OOFOS OOlala Recovery Sandals

Disclaimer: I received OOFOS OOlala Sandal – Orange 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!

The official start of summer is tomorrow but I’ve been in summer mode since the weather changed from dismal rain to sunny days.

I’ve always been a big fan of warm weather and summer time activities, but after a tough, long winter/spring filled with injuries and lots of precipitation, I’m loving this summer with all my heart (talk to me in September to see if I feel the same).

OOlala Project Pink Sandal

Late last summer I got my first pair of OOFOS OOlala sandals when BibRave teamed up with OOFOS to promote their Project Pink campaign. I’m happy to report that their initiative to raise money for breast cancer research is still going strong.

OOFOS donates $10 for each specific Project Pink pair sold. Additionally, 3% of all sales on shoes on their website go to Project Pink, breast cancer research.

I love my Project Pink Sandals so much, when the opportunity came through BibRave to try out the new Orange OOlala Sandals, I was quick to volunteer.

OOFOS, which is in its lucky 7th year, was created with recovery in mind. The folks behind OOFOS realized that while there were shoes on the market for exercise, there was also a need for a shoe that could absorb shock after the workout was over. OOFOS was born and through the past 7 years they’ve been rolling out more shoes, more options, and more colors.

Including my favorite… ORANGE!

These shoes are everything. When I’m not sneakers for running/workouts, I’m in OOFOS. After two bouts of plantar fasciitis I’m not willing to take any chances when it comes to my feet.

In fact, a friend at my gym is currently dealing with the dreaded PF, Knowing that pain, I feel incredibly bad for her. Waking up in the morning and dreading that first step. Hobbling around after sitting, especially in the evening. Stretching and massaging and rolling and being in near tears because of the constant pain – it all came back as she was talking about it.

My first question was, “Have you heard of OOFOS?”

And of course, I brought my snazzy orange OOFOS to the gym for her to check out. After oo’ing over them, she said she plans to get a pair.

OOFOS do take a bit of getting used to when you first begin wearing them. While the OOlala look like flip flops, I wouldn’t place them in that category. They cradle your feet, giving them support and absorb 37% more impact than traditional footwear foams. They make your feet and calves work different muscles, that’s something you don’t get with a regular shoe but I also think that’s what helps with recovery.

If I’m not wearing sneakers, you can find me wearing these the majority of the summer. I wear them poolside, walks with my dog, running errands… basically anywhere and everywhere!

Since slipping my feet into OOFOS last year, I haven’t dealt with any sort of foot pain at all. *Knocking on all the wooden surfaces in my house*

If you’d like to hear more of what my fellow BibRave Pros think about Women’s OOlala Orange and Men’s the OOriginal Sport Geo Orange, be sure to swing by their blogs and check them out! I’ll be adding more links as reviews are posted.

Bradford

Are you on Twitter? Next Tuesday’s Twitter #BibChat will be sponsored by @OOFOS! Never been to a #BibChat before? It’s easy: at 9pm the @BibRave account posts a question (every 10 minutes or so, so there’s ample time to respond and check out other answers/interact). There’s usually a fun giveaway involved from the sponsor too *wink, wink*. I’ll be there on the @scootadoot account so look for me and say hi!

Have to considered joining the BibRave Pro family? The BibRave Pro application process is open now through this Friday so if you’re interested, be sure to swing by and feel free to tell them I sent you. If you have any questions about being a Pro or about my OOFOS, which I’m always down to chat about, leave a comment.

Race Recap: Run the Vineyards Old Country 5k

I’ve volunteered quite a few times with Good Day for a Run and every time you do, you are awarded a free race entry for your efforts! While chatting with Rachel a few weeks ago, she mentioned she was going to be at this race with the Cancer to 5k program. I put a couple of my entries to good use and registered my older son, Lucas, and myself for the 5k (there’s a 10k option as well).

There is always packet pickup before the races but doing it at the race is just as easy; that’s what I opted to do. Race management is always very communicative leading up to the race and this was no exception. There was a snafu with the shirts for this event, 2017 was printed on the shirts instead of 2018.

Good Day for a Run was upfront about this immediately and handed out the 2017 shirts while promising that we’d be able to get the 2018 shirts once they were in. I just received an email regarding this today and they will have these shirts available at three different Running Co. locations in the South Jersey area for 14 days. I found that to be a great compromise; they definitely made the best of a tough situation!

