Review: Turtle Gloves (plus discount code!)

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves Turtle Flip Mittens 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!

With this winter we’ve been having, mittens have been a necessity (yes – even in Texas).

Turtle Gloves Turtle Flip Mittens are a race-day necessity!

Plus, having Raynaud’s, I’m known to be a “hand-wear fanatic.”

So, there is my credibility.

Let’s dig in!

What are “Turtle Gloves?”

Turtle Gloves is a brand that has become known for their versatile Turtle Flip Mitten aka my favorite mittens on Earth.

I am a bit biased, because before testing this mitten I’d already owned a few pair – I mention this because that means I really love them! I’ve loved an used them for a while now. I did receive a pair to test, but I also purchase a few pair of my own and have even gifted a pair. I’ve truly decided that these are my favorites.

They come in three weights – light, midweight, and heavyweight. Living in Texas, the light/midweight have been great.

The sizing is generous. Id say most people could pull off a Small, men with large hands a M/L. There’s also a Youth and XL available for tiny or extra large hands. I am 6′ tall with long fingers and can wear a Small but prefer the M/L for extra space.

So. These aren’t just mittens. You knew this was coming!

These mittens can “flip” and easily turn into fingerless gloves – and even then – if you warm up a bit more can be pulled up your arm to turn into arm warmers (perfect for race day!) and THEN if you really warm up can be bunched up on your wrist and act as a sweat band. These babies do it all – making them perfect for running (the transitions are suuuper easy!) and for race day. They even have little loops in case you want to hook them to a backpack or something.

Other tidbits: they are easy to wash, moisture-wicking, breathable, and have stretch to them. Plus they come in a variety of fun colors, and come in reflective versions as well!

There is no other mitten like this and I totally 100%, completely recommend them. Not only is the product great and super useful, the people behind the product are really great and genuine. I love supporting small businesses when I can and really truly think that everyone should know about this inventive product.

Try Turtle Gloves for yourself and use code TurtleBibRave for 15% off! Let me know how you like them below!

Find the Turtle Flip Mittens here: https://turtlegloves.com/product-category/turtle-flip-mittens/

Medal Monday: The Cowtown Half Marathon!

Happy Medal Monday!

Every medal tells a story and this one represents a morning I will never forget.

Pre-race excitement!

The Cowtown Half Marathon yesterday was my first time running this iconic Dallas/Fort Worth race. The weather was PERFECT, I ran strong overall, and most importantly had fun! Another sub-1:40 in the books!!!

It wouldn’t be “Cowtown” without a giant cowbell, right?

Not long ago I wondered if I’d ever break that barrier and now I’m eyeing a 1:35!!! I truly think I had it in me yesterday but HOLY HILLS. I had heard some say “THE hill” was at mile 8.5, some said mile 9, some mile 10. I just knew it was going to get harder.

So, I hit the halfway point feeling strong… hitting sub-7:20’s (settling into and feeling surprisingly comfy at a 7:12-ish) then my mind wanders.

It’s going to get harder…

You’re going to hit that wall…

Will you have gas for the last few miles? A negative split?

Psh, with these hills coming up… can I keep this up???

Then, THE hill came.

Ok. This is THE hill. Get past this and you’re golden… right?

I’m dying…

People are passing me! Get it together, JENNA. WHAT IS HAPPENING.

An 8 minute mile? We don’t have time for this.

Then I did anything and everything possible for the next 4+ miles to convince myself to go just keep putting one foot in front of the other. Keep the rhythm. Make it to mile 10, then 11, then 12. Then you’ll be on your last mile…

I just ignored the watch and went.

Looking back at my mile splits, it’s clear that THE (FREAKING) hill did slow down my groove BUT. I am beyond proud of my effort and determination in this one. I’d be lying if I said I never wanted to give up. But I didn’t.

My Garmin funked out and added a mile @ mile 13 – totals are inaccurate but you can see mile splits and where THE hill was (see mile 10-13) ACTUAL finish: 13.15 miles, 1:38:28

I am just so glad we had nice weather and will definitely be back for another Cowtown! Thank you so much to the race directors and 4,000+ volunteers (YES! This is a huge race!!!)

Check out my full race review on BibRave.com here!

