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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

FitnessBank

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? ๐Ÿ˜›

IMG-2342

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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 outย BibRave.comย 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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

The transition wrap, as the name implies, is also great for transitioning into other clothes. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ Gone are the days where you’re juggling your towel and your shorts and trying not to accidentally flash someone.ย 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.

IMG-9461

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ I highly recommend it to anyone looking to prevent their seats from being smelly or just has trouble transitioning out of sweaty clothes. ๐Ÿ™‚

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.

KelliKarenCoreyRyanReneeย – Charline

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running

My Long Beach Half Race Report

I received an entry into theย Long Beach Half Marathonย as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aย BibRave Proย (ambassador), and check outย BibRave.comย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ I picked up my bib, shirt, some last minute supplies, found my name on their banner and out I went.

IMG_9751
Can you spot my name?

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

IMG_9748

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.

IMG_9798

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. ๐Ÿ˜ฆ Luckily, my friend was stationed at mile 12 and once I saw her, I quickened my pace and headed to the finish. HOORAY!

IMG_9806

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.

IMG_8911
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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 

 

Posted in Running

Running Around with KnockArounds

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Sport Premium Sunglasses 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 there! It’s been almost a month since my last post and I’m oh so sorry about that. I’ve been going through some personal and professional things and I just lost the motivation to blog. But, I’m back now and this time, it’s to tell you about KnockAround’s Sport Sunglasses that have come out recently.

KnockAround, as you may have already guessed, makes sunglasses and they’re based in San Diego. It was founded by Adam “Ace” Moyer, a graduate student of UCSD and as a San Diego native and UCSD alum, this brings me great joy. ๐Ÿ™‚ What’s even better is that these sunglasses are awesome.

Their newest collection is their Sport sunglasses, which have a nice little rubber nosepad that prevents the sunglasses from slipping down your nose when you’re living your active lifestyle. I’ve worn them for several weeks now and they’re as comfy as be. The nose pad doesn’t leave any indentation on my nose even after several hours of wearing them and they prevent the sunglasses from bouncing up and down when I run.

The most common issue I’ve had with sunglasses over the years is that the tint of the lenses will start to peel off shortly after a few weeks. Even though I’ve only been testing this pair for only 4 weeks, I’ve had other KnockAround pairs for much longer and the tint has never peeled off. Hallelujah. Having a tint peel affects my visuals and is really annoying.

One other issue that I have is keeping the sunglasses on my head. I’m not usually aware of what’s on my head and I flail a lot, which results in a lot of dropped sunglasses. I’ve dropped these a few times and they’re still in perfect condition. ๐Ÿ™‚

IMG_8715

The Knockaround sunglasses start at $10 and come in a bunch of different colors with both standard UV400 protection and polarized lenses. If they don’t have the combination you want, they can also customize it for you. My particular sunglasses are the Premium Sports in Aquamarine/Fuscia and honestly, I love this color combination. I’ve always been worried about matching in clothes, but these color combinations are so vibrant that I just don’t care anymore. Match or don’t match with my clothes, I’m still going to wear them. LOL.

IMG_8489

If you want your own pair or any of their other sunglasses, use code BIBRAVEKNOCKS3 for 20% off your entire order. ๐Ÿ™‚ And if you don’t believe me when I say how great they are, please feel free to read any of my other BibRave Pros’ reviews linked below.

Ben – Renee – Brandy – Tim

 

Posted in Running

Dropping Fbombs left and right – A Fbomb product review

Disclaimer: I received a 16 pack variety count ofย Fbombย macadamia nut butters as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outย BibRave.comย to review, find, and write race reviews!

When Bibrave gave the Bibrave Pros a chance to test the FBomb macadamia nut butters, I was intrigued. I am a huge fan of peanut butter and more recently when I went on the whole 30 diet – which I only completed 21 days of – I tried almond butter and was pleasantly surprised at how addicted I was to it.

For the past few weeks, I’ve been snacking on these Fbomb nut butters in various forms and have found that they are fairly versatile for snacking and can actually help me curb my snack cravings a bit. ๐Ÿ™‚ If you haven’t heard of Fbomb, here are a few tidbits about Love You Foods LLC, the company that makes them.

The company is founded by Kara and Ross, two strong supporters of the low-carb/high-fat diet (think Keto, Paleo, whole 30, etc). While it was easy for them to find healthy proteins and vegetables while traveling, the same could not be said for fats. Thus, Fbombs, a quality source of healthy fats, were born.

The Fbomb macadamia nut variety 16 count pack comes with 4 different flavors – salted chocolate macadamia, macadamia with coconut, macadamia pecan with sea salt, and macadamia with sea salt. The butter comes in a easy to rip packaging where you can just throw it into a lunch bag, knead the packaging to mix, rip the top off, and eat as is. Thank goodness for that. They’ve saved me in a few instances where I haven’t been able to cook the night before and pack a healthy lunch for the next day.

