Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Never Say Never (Sort Of)

Disclaimer: I am participating in the Charlotte Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

So guess who is running another Marathon... sort of.

Put down the phone, Mom! I'm not running a Marathon really, or at least not on my own. I will be a part of a Relay team running the Charlotte Marathon on November 16th.

I've been wanting to run the Charlotte Marathon (well, maybe not the Marathon, but definitely one of the races that weekend) for several years now and it has somehow never quite worked out. So when I found out that the race weekend would be one that I didn't have plans for already, I was so excited. But which race to do? I have a major goal race, Rock n Roll Savannah, two weeks earlier so I didn't think I would be up for another Half Marathon so quickly, but I felt like I could do more than a 5K. Enter the perfect solution, the Relay!

With the Relay, you and a team of 4 others cover the Marathon distance together, each running approximately 5 miles (1 leg is a bit shorter, another a bit longer). It is all the fun of a Marathon with none of the pain! And you get to experience it with 4 of your running buddies! What's not to love?

Sound like fun to you? Join us! You can register your own Charlotte Marathon Relay Team here: and even save $25 off your team registration with discount code: BIBRAVERELAY. Don't have a team to run with, but still want to experince the awesomeness of the Charlotte Marathon race weekend? Sign up for the 5K and save $5 off your registration with discount code: BIBRAVE5K

But don't wait too long to register, prices increase November 8th. Hope to see you there! Let me know if I will in the comments below.

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Virtually Running with NYRR - Halfway There 13.1M

Disclaimer: I am participating in the NYRR Virtual Halfway There 13.1M as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

So if you are a regular reader of this blog you have heard (seen) me extol the virtues of Virtual Racing before both here: and here: 

I'll summarize: Virtual racing is awesome. You can do your race anytime, anywhere and still get to be involved with other amazing runners completing the same challenges as you. I'm very pro. 

Well, I am at it again! Just signed up for another Virtual Race and this one I am a bit stupid excited  about, the NYRR Virtual Halfway There 13.1M! See, running the TCS New York City Marathon and Half Marathon is one of those dream races. But with my budget and schedule, sadly it is one of those races that I will probably never get the chance to do. (Never say never, right?)

And that is the beauty of Virtual Racing. I can run right along with those who are training for the TCS New York City Marathon and Half Marathon without having to travel. 

And you know the best part of this Virtual Race? It's absolutely FREE! You just need to register for a free account with the NYRR and with Strava and you are good to go. Just do your Half Marathon wherever, whenever you want before October 13th and log it with Strava as a Race and you will join Virtual runners all over the world.

Since the Virtual Race is powered by Strava, there are a few minor disclaimers:

  • The Challenge starts and ends based on each runner's local time zone.
  • All activities logged during the Challenge period must be uploaded to Strava no later than three days after the Challenge ends.
  • Manual entries, virtual runs, or treadmill runs are not eligible. Activity privacy settings must be marked "Everyone" to count towards the Challenge goal.
  • Each activity must be tagged as a "Race" in order to count towards the challenge and influence an athlete's leaderboard position.

There's also a little extra cool thing for those who are doing the actual NYC race. Show your badge of completion at the TCS New York City Marathon Expo Presented by New Balance from October 31 to November 2 for a surprise gift (limited supplies, first-come, first served).

Decisions, decisions... 
Now for the hard part - I have to decide when to run it! I am currently training for the Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon the first weekend in November. Between now and the October 13th race deadline I have four 13 mile or higher long runs on my training schedule. I could go with one of two different strategies - 1) go ahead and use the first one to knock it out and get the accomplishment or 2) pick my fastest long run time to count for the race. Or, I could just pick one of the weeks and say beforehand - this is the one. I've got a bit to decide. Which would you do?

Let me know in the comments if you plan to join me and the already over 4,500 other runners registered. Follow this link to sign up: 
You can visit the Strava event page here for more details as well:
There is even a Facebook Group that you can join to further connect with your other Virtual Running Buddies. 

But don't delay, the Virtual has already started and runners are completing their race every day! Don't miss out. 

Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Relax, Recover and Rest with Nuun

Disclaimer: I received a 2 tubes of Nuun Rest to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

Afternoon Speed Work in the SC Summer, of course!
As a runner, I have a lot of strong qualities. I can write a training plan like nobody's business. If I say I will meet you to run, you better the heck believe I will be there. I am the first person to say "Yes" to running a stupid number of miles if you need long run company. Cross training? I'm at Burn Boot Camp at 5:30 am pretty much every weekday morning. Pushing 100 degrees out? Lace up and let's go. Speed work? Hills? The more the better. I am willing to put in the work.

But where my true weakness lies is in an area that is just as important as putting in the work, REST

I suck at resting. I took a rest day this past Sunday because I honesty could not remember the last time that I had not either run or gone to Burn and when I woke up I felt like I had been beaten in the night. So I begrudgingly took the day off on Sunday, and totally felt guilty the whole day. And when it came time to go to bed, I just couldn't relax. I was so restless I ended up getting a crap night's sleep which lead to a crap day on Monday. Moral of the story - I should have had some Nuun Rest as a part of my bedtime routine! 

Nuun Rest, What's That?

I'm glad you asked. You may have heard of Nuun before. It is the go to hydration supplement for many a runner. It's awesome stuff that I've used for years. Basically flavorful drink tablets packed with electrolytes and other great things (depending on the type - vitamins. minerals, caffeine and other great things to keep you hydrated and performing your best). 

Recently Nuun introduced a new product to their line up, Nuun Rest, which is designed to help aid in recovery, rest and relaxation - all the things I suck at. So yeah, when given the chance to try it out, I was 100% in. Here are some basic facts about it:

  • Nuun Rest is meant for recovery. It is NOT an electrolyte replacement like other Nuun varieties.
  • The key components in Nuun Rest are Magnesium and Tart Cherry juice which help aid in recovery.
  • Since this is a rest/recovery product it really helps with sleep...that means it also can 
    make you sleepy.
  • Due to Nuun Rest’s high levels of magnesium (300mg) only 1 serving per day is recommended.
  • 1 tablet = 10 calories & 1g of sugar. Contains no artificial sweeteners and Non-GMO verified ingredients.
  • Nuun Rest should be mixed with a smaller amount of water than other Nuun products. It is recommended to mix with 4-6 oz of water instead of 16 oz like the electrolyte Nuun products. (I mix mine with warm water, it not only helps it dissolve faster, but also adds to the calming effect I think.
  • Comes in two calming flavors: Blackberry Vanilla and Lemon Chamomile.
For more information from the Nuun website - check out their blog post here:

So Does it Work?

I've used Nuun Rest several times now as a part of my bedtime routine. I mix with warm water in a mug and drink it about 30 minutes or so before I hit the bed. I love the taste of both the Blackberry Vanilla and the Lemon Chamomile, but think I like the Lemon Chamomile a bit more - it is very tart and refreshing. I've used it the night before a race to help calm pre-race jitters and have used it on nights when I've had a stressful day to help me relax. I do really feel that it helps me to get sleepy and unwind better. I will continue to use it, especially on the days that I find I need a little extra help slipping into relaxation mode.

Want to try it for yourself? You can order Nuun Rest from the Nuun website here: and use discount code "HYDRATEBIBPRO" for 20% off your purchase. (Excluding subscription options and bundles. Good through 10/31)

Cheers to a good night's rest!

Saturday, September 7, 2019

Dropping FBOMBs - Fat Is Smart Fuel Nut Butter Review

Disclaimer: I received a 16 pack of FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

So, if you have read my blog at all, or followed me on socials (if not, here's my Twitter and Instagram) you know that I run. And I work out at Burn Boot Camp. A lot. I expend a lot of energy in the day, so I find myself snacking a lot to keep my energy up. And I am always on the lookout for clean, healthy snacks that provide good nutrition and clean energy, otherwise all of that running and strength training would be wasted. So when I was given the chance to try FBOMB Nut Butters, I jumped at the chance. 

Someone dropped an FBOMB on my porch, lol
First, let me hit you with a few FBOMB facts.

