SPIbelt Review

Recently I was given the opportunity to try out a SPIbelt in exchange for a review. In the past, I’ve had a hard time find race belts that fit me or actually stay put once I start running. Over the past few years, I’ve only found one that’s worked for me, and that was FlipBelt. However, never once did I think to try SPIbelt, but I’m glad I did.

If you aren’t familiar with SPIbelt, here’s some background information straight from their website.

“The SPIbelt™ will expand to hold any smart phone, keys, cash, credit cards, and even a passport. The SPIbelt™ is ideal for fitness, travel, medical needs, and so much more. The SPIbelt™ is sleek, secure, and does not bounce.

Product Features:

  • Will not bounce.
  • Expandable, secure, low-profile pocket.
  • Comfortable, soft elastic prevents chaffing.
  • Sturdy buckle and glides for even the most active users.
  • Pocket expands to 6″ x 3″ x 2″

Fits waist size 25″ through 50″. Proudly made in Austin, Texas.”

Slim as can be

Slim as can be

I was definitely curious, knowing that most belts I try on slip within moments of running. Luckily this wasn’t the case, and I was surprised with how much I liked the SPIbelt. To give it a good challenge, I wore it over layers, under layers, during speedwork, during a long run, almost empty, and stuffed to the brim.

Fits perfectly!

Fits perfectly!

Overall, the race belt worked out really well for me. It stayed in place and never slipped. I liked that you could adjust the belt to make it fit you rather than guess on a certain size. I also liked that the pocket expanded and could hold much more than expected when I first tried it on.

Stuffed, but still room for more!

Stuffed, but still room for more!

The only downside was when I stuffed the belt, I felt it was a little heavy and all focused in one area. This of course can change depending on what and how much you put in the belt. But besides for that, there was nothing to complain about.


  • Adjustable band to fit all sizes
  • Expandable pocket to fit multiple items
  • Available in all different colors
  • Reasonable price starting at $19.99


  • If packed too much, can be heavy

In the past few weeks, I’ve definitely starting wearing the SPIbelt more often and I’m looking forward to wearing it for future runs and races!

If you’re interested in checking out the SPIbelt, check out their website here.


*I was given a SPIbelt to try in exchange for a product review. No additional compensation was given. All opinions are my own. 

FlipBelt Winner

Congrats Jessica, you win a free FlipBelt!

Winner Winner!

Winner Winner!

Send me your contact information and we’ll get you all set up.

If you didn’t win, that’s okay. You can still score 10% off your purchase by using the code “MasherRuns” at checkout!

Have a great weekend!

FlipBelt Review & Giveaway

One of the hardest things for me to find has always been a place to store my phone, gels and keys. My arms are too skinny for an arm band and my hips aren’t wide enough to keep most race belts in place. Sounds like a difficult problem, right? Trust me, it is. For the longest time I struggled with having to hold everything, my phone got super sweaty and my gels way too warm. All of this changed when I found the FlipBelt at the Platte River Expo in Denver. The bright colors instantly attracted me to the booth and the more I learned, the more I loved it. I tried it out the next day at the Platte River Half Marathon and from that moment on, I was hooked.

Because one isn't enough

Because one isn’t enough

The FlipBelt is a no slip belt that is made of continuous fabric, allowing the belt to keep a tight hold on your body. There are four pocket openings that allow you to store multiple items, and they are secured once you flip the belt over.

Front before flip

Front before flip

Room for everything

Room for everything

Straight from the website, here are the specs:

o Multi-access pocket openings throughout belt

o Turn items & pocket access up/down/inside as convenient

o Flip to lock in items

o Reflective logo – 3M Quality Reflective

o Non-Bounce, Even Design

o No buckles to cause uncomfortable chafing

o Machine washable & Machine dryable

o Great for holding medication on the go.  Inhalers, insulin pumps, Epipens, etc…

o EPA Certified, Odor Resistant, Pilling Resistant, Anti-Bacterial High Tech Poly Spandex Fabric

o Available in Black, Carbon, Hot Pink, Nuclear Yellow, Sky, Violet and limited edition colors (Royal Blue, Royal Red, Neon Punch, Yellow)

I wear my FlipBelt on runs over 5 miles and never once has it slipped on me. I can hold my iPhone, car keys, Sport Beans, Gu and salt tabs in it without it bouncing around or any pressure on my hips. I even grabbed up a few neon colors as a safety precaution so cars can see me coming on the back roads. Even better, the FlipBelt can go in the washer and dryer, which is great after those hot summer runs when everything is sweaty.

