Road Tested: OOFOS Project Pink

Disclaimer: I received OOFOS Project Pink 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! 

I turned 40 years old this year.

Not too much has changed in my daily grind. 40 feels much like 39 did. However, I was told during my annual well visit that it was time for a routine mammogram, along with colonoscopy due to family history. I scheduled the mammography soon after (I’m still working up the nerve for my colonoscopy prep)(I’ll get there, I promise).

I asked friends about their experiences during a mammography and most told me that while it was not the most pleasant life experience, remembering that it would over quickly seemed to help. I figured I’d be in and out of the women’s center with minimal discomfort.

Which I was.

Until they called me the next day to let me know that I had “asymmetric dense breast tissue” and I needed to come in for more images. After a 3-D mammography and an ultrasound, I was informed that I’m absolutely fine.

But I have to tell you, those five days between the phone call and when the doctor came in the room to speak to me were some of the most stressful of my life.

Attempting not to think about it didn’t work. Reassuring myself that it was probably “nothing” didn’t work. At the age of 40, I’ve already lost a friend to breast cancer. I have a dear friend who is living with Stage 4 breast cancer. There are friends, family members, acquaintances and people I haven’t yet met that are battling every day.

Cancer sucks, there’s no two ways about it.

Which is why we need to fight. And if there’s something I can do to help, in any way, I will do it.

Enter OOFOS Project Pink.

OOFOS Recovery Footwear’s head of Marketing, Duncan Finigan, is personally affected by cancer; she was diagnosed with Stage 4 advanced breast cancer in 2014.

Once Duncan received her diagnosis, OOFOS chose the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute as the cause that the company wanted to support. For over 70 years, the Dana-Farber team has worked toward finding a cure through research and patient care.

Through the Project Pink collection, OOFOS donates $10 of every pair sold to breast cancer treatment research at Dana-Farber all year long! 

OOFOS is currently almost halfway to their $100k goal

The Project Pink Collection is made up of the Men’s and Women’s OOAHH Sandal, the Men’s and Women’s OOcloog Clog, the Men’s and Women’s OOriginal Sandal, the Women’s OOcloog Luxe Clog, and the Woman’s OOlala Sandal.

All are nearly identical to the regular line of shoes, however the Project Pink Collection has a special pink touch to every shoe, whether it be the logo (along the outside sole) or the awareness ribbon on the Ooriginal Sandal.

OOlala Project Pink Sandal

It’s hard to describe just how amazing the OOFOS shoes are on your feet, but trust me when I say that I’ve heard about them for awhile before having the opportunity to try them.

They are magical! 

From the moment I first slipped my feet into the Oolala Sandal I realized that I’d been missing out. The way the shoe cradles the foot is perfection. I can feel how the shoe moves with my foot and against the ground in a rocking, flexible motion.

Of course, OOFOS explains this way better than I can with this video!

I’ve been wearing OOFOS everywhere since I got them. If I don’t have running shoes on, these have been my go-to shoes, with a few exceptions (a baby shower, for example).

The only thing that I have to say is that I wish I had gotten OOFOS a heck of a lot sooner! When I was dealing with my plantar fasciitis, they would have been helpful in relieving the pain and in recovery. I pray every day that I never have to deal with foot issues again, but if I do, I know that I’ll be relying on OOFOS!

OOFOS Project Pink Twitter #BibChat is happening on tomorrow, Tuesday, October 3rd at 9pm EST. Join us there!

Please remember that breast health is so very important. To share words I wrote two years ago that are still just as relevant:

Now a word to cancer. Cancer, I’ve got to say, you suck. You’ve messed with my friends, my mom, my dad, my friend’s families, children… and I’m sick on your shit. I will gladly walk, run, and shout from rooftops if it will bring awareness and funds for research to finally find a cure.

Won’t it be an amazing day when we kick your ass to the curb for good?

It truly will.

