Seeking Adventure

Looking for Adventure

“Disclaimer: I received three BUFF®️ products to use on new adventures 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 am using this opportunity to take on the adventure in Iowa City. I know it exists! Urban adventure is out there, I just needed the final push to do those things I have been to timid to try.

In addition to drinking all the patio beers, playing trivia, and frequenting all the local ice cream shops. I am ready to try stand up paddle boarding (SUP), go kayaking, get lost on the trails and any other trouble I can find.

I was able to choose three products from BUFF®️. I have many of the multifunctional head wraps, which are great in colder weather. As the seasons change I decided to go with more appropriate items. I choose the Trucker Tech Cap, visor, and merino wool infinity scarf.

I have mentioned the activities I am planning on doing, but what am I missing? What are the hidden gems in the Iowa City area? I am on the search for adventure, especially since the kayak and SUP rental places aren’t open yet.

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Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest

Amphipod®️ PureRun™️ Minimalist Hydration Vest – Gear Review

“Disclaimer: I received a Amphipod®️ PureRun™️Minimalist Hydration Vest 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!”

I have run many miles, and many of them with some sort of pack. I am familiar with bladders, bottles and flasks. What intrigued me most about getting a chance to try this vest was the versatility to adapt to bottles, flasks or bladders.

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The vest arrived with two, 12 oz Hydraform™️ bottles, one for each front drawstring pocket. There are 3 front buckles with adjustable straps. There are two front zipper pockets. The back is like a back pack with two separate zipper compartments, one large enough to house a bladder. The front even has a clip for the hose. There are also cords to carry a light weight coat or something on top of the pack. I also received a fun light up smiley face too.

When I received this vest, I was in the midst of training for my 25th marathon. However, I wanted to make sure before I took it on a long run, I would have no problems. The maiden voyage was just across town and back. I stuck my phone in the front zipper pocket and it fit! I have an iPhoneX. I also just carried the bottles with me, so I could get the feel.

Everything fit fine and was easy to adjust. I should note the vest does come in two sizes, so check your measurements before ordering. The only thing that is strange, as a woman, the placement of the bottles just looks “strange.”

I  ran next with the vest to a race day volunteer job. I was going to be directing runners at a corner. It was also very cold that day. The vest fit over many layers of clothes and when it warmed up, I was able to easily stash the extra clothes in the pockets.

I take gear testing seriously! I brought the pack along for a group training run. I was going to run at least 13 miles, and the route was along the highway. The one thing I appreciate about this is the bottles that come with it. It’s easy to bring water and an electrolyte on your run. I did find out that if you don’t tighten the drawstring on the bottle pocket, it will bounce and/or fall out! The vest was also great to hold the treasures I found along the way.

Then it was time for my last 20 mile long run before the marathon. I didn’t hesitate and grabbed the vest, filled it with all my snacks and drinks.

I also packed it full of warmer clothes, and an empty flask and deodorant on my way to the Iowa spring football practice. I didn’t even get checked in the security line and I was able to be fresh when I got there.

Up until this point all the runs in the vest were in cooler weather, meaning I was wearing multiple layers or a long sleeve top.

On race day, the Run Crandic marathon, I choose to wear this vest. The race course had many aid stations, but it wasn’t my first race and I wanted to have my snacks and at the least water when I wanted it. Race day temps would end up near 70 degrees, so I ran in a tank top with the vest. While it was nice to have everything I needed, I was happy to see Vaseline at an aid station as the chafe around my neck and arms was not pleasant. Maybe it was the necklace, sports bra and fresh hair cut…no clue, it just wasn’t pleasant. I am also of the school where basically all gear chafes, or all glasses fog up. I am sure if I gave my vest some adjustments, it would have fit better and I wouldn’t have any chafe. (at mile 17.5, I had no time for that) I will also note, I didn’t feel extra hot or extra sweaty due to wearing the pack.

If you are looking to finally get away from a hydration belt, I would recommend this vest. It’s not complicated, and easy to use and adjust.  The material breathes and you can carry just about anything with you because of it’s versatility. It is available online for $100 – http://www.amphipod.com/products/hydration/purerun-vests/purerun-minimalist-24

Check out what other BibRave Pros had to say: Andrea – AlastairMeridithRenee 

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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!

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

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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

Grandma’s or Bust!

Grandma’s or BUST

“Disclaimer: I received entry into Grandma’s Marathon 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!”

That’s right, I am headed back to Duluth! If we are getting technical it’s my sixth time to Duluth. I took a family vacation as a kid in 1993, I ran the half marathon in 2014, and then the first Great Grandma’s challenge in 2015, the black flagged 2016 marathon, and the almost as hot 2017 marathon.

2018 is the year for perfect weather, you heard it here first!

Why am I returning?

  1. I want to eat at Grandma’s Saloon and Grill. In all these years I have not done that, and it’s located at the finish line.
  2. I am going to run the 5k on Friday night too. I will be in town for packet pickup, might as well do the Great Grandma’s challenge again.
  3. The lake – Lake Superior! I have never jumped in post marathon – GASP! My first half was cold, the 2015 marathon was rain, the 2016 marathon I had to find my husband in the medical tent, and in 2017 I met my friends at the beer tent.
  4. It’s a great event. I feel this needs no blurb, great events keep people coming back.
  5. The medal! GM Medal Reveal FB 2018

I feel those are my top 5 reasons to get back. I hope to cross all those things off the list.

What has you returning to a race? Why would you travel to something year after year?

Bibrave Partners with Athlinks

BibRave has a new partnership with Athlinks.

“Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks 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!”

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What is Athlinks?

  • An online collection of your race results. Find, share and claim your race results up to the last 10 years
  • Connect with friends – meet at a future race, have a friendly competition or cheer each other on.

I have been an Athlinks member since 2009 – it’s cool to have your race results all in one place. However, when I originally joined, I found myself having to add all my races to the database, and due to so many races, I gave up, it was a lot of work to search websites for results and wait to see if they were added.

Periodically since that time, I would check in and some of the bigger races would show up on my profile to claim. That is easy, the system recognizes your name and you just hit the “claim results” button.

Now, I am willing to give the website another try. There have been many changes to the site to make it more of a community.

You can follow friends, when you follow them you can see if they raced the same events as you. This stat also tells you if you won or lost against them in that event. It’s a nice friendly competition, but when you are a slow runner, seeing all the losses on your profile isn’t a great feeling, ok so maybe it’s a little motivating.

I also am having an issue following accounts that are private. They can follow me, but I can not follow them back. I can also not see who my followers are, unless I go through my emails. *Maybe I am just missing something?

You can also add future events to your profile to see who will be there, complete with a countdown. This allows you to put in your time goal as well.

There were a few other things I am still struggling with:

  • My PR’s are not accurate. I have a couple marathon relays on my resume and they are counting that as my marathon PR.
  • I signed up 9 years ago, I can not change my email address to the one I prefer to use today. *I am working on getting this changed

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Moving forward – I am curious to see what incentives and discounts will be available. The website has grown, and in fact before January 8, 2018, those who sign up for a new Athlinks account or existing members who claim a new race result are eligible to win great prizes – from race entries into the Leadville Race Series and the Life Time Tri Series, to a one-year premium TrainingPeaks subscription. To learn more and “Win 2018”, visit https://app.athlinks.com/win2018/

As I continue to get email notifications, I will keep up with my Athlinks account just as I have in the past. Who knows maybe a giveaway will entice me to actually add the races that are not in the database.

You can get your free account online at Athlinks.com or get the app on your phone. If you want you can follow me too – https://www.athlinks.com/athletes/114826986