Two weeks ago as the Hubbo and I were preparing for a long run, I looked at him and said that I wasn't sure how I was going to carry all my stuff during our upcoming marathons. In November, I'm running the full at Route 66 here in Tulsa and in December, I'm running the Honolulu Marathon
Since my training has required that I run longer miles, I need to take more nutrition with me. Even though my EnergyBits aren't big and bulky, I have other things I like to carry with me during my runs like my cell phone, my ID/Credit Card, sometimes a car key, and my iPod Shuffle. Shortly after that conversation with the Hubbo I got notification from BibRave that I would be getting a FlipBelt to try out and review being as I'm an ambassador or a BibRavePro. It was one of those rare moments in life where things lined up absolutely perfectly! 

Back to the belt. The belt is basically a tube with several pocket openings to put your belongings in. Then all you have to do if flip it so the openings rest against your body and your stuff is nice and secure. Hence the name FLIPbelt. It is made of a moisture-wicking, spandex-lycra blend material and is machine washable and dryable. 

I had actually heard of these before and they sell them at my local running store. A bunch of my running coaches wear them too. You can find a store near you by clicking here or you can order them online here. They retail for $28.99 and they are worth every penny! When I posed on Instagram that I was going to be reviewing one, a lot of people commented on how much they love theirs. 

Now for the important questions...

Will It Hold All My Stuff?

The quick answer to that is YES! It held all my stuff and I had plenty of room for more things when I used this during my race on Saturday. 

Here are the contents of my belt from run.
1. iPhone 4
2. My Driver's License
3. 1 Baggie of Energybits
4. One sleeve of Clif Shot Bloks
5. iPod Shuffle/Earbuds

You could put other things in the belt too, such as:
1. Kleenex
2. Chap stick
3. Candy
4. Money
5. Keys
6. Medicine or an EpiPen 
7. Gifts for your Favorite Ginger! :) 

I have a large cell phone, will that fit?

Yup! I am lucky to have a coworker that has an iPhone 6+ and he let me borrow it to see if it would fit in my FlipBelt and sure enough, it did! 

This picture shows the iPhone 6+ sitting partially in and partially out of the belt. I even put the belt on with the iPhone 6+ in it to see how it felt and it felt fine to me. 
I will say, I didn't run around my office like a crazy person with it, but wearing it around my office like a normal professional felt fine. 

The website does say there is one phone they know won't fit in it, the Note 2. FlipBelt does have a 100% customer satisfaction policy. So if the belt doesn't work for you, they will be happy to do a return or exchange. 

This belt would be good for vacationers and tourists too. Taking a purse to Disneyland sounds awful, but you'll still want all your money, credit cards, cell phone, etc. This would be an easy way to keep those items on you, but not have to worry about them being stolen or falling out of your pocket on a ride. 

How does it fit and feel?

You can't really see it, but I'm wearing my FlipBelt in this picture. I ordered a black one because all of my running shorts, tights, and carpris are black. They have several colors for you to chose from though. See the picture below. 

I like how I no longer have a huge awkward bulge (don't get weird) anymore that resembles a fanny pack from the 90's. 

I ordered a large FlipBelt and I'm happy with my size choice. I'm an 8-10 in regular pants and that was in between sizes on the sizing chart. The website had a few helpful suggestions for sizing too:

*Size Tips: To ensure the most comfortable fit, choose the size appropriate to how you prefer to wear the belt.  If you prefer it around your waist go smaller, your hips - go bigger.

**Depending on how/where you like to wear your belt; measure waist or hips where you like to wear your belts and the measurement should stay around 2" below the Max Stretch Circumference.

Did the belt ride up while running?

After wearing the belt for a few minutes, I couldn't really even tell I was wearing it. It felt like a normal piece of my clothing. It really didn't move or ride up on me during my race. I even wore the belt last night on my 6 mile run with slick compression shorts on and it did much better at staying put than my other belt did. (My other belt is a pouch with a strap type set up.) 

