Bear Stampede 10k 2017

2017 Bear Stampede 10k


The 2017 event was on Saturday, May 13, and started at 9 am. The 5k was run at the same time, on the same course, but turned around sooner than the 10k. The sun was shining and it was 70 ish degrees.

I have run this race, both distances, in the past. I have also been a part of this race, in that I have sold my head bands, and given proceeds to the race.

This year was different. The race organization changed hands, and I wasn’t contacted to sell head bands (and I didn’t contact them,) which was fine, because I don’t have time. However, I am happy to make custom orders.

I thought, hey I can get some miles in, it could be a tune up for the Run Madtown 10k, and then I could get to some projects at work. I like to make things with reclaimed wood, or upcycle furniture and the materials are piling up.

I parked my car near the starting line, and went into the school to register for the race. Registration was only $30!!! I didn’t get a shirt, but I don’t need anymore. Seriously, I think I mentioned this in years past, where can you run a 10k with race day registration of $30?!?!?!?  I also got chip timing.

I left with my bib…in an unnecessary plastic bag, that also had a Road ID coupon. I needed to move my car, so I drove to my work, parked my car and made my way back to the race, with a stop at the post office. I am not sure if it was about a half mile.

I arrived back to the starting area and milled around a bit. I was ready to go. I said hi to my friend Monty, he said he enjoyed this race because of the Hoover Nature trail part. This is the trail I run on during lunch time, it’s flat and peaceful.

Announcements were happening, and then it was time for the National Anthem, sung by one of the school kids. 5k and 10k participants were told to line up, there was no corral or pacers, but the race was small enough, and the street wide enough, there were no problems.

The race started at the elementary school, it then took a small loop through the town, followed by an out and back on the trail, then a run up all the hills to the finish back at the school.

I started out feeling good. However, that did not last long. The weather was too hot for me. It’s like the heat came from no where. I am fine running in heat, just when I have had time to acclimate to it. I also made the mistake of wearing a black shirt.


I did fine on the paved portion through town, but then came the trail section. As I said, I run this trail weekly, I thought I would be able to pick things up here. This was not the case. It started near the 5k turnaround. First runners were coming back towards me, crowding the trail. Second, the trail was not closed to others, there was some nature walk happening, crowding the trail – those people would not move! Third, it was hot!

I grabbed some water, which was ice cold at the 5k turn around – styrafoam cups though…blah. Then I crossed the highway and the participants thinned out. I think maybe 30 people ran the 10k. However, the nature walk people were out on this part too.

I made it to the 10k turn around, and grabbed some more water. On this part, I could count what place I was in. Before the turn around I was the 4th overall female. However, once I turned around, I saw the next 2 ladies closing in on me.

I was on the struggle bus the entire way back, I tired to push my pace, but it wasn’t happening. I was just too hot. Then one by one, the ladies passed me. We got back to the paved part and had to run up the hills. Whew – they are steep! I kept moving though.

Finally the short downhill to the finish line. Also talk about a super quiet finish line, where did everyone go? I crossed and someone cut my timing chip from my shoe. I needed some water.

I went to the post race treats area, and I was happy to find some chocolate milk. I grabbed that first, and then ended up chatting with someone for a while. I then thought I needed some water, only to find it was all gone! UGH those 5k runners! Thankfully, more bottles of water appeared. I grabbed one and a chocolate chip cookie.


As I cheered on the finishers, I waited for the results to be printed. They were posted, and I found out I placed 4th in my age group. Which is usually great, but the age group was split all funky: 0-19, 20-40, and 41-99…. um what? This is a school race, and even the 5k was split the same… you think for school kids it would be broken down…and 20-40 is the most competitive group….oh well. I left, no prizes, no medals for me…. lol. Guess I need to get faster and not wear black on a hot day. My finishing time was still near an hour.


Oh this race….will I run it again? Sure, being able to register on race day and the price itself is worth it, plus the money goes to the school. However, I felt the organization change… just seemed to lack in motivation or drive to have a great race…instead they just went through the motions of what was done in the past. Don’t get me wrong, there weren’t any bad things that happened, still had kids races too, and a bouncy house….but there was just something missing.

