My Not-So-Great Experience with The North Face Customer Service Department

Right after Christmas, I ordered a pair of ear warmers that were from The North Face through a website called Experticity. Experticity is a website that offers steep discounts to sporting goods employees of certain companies. These ear warmers were only $7.20, so I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Ha! It only went downhill from here.

When you purchase something from Experticity, it sends the order to the manufacturer, (in this case, The North Face), and the manufacturer sends you the product. Experticity just acts as the middleman. I got an email saying that my order had been approved, however I noticed that my credit card hadn’t been charged. A couple WEEKS go by and still no charge to my credit card. I decide to check my Experticity account and to my surprise, the order had been cancelled. CANCELED?!?! Thanks for the notification.


I decided to call Experticity and air my grievances, when they told me that since they merely pass along the order/offer the discounts, the issue actually lies with The North Face. The guy I spoke with gave me a number for their customer service department and told me to re-explain to them what happened. When I called The North Face, the woman told me that she has never even heard of Experticity and said there was literally nothing she could do. I explained to her that I just wanted to order the item again and wanted an explanation as to why my order had been cancelled, but all she said was, “I don’t know.”. She was literally of no help. I even asked to be passed along to someone else who might have more knowledge than her about Experticity, and she refused! Not going to lie, I got so frustrated that I just hung up the phone.

I decided to let an hour go by, calm down, and email message The North Face through their live chat feature on their website. The guy that I was corresponding with admitted to me that he didn’t know much about Experticity, but had a colleague who did and passed me along to her. She explained to me that the issue was with my credit card and that it probably flagged the transaction as a fraudulent one.

It doesn’t sound like the biggest deal, but I was so irritated by how the first woman that I spoke with from The North Face treated me. She totally dismissed me, and wouldn’t help me out in the slightest. Isn’t that the whole point of customer service? And if your company partners with a third party website, should you not have knowledge of the website in question?

I’ve purchased a new pair of ear warmers from Sugoi which should be here by the end of the week, (hopefully it’s still cold enough in Toronto to use them). Wish me luck!


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

P.S. Don’t forget about my discount codes page! You’ll find discount codes from my sponsors…definitely check it out!

Product Review: Vega Protein & Greens

One day a couple of weeks ago, I came home from school and this was waiting for me. As some of you might know, I’m all about my shakes and smoothies so anything that goes with that theme is a bonus. I’ve used Vega protein powders in the past, but they’ve always been the all-in-one nutritional shakes so this is a little different. Here’s what I thought about it:

-The texture’s a little grainy. At first I thought it was seeds from the berries that were in my smoothie, but I changed up the fruit and realized that it was indeed the powder

-20g of protein per serving, (generally, I only use half a scoop so only 10g)

-Tastes good in a smoothie, in a glass of juice, or just in water

-The flavour is true to taste, (we bought the berry one)

When comparing the protein & greens to the all-in-one shake, I think that the all-in-one shake comes out on top. The flavour of the Berry is true to taste like I said, but I think the texture threw me off. I haven’t encountered that gritty taste when I had the all-in-one chocolate shake.


Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Unfortunately, I’m going to say no…I just can’t get past the texture (despite it tasting good).


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Iron Vegan: Athlete’s Blend Workout Supplement

Price: $62.99 CAD


I’m always open to trying new supplements; I do have a couple favourite brands, (like Vega), but I’m not really 100% committed to one brand for every need. I got a bag of Iron Vegan Athlete’s Blend, (natural vanilla flavour), for Christmas and I have to admit, I was super skeptical. This may sound horrible but whenever I see a vegan product, I’m always worried that the taste might be compromised. I think this is probably due to the fact that I’m a hard-core omnivore, and the thought of all things veggie is a little scary. Vega took a bit to grow on me but once it did, I loved it! I figured if I could love Vega, I could love Iron Vegan. Here’s what I thought of it:

-It has a different vanilla flavour than most vanilla-flavoured protein powders. Not in a bad way though. It just doesn’t have that artificial vanilla taste that you get with most brands.

