Review: 2XU Run Hyoptik Mid Rise Thermal Tights

Disclaimer: I received a pair of 2XU Hyoptik Mid Rise Thermal Tights to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Last year I had the opportunity to test out a different pair of 2XU tights, the MCS Elite which I reviewed here.  And this year 2XU asked the Pros to review their Hyoptik Thermal Tights.  I chose to try the Mid Rise style because it’s not super cold here in San Diego.


What are Hyoptik Mid Rise Thermal Tights?

From the 2XU website:

  • HYOPTIK reflective logos for visibility
  • Compression support for greater protection to abductor, glute, quad, hamstring and calf muscles
  • Graduated compression for improved blood circulation
  • Comfort power wide waistband with powermesh for smooth streamlined fit
  • Flatlock seams to reduce chafe
  • High filament yarns for dryness – moisture wicking
  • Antibacterial and UPF50+ sun protection


I wore these tights several times and did not notice any thermal properties, in fact, I actually felt almost more cold when I wore them in colder (for us) temps, oops.  I was really disappointed and a bit frustrated because all the other Pros were loving their tights and kept expressing how warm they were.  I realized, after the fact, in reading the description on both the mid-rise and the full length tight that the mid-rise style does not give any indication that it should be used to keep you warm, which is probably one of the reasons why I didn’t have the same experience as the other pros.  They are however geared towards visibility and running in the dark.


Comfort – I have to say that I loved the waistband on these tights – soooo comfortable.  This is exactly the waistband I wanted on the MCS Elite Tight.  The material is a little thicker and feels really silky.  They were really comfortable.

Length – A little shorter than I was expecting.  I was expecting a mid/upper calf crop and these stop right under the knee – I am 5’8 so maybe they were just a little shorter on me.


Fit – Again I selected a medium and they fit perfectly.

Compression – Definitely a tight fit, but not the same compression feeling as the MCS Elite, and there were no additional compression panels inside.

Reflective – I didn’t really wear these in the dark except once and it was in downtown so it wasn’t dark, dark so I honestly can’t say if they are reflective or not, but the reflective X’s are in very large & noticeable areas.


While I don’t think that these tights lived up their “Thermal” title they are extremely comfortable and probably a better fit for the spring/fall when it’s a little chilly but not super cold days.

Want to see what other pros thought of their full length tights?  Check them out here.

Angie  Amy  Jeremy  Frank  Mark  Cass  Jessica  Sarah  Chadd  Sarah  Erin  Jen

Abbie  Katherine  Heather  Gina  Josh  Christine  Allison

Race Review: SD 50 Trail Marathon

For our first race of 2016, Sean & I decided to stay local.  We had been discussing running this race for a while and then finally in November we pulled the trigger and signed up, the 50 miler for Sean and then marathon for me.

The SD 50 & trail marathon is put on by Offroad Pursuits and is held in Escondido about 45 minutes from our house.  Soooo nice to get to sleep in our own bed the night before a race.

We were able to pick up our packets the weekend before at Laces Running Company, a local running store near the race.

The week of the race, I was in Phoenix for our first work event of the year and then I unfortunately spent Thursday with a fever and feeling really sore.  Friday I was feeling a bit better so I figured that I would be fine to run.  Sean & I had pizza for dinner, I took my obligatory Flat Jenny photo with a Munchkin photobomb and then went to bed because it was going to be an early morning.

SD 50, trail marathon, flat jenny, altra running,orange mud, we run social, procompression, lululemon

We set our alarms for 4:15am and had a plan to leave the house by 5am, which of course didn’t exactly happen ;), I think we finally left around 5:20am and made it to the race starting area at 6am ish.

The 50 mile was starting at 6:30am and the marathon at 7:30am so I had plenty of time to get ready.  I saw Sean off and then headed back to the car to stay warm for a bit longer before my race.

