Disclaimer: Thank you to a partnership with Mizuno and Fitfluential I was sent a pair of Wave Sky’s for my honest feedback. As always opinions here are of my own.
If you read back in my previous blogs, I learned the hard way the importance of good shoes. So when given the opportunity to test the newest in neutral trainers for Mizuno I was curious. Mizuno has stated that these are different then anything on the market so far, and I wanted to see what was so different.
First off, out of the box, these shoes are bright and colorful without being too much. They will go with everything in your running wardrobe.
When it comes to the moment the shoes are on your feet, they are different. Mizuno has introduced Cloudwave technology along with their SmoothRide engineering which is meant to give you the most supportive ride in the neutral shoe.
I first started testing these on the treadmill. If I am not wearing the right shoe on the treadmill, I can feel pain pretty quickly and I have never felt uncomfortable (unless I over did myself) in these shoes. You would expect to think that with the added cushion there would be bulk, but there is not. These did not feel clunky or akward in the slightest.
I also took these out on the road several times including the Race to Remember 10K. What I really like is how these shoes are equally supportive for running and walking. Sometimes I feel like shoes are not doing the job for those of us who run and walk. When I got tired because of carrying the flag and started heel striking they offered great support. I felt energized after the race which is something my feet have been missing.
I was a little anxious about trying these and now these are quickly becoming a staple of my running world. I have also taken these to weight lifting sessions and I feel like I have mobility which makes this shoe versatile for all your needs.
Two things to take note of. I have a wide toe box when I have ran a lot of the weather is hot and even sizing up the toe box was tight. Also, Mizuno’s quality speaks for itself. It is obvious that these shoes are going to last.
I will be picking up another pair of these soon. I am not certain I want to use them for the marathon without my inserts, but they are the perfect shoe for training runs and for gym time.
I have had the honor of working with Hedstrom Fitness for the last few months exploring their Kamagon Ball Technology. If you have been following my journey on Instagram you will understand that I have really come to appreciate the Hydro-Inertia® based resistance technology. It has helped me get stronger as a runner.
Hedstrom gave me a chance to attend the IDEA: Personal Trainer West to be able to fully immerse myself in the technology and get first hand experience learning from some of the top names in the industry. I also got my first chance to go deeper into their sister technology the BOSU Ball.
How does Hydro-Inertia® help runners?
One of the biggest goals we have with running is being able to move our body in the most efficient way possible. It provides a challenge that you do not see anywhere on the market that works your stability and muscle strength at the same time. The water makes traditional exercises unstable and forces you to engage all your muscle groups. It works your muscles while training your nervous system at the same time. This helps with speed, strength and overall fitness.
I am going to breakdown each class and what to me as a runner had been the take away.
Renegade Athletic Circuits Revisited
My first class workout session was Renegade Athletic Circuits Revisited which focused on how to use Surge, Kamagon Ball,and BOSU along with cardio circuits to address the needs to athletes.
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For runners specifically I think the two keys that I got out of this is how time under tension adds to muscle endurance. A lot of us are guilty about rushing through our muscle workouts. This is something we talked about in Surge Training later, but how many of us rush through our movements in weight training?
Combining time under tension and shorter more explosive movements which you can do with all of this equipment gives you a set up for an epic workout.
The combination with balance work with the Bosu and the Hydro-Inertia® will work your stability and cardio while your body learns to adapt to carrying the load.
I have not been the biggest fan of BOSU for a long time.
The problem is, I never realized how functional BOSU was.
I sat in on the lecture (some pain in my ankle was telling me to be cautious and not do the workouts) for two classes (101 BOSU Drills for trainers and BOSU for kids) which exposed me to how truly versatile BOSU is.
BOSU is integrated balance training that add instability to every aspect of your fitness. It forces all of your muscles to engage. And for kids, it is a great tool to add exploration and imagination to workouts with kids of all ages and it helps with basic motor skills.
You can take easy experiences and make them exponentially difficult with the BOSU ball. For example, one of my new favorites is a overhead press. Instead of just engaging your upper body, your entire body is involved keeping you stable.
For runners, this instability makes your body work harder and smarter, which is something we want in the long run for all of us.
