SPIbeam Visor

Disclaimer: I received the SPIbeam 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!

When I first heard about the SPIbeam visor (and hat) I honestly couldn’t believe no one had thought of it before! One of my biggest running gear issues is trying to wear a hat and headlamp at the same time in a comfortable and still functional way. With SPIbeam you get the functionality of both with the comfort of just a hat!

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I didn’t realize how often I would slack on safety due to the discomfort of a headlamp. They are large, clunky, and look plain silly if you start your run in the daylight already wearing one. Since receiving the SPIbeam I no longer debate whether I should wear a headlamp and night safety gear or run without in questionable conditions. It is so comfy it’s an easy choice to increase your safety and without the lights on it looks just like a normal visor. I like that it can protect your eyes from the sun at the start of a sunset run and then light your way through the end.

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Not only does it provide the safety of lighting your path and front, but the SPIbeam has a red taillight so you can be seen from behind as well, allowing it to replace yet another piece of my night running gear.

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You can see the taillight’s reflection in this picture!

If you want to try out this extremely versatile piece of running gear use the code “BIBRAVE” for 20% off any SPIBelt item (valid through 11/12)!

Luvo Bundles

Disclaimer: I received Luvo Bundles 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 someone who is generally pretty busy and hates cooking I have tried my share of frozen meals. After trying the Luvo Gluten Free Essentials Bundle, here are a few things that stood out and would make me choose Luvo again:

  1. They provide a variety of different types of foods. With Thai style green curry, Hawaiian rice, Chorizo chili, or just plain mac & cheese, there’s something for everyone!

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    The Gluten Free Bundle

  2. Luvo does not provide only one gluten free meal, but an entire gluten free bundle! They also have Vegan and Vegitarian bundles as well. It was really nice to have so many different options available. I also later found out they have at least one more gluten free bowl that couldn’t fit in the bundle.
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    I found out they also had gf mac & cheese when I spotted Luvo in my local supermarket!
  3. Flavor. Luvo bowls are extremely flavorful and have that home-cooked feel. Many of the other frozen meals that offer gluten free options tend to be health or diet meals. This is fine, until the companies seem to forget that the gluten free and dieters out there still need the food to have taste. Luvo bowls are both healthy and tasty!

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    Shared this meal with my boyfriend who said he would have never guessed it was gluten free

  4. Correct Portions. Like I said, I have tried many frozen meals before and at this point I generally buy two frozen meals per meal I plan to eat since the portions are so tiny. I was very impressed with not only the amount of food in the Luvo bowls, but also the ratio of things. I hate buying a “chicken” meal to find it contains only two bites of chicken in a sea of rice. With Luvo, you don’t have to worry about this.

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    So good I ate half before I remembered to take a picture

New Original BUFF

Disclaimer: I received the new original 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!

I already had both a polar and windproof BUFF that I love for winter, so I was thrilled when given the opportunity to test the new Original BUFF!

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The very first thing I noticed was how insanely soft it was! Like that so-soft-you-want-a-blanket-made-of-it soft. I then saw the tag saying it was made of 100% recycled material! Including two plastic bottles?! Not sure how BUFF managed to make plastic bottles so soft, but we should be using this technology everywhere! It’s also crazy stretchy compared to any other BUFF type thing I’ve ever owned. I could easily stretch it open to fit around my head and bun if I forgot to put it on before putting my hair up! It is also nice, thin, and wicks moisture so I was able to wear it on some warmer, sunnier runs without it making me overheat or even really being noticeable.

BUFFs are super versatile so they can be used for many tasks and you can always find a way to carry it on you. I personally love wearing it around my neck during races because you hardly know it’s there but it’s AMAZING to have a clean piece of gear to wipe your face and hands off with. Especially in mud races, being able to wipe your hands of mud so you can eat your fuel sans dirt has made the BUFF one of my favorite discoveries yet. It also is a savior during hot races! Just dunk it in some cold water. It’s amazing what cooling the back of your neck will do for you! Wearing it also provides UV protection and helped me not get my usual neck/chest burn during a sunny race.

