2021 Runner Swag Survey Results

A few weeks ago, I saw a tweet from an elite runner that said something to the effect that medals and race shirts should be eliminated so I  thought it would be cool to do my own survey and see what my followers thought.

Huge thank you to the 83 people who answered my 27 question survey!  I know it was long, I just kept thinking of more and more questions LOL. In this post, I’m going to share the answers from those who answered the survey & then I’ll do a 2nd post next week to share my personal thoughts.

Here we go:

Question 1: Where are you from?
US – 78
Canada – 3
UK – 1
The Netherlands – 1

Question 2: If US, what City & State do you live in?
California: Sacramento – 3, San Diego – 3, Santa Cruz – 3, San Francisco – 3, Los Angeles – 2  Other CA cities: Vacaville, Elk Grove, Aromas, Rohnert Park, Carmichael, San Jose, Citrus Heights, Palo Alto, Los Alamitos, Carpinteria, Orangevale, Stockton, Alameda, Livermore, Carlsbad, Santa Rosa & 4 who didn’t list a city
Philadelphia, PA – 3
Gilbert, AZ – 2
New York City, NY – 2
Arlington & Charlottesville, VA, Fargo, ND, Miami, FL, Georgetown & Houston, TX, Takoma Park, MD, Mabelton, GA, Dayton & Cincinnati, OH, North Carolina, St. Louis, MO, St. Paul, NM, Rochester Hills, MI, Bend, OR, Wahiawa, HI, Pittsburgh, PA, New Boston, NH, Colorado Springs, CO, Rogers, AR and Kodiak, Fairbanks & Anchorage, Alaska, Utah

Question 3:

 

Question 4:

Other answers: 5k, 10k, 10, 17, 18, 20 miles

Question 5: How many races do you do in a normal (non Covid) year?
None – 2 ppl
1 – 5 races – 46 ppl
5 – 10 races – 17 ppl
10 + races – 12 ppl
20 + races – 4 ppl
30 + races – 1

Question 6: How many races have you done in your lifetime?
0 – 10 races – 4ppl
10 – 20 races – 7 ppl
20 – 30 races – 7 ppl
30 – 40 races – 3 ppl
40 – 50 races – 3 ppl
50+ races – 13 ppl
75+ races – 1 person
100+ races – 5 ppl
Not sure – 7 ppl
Too many to count – 12 ppl

Question 7:

Question 8:

Other responses: 5 ppl Indifferent, 2 ppl if they are high quality & nice design, depends on distance, for major or special races, for goal races, depends, I like them but can live without, Doesn’t have to be a medal but I like a souvenir form the race.

Question 9:

Question 10:

Other answers: Any but have as upgrade, All distances

Question 11:

Other answers: Any distance but as upgrade, not sure, respect the buckle 🙂

Question 12:

Question 13: If no, Why not?
The majority of responses were because:
They don’t fit well
Cheaply made
I never wear them because I wear other clothes
Don’t come in my size
Some people prefer cotton over tech and then others prefer tech over cotton

Question 13:
Yes – 21 ppl
No – 13 ppl
Maybe – would depend on shirt/race – 42 ppl
No I want it to be included in race fee
No, shirts are implied
I love when races have you opt in for shirts
Only if it was cotton
I like when you can save some money by not taking the shirt
If shirts weren’t included I would buy one I like them more than medals
if it’s a technical shirt – not basic cotton

Question 14: If a race gave you the opportunity to choose your own swag from a list of a few items, what would you want?
Answers included:
Mugs, Pint Glasses, Wine Glasses, Water bottles
Hat, Visor, headbands
Buffs
Running socks
Different types of clothing like tank tops, long sleeves, half zips, jackets
sunglasses
Reusable Tote Bags or backpacks
Blankets
Bottle Openers
Jewelry
Finisher souvenir
Beach Towel
Free Photos
Food
Stickers
Money, Free Future Race Entries

Question 15:

Question 16:

Question 17:

Other answers: Rarely, only if it’s epic, only at Boston

Question 18: If yes, why do you purchase photos?
Answers included:
If they are good
Memories withou a watermark
I don’t always have a crew
Special races
For Instagram
Commemorate big adventues
If it was a big PR
To post ressponsibly
Some are really good & photographer needs to eat as well
To support race or company
Photo Quality

