#GiveGoodVibes with AfterShokz

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Air and Titanium wireless headphones through the #GiveGoodVibes campaign 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.

Real talk: I’m overwhelmed at the moment.

I was just perusing my planner and every single day is busy, busy, busy. No tiny square is left untouched. December is filled with holiday concerts (we have three in the next two weeks), wrapping presents (we celebrate both Hanukkah and Christmas), parties, cookie exchanges, company dinners, the list goes on. There is not enough room to hold everything that needs to be done, neither in writing nor in hours of the day.

All of those things are piled on top of the every day things such as work, laundry, meals, cleaning, karate lessons, piano lessons, Scouts.

My husband makes the comment each year that I seem more high-strung during the holidays and it’s supposed to be FUN. I am fully aware it’s supposed to be fun but man, sometimes fun can feel like a lot of work. There are so many moving pieces that have to all fit together and if one small thing changes, it throws everything off. I know I’m not the only one who feels this way.

Which is why when I’m feeling particularly stressed out, I like to swing by this:

Do Good December.

Granted, I love doing good deeds all throughout the year but right now this little calendar is helping me bring a bit of joy into every day of the month. When I’m feeling particularly overwhelmed, I get ideas on how to have a more balanced day and it really does help me feel better and bring a smile to someone else.

The AfterShokz #GiveGoodVibes could not have come at a better time because it ties so well into Do Good December and also the spirit of this time of year.

During the hustle and bustle of Black Friday, the AfterShokz team had a special Buy One, Get One deal on their bone conduction headphones and as a BibRave Pro I was fortunate enough to get the Trekz Air for myself and Trekz Titanium to gift.

#GiveGoodVibes tag on the AfterShokz gift.

It’s safe to say that I’ve been a huge fan of AfterShokz since first trying the Trekz Titanium wireless headphones a year and a half ago. I use them often and not just during running.

Going to the gym in the morning helps me reset throughout the week and clear my overwhelmed feelings better than anything else.

It stands to reason that the person I chose to spread holiday cheer is a big part of my morning gym routine.

Sarah is my trainer’s wife, an avid runner, and an awesome friend. She’s a beast in the gym; she works out with my husband on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and while she’s petite, she is seriously strong. On her “off” days (when I’m there, Tuesday/Thursday) she’s either running around town at 5am or she’s on the treadmill.

She’s also incredibly giving. Sarah is the one who organizes our Giving Tree at the gym and she works mentoring youth; she’s an all around incredible person. As soon as I heard that I’d be able to gift AfterShokz to someone, I knew it was going to be her. I did a few Instagram stories leading up to the gifting and as you can see, she was so excited to try out her new AfterShokz!

Additionally, now that I’m the proud owner of the Canyon Red Trekz Air, the Trekz Titanium that I received last year were looking for a new home. My 13 year old son, Lucas, has been consistently running for nearly a year and has borrowed them in the past.

I knew that he’d be stoked to have them and put them to good use. He’s already in his room with them on, but he can’t ignore me because I know he can hear me. Mwahahaha!

I’m loving my Trekz Air thus far. They’re amazingly light. I didn’t think it was possible to make them lighter than the Titanium’s 1.27 oz., and yet… here we are at 1.06 oz.

I can’t wait to spend many miles with them; they’re perfect for music, podcasts, and even the occasional dreaded phone call (I try to avoid those as much as possible). You’re also able to skip tracks, pause, mute, from the headphones. No need to fumble for the phone, which is very convenient.

I hope the holiday season makes you feel more joyous and giving than it does overwhelmed! What types of things do you turn to when you’re feeling like things are a bit too much? I obviously am a big fan of connecting with others and also, writing blogs. It helps me relax and gives me a bit of perspective.

From Philly to Austin, With Love

Whoa whoa whoa. How is it November 28th already? This month has been filled with running, food, family, running family, more food, and lots and lots of Philadelphia pride.

Over the past 10 days, I’ve spent about half of them in Philadelphia.

It kicked off on Friday, November 16th at the Health and Wellness Expo for the Philadelphia Marathon weekend. I chose to run the Rothman 8k this year so I had to get into the city to grab my race packet.

Time was NOT on my side because I (stupidly) scheduled a doctor’s appointment for my son that afternoon. So rather than enjoying the city and visiting Reading Terminal for lunch, I took a train in, ran over to the Convention Center, grabbed my stuff, and ran back to catch the train out of the city… all within an hour. A new travel PR!

