Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Goodbye Ziplock Bags and Hello CAMA

Disclaimer: I received the CAMA Bag 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!

About a month ago, I got the opportunity to test out the CAMA Bag from CAMA and if you’ve never heard of CAMA before, the details are below along with my review of the bag.

What is it?

The CAMA Bag is a reusable bag that is made of moisture-wicking and odor- absorbing fabrics. It comes in two sizes: The Bigger One [15″ (w) x 19″ (h)] and The Smaller One [12.5″ (w) x 15″(h)] . It’s machine washable allowing you to reuse it again and again.

Why use it?

The CAMA Bag is designed to be portable and to be used when you’re on the go and need a place to stash your sweaty clothes/gear/equipment. It’s constructed of 3 layers of fabrics that helps with keeping your clothes from getting stale and smelly.

Cost?

$55 for The Bigger One and $45 for The Smaller One.

Review?

If you love to travel and/or lead an active lifestyle, I think this bag would fit right in with that lifestyle. I first got the CAMA Bag right before my travels to Sacramento for the California International Marathon and decided to bring it along with me as a way to stash away my race clothes post-race. Normally, I would have had to bring a zip lock bag with me, but gone are the days where I need to do that. 🙂 I was able to change out of my sweaty race clothes and throw them into the CAMA Bag and zip it up. This allowed me to keep my race clothes and my regular clothes separately in my luggage.

Carrying my dirty race clothes in my CAMA bag waiting for my flight

Even if you aren’t leading an active lifestyle and are just like to travel, this bag is still really useful especially if you aren’t able to do laundry while you’re traveling. I store my used undergarments in the CAMA Bag to keep them separate from my clean clothes and it works like a charm. I’ve also thrown clothes that have gotten drenched from the rain into my CAMA Bag. Just wrung the water out of the shirt and threw it in there because I didn’t want to make my other clothes in my luggage wet before I got home.

Best part of the bag is that it’s reusable. You can machine wash it, line dry it, and use it again and again. When I was traveling abroad, I used up so many zip lock bags to store my used clothes since I didn’t stay anywhere with a washing machine. Now, I can just bring my CAMA Bag along.

Washing my race clothes and my CAMA bag at the same time

If you have questions about the CAMA Bag, let me know.

Posted in Running

Reviewing 2021 One Race at a Time – Black Mountain 25k

In my last post, I discussed training for the Big Sur Marathon in April 2022, but let’s rewind a little bit. A lot happened in the latter half of 2021 that I just forgot to blog about so let’s back track a bit.

In June 2021, I raced my first trail race at the Black Mountain 25k and survived with no rattlesnake bites. LOL. This was a huge accomplishment in my book because if you know me personally, you’ll know that I absolutely fear rattlesnakes. I’ve run through trails before and if I hear a sound or any type of rustling, regardless of whether it’s something harmless or dangerous, I will scream and if you’re unfortunately running near me, well sorry friend. LOL. Summer time is prime time rattlesnake season and even before the summer, we’ve rattle snakes have been seen throughout the year so I actually refused to really train on trails without anyone else and with COVID19 running rampant, I trained on road and hoped that it would be enough to finish the 25k.

Initially, I had signed up for the 50k in June 2020, but that race got deferred and I ended up downgrading to the 25k due to lack of trail training and again, my fear of rattlesnakes. I know. I know. If you don’t get near them or agitate them, they won’t go near you, but I’m clumsy AND I don’t pay close attention to the road/trail because I have most definitely almost stepped on a rattlesnake in 2019 and it rattled at me. The experience scarred me for life.

The Black Mountain 25k is not an easy one and after speaking to several people and racing it myself, I definitely did not choose an easy trail race to start with. The terrain itself is rather technical and as someone who didn’t really train on the course, it’s a miracle I didn’t fall flat on my face. Elevation gain was 2785 ft over about 16.3 miles and there were some steep hills.

In the end, I can say that I’m glad I did it. It was the first in person race I did since the lock down and it was really nice to see everyone and since it was a local trail race, the crowds weren’t as large. Also, I didn’t see a single rattlesnake (phew), but I think I did hear one and ran out as quickly as I could.