I like the fact that I can toss this belt in the washing machine on cold to keep it nice and clean. Some running belts don't allow for that. 

Summary - I really like this belt and it will now be my go-to belt for all my runs. If you are in the market for a new belt or want to add something running related to your Christmas list, I highly suggest this belt! 

Disclaimer - I was provided a FlipBelt free of charge to try out and review. I wasn't compensated in any other way and as always, all opinions, typos, and awkward photos are my own. 

Question! What color belt would you pick? 

Let's be real honest right up front, I hated just about every minute of the Tulsa Run this weekend. And honestly, it left me wondering if I'll do it again next year. 
You can read last year's recap here

I'll be honest and say that I wasn't mentally in the game for this race either, which also made it tough. I've never mentally quit so hard. I did finish the race but it wasn't pretty. There was a lot of hills, a lot of walking, and a lot of negotiating with myself over those 9 miles on Saturday. 

The Course

I know you are use to my recaps starting with the medal because that is my favorite part of each race, but we HAVE to talk about this course.

Let me point out a few things first....

1. This year they changed the course to a more traditional route. The last two years I ran this race it was pretty much just an out-and-back on a mostly flat course with a big hill at the end.
2. I live in Tulsa, I train for all my races in Tulsa, and I'm not a stranger to the fact that Tulsa is hilly.
3. This is my third time to run this race. 

Now, back to the course. The picture above is courtesy of the Tulsa Sports Commission. That elevation map is a little scary. The word on the street is that due to an upcoming construction event taking place along the usual route, the course was changed. I'll just say, I'm not a fan of the new course. It felt like if we weren't coming down a hill, we were going up one at all times. Not to mention the race stared at 9:00 am which is a pretty late start for a race and I noticed a lot of traffic that had to wait on runners. I will say that this course was way more scenic than previous years but you paid for it in hills. 

Now here is a factor that the Tulsa run has no control over. The weather. It has been unseasonably warm here in Tulsa for a couple weeks. When the Hubbo and I pulled out of the drive way an hour before the race, it was already 69 degrees. When we got back in the car after the race, it was 85! Too hot for this Ginger who is not a hot weather runner! To put it in perspective for you, the first year I ran this race it was so cold, I wore a hat, gloves, long tights, long sleeve shirt, and a jacket the entire race! This year I wore a tank top and shorts and still overheated. If the race had started earlier, or the weather had been better, maybe this race wouldn't have been so hard. I will say that one week before this race, I ran an 18 mile training run which was very hilly as well and that seemed much easier than this race for some reason. 

The Medal

The first two years I ran this race, the medals looked pretty similar. But this year, they a change to the overall layout of the medal and I like it. The color scheme and logo are the same, but the different shape gives it a different vibe to the medal. Couple that with the fact that I don't have a lot of rectangle medals and I consider this one a win!

The Shirt

The Tulsa Run always has a long sleeve technical shirt as part of the swag you get for running the race. This year was no different. This year's shirt is great and all, until I put it on and found a giant hole had been cut in the arm of my shirt. It looks like it had possibly been cut with scissors when they were trying to open a box of shirts or something. 

I am sure that I have a Tulsa Run Shirt Curse because there has been something wrong with each shirt I've received over the last three races. Every. Single. One! 
The first year all the shirts were too small for everyone!
The second year I ordered mine a size larger trying to avoid the too small problem but when I noticed how big it was at the expo, they wouldn't let me trade it in for a smaller size. It was a men's shirt! Not a unisex shirt.  Why do races do that even though women outnumber men at most races?
This year, I got my shirt with a big hole in it. 

::Insert Sad Music Here:: 

The Water Stops/Post Race Food

This is where the Tulsa Run needs to get their shit together. The water stops were awful again this year. Last year one of the last water stops ran out of water! How does a race that has been around for over 35 years not have a good system down for water stops??? 

