Disclaimer: I received a sample of Smellwell shoe pouches 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!"
Any runner (or any athlete) struggles with post workout odors in their clothes and shoes. I have the most trouble when I travel for a race and have to put the ghastly smelling wet clothes back into my luggage. I was sent 2 SmellWell shoe pouches to try out and I put them to work!
They are like little bean bags that have the freshest scent to them. They work by absorbing the moisture and removing the odor, leaving a refreshing smell. I first took them on my Ragnar Del Sol relay race. I thought the concept of being cooped up in a van with sweaty wet clothes would be a great test for these pouches.
I kept them in my gym bag until the first sweaty outfit was ready to be put away. I keep each relay leg outfit in a separate large Ziploc bag, in part to have somewhere to put the clothes back safely. After my first leg, I changed out of my outfit when I had a chance, and threw the pouches in with the clothes. I repeated the pattern after each leg, and also put them in my running shoes for the few hours we were able to stretch out and sleep. The result? Really fresh smelling items. They didn’t have enough time to fully absorb all the sweat, since I rotated them through the various outfits, but I think if they had more time, they would have.
I try to keep these pouches in my shoes when I’m not wearing them. I enjoy the smell, but if you have super sensitive sense of smell, you may not like it.
The 2-pack sells for $9.99 and they are available on Amazon
I will be putting these to the test once again at Ragnar Luckenbach in Texas this weekend. With a van of 3 boys and 3 girls, cooped up for 36 hours, I wanted to at least be able to ensure that my items smelled good!
Overall, I would say that these are worth the price, even though 3 months shelf life doesn't seem very long. If you use a gym bag, I would say it is worth it. Or if you have smelly teenagers who play sports, it's more than worth it!
Join us for #bibchat on Tuesday, April 4 at 8pm Central as we discuss Smellwell and what to do with wet smelly workout gear.
"Disclaimer: I received Luvo entrees 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!"
You may recall that I have tried Luvo entrees before and enjoyed them. I love having having healthy options available at my fingertips so I’m not overly tempted. I recently got the chance to try some more Luvo flavors and spread some more Luvo love!
Luvo has come out with a plethora of new flavors and creations – bowls, burritos and more. Unfortunately, the bowls and burritos were not available in my area. So I set out to try some other items that I haven’t tried before.
I hit 3 stores and picked up the following:
I reviewed some other Luvo entrees earlier this year, you can read my review here. I was super impressed with the quality and freshness of their products, so I jumped at the chance to try more flavors.
The first one I dug into was the tandoori spiced chicken. Whoa baby, it’s spicy! Not too much, but enough! I love jasmine rice, so the sides were perfect on this one. Cauliflower & broccoli were on the side too, and they didn’t come out soggy or tough.
Nutritional facts – 270 calories, 7 g fat, 19 g protein
Next I ate the turkey meatloaf and red potatoes. It was filling, hearty, and tasty. I think I tried this flavor before, but I actually enjoyed it more this time. This has really awesome macros, the carbs are just a few grams over the protein.
Nutiritional facts – 260 calories, 6g fat, 23 g protein
I love their pastas, I think I had tried all the raviolis except for the kale ricotta. It was in a fire roasted tomato sauce, which gives it a really unique flavor. I didn’t look like a lot on the plate, but the raviolis were pretty dense. I wish it had more protein of some sort. Especially enjoyable with a nice glass of wine :)
Nutritional facts – 250 calories, 6 g fat, 11 g protein
I’m a huge breakfast girl, so I was delighted to try the pancake. It’s oat bran and filled with ricotta cheese. It also came on a bed of cinnamon spiced apples. I was worried that it would come out soggy, so I cooked it in the microwave then, finished it up in the oven to crisp it up a bit. It was creamy and delicious. It also came with a pouch of syrup.. If you want that warm comfort that pancakes bring, but don’t feel like the hassle of making them, or are cooking just for one, this is perfect for you!
Nutrition facts – 310 calories, 12 g fat, 10 g protein
One of the cool things about Luvo (there are several!) is the way it cooks. It’s not sitting in a plastic tray that may or may not have BPA in it. It comes in a paper pouch that steams. It cooks a little longer than a traditional entrée (7 minutes or so), but gets thoroughly cooked so you don’t have cold spots. They call their technology “steamazing”. Here’s a link to my blog post with a video showing how beautifully it cooks in the bag.
