Which Knockarounds Work Best For You? Fast Lanes vs. Premiums

Disclaimer: I received a pairs of Knockarounds Fast Lane Sunglasses 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!

Slate Tortoise Shell with Sky Blue lenses Fast Lane by Knockaround kinda day.

Slate Tortoise Shell with Sky Blue lenses Fast Lane by Knockaround kinda day.

We are all a snob at something (particular running gear, the car we drive, brand of phone we have) but one thing is for sure, I am NOT a sunglasses snob! I can’t afford to be. It’s because I need my sunglasses for work, play, commute time and I’m short on cash (aka - tight budget!) There’s no time for me to baby a $300+ pair of sunnies!

So let me introduce you again to the Knockaround brand of sunglasses. I reviewed their Premium line about a year ago in a September 2018 blog post. The idea behind them is as simple as saying their name out loud: knock around. Sunglasses that you can literally knock around and they will still last. The original two pairs of from their Premium line are still with me with no scratches and holding up like a champ. Believe me, they get knocked around my duffle bag, dash of my car and side pocket of my purse daily. But, get this, they are reasonable. Their prices range from $15-$30 a pair and they even have $5 sales!

When the opportunity came along from BibRave to test out their Fast Lane line of sunglasses, I hopped on it faster than the Easter bunny. The Fast Lanes kinda look like the Premiums, just slightly different. I’m going to compare them to each other so you can see if the Fast Lanes are the Knockarounds for you.


Fast Lane vs. Premium

They kinda look alike, they kinda don’t. I don’t know which frames to choose! I’ll break down the differences and similarities of both so you could decide which pair of sunglasses pair better with your face.

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Fast Lane

  • Rectangular Lenses

  • Made for Medium Face Shapes

  • Thinner Arms

  • Keyhole Frames

  • Lens Width: 53 mm

  • Lens Height: 44 mm

  • Nose Bridge: 17 mm

  • Arm Length: 142 mm

  • Unisex

  • FDA-approved,
    Impact Resistant Lenses

  • UV400 Protection

  • Not as many color combos

  • $20-25

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Premium

  • Rounder Lenses

  • Made for Small Face Shapes

  • Thicker Arms

  • Keyhole Frames

  • Lens Width: 51 mm

  • Lens Height: 44 mm

  • Nose Bridge: 18 mm

  • Arm Length: 143 mm

  • Unisex

  • FDA-approved,
    Impact Resistant Lenses

  • UV400 Protection

  • More color combos

  • $15-20


My two pairs of Knockaround sunglasses. Fast Lane in Slate Tortoise Shell with Sky Blue Lenses and Premium in Glossy Tortoise Shell with Amber lenses.

My two pairs of Knockaround sunglasses. Fast Lane in Slate Tortoise Shell with Sky Blue Lenses and Premium in Glossy Tortoise Shell with Amber lenses.

Get ‘em Both

If you are still undecided, then get them both! Both styles of sunglasses offer no bounce while running. Each style I tested were polarized, so I didn’t experience any glare from the sun or shiny objects. Both are crazy affordable. I’m on a tight budget and can’t afford to deal with triple digit sunglasses so the Knockaround brand is meant for people like me. Here is a discount code to get you started: Apply code BIBRAVEKNOCKS1 for 20% your entire order. Good till 4/18 and one code per person. https://knockaround.com/ Happy Shopping!


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.

Run-life to Work-life, AfterShokz TrekzAir Has Me Hearing Clearly

Disclaimer: I received a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Air in Canyon Red 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!
Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©

The idea of having a go-to pair of headphones always sounded so cool to me yet I couldn’t find the perfect pair. In the past, I’ve seen those people with their headphones/buds on planes, in their car, running at races and at work and just happy as can be. Maybe they have a specific pair to wear at work to chat on video calls, and a different pair to down out noises while on a plane and then another pair for when they work out. That’s annoying because that is what I was dealing. I had a pair of earbuds for running, over-ear-headphones for work and nothing for hands-free video or regular calls. This is exactly why I decided to opt-in to test the Trekz Air by AfterShokz, Could finally have it all with one product?