Honestly I think I’m becoming a bit too attached to having my BUFF on me for runs.. so I went and bought another! 😂 😅

I also somehow never managed to put two and two together and realize BUFF is the maker of Survivor BUFFs! I’ve watched the show for forever and actually own a Survivor Marquesas BUFF (from 2002!) that I used to wear daily as a kid and still looks brand new!

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Literally had this since I was 9 years old!

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Being a nerd with a Survivor BUFF in my school picture 😂

So clearly I had to hope the new Original BUFF is just as sturdy and bought one of the ones from the newest Survivor season!

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Go Team Nerd! 🤓

If you want your own new Original BUFF check them out on BUFF USA!! And if you’re getting a Survivor BUFF you have to let me know which team you’re on!

Nuun Immunity Product Review

Disclaimer: I received Nuun Immunity 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!

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I’m sure you’ve heard of Nuun Hydration, but have you heard of Nuun Immunity? Now your favorite hydration drink contains anti-inflammatories and antioxidants to help boost your immune system, as well as the same old hydrating electrolytes.

I’m no doctor or anything, but I did find it interesting that while drinking Nuun Immunity I made it though the change in seasons without getting sick. Normally, as soon as the weather starts changing at all I immediately get a never ending head cold. So far I’ve been completely clear though the change from a very hot Summer to a rainy, cold Fall! Also I have avoided my boyfriend’s cold so far too 😜

I was fortunate enough to get to test both Nuun Immunity flavors: Blueberry Tangerine and Orange Citrus. Funnily, I am normally not a blueberry person and totally love anything orange, but I actually loved the Blueberry Tangerine in Nuun Immunity and thought the Orange Citrus was ok. I would definitely recommend not go judging the flavors by just the names and give them each a try. Also then you can try my absolute favorite, which is the delicious concoction created by combining both flavors!

If you want to try some Nuun Immunity for yourself use the code HYDRATEBIBPRO for 20% off on the US web store!

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Brilliant Reflective Strips Product Review

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective Strips 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 suck at being a morning runner so for a large part of the year I end up doing my runs at night. Because of this, I already have a large arsenal of night time running gear (which one day I’ll turn into another post) but after testing Brilliant Reflective strips I can happily say I will be adding them to my stash!

I personally think it’s really important to have both light and reflective gear as a runner (or anyone) out at night or near sunrise/set. Gear that actually produces its own light is important for times when light isn’t around to reflect off your reflective gear (ie. crossing a t-intersection so a car’s headlights aren’t on you until you are completely in front of the car). But also light gear will be drown out when in partial light, like under a streetlight, during times of day when it’s transitioning between light and dark, or when a car’s headlights are close. That’s where Brilliant Reflective comes in!

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Bummed I didn’t get to run that leg, but at least I’m a disco ball!

With Brilliant Reflective you don’t need to buy special gear for at night, but instead turn your old favorites into night gear! This is super important to me as I’m pretty picky about clothing and have been wearing almost exclusively the same make of shorts since middle school 😂

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You might recognize these from EVERY one of my flat runner pictures

Not only does this help picky runners, but it also allows you not have to re-buy a new reflective version of every article in your wardrobe. This hit me especially hard when I had the new reflective sports bra I recently purchased on for a Ragnar leg, but it was so cold I needed a long sleeve shirt. This made that purchase completely useless. Instead of having to buy a reflective sports bra and long sleeve, I can just add strips to ones I already own!

It’s also super easy to put them on and you don’t need to get them perfectly flat for them to stick well.

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My back strip that I quickly threw on by myself while wearing the shorts was still stuck after the whole Ragnar!

I like you can put them where YOU want, instead of where a clothing designer sees fit. While the usual strip down the back may work for most people, it would be pretty much completely covered on days when I run with my hair in a ponytail. You can decide where fits you best, and if you use the temporary strips, you can always change it later too.

