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. 

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Posted in Running, Training

Countdown to the San Diego Rock N Roll Half Marathon

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

It’s almost a year later and I find myself counting down to my 4th San Diego Rock N Roll Half marathon. 🙂 4 years ago, this was my first half marathon. FOUR. I actually had to look back at my first medal to see what year it was. LOL.

Even as I type this, I am in just disbelief that it has already been 4 years since I embarked on this crazy running journey and 21 half marathons, 3 marathon, and 1 very hilly 21 mile race later, I am ready to run my 22nd half. LOL.

I remember the first time I went to the Health and Fitness Expo 4 years ago. I was in awe at how big the expo was. I had taken the day off from work and went with my brother to the expo and walked around and around. I played games that some vendors had, grabbed the free snacks, and got my very first medal rack and that very first medal rack led me to my Instagram and Twitter Handle: Once_upon_a_run. 🙂

Now that’s enough walking down memory lane. In 7 days, I will be running through the streets of Downtown San Diego once again. I will start out near the San Diego Zoo and head through the neighborhoods of Hillcrest and Normal Heights where there will be drag queens and the neighborhood bar at mile 4 where neighbors wake up early just to serve you shots of tequila and whiskey. LOL. I’ll run through North Park, where a lot of great food is at and then make my way towards the downhill finish in Downtown San Diego by the Waterfront. 🙂

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Training on the my old stomping grounds at UCSD

My game plan for this upcoming week will hopefully be a lot of rest and stretching. I haven’t race a half since January and I think I’m a little out of practice. Most of my training runs are at a much slower pace and I just checked my course PR on Athlinks and it was a 1:54:11. Crap. My muscles have been a lot tighter this year than they’ve ever been in the past so I’m trying to stretch as much as I can and foam roll after my runs. I can’t even touch my toes anymore! Ack. My hope is to at least stay ahead of the 2 hour sub half marathon crowd. Des Linden, the 2018 female Boston marathon winner and also a San Diego native, will actually be pacing the 2 hour half marathoners and I hope that I can stay ahead of that group, finish, and then wait around to see Des cross the finish line. She’ll also be at the expo on Friday and Saturday so I’m hoping to see her one of the days. Eek! So excited.

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Foam rolling

Wish me luck!

If you’re into doing things last minute and want to sign up online, you still can until Sunday night! You can use code “RNRBRP2018” for $15 off either the half or full marathon. This code works on most Rock N Roll races (excluding Vegas) 🙂 

Question for you: What stretching tips do you have? Foam rolling? Post recovery tips are greatly appreciated! 🙂 

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, Race Reports, Running, Thoughts

Oh the Hills – Big Sur 21 miler Race Report

“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Big Sur 21 miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

And BAM, just like that, the Big Sur 21 miler has been conquered. 🙂 I had a wonderful experience running Big Sur and despite my legs hating me oh so much right now, I’m sure they’ll get over it and I can start running again soon. 🙂

Without further ado, my race report:

The Health and Fitness Expo: I flew into San Jose Saturday morning and rented a car to drive down into Monterey Bay. There was plenty of parking and as long as you could get out of the expo in one hour, there were no issues. 🙂 I made my usual rounds. There were plenty of photo opportunities.IMG_6112

I found my name on a HUGE Big Sur poster and took an awesome expo photo in front of this ginormous sign. IMG_6126

Thinking about it now, I should have known. Everything was so big. That should have tipped me off that the hills would have been the same. LOL. I stopped by the Motigo booth, where I talked to one of the Co-founders Dan. He was super cool and told me to open the app prior to the race to make sure all of my cheers were downloaded. I refreshed the app like a mad woman that day. Seeing more cheers being sent my way made me happy. 🙂

After grabbing my race swag and visiting the vendor booths, I quickly made it outside to sight see a bit. Then a massive headache came about and basically spoiled the rest of the night. Luckily, I passed out around 8 pm to get ready for my early wake-up call at 3:45 am.

