Saturday, July 13, 2019

For the Gel of It: SiS Gels Review & GIVEAWAY

Disclaimer: I received a Science in Sport Gel 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!

By now I am guessing that if you are a runner, than you've heard the #1 rule for when it comes to racing- NOTHING NEW ON RACE DAY! 


That is why I was excited for the opportunity to try of Sports in Science (SiS) gels. They are the on-course gels for the Rock n Roll races nationwide and I love running the Savannah Half Marathon each year (seriously, it's my favorite ever race). Last year I totally meant to grab a gel from an aid station to try it later (again, nothing new ON race day) but in the heat of the race, I was focused on finishing. Fast forward to now when the awesome folks at SiS gave me and some of my fellow BibRave Pros an amazing care package of goodies to try - 4 flavors in all, including their new GO Isotonic gels. 


Isotonic Gels?
What you may ask are Isotonic  Gels? Glad you asked. Basically with the SiS Isotonic gels, you do not have to chase with water. They are 100% effective just on their own. This is awesome because sometimes I find that after I take a gel and then wash it down with water, my stomach can feel not so great from going from nothing to gel and a bunch of water mid-race. These deliver 22 g of rapid absorbing carbs in a convenient 60 ml tube. I tried the Apple flavor and it was really quite good. Really hit the spot for me in the middle of a long hot and humid Sat morning run. I gave a few a to try as well and she texted me that she used her during a super hot 10K race on July 4th and really liked it. 

Other SiS Gels
I also tied 3 other types of SiS gels in my sample care package - the GO + Electrolyte (Lemon Mint), GO Energy + Caffeine (Double Espresso) and GO + Electrolyte (Salted Strawberry). I'll be honest, the Double Espresso was not my favorite flavor, but it really got the job done as far as perking me up. I recommend to take that one as a pre-run gel because it really gets you going. I'm more of a fruity gel fan, so while it wasn't my favorite, I think that was mainly because I don't do coffee, chocolate, vanilla and similar flavors for gels anyway. The Lemon Mint and the Salted Strawberry were both amazing. Really great flavor and textures on both and I will for sure be getting more of both. I've already packed a Salted Strawberry in my run belt for tomorrow's long run. 

The Gel Fairy
Run the Rock Sampling SiS Gels
As I mentioned above, SiS is the on-course gel for the Rock n Roll races, and there is a very large group of runners in my area that are running Rock n Roll Philly in Sept and some others running Rock n Roll Savannah with me in Nov. So last weekend at our long-run, I brought a bunch of gels for the ladies to sample. The gels received rave reviews from the Run the Rock ladies and I've already had requests to share more of my stash. Of course I will (except for the Salted Strawberry - those are mine!)  

GIVEAWAY TIME!!
And guess what?! I have more SiS GO Gels to give out and I want to give a 6-Pack box to YOU! To win one of 2 boxes of SiS GO gels, check out my Instagam post here: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bz2tSjCHHis/ and follow the directions to enter. You can enter anytime between now and midnight on July 15th to win. Winner will be notified by Instagram DM. 

Or, if you are not a lucky winner (or if you happen to read this after July 15th) you can order from the SiS website and use discount code TRYSIS25 to save 25% off your gel order. 




To learn more about SiS, be sure to follow their socials here  - 
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Monday, July 8, 2019

So... I've Been Slacking Again

BUT! I kinda have a decent reason for slacking a bit. See I was just recently in Barcelona for a week for a work trip. And let me tell you, for a trip that I was not looking forward to, Hoo buddy, was it amazing.

First off, let me make 2 things clear:

1) I worked my buns off between the hours of 8:30 am and 6:30 pm. I was there for a trade show and we rocked it. Set up went off without any major hitches (there's always something, but solving that something is my job) and we spent 9 hours a week straight standing on hard concrete floors talking to hundreds of people per day. It was exhausting, especially the talking to people part for introvert-anxiety riddled me.


Our Trade Show Booth. My home for a week, during the daylight hours at least.