About 7:20 I got out of the car, I was planning to run in just a tank top and shorts but it felt a lot colder than I was expecting so I kept my light long sleeve shirt on to start.  I headed up towards the start and ran into one of our friends, Fern.  Fern would end up as the overall winner of the marathon.

Pre-Race Fun with Friends

And then it was time to run.  It was pretty low-key, I think there was a horn or something but I’m not entirely sure, lol.  Fern & I were chatting until I pushed him towards the front so he could go do his thing and we were off!

One of the nice things about running a local trail race is that you can run the course before the race.  I’ve actually run/hiked, etc this course a few times before, mostly when it was 5000 degrees out in the middle of summer lol.  The race had 2 course preview runs and I convinced Sean to get up early one Saturday in mid December and we ran the first and last 10 miles of the course.  We came out a few other times and by the week before the race I had run the entire marathon course.

Training run, Marathon,, SD 50, trail marathon, san diego

One of the big things I learned from Sean about running trails is that it’s best to break up the race into aid stations vs. thinking of the race as a whole.  For the marathon there were 5 aid stations, 2 of which we would visit twice as this was an out and back course.

The first aid station was at mile 5.7 and right after the biggest climb of the race.  I started the race just doing my thing because I knew we were coming up on the climb around mile 4.  I’m super proud of myself for not walking at all during those first 4.25 miles.  I felt like it was super humid during these first few miles, I eventually took my long sleeve off on the climb up Raptor Ridge.  I finally made it up and then just flew down the hill as my reward for the climb.  At the bottom of the hill was the aid station, run by the SD100 race director, Scott Mills.  I chatted for a minute, got a few orange slices, got told to drink more water during the next section (I had barely drunk anything in almost 6 miles – oops) and then was off.

The next section was approximately 4.3 miles and I knew I would see some of my friends there so I was just kept moving along, slowly but surely.  I chatted with a few other runners and then fell back a bit running with a few walk breaks here and there.  I was waiting to see Fern because I knew with the time he was shooting for he would pass me before I got to the 10 mile aid station.  And then right around 9 miles I saw him coming towards me.  I got a few photos and continued on.

As I was coming into the next aid station, my friends started calling my name and cheering me in which was pretty cool.  I had a cup of water, a few more orange slices and had my bottle filled with water.  During this section I drank almost the whole bottle so that was good.

lake hodges, aid station, san diego, sd50, trail marathon

Kat took my photo, told me they’d see me in 6 miles and off I went.  This next section when Sean & I ran it the week before was super muddy.  Fortunately this weekend it was mostly dry, I walked a bit of few of the hills, ran the flats and downhills.  This part of the race was a lot of fun for me because I was seeing all the other runners coming back and I was able to cheer them on.  One of the best things about trail running, everyone is so nice and supportive of others.  Finally I made it down to the turn around point.

Training Run, Lake Hodges, SD 50, trail marathon, san diego

They had a little water station, where the volunteers had generously brought some oranges and a few other snacks.  They were super nice, I chatted for a few seconds, ate another orange and headed back.

During this section I walked a bit more, I was feeling a little pain in my chest (related to my asthma and the cough that I was developing) and I was a little concerned because every time I ran I could feel it.  I was also starting to get a lot of pain in my hips at this time too and my calves were cramping.

Training run, lake hodges, san diego, sd50, trail marathon, marathon training

I ran/walked until I finally made it back to the aid station.  I told them my calves were cramping so they filled my water bottle with CarboPro and I took a few salt pills to see if that would help.  I think I lost a lot of salt in those first few miles when I was sweating profusely and I didn’t eat as well as I should have in the days before the race because I wasn’t feeling well.

Side note about the CarboPro – Sean loves it and uses it religiously, but there is something about it that I just can’t do.  I think it’s because when I take a drink, I want it to be refreshing and with the extra calories, it tastes thickand that really doesn’t do it for me.

