Boco Gear Review

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear hat 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!

Hey there!

I know you are all still waiting on a recap of the Philly Half Marathon (life got a little busy between Thanksgiving and work), but it is coming. Promise. Today, I wanted to share a product review with you!

Back in September, I received a BOCO Gear Run Hat through my Bibrave ambassadorship.

Boco Gear Hat Review

At first, I wasn’t sure that I loved the style as it has a pretty flat brim. However, I have to say that it’s grown on me. It’s also pretty flexible so you can kind of bend it a bit to give it a little more of a traditional curve. It also looks great at a jaunty angle, as demonstrated above. 🙂

I also love how lightweight this hat is. It’s made of a tech material that is wicking and breathes very well. Ideal for those hot end-of-summer long runs! Another HUGE plus for this hat is that it’s machine washable. So many of my running hats get disgusting because I wear them everyday and I can never get them fully clean. I always run with a hat to help keep the hair out of my eyes so being able to quickly wash this hat after a sweaty run is a big perk. No more gross salty sweat lines!

The back also has an adjustable strap so it was very simple to get the fit just right.

Boco Gear ReviewI loved rocking the Run Hat around Halloween. The Bibrave orange was so perfect for the season!

If you’re a runner who swears by hats to help keep the sun/sweat/hair out of your eyes (like me), then I definitely recommend giving Boco Gear a try.

Boco Gear is also dog-approved for what it counts. Brady very much enjoyed the opportunity to model my Run Hat.

You can check out the rest of Boco Gear’s products at Bocogear.com and on social- @BocoGear on Twitter and Instagram.

Have a great week!

 

Advertisements

Rock n Roll Montreal Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock n Roll Montreal] 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!

This past weekend, I got to check off 2 items on my running bucket list –

  1. Run an international race.
  2. Run a Rock n Roll race.

Check and check!

Montreal is about a five hour drive for me making it a very doable road trip. I enlisted a couple of friends to join me for the adventure and we made the drive up the Friday before the race.

As far as fitness goes, I was feeling extremely prepared for this half marathon (my 19th!). I’ve been regularly running long runs in the range of 12-14 miles and I was excited to use the race as a tempo workout since my main focus is on the Philly Marathon right now. Yeah, my Achilles had been giving me some issues but it had been responding very well to physical therapy and dry needling so I didn’t anticipate that being an issue at all. I was correct in that it wasn’t my Achilles that gave me issues, but I’ll get to that…

My friend and I finally got to our hotel around 5 pm on Friday. We were staying at a Holiday Inn in downtown Montreal that had been listed as one of the recommended hotels on the RnR website. This worked GREAT. We were about half a mile from the expo and right across from the metro station (which was free for all runners to use on race day!).

Saturday, I woke up a little early and went out for an easy 5 miler in the city, only getting slightly lost in the process. It was a nice quiet morning, but even at 7 am, you could tell it was heating up. According to one of our Uber drivers, this weather was very unusual for Montreal – it was 85 degrees on Sunday! Race organizers even decided to cancel the full marathon that was originally scheduled to take place along with the half marathon. While I feel horrible for all the folks who spent months and months preparing to run 26.2 miles this past weekend, I do think this was the right decision. There was not a lot of shade out on that course and those are just brutal conditions to run a marathon in. Participants had the option to downgrade to the half marathon, transfer to a different Rock n Roll event, or get a full refund, which I think was a fair solution to a bad situation.

After getting a nice carb-loaded breakfast with my friends, we walked over to the expo. It was in a large convention hall which was definitely a little confusing to navigate. We weren’t really sure if we were going the right way a lot of the time and we saw other runners who looked a little lost as well, but we finally made our way to the entrance hall. I had printed out my confirmation sheet with my bib and corral # on it earlier in the week, so I breezed right through to pick up my bib and shirt (which I LOVE!).

