Road Tested: Road ID

Disclaimer: I received the Road ID Wrist ID Elite 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.

Anyone who has followed Scoot a Doot for awhile knows just how much I love Road ID. I’ve been blogging about my love for all who will listen since I got my first Road ID in 2013.

I started with the Wrist ID Sport. Then I picked up the Wrist ID Slim for my children (and myself while I was at it!). While I was at it, I also got the Wrist ID Elite for my husband. Oh yes, we were the safest people in all the land.

Or at least in all of Pitman, our old town.

All of my family members rock their Road IDs.

And then we moved (to the next town over) (but still…) and I realized that I needed to new Road ID to reflect the change of location! Serendipity stepped in when BibRave put out the call for BibRavePros to check out the Wrist ID Elite band.

His and Hers Road IDs. Need to update his to our new town!

Why do I love Road ID so? Let me count the ways.

Numero uno – Safety. I’m big on running safety and feeling secure. I wear my Road ID everywhere – running, the gym, the store, etc.

Numero dos – Peace of mind. All information that someone might need about me is centrally located. I don’t have any allergies or medical issues but members of my family do and a Road ID is able to speak for you even if you cannot. My younger son has autism and when we originally got my sons their Road IDs, he didn’t have the words to express himself. His Road ID provides that information and also the ways to contact us.

It’s a little scary to play the “what if” game but it’s even more scary if you don’t have a good answer to the questions. Road ID is the answer.

Numero tres – Motivation. Along with the pertinent information, I also have my running mantra inscribed on my Road ID. And cute little badges! It’s always helpful to look down at my wrist and remind myself of my reasons, especially when I’m struggling.

I always fill out the back of my bib but I also refer to my Road ID as well.

Need a Road ID of your own? Of course you do! Click here to get a $5 gift card to use for your Road ID purchase. After you sign up, the $5 gift-card will be valid for 2 weeks. I might have my eye on the Slim Rose Gold ID. And when I say “I might” I mean I must have it.

Join in the BibRave Road ID #bibchat on Twitter on April 18th, 9pm est. I’ll be there with my Road ID on! Two participants will win a Road ID Elite.

Check out other BibRave Pros thoughts on Road ID! MattJeannine – Mai – Janelle

What is your running mantra? What would you put on your Road ID?

Road Tested: Brilliant Reflective

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective 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.

2017 has been a year of getting out of my comfort zone when it comes to running.

After 6 years of doing the same running routes, the same treadmill routines, the same daytime running, I’ve been changing things up significantly. The same will no longer cut it! Hill running, sprints, and (the most daunting for me) running in the dark are now where it’s at.

With Ragnar PA less than 2 months away, my running in the dark skills have progressed rapidly. I’m feeling more confident in my abilities and also in my gear.

A few months back I shared my thoughts on Knuckle Lights and since then I’ve been using them during my pre-sunrise/post-sunset runs.

Now I’ve been able to add another product to the mix to help with visibility: Brilliant Reflective!

Brilliant Reflective are reflective adhesive strips that are available in either Iron-On or Stick-On. You can place these little strips on different areas of your body that catch light when you’re moving (known as biomotion).

My in the dark running usually takes place at 5:30 in the morning when I arrive at the gym. While driving there I often see runners out. Some wear the proper gear and others I don’t see until I’m next to them! I often times want to stop and giving them reflective gear! (That would be a little forward of me, huh?)

When it’s pitch black and cold, I usually opt for the treadmill however recently with the warmer weather and my quest to conquer running in the dark, I’ve been heading outside to either parking lot of the gym or the nearby side road before the trainer gets to the gym.

As a runner, I want to be as visible as possible. I used the Stick-On strips on the front and back of my favorite capri pants, placing them at the knee, back of the knee, and side of my hip.

Pairing them with my Knuckle Lights (and a bright orange shirt), I felt confident that I was visible to anyone driving in the early morning hours. I also make sure that I’m running against traffic so that I’m able to see the cars coming toward me.

I know this sounds silly but I was a little worried that people at the gym would question why I had what looks like tape all over my clothes. They did not, for the record. In fact, I’m pretty sure that they didn’t even notice the strips as they blended right in with my workout gear.

Since I was happy with the temporary Stick-On, I decided to give the permanent Iron-On Brilliant Reflective a try. You should know that I don’t ever use the iron on regular clothes because well, it seems like a lot of effort! But when it comes to running gear, it’s game on!

The top picture is without the flash and the bottom is with the flash to show you just how much light the reflective tape picks up!

It was simple to iron on the permanent strips to the lapel area, hemline, elbows and wrists of my half-zip shirt. One package is less than $10 and it lasts!

