Category Archives: Product Review

Heart Zones HRM

A couple of months ago, I was approached by a representative from heartzones.com to try out their Blink 3.0 heart rate, step, and cadence sensor (cycling cadence).  With all the talk about heart rate training, I decided to give it a go.

The package itself contains a Blink 3.0 HRM, a charger, a wrist strap, and an ankle strap.  They also sent me a cool shirt for trying it out (thank you!!).

If you have an iPhone, you can use their downloadable app.  It is my understanding that the app does have training programs that you can follow.  Alas… I am an android user, so what I ended up doing was pairing it with my Garmin.  To be truthful, that was actually more useful to me so that I could have all my data in one place.

I added a data screen to my watch so that I could see my HR at any given time.  This was super handy.  Sometimes when I’m running, I feel like my heart is going to pound right out of my chest and I’m going to die so I tend to slow down. (Remember… running can be just as much mental as it is physical).  However, knowing what my HR is at all times, I don’t get to use that excuse to slow down, especially when my HR is only 120.  It’s good to know your body and to know which extremes it can be taken. It has helped with my training being able to see the actual numbers and the exertion being put out.

A prime example of going out too fast too soon and then losing momentum towards the end, hehe

One thing about Heart Zones… they’re all about schools and “Smart PE,” as well as other aspects of fitness.  Schools can purchase groups of devices for their students to wear that can count steps as well as assess physical condition in real time.  Kids are all about technology these days, and it’s fun for the kids to wear them then upload their data to see the results.  When my child was in the 5th grade, he got to participate in something similar, with his own step counter.  He loved it.  He used to walk back and forth in the hall just to get his step count up (it was usually raining too much for him to go outside to do it). It’s just another way to get kids excited about fitness.

I’ve had a lot of fun playing with this product and seeing where my training is taking me.  If you’ve been wanting to try HR training, the Blink 3.0 is a relatively inexpensive way to try it.  The Blink 3.0 runs for $99.99, but if you check out their online store here, I see they have a pretty cool one on sale for less.  Just in time for the racing season! #trainsmart

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own based on my personal testing experience.

I Loves Me a Visor!

On December 1st, I was on my way to San Antonio, and now BAM!  It’s almost Christmas.  I don’t know where the time goes.  Oh wait, yes I do… I’m a gamer and a runner… two very time-consuming hobbies.  However, the one that has taken me away from all you beautiful people is the gaming.  When James first got ‘benched’ back in September, he/we started playing The Witcher III on the PS4.  I’m one who likes to play a game to 100% completion, soooo, that’s where I’ve been.  Sorry.  But this happens about once a year, if you’ve followed me that long (last year, I replayed Kingdom Hearts).  I’ll get back to normal soon… I still have to recap San Antonio!  (spoiler alert… it was fab!)

But that’s not why I’m here today… today I’m here to tell you about BOCO Headgear!!

Disclaimer: I received a BOCO Gear Visor 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!  All opinions are my own.

You should know, I can’t wear hats when I run.  I have a ton of hair that keeps me plenty warm and I get too hot if I wear a hat.  I only wear visors and I am extremely picky about the type.  My visors absolutely have to have an elastic comfort band as opposed to the velcro adjustment in the back.  To me, the elastic is far more comfortable than the non-giving nature of a velcro adjustment hands down.  And BOCO Visors have that oh-so-coveted comfort elastic band baby!  Total win!!

Following are other details about the visor:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved bill
  • Machine Washable

James made me do it…

Now, the first thing I noticed about the visor is that the material is incredibly soft.  And then I discovered that the nice, soft material is super absorbent (because, you know… I went for a run and all).  But oh, the comfort… it can’t be beat.

And when you’re running all the miles… comfort counts.  Amiright?!

Stayed tuned my friends… coming soon is my recap of San Antonio.  You’ll get to read all about how I lost two toenails… 

Health Warrior Chia Bars

“Disclaimer: I received both the Health Warrior Chia Bars and Marathon Training Coloring Book 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!”

One of the fun perks of being a BibRave Pro is getting to review all kinds of fun products, including nutritional stuff.

