Posted in Running, Thoughts

Honolulu Here I Come!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Honolulu 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.

Yep, you read that right. I’m going to Honolulu baby! 🙂 I’ve never been to Hawaii so I’m SUPER STOKED to be going and the fact that I’m going to be racing around Honolulu makes it even better. This will be my 2nd marathon in 2018 (so much for doing 1 a year LOL) and my 4th marathon overall. The details are below:

Date: December 9th, 2018

Start time: 5 am

Price: $185 from now until September 1st, 2018

Course: The course goes through downtown Honolulu, past Iolani Palace and the Christmas lights, through Waikiki and climbs up and around Diamond Head, before heading out through Kahala and out to Hawaii Kai. Turning back after Hawaii Kai toward Kahala and Honolulu, the course passes Diamond Head again on the ocean side before finishing in Kapiolani Park. (I have no idea where any of these things are, but I will be sure to take lots and lots of pictures).

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Interesting tidbits:

There isno time limit for this race, which is kind of amazing. That means, you could walk it and it’d be fine. 🙂 I don’t plan on doing so, but it’s nice to have the option.

With no limits on the number of participants, it would make sense that this is the 4th largest marathon in the U.S. I personally love running big races. If I’m going to run 26.2 miles, there better be a ton of people cheering me on/runners also suffering with me. LOL. I kid about the suffering part. Sort of. 🙂

There is a 1 mile race the day before called the Kalakula Merrie Mile. It’s a great warm up for the marathon the next day. They also have an elite heat where top international Olympians and top 1500 m/mile runners compete. The event is unique where the women get a head start (based on a time differential between men and women) and the first person to cross the line, irrespective of gender wins.

The medal is not revealed until you cross the finish line. Yup. For those that run for the bling, this might not be your cup of tea, but I like the idea of a surprise at the finish. 🙂 On top of that, you have some nice hot malasadas and your finisher t-shirt waiting for you at the finish line.

If you’ve ever been to Hawaii, please send me your recommendations. I, of course, want to eat to my heart’s content (post-race because I don’t want a repeat of Chicago LOL) and to do all the things. If they’re budget friendly, that’s even better. I will also need a place to stay so please recommend away. 🙂 Much appreciated! 

If you want to sign up for the race, you can use the code “HNLBR2018” for 10% off. 🙂 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts

BibRave Pro Applications Are Now Open!

Are you a social media fiend who also happens to LOVE RUNNING? Do you like to try out new running products and also race for free? If so, you’re in luck.

BibRave Pro applications are NOW OPEN from June 11th to June 22nd. Becoming a BibRave Pro almost a year and a half ago was one of the best things that happened to me. I was introduced to such a welcoming group of runners and I got to race for free and try out the new up and coming running products. I’ve tested AfterShokz headphones, Adidas Ultra Boost Xs, Orange Mud vests, and LUVO meals just to name a few. I’ve raced the Carlsbad 5000, the Rock N Roll races, the Craft Classic San Diego race, and a lot more through BibRave.

Honestly, what’s better than that? 🙂 If you’re interested, apply here and let them know that I sent you. 🙂

If you have any questions about being a BibRave Pro, please let me know and I’d be happy to answer your questions. 🙂 CraftClassic

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Heat, humidity, and hills oh my – RnR San Diego Race Report

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll San Diego Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own.

I would like to have said that I crushed this race, but then I’d be lying. Conditions were not the best, but I conquered another half marathon and that’s all that matters. I also had a fantastic time at the expo so really, I have no real complaints. Without further ado, my race weekend report.

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Saturday – I had a pretty difficult 3 mile shake out run in the morning, but shrugged it off and headed to the expo. While I waiting to get onto the Trolley from the Old Town Trolley Station to get to the expo, I met a fellow San Diegan who followed me on Twitter and Strava. He asked me if I was “Mai,” I said “Yep,” and off we went to have a 15+ minute conversation about racing and after our talk, I’m considering picking up trail running. LOL. His name is Tim and he’s an ultra runner. You can find him on Twitter. 🙂

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After our talk, I entered the expo, picked up my bib, walked through the huge Brooks section, took some awesome photos at their photo booth and made my way over to the HoneyStinger booth where I volunteered there for 2 hours. I ran into a lot of people I knew at the booth and had a great time chatting with other runners. 🙂IMG_6670

I then met up with BibRave Pro Founders Tim and Jessica Murphy, and fellow BibRave Pros Bridget and Steph for lunch at Rustic Root. After lunch, I headed back to the expo, walked around some more and ended up dropping over $100 on this pretty little Orange Mud product for my Mt. Fuji hike in July. No way am I dying from dehydration. LOL. Anyway, that was all the excitement from the expo. 🙂 I called it an early night and passed out at 8:30 pm.

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Race day – I woke up at 4 am and was out the door by 4:15 am. I parked at the trolley station again and made my way down with very no issues. From the trolley stop, it was about a 1.5 mile and a half walk up to the start, which was a nice warm up walk. 🙂 I met up with friends and at 6:25 am, I crossed the start line. From the start of the race, I could feel that something was off. It was taking a lot more effort to run and when the sun came out around 7 am, I knew I was toast. I had forgotten my visor and my sunglasses so for a good portion of the race, I was squinting and wiping the sweat off my brow. Sigh.

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The course itself was very fun. You start off fairly flat and then head downhill. Another mile later, you get some rolling hills. I saw the mile 4.5 bar with their assortment of alcoholic beverages. I ran the blue mile a little bit later, where volunteers hold up flags and there are posters of US troops that have fallen lined along the road. By mile 7, I was pretty much toast. My left foot was tingling non-stop and the ball of my right foot felt like a big blister was coming on. I started overheating and had to pour a few cups of water over my head to cool down and around mile 9, I started doing a run/walk. At mile 10.5, we hit the last really large hill and it was mostly downhill from there. Taiko drummers were performing at the top to keep us going and goodness, I needed every little bit of it. Running downhill was easier, but I was running out of gas.

