Race Recap: Atlantic City April Fools 7k

First things first, if you’ve read our blog for any amount of time, you already know that I love the Atlantic City races. (Swing by our Race Recaps, and you’ll find a whole slew of reports about AC.)

I usually opt for the half marathon at the April Fools race but this year I’ve been embracing shorter distances and Saturday races during Healthy Kids Running Series season.

Additionally, my 14 year old son requested to join me this year so I figured the 7k distance would be the best bet. There’s also a 11k option on Saturday. The half marathon runs on Sunday.

Chrissy and me

For an additional $10 per packet, there was race morning packet pickup. To save myself time and travel expenses (it basically evens out), we did morning packet pickup.

Parking was only $5 with a Resorts Casino card, I picked one up a few weeks back when I spent the day in AC. Lucas and I met up with Chrissy and were quickly able to get our bibs and race shirts. Ladies got pink, men got blue.

A huge draw for the Atlantic City races is that without fail, I always see a ton of friends there. It’s a quick hour drive on the expressway from my house, which means that I can spend the night at home and just wake a bit early and hop in the car.

Run856 Turtles – I love this group of local runners!

The weather was rainy but not too cold, so it was actually comfortable to run in. This was the longest distance for my son so we chose to do 1:1 intervals to keep a consistent pace. After the Star Spangled Banner and a countdown, the race started at 9am.

The entire 7k course is on the boardwalk, which is somewhere I always enjoy running. There was a water station on the way out and back around the 2 mile mark (and the same on the return, not exactly sure of the distance). It’s always a really nice run – despite the weather.

Lucas and I rocked our AfterShokz headphones so we were able to jam out to our music and still chat with each other. He’s been running track at school, where the longest distance is a mile, but we also ran a 4 mile training run recently. The 1:1 intervals helped him feel good and confident the entire time and he stuck with me at my pace for 3.35 miles – the last mile I told him to GO and away he went.

Lucas’ main goal was to finish under an hour, which I assured him wouldn’t be an issue. He finished in 51 minutes while I rolled in at the 53 minute mark.

The finish line has lots of snacks and goodies, which Lucas loved every moment of. He went to get snacks and I stayed at the finish to cheer in friends.

What I love about this particular race, more than anything else, is that I got to run with Lucas. I was having a bit of calf pain in the days leading up to the race and there was a brief moment when I thought I might have to sit it out. Thankfully, he took it easy with me and as much as I was asking him how he was feeling and doing, he was doing the same for me.

Yeah, my kid is pretty great.

And so is this race. I’ll be back to Atlantic City in June for the 2nd Bungalow Beach 5 Miler. Will I see any of you there?

Race Recap: 2019 Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k race 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!

Ken, Ryan, Joe, me

2019 marks the third consecutive year that I’ve run one of the races at the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate series. I kicked off my 40th year in 2017 with Christina, 2018 was my friend Ana’s first 5k ever, and this year I ran solo. But I was never alone, I had friends all along the way.

Ana, Dora, Rocky, me

What I think is so cool about this race is the appeal for not only local runners but newer runners, at that. Friends that don’t usually run sign up for this because it’s laid-back and has fantastic swag/treats. Not only did I see adult friends, I also saw a few of my kid runners from Healthy Kids Running Series (or they saw me – I have a few come up to me at our next race to tell me how they did).

While I love visiting Philly, I opted to have my race packet mailed to me because I had a lot going on the week before the race. Along with the super soft jacket, there was also my bib, and a card saying that as a 3 year legacy runner, I was going to get even MORE swag! What? It’s true – I just had to bring the card along with me and I was able to pick up a 3 year legacy medal, pin, and hat.

The course itself is standard Philly running. We chose to take the train in from New Jersey rather than deal with parking and walking from 15th/16th and Locust to Eakins Oval which is where the race began (for those not from around here, right in front of the “Rocky steps” aka Philadelphia Museum of Art).

We got there just before 7am and had time to get a picture with fellow BibRave Pros. It’s always great to see my orange clad team. I’d met Joe and Ryan before but this was my first time meeting Ken!

I was placed in D but started in E because I saw some friends from my turtle running group. Love these ladies – always so supportive!

They request that you don’t move up in corrals, only back, which is standard for races. I know at other races there are people there monitoring corrals but I didn’t see that here. The 5k race began at 7:15; I crossed the start exactly 10 minutes later at 7:25.

Running along the Schuylkill river is nice, you get a great view of Boathouse Row and the Art Museum. The other side of the road is 1-76 which is decidedly less pretty.

I don’t love how the road there banks to the sides, it’s not very visible but you feel it in your hips after awhile. This is where I ran my first road race ever so it always takes me back to my roots.

There was water and Nuun on the course, along with one chocolate station. I chose to skip the chocolate and indulge at the finish line.

