Review: Rock and Roll Seattle

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock and Roll Seattle 1/2 marathon 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!”

 

This was my first ever Rock and Roll race, I have heard both good and bad about it.  I would say my overall experience was good, and I quite enjoyed the race, let me tell you about it.

First off, Rock and Roll does great with the emails, I knew where things were, what times they were, when the park would open for the race, all of that, never had a question about anything and what time it was.  Also, they have an app, that also has all the info, which also tracked me as well.  The Expo was small, mostly Brooks stuff (their shoe sponsor) and then about 3 rows of other things.  I walked through fairly quickly, but getting my bid and bag and shirt was all super quick and smooth.  They have lots of shirts and sweatshirts to get if you want one, I did end up getting a sweatshirt.

Race Morning, was early, but I don’t mind that.  Race started at 6:30 am, and the park near where the race started and ended, opened up at 4:30 for runners.  I stayed at a hotel that was a bit out of the way, so I made sure to get my lyft early and I got there around 5:30 am, which was nice, the park was fairly quiet, I dropped my bag off at bag check (all UPS trucks, pretty easy to spot) and then made a visit to the portopotties, which they had tons, but being one of the first people there, I got a never used one (race gods smiling upon me) I then just relaxed and waited until it was time to get into my corral.

Once in my corral, I didn’t have to wait too long for the race to start.  I was in Corral 13, so I did have to wait a bit, but they sent the corrals off about every 2 minutes.  Also the corrals were not packed, which was nice, I could stretch and warm up without smacking people.  Once off, it was hills, oh yes hills.  The course was really nice, lots of see and while not tons of people out, there were people out there cheering us on.  Also, HILLS, not easy hills, SUPER STEEP hills, but hey, not all races can be flat.  I will say, by the end the water stations were a bit bare, there was always water, but they were pouring it sometimes.  There is also a mile where they put of pics of Military members who were KIA and then their families are there holding flags, holy moly, that was amazing and I think I picked up speed there with all their cheers.  Also, after the steepest hill, you go through the St Jude section with pics of kids who have survived cancer, which was just awesome.  After that we got to run on the freeway and I got this shot IMG_20180610_160417_412

One last hill, then you finish and they send you through the shoot, and you get water, your medal, and chocolate milk, there was also fruit cups, and KIND bars and bananas, then you could go hang out in the park and stretch and just relax, it was a beautiful day so I hung out for a bit, then went off to find Donuts.IMG_20180611_175920_215

Overall, I really enjoyed the race, and I really enjoyed visiting Seattle.  I thought the race was well run and even though the course had some seriously tough hills, I enjoyed it.  I would recommend it.

 

And hey, I got another state checked off my list, 19 + DC are done20180612_175609

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Review of Aftershokz Trekz Air

Disclaimer: I received the Aftershokz Trekz Air Headphones 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!

 

Before I get into reviewing the Air, let me repost my review of the Trekz Titanium which I loved

https://runningformylife2015.wordpress.com/2017/08/19/aftershokz-trekz-titanium/

I love the technology of these headphones, being able to hear things while still getting my music is amazing, but I went over that in my previous blog, so I will just tell you more about the air and what makes them different and to me better.

First off, they are lighter, which is so much more comfortable on the ears, in fact they are 20% lighter.  Also, the sound is better, now I have been biking more because of my knee issues, so I have mostly been indoors, but the sound just seems so much better and crisper than the titanium.  I have gotten to run with them as well, and they do bounce way less and again, don’t hurt the ears 31688200_10211481630496736_5472659904227442688_o

They do now come in colors, though I believe they are currently sold out, so just get the regular airs and you will love them.  The comfort of these and the safety they provide just really can’t be beat.  I also have a link for you to save $30 off a pair for yourself go to

bibrave.aftershokz.com

Better get to it, cause they probably will sell out.

Also if you wish to read up on aftershokz and either they air or titanium go here

https://aftershokz.com/

You really can’t go wrong with either one, and I will say, when I first tried them, I was skeptical, but I am a believer and I will never use another type of head phone again, these are perfect

 

Review of CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received a CTM Band 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!

Let’s just get right to it, I LOVE THIS THING!!!

It really works your muscles, and as someone who has super tight calves, this gets right into them and really works them out.  It is easy to use, and it is adjustable to the size of your legs or feet or arms.  As you can see in the pic it is a band with what looks like golf balls on it, those balls are what dig into your muscles.  it comes with 4 on there but you can easily remove them and put them back on, They just twist on and off.  With my calves, I used 2 balls, with my foot I only used one.

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When you wrapped it onto whatever body part you are using, you then have to move, so I would flex my foot, and when on my calves I would do heel dips, either on my work out bench or on my stairs.  You only have to use it for 2 minutes at a time, so it is quick recovery and this thing is so easy to travel with, so much easier then trying to pack a foam roller, it also gets so much deeper into the muscle then any foam roller I have ever tried.

No matter what workout you do, I would highly recommend getting one of these for your recovery.  You can go to https://ctm.band/ and use code CTMBIBRAVE to save yourself 20% on one.  Great deal for a great product.