Rock n Roll Montreal

The expo was pretty big with plenty of vendors and my friends and I had a blast walking around and checking it all out. We had plenty of samples, did a little shopping, and tested out the coolest foot massage machine EVER (I may need to add this to my Christmas list).

Rock n Roll MontrealEven with none of us speaking French, we had no issues communicating with anyone or figuring out where to go once in the expo. I didn’t know quite what to expect in terms of a language barrier, but thankfully we never had any problems.

The rest of the day we spent walking around touring the area. If I had been trying to PR, I would have been more worried about all the time on my feet, but I knew it wasn’t going to be that type of race so I didn’t stress about it. I tried to just focus on constantly hydrating to prepare for the temperatures.MontrealMontreal Rock n Roll Marathon

Rock n Roll MontrealAll the walking around definitely tired us out because my friends and I were happy to chill in the hotel room in the evening, eating dinner from our beds and watching a couple of movies. I had a little trouble falling asleep, but slept well once I finally passed out.

Finally, it was race morning! I got up at 5 and prepared my usual pre-run breakfast of toast with almond butter and honey and coffee while I got dressed. I headed out to the train station around 6 am, wanting to be on the early side for the 7:30 start. Thankfully, there were plenty of other runners in the train station and I had zero issues figuring out where to go. I had to switch lines after a couple of stops on one train and when I got on the second train, I found myself standing right next to another Bibrave Pro, Bradley! It was great having a friend to chat with about running and other Rock n Roll races as we made our way to the start.

Rock n Roll MontrealOrange is the new fast!!

As we climbed up onto the Jacques Cartier bridge where the race began, we got incredible views of the sunrise, the amusement park La Ronde, and all the corrals stretching out across the bridge!

Rock n Roll Montreal

I was pretty excited to be starting in Corral 2 (I put 1:45 as my seed time which I was surprised put me this far up!). The only thing about starting on the bridge was that it made it logistically challenging to warm up. Most of the bridge was reserved for the corrals with a narrow driving lane on one side for police and race officials. I had wanted to run a mile pre-race, but that didn’t really end up happening. I settled for dynamic drills in my corral.

Rock n Roll MontrealRight on time, we were off! The elites in Corral 1 started first and then my corral was up, about 3 minutes later. The first section of the workout my coach had written for me for the race was 2 x 2 miles at 8:01/mile with half mile recoveries. My first 2 miles were 7:54 and 8:00. A teeny bit fast, but the first mile was shaded and downhill, so I didn’t think it was an issue. I slowed down for my half mile recovery and gave myself a little pat on the back for hitting my first few paces. For the second set, I ran 8:02 and 7:53. I was feeling on top of the world, thinking to myself that I was going to NAIL the workout. The course was pretty flat so despite the warm temperatures, I was feeling really strong, enjoying the bands and the whole race atmosphere.

The next section of the workout was 2 x 2 miles at 7:32 pace with mile recoveries. I knew this was going to be tougher than the 8:00/mile pace but I felt pretty confident I would be able to handle it. For the first mile, I was right on target for around 7:35, but dropped to a 7:40 after slowing slightly at a water station. Still, pretty good. Then, there was a somewhat sharp turn up a steep ramp onto a bridge to take us back into Montreal. As I pushed up this ramp, I felt my hamstring twinge. I tried to keep pushing along at my 7:30 pace, but the pain along the back of my knee kept intensifying with every stride. Not good. I realized it was not a cramp and that it was not going to resolve itself, so I backed way off. Running around a 9 minute pace with smaller strides seemed to help so I settled into that while I tried to figure out what to do. I thought about dropping out. I didn’t want to do any serious damage. I honestly didn’t know how that would work though. I was worried about finding my friends after the race (we weren’t able to text since we had all turned our cellular data off) and I thought if I dropped out that I would get caught up with the medical and wouldn’t be able to connect with them.

