Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro Product Review

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!

Vest are by far my favorite way to carry liquids while on a run. They cost zero extra effort, unlike holding a handheld, and from what I’ve seen are way more secure and less bouncy than belts. But even narrowing your search down to just hydration vests, there are still tons of different ones out there. As someone who was in the market for a new hydration vest recently, here are some of the key things I was looking for and found in the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro:

Coverage (or lack of)

I almost always run hot so with all my running gear the less fabric touching my skin and keeping heat in, the better. I was extremely happy to find this vest goes above and beyond to be as non-covering as possible. The back pockets are stacked width-wise so the pack only covers the top part of your back, while still holding lots. The sides and front (besides the front pockets) are made of thin straps, for as little coverage as possible, while still being very secure. The vest pretty much only covers about where a sports bra does, and that is a huge bonus for me. I was able to use it on the first hot, buggy day of the season and return without feeling like a complete puddle. It also made me think how much other hydration vests are actually helping if wearing them makes me sweat way more than normal 🤔

POCKETS!!!! (Especially front accessible ones!)

One major issue with my last hydration vest was the small number of very tiny front accessible pockets. The Gear Vest Pro has tons of them! It has two Velcro shoulder pockets, two very large cinch-able chest pockets, and one pocket on the outside of each of those chest pockets. It’s fantastic to be able to access so much of your gear without having to take off your vest!

The back has three large pockets that cover the entire back and are layered. The inner most Velcros shut and is where you would place the bladder when you plan to use it and the outer most is a fully closable zipper pocket. All three can be cinched tight with the zigzag elastic cord on the back. I was sick during the Newport Half and couldn’t decide how many layers I needed and was able to easily take them all with me with plenty of room to spare!

The front pockets are also large enough for front bottles, which I would now highly recommend! Not only is it nice to be able to have multiple different fluids on you, but placement and shorter straws on the front bottles keep the liquid cooler longer. My least favorite thing is having cold water in my bladder warm up as it sits in the long straw on my shoulder.

You can also get add-ons to attach poles that can go on the front or the back of the vest!

Fit

My last vest was specifically “made for women” but I honestly like the fit of this vest better. I found putting the front pockets over your chest (just like a guy would) worked better than having them go around it. When I used to put my vest around my chest it would cause my arm swinging to hit the pockets sometimes. I feel like putting it over your chest is actually more secure and keeps everything out of the way. This vest is also easy to get on and off so accessing the back pockets isn’t an issue!

Only looking mildly unhappy because of the bugs attacking me 😂

Overall this vest is the perfect balance of space and coverage (and honestly better on both ends than I originally thought possible together). I can’t wait to actually be responsible with hydration while hiking this year since this vest so comfy that I’ll actually wear it 😂 And I can’t wait to try running my second ultra in it!

If you want to check out Orange Mud gear for yourself use the code BIBRAVEGVPRO for 15% off!
Gear Vest Pro

Hyannis Half Race Recap/Review

A few weekends ago I ran the Hyannis Half Marathon for the first time! It was also my first race in bad weather (at least since track)! One of my goals for the year is to run at least 1 race a month so when an old track bud mentioned this race I signed right up! I’m really lax on preparation so I didn’t even know the weather was supposed to be bad until she mentioned it but I was kind of excited since I tend to like running in the rain and weather (it makes me feel BA 😂).

Race morning did not disappoint. It was down-pouring! At home (like an hour away) it wasn’t too cold, but I also knew the race was right by the water.. but I also hate clothes.. so I ended up wearing a kind of mismatch of warm and cold gear.

My gear: mismatched and neon enough to have an aura 😂

Again, not the best at preparation, so I ended up making it there pretty close to the race. Luckily, they didn’t shut down any roads I needed to get to the lot, the lot still had plenty of room, and it was super close to packet pickup. Also packet pickup was really speedy! My friend even found me by accident! The expo is hosted in the hallway leading up to and in a hotel event room so everyone was able to hangout inside and keep warm up until the race start.

It was a noticeably short wait at the start (they must have done the anthem during the marathon/early half start) and then we were off! I don’t really remember much for the first 6 miles. There was some nice beach front stretches and I was feeling GOOD. It felt pretty flat (just a few gentle ups and downs here and there) and we got a whole lane to ourselves I believe the entire time!

Absolutely drenched, but feeling good!

