Gear Review: Rudy Rydon Glasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rudy Rydon Glasses 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!”

Every runner, whether you run just one day a week or multiple times a day, knows that running takes more than just a pair of shoes.  There may not be many “required” purchases in order to hit the streets but there are many that will make that run easier, better and more enjoyable.

Rudy Rydon Sunglasses from Website

Rudy Rydon Sunglasses (taken from e-rudy.com)

I learned quickly after starting to run that one necessary piece of gear for me is a pair of quality sunglasses.  I learned that I have very sensitive eyes and will often wear glasses well into the late evening, after most people will take their glasses off.  Knowing this put extra emphasis for me to find not just a pair of sunglasses that successfully will block the sun from distracting me and blinding me on a run, but also a pair that is comfortable enough for me to wear longer and more often than most others will wear their sunglasses.

I am naturally skeptical when trying out another pair of sunglasses because I know that even a bad pair of sunglasses that wreak havoc on my runs.  I do not like running while having to squint in order to make sure I do not trip on the sidewalk.  I approached the Rudy Rydon glasses with this built up skepticism but also with a hopeful outlook that a such quality company would  produce a quality product.

I was not disappointed.  The Rudy Rydon glasses quickly become one of my favorite pieces of gear on my runs and rides.  The glasses are built out of very light materials so they do not feel heavy on your head, and their light weight allow them to sit softly on your nose without much bouncing up and down.  I have worn the glasses for many hours during runs and rides and have never had a problem with the comfort of the frames.  They have never rubbed poorly, or sit uncomfortably during any event. I have even worn them as regular glasses through the day and have not been disappointed.

Rudy Rydon Sunglasses

Wearing the Rudy Rydon Sunglasses

One of the best features, for any athlete, of the glasses is their lenses.  The lenses change colors depending on the level of light in the room.  This technology has been around for awhile but Rudy has risen the bar in its implementation.  I went on two runs in particular that showed to me the benefit of the lenses.  During one run I started running in the middle of the afternoon and during the run it got dark.  When I arrived back home I realized that I still had the lenses over my eyes but hadn’t noticed because of how effortlessly the lenses transitioned as the sun set.   The second run started in the morning when the sun had just gotten up, but during the run the clouds rolled in before a storm yet I was able to keep the glasses on throughout without any interruption.

Lastly, I believe that it should be mentioned that these glasses are versatile.  I used them predominantly for running but the weather allowed me to wear them on two bike rides of over an hour.  Many endurance athletes know Rudy from their cycling apparel and equipment before their running products.  These glasses fit into a category where they work for either.  On my bike rides the glasses were able to stay on throughout the whole ride, regardless of how light it was, the weather or the time of day. This capability of knowing that you won’t have to worry about taking your glasses off, or trying to look through them as it gets dark is a great quality that adds to an already great product.  As a triathlete, I could not ask for a better pair of sunglasses.

Overall Rudy has not disappointed with the Rudy Rydon sunglasses.  Although many people might not realize it, sunglasses can make your runs and your rides easier and better.  The Rudy glasses do just that.  They are a piece of equipment that I will be able to rely no matter the conditions, the duration or the type of activity I participate in going forward.

-Runner

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Race Review: 2015 Chicago Marathon

After completing the Chicago Marathon on October 11 I was completely spent.  For a year I had been leading up to that race.  I had prepared harder than I ever had before and I had spent so much energy to complete the 26 mile loop around the city.  I could not think about anything else for so long that after the race my body just shut down.  I made a promise to myself that I was not going to put any stress on my body for at least a month.

Part of that promise was to stop blogging and to take more time to relax, read, and recover from the race before I entered back into the endurace world in order to prepare for my next race in the spring. I am happy to say that I have accomplished that month off and feel rejuvenated and ready.  To announce that I am back on the training path, I wanted to complete my review of Chicago.  This review was mostly written soon after the race but I wanted to hold off publishing it until my body was repaired.

Enjoy!

Race Criteria: I have divided my experience into five categories that cover what I think is every aspect of a race.  Just to make it easy each category will be numbered 1-20 for a total out of 100 to rank the race.

Before Chicago 2015Race Organization: 19/20
I made a point to get to the expo early this year and was able to very quickly breeze through the registration, get my packet and head to the back to pick up my shirt and bag before the crush of the crowd.  Before I reached the area where I picked up my number they already knew my name (from when I first scanned my bib and got my assigned area to pick up my bib) and had the number packet ready and waiting.  The only blemish on the record of Chicago is the long lines to get into the park on race morning.  Obviously these lines are caused by the sheer number of people who attend the race, and the security is a necessary measure, it is just not the best experience when you are already super stressed about the race to begin with.

