Run for the Zoo Virtual Race

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Lincoln Park Zoo: Run for the Zoo virtual race 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!

Since we’re all stuck at home these days many of our favorite races have become virtual. This includes the Lincoln Park Zoo’s race in Chicago. As a Floridian who has only been to Chicago once…I’ve also never been to this zoo. It was on our list when I visited with my family in 2018 to run the Chicago Marathon however, the weather was rainy. I’d also just ran a marathon!

We are living in unprecedented times and this is the first time in 42 years that this race will be virtual. This race is one of the things that helps keep the zoo open every day of the year and keeps it free.

While you may not get to run through the zoo this year, there are still a ton of perks to take advantage of. Here are just a few that you can find on the Run for the Zoo website:

  • A 5K and 10K virtual race options to run, walk, or enjoy nature in your community and support the zoo!
  • A virtual Safari Stampede race to encourage kids to express their inner animal
  • Mailed race packets with themed tech shirts (with a brand new logo for 2020!)
  • Commemorative Supporter medals for qualifying participants
  • A special virtual race bag with incredible deals from our partners
  • Weekly motivational communications
  • Digital commemorative participant bib and finishers certificate

Don’t forget, this race if virtual so you can do it whenever and however you want! I know I’ll be looking for a new 5K route to run so it feels like I’m doing something new. (Seriously, I’m tired of seeing the same houses!) It’s also for a great cause. How can you pass that up? Look at this face!

If you’re interested, check out the link above and use the code BIBRAVE10 for 10% off your entry!

Home Tested: Nabee Compression Socks (Again)

Disclaimer: I received Nabee Compression Socks 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!

Like Mer, I’m also a BibRave Pro and had to chance to test out these adorable and comfortable socks. Unlike Mer, I did not use them to run a half marathon. She’s amazing!

A few weeks ago I was supposed to run the New York City Half Marathon with my best friend and take on the city with my boyfriend for a spring break trip. Well, that didn’t happen because of the current situation around the world. Since then I’ve been taking it easy, working from home, and trying my best to stay active.

Lately, I’ve been going on daily walks around my neighborhood to get some sunshine in and, let me tell you, it’s hot down here! I’ve also been doing some garage workouts. I’m stuck at home, might as well make the most of it for myself!

I’ve been using my Nabee compression socks during a lot of my walks and workouts. They’re fairly lightweight and not too constricting when I’m outside. We’ve had a couple of really hot days and I try not to wear too much when I’m out, but these socks are just light enough that I’m not too uncomfortable when I’m out there.

Since I’m spending most of my time at home, these socks have come in handy when just hanging around too. I was also worried about the fit of these socks. Since I’m just a little shy of 5 feet tall, I don’t normally wear compression socks or sleeves. These fit great and don’t make my knees look all squishy. (Yes, I know I’m very vain.)

Blue’s a big fan, too.

Also, Nabee is doing a super cool thing with their socks right now! They are donating TWO pair for everyone ONE you buy.

AND you can get 20% with the code BIBRAVE20.

Race Recap: Key West Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Key West 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!

My initial post about this awesome race was promoting as a destination race, and it was totally on point. As a born and raised Floridian there isn’t much I don’t like about my state. I know there are plenty of things to not like about Florida, but you can’t deny that we’ve got some great scenery.

For this race I asked my mom to come with me for some fun mother-daughter time. She grabbed a hotel, I’m sorry motel for us in Marathon, which was still a drive for us on race morning, but worked out just fine.

We headed down early Saturday morning in hopes that we would have some time to explore Key West. It had been a while since either one of us visited! The drive was nice, though Florida traffic is an entity in itself so it obviously took us longer than expected.

Grabbing my bib was easy (besides a mistake on my part) and we were free to walk around and hang out. Luckily we’d been having some excellent “winter” weather and it wasn’t too hot. We had lunch at a little hole in the wall pub close to packet pick-up, drove around a bit, and then headed back to our motel. Again: traffic in Florida.

Back at our room I prepped my outfit, snacks, and myself. I was sorely under-trained for this race and it definitely showed on race day, but I was determined to make the best of it.

Getting ready to start!

 

A quick BibRave Pro meetup!

We arrived early to the race with plenty of time for coffee and breakfast, plus a couple of trips to the bathroom. The sun was just starting to come up as we began the race so I knew things were going to warm soon. I’d hydrated with Nuun the day before and was feeling pretty up to whatever the humidity might do.