At around mile 7.5 it started having some noticeable incline. I’m a fan of some hills though so it wasn’t terrible. But then somewhere between mile 9 and 10 my legs started going numb from the cold. Afraid over what my form was looking like since I couldn’t feel it, I slowed down a lot. The rest of the course seemed to be the world’s most gradual, but steady incline and what little of my legs I could feel felt like they weighed 200 lbs so I just kept slowing down. It was the most painful 5k (that I didn’t stop to walk) of my life.

I made it to the finish line and received my medal and water. I have this weird thing where I HATE bananas all other times, but after a race all I want in life is a banana so when I wasn’t handed my usual finish line banana I was pretty discouraged. (Like that post-race unreasonably emotional about things level sad.) I mulled sadly around the finish line for awhile until my race-brain faded and I realized I am just completely useless at thinking after a race. THE EXPO WAS INSIDE! I went in to find my friend had already beaten me there, a live band, donuts, soup, and fruits including all the bananas a girl could want!

Overall it was a fun race that I would run again and recommend! I’d just warn to be prepared for the weather (as multiple people said it was like that most years) but that may have just been me being me and normal people would know to wear clothes 😂 (I’d also recommend Turtle Gloves as my hands were the only thing that didn’t feel the weather at all!) They took A TON of awesome photos (which is a super win in my book) but they weren’t free (bummer). They had instant printable finish results, which was neat! Also the indoor expo, so you could actually hangout comfortably, was really nice! The last thing I took mental note of was they had vegetable soup for vegans (the other choice was chicken noodle), but they added barley so it was no longer gluten free which was a bummer 🤷‍♀️

Overall two thumbs up! 👍👍

Turtle Gloves Product Review

Disclaimer: I received Turtle Gloves 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!

While the rest of me is almost never gets cold, my hands are terrible and constantly switch between too cold and too warm. Winter (and some of Spring and Fall) running used to be the biggest pain as I had to take my gloves off and put them back on every few minutes. I hated having to carry them when I wasn’t wearing them so some days I would opt out of bringing them when I really should have.

Now that I have Turtle Gloves though, I never have to debate it! Turtle Gloves are extremely versatile so they can be used in any amount of cold! I have now used them to keep warm in cold from pouring freezing rain for an entire half marathon to windy canyon side otherwise in the desert, and they were perfect for both situations. I want to say it’s partially because of their soft, stretchy, moisture wicking fabric (that keeps you warm, while also letting your hands breathe) and partially because of the flip design.

Turtle Gloves are actually mittens that you can flip the top of to turn into “fingerless” gloves. I put fingerless in quotes because there is still a tube of fabric that covers your fingers until you roll it down. I really like that they left this tube long so you can choose exactly how much to roll it, therefore exactly how much of your fingers are still covered. A few cold days, just flipping the top off for some extra ventilation (not actually exposing any of my fingers) was all they needed to be comfy. The fabric tube also means you can store items like keys and things in the gloves without them actually touching your skin and rubbing. I also found out I would much rather be able to quickly expose a finger to use my phone than mess around with “touch screen” gloves 🙄

These gloves keep your hands warm like no other! My first half of the year was in freezing downpour the entire time. So much that my legs went numb (that was a first!). It didn’t even hit me until after the race when everyone else was complaining, that my hands hadn’t felt cold AT ALL during the race. I also didn’t get that stiff, “can’t move your hands fast” feeling, which I usually do after even slightly chilly races. The gloves are not waterproof (they were soaked with all the rain that day), but kept my wet hands perfectly warm through the windy race.

Two thumbs up in the freezing rain 👍👍

An almost opposite situation where Turtle Gloves saved me was during the Antelope Canyon Half. This half was in the desert, but had a ton of cooler sections along the rim of the canyon. It was too hot for a shirt, but my arms were cold. I also forgot any of the pouches I brought in order to carry my fuel and things. Turtle Gloves saved me by functioning as arm warmers with pockets!

On the canyon’s edge!

Turtle Gloves have now become a staple piece of Winter running gear for me. If you want to check them out for yourself:

Use the code TurtleBibRave for 15% off
Turtle Gloves Website

Upcoming Race: Antelope Canyon Half!

So now that there’s only a little over a week left, I’m officially starting to plan my trip for the Antelope Canyon Half by Vacation Races! 😂😅

The plan so far is to arrive in Las Vegas 🤩 at night on Thursday, March 7th, grab our rental car (my boyfriend is joining me!) and head straight out on the 4 hour drive to Page, Arizona. We are staying at a hotel within 2 miles of the start line at the Page Shores Amphitheater to make race morning super easy.