Casserole Concoction

Lunch…what do you want for lunch?

The dreaded question, asked weekly, every time my husband and I go to the grocery store.

First, we go through each week and figure out how many nights per week we need to cook supper – yep supper, that’s what it’s called. Then from those meals we can decide if we will have leftovers to take for lunch.

If we don’t have leftovers, most of the time lunch ends up being a frozen meal, soup or sandwiches. If we have time, we will prepare a casserole and then divide that up into daily portions to take.

This past week we had time to make a casserole, and instead of looking up a recipe, we thought we would wing it… so here is our take on breakfast casserole.

Note: I make some of the best concoctions when I just throw stuff together, the downside is we never get to have the same thing again. With that being said, I don’t measure out things unless I am baking, so the ingredient list that follows is my best guess.

Ingredients:

  • package of bacon (or turkey sausage or ham)
  • package of frozen hash browns
  • 16 eggs
  • Veggies of your choice – bag of frozen works good
  • package of shredded cheese
  • fresh spinach
  • Edit (milk to thin out eggs)

-Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9″ x 13″ pan.

-Cook the bacon


-Put a layer of bacon in the bottom of the baking dish.


-Add a layer of frozen hash browns – we had an opened bag, probably had 20 oz left.


-Add veggies, and meat


-Mix beaten eggs with spinach, add salt and pepper if you like.


-Pour egg mix over the hash browns, veggies and meat.


-Top with cheese


-Bake for 45 minutes. If you have a lot of cheese you can choose to broil when done cooking.

(Really, just layer the hash browns – can mix in cheese with these. Add a layer of meat – or no meat if that’s your thing. and a layer of veggies, then fill in the space with eggs you could add more eggs than mentioned above. Top with cheese.

Ok – so I type all the above up while it was baking… I have no clue how it tastes yet. It’s currently cooling, before we will divide it up and put in containers to take for lunch.

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Alright… so 45 minutes wasn’t long enough for the eggs to cook … sad panda…. so we put it back into the oven for another 45 minutes.

maybe it cooked too long? 


As far as nutrition content….. well it has protein and veggies, but then there is the bacon and cheese. So, you can make it better or worse for you depending on what you choose for ingredients.

OK – so how does it taste?


It tastes really good, and the salt from the bacon is enough for me, but pepper would be good. Josh even likes it and was chatting it up at work, and got this suggestion from a colleague – adding milk to the egg mixture might speed up the cooking process.

Also I was thinking mixing in some sour cream or shredded cheese with the hash brown layer. Really, this is simple and the kind of food I like. I would attempt to make something similar again.

If this is out of your comfort zone, and cooking without a recipe scares you…just give it a try once…you might like it.

Vertical Challenge

5 Minutes…..

That was all I kept telling myself, only 5 minutes, you can do this!!

Ok, backing up here… I saw a post on Facebook from Phil over at Fleet Feet Davenport. It was the one year anniversary of the store opening, so he was hosting some events.

In a rare moment of time, Josh and I both didn’t have anything going on, when I saw the event for Friday night, I asked Josh if he would be interested.

What was that event? Well Altra Running was sponsoring the Vertical Challenge: How far could you go on a treadmill, set at 15%, in 5 minutes? (5 Minutes…)

We were both in! Josh didn’t seem too worried, but I was a little nervous. I wondered if I would blow out my calves or any of my leg muscles? As you know I have the Hawkeye 50k in a week, and the Illinois Marathon in 3 weeks.

I really have no experience at this. I mean I run around Iowa City, and if you run the right hills, you can climb some elevation, but nothing more than average of 100 feet over a quarter mile.

I also don’t regularly run on a treadmill, nor is it ever set at an incline over 1%. I did move a workout to a treadmill the night before, and cranked it up to 15 just to see what that was like… I quickly put it back down.

Friday night: We arrived at the store where the challengers had gathered. When you walked in you signed up for a time slot. In the back of the store was the fancy treadmill and the Altra Running shoes. We also saw runner friend Kevin, he was there for the fun.