“Let’s do this!”

 

“Hi, random stranger, will you take a picture of me before I do this thing?”

MOST OF ALL: THANK YOU, THANK YOU, to my Coach over at Lifelong Endurance (check em out!!) for helping me become a runner I never thought would happen. And, as always, thank YOU for your encouragement!!! You are amazing.

Review: Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner for my pup 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!

Dog lovers! Do you run with your dog? If YES, then it’s time to make that puppy bonding time that much better! If NO, then it’s time to start!

If you DON’T have a puppy, please reach out and I can chat (for HOURS) about why you should adopt! I may be biased, but particularly why you should adopt a retired race Greyhound! “Rescued” is the best breed!

So, you all know my fur baby is my love, bestie, #1, sidekick… so OF COURSE I took the opportunity to test out the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner! I’ve seen it at expos and heard so many great things and have been meaning to get one!

So, what is a Stunt Runner?

From the website:

stunt puppy 1

Here is what it looks like and all the color options!

stunt runner

So, I’ve been testing out the Stunt Puppy Stunt runner for about a month now and I DON’T KNOW HOW I LIVED WITHOUT IT.

Seriously. Derby and I are already connected at the hip. This just makes life WAY easier! I never thought holding a leash was bothersome but now I use this for everything – running and walking with Derby. She likes it just as well and I now have my hands and feel like we can go forever.

Really, I have been taking longer walks just because it’s so nice.

I like the “bungee” part (stretchy) for Derby – it gives her enough leeway to potty or sniff but not enough that she can cross the street or get too far.

It’s perfect for a dog like her that just stays right by my side. She can feel the pull a little bit and that lets her know to keep going/turn/etc. On that note – I would caution those that have dogs that are out of control or like to pull a lot. The bungee/stretch would (I imagine) make it more difficult to control them. I think it could potentially be used as a training tool once they are leash-trained to gradually get them used to it or would be best for dogs that already stay close to their human.

Also, if you have more than one pup (yay!) you can hook them all on! The more the merrier! Here is example – (Derby is an only child)

2 dog

Stunt Puppy does carry many different types of leashes in great colors, so I definitely recommend EVERY dog owner check them out – and this Stunt Runner is just my personal absolute favorite!!! I will truly never be without this and can’t wait for hiking this summer!

stunt leashes

Here is a nice video showing it in action!

A Real Runner…

During my lifetime (so far) running has always meant something different to me… it all started with my dad encouraging me to tag along on his runs.

Ever since I can remember…

I’ve longed to one day be able to keep up with Dad.

This photo is in the Webster’s Dictionary under the definition of “cool.”

We enjoyed running in a different way. We didn’t try to go for a certain amount of miles, or a certain time. Heck, we never even knew WHAT time it was. We would stop to pet cute dogs through the fence, sneak into apartment pools and jump in without question, feed the ducks… we were truly running free.

I never really thought about it, but running has always, in some way or another, been a part of my life…

In Elementary School…

I counted down the minutes until recess so that I could run up to every boy in my class and challenge them to “race me” across the soccer field. They couldn’t say “no” to a girl, right? I always won. (I grew fast). This was my confidence zone. My safe place. It was where I knew I was good at something.

I grew fast. Using those long legs to run faster than boys = #winning.

In Junior High…

I was recruited by the neighboring high school to run track. By 8th grade I was running Varsity track (I don’t know how this is legal). I ran sprints and relays (400m, 800m), high jump, and long jump. I dabbled in discus. I never took it seriously. When Coach told me to run around the school, I just got out of sight and talked to friends. I never really ran. I did drills and lots of “gym stuff.” I liked it OK but mostly for the social aspect.

In High School…

I managed to get pretty decent at the 400 meter dash. I don’t really remember running that much. It’s was a lot of drills and goofing off with the hurdlers. Coach once asked me to run a mile cool down with Jill, the long distance runner I LOLed. A WHOLE MILE 😂😂😂 Insane.

