Keeping Summer Runs Comfortable: Body Glide Review

Disclaimer: I received a free sample of Body Glide for review 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! Thank you!

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningHey there!

So fair warning – some of this post may be TMI for the non-runners out there – READ AT YOUR OWN RISK! Or feel free to skip this post, no hard feelings. 🙂

That’s because today I’m talking about chafing. It’s painful, embarrassing and unfortunately, the further you run, the greater your chances of experiencing it are. Especially if you are running longer distances in shorts! Miles of running + a little extra sweat from the hot summer temps = lots of rubbing and opportunity for chafing.

Body Glide ReviewI know firsthand how painful it is (and how much a hot shower can hurt afterwards). I always feel for the people demonstrating the tell-tale signs of chafing during a race – running with legs slightly wider than normal  or arms lifted a little higher than usual to avoid the offending seams. My sports bra chafed so badly during my first marathon that you could practically see its outline rubbed raw on my back. Not fun.

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningThis is why I’m soooo happy to have a product like Body Glide around. I’ve been using Body Glide for years and I’ve seen what a huge difference it can make. If I am running more than 5-6 miles in shorts, I always put it on my thighs. One solid application and I know I am good to go for 13+ miles. If I’m wearing a tank top, then I also apply some on the undersides of my arms. Sometimes, I will even apply Glide between my toes for a little blister protection.

One of my coworkers was running her first marathon this spring, and my biggest race day recommendation for her was to slather herself in Body Glide (which she did and I was happy to hear her report afterward that she didn’t chafe at all!).

Body Glide Review | 2 Generations RunningRunning can be uncomfortable enough in a race environment without adding skin abrasions on top of it. There are nerves about performance, weather can be crazy (both extreme heat and extreme cold will impact your ability to run fast), and you’re testing your body to its limits. Personally, I do not want anything else to worry about. That’s why Body Glide is on my must-have list for racecations.

The Runner's Packing Checklist. 2 Generations RunningSee? I included it in my list from a post I did back in January 2015!

If you are new to distance running or slowly beginning to increase your mileage, I would highly recommend picking some up, because every runner will  eventually reach a tipping point of miles where suddenly, chafage (as my mom and I call it!) occurs. Depending on your mileage, one tube should last you a pretty long time too. I usually reserve Body Glide for my longer runs, but even so, 1 tube has lasted me many months. It’s a pretty simple solution that will save you a lot of discomfort and embarrassment down the road!

So there you go! Grab some Body Glide today and keep enjoying those sweaty, summer runs chafe-free!

Have you ever chafed on a run? Which was worse – the chafing or the stinging, hot shower afterwards? 😉


Why I Switched from MapMyRun to Strava

You may remember I did a post a while back on all the perks of using MapMyRun to track my running routes. I was a dedicated MapMyRun user up until this winter when I started getting kind of annoyed by the app.

Why I Switched from MapMyRun to Strava | 2 Generations RunningIt’s always been clear that the paces/distances covered are slightly off between my Garmin and the app (with the app generally indicating longer distance and faster splits), but as my runs got longer with marathon training, it got crazy. MapMyRun would be off by as much as 2 miles on my 20-milers! In the already fragile mental state that comes with running 20+ miles, this got really annoying. Hearing the voice feedback from MapMyRun that I had hit 20 miles when I was actually only at mile 18 was semi-heartbreaking. After experiencing that a few times, I had had enough.

I had heard good things about Strava from a few different runners, so I decided to try it. After using it for the past 5 or so months, I have to say I am a complete convert. It’s not a perfect fix from the issues I experienced with MapMyRun, but it makes up for those shortcomings by being excellent in other areas.

The Pro’s of Strava:

  • The segment leadership boards. As a pretty competitive person, this is my favorite feature. It’s so fun being able to see the times in which other Strava users ran the same routes and see where you stack up. I was pretty stoked to top the leaderboard on the 5k course I ran on Sunday, even with a time that’s not my best!!!

Strava Leaderboard

  • You can search for segments in your area which can help you find new running routes to try out.