After I crossed the finish I circled back and cheered for my friends finishing the 5k. We grabbed our chocolate and treats and then cheered for the 15k finishers.

One thing that was disappointing was the photographers. Hot Chocolate always has free pictures for runners (yay!) but this year I didn’t get that many and the ones that I’m in, I’m behind people. There are a few of me running but they’re blurry. This was standard:

I’d say this one is probably the best of me crossing the finish line. Hey, I’ll take it!

The morning was perfect for running and as always, the race was a lot of fun! Communication leading up to the race is always on point and they had some nice little perks so that people encourage their friends to join them in running this sweet experience.

Have you ever run a Allstate Hot Chocolate race before? What treat gets you motivated to run?

Road Tested: The Closer Bra – Handful

Disclaimer: I received Handful’s The Closer Bra 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 may be showing my age here but one of my favorite movies growing up was Beaches. If you are (old) like me, you might remember the song from it regarding brassieres. If not, you should probably take a moment to visit YouTube. It’s amazing.

Anyway, as I grew up and grew… a chest, I realized quite quickly that not just any bra will do when it comes to working out. When I first heard about Handful bras, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I have what I consider to be more than just a handful and the first ones I saw were the Adjustable Bra. With the thin straps and product description, I was leery. Could Handful handle me?

However, at The Running Event, I received a Y-back Bra to try. Let’s just say I was kicking myself for not giving Handful a try sooner. I quickly requested more from my husband for the holidays and have since built up quite the collection.

Then word came out that there was a new bra on the block, Handful’s The Closer Bra.

Touted as Handful’s most supportive bra with a front closure, I was 100% in to try this one. And it does NOT disappoint. Things that I love about this bra:

  • Softer than soft material – Seriously, one of my favorite things about Handful is how amazing the material feels. They must be using some sort of magic with it because it’s so comfy.
  • Lights Out™ Pads – These are removable pads that tuck into a pocket in the bra. Honestly, when I first tried Handful I was like – what do I need MORE padding for? But these are great and they do their job.
  • The front closure. – With an S-hook to pull it together and zipper, I am easily able to get in and out of this bra. Because dancing around your bathroom, trying to remove a sweaty bra is NOT a pretty sight.
  • Mesh top with adjustable straps. – Everything about this bra makes sense. It’s perfectly designed.

I’ve worn it for running. I’ve worn it for weight lifting. And honestly, I’ve worn it for just hanging out because it’s that comfortable.

I’m running the Allstate Philly Hot Chocolate 5k tomorrow morning and you can bet that I’ll be wearing this bra underneath my BibRave shirt.

The cut of The Closer Bra gives slightly more coverage than the other bras from Handful, which makes sense with the support it provides. Overall, I like everything that Handful has to offer and I’ve already ordered more that’s on the way.

Have you tried Handful apparel? If you’d like to give it a try, use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off. 

Check out what my fellow BRPs have to say:

Becky
Mai
Christine
Thanh
Jessica
Angie
Lissa
Renee
Stacia
Kim
Stephanie

 

Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 305 Half Marathon race 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!

Pair the beginning of the year with the craziness of New Jersey winters and it can move someone (aka – me) agree to anything.

I’ve been saying for the past few months that I want to focus on shorter distance races. However… when fellow BibRave Pro/ScootaDoot chick Ashley, mentioned that she was interested in signing up for the 305 Half Marathon in Miami I immediately started looking at flights.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t suggesting that I join her but hey, this is how I operate.

My parents live about an hour outside of Miami and I knew that a break from the cold New Jersey winter would be just what I needed at the beginning of March. Sure enough, they’re always ready for me to visit.

So let’s review.

  1. Get out of the cold.
  2. Visit my parents.
  3. Get taken care of for a few days. AND NOT TAKE CARE OF ANYONE.
  4. Hang out with Ashley (whom I haven’t seen nearly 3 years – unacceptable).
  5. Run Miami!

Where do I sign up?

Athlinks – that’s where! Registration was quick and easy. Just as easy was claiming my race results after the race. I think it’s funny looking at all my of results on there because you can tell which races I ran for time and which ones I was running for fun. Our plan for this race was to PR in FUN and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint!

There was no expo but there were a few opportunities for bib pickup prior to the Sunday morning race in Miami Beach and Miami. They also allowed for race morning pickup and since we were driving from a distance, that’s what we opted for. We woke up early allowing us plenty of time.

We found a parking garage a block away from where we needed to be. After turning into the lot we saw that it was a steep $50 for 5 hours. Yikes! Any additional time meant an additional $50! (We actually arrived back right at the 5 hour mark and the machine tried to charge us but thankfully the attendant fixed it.)