I ran the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. This is a huge event. I broke my record in the 400m (which I didn’t even keep track of or care about but apparently Coach knew) and about peed my pants. There were thousands in the crowd and so many strong runners on the track… REAL RUNNERS…

That day, my Coach at the time told me “Wow! You ran your fastest out there!” Ok… I didn’t really care about time – just beating everyone else. (It was 60 seconds flat for the 400) BUT THEN… he said “YOU LOOKED LIKE A REAL RUNNER!” (he always complained about my arm swing). And THAT. That was a moment I will never forget…

Now…

I know I’ve been a “real runner” ALL ALONG. I’m so thankful for my new appreciation for running. What it does for me and for people.

Still running faster than the boys. 😉

We were born to run.

Review: Brooks Ghost 11 and Altra Escalante

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Ghost 11, Brooks LCD Jacket, and Altra Escalante 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!

Hi again run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

Today’s reviews are a runner’s favorite: SHOES!

I’ve been wearing the Brooks Ghost 11 and the Altra Escalante 1.5 so that I can share my thoughts.

First up, the Brooks Ghost 11

The Brooks Ghost are an interesting shoe. They are a high cushion shoe for a neutral runner. The Glycerin are Brook’s highest cushion shoe, but somewhat unexpectedly the Ghost has stolen the spotlight with its large following. The shoe WORKS. For A LOT of people.

I can see why.

Upon trying on the Brooks Ghost 11, they just felt meant to be. They were meant to be on my feet. They feel comfortable and natural. This is the main factor for me in a shoe. Do they feel natural. No weird arch bumps, extra padding anywhere unnecessary, etc. These fit the bill. All the cusion and support/protection I desire while feeling totally “normal” on my foot.

In fact, this is the first shoe I have ever worn that I didn’t transition into very slowly. I ran a few miles in them, then quickly found myself grabbing them for every run!

As for sizing, I am ALWAYS a size 12 in Women’s running shoes – where I run into problems is the width. Fortunately, the Ghost 11 do come in Wide, Medium, and Narrow sizes if needed. The 12B (Medium width) fit well, but I found the 12AA (Narrow width) to be the perfect fit for me. So, I love the shoe SO much, that I did purchase another pair!

I am so thankful for testing these babies because I’ve found my new go-to. These are great for a daily workhorse, maybe even tempo runs. They may be a bit heavy for race day depending on who you are, but for the casual runner I’d say these could easily be the only pair of shoes you own and you’d be set.

brooks

Also loving the LCD jacket! Completely reflective and nice, light windbreaker. Perfect for chilly winter mornings!

The Altra Escalante 1.5:

The Altras have a very different feel. Altra is all about allowing your foot to be natural – wide toebox for toe splay and zero “Drop” (height from heel to toe) – so that your foot is in the position it’s in when barefoot.

The Altras are a shoe that you do really want to gradually get used to – for your Achilles sake. Unless you’re used to a low/zero-drop shoe, you want to allow your muscles to get used to running practically barefoot – with cushion of course!

I will say, I’m a cushion lover. And though these are meant to be au-natural for your feetsies, they do not lack in the cushion department! The cushion is realy nice. Nothing crazy (they are a neutral shoe so no stability), but just enough to be comfortable.

I am still getting used to the Altra Escalante 1.5 for running, but the little running I’ve done in them has been comfortable. The shoe is very cushioned yet VERY lightweight. It’s like running barefoot – on pillows. I do know that these will make it into my suitcase for mountain trips for a nice versatile hiking/running shoe.

As for sizing on this one, the 12 was true to size for me. Plenty of room in the toe box, not too wide, yet I could see this working really well for a person with wide feet as well.

altra

So there you have it!

Have you tried Brooks or Altra running shoes? What’s your favorite model?

Review: Addaday and Arcanum – Runner Health!

Disclaimer: I received the following Arcanum products and Addaday roller 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!

Hi again run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

First up, Arcanum:

Arcanum is a health brand using Hemp. The brand is all about athlete recovery without pills/medication – au natural. Despite what you may think, the Hemp used is unlike Marijuana. It is filtered and for homeopathic medicinal purposes only (more natural than pills that we don’t think twice about!). This will absolutely not ever test positive for drugs due to the difference in nature of the ingredient (per the company).

arcanum

So, products!

