5K Crate Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a box from 5K Crate to 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!

I’ve always loved the idea of subscription boxes.  No matter what your interest may be (quilting, make-up, clothes, gaming, running), subscription boxes are a fun way to go to guarantee trying something new, or discovering a product you may have not known about otherwise.

5K Crate is a quarterly subscription box that “curates premium apparel and accessories for runners of all types and fitness levels. Each box is carefully hand curated to include 5-6 items that you will use over and over again. We do not want to be just another box full of snacks and gels!”  (Love the personalized note that was inserted in my box!)

The box I received contained:

  • 1 Mission Vaporactive Running Shirt ($25)
  • 1 Mission Hydroactive Cooling Towel ($19.99)
  • 1 pair of Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones ($49.99)
  • 1 pair of Zensah Compression Socks ($14.99)
  • 2 Epic Full-Size Body Wipes ($3 each)
  • 3 La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples

Who doesn’t love getting such a menagerie of goodies?!  I know I do!  Every single one of these items is of high quality and absolutely something I can use.  I took the body wipes and sunscreen on my trip this past weekend when I ran my half marathon, and the cooling towel helped me out on some very warmish runs I had.

I can’t praise this company enough.  I feel the products that you get are well worth the subscription price, not to mention… again… everything is usable!!  Their next box is set to be sent out October 16th, and rumor has it that there is Momentum Jewelry in it, saying “Be Awesome Today.”  See?  Totally worth it!

I did not receive any financial compensation for this review and all opinions rendered are my own. If you would like to see some other reviews on 5K Crate, please check out what some of my BRP friends have to say:

Tedrick; Jenna; Mai; Ang; Vanessa; Heather.

Have you ever tried a subscription box before?  Go ahead, don’t be shy… tell me your experience!

North County Wine Run

Tonight I’m in Battle Ground, Washington, preparing to run, I believe, my 13th half-marathon Saturday morning.  Battle Ground is about 200 miles south of where we live and about 20 miles north of Portland, Oregon.

One of the reasons James and I race is to explore new areas.  We’d never heard of nor been near Battle Ground before, and as this event is in our home state, we needed to check this race and area out.

Unfortunately, on September 2nd and about 40 miles south from here, some careless teenagers were lighting off fireworks during a burn ban, which ultimately started the now infamous Eagle Creek Fire, a fire that has burned so massively we have got smoke and ash all the way up where I live.

As of September 20th, the fire has consumed over 48,000 acres and still is only about 50% contained.

The proceeds from the North County Wine Run will go to the Eagle Creek Fire Relief.

Thankfully, the air cleared enough this past week to where we could still run.

This is the first race I’ll be running representing BibRave as a BibRave Pro, but I did pay for my entry.  I will be running through a winery, with wine offered at the aid stations and a wine truck coming up along the course… you know… just in case.

Really looking forward to it!  Cheers!

 

Double, Double Toil and Trouble

Clever title, eh?  It’s taken from Song of the Witches/Macbeth, written (of course) by William Shakespeare… you know… trivia.

This is a post I’ve put off writing for about a week now as I have slowly come to grips with the reality of the situation.  However, if you follow both me and my husband James at 50 in 50 Marathon Quest, then you know what I’m about to say.

We won’t be going to DC next month to run Marine Corps Marathon, which was to be my very first marathon.  We had to defer our entries to next year.

The reason being…

Last week it was discovered that James may have blown a disk.  Today was his appointment with the spine physiatrist who confirmed that James does indeed have a herniated disk with a trapped nerve.  James will be getting conservative treatment with physical therapy to see if that helps before he goes all out with injections into the back.

This is not a running injury, so please don’t even go there.

This puts an end to James’s race season before it even begins.  It throws me a little off track as well, and we are very saddened by these recent developments.  However… my family does not wallow in self pity.  We adapt and improvise and get the hell over it.

So!  New plan people!!  I will continue on with my training and racing as scheduled, all except for MCM.  I have now chosen to run Rock N Roll San Antonio as a full marathon in December.  We are hoping that James will be well enough by then that he can at least participate in some way, but if not, he and AJ will be there to cheer me across the finish line!

