5 Steps to Becoming a Morning Runner

Do you ever wonder how IN THE WORLD your friend, co-worker, or social media buddy posts at 8 am sharp with something like, “Mornin’! Already ran 7 miles, walked the dog, and made breakfast this morning! Woohoo!”

I mean, really?

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That’s insanity.

But it’s POSSIBLE! In fact, once you get in the habit – it’s not only possible, it’s desirable. Yes, there’s such a thing as WANTING to wake up and run; being EXCITED to wake up and run.

At 4:30 am.

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Yup.

How?

Here are some tips that I have to get yourself going.

  1. Set your alarm at the appropriate time. This doesn’t mean set it ridiculously early. In fact, the opposite! If, in order to get to work on time, you need to get started on your run at 6:00 am and you take 30 minutes to get ready, set your alarm for 5:30. Not 4:30. But – ‘I won’t wake up to the first alarm.’ Well, if you already know you don’t need to wake up exactly at the time your alarm goes off, you aren’t going to wake up when your alarm goes off. Simple as that. Then you’re in this cycle of hitting snooze and making it even more difficult to wake up. Plus, you don’t get every ounce of sleep that you can. That hour of hitting snooze (then possibly not even waking up in time at all), you’re still awake. Just set your alarm at the time you know you need to pop out of bed. And do it! tired morning bill murray smash alarm GIF
  2. Set out your running clothes/gear. Have everything ready that you need. Not only will you take less time to get ready and be prepared for your morning run, but waking up knowing that you’ve already invested a little time in ensuring you get up and run will be motivation for actually doing it. I personally set out my clothes, shoes, socks, and my contacts. I always have everything else right by the door (my headphones, headlamp, etc). This helps a TON. Take it up a notch by WEARING your run clothes to sleep! Even if just your run shorts or a sports bra. If you’re dressed the part, you’re more likely to par-take. 
  3. Make plans! For example, meet a friend at 5:30 am sharp for a morning run – you’re less likely to sleep in if someone’s counting on you! This isn’t the only option though. If you’re like me, and don’t know many (if any) people crazy enough to run before the sun comes up, make other plans that motivate you to get your run in before the day starts. Many times, I’ll make lunch or afternoon plans knowing that if I get a run in AT ALL, it will have to be before work. This is a huge motivator, especially if you have a mileage goal, or specific run-goal for that day. If you have other obligations, it’s now or never!
  4. Get plenty of rest! This one is probably pretty obvious, but it is so important. It also goes along with eating right and doing your best to have an overall healthy lifestyle. If you feel good and are rested, it’s much easier to wake up at ridiculous morning hours. There are nights that I start getting ready for bed at 8:00 pm (seems crazy, I know!) so that I’m asleep by 9:00 pm. This is a tough one to get your mind over – a certain time might seem CRAZY early for bed time, but it’s not crazy if you’re up pushing your limits before the crack of dawn! Quality sleep is important for every aspect of running.
  5. Make it a routine! Find the tips and tricks that work for YOU, that get YOU going – whatever they may be – and stick with them! Once you get in a routine, it DOES get easier, and as mentioned before – will likely even become your preferred way to start the day! Yes! You will WANT to go to sleep early, you will WANT to wake up and start the day off with something that makes you feel AMAZING. Any other routine you can add in helps. For example, I wake up, feed the pup (she expects breakfast at 4:30 am which helps get me up!), sit on the couch and drink my pre-workout or coffee, scroll through Instagram, then put my contacts in and get my clothes on – and I’m ready to go! I have my run gadgets, Spin/cycle shoes, and Kickboxing gloves right by the door at all times, so I just grab and go. Take the extra steps and be mindful of what it takes to set yourself up for success. Then do it!                                      

What tips/tricks do you have for waking up in the morning? What gets you going?

Just Registered: BCS Marathon!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The BCS 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!

I just registered for a race! You all know the feeling… don’t think, just do it! This marathon isn’t until December, but I like registering for races ahead of time so that I 1. get the lowest price 2. secure my spot! and 3. forget about what I’ve done until it comes time to train! 😉

I’m really excited for this one, because it’s close enough to home that I won’t need to fly, but still far enough away that I will stay in a hotel overnight.

