Walk For Wishes 5K + a Long Run

In addition to the Pope being in the NYC area this past weekend, I decided to head up that way as well, for the Make A Wish Foundation’s Walk for Wishes 5K!


I first ran this race last year and really enjoyed it – although I was sick with a little head cold, the scenery and the cause made it a really enjoyable event, and I looked forward to seeing my friend Nichole who manages the whole event, too!

We headed up to the park and were immediately impressed with the gigantic planes and fully-armored helicopters hovering around the perimeter of Manhattan and the Statue of Liberty – have you ever seen an Osprey in action? That thing made the ground shake with every pass, I felt like I was in the Hunger Games!


Anyway, it was a little chilly when we arrived at the park so I finally got to wear my brand spankin new One More Tri race jacket! It warmed up enough at the start to just race in my tank and shorts, but I had fun repping my awesome new accomplishment 🙂


We hung out while the rest of the runners arrived at the park, along with big groups of folks preparing to do the walk portion of the event. That’s my favorite part: seeing all of the families and groups of friends in matching t-shirts walking their dogs, pushing strollers & wheelchairs, all banding together to raise money and honor the Wish Kids… it’s a really inspirational thing!


After about a half hour, I made my way to the start where there were only about 100 or so other people, a good 1/4 of whom were a busload of teenaged girls who looked to be a track team or dance squad or something. They arrived late and all ran for the start giggling and pushing each other, and all of us older runners parted to make room for them – “Faster runners in the front!” we kept shouting, laughing. They all shook their heads, suddenly shy, but we kept egging them on to cut us slower folks in line so they didn’t have to trample us after we started. Once we did start, we made the right choice – they were FAST!


Once the gun went off we headed out of the park and around the little lake, onto the waterfront walkway path that would take us alllll the way down past the Statue of Liberty and back. I made my way slowly and steadily through the first quarter mile going by feel with the crowd. When I finally checked my Garmin at the half mile I turned out to be running at a 10:30 pace – sweet!

I can’t lie: no matter how many times I see these faster times on my watch, I keep thinking I’m going to snap out of it one day and go back to thirteen and fourteen minute miles. Is that weird? I’m working hard, training right, and I know that the progress I’m seeing is deserved, but I’m just so not used to seeing 10’s that I feel like it’s a fluke! Anyone else experience this??

Anyway, I made it through the first mile at just over 10:35ish, and started seeing the super speedy people heading back to the finish. I decided to have fun and clapped and cheered for every person as they passed – why not, right? Not too long after that, I neared the 1.6 mile turnaround and grabbed a bottle of water at the table – even with the nice waterfront breeze, that sun was pretty freakin’ warm!

I walked 2-3 times to sip my water through mile 2.5, and saw a good number of people still making their way to the turnaround. But once I hit 2.5, I looked at my watch and realized that I had slowed my pace to around 10:50 with my walk breaks – that was still one of my best 5k times ever!

Since I only had a little more than a half mile to go, I figured why not drop the hammer a little early to see just how good I could do? So I chucked my half empty water bottle to free my hands and took off. Just as I came down the hill to the finish, Nichole jumped out and started screaming for me, which gave me the perfect boost I needed to sprint right through the finish line and nail my 2nd best time ever – 34:21!!



I was shredded! My lungs burned, my quads were fried, even my abs were tender. Mike came and found me, and I told him about my new almost PR and he was so thrilled – I’ve been trying to get close to those old pre-surgery PR’s for months now, and I’m finally almost there!


Once I recovered with some Cocogo, we hung out for a little while longer at the pre-walk party, cheered on the 5K winners, I picked up my participant ribbon (I still LOVE that I get a ribbon instead of a medal, it’s so unique and fun!), and we headed home – because I had made the ridiculous decision to go home and tack 7 more miles on to my morning so that I could finish my long run a day early! The thought of having to go to bed early and wake up early AGAIN the next day for my long run made me so annoyed – so why not just do it all today? Who cared that I just pushed my body to the limit? I’d be fine!!

Oh how silly we runners can be.

