SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt Review & Giveaway

A while back the folks at SLS3 reached out to me about reviewing their new Dual Pocket Run Belt. I gladly accepted as this kind of belt wasn’t something I was already using. I wasn’t sure how often I would actually use it since I already have a couple of different belts with bottles built in, but I figured it was worth a shot. To my surprise I used it on almost every run I did (up until I fractured my foot a few weeks ago).IMG_20160225_094406

 

Here’s what I liked the most:

I liked that both pockets have a water resistant lining to them. In the past I’ve had my phone or money get all soaked with sweat when they’ve been tucked into arm bands or other storage devices. This time none of that happened, it was nice to hand the woman at the coffee shop a dry five dollar bill for a change instead of one saturated in filth. The second thing I liked about the Dual Pocket Run Belt was that the pockets were very stretchy. They easily fit my Droid Turbo cell phone with a case on it, I could stuff a ton of gels, snacks, money, ID, keys, etc. inside without worrying about anything falling out since they zip shut. The other thing I liked about it was how well it stayed put. The waistband is one size fits all and is easily adjusted, and the strap is also elastic so it moves when you move. I wore it front facing and rear facing, and both ways it worked with minimal bounce. I was even able to tuck it under my shirt so no one even knew I was carrying my phone or keys with me. I also liked the fact that instead of one big pocket it was two divided pockets. This meant that I could keep the stuff I didn’t need access to while running like keys, money, ID, and phone separate from my gels and food. I wasn’t worried about losing that stuff on the move because it was totally sealed off from the stuff I was going to be grabbing on the run. I only used this item for road running, but I can see myself using it for trail running a lot as well. When I have my AK 2.0 Vest on I like the bottles upfront, but that makes it harder to store food in an easily accessible place. With the Dual Pocket Run Belt I can see myself storing my food in the belt so that I can carry water in the vest or in a hand held bottle more easily.

Plenty of fuel, and the essentials

Plenty of fuel, and the essentials

Fits it all with room to spare

Fits it all with room to spare

 

Here’s what I think could be improved:

There was honestly nothing I could find to criticize about this run belt. It served it’s purpose quite well and I know I’ll be using it a lot more once I’m back on my feet.

 

GIVEAWAY!

Now if you want your own SLS3 Dual Pocket Run Belt the folks at SLS3 were kind enough to offer one up for raffle to one lucky reader. Just enter through the Rafflecopter Link below. If you don’t win but still want to get your hands on one of these belts SLS3 is having a promotion through Amazon right now. The belt usually retails for $29.90, but they’re taking off 57% so it’ll only cost you $12.90. Good luck everyone, hope you enjoy the Dual Pocket Run Belt as much as I did! Also 

Link to Rafflecopter

(this product was provided for review purposes, however all opinions are my own)

 

PS don’t forget about the link-up with Erica over at Erica Finds! You can enter a whole bunch of great giveaways each week.weds-giveaway-roundup-2016

Whoa it’s 2016 already?

Creeeeekk….What’s that? Oh the sound of this blog slowly being pulled open again after nearly 8 months. That’s right I’m BAACKK. The past 8 months have been some of the busiest of my life and for my sanity I had to put the blog on the back burner for a while.  I can happily say in the last 8 months I’ve graduated nursing school, begun the process of moving to New York City, and most importantly spent more time running than ever before.

This past summer I ran more trail miles than I ever thought I would before, and one of my favorite days was spent alone running up and down Mount Adams in northern New Hampshire. Besides escaping to the mountains I also ran my first Fell Race, which if you haven’t heard of this style of racing you need to check it out! I would love to see more of these in the United States. I also got my butt handed to me at the Wapack Trail Race. I thought it would be smart to run 18 miles of trails, in 85 degree heat, having only a long run of 10 road miles under my belt….let’s just say I bonked hard and it if wasn’t for the help of two dudes named Bob I would have probably gone home in an ambulance from dehydration/heat stroke. As summer turned to fall I backed off from racing and just tried to put in some consistent miles between finishing my last semester of school. I figured spending less time blogging, and more time running was a good trade off.

