Shoes for Recovery

Oofos – Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received the Oofos OOriginal Sport Sandals 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!”

Flip flops….for recovery…yep you heard me. The Oofos Ooriginal sport sandal is a flip flop designed to treat your feet!

  • absorbs more shock
  • reduces stress on sore feet, knees and back
  • cradles the arches
  • enables more natural motion
  • moisture and bacteria resistant closed cell foam
  • Oh and my favorite – They are machine washable, put on delicate cycle and air dry!

I wore my shoes to work a garage sale, I was on my feet for 2 days

So what does this all mean. They are an “easy to take care of, springy, bouncy cushion for your feet when they need a break from all the running” shoe, making recovery more pleasant.

I received my pair near the end of July, I put them on and my first impression was how spongy (this is totally a word) and squishy they were. I wore them for about 2 hours.

This model – the Ooriginal sport sandal, is a traditional flip flop style with a toe post (the is soft and conforming to eliminate chafe. I really don’t notice it like you can with the style you pick up for a buck. This comes in three colors, graphite, cloud white and marsala. (ok, they had a limited edition red, white and blue this summer too)

Working the farmers market

Mine are graphite. I am not super matchy  with my clothes, but thought these would go with everything.

they even match this beer

Since I received my flip flops, ahem sport sandals, I haven’t been wearing anything else for sandals, especially for events where I am on my feet,  I have worn them:

  • To sell at a farmers market
  • On vacation
  • To work a garage sale
  • To grab a beer
  • To get ice cream
  • Around my house on the hardwood and tile floor
  • to walk the dogs
  • Post run

They never lose the bounce, each time I put them on, they feel just as springy as the first day I put them on. That cushion definitely holds its form

Sorry for the gross feet pic, I had just completed a trail marathon, my feet appreciated the relief from my compression socks and shoes

I was chatting on twitter with fellow Bibrave Pro ShannonShannon, and we were saying how they are so nice after a run, how they let your feet breathe, and Oofos chimed in with this “@AngieMaskeBerka @GirlsGotSole not only that, the tissue in your feet gets to stretch & strengthen when you wear @oofos! #bibchat #feeltheoo

There are so many benefits of this shoe. I had a hard time finding something I didn’t like about them. I do have a couple things to note:

  • If you are working in a dusty/dirty environment and your feet get dirty and then sweat, it’s like the dirt piles up under the strap, but I am not sure that’s a super bad thing, you’re feet just got dirty. The bonus is the shoes are so easy to hose off or throw into the washing machine.
  • We were told to size up, so this makes the toe area a little more spacious. I wasn’t paying attention at a market and the toe portion bent back and I almost tripped an fell…but market days are long and I was tired… The good news there are no scuff marks on the shoe, no damage.

I will continue to wear these all year round, even in the winter they will be handy around the house on the hard floors. I just love the bounce and letting my feet breathe after a run.

They retail for $59.95, your feet earned this!

If you are unsure if these are for you, check out more information on the Oofos website. They are also very active on Twitter, or you can find them on Facebook and Instagram.

Still needing more input, well the pros have been busy testing them out, here are some of their thoughts: ChaddFallon – Mark  

xx2i Australia1 – Product Review

XX2i Australia1 Sunglasses

“Disclaimer: I received the xx2i Optics Australia1 Polarized Sport Sunglasses   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!”

Before XX2i, I thought running with the shade from a hat or visor was enough to protect my eyes. Now, I can’t imagine running or being outdoors without my sunglasses. I was excited to learn the Australia1 frames I would be receiving would have my prescription lenses in them.

Each model has something a little different about them, it’s the details that make these great. From the website: “the Australia1 is XX2i’s only performance sunglass featuring an interchangeable temple arm / strap system for intense activities. The Australia1 also incorporates a removable padded insert for extra protection against the elements, and a sturdy frame with a unique wraparound style for enhanced peripheral vision. This model comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 8K optical technology, ensuring the utmost lens clarity and frame durability.”

I received my glasses, in matte black with gray lens and blue flash, just like my previous pairs, in a nice hard, zippered case; which is lined with foam. Inside was the glasses, a soft case that doubles as a cleaning cloth, a foam insert, 2 straps, a prescription card, and the original non RX lenses. There is also some clear lenses that look like a test lens, they have no RX. The frames also come in matte tortoise and matte white/black, and you can chose brown lenses.

I am not certain why I have the non RX lenses with my case, as I don’t believe I can take the frames apart and change them myself.

However, I can change the temples to a strap, and add a foam insert. This use would be best for more extreme sports or to protect your eyes from, wind, rain, snow, or dust. There is a piece on the foam that snaps into the hole over the nose on the frame. Makes them more like goggles.

August 11 – This is the day I received them. I tried them on for the first time, I can see out of them better than my current glasses (I think the RX on them is out of date.) It was also night time when I put them on, and I could still see inside.

August 12 – This was my first run, it was cloudy, but didn’t feel too dark. I had this weird perception, the ground seems farther away and always looks like I am going up a hill, weird curve to the lens with the RX. They would fog up when stopped at light,  it was humid & and I was super sweaty.  As far as the fit, they didn’t bounce or slip, great fit!

August 14 –  I took them on a short 3 mile run. Still adjusting to the curve of the lens when looking down. Some weird perception problem. I am not sure I could run trails or an area with unsure footing.

Aug 16– short & slow run, still getting used to the lens.

Aug 17 – humid, fogged up at stop lights. I had a thought, “If I use The foam insert will they be too hot?” I also can notice if I move my eyes left or right there is a weird curve blur to the lens.

All my runs so far have been in the morning. I will wake up and go for my run, this means I do not have to put in my contacts. When I come home and take a shower, this also means I don’t have to shower with my contacts (I am lazy and don’t take them out.) This is great as my eyes don’t dry out. Probably one of my favorite things about having these glasses.

can you see the blur on the right side of the lens, due to the curve?

Another plus is since they are my prescription, my husband, who likes to borrow my running gear, can’t borrow these.

I also noticed I have problems with them fogging up as they do sit close to my face. There is no adjustable nose piece to have them sit farther off your nose. However the fit is great on my face, no slipping or sliding, or bounce and I wear them with a hat/Buff and headphones.

I think the biggest con to having these if you are running somewhere in a tunnel, a trail race, or if the weather changes. In those situations you would need to remove the darker lenses and then wouldn’t be able to see. Now, yes I did wear these on a cloudy day and was still able to see, but if it were any darker, I would have problems.

