Choose Your Tech Tools: Action Camera Considerations!

Note: This segment was taken from the 2021 BibRave BRProud Summit, and is just a sampling of materials covered.

Do you think it’s time to take your social photos up a notch? Here’s a quick 5 min segment outlining some considerations.

Here’s the condensed notes:

1. Consider its use! GoPro’s, 360° cameras, drones and the like are powerfully awesome tools. But are an investment of time and money. Consider how often you’ll use this technology and decide if it’s worth the investment.

2. Save money – once you’ve decided to pull the trigger, look for sales (especially on older models), used equipment, and even factory refurbished are a great way to save money.

3. Consider the application – most name brand cameras have an associated application. These make it easy to review, capture, and share your action shots right from your phone. If the action camera you are considering doesn’t have an app, think about how you’ll retrieve the footage? Is it easy or a hassle?

4. Be cautious of knockoffs – these can be enticing especially when they are priced in the $30-60 range. Check the reviews and do your research! Find out how they work and if they are a match for you.

Product Review: BUFF DryFlx+ Collection – Combat the Cold!

Disclaimer: I received the 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!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Actually I lied, this time of the year is when I struggle the most with choosing to #optoutside. The days are short, the air is crisp and hurts my face (don’t let the beard fool ya), everything is cold, and all I want to do is sleep.

Needless to say, if there is ever a time where I need motivation to get out the door, this time of the year is prime for said motivation.

That’s where BibRave comes to the rescue and introduces us to awesome brands (like BUFF) that are focused on making our time outdoors more comfortable. And that’s exactly where the BUFF DryFlx+ Collection comes in clutch!

When I received my BUFF DryFlx+ gear that was all the motivation I needed to shake me from old man Winter’s grasp!

Breathable Fabric = No Overheating

When the temps dip into the 30°F (-1°C) range and below, protection from the cold becomes essential. However, I find that on a mild day, I warm up too quickly and my clothing choice (headgear specifically) becomes too much. Likewise on a bitterly cold day, protection for my ears and neck are crucial yet somehow I always end up overheating and becoming uncomfortable with sweaty gear.

If you visit Bibrave’s BUFF link, sign up for the newsletter and receive 15% off!

Cold and Sweat can spell disaster if not properly addressed. This is where the BUFF DryFlx+ Collection really shines!

Neckwarmer and Hat!

I received the DryFlx+ Neckwarmer and Hat, an awesome combo for the outdoor runner! According to BUFF, the DryFlx+ construction boasts:

  • 4-Way ULTRA STRETCH
  • Moisture-management
  • Thermal Insulation
  • 100% Seamless Woven Design
  • Reflective Elements

The fabric is breathable and light, yet provides warmth to the areas that need it the most. I have found overheating isn’t an issue when I layer up with the DryFlx+ products.

Combat the COLD!

The neckwarmer is made from a one-piece design, and has engineered holes that allows you to breathe through the mask.

(Image: BUFF)

I’ve been using the combo hat and neckwarmer for well over a month and these two items have been added as permanent fixtures in my cold running arsenal.

The hat design is similar to the neck warmer (without engineered holes) and fits my head well. Typically when I overheat the hat is the first thing to go, however I find that this hat is breathable and eliminates the need for removal. This is awesome news if you’re like me and don’t like having to carry things on the run- especially gear that you should be wearing.

Eliminate your fears of being cold, grab the BUFF DryFlx+ collection of products and build your cold running kit today! But, don’t just take my word for it, here’s a few other Pro’s take on the product line:

RunCanvas | TheLateRunner | FitXBrit | Throwing Star | Running on Pixie Dust | Fun Size Athlete | Seventh Trail Sister | Running with Attitude

Race Recap: A Christmas Story 10k Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received entry into A Christmas Story Virtual Race 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!”

A COVID Christmas!

Ah, Christmas. The one day of the year where the kids wake us up before the sun rises. We stumble down the steps, sleep still in our eyes. We open gifts and play “A Christmas Story” in the background. Then, when the living room is covered in discarded wrapping paper and empty boxes we feast on an amazing breakfast. After filling up on Christmas pancakes, we pack up the AWD sleigh and drive 2 hours East to be with family.