And fear not!  It’s not all been doom and gloom here in the hot and dry Pacific Northwest!  AJ and I attended the PAX Conference in Seattle on Labor Day.  For those who don’t know, it’s a huge game convention.  As AJ has known since he was 8 that he wants to be a game designer when he grows up, we encourage all development in that aspect, so we were off to the convention.  What a great day it was.

We got to watch the Mario Super Smash Brothers Tournament while it was being streamed live on Twitch.  These kids were playing for a $10,000 purse:

And we even ran into Jack Septic Eye, a famous gaming YouTuber, of whom I once wrote about here:

And I completely understand that I may be speaking Greek to everyone over 20 in regards to gaming, but when it’s your child’s passion, you try to keep up.  KnowwhatImeanVern?  Okay, yes, confession time… if you didn’t already know it, James and I are gamers too.  I’m in the middle of re-playing the Kingdom Hearts series before the new one is released in December and James just started a new Final Fantasy.

Anyway, my friends, onward I go with my running, with high hopes for a speedy recovery for Jamesy!  I will race the Sounders 5K this Saturday, the North County Wine Run Half-Marathon the following week, then it’s on to San Antonio in December!  Woo hoo!

 

Be Brilliant, Be Safe

Disclaimer: I received some Brilliant Reflective Strips to 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!  All opinions are my own.

I was actually excited to receive some of these strips to test out.  I had seen others using them and I wanted to know for myself if they actually were as bright as they looked.  I’ve never been comfortable with running in the dark, mostly because it’s hard to be seen no matter what you do.  That makes training outside very difficult in the winter when the daylight hours here in the Seattle area max out to about 9 hours.  We also get quite a few rainy and dark days, so sometimes it’s even hard to be seen at 3 p.m.

Enter Brilliant Reflective strips…

What are they?  Brilliant Reflective Strips are strips of reflective and colorized material that you can add to various surfaces (clothing, bikes, helmets, backpacks, shoes, etc.) for maximum visibility.  They are made from retroreflective material, which means when light shines on them, the light will reflect off the strip and go back directly to the source.  Way cool.

To test them out, I ironed some onto a running shirt …

… stuck some on my child’s backpack, shoes, and hat …

The only light we used was the flash from my camera; otherwise it was pitch black outside.

… and just for fun, I stuck one on my remote control so I could find it in the dark.

Cost:  $14.95 per pack in the color of your choice (black, red, purple, blue), either iron-on or stickies, free shipping.  You can get a multi-pack which includes one of each color for $49.95, free shipping. If you choose to buy their multi-packs, you can use the code “BRPmulti” to get 20% off.

The Cons:  I suck at ironing, so it took me forever to figure out how to get the iron-ons to stick (and at a higher-than-recommended setting). However, that’s my own personal disability and ineptness… you may not have the same problem.

Bottom line:  In my opinion, I think they’re fabulous if you want to be seen.  They’re not just for runners as these will stick on anything.  Get creative!  Put them on the cat’s collar!  But most importantly, I don’t have to worry about my child not being seen in the dark because he now lights up like a Christmas tree.

Visit Mai’s blog at If I Just Breathe to see her review of the Brilliant Reflective Strips.

Join us on Twitter (#BibChat, @BibRave) on September 12 at 6 p.m. Pacific for a chance to win a pack of these handy-dandy safety strips!  I know come Halloween night, AJ won’t be stepping out the door without being decorated in them from head to toe.

Fun At Work… and Other Stuff

Sometimes my boss and I have to find creative ways to entertain ourselves at work in order to survive the madness of dealing with the general public.  She’s only 2 months older than I, so we completely understand each other and think along the same lines.

On Instagram, a fake male profile followed me and then promptly sent me a private message.  I knew it was a fake… I’m not gullible nor an idiot… so I told my boss that I wanted to mess with him.  My boss wanted in on the fun… so she told me what to write back.  The following conversation ensued:

 

Nigeria.  Wow.  I cannot believe people still use that scam.  Even my child was smarter than that. Of course, my side of the conversation is the one in blue.  Continuing on…

If you are American and not 12 years old, you would understand the reference of ruby slippers. And so endeth our conversation.  He didn’t like my response that Glenda could help him. Maybe the scammers have a “no-contact list” and I’ve made it.  But if it happens again, we’re going for gold.  I will help the scammer… at least they will think I’m helping from the replies I send.

