Posted in Running

Staying Active while in Quarantine

Disclaimer: I received a $50 Amazon gift card to review FitnessBank 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!

Hey everyone! I hope you all have been staying safe and healthy while we’re in these crazed pandemic times. I haven’t felt super motivated to blog, as you can tell by my lack of posts in the last 6 months, but you know what I have been motivated to do?

Run.

About 6 weeks ago, California issued a mandate that all non-essential employees work from home. I don’t like working from home. I did when I had a 45 minutes commute, but when I lived 15 minutes away, I preferred to go into the office because it gave me a routine. Nowadays, I wake up 10 minutes before my workday, check my email to see what events have been cancelled, and then start work. I barely left my bedroom and when I did, it was to use restroom or eat. My mental state deteriorated pretty quickly.

Luckily, I started participating in the Des Linden Spring Step Challenge hosted by FitnessBank and it’s provided some motivation for me to go out and just walk around even if it’s for 20-30 minutes.

A little bit about Fitness Bank:

It’s essentially a fitness tracker that tracks your steps through your phone, FitBit, Apple Health, or Garmin. It’s called Fitness Bank because it also happens to be a bank. You can deposit some money into your bank account and depending on how active you are step wise that month, you are get a certain APY. So this is incentive to be more active so your APY is higher (up to 2.5%).

The other aspect of Fitness Bank is that it partners with different organizations to hold step challenges. I did one a Fitness bank challenge with some BibRave Pros and we all competed to win shoes. I uhh didn’t win. I can tell you that the BibRave Pros are a competitive bunch and within a day, I was kicked down several spots. Haha. I mean, some people were logging in steps on their treadmill in the wee hours of the night when their kids were asleep. I didn’t stand a chance.

The Des Linden Spring Step Challenge started on April 1st and ends May 31st and it’s been intense to see how many steps people log on average. This particular challenge averages your steps whereas the one I did a few months ago was a total step count. And the incentive for joining in on this challenge? I mean, aside from the fact that it’s a motivation factor to stay active in this pandemic, it’s also a chance to win a free pair of Brooks shoes and a year’s worth of races. 🙂 That’s right. Even if you join now, you still have a chance. I believe the app will retroactively pull all your steps from the last 30 days so if you’re a step fiend, give it a shot. You do not at all have to provide any of your banking information in order to use this app. You can use it just to check your daily steps and see how many people you can pass.

Even if you’re not one of the top 3, you still have a chance to win just by showing up. 🙂

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Since joining the app, I’ve definitely been more active and like I said above, I’ve upped my running game. Since starting the challenge, I’ve gone out and logged 30+ miles every week and just over a week ago, I was invited to solo run a 50k (on road because all the trails are closed) along with 2 other friends and like an absurd person, I went out and finished it. I logged over 70k steps that day. LOL. This past weekend, I went out and did a Virtual Spartan race. I did the beast because well if you don’t go all out, was it even worth it? 😛

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And if running isn’t your thing, social media is full of home workouts right now. If you don’t know where to go, I’ve included some suggestions below just as a starting point. I was not paid to list them below. They’re just ones that I’ve come across and have done and found them useful. 🙂

I have a friend who created a 30 day oblique challenge and after 8 days, you’ll wish that you were already on day 30. LOL. She also has a 30 day balance challenge if that’s more up your alley. I met a Youtube Fitness Instructor at a Spin class a few months ago and she also has some great workouts. I also started taking yoga classes through youtube. Yoga with Adrienne is very good for beginners and I am most definitely a beginner. Vuori has a lot of IG live workouts. They’re a San Diego based apparel brand so I have to support my local small businesses. 🙂

Anyway, I hope that everyone continues to stay safe and if you want to check in on me, check out my social media handles: Once_Upon_a_Run on both Twitter and IG. I’m more active on IG and post my daily ramblings there. 🙂

Posted in Running

Life is a Handful – Getting a Sports Bra that Supports You

Disclaimer: I received an Y-Back Handful Bra in Eclipse 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!

It’s been awhile hasn’t it folks? It’s been 4 months since my last post in December and I do want to apologize for the disappearance. I’m not quite ready to blog about it yet, but my 5 year relationship with my significant other ended in November and it’s been difficult to even just get up in the morning. I’m slowly picking up the pieces of my life and trying to move on.

