Monday, November 29, 2021

That Time My Buff EcoStretch Made the Worst Race of My Life a Bit Less Worse

"Disclaimer: I received a Buff USA Original EcoStretch to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"


I have written on this blog several times before about how much l love Buff products (here, here, here, and here). I've worn several different products for a variety of different uses and adventures. Arm sleeves, hats, neckwarmers, multifunctional headwear, you name it, I've used it. 

The latest Buff product I've been able to try out is the Buff Orignal EcoStretch. As you may know, Buff advertises that there are 12+ ways to wear their Multifunctional Headwear. Well, buckle up for this quick story about another way I found to wear mine in a time of dire need.

First, let me give you a bit more info about the Original EcoStretch. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant, yet breathable. The deets from their website are as follows:

  • 95% recycled REPREVE® Performance Microfiber
  • 4-way ULTRA-STRETCH
  • UPF 50 Sun protection*
  • Recommended by The Skin Cancer Foundation**
  • Multifunctional - 12+ ways to wear
  • 100% Seamless
  • Moisture-wicking, quick-drying, breathable
  • One-size-fits-most adults
Basically, they are awesome. 

So now let me set the scene. Earlier this month I raced the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon. It was cold, it was wet and it was nasty. Did I mention cold!? The weather was so bad in fact, the decision was made at 6:18 am (for a 7:30 am start) to cancel the Marathon event. The Half Marathon and Half Relay however were still on (lucky me). My friends and I decided to run our races anyway. I may or may not have whined A LOT and/or used the terms "Worst Race of my Life!" on multiple occasions. I'm honestly shocked my friends are still my friends in fact. But I digress... 

Pre-race. Don't we look absolutely thrilled?!
I am the lone runner not in a trash bag instead opting for the sleeker plastic poncho. 

I had my Buff EcoStretch around my neck for extra warmth. Cozy. But after around 5 miles, the fleecy hat I was wearing was so full of water, it kept slipping over my eyes. I literally ran into a cone at one point because my hat had slid down over my eyes. And not one of the little ones mind you, the people sized cones which luckily I just kinda bounced off of instead of completely fell over. I did manager to terrify the poor girl running next to me in the process. 

There was no way I could lose the hat, I needed it for what little warmth it was providing, plus it had a bill on it to keep the rain directly out of my eyes. So, thinking fast, I pushed up my EcoStretch from my neck to use it to hold my hat in place for the reminder of the race. It held in place perfectly (and gave a bit of extra warmth to my ears). I may have still been cold, wet and to be perfectly honest, completely miserable, but I could at least see where I was going and no longer in danger of errant road cones. 

This is a terrible pic, but it shows me crossing the finish line, hat still secure with my Buff

Multifunctional indeed 😀

But don't worry. I've also gotten to wear my EcoStretch on some more fun (and warmer) adventures too. I wore it to climb to the top of Table Rock, a super challenging 8 mile, 2000+ft hike and also on a 14 mile bike tour of Charlotte. And I know I will take it on many more adventures as well.

 
Table Rock Hike


Embarking on Biketoberfest in Charlotte


Interested in trying out some awesome Buff products for yourself? Visit https://www.buffusa.com/bibrave to register for their newsletter and you will get 15% Off your first Buff order.

Monday, November 15, 2021

Running in Costume (and in the Rain) - Costume Dash Recap

 I received entry into the Costume Dash 5K as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews. 

Even though things are starting to go back to normal (well, "New Normal") in the racing world, there are still some lingering effects from Covid as far as some races still either haven't yet returned, or in some cases unfortunately no longer being held at all. For one of my favorite Fall races, (and not just because it is my 5K PR) the Great Pumpkin Run in Rock Hill, SC is one such that hasn't yet returned. So to fill the Halloween themed race void, I decided to run the Costume Dash 5K Virtual Run this year. 


Full disclosure, one of the big reasons I registered for this event was the adorable swag. It was seriously cute. And lots of it. Everything was amazing quality (the shirt is amazing soft) and came in plenty of time before the week of Halloween when I intended to run my race.

My Thursday night Run Club (hosted by Rock Hill Brewing Company) was planning a costume run the Thursday before Halloween (Oct. 28) so I figured that would be perfect. Then I wasn't the only crazy running around Rock Hill in costume. 


It took me awhile to decide what to run in. I narrowed it down to Purple Crayon or Snow Leopard (both recycled costumes from my daughter's stash) but ultimately
 decided on the Snow Leopard for 2 reason - 1) it was fairly cold and a bit rainy on my chosen race day and the Snow Leopard costume was warmer and 2) I ran as a Purple Crayon the year before and didn't want to repeat.


