Aug 15, 2016

Performance Glasses for Intense Life: XX2i Australia1 Review | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Australia1 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!

As a kid growing up needing glasses, I always wanted so badly to get to wear some "cool shades" like everyone else. Then, the day came in high school when I got contact lenses, and finally I wasn't on the outside looking in. While I no longer wear contacts every day, I do wear them every time I run. I'm more comfortable that way, and I can then also wear some sunglasses by my favorite brand: XX2i. As a BibRavePro, I've had the lucky opportunity to review the France1USA1 and even the casual style of the Bermuda1. I consider it a very lucky opportunity I've had, and is perfect for me since I love my sunglasses. I recently went on vacation to Florida, and my wife and I both rocked a pair of XX2i every sunshine filled day. When I returned home, I had a brand new pair courtesy of XX2i to try, their newest pair, the Australia1.


What makes these different?

If you follow my blog, and have read the reviews, you may be wondering why review another pair. The reason why is there are a decidedly unique pair from XX2i, different from anything I've shown you so far. XX2i has created a performance pair of glasses that can truly take anything you can throw at them, with two key features. First, they offer an interchangeable temple arm and strap system, ready for your intense activities. With a simple press of a button on each side you can remove the temple arms and click in the comfortable and adjustable strap, keeping your glasses secure no matter how you bounce and shutter. They'll even stand up to a truffle shuffle. Second, they offer a removable padded insert, for added protection against the elements. The insert is also very easy to add and remove from the frame.

How do they feel?

I really like this frame. The frame is a wraparound style, which is one of my favorites. In this pair, the wraparound gives you a wide field of vision, by wrapping the polarized lenses out around the side. The glasses included their 8k optical technology, which means you get the best polarize lens clarity. Ignoring the technical name, I can say everything simply looks good. While the adjustability of these frames comes from the switchable and insertable pieces, they do lose some of the other features you may remember from the other frames. Mainly, you lose the adjustable nose pads. Frankly, this is a simple case of not really being feasible, if you want to have the padded insert. For me, the nose of the frame still fit just fine without any adjustment needed. This may not be the case for everyone, but luckily for you, like all XX2i frames, they have a 365 day return policy for you to find out. I found the frame overall to fit me very comfortably with the normal temple arms or the adjustable strap.


When testing these frames, I knew I'd have no shortage of times to try out the base glasses. However, I was really struggling for a situation where I could really put the strap and padded insert to a test. They seem like they'd be awesome for some water based or winter time activities, but I don't really have access to the water sports or winter right now. Then, as fate would have it, I had a race delayed from the spring that came up this weekend which was a great opportunity to test out both the insert and strap. Enter the Color Run. It may not be normal adverse weather, but flying color powder on a hot sunny day was a perfect test, which the glasses passed with flying colors (pun intended). The sun was beating down and the color was everywhere but my eyes stayed unstrained from the sun and untouched by the color (which got everywhere else). The padding was comfortable, though a little warm. I could feel some sweating from it, though none ended up in my eyes nor did it fog up the lenses. Frankly, it was 110° with the heat index, so everything was sweating.


These performance glasses come at a price above some of the others from XX2i. Frankly, that is to be expected for a high end design such as this. They current sell for $124.99, but you can save 50% with the code XX2iRocks. Yes, that's half off these premium glasses. One of my favorite things about XX2i that I feel I need to mention is the deal you get with every pair: 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.

The Takeaway

Once again, XX2i has impressed me with another pair of glasses. Simply as glasses, I find them comfortable, I love the look of the matte black with the polarized lenses, and they give a crisp, clear, and wide field of vision. Add in the replaceable strap and the removable padded insert, and you go beyond simply glasses. If you're looking for a pair that will stand up to any of life's adventures, no matter how intense things get, these are the pair for you.

#bibchat

This week's #bibchat will of course feature XX2i. Stop by on Tuesday, August 16th 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.

Discount

Want a pair of your own? Need a pair to stand up to your active life? Inspired to take up something intense thanks to the Olympics? Well you're in luck. Use the code XX2iRocks to save a huge 50% off at www.xx2i.com. Yes, that number is in fact half off your order, so don't delay.


What's your favorite style of sunglasses?


Aug 12, 2016

Five Foods of Disney | #FridayFive

I'm back with another post for the Friday Five linkup. This week's topic is food and drink, a subject I very much enjoy. I recently took a trip to my favorite place, Walt Disney World. While I haven't had a chance to post anything on the blog yet about the trip, I thought I'd take the time to share 5 quick pick of Disney food and drink this week. Enjoy!