Right now most of my time is spent hunting for my first nursing job. I was going to write how excited I was to announce my plans to run the Vermont City Marathon this spring, however last week I finished a run with a familiar nagging pain in my foot. I am assuming it’s another stress fracture but haven’t been able to get an appointment with my doctor because he’s on vacation. Until then I’m wearing the boot that I had from the last stress fracture I had (on my other foot last time). It’s a real bummer but I’m trying not to get too bent out of shape over it because obviously I was pushing too hard and need to back off for a bit. In the meantime I think I might join the local YMCA and try doing some pool running/swimming to keep my fitness up in a low impact way. Some good news is that I’ve got a new product review and giveaway of the SLS3 dual pocket running belt coming up this week. Stay tuned to hear my thoughts about their new product, and for your chance to win one of your own.

P.S.  Here’s some pictures I was able to scrounge together from the past 8 months, that’s all for now!

Post Fells Race

Post Fells Race

Top of Mt. Adams

Top of Mt. Adams

My first DNF from this fall

My first DNF from this fall

Half Marathon the day after the Fell Race

Half Marathon the day after the Fell Race

After the 1st climb up Bretton Woods Ski Resort

After the 1st climb up Bretton Woods Ski Resort

My First Trail Race

 

This weekend I ran my first official trail race! It was the Emerson Trail Race in Concord which helps raise funds for the Emerson Pre-school. There were two race options available; a long course (9.9 miles) and a short course (5K). I opted for the short course since I’m still working on SLOWLY building my mileage back up this year to prevent more overuse injuries. I woke up Saturday to a beautiful sunny day, and was excited and anxious on my to the race. I met some of my friends from Runner’s Alley at the race and for most of us it was our first trail race so we were all pretty excited for a new racing experience.

Runner's Alley Crew

Runner’s Alley Crew

Coming into the race I had looked at last years results and saw that a lot of the really competitive runners from the area ran the long course last year. This made me hopeful that I might be able to place on the short course. I’ve also been running these same trails in Winant Park since it’s literally right behind the hospital that I work at. My friend Ty and I lined up near the front since we were hoping to get out front early. The race went off and a few guys speed right to the front. I knew they were in the long course so I didn’t try to catch them, but they were flying at a pace faster than my 5K pace. It was really impressive to see how fast these trail guys can motor up the hills we hit about half a mile in. There was a split where the long course and short course separated and when I looked back I couldn’t see anyone behind me. I was didn’t realize how fast I had gone out until this point. From that split on I just tried to keep a steady pace and not burn myself out before the downhill finish. Luckily I was able to stay up front and ended up winning the short course! I have never won a race before so this was kind of fun, and my friend Ty came in second right behind me. I know that most of the real competitive guys ran the long course so it’s not real impressive, but none the less it was fun leading the pack for a change.

Team Saucony Peregrine

Team Saucony Peregrine

Emerson 2All in all I had a great time racing the trails. I liked that it was a much smaller field than a lot of other races, it made things more laid back and you could tell a lot of the other runners knew each other pretty well. I knew running a trail race would take a lot more out of me as I’ve been running more trails this spring already. I had no idea just how sore I would be after racing though. Even just doing the short course really beat me up. My knee feels normal, but my quads, glutes, hips, and calves were pretty sore the next morning. I took Sunday off but ran yesterday (in the middle of the hottest day we’ve had yet…yes I’m a glutton for punishment) and my legs still felt pretty lead filled. Despite my soreness I can’t wait to do more trails this summer and I’m already planning out my next trail race.