Would I consider running another trail race again? Absolutely. Will I consider running a trail race where there are signs to watch out for rattlesnakes? Absolutely not. I already have my eye on the Rainshadow Running series, but unfortunately the Sun Mountain race is too close to my other races so I’ll have to consider it for 2023. Thanks Jeannine for the recommendation!

Are there any really cool trail races that you’d recommend? I’d consider a 50k, but I’m more comfortable with the 25k to marathon distance at the moment. 🙂 Please and thank you!

Posted in Running, Training

2022 – A New Year and a New Attempt at the Big Sur Marathon

Big Sur Marathon Attempt in 2022

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Big Sur 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!

On December 19, 2019, I last wrote about preparing for the Big Sur Marathon in April 2020 and on February 22, 2020, I did my last 18 mile long run for the marathon. We went into lock down shortly after and most if not all races were cancelled or deferred to another year.

Now that it’s 2022 and vaccinations have been made widely available, I will be attempting another Big Sur Marathon training cycle.

Details

Distances: Marathon (Lottery drawing), 21 miler, Marathon relay, 11 miler, 12k, and 5k

Date: April 24, 2022

Time: 6:45 am PST

Time limit: 6 hours; Officially ends at 1 pm

Since my last attempt, I have raced a virtual road 50k, raced my first international marathon (more on that later), and raced a second marathon 2.5 months later. In that second marathon, I broke my marathon personal record by 11 minutes. 🙂 Despite those accomplishments, I’ve also rolled my ankle numerous times on random flat sidewalks (LOL) and have experienced tendonitis a few more times than I’d like.

All smiles post long run ^_^

I’m about 16 weeks out from the marathon so I guess I should start training. Sigh. LOL. I do love running, but getting out of bed to get those long runs in are exhausting. Hah! Anyway, before I leave, I did want to mention that I came across a Sarah Marie Design Studio crop top that said “Kinda rude how running a marathon requires months of training, but ok” and thought it was very fitting for me recently. 🙂 Happy New Year everyone!

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Another Missed Sub Two Attempt at the San Diego Craft Classic Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Diego Craft Classic 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!

The Craft Classic Half marathon in San Diego occurred this past weekend and I could not be happier by my performance. Here’s how it all went down.

Friday

I headed down to San Diego to go to PT (more on that in a later post) and I kid you not, an hour before my PT appointment, I roll my ankle WALKING on the SIDEWALK. Yes, read that again. I ROLL my ankle TWO days before race day while walking on a FLAT sidewalk. I quickly text my PT, let m know what happened, and I came in and he checked my ligaments to make sure nothing was damaged. He ended up massaging my very tight calf, taped me up, and send me on my way. He was confident I could race. I was not. LOL. I legitimately almost cried after rolling my ankle. I’ve been dealing with so many injuries the past year that I thought I wouldn’t be able to race.

Leaving my PT’s office, I hoped for the best and headed off to packet pick up at Road Runner Sports, met up with another Bibrave Pro, and caught up with fellow runners at the store. That night, I end up dunking my ankle in an ice bath and HOLY MOLY, how does anyone do this? I could not keep my ankle in the ice water for more than 5 seconds without screaming.

Saturday

My ankle was still a bit tender. Walking around felt okay, but I wasn’t sure if I could run and I didn’t want to risk injuring it further by trying to run Saturday so I held off and hoped it’d be okay for race day. Laid out my flatrunner and dropped all of my essential race gear in a bag that night and passed out.

Sunday – Race Day

The race started at 6:30 and this year, we were parking near the start line so I was able to sleep in until 5 am. LOL. I was out the door by 5:30 am. Parking was at a high school and we all walked to the start line. The race was a bit smaller this year, but as we are still in a pandemic, I was pretty happy with how many people came out. The weather was also much better this year than in other years. It was much cooler and had a lot of cloud cover. Runners were released in waves and I headed out with a friend of mine and as soon as I took that first step, I felt stiffness in the front of my ankle. I honestly wasn’t sure if it’d be smart to continue, but when do runners ever listen to reason. I told my friend I’d try to run a bit more and see where it went. Luckily, she doesn’t like to run fast so we took our time and ran together for about 3 miles.