-It blends really well with smoothies/shakes

-My boyfriend and I both tried it with just water or just milk, (when I say milk, I mean lactose free milk/coconut milk), and we both agree that it tastes better with water. I think since the powder doesn’t have a super creamy taste, it doesn’t complement the milk as well.

-It stores easily since it’s in a bag

-The serving size is quite large, (30g of protein/serving), so you could probably get away with half a serving if it’s in a shake/smoothie.

-It’s loaded with stuff that all athletes can appreciate in the recovery process: BCAAs, Glutamine, and more


Other than it not mixing well with milk, I don’t really have any issues with it. I also have used it in some shakes/smoothies that I’ve posted on Instagram, so check out which combinations I’ve come up with!


Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Yes


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Nike Storm Hydration Water Pack

Price: $27.95 (on sale…couldn’t find it on the National Sports Website)

After the Downsview Airport 8k, I was in search for some sort of hydration pack, as I knew that I would be running the half in May. On our way home from the 8k, I saw that National Sports had a sale and thought it would be worth while to stop in. After scanning the store for a bit, I found a rack of Nike products that were on sale and stumbled upon this hydration pack. For $27.95 plus tax, I figured I couldn’t go wrong. Here’s what I thought about it:


-the belt itself is fairly comfortable and doesn’t chafe

-the water bottle is easily accessible (you just flip the band to the other side of the mouth piece and you’re good to go)


-the case surrounding the bottle prevents it from freezing in the winter (not sure if this was intentional or not)

-provides visibility by having a reflective Nike logo


-has two pockets for things like debit/credit cards, nutrition, etc


-the bottle only holds 22oz, so it may not be sufficient enough to run in the summer, especially if it’s a longer run

-it bounces like crazy! To be honest, I don’t know if all belts bounce to this magnitude, or if it’s just this one. But it is super annoying. It’s gets a little better as you drink more water though

-pockets aren’t big enough to fit a Galaxy or iPhone

I guess I can’t be too disappointed considering how little I paid for it, but I wish that I had held out and bought a hydration vest. Anyone have any recommendations for one? Haha.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: No. The bouncing is a write-off.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer

Price: $39.99 CAD


I honestly have nothing but good things to say about Vega as a whole. I’ve tried quite a few of their products and have yet to find one that I didn’t like. This product is no exception.

Daniel purchased this along with the Electrolyte Hydrator as a healthier take on the pre-workouts that we used to use. My complaint with those is that they would leave me jittery, my lips itchy, and they more often than not had a bad after taste. To give you an idea of how Vega’s Pre-Workout Energizer stacks up against the typical pre-workout, here’s what I thought of it:


-doesn’t cause the jitters

-no bad aftertaste

-affective for workouts that are 1hr or less

-the flavour doesn’t taste “chemically”


-limited flavours (lemon lime & acai berry)

-the flavour isn’t super strong, (it does taste citrusy, but isn’t necessarily true to taste)

Is the Vega Sport Pre-Workout Energizer effective? Yes. That being said, the flavours are limited and aren’t necessarily true to what’s indicated on the container. I find that part a tad disappointing, since their other products are so spot on.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: I’m going to say yes, providing you can overlook the fact that the flavours aren’t as strong as desired.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy



Product Review: Saucony Vitarun Glove

Price: $30.00 USD



Last year when I made the commitment to winter running, (which, if you live in Toronto is a huge challenge sometimes); I knew I needed some gear to stay warm. In past years, I would stop running outside when snow hit the ground and start running again when the snow left. In the late fall/early spring months, my hands felt like they were literally about to freeze right off. I would combat this issue by pulling down my sleeve to create a fake-mitten, but that can only go so far.