Unfortunately, it was pretty rainy that night, but I'm a runner and we run rain or shine. Though our group was pretty small that week due to the rain, so I guess not everyone shares my opinion. Oh well, fun as still had! My 5K time was ok, I tend to take things a lot more cautious on wet roads, but most of all I had fun. I got some strange looks from people in downtown Rock Hill running in the rain as a Snow Leopard, but whatever! LOL! 

Overall, it was an awesome time, and I totally would recommend doing this Virtual again. The race kept in regular contact, posted frequently on social media and encouraged participants to interact with them with hashtags as well.

 



Thursday, September 23, 2021

DC Batman Run Virtual Recap and Beyond

I received entry into the DC Batman Virtual Run as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews.


Love this medal!! 
This was my 2nd year running the DC Batman Run Virtual, and as always, it was a great experience. You just cannot beat the Swag! This year was a super soft full zip hoodie, really cool medal, running visor (love me a good visor) and personalized bib. New this year was a finish line. How perfect is that for putting on your very own personalized race!?

And of course, one of the best things about a virtual race is that you can run it anytime, anywhere. My Fall race season is always full and I was able to run my Batman Run in between race weeks. In addition to my own racing, I am working with a friend that I am helping to train for his first marathon. I've been pacing him on his long runs and decided that since he was scheduled to run 9 last Saturday, that would be the perfect time to run my Batman Virtual, as I could complete both the 10K and the 5K! Plus a fun way for me to get some incentive out of running his miles with him. Win/win!

After 15K of Bat-tastic running!


Want to run your own DC Batman Run 5K or 10K (or both)? To register, visit: https://dcbatmanrun.com/virtual/. The shirts are super soft full zip sweatshirts and are gender specific cut (you can choose which shirt option no matter the gender you register). There are also some fun add ons, fanny pack, arm sleeves plus other items, that you can purchase. And if you register with Swag Code: DCBatmanPromo, you get an awesome Batman Koozie!



What's Next? 

Next up I have another super fun Virtual Race, the Costume Dash 5K. My usual local Halloween themed race isn’t happening this year, so instead, I will be running this! And how cute is the swag for the Costume Dash Race?!

Join me and register with code CostumeDash21 for a bit of extra swag! costumedash.com






Friday, September 17, 2021

Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na RACE DAY!!

  I received entry into the DC Batman Virtual Run as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews. 

So the world might still be a little in flux these days, but one big positive to come out of the pandemic aftermath is that Virtual Races have expanded in ways that have allowed races from all over to take advantage of races that they would not otherwise. This girl loves her a good virtual race! I've done several now (you can read about them all over this blog), covering the gambit of the my Top 5 Benefits of Racing Virtually - which you can check out here: https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-benefits-of-racing-virtually.html


Now this next Virtual race I have coming up, this one I wanted to do purely for reason #2 - Earn Fun Bling. Seriously, you cannot get much cooler than Caped Crusader, and that is who this race is all about, Batman.


Just check out some of this awesomeness!



🦇 Stylish Fitted
Full Zip Sweatshirt

🦇 Finisher’s Medal

🦇 Running Visor

🦇 Bib

🦇 Finish Line (new this year)




Racers have until the end of the month to register and run their race, which is only a few weeks away, so don't delay if you want to join in. SWAG mails quickly, in fact, I have already received mine all waiting for me to run my 10K (there is also a 5K option).

To register, visit: https://dcbatmanrun.com/virtual/. The shirts are super soft full zip sweatshirts and are gender specific cut (you can choose which shirt option no matter the gender you register). There are also some fun add ons, fanny pack, arm sleeves plus other items, that you can purchase. And if you register with Swag Code: DCBatmanPromo, you get an awesome Batman Koozie!


And lastly, a portion of each race registration will go to support St. Jude's Children's Research Hospital.





Friday, August 20, 2021

The ULTIMAte Summer Refresher - Now in Mocktail Flavors

 Disclaimer: I received an Ultima Replenisher sample pack 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!

So hot, so humid... basically SC Summer

So you may have heard me mention a time or two that I live in the hot and humid South. Now don't take that fact as a complaint, I am the first to admit that I am not built for cold weather running. No sir, give me 90 degrees over 30 degrees any day of the week. If that means a heaping helping of humidity, so be it.


Being a hot weather runner, I've come up with a number of strategies to make things easier on myself (see my top tips here) and perhaps the biggest thing to keep in mind is to HYDRATE, HYDRATE, HYDRATE!!! And in the heat of the summer sun, drinking just water is not enough, you need a balance of electrolytes in order to replenish the sweat loss during a run (or any strenuous activity really). 


