I had so much fun last weekend in Roanoke, VA for the Blue Ridge (double) Marathon that it warranted a 2-part video review! Obviously everything didn’t go as planned but it was still an amazing experience. Chime in below if you’ve ever had to make the best of a bad situation at a race, but still came out smiling! And don’t forget to check out reviews from the other BibRave Pros:
If you go through sunglasses like me, at the rate a normal person goes through pens, then you’ll know I was excited to test the Knockaround Fast Lanes as part of being a BibRave Pro. As someone who puts sunglasses through the paces, there’s a couple of factors important in terms of selection: durability, cost, and comfort. Bonus points for cool factor and lens color/visibility. So how do the Knockaround Fast Lanes fair against the Fun Size test?
First off, direct from the website, Fast Lanes
“are designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes. And like all Knockaround sunglasses, each pair benefits from FDA-approved and impact-resistant lenses with full UV400 protection. “
Durability: these bad boys have been thrown in my backpack, back pocket of a cycling jersey, dropped on the ground repeatedly, and temporarily lost under the driver’s seat of my car. Each time they’ve come back no worse for the wear, and no lens scratches.
Cost: $20, add $5 for polarized. Need we say more?
Comfort: Surprisingly, while these are designed for medium to larger face shapes apparently, these still look great on my fun size face. In fact, they don’t slide off the bridge of my nose (often a problem) and they don’t hurt my ears or head from squeezing (an issue I get when I try to find smaller frames). Most appropriately, the large lenses still fit just fine when wearing a bike helmet so these glasses have been great for social cruises around town.
Cool Factor: while certainly larger on my face, I do love a rectangular frame to help make my round face look a little less round and puffy. The design is definitely reminiscent of my favorite classic design offered by a much more $$$ brand and I love that it’s offered in 16 different color/lenses options.
Lens color/visibility: I have the slate tortoise shell frame with sky blue lenses. The lenses have been great in many lighting conditions, especially in lower light, hazy days where it’s still nice wearing glasses to cut the glare. They offer awesome protection without making everything too dark.
Ready for your own pair?
Use discount code BIBRAVEKNOCKS1 for 20% off your entire order until 4/18 (one time use).
And don’t forget to tune into #Bibchat with BibRave and Knockaround next Tuesday, April 16 at 9pm ET for your chance to WIN a pair of Fast Lanes!
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about the Fast Lanes:
I have a ton a work to do between now and flying to Roanoke on Friday but that doesn’t mean I can’t spend a few minutes each day getting excited for this next challenge! Since I paced the 5:30 group at the Atlanta Marathon only 3 weeks ago, I’ve opted to take what I call an “active taper”. Blue Ridge is a notoriously tough race so I wanted to make sure I was in good shape and well-rested. For the last few weeks I’ve maintained shorter 5-6 mile runs during the week, focusing now on strength and some hill work sessions. I’ve included more yoga and tons of cycling, but I haven’t done any long runs. I felt that with Blue Ridge only one month after Atlanta Marathon, focusing on recovery and maintaining fitness was more important than long miles. I’m already trained for the distance; now seemed like a good time to focus on other areas of my overall strength and fitness that are often neglected.
My plan went so well and I’ve been feeling so strong that I found that little spark of insanity again; I leveled up to the Blue Ridge DOUBLE Marathon! Yup, I’ll be starting at 1am on Saturday, in time to finish one marathon lap before starting again with the general field at 7am. 52.4 miles of hilly goodness. Running an ultramarathon with over 7,000 feet of climbing at 1am during the last few weeks of the semester is not one of my brightest ideas for sure, but in the words of Robin Williams, “You’re only given a little spark of madness. You mustn’t lose it.”
With a busy schedule ahead of another epic adventure, here’s how I’m planning to stay healthy this week before the race:
SLEEP: maintaining focus at work during the day will be key to avoiding any late night cram sessions. I’ve got a checklist and Bose noise cancelling headphones. Hoping those will keep me on task so I can make it to bed at normal hours for at least 7 hours of sleep a night.