I’m all registered for the Half Marathon. It was a tough decision between the full or half, so I ultimately went with what I thought I’d have more fun doing. I love the challenge of the full marathon, but I’m not quite sure I’m over the pain of the last one yet. 🙂

So! A little bit about the race:

  • It’s on December 10, 2017 (yay, cool weather!)
  • It’s located in College Station, Texas – home of the Aggies (also known as “Aggieland.” I’ve never been, so I’m excited to explore.
  • It’s a half and full marathon (I’m doing the half).
  • It has a few rolling hills, but otherwise flat course and the course is USAT&F Certified.
  • The swag sounds awesome – a tech tee, finisher’s medal AND a finisher’s jacket! AND a surprise “bonus” item that I am really curious to see!
  • There’s an epic after party with food and beer!

So! I am really excited for this race and can’t wait to have a little weekend run-cation!

Do you plan your events way ahead of time? Do you register last minute?

 

Review: Senita Athletics

Disclaimer: I was provided the mentioned outfit by Senita Athletics in exchange for my honest review.

First off, what is Senita Athletics?

From their website, Senita Athletics is:

“…where you can finally purchase premium active wear at an affordable price.

Currently, all of our products are under $50. We are able to keep our prices low by working directly with manufacturers and keeping overhead low. We have cut out the middleman, allowing us to avoid retail markup so we can provide you with better products at amazing prices. 
So, whether you are a marathoner, skilled yogi, or running from place to place, let Senita travel with you along the way.”

I love that they are able to keep their products affordable and not jack up the prices for no apparent reason. You don’t feel like you’re breaking the bank just to pay for a logo.

So, how about the quality?

When I received the Sarah Sports Bra and Ellie Tights, I was impressed right off the bat. Upon opening the package, they feel like quality material. By quality material, I mean they are up there with brands that charge out the wazoo for a pair of leggings. Both the bra and leggings are a thick, yet giving material.

My favorite part about both the bra and leggings is that they both have POCKETS! Yes! Even the sports bra! As a runner always trying to stash things anywhere I can, especially on race day, I NEED more pockets in my life. None of my leggings or sports bras have pockets, so this is by far my favorite part. Not only are the items affordable, they’re unique and practical.

As for the design, the pockets are generous – a little snug for an iPhone 6S Plus, but hey it’s not the pocket’s fault that phones are now the size or Pop Tarts. The pattern of the bra is really cute, as well as the color of the leggings. Again – unique.

I will say the only downfall I’ve found thus far is that items sell out QUICK. I kept adding something to my cart, would return and it would be out of stock. I am really glad I got my hands on the two items that I wanted (because of the pockets) – but just as a head’s up… if you’re eyeing it, snag it while you can!

So, how did they hold up while running?

The Sarah Sports bra was great – I am a 30C and the size Small was perfect. I didn’t even notice it there while running, which is perfect. It’s easy to pull over your head/get on and off, which is a huge thing for me. It does have generous padding, which I actually like for extra coverage, but it is removable if you so desire. The material is a polyester/spandex and it is sweat-wicking.

The Ellie Tights are just gorgeous leggings. They are top notch quality. They are 7/8th tights (hit a little above the ankle) and are high-rise (sit at or a little above belly button). I love the dark blue color – it’s very vivid in person. The side pockets are just amazing. They do fit my phone (iPhone 6S Plus) or would be great for gels or other little items. They are NOT sheer, thick, slightly compression-y material, yet breathable. I am 5’11” 140lb and the size Small fits lovely. They are capris for me, rather than 7/8th tights, but I am SO used to that.

So, overall I would definitely recommend this affordable, high quality brand and plan to purchase a few more items myself – particularly the Sarah Sports bra in more colors and the Rio Shorts (shorts with side pockets). I am happy to have found quality at the right price! Thank you to Senita Athletics for the opportunity to test these products!

Have you tried items from Senita Athletics? What are your favorite pieces?

Whole30: Failure

TWO days.

In just TWO days I will have completed THE Whole30.

But.