At the finish line

At that point, she and I parted ways and my ankle was feeling a lot better and I decided to continue forward. As I wasn’t chatting with anyone, I was able to pick up my pace and realized that I might make a sub 2 cutoff if I pushed. I’ve run this course 2 other times and both times, I’ve missed the sub 2 cutoff. I have raced a sub 2 before, but it would have been nice to have a sub 2 for this course. In the back of my head though, I was also absolutely fine with missing it because I’d rather finish and not be injured than try and race faster and be injured before my fall marathon. I conservatively ran an 8:30 to 9 min/mile up until mile 10. Most of the course at that point is downhill. (YAY). Then came the king of the hill that crushed my dreams. It’s about a 300 ft elevation gain across maybe a half mile or 3/4 mile and my legs were not having it. I managed a jog/walk up it, but by the time I got to the top, I knew I’d miss the cutoff. Funnily enough, that’s when I felt a weight lift off my shoulder. With that pressure removed, I was able to take more walk breaks and enjoy the last bit of the course. Don’t get me wrong, the course through the back part of the city was pretty with the trees on either side of the course, but the pressure of running faster was always in the back of my head. The last bit of the course is a bit deceiving. Once you reach the top of the biggest hill, you head back down and you turn the corner and there’s one more hill and then you turn the corner again and there’s another hill. LOL. You just silently or not silently curse to yourself as you’re running it. At least, I did.

My crazy friends

I had a really strong finish though where I clocked in at about a 7:30 min/mile meaning I could have pushed if I had wanted to. I finished in at 2:03 and some change and didn’t roll my ankle again and it was my 31st half marathon! I also got to see a lot of friends I hadn’t seen in over a year and a half and it felt fantastic. I gave my friend my free beer ticket and they cashed it in for a Green Flash Beer since that’s where the race ended. 🙂 After dawdling a bit, I headed back to the shuttle that took me back to the start line parking lot.

My 31st half marathon medal

TLDR? I started out with a rolled ankle and finished my 31st half marathon with a time of 2:03.

Have you raced in person since the pandemic started yet? How did it go?

Posted in Running

A Week Out from the San Diego Craft Classic Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Diego Craft Classic 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!

From the title, you can see that I’m exactly one week away from my return to an in person road race and in all honesty, I am a bit nervous about it all. It will be my first in person road race since the pandemic and I haven’t been in such a large crowd in some time. It will definitely be an interesting experience.

I’ve also just been having a few more injuries than I’d like this year. I won’t bore you with the details, but I have Posterior Tibial Tendonitis. The tendon that’s affected is the one on the inner side of the ankle. It also happens to be the same ankle that I’ve rolled over and over again in the past 6 months. Coincidence? Probably not. Since being diagnosed with it a few weeks ago, I have been working with my PT to try and find the root cause and nip it in the bud. After all, (spoiler alert) I am also in full swing of marathon training and I can’t get more injured or else I won’t be able to make it to the starting line.

I have been feeling a bit better about the training though and although my tendon is sometimes angry with me, I think this will be a good race. I’ve been training on a lot on hills (this race has one major hill) and my PT has helped me improve my running form.

We are however, experiencing a bit of a heat wave at the moment, but I do see the weather trending towards being colder in a week so fingers crossed it’ll be colder or at least we’ll have some cloud cover before it gets too warm. Luckily, there are 7 aid stations throughout the half course so all I have to do is make sure I drink water at all of them if it gets too warm. Heh. Wish me luck!

Discount Alert: Also, if you want to plan a last minute trip to San Diego and run this half, you can use the code “BIBRAVE20” for $20 off the half registration. They also do have a 5k if you just want to run much less and still earn a free beer. You can use code “BIBRAVE10” for 10% off the 5k registration.

Posted in Running

My Return to Road Racing – San Diego Craft Classic Half (Discount Code included)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Diego Craft Classic 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!

Yes, you read the title of the blog post correctly. The time has come for me to return to road racing and that time is set for July 25th, 2021. It’s been ages since I last raced an in person road race and I’m excited that we finally can.

Honestly though, my anxiety has been through the roof the entire pandemic and I have not run with a single person in over a year for fear of getting it as well as possibly spreading it. Thankfully, things are starting to look up (*knocks on wood*). San Diego has recently been moved to an Orange Tier where more businesses have been able to reopen and COVID19 vaccinations are being made available to everyone over the age of 18. I’ve already gotten my first dose and will be fully vaccinated by the time the Craft Classic rolls around. Hooray!