The race was on Saturday and started at 10:45am. I didn’t need to be up before the sun, which was nice but I was also totally thrown off by this turn of events. What train should I take? What should I eat? Who would I meet up with for the 8k?

Thankfully I got into the city with at least an hour to spare, naturally, so I took my time walking to the race village. Then I stationed myself in between the finish of the half marathon and the start of the 8k.

And nearly immediately found people I knew!

Larry and Amy from the Sub-30 Club were also running the 8k. Hooray! Larry is a pacer and offered to help pace me through the miles, which was awesome.

The 8k course is along the river, so it’s a standard Philly race in that respect. The distance makes it special though and it’s a nice way to be involved with the Philly Marathon weekend.

We did 30/30 intervals and he stuck with me through the entire race. I wanted to finish under an hour but with self-seeded corrals and the course being congested nearly the entire time, we finished at an hour and one minute. Ooof. So close, yet so far! There was a finish line for the kids race that faked us out, which was cruel but finally we crossed the actual finish line with smiles on our faces.

I did this race in 2011 and it’s grown up in the last 7 years. 2011 there was 1,460 runners, a cotton t-shirt, standard bib, and the knowledge that you ran the race as the awards for your achievements. This year there was nearly 3,500 runners, a tech t-shirt, personalized bibs, a beautiful medal (and the knowledge that you ran the race).

In between this and my next Philly adventure, it was Thanksgiving! We hosted this year and I think we might finally be seeing the light at the end of the leftover tunnel.

Since we were hosting, there were no Turkey Trots for us this year. Instead my son Lucas and I opted to take part in the #TotheStarbucks run.

I heard about this awesome, free event from Rachel and I was immediately drawn in because… well, just read part of the description of the run.

Join us for a morning fun run, the Saturday after Thanksgiving! We run (or walk! That’s ok too!) we have fun, and then we eat some donuts outta a trunk (oh and there’s Starbucks nearby if that’s your jam!) the route is TBA but always has a short 2.5mi and Long 5min distance. 

A given, am I right?

Through the years of running in Philly and going to City Fit Girls retreats, I’ve met lots of people and many of them were at the #ToTheStarbucks run. My son started out running with us and nearly immediately took off to run ahead. I knew that he was in good hands because these were all good folks and I’d meet him at the Starbucks, of course.

Let’s review. A run, handmade medal, donut, photos, and being cheered on. CAN EVERY DAY BE LIKE THIS?

Not to be outdone by Saturday, on Sunday we went to (you guessed it) PHILLY for the Eagles/Giants game. I grew up in central Jersey so I was mostly surrounded by Giants fans, including my dad.

However being in south Jersey for nearly half my life, I now know the “error” of my ways. My son is an Eagles fan which means that we are all Eagles fans. My first game ever was as insane/fun as I expected it to be. And the Eagles WON (it was looking a little dicey at the beginning).

I’m sure it’s not a surprise that I’ve got more Philadelphia fun on the agenda for 2019. My first scheduled event is the first weekend of April, I’ll be running the Hot Chocolate 5k, representing Team BibRave!

Speaking of BibRave, I’ve got some exciting news to share!

Tomorrow I’m off to Austin, Texas for The Running Event‘s TRE Influencer Day! This is an amazing opportunity that I’ve been given (along with some of my fellow BibRave Pros) as a perk of being a BRP.

I’ve never been to Texas before and this will be a short, jam-packed trip. I can’t even properly articulate how pumped I am. I’ll work on that before tomorrow since I’ll be sharing a lot of information on Instagram Stories and maybe I’ll even try my hand at the live feed (gulp, I’ve never done that before!).

What are you looking forward to in the next day/week/month? Have you been to Austin before? Anything I MUST do? I can’t even promise I’ll have the time to do it but I’ll try!

Take Me Back to Colorado

Disclaimer: I received a New Original BUFF®️ 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 realize while I wrote a race recap for Vacation Races 5k, I never wrote about the second half of the Elk Double, the half marathon.

It was absolutely incredible; in fact, the whole weeks vacation was one that I’ll carry with me always. Being able to run and spend road time with Jenn is something that I always enjoy.