Have you ever heard of the Health Warrior Chia Bars?  I hadn’t.  Okay, let me be the first to say I am not a huge “protein bar” fan.  They do absolutely nothing for me.  If I need to snack, I’d rather snack on a piece of chicken or a hard-boiled egg.  But these are Chia bars, my friends… not weighed-down lump-in-your-stomach protein bars.  Besides, I’ve grown fond of adding Chia to some of my various foods… so I was super excited to try these.

We’ve all heard that Chia is one of those super foods we should all add to our diet.  Why?  Because a 1-ounce serving of Chia seeds contains:

  • Fiber: 11 grams.
  • Protein: 4 grams.
  • Fat: 9 grams (5 of which are Omega-3s).
  • Calcium: 18% of the RDA.
  • Manganese: 30% of the RDA.
  • Magnesium: 30% of the RDA.
  • Phosphorus: 27% of the RDA.
  • They also contain a decent amount of Zinc, Vitamin B3 (Niacin), Potassium, Vitamin B1 (Thiamine) and Vitamin B2.

Now then… Health Warrior Chia Bars contain:

  • Calories:  110
  • Sugar:  4 g
  • Fiber:  4 g
  • Omega-3:  1100 mg
  • Protein:  3 g
  • They are also gluten-free and 100% vegan.

If you have followed my blog in the past, you know I suffer with hypoglycemia and occasional GI issues when I run.  Finding the proper fuel is essential.  And I just may have finally found it. #truth

I have tried these both pre-run and pre-gym.  I have not had one single issue.  They’re not heavy; they have staying power, meaning my sugar doesn’t drop and they hold me over for at least a couple of hours; and quite simply, they taste really good.  I’m pleased.  And when it comes to fueling, I am not easy to please… or should I say my stomach isn’t.

I then had my busy coworkers try them.  Depending on how many animals we have admitted at any given time, sometimes all they get is 5 minutes for a snack and these bars really help with hunger and energy in a time crunch.

The bars also come with a fun Marathon Training coloring book, which is actually quite hilarious when you read through it.  Every runner will be able to relate to the entertaining captions.  (“H is for Hitting the wall.  Walls are bad.  Walls feel big.  Walls can become walks.”)  And really… we’re all adults here… who doesn’t like to color these days!  While AJ did his homework at night, I sat next to him and colored away. #qualitytime

Anyhoo… if you’re interested in trying these yummy bars, click here.  If you’re interested in getting one of the coloring books with some bars, follow this link. A full box of 15 is $15.99, or you can try a sample box for $4.99.

Please do remember that everything stated above is based on my own opinion and the links are not affiliates.  If you’d like to research the bars further or read other opinions, you can check out some reviews from my fellow BRPs:  Brenda, Matt, Amy, Jessica, Janelle, Lindsey, and Emily.

Either way, I give the chia bars an A+.

 

OOfos — Feel The Oo!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS sandals 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! All opinions are my own. 

In the spring of 2016, I suffered from a bout of plantar fasciitis with some added morning heel pain.  It was a very hard year to get through, with 9 races scheduled.  I remember Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle being a very painful race to finish.  I stood in the corrals for about an hour before I crossed the start line and I was already sweating bullets from the pain in my feet.

After months of Arnica therapy (thanks Rob!) and heat and ice treatment on my feet and Achilles, I got the PF under control.  However, I still suffered a bit from heel pain first thing in the morning.  Enter OOFOS recovery sandal!  Admittedly, I felt the oo the minute I slipped these on.  Heaven sent, and I’m not kidding.  I then put them on first thing the next morning, and holy wow!  No heel pain whatsoever!

Feeling the OO after a Seahawks pedicure!

Why OOFOS?

  • OOfoam absorbs more shock than traditional foam.
  • Patented footbed.  Reduces stress on sore feet, knees and back.
  • Cradles your arches.
  • Biomechanically designed, they enable your foot to move the way nature intended.
  • They bloody well feel great!

Also, with every Project Pink shoe that is sold, $10 will go to breast cancer research.

Final Thoughts

I love this shoe.  My feet feel fantastic after wearing them for a couple of weeks, and they’re especially amazing after a workout.  They’ve passed the rain test… no slipping or sliding.  I now wear two types of shoes… my trainers and my OOFOS.  I feel everyone, runner or not, would benefit from wearing these sandals.  And that is my honest personal opinion.