Question 19:

39% $5- 10
28% Nothing – I only want free photos
20.7% $10 – 20
4.9% over $20
Other single answers – someone has to pay photograher, $5 each or $25 for bunch, I’ve never liked mine, $5 – 10 but like to buy the whole series, depends on race, $20 – 30 for digital download

Question 20:

Question 21: Why?
Trail races are more special so I value swag differently
Trail races provide different challenge
Swag from Trail races is different
More burly
If it’s my first I want awesome swag, but I also want a nice jacket from a well know road race
Trail races are more thoughtful & considerate with sustainable swag
Trail swag is better
Trail races are typically more low key
Run by individuals/small companies with smaller budgets
They can do wonky things – including giving winners rubber chickens

Question 22:

Question 23:

Question 24:

Question 25: Why do you run races? Answers included the following:
Accomplishment
Fun
Self Competition
Achieve Goals
See new places
The community
Water Stations – not have to run long self supported
Memories
Runners High
Motivation
Bragging Rights
Medals
Seeing what I can do
Health & fitness

Question 26: What motivates you to run a race vs just running the distance by yourself/with friends? Answers included:
Competition
Goal
Paying money makes me more motivated to train
Fun & safe environment
Fans
Destinations, seeing new places
Excitement of racing
Running somewhere different
Crossing the finish line feels different; Runners High
Chasing a PR
Runing with friends at a race
Official times
Community feel

Question 27: Anything swag/race related you would like to add?
Have race swag be an add on
No more leaflets in goody bags
Offer tanks tops for ladies
better graphics/designs
Option to upgrade shirts
Something unique & specific to races
Consumable goodies, ie. Soap, candy, candles
Shirts optional
Swag other than shifts
Options to donate swag to others less fortunate
Swag as an extra to have lower priced events
No swag vs cheap wasteful products
Better post run food vs swag
Discount to a future race vs swag
It’s mostly junk

A few of my personal thoughts about these responses:

  1. Interestingly the majority of the people who responded have been running for at least 5 years so I have to wonder if that influenced their answers because they have received more swag/medals over the years.
  2. It appeared that people like shirts over medals which really surprised me.
  3. Swag doesn’t really influence the majority of people who responsed
  4. More of the respondents are road runners vs trail runners

And that’s a wrap!  Thank you again to all those who participated & feel free to comment and tell me about your opinions on runner swag!

 

Better Living from Within with iwi

This post is sponsored by iwi. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

As a vegan, I am very picky about supplements, and it’s not always easy to find 100% vegan options. I am really excited to be partnering up with iwi to share their vegan Omega-3 & Cholesterol supplements.



So let’s start with why Omega-3s are important in general.

They promote healthy hearts & arteries
They can soothe your nervous system
Can help maintain the amount of calcium & support healthy joints & bones
They can improve eye health
Can fight anxiety and depression
They can help fight inflammation
Can improve symptoms of mental disorders
And can help reduce fat in your liver



Omega-3s from iwi are made with their unique and proprietary form of algae, Almega®PL. There are independent clinical studies that show that iwi Omega-3 absorbed at least 50% more than products made from other sources.

iwi algae farms are found on previously unused land in the desert of West Texas & Southern New Mexico and have been turned into thriving algae farms that have the potential to feed & nourish millions of people. These farms are able to help to preserve our oceans by leaving key ecosystems right where they belong.

The algae crop from iwi’s farms do not require precious freshwater or an abundance of rich soil – all they need is sunshine, desert land and saltwater to produce our nutrient-dense algae. And 97% of the salt water used is recycled back into the harvesting system – the remaining 3% is due to evaporation, making this a very sustainable & earth-friendly product!

I’ve been looking for a vegan Omega-3 for a while now, and these soft gels are super easy to swallow. You take just one a day (and don’t need to take with food or water). I’ve been taking them for a few weeks now, and while I haven’t felt any physical changes, I do feel good taking them since I don’t eat a lot of the vegan sources of Omega-3s – like Chia & Flax Seeds and Walnuts & Brussel Sprouts, among others.

iwi Omega-3s contains DHA and the world’s only EPA that is naturally bound to glycolipids and phospholipids. It’s also packed with nutrients: chlorophyll, phytosterols, Omega-7, carotenoids and other antioxidants (from the iwi website).



