BodyGlide – Review & Giveway

I will never forget the first time that I discovered and used BodyGlide.  It was several years ago, in the dead heat of a typical scorching and humid DC summer when I was in the thick of marathon training.  I had been repeatedly chafing in a serious way from my bra despite slathering myself with Vaseline and Aquafor – a bright red line right under my chest that would fade and scar and then rage up all over again the during next weekend’s long run.  Raw, tender skin between my thighs, thanks to them rubbing against one another over and over again with each step I took.  Showering after my long runs was so miserable, more painful than any muscle soreness or fatigue I would endure from actually running and pushing my limits.  The sting of the water on my irritated skin would literally make me cringe.  I also found that I would get terrible blisters on my feet over and over again, usually on my poor toes due to the swelling of my feet from the heat.

For years, I had just kind of accepted that chafing and blisters were some of those annoying things that runners were forced to put up with.  That they came with the territory, and we just had to deal with them and move on.  Try not to let them break our spirits.

And then, one day while paying for a new pair of shoes at my local running store (Potomac River Running), I noticed right by the cash register that they had this product called BodyGlide that promised to save our skin and feet from chafing and blistering.  I read the package and thought to myself “NO. WAY.” – it had to be a gimmick!  I asked the salesclerk about it and he told me very emphatically that he swore by the stuff.  That he never went for a run without using it and that ever since he started using it he hadn’t chafed or blistered AT ALL.

So I decided to try it.

And I seriously could not believe what a huge difference it made for me.  Where had this product been all my running life!?

Thanks to BodyGlide, I do not chafe or blister anymore.  I use it in a MAJOR way in the summer months especially.  Whether I’m going for a 3 mile run or a 30 mile run, I am very generously and VERY liberally applying BodyGlide to all of my potentially problem spots before I head out (for me, this is my feet/toes, my bra line, between my thighs, and where my tank cuts under my arms).

If I ever forget to use it or get lazy about it, I totally pay for it.
And trust me, it’s not pretty.

Losing my BodyGlide would seriously make me want to cry so for this reason I keep it handy in a few places around my house.  I have a stick of it in my car and one in my bag for when I go to the track or to a race.  I also have one that lives in my bathroom upstairs, where I typically get dressed before going out for a run in the early mornings while my family is still sleeping.

I am amazed by how awful chafing and blistering could make a run or race experience before I found BodyGlide.  I could be feeling so strong and working so hard, and then the pain and annoyance of a developing blister or rubbing/stinging skin would distract me and throw me SO off mentally.  Finding BodyGlide was like a miracle to me – such a simple and easy solution for preventing this from happening!

I cannot tell you guys how excited I was when BodyGlide asked me to be their first ever ambassador recently!  There really is no other product on the market that does what it does or that is made with such quality (plant-derived, oil-free) ingredients.  I am so proud to represent them and to tell anyone and everyone who will listen about why I think this product is an ESSENTIAL item for every runner.

For years I have used the original Anti-Chafe BodyGlide and it has worked amazingly, and recently I discovered the “For Her” formula which has Vitamin F in it to provide extra moisture and hydration for sensitive skin.  I love them both!

Have you ever tried BodyGlide before?  Do you swear by it like I do?  Are you curious to try it out?  Two lucky readers of my blog will be chosen to win some BodyGlide!!!

There are four simple ways to enter, and here’s how: (please leave a separate comment here for EACH entry):

  • Like BodyGlide on Facebook (click here)
  • Follow BodyGlide on Twitter (click here) and tweet: I want to win the @BodyGlide giveaway from @paceofme
  • Follow Pace of Me on Twitter (click here)
  • Like Pace of Me on Facebook (click here)

** Two winners will each receive one tube of BodyGlide.  Must be a US resident to enter.  Contest ends on Friday 5/24 at midnight EST and the winners will be announced via blog post shortly thereafter.  The winners have one week to claim their prize before back up winners are chosen. **

Review: Sprigs Banjees Wrist Wallet

Running apparel these days is often equipped with pockets – but not always – and many times not enough pockets to store everything you might need while out on a run.  When I was given an opportunity to review the Sprigs Banjees Wrist Wallet I was excited to test it out.  It seemed like a great, original idea – a “running wallet” – a simple and secure way to carry small items with you.  Your key, an extra gel packet, lip balm, your ID, money or a credit card for example.  In addition to that, they look cute and let’s face it this kind of matters to me.