What’s in The Box?

UPS My Choice just alerted me that my package will be delivered. Next thing I know, there is a knock at the door and here are my Trekz Air! This was during one of my remote days and I was working from home, so opening up the box had to wait till after work.

You probably know that my background is in graphic design and my degree is in visual communication. All design intrigues me, especially package design. AfterShokz didn’t disappoint. At first inspection, the design is clean, modern and crisp. The words Trekz Air are foil stamped on the front in shiny silver. Same with some product points on the left side. What’s not clean and crisp? The real model photographed on the front. She looks like she just finished working hard with sweat droplets on her face and messy hair. She’s diverse. She looks like me (well sorta!) I want to be her. Or at least put in the work like she did. Hmm, things are looking pretty authentic, and I like it. 

The package opens from the right by pulling on a small folded ribbon and separating the hidden magnet closure. BE OPEN is seen on the inner flap. Then I see another photo of a focused dude who actually looks like he’s working out. My eyes light up when I see the beautiful Canyon Red’s behind the plastic window on the right of the box. It was kinda tricky opening that window — I don’t like to ruin any product packaging. I’m with this with all packaging, even for food! 

Carefully, I removed the Trekz Air, placed them aside, and checked out the accessories that came with them. Included in the box are:

  • Trekz Air in Canyon Red
  • Micro-USB Charging Cable
  • Silicone-like zip-up storage case
  • Earplugs in a clear storage box 
  • User guide  

Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©

First Impressions and Step Up

If you closed your eyes and touched the surface of the Trekz Airs, you’d notice how smooth their texture was. The construction of them is built well. Nothing sharp or awkward sticks out. There isn’t a place where stray hairs could get caught. They are beautifully designed. That super soft smooth texture extends to the silicone-like zip-up storage case. It’s lined with mesh and holds the headphones perfectly. 

First, I made sure to charge up my Trek Airs completely. They had a little charge on them already, but the user guide specifically says to charge first. Once the LED light turned from red to blue (about 2 hours), I was ready to pair. Pairing was simple. I made sure the Bluetooth was turned on in my smartphone settings. While the headphones are powered off, I put them on. At that moment I realized how incredibly light they are. They only weigh 1.06 oz! I entered pairing mode by pressing and holding the volume+ button on the right bottom. The LED light flashed red and blue. Once I heard Audrey say ‘pairing’ I went to my smart phone’s Bluetooth menu again and selected Trekz Air by AfterShokz”.  She said ‘connected’ and the LED flashed blue one time. I did this same sequence when pairing to my work laptop. 

Most of the buttons are on the under part right side. Those include the power and volume control as well as the charging port and LED indicator. Those buttons control the volume up/down, power on/off, mute, EQ setting and battery status. The left outside houses the multifunction button. That button can play/pause music, skip to the next song, answer/end a phone call, answer call waiting and put the current caller on hold or hang up on the current caller, reject a call, prompt device assistant and redial the last number. The power/volume+ button has a nice embossed bump on it so it’s easy to find when your headphones are on. 


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The Tech Behind the Tech

Trekz Air is truly a remarkable technology product. It's insane how we can listen to music with bone conduction technology. Although, Beethoven was using this tech in the 1800s. He found a way to hear music through his jawbone by biting a rod attached to his piano. 

According to AfterShokz, Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. They took the concept to the next level through the development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivalled situational awareness and comfort. Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them. They also implement PremiumPitch. They say that it doesn’t seem sensible that audio travelling through your bones instead of your ears could be so finely tuned. It wouldn’t be possible without our PremiumPitch technology, which assures the finest in bone conduction audio, with a range that suits music and voice. Gosh, I love tech!


Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©

Workout or Work They Work!

They became my favorite headphones after my first test. While sweating it out on the run with my 90s Dance Jams Spotify playlist, I was still able to hear the outside world. Heard my neighbor & his two dogs bark hello while '2 of Amerikaz Most Wanted' blared. Heard a covey of quails call out while 'I Like to Move It' roared. Heard many of my neighbors start their engines for their morning commute while 'Ain't 2 Proud 2 Beg' boomed on. I never, ever experienced this with over-ear headphones or earbuds. Also, no ear pain from stuffing earbuds into my ears. 

