Road Tested: Built Bar (with 20% discount code)

Disclaimer: I received Built Bar Protein and Energy 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 have done my share of protein/energy bar “investigating” in the past. Back in 2014, my husband and I tried a variety of bars, which naturally we reviewed here.

Then last year while Bec was visiting, she introduced me to Built Bar. The rest, as they say, is history. I have been hooked on Built Bar ever since! I tend to go with what I know so I’ve always ordered a few of my standard favorites in a mixed box – Salted Caramel Chocolate, Coconut Chocolate Creme, and Vanilla Chocolate Creme.

When BibRave teamed up with Built Bar, I knew I had to opt-in to check out their newest flavors and find some new favorites. Seriously, when it comes to flavors, they have MANY!

The low calorie, high protein content is absolutely a draw but that would mean little if they didn’t taste good. Built Bars are extremely tasty! Of course I still love my old standbys, but a few of my new favorites are Mint Brownie Delite, Peanut Butter, Coconut Almond, and Black Cherry Chocolate Creme.

Other than wholesale, Built Bar is primarily an online order business. When they weather is warmer, they take great care to get your bars to you quickly and include a cold pack so they don’t melt.

When you get three boxes of Built Bar, you have to share the wealth! Immediately my older son who works out with me was interested in trying them. I noticed that they were disappearing quickly and soon found out why.

He was not even a little bit sorry about this.

I brought an assortment along with me on a long run to share with my running buddies. I wasn’t surprised at all to hear rave reviews from those who tried them.

One of my friends said that she had a Sleeve Gastrectomy surgery a few years back and has to be very careful about what she eats. She was very excited to read the Built Bar’s ingredients and see that it worked for her!

The outside of each bar is coated with chocolate while the inside is nougat-like. When warm they do tend to get a little sticky. During our Twitter #bibchat it was suggested to try putting a Built Bar into the refrigerator or freezer to cool it down.

The freezer made it a little too difficult for me to bite into but I love keeping them in the fridge and have a stockpile in mine!

Built Bar is constantly evolving and introducing new flavors to their mix. The only bummer is that some of my favorites don’t last for very long. They do retire flavors and have limited releases too. However, there’s always something in the rotation that I love!

Check out more reviews from BRPs:

Renee
Becky
Kelsey
Riley
Amy
Emily

 

Have you tried Built Bar? If so, what’s your favorite flavor? If I had to chose one, I’d go with the Salted Caramel Chocolate. If you haven’t tried them yet, which flavor would you try first? Order with code BUILTNOW and it will save you 20%! 

Running Through The Weekend

First off, it’s February! Not only that but it’s February 10th already.

Not quite sure how that happened but we here we are. I mentioned in my last post that I feel like 2020 has been flying by. That has not changed.

Not.

One.

Bit.

Ashley blogged about SLOWING DOWN. And Ash, I’m trying. I really am. But the schedule is packed and I’m not feeling much wiggle room. I’m trying to make time for it all but something always falls by the wayside.

In the past, I’ve pushed running to the back burner but this year is different. I’ve changed my mindset. So my house might be is slightly more messy but I’m taking the opportunities I’m given to run and that’s made a difference in my overall well-being.

This Saturday I returned to The Chili Run for the 4th year in a row. Each year I’ve progressively gotten faster during this 2 mile race and so my goal for this year was to beat last year’s time.

Thanks to race photographer Chad for grabbing this picture of us!

Now ya’ll know me, I’m not one who is ruled by the clock. However, I do know what I’m capable of and this 2 mile course is a great baseline test of where I am fitness wise.

As a quick recap…

2017: 25:16
2018: 24:49 (with a broken arm!)
2019: 23:14

Going into Saturday’s race, I knew at the very least I’d hit 23:13. My training runs have been a good indicator of what I was able to do and I’ve been consistent with cross-training during the week also.

Turtle fam before the start!

The Chili Run is such a popular race that the organizers decided to have two days dedicated to the race. It’s hosted at a local (to me) restaurant, Carolina Blue, and the big draw of this race is that after the 2 miles of hills, there is chili and beer. Not to mention the fact that they’re always upping the ante when it comes to swag. This year all runners got a Boco Gear neck gaiter.

