Life Update and America Runs 5k Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the America Runs 5k Virtual 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!

First things first, I wanted to check in and let you know that my knee is substantially better since my last post! After a few visits to my doctor,  the pain that lasted nearly a month has finally subsided.

What was wrong? Well, apparently the cartilage under my kneecap has worn away. It got irritated from overuse (who me?) which caused there to be fluid. Long story short, I’m taking joint supplements and anti-inflammatory. And as long as things are feeling good, I won’t have to get a shot in my knee.

The thought alone of having a shot in my knee gives me the heebie-jeebies so let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it won’t come to that.

Doc also said that I can get back to low-impact exercise and slowly amp things back up. I’ve done a few short workouts this week and I’m still feeling good, which is promising!

Also promising is that I registered for the America Runs 5k Virtual Race! While I’m not expecting myself to look quite as strong as the ladies up there in their promo picture, I’m hoping that this can be a comeback race for me, as I work my way up to the 5k distance.

The America Runs 5k is hosted by the Gannett Foundation and in partnership with EnMotive, the same folks who host the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. They’re fantastic at putting on virtual events and are known for quality swag!

What has really caught my attention about this race is the charity it supports:

In partnership with America Runs 5k we are raising money to support statewide COVID-19 recovery efforts. All funds raised will be donated across the United States by state, apportioned based on the number of registrations per state.

Join me in running! Registration is open from now until the end of September. Swag packets will begin shipping the week of August 17th.

If you’d like to learn more about it, check out their social media.

America Runs – Twitter
America Runs Together – Instagram
America Runs – Facebook
America Runs – Website

Oh! One more thing before I go. Nominations for The BibRave 100 close today! Be sure to share your favorites of the past decade by clicking on the link and sharing your thoughts!

Life Update: Injured and Unhappy

Blogging during COVID-19 has been challenging (as seen by the lack of posts). Actually, life during COVID-19 has been a challenge and blogging has fallen low on the list of priorities but I’ve been giving myself grace because I realize how important that is right now.

I think we can all agree that currently life status is: survival mode.

Son and mom sitting together outside on the steps.

Snuggling my kids seem to help make me feel better. At least emotionally.

However, I also think that connection is important and I’ve been reminded as I’ve kept a written journal for myself, that blogging is also cathartic. Truthfully, I’m struggling at the moment.

I’m struggling in many of the same ways others are struggling.

There is a litany of wrongs currently in the world and it seems like the list is growing by the day. I’m usually one to find the good in every situation but I probably don’t have to tell you… it’s very difficult right now.

Emotions are high, mentally I’m exhausted.

And on top of all that, I’m physically hurt.

The past few weeks, my knee(cap) has been hurting when I hold my leg a certain way. I’m not usually one to complain and I thought that maybe, just maybe it would go away on its own.

IT HAS NOT.

I’ve finally conceded that I need to go to the doctor and made an appointment for two days from now.

It should to be noted that I have high anxiety about going ANYWHERE. When we received the stay-at-home order here in New Jersey back in March, my family decided that my husband would be the one to do the essential trips. I’m somewhat comfortable going to outside locations but going inside anywhere (let alone a doctor’s office) makes me very nervous.

But something needs to be done. I notice the pain most when I’m sleeping. As an added precautionary measure, I’ve stopped running and cycling for the past few days. Shocking, I know.

Meridith standing in front of her Peloton bike.

Last Peloton ride was last week, Cody’s tribute to Britney Spears. I look happy before but I was hurting after.

Riding and running are two of the ways I stay sane in this truly insane world. Maybe it’s an overuse injury? I can see that being the case, even though it doesn’t actively feel like I’ve been doing a whole heck of a lot of anything.

I’m grumbling about it but I’m trying to listen to my body’s cues and make choices that will help instead of hurt. I hope that all I need to do is rest a bit, see the doctor, and be back on my bike/running by next week. Taking things one day at a time is what we try to teach our kids and what I’m trying really hard to remind myself right now. I’m trying to focus on meditation, gentle yoga, and even more gentle strength training.

So, that’s my life update at the moment. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing too big. Just where I’m at on this day in this crazy year of 2020.

I hope you are all safe and well and hanging in there.

