Happy Friday everyone! This will be a short post, I promise. The year is almost half over and I have run five races – two 5ks, a 10 miler, and two half marathons. That leaves me with at least six more races to go. I say “at least” because I haven’t completely banned myself from signing up for more races even though I really should.
I started off 2017 with six planned races. I kind of got carried away along the way (FOMO is real guys and gals) and signed up for more. LOL Oops? Sorry, not sorry. I’m having a blast racing about my city and later this year, I’ll be racing in 4 additional cities. 🙂 Hooray! Anyway, the running bug is back. Maybe I’m overwhelmed with work and this is how I cope – by literally running away from all my problems. LOL. I kid. I am thinking about about signing up for a trail half marathon though. I’ve never run a trail race before and I think it might be fun. Also, I really want to try a Ragnar Relay one year. Running day and night while also hanging out with your sweaty running buddies in a van? Count me in. LOL. I was invited to two different relays this year, but because of timing it just didn’t work out. Hopefully I’ll be able to do one soon. They look like so much fun.
Have you done a trail race before? A Ragnar Relay? Did you enjoy it? Any advice for a potential first timer? Also, what other fun running activities are there out there? I’m all ears. 🙂
It’s been a month since I last reviewed a product, but I’m back with a review for the Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Mini headphones and it’s a good one. 🙂 I’ve been testing these out for almost a month and a half and honestly, I don’t know how I ever went on runs without them. Let’s get down to it, shall we?
What are type of headphones are they? The Aftershokz Trekz Titaniums are a set of wireless sports headphones that have an open ear design, meaning they do not stick directly into your ears. Instead, they rest on your cheekbones and sound is delivered to your inner ear through mini vibrations.
What advantages do these headphones have over other ones?
Wireless – There are no tangled wires that can get caught on things as you run. Ever run by a branch and have your headphones catch on them and pull your earbuds out? That will never happen with these. Wireless headphones are also huge right now ever since the new iPhone 7 came out and did away with the headphone jack.
Open ear design – The headphones sit over your cheekbones and are never directly put into your ear. This allows you to hear outside noises, which is especially important if you’re a runner. You’ll want to hear if others are running by you and if cars are nearby. These headphones allow you to be alert and safe while out on your run. If you really don’t want to hear outside noise, these headphones actually come with a pair of ear plugs that you can use. It may sound counterintuitive, but all you have to do is put in your ear plugs, put on your headphones, and ta-da, you’ll only hear your music, podcast, show, etc. I did this while on a 3 hour flight and it was a total game changer for me. I went from not being able to hear my podcast because of all the outside noise to hearing my show crystal clear. I will always try to fly with a pair of ear plugs and these headphones from now on.
Multipoint pairing – This is kind of a nifty function and I don’t actually use it all too much, but it is cool to note. You can pair the headphones to two different devices. The most common combination would probably be your iPad or computer and your phone. If you were watching Netflix on your iPad or computer and then got a call, your headphones will automatically switch to your phone. Once you’re done with the call, the headphones will automatically switch back.
Are there other noteworthy features? Yes, of course. 🙂 My favorite feature is that I can use these headphones to talk to people on the phone. Some headphones have mics that are inconveniently placed and I will have to move the mic closer to my mouth to talk. The mic is well positioned on these headphones and the person on the other line hears me perfectly fine.
Controls are very easy to use. If your music is playing, double click on the multifunction button to skip a song. Click once to pause or play a song. You can adjust the volume with mere clicks. If you don’t have music playing and someone is calling you, click once to answer and click again to end the call. Easy, right?
Despite the open ear design, the sound quality is surprisingly still very good. I’m not an audiophile or anything, but I’d give these an A. 🙂
The headphones are lightweight. They don’t bounce when you run and fit very well around your ears. Also, if you need to take them off, you can just have them hang around your neck without any fear of them falling off.
The battery life on these lasts anywhere from 5 – 6 hours. 🙂
Are there things you didn’t like about them? As I said before, these are my opinions and yes, I did find a few things I didn’t like about them, but I think they’re very minor issues.