Additionally, they offer quite a few options with the shirts: men’s cut, woman’s cut, and woman’s tanks.

I didn’t really have a plan going into this race. I haven’t been training, per se, but I haven’t NOT been training. I’m going to the gym twice a week and I run when the mood strikes, but I haven’t been following a regimented training plan. I’m okay with this. It’s helping me not burn out and it’s working for now. Soon I’ll need to step up my game for races I have later this summer.

Meanwhile, Lucas has been training more regularly with running so I knew that he’d probably want to take off nearly immediately. This is a huge difference from his mentality of last summer.

Rachel drove in from PA; she’s currently dealing with a torn meniscus. No bueno. I got a text from her about 20 minutes before the race saying that she was considering not taking part because she just wasn’t feeling it. She was in her car in the parking lot when she sent this text. That’s really not her style so I put on some pressure and told her to meet me and I’d stick with her throughout the course (I might have used slightly more colorful language!).

Sending my 13 year old son ahead might have made me uneasy at other races but not with Good Day for a Run. I knew the course would be well marked and there would be volunteers at all the turns. Additionally I had a few friends that were volunteering at the race so I asked that they look out for him and make sure he was doing okay.

This race benefited Ainsley’s Angels and a large group of Athlete Riders and Angels took part in this race. They lined up first and off they went. After that group, the 5k racers toed the line, followed by the 10k racers. The first stretch of the race went through grass and vineyards. I was able to see my son ahead as we went through the first mile. Rach and I got a little nervous as we saw the 10k runners coming right up behind us, it was tight quarters for the first quarter mile or so within the vineyard. We hugged the right as much as possible to allow the 10k runners by but it was a little difficult to get everyone to follow suit.

The majority of the course was on the road and once we reached that point, the field spread out and everything was good.

Who rocks? Sean, Diana, and G rock!

There was a water station set up a little before mile 2 and the volunteers were my friends so I was able to get the update on my son. Soon after I got the text alert that he finished. Even though these races are shorter distances, they have runner tracking which is appreciated, especially in this circumstance!

We got our photograph link emailed to us later on that day and this picture captures our experience to a T. Smiling, waving, and moving! Thanks to race photographer, Chad!

The last stretch of the race was through the vineyards again. 3.1 therapeutic miles – it was so good to be with Rachel and help her through this race. When we crossed the finish line we were awarded with our Run the Vineyards wine glasses, bottle of water, and KIND bars. Each bib has a wine ticket so you’re able to enjoy a glass of wine right after the race.

The atmosphere after the races is always party-like. There was a food truck and we had chairs and picnics set up.

When they began to announce the age group awards I was only half listening because, well, let’s be honest – I never win any awards. That’s why we nearly missed when Lucas’ name was called for placing third in the M 14 and under age group! What an awesome surprise! Emphasis on surprise.

That’s my kid!

My next race is the Atlantic City Bungalow Beach 5 Miler in a few weeks. The next couple of weeks I’m focusing on the last days of school for my kids and getting ready for summer but I’m hoping to get a few training runs in before that race. Fingers crossed!

Don’t Look Backwards – You’re Not Going That Way

Somehow, some way, it’s the middle of May.

I’m not sure how this happened. We were just sitting here, watching the snow fall last month (literally, it was just last month). New Jersey managed to skip over spring completely. Oh wait, not completely, because ALLERGIES are here in full force.

But yeah, other than that, it’s basically summer with temps most days in the 80s. Or raining. That’s what we’ve got going on over here. Summer or rain.

Here, for example, we were able to give out awards to our awesome HKRS runners… right before the skies opened up to a lovely downpour. Thanks to Kathleen B Photography for this picture!

At the end of 2017, I shared my race plans for 2018. Due to changes in plans and a few injuries, three of those didn’t happen. Did that stop me for registering for more races? NO! IT DID NOT. And now that the spring Healthy Kids Running Series is complete, I can begin training once more, the way I should prepare for races.

june

The inaugural Bungalow Beach Run is a 5 mile race that takes place in Atlantic City. As soon as I heard about this race, I knew I had to register!

First of all, it’s held by one of my favorites, the Atlantic City Marathon Races Series.

Secondly, the first 100 people to register get a beach towel (and you know I was one of those first 100 people!).