This is the first time I have gotten my hands on Hedstroms Surge System. The Surge system uses the Hydro-Inertia® system I talked about before to help engage muscles. The Surge looks like a very large log like PVC tube with handles that is filled with water and like the Kamagon ball the weight is adjustable.
A huge takeaway for me is there is a huge difference between strength and power.
Lets take a look at the basics
Power = force x velocity
Strength = load x displacement x time
Breaking it down for runners. Power is the short term game, but its the strength or the time under tension that is something that I really think a lot of runners forget about.
How the Surge plays into this, is the water gives you both the ability to work on power and strength by using the water. You can work through the movements in the slower pace and force your body to adapt to the load. But you can also force the water to move at a faster rate and work from the power game.
I have talked about the Kamagon Ball before, it has helped encourage me to get back into the non-running part of my game. But I did not understand how multi-faceted the ball really is.
The Kamagon Ball works 5 different functional movement patterns.
Bilateral: Bend and Lift, Hip Hinge
Single Leg: Gait, Lunge, Step-up, Single Leg Stance
Rotate: Spiraling Movement, Rotation (in sync or out of sync)
This value here is well beyond running. It makes your body more functional well beyond fitness and will help you move better. It will also allow you to have more mobility and to address stability.
Now, let me address something. I know it looks like a kettlebell but it is far from it. The two handles allow you more surface to work with so many possibilities and angles. And we have talked about the water before as well, it goes back to the idea that the water makes the load unstable and allows you to engage more muscles and your nervous system.
I learned a ton of new exercises that will allow me to further my exploration of the tool box.
I knew when I started to work with Hedstrom that their product line was going to be amazing for me as a runner but being able to fully immerse myself in what is capable opened my eyes and encouraged me to research more ways to be a stronger runner.
Thank You Hedstrom Fitness to giving me the opportunity to attend the IDEA Personal Trainer West. They asked that I would blog about what I learned in their classes. But I am a believer in the product and look forward to learning more.
Note: This is a sponsored post that contains affiliate links.
“I have too many t-shirts”
“Races can stop giving me shirts”
I hear it frequently from my runner friends the quandary of t-shirts. It happens to all of us who race. We have an over abundance of t-shirts.
And in my case there are a few shirts I just refuse to get rid of. They represent some of the landmark memories of some of the craziness that I have done while racing.
And I know a ton of people who are already thinking about the holidays ;). This might be the best holiday gift.
I actually did one from Project Repat a couple years ago and I love it. It actually ends up being the perfect wall decoration. It represents some of the landmark races I have had (right before I went to San Francisco the first time) up to that point.
I had been debating doing a second one that was less race related and more me related. Not just running but some of the people who have left a smile on my face and just some of the general craziness that goes on in the life of me. So, when the opportunity to help Project Repat came out to do a review I jumped all over it.
The process once you start off on the Project Repat website and order the size you are looking for. Then you lay out the shirts the way you want them. My twin size blanket takes 24 shirts. If you purchase now, you have up to 90 days to put your blanket together which gives your giftee time to find all the shirts and plan the perfect blanket for them.
As I mentioned before, this for me was about me. I have some of my favorite races in there, along with some of my favorite wrestling people, and in general this was all about the things that make me me.
You will get directions from Project Repat on how the next part of the process works. You choose the color backing (mine is red), layout your shirts the way you want them to be on your blanket and then you cut off the sides you do not need before shipping them off.
They have two locations in which you can send your blanket to (it depends on where you are located) they have two very distinct but intertwined missions.
PRECISION SPORTSWEAR, FALL RIVER, MA
lean manufacturing cut & sew company
While most of the textile jobs in Fall River have gone overseas as corporations sought cheap labor and lax regulation, Precision Sportswear has been able to succeed by specializing in custom work and smaller production runs for made-in-U.S.A. companies. Workers earn a fair and living wage, full beneﬁts, and paid vacation and holidays.
OPPORTUNITY THREADS, VALDESE, NC
worker owned cut & sew company
With a great working environment and top quality workmanship, Opportunity Threads has “repat-riated” some textile jobs back to the United States. Each worker at Opportunity Threads is part of a collaborative working model, where each employee adds input to the production process and has the opportunity to earn an ownership stake in the company.
After you send it out, in a few weeks you get a package back with your blanket.
