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.

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?

Road Tested: Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment

As a runner and someone who works out with weights multiple times a week, I’ve had my fair share of aches and pains over the past couple of years.

In fact, it’s a joke among the people at the gym during my hour that there should be a personal safety/accident free countdown posted with the amount of times I’ve fallen (box jumps)/bled (sandbags – don’t even ask how I managed that one)/generally messed myself up in some way, shape, or form.

What can I say? I’m accident prone.

2016 has actually been fairly accident free as far as I’ve been concerned, which means I was overdue to injure myself.

And I did.

I’m now dealing with sore back muscles, which, in the grand scheme of things is low on the injury scale but still annoying.

From lifting weights? Oh, no no. That would be far less embarrassing than this. It would make sense even.

My back is sore from (of all things) wrapping presents. Yeah. I know. Adorable.

I like wrapping presents while sitting on the floor, in front of the television. Being that I’m not in my 20s anymore… and I’m nearly not in my 30s anymore, being hunched over for an hour at a time isn’t fantastic. I’ve wound up walking around with my hands on my lower back and hollering at kids to get off my lawn.

Then I realized they were my kids and I like them playing outside, so I let them stay.

When the opportunity presented itself from BibRave to try out Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment, I thought it was the perfect time to try a new-to-me product and hopefully fix myself up so that I could continue on with my wrapping and other various holiday merriment, pain-free.

One of the things that stood out to me immediately, before receiving the product, was the company’s dedication to both the environment and its customers. I always appreciate companies that care for the earth; it says so in its name and you can see it throughout their standards and product line.

via earths-care.com

The menthol aroma clears the sinuses completely and it instantly brought back memories of my dad using different medicated rubs after playing tennis. Ah, nostalgia.

Apparently I’m not as limber as I thought because applying it to my own back was not easy. After a bit of a struggle (read: flailing around, trying to rub the ointment into my lower back) I enlisted the help of my husband.

He complained that his hands will forever smell like “candy canes”. To which I politely pointed out that it could be far worse, and to quit his bellyaching.

It honestly felt amazing, like it settled into my muscles and worked its magic. What’s the magic, exactly? I’m going to go with the triple action formula of three natural ingredients: Camphor, Menthol, and Wintergreen Oil.

I’ve used the product for a couple of days now and it’s helped significantly. I consider that a win!

Finding Earth’s Care products in my area have proved a bit challenging; the closest store that carries it is 15 miles from here and over the tolled bridge. However, there is a 15% off your first order on the website and I’m planning on taking advantage of that deal.

What do you use for pain relief? 

Disclaimer: I received Earth’s Care Triple Action Pain Relieving Ointment 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!

A Tale of Three Race Shirts

Once upon a time, in the spring of 2014, a brand spanking newly turned 37 year old Meridith registered for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. Registration opened on her birthday, April Fool’s Day, and she was bound and determined to run in the November race (at the cheapest rate possible).

She clicked her way through the registration questions and when she got to the shirt size option, she swiftly chose the “large” without a second thought.

November came to pass and Meridith and Victoria were excited to go to the Convention Center for the expo. They both waited in line for their bibs, then their shirts. The blue large shirt was larger than Meridith expected it to be; it was boxy and seemed to have more material than necessary. She was bummed that it was ill-fitting but she rationalized, “Better too big than too small.” (She and Victoria had their share of too small shirts at the Nike Women’s Half.)

Hanging at the expo – Vic, Kyle, and Meridith

After running the race, she knew she would be returning so she filed away the shirt information in her mind so she would make a more fitting choice the following year.

The spring of 2015 arrived and with it, so did Meridith’s birthday and the registration for the Philly races. Armed with the knowledge she gained in November, she confidently clicked on the “medium” option for her shirt choice. She totally had the shirt game figured out! 10 points for Gryffindor!

Except… no.

She wailed in dismay (because she’s nothing if not dramatic) when she picked up her black shirt at the expo with her friend, Chrissy. The race had changed shirt companies and now the medium looked like it might fit her 6 year old child. Maybe.

Could she exchange sizes? No. She could not. (She asked.)

