Mizuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post is sponsored by Mizuno and Fitfluential, however all opinions are my own.

I am pretty picky about my running shoes. I have tried a lot of different brands and models, but only a few actually “stick” with me long term. Mizuno is one of very few brands I have bought multiple pair of shoes from because they do ok with my oh so picky feet. I was really excited to try the new Wave Rider 18’s, and went for a walk the first day I got them.

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The colors are really cool, and not something you typically see.The official colors are Black/Silver/Florida Keys (Who else loves really unique color names?)

The shoe weights 7.8 oz with a 12 mm drop and provides a stable ride for an everyday running shoe. It is a neutral shoe, which means it can work for a wide range of runners. The Wave Rider 18 has a good blend of guidance and flexibility.

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Typically when a shoe has a bit of guidance and support, they are really heavy and clunky, but that’s not the case here. The Wave technology is really responsive and has just enough cushion for logging some serious miles.

This shoe retails for a reasonable $119.99, and comes in men’s and women’s styles.

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I found the Wave Rider 18 to be true to size. I have high arches and require a large toebox, so I did find the front area a bit more snug than other models, but it would be fine for most people (I have morton’s neuroma so need the extra wiggle room”).

If you would like more information be sure to visit Mizuno’s website, or follow along with #WaveRider18

QOTD: Do you run in a neutral or stability shoe? What do you look for in a running shoe? Are colors important?

PRO Compression Review + Giveaway

It’s summer in the south. It’s hot. I am in my last four weeks of pregnancy. This is a recipe for misery, but mainly for swelling! I have tried to be really careful the past few months with putting my feet up and drinking lots of water, but sometimes you just need a little extra help to make your legs and feet feel extra taken care of!

When PRO Compression contacted me about doing a review and giveaway, I was happy to oblige as my poor legs need the support right now!

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As a runner, I am no stranger to compression socks. I wear them during a lot of my runs, and most importantly to recover with after all long runs. These socks can help speed up your recovery time, and improve your blood flow. Plus, they just feel really good on my legs and feet. I can feel a difference once I put them on, aahhhh!

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They have graduated compression that promotes circulation. The compression pushes fluid up from your feet and ankles, through your legs out past the socks towards your knees (which is what reduces the swelling).

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I had a hard time choosing between the pink argyle I got and these awesome purple ones!

Something else I love is that these socks are designed and manufactured in the USA! Not to mention, they are always coming out with cute new designs and colors!

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PRO Compression has a way for you to get your marathon socks or sleeves at 40% off! Yes, what a steal I agree. Stock up for the fall racing season! Simply enter code BLG14 at checkout!

Would you like to win a pair of of the marathon socks or sleeves? Check out the widget below to see how to enter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Disclosure: I was provided product for this review form PRO compression, however all opinions are my own.

Gone for a RUN Pillow Review and Giveaway

Happy Labor Day! I hope everyone is having a good day. I am working and Bobby is at work which is a bummer, but it is what it is!

As a Gone for a RUN ambassador, I was asked to do another product review, and offer a $20 gift card giveaway to my readers! Read on for info!

I was sent this super cute pillow by Gone for a RUN, I chose it because I actually already have a couple of aqua chevron throw pillows already and so it matches my living room!

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If chevron, aqua, or 13.1 isn’t your thing, there are a TON of other options available, so be sure to check out the pages of pillows! The pillow has a zip up removable cover for easy cleaning and care. The image and pattern are also on both sides of the pillow which is nice.

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If you look closely in the chevron/blue part, you can see a little stick figure runner throughout the pattern, it’s really cute but not so bold that it distracts from the pillow and the design.

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The pillow is also a good size and pretty comfortable, but if you wanted to put your own insert in and just use the cover, that would be easy to do as well. Be sure to check out their website for other items as well, they have some really great gifts for the runner or triathlete in your life!

Want to win a $20 Gone for a RUN gift card so you can purchase something from the website for yourself or a friend/family member? Please see the rafflecoptor widget below and follow the instructions to enter. Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

August Flashback to 2013 with Under Armour

Thank you so much for all of your encouragement, tips and advice on yesterday’s blog post. I am happy to report we went on the hospital tour yesterday, so one more thing out of the way woo hoo!

It’s Friday, my brain is fried and I am sure yours is too, so no crazy in depth post today, I thought I would keep it light with a fun flashback post to last August. These posts have become even more comical to me now that I am pregnant. The thought of doing some of the things NOW I was doing this time last year make me laugh. Let’s take a look.

This time last year, I had ben invited to Baltimore to hang out at Under Armour Headquarters for a couple of days, and I had an ABSOLUTE BLAST. I learned a lot, met a lot of great people, and got to go shopping! I remember being so amazing at how cool it was outside, I’m sure everyone got tired of me saying it!

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We worked out, we shopped, we met with lots of different design teams from apparel to shoes, and ate very well!

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We even got to do some rooftop yoga and have massages all at the Four Seasons where we were staying.