Road Tested: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Titanium wireless headphones 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.

BibRave - AfterShokz Trek Titanium wireless headphones review from scootadoot.org

Can we talk about this picture?

This is a picture from my half marathon this spring, the Atlantic City April Fools half. I achieved a hard fought PR during that race and when I look at this picture, do you know the first thing I think? (Besides that was a great race!)

Why is there a wire coming out of my nether regions?!

Not that it diminishes any positive vibes I feel toward the race or about my PR. However, dude, seriously? Not the cutest.

Therefore, when I had the opportunity to opt in for the wireless AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones I raised both hands in the air… and waved them around like I just didn’t care. And hey, I’m able to do that because there are no wires on my headphones now!

I was curious to see how they would work. As soon as they arrived, I charged them for a couple hours and then they were ready to go.

The AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones easily paired with both my iPod and iPhone. Personally, when I’m running I’d rather have it connected to my iPod so I don’t drain my phone battery, even if it means carrying an extra device. However, I do love that it will hook up to my iPhone because they got rid of the headphone jack on the latest phone.

I’ve been wearing them for all sorts of activities: running (obviously), weeding my flower beds, walking the pooch, vacuuming the pool. Anything and everything. With my old earbuds, I’ve accidentally yanked them from my ear during activities. That doesn’t happen with these!

Conclusion: It is so much easier to maneuver with wireless headphones.

AfterShokz are not only wireless but they are bone conduction headphones. What does this mean? Unlike ear buds or headphones that sit on top of the ear, the earpiece of AfterShokz sit in front of the ear, on the bone. How do they work?

Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them. – AfterShokz Technology 

It’s fantastic to have my ears open so that I can be cognizant of the people, cars, and other things around me. I actually stopped doing a lot of my training runs with music because I wanted to be aware of surrounding noises and now I can be while enjoying music.

Since the earpiece sits outside the ear rather than in/on, I wondered if my music and podcasts would be heard by others when I wore them.

For this test, I asked my husband if he could hear what I was listening to while I stood next to him. When I had the sound low, but still able to hear, he wasn’t able to hear much. As I increased the volume, he was able to slightly hear muffled noise of what I was listening to but he said it wasn’t a distraction.

Occasionally when I move the wrong way (bend over to tie a shoelace, for example) I’ve lost the sound for a moment or two. I’m not sure exactly why, maybe the Bluetooth wasn’t able to connect for a moment? Either way, it’s so minimal that it doesn’t pose much of an issue.

Conclusion: You can be aware of your surrounds while running and stay safe, while enjoying music and podcasts. (And also not be rude to others around you!)

Other AfterShokz Trekz Titanium specifics that I found useful (and you might too):

  • they hold six hours of charge before needing to plug in
  • extremely lightweight (so much so that I’ve forgotten they’re on my head a few times!)
  • flexible, durable, and sweatproof
  • you can receive phone calls on them
  • 2 year warranty

Interested in getting a pair of your own? If you order now and use the code FREECASE you can score a BONUS portable storage case (as seen in the video below). On the rare occasions I’m not using my headphones/iPod, this is the perfect place for them to be! (And no more wires in odd places!)

Join us for the Twitter AfterShokz Trekz Titanium #bibchat on Tuesday, August 29nd at 9pm est. Never taken part of a Twitter chat before? Use the hashtag #BibChat and follow along with the questions posted by BibRave and share your responses! I’ll be there as scootadoot so be sure to say hello!

Don’t just take my word for it! Please feel free to swing by other BibRavePros and see what they’re saying.

Road Tested: BUFF® Pack Run Cap

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF ® Pack Run Cap 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.

More often than not, when I’m working out, I’m wearing a hat or visor.

Hats are my current go-to purchase at race expos and I’m always looking for the perfect one. What makes a hat “perfect”? In my eyes, it’s something that’s breathable, lightweight, and easy to throw in my bag or on a fuel belt.

