Durant Dusk Hustle – Race Recap

Durant Dusk Hustle 2018 – Race Recap

The good ol Durant Dusk Hustle…. I had almost forgot about this event, but was reminded of it when I was updating the blog’s race calendar. I have run this a couple times before, and yet I am not sure I haven’t recently?

If you need a no frills review, check bibrave.com

Anyway…. I contacted my sister and wondered if my niece would be interested in joining me. The race has a kids run, a mile run and a 5k. Ella has run a mile race before, and I thought this would be a good one for her.

Fast forward to Friday August 10, 2018

Gear: gunmetal Sparkle Athletic Skirt, Saucony Donut hat, Aftershokz Trek Air, SpiBelt, Adidas boy shorts, Zensah socks, Brooks Ghost 10, Cheapo Wal-Mart Tank, Moving Comfort Bra, Knockaround Sunglasses

The race is unique in that the 5k starts at 7 PM on a Friday night. The kids race and one mile are held before. The event kicks off a small town weekend celebration.

It was a hot day, so that meant the pavement / asphalt was nice and toasty for the race start. The sun was still shining and I am sure temps were in the 80’s.

I had yet to register, so I arrived in Durant with time to sign up. There was a small line as everyone else had the same idea. I paid $25 for the no t-shirt option. I was handed a plastic bag with some flyers and a plastic water bottle. I also got a bib and a timing chip for my shoe. I was glad I opted out of the shirt, it was a unisex, cotton, short sleeve.

I went back to my car and waited for my sister to arrive. I get a little anxious, and there was plenty of time, but where was she?

I finally spotted her driving around. The streets nearby were under construction, but you could park on any side street for free. I contacted her on the phone… you know an actual phone call… and we met up at the registration tent, where we got Ella a bib and shoe chip. Oh, Ella wanted a t-shirt, so for the one mile with shirt registration was around $20.

Ella lined up at the timing mat for the one mile. There were mostly only young kids running this event. Finally I saw some parents lined up too. I was going to hop in after the timing mat as I had a shoe chip I didn’t want to register twice. I just get nervous all those young kids running out and back with no one telling them where to go, especially those not close enough to follow the gator.

The National Anthem was sung and then there was a countdown. The kids took off…. zoom! I could not keep up, nor did I try…. I knew I would eventually catch up with Ella and I did just a few blocks in.

We were running directly into the sun. She kept a nice pace, throwing in a skip here or there. I encouraged her to tell the others “good job” as we passed them on the out and back.

After we turned around, she requested we walk, which was fine… it was a hot night and a mile is a long way!! I kept my eye on the other kids that had no supervision (ok not in a creepy way) I wanted to make sure they were ok. There was no water on the one mile course. I was relieved to see a parent was with the last child.

As Ella and I turned the last corner we made a deal we would run the home stretch. Just as some poor kid who was not having it was being told to push it. UGH, whatever… but if the kid was in pain or something… it wasn’t cool.

I pulled away from Ella as my sister, Amber cheered us into the finish.

She told us as she grabbed her post race popsicle the time she saw when she crossed the finish line, it was near 9:30. DANG GIRL!!!! She did great!!

After all the participants were back, I joined the line up for the 5k. I made sure to review to posted course, but I overheard some pre-race chatter that the written directions were wrong. Lucky for me, I just follow the people ahead of me, and hope they go the right way.

The race started and I fell in step. The streets were not great, very uneven and gravel in some parts where they had recently done construction. I made sure to watch my footing.

I was feeling the heat… I wore the wrong hat. I knew better too. I have my favorites, but this one was just too hot. The right gear, makes a difference.

I kept pushing as I kept thinking I could place in my AG. Around the halfway point there was a small incline, followed by a water stop. Volunteers guided us around corners as well as the arrow spray painted on the streets.

Most of the course was in the residential neighborhoods, avoiding crossing the main highway through town. This meant we went on the back edge of town near some livestock, where we also enjoyed the smell of livestock.  Am I selling you on Iowa?

