Posted in Running, Thoughts

Extra! Extra! Read All About It! – I’m Signed up for Grandma’s Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Grandma’s 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 am officially signed up for my 5th marathon and it’s going to a fun one! (I mean, aren’t all marathons fun?)

Come Saturday, June 22nd, I’ll be racing through the scenic Duluth, Minnesota at Grandma’s Marathon. Now, you may ask, why Grandma’s? Ever since I made my announcement on other social media platforms, I’ve gotten a mixed bag of reactions. Those who have run it have nothing but good things to say about it. Those who have never heard of it have asked, WHY? LOL So I guess I’m here let you know why I’m running it and why I think it’s going to be an awesome race.

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The Reasons Why

  1. FOMO – Yes, FOMO was a huge reason why I decided to run this race. I heard about it in a podcast and everyone I spoke to about it had again nothing but good things to say about it soooo when BibRave partnered up with them again this year, I was ready to register in a heartbeat. What can I say? I’m easily convinced. That and I’m starting to make my way through races in different states. If I keep going and maybe pick up my pace a little bit, MAYBE I can do a race in every state. I’ve already done California, Nevada, New York, Illinois, Florida, and Hawaii. Why not add Minnesota to the list? 🙂
  2. Scenery/course – The course itself is a point to point and I have heard that it’s beautiful. You get to run right along Lake Superior so you are guaranteed to have great views of the lake. When I ran Big Sur last year, I was mesmerized by the ocean and it was a running joke that my neck would hurt from looking in that direction the entire time. 🙂  I also just like point to point courses because I get to explore more of the city.facebook-image
  3. Support – This race, despite being in a small city, has a BIG race feel to it. This will actually the smallest marathon I’ve ever run, with a mere 9,000 runners, but I heard that the entire town comes out to cheer the runners on. Runners are treated like celebrities during this marathon and I do like feeling popular. LOL.I kid I kid. Sort of. 🙂

I am not going to lie. I am SUPER NERVOUS about this next training cycle. I had every intention to try and shoot for a personal record as this course is fairly flat, but because last month’s runs and races didn’t really go all too well, I’m not sure I want to attempt it. I don’t think I gave my body enough time to recover from the last marathon and now I’m paying the price with sluggish runs and plantar fascitis. Boo. Thankfully, I don’t have any races coming up until the end of March so I am doing my best to run smart and not over do it. Then, come March 2nd, when my official training starts, I will decided what my goal for this race will be.

Question for you: What are your favorite type of races? Big ones? Small ones? Themed ones? 

Also, if you want to join me on this crazy marathon adventure, use code “BIBRAVE10” for $10 off Grandma’s registration. 🙂 

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Posted in Running, Thoughts, Training

Another Chance To Race in the Rain – Only 4 more days until Surf City

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Surf City 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.

Race weekend is this weekend and wouldn’t you know it, it’s expected to rain again. LOL. Unfortunately, this isn’t a one day rain type of situation. It’s actually expected to rain multiple days so that’s a bit of a bummer, but at least I won’t overheat during the race. Gotta look at the bright side people. 🙂

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I have no real race goals going into this half since I’m experiencing a bit of plantar fascitis, but since it’s supposed to be raining, maybe my goal should be to not experience hypothermia. LOL. I think that’s a good goal right? To not freeze to death? It took hours to regain feeling in my fingers after the Irvine Half and I don’t really want to repeat that again. 🙂

A goal.  To finish the race without losing feeling in my hands. Hah! Maybe I should invest in some hand warmers too while I’m making this goal. 🙂 My B goal will be that if I do get hypothermia, I will still try to finish the race. Hehe.  Priorities. 🙂

Despite the rain, I’m still looking forward to seeing a bunch of friends from Southern California. I always have a blast meeting up with people and seeing what everyone is up to. If you’re also running the race, let me know. I’ll actually be volunteering at the Honey Stinger Booth on Saturday so if you’re around, drop by.