Enter BUFF® Pack Run Cap!

Received the BUFF® Pack Run Cap less than two weeks ago and it’s already heavily in rotation! This pattern is known as MEEKO MULTI.

What makes this cap so great? So glad you asked! There’s a couple of reasons why it ranks high on my list.

Number 1 – Lightweight and breathable: I can check these off the list first! This hat is super light, in fact, it doesn’t even feel like it’s on your head because it weighs a single ounce. Uno. One.

The side panels are a mesh-like material; BUFF® calls it fastwick, which is something you can find with many of their products. What does that mean? Well, when I’m working out, the material is moisture wicking and keeps me cool! I’ve tried other caps that have held in the heat which does NOT feel nice when you’re working up a sweat, but this is cool and airy.

Number 2 – It’s bright! In addition to the great colors, there are a couple of reflective areas on the cap! The BUFF® logo on the front and strip on back add to visibility in the early morning/evening hours.

Number 3 – You can pack it! I mean, really pack it! Fold the sides of the brim in, roll it toward the back of the cap, and wrap the adjustable slide around. Easy as pie!

Number 4 – It’s washable! Hand-wash or machine. I rarely hand-wash anything, so I was happy to see that I could toss it into the machine. After washing it three times it maintains its shape and vibrancy! I let it air-dry on a rack and because it’s so lightweight, it dries quickly so that’s it’s ready for my next workout.

Number 5 – It has matching arm sleeves! I don’t have these… yet. Is it too early to start my Christmas list?

Join us for the Twitter BUFF® Pack Run Cap #BibChat on Tuesday, August 22nd at 9pm est. Never taken part of a Twitter chat before? Use the hashtag #BibChat and follow along with the questions posted by BibRave and share your responses! If you have any questions, feel free to comment below and I’ll gladly help.

Want more opinions? Check out the reviews of my fellow BibRavePros!

Janelle – Dane – Angie – Heather – Lindsey

Luv for Luvo!

Disclaimer: I received Luvo meals 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 and no further compensation has been given.

The lazy days of summer haven’t exactly been lazy around these parts. I’m a stay at home mom and while I love having my kids home with me (mostly), means that I’m more “on call” than I am when they’re at school.

It means a lot of swimming, going to parks, visiting the aquarium and the zoo, and of course, the never-ending questions about food. “Can I have a snack?” “When’s lunch?” “What are we having for dinner?” These boys of mine like to eat. They expect to be fed three meals a day and multiple snacks thrown in for good measure!

There are days when we are all in agreement with what to eat, which is absolutely lovely. And then, there are (more often) days when I rattle off about three choices before resorting to peanut butter and jelly sandwiches.

It’s on those days, I’ve been treating myself to the Luvo meals that I’ve been able to try through BibRave!

Chicken in BBQ Sauce with white chicken, millet grits, and collard greens.

In the past, I’ve shied away from frozen meals because I’ve always found them to be… well, not very tasty. Before opting in for the Luvo meals, I perused the website and was pleasantly surprised.

While I am not vegan, gluten free, nut free, vegetarian, or dairy free, I do appreciate a company that caters to those who are. As for worrying about rather the meals would be tasty, it was a non-issue! The food was flavorful and the texture was how it should be (meaning that the veggies were crisp, the meat was tender, etc.)

Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese (and a clementine, which I added)

My favorite of the bunch was the Roasted Cauliflower Mac and Cheese bowl. It’s cauliflower with brown rice noodles and panko style topping in a creamy sauce. If you’re a label reader, like I am, check out the nutrition facts.

Another Luvo bowl offering is the Chicken Harissa & Chickpeas. I am picky on my spice level and even though it says “a little spice” this was a bit too much for me. Never fear though, my husband came to the rescue and finished the bowl (and liked it just fine, thank you very much).

Chicken Harissa & Chickpeas

Red Wine Braised Beef and Polenta with Roasted Brussels Sprouts, Butternut Squash & Cranberries – yummy!

