Tag Archives: reviews

SPI Belt Review + 2 Fun Workouts

As I mentioned last week, I was lucky enough to win a SPI Belt through the 2016 winter edition of RunChat Hunt.  I intended to take it with me on an easy run last Sunday but totally forgot it.  That’s what happens when you never run with anything, I guess.  To make sure I followed spi beltthrough on my promise to tell you all about my experience, I zipped my GPS watch in it that night.

It just so happened my next run was a long tempo outing of 5 x 2k repeats with a 400M jog between.  Not only is this a fun workout, the weather was just about perfect, my legs felt fresh and I’d get to test the belt at a variety of paces.  Perfect!  I began with 2k at marathon pace then increased each rep to finish #5 at 10k pace.  Here’s how my new SPI Belt responded:

Fit:  The fit is great.  A highly adjustable belt allows for lots of freedom in where on my hips or belly I wanted it to sit.  For easier runs I liked it lower but for faster work I liked it tighter and a bit higher.

Comfort:  The belt was surprisingly comfortable.  I haven’t had lots of experience running with a belt but those I have had weren’t great.  The SPI Belt stayed in place without any bouncing and was barely noticeable when I wasn’t paying attention to it for this review.

Size:  I don’t wear fuel belts because every one I’ve ever tried has been too bulky.  The bands have been too wide or not fit well.  That was not an issue with the SPI Belt.  The thin strap adjusted easily to fit me just right while the width was not an issue at all.

Space:  My phone lives in a gigantic Otter Box so to make it fit, the case had to go.  I have this problem with plenty of small handbags, too, and it didn’t bother me.  Phone sans case, ID, credit card, key and gels, I shoved as many things as I could in there.  Plenty of room for all of your essentials.

My second fun workout was when I took the belt out again and got to forget it was there.  A great product that definitely met my carry-all needs.

Meredith

Do you have a SPI Belt?  What’s your favorite feature?

Mutt Masquerade 5k + Volunteering

This past weekend was filled with racing.  Volunteering at a race, running a race and getting ready for a race.  Friday I spent the afternoon volunteering at the Wicked 10k expo, Saturday I completed my last long-ish run before the Monumental Half and Sunday I raced the Mutt Masquerade 5k.

I wrote about the value of pitching in a mutt masqueradehelping at a race last week.  My time at the expo Friday did not disappoint.  Stationed at t-shirt exchange I saw tons of friends, met new runners and, since the shirts ran small, helped lots of people out.  Here I am hanging out with some of my good friends who are J&A Racing Ambassadors.

Saturday morning I ran my last big workout before I tackle state #24, Indiana.  The Monumental Half is a fast and flat course I’m feeling halfway prepared for.  I’m not in peak shape by any means but my legs are feeling good.  My last two long workouts were both very good and I’m looking forward to a solid performance.

Sunday morning the whole house packed up to hit the boardwalk for Virginia Beach SPCA’s Mutt Masquerade.  A morning filled with adorable dressed up dogs and lots of sunshine, it was lots of fun.  My legs were tired from Saturday’s finish fast long run and I didn’t mutt masqueradehave high expectations.  After a mile warm up, I lined up in the front pack of runners.  I took off, settled in to a comfortable pace for the out and back course and had some fun.  mutt masquerade

On the outbound side I realized my right shoe was tied too tight (still figuring out the new shoes).  My ankle was bothering me and an injury however slight was last on my list.  I decided to stop to fix it when I could hear my funky gait on the cement.  Passing all of the wagging tails on my return trip really made the race enjoyable.  Not one of my best performances after having to tie a shoe midway through, I finished second female overall (22:54) and won my age group.

Meredith

Do you run with your dog?  Would you do the Mutt Masquerade?

 

Lululemon Hotty Hot Short

While I was on my recent blog vacation, I acquired Lululemon’s Hotty Hot Short.  After spending some time trying them out with different activities I’ve found them to be just right for lots of things.  Here are the details!