I started off strong enough with some decent intervals. I knew I wasn’t going to push myself and didn’t really set a time goal for the race. I just wanted to not be the last person finished. Seemed like a decent goal right?

The city was beautiful as we ran down the streets and I tried to take in as many sites as possible. The buildings were all so cute and running through the neighborhoods was a great way to see all the chickens hanging out. (I mean it.)

Once we hit the beach the sun was out in full force and I was thankful I’d remembered to put on sunscreen. Water and electrolytes were available at nearly every mile along with Stinger gel for energy. I grabbed a couple, but only ate my Stinger chews while on the run.

This was a super easy and flat course and for that I was thankful. We ran on the road for the most part, but at the turnaround ended up on the sidewalk near the water. Everything seemed super organized and safe. There were a ton of volunteers directing runners and giving out water, too. For the most part I felt okay. I stopped thinking about my pace around mile six and just decided to do what my body could. By mile ten I was walking a lot and definitely struggling to finish.

All the mile marker signs had fun facts on them!

I saw a friend who’d ran the 5K downtown just as I was coming into mile twelve. She’d messaged me and I managed a wave as I struggled by her. I was texting my running buddy, boyfriend, and mom at this point so I had plenty of encouragement. By that time I just ready to finish, though!

My mom was waiting at the finish line (and took a picture of half of me) coming around the corner. I grabbed my medal, a beer, and took a break before we began our touristy things. Since we’d checked out of our hotel at 4AM I found a nice little place for brunch (and to change my clothes in) and we settled in for a little drive around the island (and all other islands before heading home).

 

This was a tough race for me. It’s been a long time since I’ve got into a race completely unprepared and I was definitely disappointed with myself. In March, Michelle and I will be running the New York City Half Marathon, so I know I’ve got to get my butt in gear.

Despite my own mistakes, this was an amazing race. The course was great, the view was perfect. 10/10 would recommend. Okay, the drive kind of sucks, but the rest was amazing.

Will Run For Chocolate

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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!

Who’s excited to eat some delicious foods next week? I know I am always up for something tasty and I can’t wait until Thanksgiving. It’s hard to believe that my favorite holiday is just around the corner. It really feels like 2019 is just flying by and, before you know it, we’ll be planning out our races for 2020!

It’s also hard to believe that in less than a month I’ll be running my very first Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K! This race seriously looks so fun and I can’t wait to get into it. Granted, I haven’t been running like I should be (at all) and I know nine and some change miles might be a challenge for me, but I’m really looking forward to meeting up with some BibRave Pros and, obviously, grabbing some tasty snacks at the end of the race.

Look at this haul! I cannot wait to shove my face with all this deliciousness! Obviously I’m going to be really proud of myself for running a 15K with minimal training (I’m going to run tomorrow, I swear), but I also can’t wait for the fun! This year has been all about making running fun again, and I feel like it’s been going well. I’ve done a race every month, although I’ve got three lined up for December, and I’ve had no pressure on me for anything. It’s been great and I’m really looking forward to whatever next year brings.

But first, chocolate.

Use the code BRHCTAMPA19 a free Hot Chocolate running hat

Race Recap: First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the First Watch Sarasota 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.

When I signed up for this race through BibRave I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into. I’ve ran a handful of half marathons, was looking for something close to home, and here was this fun coastal race! It helps that it’s sponsored by First Watch, which is my favorite place to brunch after training runs.

I convinced my running buddy to sign up with me and, because she’s such a good friend, she did. There was, of course, the fact that we got to run over a nice sized bridge. Neither one of us are crazy about bridges. We did try to train for this race, and wanted to work in some bridge work, but our best laid plans never really work out. Life got busy and our longest training run was only a 6-miler.

Little did we know that it would all work out just fine.

The night before the race I was prepping to go to bed early. We’d decided to drive up to Sarasota on race morning to save a little cash and not spend too much time away from home. As I was putting the finishes touches on some classwork, Michelle texted me an updated from the race’s official Facebook page saying that the half marathon had been…cancelled.

Well, that put a wrench in our plans!

Some further updates stated that the half marathon and relay had been cancelled, but runners were still welcome to run the 10K, though it was going to end up being a pretty pricey 10K for some.

