Product Review: Goddess Garden Organics Sunscreen (Sport Stick & Everyday)

Disclaimer: I received a sample of Goddess Garden’s sunscreen to review for the purpose of this blog. As always, the opinions expressed are my own and I’ll always stay honest to my feelings.

I’ve been on the hunt for an organic sunscreen for quite some time, especially with the weather in Toronto heating up and us getting more sunny days. I also burn pretty easily due to my already tanned skin attracting the sun and my bucket-load of freckles randomly dispersed all over my body. Even a 20-minute run will be enough to get my shoulders rosy. When I found Goddess Garden Organics on Instagram, I was immediately intrigued by their promise to deliver a quality product with quality ingredients.


Screen Shot 2017-06-28 at 7.11.31 PM

Apparently, zinc oxide and titanium dioxide are safe minerals, (by safe, they mean that it doesn’t absorb into the skin and it’s gentle on the in environment), that reflect UV rays and are instantly effective. Generally, sunscreens take about 20 minutes to be “effective” so I really liked this feature. They also don’t have chemicals like oxybenzone and octinoxate, which get absorbed into the sunscreen, (hence the delay in affectivity).

I was given a sample of the Sport Sunscreen stick and the Everyday Sunscreen, (both spf 30). I decided to use the Sport Stick at City Chase since it was small and we could easily reapply on the go. I found it to be very effective in terms of protecting me from the sun, however my hugest complaint is that doesn’t rub in at all! It literally looked like I had bleaching cream all over my body which remained from 9:45 am all the way until well after 3:00 pm. Daniel found the same thing happened to him as well and if anything, it was worse for him since his legs have a considerable amount of hair on the whereas mine do not.

City Chase 1

You can’t see it, but the sunscreen stick is in my right hand.

I decided that lack of spreadability could be due to the fact that it’s a stick of sunscreen and not a bottle of lotion, so I tried the Everyday Sunscreen on a separate run. Although it spread a bit better, I found that it STILL didn’t absorb as well! Kind of disappointing. I’m definitely happy that I got samples, because it would’ve been unfortunate to spend more-than-the-average sunscreen on this.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: sadly not. I really wish I could’ve given it the stamp approval, though!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Race Recap: Goodlife Fitness City Chase

This race is amazing! I’ve done it once before two years ago with Daniel and we had every intent on doing it again. It’s definitely one of those races that are a blast to do and incorporate teamwork, athleticism, and strategy. Since the race was on Saturday photos haven’t been released yet, but when they do I’ll post them in a blog post similar to this one.

The Expo/Parking

If you’re from Toronto or have ever been to Toronto, you’ll know how terrible it is to park here. Especially downtown. The start/finish line was in the Distillery District which is in the heart of Downtown Toronto, so parking was not the greatest. There wasn’t any designated race parking, so although there happened to be a Green P down the street, we had to pay to park. The downside to this is that since the race can literally take up the whole afternoon, parking can get kind of costly. The parking lot is also about a five-minute walk from the expo, so it was a bit inconvenient to get our race kit and then head back to the car to drop stuff off (there was no bag check).

City Chase 1

Sunscreening up! I used Goddess Garden Sport Organic Sunscreen…review to follow!

The expo seemed like an average expo to me. Manitoba Harvest, Ocean Spray and Deep Relief were all there giving out free samples, which really came in handy post-race. Picking up our race kit was a bit of a tedious process though: the first step involved giving them the last name used during registration, which resulted in us receiving a number. We then had to take that number to another table, which gave us our bibs, and then make our way to ANOTHER table to get our race shirts. I should note that we missed pre-race kit pickup, so I guess some of this headache could’ve been avoided.

Pre-Race Warm Up

Goodlife Fitness has a ton of classes at their clubs. I used to be a member, so I’ve taken quite a few classes and they’re a ton of fun. Since Goodlife sponsors the race, they brought in some of their instructors to guide us through a pre-race warm up that was not only effective, but actually a lot of fun. I want to say that what we did was Zumba, but I’m not 100% sure.

