Koala Clip Review
Gear Review, Running

Koala Clip Review

Koala Clip Review

What is a “Koala Clip”? A common question if you read the title. Another common and relevant question is “how can I hold my cell phone while running?

Much like it sounds, Koala Clips can hook into the back of a sports bra or on the side of shorts to hold your phone, or even money, credit cards, or a gel. You don’t have to be female to use one and they easily hook onto the side of shorts or pants too.

Koala Clip Review

Several years ago, armbands were what people used the hold cell phones. The thing about armbands is that they cause you to become unbalanced while balanced. Whichever arm uses the arm band will ultimately become stronger because it has something around your arm. Since cell phones have only gotten bigger, it’s become increasingly difficult to create an armband that isn’t cumbersome and awkward to run with.

Koala Clip was created when the founder Kristina learned to sew. She dreamed it and created it. The name, Koala Clip, was inspired by mama Koalas carrying their babies on their back for efficiency.

I’ve known Kristina for many years and it’s been fun to see the evolution of Koala Clip. She now has two types: “Koala Clip Original” and “Koala Clip Lux,” and even has an ambassador team. I have two of the original Koala Clips (a purple and a grey). I have enjoyed seeing her process and growth. The older I get, the more I prefer to support friends and local stores doing their thing over big businesses.

The major differences between the Original and LUX are:

  • The Koala Clip LUX comes with an internal card pocket to carry cards and cash separately from your phone.
  • The Koala Clip LUX outer material is a spandex/nylon blend and feels more like a sports bra. The Koala Clip Orginal uses mesh/jersey.

While I’m not an ambassador, Koala Clip is a product I genuinely like and have used for years. It simply hooks into the back of a sports bra. It doesn’t have to be a racerback and it can hook into anything from a T back, racerback, or strappy back. In the several years, I’ve used it; I haven’t had a sports bra it hasn’t worked with.

What can the Koala Clip Hold?

Each Koala Clip pouch can hold your phone, cards, keys and even a few gels. The more you add to it the bulkier it will be though, if you are worried about how it will appear on your back.

Koala Clip

Can a Koala Clip Hold my “Massive Phone”?

The answer is yes. There are several sizes, including medium, large, and extra-large. The Koala Clip is designed to hold your phone, plus more. I have a thick otter box on my phone and fits comfortably with plenty of room for fuel.

Is the Koala Clip Waterproof?

You cannot go swimming, but I’ve run in the rain and been ok.

How Do I Wash It?

Finally, you can easily clean them and run in the same load of laundry as your socks. Just let them air dry versus dryer.

Koala Clip

In use:

While running, I often forget I have it. It doesn’t bounce, move or chafe. When I was marathon training last summer, I used Koala Clip to hold fuel as well as my cell phone without sticking them in my pocket. I wish I had stuck my fuel for the 18.12 Challenge in a Koala Clip because it ultimately fell out of my pocket during a race.

So if you’re looking for a noninvasive way to hold your cell phone, fuel, or card, I recommend thinking about Koala Clip. I’ve hooked into my sports bra as well as on my shorts and never had an issue. I haven’t had a time that it’s caused me an issue.

Many local running stores carry Koala Clip, but you can also find them here.

You can see more product reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport.

Question for you:

How do you hold your phone while running?

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aftershokz xtrainerz
Gear Review, Running

Aftershokz Xtrainerz Headphone Review

As many people know, I use Aftershokz Air headphones will running. I appreciate that they go over the ear, and you can hear your surroundings as well as listen to music or podcasts. They are completely wireless, and after using Aftershokz Air for about two years, I haven’t had an issue.

Recently Aftershokz has made a few new changes to their headphones. This includes removing the “Trekz” from the name Aftershokz “trekz.” Instead of being called the “trekz air” or “trekz titanium,” they are called Aftershokz Air, Aeropex, and Titanium.  This might not mean a lot, but it keeps people from confusing brands and thinking “trekz” and “aftershokz” are different…which we’ve had multiple times in running specialty.

Anyway, I was excited when Aftershokz contacted me to try their newest headphone: The Xtrainerz. The Xtrainerz are pronounced: “Cross Trainers.” As the name suggests, they are designed for cross-training and swimming!

aftershokz xtrainerz

While Aftershokz did send me a pair of the Xtrainerz, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 

What makes the Aftershokz Xtrainerz different from the Aftershokz Titanium, Air, and the Aftershokz Aeropex?

