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?
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.
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!
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. 🙂
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:
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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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:
“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.
I found my name on a HUGE Big Sur poster and took an awesome expo photo in front of this ginormous sign.
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.
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.
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.
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. LOL
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.
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. 😛
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.
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!
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.
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.
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:
“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.
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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. 🙂
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. 🙂
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?
184.9 miles in 31 hours, 45 minutes, and 18 seconds