Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Tempo Run in new shoes #brooks #runhappy #PureFlow #running #smallstepsseriouschafing

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RunnerBox Review

While scrolling through hashtags on Instagram I came across a RunnerBox.  I was intrigued and headed over to their website to check them out. ( ) A bi-monthly shipment filled with goodies the runners and triathletes would enjoy...very interesting and intriguing because I am always looking to try out different products but can never justify buying a whole box of something to try it because there is always the "fear" I won't like it and I just wasted money and a whole box of a product. They had a special "Valentine's Day" box for $18 plus $5.00 shipping via USPS so I decided now would be a great time to try them out. (It looks like this deal is no longer available and the gift box has returned to the regular price of $20)

I placed my order late Friday night and quickly received a confirmation and a shipping notice.  After looking into the company a bit further I noticed they were located in Michigan and my RunnerBox quickly arrived on Monday with the mail.

Opening the RunnerBox

Packed up nicely

All the goodies (I will need to improve on my product photography :) )

I was excited about the products inside because other then the Honey Stingers Gel and the Sports Beans I had not tried any of the other goodies in there.  Along with the nutritional goodies there was also a headphone cord wrapper which is always handy to have around since my YurBuds cords are always getting tangled.

Now is it worth it?

I checked out the internet for prices on the retail value of the RunnerBox and did my best to estimate how much each product was worth.  It is a best estimate because some products cannot be purchased individually, some products also would require a shipping cost if not available locally someplace like REI or a local running shop and I also used the lowest price I found on individually sold products (so these can be found cheaper if purchased in a larger quantity/case).

Jelly Belly Sports Beans $1.25 (sold individually)
Bonk Breaker $3.00 (sold individually)
Honey Stinger Gel $1.30 (sold individually)
GU Chomps $2.20 (sold individually)
2 Packets Cocoa Via Drink Mix ~$1.13 each (these are only sold in 30 pack cases or you can request a free sample from the makers website for $2.95 shipping and handling)
1 Day of Mila Seeds ~$1.34 (approximate cost of a one day supply if you purchase the larger bags sold on Amazon)
1 Packet Emergan C ElectroMix $.22 (sold in a package of 30 - I was really excited about this one, we love Emergan C in this house and I didn't even know they had a sports drink mix)
Get Active Tea $.33 (sold in container of 36 for ~$12.00 - Another product I was really excited to try, I love Tea and one that is good for me is a bonus!)
Sports Legs Capsules $1.99 for an individual packet ( it claims to minimize soreness if taken after exercise, I have yet to research or try this yet but I will let you know after Saturday's long run followed by a 5K)
2 Packets of UCan Sports Drink (1 Pomegranate Blueberry and 1 Protein Enhanced Chocolate) $2.50 each (price per packet if purchased in the 6 pack trial box)

Total "Retail" Value: $18.89 + the headphone cord holder

My opinion (which is my own, I purchased the box without any prompting from the company, and am just a satisfied customer) is that yes the RunnerBox is worth the cost and I will be signing up for a subscription (I am thinking about waiting till they launch the monthly box because in all honestly I highly doubt I will be able to ration the new products for 2 whole months).  Even at $20 + $5 shipping I am still getting a "deal" after you factor in time, labor, packaging etc that the company must also cover.  The company also has a TriBox with products geared for Triathletes as well.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Racing and Running

I am not a big "racer", while I enjoy the actual races I often have issues with a few things.
  1. I hate paying to run...I often feel guilty using "fun" money for a race entry when I could use it for a day at the play place, a special lunch out with the boys/family, a new movie to snuggle up with etc.  So I tend to be picky about what races I will be doing and how many a year I run.  And up until just recently the husband worked on weekends and taking a Saturday or Sunday off so I could race was not easy so I did not ask unless it was a race I really wanted to be a part of.
  2. Pre Race anxiety...this is a big one for me.  I become overwhelmed pretty easily on race morning especially if I have to drive somewhere for the race. This often leads to me showing up for a race hours early and exhausted by the time the race starts.  Not to mention the 15 trips to the port-a-potty because I am afraid I will have to go at mile 2.
So because I like to be selective with the races here are some of the criteria I use:
  1. Distance: Is it close? Will it require an over night stay?  I like to have that one travel race a year that we can go to as a family and make it a vacation...For the last few years and 2013 it will be Bayshore in Traverse City since it is one of my favorite courses and races.
  2. Crowds: Is it a HUGE race?  If it is a really large race similar to the Downtown Turkey Trot I normally opt to skip it.  To many people overwhelm me...But something like the Free Press 1/2 seemed to be a controlled crowd and actually was not that bad.
  3. Medal:  I do not keep my medals (or even my bibs for that matter) but I like to run races that have really nice bling and I think will be appreciated when I donate them to Medals 4 Mettle (a running charity that donates earned medals to patients dealing with debilitating illnesses)
  4. Cost: Is the cost of the race worth the entry fee? Normally I plan far enough in advance so I get the cheapest entry fee for a race, rarely if ever will I pay last minute costs to race.  Recently I ran the PoHo 8K and several people had issues with the entry fee, but since I knew I was getting (and needed) a sweet 1/2 zip that cost even more then the entry fee to me it balanced out.  This also applies to who the money will benefit from the race, does it go to a group or a charity that I support? 
  5. Course: Is it a course I have already run and want to conquer, is it a new course/race that I want to try?