If I wore them long enough, my neck would feel a little sore, but I think this might actually be due to “text neck” if anything. Also, if was very windy outside, I wouldn’t be able to hear my music very well.
If you’d like to learn more about these headphones, please feel free to ask me or check out other BRP reviews below. They have two sizes – the regular or the mini. I have a small head and tried out their mini and it fit perfectly for me.
You can order your own through bibrave.aftershokz.com and get a free Stainless steel water bottle with your order. 🙂 Also, join us on Twitter @BibRave for #BibChat on Tuesday, May 30th at 6 pm PST for a chance to win a pair of Aftershokz Titanium Minis.
Have you tried these headphones? How do you like them?
Disclaimer: This was a very emotionally charged post for me to write so please be kind. My life isn’t always rainbows, butterflies, and personal records. It’s often filled with anxiety and self-doubt and I thought it was time I let you in on some of that.
Hello world. It’s been a few days since I’ve been back from a much needed mini vacation and although, I’m still not quite ready to return to real life, I thought I’d pop by to update you as to what I’ve been up to lately. A lot has been going on with me and I thought a mid month update was needed.
Graduate school – For those of you just tuning in, I’m a graduate student in the biological sciences. I’ve been in graduate school for almost five years now and this year will be my final year as I’m trying to wrap up in the lab. I‘mcurrently finishing up an experiment just finished what is hopefully my last experiment for my project and will be furiously writing my manuscript in the next few weeks in hopes of getting it published somewhere. In less than a month, I will be meeting with my committee, a group of principal investigators, that will decide whether I’m ready to graduate or not. I will present my work and they’ll ask me questions about my work. Questions on literature that pertain to my work may come up and I pray that I will know the answer to their questions. If they decide I’m ready and knowledgeable enough, I will have a couple months to write my dissertation (a very long essay on my five years of graduate work), submit my manuscript to a journal, perform experiments that reviewers may ask regarding the manuscript, and defend my dissertation to my committee, friends, family, and anyone else that really wants to come. My stress level in grad school? HIGH.
Beyond graduate school – This year is full of uncertainty and doubt. What will I do after I graduate? Do I want to take a break after I graduate before doing a job search or should I start looking for a job now while still in school? I’ve practically been in school since I was 5 and have had some sort of income since I was 16. The idea of a break sounds nice and I still have a few countries on my bucket list that I want to visit, but I haven’t been unemployed in over a decade and don’t know how I’ll react to it. If I do take a break, how long should it be? As long as it takes me to find a job? What if it takes me 6 months to a year or even longer to find a job? Will I be okay? I haven’t been sleeping all too well the past few months and these are just a few of the reasons why. I’ve been in academia for so long that I don’t know what it feels like to be thrusted into the “real” world. It worries me.
My 100 Happy Day Project – I’m sad to say that I didn’t finish this project. I was a third of the way done when I had a few days where it was too difficult to find that silver lining so I stopped recording. I will finish this project this year because I said I would, but I will have to modify the project so that it will be to find 100 happy days within the calendar year and not 100 consecutive happy days.
Long distance relationship – My better half left for a six to 12 month internship at the beginning of April. I guess I was hoping it’d be some elaborate April fools joke, but it wasn’t. He left and it’s been incredibly tough because I find myself alone again. Don’t misunderstand. I do get to talk to him, every day in fact. I’m incredibly lucky to be living in an age where we have cellphones, skype, and other ways of communicating with people living in other areas, but it’s still difficult. I put on a brave face every day, but by the end of the day, I’m drained because I miss him. I want to hold him, but this is simply how our individual paths are currently unfolding and I’m trying to accept that.