Personally, I still struggle with the curve of the lens. I had to submit my RX information to XX2i including the distances between my eyes, so they would get the lens right. Maybe my RX was borderline too strong, as I know they can only fill RX to a certain strength.

If you are looking to get a pair of these for yourself they will range in price from $260-$500. They have a variety of lenses to chose from clear, photochromic, and polarized.

Please check out this page with the information you need to get RX lenses for your glasses, including the email contact.

I like these glasses, but they will be used for specific runs where I am familiar with my footing. I now have many options for protecting my eyes on the run. (I can also use these if I have some eye infection and can’t wear my contacts.) I also can’t wait to try them out in the extreme winter weather, they will be like googles.

*Please note I have these with prescription lenses, so my testing is a bit different. As an actual pair of sunglasses, these are another great product from xx2i.

XX2i makes a quality product. If there is something wrong with them they have the best warranty out there.”no questions asked Lifetime Warranty! No matter if your dog chewed on them (which we hear a lot!) or if you drove over them in your SUV, we’ll replace them for a nominal shipping and handling fee of $19.95!” *still confirming if this is good with RX lenses

I have 4 pairs of XX2i, top to bottom, USA1, Australia1, Bermuda1, Hawaii1

Seriously, I wear the Bermuda1 every day, I can’t imagine wearing the cheap shades you get at expos or pick up at a gas station anymore.

If you have further questions make sure to visit the XX2i website and check out their social channels Twitter, Facebook or Instagram. Also if you haven’t heard this is a great article about the Bibrave and the XX2i partnership.

Check out what the Bibrave Pros had to say: Christine – Jessica R – Samantha – Jeremy – Jen – Heather


End #NF 5k – recap

Iowa NF 5k Walk and RunIowa NF 5k Walk and Run

I had run this race last year, and wasn’t too impressed. However, a friend, Jen was going to run this year and I thought I would join her. I could also run to and from this event getting a few extra miles for the day.

Check out my official review at

Gear: Sparkle Athletic superhero skirt, ProCompression socks, Moving comfort bra, Green Walmart Tank, Nathan race belt, Garmin Fenix 3, OM Endurance Pack, xx2i sunglasses, Adidas shorts, Brooks Ghost 9

This year’s race was on Saturday Aug 13. It was warm, sunny and humid.

I woke up early and ran to the Terry Trueblood Recreational area. It is about 4.8 miles from my house. I was hoping for more miles on the day, and I was early to register so I ran around the lake when I got there. I actually ran into Jen, when I was about done.

Registration opened at 7:00am, and it was about 7:15. I walked over to the table to register expecting it to cost more on race day, but nope, only $20, and I didn’t have to buy a shirt. The last thing I need is another shirt.

Jen and I talked until the race started, mostly about her neon orange shoes.

We lined up and noticed that the one and only Erik Sowinski was running this event. He’s the coolest, compete at the Olympic trials and come back to Iowa City for a low key 5k.

Ok, after sizing up the competition…who am I kidding I will never be that fast… the race started. It was an out and back around the lake this year. There were 2 water stops with plastic cups. There were no spectators and the course was not closed to the public. It was nice on the out and back to wish others good luck as you passed by them.

I started way to fast, I think it was because I was trying to keep up with Jen (who by the way is a former college track athlete.) I only caught her at the turnaround, and that was because she stopped to take a drink. I had my OM pack on, as I needed it for running to/from the race.

Jen and I ran for a while together and chatted a bit. I told her I ran the first mile in 8:44 and that was way too fast. I slowed down and she kept moving faster, I just couldn’t keep up with her, and I think she was trying to keep up with a 10 year old kid.

The course was all paved and flat, but I just didn’t have any more speed in me. Running a marathon a month, I haven’t done any speed training except when I pick up a 5k here or there. Sure I can run 26 miles, but pushing in a 5k is tough!

I crossed the finish line in 27:15, wahoo!! It’s always a goal to hit sub 30, well and to finish.

Once I finished I made my way to a banana. They also had cookies, granola bars, apples and bottled water. Pizza would be showing up at 11 am. They had events all morning until then, including a one mile walk, a silent auction and things for kids to do.

Jen and I waited around for a while as there was mention that Star Wars characters would be showing up. While we waited we found Herky.

While we were standing around, I was tapped on the shoulder by an Iowa City police man. I was like uh, what did I do? He noticed my OM pack, and as he had an OM bottle pack, was curious about this new one. He asked me what I was training for, probably confused why I was wearing it for a 5k. I told him I ran there and that I was running a marathon a month. He then topped me and said he needed something to help him train for his first hundo in a few months. I wished him luck.

They had the awards presentation. Jen and I won our Age groups and received a plastic medallion.

Then we saw the storm troopers from the 501st Legion, and other characters. Of course, we had to get a picture. They insisted I hold a light saber. I was all sorts of confused as they talked, I have done too many Disney races.

It was time for me to get moving home. I had about 5 more miles and it was plenty warm. I said my goodbye to Jen and trotted back.

This race was much improved over last year, and I forget that it’s a fundraising event versus a competitive 5k. I would consider running it again. I had around 13 total miles on the day.


B1G Fun in Chicago

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the BTN B1G 10k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews.”

I will be honest, I wasn’t sure I would run this race again, I ran this in 2014 and wasn’t super impressed. However, with my love for the Hawkeyes and the opportunity to run for Bibrave, I decided to give it another shot. (spoiler alert, I am glad I did!)

If you want the basic review of the race, check it out at On the blog I tend to post all the pictures and all my adventures.

Registration for this race is about $50 for the 10k depending when you register. There is a 5k as well, but register early or you may think it costs too much. However, there are a lot of fun things included with your fee. The most “fun” thing is a school specific, gender specific, short sleeve tech tee. (keep reading to hear about all the other things.) Also depending when you sign up, Ram offers freebies.


This race is also different as most participants wear their race shirts to race in, school pride!

When I ran this race in 2014, I wasn’t too happy with the packet pick up process. Friday after 5pm in downtown Chicago was my only option, and it was a nightmare. However, Ram Racing has taken over this race and has started to offer options with their packet pick ups. Josh and I opted to get our stuff mailed to us, it was a small fee, but we had our things a week or so before the race. They also offered pickup starting on Tuesday and lasting through Friday at at Fleet Feet store. Also with the appropriate waiver someone else could grab your stuff for you.