2) Outside of those hours, we played and it was incredible! Our hotel was 3 streets from the beach and 3 streets from the Rambla del Poblenou and I was sure to make the most of my time. I got up early each morning to run on the beach (except 1) and each evening we spent hours chilling at amazing outdoor cafes or the beach or bars on the beach. One evening, my brother (who tagged along for a few days using me as an excuse for a European adventure) took a Sunset Cruise out into the Mediterranean. I got to drive (captain) the boat for about 30 min and honestly, I almost didn't give up the wheel to come back in.


So basically, I'm going to post some photos of my adventures below as my love letter to Barcelona.

The view from my hotel room - 6th floor - 3 streets from the beach
Playa de Bogatell - perfect weather the ENTIRE trip



I only got to see the beach during the day one day - the day we arrived. Even so, this is around 5:00 pm

The street our hotel was on, the buildings were awesome

The Metro station at Plaza Catalonia - I love travelling by Metro

Fira Gran - where the trade show was

The boat we took out for the Sunset Cruise

My brother and I - he never went long without a Sangria in hand the whole trip.
Most of the time, he was on his own cause I was working, but we did get to share this adventure. 

Don't mind me, just hijacking a ship on the Sea of Monsters. 

Could totally get used to this... 

The sun finally setting. It stayed up until almost 10:00 pm!
Head for open waters and never come back!



Alas, we had to come back in at some point... 

Playing in the water in the evening with my friend, coworker, and Barcelona running buddy, Simon

Never did figure out what this was, but it was awesome and there were several up and down the beach


Can't go to Spain without eating Paella

Holy butts was the food amazing. So fresh and yummy!

Sangria anyone? Umm YES!!

Seriously, the food though... 
Okay, last food pic. Let me intro you to a Culinary Wonder of the World - the Sushi Burrito. 12/10

My morning run view. Who needs extra sleep when you could see this instead?

Simon and I knocked out at least 5K most mornings
I loved running though this tunnel of palm trees each morning!

The turn around point of our runs. Hated to turn back, but we were there to work afterall... 


I didn't get to do much touristing, but this building was near where we had dinner one night and was awesome.
It was designed by the artist Antoni Gaudi. And it was beautiful, the picture does it no justice.

In summary, I loved it. I would highly recommend going and would love to go back and do even more. Barcelona, you were AMAZING!! 

Friday, June 14, 2019

Join Me for the World Day Refugee 5K

So a few months ago, I posted my love of Virtual racing. Here's a reminder just in case you missed it - https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2019/03/the-benefits-of-racing-virtually.html

So I wanted to take a quick sec to tell you about an upcoming Virtual race that is heavy on reason number 4 of why I love Virtuals - Supporting an Awesome Charity. I am talking about the World Refugee Day 5K.



World Refugee Day is June 20th and Soul Focus is hosting a Virtual race that will raise funds to help make real changes for refugees though donations to the American Refugee Committee. For more information, you can check out their webpage here - https://www.worldrefugeeday5k.com/ 


When you registered to join the World Refugee 5K, you'll receive a custom bib to print, a World Refugee Day Hat and a portion of your registration fee will go to the cause. (Hats will be sent out after June 20th.) Once you receive your bib, you can run your Virtual anytime until June 20th. And make sure you capture and share your run on socials using #WorldRefugeeDay5k #WRD5k and tagging @worldrefugeeday_5k on Instagram.
And of course, you will be joining an awesome community including my fellow BibRave Pros who would be cheering you on all the way. I have already registered and plan to run my miles on June 20th, which should be interesting as I will be in Barcelona, Spain that day. I am really banking on the Anytime, Anywhere aspect of a Virtual Race. 

Join me, won't you? Register here https://raceroster.com/events/2019/23485/world-refugee-day-5k-virtual-run   You can register with discount code BR5 for $5 off you registration.

Let me know in the comments if you plan to join me in supporting this awesome cause! 

