Bibrave Movie Review: GODSPEED

Disclaimer: I received an opportunity to see and review GODSPEED prior to it being released in theaters 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!

In the PNW, it’s finally deciding to warm up. It decided to go from 40s/50s to the 70s in 30 seconds (or a few days), but I’m not complaining! I’m in the mist of Ironman Training and most of biking has been my Peloton since the weather hasn’t been cooperating as of late. Normally I come on and talk about races I’ve run or products I’ve tested, but we were presented with a unique chance to catch a sneak peak of GODSPEED, The Race Across America. If you think running a marathon or doing an Ironman is difficult, try biking across America (I’m pretty sure this beats out an ultra marathon). I watched the movie a few weeks ago, but feel like I needed some time to really think about the movie

The Background

GODSPEED follows two cyclists (Jerry Schemmel and Brad Cooper) as they ride as a 2 man team across the US as part of probably the longest Endurance event I’ve ever heard of, The Race Across America (think 3000 miles). The catch? Competing against other 2 and 4 man teams to complete this sucker in 7 days. Mind Blown. Think about it, 3000 miles, 12 states, 170,000 feet of climb all in 9 days maximum. NINE  DAYS. Solo racers? You get a whole 12 days. Mind. Blown. On top of that, you’re dealing with the elements, an open course and trying to figure out where you’re at in relation to your competitors.

Who Does This

It sounds crazy, and likely something I wouldn’t do. But, there are crazy endurance junkies out there, so Kudos to them! Schemmel and Cooper ride as a team supporting Enduring Hope, an organization with goals to build orphanages in Haiti.

Take Aways

If you’re looking to see what some grit, team work/camaraderie, strength and a little bit of faith can do, go see this movie. There are some spots where the faith/Christianity theme is obvious, but it’s not overwhelming (think a prayer or two trying to get the two cyclists through the race).

My Thoughts

Overall, a well done movie. I don’t want to give away who wins, who finishes, who doesn’t, etc, but for any endurance buff, this is a good movie to go and see. To see what goes into something that’s a pretty decent sized endurance event is insane. You’re on the edge of your seat trying to figure out which 2 person team will win, will any 2 person team beat 4 person teams, who will finish, who doesn’t. Expect some twists and turns, some correct turns, coupled with some missteps and circumstances (like weather and mechanical issues) out of the riders control. Faith weaves its way into the film, but it’s not intense or overpowering.

Interested? Not Convinced? Take a look at the teaser

GODSPEED comes to theaters on May 22, 2018. Tickets are on sale through Fathom Events. To find a location and purchase tickets, head over here and get on board!

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RUNCRANDIC Race Week!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Run CRANDIC as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aBibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Race week is here for RUNCRANDIC! Not signed up yet?! What are you waiting for??? Be sure to sign up before 11:59 CST tonight online so you don’t miss all the fun (and Bibrave18 saves you 10%).

Now that we’ve gotten the hurry up and register before you miss out on this inaugural race, here’s some things to be on the look out for this weekend!

Not quite there in terms of being ready to run? Volunteer! We’re still looking for some help in terms of packet assembly, packet pick up, aid stations, parking and traffic control. Wonder how to sign up? Take a gander at these websites. We’ll love you more for it@

The fun stuff. Some shake out runs are happening on Saturday (4/28/2018). There’s a group meeting in Cedar Rapids and from Iowa City (I have a feeling I’m going to see a lot of Kinnick Stadium this weekend). If you’re in town/local or just looking for something to do, come run with us!

The Logistics 

Packet pick up happens Friday and Saturday. Can’t make it to the expo? Someone can pick up your bib it up for you

Friday, April 27: 12:00pm-9:00pm at  Robert A. Lee Recreation Center, Iowa City

Saturday, April 28: 12:00pm-7:00pm at NewBo City Market, Cedar Rapids. Also be on the look out for the Expo (same location) with a pre race party

Sunday, April 29: NO MARATHON RACE DAY PICK UP! The half marathon pick up will start at 630 at the University of Iowa Community Credit Union. The 5K pick up starts at 730 AM at Northwest Junior High in Coralville

And what’s a race without a party! Post race party all day (or at least from 10A-6P) at Big Grove Brewery in Iowa City.

RunCRANDIC has provided some useful information for runners and spectators, as there’s good information about parking, the weekend, start times, etc.

Photos: FREE downloads available after the race (give them a few days post race to get them up). But they’re FREE!

