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I am now less than a week away from my next goal race, the Little Rock Marathon and it is time to start packing. 

The picture to the left kind of reminds me of those Where's Waldo books I used to look at when I was a kid. Sorry to disappoint you, but there isn't a hidden item or treasure in the picture. It is just a messy pile of stuff I packed for my first out-of-town race.
I ran the Oklahoma City Memorial Half Marathon last Spring, and it was the first time I had an overnight stay in a hotel accompanied by a race. Holy Cow Town! I didn't realize how much stuff I needed! Look at this picture. It's ridiculous  Here is a semi-sorta complete list of stuff I packed. 
  • Loaf of Bread
  • Jar of peanut butter
  • Toaster (Really, who brings their own toaster? This kid!!!) 
  • Shoes
  • Socks
  • Shorts
  • Capri Pants
  • Shirt
  • Undergarments
  • Race Belt
  • GPS Watch
  • Bathroom Items - Toothbrush, toothpaste, deodorant, etc.
  • Nutrition - Gels and Nuun
  • Bodyglide
  • Money
  • iPod and iPod Arm Band
  • Ear-buds
  • Sunglasses
  • Headband
  • Hair Ties
  • Poncho/Trash bag
  • Meds
  • Driver's License
  • Flip Flops
  • Post-Race Clothes
  • Hat or Visor 
  • Band aides
  • Jolly Ranchers
  • Tissues

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For the Route 66 Marathon I took the advice of my running coaches and made a visual aide so I would feel prepared and wouldn't forget anything. They advised me to make a race dummy. What is a race dummy? Basically you lay out your clothes and gear for the race in the shape of a human wearing it so you can see if you are forgetting something. This method has worked for me and is kind of fun too. 

What items are on your Race Day Checklist that I didn't list above? If you have pictures of your race dummies, email them to me or post them on my Facebook page so everyone can see!

Email me here.
Post on my Facebook here

 
 
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I decided to blog about something a little different today. I typically only write about running or races or running gear. But recently I subscribed to BirchBox and last week my very first box came in the mail. BB works very similarly to StrideBox, only BirchBox is a monthly subscription for beauty products.  

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I posted on my Facebook page that I received my first BB and instantly got a lot of questions from my gal pals asking what BB was. It's a monthly box subscription of beauty products for $10 a month. It will have makeup, beauty gadgets, samples, sometimes full sized products, and more each month. You have to sign up and join the waiting list before you can fully subscribe. I was on the waiting list for a couple weeks but the website says to expect about 4 weeks. Then once you have received an email saying your subscription is available you have 72 hours to claim it and then you will start receiving your monthly box of beauty goodies. 

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So you may be wondering what was inside by first BB? The picture to the left shows you the contents. But here's a description:

* Tigi Catwalk Hairspray 2.5oz
*Ghiradelli Chocolate (Yum!)
*Color Club Nail Polish - Lime Green
*Jouer - SPF 15 Moisture Tint







I have a couple friends who also subscribe to BB and they got similar yet different products. They both got the same nail polish only in an emerald green color. I like the Lime Green. It matches my CEP Compression Socks better anyway. My friend Jen who blogs at www.jensletterbox.com got a leave-in conditioner instead of a hairspray. My fellow Ginger-In-Crime, Amber, got a few different things but she has subscribed for a while. You can fill out a profile on your beauty preferences so this may also be the reason for the difference in products. Also, they have some sort of point system and I'm guessing that the more $ you spend on their site the more/better products you may earn in your monthly subscription. 

So far I really like my two box subscriptions. It's a nice little surprise in your mailbox each month. There are tons of other box subscriptions available out there. What ones do you subscribe to?

 
 
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It was like Christmas in February the day my first StrideBox came in the mail! I remember it like it was yesterday...okay, it was really about two weeks ago, but still. 

I've never subscribed to any monthly box subscription before, but I stumbled upon Stridebox on Twitter and had to check them out. 