I mentioned Josh was running this race too, but we picked up Hawkeye friend, Kelly on the way,and would be meeting Bibrave pros – Frank, Heather and Cass at the race. (and anyone else who wanted a koozie)

We drove into Chicago on Friday afternoon / evening, had a hotel reserved downtown, and a parking spot reserved with the Park Whiz app.

Supper was at our usual spot in downtown, Miller’s Pub. They seriously have something on the menu for everyone. Fish, fried chicken, pasta, burger, omelet, etc….oh and we can’t forget the beer!


After dinner we caught up with the Olympics and the opening ceremonies. We had time to lay out our gear and then with an early wake up call, we called it a night.


RACE DAY! – Saturday, August 6

Gear: Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, ProCompression Socks, Aftershockz Trekz Titanium, BibRave Tank, Adidas 7″ boyshort, XX2i USA1, Nike Hawkeye Hat, Hawkeye tattoos, Nathan Race belt. Moving Comfort bra, Garmin Fenix 3

It was a nice sunny day, and a cool start in the 60’s. The temps would rise to about 80 for the day. Race start time of 7 am. The 5k started after the 10k.

My before the race plan was to meet up with the fellow pros, and anyone who wanted a Bibrave koozie, near the starting line. We hung out there for a while, but were encouraged to get into our assigned corrals at 6:30 am.


I was joining Heather and Kelly, so we rounded the corner for our corral. There are plenty of corrals for this race, but I am still not sure of the seeding process. In addition to people being seeded into speedier corrals there is the usual sneaking into the wrong corrals. (However once we were off, I didn’t experience any problems with crowded streets or people stopping in front of me)

The course was new this year!! YAY! I was most excited to not be running through McCormick Tunnel, and the more narrow Lake Front Path on the South Side of Soldier Field. Instead the course ran north of Grant park and looped around by the Shedd Aquarium to run back north on the Lake Front Path, where there were 3 different areas to share amongst everyone.


I enjoyed running with Kelly and Heather as we ran intervals. Although, I am not sure they liked my encouragement about running up Mt. Roosevelt during a running interval…hey, it was just a friendly nudge.


There were a couple of water and Nuun stops along the way. Then there were also 2 fun stops with water slide inflatable things. Of course, I had to do the first one! Then my socks were wet. Also at this spot they were playing each school’s fight song. Heather did not appreciate Kelly and my singing of the Iowa Fight Song. We’re good!! “The word is fight, fight, fight…”

We all came across the finish line and were in search of the medals and some water. We weren’t the last finishers, but they ran out of towels to dip in the cold water (which was all gone too) It took a while to find a bottle of water, but we got one, there was also Goose Island Beer in the finisher’s chute too, it was busy. There were also bananas and Clif bars. We claimed our medals (with a ticket on the bib), with school specific ribbons. The medals were huge!


The new location also allowed for plenty of space for the post race festivities. Kelly and I found Josh at the Iowa tent, helping hand out the sunglasses. Each school had a tent with their swag to giveaway and a statue to raffle. There was also photo opportunities with mascots, cheerleaders, traveling trophies (Paul Bunyan’s Axe was there) and the B1G Championship trophy.

This new spread out area also had the post race sausage, more beer tents, a meet & greet with Kyle Schwarber, the tailgating area and the football “combine” type activities. There was something for everyone to do. Although it would have been nice for an actual chair in the shade.

After we got all the Hawkeye things, we met up with the rest of the gang at the nearby “Ill-annoy” tent. (ha but we convinced them of a better spot for a group picture) Even met up with twitter friend Jim, and he claimed a koozie. It was nice to chat about the race with Frank, Anthony, Cass, Tyler, Kelly, Heather, Marge and Josh. I have said this many times before, but races are the most fun if you can do it with friends! (no matter what school they cheer for)





It was time to move along, and the post race was closing up. However, Heather and Marge were down for a post race donut before we said our goodbyes.

IMG_7060 (1)

taking donut selfies are always flattering

Josh and I were sad to leave them, as we weren’t sure when we would meet again. We drowned our sorrows in a bag of Garrett’s popcorn (it was this race 2 years ago when I was introduced to this stuff, it was the race freebie if you were one of the first few to sign up)

We met back up with Kelly at the hotel, and she was getting ready to take off on her next adventure of the weekend. We all left the hotel. Josh and I headed to a Potbelly for lunch and an ice cream sandwich.

It was a quick trip to Chicago, but I really enjoyed the BTN B1G 10k this year. I am glad they made the changes to the course and post race. If you are a B1G super fan you need to get to Chicago and do this race. Who doesn’t like a little, friendly, pre-football season rivalry?


Orange Mud Endurance Pack


“Disclaimer: I received an Orange Mud Endurance Pack as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews.”


FullSizeRender (10)

If you recall I have the Orange Mud Hydraquiver Vest Pack one. It is a hydration pack that is worn like a back pack and holds one bottle. Which is great for a short run, but what do you do when you need more? Sure – I could get the pack that holds 2 bottles, but what if I could still carry more?

Enter the Orange Mud Endurance Pack. It’s the same back pack style idea, but with a 70 oz bladder for liquid.

Here is a small video that explains all the bells and whistles:

Notes I forgot to mention:

  • The front pockets have a drawstring on them to keep things inside.
  • My pack is green, it also comes in gray and orange
  • There really isn’t any rule what to store in what pocket, the possibilities are endless, like carrying an additional bottle with more liquid
  • It comes with a 70 oz Hydrapak bladder, however it is easily removable and you could add a different one.
  • There is mention on the website of a trekking pole attachment, I am not sure where this goes or what it is.

The following thoughts are from each of my uses of the pack:

July 12 – This is my first run with the pack. I washed the bladder out, however I didn’t fill it, as I just wanted to feel the overall fit.I ran 4.5 miles around Iowa City. Put my phone in front chest pocket, Glukos tablet tube in shoulder which was annoying as the tube didn’t bend, and I could feel it on my shoulder. The fit of the pack was great. The side cinching straps are LONG, but the flapping didn’t bother me. The drink tube is super long, but tucked it in the loops and across my body. (Orange tank)

IMG_5879 (1)

July 14 – My second run, and I filled bladder, but not full. There was the sloshing noise. The fit is very snug, better than the Hydraquiver VP1 I think due to it’s fit around the boobs. (TMI, I don’t care) It doesn’t bounce. Tube is long, but stick in spot across chest. Lots of pocket space! I actually wore the pack to run to a sealed bid sale for work and was able to fit the bidding packet of papers in the back. At the sale a non runner thought I was wearing a parachute. Again I carried my Glukos tube in shoulder pocket and it just doesn’t fit well in the shoulder pocket.

