XX2i Optics – A Review 

Disclaimer: I received the XX2i Optics USA I 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!”

A few weeks ago I received my XX2i sunglasses along with adjustable temple tips and nose pads. No instructions come with all the adjustable pieces, which would be nice, but they do have that info on their website under the FAQ section if you need any help.

The lens’ are interchangeable, the ones that I received are the gloss blue flash lens which are polarized and are advertised not to fog up.

On my first run I thought the sunglasses were a bit snug, but once I got running I became used to the snug feeling and loved that they didn’t slip off my face when I started getting sweaty (again, they come with adjustable pieces so you can change the fit if needed). I really do like the way these performed. They are light weight and don’t pinch my nose – which is a HUGE plus because I have a deviated septum so it is hard enough to breath as it is.

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During my run the sunglasses did not fog up. However, once I stopped and started stretching they did start to fog a little. Sometimes I’ll put my sunglasses on my head if I stop to use the bathroom during a run, or if it gets cloudy. Then, when I put them back on they are super foggy. So I tried that with the XX2i sunglasses. Again, they were foggy, but not as much as my usual sunglasses. This is the only negative thing I have found with these glasses, which to me isn’t a big deal. It definitely wouldn’t keep me from buying a pair.

You can see from the pictures below there is a cut out section between the lens and the frame. This is what (is supposed) to keep the sunglasses from getting foggy. Overall, I think these are a great pair of sunglasses for runners (also advertised on their site for, “cycling, golfing, fishing, tennis, sport shooting and just about any outdoor activity.”). The important things to me when it comes to running sunglasses:

  1. Comfortable
  2.  Light weight
  3. Good eye protection (polarized)
  4. Cost – we all know sunglasses are often lost, or get broken so I don’t like to spend too much money on them. But XX2i does have a lifetime warranty that allows you to exchange them if you break or scratch them. So I am covered there! If I lose them, then I’m out of luck.

Another awesome perk with these sunglasses/company is they have a 365 day return policy. These sunglasses are only available online so if you are worried you won’t like them, well don’t! You have a year to decided if you do or not. If you’d like to get a pair of your own use code XX2iRocks for at 50% discount! 

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California International Marathon 2015 

This was my last CIM as a Sacramento resident for who knows how long (I am moving to San Diego at the end of the month). Since this is my favorite race of the year and last in Sac I really wanted to BQ today. But I didn’t. No BQ, I was actually about 15 minutes slower than my PR. I had an upset stomach around mile 6 and walked a lot. And it was my best marathon to date.

It started at the CIM expo Saturday afternoon.

I thought, cool. My friend Tiffany aka Running For Carbs and I will work the booth and it will be great. Talk to some people, chat about race day…the expo was NON STOP! So many questions – that for the record, people could have easily found on the website or emails that were sent out…but hey, that’s what we were there for 😉 We actually had a great time. As we all know by now, I love the Sacramento running community and spending an afternoon at the expo was a great way to give back.

Friends came by to say hi, and also to let me know how much I’ll be missed when I move. It was very touching.

After the expo Tiffany and I quickly went around getting pictures as the clean up crew was breaking everything down.

 

Folsom to Sacramento. It is crazy seeing it on a map.
  

Race day. Super ready  & feeling good.

My first photo of the race was by my friend Stephanie. Feeling good at this point. I had shed my outer layer and was throwing her my gloves (thanks for holding onto them!).

Then…I don’t know what happened. I ate the same breakfast I always eat. I had the same fuel and took the same amount I always take, but I started to feel sick. When you aren’t even halfway through a marathon and you think you might vomit, that could be enough to make you want to just quit. And this is where the best part of my race comes in.

My friend Kyle, who started Sloppy Moose Running Club (which I was representing today!) caught up to me just as we finished a hill and as I thought I was going to die. I want to say this was around mile 10. He asked how I was and I told him not great. So he stuck with me. We were keeping a decent pace up, but I was slowly declining. Each mile I thought to myself, “I have to walk” but I didn’t because of Kyle. From mile 10-17ish he kept me going. We talked & laughed and while my mind was on how I wasn’t feeling good he kept me going. I did finally walk at mile 17 (and a few spots after) but there is no way I would have made it all of those miles without him.  

Miles 17 – 21 I was on my own. And it was tough. Something that helped me get through those miles was the volunteers cheering our names. Our bibs all had our names on them. I thought that was awesome! No more calling out random numbers, they got to cheer us on by name. It seems like a little thing, but as one of my favorite quotes goes, “The little things. There’s nothing bigger, is there?” Yes. I just quoted Tom Cruise in Vanilla Sky.

I knew I’d see my friend Liz around mile 21 and my plan was to stop and tell her how much I was dying. Instead she ran right up to me and started running with me. She gave me a hug and asked if there was anything I needed, and told me I was doing great. We did have to stop and walk because she had pretzels and I thought that would settle my stomach, which I think it helped. Then we started running again. Right before mile 23 she left me, but I knew I was coming up to one of the best cheer squads ever so I kept going.

 

The Kaia FIT SSC cheer squad is always the best. As I was running up I saw a few of them looking at their phones and thought, dammit! So I ran up to them and told them how hard it was, of course. Turns out she was looking me up on her phone as I was running by 🙂

After that was the Sloppy Moose Running Club crew. They were great too and my friend Juan Carlos ran with me for a bit and recorded us. Which was hilarious. Thanks JC!

 

Finally I was in Midtown, then Downtown, then running down Capitol Mall to cross the finish. These finish line photos were each taken by a different person that was there for me (and others as well). Usually my boyfriend takes my race photos but he is in San Diego with the kids. I love these 3 photos of me crossing the finish. 3 different friends, that I met here in Sacramento from 3 different places. It was really special.   

This is by far my favorite finish photo. Look how happy I am. Looking at it I realized this does not look like someone who kept thinking they wanted to quit and walk and go vomit in the port-o-potty. This doesn’t look like someone who didn’t BQ and had the most physically hard race ever. It is because I wouldn’t allow myself to think any negative thoughts. If I started to think how much this race sucked, I would stop myself before even finishing the thought. I swear, every time I started to doubt myself there was some one I knew cheering for me to keep going.

That is why this was my favorite marathon I have run so far. I had (almost) everyone in Sacramento I cared about out there and they literally kept me going. Knowing how much people care about you and want you to succeed makes it all worth it. I’ll be leaving Sacramento soon, but I’ll keep coming back for CIM. And maybe I need to re-evaluate my running goals and why they are my goals. Because I am pretty damn happy today despite not even coming close to what I set out to do. As I told a friend, this race was so much better how it was than if I would have qualified.

From the bottom of my heart, thank you everyone  for your support along the way.