After the amazing feedback I received with my StrideBox posting - I came across another company via social media that was using the same concept as StrideBox - send a box of surprise running goodies to subscribers. The RunnerBox is available in 3 different formats.
What you see when you open RunnerBox
RunnerBox tissue paper
The TriBox - A bi-monthly subscription box that includes products not only for running but on the bike and in the water as well.
The RunnerBox - A bi-monthly subscription box filled with products geared specifically towards runners.
The GiftBox - A one time gift of RunnerBox (or TriBox) - ships within 5 business days of purchase.
All boxes cost $25.70 (shipping included) per shipment.
Staci over at RunnerBox was kind enough to send me a RunnerBox for review - Thank you Staci :)
Exterior of RunnerBox
Generation UCAN - 2 drink mixes (Chocolate and Pomegranate Blueberry) - Retail Value: $7
CocoaVia - 2 drink mixes - Retail Value: $1
Emergen-C - Joint health and sport water drink mixes - Retail Value: $1
Honey Stinger - Lemon Waffle - Retail Value: $2
Honey Stinger - Cherry Organic Energy Chews - Retail Value: $1.50
Accel Gel - Chocolate energy gel Retail Value: $1
Get Burning Active Tea multipack - Retail Value: $3
Picky Bars - Peanut butter - Retail Value: $3
Sport Legs capsules - Retail Value $1
Sport Beans - Pomegranate flavor - Retail Value: $1.50
Jolt Energy Gum - Retail Value $2
RunnerBox Flashing Safety Light - Retail Value: $2
RunnerBox contents spread out
What RunnerBox looks like when you open it for the 1st time
Total Estimated Retail Value of RunnerBox contents: $26What products were I most interested to try?
I was interested in the Generation UCAN drink mixes. I have never heard of them before and the packaging was very appealing. I mixed up the pomegranate blueberry formula and wasn't impressed. I still have not tried the chocolate.
The Honey Stinger waffle I am still waiting to try. I have heard good things about them and was glad it was included. If I like it I am sure I will continue to purchase.
Get Active Tea was also a product that looked fun. I have not been able to try it though, but I enjoy tea and I am looking forward to brewing it before a race instead of coffee. Again, a product that I am sure I would never have tried - but will more than likely purchase if it works as advertised and tastes well.
What is my impression of RunnerBox?Its a great product. Just like StrideBox - opening up the mail couldn't be any more fun. Being a runner, it is exciting to open a box of running specific surprise goodies!
Is RunnerBox worth the $25.70/ month?
Yes - but barely. The RunnerBox is $20 + $5.70 shipping/handling. You definitely get your moneys worth of supplies. But not much "more" than the actual value paid. Granted the contents change monthly so who knows what will be in a future RunnerBox!
Who would I recommend RunnerBox to?
If you are looking for a one time gift to a runner, or are wanting to try out the subscription box concept without being tied down to a reoccurring subscription I would give RunnerBox a try first. Also if you are a triathlete this is the only subscription box I know of that caters to you (although my review box was not the triathlete version).
For more information about RunnerBox visit them online - www.therunnerbox.com
The Gasparilla Distance Classic weekend in Tampa has always been my favorite event to participate in since I moved to Florida in late 2009. The first year I lived here I ran the final Gasparilla Marathon. The next year I ran every event offered (15k, 5k, 13.1 & 8k) which is called the Michelob Ultra Challenge. Last year I only ran the 15k and this year I registered for the 15k on Saturday and the 1/2 marathon on Sunday. My goal for these races was just to run it tempo speed as I have been focusing on staying injury free and preparing myself for the LA Marathon on March 17.
I headed to the Gasparilla "8 on your side" expo at the Tampa Convention Center Friday night with a group of friends. We grabbed our race packets and walked around the entire expo. I was disappointed that Nike is no longer sponsoring the event and the official merchandise was very generic. I enjoyed the excitement Nikes presence brought at the event and expo. One other thing I missed was the wall of names. Nike used to have a wall, like at the Chicago Marathon, where all 27,000 runners names were listed. It was fun trying to find your name as well as the names of your friends!
After the expo my friends and I headed to Spaghetti Warehouse for a "carb up" dinner. It was great. After it was over I went home and fell asleep.