If you’re itching to return to road racing, this might be the race that you’re looking for. If you’re not comfortable with the half distance, they also have a 5k available and the bonus of running the 5k distance is that you’ll also get a complimentary beer from Green Flash Brewery. 5kers are honestly the smart ones. They run 10 miles less and also get the same beer. LOL. I’m personally a glutton for punishment so a half marathon it is.

I’ve done this race a few times and I will not lie to you. It’s not a flat course and it’s not the easiest, but it’s also not the most difficult. I’d say that it challenges you. There is one major hill towards the end of the race so pacing is pretty important. I’d also say that training on hills or being okay with walking up them is pretty key. But once you get over that hill, that beer will taste so much better.

The Craft Classic will be my 31st half marathon and I honestly can’t wait. I’ve missed meeting friends at the start and end of races and the occasional slap on my back as a friend speeds by along the course. 🙂 Also, this race has free photos! That’s a rare find with races. 🙂

If you’re concerned about the race being cancelled, their FAQs do address those concerns and I’m posting this here for easier viewing. You can also view them here.

What happens if the race date is changed or cancelled due to COVID?

  • If the race date is changed or cancelled, all existing registrants will be given the option to run virtually, defer to the new date/2022 or receive a refund.

Will anything be different for the event due to COVID protocols?

  • The health and well being of our participants is our first priority! We will follow all state and local guidelines for hosting a safe half marathon & 5K. These guidelines are very fluid and can change. So we will be working closely with local officials to ensure we are following the latest protocols on event day.

If you’re interested in either race, the price increase occurs on June 10th ($95 for the half and $45 for the 5k). You can use code “BIBRAVE10” for 10% off. Let me know if you’re racing and want to meet up! It’s been too long since I’ve gotten photos with other runners! 🙂

If you have any other questions, let me know. I’ve run the race twice and the course has been more or less the same the past few years.

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Discount Codes, Running

Escape Room x Running = A Run to Escape Experience

Disclaimer: I received registration to the Run to Escape Experience 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!

As you may or may not know, I have been a BibRave Pro for over 4 years and over the years, I’ve been able to test out interesting running products and race in really amazing cities for BibRave. Recently, they came out with this awesome concept of launching their own running/racing experience. As most things are virtual these days due to the pandemic, we needed a way to make running more interesting and motivate us to run. (Some people like myself have not run with anyone in over a year. Yikes.) The Run to Escape Experience is BibRave’s way of doing that. Even with some races starting to come back, I thought this would be a great way of motivating myself to get back into it all.

Check out my IG reel that is a brief overview of the experience. I don’t give out any actual puzzles from it as that would be spoilers, but if you enjoy solving puzzles like the one in the reel, this might be of interest.

IG Reel – Run to Escape

The Run to Escape experience obviously running and puzzles/riddles. Think of it as a cross between an escape room and running. The experience consists of 6 separate runs that will test your wits and make you laugh along the way if you’re into Greek mythology like I was in high school. In each run, you are given more and more of the storyline in an audio format. In addition to the storyline, you are given clues to solve a puzzle and after each run, you are given the puzzle. Don’t worry if you miss the audio clues. They’ll be provided to you so you can listen again and again to solve the puzzle. I say again and again because I definitely had to listen to a few clues on repeat to solve a puzzle or two. Haha. Once you solve the puzzle, you enter the code to unlock the next run/part of the story line.

Head over to the RTESeries IG page and try to solve their clever puzzles like this one!

As someone who was addicted to escape rooms a few years ago, this was right up my alley. I was dead tired after work some days, but because I wanted to progress along the challenge, I muscled up and ran so I could hear more clues. I would then spend the evenings in bed piecing together the clue to unlock the next run. I had a blast doing this since it was so unique. I can’t spoil the end, but I was so pleasantly surprised at how well they wrapped everything up.

Can you solve the What Am I puzzle? Let me know!

Right now, the Run to Escape Experience has a flexible refund policy so I highly recommend giving it a shot. If you don’t like it, there’s always that refund. If you do sign up, use code BibRave10 for 10% off the registration.

