Product Review: Buff DryFlx+Collection-Because Who Doesn’t Love Warmth and Breathability?

Disclaimer: I received a Buff DryFlx+ Collection products 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!

Hello Winter 2020-2021! A time of year when days become shorter and the temps become colder. Making it hard sometimes to find the motivation to take that first step out the door. Sometimes it takes adding new running gear or other little tricks to help get you excited about doing that first run in the bitter cold. So naturally I was thrilled to be able to opt in for the Buff DryFlx+Collection campaign. I mean a little surprise in the mailbox to help keep me warm couldn’t be a bad thing right?

I waited for what seemed like forever for my package to arrive, but let me be the first to tell you. Good things come to those who wait. My product might have been a little delayed in shipping or lost in the COVID mail, but honestly it showed up at the perfect time. I couldn’t have been more excited to open my package and see just what this product had to offer. Colors were nice, fit awesome, nice and soft to touch, and the most important part the technical smart zones placed in just the right locations to help with breathability, warmth, and moisture wicking.

Image Buff USA

As you can imagine I was so excited to give this product a try. So off I went for my first Winter outing. This time I would not be running. Instead I would be taking a Winters Hike to capture some of Mother Natures beauty. It was a cold, snowy, frosty morning so that could only mean one thing! Bundle up from head to toe. I was sure to grab my Buff DryFlx+ Collection and head out the door. Now, with never having used a Buff Brand product before I really had no idea just how it would work. To my surprise the warmth this collection provided was amazing, the comfort and breathability unmatched from any other products I have tried. So this left me feeling extremely excited to try this product out durning a run.

Along came Christmas Day with temps at -6 and a fresh light snow. A day that I always start off with a short run through the surrounding neighborhoods to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. Now given how cold this years Christmas morning was I might have opted for indoor miles, but not this year. I was very excited to hit the pavement and give my new Buff DryFlx+Collection the true test I really felt it needed. So layered from head to toe I headed out the door for my Holiday Run. It was one of those mornings where the quiet set in and your breath turned to crystals. But if you are dressed properly these are the days that can produce some of your most memorable runs.

If I’m being honest, I’m someone who has always struggled to run with anything over my nose or mouth so running in these conditions has always been hard for me. I would bundle up grab my balaclava and head out only to get not even a quarter mile from my starting point and have to pull my mask down for some fresh air and then back up once my face got to cold. With my new Buff DryFlx+ Collection pleasantly there was no need for pulling my mask up and down. The breathability that the smart zones created were perfect to help with breathing, allowed moisture to escape, and the seamless woven design help make this a top notch product for warmth. Overall this product deserves 10 stars for just how well it performs and holds up to some pretty brutal conditions. So if you’re someone who struggles to run in the cold or just are looking for a really good piece of running gear to add to your collection check these guys out at Buff USA

Elf Virtual Run 2020

Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Elf Virtual Run 2020 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!”

Yes 2020 was the year of Virtual Racing. I know some people are not fans of the virtual world, but for me it’s helped keep me somewhat on track. These races have allowed me to continue some of my yearly holiday traditions and has helped me still be able to support good causes. If you’ve been looking for a race organization that does a great job at hosting virtual events, supporting great causes, and providing some great Holiday Cheer then give Ram Racing a look.

This year my Holiday Run would be the Elf Virtual Run! Not only was the theme great the race also provided some pretty sweet swag which included a full zip hooded jacket, a beanie with the race logo, and a snow globe inspired medal with proceeds going towards helping St Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

So now you’re all registered and it’s time to decide when and where to run your race. I had decided to run my miles Christmas morning with Christmas music playing and through nearby neighborhoods to enjoy the sights and sounds of Christmas. Christmas morning arrived and so did one of our first major cold snaps of 2020, but I didn’t allow that to stop me. I layered up and hit the pavement with temperatures at -6 degrees and a light dusting of snow. The perfect touches to add to my Elf Virtual Run

Off into my Winter Wonderland I would go, logging my miles, enjoying each step along the way. A fresh light snow, quiet Christmas music, holiday lights, and the smell of fires burning in fireplaces. The perfect scene was set to complete my Elf Virtual Run. The perfect run led into the perfect day to kick off our Holiday Season.

Another virtual race option complete for 2020. A race that allowed for virtual times to be submitted and a finishers certificate awarded, a leaderboard to show how you ranked amongst other runners, and the ability to add photos, crop them and add event logos to help you celebrate your accomplishment.