I was also sent a second bottle of Cholesterol soft gels. The cholesterol supplement is different from the Omega-3 in that it is strictly for helping to decrease cholesterol numbers and is an EPA only supplement. I personally have not tried this one and won’t until I have my cholesterol numbers tested to see if it’s necessary for me.

From iwi’s clinical trial of 104 healthy participants, they found that using the Cholesterol product on a daily basis reduced total cholesterol numbers & reduced VLDL (bad cholesterol) by 25%.

I’m excited to see what happens as I continue to use iwi Omega-3 soft gels, and I’m hoping that they will not only help me to maintain optimum cholesterol numbers, but also help with my eye health, anxiety & inflammation from all the exercise.

In the market for a 100% vegan, Non-GMO certified, & Gluten Free Omega-3 or Cholesterol product? Use code RUNNYLEGS30 to save 30% on your first order www.iwilife.com. Plus if you subscribe you’ll save an additional 20%. #betterlivingbeginswithin #iwilife

Mar 2021 Check-In

I think I’ll try to do these every month to give you a little recap on what I’ve been up to.  March started out great and then I struggled as the month went on.  Without any races on the schedule yet, my relationship with running has been complicated.  I like to run, but I really like it when I’m training for something & have lots of races on the schedule.

Again, I started April off in a funk – we are soooo close to being able to be get vaccinated and then hopefully able to move forward with some actual plans.  This whole year I’ve struggled with nothing to look forward to, to not having a real goal and just in general.  I have tried to keep myself busy, but a slight issue with my knee that just keeps getting worse has cut my running & biking down a little more.  Fortunately I have a dr. appt on Tuesday to get that looked at.

So what did I accomplish in March.

Strength Training: I started working with a trainer for strength training after my issue with my back last month & I have consistently done strength training all but one day of my plan.  That’s a huge thing for me, I have rarely if ever done a consistent strength plan.

As we move into April, I’ll  be upping the weights and doing some new to me exercises so that’s exciting.

Running: I was doing so good with running at the beginning of the month, hitting all my workouts, running hills, etc. then I started to get some shin & knee issues and I started not enjoying it as much.  I’ll say it again miss having races to train for & run.  There’s nothing like being out there on course with other people and running in beautiful places.

I think I ended the month at 55 miles running which isn’t a lot but better than nothing.  I did do a fun survey about race swag that I’ll be posting next week that was exciting.  I really enjoyed hearing about what people think.

Peloton: I was slightly down on my bike rides for March, I think I ended the month at around 167 miles which is a bit down from the 191 I did in February.  Part of that was because I actually followed my plan and did one complete rest day a week so I didn’t add on the extra sessions like I have been.

I am struggling with the fit of my bike, I moved the seat down, but now I am getting shin pain when I ride at higher than 40 resistance.  I need to get fitted for my bike because this is getting ridiculous & I’m getting really frustrated and then don’t enjoy riding.

Hiking: We went out every weekend this month & did at least a few miles.  We got to play in the snow, be out on the PCT a few times, go to Mt. Laguna Meadows for the first time in a while & climbed Cuyamaca Peak for the most beautiful of views, with no fog/smog for the first time!!

I think I ended up with about 30 miles of hiking for the month.  I’m contemplating a long hike over the summer.  I would love to be able to go to Chamonix & do the Tour du Monte Blanc but that won’t be happening this year so maybe TRT or Wonderland Trail?  I have to think on that  but I’d love to go to a really cool spot and just hang out in the wilderness for a few days.

Kitchen Update: We finally got the new tile backsplash up and it looks incredible.  We have one step left to do & that’s seal it up but I’m really excited with how awesome it looks.  Next up, do the tiling behind the stove & put up the hood.

Campaigns: I announced a really exciting collaboration with Garmin Outdoors as one of their newest ambassadors.  I’m testing and using the new Enduro watch which gets up to 80 hours (with solar) of GPS/HR for long distance runs, hikes.  It’s pretty amazing!

I shared more about why I love the Sunbeam GoHeat portable heating pad.  Sean has ‘borrowed’ it and literally uses it every day!

I started using and shared a great vegan Omega 3 supplement from iwi.  I’ll have a blog post up next week to share more about it.

