Virtual Race Recap: America Runs 5k

Disclaimer: I received an entry for the America Runs 5k 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!

2020 has been the year of the virtual race! Self motivation for training runs during the summer are always a challenge but after a knee injury, I was looking forward to getting back on track with running.

Through the month of August, I worked my way up in distance while being cognizant of how my knee was feeling both during and after a run. The Galloway method (interval running) has always been a go-to for me and I continued to use the one minute run, one minute walk for my training runs.

My son hasn’t been injured and usually leaves me in the dust.

Back in July I wrote about the America Runs 5k Virtual Race and after I slowly worked up my training, I felt confident that I could run the 5k at the beginning of September. I met up with a few of my amazing running group friends at our favorite local bike path and set on the course.

They had 6 miles on their agenda but said that they’d do a couple of out and backs so that I could finish up at 3.1 miles. The majority of the bike path is nice and shady and it was great to have friends to chat with the entire way.

Amy and Keri – two amazing friends in my run group bubble.

This was a great distance to get done and I have a few more longer virtual races on my agenda for this fall so I’ve continued upping my miles and training.

I’ve been waiting to write this until my America Runs swag arrived and yesterday was my lucky day!

Pretty awesome, right?

There wasn’t too much in the way of email communication from the promoters of this race; since it can happen on any day and at any time, there was no big “race day” announcements or getting hyped with a large online community. It’s something that I’m missing from in-person events so that might be something to consider for those hosting future virtual runs.

America Runs benefits local COVID-19 recovery funds and registration is open until the end of September 2020. If you’re looking for some sweet swag, this might be the virtual race for you!

What’s up next for me? Well, I have a whole slew of virtual races that I’m apparently supposed to get done this weekend. That wasn’t the case when I originally signed up for them but um, here we are. I’ve got the Gritty 5k, Broad Street 10 miler, and Atlantic City Bungalow Beach 5 miler. We’ll see how everything shakes out! I’m happy to keep moving any way I can.

Have you done any in-person races? The one that I had on my schedule, I decided to defer until 2021. 

Road Tested: Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask

Disclaimer: I received the Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask 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!

Masks, they’re not just for Halloween and medical professionals anymore! We are continually looking for ones that are light, breathable, and (most importantly) effective.

Body Helix is a company known for their compression and recovery wear. With the COVID-19 health crisis, mask wearing has become a staple in daily activities and Body Helix developed two reusable face mask products to help prevent the spread.

Through BibRave’s partnership with Body Helix, I received the Body Helix Ultra Light Mask. Check out my first thoughts below in the unboxing video.

It’s been a hot summer here in New Jersey; the air alone can often be stifling. Picking the right mask can make an extremely difference in comfort levels. The Body Helix Ultra Light Mask is the right mask!

I’ve worn the Body Helix mask for errands and gleaning on a farm with the Bullock Garden Project; it’s very light and comfortable when social distancing isn’t an option.

It should go without saying but masks should be designed so that they don’t slip down under your nose and so they completely cover your mouth, under your chin. This one checks the boxes!

The material of the mask is soft and flexible. There are breathable holes in the front of the mask that the filter sits directly under, allowing air-flow. It’s washable and comes with replacement filters and nasal bridge wires.

The filters have a small dot that attaches to the mask to keep them in place. They are specific to this particular mask so replacement filters can be ordered through the Body Helix website.

Thus far, all of my running endeavors have been on wide path or isolated trail without many people around so I haven’t had the opportunity to try running while wearing the mask. However, I do have an in-person race coming up this fall (for now), and I plan to bring along this mask to wear.

The Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask comes in Cool Blue (seen here) and Black. They retail for $24.99 and $19.99 respectively and the 30 pack of replacement filters and 10 pack of nasal bridge wire strips are $14.99.

Use code “BR15” for 15% off any order of $40 (subtotal) or more (Expires Oct. 31, 2020).

If you’re on Twitter, join in for the #bibchat this evening at 8pm est. I’ll be there and I’m looking forward to connecting with friends!

Be sure to check out Body Helix on social media:

Body Helix Facebook
Body Helix Twitter
Body Helix Instagram

You can see what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say regarding the Body Helix Ultra Light Mask:

Jessica’s blog

Tedrick’s blog

Charline’s blog

Steph’s blog

Look for Ash’s review to come soon!

Road Tested: Knockaround Fast Lane Sports Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received Knockaround Sport Sunglasses 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 is given.

I have a new surprise obsession.

Knockaround Sunglasses.

