I love that prAna designs products that are true to their core values – creating clothes that can be worn for every adventure, every day. I had the amazing opportunity to try out the Sway Tank and the Jenna Pant – both are products that I can see myself wearing for almost every occasion!
When it comes to running, I usually like to stick to the things that I know work for me. I have the same exact running shorts in multiple colors.. and sometimes even multiple pairs in the same color. I know that I like to eat a piece of toast before I go on my long run and like to eat the same flavors of gel during those runs. I guess you can say that when it comes to running, I get picky. I have struggled with various injuries over my young running career of the last 8-9 years and because of that, I get even more picky when it comes to my feet.
Long story short, I run in a neutral shoe with a custom orthotic insert and I recently had a cool opportunity to test out Mizuno’s newest neutral shoe – the Mizuno Wave Sky. It is definitely different from the shoes that I tend to run in but I kind of love it.
Mizuno describes the shoe as below.
Maximum cushioning meets maximum comfort in the new Wave Sky, built for neutral runners. A full length U4icX midsole works in harmony with new cloudwave® technology for a plush and lively ride.
It is VERY comfortable and there is A LOT of cushioning. (I have not raced in them yet but plan to continue running in them for my easy runs).
The colors are cool – there are currently three options for both men and women. For women, the three colors are:
- Peacoat/Pink Glo/Ceramic
- Blue/Silver/Safety Yellow
The shoes are priced at $150 – similar to the Brooks Glycerin 14 that I also wear.
Check out more from Mizuno!
As of April 30, 2017, my second marathon is in the books! It has been a long month of recovery after Big Sur but now I am happily back to reviewing, blogging and best of all – running.
The entire area of Monterey/Carmel/Big Sur is amazing, you can’t go wrong with where you stay. We used VRBO to rent a house in Monterey near Fisherman’s Wharf and the shuttle pick up. Everything was extremely easy! If you’re visiting the area, make sure you leave time for the Monterey Bay Aquarium, downtown Carmel, the 17-mile Drive in Pebble Beach and Point Lobos. There is A LOT more to see but those would be my top recommendations.
Fantastic! It was a little cramped with so many people – I would recommend people to go at less crowded times so you have a chance to look around. The expo had a lot of cool stuff but was still small enough that it was not completely overwhelming. (P.S. I met Bart Yasso!)
Definitely some of my favorite swag!!!! At the expo, runners receive their race shirt and race program. Then the race mails a copy of the local newspaper following the race – the local paper lists all of the finishers and their times! Lastly, I can’t forget to mention the medals. The medals are each hand-crafted and are truly one of a kind.
Race Day Logistics:
Woke up at 3:00 AM to walk to the shuttle. Although it was early, it was cool to be with all the other runners and to make new friends! The bus ride takes about an hour to the start line, where you then wait with all of the other runners for until the start time. It sounds miserable but it was definitely a sight to see. There is food, coffee and water – I recommend getting in line fast and quickly finding a seat on the ground. As more buses make their way to the start, the ground fills up as runners find a place to sit.
Difficult – assume that it is going to be more difficult than everyone says. Beautiful – at the time, I didn’t appreciate the beauty of the race because I felt like I was dying. Looking back, it is easily the most beautiful course that I have ever run. Great support – from the famous grand piano to the Taiko drums to the fresh strawberries, everything was amazing. When I finished the race, I said that I would never do it again… but I would totally do it all again. Plus I still got a PR, so there’s that. 🙂
1/4 Marathon? 1/2 Marathon? 3/4 Marathon?!
Yes, you read that right. I ran a 3/4 marathon distance (19.65 miles) as a training run for my marathon – placed 6th Overall, 2nd Gender.
What: Not So Normal
When: April 2, 2017
Where: Carrboro, NC
Distance: 3/4 Marathon
The best part about running this race is that it is truly local. That being said, you do get the feeling of being part of a community but you don’t get all of the swag and support that you would get from a large for-profit race. The race also supports amazing local non-profits – Orange County Rape Crisis Center, First Pages and TABLE.
I have had the pleasure of volunteering and running this race for the past two years. While it is small, I definitely recommend checking it out if you’re available and in the area!
Have you ever looked at the bottom of your reusable water bottle and noticed something gross at the bottom? Well apparently it is mold and it happens to more people than I thought. I thought that I was the only one with this problem.. don’t get me wrong, I wash my water bottles but I could never clean the bottom of a bottle that great. As a result, I’ve gone through many reusable water bottles (a little embarrassing).
And that is how Clean Bottle was born. The bottles are made with a removable bottom for easy cleaning. While it seems like such an easy concept, it is crazy that there isn’t anything else quite like it. The company quickly captured the heart of the cycling world and then appeared on ABC’s Shark Tank!
To be completely honest, I had never heard of Clean Bottle until they reached out to me regarding a product review. I tried the Tritan Square and let me just say, I continue to get compliments all the time. The Tritan Square comes in a unique square shape and seven awesome colors. The bottle is dishwasher-safe, BPA-free and has a lifetime guarantee! The only issue that I have with the bottle is that it doesn’t fit in my car cupholder… BUT I can put it on my passenger seat without it leaking so.. #winning.
