On the rocks….

JUST ADD ICE…..

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Urban Bourbon 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!”

If you have been reading along, you are familiar with my bourbon cooking series. I have made bourbon bacon cookies, gave bourbon caramels a try, thought about bourbon ice cream, and I whipped up a batch of bourbon caramel popcorn.

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What’s next? While these posts have been fun leading up to my 46th half marathon….

Screw it… just add ice…or heck, just add a shot glass! I am just gonna drink it!

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My favorite is this Evan Williams Cider Bourbon I picked up the first time I ran the Urban Bourbon. I brought it back to share, and my tailgating friends loved it soo much they went on a shopping spree. Even got their local stores to carry it.
This is also the easiest way to prepare bourbon. There is no measuring, there is no bringing it up to temperature. You just put in a glass – mix-ins or ice optional.

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Cheers!

I might leave the exotic bourbon recipes to those that know what they are doing… like the place where I will be picking up another bourbon caramel glazed donut and the candy store that has dark chocolate covered sea salt caramels.

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I will picking up my bourbon treats soon. The race is THIS SATURDAY!! (October 21) Online Registration closes Tuesday, October 17th at 11:59pm. So use code BourbonRave2017 for 10% off – http://www.urbanbourbonhalf.com/  NOW, before it’s too late!

Each runner will get to taste all the bourbon and the post race bourbon bash… so even more proof bourbon is best a drink. There will also be beer too.

Also, if you are registered, I want to remind you (and myself) that packet pickup has moved to Pigment Gallery at the Mellwood Arts Center. Packet pickup will take place on Friday, Oct. 20 from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. You will need a valid photo ID that shows date of birth (e.g., driver’s license or student ID). A bourbon tasting will be offered at packet pick-up. (Does not require additional registration.)  Please note – there will be NO packet pick-up on race day.

See you and your drinking glass Saturday!

 

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Race Recap – Running 4 Kids 10k

CASA of Will County Running 4 the Kids 10k – Race Review 

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the CASA of Will County Running 4 the Kids 10k 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!”


Another weekend, another race… I just can’t stay away.

Sunday, October 1… 4:30 am…on the road again. That’s right – before the sun is shining, I was headed east to New Lenox, IL. It’s about a 3 hour drive, all on Interstate 80 – simple. I can also grab my packet before the race start at 9 am. No need to pay for hotel.

If you are looking for a little more background on the event and what CASA of Will County is all about, check out this blog post.

After a boring, uneventful trip on the super slab, I was at the race start location at about 7:45 am. It was at a school, so there was plenty of free parking.

I made the short trip to the packet pick up area. I was pre-registered and they were just laying out all the shirts with bibs. It took a little while for them to find my stuff as they hadn’t got their “system” down yet. I was then handed my bib, which was pinned to my short sleeved, cotton, unisex shirt. Note, it was pinned with one safety pin…not sure where the other pins were, but I have a race belt, so not an issue for me. I was also handed a drawstring cinch sack full of goods.

I made the trek back to my car, just in the back of the school, and opened the sack of goods. OMG!!! The bag was jam packed with stuff. In addition to flyers and area coupons, there was a fidget spinner, sunscreen, body lotion, a pen, notepad, stress ball, pedometer, resistance band…. and I am sure I am forgetting something. It took forever to look through it all.


It was near 8 am and I had an hour until the race start. I sat in my car to keep warm as the temps were on the cooler side, near 50 degrees and windy. I played with my new fidget spinner…. and then I remembered I was supposed to run 10 miles total…oops!  I mean I just ran 20 the day before, and I was going to race today, so how important would 10 miles be?

Ok, so after sitting in the car a little longer, I finally put my bib on my race belt, put my skirt on, and all the other gear… I went back to the starting area to see if anything was happening… nothing much, except pre-race setup.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, BibRave tank, Cubs hat, XX2i France 2, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Adidas shorts, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, New Balance shoes, Spi Belt, Zensah socks, BUFF(R)

I had time for a little pre-race run, so I ran a mile… It really was a great temp for running and the sun was shining.

