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Saturday, February 20, 2021

WhitePaws RunMitts Gear Review



Because Runners Don’t Take Winters Off

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Whitepaws Runmitts 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!

The reason why I was so excited to try out WhitePaws RunMitts this winter is in the company’s marketing slogan: “Because Runners Don’t Take Winters Off.” As a runner who prefers running in hotter than comfortable temps rather than colder than comfortable temps, I figured I needed some WhitePaws RunMitts in my life to stay active and motivated to run through the winter months. Since I’ve tried them on and worn them for a few test runs, here’s some of the features about them that have been real standouts for me.


They Do What They’re Supposed to Do Well - Keep Your Hands Warm!

I know this one should go without saying, but I’ve used enough other subpar mittens and gloves that just don’t cut it with the one job they’re supposed to do, keeping my hands and fingers warm. The temperature during the coldest training run I wore my WhitePaws RunMitts for was in the mid-twenties. It wasn’t dangerously cold like the MidWest winters I remember while growing up, but with the gusty winds it was uncomfortably cold. Thankfully, my WhitePaws RunMitts kept my hands and fingers protected and warm!


Built in Pocket for Hand Warmers. Very Nice!

I haven’t had the need to use the built in pockets for hand warming pouches for extra warmth in extremely cold conditions as of yet, but I appreciate the option being available. Having used ski gloves with hand warming pouches during some longer, colder days on the slopes, I know what a game changer those hand warmers can be. Having this option makes longer winter trail runs or all day hikes way more attractive to me.


Access to Fingers for When You Need Dexterity.

The fact that WhitePaws RunMitts allow you quick and easy access to your fingers via their patented (US9220307B2) clingable cap gives you the dexterity you need without a hassle. The top of the glove flips open freeing your fingers when you need them and then easily closes again. Here’s a short (and by no means complete) list of a few instances when this feature has been super handy for me:
  • Working zippers - Sometimes you just need your fingers to make a zipper work. I’ve found myself plenty of times on a ski lift taking off and putting on my gloves just to be able to access my zippered pocket contents.
  • Opening energy gel packs - Maybe some people can pull it off, but I just can’t seem to get the traction or dexterity I need to open a gel packet while wearing gloves. On top of it, I don’t want sticky gel goop getting all over my gloves. WhitePaws RunMitts solves this conundrum!
  • Tying your shoes - Just try to tie your shoelaces with your favorite pair of gloves on. I’ve tried it on bitter cold days when I was being stubborn about removing my gloves; every time it ended with me giving up and taking my gloves off.
  • Using your phone - Whether you’re checking a map, answering/making a call, or snapping a running selfie with friends, sometimes you need your fingers to get that touch screen to work!
  • Nature calls - I won’t go into the details here. You can probably figure it out.
  • Adjusting your Aftershokz - If you use Aftershokz you know, some of those buttons to skip tracks or adjust the volume are small! You almost need that skin contact just to feel the button you’re looking for. WhitePaws RunMitts to the rescue!
If you’d like to give a pair WhitePaws RunMitts a try, use discount code “BIBRAVE5” for $5 off all 2020 WhitePaws RunMitts mittens, expires 3/31/21.


And if you like love stories, check out this stop motion animation love story between Whitepaws Runmitts and Hotties Hand Warmers: https://youtu.be/ru-2gAt8-Po










Saturday, February 6, 2021

Why I’m Running the Allstate Detroit Hot Chocolate 15K

 

"Disclaimer: I received a free registration to the Allstate Detroit Hot Chocolate 15K 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!"



It’s Virtual and Won’t Be Cancelled!

If 2020 taught me anything, it’s that life is unpredictable. I never expected movie theaters, restaurants, and parks to be shut down due to a global pandemic, but it happened. As such, most of my running goals had to be postponed as they were based on events that were cancelled. I don’t know what this year entails. I am hopeful that in person racing will return, but I’m hedging my bets by diversifying with some virtual options like the Allstate Detroit Hot Chocolate 15K. It’s a race that I know will not get cancelled and gives me a dependable goal with a set deadline to work towards.

  

It’s Been Awhile Since I Tried to Run Fast.