Another great option for anyone who was not ready to be in large crowds yet or have the ability to travel. If you might be considering adding some virtual miles to your journey be sure to check Ram Racing out at the link listed below.

Website: Elf Virtual Run

Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run


Disclaimer: I received a free entry to review The Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run 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 runners we all have our reasons why we run. It could be that running has always been a part of your life, the friendships and sense of belonging the running community brings to you, to help ward off emotional stress, build self confidence, supporting those who inspire us, and most importantly helping to inspire those around us who are new into our world. Tony Banovich fits all of these. An avid runner who poured his heart and soul into the running community. He was a man of many titles from an Executive to a local nonprofit, Race Director, Coach, Club Administrator, and Event Volunteer. A person with so much positive energy, amazing spirit, and continued commitment to the running/walking community even in poor health. Someone we all strive to become.

On October 14th, 2020 the running world received the news of Tony’s passing. A running world left in shock and an immediate void felt everywhere. The natural progression was to honor Tony’s legacy the best way the running world knew how to. A coalition led by BibRave , Event Southwest, and the Louisville Running Company created the Tony Banovich, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run presented by Aftershocks. All the proceeds would go straight to supporting the Montana Nonprofit that Tony so loved. The run/walk would be a distance of 4.35 miles which was the average daily distance of Banovich’s daily 1,731 day run streak. Registration for this event was from 11/11/2021-12/11/201 with participants having until 12/31/2021 to complete their mileage. Each participant will receive a commemorative pin embossed with the event logo, and a 15% discount to put towards a purchase of Aftershocks

So on November 13th I hit the paved trails at a local state park and completed my miles. My run that day was a little longer than race distance so to be sure to commemorate the importance of the distance I paused my watch at the exact distance for the event and reflected a few minutes on the importance of what these miles meant and took the time to realize just how lucky we all are to still be doing what we love to do and also being fortunate enough to be a part of a world that gives so much support and encouragement to those of us who are brave enough to take the first steps toward the unknown.

If you would like to check this event/organization out take a look at their website listed below.

Website: Run Wild Missoula

Americas Turkey Trot Virtual 2020

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Americas Turkey Trot Virtual 2020 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’ve been running for roughly six years and not every year have I made it a point to Turkey Trot because we are always traveling and also the responsible party for being sure the daily feast is prepared to perfection. With traveling and not many virtual options just even a year ago it made doing local organized races difficult for me so the best I could do at the time was to at least allow myself a little extra time in the morning to head out the door and grab some early morning miles and views to kick off my day before starting all the days preparations.

Enter 2020 the year of Virtual Racing. So when the opportunity came up for me to be able to run America’s Turkey Trot 5k naturally I jumped on it. Not only was I going to be receiving some pretty sweet swag, but anyone who registered for this race would also be helping to support the official race charity of Feeding America.

Registration for this event was quick and easy with options of race distance ranging from 1 mile up to Half Marathon. Once registered a confirmation email was sent providing all necessary information from when to run your race and when your race swag would ship. Shipment of race swag was exact to what was predicted and all swag arrived before race day. Race swag included a pretty sweet pumpkin pie inspired finishers medal, winter style beanie, full zipped jacket with side pockets, and personalized race bib.

Once your race was complete and your time was submitted you were then able to download a finishers certificate, and apply overlays and stickers to race day photos to help make the event feel complete. 

For anyone who has a Thanksgiving morning full of cooking and family gatherings this race is an awesome choice for you to be able to still get your Turkey Trot On!

Check them out at:

Ram Racing

Detroit FreePress/TCF Bank Virtual Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Detroit Free Press/TCF Virtual Marathon 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!

Wow, where do I begin? Let’s start with 2019 when I ran my first Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon a race that stole my heart from the first steps I took into this journey. A race that really does seem to have it all. A welcoming city, great views, massive crowd support, friendly volunteers, great expo, pacers who know the course well and can talk you through it, and the only race to cross international boarders twice and has the worlds only underwater mile!

The event is very well organized from pre race to post, with great communication from the event organizer, and an awesome online Facebook Group that will keep you excited throughout your training and also pass along important need to know information before heading to Detroit for your big day!

So home I went with my head in the clouds and already counting down the days to be able to run the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon in 2021! Finally 12/31/2020 rolled around and I knew exactly how I would bring in my New Year! Sitting patiently at my computer with all my credentials ready for when the clock struck midnight. Midnight came and the first race I registered for would be the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon ! Yes it was January and none of us knew just what 2020 would bring and the impact it would have on our race calendars. Along came March and the domino affect of race postponements and cancelations. Everyone holding out hope that surly our fall races would be spared, but as the months went on not much changed. We all just watched helplessly as our races and other big races fell victim to the affects of COVID-19.