Phil did a quick introduction and a rundown of how the challenge would work. He also said that the top male and top female would win $40 gift cards!!! This was actually doable for me, because there were only 2 women competing. (Hello, ladies?!??! Where you at? You need to show up!)

We sat around, browsed the store, tried on the Altra shoes, and watched the competitors who went before us. That incline really didn’t look too steep – as a spectator.


Then it was my turn… I got the feel of the treadmill, a short little warm up. Then it was go time.

Only 5 minutes….

I am pretty sure life comes to a stand still when on a treadmill. I have run up to 20 miles on one, but time just never moves.


Ugh – I was like ok, I can do this… and one minute went by, I was only running at like 3.8 mph…seriously, I think I walk that at no incline… Then the next minute took forever, I had to slow down. I think there was some walking. Then I bumped it back up.

Josh, Kevin and the competitors were cheering me on, it was cool. I was dying! Come on, only 5 minutes…. Josh even took to covering up the time. I think I might have cheated, I hung on to the handles.

FINALLY – 5 minutes was over! I had only went .31 miles. My lungs were on fire! My legs felt fine. I coughed.

Next up, Josh. He got the familiar with the treadmill and pushed start. I stood around coughing, feeling the burn in my lungs, but also cheered on Josh with everyone else. I could tell he was having trouble. I covered up the time for him, kept encouraging him.


He was done! He complained of the burn in his lungs too. However he as asthma, and didn’t have his inhaler. He was coughing too.


The challenge continued, there were some beasts on that treadmill!! Not sure if they were just showing off or they were just that awesome.


We talked to others, learning of their running stories (I met a guy, Chris, who will be at mile 18 of the Illinois Marathon,) and also telling us how they couldn’t stop coughing and how their lungs hurt.

There was cold beer and pizza when we were done…. you thought we just went to the running store for this…nah …. I run for beer!

I need to find this beer! 


It was time for the results. The first male ran just over .5 miles. DANG! The first female ran … drum roll please… .37 miles (or something like that.) Yep, I came in last…. oh wait, I came in second!!

What a fun time though! When I started running, a mile seemed impossible to run without stopping. However with each passing year, I try to keep pushing to see what I can do. There was the first half marathon, 50k, then I ran a marathon a month. While this wasn’t a huge goal. I just wanted to see if I could do this, and I could…..I was also one of only two women who showed up!

I woke up and ran 12 miles the next day. My legs don’t feel like toast. Did push hard enough? Oh my lingering cough, tells me I did.

Side note: The Barkley Marathons started this weekend, I have been following the only live coverage I know about via twitter. I came across the training schedule of John Kelly (who is performing well this year.) For his training, he ran 13.1 miles at 20% incline…

So yeah… it was JUST 5 minutes….

BB Performance

Beachbody Performance

“Disclaimer: I received the Beachbody Performance – Advance Performance Stack 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 know you have all been waiting for this review, some have even asked if I became a Beachbody Coach. While I do like some of the workout programs, I did not become a coach, I was just able to test this line of products because I am a Bibrave Pro.

What did I receive:

  • Beachbody Performance Energize, lemon flavor. A boost of energy with no jittery side effects, delays exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Uses green tea leaf extract as caffeine.
  • Beachbody Performance Recover, citrus flavor. Speed up muscle recovery with the “ideal combination of time-released proteins and phytonutrients to help facilitate muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.” Contains why and pea protein isolate.


Now, the biggest thing when it comes to trying new things I have to consume is the taste. If it doesn’t taste good to me, I am not going to use it.

Also the next thing to keep in mind about these products that I have mentioned above, they are supplements. Please read the ingredient list on the links above before deciding if these are for you.

Last thing I would like to note, these products are NSF Certified for sport.

Alright – all the necessary notes out of the way, how did these work for me? I am a runner, I wish I would get my act together and lift more weights, but you know, I’d rather take the time to run 20 miles instead. However, that being said, runners still use muscles, they can be sore, fatigued and in need of a recharge.

