Crewing #TeamNakamura – Tahoe 200 Endurance Run

2 weeks ago I had the privilege of crewing & doing a little pacing for Sean while he ran the Tahoe 200 for the second time.

If you’ve been following me for a while you may have read some of my other crew recaps from the H.U.R.T. 100, SD 100, TRT 100 and AC 100. A 200 mile race is another animal altogether.

So let’s start from the beginning, that week, which was Labor Day week I had to be in Atlanta for work from Tues – Thursday.  I was on the last flight thru Phoenix bound for Reno and then lightning struck, literally. We were on the plane on the runway in Atlanta bound for Phoenix when I started to see lightning in the distance, well as you can imagine they grounded all air traffic until the storm passed, which actually wasn’t very long.

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We were so close to making it, when our plane pulled up seconds from the runway in PHX due to a plane still being on the runway, not sure how that happens,  unfortunately that meant I wasn’t getting to Reno that evening.

Thank goodness for wifi because I was communicating with Sean & his pacer Greg through the whole flight. I was able to find a flight into Sacramento Friday morning vs not arriving in Reno until evening. Greg agreed to pick me up on his way to Tahoe & then we would meet Sean at mile 62 – Sierra at Tahoe that night.

Obviously I was disappointed as was Sean but you can’t control Mother Nature. And as a very nervous flier I definitely would rather be safe.

I made it to Sacramento on Friday morning & worked while waiting for Greg to arrive. Once he got there we headed out to Homewood, CA, where I needed to pick up our rental so I had all Sean’s gear.

Sierra at Tahoe wasn’t until mile 62 and we weren’t expecting Sean until the wee hours, 4 to 5am based on what he did last year. So I hit up Burger Habit for a yummy burger & some fries while I did some more work. I stayed there for a while before heading to South  Lake Tahoe to meet up with Greg to pick up a sleeping bag & chat through the game plan.

After which I headed to Starbucks for some coffee & more work. I was working on a huge project & having some issues finishing it up so you’ll see I worked a lot during this weekend.  There’s a lot of hurry up and wait in ultra crewing ;).

Finally around 8ish I decided to head up to the aid station. I don’t enjoy driving in the dark especially when I don’t know where I’m going and on mountain roads, so I wanted to get up there before it was too late. Sean had told me earlier that there was a gate that we would have to open & if it was too late at night call the aid station captain to have it opened. I knew I was close when I got to the gate. It was quite large & fun to open 😊.

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I was there pretty early and there was a cell signal so I was able to check on Sean’s spot GPS & the ultra-live site too. I got a bit of sleep in the car, although I swear I always picked the parking spot with a light right in front.  I pulled out my Buff and put it over my eyes like a sleeping mask.

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I set my alarm for about 1:30a because I wanted to check the tracker, etc. I’d hate to be too late or sleeping when he arrived.  About 2 I texted Greg that he was moving a lot faster than we expected & that he should start heading over.

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And then around 3:40a on Saturday morning Sean arrived. He looked great & didn’t seem nearly as tired as he usually did at that time of the night. We got his feet worked on,  after I cleaned them for him, got him some food & his bottles filled and after about an hour at the aid station, they were off.

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I waited a few minutes, got all Sean’s stuff together and then headed to the next aid station, Housewife Hill at mile 70.5.  The directions were spot on to get to this station and when I got there it was still dark so I set my alarm & headed to bed.

My alarm went off around 6a and it was really quiet, not much going on, except I saw Sean’s friend Noe working with his runner next to me. I was watching for them since there was no cell service at this aid station, and then at 6:56a they arrived.

My job as crew is to make sure Sean has everything he needs, which mostly meant filling his bottles with water, adding CarboPro &/or Monster, getting him to drink his Ensure and eat something at each aid station. He did that and then he & Greg headed out. This was one of his quickest stops as they were back on the trails 20 mins later. And I would see them again at mile 88, Armstrong Pass.

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I decided to go back to South Tahoe after this to get some coffee, cell signal, gas and some food. Not necessarily in that order 😊.

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When finally got back on the road I was following the directions they gave & I got all turned around. Finally after driving around aimlessly for hours or so it seemed I decided to head back to the last aid station and ask.  On my way I saw Noe’s car and followed him. There were a few signs but I thought that they were for the runners not the crew.

This was a crazy drive, it was a dirt road with lots of ruts and rocks. We seriously didn’t drive over 15 mph because of how bumpy it was.

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We finally made it and then to wait 😊. Again no cell signal so we couldn’t tell where anyone was but I knew it would take him a while to go 16 miles. So I ate, took a little hike, worked and then cleaned up the car. I was able to finally finish a major part of my project! Yea!

And not too long after I finished, they were there. It was 1:27p when he arrived.  At this point I thought Sean looked a lot more tired. He asked for a lot of stuff, new socks, Ginger Beer, and at least one more thing that was in the car that I had to run back for.

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He got his feet looked at again and got some more food & then he was off 40 mins later. The section between Armstrong & Heavenly was the only section after mile 62 that he did solo. Greg & I would meet him at Heavenly mile 103 and I insisted that he get some sleep at that point, which would be over 36 hours into the race.

