Yuengling Shamrock 1/2 Marathon Goes Virtual… On a Treadmill

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Yuengling Shamrock Marathon race weekend 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 past weekend was supposed to include a road trip with Rachel to Virginia Beach, a gathering of BibRave Pros, and a Personal Record at the Shamrock 1/2 Marathon.

It actually included two of the three things listed.

10 days ago I received word that both this race and the upcoming Allstate Hot Chocolate Philly race were cancelled due to the COVID-19 virus. 10 days feels like forever ago at this point.

Both races quickly offered virtual options. At first, my local friends and I planned to run on, we’d meet up as a group and do a half marathon. However as the week continued and our Governor stated we needed to maintain social distance/stay home, we scratched those plans.

I knew I wanted to run the half marathon distance but then it became a matter of WHERE. At first I defaulted to where I started out running, the treadmill. However, it’s been a long time since I’ve logged serious treadmill miles.

Outside on the trail would’ve been preferable, but I didn’t want to run alone, especially with the high anxiety I’ve been feeling lately. My 15 year old actually volunteered to run it with me; he’s been doing a lot of long training runs with me lately.

But the more and more I thought about it (while I was not sleeping at night) the more I decided that I didn’t feel comfortable with that idea.

After chatting with friends on Twitter, I landed on running the majority of the 13.1 miles on the treadmill. I actually thought that I’d do 12.1 on the treadmill and do the last mile outside. Spoiler alert, that didn’t happen because it was pretty cold outside and I was extremely warm and sweaty from my inside miles.

I decided to break the half marathon down into three sections, an hour, and hour, and then the last portion. I’d been training with a goal of getting finished within 2:30-2:39. With the knowledge that I could possibly fizzle out mentally on the treadmill, I wasn’t going into this expected a PR. Actually, I thought I’d just get the miles done and call it good.

My first hour I used the Peloton Tread app and did a 60 minute Fun Run with Matty Maggiacomo.

I definitely pushed harder than I expected to during the 60 minutes and wound up finishing the hour at 5.15 miles, which means I was keeping at 11:39 pace. Knowing this, I started to think that a PR for this run was actually attainable if I kept up the positive vibes and spirit.

While I was filling my water bottle I quickly tweeted out my progress and got a whole slew of responses from our running community, which I was able to read on my Garmin as I ran.

For my second 5 mile segment I tapped into my playlist that I made specifically for the Shamrock 1/2. It’s an eclectic mix of everything from big band to Lizzo to Franz Ferdinand. I was able to accomplish that in 58:38.

Which meant I only had 3 more miles left to go! After filling my water bottle one last time, I got on the treadmill once more. My legs were getting tired and my lower back ached but I knew that unless something went terribly wrong, I’d be able to hit my goal time.

And I did! All together I ran 13.1 miles in 2:34.22. While it’s not official, it’s absolutely a PR for me in the half marathon distance. The fact that I was able to do it on the treadmill makes me believe that there is no doubt I could do it within a race setting.

My cheering squad was waiting for me when I came upstairs to celebrate. They wouldn’t hug me though… not because of social distancing but because I was very sweaty.

Today is #MedalMonday and while my medal isn’t actually physically here, it will just prolong the happiness of this particular accomplishment when it does arrive. And right now, I’ll take what I can get.

Hope you are all safe, well, and staying home.

It’s a Wrap: 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!

The start of this year has been fantastic. I’ve been healthy, happy, and active.

The 465 Challenge helped immensely with that! To refresh, the 465 Virtual Challenge was a 2 month event in which the goal was to complete 53 miles via running, walking, or bike (or swim, but that wasn’t happening over here in the winter!). Those who continued on to do more than that were considered, LOOPERS.

At the end of January, I’d completed 3 loops totaling, 189.54 miles.

My miles increased even more in February. I was consistent on the Peloton bike (which I got in January) and increased speed, miles, and output.

I’ve also been upping my miles since I’ve got the Shamrock Half Marathon coming up in just a few weeks.

As the added cherry on the top, my son has joined me for the last few long training runs. He’s running his first ever 10 mile race in May and he’s already thinking, planning, and training.

I wish I had his drive when I was 15 years old!

By Leap Day, I’d reached 7 loops, totaling over 371 miles!

What was especially great about this virtual race was the community that came along with it. The directors created a Facebook group, just for those participating in the challenge and we were all able to cheer for each other.

The interaction in the group was great and because it was over a 2 month span, I really got a chance to connect with others. I’ve done a few virtual events and this quickly grabbed the number one spot in terms of community, support, and feedback from the race directors.

The shirt, medal, and sticker arrived on Friday, February 28th – just in time for a medal Monday.

Stick a fork in this challenge, it’s done. But I’m not; I’m just getting started!

