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

Posts tagged ‘health and fitness’

Aloha, beaches!

Last month I ran The Aloha Run in San Diego on a beautiful day near Mission Bay!  This event has a 5k or 10k option and I ran the 5k with my mini-runner in the Bob Stroller.  The pricing for this run ranged from $30-$55 depending on your registration date with an option to add a timing chip for $2. I actually was able to run this for FREE and I’ll tell you how a little later on.  So onto the race breakdown!

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Expo/ Packet pick-up: There was a packet pick-up option the day before the race at Road Runner Sports.  I was unable to make it in time so I snagged my stuff the morning of the race. This is one of the perks of pushing a stroller during a race – you always have a place to stash all of your race goodies.

Parking: Free parking was available close to the race start line if you arrived early enough.  I, of course, arrived last minute so I had to park about a half mile away in a big dirt lot.

Race location: The event was held at Tecolote Shores Park in Mission Bay near Sea World.  Many races are held in this area due to its flat, paved course (although some spots can be a bit narrow when trying to push a stroller). It’s also a very scenic area along the water and the weather was great in the morning, but it got pretty warm later on.  Luckily, the race began at 7:30am so I was able to enjoy some of the cool breeze before the heat set in.

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Race Course/Organization: Again, the course was flat and paved…however it was quite a crowded race.  And since it is considered a fun run, many people were walking and hogging up the whole sidewalk.  The 10k started 15 minutes prior to the 5k and we were separated into waves about five minutes apart.  I started a little towards the back since I had my stroller and wasn’t planning on trying to PR.  This was a big mistake because I got stuck behind tons of walkers…so if you plan to run this race in the future, and I mean actually RUN, then I suggest starting at the front.  But the course was unique in that there were various areas of Hawaiian entertainment along the way.  How fun!

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Finish Line/Post-Race party: We were greeted at the finish line with a beautiful medal (my mini even got one!) and some water that tasted not so great.  There were lots of vendors and there was finally a good DJ!  He stayed near the band and gave out prizes to the dancing audience.  He also was the one getting us hype during the wait time in our waves at the start of the race.  People were also walking around handing out leis to everyone, but I think it would have been more dope if they had given them out along with the medals at the finish line.

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And two of my fave vendors were at the race: Hubert’s Lemonade and Arctic Zero!

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My mini also approved of these flavors!  Check them out!

Overall impressions of the event: I loved the location, especially since it was right next to a playground so my daughter could let out some energy after being in the stroller for a while.  The scenery was also beautiful and fit perfectly with the Hawaiian theme.  The only downfall was that it was crowded, so I would start towards the front next time.  Overall, I had fun and really felt positive vibes throughout the event! I liked the different elements of Hawaii that were incorporated throughout the race and the volunteers were all very friendly and helpful.  I also ran this with a couple of other Stroller Warriors which made the post-race experience even more fun!

How did run for FREE?!  The Aloha Run held a contest on their Facebook page about a month before the race.  The challenge was to write a short poem about running and the post with the most likes would win a 5k entry (not including the $2 price of the timing chip).  Only about four of us entered and I shared on my personal FB page asking people to help out by liking my entry.  And my friends totally rock cause I won! So a big Mahalo to all of you that helped me score a free race entry! Many races run these types of contests on their Facebook pages so keep a lookout and you could win, too!

So what was the SWAG?!

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-A beautiful medal with leis

-A unisex cotton shirt, which ended up being too big

Kashi granola bar

Jenny Craig granola bar

Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar – this was delicious!

Kashi Go Lean Clusters bowl

Bio Freeze gel sample

Gaslamp Popcorn Co. All Natural Kettle Corn

Wanu Vitamin Water

Coola Sport Sunscreen – this has really great reviews!

-Bunch of coupons and flyers

-Free race photos

-Beautiful scenery

And the hula skirt moves! 🙂

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What do you think?  Did you participate in The Aloha Run and score some great swag?!  Or maybe you ran the Long Beach Aloha Run and had a different experience?  I’d love to hear!

See you at the next event! Aloha!