You can feel good about their packaging. Luvo uses 100% recycled paperboard with 50% post-consumer waste. The meal comes in a pouch of unbleached paper made from 20% pre-consumer waste. The meal steams in the bag, and then you pour it out onto you plate. They call their pouch “steamazing”. The meals come out beautifully.
Luvo isn’t available everywhere - but where I live, I had my choice of over a dozen local supermarkets that carry it. You don’t need to go to a specialty or high end supermarket. You can find your closest location here.
I am dying to try these new bowls! Please come to Arizona soon!
We'll be talking about Luvo at #BibChat on Tuesday, March 28 at 8pm Central. Join the conversation!
Have you tried Luvo?
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of xx2i France2 sunglasses 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 have been a fan of xx2i for the last few years, I have enjoyed both sporty and casual frames from their collection and have found them to be high quality, durable and stylish.
I was sent a pair of XX2i France2 Pro Racing Sunglasses. Doesn’t’ that just sound cool? They are considered “half rim sport sunglasses”, as there is only a frame around the top half. As usual, the packaging they came in was awesome. It was in a hard case with lots of cushioning and a spot for the lenses to fit in and be protected. They also came with a soft pouch to carry them in, as well as a strap
Product specs –
I planned to take these out for a run the next day. I looked all over for them and then discovered that my husband took them to work, without even asking me if he could borrow them! He really likes them, apparently.
So, the next day I took them out when I walked the dog.They fit great.
Then it was time to put them to the real test – running! I wore them in the Hot Chocolate Las Vegas race, and they stayed perfectly in place, no slipping, no fogging up. I'm so glad I had them handy, as it ended up being much brighter than I thought for the race and would have been in real trouble without them..
Next up was Ragnar! I wore these for my two daytime legs and they looked and felt great. It was very hot and sunny! Not only did they look great and stay in place, but they survived a weekend of getting thrown into a backpack when not in use, riding around in a van full of stuff!
The France 2 model comes in 14 sporty colors. These particular glasses retail for $59.99 on xx2i.com. The polarized versions go for $99.99. HOWEVER - They are offering a killer 50% discount with code “marchbibrave" now through March 28. Personally feel like it’s a great deal for solid, sporty glasses for running.
I’m totally buying my husband a pair for his upcoming birthday since he keeps stealing these from me. Shhh, don’t say anything!
Also 2 big plusses here –
Lifetime warranty - Lifetime Warranty! No questions asked, you break or scratch them, send them back to be replaced for a nominal shipping and handling fee!
365 day return policy – you can return up to a full year after purchase (who does that?) and get a full refund minus S&H.
Want some other opinions before you commit? Read some reviews from other BibRave Pros, or tune into #bibchat this Tuesday, March 21 at 8pm Central for more conversation!
Another Ragnar is in the books! By now, you are probably familiar with my Ragnar obsession. Since Ragnar Del Sol is practically in my backyard, I of course had to be in on the fun again. I decided to join the same team from last year, the 12 Wandering Runners.
I had a blast with this team last year, but they moved some people around, a few dropped out, ,and a few dropped in, so we basically had a different team this year. Living by my Ragnar motto, Van 1 for life, I happily joined Van 1.
Our lineup in the van was:
Runner 1 – Erin
Runner 2 – Steve
Runner 3 – Shaun
Runner 4 – Me
Runner 5 – Chrystina (captain)
Runner 6 – Mary
Part of the team was coming from Prescott, and the rest from the Phoenix area. I met up with the van leaving Phoenix just before 4 am. Some of the van 2 runners were there. I first met Steve and somehow within 5 minutes the conversation turned to beer and a few minutes later we had become friends on Untappd. Then I met Bobbi and Ryan. I instantly bonded with Bobbi, only moments later discovering she was going to be in Van 2, so I basically wouldn’t get to talk to her at all. Boo! After fueling up with coffee, we headed to the start line in Wickenburg.
As I announced last week, I was delighted to be selected as a Scott James Sport Jewelry ambassador for 2017! I have been wearing their charms for over a year and love their look and quality. I run in them, sleep in them, shower in them, and they look as good as new!
All runners have a story – how you got into running, reasons you run, and why you love it.
