Jun 17, 2016

Favorite Summer Running Gear | #FridayFive

It's Friday in the summer, which means hopefully sunshine, cool drinks, and the Friday Five linkup. This week's topic is favorites, so I thought I pair it with summer. I've had a bit of a dry spell, but I'm stepping back up my running, and doing so in summer goes better with the right gear. So this week, I'm going to share with you 5 of my favorite summer running gear.

1. Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack

I'm going to start with one of the most important things for running in the summer: hydration. It's hot out there and you're going to sweat. To perform your best, you need to get that hydration back into you. You don't want to wait until the end, especially on your long runs. My personal favorite solution for hydration on the go in the Orange Mud HydraQuiver Double Barrel Hydration Pack. I know that's a mouthful, but that's technically the full name. I love if for the comfort of the pack, the convenience of the pockets, and the amount of hydration it carries in its two bottles. I've reviewed several other hydration packs, including the original HydraQuiver and the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1. The most important thing is having hydration when you need it.

2. Nuun

Going along with #1 is my hydration of choice: Nuun Active Hydration. It steps your water up a notch with electrolytes, clean ingredients, and is low in sugar and calories. Not only that, it is both gluten-free and vegan, if that's something you need. I also love Nuun Energy, which adds caffeine and B-vitamins, and Plus for Nuun, which can add a unique blend of carbohydrates to help fuel you on your long runs (full write up).

Want some Nuun of your own? You can save 30% now through the 21st of June with the code sharethenuun

3. UV Half BUFF

The sun's out in full effect in summer. To me that means two things: sweating (see #1) and sun burn. There's one product that can help with both. I LOVE the UV Half BUFF (review). It's great for keeping the sweat off of my face, which is a huge bother to me otherwise. Second, it protects my ginger head from the sun. That's a real problem you don't want to find out about in the wrong way. I've had that happen with a visor before, and it is tough.

4. Shades

You might notice a recurring theme here: the sun. It really affects what is my favorite gear. #4 on the list is no different. I've protected the top of my head with my UV Half BUFF, but you also need to protect your eyes. Enter the sunglasses. This really goes for all the time, not just when I'm running. I've had the awesome opportunity to test out a couple of pairs: XX2i France1, XX2i USA1, and the Rudy Rydon Carbonium. It's really hard to pick a favorite, and they all get some wear time. I mean, my Rudy transition in the sun for me, the France1 comes with multiple lenses, and the USA1 is a great look. Just wear something that will protect your eyes and make you look good.

Find something you like from XX2i? You can currently save 50% (yes, half off) with the code XX2iRocks

5. Bluetooth Headphones

Lastly, what's summer without some summer jams? Just like #4, this really doesn't need to be limited to running. I love my music, and I highly recommend dropping the cord. My two personal favorite headphones are the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones and the Plantronics BackBeat FIT headphones. My Plantronics are my goto for great sound quality. Not only do they sound fantastic, but they're comfortable and have a great battery life. My AfterShokz have become my goto running headphones, because of their safety factor. They use bone conduction technology, so you hear your music while still being open ear to the environment. It's hard to find that kind of combination that just makes you feel safe while keeping your music playing.

What's your favorite summertime gear?

Secret to my gear

What to know a secret to a lot of the gear I've listed above? If you look at a lot of those reviews, you'll notice a pattern: I received a lot of gear to test as a BibRavePro. It's been an amazing opportunity and group to be a part of. I've discovered some brands that I had previously not known and are now among my favorites. You too can become a BibRavePro. Apply today!

Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:

May 27, 2016

Vacation Run Secrets | Jeff Galloway | Friday Five

As a member of the Jeff Galloway Blogger Program, I'm given great information from the man himself to share with you. We're reaching the time for summer vacations, but if you're training for the fall, you still need to get your runs in. For today's Friday Five, I have some Vacation Run Secrets from Jeff Galloway

By Olympian Jeff Galloway

1. Running into the dawn

In Summer, it's best to run before the sun rises above the horizon. Since it's common for family members to sleep a bit longer on vacation, get up early and hit the beach. Set a total time you wish to run, and turn around at the halfway point. Or, run 1-2 minutes longer going out and try to run faster on the return.