~SM

 

 

 

 

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Joggin’ for Frogmen

Last weekend I participated in the Joggin’ for Frogmen 5k here in San Diego.  It’s a great event because it’s available in multiple cities around the country and it benefits the Navy SEAL Foundation!  They also offer a Tadpole Trot where the little ones can earn their very own tshirt and mini medal!

Price: The registration price runs between $25-40 depending on when you register, but there was a Groupon available for this run for $25.  I actually won a race registration, but I’ll elaborate more on that later.  The Tadpole Trot runs $10-$15 also depending on your registration date.

Expo: Packet pick-up was the day before at Road Runner Sports or you could pick-up the morning of the race.  I attended the packet pick-up at Road Runner and it was a pretty simple process.  I picked up my bib, tshirt, and coupon without waiting in a line and off I went!  And I got to stand in Meb’s footsteps! 😉

Parking: Like many other 5k’s in San Diego, this one was also held at NTC Park in Point Loma.  The course isn’t the greatest (more on that later), but there is plenty of free parking…which is amazeballs because seeing the words “plenty” and “free parking” associated with anything in San Diego is like seeing a unicorn playing a violin.

Course: The race started at 9am which is a bit late in the day, but luckily it didn’t get too brutally hot until a little later.  I ran with my single BOB so I started towards the back.  The course scenery is nice as it’s situated near the bay, downtown and the airport; however, the course is a bit narrow with some uneven terrain which can be difficult when pushing a stroller through busy crowds.  If you want to attempt to get a decent time, I recommend starting at the very front. It’s also mostly flat with only a slight hill going over a bridge.  There were also plenty of friendly volunteers, signs and water stations throughout the race.

And since the course is near a Naval Training Center, there are lots of flags, statues and a patriotic vibe throughout the whole park.

We were met at the finish line with medals – they even gave one to my mini in the stroller! – water, and hand towels.

Post Race: There was a big table of bagels, granola bars and other snacks near the finish line.  There was also a beer garden where the participants were offered a complimentary adult beverage.  And there were a ton of sponsors and vendors giving out swag!  There was also a raffle opportunity and a DJ playing some pretty energetic tunes.

Tadpole Trot: I didn’t get a chance to collect as much swag as I wanted because I had to get my little one ready for the tadpole trot.  This was my only peeve about the whole event.  The tadpole trot didn’t start until 10:30 which I thought was quite late.  Also the distance was a bit shorter than I had imagined.  It was probably only about a 50 yard dash whereas many races do a 1 mile or 1k run for the kids.  But the little ones still had fun and my daughter even placed in the top three of her age group!

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Another cool element of the race were the skydivers!  3 jumpers dove out of an airplane while “Proud to be an American” played over the speakers.  Vice Admiral Robert Harward held the American Flag while flying through the sky which was a touching effect.  Then he posed for pics with all of the little tadpoles!  Andy Stumpf (retired Navy Seal/Kill Cliff ambassador) was also another awesome jumper!

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Now, how did I run this race for free?!  I answered a question on Instagram from an awesome patriotic organization called The Freedom Rev.  Check out their page and social media channels!  Social media is a great way to win free race entries, so follow your favorite race ambassadors and search for event hashtags!  You may win a free entry of your own!

Shortly after the race I got an email with my official race results and a link to preview and purchase my race photos.  Overall, this was a very organized and well run event that benefits a great organization!  Checkout Jogginforfrogmen.com to find an event near you.  It’s a great event for the whole family and I enjoyed running with not just my mini, but also some fellow Stroller Warriors! My only suggestion would be start the race an hour earlier and organize the tadpole trot a little better.


So what was the SWAG?!

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~A super dope medal! It’s a lanyard, magnet, bottle opener and medal all-in-one!

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~Again, I missed out on some swag opportunities since several of the vendors were tearing down by the time the tadpole trot ended, but I did manage to snag a few items!  And the technical tshirts are super soft and comfortable!

This really is a great event!  If you are unable to run in the race, consider volunteering your time so you can still snag some swag! 😉

See you at the next event!