Friday, May 31, 2019

The ULTIMAte Summer Hydration

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!
It's like a billion trillion degrees even in the shade - so sweaty

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 clean electrolyte suppliment. 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? So in the past, I have tried other hydration and electrolyte supplements and found them all to be fairly unremarkable. They've gotten the job done and tasted ok, but I've considered them pretty interchangeable. For me, I know they are good for me so I drink them. I was already very keen on Ultima due to the extra benefits, but 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! 

I set out to test each flavor I received (5 total - Grape, Orange, Cherry Pomegranate, Lemonade and Raspberry) each day after my afternoon run for a week. Day 6 I tried a combination that someone suggested to me, mixing both the Raspberry and Lemonade together. Here's how they stacked up for me, in order from favorite to least favorite.

The "Official Ranking"
  1. Raspberry Lemonade - Super refreshing with a bit of tang. Hands down the best tasting combo!
  2. Lemonade - Not sour at all, just sweet, smooth and refreshing
  3. Cherry Pomegranate - Really good with a Cherry flavor that wasn't overpowering
  4. Orange - Tastes EXACTLY like an Orange Popsicle* (more on this)
  5. Raspberry - Very good still, but was missing something, maybe because I like the Raspberry Lemonade so much I just think it needs the lemony goodness. Would still drink alone.
  6. Grape - Not my favorite, but still good. I'm not much for Grape in general though


Now, for the ULTIMAte test (pun intended) - Will my little one drink it. My daughter has had experience in the past of grabbing my water bottles in the past only to discover upon taste that it has an electrolyte drink rather than water in it. On occasions when that happens, there is much carrying on as she has universally hated each that she has tried, to the point, that I have taken to loudly announcing what was in a stray bottle if it was not water, as if she has some kind of rights to my drinks (which, of course she's 9 so does). 

I'd always wanted to have her use electrolyte supplements due to her being so active (she takes Taekwondo 2 or 3 days a week plus is in her school's after school Running Club, in addition to being a super active 9 year old in hot hot, SC. But she wasn't budging on it, she hated the ones she tried.

When I received my Ultima samples, first off the little was super curious about them due to the variety of flavors and bright colors. This helped me convince her to try them. The real kicker was the first one I tested was Grape - one of her favorite flavors. After a few minutes of second guessing and stalling, she tried the Ultima Grape and actually liked it! She asked me to save the rest of it for after her Taekwondo class. Heck yeah! She's since tried all the flavors and has declared the Grape, Orange and Lemonade to be yummy - the others were "okay but not my favorite". I plan to get more of each of these 3 flavors to send with her to Girl Scout Camp this summer, so total Parent-Win! 

Lastly, I want to mention a fun experiment I did. Remember above where I said that the Orange Ultima tasted exactly like an Orange Popsicles? Well, I decided to go ahead an make Orange Freezer Pops from my Orange Ultima. I mixed up some Orange, poured it into homemade freezer pop tubes and popped into the freezer. I figured these would be an amazing (and fun) way to rehydrate after a hot afternoon visit to our local Amusement and Water Park, Carowinds



And YAY! I was right! They were super tasty and refreshing. The little wants me to make more with the Grape and I have a feeling that these are going to be a mainstay in our freezer. 

Interested in trying out Ultima Replenisher for yourself? Right now you can get a 10% discount off your order from the Amazon Ultima Storefront with discount code ULBRAVE19 

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:
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Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Shady Rays for Sunny Days

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays X Series Sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


Over the past year or so, I've been trying much harder to improving my health and running in small ways. One of these ways is to make sure that I am wearing sunglasses while running during the day, which frankly, most of my runs are. UV rays can cause just as much, if not more damage to your eyes as it does to your skin. And while it is not as evident as say a sunburn, you are more likely to develop cataracts and blurred vision later in life due to high levels of UV exposure. This is even more so in people with light colored eyes like I have. 

Enter the amazing opportunity to try out via BibRave Shady Rays X Series. Shady Rays are polarized, offer 100% UV protection are shatter-resistant and salt water proof plus come in a handy micofiber cleaning pouch. The X Series has a wrap around frame style and grips to keep the frames from slipping. They are made especially for running, hiking and climbing, water-sports, and other high impact activities.