Have you done a virtual event before? Which one? Why did you choose it?

Do Good, Feel Good: World Refugee Day 5k

Disclaimer: I’m taking part in the World Refugee Day 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro in conjunction with our good friends at Soul Focus. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

June 20th is World Refugee Day and I’m joining with a bunch of pals for the virtual World Refugee Day 5k. The funds raised during this effort will support refugees through the American Refugees Committee.

For those who haven’t taken part in a virtual races before, the way it works is pretty simple.

Virtual Run How-To

ONE – Register! Registration for the World Refugee Day 5k has been open since May 20th and will remain open through this Thursday, June 20th. As a little something extra, code BR5 will get you $5 OFF registration.

TWO – Print out your commerative WRD5K race bib!World Refugee Day 5k race bib

THREE – Get social with it! Run the 5k distance. This can be with a group, solo, with your pup, with your cat, whomever wants to go the distance with you and raise awareness and funds for the World Refugee Day 5k.

After you run, share on your social accounts using the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay5k #WRD5k and tagging @worldrefugeeday_5k on Instagram. I can tell you from experience that they are very interactive with their runners and love seeing what everyone’s experiences!

FOUR – Wear your swag with PRIDE! After Thursday, June 20th, World Refugee Day 5k BOCO Gears hats will be sent to all participants. BOCO Gear are my #1 hats to run in and I can’t wait to get mine!

BOCO Gear World Refugee Day 5k Hat

It’s an amazing way to take part in a global event and be a part of a movement, from home. While I would LOVE to travel to Uganda to be there in person, that’s just not in the cards for me (this year, at least).

However, I will be there in spirit and I’m very pumped to run virtually along side of everyone!

Want to join in the fun? It’s not too late, this virtual run is open for 4 more days. Hop on over to the registration page and get moving! Lots of the BibRave Pros and I will be out there and running our 5ks on June 20th but you don’t have to wait until Thursday – that’s the beauty of a virtual run!

Who else is running?

Becky
Ken
Brenda
Stephanie
Lissa
Kim
Juan

Scooby Doo Good 5k September Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

The month of September was packed with adventures and while I accomplished a lot (Bird-in-Hand half, start of Healthy Kids Running Series, getting my children off to school, seeing my parents off to Florida) one of the things that helps to keep me motivated/grounded is getting outside with my best girl, Gemma.

Nearly five years have gone by since we adopted Gemma and one of the main things we looked for when were searching for our new family member was that we wanted an active pup. We definitely got that with her; anytime you even utter the word “walk” or she hears the jingle of her leash, she come flying.

We had mucho amounts of rain in New Jersey the month of September but then the skies finally cleared and we had some nice fall weather. The Scooby Doo Good 5k was the perfect way to welcome fall! With a portion of each registration going to Best Friends Animal Society we were ready to get out there and get moving.

Rather than do the whole 5k at once, we chose to split up the miles over 3 days. And when I say “we” I mean that she did. She’s very good at being the boss.

Kisses after a Scooby Run!

Naturally, we had the best time out there together. We also do! I was rocking my BibRave shirt. I attempted to put my BibRave BUFF®️ on her but she was having none of that. I think she’s holding out for the Scooby bandanna that’s coming her way soon!

While we are done with our September Doo Good 5k, we have more on our agenda with the Scoobtober 5k/10k!

With the start of the spookiest month of the year, Gemma and I are ready to rack up the miles! The swag is looking awesome for this month and we can’t wait for it to arrive. The purple is going to look amazing on her black fur!

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on

Human swag for October

Want to join us in October? Registration is open now through the 20th! I’ll be checking back in over the next few weeks to let you know how it goes for us and maybe even a short video from our run. Oh, and if you register you can use the code “BIBRAVE” to get 10% off registration!

Lots of awesome runners heading to Chicago for the marathon this weekend, including our very own ASHLEY! So excited for you all!

What is your favorite month? Have you ever done a virtual run? Are you running Chicago? Drop your name in a comment and I’ll send you a message!

Doo Good, Feel Good – Scooby-Doo Virtual Races

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

Zoinks!

The Scooby-Doo gang is hosting their first ever virtual run! BibRave got involved in the fun and my trusty pooch, Gemma June, and I are joining in with a bunch of our BibRave Pro buddies.

Virtual races are an awesome way to be involved with the community aspect of running while having the convenience of doing the run when and where you want. I absolutely LOVE running with my dog but she is dog selective so taking her to an event isn’t an option for us. There are too many unknown variables. This allows us to have fun and get moving!

As an added bonus portion of the registration from the Scooby-Doo Race Series benefits the Best Friends Animal Society.

The September run is a 5k. Gemma is pretty fit and loves to run but the summer heat has been brutal so she’s been mainly walking when we head out the door.