My mom saved the day when she approached me last winter and asked me what I wanted for Christmas. Running gloves was the first thing that popped into my head, but I had zero idea what I wanted in a glove. Thank God my mom picked up these bad boys because they’ve literally changed my life! Here’s what I love about them:

-lightweight fabric that wicks away sweat but still keeps your hands warm

-touch screen compatible thumb and index finger pads on both hands

-reflective logo that’s great for night-time running

-water resistant (great for if it’s raining or snowing during a run)

and my personal favourite…

-a patch of fleece on both index fingers that’s perfect for wiping sweat and runny noses!

After having these gloves for a year, I can honestly say that I love them. I love how they’re super light, but still help keep my hands warm! The only thing I think could be improved is the touch screen compatible finger pads: sometimes you have to press a little harder than usual for your device to register the touch, but other than that, it’s amazing.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Yes! 100%.


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Post-Strength Training Must-Haves

Happy Holidays guys! I hope that you guys are having a great time surrounded by the ones you love most.

On Tuesday while I was at the gym, (leg day), it occurred to me that there’s rituals that I carry out once I’m done. Anybody else do this? Here’s what goes down when I’m done strength training:

-I stretch! I stretch as soon as I possibly can (a.k.a. while my muscles are still warm)

-I roll out: If it’s a leg day, I can clearly roll my legs out on my own, but if I did an upper body day, I usually get Daniel to take the roller and roll out my back and traps. Sometimes if my quads and/or calves are super sore, I’ll get Daniel to roll them out for me since he can apply more pressure than I can. I’ve made a post about my TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller two months ago, and I have nothing but good things to say about it.

-I drink a protein shake (or smoothie): once I’ve finished stretching, I like to get my protein fix in quickly. If I’m planning on having lunch shortly after a workout, I won’t have a protein shake and I’ll just use a meat protein in its place. If I feel like having a smoothie, I’ll throw in half a scoop-a scoop of vanilla protein. This particular brand is SUPER creamy in smoothies. I’m also partial to this shaker cup. The jack really breaks up the powder for a more even mix.

-This step is more so for the day after, but I love RUB-A535. It smells horrendous but works wonders on sore muscles. It also absorbs pretty quickly which is a bonus.

What are some products you guys swear by post-strength training or post-run?


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Garmin Forerunner 25

*DISCLAIMER: This isn’t a positive review*

Price: $99.99 USD

After having this watch for a few months, I feel that I can finally write a review on it! Although the Forerunner 35 just recently came out, if you’re looking to save some money on a GPS watch, this review would be useful for you. For starters, the Forerunner 25 is a fairly basic GPS watch, so I figured it’d be ideal for someone who hasn’t had one before and is a fan of low-frills electronics.

Physical Specs:

It comes with different colour wristbands, but since blue is my favourite colour, Daniel got that one, (it was a birthday present).


As you can see, the face of the watch is relatively small, which makes for a nice fit on the wrist.

The charger is fairly simple and just involves clipping on a backing to the backside of the watch.


The face of the watch itself isn’t touch screen, which is a little bit of a bummer. Rather than a touch screen face, you have four buttons, (two on each side), that allow you to navigate though menus such as settings, history, and starting a run.


The all-black button is used to scroll up and down through menu screens and the blue button is used to start, stop and pause runs. 


The button on the left is the power button, and the button on the right is button go back or “undo” the action you just did. 

It also doesn’t measure heart rate at the wrist but rather via a strap that goes around your chest. I haven’t used the heart rate strap since it seemed a tad inconvenient, so I can’t comment on that feature.

Tech Specs:

-It counts your steps and calories burned

-It keeps a history of your runs

-It can be connected to Garmin Connect, Strava, and MyFitnessPal

The Nitty-Gritty:

The GPS takes approximately 10 minutes to catch a signal. 10 MINUTES!! That’s way too long. I’d heard stories about some watches taking a while, but I never thought it’d be 10 minutes. The challenge with this is that since I live in a condo complex, my runs usually start there, so I usually have to walk a half block just to get away from the tall buildings.