Fan of the FlipBelt, see also photo outtakes

Still no movement even when jumping

Want to win your own FlipBelt? You have four ways to enter:

Mandatory Entry:

Like Facebook.com/FlipBelt

and/or Follow Twitter.com/FlipBelt

Additional entries:

Follow me on Twitter

Tweet : I want to win a FlipBelt from @masher52 https://masher52.wordpress.com/2013/08/15/flipbelt-review-giveaway/

Leave a comment below for each entry you submit.

You have until 9:00pm EST on Thursday, August 22nd to enter. The winner will be randomly selected and notified on Friday, August 23rd.

If you can’t wait any longer and need to have a FlipBelt right now, then keep reading. FlipBelt has been generous enough to give a discount code worth 10% off your order. And if I were you, I’d use this to grab a few belts. Use the code “MasherRuns”

If you’d like even more information on the FlipBelt, including videos, a sizing chart, and the events schedule, check out their website.

Disclaimer: All opinions are my own. I gave my review of the FlipBelt in return for a discount code to share and for one lucky winner to win a FlipBelt.

Sport Beans Review

If I had to choose one thing to eat before and during all runs, it would have to be Sport Beans. They have been my go to snack during long runs and many races. Recently I was able to try all flavors that they currently sell, and I was pretty much in Heaven. Sport Beans have been a product that I’ve been using for quite some time, however, I am a creature of habit and tend to only eat a few select flavors. This was the perfect time to try out a few of the other flavors and see if I could find a new favorite.

I discovered Sport Beans after a co-worker mentioned he used them when he went biking. After finding them at an expo, and realizing they were from the makers of Jelly Belly’s, I was totally sold without a sample. Of course my first time trying these out was with Lemon Lime and I fell in love. Call the rest history, this was my go to treat.

Fast forward to marathon training, I decided that the variety pack would be best for me. Each time I took a bite, I would have a different flavor, therefore eliminating the possibility I would get burnt out on my pre/during/post run snack. It worked, and there were a number of times that the beans helped me during training and throughout the race.

Over the past couple weeks I’ve had a chance to try out each flavor and find which ones I’ll be stocking up on, and which ones I’ll leave on the shelf.

Sport Bean Flavors

Sport Bean Flavors

Sport Beans Flavors include: Berry, Fruit Punch, Lemon Lime, Orange, Assorted, Extreme Cherry, and Extreme Watermelon. The Extreme flavors have the added touch of caffeine, perfect for those early morning runs.

Was I able to find a new favorite? No, I’m forever stuck on Lemon Lime products, but I’ve definitely added to the flavors I’ll be stocking up on. Here’s what I thought about each flavor.

Berry: I was afraid this would have a strong grape flavor, but it didn’t. It had a strong taste of mixed berries, which is actually something I love.

Fruit Punch: I’ve used this one a lot in some of my longer runs, so I usually have it stocked. Bonus, 5% of sales are donated to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation.

Lemon Lime: LOVE, it’s bold and has a fun kick to the taste. I think I have at least three packs of these at home.

Orange: I just can’t do orange, I tried, but it will be a flavor I will never get into.

Assorted: Perfect way to try multiple flavors without getting sick of the same one. I will always have stock of this one.

Extreme Cherry: It reminded me of the cherry suckers I used to get from the bank. I’ve never been a cherry person, but for someone who loves cherry, this is perfect for them.

Extreme Watermelon: The taste was light and fresh, and I was honestly surprised by how much I actually liked it. Plus the added caffeine I think definitely helps for those tired runs.

Whether you’ve tried Sport Beans or not, I think they’re a great product and it’s something I’ll be using for a long time. They’re easy to carry on runs, and they’re easy to digest, something I always take into account. And with the range of flavors they offer, there is something for everyone. Interested in learning more, or want to find out where you can purchase your own? Check them out here!

*Disclaimer: I was given Sport Beans to try on my on time. All opinions are my own and not persuaded in any direction by an outside source.

Kona Kase Review

A little overdue, but I was given the opportunity to try out a Kona Kase. Kona Kase is a monthly delivery of endurance samples packaged up nicely in it’s own little box. Inside are a variety of 8-10 different products to try and they change each month. I received mine right before the marathon, and so following the saying ” don’t try anything new on race day” I waited until after so I could fully enjoy the products. I haven’t quite made it through all of the products, but I needed to share my little box of surprises with everyone.