Be sure to follow RunCRANDIC on social media. They’re providing updates on Twitter and Facebook.

 

 

Bibrave Product Review: CTM Band

Disclaimer: I received  a CTM Band 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’m well known to beat my legs up. I may like to do my fair share of endurance events, and to top it off, I hate foam rolling, despite the necessities of doing it. I’ve been fairly lucky that I’ve only had 2 IT band injuries over the course of my running life, and that was when I had no idea what I was doing. Enter my new friend, the CTM Band.

 

CTM stands for Compression, Tension and Movement. The goal? Increase flexibility, decrease muscle pain by simultaneously having compression, tension and movement. The goal? Quicker recovery by targeting specific areas that are sore and tight.

How To Use the CTM Band

  • When you first get the CTM Band, it’s wrapped on itself. Unwind it and choose which part of body needs some TLC
  • On the CTM Band are 4 half golf ball type balls. Align them with what’s sore
  • Wrap away and do it tight, because let’s face it, tight is good (but not beyond painfully tight).
  • Keep it on for 2 minutes and take it off
  • Need a visual? Take a lookhttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qEH8_iOtjG8

 

CTM band was developed by Dr. Kyle Bowling, a Chiropractor and former D1 Athlete. It’s goal is to help with soreness and trigger points, as well as help with recovery/treatment of injuries such as plantar fasciitis, IT Band Injuries, and large muscle group tightness. Let me tell you, he’s on to something. With the amount of endurance training I’ve been doing, coupled with my love (or not) of taking days off, the legs get tired, sore and a bit beat up. I’ve come home on more than one occasion and wrapped my CT Band on to a few different areas for 2 minutes each to get some muscle relief. It helps with the tired and helps loosens things up in multiple areas. I feel like I’ve decreased the amount of foam rolling I’ve had to do because of this (it takes 2 minutes. TWO MINUTES. to use).

What else I like about the CTM Band? You can modify the amount of attachments on it. You can have 1 attachment or all 4 depending on what area you’re looking to treat. They easily unscrew and detach from the band itself. Larger muscle groups? Go with all 4 attachments. Smaller muscle groups or a more specific area? remove 2-3 attachments and only have 1-2 on the band for more isolated therapy. I’ve used it mainly on my quads, hamstrings, IT bands and calves with some good relief.

Pros of the CTM Band

  1. Target relief
  2. Travel sized (though I’m not sure it’ll make it through airport security)
  3. Adjustable
  4. Lifetime guarantee (something breaks? It’ll be replaced)

One thing I hope CTM Band looks at is maybe doing a version a of the CTM Band with a band that’s wider (think the width of a 4″ ACE Wrap) for some of the larger leg muscle groups. I feel like things may stay better in some instances or you may even be able to hit a little bit more.

Overall though, I like it. I think it’s a good product that is filling a void in the endurance community. Want to give it a try? Use CTMBIBRAVE to save 20% off through their at https://ctm.band/collections/all!

Bibrave Race Review: The Hapalua

Disclaimer: I received free entry into The Hapalua as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming aBibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Holy heat and humidity of Honolulu! I made it through a few days of Hawaii and lived to tell my tale of Hapalua 2018 (an honest win in my book). I flew out to Honolulu Friday morning. For some reason, a 545 AM flight after working until 7 pm the night before seemed like a good idea (it’s really not) and this was only leg one of the trip (leg two is to Amsterdam. Talk about different climates). I ended up getting in around 1 PM HST. My flight from Seattle ended up leaving an hour late because it was late coming in from wherever it came from. At least I know the places I can hide. My bags made it in one piece all the way to Honolulu and after getting my checked back from baggage claim, I picked up a taxi to the hotel. I checked in and cut lose for a run along the beach. Sitting for 6 hours on a plane tightens me up pretty good, so I ended up getting in a good 5 miles. It’s amazing what running in sun, tank tops and shorts can do after not being able to wear them outside for a good 6 months. Thanks Washington. I ended my run around the Convention Center so I could pick up my packet. I did the Honolulu Marathon in 2016, and the Expo was smaller, though I don’t think there were as many runners with Hapalua. Some local running stores, etc. It was easy in and out. You picked up your bib, followed by going to a second table for your shirt. They had a third area with clear bags if you planned on checking gear at the start area. I went back to my hotel, showered and found some dinner before walking around some on the beach and enjoying some Friday Night Fire Works.

Not even 12 hours and a completely different Honolulu view from my room!