I say it’s a surprise because as someone who needs to wear prescription glasses to see for distance, I’ve never put much consideration into sunnies.

With the arrival of my Spearmint/Sunset Knockarounds, all that has changed!

BibRave has a great partnership with Knockaround and I’ll admit, the more I saw my fellow BibRave Pros rocking the super cute glasses, the more intrigued I became. Earlier this summer, Ash shared her review. The next opportunity I had to opt-in, I knew I HAD to try them.

Obsessed. I can’t even tell you how much love these sunglasses (but I’ll try). And after you read this, you might be too…

First off, the color. Can you tell it’s a favorite of mine? The spearmint frame, the red sunset polarized lenses. Yes and yes!

Knockaround offers so many different colors and designs, it’s now my mission to have them all.

The polarized lenses are fantastic on cutting down major glare, especially on the water. I wore them while I was on “watch” for my kids on my in-laws’ speed boat.

We spent hours upon hours tubing and water skiing on the river. The sun was high in the sky and I needed to be able to see the kids well, especially because we use hand-signals to speed up or slow down.

The Knockaround sunnies made it a much more comfortable experience; I wasn’t squinting because of the harshness of the glare.

Second plus? Knockaround sunglasses are extremely affordable! The Fast Lane Sport ones I’m donning are $25 and styles range between $20-$35.

My son nearly knocked them off my face while we were on the boat (I’ll leave out which one it was to protect his identity) but even if he did, it would have been OKAY because things are only things and also, I’d be getting another exact pair.

And hey, did I mention that while I was bumping around on the wake of other boats and jet skis, the Knockaround sunnies stayed right in place! Why? Well, they’ve got a rubber nose pad which makes them non-slip. Other than a child-force actively pushing the glasses off my face as I hoisted him over the side of the boat, these sunnies didn’t move. Yet another check for the pro list!

Apparently the Knockaround lure is strong in these parts because soon after mine arrived, both my husband and older son decided that they needed to get them too. They both went with the Black frames. My younger son just keeps taking mine…

Knockaround sunglasses are already super affordable but you can use code BibRaveKnocks5 and save 20% OFF entire order (one use per customer). I’ve got my eye on the Shark Week Knocks! Which would you pick?

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Jeremy’s YouTube video

Katy’s blog

Jaimelee’s blog

Nicki’s blog

Danielle’s blog

 

And be sure to swing by Knockaround’s social media accounts if you’d like to connect with them:

Knockaround Twitter
Knockaround Instagram
Knockaround Facebook

Life Update and America Runs 5k Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the America Runs 5k Virtual 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!

First things first, I wanted to check in and let you know that my knee is substantially better since my last post! After a few visits to my doctor,  the pain that lasted nearly a month has finally subsided.

What was wrong? Well, apparently the cartilage under my kneecap has worn away. It got irritated from overuse (who me?) which caused there to be fluid. Long story short, I’m taking joint supplements and anti-inflammatory. And as long as things are feeling good, I won’t have to get a shot in my knee.

The thought alone of having a shot in my knee gives me the heebie-jeebies so let’s all keep our fingers crossed that it won’t come to that.

Doc also said that I can get back to low-impact exercise and slowly amp things back up. I’ve done a few short workouts this week and I’m still feeling good, which is promising!

Also promising is that I registered for the America Runs 5k Virtual Race! While I’m not expecting myself to look quite as strong as the ladies up there in their promo picture, I’m hoping that this can be a comeback race for me, as I work my way up to the 5k distance.

The America Runs 5k is hosted by the Gannett Foundation and in partnership with EnMotive, the same folks who host the Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. They’re fantastic at putting on virtual events and are known for quality swag!

What has really caught my attention about this race is the charity it supports:

In partnership with America Runs 5k we are raising money to support statewide COVID-19 recovery efforts. All funds raised will be donated across the United States by state, apportioned based on the number of registrations per state.

Join me in running! Registration is open from now until the end of September. Swag packets will begin shipping the week of August 17th.

If you’d like to learn more about it, check out their social media.

America Runs – Twitter
America Runs Together – Instagram
America Runs – Facebook
America Runs – Website

Oh! One more thing before I go. Nominations for The BibRave 100 close today! Be sure to share your favorites of the past decade by clicking on the link and sharing your thoughts!

Life Update: Injured and Unhappy

Blogging during COVID-19 has been challenging (as seen by the lack of posts). Actually, life during COVID-19 has been a challenge and blogging has fallen low on the list of priorities but I’ve been giving myself grace because I realize how important that is right now.

