OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe

OOFOS OOmg Low Shoe


“Disclaimer: I received the OOFOS OOmg low shoe 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!”

What is this shoe? Well many runners may be familiar with OOFOS and their recovery flip flops, or you remember my review of them. Well this is the same OOfoam technology in a closed shoe.

“The first fully closed shoe to feature OOfoam technology! We combined the OOFOS patented footbed design you know and love with a 4-way stretch mesh upper to create an unbelievably comfortable shoe that enhances the recovery process. Take the stress off your tired soles, joints and give your feet the freedom of natural movement in a shoe you can wear all day, every day.” – www.oofos.com

What is this OOfoam technology? Well it’s the sole of the shoe that absorbs 37% more impact than traditional footwear foam materials to reduce the stress on your feet and joints. With this and the construction of the shoe, it’s the perfect recovery tool, and you can wear it anywhere – hiding your runner’s feet!

Ok -I have to admit, hiding my feet is the best part! Ok, well that and I can put them on right after I take my running shoes off. My flip flops have a toe separator which makes wearing socks difficult. These just slip on, easy peasy.

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Ok, so you are saying to yourself, these aren’t the prettiest shoes…. and honestly, I thought that too, however after wearing them to walk the dog, around town, to bake, and everywhere….. I really don’t think they are that unattractive…. they are similar to other loafer type shoes on the market. There are also other color options available.

The price tag may be a surprise, however let me remind you:

  • These are an investment in your recovery
  • OOfoam Technology
  • These are a shoe you can wear everyday, all day for six months or more.
  • The bottom will wear out before the foam breaks down.
  • These are a lifestyle shoe.
  • These shoes are machine washable. Or you can spot wipe them, the colors wont bleed.
  • “Your Feet Earned This.”

My favorite thing about these shoes is I feel like I am wearing a slipper in public, and they look like an actual shoe. I also don’t have to show the world my feet. (OK my feet aren’t that bad, but I am too lazy for a pedicure.) They also work with or without socks. They are very squishy feeling to walk around in too or relax in your favorite recliner with a beer.

If you are ready to make an investment in your recovery. Head on over to www.oofos.com and get yourself a pair.

Are you jealous of my orange carpet?

Not sure yet? Check out what the others are saying – TedrickLindseyJeannineNora


As always you can find OOFOS on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook

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BB Performance

Beachbody Performance

“Disclaimer: I received the Beachbody Performance – Advance Performance Stack 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 know you have all been waiting for this review, some have even asked if I became a Beachbody Coach. While I do like some of the workout programs, I did not become a coach, I was just able to test this line of products because I am a Bibrave Pro.

What did I receive:

  • Beachbody Performance Energize, lemon flavor. A boost of energy with no jittery side effects, delays exercise-induced muscle fatigue. Uses green tea leaf extract as caffeine.
  • Beachbody Performance Recover, citrus flavor. Speed up muscle recovery with the “ideal combination of time-released proteins and phytonutrients to help facilitate muscle recovery and reduce muscle breakdown.” Contains why and pea protein isolate.


Now, the biggest thing when it comes to trying new things I have to consume is the taste. If it doesn’t taste good to me, I am not going to use it.

Also the next thing to keep in mind about these products that I have mentioned above, they are supplements. Please read the ingredient list on the links above before deciding if these are for you.

Last thing I would like to note, these products are NSF Certified for sport.

Alright – all the necessary notes out of the way, how did these work for me? I am a runner, I wish I would get my act together and lift more weights, but you know, I’d rather take the time to run 20 miles instead. However, that being said, runners still use muscles, they can be sore, fatigued and in need of a recharge.

I opened the package of goods,which included a shaker bottle, when I came home from work. Since it was night, I tried the Recharge first.

I opened the container, to find a white colored powder. There was a scoop inside too. The directions for serving are on the back of the container.

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I put one scoop of powder in my shaker bottle, then added the 8 ounces of water. I shook it up. and noticed it took a little effort. Pro tip (thanks Heather) add the water first, then the powder. It was time to take a taste, it reminded me of vanilla ice cream. I sat and wasted time on the internet while I drank it. The only thing I didn’t care for was the aftertaste as I kept drinking it. I don’t care for sweeteners in general, however there is one drink I like that contains Stevia, so I was open to trying this. The more I drank, the more I could taste it.

