Tuesday, November 13, 2018

5 Reasons to Conquer the Bridge: Savannah Bridge Run

I’m promoting the Savannah Bridge Run 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 December 1st, runners will descend upon the beautiful Southern city of Savannah, GA with one goal in mind. CONQUER THE BRIDGE. Here's just a few reasons of why you should join them for the Savannah Bridge Run


1. Running over a bridge, especially a huge one, is just plain cool. Have you ever ran over a bridge over a huge river before? I've done it a couple of times now (Cooper River in Charleston and Allegheny River in Pittsburgh) and let me tell you, it's pretty awesome. The views are magnificent and there is something just beautiful and calming about being high up over the water like that even during a race. Plus, for the rest of your life you can point to the Talmadge Bridge and say to your friends and family - "Guess what, I ran over that" and revel in their ooohs and ahhhs. 

Pic taken at RnR Savannah - 11/3
2. Savannah is BEAUTIFUL, especially on foot. Close your eyes and picture an imaginary city in the deep south. Marsh-lined beaches, palm trees, grand oaks draped with Spanish Moss, beautiful old homes, charming parks with statues and grand fountains, quaint riverfront areas with shops and amazing seafood and soul food. Except this isn't imaginary, it's Savannah. It is practically oozing with Southern Charm and beauty. 

3. Savannah is one of the most welcoming cities for runners I have ever experienced. I recently ran the Rock n Roll Savannah races, and seriously, the town was THE BEST. There were cheer squads the ENTIRE route of the Half Marathon. People handing out supplies like water, snacks, tissues, heck, I was offered at least 5-6 beers in the last 2 miles alone. And not by course volunteers (though there were plenty of these as well) but by kind spectators. Savannah truly lives up to it's nickname as the Hostess City of the South.

4. The Savannah Bridge Run has race options for every type of runner. No matter your level, there is an option for you. Wanna cross the bridge once? Run the 5K. Want to cross it twice? There's a 10K. Still have more in you? Boom, run the Double Pump Challenge, both the 5K and the 10K for 3 awesome bridge crossings. Need an even bigger challenge? There's even a Rucking division! Want to involve the whole family? There is a FREE kid's challenge, and though it does not go over the bridge the kids get their own awesome medal when they cross the finish. 

5. The Savannah Bridge Run SWAG/Finisher Rewards are straight up AMAZING!

Here's what you get:

All 5K, 10K and Double Pump participants receive the following:
  • Awesome Finisher medal
  • Long sleeved participant shirt 
  • Access to the Post-Race Party for beer and live music
  • Brunswick Stew
  • Virtual SWAG Bag
  • Bragging rights that you completed the South's toughest Bridge Run!
  • *5K runners will get a complementary shuttle ride back to the Post-Race Party area

Unfortunately for me, I am unable to attend this year's Savannah Bridge run due to a conflicting family schedule, but I'm for sure adding it to my 2019 list. Don't you miss out too! 

Register >> http://SavannahBridgeRun.com and get 20% on your entry with discount code "BIBSAV20". You can also get more information and see course maps plus helpful links for planning your trip to Savannah. 


Sunday, November 11, 2018

Walking on Clouds: OOFOS Recovery Sport Sandals

Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOFOS OOriginal Sport Sandals to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.comto review find and write race reviews! 
I've been a big fan of OOFOS Recovery Sandals ever since I received my first pair back in April of 2017, back before I was a BibRave Pro when I won a pair as a part of a BibChat. (You can see my blog post about them here: https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2017/05/for-love-of-oofos.htmlSince then, I have worn them religiously, especially after long runs. Their specially designed OOFoam provides amazing arch support, impact absorption and are oh so comfortable. 

Packing the essentials
Seriously, I love these sandals. They are one of the first things that I pack for race day, not just for out of town races, but even local ones. I've been known to change into them before leaving a race. Heck, I've even worn them up on the occasional podium because I just couldn't wait to relieve my feet after a race. 

This Fall, I've had several (maybe even a few too many) races and have therefore been putting in a lot of miles. 

OOFOS overlooking Carowinds
One day after I had just done a 11 mile training run, my little asked me if we could go to the local amusement park (Carowinds - we have season passes) for the day. Let me tell you, the LAST thing I wanted to do on my long run day was to walk around for hours on sore feet. I almost said no, but rather than break her cute little heart, I slipped on my OOFOS and went anyway. 5 hours on my feet on flat concrete after an 11 mile run were no match for my OOFOS. 

So yeah, if you have ever considered purchasing a pair of recovery sandals, but haven't for some reason, I say to you wait no longer. You will not regret these. There is a reason they are sold at almost every local running store. And everyone I know of that has a pair raves about them. I've had a few now, and I will continue to purchase OOFOS for years to come. 

Want to #FeelTheOO for yourself? Check out their website: www.oofos.com 
And be sure to follow them on Twitter: @oofos
And Instagram:@oofos

Cushioning my feet between races last weekend


And be sure to follow me as well if you do not already: Twitter, Instagram

Friday, November 9, 2018

Rocking n Rolling in Savannah: Part 2

And now for Part 2 of my EPIC ROCK N ROLL SAVANNAH ADVENTURE!! Did you miss Part 1? Find it here - https://runnerdgirl.blogspot.com/2018/11/rocking-n-rolling-in-savannah-part-1.html



Just a reminder - Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah half marathon 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 Day 2 of Rock n Roll Savannah would have the 5K and the 1 Mile race. The races didn't start until 1 pm, so there was no reason to set an early alarm (YAY!) plus, it was actually the start of Daylight Savings which means I get even MORE sleep. It was AWESOME and much needed. I think it was the first time I've ever started a race, especially and out of town race, so well rested. 

With that said, I had never spent time in Savannah before, so my friends insisted that we head down to the Waterfront area and tourist it up a bit. It was beautiful. We leisurely strolled around on the cobblestone streets and checked out cute shops. It was just like I stepped into a Southern Living Magazine. After shopping and snacking our way along River Street, we headed back to our car to head over to the Savannah Banana Stadium.

I'll say that again. Savannah Banana. That is seriously the name of their baseball team. I love it! Okay, so it is actually called William Grayson Stadium, but yeah, it will be known in my heart as the Savannah Banana Stadium. Sorry Mr. Grayson.  




Parking was a breeze. Since it was held at a baseball stadium, there was parking a plenty. Plus, there were a lot less people running the Day 2 races. There was a small festival area set up around the stadium and pre-race the bathrooms and the stadium were open. The finish line was inside the stadium, so spectators could sit in the stands and cheer on the finishers. 


Ready for the 5K
Four of our group ran the 5K and 2 of us also ran the 1 Mile afterward. We put on our wristbands, which we received at the Expo, to pick up our Remix Medals after we finished. These medals went to anyone running a Saturday race (either Full, Half or Relay) and a Sunday race (either 5K or 1 Mile). Additionally, if you ran both the 5K and 1 Mile like I did, you completed the Sweet Georgia Pie Challenge which scored you a Pie! (I was very excited about this). 

Okay, so race time. Much like the Half, the start line of the 5K was very well organized with well marked Waves. It was a rolling start where the first wave was released and then whenever you made it to the start, you went, not official other Wave starts. I hit the timing mat and was off. Unlike the Half, I did have a goal of hitting a PR on the 5K. I had a bit of trouble getting out of the crowd at first, but it cleared fairly quickly.


Along the 5K and 1 Mile Course
The route was again beautiful. You ran through a beautiful residential area with huge oak trees draped in Spanish Moss and cute little gardens all over. The course had several turns and I have a terrible sense of direction, so quickly lost track of where I was, but had no issue following the course. There was a water stop halfway through which I passed. They were handing out full water bottles instead of cups which I thought was a bit clunky, especially for a 5K. 

The 5K finished in the baseball stadium which was a bit awkward because you had to run into the stadium and through a side gate with a bit of a step down in to sand, but there were race volunteers warning about the step down, so it wasn't really an issue. 

I checked my watch as I crossed the finish line and I knew it would be a squeaker whether or not I hit my goal But alas, I missed it by 3 seconds with a 26:53 finish. Much like the Half, there were plenty of volunteers handing out the cute medals (the 5K was a Trolley, keeping with the transpiration theme) and again there were pretzels, trail mix and water bottles given out.  I waited for my friends to finish, got my free finisher beer, picked up my Remix Medal and refocused for the 1 Mile which started at 2:30 pm. I had about an hour in between. 


And then there were 2
There were even less people running the 1 Mile, so there were no waves, just one big start. Timing started when you hit the mat. Even though over the last 2 days I had already put in 16 miles, I gave that last mile my all. It followed basically the same course of the 5K leaving the stadium/park area and then doing a hairpin turn back into the area and finishing the same as the 5K, inside the stadium. I think frustration fueled a bit of that final mile and finished under 8 minutes with a 7:58 mile. The 1 Mile medals were Riverboats. Volunteers again gave me trail mix and pretzels. My friends who didn't race the 1 Mile were cheering in the stands and we found them quickly. 

