Thursday, August 16, 2018

Mornings Made Simpler with Detach

Disclaimer: I received Detach Premium Hydration 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 am unique in that I am a pretty lazy active person. Or maybe not, maybe others are just better at hiding it than me, but yeah, despite the running and cross training I manage to pull off each week, it's usually despite a massive inclination to lay around doing an amazing sloth impression. 

Most my workouts are pre-Sunrise
The recommendation is to eat a pre-workout meal 2-3 hours before a workout. 2-3 hours!! Yeah right. You know what I am doing 2-3 hours before most of my workouts? Sleeping.. For example, here's a typical morning for me: 

This morning I went to Burn Boot Camp for the 5:30 am camp. Do you know when I set my alarm to go off? 4:40 am - a mere 50 min before my workout was to start. Not terrible you say, well, now take in account the fact that I hit my snooze alarm twice. Now we are at 4:58 - 32 min pre-workout. So now I have to check my email real quick (my office has Hong Kong and China locations and I like to take a glance at what I can expect to be asked of me from my Asian counterparts when I arrive into work.) So, by the time I do all that (plus check out any Facebook, Twitter or Instagram messages), yeah, I'm actually standing up for the first time at 5:10 am, 20 min pre-workout. And I have to leave the house by 5:20 to get there in time. So yeah, I've given myself 10 whole minutes to get dressed, brush my teeth, grab something to drink/eat and exit the house. 

Should I do better? Heck yeah. 
Will I do better? Doubtful - I know who I am.

Anyway, where I am going with this is I need for my hydration and nutrition options pre-workout something quick that I can grab and go and will kick in pretty much immediately.

This is where Detach Premium Hydration has become a bit of a lifesaver for me. I can grab a bottle of this straight from the fridge, drink it on the way out the door and feel pretty much immediately energized. Detach is made with all plant based nutrition, including superfood ingredients, organic coconut nectar and organic wildflower honey and no artificial sweeteners. It also contains purified sea salt which gives me that bit of extra sodium I need for a hard workout. Plus, it tastes really good too!

If I am feeling super ambitions (the night before of course) I will make up a Smoothie to grab in the morning using Detach as the base. My two favorite Detach Smoothie recipies are as follows:


Detach Pina Colada
1 Bottle of Detach
1 cup of frozen pineapples
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Berry Berry Coconut Smoothie
1 Bottle of Detach
1 cup of frozen mixed berries
1 banana 1
1 scoop of vanilla protein powder

Both super easy peesy. Both yummy and get me energized quickly. Both I can grab and drink as I am running out the door. 

Want to try out some Detach Premium Hydration for yourself? Right now, they are offering a super amazing deal where you can get a free case of 12. Like seriously, FREE! All you do is pay the shipping cost. Here's the direct link to place the 12-pack straight into your online cart for checkout:
bibrave.drink-detach.com Or, you can visit their site at www.drink-detach.com and use discount code BIBRAVE at the Checkout. 

Also be sure to check out Detach on their socials - 

What about you? Are you a morning person? What do you do to make your mornings go smoothly? Or, do you have any yummy smoothie recipes to share? Let me know in the comments below!


Monday, August 13, 2018

Taking the Marathon Plunge

I am going to run a marathon. 

OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG 

Now that that is out of the way... 

It's been a week since I pulled the trigger and made the official decision to sign up for my very first marathon. And I'm only freaking out a little as you can tell from above. 


I survived the first Half, how hard could the other Half be? 
So here are the details. I will be running the Tobacco Road Marathon on March 17, 2019 in Cary, NC. I ran the Half this year (my current Half PR) and it was a great race, nice and flat with great support, so I decided to up the ante this year. Here's hoping that Tobacco Road is good to me 2 years in a row. 

Training will not officially start for my first marathon (gasp) until November, but in the meantime, I plan to keep myself pretty busy in obsessing over every little thing such as training plans, what should my time goal be, whether I should get a coach, how I should change my nutrition, what to wear, how to train, what changes do I need to make when training for this huge distance, should I keep racing while training, how will I do my longest runs in the middle of winter, how do I keep from getting injured, and last but not least (and actually probably not last) what will I eat immediately after?

And of course, I will also but for now, the hardest part, registering, is done. Yup, I'm registered. Whew. 