A few more orange slices, a cup of ginger ale and I was off again.  I ran/walked this whole section using the run to the tree or my calves cramped too bad and then you can walk mentality.  I would use this method to finish this section.  And finally I made it to the last aid station.  I emptied out what was left of my bottle, got plain water, a few more orange slices and then headed up.  I’ve done this section several times so I knew that I would need to walk up.  I just kept going, one step in front of the other until I got to the top.

Training Run, Raptor Ridge, SD 50, trail marathon, san diego

I ran down the backside of Raptor Ridge, thinking to myself once I got down I would only be 4.2 miles from the finish.  This section I would just continue to run/walk until my calves needed a break.  I passed one lady not too long after getting down the hill, then I was passed by 2 very speedy runners (who I found out later were just out for a run not in the race) and could see 2 other runners walking ahead of me, I would eventually pass these 2 ladies about 2 miles to the finish.

The whole time I just kept up my run to the pole, run to the tree, run to the pink marker, etc. method until finally I could see the finish line!

And then I was finished! Yea!! I was given my medal and a logo’d glass.  I’d beaten my goal – to finish in under 6 hours (which I based on the time it took me to finish the 20 miles when we did it back in December I knew that was a good goal for me.  I was especially happy because I had been not feeling so well in the days prior to the race.

The next day though, I woke up with a very sore throat and I still don’t have a voice so we’ll see what that means for race #2.

Race Medal, Marathon,, SD 50, trail marathon, san diego

And now for some more specifics on the race.

Price – I paid $100 for the marathon and we signed up in early November.  I don’t think the price went up

Pre-race communication – We received an email about 2 weeks prior telling us about the packet picket-up at Laces Running Company. And then the week before we got an email with all the race details.

Race swag – We received long sleeve white logo’d tech shirts, there were different ones for the marathon and 50 mile.  I’m not sure exactly where mine is, I think Sean wore it while I was in Phoenix.  He didn’t realize there were different shirts for each race and they were unisex sizing so we both got the same size.  We also received a medal and a logo’d pint glass.

Parking – There isn’t a huge amount of parking at the start but we were there a bit earlier since Sean was running the 50.  I’m not sure where you would park if you didn’t get a spot in the lot, but a lot of people did get dropped off for the 50 so there were people coming and going.

Aid stations – Such amazing volunteers and well stocked with water, CarboPro, sodas and snacks.  Like I said earlier there were 5 stations for the marathon.  The 13.1 station was supposed to be water only but the fabulous volunteers brought some extra goodies (but I wouldn’t count on that just in case).

Finish line – After the race there were containers of cold water, ice, subway sandwiches, chicken chili & tomato soup with chips and pretzels.  I had a cup of chili and a bag of chips and I felt pretty good while I waited for Sean to finish the 50 miler

Photos – There was one photographer on the course around mile 11.5.  We haven’t seen any photos yet so I don’t know anything about cost, etc. I do know that the guy who was out there took some awesome shots of Sean at HURT last year.

All in all it’s a great trail race and if we aren’t in Hawaii next year for Sean to run H.U.R.T. again we’ll more than likely be out there!





Review: XX2i Optics USA1 Pro Racing Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Optics USA 1 Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Around the same time I received my Orange Mud HydraQuiver which I spoke about last week, I also received a pair of XX2i Optics sunglasses to test.  I say this because you’ll notice that I’m wearing both in most of my photos :).

xx2i, usa1 sunglasses, bibrave, bibravepro

As a blue-eyed girl, my eyes are super sensitive to light, I am the type of person that doesn’t like cloudy days because the diffused light hurts my eyes and I’ve worn glasses since I was 8 (30 years now yikes!!) so I’m super picky about my sunglasses.

Before I got the USA 1 sunglasses I was wearing my Maui Jim’s to run in and while I love them for being light and trendy, I didn’t really like them to run in, I would squint because they have light glass and they would constantly fall down my nose meaning I spent half my run pushing them back up.  I also have a pair of Oakley Women’s glasses that I got at the NYC Marathon expo in 2013 that I would interchange.  Again, I liked them, but they always felt a little tight on my head which gave me a slight headache when I would do long runs.  And sometimes, see below, I even double up and wear them both at the same time 😉 lol.