I was honestly really impressed with how much thought was put into this product. My mom has been trying to get me to use reflective tape for years, but it always looked super stiff and awful. Brilliant Reflective’s strips are really soft, light, and flexible. I stuck some to my running shorts (which are also super thin, like a soft windbreaker material) and socks and wore it for the night and entire second day of Ragnar (and even slept with it on) without noticing it once.

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Still stuck to my shorts and socks for the finish line picture!

Another awesome feature that I hadn’t ever even thought about was colors. Brilliant Reflective strips come in a variety of colors! You can probably tell from my page that I am no fashionista and never really match anything, but I really liked that Brilliant Reflective strips come in many different colors for when they are seen in daylight. While I could use that to add even more color to my running wardrobe, other normal people could match the strip color to their clothes, making it barely noticeable during the day.

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The green looks a little funky because it’s the iron-on and therefore has a plastic layer to peel off later.

Brilliant Reflective strips come in both permanent iron-on and temporary stick-on models. The stick-on seem pretty heavy duty since, like I mentioned before, I wore them all night and the second day of Ragnar without them falling off. With all the running, sleeping, stretching, and getting in and out of the van, Ragnar definitely put them to the test through tons of different movements. Also while I can’t say how they would do in rain, I can say after multiple days of running around my clothes were thoroughly drenched with another liquid and the strips stayed put!

The permanent are a super quick iron-on session away from being stuck to your clothes permanently!

I’m excited to continue using Brilliant Reflective strips. Especially for those times where I’m running at sunset and it’s bright enough where my light gear is just more stuff to put on, but I’d still like a little something just in case. The best part is once you figure out where to stick them, you can apply the iron-on strips once and never have to put thought into it again. Just put on your normal gear and go!

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Rhode Races Newport Half & Boston Expo Weekend

Any weekend filled with running related activities is a great one, but during this Easter weekend even the non-running related parts were awesome! It all started way, way too early on Saturday morning while I scrambled to gather my things in the 10 minutes I had generously allotted myself. My boyfriend was being even more difficult to wake up than usual and it became clear I had given him whatever plague I had caught at the beginning of the week so this was going to be a solo adventure. Before a couple of weeks ago an extended solo adventure was risky business as my car wasn’t exactly reliable and I don’t really do well being trapped on the side of the highway trying to fix a car on my own (might know that from experience haha). So taking my new car on its first adventure without a single worry was the perfect way to start the weekend!

Not only did my new car make the trip great, but they also gave the Rhode Races Masters Series participants VIP parking. I originally didn’t think much of this perk, but it was REALLY nice to have my car pretty much at the starting line (versus the normal mile or shuttle ride away). It was especially great since one of the main symptoms of my illness seemed to be the inability to keep a stable body temperature and I needed to go back to change the amount of layers I was wearing about 300 times.

The Race

I started pretty far back, partially because I didn’t want to overdue it while being sick and partially because I almost missed the start completely due chatting with new friends and not paying attention lol oops. But I was able to get up to where I wanted to be pretty quick anyway since the race wasn’t overly crowded. (Both times I’ve run it it had the perfect amount of people, where the start wasn’t a mess, but also you always had a decent amount of people around you at all times.)

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They had a sneaky photographer SUPER close to the start. I’m assuming to catch people while they were still all smiles, but clearly I wasn’t having any of it.

The first mile FLEW by, but then again so did the whole race. I love this course because there’s always a view and I wouldn’t consider it too flat (I get bored) or too hilly. I’m not going to lie, it’s not completely ocean views, but even the “residential” parts are through beautiful mansions and might-as-well-be mansions. I debated taking out my phone so many times for pictures, but knew I would end up dropping it since I took it out of the case to fit better into my belt.

My actual race was decent. Breathing was a bit harder than usual and I think I swallowed a ton of mucus (sorry, TMI) so my stomach started rolling during mile 8 (which is not a normal problem for me) and I took it down another notch.