Once we got home I changed into a dry sports bra and new t-shirt, packed up my Nathan and headed out to my favorite 7 mile loop, took off from where I parked, and promptly convinced myself I had a stress fracture in the first quarter mile.

See, because they’re thinner than my every day running socks, I have a tendency to lace my shoes too tight when I’m wearing compression socks, which then causes a sharp pain in the top of my foot – only my right foot, too! And this was my first time racing in my trusty Pro Compressions, so of course I had laced up tightly. Add an hour of driving and cooling off to the mix, you get a swollen post-race foot in a too-tight sneaker. This is not the first time this has happened to me!!

I sat down on the curb as soon as I felt that pain, took off my shoe, unlaced it entirely and re-laced it loosely, massaged the hell out of my foot, and wouldn’t you know it when I started back up again the pain was gone! It still feels as good as new now, a few days later. Lesson learned: DON’T tie your laces too tight.

Miles 1-5 went by relatively easily, but once I hit mile 5.5 (or rather, 8.6ish) I hit the wall. My hips locked up, my feet were screaming, everything was swollen (you should have seen the line my socks left around my calves!!) – I wanted to be DONE. I briefly got disheartened, but reminded myself that I’d raced the hell out of a 5K earlier in the day so I essentially did double the work already. Besides, my average pace was still on fire, even despite a lot more walk breaks than I’d care to admit to.

I shuffled along on that last mile, walked where I needed to, and thought about the finish line of my next race: the Atlantic City Half Marathon. I envisioned it there at the end of the boardwalk, pictured myself heading towards it strong and full of power – definitely not broken and hurting like I was at that moment! It was all I needed to get to the “finish” of my long run, and with a new unofficial 10 mile PR to boot!

IMG_2243Yes, that’s more than a minute UNDER all my previous 10 milers.

Once I was done, I was more than drained – I felt hollow. I dragged my salty carcass back to my car, drove home, laid down in the shower while Mike ordered sushi, came out and devoured my lunch, then slept for 2 hours. I was BEAT. But – Sunday morning I got to sleep in for the first time in like 2 months! Totally worth it. 😉

One More Tri – Triathlon Recap

It’s been a little more than a week since I crossed the finish line of the One More Tri in Asbury Park, and if I’m being honest, I’m still a little emotional about it. Let’s recap:

The morning of the race I woke up completely nerve-free: my race bag was packed, bike tires were full of air, my legs felt strong even after racing the Seaside Semper Five 5K the day before.


We arrived at the iconic Carousel building just as the sun was trying to come up, and I picked up my race packet, got marked up with my number, slipped into the transition area, and prepped.



After I felt confident everything was ready around 7am, I kicked my flip flops off and we walked up to the boardwalk at around 7:15, where pre-race announcements were being made. By then the day had broken: cloudy, cool, and dry – perfect race conditions!


Once we got up there though, I looked out at the water and received quite a shock: the buoys were MUCH farther apart than I expected. There was NO way I’d be able to swim that! I started to panic. The Jersey Girl Tri swim was 300 yards, and this was only supposed to be .25 mile, or about 440 yards. This looked WAY more than 140 yards longer. Something was up.


At the water’s edge, I had a full on panic attack and started crying. And no amount of positive self-talk helped. Even Mike couldn’t calm me down. My confidence was shattered, and unfortunately I would not get it back up to 100% for the rest of the race.

Things happened quickly from there – the first wave of 30 or so Special Olympics athletes started first, men second, and women third. We had an “in-water start”, which is something I’d never heard of: you swim out to the start and tread water before the gun goes off. They say it’s to conserve energy but I still spent energy and added another 50 yards of effort getting OUT to the buoy, but now I know!


It was happening whether I was ready or not, so I sucked it up, got my good luck kiss, and walked into the water.


After swimming out with the rest of the women to the first buoy (which felt like FOREVER away!), we waited for a few minutes for the guys to get a good headstart, then the gun sounded and we were off! Within the first 30 seconds, I knew I was in trouble. Everyone around me took off like dolphins, and I was left at the back of the pack giving it my all for 1/4 of their speed. There were a few folks back there with me, but not many.