I was impressed with my first one. This one blew it out of the water. I knew it was going to be a challenge because some of these graphics exceeded the 12×12 dimensions they recommended. But everything was cut perfectly to fit my blanket.
I think what makes me a a loyal customer for Project Repat is the care they put into it. They understand they are putting your memories together into something special. They are high quality blankets that will last you for a life time.
For me, this blanket represents all the positive in my life, races, people experiences. It is just me in every sense of the word.
Project Repat has given me a chance to share with the world what they do. Click Project Repat and you will save 15 percent on your blanket. If you are looking for something perfect for a holiday gift, this is a great pick.
Disclaimer: I received my blanket in exchange for writing this review. Although this post is sponsored, all opinions are my own.
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This is as pure of a drink as you can get your hands on in the market. In training I have felt the differences, specifically on some of the harder bike rides and TRX combos I have been doing since Seattle. I have more energy, I can push a little further and go a little harder. This is great because the 2016 goals are pretty big and I am going to need to push myself further to get to where I want to go.
In a sea full of calorie and chemical filled hydration drinks; this only has 50 calories. For those who are watching their calorie intake this is a huge plus. I tend to stick with water because I do not want to take on those extra calories.
I love what the company stands for and it got my attention. Their goal was to create a great tasting, truly functional, ready-to-drink, premium sports supplement that would allow you to grow leaner, stronger, muscles, supply you with sustained energy, and accelerate recovery. We are dedicated to educating our community and providing you with high quality products that allow you to lead a healthier lifestyle through fitness.
Now, for me the taste is a big issue. The best comparison I have is its a very sweet coconut water. (I have to mix coconut water with other flavors to enjoy them.) The company said that the taste comes from the amino acids. I tried to take only half a bottle at a time, and I tried to mix it with water and the taste just did not work for me. One of my next projects is to add a little bit of lemon to this. (Its my go to answer)
This is going to be a great option for some people. Just sadly for me, its just too sweet to go in my normal rotation but I will be using it when I need the extra boost.
I highly recommend checking out their page and learning more DrinkMiniotor.com You can use the code BibRave1 to get 10 percent off and free shipping.
. The founders had been unhappy about what has been on the market.
Note: I recieved these glasses through a partnership with Bib Rave. No other compensation was offered. As always these opinions are my own. Please check out being a Bib Rave Pro
I never thought Sunglasses could of ever make a workout better.
But then again I never knew about Rudy Project.
I got the chance to test out the Rudy Project Rydon Carbon glasses. Right out of the box, you realize these are different from any pairs you will see. They are built for those into the active lifestyle. I really do think these things can outlast the fact that I freely admit that I am hard on all my equipment. Also, they come with a two year warrenty; that covers no matter you might do to them.
To be honest, I have an overly large head. I have a hard time finding the nicer high quality sunglasses that actually fit my head and can stay comfortably. I had actually given up that process. So I was cynical at best about how good these could be for me.
But these are a game changer.
Right out of the box, they fit like they had been meant for me. They are adjustable so they can fit almost any head
At .88 ounces they are lightweight, it does not feel like you are wearing anything. I knew it was there, but it was never bulky, it never bounced around. I also never had to worry about sweat dripping down between my eyes.
The Pacific NW Weather tends to be bi-polar. It can go from bright and sunny to cloudy and wet within seconds. I tried them out on one run where it literally happened, and I learned about their polarized lenses that adjust from almost clear to the perfect protection from the glare from the sun.
The way the wrap around you, there is no issues with viability. You can still see everything around you and be aware of your surroundings without having to worry about big bulky frames.
I never ran with sunglasses unless they are the cheap ones you get at race booths at an expo and they had been part of a costume. I just never saw the purpose behind them. But what I noticed when I started to wear them is I was not dealing with eye strain or red eyes. I have had some runs where I come out of it with a major headache because of the sun, and I have not had to deal with that yet since I started training with them.
I get the fact these are expensive, and I don’t usually do reviews on things that are this expensive. But I also realized using these, you get what you pay for. As a Tri-Athlete friend of mine told me when he found of that I got these. “They are truly going to be the first and last glasses you will ever need.”
He was so envious he bought his own pair.
I think these are going to be with me for a long time in my running life.
Note: I received an e-book copy of this for free through my partnership with Tomoson. No other compensation involved.