So now that you know what I was wearing, the issues with them and why sunglasses are so important to me let’s get to my review of the XX2i USA 1 Sunglasses.

I received a pair of the white gloss blue flash glasses.  They also have different colors, but all of the Pros received the white frame.

xx2i, usa1 sunglasses, bibrave, bibravepro

From the website: XX2i USA1 Pro Racing Sunglasses come in White Gloss with Blue Flash lenses. Included with these frames will be a tank protector case and one microfiber soft carrying bag that can also be used as a cleaning cloth. Features on these sunglasses are perfect for running, cycling, golfing or just about any activity that requires the sunglasses to stay on your face and remain fog free.

Also in the case was a neck strap to attach to the glasses and 2 additional sets of interchangeable temple tips and nose pads.  You can also get the upgraded version that includes interchangeable lenses.

Side note: I tried to remove the temple tips to change out the color but it wasn’t an easy task.  On the XX2i website under the FAQs there is a little tip that you have to twist the tip to break the seal and then they will slide on and off.  I was worried I was going to break them so I only tried once.  AZSungoddess did get them off by using pliers and twisting in 2 spots but I wasn’t that brave to try, lol.

At first look, I immediately thought, I’m going to need to hit the ski slopes, lol, and I don’t ski.  With the shiny blue lenses they are definitely bold.

xx2i, usa1 sunglasses, bibrave, bibravepro

I tried them on and was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable they were.  They have a lot of areas that you can adjust.  I could adjust the temple pieces and the nose piece to fit my face and the first few times I wore the glasses, I had to do this every time.  I think it’s because I was putting them back in the case so the adjustments I was making were cancelled out.

I’ve run in them exclusively for the last month and I can honestly say most of the time I can’t even tell they are on.  There is no slippage so I’m not pushing them up every 2 seconds and I’ve never gotten the headache feel.

xx2i, usa1 sunglasses, bibrave, bibravepro

However, and this would not be a Runny Legs review if I wasn’t completely honest, which means that there were a few things I didn’t like.  I know that they say that they should stay fog free but I did have a number of instances where the glasses did fog up, for a short bit, most likely because I was wearing a hat as well, but I did notice it a few times.  And this is not a big deal at all, but it is incredibly difficult to see my phone screen when I’m wearing them.  I typically have to take them off to be able to take a photo or read a text/email.

All in all though, I believe that I’ll be wearing these glasses for a long time.

xx2i, usa1 sunglasses, bibrave, bibravepro

And at $59.99 they aren’t so crazy expensive like a lot of other glasses out there.  If you use code XX2irocks which expires mid January 2016 you’ll be able to save an additional 50%!!  Yes, that’s 50% which brings them down to $30 which is unheard of for good sunglasses.

What kind of sunglasses do you wear?  And what is your favorite feature?

Check out the other Pro reviews to see what they think about their XX2i glasses.

Angie  Abbie  Mark  Jessica  Gina  Haley  Christine  Jen  Bradford  Rachel

REVIEW: The Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1 to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

It’s time for my first review of the year!!  I love getting the opportunity to try new running related products! At the beginning of December I received an Orange Mud HydraQuiver vest pack to test out.  If you have been following along, you’ll know that I have been using one of Sean’s Ultimate Direction packs because we have a few of them here but I’ve seen the Orange Mud vests all over Instagram and Facebook so I was super excited to try it out.

Beach Run, Mission Bay, Orange Mud, Hydra Quiver Vest, bibrave, bibrave pro

Some of the features of the HydraQuiver Vest Pack (from their website):

  • 2 shoulder accessory pockets to hold up to 6 gels per or a phone.
  • Front chest pockets for access to nutrition on the fly.
  • 25oz BPA free bottle for easy fill, easy clean-up.
  • Glove like design for a comfy fit.
  • Weight 8.7oz/230grams, with bottle 10.7oz/300 grams.
  • Fit for minimum chest circumference is 27″. Max is 52″. This is measured at or just below your armpits depending on body type.