The 15k didn't go as planned. I tried to run it fast. That didn't end up working as it got hot, I was not used to the shoes I was wearing (more on that later...) and I felt run-down. I did not eat anything or drink a lot of water before the race which might have caused this to happen. I finished the 15k talked to some friends and then went home to get ready to pick up my friend Maureen who was arriving from Chicago.
Maureen was coming down to run the Gasparilla half marathon with me on Sunday. I wanted to run the race under 1:50 and Maureen was looking to PR (something under 1:50).
On Sunday the race started at 6am which made for a very early wake up call.
When the race started something didn't seem right. It was pretty humid (100 percent humidity was reported) and I couldn't get my breathing down well. My pace was suffering even though my legs felt strong. It was warm out I didn't want to drag Maureen back as she felt good so I told her to run on. I ended up getting two huge blisters one on each foot due to the new shoes I had been wearing and each step felt like a knife stabbing me for 11 of the 13 miles. This was the most painful race I have ever done and I felt like quitting SO MANY times. However, I pushed though the pain (even though I was pretty sure I was bleeding though my shoes). My biggest fear was that I would injure myself for the LA Marathon. I had my worst 1/2 marathon time in years because of the breathing, heat and blisters. You can't win them all I guess.
The half marathon medal was awesome. Maureen and I went to the after party for and enjoyed the day rest of the day!
Hopefully next year goes better for me at Gasparilla! Maybe they will bring back Nike as a sponsor too!
One of the problems with living in Florida is that our racing season is in the winter months. You can run 100+ races every weekend from November-April. As I mentioned in my previous post, I'll be running the LA Marathon March 17 and my training is a little abnormal.
What does my LA Marathon training consist of?
5 days of INSANITY + 2 days of running
Really? Yes! The only 2 runs I am doing each week are the Thursday night Bayshore Run Club 6 mile route + a race every weekend. I'm following the INSANITY training program with my challenge group and only modifying the Saturday INSANITY workout, replacing it with a 1/2 marathon or comparable race. Two weeks ago I raced the Best Damn Race 10k on Saturday. Last weekend I raced the St. Petersburg 1/2 Marathon & today I raced the A1A Fort Lauderdale 1/2 Marathon. Next week is my "20 miler" all marathon training alumni are familiar with. I'm actually racing two races. The Gasparilla Distance Classic in Tampa - 15k and 1/2 Marathon - 22.4 miles over two days.
I've got another 1/2 lined up following Gasparilla & then am planning on a 5 mile or 10k race the weekend prior to LA Marathon.
Mixing in this much INSANITY with marathon training is INSANE! The training plans we use on this website are more structure like a 'typical' training program. Check them out!
I actually received this comment on the InsaneMarathon.com Facebook page today - "I just have to say I am so thankful I found your flyer at the Lululemon in Hyde Park. Your advanced half marathon plan rocks! I have never run so well! Training for Rock n Roll DC in March and have been participating in smaller races the last month or so. Did a 10 mile trail race this morning and finished Top 25 females! Biggest achievement for me yet. Feeling very confident about my half marathon performance. Thank you, again." - Jennifer M.
Jennifer, thank you for the kind words. I am ecstatic that our training plans are helping you achieve your goals! I hope I can help many more people do what they once thought impossible!
Three sentence summaries for my past three races:
Best Damn Race - Safety Harbor, FL: An amazing inaugural race put on by local runners. Scenic course ran along the bay with a beautiful sunrise. Well supported, great t-shirts, medals & a fast flat 10k course.
St. Petersburg Rock & Roll 1/2 Marathon - St. Petersburg, FL: A fun, fast & flat course that captures the most of the city of St. Petersburg. The weather was much warmer than it was last year. Sadly the post race concert featuring Sean Kingston wasn't as awesome as last years Flo'Rida concert.
Fort Lauderdale A1A 1/2 Marathon - Fort Lauderdale, FL: Cold, freezing 45 degree race. Last year I ran the full marathon & it was 87 degrees! Beautiful scenic course ran through Las Olas and along the beach on A1A with a great sunrise!
I'm looking forward to continuing my racing and INSANITY schedule! Lets hope it continues to go well!
