Running Safe and Smart With Sabre

Disclaimer: I received Sabre Runner Pepper Gel with Adjustable Hand Strap 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.

Protecting myself by being smart and while carrying Sabre.

Protecting myself by being smart and while carrying Sabre.

I play the scenario out in my head. Being attacked while running. Would I fight back? Yes. Would I scream? Hope so. Would I run away? I'll try if my fighting back isn't working. This is a reality that all outdoor runners — male or female — have to deal with. Society has been talking about it more because more people, women in particular, have been attacked or killed while doing something they are passionate about, running. I am careful while I am running and do particular things that I will elaborate more on but I didn't run with protection. It was a surprise to me that BibRave was offering a unique testing opportunity. An opportunity that I couldn't pass up. Test pepper spray by Sabre. The interesting thing is, this isn't ordinary pepper spray, it's actually a pepper gel and Sabre is the most trusted brand by police. Here are ways that I keep safe while running and how I now incorporate Sabre in my running routine.

Be Aware of Surroundings

I'll only run in the dark in areas I know, like my own neighborhood. I'm constantly looking and seeing and listening. Yes, I look behind my shoulder a lot. I'm not paranoid, I'm being observant. If you are running somewhere new, think about what could be there before you hit that run. Will there be commuters, animals (domesticated or not), train tracks, alley ways, no street lights, etc. If we are aware about surroundings, then it's less likely we will be caught off guard by a sudden surprise.


Be Visible To Those Around You

My running clothes are bright or have reflective elements ironed on them (hello, Brilliant Reflective!) You'll also find blinky lights on my head and hydro vest. I'll put one red blinky light on the back and side that faces the street on my hydro vest. I look everyone in the eye and wave. That could be others walking or running and even people in their cars driving. Tired morning commuters see me better when I acknowledge them. I always remember that a person driving is NOT looking for people on bicycles, runners or walkers. They are looking for other cars, so acknowledging them goes a long way. A coyote will always be greeted with a stomp of my feet, loud clapping hands and a yell of "GO!" They run off when I do that. I even greeted two dogs off their leash that way! Thankfully they ran off.

Hand held protection by Sabre. The Runner Pepper Gel w/ adjustable hand strap.

Be Willing To Carry & Use Protection

I don't ever want it to come to this, but I will protect myself any way possible against harm. Lately, I've been running with the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel with Adjustable Hand Strap. It's a gel, so there isn't blowback like from a spray. It has UV dye aids. I never thought about a pepper spray or gel having this technology. The UV marking dye aids in suspect identification. It's the #1 brand trusted by police and consumers worldwide which included county sheriff & U.S. marshals from New York, Chicago PD and Los Angeles. The spray range is huge at 12 feet and Sabra mentions that is 20% greater range than other products. I get that running with extra running gear is cumbersome. During my multiple runs with the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel, I didn't notice it on my hand. It also stayed on my hand securely because of the adjustable velcro hand strap. So I took it to my food scale and discovered It weighs only 1.4 ounces, even with the velcro hand strap and holder! It can also be used-multiple times, there is enough protection in the bottle for 35 bursts. This surprised me because I assumed that a pepper spray or gel is a one time use only.

Walking your dog while carrying the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel is easy.

Walking your dog while carrying the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel is easy.

Not just for running

For the most part, I run alone and that's a good reason to carry the Runner Pepper Gel. But I also frequently walk my dog, Wally. He's 30 pounds, so not totally a small dog but he could appear to be an easy target for a coyote or bobcat. I have both species living in the desert preserve behind my home. Sabre doesn't recommend spraying the Runner Pepper Gel at dogs, they make a specific dog spray for that, a product that won't permanently hurt the dog, just disable their attack in a humane way. If a coyote or other non-domesticated animals comes between me and Wally, I will spray it with the Runner Pepper Gel. I noticed that the Runner Pepper Gel is perfect for when you are walking a dog. The velcro strap makes it simple to keep the pepper gel on your hand while picking up doggy doo-doo. All I did was flip the strap and case around to the top of my hand, then proceeded to clean up. Once I was done, I just flipped it back. No need to put anything in my pocket. My protection was always there. Since protection is always near, Sabre built in a reinforced trigger with a twist lock. It can be turned on and off with the flip of your thumb. I'm right-handed and I found the pepper gel was easy to engage and disengage the twist lock with either my left or right hand.


Final takeaways

I had no idea that something so small could make me feel so confident. Each mornings run now includes me running with the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel. My brain is already in an euphoric state during most of my runs so it feels good that I could let my mind wander just a bit because I know I'm carrying strong protection.

If you are interested in the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel, it can be purchased from their website or from their Amazon store.

Do you want to feel it on your hand before you buy? I’ll be at the Scottsdale Half Marathon & 5k this Sunday, December 9th pacing the 2:50 half marathon group. I’m bringing the Sabre Runner Pepper Gel to show one of my Instagram runner friends. You are welcome to come check it out! Find me holding my pacer sign or comment here!

Curious what other BibRave Pro’s have to say? Here’s a compiled list of other blog reviews:
She Runs By Faith
Runner Antics
Back to Basics
Crazy Hamster
Preston Ramsey
Elbow Glitter
The Marathon Lady
She Runs By The Seashore
Running Around the Boyz
Another Half Please
Living Loving Runner

All My Favorite Brands Brands Brands Brands

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Virtual Oakland Turkey Trot 5k race 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!"


My first official turkey trot is just 3 days! I’m totally pumped for race day and why not celebrate with a flat lay. What the what is a flat lay you say? It’s basically any photograph you take from directly above while the objects are on a flat surface. Usually the objects are arranged neatly or in a creative way. If you follow my IG or Pinterest feed, you know I LOVE doing flat lays of my run gear aka flat runner!

Here’s a rundown on my favorite brands included in this flat lay:

  1. Oakland Turkey Trot: This race is pretty unique. All proceeds go back to the Oakland community. Part of my heart belongs to the Bay Area (I lived there for a number a years while growing up.) Both of those are reasons why I signed up to have this race as my very first Turkey Trot!

  2. Knockaround: These sunglasses are my go-to shades. They are reasonable, stay on your face and look good on.

  3. Buff: Lightweight, comfortable and keeps you warm. Buffs are the best!

  4. Altra Running: I was favoring an ‘other’ brand for a while and my right hip as been killing me. Decided to bust out my Altra Impulse Flash and I wish I did that sooner. My hip pain is going away and I’m running fast. Wow. Love Altra.

  5. Aftershokz Trekz Air: Hear the world around you and your music. I feel safe while wearing my Trekz Air during runs. Also, no cords to deal with and the Canyon Red color looks fab against my skin tone.

  6. Garmin feñix 5s Rose Gold: Oh, momma! Talk about beauty meets tech. This watch is my favorite watch of all time. It does NOT leave my wrist unless I need to charge it. My favorite features is all day HR monitoring and how accurate it tracks my pace during runs.

  7. BibBoards: I first noticed rust on my shirt last year. WTH? It was from the safety pins! BibBoards protects your favorite tech shirts from rust and holes and they are customizable!

  8. Sparkle Athletic: #TeamSparkle 4eva! Be bold, be bright. Running is FUN, so have fun doing it. I like to shine during races and I am absolutely wearing a Sparkle Athletic skirt while doing this virtual 5k Turkey Trot.

Join me in getting your #feastmode on and sign up for the Oakland Turkey Trot. Apply code BROTTVIP for 10% off registration.

Best Friends Have 4-Legs

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Run Series 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!

Andrea Heser©

Andrea Heser©

We did it, again! Wally and I both ran the Scooby-Doo Doo Good Virtual 5k for the second time this month. The gains we had when we first took on the challenge were so fantastic, we decided to do it again. Here is the top 3 gains from our Round 2 of the Doo Good Virtual 5k.

Gain 1: Brought Us Together

My dog Wally and I are pretty close. I adopted him when he was about 3-months old. He’ll be 9-years-old on October 1st. Before kids, my attention went to Wally and our other family dog Rusty. Then things changed when baby arrived. Walks & playing became scarce to non-existent. It’s sad to admit this reality, I was barely petting my dog on a daily basis. Still, I was unmotivated to do anything. A month ago I discovered that I could opt-in to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series. This was my chance, our chance, to get closer again. Wally could never participate in a regular 5k race. He doesn’t have the body for it: flat face, short legs, small airway. But a virtual? Oh, yes! Wally could finally run his race, his way, and get the bling to prove it. This meant we had to start slowly. He can only last about 15-20 minutes on a fast walk. Every morning we went out for a walk, just a half a mile to help us get used to the motions. Remember, Wally is almost 9-years-old which means he’s about 56 in human years. Even with training, I realized he couldn’t do a full 5k all in one shot. So, I broke it up in 6-doggy-bite-sized chunks for him. Breaking up our 5k meant more time together. It was wonderful. Sometimes I allowed him to lead on his favorite half-mile route and other times I guided him down new streets to explore. Glad how the training and race process brought us closer together. 