It was time to line up under the inflatable arch, so everyone just piled in, no encouragement to self seed by pace, but it wasn’t super crowded either. There were some announcements, the person making them was using a microphone, but there was so much chatter among the participants, I had no clue what was said. Which, I was kinda worried as I didn’t look ahead to see if the 5k/10k were starting at the same time, I just knew I needed to start at 9 am.  Oops… oh well out of no where, everyone was moving forward…so I did too.


The race started at the school and went out and back on the Old Plank Trail, I believe this is an old rail bed. The course was all paved, including the trail, which was asphalt. There weren’t any hazards, but when paving a wooded trail with asphalt there are portions with cracks due to trees rooting, and asphalt shows user wear, so just be aware on this portion to not trip.  Oh, rail beds are flat as a pancake… my Strava/Garmin stats has a total of 74 feet over 6 miles.

I was feeling good, the weather was good, so I pushed the pace. There was a woman on my heels for the first mile, and I wasn’t giving up, so I guess she was kind of pacing me… I eventually shook her off. I then kept my sights ahead to the next person…. I wanted to keep passing them. I also am familiar with those who start out too fast, so I knew I had a chance of passing some more.

I slowed to drink some water from a paper cup, as it was slightly humid… I just kept trucking…miles kept beeping by… I never checked my watch once.

I came to the turnaround, and was able to count my place in the race. I was the 9th female overall. I wondered if I could improve…. and I did as I said above, kept my sights ahead on the next person… I still had 3 miles left, and needed to pace myself.

The next 2 women were kind of running close, but one was slowly fading…. I did stay with them for a little while to let them do the pacing work for me…..However, I could see another female in front of me, so I dropped those 2 and was the 7th overall female, by my count.

There were so many volunteers helping with the course, I made sure to thank them at the numerous road crossing and water stops. They were also very encouraging.

I was in the last mile, and I wanted to make sure I had enough left to give it a kick to the end…. I really tried to pass the next person, but I wasn’t making any head way. The 10k also met back up with the 5k in the last quarter mile or so. My pace met up with the families walking the 5k, thankfully there was enough room to pass around them, as I pushed towards the finish.

I crossed the finish line and paused my watch. I then was handed a medal. Dang….6 miles… not the 6.2, but a time near 55 minutes! I was soooooo happy with this overall time, considering my legs had just made it through 20 miles the day before. I then looked at my mile splits, wahoo, go me!!!  After a year of endurance running, it’s nice to feel a little speed return. Don’t get me wrong, I still prefer a 50k over a 10k.

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I reset my watch, put my medal in my Spibelt, and went out for a cool down mile, this would get me to 8 total miles on the day, which if you are doing my math, is close enough to the 10 training miles I needed for the Detroit Marathon.

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I came back to the finish area to find lots of post race activities. I was too late for the free kids race, that must have happened when I was out on the 10k course. The kids were able to get free pumpkins too!

There was a HUGE spread of post race food, bananas, apples, bagels, 2 styles of granola bars, fruit snacks, bottled water, chips, chocolate milk and pizza.  I needed more hands as I grabbed the pre-wrapped items to eat later. I just can’t do pizza after a race.

I walked over to the raffle prize table, they had pre-selected bib numbers to win some awesome prizes. I was not a winner, but they had some cookbooks to giveaway, so I grabbed one of those. By now, my hands were super full, and as luck would have it, they had extra drawstring cinch bags, so they were more than happy to give me another one, so I put my snacks in there.

I toured all the tents that were set up in the parking lot. More giveaways, you could buy a Jamba Juice and even tour a fire truck. This little race had all the big expo type feel, without all the hassle.

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It was time for the awards. I felt I did a good job, but I wasn’t sure how far out they would be awarding people. (Ooops, I probably could have read that online.) I was listening to the awards, and I was sure they did not announce my age group. The prizes they were awarding were really nice, so I thought I better check it out.

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I went to ask, and the lady looked at her sheet, and it did not have my age group on it. We walked over to the timing company and found out there was some sort of glitch, and they were re-downloading the results. I had time to wait, and things like this happen… so I stuck around.

