Road Tested: Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo™ Harness

Dog wearing Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Harness

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo™ Harness 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!

Gemma and I have been fortunate enough to try lots of Stunt Puppy gear through BibRave over the past couple of years. From the Stunt Runner leash to the Go Dog Glo collar to the Nano Bowl, we are HUGE fans!

Earlier in 2019, she had surgery on her back leg for a ligament tear so this year has mainly been about recovery and feeling good. We’ve been taking it easy and working our way back up in terms of miles and speed.

Our travels will bring us to Acadia National Park in a few weeks and in preparation for the hikes there, we’ve been attempting to go off the beaten path. Well, there’s definitely a path, but it’s not a paved road. We’ve added more trails to our repertoire.

Since Gemma was a young little pup, she has always worn a harness for walks rather than just the collar (we leave her collar on too because it has her tag). Getting her used to the Stunt Puppy harness was not a difficult transition and she was very comfortable from the get-go.

Gem’s a solid fifty pounds so we chose the medium size Go Dog Glo harness for her. Even at age 6, she’s got a lot of energy. With that extra spunk, the harness makes sense.

The harness is easy to get on, we slide the top loop over her head and then snap the buckles on both sides. The straps are adjustable so after they were set on her body, we don’t have to do too much else. They also don’t rub under her legs (you know, the puppy armpits) and that’s important.

I usually leave a leash directly attached to the D-ring which is on a Martingale style loop, that way I’m able to just slide the harness over her head and go! The Martingale loop tightens when she gets a little bit too far away and helps direct her back into being closer to me and reduces the pull.

The breastplate is soft and lightweight. Plus it’s reflective, which is a bonus when we are out there in the early morning hours.

We’ll have plenty of pictures to share from Acadia and you can bet she’ll be sporting her Stunt Puppy gear there! This is her first family vacation and I know we’re going to have a blast.

Where was your last vacation?

Check out what other BibRavePros/Pups think:

Jessica, Kimberly, Christine, Ken

Hiking Calypso Cascade

Summer is almost over so I wanted to share a tranquil, beautiful hike with you. Join me via video on my hike last night to Calypso Cascades in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I hope you enjoyed this glimpse into one of our beautiful national parks. I also hope this hike brought you a bit of serenity today. It always does my soul good to get outside and connect with the trail.

That chipmunk was chowing down on a big mushroom he found. I named him Samwise after that.

Road Tested: Science in Sport Gels and GIVEAWAY (closed)!

I received Science in Sport (SiS) 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!

It’s mid-July and while nutrition and hydration is important year-round, it’s particular so during the summer months. It’s hot, it’s humid, most of the time, it’s downright stifling.

I’m always looking for the right combination of products to carry me through a long run or grueling workout, which is why I jumped on-board for the Science in Sport (or SiS for short) Gel opt in through BibRave.

Originally I thought we’d only be getting a few packets to try so I was surprised, and happy, to see that we received oodles of gels and even more so when we were encouraged to share with our friends/run groups. I knew just who to bring them to…

Run 856 Turtles

Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to try SiS gels, flavors Apple (Isotonic Energy), Lemon Mint (Isotonic Energy), Salted Strawberry (Go Energy and Electrolyte), and Espresso (Go Energy and Double Caffeine).

First let’s talk about consistency. SiS gels aren’t heavy, they go down easy and sit well in my stomach. That important when running, especially in the summer when the heat can sometimes hinder how you feel.

SiS packaging is a bit on the larger side. I’d usually consumed one before I’d workout or if I knew I’d be carrying it with me, I took a larger fuel belt.

Within the past few months I’ve tried them all and far and away, my favorite is Salted Strawberry! It has a smooth consistency and light flavor. The Salted Strawberry GO Energy + Electrolyte Gel is designed to take alongside of fluids.

The Apple and Lemon Mint Isotonic Gels are able to be taken without water and provide a quick boost of carbohydrates for exercise. I especially loved the Lemon Mint flavor.

If next level extra pep in the step is needed, Espresso is the gel of choice. GO Energy + Double Caffeine. The flavor of this one is STRONG and a little overwhelming if you’re not ready for it.