Then, an angel by the name of Vanessa, came running by. LOL. She’s not really an angel, but in this scenario, she was mine. 😛 Vanessa was someone I met through a friend and when she ran by me, she told me she’d run with me. I didn’t want to slow her down since I knew she ran faster than me, but she insisted that she would stay with me. For the rest of the miles, she stayed with my pace and kept me going with her pep talks. I pushed when I didn’t think I could anymore and was able to stay at a moderate pace. I crossed the finish line destroyed, but because of her, I was able to complete the course in under 2 hours, which was my original goal. Thanks to her, I finished it in 1:59:13, which I most definitely recorded in my Athlinks profile. 🙂

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Not every race is going to perfect and this race was a perfect example of that. But I learned a lot from this experience. I learned that some days, you just have bad runs and some of those days are during races. But even on those days, you can still achieve a lot if you have the right people beside you. 🙂

Question for you: Have you ever had a bad race and if you have, how did you recover from it? 

Side note: Today is Global Running day and the Rock N Roll Race Series is having a sale! If you want to run one of these, this is probably the best day to sign up for one. 🙂

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts

COROS Pace – GPS Multi sport Watch Review

Disclaimer: I received a COROS Pace GPS Multi Sport Watch 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!

Look out other GPS watch competitors, there’s a new GPS watch out on the market and it’s made by COROS, the company that brought you OMNI, a smart cycling helmet.

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I’m pretty excited for this brand to be branching out to GPS watches and the PACE is the first of a few watches they have in store for us. I’ve been testing the watch out for 3 weeks and it’s been great for what I need in a watch. Please note that I’m not a triathlete (yet) and so I will primarily be focusing on the running aspect of this watch. Several other BibRave Pros have reviewed on the swim and cycling portion and their reviews can be found below.

GPS tracking – I was shocked by how fast my watch would be “GPS ready” once I selected the outdoor run option. In less than a minute, it would sync. It would maybe take 10-15 seconds. Even at a super crowded race like the Rock N Roll San Diego, my watch was able to get a signal within 10 seconds. This made me super happy. You don’t want to be that runner not able to cross the start line because your GPS isn’t ready, right? Or the person holding up the group run, which I’ve been very guilty of on more that one occasion. 😦

Distance tracking on outdoor runs – So how accurate is the watch on distance? 9/10 times, it’s pretty darn accurate. If you are too lazy to set your settings to auto pause and instead pause manually like I do, you’ll find that the distance will be shorter than you actually ran. I spoke to COROS and they believe this is because my manually pausing and resuming is causing the watch the lose the GPS location briefly.  Now I just put it on auto pause. Nevertheless, I have a feeling this won’t be an issue for much longer as COROS is continuing to update the software to address issues that customers have mentioned. This is a new product for them after all. 🙂

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Distance tracking on indoor runs – This is a bit more of an issue currently. I mostly do outdoor running now, but on the few times I was on the treadmill, I noticed that the distance was off by a bit. This isn’t really a big concern with me since I’ve experience this with other watches as well. It seems to be a common issue. Anyway, COROS is already working on this issue though so it should be resolved in the next firmware update.

Steps – I found that although the distance tracking wasn’t always accurate, the steps counter was pretty spot on. I was pleased. 🙂

Syncing – The data on the watch syncs really quickly with the COROS app (compatible on both Apple and Android phones) and you can also sync your data with the Strava app. Note that the outdoor runs sync to Strava, but currently, the indoor runs do not.

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Battery life – I run 4 times a week maybe averaging 3.5-4 hours and I had to charge this watch about every 10 days or so, which was really nice. When I wasn’t running, I’d still use it as a regular watch so it was being used 24/7. The battery life in GPS mode is expected to last 25 hours though.

Data metrics –  Most runners are fans of data. Pace, max heart rate, splits, distance, cadence, etc. You name it, runners want to know. This watch has a lot of statistics available for you. This was the first watch that calculated my stride length. I have no idea how it did that, but I’ll take it. 🙂 It currently does calories burned, steps, laps, cadence, stride length, pace, speed, heart rate, lap time, lap distance, lap cadence, lap stride length, elevation, total ascent, and total descent just to name a few. LOL. It currently does not do VO2 max nor intervals, but it is expected to be in the next few firmware update.

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And here ends my review of the watch. I visited the COROS booth while I was at the Rock N Roll San Diego health and fitness expo and they’re really excited about the new updates. They were really interested in user feedback so I expect their next update to incorporate lots of customer feedback. If you’re looking for a new watch, I would recommend looking into this one. 🙂 If you have any additional questions about this watch or would like me to test something out, please let me know and I’d be happy to test and report back.

BibRave Pro Reviews

Corey – Lindsey – Kim – Ryan – Kevin – Angie – Josh – Jenna – Mark – Amy – Michael

 Question for you: What do you look for in a sports watch? Any particular features? 

If you would like to purchase a COROS PACE watch, you can go here and enter the code “MAI” for $30 off the watch.

Posted in Running, Thoughts

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

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Hello Sin City!

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro(ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews! All opinions are my own

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

Details

Date: November 10th – 11th, 2018

Location: Las Vegas, Nevada

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

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

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

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From last year’s race 🙂 

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

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

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

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

Posted in Running, Thoughts

The end of my Spring Racing Season

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

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

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

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

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

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

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest – Review

Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod PureRun Minimalist Hydration Vest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Andrea – Meredith – ReneeAlastair – Bradford – Barb – Amy

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