So how do they perform? Well, personally, I love them. I have accumulated several pairs of what I would consider higher end sport sunglasses over the years and my Shady Rays are the pair that I keep going back to time and time again (seriously, if you follow me on Strava, every single picture I post practically has me in my Shady Rays). My biggest reason is I have a bit of a smaller head and nothing is more frustrating to me than to have to be constantly pushing up your glasses, especially while running. Even when completely covered in sweat from a hot, humid 90 degree SC afternoon run, THEY DON'T BUDGE! (Click here for the demo). 

They are seriously awesome and look and feel great to wear. Let's put it this way, after testing them, my husband made me get him a pair as well. 


A few fun facts about Shady Rays: 
  • You can also have custom Rx glasses made
  • They offer a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if they are lost or broken.
  • They provide 10 meals to fight hunger through the Feeding America organization with each order placed.
  • The have a VIP program where you can earn points for rewards like gift cards.

And... if all this sounds awesome to you, I have a great deal to share with you. When you place an order on the Shady Rays Shade Shop, checkout using code "RAVE" and you will receive 50% off orders of 2 or more pairs! 

So give Shady Rays a look for yourself. You can follow them on their socials here:
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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Some Like It Hot

It's getting a bit warm out
I grew up at the beach (Myrtle Beach to be specific) so I am no stranger to heat and especially humidity. So while I am still not a huge fan of running in extreme humidity, I'm no stranger to it, so it doesn't bother me quite as much as some of my local running friends. 

And while I could take the Summer months off (especially this year with no significant races on the horizon) I choose to keep up my mileage despite the 90+ degrees and 90+ percent humidity. The selfish reasoning for this is that as I've said before, Summer Running Makes Fall Races. If I can keep my pace and distances up in while it feels like I am running through hot soup, then when cooler temps and lower humidity hit, I feel like I am flying. And this Fall I am shooting for my first ever sub-2:00 Half at the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon* the first week of November, so I will keep pushing all Summer long. 

But just because Summer Running is hard doesn't mean it has to be miserable. I've compiled a few of my favorite Hot Weather Running Tips for rocking your Summer Runs.


  1. HYDRATE - Perhaps the number 1 rule of Summer Running is to make sure that you are hydrating. And just water may not cut it depending on the distance, heat, humidity levels. Typically, I will drink an electrolyte prior to my run if I am running late in the day, drink water during my run, and then more electrolyte drink post run. I've tried several types of hydration and think I've found my favorite recently in Ultima Replenisher. It is made with  6 balanced electrolytes plus support minerals, real fruit flavors, plant-based colors, sweetened naturally with organic stevia leaf extract and no sugar, carbs or calories. I will be doing a comprehensive review of Ultima soon.

  2. TAKE IT EASY - When it gets hot and humid, it gets harder to run. This is fact. You will put in more effort on your same runs in the heat, especially in the hottest parts of the day, so take it a bit easier. Try running by feel rather than by setting pace goals and be sure to give yourself a break if your times aren't what you think they should be. Try checking out this handy calculator for adjusting your pace for higher temps - https://runnersconnect.net/training/tools/temperature-calculator/

  3. PROTECT YOURSELF - Sun screen and Sunglasses and Hats/Visors are a MUST for summer running. Actually, these are a must year-round, but they are especially important in the summer. I'll be the first to admit that I am bad about the sunscreen, need to do better, but I never run without my Shady Rays X Series Shades these days. Love them! Polarized and wrap around for more coverage - you'll hear more about these soon.
  4. GET SHADY - Seek shade where you can. If you have access to a treadmill, great! When it gets super hot out, use that instead. For those of us without treadmill access, seek out shadier routes. I have a favorite route along the Catawba River that has a lot of shady tree cover and will seek that out on super hot/sunny days.

  5. DRESS FOR SUCCESS - Lighter clothing and moisture wicking fabrics are your friend in the Summer months. Ditch the cotton shirts and socks (well, ditch those any time of the year really) and look for performance fabrics that are breathable and designed for running in hotter conditions.