When reading Stephanie Atwoods book: Confidence – The Accidental Athlete, the word that keeps coming into mind is relatable.
If you have followed my journey through any length of time. I was never really an athlete through high school. I kind of surfed through PE, never really encouraged to find that side. As I started adulthood, I started to drown in my own lack of confidence. Before I started running, I was really unhealthy mentally, and physically. It was a complete accident that we found running, to the point I hated it the first time.
And then I fell in love. It has become my best friend through some of lifes hardest challenges with my dads health issues. I still have people in my life who like to remind me that being seen in public glowing from sweat and out of breath is not “socially acceptable.”
Atwood’s journey goes into how movement has truly taught her that anything is possible. She encourages readers to believe in their own power and strength. She encourages readers to break that stereotype that some ladies are thrown into to, where it is unbecoming to push themselves to the same level as the guys, how its okay to settle.
This is a very quick ready; but for anyone who is looking or that extra dose of inspiration; this is a book you will want to read and keep on your shelf frequently. It is a ray of sunshine in a day that you might be facing a storm.
I am actually looking forward to reading more of Atwoods books. They are a quick easy read for someone who is always in the middle of a book.
I have decided to do something different this year and as I see things that would make great holiday gifts for other runners, I have decided to post them. Some of these I have and some of these I don’t have. But these are things that catch my attention during the season.
I have always been a huge fan of Rock My Run. I think I have been a customer for almost two years now after I learned about them through a #runchat session. I was curious, but being so picky with music I was not totally certain that I would like the mixes.
I fell in love quickly.
Rock My Run works with some of the worlds best DJ’s to mix workout friendly tunes for every genre. They state that they provide “The Best Running Music In The World”.
It is no joke. They do
For the last couple years because I was on Windows Phone. I did not have the full power of the app at my disposal. So I never truly realized how amazing they are.
The app changed the game for me.
If you are a Rockstar member, (which is only 39.95 for the year) you get access to mixes that are up to four hours in length. There are new mixes dropping all the time. You also get to use their body move technology which matches the beat of the music with your heart rate or your step cadence. I have been playing with this a lot when I run and its helped me do my run walk intervals at a faster pace.
There is also ALWAYS a good mix out there. When you look at how expensive it is to buy music online (which if you have read my blog for any length of time you know I talk budget friendly all the time). Keeping your mix new, fresh and interesting can get costly.
For me, I use the app for everything anymore. I jam to Rock My Run music on the bus, when I am doing my cleaning, just any time music comes into play.
They have changed my running for the better.
One of the other things that has always struck a great cord with me is their philosophy about their customers.
“Run Rockers are people who believe in the power of music to inspire, motivate and drive. These are the people for whom the right song at the right time can make them bob their head, sing out loud, pump their fist in the air, run faster, and run for longer because of how the music affects them.”
Let’s face it. Running sometimes sucks.
I have found myself lost in my own head more then once, wishing a run would be over. And the right song would come on and I would start dancing. (Ask anyone at any of my marathon adventures, I have been know to break out in a dance). And it could turn my head back around.
I have been a big fan of this company since I was introduced and plan on being with them for a long time. Which is why when I saw the email about their gift cards, I realized that was a perfect holiday gift for someone.
The gift cards are 39.95 and it gets you one year of premium service. This gives you access to all of their mixes via the streaming app (no matter what the length), their body move technology, 3 downloads a month for off line listening (when you are slow runner like me, a must) and if you are on iOs you can set it and forget it, they feature a continuous play option.
You can check out everything Rock My Run has to offer at Rock My Run
Note: I received mine UV Half Buff as part of the team at Bib Rave Pro. As always these opinions are opinions of my own. If you are active on social media you should join up with Bib Rave Bib Rave Pro
I hate hats.
I barley like headbands.
I have an abnormally large head. (I wear the biggest mens size hat, if that should give you any indication)
NOTHING EVER FITS.
If it does, it makes my head look bigger, or it gives me a headache because it barley its.
And my hair has paid the price. It is a common conversation with the people who do my hair that my scalp is sun burnt.
I was beyond cynical when the opportunity to do this review came up. But when it comes to the UV Half Buff. The title of this blog says it all.
Where have you been all my life?
The UV Half Buff is supposed to be for those of us who are more active. It weighs less, is made out of a less dense more breathable fabric.