During a work trip, I brought them with me to the hotel gym and did a treadmill workout with my FitBit Coach app. No cords got in my way, which freak me out around treadmills, and I could hear my coach and my new-to-me environment. 

Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©

They didn’t even fall off my head during planks, downward facing dogs or jumping jacks when I wore them during a FitBit Coach strength session. In the past, I would do my FitBit Coach strength sessions at home and listen via the speaker on my phone. Then, I would worry if I was disrupting my family. Thankful for the Trekz Air lightness and stability during these sessions and how I don’t wake anyone up.

My job has me on calls and video chats at least 2x a day. What?! You thought all I do is run and review products huh? By day, I work full time as a sr. art director for Manifest. They are an agency that has locations around the nation. I really didn’t consider AfterShokz as a brand that could help me with my day job. Well, they can and they did. Trekz Air helped me so I could participate in calls AND take notes AND do design work all while my team hears me clearly, hands-free. I felt confident when my teammates told me they could hear me while I took a call through my headphones. Trekz Air is so beyond just listening to music! 

Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©


Photography by Andrea Heser©

Photography by Andrea Heser©

Beautiful Tech

One of the 2018 Fall/Winter Pantone colors is 19-1536: Deliciously deep red, whose luscious depth entices. It resembles the Trekz Air Canyon Red color so well and believe me, they do entice. I love how deep muted tones are making a comeback. According to Pantone, the deep muted hues are a comforting classic. I even matched my lip color and nail color to the Canyon Red. It’s pretty cool how Canyon Red goes with my skin tone so well. It’s the Canyon Red color that makes me feel so comfortable to wear them out and about and to work. Nothing flashy, just a classic and signature look. 


Final Thoughts

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I found my unicorn of headphones, Trekz Air by AfterShokz. They really can do it all. For the past month, they’ve taken me from run-workout to strength-workout and to work. I’m honestly surprised that a headphone could do all that seamlessly. If you are curious and would like to try a pair for yourself, BibRave partnered with AfterShokz with $55 off of their Trekz Air Bundle. Apply code BRBUNDLE for a package that includes: your choice of Trekz Air color (Slate Grey, Forrest Green, Midnight Blue or Canyon Red), BibRave Trucker Hat, Shoe Bag, Sport Towel and Cell Phone Power Bank. 

Read what other BibRave Pros had to say:
Run Bigfoot Run
Fitful Focus
LiveLaughExplore
I Run On Beer
Once Upon A Run
Run Katy Run
This Old Runner
 

Santa came early this year!

I’m proud to announce that I was chosen to be a 2018 BibRave Pro. This group is something I’ve wanted to be a part of for the past few years and I’m in disbelief that they chose me.

You’re probably wondering what is BibRave and what exactly does a BibRave Pro do? Here’s the rundown:

BibRavePro Andrea Heser

BibRave is a running community that connects runners with the best races. It’s a place to research races you are considering signing up for and to leave feedback for races you participated in. They are also a place to connect with other runners and with their group of ambassadors – the BibRave Pros (which I’m now a part of!)

Their pros not only review races and share discount codes but also they review running products — from tech to food — and give honest feedback. See some of my race reviews here: https://www.bibrave.com/users/126267

BibRave also puts out a yearly list of the 100 best races in America with categories like top marathons, halfs, 10ks, 5ks, medals and bling, race management and even course scenery. 

I’m excited for running in the New Year!

3 Ways That Pacing a Half Marathon Relates to My Work-Life

Back in June I took on an unusual volunteering opportunity. I would be motivating runners as a pace runner during half marathons. I wasn’t exactly sure what I was getting into because running a half marathon is hard work let alone being a cheerleader at the same time. 

This fall I paced two-13.1 milers and the experience has been incredible. I learned new things about myself and how this unique volunteering opportunity has helped me in my professional and personal life. Here are my main three takeaways.