WATER: starting each morning with water plus Nuun before coffee, and drinking plenty during the day. Nuun has so many great options now for daily use as well as fitness use, it makes drinking water a little tastier and more efficient in terms of maintaining electrolyte balance throughout the week (something I worry about this time of year as we abruptly move from winter to humid summer here in the South). I try to start each day with Nuun Vitamins Ginger Lemonade. It’s really tasty, can be used in hot water as a tea, and has caffeine so makes a great coffee substitute for the am. During the day I’ll have at least one Nuun Immunity or serving of BCAAs, and I’ll finish the day with a Nuun Rest at least an hour before bed. PS the Nuun Rest Lemon Chamomile also makes a great hot tea!
RUNNING: 2-3 easy runs around 3 miles. I plan to do short treadmill runs today and tomorrow at the school gym. If I have time I’ll do another one on Thursday. However, since I’m flying to Roanoke, I know I’ll get plenty of airport walking miles in on Friday so I’m not worried about getting in the time on my feet.
CROSS-TRAINING: Wednesday morning is our weekly sunrise coffee and biscuit ride around Atlanta so I’ll get about 26 miles spinning my legs as long as weather permits. No better way to keep the cardio up but the impact low.
YOGA: ideally I’ll get in at least one yoga session. My flight isn’t until noon on Friday so I should have time to make it to the studio that morning, but at minimum I’ll do some vinyasas on my own.
I know these are all things I should be doing every week, but it certainly becomes more important leading up to big efforts. How do you prepare for big adventures, especially when juggling a busy schedule? Let me know in the comments or on social. I’ll be back later in the week to let you know how this plan panned out and to show the gear I’m using for this next adventure.
Feeling a “little spark of madness” and want to join me at the Blue Ridge 10k, half, full, or marathon relay this weekend? Click HERE to register and use the code BLUERIDGEBIBRAVE save 20% on registration.
Disclaimer: I received a Handful The Closer bra 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!
In the world of an endurance athlete with a 32DD chest size, you get used slathering on body glide, locking down the uni-boob, and hoping for the best. For me, the “best” still meant chafing (sometimes leaving scars all around the bra line) and struggling to get into and out of an over the head design. Those days are OVER!
I discovered Handful back in December when the BibRave Pros met them at The Running Event in Austin and we tested the amazingly comfortable Y-Back bra. You can read more about the Y-back here, but the short of it is, it’s my go-to daily bra for under t-shirts, yoga, and even shorter runs at the gym. For the larger ladies among us, I’d say that it’s not quite a high impact bra but it definitely does the trick in a pinch and feels amazing. To say the least, I was very excited to have the opportunity to try Handful’s new bra, the Closer.
The Closer Bra is specifically geared towards high impact activities for bustier ladies. The front zip design means it’s super easy to get on and off, even after a super sweaty workout session (the struggle is real!). The zipper itself is a really high quality, tough design so it doesn’t show any signs of wear, even though I’ve worn and washed mine several times a week. The enclosures have extra soft protective material to prevent chafing. In fact, the only “negative” of this bra is the fact the zipper is so tough it’s actually difficult to get it undone sometimes. Honestly, I’ll take that over getting stuck in a sports bra with my arms over my head (ladies, you know what I’m talking about). P.S. I literally had to have a stranger in the locker room help me out of my bra one time.
I think one other BibRave Pro has had issues with the top part of the zipper causing some chafe/irritation but I have had ZERO chafing issues. I suspect that a small piece of KT or Duct tape over the top part of the zipper would help mitigate any possible irritation. The first week I had this bra I took the plunge and wore it while pacing the 5:30 pace team at the Atlanta Marathon. Not only did I have no issues with the zipper area, I had ZERO chafing around the bra line/rib cage area! This is an amazing win in my books, as I’m pretty cut up and scarred in those areas just from years of running and suffering through the boob chafe. The days of assuming that the tightest, most uni-boob inducing bra was the only way to prevent chafe are over.