While I was running I decided to listen to Peloton’s Outdoor Run app. Yeah, it was the first time I’d ever done. (Thankfully it worked in my advantage!)

The course is an out and back so I was able to see Lucas as he crushed it. He finished in 17:02

I was surprised when I looked down at my watch at the turn around and saw that I hit my first mile in 10:46. With my previous pace averaging 11:37, I knew that unless something terrible happened in the second mile, my course PR would happen.

Thanks to Deb for grabbing this picture!

I crossed the line with a clock time of 22:16 so I knew I’d done it! Results were posted immediately and shockingly, I hit a chip time of 21:54.

2017: 25:16
2018: 24:49 (with a broken arm!)
2019: 23:14
2020: 21:54

Will 2021 be the year I’m in the 20s? I guess we’ll find out… next year!

I decided last minute to join a group run on Sunday because it was at the Ben Franklin Bridge. I’ve run the bridge before during races but never as a training run.

Nearly 30 runners met at the base of the bridge and off we went! There’s a pedestrian path that goes over the bridge to Philly. The bridge is about a mile and a half over so going there and back equals 3 miles.

My next two races I have coming up are the Shamrock Half Marathon in Virginia Beach and the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k so I’ve been keeping steady with my training runs.

Sunday’s run was about getting the miles in and spending time with friends. Both missions were accomplished.

Plus, check out this VIEW!

Changing up the scenery is good and motivating! I’m so glad that I jumped into this run.

This week has more workouts on tap. I’ve got Peloton rides on the agenda, weight training sessions with my trainer, and a visit with the chiropractor for maintenance.

2020 is throwing a lot my way but so far, so good!

(Almost) One Month Down with the 465 Challenge

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Virtual Challenge 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!

Usually I feel like the memes that are floating around about January.

You know the ones.

And…

But not this year! The first month of 2020 has been flying by for me. Maybe it’s because I’ve been NON-STOP.

We are in the last few days of January and I’m proud to say I’ve been moving all the way through. My training for the Shamrock Half Marathon is going runningly (it’s like swimmingly… you get the idea) and I’ve had a really nice mix of miles on the Peloton, trail, treadmill, and Disney Parks. Yes, those count too.

Because of this, I’m now into loop 3 of the 465 Challenge.

IT says Loop 2 because I need to submit my most recent miles!

Taking part of this challenge has been a really refreshing way to start the year. The Facebook accountability group and cheers from all participating, have been extremely motivating.

A loop is 53 miles and currently I’m at 189.54 miles of intention. Some of these miles have been alone but I know that I always go far with friends so I’ve been meeting up with my running group as much as possible.

If you are looking for motivation, it’s not too late to sign up for the 465 Challenge and join in for February! Head on over and use discount code BIBRAVE to save 10%!

I Did Peloton Bike For One Week… And Here’s What Happened!

Absolutely NOTHING.

Oh wait, that’s not how those click bait things are supposed to go, are they?

I’m clearly messing this up already.

Let’s try this again. My Peloton Bike arrived a week ago today, January 8th, 2020.

I’ve been dreaming of this for awhile now but the reality set in on Christmas when my husband gifted me the bike. Actually, he gifted me a Peloton hat and water bottle with the promise that the bike would arrive a few weeks later.

A few things to note:

  1. I can count on one hand the amount of times I’ve gone to a cycling class.
  2. Actually, I might be able to count on one finger the amount of times I went to a class.
  3. I am beyond a newbie when it comes to this.

I’m also an adrenaline junkie and looking to change up my routine. If you don’t keep track of my every move, I lift weights, I run, and within the past year, I took up hiking.

Additionally, I get nervous about new things because I’m crazy clumsy and always factor that in to my decision-making but eventually curiosity gets the best of me.

WHAT TO EXPECT DURING DELIVERY

We had a great team arrive with my bike, ready to set it up. They gave us a time window of 4-6 and called around 3:30 asking if we were home to receive the delivery.

People, I love punctuality. And in this case, I was on pins and needles WAITING for this delivery so I was even more excited that it was arriving a few minutes early!

The duo quickly set up my bike in the space we’d chosen for it and then gave me a tutorial on adjusting the height and location of the seat and showed me how to set up my profile (um, I might have already done this on the app because I’m a planner).