I still have quite a few strips left and I plan to put them on my dog’s leash, the kids helmets, camping gear, and maybe even secretly put one or two on my husband’s clothing. Oh, the possibilities! I chose purple but the strips also come in black, blue, and red. Be sure to be seen with Brilliant Reflective. Code “BIBRAVEPRO25” is good for 25% off your order until Tuesday 11:59pm CT so don’t delay.

Are you on Twitter? Join the Brilliant Reflective #bibchat on Tuesday, April 11th at 9pm est! And be sure to check out what my fellow BibRavePros have to say.

Mai – JephJessicaLindseyJenGina

Review: Gainz Box

I don’t know about you, but I love subscription boxes. There’s just something fun about a box showing up on my doorstep with cool, curated stuff just for me. I’ve previously done Stride Box, I’m a frequent Stitch Fix-er, we currently subscribe to o the Wizarding World of Harry Potter Loot Crate, and I recently signed up to try gainz box.Gainz Box delivers a number of specially curated CrossFit and weightlifting products to your door – now, disclaimer, I don’t do CrossFit. I enjoy following CrossFit athletes and many of my workouts use elements, but I’ve never been to a box nor have I ever done a class. That said, I still felt like gainz box has products that were for me! I was thrilled to receive mine this week and was excited to see how the products could work in my gym life.

Each box could contain the following elements: apparel, supplements, equipment, snacks, collectibles, and since the boxes are curated by different experts each month, you also get a bit of their knowledge.

The February box was put together by Julian Alcaraz and Miranda Oldroyd – both well-known and seasoned CrossFit Games athletes. The products included are some of their favorites and the included write up gives you details about what’s included, as well as some discount codes if you want to buy more!

The first thing I pulled out of the box was WOD Welder hand cream. This moisturizer is supposed to increase the elasticity of your skin and help repair your callouses, ultimately protecting them from nasty rips and tears. I have some gnarly callouses from all of the barbell work I do, and I can tell you I need all the help I can get. Plus, it smells good and isn’t too heavy or greasy. That’s a win!

You guys. I love tea. A lot. I drink tea every day – usually hot, because it’s the easiest to make at work. But yeah, tea is great. I was super excited to see this in this box and I was even more excited to see that it was just that: tea – nothing extra added, tea and water. Paleo, no added sugar. I had this at work yesterday, and omg. It was awesome. I need to get my hands on more of these, because it’s starting to get warm in Virginia and iced tea is my jam. Gimme.

Also included? A shaker bottle. I probably have… six… seven shaker bottles? Clay and I use these daily, whether it’s for preworkout or protein shakes. One can never have too many. I threw this one in my gym bag, where it will probably live permanently, or get migrated to my office, so I have one there. 

Getting new workout clothes is maybe one of my favorite things ever – and this box had not only this v-neck tee from Wod Gear, it also included a pair of socks. I haven’t tried those yet (I’m picky about my socks), but I wore this shirt to the gym yesterday and it was great. Typically, I don’t wear sleeved shirts when I work out, but this one’s sleeves are short enough that I didn’t get too hot. It’s a nice add to my collection. All in all, I was really pleased with what I got this month. This box is a little pricey – for the month to month subscription it’s $32, but the value is great. You’re getting approximately $75 worth of gear for about half the cost. And with the coupon codes included as well? Yeah. I approve.

I’m going to keep my subscription for another month or two for sure – I’d like to see what other boxes look like and I definitely don’t mind getting some new swag in the process. I’ll say it again, you don’t have to be a crossfitter to subscribe to gainz box – honestly, I found everything in this box useful to me as someone who weight trains regularly. If you do, too, check it out! You’ll get some great products, and maybe you’ll be exposed to something you haven’t tried before.

 

Road Tested: Stunt Puppy Leash

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy leash 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.

When looking back at my blog posts on Scoot a Doot, there are common threads that really stand out to me (and most likely you as a reader).

  1. I really enjoy exercising and everything that goes along with it.
  2. I’m obsessed with my dog, Gemma June!

Three years ago this month, when my family was looking into adopting a dog, there were a few things that were given. We wanted to adopt a black dog (they’re notoriously overlooked) and we wanted to get a dog that I could run with. Based on that criteria, we began our search and quickly fell in love with Gemma.

She was approximately 8 months when we adopted her and once we got the okay from the vet, I started running with her. We worked hard on leash running manners and being a good doggy citizen.

Gemma’s been by my side during run streaks and training runs. She’s also stuck right next to me (on the couch) when I’ve been recovering from injuries and personal loss. She’s my ride or die.

