 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!

This is usually where you'd be coming to see my review of the Crystal City Twilighter. Unfortunately, for the first time, I don't have that for you. The Crystal City Twilighter 5K was my first DNS. I won't go into the details of that, as it's not important to this. However, I still wanted to give you what feedback I could, and then provide some from others who were there.

Pre-race Communication

On thing I can speak to is the pre-race communication. That day in northern Virginia we had a rough storm rolling through. They were very proactive in ensuring safety and providing updates. I saw a tweet when they move the packet pickup inside the mall, to get out of the weather. They also noted if there was any update to race time, they would provide update their as well. As it turned out, that was unnecessary as things moved through the area soon enough that the race was able to go on as planned.

The Race

From what I saw, the race looked good. Like, literally good with all that glowing. I do want to give a shout out to the winner Chris Sloane, who won in 15:12, a blazing 4:54 min / mile pace! Oh, and 2nd place was 1 second behind him and 3rd just 5. They were not kidding about being a fast course. The female winner was Bethany Sachtleben, in just 16:49, an amazing 5:24 min / mile pace!

Be sure to come back here for some updates from my fellow running BibRavePros.

UPDATE:

I'm happy to give you some reviews from my fellow BibRavePros. I made some quick graphics, but click through on their names for the full reviews.





More Pacers

Want to get in on a Pacers Running race? You can join me at the Clarendon Day Run and save $5 with code 17cdrBibRave

Jul 16, 2017

Training to Run the Night | #BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Crystal City Twilighter 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 shared some of my upcoming races, including one a little different than I'm used to: the Crystal City Twilighter. What's "different" about it is that the race time is 7:30, as races often are, however instead of AM it is PM! While the race is a 5K, I thought about my preparation, so I thought I'd share them with you.

Run at night

While this isn't a Ragnar Relay where I need to be used to running in pitch black silence at 2 in the morning, it's always good practice to run in the conditions expected for race day (when you can). Since this is an evening summer race in Virginia, that can mean it will still have lingering heat from the day and humidity. It's not the same as the morning, when things can be a little cooler until the sun start burning bright in the sky. That is of course why most races are run in the morning, of course. Moving my training runs to the evening hasn't been easy, but valuable to at least have a couple runs in.

Choose your gear

As always, you want to pick your race gear. When running at night, I prefer bright colors. When I'm at home, it's so I'm seen. At a race, it's just fun. I figure standing out against the dark is the most fun way to do it.

Get glowing

Along the lines of gear, why not get some gear that glows? Glow sticks, glow bracelets, light up snap bracelets... the night is your canvas of light, so why not have some fun with it.

Food plan

A race at 7:30 pm means it's after dinner. That means you need to make a plan for dinner: something light, healthy, and won't be heavy in your stomach when you run. This is also good to practice with our first item "Run at night".

Pre-hydrate

Hydrating is also important for a race. Racing at night provides an extra element, making sure you're hydrated throughout the day to be prepped for the evening. On top of that, the Crystal City Twilighter comes with a drink ticket, so you want to be hydrated to enjoy that post race drink. ;-)

Join Me

It's not too late to register to join me in just under a week.

Register now and save $5 with the code 17cctBibRave


Jun 16, 2017

Come on Pretty Mama: XX2i Bahamas1 Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Bahamas1 sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Just like my last review on the blog, this post is about another of my favorite brands: XX2i. XX2i started with fantastic sport glasses, many of which I've reviewed with you here on the blog. Recently, they've expanded their offerings into casual lines of sunglasses. They brought their fantastic lens and knowledge to make great glasses for on the go. The latest pair I've been given the opportunity to put to the test are the Bahamas1.
Aruba, Jamaica, oh I want to take ya
Bermuda, Bahama, come on pretty mama

What do these frames offer?

The Bahamas1 is one of their "fashion-forward" line. The frame is a more rectangular shape. They come standard with polarized lenses with 100% UVA and UVB Protection. They also are made with their "8K optical technology" cutting glare and providing great clarity. The frames are lightweight but durable, something XX2i is good at. They come with their standard harder case which I usually keep in my bag or car as well as microfiber cleaning cloth case, which is usually in my pocket for cleaning and quick storing.


I took a little leap for me in selecting the matte white / black with polar grey lenses. I say a "little leap" because a two toned frame like this is a little different for me, the kind I always like the look of but never think I can "pull off". But, I decided to expand my options.

How are the glasses?

The frames are great. Light, durable, sleek. I was worried looking at them they might not be quite wide enough for my head, but they fit comfortably. XX2i knows how to make lenses. Great in the bright sun or even when it's just a little bright. They have great clarity and the polarized lens are fantastic. Overall, the feel good, work great, and look quite stylish.


I had the opportunity to put these glasses through their paces in the Virginia sun and with another trip to Florida. They worked great. I had bright sunny days, days where it was bright but grey, and everything in between. I took them on walks around the neighborhood, around Walt Disney World, and in the car. Every time and every way, the lenses worked great. I even wore them during my 12 hour drive from Florida to Virginia, and they stayed comfortable throughout the drive.

