Posted in Running, Thoughts

Races for 2018 Coming Right Up – Rock N Roll Las Vegas

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Hello Sin City!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half 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! All opinions are my own

I keep meaning to post about this race, but I kept forgetting. 🙂 If you couldn’t tell from the title, I will be running the Rock N Roll Vegas Half marathon again this year. 🙂 Hooray!

Details

Date: November 10th – 11th, 2018

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

Distances: 5k, 10k, Half marathon, Full Marathon

Price: $59.99 (5k) to $159.99 (Full)

The Rock N Roll Las Vegas race is a super unique one in that you get to race at night and on the Las Vegas strip no less. They only shut down the strip two times a year – New Years eve and the night of the RnR Vegas race. The entire race is a fantastic experience and this year, they’re celebrating their 10th anniversary of the race.

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From last year’s race 🙂 

Since it’s a night race, a lot of people wear glow in the dark items and since it’s sin city, a lot of runners dress up in costume. 🙂 At the start line, every wave gets a countdown and a little fire show and during the course, there are banners lit up in neon with messages that people had written at the expo. Then, you have all the lights coming from the hotels and just the main part of the strip. With all the lights on the strip, you wouldn’t really notice that it’s at night. LOL.

This race is a great one to run with a bunch of your friends and make a weekend out of it. Come out on Thursday, party on Friday and Saturday, and still have enough time to recuperate on Sunday for your race in the evening. LOL. I wasn’t in the best place last year when I ran it so I missed out on a lot of the festivities, but this year, I will be back and I plan on staying until at least Monday to recover. There’s no way I’m driving home immediately after the race. That was a mistake. LOL.

If you think that maybe a half marathon is too much, they also have a 5k on Saturday and a 10k on Sunday. 🙂 That way, you can still join in on their 10th year festivities. 🙂

Unfortunately, there is no discount code for the Vegas races, but if you’re interested in any other Rock N Roll race, you can use the code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off the half or full registration. 

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Posted in Running, Training

Countdown to the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half 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! All opinions are my own

It’s almost a year later and I find myself counting down to my 4th San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon. 🙂 4 years ago, this was my first half marathon. FOUR. I actually had to look back at my first medal to see what year it was. LOL.

Even as I type this, I am in just disbelief that it has already been 4 years since I embarked on this crazy running journey and 21 half marathons, 3 marathon, and 1 very hilly 21 mile race later, I am ready to run my 22nd half. LOL.

I remember the first time I went to the Health and Fitness Expo 4 years ago. I was in awe at how big the expo was. I had taken the day off from work and went with my brother to the expo and walked around and around. I played games that some vendors had, grabbed the free snacks, and got my very first medal rack and that very first medal rack led me to my Instagram and Twitter Handle: Once_upon_a_run. 🙂

Now that’s enough walking down memory lane. In 7 days, I will be running through the streets of Downtown San Diego once again. I will start out near the San Diego Zoo and head through the neighborhoods of Hillcrest and Normal Heights where there will be drag queens and the neighborhood bar at mile 4 where neighbors wake up early just to serve you shots of tequila and whiskey. LOL. I’ll run through North Park, where a lot of great food is at and then make my way towards the downhill finish in Downtown San Diego by the Waterfront. 🙂

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Training on the my old stomping grounds at UCSD

My game plan for this upcoming week will hopefully be a lot of rest and stretching. I haven’t race a half since January and I think I’m a little out of practice. Most of my training runs are at a much slower pace and I just checked my course PR on Athlinks and it was a 1:54:11. Crap. My muscles have been a lot tighter this year than they’ve ever been in the past so I’m trying to stretch as much as I can and foam roll after my runs. I can’t even touch my toes anymore! Ack. My hope is to at least stay ahead of the 2 hour sub half marathon crowd. Des Linden, the 2018 female Boston marathon winner and also a San Diego native, will actually be pacing the 2 hour half marathoners and I hope that I can stay ahead of that group, finish, and then wait around to see Des cross the finish line. She’ll also be at the expo on Friday and Saturday so I’m hoping to see her one of the days. Eek! So excited.

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Foam rolling

Wish me luck!

If you’re into doing things last minute and want to sign up online, you still can until Sunday night! You can use code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off either the half or full marathon. This code works on most Rock N Roll races (excluding Vegas) 🙂 

Question for you: What stretching tips do you have? Foam rolling? Post recovery tips are greatly appreciated! 🙂 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The end of my Spring Racing Season

Hello again! It’s already mid-May! My how time flies when you’re immersed in an intense racing season. I kicked off the season with the San Diego Hot Chocolate 15k, got a new PR, rested a week, and failed at a PR attempt at the Carlsbad 5000. LOL. I then rested two weeks and then ran my very first Ragnar Relay. Oh the sleep deprivation that race brought. LOL. I then had three weeks to rest before conquering the Big Sur 21 miler.

