MIzuno Wave Rider 18 Review

This post sponsored by FitFluential LLC on behalf of Mizuno. All opinions are my own.

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While, I don’t like to stay loyal to a single shoe or even a brand, I have always relied on Mizuno Wave Riders to get me through marathons. I started out first with the Waverider 15s back in 2012 and ran my first marathon in 3:24. After stocking up on the 15s for thousands of miles, I eventually ran out and upgraded to the 16s. As always I stocked up well enough that I actually never upgraded to the 17s, but my supply was starting to to run low. So when I had an opportunity to test out the Mizuno Waver Rider 18s through Fitfluential, I was okay with bypassing 17s straight to the 18s.

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First, let’s just look at the design, the colors and style. While sometimes I do get attached to a certain color (cough gold waverider 15s cough), I do appreciate how every year, the people at Mizuno mix it up, letting you spice up your running shoes a bit so you never get sick of them, even if you do continue running in virtually the same shoe every year. Although I run about 2500 miles a year and probably go through 6 pairs a years, so I appreciate the color changes and options! So keep it coming!

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Now back to the technical aspect of the shoe. Wave Rider 18 is a neutral shoe, for runners with a neutral stride. 

Neutral runners tend to have the following:

  • A higher arch that does not pronate, or an arch that collapses in very slightly.
  • Runners who usually show wear the outside corner of the heel, and in the center of the forefoot or the outside of the forefoot.
  • Like some cushion but don’t need it
  • Runners who do not need lot of stability features.

The great part about being a neutral runner is that you can pretty much run in any shoe and thus we tend to have less injuries. Great shoes like Wave Riders help us stay that way.

The Mizuno #WaveRider18 incorporates several key Mizuno technologies:

Mizuno Wave Technology® the reason behind a stable and “harmonious” ride from landing to toe-off.
Mizuno’s U4ic midsole, which delivers optimal shock attenuation, resiliency, and responsiveness in a lightweight shoe – weighing in at only 7.8 oz. (Women’s)
Dynamotion Fit™ which helps relive the stress our feet place on footwear – thus eliminating distortion and increasing durability.

Differences between the models

If you’re used to running in the Waver Rider 17s, you’ll notice these shoes are a little more heavy since they are 7.8oz (women size 7) vs. 7.2 oz (women size 7). Besides the weight, I cannot give more feedback. When I compared in with my 17s, I initially thought they were heavier, however, my 16s are 8 oz (women size 7)  vs. the 7.8 oz of the 18s. So technology is getting lighter! For those who complained (and I heard some) the toe box for the 18s is a lot bigger. Also, the shoes although a little lighter, definitely have more cushion for support. The backs of the shoes are also a little stiffer through the whole heel, vs. just half the heel in the 16s. I spent a week going between the 16s and 18s on my 6-8 mile runs and basically noticed little difference in my stride and effort.

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A worry for the future…

As mentioned before, I have noticed that the  18s compared to my 15s and 16s are wider in the toe box, a little more cushion and a little stiffer. Which for now was okay. I only noticed a small amount of difference and it didn’t effect my run too much. However, I am really hoping that Mizuno does not going into an even more cushion direct in the upcoming years. I like the support and yet lightness that Mizunoe Wave Riders offer and hope they stay that way.

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However, in the current time, Mizuno Waver Rider 18s is a great neutral shoe for short, long and everything in between runs. I even use them on easy trails, despite the weird comments I get from the true and proper trail runners.

The Mizuno Wave Rider 18 is on sale now nationwide for $119.00!

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5 Home Gym Essentials

Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by LG Electronics. I am also using Amazon affiliate links. All opinions are my own.

5 Home Gym Essentials

As the weather is getting colder, wetter, and snowy, I can no longer enjoy the beautiful long runs on the trails or the roads. Instead, I end up taking my workout inside. While, my living room isn’t yet the dream gym I want it to be, I am slowly working my way there. Let me share with you some of my must haves and wants of the perfect home gym.

Hand Weights – I like to keep a set of 3, 5, and 8 pound dumbells

Workout Videos – Jillian Michaels is my go to favorite. I have her on DVD but you can also access a ton of videos on HULU, Netflix, and YouTube.