I left there, took Greg to pick up his car at Sierra. By this point the smoke from the Napa/NorCal fires was really thick & strong. Before I headed back to a very crowded Starbucks to charge my devices & get more work done. I was shocked at how many people there were on a Saturday afternoon. Apparently it’s a happening place.

I hit up Tahoe Pizza Company to get a pizza before making the trek up to Heavenly.  It was still light out so I just watched all the runners coming in and waited for Sean.

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I saw him running down the mountain at 7:11p. I got him some food & he ate the rest of my pizza. Funny enough he told me he was hoping there was pizza at the aid station the whole section 😉. Good thing I know him well, huh.

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Then it was time for him to get some sleep. I set the alarm for 1h45mins and we got some sleep. Now Sean will tell you he only slept for like 15 minutes, but I’m pretty sure it was closer to an hour or even a little more.

My alarm went off and I got Sean up & moving. He changed shorts, we filled his bottles and then 3 hours after he arrived he & Greg headed out. I would meet them in the morning at Spooner Summit. The plan was that if they arrived early, I would go with Sean to the next aid station and if it took a really long time then his other pacer Eric would take him from there.

I got to Spooner Summit which was in an area I was familiar with having passed nearby by many times during TRT100.  I got there pretty early so I was able to get a few hours of sleep.  When I woke up, I was checking the spot and it showed him a bit away from the aid station so I took my time getting my gear together.  Then before I knew it and before I got out of the car, I saw Greg’s red jacket and was like, what?! and raced over to get Sean set up.  This is the only time, I wasn’t waiting when they arrived.  This was around 4:30am.  I got Sean set up and then got my own gear set up and about 40 mins later, we were off.

It was really awesome to be able to pace Sean during this section especially since he ran a lot of this portion during TRT so I was able to experience what he did there.  I wasn’t planning on pacing him because of the others being there, but I’m really glad it worked out the way it did :).

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While we saw the sun rise and got to be on some beautiful and not at all technical trails, it wasn’t quite as beautiful as normal because of the fires.  Fortunately the smokey smell wasn’t too thick, but the hint of it was there along with a very overcast sky.

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We made it to Tunnel Creek Aid station, a place I am very familiar with where Greg & Eric were waiting.  I immediately got Sean some food, filled his bottles and got him new socks and Greg had brought over his change of clothes from the car.

Sean & Eric took off thru Incline Village one of the only sections on the road up to the Power Line Mountain and would meet us at Brockway Summit in 15 miles.  During this time, Greg & I ate and then headed back to Heavenly to get his car, then I headed over to Brockway, where I would wait for Sean & Eric.  I talked with one of the other pacers, a guy currently from somewhere in Canada, who had paced the winner last year.

It wasn’t too long after that Sean & Eric would come through the aid station, they made great time, but it would be dark once they got to the next aid station in Tahoe City so I wanted to make sure he had his night gear.  I ran back and forth between the car at least a dozen times getting him all the gear he wanted.  We got them sorted and then we were off.

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Greg & I had to go get Eric’s car at this point, so we headed back to Tunnel Creek.  This was the first time I’ve had to drive around shifting multiple cars, but it worked out.  After I got to Tahoe City, the aid station was in the parking lot at a restaurant called the Bridgetender.  I still needed to finish up some work so I headed inside and got some food.  I had a really yummy Avocado Bacon Bison Burger and of course fries, my fav 😉 while I worked.  I finally finished everything and went to the car to get some sleep.

I was expecting them around 11p/midnight based on how things were going on the previous legs.  Unfortunately it started raining, the only time during the race it rained and Sean’s spot got really off track.  It kept telling me he was off course and then it showed him at the finish but it was so off.  Finally I was able to somewhat see where he was based on the actual GPS signal.

While waiting for Sean around 1:30am, I heard someone talking and it sounded like they were Italian so I said hi and started talking with this really nice older gentleman.  Turns out that he came to crew his son, Alberto who was running the race.  They are from near Florence.  He was super nice and so sweet to tell me that my Italian accent didn’t make me sound like a foreigner so I guess all that time I spent with my cousin Elena helped my Italian accent.  Thanks Ely!

When Sean got to mile 175 at Tahoe City around 2:30/3am he was not in a good place.  It took them about 8 hours to go 20 miles and he felt like it would never end. He gave me the longest hug, I felt like he was going to fall asleep while hugging me, lol.  I got him in the car, took off his shoes, got him to drink an Ensure and then went to check with Eric & Greg, he didn’t want me to leave.  I came back and he went to sleep immediately, bright lights and all.  I set the alarm for 1h45mins and tried to sleep as well.  The crazy thing this whole time, I could not find the car key, I knew I had it, but I couldn’t find it so I couldn’t turn on the heater or anything, when I started getting really cold, he had a sleeping bag and was using my North Face jacket as a pillow, and I didn’t want to wake him so I didn’t sleep much, oh well.

