Gear Review: Tabio Trailblazer Socks

Disclaimer: I was one of 100 influencers selected through Fit Approach/Sweat Pink to test these socks out and share my experience (always honest though!).

Make sure you keep reading for details on my giveaway to find out how you can win a pair.

Who is Tabio?

Tabio makes “the highest quality socks in Japan” and are officially sold in the US as of this fall. I should also mention that their socks are used by many elite and Olympic athletes!

So Many Choices!

When it comes to sports socks, Tabio offers five choices. When comparing high-quality sports socks, Tabio definitely has some of the best prices that I’ve seen across the board. (P.S. They also offer really trendy ‘every day’ socks!)

  1. Ultra-light Compression – $30
  2. Ultra-light Compression Knee – $35
  3. Signature Run Toe – $25
  4. Signature Run – $25
  5. Trailblazer – $30

tabiosocks

Review Time

Lucky me, I got to try out a pair of the Trailblazer sock. For starters, the design is SLEEK! I absolutely love the look and feel of this sock – the toes spell out “TRAIL”. There were a couple of features that I was not used to: non-slip grip, toes and thickness. The non-slip grip and toes were pretty cool and although the socks are thicker than most socks that I wear, its two-layer design is worth it when you are running trails. The inside layer is made of wool to wick moisture and outside layer is made of water-resistant polyester/nylon for durability.

Other Important Details

Material

  • Polyester 33
  • Cotton 23%
  • Lyocell 15%
  • Nylon 13%
  • Wool 13%
  • Polyurethane 3%

Extra Ankle Support

  • Yes! If you are like me, you will want the extra support on the trails. The signature elastic shaping keeps your ankle aligned.

Arch Support

  • Another win! I personally like that the sock adds additional support to your arch muscles.

Toe Guard

  • Kind of weird at first but I think I can get used to the extra guard to prevent fraying while running up and down hills.

Stabilizer Heel

  • No more blisters? Designed to prevent your socks from sliding around.

In my opinion, a person can never have too many great-quality socks and this is truly a high-quality sock that is worth a try.

Giveaway

The part we’ve all been waiting for… please visit my Instagram page @_kellinickole to enter the giveaway, details are listed there.

As always, hope you enjoyed the review/giveaway and found it to be helpful. For additional details, please visit the Tabio website!

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2017 Recap // 2018 Goals

This past year was crazy to say the least. We moved back across the country to California. Cade proposed at the San Francisco Marathon where I also reached my sub 4 hour marathon goal – did I mention it was the best weekend ever? And then we bought our first home in October!

The past year will definitely be a tough one to beat. I was disappointed to be closing out the year with a small injury but I am excited to starting working on reaching my new goals.

Goals

  • A year without injuries (fingers crossed).
  • Run a 3:50 marathon.
  • Run a 1:50 half marathon.

2018 Races

  • San Jose 408k – March 4th
  • Silicon Valley Half Marathon – April 16th
  • Cincinnati Flying Pig Marathon – May 6th
  • Across the Bay 415k – June 10th
  • The SF Marathon (or half) – July 29th
  • East Bay 510k – September TBD
  • Rock n Roll San Jose – October 7th
  • California International Marathon – maybe?

*use discount code REPRESENTKH to save on the San Jose 408k, Across the Bay 415k and East Bay 510k, remote options available.

Ab Exercises for Runners

It hopefully comes as no surprise that having a stronger core can help you to become a stronger runner. And how does one get a stronger core? You guessed right… ab exercises! Is it time to start adding some ab exercises in after your runs? Or maybe it’s time to change up your current ab exercise routine.

Here are a few of my favorite exercises to do after my runs.