I shared a new product from Luna bar, their new prebiotic bars in two super yummy flavors, Wild Cherry & Zesty Tangerine.

Lots of fun stuff coming up in April including a few reviews, some new to me products, Earth Day, a giveaway & a running challenge that I’m excited to share with you guys.

We’ll be eligible to get the vaccine on Apr 15 so I’m looking forward to that as well.  I am hoping that we can get out on some different trails this month, maybe plan a trip or two and I’ll be looking at my relationship with running to see what I really want out of it (well outside of races coming back;)).

What were you up to in March?  And what are you looking forward to in April?

#Rethink Relief – Heat Therapy with Sunbeam

This post is sponsored by Sunbeam.

I’ve always been a fan of heat therapy for pain & discomfort from taking hot baths after long runs & races to using my products like the Sunbeam GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad to get relief vs taking ice baths & using over the counter medications.  Heat has always been my go-to.

As a Sunbeam Ambassador, I will be sharing information on heat therapy throughout the year and some of the products that Sunbeam has to help us “Rethink Relief”.

You might already know that heat is a natural, drug-free form of pain relief.  But you might not know that it increases blood flow which can relax sore muscles, accelerate tissue healing & relieve pain associated with muscle tension & stress.

I use heat therapy to help with my low & mid back issues as well as minor issues in my hips & knee on occasion.  It can also be used to help with cramps & menstrual pain, on your neck & shoulders.

The GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad is a perfect fit for people like myself who are always moving.  The long lasting battery pack fits perfectly into the side pocket and allows me to be able to do whatever I need to do.  From standing while working, cooking, working in the back yard, on our kitchen remodel, or coming back from a run in the mountains, I love that I don’t have to worry being plugged in.

It’s super easy to use, just charge the battery unit, plug it in using the small cord in the heating pad, press the button with the thermometer on it, once for low, twice for medium & three times for high and then put in the pocket & you’re good to go.

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery can give you up to 4 hours of relief in one charge on the low setting.  The flexible pad stays in place with an adjustable strap that can fit up to 55 inches around.  I found it to be quite comfortable.  It is a soft, micromink material and is machine washable.

You can feel the heat, even on the low setting within 30 seconds & there are 3 different settings so you can customize your relief.  Please note that the 4 hours of battery life is only for the lowest setting, when you move to the medium or high setting the battery life is lower.

Being able to use my GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad pretty much anywhere has been a game changer for me.  I no longer have to be by a plug or sitting on the couch.  I can be doing the things I need to do and still be getting relief.

You can find the GoHeat™ Cordless Heating Pad & other Sunbeam heating products on Amazon. (link here).

Feb 2021 Check-In

Let’s see here – I meant to write a post at the beginning of the month to recap what I wanted to achieve this month but that never happened, oops.

We are almost at 1 year since entering this stay at home period and having our lives turned upside down.  The stress has not gone away and I have found that my mental health has significantly gone downhill as 2021 progressed.  With the vaccine on the horizon that gives hope but without a solid idea of when Sean & I will receive it and no definitive date as to when this will all be mostly over, it just all starts to feel really overwhelming.

So back to the things that I can control, like what I’m physically doing, here’s a short synopsis of my month.

Running – was pretty much non existent this month.  I really struggled with no idea on when races are coming back and honestly I don’t love just training to train.  Running is fun, but I need a goal to shoot towards and these virtual races & time trials are just not cutting it for me anymore.  I want to go after a BQ or a PR or something at all but I don’t have the desire to do it virtually.  I did a decent amount of hiking this month but only ran maybe 2 times a week, if that.  I think I hit around 55 miles for February.

Bike – Being as this was a slightly shorter month, my mileage was a bit down from the last 2 months and I finished up with 191 miles.  I struggled a bit to find my groove as I feel like I’m pushing really hard but my numbers aren’t reflecting that push.  I watched a video today on how to adjust my bike and I think that with a few more tweaks, I should be at a spot where I can actually start to feel like I’m making more progress.

Strength Training – I started the month doing Matty’s #EnCORE28 core challenge.  I made it 3 weeks before I was side-lined with a major upper back injury .  This was my focus this month and I didn’t do as much glute/upper body.

