Bring on medal #3

Prepping for the at Madison Marathon, Conquer the Capital Half and Half Challenge

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

I can’t believe it’s time to go back to Madison. In the midst of the 100 Miles in November, I have an upcoming half marathon. Time is the trickiest thing ever, it just creeps by faster and faster, then you are asking your phone to make reminders so you don’t forget and BAM… there’s another race on the calendar.

There is a lot to this race. I signed up way back at the beginning of the year as part of the Conquer the Capital Half and Half Challenge, you run the Run Madtown events in the spring and one of the races in November and you earn additional bling. Now, that is not the only unique thing about the medals. The race started a 4 year medal series and this will be year 3, so I am really excited to continue my presence at the event. Then… then to top it all off, the Hawkeyes will play the Badgers the day before the race over at Camp Randall.

I am a little excited for all the things to come together. Even the 3 PM football game time will be perfect. I can hit the expo at the Monona Terrace before the game (it’s open Saturday 10AM – 5PM.) Then I wont have to be up late at night, so I can get to the 7:10 AM start.

Now, I know I will finish, but let’s hope the weather turns itself around and warms up a bit before now and then.

If you would like to join me in Madison on Sunday, November 10th; Use code “BRMSN19” for 10% off the half or full marathon! 


Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

Shady Rays X-Series Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received Shady Rays X-Series Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

I might have a thing for sunglasses. When I was introduced to my first pair designed for running years ago, I haven’t looked back – and rarely leave the house without a pair. Ironically I would rather wear my contact lenses than my prescription glasses, however on the run I need the protection sunglasses can provide.

Within the X-series line, I was given many options to choose from. I decided on the emerald ice version. They are clear frames with blue/green mirrored lenses. Gotta look good right?

When they arrived, my initial reaction was how sleek they look. I thought they would wraparound my face for a more aerodynamic fit. I also had to try them on with my gear. I always wear a hat/visor and headphones. The glasses fit fine with all my accessories!

I then took them on their maiden voyage. It was a warmer day so my face was sweaty. They were not fitting like they should, I took them off to squeeze the nose pad and discovered it doesn’t cinch. They kept sliding on my sweaty face, and sitting too close to my eyes, and then fogging up as there was no air flow. I kept pulling them down.

I wasn’t going to give up just yet, they looked fancy and they protected my eyes with their “Premium Polarized blue-green lenses with grey tint and 100% UV protection.” The older I get, the more interested in the things I ignored as a college student.

I am currently run streaking, so I gave them another go on a mile run. I was still having fit issues.

Then I was thinking, maybe this pair of sunglasses is just made for a bigger face. I never thought I had a smaller face, but maybe I do. So I drug out my trusty measuring tape…. My face is about 5″ across and the shades are just under 5-5/8″.

I was excited to try this design. Shady Rays is a great company with a great mission, giving back to the community. With every order they provide 10 meals to fight hunger in the U.S. through Feeding America. 

Plus they offer a “Lifetime Craftsmanship Warranty & Free Replacements if Lost or Broken – just pay S+H fee for lost/broken replacements.” They stand behind their glasses.

If you have a larger head, this is the sunglass for you! Use code “RAVE” for 50% off 2 or more pairs from the Shade Shop.

If you are looking for more input on the X-Series, check out these reviews: BrendaCorey Katy Renee Lissa

Incrediwear – Product Review

PRODUCT REVIEW – Incrediwear

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

I received a bag full of items at The Running Event, I will do my best to give each item their proper review.

When I opened my swag bag at The Running Event, I pulled out many items with the Incrediwear logo. This is a new to me brand.

Included was a personalized card welcoming me to the brand. It highlighted their anti-inflammatory recovery wear as being scientifically proven to increase blow flow, which leads to an optimal healing process. The increadiwear products can be worn during activity and post activity.

I received the woman’s performance capri, the thin no show sports socks, the thin knee high sports socks, and the low cut active socks. They were all individually packaged.

I am no stranger when it comes to using compression wear for muscle recovery. I listened to the presenter at the expo explain their large variety of products, beyond the four items we received. They are very passionate about keeping athletes healthy and have many strange looking sleeves and apparel for compression.

During the presentation it was discussed how blood flow and circulation can also make your hands feel warmer, and they surprised us with their fingerless circulation gloves to take home as well. Spoiler Alert: they did keep my hands warm on a cold run. They retail for $19.99.

The woman’s performance capris are black, and a thin material. They have a wider waist band. They retail for $70. I ran across town in them, they seemed to be my size, but maybe not. I had a problem with them falling down on the run. They did’t seem too tight to get on like some compression pants.

The no show thin sports socks are black and sized. They are thin, light weight and comfortable. They retail for $14. I put these on and wore them around the expo in Texas. I had no issues with them and have since added them into my rotation. They do not fit tight.

The no show knee high sports socks are black with a white pattern on them. They are sized, very thin and lightweight. They retail for $18. I wore these under my jeans to work one day. They are super easy to get on and are not tight. They went way above my knee, and over the course of the day slid down to below my knee. I am not sure I was sized in the correct size.

The active low cut socks are black and a normal weight sock. They retail for $13.55. I ran in them and have added them to my normal rotation.

I was excited to get an assortment of products from Incrediwear. They are not tight like some compression apparel can be. However, I am not sure I have the correct sizes. I will continue to wear and try these products as I also believe that compression is a key to recovery.

TRE – Influencer Experience

The Running Event: An Influencer’s Experience

“Disclaimer: I received admission into The Running Event, as an Influencer, to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!”

TRE – BibRave Pro
Influencer Experience

The Running Event was held in Austin, TX at the end of November. It’s “the premier conference and trade show for running specialty retailers.” Throughout the week there are speakers and an expo set up. I was part of the first ever social media “Influencer Day” with BibRave. Here is my recap of my experience. It’s long, so settle in.

Ahhh, Texas…..not exactly close to Iowa. ROAD TRIP!! I met my friend Kate and her mom, Deb in Des Moines. They would be visiting family in Austin and couldn’t resist a road trip with yours truly. We loaded up the snacks and an actual road Atlas and head south on I-35. 

Wednesday, November 28. The weather was great and we landed in Denton, TX for the evening. This stop was complete with dinner at the Waffle House. Deb was not impressed, and it wasn’t my favorite WH experience either. We called it night.

Thursday, November 29. I woke up early to run laps around the hotel to keep my run streak in tact. After some snacks from the continental breakfast, we were back on the road to Waco. Kate was sooo excited, and had been talking about this moment since I mentioned the trip.

Around brunch time we pulled into Magnolia Table. Apparently it’s the place to be in Waco. The food was delicious and the coffee top notch! Then we had to go see the Magnolia Market Silos. I am not a viewer of HGTV, so I really didn’t know what I was seeing. The place was cool…shhh don’t tell Kate I said that. 

We got back in the car and then next stop was going to be the hotel in Austin. We arrived at the Holiday Inn – Town Lake. This is where we met up with fellow BibRave Pro, Brenda who would be staying with us. 

The Zwift Welcome Reception would be our first event at 5:15PM. I will have more about the product Zwift in a later post. Brenda left to get to the Hilton early and I had some drinks with Kate and Deb. 

I arrived to the Hilton at about 5:13 PM, all the other pros were gathered there. There were about 20 of us. We proceeded into a conference room where our reception was being held. 

There were two treadmills set up for the Zwift event. Zwift is an app and foot pod so you are able to run virtually with others while you are on the treadmill. At this reception, four Pros would run on the treadmill to show and teach us about the platform. Representatives from Zwift Running were there, explaining things. 

This is also where we would get our epic swag bags! I believe another pro described us like kids on Christmas morning. There was a table set up with backpacks and shoe boxes. The pros converged on the table.

I opened up my Vooray Ace backpack to find all the goods: a Handful Y-back bra and squeeze play leggings; CEP merino wool trail socks, recovery socks and reusable bag; all the tubes of Nuun and a water bottle; Vuori Omni Performance shorts; Incrediwear women’s Performance Capri, sport thin knee sock, sport thin no shoe sock and active low cut sock; a Zwift shoe pod; Addaday Type C Roller; Arcanum Sarco Freeze, the Quill and Sarco Breeze sports massage oil; and the Brooks LSD Jacket.  In addition to the contents in the backpack there were Brooks Ghost 11 shoes and the Altra Escalante 1.5. I will have product reviews in a later post.

WOW!! All the things, the fun was just beginning. There were also drinks and snacks served while the running, mingling and bag opening was happening. A lot to take in at once.

The treadmill running was coming to an end and the pros were going to meet again for dinner at 7:30 and then attend a party. Brenda and I hightailed it back to the hotel to drop off our things, then booked it to a BBQ place for dinner. All the walking! When this was over, we did more walking to the party.

The party, otherwise known as the Brooks Party, was the place to be! There was a live cover band, dancing and drinks! Desiree Linden even stopped by. Around midnight, I couldn’t hang with the kids any longer, so I convinced Brenda we should head back to the hotel. (Which was more walking.)

