Review: Mercury Mile

Disclaimer: I received a Mercury Mile box at 50% off 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!

Reservation Details

– This $20 is applied as credit to anything purchased from your box

– Choose your box’s shipment date below

– Your box will be delivered by USPS within 2–4 business days of your selected date

– As a reminder, we aren’t a subscription service.   We only ship when you tell us to!

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So! How did I like my box?

What I got:

  • Rabbit Hop Crop – Griffin (Retail: $45)
  •  Goodr Sunglasses – Ted’s Easter Bunny Nightmare (Retail: $25)
  • New Balance Ice 2.0 Tank – Solar Yellow (Retail: $40)
  • Brooks Distance Tank (Retail: $30)
  • Brooks Just Right Racer Bra – Asphalt/Black (Retail: $48)

The items that were hand-picked for me were INCREDIBLY thoughtful! Everything was catered to someone running in a hot climate and they were all pieces I could really use. I ended up returning a few things just for the sheer fact that I have so. many. running clothes.

The lightweight tanks were a really smart pick – probably the #1 thing I need. I LOVE racer back sports bras (how did they even know?!) and the Goodr sunglasses were a perfect color for me (definitely kept those!)

If I needed to gear up and stock up on running outfits, I would have kept everything.

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Here is what to expect when you open your personalized Mercury Mile box.

4 to 6 hand-selected pieces of running related activewear. Think capris, crops, split shorts, tanks, singlets, socks, racerbacks, distance shorts, pants, jackets, the list is long. We sort through it all to find the best fashion and function for your own running adventure.

A note from your stylist. He or she can help you navigate some of the features and fabrics in your box. Plus the personal touch is important to us.

A return shipping bag. Hey, our stylists are awesome but nobody is perfect. Use the prepaid shipping bag to send back any items you do not want to keep.

Bonus items! While apparel is our quest – we know there may be more to your run. As a thanks for using Mercury Mile, you may find special items in your box for you to keep for no charge! This could include the latest energy gel, accessory, or so on. Let yourself be surprised!

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Pricing

The items I received were RIGHT up my alley. I mean, really, really thoughtful. Everything is perfect for a gal running in the Texas heat. They were all, truly, items I could really use.

Here I am sporting a few of my favorites – the New Balance tank and Goodr sunglasses! I will use these to the bone!

It’s really nice having someone pick things out for you. It surprising how sometimes we know our own style, yet cannot decide what we might like best – especially when online shopping and you can’t actually *see* or *touch* the material before buying.

Use code: BibRave10 for $10 off your styling fee!

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Falling in Love With Running: An Epiphany

When I’m asked “When did you start running?” I wish I had a simple answer. In my mind, the answer is conflicting.

My first answer: I, like many people, have been running since childhood. Running is a natural movement that we all do. In elementary school, I always loved racing “the boys” at recess (because I knew I’d always win thanks to an early and serious growth spurt), running around my neighborhood, and a playing ALL the sports that involved running. I was just a busy body. A long, lanky, twig that adults thought just “ate like a bird” but in reality: just loved movement. In my mind, a completely normal child.

My second answer: Since middle school. 8th grade is when I was recruited by the nearby high school to run Varsity track. They saw me running for fun and asked me to join in on a practice. I thought, why not? I never (even now) thought it was anything special. I just thought they needed someone. And there I was. I continued running Varsity track (as well as school and club volleyball, school and Select soccer, and cross country) and excelled in the 400m, 800m, 4×4, 4×8, high jump, and long jump. It was a true miracle for me to get to all my track events on time – often (literally) running from one to the other, still huffing and puffing from the last sprint or jump. My most successful moment in track was running the 4×4 at the Texas Relays in Austin, Texas. This is a huge event. I ran the 400 meters in 60 seconds flat. My fastest time. I only knew it was a PR because Coach told me I looked like a “real runner” and beat my record. I never even knew what a PR was, kept track of records or time, wore a running watch, or even knew what a “good” or “bad” time was for any of my runs. I just knew to run hard. I didn’t work out outside of school or really take it seriously – I didn’t even consider myself a “runner!” (which is just now sounding crazy as I type this!)

