What’s next?

WHAT’S NEXT?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Pittsburgh MarathonSteel Challenge 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!”

It’s been a while since I had a plethora of races on my calendar, but there was a time that the schedule was always full. I go to gatherings and what not and people keep asking me what am I running next? Well I finally have an answer, the Pittsburgh Marathon!!

A picture from a run along the river in PGH when I visited for a baseball trip


Ok, so I will run a shorter distance race here and there, in fact I am signed up for the Holiday Bowl 5k on Dec 26th and I will always try to run the Amana Freezer Run, but I need a goal.

It’s also been a hot minute since I actually trained for a marathon. I am out of shape and need a kick in the butt. This could be it!

I have been to Pittsburgh a couple of times and I have really enjoyed both trips. I look forward to discovering more about the city on foot. I also hope to enjoy some perogies.

I plan to run the Steel Challenge. This includes the 5k on Saturday (May 2nd) and the full marathon on Sunday (May 3rd.) If you want to run the full, half or relay code “BIBRAVE10PGH” will save $10

100 mile wrap up

100 Miles In November Wrap up

It’s December first and the challenge is over. Womp Womp.

I am kinda sad… it went by soooooo quick. I made it to 101.68 miles for the month and I know I couldn’t have done it without all of your motivation, inspiration and encouragement.

Congratulations to everyone who met their goal!! The idea of the challenge was just to keep active during a crazy time of the year. Whether you met 100 miles or just made sure to go for a walk, you did it!!

I also appreciate the posts in the Facebook group that kept it real. Life happens and injury creeps in. This happens and it’s hard to take a break, but with the support of everyone it makes it easier to take the rest our body needs.

I am saying this again, but I was overwhelmed by those who have requested to be a featured participant in the group. I apologize if I did not recognize you all. I promise I will not forget about you.

Also I have SLOWLY been getting to those headband and keychain requests. So if you haven’t heard from me, be patient. If you still would like one and didn’t request one, let me know. I can also make scrunchies.

Now, how about some prizes!!!

There are 2 more BibRave Swag prizes on the line, so heading to the random number generator, I would like to congratulate Mark V(column CM) and Sheryl B (Column AF)

Time for the Grand Prizes!! To be eligible for these, you would need to have made it 100 Miles in November. The winner of the Aftershokz headphones is Lou S (Column CC) !!! The winner of the Hawkeye 50k/25k/10Mile entry is Heather P (column DM)!!

As always look for me to be in touch, to square away the details.

Thank you to everyone that made 2019 a success. Special thanks to Corridor Running, BibRave, Aftershokz, The Iowa River Power Company/Flannigan’s, We Run/Hawkeye 50k, MarathAng Bands, Clythie, and Plato Electric LLC.

Congratulations once again to everyone!!! I look forward to November 2020. In the meantime, while the FB group gets quiet, it is still open so feel free to post as you wish!

Legend of the Fall 2019 Recap

Legend of the Fall 2019

Back for more… I don’t even know how many years I have run this event, but it’s my favorite area race to brag about. This race is a pretty tough trail event on a day that is usually reserved for the family friendly turkey trot. Iowa City knows how to celebrate a runner’s true grit!

This year, Josh registered us ahead of time. I think it was around $25 and included was a long sleeve, soft cotton, unisex shirt and a timing chip.

I ran the 1.9 miles to the start. The race is hosted at an area High School. I met up with Josh who had gotten our shirts and timing chip. Again this year there were no bibs to worry about. In a day and age where banditing is becoming more of a thing, I feel I live in a small, honest community where it’s still not very common…so no bib, no problem.
We waited a while in the cafeteria and I was too hot, so with 10 minutes before the start, we went to the truck and waited 5 more minutes, then walked to the start at the track.

Gear: Brooks Gylcerin, Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Fila pants, Aftershokz Aeropex, Rudy sunglasses, Boco hat, run jacket, Champion sports bra, Corridor Runinng long sleeve, Garmin Forerunner 935, Vooray waist pack

There always seem to be so many people gathered around on the wrong side of the track, but everyone eventually makes it to the starting line. There were announcements, but hard to hear. Then everyone was moving forward.

With a partial loop around the track we were off into Hickory Hill Park. The park offers some fun trails within city limits. I always have to ask a friend to run with me, when there’s not a race so I don’t get lost.

All those people make for a crowded first mile. Watching your footing and being patient will pay off. It’s easy to get excited, start passing people, then end up face planting because you missed a step or stumbled on a root.

