Guest Blog: Daisy the Dog – Stunt Puppy Go Dog Glo™ Dry Collar Review

Disclosure: I received Stunt Puppy's Go Dog Glo™ Dry Collar™ to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

Daisy is the star of today’s blog post! She’s been testing the Go Dog Glo™ Dry Collar™ from our new friends at Stunt Puppy. They’re an active pet gear brand with products made in the USA, so we were really excited to see what everyone’s been barking about.

I wanted to try this collar because it’s waterproof, stinkproof and has a highly-reflective strip down the center. It’s also made of a material called “BioThane” which reminds me of a flexible plastic or nylon. It functions like fabric, but it looks fresh all the time!

Without further ado, I’ll let Daisy share her thoughts on this collar.

Hey guys! Daisy here – sometimes, my pawrents call me “Daisy Doodle Dandy.” Whateva that means.

Anywho, Mawm says I can be a wittle ruff around the edges. I think that’s because I follow my nose wherever it takes me. She worries a wittle when I do that, so I think it makes her relax knowing I’m wearin’ reflective collar in case I wander off. Mawm and Paw also work a lot, meaning it’s dusk when we go walking sometimes. I feel confident knowing the reflection can help protect my mawm when we’re together.

I’ve heard Mawm talking ’bout all the pups in my hometown of Houston who’ve been separated from their pawrents. I bet they’re real scared, being away from their hoomans, and since I was picked up as a stray, I can understand how they feel. These things called cars go so fast, and you never know if they’re headed straight for ya. Plus, if you’re all wet and anxious, your reaction time might not be as quick. Now, cars can see me if I ever get lost, or if my ma is out searching for me, the reflection on my collar will be SO bright if she shines a flashlight on me. And the reflection won’t go away if I’m all wet.

But on to more pawsitive territory. This collar has two hooks on it, one for my identifications, the other for a leash. They’re both strong and can hold onto me if I run after a squirrel; I sure do love my walks, but those squirrels are annoying. 

I’m not a vain pup, but I still love the way this looks on me. Hoomans also think I look like a boy dog, and while I don’t believe in conforming to stereotypical gender norms (I am perty pawgressive, you guys), I just want to dress a wittle bit feminine sometimes. That bright pink just barks “girl power!” I am a bit fluffy, too, but other hoomans are able to see it perty easily, which is real nice. In a real effort to defy gender stereotypes, i love getting dirty and rolling around in the wet grass, but this collar can take it no matter what the activity.

I’m a dog, so I see the best in everything. I really don’t have any thing that I don’t love about this collar. I do recommend double checking the sizing; I’m normally a medium, but these collars are sized differently than standard collars, and every mutt is different.

Well, that’s all for now guys. Time for me to go beg my mom to take me to the dog park. Thanks, Stunt Puppy – you’re one of my new best fwiends!

Man, I pretty much feel like a failure now, since she said all of that and doesn’t even have opposable thumbs. 😉

I’d recommend this collar to any pet owner for its unbeatable safety features that give me peace of mind. It’s $26 and can be purchased at StuntPuppy.com.

What’s your favorite activity to take your pooch to do?

Cheers to smart products to protect our not-so-smart-sometimes puppers!

Time to Toss Those Earbuds: AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Review

Disclosure: I received AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones 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.

Question: how often do you actually take the time to clean your earbuds?

My answer is: maybe once a year.

I understand if you think I’m gross for this, because I honestly feel gross when I think about it.

BUT I also happen to think most of you probably have a grimy set of earbuds that you’re similarly embarrassed about.

Luckily, I don’t really need to worry about the grossness as much these days. This summer, I’ve been testing the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium headphones, and they’re definitely a workout game-changer.

What’s so special about these headphones?

They don’t actually need to go inside your ear canal to work. Crazy, right? They use a proprietary bone conducting technology that delivers the sound through a combination of the bone on the exterior of your ear and the ear canal.