I failed.

It took some time and courage for me to write this. In fact, I could (and wanted to) leave this part out, pretend it never happened, and just say “I did it!” in two days (I’m on day 28). But, I think that mentioning my failure in Whole30 is important and I always keep it real with you guys. So. Here goes.

Every single day for the past almost-month, I have been 100% careful, strict, and purposeful about every little thing that I eat. Don’t get me wrong, I have eaten a LOT of food (maybe even more than previously), but I have been careful about the quality of it. SO careful. I read the Whole30 books and believe whole-heartedly in everything they have to say. I believe in real food. I ate all my meals at home (which I normally do anyway), meal-prepped, altered plans, ordered food carefully at restaurants, etc. The works.

Then the day I failed came. My family went to Babe’s Chicken. I should’ve known better. Their menu consists of: friend chicken. I went because it was an important occasion, I was honestly mentally EXHAUSTED from all the Whole30-ing… I didn’t want to have to change everyone’s plans but I also really wanted to participate in the outing. And whether I admitted it to myself at the time or not, I KNEW that I was going to give in before it even happened. I thought – I’ll just go and do my best.

Well, my best isn’t good enough. My mindset going into it was an equation for failure. I was in a mental place where I was just drained from the strict diet. Which is odd because until this day, I truly found Whole30 quite easy. I love real food, I’ve been loving cooking, meal prepping, and eating delicious, whole foods! But I kept thinking thoughts like, why am I doing this? what would one meal matter? can’t I just be a normal person for a day?

So, I dug in. There was no “being good” at a place with fried chicken, biscuits (with honey and butter!), mashed potatoes, and cream corn. My option was eat, or don’t eat. And I am only human.

I thought about just “pretending it never happened.” I wasn’t going to tell anyone or write about it on my blog and just brush it off. But I can’t and I won’t. We are all human. I am here to share my story and experiences. I’m not writing a novel or just writing what you want to hear.

So, I am finishing out the Whole30 as intended until my day 30. I feel like a failure, but then again I don’t.

I have learned SO much about myself and food during this process. My moment of failure taught me something. That I am not perfect. BUT. ALL of my moments of success – each and every meal otherwise – taught me that I have the power. The power to eat, do, feel, anything that I want. Anything.

I also learned practical things – I learned how different foods effect us. I learned many great recipes that I will use for the rest of my life. I learned that I LOVE sweet potatoes, butternut squash, and crock pots! I wouldn’t have known this if it weren’t for Whole30. Doing and (almost) completing Whole30 has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. And as much as I envisioned this last Whole30 blog post being a celebratory, happy, glamorous, perfect post about how I did everything correct and to the “T…” I hope that you learn something from my failure. It’s important to do our best, yet accept the fact that we can’t be 100% perfect all. the. time. (and keep our sanity!)

Though this will be my last blog update, Whole30 is NOT over! I will complete the 30 days – and beyond. I plan on adopting a Whole30-inspired diet – basically Paleo with the inclusion of legumes, oats/grains, and occasional treats. I think that putting certain foods 100% completely off-limits, unless allergic, can backfire or just be unnecessary. It’s all about balance and moderation.

In conclusion, I do NOT consider my Whole30 experience a failure. Overall, this has been a HUGE eye-opener and successful journey that is ultimately going to change my life from here on out! I am SO proud of myself. This one “slip up” does not define me, yet proves to myself that I am human! I wanted to highlight my “failure” because it just proves that life GOES ON, and we cannot take ourselves too seriously!

Have you tried Whole30? Did you ever slip up?


Review: adidas UltraBOOST X

Disclaimer: I received a pair of adidas UltraBOOST X 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!

What are the adidas UltraBOOST X?

From their website:

Amp up your run with the adidas® Women’s Ultra Boost X running shoe. Designed with unique energy-returning boost™ technology, this technical running shoe features 20% more boost cushioning material than ever before. STRETCH WEB® technology allows for flexibility and unleashes the boost™ responsiveness upon impact. Reinvent yourself and your run with the ultra-new, ultra-light, adidas® Ultra Boost X.

