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!

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

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!

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!

Safety First with ROADiD (25% coupon code!)

Disclaimer: I received ROADid products to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

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

As has my family!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Getting my yoga on in my basement… still safe!

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

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

From my favorite running spot (in January).

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

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

Check out what my fellow BibRave Pros have to say:

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

Run for the Zoo Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Lincoln Park Zoo: Run for the Zoo virtual race 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!

Since we’re all stuck at home these days many of our favorite races have become virtual. This includes the Lincoln Park Zoo’s race in Chicago. As a Floridian who has only been to Chicago once…I’ve also never been to this zoo. It was on our list when I visited with my family in 2018 to run the Chicago Marathon however, the weather was rainy. I’d also just ran a marathon!

We are living in unprecedented times and this is the first time in 42 years that this race will be virtual. This race is one of the things that helps keep the zoo open every day of the year and keeps it free.

While you may not get to run through the zoo this year, there are still a ton of perks to take advantage of. Here are just a few that you can find on the Run for the Zoo website:

  • A 5K and 10K virtual race options to run, walk, or enjoy nature in your community and support the zoo!
  • A virtual Safari Stampede race to encourage kids to express their inner animal
  • Mailed race packets with themed tech shirts (with a brand new logo for 2020!)
  • Commemorative Supporter medals for qualifying participants
  • A special virtual race bag with incredible deals from our partners
  • Weekly motivational communications
  • Digital commemorative participant bib and finishers certificate

Don’t forget, this race if virtual so you can do it whenever and however you want! I know I’ll be looking for a new 5K route to run so it feels like I’m doing something new. (Seriously, I’m tired of seeing the same houses!) It’s also for a great cause. How can you pass that up? Look at this face!

If you’re interested, check out the link above and use the code BIBRAVE10 for 10% off your entry!

Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia Cancellation

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Allstate Hot Chocolate 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!

If there’s one thing you should know about me, I’m a Type A personality. Schedules and unwavering plans are what I thrive on. Actually, in a community of runners, I think you’ll find that to be true about many of us. We HAVE to be that way if we want to train well and excel during a race.

But life throws you for a loop sometimes and that’s exactly what’s happening now with the COVID-19 virus. Before I get too much further into this post, let me state for the record that I absolutely understand the reasoning and logic behind canceling events. I’m always one to err on the side of caution. Making decisions like these are not easy and I feel for the race directors who need to make the call.

That said, yesterday was a rough day.

In the span of a couple of hours yesterday I got the news that two of the races I’ve been training for have been cancelled: the Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon (the plan was to PR at that one) and the Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k in Philadelphia.

I requested cake and wine for dinner and my husband did not disappoint.

Am I bummed? Yeah, I absolutely am.

But I’m also trying really, really hard to look on the bright side of things. I think what I appreciate most about these races is that even though they can’t happen the way that we intended them to, they’re doing their darnest to make things as right as they can for the runners.

The Allstate Hot Chocolate Race Series recently announced a virtual option for their races. With things currently the way they are, they’ve switched the entirety of the Philadelphia race to being virtual.

I’m no stranger to virtual events, having just wrapped up the virtual 465 Challenge!

I love that the Hot Chocolate Race Series will be mailing out all of the goodies to our homes, especially because their swag is always the best. I still plan on getting outside on April 4th and running my 5k. There’s a perfect spot near the river here in New Jersey and as long as it’s safe for me to do so, that’s where I plan to be.

I’ll just have to wait to see these guys next year in Philly!

If you want to join in virtually, here’s the link to register. Be smart and be safe!

It’s a Wrap: 465 Challenge

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Road Tested: Built Bar (with 20% discount code)

Disclaimer: I received Built Bar Protein and Energy 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 have done my share of protein/energy bar “investigating” in the past. Back in 2014, my husband and I tried a variety of bars, which naturally we reviewed here.

Then last year while Bec was visiting, she introduced me to Built Bar. The rest, as they say, is history. I have been hooked on Built Bar ever since! I tend to go with what I know so I’ve always ordered a few of my standard favorites in a mixed box – Salted Caramel Chocolate, Coconut Chocolate Creme, and Vanilla Chocolate Creme.

When BibRave teamed up with Built Bar, I knew I had to opt-in to check out their newest flavors and find some new favorites. Seriously, when it comes to flavors, they have MANY!

The low calorie, high protein content is absolutely a draw but that would mean little if they didn’t taste good. Built Bars are extremely tasty! Of course I still love my old standbys, but a few of my new favorites are Mint Brownie Delite, Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond, and Black Cherry Chocolate Creme.

Other than wholesale, Built Bar is primarily an online order business. When they weather is warmer, they take great care to get your bars to you quickly and include a cold pack so they don’t melt.

When you get three boxes of Built Bar, you have to share the wealth! Immediately my older son who works out with me was interested in trying them. I noticed that they were disappearing quickly and soon found out why.

He was not even a little bit sorry about this.

I brought an assortment along with me on a long run to share with my running buddies. I wasn’t surprised at all to hear rave reviews from those who tried them.

One of my friends said that she had a Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery a few years back and has to be very careful about what she eats. She was very excited to read the Built Bar’s ingredients and see that it worked for her!

The outside of each bar is coated with chocolate while the inside is nougat-like. When warm they do tend to get a little sticky. During our Twitter #bibchat it was suggested to try putting a Built Bar into the refrigerator or freezer to cool it down.

The freezer made it a little too difficult for me to bite into but I love keeping them in the fridge and have a stockpile in mine!

Built Bar is constantly evolving and introducing new flavors to their mix. The only bummer is that some of my favorites don’t last for very long. They do retire flavors and have limited releases too. However, there’s always something in the rotation that I love!

Check out more reviews from BRPs:

Renee
Becky
Kelsey
Riley
Amy
Emily

 

Have you tried Built Bar? If so, what’s your favorite flavor? If I had to chose one, I’d go with the Salted Caramel Chocolate. If you haven’t tried them yet, which flavor would you try first? Order with code BUILTNOW and it will save you 20%!