The Quill – helps with sleep and recovery. Use it every day and consider it your “daily vitamin.” Just twist it and the proper dosage releases – rub it in on your wrists and you’re good to go! Here are the ingredients:

arcanum2

Sarco Breeze Sports Massage Oil – moisturizing massage oil. Great for dry skin, massage therapists, self use. Use over entire body and is great for muscle recovery and aches.

arcanum sarco

Sarco Freeze Topical Cooling Action – Cooling relief that aids in recovery! Hemp relieves soreness, application to skin allows for better absorption.

arcanum sarco freeze

So, my thoughts! I really enjoy the Sarco Breeze Sports Massage Oil. I have dry skin (especially this time of year in winter) and oils are my friend. I definitely don’t think you have to be a massage therapist to enjoy this product. The other two I am less likely to reach for, but am interested to try The Quill for a little longer to see the effects.

Speaking of massage – this next product goes well with the Sarco Breeze!

The Addaday Pro Massage Roller!

Ok this product is a must for any runner from newbies to experienced. We all know we “should” foam roll, but it’s so much work! I mean, I can run 12 miles beofre 8 am, but getting on the ground for two whole minutes to roll around… that’s when I’m lazy!

This magical stick is the solution! It’s so easy to just roll around your muscles without getting in awkward positions on the ground – and, best of all, feels GREAT on tired running legs. Especially afterwards – this helps with circulation and breaking up all that muscle tissue, so not only does it feel good – it’s helping your muscles recover faster.

addaday

Addaday got its name because the people behind the brand truly care about PEOPLE and RECOVERY – so the name is just that: Add A Day – add a healthy day to your life!

I really enjoy this massage roller and, though I have tried cheaper “knock off” brands, this one is way better – it really digs in and is long enough to get a solid grip and get some weight on it.

What are your favorite tools or products to aid in recovery?

Zwift Run!

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Run Pod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hi again run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

Today, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Zwift Run!

First off: what is “Zwift?”

Zwift is a virtual cycling and now running community. Zwift Run allows your to run at your pace, in the convenience of your own home (or gym) on the treadmill with ANYONE you want! Yep. All you need is a little foot pod and the Zwift app. You can customize your Avatar, create group runs, and join in on the fun!

zwift 3zwiftzwift2

Make the treadmill a little less dreamill! With friends!

It’s really brilliant. You can do training runs, run in different virtual worlds, plan a run with friends literally anywhere, any time. Even if you run outdoors 99% of the time (like me), this is great for those few times a year that you need to entertain yourself whether it’s due to weather, traveling, or whatever.

Even better for someone who is a treadmill regular! This will be a nice refreshing way to hold you accountable and/or add in that social running aspect.

We had a scheduled group run for the BibRave Pros – we just went to the date and found the 6:30pm social run and joined. When you open your Zwift app, you’ll be joined in on the group run and you can see your friends Avatars moving along as if you’re running on the same path.

I think Zwift Run is literally BRILLIANT. I LOVE this idea. As much as we all as runners would love to do all the social runs and meet up with friends for a weekday run, it’s not always practical. We have busy lives. I personally make it to one group run per week (Saturdays) and love that I can now join friends during the week or while traveling.

zwift 4

Have you tried Zwift Run? Get the Zwift Run pod here – set up is easy peasy (I figured it out without instructions!) and once you have the app, you’re all set to run with friends!

 

Review: nuun Hydration

Disclaimer: I received nuun Hydration 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!

Hi again run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

Today’s review: nuun Hydration

If you’re a runner, cyclist, or active person, you’ve probably heard of the leaders in hydration – nuun.

Nuun (pronounced “noon”) Hydration believes in clean product, clean planet, clean sport. I appreciate that. I want to know that what I put in my body is “clean” and natural, so I feel safe and confident with the ingredients of nuun products.

nuun

For a list of all ingredients in specific products, visit their site here.

One thing that makes nuun unique is the tablet form. Its really convenient for being on-the-go and traveling. While testing, I always kept a tube in my purse, backpack (that I take to spin/the gym), and took a tube while I traveled out of state. I found that having it in a tube and so convenient was one reason that I actually used it. I’d have a water bottle and just pop one in! Super easy!

The flavors are good – my favorites being Strawberry Lemonade and Wild Berry (energy). The taste isn’t overpowering or very sweet. You could pop a tab in a water bottle half-full and it would be a little stronger. With a full water bottle it’s pretty subtle.

