SPIbelt Ambassador (and a Discount Code For YOU!)

I only ever promote races and products that I legit like and use and I’ve been a liker and a user of SPIbelt products since I began running seriously a couple of years ago. I wrote a review about it a while ago, too.

Anyway, I’m super happy to share with you I’ve been chosen as a SPIbelt ambassador (<–my little bio 😀 )!!

#holdsmystuff

#holdsmystuff

What’s a SPIbelt? Think of it like a fanny pack for walking/running/hiking, lol! But really though, it’s a small belt that holds stuff. When I race, I like my hands free so I carry my fuel and salt tabs in my SPIbelt. When I’m running alone during training, it holds my keys and phone.

SPIbelt offers different sizes and also has a special belt for diabetics (which I think is really neat). They offer a SPIband for your arm and even have a SPIleash! Beyond running, it’s good for travel, Disneyland, or even gym-ing (you know, when you’re working out but want your phone on you 😉 )

I’m not one to sign up for any ambassadorship that comes my way, but when I saw the opening for SPIbelt, I decided to drop my name in the hat. I hoped that if I was chosen, I’d have something to share with you besides my opinions on the product, lol. Sure enough, I’ve been given my own little code: Helly2017 You can use that bad boy to get 15% off your purchase.

Enjoy your weekend and maybe splurge on yourself with a SPIbelt 😉

❤ , helly

–Do you own a SPIbelt? What do you usually carry in it?

–Where do you put your stuff when you run?

–Oh, yeah! I almost forgot to share. The first time I had an Exercise Induced Allergic Reaction, I happened to have my phone in my SPIbelt. Thank goodness because I was able to call my husband! I wrote about that here.

 

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Lace ‘Em Up Only Once!! Slick Laces {Review & Giveaway}

I’ve mentioned numerous times before the awesome running group I’m in. It’s a pretty large group of about 80 or so regulars–not all run on the same meet up days, but cumulatively, that’s about the average people active in our group.

Anyway, I’m pretty good friends with everyone but not many know I blog. (It’s one those things you just don’t announce, you know? lol!)  A couple of months ago, a friend in the group, Mark, who does know I blog, told me about a product a friend of his had designed.

It’s a shoe lace but not your normal shoe lace.

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He showed them to me as he had them on as we spoke and they did indeed look very interesting. No loose strings? No bunny ears?

My curiosity was piqued.

His buddy Jason, the designer/inventor, hooked me up with a pair and told me to give ’em a shot. He even was nice enough to show me how to lace them! (The product comes with instructions and there is a very helpful video on the website as well.)

As he taught me how to lace them properly, he gave me a little background on his product. Jason is a triathlete and in preparation for a 70.3 Ironman a while back, he found that he was losing precious seconds tying his shoes getting off the bike. Lo and behold, inspiration for Slick Laces was born!

He knew other products like it existed but what he wanted–and what he created–was a no-tie lace that can be reused. Similar products are sold for a one-time, one-shoe use but not Slick Laces. End of the road for your current shoes? No problem, transfer the laces to your new pair.

Big, big plus.

Questions I had:

**Will my shoe be loose or become loose after taking it off and on?

The answer was no. When you first lace up the shoe, you decide how tight you want it (not crazy tight because you need to put it on) but you can still create a snug feel because the laces expand. They expand but they DO NOT become loose-er as you wear them. The Snap Disc (the pink part on my laces) prevents that from happening. I’ve taken them out for a few miles already and they’re just as snug as the first time I put them on.

**What do I do with the excess lace?

Do not cut. Cutting prevents you from being able to re-use the lace as the length my differ in your next shoe. Cutting will also cause the lace to fray. Instead, it is recommended you tuck the excess lace underneath the crossing of your shoe.

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I do not feel the excess lace at all when I have the shoe on. I also don’t think there’d be a crazy amount left over for it to be an issue.

**What if I tie my laces in an unorthodox way?”

Doesn’t matter. You can tie your Slick Laces any way you want.

The Rundown:

Likes

–The big one: It can be used with any shoe even after your old pair are done for. (Yes, I do like to save money 🙂 )

–Easy installation. The instructions on the back are thorough and the company does a good job of detailing further in its video online.

–No more worrying about your laces coming untied. The worst is when you’re mid-race and have to stop to tie your shoe. Then you of course have to tie the other to make sure both are equally tight, right? Not a problem with Slick Laces.

–For the triathlete, when you’re transitioning from bike to run, all you gotta do is slip on your shoe.

–I tie my shoes the good ‘ol fashion way but have friends who do it differently. They’re not singled out with this product.

–Not just for runners. Slick Laces would be great for my kids as they begin to transition into big boy/girl shoes (kid lengths available) and for my grandma who is over having to bend down and tie her shoes (love you, Nana!).

Dislikes

–Not at a lot of color options for the Snap Disc at the moment (hello, where’s purple?!) but they have the basics down.

–Currently, laces only come in black.