This year, at more than one water stop, I had to stand there and wait for a volunteer to fill a cup with water so I could take it and continue walking while I drank my water. 
Then when I crossed the finish line they were out of water! How in the world do you run out of water at a finish line?!? 
Luckily, a volunteer had just walked over to the finish area and opened 1 case of water as I was about to exit the race and I managed to get a bottle. There were several people out on the course after I was and I really hope they had a truck load of water brought in for the people who finished after me.

Then as I'm going through the post-race food tent I was surprised to see that they had really skimped on the food this year. They had bananas cut up in to small pieces which is fine, but they had bagels they had also cut up into such small pieces that the box of bread looked like nothing but crumbs! Then they also had granola bars that they had opened and cut up into very small pieces as well. It was sort of embarrassing. This is a huge race with over 9,000 people participating and I was embarrassed to be from Tulsa and have the Tulsa Run represented that way. The Hubbo and I signed up for this race when it was first available (meaning the cheapest rate) and it was still almost $40. 

I would rather skip the post-race food all together and see that money be donated to charity. I would like to say THANK YOU to all the volunteers who works so hard to provide this race for us! Races couldn't happen without people like you! Also a big shout out to the Beer Stops! Yes, stops as in plural. Towards the end of the race at two different locations there were tables set up with cold beer. I figured I needed to do something to jazz this party up so I happily obliged and drank a cup from each station. It made me forget how hot I was for a split second so it was totally worth it! 

Overall Experience Summary

Overall, this was just not my day. It was too hot, too hilly, and I'm still adjusting to my new meds while running. Also I couldn't get my Garmin to connect until I had already ran .75 miles. I finished the race in 1:53:52 which is not close to a PR for me, but I'm totally fine with it because I walked, I finished, and I brought home another medal and that is all that really matters. 

Question! Have you ever had a race run out of water?

Hi Running Buddies!

It's time for our next installment of the RunGingerRun Buddy of the Month! Today I have my buddy Jeremy Heath from Arizona for you to meet. He's a super fun guy and I'm pretty sure we have the best (read: hilarious) side conversations during #Bibchat :) While we have never met in person, yet, we both have a great time being #BibRavePros together. 

1. Tell us a little about you and your background. Do you have any cute pets named Janie? :)

PictureJeremy and Janie!
I'm a runner, blogger, and adventure seeker living in the desert!  My passion for running extends beyond just getting outdoors and logging the miles.  I've created my own running group of AZ runners with a social media addiction. (http://runeattweetaz.com/)  

I run to meet new people, learn from others, and help guide those who need it!  Also, I run to keep my baby girl, Janie, happy!  She's my pup but she's also my speed coach! :) 

2. In 140 characters or less, how did you start running?

I started running when I got into college as a way to lose the Freshman 15.  I lost that PLUS some!  But as I started running more, I realized that I had finally found my passion!

3. I see that you recently got to meet and run with Bart Yasso! How did you manage that and how was it?

PictureJeremy and Bart Yasso!
I entered an instagram contest with the San Francisco Marathon for a chance to win lunch with Bart Yasso.  Before the lunch, there was a shakeout run with Bart and everyone was snapping their pics with him.  I had tweeted him days before that I wanted to get a RUNNING SELFIE with him.. he actually remembered me and recognized me, and said "lets go take it"!  And thus my running "bartie" was born.  He really is an awesome guy and it was an absolute on honor to meet him. 

4. How did you come up with your blog name and what  made you want to start blogging?

I wanted to start blogging b/c I have a lot of friends and family ask me questions about my running. I thought it would be a good way to tell my stories and share my experiences so others could learn along the way. But it's ended up teaching ME a lot too!  I wanted to focus on the "everyday" runner, b/c I am by no means an "elite".  Thus I came up with the name "Confessions of an Amateur Athlete".

5. What's your favorite race or PR of all time? Brag a little!

Hmmm... I've loved ALL the races I've done, but my favorite PR was 3:46 for the Phoenix Marathon.  I had been trying so hard to break 4 hours and when I finally did, I was fists in the air triumphant and felt like a rockstar!  That's what tackling your goals can do. Leave you smiling and crying at the same time.