Sprigs Banjees Wrist Wallet

I checked out the Sprigs company and their web site and was really inspired by their story and amazed by all of the fabric and color choices available to me!  The Banjees Wrist Wallet comes in two sizes and is available in so many different colors and patterns.  There are also several fabric options to choose from – organic cotton, recycled post-consumer content and a polyester/spandex blend.  All of them are created and designed with the active lifestyle in mind.  There is something for everyone!

I chose the organic cotton in a hot pink tye die that is reversible with a solid hot pink on the other side.  It was very comfortable and easy to get on and off.  It held my house key and some money with no problem and I hardly noticed it was there while I was wearing it.

hot pink side

I love the feel of the fabric and the vibrancy of the colors.  I love that it is reversible.  I love that the design is simple and that it is something I can wash easily.  I will be honest and tell you that it was a little big for my wrist, but since I was wearing a long sleeve shirt this was not a problem.  I think in the warmer months it would be loose on my wrist which may or may not bother me.  It definitely wouldn’t fall off or anything, but would probably swivel around.  The zipper was tricky for me with chilly hands, but I think I would stick to storing things in it that I would really need before and after my run, not so much during the run (a gel would easily fit, I tried that, but getting it out quickly on a training run or during a race would be hard for me).  Over all though I would say this is a really great product and I am sure I will be using mine a lot!!

good to go!

A little bit more about Sprigs and about the Banjees Wrist Wallet (adapted from the company’s web site):

  • About the company: Sprigs was founded in 1998 and their mission is to “enhance your life by melding style and function into products of unique design.”  They want to “free you from the tyranny of the ordinary.”  All of their products are created out of their own experiences and needs.  They really try to put themselves in their customers’ shoes and come up with creative, unique solutions to common problems.
  • Why did they create the Banjees Wrist Wallet?  “We love the outdoors, we love exercise and we love not being locked out of our home after a nice run.  But carrying keys in your pocket isn’t always an option. And when it is an option, sometimes keys flopping around in your pocket is down-right uncomfortable. So we went looking for a quality, comfortable wrist wallet that could fit more than just one key and maybe a credit card. We found lots of outdated fanny packs, and lots of Velcro closures.  We were left with only one choice: design our own wrist wallet.”
  • What makes the Banjees Wrist Wallet the best running wallet?  They are wicking, stretchy and comfortable.  They come in more styles than any other wrist wallet.  They are machine washable.

Want to learn more about Sprigs and about Banjees Wrist Wallets?
— Visit the company web site at http://www.sprigs.com
— Watch these demo videos here: http://youtu.be/m9tCLe9e0Q0 and here: http://youtu.be/tKgz0ex_pjk
— Find the company on both Facebook and Twitter!

Interested in purchasing one of your own or one for a friend or family member?
It would make a great holiday gift or stocking stuffer!  Enter the coupon code PaceOfMe20 for 10% off of orders up to $29.99 or 20% off of orders over $30.  The code expires 12/18/12 at 11:59 PM EST.

Team Sparkle Skirt: Review and Giveaway!

When I found out that I would be wearing a Team Sparkle skirt for the Hood to Coast Relay with Nuun, I will admit that I was REALLY excited about it.  I wasn’t new to the idea of rocking one of these skirts – last year I won one in a blog giveaway and wore it for a New Year’s Day race.  I set a 5k PR in my skirt that day and had SO much fun wearing it.  I was a fan from the get-go.

sparkling on 1/1/12

There are a lot of things that I love about racing in a Team Sparkle skirt …

* I feel feminine, but I also feel like a complete badass.  It is really the perfect combination.  Completely girly + strong = AWESOME, if you ask me.  I love rocking this skirt and have never run so fast as I did when wearing it.

STRONG LIKE A GIRL

* Passing someone, especially a man (no offense, guys) while running in a sparkly skirt is pretty much one of the best feelings ever.  I will never forget the feeling I had when I sparkled passed my first roadkill (a man) at Hood to Coast.  He didn’t know what hit him.


* I can wear my own bottoms with it, and I don’t feel the skirt at all.  I am extremely picky about what I wear when I run, especially when I race.  I LOVE this skirt because I can wear my own shorts (always the lululemon run: shorty shorts) under them and be confident that I won’t have any chafing.  Plus, the material of the skirt is SO light that I don’t even notice it’s there.


* I am easy to spot.  If I’m running at night, the sparkles are reflective.  If I’m running during the day, they shine and glimmer in the sun so my family and friends can easily see me coming.

* There is a rainbow of colors to choose from.  The toughest thing about this skirt is picking which color you want!  I have two (a golden yellow and a royal blue) but I want to get one in every color (next up for me is PINK!).  They go great with a black or white top or it’s also fun to make yourself completely colorful by wearing a brightly colored top with it.  Also, if you are someone who likes to make running costumes (like for a Disney race) then this is pretty much an essential part of your outfit and you will be sure to find the color you need when shopping their assortment.

