Week 3 100 Mile Recap

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

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

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

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

Congratulations! I will be in touch!

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

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

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

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

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Grandma’s Marathon Race Recap 2019

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

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Grandma’s Marathon!

For those who may not know, this is one of my favorite races ever. This is my 6th year in Duluth and in addition to running it, I would be helping Aftershokz at the expo.

I headed north on Wednesday, June 19. It’s a short little drive about 7-8 hours. I made a stop just south of Duluth to log a run on the Munger Trail. I have a run streak to keep in tact.

From there I kept the car headed north and ended up in Two Harbors. This is where the marathon starts. For years I have said I need to take more time to explore the area. I stopped at Castle Danger Brewing and enjoyed a Summer Crush. I mistakenly thought they had food.

I decided to head a little further north to Betty’s Pies. I wasn’t ready to dine, so I got a strawberry rhubarb slice to go.

I then headed back to Duluth, but drove the race course. It felt really long. I was having some doubts about running it on race day. It has been a long time since I have run this long. It was a beautiful day though.

I was back in Duluth and decided this was the year I would eat at Grandma’s Saloon, the restaurant near the finish. When the race started in 1977, this was the only business that would sponsor the event. Inside you can find a wall dedicated to the Grandma’s Marathon hall of fame.

I took a seat outdoors, with a view of the famous aerial lift bridge. Lots of sail boats were coming in off the lake. I was informed I missed out on the races. After a wild rice salad and fries, I decided I should probably check into my hotel.

I trekked across the bridge into Superior, WI where Barkers Island Inn had a room for me. We have stayed at this place every time, it’s a nice place that doesn’t require a 2 night stay. There is also an early morning race breakfast and a shuttle to the start.

Thursday, June 20

It was time to go set up at the expo with Aftershokz. I met Evan in the hotel lobby and learned the third person was having issues with his flight and would meet us later.

We arrived at the DECC to get our 2 booths ready for the expo, that would start at 4pm that night. Ok, sooooo Evan started unpacking the stuff and getting things set up, and I followed suit with his instructions.

We were in and out by 11:30. I went back to the hotel to grab my car, I knew where I wanted to go – the beach!

I was back to Duluth and across the lift bridge to Park Point Beach. I first got in a mile run. I originally thought I might be able to run on the beach, but it wasn’t optimal. Then I walked the beach collecting drift wood and rocks. It was a beautiful day.

I didn’t want to leave the beach, but I needed to attend to my duties. After rolling through a sandwich shop for lunch, I was ready to go sell some headphones.

The first day of the expo was good. We informed people about Aftershokz as we sold them for the running store. However, in other news the third person that would be showing up to help us, could not get a flight. So it was just going to be the 2 of us and help from the running store.

I managed to sneak away and grab my bib in the back of the expo space. I didn’t have my bib number off hand, so the nice volunteer helped me look it up.

We packed up things around 8pm and needed some food and a cold beer. Even and I decided to try out Canal Park Brewing. It was the place to be!!! While we waited for a table we saw some of the wheelchair athletes.

I ended up with a bowl full of mac and cheese and a strawberry beer. We also had some chips and salsa. Then it was time to hit the hay, Friday would be a long day at the expo.

Friday, June 21.

I woke up in time to get my mile run in and redeem my $5 breakfast voucher. A decent 2 egg, bacon and toast offering, and of course coffee.

I met Evan back in the lobby, but this day I would drive separately. My friend Kate was hitching a ride with BibRave Pro Tia. Kate and Tia would stop at the expo, and then Kate would take my car to the hotel. Anyway…..

The expo was off and rolling at 10am. We were back in our sales pitch mode. The Air has an upgraded microphone and the base is enhanced and weighs 20% less…yadda yadda…. all day long. I also think it’s funny the things people will tell you at a expo too… but hey I will listen.

Lunch time rolled around and my stomach grumbled…. The Duluth Running Co offered to buy some pizza. Around 2-3pm I had time to eat a couple slices. It was bananas!! I also started to get a headache, so had to grab some red Powerade. I am pretty sure it was the lack of food, and all the time just being crazy busy.

Then my friend Dan stopped by to say hi! Ok, I had seen him a few times during the expo, but this time we snapped a picture.

Around 5PM I met up with the BibRave pros – Mai, Tia and Juan. We snapped a quick picture before Tia had to get to the 5k, and I went back to selling headphones.

BAM – Just like that the expo was over…at 9 PM. I was exhausted, but we had to tear down everything and pack it all up into boxes. Near 10:30 ish we were done and loading up the car.

At 11 PM, I met up with Kate at the hotel and she had saved me some of her dinner, thank you!! I also had that slice of pie in the fridge. So, working the expo and eating a slice of pie would be how I prepared to run my 30th marathon.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, 2xu socks, Brooks Gylcerin, Garmin Forerunner 935, Rudy Sunglasses, Aftershokz Air, Hawkeye hat, Bibrave tank, Adidas boy shorts, Zensah bra, Orange Mud pack.

Saturday, June 22 – Race day!!

