Move Through COVID-19 with a Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask!

Disclaimer: I received a Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask Helix 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!

By now we’re all fairly used to wearing and seeing other people in face masks. When it all started, it was hard to get your hands on a mask even if you wanted one. Fortunately now we have many options to choose from, and I’ve tried a few.

Masks come in all shapes and sizes these days. I did see a man walking into Target recently in what looked like a World War II gas mask. That has to be heavy and uncomfortable, especially in North Carolina humidity. Each to their own, is what I said to myself.

My first mask ever, during this pandemic, was kindly made by a friend of the family. It was a cloth mask that allowed us to go out in public, and feel protected. We bought several more cloth masks online as they became more widely available, and I had been using them exclusively until I received my Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask.

The Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask is made from a light-weight, ultra thin (0.5 mm) closed-cell fabric that prevents transmission of water, viruses, and germs. The included (disposable) filters add a further layer of protection.

The actual mask itself can be machine washed (with filter removed), and laid flat to dry. Once dry, you simply apply a new filter with the adhesive provided.

All the previous masks I’d tried were one-size-fits-all, but with Body Helix you have small, medium and large options. There is a sizing chart on the website to help you select the correct size for your face.

This ensures a snug fit and all day comfort — with or without the optional nasal bridge wire strip (great for spectacle wearers). The large over-the-ear strap design helps reduce ear discomfort during long-term wear.

The Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask comes in two colors — Black and Cool Blue — at $19.99 and $24.99 respectively. The mask comes with 6 filters and 4 nasal bridge wire strips. Additional filters can be purchased at BodyHelix.com in packs of 30 (+10 nasal bridge wire strips) for $14.99 (free shipping).

I have been pretty much wearing this mask every day since getting it. It’s my go-to for dropping Xander to daycare, going shopping, or eating out at restaurants. I’ve had quite a few people comment on how great this mask looks.

You may be wondering if it’s possible to run in this mask. I’ve tried it, but I’ll be honest — I hate running in ANY mask. I don’t think I necessarily need to wear a mask when running unless I’m unable to keep physically distanced from other people. For this reason, I’ll often carry my Body Helix Ultra-Light Face Mask with me in case I need it.

I do know other Bibrave Pro’s that do run with it and love it. For example, check out reviews from Teddy and Stephanie.

DISCOUNT CODE

This is a great, quality-made mask and if you’re interested I have a discount code. If you use code BR15 on bodyhelix.com you’ll get 15% off any order of $40 (subtotal) or more (expires Oct. 31, 2020).

Why do you run, Lucky Vijayaraghavan?

About Lucky

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

I met Lucky through Morrisville Run Club. He was good friends with another one of our runners. Lucky is a big Orange Theory fan, so I don’t get the chance to run with him much recently, but we did bump into each a lot during local races.

Continue reading “Why do you run, Lucky Vijayaraghavan?”

Why do you run, Matthew L Thompson?

About Matthew

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

Matthew likes to run, and likes to run a lot! He is a member of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill chapter of Black Men Run. I’ve never properly met the famous MLT, but we’ve often passed each other on our runs and will plan to run together some day soon!

Continue reading “Why do you run, Matthew L Thompson?”

Race Highlight: Savannah Bridge Run

Talmadge Bridge

Disclaimer: I am promoting The Savannah Bridge Run 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!

My wife is a city girl. She loves weekend trips to cities to soak up the buzz and the night-life. Last year we spent a few days in Savannah, GA and it did not disappoint. It’s a beautiful city, full of character and life.

I was pretty pumped when the opportunity to race the Savannah Bridge Run came along. Unfortunately it turned out that the dates would not work for me so I will not be running it this year. Instead I am telling YOU why you should run it!

The Race

Before I share more about the city of Savannah, let me tell you about the race. It is known as “the South’s toughest bridge run”. It is also named one of America’s top 20 races under 10 miles by The BibRave 100.

There are 3 race events to choose from, all which run over the bridge and through scenic downtown Savannah – 5K (once over the bridge), 10K (twice over the bridge) and DOUBLE PUMP (three times over the bridge).

Dress It Up

Races with costume contests can be so much fun. I’ve never actually taken part in one, but always wish I had when I see the efforts some people go to. It always make me smile — especially the really bad ideas. The race awards cash prizes for both group and individual entries.

Post Run Party

There’s one thing I know, Savannah knows how to party. After the race, participants will enjoy live music, beer and food in Franklin Square, downtown Savannah.

The City

If you can, I encourage you to spend 2-3 days in Savannah over race weekend. It’s an amazing location with lots to explore. Most of which can easily be explored on foot (or a recovery run).

We just loved the river side streets and cobblestone. It is packed full of little art shops, restaurants, coffee shops, gift shops, etc. The coffee and desert shops that open late are amazing — I can totally recommend Lulu’s Chocolate Bar. There is lots of good food and treats to choose from while you’re there.

Cobblestone Streets

Discount Code

Use the code BIBRAVE2020 for 15% the race registration.

Why do you run, Andy Chang?

About Andy

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

I met Andy when he was working for Fleet Feet in Morrisville. He knows my weird feet intimately and introduced me to Altra shoes. I still bug him from time to time for shoe advice, even though he’s moved on to bigger and better things in Washington, DC.

Thanks to Andy for sharing some great thoughts below. I really wish he’d expanded on his animal taming habits — there just may be a Netflix documentary about him some day.

Continue reading “Why do you run, Andy Chang?”