1. Giant Jar of Soda - Whispering Canyon Cafe


I'll start with a little something to drink. Ok, maybe not so little. If you ever get a chace to, Whispering Canyon Cafe at Disney's Wilderness Lodge is a very fun time. Our server thought I "looked thirsty" so I got this giant mason jar of soda. I of course took it as a challenge, so pushed through and finished it, of course. If you do dine here, be sure to ask for ketchup.

2. Chicken Tikka Masala - Yak & Yeti Restaurant


Next, I'll share my dish from a restaurant from Disney's Animal Kingdom that I feel is sometimes overlooked, but delicious: Yak & Yeti Restaurant. I always love the Thai Chili Chicken Wings as a starter. This time, for my main dish I went with the Chicken Tikka Masala. It was fantastic. It had a bit of a kick (but in a way I liked) that goes great with the naan bread.

3. Dinner and a Show - Teppan Edo


If you'd like some tasty food cooked right in front of you, I recommend checking out Teppan Edo in the Japan pavilion of Epcot. It's your traditional hibachi grill, so you get some great food cooked by the chef at your table, with a little flair. They'll have a little fun when they cook, depending on what you order you might get the dancing chicken or the shrimp in the hat. I went with the beef & chicken combo, which provided a lot of food for a good price. My usual favorite is a grilled swordfish steak, but wasn't available this trip.

4. German Feast - Biergarten Restaurant


One place I've wanted to eat for a while is Biergarten Restaurant in the Germany pavilion at Epcot. It usually just works out that it's not something that interests the group. This trip, that didn't matter as my father-in-law and myself decided we would go anyway just the two of us. Biergarten offers a buffet of traditional german fare, including bratwurst, pork schnitzel, spätzle, apple strudel, and a surprisingly good lemon cheesecake. As you can see, I tried a little of it all, much more than I listed here. I paired it with a flight german beers, which I followed with another stein to go with it.

5. 10 o'clock Ice Cream - Everywhere


Lastly, we have to finish with a family tradition I talked about on the DisDads podcast: 10 o'clock ice cream. It goes like this: you're on vacation, so at 10 am, you can have ice cream. Simple. Direct. Delicious. The key is finding the ice cream carts that are open, but the important part is there are ones open to get your Mickey Premium Ice Cream Bar on. As you can see, a tradition loved by all.

What do you like to enjoy on vacation?


Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:


Jun 17, 2016

Favorite Summer Running Gear | #FridayFive

It's Friday in the summer, which means hopefully sunshine, cool drinks, and the Friday Five linkup. This week's topic is favorites, so I thought I pair it with summer. I've had a bit of a dry spell, but I'm stepping back up my running, and doing so in summer goes better with the right gear. So this week, I'm going to share with you 5 of my favorite summer running gear.


1. Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack

I'm going to start with one of the most important things for running in the summer: hydration. It's hot out there and you're going to sweat. To perform your best, you need to get that hydration back into you. You don't want to wait until the end, especially on your long runs. My personal favorite solution for hydration on the go in the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack. I know that's a mouthful, but that's technically the full name. I love if for the comfort of the pack, the convenience of the pockets, and the amount of hydration it carries in its two bottles. I've reviewed several other hydration packs, including the original HydraQuiver and the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1. The most important thing is having hydration when you need it.

2. Nuun

Going along with #1 is my hydration of choice: Nuun Active Hydration. It steps your water up a notch with electrolytes, clean ingredients, and is low in sugar and calories. Not only that, it is both gluten-free and vegan, if that's something you need. I also love Nuun Energy, which adds caffeine and B-vitamins, and Plus for Nuun, which can add a unique blend of carbohydrates to help fuel you on your long runs (full write up).

Want some Nuun of your own? You can save 30% now through the 21st of June with the code sharethenuun

3. UV Half BUFF

The sun's out in full effect in summer. To me that means two things: sweating (see #1) and sun burn. There's one product that can help with both. I LOVE the UV Half BUFF (review). It's great for keeping the sweat off of my face, which is a huge bother to me otherwise. Second, it protects my ginger head from the sun. That's a real problem you don't want to find out about in the wrong way. I've had that happen with a visor before, and it is tough.

4. Shades

You might notice a recurring theme here: the sun. It really affects what is my favorite gear. #4 on the list is no different. I've protected the top of my head with my UV Half BUFF, but you also need to protect your eyes. Enter the sunglasses. This really goes for all the time, not just when I'm running. I've had the awesome opportunity to test out a couple of pairs: XX2i France1, XX2i USA1, and the Rudy Rydon Carbonium. It's really hard to pick a favorite, and they all get some wear time. I mean, my Rudy transition in the sun for me, the France1 comes with multiple lenses, and the USA1 is a great look. Just wear something that will protect your eyes and make you look good.