Fit: It fits my head beautifully. I love wearing it not only when I am out running but it is perfect for when I am out and about doing chores. I can have it covering my scalp when I am out for a long run as it has UV protection. I can use it for a headband I have also used it as pony tail holder a couple times, and nothing has stretched. The bottom line is it fits well on my head and stays comfortable no matter what I do.
Comfort: Its been great for me in the awful heat that we have had in Oregon. Its been great about keeping sweat out of my eyes when I was finishing up training for SF. I have taken it on the Expresso bike and it helped me stay focused on the screen because it kept the sweat back. And it never moved. I never had to adjust.
Design: I WANT ALL OF THEM. I ordered the Arc Angel because the white and black goes with everything I like to wear. But there are so many designs no matter what your favorite things are. I think my next one is going to be the Oregon one.
Price: If you have followed my blog for any length of time you know one thing I am rather cautious of. At 15.00 it puts them on par with most of the sport headbands and hats that are on the market and they give you the versatility and sun protection of both at the price of one.
I am getting another one. There is no question. Buff USA is suffering fans of Bib Rave Pro Bloggers a 10 percent discount by using the discount code BIBRAVE. Check out all the UV Half Buffs at the following link. UV Half Buffs
Note: Van Day offered me a chance to review their cover at a discounted price through Tomoson. No other compensation was offered.
I don’t often take on a non-running related review; but when this hit my mailbox I was interested. Between my consulting work, my always reading and always trying to learn stuff; my Ipad Mini is more like my right hand. And I go through covers like a mad women.
So when VanDay reached out I defiantly wanted to see what it was about.
I love the hard plastic backside of the case. It fits well, and I have actually had my Mini fall off the table and the case stayed in place which has been a problem before on some of these cases. It does not block the camera or move around to make photo taking hard. The durablity is a huge issue for me and I think this is a case that is going to work and stay with me for awhile.
The soft side of the case has a screen cleaning style inside which being my Mini goes with me everywhere and is a magnet for dust and smudges, is a must have tool. The only downside with the soft cover is it does not help the Mini stand up as much as I want to when I am watching movies. That is a small downside in the big picture.
I love the selection of front covers that they offer on the website. I chose the one with the elephants and it makes me smile every time I grab my Ipad and its honestly a design that I have never seen out there.
I f you have read any of my blogs before; cost is always an issue for me and that right there is another thing I love about this. The covers average 9.99- 14.99 and thanks to Amazon mine was delivered quickly.
Notice: This is a sponsored post. Title Nine is providing me with the opportunity to try their FITFest Program and do the giveaway.
Can I share a confession?
It is almost impossible for me to find a bra I like for running. I find a couple here and there, and then they are either too expensive, or they change the way they are made, and I do not like them anymore.
And to be honest, my bra size is akward, and hard to fit.
Title Nine is offering a chance for ladies to put their new bra to the test before walking out of the store with them with their new FitFest events, coming to all 23 locations of Title Nine.
They shared with me the following.
As any female athlete knows (or should know!), the most important foundation for any workout is a bra designed specifically for each lady’s unique body type, size and activity. The bra experts at Title Nine are making it easier and a lot more fun to find the perfect bra by hosting “FitFest” events to help every athlete find her perfect bra and get on the road to a more comfortable and healthier workout.
Title Nine will be holding FitFest events throughout the spring and summer that span cities across the country and include:
• Personalized bra fitting advice from a “bravangelist” expert
• An expanded assortment of bras
• Bras for sports, work-to-workout, everyday and date night
• A “Bounce-ath-a-lon” for those who want to put Title Nine’s bras to the test, with stations like hula hoop, jump rope, cup stacking, run around the block, hippity hop ball & burpees
Anyone interested in participating should RSVP at the local Title Nine Retail Location. Visit www.titlenine.com for a full list of cities and more information.
For those of you in Oregon they are hosting two events.
–June 3-4, 10am 8pm at Title Nine Portland (1335 NW Kearney Street)
–June 10-11, 10am-8pm at Title Nine Eugene (5th Street Market, 296 East 5th Ave. #229)
And they are letting me giveaway a chance to win a free Title Nine Bra and custom fitting (for those who don’t live near a location; they have you covered, if you win, you will work with them by phone to figure out what bra you need.)