Race Report: Craft Classic Atlanta

Fun times; improvements needed

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Craft Classic Atlanta Half Marathon 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 was excited to experience a new half marathon course in Atlanta, even if I’m usually wary about inaugural races. Overall I’d say it was a positive experience even if there is room for improvement; any issues I had I’m going to assume they were due to first year growing pains. I would like to run another Craft Classic race and would recommend to others, but there definitely needs to be some improvements. Please read my BibRave race review for additional details.

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BibRave Pros representing in ATL!

 

First, let’s talk about what I enjoyed most: the course. Yes, it was very hilly (as are most races in ATL) but it was a nice change starting in the Grant Park area. The Atlanta Half, Publix Half, and Hotlanta are popular half marathons during the year, and I was happy that Craft Classic hit up some different neighborhoods than those. Also, parking in Grant Park was very easy, leaving you very close to the start finish area. I did get there early, but it seemed like there was plenty of parking.

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Another positive was the abundance of aid stations (every 1.5-2 miles) and the use of Nuun, rather than typical Powerade sugar fest. It would have been nice if the aid stations had ice though. September is still quite warm in Atlanta, and it was a particular hot and humid morning. Most of the water and Nuun was room temperature or warm.

Of course, the swag was also great including a pint glass, sunglasses, free race photos, and a women’s specific tank (yay for something other than a tech shirt). My haul looked pretty good!

 What didn’t work?

So, there are two huge things with this race that really pissed me off. First, the schedule and location of the packet pickup was horrible. We only received our ONE pre-race email on Tuesday before the race. Packet pickup was offered that Thursday and Friday in the Buckhead location of Road Runner Sports. If anyone is familiar with Atlanta, getting to Buckhead during the work week for anyone that doesn’t already live or work in Buckhead is like traveling through the pit of hell. The email and race website made it clear that there would be NO RACE MORNING PACKET PICKUP! So I braved the Atlanta traffic shitstorm to get there; the lovely drive required allowed me to listen to the entire Hamilton soundtrack, all 2 hours and 45 minutes of it. Honestly, if a race is going to insist on no race morning pickup, they need to offer more pickup days/times and preferably include some days during the previous weekend, when it would be at least manageable to drive to the store. To put salt in the wound, when we arrived at the race start on Saturday, they had a tent with race morning packet pickup. I guess Craft Classic has no problem paying for my gas and Xanax needed to make it to the in-store pickup?

The second major issue I had was at the post-race party. I have done many races that include beer at the end; I have never needed my ID. A smart person would understand that you have to show your ID to get your bib and your bib has your age on it. But NO! Myself and my group of friends running the race were not permitted to enter the post-race area because we did not have ID. So, this was a beer themed race, where you received a medal with a bottle opener, and none of us actually got any beer.

Again, I’m willing to chalk these issues up to first year mishaps, but they are both pretty unacceptable in my book. Next year, I will be watching the Craft Classic races in other cities to see if changes have been made before I make a decision to run or not. I really do hope they get this together because overall it has the potential to be a great race. There are also not a lot of in-town half marathon options in the fall until Thanksgiving so I’d love to be able to put this on my yearly calendar.

Final Verdict: Fun race and course with some frustrating first year issues. Hoping for improvements in the future.

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What are other BibRave Pros saying?

Chadd | Allen |

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Work Hard, Play Harder: Top 10 Gear for the Multitasking Athlete

Things happening in my life right now:

  • Working at CDC
  • Started full time PhD program
  • Training for my first Ironman
  • Training and fundraising for NYC Marathon

As you can see, I’ve made a lot  of simultaneous life choices that don’t go well together. This isn’t even taking into account that I have an awesome husband who I like spending time with too. With all this going on, day-to-day organization is really important for making it all work. I live out of a gym bag with some essential items that make packing for each day much easier. Check out my first video post for more details! I’ve linked all the mentioned items below as well as a Pinterest board where I’ll keep all of these as well as other great training essentials (and I’ll keep adding!). I did make a few mistakes in the video and have opted to fix them in the list below rather than re-doing the video.

Enjoy!


