Recovery: The Running Event Product Reviews

Disclaimer: I received items from Addaday, Arcanum, and Nuun from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Ahhh, recovery days. It’s a time for my muscles and body to relax and to recharge in both the physical and mental sense.

Once upon a time (aka when I first started running in nearly 8 years ago) I didn’t embrace the recovery mindset as much as I should have and I wound up with overuse injuries and overall fatigue. I’ve learned from my past mistakes and now I love recovery days as much as I do a good sweat.

In fact, I’m using the time between Christmas and New Years to settle deep into the recovery. Sure I’ve been working out but the balance is finally resetting. It’s the first time in at least a month I haven’t had to be at least three places at once and I’m taking full advantage of this down time. I’ll say it again, ahhh!

I received a few products at The Running Event that I’ve been using to aid my recovery. Read on to learn about each!

Arcanum

Sarco Breeze 4 oz: $40, Sarco Freeze 42.5: $35, The Quill: $50

I’ll be frank with you, I knew next to nothing in regards to activated hemp/CBD oil before meeting Arcanum representative and fitness professional, Lindsay Minz, at TRE Influencer Day.

Through Lindsay’s presentation, I learned the different uses and benefits for each of the products we were given and I’ve been putting them to the test since returning home from Austin a month ago.

The Sarco Freeze soothes sore muscles when I’ve been a little too overzealous at the gym. It occasionally happens! Additionally, this month has been full of wrapping presents and that means sitting on the floor, stretching, twisting, and generally doing things the “difficult” way instead of the easy/smart way. The Sarco Freeze is my go-to to help ease my aching back.

(Yes, I feel old when I complain about my aching back.)

The Sarco Breeze is not only a sports massage oil but also a moisturizer. Lindsay shared that she uses it on her face and it’s helped her skin significantly. This intrigued me and I don’t have any set skin care regiment so I went for it – applying it before bed every night. I’ve been really pleased.

No make up, no filter!

A few years ago I was bit in the face by a dog and I’ve been using Sarco Breeze on my entire face but paying special attention to my scars. It’s helped break up some of the scar tissue, so that’s an added bonus.

Finally, I’ve been using The Quill which is a gel pen that releases just the right amount of activated hemp through the skin. Applied to the wrist or anywhere there is thin skin, it helps with recovery and boosting your system with natural ingredients. This assists in regulating inflammation.

All of the Arcanum products have a very light, mild scent. I’m learning more about CBD every day so if anyone is knowledgeable and would like to share information with me, please comment!

Addaday

Type C Massage Roller: $42

Addaday Type C Massage Roller is touted as a “runners favorite massage roller” and after just one month of use, I can see why.

I’ve been using this roller after tough gym sessions, especially on my lower body to help with recovery and muscle soreness. This roller has the small red gear that helps is good for shins and calves while the larger grey/blue ones are good at helping with lactic acid buildup.

This particular Addaday roller is a little over 18″ long, which makes in easy to pack in a bag for traveling. I love my huge foam roller but it’s not very easy to transport.

When it comes to using the roller it’s definitely a “hurts so good” mentality – sometimes rolling hurts more than the actual muscle soreness but it also assists in healing faster. Pairing this the products from Arcanum has taken me to the next level in terms of fast recovery. When you’re not able to get a massage, the roller is a fantastic substitute.

Nuun

Nuun tubes: $7 each, Nuun hydration bottle: $7

We here at Scoot a Doot are not new to Nuun Hydration, in fact I think we first reviewed it way back in 2013.

I use it during my workouts for hydration because Nuun helps you absorb fluids and nutrients faster and contains the optimal blend of electrolytes. In addition to that, I’ve also been dipping into my abundant Nuun supply on recovery days.

Nuun Vitamins are a newer product that provides 11 vitamins and minerals and are good for any day of the week. I capital L-O-V-E the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor!

Nuun Immunity I was excited for the opportunity to try this one after reading Ashley’s review in September. Nuun that gives my immune system a boost? Absolutely, sign me up.

I was raving about it to my husband and then (wouldn’t you know it) he got sick with a gross stomach bug that’s making the rounds in this area. My blueberry tangerine Nuun Immunity quickly became his because, without going into too much detail, it was literally all he could stomach for a few days.

At the suggestion of the Nuun folks at TRE, I tried the orange citrus Immunity with hot water, making a “Nuun tea.” Not something I would have ever thought to do but it was tasty and really nice now that the weather here in New Jersey is chilly.

I hope that your days are filled with relaxing and recovery, especially now that the holidays are winding down. Just a few more days until New Years and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I can’t wait for 2019 to arrive. I’ll be back on Monday with a review for Zwift’s Running Pod.

In the meanwhile, be sure to swing by Jenn’s 2019 goal post – she plans to do 52 hikes next year! Ash just had a great first Girls on the Run season! Kyle has been busy with her move across the country (gulp!) but I’m sure we’ll get a life update once she’s settled. 

Inside Out: The Running Event Product Reviews

Disclaimer: I received items from Altra, Vuori, and Incrediwear from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

No sooner did I write about having a mild/nice weather in December did it rain. I feel like I might have jinxed things and if I did, I do apologize.

