Product Review & Giveaway: The Stinger

Back in January, I started seeing ads for this thing called The Stinger on Facebook, and it intrigued me: it’s a ball that you freeze and massage yourself with to alleviate post-run soreness, plantar fasciitis pain, shin splints and other issues. Fast forward to a few weeks later when the folks at Recoup Fitness reached out to me to see if I wanted to try this toy out – having experienced like 3 of those 4 things, I was down.

IMG_3738.JPG

A few days later, my Stinger arrived Saturday morning just as I was about to head out for a long-ish trail run, so I was stoked to give this thing a shot after a true test. Here in NJ that weekend we were experiencing a weird heatwave, breaking nearly 70 degrees on both Saturday and Sunday, so I was ready to get out there and run A LOT.

After lacing up and hitting the newly thawed trails for over an hour and 6+ miles on Saturday in new kicks, I was sore. My feet especially were angry with me at all of the twisting and balancing I had to do to keep from slipping out on muddy trails. I even discovered a few aches and pains I’d never felt before, and worried I’d need to take it easy the next day. So I broke out my Stinger and rolled for a half hour or so while we watched a movie later that night.

Fun Fact: Cats love the Stinger. Or at least my cat does. 

I’ll admit I didn’t think it was doing much at the time – sure, it felt fantastic, but it wasn’t much different from my frozen water bottle, was it? Either way, I rocked and rolled and even used it on my sore quads too, digging into the tightness I’d developed taking on new terrain that morning, and went to bed.

The next morning, I was shocked to find that my feet did not hurt at all. Those aches and pains that worried me yesterday were completely gone. Perhaps the Stinger actually did more than I thought! Because I was feeling so good, I decided to hit the trails again, this time with my husband, and in a more technical trail.

And once again, I rolled with the Stinger that night, this time all over my legs and feet which were now shot from 2 solid days of activity. Again, I woke up Monday morning feeling NOT like I’d just put 10+ miles of trails on my legs in two days.

As it turns out, the Stinger really does do what it says it’s going to – and not just for running, either! Last week I went down to Atlantic City with an old friend for a straight-up girls’ night of dancing and debauchery (in high heels) and I made sure to pop my Stinger in the hotel fridge.

IMG_4669.JPG

After 5 hours of dancing in high heeled booties, I was so relieved to wake up the next day and use the Stinger on pretty much every part of me. Even the new knots in my back I’d developed in the hotel bed enjoyed the ice cold massage.

The best part is, it’s always ready to roll: I just keep the ball in the freezer at all times and pop it into its handle whenever I need a quick roll out. It travels well (it’s very small) and gets the job done pretty much instantly. In short, if you’re looking for an easy, portable way to relieve your aches and pains – running-related or not! – the Stinger is a great option.

Want to try it out for yourself? I’m giving one away! Enter here and spread the word – contest runs now through Friday, when I’ll announce the winner at noon EST. Giveaway is open to US residents only, sorry!

giveaway

But if you HAVE to have one right now, the folks at Recoup are giving you 10% off AND free shipping when you order your own Stinger – just use code jessrunshappy!

Good luck!

Love to Run Giveaway!

With Valentine’s Day around the corner, why not treat yourself to a little something? Well my speedy sis-in-law, Meredith, and I are hosting a giveaway so you can do just that!

image1

That’s right: when you enter to win our Love to Run Prize Pack, one lucky person will win a whole bunch of goodies: one Cocogo water bottle & 3 Flavor Variety Pack, one Greecie Girl tank top, and one pair of Saucony arm warmers!

Enter HERE!

Click on over to enter now – there are tons of ways to earn entries, and you’ve got until 12AM on Valentine’s Day to enter! Please note: this contest is open to US residents only.

After you’ve entered, click over to Cocogo to treat yourself to some all natural hydration at an even steeper discount! They’re bumping up our promo codes throughout the giveaway to a full 20% off your order at their online store – simply enter JESSRUNSHAPPY or MERETHERUNNER14 (all caps) for 20% off your entire order.

So what are you waiting for? Enter our giveaway now, share the link and spread the love – and we can’t wait to see who the lucky winner is!

 

Skirt Sports Running Skirt Giveaway

If you’ve got eyeballs and you’ve seen my photos, you probably know I’m a big fan of Skirt Sports. I’m also an ambassador for them, and love what they’re about: empowering women of all ages, sizes, and abilities to get moving.

IMG_6328

Me in my Happy Girl at the NYRR Oakley Mini 10K this summer

I know I’ve been giveaway crazy lately, and today is no exception: I’m giving away my favorite piece of Skirt Sports gear: a Happy Girl Running Skirt!

Captureq

That’s right, I’m giving away my namesake skirt because I love it so much and I know you will too. The 17″ skirt is longer than most you’ll find out there, but it’s not dowdy. In fact, it’s even better than shorter skirts! That’s because the 7″ built-in semi-compression shorts are long enough to stay put, eliminating those dreaded thigh-chafing issues. Short-waisted gals or those of you with a booty you’re proud of (like me!) will love this one – it covers all the right places but is still super cute without looking like a skirt a nun would approve of (although I’m sure they’d like it too)! Just like the rest of the Skirt Sports pieces, it’s loaded with pockets and made of high quality tech fabrics, but the key to this one is its versatility. I’ve worn it both on the race course and in the office, and swear by it on the weekends.

Captureaaa

So what are you waiting for? Enter here, spread the word, and good luck!

Up Your Hydration Game: Cocogo Giveaway!

That’s right, it’s giveaway time again! This time I’m giving away a 3-Box Variety Pack of my favorite on-the-run beverage: Cocogo!

cocogo_3boxes

I discovered Cocogo after some of my favorite Insta-peeps talked it up on their feeds, and after one try I was hooked. Because I have a hard time taking some gels and other fuel, I’ve tried a lot of sports drinks throughout my training. And Cocogo is the only thing that keeps me hydrated while maintaining steady energy levels through my whole workout. Made with real fruit and coconut water, this stuff doesn’t leave a funky aftertaste or give me stomach cramps like some other products.

IMG_2346

Ready to try it out for yourself? Click on the pic of the boxes up there, or click here to win a 3-Box Variety Pack of all three flavors: Grape, Lemon-Lime, and Raspberry Passion Fruit.

If you can’t stand the thought of missing out, I’ve got a great deal for you too: now through 10/31, use coupon code JESSRUNSHAPPY (all caps) for 20% off your Cocogo.com purchase – that’s double the discount you’ll normally get with my code! After 10/31, you’ll still get 10% off, but why wait?

Enter for your chance to win (US entrants only, please!), share that contest link with a friend, and pick up some Cocogo of your own – then tell me what flavor is your favorite!

Oofos Recovery Sandals Winners

WOW – you guys really love recovery sandals, because this was one of my most successful giveaways yet! I received almost 300 entries (!!) and have selected the three winners, so let’s hear a drumroll please….

winners

Congratulations to Madeline Brubaker, Ronald Marcin, and Amanda Lee!! Check your emails for details on how to claim your prize 🙂

Thank you to everyone who participated, and stay tuned for more fun giveaways in the weeks to come!

Oofos Recovery Sandals Review & Giveaway!

Last Christmas, I discovered some random no-name recovery sandals online and tried them out. They were too big so they made me trip, and they were ugly as sin so I couldn’t wear them outside the house, but they kind of helped. At least they were better than mushy, no-support slippers. Fast forward to early this summer when my training kicked into high gear and the giant pink sandals had to be retired because they’d lost their oomph (and GOD did they stink, TMI, I know). I was in dire need of supportive recovery sandals, and that’s when I discovered Oofos.

oofos

After trying them on at my local Road Runner, I bought myself a pair of the Originals and promptly cursed myself for not getting them years sooner – they were amazing!!