I opened the package of goods,which included a shaker bottle, when I came home from work. Since it was night, I tried the Recharge first.

I opened the container, to find a white colored powder. There was a scoop inside too. The directions for serving are on the back of the container.

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I put one scoop of powder in my shaker bottle, then added the 8 ounces of water. I shook it up. and noticed it took a little effort. Pro tip (thanks Heather) add the water first, then the powder. It was time to take a taste, it reminded me of vanilla ice cream. I sat and wasted time on the internet while I drank it. The only thing I didn’t care for was the aftertaste as I kept drinking it. I don’t care for sweeteners in general, however there is one drink I like that contains Stevia, so I was open to trying this. The more I drank, the more I could taste it.

I have tried to like this, I even tried putting this in the blender with frozen berries. I also tried another time with sherbet ice cream. I just can’t get past the aftertaste, however I do like it better in the blender.


The next morning I woke up, and felt fine. I was going to try the Hydrate during the day, to see if I initially would like it. When I opened the container, I noticed it was very yellow, and when I added it to my 8 oz of water, it mixed up yellow. This had a nice subtle citrus flavor, not overbearing, and I am not bothered by the Stevia nor is it too sweet for me. I did notice if I set it down too long, the powder started to separate from the water, so I had to shake it again.


I have been enjoying this product the most, I feel hydrated and feel like I always have to pee when drinking it, lol. I prefer to drink it with ice too.

I first tried the Recover as recommended on the container, add one scoop to 8 oz of water. I did so, shaking it in my bottle. It was an orange color, and seemed to taste fine, but I really wasn’t in love with it.


The next time I gave this a try was post 20 miler. I also noticed the whey protein as an ingredient and I thought, um protein smoothie. So, I added the water and scoop of powder to a blender of ingredients – clementines, frozen berries, apples, spinach. WOW, this is how I prefer to drink this, very good!! Also I was never rungry, or felt that empty feeling in my stomach, even days later. This did some fancy trick. I remember talking to one of my BRF’s Amy about this. I am usually hungry days later, but this worked for me post run.


I continue to drink this in post run smoothie form, versus adding the one scoop to water. It tastes better for me, and it combats the hunger. I just need to not be so lazy and keep the blender washed up, seems I am always fighting the husband over using it.

The last item I had yet to try was the Energize. I was hesitant to try this because it has caffeine in it. I already drink too much caffeine, in the form of black coffee. I was worried by drinking this, it would really push me over the top. However, I was hoping that drinking these products would get me to drink less coffee.

I gave it a go on a day I was to run 7 x 800’s, and I waited to run at lunch, as I drank my coffee for breakfast. I thought I could use the extra boost for this workout. Speaking of boost, the flavor in this is a boost…whamoo – it’s very lemony, just like the hard candy. I happen to like that flavor, however you could water it down too.  My run went well, and I had the energy I needed to get through the speed work.


I did try this again on another runch, but I didn’t feel any faster or any extra oomph. I am not sure if – I just don’t drink it enough, or I drink too much coffee anyway. Or, I was just in a mood.

I do know this product comes in little sample packs, so if you want to try a boost, I would suggest trying this!

Overall: Beachbody offers a great line of products. I would recommend reading all labels, including ingredients and directions before considering if this is for you. I will continue to use the products, especially the Recover for post long run, in a smoothie form, I seemed to benefit the most from this. Also since these are more of a powder, they seem to stay mixed up better with a blender. However, I am a sugar gal, I prefer the taste of the regular electrolyte drink I can pick up at the store over the hydrate product.


Don’t hesitate to learn more from Beachbody, by checking out their website, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

The BibRave pros were busy testing these products, so here are some more thoughts: Amy – CatherineGinaLindsey – JamesFallon – Heather

Steamazing

“Disclaimer: I received Luvo Meals 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!”


Hey all! I have something a little different to review and share with you, Luvo frozen meals. I will be honest, I was most excited to try these because I have become lazy at lunch time, these would be perfect to eat at work, with no meal prep required.