Shirt and bib pickup was quick and easy. The start and finish village were right next to each other and there were plenty of portapotties. There was a coffee bar in the start village and just beyond that area was the beach.

Shirt sizing is my nemesis so if you’re like me and have sizing issues too, the shirts are men and women’s cut and they were Sport-Tek brand this year. I ended up getting a shirt that’s too large but oh well, you win some, you lose some! The shirts were a bright turquoise with purple lettering – very Miami!

The course was a big loop through Miami Beach and Miami. The corrals we well marked with the paces and there were pacers placed throughout the corrals as well. They had the music pumping, a fun light up guy on stilts and after a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem (seriously, one of the best I’ve ever heard) we were off and running just after 6:15.

The sun started to rise and it got hot quickly. Thankfully there was a breeze and well spaced aid stations throughout the course. While we were running we realized that some of the 5k runners somehow started running early with the half marathon runners – whoops! They stopped at the aid station near mile 3… not sure how they got back to the start.

For those thinking that this course is entirely at sea-level (like me, I don’t always read the race guides like I should), think again! The causeways over the water are pretty steep on both incline and decline and there were about four of these throughout the race. However the sights were gorgeous and there was actually a rainbow that draped over the entire course for the first 5 miles!

No crowds to speak of but the volunteers and police were supportive. There were also about 4 DJs along the route. Ash and I didn’t bring music but we were jamming to the beats as we went by them. We also ran right near where the cruise ships were docked, it really was a scenic event!

The last few miles my hands were swollen and I was feeling a few blisters on my feet. I’m pretty sure I told Ash that I was ready to be done no less than 10 times. Finally, it was finish line time!

We finished the race with a BibRave shout out from the announcer. There were free pictures from the course and even a video from the finish!

There was a shipping snafu with the medals, which we learned about 2 nights prior to race morning. I appreciate that they kept runners informed of how things transpired. We were given a temporary medal and a Starbucks gift card from UPS. The actual medals are going to be shipped to each runner within the next few weeks. Mistakes happen and I appreciate that they made every effort to make it as close to right as possible.

The finish area had a great assortment of snacks, choice of Bloody Mary or beer, and other fun stuff! Everyone was in good spirits and it was exactly how a Florida race should end! Ashley and I took a few minutes to walk over to the beach, take a few pictures, and then headed out.

My Florida trip was a whirlwind and while I’m sad to be back in New Jersey and ESPECIALLY sad that we are supposed to get snow today, I’m so glad that I had a few days in Florida!

Check back – soon Ashley will be sharing her thoughts about the 305 as well.

Road Tested: Turtle Gloves

Disclaimer: I received TURTLe-FLIP Running Mittens, Turtle Gloves 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 and no further compensation is given.

Winter running is always a challenge in New Jersey because you just never know what to expect when it comes to weather. We can go for days without seeing the sun and frankly, it can drive you bananas.

Fortunately, we’ve had some spring-like days thrown into the mix this winter, which helps me conquer my self-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder). As long as there is no ice on the ground, I have been opting outside for my runs, which also helps keep my spirits up.

At the moment, I’m visiting my parents and preparing to run the 305 Half Marathon in Miami with my fellow BibRavePros. Yep, I’m getting my dose of sunshine (and humidity)!

However, I had the opportunity to try out my new Turtle Gloves for a few runs before hopping on the plane to Florida. Because trust me, they’re not necessary here!

Limited edition Orange Turtle Gloves, which I’m totally digging it!

Usually I wear gloves that have the touch-screen capabilities because I use my phone during a run to listen to music/take selfies/take pictures/look at my Garmin app (the list goes on). After washing the gloves a few times, the touch screen area diminishes.

A few of my BibRave Pro friends have talked about their love of Turtle Gloves in the past so when I heard about the Turtle Gloves opt-in I was all in. I was looking for something different and that’s exactly what I got with these.

As you can see in the pictures above, Turtle Gloves are convertible. There’s a mitten which flips over the hand to change to fingerless glove. Taking it one step further, you’re able to roll it down to a wrist band option.

I never have to worry about where to stash them with the wrist band option, I just roll them up.

During my first run wearing Turtle Gloves, I took my trusty sidekick, Gemma, for a quick mile near our house. I run with her on a Stunt Puppy waist leash however, it’s always good to have a hand to guide her when necessary.

Additionally I stuffed a few clean poop bags into the folded mitten area of my glove, which worked out really well. (Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! Hello convenient.)

I also love the functionality of the Turtle Gloves. During this group run, I was able to flip my mitten multiple times. I was playing the Goldilocks game of too warm, too cold.

I love them because they’re extra snuggly and warm. They’ve stretchy and they’ve got a nice amount of material at the wrist; I’m able to easily cover my watch and stay warm. Turtle Gloves are made in the USA, Michigan, which is the Mitten State! Coincidence? I think not!