The hills were all still there this year too and for fun they were nice and slimy. With my pace, by the time I hit many spots the trail was packed down and extra muddy. Some parts I just wallowed through the slop. It was funny to see people try to avoid it.

Speaking of avoiding… my favorite part of the race “the spicy way” is one of the most avoided parts of the event. So after trekking through the trails, close to the end there is a short cut, clearly marked with a sign. This year there were many questions, “what is the spicy way?” I think it’s because we couldn’t hear the announcements.

So after explaining to someone it will be fun, I pulled off into the woods, following the yellow flags the spicy way. This was less of a trail, more like walking through tall grass, under limbs and over logs, then arriving at a small creek.

Once at the creek, you hear the usual grumblings from the people arriving. I think this year I heard “how are we going to get across?” I then climbed down the short bank, into the ankle deep water, and then proceeded to climb the slippery mud bank out. I happened to glance at the people using a log just down the way… meh, I like the challenge. Just splash into the creek and get it done.

Well I wasn’t done with the spicy way, as I still had to climb out of the ravine. I saw the guy ahead of me slip, but tried my best to use the existing roots for footing and was back onto a marked trail. Also as luck would have it, former NFL and Hawkeye kicker Nate Kaeding was at the top, lol.

Then it was time to climb the one last hill and run another partial loop around the track. I came to the finish line and pushed pause on my Garmin, I think I had a distance of 3.55 miles. Then I bent over and pulled my own chip from my shoe, and I suggested this method to others, but they insisted on waiting on the clippers to cut their own tags. (Pro tip, they just pull off!)

I met up with Josh and we walked back up to the high school. There was water in coolers and baked goods to enjoy. We didn’t stick around long. I believe winners were awarded pie.

I got a ride with Josh to get home. I was surprised he let me ride in his truck, I was super muddy.

I like this race, it has changed a bit here and there over time, but it still remains to be a tough trail race on Thanksgiving. The price is right and it’s easy for me to get to.

Week 3 100 Mile Recap

One more week to go, YOU CAN DO IT!! (Insert Rob Schnieder gif)

Ok, if anything, this challenge has proven my really bad photo editing skills, but hey I am just having some fun. Your photos of motivation and encouragement are great!

Getting right to the meat of the post, PRIZES!!! Winners of Corridor Running shirts are as follows:

  • Tim O. (Column I)
  • Christina B (Column DS)

Congratulations! I will be in touch!

I always like to highlight those brands that make this challenge possible. If you can please thank these people: Corridor Running, BibRave, Aftershokz, MarathAng Bands, IRP/Flannigan’s and the Hawkeye 50k. I can’t do this without them.

The Hawkeye 50k is an ultra right in our backyard. It takes place in April and involves a spillway crossing! There is a 25k distance and a 10 mile distance. If you log 100 miles you will be entered into a free entry. This race also has a sister event that takes place in the fall as well. The race is in Solon, IA on all kinds of terrain, if you want more information you can ask as I have run both the spring and fall events – or just check out their website. Registration is open!

If you were clicking around on the Hawkeye website, you might also have stumbled upon the Winter Challenge. That’s right the race is put on by the running store which is hosting a challenge this winter. I am making sure to mention this to all of you as I know when November is over, people are looking to continue their activity. Follow this link and prompts to get started on the next challenge – https://werunllc.com/we-run-winter-challenge?fbclid=IwAR34Oqr2Vd6q2AnwfQQVfUh4_01qKII4swBNBmF-Qe4Z8Hrq7bzxc-g7t-k I know you do not have to live in the area to participate.

I know I am throwing a lot your way, but one last reminder before time runs out – sign up for the Aftershokz BOGO Black Friday deal NOW!!!! Ok you should all know I am an ambassador for these headphones, but really they are one of the best inventions and gear for running! By signing up you are adding yourself to the email list so you know when the deal goes live!!! What is the deal – you purchase a pair of Aftershokz and you are given an unboxed pair of Titanium to gift. Use this link to sign up Givegoodvibez.aftershokz.com 

2nd 100 Mile Recap

I’ll skip the, “I can’t believe we are already halfway through the month” jibberesh and get right to the post… or something like that.

This year there are 134 participants for the challenge and it was pointed out in the FB group at the halfway point that over 5000 miles had been logged. Every mile adds up, this is incredible. I know there is an app called charity miles that donates for every mile you run, but maybe looking ahead we can do something with our miles and motivation, I am thinking for a charitable cause. Keep up the good work and keep logging your miles!