Signing up is just step one, but it's a BIG one!

Want to join me for moral support? I have a sweet discount for either the Full or the Half Marathons - $20 off with code trmrave19 when you register at www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com. I could use all the support I can get! 

Until then... just breathe, just breathe, just breathe...

And feel free to pass on any marathon tips or tricks in the comments. 


Wednesday, July 25, 2018

What's Your Karma (Ring)?

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Karma Duo Silicone Ring set 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!


Over the past year I so, I have noticed a huge increase in the number of people who wear silicone rings during athletic endeavors. Personally, I've never worn rings while running, mainly because 1) metal rings are uncomfortable while running and 2) TBH my engagement ring and wedding ring are actually a bit too large for me and I'm afraid they'd slide off once I got sweaty. 

I was given the opportunity to try out a Karma Duo Silicone Ring recently and I was excited to see how I liked them for myself. I picked out the Karma Duo in Pearl White which came with a white base and 3 pretty pastel colored cores - Blush Pink, Champagne Mauve, and Lavender. They are hypo-allergenic, non-porous and non-conductive. Plus they are super strong and super cute!


When I first received them, I had lots of fun trying out the different color combinations and trying to figure out my favorite. Ultimately, I could not decide so I took to social media, asking both Twitter and Instagram to vote on their favorites. When all the votes were tallied, Twitter preferred option 3, the Lavender, while Instagram gave the win to option 2, the Champagne Mauve. 

And while most people wear silicone rings as such, Karma Rings are way more than just alternative wedding rings. How to wear your Karma Ring Duo is totally up to you personally what it means to you. In fact, Karma encourages their rings to be used for more goal setting than and personal symbolism. I thought it was pretty neat what Karma had to say on their website about the different symbolism for different ways of wearing your ring. Here's what they had to say:

Left and Right Hand Symbolism
  • Left Hand - The right hemisphere of the brain is associated with creativity and controls the left hand. Therefore, rings worn on the left hand symbolize a focus on mindset, creativity, and personal philosophy.
  • Right Hand - The left hemisphere of the brain is associated with logic and controls the right hand. Therefore, rings worn on the right hand typically symbolize logical awareness and a desire to control one’s behavior and rationale.
 Individual Finger Symbolism
  • Thumb (Will Power) – The thumb is independent, while working in tandem with our other fingers to accomplish various tasks. The thumb represents logic and will power, a symbol of controlling ones thoughts and actions. 
  • Index Finger (Authority and Ambition) – Also known as the “Power Finger”, the index finger represents Authority, Power, Leadership, and Ambition. Historically, Kings, Priests, and healers wore rings on the index finger because it was believed to be especially powerful. 
  • Middle Finger (Identity and Materialism) – The middle finger, being the tallest, is associated with ones purpose in life. As the center of the hand, it symbolizes personal identity and things most important to us. 
  • Ring Finger (Emotion, Creativity, and Heart) – The ring finger connects to the artery that runs directly to our heart. It symbolizes feelings of affection and love. It is also characteristic of one’s creativity and artistic self.
  • Little Finger (Relationships) – The little finger or “pinky” is associated with confidence in both personal and business relationships. It is related to our attitudes towards other people, intimacy, and personal attitudes toward oneself. The little finger faces the world, and watches our back as our friends do.
Visit their site here for more information: https://karmarings.com/pages/style-guide



So according to this, me wearing my Karma Duo on my Right Hand, Ring Finger symbolizes a logical awareness of trying to control my emotion and heart. Totally makes sense to me from an athletic standpoint in that pushing through tough workouts is a mind over body kind of struggle, the knowledge that I know I can keep going and keep pushing, to not give in to the voices that say it's hard and to just give up. 

And since I am looking at things through the lens of symbolism, I decided to research the symbolism of the different colors I had in my Duo - Ivory, Lavender and Pink. Here's what I found: 


Pretty neat, eh?  I am definitely going to explore this more when planning out my Duo choices and goals I focus on during my runs and workouts. 

Overall, I've been very pleased with a product that I've never thought was for me before and tend to find myself wearing it when I am not doing athletic activities even. In fact, the other my day while I was getting ready for work, my daughter brought my ring over (with the pink core, her favorite) and said to me, "Here, Mommy. To help you focus today." It was super sweet, and it did help me focus that day, specifically on how lucky I am to have such a sweet, thoughtful girl.