After a solid 5-7 minute effort to get to the first buoy, I gave myself permission to roll over and recover with the backstroke for a while. I focused on my breath and the clouds over my head, kicking with all my might for a solid few minutes and when I got tired, rolled over excitedly to see how far I’d gone – and found that while I only got about 20 yards towards the next buoy, I had backstroked myself 30 yards out to sea. After dropping the biggest F-bomb of my life, I dove under the water and power-swam back towards the crowd, then kept going to the second buoy to reach the halfway point, exhausted.

At this point I genuinely considered waving down a swim angel and asking for mercy. I thought about all the things in my life I set out to do and failed, and how miserable that list made me feel. I thought about how I started running (and competing in triathlons) to prove to myself that even if I can’t learn how to knit or learn sign language, I can accomplish some things. Like completing triathlons. And when I pictured the DQ next to my name in the race results, I got so mad. If I quit, all those negative thoughts I think about myself in my worst moments would be true. And I wasn’t about to let that happen.

To stop the negative thoughts, I found a mantra: Just keep swimming. Repeated it in my head over and over to the rhythm of my strokes, alternating between freestyle and backstroke 3 or 4 more times. After what felt like an eternity I finally saw the last buoy at the turn back to the shore.

I was joined by a Special Olympics athlete and his swim angel fighting their way back to the shore too – I shouted out some encouragement to him and he shouted something back (I was too far away to hear), and before I knew it I saw the swimmers in front of me standing up and walking. A few kicks later my toes found the sand and I was running through the surf. Finally I made my way safely onto the sand where Mike was cheering me on. He walked with me and asked how I felt as I moved on shaky legs. All I remember was saying “That was the hardest thing I’ve ever done,” before giving him a half smile and taking off for the next leg of my journey.


The crowd support was incredible – I could hear the people on the boardwalk cheering on the swimmers that made it out ahead of me, and felt a little burst of energy. On the boardwalk I grabbed a cup of water and pumped my arms over my head to everyone’s cheers, and slowly walk/ran my way over the painful little rocks on the concrete to the transition where I threw on my shoes and helmet and wasted no time getting out of there.

Total Swim: 22:45

Transition 1: 3:09

The bike course was two loops around a 5.88 mile course, and I cruised out smiling, cheering along with the crowds at the transition area and waving at Mike as I passed. I was ready to do this!


But about a hundred yards later, I felt like I was pedaling through sand. The headwind was STRONG, my legs were shredded from the swim and my bike gears were jacked up. Every time I tried to go lower, the pedals caught and it felt like the chain was slipping off the gears.

Right about now, all those folks who wagged their fingers at me for riding a mountain bike are probably saying “I told you so”. And to them I say “Go sit on it and spin”. I know it’s not ideal, but I had to work with what I had. This bike got me through Jersey Girl perfectly and I had no reason to believe I’d have any issues. Until I did. Again: now I know.

But I toughed it out, and after 3 miles of fighting, finally got into a comfortable gear for the rest of the first loop. At mile 1 of the second loop (Mile 7-ish overall), we went back into the headwind and I spotted a woman ahead of me on an old school cruiser with a basket. I passed her for a mile or two, but when I tired out she soon passed me once again, followed by another speedy lady who came up from behind me, laughing in relief: “I thought I was the last one back here, thank goodness for you!” And then she passed me.

That was seriously not the thing to say to me in that moment. I kept waiting for someone else, but once we turned around and I got a good look at the rest of the course, I realized the truth: I was the last person on the bike.

And that’s when I cried. I cried like a big dumb baby as I pedaled my big dumb mountain bike for the last 3 miles and wished that I’d never started this whole big dumb thing. I tried as hard as I could to try to gain on Bike Basket, but she was just too fast. At the bike finish I hopped off, walked my bike in and Mike found me, smiling and asking me how I was feeling. All I could do was choke out the words, “I’m last,” before sobbing. In front of everyone. I was SO MAD at myself. But I just kept going, racked my bike, waved back to Mike, and took off on the run.