Registration cost was only $35 when the race opened (hello, affordable) and is currently $45. There’s day of packet pickup, medals, beer, entertainment, and THE BEACH. Plus, many of my local friends signed up for this one so I know it’s going to be a good time. I can’t wait!

august

Here’s a destination race for me – Vacation Races Elk Double. I’ll be taking a little trip across the country to join Jenn at her favorite race weekend!

I’m so excited for this for several reasons:

  1. JENN. I get my Jennifer! I haven’t seen her for far too long and I can’t wait! Not only that, but I get to spend 16.2 miles with her.
  2. Colorado. If you’ve been there, you know what I mean. If you haven’t been there, you should go!
  3. I’m bringing my family along with me! My boys are SO EXCITED for all things travel related but they’re really fixated on going to Colorado. Probably because of number 2.

So yes, I am really pumped for this and while I don’t want to rush time along or anything, I am very much looking forward to August! (And yes, I totally just copied and pasted my blurb from the previous blog. Not even going to pretend otherwise.)

I love a good 10k and I have it on good authority (aka all of my friends RAVE about this race) that The Philly 10k is amazing! This races sells out quickly each year and its piqued my interest mainly because it’s a race that takes place in Philly but not by the Art Museum. For those who live around this area, we know that most races happen on the same course, or at least a good portion of it does.

NOT THE PHILLY 10k! The course goes through South Street and Center City, which is a refreshing change! Sure it’s in August, and sure it may be hotter than the surface of the sun, and sure I might be regretting this in a few months… but for now? I’m stoked.

september

Back in 2013, Vic and Kyle ran the Bird-In-Hand Half Marathon. I believe it was then that I added this race to my bucket list. Five long years later, I have finally registered. Rachel and I needed a destination road trip and when she mentioned Bird-In-Hand, I said SOLD!

Last September we ran the Shenandoah Half together but since it’s not returning this year, we decided to set our sights on a tried and true race. Many runners, including many Team Shenanigans members talk about their love for this one so I’m really excited to experience all the hills it has to offer. Having run Ragnar PA last year also gives me a good idea of what to expect.

HEALTHY KIDS RUNNING SERIES HAPPENS MID-SEPTEMBER TO MID-OCTOBER. I’M BEING SMART (THIS TIME) AND NOT REGISTERING FOR ANY RACES DURING IT. I LEARNED MY LESSON!

october

I’m going back to A.C. and I’ll give you a hint: I won’t be doing the marathon, half marathon, or 5k during this race weekend. That’s right, it’s my favorite race distance, the 10k! I’ve run this race a couple of times in the past, both times were in the rain actually so I’m not really sure how the bodes for this October but I’m hoping for a nice fall day.

And I’m just going to put this out there: Finish Line Beer Garden.

Do with that what you will.

november

My very first road race was the Rothman 8k in 2011 during the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. While I was laid up with my broken wrist and in the middle of what I like to refer to as FOREVERWINTER, I decided that I was going to return to the race where it all began for me. After posting about it on Facebook, a good amount of people decided they’d sign up too! (I swear, I didn’t even work at talking anyone into it.)(Okay, maybe a little but they were highly motivated!)

I’m looking forward to this one because I really like this race weekend but I don’t want to do commit to training for a half (or full, for that matter – but that sorta goes without saying) around that time of year. A late November 8k is just right and since the weekend before Thanksgiving it always leaves me with warm fuzzies about running as we go into the holidays.

As always, there could be another race that comes on my radar for 2018 but these are the ones that are set in stone for now! I’m looking forward to all of them. I’ve adjusted my goals for this year, I’m not looking to PR any of these races and with my training thus far, I don’t think it’s very likely. My main goal is to get them done, remain injury free, and have a good time!

I Said Hey What’s Going On?

You’re welcome for that earworm!

You guys, I’ve had a week. Actually, it’s Wednesday now so I’ve had a week and a half. Last week my husband headed off on a plane to China for a business trip. No sooner had he sent me a text saying he was through security at the airport did my son get hurt. (That’s always the way, am I right?)

I’m not a doctor but this doesn’t look right, does it?

One trip to urgent care later, he was put in a boot and given crutches. Crutches. I can’t even use crutches easily (can anyone?). Last week was spent driving him to and from school; thankfully the school had a wheelchair that he could use. He was fairly despondent and I totally get why – it’s hard being hurt. I’m certainly not a stranger to it – especially this year.