The Race

The race starts with all the Chasers getting clues as to where the clue sheets are. The clues on the clue sheets are pretty ambiguous, and although some clues are easy to solve, others are very difficult. They had a different element from the last time we did this race which involved three “hard core” Chasepoints which were deemed optional. Daniel and I decided to take on this challenge, but little did we know what we were in for!

City Chase 2

One of the hard core chase points – we had to pull a bus 30ft!

City Chase 3

And then I face planted…

One of these hard core Chasepoints involved kneeling in a tent-like structure with your partner while solving a puzzle. Although this sounds easy, there’s a catch: a man with a paintball gun is at the other end and shoots you every five seconds. I’ve never been paint balling before, but those things hurt a ton!

City Chase 4

You can’t see it, but just beyond where the people are standing is where you solve the puzzle.

It’s also worth noting how much chasers help you while on course. From willing to take pictures of you completing Chasepoints to helping you with clues, this race is truly one that has me feeling all the feels.

Although we took a half-hour longer to complete the race, we managed to complete all three hard core Chasepoints which all had huge line ups, so I can’t complain. It would’ve been nice to have a better time, but I feel like City Chase is one of those races that you can’t expect anything from because things change from year to year. The “course” is never really the same. That’s one of the things that make this race so awesome!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy


What’s in my Bag for City Chase

City Chase is tomorrow!!! Gah, I’m so excited! This is hands-down one of my favourite races. Daniel and I try to do it every summer, however last summer we couldn’t make it due to our busy schedules. I wrote a Throwback Thursday post about City Chase a while ago, so check it out! I’ll break this post up into segments, so I’ll post what’s going to be in my bag, and then a link to the website or applicable already-posted blog posts.

What’s In My Bag:

Clif Shot Energy Gels: I love these things! I’ve blogged about them quite a few times and have nothing but good things to say about them. Since the race can take quite a long time, energy gels will definitely be needed.

Week 7 1

Clif Bars (Nut Butter Filled): this is more so for Daniel since he’s not a fan of the energy gels. My love for these bars goes deep! They’re so delicious.

Clif Bar Nut Butter Filled

Under Armour Trail Hydration Pack: this is the actual bag I’ll be taking with me. I took a backpack last time that strapped up across my chest, but it bounced quite a bit and seemed kind of cumbersome. I’m hoping that by taking a hydration pack, I’ll eliminate the bouncing aspect, and we’ll have quite a bit of water to carry with us that I could always refill while we’re en route.

Under Armour Trail Pack

Goddess Garden Sport Natural Sunscreen Stick: I actually received some samples of this (along with their Everyday Natural Sunscreen Lotion) to review, so this will be the trial run and then I’ll make a product review post sometime next week.

Goddess Garden

KT Tape: I’m not putting this in my bag, but I am wearing it, so I figured I’d put it in here. I need some sort of support for my knee as I noticed I’ve still been getting the odd twinge of pain after runs.

KT Tape

It’s supposed to be 24 degrees (75.2 degrees Fahrenheit), so it won’t be too hot, but it might be muggy. Wish us luck! We’re looking to beat our time of 4:57:00, so wish us luck!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy


Brand Ambassador Issues

I have the worst luck. Either that or I don’t do enough research. As you guys know, I have two brand ambassador agreements: one with Insane Labz and one with American Metabolix. Since Insane Labz doesn’t sell whey, I’d get stuff like bcaas from them and my whey from American Metabolix. Last week I was running low on pre-workout and decided to order a pre-workout from Insane Labz called Psychotic. It has great reviews and tastes great, (I’ve had a sample of it before). After entering my shipping information, I got an error message saying that they don’t ship to Canada. Uh, excuse me? When did this happen? Why wasn’t I notified? Apparently the issue lies with some Health Canada snags so they’re halting on shipping here. I tried a few more times after that with no luck, so I figured I’d give American Metabolix a try.