My alarm went off and I told Sean it was time to get up, he wasn’t ready so I gave him another 15 minutes and then I was like, it’s time to get up.  I went out to see if Eric was up and he was like, Greg’s doing this section, which surprised me because he had planned to go the rest of the way with Sean.  He was like I need sleep, that 20 mile section felt like 100 miles, lol.  Fortunately Greg was up for another leg.

I was pushing Sean to get ready, getting him food, his gear together and a walking with him over to the bathroom, which was quite a ways from the aid station.  If I could have found the keys, I would have driven him over, but I didn’t find them until later.

It wasn’t too much longer and then they were off.   It was about 6am at this point and so I cleaned up the car, found the keys (YEA!) and looked for a coffee shop.  There wasn’t a Starbucks on this side of the lake which meant that I ended up in a local spot, which is perfect, but they didn’t open until 7 so I hung out for a bit and then headed over making it just in time for an amazing sunrise.  I was able to get caffeinated and get some more work done before meeting up with Eric at mile 190.

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Once I got there, we were discussing that the weather was thought to change, rain and extremely high winds up to 60 mph were forecasted.  Greg texted me during this time and I told him to try and speed Sean up because we wanted him to finish as quickly as possible.  Funny enough, Sean started going faster on his own, without any encouragement.  They made it to mile 190 around 11:30am.  I already had Sean’s extra bottles filled and ready to go so we could move him out as quickly as possible.

He and Eric took off, so Greg & I headed back to Homewood, where the race would finish.  We got lunch and I was able to use the resort’s wifi to get some work done.  Gotta love free wifi.  We watched a few other people finish, before I saw Sean’s orange shorts & blue shirt flying down the hill around 3:30p.  They were flying down the hill behind another runner, it was funny, because I’m was yelling Go Sean, and then Don’t Fall!  Lol!  They finished with the 2nd fasted time for this last section of anyone in the race.

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It was so exciting seeing him finish and finish strong. I’m so proud of my love for finishing his second 200 mile race, but also for finishing it 17 hours faster than last year!  He had an amazing race and while I didn’t get to see him start, I’m so glad that I was be there for him for the majority of the race!

Thank you to Greg & Eric for being a part of #TeamNakamura or #TeamSexyCalves as it was renamed on that 3rd night.  It would have been a whole other ballgame without you guys.  If you aren’t already, check out Greg & Eric on Instagram (click their names for Instagram links).  And for all you racers out there, Eric makes the most amazing elevation profiles for trail races, you can check them out here.

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I know this was a long, long recap, so if you stuck with me to the end, Thank you!  And thank you to Candace Burt and her team and volunteers for putting on an awesome race!  I’m sure we’ll be back.

Becoming #teamnakamura: Writing Vows

When Sean & I decided to get married at the absolutely amazing San Francisco City Hall, we knew that we wanted to have a family member marry us.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

We decided that we wanted to ask Sean’s brother to officiate our ceremony.  There are 2 ways for a family member to be able to marry you in California.  #1 they can be deputized for the day, there is a $120 fee for this and you can get it at the same place you get your marriage license.  #2 they can get ordained online for free.  I found all this info and more on offbeatbride.com.

After we asked Jared to officiate our ceremony, we had to write it.  So I went to Pinterest and started looking around for inspiration.  There are a lot of sites out there that give ceremony templates for both religious and civil ceremonies but I have to say that most of them weren’t anything near what we wanted.  First of all most of them were really long and very formal including lots of readings and just didn’t convey who we were.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

I asked an officiant friend from Orlando if we had to have anything specific in the ceremony before I started piecing things together.

I found an awesome ceremony on pinterest which I can now not find, so I apologize that I can’t give credit to the author, but I loved the beginning of it and I changed it to fit us.

I’m thrilled & honored to be here to witness & celebrate the beginning of your journey through life as Team Nakamura.

I imagine the marriage between the two of you will look a little like this:

Traveling the world, running from place to place, watching sunsets, enjoying amazing meals and making plans for your next adventure.

May your marriage be a never-ending edit of beautiful vignettes, captured and shared #togethertogether, for as long as you both shall live.

Then I found very very long reading, I cut it in half using what I thought fit us.

Happiness in marriage is not something that just happens. A good marriage must be created. In the art of marriage, the little things are the big things. It is never being too old to hold hands. It is remembering to say I love you at least once a day. It is never going to sleep angry. It is at no time taking the other for granted, the courtship should not end with the honeymoon, it should continue throughout all the years. It is having a mutual sense of values & common objectives. It is standing #togethertogether facing the world.

Then came the vows, I saw this sign first and it was basically what I built the whole ceremony around.  I felt that the vows were absolutely perfect for us.  I made a few small changes and they were perfect.

I take you, Sean/Jenny, to be my husband/wife, my best friend, my faithful partner and my one true love.

I promise to encourage you & inspire you and to love you truly through good times & bad.

I will forever be there to laugh with you, to lift you up when you are down and to love you unconditionally throughout all of our adventures in life #togethertogether.

