Product Review: Shady Rays Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Shady Rays Signature Sunglasses 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!

 

Summer has come to Seattle and what better way to celebrate than a new pair of sunglasses?

I got the chance to review Shady Rays Signature Series over the last month. I tested these not only while running but while on vacation in California. Shady Rays come in multiple styles and are polarized with 100% UV protection.

Shady Rays are super lightweight which is a huge plus for travel. Not only did they hold up at the beach, they even survived the constant use and storage at Disneyland! I definitely dropped them a few times and there are no scratches on the lenses or the frames.

Other fun facts about Shady Rays:

  • Each order feeds 11 meals to fight hunger with Feeding America
  • Lifetime craftsmanship warranty
  • Free lost or broken replacements

I will say I did enjoy Shady Rays. I brought them on my camping trip and the light weight was huge especially when I was packing up my pack. When I got back home all I did to cleanse them was use a bit of cleaner and the microfiber bag and they looked good as new!

For me my one downside of Shady Rays was the nose bridge. I have a flat nose and when I was running I constantly had to push them back up on my nose. But for everyday where I did not have any issues!

I highly recommend Shady Rays if you need a good multipurpose pair of sunglasses!

 

 

 

Race Recap: 2018 Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock N Roll Seattle Half Marathon 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!

This was not my best race. After getting sick, finishing a new job and then starting a new one, training was not a top priority for me. Instead of running the full, I had to run the half because I was not feeling well going into race day.

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Expo:
I left work a bit early and arrived at the expo around 5:30pm. When I got to CenturyLink Event Center there was no one there. I am not joking, there was no one at bib check in or waiting in line. I got my bib in five minutes and then headed over to the Brooks merchandise. Most of it was the same as San Francisco so I headed into the Expo. Said hi to my local Fleet Feet who were manning the On Running and Trigger Point Performance booths, then searched for more free swag. I got a sweet Toyota waterproof bag, some sunglasses from Visit Seattle and free hummus. I spent a little less than an hour at the expo.

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Race Day
The race course was different from previous years which meant a very early wake up call for me. My boyfriend drove me to the start line but we had many issues. First, Rock N Roll did not give clear road closure times, so driving from Ballard and taking a left toward Seattle Center was impossible. We were told multiple times we couldn’t drive over Queen Anne because of closures even though they were posted as 6am or the map was not updated. So, after finally making it to the Uptown neighborhood and finding a free spot (score!)  we made it to the start line.

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The wave start was really nice and it made it much easier to start than in years past! The new course started at Seattle Center we ran around Queen Anne along Lake Union, into Capitol Hill and on to Mercer to finish back at Seattle Center.

As the miles went on the course got hillier and hillier. Around mile 8 I realized we were in for a lot of hills as we made our way into Capitol Hill. I was in a lot of pain an ended up run/walking the rest of the miles. The super steep “King of the Hill” section was not necessary at all. Not only was it painful but I almost tripped over people who would stop mid hike up it. After that Interlaken felt extremely difficult. 

When we turned onto Mercer I was super happy until I was told to run next to an oncoming traffic lane. I was really tired and was concerned that I would clip a car as we veered off onto 6th Avenue. Let’s just say I was very happy to see the finish line!

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The finish chute was standard, the medal this year was great! I found my boyfriend quickly and we headed out to get brunch.

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My recommendation to Rock N Roll is to use last year’s course or  to take out all of the hills. I know Seattle is hilly but it doesn’t need to be hills on hills on hills. I would also love to have more entertainment . There wasn’t a lot out there this year.

If you want to run this race, wait until they release the course. I would not run this course again. But if you live in the Greater Seattle Area, I do recommend running this race since it’s almost always perfect running weather.

Race Review: North Olympic Discovery Marathon Relay

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to North Olympic Discovery Relay 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 got to return to the North Olympic Discovery Marathon this year and instead of the half I ran with my boyfriend as a two-person relay team!

The North Olympic Discovery Marathon Relay consists of five legs split up into varying distances between 4.2 and 6.7 miles. The marathon starts at 7 Cedars Casino and ends in downtown Port Angeles.

Expo
The expo is held at the Red Lion Hotel right by the finish line for the race. It’s small but very well organized. The downstairs ballroom is packet pickup and the upstairs has the vendors. Relay packet pickup took a bit but we were able to get all of our questions answered. In our race packet was a reusable shopping bag, our keepsake bibs, our actual time-chipped race bib attached to a race belt, the reusable gear check bags, and our long sleeve tech shirts. The tech shirt has “Marathon Relay” on it which is awesome and a sweet zip pocket!

After getting our packet we headed upstairs and look around the expo. There were some cool races in Bellingham that I am considering running in the future. We then headed to Hurricane Ridge for some sightseeing and hiking. If you have never been I highly recommend a visit. The view of the Olympics is gorgeous and it’s well worth the drive. We headed back into town and found some pasta for dinner and then headed to bed.

Race Day
We headed to the start around 6am and got the start line with plenty of time to use the bathroom and warm up. The weather at the beginning was near perfect. About 50 degrees and a bit overcast. Dan ran the first leg and he started with the marathoners. The started and I quickly hopped back into my car and headed to the first exchange.

