Ready for Running

The post below is part of a series of posts about the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend of events for which the mama behind this blog was selected to be a 2019 Pittsburgh Marathon official blogger. She has received my race registration fee in exchange for promotion of the event. All opinions are 100% our own.  This post also contains affiliate links.

As we get closer and closer (six weeks tomorrow to race day for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon weekend), it’s time to start thinking about what you’ll need to be “ready for running” (as my kids say when I am getting geared up). Below are some suggestions from our family, but we’d also love to hear what you will be making sure is part of your gear for race weekend. Make sure to comment below with your must-have gear!

Ready for Running: What Our Gear Looks Like

Bag Check Items – Last year mom shared a post about what needed to be in her race day bag. Check it out here if you haven’t read or need a refresher. These items have been tried and true for all the races since – what would you add to that list?

Balega Socks – For the feet, we’ve got a personal preference for Balega running socks not just because they have South African roots (like mom’s previous company) but they are so soft and make your feet feel amazing when you run.

Nuun Sport – Nuun is the official hydration partner for the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon. This is a sugar-free alternative to those higher sugar sports drinks and it is even tastier. It comes in a tube which when paired with our ever-present cooler full of water bottles makes it super handy for on-the-go families. There are many flavors like this one was in lemon-lime (currently in rotation at our house) or mango orange (so excited to try that one!)

Ready.Set.MOVE Box – Sometimes getting the chance to “try before you buy” gets you hooked on gear. This year, P3REvents (the team behind the DICK’S Sporting Goods Pittsburgh Marathon and other Pittsburgh running events) debuted a running subscription box that is shipped out quarterly. Check out the January box here. Love it? There’s still time to subscribe for April’s box and it will arrive on time for the weekend of Marathon events. (PRO TIP: Use code BECKYBLOG when you check out and you’ll get an extra gift in your April box!)

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A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

We received an overnight stay and waterpark passes to Castaway Bay in exchange for sharing the post below with our readers. All opinions are 100% our own. Read all the way to the bottom to hear how you can enter to win your own #CastawayBayGetaway!

Pittsburgh, we’ve had enough of the snow and cold this year, haven’t we? I know spring is really right around the corner, but I am anxious for everything it brings with it. To help combat the season, we loaded the family up in the van and hit the road for a quick (three-hour) road trip to Sandusky, Ohio for an overnight stay at Castaway Bay.

A Winter Break: Castaway Bay

Because we left on a Friday after work and school, we didn’t get to take full advantage of the resort’s 4:00 PM check-in time, but because the indoor waterpark is open until 10 PM (check their operating hours to plan your visit), we got plenty of time in after dinner and checking in. (You can get your wristbands as early as 8:00 AM on your day of arrival – we’ll definitely do this next time!)

The 38,000-square foot waterpark is fully enclosed (always 82-degrees) and a perfect place to spend a winter break! The theme is a tropical Caribbean one and it flows from the park to the on-site restaurants to the hotel rooms. There are water attractions for all ages – slides, a toddler pool/splash pad, an indoor/outdoor Grotto spa, wave pool, and more.

Wondering where Ava was? Attached to Mama!

The Bigs especially enjoyed the waterslides and water roller coaster. They’ve both grown up so much and had the courage to try every single one. Isla (almost four) stuck to the toddler pool and the shallow waves but did go down two todder friendly slides. Ava (also almost four) is usually pretty confident in the pool felt a bit overwhelmed by the (light) crowds and stuck to mom. (I mention crowds, but it really was not packed at all – she just gets clingy in unfamiliar places.)

Pro Tip: There are lifevests for your ‘lil swimmers. I couldn’t find them at first but look for the boat by the wave pool and there your treasure will be! Arr, matey!

Pro Tip: To get great photos of Castway Bay, you’re going to want a waterproof phone pouch. I recommend this one – just order it with Amazon Prime before your trip! You’ll regret not having your phone for photos and meeting up with the family during your time at the park.

Where to Eat: Castaway Bay

All that swimming and relaxing will make you hungry. Thankfully, there are a few options right on the property for you to get your grub on and the hotel rooms have a refrigerator and microwave! The hotel features a Quaker Steak & Lube, a deli serving Starbucks coffee, breakfast buffet (we gave Mango Mike’s a 6 thumbs up for their pancake bar and visits from Snoopy), and snack shack (right in the waterpark).

Other Experiences at Castaway Bay

Prepare for some time outside of the waterpark – you’ll want the break from riding the waves as tough as that sounds! We used our spacious suite for a nap and a (chilly) peek at the birds on the bay off of the balcony. There is also a game room, souvenier shop, and our favorite spot on the resort, Club Castaway! At Club Castaway you can make your own souvenier (t-shirts, pillowcases, bags), watch movies, play games, or meet Snoopy. It was a great place to just chill and the lighting was amazing even on an overcast day.

Ready for Your OWN #CastawayBayGetaway?

We loved our trip to Sandusky and Castaway Bay and think you would, too! Try to get out there before the winter is over or combine your stay with a trip to nearby Cedar Park. (Castaway Bay is an offical hotel of the park.) For all the details on day passes, hotel stays (with park passes), and more, visit Castaway Bay’s website. You can also follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

And speaking of Instagram, let’s get you entered in a GIVEAWAY for a family four-pack of passes to Castaway Bay! To enter, head over to our Instagram and enter to win on this photo. Giveaway will end on March 13, 2019, so act quickly! >> sorry, giveaway closed in 2019. Watch our site for more fun!