I attempted to step out of my comfort zone and pick Luvo meals that I wouldn’t normally try, including the Kale Ricotta Ravioli Bowl. It was really good! I wanted to try the Planted Power Bowls too, but sadly neither of my local stores had them in stock.

I heard from other BibRavePros that they were able to track down breakfast meals, which I would have loved to try, but sadly it seems that Luvo is no longer making them.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli – you lost me at Kale but pulled me back in with the Ricotta and Ravioli

These meals are about making good and healthy choices, without sacrificing time with my kiddos. Their 3-2-None philosophy is one that I think we can all get on board with, not only as athletes, but as people looking for the best options for our bodies.

Do you have a favorite quick meal? What do you try to incorporate into your meals? 

Join the BibRave team for the Luvo Healthy Meals Twitter chat on July 18th, 9pm, hashtag #Bibchat! I’ll be there under @scootadoot. It’s always a lot of fun and there will be a couple of Luvo giveaways for a few lucky participants!

Fellow BibRavePros had the opportunity to try Luvo Meals too! Check out their thoughts!

2017 Woodstown, NJ Firecracker 5k

On Father’s Day I was blessed with a gift from my older son, Lucas. Not sure why… but he agreed to do a 4th of July race with me. For anyone who knows me (and my son), you know what a big deal this is because he doesn’t always love the idea of running.

Which, you know, I get, because I didn’t always love the idea of running either.

Way back when: cheering with his little brother at the 4 miler.

At first I tried to sell him on the local 4 miler, the Pitman 4 Miler. When asked if there were hills though, I could not tell a lie. There are hills and lots of them. I’ve run it twice and it’s a thoroughly challenging course!

He quickly put the kibosh on that.

After looking around a bit, I found the Woodstown Firecracker 5k. Small, 20 minutes from home, less than $30 for both of us to run, and from what I could tell, fairly flat. SOLD! We registered immediately.

He planned to train but didn’t train (at all), and when we woke up on race morning, he confessed that his sneakers were shot and he needed new ones (not exactly the ideal time to tell me).

On a wing and a prayer.

The race started at 8am at Marlton Recreation Park, with packet pickup beginning at 6:30am. We arrived at a little after 7 and were immediately able to get our bibs and shirts. After asking where the starting line was (we saw the finish, but not a start), we headed in the direction we were pointed. We saw an arrow sign and figured we’d just line up when we saw other people doing the same. There were a few portapotties but we didn’t need to use them.

Since we arrived early, we wandered around the park and found a few animals. Lucas likes chickens and roosters so he was content just watching them. In fact, I think if I told him we were going to skip the race and just hang out there, he would have been absolutely fine with that.

No such luck, kiddo!

There were 186 participants and the start was actually on the grass (which is why we didn’t see a start line). From the grass line, we were to run toward a path that we’d all eventually go on.

It was a little awkward because we were lined up length wise rather than what I’ve come to expect but it worked out well because people naturally fell into place rather than trying to self-seed. After hearing a few words from the race director, we were off!

The course was about a mile loop around the park, then a mile through a neighborhood, with the third mile being the same as the first but in reverse.

Lucas was unsure with how well he’d be able to do, so I suggested that we run intervals. We ran the first half mile before switching into 30 second intervals of running and walking.

Hanging in the ‘hood, just after the water station.

The first mile and a half were great for Lucas, he was feeling good and was fairly content. Just after the water stop, which was around 1.5 miles, he started getting down on himself.

You guys, I hate to admit this but in the past I’ve not been very supportive when he’s gotten emotional during a race. Which is not okay!

I know that self doubt can be a hell of a thing to deal with and while yes, he should and could have trained more, he didn’t need to hear that from me once we were in the thick of the race.

