Product Review: 2Toms SportShield

Disclaimer: I received 2TOMS SportShield 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!

Chaffing. Every runner’s enemy, arch enemy, something they curse when they hop in the shower and have that recognizable sting of broken skin because of something rubbing and water in spots that you didn’t bother to check before hopping in the shower. I’ve tried products in the past, but nothing really ‘stuck’, or I ended up not being a fan of it. If I ever forgot what I was using, I even tried the deodorant trick.

Enter 2TOMs. When the opportunity came up to try it, I jumped at it to see if it would work.

It was a fun treat to get in the mail, and came just in time for the Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa (where I did the 5K, 15K and Half Marathon over the course of the weekend). Needless to say, it was part of my luggage come GDC time and I used it the Saturday of the 5K and 15K. I opted for the SportShield wipes for my feet and the roller for the bra area (guys, one less thing you have to worry about). Needless to say, 1 application survived both races without the need to reapply and without any chafing or blisters! Repeat for Sunday’s Half Marathon, and I made it through the weekend without any blisters or chaffing. My body thanked me for that part (not sure about the 25+ miles of the weekend though).

I ran a few local short races leading up to my first marathon in over a year, the One City marathon in Newport News. Needless to say, 2TOMS joined the car ride down to VA. The only thing that kicked my butt that race was the heat and humidity the second half. During the race? No chaffing, no blisters, no broken skin!

The 2TOM Roll Liquid On is a good product for thigh or underarm chaffing for bras. The wipes? Feet, all the way. The best way to use this (in my opinion), is to put on as much gear/clothing as you can and then apply the 2TOMS. The liquid at least, doesn’t get all over you, but the wipes tend to stick to your hands a bit more. Be prepared to wash your hands! I didn’t have any issue with 2TOMS coming out of my clothes or socks (a huge deal) and it really does last.

Not convinced you need some 2TOMS?? Order yourself some with a 20% off discount through the end of April with 2TOMS20. I’ve already stocked up on some more Roll On and towelettes for the rest of the year! They have some other products that might be of interest: butt shield, odor eliminating detergent, stink free SportShield and more

If I haven’t convinced you, head over to see what some of our other Bibrave Pros have to say!

Amy – Ashley – DanielleJenn–  Samantha

And Follow 2TOMS on their websiteTwitter, or Facebook

And Join us for Bibchat on 3/29 (this Tuesday) at 9/8 EST/CST with them!

BibRave Product Review: 2XU VECTR Socks and Performance Calf Sleeves

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Performance Calf Sleeves and VECTR 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!

2XU is at it again, and this particular testing opportunity couldn’t have come at a better time. I ran the One City Marathon a week ago and am set up to run the Lincoln Presidential Half in 2 weeks in addition to the Vermont City Half Memorial Day Weekend. This time around, the opportunity came up to test 2XU’s Performance Calf Sleeves and VECTR socks.

First up: the socks. I’m in the process of starting to toss my crappy socks (or the socks I haven’t warn forever), because the less stuff I have to drag 2100 miles cross country the better. I was also a touch hesitant because socks can be finicky in their sizing, so smalls might not even fit right on me, depending on the brand.

For starters, they do feel as if they have some cushion to them, which is appreciated. They’re designed to fit to your foot, provide some ventilation/air to your foot and prevent friction and blisters on your run. It also has stabilization for your arch and ankle (cool stuff, huh?). I had the chance to wear these to a few races, which included a short distance XC style 5k and for long distance (oh, say a marathon). I could feel the compression for sure in these things and never got any blisters during the One City Marathon (and that race got hot and humid during the second half!). And in case you’re not sure which sock is for which foot, they even label them for you!! Please feel free to throw them in the wash after each use. 2XU doesn’t recommend drying them….should have read that before doing some laundry (it’s all good though)

Now for the Calf Sleeves. I’m all about compression. I torture my legs running, so they at least deserve a little bit of love in return so they can hate me less after races. The Calf Performance Sleeves are a must have for any runner. If you love having a whole bunch of color choices, this is something to look at (try filling out the preferred color request for  this one, it definitely took a few minutes. I’m all about the fun colors, so I went with orange. Each pair is 2 toned and again sized. With my bilateral short leg syndrome (i.e., I’m short!), I went with the smalls. Be prepared for some snugness and realize that they’re doing their compression job!

