Saturday, June 30, 2018

Can't live without these Shady Rays!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of shady rays sunglasses to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a bibrave pro ambassador, and check out bibrave.com to review and write race reviews.

I LOVE my shady rays!  I've tried many pairs of sunglasses while running including some really expensive name brands, but I haven't been as impressed as I have with the pair I got from Shady Rays!  

Some of the things that have really impressed me:

  • They are shatterproof!  You have no idea how many pairs of other glasses I have used and shattered.  
  • They have a lifetime replacement warranty if they get lost or broken.
  • For every pair purchased they secure 11 meals to fight hunger through feeding America.
I was sent the black emerald signature series.  They are very lightweight, and the lenses are polarized so you're protected from those UV rays as well!  I also love that these don't get caught in my hair when I set them on my head.  I know this sounds silly but its a huge deal when you wear pony tails! haha!  

If you're looking for a great pair of glasses for running, wearing on a daily basis, or any activity, shady rays need to be your go to pair!  They are really that amazing!  I've just ordered two more pair!  You can too and save 50% off of two or more with code "bibrave."






Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Training update! Week 11

I am on week 11 of a new training cycle with my new running coach!  Basically what  I'm working on is building my fitness. Training is hard!  Some days or weeks you feel like everything is going great, you're hitting all your paces, nailing your workouts, then the next week even the easy runs feel hard.  Last week I also developed some shin splints in both legs.  So frustrating for me.  It was about this time last year when my shin started hurting terribly and gave me so much trouble that I had to take some time off.  Then the overtraining led to a stress fracture.  As soon as my pain began I informed my coach and she backed off on all the speed work.  I'm definitely not going to let it get worse this time. We runners tend to just run through the pain and that cost me an entire training cycle last year.

While letting these shins heal I've ran just easy pace runs this week.  They are feeling so much better, but not exactly 100%.  I'll pretty much finish out this week running easy and then hit another quality session on Saturday.  Even on a normal running schedule about 80-90% of my runs are easy pace.  This adds miles to the total amount I'm running, but because of the slow pace there is minimal damage to tissue and muscle, so recovery is basically nutritional after an easy day.  Our body is able to recover faster in order to be ready for the next workout.  When our bodies are able to recover quicker then we are able to add more volume to training!  Running slow benefits our aerobic strength as well as our muscular and skeletal strength, which allows us to prepare for that strain during a marathon too.

Another benefit to these easy runs is that they train our bodies to burn fat for fuel.  During a marathon when your body depletes its glycogen stores it then will start burning fat for fuel. So also remember if you're looking to lose a few pounds, running slow will burn more unwanted fat than running fast! 
So what is my easy pace?  Right now, my easy runs range from 9:39-10:36.  Some days the weather is perfect and hitting the lower end of that range will feel super easy.  On days where the humidity and dew point are high I tend to go towards the slower end of that range.  Trying to hold that faster pace on not so perfect days will get my heart rate into a zone where I don't need it.  That makes the run to taxing on my heart and my muscles and then I won't be prepared for my quality sessions! If you go into every run at the same pace that's not going to get you faster, so backing off on that pace up to two minutes slower than goal pace is ok guys!  If you want to get faster, you have to run slower!

I have my first race on the calendar for June 10th.  Hopefully it won't be too terribly hot.  I'm just going out to test my fitness and to see where I'm at.  I'm hoping I come home with a nice little PR, but we will see.  It will be nice to see if  I've made some progress!



Thursday, April 26, 2018

A Game Changer for Recovery ...CTMBand

Disclaimer: I received a CTM Band to review as part of being a Bibrave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a bibrave pro ambassador, and check out bibrave.com to review and write race reviews.  

In September of last year on my last long run before Chicago Marathon, I fractured my foot.  I didn't fall, trip, or anything.  I just felt instant pain around mile 18 of a 22 mile run.  I had been training all year and had put all my focus into this training.  What I didn't focus on was recovery.  I failed at nutrition, I failed at stretching and myofascial release, I failed at running easy days easy, and I failed at resting.  So coming into this new cycle and preparing for CIM I'm doing things quite differently!  