Oh! I forgot to mention this, but if you are worried you won’t be able to solve the clues, there are hints, just like a real escape room. Every run has 3 hints and you will definitely be able to solve them if you use all 3, but if you’re just like me, you’ll just be agonizing over the clues until you can solve it without any hints. Haha. Good luck and let me know if you have questions!

I’ve also included some reviews from other BibRave Pros if you’re unsure if you want to sign up.

LissaMike P.Cynthia RyanStephanie D.SarahKatie

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Discount Codes, Running

Ready Set Move – A Fitness Subscription Box

Disclaimer: I received two Ready Set Move Subscription Boxes 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!

Hi you all! How have you all been? It’s been so long since I last posted anything. 2020 was quite a year and now we’re in 2021, where things are starting to look up, at least I hope they are. I hope you’re all doing well. If you were experiencing the same 2020, I was, you’ll have maybe lost some motivation to work out. I started out pretty strong at the beginning of the pandemic, but as the months passed by, it was harder for me to stay motivated to keep active. I bet I wasn’t the only one.

Now that it’s 2021 and more and more people are getting vaccinated, we’re starting to see more in-person races happening. I’m even signed up for a 25k trail race that’s supposed to happen in June. Eeek! I’m nowhere in the shape I want to be at for this race, so it’s time to get back to it and start training.

Recently, BibRave was given the opportunity to have some of their ambassadors try out a fitness subscription box called the Ready.Set.Move Box and since I was starting to consistently run more often to prep for my 25k, I figured I’d give it a shot. Anything to motivate me to train a bit more, right? A few things about the box.

  • It’s a quarterly subscription box geared towards people who are passionate about moving towards their fitness goals. These boxes are shipped out every January, April, July, and October.
  • Each box consists of fitness related products, always valued at $100+ and can be used during workouts/training cycles.
  • Each individual box cost $49.99, but if you sign up for the whole year, you can save $20 (Total: $179.99)

I received their January and April box and have had about a month and a half to try out some of the products. Below are my thoughts.

  • Each box represented the season that it came in in a unique way. I was pleasantly surprised to find that my January box contained products that were geared more primarily on being visible as the days were shorter. The box had a Nathan Sports Hyper Bright Strobe that I could clip onto my running shoe, a SpiBeams LED cap to light up the path, and a Brooks Greenlight headband that was a reflective bright yellow I could wear around my head and keep my ears warm during the Winter runs. As someone who really didn’t invest in any good lighting during my runs even though I ran primarily in the evenings, I was pretty happy that these items arrived.
Spibeam LED cap with Nathan Sports Hyper Bright Strobe
  • Not all of the products are targeted for the season. Some of the products can be used year-round. Examples of these would be recovery products like Trigger Point’s Nano LTE, KT Recovery Pain relief gel, and Floyd’s on the Go Recovery Protein, which also came in my January box. There are also hydration and fueling products like Nuun’s Sport/Energy tablets and Honesty Stinger gels/waffles that came in one or both of my boxes.
  • Experimenting will be key. I think that with subscription boxes, you have to keep an open mind. There will be products that you’re not so sure about, but the whole point of subscription boxes is to discover what products are out there and give them a try. Not all of them will be winners, but you won’t know until you try them out. For an example, in my April box, there was a packet of Bob’s Red Mill Almond Protein Flour included. Normally, I wouldn’t go out of my way to buy this in the store, but now that I have, I’m excited to experiment with it. On the back of the packaging, it said I could use this flour to make protein almond butter. It also says I can make smoothies with it so I’m very excited to try and incorporate it into my meals.
  • Surprises are fun most of the time, right? Isn’t it exciting to receive a box in the mail full of gear that will motivate you towards your fitness goals? Personally, I love surprise packages full of goodies so this was right up my alley.
Bracoo calf compression sleeves with Brooks Greenlight Headbad

Below are just a few of my favorite items that I received within the two boxes are listed below.