Special Sale

For a limited time, you can save 50% off your purchase at XX2i with limited discount code: xx2irocks. I love that they offer this code up through BibRave, because it is such a fantastic deal. That's HUGE savings at just the right time to get yourself set for the summer. Don't forget, that comes with the tank protector case (perfect for a less gentle person or parent with a destructo kid), a soft carrying bag (that is microfiber and therefore doubles as a lens cleaner), free U.S. shipping, the 365 money back guarantee, as well as the no questions asked lifetime warranty. Protect your eyes in the summer sun! 🌞

The Takeaway

The last pair of casual glasses from XX2i I reviewed, the Brazil1, became my go to every day pair. Now that I have these, it's not such a clear cut decision. While those are my more classic style of glasses I like, these are a little more modern, but have the same great lenses. It really comes down to what mood I'm in now. They're comfortable, they stand out, and most importantly, they protect my eyes. Having worn glasses since I was a kid, I'm always looking to do whatever I can to protect my eyes. Protect your eyes... but there's no reason you can't look good while you're doing it. As a Goofy Movie teaches you: Stand Out!

#bibchat

This week's #bibchat will of course feature XX2i. Stop by on Tuesday, June 20th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the XX2i team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway of these great glasses, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

What's your go to sunglasses on the go?


Jun 2, 2017

BUFF your Arms: UV Arm Sleeves Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the BUFF UV Arm Sleeves sunglasses 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!

It's no secret I love BUFF products. I'm a huge fan of their headwear for both hot and cold. Especially now, all summer long you'll find me in my UV Half BUFF UV Multifunctional Headband. When the chance to test a brand new type of product came up, I jumped at the opportunity. I'm super excited to share my experience with the BUFF UV Arm Sleeves.

What are the arm sleeves?

Arm sleeves are what they say: sleeves for your arms. These particular sleeves have a lot of great component to them, in true BUFF multi-use style. First, they have strategically placed reflective elements to help you be seen in low-light conditions. Second, they have UPF 40+ sun protection. Third, the slightly smaller elastic upper keeps the sleeves in place no matter the movements. Lastly, are the materials. It's a highly breathable polyester that is moisture wicking with a four-way stretch. This makes it great as a thin layer to keep the chill off but also wick the moisture in the heat. It's also antimicrobial, to help control odors.

Are the comfortable?

The sleeves are great. The material is quite comfortable. It's lightweight, smooth, and fits well. I'm on the bigger side of the sizing, but the tops weren't too tight. These are the first arm sleeves I've had that stayed in place no matter what. I usually have the problem they either slip down or the tops roll down during my run. These had just the right amount of snugness to stay in place but not feel uncomfortable. They fit the arms and keep their shape well.

Are they hot?

Sleeves are common for wearing when you want to keep the chill off but don't want long sleeves. The sleeves performed well there, as expected on chilly morning runs. The nice thing about these sleeves is that they're for more than just the cool weather. The sun protection is something I personally love. Being a redhead, I burn easily. Wearing sunscreen for my runs is a must for me, but also a pain. If I can have an area covered that is one less place for sunscreen, count me in. In my warmer temperatures, I didn't feel these too hot. Yes, it's warmer than nothing, but not overly hot. It also probably helped that my particular ones are white, a good choice for the sun. I didn't try it in too high of temperatures as I had hoped, but we got a cooler spell for this time of year. You should check back for an update as we get into the summer. My plan for when it is hotter to load them up with some ice. Sure, it will be a wet mess, but a cooler wet mess.

The Takeaway

These sleeves are great. I've owned several other pairs from other companies and none have compared to these. They're the most comfortable and best fitting I've had. They fit well, even on my larger and less conventional (for a runner) body. They were good on chilly mornings but also as the temperatures warmed up. They even kept this ginger from getting any sunburn (no small feat).

#bibchat

This week's #bibchat will feature BUFF and the UV Arm Sleeves. Stop by on Tuesday, June 6th at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the BUFF team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. You can plan on a giveaway with bibchat, as always, so there's always that added bonus.

Do you use arm sleeves? How do you protect from the sun?

May 26, 2017

Race Schedule: Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn 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 super excited to announce some races I've added to my summer and fall schedule. The last race I'd like to share with you is a race where I'll be doing a little traveling: the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon.

Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn

Earlier this year, I ran the Rock 'n' Roll DC Half Marathon. I had a great time running that race. I'm excited to announce I'll be at another tour stop: Brooklyn. Not only am I excited to run another Rock 'n' Roll race, but I've always wanted to run a race in New York City, so this is ticking of a spot on my wanna-do race list.

Image from runrocknroll.com

The Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half Marathon takes place on Saturday October 14 and runs through the closed streets of Brooklyn, from Grand Army Plaza to Prospect Park. The course looks fun, looping around the park with a down and back in the middle of the course. I'm looking forward to the course and the sites of the city. The map has a lot of music locations posted on the map, so I'm really hoping for a rocking good time. Also, who doesn't love a good finish line party?

Heavy Medal

One thing that is pretty cool about the Rock 'n' Roll races are the medals. Races have medals customized to the city. They also have good number of special challenge medals for multiple races in the city or by racing particular cities. No matter what, they also have special Heavy Medals that you get just by racing multiple cities. By having run DC and now Brooklyn, I'll earn the Double Beat medal.

Join Me and Save

Join me in running the Rock 'n' Roll Brooklyn Half and save $15 with the code BIBRAVE15