2. When you’re camping and near a lake and/or mountains.

Drive around the campground area to find suitable running/trail areas.  Plan a group hike each day. Appoint yourself the “lookout”. Walk ahead of the group for a few minutes and then run ahead for a minute or two, and run back. Repeat this routine throughout the hike. Even short segments of running, during a 1-2 hour hike, will maintain your running adaptations very well.

3. On a road trip, taking frequent “pit stops”.

Wear your running gear on the trip. If it is safe to run or walk at your rest area, walk for 1-2 minutes as a warmup and then run for 5-10 minutes. Repeat this pattern until the group is ready to load up. If it is a food stop, get your meal “to go” and spend the time running.

4. When you’re on a trip that’s based around a theme park.

Many of the hotels in areas like Disney World, have designated areas for running. In some cases you can run to the parks. Ask the hotel staff for recommended routes. Each evening, gather the family and plan your park visit for the next day. This allows for you to find a timeslot to squeeze in a run. As you mention how you are planning your run, you'll teach the kids how important your exercise is, for you.

5. When you’re on a sightseeing city tour.

Time is limited during most sightseeing tours but you can usually squeeze in a few minutes here and there. Wear running clothes or very comfortable apparel with running shoes. When the bus stops, keep walking around while looking at the sights or listening to the guide. If time allows before reboarding, jog for a minute or two.

Bonus: A home-based vacation.

If possible, arrange with another family member to watch the kids while you run. Then, offer that person a chance to get away for a while while you stay with kids. Early morning is often a great time to get in your runs. Plan trips to local parks (that you seldom visit) where you can run and walk with the family.

Note: Olympian Jeff Galloway has coached hundreds of thousands of runners to their goals.  For more information, see his books GALLOWAY TRAINING PROGRAMS and MARATHON—you can do it!  Ask Jeff a question at www.JeffGalloway.com

Do you run on vacation? How do you keep on track?

Linking Up

Check here for some links out to others sharing, staring with our three lovely hosts: CourtneyCynthia and Mar. Check their posts (Eat Pray Run DC, You Signed Up for What?! and Mar on the Run to see the full set of links). I will add some others, usually randomly, as I read them to share the love. Go visit and keep reading!

Our hosts:

May 19, 2016

The Color Run Giveaway Winner + Baltimore Update | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the a swag pack and entry to The Color Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I've been quite excited for my upcoming fun run. As a part of that race, I got a chance to off you up a cool swag pack. The time has come to announce the winner.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Race Update

If you were registered for The Color Run Baltimore, you should have already received an email regarding the race. If not, the race has been moved to August 13th. Here's the official work from The Color Run:

Baltimore Color Runners – We love the city of Baltimore and have loved getting colorful with you over the years! Unfortunately, due to extenuating circumstances surrounding legal proceedings in the city and an overwhelming strain on the police force, we are rescheduling The Color Run Baltimore to August 13th.

If you are registered for the event, you will automatically be registered for this new event date.  If August 13th does not work for you, please email Baltimore@TheColorRun.com by June 1st & our amazing customer service team will help transfer your registration to another event.

We want you to know that this decision was not taken lightly. After many in-depth conversations with local officials & our friends at the Maryland Stadium Authority, we agreed that it was in the best interest of our participants to reschedule the event. The safety of our runners is our number one priority and we lean heavily upon the guidance from the local authorities to make these decisions.

We look forward to seeing your smiling faces at the start line on August 13th!

Until then, Be Happy. Be Healthy. Be You.

Obviously, safety is a huge concern. Moving a race 3 days before an event is not something that would be done for nothing. They also seem to be doing what they can to make things right, if you cannot make the new date.

I will still be running the Baltimore event in August. If this new date works for you as well, you can still save with the code I gave you previously. That's right, you can still save 30% on your registration with the code BRP16.

BUFF Giveaway

Currently, I have no other May races scheduled, so for the large BUFF giveaway I just announced participation in, check out the other Pros below. I'll be sure to update you if I add anything in my schedule for the later half of this month, but you can win by finding any of these pros below at their races..

Angie — Brenda — Elizabeth — Gina — Heather — Jenny — Karen — Katherine — Lisa — Mark — Samantha

Will you run the new Baltimore date? Have you ever had this happen to you for a race before?