The alarm was set for 4:13 AM. I made my way down to the lobby to have some fruit, coffee, and a bagel with peanut butter. There were a few others shuffling around too. I was ready to board the shuttle bus around 5:50 AM.

It was your average bumpy school bus ride to the race start. I enjoyed the peace and quiet for about 2 minutes. Then there was a very loud, chatty guy sharing all his stories as a former CO at a prison. The lady sitting next to me said something, and I made the comment that is was nice to not be talking after a busy expo. Then we made some small talk, mostly about the weather. It was the most beautiful day, with a gorgeous sunrise. The temps were near 50 degrees.

I departed the bus at Two Harbors and instead of just standing in the starting corral, I thought I would just stand in line at a port-o-potty. There are a lot of them, but never enough.

On my way, I spotted the bright orange and Tia!!!

Then I said hi to local Iowa runner Jen and I met up with Nicole from the 100 miles group.

Finally, waiting in line to use the bathroom. I wasn’t nervous or the usual basket-case I can be, when I am not familiar with race day logistics. In fact, I heard the last verse of the National Anthem inside the “biffy.”

I made my way to the back fed corral. Meaning you enter in the back and if you want to line up with a faster pace, you have to snake your way through all the people to get there. Me? I just joined the back and waited for things to get going – which felt like forever. (One reason I don’t care for HUGE races is the standing in a corral for a ridiculous amount of time.)

Ok, Ok, Ok let’s do this! I was on my way to Duluth on the scenic north shore. I hit start on the Garmin and set out to enjoy the day.

At mile one I could see the back of Tia’s singlet in the distance. I made my way to catch up with her. We chatted for a bit and I believe around the mile 5 water stop, I kept going as she grabbed a drink.

I was going along and feeling good, I met up with the 5 hour pace group. I really need to stick with a pacer in the beginning of a race. My strategy of just going until I can’t go any further only really works on a perfect day, with perfect conditions, including a perfect training cycle. Bottom line, even though I thought I needed to be running faster than 5 hour pace, they eventually passed me.

I did develop a weird foot problem around mile 6. It was like this hot spot under my big toe on the foot pad. By the end of the race it was like the bottom of my feet were asleep. All I wanted to do is get my shoes and socks off.

However, no worries. I then encountered Bobby and Jan. They were both running their first marathons!! I chatted with them and we continued going back and forth with each other, they would pass me as I used a bathroom or I would pass as they stopped for water.

Grandma’s remains one of my favorite marathons, mostly because how you feel and are able to enjoy the distance. The views of the lake are gorgeous. From what the runners see, the local support the race  – coming out to cheer in their driveways, offer coffee, high fives, polka bands, string quartets, bacon, beer, troll dolls, pickles. There are what feels like 5000 volunteers available at all times. The aid stations are well stocked for all paces.

All of the above reasons is how I got to the finish line, especially from mile 20 on. I had the slice of bacon, and a lady I met at the expo told me to say hi at mile 21 where I had some pickles. Then I listed to the polka music and had a slice of watermelon. A volunteer cheered me up Lemon Drop hill. Then I saw twitter friend Ed, who I met at the expo, he had run the half marathon. I also made a quick call to Josh on my Aftershokz to check in.

I think this year the only thing I was sad about is I missed the grapes on the course as they were all out when I got there. Oh and MarathonFoto was the race photographer.

The last stretch again this year was not down the cobblestones of the main street, which is fine, but there is a short little downhill out of nowhere. Hello quads!

It seems like this part of the race takes forever, mostly because it has so many turns. One of the more iconic fixtures in Canal Park was not there this year, the William A. Irvin freighter was out of the harbor, so it looked a little different. It’s also the area where Kate always takes an epic photo. Never fear, there was a walkway set up and there she was cheering me into the end!! Kate’s the best!

Just before this point, Jan had passed me. I was worried about Bobby as they weren’t together. After I saw Kate, I looked behind me to see Bobby approaching. I slowed down and waited up for him… he was doing great and I chatted with him around the last turns to the finish line.

I cross the finish line, stopped my watch and gave Grandma a high five! Grandma is the cutest!!

A volunteer then placed a medal around my neck and another one handed me a bottle of water.

I caught up fellow Iowa City runners Dan and Nisha.

From here you claim your finisher shirt. This year I was hoping it was going to be purple as they introduced it into the 2019 logo, and it was purple!!!

I finished with a time near 5:15. I was happy with that!!

A volunteer approached me and wanted me to wear the mylar blanket, and I wasn’t ready for it yet, it was so nice out. I was also handed my beer ticket. So, I skipped the post race photo opp and went to find the strawberries in the post race food area. I was disappointed to not find them this year. I did grab a chocolate milk, orange slice, a bag of chips for later, and I saw the everything bagels – except I picked a bottom piece with minimal topping… oh well, where is the beer?

I rounded the corner after a quick phone call to Kate. I was in the beer tent area…and bonus there was a person with a strawberry on their head. They had some fruit truck, you played a game, received a coin and redeemed it for berries!! YAY!!