The difference between this and the HydraQuiver is that the vest has a bunch of pockets on the front.  Both styles sell in single or double barrel styles.

I wore the vest probably 1/2 a dozen times or so during December.  I wore it in 2 races, with a tank top, a t-shirt and long sleeve shirt and with my puffer vest on so I could see how it fit in different clothing.

The first time I wore the vest (with a long sleeve lululemon shirt) was for the North Face Endurance Challenge Marathon Relay and it was super easy to get the bottle out of the back of the vest. My only complaint was that  I did feel a bit of chafing under my right arm pit and it sounded pretty noisy.  I spoke with my friend @runningwithSD who has the double barrel and she said that I might need to wash it to get the best fit.

The North Face Endurance Challenge, California, Marathon Relay, Trail Running, orange mud, altra running, lululemon, procompression

The next time I wore it was for a short run around Mission Bay with Sean in a Lululemon T-shirt and again I felt a bit of chafing under my right arm pit.  I didn’t notice any noisiness from the pack during this run though.

Beach Run, Mission Bay, Orange Mud, Hydra Quiver Vest, Procompression, bibrave, bibrave pro

Test #3 was out on Mission Trails, I started out with a long sleeve shirt on but quickly warmed up and ended up in a tank top.   First off, the front side pockets are big enough that I was able to fit my lululemon run swiftly long sleeve in the pocket and not have any issues with it feeling weird.  Secondly, I don’t recall having any chafing issues, which I was really concerned about wearing a tank, so I guess the pack had settled in and I had gotten the sizing right.

The nice thing about this pack is that it is adjustable to be able to fit on a lot of different body types.  They recommend using the side straps to adjust but I did have to adjust the front too, I’m definitely on the smaller side, since it ranges from 27 – 52 inches.  I am estimating that I am in the low/mid 30s so there was a lot of extra strap that would swing around a bit.  I tried tucking it in and that was very uncomfortable.

Beach Run, Mission Bay, Orange Mud, Hydra Quiver Vest, bibrave, bibrave pro

On Christmas day, I wore it out on the trails in Noble Canyon with my North Face puffer vest and again no chafing (YEA!!) and the fit was great.

Beach Run, Mission Bay, Orange Mud, Hydra Quiver Vest, bibrave, bibrave pro

I changed the fit on the pack with both the adjustable side straps and the front strap as well to get a good fit.  I did notice that after I drank from the bottle and it got lighter that the pack would start to rise up on the front so I would just tighten the straps a little.  Another note about the bottle, I typically wear my hair up in a pony tail and it’s not super long, but I did notice that on occasion, my hair did get stuck in the bottle top.  I had to move my head to the side to get the bottle out every once in a while.

Beach Run, Mission Bay, Orange Mud, Hydra Quiver Vest, bibrave, bibrave pro

Now the bottle, at first I thought it was good, nothing special but then as I started using it more, I was noticing that a lot of water was pooling around the cap. I thought that I didn’t have it tightened enough, but it was.  I’m not sure what the issue is but that would probably be my only complaint.

Now, I didn’t wear the vest for any longer than 13.1 miles and that was in a race situation so there was additional hydration available.  I’m not sure even with the double-barrel that I would take this out on a really long run, especially if it was hot out.  I drink a lot when it’s warmer and when I got longer (and we run in a lot of places were there aren’t a lot of water sources) so I definitely would want the ability to hold additional bottles.  I did read on their website that they are in the process of creating a new Ultra pack so I would be interested to see if that would allow for more bottles.

Although, I didn’t try it, the pockets in the front are probably big enough to fit an additional bottle, especially if you used soft bottles or smaller ones.