May 16, 2016

BUFF in the Wild | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: BibRave and BUFF have partnered up for a BUFF prize pack giveaway, and as part of being a BibRave Pro, I am giving you a chance to win!. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

It's no secret how much I love my BUFFs. I first discovered the brand when I got the opportunity to test out the UV Half BUFF as a BibRave Pro. Since then, I've tested the full BUFF, the BUFF thermal hoodie, and the Merino Wool BUFF. These are not even the only BUFFs I own. I own two more full BUFFs, a BUFF headband, and a polar bandana. Even my daughter got her first thermal BUFF this winter.

Want to get BUFF?

Would you like to kick start or grow a collection of your own? BibRave and BUFF are partnering for an amazing giveaway which can net you $215 worth of BUFF gear.

You can win:

  • 1 Original BUFF
  • 2 UV BUFFs
  • 1 Merino Wool BUFF
  • 1 UV Half BUFF
  • 1 Headband
  • 1 Shirt
  • 1 Sweatshirt
  • Stickers

How can you enter to win?

Step 1: Find me at a race. 
    (Hint: I'll be at The Color Run: Baltimore on this Saturday, May 21st)

Step 2: Snap a BUFFIE
    Selfie + BUFF = BUFFIE.
    Simply, take a selfie with you and me in my BUFF

Step 3: Post it, share it, Give the world the BUFFIE
   Post the BUFFIE to Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #buffie and #bibchat then tag @bibrave and @buff_usa

Step 4: Lather, rinse, repeat
    Only one BUFFIE per race per pro, but you're eligible to find other pros at other races and enter again. You'll find us all over the US in all sorts of races, so be sure to watch for more tweets and posts of where to find us all. Treat us like Pokemon, and try to collect us all!

The contest is for U.S. residents only, and will run until the end of May.

More Pros, More BUFFIES

UPDATE: The Color Run Baltimore has been rescheduled to August 13, so you will not find me there this weekend. Currently, I have no other May races scheduled, so check out the other Pros below. I'll be sure to update you if I add anything in my schedule for the later half of this month.

Check out where you can find more Pros and opportunities to win:


May 6, 2016

Get Tropicolored! The Color Run Baltimore Discount and Giveway | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the a swag pack and entry to The Color Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I'm excited to share with you the next race I'll be running. My next race won't be in Disney, it won't be a half marathon, but it won't be lacking in fun. I'll be running The Color Run Baltimore on May 21. The Camden Yards Sports Complex is an upcoming stop on the Tropicolor World Tour 2016. You can join me and save 30% on your registration with the code BRP16.

This will not be my first time doing The Color Run. I ran one two years ago in Hershey over the sumer. If you remember my review, at the time, I wasn't overly enthusiastic. I had fun, but wasn't sure if I would want to do one again. Why the enthusiasm now, you may wonder? First, this time, my expectation is fixed to know what to expect. Second, part of the problem I had was with the course, and this is a new location. Third is simply time. It's been two years. I know what I'm doing and I'm out to have fun. I want to do this race because it isn't your traditional 5K, and I'm looking to have fun with it.

Sweet Swag

The lovely folks of The Color Run provided me with a nice little swag bag to get ready for the race. This is on top of the swag I'll get race day with my registration. It's some pretty cool stuff. The hat is a good quality, and a design that is fun with colors but also realistic to wear outside of the race day. Next, what kind of tropical party would it be with out some shades? Simple black frames with The Color Run colorfully down the sides. Lastly, are some socks that are just awesome for race day. Tall white socks with tricolor bands on top. I'll be breaking these out for Baltimore for sure.

#Bibchat Meetup

I mentioned I'll be running the race in Baltimore and you can join me, right? I mentioned you can save 30% with the code BRP16, right? Let's say you take me up on that option. Not only will I be there to run, but I'll also be hosting a BibRave Bibchat meetup. I alwasy love when people I follow have these, so I thought why not have one with any of my favorite Bibchat friends who decide to join me? Race day I'll throw out a spot to meet me once I find the lay of the land, then you can find me. I'll be sure to have some BibRave and other fun stuff with me. Then, we can be more than just internet friends! If you want to, we can even all have a colorful run together.