* I love the company.  I cannot say this enough.  The girls of Team Sparkle are strong, creative, intelligent and inspiring.  Kelly, Carrie and Elyse are best friends and are all mothers who balance their passions and their dreams with their families and careers.  These women shine as brightly as their skirts do and I am so truly proud to represent them when I wear my sparkle skirt.

I am SO excited to be hosting a giveaway of a Team Sparkle skirt here on my blog!  If you have never tried one before – now is your chance to win your first one just like I did!  And if you already have one and love it (which I’m sure you do) then here’s your chance to get one in another color!

There are four simple ways to enter, and here’s how: (please leave a separate comment here for EACH entry):

** The winner will receive one sparkle skirt in the size and color of their choice.  Must be a US resident to enter.  Contest ends on Thursday, 9/20 at midnight EST and the winner will be announced via blog post shortly thereafter.  The winner has one week to claim their prize before a back up winner is chosen. **

Smoothie Heaven – Vega Energizing Smoothies

I love smoothies.  LOVE them.  Especially in the summer when we have so many delicious fresh and local fruits and vegetables to throw in them.  They taste amazing and give me a boost of energy to get through the day.  Whether it’s before my run or after, I pretty much think any time is a good time for a smoothie.

YUM.

I keep my recipes very simple and don’t measure anything.  I take whatever is on hand – in the fridge, the freezer or on the counter (fresh peaches, bananas, blueberries and strawberries are my favorites) – and mix them up in my mini blender with some vanilla soy milk or orange juice.  It’s quick and yummy and never ever disappoints.

Sometimes though, even grabbing all those ingredients and throwing them in a blender is too time consuming for this busy running mom of three.  Sometimes I miss out on my smoothie because I can’t handle pulling even the simplest of ingredients together.  I know that sounds silly, but it’s just the truth.

When I was introduced to Vega products a few weeks ago, I have to admit I wasn’t really expecting to love them.  The idea behind the Energizing Smoothies is that you just mix them with a cold dairy-free beverage like soy milk, water or juice and shake them up (no blender required) and then they are ready to drink.  I honestly figured I would try that but that I would want to just add the powder to my regular smoothies in order to truly enjoy them.  That was okay with me – it’s what I have done with other flavored protein powders I have tried for that same reason.  I am telling you though, the Vega smoothies are the best ones I have ever ever tasted.

Vega sent me five flavors to try.  I tried the Vanilla Almondilla first.  I put the powder in my Blender Bottle (which I bought at Target for about $9) – it is a plastic bottle with a little stainless steel whisk ball.  I mixed it with one cup of vanilla soy milk and shook it.  When I tasted it I was AMAZED.  It was not just tolerable or okay – it was hands down DELICIOUS!  I was sad I only had one packet of it.

I felt the same way about the Choc-a-Lot flavor when I mixed it with cold soy milk.  SO good.

Next I tried the Bodacious Berry.  This flavor was not for me.  I mixed it with cold water and I just did not love it.  It wasn’t bad, but when compared to how good tasting the other two were, it was just not nearly as good.  If I were to have this flavor again I would just add it to one of my awesome fresh-fruit smoothie concoctions in my mini blender for an energizing boost to that.  I assumed I would feel the same way about the Oh Natural flavor, so when I used that one I added it to my smoothie and it was great.  On its own, I am pretty sure I would not have loved it.  I have a sweet tooth and that would just not be satisfying to me on its own.  The Tropical Tango flavor was SO good when I mixed it with a cup of cold orange juice though — I would definitely have that one again.

Here is what Vega has to say about their Energizing Smoothies:

Energize your day with a convenient, on-the-go nutrient boost. Energizing Smoothie gives you the all-natural, plant-based goodness you expect from Vega—compete with protein, fiber and Omega-3—but unlike traditional smoothies, you only need water to shake and go. In four mouth-watering flavors: mixed tropical fruits, chocolate, vanilla almond and berries (plus an unflavored natural), Energizing Smoothie is so delicious it will make you forget how healthy it is.

One serving of Vega Energizing Smoothie features

  • Two servings of veggies
  • 10 g of complete, plant-based protein
  • 5 g of fiber
  • 1 g of Omega-3

Just add water, shake and go!

Formulated by Brendan Brazier, vegan professional Ironman triathlete and bestselling health author on plant-based nutrition, Vega Energizing Smoothie is alkaline-forming, free from dairy, gluten and soy, and contains no added sugar, artificial flavors, colors or sweeteners. Available in Bodacious Berry, Choc-a-lot, Oh Natural, Tropical Tango and Vanilla Almondilla flavors.