I haven’t run an actual race shorter than an ultra distance in almost two years and I was feeling the need for some extra motivation to do some speedwork. What better way to motivate myself to do some faster runs and speedwork than to sign up for a 15K? With it having been so long since I pushed my pace for any amount of time, I’m excited to see what kind of time I’m able to pull off. It also makes it particularly challenging to set a time goal. My base goal, which I think I should be able to achieve is to run sub 8 minute miles. My upper tiered goal is to finish in under 1:10.


St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is the Official Charity Partner.

The mission of St. Jude Children’s Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. I love what they stand for as a nonprofit organization and the fact that no family ever receives a bill from St. Jude for treatment, travel, housing, or food. 

Additionally, St. Jude Children's Hospital has consistently received high ratings from from Charity Navigator. Their most recent is a four star rating, the highest rating possible, with 100/100 for accountability and transparency and 87.87/100 in financial. 


My Kids Like Chocolate!

The final reason I registered for the Allstate Detroit Hot Chocolate 15K is a simple one: because my kids are pretty big fans of hot chocolate. Each Virtual Run registration includes a Chocolate Finisher’s Kit! They serve delicious dark chocolate that is gluten free and has no compounds. It's not a problem for me, but if you have a nut allergy; no worries! Their chocolate is nut free. I figured I’ll run it and share the hot chocolate swag with them. We’ll both get some of our favorites; it will be a win win!

 
If you’re planning to sign up, use code “BRHC20” to receive a free Hot Chocolate running hat with your swag package!

Wednesday, January 6, 2021

2021 Goals


Now that the New Year’s Eve celebrations are over I thought it would be a good time to get my running goals for 2021 in writing and try to add some structure to my plans for this year. My goal setting this year may look mostly like a repeat of last year’s. Which as you will probably guess is due to several goals involving races that were postponed due to race cancellations in the wake of the global COVID-19 pandemic. So my number one goal from last year, to test my limit at a 24 hour race, will carry over and be my number one goal this year at the rescheduled 24 hour event I intended to run last year. And again, I hope to improve my longest distance PR (goal #2) at this event. I actually achieved the distance PR goal last year increasing my longest distance run from 104 miles to 106 miles while setting the Batona Trail out and back FKT. However, I hoped to increase that PR more than just 2 miles last year so I will attempt to better that PR again this year at the rescheduled 24 hour event. Silver lining, I get the opportunity to better my distance PR two years in a row!

Maybe I’m being over cautious, but as of now those are my only running goals that require an actual event. After nearly all of last year’s events were cancelled and the uncertainty of what will happen this year, I don’t want to have to depend on race events to accomplish my running goals.



My only other running goals this year are to attempt another FKT and to progress my project to run every single street (ESS) of Egg Harbor Township. For the ESS project, I don’t expect or plan to finish this year. If I can surpass 75% complete (currently just under 50%) I’ll be happy with that progress. And if you’ve been following as I’ve been working on this goal for the last year, the answer is no, I do not plan to start driving to more convenient starting locations to finish more quickly.


My FKT plans are a bit uncertain and more fluid than my other goals. Which route(s) I attempt depends somewhat on what kind of help I can line up and what races happen. The routes I’m considering in no particular order are A) NJ Appalachian Trail out and back (140 miles), B) Iowa state crossing (277 miles), C) Delaware and Raritan Canal Towpath (65 miles), D) Henry Hudson Trail out and back (52 miles), and E) Batona Trail out and back X 2 (212 miles). Which routes I go for all really depends on what race opportunities present themselves this year and what kind of crew help I can muster up. 


In addition, I have one other fitness assessment training goal this year: to take Dr. Kenneth Cooper’s 12 Minute Test of aerobic fitness. I stumbled onto this while thumbing through a bit of a dated (1978) Runner’s World training diary that my supervisor passed on to me. I think I should be able to reach the “Excellent” category for my age group, but I want to test it to make sure.



Lastly, and I wouldn’t say it’s really a goal but more of a plan, I intend to register for a few virtual races as well. I’ll mostly be using these as motivation to push through training runs while working towards my larger running goals. I already registered for my first virtual race, the Detroit Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k on 4/17/2021. If virtual races are your thing and you like chocolate, use code “BRHC20” when you register to receive a free running hat!




Scott Snell

January 6, 2021


Disclaimer: I received an entry the the Detroit Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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!