Find something you like from XX2i? You can currently save 50% (yes, half off) with the code XX2iRocks

5. Bluetooth Headphones

Lastly, what's summer without some summer jams? Just like #4, this really doesn't need to be limited to running. I love my music, and I highly recommend dropping the cord. My two personal favorite headphones are the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones and the Plantronics BackBeat FIT headphones. My Plantronics are my goto for great sound quality. Not only do they sound fantastic, but they're comfortable and have a great battery life. My AfterShokz have become my goto running headphones, because of their safety factor. They use bone conduction technology, so you hear your music while still being open ear to the environment. It's hard to find that kind of combination that just makes you feel safe while keeping your music playing.

What's your favorite summertime gear?


Secret to my gear

What to know a secret to a lot of the gear I've listed above? If you look at a lot of those reviews, you'll notice a pattern: I received a lot of gear to test as a BibRavePro. It's been an amazing opportunity and group to be a part of. I've discovered some brands that I had previously not known and are now among my favorites. You too can become a BibRavePro. Apply today!

Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:


May 27, 2016

Vacation Run Secrets | Jeff Galloway | Friday Five

As a member of the Jeff Galloway Blogger Program, I'm given great information from the man himself to share with you. We're reaching the time for summer vacations, but if you're training for the fall, you still need to get your runs in. For today's Friday Five, I have some Vacation Run Secrets from Jeff Galloway


By Olympian Jeff Galloway

1. Running into the dawn

In Summer, it's best to run before the sun rises above the horizon. Since it's common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach. Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point. Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.

2. When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.

Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day. Appoint yourself the “lookout”. Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back. Repeat this routine throughout the hike. Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.

3. On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.

Wear your running gear on the trip. If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up. If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.

4. When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.

Many of the hotels in areas like Disney World, have designated areas for running. In some cases you can run to the parks. Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes. Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day. This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run. As you mention how you are planning your run, you'll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

5. When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.

Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there. Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes. When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide. If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.

Bonus: A home-based vacation.

If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run. Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids. Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs. Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.

Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at www.JeffGalloway.com

Do you run on vacation? How do you keep on track?


Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:






May 19, 2016

The Color Run Giveaway Winner + Baltimore Update | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the a swag pack and entry to The Color Run 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!



I've been quite excited for my upcoming fun run. As a part of that race, I got a chance to off you up a cool swag pack. The time has come to announce the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Race Update

If you were registered for The Color Run Baltimore, you should have already received an email regarding the race. If not, the race has been moved to August 13th. Here's the official work from The Color Run:
***EVENT DATE CHANGE***

Baltimore Color Runners – We love the city of Baltimore and have loved getting colorful with you over the years! Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances surrounding legal proceedings in the city and an overwhelming strain on the police force, we are rescheduling The Color Run Baltimore to August 13th.

If you are registered for the event, you will automatically be registered for this new event date.  If August 13th does not work for you, please email Baltimore@TheColorRun.com by June 1st & our amazing customer service team will help transfer your registration to another event.

We want you to know that this decision was not taken lightly. After many in-depth conversations with local officials & our friends at the Maryland Stadium Authority, we agreed that it was in the best interest of our participants to reschedule the event. The safety of our runners is our number one priority and we lean heavily upon the guidance from the local authorities to make these decisions.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces at the start line on August 13th!

Until then, Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be You.

Obviously, safety is a huge concern. Moving a race 3 days before an event is not something that would be done for nothing. They also seem to be doing what they can to make things right, if you cannot make the new date.

I will still be running the Baltimore event in August. If this new date works for you as well, you can still save with the code I gave you previously. That's right, you can still save 30% on your registration with the code BRP16.

BUFF Giveaway

Currently, I have no other May races scheduled, so for the large BUFF giveaway I just announced participation in, check out the other Pros below. I'll be sure to update you if I add anything in my schedule for the later half of this month, but you can win by finding any of these pros below at their races..

Angie — Brenda — Elizabeth — Gina — Heather — Jenny — Karen — Katherine — Lisa — Mark — Samantha

Will you run the new Baltimore date? Have you ever had this happen to you for a race before?


