RACE WEEK!

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

It’s Run CRANDIC race week and we’re all freaking out. Ok, so maybe some people are remaining calm. I am ready to run a marathon, that is not why I am worried, I am more worried about the event happening with the least problems possible. People can be very rude and mean, for the stupidest reasons……anyway…

Some people may refer to this period of training as a taper, and some people describe it as taper tantrums. How do you go into race week avoiding this?

  1. Trust your training! If you picked a training plan (oops I didn’t do that) you should trust that you put in the work and have the endurance to get you to the finish line.
  2. Take on a new hobby. You need something to occupy all your new found free time, why not learn to knit, get into bird watching, or decoupage?
  3. Check the weather. What better way to keep the tantrum alive than to obsess about the weather every day. It’s Iowa, it will change 65 times in the last week, so clicking that refresh button every hour will keep you busy.
  4. Plan your race day outfit. Don’t laugh, there is an art to putting together your race day look. From something that wont chafe to something that represents you. I like to wear a fun skirt with fun colors. Hey, add your name to your shirt as spectators can easily cheer you on.
  5. Catch up on those chores. Remember all those Saturdays you told yourself you would get to that leaky toilet or replace the porch light? Well you should have some more time now, get to it!
  6. Volunteer! Whether it’s at another race or your library, this is a good way to fill your time.
  7. Netflix marathon. This is a perfect way to test your endurance, curl up on the couch and see how many TV shows you can watch before you need to use the bathroom.
  8. Work on your playlist.If you run with music, this is the perfect time to add your favorite songs to your listening device. If you are super detailed you could get the songs in order of where the steepest hills will be.
  9. Hydrate. Unlike the weather, making sure you are ready to roll is one thing you can control, so make sure you are on top of drinking water and electrolytes. Or perhaps a Run Crandic 26.2 Brew? Scheduled to hit taps at these locations:
    • Kickstand  in Cedar Rapids
    • Chrome Horse in New Bo Cedar Rapids
    • Vine in Coralville
    • Old Chicago Coralville
    • Tin Roost North Liberty
    • Red’s Ale House North Liberty

     Big Grove in Iowa City will have it at the post race party

  10. Rest! Take a nap, sleep in, go to bed early. Arrive to race day feeling refreshed!
  11. Carboload! This might be my favorite thing, I like food and I LOVE pasta!!  By now, with your longer training runs you should know what foods agree with your digestive tract. Add them to your diet in the week leading up to the big race.

WHEW!! After all of these things, it’s race day and your taper tantrums should be over. The next thing to do is get to the start line, so you can get to that finish line!

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Flippin Over Pants

FlipBelt Crops – Product Review

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“Disclaimer: I received a pair of FlipBelt Crops to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Way back when…… I tested and reviewed the FlipBelt. It’s a belt to be worn around your middle section to carry all the things you need on the run. I did not care for the fit of the belt with my higher natural waist or larger hips. I am woman! LOL!

I was intrigued by the FlipBelt Crops, the belt is attached (sewn) to the pants. It appeared that there would be no slipping of the belt to my natural waist or falling off my hips. By being the actual waistband of the pants, the location looked like a perfect fit for my body.

The crops are also 76% polyester 24% spandex, moisture wicking and anti microbial fabric.

I broke one of the unspoken rules of running “nothing new on race day” and wore the crops straight from the package at a double race day. The first thing I noticed was how soft they felt and how comfortable they fit. All the seams were protected and nothing appeared to be a problem against the skin.

I lined up for the 5k and since I like to keep my phone on the small of my back, I put my phone in the zippered back pocket of the crops. I ran the 5k. I have a newer smart phone, so it’s bigger and I felt I had to keep yanking my pants up from the bouncing of my phone.

Well this was enough for me, so an hour later when I toed the line for the 10k, I placed my phone in the front. There are 2 openings on each side to slide it in. I didn’t even notice it was there. This is where I will be placing bulkier heavier items.

I next ran in then as part of a training run, putting my phone in the front pocket again. I was testing how easy it was to access my phone on the run. It seemed quite simple, and since it was in the front, no zipper to contend with.

I then wore them as I volunteered at a race. The weather was crap, and I wanted to be able to wear layers to stay warm. My clothes that allow for this do not have pockets, so I was happy to have the pants to keep my phone and keys. Yep, the right side pocket has a key clip. The pants allowed me to move around especially as I removed timing chips. I really wished they were full length on this day.

The downside of these crops, they are not full length pants and they are not shorts. If it’s cold where you live or hot where you live, these may not work. Also since the belt is attached to clothing, if your crops are in the laundry, you do not have access to your belt. So do you wash them everyday?

Speaking of care, they are machine washable!

I know I will wear these a lot. As I predicted, the belt attached to the pants allows the belt to stay in the perfect place for my body. I can even see myself wearing these to sporting events and other non running related activities.

Want to get your own pair? Use code “BIBRAVE” for 25% off  – https://flipbelt.com/running-pants-crops

Check out what other BibRave Pros had to say about the FlipBelt Crops: JennReneeLissaMaiKateVanessaKarenJanelleLisaGina  AmyLindseyBarb

Follow FlipBelt: WebsiteInstagramFacebookTwitterYouTube

GODSPEED – Movie Review

GODSPEED – The Race Across America – Movie Review

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“Disclaimer: I received a sneak peek of GODSPEED – The Race Across America as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

Wow, a movie review! I believe it’s my first ever!

“The Race Across America. Pedaling 168 hours non-stop across 12 states from the Pacific to the Atlantic Oceans, Schemmel and Cooper embark on the journey of a lifetime – a race that would provide an extreme test of physical endurance and dependence on faith”

Through the special sneak peek, I was able to watch the movie on my laptop. I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything, so as I watched I took notes. Hey- I haven’t done a movie review, I didn’t know where to start.

As the title suggests, this is a bicycle RACE across America. It starts in California and ends in Maryland. There are many teams entered from 2 to 8 members. They cycle non-stop along the 3000 mile route, switching at time intervals determined on their own.

What does the winner get?

I don’t want to giveaway too much, but the challenge is getting to the finish in 7 days. The movie follows a duo – Brad & Jerry. The course takes them through some steep climbs and flat land, all while going through many climates from extreme heat to driving rain.

Will they make it? Will they get injured? Will their equipment cooperate?

The title also suggests that religion will be involved, as a person who isn’t very religious this didn’t bother me too much, until the end. There is some praying to complete the race safely during the movie.

“If it were easy, everyone would do it!”

I was cheering for Brad & Jerry to reach the end in the time allowed. However, I am not sure it’s fair I caught a sneak peek of this after following along with a big ultra running event. I know what humans are capable of when all the odds are stacked against them. I also know that failing can be a successful option.

How would I rate the movie? Hmm, do I rate on a 5 donut scale? I would give it 3 out of 5 donuts. The action footage was done wonderfully, and you wanted the duo to complete the event. However, I feel like maybe the title and posted information give away the story, so you are actually rooting for something dramatic to happen.

Did Brad & Jerry make it across America? Find out on May 22 and catch GODSPEED in theaters .

Want more reviews, check em out: AndreaKim Christine – BrendaAmyMark– LindseyBarb

Do you volunteer?

Volunteering

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

volunteer

I feel this post is long overdue. I could write a few race recaps as a volunteer only, but I haven’t as there really isn’t much to it. Show up, do the task you are assigned, make new friends, and go home.

Ok, maybe it’s not always that easy…in fact there is the school of thought: First rule of volunteering – don’t volunteer!

True – some volunteer positions require a lot of work and for a person to go above and beyond, but that is what makes a great volunteer. A person that is willing and dedicated to do a job for no reward, knowing they are helping a greater cause.

Why do I volunteer for a race or event? I know that all the races I have run do not happen without volunteers, from the organizations planning them to the person picking up water cups. What better way to give back by volunteering my time to help other runners get to the finish line?

I also help because I love race day, and since I can not afford to run them all, I can still be at the event and feel involved.

I have been a course monitor at a few of races, making sure runners know which direction to go or stopping cars. This is one of my favorite duties as you can cheer on the runners at the same time.

I have taken chips off shoes at the finish line, which is a little more demanding of a job. Mostly because I forget about all the bending over, I should do some cross training. It’s also fun to be at the finish line to watch runners accomplish their goals.

I have worked at a water stop. This position is also a little more work, but it’s one of the most active. There is definitely a trick to making sure the cup is filled to the right amount, not putting your fingers in the drink, getting it to the runner and not getting drenched.

I have also volunteered at one of the biggest marathons in the USA, Chicago. I monitored a walkway at the starting corral, I then walked that corral to the start line. When that was done I picked up discarded clothing, and then when that was done I helped take down the starting line. Also, they give great volunteer swag!

I have also done some odd job type volunteer positions. Sometimes just adding a little something extra helps a race too. Telling participants where the registration is, snapping photos, running a photo booth. Just be willing to help when and where you are needed.

Heck, I volunteer for sporting events too!

I never stop running, but I think it’s spring….. and that is when many races start popping up in addition to many of the bigger ones.

I am looking forward to my next volunteer position at the Hawkeye 50k (it’s almost sold out) I will be helping at the 25k aid station and handing out medals and removing chips. I am ready for a full day of helping out.

Then next is Run CRANDIC – you’ve read many other posts about this event. In addition to helping plan the event, and getting to run it, I will be stuffing packets and sharing my knowledge at the expo and anything else I am asked.

If you can help with Run CRANDIC please check out the opportunities – http://runcrandic.com/volunteers – there are 2 links one for each county involved. Stuff packets, monitor the course, help at an aid station.

If you want to volunteer for your local running community look for a link on their website, if there isn’t anything, just ask!

“Volunteers do not necessarily have the time; they just have the heart.” — Elizabeth Andrew

Chocoholic Frolic – Race Recap

Recap of the Chocoholic Frolic 5k & 10k – 2018

Saturday, March 31, 9 AM at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City. The temps were near 40 with wind that would pick up and change direction.

Before I get into run details…how bout some background… As always I will have a review at bibrave.com.

This event is new to Iowa City. With some research it appears that a race management company is responsible for 5 of these chocolate themed runs around the USA. It’s my opinion that due to the popular Hot Chocolate races, this series exists. In my area we do not have a lot of race management companies come from outside, most races are organized locally.

I first started to see advertisements for this event on Facebook. Something would appear in my news feed daily. Then, that same ad had a discount code to save $15. The registration period for that code expired, and a new one was advertised. I did try to contact the event via FB messenger on Feb 14th.

Ok, I couldn’t resist a 10k for $30, so I eventually registered. I was very hesitant. There was very little information on the website. However, because the run was soooo close to my house, I wanted them to prove me wrong.

There was no published course information, all the website said was the run was at Big Grove Brewery. As someone who knows that area well, I know it’s under construction, I was curious where we would be running. I also know running one direction out and back is roughly 5.5 miles.

There was also no information about the expo, as it said there would be one. To this day it still says TBD. It did say you could register on race day, so that usually means you can get your stuff on race day. However, with lack of information…who actually knew?

Next, proceeds from the event were going to a charity. The only way to learn about this was through the registration process. All it had was an option to donate more to “local charity.” What is this local charity? I still don’t know.

What did I know? I would be running a 10k that started at 9:45 am. I would receive a chocolate bar medal, a chocolate bar, and get a 1/4 zip pullover. I also read there would be a chocolate beer made special for the event. Apparently this was enough for me to justify spending the money (or to do some market research?) Is this enough for the everyday runner?

The week of the run/race, I finally got an email. Up until this I wasn’t sure if I paid $30 for a chocolate bar, as I still hadn’t received answer to a my FB message or one through the “contact us” form I submitted.

The email had the important information the website was lacking. First, it did call the event the Chocoholic Frolic Run – but went on to state “race” details. No where did I see “fun run” and I do think there is a difference between race and run and what to expect. It had both course routes and information about times to pick up your bib. This email also said the 10k would start at 10 AM. There was also another discount code to share with friends. Did anyone ever pay full price? This information needs to be on the website, it’s very helpful in deciding on registration.

Whew… you still with me?

So on the Wednesday before the event, I attended my running club’s shop local event. Prizes were race/run entries… and as the cookie crumbled, there were leftover entries to this and I was gifted one and gave my husband an entry. This was on the heels of a discount going out to the running club. Lots of codes and complimentary entries.

I talked to my friend who I convinced to register as she LOVES chocolate, and she still claims she never saw this event advertised anywhere. She does not have Facebook, where I saw an ad daily. So, maybe the reason for all the codes?

After all this and the codes, I found myself registered for the 5k as well as the 10k. I’ll keep things upfront and honest, I used one of the complimentary entries. There is no expectation I do anything in return. I always write a recap… so here I am.

There was a packet pick up the night before at the brewery. Josh and I decided to go and get our things. The brewery was packed, but there were signs leading us to the packet pickup area. We just had to tell them our names and they grabbed us a bib and assigned our information. Since I had registered for both races they asked if I wanted 2 pullovers, or a different size. While I thought about it, the lady asked me if I wanted some of the merchandise on the table. This was all really nice and totally not necessary. I did decide on another pullover color, but discovered it was too big when I got home, so Josh has another pullover. They thanked us many times for registering for the race.

I had organized all the things I was going to wear for the run. The weather is crazy here, it’s never going to be spring, so it did take some time to decide what to wear.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic ice cream skirt, Flipbelt crops, Zensah socks, Brooks Ghost 9, Moving Comfort bra, Mission t-shirt, Chicago Marathon hat, Aftershokz Trekz Air, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, Nathan race belt, Garmin Forerunner 935.

In true race day fashion, I was anxious about getting there in time. Why? I don’t know, I am used to traveling far and being unfamiliar with things… I really could have rolled up minutes before the start.

The brewery opens for regular business at 11 AM, but they had the doors open for people to stay warm or use the indoor bathrooms. The patio fireplaces were on. There is lots of parking, including at the neighboring business.

Inside, on the top of the bar were the plates of goodies finishers received. In the back game room computers were set up for race day registration. A selfie station tent was set up on the patio. 90s hip hop music played on the speakers. An announcement came over the system and the kids race was to begin, followed by the 5k.

Another strange thing is the 5k is before the 10k. With time and whatnot, you think they could run them simultaneously or start the 10k first.

As I mentioned before, I am familiar with this area. The City of Iowa City has been re-working an old waste water plant to make the area to the west of the brewery a small park with paths that connect to a trail system. This project is close to complete, but the connection to the brewery is not finished, so a wood chip trail was added to get to the starting line. It wasn’t difficult, it just wasn’t ideal.

At about 9 AM, runners were gathered at the start. There was a teardrop flag blowing in the wind and a rubber timing mat across the sidewalk. There was a bike out front to show the way.  After some announcements, the race was on.

Josh gave me a high five and I followed the pack. The course is on the Iowa River Corridor Trail. It heads south along the Iowa River, to the ball fields, and eventually around the Trueblood Rec Area. It’s relatively flat, a small little hill here or there, and it’s all paved.

I passed the first mile marker and my watch agreed with the distance. After this, I took a turn as suggested by signs, to run through the ball fields and make a loop. I passed the water stop and did not take anything as it was cool. I am not sure if there was anything but water. The email stated “water and chocolate will be located along the route and at the finish line.”

I was on my way back, and keeping note of the mileage on my Garmin, for a basic out an back, things were not adding up, but what could I do but keep moving.

Also a side note, as a Bibrave Pro I was trying out my FlipBelt cropped leggings for the first time, and I had the phone in the back zippered pocket and I had to keep pulling my pants up. This kept me occupied as I ran back.