Make sure to check out their website for more information. (I believe you can buy 3, get 1 free!).
Product: Beats Powerbeats2 Wireless
Find it here: Best Buy, Target, Amazon, etc.
It was the week before Thanksgiving/Black Friday when my earphones broke while I was running! It was devastating because I run with music 80-90% of the time. Luckily, I knew that I only had to wait about a week for these fancy wireless earphones to go on sale for Black Friday! They went on sale EVERYWHERE so I was really lucky. Beats also released the Powerbeats3 so you can either find these on sale still or try out the newer version.
Everyone had been trying to convince me to go wireless recently. I was not sold on the wireless feature at first because I always stuck with my same basic pair of inexpensive earphones and I didn’t think that I needed anything fancy. Needless to say, these have changed my opinion completely! Below are some of my favorite highlights in my opinion.
- Easy to use – I don’t like learning new technology but these were surprisingly simple and easy to learn and use!
- Comfortable – It took a few days to get used to but the fit is good overall and it is very secure.
- The sound is good but not overbearing – this is important so I can still be aware when I’m running on the roads.
- Bluetooth connection – I have heard that some people run into issues with their connection cutting out but it has been pretty good for me.
- Customer service – Beats uses Apple customer service and my experience was seamless! I thought that I had lost my charging cord (which would have been extremely unfortunate) and the representative quickly gave me all the information I needed to know through an easy online chat window.
I am not sure if I would have committed to buying these if they were not on sale, but they were worth the sale price for me!
What are some of your favorite earphones to run with?
Product: HYDRA 16 oz Hydration Belt
Find it here: https://fitletic.com/product/hd008-16oz-hydration-belt/
Let me start by saying that I was not a fan of running belts until I found this one. I tried almost all of the others that you can find in the running stores but nothing worked for me other than my Nathan hydration vest (which I love equally but use for my runs over 15 miles). I use this belt for my mid-distance runs since it holds 16 ounces.
This has become one of my favorite running accessories because it is super comfortable on my runs and easy to travel with.
A few additional call-outs:
- Pouch is large enough to fit smart phones – I have a iPhone 6s and I have room to fit more than my phone in the pouch.
- Silicone grippers keep the belt snug on your hips – no bouncing or riding up!
- The belt holds two 8 oz bottles – very secure!!
- There are two loops to hold gels and bib toggles for race day.
- What: Bull City Race Fest
- When: October 16, 2016
- Where: Durham, NC
- Distance: Half Marathon
Before the race, I heard positive and negative reviews. Runners either loved the beauty of the course or hated the hills of the course. Although I agree with both reviews, this has to be one of my favorite courses. (I’m also biased because I PR’d! And it was perfect running weather.. lol)
Expo: The expo was a lot of fun! I loved that it was not too big and overwhelming at the Durham Convention Center. The race included a bib, shirt and digital race bag so the pickup was pretty simple. I easily found my friends at Fleet Feet Carrboro/Durham and grabbed a few tanks from 73threads. If you haven’t heard of 73threads, you need to check them out right now! LOVE THEM… see my tanks pictured below.
Essentials: The weather forecast showed a low-mid 50s sunny morning so I went with my short sleeve Nike shirt and shorts. My 2XU compression sleeves were a little more for warmth than they were performance – I like wearing a pair for recovery as well. I also packed lots of tape since I’m still dealing with plantar fasciitis and well, can’t forget my Garmin!
Parking/Pre-Race: SUPER easy and really close to the starting line near the American Tobacco Campus. There were plenty of port-a-potties – actually, I’ve never seen such efficient bathroom lines at any other race.
Race: Just like every other race.. decently sized and crowded with anxious runners. At the start line, I found myself stuck behind the 9:00 min pacers when I was planning on starting in front of the 8:30 pacers.. oh well, there was plenty of time for catch up later. The course was beautiful and it was hilly. Runners were guided through downtown Durham and through the Duke campus. The downhills were long and the hills got slightly steeper in the last couple of miles.
Post-Race: Beer, music and food trucks! aka: a lot of lines, but all worth it. Definitely try out this race if you’re in the area for next year! I promise the hills are manageable and you can even PR like me!
This past month, I was given the opportunity to try out a couple items from prAna and I was thrilled. Disclaimer: even though the items were SUPER cute, they didn’t really fit me so I refuse to post my own pictures.
Their mission is to inspire healthy, active, and free-spirited living. Naturally this fits perfectly with my life and most likely many of yours!
The first item that I tried was the Lucia Sweater – perfect for a classic sweater! It is a recycled wool blend sweater knit with a brushed polyester back, making it perfect for cooler temperatures this fall and winter. It also comes in six different colors (if you tend to be more colorful than me lol).
The second item that I was able to try was the Kara Jean. I REALLY wish that I had ordered a smaller size because I LOVE these pants. They are really comfortable and really flattering!
Bottom line: I can’t wait to try out more products!