Oh… BTW… if you get a follow from “whitlockchristopher95” on IG, it’s a total scam.  Hopefully he won’t be around for too much longer… I’ve reported him.

Moving on…

I’ve given up on my training “weekly recaps,” sorry.  Those posts don’t work for me, way too much negative. You’ll just have to wait and see if I finish the marathon on October 22nd… your guess is as good as mine.  If I don’t finish, it certainly won’t be from lack of training.  It’ll be because my spirit animal is the “turtle.” #truth  (but I did run 12 miles today, even though the heat sucked the life out of me)

However, on that note, next weekend I have a half-marathon race… the Seattle Craft Classic. The following weekend, we’ve signed up for the Sounders Rave Green Run (purely for the bling as this past year our soccer team won the MLS championship and we’ll get the championship medal), and the weekend after that, I have the North County Wine Run Half-Marathon. September is an extremely busy month, but the race experience will do me good in getting rid of the nerves I’ll experience on the day of the marathon.  I hope.

As well…

My 12-year-old son is now taller than me.  He has it in writing from the doctor and everything. He’s officially 5 feet 8 inches.  At 12.  99th percentile.  I’m thrilled that he’s so tall, and he loves rubbing it in.  He will bypass his father by this time next year.  He also starts 7th grade on Wednesday.

And finally…

Last Friday we lost a very special blogger friend.  Terry from Spearfruit passed on.  Terry had bladder cancer, for which there is no cure.  I started following him back in 2015 after my brother passed away from cancer, hoping for answers.  Funny enough, I did get my answers about a month ago. Terry was always upbeat, positive, accepted his diagnosis, knew he was dying, but never failed to tell his friends “have a happy day.”

Back when Terry was healthier, he would do a “boogie” type of video to the best 70’s music.  It was just silly fun.  He enjoyed doing it.  He enjoyed making his friends smile.  And we all enjoyed it in return.  To Terry, I hope you’re boogieing all night long now.

The following is one of his last happy boogies.  Even his husband Gary danced in it.  They took a cruise at the end of last year and had a bang-up time as they knew full well it would be Terry’s last.

Enjoy this with the fun spirit intended… and never forget to tell your loved ones how you feel today… as tomorrow may be too late.

Whistler, BC

Whistler, fondly nicknamed Bear Country, is one of the largest ski resorts in North America, located about 75 miles (125 km) north of Vancouver, British Columbia.  It hosted the 2010 Winter Olympics and is home to Ironman Canada.

While skiing and snowboarding are its main attractions, there is also a myriad of things to do during the summer:

  • Swimming
  • Hiking
  • Ziplining
  • Bungee jumping
  • Bear watching
  • Peak 2 Peak Gondola
  • Golf
  • Canoeing, kayaking, SUP
  • Cross country biking and road cycling
  • Rock climbing
  • Glacier Tours
  • 4×4 Jeep Tours

The Valley Trail runs all throughout Whistler and surrounding areas.  On the below map, the yellow indicates the trail system.  The orange circle indicates the area I covered on my run while we were there.  We covered a larger area with the bikes.  Alta Lake is where the swim for the Ironman takes place.

The day after my long run, we had plans to go up the mountain, go hiking, and ride the gondola, but we didn’t account for the thousands of people that were there.  The lines were crazy long, so we were unable to do that.  There was also a mountain biking/BMX event going on and lifts were extremely busy. Whistler has dedicated parks/trails for mountain bikes which is a big draw in the summer.  I wish I had taken a picture of the event as it was quite fun to watch.

A million and one people in the village.