Fellow BibRave Pro, Andrea, suggested chilling these to make it more palatable and it made all of difference for me. I took this about an hour before the gym and I benefited from that caffeine boost. As someone who isn’t a regular coffee drinker, it was especially apparent!

Click to enter Rafflecopter Giveaway!

TWO OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN!

Now for a bit of fun for YOU! The folks over at SiS have offered to do not one, but TWO giveaways with every single BibRave Pro who tried their products for their followers. How awesome is that? As such, I’ve decided to spread the love and do one here one the blog and one over on Instagram.

If you’d like to enter here, click on the picture above and enter via Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 11:59pm EST. Winning entry will be verified. For another chance to win, stop by this post on Instagram! You may enter either one, the other, or both. US residents only.

If you don’t win the giveaway, use code TRYSIS25 for 25% off at Science in Sport. It works on all items on the site except clearance items.

CHECK OUT BIBRAVE PRO REVIEWS

ChristineJessicaAndreaBeckyJennStephanieKimAlastairLissaEricaBen KenLindaScott

 

Looking Ahead (At Races)

I loved reading Mer’s post about writing her actual post and how she finished it on Monday morning instead of Sunday night like she usually does. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but we usually have a “schedule” for posts. It’s pretty simple, really. Of course, when you’re like me and you literally have no schedule…the schedule kind of gets away from you. Point being: I’m a day late. Oops?

Summer, for me, is kind of coming to a close soon. I’m heading off on vacation next week and I’m already itching to get back to my classroom and start setting up my room for the new year. My official start date is the first week of August, only I know I’ll be in way before that. I procrastinate on a lot of things (this blog post) but my classroom set up is not one of them.

This year has been about loving running again and so far it’s been okay. I know, that doesn’t sound very promising, but I’m working on it! So far this year I’ve done a race every month and that’s really helped to keep me accountable. Here are a couple of things I’m looking forward to for the rest of the year!

July

I’ve actually already done a race for the 4th of July, but I’m looking forward to completing the Eagles Lakes 5K as part of a summer series that I ran one of the races for last year. My running buddy and I did the first one on a whim toward the end of June and are ready to sign up for the next one. It’s a series of 5Ks in some of our beautiful parks in Southwest Florida and it’s definitely worth getting out early in the morning for. The views are great. Just stay away from the water, you never know what lives in it!

August

The Rampage 5K is the final race of the series, the one I ran last year. I actually managed a 5K PR with this race, my best time in the six years I’ve been running. It’s difficult to get hyped up about these races because it is so hot down here right now. On the plus side the company that runs the races, Elite Events, have begun starting the races earlier in the morning and for that we runners are grateful!

September

September is up in the air right now, just because there are a few races to choose from. So far I’ve done a lot of 5Ks and that is a-okay with me! Last year this was peak Chicago Marathon training time and there was really no way I was doing any extra running. Life was hard enough as it is! I’ll be on the lookout for something fun, though!

October

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Sarasota Half Marathon 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!” Use the code BRSARASOTA19 for $10 off the Half and $5 off the 10K!

I’m excited to run this race with some BibRave Pros and my BFF. The course is beautiful, right on the water, and has a pretty lengthy bridge run. Those can really be bad or good. Either way, I’m excited!

November

I usually reserve November for runDisney’s Wine & Dine 10K, but I was too late for registration this year. It doesn’t help that runDisney raised their prices and I’m a teacher in Florida. (Woe is me, right?) I’m still considering this one with a charity team because it’s one of my favorite races. Plus, it gives me an excuse to visit Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival one last time before it ends.

December

December is where it gets tricky. Last year we planned on running Ragnar Alafia Trail but had trouble getting our team together. We transferred our registration to this year in hopes of making it work. I’m excited to do another Ragnar, HOWEVER, I saw people posting pictures from last year’s race and the GIANT ALLIGATOR on the trail made me glad I missed it.

That’s what I’ve got up my sleeve for the rest of the year. I’m also hoping to do a Hot Chocolate race with BibRave (fingers crossed) and I’m sure there will be a Girls on the Run 5K in there somewhere. Who knows!

