Saturday, December 31, 2016

Soaking the Soreness out

Disclaimer: I received Epsoak Epsom Salts 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 seen and heard a lot from other runners and athletes that Epsom salt soaks work wonders on your feet and muscles.  Of course I had never tried it because I just don't have time for everything.  I do what I can to balance my family, work and running but there's not always time to look into new running related items.  Which is why being a part of Bibrave is so great for me because there are always new products to try without me having to go do research or spend time figuring what to get, they just send it to me.

So in this case I was send a HUGE tub of Energizing Epsoak Sport which is a mix of Epsom salt with eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils.  I was intrigued because I just assumed all Epsom salt was the same however I quickly learned from the materials sent by San Francisco Salt Co (makers of Epsoak salts) that this is not true.  I also did not know why soaking in Epsom salt was helpful for a runner like myself.

As it turns out magnesium sulfate (salt) is a mineral that minimizes muscle cramps, increases recovery rates and decreases post workout slumps.  I didn't realize that it actually did stuff, I just thought it felt good and that's why people did it.  Look at that, learnin knew stuff!  In fact, the salt reduces swelling, gets rid of toxins that buildup during hard workouts or races and can even help prevent injuries by helping your body to recover better in between the torture sessions we inflict on it.  The Epsoak sports line is actually made of pure magnesium sulfate to ensure it has maximum effectiveness. 

There are 3 types of Sport salts offered by San Francisco Salt Company: Energizing (kind I got), Soothing and Pure Unscented.  As I mentioned Energizing has the addition of Eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils which not only smells lovely especially in a warm, soothing bath but also helps with deep muscle recovery.  The Soothing Salt is infused with lavender which helps with restoration and relaxation soaking.  I did not have the pleasure of smelling this one but I'm sure the Lavendar is wonderful to smell as well.  As you might assume the pure unscented is exactly what it sounds like just pure, plain salt which is perfect for those who are sensitive to different smells or perhaps too manly to soak in a scented salt ;-) 
Alright now that we all know why we should soak, does it really work?  Granted I only received this product a few weeks ago and therefore have only soaked a handful of times, I still do believe that it's helpful to muscle recovery.  I am currently working on becoming a faster marathon runner which let me tell you is absolute hell after only ultra training for over a year.  I haven't done any kind of serious speed workouts in probably 1.5 years and it really hurts to do them right now.  I feel like I'm just sore all the time lately.
This training cycle is kicking my ass!
The soak feels good while I'm in the tub but then it lasts.  My muscles definitely feel more relaxed and less sore for a day or two after the soak, I can tell it helps them to recover better from the trauma of the workouts I'm doing.  Of course, Emir wanted to check the salt out as well so I was nice and shared.  He agreed he felt better and more recovered after the soak as well.  We both also loved the smell of the eucalyptus and peppermint. 

If you are interested in trying it out for yourself, San Francisco Salt Co is currently having a sale on their website on the 5lb bags of salt.  You can also use the code RAVE10 to save an additional $10 on the 5lb bag, great deal! 

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Rudy Project Fotonyk Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received Rudy Project NA Fotonyk sunglasses 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!
The Rudy Project's latest performance sunglasses are called the Fotonyk.  The main new feature being a 'Lens Bumper' system, which provides protection to the face during falls or impacts, as well as a customizable look. The bumpers are available in multiple different colors.  They can also be removed to create a half-rim lens. In addition to this new technology, air channels are at the top of the lens so users can easily manage internal airflow and mitigate fog. The fully adjustable ErgonoseX nose piece and variety of interchangeable lenses, including the unbreakable and photochromic ImpactX lens, make the Fotonyk a very individualized pair of glasses specific to each person and their own face shape. The Fotonyk is also available with high-tech prescriptions.
So now that was the technical terms and explanations but what does all this mean in real life?  At first glance they are a pretty sharp looking pair of glasses.  I received a pair with clear lenses that transition to sunglasses in the sun.  They have black frames with neon green bumpers.

