Product Review: Merino Wool BUFF© Headwear

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF© product 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!

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Fit to Run!

Being an outdoor enthusiast, I was already a big fan of BUFF© products. So I was excited to be a receive a Merino Wool option. If you’re not aware of the BUFF© brand specifically, you probably know of their products — a tubular one-piece of fabric that can be used or worn in multiple ways.

First impression: The color is “tie dyed” shades of lime green, which I found to complement my main winter weather gear while also standing out in dark mornings or evenings. The material is thin but so soft — and it feels super cozy when worn.

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It arrived right as I was going into my Fall Fun! season, so I’ve been able to test it on runs and races in various temperatures AND use when I forgot my non-running winter gear (this thing is amazingly odor resistant, so there was nothing funky about it when I needed it on a day I forgot my hat at work and the temps dropped 30 degrees in one day).

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Keep one in your car, just in case!

Product Details:

  • 100% natural merino wool — Merino Wool’s natural qualities include: water repellent, odor resistant, flameproof, durability, UV protection and natural stretch and elasticity
  • 12+ ways to wear — so much versatility!
  • Thermal protection from cold & wind
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Quick drying
  • Easily hand-washable

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Uses: This is SUCH a versatile piece! I mostly use as a gaiter, neck scarf and ear warmer, but I found it useful as a sweat towel AND as a hair “towel” for after a gym shower. I also like to pull it up like a skirt to warm my butt (I know, I’m small; this trick wont work for everyone); my butt is notoriously cold despite the supposed warmth of fleece pants. Naturally, at this time of year anything can become a snot rag — for which I’ve also found the BUFF© headwear product to be of convenient use.

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Lasting impression: The Merino Wool BUFF© product is a highly functional piece for winter or cold weather running — it keeps my head, ears, and neck exceptionally warm in temps in the 30s. I have a lot of winter left to test it out in even colder temperatures (AND I put a polar BUFF© headwear on my Wish List this year because I know that I’ll use it!). I love that it’s lightweight and easily stashable in a pocket or up a sleeve after I warm up.

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30-Something Approved: BUFF© products have become a regular part of my running gear for winter. I highly recommend checking out their line of multifunctional products — not only does the headwear have versatile use for a variety of sports and activities, there are a bunch of colors and prints to suit your personal style preference.

Weekly Therapy: Crazy Pants Time (a salute to the hectic holiday season and the need for a little extra warmth)

the week:
I completed the Capital Striders 100 miles challenge with 101.7 miles!

weekend:
This morning, I ran another trail race — the Sycamore 8 in Des Moines. Tonight, we’ve got a neighborhood holiday party and another invite to a fellow Rock Boater’s house concert party on Sunday!

I’ll be sure to fit in my 2-hour post-race nap though.

seven things, seven days:
1. Pretty sore for a couple days after running Hitchcock preview last weekend. Next weekend will be interesting!
2. One of my favorite food items on Thanksgiving is a gluten-free cranberry bread that my boyfriend makes. He made me a second loaf to continue my food coma into another week. 👌
3. Where my Winter Warriors at?
4. This made me laugh: 18 tips to give a horrible presentation
5. The psychological benefits of endurance running {via Huffington Post}
6. Playing in the NFL at 38 {via NYT}
7. How to feed a runner {via NYT}

Weekly Therapy: Turkey for you, turkey for me.

the week:
Thanksgiving! No Turkey Trots for me this year, as we’re hosting some friends that are also staying in town — and my dad decided to fly out to Des Moines to join us! So, I’m on airport and hosting duties (but I did get my morning miles in to offset all those calories). I ended up getting to use PTO for Friday, too, so I have a very short work week!

A photo posted by Mel! (@melliesmel) on

weekend:
My dad is staying through Saturday, so we hope to do a little sight-seeing to show off our new city! On Black Friday, there is a Market Day Iowa pop-up in Capital Square — featuring a bunch of local artists and vendors. Did you take advantage of any Black Friday deals for yourself?