Gain 2: Snoring is Gone

Most brachycephalic dogs snore. It’s because of their short muzzles. Wally was a loud snorer. Once we started our training then completing the Doo Good Virtual 5k twice, his snores are pretty much gone. When he does snore, it’s quiet. I believe the Scooby-Doo Race Series is helping Wally get in shape. Excess weight can make breathing more difficult, worsening the snoring. I didn’t weigh him before and after our training and racing cycle during the month of September but he surely made gains in the health department. 

Gain 3: Sweet Bling For Doggy

Medals motivate me to run races. Would they motivate Wally too? I never seen bling for dogs until I saw what was offered with the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series. Doo Good Virtual 5k and Scoobtober Virtual 5k/10k  add-ons gets your pup a bandana and collar medal for each race. Can’t wait for Wally’s Doo-Good bling to arrive so he could show them off to you. 

Grow Your Bond With Your Pup

Join me and sign up for the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series.  You can still do the challenge if you register tonight. Get 10% off registration with code BIBRAVE. Register here!

Self Motivation

"Ability to do what needs to be done, without influence from other people or situations. People with self motivation can find a reason and strength to complete a task, even when challenging, without giving up or needing another to encourage them."

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Other athletes inspire me but they don't motivate me. I realized this early on in my running journey. Lately, I've been a lazy runner. Not sure why. I want to run. Even though I schedule my runs on my G cal, set out my clothes and charge my devices, still, I can't get up in the morning.

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In the past, I was a Strava Premium member. Didn't have to pay for it because I got promo codes through My New Balance Rewards. That benefit is gone and Premium changed to Summit. I'm so frugal and that is the #1 reason I didn't join Summit yet. Seriously scoured the internet for a promo code this morning for one hour! Found nothing!

Pulled out my CC and now I'm on Summit on their Analysis pack only. Hoping that checking my Power Analysis, Workout Analysis, Relative Effort & Fitness & Freshness will give me the self motivation I need to start waking up early again so I can crush my training for my lofty MESA-PHX Half Marathon goal.

Scooby-Doo Virtual Run Series With My Pup Wally

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Run Series 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!

Andrea Heser ©

Andrea Heser ©

Scooby-Doo & Wally Too

Have you heard the notion that people tend to look or act like their dogs? My face might not be as squishy as my Wally’s but we both have short legs, both have breathing problems and both don’t go very fast. Still, both of us are determined and we both adore the outdoors! As a BibRave Pro, I’m always given opportunities to run new races and test out new products. Pretty much all of these opportunities benefit only myself. I knew I had to jump up and not sit on the opportunity to run the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series. These 2 runs would help my furry friend and I get outdoors, get in shape and bring us closer. It will also get us both (yes both!) some medals and swag to reward ourselves for the hard work we put in for these runs.

Scooby-Doo Virtual Run Series

Jinkies! Scoob’s First Virtual Run!

The Scooby-Doo Virtual Run Series is a two-parter, the Doo Good Virtual 5k in September and the Scoobtober Virtual 5k or 10k in October. Both virtual runs could be done on your own time and your own speed. Thank goodness, remember, Wally and I have short legs! Another thing my pup and I have in common is we love challenges. The Scooby-Doo Run Series has a special commemorative challenge medal for signing up and completing both races! Yep, we are doing the challenge. But, it’s not all about the swag. Both runs help support the Scooby-Doo “Doo Good” campaign and a portion of the registration will be donated to the Best Friends Animal Society. Aw, good dog!

Doo So Good, Doo It Again!

In September, Wally and I both ran the Doo Good Virtual 5k. We broke it up in 6 parts, which equaled out to .5-.6 a mile each day. Wally loves to go on walks and runs, but because he’s a brachycephalic (aka smooshed faced) breed of dog, we had to take this run slow and in bite-sized chunks. As the days progressed I noticed his pace got faster! At home, his snoring wasn’t as bad. We both loved being out with each other so much that we are doing the Doo Good Virtual 5k again and will start this Saturday the 15th. Will you join us? You must register by September 20th to get in on the Doo Good Virtual 5k or to do the challenge! If you only want to the Scoobtober, then register by October 20th.

Throw Me a Bone!

You like treats right? Wally and I will throw you a bone: 10% off registration. Apply code BIBRAVE for 10% off which comes to about $10 off if you sign up for the challenge series with the dog add-on. Register here!