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Also, it comes with directions on how to use it, but you can go on the site for video for those who do better with video directions.

Traveling for Races

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock and Roll Seattle 1/2 marathon 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!”

I think everyone knows my goal to run a race in every state.  Doing this requires planning to save money and make sure I am not stressing here are some of my tips.

Book Early: This goes for races, flights and hotels, most races offer cheaper rates the earlier you book, I start planning races almost a year out, so I can sign up for them as soon as registration opens to get the cheapest amount (or become a Bibrave Pro and get to do races for free) .  After the race is booked, I then start looking at flights, I mostly fly Southwest (I get points) but for Rock and Roll I am flying Alaska Air as it was the cheapest flight and it is direct.  I found it through the Hopper App, this is a great app to use to help with flight prices I highly recommend it.  Then, book your hotel, and with certain races, mainly ones that are raffles, if I put my name in, I book the hotel before I get picked, to make sure I get the best deal.  I always book one that has a free cancellation policy, cause you never know.  Also try to do flights with free cancellation as well, cause you never know what might happen.

Pack for all weather conditions:  Living in New England has taught me one thing about weather, they can’t really predict it.  They try, but sometimes, they are just way off.  So pack at least 2 outfits for race day, you don’t want to be too cold, or too hot so plan for both types of weather.  I also bring 1 old sweatshirt with me and wear it race morning and discard it.

Do a restaurant search: Whatever app you prefer, look and see what is near your hotel, and find one that you think would be good for a prerace meal (I prefer Italian) And if you need to, make a reservation, so that way you are all set for the night before meal.  Also with food, find a local grocery store and get the food you prefer for race day morning.  I usually pick up some PB and a pack of english muffins (as they taste fine hot or cold) and always grab some water for your room.

and one tip I always remember but rarely practice, don’t walk too much before the race, I try to not walk too much but then I get excited about seeing a new place and walk damn near everywhere, oh well.  I always end up with cool pics

Bring a portable phone charger, cause you will run through your battery taking all those pics and selfies.  And always pack with enough time to think about it.  Don’t wait till the day of flight to get your shit together, take the day before to go through, pack neatly and think through so you don’t forget things.

Then enjoy your time, racecations are fun, explore and enjoy your race

 

If you would like to sign up for the Rock & Roll Seattle races, use code RNRBRP2018 to save yourself $15

BibRave-Badge-1 (1)

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

On my quest to run a race in all 50 states, I figured I should run in DC too, even if it is not a state, it’s the nations capitol and my favorite American city, so an excuse to hit up the museums and memorials and run a race, come on, I wasn’t going to miss out on this.  When I put my name in for this race (it is a raffle race) I wasn’t sure I would get picked, but I was super happy when I did.  I was able to get a time ticket to my FAVORITE museum, the US Holocaust Memorial Museum and booked a hotel in an area I hadn’t stayed in before, was nervous about that, but it ended up working out nicely. But first, let me tell you about the race.

The race takes place during the Cherry Blossom Festival (hence the name) so first off, be prepared for DC to be SWARMING with tourists when you do this race, but hey, those blossoms are damn pretty.  The race starts right in front of the Washington monument, and there are 6 corrals of runners, all separated by color, I was in orange, and then of course the corral of elites.  This year it was cold race morning, starting temp was about 34 degrees, I was prepared with layers, so I did ok waiting around.  Once the race took off those, I was ready, cause I couldn’t feel my fingers.  Luckily it was a nice sunny day, so once you were running, it did warm up.  The race has some rolling hills, but nothing at all crazy I would say it is fairly flat and tons of beautiful scenery, you run by monuments and all the blossoms in bloom was amazing.  They have entertainment through out the race, from drummers, to a sax player, it was great.  There are not crowds through out the race, and some points were pretty quiet, but I like that mix.  My only issue is, you are never out of a crowd, almost all races I end up running alone, or with only 4-5 other people around, never happened in this race.  And I would think it would be difficult run this race for a PR because you would always be trying to get around people.  You finish in front on the Washington Monument too, plenty of people there to cheer you on.  30414835_10211347535224438_3104628710620266496_o

Overall, I did very much enjoy the race, I ran it in under 2 hours, so pretty happy with that.  I did have some knee pain, so I took today off to hopefully hold that off from becoming something, shall see how the rest of the week goes.  I did also do a TON of walking around DC, so that probably didn’t help.

If you didn’t know, I am a giant history nerd and so DC, is my joy I love to visit the museums and memorials, if you want to see all my pics, check out my instagram @RuninRedSox but here are some photos

Also the hotel, I picked the Courtyard DC in the NoMa section of DC, and I couldn’t recommend this place more.  Super clean, super pleasant workers, and SO CLOSE TO THE METRO, like a 5 minute walk to the metro.  I will use this hotel again, because I will go back to DC soon, hopefully with Lars, so we can visit some more museums.  If you can, do this race, and make sure you hang out in DC, such a fun city to visit

oh hey, another one checked off the map 20180409_182911

New Bedford Half Marathon

Sorry I am behind on this recap, been pretty busy lately, lots of travel, and oh yeah, I got a promotion at work.  All good things, but now to tell you about a race I ran 2 weeks ago.