It’s a good thing, I was the 30-39 female age group winner. WAHOO!!!! It was now time to get my prize, which was pre-determined. It was tickets to something local, and I told them it would be a long drive back, and I wouldn’t be able to use it. So they were more than accommodating in finding a prize I could use. I ended up with a Clique Nutrition gift card for $100, as they had an online store. How exciting!

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Everything was done, it was time to go home. I walked back to my car. I heard a shout, and it was Adrianne with the race, she is the person who was working with BibRave and she thanked me for driving over. Well, that was nice!

When I was going through the bag of goods, I saw a TCBY yogurt coupon… I thought, why not hit that place on the way out of town. I checked the hours online and it said they opened at 11:30…so I drove over and sat in my car the 10 minutes…However, I noticed the posted hours said noon…eek, I wasn’t going to wait that much longer. Lucky for me the nice owners were in and out of the door, so I asked, and they invited me in. Yum!

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Then for whatever reason when I got back into my car, I looked at the $100 Clique Nutrition gift card a little closer… “valid in store only.” Womp Womp…a quick check of google maps, and the store is kind of on the way home….

I made the detour over to the nutrition store… I was optimistic about what I would find. I have never been one for traditional protein bars, but I can always make use of protein powder.

I was greeted by Drew at the door, explained I won the gift card. I wondered around the store asking questions. I finally decided on protein powder, protein chocolate peanut butter, protein chips and all the protein cookies. Nice little reward! Thank you Clique!

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Alright enough .. time to get back on the road. I wanted to get home to take a nap. The drive was another uneventful trip. I was back in my driveway at 3:30pm, less than 12 hours later.

You might be asking, why the heck drive all that way for a 10k… well I do weird things, plus the race description reminded me of the local races that are put on in Iowa. I love the small community feeling, no fighting through crowds, no waiting in long port-o-potty lines, you can talk to someone if there is an issue.

The race was well priced too, and you got a lot of things! That was nice, but I really don’t need all that stuff, maybe monetary donations that go straight to the race could be a better option… however it does set the race apart from others.

If you get a chance, add this to your calendar for next year. This year it was a week before the Chicago Marathon… you could make a 6 mile run part of your taper and support the CASA of Will County.

For my no frills race review, check out bibrave.com

 

Second Thoughts?

Hmm another Marathon?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison 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!”

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Ok, so I am registered for the Madison Marathon in Madision, WI on November 12th. WHY? Well, the Hawkeyes will be playing at Camp Randall the day before, so it’s just good sense to run the race the next day.

However, I am having second thoughts on running the full marathon. I am capable of this, yes. Do I want to do it, no. My heart just isn’t in running another marathon, a month after the Detroit Marathon.

I am also not a stranger to this event. I ran the full last year as part of the Conquer the Capital Challenge. I was also running a marathon a month, and I was tired in November.

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So, now what? I have never not done something I said I was going to do. Yep, that’s me, I say I am going to do something and you can rest assured I will be doing it. Is this different though? Since I am not feeling the full distance, and I would be doing the smart thing by switching to the half?

First, I had to find out it this is possible, does the race allow me to switch?

Luckily there is a wonderful FAQ page – http://www.madisonmarathon.org/full-marathon/ That answered this question:

  • Online changes are allowed until Oct 23, or until a race has reached its maximum capacity.
    • There are no additional fees associated with online changes before Oct 23rd, unless the race distance you are changing to costs more than your original registration fee.
  • Changes after Oct 23 must be done on-site, at Expo & Packet Pick Up, for an additional $10 fee. When making changes to your registration at the Expo & Packet Pick Up, your shirt size is not guaranteed.Please pick up your original packet, then visit the Troubleshooting booth.

I started the process to do this, while it was an easy walk through, I was having some issues.

Finally after some emails, I am now running the half marathon!! Whew, life happens and sometimes you just need to do what is best for you.

Who else is traveling to Madison for the game and wants to run a race? Use code RAVE10 which is good for $10 off Madison Marathon or Half Marathon
Codes will expire Nov 8 at 11:59PM (close of online registration) http://www.madisonmarathon.org/

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Trekz Air

Aftershokz Trekz Air – Bluetooth, Bone Conduction, Wireless Headphones

Guys…. Aftershokz has a great new product on the market!!!