Here's how it works.
StrideBox is a monthly subscription that delivers a box of goodies focused on people who run, race, walk, or workout. Their tagline is "StrideBox - Stuff Runners Want"
So far, I agree. I like the contents of my first box, which we'll talk about soon.
The box is $15 per month and it is shipped directly to me. I received mine on February 6th which was the first round of shipments ever. (I think).

I wanted to subscribe to a runner's box for a couple (or 5) reasons.
1. I like to try new stuff
2. I like to run and I'm always buying stuff.
3. I like to blog about running and stuff.
4. It would be like Christmas every month and stuff.
5. It would give me more material to blog about. The end.

I wanted to find out a little more about StrideBox so I emailed James Erickson, the creator of Stridebox, and inquired about the History and Mission of the company to add to my blog. I was pleasantly surprised when he emailed me back within 12 hours. Bonus points for quick customer service! 

You can read The StrideBox Story here.
It sounds like a familiar conversation we've all probably had at one time or another while standing in a retail store. 

Okay. Let's talk about what stuff was in the box!

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The box itself is like a smaller shoe box. It barely fit into my mailbox. The items were wrapped up in blue tissue paper. It really did feel like I was opening a present!


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They send all kinds of products. 
The box could include anything from energy bars, gels, and other foods to apparel, gadgets, and other fun extras. The products come from both well established brands as well as emerging companies and smaller businesses.

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Ok, finally. Let's talk about the stuff!

And here is what I think about the stuff I've tried so far.

The Blue Water Bottle - The idea is really cool that it is bendable and can collapse down to a much smaller size. I wouldn't be able to run with it though. It has a clip at the top like a rock climbing carabiner. I wouldn't be able to clip that on to my belt and not go crazy from it swinging all over the place. But here is what I plan to do with it! Since it can attach to a backpack it would be good for hiking. It would also be good to take out on the boat since it isn't glass and you add your favorite beverage in it.

The Skratch Labs Sports Drink - I tried one and the Hubbo tried one. I tried the Lemon/Lime and it was good. The flavor was really really light though. Like someone had squeezed lemon/lime juice into water. The Hubbo said the same thing about the Orange flavor. I do like the fact that this Sports drink does have some carbohydrates in it. My blood sugar can get low at times so this would have some sugar in it to help get it back to a normal range.

The Gu Chomps - I haven't tried this flavor yet, but I have had several Gu Chomps before and I really like everything I've had. They tend to be sweet and have some weight to them so when I get super hungry on a run, these can hit the spot. 

The Honey Stinger Gel - I really like this brand too. I typically will get their chews for a long run and not the gel. I personally don't like the consistency of the gel/honey so the chews are perfect for me.

The Mazama Bar - I ate this after lunch on a day that I was going for a 5 mile run after work. The consistency of the bar is something to get use to but it was decent. It is definitely an organic energy bar with a lot of natural ingredients. Please note - I am an extremely picky eater that has a huge sweet tooth so take all food reviews with a grain of sugar.  Also - this bar is pretty large. I was kind of surprised that after I ate this bar, I was a tiny bit hungry before my run. 

The Hammer Bar - I ate this bar after lunch on a day that I was going for a run after work as well. The consistency of the bar is sort of like a brownie but not as sweet. Again, I have a huge sweet tooth so this bar was ok. The bar did give me plenty of energy though. I typically don't eat after lunch and then go run right after work. I usually feel a little hungry before my run and I remember not being hungry after I ate it and started running.


 
 
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Yesterday my favorite Ginger Kids and I ran the Sweetheart Run here in Tulsa. Since we are training for a marathon we ran the Double. Which just means we participated in the 5k and the 10k. If my math is still good, that means we did a 15k. If I'm wrong, please don't tell me. I like to think I can add 5 and 10 together.
I participated in this race last year but I only did the 10k. To participate in the double you started with the 5k participants and then 45 minutes later the 10k participants started. So depending on how quickly you ran the 5k, you could have a little break in between. I actually didn't mind the break. I needed to stretch my legs because they were pretty tight. So the 5k felt like a warm up.
I didn't get a PR this race, I was 15 seconds shy of beating my 15k PR. But maybe next time!