Fabric:  I was looking for something different with this pair of shorts.  It’s been a hot, humid summer and with the dog days of August settling in I wanted a little more breathability.  The hotty hot shortloose fitting, four-way stretch fabric is great.  They are very light and I barely noticed them, even when they were soaked in sweat.  It’s not an easy fabric to damage with pins for a race number or a heavy cycle in the washer but I never put workout gear in the dryer and haven’t with these.  [All of my selfie shorts attempts failed so here’s what worked].

Fit/Feel:  With the looser fit through the legs, I doubt you’ll ever need the fabric’s four-way stretch but it’s nice to know it’s there.  The wide waist band is great for keeping the shorts in place without leaving its pattern indented on your tummy.  The Hotty Hot Shorts I purchased have a low, 2.5″, rise.  The fabric’s looseness and built in liner make you feel secure and covered even if your shorts tan is shrinking a bit.  If you’re taller there is a ‘long’ version available.  The single zip pocket in the back is convenient and keeps its contents as dry as can be expected.  The seam locations in these is different than some other Lulu shorts and I have no fear of the dreaded inner thigh chafe when rocking them.  All in all, they fit great, stay in place even when wet and almost make you forget they’re there.

Functionality:  With reflective details and a back pocket, the Hotty Hot Short is very versatile.  I’ve spent time in the gym with them, on the track running hard and on an easy long run.  For a longer run there aren’t enough pockets to hold gels so you’ll need a fuel belt or backpack.  For just about anything else from hiking to yoga they’re a solid choice.

Price:  At $58 (+ tax in most states) they come in right on target for Lululemon.  It’s an investment I’ve found is worth it.  The key to keeping these shorts long lasting is skipping the dryer and washing in cold water.

Meredith

What do you look for in workout gear?  What will you compromise on?

Allen Stone Memorial 5k

Saturday morning I raced the 17th Annual Allen Stone Memorial 5k.  I blogged about how excited I was to race in my new shoes last week and I was happy with how things turned out.

I could tell the second I walked out the door into a humid morning it wasn’t going to be a banner day.  I hadn’t had a full recovery day in 10 days and my legs were pretty tired.  My new shoes settled right onto my feet as I jogged an easy mile to get moving.  One of the allen stone memorial 5kthings that didn’t help my performance was that between the portions of my warm up I had a big break.  This race is full of tradition, including a reading of the names of special operations service men who have died in the line of duty, the national anthem, and three parachuters floating down with the flag.  After stretching and relaxing through that I finished with 800M of pick-ups to get my turnover and heart rate going.

Soaked in sweat with my heart pumping and legs feeling lighter but not fresh we snapped a Team RWB photo.  Then I was off to the Allen Stone Memorial 5k start line.  I knew the crowd was competitive and settled into the third row of runners figuring that would be roughly my speed.  I went out of the gate too fast for the first 400M, especially on the humid allen stone memorial 5kmorning, but was thankful the sun stayed hidden as I ran through the first mile.  I had a girl right next to me through the turn around then pulled away in the second mile.

Coming into the final kilometer I choked.  Not crapped out on performing but actually choked.  Some sticky spit got stuck in my throat with no water in sight and I slowed to attempt clearing my throat without making things worse.  It kind of worked so I picked it back up for the last half mile.  Set on cruise, the girl who had been neck-in-neck with me at the race’s start came on strong in the final 20M and we finished with a sprint over the line.

I ended up finishing in 21:40, averaging 6:59 miles.  Not the time I thought I had run when I crossed the Allen Stone Memorial 5k finish line, it was actually a few seconds faster.  I immediately grabbed some water to finally get my throat clear, collected my medal and waited for results with a bunch of friends.  I found out I had won my age group then jogged a cool down mile that took long enough to miss my award being presented.  I got a fancy handled mason jar with the Allen Stone Memorial 5k logo on it to match my medal and then called it a day.

I was happy to get a solid workout in, have success with my new shoes and still have something left for the next day’s long run.  With two more weeks in my base phase, I’m excited to see what I can do when the weather’s cooler, my legs are fresher and my weeks aren’t packed with miles this fall.

Meredith

How do you decide if a race was successful?  What training phase are you in right now?