Total Bike: 1:05:44/11mph

Transition 2: 1:35

“The run is your sport. You are a runner.” I kept telling myself this as I put one foot in front of the other, my eyes on Bike Basket’s hot pink tank top about 250 feet ahead of me. It wasn’t even a desire to finish anymore – it was pure anger. Anger at myself for being so slow, for being 10 lbs overweight, for signing up for things that I had no business trying to compete in, for thinking I could do this in the first place. It got ugly out there.

But then something strange happened – I started gaining on her. Before I knew it, I was only 100 feet behind her, then 50 feet. I took inventory of my body, looked at my pace of 11:15 and thought… you can do better than this. So I did. Once we rounded the lake, I caught up to her and heard “Fight Song” coming from the speakers of her phone. I’m probably the only person on the planet who doesn’t like that song – and after hearing it on repeat the whole run as she paced me, I now really HATE that song! – so it propelled me to go even faster. Once we hit mile 2, I hit the gas and passed her.

For good.

We moved back onto the boardwalk for a bit, then around Boardwalk Hall where I slowed to a walk for 30 seconds or so. That’s where I found and passed another competitor, who I applauded and chatted with, but once I heard Bike Basket/Fight Song creeping up behind me I took off running again and told myself that was it. If she passed me again I would undoubtedly suffer a complete nervous breakdown on this course, so it was all or nothing. At the turnaround I saw just close she was to catching me, so I pushed. Off the boardwalk, around the hall, and back onto the boards for the final stretch, no looking back.

Honestly, I wish I could find her now and thank her for her inspiration. I’m sure she was fighting her own fight out there as well, and we were neck and neck for so long that I almost considered introducing myself. But out there on that cloudy, windy course, the sight of her ahead of me – then RIGHT behind me! – was better motivation than any power song or positive mantra ever could be. Thank you, Bike Basket!!

Once I was in sight of the finish line, the crowds started cheering as soon as they saw me, and I gunned it and crossed the finish line with my hands raised above my head and my face screwed up from fighting happy tears.


Total Run: 32:56 – 10:59/mile

TOTAL TIME: 2:07:01

Once I crossed the finish, I was greeted by two of the sweetest little angels from the Special Olympics – a little blonde boy and an even littler ponytailed girl who were handing out medals. When I saw his face looking up at me as he held my medal out to me, THAT’S when I started crying. The whole thing – all of the negative self talk, the anger, the frustration, the anxiety – it all meant nothing. The only thing that mattered was these kids, and the Special Olympics of New Jersey and all the inspirational, amazing, determined folks that are affiliated with them.

Mike found me a few moments later and I completely broke down sobbing in his arms. I had done it! It was one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done, and it was over. He helped me pull myself together, got me some food at the awesome (still fully stocked even though I was third to last!) food tent, and we got my stuff out of transition and back to the car.


I don’t think I’ve ever been so emotionally and physically drained in my life, until we got home and were hit with terrible news: our Sammy had a real family who really missed him, and we had to give him back.


To say that I was gutted is an understatement. There was a moment there after I saw the Missing Poster where I thought I’d be sick from crying so hard. It felt like a bad dream. Mike was shattered. After we called his family and let him know that he was OK, we made sure to enjoy every moment of the time we had left with him. I know it’s for the best that he’s back with his family, but that little guy brought such joy to our lives right when we needed him, and we’re thankful for every moment we had.

It was an extremely emotional day for sure, and one that still leaves a bittersweet taste in my mouth. But it’s a part of my history now. I learned a lot about myself out there. I like to say that every run – good or bad – changes me for the better. If that’s true, then this swim-bike-run made me three times better – tougher, stronger, and wiser. And I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

EDIT: I just received an email from race officials admitting that, after many people contacted them about the swim distance, they discovered they were WRONG! The .25 mile swim was actually… get ready… .45 miles. That’s almost double! No wonder it looked so crazy long: they made a mistake while measuring on race morning. Vindication! But it’s still pretty cool – I now know that I can swim almost a half a damn mile, then bike 12 miles and run 3. That’s pretty damn badass, if you ask me!

Seaside Semper Five 2015 – Race Recap (and a Discount Code!)

Last year I ran the Seaside Semper Five 5k for the first time and fell in love with the race – I mean what’s not to love about a fast, flat 5k that runs along the boardwalk for 1.5 miles and ON the boardwalk for 1.6? My 2014 time was one of the year’s best, so I was excited to see what 2015 would bring.