This isn’t a dislike but just a head’s up: it does take more than a minute to lace the first time, but once you do, you don’t have to worry about anything ever again. Just slip on and go! 🙂

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Before and after! 🙂

Jason was sweet enough to gift me another pair to give to ONE OF YOU!!! You’ll get to choose the color of the Disc so check out their website!

To enter, all you have to do is click on the Rafflecopter giveaway link below — A winner will be announced on Monday, back-to-school/work day for Helly 😀 (Giveaway is for readers in the United States only.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If you’re interested in Slick Laces but don’t wanna wait to see if you win, check out their website and treat yourself to some extra free time. 🙂

I was provided with a pair of Slick Laces to review but as always, opinions expressed on my blog are honest and my own.

–Have you ever had to tie your shoe(s) mid-race?

–Were you taught to tie your shoes using Bunny Ears?

Linking with Smitha and Erica for the Wednesday Giveaway Roundup!! Thanks gals!!

smitha

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ultimate Direction Wink Hydration Pack {Review}

I’ve been complimented and asked several questions on the type of hydration pack I use. I’ve been meaning to write a full review on it for quite some time and today is finally the day. If you’re in the market for a hydration pack, or just like reading about them, here you go!

The hydration pack you’ve seen me use in my pictures is the Ultimate Direction Wink (the Wink is the women’s version, the Wasp is the men’s).

I bought the pack when I was in the middle of training for my first marathon. A lot of my girl friends in my running club have the Wink and raved about it–knowing I’d also be trekking the Canyon, I figured it’d be a great purchase.

When my marathon came, I went back and forth a million times on whether or not I should run with it. I had trained all the way leading up to the big day and many of my running buddies said I should stick with what I had trained with, so I did. In retrospect, I think I would have done things differently. By mile 18, my shoulders ached and were slumping forward (of course, this isn’t only because of the pack but because I was dying of exhaustion) and all I wanted to do was rip the pack off. When my husband reached me at mile 20, I unclipped it and handed it over. I did feel a lot lighter.

What I recommend: If you want to run your marathon with a pack, I suggest a lighter one with a smaller bladder.

However, I absolutely LOVED the pack when I did the double crossing of the Canyon. Like, I thank all the heavens above I had the Wink.

One of the things we were told in preparation for Rim 2 Rim 2 Rim was that we had to have ample space in our packs for all our gear (food, flashlight, sunscreen, poles, etc. and of course water). The Wink has amazing space. AMAZING.

Canyon ready!

Canyon ready!

When I was training, I’d practice weighing it (by that I mean making it heavy to mimic how it’d be when I crossed the Canyon). Despite it’s weight, it was super comfortable. The straps do not dig in to my shoulders, the pack does not bounce, and it is super easy to refill the water–which I had to do multiple times.

When I crossed the Canyon, I had an orange, four rolled up tortillas, a bag of pecans, a bag of beef jerky, 1 Honey Stinger waffle, a bag of Oreo cookies, 2 Gu packs, a bag of salt tablets, sunscreen, a flashlight, Chapstick, my phone, hair ties, bobby pins, band aids, my EPI pen, a towel, a jacket, a walkie talkie, and my poles. Oh, and with the reservoir filled up to the 70 oz mark.

Whew! But everything fit perfectly and I was actually super comfortable!

With my poles attached to my pack

With my poles attached to my pack

 

at the finish line of the Canyon :)

at the finish line of the Canyon 🙂 45 hours of wearing the pack

I used it for when I did the Adrenaline 27k Night Run and it worked perfect for that race. I was really glad I had it then too.

Adrenaline 27k

Adrenaline 27k

And I also used it this past Sunday for our under 3 mile hike up Camelback Mountain. In this instance, since it was a strict hike and no running, I didn’t mind using it at all for this short of distance. Loved it!

Sunday's #RunEatTweetAZ hike

Sunday’s #RunEatTweetAZ hike

In short, here’s a PRO/CON rundown:

Pros:

  • Large reservoir of 70 oz/2 L
  • Very, very comfortable (designed for the women’s body)
  • 4 front pockets for easy access (this was a big plus for me because I didn’t have to keep taking it off for items I needed often)
  • Simple refuel process (another major plus)
  • Does not bounce
  • A lot of storage space (there are 3 main zippers–a small one for an ID and money, a large one that holds the bulk of your stuff, and side zipper for extra storage)
  • Easy to maintain care

Possible Cons:

  • I think it’s best for longer runs where there might be a shortage of fueling stations. A smaller pack is ideal for distances shorter than 15 miles in my opinion.
  • The velcro clip that attaches to the tube fell off relatively quickly. I just tucked the tube under one of the front straps and went about my way with zero problems (like in the last pic).

I hope you’ve found this review helpful! Let me know if you have any more questions about it 🙂

Do you/have you run with a hydration pack?

Ultimate Direction did not compensate me in any way for the write up of this review. I purchased the Wink and opinions expressed in this post are entirely my own.