A week off from racing, but I plan to get out for a preview run of the Nature Center in Council Bluffs for my 12-miler this Sunday with a couple of fellow Turkeys.

seven things, seven days:
1. Pumpkin Cranberry Way Better chips season!!!!!!!
2. So thankful for my biweekly chats with my running coach. I was feeling a lot of anxiety about my upcoming trail race, and she helped remind me about the excitement and fun factor of doing a new challenge. I lose sight of that far too often.
3. I took a new cardio-based yoga class this week at my gym… and it was awful. -_-
4. I’ve also had an awful experience with Trunk Club and finally requested a new stylist. I am still not very impressed. I guess that I expected more from a Nordstrom service.
5. This article about psychologists Kahneman & Tversky got me all excited about Michael Lewis’ upcoming new book! {via Vanity Fair}
6. Just in time for Turkey Day: The Psychology of Comfort Food {via Luvo blog}
7. Tis the season to buy your loved ones discounted race registrations!

Race Recap: Living History Farms Off Road Race

living-history-farms-off-road-race-2016-2sm Living History Farms in Urbandale, Iowa hosted its 38th annual off road race — which is a super-fun cross country meets obstacle course run. Bonus for me, the farm grounds are practically in my backyard! I’ve had several people tell me that THIS is the race that I had to do in Fall, and it did not disappoint.

Let’s start with the race FAQ:

Will it be cold? Probably!

Will I get wet? Probably!

Will I get dirty? Probably!

Do I need gloves? Yes!

Exactly how far is it? 7 miles

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Cold and Cranky.

So, I was having another crabby morning on race day, and with the cold weather and thoughts of getting wet and muddy made me seriously contemplate NOT doing the race. An added element of fun to this race is anticipating what the weather might be — last year it snowed and the course was cut; other years it was moderate enough to wear shorts (and then there are those people who wear shorts no matter the temperature). I’m so glad that I didn’t back out — this was exactly the kind of fun race experience that I needed. And I will most DEFINITELY go back to do this one every year when possible. You should come visit me and do it, too.

Registration and Cost: Advertised as “the best cross country race,” Living History Farms Race cost $44 after fees, including a $5 discount for being a Capital Striders member. I think the race is capped at 7,000 participants. There are both individual and team registrations.

Expo and Packet Pick-up: Packet pick-up was the evening (which closed at 8pm) before at the visitor center at Living History Farms; there was also bib pick-up available the morning of the race. They posted the bib number lookup sheets inside, for those who hadn’t already checked out the race info page – pick-up lines were by number (I didn’t have any lines at 5pm!). Bibs were at one table and t-shirts were in a separate back room. There were a couple extra vendors set up in the hall on the way towards the exit, mostly handing out race discount flyers.

Free Swag: No finishers medals at this race (whomp, whomp), but I love the long-sleeve comfy t-shirt!

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Weather: Winter came to Iowa! This, after temps hit nearly 80 degrees mid-week, so it was a little shocking. It was also windy — like, super windy. Plus, trying to remember what to wear in 30 degrees was something for which I wasn’t really prepared. I ended up wearing my long tights with a pair of cat shorts over them, and two long sleeves shirt over my dri-fit tank. Wool socks, wool buff and wool hat — and a pair of old running shoes that had already made their way through a previous mud run — rounded out my race day outfit.

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I packed an extra change of clothes, a towel, and other clean-up necessities to basically plan for anything.

Parking & Transportation: The organizers said that parking would be limited, so we arrived about 40 minutes before the race. We didn’t have any problems parking near The Machine Shed (since the boyfriend was only dropping me off), and having the police directing traffic made for a speedy entrance into the grounds. There were plenty of runners crossing the intersection that parked across Hickman Road in the industrial/retail areas. The boyfriend left and came back to get me post-race and basically parked in the same location.

Course: This year, the course changed a bit (though I have no previous experience). Creeks, mud, trenches, hills, cornfields… the course had it all! There is a strong recommendation to not bring your phone or keys, and I did not bring either (though, it’s always fun trying to figure out logistics of post-race meetings – only, not really). For as many people expected to run this race, all the race logistics felt incredibly well organized. I should note that there are NO water or fuel stops along the course, which actually kind of surprised me, given that it would have been difficult on this course to carry along your own hydration. There is an ambulance at the halfway point though, should you need it.

There was a hilarious moment about 5 miles into the race where two routes diverged in the woods — with big arrows, one was marked “shorter and harder” and the other “longer and easier.” I was pretty sure it was a trap, and continued on the harder route with those around me (definitely not the path less traveled!).

This race made good on all its promises of being cold, wet, muddy and dirty.

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Though I only saw one farm animal.

Start Line: There were plenty of Kybos — though lines were pretty long before the race. There was one big corral and kind of a guess to everyone’s pace, which… despite it being a fun run, I’m sure there were people competing for the top finisher prizes. I ended up finding a fellow runner who I met at the social run at Fleet Feet last week!