11850154_1481269768836664_71778668_n

My ankles and calves felt immediate relief, and my poor knees felt like they’d never gone through the torture I put them through in 5 years of running! They were perfect, both in style and comfort. These cradled my feet and gave support right where I needed it, and because they didn’t look like the typical “recovery” footwear, I could wear them everywhere. True girly-girl story: one Saturday my hubby and I went into NYC for shopping, dinner, and a show, but I had a 9-miler planned the next day. I knew I’d be walking around for 5-6 hours, but didn’t want to wear my sneakers – I wanted to dress nicely for the show and dinner (the struggle is real, folks)! I decided to pair the Oofos with one of my favorite faux-dressy maxi dresses and rocked the “I can’t believe I’m so comfortable” look all day – and nailed my run the next day too. #winning

And because the folks at Oofos ROCK, I also recently got to try out the Oolala’s, a classed-up version of the Original. With a glossy, colored upper and a slimmer silhouette, they’re just as comfy as the Originals, only now I get to wear them with my dressier outfits at work!

4 months into owning these babies, I don’t think a day has gone by where I don’t wear them. Besides wearing them to work if I want, I slip them on as soon as I get home to give my joints a break, and don’t take them off til bedtime. And now that the weather is turning colder, you better believe I’m eyeing the clog styles so I don’t have to sacrifice comfort for warmth this winter!

But enough of me talking about them – you know you want to try them, right? Well you’re in luck, because I’m teaming with Oofos to give away a pair of recovery sandals to THREE lucky readers! Just enter the giveaway here and check back next week to see if you’re a winner (contest is open to U.S. residents only). So what are you waiting for? Enter now – and good luck!

Catching Up – and a Giveaway Winner!

Hello and Happy Wednesday guys – how’s everyone doing?? It’s been a hot minute since I last posted, so how about we take a little trip down memory lane and recap the past few weeks!

After the Jersey Girl Tri, I was riding high on the post-race endorphins and immediately wanted to put my training to use with another tri, soon. After flip flopping between a few other events like Iron Girl in Sandy Hook, I stumbled across One More Tri in Asbury Park this September.

one more tri

This event is pretty much the perfect combination: it’s in Asbury Park, one of my favorite places on earth, it’s a fundraising event for the Special Olympics, which is very near and dear to my heart, and it’s a unified triathlon event, where Special Olympics athletes and members of the community compete side-by-side! That just brings it to a whole other level. I get goosebumps just thinking about it – I used to love volunteering at events like this back in high school and college, but getting to actually participate in these sports with these inspirational folks? What an honor! I can’t wait. Click here to learn more – or make a donation towards my fundraising efforts, if you’re so inclined!

Once I signed up for that, I realized I had to come up with a new training plan that will prepare me both for the tri and the Atlantic City Half Marathon in October! I took to the interwebs and found my favorite 6-week triathlon training plan once again, then layered my usual half marathon training plan on top of it. BOY was that a mess. After some tinkering (and taking into consideration the other shorter races I’ve got planned in September and October), I finally came up with a plan that works. I was SO excited to take it on! I hit the first week hard, nailing every single workout, and I was feeling good in time for my first long run of training.

Capture

It was a little harder than I expected because of the heat and hills I took on, but I was so pumped to keep it up and tackle week 2! Aaaaand then I got sick.

SNL_1350_09_Debbie_Downer

::sad trombone music::

Last week I was knocked out by a nasty sinus infection and bronchitis that prevented me from breathing or hearing or basically using my head properly for a good 5 days. I finally started feeling human again on Sunday in time for a quick weekend getaway with my friend and her daughters, and now I’m easing back in to training once again with renewed excitement. Kind of. I mean, my lungs are still filled with gunk and it’s like 100 degrees out, but dammit I’ve got races to crush this fall, and I’m not going to let anything get in my way!