Yoga Mat – As much as I love rolling around on my hardwood floors, using a yoga mat is a bit more pleasant for core and weights.

Bike Trainer – This one is on the more pricey side, but it’s the one I have. It’s a more silent fluid model and I love it. Also keeps my roommates from getting too annoyed.

LG OLED TV – I won’t lie, this isn’t the cheapest TV model out there. I also don’t have one yet, but after previewing one last week, I would really love one. This would not only make my dream home gym, this would complete my dream home as well.

What makes this TV so great?

OLED; stands for Organic Light-Emitting Diode which describes the material that creates the unique light source in these next-generation TVs.  OLED TV is a major breakthrough in display technology that offers stunning picture quality, colors that are more accurate than ever before, and more vibrant images that really pop. For those seeking the highest level of contrast and color performance, whether it’s for watching Monday Night Football or your favorite sitcom, no other TV can compete with the unprecedented contrast and stunning color of LG’s OLED TV. Simply put, the best thing in television viewing that the electronics industry has always been looking to find is finally here. Before I get more technical, let me demonstrate the picture quality alone that I got to witness. Even on my iphone photos, you can spot the difference.

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Right TV is LGOLED

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Left TV is LGOLED

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Left TV is LGOLED

The one thing that I really like is that you can truly see the colors including the black background. The concise and true colors would improve my TV experience, especially when I’m doing a three hour trainer ride and trying to watch Lord of the Rings trying my best to forget that I am literally biking on a hamster wheel. Sometimes getting through the mental barrier is the hardest part of an indoor cardio workout. A killer TV, would help over come that obstacle!

The one thing that you’ll notice about this TV is that it’s a little more curvy than a regular LCD and that curve, just like the on in the IMAX theater will improve your viewing experience, no matter what angle you’re watching from. This helps as I’m jumping around my room, or in the corner where my bike trainer has been shunned to.

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LGOLED on the right

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Slightly different angle with the LGOLED on the right. I really wish my camera didn’t blast out some of the colors so you could see the difference even more.

And the TV is so thin, it’s even smaller than a cell phone!

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How does the technology work?

  • By eliminating the needs for a backlight, OLED offers an incomparable picture quality and design potential to conventional LCD(LED) TVs

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The slide above shows how OLED TV just knocks all the other compeittion out with 160 degree viewing angle, and .001 response time.

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We’ve come a long way through the technology of TVs and LG electronics is at the front of their game being the winner of EISA (European Imaging and Sound Association) Award for 3 consecutive years! In 2014-2015, LG is broadening its OLED assortment with FOUR new series and FOUR OLED TVs overall, with 55-, 65- and 77-inch class sizes! With TVs this large with amazing picture quality, one might never have to go to the movie theatres again.

In addition to being a great overall TV, the LG OLED TV is also a smart TV that you can connect to the web via remote or voice activated. That way, I can also use my HULU and Netflix accounts.

With all these great features, you can see why this is at the top of my TV and homegym wish list! So Santa…. can I get this for my birthday which is in 2 weeks? 😉

QOTD – What’s on your home gym wish list? What’s your number 1 essential?

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Skechers Motvations to Run – My Motivation to Run

Today’s post is sponsored by Skechers. I was given the opportunity to try their shoes in support of the fight to end breast cancer. All opinions are my own.

A lot of times when we talk about running and health we tend to focus on the physical aspect of health when by now we already know it’s so much more than that. Yes, running improves your physical health. No, you don’t need to run for hours to get that benefit. A simple 30 minute walk or run a few times a week can be more than enough. Simply put, physical activity can improve your physical health.

However, I’m going to share my number one reason for running and that’s my mental health.

Growing up, I wasn’t the most confident kid. I wasn’t exactly shy, but something was missing. Yes, as puberty hits and we go through teen angst, many of us were awkward in those years. However, I always felt like I was lacking some self assurance. Something to push me to go after things I want. I was simply complacent just existing. Which is okay for a while, but looking back, it’s not how I want to live my life.