Expo: 20/20
If there ever was a perfect experience at an expo that had thousands of people then I had it.  I got there early on Friday, with Bride and a friend who was also running the race and we headed strait to the booths that we wanted items at first. We wanted to make sure that they were not sold out before we got around to the booth.  After that we headed to pick up our registration and was quickly pushed through the line.  We quickly got our shirts (which were much better than last year’s) and were off to visit all the booths. While at the expo Bride got a pair of Chicago Marathon Nike LunarGlides, I got a USA Track and Field Chicago Marathon shirt and a few other items.  But the big item was not something I bought, but something I won!  I won a free entry into the Puerto Rico Marathon in March!!! I couldn’t believe that I wont and am so excited!!!

I could not have asked for a better experience.  I beat the crowd, I won a free race entry, and never was I told that something that I wanted was sold out.

After Chicago 2015Course/Race Experience: 20/20
It is obvious that the race is great.  Not only is it organized but it is one of the most well supported races in the world.  Well over 1.5 million people were estimated to line the 26 miles through the 29 neighborhoods.  How can anyone not be inspired to run their best when they know that so many people are there cheering them on.

The whether called for it to heat up to near 70 later in the day so I changed my strategy away from staying locked in with a pace group.  I instead decided to leave it all on the line and go out hard and just hold on for as long as I could.  I knew that with it just getting hotter I needed to take advantage of the cooler earlier temperatures and that is exactly what I did.  I stayed ahead of the 3:40 pace group until mile 20 where I really started to slow down.  As with every marathon I have ever ran, miles 19-23 were the hardest for me.  From mile 24 till the end, I survived on adrenaline and crossed the line with a huge PR of 3:57:06!!! Great time for a warm day.  I saw one analysis where they said the heat could have caused the times to increase by almost 10 minutes, so that made me feel even more confident with my time.

Post Race: 16/20
This year’s post race was different from last years.  This year I got to spend it with Bride who made the trip up for the race.  She said this was her favorite race that she has ever watched me in.  She got to see me twice along the course, and our hotel was just a block from the two locations where she could see me!

After the race we met by the family reunion area, after I wobbled over to it.  We relaxed under the sun until I was recovered.  I enjoyed my free beer, some food and some time to take in my new PR.  We then moved on to the hotel where we packed and headed back home.  The Chicago Marathon might be one of the biggest in the world but the way that it is set up makes it very manageable for any runner.  There is plenty of room after the race for you to stretch out and enjoy some time off your feet in the park. That being said, there are still thousands of people walking around and many of the lines are unbearable to stand in.

Extras: 18/20
With any big race there is going to be plenty of themed items.  Virtually every major running brand is at the expo and everyone of them has Chicago themed clothing and items available.  Goose Island Beer is always one of my favorites.  This year I got a themed pint glass to celebrate another year in Chicago.  I also was happy to find a great t-shirt that had the outline of the skyline on it. (I was disappointed at the Nike official clothing this year because this years logo was almost identical to the one used last year.)  One of the best experiences at any major race is getting to see all the extras that are available for that race and this year is no different.

MY OVERALL EXPERIENCE: 93/100
Simply, the Chicago Marathon is one of the best Marathons in the world and definitely one of the best races I have ever ran.  I understand that big races aren’t for everyone, and I have ran some small ones as well, but a marathon major like Chicago is unique and I would recommend every runner to aspire to someday run those 29 neighborhoods.

-Runner

St. Louis Hot Chocolate 15K Race Discount

I received a XYZ to review [or I received a free entry to XYZ race] 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!
Hot Chocolate 15K St LouisI am lucky to have the opportunity to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15K run series on December  13 through a partnership with the Hot Chocolate series and BibRave.com.  This race series has grown into one of the most well known in the country.   I have not had the opportunity to participate in the series before and am excited to join the thousands of other runners who will participate in all the Hot Chocolate races around the country this year!
Hot Chocolate St Louis MedalThe Hot Chocolate series not only has some of the best medals but it has some of the best swag in the country.  The medals are specifically themed for the city that you run in and the swag includes a great fleece lined zip up jacket.  I hope you will join me on the streets of St. Louis next month!

Hot Chocolate 15K FleeceTo celebrate this opportunity I have been given a discount code that will provide any runner who registers to receive a free Hot Chocolate branded multi-use headgear.  The promo code to enter when you check out is BibRaveSTL!

After you run in the race on December 13, please write a review of the event on BibRave.com to help future runners select their races.

-Runner