Social media has changed the way consumers find out about new products and services. If you follow InsaneMarathon.com on insatagram @insanemarathon you see our frequent photos and our amazing fan following! Our instagram posts are also posted on twitter @jimblake. A couple of weeks ago a tweet of ours was re-posted by a company called StrideBox. After some research I found out that StrideBox is a company that provides running products and accessories every month in an attractive subscription box delivered right to your home. I spoke with the owner of StrideBox and was invited to review the February edition of StrideBox.
I eagerly awaited my StrideBox and finally received it on February 6. I couldn't even wait to get back inside to open it up so I walked over to my pool, sat down and opened up the package immediately.
What is StrideBox?
The first thing you notice upon opening up the StrideBox is a postcard with a running photo on it. This postcard lets you know what months StrideBox you are receiving and contains "The Stride Guide" an informational outline about the products you will find in the box.
So... what was in the StrideBox?
Contents of StrideBox
Water Bottle in StrideBox
Contents of February 2012 StrideBox
Water Bottle - One of the best products was at the top of the box, a "flat" extremely portable StrideBox branded water bottle. Retail Value: $9
Lock Laces - These are the shoelaces that use a locking device to tie. This ensures that at mile 20 during your marathon you are not concerned about your shoe laces bouncing all over. Retail value: $8
On The Go Towels For Men - I plan on trying one of these towels out tonight after my 6 mile run. The package reminds me of a large hand wipe. These would probably be great for an event like Ragnar where you need to shower, but can't! With as many events as I run - this is a product that I can see myself purchasing depending on how it holds up. Retail Value for the 3 towels included (estimate only, as their website is not up yet): $2
The rest of the StrideBox reminded me of a large "Goody Bag" you would receive at a large road race. Lots of nutritional products. The nutritional products included were:
GU Chomps (Lemon flavor), Hammer Cranberry Energy Bar, Hammer Endurolytes Fizz drink tablet - Peach flavor, Honey Stinger Acai Pomegranate Organic Energy Gel, MazamaBar - Chocolate Banana, Skratch Hydration Mix Lemon Lime and Orange flavors. Retail Value: $7
Finally there was a Doctor Hoy's Natural Pain Relief Gel sample (think Biofreeze sample you would get at a race expo). Retail Value: $0.
Total Estimated Retail Value of the StrideBox: $26
In addition to the products found in StrideBox there are discounts on some of the included products should you enjoy the samples and want to buy them. Most of the discounts save you 15-25% when ordered online through a special link.
Of all the products I am most excited to try out the Chocolate Banana MazamaBar, which I plan on eating before the Rock and Roll St. Petersburg 1/2 Marathon this Sunday. I also will use the Organic Honey Stinger Acai Pomegranate Gel at mile 6.5 of the Rock and Roll St. Pete 1/2 Marathon. The water bottle will definitely not go to waste and the Lock Laces will be used on my next pair of running shoes.
What is my impression of StrideBox?
The presentation is awesome. The "Just Keep Running" and the logo of the runner coming out of the box are very nice touches. When you open the StrideBox the products are nicely wrapped in blue tissue paper. Simple, elegant touches. I also enjoyed the element of surprise, which keeps me guessing "What will be in the next StrideBox?"
Is it worth the $15/ month?
Yes - The retail value of the products are more than the $15 it costs to have StrideBox delivered to you every month.
How can I get StrideBox delivered to me?
Visit www.stridebox.com and set yourself up for a monthly subscription.
Can I get a StrideBox for free?
YES - You can get one of the March StrideBox's for FREE! InsaneMarathon.com is GIVING AWAY a SrideBox!! All you have to do is leave a comment on this post with a product, or type of product you would like to see in a future StrideBox. I will pick a random winner on 2/17 and give your information to StrideBox. They will send you a free box!!! Awesome huh?!?!
What do you think about the concept of a monthly subscription box for runners? I think its awesome & a great way to stay excited about the sport we all love as well as learn about and try new running related products!
Don't forget to leave a comment for your chance to receive a free StrideBox in March!
Do you ever sign up for races on a whim? I seem to do this often - out of nowhere I will be running a marathon, 10k, half marathon, or other distance that I had no idea I would be running only days earlier. Some of my favorite examples of this are the Grand Rapids Marathon in 2009 (which qualified me for Marathon Maniacs!) and the Melbourne Beaches Marathon in 2011.