So there you have it – the more vulnerable side of me. I hope everyone has a great weekend and I’ll be back with hopefully some happier things to write about soon: 🙂
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the San Diego – Craft Classic 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 run year round, but summer is probably my least favorite season to run. It is, however, the best season to be out and about and enjoying the sunshine. It’s so conflicting sometimes being a runner. As a runner, you have to wake up early to beat the heat and get your long run in. During the summer, sometimes you have to wake up at 5 am to get up to run especially if it’s a 20 miler and it’ll take you 3+ hours to complete. And the weather is unpredictable sometimes. A few years ago, I ran the America’s Finest City (AFC) half, which is the last race in the Triple Crown Challenge series, and I MELTED. I think the race started before 7 am and by 9 am, it was already 70+F. It was so hot and humid that day that I chafed in places I didn’t think I could chafe.
So why am I telling you all this? Well, because I want you to see how crazy I am. I, yours truly, signed up for another summer race, the San Diego Craft Classic, because seriously, I never learn and honestly, why not? LOL. I am a racing fiend and FOMO is so real. I sometimes will avoid social media on Sunday mornings because I get super jealous of seeing other runners with their shiny new medals. I mean, I’m super happy for them because they accomplished their goal, whatever that may have been, but I also wanted to run the race too. Hah.
Here’s the run down on the San Diego Craft Classic.
Date: July 16, 2017
Distance: Half marathon or 5k
Time: 6:30 am for the half, 6:45 for the 5k
Cost: $85+ for the half and $50+ for the 5k (Price increase is dependent on how many participants are registered so register early!)
Why: If you like beer, more specifically Green Flash Brewery beer, THIS IS THE RACE FOR YOU. Both distances end up at Green Flash Brewery where all participants will received a commemorative pint glass, an event shirt, a medal, and obviously TWO FREE BEERS from Green Flash. For you ultra fast runners out there, the prize for the top male and female finisher is their WEIGHT IN BEER. LOL.
Okay, I’ll be honest with you. I’m not running this race for the beer. I’m running it for the medals obviously. I’m a collector of bling. LOL. This race, when run in the same calendar year as the San Diego Holiday Half marathon, gives you a 3rd medal – the route 56 medal! Both races are run along parts of route 56 so it’s fitting that this medal is of the route 56 sign. I ran the Holiday Half last year and it was fantastic.
Free Social Run Series – Another thing I really like about this race is that if you’re in San Diego, you can train for the race with other people that also like beer! They have free social runs happening at the Green Flash Tasting Room on May 17 and June 28! You can RSVP here. The first 75 attendees of each of the runs gets a free beer and there is also a raffle at the end. You have to get your raffle ticket at the bottom of the hill though. The organizers said you have to earn it. LOL There’s always a catch isn’t there? 🙂
If you’re into beer and want to run this race, use the code “BIBRAVEHALF” for $10 off the half marathon and “BIBRAVE5k” for $5 off the 5k.
Now that I’ve told you what I run for. What do you run for? Medals? Beer? Fun? Speaking of beer and fun, have a great weekend everyone!
Another month has gone by and holy smokes, it’s May! That means it’s another monthly recap. This is my probably my favorite part about the end of the month. I get to look at my calendar and see all the things I did. It makes me feel productive. 🙂 Without further adieu, my recap of the month below. Disclaimer: This month was very running focused. You have been warned!
Races – This was probably a record breaking month for me in terms of races. I kicked off April with the Carlsbad5000, in which I broke a personal record. I hadn’t PRed in the 5k distance in 3 years so this was a total shock to me and honestly, I’ll probably still be riding the PR wave for a few months. 🙂 The following weekend, I ran another 5k the Triton 5k at the university I attend. Then two weekends after, I ran my 13th half marathon at the La Jolla Half where I crushed my course PR and ran another sub 2 hour half marathon. Thats 3 sub 2 hour halfs now. Yay! Maybe I can qualify for the Boston marathon one day. A girl can dream, right?
Group Runs – I’m typically a solo runner. My schedule is just too unpredictable to schedule runs with friends, but this month, I made an effort to go out and run with others. I participated in two group runs this month and I had so much fun that you can bet I’ll be doing more in the future.