The technology benefits both runners and active people. Namely, it leaves the ear open to hearing other sounds outside. Not only is this important for safety purposes/being aware of surroundings, but you can actually hear and respond when someone says something to you.

The other benefit, is, of course, no grimy earbuds. Seriously though, I’m sure traditional earbuds harbor bacteria that you do not want inside your ear. My Trekz Titanium may get sweaty, but are a lot easier to clean and only touch areas of your body that are also easy to clean. The clean freak inside of me rejoices.

I also enjoyed:

  • The freedom from having nothing in my ear – it just feels comfortable.
  • No crazy adjusting like I’ve had to do with other bluetooth earbuds to get them just right.
  • They stay put – the in-ear bluetooth headphones I’ve tried tend to fall out (obviously, I didn’t have that issue here).
  • Fun colors – I got black so my husband could borrow them if he wanted, but the pink, lime green, and blue options are all pretty!
  • Easy to pair – I’ve never had any issues with the headphones syncing up to my iPhone when I turn them on.
  • Battery life – the battery charges quickly and lasts for a long time. It also lets you know well before that the battery is getting low, so there’s time to finish your workout and then find a charger.

Other considerations:

  • The regular size fit a little loosely for my taste. Luckily they offer a Mini-sized option for those like myself with petite heads.
  • I didn’t like that a single jerk of the head in the wrong direction messes up the sound, but it’s to be expected. They’re really good for running and lifting weights, but I don’t know how they would fare with cross fit or another really dynamic workout.
  • My husband, who is a musician/audio engineer, noted he wasn’t a huge fan of the sound quality compared to traditional earbuds. I found the sound quality difference was there, but minimal; I was actually pleasantly surprised/a little shocked by how much I could hear.

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium will run you $129.95 (which is pretty realistic for bluetooth headphones). They can be purchased through the company’s website, www.aftershokz.com, though I’ve seen them go on sale on Amazon from time to time.

Today’s question: what do you enjoy listening to on your runs? Podcasts? Classical music?

Cheers to modern technology! 🙂

Year Three in the Rearview: Blogiversary/Runniversary

It’s hard to believe that just over 3 years ago I embarked on my half marathon/full marathon journey and started this blog to document the process. Reflecting on the past year, so much has happened, and I finally feel ready to discuss some of it as it relates to running.


When I started running regularly, I began to notice a lot of changes. I felt more focused, and I felt a sense of peace. After a run, I would feel refreshed, less stressed, like a weight had been lifted off of my shoulders. Now, I realize how much God brought running into my life at a crucial time and to help heal some of my brokenness.

About a year and a half ago, after the big move to Austin, I started struggling with a lot of anxiety. No, I’m not talking about feeling anxious in normal situations that call for nervousness.

I fretted and panicked over every little thing – sending emails, keeping up with my workouts, making new friends, forgetting to take the trash out, losing my keys, etc. I would have sudden anxiety attacks, followed by massive feelings of inadequacy, hopelessness and depression. I found myself struggling to get out of bed in the morning every single day, longing for each day to be over before it began. It was constant. It was something I experienced before, but something running largely alleviated during the calmer periods of my life the last couple of years.

Chris and I pre-PR at the Cap 10K this year.

Being in a new city, away from much of my support system, and being in a work environment that just did not work for me at all, the anxiety led into depression. I tried to work through it and keep on keepin’ on, but it wasn’t something that running could alleviate any more. It became impossible to rely solely on running as my stress reliever and it was clear that I needed some help. I came to a breaking point (I won’t elaborate here because I really don’t want to glamorize how I was feeling). I couldn’t out run the problem anymore, or sweep it under the rug like I’d been doing for 16 years.

Though all of that was extremely tough, the good news is that over the past year I began to intentionally take care of my mental health. In addition to having an incredibly supportive husband who encouraged me to get the help I needed, I owe that in large part to the practice of running. I would not have realized how much I needed help if running hadn’t made such a difference in my life.

It’s true that God has used running in my life, but I could not have foreseen what a large role it would play in this particular aspect of my life.