Somewhere along this stretch, I got a notification that my sister was texting me. I was worried, she knew I was running, I hoped there was no emergency. I did what anyone else would do, I communicated to my Aftershokz headphones and they dialed her on the phone. Through my huffing and puffing, I made sure to ask if everything was ok, she said yes and didn’t realize I would get the notifications on my run, she was just sending some photos. Whew!

I was then closing in on the last block, I felt confident and didn’t want to trip on the uneven pavement, when out of nowhere some younger runner passes me… LOL

I came across the timing mat with a Garmin time of 27.29, but a 3.08 course….which is close enough for me.

I reunited with Amb and El and made sure to get myself a popsicle. There were also bananas, apples, cookies, Body Armor and bottled water. I did try the Body Armor as I have never had it before.

The results were posted quickly and I realized I had placed 3rd in my AG. When the groups are spread from 30-39 it’s tough! The top 3 finisher times were not that close either.

We waited around for the little awards ceremony. Overall winners were gifted a gym bag. AG winners received a medal. I put mine around Ella’s neck where she wore it the rest of the night, and took it home.

After the race we went to check out the other festivities happening. There was a live band, rides and fair type food. We listened to the music and Ella talked me into some ride. After a walking taco and sno cone stop, we parted ways.

Overall: I know I have said this before, but I do enjoy a 5k or any race for that matter that has a small town festival surrounding it. It makes the trip to the race more enjoyable. It’s nice the race is on a Friday night, you could race again over the weekend or take it off. It’s a nice price and flat course, with options for kids too.


Solon Beef Days 2018

Beef Days 5k – 2018

The Beef Days 5k is part of a town celebration. The festivities start on Friday and last through the weekend. I have run this race before, in fact way back when dinosaurs roamed the Earth, I ran the one mile race.

Saturday, July 21.

It was an overcast day, with temps in the high 60’s – 70’s, and humid. The 5k and one mile were to start at the same time, 7:30 AM. (In past years they were separate.)

I had not yet registered, so I arrived early and signed up for $20. I got a timing chip for my shoe and a short sleeve, unisex, cotton t-shirt.

I had plenty of time before the race was to start, so I used the port-o-potty and headed for the nearby trail. Unfortunately the trail was closed…. but it’s for a good reason, they are connecting it to another trail. I changed my plans and was able to run a loop around the area.

It was time to race! Participants gathered round for announcements, but it seemed very unorganized, and took a little long.

Finally we were running.

Another 5k, and a goal to finish sub 30. I really try to push my pace in the smaller 5k’s, as sometimes I can place in my AG.

I was doing my best, but there are A LOT of hills in Solon, and I think we ran all of them. The course was easy to navigate and there was a water stop.

I came to the finish with a time and reset my Garmin to run another mile loop. When I got back they had started the awards. My 28:14 was not even close to placing in the 30-39 AG as the winner in my category had something close to 18 minutes. Speedy!

I grabbed a slice of watermelon and a bottle of water and went back to my car. I made a quick change into the race shirt and decided to stay in town for the parade.

Overall: This race has been part of the Beef Days celebration for years. It’s nothing special, but the community looks forward to it. It isn’t expensive and it comes with all the expectations for a good event.

Karma Ring Duo – Product Review

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

Way back when, I lost a lot of weight, and one evening I was doing some yard work and lost my wedding ring. I was creating a new flower planter around our mailbox, my wedding ring could have been anywhere. I was in a panic! With a flashlight, I finally found my ring… it was too big for my ring finger and that is why it fell off. From that point on I have been wearing my wedding set on my middle finger. (I know I can get it resized, but when they fused the bands together, it turned into a mess.)

Enter Karma Ring, I thought this could be a great option for me to have a ring back on my ring finger.

First, I needed to decide what size my ring finger is. I went to the Karma Ring website and printed the ring sizing tool. This was not working for me, it wouldn’t print in the size that was suggested. I tried on 2 computers and still couldn’t get it to work. I then did what anyone would do, google. I tried to compare my current ring with a size chart. This lead me to ordering a man’s ring set as the women’s set only goes to a size 8.