The kind that I have retail for $28.99. Right now code TurtleBibRave” will save you 15% off at https://turtlegloves.com/. And, if you’re on Twitter, join us for #BibChat on Tuesday, March 5th at 9pm est because usually there are some sweet giveaways!

We Love You! Race Codes and Discounts!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon race 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!

Love is in the air!

First off, registration for the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon opened today! I just registered and I’m super stoked for everything this race has to offer. From the half zip pullover swag to the beer garden at the finish of this SATURDAY race (I love a Saturday race!), this is looking amazing.

Of course, the course description says that there are “rolling hills” and we all know what that means.

Also, they’re funny and I like funny.

They’ve got an awesome one day pricing schedule so if you’re in the PA area, you should seriously considering joining me at this race in Kennett Square, PA.

However, if you miss the fabulous pricing, they’re a BibRave partner so you can use code “brmushroom19” for $10 off! Why? Because we love you!

But wait, there’s more. You can always find race codes and gear discounts on ScootaDoot. But if you’re click shy (I don’t know, is that a thing?) here are the current codes. This list is always changing and updating so if you’re looking to save moolah, that link is a great place to swing by and check before you purchase!

February 2019

2/16/2019 – Hot Chocolate Nashville – Nashville, TN

Use code “BRHCNashville” for a free phone armband!

2/17/2019 – Hot Chocolate Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

Use code “BRHCAtlanta” for a free phone armband!

March 2019

3/2/2019 – Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 5K/10K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BR5OFF” for $5 off either distance!

3/2/2019 – Scottsdale Giant Race presented by Alaska Airlines- Scottsdale, AZ

Use code “WERUNAZ19” for $10 off!

3/3/2019 – 305 Half Marathon & 5K – Miami Beach, FL

Use code “BIBRAVE305” for $10 off the half and $5 off the 5K!

3/3/2019 – Livermore Valley Half Marathon & 5K – Livermore, CA

Use code “BRLIVVIP” for 10% off!

3/3/2019 – Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon – Napa, CA

Use code “19NVMRAVE10OFF” for $10 off.

3/3/2019 – Hot Chocolate Seattle – Seattle, WA

Use code “BRHCSeattle” for a free phone armband!

3/8- 9/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Texas Lost Pines – Bastrop, TX

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

3/15-17/2019 – Portland Shamrock Run – Portland, OR

Use code “SHAMROCKBR10” for 15% off!

3/17/2019  – Tobacco Road Marathon & Half Marathon – Cary, NC
Use code “trmrave19” for $20 off!

3/24/2019 – Oakland Running Festival – Oakland, CA

Use code “OaklandRave19” good for 10% off!

3/24/2019 – Hot Chocolate San Diego – San Diego, CA

Use code “BRHCSanDiego” for a free phone armband!

3/24/2019 – Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K – Chicago, IL

Use code “2019SSBIBRAVE” for $10 at this link: http://haku.ly/66b5ed9c

3/30/2019 – Hot Chocolate Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN

Use code “BRHCIndy” for a free phone armband!

3/31/2019 – Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon – Philadelphia, PA

Use code “LOVEBR10” for 10% off!

I’ll be at the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k!

April 2019

4/6/2019 – Hot Chocolate Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

Use code “BRHCPhilly” for a free phone armband!

4/6/2019 – Milwaukee Marathon – Milwaukee, WI

Use code “RUN15” for 15% off any of the three distances!

4/6/2019 – Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Run & Mud Run: Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ

Use code “RUN10” for 10% off!

4/6/2019 – Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K – Savannah, GA

Use code “BIBSAV20” for 20% off!

4/7/2019 – Statesman Cap10K – Austin, TX

Use code “BibRave2019Cap10K” for $5 off!

4/13/2019 – Tar Heel 10 Miler & Fleet Feet Sports 4 Miler

Use code “TARHEELBR10” for 15% off!

4/13/2019 – Blue Ridge Marathon – Roanoke, VA

Use code “BLUERIDGEBIBRAVE” for 20% off!

4/13/2019 – Hot Chocolate Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN

Use code “BRMINN19” for a free phone armband!

4/14/2019 – Hapalua – Hawaii’s Half Marathon – Waikiki Beach, HI

Use code “BR-HAPALUA” for 10% off!

4/14/2019 – Rutgers Unite Half Marathon & 8K

Use code “UNITEBR10” for 15% off.

4/20/2019 – Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Run & Mud Run: Florida – Dade City, FL

Use code “RUN10” for 10% off!

4/25-27/2019 –  IL Marathon- Champaign-Urbana, IL

Use code “bibraveillinois2019” for $5 off!

4/27/2019 – Hot Chocolate Brooklyn – Brooklyn, NY

Use code “BRBKLYN” for a free phone armband!