I have tried to like this, I even tried putting this in the blender with frozen berries. I also tried another time with sherbet ice cream. I just can’t get past the aftertaste, however I do like it better in the blender.


The next morning I woke up, and felt fine. I was going to try the Hydrate during the day, to see if I initially would like it. When I opened the container, I noticed it was very yellow, and when I added it to my 8 oz of water, it mixed up yellow. This had a nice subtle citrus flavor, not overbearing, and I am not bothered by the Stevia nor is it too sweet for me. I did notice if I set it down too long, the powder started to separate from the water, so I had to shake it again.


I have been enjoying this product the most, I feel hydrated and feel like I always have to pee when drinking it, lol. I prefer to drink it with ice too.

I first tried the Recover as recommended on the container, add one scoop to 8 oz of water. I did so, shaking it in my bottle. It was an orange color, and seemed to taste fine, but I really wasn’t in love with it.


The next time I gave this a try was post 20 miler. I also noticed the whey protein as an ingredient and I thought, um protein smoothie. So, I added the water and scoop of powder to a blender of ingredients – clementines, frozen berries, apples, spinach. WOW, this is how I prefer to drink this, very good!! Also I was never rungry, or felt that empty feeling in my stomach, even days later. This did some fancy trick. I remember talking to one of my BRF’s Amy about this. I am usually hungry days later, but this worked for me post run.


I continue to drink this in post run smoothie form, versus adding the one scoop to water. It tastes better for me, and it combats the hunger. I just need to not be so lazy and keep the blender washed up, seems I am always fighting the husband over using it.

The last item I had yet to try was the Energize. I was hesitant to try this because it has caffeine in it. I already drink too much caffeine, in the form of black coffee. I was worried by drinking this, it would really push me over the top. However, I was hoping that drinking these products would get me to drink less coffee.

I gave it a go on a day I was to run 7 x 800’s, and I waited to run at lunch, as I drank my coffee for breakfast. I thought I could use the extra boost for this workout. Speaking of boost, the flavor in this is a boost…whamoo – it’s very lemony, just like the hard candy. I happen to like that flavor, however you could water it down too.  My run went well, and I had the energy I needed to get through the speed work.


I did try this again on another runch, but I didn’t feel any faster or any extra oomph. I am not sure if – I just don’t drink it enough, or I drink too much coffee anyway. Or, I was just in a mood.

I do know this product comes in little sample packs, so if you want to try a boost, I would suggest trying this!

Overall: Beachbody offers a great line of products. I would recommend reading all labels, including ingredients and directions before considering if this is for you. I will continue to use the products, especially the Recover for post long run, in a smoothie form, I seemed to benefit the most from this. Also since these are more of a powder, they seem to stay mixed up better with a blender. However, I am a sugar gal, I prefer the taste of the regular electrolyte drink I can pick up at the store over the hydrate product.


Don’t hesitate to learn more from Beachbody, by checking out their website, Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.

The BibRave pros were busy testing these products, so here are some more thoughts: Amy – CatherineGinaLindsey – JamesFallon – Heather

Steamazing

“Disclaimer: I received Luvo Meals 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!”


Hey all! I have something a little different to review and share with you, Luvo frozen meals. I will be honest, I was most excited to try these because I have become lazy at lunch time, these would be perfect to eat at work, with no meal prep required.

You can read all about the Luvo Philosophy here, however the bottom line: food that is nutritious, delicious, easy to cook, and contains real ingredients. Hey, that’s totally what I want and need!!

Are you thinking, how are they different if they are just another frozen meal? Ha, I am here to tell you. These meals I was able to try, cook in a steam pouch, with “steamazing” technology. There is no second guessing which plastic film to pull off, or stirring the entree. The pouch which has the cooking directions, just steams the food, simple! Then you just cut the end, and it slides out on your plate, looking like an actual meal….with real food… oh wait, that’s cuz it is real food.