Strava Leadership Boards | 2 Generations Running(As you can see, you can also obtain “Premium Leaderboards” by paying for the app which further break down the segment leaderboards. A cool feature, but frankly I’m content with the level of data I get with the free version).

  • It shows how you are trending on certain routes – faster or slower.
  • The general data presentation is better than on MapMyRun. It shows your mile splits, average pace, route, elevation profile, and pace analysis (see below).

Strava Review | 2 Generations Running(The pace analysis screen from a speed workout I did last week. You can see where I slowed wayyy down in between sets.)

  • Strava can also be used for recording biking. I’m not really big into cycling so I don’t use this feature, but I know it appeals to a lot of other folks.

The Con’s of Strava:

  • As a pretty competitive person, knowing I am using the app can make it pretty tempting to run my easy runs a little too fast because I feel like I’m racing other Strava users. And there is something that bums me out about having the app tell me I just ran my route slower than usual (even if that was the whole point of the run!)
  • I don’t think it’s really any more accurate in recording distance than MapMyRun was. It still seems to be off a little bit from my Garmin. For example, on my last 22 mile training run, Strava recorded it as 23.3 miles. Obviously, these issues are magnified on longer runs. For anything under 10-15 miles, it seems to be fairly good.
  • It still has challenges, much the way MapMyRun does, but I have yet to receive any discounts to running/athletic apparel brands the way I did with Under Armour through using MapMyRun.
  • It’s a little easier to “add gear” (like running shoes) in the MapMyRun app for the purposes of tracking mileage. You can do it through Strava, but not through the app (you have to log on and do it through your PC).

Overall, I think Strava appeals to me because I have gotten more serious and competitive with running over the past year. I love racing, and Strava can help turn any run into a race if you decide you want to try to claim the top of a leaderboard. It also has more of a Facebook-esque/social media vibe to it, in that it has a feed that will show the most recent runs of other runners who you are connected with (so you can do a little creeping on the training of your super speedy arch nemesis!)

Do you use Strava or a different running app? Do you experience issues with it being off from what your GPS watch records?


Staying Hydrated on Summer Runs: SPIBELT Review

Disclaimer: I was recently sent a SPIBELT H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt for review 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!

Hi friends!

Hope you all enjoyed the gorgeous weather out there this weekend! After kind of a cold week, we finally got some 70 degree days on Friday and Saturday, which was amazing.

But it’s also a reminder that those days of running in nice, cool temps might be coming to an end very soon. Not that I really mind, I would pick running in the summer over winter running every time. BUT, as my recent trip to the ER following the Delaware Marathon reminded me, hydrating on hot runs is SO important.

I’ll be totally honest – I don’t normally like carrying water. If I’m going on a long run with my mom, usually she is the one who insists on carrying water, while I argue that “It’ll be fine/it’s not that hot out/it’s only X miles…” And then when I’m dying later on, she shares with me because she’s nice like that. 🙂

SPIBlelt H2O Venture Series Hydration Belt | 2 Generations RunningThis summer, I think things are going to be a little different thanks to the SPIBelt H2O Venture Series Belt. I received this belt to try out as part of my Bibrave ambassadorship. I have to admit – I was a little nervous to test it out. I’ve had so many issues in the past with fuel belts bouncing, spilling, and just being generally annoying.

The first thing I noticed when I went to fill the 2 water bottles the belt comes with was that they aren’t the normal water bottle with the caps that you have to pull up to open and press down to shut. Instead, there’s a small valve that the water comes through with suction. Skeptical, I tried shaking the bottle, holding it upside down before taking it out on the run – no leaks!!

SPIBelt H2O Hydration Venture Series Review | BibraveThe belt is also a little wider than other fuel belts I’ve seen in the past, but the wide elastic ended up working PERFECTLY – the belt didn’t slide around at all while I was running. Honestly, I kind of forgot I was wearing it. The bottles also worked well. They were easy to grab while running and continued to impress me with zero leaks. The only time I had an issue was when I went to grab my phone at the end of the run to stop my running app and one of the bottles fell off with all my maneuvering of the belt. Overall though, they seemed pretty secure.