You can read all about the Luvo Philosophy here, however the bottom line: food that is nutritious, delicious, easy to cook, and contains real ingredients. Hey, that’s totally what I want and need!!

Are you thinking, how are they different if they are just another frozen meal? Ha, I am here to tell you. These meals I was able to try, cook in a steam pouch, with “steamazing” technology. There is no second guessing which plastic film to pull off, or stirring the entree. The pouch which has the cooking directions, just steams the food, simple! Then you just cut the end, and it slides out on your plate, looking like an actual meal….with real food… oh wait, that’s cuz it is real food.


Speaking of real food, Luvo uses whole grains, veggies and protein. No trouble reading ingredients on the label. If anything, they have introduced me to eating things I have never tried, or never thought to try. Also using these real ingredients allows the meals to be lower in calories, vegetarian or gluten free.

So, what meals did I try? Well you might have noticed in the picture above… but I will tell you:

Steel-Cut Oatmeal with quinoa and mixed fruit. This was my first meal. My meals arrived the night before and I was excited to have something easy to prepare for breakfast. I am not a huge oatmeal person, unless it’s ruined with something sugary. I was happily surprised with this meal, in fact I think it’s my fave! The fruits (pineapple, cranberries, pears and peaches) are all the sweetness the meal needs. It’s like cobbler without ice cream. You can see how easy it was to cook in this awesome video 🙂

 


Next up, lunch!! Chicken Chile Verde with black beans and polenta. Now, I am not a fan of chicken breast, I think it’s too dry, however the steam cooking technology provided a moist chicken. I also had never had polenta before, and I enjoyed that. One thing I noticed is the meals don’t have any salt or pepper type seasonings, so if you need that, you can add what you like.


It was a full day of Luvo only meals, as that night I had the Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta with Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and cranberries. This meal was good, and I reaffirmed the fact that I do not care for Brussels sprouts, but it did have me wondering if I could make a pot roast with cranberries and apples.


It also happened to be the day of a late basketball game,which meant supper at 10pm. I let Josh try a meal too, the Kale Ricotta Ravioli. Ok, full disclosure… I do not like marinara sauce or tomato sauce really…so this meal was all his. I did try the sauce to make sure, and it wasn’t for me. However, Josh who would love for me to make him lasagna, loved this dish.

Now, I am marathon training (always)… if you have been clicking on the highlighted links above, you might notice the calorie counts. In one day 3 meals is about 900 calories, so I had to add some more food to my diet. However these are perfect if you need to cut a few pounds, portion control is my biggest problem and these contain lots of nutrients with low calories.

I was able to try a couple more meals. I tried the Orange Mango Chicken with whole grains, kale and broccoli. Once again I loved how the chicken was moist, and the sweetness of the mango was perfect. It was great for lunch!


The last meal I tried was the Tandoori Inspired Spice Chicken with mango, brown rice, broccoli and cauliflower. It was another late basketball night, and I loved that in 5 minutes a nutritious meal was cooked. No chopping or dicing of vegetables required. This meal had a kick, definitely some spices in there, it packed a punch, I felt myself wanting more.


Overall thoughts: I really liked the ease of preparing these meals, and knowing I was getting lots of proteins and veggies too. I personally need more calories in a day, and I might add a little salt or pepper. If you like easy cooking, or need quick meals, check out the store locator and the website for some coupons.

I would like to add a note, once you find a store in your area, please call them ahead of your shopping trip, to make sure they have them in stock.

I had my sister do some scouting of the stock where she lives. I need to go on a road trip to try some of the other meals that are offered, especially the bowls. They look great and the price is comparable to other frozen meals.

Also unique to Luvo, they just started direct delivery to your doorstep. You can choose from 8 meals, and for all orders over $28.99, shipping is only $9.99. That’s right you don’t have to fight the people at the grocery store.

If you do find yourself at the grocery store, don’t forget to add the app to your phone too, you can find out if the food you are buying is good for you. Just head to your app store and search for “Luvo CheckIt”

I would also encourage you to follow Luvo on their social media channels, they host twitter chats, giveaways on Facebook, recipes on the blog, and appetizing photos on Instagram.

