Scoring sweet swag, reviewing awesome products and living the rad mom life.

Archive for April, 2017

Hill Yeah! (A La Jolla Half Marathon Review)

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the La Jolla Half Marathon 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!”

Last weekend I ran the La Jolla Half Marathon and it was quite…humbling  beautiful!  No really, La Jolla itself is a coastal town in San Diego and I encourage anyone who comes for a San Diego visit to make a stop in La Jolla.  You won’t regret it. So I decided about two weeks out from the race that I would go ahead and participate (stay tuned for a future blog post called, “How NOT to train for a half marathon”) because I love La Jolla and I love running so why not combine the two?!  Did I mention this is only my third half marathon?  Anywho, let’s see how this story unfolds…

The Expo: The Expo was held at the Hilton across from the Del Mar Fairgrounds/Racetrack and there was plenty of free parking available.  I attended Friday afternoon and it was actually pretty busy.  Inside there was a horse prop and photo booth along with some refreshing water and merchandise kiosk.

There were also plenty of volunteers to direct foot traffic which I fully appreciated because I hate not knowing where to go.  I grabbed by bib and tshirt with no problems and then walked around the expo to check out the vendors.  I snagged a free headband from Xracewear, a tasty acai bowl from Sambazon, and a couple of samples from Ultima. I also purchased a couple of Clif bars and Honey Stingers since I was already there.

Parking – There were two options for parking: Either park at the start line in Del Mar and then shuttle back after the race OR park at the finish line in La Jolla and shuttle back before the race. Either way the shuttle was free.  I chose to park at the start line because I like to sleep. 😉 I was really nervous about getting stuck in traffic the morning of the race since I heard parking can be kind of difficult, but I was actually parked and ready to go by 6:30 am so it wasn’t too bad.  I did notice traffic starting to back-up once I had parked so I imagine anyone arriving closer to 7am may have had a more difficult time.

Pre-race – The parking lot was only a short walk from the start line and there was a water station as well as a coffee cart on location.  There were plenty of porta-potties so I didn’t have to wait in line very long and the line for bag check was also pretty short so really the morning went pretty smoothly.  I took a quick picture with my fellow Stroller Warriors and hopped in my wave.  I was in wave #5 out of 6 and I was happy to see the waves moving pretty quickly.  I think the clock was at about 12 minutes when I crossed the start line.  Then we were off!

Miles 1-5 – The weather was great!  High 60’s with the right amount of sun and clouds and not much humidity.  The first 5 miles traveled through the quaint town of Del Mar so there wasn’t a whole lot to see as far as scenery.  The elevation wasn’t too bad at this point and then there was a big drop right before entering into Torrey Pines State Reserve otherwise known as “The Big Torrey Pines Hill”.  This is the hill people warn you about when you mention that you will be running the La Jolla Half Marathon.

Miles 6 (THE hill) –  I was doing pretty well and keeping the pace I wanted until the Torrey Pines Hill came along.  I’ve hiked trails in Torrey Pines before but never walked or run up the big hill before…because there’s a parking lot at the top so why would I torture myself?  Well here we are, mile 6 and I’m thinking back on all those times that I should have run the stupid hill in preparation for this race… But I only had 2 weeks to prep, remember?  Yeah, that’s my excuse.  So my morale pretty much dropped around this time and I gave myself a good pep talk to keep it going and not give up.  I did run a portion of it, but ultimately decided to walk the rest since I still had half a race to go.  Also to note, there are no water stations in the Reserve so I made sure that I had enough water to get me through the most difficult part of the race.  There were, however, some really sweet rangers and volunteers holding signs and encouraging us throughout the hill torture.  Although I think we have different definitions of  “You’re almost to the top.”

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Miles 7-10 – After the infamous hill, there are more rolling hills (yay) through UTC and other parts of La Jolla.  Luckily my solemate, @thehungryrunner_ was at mile 9 to cheer me on and give me a little morale boost!

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Miles 11-13 – Wow, the race directors really make you work for those views.  Because around mile 11.5-12, they decide to throw in ANOTHER hill! Not as crazy as Torrey Pines, but still a legit hill and at the worst possible location. Apparently many people refer to this as the “F U Hill” and I can see why.  There’s also a lot of downhill and big dips during this mileage too so I saw quite a bit of people walking this portion.  I felt okay enough to run during the downhill parts, but if you have bad knees or hips I would imagine you would want to take it easy during this section.  BUT…the views are absolutely breathtaking!