Still in doubt?  Go check out these reviews from my BRP friends.  If I haven’t convinced you, they just might!  Mai; Meredith; Jenna; Vanessa; Laura; Emily.

5K Crate Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a box from 5K Crate 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!

I’ve always loved the idea of subscription boxes.  No matter what your interest may be (quilting, make-up, clothes, gaming, running), subscription boxes are a fun way to go to guarantee trying something new, or discovering a product you may have not known about otherwise.

5K Crate is a quarterly subscription box that “curates premium apparel and accessories for runners of all types and fitness levels. Each box is carefully hand curated to include 5-6 items that you will use over and over again. We do not want to be just another box full of snacks and gels!”  (Love the personalized note that was inserted in my box!)

The box I received contained:

  • 1 Mission Vaporactive Running Shirt ($25)
  • 1 Mission Hydroactive Cooling Towel ($19.99)
  • 1 pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($49.99)
  • 1 pair of Zensah Compression Socks ($14.99)
  • 2 Epic Full-Size Body Wipes ($3 each)
  • 3 La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples

Who doesn’t love getting such a menagerie of goodies?!  I know I do!  Every single one of these items is of high quality and absolutely something I can use.  I took the body wipes and sunscreen on my trip this past weekend when I ran my half marathon, and the cooling towel helped me out on some very warmish runs I had.

I can’t praise this company enough.  I feel the products that you get are well worth the subscription price, not to mention… again… everything is usable!!  Their next box is set to be sent out October 16th, and rumor has it that there is Momentum Jewelry in it, saying “Be Awesome Today.”  See?  Totally worth it!

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own. If you would like to see some other reviews on 5K Crate, please check out what some of my BRP friends have to say:

Tedrick; Jenna; Mai; Ang; Vanessa; Heather.

Have you ever tried a subscription box before?  Go ahead, don’t be shy… tell me your experience!

Be Brilliant, Be Safe

Disclaimer: I received some Brilliant Reflective Strips 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!  All opinions are my own.

I was actually excited to receive some of these strips to test out.  I had seen others using them and I wanted to know for myself if they actually were as bright as they looked.  I’ve never been comfortable with running in the dark, mostly because it’s hard to be seen no matter what you do.  That makes training outside very difficult in the winter when the daylight hours here in the Seattle area max out to about 9 hours.  We also get quite a few rainy and dark days, so sometimes it’s even hard to be seen at 3 p.m.

Enter Brilliant Reflective strips…

What are they?  Brilliant Reflective Strips are strips of reflective and colorized material that you can add to various surfaces (clothing, bikes, helmets, backpacks, shoes, etc.) for maximum visibility.  They are made from retroreflective material, which means when light shines on them, the light will reflect off the strip and go back directly to the source.  Way cool.

To test them out, I ironed some onto a running shirt …

… stuck some on my child’s backpack, shoes, and hat …

The only light we used was the flash from my camera; otherwise it was pitch black outside.

… and just for fun, I stuck one on my remote control so I could find it in the dark.

Cost:  $14.95 per pack in the color of your choice (black, red, purple, blue), either iron-on or stickies, free shipping.  You can get a multi-pack which includes one of each color for $49.95, free shipping. If you choose to buy their multi-packs, you can use the code “BRPmulti” to get 20% off.

The Cons:  I suck at ironing, so it took me forever to figure out how to get the iron-ons to stick (and at a higher-than-recommended setting). However, that’s my own personal disability and ineptness… you may not have the same problem.

Bottom line:  In my opinion, I think they’re fabulous if you want to be seen.  They’re not just for runners as these will stick on anything.  Get creative!  Put them on the cat’s collar!  But most importantly, I don’t have to worry about my child not being seen in the dark because he now lights up like a Christmas tree.

Visit Mai’s blog at If I Just Breathe to see her review of the Brilliant Reflective Strips.

Join us on Twitter (#BibChat, @BibRave) on September 12 at 6 p.m. Pacific for a chance to win a pack of these handy-dandy safety strips!  I know come Halloween night, AJ won’t be stepping out the door without being decorated in them from head to toe.