I think the ring section was probably the hardest part to find, and eventually I just gave up coming up with something super creative and picked a basic ring blessing.

A ring is an unbroken circle, a symbol of unity and love, the greater circle of life of which we belong. Having neither beginning nor end but a continuous cycle of which you are an element. For you, it begins with the gift of life and will continue through the end of time.

For the ring vows…

With this ring, I give you my heart, I promise from this day forward, you shall not walk alone, may my heart be your shelter and my arms be your home.

Then a nice Irish Marriage Prayer that I found & liked.

Now an Irish Marriage Prayer…May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful friends be yours, wherever you may roam. May peace and plenty bless your world with joy that long endures. May all life’s passing seasons bring the best to you and yours.

And then it was official & we were married!

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, 3rd Floor, Fancy Windows, SF Wedding

Basically I didn’t write much of our ceremony, I picked and choose bits and pieces of things that were already written and put them together to make what would become the #teamnakamura wedding ceremony.

All in all it was just over 6 minutes long, included a lot of laughter, some tears and our amazing families.  If you would like to watch the ceremony my brother in law David recorded it on his phone, hence the audio quality and the fact that city hall is really noisy 🙂 and you can watch it here.

My favorite part of the ceremony? Hum…I loved it all but probably this…The absolute pure happiness on Sean’s face after he got his ring.

SF city Hall, San Francisco, SF Wedding, Carmen Alvarez Photography

Sean’s favorite part?

I asked him and he said it was all his favorite.

We are so grateful to Jared and our families for joining us on this most special day in our lives.

Becoming #TeamNakamura: Picking a Ceremony Venue

I realize I’m kinda jumping around with my recaps here, but I guess that’s what happens when you are excited :).

If you are new to reading our recaps, here you go…

Dress
Cake
Reception Location
Flowers

I think I’ve mentioned before that after Sean & I got engaged, we immediately knew that we wanted to get married in San Francisco.  It was an important place in our relationship since we had our first date there and we got engaged there.

Somewhere, after we decided that Paris was out of the question, I saw a photo of SF City Hall on the Facebook page of one of my favorite, but way out of our price range wedding photographers, Jasmin Star, and I knew at that instant that I had found the place where we were going to be married.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Now, I know that sometimes, getting married at City Hall kind of gives the vibe that you are going to elope or it’s super casual, but this is by far one of the most beautiful buildings I’ve seen.  It’s like a European museum and even though I booked it sight unseen, I knew this was a very special place.  And then later I found out that Marilyn Monroe married Joe Dimaggio there which is pretty exciting.

There’s 2 ways to get married at City Hall, you can either make an appointment to get married in the rotunda, which is beautiful, but you are technically only supposed to have 6 guests and the public can be around you while you are getting married.  And you can only make the appointment I believe 90 days out from the ceremony.

Or the other way is to reserve either the North or South side of the 4th floor or the Mayor’s Balcony for $1,002 and then you can have your own private ceremony for 1 hour.  We picked a Monday so we didn’t really have to worry too much about having other weddings wanting our time.  The only disappointing thing was that we did want more of an afternoon event, and they couldn’t guarantee that because a mayoral event was scheduled later that day.  So we decided to do a late morning ceremony & then have a luncheon for the reception.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

The City Hall Events website has a lot of information and answered a lot of my questions.  We choose to get married during the week, but there is an option that is quite a bit more expensive to allow you to have a private ceremony on Saturday.  There is a package that includes up to 200 attendees, but it is $5,000 vs. the $1,002 for the weekday ceremony.  Needless to say, we were fine with a weekday :).

You could also make an appointment to get your marriage license there as well before the ceremony, but we didn’t think we would have time and didn’t want to wait until the last minute, so we got ours in San Diego instead.   It’s still best to make an appointment so you don’t have to wait in what might be a really long line.  We went to the downtown location, because it was where we went on the night we met, but there are a few other locations around the county.

SF Wedding, Marriage License, San Diego County

The nice thing about picking a venue like the San Francisco City Hall is that there was no need for any added decor, and due to the fact that we only had the space for an hour, there wasn’t time to have much of anything added on.  We did add on chairs for our guests.  You could either have a basic folded chair for $3.50 each or gold Chivari chairs for $7.00 each.  I liked the look of the Chivari chair so we went with them.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco

Sean & I arrived a little late to the ceremony, but we were able to get a bunch of photos there with our photographer Carmen Alvarez Photography.  She did an awesome job of getting some great shots around City Hall.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, 3rd Floor, Fancy Windows, SF Wedding

All in all we were thrilled with the venue and are were so excited.  It was the perfect ceremony location for us.

San Francisco City Hall, People's Palace, Carmen Alvarez Photography, San Francisco, SF Wedding

Review: Full Buff from BuffUSA

Disclaimer: I received a Full Buff from BuffUSA  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 received and purchased my own UV Half Buffs which I reviewed a while back, you can see my review here.  I loved my half buff and wore them all the time so I was really excited to try the full buff.  Since the BibRave color is Orange, all of the Pros who tried the Full Buff received a very bright orange buff to test.