4/28/2019 – Ravenswood 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “RAVENSBR” for a FREE item!

4/28/2019 – New Jersey Marathon – Oceanport, NJ

Use code “NJMBIBRAVE19” for $5 off any distance (5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay).

4/28/2019 – Silicon Valley Half Marathon – San Jose, CA

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off!

4/28/2019 – Delaware Marathon – Wilmington, DE

Use code “DelawareRave19” for 10% off!

May 2019

5/3-5/2019 – Wildflower Experience – Bradley, CA

Use code “WILDBR10” for 15% off with these links:

Run Link: https://wfexp.com/bibrave

Tri Link: https://wfexp.com/bibravetri

5/4/2019 – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – Indianapolis, IN

Use code “JoinMe2019” for $5 off (good thru 4/5/19).

5/4-5/2019 – Eau Claire Marathon – Eau Claire, WI

Use code “Bibrave10” for $10 off the Marathon, Half Marathon or 4 Person Marathon Relay

Use code “Bibrave5” for $5 off the 5K & Kids’ Run

5/4-5/2019 – Cinco De Miler – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCINCO19” for a FREE ITEM!

5/10-11/2019 – Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (Destination Races) – Solvang, CA

Use code “SBBR10” for 15% off!

5/18/2019 – Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon – Harper’s Ferry, WV

Use code “BIBRAVE5WV” for $5 off!

5/19/2019 – Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCHISPRING19” for $10 off half/$5 off 10K!

5/25/2019 – Run Madtown presented by SSM Health – Madison, WI

Use code “RAVENSAVE” for 10% off (excludes kid’s race).

5/25/2019 – Soldier Field 10-miler

Use code “BRSOLDIER19” for a FREE ITEM!

5/26/2019 – Vermont City Marathon – Burlington, VT

Use code “BibRave10” for $10 off!

June 2019

6/1-2/2019 – North Olympic Discovery Marathon – Port Angeles, WA

Use code “BibRave629” for 5% off!

6/2/2019 – Run for the Zoo – Chicago, IL

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off!

6/2/2019 – North Shore Half Classic – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRNS19” for a FREE ITEM!

6/8/2019 – The Governor’s Cup – Helena, MT

Use code “GovCupRave19” for 10% off!

6/22/2019 – Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, MN

Use code “BIBRAVE10” for $10 off!

6/22/2019 – Big Foot Tri – Lake Geneva, WI

Use code “BRBFT19” for a FREE ITEM!

6/28-30/2019 – Missoula Marathon – Missoula, MT

Use code “BibRave19” for $5 off!

July 2019

7/20-21/2019 – New Jersey State Triathlon – West Windsor, NJ

Use code “NJSTBR10” for 15% off.

7/24/2019 – Life Time Torchlight 5K – Minneapolis, MN

Use code “RUNWITHFIRE19” for 10% off registration!

August 2019

8/11/2019 – Oaktown Half Marathon – Oakland, CA

Use code “BROAKVIP” for 10% off.

8/17/2019 – Madison Mini-Marathon Half Marathon & 5K – Madison, WI

Use code “BIBRAVE5” for $5 off.

8/24/-25/2019 – Santa Rosa Marathon – Santa Rosa, CA

Use code “SAVE10″ for 10% off!

8/25/2019 – Fort2Base – Fort Sheridan, IL

Use code “BRP19” for 10% off (effective 2/1)

September 2019

9/6-8/2019 – San Francisco Giant Race presented by Alaska Airlines – San Francisco, CA

Use code “WERUNSF19” for $10 off!

9/8/2019 – Run Mag Mile – Chicago, IL

Use code “BIBRM19” for a FREE ITEM!

9/14/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Great Lakes – Lake Geneva, WI

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

9/14-15/2019 – Nautica Malibu Triathlon –  Malibu, CA

Use code “MALIBUBR10” for 10% off.

9/21-22/2019 – Surf City 10 – Huntington Beach, CA

Use code “SC10BR10” for 15% off.

9/29/2019 – Chicago Half Marathon & 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCHIHALF19” for $10 off the Half, $5 off the 5K.

9/29/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Cape Cod – Falmouth, MA

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

October 2019

10/6/2019 – Bucktown 5k – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRBT19” for a FREE ITEM!

10/6/2019 – Freedom’s Run – Shepherdstown, WV

Use code “BIBRAVE5WV” for $5 off!

10/11-13/2019 –  jetBlue Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon – Long Beach, CA

Use code “LBMBR10” for 15% off.

10/19/2019 – Pumpkins in the Park – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRP19” for a FREE ITEM!

10/19-20/2019 – Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam – Louisville, KY

Use code “BourbonRave2019” for 10% off (starting Feb. 1)!