 

Tiux Compression Sock Review

I’ve been wearing compression socks for a few years now ever since my mom bought me some as a Christmas present when I started getting serious about running. I didn’t really know much about compression socks until I did some research, and I found that many people believe them to help with performance, as well as recovery. Although there is debate as to whether or not these claims are scientifically true I do believe that they have helped me both during hard runs, and afterwards for better recovery. I even use them some days at work since I often spend all day on my feet running around the hospital. A few weeks ago I was fortunate enough to be offered a sample of Tiux Compression Socks to try (disclaimer: this sample was provided to me for free from the folks at Tiux to review, but all opinions are mine alone). The socks arrived super fast and I insert bad pun here hit the ground running.Tiux Logo

Who is Tiux

Tiux is a start up still taking pre-orders for their compression socks to be released near the end of April. They’re able to sell their compression socks for just $35 (shipping included)!! How can they sell their socks for such a great price? Well Tiux is planning on selling strictly online cutting out all the “middlemen”, which allows them to sell their socks for about half of what many of their competitors sell for. This is a great idea and poor nursing students like myself should really appreciate this. Another great thing about Tiux is their partnership with Mines Advisory Group (MAG).  Tiux donates 1% of revenue to MAG to help save lives in communities dealing with unexploded landmines and other ordinances. As you know I love companies that also have a social conscience (like Janji) so this was a big reason I was excited to try out Tiux’s compression socks. It’s always nice when your purchase goes towards something more than just getting yourself some new gear.tiux-infographic

 

What about the socks?

Tiux featuresMy first impression was that the socks looked great. I liked the dark color, and the yellow highlight gave them a needed pop. I also noticed that they felt a lot softer than some other compression socks I’ve tried. One pair I don’t use anymore seemed kind of rough and actually gave me some pretty bad blisters. The Tiux socks were the opposite. They’re super soft, and I’ve already put a lot of miles on them with zero blisters or hot spots. I thought that after washing them they wouldn’t be so soft, but I’ve worn them a bunch and washed them each time (air dried them) and they are still super soft.  I thought the level of compression they provided was spot on as well. They weren’t suffocating and didn’t leave a big ring around my calf afterwards, but still provided that snuggly tight feeling. I wore them for a variety of runs, hiking and even to work one day. Under all conditions they felt great!

 

Would I get them again?

IMG_20150322_111520_016Definitely. I will be buying a few pairs of these since they come at a great price, are wicked comfortable, and perform great for me.  Right now I’m just starting to ramp up my miles again after coming back from an injury so focusing on recovery is huge right now. I know that Tiux Compression Socks will be part of my new routine.

If you’re interested in buying your own you can find all the deets on the Tiux site HERE!

PS they have this cool little message inside the collar

PS they have this cool little message inside the collar

 

Favorite Things Part 4: Chia Bars from Health Warrior

Health_Warrior_Logo-0Recently I’ve become addicted to Chia Bars from Health Warrior.  I think I first heard about them from Jonathan Levitt on twitter, but never pulled the trigger. Then they had a great deal from Abe’s Market to try two for a buck each so I figured it was worth a try. A few days later two Acai Chia Bars showed up and I was hooked.

The first thing I liked about them was the taste. They were sweet, but not overly sugary, chewy, and a had a little crunch from the chia seeds themselves. When I first pulled them out of the package though they looked a little small and I thought they weren’t worth the cost. Here’s where I was wrong. Don’t let their size fool you they will keep you pleasantly satisfied. Since chia seeds are hydrophilic they absorb 10x their weight in water. I usually eat them with some water and they tend to satisfy any mid-day runger sneaking up on me. I also like that they don’t sit like a rock in your stomach. I’ve found them easy to digest, and don’t give me any GI issues when I’m running. I also like that they’re compact so I can tuck them into my shorts or UD waist pack for longer runs. I’ve found them to be an excellent source of on the go energy. They’re also really good for you! All the nutritional details are laid out on their website but here’s the highlights for me:  100 calories, 5g sugar, 4g fiber, 3g protein, 1060mg Omega-3, and are gluten/soy/GMO free, and are 100% Vegan. Many people call chia seeds a “superfood” and I would have to agree. They offer big benefits in a small package.chia bars

