Friday, December 21, 2018

TRE Swag Bag Contents Part 1: The GEAR!

Disclaimer: I received a travel stipend and a swag bag of goodies from BrooksAltraVoorayHandfulCEP CompressionNuunAddadayArcanumVuoriIncrediwear, and Zwift to attend The Running Event for TRE Influencer Day in Austin, TX on November 29-30.

I promised I would provide more detail about our swag bag from The Running Event (TRE) and the day has arrived for part 1 of my review:  The GEAR!

Is there any runner that doesn't like getting new gear?  I didn't think so.  I am excited to share the new items that I added to my running clothes drawer (ok, drawerS):

1.  Handful Y-Back Bra and Squeeze Play Leggings
I hadn't ever tried anything by the Handful company before being provided a Y-Back Bra and a pair of Squeeze Play leggings at TRE.  Let me just say that they both so COMFORTABLE!  One of the other BibRave Pros mentioned that once she discovered Handful Bras, she never went back to wearing regular bras and I can see why.  While we were at TRE, we saw several different bra styles including the Bound and Determined Bra (pictured below) which I want to buy to use as a swim top next summer.

The Y-Back Bra that we were given was rated in Runner's World as a top running bra.  I have liked it more for yoga and strength work. The ladies at TRE said that the bras generally go with your top size - so if you generally wear Medium shirts, get a medium bra.  I have a medium and it fits well.  The Squeeze Play leggings are my jam.  I wore them ALL DAY at TRE and my legs felt great.  They are pretty compressive so they felt secure the entire day.  I felt that they were true to size (I wear a medium).  I like how smooth they make everything below the waist look and feel!

The Handful booth was among all BibRave Pros favorite booths because of the joy and passion they had when talking about their products.  I also appreciate the variety of women featured on their website!  Lots of body diversity!!

2. Vuori Shorts
Vuori was a new-to-me brand that I had not heard of before TRE.  Their booth and clothes definitely have the cool factor going on.  They gifted the ladies the Omni performance short in Moss.  I wore these for the group run we BibRave Pros did the morning before TRE and they definitely were comfortable.  In fact several of the ladies sported their Vuori moss shorts on that run (see below).  My shorts didn't scuff, tear or even show any damage from my scooter fall later that morning!  Durability? CHECK!

All of the Vuori clothes were high quality and the fabrics used to make them were GORGEOUS.  I headed to their website to buy some Christmas gifts for family members.  Ooh la la!  Check out the write-up Forbes had on this company.

3.  Brooks LSD Jacket and Adrenaline 19 Shoes
I have been wearing my Brooks LSD jacket like it's going out of style lately (as you would know if you follow my Instagram). 

From the moment I pulled it out of my swag bag I had heart eyes for this.  It is super lightweight, all-over reflective, and FITS MY LONG ARMS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ok, so now you know why I love it so much! I have been wearing this jacket in 20 degree weather and staying warm.  I know it will be a nice layer to have in spring too - as it has a strap to fold it up into a hand-held square if you need it to.

We also were given a pair of Adrenaline 19 shoes.  I have ran a few times in these (trying to save them for official marathon training) and like their responsiveness.  The shoes feature their new "guide rails support system" to keep extraneous foot movement in check.
The Adrenaline is one of Brooks' best selling shoes.  I think it also looks pretty cool on (see me cheesin' below):

The Incrediwear folks were INCREDIBLY generous.  I liked that we received a personalized note in our swag bag with our gear.  First up, the Performance Capri, which on me (5'10") is still a 3/4 pant and I love them!  I was able to get out on a mild day here wearing them and I liked that they stayed put on my run.  I also am easily able to do my physical therapy stretching in them.  The proprietary fabric blend aims to reduce muscle fatigue while you wear them.  

We also were given the active socks, which are very plush and are nice if you like a well-cushioned sock, and the sport thin socks, which are barely there and nice if you prefer not to feel your sock.  I have not had any issues with either of these socks which I have used for both walking and running.  I am excited to wear the knee high variety of the sport socks thin as an added layer of warmth this winter as I train for the Illinois Marathon.

All Incrediwear products are made to increase circulation in order to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, optimize performance and accelerate recovery using semiconductor elements in the fabric.  You can read more about the technology here.  What stands out to me about these products is that they do not use compression to provide the same benefits that one would get from compression.  So if you aren't a big fan of that tight feeling that compression wear provides, Incrediwear may be an alternative for you.

It was excited to get a pair of Altras since they were a shoe that I was curious about.  Among the runners I follow on Instagram, it seems that once you go Altra, you never go back.  The Escalante is one of the company's best-selling shoe models.  It is a zero drop shoe, which I do not have a lot of experience with, and also features Fit4Her technology in the women's shoe which customizes the fit to a woman's foot.  These shoes are my winter treadmill running shoes as I think this will be a good amount of running to help my body transition to a zero drop shoe.  The aspect that I notice most about these shoes is the wide toe box.  I have old-lady bunions and no parts of my foot rub while wearing these. Once I build up some mileage in them, I may have to wear them exclusively for a while and see if my bunion callouses disappear! I bet they would!  

The Escalantes are made out of a really thin fabric so that adds to the barely-there feeling.  These are not clunky shoes!  I am excited to get some mileage out of them and see what I prefer them for - my guess is that they will be a good tempo run shoe.

As I mentioned in my overall blog post about TRE, the people at the Altra booth, including co-founder Brian Beckstead, could not have been nicer to us.  It was fun to see all of the 2019 shoe models that are yet to come!!  Be prepared to have some heart eyes for all of the goodies they are unveiling soon! If the shoes are good enough for Kara Goucher....

Last but not least on this extensive gear list is CEP Compression.  I am a fan of CEP Compression as I already had some of their calf sleeves and tall compression socks before adding the two pairs we were given to my drawer.  At TRE, we were gifted the merino trail tall sock and the compression recovery sock.  We were lucky enough in Wisconsin to have some mild weather this past week so I wore the merino trail sock with SHORTS on my run.  As with my previous experiences with CEP compression, the trail socks were awesome.  They stayed put and the merino wool was a nice touch for cooler months.   I am loving the trend of having running gear made out of merino wool! 

CEP has one of the best FAQ pages I have seen on a website.  CEP uses compression to improve circulation.  I am a fan of compression, particularly in winter months.  I routinely used CEP compression socks to train for my spring marathon last winter.  I felt like they added a layer of warmth but also helped assist in helping my legs feel not as tired.  I am just happy to have another pair to work into my rotation!  

I haven't tried the recovery specific socks before but heading into 2019, focusing on recovery is one of my goals and the recovery socks will be a good tool to have in my collection. 

Were we lucky or what?! I have been having fun trying out all of this gear on my base building runs of December.  I will be posting about all of the accessories that were part of our swag bags in an upcoming post.  

What on this list would you want MOST?

Happy Holidays!

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