6. What's your favorite race distance? 

Most people will tell you their favorite distance is the half.  Mine's the FULL.  I know, crazy, but I guess I just love the torture!

7. You run and train in Arizona, do you have any special tips for running in the heat?

Early morning runs, salt tablets, stay super-hydrated.... and I'll wet a mesh hat and throw it in the freezer before my run.  
Helps to keep my head cool for a while.  Also, I'll make Popsicles out of Cocogo or Gatorade to cool myself down post-run. 

8. What's next for you running wise?

I've got a couple of other half marathons the rest of this year, but they're mostly "for fun".  My next running goals are to PR in the Rock N Roll AZ half-marathon in January and 3:30 for my next full marathon.  Fingers crossed! 

9. How can we connect with you on social media?

You can connect with me via 
Twitter: @runblogaz
Instagram: runner_blogger_az 
FB:  https://www.facebook.com/ConfessionsofanAmateurAthlete?ref=br_tf

You can also connect with my fellow AZ runners with a social media problem by searching for @runeattweetaz

Thanks and Happy Running!!! 

Leave a comment and tell Jeremy Hi! Also - have you been able to run with anyone famous?

Hey Running Buddies! How have you been? Things have been very busy at the RunGingerRun house lately. I have some big projects at work and we are in the thick of marathon training for the Honolulu Marathon in less than 2 months! 

Do you remember about 6 weeks ago when I did a review of the Jabra Rox Review? Well the good people at Jabra love Gingers so much, they decided to send me another pair of their wireless headphones so I can share the review with you. (I'm pretty sure that's how it went down) But really, being a BibRavePro has been awesome and as part of my ambassadorship with BibRave I was provided with this set to try out.  All opinions and silly selfies are my own and I was not compensated in any other way. 

When I opened the box, I immediately noticed that this box came with more eargels than my previous pair.  Which is a good thing since not all ears are created equal. I sat down and dumped them all onto the floor and decided to start playing with the fit. I got LUCKY and the first pair of eargels I put on worked perfectly! I decided not to temp fate by trying more eargels and I just went with those. 

Then it was time for the first test. Could I walk around my house without them falling out?

Yes! 1 Point Jabra Sport Wireless+
0 Points for Gravity

Next, it was time for the second test. Could I take several selfies in my bathroom with them staying in place and still sounding amazing?


Yes! 2 Points Jabra Sport Wireless+ 
0 Points for Gravity

The last indoor test was the most intense one of them all.

Could I sing, dance, and act like a total idiot while roaming around my house and terrorizing my dog?

Yeah Girl!

Jabra Sports Wireless+ For The Win!

The Running Test

Once I found the right eargels for my ears, putting them just took a couple quick tries and I was good to go. The first time I put them in I used a mirror. The next few times, I could do it by feel. If you buy a pair of these headphones, give yourself 20-30 minutes before your first run to find the right eargels, figure out how to put them in comfortably, and to take plenty of bathroom selfies of yourself singing like a weirdo. I know you all do it too!

I even made the Hubbo put them on and move around to see what he thought. He said they sounded good and didn't fall out or feel like they were going to move at all.

I took them out on my run tonight and absolutely loved them! If I had to rank these against the Jabra Rox Wireless headphones I reviewed 6 weeks ago, the Jabra Sport Wireless+ would take the top spot. The design is a little better for physical activities like running and cycling since it goes around your ear and has the eargels to lock them into place. These are also $30 cheaper than the first pair I tried out, bonus! 

They  both sound amazing and both are wireless so they work with your bluetooth devices.  (iPhone and Android) And both connected effortlessly for me. Being as I run with music during all my long runs and in all my races the sound quality is important because sometimes when those miles get tough, you need a distraction. Tonight it was easy to get lost in my music and I almost forgot I was running with the Hubbo! Opps! 