July 16CVNT trail 50k. I ran a 50k with this! I filled the bladder full, pockets had a granola bar, trail mix, pb pretzels, go pro camera, iphone, Glukos tablets tube, & fruit twists. Fit snug around the front, it was heavy, but didn’t feel heavy. Sloshing, the more I drank the stranger the fit against my sports bra (but I should have worn one without a clasp) – all the chaffing!!!! ( I didn’t tighten the side straps as I drank the water, it fit better once I filled the bladder again.) My husband crewed me on my run and I had to refill the water. Water gets warm in tube. ( forgot to keep blowing it back into the pack.) Realized I could move the front straps, they are adjustable.

July 18 – I gave this a try on a bike ride. It was also 2 days after a 31 mile run. Easy to access the pockets on the go, long hose isn’t a problem. No hassles. It’s nice to be able to easily access water on a bike, don’t have to wrangle a bottle from the frame. Side note, my bike sucks…taking donations, lol.

July 23 – I hit up the local trails and I filled it with water. I drove to the trail, so I had my keys with me, I had already put the pack on, and was to lazy to hook the key on the hook in the back zippered part, so I put in the front chest pocket, where there is no key hook, I heard the key rattle, but this is user error. I heard the sloshy noise, but I had the fit under control, and no chafe.

July 28 – I took a vacation to Colorado, which is at a higher elevation than I am used to. The key to adjusting is drinking a lot of water, so I took this on my hiking adventures. I first hiked the Flat Irons in Boulder. I brought water and snacks. Never felt heavy, fit good. I had packed a granola bar and some trail mix, in addition to my wallet, go Pro, and cell phone. I could feel it sweaty on my back, but never felt hot.

July 29– Hiking Estes Park – I clipped a jacket on the back, there are so many clips. I took a tram to the top of a peak. I did some additional hiking around the peak. Took a break on the mountain to have some trail mix. I took the pack off and used as a pillow to take a nap.


Aug 4 – Used it for a short run, but it was HOT with a feels like temp of 100. Pack didn’t feel too hot. Sloshing noise. As water leaves the pack, the fit becomes more loose, discovered to just blow it back up with air from the tube and it fits snug again, especially when the straps are as tight as possible.


Aug 6 – I wore the pack as a backpack only, in a supported 10k. I had brought koozies to distribute at a the race, instead of using gear check, I just stuffed them in the pack when I ran. The fit was great, and I was able to use the front pockets to store my phone and ID. It was also great post race to hold all the snacks and things so I could open a bottle of water to drink. I wished I had put the bladder in though, I could have used more water on the run and afterwards for hanging out.


*thanks for modeling Heather, and for the pics!

Aug 7– I wrote a quick twitter message to Orange Mud. I know I am concerned about bacteria growing in the hose, it’s the worry with all bladder packs. I have heard to store them in the freezer between uses. I had to ask if this Hydrapak bladder was safe to do so, if the plastic could handle the extreme cold temps. Not only did they respond in like minutes, but the pack is safe for the freezer!

How do you care for this?

  1. The back pack fabric: I usually hand wash with some mild detergent and hang to dry. I have also heard it’s a possibility to use a machine and wash on the gentle cycle. I will also spray it in between uses with a stink free spray.
  2. The bladder: I use some soap and hot water and wash it clean. I open the top and put over a water bottle to dry out. It’s hard to clean the hose. I have a small brush I can use, I bought for another bladder pack I have. I would say you could put in your dishwasher too, but I have not tried this.


After all these test runs and uses, here are the things I like:

  • All the pockets! This is truly a running backpack, makes it possible to literally run errands. I can bring an additional drink with me.
  • The fit! There are so many adjustable straps and clips to make it work for your body.
  • Light weight – weighing in at 9.5 oz with no liquid.
  • The Material! It breathes and is soft on the skin, when you have the right fit, it doesn’t budge or chafe your skin.
  • The closure of the bladder, no screw on caps to worry about leaks. Easy to fill.
  • The pocket for the bladder, you could easily remove this one and put in your favorite one.

Things I am not so crazy about:

  • The bladder. It can be a pain to clean and it will make a sloshy noise. I can’t squirt water on my head from the hose.
  • Have to take off pack to access anything stored in the back pockets.

Overall thoughts – As far as bladder style hydration packs, this one was created with the end user in mind, it’s easy to customize, to work for you. Plenty of pockets, many straps for adjustment and the ability to carry a lot of water are what stand out.

I can’t wait to wear it this basketball season. I like to run to the games, about 3.5 miles across town, and I like to bring a change of clothes with me. This will be perfect to still get through the door and carry all my necessities.

If you need to learn more about Orange Mud, make sure to check out their website –

Or follow them:

Still looking for more thoughts? Check out what my fellow pros thought

AmyMarkJessicaErica  – HeatherJeremyEmily


“Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Fort Collins Human Race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check to review find and write race reviews!

As you just read above, I went to Colorado to run a race for BibRave. However, the hubs decided to run it too and make it a vacation. As a warning, this will be a long post about our Colorado adventure… for all the race specifics please check out my review at 

As some of you may know, I don’t do well flying. I don’t mind driving, but Colorado is about 14ish hours from home. Lucky for us Amtrak has a train that could take us there. It would be an overnight ride from Mt. Pleasant, IA to Denver. While there are sleeper cars available, we just had 2 regular seats on the upper level.

We rolled into Mt. Pleasant Wednesday, July 27. We checked our large suitcase at the train station and went to find some food. The great thing (or not so great thing) is you can bring a lot of stuff with you, including all the food. We found some Chinese food and ordered some to go. (so you can buy food on the train, but the prices are crazy)

The train was 20 minutes or so behind, which wasn’t a big deal. We just waited in the hot station. Also to note when traveling Amtrak, there is no formal security in a small station…no one checks anything… (at this time)

We boarded the train, and took our seats. It was roughly 7pm CT.

I am no stranger to riding Amtrak, it’s a great way to get to Chicago. I was most excited to get some things done with the wi-fi. However this train had no wi-fi, and I wasn’t prepared. I didn’t have anything else with me to read, just the couple of puzzles on my phone. I am not used to having absolutely nothing to do.