The Performance Calf Sleeves target your calves (shocker) and shins, but you also get some ankle in that too. After running marathon #7 last weekend, these were key in my 9 hour turned 12 hour drive back home. My calves felt pretty daggon good afterwards. My hamstrings and quads, not so much (I looked like I was walking with arthritis).

The calf sleeves are definitely something you could wear while running a race if that floats your boat. I’ve done it a few times and had good results (but last weekend, I was more in the I need something that won’t smell up the car on the ride home). They’re ok to wash cold, but hang them dry!!!

Overall, another strong set of products by 2XU and something to add to your collection. If you’re on the fence, be sure to treat yourself and save 15% while you’re at it with TRAIN15 (because 2XU loves you that much!). Come join us during Bibchat on Tuesday 3/22 at 9/8 EST/CST with 2XU. Who knows, there may be some free stuff there too!

Race Review: One City Marathon

Disclaimer: I received entry to the One City Marathon 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!

Marathon #7 is officially in the books. This past weekend, I went out to Newport News, VA with fellow BibRave Pros Angie and Amy for the Newport News One City Marathon. We all had our own adventures as to getting out there or getting home! I left Friday afternoon and arrived in Newport News around 1130 pm. Amy had arrived earlier in the day and checked into our room. Angie and her friend Kate had loads of fun coming through Ohio thanks to a 2 hour stand still outside of Dayton due to a car accident, and ended up getting in Saturday Morning.

Amy and I slept in until 930 AM, which was beautiful. We went to a little coffee shop to get a bite to eat and waited until Angie and Kate came before heading off to the Expo. The Expo was held at the Denbigh Community Center, about a 15 minute drive from the Marriott Hotel. It was a smaller expo, but we walked in and were greeted by lots of friendly volunteers. We picked up our bibs (of which, there were a whole 381 marathoners) and our shirts (long sleeve techs!).

It was a smaller expo, with Point 2 Running store there selling some gear, some local races and some sponsors. There were also a people around making sure we had all our questions answered. There was an area for kids to play in, an area to get your gait checked and a few other fun things to look at. While we were there, we ran into fellow Bibchat regular, Meredith, who was running her first half (yay!). After the expo, we went to get some real food and then back to the hotel. I stayed back to do some work, while Angie, Amy and Kate went to the beach.

The race put on a Pasta Dinner Saturday Night at the Marriott, which we got to go to (and were even able to high jack our own table). We enjoyed some good food and more than enough dessert for 4 people, while hearing from some panelists (Roger Brown- a former NFL player, last year’s One City male and female winners and one of the docs overseeing the race). Afterwards, we went back up to the room and got all of our stuff put out for race day.

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Pasta dinner time! #bibchat #onecitymarathon

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The down side to any race this weekend? Daylight Savings time and we lost an hour of sleep. Needless to say, my alarm was the first to go off, but all I remember is hearing someone say, crap it’s 5 AM (which wasn’t the case at all). We all got changed, brushed teeth and determined how much or how little clothing we wanted to wear. The nice thing is that there were shuttle buses that took us to the start. The buses started at the Marriott and went to the other 2 host hotels and then to the start in Newport Park. We arrived a bit after 6 (and I may or may not have tried to sleep on the bus) and made our way to the starting area. Plenty of port o potties for people to use and not a whole lot of lines. Then again, there were only 381 Marathoners running (and the first leg of the relay). The 8K runners and the Nautical Mile started where we finished.