SPIBelt Review | 2 Generations RunningThe fuel belt itself is also a great size. Big enough to hold my iPhone 6 (a pretty big phone with the case) with plenty of room left over for keys. It also has 2 elastic loops that you can use to hold your gels for easy access.

All in all, I’m pretty excited about this belt. I fully plan to keep up with weekly long runs this summer, and I know this belt is going to be my savior on hot, muggy days. If you are in need of a new hydration belt this summer, I’d definitely recommend the SPIBelt H2O Venture Series, AND luckily, as part of this review – I have a discount code to share with you all! Use code ‘nora10‘ at checkout for 10% off  AND free shipping from SPIBelt.com!! Happy Running!


Massages for Runners… Review and Giveaway

Happy Monday everyone!

Hope you all enjoyed the weekend and Easter if you celebrated it! I was happy to get together with my family, aunt, uncle, and cousins for a big feast that was almost on the level of Thanksgiving!

Today, I’m excited to share with you all a review and giveaway brought to you by the awesome folks over at Massage Envy. I was provided a complimentary massage in exchange for the review, however all opinions are my own.

When they reached out to me about doing a review, it took me about a second to say yes. Umm, hello – I’m training for a marathon here, of course I want a massage!

Massage Envy ReviewMassages are well-known to be beneficial for runners. Professional runner Deena Kastor (who holds the Women’s Masters record in the marathon, as well as numerous other records) is actually married to a massage therapist, so she gets massages after all her hard workouts. Lucky her.

Because running is a repetitive, high-force action, it can cause the muscles to shorten and tighten and decrease circulation. This leads to reduced range of motion, which can cause a waterfall effect that leads to injuries as you alter your running stride to compensate for your imbalances. With marathon training, I’ve been putting way more stress on my legs than I have in a long time. I like running and all, but I’m not normally one to go out for 18-20 miles. I’ve definitely been feeling the effects of the increased mileage – my calves are not very happy with me right now. So, yes, I was pretty psyched about the idea of a Friday evening massage. 🙂

Massage Envy offers a wide range of massage options, from hot stone massages to Swedish massage to Deep Tissue massage. Their prices are also pretty reasonable (as far as massages go). Some of the fancier spas will pretty much charge you an arm and a leg (after they massage them out for you, of course.) At $49.99 for a 1 hour massage, Massage Envy is a pretty solid deal.

I went for my massage on Friday evening, the night before my 20-miler. Ideally, I should have had the massage 1-2 days after this workout for maximum benefits, but my schedule has been so hectic lately that I was happy to be able to get in at all. (*That’s something to think about when scheduling a massage for post-run recovery. I made the mistake of getting my first massage ever the same afternoon as my first marathon – I could barely walk and my back was extremely chafed from my sports bra, which made it a little tricky to navigate for the massage therapist!)

They saw me right on time, and before the massage began, the therapist talked to me about my training, what areas I felt needed targeting, and the pressure I wanted (I went with medium). I really appreciated that she took those few minutes to understand what my goals and problem areas were.

Massage Envy ReviewThe atmosphere was SO relaxing in the massage room – all dim light, and soothing music. The table was heated, and now I’m convinced I might need an electric blanket to semi-recreate the experience. The massage itself was perfect, and just the right amount of pressure. The hour passed all too quickly, and then the masseuse was instructing me to drink plenty of water to flush away all the lactic acid and to pay extra attention to my lower back in my stretching/foam-rolling routine.

Overall, I would 100% recommend Massage Envy. They have so many locations that it makes it really convenient to get there, and the quality of their massages is top notch.

Now for the fun part. 🙂

Who would like to try Massage Envy? I’m excited to be giving away a gift card for 1 free 1-hour massage ($49.99 value) to a lucky reader. To enter, comment below telling me why you could use a massage, whether it be job stress or added mileage in your running routine! Contest closes Wednesday, March 30th at midnight!


Blu Beets Heart Rate Monitor and Pager Review!

