Race Recap: Run the Vineyards Destination Enoteca

The Run the Vineyards series, put on by a Good Day for a Run, is a favorite of mine. You might have noticed that I talk about them… A LOT. That’s because they are probably the most local to me race company and also, and this is important, because they are awesome.

I often volunteer for their events; it’s a great way to give back to the running community. I’ve also done the Heritage Vineyards 5 miler, twice. After volunteering through the summer and early fall – I decided that it was time to run and the 5k at Auburn Road Vineyards (Enoteca is explained here) worked out well with timing in my schedule.

With over twenty Run the Vineyards events, this race series has their races down to a science when it comes to preparing and having everything covered for their runners.

They keep the races manageable for the locations in terms of field size and parking. Packet pickup is either at the local running store (Mullica Hill Running Company) or race morning. And they always have FREE photos!

The weather wasn’t looking fantastic for race morning and for a brief moment, as I listened to a downpour of rain on the roof of my house, I even considered skipping the event. However, I had a friend that I was meeting up with and I’m not really one to let a little (or a lot of) rain scare me away. While overcast, the rain showers moved out for the actual race.

Thankful for Erin meeting up with me!

This is the third year this race has been run and it begins running through the vineyard (vines on both sides/grass) which leads to a dirt road. From what I understand the course was slightly different than the previous two years. I asked a few people who had run the race before and they liked this course better. We had the opportunity to run through two sections of vineyards, which was neat! There was a water station in the middle of the race, which we passed twice in case more water was necessary.

The t-shirts were long sleeves tech shirts although this series has a variety of options when it comes to shirts. I’ve gotten tech t-shirts, tanks, and long sleeves from them – depending on what race and what season I’m running.

Thanks to photographer Chad for this shot!

As you cross the finish line there’s a bottle of water offered to each runner, a KIND bar, and the Run the Vineyards wineglass. The results are immediately emailed to you, as you cross the finish line.

On each race bib there’s a tear-away ticket for wine from the host vineyard, putting the wineglass to good use right away! I went with the Good Karma red blend from Auburn Road vineyard. Erin and I grabbed seats inside near the musician, ordered a cheese plate, and enjoyed the morning after the run.

Run the Vineyards is always an occasion – it’s never rushed, it’s really easy-going and relaxed, after the running portion, of course. We got to watch the awards given out to overall winners (a bottle of wine and a medal), and age group awards (medals).

Overall, a great time, as usual. I’m already signed up for the 5 miler in the spring and I’m scouting out the races that fit into my schedule to volunteer at!

Tell me about your favorite local races. Have you ever run at a vineyard? What do races offer that make you return time and time again?

Road Tested: Fun Run Box

Disclaimer: I received the Fun Run Box Oktoberfest 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!

Anyone that knows me knows that I’ve become a huge subscription box fan over the past few years. I love being surprised by the goodies included in the box and trying lots of new products.

The Fun Run Box takes the subscription box to a whole other level! Integrating the idea of a subscription box with an online social media challenge team, the Fun Run Box is an innovative way to inspire and motivate runners (and walkers) throughout the month.

So how does it work? The Fun Run Box (FRB) has a series of different challenges. The Oktoberfest 5 Mile Dachs Challenge box had $75 worth of products for $45. There’s also a subscription option; you can sign up for month to month service at $35/month, 3 months at $34/month, 6 months at $33/month, or a year at $32/month.

As a BibRave Pro, I got to try the September box challenge aka the 2nd annual Octoberfest 5 Mile Dachs.

Click on the picture to watch the box dance!

My FRB arrived toward the end of August and everyone is very careful not to post the contents of the box before the start date of the first of the month, as to not spoil it for anyone participating who is waiting to receive the box. The box comes with a challenge rules list and also lets you know what team you’re “competing” on.

Oh yes, did I mention that the challenge is a competition? For the 5 Mile Dachs, the teams were Doxie (woot woot!), Dashie, and Diggity – each with its own hashtag so you could track your team and cheer on everyone!

There are 6 categories for the challenge and through Instagram and the challenge specific Facebook page, you’re able to post and share your pictures throughout the month. The photos with the most votes actually win a prize of a $50 gift card for the Fun Run Box Shop and all members of the winning team with at least 1 photo submitted receive a $5 gift card.

The posting pictures and voting on a separate page was a bit confusing for me. From what I understand, you can post on Instagram or the Facebook page and the go to a separate webpage to vote. Personally I was more focused on taking pictures and having fun with the challenge rather than winning so that’s what I chose to focus on.

I got to work immediately, wearing my FRB 5 Mile Dachs Trucker Hat to my first race expo on September 1st in Virginia at the Vacation Races Shenandoah Half.

