Category Archives: Reviews

Holiday Gift Guide for Runners

Hello!

Can you believe today is December 1st?? Christmas is a mere 25 days away! Eek! Given that your Christmas shopping is probably in full-swing, I thought I would do a gift guide for runners in today’s post! Here are some things that I think are pretty cool, and that I think might also appeal to the runners or athletes in your life. 🙂

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo.

Gift Guide for Runners. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

1. Compression sleeves from ProCompression. I’ve never gotten to try compression sleeves, but I’ve heard really good things about them in terms of easing soreness and promoting circulation! Plus, I think the powder blue color is so pretty. They have a great selection of colors though, if that isn’t your favorite!

2. Long-sleeved shirt or headband from Janji. Janji sent me these items to review and I love them! I wore the headband out running a few days ago, and it kept my ears nice and toasty in the 20 degree weather.

3. Garmin Forerunner 15. A GPS watch is obviously a little pricey, but if you know a dedicated runner who will put it to good use for many years, then it might be worth the investment.

4. Soakology Muscle Gel. My mom sent me this a few weeks back, and I have been loving it! I usually use it while relaxing in the evenings if I’m sore from a FitnessBlender video, and it helps a lot.

5. Marathon Gear. Ok, this might just be because my mom and I ran our first marathon this year, but I am still really proud of that, and I want all the things that say 26.2. Who cares if it’s braggy. 😉

6. Old Navy Active Women’s Sweater Pullover. I read a lot of good things about Old Navy’s active wear line, and I have been looking at it online a bit, and I’m pretty impressed! A lot of it looks really stylish, but also functional, just like this pullover. Plus, it has thumb-holes, and we all know I love thumb-holes. 🙂

7. This 26.2 Necklace. I love the goldbar necklace craze. And I love that you can show pride for your accomplishment in a subtle way with the roman numerals (they also have 5k, 10k, and half marathon versions as well!). This etsy shop also lets you select if you want Sterling silver, gold, or rose-gold, so you can get exactly what you want. 🙂

8. A nice water bottle. As a runner, I know I should be focused on hydration, but I usually forget to drink water during the day! a couple of my housemates have Camelbak water bottles, and they love them! If you know a runner or someone who goes to the gym a lot, this is probably a gift that would get a lot of use.

9. Lululemon Wunder Unders. Yes, these are expensive (and no, they aren’t see-through anymore!). Personally, I have a lot of issues with my workout leggings falling down, and these are supposed to stay up really well. And while they are quite expensive, Lululemon does offer great customer service, where you can bring them into your local store if you have any problems.

10. Yurbuds headphones. These are made specifically to wear when running or working out. My headphones fall out a lot when I run and get sweaty, and these are slip-resistant and have a lot of great reviews.

So there you go! A few ideas for Christmas shopping. 🙂 Now, I just have to make it through the next few weeks of term projects and finals to make it to the holiday!

Have a great day!

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Janji Apparel Review

Happy weekend!

So I thought about going for a run yesterday. Then I looked out the window.

Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Needless to say, the run didn’t happen. Which is a total bummer because I’ve been dying to test out some awesome stuff that Janji sent me to review!

Review of Janji. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI’ve talked a little about Janji on the blog before (here and here), but in case you missed those posts, Janji is a very cool running apparel company. Their website explains –

“Runners require proper hydration to train, run 5Ks and finish marathons. At the same time, millions of people around the world lack the basic necessities for survival. 

WE CAN CHANGE THAT.

Through each purchase of Janji’s distinctive running apparel, a portion of proceeds funds organizations that are alleviating the worst problems related to water. By funding solutions and raising awareness through our apparel, Janji wants to create a nation of runners that run for another and eliminate the global water crisis.”

It’s a pretty awesome mission, so I was very excited to review a few items for them again. Especially, with Christmas only a few weeks away!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I received the Women’s Logo Long-Sleeve Running Shirt and the Women’s Running Headband. While running was out of the question today with the snow, I know the headband is going to be AMAZING for cold, breezy runs this winter.