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Finish Line – I finally crossed the finish line and received my medal, food bag, and chocolate milk.  The finish line area was pretty congested, but the volunteers kept the flow moving.  Then I headed over to the beer garden. Once I got to the beer garden I grabbed my IPA beer (we were allowed 2) and collapsed.  Not literally, but almost.  Never in my life have I chugged a chocolate milk and a beer within a 5 minute period.  This event was just full of firsts for me.  Then I picked up my bag from gear check, which was a cinch (pun intended) and checked out the vendors.

Course Support – Lots of volunteers and plenty of Race Guards on hand.  Also plenty of water, Ultima, and Vaseline stations.  There was even a lady handing out baby wipes around mile 8, which for some reason made my day.  There weren’t a ton of spectators at this race, there were people sprinkled along the course cheering and holding signs…but not as many as I’ve seen in other races.  Also, there weren’t any mile markers until the 8th mile so if you plan to run this and like knowing your times then you will definitely need a watch.

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Post-race: I didn’t hang out for too long after the race because it got windy and I was getting cold so I hobbled over to the bus line to head back to my car.  I only had to wait about five minutes before getting on the bus and the busses were nice and air conditioned.  It was also kind of nice not having to drive out of La Jolla since the streets are so narrow and traffic is pretty crazy on the weekends.  I even had a nice chat with a lady on the bus who told me that this was her 6th time running La Jolla.  She explained how she didn’t make her goal time but still enjoyed the views as always.  I explained how I didn’t make my goal time either but still had a good time.  Then we both agreed that running is great because you get what you put into it.  If you don’t train to PR, you won’t PR. Profound moments on a bus…which is why I love the running community!

So what was the SWAG?!

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Lots of yummy goodies! Not pictured: my acai bowl and chocolate milk.  I also received a free session at CycleBar in Hillcrest once they open.  Also, the tshirt is way better in person.  I love the fabric, color, and design!

And I love the medal! It displays the unique scenery of La Jolla!

Overall, I really fell in love with this race…hills and all!  I’ve talked to a few others that have run this and everyone pretty much has the same two reactions.  Either they absolutely love this race and would totally do it again OR they absolutely hate this race and never want to talk about it ever again.  I, personally, would do this race again in a heartbeat!  1. I always love a good challenge.  2.  The views are incredible!  3.  I would like redemption and to improve my time.

Also, La Jolla is part of the Triple Crown Series so if you want that extra bling then running this is mandatory!  I recommend doing some hill training and don’t get too stressed about the elevation, the views are all worth it!!!

And I didn’t forget about my BIBRAVE buddies!  There were a few other Bibrave Pros out there running, too!  I got to meet up with Mai (check her blog link below for photo proof), but missed Jeremy and Justin (next time, guys!).  You can also check out their thoughts on the La Jolla Half Marathon here: @once_upon_a_run, @runner_blogger_az

See you at the next event! 🙂

~SM

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Why I Love Being a MomCo Mom!

In honor of MomCo turning two this month, I thought I would share what MomCo is all about and why I love it so much!  MomCo started as an app for moms to find and host playdates with other moms in their local area.  What a great concept!  As a new mom it can be hard to make mom friends so I was thrilled to discover MomCo and everything it represented!  Since its conception, MomCo has grown into a supportive community for moms to share ideas, parenting questions, as well as playdate themes!  So allow me to share a few detailed reasons as to why I love being a part of the MomCo community! 


Social Interaction! – Being in the MomCo community and attending playdates is a great opportunity to not only socialize the kiddos, but to also have real conversations with other moms.  Small kids are adorable, but they can also act like tiny anchors – meaning the struggle is real when it comes to figuring out what to do with them on some days.   This is especially true if you are a brand new mom and are transitioning from working/having free-time to mom life.  You just don’t know what to do with yourself sometimes!  But with MomCo, you can easily find and attend a playdate in your area and you’re all set!  Now your kids are either running out their energy or doing a craft and you can mingle (vent) with some other moms!  You may even discover a new venue or park in your local community!

 

Maybe you don’t see any MomCo playdates posted in your area…that’s okay!  Host your own!  Gather up your mom friends and start hosting monthly play dates at the park, library, museum, froyo shop, wherever you think would be a good spot for the kiddos to play!  Maybe you’re new to the area and don’t have a mom tribe…that’s okay too!  Pick a venue and date and post the playdate on Facebook.  Then while you’re out and about at the park, grocery store, coffee shop, nail salon, wherever…invite the moms you meet!  They are most likely desperate for adult interaction just as much as you are!  Once you’ve gotten a few mom friends together, apply to be a member of the Mom Mingle Rewards Club.  Which brings me to my next point!

