Do you Strava?

A review of the Strava platform

Disclaimer: I will be receiving an annual Strava Subscription and Strava merchandise 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 is Strava?

Strava is a social fitness network, that is primarily used to track cycling and running exercises, using GPS data although alternative types are available – Wikipedia

I have been a Strava user for a while. I run with a GPS watch that collects all my data from the run and loads it to the platform. Similar to other run tracking sites, Strava keeps track of how many miles I have run, elevation, and routes.

I like to know how many miles I have run each week and every month, it certainly keeps me accountable. You can also count swimming and biking data.

I also use the stats overlay on my photos as another form of accountability.

Strava also personalizes your data. I use this feature to keep track of how many miles I have on my shoes. There is a place to add your gear, then after each run you can edit your run to say which shoes you ran in. Then you can set it to notify you when you have run a determined amount of miles. I am currently running in 3 pairs of shoes, so it’s nice to not have to keep track of all those with pen and paper.

Another form of personalization, is pushing you to do your best by keeping track of your times on certain routes you run. You can earn course records and PRs.

Ok, some may argue that with this personalization, it’s not private. You can set your account settings to private and you can set your routes to not show where you run within a distance of your house.

Another way I use Strava for motivation is to sign up for the challenges. Every month you can find new challenges to join such as running a half marathon, a distance challenge or virtual 5ks. My favorite are challenges that offer a discount on a product or free things. One year there was a challenge to negative split a marathon, and I won a pair of shoes. These little things keep me interested.

Strava will send emails to keep you up to date on your challenges too, and supply a summary each month.

Strava is also a social platform. You can join running groups and find running friends. Within your social feed you can comment and give kudos. If you are looking to join a running club, I suggest the BibRave Running Club – https://www.strava.com/clubs/bibrave

Strava has a free version, so if you are looking to keep data of all your runs check it out at strava.com. You can then sync your GPS watch to the app on your phone, or use the app on your phone on the run. There is also a paid version if you would like a little more, such as training plans.

So do you Strava?

Capital Conquered!

Run Madtown – Conquer the Capital Challenge Recap 2019

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Run Madtown Conquer the Capital Challenge 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!”

Back to Conquer the Capital for 2019. I have run this event many times, once I even ran the 10k only. For 2019, I was back to take on the Twilight 10k at 8 PM on Saturday to turnaround and run the half marathon on Sunday at 7 AM.

If you are looking for my to the point, less opinionated – check out bibrave.com

If not, have I got the novel for you!! I honestly don’t know how to condense the fun into some short blurb… so sit back and relax.

The Twilight 10k would not start until 8pm on Saturday night, so Josh and I had all day to get to the expo, grab our bibs and get to the starting line. This meant – adventure!!

Madison is a short drive up 151. We arrived in Madtown sometime just before noon. The GIANT farmers’ market was still happening around the Capital, so we walked some of it and took in the sights, smells and sounds.

Since we were close to the Monona Terrace, we hopped over to grab our packets at the expo. On the drive up I had been following the race on Instagram and saw that the first 40 people to check in at the race day events booth would get free light up glasses. I made sure our first stop was that booth – I claimed a pair of purple shades!!

Then we finally made our way to grab our bibs. We were both doing the challenge, an email was sent ahead of time with our bib numbers. We gave them that and they still checked our IDS. We received 2 bibs, one for each race, but the bib colors were exactly the same. We made note to use the correct bib. Also, all races received the same short sleeve tech shirt. If you did the challenge you got a hoodie, but they were out of our sizes and we we’d be contacted about getting them at a later date.

The expo is always small, but easy to navigate and get what you need. I stopped and chatted with my next Madison race, Josh spun the wheel and bought a hat. We saw my name on the car and we drank some water that was provided.

Then it was time to find something to do. We headed for New Glarus!! Josh had never been. We found it to be a quiet day at the brewery. We strolled through the self guided tour and purchased some beer samples. We also left with some bottles to take home.

The town was also having some festival, so we stopped and visited the Planters Nut mobile and purchased some goods at the bakery. However, with all this adventure we were tired and decided to check into the hotel for a nap.

Around 5:30 we gathered our things and tried to figure out where we should park. The 10k race course had changed for 2019, putting the start and finish at the State Street Mall. This meant that the on street free parking wasn’t available, and we needed to pay to park in a ramp. We found a ramp, but it was close to full!!

