Falling in Love with Running AND a Perfect Bar Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received a sample box of Perfect Bars to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Perfect Bar along with BibRave is sponsoring a giveaway for a sample pack of their yummy bars as part of their “Falling in Love with Running” campaign.

Perfect Bar Giveaway Link

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Falling in Love with Running

Valentine’s Day is fast approaching (JUST A COUPLE DAYS AWAY!!) and all this talk about love has me thinking about one of the other loves in my life (besides my family and friends): RUNNING! People who know me or follow any of my social media accounts know I love to run. Running is my sanity. Running is my salvation. Running is my happy place.

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Between being a mom of two young boys, a wife, and working a full time job, life can get really hectic. When life hands me a bowl of stress-filled lemons, I squish them into lemonade one mile at a time.  I love to go for a quick run to burn off the crazy. It re-energizes me and renews my strength to face whatever the day wants to hand me.

Running also gives me a huge sense of self-accomplishment outside the everyday mundane. I love looking at my medal rack with my race medals. Each one of those medals signifies a huge accomplishment. I did that! I trained for that! I pushed, and sweated, and cursed, and crossed that finish line.

I think I first fell in love with running several years ago when I decided to train for and run the Chicago Half Marathon as my First. Race. Ever.   Yes, a half marathon as my first race. I’d never even run a 5k! I was either stupid or crazy or a little bit of both. I had been running off and on a few miles here or there as a way to stay fit. But at the time I was really more of a gym rat. Six miles was the farthest I had ever run. I was able to virtually train with 3 other girls I only knew through blogging. We picked Chicago as a good central point to meet up and race. We signed up and shared training plans. We encouraged each other and leaned on each throughout the training weeks.

Race weekend came and we all finally met up in person. It was so wonderful to meet these women who were so supportive and encouraging during this huge endeavor. I remember distinctly the excitement and nervousness as we lined up at the start. I remember pulling back the pace and feeling good at mile 6. I remember hurting like hell at mile 11. Then, I remember crossing that finish line and feeling like a million bucks. I finished 13.1 miles and I had a medal to prove it. My first medal. The adrenaline rush. The runner’s high. I was hooked. I wanted more. I had fallen in love with running.

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Running the Chicago Half Marathon in 2006.

Falling in Love with Perfect Bar

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We are big bar people in our house. With our crazy morning routines, we tend to just grab a bar for breakfast and go. I always scrutinize the bars we buy to make sure they are high in protein and aren’t filled with a lot of other junk. Perfect Bars fit the bill and then some. They are:

  • Non-GMO
  • Have No Preservatives, additives, salt, coatings, refined sugar or any other synthetic additives
  • Full of high quality whole food protein (7g to 17g protein depending on the flavor)
  • Gluten free
  • Kosher
  • Packed full of over 20 nutrient-dense organic whole foods
  • Available in vegan flavors

If you haven’t tried Perfect Bars, you should really check them out. I was given the opportunity to try out a sample pack of their bars, the same sample pack one of you guys can win. Oh. Em. Gee. They are to die for! They seriously taste like you stuck a spoon into a jar of nut butter and formed it into a yummy bar. These bars are so creamy and rich and delicious.

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Perfect Bar built their product from the belief that “whole foods are the only acceptable source of nourishment for your body.” These bars are made from real, whole, organic foods and no preservatives. They are sold in the refrigerated section of the grocery to keep the nut butter oils from separating and keep the bars fresher longer. And wow, you can taste it. These thing taste like they were just made and wrapped yesterday.

So far I have tried the Almond Butter (creamy natural almond butter taste with a little crunch), the Peanut Butter mini (sooo peanut buttery and creamy! Very rich), the Fruit & Nut (nice nut butter flavor with a little fruit mixed in), and the Cranberry Crunch (a little lighter bar, not so thick. Good for a mid-day snack). They’ve all been great! I even ate the Almond Butter one before a long run recently with no stomach distress or GI issues. The high protein in combination with the complex carbohydrates in the bar really helped sustain my energy on the run.

If you want to try out Perfect Bars you can order from them directly online or you can find them at health food stores and a lot of major grocery retailers like Whole Foods, Fresh Market, and Publix. There’s a great “Where to Buy”  finder on their website. I was surprised by all the retailers near me that carry them.