Looking for thoughts on other meals, check these reviews: Jeremy  – MaiLindsey Jeannine – Heather – Sam

 

Race Schedule

Whoa, all of the sudden my 2017 race schedule has exploded. I got caught up in how to find a “traditional” training plan for a marathon, I forgot how much fun it was to do all the races… and a little help from Bibrave.

Ok, I did run Freezefest, then the Mardi Gras Chaser, and I told you about the Illinois Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon…. but I have added the following:

  • March 11 – Shamrock Shuffle 6.24k – hello instant PR, I mean who was run a 6.24k? Last plea for volunteers (if it’s still before the race when you read this)
  • April 8Hawkeye 50k – because who doesn’t run a 50k 2 weeks before a marathon?
  • April 29Drake Relays half marathon – I ran the inagural 6k way back when and finished on the blue oval, but I am ready to go back and run the half.
  • May 27Run Madtown 10k – I decided I could do this race and not have to pay for a hotel, wahoo!! It’s an 8pm start and Madison is only a 3 hour drive…plus I can’t miss an opportunity to wear a tigerhawk in Madtown. Want to join me, use code RAVE15 for 15% off all Run Madtown adult races. Discount code will expire May 24 at 11:59PM
  • July 23 – BTN B1G 10k – GO HAWKS, need I say more? code BibRaveBTN17 for bonus swag http://btnbig10k.com/
  • November 12Madison Marathon. This race just happens to be the day after the Iowa / Wisconsin football game at Camp Randall…. so I was already going to be in town.Go big or go home. Use code RAVE10 which gives $10 off Madison Marathon or Half Marathon. Code will expire Nov 8 at 11:59PM

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HA – told you things were getting crazy – I feel more like myself when this is my racing calendar. My brain needs all the things to do.This is also just the races I have paid for, and have entry. I am sure there will be many more to come, like these…. send money 🙂

  • April 15 – Easter Egg Scramble – I usually try to get my niece to run the kids run and do the egg hunt.
  • June 10 – Marathon to Marathon – it’s the last year for the event, and it’s in Iowa, plus a week before Grandma’s. I HAVE to run it.

I’m still here

Wow…so I guess I haven’t written anything in a long time…well a long time for me. I blast you with lots of posts in a row, and then nothing…well you can relax now, I am here with a post.

I picked a training plan…well sort of. I am using a Hal Higdon plan for the advanced marathoner. However, I am finding I don’t have time for the longer runs during the week, so I am either running twice or just making it work with the time I have. (Thanks to advice from a friend, I know I can make the adjustments.) We will see where this gets me, there is speed work and hill work too, a kick that I need.


I have added another race to my schedule…I am running the Corridor Running Freezefest 5k, February 18. I miss running all the races….and I think that is why I am struggling the most. I miss the traveling and going new places. I am excited to get back out there.


After that 5k, I will be headed to Chicago for the Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 10k. Wahoo, hope there is some king cake! Seriously though, Back on my Feet is a great charity, helping the homeless through running. Not only will Josh be making that trip with me, but I will be reunited with my running friends!!

From there, I am not sure what is next. I missed out on a local 50k, dang registration is already closed. However, there is the Shamrock Shuffle in Iowa City and the Easter Scramble in the Quad Cities…. I guess either way it all leads to the Illinois Marathon, followed by Grandma’s… after that I have nothing on my schedule – GASP!!!

I did start lifting some weights, ok, nothing big…but I have tried to do this 3 times a week…so maybe that will lead to something new and exciting.


I really don’t know what’s next. I am broke, and all the traveling has taken a toll, but I miss it and it’s driving me nuts. I have been trying to shake things up by running to where I need to go around town, or looking for new places to run. Guess I will keep looking for that next adventure.


You can still expect the same from me though… I will be attending all the Hawkeye things, eating all the crap food, and sharing all the Bibrave love, including reviews and discounts.


I will have a Freezefest review coming up next. If you want or need more updates, follow me on Twitter or Instagram.