Stretching/Yoga – I still was stretching every day this month, I didn’t get in as many yoga classes but I will try to do more in March.

Hydration – I really slipped up on that this month.  I know I wasn’t drinking nearly enough water for what I was doing.

Outings – We hit up the trails every weekend this month.  Running in the snow near Mount Laguna on Feb 6, out on Coronado Island the next morning, our first road run outside in months and months.  We went to Death Valley for a camping trip for Valentine’s Day/President’s Day. Then out to Cuyamaca Peak & finished the month up with a really nice hike/run on the PCT.

I know technically we aren’t supposed to be traveling & I do feel a little guilty about our camping trip, but guys, my mental health has been so bad these last 2 months, and I needed to get away from my house before I went crazy.  We did what we could to minimize our time around other people and I feel comfortable with what we ended up doing.  I think a camping trip from time to time is just what we will need to stay sane and give us something to look forward to.

Campaigns – I have some really fun new collaborations coming up for 2021.  More about some of them down the road.

I’m excited to share that I’m an ambassador for Sunbeam this year – I worked with them back in 2019 and love their products and a they have an awesome new rechargeable heating pad that I can take anywhere.  I was also selected to be a part of the RunGoodr Flamboyance Team which is so cool – I love their sunglasses!

I worked with Raw Sugar Living to share their new deodorant, which works really well, it might actually be my new favorite natural deodorant. The Raw Coconut Lime smells amazing.

I gave away 2 pairs of Aussie Soles sandals – these sandals are soooo comfortable and good for your feet too.  My favorite are the Indy Orthotic Sport Slides. They are the navy pair at the bottom right of the photo.

I worked with Vertiball, which is a cool massage ball tool that you can attach to your wall, fridge, car, shower and use to get into those hard to reach areas on your back.

I got some new packs from Camelbak to test out.  I already had the Circuit vest from the Trail Sisters Retreat & really liked it.  I got the Ultra Pro, which is an actual vest that requires you pick a size & the slightly larger Zephyr vest that is one size fits all like my Circuit vest.  I have worn the Ultra Pro a few times and I really like it.  I still have to try the Zephyr vest but I haven’t had a chance to test it out yet.  I’ll review once I have the opportunity to use it a few times.

Tomorrow starts a new month and I’ll do my best to make it a great one.

2021 Goals

I know this is a few weeks late but I wanted to give myself time to decide what goals I wanted to do this years.

Every year I try to set goals for the year.  Typically they are related to races & travel but seeing as we don’t have any idea yet where the year will go related to those two things I’m setting different goals this year.

First off laughing is my number one priority for this year.  It might sound silly, but I love to laugh & I know that I tend to forget when I’m having an off day, but it seriously helps with my mental health.

Next we are continuing to work on our kitchen update & I am going to blog it. So far we have gotten a pantry, ordered a new stove, microwave & hood, gotten paint & ordered our back splash tile.  Sean is finished with the counter tops & we finally have our kitchen sink back after what seemed like an eternity :). I got some fancy new frying pans & am on the look out for a new knife set.

Exercise is always a big focus in my life, running especially.  Last year with the addition of our Peloton bike I actually rode more miles than I ran last year.

My exercise goals are: Run 3-4 x a week & create mini monthly goals so that I don’t get bored or overtrain.  I’m starting out with a 5k time trial at the end of January.

Peloton – 4-5 x a week.  Do warm up & cool down classes & start Power Zone Training – kicking that off with the challenge coming up in a few weeks

Strength Training – 3x a week minimum.  I always say, I want to strength train & I start but because I go too hard to start, I ends up being too much & I drop it.  So I’ve already started and I’m doing shorter classes 5 – 10 minutes to start until I build up to longer and longer sessions.

Stretching – every single day.  Stretching is one of those things that I do occasionally after a big run or if my legs feel too tight but I haven’t done on a consistent basis probably ever.  Big focus with this is going to be the hips but I will be doing a lot of full body stretching as well.

Recovery – taking recovery rides/runs and just recovery in general more seriously.  I don’t like thinking about it but I am getting older and that means it takes longer to get over bigger efforts both physically & mentally.

Hydration – this is always a goal of mine but I really want to work on this this year.  I’ve already started to incorporate more hot green tea into my days & I’m going to come up with a plan to drink more regular water as well.