Well for the past three years I have tossed around the idea of running the LA Marathon but it never worked out with the flight from Florida, hotel, work... This year I brought up running the LA Marathon with my friend Larry who runs LJayHealth.com and he said he would run LA too if I was serious. After some research on flights, hotels, and entry fees I knew this would be the year to run the LA Marathon!
It ended up working out perfectly. Direct flight from Tampa to Los Angeles, my friend Sam, that I ran the Georgia [Atlanta] Marathon with last year, decided to join us. We also ended up finding a great charity to run with "The Peacock Foundation".
The Peacock Foundation supports the provision of animal-assisted interventions (AAI) and activities (AAA) for at-risk youth by partnering with mental health practitioners, public service agencies, and community organizations.
If you would like to donate to The Peacock Foundation please click here. Any donation would be appreciated. Anyone with a pet understands the feeling of love that you experience. Sadly, for some children the people who should be important in their lives have let them down too often. These animal interventions allow children to experience love and companionship in a way that they otherwise do not experience at home.
If you haven't looked at the course for the LA Marathon take a look at it here. The course starts at Dodger Stadium and runs 26.2 miles through Los Angeles, Hollywood, West Hollywood, Beverly Hills, Century City and finishes though Santa Monica ending at the famous Santa Monica Pier!
Some of the amazing landmarks you pass on the route include Dodger Stadium, Chinatown, Capitol Records, Hollywood & Vine, Hollywood Walk of Fame, Chinese Theater, Rodeo Drive and the Santa Monica Pier! AMAZING!
This will be my first marathon in California, marathon number two for 2013 and the last marathon I will run (that I currently know of..) before Berlin in September.
Have you ran the LA Marathons current "Stadium to the Sea" course before? Are you running the LA Marathon this year?
I will be sharing my LA Marathon training regimen on my next post. Its going to be a little different than anything I have done before! Stay tuned!!
While creating some custom InsaneMarathon.com gear for myself to wear and share at local races and events the company I was using, Zazzle, allowed me to save my designs and share them in an online storefront. If you would like to check it out and have your very own InsaneMarathon.com technical t-shirt or trucker hat - visit our new online store!InsaneMarathon.com Gear - www.zazzle.com/insanemarathon
How do you follow up to a Disney Marathon weekend? I had a few options to choose from... I received a free entry to the Marathon Bahamas that took place January 20 and was contemplating heading down to Nassau for the event on Saturday, running it on Sunday and flying back to Florida after the marathon. But with Berlin, New York and who knows what else coming up later this year I decided against it. My friend Mike was running the St. Pete Beach Classic 10k on Saturday and after looking at the event I decided to do the St. Pete Beach Classic Duo. The Classic Duo is completed by running the 5k and the 10k back-to-back. It was good to get the legs back up to speed and I received 3 medals for completing the challenge (one for each race, plus a medal for completing the duo challenge). You can't beat running scenic races in beach communities!
Sunday I decided to give back to the running community. I have always wanted to volunteer at a race, the problem is I am normally running all the local races so there is no chance to volunteer. The past two years I ran the Clearwater Halfathon (1/2 marathon). It is a great race and this year they added a full marathon distance to the event. I signed up to hand out medals to all of the finishers. I had an amazing time volunteering. The medals for the Clearwater Halfathon and Clearwater Marathon were top-notch (see photos) and the athletes were so much fun to watch. Volunteering really made me appreciate what goes on during a race to make the experience enjoyable for the runners.
I ended up unboxing, unwrapping and organizing all of the 1/2 and full marathon medals while the runners were out on the course. Once the runners started finishing the half marathon myself along with a handful of other volunteers passed out the medals to the finishers. The reactions when an athlete crosses the finish line are priceless. Some finish like it was nothing and go about the rest of their day like normal. Others are sobbing, in pain, dizzy, gave the race everything they could. The best reactions are from the athletes that have just accomplished something that they never thought was possible. Those are my favorite reactions.
Congratulations to all of the Clearwater 5 mile, half marathon and marathon finishers. Display those beautiful medals with pride!
If you are looking for a scenic, fun, well organized, mid-size winter destination race definitely consider the Clearwater Running Festival next January!
On a side note: If you follow our Facebook, twitter or instagram pages you know that a few weeks ago I placed first in my age group at the Deleon Springs Half Marathon. I ran that race on a whim and I am glad I did. It was a small, flat, shaded half marathon just outside of Deland, Florida. The selling point was $35 day-of-race registration. That makes it probably the best half marathon deal ever!
