Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Training

The Gamification of Treadmill Running – A Zwift Review

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Pod 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!

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned this before, but I used to spend quite a bit of time playing video games. I would go through really intense phases. Friends would introduce me to games (mainly MMORPG – massively multiplayer online role playing game), I’d get hooked, my friends would stop playing the games, and I’d still play for an additional few months all by my lonesome self. LOL. Ask some of my friends. This has happened more times than I’d care to admit.

So when BibRave gave me the opportunity to test out a running app that also seemed like a game, I was all for it.

So What is Zwift? 

It’s a mobile app/game that is essentially an interactive training app. Using your phone, tablet, or smart treadmill, you can connect to this app and watch yourself (aka your avatar) run through various virtual courses that they have. They have their own fantasy world called Watopia that you can run through or if you prefer to run through virtual routes inspired by Central London or Central Park in New York, you totally can.

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What do you Need for Zwift?

You will need access to a treadmill, a particular foot pod, and a device to run the Zwift app on (ie iOS/Android phone or tablet).

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Does it Have a Social Component?

Yes, it does. There are virtual group runs every day that you can join. You can look for group run events that occur that day or within the week and schedule a virtual group run. Then, at that time, you get on a treadmill and hit start and your avatar will be transported to the start line along with everyone else that signed up. You are then off to run with the other people. And as you run, you can chat with the other runs via text.

If you prefer to just run with people that you know, you can also do that. You can choose to run with friends from all over the world. They would just need the Zwift pod and app.

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My Experience with Zwift

I tried my first Zwift run a few days after my marathon. I know, I’m insane. I wasn’t 100% recovered, but I really wanted to get a feel for it before a scheduled group run. The app was easy enough to install. The Zwift pod was a little tricky to open and attach to my shoe, but a quick little search on google resolved the issue.

When I first logged into the app, I got to customize my avatar. Then I started my run. Pretty easy, right? I had every intention to run 1 mile, but in order to calibrate your pod, you should anticipate on running 1.75 miles. I am a completionist so when I found out 1.75 miles was the goal, I went for it. I ended up with 2 miles because it was so fun. It gives you instructions as to how to run – easy, medium, or sprint. Make sure to correctly calibrate your pod for more accurate future runs. During the run, it gave me the option to take certain routes. I could continue straight towards the city or go right towards the beach. This gives it a more interactive feel to it. And the further you run, the more achievements/points you get, which gives you more options on customizing your avatar. I actually just unlocked a new outfit for my avatar and am super stoked to put it on my avatar. LOL. It’s the little things, right? 🙂

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Misc Zwift Things

Zwift started out as an app for cyclists and they’ve since integrated their app to include both runners and cyclists. This means that if you go out for a run in virtual Central Park, there will also be cyclists zooming by you. My avatar unfortunately got run over by a cyclist and for whatever reason, my avatar stopped running despite me still running. It may have been a glitch or it may have been simulating real life. I mean, if a cyclist ran me over, I’m pretty sure I’d be stopped too. LOL.

So there you have it, my review of the new Zwift running app. If you have any questions about how this app works, please let me know. Also, read what other BibRavePros thought about the Zwift app below.

Jenn S. – Steph B.  – Vanessa – Jessica – Corey

Also, you can use Code ‘BibRave15’ for 15% off the Zwift footpod. 🙂 

Question for you: Are there any apps that you use for running? Strava is a favorite of mine and Zwift may start becoming another one that I use more frequently due to its gaming aspect. 🙂 

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Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Thoughts, Training

Motigo Marathon Training Plan

Disclaimer: I received a pair of free Aftershokz Trekz Airs and access to the Motigo Honolulu Marathon Training Plan 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!

If you’ve been following me along all these years, you’ll know that I have run four marathons and have seriously trained for three using different training programs each time. When I signed up for Honolulu, I knew I didn’t want to train as intensely as I did for Chicago, which used Hanson’s marathon method. I simply did not have the time to train as much this time around so I knew I’d be looking for more of a beginner’s plan. Enter Motigo’s Training Experiences.

First of all, what is Motigo? 