For me, when I saw Scott James Sport Jewelry at Ragnar Del Sol last year, I knew that I had to have their charms! Running a Ragnar Relay race is something that I thought I never wanted to do. I looked at the description about riding around in a van all day and all night, running in the dark, etc. and thought “this is NOT for me!” Well, of course I was wrong.
So, Ragnar is special to me, not only for the great experiences that I have had over the last 4 relays I have ran, but it showed me that I can do hard things once I step out of my comfort zone.
Here are the charms I wear, practically every day:
I also just ordered another Ragnar charm for my collection, and hope to add TX after I run it later this month (see below)
These sterling silver charms range from $12-$20 each, so affordable! Plus, they offer free shipping over $50 or a flat $5 shipping fee if you fall under $50.
Check out their selection and save 15% with code AMB-ss7sce24. Share your running story. Ready to start shopping?
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race entry for the Hot Chocolate 15k 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!"
Last year I ran in the inaugural Hot Chocolate race in Las Vegas. It had a few issues (read about my experience here), but I’m always looking for an excuse to go to Vegas, so I signed up again! I was hopeful that they had worked a few kinks out and were able to draw a larger crowd.
I had hoped to have another girls getaway like last year, but my bestie wasn’t able to make it this year. So, I decided to just go for one night and make the best of it.
Just like last year, the pre-race communication was great. Lots of emails and training plans leading up to the race. There was packet pickup for 3 hours on Friday and 3 hours on Saturday. I arrived around noon the day before and pickup started at 4. It was located right at the Linq, which was great, but there is ZERO signage. I knew where to go since it was in the same spot as last year, but I can only imagine many people got lost.
I was happy to see that this year, the expo was actually BUSY! There was energizing music, every table had a small crowd. There were actual vendors and several backdrops for photo opps (score!). Also there was hot chocolate samples and chocolate dipped cookies. Yes, please.
Every participant received a nice Hot Chocolate warm soft fleece jacket (see above). I'll be honest - Doing a race in Las Vegas is brutal if you like adult beverages!!!! I’m not sure anyone gets a PR in this town. Ever. In fact, healthy activities and Las Vegas seem to clash on every level. Anyone that I told that I was running a race the next day looked at me like I was speaking another language. I had a fun afternoon of gambling, then got together with a friend from elementary school. Many beverages were had, but I was in bed at a very respectable hour.
FI tried not to walk too much the day prior so that my legs weren’t too tired. This was going to be my longest distance since knee surgery in October, so I’m still easing myself back in. I like to take my time on race morning. My room was literally a 10 minute walk (or less) to the start line. I stayed at Flamingo, which was so convenient. On my way to Starbucks I went out to their gardens and visited the flamingos. Super relaxing. But it was cold, so I needed to move along. I had plenty of time to enjoy some coffee and breakfast and hit the bathroom before the start.
The race started at the High Roller ferris wheel by the LINQ. We had a great backdrop for the race. I met up with a fellow Half Fanatic Maria Crawford (BustaGroove) and then my fellow BibRave Pro Justin (MayTheCourseBeWithYou) arrived for a pre-race selfie.
They did a much better job at the start this year. The 15k started on time, the announcer was energetic and kept the crowd going. He even brought over a family who had used Ronald McDonald House to speak to the group. A portion of proceeds benefit Ronald McDonald House.
The course was identical to last year. Still pretty dull, but it didn’t bother me quite as much this time. It was significantly cooler this year, so that helped. Like 45 degrees at the start instead of 65 like last year. The highway portion of the course is kind of annoying, but at least there were some mountain views.
At the finish we received our medals, which were nice. And we also got the famous chocolate cup with dippers and chocolate and hot chocolate. I still wish there was somewhere other than the ground to sit and enjoy your chocolate goodies
There was Nuun Hydration on course which was fantastic as I was so dehydrated from my Vegas indulgences. I only saw one sweet stop – marshmallows. I didn’t see m&ms this year.
If you're doing the race for the fun chocolate experience, I do recommend it. They are definitely making improvements to this race. I hope they keep working to make the start/finish experience more fun in the future to match the HC races in other markets. It was a fun “racecation” but on it’s own it’s a little weak. I still think it has the potential to be epic when you put Vegas and Hot Chocolate together.
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!