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

I did test out the top today though, wearing it to do a sweaty 21 minute HIIT workout!

Janji review. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running DuoI loved it. The shirt is super soft, has thumb-holes (this is weirdly important to us runners!), and I love the color. I feel like the bright yellow will be nice and visible on dark, winter runs! It was super comfortable to work out in too.

And the coolest aspect behind these items, is that you know you are not only getting an awesome piece of running apparel, you’re also contributing to a great cause. The purchase of the headband provides 6 months of clean drinking water to one person in Tanzania, while the shirt gives 1 week of clean water to someone in the US.

I’m planning on doing a more comprehensive “Gift Guide for Runners” post sometime in the next few weeks, but if you do have a runner in your life (or you are a runner and you want to treat yo’self), I highly recommend Janji for holiday gifts! You won’t be disappointed. 🙂

Have a great weekend! (and send some positive, snow-melting thoughts my way if you can… I’m already hating this winter.)

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Janji Projects

Hello again!

I hope everyone’s weekend is off to a good start! This morning’s post is a special one, as I wanted to share some exciting information with you all. About a year ago, I had the opportunity to review a running shirt from Janji.

Review of Janji Running ApparelJanji is a very unique and cool company because with every item that you purchase, a portion of those proceeds go towards organizations that are helping eliminate water problems in that country. For example, I purchased the Kenya shirt (pictured above) so the proceeds went to a charitable organization working in Kenya.

A few days ago, Janji launched a new mode of giving – the first “Janji Project”. This is a completely crowdfunded project, where runners can come together to fund the installation of safe water dispensers in rural Uganda. They reached out to me to do a post on this initiative to help spread the word and I gladly agreed, considering what a great cause it is.

Janji Running Apparel Review

So how does it work? Well you have the opportunity to pre-order the Uganda Run For Another top! Like a KickStarter campaign, you only have the chance to order this shirt for 7 days (which means it ends on Monday, November 3rd), OR until the project reaches 100% funding, at which point the shirts will no longer be available. But what really makes it so awesome, is that you know with your purchase, you’ll be helping provide clean drinking water to over 350 people in Uganda.

Women's Run For Uganda Top. Janji Running Apparel Review

Men's Uganda Run For Another top. Janji Running Apparel Review

Christmas is right around the corner, and these would make great gifts for the runners in your life! Or anyone who likes to workout, as these tops would be perfect for a variety of exercise activities. Plus, you know that you’ll be supporting a great cause with your purchase.

Have a great weekend everyone (and don’t forget that if you do like these shirts, you have to order them ASAP as they will only be available for a couple more days!) 🙂

 

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A Cinnabon Smoothie and Fall Fitness Challenge

Hello there!

I hope you had a great week! The weather is finally starting to cool off for real around here, and it’s officially feeling like fall. I love it. 🙂

I briefly mentioned this in the last post, but I am happy to report that I am back to running now! This morning, I went for another fantastic run.

Run Happy.

I don’t know if it’s because I had to take a couple weeks off after the marathon because of my toenail or if it’s just the cooler weather, but these runs have felt amazing. I don’t normally think I get much of a “runner’s high”; I feel good after a run, but nothing really out of the ordinary. These past two runs have left me feeling REALLY good after though – all excited and endorphin-y. (Yes, I realize that sounded super scientific.)

When I got back from my run this morning, I celebrated by making a new smoothie with the free sample of protein powder I received from Protein Milkshake Bar. I love the variety of protein powder they offer – everything from cupcake batter to rocky road to ice cream sandwich. I ordered the cinnabon flavor, wanting to try something different!

Protein Milkshake Bar Cinnabon Smoothie

So. Freaking. Good. I combined:

  • 2 spoonfuls Protein Milkshake Bar cinnabon flavored protein powder
  • 1/2 cup honey flavored low-fat yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana, cut in slices
  • 1 cup low-fat milk. (I would have used almond milk, but I was out!)