The most negative feature of all…


IT FREEZES! So far it’s happened to me three times, but it occurs sporadically so I never know when it’s going to happen. Two out of the three times that it froze it wasn’t even cold out, so it’s not like weather was the issue. The first two times that it froze I was saving my run. When you finish a run, you press the blue button shown above which pauses the run. It then gives you the option to save or resume. If you press save, a screen pops up that says “Run Saved!”. This is the screen that froze on me. The problem with this is that I couldn’t remember how long I’d been running, so I wasn’t able to manually enter the run. On top of that, resetting the watch, (which unfreezes it), erases your last run so it’s not in your history anymore!

On the third time it froze, it froze on the “save/resume” screen. By the third time, I’d gotten into the habit of checking the time and distance before I save my run so that I could manually enter my run on Strava. DOESN’T THIS DEFEAT THE PURPOSE OF A GPS WATCH?!?!

As you can tell, I’m not very impressed by the Forerunner 25. It’s up-to-date in terms of software, so there shouldn’t be a reason as to why this is happening. It has been helpful because I can see my pace more conveniently than when I ran with my phone, but I shouldn’t have to remember my time and distance IN CASE it freezes. I’m also not covered under Garmin’s warrantee or the warrantee from the store where Daniel purchased it, so I’m kind of stuck. Bah hum bug.

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: No


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller

Price: $59.99 CAD


Note: my cat thought is was a toy for him…hence the nicks.

Whether you’re a runner or a weight lifter, you’re definitely familiar with foam rollers. I can honestly say that foam rollers not only prevent/reduce sore muscles, they even speed up recovery too. One day, my boyfriend came home with the TriggerPoint GRID Foam Roller in toe. After YEARS of not rolling out after a workout/run, my whole body, (primarily my legs and back), were tight beyond belief. I decided to set up shop on my living room floor and roll out, (to the best of my abilities). Here’s what I thought of it in the few weeks that I’ve used it:

  • It’s lightweight and fairly easy to travel with since it’s hollow.
  • The grid-like design really kneads into tight muscles.
  • It’s excellent for rolling out all regions of the back, glutes, hamstrings, quads, and IT bands.

Some cons that you may want to be aware of:

  • The roller is quite firm, (which I love, but not everyone is a fan and may want something softer).
  • The length of the roller makes it a little tricky to balance on.
  • It doesn’t get areas like the calves or adductors very well, (I would recommend the TriggerPoint GRID STK Foam Roller for this).

Overall, it’s definitely a great roller, especially if you’re on the go and want to take it with you. It also comes in different colours, so you really can’t go wrong!

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Yes, (but not for calves or adductors)


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy

Product Review: Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator

Price: $24.99 CAD


First product review! I plan on doing these frequently, so keep your eyes peeled as I’ll be reviewing everything from supplements to gear and all that falls in between.

I was always reluctant to try Vega products; the plant-based idea made me think that taste would be compromised. With some persuasion from my boyfriend, I finally caved and tried a few of their products, (with the Hydrator being one of them). Here’s what I thought of it:

  • The flavour that I got is berry, AND IT ACTUALLY TASTES LIKE BERRY! Astounding, since a lot of supplements don’t taste like the flavour listed.
  • It has zero calories/serving which is a huge bonus. I used to drink the instant powder form of Gatorade after runs which is loaded with calories, (and loaded with excess sodium).
  • The price is kind of steep considering how little of a container it is, (148g), however the scoops are super concentrated so one scoop is more than sufficient.

The only con I can think of is the price, however this is justified by the concentration of the scoops, ensuring that each container stretches a long way. I used to get headaches ALL THE TIME after runs. Even after running only two miles my head would start to feel wonky. The Gatorade did help, but I was looking for a healthier alternative, especially if I was going to be using it a couple times a week.

My boyfriend Daniel also uses it in a shaker cup if he’s planning on doing a longer workout, or if he’s doing a workout/yoga combination. It’s also great for that purpose as well!

Running Fast, Lifting Heavy Approved: Yes


-Running Fast, Lifting Heavy