Do you plan your races in advance?

Ain’t No Cure for the Summertime Blues

I have mixed feelings regarding summer. On one hand, I love the ease of it, not HAVING to be anywhere at any particular time.

Summer me: summer hair, no makeup, tank top because it’s hot outside.

Except wait, no. That’s not true at all. My kids weeks are scheduled to the brim. In fact, I think I might actually be more busy carting them from place to place in the summer than I am during the school year.

As a person who thrives on routine, this proves summer time living… not easy. I enjoy the routine of the school year. During these pesky summer months, things fall by the wayside.

Case in point, I’m just now writing this blog post at 10:30pm on Sunday night. For reference, I usually schedule my Monday blogs for early hours on the blog. (And honestly, I’m considering just putting the computer away and finishing it when I wake up.)

This is so not me.

I’m trying so, so hard to get myself into a summer routine and to find myself a way to make these next 8+ weeks productive, not-too-stressful, and hopefully (mostly) fun.

Ashley mentioned in her blog post last week that she spends most of her summer days alone. On the flip side over here, it’s hard for me to be alone in my house in the summer. My kids are here, my parents are here, and lately my husband’s travel schedule for work has been a little last minute.

Yet, I’m feeling surprisingly good for being a week into July. I’ve gotten a lot accomplished these past 7 days in my home life and volunteer life. While I have been going to the gym, I’m lacking balance in my running life (practically nonexistent the last 2 weeks; I’ve also been dealing with a reoccurring injury).

I’m attempting to train my brain to focus on what I’ve been able to accomplish rather than what I’m skimping on. Jenn shared her love of the Clever Fox planner and I got one too. It’s purple, of course. Colored pens, bullet lists, and introspection are my friends.

A few things I’ve been successful at lately:

  • Home ownership
  • Podcasting
  • My kids being more self-sufficient

Home ownership

Ah, the never-ending fun of home ownership. We moved into our current home 3 years ago and it will never be done. It’s a continual work in progress, filled with bathroom renovations, updating light fixtures, lawn care, pool maintenance, and more. There is never NOT a project. Some are bigger than others.

This week’s huge project? Replace the largest window in the house.

Before and After

New light fixture and window.

New light fixture and window.

To be clear, it wasn’t anything physical for me in terms of the replacement, but it was not a cheap venture. It’s crazy that replacing a window can be so exhilarating but here we are. We’ve been marveling at the window for the past week. Adulting.

On a smaller scale, we also finally found a ladder shelf for our bathroom at Home Goods!

There’s so much else to do including another bathroom renovation, painting, organizing, blah blah blah, until forever. But PROGRESS!

Podcasting

Podcasts are my jam. I love listening to them; it helps mundane chores go quicker and I’m always learning something new.

As the Director of Social Media & Communications for The Bullock Garden Project, Inc. non-profit, I’m always trying to think of good ways to share our story and get our message out to our target audience.

The more I spoke with my friend and CEO of BGP, Inc., Sonya Harris, the more the idea of creating a podcast grew. Sonya is so animated and we are both passionate about educating and bringing gardens to every school, the podcasting forum makes sense.

 

Not only have I been working on that but I also had the pleasure of being invited as a guest to my BibRave bro, Corey’s podcast!

Having the opportunity to chat with him about life and all the good things going on was so much fun. (Plus, we both have kids going into HIGH SCHOOL, which is sort of bananas.)

Click on the picture to listen!

Kids

I didn’t take this pictures of my son in Florida.

Nor did I take this one.

Because I sent my 14 year old alone. On a plane. By himself. (To my parents house.)

I suppose this is partially my success but more so, his. Last week it was Florida. This week he’s off at Boy Scout camp. Maybe one day I’ll see him again.

Part of growing up is becoming more independent and I’m glad that he has the confidence to do so. His younger brother is taking great strides too, not relying on me as much.

I’ve seen a meme floating around on Facebook recently about only having 18 summers with your kids. You guys, that’s not true. It’s not. Because hey, my parents are spending the summer with me and I’m 42 years old. #truthbomb #perspective

You grow, you mature, but unless something goes amiss or you choose to cut ties, you don’t stop having a relationship with your child after they become an adult. You just hope that you’re doing right by them and that they’ll want to spend summers with you forever and ever.

PS – Yep, I totally finished this on Monday morning.

Celebrate Your Independence

With tomorrow being Independence Day in the good ol’ US of A, I thought I’d take some time and think about about how we can celebrate our own independence. Right now I’m on summer break, so most of my days are spent alone. It’s not so bad, but sometimes I get bored and sometimes there is only so much TV I can watch. Obviously I sometimes do other things, but right now I’m really into the “relaxing” part of summer. It’s hard because I feel like I’m on for nine months out of the year, so the change to summer is always an interesting transition.

If you don’t know what it’s like to be a teacher on summer break: sometimes I have to force myself to leave the house at least once a day.

Some days are more productive than others, obviously. I’ve managed to workout or run almost every day which is kind of a big deal for me. Sometimes summer brings a twinge of depression which basically stems from me not having anything to do and my mind getting away with me. It’s fun finding things to stay busy, though, and here are a few things I’ve been doing.

Crafts

I don’t tend to be a super crafty or patient person, but I’ve recently been in the business of making little button portraits of my favorite characters. I can listen to a book or binge watch a show while I work with tiny buttons and a lot of glue.

Thrift Stores

I’ve been in the market for a new bookshelf for my classroom and I’d rather grab something secondhand than something brand new. Of course, when I can’t find what I need, I find things I want. Like some cute new shoes or a final book in a trilogy I was collecting.

Workout

I touched on this earlier, but I’m having a lot of fun with the Nike Training Club workouts in my garage. They have a great variety of different workouts for different levels of athletes.

Movies

The only movie I’ve seen this summer is Avengers: Endgame and I’m okay with that. I love going to the movies alone and matinee prices are always a little bit better than regular movie times.

Parks/Beach

Living in South Florida we had no shortage of nature preserves, parks, and beaches. The heat index has been at least 100-110 these past couple of weeks, so I haven’t really been outside much.

Reading

Last summer I started an book club on Facebook and picked that up again this summer. We’ve already read one book together and are getting ready to start a new one. I read a lot of books during the summer and I usually blog about them over on my book review blog. It’s nice to have someone to talk about the book I’m reading with.

Those are a few things that I’ve been trying to work on.  I’m  still managing to be lazy and not do much of anything, however!

Oh, and naps. I take a lot of naps.

What are some things you do alone or to take care of yourself?

Race Recap: 2019 Atlantic City Bungalow Beach 5 Miler

Boardwalk, sunshine, beach, ocean: it all has the makings of a good time. Atlantic City is my preferred place to run – it’s familiar, it’s flat, and it’s an easy drive to and from my house.

Last year was the inaugural Bungalow Beach 5 Miler and I knew then that even though I’m not summer race runner, I’d be adding this to my repertoire. There aren’t a lot of 5 mile races and I enjoy the distance (and can deal with the heat!).

The folks over at the AC races know what speaks to runners: competitive pricing, extra swag, and bling. I registered for this race last fall and it was under $35 with a coupon code. The experience includes the 5 mile race with multiple water stops, a race shirt (tank for the ladies), medal, beer, and photos. I’d say that’s a great value for the price!

The added incentive for 2019 is the Triple Threat medal. For those who run a race during the April Fools weekend, the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler, and a race during their fall weekend, you earn a triple threat medal. You can always find me at an Atlantic City race, so I’m pretty pumped to get this in October.

Atlantic City Marathon Series Triple Threat Medal

Packet pickup was Friday evening and also the morning of prior to the start. I particularly like this race because it’s a Saturday rather than the standard Sunday so it’s a great way to kick off the weekend.

Chrissy and I had decided that we would be sticking together for the race. We parked about a mile down the boardwalk at Resorts because we have frequent player cards there that entitle us to $5 parking. This is where we usually start our runs during training and figured it would be a nice way to warm up before/cool down after.

We arrived in plenty of time for the morning packet pickup, which was a good thing because the line was a bit on the long side. No biggie though, just gave us time to chatted, eat our gels (Science in Sport Apple – review coming in a few weeks!), and see friends.