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Kept my mind off my stomach by hunting for this photographer lol

In the end I was really happy with the results, even if disappointed that I was sick for my favorite course. Being sick really didn’t slow me down all that much, so I can’t wait to see how well I’ll do when I’m feeling 100%!

Boston Marathon Expo

For the second half of my running weekend, my friend talked me into going to the Boston Marathon Expo on Easter (which I now hope will be a new tradition!). It was SO cool just to be in Boston surrounded by other runners. It was especially cool/funny for me since the actual expo is in the Hynes Center, where an anime convention I attend also takes place, so I got to see all anime merchandise and crowd replaced with its running counterpart. Kind of like a parallel dimension! (Sorry if that was too nerdy 😂)

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Had to check out the finish!

The expo is crazy filled with all the awesome things to try and buy! I ended up getting to try a few things I’ve seen fellow runners using and have wanted to try:

Honey Stingers

First off, the waffles just looked good, but I assumed for sure they would be full of gluten (I have Celiac). The first thing I saw when I went up to the booth wasn’t the waffles though (wait they have MORE?!?), but FRUIT SNACKS! I stinking love fruit snacks! Although these were labeled as organic *skeptical eyes*. I asked and they were gluten free so I figured I’d give it a shot! They were REALLY good. Like didn’t taste like health food at all. (Not that I’m a junk food addict, just in the gluten free world they tend to take out the bad ingredients while taking out the gluten and it sucks when something could be really good if it was just gluten free instead of all natural, free of every allergen/bad thing possible, and awful.) So by “didn’t taste like health food”, I mean “didn’t taste like you were sacrificing flavor for healthiness at all”. I may have went back to sample multiple times, just to be sure 😜

I was also pleasantly surprised that when I asked about the waffles they did have gluten free options! I didn’t want any crazy flavors (which they do have some for gf too!) so I tried the Wildflower Honey Waffle. Yum! Also I definitely felt like the waffles were a type of food that would flow with my stomach while running. (Unsure about fruit snacks as I tend to like dry, absorbent stuff but I will probably buy some of both to test because they were so good.)

Roll Recovery R8

I had actually run a half the day before this, which I now think is the optimal way to go to the expo since you can try all the recovery methods! I had thought about getting one of these when I saw it awhile back, but the price tag made me want to try it first. I have to say I was a tiny bit surprised (not that I should have been if you actually think about the design) how you can’t really roll your entire leg with the R8. Since the rollers are on both sides you can’t roll the direct back of your calf since that would then roll your shin as well. Just something I noted (especially for the price) that I previously didn’t think of. BUT my legs did feel significantly better after using it and with my new skepticism of the device I doubt it was just me thinking that. Also not going to lie it is REALLY nice to have it put the pressure on for you when you have stick arms like me haha as normal rollers are an arm workout after running a race, NO THANKS. (I end up roping my boyfriend into rolling for me a lot lol)

Nuun Hydration

So turned out Nuun probably isn’t for me. They had a ton of flavors and the actual flavor I tried (watermelon) was really good. My issue was the strength of the flavoring. It was really weak.. like if you like lemon water then you’d probably enjoy this product, but I need a drink to be plain water or a full out flavor. Though they were in huge water coolers and the expo was hopping so they may have miss calculated the water to tablet ratio. I just assumed since they are the creators and trying to sell the product that they would want it to be the correct/optimal mixture.

Once we were done at the expo we visited some of the other stores in the area and I bought two things:

A “Run Boston” shirt that I can’t seem to find at the moment for a picture 😞

And this sports bra from Janji. I really love their patterns/colors AND part of the profits go to giving clean water to other countries!

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Picture from the site since I’m too lazy to find the bra right now lol

And the cherry on top of the day was literally as we were heading back to the T to leave we ran into Shalane Flanagan!! 😱 Luckily one of us wasn’t too star struck to ask for a picture!

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Anyway thanks for reading!!