The Closer is amazing soft, comfortable, and actually looks good. If there’s one thing that Handful really does great, it’s empowering women to be active and still look great and maintain their natural shape while doing so. The bra allows for great, comfortable movement through many different activities. I used it for running, cycling, yoga, and daily wear and never felt constricted. In fact, I loved it so much I bought a second one with the BibRave discount code (BIBRAVE for 10% off!).
Head over to Handful now to check out their full lineup of amazing products as well as the Closer bra now! And don’t forget to use code BIBRAVE for 10% off your order!
Want to hear what other awesome BibRave ladies have to say about the Closer?
“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Honolulu Marathon 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!”
In my slow but sure quest to eventually run a marathon in all 50 states, I never thought I’d get to Hawaii so early in the process but thanks to BibRave and my amazing bestie, fun size wonder twin (more on that in a sec) I’ll be running the Honolulu Marathon this December! I was very lucky to have visited the Big Island when I was 16 but this will be my first time in Oahu, and we also plan to visit Kauai. This will also be Adam’s first time in Hawaii so we’re looking forward to an epic adventure right before his birthday!
As a kid who grew up on Disney films, I remember learning of the idea of “Ohana” in the movie ‘Lilo and Stitch’ Ohana means “family” in the Hawaiian language and, from the film, “…family means nobody gets left behind. Or forgotten.” In general, the concept means “family” in the broader sense including relatives, friends, neighbors, etc. For this next marathon journey, I can’t think of a more fitting location and idea. Over the past 10+ years, running has given me the most amazing family by choice, and the best gift among that running “Ohana” in my life, is my fun size wonder twin, Tina. Tina is a courageous, strong, beautiful friend who inspires me every day. We’ve had amazing running adventures during our friendship. This past year she’s struggled with injuries but has been fighting every step of the way. When Tina realized that the Honolulu Marathon is on her 50th birthday she decided there’s no better to celebrate. I think that’s a pretty damn good reason to check Hawaii off my marathon list!
In honor of my fun size wonder twin, I’m giving away one free entry to the Honolulu Marathon on December 8, 2019! “Ohana” is my reason for running; what’s yours?! Head to my posts on Twitter or Instagram and reply with your reason for wanting to run the Honolulu Marathon. Follow and tag @funsizeathlete, @BibRave, @HNLMarathon, and make sure to include #BibChat and #HonoluluBR to be eligible. You have until Sunday, April 7 11:59pm to enter!
Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash 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!
Since I started running more than 10 years ago I’ve always been a bit jealous of friends with four-legged running buddies. It was with that in mind that my husband and I brought Batoot into our family a year ago. However, running with your pup can be a difficult, complicated, and potentially hazardous undertaking without the proper tools. Enter: Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner™.
The Stunt Runner is a great hands-free leash option that allows you to run in sync with your pup. The adjustable extension allows for modified distance from your 4-legged running partner depending on environment, i.e. close side-by-side running on urban sidewalks vs. wider distance in open parks/trails. I’m a big fan of the flexible bunjee section, especially when Batoot suddenly decides a squirrel is more interesting than our run; the bunjee “absorbs variances in stride, speed and direction” and results in less chances of me losing my arm or falling on my face when the doggy ADHD kicks in.
This is actually my 2nd Stunt Runner leash. I already have the Go Dog Glo reflective leash and the reflective harness. I highly recommend pairing the reflective leash with the Stunt Runner, especially for those early morning or evening runs. I’ve found all Stunt Puppy products to be extra durable and made from high-quality material; the year old harness and leash are still in great shape.
Disclaimer: I received an order of Food Groove Mission super food bites 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!