When Chrissy asked for a bag (there was a pile on the table) the volunteer was a bit on the rude side and asked if she REALLY needed it because they were “running low”. As we weren’t planning on bringing our swag back to the car and didn’t see a bag check anywhere it was, indeed, something she really needed. Thankfully we both got bags and found our friends near the start area for the obligatory pre-race photo.

Run856 Turtles

Given the swell in popularity of this event after just 2 years (there was a social media post the evening before stating that it was 90% full) the race will probably take that into consideration for packet pickup and have more tables in the future. Thankfully, the race started a few minutes after 8 to accommodate those still in line for their bibs/shirts.

From there, it was smooth sailing, errrr, running. The course is basically an out and back with a little dip onto the street for a few blocks at mile 2. The boardwalk is open so you have to be aware of people out for a morning stroll and bicyclists.

It’s always great wearing a local running shirt because you hear a lot of “856” (our area code) and get high fives and encouragement from runners around you.

Chrissy and I kept our 1:1 intervals going the entire time and then soon enough, we were turning onto the beach for the last home stretch.

Last year I mentioned that the sand was wavy and it was difficult to run through the finish line. This year they had mats down. So much better!

We got our medals and delicious snacks – they always have a great spread.

Took pictures by the ocean and then handed our beer tickets off to a few Turtle friends. I was more interested in drinking water at 9:30 in the morning than the beer so we decided to take the trek back to the cars and call it a day.

2/3 races in Atlantic City complete for 2019! I’m looking forward to returning for the 10k in October and getting my Triple Threat medal!

Road Tested: BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband 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!

Being a BibRave Pro has such great perks, especially when it comes to testing products. I live in south Florida, where it’s basically summer year round and I’m always looking for ways to keep cool when I’m running or working out. This summer has already proven to be a scorcher and technically it just started!

I was super excited to receive my BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband and thankful we got to choose the style and color. I chose the headband because it was less material and seemed like a better fit for me. I have short hair and headbands don’t always work out in my favor. I think it’s the shape of my head, IDK.

Just leave me in my driveway to melt, y’all.

I’ve basically used my new BUFF for everything. Last week I started some new workouts and ran a couple of times (including two 5Ks, go me) to try and restart my fitness regime. I wore it with every workout and, for lack of a better term, it “worked out” great.

The material is super lightweight and stretchy, so I never felt like it was too tight or uncomfortable. One of my issues with head wear is that it has to feel comfortable with my glasses or sunglasses as I need to see things. This BUFF headband fit the bill and held my glasses in place during sweaty workouts or runs.

As far as the UV+ and cooling is concerned, I’ve definitely noticed both of these while using the product. My moisturizer has an SPF, but I don’t tend to put sunscreen anywhere above my eyes when I’m running. Last time I did, I spent the last two miles of a 15K in terrible pain because I was sweating sunscreen into my eyeballs. The material has definitely protected my forehead while out and about. Too bad it can’t do anything about my sunglasses’ tan on my nose.

Hats and other heavy head wear make me extremely hot, but I didn’t have any issue with this BUFF product. It was just the right weight and has magical cooling properties! This is definitely a great product to grab, whether you’re running, working out, or just running errands. It’s versatile and conducive to all your styling cooling needs.

You can get 15% off one of your own by visiting BUFF USA and signing up for their newsletter. Check out the hashtag #BUFFBR for some other great reviews!

This pattern really goes with everything.

Feelin’ Clever On our 1000th Post

After years of searching for the perfect planner, I think I may have finally found one that meets all my needs!

It’s called the Clever Fox Planner Pro and it’s the perfect blend of planner styles because it’s includes goal setting, weekly planning, and bullet journaling. It could be customized to use for race training, too. It’s supper nifty and I’m stoked to tell you more about it below.

This post is not an ad. I received no incentives for posting about this Planner. I honestly just love it and wanted to share with other planner-y type people.

 

 

This post marks our one-thousandth, and we think that’s pretty cool. We’re grateful to each of you following along and making us laugh! We’re gonna keep on keepin’ scootin’.