Thursday, January 25, 2018

2018's New Running Experience | Under Armour HOVR Sonic Review

Disclaimer: I received Under Armour's HOVR Sonic running shoes 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!

Under Armour is releasing a running experience like no other coming next week. Until last year, I hadn't thought of Under Armour as a long distance running shoe brand but my thoughts have greatly changed since experiencing the HOVR technology for myself!


Let me introduce you to the innovative Under Armour HOVR Sonic running shoe. 

Designed for runners of the competitive mindset, the HOVR Sonic is a digitally connected, neutral running shoe featuring HOVR cushioning which offers a 60% energy return. These shoes are like nothing I have seen before, in the best way possible.

As a BibRave Pro, I received white HOVR Sonic running shoes and have been packing on the miles over the last couple months. Here's a look at my personal findings on the HOVR Sonic experience so far.

Under Armour HOVR Sonic

The HOVR Sonic Tech Specs

  • Neutral Cushioning
  • Offset: 8mm
  • Stack Heights: 21mm Heel / 13mm Forefoot
  • Midsole Durometer: 47C Rim / 47C Core
  • Last: D Width; Speedfit + Strobel Construction
  • Weight: 9.6oz
  • Midsole: HOVR Cushioning, 60% Energy Return
  • Outsole: Solid Rubber Forefoot; Carbon Rubber Heel

The HOVR Training Features

Both shoes have a built-in sensor in the sole that tracks distance, cadence, pace, stride length and other data on outdoor and even treadmill runs. This data is stored and easily synced up to your device after the run or you can have the app open while running too.

I prefer to sync my shoes post-run so I don't need to bring my phone with on every run. When I'm done running, the shoes sync via Bluetooth to the MapMyRun app on my phone and all of the running data is stored on my account.


The data can be viewed as a general overview and more in-depth breakdowns are included for pace, stride length, elevation and cadence. This has been hugely helpful for my postpartum recovery and return to marathon training as getting back to a solid cadence is my main goal.

Tracking this data via my HOVR Sonic shoes has served as a personal accountability partner! I am able to compare data and (hopefully) see improvements as training progresses.



For outdoor runs, the HOVR Sonic shoes sensor tracks the weather and route to store on my MapMyRun account as well.


The HOVR Sonic Feel

The HOVR Sonic shoe's neutral cushioning feels natural for me. Though these shoes are on the heavier end of the spectrum, the 60% energy return from the HOVR cushioning evens things out. My feet felt light on the run and I haven't experienced any soreness or discomfort from the shoe.

The shoe's knit upper body offers support and breathability to keep you comfortable covering the long miles. The HOVR Sonic's knit upper comes in white (like mine), red, black and brilliance (neon pink).


Where to Find HOVR

Under Armour's HOVR technology is coming to market on February 1, 2018 and the Sonic shoes are priced at $100.

To receive updates on Under Armour's HOVR technology, visit UnderArmour.com/.


My Final Thoughts

The HOVR Sonic is easily my favorite Under Armour shoe. I plan on wearing these for many of my Grandma's Marathon training runs and potentially the race itself. I'm thinking these shoes will really shine on longer tempo runs and weekend long runs. The fit of the shoes has been very comfortable and syncing the data is a breeze. Geeking out on training data and pushing to new levels as a runner is right up my alley!

The absolute only concern that I have with the HOVR Sonic shoe is the mine are a beautiful bright white and I don't think they will stay that way for long. They may be grey after running through puddles this Spring but that's no trouble. It just means they are well loved and I put the work in!

Weekly Workout Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

Easy Run: Goal pace 9:40 - 10:00/mile.


TUESDAY: 

Ekhart Yoga's Vinaysa Flow video (17:55)

WEDNESDAY: 

Strides: I got out for an early morning run and dabbled in some strides followed by front and side planks that evening.


THURSDAY

Off

FRIDAY:

A late night, night nursing and an early morning took the wind out of my sails today. Not even coffee could help! {gasp} Stretching and yoga will have to do and running will wait for the weekend.

SATURDAY:

Easy Run (Treadmill): 4 miles and another cold weekend in Minnesota!


SUNDAY:

Long Run (Treadmill): Goal pace of 8:30-8:40/mile. This run felt hard... Coming back into running after having a baby can make paces feel very deceiving. My body was going 8:30/mile but my mind thought we were running 7:30's for how the effort felt! I know I ran this one too hard technically, but pushing myself felt good too.


Do you track training data or prefer tech-free running?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Sweat Hard, Smell Victorious | Sweat X Sport Review

Disclaimer: I received Sweat X Sport 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!

I'll admit it, winter is not my favorite season. Especially a crazy cold winter like this one! The snow came on November 1st and, who knows, it may stay through April. As they say: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And that's exactly what you have to do here!

When the weather gives you lemons, layer up and run!

To avoid being pent up inside for half the year, you dress in layers. Lots of 'em. Below is a picture of my running attire for an above zero run (heat wave!). It went as follows: Buff Thermonet hat and baklava, sports bra, tank, long sleeve technical shirt, winter jacket, spandex shorts, tights, gloves, cozy socks, running shoes and Yaktrax.

When in doubt, wear more tights!


All of the extra layers required for winter running make a whole lot of extra laundry and sometimes the regular old laundry detergent just won't cut it, especially on technical fabrics.

As a BibRave Pro, I received the Sweat X Sport Detergent and Extreme Odor Eliminating spray to test on my sweatiest winter running gear. Sweat X uses NANOVASIVE™ technology that is safe not only for activewear, but on all types of fabrics.


I put Sweat X detergent to the test on my running clothes and our regular loads because it is strong enough for your technical fabric, yet gentle enough for everyday wear, sheets and towels. The "Smell of Victory" scent is pleasant and not overpowering.