However, I also mentioned that I’ve been using some of the products that I received more inside than out… so now is the perfect opportunity to share my thoughts on Vuori, Incrediwear, and Altra!

Prior to attending The Running Event I didn’t know much about these brands so it’s been a “getting to know you” experience.

Incrediwear

Sport Socks Thin, No Show: $14, Active Socks: $13.55, Sport Socks Thin, Knee High: $18, Women’s Performance Capri: $70

Incrediwear’s line focuses on healing, recovery, and performance. I love the feeling of the Women’s Performance Capri and they’re great for lifting weights. They fit great however while I was running they were sliding off my hips; I found myself stopping to hitch them up. Because of this, I plan to wear them on gym days and for recovery.

All runners know just how important the right socks are and I can say with confidence that Incrediwear socks are the right socks for me. They fit well and I can go for miles without any sort of irritation or blisters occurring.

I was surprised at the thin material of their knee high sock; I was expecting it to be more like compression socks I’ve used. I love the feel of these socks and they’re now my go to socks when they’re clean. (I know you all know what I’m talking about, the ones you grab first from the sock drawer!)

Incrediwear, you are incredible!

Vuori

Omni Performance Short: $58

While at The Running Event we were able to visit the Vuori booth and I absolutely loved the look and feel of their clothes.

Unfortunately, I got the wrong sized shorts in my swag bag so I wasn’t able to personally try these. Sadly shorts cut like these don’t work for me because the chafing struggle is real.

Whomp.

But hey, there are still a few days before Christmas! I’ll just put it out there to Ol’ Saint Nick that I wouldn’t mind getting Vuori under my tree. (I know he’s obviously reading my blog.)

Halo Performance Pullover: $86

Omni Legging: $78

I’ve been mostly good so I expect to find these on Tuesday. Okay, thanks!

Altra Running

Since I started running I’ve had two bouts of plantar fasciitis, so naturally I hear the words “new shoe” and I’m a bit leery. That said, I absolutely love Altra’s Escalante. They’re super light, breathable, and I love the look of them.

Escalante 1.5: $130

I took these for a spin both on the road with my best running partner and at the gym. I usually do HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) and weight training workouts and the Escalante has been my go-to shoe for gym time every Tuesday/Thursday morning.

Nothing like a brand new set of weights and shoes!

Yet, after a few runs outside, I felt a twinge in my right foot. It could be nothing but I don’t want to risk taking myself out of stability shoe. I’ve decided to use the Escalante at the gym for lifting and for running short distances. I think overall it’s the right decision for me and my feet!

I know a lot of the other Pros are enjoying putting miles on their Altra Running shoes so if you’d like to check out their thoughts, be sure to visit my friends. Corey did a great vlog review and he believes the Altra have helped his plantar fasciitis, so it just goes to show how different shoes can work for different people.

2018 is nearly over and while it’s gone quickly, I am looking forward to 2019 being even better! So many good things ahead.

What’s some of your new favorite workout gear?

1, 2, Meet Me Outside: The Running Event Product Reviews

Disclaimer: I received items from Handful, CEP Compression, Brooks, and Vooray from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

Wearing all the gear in this review: Brooks LSD Jacket, Handful Bra and Leggings, Brooks Ghost 11 shoes, CEP socks (one of each!), and the Vooray backpack.

 Oh, the weather outside is frightful.

Actually, that’s not true. Other than a random snowstorm in November that we were not expecting and a teeny tiny bit this month, December has been fairly mild thus far here in New Jersey!

I don’t have a deep-seated hate for my treadmill by any means but I do have a bit of self (and husband)-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) so I’m happy to get outside as much as possible.

In my TRE Influencer Day post I mentioned that I’ll be trying out the products I received for review purposes and sharing my thoughts throughout the month. There were many; it really was the ultimate runner’s swag bag!

Over the past weeks I have been trying these products out and I’d say that they fit nicely into three categories of my fitness: Outside, Inside, and Recovery.

Obviously some of the products fit in more than one category, which I’ll mention as I go along. My Type A brain likes to break things down into bite-sized pieces when it comes to blog posts.

Since Mother Nature has been blessing us with the good vibes, let’s kick this party off with some of the products I’ve been using OUTSIDE.

Handful

The ladies at the Handful booth gave us the camo hat, and I love it because the orange matches so nicely with my BibRave orange! Y-Back Bra: $56.00, Squeeze Play Legging: $70.00

Let’s talk about bras, baby.

There are a lot of things that I’m open to trying but new bra brands are not usually one of them. Why? Well, let’s just say that I’m not lacking in the chest area. Years ago I found a bra that works for me so I’ve stuck with it.

However… Handful’s Y Back Bra is ah-mazing. I’m seriously mad at myself for not giving them a chance sooner. The material is so soft and I’m a fan ruching in the middle, giving a more defined shape.