P.S. Please vote for me over at Top Mommy Blogs by clicking the badge on the side! Thanks! 😉

~SM

The Color Run (All-Star 5k)

I recently ran The Color Run a.k.a the happiest 5k on the planet and it was a blast!  I will start off by saying that I ran this race for free (more on that later) and it was held in a much more scenic location than last year – at the Waterfront Downtown!  It was also held a little bit earlier this year so that it could be in conjunction with the MLB All Star Weekend events.  The only downfall to all of this was parking.  Parking downtown is usually a drag and this day was no different.  It took me almost 20 minutes to find a spot, but I found a free one fairly close. And I even parallel-parked…like.a.boss. Holla!

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So on to the race.  Since I spent a little extra time looking for parking, I ended up running in the 8:00 am wave, which wasn’t so bad cause everyone seemed fun and I also ran with a fellow Stroller Warrior as well as my mini.  There was a DJ close to the start line getting everyone pumped and throwing out t-shirts and whatnot.  He couldn’t throw very well so I suggest he obtains one of those tshirt canister gun things for next year.  It would also make him look a whole lot cooler.  The race pretty much started on time and we were off!

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The course was a big loop through the Embarcadero and downtown.  It started off a little crowded as we were navigating through narrow pathways along Seaport Village, but it eventually widened up and I was able to pass others pretty easily.  The first stop was blue, then green with a water station and very enthusiastic volunteers.  The water stations also played heart-pumping music which really made the race feel like a party.

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I didn’t get too blasted at these stations although one of the blue volunteers did pelt me in the face and ear pretty good.  They also were very cautious not to throw any in my daughter’s face and she loved going through all of the color stations.  The next stop was orange and then we finished with pink before crossing the finish line.

We were greeted at the finish line with medals and extra color packets to throw around and directed towards a water/Gatorade station.  Then it was party time!  There was a large stage with a DJ (one that I actually liked) keeping the energy flowing with dance music and extra swag opportunities. There were also lots of photo ops with various props and signs as well as food trucks and even a cell phone charging station!  It was definitely a nice touch!  The Runicorn made an appearance along with the Anthony Sullivan – The OxiClean guy!

The event wrapped up around 11am and then it was time for the party to end. 😦 Overall, I really enjoyed this race much better than last year’s.  The location was much more scenic compared to last year’s race in the Qualcomm stadium parking lot.  There also seemed to be a lot more photo props and food choices.   I snagged a gourmet chocolate popsicle for $3 from Steel City Pops and it was delightful!

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Also, the race course was actually 3.1 miles which is great because last year it was less than 2.5.  The only bummers were the parking issues and there were more color stations at least year’s event.  I’m not much for gimmick runs, but I have fallen in love with the Color Run and will definitely do it again in the future!  It’s a great event for the whole family and a good excuse to get messy and go to a party at 8am!

*So, how did I run the race for free?  I volunteered at packet pick-up the day before the race!  It actually was a lot of fun as it felt more like a pre-party since everyone picking up their packets was super excited about the event and I really just felt positive vibes all around.  Packet pick-up was at The Headquarters in Seaport Village and I took a 4 hour afternoon shift.  Things got pretty hectic as it seemed like everyone came at once, but it was a well organized event and the craziness made the time go by super fast.  We were rewarded with water, snack bars, and a free race entry!  You can even volunteer with your kids so I recommend it if you are trying to save some money on race fees!  It’s also a great way to help out with an awesome event or obtain some volunteer hours even if you don’t plan to run in the race.

Now, what was the SWAG?!

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I will say, last year’s swag was a bit more exciting…but I still prefer this year’s event.

~A clear bag to protect your valuables from the color during the race

~A sweet headband

~A soft, stretchy tshirt (they are one of the few shirts I actually like to wear)

~Color Packets

~Tattoos

~Water cups – okay this isn’t really swag, but I thought these were the most adorable water cups!

~Sunglasses – Note: I paid $5 for these but I decided to splurge a little since I wasn’t paying for the race.

