Heard it Through the Grape Vine

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank 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 have picked my fall marathon….and it is….

DETROIT FREE PRESS CHEMICAL BANK MARATHON

Super excited to head to Michigan and even run in another country (yes I do get to run in Canada) fingers crossed for other things, that this will be state number 26 for me (over half way YES)

If you would like to join me, you can register here https://www.freepmarathon.com/ and make sure to use code 2019DETROCKS to get 10% off

Hope to go visit so many things while I am there, but I really can’t wait to see where Motown started, that will be great.detroitmarathonlogo

 

Advertisements

Charleston Half Marathon

I went into this race not expecting much, I wasn’t sure how my hip would hold up as I hadn’t run more then 5 miles since my marathon.  My coach gave me a plan to run for 90 minutes and if after that I needed to run walk that would be fine, to just go with how I felt after that.  Well I ran that 90 minutes, and then I just kept running, and I ran the whole thing, no walk breaks other then going through the water stops, and I felt AMAZING, other then being the normal sore, I am in no pain, felt no pain while running and man was that AWESOME.  I finished in 2:39, totally not even close to my PR but after last year and having to walk every half I did this was a total win, and has me feeling really good about my goals for this year, I feel like I have my running mojo back and man am I excited to race the rest of 2019.

Now more about the race overall.  Charleston is a really cute city, and I would recommend a visit, especially in January, where it is 50 degrees there while it is 12 here.  The expo was easy to get to and navigate, it was a small one, but still had some cool things to see.  Bib pick up and swag pick up was easy and smooth, and after that I went into downtown to have some lunch (Charleston has some amazing food)

Race morning, was a cool morning (for the area) but a sweatshirt was good for me over my running stuff.  The race starts near a school and the school was open for runners to go in sit in to stay warm, which was really nice.  The marathon takes off first, at 7:15, then the half takes off at 7:30 there are pacers for both races, so I set myself with the 2:45 pacers to make sure I didn’t take off.  Once the race gets going , you immediately turn right and start running around the Citadel, which was really cool.  Then you head towards the coast and you run right along the ocean with all the beautiful old big houses and palm trees, it was so gorgeous and I wish I could live there.  Then you get to run on King St which is like the shopping district of the area, and where I had lunch the day before.  After that you head into a industrial area, not pretty, but it wasn’t terrible and the group with the 2:45 pacers was a fun group and we were having some great chats, made the miles go by faster.  There is one hill (yes one) to go over a bridge, around mile 10, wasn’t too big but a little challenge.  Then you head into the Naval Yard where the race finishes, and you finish is small park.  You get an awesome medal (it’s huge and sparkly) and then you get SHRIMP AND GRITS YAAAAAAAAAAS PLEASE and they were tasty, I very much enjoyed that.  You also get 2 free beers, but I didn’t partake of those.

img_20190114_174930_949

Overall, I really liked this race, it is flat and fast, it’s well run and put together and they have great perks that other races don’t have (shrimp and grits).  The race shirt is really nice and I wore it on my run this morning and the medal is great.  So if you want a race to run in SC, I recommend this one, smaller race so not huge crowds but sometimes that is nice.

So state 21 is done and dusted, and now I only have 2 states left on the east coast, MD and DE, I am having trouble getting a race for DE on June 2nd, so if you know of a 5k or 10k on that day let me know thanks.20190114_185427

Get away from Winter

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Key West Half Marathon & 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Anyone who follows me on the socials knows how much I hate winter, and snow and ice and cold it is all terrible.  Having to run on the mill  or worse not run at all because of the weather is just awful.  So what do you do to get away???  Travel to a race, or a racecation as the cool kids call it, and man do I have a great race for you, The Key West Half Marathon and 5k.

https://www.keywesthalfmarathon.com/

The race takes place on January 20th and here are the usual temps for that time of year PicsArt_12-30-04.09.14

Yeah, that seems so much better then 20 – 30 degrees and snow, right, right.

So go click on that link and register for the race, also use code BIBRAVE20 to save 20% off the half.

Enjoy the warm weather, parties, great food and not being in winter for a bit and go run the Key West Half and 5k.

Richmond Marathon

Well, this was the hardest race, and not because it was hilly or a tough course, my leg just wasn’t having it.  Around mile 15 my hip was on FIRE, so I ran/walked from then until about mile 25, when I made a friend and was able to run until the end.  A 6 hour marathon was not what I was hoping for, but it is what I got.  I did learn I can push through a lot and that I will fight hard to finish, but I start PT tomorrow and hope to never ever have a race like this again.

As for the overall Race, it is so nice, they call this the friendliest marathon and I agree.  Richmond itself is so easy to get around, and their are tons of local restaurants to try.  The expo is small,  but still has lots of stuff to see and do (they did have a beer tasting) getting your number is quick and getting all your swag is easy too.  Everyone was smiling and it was nice.  Also the expo has tons of parking so no need to worry about that.  Race morning, TONS OF PARKING like, there is no need to worry there is so much parking.  The start line was easy to find, and got into my corral, made a friend there too.  The weather was perfect, like couldn’t ask for better race weather.  The race itself is so nice, some hills but nothing crazy, running along the James River is just stunning and they had Bands and Djs all over the course.  There were also cheerleaders, and plenty of people to cheer you on.  The neighborhoods are fun to run through will lots of junk food stops and extra water (also some booze if you’re into that) The finish is down hill, and I mean steep down hill, but that felt nice.  And the after party is in a nice park, with plenty of room to move around.  If you park near the start line, there is a bus to take you back there.  They really did think of everything.