Although I’ve never taken Havok, (the pre-workout from American Metabolix) before, I had high hopes since their whey is pretty on point. Again, I punch in my shipping information and realize that the shipping is $100!! That’s insane! I can easily buy two or three tubs of pre-workout at GNC for that price. What I want you guys to understand is that if I had these issues prior to becoming a brand ambassador, I would’ve never agreed to it. It’s put me in a position that forces me to buy product that isn’t Insane Labz or American Metabolix. Frustrated, I reached out to both companies. This is the email I sent to Insane Labz:Screen Shot 2017-06-13 at 12.58.56 PMKeep in mind, the email address that I sent this two was in an email that I had received from Insane Labz THAT DAY, so in theory it should be correct right? Wrong.

Insane Labz Email 2I could literally strangle someone at this point haha. I decided to move on to American Metabolix and direct message them on Instagram. I successfully managed to get an email address from the person who responded to me on Instagram for the person who coordinates the brand ambassadors. I sent this email:American Metabolix EmailSTILL NO RESPONSE. With anger building, I went back to Instagram and messaged Insane Labz via a direct message which looked something like this:Insane Labz DM

No one’s really helping me out, no one’s will to budge. I shouldn’t give free advertising to companies that won’t even ship to my country or will ship but at the price of my first-born child. Frustration doesn’t even cover how I feel. Moral of the story is to make sure that if you are a brand ambassador, make sure it’s for a reliable company that will deliver to your country!

Do you guys have brand ambassador/sponsor horror stories?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Rugged Maniac Photo Dump

Race photos got released yesterday, so here’s a photo dump of what Daniel and I got tagged in! I was a little disappointed at the fact that there were only cameras at two of the obstacles, but I actually got an email from the founder of Rugged Maniac saying that he was a little disappointed in the quality of the photos. Let me know what you guys think!

Me: Rugged Maniac Race Photo 1

Daniel (they got way better photos of him): Rugged Maniac Race Photo 4Rugged Maniac Race Photo 5Rugged Maniac Race Photo 6Rugged Maniac Race Photo 7

Race Recap: Rugged Maniac Kitchener

Am I crazy for signing up for a 5k ocr while healing from a meniscus injury? Maybe. Did I have a blast though? Heck yeah.

On Sunday, Daniel and I participated in Rugged Maniac Kitchener which was at Chicopee Ski Resort. If you’ve been following my blog for a bit and that name sounds familiar, it’s because Daniel and I went skiing there a few months ago and I blogged it. It was pretty cool to run up and down the same hills I was skiing down just months before. In this recap, I’m going to talk about the location of the race, expo, race, post-race after party and what I would’ve done differently.

The Location

Chicopee Ski Resort is only just over an hour from Toronto. Parking was a little crazy, but it was a huge event that was near sold out. If I’m not mistaken, parking was $20, however you could pay $10 and just be further away from the site. TONS of people just parked on the grass or in random ditches to avoid paying the fee which made me laugh. We ended up getting a prime parking spot, just a few dozen feet from bag check.

Rugged Maniac Start:Finish

The view from our parking spot…we totally lucked out!

Expo/Bag Check

The expo was a breeze, and we were in and out pretty quickly. The only issue I had here was that it seemed that the volunteers looming around the grounds didn’t know where the expo was. It turned out that it was on the opposite end of the base of the mountain, so we couldn’t see any signage. When we approached a volunteer, she had to ask someone who had to ask someone WHO HAD TO ASK SOMEONE ELSE. Grr. It was quickly resolved though, so I got over it fairly quickly.

Once we got our wristbands, race bib and t-shirt, we headed to bag check which consisted of a giant tent that housed everyone’s bags. It wasn’t as chaotic as it sounded; bags were kept on tables so they were almost organized in bunches. That being said, when we went to pick up our two bags at the end of the race, it was FILTHY. You could tell it had come into contact with mud. I guess that’s to be expected at an ocr…I’ll probably just bring a grocery tote next time so that it can be tossed if need be.