Oh, maybe I should start from the beginning. Hi, my name is Angie, I run a lot of miles, and it’s gets boring out there, so I listen to music, podcasts and audiobooks; on my phone, since I have it with me for safety. The best thing I ever did was go cordless… the next best thing is with Aftershokz.

I have been running with the Aftershokz, bluetooth, wireless, bone conduction headphones ever since I was introduced on the United Relay – May 2016. I then had a chance to try the pink Trekz Titanium in October of 2016.


That brings us to today – I am a Shokz Star, or Aftershokz Ambassador. While this means I can share a savings of 20% with you (currently not available on the Trekz Air,) it also means I have some demo headsets available for anyone to try, and I get to tell you about the ALL NEW TREKZ AIR.


Ok, so starting with the basics. While Aftershokz has a variety of wired and wireless products, they all work with bone conduction technology.  Please read this from the web:

Bone conduction is a natural part of the hearing process—sound travels through our eardrums and bones simultaneously. We’ve taken the concept to the next level through development of a suite of proprietary audio technologies and design patents. The result: headphones that deliver unrivaled situational awareness and comfort.

HOW THEY WORK

Transducers guide mini vibrations through the cheekbones to the inner ears, delivering sound without plugging or covering them.

Still confused? Well these headphones do not go into your ear (ew,) but they go over the top of your ear, and the part where the sound comes out, sets on the outside of your ear, near your cheekbone. This is where it picks up the vibrations and allows you to hear your audio.


Now, the best part…. because they do not go inside your ear… you can still hear your surroundings. I wear these on every outside run. I can hear semis/cars approaching, I can hear bikes, other runners, people crushing rocks on the trails, dogs, woodpeckers… all my surroundings. When running races with announcements, I can hear them over my music, or you pass a band or DJ during a race… you do not have to stop your music, it gets drowned out.


IMO opinion… runners listen to their music way too loud, they have zoned out and all the sudden are crossing roads in front of cars… seriously people, have we not talked about safety enough?


There can be times when you do not want to hear your surroundings, like traveling on a plane or mowing the lawn. There are ear plugs that come with them, and magically you can hear the audio when you plug your ears. I know this as I mow the lawn all the time in my Aftershokz.

Alright, I will get to the new Trekz Air already…

  • 6 hours of continuous play, 20 hours standby
  • 20% lighter weighing in at 1.06 oz
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • 2 year warranty
  • Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)

Make sure to check out this page for ALL the information on them – https://aftershokz.com/collections/wireless/products/trekz-air

As a regular user of the Trekz Titanium, I noticed how light weight the new Trekz Air were immediately – you can check out my unboxing video here.

I took them on their first run, and besides hearing the sound coming from them, I really didn’t know they were there. I also run with a hat/visor and sunglasses… they fit nicely with those too.


I have 3 personal pairs of the Trekz… ok so the hubs stole one of them…. and really, he can wear those as I am loving my new Trekz Air.


If that wasn’t enough to get you excited. You can control your music and the volume all with the buttons on the headset. Need to advance a song, place a call, turn up the tunes… simple as a touch of a button, no need to dig out your phone. Bluetooth is great!

I think the downside of these headphones might be they don’t come in the mini size. However, I would be interested to have someone with a smaller head try these on. Oh, and I know the music snobs don’t care for these headphones as they are all about noise cancelling blah blah blah….. well those wouldn’t be something to wear while being active outdoors, when safety is number one.

You can pre-order the new Trekz Air – https://aftershokz.com/collections/wireless/products/trekz-air


Do you have more questions? Just ask or check out Aftershokz.com or find them on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

Bourbon Caramel Popcorn

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


I have a new installment in my bourbon cooking and an update on the race

After my failed attempt at bourbon caramels, I was thinking… caramel…what else could I make in this direction? I then remembered how simple caramel corn is to make, I thought, “What if I added bourbon at the end of the cooking process?”

As luck would have it, there is a recipe for that. Thank you food network 

I got the ol Stir Crazy popper out of the cupboard… and magically the dogs appeared…they love popcorn, and they hope I overfill the popper so it overflows and pops out of the machine onto the floor.

Anyway… I made a full batch, even though I only needed 10 cups. Who doesn’t like popcorn?