I decided to keep going, but I let go of the idea of anymore sub-8 miles. The race really switched for me at this point. It went from being totally awesome/such a great day/so much fun to I just want this to be over/don’t cheer for me, this sucks/what the eff do I do. I tried to think back to what the hell had brought this on and I remembered when I had been strength training on Monday that week. I had gone to do some hamstring curls with an exercise ball – I did one and felt my right hamstring twinge. I immediately stopped and thought to myself, “That didn’t feel good, I think I’m done with those.” I had run plenty of easy miles later that week and kind of forgot about it since everything seemed fine.

Apparently not.

I dramatically slowed down from Miles 9-13 and tried to focus on enjoying the setting and the race itself. Back in mainland Montreal, there were TONS of spectators and so much cheering. I was really sad that my leg wasn’t cooperating because it was literally the perfect atmosphere to push yourself – I don’t think I’ve ever run a half marathon with that many spectators. I started to feel a tiny bit better between miles 10-12 and thought I might be able to finish at around 8:30-ish pace. I ran 8:49/8:37/8:18 for miles 10,11, and 12. And then my hamstring seized up even worse than the first time. It almost felt like a cramp, it felt so severe.

I pulled over to the side and tried to stretch for a few seconds, but I didn’t have much hope that it was going to help. From there, it was a slow shuffle to the end. I was constantly getting passed and mentally I just felt like a wreck again. By this time it was really hot too. Thankfully, there were tons of fire hydrants that the city had opened along the course so that runners could cool off by running through the spray.

After what seemed like an eternity, I finally reached the finish line. I got a cold soaked towel, my medal and a bottle of water. My official time ended up being 1:52. I really wanted to find the med tent to get some ice but I never found it. The park where we finished was pretty big, which was great but did make it a little tricky to find things. Thankfully, my friends and I had picked a spot to meet up at and we quickly found each other.

Rock n Roll MontrealLove the medal!!

Overall, I was very impressed with the Rock and Roll experience. The bands along the course were frequent and added such a festive element to the race. They had also clearly taken a lot of precautions to keep the runners safe in the warm temps (plenty of water stations, opened fire hydrants, misters along course). While there were a few moments when I wished there had been somewhat better signage/direction, it was pretty dang smooth for a race with 10,000-ish runners. Sunday wasn’t my day, but I’ll just take that as a good excuse to start looking for another Rock n Roll race to sign up for!

 


LEGEND Compression: A Review!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Legend Compression Sleeves 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!

Happy Friday All!

It’s been a crazy busy week, but I think that has also made it pass faster and here we are at Friday! I’m changing up the schedule a bit and instead of a Run Fast, Eat Slow recipe post I have a review for you today! You may remember a few months back, I reviewed Legend Compressison socks. I was very impressed with their product and happy to support a Made in the USA company. When the opportunity came up to review their compression sleeves, I jumped at the chance. Personally, I tend to be more of a fan of compression sleeves (only wrap around the calf instead of the whole foot) so it was perfect.

Legend Compression Sleeves Review | 2 Generations RunningIt also helps that the arrival of the compression sleeves has coincided nicely with my training for the Half at the Hamptons really picking up. I’ve been running 40-45 mile weeks with some TOUGH interval workouts sprinkled in. I’ve trained hard before but never anything like this.

My motivation to keep up with the training has also been sky-high. I want that PR in March and I’m willing to work for it. That has meant a renewed focus on all of the little things that I tend to push to the back-burner (or throw out the window entirely) in this cycle. I’m doing more core, foam rolling AND prioritizing compression to help my legs recover faster.

Legend Compression | 2 Generations RunningTypically, I’ll knock out my runs pretty early in the morning, shower and get ready for work and put my compression sleeves on for the day (it helps that it’s winter and I don’t have to worry about anyone wondering about what the heck I’m wearing around my calves.)

So far, I can tell it’s been helping. Despite running mileage I used to reserve only for marathon training, my body has been feeling really good. I’ve been tired and ready for bed at 9 pm every night (if not earlier), but my legs feel decently fresh and I’ve been bouncing back from the hard workouts well.