They made sure I knew how to get on and off the bike, clip my shoes into the pedals, and answered all the questions that I had regarding maintenance and general care.

NOW WHAT?

Remember, I’m brand spanking new to my brand new bike. I was slightly intimidated. But curious. And since I was already on the bike, there was no time like the present to do my first ride.

There are over 240 classes in the Beginner category and based off friends suggestions, I went with the 20 min Beginner Ride with Cody Rigsby for my first ever Peloton bike experience.

It was a blast! I was talking back to my BFF Cody (it was a recorded class) and getting a feel for what it’s all about. My actual BFF, my husband, stood there shaking his head at me the entire 20 minutes and so he didn’t feel bored I had him get me water. And then a few minutes later, a hat.

Before the bike arrived he said he had no interest in using it but I could tell during that first 20 minutes of riding, he’s already considering it.

My second ride was the next day, another 20 minute Beginner Ride with Olivia Amato. I’ve heard of everyone’s favorite instructors and my friends all have differing opinions of who they love the best, so my goal for the first month is trying them all.

I’m still learning what the metrics are but I’m getting the idea!

A friend and I discussed doing a live class together because we didn’t want to be “alone” during our first go. We landed on a 30 min 80s Ride with Leanne Hainsby which was so much fun. I loved Leanne’s energy and her song choices were so much fun. What can I say, I’m an 80s kid, through and through.

THE PELOTON APP

In addition to the rides on the bike, I’ve been making great use of the Peloton App. With it, I’ve done a couple of Fun Walks on my treadmill (I have an adapter so I’m able to see the videos on my television set up). When they say “Fun”, they mean it!

I needed a rest day on Monday with no cardio whatsoever so I tapped into 10 min Restorative Yoga with Aditi Shah and it was incredible. While I’m checking out all of the instructors for the bike, I’ve been drawn to Aditi for mediation and yoga.

My kiddo and I did her 5 minute Sleep Meditation and Sonya and I took a break from non-profit work to do Zen in Ten.

I believe the app has a month free trial and then run $20 a month. If this is something you’ll use on a daily basis, I highly recommend it!

FINAL FIRST THOUGHTS

It’s only been a week but I’ve been on the bike 6 out of 7 days! There are thousands of workouts to choose from and I have a list a mile long of ones that I want to do so I don’t think that I’ll be getting bored any time soon.

Sweaty selfie, complete with fogged glasses.

It’s challenging but you’re able to listen to your own body too. There are times when the instructors suggest a certain resistance and I try to follow their instructions and quickly regret that decision. So I do what I am feeling but I love that I can always push myself a little bit harder.

The metrics that are on the screen help put a numerical value on what you’re doing AKA a ranking. There’s a competitive aspect to it, if you want there to be. You are able to see others who are riding with you and where you land among them.

That’s not what I’m about though and it’s never has been what I’m about. As we were all saying a few years ago, YOU DO YOU.

It’s convenient. I belong to a gym but that’s mainly for weight training and HIIT. I like not having to think all the time when it comes to exercising. My mind races throughout the rest of the day so it’s always nice when I’m exercising to push myself and just listen to someone else tell me what I’m doing.

My biggest challenge? There are two.

  1. Getting out of the pedals at the end of the ride. For the love of Pete, I wish I were joking about this but I’m not. Remember the aforementioned clumsiness? I was so sure I was alone in this struggle but my Instagram buddies assured me that I’m not and that it will become more second-nature as time goes on. Yesterday I was able to do it and nearly threw myself a party. Then I walked from the carpet to the tiled bathroom and nearly slipped on the floor in the dang shoes. *Puts away party hat.*
  2. My tush hurts. Yeah, I said it. It does. I got a gel seat. I hope it helps.

I Forgive Myself

Last week I was planning to write about the hikes I’ve done recently.

I didn’t though.

Today’s post was supposed to be about The Light Run.

It isn’t though. Not in the sense I meant it to be.

This time of year is filled with family and winter concerts and get togethers and shopping and wrapping (for both Hanukkah and Christmas) and plans plans plans. And plans that are forgotten until it’s 5:13 on Monday morning and you realize “Oh shit, I was supposed to do xyz for today. And I didn’t.”

I forgive myself.