However, we were close to the start and we were there quite early. So, we sat around, did some people watching. Then Renee found us!

It was finally time for the race to start, wahoo!! It was close to 80 degrees all day, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. The wheelchair division started, then the 10k and then the 5k.

We ran on the gravel trail along the lake, going out and back and then ran up and down all the hills to the finish line. Now, if I were out on some leisurely training run, I would have liked the course. However, a night race on a crowded path, it wasn’t ideal. The 5k leaders approached us on the narrow trail and I felt bad when the 10k runners wouldn’t get over. The out and back was kinda dark too. I also was surprised that the first aid station, water only, was at mile 3, followed by the next at mile 4. When I got to mile 4 they were out of cups. I was HOT and needed a drink. I brought my hydration pack, but didn’t wear it. I was happy to see Gatorade at mile 5 and cups!! It just seemed uncharacteristic of this race.

The finish line party was popping!!! I found Josh after I passed on the post race pizza. I just can’t do that in the heat… I keep wishing for a banana. I did try the spiked seltzer water though and a chocolate milk.

We took some pictures and listened to the DJ. The lights were spinning and our glasses were flashing. It was getting late, so we walked to the nearby Chipotle and went back to the hotel. We had a half marathon in less than 9ish hours.

We woke up early and got our crap together. I was running with my pack today, even though it was cooler and there was a cloud cover. We hit the Sbux near the hotel for a pastry and coffee. Hey – it’s A-1 fuel for 13.1 miles….if you have time to sit and drink the coffee… spoiler alert.

We arrived to the Capital Square area to easily find a free parking space on the nearby street. We walked around and  BibRave Pro Danielle spotted us on our way to the port-o-potties. While waiting in line we also saw Azeem. I will note I feel there were less port-o-potties this year, but we made our way through quickly.

We met back up with Danielle. It was her first time in Wisconsin. It was nice to chat.

Then just before 7AM we were encouraged to line up in the back filled corral. There were pacers, and we were told to line up accordingly. I had no goal, I was using the 10k and half marathon as training for Grandma’s marathon. I was near the 2:30 pace group though.

Some National Anthem singing and announcements and the race was underway!! I was running with the 2:30 pace group and didn’t want to pass them, but it was hard to stay with them. I did my best.

Then around mile 4, which is also Camp Randall Stadium. I needed to use the bathroom. You see I thought I had used the bathroom, but I just didn’t get enough time to let the coffee set. Oh well, there were enough port-o-potties available I made the necessary pit stop.

When I came out of the pit stop, I was no longer with the pace group, but I saw Azeem again! I ran with him, but started to pull away. I just kept moving.

I was also noticing the course felt different. Now, I know I run a lot of events in Madison, and I might be getting them confused. However, I swear last year the spring event ran the same half marathon course as the fall event. It’s a little more boring, you run on a different side of town through more residential neighborhoods.

I was pleasantly surprised when we came to the Arboretum!! YAY! I like running through this area, it’s wooded, there’s water, maybe some wildlife. I was treated to the wildlife as I saw and heard many turkeys.

As I was running, I was posting to social media to keep my mind occupied. As luck would have it, the photographers caught one of those moments. LOL

Once through the arboretum we were treated to a GIANT hill. That is when out of no where Azeem passed me… he CRUSHED that hill!!! When I got to the top I made it my mission to catch him. Which I eventually did for the last mile. It was great as we chatted past the Kohl center and down State street to see Josh cheering us on.

I had finished the race in about 2:30. Sadly, running is always celebrated by how fast you run, but I was happy with this time. I also had just finished my 53rd half marathon!!

I grabbed my finisher’s medal, a bottle of water, a bagged Panera lunch and some orange slices. I downed the water and ate the oranges. I stopped at the backdrop for some photos, then made my way to get my Conquer the Capital medal.

Then I met up with Josh and we were able to chat with Danielle again.

After giving away our beer tickets, we took some photos around the capital and then walked back to our car. In that process I snagged the bag of chips from my bagged meal and handed the rest to a guy on a bench.

We still had time to shower and officially check out of the hotel.

We had our sights on our next stop. We usually plan the things that are necessary, but then go with the flow and find some fun. The nest stop was lunch at the Grumpy Troll Brewery in Mt Horeb. We also pass these places 2203948 times, so we figured since we had time, we would stop.