Want to get a set for yourself? Order online here: https://karmarings.com/ and use discount code BIBRAVE33 to receive 33% off your order. 

Follow them on Socials here:
Twitter
Instagram


Monday, July 23, 2018

Speedy Summer Shoes: UA HOVR Sonic Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic Shoes to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews! 


If you are a regular reader of my blog, or frequenter on my Twitter page, you've already heard me sing the praises of Under Armor's HOVR Sonic shoes. (For new readers, check out my review from February here: Shoe Review - Under Armor's New HOVR

This time, I received super stylish black

Loving them for Summer running!
You may recall that when I first wore these shoes, it was in the winter, and on my very first run in them, I thought to myself, These are going to be the PERFECT Summer running shoe. Oh man, was that first impression correct! The thin mesh is a godsend for the heat and humidity here in SC! They also have a ventilated midfoot panel increases breathability. They are super comfortable and my feet do not overhead when I run in them.

So how do they perform? Again, I love these shoes!! I've consistently worn them for races, long runs and speed work and continue to be impressed by them. These are a neutral shoe that provide a wide range of balance, flexibility and cushioning. They provides a ‘zero gravity feel’ that maintains energy return and helps eliminate impact step after step making my long runs seem not quite so long on my feet. 

On July 4th, I wore my HOVR Sonics for a race, the Common Heart Firecracker Run 10K, that I had run also in 2017 and I fully believe that these shoes helped me run much better, faster race. Same day of the year (full on SC heat and humidity), same course, heck, even the exact same outfit with the exception of the shoes and this year, I shaved 5 full minutes off of my finishing time and went from 6th place division to 1st! I've run every single race that I've had since receiving my first pair in Jan in these shoes (with the exception of 2 trail races) and have had similar experiences for each race.

This time, I received the Non-Connected version of the shoe and I can honestly say, there is no performance difference between the two. If you are interested in all of the cool data that the Connect version has to offer, they are for sure worth the extra $10, but if you are not a data-nerd like me, than you will be perfectly happy with the Non-Connected shoes.

Under Armor HOVR Sonic shoes are priced at $100 for non-connected or $110 for connected versions and are currently available online and at retailers all over. Also, be sure to follow Under Armor Running on social media to keep up on the latest news -
Twitter: https://twitter.com/UARunning
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/uarunning



Friday, July 20, 2018

On the Go with NuGo

“Disclaimer: I received  a variety box of NuGo Egg White Protein Bars as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”


One thing that I've always struggled with is what to eat before and after a run or a workout. There is a lot to consider in the equation. Will it sit well on my stomach? Will it provide enough energy for me to not bonk out during my workout? Is it easy to grab and eat cause I am hella lazy and will not be meal prepping most likely? 

I was recently afforded the opportunity to try out a new solution to all of the above, NugGo Egg White Protein Bars


According to their website, they are made with the highest quality fruits and nuts and non-GMO egg white protein. They are also whole food paleo and certified gluten free. Depending on which bar, they have 12-14 grams of protein per bar. All the ingredients are simple and clean, which I appreciate because I've had issues with chemically protein bars upsetting my stomach. 

So they are really great for you, but how do they taste? Pretty darn good, especially the Blueberry and the Maple Pecan (though the Dark Chocolate and Peanut Butter are super yummy too). And they for sure met all of my above mentioned criteria. Tasty, easy on my stomach, convenient and kept me full of energy. 

I tried out my NuGo Egg White bars during a variety of situations. The first one I just had for a snack, just in case it didn't sit well, but it was just fine. Next I had one before a run. No problems! I had several straight after Burn Boot Camp classes as our trainers are all the time telling us to get in at least 20 g of protein within 45 min of our workout and these were a great, convenient way to make a dent in that immediately after since I could just have it in my car waiting for me after class. Several were used as mid-morning coffee breaks while at work to keep me energized through slow mornings. 

Shhh.. don't tell the campers...
I even smuggled one in to Girl Scout Day Camp as a refresher during a long day of boating, crafts, hiking and archery. And yes, I hid from the girls while I ate it so I wouldn't have to share. 