I followed the recipe… making the caramel first. I was so happy I didn’t have to bring it to a certain temperature… basically just melt and keep stirring, no one wants burnt caramel.


I then added the 3 tablespoons of bourbon, BAM! the whole kitchen smelled of the spirits and the sauce was bubbling!


I stirred it into the popcorn, then spread it out on cookie sheets to bake. I had to stir it in between the baking cycle…WHOA, opening that oven I was hit with a strong bourbon smell.


It was done cooking and time for it too cool… however, Josh and I couldn’t wait… and we began sampling it, and we couldn’t stop….. YUM!! This is soooo good!!!  We had to stop ourselves as I was bringing this as one of my tailgating treats.


When it was cool enough, I put it all in a bag. Game day couldn’t come soon enough!

I pulled the popcorn out at the tailgate, and I knew it was sooo good, so I immediately opened to share with my friends. They had mixed reviews, some thought they couldn’t taste the bourbon and others could taste it. I know when the day was over, I brought home crumbs, so I would say it was a hit!

I am loving the creative challenge this is bringing out it me, what should I make next?

Oh about that race update….. the packet pick up location has changed!! Please read the below note and make the proper changes to ensure you will get your packet on time

Due to Lou City FC’s success, they’ll be hosting a playoff match race weekend at Slugger Field. To ensure that the two events don’t overlap in the same facility, #UBHM packet pick-up will now take place at Mellwood Arts &Entertainment Center (1860 Mellwood Ave, 40206). It will still occur on Friday, Oct. 20 from 11a-8p, and yes–we’ll still have Jim Beambourbon tastings. Fleet Feet Louisville will also be on site with your last-minute racing needs, and we’ll have #UBHM swag for sale.
Packet pick-up will be in the Pigment Gallery. Parking is free and ample, and it’s a cheap Uber/Lyft ride from downtown for those without a car and staying downtown.

Race Review #ECSWI 13.1 -2017

Race Recap – The North Face Endurance Challenge 13.1 – 2017

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the North Face Endurance Challenge 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!”


When I last left you, I had just run the Pleasant Creek Trail 30k, sat through a football game, and was making the 4 hour drive to Wisconsin. To say I was exhausted going into this race was an understatement, however I always try to finish what I said I would do.

I would also be meeting up with Laura, you might remember her from an earlier post. Well, she did it! She completed her first 50k, and she would be back out to run the 5k the next day.

The North Face is host to many events. Saturday, Sept 16 there is a 50 miler, 50k, marathon, and marathon relay in addition to the kids races. On Sunday there is the half marathon, 10k, 5k and even more kids races.

As this race is during Hawkeye football season, I am limited to the Sunday events. I would love to run the 50k here again one day, but the Hawks are first in the fall. (OK, once I missed a game for a race and they won in EPIC, last minute field goal fashion, never again!)


Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, BibRave Tank, Hawkeye hat, Adidas boy shorts, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, UA Horizon Trail shoes, Zensah Socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Orange Mud pack, Spi Belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, BUFF(R)

I was on my way to the start, but had to make a stop at a gas station for some coffee and Aleve… I was feeling rough, and I don’t remember the last time I had a beer. I did have a Nugo bar with me too.


I arrived early to Kettle Moraine, and was given my parking pass for the day, FREE of charge. I followed the parking attendants to the furthest away lot. I was annoyed! I was running the longest distance of the day, which started the earliest, and I have to park the furthest from the start. It wasn’t shuttle worthy, but should be a perk to arriving early.


I do like that I can grab my bib and shirt on race day. There are also 3 locations for pre race day pick up too. They are really accommodating with this. They are able to do this as race numbers are not pre-assigned. I made the trek to over, it was easy, told them my name and they scanned the bib and handed me a shirt. This year the shirt was blue with black lettering, a short sleeve tech material, with a strange neck opening.


I walked back to my car… as I didn’t have all my race stuff … I had plenty of time before the 8 am start. I then decided I should use the bathroom, so I walked to the closest bath house to find it was locked…. so back to the start area to use a port-o-potty. Then back to my car again to just drink some more coffee and get all my race things together.

Then I was finally ready to stand around for the race to start, so back to the race start…and I made another stop at the bathroom as I didn’t remember any on course (there is actually one at the main aid station.)

While waiting, I saw Brian from my local running club. I chatted with him while they lined everyone up for the start. I had my Orange Mud bottle pack with me, and a half bottle of water, so I took advantage of the water monster and filled my bottle while waiting.

Then it was time for my wave to start. There aren’t too many people who run this race, but because of a congested area to start, the do send runners off about every 5 minutes or less in waves.


It was already a warm start, near 70 degrees and while sunny, there was a haze in the air. The first part of the course is just leaving the main entrance of the park, so you start on the shoulder of a road, before turning off into the woods.

I just kept moving, I wasn’t sure what goal I had in mind, just finish I guess. The route turned into the woods and it was time to navigate the trails. There were all surfaces and I feel a lot more sand to navigate this year, in addition to the rocks, grass and dirt. The race course also has it’s share of hills, nothing super steep but always felt as I was going up or down.

The first aid station is around mile 1.8 ish, there was Skratch and water in plastic cups. I powered through, and had to make the first loop… or what it felt like I was running. Sometimes with trails, I just follow the course, where ever it takes me, I go. Heck, I can’t even remember if it’s the same course as last year.

The course is marked with colored ribbons attached to tree branches. The color of ribbon matches the color of your bib, I was watching for the yellow ribbons. I always caught my self second guessing if I was on the right route as it would be a while before I saw a ribbon, let alone another runner. There were also mile markers, but every other mile.

I came back through the aid station that’s 1.8 miles in, it’s also the next passing point around mile 5-6 ish? I picked up some Skratch and moved along, I noticed the porto-o-potty.

It was beginning to be a struggle for me, there was A LOT of walking… I was moving forward though, and a lot of Eminem songs kept coming up on my music, it’s impossible to walk during those.

I was now on the what I call the second loop in a figure 8 kinda course. I was remembering the past year when I ran the course with Laura. The miles really flew by then and I was missing her as I was moving sooo slowly. I also remember stopping at some aid station, but it felt like it never came up. Finally, there was a stop about mile 9? I had them refill my OM bottle and they had ICE!!!!! I drank some more Skratch and grabbed some Skratch chews to try later.

I left this stop and just kept moving forward, following the yellow ribbons. UGH, it was now really warm, or it felt that way out in the woods where the air was not moving and the humidity made it swampy.

I made it back to the 1.8 mile aid station, which told me I was that close to the finish. There were some photographers in this stretch, and they were in this area on the way out too. The race takes some great pictures and they were available that day, however they are not free. I am done purchasing photos of myself… they aren’t worth it.

There are a few spectators around this aid station too, there is an access road nearby, otherwise it’s just a lot of time alone in the woods.

Another note when I came back through this last stop, they had already started to take down some of their stuff. I am not sure if they have a permit that only allows them a certain time, but I feel all runners should get the same experience.

Ahh, the home stretch… I was done…. but I still had the section along the road shoulder to go. Some how, I ran this entire section. I am not sure if it was because more people were watching, or the terrain was easier to run.

I came to the finish line, and stopped my Garmin at 12.8 miles and a time of 2:57. I know trail running GPS gets off, and when I pushed start on my watch the satellites had not yet synced (which is possible with my watch.) So, I am still calling it a half marathon, and my 45th overall.


NOW – when I came into the finish, my time was a lot slower, in fact my worst ever – but the race had started the kids races. I am all for the kids being able to run…. but it was interfering with the longer distance finishes.

I was given my finishers medal and that was it, kids were running around every where. I knew from the past year there was a reusable water bottle somewhere, as we were not handed water at the finish…. and last year we were handed that water bottle. So… I had to watch out for kids and go find a bottle in a nearby tub.

The post race food was also in the same area, there was orange slices, bananas and bagel pieces. I had to squeeze in between kids to get some oranges. I have griped about this before too. There is real food at this race, but you have to buy it. The longer distances the day before get it for free. I just want a solution to this, maybe add a granola bar.

Once through this mess of kids, I made my way to the Sierra Nevada beer tent. This was the highlight, they had about 3-4 choices of beer. I love when a race has a more tasty option. Although, this is WI, would be nice to see a local craft.