We then have all of Friday to check out the area! Right now all I have planned is a tour of Lower Antelope Canyon, but I also plan to attempt to get a walk-in permit to The Wave, though that’s a long shot.

Some other activity suggestions the race provided were The Ropes Trail (sounds like a CRAZY adventure), Buckskin Gulch, the Paria River, and Cathedral Wash, Jackass Canyon, or Soap Creek. I’m still trying to look more into those options and would love any suggestions or advice! Or on other areas not listed as well!

The actual race is Saturday and I’m glad I ended up signing up for “only” the half. (Originally I was thinking of going for an ultra, but waited too long to register.) I don’t like stopping while running and this way I can take in the race without stopping AND THEN get shuttled to the aid stations to cheer on the ultra runners, take in the views while standing still, and take photos! The aid stations we are allowed to spectate at are at Lake Powell, Page Rim, and Horseshoe Bend.

Race Course! For aid station reference

I’ve seen way too many amazing photos of Horseshoe Bend and have wanted to go there forever now so I’m especially excited for that one! Also, from my research it seems more of just a view point than a hike/attraction that will be a lot of exploring and time. Please correct me if you’ve been there and I’m wrong! 🙈

After hopefully having time to check out the Antelope Canyon area to our hearts’ content, we plan to head to Zion (!!!!!!) at some point Saturday evening and will be staying at a hotel nearby the park.

We’ll then have Sunday and most of Monday to explore Zion 😍 I’m sure it won’t be nearly enough time, but I noticed it was practically on the way between Antelope Canyon and Las Vegas so I couldn’t not! While they have a nice trail guide showing the different trails by difficulty, if anyone has any suggestions on must do trails in Zion they would definitely be welcome!

Anyway, those are the plans so far! I’m stupidly excited and hope to get any guidance you guys have because I don’t want to miss anything!!

Training & Updates 2/11 – 2/17

Happy Friday Guys! Seems I’m really good at waiting almost a whole week late to put out an update.. oops!

This past week was a weird one. Work was busy yet again, but then I took Thursday and Friday off to go crazy for a video game expansion release. Other than Tuesday (IT SNOWED and I got out early so of course I ran in it!) I ended up running insanely late on the treadmill every night, which wasn’t terrible mostly. I even felt good running 5 on the treadmill both Saturday and Sunday!

Monday––2.00 miles / 9:41 pace
TuesdayEasy 5 (9:02-9:41)4.78 miles / 9:59 pace (trail)
Wednesday––2.00 miles / 9:32 pace
ThursdayEasy 33.10 miles / 9:34 pace
FridayEasy 33.00 miles / 9:40 pace
SaturdayEasy 55.00 miles / 9:26 pace
SundayEasy 55 miles / 9:20 pace
Total21 miles24.88 miles

I’ve still been rolling like mad to make sure the treadmill doesn’t get me. I got my Addaday roller in and just like I thought it is just what I needed! Its ball rollers get MUCH deeper than my old grooved stick roller. I’m definitely a fan!

Speaking of recovery, I ordered a pair of slide Oofos because I LOVE my flip flops, but I am a socks-at-all-times kind of person so I needed ones I could wear socks with for maximum coolness. I’m hoping they come in before the Hyannis Half the 24th!

My last bit of running news is just a reminder that I have all my product and race discounts listed on my discount page! I personally love getting little discounts on products/races I’ve been meaning to try so I just wanted to be sure you guys knew!

In Other News

My boyfriend and I finished up our first week of Hello Fresh and seriously love everything about it so far! I will DEFINITELY be doing a write up on it!

One last new thing I did this past week was to finally purchase a sunlight lamp. I’ve been debating it for awhile since my house and office both have sub-optimal window placement so I definitely get less light than in the past and I feel like it’s affecting me mentally. I went over a friends and she had one and was telling me how it actually helps her so I decided to give it a shot!

Run Streak Day: 29

What are your favorite recovery tools?

Have you ever tried a sunlight lamp? Did you like it?

Training & Updates 2/4 – 2/10

Happy Wednesday Guys!

My third week of marathon training didn’t go nearly as well as the first two. Work was extra busy and stressful so by the time I got home each night I was pretty mentally and physically exhausted. In the end it resulted in me cutting it short a few nights later in the week. But since I continued my streak I ended up with about the correct amount of overall mileage 🤷‍♀️

Monday––2.20 miles / 9:42 pace
TuesdayEasy 4 (9:02-9:41)4.16 miles / 9:14 pace
Wednesday––2.00 miles / 9:40 pace
ThursdayEasy 44.08 miles / 9:15 pace
FridayEasy 42.00 miles / 9:40 pace
SaturdayEasy 42.00 miles / 9:37 pace
SundayEasy 53.50 miles / 9:48 pace
Total21 miles19.94 miles

I also need to get better at Instagram. Lately I’ve been super forgetful about pictures and I’d like to be posting daily to go along with my streak. Goals for next week!