So when I say that life is a handful, I truly mean it. But enough about the sad stuff, let’s talk about something that is a bit happier. Let’s talk about the brand Handful again. I say again because if you’ve been following me for a few years now, you’ll know that I’ve been a huge fan of their sports bras. I’ve wrote about their Closer Bra and their Adjustable Bra so if you want to reach about those styles, click above. 🙂

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I’ve been wearing their Y-Back the past several weeks and I absolutely love the look and feel of it. The Y-back shape is super cute and I like that they have removable pads. It just makes for an easier wash and I feel like the sports bra holds its shape a lot better. The only downside is like socks, sometimes, I misplace one in the wash and dryer and it’s gone into the abyss. Luckily, they have pads you can buy if you should lose one like I did with one of my Adjustable bras. Anyway, I digress. The fabric of the sports bra is also really soft and supportive. Personally, I feel like this one is somewhere between a Closer and an Adjustable in terms of support. The Adjustable has less support, but since I’m a smaller chest kind of gal, this doesn’t bother me at all. The Y-back also has a bit more coverage than the Adjustable, but a little less support than the Closer. I mean the Closer has a clip in the front just to keep those girls in. If that isn’t support, I don’t know what is.

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I’ve also probably worn it 6-7 times on runs ranging from 10 to 18 mile runs without any issues. In fact, I actually ran 18 miles in the rain and there was no chafing at all. I’ve had some bras where I’ve had unfortunate chafing on my back and it’s an adventure getting into the shower after a major chafe. 😛 I absolutely love this sports bra. Easy to put on and take off. You know those sports bras that are super tight and you have to squeeze your bosoms out of them after a sweaty workout? Yeah, you won’t have that happen here. 🙂

Right now, they’re having a sale so use code “BIBRAVE20” for 20% off any of their Handful products. And if you’re not sure if you want one or not, feel free to read about my fellow BibRave Pros’ review of their Handful experience. If you have any additional questions about the sports bra, let me know!

LissaKimVanessaKJDanielleMontanaJessica

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Big Sur Marathon 2020

“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!”

In 2018, I ran the 21 miler (read the race report here) and after crossing the finish line of the 21 miler, I knew that I had cheated myself. The full would have been an additional 5 miles and those 5 miles would have been through the beautiful Redwoods of Big Sur. So after much contemplation, I decided to opt into the full Big Sur marathon for 2020.

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The marathon is unfortunately a lottery and the drawing has already happened, but there are other distances available. If the hills of Big Sur are too daunting, but you still want to try running along the scenic waters, try the 12k, 5k, or even the 3k. Unfortunately, at this time, the marathon relay, 21 miler, and 11 miler are already sold out, but if you have your heart set on these distances, make a note on your calendar for the following year to sign up early. That’s how you know this is a good race. Despite not having the crowds come out to cheer you out on course, the race still sells out almost every year because it is that beautiful.

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There’s a piano player on Bixby bridge and you can hear the music miles away. There are Taiko drummers at the top of the highest hill pounding away. It’s honestly a once in a lifetime experience. The Big Sur route only closes for this race so you only really get this experience during this course. Sure, you’ll be able to drive up and down it, but to really take it all in, you’ll need to go at a slower pace. I don’t want to be redundant so if you want to know more, head on over to my race report where I recap my 21 miler experience.

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

My BibRave Exuma Getaway Experience

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Run for Pompey Half Marathon and received an amazing resort package as part of the BibRave Bahamas Getaway package and for 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.

Hello all! I’ve been having quite an adventure since the last time I blogged. If you’ve been following me on social media, you’ll know that 4ish weeks ago, I visited Taiwan for all of the food adventures. I then came back to the states for 5 days and then jetsetted to the Bahamas for 5 days for an amazing and relaxing adventure.

I swear I’ll get to my Taiwan adventures, but since the Bahamas are fresh in my memory, let’s start with that. 🙂 Disclaimer: This will be LONG and I am sorry, but there was just too much to talk about that it would not be genuine to leave things out. I broke it down by subject and included pictures to make it easier to read.

For those of you who may not remember, I was going to Exuma in the Bahamas as part of the Exuma Getaway package that BibRave helped host. That package is described in my earlier post.

Flight

Let’s start with the flight. It’s not an easy flight out of the West Coast. I caught a red eye and had a 4.5 hour flight out of LA to Ft. Lauderdale, a 5.5 hour layover, and a 1.5 hour flight finally to Georgetown in the Bahamas (Georgetown is a city on the island of Exuma). After landing in Ft. Lauderdale, I was delirious. I had some flight schedule changes and I pulled up the wrong itinerary and thought I was going to miss my connecting flight. Well, a panic attack and a sprint down two terminals later, I realized my flight was 4 hours later. Oops. LOL.