We decided to just go with our original plan and do the 10K, so I got up at about 3AM and headed to meet Michelle. The drive is a little over and hour and we got there with plenty of time to get our packets and hang out awhile without feeling rushed. There were still a lot of people there and I was grateful that so many still wanted to run! We didn’t get a lot of details about why the half was cancelled, and I know there were people wondering because I was one of them!

I ran into another BibRave Pro at the start and we took a picture and chatted for a bit before the race started. We’d decided to do intervals because that’s what we were comfortable with. It was obviously still dark when we started, but you could definitely tell that the course was going to be a great one. As a native Floridian, I absolutely love the ocean view, even when I’m running a race I can’t help but stop and look at it sometimes.

We started off pretty strong for girls who hadn’t run in a few weeks and were feeling good despite the early morning heat. Once we reached the John Ringling Bridge, things…were still okay? We did a bit of walking up the bridge, but coasted down easily (of course). That was the biggest thing we were worried about and it turned out to be pretty fun! Expect on the way back when our legs were feeling a little like jelly.

As the sun came up, that view started to get to me and I had to stop and snap a few pictures. You can never have too many sunrise-over-the-water pictures, in my opinion.

 

The rest of the race went well, and we even made a few friends on the course. We met another Skirt Sports ambassador and laughed with a few runners about how we didn’t have to run a half marathon and how everyone who signed up for the half and relay got a FULL REFUND!

Once we crossed the finish line we stopped for some pictures on the water and then headed to grab some food. Since First Watch sponsored, I knew there would be some goodness waiting for us and they did not disappoint. We met up with the other pros and took a few more pictures before taking a visit to the beer garden because runners drink beer at 9AM, obviously.

The pizza box is just random. Not ours.

All in all, it was a good race. I know there will still be a lot of speculation about the cancellation, but offering a refund to runners is a big deal. I feel like it was handled very well. I’d love to revisit this race again.

Maybe next time I’ll actually earn that half marathon medal.

First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, Here I Come!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the First Watch Sarasota 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 am so excited to be running the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon in a couple of weeks! I signed up for the race through BibRave and I can’t wait to check out this new-to-me course through Sarasota.

I’m always looking for races close to me and this one checks all the boxes.  The course is right on the water and, as a native Floridian, I’m a sucker for an ocean view. I’ve been training for the past few weeks with my trusty run buddy, Michelle. We haven’t gotten too high in our mileage but we’ve also been busy during the weekends. On this day last year we were running Chicago, but this year’s training has been kind of slow going. I’m not minding it, though!

This course looks great, despite running over the John Ringling Causeway. There aren’t a lot of places to run over bridges around here so I’m definitely not feeling prepared for that. I know that, no matter what, it’ll be a great race. I haven’t run a half since April, but I’m looking forward to trying something new as my race for this month!

The swag looks great, and I’m also excited that the race is partner with Girls on the Run! As a GOTR coach I’m happy to hear that the race will be giving a portion of their registration fees to Girls on the Run, a great program for young girls.

This race is super easy to sign up for, and you can use the code BRSARASOTA19 for $10 off the half and $5 off the relay. I hope you check it out!

 

Gearing Up for the Allstate Hot Chocolate Tampa 15K

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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 am so excited to be representing BibRave at this year’s Hot Chocolate 15K in Tampa on December 15th! I’ve never ran one of these races before, but I’ve seen so many of my friends on social media and it looks amazing! I’m running the race in Tampa, which is just a couple of hours away from me, so I’m definitely stoked for a little mini-vacation in December!

Recently I’ve started training for the Sarasota Half Marathon at the end of October, so being in training mode will hopefully beneficial! The course for the Tampa race is right on the water and it looks similar to the Gasparilla 15K I’ve done in the past, which is a course I love!

If you haven’t ran a Hot Chocolate race (like me), you are seriously missing out on some swag! I’m seriously excited for some of this stuff!

I cannot wait to snack on this!

Check out this tasty medal!

 

This fleece is adorable!

 

Like I said, I’m really excited about this race and I hope people in the Tampa area are ready to party in December!

Use the code BRHCTAMPA19 a free Hot Chocolate running hat

April 2020 – Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k, Here I Come!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 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!

It’s the end of August, and you know what that means?

People are pushing for it to be FALL. I mean, there are a few of us who are holding on to the last weeks of summer (we’ve still got a month to go, folks) but I’ve seen more and more Facebooks posts/memes calling for Halloween and pumpkin spice.