I was not going to race this race, I am not half marathon race trained at all, but wanted to do better then I did in Alabama.  Knew going into the day that it was going to be VERY COLD, because Mother Nature has decided she does not like us in New England and just decided to keep winter going.  The race started at 11, so at least it was later and the sun was out, but it was about 20 degrees at the start with a whipping wind, so felt more like 12 degrees, nice right, makes you want to live here right?  Anyways, race started and I felt good, actually managed to start off slow, which I almost never do, and was feeling good.  Went over the first hill and I was still feeling good, I was heading into Mile 5, where I knew I would see Lars again (bless him for standing in that weather, he really does love me) and I looked at my watch to see how close I was to 5 and realized I was running a 10:30 pace, GODDAMN.  I got through 5 and was feeling so damn good, was sticking with a 10:30 to 10:35 pace and was super happy with that.  Got to mile 7 and saw a local friend, got a hug from her, and then I was onto the water views, awesome right, NOPE, SO MUCH WIND and then, the pace dropped, and dropped fast.  The wind was like running in to a moving wall that was just pushing me backwards.  My pace dropped to about a 12 and at times a 12:30, I got through the mile 10 water stop where a volunteer told me I was almost back in town and the wind would die down.  He was right, but I was toast after that.  I did manage to run a bit faster but not much and my awesome pace was done.  I finished at 2:29:42, which is so much better than Alabama and even better then NC.  So I am pleased with that.

The race itself is nice, it’s a smaller race, but lots of people out along the course, and tons of cops and volunteers.  I enjoyed it, even with the super cold weather.  Would I do it again?? Maybe, but knowing how Marches have been the past few years, I may stick to running away from the water and wind.

Next up, is the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC, super excited to visit DC again and run in my favorite US history City.  Hopefully it is warmer

Where is Spring??

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Rhode Races Newport 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!

Less then a month until Rhode Races Newport, and we are about to get hit with another snow storm.  Spring is going to show up right? RIGHT???!!!  Well let’s all hope that April 14th in Newport is a beautiful Spring day and that all the snow is loooooonnnngggg gone.  Make sure you sign up soon, you don’t want to miss out

http://runri.us/newport-race-info/

Did you know you will get free, yes FREE race pictures, I mean what runner doesn’t love that, even they are bad, you know you really love them.  There is free athlete tracking through Race Joy (I have used this app before, it is great and works quite well).  Mobile Locker Co will be one site to make sure your gear is safe. There will also be pacers, to help you reach whatever race goal you have.  And then, most important, after race beers provided by local RI breweries

Be sure when you do sign up, because you know you want to do this race, that you use code BIBRAVE to save 10%

I hope the weather is lovely that day, and Newport is the spring is one of the best places to be.

What race should I do

So as my regular readers know, I am trying to run a race in every state.  Right now I am at 17 states, and if all goes well this year, I will be up to 20 states and DC done.  So I have races I know I want to do for certain states, but I have a WHOLE BUNCH of states I don’t have a race picked out yet.  So, I am asking for your help, what race should I do in those states.  I have a link to my google doc, you will see up top the states with the races I know I want to do, then the list of states I have nothing picked yet.  If you state isn’t on there, then I have already run in your state, and I don’t generally repeat states (flying and hotels aren’t cheap) so any ideas you have, let me know.  Thanks

 

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1eaIJsKhdRwubib5utkYB0qgKcknX5giwPCSpjHJtO5c/edit?usp=sharing

Why you should run Rhode Races Newport

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Rhode Race Newport 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!

  1. Newport, it’s amazing place to visit.  Beautiful ocean views, great restaurants and you can check out the Tennis Hall of Fame.  If you do sign up for the race, make sure to make a weekend of it so you check out this great place
  2. Daffadillion kicks off after the race, I mean, who doesn’t want to check out beautiful flowers and welcome spring to New England, cause man, we have missed it
  3. RI Brewers Guild will be sponsoring the beer tent, and will have local craft beers for you to try.  Something for everyone, which is way better then just one beer
  4. Newport Storm is hosting the bib pick up. MORE BEER
  5. Pieszoni’s is bringing the delicious pizza, and I love me some pizza after a run

Prices are going up on 3/1 so get over to http://runri.us/newport-race-info/ and sign up and use code BIBRAVE to save 10%.  Also, if you maybe plan on running some more of the Rhode Races, you can get a really really sweet medal 28055753_2037001923251592_4765998147771341997_n

For Those About to Rock

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock and Roll Seattle 1/2 marathon 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!”

GUYS, I am so excited, I am running my very first Rock and Roll race and even better, I am running in State I haven’t run in yet, Washington.  So in June I will be flying from Boston to Seattle to run a race in a new to me city.  I have always wanted to run a Rock and Roll race, they just look like so much fun, I mean, who doesn’t like having live music while you run.  And the Seattle race runs near the Football Stadium so that will be super cool (hoping I can Tour the baseball stadium after)

I can’t wait for all of you to ready about the journey to get across the country to run a race.  I am so super excited.

And hey, if you want to join me, you can use code RNRBRP2018 to save $15 off the full or half marathon.