 

Global Running Day 24 Hour Relay Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received the Global Running Day 24 Hour Relay 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!

Runners celebrate Global Running Day the first Wednesday of June each year and while 2020 has brought us many challenges, this did not change. The Rochester Running Company chose to host a virtual 24 Hour Relay, complete with a medal and cotton t-shirt.

The relay was broken down into half hour time slots. I signed up for the 9am slot and the race company used a Sign Up Genius page for others to claim their times. A local friend of mine registered for the time slot right before mine and ran at the park before I did, handing off the virtual baton while socially distancing.

For those who aren’t close in location, we had the option to email, text, or call the runner after us. Fellow BibRave Pro, Lissa, was lined up for the 9:30 time slot so I texted her as I finished up my half hour run. I love how the relay was broken down in terms of time rather than by distance. It felt inclusive of all paces and a lot of my friends signed up because of this.

It was hot and muggy on June 3rd but that didn’t stop us. We headed out to the park and did multiple loops within the half hour time frame.

The relay idea was a great one but not all the teams were full. I think if there was a way to improve this virtual run, it might be to consider filling up teams when people sign up rather than having different “locations” as determining factors of the team.

The medal and t-shirt arrived just over a month after the virtual event. The design of the medal is gorgeous! The t-shirt is a uni-sex cotton shirt with the medal design on the front left breast and the hashtag #Global24Relay across the back.

I’ve been particular with the virtual runs I’ve chosen to do because there are so many options and I don’t want to spread myself too thin but I really enjoyed this first ever event. It was a great way to connect with other BibRave Pros and my local running group as well, all while social distancing and making good choices.

 

Safety First with ROADiD (25% coupon code!)

Disclaimer: I received ROADid products 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!

For those who have read ScootaDoot since we began in 2013, you know I’ve been a ROADiD fan from the get-go. From the Stretch to the Elite, I’ve worn just about every stand-alone ROADiD that’s been designed.

As has my family!

However more than once, I’ve gotten out onto the trail for a run, only to realize that I’d forgotten my ROADiD at home. I usually try to carry very little while on a run… but sometimes I end up with TOO little. What can I say, I’ve gotten forgetful in my ol’ age.

When BibRave put out the call to test ROADiD’s Sidekick ID, which fit to the watchband of my Garmin, I was on board!

Ordering from ROADiD is simple. Honestly the hardest choices I had to make were:

  1. Which faceplate color I’d get.
  2. What I wanted the final line of my ROADiD to say.

In regards to the faceplate, I could NOT decide between the Graphite and Rose Gold. But guess, what… I have two watches so WHY NOT GET BOTH?

My black Forerunner 935 is my go-to for running and working out so I chose my go-to “I CAN & I WILL” for the last line.

The vivomove HR is my everyday watch, it’s the one I wear when I want to be a bit more “fancy”. I’m using that term very liberally here. I went with “GET UP AND GO” for my motivational 5th line.

There are two sizes for the Sidekick ID, 13MM (which works on Fitbit watches) and the 19MM, which is perfect for the Garmin watchbands. When wearing either of my watches, they sit flush to the curve of my wrist.

Getting my yoga on in my basement… still safe!

What I truly love about the Sidekick on my watchbands is that I no longer have to think about taking the extra step, adding the extra bracelet. That information is always right there with me. I’ve been very fortunate in that nothing has ever happened where I needed my ROADiD but it’s very comforting to know that it’s there, just in case.

With social distancing orders still in place here in New Jersey, I’ve been going on solo runs (and mostly sticking to working out at home, to be perfectly honest). The more I plan to get outside, I feel more confident and secure having a ROADiD on my wrist.

From my favorite running spot (in January).

Additionally, I love supporting companies that are fantastic with customer service. ROADiD is one of those companies and it comes through in their messaging. Good stuff right there!

Want to pick up a ROADiD of your own? You can use the code SAVE25BRP to save 25% off any ROADiD on their website.

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say:

Mike
Becky
Lisha
Tedrick
Brenda
Lisa
Randy
Nicky
Cassie
Ebony
Ken
Steph
Chris
Kelsey
Riley

Global Running Day 24 Hour Virtual Relay

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Global Running Day 24 Hour Virtual Relay 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 friends! It’s been more than a minute since any of us have blogged here. I’d apologize for that, except for that fact that it’s been pure survival mode around these parts. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same so rather than apologize I’ll just say that I missed you and I hope you’re doing well.

