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?

Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays X-Series Sunglasses 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!”

I might have a thing for sunglasses. When I was introduced to my first pair designed for running years ago, I haven’t looked back – and rarely leave the house without a pair. Ironically I would rather wear my contact lenses than my prescription glasses, however on the run I need the protection sunglasses can provide.

Within the X-series line, I was given many options to choose from. I decided on the emerald ice version. They are clear frames with blue/green mirrored lenses. Gotta look good right?

When they arrived, my initial reaction was how sleek they look. I thought they would wraparound my face for a more aerodynamic fit. I also had to try them on with my gear. I always wear a hat/visor and headphones. The glasses fit fine with all my accessories!

I then took them on their maiden voyage. It was a warmer day so my face was sweaty. They were not fitting like they should, I took them off to squeeze the nose pad and discovered it doesn’t cinch. They kept sliding on my sweaty face, and sitting too close to my eyes, and then fogging up as there was no air flow. I kept pulling them down.

I wasn’t going to give up just yet, they looked fancy and they protected my eyes with their “Premium Polarized blue-green lenses with grey tint and 100% UV protection.” The older I get, the more interested in the things I ignored as a college student.

I am currently run streaking, so I gave them another go on a mile run. I was still having fit issues.

Then I was thinking, maybe this pair of sunglasses is just made for a bigger face. I never thought I had a smaller face, but maybe I do. So I drug out my trusty measuring tape…. My face is about 5″ across and the shades are just under 5-5/8″.

I was excited to try this design. Shady Rays is a great company with a great mission, giving back to the community. With every order they provide 10 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. through Feeding America. 

Plus they offer a “Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken – just pay S+H fee for lost/broken replacements.” They stand behind their glasses.

If you have a larger head, this is the sunglass for you! Use code “RAVE” for 50% off 2 or more pairs from the Shade Shop. https://shadyrays.com

If you are looking for more input on the X-Series, check out these reviews: BrendaCorey Katy Renee Lissa

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

Keep up to date with Handful – WebsiteTwitterFacebookInstagram 

Brooks Glycerin 17 – Product Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – Brooks Glycerin 17

“Disclaimer: I received the Brooks Running Glycerin 17 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!”

I like to think it’s every runner’s dream to try as many running shoes as possible. However, it’s tough when A) you already have a shoe that works and B) shoes are pricey! So here I am testing them for you!

I have a go to running shoe, I can put it on, straight from the box and run a marathon.  I shouldn’t fix what isn’t broken. I was fitted for my shoe, years ago at my local running store and haven’t looked back. However, with so many choices out there, am I missing out on another great shoe?

Enter the Brooks Running Glycerin 17. You might have heard of this shoe as it’s the one THE Des Linden runs in!

Shoe specs from the web:

What did I receive?

The blue box came to my door, and I opened the box to find a black shoe with purple and pink/orange highlights and a white sole. I put them on and they felt like they had more cushion than my go to shoe. That was it, they felt good on my foot immediately.

As you know, I was coming back from a sprained ankle, so it was the perfect time to break in the shoes. I like to break in a new to me pair my walking and slowly increasing my mileage.

I was rehabbing through a physical therapist and walking/running on the indoor track. The shoes were very slippery on the treadmill at the PT. However, walking circles on the indoor track I did not notice any slipping. The tread seemed to be fine. *I took a different pair of shoes to PT the next time and I can say it’s the belt on the treadmill, it’s slippery.

Then one day I braved it and walk / ran home from PT. Then I increased mileage and basically haven’t looked back since. My longest run was 10 miles. I have been running in these for the majority of my runs for a month. I am not having any problems with pains or anything. For me, this shoe will be added into my go to running shoe rotation! 

I have been running in a Brooks shoe for years, and I continue to do so for many years.

If you want to hear more first hand reviews, check out what the pros have to say:

Keep up to date with Brooks running – WebsiteFacebook TwitterInstagram

Run Happy!

*I will always recommend getting fit at your local running store. If you are not sure where to start, this shoe is a good one to ask for.

Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Hands Free Leash

“Disclaimer: I received the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash 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!”

Kona and I were ready to hit the mean streets of Iowa City once again. This time with a hands free leash.

HOWEVER – the Iowa winter just wont quit! The sidewalks have been covered in ice or snow, making a run with Kona not the best idea. Then throw in a sprained ankle and our running together has taken a back burner.