I received the men’s set and of course it was too big. So, I went and tried to print the ring sizer again, with no luck. So, I measured my finger with a ruler which had me in a woman’s size 8, and I was sent a replacement. *Thank you!

As a Bibrave Pro we are testing the “Duo.” It is a ring that comes with 2 parts. There is a base part and then 3 colors, to which you can change. The company also makes just simple one piece bands too.

Currently there is one color option for men in the Duo series. Black with darker colored bands. Then for women you can choose from 2 options; a white band with pastel colors, or a brown band with lighter colors. As you can see, I went with the white band. I am looking forward to more color options in the future, hopefully something bright or even darker for women.

The concept behind the colors and changing them is that once you reach a goal, you would change the color, similar to martial arts. For me… I don’t want to mess with things, so I have worn the peachy/pink color since I received it.

Also you don’t have to be married or engaged to have a Karma Ring. Wearing a ring can simply be a fashions statement or a symbolic statement.

The ring arrived in a cool tin, with allows you to keep the bands you are not wearing all in one spot. The rings are very light weight and “bendy.” The inside is printed with the brand name and size.

I have been wearing this ring for at least 2 weeks now. It’s to the point I don’t even know it’s there. I was worried with the work I do and the white band, it would get dirty. In fact, I was cleaning and sorting for a sale and keeping an eye on it. It’s still bright white. I also had concerns about gunk getting caught in between the bands, but they lock together and don’t allow for outside debris.

In fact, these are the specifications:

Karma rings feature patent-pending, ergonomic contouring, and strong yet flexible materials, so that they feel as heavenly as they look.

  • Hypoallergenic – Even sensitive skin will love the specially formulated silicone used in every Karma Ring.

  • Non Porous – Doesn’t absorb germs, odors, and chemicals.

  • Ultra Durable – Wears like iron feels like silk

  • Non Conductive/Non Magnetic – Will not affect hand held mobile devices, Bluetooth technology, or magnetic strips on credit cards.

If you are looking for a silicone band for an active lifestyle, check out Karma Ring. Before you use code BIBRAVE to save 33% the Duo costs $24.99.

For more information make sure you check out Karma Ring onlineTwitter – Instagram

Still looking for more? Check out the reviews from the pros: Lindsey KatyMeridithSamantha

Pre-Race Prep

Pre-Race Preparations

“Disclaimer: I received entry into the Big Ten Network B1G 10k as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!”

On the eve of the Big Ten Network 10k, I am calm and confident. Why? I believe I have my race day prep under control.

Ok, so maybe it’s also because it’s the 4th time running this event. It is also what feels like my 100th 10k or something like that.

Don’t get me wrong, I still get a little nervous or worried about race day, but doing the following helps me “stay the course.”

First– I plan my outfit. Yes, there are some races where I have been known to wake up and just grab some gear. I can do that because I know what I like to run in, and I usually have planned my outfit in my head. Laying out my gear, and taking a picture of it, especially while traveling makes race morning that much easier. Also, it’s easy to visually see something you might have missed. Once, I have done this, I can just wake up and get ready as everything is together.

Second – I review the course. Sure, I have yet to lead a race, but there have been times I have been alone on the course. Having a general knowledge of what directions I should be headed is helpful.

Third – Checking race start times. This is probably the most critical, I then know when to wake up and start my morning routine.

Fourth – Logistics. Do I need to check a bag, where is that? Where is my corral entrance? Do I need to get there via public transportation? Do I have to pay to park? There can be so many little things that can throw a wrench in race morning.

Fifth – Fueling and hydration. For a longer race I make sure I have been drinking extra the week before, for shorter races I try to limit my alcohol. I also try to eat pretty bland before a race. I could push the limits, but I do best with food that is similar to cardboard.