And while most people just think of Sodium when it comes to electrolytes, did you know that there are actually 6 main minerals that make up electrolytes? Well if not, I didn't either until I learned about Ultima Replinisher a few years ago - a clean electrolyte supplement. Ultima contains all 6 essential electrolyte minerals - Phosphorus, Calcium, Potassium, Chloride, Sodium and Magnesium. For more information on what each of these minerals do for your body, check out the Ultma website here: https://www.ultimareplenisher.com/electrolytes/

Ultima Replinisher also boasts a few other benefits, in addition to including all 6 essential minerals, worth mentioning. 
  • Has Zero Sugar, Carbs or  Calories
  • Sweetened by Organic Stevia
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegan
  • Non-GMP
  • Keto Friendly
  • Paleo Friendly
  • All Natural
  • No artificial sweeteners, flavors, or synthetic colors
  • Super fast to dissolve - fastest dissolving electrolyte supplement I've ever tried in fact
  • Comes in either convenient sticks or waste-reducing tubs (including scoop)


But yeah, it's awesome for you, but how does it taste? Honestly, it is my go-to hydration choice for a couple of reasons, and the taste is one of the biggest (another is that the stick pack dissolve so very quickly).
 I can honestly say Ultima tastes like something I would actually drink even if it weren't scientifically beneficial to me. That is to say, it actually tastes really good! 

But with that said, Ultima has totally outdone itself recently with introducing 3 new AMAZING Mocktail flavors. And holy heck are they good!! So refreshing and so tasty, especially on ice after a nice hot run. The new flavors are:


  1. 1. Peach Bellini
     - My post long run choice for refueling. I think this is my favorite flavor and reminds me of one of my favorite places to race, Savannah, GA and southern hospitality.  

  2. 2. Coconut Pina Colada- "Do you like Pina Coladas?" I sure do! And this one is perfect for hydrating on your rest days to prepare your body for your next day's workout. I've even sipped one in the rain... 

  3. 3. Appletini - Green really means GO with this fun flavor. There's nothing quite as refreshing as putting your speed workout to the max and then refresh with a tart Appletini. 


Interested in trying out Ultima Replenisher for yourself? Sign up for the newsletter at ultimareplinisher.com and receive 20% off your first purchase

You can also purchase Ultima Replenisher locally at stores all over. To find your closest Ultima retailers, check out their store locator here - https://www.ultimareplenisher.com/store-locator/

And be sure to follow Ultima on Socials for news and product updates:
Twitter
Instagram
Facebook




Thursday, June 10, 2021

Chasing the Sun: The 206 Minute Movement Challenge

I am promoting the Chase the Sun Buff Challenge as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews.


By now I think that y'all know me a bit from this blog. And one thing is for sure about me I love a good challenge. It is one of the things I love about using the Strava app, there are all kinds of cool challenges both regular monthly ones featuring distances and climb and the frequent sponsored challenges that can be anything from distances, frequency or time based. One such that is going on right now that I'm signed up for is the Chase the Sun Buff Challenge. Log 206 of running/walking activity on Strava and you’ll revive 30% off Buff products. You can sign up for the challenge through Strava anytime before June 21, but make sure you give yourself enough time to complete it.

This year, the summer solstice is on 20th June so the time challenge is inspired by the date: the 20th day of the 6th month, so complete 206 minutes between 1st and 21st of June to celebrate the official start of summer.

This was after last week's 10 miles.
This week, we're going for 12!
And y’all know me, cause I’m a special kind of crazy, I’ve decided to try and Chase the Sun all in 1 day. I’ll be putting in my 206 minutes all on June 12th! I am currently training for a Half Marathon on June 27th (Charlotte Racefest Half Marathon) and this coming Saturday will be my 12 mile training run, so I figured it would be the perfect day. The plan is to do a 1 mile warm up walk before, then run 12 miles with a friend also training for the same race (his first half marathon), and then cool down and walk whatever time is left to come to the goal 206 minutes. 

It's going to be a long day on my legs, but totally doable. 

And, I have already picked out how I am going to use my 30% off prize. See, your girl here loves a visor. I sweat, like a lot. I wear a visor for pretty much every run (except the couple months where warmer headgear is required). Visors keep my face shaded and keep sweat from dripping down into my eyes. Love them. But I have a few visor issues, mainly the elastic eventually stretches on me or, I'm always worried they will lose their shape/structure in the wash (cause again, they get nasty on me). I have neither of these issues with my new BUFF® Pack Run Visor. I've only used this new item for 1 run now and I am 100% sold.  

And it's a custom BibRave one too! Love it!! 

Seriously, I love this thing already. It super soft and can be folded (or more likely balled up) in a pack (or crammed into a car cupholder if you're me). Basically it is like a headband with a soft visor brim. It's perfect, and I will totally be getting another. Maybe 2, one to keep in my car and another for my gym bag since they are so packable. 

So be sure to swing by my socials (Insta and Twitter) to see how I do on Saturday. 

