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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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.

Race Review #ECSWI 13.1 -2017

Race Recap – The North Face Endurance Challenge 13.1 – 2017

“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!”


When I last left you, I had just run the Pleasant Creek Trail 30k, sat through a football game, and was making the 4 hour drive to Wisconsin. To say I was exhausted going into this race was an understatement, however I always try to finish what I said I would do.

I would also be meeting up with Laura, you might remember her from an earlier post. Well, she did it! She completed her first 50k, and she would be back out to run the 5k the next day.

The North Face is host to many events. Saturday, Sept 16 there is a 50 miler, 50k, marathon, and marathon relay in addition to the kids races. On Sunday there is the half marathon, 10k, 5k and even more kids races.

As this race is during Hawkeye football season, I am limited to the Sunday events. I would love to run the 50k here again one day, but the Hawks are first in the fall. (OK, once I missed a game for a race and they won in EPIC, last minute field goal fashion, never again!)


Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, BibRave Tank, Hawkeye hat, Adidas boy shorts, Garmin Fenix 3, Road ID, UA Horizon Trail shoes, Zensah Socks, Aftershokz Trekz Air, Orange Mud pack, Spi Belt, XX2i France 2 sunglasses, BUFF(R)

I was on my way to the start, but had to make a stop at a gas station for some coffee and Aleve… I was feeling rough, and I don’t remember the last time I had a beer. I did have a Nugo bar with me too.


I arrived early to Kettle Moraine, and was given my parking pass for the day, FREE of charge. I followed the parking attendants to the furthest away lot. I was annoyed! I was running the longest distance of the day, which started the earliest, and I have to park the furthest from the start. It wasn’t shuttle worthy, but should be a perk to arriving early.


I do like that I can grab my bib and shirt on race day. There are also 3 locations for pre race day pick up too. They are really accommodating with this. They are able to do this as race numbers are not pre-assigned. I made the trek to over, it was easy, told them my name and they scanned the bib and handed me a shirt. This year the shirt was blue with black lettering, a short sleeve tech material, with a strange neck opening.


I walked back to my car… as I didn’t have all my race stuff … I had plenty of time before the 8 am start. I then decided I should use the bathroom, so I walked to the closest bath house to find it was locked…. so back to the start area to use a port-o-potty. Then back to my car again to just drink some more coffee and get all my race things together.

Then I was finally ready to stand around for the race to start, so back to the race start…and I made another stop at the bathroom as I didn’t remember any on course (there is actually one at the main aid station.)

While waiting, I saw Brian from my local running club. I chatted with him while they lined everyone up for the start. I had my Orange Mud bottle pack with me, and a half bottle of water, so I took advantage of the water monster and filled my bottle while waiting.

Then it was time for my wave to start. There aren’t too many people who run this race, but because of a congested area to start, the do send runners off about every 5 minutes or less in waves.


It was already a warm start, near 70 degrees and while sunny, there was a haze in the air. The first part of the course is just leaving the main entrance of the park, so you start on the shoulder of a road, before turning off into the woods.

I just kept moving, I wasn’t sure what goal I had in mind, just finish I guess. The route turned into the woods and it was time to navigate the trails. There were all surfaces and I feel a lot more sand to navigate this year, in addition to the rocks, grass and dirt. The race course also has it’s share of hills, nothing super steep but always felt as I was going up or down.

The first aid station is around mile 1.8 ish, there was Skratch and water in plastic cups. I powered through, and had to make the first loop… or what it felt like I was running. Sometimes with trails, I just follow the course, where ever it takes me, I go. Heck, I can’t even remember if it’s the same course as last year.

The course is marked with colored ribbons attached to tree branches. The color of ribbon matches the color of your bib, I was watching for the yellow ribbons. I always caught my self second guessing if I was on the right route as it would be a while before I saw a ribbon, let alone another runner. There were also mile markers, but every other mile.

I came back through the aid station that’s 1.8 miles in, it’s also the next passing point around mile 5-6 ish? I picked up some Skratch and moved along, I noticed the porto-o-potty.

It was beginning to be a struggle for me, there was A LOT of walking… I was moving forward though, and a lot of Eminem songs kept coming up on my music, it’s impossible to walk during those.

I was now on the what I call the second loop in a figure 8 kinda course. I was remembering the past year when I ran the course with Laura. The miles really flew by then and I was missing her as I was moving sooo slowly. I also remember stopping at some aid station, but it felt like it never came up. Finally, there was a stop about mile 9? I had them refill my OM bottle and they had ICE!!!!! I drank some more Skratch and grabbed some Skratch chews to try later.

I left this stop and just kept moving forward, following the yellow ribbons. UGH, it was now really warm, or it felt that way out in the woods where the air was not moving and the humidity made it swampy.

I made it back to the 1.8 mile aid station, which told me I was that close to the finish. There were some photographers in this stretch, and they were in this area on the way out too. The race takes some great pictures and they were available that day, however they are not free. I am done purchasing photos of myself… they aren’t worth it.

There are a few spectators around this aid station too, there is an access road nearby, otherwise it’s just a lot of time alone in the woods.

Another note when I came back through this last stop, they had already started to take down some of their stuff. I am not sure if they have a permit that only allows them a certain time, but I feel all runners should get the same experience.

Ahh, the home stretch… I was done…. but I still had the section along the road shoulder to go. Some how, I ran this entire section. I am not sure if it was because more people were watching, or the terrain was easier to run.

I came to the finish line, and stopped my Garmin at 12.8 miles and a time of 2:57. I know trail running GPS gets off, and when I pushed start on my watch the satellites had not yet synced (which is possible with my watch.) So, I am still calling it a half marathon, and my 45th overall.