Handful Squeeze Play Legging has been in my rotation since I got them! The high waist works well with my hips and I’ve worn them for running (both inside and outside). The folks at Handful have a love for ruching as seen on the top panel of the leggings in the back. The front of the panel has a pocket where I keep my car key.

I usually don’t put my workout gear in the dryer, to make it last longer. These are made from a light-weight spandex that dries incredibly fast.

I don’t have particularly long legs so the length is a bit long for me but it’s suggested on the website that the pant can be worn stirrup-like. In the picture above I cuffed them under so you can see my CEP Compression socks.

CEP Compression

CEP Compression Socks for Recovery: $50.00, Trail Merino Socks: $60.00

Before going to The Running Event, we supplied BibRave with our calf measurements so we could get the perfect fit for the CEP Compression socks.

I chose to wear the Trail Merino Socks during The Light Run. They’re warm and cozy and I like the cushioning on the bottom. Compression wise, they weren’t too tight and felt good on my calves; when I took them off after a few hours of wearing them I didn’t have ridges on my skin.

My trainer has been having us doing a lot of step ups on the box, skips, lunges; you name it, we’ve been doing it. I’ve been rocking the Compression Socks for Recovery after particular challenging workouts (read: all of them) and they’ve been a big help helping with soreness and quicker recovery.

I mean, if they’re good enough for Meb Keflezighi to wear during his Boston Marathon win, I suppose they’ll work for me!

Brooks

LSD Reflective Jacket: $105, Ghost 11 Shoes: $120

While CEP Compression and Handful are both new to me, Brooks has been on my radar for what feels like as long as I’ve been running. I own Brooks apparel and when I get shoes at my local running store (Mullica Hill Running Co.) the Ghost model is always a contender.

Supportive and comfortable, I wore them for the BibRave 3 mile run in Austin, on the plane, during The Light Run, and on the treadmill while checking out Zwift. They’ve been fantastic and I can see myself running happy with them for many miles.

But, of course, Brooks is more than just shoes! Can we discuss the LSD jacket? This light-weight, reflective jacket is perfect. I layered it over a long sleeve during The Light Run and in 32 degree weather I was comfortable and cozy.

If you watch the time-lapse video above you can see how easy it folds up into a small pouch so that you’re able to shed a layer if you happen to be too warm AND there’s an arm band for easy carrying!

There are only two things that I could envision making it slightly more perfect – a hood and thumb-holes!

Vooray

ACE Backpack $39.99, Active Fanny Pack, Metal Glam $19.99

This little black backpack packs a huge punch! Packed away in there is everything that I reviewed in this very blog post and then some (including the Nuun bottle in the water bottle pocket, that review is to come).

I wore this backpack all around The Running Event, as did many others in the BibRave Pro group.

Group A for awwwww, yeah!

Since being home, I’ve been using it non-stop. If there’s one thing I love, it’s a lot of pockets and this one has a small laptop pocket inside the larger zipped area and an inside small zipper pocket with mesh, two side bottle pockets, and front pouch packet.

The outside is made from nylon, making it easy to keep clean and the adjustable straps are padded, making it comfy to wear.

The ACE backpack is versatile and I can tell you that I have a few family members that are already eyeing it up. I just might have to invest in a few more Vooray bags and with a price point of under $100, I won’t even feel a little guilty about it. The VooCrew also gifted us the Active Fanny Pack while we were visiting their booth.

I am loving trying these products out and sharing my thoughts on them with you! Let me know if you have any questions on what I’ve posted so far. And be sure to watch here for more reviews coming throughout December regarding Arcanum, Vuori, Addaday, Nuun, Incrediwear, Altra, and Zwift!

Holiday Traditions (Running and otherwise)

What I like best about the holidays are the traditions that come along with them. This year, as I’ve done for the past few, I joined in The Light Run.

Although it nearly did not happen.

My son, Lucas, and I registered for this way back at the beginning of October. At only $14 (and the request for unwrapped toys), this untimed fun run is great and supports local charities.

That said, I think both Lucas and myself were feeling a little overwhelmed with all the stuff we’ve got going on. He had a few tests in school coming up, a band concert to rehearse for, and he was voicing his concern about getting it all done. (He is his mother’s son, for sure.)

Rather than getting stressed about it, I asked him what he would like to do. Between you and I, I wasn’t really feeling it but I also didn’t want to SAY that to him. This is a good hobby that we both share so if he wanted to run, we’d run.

A few years ago it was bitter cold and there was a 5k route and a 1-ish mile route. That year we ran the shorter route. He asked if we could recreate that this year and of course, I was happy to oblige. Since it was a fun run, there was no added pressure about what we did or did not accomplish.

While the rest of the runners went off straight at the beginning to do the first larger loop, we peeled off on our own journey. We were completely solo but thankfully we’d printed out directions and there were signs along the way to mark where we needed to turn.

Soon enough we came to the main event, the Hagerty Lights display. Lucas loves it, I love it, and naturally Santa and Mrs. Claus love it too. Santa asked Lucas what he wanted and when he told him he was asking for a weight set, Santa actually took some time to talk to him about weight lifting and making sure he makes smart choices. It was very sweet.