Morning of: I was pretty worried the morning of the race. I had been experiencing stomach cramps for the past few days and was worried they’d make an appearance during the race. I was too scared to eat, but managed to gulp down some gatorade and had half a bagel with cream cheese right before the race. Everyone met at a pick-up location and was shuttled to the start line for our respective races. Since my race was 5 miles shorter than the marathoners, we started further along the course at mile 5.

RACE! The start of the race was actually a little anticlimatic. LOL. The reason being that the start line banner doesn’t actually indicate the start. The timing mats were located 0.2 miles up a hill and that’s where we officially started. So as we crossed the banner, most of us slowly stretched our legs up the hill. I even overheard a Pennsylvanian say that “Californians were really chill.” LOL. When we hit that timing mat, we were off. I started my Motigo app, my Garmin (because if there’s no data, did you really run it?), and was off. I started off pretty quickly. I think I was so excited to hear cheers for the app that I ran faster than I should have. Hah.

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The scenery was extremely pretty. I took a lot of videos and pictures and was just in awe from the hills and the greenery. 🙂 We were running along the coast and I got these gorgeous views of the waves crashing against the rocks of the cliffs.

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The course was marked for the marathoners and just the marathoners so we all laughed when we started running and already saw the 5 mile marker. 😛 Hooray! 5 miles done, 16 to go, right? The first few miles were a breeze.IMG_6152

I heard a few cheers and then later found out that the app had unfortunately crashed due to really really poor reception in the area. Seriously. Plan ahead to meet your loved ones at the finish line. There is barely any reception in the area and I’m pretty sure I ran 19 miles of it without any cell service. I ended up listening to my cheers at the finish line, which was still pretty awesome. 🙂

At my mile 5 (10 for the marathoners), we began our ascent (into madness, jk, only sort of kidding) up the massive hill. We ran up maybe 600 feet over the course of 2 miles? It was this intense trek up and honestly, I had no idea when it would end because the course kept winding and so I couldn’t see the top. You’d turn and then see another hill. Seriously, I can’t believe I complained about the La Jolla Half. That race was nothing compared to this one. Also, once you got higher up, the wind got stronger. LOLIMG_6165

At mile 7, we started heading down towards Bixby Bridge, where we got to see this awesome piano player! He was playing lullabies when I ran by. LOL. I took about a million photos of the area and continued the trek. Around mile 10, the first place male marathoner passed me by. LOL. They were fast. At mile 15, it started to sprinkle, which was actually kind of fun. I kept leap frogging with another runner for a few miles, but at the 2 last miles, she passed me. At mile 17, I started feeling pretty tired. I liked to think that running down hill was my strongest skill, but at mile 17, that was not the case. My knees started feeling the the impact from pounding on pavement up and down. My stomach felt very empty at mile 17 and I worried that I had not fueled enough and I’d hit the wall. Luckily, it didn’t happen. and I managed to make it to 20.5. Mentally, I was done. I started walking, but soon after, another runner touched my back as he passed by to encourage me to keep going so I did.

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I crossed the finish line with a time of 3:25:56 and a big smile on my face. 🙂 I had conquered the hills of Big Sur. And I placed 80th/1010 overall. You can bet I put my results into Athlinks. 😛

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Question for you: What was the hardest race you’ve ever run? Mine was probably Big Sur. 😛 Doesn’t mean I wouldn’t do it again though. IMG_6172

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Running, Training

Weav Wednesday – A mobile app review

Disclaimer: The Weav Run app is currently free but I will be receiving a lifetime subscription in January 2018 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 are looking for another way to mix up your runs, you should take a look into the Weav Run app.

What is it? The Weav Run app is a mobile (currently only for iOS) app that adjusts the music you’re listening to in order to match your cadence/running speed. IMG_4173

What does that mean? Well, in short, when you run faster, the music will also get faster and when you slow down, the music also slows down.

How does that benefit me? If you’re looking to improve your mile time, beat a personal record, or just listen to more upbeat music when you run, this is probably the app for you. I don’t know about you, but when I run to music, I will dance along to it. If it’s a super motivating song, you will definitely see me run faster. Music is such a motivator for me so if the music is upbeat, you know I will be too.