I get it, I really do. The heat/humidity have been beyond brutal and while I do love summer, I can appreciate slightly cooler temps and the love of fall.

And since we’re pushing things right along on the timeline, can we talk about April 2020? I just registered for my fourth Allstate Hot Chocolate race in Philadelphia!

2019 BibRave crew – Ken, Ryan, Joe, and me

I can’t wait to be there again and I know my BibRave buddies Ken, Becky, Ryan, and Dodie are looking forward to it too!

One of the reasons I love the Allstate Hot Chocolate races is because it’s always a good time. There are always a ton of friends there and it’s always a good time. This race always falls on my birthday weekend so I basically think of it as a huge party for ME!

My friend Ana has been my Hot Chocolate partner in crime for the past couple of years (2018 and 2019) and we can’t wait until 2020. So bring it on, fall. Winter, be kind. And spring? I’ll be waiting for YOU.

If you’re planning on registering for the Philly Allstate Hot Chocolate race, be sure to use code BRHCPHILLY19 and get your free Hot Chocolate running hat with registration. Remember prices go up as time goes along so save yourself moolah if you’re definitely going to be there!

Road Tested: Science in Sport Gels and GIVEAWAY (closed)!

I received Science in Sport (SiS) Gels 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’s mid-July and while nutrition and hydration is important year-round, it’s particular so during the summer months. It’s hot, it’s humid, most of the time, it’s downright stifling.

I’m always looking for the right combination of products to carry me through a long run or grueling workout, which is why I jumped on-board for the Science in Sport (or SiS for short) Gel opt in through BibRave.

Originally I thought we’d only be getting a few packets to try so I was surprised, and happy, to see that we received oodles of gels and even more so when we were encouraged to share with our friends/run groups. I knew just who to bring them to…

Run 856 Turtles

Over the past month I’ve had the opportunity to try SiS gels, flavors Apple (Isotonic Energy), Lemon Mint (Isotonic Energy), Salted Strawberry (Go Energy and Electrolyte), and Espresso (Go Energy and Double Caffeine).

First let’s talk about consistency. SiS gels aren’t heavy, they go down easy and sit well in my stomach. That important when running, especially in the summer when the heat can sometimes hinder how you feel.

SiS packaging is a bit on the larger side. I’d usually consumed one before I’d workout or if I knew I’d be carrying it with me, I took a larger fuel belt.

Within the past few months I’ve tried them all and far and away, my favorite is Salted Strawberry! It has a smooth consistency and light flavor. The Salted Strawberry GO Energy + Electrolyte Gel is designed to take alongside of fluids.

The Apple and Lemon Mint Isotonic Gels are able to be taken without water and provide a quick boost of carbohydrates for exercise. I especially loved the Lemon Mint flavor.

If next level extra pep in the step is needed, Espresso is the gel of choice. GO Energy + Double Caffeine. The flavor of this one is STRONG and a little overwhelming if you’re not ready for it.

Fellow BibRave Pro, Andrea, suggested chilling these to make it more palatable and it made all of difference for me. I took this about an hour before the gym and I benefited from that caffeine boost. As someone who isn’t a regular coffee drinker, it was especially apparent!

Click to enter Rafflecopter Giveaway!

TWO OPPORTUNITIES TO WIN!

Now for a bit of fun for YOU! The folks over at SiS have offered to do not one, but TWO giveaways with every single BibRave Pro who tried their products for their followers. How awesome is that? As such, I’ve decided to spread the love and do one here one the blog and one over on Instagram.

If you’d like to enter here, click on the picture above and enter via Rafflecopter. Giveaway ends Wednesday, July 17, 2019 at 11:59pm EST. Winning entry will be verified. For another chance to win, stop by this post on Instagram! You may enter either one, the other, or both. US residents only.

If you don’t win the giveaway, use code TRYSIS25 for 25% off at Science in Sport. It works on all items on the site except clearance items.

CHECK OUT BIBRAVE PRO REVIEWS

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Want to Know About Being a BibRave Pro? Then this VLOG post is for YOU!

 

I wear my BibRave orange proudly and have done so for the past 2.5 years. The only thing I regret about BibRave? Not getting involved sooner!

Think you might be a good BibRave Pro? Click here for the application.

Then check out a few of my fellow Pros videos as they share what they enjoy about being a BibRave Pro.