Race Highlight: The Hapalua, Hawaii’s Half Marathon

The Hapalua is the largest Half Marathon in Hawaii. There are around 10,000 runners and walkers who participate! That’s one big race and all in such a beautiful location!

Unfortunately, due to covid-19, the The Hapalua has been canceled this year. If you were registered to run, all entry fees for the 2020 Hapalua will be honored for the April 11, 2021 Hapalua.

I was fortunate to spend a little time in Hawaii last summer and get amazing some runs in. I already take excessive amounts of photos during a normal run, but running there took it to a whole new level.

Running in Hawaii, 2019

We spent a week on Maui when we visited, and we talk quite often about going back in the future. Maybe next time we go to O’ahu and run the Hapalua!

Check out the course below. I can just imagine the warm air and views of the sea the whole way around! Just like that half marathon I ran in Ireland, except for the cold wind, grey skies and gale force winds — and severe lack of palm trees. ­čśë

(Excuse me while I go google for software development jobs in Hawaii…)

It’s hard to believe, but the course is fairly flat, with a couple of small hills toward the end. There is even music stations at a few points on the course — I love it when races have live bands along the course. It always brings a smile to my face.

Just imagine spending a few recovery days here after completing the race. This is the small beach that was in front of our accommodation. Sea turtles would swim up and sleep here at night.

If you do decide to go and run The Hapalua, make sure you pack your snorkel gear along with your running shoes.

Why do you run, Gannon Griffin?

About Gannon

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

Gannon has been running with Morrisville Run Club (MRC) for a while now. I believe he joined our crew when we were training for the Tobacco Road Marathon in 2018/2019. He likes to run a lot of miles along with his dog, Gunner.

Continue reading “Why do you run, Gannon Griffin?”

The FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden

Disclaimer: I participated in the FitnessBank Des Linden Spring Step Challenge 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!

Have you ever wondered how many steps a two-time Olympian, AND Boston Marathon winner takes in a day? I have.

Thanks to FitnessBank partnering with Des Linden, I can actually find this out.

By joining the FitnessBank Des Linden Spring Step challenge, you not only getting to step along with Des, but have many opportunities to win great prizes, including Brooks running shoes, and free race entries for a year, etc.

You do not need a FitnessBank Bank account to participate to use the Step counter or participate in the challenges. The group on the FitnessBank app is called Des’ Running Group.

I’m a bit of stats freak and track daily steps with my Garmin watch. I was happy to find out that my Garmin account is automatically synced with my FitnessBank account. This means all I need to do is pull up the app and see how I’m doing against the competition!

What a crazy time we’re living in! The gyms are closed, fitness classes are canceled, and cabin fever is rearing its ugly head. A lot of people are looking for alternative ways to keep fit. Walking and running (while practicing social distancing) are some of the activities people are exploring more, and counting steps is a great way to stay motivated.

The actual challenge runs until the end of May, so jump right in now for a chance to win. The FitnessBank step is free, and can be downloaded from the Android and Apple stores.

How To Create Multi-Frame Run Photos

I’ve been creating running photos like this for a while now and recently people have been asking how it is done.

It started off with a fascination with floating photos, where both feet are off the ground. I expanded this to pull multiple frames from the same video and stitch them together to create images like above.

The complete process is carried out on an iPhone using apps Snapseed and Over. These apps are free and are available for both iOS and Android.

The Process

When I first started posting floating shots, the technique behind that was to take some slow-motion video (to provide the most usable frames) and screenshot the frame I needed.

This process builds upon that. You start with some slow-motion video, ensuring the background does not move. Then screenshot a number of non-overlapping frames from the video.

Before merging begins, you may want to enhance the individual frames in your favorite mobile photo editor. I use Snapseed for this task.

If you decide to crop, ensure each frame is cropped identically. I recommend leaving cropping and any straightening until after the merge stage.

To merge the frames I use Over, as it supports layers in a project. I load in the first image, and then immediately load the second image, ensuring it is sized and positioned correctly.

For some reason, Over adds subsequent images a little smaller than original size. To fix this, use the resize tool to increase to 125%. Be careful, not to move the photo.

Once it’s positioned correctly, use the mask tool to remove just enough of the 2nd photo so you can see yourself underneath. If you use the feathered mask tool, it will blend a lot better.

If you are a bit too aggressive with the mask tool, Over has a reverse mask tool to allow you to put pieces back. You can also zoom in to work on more intricate areas.

Continue the process of adding images for as many frames that you captured. Once all layers have been merged, export the image from Over.

Once exported, I usually bring it back into Snapseed to straighten and crop. It is now ready to post on your socials! I would love to see your creations, so please tag me if possible!

Here’s a video of the process I made while processing one of these images.

Why do you run, Alastair Vance?

About Alastair

Welcome to a blog series called “Why do you run?“. I hope to publish inspiring insights from runners I know, on why they started running and continue to do so.

It’s-a-me! I’ve blogged about many other runners over the course of this series, and now with the launch of the #releasetherunner movement, it felt like a great time to share my own story.

I was never an athletic kid. I was the kid who dodged team sports and would rather spend the time in the band room, or art room. I suffered from childhood asthma, so it never took long for me to lose my breath when forced to participate.

It was my wife Liz that first started to run. I had absolutely no interest in it. She would keep asking me to join her, or try it for myself — and I did — but it never lasted long.

To find out what finally kicked my butt, and made me stick at it, keeping reading…

Continue reading “Why do you run, Alastair Vance?”