EquiKids Cross Country 5k Recap

My favorite race of the year was Saturday and all mud aside, it was another fun day.  This was the fifth year consecutive year I’ve run the EquiKids Cross Country 5k.  It’s an event for the whole family with a half mile pony run for younger children, the 5k for everyone and a one mile run with the hounds.  I was excited even though I knew it was going to be muddy after five straight days of rain.  Trails, especially muddy ones, are far from my strength.

Race morning was overcast (but not raining!) with a little bit of humidity and middle of the road temperatures.  I went with long tights because of the mud, knowing I’d been running as close to the edges of the trails as I could for solid ground.  After my warm-up, I shed the half zip I’d been wearing against the morning’s cool breeze and lined up in my tank, long tights and about-to-be-muddy shoes.  We went off into the woods a few minutes after the little ones finished their half mile pony run.

There were the initial speedsters making the first section a bit crowded but they faded by the time we hit the woods.  I settled into an easy pace on the mushy surface and waited for my first foot to hit a puddle.  It took longer than I expected to find the first muddy spot.  Not being very skilled at racing through the mud, I slowly picked my way through with tiny, slow steps and picked things up when I was back on solid ground.  At the Mile 1 mark I had plenty of running room as the crowd spread out and it stayed that way through the end.  My watch was all over the place searching for help as I wove in and out of the trees with neither of us really knowing how fast I was moving.  I slipped a few times in mud, at one point swinging around a tree to help, glad I was taking things slowly instead of risking injury in an unfamiliar environment.equikids cross country 5k

I kicked as much as I could on the wet ground coming into the EquiKids Cross Country 5k finish and landed squarely in a big puddle of water.  It was a nice finish to a solid workout that had me smiling and working to stay balanced the whole time.  Definitely not one of my best 5k performances, I was happy to come out without having fallen in the mud or getting injured.  I ended up fourth female overall and second in my age group after the overall female was also the age group winner.  A bottle of water and two slices of pizza later, I was awarded my medal and made for the nice dry car.

It was another great year with weather that held out until after the dog mile, great people and good times.  In the end, 2016’s mud laced EquiKids Cross Country 5k taught me that I could probably benefit from hitting the trails more often.  With only one trail race and five or six easy trail outings per year, I tend to be overly cautious with my feet and also have lots of trouble feeling my pace on the soft surface.

Meredith

How do you run in mud?  Do you train specifically for trail races?

2016 ODU Big Blue 5k Recap

Meredith’s Month of Racing rolled on this past weekend with the ODU Big Blue 5k.  In it’s second year, J&A put together another well organized event on a just about perfect day.  With only one speed work session behind me before race day I didn’t have very high expectations heading in but still wanted to get a good workout and possibly an age group award.

With a 10:30 start, this is a great race for those who like to sleep in.  I had an easy morning and after a 25 minute drive to ODU’s campus slid right into the free garage race parking.  It was filling up quickly, making me glad to arrive 90 minutes before go time.  Race day packet pick-up was crowded but moving quickly and there were plenty of Port-a-Potties in the start area.  With my number in tow, I took my gender specific tech shirt (which I easily swapped out for a men’s to give to Doug since I knew I’d never wear it) back to the car, rearranged some things then headed back to the start for some warm up.

A 1k kids race was going on making it was tough to find a good spot to run more than a few meters but eventually I managed to get in a little over a mile.  The starting corrals line up down a odu big blue 5knarrow street though the race’s small size prevent them from feeling very cramped.  The start was right on time and the day was warmer than I had expected.  Without any real goal for the race my watch jumping all over the place (I was definitely not running a 4:47 or 9:22 mile at any point) didn’t bother me too much as I settled in.