Today I just want to get into my stretching and myofascial release routines!  When I was allowed to review the CTM Band I was very excited.  I had seen others posting about this band online.  At the time, I was having some pain in my quad and had just began training with a new coach as well.  I began using the CTM Band after my quality sessions and long runs.  It's during those runs that I will notice the most tightness in my muscles.  At first I was using it mostly on the quads because that's where I was having the most trouble.  I noticed a remarkable improvement!  It wasn't long and the quad pain was completely gone.  I now use the band on my quads, hamstrings, calves, and also on the bottom of my feet to stave off Plantar Fasciitis.





What is the CTM Band?  The CTM Band is a new and innovative myofascial release tool used to treat muscle/joint immobility and pain. It's very simple to use.  You simply wrap the band around the area you want to treat, and stretch for 2 minutes!  So easy and so effective!  If you're ready to stay healthy and injury free you've got to try this!  You won't regret it!  

Use code CTMBIBRAVE to get 20% off your CTM Band!

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Running the Alamo 13.1

I was so excited to get the opportunity to run the Alamo half!  My very first half marathon was in San Antonio and I couldn't wait to go back.  This time I would get to run a much more scenic route through town.  The course took us in front of the Alamo and beside the River Walk and those two alone had me sold!

Everything about this race was pretty great!  The expo went smooth and was walking distance from our hotel.  It was a small expo, but still had some great vendors including Nuun which is my favorite on course hydration.  There were also games and things for my kids to do so we really enjoyed it as a family.

On the morning of the race I was up early to eat my breakfast.  For me that consists of coffee first, oatmeal, and a banana.  I will also drink water with nuun, and for bigger races I'll often include a starbucks double shot!  After breakfast I headed to the start line.  I did a one mile warmup through town to test out my quad. A few weeks before this race I strained a quad muscle in my left leg and I was so worried about it.  It was thankfully feeling great!

I got to the start line, met up with some friends and took some pictures in front of the Alamo.  Then I figured I would get one last potty break before the start.  Wow! The lines were sooooo long!  After I finally made it through I had to jump the fence to get with my pacer as the canon was going off! I barely made it!  Then I realized that I had forgotten my sunglasses and this just threw me off.


So the race has started!  I'm fumbling my headphones and music because I was so rushed getting into the start corral.  I finally got everything situated and then focused on my pace.  I settled into about an 8:30 pace and tried hard to hold onto that as long as I could.  I passed a friend coming back from the turn around at about mile 5.  He yelled to me to back off the pace.  I guess he could see the fatigue in my face.  The temps were high, and the humidity and due were high so trying to run a PR was just out of the picture.  That's just something you will commonly face in Texas...So I backed off the pace by mile 7 and just ran comfortably to the finish line with a time of 1:53.


I personally loved this race and course and look forward to running it again next year!  I love the beautiful town of San Antonio!  Always have!  If you haven't ran this race I highly recommend it...and the medal!  I can't forget the medal!  It is one of my favorites!  Big and Beautiful!


Disclaimer: I received an entry to this race to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews







Monday, February 12, 2018

Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas



This past Sunday I ran my 4th Hot Chocolate race.  It was my 3rd time to run the 15k.  I love this race, although it always falls on some of the coldest days!  This year it wasn't quite as bad as previous years as far as temperatures go!  I remember driving over one year and it was sleeting!  This year I think the temps were in the 40s which was actually pretty good.

For this years race I only had about 1 week of workouts prior to running.  I had been building and increasing mileage but I hadn't done any speed work work or goal pace runs so I wasn't real sure what pace I could hold going into this.  For that reason, my plan was not to PR, but to just maintain my pace and run a good, steady, consistent race.  This course contains a lot of hills, and in previous years I would tend to bonk on those hills so I had a goal to conquer those without slowing much.  My long run for the day was 1:20 so my hope was to finish around that time which was about a minute over my course PR.  So technically I wasn't there to race, but I did have a plan.