Top 10-ish Gear List:

  1. Garmin 920XT
  2. Oofos 
  3. XX2i USA2 sunglassesthe 50% discount code is actually ‘XX2iRocks’
  4. Night Runner 270 – use code NRGA2 for 15% off. This is my friend’s affiliate code and she will donate all proceeds to Kilometer Kids!
  5. Body Glide
  6. Generation UCAN – Hydrate, Bars, and SuperStarch. I also mention Salt Sticks which I’m counting as a secondary fuel item.
  7. AfterShokz Trekz Titanium – so I’m a dumbass and don’t even say the name of these in the video.
  8. Eagle Creek PackIt Sport – Wet/Dry locker and Shoe locker
  9. Orange Mud Transition Towel*
  10. Orange Mud Hydraquiver Single Barrel*

*I’m also an OrangeMud ambassador because I LOVE them. Use code AB151-103 for 10% off. If you purchase from these links I get bonuses towards my affiliate account. Any proceed I make I will be donating to the Atlanta Track Club Kilometer Kids Program for our NYC Marathon fundraiser.  

What do you think? Any product questions or additional gears you recommend? Include them in the comments below! And defintely check out BibRave for race reviews. Join us on Tuesdays, 9pm EST for the BibRave sponsored Twitter #BibChat. It’s a great way to connect with runners all over the world and learn about races and products.

*The gear required for balancing life and training is one thing; my friend just wrote a great post about keeping all these big and little life things in perspective. “Making running a part of your chaotic life despite all of its challenges is what makes it hard, but also what makes it the source of pride and accomplishment that you feel bolstered by, and better for.” Check out her post here.

 

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#AwareWithPink:AfterShockz and the Bright Pink Campaign

slack_for_ios_uploadDisclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Titanium Wireless Headphones 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!

You might notice this is the second time I’ve received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz as a BibRave Pro. Please check out my read my full product review. This time, however, the BibRave Pros wear pink! The Aftershokz bone conduction technology are designed to keep you aware of your surroundings, but now we’re spreading awareness in a different way! For every pair of sold on aftershokz.com from September 1 through October, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non-profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness and action. As an eastern European Jew from Long Island (the ethnic and geographic region with the highest rates of breast cancer), I’ve always been acutely aware of the affects of breast and ovarian cancer on my community. I’m really honored to be part of this campaign in support of a couple friends currently kicking breast cancer’s butt!

Here’s some additional facts about the product and the campaign (shared from AfterShokz):

  • Every time #AwareWithPink is shared on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, AfterShokz will donate 25 cents to Bright Pink to help fund their continued efforts to educate the masses.
  • Trekz Titanium Pink are a limited-edition offering designed to keep you aware in more than one way. The open ear design of these hot pink headphones will keep you aware of your surroundings while you enjoy your music and calls, and a portion of proceeds raised from each unit sold will go back to Bright Pink to spread awareness about breast and ovarian cancer.
  • Trekz Titanium Pink are wireless, sweat resistant and perfect for fitness enthusiasts. They don’t go inside or over your ears, so you don’t need to worry about them falling out mid-workout!
  • You can make and take calls, enjoy music or podcasts on the go with Trekz Titanium Pink (all while looking great)! You’ve got the perfect workout partner with Trekz Titanium Pink, and they’ll keep you company for 6+ hours without needing a charge (that’s more than we can say for most workout buddies)😉
  • You no longer have to choose between listening to Beyoncé or your running partner. With Trekz Titanium Pink, you can enjoy the company of both, since these headphones don’t go inside or over your ears and block out your environment or conversations!
  • Trekz Titanium Pink are super flexible and lightweight with their titanium frame, and they’ll stay in place, no matter what you put them through. Handstands? Backflips? No problem!
  • Trekz Titanium Pink are IP55 rated – which technically means you can hose them down and they’ll survive. Don’t go swimming with them, but rain and excessive sweat won’t do damage!

Even my study buddy is #awarewithpink with @myaftershokz #bibchat

A photo posted by Jessica Fun Size (@moore27) on

You can find more about the #AwareWithPink campaign at http://awarewithpink.aftershokz.com/ and https://www.brightpink.org/. When you purchase a pair, apply PINK at checkout for a free hard carry case.