Jenn wrote about the details of the 2017 race. Words can’t express just how glad I am that I got to experience her hometown race with her and just spend time with her and her family. It’s hard to have friends that you don’t get to see all the time but it makes the time you DO get to be together that much more special.

Instead of focusing on the details of the race, I would like to narrow in on one of the things I appreciate the most about Vacation Races.

They are very tuned in to the “Leave No Trace” mindset. Their races are cup-free, which means that they have hydro-pouches available with registration or you can bring your own hydration pack (as seen above).

After running a few other races recently where I’ve had to wade through smashed paper cups on the ground (oh, the woes of being a back of the pack runner), it really stands out to me just how much of a difference using a hydro-pouch or carrying a pack can make.

I’ve been trying to be mindful about my global footprint and the small chances I can make that may make a lasting impact and trying hard to implement them whenever possible.

I am by no means perfect and there are some things that are so convenient to do (paper plates, plastics, etc.) but I want the beauty of our earth to last a long, long time. This isn’t a new concept or even a unique one, but I do want to create less waste and reuse when possible.

Which leads me to the New Original BUFF®️ I’m testing through BibRave. BUFF®️ is a huge part of all my runs, whether using it to wipe sweat away, keep my neck warm, my hair back, the list goes on.

I’m particularly stoked because the new BUFF®️‘s microfiber is made from 2 recycled water bottles that have been removed from oceans and landfills. A little less plastic floating around out there in the world works for me!

As is always the case, there are a ton of designs to choose from. However, I’d just gotten home from my Colorado trip and realized that I didn’t get anything souvenir related for myself. Problem solved!

I’ve used my New Original BUFF®️ on a few training runs during some absolutely hot and humid days and most recently at the Bird-in-Hand half marathon last weekend. With a UPF 50 I’m protected by the sun during those sunny runs.

Bird-in-Hand was anything but sunny however, there was still a bunch of sweat. What can I say, I’m a sweater!

With my previous half marathon being in the mountains of Colorado and this one in the hills of Pennsylvania, it was a nice way to transition from point A to point B. Good memories were made at both with my rock star friends and right now I’m just enjoying life and feeling fortunate that I’m able to have all these incredible experiences.

What small (or large) things are you doing to help the environment? 

A Very Bird-in-Hand Half Marathon

In 2017, Rachel and I started the tradition of a yearly race road trip, which we affectionately titled our “Meatball Road Trip” (thanks to watching Big Brother and one of the house guests referring to everyone as meatballs). Last year’s trip was to Vacation Races Shenandoah Half.

This year we checked a bucket list race off at the Bird-in-Hand Half and added a new meatball, Katie, to the mix!

If you’re a long time reader of ScootaDoot, you might remember when Vic and Kyle ran in 2013 and again in 2014.

Having read Vic’s blog posts, I was expecting it to be hot and humid. That seems to be standard fare for this race.

We visited the expo Friday afternoon and the weather was decent. The weekend is a community event in Bird-in-Hand with a hot air balloon festival, picnic, and the race happening. Friday night there’s a 5k and kids race with the half marathon happening on Saturday morning at 7:30 in the am.

Communication from the race organizers was primarily via witty email. The race does have social media accounts but there’s not much interaction on those.

We got to see a few hot air balloons getting filled as we got our bibs, shirts, and bags with goodies which included whoopie pies, animal crackers, and pretzels.

After dinner at Dienner’s (which you know we had a fun time saying repeatedly) we took a trip to Target (what’s a road trip without forgetting random things) and then headed back to our hotel.

Perusing the weather app the night before we were pleased to see that it it looked like it was going to be cooler and maybe the tiniest bit misty. Like, barely even noticeable.

Therefore we were somewhat surprised when we opened the door of our hotel room on Saturday morning to find a pretty steady stream of rain come down.

No more hot air balloons for us. Whomp whomp.

Why yes, this picture was taken through a plastic bag.

Rachel had a meniscus tear earlier this summer so we knew going into this race that we were going to just have as much fun as possible. Pictures, selfies, mullet crew style – party in the back! With a 4 hour course limit, we knew that we’d be able to finish within the time frame and have fun while doing it so that was our plan from the get-go.

Look, the race even gave us a list of things to look for/take pictures (okay, we added that last part in ourselves).

We were able to find all of these… except the CAMELS. And trust me when I say we were anticipated seeing the camels over all the other things on the list.