It was right in the middle of opening presents when reality slapped us in the face. “Mom has a fever” Dad’s text read. It was like the Bumpus hounds came crashing into our living room destroying our dreams of having a huge family Christmas gathering.

For the second time in 37 years, I wasn’t going “home” for Christmas. We all were a little bummed, but then again the pandemic has pretty much turned the entire landscape on its head, so we weren’t surprised that this year would be any different.

Surprisingly, it was refreshing having no where to go. And even more refreshing going for a 10k run to celebrate the “A Christmas Story Virtual Race”!

I decided to take advantage of being home and took off to catch some sights and enjoy some time with my thoughts. I reflected on Christmas’ of the past and how much I value my family. It then dawned on me that we’ve been watching “A Christmas Story” since as long as I can remember! Such memorable moments from the movie, and my favorite part still being Flick putting his tongue on the flagpole!

Anyway, no records were broken, just me out on Christmas Day enjoying time alone and thinking about my family and friends.

The Swag!

Just prior to Christmas Day I received my race swag, and I was pretty impressed with the overall haul.

The jacket is lightweight and breathable (it’ll make a perfect jacket for running in the fall and beginning part of winter when the temperatures are still fairly mild). I typically opt for a size larger since it’s hard to tell how well (or not) these things fit.

I typically wear a size L, so the XL jacket fits a little on the loose side, but it pretty comfortable and I’ll enjoy it running or lounging!

The knit hat is thick and plush, make no mistake it’s definitely made for winter use and keeping those ears warm!

The medal is heavy! I was shocked at the heft of the medal since it’s not that big. My only suggestion would be having the medal reflect more of something from the “A Christmas Story” movie… I mean, a leg lamp would have been hilarious, it’s a major award afterall!

See my BibRave Review HERE

Overall Experience

Since we planned on NOT being home for Christmas, we had no food set aside for a Christmas dinner. So in “A Christmas Story” fashion we had our own Parker style Christmas dinner (Indian food was the closest we could get).

Despite not seeing family, it was fun to get out and run a 10k and having our own mini-celebration of Indian food afterward.

How’d you celebrate Christmas?

Top Nine! A Year in Review.

Celebrating my Top Nine photos from 2020! It looks like I need to wear more variety in my running shirts… and ironically, most of these photos are from the same timeframe. Guess I had an amazing August-September!

I was catching up on the BibRave podcast over the past couple of days and wanted to share my rose, bud, and thorn as well. For those unfamiliar with this concept: the Rose is something from the past year you are proud of (some event or thing that really bloomed for you). The Bud is something that you are cultivating that is growing and you’re excited about. The thorn is something that did not bring you joy, or something that genuinely disagreed with you.

Rose: this might be an unpopular opinion, but the pandemic was my rose this year. It taught me how to cut out toxic relationships and provided me with a true understanding of what it means to take care of oneself and family. Our calendar was wiped clean, I found myself unemployed, yet I wouldn’t have traded that situation for the world. My family and I feel so much closer ever since.

Bud: this year I’ve had the pleasure to work with some amazing brands, and it looks like it’s only going to get better in 2021! I’m so excited for the future and looking forward to cultivating new friendships and experiences along the way. A large part of my 2021 mantra is to “run happy” through life. I’m so pumped to kick things off I’ve already started putting my mantra into practice!

Thorn: here’s a heavy dose of irony. Social media (since I shared this on Social Media). I kinda agree with Tim Murphy (BibRave) and have to say I’m not sure I like where some of these platforms are headed. I try to keep a positive mental attitude and follow accounts of likeminded people- and most recently I’ve been keeping an eye on how much time I spend in various platforms, making sure I disconnect and let my brain reset.

That was my year in review, how about you?

Race Registration: AllState Hot Chocolate 15k, Columbus!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the AllState Hot Chocolate 15k 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!

The AllState Hot Chocolate Series has a very special place in my heart. The 15k was my first official race I registered for when I started running. I had no clue how long a 15k was, but it sounded like a nice number at the time. Little did I know how awesome this series was going to be, and how much it would mean to me!

My mom and I both registered for the 15k distance not knowing what we were in for, but it didn’t matter because the swag was so cool! I just remember being overly excited for hot chocolate and being able to collect my first medal honoring my achievement.