Beets BLU Heart Rate Monitor and Pager Tag ReviewI was absolutely psyched when the folks from Beets Blu reached out to me about reviewing both their heart rate monitor and pager tag. While I love my Garmin, it doesn’t track heart rate and lately, I’ve been really intrigued by the idea of using another tool as an indicator of how hard I’m working (or slacking as the case may be…) What can I say, as a runner I LOVE getting my hands on more hard data that I can use to analyze my running performance. Good Times Summer Series 5kThe pager tag was another cool bonus (I’ll admit, I was most excited about the heart rate monitor.) It’s nice and small and came with a little cord so you could attach it to your keys if you wanted.

Beets Blu Pager Tag ReviewIt took me a few minutes playing with it before I figured out I had to download an app (called PagerTag) to my iPhone and then sync it with the pager over Bluetooth. Then, BOOM – it worked like a charm! I wouldn’t say I’m the most tech-savvy person in the world, but it still only took me about 5 minutes to figure out. I decided to put the pager tag in my wallet. With all the travel I’ve been doing lately, I don’t know WHAT I would do if I lost my wallet (it gives me nightmares just thinking about it.) At least this way, I figure if I misplace my wallet in a hotel room for example, I would easily be able to find it again using the Beets Blu pager tag.

The heart rate monitor was a little trickier. This time, I at least knew I had to download an app (there are separate apps for the heart rate monitor and the pager tag).

Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor ReviewAfter turning on Bluetooth on my phone, the heart rate monitor quickly showed up under the Bluetooth devices in my phone settings, but when I searched for the device within the app (so that I could connect the two and actually see my HR data), I just kept getting the message that the device could not be located. Grrr.

Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor ReviewMy expression when I couldn’t immediately test out the fun new gadget.

I sent an email that night to the tech support for Beets Blu, and had an answer from them by 8:15 the next morning. I was pretty impressed with the speediness of their response! Apparently, with the iOS 8 versions and above, the heart rate monitor automatically syncs with the Health app already on the iPhone. All I had to do was open that app and disable the automatic sync, and then the BeetsBlu heart rate app immediately synced up with the heart rate monitor. I was so glad it was an easy fix because I was aching to finally test it out!

I used it for the first time at the gym and then on a run. I adjusted the band to fit just below my sports bra, and found it pretty comfortable. Once I turned on Bluetooth on my phone, the monitor and app quickly synced up and immediately began recording my heart rate data. It was so neat watching my heart rate go from normal to slightly elevated (while lifting weights) to really elevated (while running). The only thing that bums me out is that I have to have the app open and be looking at it on my phone to see my heart rate in real time, which is doable at the gym but a little trickier while out on a run.

Never having worked out with a heart rate monitor before, I immediately started looking for some guidance on the good ol’ internet. I found two awesome articles:

These articles have me very excited about all the training possibilities with the Beets Blu Heart Rate Monitor. According to the articles, I’ll have to figure out what my max heart rate is by running a time trial at my 5k pace for 2-3 miles and see what my heart rate tops out at.

Running Corgi | 2 Generations RunningA Corgi running his own time trial.

It would have been AWESOME if I had had this while I was running my Good Times series 5k’s over the summer, because I know I was giving those 100% effort and that will be hard to replicate on a run by myself, but I am definitely going to give it a shot.

Basically, a heart rate monitor is a fantastic training tool to not only take your workouts to the next level, but also to prevent injuries by ensuring you maintain your easy, gentle pace on recovery days. The great thing about Beets Blu is that their products are affordable too. The heart rate monitor is only $39.95, and available through Amazon and their website. The pager tag is also really affordable at $24.95 (infinitely cheaper than the inconvenience of losing your keys or wallet). Compared to the cost of a lot of fitness trackers on the market today, this is a pretty solid deal.

Have you ever trained with a heart rate monitor? Does it appeal to you? Which do you think would be more valuable for you – ensuring your recovery runs are truly in your “easy” recovery zone or making sure you hit 80-90% of your max rate on your hard runs?

*Disclaimer: I was provided with a Beets BLU heart rate monitor and Pager Tag in exchange for writing this review. As always, all opinions are my own! 🙂


Wellness Resource Wednesday #2

Happy Wednesday and of course, a very happy Veteran’s Day!

Veterans Day Quote Zell MillerThank you to all the veterans who have served and continue to serve our country.