Buff USA, UV Buff, Orange Buff, BibRave, BibChat

So what is the difference between a full buff and a half buff?

From the BuffUSA website: Simple, effective and infinitely adaptable, Original BUFF® headwear is the product that started the multifunctional headwear revolution. At its core is a moisture-managing microfiber fabric that is wind resistant and able to control odor. Original BUFF® headwear can be worn more than 12 different ways, from a cap to a balaclava to a hair tie, for a personalized style and perfect fit.
  • Soft, breathable 100% microfiber polyester
  • 100% seamless
  • 12+ ways to wear
  • Polygiene® Active Odor Control
  • Moisture-wicking
  • Thermal protection from cold & wind
  • Quick-drying
  • 2-way lateral stretch
  • One size fits all adults
  • 20.8″ h x 9.75″ w
  • 2.9 oz.

Really it’s not that much different, the main difference is the size, the full buff is significantly longer than the half buff so that you can use it as a face mask, balaclava or even as a hood.

I used it while on hike/run around my neck, which worked for a while until I felt like it was a little too snug around my neck (my issue – I have a hard time with tight things around my neck sometimes) and then under my hat.

Buff USA, UV Buff, Orange Buff, BibRave, BibChat, San Diego

Having loved my half buff, I wanted to love the full one too, but in all honesty, I prefer the half buff.  Why?  Because the full was a slightly different thickness and I felt like it was a bit more snug around my neck.  In general I felt like it was a bit tighter and that was mostly because it was a lot longer than the half buff so I had to double/triple/quadruple it in order to get the right fit for a headband, hair tie, etc.

Buff USA, UV Buff, Orange Buff, BibRave, BibChat, San Diego

This isn’t how they mean for it to be used, I’m sure, but I used my full buff when I was sleeping in the car while following Sean around at the Tahoe 200.  I put it on my head, used it to keep my ears warm and block out light from the car or street lights.  It worked great :).  So you can always find a way to use a buff in a new and inventive way.

I still love my Buffs, I just think I’ll stick with the half buff, which fits me better.

As we are getting into autumn and winter, those of you in the colder areas of the country might be more interested in the full buff.

Check out the reviews from some of the other BibRavePros:

Rachel – http://darlinrae.com/2015/09/14/product-review-buffusa-full-buff/

Chadd- https://cbalbi85.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/product-review-buff-headband/

Laura B. – http://www.thecaffeinatedrunner.com/2015/09/go-full-buff-with-buff-usa.html

Elizabeth http://www.trainwithbain.com/uvbuff/

Kim – http://kimmaves.tumblr.com/post/129534255822/uv-full-buff

Laura M. – http://wp.me/p4OuLb-96

Angie – https://marathang.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/full-buff-product-review/

Christine https://drrunner.wordpress.com/2015/09/20/bibrave-product-review-full-buff-usa/

Haley – http://runnertransformed.com/2015/09/20/uv-buff-a-review/

REVIEW: Bulu Box

Disclosure: I received a Bulu Box for free through my association with Fitapproach (SweatPink). All thoughts and opinions are my own.

I love subscription boxes.  I have tried tons of them, mostly beauty related and I have been getting both Birchbox & Glossybox monthly for the past few years.  I love the idea of getting to try new things every month so when I had the opportunity to try Bulu Box I jumped on it.

Bulu Box, Sweat Pink, Fitapproach, subscription box

Bulu Box gives you the chance to try 4 – 5 supplements, healthy snacks and/or weight loss products each month.  And there are 2 different types of Bulu Boxes – Original and Weight Loss.

From the website:

Bulu Box Original: This box provides a well-rounded sampling of all things health and nutrition. Each box contains 4 to 5 premium samples such as sports nutrition, sleep, and healthy snacks. Plus lifestyle extras like gym gift cards or DVDs to cover all aspects of health!

Bulu Box Weight Loss: Designed specifically to help with the varying factors of weight loss, this box contains 4 to 5 premium weight loss items such as energy aids, healthy snacks, sleep aids and fat-burners. Plus bonus weight loss items like fitness gear and kitchen tools.

I didn’t have a choice of boxes and received the Weight Loss box.  The 5 products I got to test were as follows: (descriptions from the info sheet provided by Bulu Box)

Bulu Box, Sweat Pink, Fitapproach, subscription box

RUNA Tea: Powered by Guayusa, a native Amazonian tree leaf.  Runa Teas provide as much caffeine as a cup of coffee and tice the antioxidants of green tea.  Replace your calorie filled energy drinks with this tasty natural option.

Runa Tea is USDA Organic and Fair Trade Certified as well as Kosher

Simple Being Simple Diet: Simple Diet features an effective 4-part blend of ingredients such as Green Coffee Bean, African Mango, Acai and Resveratrol to promote fat burning, appetite suppression and boost metabolism.

Movit Energy Gummies: Movit Energy Gummies use power-boosting ingredients like guarana, CoQ10 and folic acid to combat fatigue and help you perform your best!  Movit Energy Gummies contain just 60 calories per serving.