I chose my beer and found Laura, she was still upright… what a champ!!!! We sat down at a picnic table in the post race area… it’s nice to have a place to sit, many races overlook this. Shade would have been nice too, but can’t be too greedy.


We sat and talked, meeting people and making new friends. I also ran into someone I sat next to at the 2016 Rose Bowl…small world. I found Brian again too.


It was now time to make the trek home, so I said “see ya later to everyone.” I made the long walk back to my car.

I “showered” in my car with one of the HUGE epic wipes I got in a recent 5k Crate, and was on my way to leaving, when I heard “Hey Angie!”


I turned and found another friend, Lisa… she was just taking her canoe out of the nearby lake. She had also run the day before, the 50 miler. I am always so surprised at these people, they are upright and walking around like no big deal. She was supporting a pretty serious scab from a fall though. It was nice to catch up.


I wrapped up the conversation, and plugged in the coordinates of my house into the GPS on my phone. Whoa, I had no clue where I was for the beginning of my drive. Kettle Moraine is in the middle of no where.

I did find my way back onto the interstate system. I was glad for that, as there would be places to stop for some real food. I found a Kwik Trip and found some cheese curds, refilled the car…. and was on my way home.

What a weekend… I need a weekend to rest up.

My overall thoughts on this year’s event. I feel something was missing, or they just went through the motions to put on the race. Even Dean K. didn’t make the pre-race speaker event. It still is a great race and the trail I will always recommend to a beginner, but I am not sure with so many newer options if this is a must run event for me. You can check out more reviews at BibRave.com

What’s next?

PCTR 30k – 2017

Race Review – Pleasant Creek Trail Run 30k – 2017

This was the 3rd year of the event. It was held on Saturday, September 16th. There were 3 race distances – 15k (one loop), 30k (2 loops) or 45k (3 loops.) The 45k started at 8:30 and the other 2 started together at 9.  It was a cool, cloudy morning, but would eventually reach to about 90 degrees and sun.


I ran the inaugural event, and at the time the longest distance offered was the 30k, so I ran that as a training run for a 50k. The race is always during Hawkeye football season, that first year the game was later in the day, last year the game was at 11 am…. and this year the game started at 2:30….

I thought this was perfect, I would be able to run a loop and get to the game…. well, I went through the registration process, and thought I started by clicking on 15k… after going through the registration process, and never seeing the distance confirmation until I had paid…. I was now in for the 30k.

See, more people would panic…. not me, while I know the race directors of the event and knew I could drop down to the 15k, I welcomed the challenge…. and now my biggest problem was making it to my seat in Kinnick Stadium by kickoff.

Thankfully, they let me start my race with the longer 45k distance, this gave me an additional half hour. I needed that time, I have almost an hour drive home and had to walk the dogs. I could have also started even earlier – as I showed up very early, but I wouldn’t have been timed.

I’ll write my famous to the point, fact based bibrave review too.

Alright, so after some chatter with the locals, I was lined up with the 45k runners, ready to get the show on the road.


Gear: Sparkle Athletic Skirt, 2Xu tank, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, BibRave Boco Gear Visor, AfterShokz Trekz Air, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Zensah compression socks, Road Runner Sports shorts, Brooks Ghost 9, Garmin Fenix, Road ID

Oh…. trail running, I love it and hate it…this course is a mixture of everything – rock, sand, grass, ruts, dirt, road crossings, very few spots with even footing.


I took off very slowly… I think I overheard a spectator say “this is the slowest race start ever!” Not long, we were off in the woods, and I was in the back of the pack… all I could think was, dang I am slow… and I am with the people that are running an extra loop. So, the mental part of the race was off to a rough start.

There were also some hills, and I started off walking up all of those too. The sun was coming out too and it was heating up.

I did have my music, so I just kept moving forward. I passed through the first aid station around mile 2, and since I was running with my pack, I didn’t stop.

When I came to the second aid station, I was looking for some gummi bears, as I was too lazy to dig out the fruit snacks I had with me. The stop did not have any…but there was a lot of other choices – cookies, pretzels, M & M’s, Gatorade, water, Cola and Mt. Dew. I took some pretzels and chatted with the volunteers, and took off back into the woods.