Legend Compression Sleeves Review | 2 Generations Running

Dance, Jump on it…

Just like with their compression socks, the fit of their sleeves is “right not tight“, meaning 15-20 mmHg compression versus 20-30 mmHg more typical with other companies. I have tried both the traditional “tighter” sleeves and Legend Compression and I can honestly say that both types work well for me. However, I have heard plenty of complaints from other runners on how hard it is to pull compression sleeves on, in which case, I would definitely recommend giving Legend Compression a try!

Price-wise, these sleeves are very comparable to the other major brands in the market. At $45 a pair, they aren’t cheap, but they are also well-made and durable – you can tell they won’t fall apart after wearing them a few times (which is a major plus since I have been LIVING in mine lately).

I love the bright blue color and I cannot WAIT to rock these in my next race (yeah, I’m that guy who plans their race outfits WAY in advance…) If you’d like to give Legend Compression a try, you’re in luck – I’ve got a discount for ya! Use code  ‘rave20’ for 20% off your order!

Compression socks or sleeves? Are you in training for any spring or winter races?


Staying Fresh with 2Toms

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of 2Toms Sports Detergent and Stink-Free Shoe and Gear Spray for 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! Thank you! 🙂

Hey there!

Hope everyone’s week is off to a good start so far! I took a rest day on Monday to recover from Sunday’s 15-miler and then hit up a Mystryde class this Tuesday. I think it will probably be the last one I will attend before the marathon because they can be pretty challenging and I want to go into Baystate feeling fresh and ready to run.

Speaking of fresh… let’s talk about my sneakers for a second. Here’s what they looked like when they were bright and shiny and new –

Just One Run 5k RecapAaaaand now, a few hundred miles later (nope, not an exaggeration)-

FellsfestYeah, not so fresh anymore sadly…

2Toms Sports Detergent Spray Review

My sneakers (and all of my running gear) gets a lot of use. That’s why I was excited to try 2Toms Stink-Free Sports Detergent and Spray through my Bibrave pro ambassadorship!

2Toms Stink Free Sports Detergent and Spray ReviewThe primary difference between 2Toms Sports Detergent and other basic laundry soaps is that it’s intended to remove all the gross smells – not just mask them the way other detergents do. I only had a small sample of the detergent good for 1 load of laundry, so I can’t really speak to the soap’s long-term capabilities. I will say that my clothes seemed fresh and clean after that 1 load at least!

I also received a nice big bottle of the Stink-Free Spray to try as well. This product really surprised me! I expected it to have some sort of perfumey smell, but it was very neutral. I’ve been spraying it in my sneakers for the past couple weeks after getting back from my runs, and I’ve been really impressed with how well it works. I don’t exactly have a stinky feet problem, but I wouldn’t say my sneakers normally smell “fresh” either. After a few uses, I went to smell my sneakers – and I couldn’t smell anything! Not exactly new shoe smell, but wayyyy better than what you would expect for the amount of sweat and dirt caked into those things!

I could see this spray being particularly useful on other smelly sports gear too. When I played soccer in high school, my shin guards were always pretty nasty smelling. If you’ve got any soccer, hockey, or football gear you’re currently hiding because of the stench, I would definitely recommend giving this spray a try. One word of caution – this spray is not intended for helmets or any type of equipment that goes on your head, as the chemicals could drip down into your eyes with sweat. Sadly, you’ve got to keep this away from your bike helmet and running hats.

Because the folks at 2Toms are so generous, I have a coupon code for you to try 2Toms products for yourself! Use code 2Toms20 for 20% off, now through 12/31!

Do you follow any special rituals/routines to keep your exercise gear smelling nice and in good condition? Does anyone get as depressed as I do when your sneakers start to get dirty (although I suppose that’s part of the fun of getting a new pair!)?

 


Things I’m Loving Lately [Running Edition]

Happy Weekend guys!

