5k + 13.1 = King Neptune Challenge

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Atlantic City Marathon Series King Neptune Challenge to as part of being a BibRave Ambassador.

If you follow my racing adventures, you already know what a big fan I am of the Atlantic City Marathon Series races. Whether it be the April Fools weekend, the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler, or their fall races, you can usually find me at one, two, or three of these weekends each year. I was extremely excited when they teamed up with BibRave this year to promote their races!

I am not a marathoner (yet?) but I wanted to challenge myself during the weekend. The King Neptune Challenge seemed like the perfect opportunity. What is it, exactly? It’s when you run both race days – Saturday and Sunday. You’re able to choose your race distance – 5k or 10k on Saturday and half or full marathon on Sunday. I chose the 5k and half option.

My house is an easy hour drive away so I landed on driving down and back each day. Additionally, a friend and I drove down for the race expo on Friday afternoon. Quick tip: Get a player’s card for the host hotel; it will make your parking cheaper!

The expo was held at Bally’s this year. It was a smaller experience and easy to get our bibs and shirts. The volunteers throughout the entire weekend were wonderful and great to chat with. After getting my two bibs and three shirts, I visited their merch booth and bought a comfy sweatshirt too. I’ve been living in it ever since!

Saturday’s weather was fantastic and the 5k was lovely. I wasn’t sure my exact game plan for the pacing of my 5k but I wound up keeping a solid pace for me and I was happy with what I did. After crossing the finish line I quickly got a water, banana, and my medal. The medals were awesome this year! I love that they’ve been changing up the look recently. The afterparty is always enjoyable – complete with the BEST bagels (truly), snacks, and a drink ticket for a beer or Truly.

Mother Nature was not as kind to us on Sunday. It was a mix of rain and wind but at least it was not super cold! I wore a singlet and I was comfortable the entire time. On this day, my BibRave sisters, Riley and Vanessa joined in the fun for the full marathon. It was great seeing them before the race and I saw Vanessa a few times on the course. A beacon of orange!

I’ve never actually ran this 13.1 course in Atlantic City before and I loved it. The first half was through the streets of Atlantic City, there were a few “hills” with ramps and a tunnel, which kept things interesting. I really enjoyed it, despite fighting the headwind.

The second half was on the boardwalk, which is where I’m used to running in Atlantic City. It was comfortable and there was a tailwind at points so it felt like the wind was carrying me forward (always a nice push!). The tough part is going past the finish line and then having to go another mile and change before turning around to then return to the finish.

My training cycle was pretty solid so I felt great throughout the entire race. Crossing the finish line was joyful and again, the afterparty was solid. Plus, check out these medals!

Already looking forward to the next time in AC!

I have more races in the works and I’m trying to get back to writing about each since I’ve missed the blog.

Philly Hot Chocolate 5k – In Person! With Friends!

It’s been a few months since I last blogged.

Okay, more than a few months. More like a half a year.

Whoops.

I’ve mostly been keeping track of my running and fitness now over on Instagram but I’ve missed writing recaps so I’m back!

Very grateful to say, I’m running races in person again, not virtually. Hooray! There’s a time and place for everything and right now, it’s back to in person races for me.

This past weekend was particularly stellar. It was my birthday and I was able to return to my birthday race, the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 5k. I signed up for it later on that I usually do but I saw the swag and just couldn’t say no.

I also wore my jacket to the race (sacrilege!) because I just don’t care about the made up “runners rules” anymore. It’s just that cute and I guess that’s what happens when you turn 46.

I chose to have my packet mailed to me so I didn’t have to make the trip to Philly on my actual birthday (saving me both time and money, even though you do have to pay for that option). My friends and I met up and drove in together early Saturday morning; one of them has a great connection so we were able to get prime parking! Way swankier than taking the train.

The 5k started at 7:15, while the 15k began at 8am. We got there with plenty of time to hit the portapotties, take pictures, and see some friends before running.

Look, it’s Ken from KenStandsOnThings! He was running on behalf of BibRave and we were both rocking out Turtle Gloves.

I can’t even properly explain how nice it was to see my BibRaveBro, Ken! I think the last time we were able to see each other in person was back in 2019 at the Mushroom Cap Half! It’s been AWHILE, and it was great to catch up.

My friends and I got into the corrals just past 7 o’clock and found ourselves bopping to the music and having a great time. Like I said, it’s been a long while since I’ve participated in a race of this magnitude and it made my heart happy to be in immersed in the atmosphere.