Some of you may remember that I used Motigo back in April for the Big Sur 21 miler.  Motigo is, in short, a phone app that allows people to record cheers for a runner. The people recording the cheers can choose specific mile markers for their runner to hear the cheer and all the runner needs to do is log into the app and when the race starts, hit start. The app will then track the runner throughout the course and when the runner hits the appropriate mile marker, the cheer will play. This is a super neat app as people can record their cheers in advance if they cannot make it out to race day to cheer in person.

So what does this have to do with marathon training? 

Using the audio aspect, Motigo has expanded into training plans and created “Training Experiences.” They call it an experience because it’s not just a marathon training plan. For one or two runs a week (typically during a long run) , there will be an audio component to the run. For those days, a runner can hit start on the run and as you run, the app will track your status in miles and when you reach certain mile markers, you will hear someone give you advice on how to tackle the mileage. Three to seven messages were expected for an audio run so if you typically run with music, these messages won’t interrupt your music too often. And you’ll know the message is coming because there will be an obvious beep followed by a pause before the message.

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What did I think of the training experience? 

So I signed up specifically for the Honolulu marathon training experience. For 18 weeks, I followed the plan as closely as I could and listened to the audio on those selected runs. On my particular plan because it was powered by BibRave, I heard various members from team BibRave giving me pointers as to how I should be running that day’s run.  There were also anecdotes of issues they’ve come across during their training and races and suggestions were given out during the runs.

After going through the plan, I will say that this is a solid plan for someone attempting their first marathon or for someone who isn’t looking to break a personal record. The plan itself does not include specific paces that you should be hitting during your runs and it’s more of a run by feel for the designated mileage. They do however tell you to pick up the pace at times in the audio.

The weekly mileage is fairly manageable and had I been better with time management, I think I could have hit all of those weekly targets. The lowest weekly mileage is 20, whereas the highest is 40.

Looking back at how I felt during the marathon, I think the plan prepared me fairly well for race day. I did taper a bit earlier than the plan suggested, but that was because I was bad and on the day I was supposed to run 20 easy miles, I ran 6 easy miles and raced at 110% during the RnR Vegas half only 4 weeks before the marathon. Not a smart move as my body was taking its sweet time healing. LOL. Had I not done that, I think I could have shaved off a few more minutes of my full time. 🙂

So there you have it, my review of the Motigo Marathon Training Experience. If you have any questions about it, please let me know or read what other BibRave Pros had to say about the plan. They also have a half marathon training experience too if marathons aren’t your thing. 🙂

Deanne – Corey – Lissa

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Only Two Week Left until the Honolulu Marathon

And just like that, there are 2 weeks left until the Honolulu marathon. TWO WEEKS. OMG, I am FREAKING OUT right now. LOL.

With the Thanksgiving weekend giving me some time off work, I was finally able to complete the designated mileage listed in my training plan indicated below. I actually exceeded the planned mileage by 1 mile so go me. 🙂

(Planned mileage) Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 5 miles

Tuesday (Rest) 4.6 miles

Wednesday (10 miles) Rest

Thursday (5 miles) 3.1 (Turkey Trot) + 7 miles

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday (Rest) Swim

So let’s talk about why I’m freaking out. I have been keeping up with my long runs so I know I can do the distance. The thing I can’t account for is the heat and humidity in Honolulu. I’ve been checking the weather in Honolulu this week and the low is 70F at 5 am with humidity at 90%. The race starts at 5 am soooo if this week’s weather is any indication of the weather in 2 weeks, I am doomed!

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My last 18 mile long run

I don’t do very well in humid weather so I am a bit concerned at how this marathon will go. You can bet that I will be hydrating a ton while in Hawaii and will also be using A LOT OF BODY GLIDE. No chafing thank you very much. LOL.

With regards to my race goals, I think that my mail goal will be to complete the full. It would be nice to finish faster than my Walt Disney World time of 5:28:42 or even a sub 5, but I’m also okay completing it without an injury.

To say that I’m looking forward to the following two weeks of training is an understatement. During my 18 miler this past Saturday, my knee was acting up at mile 15 and was telling me to stop. Since I was only 3 miles away from being done, I just put one foot in front of the other until I finished. It was grueling and there were some tears being shed near the end of that 18 miler, not because of the pain, but because I had reached the peak of my training. LOL. I am over the moon to not be running 18+ miles every other week. LOL. Now, only to finish that pesky 26.2 miler. 😛

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My Fleet Feet San Diego Family on Turkey Trot Day

This weekend, I have a much more manageable 12 miler. Hooray! I will also be in Austin for TRE Influencer Day so I’ll be able to run in a new environment making for a much more exciting run. More details about my experience at TRE influencer day next month so stay tuned. 🙂

Questions for you: Have any of you been to Honolulu? I’m still looking up things to do and eat. Any must try food items? 🙂 Nothing too questionable as I don’t want to repeat my Chicago marathon experience. LOL

Posted in Discount Codes, Running, Training

WonderWoman Wednesday – The WonderWoman Race Series

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the DC Wonder Woman Race Series 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.