And finally, I saved my last bar to fuel up pre-race the morning of the Common Heart Firecracker Run 10K. Let's just say that, while I cannot 100% give credit solely to NuGo, I did place 1st in my division for the race, so there's that. 

Overall, I really liked the NuGo Egg White Protein bars and plan to stock up on some more. On their website, there is a convienent search for local places that carry NuGo products here - https://www.nugonutrition.com/where-to-buy/ and I was excited to see several places in my area. 

Or, you can also order directly online and have them shipped directly to you. And, until Aug. 3rd, you can save 15% off your online order with discount code BIBRAVE 

Learn more by following NuGo Nutrition on social media : Facebook Twitter Pinterest Instagram


Wednesday, July 18, 2018

In Between Times

Summer Running = UGH
So I am at that weird part of the year where I just don't have an upcoming race to train for. My next race that I have registered for is Rock N Roll Savannah on November 3rd, which I am super excited for, but until then, nada. I mean there are a few races here an there that I plan on signing up for but have yet to, but they would be all for shorter  distances, the longest of which I am considering is a 15K the last weekend of Sept. 

Since it is a bit too early to officially kick off my training for Rock N Roll Savannah, I'm now in this weird "in-between time" where of course running is going to happen, but with no real tangible goal in mind. Well, at least not a race goal that is. I still have my 1009 miles for the year goal (which I am currently sitting at 605 miles or 60% complete) so that is keeping me moving. As far as runs though, I have just been running whatever I feel like as long as I meet my weekly minimum (19.4 miles). 

With all that said, it's not a terrible thing to no be racing right now. After all it is summer which means it is crazy stupid hot out. And this year, it's been a lot tougher on me because unlike previous years where I did a lot of morning runs in the summer, I've been doing most of my runs at or near the hottest part of the day. Since I joined Burn Boot Camp in November, I pretty much go there in the mornings instead of running and the only other available time to go out is during my daughter's taekwondo classes which are at 4:30 and 5:30 pm. Just think how fast I'll be in the Fall though... 

The good news is I don't have much longer to wait. I officially kick off Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon Training the first week of August. But until then, I'll keep plodding along in this nebulous time putting in my miles haphazardly. 

What about you? What's your next race that you are registered for? Want to join me in Savannah? Register here: http://www.runrocknroll.com/savannah/register/ and use code “RNRBRP2018” to save $15 on the Marathon or Half Marathon. 



Or maybe you have a race to suggest for me to sign up for. What are your recommendations for an Aug/Sept/Oct race? 



Monday, July 9, 2018

2018 Half Year Check In

So, keeping in step with my check-ins being a few days late (again, I know who I am), here we are with a quick recap and review of the first half of 2018. 

First of all here are my 2018 goals along with the current status (Goals are listed in orange). 

  • Run 1009 miles - me and a friend are splitting 2018 miles
    Shoe pic w me, my partner, another friend & pacer
    • I'm a bit ahead on this goal as I've banked a few miles here an there each month just in case something comes up. Luckily this year I have yet to run into any extended breaks (please don't have just jinxed this!!) so as of the last day of June, I was at 555 miles of the 504 I needed to be on track for 1009 for the year. My partner is training for an Ultra, so she's well ahead of schedule.
  • Run 18 races
    • I'm well and good on the 18 race goal. As of June 30th, I had run 10 races with an 11th run on July 4th. Currently, I am not signed up for another race officially until Nov. 3rd - Rock N Roll Savannah Half Marathon, but I know for sure a few I am doing, just not registered for yet. (You can join me at Savannah and save $15 on the Half or Full with discount code- RNRBRP2018.
  • Place in 4 races
    • This goal is already met and then some! I've had FIVE placings as of current! 3rd at New Years Gnome Run 5K, 2nd at Kings Mountain Half Marathon, 1st at Come See Me 5K, 2nd at Moonlight Bootlegger and 1st at Common Heart Firecracker 10K!!!