As we discussed what would happen in the upcoming weeks, it was hard to give him a definitive answer. Gabe has high functioning Autism and one of the things that helps him is knowing what to expect. He wants everything laid out: first this, then that. It’s how we taught him.

With an injury, it’s a day by day basis. I couldn’t give him an answer as to what was going to happen or how he was going to feel this week; heck, I couldn’t even tell him how things were going to go the next day. And that’s really, really challenging for him.

Flexible thinking and taking things one day at a time is discussed often in our house, but that’s a hard concept on a good day, let alone when you’re hurting. My husband traveling for work added to the stress of it all and by the weekend, we were all needing a break. And let’s face it, sometimes you need a break and you don’t get one.

Now we are 9 days out from injury but things are looking up, at least from my perspective. He’s able to walk with the boot and he no longer needs crutches.

And today is Gabe’s 9th birthday.

The day before he got hurt at the garden build for his school.

I’ve share this before but the reason I started running is that I needed something to control when Gabe was diagnosed with Autism at 2 years old. At the time he was barely talking I didn’t know what the future would hold for him. Now I know it’s limitless. I know we have to be flexible and take things one day at a time. I know that we are going to stumble and fall occasionally but I also know that we are going to get back up, brush ourselves off, and persevere.

Because that’s what we do.

Road Tested: Amphipod PureRun™ Minimalist Hydration Vest

Disclaimer: I received the Amphipod PureRun™ Minimalist Hydration Vest 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!

Hello, hello! I am happy to report that I am feeling much better since my last post where I had to forgo running my favorite race, the April Fools Half Marathon in Atlantic City. Thank you to everyone who checked in on me and made sure that I was doing okay. Thankfully, patience and time healed my neck and I’m back to running once more!

I don’t know if I should blame the everlasting winter or the fact that I was in a cast for a large chunk of it, but the siren song of summer races had me whipping out my credit card and throwing myself against the registration rocks. Which means that I’ll be sweating it out during the upcoming summer months because I plan to train (outside even) in the heat. Remind me I said that.

As such, hydration will be key! I was happy to opt-in for the new Amphipod PureRun™ Minimalist Hydration Vest through the BibRave Pro program.

Sharp and lightweight

What do runner’s like? (Besides running, of course.) POCKETS. This vest has them, in spades! Roomy with plenty of space of my phone, interval timer, car key, and fuel (aka – snacks). The vest comes with two 12oz bottles, one of which I fill with a sport drink and the other with water.

There is also a space in the back of the vest for a bladder and a clip to hold the hydration tube. I have not used a bladder with mine yet, but I do appreciate that the option is there.

I really appreciate that Amphipod provides two sizes! Going by this chart vest size 1 would have fit, however, I opted for size 2. In the past I had another vest that was great, except that it pulled too snugly across my chest, which was uncomfortable. Not a problem with the Amphipod PureRun™ Minimalist Hydration Vest! In fact, both my son and I were both able to switch it back and forth between us and it easily adjusted to us.

In addition to the front clasps being adjustable, the side are as well. This means that you can fit it exactly to your body and there won’t be any movement. This means no chafing!

My friend, Charlie, is training for Broad Street so we’ve been trying to get together at least once a week so that she feels confident next week. We met up at a favorite local park to put in some miles. Usually we stick to the paved area but this time we ventured through the trails, which was a first for us at this location.

One thing that I noticed was that my watch band occasionally hooked onto the flask cord because I tend to keep my arms at a ninety degree angle and swing them while running. The next time that I use it, I’m going to try to adjust that cord so that doesn’t happen again or maybe loop it around the top of the flask.

Other than that small issue, the vest worked perfectly. It was really nice to not have a hand-held bottle (my standard go-to) and it was so light, living up to its minimalist name. Additionally, the things that I had in the pockets stayed put and I didn’t shift at all. If you’re looking to invest in a hydration vest, I definitely recommend this one. And if you live close by and want to try it before you buy it, feel free to swing by!

I can’t wait to use it for races over the summer. Big plans for the Amphipod PureRun™ Minimalist Hydration Vest!

Follow them on social:
Instagram @AmphipodRunning
Twitter @Amphipod
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/amphipod/

Want to check out more reviews from my fellow BRPs?