With the Rock N Roll Las Vegas Half out of the way, my eyes are set on possibly PRing at the Wonder Woman 10k this weekend in San Diego. And I say possibly because I don’t want to get too cocky. I’m super guilty of trash talking during board games and I’ve definitely been burned. LOL.

Details for the WonderWoman Race

Date: Sunday, November 18th, 2018

Distances: 5k/10k

Time: 9 am

Location: SDCCU

Price:

  • $59 for 5K
  • $79 for 10K

Discount code: WWBIBRAVE for 10% off any DC Wonder Woman Race (including the virtual run)

What you get: AWESOME Wonder Woman Swag. No joke. You get a Wonder Woman race tank (for women) or race tee (for men), some wrist cuffs (because you have to have those Wonder Woman bracelets),a tote bag, a medal, and FREE RACE PHOTOS. Yes, you read that right. You get free race photos. Hooray!

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Throwback photo to when I ran the Dopey in a Wonder Woman costume. LOL

The nice thing about this race is that they also have a virtual run option (from now until Nov 30th) if you are unable to make it down to one of their races. So you could grab a couple of pals and virtually run the race and still receive all of the swag.

I would have liked my legs to get a little more rest in between races, but since I took a bit of a hiatus for racing, I’m just happy to be racing again. My legs took a rest on Monday and on Tuesday, I was back at it logging in the miles for Honolulu. Can’t stop. Won’t stop, right?

I am going to try and PR the 10k since it’s been years since I actually raced one so hopefully I’ve improved since then. LOL. Wish me luck!

Question for you: Have you ever participated in a themed race? Or a virtual run? And if so, what race? 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running, Training

Running on Tired Legs – The Secret to a Course PR at the RNR Vegas Half

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the RockNRoll Vegas Half 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 don’t want to bore you with another Marathon Monday training post so today, I will be forgoing it and just share with you all my Rock N Roll Vegas half experience.

Just know that I have been struggling with keeping up with the mileage as it’s been increasing. My legs have been a bit fatigued with 10+ mile long runs, but I know this fatigue is pretty normal and it’ll better prepare me for the full in a few short weeks. The target this past week was 20 miles during the week with a 20 mile long run totaling 40 miles. I was able to get in 16 miles during the week and a 19.3 mile long run totaling 35.3 miles. I was short 4.7 miles, but considering that *SPOILER ALERT* I beat my course PR on the Rock N Roll Vegas Half, I’ll still call it a win.

And with that, my race report of the Rock N Roll Vegas Half.

Health and Fitness Expo – Rock N Roll expos are large. If you’ve never been to one, be prepared. There a TON of vendors so choose wisely when deciding what to purchase or else you’ll rock around having dropped $100+. Bib pick up was extremely easy. I took a Lyft from the airport and was at the Convention Center in 15 minutes and then picked up my bib with no wait time.

I had a lot of fun talking to vendor reps that I had met at other running events. I’d like to give a shout out to the reps at the Oofos, HoneyStinger, and ProCompression booths for keeping me company as I waited 4 hours for my friend to arrive so I could check into my hotel. LOL.

Race Day (Pre-race) – Preparing for a night race is always tricky. Things to take into consideration:

Meals: Last year, I made the mistake of eating too early (10 am) and by the time I finished the race, I was starving and was grabbing anything the volunteers would give me to stuff my face with. This year, I tried to eat lunch a little later (12:30 pm) and hoped that whatever I ate would digest quick enough and not give me GI distress during the course (like during my Chicago marathon. Sigh). Fortunately, it worked, but I might have also upchucked a LITTLE bit of food during the course so I guess I will need to refine this a bit more. LOL.