With my 5K and 1 Mile bib in hand, I headed over to the Pie Society booth to claim my hard earned pie. You could choose either Peach or Apple and, since we were in Georgia, I of course picked Peach. 


PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE PIE

All in all, it was an absolute amazing weekend with amazing friends and amazing races. I highly recommend this race to anyone wanting a fun and well organized race experience. We are already  making plans to return in 2019. I have unfinished 5K PR business... 



Rocking n Rolling in Savannah: Part 1



Wow! What a weekend I had last weekend. Is there anything better than combining a Girls Weekend and a Race Weekend? Can't think of many things. Last weekend, a few of my running besties and I tacked Rock n Roll Savannah. Here's how it all went down:

First off, this was my first, not only Rock n Roll Savannah race, but my first Rock n Roll race in general. A few of my crew had run this race before and highly recommended it, so when I had the opportunity as a BibRave Pro to run it (Disclaimer: I received a free entry into the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah half marathon 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 jumped at the chance. As a BibRave Pro, I signed up for the Half Marathon. I then decided to sign up for the 5K (to earn the Remix Medal) and also the 1 Miler (cause the Sweet Georgia Pie Challenge). The other members of my group signed up for the following - 1 the Half Marathon, 1 the Half Marathon and 5K, 1 the Relay and the 5K and 1 the Relay, 5K and 1 Mile. 

The Crew!
Signing up for the race was a breeze. Like most races, the earlier you registered, the less expensive and there were ample discount codes, including a $15 off one from BibRave. Emails were aplenty from the Rock n Roll team and I always felt like I knew what was going on. One of our group's MIL lived in the Savannah area (right off Tybee Island) and she was gracious enough to offer us a place to stay, so that was super lucky. 

The 5 of us road tripped down to Savannah a bit after noon on Friday to make the 3.5 hour drive to the Expo, held at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center. It was super easy to get to (the previous year there had been some construction that caused issues) and we arrived around 4:00. There were attendants to help with parking, but there were ample spaces. 

The Expo was super well organized. The packet pick up area was large and had great signage. The race had sent out your bib numbers the week before so as long as you had those (which we did) you walked straight up to the correctly numbered table and got your bib. Those of us who were running multiple races were also given a wrist band to collect our Remix Medal after the 5K on Sunday. After bibs, you took your bib to the area for shirts and they tore the tab off your bib and gave you your shirt. There was an exchange area for you to change out your size if necessary. The shirts were a bit snug, so I'm glad I traded up. It was super easy, barely and inconvenience. 

Look, it's ME!!
After we had all our race items, it was time to make your way through the shopping portion of the Expo. The largest part of the Expo, at least half of the space, was occupied by Brooks, who was the official merchandise partner. There were all kinds of cool shirts, gear, and souvenirs specific to the race. The one cool thing my friends and I flocked to was the walls where all the participants names were listed. That was fun to see. On the other half of the Expo were smaller booths from other sponsors and vendors. We all got temporary tattoos from the Toyota booth. One of my friends bought some sunglasses and socks and I purchased a pair of CEP compression socks (they had orange ones!!). It was neat to check out the Rock n Roll area that displayed all the medals for Heavy Medal participants (multiple races per year) and overall, it was a decent Expo. My only complaint would be that there were no food vendor and no food samples. Otherwise, easy peasy to get in, get our stuff and get out. 

We headed to our home for the weekend, had dinner and tucked in early for our Half Marathon in the morning. Of course I had to lay out my gear before hand.

Ready to Race!
First thing we tried to do the next morning was book and Uber to take us to the race. We didn't want to bother with navigating the closed downtown streets and parking. It must have been that many had this same idea as no drivers were available! After a brief panic, our kind host offered to drive and drop us off at the race. She was able to get pretty close even with lots of the streets closed and we only had to walk about 3 blocks to the start area. The area was really well organized with lots of PortaPotties and the Waves were well marked. We were all in either 5 or 6, so we decided to line up at the back of Wave 5. It was a bit chilly (about 50) so we waited for race time inside a parking deck just around the corner to keep out of the wind. I knew I'd warm up as soon as I started running so I opted for short sleeves with easily to remove Buff arm sleeves. 

The race started right on time, immediately after the singing of the National Anthem, the first Wave was released and each Wave made their way continuously to the start. When I arrived to the start, I took off as I hit the start mat and didn't have too much trouble getting out of the crowd as the waves were broken up nicely (I think I heard someone say there were 16 waves. My friends and I kinda scattered at this point to run our own races, but I knew I would be seeing one of my girls at the 7 mile mark as she was the second leg of the Relay, so that was nice to look forward to. 

So pretty! And look at all the spectators!!
I really enjoyed the course. Savannah is literally what you would expect a city in the deep south to be. Charming, beautiful, draped in Spanish Moss and pretty darn flat. And the people of Savannah were super kind and gracious to the runners. It truly lived up to it's nickname of Hostess City of the South. There were people on the side of the course cheering THE ENTIRE ROUTE. I have never run a race where that has happened before. And not only cheering (which let me say just how many sweet older ladies I saw ringing bells and waving, so cute), but offering things as well. Impromptu aid stations, with things like boxes of tissues (which, by the way AMAZING thing to offer, had never thought about it or seen it on course before, but OMG, tissues!!), water, food, and I swear I ran past 4 or 5 groups offering beers in the last 2 miles alone. If you feed off crowd energy, HIGHLY recommend Savannah Rock n Roll. The parts through the downtown area were absolutely beautiful. The only part I wasn't a fan of was the conditions of some of the older roads, running on brick and large cracks in some areas were not my favorite, but it was only an issue briefly. 

On course aid stations were plentiful and had Water and Gatorade Endurance. I don't carry during a race, so I took advantage of each station (except the last) and alternated Water an Gatorade. There were also a couple stations that handed out gels, but I bring my own, so I did not take any of these, but it was nice that they did. 

As far as my race strategy, I had planned to take it conservatively. I wasn't aiming for a PR because I had just set a new one in the Spring, and a few times, I purposely slowed my pace, esp early on. But by mile 10, I realized that if I had a good last push, I would PR. I felt good, so I picked up speed. I ended up crossing the finish at 2:05:26 - an almost 2 minute PR. Made me wonder if I had run more aggressively earlier, could I have hit a sub-2? Maybe next year... 

At the finish, there were tons of volunteers handing out medals, which were cute and transpiration themed (the Half was a bike and the Relay was a tandem bike, which, adorable!) and the crowds were immense. I felt like a RockStar when I finished. They were also handing out bags of pretzels and trail mix, but that was the only food there. There were also bottles of water and Gatorade Endurance. I was quickly able to find one of my friends who finished 3 min ahead of me (also a PR for her) and we went back to the Relay meet up area to find the other members of our group. Those running the Relay met up near the end and ran the last .20 together. Rock n Roll has an App which I had not downloaded previously, but it became apparent I needed to. You could track runners on it and it also posted your results immediately. The girl running the Relay had it and It was kind of fun watching the progress of her partner on it so we knew exactly where she was and when she'd be there. Needless to say, I downloaded the App too. 

I LOVE THIS SHIRT!!
After we had all crossed the finish line, we headed over to the post-race party/concert area. 3 of my friends immediately got in line for massages. Another girl and I got in line for our free beer. The lines were long, but went quick. In face, I stepped out of line to go to the merchandise tent to pick up a shirt (I got cold real quick after the race) and by the time I got it and came back, my friend had already gotten her beer, so I had to start over at the end of the line. Oh well. And, my shirt was AMAZING. Remember how I had said at the Expo they had walls with participants names? Well, they made shirts with them too, and I totally snagged one! You had to be careful, because 1 shirt was names A-K and the other L-Z, and luckily I grabbed the right one on the first try. I say luckily, because I actually grabbed the LAST one. There was also a shirt with the 5K names on it which one of my friends got, and all names were on 1 shirt for that one. 

We hung out for a bit, listened to the band and kind of wandered around the area. The finish line was near Forsyth Park which was beautiful, like picture perfect with beautiful statues and fountains. 

This was right behind the Finisher Post-Party, so PRETTY!

We then walked a few block to a cute coffee shop to warm up with some coffee and wait for an Uber (which came super quick) to take us back home.

Here's how we celebrated our accomplishment!

Aren't we a lively lot


All and all, it was an AMAZING race! But, it was only Day 1 of our Racing Adventure. Stay tuned for Day 2 - the 5K and 1 Mile!  

Monday, November 5, 2018

Medal Monday - RnR: Savannah

Full post coming soon, but just wanted to get these bad boys out there! Such an amazing weekend at Rock n Roll Savannah, such amazing races. Stay tuned...



Light Up Your Runs with SPIBeams™

Disclaimer: I received SPIBeams Visor 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'm sure that you are all aware that Daylight Savings happened this weekend, which now means that our evenings are getting dark roughly around lunchtime (a bit of an exaggeration, but still it's getting dark way too early!). So now the challenge is to stay safe, and seen in the dark as most of my running will now take place in darkness for the next few months. Enter my newest solution - my SPIBeams Visor from SPIBelt. 




SPIBeams, which come in either Visor or Hat, are awesome alternatives to Headlamps offer the following:



  • Multiple LEDs on Front and Back
  • Easy On/Off Switch
  • Replaceable Batteries – CR2032
  • 128 Lumes
  • 3 Color options - Black, Hot Pink, Lime
There is a red safety light built in the back that can either blink or not, and in the front are 4 super bright LED lights that really light up your path. They both simple click on by pressing a hidden button (one under the bill for the front light and one in the strap for the back). I've been able to wear for several dark runs now and not only is it super bright for lighting my way, it is really light and comfortable to wear. I don't feel like it adds any more weight than a traditional visor, and actually feels lighter than most headlamps I have tried. Plus with the lights in the back and front being built right in, you only have to wear one accessory, rather than multiple. 

Another big pro for me is that they are perfect for transiting from dark to light during your run (or vise-versa). See, I am how would you say, a bit on the careless side at times. I may or may not have misplaced at least 2 headlamps when I took them off during a run when I no longer needed them, and set them down for a picture. Ok yeah, so I have. Twice. So heads up, if you find a headlamp at the Grist Mill in Anne Springs or by the Bridge at Riverwalk, those are totally mine. Let me know. 


Took off my headlamp to take this cause I didn't want it in the pic, and I never saw it again, lol.
Anyway, with my SPIBeams Visor, that's not an issue. I simply just click off and keep going, because now, the Visor is protecting my face from the sun, so no reason to remove. Plus, it is comfortable, unlike a headlamp can be. Usually when I wear a headlamp, I feel like I need something between it and my head, either a Buff or a Hat. And wearing a hat with a headlamp reduces the light I feel as the bill blocks some of the light. But with the light right in the front of the bill, this is not an issue at all with SPIBeams™. 


But of course, the biggest question that everyone has is, so how well does it work? I mean comfortable and convenient are nice, but are nothing if it doesn't light up your path. Here's a quick visual - 


So as you can see, it works AWESOME! 

Want to try SPIBeams™ out for yourself? You can get 20% off with code BIBRAVE at Spibelt.com until 11/12/18! Or, for a chance to win one for free, join in BibChat on 11/6/18 at 9 pm Eastern Time on Twitter. 


Wednesday, October 31, 2018

It's Rock n Roll Savannah Race Week!!

It's RACE WEEK!! And not just any race week, but a Racecation Race Week! Starting Friday, I am Savannah, GA bound for Rock n Roll Savannah!! 



This weekend I will be running my very first Rock n Roll race(s) and I am super excited! I've always heard amazing things about Rock n Roll races and finally, I get my chance to experience one for myself. And so far, everything I have experienced has been amazing. I love receiving frequent updates from races (I'm a bit of an obsessive over planner and tend to worry over small details) so the updates have been super welcome. In fact, yesterday, I received 3 Final Preparations Updates (one for each race that I am registered for). 


The shirt's I'll be earning! That Peach KILLS me!! 

So here's the plan. Friday, I leave Rock Hill with a group of amazing friends who have all run this race before (there will be 5 of us total) and will hit up the Expo. Then, we are spending the night with the MIL of one of my friends, so that is awesome. Saturday morning, it is up bright and early for the Half Marathon - 3 of us are running the whole thing with the other 2 doing the Relay and sharing the miles. 


I'm personally earning 3 of these beauties! 
Saturday after the race, who knows what adventures we'll embark on. I've only been to Savannah twice ever (once 15 years ago and once when I was 9) so I have no idea what to do. If you have any suggestions, let me know in the comments!


PIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Then Sunday afternoon, we head back to the Race Site and 4 of us will be running the 5K and thus earning the Remix Medal. Then, 2 of us will be also doing the 1 Mile earning a pie for the Sweet Georgia Pie Challenge. You heard (read) that right, I GET A PIE!! 

Overall, I am super excited about both the race and the trip. I'm trained and ready (well as ready as I'll ever be). I'm still trying to decide my strategy for the Half, but since I scored me a pretty decent PR earlier this year and have like a billion races coming up, PLUS start Marathon training next week, I feel like I am going to run this pretty conservatively. But then again, as soon as the start sounds, my dumb self will probably run all out. But no matter my time, I know it's going to be an awesome race and an awesome weekend. 


Here's what I'll look like, be sure to say HI!

I'll be rocking out bright BibRave Orange shirts for all 3 races and a BibRave Trucker Hat for the Expo, so if you see me there, be sure to stop me and say Hi!! Also, I am sure I will be posting a ton of pictures on both my Twitter and Insta, so if you don't already follow me, make sure you do. Links below:

RunNerdGirl on Twitter
RunNerdGirl on Instagram