So why tell you all of this?

Transparency. So often bloggers, writers, etc. discuss struggles during a pregnancy or weight loss, but depression and mental health are sometimes considered taboo. However, it’s still health-related, and, therefore, important.

I feel a sense of duty to share what’s been going on, because so many people are afraid to. That’s always been the motivation of my blog – to reflect on what I’ve experienced and learned, so that others can know they’re not alone, learn more about themselves, and to build community.

There’s still a perception that anxiety can be a handicap or disability, which is wrong, but it exists. I got to my breaking point and it’s hard to think about how awful that was – but I’m also kind of inspired thinking about where I was just a little over a year ago and where I am today.  Not only did I start looking for a new job, but I started the journey to find help – like not just seeing a counselor a few times, but consistent help from a therapist and psychiatrist. It took me far too long to do all of that because I feared the stigma. And I want to be a part of breaking down that stigma.

Finishing my second marathon – another tough experience, but totally worth it to prove to myself that I could do it again. 

The other reason is to celebrate. It’s taken me a month and a half to get the courage to post this, but I’ve overcome a lot in the past year and I want to spread the message that there is hope. Wherever you’re at, you are loved, your life matters, and you are NOT alone. If you need help, or need to take medication, there is nothing wrong with that. As Jamie Tworkowski implied, as long as you have breath in your lungs, your life matters (this also seems more timely than ever with the tragic death of Chester Bennington).

Mental health is as important as physical health because both contribute to your overall health.

With all of that off my chest, what’s next?

I’m not sure! I’ve got a couple of half marathons I’m looking forward to this fall. My plan is to continue to focus on getting faster with my half marathon time before I think about doing another full marathon. It keeps me focused on something (and my doctor says that running is important to my treatment – funny how it really is like medication in some ways!).

I’ve also got some fun lifestyle content planned! I always say that, but I’ve been reflecting and brainstorming on a bunch of different posts for the rest of the summer and fall. If you like to travel, stay active and enjoy all that life has to offer (which is basically all people), then this is for you! I’m so excited to share this new content with you guys!

Thanks, as always, for reading along. Your support has meant the world to me and I look forward to sharing the next year of blogging with you guys!

On a serious note: if you or someone you know is experiencing serious depression or considering suicide, please don’t hesitate to reach out to Crisis Text Line (send a text to 741-741 or the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Someone will answer 24/7. 

FREE TO TRAVEL: Amsterdam Edition

I’ve been wanting to share our experiences from our trip to Europe, because we saw and learned so much. Enjoy my first ever FREE TO TRAVEL post!

Chris and I decided on Amsterdam for a variety reasons. From everything we read, the city was charming and easy to navigate. We were also interested in a lot of the tourist attractions – the food, castles (Chris’ request), museums, etc. Finally, my husband has traveled a lot, but Amsterdam/Holland were one of the places he’d never been, so it would be new to both of us. I’ve included some of the highlights of our trip, and some of the tips we have if you’re considering a visit to this gorgeous city.

Must Do’s

New Europe Walking Tour

In addition to having a great tram system and being a fairly small city, Amsterdam is actually fairly easy to walk –  just watch out for bikers. On our second day in Amsterdam, we took a walking tour from New Europe Walking Tours. We learned so much from our tour guide, who actually went to school in Austin (small world!). For example, did you know weed isn’t actually legal in Amsterdam? Cannabis (without THC) is, but weed is just tolerated… which is as good as being legal, technically. The government actually created a different tax bracket called “goods and other services” for “coffee shops” to use for paying taxes on the weed that they sell. I also liked the ease at which we could ask questions and interact with our guide during the walking tour.

Our tour guide hanging out with Edgar Allen Poe.

The smallest house in Amsterdam.

Van Gogh Museum

A popular attraction in Amesterdam is their many (and boy, do I mean, many) museums. My favorite was the Van Gogh. Growing up, both my mom and teachers educated me on impressionist painters, but I had not seen Van Gogh’s most famous works. It was truly a treat and worth the time. I also appreciated how the museum respectfully discussed his mental illness and the way that affected his works.