The Xtrainerz are waterproof, which means you can use them while swimming.  Swimming and headphones still blow my mind! They also are not Bluetooth capable, and all audio is downloaded directly into the headphone. This is easy, and I usually find something to keep me entertained 5 minutes before leaving for my workout.

Aftershokz xtrainerz
Image via Aftershokz website

The Xtrainerz have all of the following features:

  • Waterproof
  • 4GB of MP3 storage.  I downloaded a couple of my favorite podcasts to take swimming. I think I’m going to find a podcast download just for swimming.
  • No need for phones. All of the music is stored in the headphone so that you can leave your phone in the locker room or car.
  • Aftershokz Xtrainerz supports the following files: MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files.
  • 8 Hours of battery life. I’m not swimming for 8 hours, but maybe you are!
  • IP68 Certified: This means the Aftershokz Xtrainerz are fully waterproof and great if you run in a torrential downpour.
    open-ear headphones can keep you company wherever your training takes you.

All Aftershokz Headphones Have the Following Features:

Open Ear Design:

Aftershokz headphones have an open ear design and send sound through the ear canal. Aftershokz uses patented bone conduction technology to deliver the audio through the cheekbones.  This leaves ears open to hear your surroundings. As a former lifeguard, I think it’s awesome because now swimmers can listen to the noises of the pool around you. If there is an emergency, you aren’t in la-la land while swimming in the pool.

Since Aftershokz uses bone conduction headphone technology, the headphones are not noise canceling. That would go against the grain of what the brand stands for. So far, I’ve logged about 6 hours using the headphones underwater while swimming and they hold up well. I haven’t had any issues with sound quality while swimming, and I forget that I’m even listening to music underwater.

I’ve also run twice with them, and I do appreciate that you don’t need to carry or bring anything but headphones. If you hate running with your phone, especially at races, these are a good choice. These are not Bluetooth capable, so if you want to listen to anything, you must download it directly to the Xtrainerz.  This comes in handy if you are doing a race and want music but not a phone (think the ipod shuffle).

You can find them here or hopefully if your local run specialty store (LOL even though you can swim with them).

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. 

In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you ever listened to music while swimming?

What is your favorite music to listen to while working out? 

 

DailyMusings

Thinking Out Loud: Mostly Holiday Blogging

Another week, another Thursday.  Last week was Thanksgiving so I skipped posting a Thinking Out Loud post…I didn’t stop thinking though…ha (That was such an embarrassing joke…forget that I said it).

Anyways speaking of Holidays, this will be my first Holidays working in retail.  It’s certainly a difference experience.  I actually don’t mind at all and it makes the day go by quickly when you have dozens of people at the store.

On the blogging front, as the Holiday’s come closer I’ll be the first to admit several companies have reached out for promotion on LOLZ blog. 

Does this mean I’ve made it in the blogging world?  No, probably not but the Holiday season brings lots of businesses to advertise and have more of a budget.  Working in retail I can see that first hand.   I don’t even know what “making it” in the blogging world means.  Is it making it a full time job, becoming twitter and Instagram famous?

blogging meme

While I’m still a member of the Sears Holiday blogger team, I have been approached by a couple of other companies I genuinely have liked beforehand.  I’ve also turned a few companies down that don’t mesh well with my personal believes.  (I won’t be promoting anything I haven’t t tried before or wouldn’t buy myself).

Since I could not make money (this month) without blog readers, I am going to stay completely honest with you!  And as most of you know I don’t rely on blogging for money.  I also work at a local running store.  Blogging will never be my full time job for three reasons.

  1. My spelling and grammar are both awful. It’s important to know your weaknesses and those are mine.  I would need to hire an intern or an editor.  My writing is exactly like my personal voice (in real life).  I write like I talk versus in a professional manner.  (Think if a chicken got it’s head cut off and is running around crazed…that’s how my brain operates sometimes).
  2. I am boring 75% of my life

blogging meme 1

3. I can’t sit still for more than an hour so typing hundreds of posts is not my interest. I would not be able to have a job staring at a computer screen all day.

Kudos to those who use their blogs as full time work but I love my running store job and wouldn’t give it up.  I think I’m doing awesome because I might make 200 dollars from blogging this month.  That’s 200 coffees!

