Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

FlipBelt Crops – Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of FlipBelt Crops 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 my first start off by saying that I have ALWAYS been a fan of FlipBelt. I bought my first FlipBelt (their classic) 4 years ago to store my phone and keys in and honestly, I have never looked back. Even at health and fitness expos when I see other people looking at FlipBelts, I tell them to go for it. I give them the whole spiel about how amazing it is and then I leave. LOL. I’m sure I come off as a total weirdo, but really, I love FlipBelts.

I’ve had bad luck with arm bands. They chafe my arm in really humid weather and after a few uses, my arm band actually broke. 😦 I blame the muscles. 🙂 I’ve also tried one other belt and I couldn’t store as many items in it and the items also bounced as I ran. 😦

Soooo when BibRave partnered up with FlipBelt to give BibRave Pros a chance to try out their latest product, the FlipBelt Crops, I absolutely had to try it and SPOILER ALERT, they are awesome!

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First impression: I ordered a size small and found that since I’m 5 feet tall, these crops are actually full length tights on me, which was actually perfect for me. The crops were really smooth and I couldn’t stop touching my legs after I put them on. LOL. They fit just right on my legs. Note that these are not compression tights so they shouldn’t be terribly tight on you.

My initial worry was that the crops would slide down my waist during my run since it was holding my phone. However, that wasn’t the case. It did take a little bit of getting used to with adjusting where I wanted the phone in my crops, but once I figured it out, it was smooth sailing. The phone didn’t bounce up and down and oftentimes, I forgot that it was on me.

Storage: The crops have a two openings in the front, a key holder, and a zipper pocket in the back. This is different from the classic FlipBelt, which just has two openings in the front and two in the back. I like the crops’ design more because I can place my more important items like my ID and credit card in the zipper pocket without fear of it falling out. I store my phone in the front so being able to slide it into one of the two openings is really nice.

I have stored multiple gels, my phone, my external charger, as well as my ID in the crops and have had no issues with any of them moving up and down as I run.

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Material: As I mentioned previously, the crops are extremely smooth. They’re very breathable and have not caused any chafing on my long runs. My longest run in them to date is currently 10 miles.

Versatility: These crops can not only be used for running, it can be used for just everyday wear. They are currently offered in black and what doesn’t go with black? 🙂 Also, these crops can be used for travel! I’ve used the classic Flipbelt when I’m traveling around in foreign countries and am worried about theft. With these crops, I’ll be able to hide my possessions in a stealthier manner. 🙂 Hooray!

Other bonuses: The crops appear less bulky in photos. LOL. I’ve worn my classic FlipBelt to races and unfortunately, it creates a little bulge around my waist. With the crops, it’s less noticeable.

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Wore these at Ragnar!

I honestly cannot stress how much I love these crops. LOL. If you want your own pair of FlipBelt Crops, you can use the code “BIBRAVE” for 25% off. 

Read more reviews from my fellow BibRave Pros below:

Amy – Lindsay – Barb – Renee – Lissa – Gina – Kate – Vanessa – Janelle – Karen – Lisa

Question for you: Do you run with your phone? If so, how do you carry it? 

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Posted in Running

Less than 2 weeks away. Crap.

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Big Sur 21 miler 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 am less than 2 weeks away from embarking on my first 21 mile race at Big Sur and holy crap am I terrified. Yes, the view will be amazing. Ever since I saw pictures of the Bixby bridge, I’ve wanted to run along it and take a billion photos of the view. 🙂 So yes, the view will be amazing, but oh the hills. I guess that’s the only way you can get great views, right? From lots and lots of hills? Just by looking at the map below, it doesn’t look tooooo bad, but you know I won’t be saying that in two weeks when I’m running this bad boy. LOL.

Big Sur Elevation Profile

So that’s where you guys come in. I’ve signed up for Motigo, which is this really cool app, that sends cheers to a runner during their race. All you have to do is sign up, record a cheer, and pick a mile marker for me to hear your cheer. Isn’t that kind of cool? You don’t even have to be awake the morning of my race. LOL. Just pre-record the cheer and have it play at say mile 5 (mile 10 on the map, but it’s really 5 since I start 5 miles further away from the marathon start) when I start that hike up the hill. 😛 Or really at any point along the course. 21 milers is a very long distance. 😛

I’ve done some hill training, but not much. Last night, I ran Mt. Soledad, which is this pretty steep hill and it felt AWFUL. Getting to the top felt amazing, but the run up the hill was causing my legs to cramp and I had to stop multiple times along the route to stretch. I will admit that tears were shed. LOL. My training has gone fairly well if you disregard the lack of hill training. I know I can do the distance, but I’m still not too sure about the hills. I guess only time will tell. 🙂 Maybe I’ll just walk up those hills and take glorious pictures instead. 🙂

Sooooo any tips on how to get through hills? They will be much appreciated!

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Run, Drive, Sleep?, Repeat – My SoCal Ragnar Relay Experience

Hello everyone! This past weekend, I ran my very first Ragnar Relay at the SoCal Ragnar Relay and I’m happy to say that I had a complete blast! This will be a fairly long race report so apologies in advance. 🙂 For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Ragnar Relay, here’s a very simplified version of it.

12 people; 2 vans of 6 people

Runners 1 – 6 are in van 1, whereas runners 7 – 12 are in van 2

Runners 1 – 6 run their first leg with runner 6 passing off the slap wristband to runner 7

Runner 7 – 12 run their first leg with runner 12 passing off the wristband to runner 1 for their second leg

This goes on until everyone finishes their third leg

Okay, now that you get the gist of it, here’s a more detailed version of what my experience was.

Thursday night – Due to an early start time (7 am) on Friday and the fact that most of us lived 2 hours away from the start line, we picked up our van rental Thursday night and headed up to Costa Mesa to sleep at a hotel. A friend was driving down from Central California and met us at the hotel. We grabbed In N’ Out and knocked out pretty quickly.

Friday morning – We left our hotel and got to the start line at Huntington Beach 1 hr before the start to check in, watch a safety video, and pick up our bibs.

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Van 1 right before our start!

First legs – Exactly at 7 am, our first runner was off! For the most part, we leap frogged and supported our runners. Prior to each run, we’d ask the runner if they’d need us to support them in any way along the course (water, cheering, etc). Then we’d meet them at various points along the course.

I was runner 3 and my first leg was 8.6 miles long. Unfortunately, Garmin only captured 8 miles because I was so ecstatic to start that I forgot to turn my Garmin on until I was 0.6 miles in. Boo! My first leg was great. All the adrenaline kicked in and I was beast moding it along the course. I also found out that morning that there were things called “kills” or “passes,” where people count the number of times they pass a runner. I’m competitive by nature so I was on a mission to pass as many people as I could without dying along the course. LOL. Spoiler alert: I passed maybe 25-30 people during my 3 legs. 🙂 My van was super supportive the whole way through. I originally told them I’d only need support at maybe the halfway point, but they ended up leap frogging 3 or 4 times to get me water that I desperately needed. Hooray!

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Stoked to be done with my first leg

After the handoff to runner 7 around 12 pm, we were all starving and grabbed lunch. We then headed to our hotel in Vista where we showered and/or crashed until van 2 notified us to start heading out to meet them around 5:30 pm where we would start our 2nd legs.

2nd legs – I think our second legs were much more enjoyable than our first. It was cooling down and our legs were much shorter. My leg was 4.8 miles. Yay! I’m a fan of night running and it was pretty calming to run through the streets of northern San Diego.

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Night running with van 1!

My leg took me through a bike route that had a gorgeous view of the surrounding area and then later took me through some residential areas. I still had pretty high energy levels during this leg and was able to add to my kill count. 🙂 A guy had passed me during the route, but I stayed close on his tail throughout the miles and at a stop light, he introduced himself and questioned whether he was ever going to lose me. LOL. I laughed, but it gave me motivation to pass him about 0.5 miles before the exchange. I apparently also came in a bit faster than my teammates had thought so I was searching for my team for a minute before they got there. 🙂 Our van finished our legs around 10 pm and grabbed a quick dinner at Taco Bar before heading back to the hotel and passing the heck out.