With Beast Pacing on October 15, 2017 at the Craft Classic Half Marathon in Fountain Hills, AZ

With Beast Pacing on October 15, 2017 at the Craft Classic Half Marathon in Fountain Hills, AZ

It’s not always all about you. 

When I first started running I used to think that running was solely a personal endeavor. I did not like to run in groups, I thought that running in groups wouldn’t help me and that it would actually hurt my performance. Boy, was I wrong. Just like a work-life, a running-life needs team-time. It’s that team support that helps you get through the tough times. Being a pace runner taught me that helping others achieve their goals is also helping me achieve mine. It has taught me to be a better observer, empathizer and decision maker. As I ran the Craft Classic 1/2 in October, one gal iI was pacing was nervous about the upcoming hill. I was nervous too but hearing her talk about it made me remember to talk to her about strategy. I told her to engage her glutes and stay focused. Next thing I know she zoomed ahead while thanking me. Just seeing her succeed this ‘bump-in-the-road’ helped me plow up that hill myself. It’s all about the team and this is 100% in a work environment. 

With Runner's Den on November 5, 2017 at the Phoenix 3TV 10k and Half Marathon in Downtown Phoenix

With Runner's Den on November 5, 2017 at the Phoenix 3TV 10k and Half Marathon in Downtown Phoenix

Set a positive example.

Running is hard. Working is hard. We all know that and it is ok to talk about the negativity that comes with it. It’s also important to talk about the positives and do that more often. During pacing I have to make sure I am keeping my team on top of our time, where we stand, if we are ahead or if we are behind. While pacing the Phoenix 3TV 1/2 in November I noticed my group was behind about 40 seconds around the 6-mile mark. I was open and honest and let them know that we need to pick it up for us to finish at our goal time. I also reminded everyone how strong they are for being out here and how we are in this together and that we will get through it. Same with work, there are going to be down moments, but lets remind each other about the successes we just had. Remembering positive moments goes a long way. 

Jumped from 3 hour pace group to 2:50 group and crossing the finish line.

Jumped from 3 hour pace group to 2:50 group and crossing the finish line.

Seek out those in need. 

I’ve paced three half marathons and two of them were officially through Beast Pacing and Runner’s Den (my first pacing gig was personally for a friend.) In all three pacing scenarios there were moments where I sought about those in need. Usually while I pace there is a group of people that follow me, we are a team. Sometimes though there are people not in my immediate team that have needs. During the Phoenix 3TV 1/2 I noticed the 2:50 pacer was struggling. I let the people in my 3-hour group know that I was going to speed up to check on him and told them all to keep the pace they were going to reach their goal. As I caught up with the 2:50 pacer I saw him taking breaks and hunching over. I was scared for him, but he insisted he was ok, but he told me he was about 7 minutes behind his pace time. So I took a huge risk and asked if he would switch times with me. He thanked me and we switched signs. This meant that at mile 9, I had to up my pace by 2 minutes a mile to catch up with the other 2:50s. For 3 miles. I had gas in the tank and started to push! Every person I passed I chatted with and explained my plan and told them they will see me when I slowed down. Each one asked me about the other pacer who hurting which reminded me about the kindness we all have for each other. I finally caught up in time and now I would be finishing at 2:50. This was the moment I started to seek out the runners in need. I spotted a gal who was straining. I joined her and told her our time and let her know how many miles we have left. We had .6 of a mile till the finish line. We both turned the corner and saw the chute, I told her she would easily finish sub-2:50 and I sent her on her way. Turned around and started looking for more orange bibs (the 1/2'ers) and found a guy who was on track. He mentioned his calf was hurting and I told him to focus on what felt good. I told him he was good to good to go and that I had to look for other 1/2’er and sent him on his way to the finish line. The 10k'ers were all running in at this point and I spotted one other 1/2'er, I screamed out "A 1/2 marathon runner is coming through and she's going to sub-2:50!" We both ran through the finish line together, she made her goal and we high-fived each other. This experience reminded me that it’s good to seek out those in need at the workplace. They might not be in your immediate team but it’s ok to offer them help.

I had no idea pacing runners would help me professionally. Excited for my next running opportunity and the new people I help along the way.