As someone who has a sensitive stomach and tries to stick to a plant based diet, this company is right up my alley.  I am so excited to try some of their other products for this very reason.  I’m really grateful that there are performance and recovery products out there that are vegan and gluten free but also high in protein because this is something I struggle with as a person and as a runner.  I am always on the hunt for products I can count on and now I know Vega will be at the top of this list.

Have you ever tried Vega Energizing Smoothies or recovery drinks?  Do you love smoothies as much as I do?

What are your favorite ingredients and recipes?  I am especially interested in those of you who add green veggies like kale and spinach to your smoothies and would love to hear your favorite recipes that include those ingredients!

Review: Clean Bottle Runner Handheld

It took me a long time to find a water bottle that works for me on a run.  To be honest, I don’t really want to know how much money I have spent testing them out over the years.  I like to carry my water as opposed to wearing a belt or a Camel Back – those things just don’t work for me – but not all hand held bottles are created equally and what works for one person just might not work for another.

About a year ago I finally found a bottle and carrier that I LOVE and that works great for me on the longest of runs and races (the Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Pocket).  The contoured shape of the bottle, the size of the pocket, the light weight feel, the way it stays secure in my hand as I run – it all works for me.  No complaints.  No more searching.  No more trial and error and wasted money.  Hooray!

A few weeks ago I was contacted by a company representing Clean Bottle to test out and review their bottle and carrier called “The Runner.”  At first I was inclined to say no, because I felt as though I had tried every other bottle known to man and all but one of them had worked for me so why bother really?  Chances were high that I was not going to like it.  But then when I took a closer look I was intrigued – this bottle is different because it opens on both ends so you can get it truly clean (hence the name Clean Bottle, of course) and it’s carrier pocket is large enough to hold my iPhone.  These two features piqued my interest so I thought I would give it a try.  I don’t ever run with a phone (unless I am pushing the stroller) because I don’t like bulky arm bands and I don’t wear a belt around my waist or a backpack large enough to hold it.  On runs when I am going out for a few hours all by myself, having my phone with me would be a SAFE and SMART idea.

The other morning I set out for my 14 mile long run with the Clean Bottle on hand.  I put one gel in the secure strap in the back (it stayed put until Mile 7 when I ate it) and I put my phone in the pocket of the carrier.  One thing I noticed right away was that it was heavier than I am used to, but that was to be expected because it was holding my phone which I don’t usually carry with me.  It wasn’t an issue though – thankfully I got used to the weight of it and it didn’t bug me throughout my run.

I ran a strong and steady 8:00 average pace for the duration of my 14 miles, and it didn’t leak or give me any trouble along the way.  I was happy to have my phone with me and my husband was grateful too.  I was running in the heat of the day for 2 hours on the trail by myself.  Having a way to reach him if I got into trouble or a way for him to reach me if he needed me, was just more than awesome.  I know both Robert and I were happy that I was running with my phone for a change.

Washing this bottle is a BREEZE – it’s simple to disassemble just by unscrewing the top and the bottom.  It’s dishwasher safe and since the bottom comes off too it dries on the inside completely and as a result is cleaner than any other bottle I own I’m sure.  I will definitely be using this bottle and carrier for all of my solo long runs moving forward.  It makes sense and works great for me.  I’m so glad that I decided to test it out and I would absolutely recommend it for anyone who wants to run with their iPhone but doesn’t like to wear it!

More info about The Runner from Clean Bottle:

  • Only holder that lets you use your iPod and smartphone on the run
  • Fits iPhones, iPods and smartphones about the size of an iPhone (2.5 by 5 inches)
  • Innovative straps on handle for quick access to energy gels
  • Back pocket stores keys, cash and credit cards
  • Unique closing system prevents bottle from slipping out from holder
  • Guaranteed for life
  • 10% of profits donated to eco-friendly charities you vote for at Clean Bottle Charity

You can buy this bottle online right now and get a great deal – one Runner carrier and TWO Clean Bottles for less than $30 (my Amphipod bottle/carrier is about $20, for the sake of comparison).  Just click HERE for the link.

I’d love to know — how do you carry your water on a run?  Do you run with your phone?  If so, how do you carry it with you?  Have you ever tried the Clean Bottle Runner?  What do you think?

Disclaimer: I was given a Clean Bottle and Runner to test out and review. All the thoughts and opinions in this post are mine.  Clean Bottle was not guaranteed a positive review.