Luckily, running gives me confidence in a way nothing else can do in my day. It doesn’t matter the pace, it doesn’t matter the distance, as soon as I step outside, I feel reassured with myself and the world. It never really matters whether I’ve done a mile or 30, I feel accomplished for the day even if it’s a small part of that day. It’s probably why I can’t say any run is truly terrible, even if I didn’t meet all my goals.

The great part about running is that it can work whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert. If you’re an introvert, it’s a perfect excuse to go out alone for hours stuck inside your own head. If you’re an extrovert, well there’s so many running clubs out there, that you can talk you head of countless myself.

Yes, I call myself a runner and although it’s not an exclusive club, I say it with pride. It’s who I am and that knowledge and feeling builds confidence into other aspects of my life. Conquering physical obstacles reminds me that I can handle other challenges in my life whether it be a tough day at work or a hellish commute or a difficult person I might have to deal with. I know in the grand scheme of things, the challenges I faced aren’t as big as the challenges being faced in families with cancer, but running helps me and I hope it can help them too.

On Thursday, I took a 5 mile taper run in my new Skechers GOrun 3 – Awareness shoes. Designed with innovative performance technology, the GOrun 3 celebrates anyone who uses sports and fitness to lead a healthy and fit lifestyle. We already know that I like Skechers GoMeb for racing, so I was curious to find a shoe I can use for my easy runs and walks.

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Designed for speed with innovative performance technologies to promote a midfoot strike, it fosters a barefoot running experience while offering cushioning and impact protection.

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These shoes offer a good combination of support on a fairly light shoe. Additionally they also offer the following:

  • Improved breathability and flexibility
  • Roomy forefoot. 3 layer Power-prene mesh on front panel allows for support while offering ample room for toe splay
  • GOimpulse sensors offer flexibility and feedback for a responsive running experience
  • M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
  • Custom Fit insole is removable for an even more minimal feel
  • 4mm Heel Drop to bring you closer to a natural barefoot experience
  • Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
  • Nearly seamless flexible mesh upper with lace up front

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Skechers Performance Division proudly supports American Cancer Society in the fight against breast cancer with a special collection of products that includes the GoRun3 and so much much more. All produces are designed with innovative performance materials and technologies and celebrates those who use sports and fitness to lead an active, healthy lifestyle.

Furthermore Skechers Performance is joining American Cancer Society in the fight to end breast cancer. Skechers Performance Division’s support will help the American Cancer Society continue to invest in ground breaking research, provide comprehensive support to people diagnosed with breast cancer, and advocate for laws that ensure access for women who need it so more lives are saved.

In addition to the “Awareness” footwear and apparel line, Skechers Performance Division supporting American Cancer Society in several ways:

  1. Skechers Performance Division is offering a donation to American Cancer Society, and all of the Skechers Performance Division Awareness apparel and footwear will feature the ACS logo and messaging.

  2. Skechers is hosting the American Cancer Society San Francisco Making Strides Against Breast Cancer walk, and will be donating a percentage of proceeds from the sales of Skechers shoes on-site that day.

  3. Additionally, Skechers is launching a register round-up program in Skechers Retail stores in which customers can round up their purchase to the nearest whole dollar to benefit American Cancer Society for the entire month of October. If consumers donate $5 or more, they will also receive a 20% off discount for their next visit. This will offer anyone shopping for any item in a Skechers retailer store the opportunity to give back and support the cause.

  4. Furthermore, Skechers Retail stores are offering a gift with purchase for customers who purchase a pair of limited-edition Awareness shoes. The gift with purchase will be either a breast canvas awareness canvas tote back or a pink water bottle.

So if you are looking for a really great shoe that is super comfortable, supports a GREAT cause and looks pretty cute, I suggest you check out the Skechers Performance Division line.

QOTD

What motivates you to run?

ASICS GEL-Pursue Review and Giveaway

Did I tell you that I was originally an ASICS girl? Yup, ASICS GT 2000 were my shoe of choice and for a year into my running addiction I went through several pairs because once I commit, I commit. Back then I also only ran on treadmills for 30 minutes and that’s it. Then, I randomly discovered other shoes and realized a monogamous relationship with just one shoe is completely impossible with all the different New England seasons and terrain that I run in. I’m addicted to trying new running shoes like most girls are addicted to a near pair of heels.

