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.

Metz 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.

Bredbury 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.

El Kef 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.

 

buy provigil cheap 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: KT Tape

Disclaimer: I received a free KT Tape Cotton, Pro, Extreme, Wide, and Gentle 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 Big Sur 21 Miler training is in full swing and right now recovery is super important. Since I started running, plantar fasciitis has flared up from time to time. Because of it and a few other nagging injuries, I have used KT Tape on multiple occasions and was super excited to try out more KT Tape products.

KT Tape Pro, Extreme, Gentle, Wide

What is KT Tape? KT Tape is a specific type of kinesio tape the when applied correctly, helps relieve pressure of sore muscles. One great part about KT Tape is not only are there paper instructions in every package but they have an online library of how to tape videos on their website. All of the videos are easy to follow and cover almost every body part. Each roll of KT Tape comes with 10-20 pre-cut strips and most of the rolls come with their own case too.

KT Tape Pro
KT Tape Pro might be the most popular product. I used the standard plantar fasciitis application except I did not add the third strip of tape. I’ve unfortunately developed a blister on the side of my arch and did not want the third strip of tape to aggravate it. I made sure to clean my skin with rubbing alcohol and shaved my legs so there was a smooth clean surface for the tape to adhere to. 

KT Tape Pro plantar facriitis application

My first application of KT Tape Pro stayed on for about a day. I felt the tops of the tape flap around while I was running the Mercer Island Half. I am a pretty sweaty runner and I think that had a lot to do with why it did not stick to well.

KT Tape Pro Extreme
I tried KT Tape Pro Extreme twice, both times with the plantar fasciitis application. Again, the first application was not successful, it fell off my arch while I was running. I was wearing my normal running shoes and winter running socks. The second application without the third strip stay put for my 18 mile long run and is still going strong. During my run my foot felt supported and I did not have issues walking in and out of the shower or around my apartment. I highly recommend KT Tape Extreme if you are a heavy sweater like myself. I made sure to thoroughly clean my skin before I applied the tape.

KT Tape Cotton
The original version of KT Tape, KT Tape Cotton is not as breathable as the other products. It works great for applications that do not need to stay for more than four days and I find it to be the most comfortable on my feet when I am not exercising. Funny enough my pink KT Tape cotton matched my favorite pair of pink sneakers. I did not work out while I was wearing the plantar fasciitis application but I did not have any issues.

KT Tape Wide it-band application

KT Tape Wide
After the hilly Mercer Island Half my it-band was giving me grief. My commute to work is up and down a huge unavoidable hill so sore knees and it-bands are not helpful. I used KT Tape Wide on my it-band and over the course of a few days I slowly started to feel better. The tape stayed on for 5 days before I needed to take it off. I plan on re-applying it when my it-band flares up again. I highly recommend using this for large muscles like quads and calves too.

KT Tape Gentle
For people who have sensitive skin KT Tape Gentle is a great alternative. As I mentioned before, I sweat quite a bit when I work out, and I found KT Tape Gentle to not stick to my skin. But that being said, if you have very dry skin and/or allergic to latex, Gentle is the way to go. I will stay for up to 3 days and is very easy to remove.

Overall, I would say KT Tape Pro Extreme was the best for my plantar fasciitis applications. I was very surprised how long my second application lasted and that it was so easy to apply with the instructional video.

Want to give KT Tape a try? Use code BIBRAVE30 for 30% off your order on KTTape.com.

Let me know in the comments what you use KT Tape for. I love learning more about other applications!

Shoe Review: Brand New Under Armour HOVR Sonic

Disclaimer: I received a free pair of  Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes 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 had the pleasure to test the BRAND NEW Under Armour HOVR Sonic shoes!

The UA HOVR Sonic is a neutral cushion shoe that comes in five different color ways in both connected and unconnected versions.The HOVR Sonic is the first of it’s kind and can digitally connect to MapMyRun or MapMyFitness phone apps. HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe that fits great in the heel and toe box. I have wide feet but not wide enough for a wide shoe in most brands so I wear men’s shoes. The HOVR Sonic is just wide enough in the toe box that they fit perfectly and are not too tight at all. I love the seamless upper and that it is super breathable.

UA HOVR Sonic shoes in white after a run

The UA HOVR Sonic is a great speed work shoe. They are lightweight and I do feel an extra spring in my step from the HOVR cushioning. The compression-like feel of the seamless upper also makes my feet feel like they are not wearing shoes. I wore them during My Better Half 10k this past weekend and they held up great. My feet did not feel as tired as they normally do halfway through the 10k.

 

Look at the seamless upper!

Quick facts about the UA HOVR Sonic:

  • Neutral cushioning
  • 8mm offset with a 21mm heel and a 13mm forefoot
  • Midsole is the new HOVR Cushioning with a 60% energy return
  • Outsole is a solid rubber forefoot and a carbon rubber heel
  • Compression-like fit
  • Quick-drying and breathable microthread upper
  • Comes in connected and non-connected versions

Training Data

Overall shoes stats from MapMyRun

The UA HOVR Sonic gives you stride length and cadence with and without MapMyRun GPS. It even measures how far you run without needing to use the MapMyRun app! The stride length is my favorite part of the shoe training data because it really shows how much my gate changes as I get tired over my run.