Oh if you know of any furloughed government employees who also run, let them know that the Surf City race is giving away a limited amount of entries. You can read more about it here. 🙂

So nothing too exciting planned for this race. I do hope my plantar goes away. I’ve been stretching every chance I get hoping it’ll ease the pain. It’s more bearable now so fingers crossed it’ll get resolved soon. 🙂

Question for you: What plans do you have this weekend? Any races coming up? More importantly, have you experience plantar fascitis and are there any really good exercises and stretches to get rid of it? I’m all ears! 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Adding the Carlsbad 5000 to the Race Calender

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Carlsbad 5000 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.

After the Honolulu marathon, I only really had one race planned for 2019 and that was the Irvine Half. Now that I’m 3 weeks into January, I have 4 more races and I couldn’t be more stoked. I’ll announce each of them within the next two weeks or so and spoiler alert – one of them is a marathon in June. *Gasps* I know. I went from a one a done marathoner to a let’s see if my body can handle 2 marathons in a year. 😛

Anyway, today, let’s talk about the Carlsbad 5000. For those of you who have followed me for a few years, you’ll know that Carlsbad 5000 was the first race I ever promoted for BibRave. This race is near and dear to my heart because it holds current 5k PR. I don’t know what it is about this race, but I always feel super excited when racing it. Maybe it’s the high energy of the people racing or maybe it’s the fact that I only have to run 3.1 miles. LOL. I do love running along the coast and despite the turns, I do think this is a very PRable race.

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My lovely friend who came out to cheer

It took a little bit of persuading (two complimentary beers at the end of the 5k), but I did get a few of my colleagues to join and some of them have never even raced a 5k before. Hooray! 🙂 They’re running the “Party People’s” division, which is new this year, where runners are encouraged to run, walk, and dance their way through the 5k. 🙂

A Few Changes to Note

This year, the Carlsbad 5000, is actually under new ownership. IronMan, who owned the Rock N Roll race, recently sold it to a San Diego -based group called Groundwork Endurance LLC. The most exciting part of this is that a part owner of the race is San Diego’s very own MEB KEFLEZIGHI! Yup, the San Diego Boston marathon winner! Woot woot! There will be a meet and greet and fingers crossed, I hope I’ll get a photo with him or have him sign something of mine.  🙂

With new ownership comes new perks. 🙂 This year, there will be FREE RACE PHOTOS! Yes, that is right. FREE. RACE. PHOTOS. I was incredibly sad when my Honolulu photos came at $34 a download so I was super stoked to find out that Carlsbad 5000 will now give you free race photos. If you didn’t know, the camera loves me. HAH! 😛

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At last year’s Carlsbad 5000.

You also get the option of not receiving a race shirt and having the proceeds of the shirt being donated to a charity. I love this option as I’m not one to usually keep my race shirts. I have a few key ones, but most of them, I donate.

For more information on the 5k, visit their site here. It’s currently $35 for their 5k and if you want to sign up for the all day 20k, it’s currently $85. I’ve also written about this race numerous times so to avoid being redundant, you can read about them >> (1, 2, and 3).

Question for you: Have you run a 5k? What’s your favorite one and why? 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

New Year, New Introduction

Since it’s still the first month of the new year, I’d like to take this time to re-introduce myself for new readers and even if you’re not new, maybe you’ll learn a few new things about me here and I promise, it will not all be running related. 🙂 So here are 8 facts about me because I couldn’t think of 10. 🙂

  1. My name is Mai (*waves*) and I discovered my love of running almost 5 years ago at my first 10k race – the St. Patrick’s Day 10k Run. Without going into too much detail, I went through a serious bout of depression months prior and running was just the thing I needed to take back control of my life. I have never looked back since. This blog primarily focuses on running with a few travel posts here and there. 🙂