My third answer: Two years ago. Early 2016, I was asked if I wanted to go on a girls’ trip to Las Vegas. Sounds fun, right?! One tiny detail: it was to run a half marathon. At this point I’d just started enjoying running during and after college for 10-20 minutes at a time here and there outdoors (again, no running watch so no idea how far, fast, or anything – 20 minutes was a “long run” then). So I thought why not? Sounds fun (I think!)! I go to the website to sign up and – what do you know! – the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon series was running a special deal! The Half Marathon and Full Marathon were the same price! I didn’t even hesitate (and probably didn’t even know how many miles a full marathon was) once I saw “free finisher’s jackets for Marathoners” and signed up to run 26.2 miles (more bang for my buck, right?!). Next thing you know, I’m training to run 26.2 miles. I got really into it. I started a Twitter and an Instagram (and this blog) to track my progress. I took it seriously, and rarely (if ever) missed a workout. So. This is when I was like “OK, I’m a ‘runner’ now!” I was now a dedicated runner. Ran daily. Kept track of my miles. The works.

So. There you have it. These are three points in my life that I became a runner. I’ve never been good at multiple choice tests – there is always more than one correct answer.

My point to all this is: is it really when you became a runner that matters?

I think the important part and the more relevant and interesting question is: When did you fall in love with running?

If you would’ve asked me this yesterday, I would have struggled to answer. I know I love running because I love being outdoors, exploring, and it just plain makes me feel good. Nothing complicated. But why do I love it?

Today, I had an epiphany.

It was a chilly winter morning in Minnesota. I was maybe 15 years old. My mom, dad, and I were there because my grandmother was at the Mayo Clinic getting the best treatment possible for her Pancreatic Cancer. I was told it “wasn’t a good cancer to have.” Before we went with Grandma to her appointment, my Dad woke me up from a family member’s pull-out couch in the basement. (My family lives in Minnesota). Ready for our run? Ugh. I forgot I said I’d run with him. I’m tired. I always struggle to keep up with him, so bed sounded better. But I couldn’t say “no” to my dad in his long socks, basketball shorts, neck warmer pulled over his face, and mittens. I rolled out of bed.

We get outside and it feels good. It’s daylight outside and it’s cold, but feels nice. The neighborhood is gorgeous. So green and open. Tall buildings don’t mask the beautiful sky. When I normally run with Dad, I’m counting down the minutes until the run is over, but before I know it we are running around a gorgeous lake. I remember the way the water looked, the blue, cloudy sky, and the stone bridges. There was a paved trail and we passed by a few people, but not many. It was quiet. Everything is so vivid, even now in my memory. I remember this whole trip like it was yesterday. My grandmother was like a mother and best friend to me. It just seemed like a dream.

I didn’t realize it until now. This moment. Running with my dad in Minnesota. This was when I fell in love with running. I felt free. Truly free. Like nothing was real. Like everything would be OK. Forever.

I didn’t even know how much time had passed. We just kept running. We played follow-the-leader through the trail and over a bridge. I didn’t feel tired. I just ran and looked at everything that I could.

Little did I know that these few days that I remember so vividly would be the last moments that I spent with Grandma. I thought she was invincible. It brings me to tears to remember the feeling. Tears of sadness and joy.

I love running.

I feel good again!

Good morning! I had an awesome run this morning and just realized that I FEEL GOOD.

Running has its ups and downs – which I always thought was just “something people said” my first year (or so) of running. Now I’m a few years in and realize that “improvement” (whatever you consider that to be) isn’t always a direct route. After the past few months, I’ve come to realize that running is truly a mysterious journey. And you don’t always (or ever?) know what will come next.

Thanks to Lifelong Endurance, I’ve always had someone on my side to decode the mystery. Even then, anything can happen – injury, nutrition, sickness, etc. But having my runs scheduled rather than playing the guessing game has been a game changer. Some days I think I could run further today… I could run faster… and some days I think No way in hell am I running today… This is going to be awful… and to my surprise, Coach always knows best.

For example, today.

My alarm goes off 4:05 AM… BZZZ… the silent alarm on my watch… This can’t be right… Oh Hell no. I’m not running today. Too tired. Bye Felicia. *Reality sets in* Ok. I’ll wake up and see what happens…

Yes, I wake up at a ridiculous hour to get my runs in early. I am just a morning person. WAKING UP is not easy (is it for anyone? ever?) but I feel better on my runs. Plus the thought of running AFTER working all day long, in the Texas heat, is enough to wake me up at practically any hour.