I know I don’t normally post on the weekends, but lately my schedule has just been nutzo and I’m just trying to fit blogging in whenever I can, so I thought I would pop in and share a post this weekend, before I hit the road again next week (I’m off to South Carolina this time!).

I’ve been a fan of blogs for a few years now and one type of post that seems to pop up again and again is the “Things I’m Loving Lately” type post. It’s interesting to read about products or just random things that people enjoy. Lately, there have been a bunch of running-related products/media that I feel have really rejuvenated my love for running and I figured I’d share some of these items with you all today in a special running-themed “Things I’m Loving Lately” post.

My new pink Trekz Titanium Aftershokz wireless headphones.

Trekz Titanium Aftershokz Headphones | 2 Generations RunningI received a pair of these as part of my ambassadorship with Bibrave (learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro here) I’ll be posting a full review of these beauties in the next week, but as a preview – I LOVE THEM. I have always used headphones with wires and never really thought they bothered me, but running with NO cords (the headphones connect to the music on my phone through Bluetooth) has been amazing. Another interesting feature of these headphones is that they actually don’t go into your ears – they rest on the bones right next to your ears and you hear the music through the vibrations created. This allows you to pick up on the ambient noise of your surroundings, which is a huge safety benefit (especially with all the scary stories that have popped up lately about female runners). Stay tuned for my full review later this week!

Shoe Dog by Phil Knight

Shoe Dog Review, Phil KnightI picked up Shoe Dog while on vacation in Utah because I knew I was going to need something to keep me entertained for the long flight home. It’s a memoir written by the creator of Nike, and it is SO GOOD. It’s easy to think of Nike as this huge symbol of athletics and a billion-dollar brand and to kind of assume they’ve always been that way. It’s been so fascinating to read about all the struggles the business went through when it was just starting out, and it’s really given me a new respect for the brand. It’s so crazy to think about how far they’ve come, especially watching the Olympics and seeing so many of the world’s best athletes sporting Nike gear. I highly recommend this book, and think runners and non-runners alike would enjoy it!

Mystryde Classes

Mystryde Boston | 2 Generations RunningNow that I’m officially signed up for another marathon (eek), I want to make sure I’m putting in the work to have a good result come October 16th. The Mystryde treadmill classes are killer workouts and just what I need. I went to one this past week and got in 6.5 miles of hills, sprints, and hard running. The instructors are fantastic and very knowledgeable about running. I think incorporating these classes into my training plan once a week will be very helpful getting me ready for Baystate.

The new Bibrave Podcast

Bibrave PodcastI love running podcasts, but I tend to listen to them faster than they can be produced. 🙂 That’s why I was so excited to see Bibrave coming out with their own podcast! It’s a great, informal discussion of what’s going on in the running world and despite being only 5 episodes in, it’s quickly become one of my favorite podcasts to listen to.

Hope you all have a good weekend! I’ve got a 15-miler on the agenda for tomorrow so wish me luck! 🙂


Keeping Summer Runs Comfortable: Body Glide Review

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Body Glide for 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! Thank you!

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningHey there!

So fair warning – some of this post may be TMI for the non-runners out there – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! Or feel free to skip this post, no hard feelings. 🙂

That’s because today I’m talking about chafing. It’s painful, embarrassing and unfortunately, the further you run, the greater your chances of experiencing it are. Especially if you are running longer distances in shorts! Miles of running + a little extra sweat from the hot summer temps = lots of rubbing and opportunity for chafing.

Body Glide ReviewI know firsthand how painful it is (and how much a hot shower can hurt afterwards). I always feel for the people demonstrating the tell-tale signs of chafing during a race – running with legs slightly wider than normal  or arms lifted a little higher than usual to avoid the offending seams. My sports bra chafed so badly during my first marathon that you could practically see its outline rubbed raw on my back. Not fun.