I made my way to the beer tapper trailer, and what did I see – A SOUR BEER!!! I stepped right up and redeemed my ticket!! I found Kate and we found some seats. There were many beer choices, sodas or coffee. The live music was pumping through this area. There was also a live feed of the finish line, we witnessed many awesome finishes.

I took the time to take off my shoes and socks and slip into my OOFOS. There was nothing physically wrong with my feet, maybe just in need of a pedicure? I had also run my last 20 in the same shoe/sock combo.

I did appreciate the awareness of race day waste. The beer tent area disposal area was guarded with volunteers making sure all items were recycled and taken care of properly. I hope in the future maybe compostable cups could be used at the aid stations.

Then we met up with Tia and enjoyed some people watching.

We moved the party to Little Angie’s – a post race tradition like no other. Tacos, fried ice cream and more sour beer!!

It was time to part ways, I said see ya later to Tia, and Kate took us back to MPLS. I was sooo tired. Then after a night’s rest, I would make the trek back to Iowa.

I am not sure I recommend working a busy expo all day and running a marathon the next day, but I will always recommend Grandma’s Marathon. They do race day right!

See ya next year!

Aftershokz BOGO

Give Good Vibes

I guess you could say I am behind on the blog posts, I should have wrote about returning as an Aftershokz Ambassador for 2019. This is going to do for now. 

What is/are Aftershokz? They are bone conduction headphones. Which means they do not go inside your ears. You can enjoy doing your activities while hearing your surroundings. 

They offer many models, the most popular being the Trekz Titanium or Trekz Air. These are the wireless models. I LOVE the Trekz Air!!!

This upcoming holiday season Aftershokz is hosting a campaign (Give Good Vibes BOGO) to buy a pair and gift a pair. The purchaser can choose between the Trekz Titanium or Trekz Air and the free, additional pair is an open box Trekz Titanium. 

The Aftershokz Give Good Vibes BOGO will be available soon, and once they are gone – THEY’RE GONE! Sign up here – http://goodvibes.aftershokz.com/ to get early access or you can just keep checking by using my ambassador link – http://share.aftershokz.com/ANGIEM  The link will reflect the BOGO sale when it’s active, then when it’s over it will go back to $55 off a bundle. *This link is live and will live on my discount page.

Now for the fun part, as an ambassador I get to participate in gifting Aftershokz. I was sent a pair of the Trekz Air and a pair of the Trekz Titanium.

I am choosing to gift the Trekz Titanium to Michael. I met Michael through my local running club, Corridor Running. We work together marketing the club and organizing the Ugly “Sweat”er Social and Fun Run. I have learned many things about Michael in the past year, first he will never run a 50k and he works hard to accomplish his goals.

Michael worked really hard this year to set a new half marathon PR. He set that new record at the Des Moines half marathon. He then posted a photo from that race. All I could see in that photo was the corded headphones. I would like to gift the Trek Titanium to Micheal, as I know without the wires holding him back, he can set another new half marathon PR.

I had a meeting with Michael today and surprised him with the Trekz Titanium, I think he was surprised and I hope they bring him a shiny new PR. 


Now the whole purpose of the BOGO, is that you would buy one to keep and give one away. As an ambassador I already have the Trekz Air. I run with them everyday. (I’m on a run streak.) I am gifting them to my husband, Josh. 

Josh hears me rave about the Trekz Air on a weekly basis. He runs in an older pair of Trekz Titaniums I have handed down to him. He appreciates the Aftershokz, but he still feels left out with the light weight Airs. I am happy to share the love. 

I surprised Josh and I believe he asked “these are for me?” Then he started ripping open the box. 

Thank you Aftershokz for this opportunity. It was fun to share my love of them with others. If you purchase a pair for yourself, who would you gift to?

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 discount with you on a bundle,  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

What’s new?

If you a frequent visitor to my blog discount page, you might have noticed something new and different.

Discounts from Zensah and Aftershokz!

In addition to my ambassadorship with Bibrave, (applications are currently open – tell em I sent you!) I have had the opportunity to join the Aftershokz Shokz Squad and expand my involvement with Zensah.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN?

rrtrail

Zensah – VIP baby! Alright, maybe I am taking this a little too far…. back at the beginning of the year I was given a chance to be a brand ambassador for Zensah. Recently this has led me to the exclusive review club.  While this means great things for me, this means I am happy to share a 20% discount (referral link) with you! If you are not familiar with this company, check out their website. I love their compression socks, the foot bed is soooo soft!!


img_8176

Aftershokz – Do you remember when I told you about the Trekz Titanium bluetooth headphones? The head phones that do not go in your ear, and allow you to hear your surroundings by using bone conduction? This is the great company that makes them! I am what is called a Shokz Star, and I will a collection of their headphones if you would like to demo them. YEP – that’s right, want to try out this crazy awesome technology? Well look me up!  I also have an awesome 15% savings code if you shop at aftershokz.com – use ANGIE1 (U.S. & Canada only)


I will be at the Corridor Running Fifth Season Race Expo, at the Cedar Rapids Double Tree, on July 3rd from 11 am – 7pm if you want to try the products, learn about BibRave or buy some headbands.