  • 1200 Twitter followers
    • I should hit this fairly soon actually. Current follower count is 1,173
  • 1000 Instagram followers
    • Going a bit slower than the Twitter, but still attainable. Currently at 725. I need to post more the IG for sure 
  • Run 4 Half Marathons (Tobacco Rd., Kings Mtn, Run & Ride, Rock n Roll Savannah) with a new PR in at least 1
    • 2 down, with 2 more registered for with a new PR at Tobacco Road. A slight change on this goal as the Run and Ride race is not being held this year, so my 4th Half will be the Huntersville Half on Dec. 9th, a new race for me. The Rock N Roll Savannah is also a new race for me and I am really excited for it! 
  • Do an Obstacle Race (Warrior Dash) 
    • Done and done! This was a total blast. So much fun! I can't wait to run it again Although one of my friends is trying to convince us to upgrade to the Spartan. We'll see...
  • Renew as BibRave Pro
    • This doesn't happen until late Fall, so no update on this goal, but I *think* I am doing a decent job as a Pro. I've met all my requirement and try to post quality content. And I have been LOVING some of the awesome things I've gotten to test! For example, I am currently breaking in my 2nd pair of Under Armor HOVR Sonic shoes and let me tell you, I love them! Super light, super fast, they are my go to racing shoe. Disclaimer: I received a pair of the Under Armour HOVR Sonic Shoes 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! 
  • Blog more - 4 per month at least 
    • Some month's have been better than others (I'm looking at you, May) but I can say that I have overall done a much better job of blogging than in 2017.
  • Keep a consistent training plan/journal (Using the Believe Training Journal) 
    • Ummmm... pass. Yeah, I suck. Said amazing training journal has sat in my desk drawer, cold and unloved. I just picked up a pocket calendar to see if I have more luck with that. If you have a system that you love, let me know, cause I guess I'm still searching for that one thing that I will stick to. 
So there we are. Not a perfect 2018 by any means, but I am super pleased with it so far. And I ready to take on the next half just as hard! 



How about you? Tell me how your 2018 is going so far. Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram if you haven't already to help me meet those 2018 number too. 


Monday, July 2, 2018

Sunglasses Review: Keeping it Shady

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays Signature Series Sunglasses as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”
Me, squinting while running, as usual... 

Traditionally, I have not been a sunglasses wearer when I run. I know I should to protect my eyes, but I typically rely on a hat or a visor rim to do the shading for me, but over the past year or so, I've made it priority to start rocking shades instead as I feel this helps way more to block out harmful UV rays.

Queue the montage of me trying out several different brands, shapes and styles of sunglasses only to be fairly disappointed with the fit. My main issue has been slippage. Running is a fairly bouncy activity. Add to that a sweaty face and that is a recipe for pushing up your sunglasses every few minutes, an activity that drives me completely bonkers! I've had glasses that I took off and pocketed after a half mile due to having to constantly push up. I'd rather squint that constantly adjust and readjust glasses like that.

Enter the amazing opportunity to try out via BibRave a new-to-me-brand, Shady Rays. First off, Shady Rays, according to their website, are polarized, offer 100% UV protection are shatter-resistant and salt water proof. Sound good so far. Plus they come in lots and lots of amazing color combination options - seriously, I had my daughter pick out mine since I just could not decide (she picked Black Emerald Polarized and I must say, they are super cute). Plus they came in a handy micofiber cleaning pouch. But how do they perform in action...

Deciding to either go big or go home, I took them out for an ultimate test. I ran a 5 mile progression run at 5:30 pm when the temperature was 91 degrees and humidity well into 60%. It was an absolute scorcher. Sweat was POURING off me after. But did my Shady Rays slip? NOPE! I even attempted the unthinkable with other glasses I'd tried... I tried shaking them off, still covered and sweat and THEY DIDN'T BUDGE! (Click here for the demo). 

So yay! The ultimate search for the ultimate sunglasses has come to an end finally. I've worn them for more than a dozen runs now and am as happy with them as I was the first. I've also worn them to the beach, the pool and the water park and they are just awesome. The only problem that I have had with my Shady Rays is that my husband has decided that he like them too and frequently steals them from me! On our beach vacation last weekend, he wore them as often, if not more, than I did! 


A few fun facts about Shady Rays: 
  • You can also have custom Rx glasses made
  • They offer a Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty and Free Replacements if they are lost or broken.
  • They provide 11 meals to fight hunger through the Feeding America organization with each order placed.
  • The have a VIP program where you can earn points for rewards like gift cards.