Notice how I say that everything is our favorite? Um, yes. We just love to love and it’s easy at to do at this lavish display.

You can tell how much hard work and effort this family and their neighbors put into hosting this free show each year. They have an area set up for donations so I made sure to bring money (and a little extra, because I’ve forgotten during past years!).

Once we finish our quick jaunt through the streets of Pitman, Lucas and I both agreed that we were really happy we decided to do it. No regrets!

Creating new traditions is always fun too. I’m currently doing the “no rain dance” because tomorrow I’m volunteering at the Elf ‘n Coca Run representing Healthy Kids Running Series. I’ll be handing out medals at the finish line of the kids mile race and I am very excited for that!

Tomorrow evening we are going on a train ride through a light show with my extended family. This is a new to us activity as well but I’ve heard good things so we’ll see what it’s all about.

And next weekend (right before Christmas, omg), Rachel is coming back for round two of baking with the Daniels! Will my cookie design reign supreme over all the land? We shall see!

What are your favorite holiday traditions?

TRE Influencer Day

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

The Running Event is a huge convention for the running industry. Brands and those involved with anything running related, from nutrition to medals to recovery to gear (just to name a few) converge in Austin, Texas for this week-long show. Closed to the general public, this is a chance for vendors to explore new products and prototypes, hear from innovators and inventors, and connect with others in the field.

Besides new products and prototypes, there was something else that was brand new to The Running Event this year was… ME. The coordinators of The Running Event partnered with BibRave to bring 20 bloggers/social media influencers into the exhibition hall for TRE Influencer Day. I was lucky enough to be chosen to explore The Running Event and it was beyond awesome.

Group A for awwwww, yeah!

The BibRave Pros were split into two groups of 10 with official Team BibRave tour guides, Andy and Steph. We were on a tight schedule with plans to visit 10 booths within a two and a half hour span throughout The Running Event. The (Vooray) swag bags we received at the Welcome Reception had goodies and gear from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, HandfulVuori, CEP, Incrediwear, Zwift, Brooks, and Nuun. These are the brand we visited on the expo floor.

It was a great opportunity to learn more about their products, designs, and visions for each brand. Hearing the passion and excitement from each of the brands presenters made us understand the vision and thought process behind the products.

Throughout the month of December I’ll be putting these products to the test and sharing my own thoughts and opinions about them. But for now, here’s a small peek on the extremely cool morning at The Running Event.

Arcanum

Cannabidiol (CBD) is not something I knew a lot about prior to TRE. The buzz regarding it has been great so I was interested in learning more about its benefits and how it can be used during workout and recovery.

At TRE we met Lindsay of Arcanum. We learned her personal story about her autoimmune disease and how activated hemp assisted in her recovery. CBD oil can be used pre and post workouts, aids with sleep, and even helps to combat anxiety. I was interested to learn that she uses the Sarco Breeze as moisturizer on her face to help with redness and acne.

Arcanum means mystery within and in this case, it’s the activated hemp.  But don’t worry, I won’t be keeping my thoughts a mystery regarding Arcanum. I’ll be sharing my thoughts on the Arcanum Sarco Breeze, Sarcho Freeze, and The Quill in the upcoming weeks.

Handful

As with anything in this world, there are wants versus needs. For me, a good bra is a need. I have a generous “handful” and it was great to hear from the ladies of Handful bras and apparel. One of their original goals was to make a sports bra NOT have the dreaded uni-boob. Well, they have succeeded!

From there they’ve added more to their line, including this Flippin’ Awesome Tank which they demonstrated at TRE.

Along with the Y-back bra, the lady BRPs also received leggings from them in our swag bag. While we visited their booth they also gave us each a sweet Handful hat, which I’ve been wearing non-stop since I got home.

Vuori

California founded company, Vuori was founded with the goal of making technical clothing for workouts that would transition to casual wear. The brand started with men’s clothes; however women began to gravitate toward wearing them and they saw the want for it, they expanded to include a women’s line too.

We were encouraged to feel the materials and check out their clothes. Incredibly soft and modern/stylish. I have my eye on the Halo pullover.

I always find it interesting to ask what the brand name derived from because I think it says a lot about the vision of the brand. In this case, Vuori means mountain!

Vooray

Hooray for Vooray! These gear bags had me at hello. The goal of Vooray is to offer great bags and a price point under $100.

The folks at Vooray were very receptive to ideas, asking for input and opinions on the spot which was awesome. I especially like the bag above has a ventilated shoe pocket for stinky shoes after a workout.

Our swag bag was the Vooray ACE Backpack (you can see many of us wearing it in top picture) and they also gifted us the Active Fanny Pack while we were there. I know that both will get a lot of great use!

Addaday

Next stop on our tour was to Addaday, which many associate with their massage rollers and therapy tools.

However, the first thing we learned about was their new full leaf runner’s tea! The importance of keep the leaves full, not crushed, is that to preserves nutrients. We were able to sample the tea and also get packets to try at home, which I’ll share more about in my upcoming review.