Also on my run tonight, I got pretty sweaty (it was 80 degrees and humid) and my headphones weren't affected by it at all.  
If you are in the market for a new pair of headphones and you want to invest in a good pair, click here to order a pair of Jabra Sport Wireless+ headphones! Or since Christmas is coming up ridiculously fast, just email this blog post to your loved ones and tell them the Ginger said to get you these! :) #YouareWelcome

Need more info? Here is what my fellow BibRavePros Heather and Angie had to say about them. 

The Specs

  • Talk Time: Up to 4.5 hours
    Talk Time is the maximum time you can talk before a device runs out of power
  • Standby Time: Up to 120 hours
    Standby Time is the maximum time a device can remain powered on
  • Music Play Time: 4 hours
    Music Play Time is the maximum time you can play music before a device runs out of power
  • USB Charging: Yes
    USB Charging enables a device to be charged via a USB cable
  • Built In FM Radio
  • Tested to the Extreme - Rain Tested, Shock Tested, Dust Tested

Important Info

  • Price $99.99
  • Free Shipping on orders over $99
  • Ships to US Only
  • Ships within 1 Business Day
  • 30 Days Return
  • Free Support
  • 1 Year Warranty
  • Recommended by Craig Alexander (5x Ironman World Champ)

Question! What songs have you added to your running playlist recently? 

It's no secret that I'm not one of those lucky girls who is the proud owner of a thigh gap. In fact, the opposite is very true. Chub rub is more my thing. Not sure what chub rub is? You should read my runners dictionary post. Once you know what it means, you'll know that the struggle is real y'all! 

Also, do you all remember a blog I wrote in July called "This Bites!"? You know, the one where I had to call in to work and tell my CEO that I couldn't come in because my butt hurt? (Not even kidding a little bit!) If you haven't, you totally should check it out and get a nice little laugh.

Unfortunately, I'm going through a similar problem again! This time, the only thing I can blame this is in my chubby thighs rubbing together too much and causing a sore which got infected. 
Hello Chub Rub!

::Insert Sad Music Here::

At least this time around I'm still able to walk, go to work, and I haven't really missed too many training runs. 
Hopefully I won't have to deal with this problem again because I've found a solution and so far it's working perfectly for me.

The Solution

Right before the awful chafing problem got out of hand, a Rep from Medi-Dyne reached out to me and asked if I wanted to try a new product. Of course I said yes! When it came in, we opened it up and found a 2Toms SportsShield for Her. If I had used it sooner, I doubt I would be in this situation at all. 

This stuff is like a little magic silk blanket that you can roll on your thighs, your underarms, or under your sports bra band to help avoid the awful chafing problems that I'm having right now.
After I developed the hot spot on my thigh, I began using this and was able to run a handful of training runs pain free. 

More Facts and Product Info

While this product is designed for women, the Hubbo has really loved using it too. In fact, he opened the package before I did and was ready to put it on first! 
SportsShield for Her doesn't rub off. I can tell that it is still working when I get home from my run. It does come off easily with warm water and soap. Also if you have ever tried to put on an anti-chafing product that is in a sticky hard gel bar, it just skips across your skin and can hurt. This glides on easily. 

  • Won't melt
  • Rolls on quickly & easily
  • Sweatproof
  • Waterproof
  • Delivers All-Day protection against rubbing & friction
  • $13 and you can order some Here

The for Her! Difference
  • Moisture rich protection
    • Contains aloe & shea butter to moisturize and soothe
    • Natural anti-microbial ingredients help protect sensitive skin
  • Fragrance free
  • Dye free
  • Contains no animal products

If you still are skeptical about this product 2Toms has a guarantee.  If you are not completely satisfied, you can return the unused portion of your product with a receipt for a full refund. 

Disclaimer - I was provided a sample to use and review but not compensated in any other way. All opinions and chafing stories are my own. 

What's The Worst Chafing Story You Have?

PictureHydrating... Like a boss!
All runners know that hydration is important. If you don't, take my word for it and save yourself some trouble. But really, it is a big deal. Here is a fun little story of how I was reminded of that a few weeks ago during my most recent race.