May 16, 2016

BUFF in the Wild | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: BibRave and BUFF have partnered up for a BUFF prize pack giveaway, and as part of being a BibRave Pro, I am giving you a chance to win!. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It's no secret how much I love my BUFFs. I first discovered the brand when I got the opportunity to test out the UV Half BUFF as a BibRave Pro. Since then, I've tested the full BUFF, the BUFF thermal hoodie, and the Merino Wool BUFF. These are not even the only BUFFs I own. I own two more full BUFFs, a BUFF headband, and a polar bandana. Even my daughter got her first thermal BUFF this winter.

Want to get BUFF?

Would you like to kick start or grow a collection of your own? BibRave and BUFF are partnering for an amazing giveaway which can net you $215 worth of BUFF gear.

You can win:

  • 1 Original BUFF
  • 2 UV BUFFs
  • 1 Merino Wool BUFF
  • 1 UV Half BUFF
  • 1 Headband
  • 1 Shirt
  • 1 Sweatshirt
  • Stickers

How can you enter to win?

Step 1: Find me at a race. 
    (Hint: I'll be at The Color Run: Baltimore on this Saturday, May 21st)

Step 2: Snap a BUFFIE
    Selfie + BUFF = BUFFIE.
    Simply, take a selfie with you and me in my BUFF

Step 3: Post it, share it, Give the world the BUFFIE
   Post the BUFFIE to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #buffie and #bibchat then tag @bibrave and @buff_usa

Step 4: Lather, rinse, repeat
    Only one BUFFIE per race per pro, but you're eligible to find other pros at other races and enter again. You'll find us all over the US in all sorts of races, so be sure to watch for more tweets and posts of where to find us all. Treat us like Pokemon, and try to collect us all!

The contest is for U.S. residents only, and will run until the end of May.

More Pros, More BUFFIES

UPDATE: The Color Run Baltimore has been rescheduled to August 13, so you will not find me there this weekend. Currently, I have no other May races scheduled, so check out the other Pros below. I'll be sure to update you if I add anything in my schedule for the later half of this month.

Check out where you can find more Pros and opportunities to win:

AngieBrendaElizabethGinaHeatherJennyKarenKatherineLisaMarkSamantha


May 6, 2016

Get Tropicolored! The Color Run Baltimore Discount and Giveway | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the a swag pack and entry to The Color Run 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!

I'm excited to share with you the next race I'll be running. My next race won't be in Disney, it won't be a half marathon, but it won't be lacking in fun. I'll be running The Color Run Baltimore on May 21. The Camden Yards Sports Complex is an upcoming stop on the Tropicolor World Tour 2016. You can join me and save 30% on your registration with the code BRP16.


This will not be my first time doing The Color Run. I ran one two years ago in Hershey over the sumer. If you remember my review, at the time, I wasn't overly enthusiastic. I had fun, but wasn't sure if I would want to do one again. Why the enthusiasm now, you may wonder? First, this time, my expectation is fixed to know what to expect. Second, part of the problem I had was with the course, and this is a new location. Third is simply time. It's been two years. I know what I'm doing and I'm out to have fun. I want to do this race because it isn't your traditional 5K, and I'm looking to have fun with it.

Sweet Swag

The lovely folks of The Color Run provided me with a nice little swag bag to get ready for the race. This is on top of the swag I'll get race day with my registration. It's some pretty cool stuff. The hat is a good quality, and a design that is fun with colors but also realistic to wear outside of the race day. Next, what kind of tropical party would it be with out some shades? Simple black frames with The Color Run colorfully down the sides. Lastly, are some socks that are just awesome for race day. Tall white socks with tricolor bands on top. I'll be breaking these out for Baltimore for sure.


#Bibchat Meetup

I mentioned I'll be running the race in Baltimore and you can join me, right? I mentioned you can save 30% with the code BRP16, right? Let's say you take me up on that option. Not only will I be there to run, but I'll also be hosting a BibRave Bibchat meetup. I alwasy love when people I follow have these, so I thought why not have one with any of my favorite Bibchat friends who decide to join me? Race day I'll throw out a spot to meet me once I find the lay of the land, then you can find me. I'll be sure to have some BibRave and other fun stuff with me. Then, we can be more than just internet friends! If you want to, we can even all have a colorful run together.

Giveaway

I hope to see you in Baltimore, but even if you're not, I have one last thing for you: a giveaway. Remember that swag The Color Run sent me? Well they want to send you a pack two. Enter below for your chance to win, so even if you can't come run with me, you can look the part. The pack will be provided by The Color Run directly, so may vary slightly. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever run The Color Run? Will you come run in Baltimore with me?


I'm linking up with Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds to #WinAllThePrizes. Check out their blogs for the full listing of awesome giveaways this week in the Wednesday Giveaway Roundup. There's always plenty of awesome giveaways from those two plus lots to find in the linkup.