Here’s what other BibRave Pros are saying:

Samantha | Heather | Brenda | Jessica | Angie |

Join us Tuesday, September 6 9pm EST with hosts BibRave, AfterShokz, and Bright Pink on Twitter #BibChat as talk more about breast and ovarian cancer awareness.

 

 

 

 

 

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BibRave Product Review: xx2i Australia1 + discount!

Disclaimer: I received the xx2i Australia1 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!

If you’ve been reading my blog for a few months you’ll know I’m a sunglasses hoarder and a particular fan of xx2i products. Overall xx2i makes great quality sport and casual glasses at an affordable price, especially when you consider the offered discounts (‘xx2iRocks’ for 50% off!). Their warranty and return policy is also unbeatable. This is the 4th pair of xx2i I’ve tested as a BibRave Pro. Check out my reviews of the Bermuda1, USA1, and Hawaii1 to learn more about xx2i quality and which pair (or pairs!) are right for you.

I’ve accumulated a drawer full of these great hard cases

The Australia1 are built for more intense activities. The arms remove easily and can be replaced with an included strap for extra security during intense activities. I only tried it out during a standup paddleboard session but I can see the strap plus padded insert being really nice during spring skiing when a full ski mask isn’t needed. I used the padded insert during a mountain bike session; the wraparound coverage of the frames plus the padded insert worked really well for keeping out sweat and dirt. Finally, polarized 8k lenses make for a very crisp viewing experience without much color distortion; I don’t think I missed a single rock or root.🙂


Final Verdict: The xx2i Australia1 are great for any activity but definitely built for your more intense adventures. They’re comfortable for all day causal wear as well. Strictly on style, I do prefer the Bermuda1 for casual wear and the USA1 for running.

Want your own pair? The Australia1 retail for $125 but you can use code ‘XX2iRocks’ for 50% off!

What are other BibRave Pros saying?

Christine G | Samantha | Jeremy | Jen S |

Don’t forget to join @BibRave and @XX2i on Twitter for the Tuesday night #BibChat at 9pm E.S.T. on August 16 for your chance to win you own pair of Australia1!

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BibRave Product Review: Orange Mud Endurance Pack

Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Endurance Pack 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!

 

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I’ve been a fan of the Orange Mud “innovation from frustration” philosophy since I started using their Transition & Seat WrapTM a few years ago. I become a true Orange Mud devotee after I had the chance to test their flagship hydration product, the HydraquiverTM Single Barrel. You can read my review of the single barrel here and learn more about my hydration product frustrations.  I was so confident in Orange Mud’s Made in America gear solutions that I applied to become an OM Ambassador. I’m honored to say I became part of the OM family as a Am-badass-ador this past month while testing the Endurance Pack!

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I’ll admit, I was wary of testing the Endurance Pack. After testing the hydraquiver design, I never wanted to go back to the bulky, frustrating, and somewhat gross hydration bladder. However, I’ll try anything at least once. Honestly, with the heat and humidity of a Georgia summer in full swing, a full hydration bladder is still necessary for long trail and training runs. Given Orange Mud’s history of creating simple and comfortable designs, it’s no surprise that their new endurance pack sets itself apart.

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Between BibRave and Orange Mud, I’ll own a lot of orange. #OrangeIsTheNewFast

Pros:

  • Orange Mud products are designed to be pretty short so they full tall and short torsos alike; great for fun size athletes and ladies!
  • The pack is simple with one large storage pocket in bag, 2 stretchy pockets in front, and 2 velcro pockets on the shoulders. The stretchy material means you can pack the 2L bladder (included) full, stuff the pockets with snacks, phone, key, jacket, etc. and the whole thing cinches down tight to conform to your body. Whether you’ve packed it full, or light for a shorter run, you can adjust it snugly against you for zero bounce.
  • The simple design allows the bladder to be removed and replaced easier than packs I’ve used in the past
  • The front straps can be moved up or down. If you’re a curvy, fun size lady like myself, this is key to avoiding awkward strap positioning.
  • I wore the pack with a singlet and had to chafing under my arms, and no rubbing on my shoulders.
  • The pack passes the multisport test! I wore it on several hikes, long training runs, and mountain biking. The stretchy, body conforming fit made it easily adaptable to all these activities. I fit all my spare mountain bike gear and tools in the back pocket and still had zero bounce. I’ve been trying to clean out my gear closet and having a hydration pack that can cover multiple activities will make this much easier.

Long run aftermath with @theorangemud Endurance pack and @xx2i Australia1 #bibchat #orangemud #heathillshumidity

A photo posted by Jessica Fun Size (@moore27) on

Cons:

  • Some other BibRave Pros complained that the hose was too long. However, Josh the CEO of OM encouraged our group of testers to cut the house if needed. It wasn’t a problem for me so I let it be.
  • It’s not immediately obvious where to store the hose. There are small loops above the front pockets that I slid the nozzle through and it works well. You can also slide it under the front straps.
  • This is a pet peeve, but the measurement markings on the bladder are impossible to see. I add electrolyte mix into the bladder so it’s helpful to know the measurements so I can mix in the correct amount.

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Final Verdict: If you need a catchall hydration pack for longer efforts, hiking, or mountain biking, the Endurance pack really sets itself apart.

Want to learn more about Orange Mud? Here’s a nifty history lesson:

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Mark | Amy | Erica | Emily | Angie | Heather | Jeremy

Don’t forget to join @BibRave and @OrangeMud on Twitter for the Tuesday night #BibChat at 9pm E.S.T. on August 9 for your chance to win you own Endurance Pack!

 

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BibRave Product Review: Body Glide(R)

Disclaimer: I received Body Glide® 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!

Training for my first Ironman during the heat and humidity of a Georgia summer definitely requires patience and a few good training tools. One of the key training tools required all year, but DEFINITELY during the most humid months, is a good quality anti-chafe solution. I’ve tried various products with differing results, but none as simple, effective, and readily available as Body Glide ®.

I was already using Body Glide when I received my test product but the additional stick was greatly needed. At this point I have one in each gym bag, and an extra in my bathroom. The one in my bathroom I use for application before early morning workouts, and bike rides on my trainer at home. The extras in each gym bag are always at hand for re-application or after work training. If you must know, I apply the stuff everywhere: under the arms (chicken wings anyone?), thighs, butt, neck and shoulder (especially if I’ll be wearing a pack), and under my sports bra straps. I know guys who use it to prevent nipple bleeding. The struggle is real people! See how the Body Glide® ambassadors use the product https://www.bodyglide.com/get-happy/ambassadors/

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Look! I’m still smiling after a 100 mile ride thanks to some well-placed Body Glide(R)

 

According to the Body Glide® website:

  • Not oily, never wet à agreed!
  • No petroleum, no parabens
  • Made with allergen free and plant-derived ingredients
  • Vegan approved
  • Never tested animals
  • Child safe
  • Water resistant à I applied before the Chattanooga 70.3 and it lasted all day, even after the swim and sweating
  • Wetsuit, clothing, and footwear safe à use it on your hands and feet to make putting on wetsuit MUCH easier

Final Verdict: Body Glide® is readily available at most sports stores and running specialty stores making it really easy to re-supply in a pinch. It’s easy to apply, long-lasting, and doesn’t melt sitting in your gym bag in a hot car. Final checkmark? It doesn’t leave your hands feeling gross after application. Give it a shot and those painful after-workout showers may be a thing of the past.

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Caroline |

Don’t forget to join @BibRave and @Bodyglide on Twitter for the Tuesday night #BibChat at 9pm E.S.T. on July 26th for your chance to win Body Glide® products!

 

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BibRave Pro Product Review: UV Half BUFF(R)

Disclaimer: I received a UV Half BUFF® 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!

 So I definitely have an entire drawer dedicated to my collection of BUFF ® headwear. The UV Half BUFF® is the 3rd BUFF® product I’ve reviewed as  BibRave Pro; check out my reviews of the BUFF® Merino Wool and the UV Full BUFF®! I use BUFF® products every day, either to tame hair in the Georgia heat or humidity, headband for physical activities, sweat rag on my wrist, or face mask in the cold, etc.

The UV Half BUFF® is half the size of the original UV BUFF® headwear but offers the same awesome properties (from BUFF® website):

  • Blocks 95% of UV rays*
  • Multifunctional
  • Exceptional Moisture-wicking with its 4-channel fibers
  • Soft, breathable Coolmax Extreme fabric
  • Cool in the summer, extra layer of warmth in the winter
  • Polygiene Active Odor Control
  • Quick drying

The first thing I noticed when I received the Half BUFF® was that it was much better as a daily wear headband than the original size BUFF®. The full size BUFF® needs to be folded several times to work as a headband and it’s a little bulky for daily wear since I have to constantly readjust it from falling off my head.

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I actually prefer the Half BUFF® as a casual wear headband or on my wrist as a sweat rag during activities. I found the extra material on the original BUFF ® provided better sweat resistance on my head during physical activities, and it worked better as sun protection around my neck, mostly because the Half BUFF® was soaked through with sweat much quicker than the original. I actually went crazy on a long run one day and wore an original BUFF® as a headband, another original BUFF® dunked in ice water around my neck, and the UV Half BUFF® as a sweat rag on my wrist. It was a perfect marriage of BUFF® awesomeness and I highly recommend this combination.

Final Verdict: The Half BUFF® is super cute for those humid, bad hair days, and works great in conjunction with other BUFF® headwear products. Plus, there are so many colors and patterns to choose from, it’ll be more fun than catching Pokémon.CnRBZsbWgAAb-Hz.jpg-large

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Bradley |Frank |Bradford |Mark |Kristen |Abbie |Lisa |

Don’t forget to join @BibRave and @BUFF_USA on Twitter for the Tuesday night #BibChat at 9pm E.S.T. on July 19th for your chance to win a UV Half BUFF®!

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11 weeks of pure honesty – Ironman Edition

https://w2.countingdownto.com/1448540

Halfway through 2016 and I’ve already racked up a pretty good list of accomplishments: 14 races including 2 ultramarathons, 1 marathon, and 1 half ironman and 1 week biking across Georgia. To say the least, I was already pretty burnt out by time I made it to the Flying Pig Marathon on May 1. Knowing that I’d have to have a solid training period for Ironman Chattanooga, I allowed myself to have a bit of fun after May and just sit on my base fitness for a while. During that time I biked a lot more in preparation for Bike Ride Across Georgia and my running mileage was pretty low. I’m generally confident with my base fitness and knew that a 12 -week Ironman training plan would allow me to have focused training over an attainable amount of time without burning out.

Well, the 12-week plan started on July 4 and we’re off and running, so to speak. I just finished my first big training weekend, which included a 66 mile bike with 15 minute transition run on Saturday, and a 21 mile run around Atlanta on Sunday. Monday night I enjoyed a great 1hr15min swim in the Georgia Tech Olympic pool (set to long course!), and this morning I fought the snooze demons to make it out to Cobra Camp at Tough Love Yoga (I can do a headstand y’all!). Those snooze demons are tough bastards but the fear of having only 11 weeks to go and the amount of $$$ I’ve already spent on this race definitely wins the day.

Plans tonight include a 40 minute neighborhood run or a loop around Stone Mountain (depending on the mood of my live-in adventure partner). Tomorrow morning starts at Piedmont Park at 5:45am for an 8-10 mile run; I’m excited to test my new Orange Mud Endurance Pack! Given my love of their Hydraquiver Single Barrel (check out my review) I have high hopes for their bladder hydration pack design. The rest of the week is jam packed  (with a rest day on Friday), and a long run and century ride planned for the weekend. Considering that I’m starting a PhD program in 4 weeks, and keeping my job at the same time, I’ve accepted the fact that I will remain in a perpetual state of exhaustion for at least the next 11 weeks. Yay for naps and very strong coffee!

 

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BibRave Product Review: Amphipod Hydraform Handheld

Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra 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!

The heat and humidity is here for the foreseeable future in Atlanta, so even shorter runs require carrying hydration. For longer training runs and races I discovered the convenience of pack hydration but carry a hydration pack seems excessive for anything less than a half marathon. In the Atlanta summers though, it seems that any run longer than 30 minutes requires some form of hydration and usually this involves a handheld. 

I always have various handheld bottles in my house for those runs where carrying one is unavoidable. I dislike them so much though that I try to avoid using them for as long as possible. Every handheld I’ve owned has been uncomfortable; I feel like I have to clench them and by the end of a run my whole arm and shoulders are killing me. Also, the storage pockets in handheld bottles are typically laughable; I’d have to choose between carrying my phone for safety or carrying some snacks. Most grevious of all, my previous handhelds have been impossible to clean. Honestly, there have been times where I avoid looking into the bottle before filling it because I don’t want to see what I’m possibly consuming. 


I arrived home from a vacation to find my new Amphipod Hydraform(TM) Ergo-Lite Ultra patiently waiting for me. I threw my old bottle in the trash before I even opened the box. The Ergo-Lite Ultra is available in 2 sizes: a 16oz and 20oz. I opted for the 16oz since that’s typically how much I need for about an hour of running in the heat. The bottles are made with a lot of great features (from Hydraform(TM) tag):

  • “Large expandable easy-access pocket for essentials with key fob and ID/cash pocket” –> easily fit my iPhone, keys, gel, tube of Nuun, and packet of salt pills
  • “Insulated sleeve keeps fluids cool and bottle/hands sweat-free” –> used it for several 6+ mile runs in heat and humidity and sports drink never got the warm, nasty taste. The neoprene sleeve actually works great as a sweat rag too if you forgot one. 
  • “Patented low-profile Hydraform (TM) bottle ergonomics with Thumb-lock(TM) technology eliminates hand-cramping tension/BPA-free and dishwasher safe” –>The strap is very comfortable and you don’t even have to hold onto the bottle. I let me hand relax and the bottle was just an extension of my arm. Also, the sleeve comes off easily and I hand washed in the sink while the bottle went on the top shelf of the dishwasher. No more nastiness! 
  • “Hydraform Jett-Squeeze(TM) cap for quick-shot hydration/guaranteed leak free” –> I shook the bottle upside down and even fell on it with zero leaks. 

Final Verdict: finally found a bottle that’s comfortable and doesn’t make me question my health and safety. 

Check out other BibRave Pro reviews:

Sarah | Alex | Katherine | Christine | Haley | Samantha | Heather | Kristen |

Don’t forget to join BibRave and Amphipod for our Tuesday night #Bibchat Tweetup on June 28 at 9pm EST. They’ll be giving away an Hydraform Ergo-Lite Ultra to a lucky tweeter! 

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Sometimes you need to let yourself have fun

“The mountains are calling and I must go” ~John Muir

Normally Saturday’s I spend with my Alanta Track Club family at training (we’re reaching the end of In Training For Peachtree 10k). Sometimes though I can tell when my husband really wants to do something. Considering I’m starting a full time PhD program in August, moving to part time at my job, and training for Ironman all at the same time, I’m trying to be a little more cognizant of my time spent with him. He started mountain biking last year and I reluctantly followed because it allowed us to do something together. I’ve always been intrigued by mountain biking but it feels a bit like riding a roller coaster without a seatbelt, and it’s not attached to the track. I want to have fun but I also don’t want to get injured to the point I can’t run or train for Ironman. That would require way too much Xanax. 

I haven’t been on the mountain bike since last October. This spring we’ve spent a lot more time on the road training for Bike Ride Across Georiga (BRAG) and, of course, I need the road miles for Ironman. You can read my BibRave review of BRAG and I plan to write more about it here in the next week (in short, it was awesome!). I could tell after all that, that Adam was really itching to get back to the mountains. With Father’s Day this weekend, it was a good opportunity to get to Chattanooga (where my in-laws live) and get some mountain miles, like a good wife.🙂

I was nervous starting out, but with the shade of trees and a cooler breeze, riding in the woods proved a lot more pleasant than baking on a run in the Atlanta streets. I set out to get a good workout and not get hurt. But mostly, I told myself to just have fun. Let the bike flow and stop worrying for once. Coming off BRAG, I already felt strong and much more comfortable in the saddle. Moving that feeling to the woods felt a lot easier than it had in the past. I think for the first time since I’ve tried the sport I felt like I was “really doing it.” My lines and corner handling was much more confident and, as I set out to do, I had fun! I found myself hollering down some hills and pump tracks like a good little dirt girl. It was beautiful in how little the details really mattered. With mountain biking, riding the breaks in fear can often lead to more crashes. You really do have to just let go. The bike will take you where you need to go. 

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