Fancy packaging at your doorstep

Check out these goodies!

What was inside? A variety of products, most of them I hadn’t tried before.

  • Clif Body Builder – Mint
  • FRS Drink Stick x3 – Orange
  • 2nd Surge Gel – Chocolate
  • Gatorade Prime – Berry
  • Vega Drink Stick – Lemon Lime
  • Powerbar – Banana
  • Sharkies – Berry
  • Larabar – Blueberry Muffin

Some I liked, some I didn’t like, and some I have yet to try. Kona Kase is the perfect way to try new products without buying a full case of a product and finding out you don’t like it. I’m nervous buying new pre run snacks unless I know I’m going to like them. There’s nothing worse than being on a long run, away from civilization and realizing your pre run treat doesn’t agree with you. I’m also a creature of habit, so this is a great way to break out of my shell and see if there are other pre/post run snacks that fit me better. And it’s only $15 a month and is delivered straight to your door. What could be better?

I know I won’t always like every product in the box, but that’s ok. I’m going to try it out for a while and see if I find some new running staples. I received November’s box last week and I’m looking forward to trying some of the goodies in there, including Sport Beans! (my fav). So if you want to learn more or want to have your own box of goodies delivered each month, check them out!

*Disclaimer: I was given a sample of the Kona Kase to review. All opinions are mine and mine alone. 

Premier Protein Review

I’ve never been one to do protein shakes, but when I was asked to try out a few of Premier Protein products, I was excited to give it a shot. I had no idea what to expect, but I was surprised by the combination of both protein shakes and protein bars. The package combined four protein shakes and six protein bars.

Fancy packaging

After separating everything, I had the following:

  • 2 Chocolate shakes
  • 2 Vanilla shakes
  • 2 Double Chocolate Crunch bars
  • 2 Chocolate Peanut Butter bars
  • 2 Yogurt Peanut Crunch bars

One of each

Also included was a sheet of all the ingredients and nutritional values. Very helpful to learn more about this product and how it contributes to your daily intake of protein, calcium and all those other goodies. On the other side of the nutritional value sheet, Premier Protein lets you know that their products aren’t just for running, they can be used for athletic endurance, a way to combat hunger or an extra way to get your missing protein.

All the info you need

So what did I think? I was able to try at least one of each over the past two weeks. I’m looking at ways to eat healthier, so this was the perfect time to try them.

  • Chocolate shakes- Surprisingly not chalky (my biggest concern) Tasted like chocolate milk, yum!
  • Vanilla shakes-Pretty good, a strong vanilla flavor, a smaller amount is better for me.
  • Double Chocolate Crunch bars-Too much chocolate for me, and a little dry. I definitely recommend taking this with water.
  • Chocolate Peanut Butter bars-Almost like a Reece’s cup with more body to it. This could be a new favorite pre run snack bar.
  • Yogurt Peanut Crunch bars- Definitely tasted a toffee peanut flavor with this bar. I could probably add this one to my pre run snacks.

Overall, I liked half of the products. I’m always looking for the best pre run and post run treats. Without a doubt, I’ll be snatching up the chocolate peanut butter bars for some long runs. They were my favorite product and something I’ll incorporate into my running routine. I’ll try to have one of the chocolate shakes once a week, to cover all my nutritional bases. While the other flavors aren’t my favorite, that doesn’t mean that they aren’t for someone else. The vanilla wasn’t bad, but I think it was too much for me, a smaller amount would have been perfect. I think adding a Strawberry flavor could be a good idea for future products. Or just add some strawberry syrup to the vanilla 🙂

If you’re interested in learning more about Premier Protein, check out their website here.

*Disclaimer: I was given samples from Premier Protein in exchange for a product review. All opinions are my own and not altered from any outside source.

Honey Stinger Review and Giveaway!

I am a creature of habit when it comes to my race routine. Throughout high school and college I would do the exact same race prep every week. My Saturday morning’s consisted of Lemon Lime Powerade, a chocolate chip Chewy bar, Apple & Cinnamon Quakes and covering myself in Icy Hot. This year I’ve ventured out a lot and completely changed my pre race strategy. I nixed everything and started fresh. Now I start with a chocolate chip Clif Bar, Lemon Lime Gatorade, and Strawberry Banana Gu. Ok, so maybe not a lot has changed, but I feel better prepared when I step up to that line.

