Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon, Part Two

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!

Earlier this year I was looking into races to prep for my season. I say “season” like I separate running into different parts of the year, but I really just like to have a race every month. It’s fun to earn bling each month, don’t you think?

So. I didn’t have anything for March and had my eye on a BibRave race for awhile. I texted Mer to get some ideas on how to sign up, as I’d only done other campaigns with BR, not races and that kind of got the ball rolling for this. Mer said in her post that she didn’t think I was invited her well, jokes on her because it’s fun to talk people into running races with you. Really, though. I was worried about running a half on my own and was super relieved when Mer said she was thinking about joining.

After I signed up (using the super user friendly Athlinks), I started with some light training. As you know, my goal is to love running again so I’d been going out and having some fun on my own without having a goal or something to work for. I did pretty well with training for this race because I ran a 15k the weekend before and just considered it my last training run.

When race weekend came, everything still felt too laid back, if that makes sense. I wasn’t worried about running or PRing or anything. I got up on Saturday morning and went through some of my weekend routine before heading over to the east coast. It’s about a two and a half hour drive for me so I sort of took my time. I was excited to spend some time with Mer because it had been a couple of years since we’d seen each other. I was also excited because we’d be in a condo and not sleeping in a van together.

I got to the other coast in the early afternoon, so Mer and I hung out and then went for dinner and ice cream. Carb-loading is a real thing, okay?

Since we had a drive in the morning, bedtime was an early one. My anxiety usually kicks in the night before a race, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. When the alarms started going on at 3:30 I tried to deny it. We got dressed quickly and made our way. We still had to pick up our bibs and that turned out to be no problem. There was even a little coffee cart for me to visit because I don’t function well without, to be honest. Soon enough, we had found our place.

I was feeling great when we started. As a native Floridian, this is the type of weather I’m used to. It was nice and cool…and then the sun came up. It definitely got warm, but thankfully the course had a nice breeze and plenty of places with shade. I mean, there were also BRIDGES, but I digress. The race was well organized and a lot of fun, too. I’m used to Florida, but sometimes it’s just really pretty to me. I love the ocean, palm trees, and all kinds of random things you might find along the way. The course was great because it showed some beautiful sights and the little quirks of Miami, too!

Aid stations were at every mile along with porta-potties and everyone stayed well hydrated. There were a few DJs out with music, which was great since Mer and I didn’t run with headphones. The best part, to me, was that even though we are kind of the “back of the pack” runners, there were still police officers at every intersection and they kept the roads closed for runners. I know it probably takes a lot to do that, especially in a city as big as Miami, but it was much appreciated.

It was pretty warm by the time we reached the finish and it felt like we were never going to get there! They even announced our names (though pronounced mine wrong) and said that we were part of BibRave, which was cool. The after party was hopping when we finally made it there. I got some free shaved ice and had a tasty croissant, which hit the spot pretty well.

And then I carb-loaded again.

Free race photos were an absolute plus and I was so stoked that they turned out so well! I feel like I always struggle with pictures that I have no control and these turned out cute! (Very Instagrammable!)

This was a great race and I’m glad I got to share it with Mer. When’s our next one?

 

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!

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!

Scoot a Doot’s 6th Blogaversary (+giveaway!)

We are so pumped to be celebrating 6 years of Scoot!

We’ve got a vlog, we’ve got our four pillars: fitness, food, friends, and fun… AND we’ve got a sweet, sweet giveaway! Watch the video to see what’s in the prize pack for one lucky winner (trust us, you’ll want to win).

After you watch us chat with you, click on the image below to enter! We’ll check to make sure the entry is legit and then announce the winner via social media channels on 2/6/19: Facebook, IG stories, Twitter.

 

 

Chick Chat – Where We Play

Growing up in Alaska taught me a lot. Primarily that being outside is better than being inside about 98% of the time. Like, inside is literally only better when its so cold outside your body parts freeze, but even then… just put on warmer clothes. I don’t know.

Alaska is full of so many cool things.

Consequently, I enjoy being outside for nearly all of my fun activities. Hiking, running, working out – you name it. If I can be outside, I’m a happy camper, in some cases literally. There’s really not a better place to start a conversation about where we play than The Great Land. In Alaska, I was lucky to have a mountain to climb literally out my front door and plenty of other trails to explore just minutes away.

In fact, one of my favorite training runs ever was back home. I did a 20-miler around Eklutna Lake, a glacial-fed body of water not far from my parents’ old home and a frequent recreational area for us. The park has a campground, biking trails, hiking trails, cabins, kayaking… you name it. I did my run in late August (early Fall in Alaska) and the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny and cool but not cold. My parents rode their bikes alongside me. I put my feet in the icy water when I finished.