People watching at the start was great, as there were so many fun costumes!

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Where’s Waldo?

Fans & Experience: So there were a few spectators and groundskeepers out cheering on the course, but VERY few (you heard more “cheers” from the car honks on the highway nearby). The fun was definitely all the participants. If the costumes weren’t enough, there were basically people out having a party. There was some tailgating going on pre-race, and some guy even offered me some brandy out on the course (he was double-fisting cans of Budweiser) — alcohol was prohibited per the race guidelines, but there were definitely people out having a good time.

I started off with a group of Power Rangers. Within a couple miles, there were a group of cyclists (running while wearing their bike helmets) and we watched a group of runners dressed as prisoners take off in the cornfields (cutting off a good portion of the course — trust me, it was absolutely hilarious watching it happen). I ran with a couple of local firefighters (one, running in a dress). I jumped into (and climbed out of) muddy trenches with a woman from Twin Cities who had done the race multiple times since high school.

Finish Line: YAY, I loved that the race had a completely separate “refreshments area” festival just beyond the finish line chute, which ended in the adorable old-timey historical city within the farm grounds. A post-race meal was included with entry fee, and thanks to Iowa Machine Shed Restaurant and the Iowa Beef Industry Council there was hot beef stew (with biscuits!) for every runner; there was also pumpkin bars and cider, hot coffee and chocolate milk. And yep, a shit-ton of doughnuts!

Naturally, this gluten-free runner cried herself to a two-hour nap because of all the wonderful fall comfort foods she could not have. I made my boyfriend run out to Granite City to grab me a burger though.

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I did get some chocolate milk and coffee!

After Party: The Machine Shed Restaurant located just at the entrance of the farm was offering half priced tap beer or $3.00 margaritas during race weekend.

Random BS: I don’t know, but the guy yelling for everyone to get out of the visitor center before the race really rubbed me the wrong way. Like, I get it, it’s cold and everyone wanted shelter from the wind but… it was just a little much.

ETC: Both the Walnut Creek YMCA and the YMCA Healthy Living Center offered use of their showers following the race, should you be an out-of-towner.

Charity: Proceeds from the race supports Living History Farms and more — giving over $1.1 million over the last 13 years to the Living History Farms (a not-for-profit museum).

The race has also funded the Capital Striders endowment for scholarships to area senior cross country athletes; raised food/money for the Des Moines Area Religious Council Food Pantry and donated to area age-group track & swimming teams, the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts of America, the M.D.A., and area Fire Departments. Proceeds from the race help sponsor area races, purchase equipment and racing supplies used at road races and middle school/ high school XC meets.

OVERALL
The Great: The course and experience were excellent — just the kind of cold, outdoor fun that I needed!
The Good: I love the challenge of testing my physical strength outside of just running.
The Bad: Walking around after the race, cold and wet and trying to find my boyfriend who wasn’t at the finish line as planned. 😠
The Ugly: I mean… THIS could happen. You want to laugh… until it happens to you. But you’ll laugh anyways. 😂

OFFICIAL RESULTS
1:27:54
#435 Overall
#46 in my 35-39 age group

Weekly Therapy: It will be cold. You will get dirty. And you will get wet.

the week:
I had to give a presentation at work this week and if you know me: I HAD TO GIVE A PRESENTATION. This, coming from someone who had to drop public speaking THREE TIMES in college. Every thing about it scared the crap out of me, but I was given the opportunity and wanted to get past The Thing that I typically reject on account of nerves and fear and other silly personality defects and comfort zones. All that aside, I DID IT.

*THUMBS UP EMOJI*

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weekend:
This weekend is the Living History Farm Race — 7-ish miles of dodging mud and farm animals (yep, farm animals!) and other obstacles. Think of it as a Tough Mudder: Iowa Style. The promise is that it will be cold, dirty, and wet. Everything about that sounds terrible, no?

seven things, seven days:
1. I hit the halfway point of the 100 Striders Miles Challenge for November!
2. Work hosted a thanksgiving potluck – and there was an insane amount of food that I couldn’t eat. 😂
3. I finally got out to a group run at Fleet Feet in downtown Des Moines — and it was Saucony demo day!
4. Speaking of Saucony, did you see (or buy?) their RunBox?
5. The Container Store is opening this weekend in West Des Moines, and we went to its fancy preview party. It was so nuts – but completely awesome! Check it out and shop this weekend, as a percentage of proceeds benefit local charity Variety.
6. Why our brains respond differently to Classical music. {via Pacific Standard}
7. What a cool research project — and discovery behind one of Cleveland’s historic landmarks.