After a bratwurst and a beer, we were back on the road. We had our eyes on another new stop. However, since we are old, we had to pullover and take a nap. Yep!! We both were too tired to drive any more. Maybe we need a conversion van?

After a power nap, we were following the GPS to the Potosi Brewery. Talk about some rural roads, but it’s fun to be off the monotonous highway.

Potosi, WI is a quaint little town, but there is a lot going on! It was a battle to get the last table on the patio. There was live music going on and people were having a good time. We sampled the craft brews with a flight of 6 kinds. We also made a point to get some curds and the bacon popcorn.

This is my favorite thing about a road trip. You can just say you want to go somewhere, and you just turn the car in that direction and go exploring. Madison is only 3 hours ish from my house, and these stops are within that circle.

After all the fun, it was time to get back home, we had to pick up the dogs and we were tired.

I will be back in Madison for a race in August and then I will finish my Conquer the Capital half and half challenge in November. Who knows what new adventures will happen, but I am excited to experience them. As always, thanks for a great time Madtown!

Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

Gear Review – Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

“Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro 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!”

Buy an Orange Mud hydration pack. The End!

Ok, I know you are looking for actual content, so I will give you the run down of my experience of the new Gear Vest Pro.

I first had to pick which color I would like. The pack comes in 3 options – coyote brown, green or black/orange. I really don’t have a preference, so I went with the traditional black/orange.

The features:

  • Has a 1L bladder with bite valve and sliding top. The hose clips in and out
  • Has 293084209348 pockets – ok so it has 2 GIANT front pockets with a drawstring to cinch it tight. These pockets will hold a soft flask or a giant phone.  There is a small pocket on each of these front pockets to hold trash or treasures. There is a pocket on each shoulder that velcro closed. (Oh I am not done) There is the pocket that the bladder slides into on the back. On top of this pouch is an additional pocket, and on the outside of this pocket is a zippered pocket. In the zippered pocket is a hook to stash a key. On top of all these back pockets is an elastic system to cinch in any extras.
  • Trekking poles attachments
  • This has a smaller fit, fitting across your shoulders.
  • Sliding front closure straps
  • Top strap with a whistle
  • Heavy duty nylon – durable, breathable, washable
  • There are 2 reflective strips on the back

Whew – now, you might already know I own a few OM packs so forgive me if I start comparing this to the packs I already have.

One of the first things to consider when using a hydration pack is the fit. To get the best fit with this pack, put it on with an empty bladder. You will want to fit it across your shoulders and fasten the front straps across your chest. Then you will tighten it using the straps under your arms.  I noted the front straps will slide up and down – ladies this pack will fit you – you can move the straps to where they fit you the best. I will sometimes criss cross them. The straps are stretchy and can be tightened up. The under arm straps can be difficult to grab, but once you get the hang of it you can just tug on and get the best fit. The excess material can be folded in the clip on the strap.

Next, the bladder. A bladder is where you keep the liquid you plan to take with you on your activity. This vest holds 1 liter or 35 oz. In my opinion it’s the perfect amount, mostly because it’s the perfect extra weight. If you are looking to carry more, or carry a different liquid you can add soft flasks to the front pockets. If you are still searching there is the Endurance Pack that holds 2L in the back. This bladder has a slider top, no difficult screw off nonsense. This makes it easy to refill and easy to get the air out. The hose is easily detachable. The bite valve on the end it easy to use. All components of the bladder come apart, you can put it in the top rack of the dishwasher. The downside of a bladder is it can keep moisture trapped inside, so you can flip inside out to dry. OR I will keep it in the freezer when it’s peak pack season!

Now, how did I use this?

I first used this on race day – GASP! Yep, I knew the quality of Orange Mud wouldn’t disappoint. I had a trail 25k on the schedule, and I was fresh off injury. I wanted to make sure I had what I needed.

Then I ran the Illinois half marathon. Ok, so the course is well supported, but I love the ability to have my phone easily accessible. I also know what I like to drink, so I bring that with me, water is usually found on the course.

As you can see, I also pack in things I might need. These things stay in the pack for every run. Things like lip balm, sunscreen, chaffing wipes, candy, salt chews, a granola bar, a light jacket, cash.

I also run across town to sporting events. It’s nice to be able to bring with me a change of clothes or snacks once I get there. This spring I ran to a baseball game and discovered that 2 clementines would fit in one front pocket.

I also took the pack to carry a t-shirt and a cowbell to a volunteer cheer station of a recent local half marathon.