But the race was great and although she was sad she would never get to wear the race shirt in public (she’d post a picture but this is a family show and then we’d be getting all sorts of spammy comments), she vowed that she would finally make the correct choice in 2016.

This year the half marathon registration did not open on her birthday which goes along with the changes made to the race. A few weeks later, the freshly turned 39 year old Meridith registered for this year’s half. She anxiously clicked through the preliminary questions before arriving to the most important question of all: her shirt size.

She paused, thoughtfully, and then clicked the “extra large” option. And hoped for the best.

At the expo she watched as other racers picked up their shirts. “My chest will never fit in this shirt!” they exclaimed. She found her very short XL line and received her red shirt. And looked at it, doubtfully.

Would it fit?

Yes, yes it does! The sleeves are a bit long and the length is shorter than she likes but it does fit.

Meridith and her 2016 shirt lived happily ever after (while her 2015 and 2014 shirts were banished to the back of the closet).

Do you have a tale of woe when it comes to a race shirt? Meridith would love to hear it and empathize with you.

Your Banana Phone Is Ringing

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The headlines do not lie – especially the ones posted on the ONION.

Report: Bananas Still Most Popular Fruit For Pretending To Receive Phone Call

After having 3 people tag/text/share this hilarious “report” with me (Thanks Cyanne, Jes, and Jenn!), I started reminiscing about days gone by with my very own banana phones… and realizing just how many pictures I had with bananas pressed to my ear (shhhh, just go with it).

You want to see, don’t you?

Well, since it’s the season of giving, I’ll gladly share with you! You are most welcome!

I believe this was my very first banana call – to the president at the Nike Women’s Half.

From there it was game on! If there was a banana, I was either making a call or receiving one. I’m very important in the banana phone community.

Chatting while my younger son eats my post-race food. AC 10k, 2014.

Newsies banana phone – runDisney half 2015.

The first of many banana phone conversations with Chrissy! Broad Street 2015

Shocking news on the Bolder Boulder banana phone with Jenn, 2015.

Beat the Blerch 2015, “Mom, I’m still alive” banana phone call. Don’t worry, I called her on the cell after this picture in case the call didn’t go through.

Philly half 2015, train banana phone. Service is really crappy underground.

Atlantic City April Fool’s Half, 2016 – we are happy we didn’t blow away banana phone call.

Ash tweeted me this pic of her calling me on her banana phone, so naturally I tweeted back with the very fun but rarely seen these days, “party line”.

AC 10k 2016, PRs all around and feeling awesome in the rain.

Anyway, give me a call on the banana phone any time you want and I promise you this, I’ll always answer! (Unless we don’t have any bananas in the house and then it might be an onion or milk…)

What post-race photos do you find yourself doing time and time again? 

I’m a BibRave Pro!

bibrave-badge-1__1_

Agggh, you guys! I am so stoked! It’s official (there’s my badge!); I’m pleased to announce that I’ve been selected as a BibRave Pro!

BibRave is a great site where runners from all over can post their reviews of races and connect with other runners, both locally or in an area you’re looking to run a race.

I love reading what people have to say about all aspects of a race and I especially like reading what locals have to say if I’m traveling for a race. Their knowledge is invaluable!

Don’t get me wrong, I am a blog reader through and through but it’s cool to have all the information centralized. If you click on the badge above, you can find my profile and then we can be friends over there, too.

Tuesday nights on Twitter at 8 pm CST (9 pm for us east coasters) they host #bibchat. I love Twitter chats because it’s another way to connect with like-minded individuals and get feedback/ideas that I might not have considered. I do my best to stay awake for it but I have definitely fallen asleep mid-chat only to wake up in the morning, cuddling my phone. Waking at 5 am can do that to a gal.

As a BibRave Pro I’ll have opportunities to try out products that are running/fitness related. Which is especially great for readers here because I’ll be sharing my thoughts on Scoot a Doot. Your own personal guinea pig, right here! You also might see BibRave Pros at races – you can spot them in their bright orange apparel.

Good things ahead!

Are you on BibRave? (If not, join me over there, it’s lots of fun!) If you are, share your profile link with me so I can add you!