TECHNOLOGY:

  • Energy-returning boost™ technology in the midsole to provide lightweight cushioning

FEATURES:

  • Engineered mesh in upper for maximum breathability
  • Synthetic midfoot overlay for durability
  • Molded heel counter for added stability
  • Bootie construction wraps the foot and provides support
  • Rubber outsole has a grippy texture for better traction

They are a neautral shoe and have a 10mm hell-toe drop. This shoe is also a female-only model of the UltraBOOST.

Upon receiving the shoes, I opened the box and was just taken away with the beauty! These shoes are easy on the eye, that’s for sure. This is definitely not a factor when deciding on a pair of running shoes (function trumps form in this situation) BUT when they look good, it’s always a huge bonus!

The material is soft – durable but sock-like, with the exception of the sturdy “cage” around the arch. They are really lightweight too and have an interesting appearance because of the “un-attached” arch.

Upon first try-on, they felt a bit odd. They were easy to slip on (I have narrow feet), and just didn’t feel like “shoes.” I then laced them up and knew immediately that I’d like them. They just felt completely natural. I had plenty of room in the toe-box, yet they fit securely on my foot. The “un-attached” arch just allowed for natural foot movement. The soles feel like the perfect mixture of cushion and response. They’re the kind of shoes I just didn’t even notice on my feet!

So, the important part – how did they feel while running? Again, very natural (yay!). On my very first run in them, I just felt like I could’ve run forever in them. Of course, I like to get used to new running shoes gradually, so I did an easy 3 miles to start, but with no issues whatsoever. My feet felt “free” in them. My first impression was that they were lightweight, responsive, extremely breathable, and just plain natural feeling! No rubbing anywhere, no weird lumps or arch issues – just simple shoes with an amazing natural feel.

I’ve logged 30-40 miles in them so far, and understand this may not be enough for you to consider me credible, so I will post any updates to the bottoms of this blog. So far, though, I’ve had absolutely no problems – the shoes fit wonderfully, feel natural and responsive, and seem to be very durable. I hope to get 300-500 miles out of them and at this point plan to use them mainly for short runs/tempo runs due to their light weight.

These will be PERFECT for Texas summers, or anywhere where you can use any help you can get staying cool. I imagine they wouldn’t be ideal for rainy runs, keeping in mind the sock-like upper. Though I suppose the up-side would be that they’d dry out quickly! These shoes seem like they’re designed for road running (vs trail) and work for me, someone with an average arch, neutral runner, long narrow foot.

For reference, other shoes I’ve enjoyed and run in: Brooks PureFlow 2, Saucony Kinvara 7, Asics Nimbus 18 & 19, New Balance Zante v2, Nike Pegasus 33, Nike Zoom Vomero 11 & 12. I would compare this or say it’s “most similar to” a specific shoe, but I truly believe it’s a breed of it’s own. I’m very glad that I was able to give them a chance – it’s usually very difficult for me to find running shoes that fit and feel natural, so I am extremely pleased with the adidas UltraBOOST X!

Where to buy adidas UltraBOOST X: https://www.dickssportinggoods.com/p/adidas-womens-ultra-boost-x-running-shoes-17adiwltrbstxblkbrnn/

Have you tried any of the adidas UltraBOOST running shoes?

Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas 2018!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas 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 official! The Hot Cholcolate 15K has become a tradition!

I’m all registered and ready to go and, even though it’s not until February (in a year that doesn’t even sound real…), I’m so excited! As you can see above, I am running for BibRave, which has me even more excited. I am so proud and honored to represent the BibRave community. I will be sporting my neon orange, therefore feeling pretty bad A on race day.

Race day is still a ways away but I can tell you that it was a blast this year, was extremely organized, swag is the best, and… CHOCOLATE. Need I say more?

As for SWAG… the Hot Chocolate races always do really awesome hoodies, and this year’s looks amazing – here’s a sneak peek!

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Yeah, talk about swag!

Plus, the best part, you get a scoop of chocolate and things to dip in the chocolate (banana, pretzels, marshmallows) once you cross the finish! Fun fact: they will give out 4,000 pounds of chocolate on race day! Yup!

