State 22 is…..

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Run Madtown presented by SSM Health race 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!”

 

WISCONSIN!!!

I am coming for all the cheese, and a half marathon too.  I will be running the Run Madtown presented by SSM health half marathon next May.  This will also be my first Bibrave race of 2019.  I know, already booking races for next year, but hey, these states don’t run themselves

And maybe, you would like to join me, of course you would.  You can use code RAVENSAVE which is good for 10% off any of the races (excluding the kid races)  There is a twilight 5k and 10k you could do, if you are not up for a half yet.  You can even combine races if you wish.

I am thinking this may be a goal race next year, as not having 2 goal races this year was kind of a let down.  I enjoy the training, I enjoy the hard work.  I will of course discuss this with my coach, but I think maybe sub 2 hour half??? shall see

Make sure you register soon, prices take their first jump on 11/1 so get in while the prices are low.  Hope you see some of you there

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Review: Knockaround Premium Shades

Disclaimer: I received Knockaround Sunglasses 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!

For a long time, I wouldn’t wear sunglasses when I would run, mainly cause I could never find a pair that would stay put on my face, and I do not want to be constantly adjusting glasses while I am out on a run.  Well, then I tried knockaround and I am now wearing shades for all my sunny runs.

They are so nice a light, and they do not move, no sliding no bouncing and they are super cute too.  You can go on knockaround.com to check out ALL the options for glasses that they have.  You can get all sorts of colors and you can also get them polarized to make sure your eyes are very protected.

I wore them for a track run, and also on 2 of my long runs 14 and 16 miles and they lasted through both of those and I had no issue at the track when I was picking up speed.40097758_10212233953784348_6672761564451307520_o

If you plan on getting  pair, and I really recommend that you do.  Until 9/30 you can use code BIBRAVEKNOCKS20 and you can save 20% off a pair (only one use per person) so hurry up and go to knockaround.com and get yourself some sunglasses that are stylish and also protect your eyes

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Dog approved as well

 

also, here are some reviews from my fellow Pros

https://marathang.wordpress.com/2018/08/27/game-day-ready/

http://themarathonlady.com/index.php/2018/09/01/knockaround-sunglasses-review-a-discount-code/

Review: Oofos Fiber Low Shoes

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos OOMG Fibre Low shoes 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! All opinions are my own

I should mention that this is not my first go around with Oofos, in 2016 I was training for the Boston Marathon with team DFMC and Oofos offered all of us free sandals, so of course, I got myself a pair. And they were pretty great, but these shoes, are really so much better.

The shoes are sooo comfortable, the really support your feet and they do not wreck the top of your feet, like the sandals did to me.  After a long run, I love to throw on the shoes to walk around in, as not only do my feet feel better, but my knees, and hips just feel so great too.  These shoes are just amazing and if you run, you should get yourself a pair.

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Here is some info about the shoes:

OOFOS are made of OOfoam
OOfoam recovery technology absorbs 37% more impact than other footwear foams
OOfoam impact absorbing recovery technology has been scientifically proven to reduce stress
on your body while walking, allowing you to recover faster after a workout and feel better all
day.
The Footbed Design
Our footbeds are designed to cradle your arches and move with your feet, allowing for a more natural
feel through your gate cycle
Also, if you were wondering why, Oofos was so generous to team DFMC,  Duncan Finigan, the Director of Marketing for Oofos was diagnosed with cancer, and was getting treatment at Dana Farber.  Now, when you buy Project Pink shoes, $10 is donated to project pink, and any shoes you buy on oofos.com 3% of sales goes to Dana Farber, a cause near and dear to my heart.
So not only do you get shoes that will totally help your feet and legs, you can donate to a great cause, it really is a win win
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Review: NuGo Egg White Bars

Disclaimer: I received the NuGo Egg White Bars 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

First off, let me give you the base info about these bars:

*NuGo starts with the highest quality real fruits and nuts, then adds in three Non-GMO egg whites, resulting in 12-14 grams of protein per bar. Egg white protein is a complete protein, containing all of the amino acids the body needs, while being virtually fat and cholesterol free.*

*Enjoy three paleo flavors: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Pecan and Blueberry. Also available in peanut butter for all those peanut lovers!*

*Features of NuGo Egg White Protein Bars:*
12-14g protein
Whole Food
Paleo (3 flavors)
Non-GMO
Certified Gluten-Free and Kosher Pareve
Real Fruits and Nuts
No Dairy, Soy or Artificial Ingredients
No Added Sugars

So I got to try all of the flavors, and I really only like 2, not because the other ones are not tasty, it’s because I don’t like huge chunks of nuts, and the dark chocolate and maple pecan have large pieces of nuts in them.  But I know many, of the other pros who tried these LOVED the Maple Pecan (I will link to their blogs below)

Blueberry was my absolute favorite flavor, and I plan to purchase more of these, mainly cause I love these bars to eat before long runs.  They do have a sticky texture, but with a bottle of water, I find them fine to eat.  Before a long run I find them to be perfect, not too heavy, but keep my stomach happy for the extended time running.  They are also great to travel with, and I took them along when I went to Seattle to eat on the plan rides and to have one before my half.IMG_20180608_045015_406

So rather then have to make myself a small breakfast, or make sure that I buy stuff when I travel, I will now use these as my pre long run/race snack.  Tasty, not too heavy, and keeps your stomach happy, I do recommend these, and you wish to purchase some you can go here

https://www.nugonutrition.com/products/egg-white-protein/   (and until August 3rd if you use code BIBRAVE you can get 15% off a box)

also if you wish to find a store that sells them, you can go here

http://www.nugonutrition.com/where-to-buy/

here are what some of the other pros think about these bars:

eggs aren’t just for breakfast | NuGo Review

http://sararunsthecape.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-perfect-protein-bar-nugo-nutrition.html

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

Review: Brooks Levitate

Disclaimer: I received the Brooks Levitate Sneakers 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!

I have worn Brooks before, I used to wear the Ghosts, but I found them to be a bit wide for my feet and they caused blisters.  So I had moved on to another brand, but when I was offered to test these I hopped on,  and I am glad I did.

I have run for the past few weeks exclusively33125703_10211631518843851_2094085234436866048_o in these shoes.  I ran 2 races, Bay to Breakers and Rock and Roll Seattle Half.  And, I love these shoes.  I have no blister issues, they are a bit heavier then other shoes, but I do not notice when I am running in them.  They have a great bounce back and I have had way less PF pain since I started wearing them.  Pretty sure these are now going to be my go to running shoe and I need to get myself some more pairs.

I normally wouldn’t get white sneakers (cause dirty) but these stayed clean for a while, until it started raining all the time.  Oh well, they were not going to stay white forever.  And then because it always rains in Seattle, they did get some mud on them, oh well.

Even after the race today, walking around town in them to find donuts, they were super comfy.  I really do recommend these shoes, they are great, I can’t wait to get more colors

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)

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.