2013 Race Schedule:

  • 1/1/2013: Commitment Day 5K (completed)
  • 1/12/2013: PoHo 8K (completed-ran because I wanted to add a winter race to the schedule, chocolate, 1/2 zip, friends, and relatively close distance from home)
  • 3/24/2013: Out Run CF (registered: The founder of this race is actually a pretty inspiring individual who also happens to be a GP Runner.  Emily has been in Runners World and is featured in a new running documentary as a runner with cystic fibrosis.)
  • 5/25/2013: Bayshore Marathon (registered: This may be the last year I run the Bayshore 1/2 for awhile so we can travel to other cities but my goal is to sub-2, this is also my favorite course to run because the beauty of Traverse City never gets old)
  • 6/7/2013: Cipriano Classic 5K (Good cause run)
  • 9/8/2013: Run Woodstock 50K (I need to register for this but it is my "challenge" race of the year and will be my first Ultra Marathon...I am a bit intimidated but some hard work and I will be able to finish it-which is the ultimate goal)
  • 10/20/2013: Detroit Free Press International 1/2 (registered: I wanted to run this one at least one more time (to get some use out of the MI Enhanced License I got last year) but I also actually had a wonderful time at it last year and wanted to run the bridge one more time)

Bucket List Races:

  • St. Jude Memphis Marathon: I remember doing the St. Jude Math a Thon as a kid and this is a wonderful organization so I would love to run for them and in a race that benefits the hospital.
  • Disney Goofy Challenge (Planned for January 2015): I figure medals with Donald, Mickey and Goofy would be awesome to give to the little patients through Medals 4 Mettle.
  • Chicago: Planned for 2014 ...While this is a HUGE race I had a great time in the city of Chicago last year and what a better way to see it all.  We are planning this for our travel race next year since the boys also love the city.
  • Either  a full or half marathon in DC
  • An international race (Scotland, Paris, Italy wherever-I am not picky)
How do you pick what races you are going to participate in?  What are some of your favorite races to run?

Monday, February 4, 2013

Happy New Year!

I know, I know it's a little late...but sometimes better late then never! I have spent the last couple months focused on myself, my family, decluttering and of course the holidays.  As far as running goes, January was a month of maintaining and just enjoying the daily running without worrying about pace and miles.  I even took an entire week off! YES a whole week without running a single step, one reason was because I kept having a slight shin pain when I ran and knew I needed to rest it, but also last week I started the 16 week Furman First 1/2 Marathon Training Plan for Bayshore and I wanted to be rested and motivated since I remember how tough the workouts were.

Along with trying to enjoy the moments with my 3 boys (which somedays are much tougher to enjoy the chaos and crazy then others) I have started focusing on feeding the family healthier home cooked meals again.  We even started juicing again.  I love the fresh juice as does my husband and the little 2 boys.  The oldest tends to be pickier and anything with garlic or ginger he never seems to finish.  I have also tried focusing on the little things that make our day to day life special, whether it was a moment during the day, something one of them said, something we did as a family I have started "journaling" it in my new Erin Condren Life Planner .  I use the monthly pages for our events. (in reality as a family we are not that busy and I don't write down things like "swim lessons" or any other reoccurring event and I do not use it to log miles since I have my Commitment Day Journal for that)  Then I use the weekly/daily pages to write the little things throughout the day.  It is nice to take 5 minutes throughout the day and reflect or sometime the 20 minutes in the evening to just think about our day.  What I have learned and recognized so far after doing this the last few weeks is that even when it appears to be the most awful day there is always something to be thankful for and a happy moment that was/is worth remembering.
Erin Condren Life Planner with Collage Cover 
So here is to a new month and back on track with the blogging (since I got away from actually writing anything when I discovered how fun Instagram is)

(Full disclosure: A friend recommended the Run Less Run Faster Furman First Method to me last year after he used it to help him Boston Qualify.  I did purchase and read the book all on my own.  I also purchased the Erin Condren Life Planner after it was recommended by several friends and I do not regret it one bit! It's a great planner!)

#runnerbox! Early Valentine's Day to me! #running #goodies #smallstepsseriouschafing

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