Which brings us to today, and another exciting announcement – the winner of my Freekeh Foods Giveaway! Drumroll please…. Congratulations to Jamie Harrings, you’re a winner!

winner

Check your email for details on how to claim your prize – and thank you to all who entered, too! Have a great day everyone 🙂

Freekeh Foods Giveaway!

Hello all and happy Tuesday! I’m feeling slightly head-cold-y and miserable today, but rather than wallow in the ickiness I figured why not make others happy by hosting a little giveaway?

I was so stoked to score a few free packages of Freekeh Foods a few weeks ago – it’s a roasted grain that’s similar to quinoa, but lower in calories and higher in protein than brown rice, and it can be used in a variety of different dishes, too. Since I’m already fully on the quinoa bandwagon, I couldn’t wait to try it out in some different ways!IMG_9324

I started with the Rosemary Sage flavored freekeh and from the moment it started boiling, my mouth was watering. The scent was so delicious, it took over the whole kitchen. At one point I was a little worried – we had planned to serve it with marinated lemon pepper chicken, and I didn’t want the flavors to compete. But once it was ready (it took just about as long to cook as quinoa), I was relieved that the mild flavor was the perfect compliment. While it smelled heavenly, the spices and seasonings were really just a fragrant addition so the grain itself had just a hint of flavor. We added a pinch of sea salt and blew through two servings that night and two the next day during lunch (with the leftover chicken).

IMG_9715

Confession time: we ate the first batch I cooked so quickly that I forgot to take any pictures. Occasionally my husband and I turn into hungry, hungry hippos, what can I say? This pic above is from our second batch – I added some freekeh to my spring mix salad yesterday, but what you can’t see are the black beans and other yummy goodies underneath that mountain of deliciousness! It was just the right addition to give my salad a little protein boost. I’ve got another batch on deck for lunch today and can’t wait to see what’s on the menu in our office cafeteria. The great thing about this stuff is the mild flavor – it goes with almost anything.

Tomorrow I’ve got some big plans to cook up the last of my regular flavored freekeh to try out the absolutely delicious-sounding Warm Breakfast Freekeh. I’ve turned quinoa into a breakfast dish before by adding vanilla almond milk and cinnamon and raisins, and I can’t wait to do the same with this stuff!

And as if that’s not enough, they want me to spread the Freekeh Love by giving away a package for free to one of you beautiful people! Enter the giveaway here – it runs through 12AM on 8/19 – and get ready to fall in love!

Chin Up Apparel Review & Giveaway!

I’ve been a big fan of Chin Up Apparel for a while now – my obsession first began with the tanks I found in Kohls and Target:
10891063_1575950605975064_948501027_n10950547_640870332706633_1486774122_n

They also have a bunch of wine-related running gear, like the “Will Run for Wine” tank I ran my last race in (even if it was covered by a race bib):

IMG_5605

I even discovered that with a little ingenuity, you can get some more “outside the gym” mileage out their gear like I did with the Zen Elephant racerback tank I got direct from their site:

IMG_5675

While it’s slightly different from the other pieces I own (the straps are thinner & it’s a Woman’s fit as opposed to Juniors), the quality is still super high like I’ve come to expect from Chin Up. The slouchy fabric was perfect for working out outside: not too thick and loose enough to give me room to breathe, but not so thin that it’s see-through or feels cheap. Just the opposite – the softness and richness of the fabric really stands out. And because the print doesn’t scream “I’m working out!” it was able to turn it into a fun little date-night outfit too:

IMG_5880 (2)

But enough of all that – why not get one of your own? Enter now for your chance to win a tank top of your choice courtesy of Chin Up Apparel! Contest ends on Tuesday, 6/9, and you can earn entries in a number of different ways – and the best part about this giveaway is that there will be TWO winners! – so go ahead and enter now, today could be your lucky day!