So, does it work? I think so! I feel like with the regular use of electrolytes, I feel more energized throughout the day (not just during workouts!). I think the key to getting this benefit is regular use, which the nuun encourages by being so convenient with its packaging and tablet form.

Have you tried nuun or other hydration products? What do you think? What’s your favorite flavor?

Review: CEP Compression and Incrediwear Socks

Disclaimer: I received a pair of CEP Compression socks and Incrediwear socks 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!

Hi run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

Today’s reviews are all about SOCKS!

As runners, we must admit that running shoes are probably the most important piece of gear. And if you’re like me, SOCKS can make it or break it and are just as important.

Some socks are for running, others are for recovery – both equally as important.

So! Today I’ll be reviewing CEP compression socks and Incrediwear socks.

First up, CEP Compression:

CEP Compression socks are unique because they offer graduated compression, which is necessary to help blood flow in the legs (the whole reason for compression socks!)

Some other brands may offer low prices but are just one solid amount of compression throughout.

The graduated compression really helps get the blood flowing from the feet back up to the heart. When blood flow is slowed, this is when we experience swollen feet/ankles, which we definitely don’t want – especially after a run!

I found CEP Compression socks to be very soft and although they offer great compression, they are not impossible to get on.

I also really enjoy the bright colors. The thickness is nice too – about a medium thickness – not to soft or cottony, yet not the thinnest.

I wore them while running and while not running – they felt nice for both. I think I will tend to wear them post-run for recovery just because I’m usually just throwing on any ol’ socks I can find before my runs.

Now, my thoughts on Incrediwear!

Incrediwear is a really unique brand that offers something different than compression. Incrediwear uses bamboo technology to improve circulation. Upon trying on the socks, I didn’t think much of it and didn’t expect to really feel anything but while I was driving (I wore them out and about) my legs felt weird… like energetic! Kind of tingly but not in a super obvious way. Just subtle enough for me to notice something.

I was a bit skeptical on the whole “bamboo technology” but I realy did feel like these socks energized my legs. I also love that they come in tall socks (like TALL TALL – they are like thigh high) as well as low-cut socks. They even have finger-less gloves, which is great for someone like me with Raynaud’s!

I would definitely recommend these for anyone who struggles with circulation or just wants to improve their recovery. They even make for great gifts – I got a pair of the tall socks for my dad!

Have you tried CEP Compression or Incrediwear socks before? What has been your favorite?

Review: Handful Y-Back Bra and Leggings

Disclaimer: I received an Handful Y-Back Bra and pair of leggings 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!

Hi run fam! To wrap up the year, I’ll be sharing ALL my thoughts on ALL the products I’ve been testing from The Running Event in Austin, Texas (read all about the event here)! Stay tuned to hear all about the hottest running gear coming out in 2019 and decide for yourself if it’s a must-have!

Today’s review: Handful Bras!

I received a Y-Back Handful Bra and a pair of leggings to try.

The Y-Back Bra:

The Y-Back bra has a bit thicker straps than the original Handful bra and I like that for the high-impact of running. The bra is comfortable (like it’s not even there!) yet keeps everything in place. No bouncing or jiggling! For reference, I am a 30C (ish) and usually a XS or S in bras. My struggle is a narrow/small rib cage yet I have broad shoulders, making it hard to get bras (that actually fit) on/off.

I found that this one works for me in both the XS and S – the XS just being a tad more snug. I find myself reaching for the small more often because it’s easy to get on/off. I don’t notice any bounce or anything either, so – win-win!

I also LOVE this marble-y purple color. I plan on ordering more Y-Backs and trying the original with the thinner straps for everyday wear.

Handful Leggings:

The leggings by Handful are really nice. A smooth material – not quite as as stretchy as I’d like but I’m not a compression-leggings type. I like super stretchy and forgiving leggings. I’d wear these on my “skinny days” if ya know what I mean. If you like a snug fit, you’ll love the fit true to size, if you like stretchy: maybe size up.

I LOVE the patterns – Handful really does a great job with form AND function. I also got to meet the founder/owner and the Handful ladies at The Running Event and they are so so nice and genuine and truly really care about making women feel amazing! I will definitely be a customer for life.