Blogging – I know some people say it’s a dying art & I don’t spend as much time on here anymore, because it is a process to write, add photos, etc. but I do want to share more on here, and since we aren’t racing/traveling right now I am committing to sharing more recipes & our minor home remodel with you guys.

Cooking – I am really started to come into my own cooking wise this year.  Being forced to stay home has really helped me to come up with some yummy meals and I enjoy it.  I’m hoping to come up with some new recipes & use my updated kitchen to it’s fullest.

Travel & Racing – when it’s safe to start thinking about doing this on a more normal basis, I’ll create my travel & racing goals but until then I’m going to focus on the things above because they will definitely keep me busy.

Do you create goals at the beginning of each year?  Do you do mini goals or big ones?  What are you going after?

How Breathe Right Nasal Strips are changing my workouts

This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com on behalf of Breathe Right

I’ve been endurance running for a little over 10 years now and I’ve been struggling with allergies for about as many years. The last few years it’s been so bad and I feel like I’m sniffling all the time. Especially when I’m running – and that makes me feel a little uncomfortable these days when you don’t want to appear sick when around others. I have seen Breathe Right® nasal strips and I think I’ve even gotten a sample at a race or two over the years but I honestly never thought that they would help me.

When my friends at Babbleboxx reached out to me about partnering with Breathe Right I was definitely intrigued because my allergies have been driving me crazy lately and I was interested to see if they would help me to be able to breathe better, especially while I’m exercising.

Well spoiler alert…they are amazing.  The first time I tried a Breathe Right nasal strip out, I had been inside most of the day and I distinctly remembering that I had been sniffling all day. I put a nasal strip on and BAM, I could breathe easier and with less sniffling! I was shocked, I remember telling my husband how incredible it was.

So I starting wearing Breathe Right while running, biking and during yoga/strength training and I can definitely tell a big difference. I don’t feel like I’m sniffling every 2 seconds because of congestion and I can actually breathe out of my nose. Even as I write this, I’m still shocked at how amazing it is. As someone who has suffered with allergies and nasal congestion for about a 1/3 of my life, this is groundbreaking for me.

In order for them to work well, you have to make sure that your skin is really clean and dry. Don’t make the mistake I did and put sunscreen on your nose and then try to put the strip on, it won’t stick, LOL.

The package with the strip in it is nice because it gives you tips on where to put the strip on your nose, it needs to be positioned properly so that it works.  The tabs should be right above the flaring part of your nostrils, and then you just press down! I know I could tell a difference immediately.

Have you ever tried Breathe Right nasal strips?

Click here to get samples, coupons and more information.

 

ReSOLElutions – How Kerasal Intensive Foot Repair fixed my feet

This post is sponsored by Kerasal via Babbleboxx. As always thoughts and opinions are my own.

Let’s start this off by saying 2020 was not good to my feet.  As a runner, I rarely touch my calluses & I haven’t had a pedicure in probably 2 years. When my friends at Babbleboxx approached me to test out Kerasal’s Intensive Foot Repair  & their Multi-Purpose Nail Repair, I took a look at my feet with their cracked heels (so cracked that they  were starting to form sharp edges that scratched me when I rubbed my feet) and I knew the Foot Repair was a product I needed to try.

Kerasal’s Intensive Foot Repair doesn’t just cover up your dry skin with moisture, it exfoliates to loosen & repair hard dry skin.  The exfoliating ingredients remove the dry skin, which allows the products softening & moisturizing ingredients to penetrate deeply & visibly repair your skin.

So what was my experience?

As I mentioned earlier, my heels were in pretty bad shape & I wasn’t sure if it would help much.  After the first session I did notice that my feet were a little softer, the cracks maybe not as bad but they were still very noticeable.

I started using the Intensive Foot Repair every day for a week & covered my feet in cotton socks, like they recommend.  I did use a buffer before I started the week to try to really get rid of some of the excess dry skin because it was pretty bad.  Kerasal says that you can see visible results after just one day & I did see slight improvement.  It took more than a few days for me to see more substantial results. After a week of using the ointment every day, I can say that while I think I’ll need to stick with it throughout the winter, the deep cracks in my heels are definitely improving.