A quick right turn after the start lead to wider roads and more running room.  I got into a groove that let me know I was going to get that workout I wanted taken care of but nothing more.  The super flat ODU Big Blue 5k course weaves through ODU’s campus on roads of various width and some wide clean sidewalks.  In the end, there were a few more turns than I would have liked and the about face around halfway definitely cost me a few seconds.  But it did for everyone else, too.  There was minimal crowd support on a Saturday morning college campus except for at the well staffed water stop.odu big blue 5k

One of the race’s biggest highlights is finishing on the 50-yard line.  It was neat but be ready for the surface change.  The field is bouncy and also not as flat as I expected, kind of bumpy in fact.  I cruised through the finish feeling pretty good about the run I had.  I ran 22:19 and was 7th female, the 77th finisher overall and second in my age group.  I think the late start messed with me a bit since I’m a get-up-and-goer.  My legs could have performed better and my head just wasn’t in it but I successfully accomplished what I wanted for the day.  A solid workout and a bonus age group award.

In the finish chute I received an ODU Big Blue 5k bottle opener medal and a bottled water before heading to the post race party.  The beautiful day was a perfect chance to enjoy my three complimentary beers and chicken burrito from Moe’s.  There were also food trucks, massive Jenga games and multiple sets of cornhole boards for everyone to enjoy.  Another well organized event put on by J&A Racing, this is a fun, family friendly race that I really enjoyed.

Meredith

Want more?  Check out my review on BibRave.

 

2016 First Light Half Marathon

The second half of my back to back weekend, the 2016 First Light Half Marathon was a totally different race for me than the one a day earlier.  After struggling in Jackson I was a little bit concerned about how this second race would go.  Happily, everything ended well.

My 2016 First Light Half Marathon experience began with a bus ride in from Jackson.  I felt tired but generally OK getting off the bus and heading to the small expo.  A quick packet pick-up first light half marathonwhere I was awarded my back to back plaque sent our group of four to check in to the hotel.  I was surprised to receive my back to back plaque before actually completing the second event.  Created by residents of L’Arche Mobile, the plaques are hand painted and come with a little bit of information about the person who made each one.

A short walk later we were in our historic hotel and ordering pizza for dinner.  Tired after a long day, all four of us went to sleep early and got a solid ten hours before a 6:30 wake up for the Sunday race’s 7:30 start.  My race day plan was to run about 1:45, log some marathon pace miles and enjoy the much flatter course after minor disaster on the hills of Mississippi.  Race morning dawned bright, brisk and with a slight breeze.  I had no idea what to expect from my legs, especially hoping my ankle would continue to feel as solid as it did when I climbed out of bed.

I ran a short 400M warm up to see what my body would do and it actually felt really good.  first light half marathonSeveral minutes later I had woven to the front of the start chute just in time to hear the gun go off right at 7:30.  With no corrals the race started out with lots of traffic that cleared up in the first 1200 meters.  Filled with few turns and lots of long straightaways, the flat course was apparently exactly what my legs/ankle/brain needed.

Rolling through the traffic and into Mile 3 I matched up with a nice gentleman running the full.  Brian (orange hat) had run the full the previous day as well and was shooting for a solid finish, just like me.  We stuck together through the half/full split at Mile 8.5 with the exception of my catching up after walking through a water stop.  Together we clocked an average of 7:30 miles and I was shocked.  I continued to first light half marathonroll on with some speedier than expected miles through the flat straight stretches but did start to feel a bit beat up around Mile 10.  My final 5k was definitely slower.  I easily stayed on marathon pace as I took a quick pit stop to chat with Joey from Run8va (who snapped this photo at Mile 4).  I walked through a water stop at Mile 11 then settled in for a strong finish back down at 7:20 pace for my last mile of the weekend.

I collected my medal and special back to back medal before trying to find some results.  Based on the 2015 results, I figured might have been in the top 10 but I also noted that the crowd seemed faster this year.  My watch had me in at 1:41.47 and the official clock pinned me at exactly 1:42.  Not knowing if I had to be present to collect an award at 10:30, I scampered to first light half marathonthe hotel for a quick shower and foam roll before trotting back to Bienville Park and meeting my troupe.

With awards going to the top ten before getting into age groups, I was lucky enough to be third in my age group at the First Light Half Marathon.  Like the Back 2 Back plaques, the awards were handmade by residents of L’Arche Mobile.  It immediately became one of my favorites because it wasn’t created by a machine and someone took time out to do something for a runner they don’t even know.  The four of us then went back for a little post race R&R and lunch before heading to the airport.