Like I said last week, I’ve been stretching and rolling TONS to make sure the treadmill doesn’t kill my legs. My stick roller used to feel insanely bumpy and harsh when I first started using it, but it doesn’t seem to be enough anymore so I’m excited to announce soon I’ll be testing the Addaday Pro Roller with BibRave!

In Other News

I had a relatively exciting week outside the world of running! My boyfriend and I decided to finally give Hello Fresh a go. The first two meals were REALLY good and I have a feeling I might end up writing a stand alone post about the service.

We also went snowshoeing for the first time at Loon Mountain! It was really fun, but the snow was super hard and icy so I’m not sure how much of a real snowshoeing experience we got.

img_20190209_145359853

After snowshoeing we were STARVING and our guide recommended a place like 5 minutes down the road so we decided to give it a shot. It ended up being AMAZING!! They had a HUGE gluten “friendly” menu (but knew all about Celiac and cross contamination so it wasn’t the new “gluten free, but not for Celiacs” deal) and everything was SO GOOD!! When we left around dinner rush (we got there at a weird in between meal time) there had to be over 40 groups of people waiting to put their name in and I honestly can’t blame them! If you ever have the chance, definitely give The Common Man a visit!

My Post

I may not have gotten pictures of the actual food because I ate it too fast 😅

After that we went to the Ice Castles (the main event)! I had never been before, but have wanted to go for years. It was very cool (figuratively AND literally 😂)! Now I totally want to go to an ice hotel next!

IMG_20190209_182904991

IMG_20190209_183041373

img_20190209_183249275

img_20190209_190943363

Run Streak Day: 22

Have you ever been snowshoeing? Did you enjoy it?

Have you ever been to the Ice Castles?

Would you ever go to an ice hotel?

Training & Updates 1/28 – 2/3

Happy Friday Guys!

My second week of marathon training (first full week) was another good one! I was able to stick with my streak, again without it feeling like a lot of effort 🙌 I also was able to steal my boyfriend’s tablet to finally run my first Zwift run(s) on my treadmill! I didn’t realize how much visuals help make a run less boring until I started running facing my basement wall lol It felt SUPER weird and off to just have sound to distract me. Having Zwift’s visuals so I can look around the environment as well as seeing/competing against other runners, bikers, and AI walkers is SO MUCH better! There’s how my week went compared to my training plan:

Monday––3.20 miles / 9:33 pace
TuesdayEasy 2 (9:02-9:41)2.04 miles / 9:50 pace
Wednesday––2.00 miles / 9:37 pace
ThursdayEasy 32.00 miles / 10:59 pace
FridayEasy 33.00 miles / 10:00 pace
SaturdayEasy 33.03 miles / 9:22 pace
SundayEasy 44.07 miles / 9:20 pace
Total15 miles19.24 miles

So I didn’t realize I was actually going slower than planned until now. Somehow I got 10:02 in my head as the slowest pace 🤷‍♀️ (No idea what was up Thursday.. I want to say I logged the time wrong without realizing, but can’t seem to find any of my data from that run to fix it. Oh well!) Either way I’ll just have to pick up the pace from now on, but I am still happy I’ve been taking it easy as I get into running daily. I’ve never had much luck with treadmill running so the fact that my legs still feel good is a good indicator I’m doing something right! I’ve also been making sure to stretch and roll TONS as well. No matter how much I dislike stretching and rolling, I have to say at this point I would recommend suffering through it to anyone with any sort of leg issues. It’s insane how much of a difference it can make.

In other news, I’ve been crushing the step competition! Oh I also found the Adventure feature in the Challenge section of Fitbit and I LOVE it! If you don’t know about it/haven’t tried it out I’d definitely recommend! You choose a path to virtually walk through cool places (right now Yosemite seems to be the only one, but I’d assume they have more at different times) and when you hit certain points you get fun facts and BEAUTIFUL panoramas of the area! You can also do it in Race mode and race friends. Anyway, that was my week! Hope all your’s were good ones too!

Run Streak Day: 14

How do you survive treadmill running mentally and physically?

How’s your training plan going?