And because it is not only Veteran’s Day, but also Wednesday, I’m sticking to the new routine and sharing a health/wellness resource I recently discovered and absolutely LOVE.

Wellness Resource Wednesday | 2 Generations RunningI’m a big fan of podcasts. I like to put them on while I go to sleep to keep my brain from going haywire thinking about work/running/chores, etc… I also listen to them on the subway during my commute in the mornings. It makes the start of each day a little more enjoyable, and I love the random tidbits of knowledge I pick up listening to them.

Since deciding that I wanted to focus more on nutrition this Fall, I wanted to find a podcast to actually learn about what it means to have a balanced diet. Obviously, I understand the concepts of healthy eating broadly (I think pretty much everyone does. In a nutshell- eat more vegetables and fewer cupcakes.) I knew there were a lot of nuances I was probably missing though.Dishing Up Nutrition Review | 2 Generations RunningAfter browsing the internet for podcasts related to health and wellness, I came across Dishing Up Nutrition and I’m so glad I did! The podcast features several licensed nutritionists from Nutritional Weight & Wellness, a Minnesota-based company (which means cute accents that make me smile to myself). They cover a HUGE range of topics – from the mineral connection to cravings (an episode I found extremely interesting!), to gluten and Celiac’s disease to the psychology of weight loss. And that barely scratches the surface of what they cover! I love that it’s not a podcast focused around dieting and losing weight, it’s much more focused on overall health and eating in a way to make your body feel its best. And the advice they offer is practical. No insane crash diets being recommended here.

What I’ve taken away about my own diet as a result of this podcast:

  • I eat too many refined carbs. I’m a big fan of toast. As a pre-run breakfast, it’s great. It’s easy and quick and I love to eat it with a good smear of jam (more simple carbs) But as far as a balanced diet goes, I should be taking in most of my carbs in the form of complex carbs from vegetables like sweet potatoes, squash, and broccoli.
  • I need to snack more frequently (and pick better snacks). With getting up for work so early each day, I’m generally hungry for lunch by about 11:30 AM. And if I don’t pack a snack for myself, this means I have to go from approximately noon time until 6:30-ish without eating. And that’s when I make bad choices, because I have low blood sugar and I’m RAVENOUS. Now, I actually do know this about myself, so I did typically pack myself a snack, usually a Greek yogurt or maybe some tortilla chips. Now, I know the Greek yogurt doesn’t sound like such a bad choice, but the thing is, it’s still not exactly balanced. I’ve learned from listening to Dishing Up Nutrition that a healthy snack that will keep you feeling full the longest should consist of protein, carbs, and fat. And no, fat is not the devil. It actually is what gives you that feeling of fullness (small quantities do the trick though – like 1 tablespoon of olive oil or a handful of nuts.)

snackFun, yes. Nutritionally balanced, no.

So what changes am I implementing?

  • I’m switching up my breakfast routine to scrambled eggs with assorted veggies (broccoli, mushrooms, squash, peppers, tomatoes, brussel sprouts -> I’ve found I really enjoy ALL of these in different combinations with eggs!) I’m not completely eliminating my toast, but I am going to try to reserve it for morning runs and early gym trips.
  • I started taking a zinc supplement. After listening to a podcast on the mineral connection to cravings, I realized there were several risk factors for zinc deficiency that fit me. And, low levels of zinc can lead to intense cravings for sweets after a meal (DEFINITELY me). So, I’m trying the supplement and waiting to see if it helps me get those sugar cravings under control.
  • I’m trying to be more regimented about snacking, and aiming to have a little protein, fat, and carbs in each snack. With traveling so much, I haven’t actually had time to really experiment with snacks yet, so I will have to report back on what kind of snacks I make for myself!

That’s about it for now. I want to start small and really focus on these aspects of my diet, and see how it goes from there. I’ll plan on doing a follow-up post in about a month to report back on how things are going! Hopefully, the Christmas cookie season won’t derail me. 😉

 


Bulu Box Review + Discount Code

Hey guys!

I have a fun review plus a discount code to share with you all today!

Bulu Box Review

As part of my Sweatpink ambassadorship, I get to test out cool health and fitness-related products from time to time. I jumped at the chance to review Bulu Box, because frankly, it just sounded awesome.