  • They each come in around 200 calories. 
  • They are Keto friendly
  • They are Paleo friendly
  • They are Vegetarian friendly
  • They are Vegan friendly
  • They have no sugar added
  • They are Gluten Free
  • They have no GMOs
  • They are Dairy free
  • They are Peanut free
  • They have a unique texture that is creamy with small nut chunks
  • They are DELICIOUS (this one may be opinion) 

FBOMB Nut Butters come in 4 different flavors:
  • Macadamia with Coconut Nut Butter Blend
  • Macadamia with Sea Salt Nut Butter
  • Salted Chocolate Macadamia Nut Butter
  • Macadamia Pecan with Sea Salt Nut Butter

And spoiler alert: they are all fantastic, but my absolute favorite is the Macadamia with Coconut. This stuff is seriously good! I may have even cut open the packet and licked the inside. It's THAT good!

I've used FBOMBs both as a post-workout pick me up and as a coffee break snack at work. And while they are super easy to eat right out of the pouch (just Knead, Tear and Eat), you can also use them to add a bit of extra energizing yum to other foods. I drizzled the Macadamia Pecan on a cut up apple and it was AMAZING! Another one of my fellow BibRave Pros who also got to sample them posted an amazing looking FBOMB Banana Bowl recipe here:

If you’re interested in trying these out, use code BRP10 to save 10% off the 16-count FBOMB Nut Butter Variety Pack on their website -

Making Adjustments

So a few weeks ago I wrote a post about my upcoming goals here: Setting the Bar High and how I was chasing some pretty loft goals, mainly a sub-2 hour Half Marathon plus some pretty aggressive training to get there. Well, thought I'd post a quick update on how things went. 
I'm smiling, but I don't mean it

Let me get this out of the way first. I spectacularly failed my 9:00 min pace 10K on Aug. 17th. Like, It was pretty terrible. It was hot, humid  and hilly, like I expected and like an idiot I went out way too fast hoping to bank some time. And you know what happened instead? I got to mile 4 and felt like I would die from a side stitch. It was so terrible I had to come to a complete stop. I ended up losing a ton of time and basically hobbling the last 2 miles, clutching my side feeling like I was tearing apart. So yeah, not spectacular. 

My finish time was 57:06. That's a 9:12 pace finish, and I think my worst 10K finish in the last 2 years or so. I was gutted. Savannah Rock n Roll Half sub-2 seemed like a pipe dream. 

So what did I do? I grabbed a beer (or 2). Commiserated with my friends and got brunch.

And then I hit cranked up the Speed Work. I also started really working harder at the gym during my cross training at Burn Boot Camp. This failure just showed me that I had been resting on my laurels a bit and need to kick it into gear. I also looked to the future. 

I had another 10K coming up two weeks later. The Around the Crown 10K. This was a brand new race, and a seemingly awesome one at that. They were closing down the I-277 loop around Charlotte, NC and letting runners race on it. I was 100% in the moment I heard about the race. I have been totally looking forward to it. And now I was looking at it for redemption as well. 

First thing, despite only being 2 weeks later, the weather was much more agreeable. It was a bit cooler, and a bit less humid. I had been training in the extreme heat all summer, so already it felt like I would be faster. Second, the course was less extreme. Sure there were hills, it is Charlotte after all. One in particular was an almost 100 ft climb, but overall, the course was much flatter, another good sign. Also, I had been focusing on how fun this race would be for months now. Attitude can make a huge difference. And lastly, this race had pacers, so I had a solid strategy to keep myself from going out too fast - become BFF with the 55 min pacer stick with them. 

So how did it go? I KILLED IT!
Now THIS smile is a real one!!

Plus, it was SUPER COOL to run on the Interstate!
I literally had the best race of my life! It was fun, I felt great and I finished with an amazing time. Full disclosure, the course was .2 mile short, so my official time (50:37) reflects a 6 mile race, but when I crossed the finish line, I knew I had killed it and wanted a full 10K finish time so I kept running until my watch said 6.2, which was at 52:28 or a 8:28 pace!! HOLY BUTTS! I was ecstatic (still am)!! I got their by introducing my self to Eric, the amazing 55 min pacer and basically hanging out with him for 4 miles. He was awesome. He had studied the course and gave great advice and kept just a bit under pace and completely steady. Once we got past the big hill just before mile 4, I knew I was feeling pretty amazing still. I decided to push it and bid Eric goodbye and took off reducing my pace to just under 8:15 per mile for the last 2 miles. Heck, I felt so good, I could have kept going at that pace a few more miles no problem I think even. 