Here’s a before & after photo & honestly, I was a bit surprised to see how different my heel looks, I didn’t think it was that different until I saw the photo and it’s a very noticeable change.

While my heels were in horrible shape, but nails actually had time to recover with not as much downhill/trail running.  In past years, I’ve had black, purple & very discolored toe nails for what seems like years.  The Multi-Purpose Nail Repair helps to repair nails (finger or toes) that are are damaged from gel manicures, aging nails, nail psoriasis & fungus damaged nails.

I wish I had know about this product when I was dealing with super thick nails on my big toe & so much purple/yellow/black from kicking rocks over and over again because Kerasal’s Multi-Purpose Nail Repair does just that, it reduces discoloration & normalizes nail thickness while smoothing & hydrating the nails.  It’s kind of like a clear nail polish, but unlike polish, it’s odorless which is pretty cool.

My nails are currently in good shape so I didn’t use this consistently like it they recommend.  I am keeping it on hand though for the future when I inevitably kick a bunch of rocks or when it’s safe to get gel manicures again.

If you too have crazy dry heels & feet that are in need of some extra help, you can find coupons on kerasal’s website that can be redeemed in store or they are sold on Amazon as well.  They also have a multi-purpose nail repair that’s like a nail polish & fungal nail renewal too.

2020 Recap

Wow, what can we say about 2020?  It wasn’t the year any of us imagined at this time last year, was it?

Well, I’m still going to do a quick recap of my year & overall it was quite good.

I did a few in-person races in the first few months of the year.

Coldwater Rumble 20 miler, the First Watch Sarasota Half in early February, where my boss ran his first half marathon!!, Mermaid Half in San Diego, the Black Canyon 60k, where I finally conquered that course and got a finish!! and the 35th edition of the Los Angeles Marathon.

Some tidbits from these races.  I started the year after a 2 month break/burnout last year.  Coldwater was just a fun run, where I did only one loop to get in a long run for Black Canyon.  Sarasota, not my favorite race, mostly due to race organization, was beautiful & a great race to share with some co-workers.  Mermaid Half was a gorgeous day out at Mission Bay, Sean & I ran together and had a great time.  I remember that I ran the first 8 miles without stopping which was pretty cool especially considering where I was fitness wise at that point of the year.  Black  Canyon was super chill, my only goal was to finish the race,  I had a DNF & DNS and really just wanted a finish.  I finished right at sunset which was incredible.  LA Marathon was our last race before everything locked down. I was super close to a course PR and ran the first 16 miles without stopping, which was huge for me, I ran 15 miles straight at Chicago last year but at a slower speed & no hills so this was a big confidence booster.

After LA, I did a bunch of virtual races, including the Limitless Challenge with Aravaipa Running where I managed to secure the fastest treadmill female to climb the equivalent of Mt Everest.

My coach, TJ from Run Doyen, helped me train for mile time trial in August & I ran a 5:56 mile!! That was pretty exciting.  If you are looking for a coach, I can definitely recommend RunDoyen – they have a bunch of different coaches and I’ve been working with TJ all year and we’ve had a great time!

I took a little break from running again after this and barely ran in Sept – Nov.  This month, I kicked it up a notch and ran an unofficial PR of 1:42 in the half marathon for my virtual Holiday Half.

I partnered with NordicTrack this year & we got a new X32i treadmill which is incredible.  I have already run over 500 miles on it & am loving the huge screen that makes you feel like you are on the trail/path with the trainer.  Want to learn more about the NordicTrack Incline Treadmills head here.  Over the whole year, I’ve run more than 900 miles (up to 34 miles in one go) on the treadmill, which is crazy to me, but it’s been helping me so much to build up endurance, control my breathing & stay consistent.

We got a Peloton bike in late May & while I love the treadmill, the bike has changed my life.  I love having another lower impact cardio option, riding with friends & just being on the bike.  It’s definitely changed my way of training.  After only 6 months, I’m almost at 250 rides and just love hopping on the bike almost every day. I’m super excited to be doing my first Power  Zone challenge in January with a few friends.  Thinking about getting a Peloton for yourself? Use my code Y87NQW to save $100 on accessories (mat, shoes, weights) and after 10 rides you’ll get your own code to share with others!