Time on your feet: Time on your feet should be minimized for a night race. Knowing that, I still went out and ran 6 miles in the morning because I had a scheduled 20 mile long run for marathon training. LOL. In my defense, I did run much slower and tried to take it as easy as I could. After the run, I went back to the hotel and rested until it was time to get lunch and get to the start line. Even at the start line, I sat down and tried to rest and since I beat my course PR, I’d say it paid off.

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If you must go for a run on the Vegas strip, go at 7:30 am. Very few people are out.

Hydration: Holy moly is Vegas dry. I come from a fairly humid city so being in Vegas completely shriveled me up no matter how much water I drank (and I only drank water; no alcohol was involved). If you are going to run in the desert, drink up. It may be cool, but your body will thank you.

Gear Check: It’s a night race. It’s going to be COLD when you finish. You won’t feel it when you cross the finish line, but give it 10-15 minutes. You will feel it. So packing a jacket is a must.

Race Day (Actual race) – All day, I had been debating whether to race it or treat it like a training run. Since I ran 6 miles in the morning, I was worried that I’d hit a wall at mile 7. So I told myself to take it easy and run by feel. And crazily enough, I actually felt fine. I hadn’t raced a half since June so I was stoked be around other runners and was ready to cross that start line.

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At the start line

As soon as they sent off my corral, I took off. The course itself is fairly flat with a few minor ups and downs and you hardly notice them as the Vegas strip lights are pretty mesmerizing. I had seen them the night before, but running through the strip was another type of experience and you can bet I took it all in. The air was also cool and refreshing as I started to heat up. I hit my groove at mile 4 and at mile 5, I saw some BibRave peeps, which fueled me for another few miles.

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Before heading into our corrals

The bands and DJs that were set up along the course also really helped my energy levels. I would hear a Bruno Mars song and I’d just start dancing, which gave me more energy to run faster. LOL I also really like Bruno Mars. LOL. At mile 12, I was losing momentum. The dry winds combined with the sweat stung my face and I was struggling. Then, I ran into fellow blogger, Jim, and with some encouraging words, we pushed each other towards the finish line. (Hi Jim!!!).

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Immediately after crossing the finish – holy smokes, we’re sweaty

Honestly, I crossed that finish line feeling like a million bucks. I finished strong despite having run a total of 19.3 miles that day AND I beat my course PR. So maybe the secret is constantly running on tired legs?!?!

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My Shiny New Medal

Official time was 1:54:45 and now I’m just waiting impatiently to claim my results on Athlinks. LOL

Honolulu baby, I’m coming for you!

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Catching up with BibRave Founders: Tim and Jessica!

Question for you: Have you ever felt like a million bucks crossing a finish line? If so, which race was it at and why?

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – Another 18 miler is in the books!

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.

Week 13 of Honolulu marathon training is officially done. Hooray!

I would like to say that the hardest part is over, but then that would be lie because my hardest week is actually this week with an expected weekly mileage of 40 miles and a long run of 20 miles. LOL.

Despite the longer long runs, I don’t actually feel incredibly fatigued. That being said, I did sleep 12 hours the night of my 18 miler. LOL. I have been missing my weekly mileage the past couple of weeks, but not by much so I think I’m not doing too bad with training. I have also hit all of my long run miles so that’s a bonus. If there’s anything I’ve learned in marathon training, it is to NOT skip out on my long runs. I will skip the shorter ones if I have to, but I make damn sure to check off on the long runs because those runs are the ones that mentally and physically prepare me for the marathon distance.

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During those long runs, I practice my fueling strategy. I test different gels (Hammer Nutrition, HoneyStinger, Gatorade Endurance) and I test when I need to hydrate. I have not yet hit the infamous “wall,” and I honestly don’t plan to. I’d rather fuel more than I need to rather than not fuel enough. I’m a wimp when it comes to pain.

Speaking of pain, my long runs are a great time to test where I typically chafe. According to a friend, she makes fire with her thighs, which is why she can’t wear shorts during her long runs. Luckily, I don’t think I’ve ever made fire with my thighs, but there have been a few close calls. LOL It’s probably a good survival skill though if I’m being honest. 😛 My lower back and my arms are also common places where I chafe. With Honolulu being pretty humid, I expect the likelihood of chafing to be an all time high and am planning on body gliding it up. Hehe.