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I had never been to Baltimore, and although it was a quick trip, it is one I will never forget! Under Armour is a great company that gives a good, strong message to women, and I was honored to be a part of the weekend and become an ambassador. Now if I can only get them to make maternity gear…

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You can check out all of my Under Armour visit recaps below:

Visit part 1

Visit part 2

Visit part 3

Visit part 4

*Photos courtesy of Matt Ryb

WINNER of the virtual race giveaway is Tim Lollar! Please email [email protected]! If you did NOT win, please please consider joining in the virtual race anyway or donating to the cause to help save these sweet pugs!

QOTD: What is one thing you learned when you traveled to a new city for the first time (like how I learned it’s COOL OUTSIDE in Baltimore in August!)

Magellan Echo Review

Awhile back I was contacted to review a cool new device called the Magellan Echo. At first I wasn’t so sure why this device was special, but upon further reading, I realized this was nothing like anything I had ever used.  It also comes in several pretty colors!

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Echo solves the biggest problem when doing sports with a smartphone. How many times have you used a running app on your phone, and got aggravated because you had to keep pulling it out of your pocket or armband to check you time and pace? Or, when running in the bright sun, having to figure out a way to read your smart phone’s screen to see how your run is going? The Echo fixes this by syncing your info from your app to a wrist watch!

Echo streams data and controls from your smartphone to your wrist. At a glance, you can see things like distance, pace, and heart rate from certain apps on your phone in realtime.echo_fea_fitness_1_2

With your phone in your pocket or in an armband, etc., remote controls make it easy to do things like Start, Stop, Lap as well as Music controls like Play/Pause, and hanging to the next song. Also, tapping the screen turns the page to show more date screens. Echo uses Bluetooth Smart to connect your smartphone and watch.

Apps bring Echo to life on your wrist. They are working with the leading fitness apps to ensure that your favorite app works with Echo. Strava, MapMyRun, MapMyRide, Wahoo Fitness, iSmoothRun, iMobileIntervals and other apps will be announced soon. (I am currently using Strava on mine).

The device is always on and ready to go. Echo does not need to be recharged, it uses very low power technology and runs off of a replaceable coin cell battery.
Echo’s low power technologies also help preserve the battery of your smartphone. Using Echo means your phone screen stays off, which saves your smartphone battery for more important functions. Also, When you’re not running or biking, Echo is an everyday watch showing the day, date and time.

The model I was sent also came with a heart rate monitor, but you can also purchase the watch alone without this feature. I really liked not having to stare into a glaring screen to see what was going on with my phone app, or worry about draining my battery. The screen on the watch is large and easy to read, and I really love that you aren’t just limited to one app like if you are using a regular GPS watch. Depending on your preference or activity, you have many options with more coming!

QOTD: What are your thoughts on a device like this? What other apps would you like to see the Echo work with?

Custom Tutu Giveaway

Lesley from Greater Fitness has made several tutus for me for runDisney races, and has even given back to charity with some of the proceeds, which is how we first met. We are both pregnant and due within days of each other so we won’t be running Disney races anytime soon, but Lesley still wants to outfit you in a tutu for you next race (doesn’t have to be a runDisney race!) But, with the Disneyland half coming up we figrured a lot of runDisney runners are looking for costume ideas. But these tutus are great for cancer walks, mud runs, color vibe runs, or any other races really!

Her tutu’s are comfortable, adorable, and she will work with you to customize it to your size, length, and and other specifications. Shipping is fast and she is such a joy to work with!

Here are a few tutu’s Lesley has made for me:

First, my absolute favorite, last year’s Tower of Terror Cruella tutu.

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This year she also made my tutu for the half marathon portion of the Glass slipper challenge when I was Aurora.

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Also, for Dopey’s Challenge in January, she made my Dopey and Ariel tutus!

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Lesley has agreed to make a CUSTOM tutu for one of you, to your specifications, for your next race! Simply follow the rafflecoptor instructions below for your chance to win, good luck!

*Also, if you contact Lesley to make you a tutu for $25, (baby/kids are $15) and mention you heard about her on my blog, she will ship it to you for FREE!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Garmin Forerunner 15 Review

I was recently contacted by Garmin about testing out the new Forerunner 15 model GPS watch. I lloovveee me some Garmin (I have the 10, Bobby has one, and I have the super old school 301). I was very interested to see the differences especially between the 10 and the 15 models.

I was sent the Teal/White watch with heart rate monitor. The color is really cute!

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Here are a few features of the Forerunner 15 from Garmin’s website:

  • Tracks distance, pace, heart rate and calories
  • Activity tracking counts steps and calories and reminds you when it’s time to move
  • Compatible with foot pod (sold separately) for recording distance indoors
  • Up to 8 hours of battery life with GPS on or 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode
  • Save, plan and share your activities at Garmin Connect™

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You can pair the Garmin with a heart rate strap (you can purchase the device with or without) and it will record your heart rate and heart rate zone so you know when you need to rein it in and when you can push yourself harder.