At the I Amsterdam sign in front of the Rijksmuseum, after visiting the Van Gogh.


Highly recommend this little cafe over by the Van Gogh. It was delicious!

Flowers… flowers everywhere!

The climate in Holland is lush and perfect for lots of flowers. I think the photos speak for themselves. They were everywhere and this nature-loving girl was in heaven!

Also, thought it was funny that they were selling cacti at the flower market.

Anne Frank Huis

If you go to Amsterdam, this is an absolute must. It’s incredible to see the place where the Frank and van Pels families spent their days. Of course, it’s also terrifying to imagine the fear they must have felt, and the courage they had to muster to survive as long as they did. It’s a sobering experience, but an excellent reminder that we must never allow hate to penetrate our society in such a way.

Muiderslot Castle

I mean, who wouldn’t enjoy a castle? This is more of an attraction for kids (there were birthday parties going on when we went). Still, learning how a real live castle worked, felt a little bit like Game of Thrones. We definitely don’t have anything like that here! Another highlight of going a little out of our way to get to the castle was walking through the town to get there. It was a scenic walk, and gave us a better picture of true Dutch life, away from the high-tourism areas of Amsterdam.

The castle.

Seen on our walk from bus stop to said castle.

The harbor outside the town where Muiderslot is located.

Tips

Airbnb

We stayed in a lovely Airbnb, and I highly recommend doing the same if you’re headed to Amsterdam. The Dutch are pretty friendly as a people, and our host was no exception.


I Amsterdam City Card

Might seem like a steep price to pay for something that doesn’t get you into the Rijksmuseum (one of the most popular museums), but all of the other perks were absolutely worth it. We were able to skip several lines, including at the Van Gogh, thanks to this handy pass. It also paid for our tram fare.


The line we skipped at the Van Gogh (plus the snogging couple, apparently).

Dutch Food

It’s hard to find, but make sure you get it while you’re there – it’s worth a good scouring of Yelp. Amsterdam is diverse, meaning there is a large selection of cuisine to choose from. I recommend trying the bitterballen and stroopwafels, too. Yummy!

Cheese Tasting

Holland is known for its cheese and it makes a great souvenir for family/friends. You certainly won’t regret trying all the cheese if you are anything like me.


The best schnitzel I’ve ever had… probably because I haven’t been to Germany, yet. 😉

More photos…

Boat houses!

The view outside a cafe (bikes for days).

One of the magnificent old churches. Because the Nazi’s didn’t ever bomb Amsterdam, a lot of the old buildings are still in tact.

A lost and found at one of the parks we visited. Note the cigarettes, haha.

Have any of y’all visited Amsterdam? What did you think?

Training Update: July – Feels Like Summer

Hi guys! Now that I’ve begun training again for the Nutrabolt Oktoberfest Half Marathon and the Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon this fall, I’m ramping up my training updates once again.

One training plan that’s been effective for is the Hal Higdon Half Marathon 3 schedule, so I’ll be following a modified version of that (to make it longer). This is the schedule I followed when I PR’d at the Austin Half Marathon in 2016, so it definitely worked for me. I love this training schedule because it’s hard to make it into the gym to run more than three times a week (can anyone relate?). Cross training is also easy to do at home, like when I’m walking my dog, or through other activities.

But enough about the training schedule – let’s get started with the recap.

Week of July 2 (Week 1):

4 mi. | 3 mi. | 6 mi.

Getting back in the saddle is tough, and the heat makes it tougher. I was proud to officially get through the first week of training without having to shorten any workouts. I even finished the week with a nice run early Saturday outdoors, though that was a one-time thing on account of the soul-crushing heat. Though my new hat certainly helped! 🙂

Total mileage: 13 mi.

Chris loves my new hat.

Week of July 9 (Week 2):

4 mi. | 30 min. tempo | 6 mi.