And if you haven't signed up for the Chase the Sun Buff Challenge, head on over to Strava and do that now! So many of my friends have already done so and it's been fun seeing their completion badges to pop up on their Strava activities! Here's the link to join in: https://www.strava.com/challenges/chase-the-sun-buff-challenge And once you register, you can invite your friends to join in too right on the app! When you're done you'll get a code for 30% off any order on the Buff website. So you can order your own packable visor, or anything else!


You know you want to earn this message and rock this badge on your Strava!

Friday, May 28, 2021

Run to Escape: Pantheon Party Edition

 I received entry into the Run to Escape: Mission Mt. Olympus as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews.

I told you I would report back when I completed the entire Run to Escape: Mission Mt. Olympus running experience, so true to my word here I am. Missed the first part of this adventure, catch up here: https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2021/04/a-new-kind-of-running-experience-run-to.html

But to catch you up to speed for now, here's a quick overview of just what Run to Escape is all about. First off, let me get the biggest misconception out of the way... This is NOT a virtual race. This is something entirely new!

Virtual Races are SO 2020

So then what is it? Run to Escape is the first of its kind, fun and challenging running experience that pairs fitness with escape room style puzzles to unlock 6 challenges progressing through an interesting and engaging storyline to help the goddess Atalanta join the Olympian Pantheon. So it's not something you just sign up for, do one run and are just done with, but instead it is 6 challenges, each different as far as distances and what kind of puzzle solving skills you need to progress through the story. 

Each challenge is presented to you live while you are running through audio messages which really help to make the miles fly by. But also, you don't have to worry about missing anything important while you run as you will have an email from Hermes for each challenge with the puzzle to solve and also links where you can replay the audio at your leisure. Get stumped? Now worries there either, Hermes also gives you some links to hints if you need them. Each hint gives a bit more info and the final one has the answer just in case you are really really stuck. 

Atalanta, the goddess you're helping
So here's basically how it goes (spoliler free version). You register and an email will arrive from Hermes inviting you on your first challenge. He'll give you the details of what you are trying to accomplish, you are tasked with helping the Greek goddess Atalanta, the goddess of running to become the 13th Olympian and take a seat on Mt. Olympus. The current 12 Olympians are making her complete challenges to prove her worth, and she has chosen a mortal (you) to help her complete 6 challenges from Olympians who would deny her bid. Each of these 6 Olympians, challenge you to run a certain distance (I am being vague because your first challenge is to discover your first run distance, but each run is between 5K and 10K). 


Aftershokz, yo
These runs are powered by the RunKeeper App and there is a link in your email to add the race to the app. To run your distance, simply open the app, choose the Explore option and choose the challenge. On the next screen that comes up, make sure you toggle the Race Mode Audio button so you download the audio for the run. To make sure you can clearly hear the audio during your run, I recommend using headphones. I further recommend Aftershokz Bone Conducting headphone so you can be safe by hearing both your audio cues and your surrounds. Then tap Track Race Now and head out. Within the first minute, you will hear the voice of the god or goddess that challenged you speaking to you. They will keep you entertained on your run, give you clues and explain their puzzle. Each run has 4 audio sections spread out over the run. 

When you finish your run, it's back to your email to solve the puzzle. Think basic logic puzzles, or the kind of things that you would encounter in an Escape Room. Gain, don't stress too hard as if you need some help there is help available. Also, you will be invited to a Slack discussion board where you can discuss the challenge with others who are participating as well. Each challenge has an In Progress board and a Completed board so you can avoid spoilers.

So yeah, that is basically the process. You can kind of go at your own pace, and do your runs whenever is most convenient for you. You will know the distance of your next run before you set out so you can plan your runs (super key for me). Want to finish all in one week, you can. Want to do one run per week, no problem. I finished the whole quest in just under 2 weeks cause I'm impatient. 


I mean, look at these prizes!! 
In addition to the fun, immersive storyline and experience, the mortals who embark on this quest will have lots of opportunities to win really cool prizes from Run to Escape partners like Aftershokz, Knockaround, BibRave, RunKeeper and others. Every week someone who is registered will win a pair of Afershokz, a pair f Knockaround sunglasses and a truly epic pair of gold and white Adidas sneakers. 

And once you complete all of the challenges you get invited by Zeus to attend an epic Pantheon Party where each of the 6 gods and goddesses who challenged you awards you with goodies such as music playlists, godly recipes and partner brand discounts. Plus, finishers are also eligible to win the same prizes as above! It's more like a Prize Party than a Pantheon Party! 

To embark on this awesome new running experience, register here: https://www.runtoescapeseries.com/ I have a discount code to sweeten the deal. Use code BIBRAVE10 to save 10% off your entry. 

Still a bit unsure? I get it, new things can be scary. Well, since I've completed the challenges, feel free to AMA: ASK ME ANYTHING!! (Except spoilers, though I may be open to sending you ar few hints). Also, RtE has a very flexible refund policy if you try it and decide it’s not for you. So why not try something new for once?