Speaking of Holidays, I haven’t really even started my Christmas Shopping yet.  Sorry family.  I’m waiting for 200 dollars so I can buy you things.  Kidding of course…I do feel like family is the hardest to buy for.

This weekend we are going out to get Holiday lights to decorate.  I’m pretty excited for that.

One thing I’m trying to do on the media front is grow my facebook page.  It seems like facebook pages are their own separate communities.  A lot of people have facebook pages but not blogs, etc.  I normally post daily memes that share my sense of humor, blog posts links (mine or someone elses)…so if you want that to spam your minified (or if you want to link it and then unfollow posts) that would be awesome.

I guess this kind of turned into me thinking out loud with blogging.  I’ve always been completely honest with myself, readers and lurkers.  To me it’s seems silly not to be honest, if you are making money from blogging it wouldn’t happen without readers.  They should be the first to know!  I’ve debated doing a monthly post about it but we will see.  I always enjoy reading about “big blogs” and how they turned it into a full time job (mostly because I’m nosy into people’s lives…).

On that note I’m off to work. 

Questions for you:

Have you worked in retail before?

What is one random thought you have today?

Gear Review, Running

Asics Nimbus Review

Another shoe I have been running consistently in is the Asics Nimbus.  I purchased the Asics Nimbus before actually beginning to run.  I knew I wanted a maximum cushion heavy shoe.  While I had thought about the Brooks Glycerin (a shoe I dabbled in the Spring) I don’t care for the update on that shoe.  I had tried on the Asics Nimbus at work and decided that would be a shoe I would return to running in.

Photo taken from the Asics Website

asics nimbus

As always, experiences with running shoes are based on your personal gait, style and preferences of shoes….just because I think a shoe is awesome doesn’t mean you will too.  (That being said, I think the Asics Nimbus is awesome).  I bought the shoe and Asics did not request for me to post about this.  I have no incentive to post. 

Sizing:

Length wise, the shoe runs pretty true to size.  I wear a 9.5 in other brands…in Asics I also wear a 9.5.

Right off the bat, I would recommend seeing how you like the wide version of the shoe.  My only complaint is that I wish it ran a little wider.  The shoe is rather narrow.  It isn’t a problem for me since I could purchase a wide but I can see it being a problem for some people.

Overall feeling while running:

How I feel post running (via instagram)
How I feel post running (via instagram)

As most people I know, I ran in the Newtons for a while.  I supinate and run pretty far on my toes. I have always liked a cushioned shoe and I feel like the Asics Nimbus has a lot of cushion in the forefront as well as the heal.  That is just my personal opinion though.

I like the feeling of the firm yet soft gel underneath.  As opposed to the Hoka (which is soft and “pillow like”, these shoes are much firmer. I actually feel like (possibly because they are heavier) that I’m getting more support from the Asics Nimbus.  I honestly like them a little bit better.

Treadmill: I’ve run a few times on the Alter G.  They felt fine but as I have said before, who really knows with the Alter G.  I’ve also run once on a “normal treadmill”.  I had no issues and felt supported.  They felt cushioned and I didn’t feel like my shins were crying.

Alter G Treadmill

Pavement: I love that I cannot actually feel the pavement.  I feel like I have a lot of cushion under my feet (something I feel like I desperately need).  Since they are so firm, my turnover stays pretty normal.  (I don’t feel like I’m sinking into the shoe and slogging)

Grass: I’ve run on trails a few times in the Asics Nimbus.  They felt good and well cushioned.  I don’t remember tripping.

The Asics Nimbus (in my opinion) is a great shoe.  While it’s pricey (150), it’s worth it to me because I feel much more protected and cushioned.  (And due to the cushion, I’m not paying a deductible to insurance after running in them…ha) It’s a great shoe and one I wish I would have found earlier.

(I’ve run about 100 miles in this shoe and it will stay a staple in my running for a while).

Who would I recommend this shoe too?

Neutral runners who like extra cushion.  Someone that runs in the Brooks Ghost or Glycerin, Saucony Ride or Triumph or any Hoka model.  Also in my personal work experience, it seems to fit orthotics pretty well.

Have you run in the Asics Nimbus?

This is my first experience in it and I wish I had found it sooner.  I run in the Asics Nimbus and have been cross training and working in the Asics Cumulus (both I purchased).  I think Asics did a great update to both shoes.