I received the Citrus Flavor.

Fusion Jerky: Fusion Jerky offers a unique, high protein flavor experience made using real chicken and nothing artificial.  This delicious jerky option is gluten-free, minimally processed and 99% fat free.  It also comes in beef, pork & turkey.

Made in the USA.  I received the Lemon Pepper flavor.

Earth’s Care Anti-Itch Cream: Relieve pain and itching associated with skin irritations such as poison ivy, sunburn & minor cuts and scrapes.  Earth’s Care Anti-Itch cream contains no artificial colors or fragrances and is petroleum free.

It includes Natural Camphor & Menthol.

It’s unfortunate that I didn’t get the Original box, for several reasons: 1) because I am not trying to lose weight and 2) I have a sensitivity to caffeine and other than coffee, tea and the occasional Coke I don’t use products with added caffeine.

So that being said, I wasn’t able to test 3 out of the 5 products I received because they included ingredients like Guayusa, guarna & other fat burning ingredients.

I did try the Fusion Jerky which was pretty yummy.  I tend to be really picky and I don’t eat jerky normally so I wasn’t expecting to like this.

I also tried the anti-itch cream, immediately I could smell the menthol.  It reminded me of a Bio Freeze/Icy Hot type of product.  I had a little bit of itching around my knee from the scabs I got when falling during a few runs and it seemed to work to stop the itch.

Since I didn’t try the other products I can’t speak on them.  However it is nice to see that there are more organic and natural products out there though versus diet products full of chemicals.

As with the other subscription boxes I’ve received there are months when I like more products than others, but it is still a great and inexpensive way to try new things.  My suggestion would be just to try the box type that is more applicable to your life style.  I would have preferred an original box.

The box sells for $10 a month and you can get a 3, 6 or 12 month subscription.  T

Want to try Bulu Box for yourself?

You can save 50% off a 3 month subscription by using code SWEATPINK.

REVIEW: SLS3 Butterfly Compression Socks & Giveaway

Disclosure: I was given a pair of SLS3 Butterfly Compression Socks to review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

At the beginning of August I was asked to try a pair of SLS3 compression socks or sleeves and write a review of them.

I immediately went to the website because I wasn’t familiar with this brand, and they not only make compression socks & sleeves but triathlon gear.  Tri race suits, shorts, tops & accessories for both men & women.

I went right to the compression page and immediately knew which style I was going to choose.  But socks or sleeves? Decisions, Decisions…

First, who is SLS3?  From their website, SLS3 started when in 2004 two German pro triathletes that met, fell in love and with a passion & very little money started a brand.  They started out only making the 4 essentials needed to complete a triathlon, suit, shorts, top and one kind of compression sock.  Those 4 items though were made with great care, attention to detail, German precision and a hefty dose of passion for the sport.

As they grew, they started to add more pieces, styles, etc. in response to customer requests.  Based in California, the majority of their products are made in the USA, which allows them to have a very small carbon footprint, create & sustain jobs and partner with other small businesses.

Now, let’s talk about what can compression do for you?

From the SLS3 website…

Compression garments like compression socks, compression sleeves and compression shorts help your body perform and recover better. Whether in training or racing, compression clothing helps delay and reduce the onset of muscle fatigue, prevents post-exercise soreness and evacuates metabolic waste products such as lactic acid by increasing the flow rate of the blood in the venous system. Improved blood circulation back to the heart results in faster new oxygen supply in your muscles.

SLS3 has 3 different styles of compression socks & sleeves.

The FXC Running Compression Sock, which features:

20-30 mmHG of true graduated compression for increased blood circulation, muscle oxygenation and stability
Mid sole air cooling channels for perfect moisture control
Left and right foot specific shape plus separate knitting zones for optimal fit
Seamless TekWeb technology to prevent blisters
Padding in pressure areas: Ball, heel, achilles, top of arch for shock absorption and protection
Antimicrobial fibers for odor control
Cooling effect and UV protection

The FXC Butterfly Compression Sock, which features:

20-30 mmHG of graduated compression
Seamless TekWeb technology
Muscle Stability
Increased Bloodflow
Web knit for more support of arch
Cooling effect and UV protection

And, how cute are they?

SLS3, Butterfly, Compression Socks, Teal

And the Allrounder Compression Sock, which is more of the basic sock and features:

20-30 mmHG of true graduated compression for increased blood circulation, muscle oxygenation and stability
Seamless TekWeb technology to prevent blisters
Antimicrobial fibers for odor control
Cooling effect and UV protection

So which socks did I pick?  Of course the Butterfly ones.  They were super cute and had great girly colors.

They come in Teal, Purple, Pink & Light Blue and I choose the Teal.

Compression socks are interesting, as they don’t run the same size for all brands, every brand is slightly different in their sizing.  I wear a size 8.5 in normal shoes/a 10 in running shoes and I measured my calf to be 14.5in at the time so I thought that we thought that the S/M would work perfect.  I have been having some issues with retaining water, which must be why my super pretty butterfly socks are just a bit too tight for me to wear for longer than about 5 minutes.  I should have gone up a size.