Andrea
Barb
Alastair
Bradford
Renee
Angie
Mai
Kevin
Logan
Amy
Whitney

Decided Not to be Stupid

Filing this in: when things don’t go as planned.

I have a problem with letting things go.

I acknowledge this. I like when my life goes according to plan. Type A, 100%. When I say that I’m going to do something, I do. No questions asked.

Even if I’m struggling; even if it’s miserable. Even when I am miserable.

I’m supposed to be lining up to run the AC April Fools 1/2 marathon right at this very moment.

But I’m not.

The past week I’ve been dealing with a very sore neck and to be honest, my training hasn’t been what it should be for a half marathon.

In the past I would have pushed through and run anyway but recently, I’ve realized that sometimes – it’s just not worth it. I don’t have anything to prove and there’s no shame in making the smart decision.

The Type A part of me sheds a tear because I’ve run this race since its inception in 2012, on my 35th birthday.

2012 – Cam’s first half marathon

And the next year with wonderful college friends.

2013

And then this AMAZING crew came from all over the country in 2014.

Miss Demeanor, Miss Chief, Miss Print, Miss Behavin’, Miss Fit, Miss Creant, Miss Placed

It’s where these epic costumes happened, with these equally epic people.

 

It’s where Chrissy and I train for many of our races together, including this one in 2016, when the weather was so awful we weren’t sure we were going to make it to the finish.

Last year was the year that I gained an 8 minute PR at this race. It was also the first time I ever run the course completely alone, which is not usually how I operate when it comes it running.

When I tweeted about the possibility of a DNS earlier this week, Lisa (@runslikemud) said she’s heard it should stand for Decided Not to be Stupid.

This applies here.

I made the decision to pull myself from this event and it is absolutely for the best. For those who are out there today, getting it done – I hope that the miles are good to you, as is the weather.

I’ll be back in AC for the new 5 mile Bungalow Beach Run in June and I’m sure many more races. But for now, I’m going to rest, recuperate, and look ahead to the next.

(And stay off Facebook because many local friends are running and it still hurts my heart a little.)(Baby steps, okay?)

Race Recap: 2018 Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k race 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!

In 2017 I ran the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k on my 40th birthday. This year I had the opportunity to run the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 5k representing BibRave and I jumped at the opportunity. The swag is incredible and HELLO, there is chocolate. What more could a girl want?

Well, how about a super cool friend to run with? That’s always a bonus and one of the reasons I love running so much – being with friends. Last year I ran the 15k with my dear friend Christina as a celebration for both of us turning 40. This year, novice runner Ana joined me for the 5k run around Philadelphia.

Originally when I signed up for this race, I had visions of 5k PRs danced in my head. However after a rough winter and a broken arm, my training was less than stellar. I settled into the “get it done” mentality and that worked out well because I was able to run with Ana at her first ever road race.

I chose to have my packet sent to me rather than going to the expo for an additional fee. My purple pullover and bib arrived a week and a half prior to the race. It was worth the additional cost for me to save time traveling into the city prior to race day. There was no race day pickup.

The weather this year as brisk but not uncomfortable. As I headed out the door I made a last minute decision to ditch my gloves. I later came to regret that decision but otherwise I was comfortable.

Ana and I took the train into the city from S. Jersey, which is usually my standard when it comes to Philly races. It’s easy, it’s quick, and I don’t have to worry about parking. It was packed with other Hot Chocolate runners. I don’t know the amount of people who run both races but in the 5k there were 3,406 runners. I think that the 15k is the bigger of the two races. Both races get the same pullover and finisher’s mug at the end of the race, but the 15k also gets a finishers medal, which I think is a big draw for many people.

Our quick walk from the train station to the start line served as a warm up and we made it to the Art Museum right around 7am for the 7:15am start. It was perfect timing and we even got to see a few friends before the race!

Representing BibRave with Joe!

We placed ourselves in the G corral = mullet crew, party in the back. Looking to have a good time with this, we set our timer to 1:1 intervals.

The course is similar to others in Philadelphia. Starts at the Art Museum and then winds down along the river and back again. Boathouse Row is always fun to look at, the traffic on the other side: not as much.

We spent the first mile or so bobbing and weaving, as is usually the case with races this size, but we were having fun and enjoying the race and also the people around us.