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So who’s joining me?!

Have you run a Hot Chocolate race before? Which city?

What’s your favorite post-run treat?

Whole30: Week Two

I’m already over half way through Whole30!

To be honest, I’m a little (ok, VERY) surprised at the things I’ve read about Whole30 – it seems that the consensus is that it’s “the hardest thing ever” or even “miserable.” It makes me wonder how bad the majority of our diets are to begin with. Not that I am an exception – it’s been difficult at times – but I don’t think that the change has been anywhere close to the hardest thing I’ve ever done. Eating delicious, real, whole foods has been anything but miserable. In fact, it’s been an amazing, eye-opening, delicious experience so far.

Yes, there have been times I REALLY want to go out and buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies (Samoas!) and devour the entire box immediately. I dream about carrot cake. But, I’m cranky for a bit, eat some fruit, and the craving passes. I now crave things like chicken and sweet potatoes. I love carrots. Whole30 had caused me to appreciate the flavors of natural foods. Carrots are sweet! Who knew!

So, week 2 went well, with the hardest days being later in the week around day 14. At this point the newness and excitement for a healthy change is wearing off and I just wanted my bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch. And chocolate ice cream. And red velvet cake. But, I have not caved in. I will admit I am probably eating more fruit than the Whole30 plan would suggest, but I keep thinking that it’s better than caving in to cravings and hoping I get better about that. I do run, so I can use the sugar and carbs.

I think the transition has been very smooth for me since I already eat all my meals at home. I have no excuse, really. I imagine this would be very difficult for someone who is used to eating out every day for lunch, or doing a lot of social eating/drinking. I have only gone out to eat one time (For a co-worker’s birthday) – and I did some research about the restaurant beforehand and figured out what I could eat. It was surprisingly easy and, though I was nervous about being “that person” ordering the picky food, the server and my co-workers were very understanding and it wasn’t a big deal at all!

Overall, real food has made me feel great – not extremely different than before – but I feel great about my choices, and it just feels good to eat with a purpose. I’m ready to take on the second half of my Whole30 journey!

Now for the good part, food pics! Here are some of the things that I’ve made lately, many of them being go-to snacks or meals!

 

Breakfast, round one!

Snack time! Yay, protein!

Lunch!

Savory breakfast!

Go-to sweet snack!

 

Whole30: Week One

Alright guys! It’s already been a week on the Whole30 nutrition plan!

Notice I didn’t say Whole30 “diet” – this is far from a diet in the common meaning of the term in my opinion. Rather, it is a change in nutritional choices. I’m not eating less by ANY means, just changing, improving, and being intentional in my food choices.

If you’re wondering What in the world is Whole30? go here

If you’re wondering Why in the world is she doing Whole30? go here

This is something I’m doing completely on my own free will, and was in no way sponsored or persuaded to do this. I want to work as hard on my nutrition as I do on my running because, let’s face it – nutrition is (a huge) part of running, performance, and life.

So, how is it going? Let’s dig in to my journal:

Day 1

Eating with Intention. 

I put the time and effort into my running and daily life, why not with food? I eat whatever I want, when I want and that has to change in order for me to feel my best. I will eat with intention. I will eat whole foods. REAL foods.

I did my research and grocery shopping and it starts today. Whole30. I am a little scared, but if it weren’t a little scary, what would be the point?

I can do this.

Breakfast!


Day 2

Woke up wanting a sweet breakfast as usual. I want to change that. Starting the day with a smoothie may be (pretty) healthy, but it just sets me up for craving sugar. all. day. long. I really wanted fruit. I paused. I made some coffee and wrote in my journal.

I had eggs, sweet potatoes, veggies, and spinach with salsa and avocado and some paleo turkey bacon instead of my usual smoothie. It was delicious!

I’ve discovered I can still eat A LOT! There are so many options!

Go-to for sweet tooth cravings: banana, walnuts, cinnamon.

Snack!


Day 3

Today I had Easter dinner with families and there was cake and ice cream galore! I would’ve normally had my fair share (and more) if it were 4 days ago! Proud of myself for instead eating more meat, veggies, and potatoes. I even brought my own food along in case there wasn’t anything available for me – but there was! Whole30 is less restricting than I thought.