Trying out Mom Must-Haves (for free) – There are two ways to score free products.  The first one is to become a member of the Mom Mingle Rewards Club and host monthly events.  The second way is attend one of these events hosted by a Rewards Club member.  Either way…it’s FREE!  Hostesses are provided with swag bags, crafts, snacks, and giveaways for their events.  And I’m not talking dollar store type stuff…these are good quality, Pinterest-worthy products.  You may discover a new product that you didn’t know you needed or maybe a healthy snack that your kids absolutely love.  Either way, it’s a great way to discover new brands and add to your arsenal of mom and kid products!

Okay, maybe playdates aren’t your thing or perhaps you are a working mom and aren’t available for daytime events.  Have no fear, because MomCo is also a great place to find or host Moms’ Night Out events!  Find a local spot where your mom friends can gather one evening (without the kids) and promote the event in your community.  I assure you, there are plenty of moms in your community who would love a night out!  So post the event and invite the moms in your spin class or that distraught mom in the aisle at Target.  You may just make their day!

So what else do I love about MomCo?!  The SWAG of course!  – Not only can you score various swag from other brands at an event.  You can score MomCo swag and rep it around your community!  And the best part?  It’s practical and totally usable for everyday outings!

Also, let me add: MomCo is NOT a pyramid scheme, there are no membership dues or annual fees. It’s FREE!  It’s literally just a place for moms to connect and meet for events.  The other stuff is just a bonus!  And if you’re already hosting or attending events like these in your community, then why not score some free products along the way?!

Want to learn more?  Go to Momcoapp.com for more details and to apply for the Mom Mingle Rewards Club.  You can also find MomCo on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

***Note: I was not compensated for this post…I just really love MomCo. 😉

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~SM

 

Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo Review

Earlier this year, I attended the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF Expo) in San Diego and it did not disappoint! The GFAF Expo is a two-day gluten free and allergen friendly event that comes to cities all over the U.S.  I also had the opportunity to attend as an official blogger which meant I got a little extra swag. 😉

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It was held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds which would normally mean that there were some nice views, but it happened to be raining this day so everyone pretty much ran inside to dodge the rain.

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Since it was at the fairgrounds, there was plenty of close parking and I arrived early enough to avoid any traffic.

Before I get into the review, I will disclose that I do not have any food allergies myself.  However, when attending many get-togethers or playdates involving foods, coordinators will often ask for people to be considerate of others’ unique dietary needs when bringin snacks.  So I thought this would be a great opportunity to not only score some swag, but find out what types of tasty and allergen friendly foods were out there!

The morning started out with a free breakfast hosted by BFree Foods.  They talked about their company and offered us coffee, bagels, juice, and fruit.  We were then free to network with other bloggers and vendors before the expo officially opened.  Then they gave us our own swag bags and we were off to explore!

One cool thing about the expo is that each vendor has an information card on their table that lets you know if their product contains a particular sensitive ingredient.

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The event also featured authors and speakers that presented information all throughout the day.

There seemed to be a good attendance at these classes since I saw several people standing for the presentation as the chairs filled up.  I listened in on a couple of presentations and the presenters seemed enthusiastic and informative.

There were TONS of vendors at this event so I won’t be able to mention every single one, but you can go to the GFAF Expo website to learn more.  I will, however, touch on the ones that stood out to me!

Enjoy Life Foods  had a cute little set up, where you could score goodies along a maze-type structure.  I also think their products are super tasty, especially those chocolate chips!

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Garden Lites offered up some pretty sweet waffles and Namaste Foods gave out delicious cake samples!

One of my favorite vendors was Brazi Bites!  I love these little bread balls and I’m hoping they come out with a cinnamon flavor at some point.  You may have seen them on Shark Tank, but if not…definitely check them out in your freezer section!

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There were a couple of different Kombucha brands, but I enjoyed the ginger-lemon sample from Health-ade the most.  Sunbutter had a pretty big presence at the event and they were generous with their samples and also handed out some little coloring books for the kids.

Keli’s Hawaiian Sauces were pretty dope and I thought they would be great on all different types of foods. The folks over at RP’s Pasta were also very friendly and generous!