10/19-20/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Amelia Island – Amelia Island, FL

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

10/19-20/2019 – Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon – Detroit, MI

Use code “2019DETROCKS” for 10% off!

10/19/2019 – Kansas City Marathon – Kansas City, MO

Use code “BIBRAVE2019KCM” for 15% off!

10/20/2019 – Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo – Durham, NC

Use code “BCRFBR10” for 10% off.

10/20/2019 – First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon – Sarasota, FL

Use code “BRSARASOTA19” for $10 off half and relay and $5 off 10K!

10/26/2019 – Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon (Destination Races) – Geyserville, CA

Use code “HEALDSBR10” for 10% off!

November 2019

11/2/2019 – Mushroom Cap Half Marathon – Kennett Square, PA

Use code “brmushroom19” for $10 off!

11/1-2/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Texas Wine Country – Fredericksburg, TX

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

11/10/2019 – Madison Marathon – Madison, WI

Use code “BRMSN19” for 10% off the half or full marathon!

11/28/2019 – North Shore Turkey Trot – Highland Park, IL

Use code “BRNSTT19” for a FREE ITEM!

Gear Discount Codes

Zwift – Use code “BibRave15” for 15% off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com. It is good for 1000 Pods.

Food Groove Mission – Use code “BIBRAVE15” for 15% off an entire order. One use per customer.

Go forth, save money and run happy! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Does This Spark Joy?

You can’t go anywhere lately without hearing about Marie Kondo and the KonMari minimalist method.

My husband and I have started applying it to everything in life. We jokingly ask “Does that spark joy?” while holding bills (they don’t, by the way), snuggling our dog (she definitely does), and we literally spark joy in our dry house when we give each other hugs and kisses.

You know what else has been sparking joy for me?

Running.

Team Run856 – photo credit Chad Finley

This is so, so important. I’ve been running for 8 years now and you know, there’s nothing like a new running relationship. 8 years ago, everything was brand-new and exciting.

I talked about running non-stop.

I was overly cautious when registering for races but quickly got over that.

I asked a million questions and looked for my niche in the running community.

I encouraged everyone to join me in running because running brought me such a sense of accomplishment and I wanted them to experience the same. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t/didn’t spark joy in all of those people.)

My first run, the Down n Dirty 5k. While being with friends sparked joy, being muddy did NOT.

But like so many things in life, after a certain amount of time, that brand new feeling wore off. It would have been very, very easy to say thank you, next.

However, lately it’s been good. It’s sparking an incredible amount of joy. My runs have been going well and I’ve been healthy, both mentally and physically. *knock on wood*

This past weekend, I did a 2 mile race known as The Chili Run. I’ve done it for the past three years and while it’s challenging because it’s hilly, it’s also incredible because it’s ONLY 2 MILES.

You guys, I PRed by nearly 2 minutes. It’s amazing what a PR can do for your confidence levels. I’ve been on cloud nine since Saturday.

I’ve had the opportunity to run with one of my favorites, Rachel, for a few longer runs. She’s a friend that works with me, pace wise and connection wise. Being together, running or otherwise, sparks joy!

The long runs help because I’m gearing up for spring races representing Team BibRave:

305 Half in Miami on March 3rd
Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k in Philadelphia on April 6th
NJ Marathon 5k on April 27th

With my buddy, Heather, at the HKRS Conference in January. She received Best New Series and I got the Social Media Presence award!

Furthermore, I’m returning for another season as the Healthy Kids Running Series coordinator for my local series which starts at the end of March. I love this non-profit so much; it’s a great way to motivate children and to be active in the community.

I’m surrounded by so much good and all of that goodness sparks joy! Everything is going according to plan, nice and tidy.

Have a great Wednesday!

sNOw Problem

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 305 Half Marathon race 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 knew it was too good to be true. Here in New Jersey, our mild winter has shifted right into the cold weather we are used to having this time of year.

Not only did we have snow over the weekend but this coming weekend’s forecast predicts not one but TWO more snowstorms headed our way.

No, thank you.

What’s a girl to do? Oh, that’s right, have a warm weather contingency plan!

As Ash alluded to in her post, it was not very difficult to talk me into coming to Florida to run this race. In fact, I think she just said, “I’m considering the 305 Half Marathon in Miami with BibRave.” That’s all it took; I immediately started looking at travel plans.

My parents live in South Florida so it’s very convenient for me to fly down there and stay with them (And they love having me – even though I’m not bringing my kids along.) (…I think).

I’ll be down there for a long weekend and back in time for family activities up yonder way. I’m hoping that I get the chance to visit with some of my Florida family as well. Even though it’s a short visit, I have a ton of extended family down there.

Registration was quick and easy through Athlinks. I’m automatically added to the start list, which is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to getting my results through them as well. Always nice to have things organized in all one spot.