Accountability (b)Log: Fall Fun!

When my coach inputted Fall Fun! into my training schedule a couple weeks ago, it made me smile so hard. So that’s what I’ll be dubbing the next couple months of my accountability posts. I’m not likely to post every Monday until I get back into marathon training next year.

Fall Bonus: I made the decision to keep my coach, despite not having any time goals for my Fall & Winter races. I really like having one less decision to make and, personally, having someone schedule all of my weekly workouts is very valuable to me. Plus, I like her a lot — she keeps me motivated, focused on my successes and she’s always available to ask on any question. :)

Even though I’m in some sort of “off season,” I’m using this “off season” to get stronger in preparation for marathon training next year. I still plan to run 4x a week regularly with long runs or races on the weekend, but amp up my cross- and strength-training (helloooooo, two-a-days!).

ALSO: As I’ve mentioned, I’m doing a 100-mile Challenge for November with the Capital Striders.

I hit my 50-mile mark at the halfway point!

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Race Recap: Hillbilly Hike Half Marathon

hillbilly-hike-logo The Hillbilly Hike is a race series in south-central Iowa (just a short drive from Des Moines) consisting of a 10k and half marathon distance. While not necessarily a themed race, some runners really tapped into the spirit of their inner hillbilly. The race was fun yet peaceful — a really picturesque backdrop to a difficult half marathon for me.

For this race, I was playing mental games with myself — attempting to run completely by feel and never looking at my watch. I decided this at the start line, committed to not looking at my Garmin until 5 miles. Five miles came, and I wondered if I could make it 10. Well, I went 10 and decided again that I wouldn’t look at my watch until I stopped it at the finish line. I really was interested in what kind of race I could do (since I didn’t have a time goal) when I was in tune with my body and acknowledging my effort level. Well, I felt like crap by Mile 11 and was definitely feeling symptoms of dehydration before I hit 6 miles (not sure how that happens when it’s only 50 degrees!). I was determined not to stop though, as I didn’t want a repeat of Dam to Dam. I still REFUSED to look at my watch (half contemplating to stash it in my belt, so I wouldn’t accidentally see it).

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ALL SAID, I’m so excited and proud of what I accomplished! And Half marathon #8 is in the bag.

Registration and Cost: I initially didn’t want to run another half marathon so soon after the Des Moines half, but the cost was the same for the 10k and half (at least, that’s how I remember it lol). Because of that, I decided to run another half. That’s how we do, right Runners? 😀 With a $5 discount for being a Capital Striders member, after fees the race only cost me $38.69 — it’s a helluva deal for a half!

Packet and Bib Pick-Up: Race organizers reused timing bibs from Dam to Dam (those big honkin’ ones that I complained about) – with a new number stapled to the front. I appreciate their ability to reuse and cut costs, even though I prefer the race-specific keepsakes for my bib wall. Packet Pick-up was the night before at Fitness Sports in Clive (thankfully, local, so I didn’t have to drive out to Indianola twice); I’m pretty certain there was packet pick-up in the morning before the race, too. Side note: In the race day info email, it was stated that 70% of the registration of this race goes to Indianola Christian Union Church mission charities, so it’s all for good cause. Thank you, race sponsors!

Free Swag: Another short-sleeve tech tee for the collection, and the first 320 to register for the half got a special die-cut medal at the finish. I love this medal — including the corn cob on the ribbon!

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Parking and Transportation: Plenty of Parking in Indianola at the high school, though there were school busses available to shuttle runners from Carlisle to the start line (me and my car sickness don’t get along very well with this option, so I got dropped off).

Bag Drop: This race offered a Hillbilly Bag Drop for both races. Hillbilly Bag Drop = a car with the trunk open. LOL Just look for the Hillbilly parked near the start line to take your bag!

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BONUS: the bag drop Hillbillies were ALSO sweeping the course to collect any discarded clothing found in the first 1/2 mile and bringing to the finish line for a “Lost and Found” pile.

Weather: Holy moly, 50 degrees feels really chilly when there’s no humidity! I kept my long-sleeve on and was thankful that I decided to wear my tall socks, too. There were several points within the course where it felt chilly again (mostly, in the shaded trail areas in the woods). Though, it was that weird in-between weather where you’re not really sure if you’re overdressed or underdressed.