I ran another half marathon, and since I am usually a self supported runner – it joined me on my last 20 miler. I can bring all the snack, liquid, entertainment I need.

Last, the care of this is simple. Ok, don’t be like me and let it sit around for a week and then realize it can stand up on it’s own from the salt crust, and then just put it on and run. The breathable, durable fabric allows for it to be washed!! Throw it in the washing machine and hang to dry! I usually will hand wash them when I wash my skirts.

Are you sold? Well stop on over and I will let you try mine out! Then you can use code BIBRAVEGVPRO to save 15% to buy your own at Orangemud.com

Still looking for more, check out these following reviews: BrendaBeckyAndreaSteph JonathanNicoleEmily

Make sure you are following Orange Mud on youtube, twitter, Instagram, Facebook or their website. They truly are a company that sticks behind their “innovation from frustration.”

Halfway To The Medal

Halfway to the Illini -Badger medal – Illinois Half Marathon Race Recap

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison 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!”

Spring racing season is here, and from now until about October, it’s easy to find an event to participate in. The problem is choosing one.

My decision to run the Illinois half marathon was based on 2 things. Josh was running it and I was in for the additional medal. If you run the half marathon during the Illinois marathon weekend and the Madison Mini in Madison, WI in August you get and extra medal. I am already registered for Madison.

Josh and I took off on the Friday before the race, and after a short 3.5 hour drive we were parking and making our way to packet pickup and the expo.

The University of Illinois plays host to the weekend of events. There is a 5k on Friday night, then on Saturday the marathon, half marathon and marathon relay. The University also hosts at their rec center and football stadium.

We picked up our bibs first. It was a super simple process, they assigned race numbers with QR readers from confirmation emails. Or in my case I just told them my name and they gave me my bib. From this gym, volunteers directed us to another gym to get our race shirts. The shirts were all different for each race and the male and female shirts were also different.

This gym also had the vendor expo. It was a “medium” size expo. There were photo opps, giveaways and race merchandise. It didn’t take to long to browse everything.

We happened upon our friend, Heather and her mom in the merchandise area. They were running the 5k in a few hours, so we parted ways and said we would cheer them on at the finish.

The best thing I think we picked up at the expo was a sample of Kodiak Cakes. I love samples! No commitment to have to use a giant box of something you don’t care for.

Anyway, we departed and went to meet Team Bibrave. They had gathered in the lobby of the rec center. We chatted for a while. Matt was also running the 5k, and the others were going to the pasta dinner. *This was about $17 and we decided to pass as it was lasagna. #teamnosauce

Josh and I stayed a few miles from the campus, so we went back to that area for dinner. We decided to dine at a Fazoli’s, nothing too fancy. We also wasted more time at the nearby Target.

We eventually ended back at the football stadium to watch the 5k finishers. Parking in the area is very easy, there is plenty because it’s all the parking for game day events. It is also free all weekend!! Just need to be patient as everyone files through.

We sat in the stands, right next to where the participants come into the stadium, for a finish on the football field. We cheered and cheered, and we saw Matt, Heather and her mother. They earned an additional medal for doing multiple events. We caught up with them all after the race, but we all needed to grab some sleep for our races the next day.

As per tradition, I lay all my things out that I would need for a race. When we got back to our hotel, I started the process, only to realize I forgot to bring pants/shorts to run in. After a brief moment of panic, I went through the items I did bring, none of them comfortable to run 13.1 miles. Josh then suggested some random compression short – underwear things… um no! I then went to the google machine to see what big box store was near, I knew I could run in leggings. I am very particular when it comes to running shorts, and I usually buy those online.

We set out to the nearby Wal-Mart, when we drove by the Target we had stopped at earlier in the day – DUH!! Also, I know they carry the Champion brand, which is a good sportswear company. I found the last pair in my size, of anything I would consider running in – a capri. Whew, but it was getting late… so with everything finally in order, we caught a few hours of sleep.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro, Aftershokz Trekz Air, ProCompression Socks, Rudy Sunglasses, Brooks Gylcerin, Garmin Forerunner 935, Brooks jacket, Nathan race belt, Boco Gear Visor, UA tank, Champion capris, Buff

RACE DAY!

We woke early – well we woke up in time to go to a Dunkin Donuts for breakfast. We had coffees and bagels with cream cheese. It was on the drive to the start.