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    My first marathon medal
  2. I am primarily a road runner. If you’re really lucky, you may see me run out on a trail, but that happens once in a blue moon because…I hate driving. LOL. To get to trails in my city, I have to drive and I’m just not about that life. I drive approximately 60 miles a day for work and if I have to drive any further, I will go nuts. Although, I am still considering running a trail race in 2019 so we’ll see.
  3. My favorite running memory is when I ran the New York Marathon. It was probably one of the few times that my only goal was to finish the distance. I wasn’t worried about time. I just wanted to finish and not be injured. I high fived every child and ran up and down every bridge with a smile. 🙂 That memory is the reason I continued on to run more marathons.
  4. My favorite non-running memory is hands down when defended my dissertation. It took a lot of years, tears, and grit to get to that point and despite me being a nervous wreck the day of my dissertation, the moment I concluded my presentation, I felt free. Of course, that feeling didn’t last too long as I had an interview for a job the next day and had to cut my defense party short to prepare for it. LOL. It all worked out though. I got the job. 🙂

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    At my PhD defense
  5. I really like to travel. My bank account does not. I met someone who’s goal was to visit a new country every year. I’ve adopted that same goal. I currently do not have plans to travel to a new country this year, but it’s only January so who knows?
  6. I am a HUGE foodie. I could never been a vegetarian because I literally build my meals around meat. Although, I have trying to be a bit better about that and incorporate more veggies. Favorite meals include ramen, sushi, and sometimes fried chicken. LOL.
  7. I am a BibRave Pro and have been one for almost 3 years now. It’s been an amazing experience being surrounded by such an enthusiastic group of runners on social media. Not to mention, I get to run some of my favorite races and test out products for free. 🙂 Let me know if you want to know more about being a BibRave Pro.IMG_5514
  8. I’m a very expressive person and I do not like holding in emotions. So if I’m happy, you’ll know it. If I’m having a crappy time, you will also know it. I do not showcase that I’m sad on social media often, but it does show up. Hiding my emotions ends up poorly.

So that about sums it up. 🙂 If there’s something you’d like to know about me, ask away. 🙂 If this is your first time to my blog, welcome. If it’s not, welcome back! 

Now, tell me something interesting about you. 🙂 

Posted in Running

Preparing for my first half of 2019 – Irvine Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Irvine 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.

Happy New Year everyone! I hope everyone had a lovely holiday season and is now having a great start to 2019.

I haven’t been in the mood to write lately, but I thought I’d give you all a little recap of what I’ve been up to lately.

From the title of the post and probably from my many social media posts, you all know that I’ve been preparing for my first half of the year. Eek! I’m pretty nervous about it as I am for all races because I’m just a huge worry wart, but this time, it’s because I didn’t really have a good post-marathon recovery.

The plan after the Honolulu marathon was to rest maybe a week and a half and then resume running for this half. Well, a week of rest for my legs went by and then BAM, BAM, I got an ear infection that hurt like hell. I don’t know how many of you have had ear infections, but OWWWWW. I had never had one before and after this, I never want to have one ever again. I was in so much pain for the first few days and unfortunately, a side effect of the infection was that my hearing got impaired.

It’s been 3 weeks and even though the infection cleared up within a week, my hearing is still impaired most likely due to some fluid build up behind my ear drum. Bleh. I will be seeing an ENT this morning so hopefully, I’ll have good news. Fingers crossed!

In the meantime, life does go on and I’m gearing up for my first race of 2019! LOL. Yes, that’s right. Despite being sick, I managed to somehow still run a bit and this Saturday, I’ll be running my 23rd half marathon at the Irvine half.

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Running into 2019 like BAM

How do I feel about it?

Honestly, I’m pretty nervous. I’ve been able to run a few 8 mile long runs the last few weekends, but it hasn’t been all that easy. The aftermath of my ear infection has caused my airway to become narrowed and so I have issues breathing when I run. I’m optimistic that I can finish the race as I had a similar breathing issue a few years ago due to severe allergies and ended up PRing a half. LOL. That being said, I don’t think I’ll be PRing this upcoming half. 🙂

What’s the plan then?