I think we can all agree that currently life status is: survival mode.

Son and mom sitting together outside on the steps.

Snuggling my kids seem to help make me feel better. At least emotionally.

However, I also think that connection is important and I’ve been reminded as I’ve kept a written journal for myself, that blogging is also cathartic. Truthfully, I’m struggling at the moment.

I’m struggling in many of the same ways others are struggling.

There is a litany of wrongs currently in the world and it seems like the list is growing by the day. I’m usually one to find the good in every situation but I probably don’t have to tell you… it’s very difficult right now.

Emotions are high, mentally I’m exhausted.

And on top of all that, I’m physically hurt.

The past few weeks, my knee(cap) has been hurting when I hold my leg a certain way. I’m not usually one to complain and I thought that maybe, just maybe it would go away on its own.

IT HAS NOT.

I’ve finally conceded that I need to go to the doctor and made an appointment for two days from now.

It should to be noted that I have high anxiety about going ANYWHERE. When we received the stay-at-home order here in New Jersey back in March, my family decided that my husband would be the one to do the essential trips. I’m somewhat comfortable going to outside locations but going inside anywhere (let alone a doctor’s office) makes me very nervous.

But something needs to be done. I notice the pain most when I’m sleeping. As an added precautionary measure, I’ve stopped running and cycling for the past few days. Shocking, I know.

Meridith standing in front of her Peloton bike.

Last Peloton ride was last week, Cody’s tribute to Britney Spears. I look happy before but I was hurting after.

Riding and running are two of the ways I stay sane in this truly insane world. Maybe it’s an overuse injury? I can see that being the case, even though it doesn’t actively feel like I’ve been doing a whole heck of a lot of anything.

I’m grumbling about it but I’m trying to listen to my body’s cues and make choices that will help instead of hurt. I hope that all I need to do is rest a bit, see the doctor, and be back on my bike/running by next week. Taking things one day at a time is what we try to teach our kids and what I’m trying really hard to remind myself right now. I’m trying to focus on meditation, gentle yoga, and even more gentle strength training.

So, that’s my life update at the moment. Nothing earth-shattering, nothing too big. Just where I’m at on this day in this crazy year of 2020.

I hope you are all safe and well and hanging in there.

 

Safety First with ROADiD (25% coupon code!)

Disclaimer: I received ROADid products 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!

For those who have read ScootaDoot since we began in 2013, you know I’ve been a ROADiD fan from the get-go. From the Stretch to the Elite, I’ve worn just about every stand-alone ROADiD that’s been designed.

As has my family!

However more than once, I’ve gotten out onto the trail for a run, only to realize that I’d forgotten my ROADiD at home. I usually try to carry very little while on a run… but sometimes I end up with TOO little. What can I say, I’ve gotten forgetful in my ol’ age.

When BibRave put out the call to test ROADiD’s Sidekick ID, which fit to the watchband of my Garmin, I was on board!

Ordering from ROADiD is simple. Honestly the hardest choices I had to make were:

  1. Which faceplate color I’d get.
  2. What I wanted the final line of my ROADiD to say.

In regards to the faceplate, I could NOT decide between the Graphite and Rose Gold. But guess, what… I have two watches so WHY NOT GET BOTH?

My black Forerunner 935 is my go-to for running and working out so I chose my go-to “I CAN & I WILL” for the last line.

The vivomove HR is my everyday watch, it’s the one I wear when I want to be a bit more “fancy”. I’m using that term very liberally here. I went with “GET UP AND GO” for my motivational 5th line.

There are two sizes for the Sidekick ID, 13MM (which works on Fitbit watches) and the 19MM, which is perfect for the Garmin watchbands. When wearing either of my watches, they sit flush to the curve of my wrist.

Getting my yoga on in my basement… still safe!

What I truly love about the Sidekick on my watchbands is that I no longer have to think about taking the extra step, adding the extra bracelet. That information is always right there with me. I’ve been very fortunate in that nothing has ever happened where I needed my ROADiD but it’s very comforting to know that it’s there, just in case.

With social distancing orders still in place here in New Jersey, I’ve been going on solo runs (and mostly sticking to working out at home, to be perfectly honest). The more I plan to get outside, I feel more confident and secure having a ROADiD on my wrist.

From my favorite running spot (in January).

Additionally, I love supporting companies that are fantastic with customer service. ROADiD is one of those companies and it comes through in their messaging. Good stuff right there!