When I got close to the starting line, which was also the finish line, I looked at my watch and it was around 2.6? I knew the 2 guys (Dan & Horacio) handing out finisher medals, so I motioned to my watch, and raised my arms. They motioned me to the finish line, so I crossed the timing mat and they handed me my luggage tag medal. My Garmin read 2.75 miles. I was not happy. Someone with the race management company caught wind and told me they didn’t want to deal with the construction, so it was short. Ok, then don’t have the race/run or advertise it as a 5k. I am sorry to my friends Dan & Horacio who got to hear and see all my displeasure with the situation. Horacio wanted me to make sure I told everyone the guys handing out medals were the best!

I met up with Josh who had my 10k bib, as I needed to switch because the timing strips were registered for each race. I went inside to get my 5k? finisher plate and found the place very busy with participants. The finisher plate was PACKED with treats, like an insane amount of things for a 5k?. It was more than just the chocolate bar.

I had to get ready to go back out and run, so I put my plate in the car. I met a few of my running friends and we all discussed the short course and someone said the 10k course was spot on. Ha… the email might have said that too, but it also said the 5k was 3.4 miles.

I walked back over to the start area, while Josh did some warm up strides. There were not as many participants in the 10k. There were some more announcements, and the bike lead was back. This course started with a loop around the park path (um this could have been added to the 5k) and then we took the same Iowa River Corridor Trail south along the River, but this time a cut by the water stop table to the sidewalk along S. Gilbert St. There were signs in the ground with arrows pointing the way. There were no human volunteers on the course, except 2 at the water table.

I continued on, and had to cross a road. While it had a 4 way stop, there were no cones, no traffic control, nothing here. I took the loop around Trueblood, and then BAM….the wind was at my face or had switched direction or something, it was like running through mud. Anymore I can’t win with the weather, so you just wear all the things and expect the worst.

After my loop around the lake, there was a fork in the road….I was behind some women who were just as confused as I was at this fork. Those ahead of my just cut across the 2 cones and sign flopping in the wind. I had glanced at the course and felt like I needed to take a left and follow the Iowa River Trail. I went that way and I knew I was going the correct direction as there was a sign with an arrow on this route. The ladies in front of me basically cut the course, but really are they at fault if the intersection, with no human, was not clearly marked?

I was mad. I was really thinking if they were in my age group and they placed as the winner that would not be fair, then I was thinking this would be a great story for marathon investigation, lol.

After thinking I was on the correct path back to the finish, I passed one of the women who cut the course, but she was running the wrong way. She mentioned something like, the course is short. I was like, you cut the course, but neither of us stopped. I was no longer mad.

Are you still reading? Thanks!

It seemed as the wind was getting worse, so I was battling that the entire way back. I even dodged a falling limb. I also moved my phone to the front pocket of my FlipBelt Crops, and had no issues.

I got closer to to the finish and had to do another loop around the park area, before I crossed the timing mat. I was sad that Dan & Horacio were no longer handing out medals. I hit stop on my Garmin and it said 5.87. Wow! I met Josh and all I could think was get me some beer!

Inside the brewery, I grabbed another finisher plate and made my way to the beer. I said I wanted one of each brew, and showed them both of my bibs. I even got Josh’s beer as he didn’t care for it. There were not many participants hanging out at this time.

We joined our friends who ran the 5k? and discussed the event. I ate the items on my plate that were not individually wrapped, there was soo much! We chatted about getting what we paid for and discussed if this was a race or a run. When we solved all the problems we parted ways, and called it a day.

My overall thoughts….ha, you had to read a ton to get to this point. I feel I got $30 worth of stuff – the pullover, all the chocolate, the medal and the special beer. I do not feel I got any of that in the actual running part of the race.

Would I run it again? Hmmm maybe still on the fence… I am not sure I would pay to do it, knowing what I know. a lot of things have to improve.

This also has me wondering, what do people want in a race? Do they want the swag and material things? Or do they want a well supported course, an accurate course, volunteers, posted information? Am I looking to much into this, is this just a race for fun? Is this one of those events to get the non runner out and moving?

I am also a member of my local running community, and a member of our local running club. As a volunteer club that hosts 7 races we strive to do our best for the running community, and we hope to set a standard of what people should expect when registering for an event.

Thanks for reading.