It’s the same plan I usually have for most races. Enjoy the race and try to not die. 🙂 Haha. I kid I kid. 🙂 But seriously, I will be taking it easy and if I need to rest, I will rest. I’m not going to collapse on the road. That is the goal. 🙂

Who knows though? Maybe, I’ll PR or maybe place in my age group? Probably not place, but a girl can dream, right? More on that later. 🙂

So that’s it for now. Not a super long post as training or my lack of training has been pretty uneventful. I did get an Instant Pot over the holidays so I’ve been trying out different recipes. If I find a really good one, maybe I’ll end up sharing it on here. 🙂 Until next time!

Question for you: Have you ever run sick? And/or have an instant pot? Any recipes you really like and would recommend trying out?

 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Surf City Baby! – Top 5 reasons to run the Surf City Half/Full marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Surf City 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.

My 2019 racing calendar is starting to get more filled up and I could not be more excited. My most recent additions are the Surf City USA Half marathon and the Carlsbad 5000, but more on that one later.

Here are the top 5 reasons you should run the Surf City USA Half or Full marathon.

1. Location – This race is in Huntington Beach, CA so if you’re located in Southern California, this is a must do race. Even if you’re not in Southern California, how could you pass up on a race with great beach views? And since it’s in SoCal, you know the weather will be nice. If you’re making a vacation out of it with family, head on over to Knott’s Berry Farm or Disneyland OR head to Los Angeles for some amazing food.

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2. Course – As already alluded to, the course is a nice one that starts on the Pacific Coast Highway and after a few turns here and there, you end on the Pacific Coast Highway. The course is primarily flat and you’re so close to the beach that you can see and smell it too. 🙂

3. Medal – Most medals nowadays are circular in shape. The Surf City half and full marathon medals are not. Their medals are in the shape of a surf board. After all, you are running in Surf City, right? So if you’re looking to mix your medals up a bit, I’d recommend this one.

4. Multiple distances – If you’re trying to get others to join you and they’re not ready for a full marathon, convince them to do a half marathon, a 5k, or even a 1 miler. 🙂

5. Challenges – When I first started running, I would look for race challenges. You know, the ones where if you finish a certain set of distances or races, you’d get an extra medal for it. I was a medal hog so this race was something I did as part of a larger challenge. The great thing about the Surf City half and full marathon is that they have several challenges associated with it. Below are the challenges:

Cowabunga Challenge – This challenge consists of a 1 mile timed run on Saturday on the sandy beaches of Huntington and a half marathon or full marathon on Sunday. So if you’re looking for a nice shake out run on Saturday, consider completing this challenge. All participants who finish the challenge will receive a medal as well as a beer (if you’re 21 and up).

Beach Cities Challenge – This was the one I did a few years ago and consists of the following three races: Surf City Half or Full, the Orange County Half or Full, and the Long Beach Half or Full. It doesn’t matter if it’s within the same calendar year, but if you do them all consecutively, you receive an extra medal and boy, this extra medal is something special. When I completed my challenge, I received a medal in the shape of a sand dollar that opened up and I believe that this year, it’s in the shape of a whale who’s mouth opens up.

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My Surf City medal and Beach Cities Challenge medal

Double Dog Challenge – This challenge consists of both the Orange County and Surf City races. The catch is that you have to complete a half and a full between the two races so you could in theory complete the Double Dog Challenge and the Beach Cities Challenge if you really wanted to. For completing this race, you get a dog tag with the challenge listed on it.

One other reason you should run it is that I will also be running it and I’d love to meet up and chat. 🙂 I love meeting up with other runners so if you are signed up, please let me know and we can meet up before the race. You can use code “SCMBR10” for 15% off race registration. 

Question for you: What race challenges have you participated in? 

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. 🙂