Course: The Hillbilly Hike half course is a point-to-point race starting in Indianola and ending in Carlisle. The trail is mostly flat, paved… yet net downhill. I really enjoyed seeing the various landscapes — lakes, woods, farms, wetlands and prairie — and running over the wooden trail bridges (there were several throughout the course) gave me some intention for picking up my feet.

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There were water stops about every 2 miles — it seemed like Gatorade was at most stops, with the exception of maybe Mile 10? At least I didn’t see it there (when I probably needed it most). Most of the aid stations were volunteered by the Girls Scouts (yay!). They rocked it!

Start line: We started in front of Indianola High School – before curving around the campus and entering the McVay Trailhead. There was a DJ in the parking lot making announcements and getting the crowd pumped up and SUPER long lines for the Kybos.

Random BS: Even though the temps were somewhat cool at the beginning of the race (and I took at GU before the race, and half a salted caramel GU about half-way) I REALLY needed more sodium, as my fingers were swollen like it was 100 degrees outside and I was starting to get weird cramps. BLARGH.

Finish Line: The race ended in Carlisle at the Summerset trailhead. The finish line flags seemed to appear quickly on the trail, that I almost looked at my watch to make sure that the race wasn’t short (I guess I was feeling better by the Gatorade that I took at Mile 12, though my split tells a different story).

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So you know me and post-race food — this race had apple pie, cherry pie, and biscuits and gravy. The chocolate milk and bananas looked sad by comparison. And gluten-free Mel was very, very sad.

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FINISH LINE PIE!

There was also a set up for a fun photo booth with props:

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Fans and Experience: fans at the finish line were AMAZING. Volunteers along the trail, amazing. Everyone helping out at the finish line and food tables, amazing. The volunteers TRULY made this event top-notch, and I’d definitely come back to run this again. Panfoto was out taking pics and the Dead Line String Band was playing mid-race on the trail. It was just very, very fun.

After party: While I really, REALLY wanted a root beer float from A&W, I wasn’t feeling so great and opted to return home for my usual post-race steaming shower and 2-hour nap.

OVERALL
The Great: Everyone who worked/volunteered at this race really made it a top-notch event!
The Good: SO MUCH FOOD AT THE FINISH LINE! (and very good for all you gluten-havers 😉)
The Bad: Dehydration. ☹
The Ugly: Um, active hunters (and gun shots) in the distance as we were running the trails.

Splits*: 10:14 (1) / 10:20 (2) / 10:12 (3) / 9:55 (4) / 9:51 (5) / 10:04 (6) / 10:13 (7) / 10:01 (8) / 10:03 (9) / 10:14 (10) / 10:32 (11) / 10:24 (12) / 10:46 (13) / [7:54 (.1)]

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OFFICIAL RESULTS
2:14:18
10:15 overall pace
*my Garmin clocked 2:13:46, so I guess “chip” time was really gun time

17th in my age group (35-39)
123 overall

Weekly Therapy: 26 Weeks Left in my 30s!

What an unfortunate typo when I first typed out this post subject! Does this mean I have officially accepted being 40? LOL So, yeah… Half-Birthdays and Stuff.

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the week:
Wooooo, four-day work week (still up by 6am today though)! From last week feeling like it was the longest.week.ever.com to this one being a short (albeit, not-so-fun) one, I’m ready to put some of this sadness (and PMS) behind me, have a little relaxation, and do some good this weekend.

I’m getting a massage this morning and FINALLY have a hair appointment this afternoon. Yep, haven’t had my hair done since February when I lived in Pittsburgh, and this shit on my head is a hot mess.

weekend:
Boyfriend and I are going to our first Iowa Wild hockey game tonight and dinner beforehand at Magnolia.

Saturday, I’m volunteering for the first time with Girls on the Run 5K as a Running Buddy. I’m so excited about this! I was looking to get involved with the organization before I left Pittsburgh, and so happy that I connected in time to participate in the fall race. Can’t wait to meet my Buddy!