Training Excitement

Training Excitement

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check outBibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

How could marathon training be exciting? No – I am not drunk… and yes training for Run CRANDIC has been exciting.

You might have noticed my lack of blog posts, but it’s because I have been trying to keep up with all the excitement that is training for a marathon in my backyard.

I have run quite a few races, and yes there is a 50k just down the road. This is the first marathon in the corridor. Why does that matter? I can train the actual marathon course. This is huge to knowing where the hills are, what to expect with the terrain AND group training runs!!

I have never been apart of something like this. In full disclosure, I am on the planning committee for this event, so I may know more than I let on. However, back to the point – there is so much excitement for this event. Every weekend someone posts an option for a group run, and a handful of runners show up to encourage each other to accomplish their goal. It’s brought out something in my local running community I didn’t know existed.

See –  I have struggled for years to fit in, to find a group run I could actually be a part of. (No one runs 10  minute miles, ugh.) However, this has been different. If you want someone to run with you just ask, and they show up.

How can you be part of this? Well if you are running CRANDIC, make sure to join the FB chat group – Run CRANDIC Runners. Just ask about meeting up, and BAM!

I have run the entire course, the things I do…however the crazy part, because I asked – I had 3 others do this with me. The training excitement is fantastic!

photo cred: Michael Price

Are marathon training groups normal in your town? What if you don’t have a marathon?

Will I see you on race day? Registration is still open and you can save 10% on your race registration until April 25th – which is when registration closes!!  Don’t forget we could always use volunteers too!

Sip and have fun!

Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Race Recap – Corridor Running Shamrock Shuffle 2018

Saturday, March 10, Iowa City, IA. Sunny and a cool 30 ish degrees.

This is the only race Corridor Running hosts in Iowa City, so if I am around I always try to participate, whether it’s running or volunteering.

I arrived at College Green park just after 6:30 AM as I signed up to help with race day set up. Brrr, it was cold, but not as cold as last year. I checked in an asked where I was needed to help.

I am not sure I ever had an official job, but I set up tables, answered some questions, directed people where to go, and I took photos and updated the club’s social media accounts. (which you should follow: Instagram / twitter) A box of donuts magically appeared and I might have ate one.

In addition to the normal bib pick up, there were tables set up to buy club gear and a table for a new running store in the area, Heartland Soles.

Around 8:30 I ditched my coat and made it to the starting line. It was weird, I ran in my volunteer shirt and no sparkle skirt. Maybe it’s because I was out of practice… I hadn’t ran a race in over a month!

After some brief announcements the race started. There were 2 distances to run – a 3.17 km and a 6.34 km (which was an additional loop.) I was in for the double loop. The course is a tour of the north side neighborhood, complete with old brick streets. There is one major hill near the end of the loop… this of course is where the official race photographer was stationed. The last stretch of this course is also on a busy street.

angie

I had a good first loop, and then the wheels came off and I slowed down for my second loop. So.. I got my phone out and started doing some IG stories and taking pictures. I got called out talking to my phone by some guy on his cool down lap, HA!

Before I knew it, I was at the finish line and a volunteer was removing the timing chip from my shoe. I had a Garmin time of  38:10. There were bananas and water set up near the finish line, but the post race party was at a bar a short walk away.

I stuck around the finish and race area for a while as I also volunteered to help tear down the event. Hey, a race doesn’t happen without the volunteers, so I am happy to give back! It really isn’t difficult either, just do the task your are assigned.

The clean up duties were simple and easy as most of them were already done by the time I got back to race headquarters. I did move some tables and put some boxes in my car.

I got the ok to head to the bar. The awards had already been given out and people had started to leave – it wasn’t as crowded as years past. I had pre-paid for the brunch and ordered a beer and sat down at the bar.

Fellow club member, Warren joined me as I ate my corned beef and egg stew and we solved all the world’s problems.

I will continue to support my club with this event. I also like that the race distance is something different. I have struggled in the past to fit in at the post race party, but I enjoyed having a moment to sit down and reflect – I need to be ok with that too.

If you ran don’t forget to add your review to Bibrave.com and claim your results on Athlinks.