Now that the weather has cooled off a bit she’s ready to work back up in mileage, so I’ve consulted with her (of course) and we’re planning on breaking this up into three runs. As long as the weather cooperates, we’ll be getting our miles in September 16th, 17th, and 18th.

Check out this awesome swag:

Human Swag

Pup Swag is an add-on if you choose it during registration.

In October participants have the choice of being a 5k or 10k. By then I think we’ll have worked up our mileage so that we might do the run in one or two segments. I’ll keep you all posted so that you can join us, if you’d like (either in person or virtually).

Want to see the swag for October? Of course you do!

Human swag for October

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on.

There’s no “rules” for tracking your runs, just share photos on social media and use the hashtag #ScoobyDooRun. Easy, right?

Want to join in the fun? I can’t promise that we’ll find that it was Old Man Withers at the haunted amusement park but I can promise lots of pictures of me with my trusty sidekick, Gemma June. Register now through September 20th for both the September and October race! If you plan to just run the October race, be sure to register by October 20th to get all the swagtastic items!

And of course, be sure to use the code “BIBRAVE” to get 10% off registration! Let me know if you register!

Swagtastic Virtual Races for Medals4Mettle

Man, I love the running community.

As many of you know already, I’m a latecomer to the idea of running (Ah, Adult Onset Running), however in the past few years I’ve been fortunate enough to pick up the addictive habit that I just can’t quit.

I’ve traveled much of the country to participate in a variety of events.

I’ve woken up to run when some people are just coming home from a night out (I think I might have been one of those people, once upon a time).

cold

I’ve worn adorable costumes (that other people have made for me) (because they’re awesome).

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I’ve run a 10k and a half the following day. On purpose! With a smile on my face!

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I logged miles with Team Scoot a Doot for our #journey2amillion team.

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And I’ve followed along as many of my friends have done the same, cheering the entire way. I’ve volunteered at races and handed out medals. I’ve texted my friends during their legs at Ragnar and I’ve woken up far earlier than I’ve had to, to cheer virtually. Because as you and I both know, the community that comes along with running isn’t mutually exclusive to proximity.

Surprisingly, one of the things that I haven’t done is participate in a virtual race. But when Swagtastic Races contacted us and asked if we’d like to jump aboard, I raised my hand with no hesitation. This virtual race benefits Medals4Mettle and that’s a cause that I can get behind!

I first learned about Medals4Mettle when Scoot a Doot was only a few months old and the unthinkable happened at the Boston Marathon. While searching for a way to make a difference and give back, I learned more about the Medals4Mettle program.

m4m

Medals4Mettle is a non-profit organization that delivers endurance athlete’s medals to raise people up who are fighting life-threatening illnesses. While the medals are donated, it costs approximately $60 to deliver the medal.

Each registration with Swagtastic Virtual Races assists in offsetting the cost of the Medals4Mettle ribbons that are placed on each of the donated medals. Good stuff, right?

And what do you get in return, besides the satisfaction in knowing that you’ve done good in the world?

swagboxes

SWAG, my friends. S-W-A-G. Check out the race sponsors that have contributed to the boxes:

Ricola
Trading Phrases
Manitoba Harvest
Vous Vitamins
BiPro
Shave Secret
Road ID
Bondi Band
Nordic Naturals
Mariani
EVL Nutrition
alternaVites
Dream Water
Acli-Mate Natural Sports Drink
Wholesome!
Volovitamins
Sqwincher
Celsius
Simple Squares
Cosmos Creations
Evo Hemp
SoyJoy

Additionally, Health Your Way is the online media sponsor and I’m a big fan of their Monday Twitter chats. Plus, there are raffle prizes that will randomly be selected and go out with the swag boxes; much like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get. Thanks for that, Forrest Gump.

Yeah, I’m pretty stoked! Given that my foot has been less of a pain and more reasonable lately, my plan is to run my 5k but the option to walk is also available.

You can register for anything from a 5k to a full marathon. The sky’s the limit, or at least the marathon’s the limit. But if you want to run more, you go ahead. BE FREE!

October 9th to the 12th we’ll all get out there (or stay inside on the treadmill – your choice) and get it done. There’s about 4 and a half weeks until the virtual event, so don’t delay! I’m not really sure what happened to 2015 but it’s on super warped speed and it’s not slowing down. Hopefully our times will reflect the super warped speed effect too – you submit those once you’ve completed your race through the website.

So hey, sign up and let’s get PUMPED together for the Swagtastic Virtual Race benefitting Medals4Mettle. You can save $5 with the code SCOOTADOOT on the $35 registration.

Thank you to Swagtastic Virtual Race for including me in this awesome event. I’ll be following up after my 5k in October and once the swag box arrives.  

Talk to me! Have you ever participated in a virtual race? What are some of the draws for you?