  • Spibeams LED cap – I don’t wear head lamps as they bother me a bit or maybe I just haven’t found the right one yet. With the Spibeams LED cap, it’s literally a hat you wear and it just happens to have lights built into the front and back of it.
  • TriggerPoint LTE – My plantar fasciitis comes and goes, but whenever I feel it coming back, I like to use this to roll out my foot. I have a few other rollers, but this one is nice and small and I just roll it out when I’m sitting down at work. 🙂
  • La Colombe Nitro Brew – My January box had the Triple Espresso shot and my April box had the Sicilian lemons version. Coffee is a must to survive so this was such a great surprise.
  • KT tape’s Chafe Safe Anti-chafe wipes – Again, there are so many products out there and I love testing them all. I had been using other types of gliding agents that would prevent chafing, but apparently there are now wipes that do the same thing! Who knew?
January Subscription Box

The P3R company that puts these Ready.Set.Move Subscription boxes is ships out their boxes on the 25th of Jan, Apr, Jul, and October. If you’re interested in signing up for a subscription, you can use code “BibRave10” for $10 off your first box. If you have any other questions, please let me know! Thanks!

I’ve also included unboxing videos and reviews from other Bibrave Ambassadors who were able to test the box as well.

MeridithLissa (Review 1) – Lissa (Review 2) – Ken (Review 1) – Ken (Review 2) – Samantha (Unboxing) – ShannonLishaMark Box 1(Unboxing), Mark Box 2 (Unboxing), Patrick PhilLisaSamantha (Review)

Posted in Discount Codes

Adding a little oomph to your training

Disclaimer: I received a free pack of MetCon Start Pre-Training 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!

Hello my fellow readers! Today, I’d like to share my experience with a pre-workout supplement called MetCon Start. Their blend claims to increase your muscle endurance, stamina and nitric oxide production. As someone who has a scientific background, I definitely can’t speak to it increasing my nitric oxide production, but I can speak to how I felt while using it.

A little bit of background about me if you are just joining me on my blogging journey. My main hobby is running. I’ve been running consistently since 2014 and on average log around 20 miles a week. More recently, due to quarantine, I did up my mileage the past few months to maybe 40 miles a week and had completed a broken up road 50k in April.

By the time I received MetCon Start, I was working towards attempting my first continuous 50k (2nd one in 24 hours). I had maybe a week to decide whether I wanted to use MetCon Start to prepare for it. Even though every experienced runner will tell you not try anything new on race day, I figured that because my 50k was virtual, I could swing back towards my place if something disastrous were to happen. Soooo going against every runner’s advice, I decide to use it for the race.

Before actual race day, I did test various scoops of MetCon start the week leading up to it. It suggests that 1 scoop is recommended, but if you are concerned about how you will deal with it, they suggest a half scoop first. A half scoop on a 3 mile run gave me no issues. A full scoop on a 15 mile run also gave me no issues so I figured it’d be fine to use.

On race day, I added 1 scoop to my water, shook it a bit to dissolve it, and guzzled it 25 min before I started my race. I’ve tried using other supplements before and I was pleasantly surprised that MetCon Start dissolves very easily in water. It doesn’t require you to use a ball blender of any sort. You just add the powder to the water and give it a few shakes and voila, it’s ready. MetCon Start comes in a Fruit Punch flavor, which is not overly sweet and actually very clean tasting. It doesn’t taste like typical fruit punch and I can’t quite put my finger on what it actually tastes like, but it’s a very pleasant drink.

They do recommend that you take it 15 min prior to your physical activity I wanted to be on the safe side and give it a little more time. During the majority of the 50k, I felt fairly strong, which is saying a lot. Normally, during any marathon, I bonk at mile 20. Doesn’t matter how well I prepare, mile 20 comes around and I start slowing down significantly. During this 50k, I felt good until mile 25. Taking MetCon Start seems to have staved off my fatigue and although, it couldn’t stave it off the entire 50k, I’m pretty happy it delayed the eventual pain town I would have entered 5 miles earlier. LOL.

It’s also super important to note that I had no gut issues while taking MetCon Start. My gut is very sensitive during race day and in normal races, I can only drink water and sometimes. Even in some cases, pHed water gives me an upset stomach soooo having no issues with MetCon Start was awesome.