My 2016 First Light Half Marathon experience was wonderful.  The flat, well supported course and handmade medals and awards can make any runner’s day better.  A trot through the friendly city of Mobile was a nice way to wrap up a back to back weekend that didn’t go exactly as planned.

Meredith

Have you run back to back races?  Which ones?

2015 Ocean State Rhode Race

The 2015 Ocean State Rhode Race was a series of firsts for me.  It was the second half of my first back to back half marathon weekend, the race’s inaugural running and the first time I had absolutely no idea what would happen.  The good news is everything went really well over the hilliest course I’ve seen yet.

After a fun time pacing Hartford on Saturday, I showered, downed some fluids and carbs then hopped in the car with Mom.  We traveled from Hartford directly to packet pick-up for the second half of my first back to back half marathons in Narragansett, RI in about two hours.  Packet pick-up was uncrowded in the quiet Narragansett Theater with no expo and it was easy to grab my number, tech shirt and goody 2015 ocean state rhode racebag packed with snacks like Clif Bars and three QuicDisc tubes I’m excited to try.  A five minute drive later, we were checking into the Hampton Inn South Kingston and prepping for dinner in nearby Newport.

I wasn’t sure how good my recovery from Hartford could actually be after sitting in the car pretty quickly after running for over two hours so I threw in a pre-dinner foam roll and stretch session.  As my Mom and I walked around Newport, my legs felt better than expected.  While chowing down on a tasty dish of lobster mac from The Barking Crab, I started to feel positive about hitting my 2015 Ocean State Rhode Race goal of breaking 1:45.  After dinner and a bit more walking on a gorgeous fall evening, it was back to the very comfortable hotel for relaxing and an early bedtime.

My alarm went off at 6:20 for the 8am race and I made my way downstairs to enjoy the Hampton Inn’s fantastic breakfast buffet that had started at 5am.  I downed a bowl of cereal, a banana and half a buttered bagel as I stretched and foam rolled legs that felt really good.  Driving to the start at 7am, we made the 3.5 mile trip in roughly 8 minutes.  Once arriving, race day packet pick-up was under way, runners for the full marathon, which started at 7:30, were warming up and a big bank of Port-a-Potties stood at the ready.  A smaller race, roughly 700 runners in the half, meant no backups at the Ocean State Rhode Race Port-a-Potties and plenty of room to move around.

As I milled around, chatted, stretched and stayed warm for the next 40 minutes, I felt 100% ready to rock.  The marathon took off and I locked in my goal to finish under 1:45.  I had been wary of setting any goal at all because I had no idea how I’d feel after getting beaten up in Hartford or exactly how hilly the course would be but during those 40 minutes, I felt good.  With legs itching to run, I entered the corral-less starting area.  A minute later the national anthem was played and right on time, the gun went off.

I enjoyed rolling hills, perfect weather and great scenery as the first miles flew by.  My legs felt good powering up hills of various sizes and floating down with a little help from gravity.   I grabbed water at Mile 4, chatted with two other runners while we ran miles six and seven as a group then separated when I walked through a water station at Mile 8.  By this time, the rolling hills from early in the race had given way to some big climbs with not-so-much downhills and I started to feel the previous day’s 15 miles right around the one hour mark.

As the race continued, beautiful scenery kept coming and so did the climbs.  I was running again on the right side of the road and my knee started to bother me a little bit.  Knowing I was on track to hit my 1:45 goal, I ended up taking a walking break to eat a CarbBoom gel in tasty Pomegranite/Grape flavor I had picked up earlier on the course after Mile 9.  My knee began to get worse by continuing to run on the right side of the road and between Miles 10 and 12, I took a few more 30 second walking breaks to shake it out.2015 ocean state rhode race

In the final mile I was able to run on a flat surface.  My knee immediately felt better and I knew I would have a strong finish.  I cruised in with a ‘let’s see what’s left’ kick for the last 400 at 1:43.16.  There was more than I thought in my tank for those last 400 meters but after 15 miles Saturday, over 500 feet of elevation gain Sunday and a grumpy knee, I was very happy to have anything at all.