We were settled and cruising along, we ate our Chinese food, listened to some music, then it was quiet time. We tried to get some sleep, but every time I would get comfortable, something would ache and you need to re position. Oh well, the sun came up soon enough and just like that we were in Denver, it was around 8am MT.

Thursday July 28

After a short wait, we claimed our bags and had Enterprise “pick us up.” They took us to their office and we had our choice of a white or black Chevy Camaro. Ok, we tossed our luggage in the black one and were on our way to our first stop…. Voodoo Doughnuts. (If you recall, I once bought a bucket of day old donuts for $8)

We found a spot to park on the street, and went inside. As always there are so many options when it comes to donuts. Josh picked a cruller and I went with the Old Dirty Bastard. YUM!!

Up next, a tour of Coors Field. This is the home to MLB’s Colorado Rockies. They were playing out of town (the Mets) so instead of going to a game we thought we would check out where they play. However we arrived too late to get a spot on the 10 am tour, it was sold out. Instead of waiting around for the next one at 12, we changed things up and walked around Denver…then grabbed a bite to eat a place call the View House.


After talking to our waiter, he changed our minds for our afternoon plans. Instead of heading to the water park, we hopped back into the car and headed for Boulder. We were going to take a hike at the area called Flat Irons. We have water parks at homes, but no mountains.

Not sure how we would have traveled or made plans without googlemaps.

Somehow we figured out to park in the Chautauqua area, it appeared to be some private music venue or something. Oh well, we snagged our Orange Mud packs, since we didn’t know what to expect and headed out on the trail.

There were maps and trail markers along the way, but really you could hike around anywhere. It wasn’t a park. We hadn’t even made it a half mile and saw a deer. There were many other people using the trail too.


We motored along, but came to a place where it appeared the trail disappeared. We let some others with hiking poles pass us, then we followed them. The trail seemed to do this in many spots. We didn’t know what we were getting into. Then we came to a place where we could see climbers scaling the sides of the Flat Irons…no climbing gear. CRAZY!


It was then time for us to have an adventure of our own, the trail turned into loose rocks. If you hit the wrong one you could slide down into the ravine. We could see the dirt trail up ahead, we just needed to get there. We made it after taking our sweet ass time. It was obvious we were not experienced hikers.

We stopped to take a break, ate some trail mix. When we started hiking again, we struck up a conversation with a friendly woman from VA. She suggested we go to the Garden of the Gods. (we didn’t have time for that) She also went on to suggest checking out the tram in Estes Park. She wasn’t the only friendly person we ran into, in fact everyone out on the trail was super nice.


When all was said and done, according to the stats on my Garmin we hiked about 2.75 miles at 5500 feet above sea level. We wanted to make sure we were adjusted to the altitude before our half marathon on Saturday.

Next stop – Longmont. This is where we would call home for a few nights.

After checking into the hotel, we thought we should check out one of the 20 or so breweries in the area. We made a trip to the Left Hand Brewery. I chose a Blood Orange IPA, it was 8.6% and Josh went with a 4% beer. As with many of the breweries in CO, they didn’t serve food, but some snacks, and a food truck was parked outside.


The night was still young, so we went to the Pumphouse Brewery. It was ladies night, and the house drafts were only $3. There was a short wait for food, but some games in back, we gave Skee Ball a go and tied with a score of 210. We got a table, ordered food, and stuffed our faces.


It was a long day, we were tired, we called it a night, more adventure was ahead.

Friday July 29

The tentative plan was to check out Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. With the one hour time difference, we were up early and on our way to Estes. (It also helped the hotel had a sweet breakfast available)

Once we got to Estes Park, we decided to take the Aerial Tramway to the top of one of the peaks. We were early, but that was a good thing. There were only 2 tram cars, one went up while the other went down. Each car could hold approx. 8 passengers.


While waiting in line and throughout the day, we were asked if we were in town for the race. Little did we know the Rocky Mountain half marathon and 5k was the same weekend. I guess the people of Estes Park recognize Bibrave gear.

We were on the second tram to the top. There was a coffee shop and a gift store. We talked to the lady behind the cash register and she told us to hike off the beaten path, she also told us to buy some peanuts to feed the chipmunks. (No thanks!)

Josh and I walked the additional mile to the summit and did some more hiking once we got there. The Garmin says we were about 8,432 feet at our highest point, 3,000 more than the day before.


We did some shopping around at the gift shop and waited in a short line for the return tram. While we waited there was a hummingbird feeder set up where 4 birds were battling out the 2 spots to feed. I have never been so close to these birds, they were used to people.


It was close to lunch time, so we braved the downtown, talk about a tourist trap. The parking situation was crazy and there were people everywhere. Since we couldn’t find any parking we opted to go to the Estes Park Brewery (shocking, more beer!) it was a little removed from the craziness.

We ordered some sandwiches and actually passed on a beer. Well….we did check out the tasting room where each person was allowed 4 samples. We topped off the visit with the house brewed root beer float.

Our next plan was to hit up Rocky Mountain National Park. I had done some light research about places to hike, but really wasn’t sure where or how you went about doing it, or if you needed to pay someone? So we just hopped into the car and headed to the park.

We were traveling on hwy 36 and passed the Beaver Meadows Visitor center, but it just didn’t feel like the main place to be, (even though it’s park headquarters) so we looped around the lot and got back on the road and drove some more. There it was, the actual entrance or pay station.

We handed over the $20 for the daily park pass and made sure to get a map. Which was the best thing we ever did. There is no phone service. Ok, so there are not many roads in the mountains, but it helped us decide to take the Old Fall River Road up and then Trail Ridge Road (Hwy 34) back down. Otherwise we would have just kept going and ended up on the west side of the mountain range.


I mentioned Old Fall River Road…now this was an adventure. This road is the original road around the park. It is still gravel, it’s only open from July-September, it’s only one way up, it’s 9 miles long, and the speed limit is 15 mph. Oh remember the part where we have a Camaro as a rental car? Yeah it sits really low to the ground, the road was rutted at all the hair pin turns, so that was fun. It was also fun to have one side of the road drop off into a ravine, while the other was a rock wall.

We reached the Alpine Visitor Center, in about an hour! We stopped here to use the bathrooms, check out the gift store and hike to the summit. We ended up at 12,000 feet. It was cool and breezy, Josh estimated maybe 50 degrees.

We looked at the map and discovered the Continental Divide was only a few more miles down the road before we would turn back. We took the obligatory picture with the sign, did some more hiking, and headed back to Trail Ridge Road.


