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! 🙂

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.

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!

Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon – Race Recap and Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Dallas Half Marathon 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.

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in Dallas, Texas. Having a work event last Saturday in none other than Dallas, Texas added a little extra motivation to make the trip worthwhile, so I was thrilled to sign up!

Rock ‘n’ Roll is an international race series that’s unique due to the live music throughout the course. It was so much fun to run the Austin Half last year and enjoy all the live music, so I knew I’d have a great time at this race.

Pre-Race

Sign ups were easy and there was ample communication beforehand, though it was almost information overload!


The expo, what I saw of it, was expansive and really nice. Lots of great Brooks gear was available, and I really wish I would have had some time to stop and shop. I grabbed a few quick pics and that was that.

However, the caveat is that one must physically be present to pick up their packet, which was buried on the website (and I looked because I had to plan due to my work obligations). I had planned to have my husband visit the expo to make sure I got my packet in case anything came up; then, I’d stop by after I finished working. I went to print out my confirmation sheet, which you MUST have to pickup your packet, and saw this printed at the top. I had to leave work to make sure I got over to the convention center to pick it up, and was in and out in under 10 minutes. My main piece of constructive criticism is this: if you’re going to have a lot of information, don’t over communicate on the ordinary.

Race Day!

Race day morning was pretty easy. An 8 a.m. start time allowed an extra hour of sleep. We used an app called Parking Panda to reserve a spot in a paid lot. While I appreciated that the race offered this option, I think we could have found parking elsewhere.

The start line was bustling, and RnR Dallas was definitely one of the largest races I’ve participated in. Downtown Dallas also provided a lot of photo ops! The corrals were clearly marked and staggered a minute apart. They had a spirited couple of emcees that kept the mood going, and kept each group excited. I loved the way they did this. My group made it up to the starting line and we took off in the near-70 degree heat.

The course itself was pretty tough – lots and lots of hills, including one part where you run up an on-ramp to get to a highway bridge. You literally run under the path of the bridge. But the view at the top was pretty sweet, I’ve gotta say! However, the hills combined with the heat made for a tough race.

A recommendation this brings to light is to add another water station for warmer climates. There were people passed out on the side of the road. That shouldn’t happen, and with a race that’s sometimes charging over 100 dollars for admission, I’d expect a bit more attention to this.

Throughout the course, I was encouraged by all of the music and surprises on the course. Of course, the music was fantastic (I’d actually rather them sacrifice a little there to have another water station). There were also dedicated cheer stations, lots of spectators and even stilt performers – that was such a delight.

While I thought I could grasp a PR at one point, the heat got the best of me and I didn’t have any more energy to gun it the last few miles. The final stretch was bliss – downhill to the finish line and a street lined with people; up one last miserable hill and it was over!

Post Race Party

The finish line festival was put together nicely. I enjoyed the live music and ample space. and it was also nice to have chocolate milk waiting there when I finished; it’s one of my favorite post-run indulgences.

Swag was cool too! I really like the fit and design of the shirt; the medium fits me perfectly. I will wear it a lot! And the medal was nice – fitting because the post race party takes place right in front of the actual Dallas “ball.”


Overall, this was a good race, but there were just a couple things that would make it better! Due to the lack of water stations, I wouldn’t recommend this for a first-timer. This is a bummer, because everything else is pretty awesome! I also think the lack of effective communication is disappointing. I expect more of a race that has the resources to fine tune the most important details to communicate. I still would recommend this race to a friend!

Cheers to the unexpected challenges of each race day!

Falling in Love All Over Again: UV Reflective Half BUFF® Review

Disclosure: I received a UV Reflective Half BUFF® 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 written about the UV Half BUFF® before, and was so excited when I found out BUFF® would be sending me a new one – this time with reflective material!

Here’s why I’m in love with the BUFF® all over again.

What makes the UV Reflective Half BUFF® stand out from other BUFF® headwear is that it is half the length of the original BUFF®. This is the perfect weight for summer, and it’s even better for summer mornings and evenings when trying to beat the heat. It’s so important to make sure you are wearing some sort of reflective equipment in low light conditions. No one wants to get run over!

You can also enjoy the same key benefits that are synonymous with BUFF® brand products, including superior odor control. For something that ends up soaking up all your sweat, I can’t stress how important this is. I don’t have a single piece of clothing that’s done as well as BUFF® products have.
I love the versatile, fun, solid colors available. I received the citron color, which is nice and bright. Also love that they are unisex, which is nice if you’re buying as A gift.