I blended it all together and then sprinkled a little cinnamon on top. It was honestly the best smoothie I’ve made in a LONG time. I would definitely recommend checking out Protein Milkshake Bar if you’re interested in switching up your protein powder flavors, you won’t be disappointed. 🙂

My mom and I are definitely still living in the post-marathon glow as evidenced by this pumpkin she placed on our doorstep –

Marathon pumpkin

So festive. 🙂 We’re currently trying to plan what our next big race will be. It’s definitely going to be a half marathon this time (my toe still needs some healing time!), but we aren’t sure where or when as of yet.

For now though, I’m kind of excited to switch up my exercise routine a little!

Fall Fitness Challenge. Adventures of a Mother-Daughter Running Duo

The challenge for me is going to be to try to exercise for at least ten minutes a day everyday – and I’m going to try to add more variety back into my workouts. So while I might run some days, on other days, I’m going to try to do some different YouTube workouts or I might go to one of the fitness classes offered at the school gym with a friend. I want to challenge myself to really commit to more cross-training, and now is the perfect time. 🙂 And, I’ll be doing a link-up with some blogger friends and fellow Sweat Pink ambassadors, so stay tuned to hear about their different fitness adventures! Check out their blogs to hear how they do with the challenge –

Have a great weekend everyone! Go do something fall-themed. 🙂

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Volunteering and Running at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

DISCLAIMER: Dirty Girl Mud Run comped our registration fee in exchange for reviewing their race. All opinions are our own.

Happy Friday Everyone!

As I mentioned in my last post, this past weekend, my mom and I participated in an awesome new race for us- a mud run! I wish I could say I ran it, it looks like it would have been AMAZING. I joked to my mom that I feel like this race was designed for me, because as a little kid, we used to go on family hikes and I always thought they were boring, unless there was, as I liked to call it “an adventure crossing”. By that I meant, having to cross a little flooded area on a fallen tree or other similar obstacles. I thought they were exciting.

So I will have to do a Dirty Girl Mud Run at some point, because last weekend, I opted to get a different taste of the race experience by volunteering at bag check for the race. At a race like this, checking a bag is pretty much a must, because you get super muddy out on the course, and it’s not all that fun to drive home like that. This race did have shower and changing stations set up to help solve that problem too.

I didn’t really know what to expect as a volunteer. I was a little nervous about it honestly! While it was a bit of a long day, it actually ended up being pretty fun (and I learned a few tips for the bag check process that I’m putting together in another post!). My job was to help out runners who came to check their bags, making sure they had filled out and attached the bag check tags to their bags with a safety pin, and then putting it in the proper area by bib number. After that, I got a new “job”, where I was responsible for directing the runners who had completed the race over to the side entrance of the tent where they would enter to collect their bags. That was kinda fun! I just had to keep an eye out for anyone who was extremely muddy and point them in the right direction. 🙂 I also helped out when runners had difficulties finding their bags.

Volunteering at a race (instead of running in it) was definitely a new experience for me! There are so many small details that go into putting on a great race (water stops, bag checks, and parking just to name a few…) and so many of these aspects are taken care of by volunteers. Running a race can be such a wonderful and empowering experience – if it’s well-done. And that quality can come right down to the volunteers. So next time you race, shoot a smile at your volunteers and thank them. It’s a small thing, but it goes a long way. 🙂

It's always a good idea to smile and thank the volunteers at a race.

And what my mom had to say about actually RUNNING the Dirty Girl Mud Run~

So the Dirty Girl run in Amesbury, Mass was my first experience with an obstacle course event.   Originally, I thought this race was kind of expensive, but after seeing  what the “course” entails, I realize all the work that goes into setting up an obstacle course event, compared to a regular “5 or 10k,” so in hindsight, it actually is pretty reasonable (if you’re looking for an obstacle-course type race!).