I’ve been using this app since Thanksgiving and I really enjoy it. It’s super useful during my interval training runs. 🙂

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What if the music sounds weird at the pace I’m running at? The Weav Run founders have mixed the music so that even though the pace is a bit faster, the singers will not sound like chipmunks. Hooray! The transition is fairly smooth. If you are a bit concerned about the pacing, you can also set your cadence and have the music set at a specific beats per minute. That’s what I do. At each interval, I will increase the cadence a bit more and it’s really helped with my training.

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What type of music does the app have? That’s a great question. They currently have 25 songs including “Believer” by Imagine Dragons, “Basically Over You” by Alex Newell, “Ms Jackson” by OutKast, and “It’s Tricky” by Run DMC. They’re working on expanding their playlist so don’t worry about it being limited. 🙂 As a BibRave Pro, I was able to beta test some of their new features and even listen to their expanded playlist and trust me, they’re awesome.

If you questions regarding the app, please feel free to ask me or read any of the reviews written by other BibRave Pros.

MeridithLindseyBrenda – Chris – Vanessa – Fallon – Emily – Laura – Stephanie

Question for you: How do you mix your runs up? Do you run intervals? With music? 

Posted in Marathon Mondays, Running

Marathon Mondays – Week 9 of Chicago Marathon Training

It’s 9 weeks into the program and honestly if you’re still reading these recaps, I applaud you. LOL. I worry that these recaps can be kind of redundant especially if the workouts are all the same, but this recap, I have a treat for you at my expense. LOL. I completely broke down during Tuesday’s interval workout. Keep reading to find out why. 🙂

(Scheduled mileage)Actual mileage

Monday (7 miles)7.5 miles

Two Mondays in a row where I didn’t feel sluggish. Hooray! My running group only runs from 3-6 miles so I headed over 20 minutes earlier and did 2 miles before the run started.

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Tuesday (4 x 1200 m with 1 mile WU and CD)3 x 1200 + 1 x 900 m with 1 mile WU and CD

And Tuesday is where I broke down. I had a really long day at work and got out a little later than expected. I was really stressed out, but I was still determined to get my interval done so I went out on the track and started. Most of the run went well, but on my last loop, my stomach just cramped up and I just hunched over and couldn’t run anymore. I started crying out of frustration and I just sat there for about 10 minutes trying to figure out if I should continue or not. I ended up not finishing the interval out of fear for my body and slowly jogged back to my office to grab my clothes and go home. Honestly, it was a really difficult moment for me. Running is something I know I can do. After a long day at work, it’s something I depend on to relieve tension so even a slight mishap like this one just broke me. I’m sure it also has to do with my impending defense Eek! Anyway, I finished the night with a pep talk to myself and decided that tomorrow was another day and it’d be fine. 🙂

Wednesday (Rest)9.5 easy miles

Thursday was going to be full of traveling and I knew I wouldn’t have the time to run before my flight so I made the decision to switch my usual rest day with my “tempo run.” The run ended up being an easy run because my tempo run would actually be race day. The 9.5 miles were difficult. I could feel my body needing the rest, but I was determined to put in the miles so I took it really easy. It was supposed to be 10 miles, but I also wasn’t feeling that well so I cut it short.

Thursday (8 mile tempo run with 1 mile WU and CD)Rest/Travel

Woohoo rest day! Made my way up to Vancouver.

Friday (5 easy miles)4.5 miles

Since Saturday was race day, I needed to do a shake out run. Hanson’s marathon method called for 5 miles so I upped and did an easy run. I was up in Vancouver with a friend and we ran part of the seawall together. It was a beautiful run and I honestly didn’t want it to end, but we got tired and decided to call it quits at 4.4 miles.

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Vancouver run time!

Saturday (8 miles)13.4 miles (tempo sort of)

Ran the SeaWheeze Half marathon, which I will recap sometime in the next two weeks. Trust me, it was amazing and you do not want to miss my recap.

Sunday (10 miles)3.7 miles

With all the sightseeing we had done in the previous two days, I could only manage a 3.7 mile recovery run instead of the 4.7 that I needed to finish the week’s scheduled mileage.

Total mileage (46 miles)45 miles

Considering that I was in another country for 3 of the days and had to move my running around quite a bit, I’m going to call this week a success. Hooray!