Before going to the race, I decided that there were only going to be positive affirmations and motivation coming from me toward him while we were running. If he was feeling discouraged, I’d remind him how great he was and what an awesome kid I think he is. Because that’s what he needed in that moment from me and I want him to feel good about himself when he’s running and accomplished when he’s done!

Last mile, running by our chicken friends, who were obviously cheering him on too!

He was not as happy as he appears in this picture, but then again, we runners have that “fake it ’til you make it” smile down pat, amirite?

I tried the best that I could to read him and what he needed to hear from me while we were in the home stretch. I didn’t want to be too strong or inauthentic with my motivating. I asked him his motto for the rest of the race and he started chanting “almost done” about a quarter mile from the finish line. So I joined him and we both chanted “almost done” until we crossed the finish at 41 minutes.

There were no timing mats, instead they kept track by collecting the bottom tab on our bibs. After handing over our information, we were given a bottle of water and continued to walk in order to cool down and get in the shade.

Stayed cool on a hot and humid morning wearing my super cute Minnie Bow tank! You can save 10% at Donna’s etsy shop with the code MRCScootaDoot.

The Woodstown parade was starting after the race was over but we decided to hit the road so I could make us a yummy breakfast. It was the perfect way to start our celebration of America’s birthday. He even told me that he was glad that he did it and he was looking forward to running another race with me.

“Next time, I’ll train…”

Mmmhmm.

What did you do on the 4th of July? How do you motivation someone during a race?

Fall Racing – VA, PA, NJ, and DE

I know, I know. Summer just started. So why, oh why, am I writing about fall racing? Well, quite frankly… I don’t race in the summer and there aren’t all that many races in my area at this time of year.

The one summer race I’m doing is on the 4th of July with my older son. ‘merica!

If a summer race comes along that woos me with fun stuff (wine, amazing medal, friends participating) I’m sure I’ll sign up. That’s just how I roll. Other than that I’ll be embracing summer training (and praying that I don’t melt along the way) in preparation for the fall!

My fall race schedule is filling up and I’m excited to say that it’s mostly with new-t0-me races. Which ones? Oh, so glad you asked…

September 2nd – Vacation Races, Shenandoah Half Marathon (inaugural)

When my awesome friend Rachel was looking for a race and travel buddy for the Shenandoah Half, I was happy to join her! Jenn has raved about Vacation Races as an ambassador (here, here, and here).

While I’m a little nervous for the “challenging uphill course” that the race description boasts, I figure that as long as I am with Rachel, it will be all good! I’ve never run a race in Virginia before and if Ragnar, PA taught me anything it’s that the scenic views from the top will be well worth the hills.

If you’re interested in challenging yourself in Shenandoah Valley, registration can be found here.

September 16th – 17th – Rock n’ Roll Marathon Series, Philadelphia Half Marathon

This is a race that I ran in 2012 and am looking forward to returning to 5 years later! I’ll be honest, the first time that I ran this I didn’t train the way I should have so I struggled through the race. It was a tough one for me so this will hopefully be redemption!

Prior to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Race Series taking over in 2010, it was known as the Philadelphia Distance Run and this will be the 40th consecutive running of the race. Race weekend has been expanded in recent years to include a 5k and 10k (this year is the inaugural 10k) on Saturday, while the half will take place on Sunday. Of course, that means that there’s the opportunity to run more than one race in the weekend. I’m currently floating the possibility of adding another race because GO BIG OR GO HOME, right?

Registration for Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia can be found here. Which distance would you chose to rock? If you go for the half, the code “BIBRAVE15” will save you $15 until 8/27.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia race as part of being a BibRave Pro. They’re currently looking for more BibRave Pros so feel free to learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews. You can tell them I sent you!

October 8th – Good Day For a Run, Run the Vineyards Destination Enoteca 5k

While I have not raced this particular location before, I am a huge fan of the Run the Vineyards series! Not only have I run the Run the Vineyards 5 miler twice, I’ve also volunteered with the race series as well. This local series knows what runners want and it’s always a good time to run and then be rewarded with wine and entertainment. And free race photos!