This past 18 miler wasn’t easy (ie it was hilly), but I think I took it like a champ; Although, I think my boyfriend might beg to differ. 😛 Due to his injury from last weekend, he wasn’t in a great place to run with me so he volunteered to skateboard alongside me for 18 MILES. LOL. Fortunately, there were a lot of things to see along the run so I think he was cool hanging out with me for 3.5 hours. He even took footage of my awkward running (Check my IG for that video) and got some cool photos. 🙂

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Week 13 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned) Actual mileage

Monday (4 miles) 6.03 miles

Tuesday (Rest) 5.02 miles

Wednesday (10 miles) 5.3 miles

Thursday (5 miles) Rest

Friday (Rest) Rest

Saturday (18 miles) 18 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

Weekly mileage: 37/34.2

So I missed my weekly mileage by 2.8 miles, but it’s not a big deal. I closed out October with 144.8 miles, which is my highest mileage of the year. Not too bad. 🙂 Another week down and another 5 more to go before Honolulu. Wheee!

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running, Thoughts, Training

Marathon Mondays – The Trials and Tribulations of Marathon Training

Why hello there readers! I am done with another week of Honolulu marathon training meaning that I am 12 weeks into my 18 week training program. That means I have 6 more weeks before conquering the Honolulu marathon. Eek.

Am I totally stoked to be running the Honolulu marathon? Hell yes. Am I excited to be putting in 6 more weeks of marathon training? Nope. LOL. Don’t get me wrong, there are lot of joys in marathon training, but there are also sacrifices that must be made during the training season.

This week, I want to talk a little bit about the ups and downs of marathon training.

Marathon training is no joke. It’s not something that you can easily do and for those who say otherwise, they’re lying. LOL. Marathon training requires time, A LOT of it. I have given up lots of Friday nights binge watching Big Bang Theory in order to go running early Saturday mornings. I know. I lead a very exciting night life. LOL. I have also given up a lot of sleeping in on Saturday mornings because I know that if I miss my group run, the possibility of me running later goes from 100% to 0%. IMG_0369

In addition to time, you are putting your body through a TON of stress. I have experienced lower back pain, knee pain, and lost more toenails than I care to admit due to marathon training. I mean, the lower back pain was probably just me getting older, but the knee pain and the toenails were definitely attributed to marathon training. In all honesty, I don’t mind losing the toenails as much. It’s kind of a source of pride for me nowadays. I’m a runner and that’s the type of thing that can happen. LOL. I also find it really funny when non-runners are grossed out by it.

So why do I run or put myself through it? Maybe I’m a masochist. I’m actually not sure. LOL. But I do know that I love running. I love pushing myself to what I believe are my limits and then  breaking them. I love finishing a 10 mile run Saturday morning when my non-runner friends are just waking up. I love the camaraderie that comes along with running with friends. You’d be surprised how much you and friends can talk about on a 3 hour long run. LOL. You also suffer and bond together. 😛 Last, but not least, runners are kind of cool. 🙂

The reason I wanted to discuss the ups and downs of marathon training is because of something that happened this past week. On Saturday, my boyfriend jumped off a curb while running and sprained his ankle. We were starting our 12 mile run and within 5 minutes of running, he landed on his ankle wrong and it swelled up A LOT. It’s too early to tell, but there is a possibility that he won’t be able to run the marathon with me. 😦 I’m hoping that it will heal up quickly and he can resume training, but if he can’t run it, it’s still a-okay. 🙂 I will just run it solo and he can watch or sleep in while I run 26.2 miles. LOL.

And just to keep consistent with all of my other marathon mondays, a recap of my training below. I unfortunately have not been doing as much cross training, but I did do a short trail run on Thursday and climbed up a crazy mountain that was only 0.1 miles in length, but had a 275 feet gain. I also got a laser engraved pumpkin from the trail run, which was AWESOME. I was short 2.3 miles in my training plan, but considering I have another 18 miler coming up next week, I’m going to take all the rest I can get. 🙂

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Week 12 Honolulu Marathon Training

(Planned miles) Actual miles

Monday (4 miles) 6 miles

Tuesday (Rest) Rest

Wednesday (8 miles) 5 miles

Thursday (6 miles) 1.58 miles Trail

Friday (Rest) 3 miles

Saturday (12 miles) 12 miles

Sunday (Rest) Rest

Question for you: What ups and downs of training have you experienced?