The course was absolutely beautiful. Hilly, as we expected, but gorgeous. The water stops were manned by Amish children and they were plentiful. Originally Rachel and I were planning on wearing hydration vests but with the cooler temps we decided to forgo them. It worked out really well.

We decided on 1:1 intervals. At mile 3 this gentleman was out there, in the rain, ringing a cowbell and cheering for us. He saw my BibRave shirt and asked, “Will I be in your review?”

Yeah man, of course you will!

Rachel and I weren’t able to keep up with Katie’s running interval so about halfway into the 3rd mile she went ahead and we continued bopping along, doing our thing.

We passed by crops and gardens and one room schoolhouses and animals.

My favorite part of the course was mile 6, which was an out and back section. We got to see other runners, including lots of friendly faces of Team Shenanigans!

A few of the members had run the 5k the night before and were at an intersection giving out Twizzlers and cookies. Yes please!

Thank you so much, Barb and Meaghan!

Mile 6, we loved ya!

There were some more hills and we continued along, occasionally throwing in some running intervals when we felt like it.

Oh, did you see up there on the list where it says “road apples”? For those not in the know, road apples are piles of horse poop and they’re common in Amish country.

At one point I was chatting with Rachel and very nearly stepped in horse poop. Thankfully she was paying attention where I wasn’t. I ended up doing a quick do-si-do around that!

There was one area where the traffic was particularly hairy and it didn’t seem like the vehicles were slowing down considering there was a race going on. It made us understandably nervous, especially when there were cars on both side of the road.

I know that not all areas can be a closed course but a suggestion is to have a bit more of a police presence to encourage drivers to slow down.

In between miles 9 and 10 we were treated to a scoop of mango Rita’s Water Ice, which was incredible, even on a not hot day. Soon after that we turned off the main road for a little off-roading experience.

We chatted with people along the way, our fellow mullet crew friends. Some were not having as much of a party as we were (hey, we’ve all been there), so we tried to quietly encourage.

In the last mile there was an area which was matted down grass and mud. It was really uncomfortable because you couldn’t firmly plant your feet. If you did, you might get stuck in the mud; it was better to just tread lightly on the grassy area.

It was flat but to be honest, I would take the paved hills over that area any day.

But look! A turkey and chicks!

Finally we saw the large white tent and turned onto the road that we knew would be the final stretch of our journey. And it’s a good thing too.

Our hair. Our faces. We were ready to be done.

The medals are made from re-purposed horseshoes and they are incredible! I remember being in awe of them when Vic and Kyle did the race and I’m extremely glad that I finally got one of my own. I felt like this race was untouchable for me for awhile – one that I wouldn’t/couldn’t do because of my lack of speed, not to mention my lack of hill training. I’m glad that I went outside of my comfort zone and had Rachel by my side to have fun with all the way!

Sadly, even though we finished within the allotted time, the race photographer was not there to catch our spectacular finish. While I most likely wouldn’t have purchased pictures, I still found it to be a bummer. Thankfully Katie was at the finish and she nabbed a few pictures of us!

There was a recovery area and Rachel headed there for a massage while the rest of us went to the tent for the community picnic. The food 100% hit the spot!

At $103 for registration (with fees), this race is definitely more pricey than others I’ve done. The race is very well organized and you get a lot of bang for your buck but the price point is worth noting since it’s something I know many take into account when looking at races. Even still, I’m so glad that I’m able to check this one off my bucket list!

Next on tap, the Scooby-Doo virtual race (I’ll be sharing more about that in tomorrow’s post!), which works out really well with my Healthy Kids Running Series starting up this weekend. Hoping that the weather cooperates and we are able to get out there and running with the kids!

Oh, one more thing! We’re having a TRISHMOVES giveaway now through Friday (9/14/18) on Instagram! I got to try these delicious bars at the City Fit Girls retreat and they are really yummy. Plus, I’m always one that likes to support Philly based companies, which TRISHMOVES is! Be sure to swing by and enter yourself (and a friend) to win a box! CLICK HERE to enter.

2018 City Fit Girls Retreat

photo credit: Melissa Alam

August is one of those months that sneaks up on me quickly and before you know it, it’s gone, leaving me in the dust wondering where it went.

However one of my favorite events happen in August: the amazing CITY FIT GIRLS – FIT RETREAT! This was my third time in attendance; I was fortunate enough to attend previously in 2015 and 2017(I had to skip 2016 but that’s because of a trip to Switzerland/Germany so I suppose it’s okay!)