I forgive myself for the thing that fall by the wayside this December.

I remind myself that there are people who have far greater things to be worried about.

I impress upon myself that not everything has to be perfect and not everything will be perfect. It’s the imperfect that makes me who I am and my family who we are. And that’s okay. Actually, it’s more than okay.

And I hope that as you’re going through your days and maybe struggling a little bit with getting everything done, you are forgiving yourselves too.

Kick off 2020 with the 465 Virtual Challenge!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 465 Virtual Challenge 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 know how I’m starting off my 2020! The Inaugural 465 Challenge, here I come.

Or wait, it’s a virtual race, so I’ll just stay put. And run/hike/walk.

Virtual races are a great way to stay on the motivation train, especially in the cold winter months. I’m not a huge fan of run streaks but working toward a set goal is an awesome push and a great way to start the new year.

I’m aiming for a half marathon PR in the spring of 2020 and I know by dangling the metaphoric carrot in front of me, it will help me stay on course when it comes to training.

There are two tiers of registration, depending on what swag you may or may not be interested in:

  1. PREMIUM – $39.99
    465 Challenger Super Soft Finisher Shirt
    465 Race Car Slider Finisher Medal (for first 1,000 registrants)
    Super Cool Bumper Sticker
    Training Program
    Motivational Emails
    Virtual Bib
    Certificate of Completion
  2. BASIC – $24.99
    Super Cool Bumper Sticker
    Training Program
    Motivational Emails
    Virtual Bib
    Certificate of Completion

And of course, if you use discount code BIBRAVE, you’ll save 10%!

What’s the significance of 53 miles? That’s the distance of the loop around Indianapolis!

Can’t run but still want to get in on the moving? That’s perfectly all right – this challenge includes swimming, biking, somersaulting, and everything in between.

Who’s with me?!

Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, Rothman 8k

The Rothman 8k was my first ever road race in 2011.

I blogged about it back then.

Since 2011 I’ve volunteered, I’ve run the half distance for a few years, I returned to the 8k last year and made a last minute decision to run the 8k again this year.

Lucas was coming off the high of running his first 10k, I had a great coupon code, so we registered together at the beginning of this month.

The Rothman 8k has changed a lot since 2011 and so have I.

My thoughts about this race are all over the place; I think a PRO/CON list is the best way to go about it for the purposes of this recap.

PROS

  1. The 8k distance is a great middle ground for someone who isn’t looking to run a half or full marathon but still wants to be involved with race weekend.

    My Turtle Running group are always representing!

  2. The Rothman Orthopedic 8k starts at 10:45am. This is done so that people who are running the half marathon have the opportunity to run in both races (they added the race “challenges” a few years ago). What this meant for us was not having to head out of the house at the crack of dawn!
  3. Over the years, the Philly Marathon has added more bells and whistles to the 8k distance. When I ran in 2011, I got a cotton t-shirt. Now there is a tech t-shirt and a medal at the finish line.

CONS

  1. When I ran the 2011 race there were just over 2,000 participants. This year there were 5,200 participants. There are no starting corrals, but there should be. To put it bluntly, people don’t know how to self-seed. With the huge influx in participants, it would be helpful for the race directors to provide guidance.
  2. The 8k race feels like it’s the forgotten stepchild of the weekend. There’s a lot of emphasis on the half and full marathons and while the numbers have grown for the 8k there’s not a lot of signage or direction on where to go. The spectator guide handed out at the expo doesn’t even reference the 8k.
  3. The course. Oh dear lord, the course. I truly love Philadelphia but there’s one major issue with runs along the river: Martin Luther King Dr. It’s picturesque, the views of Boat House Row and the Art Museum are iconic. But… it has a horrible slant and the potholes are rough.
  4. There are pictures. They are not free. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, I think race pictures should be included in all races. But if they’re not, a digital download for one picture should not cost $29.95. I paid $20 for the race (with a coupon code). I cannot justify spending more than that on a picture of myself. I’ll just look in the mirror!

Or we can selfie!

Unfortunately, the cons outweigh the pros in this case. I think I’ll be taking a break from the Rothman 8k in 2020. Although, I have broken up with the Philly half before here and they’ve made changes so maybe if I put it out into the universe again, things will change. I sure hope so!