On the way back, the traffic came to a stop. We couldn’t figure out what was happening, did someone have car trouble? Then we saw a set of antlers….and another…there were 2 Elk just chillin by the roadside.
“Did you see the rack on that one?”


We continued on our way, taking all the pictures and admiring all the views. The paved road was a lot easier to navigate, and there were guard rails on the steep ravine sides. We made one last stop at the Hidden Valley Ranger Station area. There were actual flushing toilets and it was solar powered. This was cool to see in such a remote area.

I really wish we had more time to spend here, or drive the entire way around and do some hiking.

On the way back we stopped at a cherry store. We grabbed some things to bring home, but most importantly grabbed a slice of cherry pie. I love a good road side attraction or food stand.


Up next…dinner with fellow Bibrave Pro – Katherine. I’ll bet you’ll never guess where we dined….ok it’s obvious, another Brewery. This time it was Oskar Blues. We sat outdoors, the weather was ridiculously awesome, no humidity! OMG the beer menu was insane here, if I really took the time to read it all, I would still be there. I chose a sour and Josh went with an IPA. We split a pizza, as we had 13.1 to run in the morning. We enjoyed each other’s conversation and had a great evening. At one point a giant thunderhead started to form in the distance, and people came outside to take pictures, like it was a rare occurrence.


We said our goodbyes after making some rough plans to meet up the next morning, and Josh and I went back to our hotel….where we discovered cookies on the front desk.

Saturday July 30 – RACE DAY

As I mentioned 65 chapters ago, I have all my race details in a review on Bibrave, if you want to check that out.

The race was in Fort Collins, about a 45-50 minute drive from where we were staying in Longmont. We woke up at 4:45 and brewed coffee in our room, and ate the bagels we snagged from the previous days breakfast bar (oh sneaky.)


Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, BR tank, Procompression socks, Brooks Ghost 9, Addidas &’ boy short, BR tech had, SPIbelt, Garmin Fenix, Moving Comfort Bra, Plantronics bluetooth headphones 

We arrived near the start/finish area and easily found a place to park on the street, for free!! We had yet to get our bibs, so we walked the block to the packet pick up and got our things. We had received confirmation emails, but we just told them our names, and got our stuff. I was disappointed in the race shirt. I have 2 of the exact same shirts, same color, same brand….so now I have 3 of the same shirt, just must be a popular color this year.It does fit nice though.


We met up with Pro Katherine again, her Boyfriend, and their dog Ellie. Bibrave Pro Alex was also running the 5k, and we snapped a picture together.

Then as a surprise, we spotted Carol and her daughter Susan. Carol is a family friend from Iowa, and her daughter lives in FoCo. They had surprised us and signed up to volunteer for the race. This was awesome, races don’t happen without volunteers.


After using the facilities, we were ready to start. There were some announcements shouted to the crowd, then someone yelled “Go!” The half marathon was off…it started a half hour before the joint start of the 5k and 10k. The unique thing about the 5k was you could race the trolley.

Anyway….. I was off running the half marathon. It was 2 loops around town, part of it on the Poudre Trail, with some gravel spots. There was a spot we went downhill (actually a busy street, I wished we were coned off to run against traffic.) It never felt like we went uphill, but the Garmin stats showed we did some climbing, so I thought it was mostly flat. I also wasn’t bothered by the elevation of around 5000 feet. All that hiking paid off!

There were liquid Aid Stations only, and I knew ahead of time (thanks to all the website info) there would be water and Nuun, which I don’t care for…however I didn’t bring anything else with me, cuz I just didn’t…sometimes I hate carrying all the things with me…hello chafe! (ok so I had some 2Toms…OMG I am rambling here, are you still reading?) Alright I knew that I would need something, so I took the plunge and actually drank some Nuun…along with stopping for every water stop.


I had a good race, I enjoyed the low humidity and new place to run. I crossed the finish line in 2:18 something, with a Garmin distance of 13.31. It was also at the same time the kids race was finishing, on the same finish line. I was not happy as I had to come to an abrupt stop to not trample anyone. I also had a hard time getting to my medal, and to some cups to get a drink of water. Perhaps they can make 2 finishing areas….

I found Josh and Katherine and we made our way to the post race festivities. Katherine waited with a friend as the results were announced for the 10k. Josh and I went through the post race food line. A Snooze pancake was part of the spread, but just one with fancy icing and granola. There were orange slices, bananas and watermelon too. There was a table with cups to fill with water or lemonade. The race is very environmentally conscious and there were compost, trash and recycling bins.

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From this area we took our food and went to the beer!!! Each participant was carded and given 2 tickets for 3 choices of O’Dell’s Beer…Yep more drinking! We lounged in the grass, and discovered Katherine placed 2nd in her AG, YAY!!! Carol and Susan showed up after their duties, they were given pancake vouchers and beer tickets too. However they were out of pancakes, and the beer packed up before we were able to cash in the second ticket.

It was time to move on with our day, so we said our goodbyes to Katherine…hope to meet up again.

Susan offered her shower to us, WAHOO!!! We were prepared to take a water bottle bath in the parking lot, but this was great!

After we were cleaned up, we had to go check out another brewery..of course! We drove over to Funkwerks. I really like the raspberry sour I can get in Iowa, they had it on tap!! They also had it brewed with peppermint and cocoa notes, so I got that. Josh got the regular raspberry. It was their 6th birthday! They had a raffle going on, for every beer you purchased you had a chance to win a prize. Sadly Carol and Susan won nothing…however I put my hand in and pulled out 2 free tacos (from the cart outside) and Josh won a 4 pack of beer!!! They also had munchkins on a tray for all.


We sat in the shade outside and enjoyed each other’s company. Susan smartly packed some delicious snacks. Including this snack mix Carol travels to Colorado to get…apparently the Costco at home does not sell Utz snack mix.

It was time for us to say goodbye. It was so nice to meet up with them.
Josh and I decided to stay in Fort Collins for the remainder of the day. We walked around the downtown area. We stopped to get a key lime cookie ice cream sandwich, YUM!

Then of course, we stopped at another Brewery…this time New Belgium. This place was huge! All the brew tours were sold out, but we managed to snag some tasters and a flat bread from one of the food trucks on the property.


It was almost too busy for us, so we took off and headed back towards LoCo. What will we do when back in Longmont? Well drink more beer of course…this time it was different. Josh found a running store with beer taps in the back room – Shoes N Brews!! PERFECT!!!

