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

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!

Virtual Race Recap: America Runs 5k

Disclaimer: I received an entry for the America Runs 5k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pretty awesome, right?

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

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

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

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

Road Tested: Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask Pt. 2

Disclaimer: I received the Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

 

I’ve been seriously slacking on posts lately, but in a COVID world…well, I don’t have much to write about. I’ve been back to work for over a month, with students for just over three weeks. Things are going well. They are still stressful and there are still so many unknowns.

Teachers and students mask up everyday from 7:30 – 3:00 with breaks for lunch and recess, times when we can spread out and social distance. It hasn’t been easy.

The Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask has really come in handy, however! It is, as they say, ultra light. The material is breathable and flexible, making it super comfy. I ended up getting the Small because I wanted it to be fit without having to make any adjustments. At first it was too snug, but I got used to it!

The mask has a removable, disposable filter that covers the holes and an optional nose that can be adjusted. The nose piece helps out a lot and keeps those pesky glasses from fogging up. It’s super easy to change both of these things and can even be done at 6AM when you’re rushing around trying to be on time for work!

Mer’s post has some great product details that I know you’ll love, too! This mask was great to grab while grocery shopping or heading out for a walk on a trail. My only down side was that it muffled my voice a bit, so it was hard to wear to work. (Even though it looked cute with my school uniforms!)

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

Be sure to check out Body Helix on social media:

Body Helix Facebook
Body Helix Twitter
Body Helix Instagram

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

Jessica’s blog

Tedrick’s blog

Charline’s blog

Steph’s blog

 

Road Tested: Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask

Disclaimer: I received the Body Helix Ultra Light Face Mask as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Be sure to check out Body Helix on social media:

Body Helix Facebook
Body Helix Twitter
Body Helix Instagram

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

Jessica’s blog

Tedrick’s blog

Charline’s blog

Steph’s blog

Look for Ash’s review to come soon!

Road Tested: Knockaround Fast Lane Sports Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received Knockaround Sport Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own and no further compensation is given.

I have a new surprise obsession.

Knockaround Sunglasses.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Jeremy’s YouTube video

Katy’s blog

Jaimelee’s blog

Nicki’s blog

Danielle’s blog

 

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

Knockaround Twitter
Knockaround Instagram
Knockaround Facebook