As I’ve stated, the UV Half BUFF® was a little stretchier and seemed a little more slippery, but I didn’t have that issue here. 

The versatility of BUFF® Products is another benefit. The UV Reflective Half BUFF in particular offers a method to guard your face from dust and wind, as well as a headband or hair tie. My favorite way to wear is as a headband. It soaks up the sweat and keeps hair off my face during workouts, and it keeps the hair off my neck if I’m wearing it down. Pro tip: during the blistering summer heat, you can freeze your UV Reflective Half BUFF for about a 10 minute cool blast.

You can check out past reviews of the UV Half BUFF®UV BUFF®, Merino Wool BUFF® and BUFF® Hoodie.

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – I never met a BUFF® product that I didn’t like.

You can purchase one for yourself at www.buffusa.com for $14.99! It’s comparable in price to so many other headbands I’ve used, but is so much more versatile. 

What’s your favorite BUFF® product?

Cheers to another great BUFF product! 

They Pulled out All the Stops: BCS Marathon Review

Disclosure: I received a complimentary race entry for the BCS Marathon 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.

When I attended school at Texas A&M (can I get an “a-whoop!?”), I had several friends slave away to run the BCS Marathon. I always thought it would be cool to run a half, but never, in a million years, did I see myself running a full.

Because I couldn’t even run three miles at the time.

Four years later, and I’m back to do just that. Funny how life works.

Anyway, enough about me. Let’s cut to the chase. I’m here today to review the BCS Marathon in College Station, Texas.


Pre-Race

A turn of events caused us to be in Austin late Saturday before the race, so I actually wasn’t able to attend the expo. Head over to Live Slow Run Fast if you would like a better idea of what that was like.

I can provide more feedback on the pre-race morning experience. Being in College Station, parking is a non-issue. There are a variety of hotels close to the start line at Post Oak Mall, so I was able to sleep in until a glorious 5 a.m. alarm. We left our hotel around 6:15 and parked by about 6:25. It was just a short walk to the start line, where I met up with Jessica. I noticed there were plenty of porta potties as we made our way to the start line – there was hardly even a line!


The Gun Goes Off

Soon enough, it was time to run. Jessica and I ran together for the first 5 miles or so; it’s always a pleasure to get to run with a friend. We went our separate ways and it started to look like I just might be able to pull off a 5 hour marathon.

The route was scenic and ran all over the Bryan/College Station area. We ran through the historic neighborhoods, then moved on to downtown Bryan. Later on, we made our way out to the Tradition’s golf course, which offered more nature/scenic views. Finally, we ran back to campus as people started to hit the dreaded “wall.” It’s planned perfectly because student organizations come out to cheer people on and staff aid stations. And everyone wants to be near campus, so they are really excited!

I truly appreciated the pacers. At my first marathon, there were no pacers for the full marathon, which felt lonely toward the end. I’m sure it’s quite rare for a marathon so small (less than 1,000) to have pacers. The attention to detail really helped me stay motivated. The 5:15 pacer and I kept passing each other, and he was super cool. The marathon relay group also made the course feel a lot less empty, which was well-planned.

Aid stations were also fabulous. They all had water and Gatorade, as well as medical staff (with Vaseline for chafing). Every few aid stations, they offered food – Gu, orange slices, bananas, gummy candies, etc. The race was small enough that the stations weren’t crowded, either.

Personally, I didn’t hit the wall until about mile 21, because there were barely any hills. My race felt pretty great the whole way, but at mile 21, my leg started to cramp. I stayed the course, got some Tylenol and drank some Gatorade at the next [perfectly-timed] aid station, and was able to power through the rest of the race.

I had to make it up one last hill to the 26 mile marker, and then I sprinted back downhill to finish.


Finisher Party (and boy, was it time to part-ay)

The finish line crowd was also spirited, as was the announcer (who high-fived me). It felt like a much larger race. Immediately after crossing, I was able to find my husband and parents, who had come in from out of town. I received my beautiful medal, banged the PR gong (heck yeah, 20 minute personal record), and headed to the party.

