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)

Island Style

KEY WEST

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Key West 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 really don’t know where to start with this one. If you have been reading along, you know that I was headed here…so it shouldn’t come as a surprise. I just had such a great time, I am not sure I can capture it all in this post. I could just copy/paste my friend Amy’s blog, but I am not moving soon….anyway here goes…grab some snacks and enjoy.

ROAD TRIP…yep a 25 hour, 1633 mile journey by car. (and yes I just got back from Tampa)

WEDNESDAY January 11, 2017

I grabbed my travel partner and we took off around 3:30pm. We had extra time to take the trip to Florida in 3 days. We stopped in Cadiz, KY for the night and met an interesting character upon check in to our hotel. Xilver…he told us all about his youtube channel.

THURSDAY January 12, 2017

We dined on the finest of hotel breakfasts…cereal…while we waited for the coffee to brew. Then out of no where this old lady comes in, hovers over the coffee pot and waits for the last drip, then fills her giant thermo-pot thing and leaves the empty carafe back on the hot burner. NO COFFEE FOR ME! Who does that?!?!? We spotted her outside when we left with a bag full of hotel ice too. UGH!

Today’s road trip plan was to make it to GA, where we would stay with family and catch the Iowa basketball game against Purdue. We stopped at a Waffle House and had to get through Atlanta, otherwise it was an eventful day.


FRIDAY January 13, 2017

We woke early to get back on the road. We had to make a stop in Miami Beach, to pick up Kate and Amy… you should remember them from the One City Marathon. They are always up for adventure.

The traffic in Miami was bad! We picked up the beach bums around 3:30pm, made a pit stop at McDonald’s and were on our way to Key West, where we would arrive around 9pm.

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After checking in at The Inn at Key West, Kate, Amy and I went to find supper. We ended up at a place with karaoke. I ordered coconut shrimp, YUM! Then we topped the night off with our first slice of Key Lime pie. It was decent.

SATURDAY January 14, 2017

Amy and I woke up early to get a run in. Amy is training for a Texas Marathon, so I was like, sure I could go for a run. We ended up with 4.5 miles. It was nice to adapt to the weather too, it was humid!


Next we rented some cruising bikes from the hotel, we cruised on down to the race expo. It was held at a brewery. It was kind of crowded, so after getting our race packet, we walked next door to Turtle Kraals for lunch.


We dined al fresco, and watched the boats in the marina.The waiter, Zack was very energetic. I got the most delicious fish tacos and a strawberry mojito. Kate and I topped off our meal with key lime pie slice #2.


The day continued with some more cruising around the island. We stopped at the southern most point, the mile 0 marker, passed Hemingway’s house, and ended up on Higg’s Beach for some relaxation. Kate grabbed a coconut at the nearby vendor, complete with a straw. It was then time for the sunset.


After a play by play of the sunset…mostly commentary by Kate, we cruised by the giant Conch statue at the high school and made our way back to the hotel. I was kind of keeping track via my Garmin, but we biked a good 8 miles or so.


Later that evening, Kate, Amy and I walked to the nearby stone crab restaurant. We learned that stone crab is 100% sustainable, then ordered our meals. I ended up with a shrimp pasta, Amy had a ravioli dish, and Kate ordered her first steamer pot. Oh was that fun, I thought I was going to get crab leg juice squirted on me across the table. Of course, we capped off the night with key lime pie slice #3. It was not my fave, there was chocolate sauce under the slice.


SUNDAY January 15, 2017

It was race day! Please check out my review on bibrave.com for all the facts from the race.


Amy woke up early to run some extra miles before the race. I was like, you are on your own…see you at the starting line. I had a Nugo Dark Bar for breakfast, and brewed some crappy coffee in the hotel room. I caught the hotel shuttle to the race start with my road trip partner, she was running the 5k. The shuttle cost us $5 each, but there really wasn’t any parking options, and we didn’t want to bike there.

We made it to the start with plenty of time, but finding gear check consumed most of it. I saw Amy, but she had to potty, so I walked to the back of the starting pack. This is where I met Bibrave Pro Lex. We chatted for a bit, and then the race was on.

I really didn’t have a huge goal, just do better than the last race. I had been training at my gym to simulate the warmth, but I totally forgot about the humidity. I did fine, but it was sweaty. The course was cool too, lots of time along the water, even saw some chickens.

When I passed Amy in the out and back section, she had been struggling with some random hamstring pain… I worried if she would finish, but then thought better of that, she’s a BAMF… I knew I would see her at the finish.

My only issue really was the aid station people calling the electrolyte drink on the course Gatorade…it was not, it was Ultima, as published on the Key West facebook page. I also drink enough Gatorade that I could taste the difference. However, I didn’t have any food with me, so I needed the calories. By the last one, I was just not having it and the sweetener aftertaste.

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I crossed the finish line in a time near 2:21, better than the Spring Hill half I ran 2 weeks prior, I’ll take it! I spotted my friend who ran the 5k, she was sporting an age group medal!!! Then we saw Amy, already drinking a beer, lol. This is when Amy told us to look at the long food line and to go grab ourselves a beer, so we could drink it while we waited in the food line. She’s a wise cookie!