In our swag bag we received a muscle roller, which particularly rocks because my hamstrings have been tight lately. The Addaday booth also had a sweet set up with chair and foot massagers. I think we would have been perfectly content hanging out there all day!

Alas, there was more to see and do at The Running Event so we were on to the next!

Nuun

While some of the products and brands we were introduced to were ones I’d not been aware of previous, I’m not new to Nuun. It’s always been a tried and true for me and I usually grab a tube when I visit my local running store. I was looking forward to trying the samples but I didn’t really think I’d be hearing things I didn’t already know.

Boy, was I surprised!

Just as a quick example: I learned about the different types of Nuun (caffeinated has the colored cap, while non-caffeinated caps are write) and the Immunity boost (which I’d heard about from Ash’s review but hadn’t yet tried myself). Obviously I’ll be sharing a lot more information once I’ve tried them all in my upcoming review. Also, at their suggestion, I’m planning on trying Nuun warm and maybe even a Nuuntini. Fancy!

Incrediwear

Incrediwear is another new to me product that I’m really excited to use during my workouts. It always says something when you hear directly from an athlete that has had great success with products. World class sprinter, Manteo Mitchell, shared his story of breaking his leg during the 4x400m relay at the 2012 London Olympics. Despite the break halfway through his lap, he finished the race and helped his team get a second place victory!

Afterward Manteo was looking for something that would aid in his recovery. Incrediwear has done that for him and he’s passionate about their products. It was great to hear him speak about the brand.

While I don’t currently have any injuries, I’m looking forward to using Incrediwear products during my training and recovery. I’ve already checked out the Sport Socks during a recent run and they were great!

CEP Compression

CEP Compression was next and while I’ve worn compression socks before, I really had no idea about how and why they worked. The pressure from the compression accelerates the removal of metabolic waste as well has assists in keeping you stable while running in addition to reducing swelling.

The products are made in Germany by Medi. Medi is the brand that make compression for medical purposes while CEP is their athletic branch.

We received compression socks and Merino wool socks to try during training/recovery and I’m looking forward to trying them. In the past I’ve always fought to get compression socks on however I learned a little trick called the toe pocket so I’ll be trying that with CEP Compression!

Altra

The next stop on our TRE tour was at Altra. I’ll admit, this is a brand that I didn’t know too much about prior to visiting their booth. I think that the idea of zero drop shoes was always something that made me nervous, mainly because I didn’t know what it was or how it would pertain to me.

I was also very interested to learn about the Fit4Her technology which caters specifically to the female foot. We were able to see a number of different shoe styles as well as see a few of the new colors coming out in 2019.

Compared to what I usually wear they are super lightweight. I got a pair of Escalante 1.5 (Silver) to try and I’ll keep you posted on my thoughts when I hit the road.

Brooks

Our final destination on the official BibRave/TRE tour took us across the expo floor to the Brooks booth. I’m well-versed with Brooks apparel  but I’ve never run in their shoes before last week!

I’ve considered getting Brooks shoes in the past but have always wound up sticking with the shoes I’m currently in for fear of change. However, I was given a pair of Brooks Ghost 11 at TRE (some of the other ladies were given the Adrenaline GTS 19).

I’ve been wearing the Ghosts for my runs and training sessions since then and they’ve been working really well for me. More thoughts on those and the LSD jacket coming soon!

Final Thoughts…

We learned about Zwift the day prior at the Zwift Welcome Reception so we didn’t spend time with them at their booth however I did get the chance to wave as we passed by at the expo. We had a bit of time after our TRE tour to stop look around and stop at a few booths along the way. Unfortunately, Kim and I had to get back to our hotel to check out so we didn’t get to stay too long but it was fun to swing by StuntPuppy, PROHairTie, Untapped, MUD, and Boco Gear.

What stood out to me the most at each brand we visited was their intense excitement and love for their products. The passion for their products stand out and it’s clear that this is how they get better and evolve each step of the way.

Before we said goodbye to our group, we had to take the obligatory group selfie!

I love these people.

Thanks BibRave and TRE for the amazing experience! Let’s do it again in 2019!

Want to read more about The Running Event? Check out the BibRave Pros blogs:

Jessica, Vanessa, Kim, Teddy, Mai, Nicole, Mark, Jenna, Corey, Amy, Ryan, Gina

#GiveGoodVibes with AfterShokz

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Air and Titanium wireless headphones through the #GiveGoodVibes campaign 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! All opinions are my own.

Real talk: I’m overwhelmed at the moment.

I was just perusing my planner and every single day is busy, busy, busy. No tiny square is left untouched. December is filled with holiday concerts (we have three in the next two weeks), wrapping presents (we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas), parties, cookie exchanges, company dinners, the list goes on. There is not enough room to hold everything that needs to be done, neither in writing nor in hours of the day.

All of those things are piled on top of the every day things such as work, laundry, meals, cleaning, karate lessons, piano lessons, Scouts.

My husband makes the comment each year that I seem more high-strung during the holidays and it’s supposed to be FUN. I am fully aware it’s supposed to be fun but man, sometimes fun can feel like a lot of work. There are so many moving pieces that have to all fit together and if one small thing changes, it throws everything off. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Which is why when I’m feeling particularly stressed out, I like to swing by this:

Do Good December.