I enjoyed the flavors from Rise Buddy Snacks, but unfortunately my kids weren’t too thrilled with this snack.  Smart Flour Foods gave out yummy pizza samples and this also something that I would purchase in the future!

 

I tried an interesting sample from Natti Bar.  They’re basically bananas mashed into bars.  Personally, I would prefer just eating a regular banana but others may dig these little things.  Betsy’s Best offered samples of different types nut butters, but I just didn’t think it tasted much different than other brands.

Glutenberg Craft Beers were one of the gluten-free beers representing at this event.  I thought it tasted okay, but I’m also not big on craft beers so I’m sure others would enjoy this.  It also looked like many people were skipping over the beer booths so I’m not sure gluten-free beer is a super popular thing.

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Another vendor that I really enjoyed was Aleia’s Foods.  They offer a variety of gluten-free stuffing, bread crumbs, croutons, and cookies.  I almost devoured a whole box of chocolate chunk cookies by myself.  I couldn’t even tell they were missing any gluten!  And use code “GFAF17” to save $1.00 on your online purchase!

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Towards the end of the day, I got to try a decadent German chocolate brownie from Coronado’s Gluten Free Pantry.  I was also really drawn to their packaging so I definitely recommend checking out their products!

There were also some non-food exhibitors such as: Beautycounter; Hands for Life Ocean Beach (They gave me a demo and I was informed that I needed an adjustment); San Diego Meditation (which I probably need); and some massage people that wanted to sell me a $200 device that felt like a shock treatment.  The authors also had a few booths where they were selling their books.

I only attended on Saturday, but I was able to hit up pretty much every booth.  The place got pretty packed throughout the day, but I didn’t have to wait at the booths for very long.

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So what was the SWAG?!

Every attendee was given an Enjoy Life reusable bag with some samples and coupons when they first walked in the door.  Sprouts Farmers Market also gave out reusable bags with some greek yogurt samples as well as fresh fruit.  I also received the BFree swag bag that included full-size bread samples, coupons, an infuser bottle, and a selfie stick!  And because I was an official blogger, many of the vendors gave me some extra swag as well as their business cards for future networking.

And here are the goodies that I collected…

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Yep, it was a pretty large haul!  So much that I could barely fit it all in one picture!  I also scored a huge stack of coupons for discounted or free items so that definitely added to the value.

Overall, I really enjoyed this event!  I learned about a lot of new brands and I was introduced to some interesting food items.  However,  I did feel that one genre of brands was missing.  And that was cleaning products!  I was really surprised that I didn’t see any natural cleaning product brands represented at this event.  I also think they should have put our blogger names or social media handles on our badges since that’s what most of us go by in the blogger world.

I recommend this event to anyone with a food allergy or that has a family member/friend with a food allergy.  I also recommend this event to anyone that just wants to learn about new products or about healthier living in general!

If you are planning to attend this event in your city, I do have a few tips!

  1.  Arrive early!  There are so many booths that it can seem overwhelming so give yourself enough time to get through most of the expo and catch a couple of presentations.  Even better if you can attend both days!
  2. Come hungry!  I literally just ate samples all day and I was full for the whole day.  I even had to turn some samples down at the end because I was pretty stuffed.
  3. Bring water!  There were only a few beverage vendors along with some water fountains at this particular venue.  Bring enough water to get you through the whole day because you will be tasting lots of yummy foods.

Be sure to check out http://gfafexpo.com/ to see if this event is coming to a city near you!  Tickets run about $5-$35 which is totally worth it for what you get at this event.  The price does not include parking so make sure to check your venue for parking details.  You can also get involved by volunteering, blogging, or presenting at this event so be sure to check out the website for more info.

I really enjoyed blogging for this event!  I was able to connect with some other local bloggers as well as network with some pretty amazing brands.  I would definitely attend this event in the future.  You can also follow @gfafexpo on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram!  And thanks again to all of the sponsors! 🙂

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Did you attend the GFAF Expo this year?  I’d love to hear your thoughts!

***Note: I was provided free admission to the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo in San Diego as part of being an official member of the 2017 GFAF Expo Blogger Team.  All opinions are my own.

I’m off to review the next event!

~SM

The #1 Reason to Run the La Jolla Half Marathon!

***Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the La Jolla Half Marathon 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!

The La Jolla Half Marathon is coming up on April 23rd and here are my top 3 reasons why you should come run this race with me!!