Overview from a run in MapMyRun with the UA HOVR Sonic

The MapMyRun interface for the training data is great. The overview of each run is super easy to read and the graphs are a cool way to see how your cadence and stride length change during a run. The other nice feature of the connected shoe is that it tells you approximately how many miles are on the shoe. For someone who knows once my shoes hit 300 miles I need new ones knowing exactly how many miles are on them each time I sync the app is helpful.

Overview from a run in MapMyRun with the UA HOVR Sonic

The other great part of the connected shoe is that you do not need to always use the MapMyRun app while you run. You can simply sync the shoes after your run to see your training stats. I’ve run with MapMyRun and without and I prefer to sync the shoes after in order to save my phone battery. If you run on a treadmill or an indoor track there’s no need to turn on a GPS, the HOVR Sonic will tell you how far you’ve run based on your stride length.

I do have two concerns about this shoe. First, the tread. This tread was not made for running on wet pavement. I am a mid foot striker and I slipped a few times during wet and rainy runs especially going up and down hills. I did wear the HOVR Sonic on a rainy commute to work and I the shoes did slip a bit going up and down the steep hill I walk every day to my office. Hopefully that will change on the next iteration of the shoe.

The other bothersome part of these shoes is that the toe box gets dirty quickly.  After one two mile run in slightly damp conditions my shoes were stained. I figured out a way to clean them but they still have a small stain on them. I am hoping the next version of this shoe will have a bigger splash guard.

Overall, I recommend this shoe for people who want a great lightweight shoe for the treadmill or dry climates. The training data is a great addition for people who really want to understand their run. This shoe is a game changer for running industry and I hope other companies will start to incorporate technology into shoes in the future.

Check out the what my fellow BibRave Pros has to say about the brand new Under Armour HOVR Sonic:

Product Review: BOCO Gear Run Hat & 360° Visor®

Disclaimer: I received my BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor® 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!

As fall half marathon training season comes to an end it’s time to talk about two pieces of gear I used quite a bit- the BOCO Gear Run Hat and 360° Visor®.

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I love BOCO Gear! One of my favorite hats of all time is their Technical Trucker so when the opportunity came up to test the Run Hat and 360 Visor I jumped at the chance.

BOCO Gear 360° Visor®

I do use a visor while running but mainly in usually in warm weather. I tend to overheat in anything over 55 degrees. The 360° Visor® was not a fit for me. I really like the design of it but it was not comfortable for me to run in. The sides of my head started to hurt because it was a bit to snug for me. I have a very large head and a lot of hair which makes finding headgear hard.

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Other features of the 360° Visor® are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • Wicking internal sweatband to move sweat from your forehead
  • Soft brushed elastic back for comfort and fit
  • Relaxed fit front panel for a better performance and comfort
  • Black underside of the bill to reduce glare
  • Curved Bill
  • Machine Washable

I do love the fact that the 360° Visor® can be customized! BOCO Gear and BibRave did a wonderful job at customizing the visor and I really appreciate the printed BibRave logo on the back of the visor. The bill of this visor is also shorter and the front is lined with really nice wicking material which is a nice touch!

Overall, I highly recommend the 360° Visor® to anyone with an average sized head.

BOCO Gear Run Hat

This is quickly becoming my favorite running hat. It has a short bill, is super lightweight and it dries quickly, which is a necessity for Fall running in Seattle. I did find it a bit warm during a 60 degree run but it kept the sweat out of my eyes with the moisture wicking front panel.

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Other great features of the BOCO Run Hat are:

  • Lightweight wicking woven polyester material provides a layer of protection from mother nature on the front and top panels
  • Dry Tech polyester mesh side panels keep your head cool for the length of your workout
  • Soft curved bill that is packable
  • Machine washable
  • Soft polyester mesh wicking sweatband on the inside to help move sweat away from your head keeping you focused on the trail or road.
  • Can be upgraded with sublimated designs
  • Can come with a black underside of the bill to reduce glare

The packable feature of this hat made it easy to stash in my hydration pack and even in the back of my running tights. It is also durable enough to be squashed in my gym bag for the majority of the day before a workout.

I know most companies claim their hats are machine washable but all BOCO Gear products really are! I took my run hat out on a super muddy and rainy run, popped it in the wash and it looked brand new.

I highly recommend buying a BOCO Gear Run Hat if you need a versatile and easy to wash hat.

 

Product Review: Knuckle Lights Colors

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knuckle Lights Colors 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!

When I first heard about Knuckle Lights I always questioned why someone would use them. I’ve always run with a headlamp and made sure I had plenty of reflective gear on when running in the dark but Knuckle Lights Colors- Game Changer!

The new Knuckle Lights Colors are small handheld lights, that come in three different colors- bright blue, bright pink and black. I tested the bright blue and they are hard to lose since they are so darn bright! They are compact enough that you carry them in one hand if you do not need them right away on your run and pack a huge punch of light- 120 lumens to be exact.

Unlike a headlamp, you can point them anywhere you need light while you run. For me this helps a lot. Seattle has a lot of uneven pavement so shining a light a bit farther ahead of me helps me keep my balance.

Other great features of the Knuckle Lights Colors include:

  • Waterproof- they can be used all year round in any weather conditions!
  • Batteries are included with each set and each light takes 1 AA battery.
  • They are magnetic so they can be stored together.

Want a pair of your own? Visit Knuckle Lights and use code BRKL2017 for 15% off your own pair. http://ow.ly/w6cC30dKZxk

I am super excited to add Knuckle Lights Colors to my Fall Running Essentials. I know they will come in handy during my weekday runs while training for both the Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon and Disney’s Wine and Dine Half Marathon.