A post shared by Christine (@cginpnw) on

Saturday, I started off with an open water swim. Because what’s a vacation if you can’t try something new, like swimming 1.25 ish miles (2000 meters/2K) in the ocean to try and get some triathlon training in. Find out how that went over here. Afterwards, I kept things easy and enjoyed Waikiki and the beach some. I also went wetsuit searching, but couldn’t find what I was looking for. I ended up going to 5 pm mass and getting dinner at Hula Grill before calling it a night.

Sunday morning meant getting up at 430/5 AM for a 6 AM start time. Kind of nice still being somewhat on PST time since the start felt like 9 or so, but I was still a bit tired. My only regret was not staying closer to the start because it was a good 1.25 miles to the Duke Statue, where the race started. Part of what The Hapalua does is something called the Chase. It’s Hawaiian runners vs the Elites with the Elites trying to run down the Hawaiians (fun idea, I think).The Chase this year had a 24 minute handicap, so some runners started around 5:36 AM, with varying starts up until 5:54 or 5:56 this morning. The elites started at 6 AM with the rest of us. I missed watching the start of the Chase though, because of the time it took me to get to the start.

Weather. Oh weather. Be ready for heat and likely some humidity. It was in the 70s with about 70% humidity today. I’m glad the rain held off though.

One thing that needs worked on though is the start. It’s kind of a hot mess. There’s no division of runners and no corrals, which actually makes the first mile difficult. There were walkers at the front and people who were inappropriately placing themselves faster than they were, so faster runners were trying to not run over other people. If there could be some sort of corral system like for the Honolulu Marathon or other races in general, it would make life a lot easier.

The course is fairly flat for the first 9 miles or so. You start in front of the Duke Statue and head along Kalakaua Avenue to Ala Moana Blvd and the Nimitz Highway. You pass Ala Moana Beach Park, the Harbor and Aloha Tower before turning and coming back some on King Street. You make some turns and double back on Ala Moana and it’s kind of fun seeing runners come towards you. If you time it right, you can see some of the chase happening on the way out on Ala Moana Blvd. Over the next few miles, you end up back on Kalakaua Avenue and you get some crowd support there. You pass the Duke Statue and head towards Waikiki and Kapiolani Park. Here, you pass the 9 mile mark and start making the trek around Diamond Head. Be ready for some hills/incline because you don’t realize how much there is until it’s there. Or, like me, you forget what the hills were like during the Honolulu Marathon because you chose to forget that part of the race. You have some pretty decent incline from miles 9 to 10, some downhill before heading back up again at mile 11 for about half a mile. After that, it’s all downhill along Diamond Head. The last part of the race takes you along some neighborhoods and into Kapoilani Park, same finish as the Honolulu Marathon. You were greeted with medals and water misters (so needed). Afterwards, when I was walking back to the hotel, though, you could see more than a bunch of walkers still on course who had to move to the sidewalk as traffic opened back up.

Aid stations on course: It felt like every 2 ish miles or so, give or take. I felt like they needed more because it was so hot and humid on course. Hard to stay hydrated when the water stations are so spread out. They had water at all of them, gatorade at most of them and gels at 1-2 of them.

What happened with The Chase you ask? One of the Elites ended up winning and passed the final Team Hawaii runner in the last half mile. Close!!!

Post Race: plenty of entertainment, food, drinks and things to do. Or just relax. You were given your medal as you came through the finisher chute, you were given your medal. In typical fashion, you don’t know what the medal looks like until you finish (or if you check social media while you’re still on course). They also had water misters which was so needed. Food wise, there was shaved ice, malasadas (alllll the malasadas), moon pies, water and pineapple juice. I would have loved some chocolate milk though!!!

Results: Find them over here to find them. Also, go over to Athlinks and claim your results! Not on Athlinks, join for free and then claim them!

Afterwards, I hiked back to the hotel and took a much needed shower. It’s nice getting back to the hotel at 9 AM, as opposed to like noon. I was able to get a later check out and found a laundry mat to wash my clothes. I’m not spending time in Europe with running clothes I was peeling off because of sweat and humidity! Best money I spent all trip other than the money to get here!

Overall, a great race. I just wish the start and the aid stations would be looked at, because they could use some work. If you’re looking for a Hawaiian race, look up the Hapalua!