Speaking of real food, Luvo uses whole grains, veggies and protein. No trouble reading ingredients on the label. If anything, they have introduced me to eating things I have never tried, or never thought to try. Also using these real ingredients allows the meals to be lower in calories, vegetarian or gluten free.

So, what meals did I try? Well you might have noticed in the picture above… but I will tell you:

Steel-Cut Oatmeal with quinoa and mixed fruit. This was my first meal. My meals arrived the night before and I was excited to have something easy to prepare for breakfast. I am not a huge oatmeal person, unless it’s ruined with something sugary. I was happily surprised with this meal, in fact I think it’s my fave! The fruits (pineapple, cranberries, pears and peaches) are all the sweetness the meal needs. It’s like cobbler without ice cream. You can see how easy it was to cook in this awesome video 🙂

 


Next up, lunch!! Chicken Chile Verde with black beans and polenta. Now, I am not a fan of chicken breast, I think it’s too dry, however the steam cooking technology provided a moist chicken. I also had never had polenta before, and I enjoyed that. One thing I noticed is the meals don’t have any salt or pepper type seasonings, so if you need that, you can add what you like.


It was a full day of Luvo only meals, as that night I had the Red Wine Braised Beef & Polenta with Brussels sprouts, butternut squash and cranberries. This meal was good, and I reaffirmed the fact that I do not care for Brussels sprouts, but it did have me wondering if I could make a pot roast with cranberries and apples.


It also happened to be the day of a late basketball game,which meant supper at 10pm. I let Josh try a meal too, the Kale Ricotta Ravioli. Ok, full disclosure… I do not like marinara sauce or tomato sauce really…so this meal was all his. I did try the sauce to make sure, and it wasn’t for me. However, Josh who would love for me to make him lasagna, loved this dish.

Now, I am marathon training (always)… if you have been clicking on the highlighted links above, you might notice the calorie counts. In one day 3 meals is about 900 calories, so I had to add some more food to my diet. However these are perfect if you need to cut a few pounds, portion control is my biggest problem and these contain lots of nutrients with low calories.

I was able to try a couple more meals. I tried the Orange Mango Chicken with whole grains, kale and broccoli. Once again I loved how the chicken was moist, and the sweetness of the mango was perfect. It was great for lunch!


The last meal I tried was the Tandoori Inspired Spice Chicken with mango, brown rice, broccoli and cauliflower. It was another late basketball night, and I loved that in 5 minutes a nutritious meal was cooked. No chopping or dicing of vegetables required. This meal had a kick, definitely some spices in there, it packed a punch, I felt myself wanting more.


Overall thoughts: I really liked the ease of preparing these meals, and knowing I was getting lots of proteins and veggies too. I personally need more calories in a day, and I might add a little salt or pepper. If you like easy cooking, or need quick meals, check out the store locator and the website for some coupons.

I would like to add a note, once you find a store in your area, please call them ahead of your shopping trip, to make sure they have them in stock.

I had my sister do some scouting of the stock where she lives. I need to go on a road trip to try some of the other meals that are offered, especially the bowls. They look great and the price is comparable to other frozen meals.

Also unique to Luvo, they just started direct delivery to your doorstep. You can choose from 8 meals, and for all orders over $28.99, shipping is only $9.99. That’s right you don’t have to fight the people at the grocery store.

If you do find yourself at the grocery store, don’t forget to add the app to your phone too, you can find out if the food you are buying is good for you. Just head to your app store and search for “Luvo CheckIt”

I would also encourage you to follow Luvo on their social media channels, they host twitter chats, giveaways on Facebook, recipes on the blog, and appetizing photos on Instagram.

Looking for thoughts on other meals, check these reviews: Jeremy  – MaiLindsey Jeannine – Heather – Sam

 

XX2i France 2 Sunglasses

xx2i France 2 Sunglasses – Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received the xx2i Optics France2 Sunglasses 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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Wahoo… more sunglasses… What can I say… I am a believer in protecting my eyes when I run, so when I saw the chance to test this model from xx2i, I jumped on board.

I was given the Hyper Orange with Orange Flash Lens with white tips.  They come in a “tank protector case” with a microfiber soft carrying case, that doubles as a cleaning cloth. This pair also comes with additional tips and temples.