So when I had an opportunity to try out the new Gel-Pursue, I was immediately excited.

Out of the box I was immediately surprised and slightly delighted that they have kept their colors simple. I know, I know, I love bright colors as much as the next runner gal, but I prefer to pick them with my clothes vs. my shoes and sometimes my running skirt of choice can clash with my shoes. So there’s a pro and a con to the simple color scheme. Although, it does come with a nice purple and neon accent that matches my running socks!

ASICS Gel Pursue 1

ASICS GEL-Pursue has been awarded “Best Debut Shoe” in the September 2014 Shoe Guide issue of Runner’s World due to its equal parts cushioning and stability in a package that rides slightly lower to the ground. However, I wanted to find out for myself how comfy this shoe is.

First thing I noticed with the GEL Pursue vs. the GT-2000 series was that they removed the medial post for stability turning this into a a neutral shoe. Part of the reason why I stopped running in the GT-2000 series was the realization that I was a neutral running and that the stability post was creating an unnatural gait for me. So I was happy to see it gone. I also read that compared to the Gel-Cumulus and Gel-Nimbus, it has a slightly firmer mid-sole and more responsive ride but I’ve never ran in either of those shoes so I’ll take their word for it.

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So far I’ve been running in these shoes for about 2 weeks ranging in distance from a 3 miler to a 10 miler. However, I haven’t had a chance yet to try them on a “long run” such as a 20 miler because of my triathlon schedule. The extra support was a nice bonus when my calves were tired from a spin class and made the easy runs extra easy on my body. The one down side of having a more supportive shoe was that I found them to be a little bit heavier and warmer than some of my more minimalist shoes. However, I’m happy to report there wasn’t much of a pace difference in my runs.

ASICS Gel Pursue

To Summarize:

The ASICS GEL-Pursue is an overall great shoe for Neutral runners that retails for $110.  I think the extra comfort is great for newer runners and distance runners who like the extra support.

The CONs

There’s only a few cons that I found with these shoes

  • They are not ideal shoes for speedwork as the extra padding made me feel a little clunky
  • At 8.7 oz, I found them a little heavy
  • Lack of color options. From what I saw online these are your only colors for women

The PROs

However, I found that the pros out-weight the cons

  • Impact Guidance System (I.G.S®) ASICS® design philosophy that employs linked componentry to enhance the foot’s natural gait from heel strike to toe-off.
  • FluidRide™ provides the ultimate combination of bounce back and cushioning properties with reduced weight and exceptional durability. So although it’s a little heavier, it works in my favor on the longer runs when I need a little more bounce in my extra miles.
  • Rearfoot and Forefoot GEL® Cushioning Systems – Attenuates shock during impact and toe-off phases, and allows movement in multiple planes as the foot transitions through the gait cycle.
  • Guidance Trusstic System® -This Trusstic System® integrates Guidance Line® construction for enhanced gait efficiency while providing midfoot structural integrity.
  • Guidance Line® Vertical flex groove decouples the tooling along the line of progression for enhanced gait efficiency.
  • Heel Clutching System™ Exoskeletal heel counter provides improved support and creates improved heel fitting environment.
  • Discrete Eyelets – Independently placed eyelets disburse lace tension, creating a customized fitting environment and enhanced upper comfort.

And here’s the good news, anything I love, I usually try to make sure I can get a pair to one of my readers and the folks at ASICs were happy to give one Run To Munch reader a pair. Giveaway will be open until Friday September 19th at midnight and is open to U.S. residents only. Good luck!

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Disclaimer: I received a pair of ASICS GEL-Pursue shoes for the purpose of this review. I was also given a pair to give to one of my readers. All opinions and writing are 100% my own. 

Transitioning into Racing Flats & Skechers GOMeb Speed 2 Review & Giveaway

My evolution of running shoes started with Converse and ended in Skechers GOMeb Speed 2 shoes. How did I ever get here? Why was I ever running in Converse?

Well in college, I was still in my teen angst anarchy RAH RAH RAH phase and everyone knows that the only way you can rage against the man is with a pair of Chuck Taylors. Nevermind the fact that you’re raging against the machine in a brand owned by Nike at that time. Let’s ignore that part altogether.