“Each month Bulu Box subscribers receive 4-5 vitamin, supplement and healthy snack samples to try. Every sample in Bulu Box is also available in full-size in the Bulu Box shop. One of the many benefits of a Bulu Box subscription is our Rewards Points program. Each month subscribers can take a quick sample survey about the sample in their box in exchange for 10 Rewards Points each, that’s 50 Rewards Points! Every 50 Reward Points is $5 to use toward the purchase of any full-size product on BuluBox.com.”

I love the idea of subscription boxes – it’s kind of like a surprise goody box showing up at your front door every month! Plus, this way you can try products that you might be interested in, before buying the full-sized amount, only to discover you don’t like it. I was so excited to tear into my Box when it arrived. My box had: 2 packets of peanut butter flavored Quest protein powder, Movit Energy gummies, 1 sundried tomato & basil Mediterra bar, a sample of Yerba Prima fiber plus powder, and a natural anti-itch cream.

I’ve already used one pack of the Quest protein powder in a smoothie after a run, and it was DELICIOUS. I love experimenting with protein powder flavors that aren’t the basic chocolate/vanilla. It makes it so much more fun!

Bulu Box ReviewI have not yet tried the MovIt energy gummies. I’m not a big fan of running fuels that are too chewy, but I’m thinking I could try these before a run for a quick energy boost. I love citrus, so I think these should be pretty tasty. 🙂

Bulu Box ReviewI had high hopes for this Mediterra savory bar. Sundried tomatoes and basil are my favorite flavors (I’m always throwing them in when I make pasta for myself), so I thought I would really enjoy this. Not so much. The bar itself was pretty dry, and a little too sweet even though it was supposed to be savory. It’s not something I would buy for myself.

Bulu Box ReviewAs random as the anti-itch cream seemed to me at first, I actually kind of appreciate the fact that I have it now! I’ve already gotten poison ivy once this summer, and it seems like anytime I’m anywhere in the vicinity of it, I inevitably end up with a gross rash. So, I’m happy to have this stashed and waiting for the next time it happens!

Bulu Box is also very reasonably priced in my opinion. You can pay $10 on a month-to-month basis for a box, or sign up for 3,6, or 12 months at a time. Think this sounds like something you’d be interested in trying?

Bulu Box Review

I’ve got you covered!! Use the discount code SWEATPINK for 50% off a 3,6, or 12 month subscription at BuluBox.com. Enjoy!!

 


My Newest Summer Running Essentials

Can you believe July is almost over?! This summer has been flying by! With all the hot 5ks I’ve been running, I have definitely gotten my fair share of summer running so far this year. Even with getting up early to beat the heat, the humidity STILL makes for some extremely sweaty runs. Not that I’m really complaining after the winter we had though 😉 This year, I made a couple of new additions to my summer running gear that have been serious lifesavers, so I figured I would share them in a blog post! (*This is not a sponsored post, I’m just a big fan of these products and wanted to spread the word.)

My Summer Running Essentials | 2 Generations RunningI finally snagged myself a pair of Yurbuds. I’m not too picky when it comes to headphones, but the ones that came with my iPhone do slip out of my ears when I get really sweaty. I had read good things about Yurbuds being anti-slip on a couple of blogs and after spotting them at Marshall’s, I jumped at the chance to try them. They work PERFECTLY! I never have to worry about adjusting my headphones mid-run anymore; those babies do not move once they’re in your ears. I also really enjoy the baby blue color (which happens to match my sneakers!)

2 Generations RunningSo color coordinated 😉

My only complaint is that, at least with the model I have, I can’t adjust the volume through the headphones, I have to use the buttons on my phone, which can be a little inconvenient when I have it tucked in my fitletic belt.