The days, weeks, and months have run together recently and it’s hard to keep track at this point. But make no mistake, June is coming. Not only that but the first Wednesday of June is Global Running Day. A day to celebrate running and all it has done for us in striving for an active and healthy lifestyle. And while this year has certainly been the weirdest ever… I’m here for it.

There are many different organized events to celebrate Global Running Day. Personally, I’ll be taking part in the Global 24 Hour Relay. On June 3rd, we’ll be banding together to run 30 minute increments and pass the virtual baton from runner to runner. I’m on the Philadelphia, PA team and there are teams from all over the country that you can join.

Furthermore, if you’d like to start your own team, you’re able to do that too! Since it’s virtual, it doesn’t matter where you are located because you’re running on behalf of your team wherever you may be.

The last time I was part of a running relay team with more than 2 runners was back in 2017 when I ran Ragnar PA.

If only we knew that we’d be wearing masks in every day life just a few years later…

I’m signed up to run the 9-9:30am leg for our team. I really appreciated that this is time based, rather than mileage based. Everyone is encouraged to get out there and do the best they can within the given time frame. After running your allotted half hour, you virtually “pass the baton” to your teammate via text, email, or call. What’s important during Global Running Day is the fact that you’re doing it, nothing more!

As incentive, those who register for the early morning time slots are given a $5 discount. Personally, I can’t function at 2:30am but if you can, I’ve spied some open times on Team Philly (hint, hint).

And what do you get for participating in this Global 24 Hour Relay? Well, beside the obvious pride that comes along with it, you’ll receive this shirt and medal at the end of June and be entered into a few raffles from Garmin, Maurten, Goodr, and Trigger Point.

 

There are so many virtual races happening right now and I’ve been very choosy with what I’ve signed up for so I don’t experience VRF (Virtual Race Fatigue). The community aspect of this relay is what cinched it for me!

Want to join us? You should! Let’s make this #Global24Relay happen!

Home Tested: Nabee Compression Socks

Disclaimer: I received Nabee Compression Socks 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!

You might have noticed that the title of this post is “Home Tested”, whereas we usually say “Road Tested” when blogging about to a new product we try.

Yet, with our self-isolation and limited time outside, this is more accurate wording. New Jersey has been at home for the last month and we’ve limited the our outings to essential trips.

Which means that the majority of my workouts have been at home and in the yard rather than the preferred trails.

And it also means that I’m finding (more) happiness in good mail days and sweet gifts from friends.

These amazing bright socks from Nabee and Raw Threads birthday tank from bestie, Vic, arrived within a few days of each other and made me so happy!

As I mentioned the last time I blogged, I actually ran my Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon virtually on the treadmill. The Nabee socks arrived just a few days before running and while I know we aren’t supposed to do anything new on race day, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to go the distance with these compression socks.

Feet, don’t fail me now!

I’m a fan of wearing compression socks for long runs to assist with reducing swelling as well as pain and soreness. Now I’m not saying it was the socks (and I’m not saying it wasn’t the socks either!) but I was also able to attain a half marathon PR during this long run!

I also wear them after long runs to assist with recovery. I’ve been doing lots of rides on my Peloton bike over the last month (getting close to my 100th Century Ride!) and it definitely helps the legs feel better faster so I can push myself to the next PR.

The bottoms of the socks have a cushioned sole which is so comfortable – both when running and during recovery. I also really like the breathability of these socks – they aren’t too tight and my calves are happy throughout wearing them.

But what I like the very most about Nabee Socks at the moment has less to do with me and more about what they’re doing for health care workers.

Pretty incredible, right? With the fun designs and comfort, I’ll be ordering more soon.

If you want to as well, use code BIBRAVE20 at checkout on their website and save 20% off all socks.

Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Goes Virtual… On a Treadmill

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon race weekend 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!

This past weekend was supposed to include a road trip with Rachel to Virginia Beach, a gathering of BibRave Pros, and a Personal Record at the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon.

It actually included two of the three things listed.

10 days ago I received word that both this race and the upcoming Allstate Hot Chocolate Philly race were cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. 10 days feels like forever ago at this point.