Soon enough, we were off! The course changed from past years and I really liked this 5k course better than previous times I’ve run. I stayed with my friends for the first mile, running the entire time. After that I dropped back to 1:1 intervals and was content.

They had marshmallows and hydration on the course about halfway through. I skipped that because I knew that we’d have deliciousness waiting at the end.

Got this beauty of a medal too!

All in all, a fantastic morning. Running, friends, chocolate, and all before 9am!

Getting back into the swing of things and I plan to post more (if not for anyone but myself – I know that blogging isn’t what it used to be).

I’ve got a 5 mile race at the Renault Winery at the end of this month and then I have a few things on deck for the fall. Any suggestions of how I can fill from here until then?

Virtual Race Recap: Inspiration 4 Miler Benefiting St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Inspiration4 Miler which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® 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!

BibRave Pro, Meridith, preparing to run 4 miles at Elephant Swamp Trail.

Last month I shared that I was going to run the Inspiration 4 Miler in honor of the first ever all civilian space mission. A fundraiser for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the goal of the run was to raise funds for St. Jude and awareness of the mission.

I’ll admit that I didn’t know exactly what I was signing up for but I have to tell you, this is one of the best virtual events I’ve taken part it!

Leading up to blast off, I followed along with the Netflix series about the mission. I felt connected with the four civilians on the trip (one being a medical professional who was a patient at St. Jude as a child) and I carried that feeling of connection with me when I ran this past Sunday on my favorite trail.

Trees lining trail.

Just days before, I tuned into the live stream on the internet to watch the Inspiration 4 team’s take off. It felt bigger than just a regular virtual race and I was glad to be a part of it.

My mission wasn’t nearly as grand as theirs was but when I returned home, I proudly donned my swag for the first time. I’m always a sucker for good swag and while the shirt ended up being a little to large for me, the hat and medal are just right.

This week I’m continuing with the good vibes as I’ve turned my focus to the Women Run the Vote which is a 907 mile virtual relay, focused on Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Justice. We are on day 2 and already learning so much. Good stuff!

Inspiration4 Miler to Benefit St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Inspiration4 Miler which benefits St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® 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!

Hello friends! Summer is flying by here in New Jersey and while the kids aren’t back to school yet (like some of the country), it’s only three weeks away before mine will be headed into their 7th and 11th grade years. We’ve been enjoying every ounce of summer that we can with family and friends!

I finally got to a point where I was comfortable with the idea of running races in person so I started registering for them. Not one or two but four. And now with the delta variant, I’m slightly anxious as to whether or not they will happen. Time will tell and of course I’ll keep you posted here!

When BibRave reached out to the Pros looking for people to participate in the Inspiration4 Miler, I thought it would be a great motivational experience to push me on training runs through September. After all, the event supports the Inspiration4 Mission and their goal to raise awareness and funds for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

Want to get involved? There are a few ways to join in this fundraising and moral boosting effort!

REGISTER TO RUN – if you’re a runner, sign up for this virtual event! It can happen on the day and time of your choosing in September. All runners get the sweet swag kit above. Additionally, all participants have the option to fundraise for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital® and can win a sweet trip for two to the St. Jude launch party in Florida.

SUPPORT MY FUNDRAISING EFFORTS – not a runner but what to donate? Help me reach my fundraising goals for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital®.

To infinity and beyond! Let’s do this!

Run to Escape – Mission Mt. Olympus Afterparty and NEWS!

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Run to Escape: Mission Mount Olympus experience 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 know what you’re thinking: “Meridith, this does NOT look like running.” And you’d be right. We’re currently dealing with a heatwave and I had to get creative with my final run for the Run to Escape: Mt. Olympus final run (from Zeus, no less!). Thankfully, I was able to finish the last mission and of course, every good challenge has an afterparty!

Sonya and I got together on this sweltering day to enjoy some fun tunes and dress up in our one-of-a-kind Grecian shirts and gold laurel headbands.

I’m currently taking it easy with alcohol but that doesn’t mean we couldn’t get fancy. We created our own special drinks, with Pellegrino and orange ice pops.

Only the best for us!

And we caught wind of the new MINI experience from Run to Escape that you might be interested in. Check it out!

Awesome, right? The option to do the full experience is still available but if you’d like to opt into the mini challenge instead, you can register and save by using code “MINILAUNCH”. It will save you 10% on registration now to Monday, July 5th.