Fun Run Box Review

From there I used the rest of my challenge items throughout the month – all of which are things I’ll be using for a long time to come (well, except the food items because those are long gone).

Fun Run Box Review

Roll & Go Massager in action after the Rock ‘n Roll Philly half marathon.

What I really liked about the FRB Challenge was that they included a training plan for each week. Honestly, I wasn’t able to follow it exactly with my training for other races happening but I did try to incorporate it as much as I could.

Fun Run Box Review

Finally a “running” challenge that my husband was all about participating in…

Toward the end of the month, I ran my 5 Mile Dachs. Since the day I decided to run was during that string of extremely warm temps, it was accomplished on the treadmill. Thankfully I got to get some speed-work done while watching my guilty pleasure, The Challenge on MTV.

Fun Run Box Review

Can you spot the bib on my board?

Want to get in on the fun of the Fun Run Box? Code BIBRAVE will save you 15% off any subscription box at https://funrunbox.com/bibrave

Mark your calendars, the Fun Run Box #BibChat is happening on Tuesday, October 17th at 9pm EST. And if you want to see how my fellow BibRavePros fared with the Oktoberfest challenge, swing by and visit:

Amy – Henry

Have you ever participated in a Fun Run Box challenge? What do you like about subscription boxes?

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.

Race Recap: 2017 Rock ‘n Roll Philly Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia 2017 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! All opinions are my own.

Way back, when I first started running and doing fitness related activities and prior to Scoot a Doot, I had a blog on tumblr. It was there that I blogged about my third half marathon, the Rock ‘n Roll Philly race back in 2012.

2012 RnR Philly

I haven’t been able to work it into my schedule since and to be honest, I had a tough race so I think I was a bit gun-shy. However, the stars aligned and I was excited to return this year, especially as it was my first race representing BibRave!

Rock ‘n Roll weekends always start with the expo experience, followed by the race. The Philly Rock ‘n Roll Health and Fitness Expo was held at the PA Convention Center in Center City on both Friday and Saturday. Runners are able to pick up their bibs, t-shirts, and other assorted race goodies. If you want to read more about the expo, swing by my last post.

This is the 40th year that this race has been run, having been known prior as the Philadelphia Distance Run.

Saturday morning were the 5k and 10k races. The 10k distance was newly introduced this year; I had friends who ran and had a positive experience.

Sunday morning it was half marathon time. Philadelphia is about a half hour drive from my house/nearby train ride. I chose to take the train and walk a mile to the start line, which is my standard mode of transportation for Philly races.

I always aim to get into the city about an hour before the start of the race and this one started at 7:30, so I made sure to get the train that arrived at 6:30. I knew I would have plenty of time, given that I was in corral 21 (I think there were 24 total).

Once I arrived I tracked down where I needed to go to get my race shirt after the snafu on Friday. Since I had a hydration pack, I decided to stuff it in there, rather than check a bag.

Rock ‘n Roll’s race village is huge and there’s plenty of things to do and see both pre and post race.

I wandered around a bit, chatting with plenty of random people aka new friends and seeing fellow BibRave Pros. Philadelphia’s Rocky Steps, aka the Art Museum, is always the backdrop of big races in Philly and this was no exception.

The race began on time and I casually wandered into my corral, knowing that I wouldn’t be starting for awhile. The announcers were enthusiastic (honestly, if I yelled as much as they do, I would have absolutely no voice!) and they were playing great music to get everyone pumped up.

The first 5 miles of the half course have to be my absolute favorite. I love running in Center City and the energy is always terrific.

From about mile 3.5 to 5 is an out and back stretch along Fairmount Avenue, which I love because you can see the other runners and the cheering from people along this stretch is fantastic. Very motivating and so much fun.

The second part of the course leads you along the Schuykill River on Kelly Drive, across Falls Bridge, and back the other side of the river on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive. The miles seem to stretch here and while the scenery is picturesque, this is where I wish they would stack the bands and entertainment.

I appreciate everyone who was out there so much, especially the band who changed the lyrics to The Indigo Girls “Closer to Fine” to “Closer to the Finish Line.”

I knew I wasn’t going to break any personal records during this race so I enjoyed, took my time, and had my phone out nearly the entire time to take pictures and videos along the route.

I made a friend during the last mile that I had been leapfrogging with since mile 10 and we finished the race together, which was really nice!

The medals for this year were money, baby! The half marathon medal was Ben Franklin with a sweatband on his head 13.1 bill. Too funny!

Immediately after the finish line, they were handing out water and a sports drink. Directly after that there was ice cold chocolate milk, which hit the spot! They were also giving out ice cold RnR towels, which was perfect on my neck. There were snacks directly after but unfortunately, juggling everything became a bit of a challenge!