Want to pick up a ROADiD of your own? You can use the code SAVE25BRP to save 25% off any ROADiD on their website.

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say:

Mike
Becky
Lisha
Tedrick
Brenda
Lisa
Randy
Nicky
Cassie
Ebony
Ken
Steph
Chris
Kelsey
Riley

Global Running Day 24 Hour Virtual Relay

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Global Running Day 24 Hour Virtual Relay as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Hello friends! It’s been more than a minute since any of us have blogged here. I’d apologize for that, except for that fact that it’s been pure survival mode around these parts. I’m sure many of you are feeling the same so rather than apologize I’ll just say that I missed you and I hope you’re doing well.

The days, weeks, and months have run together recently and it’s hard to keep track at this point. But make no mistake, June is coming. Not only that but the first Wednesday of June is Global Running Day. A day to celebrate running and all it has done for us in striving for an active and healthy lifestyle. And while this year has certainly been the weirdest ever… I’m here for it.

There are many different organized events to celebrate Global Running Day. Personally, I’ll be taking part in the Global 24 Hour Relay. On June 3rd, we’ll be banding together to run 30 minute increments and pass the virtual baton from runner to runner. I’m on the Philadelphia, PA team and there are teams from all over the country that you can join.

Furthermore, if you’d like to start your own team, you’re able to do that too! Since it’s virtual, it doesn’t matter where you are located because you’re running on behalf of your team wherever you may be.

The last time I was part of a running relay team with more than 2 runners was back in 2017 when I ran Ragnar PA.

If only we knew that we’d be wearing masks in every day life just a few years later…

I’m signed up to run the 9-9:30am leg for our team. I really appreciated that this is time based, rather than mileage based. Everyone is encouraged to get out there and do the best they can within the given time frame. After running your allotted half hour, you virtually “pass the baton” to your teammate via text, email, or call. What’s important during Global Running Day is the fact that you’re doing it, nothing more!

As incentive, those who register for the early morning time slots are given a $5 discount. Personally, I can’t function at 2:30am but if you can, I’ve spied some open times on Team Philly (hint, hint).

And what do you get for participating in this Global 24 Hour Relay? Well, beside the obvious pride that comes along with it, you’ll receive this shirt and medal at the end of June and be entered into a few raffles from Garmin, Maurten, Goodr, and Trigger Point.

 

There are so many virtual races happening right now and I’ve been very choosy with what I’ve signed up for so I don’t experience VRF (Virtual Race Fatigue). The community aspect of this relay is what cinched it for me!

Want to join us? You should! Let’s make this #Global24Relay happen!

Home Tested: Nabee Compression Socks

Disclaimer: I received Nabee Compression Socks 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!

You might have noticed that the title of this post is “Home Tested”, whereas we usually say “Road Tested” when blogging about to a new product we try.

Yet, with our self-isolation and limited time outside, this is more accurate wording. New Jersey has been at home for the last month and we’ve limited the our outings to essential trips.

Which means that the majority of my workouts have been at home and in the yard rather than the preferred trails.

And it also means that I’m finding (more) happiness in good mail days and sweet gifts from friends.

These amazing bright socks from Nabee and Raw Threads birthday tank from bestie, Vic, arrived within a few days of each other and made me so happy!

As I mentioned the last time I blogged, I actually ran my Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon virtually on the treadmill. The Nabee socks arrived just a few days before running and while I know we aren’t supposed to do anything new on race day, I figured this would be a perfect opportunity to go the distance with these compression socks.

Feet, don’t fail me now!

I’m a fan of wearing compression socks for long runs to assist with reducing swelling as well as pain and soreness. Now I’m not saying it was the socks (and I’m not saying it wasn’t the socks either!) but I was also able to attain a half marathon PR during this long run!

I also wear them after long runs to assist with recovery. I’ve been doing lots of rides on my Peloton bike over the last month (getting close to my 100th Century Ride!) and it definitely helps the legs feel better faster so I can push myself to the next PR.

The bottoms of the socks have a cushioned sole which is so comfortable – both when running and during recovery. I also really like the breathability of these socks – they aren’t too tight and my calves are happy throughout wearing them.

But what I like the very most about Nabee Socks at the moment has less to do with me and more about what they’re doing for health care workers.

Pretty incredible, right? With the fun designs and comfort, I’ll be ordering more soon.

If you want to as well, use code BIBRAVE20 at checkout on their website and save 20% off all socks.

Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Goes Virtual… On a Treadmill

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon race weekend 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!

