*Disclaimer* I received a swag bag from The Running Event 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!
So if you know me, I’m a major gear head. I love the latest and greatest options out there for just life in general, but when it comes to running, I’m definitely all ears. But as with most items, markets are saturated with very similar products and it can be hard to pick the *best* option for you, and your needs. This is one of the main reasons why The Running Event is such a big deal for vendors, and store owners so that we can get first hand knowledge on new products coming out and why they’re different.
I’ve always been big on great customer service when it comes to a brand as well, when it comes to who’s getting my dollar, it’s to whoever values me as a consumer, and passion and story behind the brand. With that being said… I’m excited to say that I 100% genuinely LOVED all the items I received at TRE and they have become the stars in my gym bag (spoiler alert, I got a new one!). Because I did receive over 10 products from over 10 brands, this will be divided up into three series. What’s in My Gym Bag x2, and Upping my Virtual Runs…. TRE edition for all of them of course. Now again, just because some items are in the first post does not mean they’re better than the others, they just happened to be clean at the time of me writing part one.
Vooray Ace Backpack– $39.99 + Free shipping (excludes AK, & HI) I cannot say enough things about this little gem. This is what all of our gear, except for the shoes was stuffed into once we arrived at the welcome reception. I’m a lover of gym bags/backpacks, and I personally opt to carry a backpack to work everyday versus the traditional purse or teacher tote. Because I’m a cool teacher that likes to one strap it. So there is a sleeve that’s fuzzy that holds your laptop comfortable, and a smaller mesh zippered pocket in the main compartment. There’s a smaller front pocket for items you need to access easily, as well as TWO water bottle holders on each side.
I have to note that these water bottle holders have the mesh going up high enough so that the water bottles are actually secure. I’m even able to put my tumbler in there with my coffee and haven’t had any spills whatsoever.
Also, the hardware is metal, and I do not foresee any issues with it breaking anytime soon. The material of this one is nylon so it’s easy to wipe clean as well.
This bag has also been great for being able to throw in some running shoes, recovery items, a full change of clothes, and other knick knacks as a I head at the door either to a dedicated class, or to run errands (read scootering and going sightseeing with the BRP crew in ATX). So kudos to Vooray for making an affordable, functional, and durable bag.
Addaday $42 + Free Shipping (see website for exclusions)- I’ve used the Addaday Pro Massage Roller before, so I was super happy to see their Type C roller in our bag. The Type C roller features two types of gears, and grey and a red. Grey is a medium pressure roller that is designed to flush out lactic acid, and reduce muscle fatigue. On the other side you have the tiny red gear… this is your frenemy. It’s small size is designed to pin point those hard to reach areas such as your shins, and achilles. It’s small and mighty, but it honestly relieved so much pain for me on my foot after I ran the Dallas Half Marathon. It was my first time to use it on my foot, and it hurt, but literally afterwards, I was able to walk without my usual arch/heel pain.
The small size also allows for it so easily transported in a carry on luggage or everyday bag.
CEP Compression Socks (Regular in black Merino Wool in yellow) $60 + Free shipping for orders $49 and up- Okay, so I’m going to try my best to explain this properly without being overly wordy… but in a nutshell… CEP has been around for a long time and originally started on the strict medical side of compression wear. Which means, they know what they’re doing. They use a special type of stitching, that’s actually more work and creates more stitches than the industry standard, to create a softer sock. Furthermore, they also use a graduated compression to stabilize muscles and improve performance.
Long story short, I felt a difference the second I began running on them. Actually, I noticed just putting them on, and how much easier they were than other brands I have used. I didn’t feel hot in them and did not have to experience any slipping.
Now yes, they’re more expensive than others, but you really are getting a more accurate compression sock from them. I will continue to use these for my harder work outs, and for travel purposes.
Nuun $7 per tube: Everyone knows about Nuun! Nuun is an electrolyte tablet that you can use to up your hydration game. Nuun provided us with four different types of their product, Electrolytes, Vitamins, Immunity, & Energy.
While all of them are electrolytes, the others just have added ingredients to enhance your water even more. For example the Immunity has elderberry, tumeric, ginger, zinc, echinacea (flu-fighting herb) & 10 vitamins and minerals.
It’s just delicious stuff. Pro Tip #1- you can tell if the products have caffeine (from green tea extract) by looking at the caps. Colored= caffeine white=no caffeine.
Pro Tip #2-Try it warm, several pros recommended that you try the Ginger Lemonade flavor warm, I personally did not get a chance to do this since I didn’t have that flavor. But I was definitely popping many immunity tabs leading up to Dallas since I felt myself getting sick. I swear it’s the only thing that held off my sickness from 10x worse than what it was, and got me to start and finish line that day.
***Just 2 more and I’m done!***
Handful Adjustable Bra, and Squeeze Play Capri $44 & $44 respectively (sale prices for selected colors)- I loved this company, just the passion behind their brand was unreal. The owner had lost her voice and had her best friend step and she told the story with just so much love, and dedication that I just wanted to melt. Handful is also very involved in helping women who are breast cancer survivors. These ladies strongly believe in helping women to feel beautiful again, yet supported with a great bra. For those women who are survivors they are invited to join the Breast Friends Forever program which offers a lifetime discount, as well as free pads (via their Flat and Fabulous program) to add to their bras to give them a little extra something on top, but all the confidence in the world through their eyes.
Okay now for the actual product. We were lucky to get to choose what we wanted so I went with the Adjustable Bra and Squeeze Play Capri Pant. The bra is insanely soft, and I love the way it’s cut, and has the runching, to give the girls some life…without being afraid of them popping out. While it was my favorite for running, I did enjoy for other activities including spin class. The Capris are also a very true to size fit and has the same runching on the back to give the booty some extra zing.
My Assets are fine (get it?), so I can’t really say if it enhanced it or not lol. But overall, great item for the price point, and most importantly, I didn’t have to keep pulling them up and they passed my bend test.
Brooks Ghost 11– I. Can’t. Even. Y’all. I was stunned when I not only saw the Brooks shoe box… but when I saw it was MY shoe… it was game over.
The ghost model was my first ever official true running shoe I’ve bought, and I’ve almost religiously stuck to them. I’ve only really ventured to the Brooks Launch for long distance after seeing them on sale and being told they’re similar, which they are, but they’re not the Ghost. This is a neutral shoe that offers a DNA LOFT heel crash pad for softer landings, and a breathable upper sole. I mean really, they’re just all around awesome shoes… I just can’t say anything else. Just read my fellow Ghost Running Partner in Crime, Angie, review of the Ghost 11’s here.
Whew: The long review is over, there will be two more (Link to the next one below). I apologize for the length of it, I just want to make sure I’m giving you a true review, versus giving you information from the website. As always, reach out if you any questions at all! I also have my Aftershokz in this picture because I do workout with those, but I did not receive that from The Running Event, you can read more about the Aftershokz fun here.