The morning of the race we headed down to the shore. And man, it was FOGGY!


In addition to the fog, I was surprised at just how HOT it was already. The week prior to the race saw morning temps in the gorgeous 60-65 range, but mother nature still had some summer up her sleeve and it was already 75-ish degrees!


After finishing half a bottle of Cocogo to top off my fuel levels (since it had been more than 2 hours since breakfast), I made my way over to the start area and began to loosen up. I sang along to my music, dancing to Uptown Funk, wiggling and jiggling and getting excited. I was feeling good!! PS, yeah I know I’m that girl when I sing and dance to myself at a race. #sorrynotsorry


It was especially nice to be surrounded by some really inspirational folks at this race. It’s a fundraising event for the MARSOC Foundation, which supports active duty and medically retired MARSOC personnel and their families, as well as the families of Marines and Sailors who have lost their lives in service. The Marines and veterans running the race are some of the most dedicated folks I’ve ever met, and it was an honor to run with them.

The gun went off a little after 9 and we took off through the haze and heat. It was crowded but not too bad – I didn’t find myself getting passed by EVERYONE like I sometimes do in these smaller races. In fact it was the opposite – the first mile clicked by almost too easily at 10:30 – who was I?? I didn’t feel like I was pushing at all, so I kept on, but that heat though – UGH! By the water station/turn onto the boardwalk at mile 1.5, I was desperate for water. The poor kids at the table didn’t know what to do with the runners clamoring for the little cups of water they were pouring from bottles, so they handed out the full bottles instead. Smart kids! So I grabbed a bottle and continued onto the boardwalk for the next mile or so, sipping every 2-3 minutes with walk/run intervals to keep from overheating.

Around mile 2.5 I came up behind a gentleman with a faux-hawk who took a look at me over his shoulder, made a face that said “Oh hell no,” and took off. Thanks for the motivation, dude! My average pace had gone from 10:30 to 11:25, but I was determined to beat this guy and bring my average down again for the finish. I turned on my latest power song (Run the Jewels’ “Close Your Eyes”), cranked up the pace, and passed him at about mile 2.8, and just kept on going. This was my first time “chicking” someone – it felt good!


Nearing the finish line I saw 35:xx on the clock and kicked it into high gear, crossing officially at 35:26 (although my Garmin said 34:40, so neener neener)!


Considering I ran it in 2014 in 36:50, I’ll take either result! Mike found me and we walked back inside the Sawmill where I chilled out, stopped dripping sweat, and finished my Cocogo.


Within a few minutes I was feeling great again, so we headed down the boardwalk in search of some good old shore food.


The haze still stuck around, turning the boardwalk into a pretty cool scene!


This is what I mean by good old shore food: pizza bigger than my HEAD!


Also ice cream. I did not eat any, but I had to recreate last year’s gigantic ice cream cone pic!


We also met up with my cousin who had also run the race – Hi, Heather!

Once the haze was gone and the sun came out, I started to poop out. I had a triathlon the next day and forgot my sunscreen (BAD runner!) so I didn’t want to overtax my legs or my skin too bad. We called it a day and headed home to relax, and another successful Seaside Semper Five was in the books!

Honestly, my success at this race had a lot to do with my fueling. Usually I eat a lite pre-race breakfast when I wake up and end up racing at least 2 hours later, which doesn’t leave enough fuel in the tank. This time I planned ahead with my Cocogo and sipped continuously on half a bottle for about an hour before the start once we arrived, and I was thrilled with my performance. My energy levels stayed consistently high throughout the race (no mile 2 slump) and my stomach stayed cramp-free!


I’ve tried a lot of different fueling options in the past, but for my day to day runs and shorter races, Cocogo is the answer for me! If you want to try some out for yourself, I’m super excited to announce that I’m a new Cocogo Ambassador, and I’ve got a great discount for you! Use code JESSRUNSHAPPY and get 20% off your order through the end of October – after that, the code will get you 10%, but why wait? Pick up a box and try it out for yourself today! Let me know what you think – I love the raspberry/passion fruit, but grape is slowly becoming my go-to. What about you? 🙂

My 5 Year Runiversary


Happy Runiversary to me!

