First Impressions: New FlipBelt Crops

Disclaimer: I received FlipBelt Crops 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! All opinions are my own.

You might be familiar with the FlipBelt. It is a belt used to store items while you run, bike, exercise. I own one of the original FlipBelts and I can tell you that I was not of a fan of it. However, the FlipBelt Crops are completely different.

Fabric

These crops are not compression pants, which for me is a plus. I’m not a fan of having super tight pants on because then I’m focusing on how uncomfortable I am instead of on my race performance.

I was worried about how long they were because the weather for race day was going to be 80 F. I thought for sure I would overheat and have to stop, but I was so wrong. Thes material is one of the best features of these pants. Not only are they soft and stretchy, they are also moisture wicking, a feature that as a new runner has learned is very important, especially on long runs.

Length

When I put them on, I noticed that they were long on me. I’m only 5’4″ and they are longer than crops would be on me and the fit at an inch about my ankle. A little long, but not something a little tailoring won’t fix. For now, I’m leaving them long, because I’m liking the long pants look to them.

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Pockets

The belt pockets are attached to the crops and are not a separate piece. The front has a keychain plastic hook where you can clip your keys to. I have an iPhone 7 and it fit just fine in the front pocket. Their front pockets are long and stretchable so you can fit snacks, money, keys, and much more. The back of the crops has a zipped pocket.

At the end of the race when I was done taking my medal photos, I wanted to put away my medal, because it was too heavy for me to continue hanging around my neck. I remembered that I had a back pocket. To my surprise the medal not only fit, but it wasn’t weighing the back of pants down. I could feel that I had something there, but it was not bothering me.

I wore the FlipBelt Crops to run a 5K. The crops and the items inside my pockets stayed in place. I was never worried about losing or dropping something.

Versatility

In addition to running, I also travel a lot. I have an upcoming trip where I am planning on taking these crops with me. In a foreign country, I try to not carry a big purse and be as minimalistic as I can be. With the FlipBelt Crops I will be able to put my ID, money, credit cards, and phone, and still, have room to spare. I would say that these crops are not limited to just running, they can be used in a variety of situations from running errands, playing sports, and travel.

Want to try them out? Promo code BIBRAVE saves you 25% off FlipBelt Crops.

 

Heart & Soles Run 2018

Heart & Soles was a local San Jose race that took place on March 24, 2018. It had two distances: 6K and 10K. The starting line was located on the campus of Santa Clara University. I arrived early and had no problem finding a parking spot. There were plenty of people already there. As I walked over to the event, I noticed that there were several tents set-up. There were a variety of vendors present at the event from beef jerky sales, other races, to athletic shoe stores. There was a large section with complimentary tea and coffee. There was a sweat check on site.

I did the 6K. The route took us out of Santa Clara University campus and onto closed off streets. We eventually arrived at Avaya Stadium, Home of the San Jose Earthquakes, where our route looped inside the stadium. That was the best part! I had never been inside that stadium and enjoyed the experience. The team mascot was present to take photos with the runners and there were plenty of good photo spots within. The route then turned back and return back the same way we went out.

In the end, we were handed our medals and they were a variety of Kind Bars, apples, and water to get rehydrated. There were both runners and walkers and even dog owners. It wasn’t a high-pressure race, instead, it was a good event to get some exercise without it being intimidating or stressful.

Go Green St. Patrick’s Day Race

This was a small local race with less than 300 runners. I picked it because it was close by and because of the theme. I love holiday or themed races. I enjoy dressing up and seeing what the other runners come up with.

The weather was 41F at the starting line. Way too cold for it to be Spring, but at least it wasn’t raining.

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Swag

All runners received a long-sleeved technical shirt. Women’s shirts were white and men were grey. I wondered why the race was called Go Green and yet our shirts weren’t green. There was no finishers medal in this race. Instead, runners received a pint glass. Runners who placed in their age group received a bottle opener medal.

 

Course

The race was at Hellyer Park in San Jose. The course was paved and flat the whole way. I did have to make my way around other walkers, runners, bikers that were on the same route.

Aid Stations

There were two water stations along the 10K route. The cups were filled with water and ready to go. I hate having to slow down and wait for someone to pour the water. Luckily, I didn’t have to go through that this time.

Atmosphere

Many people came to the race dressed up in something related to St. Patrick’s Day whether it was green, leprechauns, or some other character. There was even a group dressed as French mushrooms (that’s the white costumes). I’m not sure how that fits into the theme, but it was festive.

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Post-race

After the race runners, 21 and older could enjoy a beer in their new pint glass. There were plenty of fruit and snacks to refuel on as well as bottles of water. Overall, I thought the race was well organized and well done.

How did I do?

Not bad. I was happy with my results.

 

Why I Gave Up On My FitBit

 

After much love for my Fitbit Blaze, I decided it no longer met my needs. I’m actually sad about it. After the 408K race in San Jose, I checked my time, like every runner does and discovered that my pace was off by 0.7!! That was a big error margin. How did I know I was that off? Well, first my husband was running a different app on his phone and he ran by my side the entire race. Second, I started my watch at the same time he started his app, and third, the final chip results were better than what my app gave me. I was totally blown away.