Granted, I love doing good deeds all throughout the year but right now this little calendar is helping me bring a bit of joy into every day of the month. When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I get ideas on how to have a more balanced day and it really does help me feel better and bring a smile to someone else.

The AfterShokz #GiveGoodVibes could not have come at a better time because it ties so well into Do Good December and also the spirit of this time of year.

During the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, the AfterShokz team had a special Buy One, Get One deal on their bone conduction headphones and as a BibRave Pro I was fortunate enough to get the Trekz Air for myself and Trekz Titanium to gift.

#GiveGoodVibes tag on the AfterShokz gift.

It’s safe to say that I’ve been a huge fan of AfterShokz since first trying the Trekz Titanium wireless headphones a year and a half ago. I use them often and not just during running.

Going to the gym in the morning helps me reset throughout the week and clear my overwhelmed feelings better than anything else.

It stands to reason that the person I chose to spread holiday cheer is a big part of my morning gym routine.

Sarah is my trainer’s wife, an avid runner, and an awesome friend. She’s a beast in the gym; she works out with my husband on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and while she’s petite, she is seriously strong. On her “off” days (when I’m there, Tuesday/Thursday) she’s either running around town at 5am or she’s on the treadmill.

She’s also incredibly giving. Sarah is the one who organizes our Giving Tree at the gym and she works mentoring youth; she’s an all around incredible person. As soon as I heard that I’d be able to gift AfterShokz to someone, I knew it was going to be her. I did a few Instagram stories leading up to the gifting and as you can see, she was so excited to try out her new AfterShokz!

Additionally, now that I’m the proud owner of the Canyon Red Trekz Air, the Trekz Titanium that I received last year were looking for a new home. My 13 year old son, Lucas, has been consistently running for nearly a year and has borrowed them in the past.

I knew that he’d be stoked to have them and put them to good use. He’s already in his room with them on, but he can’t ignore me because I know he can hear me. Mwahahaha!

I’m loving my Trekz Air thus far. They’re amazingly light. I didn’t think it was possible to make them lighter than the Titanium’s 1.27 oz., and yet… here we are at 1.06 oz.

I can’t wait to spend many miles with them; they’re perfect for music, podcasts, and even the occasional dreaded phone call (I try to avoid those as much as possible). You’re also able to skip tracks, pause, mute, from the headphones. No need to fumble for the phone, which is very convenient.

I hope the holiday season makes you feel more joyous and giving than it does overwhelmed! What types of things do you turn to when you’re feeling like things are a bit too much? I obviously am a big fan of connecting with others and also, writing blogs. It helps me relax and gives me a bit of perspective.

Check out other BibRave Pros giving the good vibes:

Virjinia

Stephanie

Erica

Megan

Matt

Jeff

Bridget

BibRave + The Running Event = A HECK OF A GOOD TIME

Disclaimer: I received a travel and hotel stipend and swag from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. If something was given for review purposes, it will be disclosed.

Picture this: You’re traveling solo to the new-to-you city of Austin, Texas. You get off the airplane and your eyes bounce around the airport, in search of the color orange.

The faces you’re looking for are ones you’ve never seen in person (save for a few, whom you’ve met previously at races); You know them from social media posts, Twitter chats, and the occasional conference call. You’ll be spending the next two days with these people and it’s a bit nerve-wracking.

And then there they are, beacons of light in orange, wearing their BibRave hats and shirts and huge smiles.

In that instant, you know that you’ve found your family.

As a BibRave Pro for the past two years, I’ve had so many awesome opportunities. However, I’ve got to say, this opportunity was the granddaddy of them all! A trip to Austin for The Running Event and the chance to meet 20 fellow BibRave Pros and 5 members of Team BibRave, the staff that includes Tim, Jessica, Julia, Andy, and Stephanie.

Once I received word that I’d been selected to go, it was a pinch me, I’m dreaming moment and that sentiment continued throughout the course of two day adventure!

We didn’t have anything “official” on the agenda until the Zwift Welcome Reception that evening but it’s clear to see that you can’t keep Pros apart. After arriving and meeting up with Kim, Chris, Brenda, and Mark, we took an Uber to our hotel. Once getting settled we decided to have lunch at Moonshine.

It started with four of us and after sending out a quick text to let everyone know where we were, we ended with 14!

From there a few of us branched off to take a quick tour of the city. I’d never been to Austin before but from the brief time we took walking around, I know that I must go back!

Don’t Mess with Texas or Casey, Mark, Chris, Gina, me, Tedrick, and Kim!

After our quick walk about town (and visit to Voodoo Doughnut, natch), we headed back to the hotels and got ready for the Zwift Welcome Reception.

Zwift is a virtual game that you use on the treadmill. For those attending the conference, our representation were the “chosen” four!

A run was set up with our other Pro friends and they all “met” up in the game at 5:45 for a 5k run. Cheering them on was so much fun. Give me a pompom and let me loose!