Adventure Runs, a scavenger hunt-like run held by Road Runner Sports, was the first group run I attended this month. These runs are held once a month and start at their store. At the start of the run, they unveil a map with locations you can run to in order to get raffle tickets. You have one hour to run so the faster you run, the more raffle tickets you can get. Once the hour is up, everyone returns to the start and Road Runner Sports raffles off prizes. If you’re over 21, they also have a beer garden. The best part? Everything is free. You don’t have to pay to run and the beer is free. What more could you want from a run? LOL.
My second group run was for a course preview of the San Diego Rock N Roll races that will be occurring in June. Movin’ Shoes, a local shoe store, organized this course preview and I thought it’d be a fantastic thing to try out. I’m running the half marathon in June and even though I had run it in previous years, I thought that it wouldn’t hurt to run part of the course again in preparation for the race. Plus, it would push me to get my ass out of bed early and log 9 miles before 9 am. (The full marathon course preview was 15 miles and that was just not happening for me. LOL).
I went into this run not knowing anyone and finished it with a few new friends. I also finished that run feeling like a champ and super grateful I didn’t opt for the full course preview. LOL. I also found out that Movin’ Shoes has weekly groups runs so I’ll be trying to make it out to a few more long runs in preparation for my upcoming races. Woohoo!
Mileage and Motivation – Last month, I missed my monthly mileage goal. This month, I hit it right on target. I logged 83 miles for April! I am still on track for 1000 miles in 2017! Hooray!I’m extremely happy at my progress this year. I was starting to struggle midway through March and was really doubting whether I could have hit all of my running goals for the year. Then, at the beginning of April, I got this pin along with a letter from a friend.
In her letter, she thanked me for being a constant source of inspiration for her and honestly, I was shocked. When I started running, I did it for me. I still do, but I’m glad that I can also inspire my friends to reach for their goals too. 🙂
Yelp Elite Event and anotherClothing Swap – It may be hard to believe, but yes, yes, I do other things that isn’t running. Shocking, right? I have been a yelp elite member for several years now and I love going to their events. This month, I was lucky enough to get into their Flower Fields event. At the event, we got to taste delicious food and also frolick around the flower fields.
I also attended another clothing swap and got some new articles of clothing, two of which I’m wearing in the above photo. I love leggings and a cropped leather jacket suits me just fine. 🙂 Clothing swaps are the best way to donate clothes and get some new clothes in exchange AND it’s free! I mean, how awesome is that? This is especially awesome if you have a stylish friend you want to exchange clothes with. 😉
So there you have it, my jam packed April. There were other things I did, but didn’t want to bore you with the details. 🙂 How was your April? Do anything fun? What’s in store for May?
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the La Jolla 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.
That’s right. You read correctly. I just ran my 13th half marathon and it just happened to be on one of the most challenging courses I’ve ever run – oh lucky number 13. If you didn’t know, I was pretty nervous heading into the half. I pushed myself into not running too much during taper week, which I think I succeeded more or less. I logged 8.6 miles going into the race and with the race, I totaled 21.7 miles this week. Not bad at all. I will definitely have to increase my mileage starting in June when I start training for Chicago though. Ack!
Anyway, here’s my race report on the La Jolla Half marathon. *Spoiler alert* I am actually considering running this one again next year. 🙂
Expo – The Expo was held in Del Mar at the Hilton hotel right next to the start line. It was nice that it gave people from out of town an idea of where to go for the start. I dropped by Saturday afternoon and the expo was packed. I picked up my bib, my shirt, and browsed the vendors. The San Diego Craft Classic was there promoting their July race. Run for beer anyone? They even had free beer at their table. LOL. Also, got to try a phenomenal acai bowl from Sambazon. That was probably my favorite vendor of the day. Also saw vendors from Nuun, CycleBar, KT tape, and a few other companies.