Saucony Ignite Split Short | 2 Generations RunningThe Saucony ignite split shorts I picked up at one of the weekly 5ks a couple weeks ago because they were 50% off and who can resist a deal like that?! I was a little hesitant to get them at first because I’m not usually a fan of the whole built-in underwear thing, but after testing these out a few times I’m happy to say I love them. I even wore them for my 10-miler on Sunday, and they worked like a charm. They’re super light and airy, thanks to the slits in the sides and the dry-wicking material. I also like the obnoxious bright red and yellow colors which is a nice change from my typical black or blue shorts. Added bonus – they have the tiny little zippered pocket in the back, perfect for a key or GU. I also picked up a pair of Feetures! High Performance running socks in coral at the 5k.

Feetures! High Performance SocksAgain, I’ve been hearing about how great Feetures are for ages, but I’m always late to the game, so this is my first pair. HOLY CRAP ARE THEY AWESOME. They come up high enough where I know I won’t have to worry about another blister fiasco on my heel, and they’re made with some sort of non-cotton blend to help keep your toes dry. I also wore them on Sunday and I can safely say that these socks are the bomb.com. Now I need more pairs because these are my new faves. I’ve got my eye on the aqua ones.

Brooks NightLife Running Hat

The Brooks NightLife hat I purchased online because I wanted a lighter hat for summer running in a color that would go with all my different running shirts (so basically my options were black or white – I figured black would hide my sweat better.). I’m personally a big fan of running with hats because they keep my bangs out of my face, while also shading my eyes. Not to mention, they hide dirty hair on early morning runs. 😉 This one works great (not that a hat can fail in many ways to be fair.). It’s got some nice reflective detailing, and it’s adjustable so you can make it fit your head jusssst right.

What are your summer running essentials? Made any new running gear purchases recently that you’re currently loving? I love gear suggestions!

 


Good Times Series 5k #2 + Lily Trotters Compression Socks!

Happy Thursday and almost long weekend!
As promised, I’m back with a recap of Tuesday night’s 5k, which I rocked in the awesome Lily Trotters compression socks that were so kindly sent to me to review! (*spoiler alert*- I love them!)Lily Trotters Compression Socks Review | 2 Generations RunningBut let’s talk about that 5k first. I mentioned it in my last post, but I’m still dealing with a bit of a weird summer cold. I felt pretty horrible during the beginning of the week, but a good nights sleep had me feeling A LOT better on Tuesday. Not 100%, but I was still excited to run and give it my all.
It was warm but there was a little breeze and it felt like pretty good running weather. It also helped that I felt like a badass in my polkadot Lily Trotters socks. Because nothing says badass like polkadots. 😉

We lined up and after a few opening remarks, and then we were off! I felt like I was flying that first mile (which I was), and I had to make myself slow down a few times to keep myself from being too much faster than my desired split. My legs felt great in the compression socks and I was happy to discover I didn’t feel too hot in them even as I started sweating up a storm.
1st mile: 7:22. I was aiming for 7:30, so I was pretty close to on-target which I was happy about. It all went downhill from there though.

I could feel my cold beginning to take its toll on me as I began to slow down despite my best efforts not to. I tried to relax and focus on slowly reeling in a few runners ahead of me. Maybe if I didn’t think about it, it would feel easier. Meanwhile, a few runners from my running club who had paced themselves better were passing me! They gave me a thumbs up and I appreciated the little gesture of solidarity as I was struggling.

Mile 2: 7:51. Off from my goal, but still sub-8 which me relatively happy. Finally we were into the homestretch and I knew that at least I was going to be done soon. There was a woman in a black running tank ahead of me who I’d been working on catching for most of the race and I was just behind her now. I made the final turn off the river walkway that most of the course winds along and gave it all I had up a small hill and around the corner, passing her only 25 yards or so before the finish.

Mile 3: 8:01 for a final chip time of 24:09. Not a PR and DEFINITELY not negative splits. At first, I was a little disappointed, but then I had to admit that this time was pretty dang good for the second 5k of the series and for having a cold at the time. I have to be a little patient with myself and get it into my head that I have all summer to work on getting faster; it shouldn’t and probably won’t happen right away. I did move up one spot in my division though! I should also mention, it was a great night for my mom! She scored a new PR with a time of 25:35 and a third place finish in her age group! She’s a speed demon!