Race Review: Honolulu Fin Swim Open Water Race

Hawaii and all of it’s warmness. I can’t even begin to explain how much I needed 80* temperatures, sun, being able to wear shorts and flip flops and walk around not needing to bundle up. Even going for runs in shorts and a tank top does numbers for me, since I’ve been bundling up all winter. I primarily came out for the Hapalua Half Marathon, but also started looking up some open water races a week and change ago. I’m in the mist of Ironman Training, and the only swims I’ve done ever (even going back to swim team as a kid), have been pool swims. I came across the Waikiki Swim Club page and by chance, they had a 2000 m (read 2K, 2187 yrd, 1.242 mile) open water swim today. Sold, sign me up! I figured it would give me a good chance to see how I do swimming in open water over a pool and to get a better feel of how I’d time and what I need to work on for the swim portion of future triathlons.

750The race started at 8 AM and was close enough to my hotel where I walked over around 630 this morning. I was kind of worried about being able to find it because check in was in one of the parks so I was glad when things were visible enough to see and figure out where to go. I had 10 different alarms set, but really needed none of them since I fell asleep fairly early and was up at 530 AM (it felt like 830 PST to me, so it’s a win win!). Check in was quick and easy, and after getting my shirt, I got my number drawn on my left arm and picked up my ankle time chip. Having that on kind of felt like someone being on parole or jail monitoring, but what can you do. I hung around the finish area and got somewhat situated. There was no official bag check, but most people had their stuff  out without much of an issue. At 750, we had pre race announcements before heading into the water for a water start. It was a fin race (you know, those flipper things you wear while snorkeling), but I didn’t go that route. I was more worried about trying to figure out the open water situation

The horn went off at 8 AM and I fell into the let everyone else go ahead of me so I don’t panic and freak out. The course was 1000 (1K) out and back along the Pacific Ocean in the Ala Moana Beach Park area. After I let most people get out of the start, I tried to find my groove. It was hard to get your bearings since you’re actively trying to swim and at the same time look at the course floating devices to make sure I was going in the correct location. My problem is I breath to the right and anything floating we had to care about was on our right shoulder. I definitely drifted on more than one occasion to the other side of the course on the way out and nearly ran into a few people, but it happens. I think I did about half freestyle/half breast stroke because I was trying to not freak out about anything (and I’m pretty sure the lifeguards on course may have been a little worried at first). When I hit the turn around, I was at about 29:30. On the way back, it was easier to deal with since I had calmed myself down and knew at least what was coming. I was figuring out ways to find something down course that was a course marker to look at too every few strokes so I could not go further than I needed to. I ended up finishing in 1:01:24, which I’ll take. Me being me, I somehow had that the half ironman swim time cut off was an hour and the full ironman cutoff was 2 hrs. How I got to this I have no idea, but I’ve had these stuck in my head for the past 4 months so I initially was a bit bummed because I figured if this were a legit Ironman/Half Ironman I’d be pulled off course. Shocker (to me), I really have an an hour 10 minutes for the Half and 2 hours 20 minutes for the full. At least I figured that out now and not race day.

Overall, I thought things went well. I didn’t drown, I finished, there wasn’t any waves or storms, no sharks to speak of and I didn’t finish last! Too bad I don’t live somewhere where I can do more open water swimming. It could be fun!

The Hapalua: The Chase is On!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into The Hapalua 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!

Race week is here! I’m so excited to be getting on a plane on Friday for Honolulu. The cold and dreary of winter in the Inland Northwest takes its toll on you and work has been on the crazy side.

Here’s some things to look for this weekend!

Packet Pick Up: At the Hawaii Convention Center

  • Friday, April 6 10 AM to 8 PM
  • Saturday, April 7 9 AM to 4 PM

Shake Out Run with Team Hawaii and the Elites

This year, Team Hawaii takes on the Chasers (Elite) to see who can win this thing. Saturday, April 7 at 8 AM, meet up with the Chasers and Team Hawaii for a shake out run in Kapioloni Park

What’s the Chase?

The best local runners take on the professionals (Elites). The Locals get a head start while the Chasers try to run them down. Team Hawaii gets a 20 (ish) minute head start before the rest of the field starts at 6 AM! Read up on the Elites and the Hawaiians here!

Things to Do In Honolulu

  1. Diamond Head: take a hike and enjoy some views!
  2. Pearl Harbor: A must. I went in 2016 when it happened to be the 75th anniversary of the bombing of Pearl Harbor
  3. Try some Snorkeling, surfing or paddling
  4. Be crazy like me and do a 2000 meter open water swim (gotta get into Ironman shape some how!)
  5. Waikiki Beach: if you hit it right, you can get some good sunset pictures!
  6. Ioloni Palace: who knew Hawaii it’s own monarchy at one point?