#3 – It’s part of the Triple Crown Series!

 

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photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com

If you ran the Carlsbad half in January, then you definitely need to run La Jolla!  The La Jolla Half Marathon is the second race in the Triple Crown Series – which means if you also run America’s Finest City in August, you get extra bling and bragging rights! I always love extra swag!

 

#2 – The Swag!

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photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com

I know you probably think this would be number one on my list…but you’ll see why this came in a close second in just a minute.  However, this swag is DOPE!  You get a sweet technical shirt, cinch bag, beautiful medal, and beer!  Not to mention all of the extra goodies you could score at the expo as well as the snacks/drinks at the finish line festival!

So what’s the #1 why you need to run the La Jolla Half Marathon??  The Scenery!

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Check out this race course! Ocean views most of the way! (photo via lajollahalfmarathon.com)

I will disclose that there are some pretty decent hills along this course (see the elevation pictured above), but trust me…the views will be all worth it!  And yes, you could just drive to La Jolla to see some of these views…BUT, actually running this course will provide you a unique opportunity to view this scenery in an up-close-and-personal way.  I highly recommend taking advantage of this race so you can see these awesome views from a unique perspective (rather than driving around narrow streets, looking for parking, getting stuck in groups of tourists, etc.)  And here are some things you can do during/after the race…

~~You can visit with the Dr. Seuss inspired tree in Ellen Scripps Browning Park! Dr. Seuss spent many of his years in La Jolla and several of his illustrations were inspired by the unique trees of this beautiful city!

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Ellen Scripps Browning Park

~~Check out the coves and shores!  After your run, you’ll have some time to sit by the shore and reflect on your personal accomplishment.  What better way to relax and rest your feet!

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La Jolla Shores

~~Explore a cave!  The Cave Store in La Jolla allows you to view the inside of a cave! For a small fee, you can walk down a set of stairs and experience a real cave without having to swim or rent any equipment.

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Sunny Jim Cave

~~Get close to a seal!  La Jolla is also known for its seal population so don’t miss your opportunity to take a selfie with an adorable group of pups!

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Seals at La Jolla Shores

 

Ready to run?  Here are the deets:

Price through April 19th – $120 —> Use code “BIBRAVE20” to save $20 on the half!

Expo dates:

Friday, April 21st – 12pm – 6pm

Saturday, April 22nd – 10am – 5pm

Expo location:

Hilton San Diego/Del Mar

15575 Jimmy Durante Blvd.

Del Mar, CA 92014

Half Marathon – Sunday, April 23, 2017 – 7:30 am – Begins at Del Mar Racetrack

Not quite ready for a half marathon?  Have no fear!  There is also a 5k option!

Not quite ready to run a 5k?  Have no fear!  You can always volunteer and help out the community!

Not quite ready to commit to volunteering?  Then just come down and cheer on the runners!  We always love high fives, encouraging words, and clever signs along the course!

Find out more information including parking/shuttle details here!

I hope to see you there and be sure to check back for my review of this exciting event!

I’m off to train and hydrate! 😉

~SM

 

 

 

Hot Chocolate 15k San Diego Review (so close yet so far)

Disclaimer: I received a free race entry to the Hot Chocolate 15k – San Diego 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! All opinions are my own.
If you’ve been following my blog and/or social media for the last few months, you know how excited I’ve been to run the Hot Chocolate 15k! However, weather and I guess Delta airlines (more on that later) had different plans for me as I didn’t actually make it to the race. Womp, womp. 😦 😦 😦
So this review is going to be a little different than the others…
I had been training for this run for a while now since I heard the course was a little more challenging than others.  Then about a month before the race I found out I needed to go back home to Mississippi to visit family.  Since I only booked a month out, you can imagine what the airline fees were like.  The only return date/time that wasn’t outrageous was of course March 25th at 9pm (the night before the race.)  So I thought, “No big deal…I’ll just be a little tired but I’ll be fine as long as my flight isn’t delayed.” As. long. as my. flight. isn’t. delayed…
Building up to the race I tried to add more challenging elevations to my routine to prepare for the infamous hills that I had heard so much about.  So I did some extra hiking in addition to some longer runs.
And since I knew that I would be going to a flat area for a week, I decided to run the Stairs of Death (112 stairs X 10) the day before I flew out.  This turned out to be a terrible idea because I forgot my compression calf sleeves and the elevation/sitting on the plane turned my legs to Jell-O the next day.  Anyway, lesson learned.
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Stairs of Death