The exchange directions were great. We had no issues navigating to each exchange. Since it was two of us we had to cool down and then drive to the next exchange by ourselves. Dan is a much faster runner than me so it was a bit easier to judge when he would be arriving at the exchanges.

The first 3 legs went quite well, I ran pretty slow since getting sick I was not in shape to run 9-10 minute miles. Around halfway through the third leg Dan wasn’t feeling great and the weather was starting to get wet and cold. After starting the hillier fourth leg I started to not feel good either.

As I finished leg 4 the rain really started to come down and I was happy I was done running. Dan wasn’t so lucky and had to finish the race is the pouring rain. I hopped in the car, changed into dry clothes and drove to the finish line. I found Dan on the trail on the last quarter of a mile and we ran together to the finish line. Even though we were some of the last people to finish the volunteers and food were still there!

Overall, I was so happy we ran the marathon relay. In the future, I would run it with 3 or more people so that waiting at the exchanges wasn’t so lonely. I would gladly go back and run the NODM Half Marathon because the course support.

Race overview:
Dan – Legs: 1, 3 & 5 –17.1 miles
Favorite leg: 1, 5 if it wasn’t raining
Favorite part of the experience: Volunteers

Amanda – Legs: 2 & 4 – 9.1 miles
Favorite leg: 4
Favorite part of the experience: Race swag and volunteers

Infinite Energy Seattle City Guide, presented by Brooks

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Brooks Levitates and a free entry to Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle 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.

Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle is upon us! There’s nothing better than a race in my hometown Seattle. I am so fortunate that I can call this wonderful city home. To make things even better BibRave partnered with Brooks Running to create the Infinite Energy Seattle City Guide, presented by Brooks. Here are some of my must visit sites in the guide.

Fleet Feet Sports Seattle
By far the best all around running store in Seattle. Located in Seattle’s Capitol Hill neighborhood, Fleet Feet Sports Seattle is a one stop shop for all things running. It’s owned by husband and wife, Brian and Andrea Morrison. They not only run amazing training programs, I’ve done two of them, but I’ve met some fabulous people through this store community. The staff there is super knowledgable. Shoutout to Caroline and Dan, they are super helpful and can order almost any shoe you will ever need. Also – Brian is an amazing ultra runner – he was profiled in the Ginger Runner’s film A Decade On.

Evoke Coffee
One of my favorite coffee shops in all of Seattle. Not only do the serve a good pour over and yummy baked goods the staff knows their coffee! I may or may not stop there on my way into work far too often for the coffee and a visit with Pablo the store’s adorable Bernese Mountain Dog.

Seattle Waterfront
A fun fact about Seattle is not only does it have epic views of Mt. Rainier it is surrounded by both fresh and salt water. The Seattle Waterfront is along Elliott Bay and has a vast expanse of running and biking trails. You can run from the Interbay neighborhood all the way to the ferry terminal. Along the way you will run though Meryl Edwards Park, see some AMAZING views of the Olympic mountains, run through the Olympic Sculpture Park, past the Edgewater Hotel, the Seattle Aquarium and of course the Great Wheel. There’s never a dull view and there’s also some great people watching along the way. For a shakeout run I highly recommend running an out and back starting at the Olympic Sculpture Park so you can visit Macrina Bakery for breakfast.

 

Brooks Trailhead
Another fun place to visit! The Brooks Trailhead store is the full Brooks Running experience! Not only can you shop, touch, and try on the latest and greatest Brooks shoes, the store is located in the bottom of the headquarters! While you visit you can find your Run Signature, and find your perfect fit shoe. The store staff is wonderful and can provide you with all the running routes and gear suggestions you need.

Check out the map below for more fun places to visit. I love my city and I am so happy BibRave and Brooks created this awesome guide for Rock ‘N’ Roll Seattle weekend. I will be running the half so if you see me on the course say hi!

Product Review: Brooks Running Levitate

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Brooks Levitates 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.


The all new Brooks Running Levitate slogan is ‘Experience infinite energy’ and yes you really do! These neutral pronation running shoes are made to help you get more energy return with every stride.

These shoes are so comfortable! From the knit upper to the nicely shaped toe box, the fit of this shoe is great. I do have a wide foot so I usually wear mens shoes but I don’t have any problems with the width of these. The knit uppers are also very breathable so I don’t need to worry about overheating and blisters.



I’ve worn these shoes in the heat, rain, and even trails and they’ve held up well. There were no issues with stability or traction whatsoever. The new DNA Amp midsole not only gives your feet a boost, but it felt much more stable as I was running. When running they feel like you’re bouncing off your heel to your toe. 

Here are some more highlights:

  • DNA Amp – Brooks’ signature midsole technology
  • Intuitive fit – Knit upper that lets your foot move as you run
  • Arrow-point patterned outsole – helps your feet move heel to toe quickly
  • Comes in five different colorways!
Even Joey the dog loves the Brooks Levitates

Yes, the price tag is a bit much, $150, but the Levitates are well worth it. So far I have had no issues with durability. I am a heavy strider and my heels have shown no compression after running in these for over a month.

Overall, I highly recommend these shoes for anyone who wants a smooth and energized run.