So what is the point of all of this? Well. I've got my Savannah strategy is one thing. RnR races have pacers so I plan to stalk the 2 hour pacer for at least the first 10 miles, much like I did at AtC. If at mile 10 I am feeling great, then off I shall take. And again, attitude is key and I am totally looking forward to Savannah. Like really really looking forward to it. Plus, I am going to keep pushing the Speed Work. It is starting to cool down a bit (just a bit) here in the South so I am thinking that will automatically help my pace. 

So what do you think? Any other advice you'd give me? You ever fall flat on a goal only to readjust and kill it shortly after/ How did you do it? Tell  me all about it in the comments.

And if you want to be a part of my epic Savannah Rock n Roll weekend of racing, you can register with discount codes “19RNRBRP16” for $16 off half/marathon or “19RNRBRP6” for $6 off shorter distances. I will also be running the 5K on Sunday as well. Here's the link to register -

Let me know if you'll be there! 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Sun Protection for Your Runs: Stay-Put® SPF 30 Sunscreen

Disclaimer: I received some Sawyer Stay Put Sunscreen to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

There are two main things that you need to know about me when I am making a recommendation on sunscreen - 

1) I am VERY pale. Like I am pretty sure this comic was written about me specifically - 

I also live in SC, which is very close to the sun
2) I run exclusively outside. Currently I am at 906 miles run for 2019 and every single one of them has been outside. A good chunk of them in the afternoon in fact. 

What I am basically saying is that I know a thing or two about sun protection (and sun burns for that matter). And what I mainly know is that you've got to keep those nasty UV rays off yourself as much as possible, unless you want big scars from getting suspicious spot removed from you skin (which I also have). 

In the past, protection meant searching for the highest SPF sunscreen possible, slathering it on and then wincing as it inevitably sweated into my eyes. And then repeat the process every hour so I don't turn tomato colored. So when I was given the opportunity to try out Sawyer Products Stay Put Sunscreen, which boasts all day sun protection with just 1 application, I was all over that. 

Here's how it works according to their website:

A Solid Bond, A Breathable Matrix
 While most sunscreens hold their lotions in the top two layers of skin, our Stay-Put SPF 30 sunscreen uses a special technology to bond the sunray absorbing agents deeper into the skin, uniquely penetrating where other sunblocks simply can’t reach. Sweat and water pass over the deeply absorbed compounds without flushing the protective sunscreen away.
 The Stay-Put formula was engineered to spread the same volume of lotion over a larger cubic area of skin, requiring less lotion per area of skin and producing a more comfortable, breathable feel — all while providing great all-day protection. You’ll hardly even know you have sunscreen on.
Basically, it doesn't go ON your skin, but UNDER it. 

So Does It Work?

I've tried out Sawyer Stay Put Sunscreen in a few different extreme circumstances so far, and each time it has performed amazingly! First I wore it for a few afternoon runs with no burns. First big test, I wore it on a Girl Scout Trip to Great Wolf Lodge where I, as the more adventurous (read: stupid) leader was drafted to supervise the only outdoor activity, the Ropes Course, for all 3 rotations. That meant almost 4 straight hours outdoor on the Ropes Course, with the inability to come down and get unharnessed to reapply sunscreen. Well guess what, NO SUNBURN! 


Next big test was I ran a super sunny, super hot race with a Craft Beer Festival after. I applied my Sunscreen around 6:30 am, before the sun even came up. I didn't get home until almost 1 pm with no reapplications. NO SUNBURN! 

And not only that, but these were very active and sweaty situations and not once did I feel greasy nor did I sweat sunscreen into my eyes. I am 100% sold on Sawyer Stay Put Sunscreen. When I run out of the original 8 oz bottle I have (which will actually probably be awhile since you only use a small amount compared to regular sunscreen) I will for sure be purchasing more from the Sawyer Amazon Storefront here: 

Long story short, I love this stuff and highly recommend it for runners, or anyone for that matter. Want to learn more about Sawyer Products? Follow them on socials here:


And be sure to follow me as well if you don't already:
RunNerdGirl Twitter
RunNerdGirl Instagram