 I was also able to get in a short shakeout run while in Mississippi but then I decided to rest my legs until race day.
The Hot Chocolate Expo was the Friday and Saturday before the race and they do not offer race day packet pick-up.  I was pretty bummed that I was going to miss the Expo because I knew there would be lots of photo and swag opps…but luckily I had a friend who picked up my bib and extras for me.  Hot Chocolate is pretty accommodating about having someone else pick up your stuff for you in the event you are unable to attend the expo.  All they need is a copy of your ID (digital or printed) and they’re good to go!
From what I heard, the expo is fun…but a little crowded and parking is a pain and costs $5-$10 because it’s downtown and parking downtown can be stressful.
When I saw a picture of my bib I got even more excited!  I was only a couple of days away from rolling in the chocolate!
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I even picked out my race day outfit before I went out of town!
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And then I looked over the race course to get an idea of what to expect on race day.
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Then on Saturday I headed to the airport to catch my flight back to San Diego!  I was supposed to fly out of Mississippi at 4pm but a storm came rolling through around 3pm and the flight got delayed until 5:30pm.  This meant that I was going to miss my connecting flight in Atlanta.  Since there were no other flights headed to San Diego, the only option they had for me was to fly out the next morning at 6am.  My Hot Chocolate dreams were crushed. 😦
I still wanted to gain a sense of what the race was like so I interviewed a few of my fellow Stroller Warriors to find out their thoughts!
Rochelle:  “I thought this race was very well organized from corrals to potty placement and amount of potties (weird but so important to me) to chocolate pick up and the fact they had bags to place over your mug to take it home! I thought that the swag was great! Nice jacket, medal, visor (given with code), and the mug of goodies at the end of the race. Love that pictures are free. Oh and whoever they got to run the water stations were AMAZING! They were so loud and enthusiastic handing out water and Nuun while cheering us on. I could hear them well before I could see them and that gave me an extra push to get to them for my hydration.
Not sure if there is anything I would say I disliked yes those hills were insane BUT that has given me such a sense of accomplishment.”
Christina: “I loved everything we got. Jacket, medal, chocolate!! I disliked the hills.  I would definitely do it again, just not prego.”
Laura: “I personally loved them [the hills]. It made the finish more rewarding. Yes the hill after hill after hill was challenging, but it was worth it. Especially the bling, jacket & visor. I don’t think there was anything I disliked about it, it was very well put together and organized. The volunteers were great, the aid stations were always stocked. The free pictures were great too! I don’t think I would do it again only because I usually just try to do races one time but it should definitely be on everyone’s bucket list!”
Heather: “I loved that they handed out chocolate during the race 😂 I wasn’t running for time so I had fun with it and carried the chocolate with me to snack on as I ran! I disliked the traffic and parking for packet pick up and the race itself. I know there aren’t a lot of options since it’s downtown, but I’m glad I gave myself an extra hour before hand. I would totally do it again because I love the jacket and the chocolate.”
Nell: “I loved the hills. I dislike the pavement.  Will not do it again…off to bigger races to chase.  I loved the medal and jacket.”
Well it sounds like everyone enjoyed the race for the most part and would recommend that others run it at least once.  Another thing that was kind of a bummer was that they changed the race date a couple of months before the actual race.  The original race date was March 18th, but moving it to the 26th meant that it was the same day of another big race in San Diego.  I think there could have been more participants had there not been a date change.
So what was the SWAG??

A cinch bag and a sweet jacket!  Everyone raves about the Hot Chocolate jackets and I know that is a big incentive for some to register (it was one of my motives).  They are also pretty cool about switching out sizes at the expo if needed.  They are a good quality and I really love that it’s a full zip instead of a pullover!  They also offer free race photos which I think is fantastic swag!

And of course, the medal!

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Ahh..that beautiful medal that was so close yet so far! Well the good news is that Hot Chocolate races are happening all over the country so I’m sure I’ll have the chance to #RunforChocolate in the future!

If you’re interesting in running next year’s Hot Chocolate 15k San Diego on 3/18/18, register here.

And you can vote on next year’s Swag!

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Hurry, you only have until April 5th to cast your vote!  Vote here!

Did you run this year’s Hot Chocolate 15k/5k?  What did you think?  Share your review on Bibrave.com to help out fellow runners!

See you at the next event!