So when a friend asked me to go for a run on the Charles my senior year of college, I put on the only pair of shoes I had at the time. It didn’t get me very far, but I did make it out the door.

I will not get into an argument about minimalist vs. maximalist shoes since I am not an expert on everyone. However, I know that for me personally, I’ve found great benefits in alternating between racing flats and my more cushy shoes. The cushy shoes, I’ve been using for long runs and marathon racing, while for treadmill and shorter races, I’ve been using my lighter Skechers.

I know, Skechers? Who even knew they had running shoes before Meb won the Boston Marathon this year.

Actually, I have to confess I did. I first got introduced to Skechers when I won 2nd place at the Malden 10K in 2013. So for about a year, I’ve been playing around with these guys as people gave me weird looks when I told them they’re Skechers. I don’t know why, but runners can be so judgmental sometimes.

Skechers Go Run 2

So when I saw Meb win the Boston Marathon in almost the same pair of shoes as I was training in, I felt vindicated at last! If a professional elite runner not only wins a race, but also achieves a life time PR, the first thing you look at are his shoes! Suddenly, my running friends had an interest in what I had to say about Skechers.

Okay to be honest, Meb was actually running in a model that won’t be available until Fall 2014, but he used to run in my shoes.

How did Skechers go from the crazy Spice Girl platform shoes, to Meb? Well, from what I heard. A bunch of smart people from some of the other large running shoe brands had some ideas, but change is always hard to push. Skechers Performance Division on the other hand was looking for a way to become more competitive in the running shoe part of the business, so they took these individuals with their new bright ideas and let them go for it!

So when I had the opportunity to test out the Skechers GoSpeed Meb 2, I couldn’t wait!

When you take them out of the box the first thing you notice is that they are incredibly light.

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I thought the bottoms looked super funny, but I think that’s what keeps them so light and bouncey

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The Good

  • Super light at 5.6 oz while still being supportive
  • Independent circular GOimpulse sensors for a more responsive running experience
  • M-Strike Technology™ promotes a midfoot strike
  • New printed nearly seamless mesh fabric upper – A little cold for me in the winter, but feels great in the hot humid summer
  • Resalyte™ Midsole – Proprietary lightweight injection-molded compound with memory retention helps absorb impact
  • Dupont Hytrel™ Stability plate in midfoot for a supportive and secure run
  • Seamless interior with microfiber lining maximizes comfort
  • 4 mm drop

And they’re just so pretty!

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The Bad

  • They run a half size too big. Not completely a bad, but just be aware when trying to figure out your size. I usually run in a size 7, but it ended up being too big. I then tried a size 6. It fit, but would feel tight once my feet swelled in the heat. Finally I tried a size 6.5 and it fit perfectly! Skechers was kind enough to work with me until we found a size that works for me.
  • Shoe laces kept untying until I triple knotted. I didn’t have this issue on my old pair, so maybe it was just a fluke
  • Nothing else, I absolutely love this shoe. I wouldn’t use it on a trail or gravel road, but a paved road or treadmill feels great!

Transitioning to the GoSpeed & Benefits

The first time I put on minimal shoes, I ran 2 miles before my legs felt awful and my calves wanted to die. Yes, the girl who runs 20 miles on a whim, felt drained by 2 miles.

I actually put the shoes away for about 2 weeks before I tried to give them a second chance. The second time around, it didn’t feel as bad. I got through 2 miles. The next time 3 miles. Since I run both outside and on the treadmill, I kept these for treadmill runs. Eventually, I was running my hour long runs without any problems. I can’t even imagine doing tempo runs in my heavier shoes anymore.

  • Start out slow – My speed was about 30 seconds slower per mile
  • Start out less time – You can do mileage or time. I started with 20 minutes, moved to 30 minutes and now I’m up to two hours with these shoes
  • Alternate shoes – I found that running in flats puts a little more impact on my skeletal mass, so I use other shoes for recovery and trail runs.
  • Racing flats initiate quicker turnover and studies demonstrate that lighter shoes reduce energy costs up to 3 percent! So a marathon that typically takes me 3:30 to do can be cut to 3:24! When seconds mean a PR, I’ll take a few minutes
  • Closer connection to the ground and form. If my running form starts to fall apart, I feel it right away and make sure I correct my running posture.

