I Know What I’m Doing April 6, 2019… Do You?

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 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! As always, all opinions are my own.

What time is it? It’s Hot Chocolate time! Okay, no. It’s not. But it IS time to start planning for 2019 and I’ve got my first race on the calendar for next year. You know I love planning.

So yes, come April 6th 2019 (that feels weird to type, by the way), I’ll be running the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k again. This year’s race marked Ana’s first ever 5k and I’m 99.9% sure I have her convinced to join me again.

The swag alone is worth it! Check out the jackets for the 2018-2019 series.

And of course, every runner gets these oversized mugs filled to the brim with goodies. YUM!

If you run the 15k, you also get a medal! There’s no medal for the 5k but if you find me, we can run up the steps to the Philly Art Museum together, which is a prize in itself.

Convinced? Register here AND if you use the code BRHCPhilly when you register you’ll receive awesome EXTRA swag, the Hot Chocolate Armband for your phone/tunes.

Who’s done a Hot Chocolate Run before? I want to hear about it!

Road Tested: Karma Ring Co.

Disclaimer: I received a Karma Ring 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! All opinions are my own.

I’m not sure if I shared this on the blog but my husband and I just recently celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary in May! To celebrate we went to Disney for the weekend. ALONE.

It’s safe to say that after 21 years together in all, we are still each other’s biggest fan.

Which is why I wear my rings for practically everything. The only times I take my engagement ring and wedding band off are in the shower when I’m washing my hair (because I had an unfortunately earring incident with my hair, it’s a long story and I’m still not over the loss of my earring), or when I’m working out. Weights are rough on hands, not to mention jewelry!

It’s also why I was drawn to trying Karma Rings through the BibRave Pro program. At the risk of sounding cheesy, my solid relationship with Jay gives me comfort and strength and those are two things that I draw from while lifting weights and running.

However, Karma Rings aren’t just for those who are married! There is symbolism that is associated with each finger and on which hand you wear a ring.

I was able to try the Karma Ring Women’s Duo which has a base color of Pearl White and three changeable core colors of Blush Pink, Champagne Mauve, and Lavender.

A few facts from the Karma Ring Co.’s website:

  • Hypoallergenic – Even sensitive skin will love the specially formulated silicone used in every Karma Ring.
  • Non Porous – Doesn’t absorb germs, odors, and chemicals.
  • Ultra Durable – Wears like iron feels like silk
  • Non Conductive/Non Magnetic – Will not affect hand held mobile devices, Bluetooth technology, or magnetic strips on credit cards.

The core colors can be used to focus on goal setting or just whatever your preference is. My favorite color (besides orange) is purple so I usually tend to gravitate toward the Lavender.

Kettlebells and Karma Ring, no problem!

If you’re interested in getting a Karma Ring of your own, use discount code BIBRAVE33 which will save you 33%. Plus a percentage of each purchase goes toward Feed the Children.

This coming Tuesday, 7/31/18 is the Twitter #BibChat with @KarmaRingCo at 9pm EST and we always have a lot of fun! I’ll be traveling to Colorado tomorrow but I’m hoping to jump in for a bit!

Road Tested: Gatorade Endurance (NEW flavors!)

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance Watermelon and Mango Energy Gels 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! All opinions are my own.

Can we discuss this picture for a moment?

This was after an hour (and a half if you count the warm up) workout with my trainer. I go to the gym at 5:30 in the morning. One might think that you’re able to “beat the heat” by getting out that early in the day but it’s been high temps here in New Jersey so the heat has felt like it’s non-stop recently.

Usually my trainer isn’t one to embrace the use of air conditioning but I guess we all have our limits because the past few times I’ve been there, it’s been on (and to that I say, THANK GOODNESS). However, more times than not we are outside in the parking lot, doing HIIT (high-intensity interval training). Which explains the sweaty shirt/sweatier me up there.

It’s important to fuel well for these sessions, as well as runs. The last thing that I want to do before an early morning workout is eat much of anything. I try to make good dinner choices beforehand but fueling through the workouts is just as important.

Earlier this month I did NOT fuel properly and wound up bonking a little over halfway through my workout. I was not happy and my family got to hear all about it when I got home.

Enter Gatorade Endurance.

I received the Watermelon Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher Powder and Mango Energy Gels two weeks ago and I’ve been busy putting them to the test ever since.

Recently reformulated in 2017, I’m impressed that Gatorade listens to the feedback that endurance athletes provide when it comes to wants and needs of a product. Watermelon joins the flavors Lemon-Lime, Orange, and Cherry in the Endurance Formula line up.

The Watermelon flavor is light and fresh and exactly what I’m looking for during my workouts. It’s not the Sports Drink that you’re able to find at your local grocery store, rather it has 2 times the sodium and 3 times the potassium as the Sports Drink Gatorade which aids in distance training.

The Mango Energy Gel has 20G of carbs which is helpful before a race (or training session) to get that extra boost of energy. The Mango joins the established flavors of Vanilla, Apple Pear, and Blackberry.

I was nervous to try this one because mouth feel and texture is a real thing and I’m never exactly sure what will work and what won’t. Thankfully it was not even an issue! Unlike gooey gels or sports blocks, the Gatorade Energy Gel is liquid and easy to take without a water chaser.

I used it before a training session and prior my most recent 5 mile race (more about that later this week!) and it helped carry me through both without any additional fueling.

Hydration and fuel is important any time of the year and I know I’ll be relying on Gatorade especially through the hot summer months!

Check out my fellow BibRave Pros thoughts about Gatorade Endurance by swinging by their blogs:

Lindsey
Karen
Lissa
Katy
Jessica
Kevin
Amy
Jenn
Vanessa
Ang
Joe
Eric
Amy
Mai
Ben
Brenda

What are your favorite ways to hydrate through the summer? 

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.

Brenda

Bradford

Deanne

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.

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

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.)