Friday, June 28, 2013

Runner Box June Review

Last shipment I was really excited with what was in my Runner Box! It was my favorite of the three I had ordered to try out and so I was wondering if this box would be as good.

This month was a nice mix of different edible samples and some non edible ones. There was no one "big" thing in this box like last month but I will say, again I was very happy with it.

This box contained these edible things:

  • Honey Stinger Energy Bar--Yum
  • Kind Bar--Again with the Kind bars. Seems they are in every company's box and I just do not like them.
  • Island Boost--Another thing like a GU shot which I am excited to try. Plus a coupon that I will be using.
  • Lenny & Larry's Muscle Brownie--Not sure about this one but we will see
  • Sensible Foods--This was really great. Two different packages, one of dried fruit and the other edamame. I cannot wait to taste these and use them as a natural run fuel
  • Pure Protein Bars- This also looks great
  • PROBAR Bolt Chews--Another one I am excited for since I tend to go back to chews over gels
  • Click--Protein Drink is Espresso Flavor. I do not have good luck with these so I am thinking this will just sit in my bag but maybe I will find a time to try it
  • Nuun--This is my favorite this month. I have wanted to try it but the cost for something I am unsure of was a lot. Getting to try 2 samples PLUS a discount couple made me super happy.
There were also these non edible things:
  • Leg Cramps--These are made by Hyland's which I loved for teething tablets for the kids so I will definitely try these if I get leg cramps. Plus it was a large sample which was impressive.
  • Run Guard--Kind of like Body Glide. I have not had issues with chaffing but it is good to have around. I did have a little giggle when I realized they made Nip Guards too.
  • Shower Pill-Strange name but this is a antibacterial wipe for after running. I love these and I am excited to try it.
  • Ion Designs--Sent 3 really cut iron on reflective designs. I really like these and will be putting them on soon. Plus there is a coupon!!!

Now the only thing that did not impress me was that a coupon for $5 off Knuckle Lights was included. I guess I just don't like paying to get coupons so I hope this is not something that we will be seeing more of in the boxes. I might check out the site and see but I doubt I will order them, even if they are amazing since I will feel like I paid to get the coupon. I mean I do understand not being able to give free $45 lights to everyone though so maybe this is a good balance.

Overall I again loved my Runner Box. I cannot wait to get further into my marathon training so I can try some of these things.

I will say my only "negative" about the trying new things is that for a long run (and how slow I am) I need more than 1 of something during the run. I tend to not like to try different things so I know what works and doesn't but with only 1 to try I either have to mix it up or stick with what I know works. I guess I have to figure this one out.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

June Kona Kase Review

After the disappointing box last month (that was 1/2 off) I thought I had suspended my account, I got a shipping notification for this month's box so obviously the suspend on my account page did not mean what I thought it did. I did open the box and was happy to see some new stuff and some things I am excited to try. This box was better than last month, but again, it just did not live up to the level of the StrideBox or the RunnerBox.

It started off with a really cute card with this quote on it:

"First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win." Mahatma Gandhi
I am not exactly sure how this relates to running but I like the quote.

This month was again a lot of different bars to try. I am not a huge energy bar fan because I usually do not like the taste or texture but it is nice to have choices.

Here is what was included in this box:

  • One Bar--It was a Mango one and really tasty!!!
  • Kind Bar--I have tried them before and I am not a fan but maybe this will be better
  • Dr. Will Bar
  • 18 Rabbits Bar
  • Clif Shot in Razz--I like these but they are not new
  • Mamma Chia--I am excited to try this one since I have heard a lot about Chia so maybe I will like this one
  • HalfPops partially popped popcorn--I am unsure about this but I will try it
  • Osmo Active Hydration is an powder to add to water. I have not found one I can stomach so maybe this one will be different.
Overall, I am again underwhelmed with this box. I have cancelled my subscription mostly because the other two services just seem to have a better product so I don't want to waste money on things I will never use.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Visiting Walt DisneyWorld now that I have runDisney!!!