Health Warrior not only sells Chia Bars, but also sells bags of chia seeds in bulk. They even have a recipe section of their site to offer some suggestions on what else you can do with chia seeds. One of my favorite things is to make “chia pudding” using a little almond or coconut milk and some oats. It’s an easy breakfast that I can prep the night before if I know I’ll be out the door early the next day. This year I know I’ll be a regular chia bar eater and plan on using them more during long runs in place of some gels. I hope you’re all as pumped up on chia as I am because Health Warrior has been kind enough to offer some samples to one lucky reader! Just enter via the Rafflecopter below and a sample pack of chia bars could coming your way!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Trail Running Film Fest coming to Concord!

Trail Movies, Beer, Friends! What could be better than that?!?! (except maybe peanut butter?)Film Fest Photo

 

This week I’m going to be attending the Trail Running Film Fest being put on by Rainshadow Running.  I first heard about this online from The Ginger Runner, and I was pumped to find from my local running shop that the festival was making a stop in my area. This Wednesday night you can see a ton of films all about trail running! The films start at 6pm at Red River Theaters in Concord.  Runner’s Alley will be there raffling of some gaiters, gift cards, and  giving $5 coupons to each person attending.

If you want to know more about the films being shown head over to The Trail Running Film Fest website here, and you can buy your ticket in advance here. I’m pretty excited that they’re making a stop in NH (which can sometimes be a pretty boring place) so check this out Wednesday night cause it should be a great time! Who wouldn’t have fun with movies about running, beer, raffles, and friends!

 

Favorite Things Part 3: Janji Running Apparel

This week I’m switching things up a bit and highlighting one of the running apparel companies that I love. Not only do I think they have some pretty cool products, but more importantly I really love what the company stands for. Of course I’m talking about Janji! This Boston based company makes great running apparel while simultaneously finding a way to give back to the world by providing access to clean water in a bunch of different countries.

I first heard about Janji from the folks over at Believe In The Run. They posted a great review and also spotlighted Janji’s philanthropic mission. I was immediately interested because I’ve lived in Boston, ran in Boston, and like to shop local when I can. I headed over to the Janji website and started reading about all the great stuff they do and gawking at their cool clothes. I didn’t jump right in and buy anything though because I knew they would be at the Vermont City Marathon Expo that I was going to be at in a few weeks.

At the Expo I actually met one of the founders Dave who was super friendly and really down to earth. I chatted him up for a few minutes and walked away with one of their Tanzania Breeze running t-shirts (since at the time my girlfriend KB was volunteering in Tanzania herself).Tanzania Breeze Shirt The shirt was made in the colors of the Tanzanian flag, and said “Run for Tanzania” on it. I did my shakeout run that day in the shirt and loved it. Its a tech shirt so it wicked sweat away, kept me cool, and since it was brightly colored kept me visible. I’ve since worn the shirt on tons of runs, to the gym, and even hiking. It has held up well and it’s my go-to running tee.

When people see the “Run for Tanzania” logo sometimes they ask me what it’s all about. I love being able to explain how I was able to help provide access to clean drinking water for people in Tanzania just by buying this shirt. All of the Janji products help their partner organizations provide water for people in Tanzania, Haiti, Kenya, Peru, Rwanda, and the United States. If you want more info how they help they have a great section on their website here. It just feels good to support a smaller company like Janji, especially because you can help someone else just by purchasing apparel you would probably purchase anyways. I’d rather support a company who has values of their own rather than just corporate greed (hippie rant). It’s great how the running community is very involved in contributing to charities, but I like how I can also raise awareness just by wearing their products. So if you’re looking for some great running clothes, but also want to do something good for someone else, I suggest looking into Janji for your next purchase. I personally really like their printed 1/4 zip, and their men’s running pants.  Dave over at Janji was kind enough to offer up one lucky reader a seasonably appropriate Janji Running HatJanji Running Hat to keep you warm during this time of year. Just enter through the Rafflecopter link below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway