BibRave Review: Summer Survival with Gatorade Endurance Formula

Disclaimer: I received Gatorade ® Endurance products 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!

MIDYEAR APPLICATIONS FOR THE BIBRAVE PRO PROGRAM CLOSE TODAY! FILL OUT THE APPLICATION TODAY TO JOIN OUR AWESOME COMMUNITY OF ADVENTURERS AND ATHLETES!

I’ve definitely noticed a theme among social media and blog posts from fellow southern runners: we skipped spring and jumped right into the Devil Went Down to Georgia kind of heat and humidity training hell. For many U.S. based runners, the biggest races, particularly marathons, tend to be in the fall. This means that us Southerners have to slog through our longest runs in 90+ degree 90%+ humidity days. Locking down effective nutrition and electrolyte balance for these types of conditions can be tough. I sweat a lot and rely on tons of electrolytes. However, many drink mixes are really sugary and tend to shred my stomach after 5 hours ( not a huge issue for marathons but starts becoming a problem for longer ultamarathon efforts for sure). Enter Gatorade ® Endurance Formula.

In the past, I’ve avoided Gatorade products because I envisioned them as too sugary. Also, when I first started running more than 10 years ago, Gatorade I found on various race courses bothered my stomach, so I just stopped trying it. In the past few years I noticed more major events moving to the Gatorade Endurance Formula on course and it definitely piqued my interest, however, I still felt safer sticking to my own nutrition. Luckily, I had the opportunity to give Gatorade Endurance Formula and the associated Energy Gels a fair chance as part of being a BibRave Pro. Specifically, we tested the new watermelon flavor (who doesn’t love watermelon in the summer?!) and new mango flavored gel (yum!) .

The Gatorade Endurance tagline is ‘Formulated for farther’ and is made for longer, more intense workouts. The new formula as 2 times the sodium and 3 times the potassium of standard Gatorade. However, it has a surprisingly refreshing, less sweet taste than regular Gatorade. This makes my stomach much happier! For a 12 ounce serving there are:

  • 90 calories
  • 310mg sodium
  • 140mg potassium
  • 22g carbohydrates

I mix 24 ounces (2 servings) for one hour, plus I’ll take an energy gel every 45 min- 1hour for long workouts. The Endurance Energy Gel has 20g of carbohydrates and 80 calories. At this rate I get about 260 calories per hour energy, which has proved to be a very happy place for my GI comfort and energy levels. The energy gels are thinner, less sticky, and less sugary than other gels so they’re easy to consume on the move. I’m actually able to eat the whole gel in seconds with no water. In addition, I take a serving of Base Electrolyte Salt every mile which creates an awesome salted watermelon effect; my favorite summer flavor!

Gatorade Endurance Formula is offered in lemon-lime, orange, cherry, and new flavor watermelon, and retails for $28.99 per canister. The Endurance Energy Gel is offered in apple pear, blackberry, vanilla, new flavor mango, and retails for $29.99 per 21 pack.  You can grab any or all the endurance awesomeness at Gatorade.com/Endurance or a local running store. Something very cool I noticed on the website: they sell Chicago Marathon and Ironman specific On-Course packs, including the products specifically used on these courses! For all of you slogging through summer training for one of these events, now is the time to practice your race day nutrition!

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Train for race day nutrition now!

Follow Gatorade on social to keep up with all their great products at:

FACEBOOK INSTAGRAM TWITTER YOUTUBE |

Finally, find out what other BibRave Pros have to say about the Gatorade Endurance Formula and Gels:

Lindsey | Karen W | Lissa N | Katy | Alastair | Joe | Kevin | Amy W | Jenn | Vanessa |

Ang | Meredith | Amy P |

Posted in Product Reviews, Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 11 Comments

BibRave Race Review: Vermont City Marathon

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Vermont City 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!”

PRE RACE

After a pit stop in NY to visit my grandma and hang out in NYC for a day (it was Fleet Week!), I was off to Burlington! I landed in Burlington around 12:15 and was quickly met outside by my amazing homestay host, Erika. As a BibRave Pro, the Vermont City Marathon staff was kind enough to offer home stay opportunities. I gladly took them up on the offer as I’m 1) a poor graduate student and 2) love meeting new people. Erika  was kind enough to pick me up at the airport and take me straight to the expo; I was at the expo by 1pm! The Burlington airport is small, really easy to navigate, and within 10 minutes of town.

For a small town race, the expo is really impressive. It’s jam packed with several local vendors, races, a merchandise section, the bib pickup, and a meet and greet area where Meb took photos and autographs! Meb arrived at 2 so it was the perfect amount of time for me to get my bib, walk around and chat with folks, and then get in the front of the line for an awesome pre-race photo op. I also met Meb before the NYC Marathon in 2016 and had a great weekend after the fact, so I count him as my lucky marathon charm now.

Bib pickup was really easy and the volunteer explained everything I would need to know about the bib and pre-race procedures. I should mention now, Vermonters are spectacularly nice and friendly. Build in extra time everywhere you go because you’ll get in conversations with everyone lol. I also spent some time hanging at the Untapped booth to learn more about their product. Untapped is a Vermont company that creates sports gels, drink, and waffles with maple syrup. Most of their products are organic and have 3 ingredients or less, all of which you can pronounce! It’s certainly a nice change from the traditional sports nutrition products out there. Super yummy too, of course! Who wouldn’t want to run a race with maple syrup?! The owner was really nice, wanted feedback about their packaging, and was very knowledgeable. I can’t wait to use more of their products in the future. We got several gels and waffles in the swag bag but I didn’t want to use too much of a new product in a race situation. I did have some of the waffles and maple aid drink on course without any issues though. Very easy on the stomach for sure.

After the expo, Erika took me back to her place to unpack and organize all my gear for the morning. After relaxing for a couple hours, I met BibRave Pro Vanessa downtown near Church street for an awesome, early pre-race dinner at the Gryphon, an American style pub restaurant with awesome burgers. I think burgers are officially me go-to pre-race meal now. It’s so much fun meeting other BibRave Pros; we communicate so often via social media that it becomes a special treat to meet each other face-to-face. I love knowing I have an amazing network of runners all over the world. 😀 After dinner, we walked around town a bit, checked out the start/finish areas, and ran into some race veterans who gave us some tips (walk the hill at mile 15). I was back at the home stay, showered, and in bed by 9pm. I had an amazing, uninterrupted, 7 hours sleep before the race!

RACE DAY!

I thought about getting uber to the race start in the morning but, being a small town, all the Ubers were still sleeping at 5:30 apparently. I quickly messaged Vanessa and she was able to pick me up on her way into town. We were downtown by 6:15 and easily found a parking spot next to the finish area. Street parking is free on Sundays, and there’s plenty of open deck parking as well. Many hotels in town are close enough to walk, and they offered shuttles as well. My homestay was just a little further than I wanted to walk before the race so having a ride was really helpful. Another bonus? It gets light REALLY early in New England; like more than an hour earlier than Atlanta in the same time zone. It was getting light out when I woke up at 5am and was plenty bright by time we arrived at the start at 6:15. This is really nice for waking up and makes the morning feel much easier.

I brought a drop bag so that I would have dry clothes at the finish to lounge around at the after party. I easily dropped my bag at the bandstand in the middle of the start area and then we hit up the port-o-potties; we found a line of them with no lines too! After a quick BibRave Pro pick with Vanessa and Sam, I self-seeded near the 5 hour pace group about 20 minutes before start time. Everything went smoothly and very little morning stress, besides the lack of Ubers.

My goal was to stay with the 5 hour group as long as possible and break away if I felt good after the mile 15 hill. It was nice starting with a group of people and we chatted for the first few miles. All of the  major hills on course are within the first 15 miles but I found the hills mostly rolling and very comfortable. As an Atlanta runner used to hills everywhere, I found the rolling hills on this course to be very fast with just the right amount of change. I started off feeling great and kicked just in front of the 5 hour group as the energy of the amazing crowds in town and the neighborhoods swept me along.

Between miles 4-8 we ran on a highway section called the Beltline. Unlike most highway sections I’ve experienced in other courses, this section, while quiet from less crowds, was very pretty . It was an out-and-back which made for some good cheering of runner in the opposite direction. I even got to high-five Meb as he was making his way back along the course! The continued energy on course had me quickly breaking my rule to stay with the 5 hour group, and I had pulled ahead of them by time we reached the end of the highway stretch. Everything just felt really good and I kept running comfortably by feel. Part of my brain wondered when the wheels would fall off, especially since I hadn’t run more than 10 miles since March…but I plugged on.

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The course does have a lot of turns in order to keep it sequestered as close to the downtown area as possible. This was really nice since we passed through the center of town several times and enjoyed the crowds there. Other sections of the course were in neighborhoods and it was awesome to see how excited everyone in town was for the race. Everyone was out on their lawns having a great time supporting the race. There were bands, people dressed as T-Rex, kids handing out popsicles, shots of maple syrup, cute dogs, and much more for the entire course. I felt like I had a smile on my face the whole time. Another aspect of the race that provides energy throughout is the relay option. There’s 5 relay points along the course so there’s new runners always joining the course. This means there’s no lonely section of the course. While it is weird to have fresh runners pass you in the later miles (when they’ve just joined the race), it’s totally worth it to have constant companions.

At mile 15 is what I consider the only major hill of the course; about a 4 block climb to the highest point on the course. As recommended by race veterans, I walked this part to save my legs. By that point I was already 8 minutes ahead of 5 hour pace so saving my legs with a nice brisk climb seemed like a great idea. It certainly paid off because the course is net downhill from there and I cruised for the remaining 11 miles, walking for a few seconds at each aid station only. I kept waiting for the wheels to fall off but they just never did. The last 4 miles ran on a pedestrian/bike path next to Lake Champlain. It was a bit quieter, but the aid stations at each mile provided a great cheer section. I passed a lot of people in the second half of the course. Vermont City Marathon uses a cool service called RunPix that shows a graphical representation of your race; from this I found out that I passed 237 runners in the second half, and only 3 people passed me. Very cool! At this point in the race I was for sure going to make my sub-5 hour goal, and realized I could even get pretty close to sub 4:50. I pushed through the last aid station (my stomach was a bit sloshy so I knew I was done hydrating anyway), and was ecstatic when I crossed the finish line at 4:48:14! That’s a nearly 20 minute PR! Considering I had a shit training cycle since March, I think there’s something really wrong with me, lol. My previous PR was also in a race I signed up for with 3 days notice. Oops.

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POST RACE

After crossing the finish line (btw, the finish chute was amazing with a ton of people!), I grabbed a medal, heat sheet, chugged a bottle of water and a chocolate milk, and then grabbed some food. They had typical post race snacks of bananas and granola bars, followed by pizza, and Ben & Jerry’s ice cream (of course!). I stretched for a bit while waiting for Vanessa and BibRave Pro Sam to finish. I then picked up my drop bag, and Vanessa and I went to the Ben & Jerry’s truck to buy MORE ice cream because, duh. I then changed into dry clothes, grabbed a local craft beer (first one free with your bib), and listened to some live music while watching more runners finish. We then walked 5 minutes back to Vanessa’s car and she dropped me off back at home.

To finish off an already great day, my host Erika was kind enough to invite me and Vanessa to a post-race party at the home of one of the Run Vermont directors. We had a great time meeting more awesome people, learning more about Run Vermont, and eating incredible homemade pizza and paella. I think I have most of the Run Vermont crew committed to visit Atlanta for the 2020 U.S. Marathon Olympic Trials.

Overall, it was an incredible weekend, I wish I could have stayed longer. I loved every minute of it, and even though Vermont City Marathon has officially checked Vermont off my 50 states list, I’d still go back to this race in a heartbeat. I especially want to thank Jess Cover, RunVermont’s director of marketing and communications, and my home stay host Erika, for their incredible hospitality.

For more race specific details please check out my review of Vermont City Marathon on BibRave. You can also read BibRave Pro Vanessa’s review here!

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Thanks Meb! I definitely won my own race!

Posted in Race Reports, travel | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

BibRave Review: Multisport madness with Coros Pace Watch

Disclaimer: I received COROS™ PACE 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 Coros Pace is the first multisport GPS watch for Coros Wearables and they’ve produced a very impressive product. The $299.99 watch comes out of the box with many awesome features that makes it highly competitive with similar gps watches on the market. My first impressions were that the watch was easy to set up and pair with a smartphone, it’s super light and very slim fitting so is comfortable for 24/7 wear, and the display is the clearest, most easily readable sports watch display I’ve ever seen.  Previous to receiving the Coros, I was using a smaller gps watch for daily wear/fitness tracking/shorter workouts, and a second full-feature multisport watch for longer efforts and multisport activities. With the Coros I was able to use the one watch for all activities.

My favorite Coros features include:

  • built-in optical heart rate monitor (it even works in the pool!)
  • barometer for accurate altitude and grade readings (as opposed to watches that rely only on GPS for this data)
  • metronome for cadence training
  • Beautiful and easy to read display
  • Easy to use app for quick updates/changes to watch settings, and display of data. I really loved seeing improvements to my cadence and the consistency in cadence during the Vermont City Marathon.
  • Incredibly fast data sync (my workouts sync to the app and strava within seconds after finishing)
  • Crazy long battery life. Out of the box the watch lasted more than a week without charging once.

The complete list of features includes:

Coros_specs

The Coros Pace is a brand new product so Coros has been very amenable to feedback from the BibRave Pros and has made constant updates for improvement. In addition, new features are actively being rolled out including ability to connect with other platforms (i.e. trainingpeaks) and ANT+ capability to connect to speed/cadence sensors (this is rolling out any day now, if not already – I just haven’t had the chance to check).

IMG-3763

SO MUCH DATA!

Bottom line? I really love this watch. With the additional capabilities coming online imminently, including ANT+, I suspect this will be my primary watch for the foreseeable future. It’s super comfortable, easy to use, accurate, and provides fun and useful data. The price point is very competitive with multisport watches with similar capabilities, and Coros Pace even has some improved features in comparison, in my opinion.

Want more feedback before taking the Coros Pace Multisport plunge? Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Jenna | Corey |

Don’t forget to join us this Tuesday,  June 5 9PM ET with BibRave and Coros for Twitter #BibChat to chat about all things running/fitness/multisport and learn more about the Pace watch.

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Vermont City Marathon: Ready to Run!

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Vermont City 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!”

Yes, I’ve been really quiet lately.  I finished spring semester first week in May, had one week to catch up on other work, and then went into a 2 week May-mester course in Data Law and Ethics. A full semester course in 2 weeks forces the blinders on to the rest of your life for sure.  I submitted my final project yesterday a day early so I could fly off on my Vermont City Marathon adventure this morning. I’m now on a 2 day layover in NY visiting my grandmother and maybe playing in the city for a day. I’ve had my first authentic NY chocolate egg creme in a long time so I’m counting this long layover as a resounding success already.

I’m heading to Burlington on Saturday morning and really excited. I’ll be doing a home-stay with a local who’s run the race a few times and has happily offered to pick me up at the airport and take me straight to the expo. Vermont City offers a lot of great housing options around town that make this a super affordable experience. Plus, isn’t it best when you get to visit a town with locals?? I should be at the expo by 1 on Saturday and hoping Meb is one of the first people I run into. We ran into him first a couple years ago in NYC and I had a fantastic race weekend after that, so Meb is now my lucky marathon guy. 🙂

I’m planning to run with the 5 hour pace team (sponsored by SKIRACK) with the goal to PR and go sub-5 hour. Honestly, my training since pacing Publix Marathon in mid-March has been sub-par due to hectic school schedule but I’m still feeling strong going into this race. Weather looks nice and mild and the New England air always feels GREAT compared to running in the south. Overall, I’m just really excited to just follow a pace team and turn off my brain a for once; I’m normally the one in charge of being a slave to the watch.

Speaking of watches, I’ve been testing the awesome, brand spanking new multisport Coros Pace M1 watch the last couple weeks. The cadence metronome feature has helped improve my average cadence by leaps and bounds and I think that will go a long way to running efficiently on Sunday.  I’ll write more about the Coros after the race but I’m really loving the features and it’s gone a long way to keep me motivated and reinvigorate my running and swimming activities over the last few insane work weeks.

As I continue my travels, I’ll post all the updates from Burlington, expo, race day, etc. on Instagram and Twitter. I’m definitely excited to meet fellow BibRave Pros Vanessa and Sam!

Posted in Race Reports, Race Reviews, travel | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

BibRave Product Review: Geared up with the Orange Mud Gear Vest

“Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud Gear Vest 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!”

In case the above Insta post doesn’t make it abundantly clear, I’m a little obsessed with Orange Mud products. I first discovered Orange Mud several years ago when I purchased their Transition Towel after seeing it on a must-have list in a magazine. Shortly after I borrowed a friend’s VP1 to try, and then tested the hydraquiver single barrel during my first year as a BibRave Pro. Since then I’ve also tested the Endurance Pack, became an Orange Mud Dirt Unit Ambassador, and purchased many other packs and gear to serve a multitude of adventures. Orange Mud has created a community of adventurers through it’s amazing, high quality products, and personal customer service.  In many cases, if you have a question about a product or order you’ll be chatting with the owner, Josh, himself. Those facts alone are enough to keep me buying his products even when I don’t really have enough room in my closet anymore. 🙂

Testing the Gear Vest has been awesome. I honestly think it’s the most versatile and comfortable Orange Mud product I own. The pack holds a 1L bladder or 2L of cargo, which is the perfect size for a mid to long distance run, hike, bike ride, etc. I’ve actually been carrying it on shorter runs with my dog as well because I can carry a folding bowl and extra water for him as the days get hotter. Check out all the great features from the Orange Mud site:

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What are my favorite features of this pack?

  • Low profile and snug fit – I have a narrow chest circumference but with large cup size. What this typically means is that pack straps fit awkwardly around my boobs but the side straps can never cinch enough to secure the pack from riding up or chafing. On the Gear Vest, the two adjustable, sliding harness straps allow for easy fit in front, while the side straps tie everything down nice and tight. This pack sits so comfortably and doesn’t move an inch, even when the bladder is empty.
  • High ride and super light – the pack sits high on the back and rides really light, meaning as the ATL heat and humidity creeps up, I’m still much cooler and comfortable than when wearing a traditional full size hydration pack.  I can’t wait to give this pack a try on those summer long runs and ultras.
  • Pockets, pockets, oh my! – Most Orange Mud packs have great pockets. The pockets on the gear vest are now longer and can carry phone, keys, TONS of snacks, salt, extra clothing, and more. For a relatively small pack it’s a black hole of carry capacity. Did you start your run on a cold morning and now you want to stash your gloves and hat? No problem! Also, whether you stuff the pack full or leave home with just a bit of water, the ride is still the same. No shifting! Gone are the days where a hydration pack starts to flop around later in a race as you empty the bladder and pockets!
  • Most unobtrusive bike pack I’ve ever had – don’t you hate biking with a pack when your helmet hits the pack every time you crane your head? As stated above, the fit of this pack is so great it’s like wearing a second skin. No obstruction whatsoever.

The Orange Mud gear vest is available in 3 colors (black & green, black & orange, white) and retails for $109.95. However, get yours and any other amazing Orange Mud product for 15% off using code BRGV15 at www.orangemud.com. Follow Orange Mud on social to keep up with all their great products at:

FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER | YOUTUBE | PINTEREST

The youtube channel is particularly great for learning more about the right product for you and how to find the most comfortable fit.

Find out what other BibRave Pros have to say about the Orange Mud Gear Vest:

Amy W | Stephanie | Lindsey | Rachel | Brenda | Ben | Janelle | Kim | Mark | Melissa |

Finally, don’t forget to join BibRave and OrangeMud on Twitter #BibChat, Tuesday, May 1 9pm EST for your chance to win free OM swag!

 

 

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

BibRave Product Review: Re-invent Recovery with CTM Band

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 find and write race reviews!

I’ve been very luck, especially after more than a marathon a month last year and a 100 miler, that I’ve had good recovery and very rarely sidelined by an injury. I’m very aware however that I don’t follow a good strength and conditioning plan and I’m constantly feeling the effects of minor muscle imbalances. I’m sure I’d be able to improve pace and efficiency if I spent more time on recovery and muscle balance. Enter, the CTM Band.

The CTM Band was developed by a sports chiropractor and former D1 athlete, Dr. Kyle Bowling, as a tool to help limit soreness, and treat or prevent injuries…all in one product! The band combines Compression, Tension, and Movement to aid athletes in self-myofascial release. Think about all the other recovery products in your gym bag: a foam roller/stick roller/lacrosse ball combines tension and movement, but no compression. A compression band combines compression and movement, but no tension. With CTM Band you get all three in one band! And it only takes a few minutes a day.

Here’s more about how the CTM band works:

According to the website, CTM Band can:

– Relieves Muscle Spasm

– Releases Knots

– Speeds Muscle Recovery

– Breaks Up Scar Tissue

– Increases Range Of Motion

– Activates Muscle 

How have I been using the band?

Since the band is so easy to use and only requires a few minutes for each problem area, I committed to using it everyday, whether for pre-workout muscle activation or recovery post workout or rest day. Align the attachments to the muscle area being treated (the attachments are easily removed to treat smaller areas), and wrap the band tightly (without being painful). Then, stretch and move for 2 minutes. That’s it!

 

I have weak glutes from sitting at a desk all day so I try to focus on areas that suffer because of that weakness; hamstrings, quads, calves, and IT band attachment near the knee. I love using the band in these areas as a warmup just before a run; it’s a great way to activate those muscles and I’ve noticed my run warmup time has decreased significantly. No more sluggish starts! I traveled a lot in the last 2 weeks and the band easily packs, taking up little room. Can’t say that about my foam roller. The only negative is maybe the price; at $40 it seems a bit pricey but considering it pretty much replaces all my other recovery tools I think it’s totally worth it. Also, with code CTMBIBRAVE you get 20% off so you really can’t go wrong!

Chime in with your recovery tools of choice, and check out what other BibRave Pros have to say about CTM Band:

Whitney | Mary Jo | Lindsey | Amanda |Danielle | Amanda C. | Amanda W. | Amy S |

Connie | Mike D | Michael M |

Check out CTM Band on their website and social for more info and see how others are reinventing their recovery:  WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER

And as always, head to BibRave where you can Find & Review Races! Join us on Tuesdays at 9pm EST for #BibChat, to discuss everything running, races, products, run travel, and more!

Posted in Product Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Get #AllTheData with Athlinks and BibRave!

Disclaimer: I am reviewing Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review or find race reviews.

After posting tips for getting out of a funk yesterday, I realized that one thing that can help with motivation is data! Yes, one of my tips talked about ditching the tech altogether and I truly believe that running for the hell of it with zero goals in mind is cathartic and a great way to get back to a motivated starting point. However, once there, I live by the life motto of “Keep Moving Forward.” Considering I’m at an analytics conference in Denver right now, it should be no surprise that I’m highly motivated by data. One of the best places to easily track race results, engage with friends running the same events, and set goals and challenges, is Athlinks! For 2018, BibRave has teamed up with Athlinks as a way to connect your race resume (Athlinks) with your race reviews (BibRave).

Athlinks is a one-top-shop for tracking your official race results, set goals for upcoming race, and see how you compare to your friends and “rivals” (which, of course, are sometimes the same people!). Athlinks is free to sign up and just requires an email, name, birthday, and location. These elements allow Athlinks to find all your unclaimed race results! Once your results are populated you can confirm which results are actually yours (there’s several people with my same name and similar age so I often see results that aren’t mine) and your stats populate automatically!

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I’m more excited than I should be about being slightly above average, lol. 

Every time I log on,  there will be a notification if there’s unclaimed results I need to review. Claim those results and watch your stats automatically update. Up-to-date race stats are actually really handy for races with seeded corrals. I make use of the personal records feature when registering for races that require qualifying results for corral placement. This is especially key for the Peachtree Road Race each year, allowing me to typically earn a spot within the first 5 corrals, making for a much less crowded or hot race experience each year.

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A newer feature, at least to me, is the race start list and goals. You can search for upcoming races in the app and add yourself to the start list. You can also publish a goal for the race. For me, I shouted my goal of finally going sub-5 marathon at the upcoming Vermont City Marathon. Athlinks and Vermont City Marathon both tweeted back at me their encouragement! Making a goal public makes for some damn good motivation to stay healthy and honest with my training for the next 7 weeks.

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Finally, a feature I haven’t used a lot but I plan to utilize more in the future is the Discover tab to search for nearby events. I think this feature will come in handy for upcoming travel and finding events in new cities. Let me know if you used the discover feature or any other fun stats in Athlinks in unique ways. Until then, wish me luck on my sub-5 marathon journey!

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Shut up and run: 5 tips to get out of a training funk

Yup, it’s April. Nearly a quarter of the way through 2018 and all those fabulous fitness and personal goals haven’t really got off the ground yet. I get it. We’ve all been there. I’ve been there this year for sure. After running my ass off last year and completing my final 50 mile race of 2017 at 7:30pm on December 31st, I pretty much imploded after that. The only reason January wasn’t a complete mess was due to giving myself a manageable goal of completing the Whole 30. By the end of the month I was the healthiest I’d been in a long time, even though my overall mileage was a bit low. We all need a break. However, since then, it’s seemed that both my professional and personal life have been at a bit of a standstill. I’m staring at the last couple weeks of school wondering how I managed to make it through this semester and seemingly accomplish nothing. Until very recently I felt tired, lazy, and not motivated, in both school work and fitness. I think I’ve FINALLY got off the sad train and found a more positive and motivated track. It took time and the following 5 life updates:

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  • Invest in a high quality planner. Last year I started using a Panda Planner® and it went a long way towards reducing my stress and allowing much better productivity. For some reason I stopped using it and by March this year I was a complete mess. The to-do list was growing at a faster rate than I could cross things off and it seemed as if I would never accomplish any one thing. I finally bought a new Panda Planner, this time the Pro version, and I’ve already accomplished a list of tasks in one week that had been sitting idle since the beginning of the year. ONE WEEK and several pounds of huge weight have fallen off my shoulders. Panda Planner is more than just a planner; their motto is “Be Happier & More Productive.” It’s amazing how appropriate scheduling and affirmations can completely change  your life. I highly recommend this planner but I think writing down tasks and schedule (rather than keeping everything in digital form) is a really powerful tool no matter what you use.
  • Try something new: I’ve been almost exclusively running as my fitness routine since February because of our new doggy. He’s very high energy so taking him on a run nearly every day goes a long way to keeping him happy and our house in one piece. However, my body and mind definitely crave additional activities. I’ve tried to commit to at least one yoga class a week. Strength training has always been something I know I need but fail to accomplish. I hate gyms so lifting weights isn’t something that I have much access to. Yoga provides a decent amount of body weight strength training but I can tell I need something else. For that reason I’ve decided to start rock climbing again. It’s a great strength workout, it’s fun, and it has nothing to do with running or triathlon lol.  For simplicity of gear and accessibility, I’ve decided to focus on bouldering, which does not require any ropes or harness. We have bouldering free for students at Kennesaw, as well as a bouldering gym in midtown near home. I used to love climbing and the strength and power I gained from it, but I haven’t done it for years since I started running. Time to add some elevation to my routine! In addition, I’ve committed to 2 minutes of plank and several minutes of recovery with my new CTM band. Adding strength and recovery allows every other workout to feel better and more efficient. It’s not about time; it’s about prioritizing quality.
  • Ditch the tech: I started doing one run a week without any gps watch. There’s a 5k route from my house around Grant Park that’s safe and appropriately hilly. Running it without any music or gps allows my body and brain to seriously just shut up and run. It’s cathartic and I’ve had some of my best runs with this method. Let’s stop being slaves to our watches and phones and just enjoy the sounds and feel of our feet on the ground.
  • Spend more time with friends (outside of the run): Most of my closest friends are my running friends. However, it’s time to appreciate these friends outside of the run. I’ve realized how much I enjoy spending time with friends just hanging out around town and have tried to make more effort to do so. Looking forward to a friends dinner night every once in a while goes a long way to maintaining those friendships even if you have to step back from running for a while.
  • Try a new activity that’s not fitness related: I’m all about the well-rounded fitness as a way of life, but sometimes our bodies need to just chill. I’m at a conference in Denver right now and spent time with my brother and his girlfriend for a couple days before the conference. They brought me to a glassblowing class. It was an amazing experience and also a reminder that there’s so many awesome activities to be enjoyed that don’t require a pair of running shoes. Home in Atlanta I’ve been trying to attend more meetup events, especially those related to my professional life like Women Who Code and PyData.  I also volunteered at the Atlanta Science Festival. It’s a great reminder that there’s so much happening around our lives and people we have yet to meet. Get out there and engage!
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Glass blowing awesomeness courtesy of my untapped creativity

For me, running is such a huge part of my life. By adding balance to other areas of my life it’s reignited my energy. I found that my funk had nothing to do with running and everything to do with balance. I’ve actually started running more consistently and each run is more enjoyable. Chime in to let me know how you’ve busted out of the funk and re-engaged your life.

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BibRave Safety Month: Motivation through Staying Safe with Aftershokz

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz 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!

The month of February BibRave hosted BibRave Safety Month with partners  AfterShokz and Brilliant Reflective. Each week focused on a different element of staying safe on our fitness adventures including: Be Prepared, Be Aware, Be Seen, and  Be Open. Read all about BibRave Safety Month in this BibRave blog post.

I received the Aftershokz Trekz Air to review in January so of course it made sense to continue documenting how these awesome bone conducting headphones help keep me motivated in the darker winter months through their great safety features. To top it all off, my husband and I adopted a dog at the end of January so I had the added element of a running bodyguard.

#traildog #dogsofinstagram #runningbuddy #trailrunning #bibchat

A post shared by Jessica Fun Size (@moore27) on

Throughout the month I’ve been documenting Aftershokz and SafetyMonth tips through Instagram Stories at @moore27. You can still see some of the posts in my archive and I’ll continue posting my run-ventures here; Safety Month doesn’t just end with February after all! For the whole month I really focused on how Aftershokz are great for safety in all situations, not just on the road. Luckily, I had a great combination of work, school, travel, and day-to-day training to test out different scenarios.

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  • Be Prepared: travel preparedness was key this month. I went to Portland  (BibRave headquarters!) for a conference and Aftershokz proved perfect for both travel and running while in a new city. I have flight anxiety even though I fly all the time. Wearing the Trekz Air with the supplied ear plugs on the plane helped give me a needed cocoon of musical comfort that helps calm my nerves (oddly, my calming music of choice is ACDC).
  • Be Aware: once in Portland I was determined to run my little heart out. Using the RunGo App I was able to find verified routes around the city with turn-by-turn directions, which I could then play through the Aftershokz. No need to continuously stop and fiddle with my phone to figure out where I was located and where I was headed. It was nice knowing I could safely run around a completely new city without getting lost. And yes, Aftershokz do just fine in the rain. 🙂
  • Be Seen: I have several pieces of running gear that I’ve outfitted with Brilliant Reflective strips. I also make sure to wear plenty of blinkies. If you’re running with a 4-legged friend, don’t forget to deck them out in reflective and/or blinkie gear too!
  • Be Open: One of the best benefits of the Aftershokz bone conduction technology is the associated ability to listen to music/podcasts/RunGo directions and still hear people, animals, objects around you. Portland is full of cyclists and othe runners, and the Aftershokz ensured I wasn’t startled or mowed down by fast-moving bike commuters coming from behind.

Want to implement your own safety plan with Aftershokz and Brilliant Reflective?

AfterShokz: Receive a bonus trucker hat with your AfterShokz Trekz Air purchase with code “TRUCKER” at http://bibrave.aftershokz.com/.

Brilliant Reflective: Use the link bit.ly/BRP25 to save 25% off of all multi/assortment Packs.

Follow Aftershokz and Brilliant Reflective on social at:

Twitter: @Aftershokz and @Brilliant_safe

Instagram: @Aftershokz and @Brilliant_reflective

Facebook:  @Aftershokz and @BrilliantReflective

Don’t forget to join BibRave every Tuesday at 9pm EST for Twitter #BibChat to chat more about what’s up in the running world and engage with other BibRave partners, including Aftershokz and Brilliant Reflective! You’ll meet other awesome runners and have the chance to win great prizes.

 

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Running on Air with Aftershokz Trekz Air!

Disclaimer: I received a pair of AfterShokz 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!\

If all you need to know about the Aftershokz Trekz Air is that this is my 4th PAIR of Aftershokz bone conduction wireless headphones, then that alone would probably be a pretty good indication. I keep gifting these magical gifts of music to friends and family and getting myself new pairs. For more on the technology and my previous experience with the Trekz Titanium and Trekz mini check out those posts.

In a nutshell, the Aftershokz bone conduction technology sends mini vibrations through your cheekbones, directly to your inner ear, leaving your ear canals open. This allows you to run, walk the dog, talk on the phone in your car, etc. while remaining safely aware of your surroundings. You can listen to music on your run while still hearing oncoming people, cars, and animals. You can also run with friends and engage in conversation while still having the tunes handy in case you need extra motivation to power up that hill. 🙂

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I’ve never been in the habit of listening to music while working out/running but it’s nice to know that my Hamilton soundtrack is readily available for those days I really need the extra motivation to get out the door, especially during the cold, dark, winter months. There also great for motivation in front of a computer for a workday (and avoiding the loud talker, heavy typer in the adjacent cubes).

There’s some added benefits of the new Trekz Air design as well:

  • improved bass and dynamic sound range
  • 6 hour battery life (honestly, for the older versions and this version I’m pretty sure I get longer battery life than advertised. I haven’t had to charge the new pair more than once since I got them).
  • 20% lighter than older versions
  • The thinner arm design feels more comfortable sitting on my ears for extended periods of time while working, as well as multi hour runs.

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Stay tuned later in the month for a follow-up post about using the Aftershokz Trekz Air to stay safe and motivated during BibRave Safety Month (you can see updates on my Instagram stories)! Until then, you can find out more about these amazing, safe, and magical tune carriers  and purchase your own at bibrave.aftershokz.com. You’ll also get a FREE BibRave trucker hat with code TRUCKER. Don’t forget to follow Aftershokz on social at Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

For your chance to WIN a pair of the AfterShokz Trekz Air join BibRave, AfterShokz and fellow runners for #BibChat on Twitter this Tuesday night, Feb. 13, at 9 p.m. Eastern Time.

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say:

Sara | Alastair | Renee | Jenna | Vanessa | Amy W | Corey |

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