I hope to see you in Baltimore, but even if you're not, I have one last thing for you: a giveaway. Remember that swag The Color Run sent me? Well they want to send you a pack two. Enter below for your chance to win, so even if you can't come run with me, you can look the part. The pack will be provided by The Color Run directly, so may vary slightly. The winner will have 48 hours to respond, or another will be selected.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you ever run The Color Run? Will you come run in Baltimore with me?

I'm linking up with Running with SD Mom and Erica Finds to #WinAllThePrizes. Check out their blogs for the full listing of awesome giveaways this week in the Wednesday Giveaway Roundup. There's always plenty of awesome giveaways from those two plus lots to find in the linkup.

Apr 29, 2016

BYOH (Bring Your Own Hydration): Orange Mud HydraQuiver Review | Friday Five | BibRavePro

Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud HydraQuiver to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador, tell them I sent you), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Proper hydration is an important part of running. As I'll be training over the summer for the Dopey Challenge in Walt Disney World 2017, I'll need to be able to have water with me on those long training runs. I've tried a number of different products, and have found a brand I love: Orange Mud. This week, I'm joining in with the Friday Five linkup with Courtney, Cynthia and Mar, and giving you 5 reasons to have hydration with you while you run. Then, stick around for my review of a product that will do just that for you: the Orange Mud HydraQuiver.

1. Hydration important, whether it's hot or it's cold

It is important to remember, that year round, hydration is important. It's easy to remember if it's a hot and humid run in 90° heat, but it's also important when you run in the frigid 20° winter or the mile 65° morning training session. Your body is still working hard, so it still needs to replenish water, whether you realize it or not.

2. If you're thirsty, it's too late

Ok, maybe that's not exactly true, but it is your body telling you that you need water. If you don't have any with you (or just luckily enough close to a water fountain) then you are on the road to issues. Having water with you keeps you hydrated, right when you need it, not just once you get home.

3. Carrying water provides quick cool down

Staying hydrated helps with keeping your body temperature in check. Keeping hydrated helps keep you cooler. It's science stuff. However, that's not even where I'm going with this one. No, if you're carrying water, and you get too hot, instant cool down with some water over the head. It's one of my favorite things to do with water from water stations at races.

4. It can be more than just water

When you have your own hydration with you, it can be more than just water with you. When you're really working hard, you do need more than water. You can replace your electrolytes, like with my favorite active hydration Nuun, or get back some carbohydrates, with something like Plus for Nuun. Now, Nuun is my personal favortie, but what really matters is you can take what works best for you. If you carry your own hydration, you can have it, no matter what partner the race has for water stop.

5. The haiku says so

Hydration is key
to run farther and harder.
Use HydraQuiver

Orange Mud HydraQuiver Review

I'm a fan of Orange Mud ever since I bought myself the HydraQuiver Double Barrel last summer. I also got a chance to review the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1, which was a great pack but didn't quick work for my body type. I was super excited to test the original HydraQuiver, since the Double Barrel that I love so dearly is based on this pack.

What's a hydra-ma-jiggy?

The HydraQuiver is a product born the way some of the best products are, out of frustration. I love their story:
The concept came about one evening after a fun day of exercise and hydration frustration. After a couple glasses of wine that night I decided to take action and put some work into our concept. So I went into the garage and destroyed a gun holster, tie down, and a waist pack to build our first HydraQuiver prototype. 
 The HydraQuiver is a pack that sits on the upper portion of your back and shoulders to minimize movement for a comfortable, snug fit. Instead of a bladder, it uses a running water bottle, providing plenty of hydration that easy to access, samurai style. I say "samurai style" because they way the bottle is stored on your back, with a wide funnel opening making it easy to get in and out. Sort of makes you a hydration ninja with a water bottle sword.