 

I was given a footpod from Zwift (the device that connects you to the virtual game) and we’ll be doing another BibRave virtual run on December 18th so I’ll be able to give you my full review on that in a couple of weeks.

Earlier in the week, Team BibRave announced the winners of The BibRave 100, a comprehensive list of the 100 best races in America, voted on by runners. Benjamin the lion is The BibRave 100 mascot and we were excited to see him in attendance! Of course my roomie, Kim, and I had to take a picture with the lion of the hour!

The welcome reception is also where we received an incredibly generous amount of SWAG from companies at The Running Event.

Holy moly, it was honestly like Hanukkah and Christmas morning all rolled into one. And maybe my birthday too.

My eye doesn’t know where to go first!

Following the reception we went for barbecue dinner and then finished up the evening at the Brooks Party. A good number of us wore the Brooks LSD Jacket that we’d just gotten and soon realized just how reflective it is.

Jessica, Kim, and myself

Can we say awesome? That’s a lot of reflection! Check out the picture above and see if you can spot the same jacket without the flash.

Due to the early morning wake up (3:30 for Kim and myself) we decided to head out early from the party. However, just before we left, we got to meet Des Linden, this year’s winner of the Boston Marathon. What a great way to wrap up day 1!

The following morning we were up before the sun, as we prepared for a 6:30am BibRave group run. It was such an awesome experience running around Austin in a big orange pack. I might sound a little bumpkin-y here but city running is certainly different than running here at home.

Thanks to Larry Castillo Photography for the amazing shots during the group run!

Kim and I even ended up twinning in our Skirt Sports Temper Tantrum print and BibRave shirts!

Team BibRave had a great spread of food set up for us after the run, which was so awesome and appreciated. We grabbed our bagels and ran back to the hotel room to grab a quick shower and get ready for TRE Influencer Day!

TRE Influencer Day was so epic, I covered it in a separate blog post. Click here to hop over!

From Philly to Austin, With Love

Whoa whoa whoa. How is it November 28th already? This month has been filled with running, food, family, running family, more food, and lots and lots of Philadelphia pride.

Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent about half of them in Philadelphia.

It kicked off on Friday, November 16th at the Health and Wellness Expo for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. I chose to run the Rothman 8k this year so I had to get into the city to grab my race packet.

Time was NOT on my side because I (stupidly) scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my son that afternoon. So rather than enjoying the city and visiting Reading Terminal for lunch, I took a train in, ran over to the Convention Center, grabbed my stuff, and ran back to catch the train out of the city… all within an hour. A new travel PR!

The race was on Saturday and started at 10:45am. I didn’t need to be up before the sun, which was nice but I was also totally thrown off by this turn of events. What train should I take? What should I eat? Who would I meet up with for the 8k?

Thankfully I got into the city with at least an hour to spare, naturally, so I took my time walking to the race village. Then I stationed myself in between the finish of the half marathon and the start of the 8k.

And nearly immediately found people I knew!

Larry and Amy from the Sub-30 Club were also running the 8k. Hooray! Larry is a pacer and offered to help pace me through the miles, which was awesome.

The 8k course is along the river, so it’s a standard Philly race in that respect. The distance makes it special though and it’s a nice way to be involved with the Philly Marathon weekend.

We did 30/30 intervals and he stuck with me through the entire race. I wanted to finish under an hour but with self-seeded corrals and the course being congested nearly the entire time, we finished at an hour and one minute. Ooof. So close, yet so far! There was a finish line for the kids race that faked us out, which was cruel but finally we crossed the actual finish line with smiles on our faces.

I did this race in 2011 and it’s grown up in the last 7 years. 2011 there was 1,460 runners, a cotton t-shirt, standard bib, and the knowledge that you ran the race as the awards for your achievements. This year there was nearly 3,500 runners, a tech t-shirt, personalized bibs, a beautiful medal (and the knowledge that you ran the race).

In between this and my next Philly adventure, it was Thanksgiving! We hosted this year and I think we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the leftover tunnel.

Since we were hosting, there were no Turkey Trots for us this year. Instead my son Lucas and I opted to take part in the #TotheStarbucks run.

I heard about this awesome, free event from Rachel and I was immediately drawn in because… well, just read part of the description of the run.

Join us for a morning fun run, the Saturday after Thanksgiving! We run (or walk! That’s ok too!) we have fun, and then we eat some donuts outta a trunk (oh and there’s Starbucks nearby if that’s your jam!) the route is TBA but always has a short 2.5mi and Long 5min distance. 

A given, am I right?

Through the years of running in Philly and going to City Fit Girls retreats, I’ve met lots of people and many of them were at the #ToTheStarbucks run. My son started out running with us and nearly immediately took off to run ahead. I knew that he was in good hands because these were all good folks and I’d meet him at the Starbucks, of course.

Let’s review. A run, handmade medal, donut, photos, and being cheered on. CAN EVERY DAY BE LIKE THIS?

Not to be outdone by Saturday, on Sunday we went to (you guessed it) PHILLY for the Eagles/Giants game. I grew up in central Jersey so I was mostly surrounded by Giants fans, including my dad.