And... if all this sounds awesome to you, I have a great deal to share with you. When you place an order on the Shady Rays website, checkout using code "BIBRAVE" and you will receive 50% off orders of 2 or more pairs! 

So give Shady Rays a look for yourself. You can follow them on their socials here:

Friday, June 29, 2018

Moonlight Bootlegger Recap

I've mentioned on this blog before that I am a bit weary of trails, but have been making strides to be more comfortable on them. Running a few miles here and there on trails, dipping into the woods in the middle of a longer road run and so on. Each year I start the New Year off with a trail 5K even. I've gotten better, more confident, but I can't say that I absolutely love trails yet. Although I did finally graduate to my greatest trail challenge as of yet, the Moonlight Bootlegger 5K. It was an adventure that I was super nervous to do, but I'm always up for a challenge. 

I have several friends that have done this race each June and it seemed like a lot of fun. Basically, the race is a night time romp through the local Anne Springs Close Greenway. Prior to the Bootlegger, I've only run on this particular greenway once before. I know, not amazing prep, but I felt ready. I'm crazy like that. 

The race started at 8:55 pm, so it was going to be dark during the run. I was meeting several friends for this race so we arranged to arrive a bit early as there was no pre-race packet pick up. We wanted to have plenty of time to meet up, get our packets, run stuff back to the car, hit the port-a-potties and take some pictures before the race started. Everything was super well organized and I was excited to see one of the ladies in my run club volunteering at packet distribution. I love local races! With all that taken care of, we just had to wait until the sun set so we could head out into the woods. 

Run the Rockstars, ready to race!


So here's the scene... It is late June in SC in the evening, so you know it's hot. And humid. I'm honestly a bit terrified to be running in the woods at night. And there is going to be roughly 2.4 billion bugs out, so not ideal. Luckily I had my Insect Guard Buff to keep me nice and protected from creepy crawlies during the race. Seriously, this thing was a life saver. No bug issues for me at all. And I can't say the same about everyone. Not even kidding, after the race, a friend of mine pulled a TICK out of her BRA! HER BRA!! So big, huge thank you, Buff!! THANK YOU for a tick-free bra! 

"Disclaimer: I received several Buff products to use and 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 race started exactly on time and we were off. The sun had just set so it was still a bit light, but the second that we hit the woods, the light disappeared. The race mandated that you had to have some kind of light in order to participate, so I had a pretty strong headlamp to light my way. The first half mile or so was on a pretty wide gravel trail so I felt like it wasn't too bunched up or crowded. The path was also lit by lots and lots of tea lights along the side of the trail which was really helpful. And any place that you may have confused for a turnoff was roped off which I really appreciated as someone not familiar with the trail. By the time we hit the more narrow trails, runners had pretty much thinned out into their own pace. I heard another runner pretty directly behind me and yelled to her to let me know if she wanted to pass (I have a tendency to flail a bit on trails, so I wanted to move over closer to the side if she were passing) but she said she was using me to pace, so we got to chatting throughout the race. 

Crossing the finish line
Trail pace is of course always slower than road, but I was feeling pretty good as these trails were obviously very well maintained. There were a few rooty areas and one crazy area that randomly had concrete stairs, which thankfully we ran up instead of down, and I only really caught my footing a few times. I did hear someone fairly near behind me fall but she yelled she was fine, so me and my new pace buddy kept going. Each mile was marked with a speaker playing banjo music (which yes, the organizers joked about during the starting info) and was a fun way to mark the way, especially since my Apple Watch wasn't tracking very well in the woods. We wound around Lake Hagler and then back out to the original trail we started on which I had not noticed on the way out how steep down it was, but trust me, I noticed how steep UP it was. Man, that last half mile was a killer. 

Finally, I burst out of the woods, back past the parking area and to the finish where each racer was welcomed back by name. There was a bluegrass band playing and Moonshine was being served (your bib had two Moonshine tickets on it) in two varieties - Peach Tea and Tropical Sunset and computers were set up so you could get your official finishing time. I was the first of my friends to finish, so I grabbed a bottle of water and hung out at the finish line cheering runners in. It wasn't until then that I realized just how hot and sweaty I was! I honestly could not have been wetter if I had gone swimming instead. Gotta love Summer races in SC! 