Now, the center piece of it is the water bottle mounted in the center (which is much easier to clean than a bladder in other hydration packs). The pack itself is quite awesome. It has thick foam padding paired with big air channels, to give you support, comfort, and breathability. The sheath for the bottle has a highly reflective strip around the top, great for night time safety. The strap on the bottom is also adjustable, allowing for a taller bottle if you like, or to just wear the bottle a little lower in, as I prefer. The pack has a zipper pocket down the side, which is great for small storage. Inside, is a clip, perfect for a secure place to keep your key, always one of my worries out running. Attached to a clip inside of a zipped pocket is good enough for me. Lastly, there's also two spandex pockets on the front of the shoulders that will fit whatever you need, a plethora of gels, a small flashlight, your phone, whatever you need close at hand.

How did it feel?

If you read my review of the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1, you know I couldn't get the fit just right. While this is not exactly the same as the Double Barrel in cut that fits me so well, the original HydraQuiver fits me much better than the VP1. With the pull straps on the front, it's much easier for me to adjust properly and get that right fit. I found it comfortable on my runs, short sleeves or long, warm or cold, same comfy fit. The only area that had potential to be uncomfortable is underarm with the straps. While I didn't feel any discomfort and it's pretty light weight even with a full bottle, I could see the potential if you're a little more sensitive. The beautiful thing is they sell padded sleeves that you can get, which come on the double barrel and are perfect for a little extra padding.

The pack stayed nice and snug for me: no movement. I love how easy it is to get the bottle out, take a drink, flip the bottle and put it right back on your pack. For the front pockets, I generally used one for my phone (a Nexus 5, with case) and the other kept a small flashlight I keep handy for night time runs for if any street lights are out. I've also used it to store a GoPro in case as well as a bunch of gel packs. All of the above were easy to get out when I needed without any problem. It was easy to do even without having to look or concentrate.

The Takeaway

Just like the HydraQuiver Vest Pack 1, the Orange Mud HydraQuiver is a fantastic piece of engineered running tech. It was born to solve hydration frustration, and accomplishes that goal. I love carrying water on the run with me, which you may have guessed by my Friday Five that we started with. I've loved my Double Barrel since the day I got it, but the original is great, offering me a solution for the shorter runs where I still want my hydration. It's the perfect solution to have my Nuun on my shorter runs, where two bottles is just overkill. You can count this on my regular gear list.


This week's #bibchat will feature Orange Mud and the HydraQuiver. Stop by on Tuesday, May 3rd at 9pm EST to join in the good times that is bibchat. Interact with the team, with other BibRavePros, and all the other like minded runners that participate each week. As with every #bibchat, you may walk away a winner of some great gear as an added bonus to the great conversation.

Do you run with water? What's your favorite hydration?

Apr 26, 2016

Be Dopey With Me: WDW Marathon Weekend Registration Today

It's that time again. Time to register to runDisney. Today, Tuesday April 26 at noon EDT registration opens for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend.

I've written quite a bit about marathon weekend. It's my personal favorite, for the number of events they offer and because it was my first half marathon. Also, being in the northeast, hard to beat running away to Florida in January. Special this year, the half marathon is celebrating the 20th anniversary, which always means extra special bling, shirt, and fanfare.

You can read a great description about the weekend and all the events on my past post about the runDisney schedule. You can also read my recaps of the 5K and half marathon or read up about the expo. The weekend offers 4 races, 2 challenges and the opportunity to earn 6 medals. That's a lot of hardware: 5K, 10K, half marathon, full marathon, Goofy Challenge and Dopey Challenge. You can also follow up the weekend with a cruise to land the Castaway Cay Challenge. Not to be left out are the little ones, with a wide range of kids races. All the prices (but also add in some fees for Active.com) can be found but clicking on the registration menu on the WDW Marathon page. Sometimes it feels hard to find. Here's a screenshot from a runDisney email listing them as well.

This year, I will be running the full Dopey Challenge. That's right, I'll be doing all 4 races across 4 days. I'll actually be running with a charity, Sophie and Madigan's Playground, but more on that to come. You should join me! Whether it's one race, all the races or something in between, it's a fun time. I'll be running with my cousin Derek for all 4, my running buddy Oswald for the half, and I may have even suckered in my friend Derek as well for all 4 races.

If you're looking to run at Walt Disney World next January, set yourself a reminder. runDisney races have been going a little slower lately, but the big challenges still go quick.

Have your run WDW Marathon weekend? Will you be running at Walt Disney World in 2017?