However being in south Jersey for nearly half my life, I now know the “error” of my ways. My son is an Eagles fan which means that we are all Eagles fans. My first game ever was as insane/fun as I expected it to be. And the Eagles WON (it was looking a little dicey at the beginning).

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’ve got more Philadelphia fun on the agenda for 2019. My first scheduled event is the first weekend of April, I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 5k, representing Team BibRave!

Speaking of BibRave, I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin, Texas for The Running Event‘s TRE Influencer Day! This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given (along with some of my fellow BibRave Pros) as a perk of being a BRP.

I’ve never been to Texas before and this will be a short, jam-packed trip. I can’t even properly articulate how pumped I am. I’ll work on that before tomorrow since I’ll be sharing a lot of information on Instagram Stories and maybe I’ll even try my hand at the live feed (gulp, I’ve never done that before!).

What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Have you been to Austin before? Anything I MUST do? I can’t even promise I’ll have the time to do it but I’ll try!

Road Tested: Orange Mud Transition Towel 2.0

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Transition Towel 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!

Good morning and happy Wednesday!

Is anyone still getting used to the time change with Daylight Savings Time ending? I struggled all last week and I’m still feeling “off”.

Not to be outdone by last week, this week has been an interesting one too. My husband is out of the country, traveling for work. I can hold down the fort when it comes to our household, make no mistake about that. But when you’re used to the divide and conquer method, it’s a bit challenging to conquer solo. Our kids are older so it’s less about parenting little ones (like it was when they were little and he’d travel) and more about just making everything happen for both of them (Scouts, piano, karate, after school activities, etc).

Additionally, he and I usually switch off going to the gym in the early morning hours so I’ve had to adjust my schedule because someone needs to be here with the kids to see them off to school. We make it work because having that time carved out for MY activities is just as important as getting them to theirs.

If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.

I’m still able to get to the gym and get my workout done, which is important to me. AND, I have a race this weekend.

After my last race in Atlantic City.

While the weather has cooled significantly over the past few weeks, I am still absolutely gross when I finish with a workout or a run. I’ve said it time and time again, I am a heavy sweater. And not a pretty knit kind.

I sweat hard, no matter the workout. There’s nothing I can do to change it though so I just need to deal with it. Last year when I got my new car, I knew I didn’t want my seats to get gross after my workouts so I threw towels in my car that I occasionally remembered to use.

Then BibRave brought the Orange Mud Transition Towel to my attention! The transition towel is pretty cool because not only does it save the material on your car seats but you can also use it to wrap around yourself and change clothes.

via Orange Mud

I’m bringing it along with me for the Rothman 8k this weekend. After nearly 5 miles I figure that if I’m cold and gross (which is nearly as bad as hot and gross, but not quite), I can do a quick change into comfy sweats.

Since receiving it last month, I’ve used it for every single gym session and run and the towel stands up to my sweat. I’ve also washed/hung dry it at least 10 times and it’s still plush and snuggly.

By the way, while the company is called Orange Mud, this towel comes in a slew of different colors. There a cotton version and also the new microfiber option.

Want to get a Transition Towel? It retails on the Orange Mud site for $39.95. If you order now, you can use code “OMTRX” for 15% off! Also, join us for the Twitter BibChat next Tuesday evening at 9pm est, using the hashtag #BibChat! I’ll be there!

Check out my fellow BibRavePros thoughts:

Lindsey
Mary Jo
Lisa
Matt
Vanessa
Jonathan

Medal Monday + VLOG: Scooby Doo Scoobtober 10k

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

A big hello from me and a big WOOF from Gemma! We completed our Scoobtober 10k throughout the month of October and earned our virtual race bling!

Our race swag arrived promptly on November 1st and we were both excited to check out what we got. I might have been slightly more excited than Gemma, who’s to say?

Human swag! The bag is a great material and the medals SPIN!

I’ve got some other great opportunities coming up through BibRave too, which I’m really excited about! That’s right, I’ve already got some races on my calendar for 2019. I love a good plan.

You’ll see me wearing my BibRave orange and representing at these races in 2019.

April 6th is the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate race and I’ll be returning for a second year at the 5k! Ana and I ran this race together in 2018 and we are returning again, along with her sister.

If you plan to join us in Philly, use code “BRHCPhilly” for a free phone armband like mine!

Toward the end of April, I’ll be doing the New Jersey Marathon 5k! This will be my first time participating in my home state event and the 5k is on Saturday, which means I can do it and be home in time for Sunday’s Healthy Kids Running Series event on Sunday – I have to think about these things as race coordinator.

I’ve heard great things about this event and I can’t wait to personally check it out! Want to join me? Use code “NJMBIBRAVE19” for $5 off any distance (5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay).

The BibRave fun doesn’t stop there and I’ve got some good stuff in the works for the next couple of months so stay tuned!

Also, if you have considered becoming a BibRavePro, applications are open now through November 14th. If you have any questions, feel free to give a shout in the comments or on Twitter.