On the day of the race the weather was uncertain and gray, and as we made our way to our corral it started to lightly rain. I remember questioning what we had gotten ourselves into! What followed was a race that produced memories that will last a lifetime. Mom and I shared in a memorable and somewhat miserable first race experience.

However, that distance forever changed how I viewed running- it showed me what I was capable of achieving and more so how I can overcome any obstacle as long as I believe in myself and just focusing on keeping moving forward.

Mom and I having a blast!

Over the years I’ve had the pleasure of running in numerous races and being able to travel to awesome cities. No matter what, I always make sure I register for the AllState Hot Chocolate series races! They remain to this day my favorite all around race experience.

Running through the years!

Also, traveling for work I’ve had the opportunity to run in new areas outside of my normal everyday comfort zone. Three years ago I traveled to Ohio and on a whim decided to pack running gear and hit the streets. It turned out that my favorite place to run in my travels was Columbus Ohio!

Columbus has so much to offer and during my travels was one of the most friendliest cities to run in. The amount of sidewalks and walkways provides endless opportunities to explore all the city has to offer. I would run every morning before sunrise and every evening after sunset just to soak it all in!

Just look at that sunrise!

And what destination is complete without a recommended food guide! Stay tuned for more to come later, but I just had to share that I’m registered to run in the virtual AllState Hot Chocolate 15k for Columbus!

Condado Tacos! A must place to eat!

Race Registration: Race to Wrigley 5K!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Race to Wrigley 5K 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!

Funny story, I’m a huge National Lampoon movie fan, mostly Summer Vacation, European Vacation, as well as the crown jewel Christmas Vacation. I’m such a fan of those movies in general that since I was young I have had an affinity to Chicago sports teams. I should preface this also by saying I’m a horrible sports fan. I couldn’t tell how well (or bad) the teams are doing, I just like them due to their connection to my favorite childhood movies.

Every year for Christmas I don my vintage Chicago Bears hat (to match Chevy Chase’s from Christmas Vacation) along with my custom “Griswold” Blackhawks Jersey. I wear the Clark Griswold uniform with honor.

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wearing Chicago Bears Hat, Image Source: Web

However, I often forget people don’t make the same connection. Over the years when I’m out in public rocking my Chicago Bears hat, I’ll have actual fans of the team give me a thumbs up, or make some comment about the team. To which I nod and agree with what their saying, haven’t having the slightest clue what their talking about.

Clark Griswold (Chevy Chase) wearing Chicago Blackhawks Jersey, Image Source: Web

But. I do love baseball, and every baseball fan knows Wrigley. So how awesome was it for me to find out about the Race to Wrigley 5K? Not only are we talking about the iconic Wrigley Field, but also my connection to my favorite movies based around the misadventures of Clark W. Griswold Jr.!

Sorry to interrupt the story, but did you know that your race registration helps benefit Cubs Charities, which aims to provide health, fitness, and education to those at risk! Make your donations HERE!

What was I saying? Oh yeah! Ever since I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to drive across the country with my parents on a wild adventure to an animal themed theme park. I was especially looking forward to Dad ramping the car off an incomplete exit ramp, crashing our station wagon, and then sharing a beer in my quest to manhood all while wearing a Cubs t-shirt.

I mean c’mon, it’s every boys dream.

Okay, so maybe it’s not the same, and maybe it’s really hard for me to put to words why I like Chicago’s sports teams, but the bottom line is that if you’re a Chicago Sports fan, what’s not to love about the Race to Wrigley?

Sign up: https://www.race-cubs.com/events/register/2020-race-to-wrigley

Check out this year’s awesome swag! Sign up, get your swag and start your next family adventure off!

Product Review: MetCon START Pre-Training

Disclaimer: I received MetCon Start 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!

Some Perspective

I feel like I need to “set the stage” if you will to give you a glimpse of my current mindset and also how MetCon START has really helped me re-develop my running routine.

The pandemic has been weird. Like most people, I found myself unemployed and on a forced 50+ day vacation from employment. I’ll admit, while stressful, the time off was actually a bit of a blessing in disguise. I was given an opportunity to “reset” so to speak and get my head right.

Over the break I ran based on how and when I wanted. It was beautiful and intuitive, I ran without much thought or stress and it became a daily habit everyday around 8 or 9AM.