5 years ago today I ran my first race ever to raise money for breast cancer research in honor of my amazing mom, in a little, now-defunct local race. It was hotter than hell and around mile 2.5 I vowed never to race again, but by the end of the race I fell in love with the whole experience and knew I was hooked.

Countless miles and races later, my mom is still cancer-free and I can’t wait to see where running takes me in another 5, 10, or 50 years! 😄💗

When is your runiversary? How many years will you celebrate this year? Share your story in the comments!

I’m a Triathlete… again


I completed my second sprint triathlon this past Sunday and while it was hands down the most challenging race I’ve ever participated in, it was also the most rewarding. I finished emotionally and physically drained, in 3rd to last place (!)… but I FINISHED.

Life is crazy right now so I promise I’ll post more later, but I just had to share my excitement 🙂 How about you – how is training going? Any awesome milestones to share? Let’s hear it!

A New Family Member, Training Update, and MEB!

First, I want to apologize for being absent so long! Things at work are really heating up, and I’m in the thick of training for both my second sprint triathlon this weekend and my next half marathon on 10/18. And on top of all that, just this past Monday, we finally pulled the trigger and brought in the newest member of the family: Sammy!


We first met Sammy a year or so ago, and after sporadic visits for a year, he started showing up every day about a month ago, for a few hours each morning and every night, sitting on our lawn every night waiting for us to come out again in the morning. Once he started showing up with flea bites and chewed up ears, we finally took him to the vet, got him checked out and cleaned up and he’s currently sleeping on the couch next to me! He’s the most loving, sweet-hearted kitty we’ve ever met – he needs to be touching someone to fall asleep, and is my little shadow when I get ready for work in the morning. We’re smitten with this kitten! So on top of the double weekday workouts, 2+ hour runs on the weekends, and crazy work schedule, I also have this new creature to help take care of every day (along with balancing the love for our other cat Lucy who was living here first, and family and friends too)! So needless to say, by 10PM each day I have just about enough time to brush my teeth before falling into bed, so the blog was the first thing to be neglected. My apologies!

While Mr. Sammy sleeps next to me though, I’ll give you the highlights: everything is great! My long runs are right on pace at 12:15-12:45 per mile, and my shorter runs are stable at 11:30/mile too. I’m up to 10 miles in my long runs, and the best part? I hit a new one-mile PR in the NYRR Fifth Avenue Mile last weekend with an unbelievable 8:51!! I almost died when I saw the number on the clock, seriously. I promise I’ll post a full recap soon, but here’s a teaser:



He was right there at the finish when I crossed and he greeted me with a huge smile and hearty congratulations. BRB, squealing and fangirl-ing all over the place again just looking at the pic…

OK, I’m back. I’ve got a big weekend ahead with the Seaside Semper Five 5K on Saturday and the One More Tri triathlon on Sunday! It’ll be my first back-to-back race weekend, and I’m going into it with absolutely zero expectations, just looking forward to swimming, biking, and running with a big smile for two fantastic causes: the Marine Corps and the NJ Special Olympics! I’m only $74 away from my One More Tri fundraising goal, so if you’re so inclined you can make a donation here! Every little bit helps, even $5 or $10 – why not consider skipping one pumpkin spice latte and putting that cash towards the inspirational athletes of the Special Olympics? It’s less calories anyway 😉

OK, so that’s my quick update – I hope you all are doing well and your training is going smoothly! We’re in the thick of training and racing season now, so stay strong and trust your training – you’re all rockstars for getting out there and getting it done! Tell me how it’s going in the comments, I want to hear it all!

What’s in the [Bulu] Box??

Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little vintage 90’s Brad Pitt action there. Because today we’re taking a look inside BuluBox, a monthly subscription box that’s billed as “the best way to discover the health, nutrition and weight loss products that are right for YOU!”