Sixth – Sleep! This is one of the most crucial, in my opinion. It can be hard to catch some zzzz’s while traveling and race day nerves may have you up all night. I try to at the least crawl into bed earlier that normal, just resting my legs is a great place to start.

Finally, the seventh pre-race ritual – Coffee! This has been my routine since I can remember. I wake up at least an hour before I need to start, I drink coffee. This is the crucial step that leads me to a successful trip to the bathroom.

If I have prepared correctly and walked through all these steps, I am happily snapping selfies on the starting line with Herky tomorrow, or my fellow BibRave pals and Hawkeye friends.


Good luck racers, rest up, eat cardboard and drink some coffee!

West Liberty 5k – Race Recap

West Liberty 5k – Race Recap

Eek, I am behind in my blogging, but I have been busy prepping for a sale at work and I had an issue with my photo storage, and all the other excuses, but here here I am.

I found this race because I keep a race calendar on my blog. I had no idea it existed and this was the 21st year or something.


Sunday, July 15th.

Josh and I hopped in the car and made the 20 minute trek to West Liberty. The race start/finish was at the fairgrounds. The race is the unofficial kick off to the county fair that is held there.

We still needed to register for the 8:00 AM start. It was only $20 and shirts were still available.  (short sleeve, unisex, cotton) The fair bathrooms were open and available. Parking was free on site.

It was a cloudy, but humid day…. and we found that out quick as we did a mile warm up.

It was nearing 8 AM and they were not joking about the race starting on time as announcements were shouted before the start time. There would be no timing chips, but we were instructed to grab a popsicle stick as we crossed the finish line.

My favorite part about the announcements were the mention to double knot your shoes and anyone under a certain age (can’t remember) was told to move at least 3 rows back.

Right on time, the race started. We ran through the fairgrounds, over gravel and then met up with the city streets. Only to turn around and run back on the same route. There were no hills. A water stop, you could enjoy both out and back.

There was a photographer taking photos as I cross the finish line and was handed my wood stick.

I tried pushing my pace, but the stupid hat I wore was just too hot, so I ended up carrying it. According to my watch I had clocked 28:45.

I turned in my popsicle stick and noticed I had placed in the top 3 in my AG. So we decided to stick around for the awards. Also, Josh placed in his AG too.

As we waited around, Josh ran more miles and I ate a banana and drank some water. There were a few different kids races, while they tallied the results.

It was time to have the awards presentation. The overall male and female winner received $100 cash. The overall AG winners won chamber bucks, and medals were given out to third place.  HOWEVER – the overall winners were awarded in their AG too…so say what you want, I mean they technically won the AG, but it’s double dipping.

I placed second in my AG, and Josh placed 3rd… but the overall male winner was in his AG.

It was time to go home…

This is a no frills race, flat course, cheap price…. and if you are fast, who knows you might win some cash, money! However, the double dipping of AG placement is something I don’t care for, it’s not wrong…just not my cup of tea.

35 minutes too slow…

The Limberlost Trail Challenge – Race recap

Warning: this is going to be long, but you should expect that by now. If you want a short recap check out my review on bibrave.com

Well there’s no better place to start than the beginning. Josh and I were actually taking a summer vacation, which is rare because of his work schedule. We toyed around with traveling many places, as I do not care to get on an airplane. We landed on visiting Canada and the Toronto area. Of course, when you are us you also search for nearby races, which lead us to The Limberlost Challenge, north of Toronto.

After a busy Independence Day, we left the states on the afternoon of July 5th. Our first stop was in London, Ontario. We had no issues crossing the border between Detroit, MI and Windsor, ON. We crossed on the same bridge that is used in the Detroit Marathon.

July 6th – we left in a decent time to get to our next destination – Bracebridge, ON. The drive was uneventful, but there was A LOT of traffic. The scenery was similar to what you might see in Iowa, crops and strip malls.

Bracebridge is a charming little community. We stayed at a hotel along the river, where just outside a small riverboat does evening cruises. This river also has a cool little trail that allowed me to continue my run streak. We also did some exploring around the area and eventually found a “mom and pop” style restaurant to load up on the carbs, Bill’s Pizza was the perfect place.