The food line did go quick, or maybe it was because I was drinking. Once we got to the food, there was cantelope, oranges, bananas, pastries, cornbread and bagels. There were bottles of water in ice tubs nearby. As we were chatting, we spotted Lex, and talked about our races.


Our food trays were empty, as well as our beer glasses. We went to get more beer and they told us they were out of the IPA we were drinking. We opted for the pilsner…it wasn’t my favorite, but craft beer at the finish line, I am not going to complain.


We danced to the live band, they were great. They mixed up margaritas on stage with an outboard motor. Amy won a raffle prize as we partied, it was cool. We might have been overserved, every time there was no line to the beer, they told us to get another one. They had 35 kegs!! This post race party was a great time!


The sun was cooking us, and we were all hungry. We walked over to Turtle Kraals – I mentioned it above, and ordered french fries. We even saw waiter, Zack. Those fries were sooo good. After some shopping around, we thought maybe we should get a ride back to the hotel. Then out of no where, there was Kate…seriously we were walking towards the street and she turned the corner in the car.

Kate had plans…. we drove to Kermits and I hopped out of the car to get key lime pie slice #4. Then she google mapped us to Blue Heaven for key lime pie slice #5.


We made it back to the hotel pool and redeemed the free rum punch that was included with our stay. We also ate pie. Slice #4 was decent, and slice #5 had meringue, I did not care for it, it was like an egg white omelet on top of the pie. I was toast after this and needed a nap, so I went back to the room to crash.

After a much needed break (and a trip to Publix to grab some Waterfront beers to take home), we all convened in the hotel lobby and got back on our cruiser bikes.

We were on our way to Mallory Square. This is where they say you should watch the sunset. We were a little late, and it wasn’t too spectacular. However we had a good time, and found Kate, she went kayaking and was drinking from a pineapple.

Santa had given Amy a gift certificate to Kelly’s… as in Kelly McGillis, you know from the movie Top Gun. She has a restaurant in Key West.


I ordered the yellow tail snapper, with a coconut crust, it was really good!!!! The ladies also ordered something native to the area. The food was good until we got to key lime slice #6. It was advertised as black bottom pie, or something…well it had an Oreo crust, that should have been our first sign. IMO the crust is not the show on this pie….it also had some raspberry sauce on it too, it was the worst slice we tried.

 


After dinner, we cruised down Duval St, then made our way back to the hotel. We had to round up our things to get ready to make the trek back home the next day. It was the first time all trip we turned on the TV, we were introduced to Cook or Con on the Food Network, LOL.

MONDAY January 16, 2017

It was an early wake up, but we all manage some how. The plan was to drop off Kate and Amy back in Miami Beach, as their flights home weren’t until later. My travel partner and I wanted to see how far we could get, we were hoping for Atlanta.

We should have seen the plan unraveling when we stopped at the DD, the service was soooo slow, so we left. Eventually Amy and I got Starbucks, and we also stopped at a local Cuban coffee place on the way, grabbing pie slice #7. This was pie on a stick, dipped in chocolate. As much as I disliked the chocolate on the previous slices, this was pretty tasty.


Then the time got away from us as we stopped for pie slice #8. We were at the Midway Cafe, it is the midway point between mainland FL and Key West, 80 miles in each direction.


The line to order was long, and we couldn’t just budge to get a slice to go….so we waited and waited…and all I could think is we have to get on the road. The rush was because we needed to be back Tuesday night, as my travel partner needed to get to work at a decent time on Wednesday.

The wait was worth it! Best slice all trip! This slice had an actual pie crust, the pie was frozen, then topped with a thinner layer of meringue. Ahhh, pie…. ok back on the road.

We tossed Amy and Kate at the beach… really, we mapped to the beach, they got their things and we left… ok, it was sad, and I would miss my friends, but we were back on I-95.

The rest of the day wasn’t really that eventful. We started the book “My Life on The Run” by Bart Yasso, and we stopped to grab some fresh oranges. There was a pit stop in GA, and we finally checked into a hotel in Macon around 10pm. This hotel clerk didn’t give us any tips to watch youtube, but she did say she was familiar with my last name…which is rare.


TUESDAY January 17, 2017

We were up and ready to go, but first we dined on the hotel breakfast. It was decent, and there was coffee, and no old lady stole it all. In fact there were a lot of men, from some sort of construction crew, and we all ate breakfast in peace, lol.

We checked out and were on the road at 6:15 am, the good news is we would gain another hour going back to the central time zone. The trip through Atlanta was the biggest hangup, but that’s normal.

Once we got to Kentucky, we noticed something odd. A few of the overpasses were lined with utility trucks and people. Some of those trucks had giant flags raised in the air. We also came across some utility trucks with a police escort. After some googling, this is what I found.


Lunch was a stop at Subway. We finished the Bart Yasso book, and then found some tunes to keep us awake. There really wasn’t too much that happened on the return trip back. Saint Louis was a breeze, and the boring drive on 218 was boring.

We made it back to Iowa City around 7:48pm. Another successful road trip in the books. So that next time someone thinks you are crazy for driving 5 hours to a race, tell them about that one time I drove to Key West.

I can’t wait for my next adventure. Hope my friends will be up for it too.