Forearm Plank

  1. Start face down with your forearms on the ground and your legs extended behind you. Align your elbows under your shoulders. Though many people prefer to clasp their hands, it is recommended to try palms up or palms down. That way, you are focused on engaging your core and avoid putting additional stress on your hands.
  2. Ready? Engage your abs, tuck your toes and lift your body off the ground. Check to see if you form a straight line. If you notice that your hips are a little high, you may need to drop your hips and engage your core even more.
  3. How long can you hold this for?
  4. Side Plank Variation – Yup, you guessed it. Choose a side to face, stack one leg on top of the other and balance on one forearm. If you’re having trouble balancing to begin, start by practicing with your knees stacked on the ground.

Glute Bridge

  1. Lie on your back (face up) on the floor. Your knees should be bent (90 degrees) and your feet should be flat on the floor. Your arms will stay at your side, palms down.
  2. Now lift your hips and back off the floor until everything forms a straight line down to your knees. Make sure you squeeze your glutes to keep a strong back.
  3. Hold for 10 seconds then lower slowly to the floor, repeat 10 times.
  4. Single Leg Variation – Same instructions but one leg will be lifted. Remember to keep your quads even and your hips straight.
  5. Twist Variation – Instead of holding for 10 seconds when you get into the bridge, you will slowly dip one hip (keeping the other hip in place), then raise it slowly back up. Then slowly dip the other hip (keeping the first hip in place). Repeat, 10 times on each side. Remember to keep your glutes and abs engaged.

Bicycle Crunch

  1. Get ready. Lie on your back (face up again) and place your hands behind your head for support.
  2. Now extend your legs into the air. The motion will be similar to pedaling a bicycle, hence the name.
  3. Rotate to the left, your right elbow will meet your left knee while your other leg extends.
  4. Keeping your feet off the ground, now switch sides, continuing to alternate or pedal your imaginary bike.
  5. How long can you keep this up for? For starters, try to aim to reach one minute.

Of course, these are only to name a few. It is important to switch up exercises and continuously challenge your body in new ways. What are some of your favorite ab exercises?

The Runner’s Holiday Gift Guide

The holidays are coming and it’s time to start thinking about what to get that special runner in your life. Here are 10 unique gifts for runners that will hopefully make holiday shopping a little less stressful this year!

img_15811. RaceHerBox

Can’t decide on a present to buy? RaceHer Box is a subscription box catered to women runners and their newest holiday box is the perfect gift for a runner this season. The price is $34.99 plus $6 shipping – use code RUNHAPPY10 for 10% off!

milesandpace_tank2. Miles & Pace Tank

This ‘Miles & Pace // Run Because I Can Muscle Tank’ is one of my favorite tanks. The design is awesome and the fabric is super comfortable. Tank top prices range from $19.99 to $24.99. Plus, use code KELLI20 for 20% off!

img_67573. Momentum Jewelry

Everyone needs some extra motivation when it comes to working out. Momentum Jewelry is workout-friendly motivational athletic jewelry and I am a huge fan! Prices can range from $9.99 to $26.99.

4. Run Ink

How awesome is that design that Run Ink sent me after finishing The SF Marathon?! These make awesome gifts and you can even make custom maps. I can’t wait to order more! Prices start at $13.

SIDE_0016_Flamingo-Side-View5. Goodr Sunglasses

Now these sunglasses are the real deal for any runner – I have 3 pairs in different colors! The colors are fun and they definitely stay on your face. Priced at $25.

IMG_00886. Race Registration – Run The Bay Series

My fiancé loves to use this gift and I’m not complaining! I recommend the Represent Running Run The Bay Series – you can run in person or remote. The first race of the series, San Jose 408k is coming up on March 4, 2018 and you can use discount code RepresentKH for 15% off!