On the course they handed out chocolate and marshmallows, along with water and Nuun.

This race went by fast! Soon enough we were turning around and headed back to the Art Museum.

Free race photos? YES PLEASE!

There is a small hill right near the finish line that is always there and yet, it always catches me off guard for some reason. We decided to walk up the hill (honestly, it’s not bad at all – just me whining) and then hit the gas for the end. So much fun!

Sure running is fun but let’s talk about chocolate-y goodness, shall we? There are huge tents where you can get your mug filled with all sorts of goodies: hot chocolate, chocolate dipping sauce, pretzels, cookies, banana, and Rice Krispy treat. Last year the ground around that area was muddy and gross due to recent rain. This year there was hay on the ground, which significantly improved that situation and was much appreciated.

The line to get our treats moved quickly and soon enough we were sitting in front of the Art Museum and enjoyed our treats.

And, of course, we ran up the Art Museum steps! How could we not?

Ana is already talking about signing up again next year so I think the running bug has bitten her. (Mwahaha, excellent, everything is going according to plan.)

Video: Greecie Girl Headbands Review and GIVEAWAY!

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a fabulous Friday! I’ve gotten a lot of good feedback on the videos we’ve posted lately so I figured that I’d make another one. Included are a few life updates and review a new-to-me product, Greecie Girl Headbands (pronounced Greece – I asked!). Enjoy!

Want to see a few pictures of Greecie Girl products in action? SURE YOU DO!

Dream Big

Treadmill run on a cold, snowy day (is it spring yet?)

If you’re interested, be sure to check out Mary’s sites. You can enter our giveaway down below but if you just can’t wait to order, the code 15off will save you 15% off orders over $24. WOOHOO!

Greecie Girl Headbands website

Greecie Girl Headbands on Etsy

 

Click the pic to enter!

One winner will win TWO headbands from Mary at Greecie Girl Headbands! Want to enter? Be sure to click on the picture above. Giveaway is running now until 3/20/2018 at 12am, est. Winner will be contacted via email for information. In the event that we do not hear back within 24 hours, a new winner will be chosen.

Are you a social media fan? You can find Greecie Girl here:

Twitter – ishlass
Instagram – greeciegirl

Race Recap: The Lucky Run 2018

Lucky me – I won the growler playing the spinning wheel at packet pickup!

Back in the day, when I first started working out in earnest, I did Stroller Strides three times a week at Washington Lake Park. With my older son strapped into his stroller I would briskly walk with a gaggle of other moms and babies. We’d stop for exercises like squats, walking lunges, resistance band exercises, and ab work. And when we’d stop, we sang children’s songs to entertain the kids… and probably the rest of the patrons in the park as well.

As time went on I became a certified instructor; I continued to teach through my pregnancy and then with my younger son in the stroller. It feels like a lifetime ago!

May 12, 2013 – a 5k held on Mother’s Day.

Quite simply, the park feels like home. When I found out that The Lucky Run was held there, it went on my bucket list. Through a series of fortunate events, I won a free entry to this year’s race!

In line with the theme, packet pickup was held at two breweries on the days leading up to the race, along with race day packet pickup for added convenience. Communication from Good Day for a Run and Mean Guy Running was stellar, as is their way. I opted to go to the closest brewery to me: Kelly Green Brewing Co. I (sadly) skipped the beer since I knew I’d be partaking in a post race beer or two the following day.

Race day weather was cool but dry. We’ve seen our share of snow and general yuckiness the last couple of weeks so we were all happy that the sun shining on the day of the race.

Thankfully I was wearing my Greecie Girl hat! Review coming soon.

Prior to running we learned a bit about the charity that the race supports, Collette Paying it Forward. We also got the chance to chat with a few of the charity’s volunteers while they were selling 50/50 raffle tickets. I like races that give back to the community.

Before the race began, I was able to meet up with a few local members of Team Shenanigans, Lynn and Erin! Although I’ve been a fan of the Team Shenanigans podcast for awhile, this was my first shenanigans encounter in person… and hopefully not the last – I don’t think I scared them away! We only had a few minutes prior to the race to talk, but we caught up at the after-party at The Village Pub.