As part of the “Falling in Love with Running” campaign, Perfect Bar, along with BibRave have sponsored a giveaway of one sample pack to one lucky winner! All you have to do is click the link below and enter. One winner will be chosen at midnight on February 14th, so enter now! This contest closes quickly. Contest is only open to U.S. entrants.

Perfect Bar Giveaway Link

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Valentine’s Day Gifts Full of Runner Love

While I love chocolate just as much as the next gal, I don’t particularly want a huge box of it, especially during marathon training which just so happens to fall during Valentine’s Day for me this year. I personally prefer more practical gifts, and if they are related to health and running then it’s a double WIN for me. I’ve compiled a nice little list of some of my favorite runner things right now that would go great in any runner Valentine’s Day basket or gift box.

Valentine's Day runner gifts

  1. 2XU Mid-rise Compression 7/8 tights – I love, love, LOVE these tights. They are seriously my new favorite pair of tights to run, walk, jump, lift, eat, or binge watch Netflix in. I did a full review of them here, but SERIOUSLY they feel like buttah when they’re on. They hold all your jiggly parts in and provide enough compression to keep you feeling fresh and spry on your long runs. And how SUPER CUTE is that pink X down the leg!?!? (they come in other colors too if you *gasp* don’t like pink). You can get 20% off your 2XU order through February 29th with the code Run20.
  2. Buff UV Headband – I really like this headband in Cail Pink.  Pink and paisley…what’s not to love?! Plus the Coolmax® Extreme fabric is so soft. It’s great for those ehrm…”I didn’t really feel like doing anything to my hair…not even brush it…shut up” days. You put this headband on and you look cool, stylish, and so not like you just rolled out of bed 10 minutes past your alarm clock.
  3. Oiselle Flyte Tank – I have a couple of these tanks and they are sooooo comfy. I really like the seamless construction and the fact that it’s made to fit loose, not sausage-casing-tight like a lot of running tops. It hides that little guilty cheeseburger pooch I have really well. Plus it’s longer than most of my other running tops so I don’t have to worry about it rolling or riding up to expose my underbelly.
  4. Perfect Bars – These bars are soooo yummy! They are perfect for pre-run fuel or just a middle of the day snack. They’re non-GMO, gluten-free, and full of complex carbs, protein and 20 nutrient dense super foods. They don’t mess with my tummy, which can be very sensitive to sugars pre-run. The almond butter ones are really good, or pick up a sample pack to try all the great flavors.
  5. 2Toms Sport Shield – I’ve recently been turned onto this stuff. It’s Ah-May-Zing. Seriously. I love that it rolls on for easy application and it isn’t heavy or overly greasy.  I’ve worn it through several long runs (even a recent 20 miler) with zero chafe or burn in my usual bra areas. It’s a must have for any runner’s bag. You can get 20% off any 2Toms order with the code 2Toms20 through April!
  6. xx2i Optics France1 Sunglasses – These sunglasses come in so many fun colors!! I LOVE them! I posted a full review on them here. Wearing sunglasses while I run is a must. Gotta protect my peeps. The xx2i ones are really lightweight and comfortable and fit my face well. I love their lifetime guarantee and the fact that you have a whole year to try them out and return them, NO QUESTIONS ASKED! Great product. Great company. You can get 50% off your order right now with the code XX2iRocks.
  7. Running Princess Tiara Visor – I’m a sucker for a cute visor. I have this hat in both black and white. It’s one of my favorite running hats. It’s a Headsweats brand which means it’s super comfy and the tiara embroidery and rhinestone bling on the front make it girly fun. Every girl needs a tiara! I’ve washed these hats in the washing machine many, many times and they hold up really well. The rhinestones are still intact and the hat has held it’s shape well. I do air dry it though.
  8. Garmin fenix 3 – This is the QUEEN of all GPS fitness wearables right now. EVERY runner is lusting after this thing (including me). It pretty much does it all plus a bag of chips. It’s some serious runner tech. The runnerd in me squeals every time I see one. I could write love sonnets about this watch. One day you will be mine…one day.

Hope you enjoy this list of some of my favorite runner things any runner would love for Valentine’s Day (or any other day for that matter).

What are some of your runner gear lusts this year?