You sit? I sit on top of you.

I’m speaking for both of us here when I say we were very excited when the opportunity to try Stunt Puppy through BibRave came along!

Gemma is 50 pounds of muscle and although she’s nearly 4 years old, she has the exuberance of a puppy. She can occasionally forget her own strength.

The right running gear is imperative when it comes to us running together. From the get-go she’s always worn a harness on outings rather than relying solely on a leash hooked to her collar.

The harness is safer; hooking the leash on her collar doesn’t give me enough control of her body. Control is important, especially when we’re running together, because I don’t want her (or me) getting hurt. She has a lot of momentum so clipping it to her collar could hurt her neck.

The Stunt Runner leash is designed to clip to your choice of a harness or collar. It has a bungee-like lead that has a nice amount of give. If she runs a little bit further away or suddenly sees something that interests her (bunnies, squirrels, other dogs), it isn’t a jerking motion.

photo via Stunt Puppy

You’ve got to walk before you can run so Gem and I took a few shorter walks around the neighborhood to get a feel for the leash.

A concern of mine was that the waist belt might shift, especially if she moved in front of my body. She’s trained to stay on my left but I’m also guiding her with my hand if she forgets her leash manners. Thankfully this wasn’t an issue.

While walking there were a few times she pulled ahead of me. The waist belt didn’t budge because I had it fitted to my waist. With verbal cues, she was right back where she belonged, next to me.

We graduated to running with the Stunt Puppy leash and it’s fantastic. When we run together she doesn’t have time to explore the way she does while on walks. We’re both out there, running with a purpose, so there’s no investigating going on.

My older son was eager to try the Stunt Puppy leash with Gemma as well. Adjusting the belt to fit him was easy.

I actually wanted to see how he’d do with her anchored to his waist, rather than his hand since she thinks she can get away with more when she’s paired with one of the little people. (She’s a stinker like that.)

He liked it a lot and he’s actually asked to take her on more walks since because he feels like he’s able to control her. Plus, he doesn’t worry about dropping the leash. Not that I think she’d actually go anywhere… she has it way too good here!

In the past I’ve volunteered at a dog shelter and I think the Stunt Runner would be great for walking the dogs that may or may not have leash manners. Anchoring at the waist gives you more control overall and having both hands free would be a great asset.

Jazz hands!

Stunt Puppy gets two enthusiastic thumbs up from me. I can do that because I have both of them free! I’m really happy with how well it works with Gemma and I know it will be the standard to-go from this point on during our outings.

Stunt Puppy #BibChat is happening this coming Tuesday, February 14th at 9pm EST on Twitter. Come join in! Want to save? Use code BIBRAVE217 on the StuntPuppy website for 20% now through 3/15!

Do you run with your pup? What’s the longest distance you’ve done? Gemma and I have gone 5 miles together but around 4 she starts looking tired.

A Few of My Favorite Things

With the beginning of the new year, I’ve got yet another new fitness regimen. We’ve worked up some new strength programming and have put a new focus on some HIIT-inspired movements.

Sweating for the wedding is real right now.

In an effort to stay inspired in the gym and feel good about the work we’re putting in, in conjunction with Clay’s new role at work being very focused on helping lead PT for his unit, our workouts have started to look very different.

It’s awesome.

What’s even more awesome though, is that Christmas meant new fitness accessories – and consequently better workouts. Its always interesting to me how having the right equipment can make such a big difference in how efficient your movements and lifts are. I feel so much better in the gym now that I’ve solved a couple of workout woes.

So what am I loving right now?

Nike Metcon 2

These shooooesssss you guys. If you’re doing weightlifting and cross-training workouts, these shoes are going to be your jam. I’ve read about them for a long time (I read a lot of fitness blogs, okay) and many athletes have shared how much they love this shoe. It’s an ideal cross-trainer, because while it’s the tiniest bit weighted and flat-soled for lifting stability, it also have a flexible forefoot, which means running and agility drills are comfortable. (I was going to say no sweat, but that is not the case at all. There is a lot of sweat.)

I’ve been using these bad boys for a couple of weeks and I’ve already noticed a significant difference. Squats, thrusters, push presses, and deadlifts all feel better – the flat sole of shoe connects me with the ground, and the solid heel helps keep my form correct. Workouts have gotten harder, but my feet are happier.

Nordic Lifting Wrist Wraps 

Originally, I bought wrist wraps and straps for Clay for Christmas. He was about them and has used them pretty much every day he could since then. Of course, his raving made me want to try them… and I borrowed his wrist wraps on days when we were bench pressing and immediately I noticed the difference. I’d never really thought I needed or wanted more wrist support, but the added stability has really helped me to continue to move heavier weight at higher reps. My wrists feel safer all around.