NOW – when I came into the finish, my time was a lot slower, in fact my worst ever – but the race had started the kids races. I am all for the kids being able to run…. but it was interfering with the longer distance finishes.

I was given my finishers medal and that was it, kids were running around every where. I knew from the past year there was a reusable water bottle somewhere, as we were not handed water at the finish…. and last year we were handed that water bottle. So… I had to watch out for kids and go find a bottle in a nearby tub.

The post race food was also in the same area, there was orange slices, bananas and bagel pieces. I had to squeeze in between kids to get some oranges. I have griped about this before too. There is real food at this race, but you have to buy it. The longer distances the day before get it for free. I just want a solution to this, maybe add a granola bar.

Once through this mess of kids, I made my way to the Sierra Nevada beer tent. This was the highlight, they had about 3-4 choices of beer. I love when a race has a more tasty option. Although, this is WI, would be nice to see a local craft.


I chose my beer and found Laura, she was still upright… what a champ!!!! We sat down at a picnic table in the post race area… it’s nice to have a place to sit, many races overlook this. Shade would have been nice too, but can’t be too greedy.


We sat and talked, meeting people and making new friends. I also ran into someone I sat next to at the 2016 Rose Bowl…small world. I found Brian again too.


It was now time to make the trek home, so I said “see ya later to everyone.” I made the long walk back to my car.

I “showered” in my car with one of the HUGE epic wipes I got in a recent 5k Crate, and was on my way to leaving, when I heard “Hey Angie!”


I turned and found another friend, Lisa… she was just taking her canoe out of the nearby lake. She had also run the day before, the 50 miler. I am always so surprised at these people, they are upright and walking around like no big deal. She was supporting a pretty serious scab from a fall though. It was nice to catch up.


I wrapped up the conversation, and plugged in the coordinates of my house into the GPS on my phone. Whoa, I had no clue where I was for the beginning of my drive. Kettle Moraine is in the middle of no where.

I did find my way back onto the interstate system. I was glad for that, as there would be places to stop for some real food. I found a Kwik Trip and found some cheese curds, refilled the car…. and was on my way home.

What a weekend… I need a weekend to rest up.

My overall thoughts on this year’s event. I feel something was missing, or they just went through the motions to put on the race. Even Dean K. didn’t make the pre-race speaker event. It still is a great race and the trail I will always recommend to a beginner, but I am not sure with so many newer options if this is a must run event for me. You can check out more reviews at BibRave.com

What’s next?

Running 4 the kids

What factors play a role when you choose a race?

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Running 4 the Kids 10k 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!”

Well, did it take you long to answer? Honestly for me, I always consider the price, followed by location, but then next I check to see what I am supporting, where is the money going?

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I will be participating in the 3rd annual, Running 4 the Kids 10k in New Lenox, IL on Sunday, October 1. Not only is the current price only $50 for the 10k, this race serves as one of the four main fundraisers for the year.

The race is organized by CASA of Will County. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. They have been around since late 1994 and have a goal to serve 100% of the abused and neglected children in need of a CASA volunteer advocate.

CASA of Will County is a member of the National and Illinois CASA Association and a proud partner of The Community Foundation of Will County . Hundreds of children per year enter into the Will County Juvenile Justice System due to abuse and neglect. CASA offers these children a sense of comfort and a listening ear. But most importantly, we offer them a voice

If helping a great cause isn’t enough, there are medals for all participants, a free kids run, and they will be raffling prizes. The race starts at 9 am too, so you wont have to wake up early. Make sure to check out their website for all the information.

A 10k is still a tough distance for me…. sure I can run that far, but I want to do my best, and it’s a tough one to race. I will be using this race, like so many of the races I do as part of my continued training for my upcoming longer races – the Detroit Marathon, the Urban Bourbon half marathon, and the Madison Marathon (considering dropping to the half.)

If you would like to join me, you can save by using code “R4TK5KBR” for 5% off the 5K & “R4TK10KBR“for 10% off the 10K  http://casaofwillcounty.org/running4thekids-2/

See you there!

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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

 

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

BUFF® Pack Run Cap

BUFF® Pack Run Cap

“Disclaimer: I received the BUFF® Pack Run Cap 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 like hats! I wear a hat or visor on most every run. More sun coverage on my face the better. Enter the BUFF® Pack Run Cap – yep they make hats!


The BUFF® Pack Run Cap has many great features:

  • It only weighs 1 oz
  • It’s packable – you can scrunch it up and it pops back to form
  • Upper panel provides UPF 50 protection
  • adjustable – the elastic cord in the back allows any size head to fit
  • Reflective logo
  • fastwick fabric -that wicks away moisture & allows breathability


I put the cap to the test many times. I ran it to race in, I ran a long run, and I ran out on the trail. For me it’s just another part of my running day attire, since I always wear a hat.


This hat functions great. The brim comes super low to protect my eyes from the sun. I think it actually absorbs sweat, when I remove it, it’s soaking wet. Having it adjustable allows me to wear it tightly, sometimes getting the right fit is tough.

This cap is easy to care for too. You can machine wash and let it air dry (don’t put in the dryer.)

My only complaint, that really is not a complaint, I think I look silly while wearing it. Due to the construction of the hat and it’s flexibility the brim looks all wonky… and I don’t think I am cool enough to wear it flipped up…plus I like the brim to shade my eyes.


If you need more information about the The BUFF® Pack Run Cap check out http://buffusa.com/shop-buff/caps-category/tech-cap-family/pack-run-cap-collection.html or check out their social channels – Twitter FacebookInstagram

The other Bibrave Pros have their thoughts too, check em out Heather – Lindsey – JanelleMeridith