Ironically, someone just asked me how I manage to run outside during the summer. Well, as of week two of training, I’m officially no longer running outside this summer. After week one of outdoor heat that took all of my energy, I opted for a long run at the gym and it was totally worth it to be able to sleep in a couple of extra hours.

Total mileage: 13 mi.

The view outside my gym.

Week of July 16 (Week 3):

5 mi. | 3 mi. pace | 7 mi.

During my 3 mile run this week, I challenged myself for the first time by fully committing to run at a good race pace. I’ve always just run these workouts at whatever pace I could muster, but I really want the speed work to pay off this fall. This felt surprisingly great and was a successful run; doing 3 miles netting out at 10:49 felt like a big accomplishment, even with some cool down time. And 5 miles easy at 11:03 also marked progress.

Total mileage: 15 mi.

Love melted covfefe? Move to Texas.

Week of July 23 (Week 4):

4 mi. | 3 mi. | 6 mi.

How fickle does this sound? I’ve only been avoiding the miserable heat for a little while, but I’m already getting sick of the treadmill at week four. My gym also has been having issues with the cable, meaning no HGTV or Food Network; first world problems, am I right? But I have to recognize that I’m fortunate to have a nice, clean gym with great equipment to work out in during the summer. Otherwise, continuing to train would not be bearable. Rising above the treadmill boredom, thanks to Spotify, was the real win.

Total mileage: 13 mi.

Bathing Daisy (in my Oktoberfest shirt, of course) for the sole purpose of cooling off.

Week of July 30 (Week 5):

5 mi. | 4 mi. | 7 mi.

I’ve been feeling a little slower and sluggish this week, but that’s alright. My long run pace was faster thank last week’s, so I’ll count that as an accomplishment. Also, I had to break up my four mile run into two because I was feeling sick to my stomach; luckily, rain in the area meant we saw some cooler summer weather this week. I was thankful to seize the moment and take the second half of that run outside. Long run went okay, and I’m actually looking forward to more speed workouts next week.

Total mileage: 16 mi.

In other news, Chris and I put money down on a house, so we’re excited and busy with that! That actually happened in June, but I realized I forgot to tell you guys. It’s been a busy and fantastic summer, full of growth and new opportunity.

Other landmark of this month was that I finished ALL of my runs, which never happens. Usually, I have to skip a workout or two due to conflicts popping up, or I honestly lack motivation to keep it up, so I’m feeling confident that I can stick with this schedule. I am also excited and anticipating that this training will serve me well come winter.

Anyone else take it indoors during the summer? Cheers to training during the summer in Texas.

Get on Your Feet with OOFOS – OOmg Low Shoe Review

Disclosure: I received a pair of OOFOS OOmg low shoes 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.

For quite some time I’ve been wanting to get my hands on a good casual pair of athletic shoes to wear on the weekends when I want the comfort of a full shoe, without increasing the mileage on my Brooks. When I saw that OOFOS, a company specializing in recovery footwear, was coming out with the OOmg, I thought the shoe might fit the bill.

What’s so special?

For runners especially, pounding the pavement all the time can cause a lot of wear and tear on your muscles/joints, especially if you’re not being smart about it. Sure, having the right running shoe helps, but what you do when you finish running – be it foam rolling, eating protein, whatever – can also help prevent long-term damage by helping you recover.

That’s what makes OOFOS different from other footwear. OOFOS are designed to help you recover faster, with a proprietary foam technology that is lightweight, while absorbing the shock of walking around and staying active after a long run or race. From OOFOS’ research, their OOfoam absorbs up to 37% more impact than regular foam. They also have arch support, while remaining squishy and soft, which is excellent for those tired, swollen feet and helps keep you walking smoothly.

These shoes, in particular, are designed as a “lifestyle shoe” – meaning you can wear them anywhere and they go with clothes other than running gear.