I’ve tried subscription boxes like Ipsy and Birchbox before, but eventually cancelled both of those memberships, so I’ll admit I was skeptical at first. But when I was presented with the opportunity to get a free box in exchange for my review (and an awesome coupon code for YOU!), I couldn’t say no – Bulu Box is the first health, nutrition and weight loss discovery box out there. Each custom box comes with a variety of 4-5 premium samples from top brands to try, and every sample is sufficient enough to decide if the product is right for you. So when I got my box I dove right in and started trying things out!


Regardless of what was in it, I have to admit: there’s an undeniable thrill in getting a fun little box that’s filled with goodies just for you, every month! 🙂


Alright, alright, let’s get to it. First off, you see that little blue card in the right hand side up there? That’s $100 off a $160 wine order at nakedwines.com. Umm, hello?? Did they like, stalk me before sending me this box or what?

The next fun thing I jumped at was that full size bottle of vegetarian gummy vitamins. At first I scoffed – Martha Stewart Vitamins? I’m all for getting nutrients, but did I need to see her face right on the bottle every morning?


Well, it turns out those things are the bomb. Or rather, tiny little delicious flavor bombs that I had to smack out of my husbands hands when I discovered that he was eating them like candy. No wonder I’m already out of them! I did notice a subtle weird aftertaste, but that could be because they’re vegetarian? Not a deal breaker though. Overall Grade: A


Next up were the MovIt Energy Gummies. I’ve tried a ton of other gummies before/during my runs in the past and they don’t work well for me (unless they’re bears of the gummy variety, go figure). So I was hesitant to try something new. I also wasn’t thrilled to see the first two ingredients were corn syrup and sugar, but what the heck – I DO occasionally fuel up with gummy bears, so who am I to turn my nose up? They were tougher than I expected, which actually worked in their favor – I didn’t get that funky glue-mouth feeling. I took them about 15-20 minutes before a 4-miler after work one night and they worked a bit better than I expected! The energy wasn’t jarring, it seeped in slowly, and I was able to maintain a nice steady pace through all 4 miles, even when I had to take on some unexpected hills and sprint down one creepy street when it got darker before I anticipated. Overall Grade: A

The next morning I tried the Energy Coffee packet and was less than thrilled, though:


First strike: it’s instant coffee. There’s just never going to be an instant coffee as good as the real, fresh-brewed thing. Second – and most disappointingly – it didn’t give me any kind of energy boost like it claims to! I found myself staggering to the real coffee in my office cafeteria later that day just to get through the 2pm slump, which I NEVER do. Overall Grade: C- (they can’t all be winners, I suppose)


Next I tried the other vitamin supplement in the box: Ovega-3 Vegetarian softgels. These promote eye and heart health like any other omega-3/fish oil type of vitamin, but I’m guessing the seller here is that they’re veggie? I also appreciated the lack of fishy aftertaste I’ve had with some other fish oil pills – and can I get an amen for the fact that they’re not HUGE pills? I just don’t know if I’d buy the whole bottle because I’m not currently on the market for fish oil pills. Overall Grade: B+


Last – and I’m sorry, but deliberately least – were the FunnBar Protein Candy Chews. I had high hopes for these little guys, as I’m a big fan of finding new ways to add protein to my diet. And with only 15 calories & zero sugar they seemed promising! Once I looked closer though, I found that they only had 1.5 grams of protein per chew, which honestly, isn’t that much. Some almonds will totally give me more than that, and they’re a lot more nutritional. Nevertheless I tried them, and well – have you ever tried the flavored Tootsie Rolls they put out around Easter? They come in weird flavors like lime and creamsicle and vanilla, but they always taste a little off. That’s what these things reminded me of. The Chocolate Caramel flavor was a total struggle to get through, but the Citrus Blast chew was kind of OK. I wouldn’t go nuts over it, but it at least tasted better. Overall Grade: D

There’s one more thing in my box that I have yet to try: the Upset Stomach Relief To Go packet. But that’s only because I haven’t had an upset stomach yet! It’s in my purse and ready to go though 🙂

So that’s what was in my Bulu Box! I’m super stoked to see what else is out there with this thing – and the best part about it? You can get 50% off of a 3-month subscription when you use discount code SWEATPINK! I know I’ll definitely be looking into getting a subscription of my own. Go check them out and see what Bulu can do for you!