Overall, as it’s getting hotter and hotter each day in Boston, I’m falling more in love with the shoes.

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And because they’re so awesome, I get to give a pair to one of my readers! Entry will be open until Saturday. Sorry, US residents only.

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What to put in your (Apera) gymbag: Review & Giveaway

It took me a while, well over a year to figure out how to pack my gymbag and what not to pack. Actually, its probably more important to know what not to pack since I have to carry my bag on the train or walking from my house (about 15 minutes) instead of my car bearing the burden.

Now I just needed a bag. While I loved my little gymbag from Old Navy that I got for $11, it took about 2 weeks before it was falling apart. As I get older, I’m learning more and more that you get what you pay for. I guess that bag is meant for people with cars and not people who walk. I then migrated to using those reusable grocery bags. Problem is, they’re really uncomfortable to walk around with and I look like a crazy bag lady! Not cute, not comfortable, not fun.

So when Apera contacted me and offered to send me a bag of my choice in exchange for my views, I figured perfect! I did gasp a little when I saw their retail value, but after using the bag for a few weeks to travel and the gym, I have to confess that just like a well made designer purse, it is worth every dollar! 

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I picked out one of their Performance Duffel Bags in fuchsia. First of all, it’s beautiful, but also since I go from home to gym to everything else between, I needed a bag that can handle it all for the day or for the weekend.

Why I love my Apera Bag

  • It’s super versatile.  I use it for work, for the gym and for weekend traveling. 
  • There are pockets for everything!  I have to confess, I’m a bit of a bag lady because I like to keep everything separate, but since this bag has so many pockets, I can finally get rid of all the gross bags I use. I have a place for my shoes, water bottle, fuel, gum, shower stuff, ipad, book, and so much more that I’ll mention later.
  • It has a washable insert to put your wet/sweaty/muddy clothes or in my case, my stink ass swimsuit as well.
  • It’s easy to clean! Apera makes their bags from an antimicrobial bag that protects the bag and everything I put in it from bacteria and odors.  All I gotta do is wipe it and it’s feeling fresh again.
  • Apera’s bags are also vented to allow for airflow which helps to keep everything in my bag dry and smelly free like my shoes!
  • Apera is charitable. Apera donates one Sprint Pack to the Special Olympics for every three Apera bags they sell.  Any company that promotes charity is good by me!

Let’s take a closer look at the bag, shall we?

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There’s two small compartments on top where I keep my keys, cell, wallet and glasses case. The bag features two vented pockets on each side. I keep my running shoes on one side, while my flipflops go on the other side.Apera Bag (3)

There is a large side pocket on the back that I keep my ipad in. On the inside between snacks, shower stuff, and gym stuff, let’s just say I find a use for each and every one of the pockets.

What I keep in my gym bag

First and most importantly I always pack it the night before because when I pack in the morning I forget crucial things like socks, sports bra and worse of all underwear.

  • Running Clothes – Even if I’m planning on swimming, I still bring them because when you get in the mood, you want to have means to the go!
  • Swimsuit, goggles, cap, and that ear water drying drops – because even though I haven’t swam in months, I like to think when I finally talk myself into it, I’ll be ready
  • Underwear and socks – I always keep extra in case I forget, because I’ve forgotten countless times and it sucked to say the least
  • Running Shoes
  • Flip-flops – While I don’t use at them at my work gym, the Malden Y has so many strands of unknown diseases that I would never risk it and that’s a lot saying for me
  • Shower stuff – Shampoo, shower puff, conditioner, body wash, face scrub, moisturizer. I usually go home stinky and sweaty in the summer, but in the winter I have to put up with the horror of showering at the Y. In addition, I have dry shampoo for when I run at work. Hairbrush that always stays in my gym bag because forgetting that sucks too.
  • SNACKS & Fuel – Nuun, Gu, Kind bars, gum, leftover lunch because I really am always hungry
  • Work stuff – Wallet, glasses, my lunch for the day, a few basic make-up stuff that I never wear but sometimes carry
  • Sweatpants and hoodie – if I workout after work, I don’t really want to change into my office clothes, so I wear my hoodlum outfit home.