The Race

Holy crap this race was tough. The amount of time I put into training was nowhere near what I wanted it to be due to my knee and being in recovery mode. I thought about pulling out of the race, but at my last physio session I asked my physiotherapist what she thought and she gave the green light to race. Daniel’s also recovering from some knee issues, (birds of a feather flock together, eh?), so he was in the same boat as me. Nevertheless, we both had some cardio training in us and gave the race all we had. My knee didn’t hurt at all, (despite dragging it over numerous rocks during muddy army crawls), and Daniel was THE BEST teammate ever. My mom was actually supposed to be part of our team as well, but her leg ulcer, which seemed to be lying dormant for the past while flared up. The obvious choice for her was not to run. When she’s all healed up, she promised me that we’d do an ocr together so stay tuned!

My favourite obstacle was probably The Warped Wall. This consisted of a half pipe-type wall that you had to run up and climb over in order to get to the next obstacle. There was a ladder beside it should you chose not run up the half pipe, however who likes to do things the easy way? Our strategy was to have Daniel run first up the wall since he felt pretty confident that he could make it over. He did, (not that I was surprised), and gave me a thumbs up to run toward him. I was able to grab the top of the wall, but couldn’t swing my legs over to get up and over myself. Daniel managed to grab my right ankle and swing me over – not only did he save the day, but he saved me from sliding down the wall…so he also saved me from embarrassment, haha.

My least favourite obstacle was probably Bang The Gong. This involved jumping up to bang a mini gong which subsequently leads to you falling in approximately five feet of water. For some reason, I thought the water pit would be shallower…needless to say I was in for a surprise when my head was full immersed in the water for a few seconds.

Kitchener Course Map 2017

The course map. The obstacles were densely packed together which I loved!

The sense of camaraderie at Rugged Maniac was insane. Strangers were helping out strangers at every obstacle or giving words of encouragement as they passed you. I remember at one obstacle called Jacob’s Ladder, I got stuck at the top and was scared to swing my left leg over since my right leg couldn’t quite reach the next step on the ladder. Daniel had already gone up and over the obstacle and was at the bottom trying to give me pointers. After yelling down to him that I couldn’t do it, a girl who was about to pass me climbed back down and spotted me. She totally didn’t have to do that, but it was awesome that she did. Because of her, I swung my left leg over and continued on.

The Post Race Party

The post race party was exactly that – a party. After getting hosed off and changed into clean clothes, Daniel and I decided to cash in on the cool stuff going on around us. Daniel doesn’t drink so he gave his drink wristband to me. Score! Once I got drinks, (nothing says lovin’ like double-fisting after an ocr), we headed over to the food trucks and got some food. Daniel got two pulled-pork sandwiches from an unknown vendor while I got a pulled-pork grilled cheese sandwich from a food truck called Fo’ Cheesy. Ssssoooo delicious. During our delicious eats, we watched a pull up competition and a stein hoisting competition. How do these people do all that after what they just ran through?!? Although we didn’t take part in these events, there was also a mechanical bull and beach volleyball complete with amazing music.

Rugged Maniac Medal Photo

Daniel & I all hosed off after the run. I’m in love with the finisher’s medal!

What Would I Have Done Differently?

-Trained properly (though I guess there wasn’t much I could do about this)

-Worn Sunscreen: I figured the mud would protect me, but I totally forgot to account for the post-race party and the fact that we would be lingering around for a while after the race. Since I didn’t pack any sunscreen, we both got pretty burnt.

-Not Wear a Black Long Sleeve Shirt: in my defense, it was dry fit. Daniel also wore a similar shirt…we both reaped the consequences of said action

-Worn My Garmin: I didn’t wear my Garmin because I thought the mud would get caked in the buttons. I felt good about my decision until I saw so many other runners wear GPS watches. I manually entered my run on Strava in sadness.

Race photos don’t get released until Thursday, so I’m planning on doing a post on Friday with just the race photos. Keep your eyes peeled!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy