Saturday, January 14, 2017

Runner Box Review

Disclaimer: I received the Runner Box to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to find and write race reviews.

I'm sure you've all seen the subscription boxes that basically send you a surprise every month. You tell them what you're interested in or sizes and they send you a box of goodies.  Everyone likes a surprise.
My husband got a 6 month subscription from from me since he loves to hike and camp and I'm always at a loss at what to get him for Christmas. Now he gets goodies every month according to his likes.  It's always fun when the box arrives, we are all curious what he's going to get. I've always wanted to try Stitchfix but my wallet says no and to be honest, I like hunting around at TJ Maxx to find a deal.  Also, I'd prefer for it be something I really could use.  Like, things for running...

Enter The Runner Box. Here is what their website says:

What is The RunnerBox?

The RunnerBox is a subscription based box full of products and discounts which have been hand-picked to enhance your active lifestyle. The RunnerBox has everything from gels, chews, protein shakes/supplements, nutrition bars, energy boosters, healthy snacks, personal care, and other running accessories! Many products will be brand new to the market while others will be tried and true favorites. With so many new products claiming to be the next best thing – leave the trials and testing to us – we’ll search out the finest and send them right to your doorstep!

My runner box came with 10 items.

1.The first thing was Louva Shorties. I haven't gotten to try these out yet. When I got my box, it was bitter cold. I wanted my fingers completely wrapped up. I think these will be great in the early spring, when you go for a run in a tee shirt but still want gloves. These are so cool since you can push them up on to your wrist when you don't need them on your hands anymore. No need to have pockets to stash them! Win!😍

2. Pasta? I got a box of pasta? Not any pasta...but Banza is pasta made from chickpeas. It was a win from my picky eater boys. They hardly gave us a bite. It boasts of having 2x the protein and1/2 the net carbs. The pasta had an unusual first taste (definitely not regular pasta) but it grew on me. The cheese tasted the same as the popular brand of mac and cheese. 3 complaints: the pasta foamed like crazy, I had to keep stirring and blowing on the water so the foam wouldn't go still did. Now I have to clean my stovetop. The other minor complaint. It was just enough for a small serving for each of my family of four, the box included a coupon but it was expired. :-(I'm on the fence if I'd get it again.😐 

3. Zest Tea- I got 2 teas to try, Blue Lady and Cinnamon Apple. These were high octane teas which boasted to have as much caffeine as coffee. I'm not much of a tea drinker, but I've been fighting post lunch sleepiness so these would be great. I, honestly, didn't care for the taste of the cinnamon apple tea much. It was very mild. I did get a gentle boost and managed to skip my coffee after work that day. I'm a coffee drinker and I wasn't completely sold on this. Not my thing.😞

4.Runa- is energy drink made from Guayusa, a tea leaf from the Amazon. I liked this. It was a nice berry tea flavor with some carbonation. I tend to drink coffee if I need a lift but this was a nice change. This was handy to have in my lunch and it was just a pleasant taste. Win!😍

5. Chosen Foods Mango Chia bites- This made a wonderful snack before lunch. I ate them up. Light and crunchy, the only bad part was that some of them fell apart and I had a whole bunch of crumbs at the bottom of the bag- great stir in for my greek yogurt. Win! 😍

6. Oatmega bar- my husband took this out of my box since he was starving. He liked it but he mentioned that it was on the dry side and very minty. It was chocolate mint flavored. It had 14 gm of protein and low sugar. On the fence. 😐

7. HyperIce- It's an essential oil-infused soothing cream for sore muscles and joints.
 According to the website :
    Peppermint oil to cool, Aloe and Nettle to soothe, Lavender and Chamomile for calming, Coconut Oil to moisturize and nourish, Sweet Almond Oil to soften skin, Tea Tree Oil to disinfect and purify. 
I will say- it was a very pleasant smell, easy to rub in and lasted for about an hour. This was perfect for my sore, tight hip. Win!😍

8. Hotshot - I'm really intrigued by this. It's a sports shot with a kick that's scientifically proven to prevent and treat muscle cramps. You can take pre workout, during if you cramp or post workout to deal with cramping. I, knock on wood, haven't cramped when running. I haven't tried this yet since I'm on the injured reserve right now. I'm on the fence.😐

9. biPro- all-natural whey protein isolate.  I haven't tried these yet. I'm not a big protein drinker/smoothie maker. I have a bag of whey protein from 2 years ago in my pantry.  I generally don't like the taste. Not my thing.😞

10. R.e.d.d. is a superfood energy bar and advertises to give you 3 hours of positive energy and be a "meal bridge". I ate this after work before heading to the gym. It did get me to 5 pm without needing anything but I was hungry after working out. I had the chocolate bar. It tasted like a brownie. I thought it was just too rich. I don't like the idea of eating something so sweet. On the fence.😐

 My overall review:  
The Runner Box is bi-monthly for $22. You can do a 6 month or year subscription. If you are new to running or looking for new nutrition than this is definitely worth it. All of the nutrition seemed to be socially responsible companies. The box comes with a card with what each product does and a discount code so if you find something that you really like you can buy it. I can say that I'm pretty set on my nutrition. I have what works for me and so having all these new options were not was I was looking at in subscription box. 

πŸ‘ Positives: 
  • nice selection of snacks that are healthy and/or can be used before a run or after.
  • discount codes for everything in the box
  • decent price point at $23/box for a 6 month subscription, boxes are every 2 months- plenty of time to try things out.
  • they have options of a 1 time gift box for $25 and a birthday box for $30...perfect for the runner in your life when they seem to have everything! 
  • the website has TheTriBox and TheCycleBox as options for multisport athletes
  • exposure to products that your local running store might not have and you may not have seen reviewed anywhere.

πŸ‘Ž Negatives:

  • no way to customize your box (i.e. allergies, caffeine free or diet restrictions)
  • I'd like to have had a few more options for equipment (reflective, recovery, clothes, socks, etc.)
  • ordering page is not as clear as other subscription box companies

Overall I'd say: I'm on the fence. 😐This has potential but I'd like it be more customized to me.

Want to hear what other BibRave Pros had to say about the Runner Box? Join us on Twitter with BibRave and the Runner Box on Tuesday, January 17th at 9pm EST. Just look for #bibchat

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Bump in the road

Training for week of Dec 26-Jan 1:

Monday- 80 min progression run- I ran 20 mins at 9:15 pace, 20 mins at 8:45 pace, 20 mins at 8:15 pace and 20 mins at 9:15 pace for a total of 9 miles.

Tuesday- rest/core

Wednesday- 5 miles at 8:53 pace + strides

Thursday- Speed day- 10x 400 with 1 min recovery for a total of 7.15 miles This was a horrible workout for me. I got locked out of the good track, had to use a lumpy, frozen cinder track then as it warmed up it was more the texture of packed sand. I felt like I worked for each 400. Then a darn Weiner dog chased me (don't judge, he was super fast!). Leashes, people, leashes. I had to cut the cool down to get to my dentist appt. I haven't had a bad workout in awhile. I assumed it was the track and wind. (and possibly the holidaze).

Friday- 3 miles at 8:23 pace

Saturday- rest day!

Sunday- Long 90 min run. 10.2  miles at 8:58 pace

Week total of : 34 miles and change

Sunday and Monday after my long run. I was starting to feel the effects of running harder than I have in awhile. I just felt stiff. My back was stiff, legs stiff, ankle really stiff, hip sore, then my knee started getting sore (runner's knee) going down stairs, and my foot was starting to get hints of plantar fasciitis. (Not again!)

I went to my chiropractor and he said what need to be said. "You're over training. You need to take a week off." Yep. I guess I need to admit it. I love doing speed workouts but my Master's runner body needs more time to recover. So, this frigid week I got to do some Xtraining (which is the silver freezing cold runs this week)!

Week of Jan 2- Jan 8
not injured, just taking a break
Monday- Ran easy 5 at 9:10 pace
Tuesday- off- Chiro appt.
Wednesday- Spinning class with my son, Cub, who now is old enough to participate.
Thursday- lap swim for 20 mins, aqua jog for 30 ( 4 x 3 mins hard, 4 x1 mins v. hard, plus easy minutes in between)- I hate having to do this in the lap swim area. As a "swimmer", I hate when I have to go around others who are aquajogging. Alas, they won't let you aqua jog in the other side of the deep end that's cordoned off for the diving board (even when no one is using it or even going to use it.)
Friday- rest (skipped elliptical 30 min workout)- no excuse other than I was tired.
Saturday- swimming and aquajogging on the schedule

So, I'm hoping a week of rest prevents injury in the future. My coach is already adding in more cross training days for me for this marathon training cycle begins.

Monday starts 16 weeks til the Glass City Marathon. BTW they released what the medals will look like this year. 
Join me with the discount code: brpsavings for $5 off.

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Goals 2017

My goals for 2016:
1. Run under 1:40 for a half marathon
2. Run under 3:40 for a full marathon
3. Work on core
4. Eat clean
5. Run 1600 miles

What really happened:

1. Run under 1:40 for a half marathon  I ran 1:42 at the Cincinnati Flying Pig Half. I have excuses though- it was humid (and hilly - but I'd prepared for hills). The humidity was too much for me. My sub goal was to be in the top 10 in my age group - which I was 5th. I don't like to count that is a goal since I couldn't control who showed up. But it did help lessen the sting of not making my "secret goal" of 1:35 (which I know I had in me!)

2. Run under 3:40 for a full marathon  I knew this goal wasn't going to happen in July when my hip started giving me such problems that I had to cross train only for weeks. I wasn't even sure I'd toe the line in October for the Chicago Marathon. I did recover but my training was not intense as planned. I ended up running 4:04 on race day. My mini goal was around 4:15 so I beat that AND the biggest thing was I finished with a smile because my race nutrition worked. Tailwind Nutrition is the nectar of the running gods! 

3. Work on core I definitely worked on my core but I need to do more.

4. Eat clean I worked on this but I wouldn't say that it was a complete success. More work needed this year.

5. Run 1600 miles So close, as of today I'm 1512 miles in this year. I have 2 more days but no way I'll be running enough to meet that goal. 

My goals for 2017:

1. Run a strong marathon at the Glass City Marathon (In a perfect marathon day, I'd run 3:40 for a BQ +5mins)

2. Run under 45:00 for a 10k (early fall race)

3. Run under 1:40 for a half marathon (late fall)

4. Xtrain more- swim or bike/spin once a week

5. Sleep- Get 8 hours of sleep at least 5x a week

6. Participate more within the Oiselle Ohio VolΓ©e

7. core x3 week/ yoga 3x week

8. Listen and respect my body's need to recover better

9. Continue to work on clean eating as an individual and creating healthy options for my family

10. Run 1500 miles next year. (I needed a 10th goal- lower the goal for next year but I'm also going to xtrain one day)

On the family side of things:

Our family goals this year:

1. Each kid will be in charge of 1 night of dinner per week. They can pick their sous-chef to help them. All meals must include a protein and veggie/fruit. (We might be having some pretty basic foods for awhile but I think that letting them have a chance to pick the dinner and fix it is important).

2. Family reading challenge- we'll record the number of pages we read. I need this motivation. I've gotten so bad with using the ipad and reading things online that the kids never see me read anymore.

We shall see how it goes. I'll post here.

Review: Athlinks

Disclaimer:  I am promoting  Athlinks  as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a  BibRave Pro (ambassador) , and check out...