SLS3, Butterfly, Compression Socks, Teal

They are so cute, I really wanted to wear them as part of my outfit for the #teamnakamura 5k but I put them on the day before and I unfortunately could only keep them on for a few minutes before I had to take them off because they were too tight around my foot.  For recovery it would be fine, but I wouldn’t be able to run in them.

Flat Jenny, #teamnakamura, 5k

I think that the socks themselves feel great on and I was definitely able to feel the cooling effect and would definitely help me with recovery in the correct size.  The butterfly pattern is unique and super cute for you female runners out there.  They also have more masculine colors in the Allrounder Sock and the FXC Sock is in the basic black & white.

SLS3, Butterfly, Compression Socks, Teal

 

The newest item in the SLS3 line is a very cool HIPZIPP. It is a 5 inch wide belt with 2 large zippered pockets, large enough to fit even the iPhone 6+ and a small hidden pocket for a credit card or cash.  It’s made with compression fabric to keep it secure no matter that you are doing or where you place it.  They are doing a kickstarter campaign, where, depending on how soon you get in, you can get a HIPZIPP for up to half off the normal $29.95 price.  I got mine last week.  And you can check it out here for yourself: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hipzipp/hipzipp-belt-enjoy-a-hands-free-lifestyle.

Want to try SLS3 for yourself?

One lucky person will win a pair of compression socks or sleeves from SLS3 and for those of you who don’t win, you can save 40% by using code RUNNYLEGS40.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Becoming #teamnakamura: The Reception at Plant Cafe

After Sean proposed back in December, we took a few photos and then of course we were starving so we went to the Plant Cafe on Pier 3.  This was my first visit there and we loved it because of the fresh, organic, locally grown & sourced food.

So when it came time to find a spot for the reception, I immediately wanted to see if the Plant did events so we contacted their Catering Director, Sarah, who was awesome! and got their menus.  They were very reasonably priced for their location and were willing to work with us to create a custom menu.

We had a very small wedding with only 21 guests and we knew we didn’t want to be in some hotel ballroom so we looked at a few other restaurants to compare prices, what was included, etc.  After getting information from these other venues, we decided to go for it with the Plant Cafe at Pier 3 on the Embarcadero.

They had an option where we could either get the cake thru them, or you could bring your own and pay a $3.00/per person cake cutting fee.  We decided to go with them and that experience is outlined here.

We decided to have the reception on the patio which overlooks the bay, and it was such a beautiful day.  The weather was just perfect and even though we only had 1/2 of the patio for our party, I never even realized that the were others dining on the other side.

From the beginning I wanted to have a long table for all the guests to sit together.  We wanted to be able to see and talk to everyone throughout the meal. And do selfies with the whole fam :). lol

Wedding Selfie, The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, San Francisco

Because they use a lot of seasonal ingredients, we had to wait until we got much closer to the event, to make the food selections.

There were 3 different menus to choose from with prices ranging from $35 per person to $50 per person.  We decided to go with the 4 course meal which included an appetizer, salad, entree & dessert.

We love food! as most of you probably know, if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time.   So it was really important to us to have a great meal.

For the first course, we choose an Avocado & Grapefruit Salad with wild arugula, shaved fennel, macadamia nuts, black pepper and macadamia nut dressing which was vegan & gluten free.  We decided on this salad because of Sean’s Hawaiian background.

Plant Cafe, Pier 3, Avocado, Macadamia Nuts, Grapefruit, San Francisco

For the second course, we went with my Italian background and selected a Crispy Polenta Cake with Parmesan cheese & wild mushrooms.

The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, San Francisco, Crispy Polenta, Mushroom Ragu

Because we were such a small group, we were able to select the entree at the table.  We had 4 selections for the guests to choose from a Seared Cod, a Pan-Seared Chicken Breast, Grilled Shrimp Skewers or a Corn & Pablano Pizza as the vegetarian option.

I’m pretty sure that 17/21 choose the Seared Cod which was amazing.  It was served with a stir fried black rice with miso roasted spring vegetables and a citrus butter sauce.  My dad was so impressed with the black rice, which I’m pretty sure he never had before, he practically licked his plate clean ;).

The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, San Francisco, Cod, Black Rice

And then for dessert…Sean & I love dessert!!  So we asked them to see if they could make our favorite dessert, creme brulee.  At first Sarah wasn’t sure if we were going to be able to do it because they didn’t have the proper dishes to make it in.  But she was able to find some and I’m so grateful, because this was truly one of the best creme brulee’s I’ve ever had (and I’ve tried a lot!).  I’m not entirely sure what the actual flavoring was, but it had a bit of chocolate on the bottom and then some espresso mixed in.  It was amazing!

The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, San Francisco, Creme Brulee

After the creme brulee, came the cake…I was super happy with the way that the cake came out.  Because the cakes were a bit cool when we tasted them originally at the tasting, the butter in the buttercream was much more prominent.  This time, it was so yummy and exactly the way we wanted it to be.  And we were super unique with a peanut butter cake,  raspberry preserves for the filling and a peanut butter buttercream frosting, all made with organic ingredients.  It was soooo yummy.  We had cupcakes for the guests to take home and we could have eaten them all ourselves!