We shopped the store, ( I got a sample of Run Gum to try) then when they closed up, walked around back to have some more beer and a giant pretzel.

At this point, we were both tired and hungry for a real meal. Instead of leaving and going to another brewery, we found a Mexican restaurant where we loaded up on all the water!!! Plus chips and a little bit of salsa, as it was kinda hot. Once we were full, we called it a day and crashed back at the hotel.

Sunday July 31

A day to sleep in! However we were awake by 7 am.

We didn’t have much planned for the day, but we managed to fill it with lots of things.

We grabbed a breakfast muffin, juice and coffee from the breakfast in the lobby. Then decided to go run on the path that goes between Longmont and Boulder.

We drove to the Kanemoto park to get on the “trail.” After we started moving, we quickly decided to only make it a 3 mile run, our hammies were sore. We enjoyed the weather, the company, the sights along the way. Colorado is just great for running!

Once done, and back to the hotel, we grabbed some more breakfast – just oatmeal then got our things packed up to head back towards Denver. We had a train to catch at 7pm that night.

With a lot of time to kill, we thought we would eat a real meal. I scoped out a place, thanks to Google, called The Buff in Boulder. It was a breakfast joint near the University of Colorado campus. It was a happening place. (Note it was not a brewery!) We had a 45 minute wait, but really didn’t have much else to do.

Once seated, we noticed they had a deal on 99 cent mimosas and bloody marys with food purchase, score!!! We each ordered a mimosa. We also ordered the most delicious breakfast!! Then of course had an additional drink, I had a bloody mary this time.

It was now about 1:30 and we still had some time. We drove over to the University of Colorado football stadium to check things out. We noticed they had a real grass field, they also had barbed wire fence around the area, they didn’t want anyone to get it. We wrapped up here with still more time to kill…so I suggested going to Red Rocks as it was sort of on the way.

In the mean time Josh had been checking the train schedule to make sure it was on time, and it still was.

By the time we got to Red Rocks the weather had started to cloud up and it was really windy. It didn’t however stop us from more sightseeing. Red Rocks was gorgeous! The bad part was we could only see the surrounding area as there was a concert that evening and they had closed everything down for sound check. We were glad we stopped and checked things out.

From here it was time to get the rental car back to Enterprise. They closed at 4pm, which was approaching. The plan was to park near Union Station and check our one suitcase, then take the car back, but of course there was no parking available.

Being flexible, we drove to Enterprise and returned the car, then Ubered back to the train station. There was no way we were going to haul all our bags around Denver (remember Josh won beer.)

Uber dropped us off and we checked our bag with Amtrak, where we learned the train was running about a half hour behind. The guy at baggage check says the heat out west causes the train to slow down, and he estimated the train would be later yet, not until 8pm.

We sat down at the train station and discovered FREE WIFI!!! So we just sat and chilled for a while. We had been on an adventure the past few days. We would decide what to do next, as Josh kept checking the Amtrak schedule.

Well, we ended up chilling in the train station too long and never went anywhere else. We used the facilities and got some sandwiches to bring on board. Then we went outside to wait in the line to board the train. We wanted to make sure to be in line early so we could get 2 seats together.

Then the train was delayed more…but a nice older gentleman came up behind us in line, Phil. Phil was on his way to Osceola to get a ride to the Winnebago dealer in Iowa, to then take an RV out west, as they can’t be shipped. He loves to travel and his wife doesn’t, this was a perfect way for him to do so. It was nice to talk to him, we learned about all kinds of things, and how we originally lived in Holbrook, IA. It made the never ending wait go faster.

Finally at 8:27 pm, one of the conductors said the train was backing in. Finally at 8:35 we saw the train, but it had to unload first, then all 180 new passengers had to load back up. It wasn’t until 9pm MT we were on our way back to Iowa, about 2 hours later than planned.

Josh and I got our 2 seats together and settled in, finally eating our sandwiches. This is when I discovered my tray table was broken and I could barely reach the foot rest, did I shrink? While the seats are much roomier on a train, I just couldn’t get comfortable.

It was late, but I wasn’t tired, so I started typing this novel of a recap of events…are you even still reading? It was something I could do without wifi. I also played the Sudoku game on my phone.

We had invested in neck pillows as we thought we would be more comfortable to try and sleep. They were a good investment, but I was never in the right position… I suppose I got 4 hours of sleep. Then we woke up….Josh grabbed us a bagel and some coffee from the cafe…and that was the good news…

Quiet time was over and the conductor was making all the announcements. The first announcment was there was only one driver of the train and he had to make notes, and in order to do that, we had to stop…ok no big deal, we were rolling once again…

Then the next announcement “Ladies and Gentlemen, there was a rollover accident up ahead and they need to clear the tracks” So we were stopped again.

Then there was another announcement “Ladies and Gentleman, a crossing arm is broken ahead” So we were stopped again

Then “Ladies and Gentleman we are stopping to pick up a BNSF worker” — stopped….

Then the lady that is working on our car tells us our shitter is full…AHHHHHH!!!! Will we ever get home???!! I have to pee!

We start rolling again, and this time keep moving. I wrap this novel up as we are about 40 minutes from our stop. Only now about 3 hours from our original arrival time. (We got off the train at 1:30pm CT)

I really did enjoy the train, but as with all travel there will be bumps in the road. I will take it again. I will also go to Colorado again, I hope to get to spend more time hiking around.

There is so much to see and do. I also hope to run more races, especially in the summer when the humidty is about 40%, such a treat for us Iowans.

However before we return, we need to take a break from drinking and maybe eat more salad.

Thanks for reading the lengthy post….stayed tuned for the next adventure.

50k? Ok!

Why would you run 31 miles?

The most obvious, cocky answer is … because I can! Also, have you not been reading the blog? JESH!

Alright, I’ll be nice. I ran 31 miles or 50k as part of my goal to run a marathon a month. In my previous post about this run (CVNT Ultra) I had planned to run from point to point on the Cedar Valley Nature Trail to accomplish at least 26.2 miles. However last minute safety issues near the starting point (runners being attacked) had me re-assess the plan. That turned into an out and back, that would be 31 miles or 50k (due to facilities)….that is why I ran 31 miles.

Background – I was on a short road trip with my dad, and we stopped to check out the “Largest Skillet” in Brandon, IA. We stumbled upon the Cedar Valley Nature Trail, a flat crushed rock, maintained trail that runs from Cedar Rapids to Waterloo, IA, approximately 51 miles long.