Hope you’re staying cool and enjoying these hot summer days!

Run to Escape – Mission Mount Olympus ⚡


Disclaimer: I received an entry to Run to Escape: Mission Mount Olympus experience 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!

Okay, okay, I’ll admit it. After a year+ of virtual races, I needed to take a little break from them. It’s difficult to self motivate and try to to best myself outside of in-person races.

That’s why I was intrigued when I heard about Run To Escape‘s Mission Mt. Olympus experience. Not a race, an experience! Their slogan is Listen. Solve. Run. And I have been doing just that.

What Is It?

Described as an escape room on the go, Mission Mt. Olympus’ storyline theme is based on the Greek Gods and Goddesses. Atalanta, the Goddess of Running (natch) is trying to become the 13th major deity of Mt. Olympus.

You don’t need to know anything specific about Greek mythology to participate, the audio clues you receive through RunKeeper™️ are not specific to established knowledge. Instead, the clues you receive along the run lead you to puzzle answers.

The clues show up at timed intervals throughout your outside run (treadmill runners, you’re going to have to head outside for these miles!). When you return home you are able to review the audio clues to solve the puzzles, which are provided through email. Once you solve the riddle, you are able to move on to the next challenge.

As someone who loves to solve things, this is my jam! Some of the clues are solvable as you runs, others you’re going to need to look at the puzzle that goes along with it to do so. Fellow BibRave Pro, Sonya, Lucas, and I got our first run done in mid-April.

Check out our music vid on Instagram Reels!

Can You Share More Specifics?

I can give you broad strokes but I don’t want to share any spoilers in case you haven’t participated yet!

Since starting in mid-April, I’ve been getting out to the paths and trails about every other weekend to get my specific distances completed. There are 6 experiences with a total of 27 miles so no run is longer than 6.2 miles.

Singing Dio-Dionysus!

I also love that there isn’t a set time or date for the experience to start or end. You do what works within your schedule, which has been key for me because I’m in the middle a PowerZone challenge on the Peloton bike.

There’s a great community online of those participating so it’s easy to connect with others. The RTE team also checks in if someone is having an issue or just to chit chat – they’ve been fantastic about responding promptly, which ranks highly in my book.

I ran the Hades challenge while Sonya completed Aphrodite’s clues!

There are also weekly giveaways for participants with prizes!

ASICS godly kicks, AfterShokz headphones, Knockaround sunglasses

How Do I Participate?

You can click here to learn even more about the Run to Escape Series and register. When you do, use code BIBRAVE10 to save 10% off your registration!

There is a very flexible refund policy too, so if you’re on the fence about whether you’ll like it or not (I definitely love it but realize it may not be for everyone), you can try without worry.

Since it’s not a race, you don’t have to worry about going fast or slow, it’s all about getting the distances done!

Go the distance and help Atalanta become lucky number 13!

Check out this SELF article and see Run to Escape highlighted! And see what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say:

Vanessa
Riley
Mai
Katie
Kristi
Karen
Stephanie
Ryan
Mike
Lissa
Cynthia
Sarah
Krista
Meredith

Road Tested: Ready.Set.MOVE. Subscription Box


Disclaimer: I received the January and April Ready.Set.MOVE. Subscription Boxes 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!

When I first started running (and subsequently blogging), running/fitness subscription boxes were THE brand new thing on the scene and very intriguing for a newbie runner like myself.

Offering a great selection of running products seemed like the perfect way to try things out without suffering from buyer’s remorse. A lot of nutrition or hydration is only sold in larger quantities and runner’s subscription boxes would include many of these types of items to try.

Somewhere over time though, I fell into comfortable habits with nutrition and brands that I liked. Subsequently, I stopped trying new things because I knew what worked well for me and my body.

Recently, over the past couple of months, I hit a rut. It might have been obvious to no one but myself and my mom (hi mom!) but I didn’t blog from mid-December until just a few weeks ago. Between injury in January, seasonal depression from the winter months, and then Covid in March, I’ve been working through a lot of stuff.

I still am and I can’t thank you enough for the support I’ve gotten.

All that to say, the Ready. Set. MOVE. box arrived at the right time. Through an opt-in from BibRave I’ve received two of the quarterly subscription boxes and let me tell you, I’m LOVING what they have to offer.

Used this KT Recovery pain relief gel after a hike.