Fast forward to present-day; I’m back to being employed (and feeling so so grateful) and also oddly enough finding myself wondering when I’m going to find time to run.

Which brings me to the point of this review.

MetCon START, to Start the Day!

Now gainfully employed I have three options when it comes to running. One, run in the morning; Two, run at lunch; Three, run in the evening.

The most painful of these (because I enjoy sleep) is getting up early to run. So naturally I’m left to run over my lunch or in the evening.

It’s July and that means Pennsylvania is swelling with heat and humidity. So those lunch runs I love- well, not so much unless I want to shower three times in a single day. So that means evening runs will have to suffice, right? Wrong. The evening is when the day is at its peak heat, so if I thought running over lunch was too hot, I guess running in the evening is off the table too.

Morning runs it is! Insert groans here.

Actually, it’s not that bad and MetCon START has made the process a little more “user friendly”. Just one (1) scoop 15 mins before my run, and I’m good to go!

My Routine…

User preferences will vary, but on days where I run in the mornings I get up, get dressed and immediately consume around 12-16 oz of water mixed with one (1) scoop of MetCon START.

I typically chase START with a bottle of water to just prepare my body with fluids, since I’ll most likely sweat out most of it. And that’s it. Sounds too easy… right?

My Thoughts

I’ve been using MetCon START for two weeks now. One container has approximately 30 servings which means just enough for a month’s supply.

When I started using the pre-training mix I avoided consuming any other caffeinated drinks in the morning. MetCon states that START has the equivalent boost of two (2) servings of your typically coffee beverage. I’m not one to have any sensitivity toward caffeine, but to be safe I would try to limit my intake of any supplemental caffeine in the mornings.

4:30AM wake-up calls for a little boost!

START has a nice subtitle boost of energy that I have found was sufficient to sustain my needs for my morning 3 mile run. Unlike other brands I have tried, START has a gradual release of energy, versus an all-at-once hit. I prefer the gradual release and absorption, again it’s not a huge pump like other brands.

The taste is fairly mild, and has a citrus finish. It’s not harsh on the tongue or back of the throat, START mixes easily and goes down without fuss. I have hastily consumed START on occasion (waking up late but still wanting to get in the miles) and can happily report no stomach issues or cramps.

Overall Opinion

At $49.99 and roughly 30 servings, I feel the price isn’t horrible. Along those lines, I feel like when it comes to energy mixes, you get what you pay for, and MetCon is at the higher end of quality and performance.

** Speaking of price, you can Save 20% off your purchase by using discount code BIBRAVE at checkout! **

The mixture blends well and goes down easily, no clumps or gross flavor profiles. I’ve consumed this on the go with no GI issues and enjoy the gradual release of energy.

I have found on longer runs (in the heat and humidity of Pennsylvania) around 5 miles I start to see my energy fade and need an additional boost.

On the weekends, I’m typically up a little later in the day (around 7:30AM) and consume additional caffeine (coffee) in the mornings before mixes up START and heading out. I have found consuming coffee in addition to START has not had any negative affects, but it’s not something I would do daily.

For what it’s worth, I’ve used and enjoyed START and will continue to kick off my days with a little scoop to help give me that “boost” I need!

Race Recap: Virtual Race Run for the Zoo!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to review and race the Run for the Zoo Virutal Race 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!

Run for the Zoo Virtual Edition!

I think this goes without saying, but like most races in 2020, the “Run for the Zoo” Race has gone virtual. That means being able run when ever my schedule permits, and having the luxury to run on my time makes things a lot easier to plan and execute. Virtual runs also give me an opportunity to get my miles in and get on with the day, without having to travel to and from the race.

Obviously, there are some drawbacks – if you are a people person, running in isolation is no fun, and not having a support team along the way can make things slightly more challenging. However, since we’re all professionals of running over the quarantine, this virtual race was business as usual for me.

Race day highlights!

Since I ran the streets in my backyard, I got to take in the beautiful scenery and wonder of an Amish Countryside- complete with farm animals! The cows were very encouraging… the horse and buggies didn’t want to race though.

I also timed my run to fall in the late afternoon, when the temperatures were most likely to dip- and the forecast was calling for rain, so the motivation to finish with haste was present!