The rest 2019 has hikes, fun runs, and training runs on the agenda (not to mention the hustle and bustle of the holidays). All I can say is BRING IT ON!

The One Where I Won My Age Group

Spoiler: I was the only one in my age group.

(Maybe I shouldn’t have lead with that?)

ETA: a friend shared this with me and I had to include it in this post. 😂

This past weekend Lucas and I took part in the 5k portion of the William T. Nace Tin Man 5k/10k. This race is a small, local race and serves as a fundraiser for a student scholarship.

In its 8th year, the race has raised thousands of dollars to further their nonprofit’s mission, established in honor of their family member, William T. Nace.

With Ali Nace Smedley, one of the race directors. Ali’s law practice is a sponsor of the Healthy Kids Running Series – Mullica Hill/Mantua, which I coordinate.

The race takes place at Cooper River Park also known in the running community as the Cooper Loop. It’s actually where I learned about running and where my son did his first running clinic.

The 5k and 10k races were scheduled for 9:30. The fields were small; 12 5k runners and 16 10k runners. It was easy to grab our bibs and cotton t-shirts the morning of the race around 9:10. There was no prior pickup.

After a quick stop in the lovely heated bathrooms (I did NOT what to leave), the 5k runners walked with a representative of the timing company to our start.

The loop is just under 4 miles which meant that the 10k runners would be doubling back at some point – they had a different start and ran in the opposite direction so we passed them on the far side of the course.

My comfortable training pace has been 12:30 minute miles so I knew I’d probably be able to push the pace with this race. However, I also figured that I’d be toward the back of a very fast pack.

A couple of my Turtle running group pals were doing a training run around the loop, independently from the race, so I got to see them a few times. Always awesome to have familiar faces and cheers!

I ran the first mile straight through and when I looked down at my watch, I saw I’d kept a 10:45 pace, which is awesome for me but also freaked me out a bit. After that I jumped into my 1:1 intervals. I could see Lucas ahead in the distance (but not for long).

The route is a loop around a river. Around the halfway point there was a volunteer with water bottles, which I opted to skip.

On the far end of the course there’s a great view of the Philadelphia skyline. The wind also works with you at that point, which is lovely. However, the last mile back, the wind was right in my face, making it cold and difficult.

Lucas did great, finishing in 30:42 – his sub30 goal is going to happen sooner rather than later. I finished in just over 36 minutes, coming in 10th out of 12th for the race.

Great snack spread for all the runners!

After the 5k finishers crossed the line, the results were quickly posted and awards were distributed.

There’s no finishers medals, but because it’s a small race nearly everyone who crossed the line got age group awards. Additionally they have a few raffles for the runners of each event. Lucas and I won a $25 Visa gift card!

When our awards finished, the 10k runners started to cross the line. The overall winner was a friend of Lucas’ from school; it awesome to see an 8th grader rock her first ever 6.2 distance!

There’s something very special about a small race – you can feel the love and importance of the event to their family. That said, I hope that next year it grows in size and even more students are able to benefit from the scholarships.

Next up… Philadelphia Marathon Weekend, Rothman 8k!

Race Recap: Mushroom Cap Half Marathon Relay

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!

NAME: Mushroom Cap 1/2 Marathon, Relay and Charity 1 Miler
LOCATION: Kennett Square, PA
YEARS IN EXISTENCE: 4
NUMBER OF RUNNERS IN 2019: 469 individual runners and 107 relay teams

The Mushroom Cap 1/2 Marathon Relay is a race I’m not soon to forget! I love when BibRave partners with local races and being from New Jersey, when I saw the opportunity to run in Kennett Square, PA I was excited to jump on board.

There was no expo for this race but there were two packet pickups earlier in the week. The Sunday before the race was at a running store and the night before the race at the start location.

I think this race and its runners would benefit by offering a morning of the race packet pickup. I know it was a little difficult for some to coordinate with the times. Thankfully I was able to grab a friend’s bib who wasn’t able to make it to either of the times offered by showing a copy of her identification.

The swag was a long-sleeved quarter zip shirt (that has thumb holes and a small key pocket). We had the option of a dark blue or this powder blue above. It’s very comfortable and I like it much more than the standard race shirt.