Initially I was shocked by the color, it was very bright orange, and the lenses were flashy as stated in the description. I know that XX2i makes great products so I was going to put the colors behind me and give them a proper test, plus the lens color was different than I already own. I also noticed how light weight they were.


I took them on their maiden voyage. A local 5k. It was unseasonably warm and sunny that day. I could see how they held up with sweat and slipping on my face. I was also curious to see if they fit with a hat.


I always end up running with Monty, lol!! I am happy to report – I really didn’t know I was wearing these glasses. They fit wonderfully, no slipping and just where I needed them under the bill of my hat.

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I have been running in them ever since.

I wore them at another race, the Mardi Gras Chaser 10k. It was cold, and it wasn’t even sunny. However, I needed to protect my eyes in the wind. These did just that, and at no time did I think they would blow off my face.

I have only noticed some fogging of the lenses if I stop running on a cold day and my face is sweaty. If I start running again, the fogging goes away. I can easily squeeze the nose pads to raise them higher off my face if needed.

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As you saw above they come with interchangeable nose pads and temples. I don’t think red or blue goes with neon orange, so I don’t plan on changing them out. However, I would like to note, XX2i builds their glasses so you can get what you want as far as changing colors and parts.


You can also change the lenses. As mentioned these have the orange flash lens, and to me this lens mutes out red colors, and kind of makes colors less vibrant, to reduce squinting. I have been fortunate to test other XX2i sunglasses and they have had the blue flash lens (which are my favorite, I don’t see different colors through this one), and the polar brown lenses (these brighten things for me when I look through them.) They all reduce glare.

While I was shocked by bright color, I am happy to add them to my flashy wardrobe. These fit great, you don’t even know they are on your face. XX2i makes quality products.


If you would like to get your own pair you can do that for $59.99 right here on their website – http://www.xx2i.com/collections/france2

Did I mention they have a lifetime warranty? “All XX2i sunglasses come with a no questions asked Lifetime Warranty! No matter if your dog chewed on them (which we hear a lot!) or if you drove over them in your SUV, we’ll replace them for a nominal shipping and handling fee of $19.95″

BUT WAIT…. THERE’S MORE – code “marchbibrave” will get you 50% off until March 28 at http://www.xx2i.com/

Ok, so I haven’t convinced you to get a pair? Check out what my fellow pros have to say: VanessaJessica – Mai – Amy – Tedrick – MattHeather

For more information you can find XX2i on twitter, Facebook & Instagram.

 

 

How do you pick a Training Plan?

Guys…. I am struggling… I need a training plan…

I may not be doing a marathon a month this year (heck I need to find a goal for 2017), but I do have 2 marathons on my race schedule so far. I will be running the Illinois Marathon in April and Grandma’s Marathon in June, both for Bibrave.

Not only do I have the marathons on the schedule, there are local 5k’s and any other race I want to squeeze in. One reason you don’t really see me focus on one training plan, I am always racing – also why I don’t have time to bore you with a weekly training recap.


Ho-hum, it’s almost February, I have no training plan. Google to the rescue?

I made it through 2016 with no training plan, each marathon was the training for the next. Knowing I could do this, it’s why I am slacking on finding a plan.

What do I do?

In the past I have used Hal Higdon’s plan and the Brooks-Hanson method. Both were great plans. I also dabbled with a coach last fall, but I am broke.


Maybe I need to set a goal for these races? Then I can pick how I want to train.

So, I know I can just wing something, but maybe I should try to PR at the marathon distance?

How do you pick a plan?

HELP!

Nugo Bars

NUGO DARK BARS – Review

“Disclaimer: I received a variety pack of Nugo Nutrition Dark Bars 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!”


YUM! – the end…ok I will write an actual review of these bars, but spoiler alert, I love em!

I have done reviews of other bars, and eaten my share of bars.Especially those that boast about protein or their health benefits. Most of them taste like cardboard and are made of that nougat like mush crap. Well, enter Nugo Nutrition and their delicious bars.