Our race prep continued with a trip to the Wal-Mart where we purchased 2 bagels, peanut butter, a banana and the bag to put it in. We then made it back to the hotel as we needed to get some sleep. I am not gonna lie, I was nervous. I was going to attempt my longest distance race ever, a 56k, and I was kinda sorta worried I would get eaten by a bear.

Gear: Adidas boy shorts, Mission Athletic shirt, Orange Mud Endurance Pack, Trekz Titanium, Gatorade Endurance, Rudy Rydon sunglasses, Hawkeye Hat, Brooks Ghost 10, Zensah socks, Coros Pace watch, Moving Comfort bra

July 7th – RACE DAY!!! There was no expo, and only race day bib pick up. The race was on the Limberlost reserve, which was another 45 minute drive or so. We could have camped at the location, but no thanks.

We were encouraged to carpool as there was only so much area for parking. We arrived in time for a great parking spot. There were also port-o-potties set up in the area with a hand washing station.

We walked over to bib pickup. It was under a giant tent, that would serve as race day HQ. All we had to do was give them our names and then we received a bib with timing strip, and had to go pick up our shirts. They were a soft cotton, short sleeve, gender specific shirt, and while the design was the same on each, each distance was a different color.

We had a little time to get our things together before the mandatory pre-race meeting at 7:35. I was able to use the bathroom and spray myself down with deep woods Off. Yes, we were encouraged to bring bug spray.

I would be starting the 56k at 8 AM and Josh would be behind me in the 28k at 8:20. There was also a 14k race which would start in waves after that. Each loop was 14k.

It was time to line up and as luck would have it, I actually lined up next to someone I knew from twitter. We had been discussing the event the week before, and as I searched all morning to find her, we lined up right next to one another. After a few words with Kristi, it was time to start.

The beginning starts on the gravel road into the reserve, it’s not very long. Then the course takes a left and you are into the woods. This is where I became a little nervous. There were quite a few people at the start, and it was a little bunched up. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast, so I was near the back with a bunch of chatty people…but they were all interested in loudly telling their story among themselves. I just wanted to get into a groove.

I some how managed to just be running near people, which was better, but then some older men came behind me and a one asked “do you have back and knee pain?” Seriously, if I wanted a running gait analysis, I would go to a running store. Plus how can you judge a running gait on uneven trail surface?

Then the 28k front runners started to pass. While on unfamiliar trail this really caused some weird anxiety thing. I was just over it. I even went back to look at my heart rate monitor and while I was running more than my other loops, my heart rate was high during this time.

I was now in my head, I did not want to be running this event. Every footstep I heard approaching from behind stressed me out more, I didn’t want to ruin someone else’s race, as it was hard to pass in some of the single track.

Ok, I will talk about the course. It was in and around some lakes, the terrain was always changing. There was spongy forest ground, roots, giant rocks, boardwalks and even some grass sections. The elevation was always changing as well. My watch stats had over 3,500 ft when I was done. The views were beautiful!! The awesome weather and gorgeous scenery really helped get me through.

There were 2 aid stations on each loop, in addition to the start/finish area. The aid stations were stocked with many volunteers. They had water and Heed, which is not my favorite electrolyte drink. There were pretzels, cookies, potatoes, watermelon slices and bowls of salt. There were a few other snacks, but as the day went on, they did eventually run out of things. There were port-o-potties here too.

Ahh I finally came through on loop one. I checked my watch, it took me 2 hours and 15 minutes. I needed to make it 3 loops by 3:30pm, so that is 2:30 hours per loop. In my head I was thinking I now had 2:45 hours for my second loop, however I was also toying with just quitting after the second loop. That first loop didn’t sit well……

After a mile or so in another runner passed me and chatted some encouraging words, something to the affect of “the worst has passed.” I just kept moving forward and following the orange flags. I was also hoping for Josh to catch up to me and maybe he could finish his second loop with me.

The trail was easier to navigate the second time through, I knew what to expect, even though it did seem like a different trail each loop. I managed to get to the finish/start area of my second, but I lost time it took me just over 2:45 on that loop, I wasn’t gaining and would need to do my next loop in exactly 2:30 to continue to the fourth loop.

I did pause after that second loop after some water and a potato to look for Josh. He never passed me and I was worried about him. We did not have international data or phone service, there was no way to contact him. I also had a minute to chat with the RD about not finishing the 3rd loop in time, he was saying that 2 loops are the equivalent of a marathon. I was also losing time, so I didn’t quit and set out on my third loop.

I set in behind some women who were chatting. They were feeling optimistic they would be back in time for their fourth loop. On this loop I knew there would be no way I would make that fourth loop, so I changed my plan and took it all in. This change was when I began to enjoy it all.

I stopped to take photos, I walked A LOT! I ran when I wanted. The next thing I knew I was back behind the chatty women. At this point in the race it was nice to be near someone as people were very spread out and for safety reasons. However, they were annoying, carrying on a loud conversation about their job, even though I had my Aftershokz.

The beauty of the Limberlost reserve is awesome, I am glad I took the time to enjoy.

Eventually another man was behind us. He was on his last loop, but was moving just as slow. Somehow the man and I passed the chatty ladies, and we struck up a conversation. It was nice to take my mind off the climbing through the woods. He was telling me about these crazy Spartan races he does in a 24 hour time frame. It’s not just running but obstacles and what not… and here I am barely getting through 3 loops.

He stepped aside to take a dip in some water, so I pushed on to the end of the loop. The course was all marked in km, and I swear that last km was longer than a mile, it never seemed to end.

I came across the finish line 35 minutes too slow to head out on the 4th loop and I was happy with that. However, when I did cross that line, the volunteer who put a medal around my neck got to hear me say that I did not finish my race. They didn’t want to hear it and said I got a medal. I was mostly ok with this as those who ran 28k also received a medal.

I saw Josh… he had finished his race too and was there to see me run 42 plus km. YAY we had made it.

I wandered over to the post race food. There were a variety of home made salads, apples, grilled chicken, bread for the chicken and a bin of waters and sodas. I don’t care for chicken but loaded up on the salads, which were excellent!!

Josh and I chatted about our races. He sounded defeated, but it was the toughest race he had ever done. I told him that his 2 loops were like running a marathon, and that he did great. He also described the same feeling I had on my first loop, the uncertainty and anxiety.

It was getting late, so we said goodbye to the Limberlost Reserve. We hit up a Tim Horton’s for some celebratory Timbits, and arrived back to the hotel for some hot showers.

Before I carry on about the rest of the vacation, I would like to recommend the Limberlost Challenge to everyone!!! I don’t have trails like this around here, it really challenged me in a way that makes me feel like anything is possible. The price is right, especially since it’s Canadian dollars. The scenery is just awesome!! Also, there were no bears! I know that if it had rained, I might not have liked it as much, but it didn’t.

I also have thoughts about my DNF. Yes, I did not run 56k. I came to peace with that on my third loop. Was I in over my head, perhaps, but I am proud of what I did and even prouder that I did not quit. I also ran a marathon, which gives me 3 marathons in the last 4 weeks. I am sure I learned something along the way too. People rarely talk about slow times or failures, but I will always be honest and celebrate the non victories.

That night we loaded our stats to Strava, and I know I had an overall time of 8:05, but my stats on Strava say 6:31, which I think has something to do with moving time only.

Alright… back to the vacation. We found a little Irish pub in Bracebridge for some post race drink and eat. We were able to sit outside and enjoy the little community.

July 8th – Whoever thought a run streak was a good idea, should reconsider their sanity. The day started off with a mile… OUCH!

Before departing Bracebridge, we stopped at the cutest breakfast place, Nick’s. Even meeting fellow Iowans who vacation there. I also gave the peameal bacon a go.