My first impression

That frown turned upside down the moment I started seeing glimpses of the Bahamas from the air. The water was gorgeous and I was beyond excited to finally land. LOL Once I landed, I quickly got through customs and the Grand Isle resort ambassador was there to help me arrange a taxi to get to the resort. Once at the resort, fellow BibRave Pro Chris and I checked in and was given the tour of our villa and oh my goodness, it was beautiful.IMG-0522

Grand Isle Resort and its many amenities

The Grand Isle resort consisted of villas, two pools, a spa, fitness center, and various restaurants (La Palapa Grill, 23 North, and one other location I cannot remember the name of). All villas are two stories and have a maximum of 3 bedrooms. The villas all come equipped with a kitchen, some kitchenware (pots, pans, eating utensils, fridge, freezer), a laundry machine, air conditioning, and amazing views from the 2nd floor patio. I could have honestly just stayed in the villa for the entire stay, but the beach and pools were calling my name. Also, I had to run a half marathon so there was that. 😛

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The resort is right next to Emerald Bay and oh my goodness, I didn’t know salt water could be so beautiful. I had a blast swimming in the waters. Beware of sand fleas (aka noseeums) though. They will nip at you and you will be itching for weeks. I didn’t think to put on water proof insect repellant and am paying the price. I have about 15 bites and it is not pleasant. So if you go, make sure to wear insect repellant. That is an absolute must.

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I stayed at the resort for most of my stay, with a trip to the convenience store to grab snacks. The receptionist at the resort can arrange either taxis or a day long car rental ($75/day). You could even arrange to swim with the pigs from the receptionist and I was even scheduled to, but due to unfortunate weather and my schedule, I couldn’t make it work. The tour groups will pick you up from the resort as part of the package, which is super nice. So instead, I took advantage of their spa services and got a super relaxing sports massage with my first ever manicure.

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The Bibrave Perk of the Exuma Getaway

As part of the Exuma Getaway, BibRave gifted those who signed up with an awesome pair of Aftershokz Aeropex. (Note: If you haven’t tried them, I’d highly recommend them. They use bone conduction technology so even the hard of hearing can experience music/audiobooks with ease). As part of being a BibRave Pro, I was also gifted things that really helped me get through the Bahamian weather.

Go Sili’s Straw Cup and straws– It’s a silicone cup with a lid where you can store your liquids in and it’s light and durable. Pretty nice for traveling and it won’t break during the shuffle.

Nuun Rest – Nuun’s newest line of hydration specifically designed for resting after a hard day of work or running.

BUFF’s Running Cap – Super lightweight and easily packable. The brim is crushable and the upper panel has UPF protection. Really nice to run with.

KnockAround Sunglasses – I’m a San Diego girl and love this local sunglasses brand. It also really helped shield the sun when I ran.

Vooray’s Pulse Active Backpack – A lot of nice pockets and straps that you can clip things to. I clipped a small sunscreen bottle to it, some hand sanitizer, and chapstick. There are two spots for bottles on the sides and held all the things I needed for a day of sightseeing.

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The Entire Race Experience

With the getaway package, there was a pre-race pasta dinner and boy was that a carb loading experience. I wish I had run the marathon so I could have eaten even more pasta. It was sooo good. It was a choose your own type of pasta ordeal. They had pesto, alfredo, and marinara sauce along with several different types of pasta and protein (Grouper or chicken).  After eating my fill, speeches were made and the race directors let us know that the race was able to provide scholarships for students to attend college and due to the hurricane this year, they also donated to those affected. It was definitely a nice way to end the night.

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Getting to the race was a breeze. We took the race day shuttle at 5:15 am and arrived shortly before the race at 6 am for the half marathon. The marathoners had already begun at 4 am. In its 5th year, there were 3 ultra marathoners (50k), 3 marathoners, 11 half marathoners, and a LOT of 10k, 5k, and 2kers. There were also cash prizes for the longer distances – $500 for the first female and male finishers. So if you were a marathoner or an ultra marathoner, you had a really good chance of winning. In fact, my fellow Pro Chris won the marathon and smashed the course record by an hour at 4 hours and 35 min.

I do not do so well in humid and warm weather so I ran a moderate 2:28:04, which actually put me in 10th place. The temperature when I finished? 83F. The course starts out around a lake and with the sunrise, it’s a beautiful sight. You’re running along the streets and it is not blocked off from traffic so staying to the sides is important. There were also some wildlife (ie stray dogs) that made the course a bit more interesting and definitely kept me on my toes. For the half marathon, there were 7 aid stations, which were greatly appreciated. I grabbed an ice cold water bottle at every station and kept it until I got to the next one. We had great cloud cover for the first half of the race, but on the second half, the sun came out and I more strategically did a run/walk to get me to the finish.