That has not stopped me from using the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner hands free leash. It’s also perfect for everyday dog walking. Especially in the frigid temps, when a gloved hand is almost too much for your standard leash.

The Stunt Runner consists of a belt that goes around your waist with a buckle. Then a leash with a bungee attaches to the belt.

From the walks alone, this had us purchasing the additional Stunt Runner Flexible Connector as we have two dogs. Kona is more of the runner, but Ace loves to go on walks too. This clip on addition to the Stunt Runner is perfect. It just clips to the D-ring on the belt.

These are my favorite features:

  • The Stitching – Made with quality using the same technique that can be found in firefighting gear. No glue is used!
  • The Buckles – The Duraflex buckle can handle 225 pounds of pull.
  • The Clip -The leash just clips onto our dog’s collar with ease. We have many standard leashes that the slider breaks making it hard to clip on the leash. This just snaps on with a tap, and is easy to remove.
  • The Bungee – This absorbs the shock of the pulling, that’s right Kona will pull.


More details can be found here – https://www.stuntpuppy.com/collections/leashes/products/stunt-runner?variant=12358184304738

I really can’t wait for spring to arrive and my ankle to heal. I know Kona would like for that to happen as well so we can hit the mean streets of Iowa City. Until then we will be taking Ace on all the walk, hands free.

(PS this leash makes picking up after your dog, easy as poo!)

Looking for more information, check out StuntPuppy.com or follow them on social media: Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Additional reviews: MattAndreaStephJessicaJenna 

Nuun Hydration – Product Review

PRODUCT 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!”

I received a bag full of items at The Running Event, I will do my best to give each item their proper review.

I am not stranger to Nuun Hydration. The Running Event swag bag was packed full of Nuun Tubes. It felt like I just kept pulling them from every compartment.

Nuun is a drink in a tablet form that dissolves or effervesces in water to then provide you with an electrolye drink. One tablet per 16 oz of water. It comes in a variety of flavors that all boast many benefits including vitamins, electrolytes or caffeine to boost your energy or immune system. It’s gluten free, dairy free and made from plant based ingredients. It also only has around 10 calories as it does not contain a lot of sugar.

During the guided tour at the expo, the Nuun presenters were very involved in answering everyone’s questions. They also had a huge assortment of flavors available for sampling.

I received 10 tubes and a reusable water bottle. Each tube is a different flavor and contains 10 tablets. They retail around $5 – $7 per tube. https://www.nuunlife.com/
* Lemon + lime
* Strawberry lemonade
* Energy – wild berry
* Vitamins – blueberry pomegranate
* Vitamins/energy – blackberry citrus
* Immunity – orange citrus
* Energy – cherry limeade
* Energy – mango orange
* Tri-berry
* Immunity – blueberry tangerine

I will say the flavor tastes good, but I am missing the bubbles that disappear after the tablet dissolves, and to me it tastes flat. It’s just not what I prefer.

My husband on the other hand loves this stuff! He always has a water bottle full at arms length.

My mom was at Christmas and complaining about having leg cramps overnight, and she didn’t get a good nights sleep. I suggested I mix her up some Nuun. I poured some water in a glass and she watched it dissolve. She had 3 tablets of the blackberry citrus. She reported back the next morning with a great night’s sleep!

If you are looking for a healthier option to keep dehydration at bay, this might be what you are looking for.

Vuori – Product Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – Vuori Clothing Omni Performance Shorts

“Disclaimer: I received Vuori Omni Performance Shorts 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!”

I received a bag full of items at The Running Event, I will do my best to give each item their proper review.

The Vuori Omni Performance short was a nice surprise in my The Running Event swag bag. I am always looking for new running gear, what better way to discover a new to me product.

During the guided tour at the expo the presenter told us that the woman’s line is relatively new to Vuori. They had samples from their collection hanging in their booth. I happened to notice their color story – dark blues, grays, dark greens, dark reds, blacks – timeless colors. They also looked very “luxe.”

The short was in olive green color (which is referred to as moss,) they are very soft and are very flowy. There is a zippered pocket on the back of the waist band and they have a brief liner. They retail for $58 https://www.vuoriclothing.com/shop/womens/womens-shorts/omni-performance-short/#Moss

Sadly, the size I received is not my size. I am not able to give them a running test. I can tell you that I usually wear a large / XL in bottoms and these were a medium and I was able to get them on.

Please check out what Vanessa had to say.