What sets them apart, IMO, is they aren’t a mush center or that weird substance that you just can’t place, and you are not sure what you are eating. Basically these are like dark chocolate covered crispy treats, or a candy bar.

From the Nugo website, they highlight why they are different:

  • REAL Dark Chocolate isn’t just a delectable treat with delicious flavor. It’s a heart-healthy, antioxidant-rich superfood, and a staple ingredient in many NuGo bars. Research has shown that REAL Dark Chocolate may help maintain good cholesterol (HDL),* lower blood pressure, elevate mood, reduce stress, and increase endurance when consumed before a workout. So if you want to lead a healthy life, get REAL. Get NuGo.
  • At NuGo, we never put our bottom line above the best interests of our customers. For our REAL dark chocolate, we only source the best, natural cocoa solids and combine them with creamy cocoa butter, so that every bite is full of decadent flavor. Other companies cut costs by mixing their cocoa solids with vegetable fats like palm kernel oil to make imitation chocolate without the taste, texture or health benefits of REAL chocolate.
  • At NuGo Nutrition, we believe that the freshest, healthiest ingredients are also the best tasting. We are passionate about keeping families active and healthy, which is why we’re so committed to keeping GMOs, artificial hormones, stomach-upsetting maltitol, and artificial sweeteners out of NuGo products. When you give your child a NuGo bar (or grab one for yourself), you can be confident that you’re getting only the best naturally delicious ingredients in every bite.

Also please note these dark bars have 10 grams of protein, they are non GMO, vegan and gluten free!!


I received 12 bars – 3 bars in 4 different flavors:

Mint Chocolate Chip: the mix of mint an dark chocolate is just right, this was a favorite to drink with my coffee. This has 1 gram of fiber and 14 grams of sugar.


Chocolate Pretzel with sea salt: spoiler alert this one is my favorite. The mix of sweet and salty is my jam! This has 2 grams of fiber and 15 grams of sugar.


Chocolate Coconut: I didn’t get an overwhelming coconut flavor, or one that stands out. I still really enjoyed this one, but I loved all the dark bars I have tried. This has 1 gram of fiber and 15 grams of sugar.


Chocolate Chocolate Chip: This one is most similar to a candy bar for me. If you are on the fence, I would try this bar first, it’s just chocolaty and crispy. This bar has one gram of fiber and 14 grams of sugar.


I found myself eating these each morning, usually as a pre-breakfast, before my run. They paired nicely with coffee. I also used them as a road trip snack, brought them to a basketball game and I ate them before running a half marathon.


Before I knew it, I had no bars left! Never fear, I can buy them at my local grocery store, just a half mile from my house, and they are only $1.49 each. This is when I was introduced to 2 more flavors:


Spicy Chocolate: I just had to try this flavor, cuz why not, and it intrigued me. It really wasn’t spicy hot to me, it was more of a cinnamon and chocolate. So shake things up, give this one a try. This bar has 2 grams of fiber and 15 grams of sugar.


Mocha Chocolate: This one was good, but I really didn’t get a strong mocha flavor, however I did eat this one with my morning coffee, so maybe the flavor cancelled each other out. This bar has 2 grams of fiber and 14 grams of sugar.


They also make other types of bars too, I picked up the peanut butter offering, but it was not the one that is part of the dark series, it was good, but it wasn’t my favorite. There is a peanut butter dark bar, I need to try one of those. That dark chocolate really makes a difference in that weird protein aftertaste that can happen with regular protein bars.


I think the only downside to the dark bar is they have, what I feel is a lot of sugar. However, I am not going to eat something that tastes like cardboard but contains no sugar. I need a protein bar I am going to eat, these are delicious and a treat! (There is the Nugo Slim, for a less sugar option – 2 or 3 grams and more fiber -, adding to the list of bars to try)

If you haven’t picked up that I like these…did you even read this? I would totally recommend trying these bars. Here is a store locator – https://www.nugonutrition.com/where-to-buy/ – Or you can purchase them online, – https://www.nugonutrition.com/ – and if you do, use code BIBRAVE1 to save 15% off the dark bar boxes. (This is valid through February 8th, 2017)


Some of the other pros were able to test these too, check out their thoughts: FrankGina Brad – Casey – Emily – Heather – Kolbe – ShannonCarolyn

If you have further questions, you can follow Nugo Nutrition on TwitterFacebookInstagram

Amana 2017

The Amana Freezer 5k – 2017 Edition

This is my favorite winter race in eastern Iowa. You may have caught my previous posts about this, even calling it “January’s Hidden Gem.” Well 2017 didn’t disappoint.