I did eat more fruit than the Whole30 plan would’ve liked, but it was Easter!

Whole30-approved Easter dinner!


Day 4

I really want to adopt this way of eating as a lifestyle! It forces me to actually cook and prepare food. Read labels. Select food carefully. I LOVE the food. Real food is good food.

It’s hard looking at donuts and cupcakes, but worth it to feel good about my food choices.

I still think I’m eating too much fruit and having fruit before bed in lieu of my usual sugary snack binges… less fruit tomorrow…

Shopping!


Day 5

I have been cooking and eating really delicious food! And plenty of it! Still eating tons of fruit…

My new favorite non-sugary snack is sweet potato fries! Something I would’ve never discovered otherwise because I would’ve just grabbed some cookies or poured a bowl of cereal.

Had low energy today. I’m dealing with low iron but also attribute this in my decrease in sugar. Sugar hangover?

Sweet potato fries!


Day 6

I know I’ve said it already, but I am eating LOTS of delicious foods! I thought I would be eating less and hungry all the time, but that’s not the case at all! Today I made delicious tacos!

Still having low energy today.

My own Whole30 spin on Taco Tuesday!


Day 7

It’s getting better! Not that it’s been bad, but I’m getting used to chopping and cooking more, prepping and buying food, and, most importantly, EATING the food! I’ve been eating loads of food all along, but I’m starting to have the right mindset when eating all the food. 

I want to eat a little slower. I want to eat food with intention. I feel like I really succeeded in this today. I told myself – no bananas until after dinner – then I did it (they trigger my sugar cravings)! I felt good today.

My go-to snack!


So, I’ve had my ups and downs, but for the most part am not having a difficult time eating enjoyable meals and eating plenty of food. I am fortunate to work close to home (I walk to work!) so I do eat all my meals at home, which makes things way more convenient. Of course, there are currently a stack of Peeps and candy bars for sale 2 feet away from my work cube, so there’s that, but still (I never realized how much SUGAR everyone consumes as the ‘norm’ since starting this!)

I’ve never meal-prepped before, and thought the idea of it sounded really intimidating – preparing each meal for every day of the week!? But my version of meal-prepping is not creating entire meals, but simply prepping certain foods.

For example, I spent a few hours at the beginning of the week chopping. Chopping, chopping, and more chipping! CI chopped veggies and potatoes and meat (rotisserie chickens are my go-to). I also hard boiled about a dozen eggs and cooked some potatoes and meats for when I’m in a hurry. This helped TREMENDOUSLY. So, don’t let the word “meal-prepping” intimidate you… you don’t have to plan out every meal. Just chop some things up and quite literally “prep” for when you’re making meals! This is something I can’t believe I didn’t do before Whole30.

So, I’m still hanging in there and, yes, I do feel sudden urges to go buy a box of Girl Scout Cookies and immediately scarf down the entire box, but I just remember that I’ve committed to this 100% and it’s not impossible. There are people out there doing much more difficult things. I can commit to eating real food for 30 days (and beyond!).

Have you tried Whole30 or trying it now? How did it help you?


Review: Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini

Disclaimer: I received an Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini 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!

What are “Aftershokz Trekz Titanium,” anyway? What makes them different from other Wireless headphones?

My Trekz Titanium Minis!

Description (straight from the website):

The lightweight and comfortable Trekz Titanium wireless stereo headphones are the safest alternative to traditional sport headphones and earbuds. Bone conduction technology, an open ear design and a suite of convenient features deliver premium music play and crystal clear calling without compromise. Designed with athletes in mind, Trekz Titanium are sweatproof, secure, and will allow you to hear your surroundings – no matter where life takes you.

What does this mean?

Treks Titanium Aftershokz wireless headphones sit on the outside of your ears and use special technology to make the sound quality great while still allowing you to hear ambient sounds – cars, people, dogs – keeping you safe during your outdoor activities.