Really nothing exciting or out of the norm happened at the race.

I looked at my watch when someone speedy passed me, mile 5.6… this must have been a 15k runner… and shortly after there were others that started passing me. Oh well, I just kept moving forward.

I came up on the third aid station to a cheerful group of volunteers, I knew them, so it was nice to say hi! I didn’t spend too much time and moved along. It was now really starting to feel warm. There were parts of the course in the woods and parts with no shade.


I finally came in to finish my first loop, and I looked at my watch 1:51. I still thought I could PR this course. My time from 2 years ago was a 4:04, so I was well ahead of that, it was also the reason why I didn’t stop any longer than to grab a banana at the start/finish aid station.

I was now out on my second loop, it was definitely hot! Even though I was moving forward, it was a lot slower … and it just kept getting worse…. I was also in my head, was I going to make kick off? Keep moving, it’s hot, get to the football game, it’s hot, keep moving…. yeah running is fun!

Welp, I made it to the first aid station on the loop and made sure to drink more liquids…. all the drinking…..OH – what I didn’t tell you… I was running a half marathon the next day… so when does hydrating for that take place?

Back on course. At this time, there really weren’t too many other people out there, once in a while someone would pass me, which just made me feel slow…but I just kept moving.

I stopped at the 2nd aid station of the loop, drank some more and dug out my fruit snacks to eat them.

It really wasn’t that bad… but I had given up on getting to Kinnick before the game… I could still make kickoff.

I rolled into the third aid station, and there was a volunteer shift change. However, I knew the new volunteers, she even took my picture. I was hot, but nothing out of the ordinary, I didn’t have the chills, nothing…however a radio/medic guy that was at this aid station kept insisting I sit down in the shade of the tent. I was like, do I look that bad? Luckily, Nikki, who took my photo, knew I was fine, and said so…. and I grabbed a cup of ice to finish the last 2 miles.

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Those last 2 miles, were the longest 2 miles ever! I think I felt every uneven footfall, I just wanted a straight, flat section to run…but such is trail running.

I saw the last turn out of the woods, and I trotted into the finish. There were people cheering for me, so I was making sure not to fall. It was nice to have the area set up so that finishers were enjoying their post run fair along the route.

I finished in a time near 4:09…dang that second loop ate me up… I am sure it was a combination of the heat and maybe being under trained? Oh well, 18 miles banked – which keeps me inline for Detroit Marathon training.  At the finish I was handed a cool, hand made medal and a bottle of water.


The plan was to grab some food to go, and get on the road. Instead, I milled around, talked to the race director, took a photo…. I finally grabbed a plate – threw in a burger, chips and slice of cake…and took my food to go.  I was still close to making the game by kick off, but I would have to hustle.


I rolled into my house just before 2 pm… I needed to walk the dogs, shower and then find a parking spot and get to the game. Kick off was at 2:30….and then….

UGH – the new neighbor wanted to talk…. talk about removing a tree… there is nothing wrong with this tree… I was like I need to get moving, and just said “it’s your tree, if you want to take it down, I can’t stop you.” Why is it when you need to be somewhere, you just can’t get there?

I got the dogs walked, and through the shower…. but the time was close to kick off…. now it was time to find parking. Which I did, over a mile away…which was just awesome after running 18 miles in 90 degree heat.

I made it to the game with 6 minutes to go in the first quarter. It was a rough start for the Hawks, so I guess that’s ok. Then of course, it clouded up, even sprinkled a little, and finally I was sitting in the shade…. I enjoyed the rest of the game, and cheered the Hawks on to a victory.


I didn’t stay much longer, as I had to trek back to my car, to drive to Wisconsin for the North Face Endurance Challenge Half Marathon the next day – more on this race in my next post.

Overall thoughts: While I did not have a great race…. it is a well organized race, a great price, awesome medals, and it’s actual trail with some hills. Also, I have mentioned this before… where I live – Iowa City – there are 2 half marathons… I am 25 minutes from a 50k… and this is 45 minutes for a 45k… I love having longer distance race options closer to home.