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In all honesty, I didn’t think I could finish this half. I had done a 3 mile shake out run around the resort the day before and melted. Running 4x that amount in the weather was beyond what I thought I could do. But I did it. I ran it and I completed my 30th half marathon. At the finish line, they called random bib numbers for giveaways and their grand prize was actually a week long stay at the Grand Isle Resort. That’s a $7000 value. Sadly, I did not win, but I did get a really cute swimming pig medal from the race along with a cute pig plush pictured below.

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Post Race

Another perk of the package was a post-race celebration dinner and boy did I get my grub on at 23 North. Their tempura was amazing and I’ve never had tempura as good as I had it here. 23 North is an Asian fusion restaurant at their resort and their food is delicious. After dinner, I called it an early night. As my swimming pig tour was cancelled, I ended up treating myself to a nice sports massage the next day. The masseuse knew exactly how to get my knots out. I finished the massage feeling extremely relaxed and my hands looked real cute after the manicure. I spent the rest of the day swinging on the beach because why not have swings on a beach? LOL

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Leaving Exuma

After 4 amazing nights, I left Exuma with great memories (and some bug bites LOL). The resort staff was super top notch and very sweet and accommodating. The race was one I never thought I could finish, but mind over matter, right? It was a one in a lifetime trip and I’m glad I got to experience it.

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TLDR?

The resort was amazing from its staff to its food and its accommodations. Bring bug repellent. Emerald Bay is BEAUTIFUL. The race was challenging, but definitely teaches you to run in hot weather. 10/10 would do again. 🙂

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running

Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0 – The Best Seat Saver Around

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0 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 hello again! I just came back from a trip to Taiwan and boy am I exhausted! I can’t wait to tell you all about the trip, but today, I’d like to talk to you about the best seat saver around – the Orange Mud Transition Wrap 2.0.

BibRave Pros were able to try the v1.0 awhile back and I missed the opportunity to try it then so when the opportunity came to try the 2.0 version, I was all in. This wrap is hands down a game changer for anyone with an active lifestyle and I’m never going back to not having this.

As a runner, I sweat…a lot and unfortunately, I’ve begun to notice that my sweat is not the nicest smelling anymore. 😦 I’m not in the habit of changing after I run since I go home anyway to change so most often than not, I sit in my car immediately after my run and sweat in the seat. I used to keep a towel on my car seat so I could sweat on that, but the towel didn’t stay on the seat for very long and after a lot of fussing around, I just gave up and stopped using it. The transition wrap is PERFECT to protect my car seat. It has this zipper to create a little hoodie and I just slip the hoodie on the headrest of the seat and it hangs there perfectly on my seat without any fuss. And after a week or two of using, I just throw it in the laundry to wash and re-use. I’ve also used it to protect my boyfriend’s car seat when I am a passenger and he loves it. LOL.

IMG-9489It has also been super useful for swimming too. After I swim, I don’t have to worry about any residual chlorine affecting my car seats. 🙂

The transition wrap, as the name implies, is also great for transitioning into other clothes. 🙂 The wrap has an adjustable belt with a secure clip that allows you to easily slip out of your running shorts/swimsuit and into your non-sweaty clothes. 🙂 Gone are the days where you’re juggling your towel and your shorts and trying not to accidentally flash someone. 00100sPORTRAIT-00100-BURST20191012194422766-COVER

You can also use this microfiber wrap to towel off and keep yourself warm after a run like I did. LOL.

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To say that I enjoy using this is an understatement. I absolutely LOVE using this and honestly, it’s way better than any old towel I had been using previously. 🙂 I highly recommend it to anyone looking to prevent their seats from being smelly or just has trouble transitioning out of sweaty clothes. 🙂

If you want your own or are just a fan of Orange Mud products, use code BIBRAVEWRAP for 15% off your order. Other BibRave Pros have also reviewed this so if you’re interested, their reviews are below.

KelliKarenCoreyRyanRenee – Charline

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running

My Long Beach Half Race Report

I received an entry into the Long Beach 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.

Six days ago, I ran the Long Beach half and boy, I had all of the feels.