Food:  One of my favorite places that we ate this year was Laduree x MK in Beverly Hills.  It was incredible & all 100% plant based.  Probably one of our most expensive meals, outside of Harry’s Bar in Venice LOL but so worth it, especially since it would be one of our last dine-in meals of the year.

I started cooking a lot.  I’ve come up with some fun new meals, one pot pasta, all the wraps & sandwiches. I’m loving creating lots of fun new meals every day.

We have been getting boxes from a company called Hungryroot since March & I absolutely love them.  We also get fresh veggies from Imperfect foods.  We’ve tried meals from Green Chef, Territory Foods & Factor Foods as well.

After being home most of the year, we have decided to update our kitchen and have been spending a good portion of November & December coming up with a plan on what to do.  We got a new pantry cabinet, a new stove & range hood on the way.  We’re going to paint the walls, update the counters & backsplash tile.  It’s pretty exciting and I’ll be updating our progress on here as we go along.  We may update the flooring too but that will be a decision for after everything else is done ;).

We did go on two trips this fall, once to Arizona so Sean could run the Mogollan Monster 100k in Pine AZ.  We camped out and stayed as far away from others as we could.  I couldn’t even crew Sean because their permit only allowed for 50 people total including volunteers/runners.  I basically hung out near the camp ground and read/played computer games & did a little hiking.

Then in October we went on a road trip to Moab so Sean could run Moab240.  This one was a bit more nervewracking for me and honestly it was a game time decision to even go.  I am super glad I did but I was really uncomfortable being around other people.

We decided to make this a vacation and hit up a bunch of our National Parks.  We started at Canyonlands, which was incredible.  Then we hit up Arches, which is nice, much smaller & waaaay more crowded. Then made our way to Bryce Canyon which was so much nicer than I was expecting and finally on to Zion where we got to go to Observation Point & stay in a Conestoga Wagon, which was pretty cool.

We’ve spent a lot of time exploring our local trails, hitting up various sections of the PCT & Mount Laguna areas.  We hung out with the cows & climbed Cuyamaca Peak a half dozen times.

Honestly, after all the travel that we did last year, it was kind of nice to be home & have quality time with Sean.

All in all while being stuck at home for the majority of the year was a lot different for us & I got super frustrated at times not being able to just do what we want, it wasn’t a horrible year and I’m super grateful for a work from home job, a backyard, nice weather and for my health & ability to be able to stay home.

Here’s to a new year, new goals, new adventures & a new kitchen!

 

 

 

 

#ditchdisposable CamelBak MultiBev Review

This post is sponsored by CamelBak but the content and opinions expressed here are my own.

I’m sure you have a lot of water bottles that can keep liquids hot and/or cold, right? Yeah, so do I.  But do you have a bottle that can keep your liquids cold & allow you to have a hot beverage as well?

CamelBak came up with the MultiBev travel bottle, which is a 2-in-1 stainless steel bottle & removable cup that comes with a roll & fold silicone lid that you can hide in the bottle lid until you need to use it.

Not only does the MultiBev keep liquids hot or cold, it creates less waste as it is a sustainable solution to disposable bottles & cups.  It means you’ll always have a cup ready to go and if you are making coffee for the road, you can share with someone else as well.

The non-slip silicone base helps to prevent tips and scuffs. Just like with the Horizon collection that I reviewed last month, the MultiBev is super easy to clean, it is dishwasher safe & BPA, BPS & BPF free.  The MultiBev Bottle comes in 4 different colors, Moss like I have, Black, White & Terracotta Rose.

As far as how long the MultiBev keeps liquids hot or cold the 22 oz bottle stays hot for 16 hours, cold for 24 hours; and the detachable 16 oz cup stays hot for 4 hours & cold for 12 hours. I can definitely attest to how cold the bottle stays, I had a drink with ice from the 22 oz bottle overnight and the ice was still frozen then next morning.  And interestingly, each time I’ve put a drink in my bottle, it somehow seems colder in the bottle than out.

Since Sean & I both work from home, I don’t use my MultiBev as much around the house, but I do use it when we are heading out to the trails and on road trips/camping.  I have taken it on multiple hikes & on our road trip to Utah and absolutely love it.

Ditching disposable has never been easier with the CamelBak MultiBev bottle!

Learn more about MultiBev here!