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.

Cheers to a Friend

Cheering on a Friend

“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!”

You might have read that I will be headed back to Kettle Moraine in the middle of September to run the half marathon as part of the North Face Endurance Challenge.

There are many events to this race, and while I would love to run one of the longer distances, but they are all on a Saturday, Sept 16th. Saturdays in the fall I spend at Kinnick Stadium. Fortunately for me, because there are so many races, I can run one on Sunday, Sept 17th.

Last year I ran the half alongside Laura… and this year she has decided to tackle her first 50k.

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I decided to asked her a few questions as she get prepared for this endeavor:

What is your running background?

“I was never a runner. I was in dance (ballet/en pointe, jazz, and tap) for 14 years, dabbled in volleyball in middle school but let’s be real, I was NOT GOOD. Between the ages of 21 and 22, I started casually running through the park that was near the apartment my husband and I lived in. Then in 2012 I signed up for the inaugural Brewers Mini, not doing any research into what the “mini” distance actually entailed. It was a half, and I had to bust my butt to train for it. It stormed the whole morning and as soon as the lightning stopped, the race organizers were like “Okay, go!” The race was very challenging, both mentally and physically, but the second I crossed the finish line I signed up for another race and well, the rest is history!”

Why did you choose this 50k?

“I’ve done the ECSWI half marathon for the last two years. Last year, I went out on Saturday to cheer on some of my friends and a very dear friend was running the 50K – her first one! After she crossed the finish line she told me “Next year you’re doing this with me!” I made 2017 the year of doing things outside my comfort zone, so I put a marathon and 50K on my race list. TNF puts on such an awesome event, from the pre-and post-race vibe to the course support to the pre-race communication, the whole event weekend is so well run. TNF really engages their participants on social media and makes you feel like you’re participating in the whole event, not just showing up to run a race.”

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What are you most excited about?

“I absolutely love running in the Kettle Moraine State Forest so being able to pound that dirt with other people who love trails as much as I do is such a thrill. The camaraderie between trail runners is special – you’re all out there, suffering but loving it, surrounded by such beautiful scenery – it all makes for a special experience.”

What are you most nervous about?

“I’ve never run this far. The marathon I did in July was my longest run to date and man, did I BONK at mile 18. So I’m kind of nervous to be doing a distance 6 miles farther than I’ve ever done but I know that I’ll have friends out there pushing me through!”

What is the first thing you will treat yourself to when you finish the race?

“There is nothing more refreshing after a long race than an ice cold beer. It doesn’t have to be a heavy, high ABV brew either. So I’m going to walk (or hobble!) my tired butt to the beer tent and enjoy!”

I am excited for her to cross that finish line. Also, she will be running the 5k the day after her 50k – BADASS!!

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If you want to join Laura or myself at this event, head on over to https://www.thenorthface.com/get-outdoors/endurance-challenge/wisconsin.html and Use code “BIB15” to save 15% on your race entry.  

You can also cheer Laura on via Twitter or Instagram, and look forward to her race thoughts on her blog thecaffeinatedrunner.com

 

Bourbon Salted Caramels

Bourbon Salted Caramels

“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!” 


As you know, I am gearing up for the Urban Bourbon Half Marathon in Louisville, KY on October 21 by giving some bourbon recipes a try.

I reached out and asked for some suggestions on what I should make first…while the overwhelming response was to just drink bourbon over ice, I decided to go a different direction.

I first thought, oh hey, I can totally make some ice cream. I have one of those fancy Cuisinart Ice cream machines, I’ll just whip up the ingredients and watch them freeze. Well…. after a little research and the fear of curdling the eggs, I went another route.

I thought it was time to make some candy. I could take the leftovers to the local farmers market, and possibly tailgating. I was also itching to use my candy thermometer.

I found this recipe for bourbon salted caramels. Thank you internet…all credit to bonappetit.com for their recipe!


I assembled all the ingredients…and read through the instructions.


First I needed to get all the sugary stuff boiling on the stove…easy enough….however, it was supposed to do some fancy thing and turn amber in color….that was not happening, and the suggested cooking time was up.


So I did what any rockstar baker/chef/cook would do…went on to the next step…which was adding more ingredients, including the condensed milk…and I had to cook while swirling  until the temp on the candy thermometer was brought to 240 degrees.

Well…this is where things continued to get weird for me….it was taking forever for the temp to get to 240… I wasn’t sure if I should turn it up, constantly whisk, let it cook with no stirring? I do know that it would burn… so I did keep stirring.


It did start to turn a caramelly (totally a word) color, so I felt something was happening… also it appeared maybe something was starting to burn, but the temp was still not 240, but the suggested cooking time was up for this too… so once it finally got to 240, I yanked it from the heat and added the bourbon.

Then there was more stirring.

I added it to a 8 x 8 prepared dish – it was oiled and lined with wax paper – since I am out of parchment. This is foreshadowing, should have went out for some parchment paper.