Post-race celebration included the band Big Head Todd and the Monsters (never heard of them before but they were entertaining). There was also a beer garden but I completely forgot about it until I was walking back to the train station. Whomp, whomp.

At least I got a banana phone!

Fun way to kick off fall racing in Philly! From here I have the Run the Vineyards, Destination Enoteca 5k and the Run Inspired 10k in October. Can’t stop, won’t stop!

Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series Race Expo Philadelphia 2017

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia 2017 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! All opinions are my own.

The 2017 Philadelphia Rock ‘n Roll half marathon is tomorrow; the 5k/10k are happening this morning in mere moments. While thousands of runners will be pounding the pavement today and tomorrow, they’ll also visit the Health and Fitness Expo at the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

The expo is free and open to the public so I was able to bring my parents along for the ride into Philadelphia with me. Besides visiting the expo, we also went to Reading Terminal (which is a must do if you’re visiting Philly!).

If you’ve never been to a Rock ‘n Roll expo before, here’s a small taste of what you can expect.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

Signs, signs, everywhere signs. Rock ‘n Roll is great with expo signage.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

Ready. Set. Rock.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

Check in is first. With waiver in hand, you’re able to quickly find the line that matches your corral/bib number. Make sure to bring your identification with you because they will be checking!

If you aren’t able to make it to the expo, you can have a friend pick it up. The friend is able to pick up two packets for “free”, after that there is a $20 charge per packet. There is no mail option, but with more race series having that option, it’s something I know many would appreciate.

Within this section you’re able to visit the corral change area if you feel like you might be able to run faster than the time you originally estimated. I swung by there to move up one corral. I didn’t need to provide any type of proof of time, it was easy.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

Mullet crew – party in the back! Holla!

Section 2 was supposed to hold the t-shirts, bags, and runner tracking.

Unfortunately, the t-shirts got held up on their way to the expo and weren’t there when I arrived when the doors opened. That took me by surprised and we stopped to chat with a volunteer to get the scoop.

She offered a few options: stay until 2pm when the shirts were expected to arrive (no dice, had to be home for the kids), come back to the expo tomorrow (a pricey venture from NJ), OR we could pick it up after the race on Sunday. Winner, winner, chicken dinner!

The Rock ‘n Roll series is usually terrific with communications, but the email regarding this was sent at 11:15 am so we were already in Philadelphia. I know that they aren’t set up for separate shirt distribution at the race so it will be interesting to see how they pull that together. I’ll keep you posted after tomorrow.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

What am I doing here? “Running” for chocolate milk and beer and a medal (and my shirt too).

Rock ‘n Roll Marathon Series sets up huge black curtains, so you have to follow their pattern throughout the room and their sponsored vendors area. It’s a good flow and if you’re looking to buy additional race merchandise, you have ample opportunity.

Buy it here, buy it there, you can buy it everywhere!

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

I stopped by here to grab a pace bracelet. I probably won’t stick with a team since I do intervals but I’m always grateful not to have to do running math.

The Rock ‘n Roll expos are bigger than most and there’s many booths and information along the way. Some pertain to me, some do not… but I love looking around and browsing.

Rock 'n Roll Philly Expo

Bringing my parents with me means lots of pictures OF me. I took a moment to write my name on the large signing wall.

I am pumped for running through Philly tomorrow morning. Not so much for the early wake up time but I’m hoping it stays cool and I’m planning on wearing my hydration pack so that I don’t melt. I’m running solo so I’m ready to run by feel – if I feel great, I’ll push it. But if not, I’ll just enjoy the sights and sounds that the Rock ‘n Roll course has to offer!

Keep rocking!

Ready, Set, Go!

This past weekend I didn’t run a race.

However, that doesn’t mean that I wasn’t at a race! I always love volunteering at races whenever possible and the series that I love returning to time after time (I hope you’re singing with me) is the Run the Vineyards events, hosted by Good Day For A Run.

This year I’ve volunteered at three of their races and at each one I’m reminded of how much I love our running community. Most recently, Rachel and I were stationed at the mile 6 water stop of the 15k at the Bellview Winery Good Day For A Run 5k/15k Festival.

We brought along a cheering playlist (made especially for the occasion), a speaker, and a lot of sassy spirit!

It was SO MUCH FUN volunteering. Honestly and truly, if you have the opportunity to get out there and help out a race, you should embrace it fully! We danced, served up many, many cups of water, and cheered for the 250 participants.

So what’s up next for me? This coming weekend is the Rock ‘n Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon. 

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n Roll Philly 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!