We just got back from our family trip to WDW. Yes, we are one of "those" families who love Disney and vacation there whenever possible. Right now it is the perfect escape for all of us and we love it. When we told Abby we might not be back for 2 years she broke down saying it wasn't far (we used all our points for this amazing whole family trip so we need to take a year off to get back on cycle). We will have to see if we can really not go next year!

Now how does a family trip in June have anything to do with runDisney? First, I met up with some amazing ladies I met while training. We all did the Princess Half Marathon together in 2013. We have stayed together and are still there for one another. Go Princess Posse!!! We met at the Tea Room at the Grand Floridian and had a wonderful time!!

Another fun thing was at the Beach Club we were having dinner at Cape May and I ran into a guy wearing a runDisney Marathon shirt and I commented. We ended up talking about Dopey, Marathon weekend, Coast to Coast and the Glass Slipper Challenge!!! It was fun!

Finally on my last day, I was wearing my pink I DID IT T-Shirt from Princess and while checking out at the Emporium the lady checking me out said she was doing the Glass Slipper Challenge and was trying to work out how to do Tinkerbell!

I know it sounds cheesy but it was almost like a club. I loved being down there, seeing the race route and dreaming ahead to next year!

I cannot wait.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Get Out and Run (a June Stridebox Review)

This month I was excited to see what Stridebox had to offer me. My cute little brown box could not have come on a better day. I had had a long day and it gave me something to look forward to.

I opened my cute box with the blue paper just makes me smile. I loved opening it up and seeing all the surprises.

First thing that I noticed was the Get Out and Run sticker. It set the whole vibe for some reason.

This box actually contained less food stuff this month which was a nice change from the other boxes from other places. First there was a set of locking laces by Lock Laces. I don't have trouble with my laces but I am going to put them in my back up shoes and give them a try. If I love them, I will get another pair for my training/race shoes!

Next thing that I pulled out was the Foot Rubz ball. The little green ball has the little nubby things all over and is a hard ball that is perfect for those nights when your feet are hurting. The kids even had run trying this one out.

The other none food/fuel thing was from Blue Steel Sports--It is an Anti-Chade Cream with Tea Tree Oil. I will be saving this to try out soon.

Now for the foods/fuels.

  • Skratch Labs included an Exercise Hydration Mix. I have not had good luck with these but I will give it  a shot.
  • Pocket Fuel had Almond Butter with a Kick in Banana and Blueberry in a neat squeeze pouch. Looks good
  • Electro Delytes Citrus Bars for before or during activity also look really tasty.
  • Finally, the thing I think I am most excited for. PowerIce Frozen Refreshing Ice Bar with Electrolytes! I but these in the freezer immediately since with the temperatures increasing I know I am going to love these "frozen things". 
After this month, Stridebox has moved into the lead as my FAVORITE subscription box. I am so excited for next month!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Niagara Falls Women's Half Marathon (my first, their second)

I honestly am not sure where to begin with this race so I am going to focus on the race itself.

Now, the day before we had spent hours in the car and then I think I did like 50 flights of stairs going up to the water slides. We went to bed pretty early so that was good. I was awake a few times to check the clock and at 6:10am I was out of bed. I got ready and then everyone else's started to wake up. The littles were not happy with the early hour but there was really no choice since we only had one car with us.

Pink Picasso SparkleSkirt with Custom PbRC shirt and
Custom Princess Posse Bondi Band
We were in the car and heading out by 7am. After a quick pit stop for a potty break we turned into the area to park and it was almost a complete STOP! Traffic was backed up. It took us almost 15 minutes to get into the lot but it was OK, still early enough for me.

On the way towards the starting line I got a look at the large amounts of PoP they had advertised. Well, I think they needed a few more since the lines were really long, as in all the way across the parking area. I am so glad we had stopped on the way to the race. They had some really nice cloth covered tables set up for after the race and it was so pretty.