Expo

Parking for bib pick up is tricky as the expo is held at the Long Beach Convention Center and so parking is a little difficult to find. We parked a few blocks away and walked over to avoid spending $10+ to park at the center itself. Once parked, bib pick up was easy peasy. They do have metal detectors so don’t be carrying any knives with you when you enter. 🙂 I picked up my bib, shirt, some last minute supplies, found my name on their banner and out I went.

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Can you spot my name?

They also sell parking passes for the following day if needed.

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Race Day

The half marathon started at 7:30 so I was dropped off around 7 and made my way to the starting area. The full started at 6 and both the half/full courses circle back towards the start around mile 6 so we all got to cheer on the marathoners as they passed us by.

The start for the half was smooth sailing. I found myself near a 1:55 pacer and ran with them knowing full well that I haven’t been able to run that fast in a few years or so. LOL. I knew it was too fast a pace to keep with my training for this race, but I was being stubborn as usual and held on for as long as I could. Apparently that was 7 miles and honestly, it was a glorious 7 miles. I am a crazy person and love rolling hills and turns and for the first 7 or so miles, there are a lot of it. I had a blast running along the course and seeing all the sights for those first set of miles.

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Then, at mile 7, it straightens out and you’re just along the beach for 3 miles before you make your way back towards the finish. That part was brutal. Since the race started at 7:30 am, by the time I got to mile 7, it was around 8:30 and the sun was out beating down on us with no shade. Luckily, I brought shades and a visor, but yeahhhh, I was pretty drained from the sun. For miles 10-12, I was on the struggle bus. I started run/walking and beating myself up for not being faster. I also forgot my flip belt and body glide, which meant that I was holding my phone the entire race AND got some unwanted chafing. No bueno. 😦 Luckily, my friend was stationed at mile 12 and once I saw her, I quickened my pace and headed to the finish. HOORAY!

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I didn’t get to enjoy much of the post-race festivities as I was super duper tired and couldn’t reach anyone due to low cell reception. I did enjoy the coconut water, which I chugged down in a minute. LOL.

Pro tips

Bring a hat/shades for that stretch along the beach. If it’s not overcast, the sun will take a toll on your body (unless you train in a hot climate).

If you are planning on meeting anyone, make sure to have a plan before you race. That way, they know where to meet you. Due to the congestion of all the runners, cell reception is extremely poor and I didn’t get reception until I left the area.

If you are planning on getting picked up, walk a few blocks out of the convention center. Your driver will 100% appreciate it as there is quite a bit of traffic due to the road closures.

Enjoy the course! When I wasn’t beating myself up about being faster, I had a lovely time! LOL.

The Long Beach half was my 29th half marathon and in all honesty, it hasn’t felt like that many. 🙂 Every half I’ve participated in has brought up the same feelings – pre-race anxiety, pre-race excitement, on course awe, on course pain, on course “OMG I can see the finish line”, and post-race joy that I finished. And although I’ve experienced these feelings before, it’s still surprising to me that I haven’t gotten bored of them. LOL. I guess, that means that I’m in the right sport, yeah?

Posted in Discount Codes, Running, Training

It’s Race Week for the Long Beach Half Marathon

I received an entry into the Long Beach 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.

Woohoo! It’s race week again and I’m super excited. I haven’t raced since the first week of August and I was going through withdrawal from not doing double digit long runs. LOL A few weeks ago, I mustered the motivation to do 10 miles and uh, let’s say that I was strong up to mile 8 and then was on the struggle bus for miles 9 and 10. In my defense, miles 9 and 10 were when it was getting real warm and the sun was just beating down on me.

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My 10 miler a few weeks ago

Nevertheless, I am not deterred. I am a bit nervous, but I’m always nervous before a race so I don’t think this is out of the ordinary. I don’t think I’ve ever come to a race with the confidence that I’ll do well. LOL.

My plantar fascitiis is still ever so present and I have just come to accept that it will go away when it wants and that all the stretching in the world is not going to fix it. I’m just glad that it hasn’t gotten worse over time. 🙂 It just takes a few miles of running for the plantar to ease up and I can run without pain.

Like all my previous races this year, I do not have any goals except to enjoy the distance and finish. I ran this race in 2015 and had such a great time. The course is truly beautiful and for 90% of the course, you can see the ocean. 🙂 I’m a fan of the pretty water. LOL.

I have a few more runs left to do this week, but I feel confident that I’ll have a great time. Plantar has definitely taught me to enjoy the process more and I think I’ll be getting a lot more out of this race than when I ran it 4 years ago. Wish me luck!

If you haven’t signed up and still want to, you can use code LBMBR10 for 10% off your half/full registration and I’ll see you there. 🙂