In July, the day finally came that registered participants received the email none of us wanted. The race officially would not be held in person and our options for 2020 would be to run the race virtual, defer, or receive a partial refund. So along came the decision I was hoping to not have to make. It wasn’t an easy one, but one I felt would be best for me since such a large part of this race is the experience. So I opted to defer my 2020 race to 2021. This decision made all before knowing I would be selected as a BibRave Pro.

So now my Ambassador agreement was signed and I was in the process of learning the ropes of the BibRave team and along came the opportunity that made my heart smile. A campaign to race/promote the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon! Naturally I was thrilled to still be able to experience this race even if it was in my own hometown. A race that turned out to be so popular that the virtual event sold out!

Flat Danielle

The week before race week I received an email with tracking information for my race packet. I received daily updates on my shipment and was able to watch my package full of goodies travel it’s way to my front doorstep. The tracking was spot on and my package arrived the Monday evening of race week. In my race packet were all my medals, tech gear, and a few added bonus items that Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon is known for adding. Those included a cooling towel, a warming blanket, Virtual Race Guide, Finishers Tape, and a Honeystinger gel.

Swag for the Wonder Challenge

Finally race weekend arrived and I was registered to run the Wonder Challenge. That includes a competitive 1-mile race, a 5k, and the International Half. So my plan would be to run my 1-mile race on Friday, my 5k on Saturday, and my Half on Sunday. All went as planned. I ran a sub 8 minute mile on Friday morning for my 1-mile race, and turned my 5k and Half into little tours of the routes I opted to run. Logging memories along the way and sharing my journey as I ran. The virtual race support community was amazing and the support from the race organizer was top notch. They were there cheering everyone on, sharing and celebrating with everyone who ran and finished and also helped bring a little bit of the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon to those of us who couldn’t be in Detroit this year.

In closing this is a race I would do all over again in person or virtually. I’ve seen it in person and I’ve raced it virtually and both times I’ve witnessed nothing more than a race organization that pours so much of their hearts into this event. They are there for the people who race it and want nothing more than a positive long lasting impression to be held in everyones minds who have raced it!

Check out the Social Media links to learn a little more about this event.

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Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis Race Review

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k Indianapolis 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 have been wanting to do an Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k race in Indianapolis since it was added to the schedule, but the dates never worked out for me as we were always gone on vacation. So this year came around and I was convinced to run the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k in Louisville. I was so excited and couldn’t wait to experience this race in person. I’m guessing though we all know how that turned out. An email soon came that the event would go virtual and race packets would be mailed. The first glimpses into what 2020 was going to look like. Race calendars pretty much everywhere changed in ways we have never experienced. In came the big virtual world of racing to save us all. So when the opportunity opened up to run the Allstate Hot Chocolate Indianapolis virtually I jumped on the chance.

I do realize that there are some who are not big fans of virtual racing, and I get that. It’s harder to train for a race that is going to feel more like a training run and really has no official time. No start/finish line, no cheering spectators, no big groups of friends, or post race parties. But one thing I think we can all agree on is that if it wouldn’t have been for the virtual world it would have been even harder to continue on course and maintain some type of running fitness.

As soon as I committed it was time to visit www.hotchocolate15k.com to get registered. Upon registration I received important information that I needed to successfully complete my race. Like when packets would be mailed, when and where to run, treadmill/trail running was acceptable, and further information regarding logging results, checking the leaderboard and uploading photos.

Race packet arrived with all the goodies 1 week prior to race day!

So fast approached race day and packet in hand. It was time to layout “Flat Danielle” head to bed early and start my run before the sun came up because Indiana was blessed with our Indian summer. Out the door I went in my Noxgear 360 and a headlamp to run two five-mile loops. Yes, I ran a little extra! My scenery changed along the route from Halloween lights and decorations to the beautiful color of the fall leaves. I had it timed perfectly that I would be ending my first loop in front of my home at daylight which allowed me to make a quick stop to drop off my noxgear and headlamp and refill my handheld water bottle. Then it was back at it for the final loop. I did make a few quick stops to snap a few pictures of the route I took to help give people an idea of where my Virtual Hot Chocolate Indianapolis took me. Once my miles were complete I snapped a few photos with my medal, enjoyed a nice cold “iced” hot chocolate, and logged into my Enmotive Account to log my results and upload any photos I wanted to add. The process all very easy and awesome swag that arrived in a timely matter.