Right before Cleveland, I checked out the Gu stock at Second Sole and noticed Honey Stingers Energy Chews. They were new to the store and were pretty new to the staff as well. They offered to let me try a few, and I promised I’d give a review on how I thought they were.

The first pack I tried out was Caffeinated Lime-Ade. Because I love lemon lime flavors so much I figured this would be a hit. You’re supposed to eat about 5 for every hour you exercise. I had originally planned to do a long run, so I ate a few before and put them in my race belt to save for later. I loved the flavor, but I think because I drink it so much, I was caught off guard that I had to chew. I could feel the extra energy and wanted to run for hours. Unfortunately my legs were pretty sore from hills so I had to cut the run short. Overall I felt like I had a lot more energy than normal, which I believe came from the extra caffeine. Downside, I was thirsty the entire run, but this could have been from the heat as well.

The second one I tried was Fruit Smoothie. Honestly these taste just like fruit snacks and I love it. I had to slow myself down so I wouldn’t eat the entire pack. My energy didn’t feel as high, like it previously did with the caffeinated chews, but my energy was consistent. I enjoyed this flavor better and even though I ate a ton, I didn’t feel it weighing down my stomach.

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Overall I thought these were a great change from my routine. I’m looking forward to experimenting with other flavors and trying out other products. They’re healthy snacks that are light on the stomach and come in a variety of flavors to please everyone. In fact, Honey Stinger tells you up front just how healthy they are.

“Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are formulated specifically for health-conscious individuals and athletes seeking a great tasting energy snack. Honey Stinger Organic Energy Chews are unique as they are the first to include naturally occurring fiber and protein derived from 100% organic tapioca syrup and honey (Lime-Ade chews are 95% organic). Smaller and softer than other chews.

Made with USDA certified Organic ingredients. Gluten-free, dairy-free, non-GMO ingredients. 0g Trans Fats and no partially hydrogenated oils. 100% RDA Vitamin C along with 1g protein and 1g fibre per package.”

So what to do with the last pack? That’s yours to win! I’ll be giving away one pack of the Cherry Blossom flavor.

Want to win? Leave a separate comment for each entry. You’ll have four chances to win!

  • Tell me your pre race ritual.
  • Tweet about this giveaway! “I want to win some Honey Stinger Energy Chews from @masher!” And don’t forget the link!
  • Follow @2ndsolerockyriv on Twitter.
  • Follow @HoneyStinger on Twitter.
Make sure to get your entries in by 4:00pm on Sunday, June 24th. A winner will be picked and announced the following Monday. Good luck!
If you’re interested in more information or products from Honey Stinger, please visit their website.

Disclosure: I was given Honey Stinger Energy Chews to try out and review on my own time. The opinions are my own and not influenced by Second Sole or Honey Stinger.

Trainer Review

Last month I purchased some new shoes. Many times I’ve mentioned that I’m an Asics girl, I’ve had the same shoes for the past 10 years. I branched out (a little) and tried a new series by Asics. I got advice from Second Sole that the GEL-DS Trainer 16 was a good racing flat. So I bit the bullet, paid a little more money than expected and figured I’d give it a shot.

So I put them to the test. First I took them for a run on the treadmill. They were way too clean to take out in the mud. Whoa! These shoes are so light. I definately didn’t expect to notice such a difference. I felt like I was able to run faster than before. I even pushed up the incline and had a big boost of confidence.

Second test was taking them out on the bike. I don’t have real biking shoes so I’ve been using my running shoes, which are pretty bulky. The shoes again were lightweight and stayed on the pedals just fine. I don’t plan on buying shoes for the bike for a while, so this is a great option to have in between.

Third test was taking these shoes to the street. I’ve hesitated on this just because I hate the first time shoes get dirty, but after that I’ll be the first to run through a puddle. I took them out Monday to do those easy miles I originally planned, but in the short time I had them on, I felt like they were great shoes to really take to the streets and race in.

Pearly whites!

Overall, I love these shoes. They’re so light I feel like I’m running barefoot. The laces are on a slight diagonal slant so it doesn’t put too much pressure on the top of my foot. They also have a weird cut out in the back of the shoe, but I think it helps to provide a little bit of support lower in the heel. They give enough support that my ankles are rolling around. Plus the comfort level is way up there. These shoes are an A+ in my book, so go check them out!

Yep, my feet really are that tiny