Not registered yet?? Register at the Expo! Hope to see you there and look for the Bibrave Orange!

 

Race Review: Tobacco Road Half Marathon

I finally got North Carolina off my Half Marathon List! Bibrave teamed up with the Tobacco Road Marathon/Half Marathon in Cary, NC; however, I ran via paying my own way (and using the BibRave discount :-)). I actually was suppose to fly out the Thursday before the race, but had some last minute schedule changes and was able to change my flight to Friday after picking up a few shifts at work. After hitting the gym Friday morning and catching a shower, I bolted over to the airport and took off to RDU via MSP. I landed just before midnight. The hotel was about 15 minutes away from the airport, and by chance, it was also the host hotel for the Tobacco Road Marathon.

I somehow was able to sleep until 930 AM the next morning, and it was so needed. I went down for some breakfast (can’t beat free!) and ended up walking to the conference area to packet pick up. We had been emailed our bib numbers earlier in the week, but somehow a bulk of us were emailed the wrong number, so we had to check on a paper print out what our bib number was. After entering and picking up your bib, if you paid for a parking pass during online registration (the best $10 you can spend on this race), you went to a separate table to pick that up. After bib (and +/- parking pass), you went to a third section to get your bib. Gripe: if you had bought a parking pass for the start/finish area, I would have loved for it to be with your bib at the bib pick up. One less thing for me to miss.

Shirts. Something else I’m going to gripe about. I’m really not a fan of the Bella shirts, as they’re literally 2 sizes two small. I got a women’s small not realizing the manufacturer of the shirt and couldn’t even fit into it, but there was no shirt exchange at the expo. If you wanted to exchange shirts, you had to lug it with you to the race and find the shirt exchange booth. Another step that was unnecessary. I wish something would have been available at the expo!. The expo itself is small. Some local vendors and races. I didn’t get anything extra, but if I lived closer some of the races seemed like something I’d go sign up for.

I ended up going for a run and got my miles in for the NYRR Virtual 10K that I had signed up for before heading off to lunch and church. I then promptly found a place for dinner and parked myself at the bar to watch Loyola Chicago (my Alma Mater) play in the second round of the NCAA tournament and somehow win to get to the sweet 16 (spoiler alert, we’re going to the Final Four!). I went back to the hotel and caught the end of the game before calling it a night.

Race day, I was up bright and early. For some reason, it was recommended you get to the race 90 min before hand if you drove there. Best decision ever to have a parking pass, because I ended up parking at 6 AM and hanging out in the car for 45 minutes. There was a shuttle option that picked up runners at the Net App site and took them to the US Baseball Training Center, but you hung out in darkness and coldness if you took the shuttles. Another perk would have been to have heaters or something to keep people warm at the start, especially at 6 AM. Plenty of port a potties, however, the Baseball field was open so I hijacked the field bathrooms instead (as did a bunch of other people).

Race started at 7 AM. The first 2-2.5 miles, the half and full ran together before splitting on the Tobacco Road. The first 2-2.5 miles did have some incline to it. The main part of the race (8 miles total) was on the America Tobacco Trail. Be ready for some gravel/packed pavement or dirt type material. I can’t even describe it. You did a 4 mile out and 4 mile back on the ATT and it got really congested at points because the half was passing each other and then you also started getting the marathoners coming on the back half of their course. It actually made it really difficult to pass. On course, I passed 2 fellow Bibrave Pros, Lissy and Ted. Kinda bummed I didn’t get a picture! After you got off the ATT, you doubled back on the 2.5+ of road back to the USA Baseball Complex. The hills felt worse and it was definitely colder the last 5K of the race.

Aid Stations: every 1-1.5 miles or so of the race with mixes of water, gatorade and gels.

The Finish: Plenty of medals, some water/food. In the post race area, there was chocolate milk, Papa John’s Pizza, some food trucks and a beer garden. There was also an area to get your results and hang out. At 930, there wasn’t much going on. I tried sticking it out to see if things picked up, but no such luck. I ended up heading back to the hotel to warm up because I was freezing.

I’m really on the fence on this one. I felt like the race was crowded in some areas, the shirt issue needs to be looked at (please, just get a different vendor!) and I wish shuttles to the race would have left from a closer location that wasn’t NetApp (what about the host hotel??).  Also, something to keep people warmer at the start would be a plus. Like I said, I could go either way on this race….

 

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