Takia McClendon and Kiera Smalls are the Co-Founders of the City Fit Girls, an inclusive, all levels fitness and wellness community for women.

Each August they host the affordable, day-long fit retreat and bring together women for some intense workouts and also focus on the importance of self-care. (For those wondering what “affordable” is: $50 for the day’s events with a $3.50 processing fee. This includes the amazing tank tops, lunch from Sweetgreen and ahem, MIMOSAS, and other assorted awesomeness throughout the day.)

Fit Retreat always sells out so it’s best to get a ticket early. It was a forgone conclusion that I’d be there again because every year is better than the last. City Fit Girls takes feedback to heart and always strives to make an memorable experience for those in attendance.

Communication with City Fit Girls is great before the Fit Retreat. They let us know ahead of time what sessions are available, who will be running them, and what they offer.

In the past I’ve had set ideas of what I wanted to do each session but this time, my main goal was just to be with my friends as much as possible so I was down to do whatever they wanted to do. I thought this would mean a little yoga, a little massage.

Nope! They were all like – let’s do all the high intensity, cardio session!

Well, okay then!

First up we did The Lion Fitness Party with Gwi and Wayne! High-intensity cardio boot camp – no problem!

photo credit: Melissa Alam

We danced, we bounced, we squatted, we might have cried-laughed a little. It was insane but a lot of fun! Sweat level: buckets

The next session had a yoga option. SURELY my friends would want to do the yoga option.

Again n-to-the-o.

Instead we climbed up the stairs (workout in itself!) to Never Give Up with Madison. What’s that, you ask?

“The invincible match between cardio and strength allows each athlete to work through this workout at their own pace. The interval training and the weight circuits each athlete will complete are designed to maximize fat burning, burn more calories and build the muscle and strength you want to reach your personal goals.”

Yes, there I am doing squat jumps. photo credit: Melissa Alam

Thankfully after two pretty intense sweat sessions, we ALL decided to take a chill pill and head up to the Vitality Lounge. That’s when my sweaty hair got the royal treatment from Priv!

Braids for all!

After an amazing lunch from Sweetgreen and equally amazing mimosas, we headed the outdoor space at The Patio for the afternoon sessions. We had the opportunity to do a group mediation with Vitality mediation studio before the afternoon panels.

The afternoon panels were moderator lead with 3 guests for each discussion. The first was about diet, nutrition, and eating and the second’s focus was overcoming self-doubt and getting out of your own head.

Originally my seat was in direct sunlight and I was getting crispy. I moved my seat into the shade, but also happened to be behind a wall; while I was physically more comfortable, I wasn’t able to see the speakers which limited being able to truly engage with the panel.

After a few giveaways and our group picture up above from event photographer, Melissa Alam, it was a wrap on the City Fit Girls 2018 Fit Retreat!

What I particularly love about the Fit Retreat is that while it’s a party like atmosphere, it’s also very warm and fuzzy. People I just met feel like friends I’ve known forever and everyone is welcoming. That’s not something that you can force to have happen, it’s magically organic that feels effortless with the City Fit Girls.

Is it August 2019 yet?

Race Recap: 2018 Philly 10k

Anyone who has run a Philly race knows that people from this area do things with their whole heart.

They love their sports teams loudly (and um, might be a bit notorious for being jerks to the opposition).

They have feisty debates over what food is best and whose food is best.

And Philadelphians know how to throw a quality race. The Philly 10k is no exception. The 2018 race was its 5th year in existence and while I’ve always heard amazing things about it, it was my first year running.

The City Fit Girls know how to have a good time! I was at their fit retreat a week prior and saw many of the same faces again at the Philly 10k. I’ll be blogging about the retreat… eventually!

The main reason I haven’t registered during the past 4 years is that it’s always held at the end of August and I know that I’m not the best at running through the summer heat. Couple that with it being through South Philly and being bit outside of where I comfortably know my way around in the city, I’ve always sat this one out.

When registration opened earlier this year, my awesome friend and fellow mullet crew runner, Rachel, encouraged me to sign up. She’s one of my favorite people (to run with and just in general) so naturally, I did. And even when she got hurt and had to drop this race from her race card, she still encouraged me to run AND even found me a fellow City Fit Girl friend to run with.