I would totally recommend this race, friendly, fun and mostly flat.  Plenty of parking, and the city itself is super easy to get around with lots of fun things to do.  Lars and I went to check out Hollywood Cemetery the next day and enjoyed that.

So state 20 is done, and there will be no more races in 2018, as I work on making my leg better so I can crush my goals in 2019.20181113_181240

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

Jamestown Rhode Race

Hills, hills and more hills, why do I always pick the races with hills.  I really need to start running so more mid west races, I need some flatness in my life.  So, Jamestown Rhode race, HILLY, yes, and much warmer than I expected, so this race did not go as well we I was hoping.  Finished in 2:33, I was hoping for maybe 2:15-2:20, but alas not in the cards.  I am kicking but at all my speed workouts in training, so I really thought I had this race. but you can’t predict the weather and that hurt me more then the hills.  And while I am a full blown winter hater, I am happy to see the cooler weather coming in, I am done with running in humidity, so are my feet, which are currently covered in blisters.

Anyways, let me give you some race highlights, the course is B E A U T I F U L like, easily one of the prettiest courses I have run on.  The roads are not closed, and it can get a little tight, but I felt pretty safe most of the run.  They also use the Race Joy app for tracking, and um, that lovely little app tells you about Historical markers through out the race, which I loved, though, it didn’t set back the music, so it was a tad hard to hear, still loved it though.

42327049_10212401084042500_3189520448622690304_o
View at around mile 3, not bad right

Overall, I would recommend this race, just be prepared for hills, but also, be ready to see some beautiful views and enjoy the little island, it is really quite nice.  Lars and I stayed in Narragansett but there are some B&Bs on the island if you wish to stay closer.

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

Bay to Breakers

So this is just a race recap of Bay to Breakers, I will do a whole separate post about my vacation in San Fran.

So where do I start with this, do I talk about the amount of people, the costumes, the hill, or the nudity, oh god yes nudity, so much of it.  And mostly old men, so nothing great to see, but hey, it is San Fran, so I guess I should have expected it.

33207412_10211607818531358_7149375506922602496_o
yes that dude behind us is wearing nothing

So I got to run this race with my friend Alasen, she is actually the one who told me about this race and got me to pick it as my Cali race.  It was so fun to have someone to chat and stare at people with.  And there was a lot to stare at.33196253_10211609696418304_4569792194457632768_o

The race itself is mainly a fun race, and unless you are in the first few corrals, don’t try making this a PR race.  40,000 people run this race, so the later corrals are mostly full of costumed walkers.  Hays hill is a big ass hill, we couldn’t even try to run it because there were just so many people all walking that getting around them was impossible.  But after that, we were mainly able to run.  The course is beautiful, going from city streets full of parties to Golden Gate Park, which is just stunning and then you finish at the Ocean, again, stunning.  I didn’t plan to race this to begin with, but ended up doing a lot more walking then I expected, but, I still really enjoyed this race and would recommend it to anyone who was looking for a fun party race.

San Fran is also just a great place to visit, but I will go more into that later.

And another state down, 18 + DC, and my first off the West Coast (that will be a much easier coast to finish, damn East Coast with all it’s small states)

20180524_212753

and some more race photos for your pleasure

 

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)

What Races have you done?

So I always talk about my goal to run a race in all 50 states, and I am always asking for race recs and you know, maybe a free place to stay, but I haven’t really listed the states I have run in and what race I did.  I also already have some booked and some states I already know what race I want to do.  So without further ado, here are my lists

MA – Multiple

RI – Multiple

NH – NH 10 Miler

ME – Beach to Beacon

VT – Vermont City

CT – Hartford Quarter Marathon

NY – Celebrate Life Half

NJ – NJ 10 Miler

PA – Philly Marathon

NC – Outer Banks Half

GA – Craft Classic Atlanta

FL – Disney Wine and Dine

OH – Flying Pig

IL – Chicago

NE – Omaha Half

TX – Cowtown Half

AL – Mercedes Benz Half

DC – Cherry Blossom 10 miler

Other races I have booked for this year:

CA – Bay to Breakers

WA – Rock and Roll Seattle

VA – Richmond Marathon

So barring any major injury, at the end of 2018, I should have 20 states and DC done

Races I want to do:

SC – Charleston Marathon 

OK – Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon 

AK – Mayor’s Midnight Sun Marathon 

AR – Little Rock Marathon 

HI – Honolulu Marathon 

MI – Detroit Freepress Marathon 

IN – Indy Mini Marathon 

IA – Bix 7 

MT – Missoula Marathon 

NV – Rock & Roll Las Vegas

KS- Running with the Cows 

CO – Boulder to Boulder 

MN – Mankato Marathon

WI – CellCom Green Bay Marathon 

ID – City of Trees Marathon 

AZ – Lost Dutchman 

OR – Eugene Marathon 

WV- Marshall Univ Half 

MD- Baltimore 10 miler 

DE- Blue Hen 5k 

KY- Urban Bourbon Half 

TN – St Jude Marathon 

MO- Go St Louis 

NM – Santa Fe Thunder Half 

So the only states I don’t have 1 race picked for is MS, LA and WY  so if you know of some fun, cool, flat races in those states let me know