The post race area was very nice with tons of food and hydration options.  The medals are nice though only the first place finishers in age groups were recognized.  Hopefully as the race grows this will change.  I also hope that in the future at least one side of the road will be completely closed, giving runners a chance to get off of an angled surface.  In summary, the 2015 Ocean State Rhode Race was a solid inaugural event with great weather, a challenging course and friendly runners.

Meredith

What’s the hilliest course you’ve run?  Do you like flat or a little change over a race course?

2015 Hartford Half Marathon

The 2015 Hartford Half Marathon was the first half of my fall 2015 back to back half marathons and it was a blast.  I had the pleasure of pacing the two hour group to lots of PRs on a beautiful day over a fun course.  The race was a big success with lots of positives that I’d love to see at other races in the future.

The Hartford portion of my back to back weekend began with a ton of traffic heading towards the city making it take longer than expected to get there.  Luckily this hold up wasn’t a big deal because as a pacer my race gear had been mailed to me earlier in the month and I could skip the expo.  When we finally arrived Friday evening, my Mom and I checked in to the Holiday Inn Downtown East Hartford, went downstairs for dinner and spent the rest of the evening before my early bed time hanging out harford half marathonwatching Virginia Tech beat NC State on Friday night football.  The hotel had lots of Hartford Half Marathon spirit, including door hangers that read “Saturday is the big day and I need my rest.”  So cute.  In addition to Marathon spirit, they had a carb loading buffet in their restaurant.  I chowed down on two rounds garlic bread, salad, delicious grilled chicken and tasty sweet potatoes before throwing in the dinner towel.

I rolled out of bed at 6:20 the next morning for the Hartford Half Marathon’s 8am start time.  Breakfast was out at the hotel so I munched on a croissant and a banana nut muffin while I got ready to go then headed out into a brisk (for me) morning as the sun was rising.  The pace team was meeting up at 7:25 to get our signs and access indoor restrooms at Bushnell Theater, about a mile from the hotel.  I jogged to Bushnell Park as a warm-up, walked through a well organized crowd where there were several hydration stations and not exceedingly long lines at Port-a-Potties.  I didn’t need gear check but it was available and convenient, right near everything else you might want.  Grabbing a cup of water, I found my way to the theater where I gathered my signs, met my pace buddy Chelen and enjoyed the nice bonus of using the clean, warm facilities to stretch out and finalize pacing plans.

At 7:45 Chelen and I took our 2:00 signs out into a slightly warmer day where a large group of runners joined us.  We chatted with excitement as our 2:00 group moved towards the non-corralled start.  As we stood with our group, the weather just kept getting better and many participants noted how the previous year had been just terrible with rain and cold.  Feeling very lucky to be out on a nice day with a great group of runners, I listened while a Hartford policeman sang the national anthem in outstanding fashion and before we knew it, we were off.

The course began with a slight incline then moved into soft rolling hills with a few big climbs and some nice downhills throughout but nothing too serious.  The half marathon split from the full about a mile in and traffic eased up while Chelen and I chatted with our group.  All of a sudden we were rocking through the timing mat at Mile 5.  A check of our watches told us we were right on two hour pace.  During those miles we had passed numerous well stocked Hartford Half Marathon hydration stations with both water and Gatorade, some very hartford half marathonenthusiastic cheer groups and several small banks of Port-a-Potties lining the course.

Over the next eight miles, rolling hills continued as we ran through more of Hartford’s adorable neighborhoods and a beautiful park.  Nice cool breezes and shady streets popped up at the perfect time to keep everyone cool while course support never waned.  Suddenly Mile 12 appeared.  It was such a beautiful day, I wasn’t quite ready to be be done running but I had two runners working hard for PRs and was honored to help push them through the finish.  My official times were 2:00.34 gun time and 1:59.28 chip time which both made me really happy since I hadn’t noticed immediately when I crossed the start in our big group.