This week I will feature Bibrave. Bibrave is a race review website, you can check it out at bibrave.com. Think of yelp, but for running. You can read reviews or add reviews. They also have an ambassador program, which I have been a part of for over 5 years. I have traveled many places, tested many products, learned about social media and met many incredible people. (You can join the program, and I am super late with this as applications close TONIGHT, Nov 17 https://www.bibrave.com/bibravepro) #teamprocrastination I would like to thank BibRave for being a part of this challenge for many years.

Alright the moment you have all been waiting for PRIZES!!!

The half way prize of a $25 gift card to IRP/Flannigan’s is – Wendy N. (column DO)

The winners of a BibRave Swag Pack are: Stephanie S (Column AS) & Jen D (column N)

I will be in contact!

I have not forgotten about those of you who have requested headbands or keychains etc. As always I do too many things and there is never enough time in the day. I like to be organized and the process just takes some time.

Housekeeping notes: The challenge is closed to new registrants to be eligible for prizes. Please log your miles at least once a week to be eligible. I apologize if you have commented on a blog post and I haven’t responded. Please be patient as I work to get you your prizes.

Madison Half Marathon Recap 2019

Conquer the Capital Half and Half Challenge Complete

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison Marathon Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!”

It was finally time to go to Madison. On Saturday, after a quick stop to drop off the dogs, Josh and I were on the open road and ready to get our weekend started. The drive was nothing exciting, and that’s why it’s very easy to get to Madison.

We had a full day ahead, so we planned to grab some pizza. We phoned in an order to Glass Nickel Pizza in Fitchburg, and picked up our order on the way to the marathon expo. We couldn’t wait until we stopped, so we snacked on the cheese bread as we navigated the mean streets of Madison.

Since we have been participating in this event for a while, we know that you can find close, on street parking for less. Sure it’s easy to park in the ramp at the Monona Terrace, but we are frugal. We found a spot on the street and made the walk to the expo.

It appears we made a good choice to park on the street as the Terrace was hoppin! There was also an art show in the same space. Even though there were the extra people, we were able to easily find the entrance to the expo.

It was just before noon, and the expo was very busy (or maybe it felt that way as it was in a small space.) We walked straight to the packet pick up area. I told the volunteer my bib number and he asked for my ID. I was then given a reusable bag with 2 shirts, goodies and my bib. I realized after that only challenge participants were given these bags as Josh received a plastic sack. *Josh was also running the challenge, but he was not able to register for it after the fact, so a person will be in touch via email.

I was hesitant when I saw the shirts. They are all long sleeve, gender specific and I really like the blue race shirt as it’s a soft cotton blend, however I read the tag for the gray one and was like, hmmm a cotton shirt? Spoiler alert, I wore the gray shirt after the race and it fit really nice and I will wear it!!

After we got our things, we took a picture or two, walked quickly around the expo and then we met up with fellow BibRave pro Amy.  She was working as a vendor. We stopped and talked for a minute, then needed to be on our way.

It was a quick in and out with the expo, but it is designed that way. It’s easy to grab and go, or take your time – grab a water, explore the brands, races and vendors that are on display. We, however needed to be at our hotel to grab a shuttle at 12:30

We were back to our truck and headed to the hotel. We also had a slice of pizza. (Best decision of the weekend.)

The hotel had no rooms ready, but that was ok, we were able to leave our things with them, and would just check in later. We did need to get moving though as it was approaching 12:30 and we had paid $5 for a shuttle that would take us to the Camp Randall area for the football game. This was a great option as parking is expensive and it’s super congested.

Welp at 1:02 PM we were on the shuttle. As it turns out there was only one shuttle van and every time it made a run to the stadium area it was getting caught in the traffic. The game didn’t start until 3, so we had some time, but it was annoying. The shuttle driver said he would pick us up 1-2 hours after the game by the Union South, I was like that’s a big place, what street? Even more annoying was this woman on the shuttle, having to explain to some kids that it was ok to be a Hawkeye fan, but she really hoped her team won… no one cares your thoughts, just be quiet or talk about the weather. Well, it didn’t stop there, the shuttle driver encountered heavy traffic and she was all, we have to get some tickets at this bar… and she was all amazed her phone wasn’t working and she didn’t know where the bar was. Another person on the shuttle was oh, that place is just up ahead… so the annoying lady was like, just let us out there. Well the shuttle driver was all flustered and was like, ok I will stop there and you can all get out. UM, that is not where I wanted to be dropped off. AHHHHHHHH! I understand his frustrations and running behind, but we all were hurried off, and I had no clue where we were… and because there were so many people my phone wasn’t working, so we followed the mass of people…. I was borderline going to have an anxiety attack. Finally we were somewhere where I recognized a landmark…. and we had found the location we were supposed to be dropped at, the Union South, also the location of the Hawkeye pre-game party.