See, I wasn’t joking when I said I find a use for every pocket!

Apera Bag (1)

I may still be a secret bag lady, but at least my bag is looking mighty good!

The Performance Duffel sells for $124 but Apera is also running a sweet promotion where all BLUE bags are on sale for 40% off and a duffel bag of any color is also 40% off!

Apera Blue Bags

If you want to learn more about the Performance duffel or any of the other 6 bags Apera sells, check out their website where they also have videos available to give you a better idea of which bag will work best for you.

Giveaway

Apera is giving one lucky Run To Munch reader a Sprint Pack of their own!

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QOTD

1. Do you use a gym bag? I’m currently using the Apera Duffel mentioned above. I’m thinking of buying their backpack for when I start running to work if the snow ever melts.

2. What are your gym bag essentials? Dry shampoo and a facial scrub, everything else I can almost wing it.

Fit Gear for the New Year – Koss Headphones Review

This post is sponsored by Koss and Fitfluential. All opinions are my own.

I haven’t had the greatest start to the new year. I got a sinus/ear infection. I lost my phone and I went through two pairs of headphones within a week. Luckily, Amazon has pretty good customer service, so I was able to get a refund, but I still had a problem. I had no headphones. For 4 out of the 6 days I run, I tend to be on a treadmill. If the weather is bad, the number could be 6 out of the 6 days. Treadmill running without headphones is like trying to cut something with a butter knife. Can you do it? Yea, but it’s so dull, why bother.

Luckily, I think things are turning around! I had a chance to try out some Koss Headphones! The people from Koss sent me two different styles, the fit buds and the fit clips. These headphones are designed by women, for women. Koss’s female designers teamed up with Gold Medalist Dana Torres to create them, with active women in mind. They come in fun colors and are reasonably priced.

Koss In Ear Blue

The Fit buds are 33% smaller than any earbud Koss has ever created. Both the buds and clips are sweat resistant and come in three different sizes of ear cushions included for the perfect fit.

To be honest, I couldn’t get the fit buds to fit into my ears perfectly. I have never been able to fit any type of earbud into my ear. I don’t think it’s them it’s me; because everyone else in my house loved the fit buds. Maybe my ears come from a special alien life force? They did work well enough on my bike trainer, but when I started running, my ears were just too small. Or I like to pretend I’m too fast for ear buds to keep up with me.

Ipad FItbuds

The fit clips; however, I’m obsessed with. After switching to the smallest ear cushion, they fit perfectly into my ear. They even block out some sound so I can focus on my teen dramas and need for speed instead of my own huffing and puffing of the treadmill clunking.

I even took them on my 20 miler to make sure I can wear them during RnR NOLA Marathon! They passed the test.

Ipod SUnday

Who needs a smartphone when you got an Ipod with a 2003 playlist?!

Besides the fit and lovely color, I noticed a few more differences between Koss and my other headphones (Phillips and Sony both around the same price range as these) that I used.

1. I don’t get static shock anymore. I’m not sure if that’s because they’re sweatproof, but my other 2 brands of headphones would static shock me once in a while just to trip me up. Or maybe it’s because I sweat like a beast. Hard running = hard sweating.

2. The wires seemed to be coated to last better. Since I run and hold my phone, I tend to twist the wires in all sorts of directions until the metal wires are poking and breaking through the casing. So far, the headphone wires seemed to be sturdier and holding up.

3. While they still seem to tangle up just like my others; the untangling process seems to be easier and faster then my old headphones. I think it has to do the with wire casing.

I’m officially converted to Koss. The headphones have been added to my nightly ritual where I pack a fresh set of running clothes, my Iphone (Ipod for now), socks and headphones to not forget anything the next morning.

bag check

You can purchase your own Koss Fit Series headphones at Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Walgreens, Kmart, and Sears for $29.99.

What’s your latest and greatest fit gear of 2014 so far? Koss Fit Clip headphones. I love the color and the fit.

What kinda headphones are you currently using? After having a Sony and Phillips (each about $20) break on me in one week, I’m using the Koss fit clips.