My mom posing after the Dirty Girl Mud Run

Also, this is a really great race to do with a group of friends (or even bridesmaids!), or an activity to do during a family reunion weekend. Then you have tons of stories and pictures to look at and laugh over later on.  (Because Nora had already signed up as a volunteer, I was tackling this new adventure on my own, and thinking, as I reached each new obstacle, “Nora would love this!!”  (Ok, at some of the obstacles – like the really tall rope net – the thought process was more like, “I’m too old for this…why am I here when Nora would love this…” but those are just details.

Conquering the ropes net at the Dirty Girl Mud Run!

Conquering the ropes obstacle at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

So that being said, here are a few tips just in case you – being either young or old, daring or squeamish,  ever want to become a Dirty Girl:

IT'S best to arrive early to a dirty girl mud run

Because Nora was scheduled for an 8 AM shift, I set off with the 8:15 wave of ladies. A new wave sets off every 15 minutes, and this went on until 2 PM.  My wave was small compared to some of the waves that set out later, and those waves were all pretty full, until the last few, so that means lots and lots of participants. This is a popular event, so try to aim for an earlier wave!

Even at the early hour, there were enough ladies for great camaraderie, but not so many of us as to make things too crazy on the obstacles themselves, some of which you really need to have a bit of space between you and the next person.

Also, things really backed up at the “shower” station – the portion of the parking lot set up to help you rinse off the worst of the mud.  Things moved along pretty quickly when I was there about 9:30, but by 11:30, there was a huge line and I heard someone say they had waited an hour before getting to the hoses! By this time, I imagine things in the changing tent must have been pretty crowded, too. Still, they didn’t run out of water, which would have been the real disaster! (Trust me, you do not want to get into your car until you have had a chance to clean up!)

What to wear to a Dirty Girl Mud Run

There were a lot of tutus and costumes of all sorts, which made it fun to see, but I noticed some interesting accessories and afterwards I understood why.

Some of the ladies had duck-taped there sneakers on – and eventually I realized this was to make sure they didn’t get “sucked off” in the mud.  (If you were to lose a shoe in some of those mud and water filled basins, finding it again could prove difficult.)

Climbing through Mud at the Dirty Girl Mud Run

Also, some of the ladies were wearing gloves. Some of the course involves crawling on your hands and knees in mud that is full of small stones, as well as doing rope-net obstacles, so I realized pretty early on that those gloves were a really good idea.  And if it’s not too hot, wear long, or capri length pants, to protect your knees and your bottom as you slide down that 20 foot inflatable slide into a basin of water and mud. (I was wearing shorts and when I saw one of the staff photographers under the rope net, I really REALLY wished I had worn long pants, but luckily none of the pictures were too embarrassing.)

So overall, it was a fun and challenging event – one I know that Nora would love as well as all the other adventurous runners out there! So, have we piqued your interest enough?! If you’re excited and ready to give this fun race a try, I’ve got a special offer just for you guys! 🙂 When you go to register, use the code BLOGFRIEND at checkout for $10 off your registration.

mudrun2READY

Have a great weekend! 🙂

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Fitletic Fuel Belt Review

Disclaimer: This product was NOT provided to me by Fitletic, nor was I compensated for writing this post; I purchased it on my own and all opinions expressed are my honest thoughts on this product.

Hey there! 🙂

I wanted to do a quick review this week to just share a little about a running product I’ve been using now for a few weeks and am ABSOLUTELY in love with!

Fitletic Fuel Belt Review

My Fitletic running belt.

I realized I needed my own running belt the night before the Amica Iron Horse Half. My mom and I were getting all our stuff together the night before, and I went to take the one black fuel belt we have, when my mom informed me she was planning on using it! Things you don’t wanna discover the night before a race… sigh.

I considered arm-wrestling her for it, but then after some creative thinking, we found an old fanny pack and safety pinned it to make it less floppy and I used that during the race. First off, let me just say I hate the word “fanny pack”. It conjures up images of 90 year-old tourists for me (not exactly what I wanna feel like when I’m running a half marathon!). But I will say, it did serve its purpose during the race.

The week after the race, I made it a priority to drive up to our local running store, where I got my fantastic new Brooks running sneakers –

This is Brady, our crazy chocolate lab.