So, I get up, do my normal thing – click the ON button on the coffee pot, let Derby outside, feed her and tell her she’s a Good Girl. I relax (scroll Instagram) and drink my coffee for about 30 minutes. I just need this time. I slowly do one thing, then another. Put my running clothes on, back to the couch and put my shoes on.

It’s become a routine. A habit.

So. I’m back in the habit and I’m feeling good! I didn’t expect it today. I woke up thinking I’d be so tired my run would be terrible. Would I even hit my paces? I had a progression run planed:

2 miles easy (warm up), 2 x 10:00 progression from 8:45-8:15, 2 miles easy (cool down)

Before this run, I wondered if I could even hang in the 8’s – and, to my surprise, I could, indeed! In fact, I kept looking down to see paces in the 7’s and feeling good. Slow down, buddy!

It’s a good day when running feels so good.

How do you make running/your routines a habit?

Review: Brooks Levitate

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Levitate 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!

Brooks Levitate. I’m sure you’ve heard of them. They have caused quite a stir for anyone who uses running shoes. They are a brand new shoe from the brand that’s sole focus is running, after all. So. What’s so great about them? What makes them stand out from the seemingly overwhelming amount of shoes claiming to be “the best of the best” running shoes?

From the website, the Brooks Levitate is described as:

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The most energy return of leading performance running shoes, for runners looking for a springy, responsive ride.

Energized Cushioning

With the most energy return of leading performance running shoes, Levitate’s DNA AMP midsole technology gives energy nowhere to go but up, straight back to you.

Quick Transitions

A flexible, arrow-point pattern on the outsole helps you move from heel to toe quickly, without losing energy.

Intuitive Fit

The 3D Fit Print and FitKnit upper comfortably accommodates your foot as it moves and expands.

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The reviews from the website: (I refrained from reading any reviews prior to testing the shoes)brooks2

So, how are they?!

I was honestly skeptical of these shoes. What is brooks going for here? Something to “Levitate” you off the ground yet weighs in at 9.7 oz? Are these a long run shoe? Speedwork shoe? I just can’t place them in a category.

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After a solid month or more of running in these, I can honestly say I understand why they don’t fit one of my categories. These are a DO-IT-ALL shoe. Seriously. After my first run in them I realized they fit perfectly (in my usual running shoe size) and just felt natural.

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With every single run in them I love them more and more. I’ve never had a shoe get better over time but really, I quickly went from a few runs per week in them to ALL my runs. I grab them for long runs, speedwork, and everything in between,

For me to do my long runs in these shoes says A LOT. I have been terrified of doing long runs in anything other than “what works” and had been using the same shoes for TOO LONG. Well, (this is a bigger deal to me than you but…) THEY ARE GONE. Goodbye, old shoes!

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I had zero doubts running my first long run in these. They just feel like they truly are custom made for my foot. I can not think of one thing I would change. Maybe make them lighter, but even then – and I don’t understand HOW – they somehow don’t FEEL as heavy as they are. Which is all that really matters, right?

To describe the feel:

  • Comfortably soft
  • Foot feels protected (I don’t feel like I’m running on the ground)
  • Cushioned yet not mushy
  • Responsive but not hard
  • Helps propel you forward without feeling like a “rocking horse”
  • Flat/natural form yet supportive (neutral shoe – so no stability/intense arch support)

So, quite literally everything that I admire in a shoe. All in ONE.

Bottom line, I have never loved another shoe more than this. It’s the only shoe I reach for! This shoe is perfect for anyone that wants a do-it-all shoe. Long runs. Race day. Speed work, Easy runs. Seriously.

I already have a back-up pair and am stalking the Brooks website to catch another on sale when the Levitate 2 comes out (which I will also be ordering!)

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Go here to check out a video of the Brook’s Levitate in action: https://youtu.be/_CNYEthKsok

Find Brook’s Levitate here: http://www.brooksrunning.com/en_us/search?q=levitate, retail: $150 (now on sale for $129.99)