At about 7:45am it was time to head to the starting line. I said good bye to everyone and made my way to the 2:30-3:00 predicted finish time area. My plan was to try and pace with the 2:30 pace bunny as long as I could. On the way in, I got a high five from Kathrine Switzer. She did an amazing welcome about how far women have coming in running since just 46 years before she was making history and now we had a huge amount of women runners and growing every day. Then they welcomed the singer for the Canadian National Anthem  She invited everyone to sing with her and while I have heard that song many times in my life (how could I not as a Red Wings fan) I never appreciated how pretty it is. Then right at 8am the race began.

Again, Kathrine was there giving high fives as passed her! Great way to start the race. Now I was middle of the pack and this was a walker friendly race so I thought I would be OK with my pace and not go out super fast like I have done the last couple times. Well, that did not go exactly how I planned. I was feeling good and going with the pace and I was not following my intervals yet so when I checked I was at .75 miles and maintaining a 9:52 pace, oops. By the end of the 2nd mile I was at just over 20 minutes so I did two 10 minute miles, again oops. At this point, I settled into my pace.

Now the race was really nice. We went towards the falls. First we approached the Horseshoe Falls and then the American Falls. We turned around right before the bridge to the US and headed back by the falls again. At this point, the weather had held out BUT I was getting wet from the mist. I felt good but my bib was wet and my Bondi Band was holding moisture (those things are the best). This was the highlight of the race. I do wish we could have finished this way but I understand why we couldn't since I could not see closing the roads near the falls for that many hours. Another nice thing was we got to see the lead runners and others twice on the course as looped. I stopped three wonderful Princess Posse members (Kate, Susan and Linda) which was so cool.

Since the course was one big loop, I knew I would pass by the start/finish line after the return from the falls. My mom, Jeff and the kids were going to be there but we had not really talked about when I would be coming back by. I usually know my landmarks on a course but I will admit, I never really got my mind around this whole 21.1 km thing. Luckily, they were waiting for me as I came by. I was so happy to see them. It gave me a boost completely.

The next 2 miles or so were not my favorites since it was industrial and old motels but not bad. Right before we made our way over a small bridge to follow the water, Tim Hortons had a water station with orange slices. I grabbed one and it tasted great until some got stuck in my teeth and my hands got sticky. NOTE TO SELF: Skip the oranges!

From there the course just went along the water. Nice houses on one side and water on the other. There was a Sax player and Muscle Beach where they had bodybuilders out showing off (not bad I will admit). The hard thing was that I never knew where the water stops would be. I was fine since I have been practicing limiting what I drink on longer runs but it was still a focus point.

After the second turn around I know it was nearing the end. Under 3 miles to go and I was on pace to get my PR and beat my A Goal of a Sub 2:30 but I was also slowing down. I don't know if it was the odd eating the day before, the stairs, the fast beginning pace or just me being tired but I knew I had to move.

I did really good until the last 1/2 mile. At that point I was trying to calculate my end time and I was doing math in my head and I was just I was going to be over 2:30 and while even 2:35 would have been a PR I was mad at myself and I got into my own head. It was at this point when spectators were cheering and calling out our names (since they were big on the bibs which was awesome). So I picked it up, running into 20mph winds, AGAIN. Right before the finish I saw my amazing family again, with the signs and I made it across. The clock said 2:31 but I knew I had started in the middle. My watch said 2:30:28 but I wasn't sure if I had started it at the right point so it was not until Sunday night that I found out my official time:

Seriously, 2:29:57. I don't think I could have gotten any closer but I did it.

I got my medal from a firefighter, got some water (they only had sugar free PowerAde which I don't drink), my food box, chocolate milk. I found the family and I was so happy. They had a rough morning (potty training and PoP are not a good combo and neither is 2 kids, little sleep and 3 hours outside but Jeff and my mom are the best).


  • I want to do this race again next year but I will go alone and stay somewhere cheap
  • I hope they get more PoP
  • I wish they had a better water plan but I think since it is only the 2nd year they will get better
  • The medal is awesome!
  • So was the Swag Bag (yes, that is a full bottle of wine)!

Strange side note: There were a lot of pacers on bikes or around that were bringing things to runners, giving encouragement, going off again, coming back. I am new to racing so maybe this is common but I was surprised.