Sweat X detergent was even effective on my kids' snowpants and outdoor clothing. This formula is non-toxic and biodegradable so I don't have to worry about harsh ingredients on sensitive skin, even if our newborn baby's clothes sneak in a load.


The Extreme Odor Eliminator spray easily freshened up my running shoes, hockey skates and the plethora of boots and shoes in our house.

Just like the Sweat X detergent, this product is non-toxic and biodegradable as well. With a few sprays, it easily removes odors rather than masking them. I should probably order a whole case of these bottles!


A huge advantage of Sweat X detergent is the efficiency. Sweat X’s super concentrated formula only requires 1 ounce of detergent per wash load. Each 45 oz bottle washes 45 loads!

Sweat X 45 oz detergent is $19.99 and Extreme Odor Eliminator spray is $12.99. The Sweat X Value Bundle, which includes the detergent, odor eliminator and stain remover, is $39.99. You can buy Sweat X products in select retail stores or use code "BibRave15" for 15% off your purchase at https://sweatxsport.com/shop/! They ship to virtually any address in the world.

Here's My Verdict:


The Sweat X Detergent and Extreme Odor Eliminator spray has been very effective in cleaning our laundry, from athletic attire to daily wear to even bed sheets! I feel safe using it on my kids' clothing and sports equipment. The "Smell of Victory" is just the right amount of smell good without being overwhelming. I was most impressed that this powerful concentrated formula washes a whole load of laundry with only one ounce of detergent!

Weekly Workout Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

Off

TUESDAY: 

Easy Run: 4 miles, 35:59 @ 8:59/mile on the treadmill.

WEDNESDAY: 

Tempo Intervals: 3.62 miles, 31:01 with 2:00 easy/3:00 tempo pace intervals on the treadmill. 10 weeks postpartum and my first go at an interval workout since baby.

THURSDAY

Easy Run: 2 miles OUTSIDE!!!

FRIDAY:

Yoga

SATURDAY:

Long Run: 6.27 miles @ 8:59/mile.

SUNDAY:

Stretching & yoga.

What's your running laundry secret?
Do you separate running clothes from regular clothes?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, January 12, 2018

2017 Review /// 2018 What's New

First off, Happy New Year to you! My goal is to share goals for the New Year before we run too far into 2018 (pun intended). How's that for a resolution?

Let me be honest, I haven't blogged much lately because my brain feels "fuzzy". Maybe that's not the right word for it. Basically I feel like I'm still spinning in this whirlwind of life changes we're going through. Really, really GOOD changes but it's hard to articulate my thoughts.

In bulleted format, because it's all my brain will currently allow, let me give you a run down of the previous and the newest years.

2017 in Review:

  • I joined the BibRave Pro team in January.
  • Two races were run, the Frozen Feat 10k & Hot Chocolate 15k Minneapolis (with BibRave), and I continued "running for two" with Baby C through 39 weeks pregnant.
  • My 30th birthday happened in May. Whoa. 30.
  • Our homeschooling journey began as E started the God's Little Explorers preschool curriculum in August.
  • Baby C was born on his due date.
  • My husband finished out his last year on the farm (and is starting his new job on Monday!).
  • 9 out of the 12 months were spent growing our third baby. This pregnancy was easy (for pregnancy anyways), about as easy going as our Baby C is!

Two days before delivery

2018 What's New:

  • We're getting the hang of life as a family of FIVE!
  • The Frozen Feat 10k in February (Brrr!) and Grandma's Marathon in June are on my race calendar so far.
  • E will be a Kindergartener this Fall. How is that even possible!
  • Two races in the Fall are a possibility depending on how Grandma's goes.
  • I'm returning for my second year with BibRave because last year was THAT awesome!


And Goals for the New Year:

SPIRITUAL GOAL: Be more devoted to prayer and to be more confident in my calling and in sharing Jesus with others.

PHYSICAL GOAL: Become a more balanced runner using the Hanson Marathon Method and yoga for strength and stretching. As I'm regaining my running fitness after having our baby, I'm focusing on keeping my cadence at 180+ spm. Running pregnant makes my legs a bit lazy! Not complaining, just sayin'.

MENTAL GOAL: Keep my social media usage to a minimum. Obviously as a blogger/reviewer, I have my to-do list of tasks to complete but I want have to stay more on point this year. Free time is a scarce resource so I need to be intentional and time efficient in my writing.

MOM GOAL: Breastfeed our newest little boy through the 12-month mark. I'm pumping and freezing once a day to use for later as well. Breastfeeding while marathon training means I need to drink more water and eat more (still quality calories, mostly!).


One last note to ensure that this post reaches novel length, here's a quick workout wrap-up for the week with the Weekly Wrap crew.

Weekly Workout Wrap-Up

MONDAY: 

Rest day from official workouts anyways. I took the big boys out for a sled ride and we went skating to make the most of the sunshine & above zero temps.

TUESDAY: 

The weather was in the 30's, sun was shining and it just felt amazing. I ran at whatever pace I wanted and cranked the tunes, something I hadn't done in a long time.


WEDNESDAY: 

Ekhart Yoga's Runners Yoga video (25:28)

THURSDAY

Testing out my "easy" pace for the upcoming marathon training cycle. It doesn't feel quite as easy as it should yet. We'll see how a month and a half of base building helps get me back in shape.


FRIDAY:

Ekhart Yoga's Vinaysa Flow video (17:55)

SATURDAY:

TBD: 4 to 6 mile long run planned.

SUNDAY:

TBD

What's a favorite memory from 2017 or goal for 2018?



Linking up with Holly and Tricia's Weekly Wrap Up.