Anyway that is not why you’re reading this post. We met up with some friends at the huddle, then walked over to the game. I am not sure we need to go into any details, but my team did not win.

After the game, our friends graciously offered to give us a ride back to our hotel. Whew, no more shuttle drama for us. We got back to the hotel and officially checked in around 7 PM. When we were checking in, the guy at the front desk answered the phone, and it sounded like unhappy people still waiting for a shuttle to show up.

We made it to our room and devoured our leftover pizza. Yet, we felt we needed something else, so we bopped on down to the hotel restaurant and enjoyed a salad and soup.

We were back to the room in good time to lay out all the things we needed to run, and luckily were able to get a good night’s sleep.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, Flipbelt pants, Turtle Gloves, Rabbit Tank, UA t-shirt, Long Sleeve, Rudy glasses, Aftershokz Aeropex, Garmin, Brooks Ghost 12, Big Grove Nike hat, Hawkeye stocking hat, Moving comfort sports bra.

RACE DAY!!

We were awake at 5 AM and brewing coffee in the room. Then by 6 AM we were ready to go to the race start. The best part about this race is you can park on the street, just blocks away from the start for FREE!!! So after we found our spot, we just waited in the warm truck. It was a cloudy day and temps would be topping out at 30 or so.

Around 6:30 I decided to utilize the many port-o-potties that were set up. Then I ventured to the starting area and stumbled upon Amy near gear check. She was meeting with various groups for photos. Since we parked so close there was no need for gear check, but you could use any bag.

There were announcements and the singing of the National Anthem, and around 7 AM the marathon was off. I proceeded to the starting chute and since I really didn’t have a pace goal, just found a spot. I started my music, put my watch to “run.” Then it was time to go.

As you know I have run this event before, so I was ready for what the course had to offer. It’s not my favorite route, it skips many things that Madison is known for, but I knew I had to get to the finish line.

The first few miles are a bit crowded. I found Amy and ran for a while with her. Then as we started to climb a hill, I powered forward. Around mile 5ish, someone thanked me for choosing to run in Madison and we talked for a bit. They saw my Hawkeye hat… this was not the first comment on the hat on the course. I heard many Go Hawks throughout the race. Madison is a great place, just not on game day.

From there those women were back and forth with me through the race. I was also back and forth with the weather, I was super sweaty when we were out of the wind and then I would be cold in the wind, just before mile 8 I lost my long sleeve.

I knew there was a big hill coming up just before mile 9. Ok, Madison has hills, this one is just the steepest climb. I turned the corner and there it was… and so was a guy in costume. Social media can be a fun place, just the day before Steena had run the Indy Monumental Marathon and John had spectated in a Shakespeare costume, holding fun signs…. and here he was on this hill. However, that was not all… Steena was there too. This was just the encouragement I needed at this point. I stopped and took a selfie, congratulated her on her marathon and powered up that hill!

I motored on feeling good until I heard some whoops from a police motorcycle. The lead marathoner was coming through. I was just past mile 11.5. Ah shucks, a goal is to always run my half faster than they can run a full…. but wait – they started 10 minutes before we did. Then it was time for running math, and I am pretty sure he was beating my half time. I was then on the alert for the rest of them, but the second place guy didn’t come through until a mile later maybe.

It was time for the last climb to the finish at the Capital. I kept thanking all the officers at the intersections, turned on State Street and there I was jumping across the finish line. I had a Garmin time of 2:18 or so and 13.25, but I later saw the tracking and it had me at 2:16. I should check the official results, lol.

When I was finished a volunteer placed a medal around my neck and said congratulations. (This is a small gesture, but it’s much appreciated.) I was then handed a bottle of water, and I passed on the mylar blanket. I then waited in a short line to have my finisher picture taken. Then there was the place to redeem your beer ticket for a Michelob Ultra, there was also soda available. I don’t care for that beer, and wanted a Coke. ( I don’t even drink soda and it sounded good.) When I asked for one I was told it was for 21 and younger, I hope no one pregnant received that answer. I also understand they probably have a limited amount.