Of course this means that I probably need to start getting some more long runs in. I’ve been running every day between 1-4 miles. But I’m thinking a couple of longer runs will only help matters when it comes to a half.

Ashley and I are ready to PR in fun with this one and with a generous 16 minute mile pace, I’m more than confident in our abilities.

This was the last time we ran a race together but we didn’t actually run together. It’s been a hot minute!

Want to escape to the warmer weather too? You can use the code BIBRAVE305 and take $10 off the half or $5 off the 5K!

Are you a fan of snow or would you rather be basking in the sunshine on the beach?

2019, Let’s Do This!

2018 started of with a bang and a whimper. The bang was me hitting the icy ground as I took out the recycling, one January morning. And the whimper was when I quickly realized that my arm really, truly hurt.

My 2018 goal was to focus on shorter distance races and while I did that, I feel like my training was somewhat derailed after the first couple of months were a wash. Simply put, my heart wasn’t really into racing. Yes, I was doing races but my level of of pushing myself was not there.

I was okay with that then.

I’m not now.

I’m ready to train harder and make achievable goals that I can hit. Not every race is going to be a RACE for me, but I know what I’m capable of and 2018 wasn’t it. I suppose my 2019 goal is to try diligently and train better.

I have a (surprise!) run streak going right now. I didn’t start on the first of the year because hey, why be normal? Instead I started on December 28th and for the past 11 days I’ve run at least a mile a day. I have a good feeling about 2019!

So far, here’s what’s on the race calendar. Of course, I have my eye on a few more races so this could/will need to be updated soon.

february

This will be my 3rd year returning to The Chili Run. It’s a hilly two mile race (you read that right, two miles!) and it starts/finishes at a restaurant, Carolina Blue.

Run out a mile, run back the same mile. Chili and beer await at the finish line!

Good Day for a Run is a local NJ race company and they always put on quality events. Last year runners got a hat, the year before the swag was a chili bowl and spoon. This year it’s a medal and shirt.

If you’re near me and considering this race, register soon because the January date is already sold out and February is close to being capped. (And then let me know so I can look for you!)

april

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k race 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!

This is yet another race that I’m returning to for a three-peat. What’s not to love about the Hot Chocolate series? You get a run, awesome swag (I can’t wait for this year’s jacket), and at the end of the race, a big ol’ mug filled with treats and hot chocolate! The 15k runners also get a medal!

This race draws new and old runners alike. It’s a big name, the distance options are appealing, and the swag is fantastic. Plus, there’s chocolate on the course. Yeah, that’s right!

If you’re registering for the Philly race, code “BRHCPhilly” will get you a free armband like mine.

Or, if you’re looking at a different Hot Chocolate race, swing by the discount codes page and grab the code for your location.

Next up on April 13th is the Atlantic City April Fools 7k.

Usually I run the half marathon during this event. I skipped 2018 and this year I’m running the 7k for the first time ever. Instant PR! My son, Lucas, is registered for this one too and I have a couple of friends who plan to be there as well.

The 7k and 11k are on Saturday. With my Healthy Kids Running Series program running through April on Sundays, it just makes sense that I opt for Saturday races. I’m looking forward to returning to AC and running a familiar route.

Disclaimer: I also received race entry to the Novo Nordisk New Jersey Marathon 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Intrigued? Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

This has been a bucket list race weekend for quite some time! I live in New Jersey but have yet to participate, which just seems silly! Therefore, when the opportunity came through BibRave to sign up for the 5k, I knew this was the time to get it done.

The 5k is on a Saturday, which once again, works really well in my schedule for the spring. I’ve heard good buzz about this race from friends and on Twitter. While the BibRave reviews mostly focus on the marathon and half marathon, it seems like a fun, well organized event.

Want to join in the weekend events? Use code “NJMBIBRAVE19” for $5 off any distance (5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay).

june

Hi-ho, hi-ho, it’s back to AC I go! I’m sure no one is surprised that I’ll be returning to Atlantic City for the Bungalow Beach Run!

2018 was the inaugural year and I’m looking forward to getting back and stretching my legs out on the boardwalk. Last year was a bit overcast but I’d much rather that than hot.

The finish is on the beach and I’ll admit, I’m a little nervous about that portion. Thankfully it’s a short distance!

Registration for the Bungalow Beach Run is currently $45. Not bad for a 5 mile race that includes a medal, shirt, and beer.

Crazy to think that brings me through the first 6 months of 2019! What else is in store? Only time will tell but I’m ready for whatever comes my way!

Zwift Runpod – Interactive Treadmill Experience

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Runpod at The Running Event 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!

It seems that there are two types of runners in this world: those who HATE the treadmill and those who don’t.