When a few more of us had finished, we went to get our Moonshine, I opted for the Tropical Sunrise which was very fruity and good, but also very weak on the alcohol, which wasn't a bad thing. I also found out that I placed 2nd in my division so that meant hanging around for the awards. The race always has really neat placement awards that are unique each year and they are usually really cool things like lanterns or neat bottles and so on. This year was no exception. We were given personalized growlers with our placement on them, so cool! 

All in all, it was an awesome race, and awesome adventure and I am so glad that I did it. Do I love trails yet? Not really, but each challenge that I overcome, I am getting more and more confident. In fact, I'm running trails tomorrow! And I am for sure taking my Insect Shield Buff with me to ward against any potential bra ticks. /shudder 

2nd Place Division! Woo hoo!



Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Camp Buff: Shoo Fly, Don't Bother Me

"Disclaimer: I received several Buff products to use and 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!"


When I first learned that I was going to be able to test out some amazing Buff USA gear this Spring on my adventures, one item I was particularly excited to try out was the BUFF UV Insect Shield® multifunctional headwear. See, here in SC, the late Spring and Summer are seriously buggy, like excessively so. Gnats like to hover all around your head, mosquitoes are everywhere and the woods, where I like to escape to the trials when it gets really really hot are just chock full of ticks. Having a Buff that repels all of these creepy crawleys without me having to bath in bug spray would be AMAZING, so I happily chose one of these amazing products to test. 

I wore my new Insect Shield® Buff for several trail runs and guess what, it worked like a charm! No bites, no swatting things while running, no problems with buggy bugs at all. Not only that, it was comfortable to wear despite the heat due to the fast drying, moisture wicking COOLMAX® PRO fabric. I was so happy with the performance of this product out in the woods, it got me thinking... You know, I'm not the only one going on awesome adventures this Spring, I bet my little one would really benefit from having a Insect Shield® Buff for her week long Girl Scout Camp. 

The camp was located out in the woods for a full week of swimming, hiking, crafts and other outdoor activities. And after that camp, she was invited to a special day of activities at another outdoor camp to celebrate being a top Girl Scout Cookie seller (over 500 boxes!) And the Saturday Camp Cookie, I got to attend as well. So, not wanting to share, I headed to the Buff USA website and let her pick out one of her own. She was super excited and the day it arrived, she insisted that I take her to the playground to try it out right away. She loved it. 

I dutifully packed the Buff in her day pack and hoped that she would wear it, sometimes kids don't exactly do what you ask them, even if it is in their own best interest (flashback to younger me taking off her winter coat the second that I was out of my mother's eye-line on the way to the bus stop despite being freezing out because it wasn't "cool"). So I was super pleased when a friend of mine, who was a councilor at the camp, texted me a photo of my little happily rocking her Buff. And while I knew it had performed well for me on my trail runs, I was super excited at the end of the week, after all of her adventures, my little had not gotten a SINGLE bug bite all week! 

On Saturday, it was my turn to join in the fun. Equipped with our Insect Shield®  Buffs, we had a long full day of one adventure after another. First up was swimming and boating on the lake. I made sure that tried out every option they had for us, including paddle boarding for the first time ever. I didn't fall in even once! Next up was a hike in the woods, followed by lunch, then a visit to the crafts cabin to make hula skirts and flower leis, then bouncy obstacle courses (though I skipped the water slide one since I didn't bring a swimsuit, the little did that one with much glee), then the snack and relaxation tent for temporary tattoos, coloring and fingernail painting, and finally, archery where my little one hit the target for the very first time! It was a super fun, super tiring day filled with a ton of fun, but not a single bug bite! Here's so pictures of our adventures.




All in all, the Insect Shield® Buffs performed over and above my expectations. Not only did they repel bugs, but they also are light and cool to wear and help block harmful UV rays. Highly recommend for anyone into outdoor adventures. 

You can become a fan of Buff USA too by following them on socials here - 


Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Gatorade Endurance Releases 2 New Summer Flavors

“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!”