In addition to the vitamins and electrolytes that MetCon Start provides, it also has a bit of caffeine in it too. They do recommend that on your non-training days to drink some at the start of your morning. I’ve also done that too and I don’t necessarily feel any different from taking it, but it’s a good way to force myself to hydrate and additional supplements couldn’t hurt.

Overall, I had a really great experience with this. If you’re interested in getting yourself a pack, you can use code BIBRAVE for 20% off your first order. If you have any questions, let me know!

Also, see what my fellow BibRave Pros had to say about it. Once more reviews are up, I’ll link them below. 🙂

ShannonKenJuanReneeAndrea

Posted in Thoughts

Brand Alignment

Hi my fellow readers (if there are left at this point)! I want to again apologize that I haven’t been posting as frequently as I have in previous years. This year has been really rough and if you’re in a country where COVID19 cases still haven’t been going down (*cough*United States*cough)*, well, you know how I’m feeling.

Today I wanted to talk about a topic that I’ve been struggling with the past few months – brand alignment. It’s important to be me because as a brand ambassador for a few companies, I think it’s an issue that’s worth discussing especially with regards to the Black Lives Matter movement.

The Background

On February 23rd, Ahmed Arbery, an unarmed black man, who was running in his neighborhood was accosted and shot by Gregory and Travis McMichael, two white men. I don’t want to get too much into the details as it’s been re-hashed over and over again, but this incident along with several others (Killings of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Atatiana Jefferson, Tamir Rice, and many more) ignited the Black Lives Matter Movement.

On June 2nd, social media users were encouraged to post a black square to their social media profiles and hashtag #blackouttuesday. The concept originated from the music industry and news of the hashtag spread to any user on a social media platform, but it primarily was on Instagram. Many brands posted either a black square on that day or have since then posted some statement that they support the movement and/or are making changes to break down systemic racism.

Acceptance into a brand ambassador program and declining it

Fast forward to a few weeks later, I received news that I was accepted into an ambassador program. I had been monitoring their social media platforms in the past few months to see if they had made any statement and oddly enough, I didn’t find anything. I had reached out to their founder to ask what their stance was on the Black Lives Matter movement and although he said that he and their company do not tolerate racism and partner with groups that align with that same ideal, he also mentioned that he was at a loss on what to say on social media. I had suggested a few things such as more diversity of their audience on the social media platform or even a statement that said that they are working on having a plan in place to support the movement in one way or another. I understood that plans are not devised over night and a lot of thought go into plans and of course, plans can change. The issue I had was that there was no information on any of his social media channels (personal and company wise) that would have led me to have believed the company was pro or anti-BLM. I did look through years of posts so it wasn’t a hasty statement. I also explained that being silent on the issue also sends a message to their audience and that message to me personally was that the movement wasn’t worth posting about. After a few more email exchanges, my understanding of the situation was that he did not want to post on social media. I also understand that this is his right.

I thanked him for being open to having the conversation with me and I declined the ambassadorship. Believe me when I say that this was not an easy decision for me as I love supporting quality products and brands. However, I am also standing up for something that I believe is more important.

Alignment as a Brand Ambassador

As a brand ambassador, you are a representation of the brand, the products it sells, and the stances it does or does not take. I personally could not represent a brand that would not make any social media statement on issue that I thought was vital. Don’t get me wrong. I also see brands who have posted statements and have not taken any actions whatsoever. I also am trying to not associate myself with them as well. To be clear, I have no ill will for ambassadors of brands that I do necessarily align with. It is something to keep in mind though when applying to your next ambassadorship.

I have been very blessed to be a brand ambassador for both BibRave and Aftershokz, two companies that have been vocal about the movement and have made statements and taken actions to combat systemic racism. Bibrave created shirts like the one I’m wearing below and all of the proceeds were sent to the Equal Initiative Fund. They’re no longer available, if they ever, I will post about it on my IG. Aftershokz made an official statement on their website and have posted about it on their social media pages. I’ve linked to their official statement here.

BibRave sold these F*ck Racism shirts and all the proceeds were donated to the Equal Justice Initiative Fund

So that about sums up my thoughts for the day. I hope that everyone is having as wonderful of a time as they can be given the circumstances. If you’re in an area that has few to no cases and can give your friends hugs, can you give them an extra one? I miss hugs. 😦

Bye for now!