When you are a runner, you depend on the accuracy of your watch to keep your training on track. While I have not tried some of the other running watches my friends own, I decided to make a new purchase. I opted for a Series 3 Apple Watch in pink!

We will see what I think of this watch. I’ll give it some time before I draw any conclusions.

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Keep All Your Racing Stats In One Place With Athlinks

Disclaimer: I reviewed Athlinks 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!”

After one of my races last year, I got an email asking me to claim my race results. I thought, what’s this? So, I clicked on it and it took me to the Athlinks website. Once there I created an account and to my surprise, Athlinks already had the results of several of my previous races. I did some weeding through the results as not all the results listed were mine. From what I can tell, when you run a chipped race the results automatically show up in Athlinks within a couple of days. Races that are not chipped will require you to upload your results manually.

Why would you want to use Athlinks?

  1. Well, I like that Athlinks keeps track of my personal record (PR) for each distance. I do a lot of races and I often forget what time I’m trying to beat. Athlinks keeps all this information together for me in one spot.
  2. It also shows me the upcoming races of my friends. It’s a reminder to cheer them on and encourage them to do their best.
  3. It’s free!
  4. If you’re really competitive, you can see who else is running the same race. If it’s a friend of yours, they will show up as a rival. Athlinks will keep track of your time and your friend’s time and keep a win or lose point system.  You can see that RunStrongRun, a fellow BibRavePro ran the Hot Chocolate 15K with me in San Francisco and I have 1 loss to her. By clicking on the arrow on the bottom right, I am able to see the next screen which contains the exact time difference.I’ll undoubtedly have other races this year with RunStrongRun and I always reference back to our wins and losses by logging into Athlinks. She’s a better runner than I am, so it will probably mean more losses for me, but that’s okay.

Race Review: Sedona Marathon

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Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Sedona Marathon 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!”

Expo
The expo was in a big open location under a tent. I appreciated that it was open until 8 pm on Friday before the race, however, it would have been nice to know ahead of time that you can pick-up your bib on race day. I flew in on Friday and almost didn’t make it to the pick-up. A stressful experience that could have been easily avoided.

There were a handful of vendors selling everything from Sedona socks and t-shirts to runner specific gear like recovery sandals and hydration packs.

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Swag
Swag included a t-shirt, bib, and finishers medal. I learned that the medal we received is actually part of a 4 piece set. So, I will definitely need to come next year to claim the next piece of the puzzle.
Course

The 10K course was not too hard. There were some hills, but they were doable. I just made a point to go faster downhill and take my time going uphill. The course was on a paved road the entire time.

Sedona is at a high elevation, so the air is thin with no humidity. I actually got very dehydrated after the race. I know now to drink more water. The scenery is the best part, it’s breathtaking! I kept looking around as I ran and being amazed.

Aid Stations
I felt like there were plenty of aid stations throughout the course with both electrolytes and regular water. There were also many volunteers along the race cheering runners on with both handmade signs and cowbells.

There were a lot of portapotties. No long lines waiting to use the restroom, like in other races!

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Atmosphere
Everyone was so nice! It was a friendly environment. Many tourists came in that weekend just for the race. The locals were very kind and welcoming.

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Friends

I met up with two other fellow BibRave Pros, @rundeweyrun and @azsungoddess. Dewey did the full marathon, Emily did the half, and I did the 10K. BibRave was well represented that day. It’s always nice to meet and connect with Pros in-person.

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Post-race
There was a beer garden available. I’m not a beer drinker, but there were many people enjoying having a cold beer after the race. There were vendor food trucks available, for those that had worked up an appetite. Some food options that I saw available were pizza, loaded fries, and pork sandwiches.

After the race was done there was plenty to do, since Sedona has been rated as one of the top 10 most beautiful locations in the U.S. There’s a lot of opportunities for sightseeing before or after the race and even if you don’t have the time for that, you will love just looking around at the beautiful red rocks that surround the town.

Run-cation

I made this race a weekend trip. I flew with Jim and Chiquita, our 4-year-old chihuahua to Phoenix. We then rented a car and drove to Sedona. We stayed at the Sedona Rouge, which is a pet-friendly hotel.  There was a potty area for her right outside our room, which was very convenient. Chiquita stayed in the room during the race but was otherwise with us. The stores and some restaurants in town were pet-friendly, so it made it easy for all of us to walk around town.

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Chiquita has her own Instagram account. Click here to take a look.

 

Be A Safe Runner With Brilliant Reflective, Plus Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective 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!

BibRave is celebrating Safety Month and our friends at Brilliant Reflective have authorized me to give 1 lucky winner a pack of both their iron-on and stick-on strips. Open to U.S. residents only.

Some of the best safety tips will be shared on social, so stay tuned!

Code ” BRP25″ saves 25% off of all Multi/Assortment Packs.

How to Apply Brilliant Reflective Strips

Brilliant Reflective Giveaway