Next stop was the food line. They changed things up this year, which I was very happy about. There were 3 options – chili and cornbread, mac and cheese, or a brat with potato salad. Each came with a cookie. I choose the brat. The chili was vegetarian, but not sure if there was a GF option, and there was no fruit this time. I don’t have allergies or a special diet, but something I observe.

With my hands full, I was able to still talk to Josh on my Aftershokz headphones and we were able to discuss where to meet. I grabbed a chocolate milk  and then found the tent with my half and half medal for the challenge. Also in this space after the finishing chute there was craft beer for purchase, I like this step…. I also wish I had remembered some money as the dollar I found in the parking lot pre-race wasn’t enough.

I met Josh and he gave me my coat. My hand were freezing and it was hard to hold all my things. I stopped at a bench to get my coat on and put things in the giant pockets. I wasn’t sure where Amy was, but sent her a message as we were cold and decided to be on our way.

We stopped to take some post race photos and then we were back at our truck and headed to the hotel. We were back within 3 hours of the race start. Madison is a big place, but if you know the hacks it’s easy peasy on race day.

We didn’t need to late check out, and were out of there just before noon. We went back down to the Capital to take some photos with my medals over the years. I have one more medal to earn so I can finish the series.

Then one last Starbucks stop and we were on the road home. With such a filling post race spread we were not hungry…. well until we got to Dubuque where we stopped at a new brewery, 7 Hills Brewing Company.  It was right off the main road.

After watching the Iowa Field Hockey team win the B1G Championship game in overtime, we made the remainder of the trip home as snow was coming.

I will be back for my 4th medal next year, but I hope there are more Steena’s out there to spice it up. I also hope that the push for craft beer gets closer to being the free beer. Madison is a great place, except on game day. Go Hawks!

*Also race pics were available the next day for FREE

100 Miles – First recap 2019

The seventh year is off to a great start. There is a lot going on, so I hope I can keep up.

In this post I would like to highlight my local running club, Corridor Running. They have been a partner of this challenge for a long time. Not only do many club members join and support the challenge, they offer some shirts to giveaway as prizes.

Corridor Running is a non profit running club. They strive to give back to the community through running. That’s right, my non profit gives back to other non profits. In addition to the now 9 races and social runs, the club also offers membership. These are the main sources that create the funds to then give back to organizations such as Shelter House, Habitat for Humanity, the Boys and Girls Club, the Madge Phillips center and many more. This is all because we choose to run.

If you want more information about how to be involved let me know. We are always in need of volunteers. Here is what our 2020 race schedule looks like:

  • February – Freezefest, Marion, IA Squaw Creek Park
  • March – Shamrock Shuffle, Iowa City, IA
  • April  – Crandic, Cedar Rapids & Iowa City, IA
  • May – Marion Arts Fest, Marion, IA
  • July – 5th Seasons Race, Cedar Rapids, IA
  • September – New Bo Run, Cedar Rapids, IA & Swamp Fox, Marion, IA
  • October – Timber Trek, Amana, IA & ISDC, Solon, IA

Also, I would like to invite you to the some of our upcoming fun runs:

The first 2 winners of the Corridor Shirts are: Bobby P. and Jim L. I will be in touch with further information on how to obtain your shirts.

If you would just like to purchase apparel, that option is available too, just send a message to info@corridorrunning.com

Also some exciting news, The Iowa River Power Company / Flannigan’s is back for the middle of the month accountability prize, so get to 50 miles by the 15th of the month and you can win!!!!!

Another exciting prize – fellow participant Clythie has donated some 2Toms samples, so I have 2 prizes to giveaway. Congratulations to Dan B and Bruce B. I will be in touch!

I am blown away by the responses for the featured participant questions. I know the posting is a lot in facebook, but I will try to keep all important information in a blog post, and as a pinned post to the top of the page. There is also the description box on the page that will contain the link to the spreadsheet.

Now that the housekeeping is out of the way…. WOW, the commitment to the challenge this year. I think we have a record number of participants. Everyone has such awesome goals and is providing the motivation I need. I just finished the last race I had signed up for, I need the push to get to 100 miles. Please keep up the great work, let us know where you are running, what your struggles are, what you are accomplishing, what you are learning, etc.