After putting them on, I decided I wasn't a fan of how the bumpers looked on my face.  It's a toss up between scientist and going out to the shooting range kind of look.  I did notice that they do look good on some people.  I think probably the shape and size of my face have something to do with it.  But this was no problem since the bumpers are removable.  I understand the purpose of the bumpers especially for cyclists as it adds protection to their face if they were to fall or have a crash but luckily for me, I have yet to smash my face running (knock on wood) so I don't feel like taking them off is a problem.  Removing them was not all difficult even though you have to remove the lenses from the frames completely to take the bumpers off.  The lenses are super easy to snap in and out of the frames and once the frames are off the bumpers come right off.   I assembled and disassembled them a bunch of times for testing purposes and it would take less than a minute every time. 

Part of the purpose of the glasses coming apart is to remove the bumpers if you don't wish to wear them but also so that you can switch out for different color bumpers or you can even switch out lenses.  There's a variety of options on the Rudy project website

As far as performance these glasses did awesome for me.  Obviously since it's winter most of my runs were in cold weather which is prime time for foggy glasses.  As mentioned above, the fotonyks have air channels at the top of the lenses, I felt these helped tremendously as I didn't have any problems with the glasses fogging up.  I even wore them once inside on the treadmill to get a feel for how they would do in warmer temps since I didn't think I would have that opportunity outside, as it turns out yesterday was about 65 and I ran 18 miles and no fogging problems inside or outside in the warmer temps.

Which leads me into my favorite feature of these glasses the transitioning lenses.  I never really considered how having lenses that transition from clear to sunglasses would be so beneficial for running but now that I've been using the fotonyks, they really can be.  Countless times I start runs when it's light and finish when it's dark or start when it's dark and finish when it's light especially in winter time.  Usually I wear my sunglasses or have them on my head and usually have to move them from one spot to the other depending on if it's dark or light out. 
 And of course there's always those times when it's not really bright out anymore but the setting or rising sun might be directly in your eyes and you are every two minutes switching the sunglasses back and forth from your eyes to the top of your head because when the sun isn't in your eyes it's too dark with the glasses on your eyes.  I also encounter lots of dark shady areas mixed with open areas of sun.  I'm always no matter what time of year or day, switching my sunglasses from face to head a million times.   It doesn't really bother me to switch my glasses around or have them on my head but using the Fotonyks was pretty nice.  I put them on and actually would just forget they were there.  The lenses are crystal clear when it's not light out so you don't even notice you are looking through a lens.   I wore them several times in the complete dark just for eye protection from the bitter cold wind and other than the fact they blocked anything from hitting my eyes, I didn't even notice them because the lens is so clear.  The transition from clear to sunglasses is really so gradual and in perfect sync with the conditions, you don't even realize it's happening. 
 Yesterday on my long run, it was really overcast and quite dark when I went out but halfway through it cleared up and was bright and sunny.  It was really awesome to have put them on from the start and then not have to do anything when conditions changed so much.  Considering how dark it was out and the forecast was for overcast, I may not even have brought my sunglasses in the past but since I had the fotonyks I figured I would just wear them and I was very happy I did.  I didn't even notice when the glasses transitioned to the darker lenses.  They transition so gradually so there's never a time when they seem too dark for when it's not super light out and they definitely are just as good as any other sunglasses when it's super bright out. 


Lastly, the frames are super light which I love and they seem very durable.  Luckily I haven't had to truly test their strength but they feel sturdy and they are specially made to withstand bike crashes so they should be able to withstand my abuses of them. 

Sunday, November 27, 2016

That time I ran for a day -- NJ One Day

So as you may recall, back in February, I ran the Febapple Frozen 50 and was the only female finisher.  For winning, I received entry into any other NJ trail series race.  I already had plans for the majority of races listed however the One Day was calling my name.
Running a 1 mile loop for 24 hours probably doesn't appeal to many people but to me, sounded awesome!   After running C & O under 24 hours, I thought I could totally run 100 miles again, lower my time and maybe even run more than a 100.  It seemed like running a short loop would make a lot of things easier.  I would have access to my crew and aid pretty much whenever I wanted and I wouldn't have to carry much with me, I thought it would be nice to run an ultra without a pack.