The day we were to go up the mountain, we decided to rent bikes instead and go for a nice long ride.  If you read my previous post, you saw the elevation profile, so lots of hills, which were actually quite fun on a bike (what goes up, must come down…and fast!).  Me being the old lady I am, poodled along quite nicely behind James and AJ, eventually catching up to them when they would stop to wait for me.  Hey, if I wouldn’t have taken my time, I wouldn’t have been able to see that sweet little black bear crossing the trail in front of me… for which I couldn’t grab my phone quick enough to get a picture (but then again… I’m thinking it’s not very safe to take a selfie with a bear).  Okay, honestly, it scared the ever-loving hell out of me and I couldn’t get out of there fast enough.

The following day was dedicated to me and AJ going for a horseback ride.  Once again, the old lady (me) reared up the back.  My horse was named Sam, extremely tall, and took his time on climbing the hills (sound like anyone you know?).  I don’t know how the stable owner managed to match us up so perfectly.  Even on a horse, AJ was saying, “Mom, you’re so slow.”  I get my money’s worth, what can I say.

See the white horse way up there? Yep, that’s my son’s, and that’s how far behind Sam and I were. Sam and I had an understanding… I wouldn’t make him go faster and he wouldn’t turn around and nip at me.

Anyway, a great and exhausting little holiday.  If you’re close enough and ever looking for an outdoorsy type of vacation, I would highly recommend this place.  There are activities for everyone to enjoy and the weather is gorgeous. I’m sure we’ll be back… time and time again (especially given that it’s only about 4-1/2 hours away from us).

Week 7 of 16 Recap — August 14 through August 19

This weekend in Whistler, BC, has been so cram-packed with activity I hardly remember last week even existed.  And yet, it did… so, I’ma gonna write about it.

Monday:  Nada.  I do not remember for the life of me why I didn’t do any training of any type, but I didn’t.

Tuesday:  4 miles, with hill training.

Wednesday:  Zero, zip, nothing.  We were leaving the next day to go to Whistler… laundry, packing, and prepping the house for vacation were my main goals.

Thursday: 2 miles, intervals, really crunched for time.  I missed Wednesday, so I had to get up early and do some interval training on Thursday morning on the treadmill, go to work, and then after I got home we headed off for our lovely 4-day weekend.

Friday:  16 miles.  I wrote a post about this run so no surprise here.  However… come to find out, I earned the title of BAMF.  The following picture is what my first 5 miles looked like:

It is also what my last 5 miles looked like (I did the above particular 5-mile loop twice).  The 6 miles in between were a separate loop in and around Whistler Village and a golf course or two, which looked something like this:

And yet:

Saturday:  7.5-mile walk and 2-hour bike ride.  Yes, it’s true.  The day after my first 16-mile run.  I don’t even know what to say about this.  Oh wait, yes I do!  Active recovery and time on my already-sore feet!  Or… don’t ever come to Whistler if you want to relax; it’s not that kind of holiday.  I’ll count today as a full-on cross training day with the walking and the cycling.

Sunday:  1.5-mile bike ride, 1.5 mile walk, and afternoon horseback riding with my son.  Today my quads are shredded after hills, cycling, and horsing around.  My a$$ doesn’t feel all that great either.  I’m taking a rest day Monday as we’re headed back home to some semblance of normalcy.  I am looking forward to taking a nap sometime this coming week.  And my own bed. And my cats.  And did I mention a nap?

It’s been a great getaway, and I’ve totally enjoyed myself.  I was happy to get the long run out of the way first thing so as to have the time freed up to do some other really fun things, even if I did do them in slow motion.  I’ll write more on Whistler later, but for now, I’m done.  My pillow is calling me.

Weekly Total:  22 miles/35.4 km

Total Plan Mileage So Far:  153 miles/246.2 km

While the total mileage for the way I count my week doesn’t look that significant, my running days actually look like this:  Sun:  7; Tues:  4; Thurs:  2; Friday:  16.  We’ll see what I can accomplish this coming week… after a nap, of course.

  • 21 days until Seattle Craft Classic Half Marathon.
  • 33 days until North County Wine Run Half Marathon.
  • 63 days until Marine Corps Marathon.
  • 105 days until Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Half Marathon. 
  • 126 days until Christmas.

Best cookies ever!!

Thanks for stopping by!  Hope you have a great week!