Still looking for the perfect on-the-go snack that doesn’t break the calorie budget and includes ingredients you feel good about adding to your body? Well, you weren’t alone and the awesome folks at Food Groove Mission certainly made it their mission to create the snack many of us have been looking for:
The bites are paleo friendly (not vegan or vegetarian friendly because they contain paleo protein powder and honey – sorry!)
The company was looking for something natural and easy to consume to complement our running and triathlon lifestyle.
They weren’t crazy with the options out there – they would never eat an entire energy bar because it would make them feel full before or during a workout. When taking a bite out of a bar, it wasn’t easy to save for later because it would either go stale or get our bags/pouches dirty. SO, they wanted to create something that’s easy to consume and where you could also save the rest for later if you wanted to. With ingredients they eat almost everyday, they combined everything together and created their Super food Bites! Each pouch is one serving of 10 bites, so if you wanted to consume the entire pouch as a lifestyle snack or if you’re hungry, you wouldn’t have to feel bad doing so. Or, just like what they do, eat a few bites whenever you want to and reseal the bag / save for later.
Their goal is to create a product line that actually tastes good and has ingredients that add value to everyone’s day-to-day lifestyle, targeting young kids all the way to athletes.
All flavors are made with all natural organic ingredients and are Gluten Free, Non GMO, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Grain Free and two out of the three flavors are Paleo Friendly (Mother Earth (original) & Holy Truffle Punch!
As an on-the-go PhD student and endurance athlete I’m pretty hungry and snacking ALL THE TIME. I try to eat as healthy as possible within the confines of easily prepared and packaged foods but that’s often difficult. Most snacks come in sharing sizes and the ones geared towards active lifestyles, such as Lara or Cliff bars are higher in calories and more appropriate for consumption after long efforts; eating bars like that during the workday effectively act like candy bars.
I have loved the Super Food Bites because they come in a RE-SEALABLE pouch so you can grab a few bites on the go and not worry about snacking yourself into a coma or over-doing it before a long effort. I’ve found grabbing a few bites just before a long run has given me a little boost of energy and dissipated the starving feeling I get while running without weighing my stomach down. I’ve been keeping at least one pouch in my gym bag so that I can grab a few bites before and after a workout. As a result, I haven’t been starving and ready to gorge myself on my post-workout meals. In addition, as a daytime snack, eating a few bites as a morning snack and afternoon snack keeps the munchies away, leaves me feeling satisfied and like I had candy without the guilt or sugar crash.
The bites come in 3 groovy flavors: Mother Earth (“A wholesome combination of unique berries, seeds and nuts”), Holy Truffle Punch! (” A pure spark of dark chocolate”), and the Nutty Adventurer (” A burst of peanut butter goodness”). Retail for a single pouch is $3.99 but you can save 10% and get free shipping if you join the Bite Club subscription service and customize your own variety boxes.
As always, don’t take just my word for it; see what other BibRave Pros have to say about Food Groove Mission Super Food Bites:
Bonus points today for the rain holding off…50 degrees and overcast makes for a pretty damn good race morning! Hear more about Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta in my video review below, and don’t forget to check out my race review on BibRave.com!