Then it cooled, as I topped it off with some salt. I also licked the hot pan clean, and couldn’t taste the bourbon… however after more licking… I noticed there was bourbon.


It seemed to take forever to cool…and I may have stopped reading instructions at some point, cuz I think I put them in the fridge to harden up…then they were out of the fridge…then they were still not settled… so back in the fridge.

Then the next day I decided I was going to cut them into squares. They were a sticky mess, and the wax paper eventually came off, but yeah…don’t use wax paper.

As I cut them up, they were the consistency of caramels, and well I ate too many of them. At this point I really didn’t get the bourbon flavor. Someone suggested I just chase em down with bourbon.


Then I individually wrapped them all in wax paper. They looked like real candy. I had some set aside for the market and some for my husband to take to work.

Well the next day, something broke down… they were not sticky, or gooey like, they crumbled. While I am not a chef / candy person / baker or chemist… I am sure this relates to all the temperature changes. Heartbreaking…so much work…

Oh well I tried something new…. what should I make next?

Ready to just skip the recipes and sample all the bourbon? Well then join me in Louisville at the race. They just released the t-shirt design too!!! Use code BourbonRave2017 for 10% off – http://www.urbanbourbonhalf.com/ Price increase September 13.

Because, Bourbon….

Run for Bourbon!

“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!”

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I am no stranger to Louisville, KY. I just returned from a trip with Josh this summer, I ran the 2015 Urban Bourbon, and I have run the Kentucky Derby Festival Half Marathon. It’s a great place to visit and take in all the bourbon. I am ready to return once again and run the 2017 Urban Bourbon Half Marathon (UBHM.)

I will post race information, registration links and a discount code at the bottom of the post…but leading up to this event, I was thinking….

Back in 2015 I discovered a recipe for bourbon bacon cookies… so I made them for my trip to the race. Since then, I entered this recipe in a contest at a running store to win free shoes – I came in second. I have also had the opportunity to sample many bourbons, as well as donuts with bourbon glaze, bourbon candy and bourbon ice cream, do you see where I am going….


I would like to keep experimenting with bourbon recipes. I already have my Beam in the kitchen, along with my cider bourbon for sipping while cooking… and for fun, I have some moonshine if a recipe just doesn’t work…


So – What should I make? Drinks, appetizers, baked goods? Send me your thoughts, recipes, ideas, concoctions.

Race details:

When: Saturday, October 21, 2017

Where:Louisville, KY

Who: Me – you, bourbon fans

What: Half Marathon

Why: Bourbon

Howhttp://www.urbanbourbonhalf.com/

Other: use code BourbonRave2017 for 10% off . Must be 21 to participate.

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Follow the Urban Bourbon on their social channels for updates: TwitterFacebookInstagram

Race Logistics

RACE LOGISTICS

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Madison Mini 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 since the beginning, you know I run A LOT of races. I’ve been asked why I choose an event, or about my favorite race… well first I consider the price… but next I always consider the logistics – can I make this race possible.

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I will be headed back to Madison, WI for my 4th Madison mini, one of the most important race logistic when I am participating in a race sooo close to home, yet soo far away… Can someone else get my packet?

Madison is about a 3 hour drive for me… sooooo I can leave first thing in the am and arrive on race day. The Madison mini makes this easy for me by allowing someone else to pick it up for me at packet pick up. All they need is a copy of my photo ID. If I were really planning ahead, I could have paid a little extra (when I registered) and picked up my packet at will call, which is open before the race on race day.

I could go on and on about inconvenient packet pickups, ok maybe I will. The year Josh and I ran the Chicago Marathon, we had to drive into Chicago twice…once was to pick up our packet as there was no packet mailing, no race day pickup, and no one else could get it for us. ( I don’t recall packet mailing)

Other race logistics that make a race a great event:

  • Parking – is it close? do I have to pay?
  • Bathrooms at the start
  • Online maps of the course, start/finish – what is available at the start finish, do I have to walk far to get water?

When a race considers what it’s like to be a participant, that is an added perk, so the special perks of allowing someone else to grab your packet or multiple banks of port-o-potties makes my decision easier… well after I check the price.

Madison Mini Packet pickup information:

 PACKET PICK-UP INFORMATION

Location:  Alliant Energy Center, Hall C, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, Madison

Friday, August 18: 11:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m

Please bring your Photo ID as packet pickup is by last name. You will not need your bib number. REMEMBER! THERE WILL BE NO RACE DAY REGISTRATION OR PACKET PICKUP AND NO THERE ARE NO TRANSFERS OR REFUNDS.

FAMILY OR FRIEND PACKET PICK-UP

If you would like to have a family member or friend pick up your packet for you, they must have a copy of your photo ID (either digital or paper).  Please have it ready when you go to their line to get their packet so you can show it to the volunteers.

WILL CALL PACKET PICK-UP

The Will Call Packet Pick-Up Booth will be located at Library Mall near the fountain and will be open on Saturday, August 19 from 5:30 – 6:45 am

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