The parking was the same as the day before, free and plenty of it!! The lots had loads of port-0-potties available. We even saw an attendant placing more toilet paper near them.

We made our way to the starting corrals, we found Jess and said, hi! Then I met up with Heather and Marge and said, hi! In this time there was a live singing of the National Anthem and the wheelers started.

I didn’t have any goals for this race, than to just finish. I had run the full marathon a few years ago, I knew the course was flat and I knew the half marathon runs the first 12 miles or so with the marathon.

I lined up in my corral, which was a little confusing as the sign to the corrals didn’t line up with the entrance. They were checking bibs though, which was nice.

Then it was time to start… so there I went! The first part of the course runs through the downtown, there were people cheering here. Then you run out and into some residential neighborhoods, through a sculpture park, and then come back to finish on the 50 yard line of the football field. There were many spectators throughout the entire course. In fact I remember seeing a sign at the end of a driveway “hurry up, we are stuck in our home.” I thought It was funny. I feel the people who lived on the race course supported the event.

I was having a decent race until I stopped about halfway to get some water to splash on my face. I shouldn’t have stopped. It took the next 2 miles to keep working out the pangs in my ankle. It thought we were done or something. I was feeling good around mile 10, and at mile 11, I stopped to have a beer. It was really good at that point in the race. Then I made to mile 12, I knew Josh had finished as I was tracking him, so I called him to tell him where I was.

Then I came to the finish on the field. Josh and some of the Bibrave crew was in the stands cheering me in. That was cool! I was also just minutes behind the woman’s marathon winner. The course is very flat, allowing for some speedy times, despite all the turns.

*The free race photos were in my email before I was even done spectating*
I flew over the finish line, and like any Hawkeye would do, headed for the end zone!! Sorry, I can’t stop using this joke. On my way I picked up a heat sheet and a medal.

There was no food or drink allowed on the field, so I grabbed a bottle of water and Gatorade on my exit off the playing surface. I found the crew in the stands, and we cheered in finishers.

It was cloudy and overcast with a slight wind, it was a little chilly. However, I stayed and cheered in all my friends. Josh did bring me some more clothes to put on. I watched Tim, Amy, Matt, Heather, and Marge come to the finish line. I also was very happy to see Jacyln come in to complete her first marathon!!

I was done spectating and moved to the inside concourse to find the post race food, located at the concession stands. There were slices of pizza, pasta salad, bananas, granola bars and cookies! This area was also out of the wind, many people were hanging out in here.

We departed the concourse with Heather and Marge, to check out the party on the street. This is where the post race party was. There was live music and beer, you could also buy merchandise and there were some food trucks lined up. We didn’t stick around.

After cleaning up, we said our goodbyes to Heather. Then made our way to lunch with Bibrave. There is never enough time to hang out with everyone, but I think my most favorite part of going to races is meeting up with all my friends.

I really like this event, mostly because the logistics are easy. The registration process is easy, it’s easy to park, it’s easy to get your bib, race day details are done right, and I love FREE photos!!

If you ran the the Illinois Half Marathon, you can register for the Madison Mini to also earn the Illini Badger medal. Use code “BIBRAVE5” for $5 off. http://www.madisonminimarathon.com/ *Note this is only applicable if you ran the half distance at Illinois.

See you in Madtown!!

Who’s Going Streaking??

Back to Streaking

Disclaimer: I received an annual Strava Subscription and Strava merchandise 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!

That’s right, I have restarted my run streak.

If you remember, winter was stupid and I sprained my ankle ending my longest run streak to date at 450 days. It was weird to not run everyday. In a way it gave me a goal each day, then just like that I didn’t have one.

I actually re-started my current run streak on March 31st. I am currently on day 30. I usually post my run on Instagram or in IG stories, but to be accountable forever, all my data is on Strava.

Some may argue that run streaking is not good for you because it increases your chance at injury. You are not allowing your body to actually rest.

I can tell you in 450 days of run streaking, I never had a cold or was sick. I also didn’t have any nagging injuries creep up, unless I wore the wrong shoes. My body works well with active recovery – ever run a mile after a marathon or 50k?

People can tell you all kinds of things, but the fact is everyone is different. What works for me, might not work for you. However, I do know – you wont know unless you try.

So – Why not try a run streak, who’s going streaking? That’s right the Bibrave Run Club on Strava has a run streak from May 1 – 31st. Here is the link to join the club https://www.strava.com/clubs/bibrave.

