Friday, October 29, 2010

Product Reviews!!!

The continued prayer is, “Lord keep me focused. Keep my mind stayed on You. Help me to bring You praise. I know You believe in me. Please help me in my unbelief. Amen.”

I love product reviews… for anything… books, clothes, food, vehicles, appliances, gadgets, housekeepers, teachers, neighborhoods, you name it. Unless I’m buying something I’ve bought a million times before, I always prefer to read a few reviews before I purchase. Of course, I’m no Kobi Bryant or Michael Jordan so these folks aren’t going to make any money off my opinion and there may not be a soul anywhere who cares to know my opinion, but I’m going to give it anyway and I’ll tell you why.

I read reviews from elite runners and runners I admire, but I gotta tell ya, I’m a middle-class, wife/ Mom and recreational runner. Therefore, a review on a $200 pair of running shoes or a $70 running skirt is useless to me. I am not at a place where I can spend $200 on shoes and $70 on a running skirt, and no vendors are sending me free stuff to try and review. Now, a heads-up that I can get a $70 running skirt at TJMaxx for $12 or a $120 pair of shoes on sale at Kohl's for $30 is news I can use!!! Otherwise, I need reviews on products that are within my reach. So I offer my reviews just case there is someone out there just like me.

The ProTec Achilles Tendon Support turned out to be a bit of a disappointment. I put it on based on the package’s instructions and walked around my neighborhood for a little while. I wanted to use it as much as I could before the half marathon so it wouldn’t be brand new to me. It was excruciatingly painful. For a moment, I thought I wouldn’t be able to run the next day, but the pain abated the moment I took it off.

I think it’s better suited for support during rest periods. I intend to use it after my next run and review it again. That’ll take some time, as I am out of commission for two weeks. I believe they are good products, I just happened to use it at the wrong time so I’m going to give them another chance. These retail for about $20 each and can be ordered online.

Performance Pain Relief Gel. I got a couple of samples of this stuff and found it to be convenient and effective for temporary muscle pain relief. It heats up quickly and relaxes the pain away. It absorbs quickly and needs to be reapplied every half hours or so, depending on your needs. It is reasonably priced and readily available so you can be generous with your applications. I’ll give this one a thumbs up. It won’t transfer or stain your clothes like Tiger Balm can and it doesn’t have a petroleum jelly base so you don’t have to worry about it clogging your pores or the toxins that can be associated with petroleum based products. It can be had at CVS or online and retails for about $13.

The SpiBelt Small Personal Item Belt is a winner, for sure! I really liked this product. I also have a CamelBak running belt that has a 22oz water bottle holder that I really like. However, sometimes, I just don’t need it, so it’s nice to have this smaller belt. It’s waterproof and stretches, so it can accommodate quite a bit for such a tiny little pouch. I was able to load up an iPhone, a first generation iPod Shuffle, lip balm and salt packets in the pouch. On the outside it has strips that held, Gu, Sports Beans and my arm warmers when I was ready to strip those off. They also offer little bungee cords that hold your running bib so you don’t have to poke holes on your shirt or shorts. They come in an array of colors and patterns, but only the solid black ones seem to be waterproof. That’s kind of a bummer, but I was able to get mine with this really cool hot pink zipper.

These can be had online for about $20. Thumbs up! I highly recommend these.

Asics, Arm Warmers. These are the first I’ve ever worn. They were reasonably priced and they did the job. I live in Southern California and arm warmers are not needed for most of the year. I they are 80%CAT POLY 20% spandex and make no claims of moisture wicking or light weight. For arm warmers, they are a little bulky and they are not very cute. If I had buckets of money to spend on running gear, I would get some that were moisture wicking, dry-fit, had the thumb holes and pockets for my gels with cool colors and patterns. But these were certainly good enough. I will use them over and over again through the winter and be satisfied. They wash and dry well and they seem to hold their shape. These are definitely OK and worth the price. They can be had online for about $10.

Fitness Headband. I’m not positive that this link is the actual vendor who was at the Health and Fitness Expo where I got mine, but they look very similar. They didn’t give me a card or brochure and I really wish they had. I *really* like this headband. I purchased another one from Go Headband and I really prefer this one. The fit is about the same, but I found this one to be more effective in absorbing sweat. Also, I’m a big fan of girly prints and vibrant colors and these definitely fit that bill. They can be had online for about $8.

So there you go! There’s my review on products that I use or will use regularly. I hope it helps!

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