If you’re new to subscription boxes or just want the details on this particular one, read on:

  • Ready.Set.MOVE. is a quarterly subscription box created for those passionate about moving toward their fitness goals.
  • Each box is filled with industry-leading products, always valued at $100+, that can be used during workouts and training.
  • Every box costs $49.99 but you can save $20 by signing up for the whole year ($179.99 total).
  • Boxes are shipped every January, April, July, and October.
  • You can use code BibRave10 for $10 off the first box for all first-time subscribers!

You can peep my Brooks headband from January’s box. Also wearing the SPIbelt.

April’s Ready. Set. MOVE. just arrived a few days ago (see below) and I’ve already put some of these to use. Broke right into that tube of Nuun this morning before my Peloton Power Zone ride!

April Ready. Set. MOVE. box

I had never heard of Floyd’s on the Go before but their products were in both boxes and I’ve been enjoying those products a lot! My husband might have “accidentally” drank the La Colombe coffee from the first box but I’ve squirreled away the lemon infused cold brew for myself.

Are subscription boxes worth the investment? If you’re up trying new things that can enhance and improve your workouts, absolutely. Remember, you can use code BibRave10 for $10 off the first box for all first-time subscribers!

However, if you have a sensitive stomach or need to stick with a particular type of nutrition, the subscription box might not be for you.

Would love to hear if you’re into subscription boxes! Which ones? I have one for my dog, one for clothes, and of course, workout/fitness boxes!

Check out what other BibRave Pro ambassadors have to say by clicking below:

Mai’s blog post

Amanda’s blog post
Jaimelee’s blog post
Mark’s YouTube vids: box 1, box 2
Lissa’s blog post
Ken’s YouTube video
Lisha’s YouTube video
Samantha’s YouTube video
Shannon’s YouTube video
Lisa’s blog post

It’s Okay to Not Be Okay

Once upon a time, I really worked hard on blog posts. My vision for posts was to be relatable and witty: Scoot a Doot has always been a place to share my fitness journey and also tap in to my inner thoughts and emotions that went along with that journey.

Somewhere along the way, I lost the writing spark. Over the past few years, I’ve noticed the shift from blogging to platforms like Instagram. An eye catching picture, a thoughtful post, a pretty sound way to communicate and connect with like-minded folks.

I’ve been dealing with some pretty heavy stuff the past few months (including the global pandemic) and I need a place to delve into it. When the going is good, it’s easy to blog. When the going isn’t so great, I struggle to share.

Why?

Because I’m the strong one.

Because I’m a people pleaser.

Because I’m the one who carries the weight of the world on my shoulders and usually I do a pretty good job with it.

Until I can’t.
Until I’m not.
And right now, I’m not.

The past few months have been pretty awful for me. Not many people outside of my inner circle know this but after doing everything “right” and basically living in isolation for a year, I wound up with Covid (in between getting my first and second vaccines). My family also had Covid.

I currently have sick family members.

I haven’t seen my parents in over a year and a half.

I’m beyond overwhelmed by life and actually going out into the world. Being around people after a year of keeping my circle super small scares the crap out of me.

This past week it all came crashing down. The uncertainty of life and the anxiety became too much for me to rationally work through. I had multiple panic attacks. My thoughts raced in a million directions at the same time. I couldn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, and couldn’t stop crying.

This is not me. I’M. NOT. ME.

And I knew I needed help. My husband also heard me when I said I needed help and called our primary care physician for me. I verbalized my need for help and thank goodness, I was heard. I’m surrounded by people who are helping me.

I’ve started on medication and plan to follow up this week with multiple doctors.

I’ve let things go that were able to be handed over to very capable people.

And I’m leaning so hard on my people right now.

A week ago I was here… and everything was good in that moment. Instagram worthy.

Now I’m struggling. It’s not nearly as bad as it was a few days ago (because you know, medication) but it’s still a struggle.

And I just wanted to share this because I know I’m not the only one feeling this way. I’m not alone. Neither are you.

I’m taking this time to concentrate on healing and getting better. Writing this helps and I’m grateful for the platform. Right now, I’m not okay, but I will be.

Virtually Perfect: The Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the virtual Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k race by RAM Racing 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!

Picture it: New Jersey, March 2020. I was sitting on the couch, stuffing my face with an assortment of cakes and drinking wine as I received emails about the spring races I signed up for going virtual due to a virus called COVID-19.