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Nom Nom Nom. Give me ALL the calories!

3rd legs – I got a call from our co-captain in van 2 at 2 am with her greeting me with a “Good morning sunshine!” She had said runner 11 had just started so we had maybe an hour to get to the exchange. I was devastated. We had only maybe 3 hours of sleep. LOL. At this point, everyone was pretty tired. People were passing out during the drives and we tried to sneak in as many naps as we could. We didn’t leap frog as much to support our runners, but we tried as much as we could for runners that had longer legs. 🙂

My last leg was along the Pacific Coast Highway and was the shortest of the 3 at 3 miles, but my legs were extremely fatigued and I struggled with it. However, I pushed through and that’s all that mattered. 🙂

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Finished all 3 legs!

It warmed up for our last two runners, but we were getting more and more excited because that meant we were getting closer to finishing! 🙂 Around 9:30 am, we finished all of our legs and went home to shower and rest up before van 2 got to the finish line.

We all met up together at the finish line and ran in the last 20 feet to the finish line with the last runner. 🙂

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Literally one of the only shots we have of our entire team together – After crossing the finish line

TLDR? I had an absolute blast running this relay. I don’t deal with sleep deprivation well, but I had such a supportive team that I don’t regret running this race at all. In fact, I am definitely considering running another one in the future. 🙂  Maybe Ragnar Niagara? 🙂 Does anyone want to join me for 2019? 

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Wheee!!! First Ragnar and first time captaining a race!

Results:

184.9 miles in 31 hours, 45 minutes, and 18 seconds

65/191 mixed teams

1 experience of a lifetime 🙂 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

End of March and the Start of April

It’s been awhile since I last did a monthly recap. Oops. It’s okay. Better late than never, right? Let’s quickly recap the past 3 months and get on with April. 🙂

In January, I completed something I thought was impossible. I ran the Dopey Challenge, which consisted of a 5k, a 10k, a half marathon, and a full marathon, all in 4 consecutive days. I also finished my first Spartan race and my hands were so raw after that race that my hands were peeling for weeks afterwards. LOL.

In February, I had no races and was having crazy FOMO all month long. My monthly mileage was pretty low and I struggled to keep motivated and run. I also turned 30. Let’s not talk about that. 😛

In March, I had 2 more races, the AllState Hot Chocolate 15k, which I PRed in, and the Rock N Roll Carlsbad 5000, which I did not PR in despite my attempts. Boo. I had a rough start to March, but after I started racing, I started feeling a lot better. Maybe it was race withdrawal. LOL. Who knows? In March, I did start going to spin class once a week for cross training purposes. I don’t know how spin people do it. I’m so drained after a 45 minute class that I don’t think I could do anything else that day. 😛

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This probably means my attempt at a triathlon are probably not going to happen if I can’t bike well. I ended March with a 16 mile long run in preparation for the Big Sur 21 miler and I’m feeling a bit more comfortable with the distance. I’m still pretty worried about the hills, but let’s talk about that another day. 🙂

Now that we’re in April, let’s talk about my upcoming April race – the SoCal Ragnar Relay! Dun dun DUNNNNN! All the details have been set. Well, almost all the details. There is a little issue about decorating the van. And the issue is that I don’t have any ideas as to how to decorate the van. I’m thinking I can just grab a bunch of NON-PERMANENT markers and let my team have at it in the wee morning before the start. That’ll be a good idea, right? LOL.

But in all seriousness, I am pretty excited to do this. 12 people in 2 vans making their way from Huntington Beach to San Diego over the course of 30ish hours. Throw in a little deprivation and also that one of us will be running at all times of the day for those 30ish hours. God, I hope we’ll still be friends after this. 😛

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Will keep you updated with the race report next week. Keep your eyes peeled. 🙂