I liked being able to put my phone and fuel in one of the side pockets.  It kept it dry so that I didn’t have to use my pouch & put it in the waistband of my shorts, like I normally do, oops.

There were 2 additional pockets on the shoulder, that opened down, I would put my car key in there but I didn’t really use them because I was a little afraid that the items would fall out while I was running.  I like to eat Jolly Ranchers while running and they are too small for the pocket.  I also didn’t want it to be too full because of where it sits on my shoulder.  I felt like it could be a little awkward so I didn’t really use them.

I have to say it was nice to have the vest to wear on my shorter runs vs holding my water bottle and/or phone.  I think it may have actually helped my form a bit too.

All in all, I liked the vest and I’ll definitely be using it on my upcoming shorter runs/races.

Want to hear what others have to say?  Check out some of the other BibRavePro reviews:

How do you carry your hydration?

2015 Goal Review & 2016 Goals

This year has been a whirlwind and it’s hard to believe it’s at a close.  Sean & I have had so many adventures it’s hard to keep them all straight.  We’ve got lots planned for 2016 already but we’ll get to that.


So how did I do on those goals I set 12 months ago? Let’s see…

1) Run Nutrition – I’m actually getting a little better at this, but it is definitely a work in progress.  Funny enough I’m really enjoying Natures Valley Oats and Honey Crunchy Granola Bars right now although you do need some water with them but if it gets me to eat then it’s all good.  I’m also eating orange slices, we have an orange tree in our yard and the oranges are amazing!
2) Running straight – Again this is still a work in progress, but I did run the Thanksgiving Classic 10 miler with no walking and I completed my first half marathon (SD Holiday Half) with no walking!! which is huge progress.  I’m not opposed to some walking though, I started with Galloway so it’s always going to be something I think I fall back on.
3) Mental Toughness – Again still a work in progress, but I do have a new mantra I Can & I Will and it seems to be helping me a lot.
4) Trail/Hill Running – I’m definitely getting stronger, I still don’t enjoy hills but I am definitely getting stronger.
5) Cross Training – So/So
6) Core work – I’ve started doing more strength training and am doing a daily challenge that is definitely helping.
7) Eating healthy & drinking more water – This is always going to be a work in progress I think :).

So basically, most of my goals for 2015 were things that are probably always be a work in progress or maybe ebb and flow throughout the year.

Now for all the other fun stuff.

This year I moved to San Diego in March, and then in July married my soul mate in a fabulous ceremony at the People’s Palace in San Francisco, in October we went on an amazing 2 week honeymoon in Italy. I’ve taken 46 flights this year all over the country & world.

Running wise, I’ve done 6 half marathons, 3 marathons, my first 50k and attempted my 2nd as well as a few other races.  I’ve run in Italy, Hawaii, Arizona, Utah, Georgia, Missouri, Nevada and of course California.

And now for my 2016 goals!!!


  1. PR the marathon – I have steadily been going backwards as far as time with 2 very slow marathons this year so I really am looking forward to breaking this streak and running a great marathon!
  2. Really train, in 2015 I just coasted along and didn’t really train for anything, I just ran for fun, hence the slow marathon times, this year I want to still run for fun, but train for at least a few races.
  3. Run in at least one new place, I think I might already have this covered since we’ll be heading to Tampa in February for the Gasparilla half marathon (I ran in Orlando, but I don’t recall ever running in Tampa).
  4. Run at least one new distance this year…hum…what distance should that be???
  5. Keep up with the Winter Strength Challenge I started on Dec 15 and make this a daily habit for the whole year not just the 2 months of the challenge
  6. Be more timely with writing my race recaps on the blog
  7. Write at least 2 blog posts a week
  8. Drink more WATER!!!  Always a good goal

I’m sure I’ll think of more or change thing up as the year progresses but these are the big ones.

Good luck to everyone and here’s to a Happy & Healthy 2016!!

What are your goals for 2016?