Posted in BibRave Reviews, Race Reports, Running

My Long Beach Half Race Report

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.

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. 🙂 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. 😦 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 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. 🙂 

 

Posted in Running

Dropping Fbombs left and right – A Fbomb product review

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

When 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. 🙂 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. 🙂  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.

Meridith – Ash – Deborah – Lissa – Erica – Ken – Scott – Barb – Juan – Ryan

 

 

Posted in Running

FriYay – A Getaway to Exuma, Bahamas

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Exuma Half Marathon as part of the BibRave Bahamas Getaway package and for 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 only been 2 weeks since my last racecation and I’m thrilled to let you all know that I already have another one planned (LOL) because honestly, why not, right? I might have mentioned it before, but back in graduate school, I met someone who’s goal was to make out to a new country every year and since 2015, I’ve been trying to make that happen and make up for lost time. So far, I’ve been to Mexico, Thailand, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Canada, France, and Spain. I’ll be heading off to Taiwan in October and in November, I’ll be headed to the Bahamas for the Exuma half marathon!

Bahamas

The Deets

Dates: Thursday, Nov 7th through Monday, Nov 11th, 2019

Race distance: This race has distances from ranging from a 2k to a 50k and since I wanted to actually be able to walk around post-race, I opted in for the half marathon. It is my favorite distance after all.

Getaway package: BibRave has partnered up with Grand Isle Resort and the Exuma marathon to provide this all inclusive package, which includes the following:

  • Welcome Cocktail Reception
  • VIP Registration on Property
  • Pre-Race Pasta Dinner
  • Race Day Shuttle
  • Race Registration and Entry Fee
  • Post-Race Celebration Dinner
  • Breakfast included daily
  • $200 resort credit

If you’re concerned about cost, honestly, convince a bunch of your running friends to go with you and make a vacation out of it. 🙂 They have VILLAS at the resort. I’ve never stayed at a villa so excuse my excitement. LOL.

To book it, you can go here.

Flights: Oh this was a tricky one for me. Coming from the west coast, it’s not extremely easy to get to the Bahamas. Unfortunately, there are no direct flights into the Bahamas, but I definitely found a ton that go into Florida and then you’re only an hour and a half flight out. If you’re based on the east coast, this is such a easy racecation spot to get to and if you’re on the west coast and really want to go, do your research and book your flights early. My flights ended up costing around $650 RT, but for the perks of being in Exuma, it’s worth it.

Other perks of racecation-ing in Exuma? SWIMMING WITH THE PIGS! Honestly, I’m probably most excited for this. I mean, how cute are these little piggies? Don’t you want to swim with them? I know I do and I’m going to try my very best to see them and even swim with them if I can. ExumapigsI’ve also never snorkeled before so I’m pretty excited to do all of the things. Feed iguanas, island hop, swim with the pigs, and maybe even visit Thunderball Grotto because again, why not? LOL. I was never a YOLO type of girl growing up, but as I’m getting older, I can see why people live by it. I mean, I’m not going to go out and sky dive. That’s not going to happen, but I’m going to try and enjoy life a bit, while I still can. 🙂

Soooooooo yeah, I’m excited. 😀

Question for you: Have you been to the Bahamas before? Any thing I must see or do? 

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? 🙂

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. 🙂 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. 🙂 

 

Posted in Running, Thoughts

Ready or not, here I come

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. It’s that time again. Time for me to run the Rock N Roll San Diego Half, the first half I’ve ever run, for the 4th time. LOL. You would think that I would be bored of it by now, but honestly I’m not. It’s a wonderfully run race and a LOT of locals run it. I even have friends who have moved away are coming back to run it too. 🙂

I’m super excited to meet up with everyone at the expos on Saturday and at the race itself so if you see me, please don’t be shy. Come and say hi. 🙂

That being said, I’m also a bit worried that I’ll I won’t finish the half. My plantar was feeling a bit better a few weeks ago where the pain was minimal. I obviously took that as a sign to start running 20+ miles a week and bam, the pain came back annoyingly. It’s really my fault though. The moment I had a few good runs, I felt like I was a puppy who was just released from its cage. I wanted to run free and wild and uhh, my body had other plans.

I was hoping I’d be in better shape by this point, but truth is, I’m not. I have good runs and I have bad runs and unfortunately, this year happens to consist of more bad than good ones. I have high hopes that it won’t always be like this as it’s only been two months, but honestly, two months where I can’t just go out and run every day is getting to me.

It hasn’t been all bad though. I’ve resumed playing Pokemon Go when I do run to distract me from the fact that I can’t run far. I run a bit, stop to catch a pokemon, and continue on. It puts less stress on my legs by breaking the mileage apart and although my endurance has suffered a bit, I’m at least able to find joy in playing an offshoot of a game I really loved as a child. 🙂 Also, because of Pokemon Go, I’ve been able to take it easy and just enjoy the sights. I even stopped mid run to eat some ice cream. I then resumed my run. LOL.

So I guess what I’m trying to say is that being injured as taught me to enjoy my runs in a different way so maybe this race will also be new experience. 🙂

Wish me luck!

 

Posted in Running

Are you Team Commando or Team RunderWear?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Women’s RunderWear hipsters 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!

A few weeks ago, Bibrave asked the BibRave Pros about whether they’d be interested in testing out some running underwear and I, of course, was intrigued. I’ll admit the concept of running underwear was a bit foreign to me. I definitely do wear undies when I run, but apparently half of the running population does not, which SHOCKED me. LOL.

Trust me when I say that when the BibRave Pros discussed our undie preferences, I was in disbelief that some of my closest friends do not typically wear undies when running. Seriously, it took me days to wrap my head around it. LOL. But after talking to a few of them about the reasons, I get it. What are those reasons? Well, let me tell you.

CHAFING – This is probably the main reason most runners will end up going commando. Many pairs of underwear have seams where they rub against the skin and I have experienced this first hand. The showers after my first few half marathons started with yelps because of the water hitting my lower back where I had chafing from the band or label of the underwear.

So some of you may ask, why just not wear undies at all? Many running shorts have an underliner so you could just go commando. Well, to those people, I say No! LOL. I personally prefer to change my undies daily rather than my running shorts. I love wearing my shorts for multiple runs throughout the week and if I go commando underneath my shorts, well let’s just say that ruins everything. 🙂

RunderWear’s Solution to chafing? – No side seams and no labels on the undies so there’s no irritation and rubbing. The company is so confident about this that they have a chafe-free guarantee. They have a 28 day, no fuss guarantee. If they cause you to chafe, they’ll refund you. I’ve run in them for up to 8 miles in rain/humid weather and had no issues.

Restriction of movement – Depending on the type of underwear you wear, you can wear some are not the most comfortable and when running, you want the most free range of movement possible so many just go without it.

RunderWear’s Solution to restrictive fabric? – Runderwear has ergonomically designed their undies to move with your body. The fabric they use is very soft, breathable, and kind of reminds me of spandex, which allow me to move freely without feeling restrictive. I will mention that the hipsters do cover a lot more of my bottom than I’m used to, but I noticed that I don’t get wedgies with these, which is a bonus. Hah. I also forsee this as being a bonus in the winter time when it gets cold and the more coverage, the better.

If you’re interested in purchasing a pair for yourself, use code “BIBRAVE20” for 20% off your purchase. Valid only until May 30th, 2019. They have both men’s and women’s undergarments and also sell other performance wear. 

So tell me, are you team undies or team commando?