Friday, November 30. At 6:30 AM most of the pros had gathered again at the Hilton for a group run. We would explore Austin on foot. We ran by the bat bridge and to the Capitol. However, time was getting away from us, so after all the fun photos from Larry Castillo Photography, we went back to the hotel for some breakfast. 

photo credit: Larry Castillo Photography

Breakfast was a bagel, that was eaten as Brenda and I ran back to our hotel. We had to be back to the Hilton in like 20 minutes. We were quick and luckily we had woken up Kate, she gave us a ride back to the Convention center, where we arrived at 8:28 AM.

photo credit: Larry Castillo Photography

8:30 AM Guided tour of the expo, involving the products from our swag bag. There were two groups of us pros. Whew…. I was exhausted…it had been a whirlwind of a morning already, but I was time to learn more about the products in my bag.

Many of the items were new to me, while a few were some I was familiar with. It was the last day of the event, so I found it interesting that some exhibitors seemed more or less interested in telling us about their products. I really appreciated the brands that demonstrated and seemed engaged, it helped me not lose interest. 

Around 10:30 we wrapped up the guided tour and convened with the other pros. Some people had to get on their way, so we said our goodbyes if needed. For those of us who were staying, we were allowed to tour the expo on our own. It would be closing down 

There were soooo many vendors, and we only had until 1 PM. I had no system of what I wanted to do, no guidance…. I was just going to wonder around. I did see a few vendors that caught my eye while on the guided tour, so I stopped by their booths first. I scored quite a bit of swag, I was glad I brought along a backpack. However, I noticed that many vendors started packing up early. Yes, it was the last day of the show, but there were many booths with no one in them if I had a question. On the flip side, this meant they didn’t want to travel home with product, so more stuff in the bag.

1 PM  – I needed a nap and my brain didn’t know what just happened. From the running to the tour to being on my own, I had seen and heard a lot of information in a short time. Overwhelmed is an understatement.

However, the fun just continued. For those pros that were still in town, we ate lunch together, scootered together and then ate dinner together. This is my favorite part, and the best part of any community. Getting to experience things with others, really makes the community stronger. 

It was time to call it a night, Brenda and I were running a half marathon in the morning. (I wrote about that here.) 

December 1, 2018. Brenda and I woke up to drive to Liberty Hill, TX. It was an excellent day for a run. When we came back to Austin we went looking for some street art, we finally found what we were looking for.

Then I finally had some time to recoup. My brain just didn’t know what to think. I needed to sit down and organize it all. After I did my best with the organization, I hit the town. First stop, Voodoo Doughnuts. I was not impressed, the building was just hot and gross, and my maple bacon bar wasn’t tasty. I walked around some more looking for some street art to find a few murals, but walking alone in Austin wasn’t my favorite.

I ended up at Banger’s Sausage House and Beer Garden, mostly because there were 207 beers on tap and I could sit outside. I ordered a chicken sausage and fries, because I hadn’t eaten much all day. It was getting dark, so I walked back to the hotel.

It was nice to relax for a while, I think I watched some college football before falling asleep.

Sunday, December 2. I was up early to go hit the Lady Bird Trail for a run to continue my run streak. It was a gorgeous morning, finally 50 degrees. I also found it odd the leaves were still on the trees. 

I came back to the hotel where no one was awake. It was the day to drive all the way back to Iowa – 15 hours and we needed to get moving. WAKE UP!!! Ok, so I failed to mention that Kate returned to the hotel at 4 AM, party animal!

Brenda didn’t have to leave until later in the day, so after we got our things packed we said our goodbyes to her. Always great to meet other BibRave Pros in real life. 

Kate had her brother’s car, so with a quick stop to return that and see Deb – who would fly back later in the week – we were on the long lonely highway to Iowa. 

On the road again…. a billboard had us stopping at a Czech truckstop for kolaches, other than that, we carried on north.

We got near Kansas City and the weather had taken turn. It was raining, but the temperature was dropping. So we decided not to chance it and stayed north of Kansas City for the night. Luckily we had enough road trip snacks for dinner. 

Monday, December 3. It was about 4 hours more to get home. However, the roads were taking a while to clear up, so we waited it out and enjoyed the saddest continental breakfast.

It was finally time to leave, so we hopped in the car and made it home.

What a trip. I am still processing everything as I write this, including testing all the products that came in my bag. I did have a great time, I hope if I am able to go back I could listen to some speakers and stay closer to the action.

photo credit: Larry Castillo Photography


Scooby Doo Virtual Doo Good 5k Recap

“Disclaimer: I received entry in the Scooby Doo, Doo Good 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!”

Friday, September 29th.

It was a gloomy, misty morning with temps near 50 ish degrees. The drizzle was perfect for keeping a dog cool too!

Kona and I were ready for race day, and as luck would have it Josh was able to join us. Ace even made a sign!!