Qalo Ring

I’ve written about my Qalo rings before, but I can’t stress enough how much I love them. Qalo offers silicone rings to wear in place of your wedding or engagement rings while you workout, work or play outside. Throwing around weights and barbells can do gnarly damage to your jewelry AND your fingers if something gets caught wrong. Not to mention all that sweat. No good can come from that. I have a couple of these rings and I wear them a lot – always when I’m at the gym, sometimes when I go to Kazaxe and on days when I’m doing a lot of cleaning or hiking or playing outside. They have a ton of fun colors and styles, and even some rings whose proceeds go to charitable organizations.

It’s important to remember, thought, that at the end of the day, fitness equipment is just that – equipment. It doesn’t work unless you do. It’s not meant to turn you into a super athlete, its meant to help you be more efficient, more effective and safer in your workouts so that you can get the most out of them. So, lace up, strap in and get going!

 

Road Tested: Knuckle Lights

Disclaimer: I received Knuckle Lights 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.

“All deliberate change first comes from denying the logic that most gives you comfort.” – Notes from The Universe

Years ago, I began receiving daily emails from Notes from the Universe. This one came back around on Facebook’s On This Day app and it could not be more timely.

You see, I’m trying, with every fiber of my being, to step outside of my comfort zone when it comes to running.

This means running hills.

This means pushing the treadmill up to 6.2, 6.5, and even 7.0 for the briefest of moments.

And (what I’ve been most resistant to), this means running in the DARK.

Running in the complete dark frightens me for several reasons. I always play the “what if” game.

  1. What if a driver cannot see me? During broad daylight drivers aren’t paying attention the way they should!
  2. What if I trip over something because I can’t see it? I am not the most graceful being on the planet.
  3. What if there’s someone lurking in the bushes? Or behind a tree? Or, or, or…
  4. What if there’s a snake? I’ve seen snakes during daytime runs so it could happen!

I could continue but I won’t. Suffice to say, I could come up with a lot of reasons why I shouldn’t run in the dark.

But there’s a very big reason why I will.

That’s right, I’m running Ragnar in June and at least one of my legs will be during the night. Rather than going into that with blinders on (you see what I did there?), I know that I need to be prepared mentally, physically, and most importantly, with the right gear.

Cue Knuckle Lights!

Knuckle Lights are exactly what this scaredy cat needs while running in the dark. The amount of light that each lamp emits is powerful: 280 lumens (lumens equals brightness, for those not in the lingo know). There are three settings on each: high, low, and blinking.

The Knuckle Lights design helps me feel safe while running in the dark. They have adjustable straps so they a nice and snug across the fingers. The wide and sweeping beams mean that I can see a great distance in front of me, not just what is directly in my path.

I really love that they are rechargeable! I haven’t used Knuckle Lights to the end of a charge (and I’m a little OCD about putting them back on the charger after a run), however according to Knuckle Lights the charge will last 4 hours on high, 8 hours on low, or 14 hours blinking.

They are weatherproof too, which is especially helpful because while I am able to stay inside for a treadmill run, my dog always likes to be walked no matter the weather or the time of day!

Each box comes with two lamps, a charging dock, USB cable, and a power adapter. Additionally, you can also charge by plugging into a computer.

Oh! Have I mentioned that the Knuckle Lights are magnetic? They are automatically drawn together by magnets on the inside of the lamps. That way they stick together when not in use and you’re not searching around for a missing lamp. Brilliant!

There are a few different options when it comes to Knuckle Lights; rechargeable Knuckle Lights retail for $59.99. And SCORE, you can use code “bibravepro” and receive 10% off your order.

If you’re not feeling the basic black, check out what they recently posted on their Instagram.

All the pretty colors!

I’m looking forward to getting a lot more use out of my Knuckle Lights – they are now a standard grab and go item while running in the dark and I know Ragnar is going to be THAT. MUCH. BETTER with them along for the run.

Join us next Tuesday, January 24th for the BibRave Chat on Twitter! I’ll be there with Knuckle Lights on. #bibchat

How do you stay visible during your runs? What makes you a little nervous in regards to running?

This One Time, At Space Camp…

I spent the Forth of July weekend at the best camp ever. There was no lake, or horses, or archery, or whatever they do at summer camp. The camp I went to had a Space Shuttle and Astronauts, and I even got to do science on the moon.  I finally got to fulfill my childhood dream of going to Space Camp, and it was WAY better than horseback riding.