Aerodaks

Disclaimer: Emir received Aerodak's Running Briefs as part of me being an awesome wife and a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

When Bibrave was looking for more men to test Aerodaks running underwear, Emir was happy to step up even though he's not a Bibravepro.  He actually not long before this opportunity arose, was saying how he needed new running underwear.  While most of his running shorts, have the built in briefs/support, Emir LOOOOOOOOVES his running manpris as well as running tights in the winter.  None of these provide much support to the vital parts so he likes to wear running underwear.  He has worn a few types that are more the compression short type so this is his first experience with a running brief other than the built in ones.


At first glance, they didn't look like much and actually thought the sizing might have been off as they just looked kind of big.  But once he put them on, he found that they fit well, snug but not too tight.  They are mesh and lightweight, not something you would wear on it's own but obviously you aren't supposed to.  And this feature is what makes them so breathable which leads to better comfort when running and sweating.


Emir didn't have any chafing and said that the drawstring was placed well.  It was on the outside so that it didn't cause any irritation.  He reported that the briefs stayed in place perfectly during all workouts and no wedgies.  He also felt they were very supportive and kept everything where it should be while running.
MANPRIS!!!!!!!!

Overall Emir was very satisfied with the Aerodaks running briefs and said he will definitely continue to use them.

Sorry Ladies these are just for men! 

But I still think they make my butt look good ;-)

Check out the Aerodaks website for more info and FREE shipping!!!!!!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

XX2i--Brazil1

Disclaimer: I received XX2i Brazil1 sunglasses 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!

It's no secret that I LOVE xx2i sunglasses.  If you ever are on my instagram, those are the only glasses you will ever see both for running and casual wear. 

USA1

FRANCE2
It doesn't matter that I already have the France2, USA1 and the Bermuda1, I have to try them all which is why of course I opted in for testing of their latest casual glasses the Brazil1. 

Here is the description of the Brazil1:

"Decorated with small silver accents and a keyhole shaped nosepiece, the Brazil1 turns heads with sleek lines and simplicity.  Using the same advanced materials as XX2i’s performance models, the Brazil1 comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 8K optical technology, ensuring the utmost frame durability and lens clarity.
Lightweight and durable frame. Polarized lenses with 8K optical technology. Glare cutting polarized lens technology - 100% UVA and UVB Protection"

Things I like about the Brazil1:

1. They look cool.  I mean I don't like to toot my own horn but I think I look pretty hot in these, here's photographic evidence


2. The frame is SUPER light.  While I loved how the Bermuda1 looked on me as well, I can feel a definite difference in the weight of the frame.  The Bermuda1 are definitely a heavier slightly bulkier frame.  I still love those glasses because they look great and are for casual but if you like your glasses to feel as light as possible the Brazil1 is definitely for you. 

3.  Fit is great.  Since these are lighter and slightly smaller than the Bermuda1, they just seem to fit on my face perfectly.  They literally never move ever.  I've worn them doing all kinds of things with the kids and even bending completely over they never even slid down my face at all.  Since they feel so snug, I decided to give them a try for running.  Unlike the Bermuda1's, which moved around and just felt to bulky for running, the Brazil1's were perfect.  They felt comfortable, never moved and honestly I forgot I was wearing them. 
Running in my Brazil1's!

4. polarized lenses.  Since I've started using XX2i glasses polarized lenses are just a must for me.  Everything looks amazing through them, totally cuts down on the glare and they are great protection from my eyes.  Even though these are casual glasses, I still feel it's super important.  AND it makes them look even cooler! 
YEAHHH polarized!
Honestly, there wasn't anything I didn't like about the Brazil1.  At first I was surprised by how almost plasticy the frame felt but I ended up really liking that aspect because that's why they are super light.  I also realized that they are still super sturdy despite this which was my other concern. 

As with ALL XX2i glasses, there is a 1 year money back guarantee and they have lifetime warranty (BTW I recently used the warranty on my FRANCE2's that Una snapped in half and was SUPER HAPPY with how easy and quick it was).  They also come with the same great sturdy case that all their glasses come with, I can't tell you how the case has SIGNIFICANTLY lengthened the life of my sunglasses.

The Code XX2iRocks will save you 50% on any of their glasses (amazing deal!)

AND for a limited time until Tuesday November 22nd at Midnight use the code BRAZIL1 to save 60% on the Brazil1's