Flat Danielle

If you know you love the swag and the sounds of this race be sure to follow them on social media!

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Product Review: RoadiD WristiD

Disclaimer: I received a RoadiD WristiD 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!

In 2014 I decided I would dabble in the world of running, and yes here we are almost Seven years later and I’m still going. Dabbling turned into signing up for races, joining run clubs, setting goals, and cruising to PR’s.

It wasn’t long after I started running that I decided I needed some form of Identification with me without having to try to carry a Drivers License. That is when RoadiD made it into my world. A small accessory to my attire that I NEVER leave home without regardless of if I’m running alone, in a group, racing, walking, hiking, biking, or kayaking. So when the chance came along to work with RoadiD through Bibrave I was quick to opt in on this campaign.

So off to www.roadid.com I went to shop and place my order. Once on the website you are greeted with many customizable options ranging from size, material, colors, and style. You start out by deciding the style of band you want (mine is the sport nylon loop). Once you pick the band you then move on to what finish and size you would like the faceplate, and then color of band. After you’ve made your choices add the wristiD to your cart and you will then be able to customize your faceplate with vital information to help emergency responders in case of an accident, and finally don’t forget to add any cool badges you might like to add to personalize your ID a little bit more. These badges range from distances covered, hobbies, medical and inspirational.

Wrist ID Sport Nylon Loop 13mm Slate/Neon

So my RoadiD was ordered! What happened next? I received a confirmation email of purchase and email updates through the entire process from when the engraving is done, an email providing shipment and tracking information, and finally once it delivered. Never are you left wondering how long before it ships or when will it be delivered. Once delivered you will open up your envelope to find a personalized note from the person who engraved your RoadiD, along with a $10 coupon to share or for a future purchase.

All the goodies in one envelope

Now onto how comfortable the WristiD is and is it worth it. The WristiD fits very well and is extremely comfortable. Never once has it gotten in my way, or stuck to me when wet. I look at it kind of like a watch. You know when you forget it you go crazy all day because you know something is missing. And finally is it worth it? Absolutely! My original WristiD is still kicking strong. No scratches to the faceplate or snags in the nylon. So my decision to order an updated version of my original was made in great confidence. It gives me great peace of mind while I’m out doing my thing and it’s something I will never leave home without.

The original WristiD on a day that it really could have saved me.

In closing we wouldn’t leave our driveways without buckling our seatbelts, so why head out on an adventure without a form of identification? Visit www.roadid.com to purchase your peace of mind today!

Be sure to follow RoadiD to stay up to date on new releases.

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What do other Pros have to say?

Katy

Becky

Meredith

26.2 Miles With a Meaning

26.2 miles. It seemed like such a stretch. I grabbed a 26.2 sticker at my first half marathon expo and hung it on my fridge for a reminder of a challenge I set for myself to one day accomplish. I settled in and decided to become comfortable with one distance before tackling another. Then about two years after I started running the phone call came. My little sister was diagnosed with Brca 1 stage 4 Breast Cancer. That’s when I knew without a doubt that the first 26.2 miles I would ever run would become her miles and miles to help raise funds to battle a horrible disease.

The next phase was to talk to a running coach to be sure I was even being realistic since I was coming off of injury. I got the green light and trained smart for my one and only upcoming half the spring of 2017. I ran my training series runs and PR’d at each of them and nailed a 2:03 for my Spring Half. I took some downtime and picked back up in June.

Running through summer was something I had never really done and something I thought for me was impossible. I quickly learned so much about myself. I could run in the hot weather and horrible humidity. My first 100 mile month came and passed and I didn’t even realize I ran that many miles. However by the time August came around it was becoming a mental challenge, so to pull myself back in all I had to do was think of my sister.

Marathon Weekend came and full of so much emotion. On race morning for the first time I had to leave my husband behind and be escorted to security and then to my corral. So in my corral just me, myself and I the journey began. The course amazing, the crowd support unmatched. The miles weren’t the prettiest or even my best run. My first full a learning experience but one I would have never given up on. Did I hurt? Absolutely! Did I want to quit? Never! I knew just how much my 26.2 miles meant to me and to so many others who are trying to find a cure for cancer. Before the race started we had raised over $1 million dollars and the total just continued to grow as we ran. It’s a race that I will forever hold close to my heat and one that will make me really think hard before doing another just because of what this one meant to me.

If a full is something you are considering but need a reason. Find that reason! A full has the ability to change you on its own but once you add a meaning behind the miles it takes it to an entire new level.