Aftershokz

Features (from the website):

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
  • Titanium wraparound headband is lightweight and flexible for durability and portability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • Wireless Bluetooth® 4.1 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Specifications (from the website):

  • Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
  • Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
  • Bluetooth version: v4.1
  • Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
  • Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
  • Continuous play: 6 hours
  • Standby time: 10 days
  • Charge in: 1.5 hours
  • Weight: 1.27 oz (36g)Aftershokz2

Now that we know what this little gadget is and all the specs, are they worth it? Here’s my opinion:

100% YES.

These are the best invention, hands down, as far as a runner is concerned aside from running shoes. The fact that they are wireless is amazing. They pair to my phone immediately (EVERY time), hold a great charge and tell you when they’re running low, are extremely durable, and are comfortable. Not to mention the best part, which is that they could literally be a life-saver. They allow you to hear what’s going around you while still hearing your podcast or playlist.

When I got my first pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titamium Headphones, I thought the sound quality wouldn’t be as good as my ear-bud headphones since they sit on the outside of your hear, but the sound is amazing. If you’re wondering if you can still have your jams on full-blast and keep the same sound quality, YES.

What about sizing? What’s the deal with the “mini” size? Simply measure the back of your head like it suggests on the website and select regular or mini based on that – other than sizing they are the exact same headphones. I personally have both the regular as well as the mini (which I am reviewing here) and they both fit. I slightly prefer the fit of the mini.

These headphones truly deserve a rave review – if I had to recommend one product to runners, athletes, or anyone who listens to music outdoors – this would be it. It is worth the investment as it is a product that changes your entire running experience by keeping you safe while being extremely convenient. I always recommend these when asked about my favorite headphones and even bought a pair for my dad cause ya know, I love him and want him to be safe! (He is an avid cyclist and loves his music like I do).

Feel free to also view my review on the regular-fit here and please let me know if you have any questions about these headphones – how they work or otherwise! I use them daily so I’m happy to help!

Close up of the Minis!

Running with my Afterhokz Trekz Titanium Minis!

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Whole30, Day 1: Eating With Intention

Today’s topic may not seem run-related but it entirely is.

I always aim to set attainable yet scary goals with my running, so why not do the same with my nutrition?

I have never (ever!) done a “diet” before and I put that in quotes because I don’t consider this a diet, yet a change of eating habits. A change that I need.

I’ve been craving an unreasonable amount of junk and sweets lately. I start my day off with a sugary (healthy?) smoothie and find myself wanting things like Girl Scout Cookies, pretzels, cereal, and peanut butter… all. day. long. But it’s ok, right, because I run, bike, and do gym things! All the time! As much as I want to tell myself that, the answer is no. It’s not ok.

I’ve decided I need to change the way I think about food. I need to be intentional with what I put in my body. I’m not trying to lose weight and I think that’s part of the problem – due to my high activity level and genetics, I can eat practically anything I want and not gain weight. This may sound all good and dandy, but as you know – food affects how you feel. No matter your genetics or activity level. Lately I’ve felt bloated, sluggish, and “blah.” I 100% correlate this with my frequent cookie binges.

So, rather than just saying “I’ll eat better tomorrow.” I’m making some changes that are measurable. No, I will not be counting calories, carbs, pounds, or anything for that matter. I will be focusing on what to eat and what not to eat. I will east with intention. I will learn how to cook new things and make wholesome meals (unfortunately, oatmeal and cookies are easy, but not sustainable meals.) I will be committed by making it public, I will count the days, and I will get rid of junk food and replace it with good food. I will start Whole30.

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Last night I did my research. I have a grocery list, some recipes to get me going, and I have tomorrow off so I can meal prep (which is also 100% new to me!). Today, I will be reading the It Starts With Food book and getting an even better understanding of the importance of REAL, whole foods.

I committed to running one year ago. In that time, my running has improved immensely. I’m ready to take on new challenges, though, and I know that one step I need to take is a (huge) step forward in my nutrition knowledge, preparation, and habits.

If I can run a marathon, I can be intentional about my eating for 30 days.

I can do this.

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Have you tried Whole30? Or another “diet?” 

What tips do you have for a first-time Whole30-er?

What is something that you’ve done – besides running – to help reach your running goals?