The 2013 Walt Disney Marathon Weekend is over. Once again I ran the 39.3 mile Goofy Challenge. I never know how to prepare for the Disney Goofy event and this year was definitely going to be a challenge. I had a national meeting that lasted until 10:30pm on Friday night in Delray Beach, FL. Somehow I needed to get to Disney World to run the 1/2 marathon by 3am (to board the shuttle busses).
I made it work!
Left Delray Beach at 11pm arrived in Orlando at 2am, changed clothes, got on the shuttle bus at 3am and headed to the start of the 1/2 marathon with ZERO hours of sleep! Not the way you want to start off running a 39.3 mile challenge!
The weather was forecasted to be in the 80's. I was tired. So I decided to enjoy the race, take photos and have fun!
I sure did.
I took photos with every character I could. Somehow I still finished with a time of 1:59. I was happy!
After the 1/2 marathon I went back to the hotel, cleaned up, had breakfast at the Polynesian Resort and went to the expo at ESPN Wide World of Sports. The expo was packed, the merchandise was picked over and I was exhausted. I waited in a couple lines to have my photo taken with green screen backdrops and then headed back to the hotel to nap. After passing out at the pool for a couple hours I had some pasta dinner at the hotel and went to bed before 8pm!
Day two of Goofy went well. I knew I was going to have fun with the marathon and I sure did! I stopped EVERYWHERE! I took photos with all of the characters and not just with the professional photographers, I used them as well as my iPhone. After taking photos I would post them online so everyone could see my Disney Marathon journey. I finished the marathon with a time of 4:26 - which isn't bad considering how many lines I waited in, photos I took, tweets I tweeted and so-forth! Hopefully you follow InsaneMarathon.com on instagram, twitter and Facebook!
I am also excited to be starting the 60 day fitness challenge tomorrow, January 21! There is a very dedicated group of us doing INSANITY, Shakeology and following strict nutritional guidelines for 60 days.
I was thinking about running another marathon this weekend; either the Clearwater Marathon or the Bahamas Marathon. However, I decided not to run either of them. I decided to run the St. Pete Beach Classic Duo (5k & 10k). I also decided to volunteer at the Clearwater Marathon.
I'll be posting about those events next!
As you probably know by now, I was a part of the 2012 NYC "Sandy" Marathon cancelation. The New York Road Runners finally made a "resolution" for the 2012 runners and our options are:
1) Take a refund of registration fees and not be guaranteed to run the race again (unless you win the marathon lottery, qualify or 9+1 NYRR).
2) Have guaranteed entry to either the 2013, 2014 or 2015 NYC Marathon and pay the entry fee again.
3) Run the 2013 NYC Half Marathon and pay the entry fee.
So after reading my choices I thought I would probably choose the second option and run the 2014 race (maybe 2013). So after logging on to the marathon website I was shocked to see that I needed to choose the year I wanted to run NYC today; 2013, 2014 or 2015. I am already scheduled to run the 2013 Berlin Marathon September 29, 2013 and I figured that the 2013 NYC Marathon will still be plagued with "Sandy" references so 2014 was looking like the best option. But who knows where I will be November 2014?
What option do you think I should choose? 2013 NYC and run it after Berlin? Or 2014 and hope that my schedule and training allow for the marathon to happen?
Comment below or CONTACT US with your feedback!
Were you supposed to be running the 2012 NYC Marathon? What option did you choose?
Are you looking for a fun running challenge this year? My friend and RRCA Coach, Debbie Voiles, has started a 13 x 13 in 13 challenge. What does this challenge entail? You will commit yourself to running 13 half marathons in 2013 (a marathon counts as 2 & virtual races do not count).
If you are interested in joining this challenge, join the 13x13in13 Facebook page. If you are on twitter or instagram you can use hashtag #13x13in13. She even has awesome looking car magnets and t-shirts to let everyone know you are a half marathon running machine!
More information about the challenge can be read on Debbie Voilies blog, Mojo For Running.
I am already in the challenge. By the end of January I should already have 4 or 5 1/2 marathons in the book!
Comment below or on the InsaneMarathon.com Facebook page if you are committing yourself to 13x13in13!
Have fun with this!