Being as we were such a small party and we didn’t have a “traditional” reception, there was no dancing but we did still do a cake cutting, which was fun.  Having done so many weddings, I’m a pro at the cake cutting, but Sean was not and had no clue what I was talking about on how to hold the knife, etc. But we got it done and fed each with no smashing of cake ;).  Neither of us wanted to waste any of that yummy goodness.
The Plant Cafe, Pier 3, Organic Wedding Cake, a.hana designs, peanut butter & jelly cake

And then it was time for a siesta before heading to the Giants game.

A huge Thank You to the Plant Cafe at Pier 3 & Sarah, our catering director, for an absolutely fabulous luncheon.  The food, the venue, the views, everything was so awesome, we received so many compliments and it was a truly amazing afternoon.

If you are a foodie, and love organic, locally grown food, or if you just love yummy food and are in the San Francisco area definitely check out the Plant Cafe for your next event or your next meal.

REVIEW: Prana Meme Pants

Disclosure: I received a pair of PrAna Meme Pants to try & review as part of my association with FitApproach/SweatPink and their #liveinprana #7daystretch Instagram series.  All opinions are my own.

I work from home with the exception of a few days a month so I live in athletic gear.  I very rarely ever wear real clothes and haven’t bought anything outside of running gear, with the exception of wedding stuff, since I moved to SD in March.  So when I had a change to try a pair of PrAna’s new fall pants, I jumped at the chance.

Not only do they look like “real” clothes, they can also be used for traveling, hiking, climbing, walking so they fit my fitness requirement but also allow me to look a little more polished :).  And best part, they are wrinkle resistant! For all those of us who hate ironing, this is a huge plus.

I had the opportunity to pick from 3 different styles of pants, all part of PrAna’s fall 2015 line.   Sean & I went back and forth on the website trying to decide between the Halle Pant (available in lined & unlined) which is a more relaxed fit, slightly wider legged pant, the Monarch Convertible Pant, which can be worn as shorts or pants or the Meme Pant, a more fitted pant.  After going back and forth multiple times trying to pick, I decided that the Meme Pant was the style that most fit my aesthetic and style.

Immediately when I saw the style pant I was going to be reviewing, I thought that the Meme Pant would be perfect for when Sean & I go to Italy in the fall.  We are planning on hiking/running in the Dolomiti and everyone knows that Italians are very fashion forward so I thought that the Meme Pant would allow me to fit right in :).

Prana, Meme Pant, Zion, Fitapproach, #7daystretch, #liveinprana

These pants are made with a special stretch Zion fabric.

From the PrAna website…<<The Story Of Stretch Zion

It started with the idea to design the ultimate pant for climbers and outdoor adventurers—something rugged and durable, yet lightweight and flexible enough to move with you. But before we designed the pant, we needed the right material. At the time, stretch woven fabrics were hard to come by, so we worked with a fabric yarn supplier to create something new. After much trial and error, Stretch Zion was born.

Light, durable, and breathable, this unique stretch fabric is also wrinkle resistant, quick drying, and DWR coated to repel water and spills. It’s still a favorite among climbers and adventurers (just like its namesake, the Zion National Park). But really, Stretch Zion is great for anyone from travelers to weekend warriors, businessmen to trailblazers.>>

Now, I received my pants, right as SD was in the midst of it’s hottest week of the year and we have no air conditioning so it was a bit too warm for me to wear my pants for too long, but I did wear them to brunch on Sunday and they were super cute and comfortable.

The Meme Pant is a mid-rise pant with the traditional 5 pockets in front & back, a fitted leg and cargo pockets on the legs.  They have a 31in inseam (size 4), so they aren’t super long, but with the tapered fitted leg you won’t want the too long. I’m 5’8 and they hit me right at the ankle bone, which is perfect. They remind me of a legging and fit as such.

Prana, Meme Pant, Zion, Fitapproach, #7daystretch, #liveinprana

After looking at the sizing chart, I decided on a size 6, which fits pretty well.  There is a little room in the waist, but it’s very minimal and I don’t like to have my pants too tight on the belly so I’m happy with the fit.  Plus I’m not sure how, given all the not so clean food I’ve been eating, but I seem to have lost a few pounds so once I gain those lbs back I’m sure they will fit perfectly :).

There are 4 different colors to choose from, Black, Cargo Green, Deep Teal & Quartz.  That was a tough decision, I wavered between the Deep Teal and Quartz but ultimately choose the Quartz because it was a bit more versatile. And, it had a very cool diamond pattern on it.  And isn’t their packaging cute?

Prana, Fitapproach, #7daystretch, #liveinprana, #zion

I’m really looking forward to including these in my wardrobe for when it gets a bit cooler and I can’t wait to take them to the Italian Alps with me!

Want to try PrAna for yourself?  Use code…LiveInprAnaF15JLRL to save 15%