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.

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2018 onto 2019

It’s that time of year, Holidays, New Year, time to go over how 2018 went and what my goals for 2019 are.  Won’t lie I love these posts cause, man, I love planning things, especially travel, and I did lots of that in 2018, hoping to do even more in 2019.

First up, review time.

2018 was not my best running year, I spent a lot of injured, which sucks, I didn’t hit any of my time goals, but alas, it was bound to happen, and while I am disappointed, there isn’t much I could do about it.  I trained as best I could but when your body goes against you, you won’t win that fight.  I have been seeing a great new PT, who is really helping with my hip and leg issues, and I started with a great coach this year, and I will be staying with her cause I know with a healthy body she will very much help me get my time goals in 2019.  One goal I did reach was getting to 5 new places to run a race, I got Alabama, DC, California, Washington and Virginia checked off my map 20181113_181240

I enjoyed all my trips, and you can read all about them in my previous posts.  Heading to the west coast for the first time in my life was so much fun and it was awesome to see such awesome cities in San Francisco and Seattle.  Lars came with me to San Fran and we had such a good time there

Birmingham, DC and Richmond were great too, especially DC, that is easily one of my favorite cities and I would go back all the time if I could.

I also clearly need to take more pics when I travel, oops, another goal for 2019

So now, onto 2019 goals

First up Time goals and their Races
Sub 2 hour half at Run Madtown in Madison, WI

Sub 4:30 full at TBD I am in between 2 races for this The St Jude Memphis Marathon in Memphis, TN or the Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon in Pass Christian, MS (if you have thoughts on either race let me know)

And what will I do to make these goals happen, more strength training, and keep up with my exercises that the PT has taught me, also, listen to my coach and body, I need to be better about the body one, the coach I always listen to lol

Travel goals:
At least 5 new states, and finish off the east coast

So far I have the Charleston Half in Charleston, SC in January , Madtown in WI in May and Baltimore 10 miler in MD in June so for the east coast I just need DE, which I believe I have found in the Blue Hen 5k which is the day after the 10 miler so I can get both states done in one weekend (birthday weekend) and then I will be done with the east coast YAS.  Then I just have to decide on the Full so that will get me either TN or MS.  And I might be considering a half in Arkansas in March, but shall see on that. (it has a glow in the Dark medal I mean, come on)

So that is the summary of 2018 and the goals for 2019.  I am already on my way to working on the 2019 goals, I am pretty excited for what this new year brings and can’t wait to see more new places, I hope I can meet some of you along the way.

Also for those wondering who my coach is, she is Kristen Griffin from Find your Stride Coaching  www.findyourstridecoaching.com

 

Review: Buff Dry Flx

“Disclaimer: I received a Buff DryFlx Head Band and Neckwarmer 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!”

 

Well it is winter in New England, and we all know that means very low temps.  I always try to run outside so finding things to keep me warm are a must, but I also need them to work with what I already wear, and the Buff Dry Flx does all this.

I tried out the neck gaiter and headband (I am not huge fan of hats, that’s me though) the gaiter is great, nice a soft, lose but warm, I didn’t think something so thin could be so warm, is also has reflective stuff on it, so keeps you warm and safe.  47681861_10212903876652001_4886476896449069056_o

The head band is nice and stretchy, it keeps my ears warm but also I can still wear sunglasses, they fit right under and it doesn’t push so hard on my ears that I end up in pain, which is great.47573022_10212903600925108_5054454201266995200_o

I am super excited to wear both things for the rest of winter (more excited for Spring to come back but I take the little victories) these are a great addition to my winter running gear, I would highly recommend them for anyone who has to run in cold weather.

Review: SPI Belt Beam Hat

Disclaimer: I received an SPI belt Beam Hat 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!

UPDATE:  DISCOUNT CODE FOR YOU use BIBRAVE to get 20% off any SPIBelt Item

So I won’t lie, I am not much of a hat person, I have a large dome and I usually find hats uncomfortable.  They pinch my head or fall off, so I generally avoid them and just use a head band.  But a hat with lights, I had to give this a try, and I am really glad I did.

I do run early in the morning, usually around 5 am, and this time of year, that means it is dark out and dark for my entire run.  I do wear knucklelights and they are great, but they move with my hands, so having a light that would just say forward and steady would be nice.  This hat does that and doesn’t bother my dome.

The directions to get it working were a bit hard to follow, but I figured it out and got it all set up.  I did notice the battery for the front lights, was inside that hat and I was worried that it would dig into my head, it didn’t.  Overall the hat is super comfy, nice wicking material and also has reflective stuff on the top of it.  The lights on the front are nice and bright, and send a nice beam of light out ahead.  It also has lights on the back that flash, which is great too.

The hat didn’t move during any runs, stayed in place but didn’t squeeze my head, it is adjustable so should be able to fit just about everyone.

If you are a person who runs in the dark like me, you should really look into getting this hat, it would be great for you see and be seen, I do highly recommend it.44474698_10212571199855289_8669870715131920384_o

Review: NOW Foods BCAAS

Disclaimer: I received NOW Foods BCAAS 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’m always interested to try new things that will help me recover, especially after a long run.  When I am marathon training, the runger that comes after a long run can be a bit ridiculous, like I basically eat all day.  So trying something that actually helps calm down my runger was great.  I would drink the NOW BCAAS right after my long run, and obviously help get water into me, but it really calmed down the runger.  I’m not saying I didn’t eat at all, I did, I just didn’t need to eat everything all day, which is nice, and helps my grocery bill.

The NOW BCAAS come in 2 flavors, grape and watermelon, and I have to say I prefer the grape.  The watermelon didn’t taste bad, I just found it had a bit of an odd aftertaste, that the grape did not have.  Also, make sure you either get the NOW shaker or have a good water bottle to shake this up in, because it really needs to be mixed like that,. stirring just doesn’t work as well.

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Branched Chain Amino Acids are essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein, which helps to fuel your muscles during workout and can also help support muscle recovery post-workout. They’re called essential because the body doesn’t make them on its own, so you need to supplement or get from them from your diet.

There is a discount if you would like to try some, you can go to Amazon.com and use code 20NOWBCAA or you can use this link https://www.amazon.com/promocode/A1G65M39SCQHX5 and you get 20% off (one time use only) and this is only good until November 15th, so hurry up

If you are looking for some extra help in run recovery I would give this a try, I am excited to keep using it to help with all my training.

 

 

 

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease

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: 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