How do you rearrange your schedule when traveling? Do you run while on vacation?

 

Posted in BibRave Reviews, Discount Codes, Running

Staying hydrated – Orange Mud P.F.V product review & a discount code

Disclaimer: I received an OrangeMud Phone.Flask.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! All opinions are my own. 

I am in full swing of marathon training and with the summer heat, a hydration pack was something I desperately needed. I had been scouring the sites in hopes of finding one that wasn’t too heavy and wouldn’t chafe in the humid temperatures. Luckily, BibRave gave us the opportunity to try Orange Mud’s Phone. Flask.Vest (P.F.V.) and I jumped at the chance.

The basics of the P.F.V.

Like the name implies, it’s a vest that can hold both your phone and a hydration flask. On the front of the vest, there are two main pockets – one for your flask and one for your phone. The flask is a soft flask that can hold up to 450 (15 oz) or 600 mL (20 oz) of fluids (it comes witht he 450 mL one) and deflates the more you drink from it. On one side of the vest, there is a shoulder pocket that you can store gels/chews/whatever nutrition you may need. There’s also a key clip that you can use to store your key while running. On the other side of the vest is a dust cover for the bite valve in case you don’t want it to get dirty while running. No one likes biting onto a valve that’s covered with dirt. Gross. On the back of the vest, there’s another pocket for a light jacket. The vest also has adjustable straps to tighten or loosen to your liking. Its cost? $99.95.

My experience

Weight – This vest is extremely lightweight. It may look like a lot to wear, but it’s actually not. Even after runs, I would just keep it on when I ran my errands.

Bounce – When I first tried this vest on, I found that it bounced a bit. After playing with it a bit, I found that if I tightened the straps enough, the bounce was very minimal and I had no problem with it. I ran a half marathon with it on and the vest didn’t bother me at all. I will note that other people that I’ve talked to have experienced more of a bounce. I am a bit more flat chested (I’m a B cup), which might be beneficial to me in this situation.

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Wearing the PFV during the Craft Classic Half marathon

Breathability – Even with the addition of the vest, my body didn’t seem to heat up. The material (mesh) that the vest is made out of makes it very breathable.

Chafe – This was such a big concern for me. With summer comes heat, humidity, and the high probability of chafing. I am super happy to report that I didn’t experience any chafing even after running a half marathon. I will note that I put bodyglide on my neck during that race because it was my first time running 13.1 miles with that vest on and I didn’t want to take any chances. I have run 6 miles in a sports bra with no bodyglide and the vest didn’t rub on me at all. Hooray! I will mention that I did wear a necklace once on a run and the vest rubbed the necklace against my collar bone. So just don’t wear necklaces while running and you’ll be good to go.

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On SportsBraSquad day!

Hydration and fuel – I do wish that the flask was a little larger so I could take it with me on longer runs. I usually finish up the water by mile 6 or 7. However, I can easily solve this issue by running by places that have water fountains. I can just refill the flask and continue on my run. On my half marathon, I stopped by 3 aid stations in addition to sipping water from my vest and that was just the perfect amount of water for me. I love using the pockets to hide my gels. This will definitely come in handy when I start running longer distances. 🙂

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Stay hydrated everyone!

Other – There was one thing I didn’t like about the vest, which was the fact that my flask initially leaks when I first use it. Although I don’t really feel the leak, it does soak part of the pocket, making it difficult to put my phone in the front pocket. (I have never put my phone in the front pocket since I have a flipbelt and use that instead; I also don’t want to overload the front of the vest). It doesn’t seem to leak at all after the initial leak and it might have to do with me adding too much water to the flask.

So there you have it, my review on the newest Orange Mud product, the Phone. Flask. Vest. You can bet that I’ll be wearing it a lot more often as the heat increases. If you are interested in any of their products, you can use the code “BRPPFV” for 10% off all their stuff. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask me about it or check out any of the other BRPs’ reviews below. You can also join us on Tuesday, July 25th for our #bibchat on Twitter for a chance to win 1 of 2 P.F.V.s!

Fallon – Casey – Bradley – Heather – Angie