The finish was, like the start, very well organized.  A green event, the Hartford Half Marathon gave finishers a nice reusable bottle filled with water instead of the typical bottles you see in the chute and rather than picking up 17 different post race fueling items, finishers were handed a reusable bag filled with protein and carb treats.  I met my Mom, changed out of some sweaty clothes and had a nice cool down walk back to the hotel that included seeing the first and second place male marathon finishers speed by.hartford half marathonOnce back at the hotel, it was a quick foam roll while downing a protein shake and two Cliff bars, a nice long shower, compression on and in the car to Rhode Island for Sunday’s Ocean State Rhode Race.  I would definitely run the Hartford Half Marathon again.  It’s a fun course with beautiful scenery in a friendly town with lots to do.  The race was one of the most well organized I’ve been a part of with weather that couldn’t have been better.  It was a pleasure to pace four runners to PRs and is an experience I sincerely enjoyed.

Meredith

What’s the best organized race you’ve run?  Have you run the Hartford Half Marathon before?

Bulu Box Review + Discount Code!

I received my first Bulu Box last week and could not wait to try the products.  The monthly subscription service provides five sample size products in each shipment.  If you like something, they offer every sample as a full sized product on their website.  When you register you’re asked to fill out a profile to help determine what samples are perfect for you which is a great way to know you’ll use every Bulu Box sample, every month.bulu boxMy Bulu Box contained Fusion Chicken Jerky in Lemon Pepper flavor, Movit Energy Gummies, Runa Tea, Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream and Simple Being Dietary Supplement.

As soon as I opened the box I dove into Fusion’s Lemon Pepper Jerky.  Delicious!  I had never had chicken jerky before, only venison and beef, and was very pleasantly surprised.  It was chewy like expected but not unreasonable so, perfectly flavored and smelled great.  The hint of spice doesn’t become overpowering when you eat more than one or two slices which is great for someone like me who doesn’t like a lot heat on food.

While I sitting out on the deck with my book Saturday afternoon a few mosquitos got their jaws in me and the Earth’s Care Anti-Itch cream was a nice tool to have handy.  I wiped some on as soon as I noticed the red bump and never had the urge to itch it.  Not once!  I typically just suffer and scratch away for a few minutes but after this experience, I might invest in a little less itchiness.

Sunday morning I had a long run scheduled.  After a sleepless night, my original plans were derailed and I got off to a late start.  Luckily, I still had time to devour The Movit Energy Gummies my Bulu Box contained.  The citrus flavor was yummy.  I love a gummy and all of the nutrients the chewies contained.  The package recommends eating about 20 minutes before your activity and even though I only gave them 12-15 to kick in, I think I noticed a difference in my energy level past the 10k mark.  It was hot and I was fighting with some hydration issues that made it hard to really tell what was going on.  Looking forward to trying these again.

Not much of a tea drinker beyond the very rare Arizona Green Tea, I was a little nervous to try the Runa Guayusa Tea.  I’ve never steeped my own tea and didn’t know how it would taste.  The Focused Energy flavor was surprisingly good.  I typically steer clear of caffeine and didn’t really feel a big boost but I suspect this could be because I drank it very slowly over about 20 minutes.  I appreciate the whole foods aspect and the company’s mission.

I haven’t yet tried the Simple Being supplement and am not sure when I will.  Like I mentioned, I’m cautious with caffeine.  When I do feel brave enough to take it, I’ll probably split the package with Doug and see how differently we respond to the same ingredients.

Aside from sending awesome samples with no shipping charges (ever) every month, Bulu Box offers cancellation at any time and a kick butt rewards program.  Each month you can earn points for sharing thoughts and reviews of the samples you received.  Those points can then be used to purchase full size products in the Bulu Box store.  How awesome is that?  Free stuff!

Thanks Bulu Box for sending me great things.  If you’d like to try Bulu Box, use discount code SWEATPINK to save 50% off a 3 month subscription.

Meredith

Do you get a monthly Bulu Box?  What other monthly sample do you subscribe to?

**I received this complimentary Bulu Box as part of my partnership with Sweat Pink and Fit Approach.  All opinions and work are my own***