Time for the recap!

Course: 4 Ginger Points! The course was good for the 5K,  no big hills. Just a quick out and back. The course for the 10k was a little more tough. It followed the same path as the 5k but just went out farther and we encountered a decent hill on the way back. Boo hills! 

Entry Fee: 5 Ginger Points! Since the Hubbo and I entered as a team (Team Run Ginger Run, of course) and we participated in the double the fees were a little more expensive than if you just did the 5k or 10k but it was about $80 or so for us so that's not too bad.

Participation: 5 Ginger Points! This race typically has a pretty good turn out and this year was no different. The 10k has more runners so that was good.

Shirt: 4 Ginger Points! Well not really shirt. If you saw on my Facebook page earlier this week, we were talking about races giving shirts versus other goodies in your race packet. This year this race gave out beanies. I gave the beanie 4 points because it's something new so that's fun, but this thing is a little big. But it is reversible! See pic below.

Medal: N/a

Expo: N/a

Temperature: 3 Ginger Points! It was a little on the chilly side. The temps were in the low 30's. And there was some wind on the back half of the 10k that wasn't fun. But this is wayyyy better than last year's Sweetheart run when we had a wind chill of -6! 

Overall Organization: 5 Ginger Points!  


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One side is fleece the other side is a tech material similar to a tech shirt.

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My favorite Ginger-in-Crime, Amber, and I sporting our Run Ginger Run back bibs before the race. Amber got a PR during the 5K! I think it was the extra bib that made her run faster.
You can Tweet Amber here and tell her congrats! 
@Amber_125 

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Amber and I ready to run. Amber is sporting the race beanie!

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The Hubbo and I before the race. He got a PR in the 15k too! Must be the bib.

 
 
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Photo from Pro Compression.
Do you need or want some new compression socks? They can get kind of expensive and if you want to collect a few different colors that can really add up quick! Here at RunGingerRunBlog we love a good deal on running gear! Luckily one of my favorite readers, Debbie, passed on this great deal on Pro Compression Socks.

You can get 40% off a pair which usually runs $50. So if my math is correct, you pay $30. That sounds like a good deal to me, so I sent the Hubbo a link today and gave him a hint for my Valentine's Day Gift. He wasn't as excited as I was. 

Here's the deal. Click here to go directly to their website to order. You also can get Free Shipping. It looks like the website says to allow for 2 weeks for delivery.  Discount ends on February 18th. 

Here are more details about the socks.

All Marathon Socks feature: 
• Compression technology to help improve blood flow 
• Non-slip design 
• A blend of materials for comfort & support 
• Moisture Control 

I have a pair of lime green and now I'm about to order a black pair. 

What color socks do you like to wear in your races? 

 
 
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The foam roller! This thing has literally saved my running life many times.

The foam roller is good at helping you work out your IT band issues.

It's good for working out those sore quads and hamstrings. 

It is even good to help you on your Plantar Fasciitis problems. 


I've also used it as a pillow when I got to lazy to get off the floor after a foam rolling session. It seems like there is nothing this thing can't do! Or is there? 

Recently I wondered what else this thing would be good for. So I decided to do an experiment.

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No Chihuahuas were hurt during this experiment.









Is my foam roller good at walking the dog? Turns out, not so much. Sorry Zoey!

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Is my foam roller good at doing the dishes? Terrible idea. If I wait long enough for the foam roller to do them, I'll be out of wine glasses and that is not good for anyone!

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Is my foam roller good at driving me to the gym? NOPE!
Can you see the terror on my face?!?

Moral of the story kids, use your foam roller for what it is good for and nothing else!