The ‘corrals’ were small, only marked by your pace/ mile. There were also pacers at least through 5 hrs that I could see carrying timing sticks with them. We started right at 7 AM and enjoyed the first 2 miles or so through the Newport Park, before we took to the streets of Newport News. We ran through neighborhoods, older parts of town, past schools, through 2 parks total. I was expecting something completely flat (or else I had course terrain mixed up), but there were some minor hills on course that I noticed. It started out cooler and cloudy, so I had a long sleeved shirt on under my Bibrave Shirt. It definitely warmed up and I noticed humidity by miles 15 or 16. By mile 23, I had yanked my long sleeved shirt off! The streets of Newport News had some areas with cheering sections (high schools, church groups etc) and areas in the residential areas with people sitting outside their houses cheering. Water stops were every 2 miles with gatorade at every other stop. With the relay, every once and awhile, we’d come up on a relay exchange and we’d have to pay attention to which side of the road to be on. It was definitely a rougher marathon for me because of lack of training (yay 12 hour inpatient medicine shifts!). It was definitely hot by the end of it. The roads were well marked and there was police and volunteers throughout. Though there was some traffic, runners had more than enough room to spread out and never had to worry about being hit by anything

By the time I hit mile 20, I was at a wall, but when you’re in it just for fun, you tend to not care. Took a long while, but the Victory Park came soon enough. You finish with your name being announced. All you have to do is walk straight ahead and get your medal from the volunteers with some water and drinks waiting for you. Down some stairs you go and you hit the post race party. I got there later in the game and listened to the band while attempting to find Amy and Angie. After meeting up with them, Angie got some tacos from one of the food trucks that they had. I didn’t have much of an appetite (and never do after races), so I passed. There had also been post race yoga, post race massages and some other activities for people. Angie’s friend Kate drove us back to the hotel (there were shuttles too if you needed it), where we took the 1 million dollar showers

We all headed home, but I was in for a long adventure. What was suppose to be 8-9 hrs turned into 12 hrs due to rain most of the way (especially on the turnpike), traffic in Virginia and having to stop at rest stops more often than not (yay for 3 hrs of sleep before heading to work this morning!).

Overall, I thought the race was well run and I think on the right track. I think if a half marathon was added, they could increase the amount of people that come for the race. I was also hoping some of the pre race stuff was more centralized (the expo/pasta dinner, etc), it would make things easier (less places to be). Also, minor thing, but chocolate milk would have been awesome!

If you’re in the area, look for One City. I thought it was a good race if you live close to run it and is something they try to include everyone in!

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Marathon #7 prep #bibchat #onecitymarathon

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BibRave Product Review: Merino Wool Buff

Disclaimer: I received a Merino Wool Buff 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!

My Buff collection grew again!!  I’ve tried and loved quite a few Buff Products (like their hoodie, Half Buff and Full Buff). When we had the chance to try their Merino Wool Buff, I jumped on the Buff train for sure!

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My Buff Collection. The Merino Wool Buff is the Red Buff in the middle

For size comparison, the wool buff is about 3 of the Half Buff’s and a little more than one of the full buffs. It just means more ways to have fun with it! It also came in time for one of my first races of the year, the Hermes Chili Bowl Classic, which means I found a few of the fun ways you can wear it.

Because the Wool Buff is designed to keep you warm in colder weather, it tends to be longer (which might be a problem for some), but it really helps keep the cold out and your ears warm, something my mother is thankful for (can we count how many times I’ve refused ear warmers?). It’s also incredibly light weight so you tend to forget that it’s there. Because it’s long, you can get head and neck coverage all in one with it. Not a runner? Use it under helmets for biking or under gear for skiing, it doesn’t discriminate!

I have yet to wash mine (and I’ve worn it on a few runs), and it doesn’t smell. Yet. It’s good for wiping the sweat away, keeping your neck warm or all out wearing because you’re setting the new coolness standards. With marathon #7 coming up, it’ll be worn on race day and used in some capacity, even though the weather will be in the 60s!

I have yet to try this in warmer weather (it didn’t come for the Gasparilla Classic), but it’s also noted to provide coolness in the summer so you don’t feel like you’re going to overheat. Yes, it really does dry out fast after races!!!

How to wash this fun little toy? Hand wash in warm water with mild soap and lie flat to dry. Poor Fellow Pro Angie’s ended up in the laundry, but hark! it wasn’t the end of the world.

I continue to love my Buffs and really couldn’t find anything I didn’t like about my full buff. I can’t wait to try it out in warmer climates this weekend at one city. It’s really worth the $29 to have! And plus, the Buff People are awesome as it is!

Join us and Buff during Bibchat this week (March 15, 2016) at 9/8 est/cst to talk some Buff! there might even be some free stuff involved!

Bibrave Pros Testing Out the Wool Buff

Angie     Jen     Mark      Janelle

Gasparilla Distance Classic: The 15K and 5K

A little over a week ago, I was in sunny, warm Tampa, FL for the Gasparilla Distance Classic, this weekend I’m back in Ohio dealing with snow and cold. I took some PTO last Friday and flew out of Akron (I always appreciate not having to switch planes!). After getting in, I checked into my hotel and walked over to the convention center to pick up my gear. I was signed up for the 5K, 15K and Half Marathon over the course of the weekend. The catch? Only 1 bib- thankfully I didn’t lose it! The fun thing about Gasparilla, is that you have a variety of challenges- The Ultra (5k and 15K on Saturday, Half Marathon and 8K Sunday), the Amber (15K and 5K Saturday and the Half on Sunday) or the Lime (the 15K and 8K). I was questioning how the whole 1 bib thing would work for 3 races. 3 race shirts and a challenge jacket later, I was walking around the expo picking up some fun Under Armour stuff.

I chilled out the rest of the day, as the 15K and 5K were Saturday morning. I woke up early and walked down to the convention center. I had a change of clothes with me, which was a huge plus. Gasparilla has it right, in that they have indoor bag check. After dropping my stuff off, I hopped in the corral. After the national anthem, we were off. We had a small (ish) overpass hill before turning onto Bayshore Drive. The course was out and back and fairly flat. It was right on the water, which offered a nice breeze on occasion. Plenty of people were out watching and cheering, especially at the water stops. Some points, I had wished that they were closer together. On the way back, we took the lower part of Bayshore Drive. Course markers every mile with times. The finish was in front of the convention center. The finish was fairly easy to deal with, especially the chute. We kept on moving, and got their 15K medal, wet (cold) wash clothes. Some simple food, but I didn’t realize until after where all the good stuff was.

Since I did the Amber challenge, I still had the 5K to go. I headed back inside the convention center and got my bag and changed into some dry clothes. It also gave me a chance to throw my medal with my stuff so I wouldn’t forget it. They did have an area to check your medal if you did both the 5K and 15K. The 5K started at the same spot as the 15K. there were at least 5 waves, one of which was a stroller wave. Best idea ever! The course was a shortened version of the 15K and waves were let out every 15 minutes or so, starting at 915. I started with the first wave because I wanted a shower and mainly wanted to be done. After going out and back and finishing, I picked up my 5K medal and headed to the hotel and showered.

I chilled out most of the day, found some lunch and church. Early to bed it was for a 6 AM 1/2 Marathon start time on Sunday!

Leap Day 5K

Every 4 years we get an extra day put into the year. This year, not only is it a year where I finish residency (thanks for ONE extra day), but it happened to be on a Monday. Death stare. However, leave it up to me to find a 5K to do. The Leap Day 5K was put on by Second Sole at one of the Metroparks close-ish to my apartment (and it was only $16).

After work, I went home to change real quick. I got to the park around 6 and got my bib and shirt. After getting situated, I headed to the start. The course was lined with cones and glow sticks sticking out of the cones. The instructions were simple. Cones on your left on your way out until you passed the water station the second time, then cones on your right. The course was a loop course and I forgot the hills that it has hidden in it (I had done a 5 mile cross country race there a few months ago). It was good running weather, but it got darker and cooler pretty quick. It was nice to be able to run in capris for once!! It was a good run, but on the way back, it got tough to see your footing. The glow sticks also started to fade some on the way back. It was a fun race for sure and definitely one that I wish they could get away with doing more than once every 4 years.

Post race, there was some pizza, hot chocolate and post race socializing. Pretty well put together considering I found it maybe 3 weeks ago! If only there was a leap year more often for them to put on their race more often.

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