Do you follow me on Twitter? A few weeks ago I posted the picture to the left with the description "Hydrating Like A Boss!" Let's back up a moment and explore some important things to know about this picture.
1. It's an Angry Orchard Apple Cider
2. This was taken on a Friday Night in September
3. Saturday morning I had a double race day (5K + Quarter Marathon)
4. I'm a lightweight and one drink can sometimes be PLENTY for me!

Ok, back to the lesson I learned the hard way. So Friday night a few co-workers and I decide it would be a good idea to go to Happy Hour. I haven't been to a HH in FOREVER so I was excited to go. One downfall of your long training runs being on Saturday morning is that your Friday nights are kind of lame. ::Insert Sad Music Here:: 
So the Hubbo, my co-workers, and I have a good time at HH and I had that one drink. Fast forward to the next morning. I'm running the 5k and I feel awful. It's hot, it's humid, I drank the night before, and to top it all off, I'm on a new medication that is a potassium sparing diuretic! Not a good combination for a race! So long story short, the 5k was bad, and the Quarter marathon was even worse. I was dehydrated! I had the worst headache all day after that. 

Here's my suggestion for next time you want to have a drink with your pals before a run or a race.
You should check out a new drink that I was able to try being as I'm an BibRavePro ambassador fort Bibrave.com
It's called Hoist and it is a Perfectly Isotonic Drink. 

Wondering what Isotonic means? I'm pretty sure it means fast. No, not instantly make you qualify for Boston fast, More so in terms that it hydrates you faster than other drinks you may see on the shelf. (See chart below for comparison)

 According to the website here's what it really means: 

"An isotonic drink has a similar carbohydrate and electrolyte concentration to your body, meaning that your body will absorb them faster than water alone. Because Hoist is isotonic, your body can start absorbing rejuvenating electrolytes from the first sip. Your body doesn't have to do any work to give your cells a drink. Plus, Hoist does not contain any added colors or high fructose corn syrup. It’s a no-brainer for when you really need to rehydrate fast."

RunGingerRun's Review of Hoist

When I found out we got to try out Hoist I wasn't expecting such a large shipment. I received 6 bottles of Strawberry Lemonade and 6 bottles of Starfruit and a spike bag! Thank you Hoist and Bibrave! 

I immediately popped these in the fridge to cool them down to have before my next run. My weekday miles are starting to get long (5-7 miles) and it's still pretty warm here in Oklahoma so hydration is important. Before my run I decided to try the Strawberry Lemonade first. I like the taste a lot better than Gatorade or Powerade. For the taste, think about the sweet and tart flavor of lemonade you buy at a convenience store in a 16 oz bottle and to me, this flavor is similar.  
The Starfruit flavor is also sweet but is a little lighter. 
I mentioned above that I'm on a new medication that is a diuretic. The first long run I did on my new meds I got the worst headache later. I'm pretty sure it was from dehydration. But this weekend after my 16 mile run, I drank a Hoist and didn't have a headache at all. So I'm definitely sold on the benefits of this drink.
You can click here and see if Hoist is sold near you. They are currently expanding their market and a little birdie told me they would be hopefully be expanding to Oklahoma in 2015! Fingers crossed!
They do sell their product on Amazon, but I hear it sells out quickly. Texas friends, you're in luck! They seem to be all over your state!

ProTip - To me Hoist tastes better chilled versus room temperature! Well that and most drinks really.

Hoist Facts!

  • Gluten Free
  • All Natural
  • No Chemicals
  • No Toxins
  • 70 Calories per 16.9 oz bottle
  • 3 Flavors - Strawberry Lemonade, Starfruit, and Orange
  • Faster than water in hydration
  • Contains Calcium, Magnesium and Potassium 
  • Ginger Tested and Ginger Approved :) 

Check out this graphic to see how Hoist compares to your other drinks. 

Two out of two Ginger's Approve of Hoist!

Question! Do you get headaches after a long run?