And I’m really freaking excited! Because of these medals…

Philadelphia Rock 'n Roll 2017 medal

I’ll be getting the one in the middle.

And this shirt…

Philadelphia Rock 'n Roll 2017 shirt

And running in Philadelphia! I haven’t done a race in Philly since the spring so I’m looking forward to returning and having a rocking time. I don’t think that I’ll be PRing this race but that’s not really the goal this time around for me. The goal is to get out there and have FUN!

Music, after party, beer: it’s like they know me.

Online registration is closed but you are still able to register at the Health and Fitness expo prior to the event.

Then in October I’ll be returning to the Run the Vineyards races, this time as a participant!

A 5k through 2 neighboring vineyards, free pictures, a wineglass award (with a glass of wine), long-sleeved tech shirts, and an after-party with music and food. Um, I feel like I should do this every weekend.

I registered for this race with a group of friends and I know that we’ll have fun because it’s always a party when we’re together.

The weekend following that I’ll be heading down to Winterthur, Delaware for the Run Inspired 10k.

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Run Inspired 10k 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!

This is a new to me race that benefits Operation Warm which distributes coats to local children living in poverty. I’ve heard that this course is hilly but I’m looking forward to my favorite distance and also to the after party. Are you sensing a theme here?

I have friends that will be running this race too and it’s always great to see familiar faces along the route. If you want to be one of them, you can register now with the code BIBRAVE to save 10% on a race entry. (And then let me know so I can look for you!)

Fall racing, it’s your turn to shine! Let’s do this.

Road Tested: Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Collar

Disclaimer: I received a Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Collar 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.

Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar

In February my best friend, Gemma, and I were able to test out the Stunt Puppy Leash, which we absolutely love. In fact, we love it so much that we recently gifted one to Jenn as a housewarming present. (I’m all about practical housewarming gifts.)

When I caught wind of another opportunity to try a Stunt Puppy item through BibRave, I was definitely interested. Although, when I saw it was a collar, I wasn’t sure that we’d be the right fit. Gemma needs to be on a harness when she’s walking or running; the harness gives me more control over her and she isn’t able to pull. She’s a small but mighty girl!

Once I was able to confirm that we could test it without hooking the leash directly on it, we were in!

Go Dog Glo Dry Collar in action

There were quite a few colors I could pick from when it came to the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar but I knew immediately that the Orange Reflective would really stand out on Gemma. And it does! They also have Yellow Reflective, Pink Reflective, Royal Reflective, Ocean Reflective and Red Reflective; there’s a good variety to choose from.

Orange is one of my favorite colors and it really stands out against her dark coat. Her visibility is important because we are often out in our neighborhood in the early morning hours. It has a 3M Reflective Edgeguard trim along the middle that catches the light at any angle. I use Brilliant Reflective on my clothing, it only makes sense that she has prime visibility as well.

Durability wise, she’s been wearing this collar for a little over a month and the reflective trim has started flecking off a bit near the adjustable buckle.

Not a big deal, but worth noting.

Stunt Puppy designed the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar with flat, quick release buckle collars.

Personally, I’m a fan of buckle collars for dogs because they aren’t able to slip them easily and if for any reason they get caught up on something like a fence or branch, I’m able to quickly and easily open the buckle and release her. It hasn’t happened yet, but better safe than sorry.

The overall feel of the collar is flexible plastic, which is how the collar is stink-proof and waterproof. Miss Gemma has a tendency to roll in disgusting things so this is a great feature for her.

If something smells like death, you can bet that girlfriend is going to drop to the ground and get that death smell all over her. It’s one of her less endearing qualities.

Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar

Exhausted after a hard morning of running and playing.

The collar also comes with two D rings. One is for a leash and the other is for tags so they don’t get tangled and reduces jingle noise. You might notice that I have neither on Gemma’s collar at the moment. Her tag’s O ring that I use to attach it to a collar broke and as I mentioned earlier, I don’t use the leash directly on the neck collar. Even still, I’ve been happy with the Go Dog Glo Dry Collar and how it’s worked for Gemma.

Gemma and I are in agreement, the Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar gets two thumbs and 4 paws up from us!

The collar retails for $26.00 If you’re interested in getting it, code BIBRAVE917 will save you 20% off your purchase at https://www.stuntpuppy.com/.

Tonight’s Twitter #BibChat is with Brilliant Reflective (doing my best to be a there!). Stunt Puppy’s #BibChat is happening on Tuesday, September 19th at 9pm EST and I can’t wait because I’m sure that there will be many, many dog pictures. You should join us, Gem and I’ll be snuggling and chatting.

Want to hear more about the Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo Dry Collar? Swing by BibRavePro’s blogs:

Lindsay