~SM

Four Ways to Perform Your Best

***Disclaimer: I received a free sample of the Beachbody Performance Line 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!

 I’m always looking for ways to improve my running…either through technique, equipment, or nutrition.  So I was pretty stoked when I had the chance to try out Beachbody’s Performance line!  There are many ways that you can nutritionally improve your athletic performance and Beachbody covers all of the elements!
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And it even came with Swag! – A shaker cup and system guide!

 

So here are four ways that you can improve your performance and shatter some goals!  I’ve ranked them in order from what had the least impact on my performance to what had the most.  Now, keep in my mind – these were MY results and these supplements may affect you differently.  But here’s a little insight as to what the line offers. 😉
4. Recharge (Vanilla) –
      Recharge is to be used before bedtime in order to support muscle recovery as you snooze.  You mix up one scoop with some water or throw it in a smoothie and you will wake up refreshed and free of muscle soreness.  I personally didn’t feel much differently after taking this supplement.  I’m pretty good about stretching, rolling, and wearing compression wear -so that may have something to do with it.  I’m also kind of bad about night time routines so I really had to remind myself to drink this before going to sleep.  As far as taste, it has a subtle vanilla bean flavor and has a bit thicker consistency than the other supplements.
3.  Energize (Lemon)-
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Next up is, Energize!  This is a pre-workout supplement that you take within 30 minutes of your workout.  It’s designed to give you extra energy and motivation to endure tougher workouts.  I really wanted to love this one, but for me it fell a bit short.  I didn’t quite feel the “jolt” of energy that I had anticipated.  It gave me a little boost, but not quite what I expected. I guess I was expecting to Hulk out or something.  If I were to continue using this I would probably have to increase the serving size a bit.  Beachbody suggests one scoop per serving and warns to not exceed two scoops.  I think I may try a scoop and a half in the future or maybe just stick to my usual coffee.  As far as taste, it has a pretty intense lemony flavor – like super sweet lemonade Kool-Aid.  It was a little too sweet for me, but others may find it pleasing.
2.  Recover (Chocolate)

Recovery is meant to be consumed right after a workout to increase muscle recovery and decrease soreness.  I really enjoyed the recovery supplement and used it after longer workouts.  I found that it helped decrease soreness so that I could keep going throughout the week.  I used it after longer runs, strength training, hiking, and of course, Country Heat!

And I thought the taste was great, too.  I’m usually a little leery of chocolate flavored supplements since they usually taste fake or grainy.  But this one was just the right consistency and I drank it fine with just cold water.  I think it would also be pretty tasty in a smoothie with some bananas, peanut butter, or strawberries.  It also comes in an orange flavor in case chocolate isn’t your thing.

And the #1 thing that affected my performance (drumroll, please)…. Hydrate (Citrus)!

Hydrate is designed to enhance your performance by replacing lost electrolytes without the added sugar of sports drinks.  It utilizes a plant-based nutrient called, Quercetin that has shown to enhance endurance and delay muscle fatigue.  The hydrate got me really excited – so much so that I had to research whether or not it was possible to overdose on it.  Since I live in Southern California, I run outside a lot and it gets hot pretty quickly….so the Hydrate really made my day. I felt like I could run longer without feeling like my legs were getting too tired or like I was becoming dehydrated.  I have used other hydration supplements and I enjoy them as well, but what makes this one different?  For me, it was the taste.  I really enjoyed the consistency and light citrus flavor of this supplement.  For the record, I don’t think you can actually “overdose” on it.  The directions say to consume one scoop with 8 ounces of water for every 30 minutes of exercise.  But anything in excess is bad for you and taking too many supplements is never a good option.  So I recommend following the directions and using common sense. 😉

You can learn more about the Performance ingredients here.

All Beachbody products have been NSF-certified – meaning they have been tested to comply with the NSF’s banned substance standards.  You can learn more here.

Pricing for the Advanced Performance Stack (which includes all 4 performance supplements) costs $199.95 plus shipping.  Beachbody also offers a 30-day money-back-guarantee.  I think the pricing is pretty comparable to what you would pay if you walked into any nutrition store and bought the equivalent to these supplements.

I would recommend Beachbody Performance to anyone who is training for anything!  Whether it’s running, biking, lifting, etc…I think you will find something in this line that works for your routine!

What do you think?  Which Beachbody Performance product intrigues you the most?

I’m off to drink my Hydrate! 😉

 

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~SM

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