She may be my meatball but we took our post-race selfie in front of Humpty’s Dumplings.

AND, THERE’S MORE! Since she was volunteering at the pre-race party/packet pickup, she was able to grab my race bag for me so I didn’t have to haul my cookies into the city twice! PLUS! She hosted me the night before the race, carried my stuff around with her, and made sure I was fed and happy the entire time!

Because she’s awesome like that.

The Philly 10k starts and ends on South Street and winds through a part of Philly that others don’t usually touch. Ah, South Street. I spent many of my college evenings there. I got my tongue pierced there. Went there with friends to get tattoos. I digress. Never in a million years when I was in college did I think I’d be running a 10k there, that is for sure.

Hooking up with Brooke, who lives locally, was a godsend. She gave me a running commentary (har har) of all the places we were passing and what was up ahead. Most of the streets were tree lined, which helped keep the sun from directly beating down on us.

The first corral started at 7:30am and it got hot quick. We started with 3:1 intervals until it got uncomfortable and then did whatever we felt like for the rest of the race.

Pat’s or Geno’s? Cheesesteak smells good, even at 8:30 in the morning.

It was warming up significantly as we plodded along. The water stops were run by different Philly running groups, all of whom were very enthusiastic and shouting out our names. Some were reading bibs but then I realized that I actually KNEW people too, which was super exciting.

Philly doesn’t want any runners dying from heatstroke on their watch so there were a few fire hydrants open, which I took advantage of.  Plus, there was a guy handing out water bottles. He wasn’t an official water station but he had a baby with him and looked legit so YOU KNOW I TOOK ONE.

(It was sealed, don’t worry.)

It was cold and wonderful and there was a coupon for Devil’s Den on it. (Which we didn’t go to but I WILL BECAUSE THEY GAVE ME ICE COLD WATER.)

Thank the Lord! Amen!

After a few more turns and a few more friend sightings, we were coming up along the home stretch.

Rachel was there, camera in hand, waiting for us to come down the way!

Oh look, I’m talking. Big shock, I know. photo: Rachel

Brooke warned me at the begin that when we turn onto South Street aka the Finish Line Street, we still a bit to run. Actually, you can hear her telling me that in this video at both the start line and then when we are running that last stretch!

After we crossed the finish, we got towels that had been dipped in ice water, water, and bananas. And you know what that means…

Brooke did not get the message that we were taking a banana phone picture until hers was half eaten. photo: Rachel

Instead of medals, the Philly 10k has a surprise giveaway at the end of the race. In the past it’s been a map of the course (twice), a pennant, and a reusable bag. This year it was a poster. At first I thought it was a map of the course with pictures from the past 5 years. It’s not. But whatever!

So, let’s recap the recap.

Race: hot but awesome
People along the race course: awesome
Rachel and Brooke: hot and awesome
Me: doing this race again in 2019

Have you ever done the Philly 10k? Next year maybe I’ll race it. Maybe I’ll train for it. MAYBE.

2018 Vacation Races Elk Double – 5k Recap

For as long as Jenn has been running, she’s been talking about Vacation Races Elk Double. Taking place in Estes Park, Colorado, the 5k and half marathon races are close to her home and events that she holds near and dear to her heart.

Quite the opposite of Jenn, I live in New Jersey, which means that I run on mostly flat land.

Jenn’s first half was down at sea level at the Atlantic City April Fools Half, with yours truly. Her second? The Vacation Races Rocky Mountain Half.

They’re about as different as two races can be.

Top is the elevation in Atlantic City 1/2. Bottom is the elevation in Rocky Mountain 1/2. Yeahhhhh.

As you can imagine, it’s a bit difficult to train for a race at 7,500 feet when you live in New Jersey. But knowing that I have a base fitness level from going to the gym and the fact that we were doing these races to primarily be together and have fun, I wasn’t too concerned with the elevation.

After visiting Colorado in 2015 for the BolderBoulder and realizing that my family HAD to visit Colorado at some point, I made it my mission to get them there. After a few years of me (not so gently) mentioning it (every chance I got), we planned our week’s vacation there!

We arrived the week before the race which allowed us to get acclimated to the higher elevation. Trust me when I say that this is important! I didn’t really have time to adjust when I was there during BolderBoulder and I didn’t want to repeat that yucky feeling.

The whole week was incredible and to be quite honest, I was looking at houses so I never had to leave. Plus I was reunited with Jenn and her crew, which basically meant life was pretty amazing.