The Progression

People ask why! Why do want to run 13.1 miles. The answer, simple actually. It’s the feeling of accomplishment when you see the finish line and cross it! The emotions you feel are unmatched. The crowd cheering you on along the course and the high fives from complete strangers when you finish. It’s the most supportive community I’ve ever been blessed to be a part of.

So after one came a schedule of three half marathons. All strategically placed so they could be accomplished. Training continued and October soon approached. Feeling strong and running a course in my home town. Running it on roads I trained on. The outcome I managed to shave 15 minutes off my First Half Marathon pace and finished with a strong 2:07. The bad news, a day later I started to experience extreme pain in my foot. Went to the doctor and was told I had dislocated a bone in my foot. Something no runner every wants to hear. In the boot I went and training derailed. So Half Marathon three and four canceled. Even though it was a dislocated bone the lesson I learned from this was just how important strength training was for a runner. As much as we want to just run we can’t.

This brings us to January of 2016. I started running with my local Fleet Feet Sports Training club to hold me accountable and see if they could possibly help me accomplish my goals. So taking my training a little more seriously I had joined a training program and also registered for a series of races that are used to help you gauge your progression. The 500festival Miler series presented by OrthoIndy. This series consists of a 3,6, and 10 mile run. My training went well and I ran strong. That is until April. I decided to try a new pair of shoes and again another foot issue. A pinched nerve that barely allowed to apply any pressure while just walking. I got a pair of shoes I liked on one of my running coaches and found out quickly these shoes were not for me. The heal drop was to high for me, and I learned how important a gate analysis is. My advice don’t ever buy a shoe by looks. Buy what is right for your foot. So into PT I went three weeks out from my race. Would it be the race I wanted? I made it halfway and had to walk/run the rest in horrible pain because not finishing wasn’t an option. This year I would clock my worst half marathon time and have to cancel all my fall races. Slowly but surely getting discouraged and being given every reason to just give in and call my running career done even though it had just begun. So from May-January I had a lot of time to reflect on things I learned and hope that the injections I had received would hold and allow me to run. There was a real possibility that I would be done.

Welcome January 2017! I entered into my training season with an open mind. Knowing that things could go well or the bottom could fall out. So when every run and race series was completed I was forever thankful for being able to still put one foot in front of the other. 2017 would prove to be my strongest year. I PR’d at not just one but all my Miler Races and my Spring Half. I was in search of a sub 2 hour half marathon and it looked like it could become a reality. So race morning came and I was running strong. I got about half way in and lost my music. It all suddenly became very mental. Could I do it without music? I knew I couldn’t quit or make an attempt at fixing my music. I just had to keep going. I saw the finish line and ran with so much energy and still more to give. I completed it in a 2:03! My sub 2 hour half eluding me, but the take away. I finished strong, no injuries and in a time I knew I was proud of. I literally felt like I was at the top of my game and was prepared to continue my training. However, 2017 was different. I wasn’t registered for another half or even two. I was registered to run my first Full Marathon. Not just any Full. I was running Chicago for the American Cancer Society. Representing Team Determination. I ran it not for me, but for my younger sister who was in the fight of her life. Diagnosed with triple negative brca 1 stage four breast cancer at 33. That is when it all changed. Running wasn’t just about setting PR’s and crushing goals. It was about escaping from every day problems and being surrounded by so many awesome people to help pull me through some of life’s most difficult days.

The Beginning

If you are like me which most people are running was never my thing. I did everything that I could to avoid running. In High School I played Volleyball and ran short distance in track. As an adult to stay fit I became a group fitness instructor. I raised a daughter who excelled at track and soccer. But even then long distance to me was boring. After all we were both sprinters. Explosive speed and power. The long runs were well, boring!

The Beginning!

Fast forward to 2014. Life events happened, my connection to group fitness faded and I knew I had to do something to continue to help inspire others and help them better themselves daily. The natural path to me made sense. Running it would be. I began my running journey with Couch to 5k. Slowly making progress from run/walk intervals to one day finally taking off and registering for my first Half Marathon for the spring of 2015. Before I could even start my training schedule I found out I had to have major surgery with a recovery of at least 6 weeks. I worried but was determined that I would somehow complete the first half marathon that I had registered for. I was able to complete my first half with minimal training and with a time of 2:22. When I finished my first I knew from that day I was hooked. The feeling running gave me was like no other. The friends and support system I have gained because of it have been amazing, and the experiences and opportunities it has brought to me irreplaceable.

Something I never thought was possible became a reality!