Why I’m a fan

Both trendy and comfy, I have found myself wearing these even more often than I thought possible. I love that they are so breathable that I don’t even have to worry about wearing socks with them. They can also be worn in wet conditions because the foam doesn’t soak up moisture, which keeps them from getting stinky.

They have officially become my new dog-walking shoes, which helps me get a head start on getting rid of the lactic acid build-up. I’ve been experiencing less soreness lately, and I think that’s a large part of the reason why. It’s also nice that I have some shoes I can throw on when I’m running errands after the gym – no more putting excess miles on my running shoes.

They are even washable. Simply regular ‘ole detergent and cold water. Leave the bleach, fabric softener, and use of the dryer for other stuff – no need to use them here.

However…

…with all of the awesome things about these shoes, there are some trade offs. One thing I’m not keen on is the price point ($120). I get that they are priced highly because it’s a unique technology, but I still think they are a little high because they aren’t meant to be worn working out. Competitors in that price category the casual footwear market are comfortable and still make good cross training shoes. I also wasn’t crazy about the white soles. They seemed to pick up dirt far more easily than other white-soled shoes I’ve owned; however, OOFOS does offer the OOmg in other colors (grey and lime green) with dark soles.

Curious to try for yourself? Head on over to the OOFOS website, oofos.com, to purchase your very own pair. Gents, if you’re under a size 10, they also have some available for you, too!

Today’s question: how do you recover from an intense workout?

Cheers to staying active and on your feet.

For the Runner on the Road: Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Review

Disclosure: I received an Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set 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 often find myself squeezing a workout into the most random places, whether it’s an early morning, Saturday afternoon, or Friday evening before hanging out with friends. Usually, I’m going somewhere before or afterward, and sometimes, I’ll remember a plastic bag to put my wet clothes into when I change. However, I have to admit, I’ve totally forgotten about them before, which results in stinky, smelly clothes. When I heard about the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport products, I was so excited because I knew they could remedy some of the issues I have with stinky clothes. Whether or not it helps with forgetfulness is to be determined. 😉


At first glance, I thought the Active Set that Eagle Creek sent me had a backpack with an insert to put your clothes into. Once I realized that this was actually a Foot Locker and Wet Dry Fitness Locker for your workout clothes, the wheels started turning. The set so versatile! 

The Foot Locker is simple – just put your shoes inside and go. For those of you with big feet, there is a larger size available. The Wet Dry Fitness Locker has a pocket in the front that is lined to avoid having your wet clothes touch your dry ones. It’s pretty breathable, and there is also a dry pocket on the back side where you can slide in an extra set of clean clothes. 

I knew I could use this for so many more occasions than just back and forth to the gym – I could also use it when traveling! Especially after seeing pictures from the London Marathon this weekend, I’m thinking a runcation is in my future.

However, travel, especially when packing light, means you have to limit the number of bags you take/stuff it all into one bag. I personally dislike having to put my shoes in the same bag as my clothes. They always have dirt, grass or any number of germs on them, and it simply makes me nervous. Now, I don’t have to be.

The other challenge when traveling (especially between multiple cities, like European travel) is either:

a.) not enough space to hang dry clothes right away, or
b.) not being somewhere long enough to let the clothes dry.

Again, theWet Dry Fitness Locker can be utilized to keep the dirty, wet clothes away from the others, until you get somewhere you can dry them. I used this when I was at my parent’s over the Easter holiday weekend; after a hot, humid run, it was super convenient to tuck away my sweat-soaked clothes and unpack them when I got home. 

Only con is that the Wet Dry Fitness Locker doesn’t hold that much. I was able to fit a jacket, tank top, sports bra, socks and capris, but if you have multiple outfits, you may want to consider purchasing an extra pack. 


Have a run-cation planned soon?

The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set is $40 normally. If you would like to purchase this set, or different items, they’ve offered us the code SPORT15, which you can use for 15% off any of the Pack-It Sport products. You can view all these products here: http://shop.eaglecreek.com/pack-it-sport/l/1505

Cheers to traveling the world as seamlessly as possible!