The best thing about a virtual race is you can run anywhere, anytime. Whatever fits into your schedule. The Scooby Doo Doo Good 5k had one restriction, run it in the month of September.

We lined up at the crack in the sidewalk, I counted down and the race was on!

The goal was to finish the distance, we would run by Kona’s feel. This is hard enough anyway with the potty breaks, but since she had only run 2 miles in training…. I wanted to make sure she was ok to keep moving forward.

The route was an out and back all on paved sidewalks. There were also many hills. Also, if you pay attention to any of my other reviews, I note port-o-potties – which Josh had to use, there was one on the route near a dog park, and we passed a convenience store. Only mile markers were the beeps from my watch. 

We made it to the halfway point, and made sure to post our success on Instagram stories, took a short pause, and then kept motoring back to the finish line.

Kona did a great job, there was no time she had to be pulled, or she pulled us. There were many warmer training runs where she did not want to go and I had to tug her along.

Josh and I cheered Kona to the finish, which was when I pushed my watch to say 3.10. However – stinkin Strava rounded it to 3 miles.

this is the only proof of the time, LOL

I was so happy and proud for Kona. SHE DID IT!!!! Her official Garmin time is 33:24..

So what does this mean for her? Well she will get a finisher’s medal and bandana for completing her Doo Good 5k. This also means I can take her on my shorter runs and I also need to purchase a leash for running.

Also.. I think she is ready to do this again and run a better time… more on that later.

First Time for Everything

“When Was The Last Time, You Did Something For The First Time?” – Darius Rucker

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

I have run A LOT of races, including 28 marathons, and yet I have never run the IMT Des Moines Marathon…. and it’s right down the road. This year, that’s going to change, I will be at the starting line.

The event is part of a whole weekend of festivities. It takes place October 20 & 21, including multiple challenge events or virtual runs. I will only have time for the marathon on Sunday the 21st.

Saturday, October 20

  •  5 Mile Run or 1 Mile walk
  • Kansas City Marathon / Half Marathon

Sunday, October 21

  • Des Moines Marathon, Half Marathon, 5k, Relay

ChallengesI-35 Challenge, Marathon 5 Mile loop challenge

Virtual Run – Complete the Marathon or Half Marathon on race day anywhere

If you are considering the Des Moines Marathon or Half Marathon, Use code “dmmbibravediscount18” for $10 off the Marathon or Half Marathon!

I also have a code to share for the Kansas City Marathon, not sure how it works with the challenge.  Code “BIBRAVE2018KCM” to save 15% on race entry.

Now, to figure out the logistics of getting my packet as there is a home Iowa Football game. Happy training, hope to see you in Des Moines!



Nugo Nutrition, Egg White Protein Bars – Product Review

Product Review – Nugo Nutrition, egg white protein bars

“Disclaimer: I received Nugo Nutrition egg white protein bars as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

Nugo Nutrition is at it again, they have added a new bar to their lineup. The egg white protein bar.

We start with the highest quality fruits and nuts, then add in non-GMO egg white protein, a complete protein. This whole food paleo bar has 12-14 grams of protein and is certified gluten free and OU Kosher Pareve

A while back I had the chance to try the Nugo dark chocolate bars, so I was ready to give the egg white protein bars a try. A mixed box of 4 flavors – maple pecan, blueberry, dark chocolate sea salt and peanut butter arrived at my house.

The first thing I noticed was the scent coming from them, especially the blueberry, They all smelled really good.

In addition to smelling great these bars are packed with protein, and not just any protein “a complete protein, containing all the amino acids your body needs, while being fat & cholesterol free.”  They are also gluten free and contain real food ingredients.

With all these benefits for my health it was time to give them a try. Due to the fragrant smell I opted for the blueberry first. The texture was something I had to get passed first. However, compared to most protein bars, this isn’t anything new or different.

Then over time I tested all the flavors, and while I can say the texture is still something that is not for me, I will say the maple pecan is my favorite. It’s like eating pancakes, maybe it’s because I liked to grab a bar before a run in the morning.

The bars are easier to eat if they are cooler, when they warm up they become more “flexible” and more chewy. I think they would be best kept in a refrigerator.

I can also say the protein does it’s job, I had a bar in my bag and couldn’t wait to for lunch, a few bites of a bar and my hunger pangs subsided.

That’s right, these are easy to pack and take with you anywhere. In fact if you want to give them a try use code *BIBRAVE* for 15% off NuGo Egg White Protein Bars until August 3, 2018!

If you are looking for more thoughts, check out these reviews: Lindsey – Janelle – Sara – Danielle – Katy – Kim – Karen – Lissa – Stephanie –

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