The coolest new feature of the Forerunner 15 is the activity tracker. You can track the steps you take during the day, even when you aren’t working out, and you can do so without havening to wear a separate device. Forerunner 15 counts your steps and the calories you burn all day. You can also upload you data to Garmin Connect, and monitor your progress toward your fitness goals. This device also reminds you when it’s time to move if you’ve been sitting for more than an hour. When you get that cue to move, just walk for a couple of minutes to reset the inactivity indicator. How neat is that?!?

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Forerunner 15 also has an auto lap function that automatically alerts you when you complete each mile. When you complete your run and save it, you’ll see a summary of how you did (calories, pace, time, distance). It even lets you know when you achieve a personal record, like your fastest mile or longest run to date.

For outdoor runs, Forerunner 15 uses GPS to accurately record your time, pace and distance. To track distance and pace when you hit the treadmill or an indoor track, just pair Forerunner 15 with an optional foot pod, which attaches to the laces of your shoe.

Another favorite about this model in comparison to the Garmin 10 is the battery life. The rechargeable battery will last up to 5 weeks in watch/activity tracking mode or 8 hours when using it with GPS on your outdoor runs. This is a vast improvement over the 10 which only had a 5 hour battery life. I also love that I can wear it for FIVE WEEKS as a watch in activity mode and without recharging! I don’t plan to even need GPS for more than 8 hours at a time, so the battery life is perfect for me. Forerunner 15 has a water rating of 5 ATM (50 meters), which means it resists rain and sweat and can even join you for a swim.

After a run, use Garmin Connect to log your runs on your computer. Here, you can see your run on a map, get more detail on each mile, see a daily summary of your activities and share with friends. You can also join online challenges and earn virtual badges for extra motivation. This model also can auto sync information to your computer unlike the Forerunner 10.

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(source)

So to recap, the main differences in the Forerunner 10 and 15:

Forerunner 10: No activity tracker, no heart rate monitor, less battery life (5 hours in GPS mode)

Forerunner 15: Activity tracker, optional heart rate monitor and foot pod, longer battery (8 hours GPS mode, 5 weeks activity tracker mode).

Both models have the run/walk interval options, a virtual pacer, and you can also customize the screens on both watches.

Other things I love:

-Colors are varied and really cute

-Price point is reasonable and especially great for a first GPS watch.

-Size is nice, small enough to wear as a regular watch!

-Easy to use, minimal buttons and screens

-Easy of setup, I was out the door in three minutes the first time I turned it on!

My ONLY qualm with this model of GPS device is not being able to see pace, time, and distance all on one screen. When racing or trying to hit certain goals, I don’t really like having to scroll to another screen to see all of my data. However, on the flip side, it has kept me from wanting to constantly check my numbers, which can actually be a good thing sometimes.

Overall I would recommend this Garmin, especially now that it can be worn as a watch and has the activity tracker! They just keep getting better and better with technology, it blows me away.

QOTD: What are your thoughts on GPS watches? Would you wear the new  Forerunner 15?

Disclosure: I was provided product from Garmin in exchange for my honest thoughts and opinions.May contain affiliate links.

ASICS GEL-Electro33 Review

I was contacted my ASICS recently to try out their new GEL-Electro33 shoes. Since my feet are way swollen and I can barely fit into any of my other running shoes comfortably, I thought it was a great opportunity to give it a shot since ASICS shoes typically have more room for my foot in the forefoot/toebox area anyway.

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The first thing I noticed about these shoes were the three fun colors you can choose from. Of course, there are more important things when choosing a running shoe than colors, but it didn’t hurt that I was drawn to these so much! The purple and yellow immediately reminded me of LSU colors (go Tigers!) so I knew I had to get them.

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From ASICS:

This shoe is one of the first lightweight, flexible shoes with pronation support, along with several new features to improve your running experience.

Anatomically correct deep flex grooves have been aligned to the joints of the foot. This innovative construction enables the shoe to recognize, adapt, and respond to the athlete’s exact load and positional change from first impact to toe-off.

ASICS lightest midsole compound has been reengineered to reduce weight while providing enhanced cushioning and exceptional durability. The use of seamless materials reduces the potential for irritation and friction caused by traditional stitches and seams.

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My thoughts:

This shoe is definitely lighter than the ASICS I am used to wearing, but it still offers stability and support that I need as a pronator. It did take me a couple of runs to figure out how to best tie the laces to fit my specific foot (at first they were too loose and my heel slipped causing rubbing, but I figured it out and also changed my socks).

I always shy away from more minimal shoes because I need arch and forefoot support, but this shoe gave me that without being clunky, which is a huge plus! I felt light on my feet in them without sacrificing comfort. If you are a pronator who likes support but are nervous about trying a more natural feeling shoe, I think this option is a great “stepping stone” to see how you transition into a lighter shoe. I recommend it!

Be sure to follow ASICS on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook for updates on new products. Also, be sure to check out their full line of running shoes in amazing colors and designs!

QOTD: Do you need support and are afraid to try a lighter shoe? Do you pronate?

Disclosure: ASICS sent me this product to test and review, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.