And it’s back to Long Run Sundays (at least, for this weekend); I’m joining up with some Turkeys to do some trail running.

seven things, seven days:
1. Put my name in (and credit card info, eeek) for a chance at Chicago – so maybe-possibly, I be running two marathons in 2017?
2. I’m also officially registered for the Illinois Marathon I-Challenge (Half Marathon + 5K) — and running for BibRave!
3. And for your HOLY SHIT IOWA IS NOT COMPLETELY FLAT MOMENT: Check out the elevation/course map for my half marathon in December.
4. Why you can’t help but act your age — this is so fascinating!!! {via Nautilus}
5. Great post about meal plans (spoiler alert: they usually suck!), with some great suggestions on how to transform your meals for the better in small, achievable steps.
6. I feel better. {via Science of US}
7. One of my favorite topics to study in psychology (and focus of my senior research project in my undergrad) — BURNOUT (and how to beat it) {via HBR}

5 Reasons Why I Signed up for the Vermont City Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Vermont City Marathon 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!

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1. Because my first experience running a full marathon was so great last year that I knew I wanted to run another one!

2. The city of Burlington is AMAZING. I loved it so much when I traveled there for a derby tournament, that I already declared the area as where I plan to retire. OMG THIS COURSE is already tugging at my heart to see everything again that I fell in love with — Lake Champlain! The Adirondacks!

3. BibRave! I’m super pumped to be representing as a BibRave Pro and VCM ambassador for race weekend.

4. The race is on Memorial Day weekend; and with Monday off, I didn’t have to use up another day of PTO for travel. WOO!

5. Finally: I’m using this race as a reason to celebrate my Big 4-0. Yep, I turn 40 in May. Hey! Today’s my Half-Birthday!

Join me in the 802 in 2017! Here’s a $5 discount code off your registration — use code BibRaveDsct17.

Check out the VCM website for more info about the race. And follow Vermont City Marathon on social media: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | And check our their video channel!

Right Not Tight: LEGEND Compression Performance Socks

Disclaimer: I received a pair of LEGEND Compression Performance Socks 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!

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These LEGEND Compression Performance socks came at the right time — it’s trail running season for me AND I don’t have any time goals right now, so I can play around with my training gear, nutrition and race day plan a bit.

I picked out the blue (since they matched my favorite running shoes AND my favorite running shorts) and ordered a size Medium. I tend to experience a lot of muscle tightness and soreness in my calves — including some spasms in some of my longer mileage (and last year’s marathon). It’s brutal having to foam roll or do trigger point every day — not even my massage therapist has been able to help. But I also have difficulty with most compression wear (socks, sleeves, pants, almost every kind of skinny jean) being WAY too tight on my calves.

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LEGEND® Compression Performance Socks provide support and comfort to improve performance for runners and all athletes. The sports compression socks are designed for all sporting activities to enhance power and endurance while supporting the shin, ankle, Achilles, calf and arch of the foot. Made in the USA, and with a unique Graduated Compression Technology, they improve blood flow & oxygen levels to run stronger, train harder and recover faster.

First impression: The letter that we received with the product from LEGEND was REALLY thoughtful, and I appreciated their taking the time to introduce the brand to the BibRave Pros. Out-of-the-package, you can tell it’s a quality sock and constructed well. On my foot, it’s super comfortable! Right away I could tell these were different — it wasn’t a struggle to pull them up or off.

LEGEND was right when they said “Right, not tight.” Must be that 15-20 mmHg of graduated compression pulled from years of experience working with medical grade compression products.

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Is that kid beating me?

I primarily tested mine out for running performance, though I know many use compression socks as recovery wear. In fact, I was shocked recently when I heard that sleeves were NOT good for recovery; that’s what I used in the past immediately after races, and I feel so silly that I didn’t do more research! I did a couple short runs, a trail run, and a half marathon while wearing my LEGEND socks and was really sad when these guys were in the laundry — I definitely need an additional pair or two! The biggest difference I noticed for sure was in my half marathon yesterday. My calves didn’t experience the usual cramping or tightness during the race; and while the rest of me felt pretty beat up a day later, my calves were fresh for a recovery run the following day. I was impressed even by the difference in my post-race foam rolling.

This is probably my favorite product testing so far, and I am definitely a compression convert! Are these magic socks?!

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LEGEND Compression Performance Socks come in 7 colors and are Unisex — sized by measurements of the calf and shoe size.

Additional product benefits that make these even more awesome: UV protection, moisture wicking, achilles support, open ventilation and breathable design for comfort, seamless, and arch support that also holds the sock in place and prevents blisters.

Get your own pair at LEGENDS website — and enjoy a great discount! Get 15% off all LEGEND Compression wear with code bibsave15!