Where will you go for your next runcation?

On the Road with Road ID – Wrist ID Elite Review

Disclosure: I received a Road ID Wrist ID Elite 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.

As someone who spends hours outside and away from my loved ones to pursue this wonderful thing called running, making it back home is incredibly important to me. Because we never know what the road holds for us, we have to be conscious of safety. Even before I started running, I’d helped out with races and had heard all about how Road ID helps athletes (or just active people) stay safe.

Naturally, when the opportunity came to try out the Wrist ID Elite, I accepted without hesitation.

The concept is quite simple: if you run into trouble out on the road/trail/track, Road ID ensures whoever finds you can access your emergency contacts and know of any health issues. Frankly, I don’t know how I’ve made it this long without one. There are plenty of testimonials of how this life-saving information has, well, saved lives. If the time comes where information is needed, every second counts; if I were being rushed to the hospital with life-threatening injuries, I’d want my power of attorney to be notified ASAP, to be able to share any medical records they needed. I’d also just want my family to be there. 

Ordering online was quite simple.

I loved having the ability to choose customization options to suit my needs. I picked out the black edition faceplate with a black collection band. Sometimes, I end up forgetting to take my jewelry off, and if I ever find myself going from a run to a big meeting, I won’t look unprofessional. Plus, the peek of purple is just fun! There are also unique little badges, but I personally wanted the black edition more than the badges. I opted to save a line to write my own message (that I have asthma and my blog moniker). With 6 lines, there was plenty of space to write my name, location, all emergency contacts, leaving one more line for a message of my choosing.

Because of the customization aspect, shipping took a little over a week, which actually isn’t bad at all (though I grew impatient because I was pretty excited). My Road ID arrived in a lovely black box, and was packaged well!

Once unboxed, I loved that the Road ID Wrist ID Elite was simple to fit perfectly to my wrist size. My wrists are tiny, so it’s difficult to find bracelets, watches, etc. that fit. I had a little bit of trouble figuring out how to open the clasp to adjust the band, but once I watched this handy video, it was smooth sailing.

As far as wearing it goes, the Road ID is lightweight and I barely notice it. I don’t find it gets sweaty or feels heavy on my wrist. The attention to detail with a double clasp is also nice, in case I hit one of the buttons on the side during my run, the extra protection keeps it from coming off.

The only aspects I wasn’t crazy about was that the Road ID is another thing to wear on my wrist, adding a little bulk, and that the black edition hasn’t been super durable so far. To solve this problem, Road ID does offer options for wearable devices (which I’m fully planning on purchasing when I receive some birthday money)! I haven’t been wearing it constantly, but I do wear other bracelets that I think have rubbed and made minor scratches on the material. Just be mindful of this – with a $10 up-charge, I would hope there would be a little more durability (since they have a rugged option that costs less).

The Road ID Wrist ID Elite starts at $29.99, and you can get $5 off by using the link here: bit.ly/2ocFWMl

Question: what customization options are most important to you in an accessory?

Cheers to staying safe out there!

Nutrition Made Simpler: Beachbody Performance Review

Disclosure: I received Beachbody Performance’s Advanced Performance Stack 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’ve long been curious about performance supplements, especially because I feel like it’s not as common to use them in the running community. Maybe that’s an incorrect perception, but I just don’t feel like I hear about it as much from other runners as I do from weight lifters, cross fitters, etc. However, I’ve been so busy lately that I haven’t been paying as much attention to my nutrition, and when I got the opportunity to test Beachbody Performance products, it seemed like kismet.

Beachbody generously sent me four of their performance products: Energize, Hydrate, Recover and Recharge. Each of these products serves a different purpose:

  • Energize: a pre-workout drink made with green tea extract to give you an extra energy and hydration boost.
  • Hydrate: a during workout beverage to replenish your electrolytes so you don’t become dehydrated.
  • Recover: a post-workout shake to quickly give you protein and nutrients to speed along the recovery process.
  • Recharge: a before-bed shake that is supposed to reduce soreness and offer additional muscle recovery support.