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningThis is why I’m soooo happy to have a product like Body Glide around. I’ve been using Body Glide for years and I’ve seen what a huge difference it can make. If I am running more than 5-6 miles in shorts, I always put it on my thighs. One solid application and I know I am good to go for 13+ miles. If I’m wearing a tank top, then I also apply some on the undersides of my arms. Sometimes, I will even apply Glide between my toes for a little blister protection.

One of my coworkers was running her first marathon this spring, and my biggest race day recommendation for her was to slather herself in Body Glide (which she did and I was happy to hear her report afterward that she didn’t chafe at all!).

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningRunning can be uncomfortable enough in a race environment without adding skin abrasions on top of it. There are nerves about performance, weather can be crazy (both extreme heat and extreme cold will impact your ability to run fast), and you’re testing your body to its limits. Personally, I do not want anything else to worry about. That’s why Body Glide is on my must-have list for racecations.

The Runner's Packing Checklist. 2 Generations RunningSee? I included it in my list from a post I did back in January 2015!

If you are new to distance running or slowly beginning to increase your mileage, I would highly recommend picking some up, because every runner will  eventually reach a tipping point of miles where suddenly, chafage (as my mom and I call it!) occurs. Depending on your mileage, one tube should last you a pretty long time too. I usually reserve Body Glide for my longer runs, but even so, 1 tube has lasted me many months. It’s a pretty simple solution that will save you a lot of discomfort and embarrassment down the road!

So there you go! Grab some Body Glide today and keep enjoying those sweaty, summer runs chafe-free!

Have you ever chafed on a run? Which was worse – the chafing or the stinging, hot shower afterwards? 😉


Our Next Big Race/State

Happy Almost End of the Week to you all!

As most of you know, my mom and I are trying to run a marathon or half marathon in every state. So far, we have 11 down. I’m psyched to say my mom and I have our next state picked out for this summer!

State #12  – UTAH with the Hobble Creek Half Marathon!!

My mom and I picked this race/state for a few reasons. Most importantly, the timing of it was perfect. My mom and I will be running the Runners World Classic in July (if you want to race this one with me, you can use code RAVE for 10% off the registration fee!), but we didn’t have any big races lined up for August. I will be in Utah for work the week of August 13th, so I looked around for some half marathons in the general area the following week and found Hobble Creek. It sounds absolutely AWESOME –

“The Hobble Creek Half Marathon was started by two elite runners and USATF members in 1994 with a vision to create a course that would be both a record breaker and a great tune-up for the St. George Marathon… The course is beautiful and fast with rolling hills and is a great place to set a PR (Personal Record) or tune up for a fall marathon. The race is known for its fast course, flowers for women, and Elite 100 medals.”

Hobble Creek Half Marathon Elevation ProfileThat’s my kind of elevation profile!!!

We are registered for the race, flights and hotels are booked, so it is definitely happening! Eeek, so excited!

I was so thrilled with my PR in Augusta in February, but that course had a couple of big hills in it that definitely cost me some time. I think Utah might just be my new chance at a half marathon PR. 🙂 My mom is coming out to meet me a few days before the race, so we will also get to do some sight-seeing and make a little vacation out of it.

In the meantime, I’m sticking with my speedwork routine (did 2 x 2 miles at half marathon goal pace today and was ecstatic at how well I handled it!) and just trying to work my long runs back up. I’m not really following any formal plan for these half marathons, but I am trying to incorporate lessons learned from previous training cycles.

Sunny early Runs | 2 Generations RunningSunny early morning runs are my favorite

**Random sidenote – My big toenail on my right foot finally came off today (it got absolutely wrecked in Delaware)!! I will probably have a regular toenail again in about 9 months… Just in time for me to probably be ready to register for another marathon. 😉 I will spare you all the pics because I have a feeling none of you want to see my gross runner’s feet.

Have you ever been to Utah? Any recommendations for places/sights to see? Do you have any racecations coming up this summer?