The 5k was on Friday night and some gnarly looking storm clouds were rolling in as we picked our race gear up at the expo. There was supposed to be s’mores but that got shut down early (or maybe they didn’t have them at all?). We did a little shopping and then headed over near the start line which was just a short walk away.

One of the things that I love about Vacation Races is when you do a double, they give you a choice of your additional swag item. I got the t-shirt and also a Elk Double hat, which I absolutely adore! Jenn already had the hat and the long sleeve shirt from previous years, so she opted for a mug this year.

Jenn’s brother in law was running and after seeing a picture of the medal, my older son Lucas decided he’d like to run. He is his mother’s child!

The 5k had numbered waves to begin but I’m not really sure how they were doled out. We ended up in the 3rd wave and knew that we planned to take things easy, especially given as there was a long hill immediately after crossing the start line.

After that hill, the 5k was mostly flat though so we took advantage of that as much as we could. The weather was feisty; a cold wind was blowing through and because of the mountains surrounding you and being near Lake Estes, the noise from the wind was intense. We did intervals as we made our way along the lakefront.

You could hear the finish line festivities as we circled the lake – so close yet so very far! Jenn warned me that it was that way during the half too, which is tough during mile 12 of a race.

With the winds whipping we were getting more worried that we might get caught in driving rains which we were really hoping to avoid. Keeping our heads down we kept trucking along and crossed the finish line before the rain hit.

Hooray!

Got our super awesome medals, race goody boxes, snapped a few pictures, and then we were out of there!

After an awesome Mexican dinner with an equally awesome Pina Colada (yes, that’s right, we did eat Mexican and drink before the half – easy breezy), I went back with my fam to the hotel to get some rest.

I was dealing with chafing, due to missing some spots during 5k prep. Not going to go into too much detail on that but let’s just say it was down yonder. OUCH.

Having a taste of what the course was going to be like the next day had me a slightly nervous. That first hill alone was a beast and I knew that there were only more to come the following day.

However I knew that with Jenn by my side, we’d have a great time, no matter how long it took! I’ll be back with more on the half marathon next time.

I Know What I’m Doing April 6, 2019… Do You?

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 5k 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! As always, all opinions are my own.

What time is it? It’s Hot Chocolate time! Okay, no. It’s not. But it IS time to start planning for 2019 and I’ve got my first race on the calendar for next year. You know I love planning.

So yes, come April 6th 2019 (that feels weird to type, by the way), I’ll be running the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k again. This year’s race marked Ana’s first ever 5k and I’m 99.9% sure I have her convinced to join me again.

The swag alone is worth it! Check out the jackets for the 2018-2019 series.

And of course, every runner gets these oversized mugs filled to the brim with goodies. YUM!

If you run the 15k, you also get a medal! There’s no medal for the 5k but if you find me, we can run up the steps to the Philly Art Museum together, which is a prize in itself.

Convinced? Register here AND if you use the code BRHCPhilly when you register you’ll receive awesome EXTRA swag, the Hot Chocolate Armband for your phone/tunes.

Who’s done a Hot Chocolate Run before? I want to hear about it!

Road Tested: Karma Ring Co.

Disclaimer: I received a Karma Ring 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.

I’m not sure if I shared this on the blog but my husband and I just recently celebrated our 15 year wedding anniversary in May! To celebrate we went to Disney for the weekend. ALONE.

It’s safe to say that after 21 years together in all, we are still each other’s biggest fan.

Which is why I wear my rings for practically everything. The only times I take my engagement ring and wedding band off are in the shower when I’m washing my hair (because I had an unfortunately earring incident with my hair, it’s a long story and I’m still not over the loss of my earring), or when I’m working out. Weights are rough on hands, not to mention jewelry!

It’s also why I was drawn to trying Karma Rings through the BibRave Pro program. At the risk of sounding cheesy, my solid relationship with Jay gives me comfort and strength and those are two things that I draw from while lifting weights and running.

However, Karma Rings aren’t just for those who are married! There is symbolism that is associated with each finger and on which hand you wear a ring.

I was able to try the Karma Ring Women’s Duo which has a base color of Pearl White and three changeable core colors of Blush Pink, Champagne Mauve, and Lavender.