Ignore the adorable dog, and check out those fancy new sneakers!!!

-and a belt.

Fitletic Fuel Belt with pockets

I always hated the idea of running with a belt because I felt like it would ride up or chafe, or just be downright annoying.

I’ve now worn my Fitletic belt for the Heartbreak Hill Half, the New England Running Company 10 Miler, and every training run I’ve gone on since purchasing it, and I have to say, it has wildly exceeded all my expectations. The belt does not move an inch while I run. I usually adjust it so that it sits on my hip so I can access my phone to see MapMyRun or grab a GU, and that’s where it stays!

The fitletic fuel belt sits right on my hip and doesn't move around

No slipping around to the front or back – and it’s not ridiculously tight. The stretchy band has plenty of give, so I don’t have to worry about cutting off my circulation either 😉 In fact, it’s so comfortable that a few times, I’ve completely forgotten that I’m still wearing it, only realizing when I go to take a post-run shower. 🙂

Inside, the belt has a couple of pockets – perfect for keeping my phone separate from my GU’s, and making it a cinch to grab one or the other. It also has a handy feature that allows you to attach your race bib directly to the belt, to avoid having to safety pin it to your clothes. I haven’t actually used that during races; my leg would just keep bumping the bib if I did because I prefer to wear the belt on my hip, but I do think it’s a great idea!

The fitletic fuel belt can even attach to your race bibs!

So if you’re a runner who THINKS you hate fuel belts, I would really recommend giving Fitletic a try. Let’s just say, it’s quite a step up from a safety pinned fanny pack! 🙂

 

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Oral I.V. Review

TGIF!

All I can say is thank goodness this week has come to an end! I survived a total of 4 exams this week… yikes.  I swear, sometimes I think professors just get together and plan how they can make their students’ lives as difficult as possible!

I didn’t quite get in as much running this week as I wanted to (but more about that in a coming post!), but this afternoon, I was able to squeeze in a wonderful 3.5 miler – AND, I got to try out a new product I’d been meaning to use for a while now!

Excited to run! ... sort of. I had a little trouble getting out the door, but I loved the run once I got out!

Excited to run! … sort of. I had a little trouble finding the motivation to go, but I loved the run once I was out!

The folks over at Oral I.V. were kind enough to send me a free sample of their hydration supplements in exchange for posting a review on the blog. So, a little background first…

oral iv2

Oral I.V. is a product consisting of a blend of electrolytes and purified water intended to prevent dehydration. It’s not meant to replace any of your typical hydrating products (water or sports drinks, for example), but it CAN and SHOULD be used in conjunction with them! It does NOT contain any sugars, caffeine, stimulants, or artificial ingredients – I wouldn’t have tried Oral I.V. if it did have this stuff!

It’s meant to be used in any high-exertion situation where a person might become dehydrated – running, triathlons, and hiking are just a few scenarios you might use it in.

water oral iv banner

So this afternoon, I thought I’d test it out. I know hydration is incredibly important for performing well in any sport, but since being at school, I’ve noticed that my water consumption has gone WAY down. I definitely need to start carrying around a water bottle! I mixed a little of the Oral I.V. with Gatorade, and then tried some by itself.

oral iv3

Either way tasted completely fine!It had no smell and just tasted like water. Also, the bottle is nice and small (and is a single serving size!), so it would be easy to transport to those races where you need to pack and travel to ahead of time.

Did it keep me from getting dehydrated? Well… in all honesty, I can’t know for sure. I only ran 3 and a half miles, so I probably wouldn’t have gotten too dehydrated running that far anyway. I did feel completely comfortable and cramp-free over the course of the run though (and check out that pace!)!

friday 9_27

I think I will be incorporating Oral I.V. into my pre-long run hydrating plan from now on! I feel like it has the most potential to really make a difference on those 8+ mile runs when I am sweating a LOT and pushing myself closer to that dangerous line of dehydration.

What’s your strategy for staying hydrated when you’re gettin’ sweaty? 

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