Ever since the Big Sur 21 miler, I’ve experienced a bit of a dip in my mood. I do have the Rock N Roll San Diego Half marathon race coming up in 2 and a half weeks so I am super excited for that, but after that race, I won’t have anything scheduled until November, when I run the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half. There will be more on that in a later post. 🙂

So after my June race, I will have NO RACES until November. That’s 5-6 months of no camaraderie at the start line, no “you can do it” from people on the sidelines, and no sense of accomplishment when you cross that finish line. LOL Of course, I’m being dramatic. I will still be running with my run groups so there will still be that sense of camaraderie at least. 🙂 Although my main running partner broke his knee cap so that’s a downer. 😦

Summer time is not really an ideal time to race anyway so I should be grateful for not having to race in warm temperatures. I’ll be using the summer to vacation (in Japan and Korea), build up my base, and starting in September, I will probably start my 4th marathon training season. 🙂 That’s right. I have a marathon in mind and once I sign up, I will let you all know. 🙂

So that’s a wrap on my feelings at the moment.

How do you feel after an intense racing season? Do you get the blues or are you just ready to kick your feet up onto a futon and relax? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Knock Around with KnockAround Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Polarized Premium Sunglasses 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!

Now that I’m a little bit older, I’ve decided that I should probably try and take better care of my eyes and skin. That means that I need to keep wearing sunglasses. I’m terribly forgetful about bringing my sunglasses with me and I squint constantly when I’m driving towards the sun and it’s blinding me.

I’ve been wearing the Knockaround Polarized Premium Sunglasses for a few weeks now and I really like them. They’re not really meant for high intensity running since they fog up after a few miles, but if you’re going out for a jog or just lounging around at the beach, these sunglasses are a great buy. I’m not going to lie. I look pretty fabulous walking around in them. LOL. Really though. Look at how pretty I am below. HAH.

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They’re cheap too! The Classics start off at $15 and the Premium ones are $20. So you don’t have to invest a ton of money just to look cool and it isn’t the end of the world if you lose a pair. You can just buy another one. LOL Surprisingly, with the name Knockaround, I thought these shades would be falling off my head like no other. I put my shades on my head when I’m indoors and a lot of the times, they slip and fall to the ground. Womp womp. These babies have stayed on my head without slippage. Hooray!

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I will note that for some reason, these shades appear to get smudgy a bit fast. I blame my oily fingers and the fact that I keep touching the shades. LOL. Nothing a fiber cloth won’t fix. 🙂

The laid back feel of these shades are really awesome. Picture yourself on the beach sipping a Mai Tai (is that what people drink? I have no idea since I don’t really drink) with these shades on. You’ll be feeling so fresh and so fly. 🙂

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If you want your own pair to look fly for the summer, you can use code “BIBRAVEKNOCKS” for 20% off your entire order! 

If you want to read what other BibRave Pros thought, read below:

Amanda S. – Corey – Jeaninne – Kevin – Randy – Stephanie – Janelle – Bradley – Teddy – Karin – Amanda W.

Question for you: What are your favorite pair of sunglasses? Fashion or function? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest – Review

Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest 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!

When I first started training for my first marathon in the hot summer in 2016, I realized that hydration is SUPER important. I never ran with water bottles and so when I first started running 13+ miles, I started trying to find ways to get around the whole hydration thing. My stomach was way too sensitive to drink water from a water fountain and I thought about placing water bottles along my run so that when I looped back around, I could just take a sip and place it back there and hope that no one poisoned my water bottle before I get to it again. LOL. The thought crossed my mind to also buy a belt that held water bottles, but with everything I already carry in my FlipBelt, I didn’t think it’d be feasible to carry water around my waist too.

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Enter hydration vests! These are probably the best inventions for long runs. They can hold quite a bit of water and have lots of pockets where you can keep gels for fuel. I was fortunate to try the Amphipod hydration vest recently and found it to be quite useful on 16 mile runs.

Features – The vest has four pockets where you’re able to hold fuel in. There are two pockets in the front (one on each side) and two in the back. In the front on each side, there is room for one of their 12 oz hydraform flasks. That’s 24 oz total if you’re just carrying the water bottles. There’s a cinch in the back where you can also securely store say a bladder or maybe even a light jacket. The vest also comes with a Versa-Light Clip-On LED light, which has a smiley face on it. 🙂  PureRunHydrationVest

Usability – To be honest, it took a little getting used to. The reason being is that I’ve never really carried around 24 oz of water before. The most I had ever carried was 15 oz of water in a vest. Having two water bottles sloshing around was interesting. The first time I ran in it, I wasn’t sure if it was going to work out, but after a few miles in and after adjusting the straps so it’d be more suited to my body, I didn’t have any issues. There are three straps that go across your body so you can secure it and make it fit more nicely with your body. I’ve run with the vest about 4 or 5 times by now and I haven’t experienced any problems with it. The mesh is fairly breathable and the material doesn’t rub on your skin and chafe you. I even tried wearing a sleeveless tank with the vest to see if it would rub and it didn’t in the slightest. 🙂 I’ve worn it on pretty humid days, on short runs, and long ones and didn’t experience problems with it.