This also makes streaking super easy, sync your run to Strava and it keeps track of everything for you. The only rule is to run/walk at least a mile everyday from May 1 to the 31st.

What to do in Nashville?

Nashville, TN City Guide

“Disclaimer: I am promoting the Nashville City Guide 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!”

As the disclaimer above states I am promoting things to do in Nashville, if you are headed to Nashville, TN for the Rock N Roll Marathon check out the following guide that has been put together in partnership with Brooks Running.

Ok – so just telling you to look at this link would be a silly blog post. I have actually run the Rock N Roll Marathon in Nashville, and have taken a little time to explore the city myself, so let me add my highlights to this guide.

When Josh and I travel, it’s common for us to seek out the local running stores, you know it’s a great place to get a souvenir. When we ran RnR Nash, we actually stayed in an AirBNB just around the corner from the Nashville Running Co. They were very helpful and answered our questions. If you need some last minute supplies, this place will be less crowded than the expo. I left with a running hat.

Also in the above guide is The Soda Parlor. Josh and I ended up here as it was located in the Marathon building. If you are familiar with the show ‘American Pickers’ this is an old factory building that’s been revamped into a shopping and historical center. We had added this area to our exploration of Nashville because of the show, but we noticed this ice cream stop, so of course we had to partake. Since then the shop has moved to East Nashville.

Nashville is also home to many murals. Our last trip, just driving through, we took 20 minutes off the interstate and found at least 3 images. We also found coffee and donuts!

The area has a ton to offer, so whether you are exploring all 26.2 miles on foot or taking the entire week to enjoy, you will find something fun.

Also – something to note – The 2019 NFL Draft is in town the same weekend, so maybe some of the items on the list will get you away from the crazy happening around the stadium.

If you are looking for more – check out a cool opportunity to enter to win SHOES!! A scavenger hunt! During Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville race weekend, April 25th through the 29th, use the Nashville Notes: a Runner’s Guide to Music City Google Map to explore the city. If you visit one of the locations on the guide, post a pic of your visit on Twitter or Instagram (Instagram Stories are not eligible) using #BrooksNashNotes and you’ll be entered to win a pair of Brooks Glycerin 17. A winner will be selected at random and notified on May 3rd!

Handful Closer Sports Bra – Product Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – The Handful Closer Sports Bra

“Disclaimer: I received the Handful Closer Sports Bra 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!”

If you remember I reviewed another Handful bra and was left looking for more support. The Closer bra offered to provide the same great quality with more support for bigger cups – I was all in to give this one a test!

I was encouraged to choose my size based off of what size t-shirt size I would wear, I selected a large in the teal color – “Keepin it teal.” I am not sure if I missed the measurements, when I first ordered, but they are available with the size chart on the website.

*I can wear a men’s small shirt, and I feel most comfortable in a women’s large shirt. When I ordered, I did not take physical measurements.

The bra arrived and the first thing I noticed was the feel. It felt SOOOOOO soft! I am used to a rigid, structured feeling sports bra which reflects in the fabric. This was the opposite – buttery soft to the touch.

There bra clasps in the front and zips closed. There straps are adjustable in the back. There is a mesh detail around the top. There are removable pads, which also act as pockets.

A front closing bra with a zipper? I was all for the ease to get this thing on and off, but would the zipper chafe? NOPE – there is a liner against your skin, so there is no contact. So no chafe and no crazy tactics to get this on and off!

I did find that when I first put it on, it felt really loose. I made the appropriate adjustments to the straps and it just felt breathable. I did not feel tightly snug. I am not sure if it’s the fabric, or if I just need a smaller size? Or I am just used to a bra that fits like a straight jacket? I did have the pads removed, as I don’t need any more… so I put them back in and it fit a little more snug.

I knew that the only way to actually test it was to go for a run. So, I did. Then I did it again and again.

My Conclusion: no chafe and comfortable, easy to get on and off, also lack of uniboob! I am still searching for that locked and loaded feeling. I am not sure if I feel confident enough to run farther than 3 miles. I am still uncertain if I need a smaller size. With the double checking of the physical measurements, I think I would actually benefit from one size smaller.

Perhaps I will do that and I can save 10% with code BIBRAVE – and so can you! Head to www.handful.com to place your order.

Looking for more thoughts on the bra, check out these reviews: BeckyChristineThanhJessicaMeridith

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