Both races quickly offered virtual options. At first, my local friends and I planned to run on, we’d meet up as a group and do a half marathon. However as the week continued and our Governor stated we needed to maintain social distance/stay home, we scratched those plans.

I knew I wanted to run the half marathon distance but then it became a matter of WHERE. At first I defaulted to where I started out running, the treadmill. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve logged serious treadmill miles.

Outside on the trail would’ve been preferable, but I didn’t want to run alone, especially with the high anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. My 15 year old actually volunteered to run it with me; he’s been doing a lot of long training runs with me lately.

But the more and more I thought about it (while I was not sleeping at night) the more I decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with that idea.

After chatting with friends on Twitter, I landed on running the majority of the 13.1 miles on the treadmill. I actually thought that I’d do 12.1 on the treadmill and do the last mile outside. Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen because it was pretty cold outside and I was extremely warm and sweaty from my inside miles.

I decided to break the half marathon down into three sections, an hour, and hour, and then the last portion. I’d been training with a goal of getting finished within 2:30-2:39. With the knowledge that I could possibly fizzle out mentally on the treadmill, I wasn’t going into this expected a PR. Actually, I thought I’d just get the miles done and call it good.

My first hour I used the Peloton Tread app and did a 60 minute Fun Run with Matty Maggiacomo.

I definitely pushed harder than I expected to during the 60 minutes and wound up finishing the hour at 5.15 miles, which means I was keeping at 11:39 pace. Knowing this, I started to think that a PR for this run was actually attainable if I kept up the positive vibes and spirit.

While I was filling my water bottle I quickly tweeted out my progress and got a whole slew of responses from our running community, which I was able to read on my Garmin as I ran.

For my second 5 mile segment I tapped into my playlist that I made specifically for the Shamrock 1/2. It’s an eclectic mix of everything from big band to Lizzo to Franz Ferdinand. I was able to accomplish that in 58:38.

Which meant I only had 3 more miles left to go! After filling my water bottle one last time, I got on the treadmill once more. My legs were getting tired and my lower back ached but I knew that unless something went terribly wrong, I’d be able to hit my goal time.

And I did! All together I ran 13.1 miles in 2:34.22. While it’s not official, it’s absolutely a PR for me in the half marathon distance. The fact that I was able to do it on the treadmill makes me believe that there is no doubt I could do it within a race setting.

My cheering squad was waiting for me when I came upstairs to celebrate. They wouldn’t hug me though… not because of social distancing but because I was very sweaty.

Today is #MedalMonday and while my medal isn’t actually physically here, it will just prolong the happiness of this particular accomplishment when it does arrive. And right now, I’ll take what I can get.

Hope you are all safe, well, and staying home.

Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia Cancellation

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 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!

If there’s one thing you should know about me, I’m a Type A personality. Schedules and unwavering plans are what I thrive on. Actually, in a community of runners, I think you’ll find that to be true about many of us. We HAVE to be that way if we want to train well and excel during a race.

But life throws you for a loop sometimes and that’s exactly what’s happening now with the COVID-19 virus. Before I get too much further into this post, let me state for the record that I absolutely understand the reasoning and logic behind canceling events. I’m always one to err on the side of caution. Making decisions like these are not easy and I feel for the race directors who need to make the call.

That said, yesterday was a rough day.

In the span of a couple of hours yesterday I got the news that two of the races I’ve been training for have been cancelled: the Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon (the plan was to PR at that one) and the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k in Philadelphia.

I requested cake and wine for dinner and my husband did not disappoint.

Am I bummed? Yeah, I absolutely am.

But I’m also trying really, really hard to look on the bright side of things. I think what I appreciate most about these races is that even though they can’t happen the way that we intended them to, they’re doing their darnest to make things as right as they can for the runners.

The Allstate Hot Chocolate Race Series recently announced a virtual option for their races. With things currently the way they are, they’ve switched the entirety of the Philadelphia race to being virtual.

I’m no stranger to virtual events, having just wrapped up the virtual 465 Challenge!

I love that the Hot Chocolate Race Series will be mailing out all of the goodies to our homes, especially because their swag is always the best. I still plan on getting outside on April 4th and running my 5k. There’s a perfect spot near the river here in New Jersey and as long as it’s safe for me to do so, that’s where I plan to be.