The post-race party was filled with food and goodies. It was easy to find my finisher jacket, which was also pretty well-made. There were pizza rolls, beer, margaritas, breakfast tacos, the list goes on. It was just awesome. I also liked that there was a little bit of a walk back to the parking lot from Wolf Pen Creek, where the party was. It helped me to cool down, which I too often do not do.

Overall, I would recommend the BCS Marathon to anyone.

It’s almost as well done as the big ones, but with a small town heart. There is truly something for everyone. Plus, Aggies are very friendly, and that spirit proved true for this race.

However, due to the race occurring during the holiday season, I would personally appreciate a packet mailing option; yes, running a marathon is obviously a huge deal, but it’s the time of year where things come up. It would have been helpful to have a way to work that out.


Well, I did it, you guys! I ran my second marathon – the BCS Marathon. Did not know how I was going to make it at times, but I did. With a final time of 5:21:38, BCS was the fastest marathon I’ve run yet. It was also a great value for the price; marathons are expensive, but they pulled out all the stops, just like at a larger race.

Cheers to marathon PR’s in your old hometown.

Stuff-Stasher for Endurance Athletes – SPIbelt Performance Series Review & Discount

Disclosure: I received a SPIbelt Performance Series running belt 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.

Long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, I purchased a running belt to house my essentials in during races. I got it at TJ Maxx, it cost me $20, and I used it for a couple of months, basically until I started getting sick of putting all my fuel in my pocket and having to fish it out during races. That was before I tried the SPI H2O Venture Series early in the summer (you can view my full review here). After trying this hydration belt and realizing better hydration solutions existed, I wanted to try one of their running belts to see if I felt the same way. When I received the opportunity to test out the SPIbelt Performance Series, I couldn’t wait to come home to my new SPIbelt in the mailbox.

Showing y’all everything that fits inside. Sometimes, I like to take my Buff and loop it on the outside of my belt.

As I have mentioned, SPIbelt was designed by a woman who needed a place for her essentials – ID, phone, keys, etc. – that wasn’t her sports bra. Can’t we all relate? Using the tension of what’s in the pouch, combined with a high-quality elastic, the SPIbelt functions as a stuff-stasher with a smooth ride.

The key difference here between the SPIbelt Performance Series and the Venture Series that I’ve tested previously is that the Performance Series is lighter-weight. The elastic is thinner, and the belt has 4 gel loops. Personally, if you are running around ample water stations, the SPIbelt Performance Series is an excellent choice for long runs and races. So far, I’ve taken the SPIbelt Performance Series on all of my long runs lately.

The SPIbelt is meant to be worn at the hips. I normally wear belts at my natural waist, so I was unsure how well this would work. To my delight, this results in a seamless and comfortable ride. The belt also carries just enough fuel for an 18 mile run. I have been able to fit two Gu’s in the gel loops for marathon training long runs. Note: this is probably not recommended by the company, as you might stretch out the elastic. However, the elastic seems pretty sturdy from my experience; if you don’t double up all the time, your SPIbelt should last.

I also like that you can purchase bottles to use with this SPIbelt, meaning it can be worn with or without a hydration option. The same is true of the Venture, but the belt is thicker, offering stability for the two water bottles. Personally, I would opt for the Performance Series if you plan to solely use the belt more often. Which option you choose solely depends on how you plan to use it.

Other pros include:

– Water resistant pocket, which should protect your belongings from most sweat and light rain.

– A spacious pocket that fits larger phones, like the iPhone 7 Plus.

– Bounce-free (even on the hips)!

– Highly adjustable on both sides, to fit a variety of shapes, sizes and body types.

– Thin elastic band that is very comfortable!

– Economical (I spent nearly the same cost on a simple running belt, without loops for gels, that was mesh/not water resistant).

Cons? Well, nothing structurally. Because of where it rests, I am slightly nervous about putting my phone in the pouch, leaving it on to listen to music. Call me a worry-wart, but I am wary of the potential effects. That’s more of a preference than reason not to purchase, though.

Overall, I’ve been super happy with the SPIbelt Performance Series. For just $26, it offers such useful features that comparably-priced belts do not.

The SPIbelt without the Gu’s – Still comfy and free of bouncing!

You can purchase your SPIbelt Performance Series for yourself at www.spibelt.com. AND with code “bibchat2016” you can take 20% off through 11/18! That makes this belt less than $21 before tax.

Thanks as always for reading and cheers to not carrying your phone in your sports bra!

Today’s question: what do you carry with you when you run?