After pictures and shenanigans (you see what I did there) we lined up for the start. We fed through the start line and then self-seeded where we thought we should be. I put myself toward the very back of the pack – in hindsight I might have wanted to find a place a bit further up. The park paths are narrow and it’s hard to maneuver in a large crowd. Lesson learned – I’ll keep it in mind for next time.

After the Star Spangled Banner, we were off to the sounds of a bagpiper!

Thanks to race photographer Chad for this picture!

There are a few areas of the park that tend to flood when there’s been a lot of rain. Knowing where to step for that portion definitely helped me out, but I could tell there were a few runners around me that ended up with wet socks.

The course had a double loop so the lead runners met up with the back of the pack around mile 2. No skin off my back but I could see that being a bit of a challenge for them.

The first mile was crowded but once we got past that, it spread out a bit. There was a water station around mile 1.25, which you passed again in the second mile. Neither my running buddy nor I needed to stop but it’s nice that they have the option! We joked that we were holding out for the beer at the after-party.

After the second loop we veered off to go through the flooded area again. This time is was less critical to know where to step because it wasn’t as dense with runners.

We looped by the amphitheater once again and went through what started at the start line and became the finish line. Results were immediately emailed to my phone.

I don’t know if you remember this if you’re not my mom (hi mom) but my goal for running in 2018 was to get faster at the 5k distance. I didn’t achieve that goal for this race but I’m going to cut myself some slack since my broken arm didn’t do me any favors in the training department. At this point, I’m really just happy to be out there and running. Everything else is just icing on the cake.

Knowing that we didn’t win any awards, we quickly headed over to the after-party at The Village Pub. Erin and Lynn arrived there a bit ahead of us and grabbed a table, which was absolutely awesome. We were able to chat there while snacking on our complimentary munchies and drinking our beer (also free with ticket on the bib). Then since we were there, we decided to grab more snacks… and more beer! Hey, why not?!

One of the things I love the most about running local is catching up with so many friends! It’s such a good time and this environment only lends to the experience. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, Good Day for a Run and Mean Guy Running know what runners enjoy!

I hope I’m finding my 5k groove because I’ll be at the Haddonfield Adrenaline Run on Saturday and then I’ll be representing BibRave at the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k in Philadelphia in early April so if you’re looking for me, look for the orange! If you haven’t signed up for that one yet, use code ““BRHCPHILLY18” to score a bonus Hot Chocolate cap.

What races do you have coming up? Will I see any of you at the Adrenaline Run or Philly Hot Chocolate? We can share snacks. Just kidding, I won’t share!

Get Up and Go! Healthy Kids Running Series

My kids really like playing outside with our neighbors.

They also really like their video games.

I can’t fault them for this and I can’t even say “kids these days” as I sit here at my computer, typing this blog entry. We all enjoy technology and when the winter months of the Northeast slowly drag along, the comforts of being inside far outweigh the dreary, frigid days.

However, we’ve been seeing hints of spring over the last week. We had two beautiful days when I wore a t-shirt and capris and got to soak in some much needed vitamin D.

On those days, as soon as homework was done my kids were out the door, running around and playing. I actually felt bad calling them in when we had to go to karate, piano, Scouts, or whatever else was on the agenda.

Which is why I am extremely excited for the Healthy Kids Running Series. And, I’m even more excited because I’m the new coordinator for our location here in New Jersey!

A friend of mine was the coordinator in the fall and thought that I would be a good match for taking over in the Spring… and here I am! Encouraging kids and making running fun is something that I try to do on a daily basis ANYWAY, so it’s a natural fit.

Plus, as I’m sure many of you know, I’m a Type A planner. Being a HKRS coordinator is a planner’s dream. I get to have lists and deadlines! Being that it is a non-profit I get to work with sponsors for the location and meet people within my community. But best of all, I get to spread the love of running to children. While it’s a 5 week race series, the emphasis is on FUN.

The adult running community in our area is a great one, full of inspiration and motivation. Run856 encourages all of its members, the focus isn’t on a pace but rather the community aspect. It took me until adulthood to enjoy running and see its benefits. I’d like the kids to find the fun sooner rather than later!

My goal is to show the kids the running community includes them and that together we can win OUR races. It might not as the first person to cross the finish line but by showing up, bettering ourselves, and cheering for our friends we all excel.

I’m sure I’ll have stories along the way and I can’t wait to experience my first event when I’m actually working with the kids and parents on April 8th. Stay tuned!