It was a chilly 31 degrees on race day. I woke up before my 5am alarm, anxious to hop in my car and drive about an hour to Kennett Square.

Arriving with plenty of time to spare (as is my way), I sat in my warm and toasty car as long as possible. On the ride there, I drove part of the course. Hello hills!

I was nervous about the course, but overall I knew that I could trust in my distance training.

Mullet Crew – Party in the Back! Katie, Rachel, and me

Before the race I was able to meet up with friends and there’s always comfort in being with people you know and love. Rachel, Katie, and I questioned our sanity multiple times as we stood together, shivering.

Fellow BibRave Pro, Ken (of KenStandsonThings) joined us as in the race village; the was area set up with tents, tables, and portapotties. We timed it so we wouldn’t have to wait too long in the cold and made sure that Rachel had time to get on the relay shuttle bus and head to the exchange area.

The start and end point of the race was The Creamery. It was previously the Eastern Condensed Milk Company. In 2016 the current owners opened it after revitalization as a pop-up beer garden and community space. Really awesome spot!

Katie and I placed ourselves near the 3:00 pacer. During my training runs I’ve been keeping anywhere from a 11:30-13:30 pace using 1:1 intervals. Most of my training runs are flat though so I wasn’t sure how this I’d fare. I figured as long as I kept the 3:00 pacer in sight, I was doing okay. I wasn’t aiming to be a hero, I just wanted to get to the relay exchange in a decent time.

A few minutes after 8am, we started to run. Immediately Rachel texted and said she wasn’t getting the messages from the tracking app, RaceJoy. Rather than continually have it open on my phone Rachel, Katie (who was running the entire 1/2, bless her legs) and I decided that we’d occasionally text to check in.

Looking back at our text messages is amusing! There was a lot of cursing going on!

Katie and I stuck together for the first two miles. There was a killer hill in mile one and that set the tone for the rest of the race. Rather than getting too much in my head I decided that I’d take it easy on the uphills and cruise the downhills. Thankfully the roads were closed for the entire event and the runners were able to spread out.

Katie peeled off to use a portapotty as we turned into a neighborhood section of the race and instructed that I go on (up a large hill, I’m sure you’re shocked to hear). This portion was an out and back area, full of ups and down.

The aid stations of this race are phenomenal. Hosted by local groups and businesses, they were well stocked. I didn’t take advantage of them because I just wanted to keep moving and get to Rachel.

Around the 4 mile mark I passed the 3:00 hour pacer and according to the app, I was on pace to get to Rachel in 1:26 for 6.6 miles.

This hill had a hill on top of it. Yay.

This hill greeted me in mile 5. Once I hit the gravel, I knew I wasn’t far from the exchange. I was more than ready to be done and when I saw the signs telling the relay runners to stay to the right, I happy obliged.

Rachel was waiting for me in the exchange area and helped me take the timing chip off my ankle and transferred it to hers. Before she left on the second half of her journey I thought I should impart some words of wisdom. But apparently, it came out like this.

Mer grabbed my arm and with terror in her eyes, said something like “The hills. It’s so hard. The hills…..Don’t even try to run them. Just walk the hills and run down…” then she hugged me and yelled “good luck” as I ran away.

Whoops?

I was so busy giving Rachel this amazing pep talk I forgot two very important things:

  1. to shut off my watch
  2. to look at the medal

It wasn’t until I was comfortably seated on the bus that I realized/did both! I chatted with the folks I was seated near and we all lamented the hills.

Once we arrived back at The Creamery I stood near the finish line and cheered for a bit. I was able to meet back up with Ken and see lots of people from my local running group. I even got to meet Instagram friend, Alexis (beer_runner85)!

All the while, I was in contact with Rachel and Katie via text. They informed me that they were the last ones on the course and had a line of police cars following them. Once I knew where they were on the course, Ken and I headed into The Creamery to warm up and grab our complimentary beer. We had the choice of an Ale or IPA and there was a great band entertaining the masses!

We also had the chance to meet the Mushroom Cap Half’s social media director – it’s always fun to meet the face behind the Instagram account!

I heard from Rachel that they were nearing the finish line so I headed back to claim my spot just past the timing mats. Sure enough, I could see them about a quarter mile away, with their police escorts behind them!