 

mparadiseblue_1024x10247. Pro Compression Socks

Every runner could use a new pair of compression socks, especially a special edition holiday sock. Pro tip: keep an eye out for the release as they sell out quickly. Plus you can use discount code PRO17 for 40% off!

milesandpace_hat8. Miles & Pace Trucker Hat

These hats come in a variety of colors and designs so there is a hat perfect for every runner. Prices range from $19.99 to $24.99. Plus, use code KELLI20 for 20% off!

addaday9. +addady Massage Roller

Give a toy this year! This massage roller was a lifesaver when it came to rest and recovery days. Prices range from $42 to $47 depending on the model.

oofos10. OOFOS Sandal

These sandals may look a little chunky but runners rejoice as these are known to reduce stress on sore feet, knees and lower back. In addition, $10 from every Project Pink Collection shoe purchased will go to breast cancer research! Priced at $59.95.

Training Tips for Your First Half Marathon

Many of my friends have asked me for advice in training for their first half marathon and I could not be happier and more excited to share my thoughts!

The first question to ask – do you have a goal race? If so, when is it? How much are you currently running?

  •  It is so important to make sure that you give yourself enough time to train and prepare for your first race. This will ensure that you are prepared and confident when you get to the start line.
  • Take a look at these training plans from Hal Higdon for some help!

Planning your race and training schedule can sometimes be overwhelming, but it helps to make it fun! I look at my training log almost daily and write down notes about my run to keep me motivated.

Other training tips

  • Practice proper nutrition and hydration, you will need it to run 13.1 miles.
  • Visit your local running store and make sure you are wearing good shoes for running. This is one that many first time runners overlook because any exercise shoe can be used for running, right? Wrong.
  • Listen to your body to avoid running through pain and thus potentially injuring yourself further.
  • Don’t worry about time! If you have a goal time then that is fantastic, otherwise I would not suggest stressing out over your first race.
  • There will be times that you may feel like quitting but remember why you started.
  • Running is a mental sport and can be different for everyone. Test out different training methods and see what works best for you!
  • Overall rule: trust the process and have fun!

 

What are some of your best half marathon training tips?

Stay tuned for race day tips!

Halloween Tanks You Didn’t Know You Needed

It is officially October so that means that Halloween will be coming up fast! Is anyone running any Halloween races or just love all things Halloween? These tanks may be just what you needed. Check out the slideshow and details below!

Based out of San Diego, CA, Miles & Pace Clothing + Goods is an active lifestyle brand with awesome and unique designs. As described on their website, “…it’s inspirational, its fun, its family“. I love my tanks from Miles & Pace and I highly recommend checking them out. You can use discount code: KELLI20 for 20% off!

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5 Reasons to Sign Up for The Berkeley Half Marathon

Maybe you have never heard of it. Maybe you never venture out to Berkeley, CA. Or maybe you just need some extra words of encouragement to register. Whatever the reason, here are my top 5 reasons why you should register for The Berkeley Half Marathon today (or the 10k and 5k).

best

  1. Run Berkeley – I don’t know about you but I have never run through Berkeley. A race is my favorite way to run through the best parts of a city. As the race site says, “experience iconic Telegraph Avenue, vibrant Shattuck Avenue, serene North Berkeley streets, the picturesque waterfront, and more in this loop course“.
  2. Explore Berkeley – I don’t make the trip up to Berkeley often but when I do, it is usually either for food or a football game. So why not take the opportunity to get to run and eat? Most people know Berkeley as home to the birthplace of the Free Speech Movement in the 1960s, but what they may not know is that it is also home to some amazing restaurants. I highly recommend taking a look on Yelp or Trip Advisor’s Berkeley 2017: Best of Berkeley to make the most of your trip.
  3. A Distance for Everyone – Make this your first half marathon or maybe even your 50th half marathon. Maybe you don’t even feel like running a half marathon – try out the 10k! Bring your family, friends and coworkers to join you. You can even form a team and compete in the Team Challenge.
  4. The SF/Berkeley Challenge – I ran The San Francisco Marathon in July so by running The Berkeley Half, I will complete The SF/Berkeley Challenge and earn a third medal! If you ran TSFM, definitely sign up for this race and complete the challenge. If you didn’t run TSFM this year, don’t worry! You can run The Berkeley Half in November and still earn the challenge medal when you run TSFM next July. Find more details here.
  5. Discount Code – Yup, that’s right. You can get $10 OFF using the discount code: KELLI for the half or 10k events and $5 OFF with discount code: KELLI5K. So what are you waiting for? Sign up and run with us in November!
Hope to see you all out there on the course!