20 miles around Eklutna Lake? #AlaskaFTW

In Virginia, I tried to take advantage of our proximity to Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge mountains. Clay and I went hiking as often as we could when we still lived out east.

Having recently moved cross-country to Southern California, I’m finding myself taken by how beautiful this area is. We are maybe 15 minutes from the beach and I can see the coastline from our house. We haven’t been able to get out and hike here at all yet, but we have gotten to workout outside, which is something new!

Lifting barbells and doing burpees outside in the sunshine (when it’s not oppressively hot) is pretty amazing! I’m looking forward to exploring more of what SoCal has to offer in the years to come.

As a born and raised Florida girl there are a ton of places where I love to workout and play in, but also a lot of places I’ve yet to see! Most days I tend to be a homebody. I like the comfort of my couch, books, and cats. When I’m training or need to go for a run, my neighborhood works pretty well. I lived in an apartment for over ten years, but bought my first house almost two years ago. My neighborhood is a quiet little place that’s perfect for late afternoon runs. It’s fun getting to know new routes and waving to all my neighbors. And also meeting new friends.

I love this guy.

I spend a lot of time at school, teaching and coaching, and the rest of the time commuting. I live in Southwest Florida and, well, snowbirds. A lot of the time I get home too late to run so I like to find little parks or areas to pop into for a quick couple of miles. It’s fun and gets the job done. Also, when I’m out in “in the wild” I can’t just walk home. I’ve got to finish what I started.

  

 

Palm trees and sunshine for days.

School is definitely another place I workout and play. I play everyday with my students, but also with my Girls on the Run girls. They keep me young and I get to yell at them and pretend it’s motivation!

My classroom is one of my favorite places.


I try to always be on the lookout for new places in the area to workout or play in. My family frequents Disney and Universal parks, too, though most of the working out there is walking, dodging other park goers, and standing in line. Oh, and eating ice cream. Obviously. (Okay, and posing for silly pics.)

With Grete in Epcot.

I try as hard as I can to take advantage of all the amazing places to play near me. The Intermountain West has SO MUCH TO OFFER that it’s sometimes hard to choose where to go. Whether I’m running or hiking, I’m all about scenery and luckily scenery isn’t a problem here in Colorado. Most recently, I hiked a few miles of the Sourdough Trail with my sister as part of our #52HikeChallenge goal.

It was a perfect day for a hike. The temp was around 42, and the trails were not too snowy, icy, or crowded. Even though I had my microspikes sitting by the door I forgot to grab them, but I was fine with snow shoe poles.

The view from the top.

It is always so quiet and peaceful, and that is what I love about being on the trails. All you can hear is the wind blowing through the tops of the pine trees. It’s incredibly therapeutic. So much so that I forgot to turn on my GPS until we turned around, so double this and reverse it. Technology seems out of place here.

I love playing in the mountains because sometimes you also see cute animal butts and jaw-dropping sunsets.

When we first started discussing this “where we play” post, I was excited! During the warmer months, you’ll find me outside more often than not. I’m a fan of fresh air and the wind in my hair.

In my neck of the woods, New Jersey, I’m really lucky to live in a development that’s surrounded by farmers fields. If you walk out my door and head down the road a quarter of a mile during the warmer months, we have corn, squash, and a variety of other crops.

Not even two miles away is a vineyard. I have yet to run there but that is on my bucket list. (Maybe I’ll Uber home.) Good Day for a Run holds a Run the Vineyards race there each spring and I either run or volunteer each year. With it being so close to home, how could I not?

Last winter and this one, I’ve been hibernate. I actually love running in the cold weather and one of my favorite places to run is the boardwalk. But I’m still a bit of a Nervous Nelly with winter and ice after breaking my arm last January.

So yeah, lately where I play has mainly been inside. I’ve been sticking to treadmill running in my basement and training at the gym. It doesn’t produce nearly as interesting Instagram photos as the great outdoors but it works for me!

Tell us about where you love to run/hang out!

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

 

Recovery: The Running Event Product Reviews

Disclaimer: I received items from Addaday, Arcanum, and Nuun from The Running Event 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! No further compensation was given and as always, all opinions are my own. 

Ahhh, recovery days. It’s a time for my muscles and body to relax and to recharge in both the physical and mental sense.

Once upon a time (aka when I first started running in nearly 8 years ago) I didn’t embrace the recovery mindset as much as I should have and I wound up with overuse injuries and overall fatigue. I’ve learned from my past mistakes and now I love recovery days as much as I do a good sweat.