IMG_3797

I wore Skirt Sports gear the whole weekend and it didn’t let me down in the Alabama heat! #psychedGGUforthewin

I had to fly to Huntsville, Alabama, the day before camp started, so of course I researched restaurants. It had been a long time since I’d had a po-boy and ettoufe, and I was on a mission. I wasn’t disappointed by the Yelp reviews for the Po-Boy Factory. So yumm!

huntsville

The next day, I got to Camp a little early and did some exploring and shopping. The Shuttle in the photo is the Pathfinder, and was an actual Shuttle program test vehicle.

gettingthere

We got to do a Shuttle mission where we replicated Mission Control and Flight Crew duties. I got the be the “Guidance Systems & Navigational Controls Engineer” for the mission! We spent lots of time pretending we were astronauts, and we got to work in simulators that replicated the Shuttle, the ISS (International Space Station), and a lunar base.

camp1

The second day of camp was jam-packed with activities. We toured the Rocket Center with our private tour guide; a retired NASA engineer who’d been with the rocket program since its inception.  He knew EVERYTHING.

Saturn52

Saturn V Rocket. You can see tiny humans in the bottom left corner of the photo!

mercury16-2

The *actual* Apollo 16 Capsule. Imagine 3 men in that 6x6x6 foot space for DAYS!

mercury 16

There were burn marks on the bottom from re-entry to the atmosphere from space. SO COOL.

Then we got to do the REALLY fun stuff, actual astronaut training! The first video shows me in the 1/6 Gravity Chair. It simulates the gravity felt on the moon. It was much harder to get going than you might think!

In this video, I’m in the MAT, Multi-Axis Trainer. This machine simulates a “tumble spin” that pilots can experience with loss of control of their vehicle. I was certain I would throw up. Megan, our team trainer, said she’s put over 700 people on this machine and no one has ever gotten sick. I’m happy to report that I didn’t feel nauseated at all! The chair keeps your tummy at the center of gravity, thereby avoiding nausea. It’s really true!

We built a model rocket and launched it (mine deployed perfectly, thank you very much). We also did a thermal shielding experiment that required me to put my faux engineering skills to the test. We learned TONS about NASA history and the legacy of our space program, I got to meet a real life space-walking astronaut, see an IMAX movie about the construction of the ISS, and learn about the next evolution of exploration with the Orion craft.

TEAM

Our team right before graduation

Astrobot helps astronauts on the ISS with tasks and space walks (EVAs)

Astrobot helps astronauts on the ISS with tasks and space walks (EVAs)

The other wonderful thing about my experience is that it brought a variety of people together who likely would not have interacted in their day-to-day lives. We came from all over North America, and we all shared a love of space and science that unified us. Ages ranged from early twenties to retirement, from married couples, to singles, to a mom and her daughter. All backgrounds were represented, too, from chemical engineers to artists. Our team had so much fun together and laughed constantly, so much so that we were made fun of for it at our graduation. I was so touched when a retired teacher from Maryland and a musician from Brooklyn busted out their instruments and improvised together. Camp was such a unifying experience, and I know each of us learned something about diversity during the course of the weekend.

In addition to the kids and adult camps, they have Family Camps, Educator camps for STEM teachers, and an Aviation Challenge for those who are more interested in learning how to fly an F-16 than a Shuttle Orbiter. My only advice if you’re going and you’re an adult, sleep at the Marriott next door. The beds and showers at the Camp facility were kid sized and not very comfy for us larger humans.

Not so comfy when you're 40.

Not so comfy when you’re 40.

I would go back to Space Camp in a less than twelve parsecs, and I REALLY want to stress that this is such a fantastic opportunity for kids. If your child is interested in STEM studies, SEND THEM TO SPACE CAMP. I am not exaggerating when I say that it could be life-defining experience for them, the moment where they decide what they want to be when they grow up. It was that impactful and influential. The environment is so supportive of encouraging each child’s ability and potential. When you’re there, you feel as though you really could be the first person on Mars, or the engineer to solve the complex problem of artificial gravity. This is such a better educational value for your dollar than the typical summer camp, which is great, but will they get to meet an astronaut and ask them questions?

Nope.

Or pilot the Shuttle?

Uh-uh.

Or make slime on the moon?

Ain’t gonna happen.

 

The only place you can do that is at Space Camp.

spacecampteam_photo_small

I’m front row, second from the right.

Have you been to Space Camp? Is science your boyfriend/girlfriend? Are you sad that the Hubble will crash into the Pacific in 3 years? (FTR, I’m crying in my Cornflakes about it.)

Tell me all about it below!

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