This past weekend was supposed to include a road trip with Rachel to Virginia Beach, a gathering of BibRave Pros, and a Personal Record at the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon.

It actually included two of the three things listed.

10 days ago I received word that both this race and the upcoming Allstate Hot Chocolate Philly race were cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. 10 days feels like forever ago at this point.

Both races quickly offered virtual options. At first, my local friends and I planned to run on, we’d meet up as a group and do a half marathon. However as the week continued and our Governor stated we needed to maintain social distance/stay home, we scratched those plans.

I knew I wanted to run the half marathon distance but then it became a matter of WHERE. At first I defaulted to where I started out running, the treadmill. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve logged serious treadmill miles.

Outside on the trail would’ve been preferable, but I didn’t want to run alone, especially with the high anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. My 15 year old actually volunteered to run it with me; he’s been doing a lot of long training runs with me lately.

But the more and more I thought about it (while I was not sleeping at night) the more I decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with that idea.

After chatting with friends on Twitter, I landed on running the majority of the 13.1 miles on the treadmill. I actually thought that I’d do 12.1 on the treadmill and do the last mile outside. Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen because it was pretty cold outside and I was extremely warm and sweaty from my inside miles.

I decided to break the half marathon down into three sections, an hour, and hour, and then the last portion. I’d been training with a goal of getting finished within 2:30-2:39. With the knowledge that I could possibly fizzle out mentally on the treadmill, I wasn’t going into this expected a PR. Actually, I thought I’d just get the miles done and call it good.

My first hour I used the Peloton Tread app and did a 60 minute Fun Run with Matty Maggiacomo.

I definitely pushed harder than I expected to during the 60 minutes and wound up finishing the hour at 5.15 miles, which means I was keeping at 11:39 pace. Knowing this, I started to think that a PR for this run was actually attainable if I kept up the positive vibes and spirit.

While I was filling my water bottle I quickly tweeted out my progress and got a whole slew of responses from our running community, which I was able to read on my Garmin as I ran.

For my second 5 mile segment I tapped into my playlist that I made specifically for the Shamrock 1/2. It’s an eclectic mix of everything from big band to Lizzo to Franz Ferdinand. I was able to accomplish that in 58:38.

Which meant I only had 3 more miles left to go! After filling my water bottle one last time, I got on the treadmill once more. My legs were getting tired and my lower back ached but I knew that unless something went terribly wrong, I’d be able to hit my goal time.

And I did! All together I ran 13.1 miles in 2:34.22. While it’s not official, it’s absolutely a PR for me in the half marathon distance. The fact that I was able to do it on the treadmill makes me believe that there is no doubt I could do it within a race setting.

My cheering squad was waiting for me when I came upstairs to celebrate. They wouldn’t hug me though… not because of social distancing but because I was very sweaty.

Today is #MedalMonday and while my medal isn’t actually physically here, it will just prolong the happiness of this particular accomplishment when it does arrive. And right now, I’ll take what I can get.

Hope you are all safe, well, and staying home.

It’s a Wrap: 465 Challenge

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Virtual Challenge race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The start of this year has been fantastic. I’ve been healthy, happy, and active.

The 465 Challenge helped immensely with that! To refresh, the 465 Virtual Challenge was a 2 month event in which the goal was to complete 53 miles via running, walking, or bike (or swim, but that wasn’t happening over here in the winter!). Those who continued on to do more than that were considered, LOOPERS.

At the end of January, I’d completed 3 loops totaling, 189.54 miles.

My miles increased even more in February. I was consistent on the Peloton bike (which I got in January) and increased speed, miles, and output.

I’ve also been upping my miles since I’ve got the Shamrock Half Marathon coming up in just a few weeks.

As the added cherry on the top, my son has joined me for the last few long training runs. He’s running his first ever 10 mile race in May and he’s already thinking, planning, and training.

I wish I had his drive when I was 15 years old!

By Leap Day, I’d reached 7 loops, totaling over 371 miles!

What was especially great about this virtual race was the community that came along with it. The directors created a Facebook group, just for those participating in the challenge and we were all able to cheer for each other.

The interaction in the group was great and because it was over a 2 month span, I really got a chance to connect with others. I’ve done a few virtual events and this quickly grabbed the number one spot in terms of community, support, and feedback from the race directors.

The shirt, medal, and sticker arrived on Friday, February 28th – just in time for a medal Monday.

Stick a fork in this challenge, it’s done. But I’m not; I’m just getting started!

Have you done a virtual event before? Which one? Why did you choose it?