In fact, I’m using the time between Christmas and New Years to settle deep into the recovery. Sure I’ve been working out but the balance is finally resetting. It’s the first time in at least a month I haven’t had to be at least three places at once and I’m taking full advantage of this down time. I’ll say it again, ahhh!

I received a few products at The Running Event that I’ve been using to aid my recovery. Read on to learn about each!

Arcanum

Sarco Breeze 4 oz: $40, Sarco Freeze 42.5: $35, The Quill: $50

I’ll be frank with you, I knew next to nothing in regards to activated hemp/CBD oil before meeting Arcanum representative and fitness professional, Lindsay Minz, at TRE Influencer Day.

Through Lindsay’s presentation, I learned the different uses and benefits for each of the products we were given and I’ve been putting them to the test since returning home from Austin a month ago.

The Sarco Freeze soothes sore muscles when I’ve been a little too overzealous at the gym. It occasionally happens! Additionally, this month has been full of wrapping presents and that means sitting on the floor, stretching, twisting, and generally doing things the “difficult” way instead of the easy/smart way. The Sarco Freeze is my go-to to help ease my aching back.

(Yes, I feel old when I complain about my aching back.)

The Sarco Breeze is not only a sports massage oil but also a moisturizer. Lindsay shared that she uses it on her face and it’s helped her skin significantly. This intrigued me and I don’t have any set skin care regiment so I went for it – applying it before bed every night. I’ve been really pleased.

No make up, no filter!

A few years ago I was bit in the face by a dog and I’ve been using Sarco Breeze on my entire face but paying special attention to my scars. It’s helped break up some of the scar tissue, so that’s an added bonus.

Finally, I’ve been using The Quill which is a gel pen that releases just the right amount of activated hemp through the skin. Applied to the wrist or anywhere there is thin skin, it helps with recovery and boosting your system with natural ingredients. This assists in regulating inflammation.

All of the Arcanum products have a very light, mild scent. I’m learning more about CBD every day so if anyone is knowledgeable and would like to share information with me, please comment!

Addaday

Type C Massage Roller: $42

Addaday Type C Massage Roller is touted as a “runners favorite massage roller” and after just one month of use, I can see why.

I’ve been using this roller after tough gym sessions, especially on my lower body to help with recovery and muscle soreness. This roller has the small red gear that helps is good for shins and calves while the larger grey/blue ones are good at helping with lactic acid buildup.

This particular Addaday roller is a little over 18″ long, which makes in easy to pack in a bag for traveling. I love my huge foam roller but it’s not very easy to transport.

When it comes to using the roller it’s definitely a “hurts so good” mentality – sometimes rolling hurts more than the actual muscle soreness but it also assists in healing faster. Pairing this the products from Arcanum has taken me to the next level in terms of fast recovery. When you’re not able to get a massage, the roller is a fantastic substitute.

Nuun

Nuun tubes: $7 each, Nuun hydration bottle: $7

We here at Scoot a Doot are not new to Nuun Hydration, in fact I think we first reviewed it way back in 2013.

I use it during my workouts for hydration because Nuun helps you absorb fluids and nutrients faster and contains the optimal blend of electrolytes. In addition to that, I’ve also been dipping into my abundant Nuun supply on recovery days.

Nuun Vitamins are a newer product that provides 11 vitamins and minerals and are good for any day of the week. I capital L-O-V-E the Blueberry Pomegranate flavor!

Nuun Immunity I was excited for the opportunity to try this one after reading Ashley’s review in September. Nuun that gives my immune system a boost? Absolutely, sign me up.

I was raving about it to my husband and then (wouldn’t you know it) he got sick with a gross stomach bug that’s making the rounds in this area. My blueberry tangerine Nuun Immunity quickly became his because, without going into too much detail, it was literally all he could stomach for a few days.

At the suggestion of the Nuun folks at TRE, I tried the orange citrus Immunity with hot water, making a “Nuun tea.” Not something I would have ever thought to do but it was tasty and really nice now that the weather here in New Jersey is chilly.

I hope that your days are filled with relaxing and recovery, especially now that the holidays are winding down. Just a few more days until New Years and I’m sure I’m not alone in saying that I can’t wait for 2019 to arrive. I’ll be back on Monday with a review for Zwift’s Running Pod.

In the meanwhile, be sure to swing by Jenn’s 2019 goal post – she plans to do 52 hikes next year! Ash just had a great first Girls on the Run season! Kyle has been busy with her move across the country (gulp!) but I’m sure we’ll get a life update once she’s settled.