I was hooting and hollering and telling everyone at the finish their names so they could cheer as well. I’m pretty sure everyone thought I was crazy and they’d be right. I was so happy to see my Mullet Crew!

Party in the back!

Please note that while the course limit was 3:30, they were the last ones to cross at 3:11. We were so PROUD. There’s two ways you can look at being DFL and I think we were all very happy that things shook out the way that they did.

Because we were very last relay team to cross the line, we got a PRIZE. We were awarded mushrooms and a $50 gift card to Sovana Bistro! That was a really nice surprise.

All in all, the race was incredible. Great communication, awesome aid stations, loved being a part of a relay team, and the afterparty was amazing!

The only complaint I have? THOSE HILLS. Again, not in any way, shape, or form a shock. Just very, very difficult!

Thanks to BibRave and Mushroom Cap for the great opportunity to check this one out! If you’re looking for a challenge, be sure to put this on your bucket list.

Next up for me is a local 5k (William T. Nace Tin Man) and the Rothman 8k during Philadelphia Marathon Weekend. What’s on your race agenda?

Race Recap: Atlantic City Marathon Series 10k

Two facts you might know about me if you’ve read this blog for awhile:

  1. Summer is my least favorite time to run.
  2. Fall is my absolute favorite time to run.

Of course, it’s hard to sign up for Fall races when you’re not training consistently through the summer. In the past, that didn’t stop me. Oh no, I’d just sign up anyway and then miserably slog through the miles of a race.

It’s only taken 8 years but guess what, I’ve finally learned my lesson!

Not only have I been training consistently over the summer (I KNOW, RIGHT?), but I’ve also signed up for less races. The two are not mutually exclusive. I’ve made better decisions overall with my running and it’s equaling a happier running me!

Plus, and this is a big one, I’ve found the Turtles.

I’ve written about them throughout 2019 but I really feel like they need a huge shout out because this is the local community and support that I’ve needed. These folks are priceless to me, they are the party in the back and we are each others biggest supporters.

The Atlantic City Marathon Series hosts its fall races in mid-October each year. Saturday is the 5k/10k and Sunday is the half/full marathon.

2013 was the first time I ran the race weekend and I’ve returned each year since for the 5k or 10k.

With 3 races offered throughout the year, they sweetened the deal by adding a Triple Threat medal in 2019. It’s probably clear that Atlantic City Marathon Series is one of my all time favorites ever, so it didn’t take much convincing to go for the Triple Threat!

The fall series offers packet pickup at multiple locations throughout the week prior to the races. Originally I chose to do day-of pickup (for an additional fee of $10) but a Turtle friend was able to grab mine earlier in the week and there was no fuss with that, which was much appreciated. Less running around for me the morning of the race!

What I love so much about running in AC is the comfort that comes along with it. These races are a nice size – around 850 runners for both the 5k/10k. With a 9am start time for the shorter races, it’s easy to wake up early and drive down the morning of the race.

The race series also provides a coupon for runners which brings the $25 casino parking fee down to $5.

My race was what I expected, given my training runs. I chose to run solo to see what I was capable of and I was happy with the result!

Best part is air hugs to the Turtles on the out and back!

Running on the boardwalk is always fun for me. It was hard to see the 5k runners peel off, knowing that I still had double the distance to go but I love that it’s an out and back course so I could cheer on friends. My last mile was tough and I was very pleased to see the finish line, right outside of Bally’s Casino.

Once I crossed the line, I received my 10k medal. My bib had a mark on the back for the Triple Threat medal (it might have been easier to spot on the front – other runners had a sticker placed on theirs).

After showing the back of my bib, I received the mother of all medals, the Triple Threat!

After we cheered everyone in across the finish line, my group of friends made our way to the courtyard that held snacks (bagels, water ice, etc.) and drinks. If there’s a post-race beer I’ll usually have a few sips and Saturday was no exception.

We really lucked out with the weather and had a nice morning in Atlantic City. I’ve already got my eye on the 2020 Triple Threat medal and will be registering ASAP.

Tomorrow I’ve got a nice training running planned and then I’ll be headed to Kennett Square, PA for the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon relay. Woohoo! Want to register? There’s still time to save $10, use code brmushroom19.