Growing up I was never really much of a Sports Drink kind of girl. Part of that came from the fact that I wasn't much into sports, I started running fairly late in life. I guess I always tended to equate these types of drinks, Gatorade in particular, as some kind of vaguely salty fruit punch that the jocks drank at practice. However recently, I had the opportunity to test out the Gatorade Endurance line and I have to say, my mind has been completely changed.

When I first had the choice of whether the try out Gatorade Endurance, I'll be honest, I almost passed. But then I thought about how Gatorade Endurance is provided at the aid stations at pretty much every race that I run, and while I pretty much only take water (cause you know, try nothing new on race day) I thought maybe I was missing out on something that could be beneficial for me. I mean, there has to be a good reason every race has it, right?


Gatorade was kind enough to send us BibRave Pros a packaging containing a 32 oz canister of Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher powder in their new Summer flavor, Watermelon. In fact, it was so new, that it wasn't even available to the public yet (more on this later). Also, they sent us 6 of their Endurance Energy Gels (an item I didn't even know they offered), also in their new Summer flavor: Mango (now available online). Both the Thirst Quencher and the Energy Gels are specifically formulated to meet the unique needs of athletes. The Thirst Quencher has 2x the sodium and 3x the potassium of traditional Gatorade while the Energy Gels have 20 g of carbs per serving and only 80 calories.

When I first opened the canister of Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher, the first thing that hit me was the intense Watermelon scent. It smelled so good! Seriously, when I took my Gatorade Endurance to track night later in the week, I kept opening my bottle up and making people smell my drink. It smelled that good! I also was surprised that it wasn't a bright red like I had assumed it would be. This was me again equating Gatorade Endurance with traditional Gatorade but I was happy to see that there was no harsh coloring. The container came with a scoop inside and easy to follow directions.  We also received a super cute Gatorade bottle with a watermelon on it which I used to mix up my drink. The flavor was really light and delicious and super refreshing! But how would it perform?

So if you've read my blog before, you may have seen that I live in SC. This year, we pretty much completely skipped right over Spring and went from a late Winter straight in to Summer. There was no easing into this year. It's seriously hot already. And since I try to hit the gym for strength training in the morning, that means I've been running in the afternoons when it is well above 80 and even 90 degrees out. Hydration is VITAL is what I am saying. 

The first run that I used my Gatorade Endurance on it was 89 degrees and sunny as heck. Let's put it this way, it was so hot out, someone in my neighborhood was making some kind of jerky in the windshield of their pickup truck. Not even kidding (I did say I live in SC). I was hot, sweaty and felt wasted after my run. That Watermelon Thirst Quencher tasted so good after! And I felt really great too. No stomach issue (always a fear when trying something new) either! 

The next night I took it to the track for speed work. 4.25 milles of 400s. No shade, direct sun, 6:30 pm so it was still hot from the day, but Gatorade Endurance had my back. The flavor is light and refreshing and it really helped me replace the electrolytes that were pouring out in my sweat. What can I say, I am a total Gatorade Endurance convert. Never again will I be hesitant to grab a cup of this during a race instead of the water. 

So where can you get it you ask? I'm glad you did, it just so happens, the new Watermelon Gatorade Endurance Thirst Quencher Powder was just released to their online store TODAY! You can order it by clicking here.


So in addition to the Thirst Quencher, I had the chance to try the Gatorade Endurance Gels in their newest Mango flavor. Now I am a bit of a snob when it comes to gels. I find that most I have tried remind me a bit of something between thick pudding or that gluey slime that my daughter likes to make. I packed some for my long run this past Saturday and at the 5 mile mark, tried it out. First impression, I was pleasantly surprised just how thin the gel was, not goopy like some can be. The mango flavor was really light and really tasty. I didn't feel the need to wash it down with water like I usually do with a gel even. And I for sure felt perked up after taking it. I will happily be adding these into my future fueling plans.

So yeah, I guess I'm a Gatorade fan now. Better late than never I suppose. Special thank you to Gatorade and BibRave for the opportunity to try out these Gatorade Endurance products. Coincidentally if you are interested in becoming a BibRave Pro so you too can have the chance try out amazing new products and races, Mid-Year Applications are being accepted now. Click here to apply -BibRave Pro 2018 Mid-year Application

You can also become a Gatorade Endurance Fan by following them on on their Instagram here - Gatorade Endurance