BibRave The Running Event Product Review: Let’s get Schwifty with Zwift!

Disclaimer: I received admission to The Running Event and products from a Zwift run pod as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Thanks so much to Zwift for sponsoring the BibRave Pro welcome reception at The Running Event Influencer Day! I’ve had the chance to try out Zwift Run and their run shoe pod. It’s definitely a great addition to some winter run workouts on the infamous “dreadmill”. Watch for more:

And now just because…

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say about Zwift:

Corey

Don’t forget to follow Zwift on social:

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BibRave The Running Event Product Review: Recover in comfort with CEP Compression

Disclaimer: I received admission to The Running Event and products from CEP Compression as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Up next for The Running Event Influencer Day product reviews is CEP Compression. I’ve been using CEP for several years and love the quality and comfort of their products. Compression shouldn’t be a struggle and CEP really stands out as a high quality, comfortable, and easy to use brand. Watch below for more!



Don’t forget to follow BibRave and CEP Compression on social!

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BibRave The Running Event Product Review: Find your edge with the Arcanum Edge


Disclaimer: I received admission to The Running Event and products from Arcanum as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews! 

I’m going to be mixing in a few video blog reviews, so here’s one of my first with the awesome activated hemp products from Arcanum Edge! I loved chatting with these guys at The Running Event in Austin and it’s been great testing the Sarco Breeze, Sarco Freeze, and The Quill Products. Arcanum products are made in the USA and a portion of every Arcanum Sports Performance purchase is dedicated to providing and funding alternative health options for United States Veterans. And now, onward to the review!

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All the orange and so much more at The Running Event Influencer Day!

Disclaimer: I traveled to The Running Event and received products products from Addaday, Altra, Arcanum, Brooks, CEP, Handful, Incrediwear, Nuun, Vooray, Vuori and Zwift 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!

There really are no words to describe my experience last week at The Running Event Influencer Day with BibRave but I’m going to try my best. To be honest, I was absolutely stunned when BibRave chose me among the 20 BibRave Pros to attend the event. Maybe my lack of confidence as an athlete got tied to my general feeling that I suck at this blogging/social media thing, but something worked in the end and I got to roll with some pretty awesome peeps in Austin. Even before heading to Austin, just being picked gave me a major boost in confidence, something I apparently needed as I struggle to improve my health and fitness while also complete a PhD. Thanks BibRave just for that alone.

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I may have sang Journey karaoke style shortly after this pic, even though there was no karaoke…

The Running Event is the premier conference and trade show for running specialty retailers. This year, BibRave had the opportunity to bring 20 BibRave Pros to the tradeshow for an Influencer Day jam packed with awesome activities, seeded product from retailers, and just lots of love for orange. In 24 hours I connected with a ton of awesome brands, some new and old to me, visited a new city, sang karaoke when there was no karaoke, and met an amazing group of runners from all over the country. My swag bag was certainly full but my heart was overflowing. Here’s the breakdown:

Day 1: I flew to Austin mid-morning for a lunchtime arrival. I actually crossed paths with my first “orange” friend, Lindsey, in the ATL airport before we separated for a few hours on different flights to meet again in Austin. Most people arrived around lunch and I ended up in the second group of 7 people who met at Austin airport and took Uber to meet up with the rest of the BibRave Pros at a restaurant, our first taste of awesome Austin food. It was really awesome meeting 19 people like we were all old friends even though I had only met 2 previously. Some people like to knock on social media but I think it’s pretty amazing when you have experiences like this.

After lunch we checked into our hotel (I stayed with 3 other awesome ladies) and then we started a scooter gang…I mean, we took Uber scooters across the river to quickly take some touristy pics with one of the Austin murals before heading to the first official TRE event, The Influencer Reception sponsored by Zwift. At the reception we noshed on food and drink while digging into our awesome swag bags including: a pair of Brooks Adrenaline GTSn 19, a pair of Altra Escalante 1.5, and a Vooray backpack full of gear from Arcanum, CEP, Nuun, Addaday, more Brooks stuff (a sweet reflective jacket), Handful, Incrediwear, Vuori, and Zwift of course! Hanukkah definitely came early for me this year. While we were digging into our goodies like little kids, there were 4 “chosen ones” pros who ran the BibRave 5k on Woodway treadmills using Zwift. For my cycling friends, you’ll recognize Zwift for it’s cycling in-home training workouts. Zwift launched a run capability back in February and we received the Zwift run shoe pod in our gift bags. I’ve done one of their virtual runs already and it definitely makes treadmill runs more bearable, like playing a video game. It was really fun to cheer on the 4 “chosen ones” while also seeing the hundred other people, including many other BibRave Pros, running the 5k virtually from all around the world.

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So much awesomeness!

After the reception we had a little time to drop our new gear off at the hotel and then head back out to meet the group at Iron Works BBQ for dinner (gotta have BBQ in Texas!). You could tell at this point that everyone was tired from early travels (I had to walk around the restaurant a bit to wake myself back up) but we were ready for a bit of a second wind at the Brooks after-party at Cedar Street Courtyard. This party has a reputation for being a bit crazy each year. We had free beer and wine, and there was an awesome live band that went through a ton of awesome dance/karaoke songs. Des Linden was also there and a bunch of the Pros got selfies. I was lame though and tried to be a little too polite so I missed my chance. I was exhausted and we had originally planned to leave by 10 but the music and dancing was too enticing! We lasted an extra hour and headed back to the hotel around 11, although some of the group definitely lasted until last call I heard lol. I was pretty exhausted and we had to meet again the next morning by 6:30 for our BibRave run around Austin! Best behavior I guess this time around lol.

Day 2: Up at 5:45 to then take scooters back across the river for our 6:30 meetup time for the BibRave run! Professional photographer Larry Castillo followed us around on a scooter and took some awesome shots too! Austin is a really cool city and they had a great path along the river; I wish I had more time to explore and do some longer runs around town. Hopefully I’ll get invited back to TRE next year and I’ll make it a longer trip. After about 3 miles around town, including a stop at the Texas State Capitol, we made it back to the Hilton. We had just enough time to make it back to our hotel for speed showers and then right back to the convention center for our 8:30 am meetup for the tour of the expo trade show floor.

Tour of the expo: basically I kept calling this a race expo on crack. Take hundreds of vendors (it probably takes more than one day to properly visit everyone) and none of the crowds normally found at a large race expo and that’s The Running Event expo. We broke into two groups and had a scheduled tour of 10 vendors with product found in our swag bags. At each stop we learned more about the companies and the products, and had the opportunity to ask questions. It was particularly helpful for products new to me, such as Arcanum, where we got a better picture of their story and vision as well as the best way to use the products. I especially loved hearing from the ladies at Handful who developed sports bras that look great (no uni-boob) and also do a lot of great work with women with breast cancer/reconstruction/etc. They also showcased an amazing tank, the flippin awesome tank, which I desperately want when I get rid of some of this holiday debt lol. I’ll have reviews of all the products in follow-up posts over the next few weeks.

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Andy’s Group A: Clearly the best group

After the tour we had several hours until the expo closed to walk around on our own and talk to more awesome brands. I finally got to meet Josh Sprague, founder/owner of Orange Mud. I’m part of their dirt unit/ambassador program and I really LOVE their products. Josh is an awesome guy who’s genuinely excited about his products and the people who use them. I really wish we had more time in the expo because we barely made it through half of the room, and even that was rushed. I chatted with several other brands, many of them new to me, and we scored essentially another bagful of awesome products. It was like race expo shopping without all the monetary guilt.

After the expo several of us walked to a burger joint for lunch and then it was back to the airport and home for me that night. Honestly, I’m still kinda decompressing and unpacking the whole thing even though it was all over within 24 hours. Attending TRE with BibRave was an amazing honor and one I hope to earn again in the future. More than all the awesome swag, it was really the amazing journey with incredible people that has made it one of the best experiences. If you notice me rocking orange more often, it’s  because the color gives me such joy. More to come…

Hear more from other BibRave Pros who attended TRE:

Vanessa | Kim | Tedric |Mai | Meridith | Nicole | Corey | Amy | Ryan | Gina

Learn more about The Running Event

Follow Fun Size Athlete on FB…

Visit BibRave to find and write race reviews…

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BibRave Review: Recovery of Champions with iKOR

Disclaimer: I received iKOR 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 had the lucky opportunity to try iKOR, a hemp-based CBD oil, in the weeks before, during, and after my crazy fall marathon extravaganza. Within 6 days I traveled to two marathons in different time zones, so rest and recovery was extremely important to avoid a completely broken body lol. Since I started a PhD program in fall 2016 I have struggled with anxiety and fitful sleep due to a brain that just won’t shut the f up…ever. Xanax is not a long-term solution and generally makes me feel like crap. I have considered hemp-derived CBD for some time as a promising, legal, non-psychotropic alternative to chemical based prescription meds as well as it’s THC-bearing sibling. Enter: iKOR Performance CBD.

iKOR’s mission from it’s inception in 2016 is to “bring the recovery-enhancing benefits of hemp-derived CBD to the endurance athlete community.” As a scientist I’m very much about my own peer-reviewed research and easily found many pre-clinical studies confirming the advertised therapeutic benefits of iKOR including:

  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-oxidant
  • Anti-anxiety
  • Improved sleep quality

As I mentioned earlier, due to stress of school and intense training/racing schedule, I am in need of all of the above. Hemp and marijuana do come from the same plant but hemp contains zero to trace amounts of the psychoactive compound THC and hemp-based CBD will not get you high. #SorryNotSorry. In addition, as of January 1, 2018, CBD was entirely removed from WADA’s list of banned substances in sports performance. Products with less than 0.3% THC, including iKOR, can also be sold in all 50 states.

I received iKOR one week before traveling to D.C. for Marine Corps Marathon; perfect timing! The product is meant to be taken as a daily supplement delivered as 5 pumps under the tongue twice daily (total 10 pumps = 10mg), with extra pumps recommended for athletes during heavy training blocks. I took 5 pumps before brushing my teeth in the morning and before bed, each day for 10 days. For this first week plus, I noticed more focus/energy during the day, and consistent, uninterrupted sleep at night. This was the first uninterrupted sleep I’ve had since fall 2016 I think. The only “weird” side-effect I had was vivid, memorable dreams during the first week, something I very rarely experienced before. The dreams didn’t wake me up or bother me; they were just strange and memorable, i.e. leading up to the Revel Mt. Lemmon Marathon I dreamed that while running the downhill race the road suddenly turned into one of those yellow corkscrew play-place type slides. Wheeee!

After 10 days of use it’s recommended to stop iKOR for 4 days in order to see if you can feel any differences in levels of anxiety, stress, muscle recovery, sleep, etc. My 4 days off was during the week between Marine Corps and Revel Mt. Lemmon, so I’m not sure if it presented a great baseline comparison; I was busy unpacking and then re-packing for back-to-back trips, catching up on work, recovering from one marathon and preparing for another in 6 days, etc. I definitely didn’t sleep as well but the added stress of that week in general probably didn’t help. In any case, I was very happy to get back on the iKOR supplement schedule after 4 days off since I knew it would at least help with sleep, especially while traveling to a different time zone. In fact, I slept great in Arizona in spite of timezone change and missing daylight savings. I’ve tried melatonin in the past and it never worked well, so I’m glad to finally find a product that’s much more effective for me for travel-interrupted sleep patterns.

Overall, iKOR CBD has been a welcome and effective addition to my daily supplement regime (which only ever includes a multivitamin anyway). The citrus flavor is somewhat bitter, but pumping it under the tongue just before brushing your teeth has been an easy way around any taste issues. One bottle lasts about a month with the recommended usage and I just ordered a replacement bottle for 20% off with code BibRave20 (valid thru 12/31).

Check out what other BibRave Pros have to say about iKOR hemp extract:

Ben | Corey | Nicole | Logan | Bill | Kim | Brenda | Bridget | Erica | Shannon | Henry | Ryan | Jen | Mai | Maria | Melisa | Chris | Whitney | Lindsey |

Chime in below if you’ve used CBD for recovery or if you want to know more about iKOR. Don’t forget to join BibRave and iKOR for #BIBCHAT this Tuesday, November 27 at 9pm ET for a chance to win iKOR to try yourself!

References

Pertwee RG. The diverse CB1 and CB2 receptor pharmacology of three plant cannabinoids: Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol, cannabidiol and Δ9-tetrahydrocannabivarin. Br J Pharmacol. 2008 Jan; 153(2): 199–215.

Bergamaschi et al. Safety and side effects of cannabidiol, a Cannabis sativa constituent. Curr Drug Saf. 2011 Sep 1;6(4):237-49.

Russo EB. Cannabinoids in the management of difficult to treat pain. Therapeutics and Clinical Risk Management. 4(1):245-259.(2008).

Iskedjian et al. Meta-analysis of cannabis-based treatments for neuropathic and multiple sclerosis-related pain. Curr Med Res Opin. 23(1):17-24.(2007).

Bergamaschi et al. Cannabidiol reduces the anxiety induced by simulated public speaking in treatment-naive social phobia patients. Neuropsychopharmacology 2011;36:1219–1226.

Campos et al. Involvement of serotonin-mediated neurotransmission in the dorsal periaqueductal gray matter on cannabidiol chronic effects in panic-like responses in rats. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2013 Mar;226(1):13-24.

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BibRave Race Review: Run with Honor at DAV5K Atlanta

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DAV5k Atlanta 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!”
After marathons 6 days apart, including a downhill “ride” at Revel Mount Lemmon that just about murdered my quads, I was very happy to have a recovery 5K last weekend at the DAV5K. From the website, “The DAV 5K is a run, walk, roll and motorcycle ride that thanks those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day.” Not only was it a great way to get back to the run after some long hard efforts, but it was also a great way to honor veterans on Veterans Day weekend. Double win!
New to the race this year DAV5k stated that, “in order to give back more support to the programs & services that DAV offers, the DAV 5K will no longer be offering official timing and Veteran Branch of Service T-Shirts.” I appreciated the transparency and loved that DAV5K is making better use of the registration fees. There are so many timed 5Ks that I think running one that’s simply meant to raise funds to assist our veterans is more than a good enough reason not to have official timing services. It certainly didn’t bother me, especially since I was still recovering from previous races and didn’t expect to run a PR anyway. 🙂
BibRave Pro Samantha and I met up at the start for a few pics, and I made sure to get a pic with the Navy banner to honor my grandfather (in blessed memory) who served on the US Midway during WWII. GO NAVY! Atlanta has decided for the last week that it’s suddenly winter so I was very happy for free coffee and hot chocolate by Community Coffee truck at the start to keep warm. The pre-race ceremonies included a presentation of the colors by the Grady High School JROTC Color Guard, followed by Pledge of Allegiance (never heard that at a race before!), and the National Anthem. The Motorcycle Honor Guard started the race, followed by hand cycles (I only saw one), runners, then walkers. There was also a short course option (~0.8 mile). The finish area had a variety of snacks but I managed to grab a Chik-Fil-A biscuit leftover from the pre-race. You can read my full race review at BibRave.
Check out other BibRave Pro reviews of the DAV5K in Atlanta and other cities:

 

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The Perfect 10: Atlanta 10 Miler

Disclaimer: I’m promoting Atlanta Track Club PNC Atlanta 10 Miler as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!”

On Sunday I ran the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler as my last long run before Marine Corps Marathon (in 6 days!). Obviously the goal was to run comfortably as an easy taper pace. What’s been interesting during this training cycle however, is that with some health set backs, and the Atlanta heat and humidity through most of training, it’s been difficult to notice how much my running has actually improved. An easy training pace opportunity on a cold and sunny morning gave one hell of an opportunity to see improvements though.

The Atlanta 10 Miler is a notoriously difficult course. We’ve got a lot of hills in Atlanta and the 10 Miler makes wicked use of many of them. However, it’s a well-loved race and, in spite of my best efforts each year to just “run easy”, “have a fun run”, I’m on a 3 year streak of setting course PRs. That was DEFINITELY not the goal this year with only 6 days until my A-race, but stranger things have happened. Since I volunteered as a corral volunteer in wave A I was able to start the race right after the A wave runners left. This meant I ran with folks that are normally faster than me at the start. This could normally be a dangerous way to start a race too fast and suffer for it later. However, I felt comfortable at the start pace and noticed I wasn’t struggling and could still hold a conversation with fellow runners. Ok, carry on then.

The two main struggles I had in the race were 1) stomach issues that required a bathroom break at mile 2 and 2) the first real cold morning of the fall which felt very uncomfortable for my lungs. This resulted in me having to walk 30 seconds here and there, mostly on longer, steeper hill efforts (of which there are many in this course). Between those set-backs, my easy-feeling cadence and effort had me maintaining anywhere from a 9-10 min pace. Each mile ticked by and I realized I was hitting the mile markers below 10 minute average, which would easily put me not only at a course PR but at a 10 mile PR in general. I stopped quickly to hug/kiss one of my running besties and track club coach Amy at the last water stop in mile 9 and then booked it to the finish for a 9:47/mile average finish at 1:37:47, nearly 7 minutes faster than last year. Huzzah! (oops). I’m feeling cautiously confident heading to Marine Corps since temps will be similarly cool (although it might rain, i.e. freezing rain?!). I’m also planning to run the race with 2 training buddies and think that’ll help when I need an extra confidence boost during the race. I’m still a little paranoid though since it’s been a few weeks since I’ve had a bad run and afraid I might be “due”. Yikes! I’m planning to hydrate like crazy and try to eat for success this week all with the thought, “I’ve worked hard and don’t want to waste it!”

Overall, Atlanta Track Club PNC 10 Miler is one of my favorite events of the year and it’s surely staying on that list now. The track club does an amazing job managing the race and making it a standout, fun event. The signs of “encouragement” on the cardiac hill challenge section were certainly on point.  Check out my full race review at BibRave.com. If you want to track me on Sunday at Marine Corps head here!

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BibRave Review: NOW Get Fit with NOW Sports BCAA Big 6

“Disclaimer: I received an NOW Sports BCAA Big 6 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!”

Besides protein powders from time to time, electrolyte supplements, and prescribed iron supplements for anemia, I’ve never been one for supplements. In fact, most vitamins required for good health are readily available in a well-balanced diet. However, as an endurance athlete who treats my body with reckless abandon quite often, I’ve wondered whether there were worthwhile supplements for my level of activity. It turns out, branch chain amino acids (BCAAs) are important for muscle recovery, especially before/after high impact workouts and they are not produced naturally by the body. As such, I was glad to try NOW Sports BCAA Big 6 as part of my current nutrition and workout routine.

From the NOW Foods website:

“BCAA Big 6 is an advanced caffeine-free sports supplement formulated to support exercise endurance and recovery from intense workouts.* BCAA Big 6 features branched-chained amino acids (BCAAs) to support muscle retention and recovery, and betaine to help maintain fluid balance during exercise.* BCAA Big 6 also has taurine, which can further support endurance.* BCAA Big 6 includes L-citrulline and L-glutamine to complement this formula.”

While diet and nutrition science peer reviewed research is a bit inconsistent in many areas, I did find from several sources, including the Journal of Nutrition, that BCAA leucine is an important macronutrient that aids in several metabolic processes (Layman, 2003). Dr. Stacy Sims, an exercise physiologist and nutrition scientist, who specializes in research on sex differences in endurance sports and nutrition (and a recent guest on the BibRave Podcast), recommends BCAAs before and after hard workouts, especially during the training period just before menstruation.

As a BibRave Pro I’ve had the opportunity to try both the watermelon and grape flavors. Both are tasty, although the watermelon was a bit strong tasting to get used to at first. I found that both flavors mix best with ice and cold water (the ice helps mix the powder completely so you don’t end up with a chalky taste, although a shaker bottle would do just as well). I also tried it once in my soda stream water. This caused a bit of a science experiment volcano but was really yummy after everything settled down. I’ve been trying to drink at least one serving per day, specifically before, during, and/or after hard runs and bike workouts. I’ve noticed drinking it before a long run has been associated with less hunger cravings/stomach issues during the run. Overall, my muscle recovery seems fast but, honestly, I’ve always had pretty fast recovery considering how much I pound my legs.

Other interesting factoids from NOW(R) Sports:

  • They’re third-party certified via Informed-Sport for added product purity assurance. The Informed-Sport program certifies that their products have been tested for more than 200 banned substances by their world-class sports anti-doping lab.
  • They’re one of the few brands of natural sports products that does not use any artificial ingredients, including artificial sweeteners, colors, or flavors.
  • It’s vegan and caffeine free

NOW Sports BCAA Big 6 retails $49.99 for a 600g canister. Want to try BCAA Big 6, too?! You’re in luck! Use code 20NOWBCAA on Amazon.com until Nov 15 for 20% off both varieties.

Follow NOW Foods on social at:

FB/IG: @nowfoodsofficial

Twitter/Pinterest: @nowfoods

Don’t forget to follow NOW Foods and BibRave on Twitter and join us at 9PM EST on Tuesday, October 30 for #Bibchat for your chance to win free product!

See what other BibRave Pros are saying about NOW Foods BCAA Big 6:

Deanne | Logan | Danielle | Juan| Ann | Corey | Katy C. | Angie | Amy S.| Lindsey |

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

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Looking forward to 5K

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 2018 DAV 5K Atlanta as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

It’s either hilarious or perfectly convenient that the week after my best 22 mile training run ever would have me back to feeling pretty crappy. In any case, it’s all up to the calendar and learning how to adjust my training, nutrition, stress levels, etc. according to the calendar is actually a positive result of some of the crappy health issues this year. Imagine that…it’s important to listen to your body. 😛

Since I had such a surprisingly strong 22 mile training run on Saturday I’m not super concerned about falling short of my training marks this week. It’s taper time anyway and I’m gonna earn it, whether due to feeling like crap or just not feeling it in general. The hard miles are finally done and I’ll be happier showing up to the start line well-rested and, hopefully, feeling healthy. With that said, no matter how bad I feel, getting the endorphins going is still a very important part of my daily routine and a key element towards my mental productivity. Even when I’m feeling less than great, getting in an easy 5k at minimum around Grant Park greatly improves the rest of my day. Every time I run that 5k loop I think, “I should do more 5k races.” The loop around the park is nice and hilly so it’s a great training ground to increase my 5k speed and strength.

With all that in mind, it was really fortuitous to get invited as a BibRave Pro to run the DAV5k Atlanta on November 10. I wouldn’t normally be excited about a 5k but here’s why:

  • It’s in Piedmont Park – easy access for me. I can ride my bike to the race!
  • It’s after marathon season – it’ll be great to run a fun race that doesn’t take half the day
  • The DAV5k is a national series to “run, walk, roll and motorcycle ride that thanks those who served and raises awareness of the issues our ill and injured veterans face every day”. After competing Marine Corps, it’ll be great to continue running in honor of our veterans.

The DAV5k Series will be held:

  • Kemah, Tulsa on November 3
  • Newport News on November 4
  • Atlanta, Boston, Cincinatti on November 10

You too can run to support veterans by using code BIBRAVE4DAV5K for 20% off registration!

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Marine Corps countdown and looking forward to the “Perfect 10” at the Atlanta 10 Miler

3 weeks from today I’m leaving on a jetplane to DC for the Marine Corps Marathon. I think my previous posts have made it clear that this has been a difficult training cycle but overall I’m feeling strong and excited for race day. In general, I’m just ready to go and be done with training lol. Our last long run of 22 miles is tomorrow and it’s still going to be 90 degrees even though it’s October! Atlanta either missed the message that it’s fall or it’s just drunk AF. Either way, I’m ready.to.be.done.

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Running buddies make the suffering a little better

Luckily after tomorrow, the next 2 weeks of training line up nicely with 2 awesome events. First up will be The Race inaugural half marathon presented by the Unity Collective. The Unity Collective is “a collaboration of running community leaders, vendors, and supporters united to host a road race that supports black owned businesses, runs through historically black neighborhoods, makes a positive impact with charity and service, and garners massive national support from the African-American running community.” This is an event that the Atlanta running community has been buzzing about for a long time and it’s being organized by some of the most incredible running organizers in the city. My running blog friend, Elizabeth, is also coming from Portland and staying with us for the weekend to be a pacer for the event, woohoo!

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After another unplanned course PR at the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler in 2017

My last effort before Marine Corps will be the Atlanta Track Club PNC Atlanta 10 Miler! The 10 miler is a tough, hilly course in typical Atlanta fashion, but it’s always a huge crowd pleaser. I’m always surprised each year (after telling myself I’m gonna have fun and go out easy) that I set a course PR. It’s become a bit of an unsustainable trend but I’m always a glutton for punishment. Considering I’ll be in taper mode and will have Marine Corps a week later I should commit myself to easy pace but not guarantees I’ll tame the beast lol. The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler really is the “Perfect 10” so here are my 10 favorites from the race:

  1. Weather: running in October in Atlanta is usually pretty awesome (even if this year is proving challenging)
  2. Discounts: the 10 miler starts and finishes at Atlantic Station, home to tons of awesome shops and restaurants. Many of these vendors have partnered with the race to offer discounts on food and shopping. I’m definitely excited about 10% off post-race ice cream at Kilwin’s!
  3. Cheer Zones: Atlanta Track Club does a great job recruiting local schools and organizations to set up cheer zones along the course. Coupled with the groups manning the aid stations, the course has great support. My favorite cheer zone every year is the Atlanta Roller Girls; they go all out on their costumes for sure!
  4. Cardiac (Down)Hill Challenge: We all know the infamous Cardiac Hill from Peachtree Road Race. The 10 miler course also runs Cardiac Hill but last year they changed it up; it runs DOWNHILL! There’s a king and queen of the downhill challenge with awesome prizes for the top 50 men and top 50 women.
  5. Access: there’s a shuttle from the closest MARTA station (or you can walk the mile) or parking is in abundance in the cavernous underground deck. Free parking race morning as well.
  6. It’s part of the Triple Peach: The Triple Peach is a great challenge that involves running Peachtree Road Race on July 4, the PNC Atlanta 10 Miler in October, and the Atlanta Half on Thanksgiving. Runners who complete the challenge get extra swag included special medal, shirt, and a mini pie at the end of the half marathon.
  7. It’s part of Atlanta Track Club Grand Prix: there’s approximately 10 events per year towards Grand Prix points and possible prizes. There’s also a special prize for people who do all Grand Prix events in a calendar year.
  8. Hills! I know, I know; people love to moan and grown about hills. However, if you live and run in Atlanta, why waste precious resources? The PNC Atlanta 10 Miler course is great preparation for other fall races, including the Atlanta Half on Thanksgiving. So don’t knock it before you try it. You’ll feel awesome when you finish, promise!
  9. Running on Peachtree: the course doesn’t spend a ton of time on the iconic road but any time you get to run in the middle of Atlanta’s most famous road is a treat.
  10. 5k: For your friends and family who want to hang but not interested/ready in the longer/hillier course, there’s always the awesome 5k option.

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