Night before race – You know how you tell yourself that you’re going to go to bed by a certain time and then it doesn’t happen? Yeah. I planned to head to bed at 9 pm so I could get 7 hours of sleep, but I actually went to bed closer to 11 pm, which meant that I only had 5 hours of sleep. Eek! Considering that I hadn’t been sleeping well that week, I was really nervous about how I’d do during the race. Sleep is so important the week of your race and I managed to scrape by with the bare minimum.
Morning of race – Woke up before my alarm hit 4 am. My body always seems to know when I need to wake up the morning of races. If only it did that everyday. Grabbed all of my gear and headed out the door. Got to the finish line by 5 am and took the shuttle to the start line. (They sent out emails saying that we must be in line to board a shuttle by no later than 5:30 am so I panicked and got there early). To anyone running this in the future, DO NOT GET TO THE FINISH LINE AS EARLY AS ME. I ended up on the first shuttle that actually left for the start line, which meant that I got up way too early for the race. I ended up waiting 2 hours for the actual start of the race. Sigh. Luckily, I met up with a lot of people during this time. Met some people from Twitter and had friends running it too!
My friend Nicole, who is a race guard for various races in San Diego. 🙂
My friend Amanda who is completing the Triple Crown Challenge this year! Go Amanda!
Race time – I was in wave 4, which was the same wave I was in 2 years ago. When I signed up this year, I put a pretty conservative time down for myself: 2 hours and 10 minutes. I figured I’d be right around there. I know I’ve improved since then, but since this course is super hilly, I didn’t want to chance it. Only when I got to wave 4 did I realize my mistake. I had planned on following the 2:00 pacer this race so to conserve energy, only there was no 2:00 pacer in sight. The 2:10 pacer was in wave 4 meaning that the 2:00 pacer was probably in wave 3. Oops? At that point, I figured I’d just try and keep ahead of the 2:10 pacer and I’d be happy.
Mile 1 to 4: And off we went…just in time for the sun to start coming out. LOL. I clocked my first mile in at 7:40. Oops. The adrenaline of the race definitely got to me. Pacing is something I will need to work on later. At mile 2, we headed up our first hill with an increase of 75 ft for maybe a 1/3rd of a mile. Then, we headed back down and a little before mile 4, we ran on flat pavement for a mile or so before heading up our second hill. This hill lasted a little more than a mile and was more of a pain because we were turning a lot and we couldn’t see the end of the hill. With most turns, we’d just see another hill. Looking back on it now, it definitely foreshadowed our trek up Torrey Pines hill, which has a similar path.
Mile 5 to 8: Mile 5 is where the pep talk started for me. I started taking a lot more deep breaths and tried to conserve my energy as much as possible. At mile 5, we got our glimpse of the massive Torrey Pines hill. We ran downhill and ran by the beach and at mile 5.5, we started our trek up the hill. The highest point of the hill measures in at 445 feet. It does have dips in elevation before it gets to that point, but there are only a few. The first dip we hit was at 318 feet. Although, I didn’t run up the hill in it’s entirety, I am proud to say that I ran up 302 feet of that hill before I had to take a 10 second walking break. This is HUGE because two years ago, I struggled HARD on that hill. The balls of my feet went numb and I had to walk up a lot of that hill. This year, there was none of that and I made it out of that hill feeling like a champ. 🙂 It also helped A LOT that I actually saw the 2:00 pacer a few hundred feet away during this trek. Since the pacer started in the wave ahead of me, that meant that I was on pace to finish within the 2 hours I wanted. That kept me going.
Mile 9 to 11: Having lived in La Jolla for a good chunk of my graduate school career, this stretch felt at home to me. I’ve run around the area for years and I just imagined myself running it like it was any other day.
Mile 12: Flat. Suspiciously flat.
Mile 13: This mile contains what I heard someone describe as the “F*** you” hill. I think that’s it’s a very accurate description of that hill. The hill increases in elevation by about 150 feet and takes almost everyone by surprise because honestly, who designs a course that has a hill at the very end? LOL. The organizers of the La Jolla Half do. That’s who. Even though it was my second time running it and I knew about it, I still wasn’t well prepared for it. I took one more walking break here and once I hit the peak of that hill, I made a break for the finish line.