Overall Impression

I’m glad I was able to Run for the Zoo and bring awareness to my social circle about this race. The Lincoln Park Zoo relies on various fundraising events (like this race) to support their operations.

If you’d like to support the Zoo, they have numerous exciting programs (virtual and in-person) shared on their website: HERE

Product Review: Road iD Wrist ID

Disclaimer: I received a RoadiD Wrist ID 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!

Never Run Alone!

If you’re like me you love running morning, noon, and night! Whenever the time is right, and up for adventure, it’s always fun running in new places and new routes and trails. After all the world is meant to be explored, so why not?

But if you’re also like me, you’ve got loved ones that care about your safety on the run. Especially when your travels may take you into an area your family is just as unfamiliar with as you. You might have concerns about the “what if” while you are out and about. So, what’s a runner to do? That’s where RoadiD comes into play!

RoadiD Wrist ID

RoadiD offers flexible options and styles to suit your needs. I chose the Wrist ID to rock on my runs because of the sleek look and customize options for use. In fact, I’ve been wearing my Wrist ID 24/7, the design is light and comfortable that I forget it’s there.

RoadiD offers you and your loved ones some peace of mind, and is so affordable I can’t think of a reason not to wear one!

Side note: the Wrist ID can be easily removed and placed on a new band, giving you a customized style. The ID badge is rugged enough that it won’t fall out and so far has been resilient to daily wear.

Assurance on the Run!

I tried thinking of just how to describe RoadiD, but fellow runner and Insta friend said it best:

Discount Code!

Okay, so I know this a short and sweet post, but if are curious about RoadiD, I would check it out for yourself as I can not recommend them enough!

And, to make the deal sweeter, you can save 25% when you use discount code: SAVE25BRP at checkout!

But don’t take my word for it! Check out fellow BRP’s for their opinions about RoadiD. Don’t forget to check out RoadiD’s website as well HERE

Chris , Steph, Ebony, Cassie, Nicki, Becky, Meredith, Randy, Lisha, Lisa, Mike

Virtual Race Recap: Cinco de Miler!

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Cinco de Miler Virtual race 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!

Do you have a favorite race that you “have” to run every year? What is it about the race that draws you in year after year? Drop it in the comments below!

Is Virtual the New Normal?

Since the pandemic all races (in person) have been cancelled, leaving many race organizations scrambling to stay ahead of the game. After all, whether we realize it or not, the race industry is, in fact, a business. So it goes without saying that without customers, race “companies” won’t be able to maintain operations.

Many of the big players in the race industry are taking notes and responding to the pandemic accordingly. One way to stay ahead of the “stay at home orders” is offering a virtual option for participants to still manage to run their favorite race.

Question: does virtual racing appeal to you? would you still run your favorite race even if it moved to a strictly virtual platform?

Enter: Cinco De Miler

RAM Racing has done a great job of shifting nearly all of their signature races to the virtual platform, making it possible for anyone to run a variety of location-specific races anywhere they want!

For me the Cinco De Miler has always been on my list of races to run. Typically held in Illinois, the race moved virtual opening up the chance for me to participate here in Pennsylvania!

While it’s not the same as running in Chicago, I was still able to treat this as a regular race. With a defined date and distance on the calendar, I was running the Cinco de Miler on May 2nd along with all my BibRave Pros (virtually)!

Race day!

The morning of the 2nd I woke up with a little pep in my step, after all, it was race day!

After getting dress I check in on my social media feeds to see when my friends had planned on running the race. I adjusted my schedule so that I could share my results around the same time, making it feel like I ran with friends in real life.

I opted to run the 5 miles near my hometown, passing by a man made waterfall at a local fishing spot. Needless to say, I forgot to pause my Garmin while taking in the scenery and posing for a quick selfies near the falls.

While not the fastest 5 miles on record, it was still nice to get out and enjoy nature and still feel connected to the running community by participating in a virtual race event!

Race Swag!

Of course it wouldn’t be a race without awesome swag! RAM racing put together an awesome virtual swag bag including a signature tech shirt, medal, race bib, and lots of goodies!

P.S. If you ran this race did you try the mango lollipop?!

By the way, my first name is Lawrence- I’ve been meaning to update my RAM racing profile for the past few years. It still makes me chuckle when I see my bib with “Lawrence” on it. Haha.