  6. BE SMART - Most importantly, be smart about your Summer Running and pay attention to how you are feeling. Any signs of distress like dizziness, nausea, disorientation, sudden headache and so on) could be a sign of heat stroke and you should end your run immediately. No one run (or even week of running) will break your goals so if conditions are just too extreme, it's better to be safe than sorry. 


Did I miss a tip? Let me know in the comments. And have a safe and fun Summer so you can kill those Fall races! 

Interested in joining me at the Rock n Roll Savannah Race Weekend, Nov 2-3? I've got some awesome discount codes to share - use  code “19RNRBRP16” for $16 off the Half Marathon and Marathon distances and “19RNRBRP6” for $6 off the 5K and 1 miler. I'll be running both the Half and the 5K!

Want to try the electrolyte drink I mentioned above, Ultima Replenisher? Use code “ULBRAVE19" for 10% off at the amazon.com/shops/ultimareplenisher storefront.

And if you are interested in a pair of Shady Rays like mine, use code “RAVE” for 50% off 2 or more pairs from the Shade Shop - https://shadyrays.com/collections/shade-shop


Sunday, May 19, 2019

Runderwear for Under There

Disclaimer: I received Runderwear Women's Low Rise Hipsters 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!

Okay, so quick heads up. This is one of those blog posts where I may share just a tad TMI. We're gonna talk undies! Some runners wear them, some don't. I am fully on Team Undie. Just have never felt comfortable about going commando. 

Every so often, when it's really humid out (I live in SC, yo) or when I am putting on considerable miles, I've had some chafing issues down there. It's not a great feeling, esp when you step in the shower - you runners know what I'm saying. It's not a feeling you ever want to experience, so I take special care to find undies that will keep me comfortable both while I'm running and after.I had seen some Facebook ads about Runderwear and was curious, so when I was given the chance to test them out, I jumped at it. I chose the Hipster style in Black. 

The Features (from the Runderwear website) - 
Ultimate Comfort - ergonomically designed to move with your body for ultimate comfort. Created using an incredibly soft fabric, which is label-free to prevent irritation, rubbing and chafing mile-after-mile.
Seamless Design - 360 degree seamless design resulting in no side seams for ultimate comfort and chafe-free running. Flatlock fine-stitching means that edges are flat, eliminating irritation and rubbing and minimising VPL.
Moisture-Wicking Fabric - the technical fabric is lightweight, label-free and designed to wick sweat away from your skin, helping reduce any irritation and ensuring you can run chafe-free.  
Breathable, Dry and Chafe-Free - uses high performance moisture-wicking fabric with mesh panels containing micro perforations to increase breathability and sweat removal from your skin, reducing friction keeping you dry and chafe-free.
Lightweight Durability – lightweight technical fabric which is highly-durable, washes-well and dries quickly.
The Performance

Wow, I really liked these undies! They are really soft and comfortable and once I put my running shorts on, I couldn't even feel them on, which is ideal. This is because there are no seams, not tags and no stitching to poke you in any way. They've officially become my undies of choice on my weekly long runs, or on days that I do a Burn Boot Camp class and run immediately after - basically anytime that I am going to be putting in extra hard and extra sweaty workouts. I've even worn them in for a few runs in the rain with no chafing issues. In fact, Runderwear offers a Chafe-free Guarantee - they will refund you for up to 28 days if you chafe, no fuss. 

Oh, did I mention that they are pretty cute too. The ladies' styles come in 4 stylish colors - Black, White, Cyan and Pink while the men's styles come in Black, White, Navy and Cyan.

Overall, I love them and totally am gonna pick up a few more pairs. Luckily for me (and for you if you are interested in trying them out) there's currently a discount code 'BIBRAVE20' for 20% off at https://www.runderwear.com/. But act quick because the offer expires on 5/31.

To learn more, be sure to follow Runderwear on social media:

You can also follow the hashtag #RunderwearBR on social to see what other BibRave Pros have to say about their Runderwear!