Finish line – As soon as I crossed that finish line, I immediately took out my phone and stopped my Strava app. And wouldn’t you know it, I finished it under 2 HOURS! Hooray! I knew I wasn’t going to PR this race, but I wanted to at least redeem myself and redeem myself, I did! 🙂 My official time was 1:59:10 meaning that I beat my course PR by 17 minutes. Holy moly, does that feel good! 😀
I grabbed my medals, all the my goodies (banana, Tru Moo chocolate milk, coconut milk, boxed water, another acai bowl from Sambazon), picked up my gear bag to put all my stuff in, took a photo in front of the La Jolla half marathon sign, and met up with some BibRave Pros who also ran the race.
The overall experience was fantastic. It was a challenging race, but it pushed me out of my comfort zone and I came out a stronger person for it. I wish it was a bit cooler and less humid during the race, but that’s weather for you. You can never depend on it when you need it most. LOL. Anyway, that wraps up my race report. Hope you enjoyed reading it!
So about how you? Did you run this weekend? Race? How did you do?
Disclaimer: I received an entry into the La Jolla 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.
Yes, that time has come again. Tapering. Some people love it. Some people hate it. I personally LOVE it. A week where you can decrease your mileage in preparation for a race. Woohoo! My tapering strategy has changed over the years and I just wanted to say that I am in no way telling anyone how to taper. I’m still figuring it out and it’s a lot of trial and error.
When I first started out, I was doing cardio kickboxing three to four times a week with short 3 mile runs in between. My kickboxing trainer told me to start resting on Wednesdays for a Sunday half. That sounded good to me. Less running? Hell yeah. LOL. Nowadays, my taper week goes a little something like this. I run the bulk of my miles on Monday and Tuesday. This usually ranges from three to six miles depending on how I feel. On Wednesday and Thursday, I try for shorter mile runs and on Friday, I rest. On Saturday, I do a three mile run to shake out my legs and on Sunday, I’m ready to go. I usually average 21 miles a week. The week leading up to a half, I average maybe 8 to 9 miles. *Edit* I know the total taper week plus the race equals 21 or 22 miles. LOL. Maybe it’s not a taper week at all? I’m still new at this! Only three years running. I’ll figure it out soon enough. 🙂
Now my training for the La Jolla Half hasn’t been too bad. With all the races I’ve signed up for this year, I don’t really have a structured training plan for halfs. (The only structured training plans I’ll have for this year is for the Chicago marathon and for the Dopey Challenge too.) As mentioned earlier, I try to average 21 miles a week and some weeks, I go over and some weeks, I miss my target mileage by a lot. The last week of March and the first week of April wasn’t too kind to me mileage wise. I blame a lack of motivation, injury, and life. LOL.
All of that changed last week. Can you guess why?
A strava challenge started. Haha. I’m definitely the competitor type and the Runner’s World Boston Challenge was just what I needed to kick my butt back into gear. From April 8 to 17, I had to run 26.2 miles. Here was my initial thought process:
Run 26.2 miles in 9 days? Sure. Why not? Totally doable.
*2 days later*
Hmm. When did that challenge start again?
*Looks at challenge*
Oh crap. It started 4 days ago. I’ve skipped two days of running already. Hmm, should I still try for it? You at least ran 3.1 miles on Sunday. That’s still something. You got 23.1 miles to go and 6 days to do it. That’s 4 miles a day. That’s doable…I think.
It is now April 18 and I’m proud to tell you that I finished that challenge two days ago! Woohoo!
Although I haven’t done any long runs in a month, I’m hopeful that my mileage the past few weeks will get me through the La Jolla Half Marathon this weekend. 🙂 Wish me luck!
If you still haven’t registered for the La Jolla Half marathon and would like to run it Sunday, April 23, use the code “BIBRAVE20” for $20 off their registration fee!