~A beautiful medal

~Amazing weather and awesome scenery!

And running with friends makes the Color Run that much sweeter!  Especially running with another Stroller Warrior!

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“Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof…” (Pharrell Williams)  Now that song can be stuck in your head, too. 😉  You’re welcome.

See you at the next event!

~SM

 

Ashley Horner – Camp Valor

Last month, I had the opportunity to attend Ashley Horner’s Camp Valor Boot Camp here in Coronado.  If you have not heard of  Ashley Horner, she is a fitness guru, bodybuilder, competitor, triathlete, ultrarunner…you get the picture.  But best of all, she’s a mother of three and a military supporter.  In addition to all of her awesome trainers (that you can learn more about on her website at Ashleyhorner.co), she owns two training facilities, a clothing line and runs various programs…but again, you can read all about how awesome she is on her website.  Another cool thing she does is host Camp Valor Boot Camps around the country.  Luckily, since one of her American Sled Dogs training facilities is located in Coronado, she comes her pretty often to facilitate the Camp Valor Boot Camp.

So, what is Camp Valor?  Basically, it’s an opportunity to workout with Ashley and her staff!  It’s only $10 and the event runs for about 2 hours.  No, you are not working out for the entire 2 hours (yes, she is hardcore – but not that crazy since all fitness abilities are welcome.)  She also stresses that it is a family friendly event, so you can bring the kiddos if needed. I left mine at home since the event was held at the beach and I didn’t want to worry about them running into the water.  You workout for about 45 minutes and the rest of the time is left for you to meet with Ashley, take pics and purchase merchandise.  The fact that this event was on the beach was a catch 22 – it was great weather and beautiful scenery, but working out and sprinting in the sand was quite the challenge!

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We were also asked to each bring an unwrapped toy to donate to Toys for Tots.  A few Marines were on hand to accept and sort the toys as well as monitor us during the workout to make sure we weren’t slacking and kept good form.

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I didn’t take pics during the workout because I was just trying to survive (also, the margaritas the night before did NOT help).  It was basically circuit training – using your own weight for resistance and sprinting around in the sand.  There was also some partner work (i.e. squat walls, sit-ups, wheelbarrows – or is it wheel barrels? hmmm) and it ended with a plank challenge.  The plank challenge was fun and reminded me that I really need to work on planks.  Ashley said that the plank record for her boot camps is around 11 minutes and no male has ever won the challenge.  On this day, a woman also won (sorry guys) and she held it for about five or six minutes.  Prizes were awarded to the last three standing “plankers”.

Ashley and her team were really motivating and inspiring throughout the day.  They were constantly pushing us and giving us lots of encouragement.  After the event, I waited in line and spoke briefly with Ashley and got a picture with her.  She really is incredibly nice and amazing in person.  This was an awesome event and  I would recommend it to anyone looking to get a great workout and be inspired, regardless of fitness levels (there were a couple of pregnant women participating along with some elite crossfitters – so anyone could attend). Checkout out future Camp Valor events here.

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*This last photo is courtesy of one Ashley’s awesome team members.

So what was the SWAG?!

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~A very sturdy and thick drawstring bag from BodyBuilding.com

~A sweet shaker cup from BodyBuilding

~A nice towel from Bodybuilding

~A drawstring bag from ReebokOne

~A full sample of Rock Tape

~A sample packet of muscle pain relief cream

~The amazing views of Coronado

~Free photo op and advice from Ashley Horner herself!

Again, big thanks to all of the sponsors!  I think this event was well worth the $10 and I would most definitely do it again!  If you are planning to attend one of her boot camps, be prepared to get sandy and sweaty!  Also eat something before you go and bring lots of water and a towel!  There will also be some merchandise for sale that runs about $20-$25 per item so bring some cash and/or credit card.  Hope to see you at the next event!

Also, I had to represent Stroller Warriors on this beautiful day since it was held right next to a military base! 🙂

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And to make the day even radder, it was also Armed Forces day!  This meant that the streets of Coronado were lined with beautiful American Flags!

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~SM

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