DailyMusings

Fitness Magazine #FitblogNYC

Last week I was honored to participate in Fitness Magazine’s “blogging meet and tweet”.  I drove up the night before and stayed at Amelia and Danielle’s house because it would have been quite the commute from South Jersey.  If they were not kind enough to allow me to sleep on their comfortable sofa (which I’ve decided I’m going to buy one exactly the same for my house…), I wouldn’t have gone.  I’m not commuting 3+ hours to get into the city.  I hate driving an hour, let alone driving, taking a train and then walking.

We got into the city around 9:30.  It was a bit overwhelming to head in during rush hour time. The Fit Blog NYC, was hosted inside a really nice (and made me jealous) fitness center.

I went into NYC during rush hour once...it was terrifying.
I went into NYC during rush hour once…it was terrifying.

I met several awesome people I’ve been “following” for years such as Laura (Mommy Run Fast), Amanda (Miss Zippy), Erica Sara and Michele (NYC Mama).  Wow, I met so many people and learned so much…but where to begin?

Laura and I
Laura and I
Amanda, myself and Michele
Amanda, myself and Michele (Pretend I hadn’t just spilled coffee on my pants…embarrassing…but at least giving people a real glimpse into my life)

We were provided with breakfast.

Breakfast
Breakfast.  Danielle giving the thumbs up

After consuming half of the breakfast buffet by myself, I mingled and listened to several speakers.  The speakers were all interesting.  My favorite talked about the female athlete triad as well as running injuries.  (When she was talking about stress fractures, I resisted the urge to wave my hand).

As someone who has worked with those diagnosed with mental and physical health issues, it was so interesting to me. She talked a lot about eating disorders and their correlation to fitness blogs.

I plan to do another blog post dedicated to this very topic soon: but not having your period is not normal (no matter how athletic you are).  One thing I miss about working in a public health setting is educating people on overall health and wellness.  It is something I would like to get back too.

After lunch (so sorry no photos, such a blogger failure) we visited various booths and tables by the sponsors of the event.  We received a lot of great items.

I’ll be honest that my favorite booth were the Hokas.  First, we got a free pair of Hokas.  I’m a runner and free running shoes are awesome.  Second, I’m coming off a stress fracture and was going to buy a pair of Hokas to alternate with my Asics Nimbus anyways.  So when they said we were getting a free pair, I thought my next step was to get a lotto ticket (edit to add: I bought a scratchcard and didn’t win).

Lisa and I

With my moving I kept most things in the bag they gave us. Thankfully Laura took some great photos…I’m going to blame it on moving but in reality I am not as fancy to take great photos like these.

As well as the Hokas, there were also quite a few beauty and personal use items they gave us.  While I’m not a beauty blogger and don’t have any “beauty routine”, it was nice to receive these items too. If I find any products I especially like then I will be sure to share them!  They are all great products but I don’t have a lot to compare them too.

Beauty and Health Items
Beauty and Health Items

After browsing the booths a panel of bloggers talked about negative criticism, etc.  Of course not everyone is going to like you.  That being said just because someone leaves a negative comment doesn’t make them a “jealous blog hater”.  I think feedback (both good and bad) is important to blogging.  That’s just my opinion though.  One quote that really stuck with me was: “You can be the ripest, juiciest peach that exists but there is always going to be someone that doesn’t like peaches”.  I want to write a post sometime about constructive criticism and blogging.  Long story short, I don’t really think that people publicly bash you because they are jealous of your life. Going to Fitblog gave me a few post ideas.

We left with a very large gift bag.  To be honest, I felt both overwhelmed and excited by all of these “free things”.  The event was free and now they were giving me all of these items.  I felt guilty that companies were just giving me things just because I blog.  That being said I was extremely grateful too.   I am sure I will like most of these great products and I’ll share some of my favorites.  After I take more time to get to use some of these products, I’ll write a post sharing my favorites.

I had never been to a “blogging event” so this was a new experience for me.

Running and fitness Gear
Running and fitness Gear
Food..gear.
Food..gear.

So long rambling short, I had a great time and I will hopefully be back next year. I don’t even know who I am anymore…I’ve been to NYC twice in a month.  I honestly cannot take credit though because Danielle has led me into the city giving and allowing me to follow her like a lost dog.  I know for a fact I wouldn’t have made it into the city without her or Amelia.

Questions for you:

Have you ever been to a blogger meetup?

Are you a urban or suburban type of person?