A few facts from the Karma Ring Co.’s website:

  • Hypoallergenic – Even sensitive skin will love the specially formulated silicone used in every Karma Ring.
  • Non Porous – Doesn’t absorb germs, odors, and chemicals.
  • Ultra Durable – Wears like iron feels like silk
  • Non Conductive/Non Magnetic – Will not affect hand held mobile devices, Bluetooth technology, or magnetic strips on credit cards.

The core colors can be used to focus on goal setting or just whatever your preference is. My favorite color (besides orange) is purple so I usually tend to gravitate toward the Lavender.

Kettlebells and Karma Ring, no problem!

If you’re interested in getting a Karma Ring of your own, use discount code BIBRAVE33 which will save you 33%. Plus a percentage of each purchase goes toward Feed the Children.

This coming Tuesday, 7/31/18 is the Twitter #BibChat with @KarmaRingCo at 9pm EST and we always have a lot of fun! I’ll be traveling to Colorado tomorrow but I’m hoping to jump in for a bit!

A Day in the Life: Meridith

5am, Tuesday morning, my phone alarm sounds. That’s obviously not my phone in the picture but my clock is usually the first thing. It’s GYM DAY!

After a quick shower, teeth brushing, hair in some sort of ponytail or bun, gym clothes thrown on (chosen the night before), and chugging a glass of water/getting my gym bottle ready, I’m out the door by 5:30. Efficient! It’s also a routine I’ve been doing every Tuesday/Thursday morning for the past 5 years so it’s habit at this point.

Great workout at the gym with my workout buddy and trainer. I’m walking on sunshine. And it feels like it because I’m also dripping with sweat. Literally, when I’m doing mountain climbers, plank rows, and whatnot the sweat slides down my nose and onto the floor. So cute! There are no pictures from the gym because it’s not that kind of gym.

I arrived home nearly two hours after I left and by now the entire house is awake. My older son has an obsession with biscuits and gravy since having a dehydrated version on his 63 mile Boy Scout canoeing trip so he’s making “the real thing” with my husband. My parents are flitting around (they live with us in the summer) and my younger son is squirreled away in his room.

Not wanting to give in to the temptation of eating biscuits and gravy after the gym, I take this girl for a walk instead.

When I return I have yogurt and hard boiled eggs. Yay me. And another shower because, ya know, I’m still looking like I jumped in the pool.

From there it’s the Mom Uber for my children. Deep breath. Are you ready for this?

I drive back to the gym with this kid at 9:10. Yes, the same gym I was at just an hour and a half prior. This is how we roll. Thankfully my dad volunteers to pick him up so that’s one less drive on my Mom Uber schedule. 

Gabe has karate twice a week so around 11:20 we leave for that. He’s working toward his blue belt testing, which is happening in a week!

We arrive home around 12:45 to have lunch with my husband, who comes home nearly each day to eat with us (the perks of working close by!). Lucas and my parents went out for lunch so it’s just the three of us until they roll back in and Jay heads out for work. (And leaves his phone on the counter.)

Gabe has his social skills friends group, so Mom Uber heads out the door yet again.

After dropping him off, I swing by to bring my husband his phone. Then I run home to get some work done for Healthy Kids Running Series and a few minutes of transcribing.

Lucas joins me for the trip back to get Gabe and by this time storm clouds are rolling in and the sky is looking ominous. The boys have hair cut appointments at 3:30 so we head straight there.

Thankfully we ride out the majority of the storms while they’re getting the haircuts. Get back home around 4:30. The perfect time for…

Folding laundry and watching The Bachelorette! That’s right, the entire day the washer and dryer have been running. Becca’s face accurately depicts my face regarding laundry.

Jay arrives home and we have DATE NIGHT planned! Honestly with the storms I was a little concerned we’d have to change our plans but he convinced me we’d be fine.

So it was off to the Philadelphia Zoo for their special event!

Jay and I have been to after hours events at the zoo before and we know they’re the best because the animals tend to be more active. With beers in hand we wandered around the exhibits and learned more about the animals. we are Zoo members but gladly paid extra for this opportunity!

Around 9pm (which is my usual bedtime, btw) we headed back to New Jersey and had a late dinner. I’m surprised I didn’t fall asleep in the crab dip. Very proud of myself!

We arrived home a little after 10pm, Jay set his alarm for a 3am conference call with the good folks in Germany, and we both passed out.

The end (of Tuesday, July 17th, 2018).