Last year one of my first races to go virtual was the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k/5k. It feels like a lifetime ago! We were so early in the pandemic, I wasn’t sure if running outside was “safe”. (Does anyone else remember those times?)

I ran the distance on my treadmill and that, as they say, was that. Even though we live less than a half hour away, I never felt further from Philly. Looking back I realize that I didn’t write a blog about it because what was there to say?

I took a picture with the medal so that’s something!

The past year has brought many virtual races and speaking with other runners I know that there’s an overall feeling of virtual race fatigue. I feel it too.

Some smaller races are back in person, but many of the larger races are still only safely able to function virtually. 2021 is my 5th straight year participating in the Allstate Hot Chocolate series and you know I couldn’t give up that legacy streak so I opted in through BibRave to run the virtual event.

Hope to see you next year, friends!

Leading up to race weekend, the communication from RAM Racing was a quiet, which surprised me. In past years, the series sent out a weekly training plan email so I thought that they might incorporate that into their planned virtual event. Alas, other than a few sporadic emails, there was nothing noteworthy. A missed opportunity!

Rather than relegating myself to another treadmill run, I felt comfortable and safe taking my run to a favorite running locale of mine, the Ben Franklin Bridge. It stretches between New Jersey and Pennsylvania, with the base directly in the city of Philadelphia.

In December, when I registered, my training was going well and I confidently signed up for the 15k distance. A lot can change in a short amount of time and this past weekend, I knew that I wasn’t prepared for that distance. Thankfully, there’s a 5k distance option and the path that goes over the bridge and back again is exactly that mileage.

Along with my kid runner, Lucas, we drove twenty minutes to the base of the bridge in Camden, NJ. The view of the Philly skyline is impressive and always makes me happy.

We took our time, took a ton of pictures, and enjoyed the beautiful day. We haven’t run the Ben since early March 2020, so this was welcome change for the both of us.

Back to NJ

Due to a manufacturing delay, I have not yet received my race packet in the mail – I know that this was an issue for some of my local friends who signed up for the race as well.

It stinks not to have the swag now that I’ve run the distance… after all we live in a world of instant gratification! However, I know that the swag is 100% worth the wait and I’m looking forward to it arriving soon.

My next race isn’t until June and that feels so weird to say! I’m focusing on returning to running, listening to my body, and getting through the continuation of this crazy time. Be safe and be well!

Bringing a Taste of Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k to New Jersey

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the virtual Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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!

March 12th, 2020 is a day that I, along with many others, won’t forget.

It was the beginning of a “shut down” that lasted way longer than the predicted two weeks. It was the last day my kids saw the inside of their schools for the rest of the school year.

And it was the day I found out that the in-person 2020 Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate race was canceled and changed to a virtual event.

Back in pre-COVID times – April 2019 – BibRave Pros Ken, Ryan, Joe, and myself

I absolutely LOVE the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate race and have been a repeat customer since 2017. While I was sad about the race cancelation, I also realize now just how grateful I am that it happened. The race directors made a tough decision and the very start of the pandemic and it was a smart one.

If nothing else, 2020 has taught me the importance of being flexible and focusing on what is POSSIBLE.

Which is why I am looking forward to running my own version of the 2021 Philly Hot Chocolate 15k virtually. An in-person race is not in the cards for the Philadelphia location of the Hot Chocolate 5k/15k for the upcoming year, but there’s plenty of opportunities to be a part of the community from a distance.

Everyone knows the swag for the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k/5k races is unparalleled! In fact, it recently won best medal/swag and top virtual experience in The BibRave 100. You won’t miss out on any of the swag while doing the virtual event – all of this is sent directly to you!

Hot Chocolate packets and chocolate candies

The zip up hoodies are so soft and warm!

2021 medal – locket style with a piece of chocolate inside for both race distances

Also convenient when running virtually is the ability to participate at any time. After you finish the distance, you can upload your results on your EnMotive account.

Plus, if you sign up and use the code BRHC20 during your registration, you’ll receive a free Hot Chocolate running hat! Click here to register.

By signing up for virtual runs, I’m ensuring that I remain consistent with training. Is it the same as an in-person race? No, but it’s the next best thing while we wait for life to get back to “normal”.

Crossing the finish line with Ana in 2018.

I plan to check in over the upcoming months while I train and share some favorite memories from past experiences at the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k/15k. I know that when I’m finally about to cross that finish line in the future, it will be that much sweeter!