I’ve tried all the flavors and my favorite is the macadamia with coconut. I’ve tried all of them as is and they’re all yummy, but I have a slight bias towards the one with coconut. ๐Ÿ™‚ย  The consistency is runnier than peanut butter so it’s easier to eat as is without having to dilute it with anything, although I’d still have water on hand if possible.

You might ask, “Where else could I use these nut butters?” Well, I can tell you that I tried them in both overnight oats and granola and both snacks go great with the nut butter. For overnight oats, I used this recipe and substituted the peanut butter with the macadamia nut butter and it was delicious. I did the same for the granola recipe.

Honestly, if you’re looking for a healthy source of fats, I’d recommend trying these out. They are keto friendly, paleo friendly, no sugar added, gluten free, non-GMO, vegetarian friendly, vegan friendly, dairy free, and peanut free. Honestly, if you have a dietary restriction, you can still probably eat these. I wish I had found these earlier. Maybe I would have lasted the entire month of my whole 30 challenge. LOL.

To find out more about what other Bibrave Pros had to say, click below.

Meridithย –ย Ashย –ย Deborahย – Lissaย – Ericaย – Kenย – Scottย – Barbย – Juanย – Ryan

 

 

Posted in Race Reports, Running

5 Years and 25 Half Marathons Later – My RnR San Diego Race Report

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.

Yes, that’s right. You read that header correctly. In 5 years almost to the day, I have completed 25 half marathons plus some other races and it all started with Rock N Roll San Diego.

It gave me such a good experience the first time around that I kept choosing to run it again and again and two days ago, I completed it for the 4th time.

Looking back on it, I really believe the reason I continued to race half marathons was because of this race.

Rock N Roll San Diego just knows how to put on a good time and after having a ton of pre-race anxiety, this was just what I needed.

Let’s summarize shall we? ๐Ÿ™‚

Pre-race: I stayed with friends that lived close to a trolley station and at 4:30 am, we were out the door to get to SDCCU stadium. We then took a 15 min trolley ride to the Little Italy trolley stop and briskly walked about a mile to the start giving us a nice warm up. We arrived, gear checked, my friends did their porta potty thing, and chit chatted for about 30 min until the start of the race at 6:15 am.

Race:

The start – The race started on time, but due to there being so many corrals, it took quite a bit of time to release everyone. I was in corral 8 and I started at 6:30 am. This year, they had a new design to release runners more slowly. They had gates that funneled everyone through narrower paths so only a 10 runners or so could be released and get a running start to the official start line. This made the first 0.25 miles easier to run through because there weren’t as many runners to maneuver around. I appreciated them, but I think others were annoyed.

IMG_6590

The course – Starting out, I was a bit nervous. My plantar fasciitis still wasn’t terribly better and although I was running through it, I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to complete the race. Fast forward two miles and everything started to move more quickly. My plantar wasn’t acting up as much and when we entered Hillcrest, I could see all the drag queens in colorful wigs and boobs screaming up and down for us. LOL. It’s one of my favorite parts of the race. Then up and down we go for a mile or two before we hit the blue mile, where runners are encouraged to wear blue to remember our fallen military heroes. I had run through this section the past three times I ran it and this was probably the first time I truly looked at the photos and honestly, it tugged at my heartstrings seeing all those young men and women who were killed in action.

Shortly after, the unofficial alcohol stations starting popping up and every year, I swear more and more start popping up. I counted maybe 4 or 5 houses that brought their A game (and by A game, I of course mean Alcohol). Some neighbors were providing shots of whiskey, some donuts and whiskey, some were handing out beer, and some were making some unidentified drink. ๐Ÿ™‚ I did not partake as I did not want to throw up, but seeing them definitely brought a smile to my face. I even saw a Doctor Who themed alcoholic station!

The latter half of the race was kind of a blur, but I do remember how I felt at different parts of the course in previous years.

At mile 1.5 where I started out too fast one year and had forgotten about the rolling hills.

At mile 7 where I had started walking and crying because it had gotten so warm.

Around mile 11 where I had seen a friend and she ran with me the rest of the way encouraging me to continue.

At mile 12.5 where I had run with a friend for her first half marathon and she was so in the zone, I told her to keep going without me.

And of course at the finish line, where I had finished 3 times prior.

It’s hard for me to put into words how I felt during the race, but maybe the word that best describes it is JOY.

IMG_6587

I started this race with the sole intention of trying to finish. I had no time goal and no expectation to run fast. And then I went out, enjoyed the course, even played some Pokemon Go, and ran my 6th fastest half marathon (Official time: 1:58:50). If that’s not a win, I don’t know what is. 

IMG_6597

So tell me, has there ever been a time where you blew your own expectations out of the water? I’d love to hear about it. ๐Ÿ™‚