Overall, I was pretty darn happy with how I ran and how great my legs felt in my new socks. I’m a total newbie to compression socks, but I think Lily Trotters has set the bar pretty high with their cute designs and comfortable, not-too-tight feel. 🙂 My mom was totally coveting my pair and even borrowed them for a run after a hard workout the other day (I swear, we don’t normally share socks…) Needless to say, we’ll be ordering her a pair of her own. If you visit their website right now, you can sign up to receive notifications when their website launches and to receive the best early bird discounts. I’m so pumped to kick back in my pair after some long runs later this summer. 🙂

Have an awesome 4th of July weekend! I know I will!

Have you tried Lily Trotters compression socks or other compression socks? Are you a fan? Got any 5Ks on your summer race calendar?


Block Island Organics Review

Happy Wednesday everyone!

Hope you all had a good weekend, I know I did! I’ve been crazy busy lately (which is why I’ve been away from the blog lately), but I’ve got a fun review for ya today, brought to you by my mom! Enjoy!

Block Island Organics Sunscreen ReviewI love natural beauty products. In fact, for a year now I’ve been using coconut and almond oils on my face and have all but dispensed with store bought creams and lotions.

Except when it comes to sunscreen. Because that is the one thing I won’t mess around with.  When I was growing up sunscreen was not widely used, and since I’m fair-skinned, I ended up getting sunburned frequently. Now, after several small nevi (irregular moles) and one moderate atypical nevus have been removed from my arms and legs, I am more diligent than ever about wearing sunscreen. (Even in winter, I apply it to my face!) And I do visit my dermatologist once a year to make sure there are no changes to my skin.

So I was really happy when Nora told me that we had been sent a natural, chemical-free sun block to review.

Block Island Sunscreen Review  Yep, I get excited about sunscreen.

Block Island Organics is a family-owned suncare focused skin care line based out of Block Island, Rhode Island. They were kind enough to send us their new natural mineral (zinc only) SPF 30 sunscreen to test out.

Block Island Organics Sunscreen ReviewMade without parabens, sulfates, petrochemicals, phthalates, dyes, artificial fragrances and with a non-nano and vegan formula, I was really excited to try this!

And having used it several times, here’s what I found:

The first time I tried it was on a run.  It was 11 AM and I was planning on being out an hour or so. It was very sunny, hot and humid and I since I knew it would be a tough run, I didn’t want to make things worse by forgetting to put on sunscreen.  In most commercial sunscreens the active ingredient is usually the chemical Avobenzone, but in Block Island Suncare sunscreen the active ingredient is the mineral Zinc Oxide. That does make this brand go on a little whiter than most current commercial brands. (Also, I may have just put on a bit too much the first time, but I learned and in subsequent uses, just applied a little less.) Despite its being fragrance free, I thought it did have a little scent, but though it wasn’t the “traditional” sunscreen scent, it was subtle and not unpleasant.

On that first run, it was hot and I sweated A LOT. Then I came home, and after drinking lots of water, I decided I would do a little gardening. It was still really sunny, but I thought “I’ll just do a little…” An hour later, I finally remembered I hadn’t reapplied sunscreen and decided I really should call it quits. As I showered, I noticed I had missed a little spot on my back, where I had not been able to reach, and that spot was slightly red. The rest of me was fine! So where I had applied the sunscreen, it stayed on through a really sweaty workout and an hour of gardening  – and did a great job protecting my skin. 🙂

I’ve also tried it on my face, under my make-up. If you apply too much, you might look a little “ghostly” for a few minutes, but keep rubbing it in. It gets absorbed and it doesn’t hurt to put the excess on your hands to protect them, too. I found that with Block Island Suncare, I didn’t need to use any primer. A dab of sunscreen, followed by a little foundation, was all that was needed. And my foundation looked good all day!

Though some sunscreens go on kind of greasy or oily, this one didn’t feel like that at all. Once it was rubbed in, my skin felt dry and smooth, and I completely forgot I was wearing it.

I don’t know if this product comes in some kind of spray form, but honestly, at this point, I feel that’s the only drawback: you might have to get someone to help you put it on your back, so you don’t miss a spot! And who doesn’t like an excuse for a good backrub?

Block Island Organics Sunscreen

Have a great week!

Are you careful about sunscreen during the summer?