The bottles that come with it are easy to drink from. They fit snugly in the front pockets so all you have to do is grab the bottle, pull the top, and squeeze the water into your mouth. 🙂

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I’m pretty happy with this product since it’s able to hold more water for my longer runs and with summer around the corner, this will be perfect for my next round of marathon training. 😉 Yes, that’s right. There might be another marathon in it for me this year. 🙂 Stay tuned.

If you’re interested in learning more about this product, please feel free to read what other BibRave Pros had to say about it below:

Andrea – Meredith – ReneeAlastair – Bradford – Barb – Amy

Question for you: How do you hydrate on your long runs? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Oh the Hills – Big Sur 21 miler Race Report

“Disclaimer: I received a 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!”

And BAM, just like that, the Big Sur 21 miler has been conquered. 🙂 I had a wonderful experience running Big Sur and despite my legs hating me oh so much right now, I’m sure they’ll get over it and I can start running again soon. 🙂

Without further ado, my race report:

The Health and Fitness Expo: I flew into San Jose Saturday morning and rented a car to drive down into Monterey Bay. There was plenty of parking and as long as you could get out of the expo in one hour, there were no issues. 🙂 I made my usual rounds. There were plenty of photo opportunities.IMG_6112

I found my name on a HUGE Big Sur poster and took an awesome expo photo in front of this ginormous sign. IMG_6126

Thinking about it now, I should have known. Everything was so big. That should have tipped me off that the hills would have been the same. LOL. I stopped by the Motigo booth, where I talked to one of the Co-founders Dan. He was super cool and told me to open the app prior to the race to make sure all of my cheers were downloaded. I refreshed the app like a mad woman that day. Seeing more cheers being sent my way made me happy. 🙂

After grabbing my race swag and visiting the vendor booths, I quickly made it outside to sight see a bit. Then a massive headache came about and basically spoiled the rest of the night. Luckily, I passed out around 8 pm to get ready for my early wake-up call at 3:45 am.

Morning of: I was pretty worried the morning of the race. I had been experiencing stomach cramps for the past few days and was worried they’d make an appearance during the race. I was too scared to eat, but managed to gulp down some gatorade and had half a bagel with cream cheese right before the race. Everyone met at a pick-up location and was shuttled to the start line for our respective races. Since my race was 5 miles shorter than the marathoners, we started further along the course at mile 5.

RACE! The start of the race was actually a little anticlimatic. LOL. The reason being that the start line banner doesn’t actually indicate the start. The timing mats were located 0.2 miles up a hill and that’s where we officially started. So as we crossed the banner, most of us slowly stretched our legs up the hill. I even overheard a Pennsylvanian say that “Californians were really chill.” LOL. When we hit that timing mat, we were off. I started my Motigo app, my Garmin (because if there’s no data, did you really run it?), and was off. I started off pretty quickly. I think I was so excited to hear cheers for the app that I ran faster than I should have. Hah.

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The scenery was extremely pretty. I took a lot of videos and pictures and was just in awe from the hills and the greenery. 🙂 We were running along the coast and I got these gorgeous views of the waves crashing against the rocks of the cliffs.

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The course was marked for the marathoners and just the marathoners so we all laughed when we started running and already saw the 5 mile marker. 😛 Hooray! 5 miles done, 16 to go, right? The first few miles were a breeze.IMG_6152

I heard a few cheers and then later found out that the app had unfortunately crashed due to really really poor reception in the area. Seriously. Plan ahead to meet your loved ones at the finish line. There is barely any reception in the area and I’m pretty sure I ran 19 miles of it without any cell service. I ended up listening to my cheers at the finish line, which was still pretty awesome. 🙂

At my mile 5 (10 for the marathoners), we began our ascent (into madness, jk, only sort of kidding) up the massive hill. We ran up maybe 600 feet over the course of 2 miles? It was this intense trek up and honestly, I had no idea when it would end because the course kept winding and so I couldn’t see the top. You’d turn and then see another hill. Seriously, I can’t believe I complained about the La Jolla Half. That race was nothing compared to this one. Also, once you got higher up, the wind got stronger. LOLIMG_6165

At mile 7, we started heading down towards Bixby Bridge, where we got to see this awesome piano player! He was playing lullabies when I ran by. LOL. I took about a million photos of the area and continued the trek. Around mile 10, the first place male marathoner passed me by. LOL. They were fast. At mile 15, it started to sprinkle, which was actually kind of fun. I kept leap frogging with another runner for a few miles, but at the 2 last miles, she passed me. At mile 17, I started feeling pretty tired. I liked to think that running down hill was my strongest skill, but at mile 17, that was not the case. My knees started feeling the the impact from pounding on pavement up and down. My stomach felt very empty at mile 17 and I worried that I had not fueled enough and I’d hit the wall. Luckily, it didn’t happen. and I managed to make it to 20.5. Mentally, I was done. I started walking, but soon after, another runner touched my back as he passed by to encourage me to keep going so I did.

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I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:25:56 and a big smile on my face. 🙂 I had conquered the hills of Big Sur. And I placed 80th/1010 overall. You can bet I put my results into Athlinks. 😛

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Question for you: What was the hardest race you’ve ever run? Mine was probably Big Sur. 😛 Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again though. IMG_6172