Why Should Runners Practice Yoga?

If you’re like me, most days include the essential activities such as going on my run, eating and going to work. Or as I like to say, “eat, sleep, run, repeat“. So why add another activity into your training program and how do you even find time for it?

Why Add Yoga?

Ok, so you already love to run. Why add in a new yoga practice? To be honest, I was not a fan after my first class. It was slow and I did not get the sense of accomplishment that I get from finishing a run. A friend recommended that I test out other types of yoga classes until I found a good fit and I am glad I did! As an avid runner, these are my favorite benefits of yoga:

  • Mindfulness – As you learn how to bring awareness and focus to your practice, you also bring awareness and focus to the other aspects of your life.
  • Strength, Balance & Core – Yoga teaches you how to use different muscles to balance your body in various poses. You might not even know you had some of these muscles!
  • Flexibility & Stretching – As a runner, you probably have tight hips or hamstrings… not to mention that IT band. Adding yoga to your current training program can definitely help, there is hope!

How to Add Yoga to Your Current Training Program?

Before I moved, I made a habit of going to vinyasa and/or hot yoga classes on weeknights after work or on weekends after my long run. This allowed for my yoga practice to best complement my running. Here are a couple things to remember when starting out:

  • Start out slow – This is important when starting any new activity but especially when practicing yoga. No matter how fit you are, yoga is a humbling practice and it takes time. Start by adding one class in addition to your running days and then you can begin to add more.
  • Every day is different – Similar to running, know and respect your body to stay injury-free. When I began my yoga practice, I found it is easy to get caught up in the mental and physical challenge. I immediately ended up overdoing it and was forced to take time off from both running and yoga.

 

If you’re considering adding yoga to your running routine, I would also recommend checking out this article from Runner’s World, 6 Reasons Your Yoga Instructor Needs to Know You’re a Runner.

prAna Fall 2017 Review

You may recall that last October I had the opportunity to try out some prAna clothes for the first time and I loved them. So naturally, I jumped at the opportunity to try out some items from their new 2017 fall line. (Psst.. don’t forget to check out the discount code at the end!).
First and foremost, for those of you who are not familiar with prAna, here is a link to a quick background about the company. Highly recommend giving it a read!

OUR MISSION IS TO INSPIRE HEALTHY, ACTIVE, AND FREE-SPIRITED LIVING.

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!

swaytank.PNG
Price: $69.00
Review: LOVE it! It’s casual yet made to be active so I can wear it when grabbing coffee on the weekend or to my upcoming yoga class. The fit is extremely flattering as it fits on the looser end while the attached bra also fit well. One thing to note is that since it has an attached bra, you would definitely want to double check the sizing guide.
Jennapant
Price: $89.00
Review: Five stars! The last pair of pants that I tried from prAna ran a little big so I learned from my mistakes and I went down a size (and I’m glad I did!). All you need to know about this pant is that it is flattering and super comfortable with a stretch type of fabric.
I honestly loved the products from the Fall 2017 line and would recommend trying them out! You can even use discount code: FAKH15 for 15% off.

Re: San Francisco Marry-thon

Wow! After moving across the country, starting a new job, getting engaged and running another marathon, I’m back!!!!

Let’s  start with the most interesting part – running another marathon. Ha, just kidding but I got engaged at the San Francisco Marathon so it’s kind of the same thing. First, I beat my PR by 15 minutes AND ran a sub-4 hour marathon so I was ecstatic. (I really wasn’t even expecting to PR but the course was amazing). Then… Cade proposed when I finished!

Find out more fun details about my weekend in my blog post for Represent Running and stay tuned for more to come!