While some people find the treadmill to be monotonous, I’m actually a big fan of the treadmill. I’m not sure why I don’t consider it the “dreadmill” like most people do – maybe it’s because I became a runner on the treadmill. From my very first mile to my first long run, it happened in my basement, on the treadmill.

Which is why I was beyond stoked to learn about the Zwift Runpod opt in through BibRave. Well, actually, my first thought was: What the heck is a Zwift Runpod? 

But as soon as I found out, I was really pumped!

Zwift was originally a cycling trainer program, released in 2014. At the beginning of 2018, Zwift introduced a running experience to the virtual game and it’s been gaining traction ever since.

There are a few ways to participate in Zwift’s treadmill game.

  1. A fancy Bluetooth treadmill that connects to the app. (I don’t have said treadmill, mine is standard regulation.)
  2. A Runpod which has Bluetooth to connect to the app. This is what was provided for the BibRave Pros who opted into this experience.

Additionally you’ll need iPhone, iPad, Apple TV, or Mac/PC to run the Zwift app and Zwift Companion app, if taking part in group runs.

I received the Zwift Runpod just before leaving for The Running Event in Austin, Texas in November so I didn’t have much time to play with it before then.

However, the folks from Zwift hosted a Welcome Reception for the BibRave Pros at The Running Event and it was there that I got a full understanding of the capabilities of Zwift.

Four BibRave Pros in attendance at The Running Event were chosen to run in a Zwift BibRave group run. The rest of the virtual people participating in the 3.1 mile group run were BibRave Pros across the country (and maybe even the world – we have a few Pros in different countries).

At this event the treadmills were Bluetooth enabled. As you can see, Chris and Brenda’s have iPads in front of them, which were hooked into big screens so everyone in the room was able to see the game.

The four runners took turns on the treadmills, making their way through the virtual world of Watopia along side of the other BibRave Pros.

We had the opportunity to chat with the Zwift representatives and ask questions. They suggested calibrating the pace of yourself, the treadmill, and the Runpod so that the game could get a sense of metrics.

It was so much fun to cheer Vanessa, Brenda, Chris, and Lindsay at the event and see how the app worked. It’s gave me a good sense of how the virtual running world worked and I looked forward to trying my own Zwift Runpod out once I got home.

We had a BibRave Tempo Run workout scheduled for mid-December but I wanted to get used to the app so I tried out the Zwift Runpod a few times prior.

Unfortunately, I had trouble with the connectivity of the Runpod at home. I was able to calibrate it but then mid-run my avatar would stop running and either stand there or stretch.

I wasn’t sure how things would go during the 2.62 BibRave Tempo Run but I planned to at least start with the group and try.

While I was running during the Tempo Run, the same thing happened. I jumped out of the Companion App and over to the regular Zwift App to see if re-calibrating would help but when I returned to the Companion App, I was locked out of the run.

Waittttt for me!

I was bummed that the BibRave Run was a bust for me but more determined than ever that I would get this to work for me. Type A personality shining through, I know.

The Zwift app has a figure 8 course that you can jump right on or you can choose a session that you’d like to run. I decided to try different things with the Runpod, including switching it from my left shoe to my right, making sure that it was facing a certain direction, and also focusing on shorter runs.

While my runner stopped a few times, I was usually able to get her back moving again by stepping off the belt and back on.

With all the stopping and starting, it doesn’t give me a true sense of time it takes for a workout so I don’t feel like my pace is “true”. Over the past three days I ran in “NYC” for a half mile, did an “easy walk/run” session, and did “The Hills Are Alive” workout.

I was two hills down, one to go during “The Hills Are Alive” when the pod lost the signal. Frustrated, I called for my engineer husband because I thought he might be able to assist me in figuring out what to do.

We took the Runpod off my shoe and found that it was blinking red. We switched the provided lithium CR-2032 battery and I was able to finish my workout.

Speaking of my husband, I was telling him how difficult it was to see everything on my phone screen while running. Staring down at the tiny screen perched precariously on the ledge of my treadmill wasn’t cutting it. He was able to hook it into the HDMI TV I have over my treadmill. This is a game changer!

There is chat capability with others on the course but I’m in no way skilled enough to run and type.

In summary, I love the concept of the Zwift Run app and I really want to get it working consistently for me. Once I do, I’d like to plan a few virtual runs with fellow BibRave Pros (or anyone else who has a Zwift account). I have so many friends that are not close by in proximity but who I love running with and this would be a great way to run “together.” If you want to give it a try, code “BibRave15″ to get 15% off the cost of the Zwift Runpod from Zwift.com.

I’ll keep you all posted on how things go as we head into 2019!

Zwift BibRave Pro Reviews: Matt, Jenn, Steph, Mai, Lissa, Lisa, Andrea, Tedrick, Corey, Jen, Jessica