I’ll just have to wait to see these guys next year in Philly!

If you want to join in virtually, here’s the link to register. Be smart and be safe!

It’s a Wrap: 465 Challenge

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Virtual Challenge 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!

The start of this year has been fantastic. I’ve been healthy, happy, and active.

The 465 Challenge helped immensely with that! To refresh, the 465 Virtual Challenge was a 2 month event in which the goal was to complete 53 miles via running, walking, or bike (or swim, but that wasn’t happening over here in the winter!). Those who continued on to do more than that were considered, LOOPERS.

At the end of January, I’d completed 3 loops totaling, 189.54 miles.

My miles increased even more in February. I was consistent on the Peloton bike (which I got in January) and increased speed, miles, and output.

I’ve also been upping my miles since I’ve got the Shamrock Half Marathon coming up in just a few weeks.

As the added cherry on the top, my son has joined me for the last few long training runs. He’s running his first ever 10 mile race in May and he’s already thinking, planning, and training.

I wish I had his drive when I was 15 years old!

By Leap Day, I’d reached 7 loops, totaling over 371 miles!

What was especially great about this virtual race was the community that came along with it. The directors created a Facebook group, just for those participating in the challenge and we were all able to cheer for each other.

The interaction in the group was great and because it was over a 2 month span, I really got a chance to connect with others. I’ve done a few virtual events and this quickly grabbed the number one spot in terms of community, support, and feedback from the race directors.

The shirt, medal, and sticker arrived on Friday, February 28th – just in time for a medal Monday.

Stick a fork in this challenge, it’s done. But I’m not; I’m just getting started!

Have you done a virtual event before? Which one? Why did you choose it?

Road Tested: Built Bar (with 20% discount code)

Disclaimer: I received Built Bar Protein and Energy 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!

I have done my share of protein/energy bar “investigating” in the past. Back in 2014, my husband and I tried a variety of bars, which naturally we reviewed here.

Then last year while Bec was visiting, she introduced me to Built Bar. The rest, as they say, is history. I have been hooked on Built Bar ever since! I tend to go with what I know so I’ve always ordered a few of my standard favorites in a mixed box – Salted Caramel Chocolate, Coconut Chocolate Creme, and Vanilla Chocolate Creme.

When BibRave teamed up with Built Bar, I knew I had to opt-in to check out their newest flavors and find some new favorites. Seriously, when it comes to flavors, they have MANY!

The low calorie, high protein content is absolutely a draw but that would mean little if they didn’t taste good. Built Bars are extremely tasty! Of course I still love my old standbys, but a few of my new favorites are Mint Brownie Delite, Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond, and Black Cherry Chocolate Creme.

Other than wholesale, Built Bar is primarily an online order business. When they weather is warmer, they take great care to get your bars to you quickly and include a cold pack so they don’t melt.

When you get three boxes of Built Bar, you have to share the wealth! Immediately my older son who works out with me was interested in trying them. I noticed that they were disappearing quickly and soon found out why.

He was not even a little bit sorry about this.

I brought an assortment along with me on a long run to share with my running buddies. I wasn’t surprised at all to hear rave reviews from those who tried them.

One of my friends said that she had a Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery a few years back and has to be very careful about what she eats. She was very excited to read the Built Bar’s ingredients and see that it worked for her!

The outside of each bar is coated with chocolate while the inside is nougat-like. When warm they do tend to get a little sticky. During our Twitter #bibchat it was suggested to try putting a Built Bar into the refrigerator or freezer to cool it down.

The freezer made it a little too difficult for me to bite into but I love keeping them in the fridge and have a stockpile in mine!

Built Bar is constantly evolving and introducing new flavors to their mix. The only bummer is that some of my favorites don’t last for very long. They do retire flavors and have limited releases too. However, there’s always something in the rotation that I love!

Check out more reviews from BRPs:

Renee
Becky
Kelsey
Riley
Amy
Emily

 

Have you tried Built Bar? If so, what’s your favorite flavor? If I had to chose one, I’d go with the Salted Caramel Chocolate. If you haven’t tried them yet, which flavor would you try first? Order with code BUILTNOW and it will save you 20%!