It’s hard to find a close race in the summer, or it’s a tough terrain on a trail that I am not trained for. Instead of spending all my money traveling and on hotel, I planned my own event.

Race Day – Josh was going to be “crewing” and friend, Joel was going to be biking. There were really no plans, but to make it out and back.

July 16, 2016. We arrived at the Center Point Welcome Center, which had a parking lot. There were bathrooms, but at 7am, the building was still locked. We made sure to utilize a nearby gas station. The weather was perfect for running this distance in mid July, 60’s and low humidity. (It would warm up)

Gear: Badass Running tank, Magenta Sparkle Athletic skirt, neon green Pro Compression Socks, Brooks Ghost 8, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Bibrave Tech Hat, Garmin Fenix, 2 Toms, XX2i USA1 sunglasses


My pack was loaded with food and water. Josh stood by with his phone and sounded a “Gong” and the race was on! Joel started near me and biked ahead. He was getting in some miles for the upcoming RAGBRAI. Josh got back in the car and planned to meet me in about 6 miles, at Urbana, where there is a bathroom.


I was really enjoying the trail, I also had a new audiobook to listen too, which was drowning out the sloshing noise from the water in my pack. I was about 4 miles in, when Joel came riding back towards me on his bike.


He notified me there was a dog up ahead. When I reached the home with the dog, it was barking at me, but appeared to have a collar on that was hooked to an invisible fence. It was nice to get the warning. Thanks Joel!


I kept on trucking and met Josh on the trail. Not only was he crewing, he was going to run some miles. We ran into Urbana, where we met Joel. We stopped and used the bathroom and I had some snacks and Gatorade, it was about 6 miles into the run. Josh continued to run a little further with me.


He turned back to get the car, to meet me again along the way. It was getting warmer and there were spots without shade. The next stop I met Josh, he ran a little more, but when we came to the car I drank more G2 and we put on some sunscreen.

After I parted ways again with Josh, the next meeting point was going to be Brandon, IA. There was a bathroom there. When I was about 2 miles away, Joel came riding back towards me. He said he was going to ride further to La Porte City, and he would catch up later.

I trotted into Urbana and spotted Josh. We had talked via phone (hell0 bluetooth headphones) and told him how I would love a cold orange Gatorade (heavy). My Garmin had 15.42 miles, but I thought since I had made it to Brandon, we needed a picture at the giant skillet, so I hopped into the car and we made it the few blocks to grab a photo. After chugging more Orange Gatorade and eating a bag of trail mix, I was now half way done and on my walk back to the start.


It was about 80 degrees, and I was enjoying listening to my audiobook. However I was starting to slow, had to start walking a bit. I just kept moving though. The parts in the shade were great!

Some bikers passed by, some shouting they liked my skirt and my socks.


I met up with Josh again. I was having an issue with chaffing, and I was out of 2Toms (GASP!) As the water drained from the pack, the fit became looser and I didn’t tighten it, causing an issue around my sports bra. I tried rolling more 2Toms, had Josh try to put it on too, but with the sweat and empty feeling of the bottle, I can tell you it didn’t help. (Review of the pack coming soon)


I remember checking my watch around mile 21 when I saw Josh, I slowly ran until about mile 26, when I was back in Urbana. I was proud, I made it about a marathon distance and was still moving. I was also out of water.


When I got to Urbana, I stopped at the bathroom again, and this time (thanks to a phone call via bluetooth) Josh had Orange Gatorade with ICE!!! It was the best ever!! He also filled my bladder with water, which made the pack fit lots better.I ate some more snacks and kept walking towards Center Point, I was on the home stretch.

Josh said he had a text from Joel. He made it to La Porte City, and said it was a good thing we changed the route as parts of the trail were closed to the north. He also realized he had been out for a while and enjoyed a hamburger and ice cream, and would try to meet us back in Center Point.

I developed a weird pain in my right calf at this time. However if I slowed down it felt worse, so I shuffled along. There was also an issue with time… I was close to setting a PR in the 50k…however I didn’t think I could push it…also we had 2 dogs at home that needed to be let out (Thank you neighbors for taking them out last minute.)

Joel came riding up behind me with about 2 miles to go. Josh had also parked in Center Point and ran back to find me, we had all met again on the trail. I think I remember Josh walking as fast as I was running (but he does have longer legs.)


I remember looking at my watch when my 50k PR time passed, I had .40 miles to go….Then there it was the Center Point Welcome Center.

I looked at my watch and I still needed to run a few more tenths of a mile, so I made sure to get 31 miles by running a little past the center and back.

DONE!!! 7:14…5 minutes from my PR. With a last minute decision to run this far, I was ecstatic. I received some high fives from Josh (and some stares from the people at the Welcome center)

Josh had run about 17 miles and Joel had biked 60.

I attempted my post race jump photo, it was tough. My calf was in pain, felt like a giant knot and bruise at the same time.


I needed a beer! We went to the Center Point Travel Plaza, it also had a McDonald’s. I got a chicken sandwich and the best, most saltiest fries ever!!!! We snagged some Summer Shandy tall boys and popped a squat in the parking lot. Joel joined as well. The best post race party ever! We had fun catching up and discussing the day.

I would love to make this an annual event. The trail is flat, and a great place to run. You can run as far as you want, bathrooms and towns to use or buy things as needed. There are roads to cross, but just make sure to look both ways and should have no problems with traffic. There are other users on the trail, but it’s long enough for everyone to share.

*Note on my health. I had been having some weird low blood sugar kind of issues. My stomach would feel super hungry, then coincidentally on my last long run effort I felt light headed like I needed to pass out. Well leading up to this, I cut out drinking so much sparkling water, see I don’t drink carbonated beverages regularly… I feel like I was filling myself full of bubbles and causing some weird gas feeling.  I also improved my snacking and protein intake. I was trying to eat something about every 2 hours, string cheese, nuts, and apple, peanut butter, etc. I ran this and had no ill effects, never felt hungry, or light headed. I had plenty of snacks with me, and drank a butt load of liquids. I am also writing this a week later… I have had a sparkling water or 2, and I noticed if I drink too much at once, I feel weird… so I will just not drink a lot of them. I also have not been super ravenous or felt light headed…this is after running 31 miles.  I will continue to monitor this situation.

I do not currently have an August 26.2 or longer on the calendar, I am still looking, but leaning towards the Wausau marathon. I wish there were some trail races that weren’t on tough technical trail, I am not trained for elevation at this time.

Stay tuned for my next adventure…..