What I liked

I truly enjoyed that these products were simple and effective to use. With my busy schedule lately, it’s been important to me to make sure I’ve been properly fueling, and I like that I don’t have to think too much about this routine. All there is to do is mix one scoop with 8 oz. of water. The amount of water per scoop is the same across the board, so that also makes it easy!

Taste is also very important to me. While many fitness enthusiasts sacrifice a little in this department, I just don’t think it’s worth it to work so hard to eat something that tastes nasty! The good thing about the taste of the Beachbody Performance products, though, is that they taste pretty darn good, and have minimal ingredients.

One would thing that there would either be a ton of sugar or strong stevia flavor to give these products a good taste, but that was not the case. None of these has more than nine grams of sugar per serving; actually, everything but the Hydrate formula had six grams or less. I also liked that they don’t include creatine right off the bat (it’s an added supplement, if you are into that); creatine just doesn’t agree with me!

 

Most importantly, I did feel like following the diligent regimen helped my performance on runs. Especially by using Energize, I had a lot of energy towards the end of tough days. I also felt less sore after using the Recover (post-workout) and Recharge (nighttime) drink mixes.

What I wasn’t crazy about

There wasn’t much I didn’t like, other than the price and consistency of some of the mixes. This set of products contains about 20 total servings, meaning if you work out 3 times a week and follow the routine to a T, this will last you 6-7 weeks. At $200, that’s a pretty steep investment, so I’d recommend finding which of the products work for you. I see myself using the Energize and Recharge mixes most often, because I like the flavor and found they seemed to consistently work the best, without some ingredients that I don’t like.

The consistency can also be a little grainy, so if you’re a texture person, you might find this bothersome.

Another important note is the Energize mix does contain green tea extract, so if you’re sensitive to caffeine, it might not be a good idea to consume this during an evening workout.


At $199.95, you can purchase this full set here, or items can be purchased a la carte for the following prices:

Have you ever tried exercise supplements before? What was your experience?

Cheers to good health (and clinking plastic shaker bottles)!

SmellWell Product Review: Scent-sational Stink Protection

Disclosure: I received SmellWell products 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.

Growing up, my mom would give us these floral sachets to put in our closets to soak up the odors from our shoes. Since running, I haven’t had quite as many issues with my running shoes, though I have noticed it more lately. I do have issues though with my gym clothes. I’ve tried several products that attempt to remove the stink from my shoes, clothes, etc., to varying degrees of success. When I heard about SmellWell, it sounded different from remedies I’ve tried recently, but similar to something I knew worked in the past.

These tiny packets arrived by mail and the second I opened them, I knew I liked them. They have a nice, floral scent that is not too overpowering. And the design is really fun!

Using them is even better! I’ve noticed a difference in the odor of the clothes, shoes, etc. since I’ve been using them. By keeping them in my gym bag and in my laundry basket, the stench of running has been drastically reduced. I also enjoy using it with my flat shoes because get stinky so quickly (you can’t always wear socks with them).


I also appreciated how versatile the pouches were. You can use them pretty much anywhere there are sweaty odors, since they work by absorbing the moisture that causes them. That opens them up to being useful for gym lockers, your car, shoe racks, etc.

By their very nature, they’re not messy at all! I liked that I didn’t have to worry about them discoloring my stuff, waiting for them to dry out, etc. 


Most of all, they really do work. You’ll have to replace them every couple of months, but so far, I’ve had mine for about 6 weeks and they’re still going strong.

My one wish is that they were offered in more colors (I’m not a camo or animal print kinda girl). That’s very minor, though. Who cares what they look like, really?

Sold on SmellWell?

You can purchase some for yourself at www.bluechip-usa.com for $10! And if you buy three sets (moms, I see you), you’ll get an additional set for free.

How do you keep your running clothes smelling flower-fresh?

Cheers to not having your whole house smell like sweat!