I’m particularly excited for this race because a group of my local friends have registered for it as well, so I know I’ll be seeing lots of familiar faces during the race and after! Without a doubt, it’s going to be a good time.

The space for the Run the Vineyards events is limited (this one is capped at 300 runners) so if you’re interested in registering, earlier is always the key.

October 15th – Run Inspired 10k for Operation Warm

The 10k is my favorite race distance, which is only one of the reasons why I’m pumped to run the Run Inspired 10k.

Winterthur, DE is less than an hour drive from my home in New Jersey and I’m looking forward to my first ever DE race. This is a young race, last year was the inaugural run. The course will be beautiful and challenging through Winterthur’s 1,000-acre natural preserve and it’s one that I’m really looking forward to running.

Run Inspired supports the Operation Warm which distributes coats to local children living in poverty and the thought of that is something that will keep me pushing over those hills during the race. The Finishers Party sounds like it’s going to be amazing too!

If you’re considering running this race, register now to get the Early Bird registration. Prices jump on July 1st! And you can use the code “BIBRAVE” to save 10% on your race entry.

Disclaimer: This is another race that I’ll be running as a BibRave Pro, I received an entry to the Run Inspired 10k through BibRave. Want to learn more the BibRave Pros (ambassador)? Be sure to click the links and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews. You can tell them I sent you!

Will I be seeing any of you in September or October at these races? November and December are usually hectic so I’m actually trying to keep a little less on my plate as far as races are concerned but I’m always open to suggestions!

Road Tested: 2Toms FootShield (with coupon code)

Disclaimer: I received 2Toms FootShield 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 and no further compensation has been given.

There’s no nice way to say this so I’m just going to…

Runners smell.

We just do. And in the warmer weather, woo-wee, it gets so much worse. Seriously. SO. MUCH. WORSE.

As much as I like working up a good sweat, I am also well aware that people around me don’t want to smell me. Heck, I don’t want to smell me. Plus, extra sweat equals higher chances of chafing and blisters. No thank you!

Must haves at Ragnar – 2Toms FootShield, Knuckle Lights, Road ID

When BibRave mentioned that they were looking for BibRave Pros to test out the 2Toms FootShield, it stands to reason that I jumped at the opportunity. I’ve had my share of blisters from wearing the wrong socks while running and if there’s something on the market that can help keep my feet dry, odor-free, blister free, and happy – I’m definitely interested!

2Toms FootShield was one of the first things in my bag while packing for Ragnar PA. Spending over 35 hours in a van with 5 other people while running can definitely get smelly and I wanted to be sure that I did my part to stay as odor-free as possible.

The roller ball applicator made it easy to roll on my feet and I remained blister free and fresh smelling. (Well, at least my feet did! I used wipes to help the rest of my body.)

What I love about 2Toms is that it’s not just for when I’m running or working out. I’ve been using it while wearing my flats or summer sandals daily and there’s a noticeable difference when I take my shoes off at the end of the day. Is it the jojoba (what a fun word!)? The grape seed? The tea tree oils? All I know is that it works and I like it!

*Warning – foot picture ahead. I know some people are squeamish when it comes to feet.*

Honestly, I think my kids and husband might need bottles of their own. They develop “foot crud” (as they refer to athlete’s foot) and 2Toms FootShield is known for alleviating that! Such a simple fix!

Want to try it out? The bottle costs $15 and the discount code 2Toms20 will save you 20% off online purchases. (expires 9/30/17). Join us at the BibRave 2Toms FootShield Twitter #bibchat on June 27th at 9pm EST.

Oh, and also, BibRave is accepting applications for new BibRave Pros right now! If you’re interested, be sure to click on the link at the top of this post. I’ve been involved a little over half a year now and it’s been a fantastic experience. Love the BibRave community!