My goal/strategy for this spring training and racing season is to focus more on my base fitness and less on hitting specific training marks. In short, I plan to have more fun and improve my overall fitness, rather than be hyper focused on specific training plans and goals. Some of this is by design; when I train simply based on how I feel, I have always performed better without meaning to. Every time I train my damn little heart out and try to hit a specific PR goal, even when I go into the race well-prepared, it never really works out. So…have more fun, eat well, train when I feel like it, and then do stupid shit and see what happens. Check! Inspired by the words of a good friend, I’m gonna train and race like I want to see a fucking reindeer! I guess you needed to be there…
This past weekend I had a long training run (supposedly 18 miles on the schedule) built around a 5k race, the Atlanta Track Club Hearts and Soles 5k. This is always a fun, fast course, and we always have training around the race, i.e. we have 18 + miles to run before/after a 5k. Not well timed but it’s a great way to push a hard tempo effort into the middle of a long run, so it actually works well. Every freaking year I tell myself I’m just going to go easy and NOT RACE. Every year I run 5ish miles before the race and then remind myself, again, DO NOT run the 5k as a RACE. And every freaking year I hit the first mile of the 5k like I’m running away from some nightmare, i.e. Donald Trump in diapers, and I have the painful realization that even though my brain told me NOT to race, my heart had different plans and, dammit, we’re racing. Remember how I said above that I always seem to perform better when I don’t mean to? Yeah, well 10lbs overweight from Christmas and shitty training got me another 30 second 5k PR last weekend. WEEEEEE! It’s always exciting but equally frustrating to think what I could do if my training and nutrition locked into place in perfect harmony and I actually raced well in the races I trained for…or something like that. As frustrating as that all is, it also gives me energy to think of myself as a better athlete than I often give myself credit for, and I keep thinking there’s definitely more I can do. #NeverSatisfied #CantStopWontStop
The idea of having more fun with my fitness has really invigorated my excitement for some upcoming events and races further afield this spring. This Sunday is RunTheATL #WinterEdition, an annual adventure run of sorts and decidedly unofficial race. It may or may not be legal; just don’t ask too many questions and definitely don’t tell anyone in uniform that it’s a Matt B. Davis race. 😉 Each year I get a few more roadies to join the insanity so I’m looking forward to sharing the experience with some more “virgins” this year.
If you’re already out west and/or willing and able to travel to warmer weather, the Palm Desert Half Marathon, 5k, & kids race is this Sunday, February 10 in the Coachella Valley, CA. I’ve loved checking out the race photos on social media leading up to this race and I’ve definitely had race envy. Just having another reason to visit Coachella rather than a music festival I’m pretty sure I’ve aged out of already is enough to get this beautiful race on my feature, post-PhD/more $ in the bank race-cation list. There’s still time to register if you’re up for a last-minute jaunt through the desert. Use code BRPD19 for 10% off.
In less than 2 weeks is the sweetest race, of course, Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta! I first did Hot Chocolate in 2016 and it’s one of those races I ended up enjoying much more than I expected. I luckily didn’t race last year when Atlanta experienced the freezing rain monsoon on race day, so I’m hopeful this year we’ll have great weather and an awesome post-race party with the start/finish area moved back to Centennial Park. I’m most excited this time around since I can actually run or ride my bike to the start since I now live so close to downtown. City dweller for life! I did set my goal time on Athlinks to a PR of 1:35. After the last couple weeks of “training” for fun, I’m feeling positive about that goal but plan to keep my heart in the “have fun” game more than my brain, since that seems to be the most effective strategy for me. It’s a race with hot chocolate after all; there may not be reindeer (who knows??) but I definitely won’t miss opportunities to stop and enjoy extra treats along the course. I think there’s no better race to further test the run for fun race strategy. You can still join the fun too! Registration is still open. Use code BRHCAtlanta for some extra free swag! Let me know if you’ll be there and maybe we can utilize the “reindeer” race strategy together!
Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Blue Ridge Marathon 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!”
Since I’ll be training for and pacing 5:30 at the Publix Atlanta Marathon in March, I was looking for another spring marathon to run for myself (not as a pacer). Thankfully, another great BibRave Pro opportunity opened and I’ll be running the Blue Ridge Marathon on April 13, 2019! This will be the 10th anniversary of what is billed as “America’s toughest road marathon.” I’ll be making use of the abundance of hill repeats available in Atlanta to train for the 7,430 ft of elevation gain in the marathon. Whew! I’m certainly not expecting a PR but I do expect to enjoy some really beautiful scenery. I’ll be pushing forward with some strength and nutrition goals this winter/spring season to prepare for this race as well as set me up to be in top shape for a sub-24 hour goal time at Yeti 100 in September (if I get in the race lottery of course – stay tuned!).