With the help of google, we were back on the road and headed to Wasaga Beach. It was a touristy little beach town in the middle of nowhere. We were lucky and found a place to park, and even found a sliver of sand to take a break on.

The day was slipping away and we needed to be in Toronto to meet our Airbnb host. Back on the busy road we went, finding our way into a parking spot just before 5pm.

We had a room on the 37th floor of an apartment building with a view of the Sky Dome and CN Tower.  After some chatter with the host, and a warning about the toilet alarm, we went to the waterfront for dinner.

While we didn’t have an international phone plan, every time we would log on to wifi, our twitter feeds would contain Canadian advertisements. Let’s just say they worked as we ventured to the grocery store that evening to grab a bag of Coffee Crisp candy.

July 9th – Tourists in Toronto! I also warned you this was going to be long, so thanks for still reading.

After a run along the waterfront, we ventured to the top of the CN Tower. We were able to get a 360 degree view of the city.

We made it back to the ground and needed some food, we thought we would check out the nearby brewery, but they only had pub pretzels and one beer, a pilsner. So, we decided we would find another place… World of Beer!

This began all the “schelpping” around the city. I made sure to keep my Garmin going all day. We had some trouble finding the location, so we stole the wife at a nearby Starbucks (pro tip) to check the map again. (also once your map loads on GPS, you can turn off your wife/ data and it still works)

We found the place and ordered some craft beers and lunch. It was nice to take a break. We stole more wifi and googled the nearest running store, which took us to our next stop and eventually a new pair of running shoes on clearance – Canadian priced!!

From there wer continued our walking, we saw the Hockey Hall of Fame, but it’s strip mall location made it appear less prestigious, so we skipped a tour and then walked to the Distillery district. After more walking around here, it was time to get back to our apartment. Traveler’s tip – find the place to purchase light rail cards, before boarding the light rail…oops, thanks for the short, free ride!

I was exhausted when we returned. Keep in mind, days before we had just run a tough trail race. My Garmin walking stats had 7 miles of walking through the city. That evening I had a meeting via google hangouts and we enjoyed some takeout. We also had to find out what the Kinder Surpise was all about.

July 10th – Niagara Falls!!

We were hitting all the spots on this vacation, we couldn’t go all this way and skip the Falls. We arrived mid morning, and the place was full of tourists even though it was hot and sunny.

We took all the pictures and ventured back into town where I made sure we went to Niagara Brewing. We were able to sit outdoors and have a view of the falls while we ate. We also had a view of the town which looked like the Vegas strip – lights and signs!

We had to go explore, and we ended up at an arcade collecting tickets on skee ball. After redeeming them for ridiculous prizes, we walked back towards our car, taking in more views of the Falls.

Another full day of being a tourist, it is hard work. Lots of walking!

The day ended back in London, ON. Vacation was coming to an end.

We googled places to eat, we were not satisfied with the chain places near the hotel, even though they were Canadian chains. I found a burger joint in some neighborhood. Josh was skeptical, however after he saw my scallop burger and devoured his buffalo burger, it was his favorite place ever!! Plus they had poutine.

July 11th – It was time to continue the journey back home. A day on the road. We stopped at a liquor store before we crossed the border to grab some Canadian beer. I was kinda nervous as the internet and people tell you different things of what you can bring back.

Minutes later we were at the border crossing, and after declaring the beer and my new shoes, which didn’t seem to be an issue, we were back in Michigan. Which meant back in cellphone coverage. It was nice being off the grid.

It was an uneventful ride home, switching drivers here and there, grabbing coffee and snacks, listening to bad radio. A typical road trip…

There is so much to see an do, whether you like to fly or drive, just get out there and explore. You never know what you will find.

Now… to find a new adventure.

OK… SO I need to pay to have more room for pictures on my blog, or delete old ones… so for now you get these broken photo links… IF you are FB friends with me you can see more vacation photos there. #sendmoney

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 BibRave.com 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! https://www.nugonutrition.com/

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

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