When we arrived that morning I had planned to meet up with some of the other bibrave Pros for a quick photo, but the we hit some major traffic.  We were there by 7am, but it would be about 8:00 before I arrived at gear check!  I think I ran an extra 2 miles from where we had to park!  Gear check went smoothly though and I was out the door in just enough time to take a quick bathroom break and get into my corral! Within 5 minutes we were starting!



The race went great!  There were plenty of water and electrolyte stops on the course and I was so thankful they were serving up my favorite thing to drink...Nuun Hydration!  So much better than the typical Gatorade or powerade.  They also had some chocolate on the course.  I passed on the sweets during the race though.  I knew the good stuff was waiting at the finish line!



I kept my pace pretty conservative.  I knew the big hill was coming between mile markers 8 and 9.  I hit that hill with ease.  It did feel like I was crawling in place, but my mile split never waivered!  I was so pleased with how I executed that!  After the big hill you're headed towards the finish line!  I crossed the finish this year at a time of 1:20:09.  Perfect finish and medal around my neck!  I love the chocolate bar medals!  1st stop was the hot chocolate and the treat bowl!  That chocolate fondue is delicious and well earned!


This race is just so much fun!  The atmosphere is amazing, and the swag is a nice perk!  If you're looking for race you need to run this one!  You can race it, use it for a long run or just go and have a 9 mile block party with your friends! Registration is now open for 2019 and prices will increase soon so snag this race entry up now!



Friday, February 9, 2018

Afterskokz Trekz Air Review

"Disclaimer: I received the afterskokz Trekz Air to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!"

I just completed week 2 of training!  Getting back into some intense training is exciting!  I was also so excited to get to try the Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones!  These things are amazing! I honestly had never heard of open ear headphones before this.  The Trekz Air have bone conduction technology and they deliver music through your cheekbones!  How freaking awesome is that?  They are also made of titanium so they are by far the lightest headphones I have ever owned!  I was in love with these the first time I took them out for a run!



The headphones are wireless, Blue tooth, and they wrap around the back of the head.  The speaker sits right on my cheekbones, which leaves your ears open for situational awareness.  I love that I can hear my music, talk to my friends and hear everything that's going on around me.  So much safer than the typical ear buds that I used to wear.  There's also no wires hanging out of my clothes!

I've used them on easy runs, treadmill runs, track workouts, hill sprints, and was able to wear them in a race as well.  They stay in place during windy, speed workouts like a champ!

They are so lightweight!  I barely know they are there! The battery life was also on point.  I got through almost 2 weeks of workouts before having to charge them again.  They advertise 6 hours of continuous music and I believe it!  I've always worried about battery life of wireless headphones during a marathon, but I would have no worries with these!




Here are a few other features that I really love about the Aftershokz Trekz Air!
  • They repel sweat, dust, and moisture from workouts or even bad weather
  • Voice prompts guide you through play, pair, power and talk
  • They are very comfortable on my ears
  • Very lightweight
  • Speech is clear when talking 
  • They have a 2 year warranty
If you're interested in checking out the Aftershokz Trekz Air visit this link  http://bibrave.aftershokz.com/ If you decide to purchase us the code "TRUCKER" and you can snag a free trucker hat as well!  

Friday, February 2, 2018

Hot Chocolate 15k Expo

Luci and I had a fun day at the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k expo today!  I was actually shocked to several really good vendors there today!  It's definitely not your typical expo like you would see at a larger marathon or half marathon race but it was still very impressive! We were able to do a little shopping, sample some hot chocolate, and also some chocolate covered marshmallows!

I can't wait to head back tomorrow for an awesome 9.3 miles with my friends! This year I'm just using this run as a long run and will be very conservative with my pace.  I won't be setting a course PR or attempting one.  Just a nice, easy run!

Now let's get to bed!  5:30 comes early!!






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