In addition to the meat swag bag and the hospitality of Amana, IA, what makes this race so great is that the local running community comes out of winter hibernation.


So, it was a foggy and unseasonably warm day, temps over 40 degrees. This was a nice change from the freezing temps I have run this race in before.


Since I haven’t picked a training plan for my upcoming marathons – the IL Marathon and Grandma’s… I should probably do that….I didn’t have any goals, or a set amount of miles to run that day. After I arrived around 8:30 to pick up my packet and meat bag, I set out to run some pre-race miles, that ended up totaling 4 miles.

Gear: Sparkle Athletic skirt, Corridor Running hat, Brooks Ghost 8, Aftershokz, SpiBelt, Moving Comfort pullover, Adidas short, Procompression socks, Garmin Fenix 3.

I attached my bib to my belt, and the timing chip to my shoe and made my way to the starting line. This is where I saw running friend, Joel.  We chatted and then everyone was moving forward…ha we weren’t paying attention and someone jingled some bells and the race started.


A refresher on the course, it’s an out and back on the paved road, you run out to East Amana, circle around and come back to Amana. There is a hill when you get to East Amana, but nothing steep. The road is open to traffic, but the locals don’t seem to mind. The most scenic thing on the course is the occasional beer can in the ditch or the cow pasture. Hey, this is Iowa 🙂


I had an ok race for already logging 4 miles. My 5k goal is always sub-30 and according to my Garmin I finished in 28:05. I felt like I pushed my best, even though each mile split was slower… oh well, I had a year of distance running, it’s hard to get the speed back.


At the finish line, I saw a lot of friends from the 100 mile group and Corridor Running. I felt like a social butterfly. One of my favorite things about running is meeting the people.


The crowd moved towards the post race food and awards in the building where packet pick up took place. Usually it’s jammed packed, but since the weather was so nice, there was room to breathe.

There is always a great post race food spread, really quite a lot for a 5k. Clementines, bagels, bananas, fruit pizza, Fig Newtons, and cookies. Then there was bottled water and hot chocolate.


I chatted with more friends, including a reader of the blog, Hi Rosemary!! That was a nice surprise…as we chatted I chuckled as the lady tried to start the race awards. Every year it’s the same old problem, she has this microphone, but you still can’t hear her, and then she gets mad…I am still laughing. Someone eventually get her a bull horn, which you really can’t hear either as everyone is chatting.

We all stood around listening to the awards, then it was time for the raffle. I remember the year Laura won the bird seed and she didn’t want it… ha! I always am happy to win anything….and this year was my year, I won a bottle of wine, 2 wine glasses, and an opener!!  Joel was standing around with us too and he won a gift certificate for a bottle of wine too.  He really doesn’t drink wine, so he thought he would trade the bird seed winner….that didn’t work when the bird seed winner took her prize and immediately headed out the door. People want that bird seed!

Once all the prizes were handed out, it was time to redeem the Millstream Beer ticket that came with registration. The Brau Haus is located just across the street, and you just walk in and choose a craft beer or soda. I happily chose the Iowa Pale Ale. As I was leaving to drink my beer outdoors, someone asked “What is most similar to Coors Light or Miller Lite?” The guy pouring the beer chuckled, and said “tap water.” I laughed too.


I met Joel back outside and he was telling me how excited he was to tour Amana, and check out all the stores. The small town takes pride in their winter festival, so it is fun to check out all the shops. I couldn’t stay though, I had to get back to Iowa City and the Iowa Woman’s Basketball game. GO HAWKS!


I will always try to run this race. First, the meat bag! Second, the town rolls out the red carpet for the weekend. Third, the local running community wakes up for the year! Oh and the price is always right, around $25 (you can even get it for less if you want no meat bag or shirt)