Race Review: Surf City 10 Miler

It’s been 3.5 years since I’ve been to the land of Surf City and in my training quest for the Honolulu Marathon and the need for a weekend get away, I headed off to Huntington Beach for the Surf City 10 Miler. It’s put on by the same people who run the Surf City Marathon and Half Marathon in February (which I’ll also be at!).

I left Friday Morning after a whole 4-5 hours of sleep. The joys of working until 1 am and not falling asleep until 2! Being 15 minutes from the airport is a godsend. I flew into Long Beach Airport (by way of Oakland) and drove about 30 minutes to my hotel and was thankful to miss LAX. After checking in, I headed out for a run to stretch the legs and enjoy the 70* weather, this a stark contrast from gusty winds and 40-50* weather in Spokane

Weekend in Cali

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on

After a shower, I was off to dinner at wine bar down the road and then some time exploring. I may or may not have found a road runner sports and 2 pairs of running shoes…

Saturday, I went to the Expo and picked up my bib and shirt. Surf City is the only race I’ve done where you can get away with having a race expo outside without issues.

A good amount of vendors there, including a running shop where I got a pair of shorts, a pair of spandex and a pair of capris for $70 total (less than the total of the capris!). After finding lunch, I relaxed at the hotel before heading off to church to some some prayers an OSU win and good running weather. What’s better is they also had race day pick up!

Sunday was race day and I was up bright and early. After getting ready, I drove from the hotel to the race start (so much for Uber or Lyft being up and ready at 630 AM). I was to the start by 650 and we were off running at 7 AM. There was the option for the 10 Mile, 10K or 5K. The course itself is out and back with parts that are similar to the Surf City Marathon/Half Marathon. Even though it was cloudy, it was still humid out. Fairly flat with the beach and ocean as your scenery. I thought the water stops were every mile, but they were spread out further than expected (at least for me). shortly after 5 miles, we hit the turn around and were coming back. About 7 miles in, we joined up with the 10K runners and with 1.5 miles, we were picking up the 5K runners. I don’t mind starting first, but part of what I had issue with is the weaving in and out of walkers for the 5K/10K. 10.25 miles later, another run was in the books

The post race bling was awesome, as to be expected for anything Surf City. Post race, food, chocolate milk and water was available. The expo was still up and running.  I walked through briefly prior to heading back to the hotel for a shower and then to find lunch.

I flew to Spokane Sunday night and had fun getting through Long Beach Airport Security. The race medal led to my bag being checked. It got wiped down and set off the alarm that TSA uses to test for whatever they test for, which led to everything getting searched and me getting a full body pat down. Lesson learned, take the medal out of the luggage, just to be safe.

Marathon training continues and Surf City played into weather conditions for Honolulu in more ways than one!


Bibrave Product Review: Generation UCAN Bars

Disclaimer: I received a sample box of UCAN Snack bars from  Generation UCAN as part of being a BibRave Pro.  Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out www.bibrave.com to review, find and write race reviews.

Nutrition and fuel is always something we as runners fight with. We’re always looking for something specific and everyone’s different with flavors, palates, textures, you name it. No one likes buying a whole lot of one thing because of the fear of what’ll happen if you don’t like/tolerate/can’t stand what you bought.

I was given the chance to try Generation UCAN’s snack bars and ended up with Chocolate, Cinnamon and Peach

High profile runners (think MEB) have been using Generation UCAN for sometime and people have been fan of these for a number of reasons.

The snack bars are meant to curve cravings, slowly release sugar into the body instead of quick bursts and help maintain energy. Me personally, I’ve been across the board with what to use while running. I’ve done Paydays, gels, Stingers, you name it, so UCAN snack bars seemed appealing. Part of how UCAN Snack Bars work is they have a super starch that is meant to help with sustained energy and sugar levels throughout the work out. Instead of eating 200-250 calories of your favorite candy (Paydays or Reece’s, this is what you get out of the UCAN Bar (all stats are per bar)

 Calories: 170-190

 SuperStarch: 10-15 grams

Sugar: 5-6 grams

Fiber:  4-5 grams

 Protein 5-6 g

When some of the other nutritional bars are up on sugar and not a lot of fiber and with no super starch, this looks pretty good!

So far, I’ve eaten myself out of the chocolate and cinnamon bars. Wrappers are appealing to the eye, the bars are fairly simple. Other flavors include peanut butter chocolate, coffee and peach

If you're a chocolate fan, go find this. Just saying #bibchat @genucan #dinner

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on

So far, I’m a fan of the chocolate. It runs sweet, but I tend to enjoy sweet things more. I tried this for my last half marathon 2 weeks ago. I ate about half the UCAN snack bar before hand and saved the rest for afterwards. I felt like half a bar lasted about 6 miles for me, but then again, I could have eaten it too close to the start. I didn’t think to bring any on the run with me. I didn’t have texture issues with the chocolate one while eating it. It can be a bit heavy on the flavor side though to some. When I went back to eat the rest of the bar post race, it was partially melted, so these bars don’t necessarily handle heat well.

I’ve also thrown these in my pocket while at work, since I’m not always guaranteed lunch at work (shocker). During one twelve hour shift, I tried one of the cinnamon bars. I wasn’t as much of a fan of the cinnamon. Part of it had to do with what I thought was too much cinnamon in it. When I first tried it, the first thing I thought was it would be perfect for Christmas or Thanksgiving holidays. I couldn’t eat the entire thing in one sitting because there was too much cinnamon in it. I also thought the cinnamon bar had a texture that was slightly off.

Overall, here’s my thoughts on UCAN. Food reviews in general are difficult because everyone is different with how they review them and what their criteria are for liking or not liking.

  • super starches work!
  • UCAN has good flavors, I just think things need to be tweaked a bit to get the right amount of flavor/taste in each bar
  • Personally, I use before or after a run, not during (don’t think they travel well during runs)
  • Low sugar, good amount of protein and fiber

We’ll be chatting it up between pros, bib rave and UCAN on October 11, 2016 at 9 pm EST/6 pm CST, so please join us! In the mean time, go shopping and enjoy 15% off with¬†BIBRAVE

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Bibrave Race Review: Equinox Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Equinox 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!

This past weekend, I got my first weekend away in a long while. I sat for my Internal Medicine Certification Exam on Thursday and promptly celebrated with a ‘racecation’ to Ft. Collins, CO for the Equinox Fall Half Marathon.

Friday afternoon (after much needed sleep and cleaning my house), I flew out to Denver, rented a car and drove an hour to Ft. Collins. I stayed at a Candlewood Suites Hotel, because I still have the resident mentality of where’s the cheapest place to stay. Plenty of space, cable TV for plenty of football and nice people. I found a nice little place called Domenic’s a mile away and went for dinner (if you’re visiting Ft. Collins or live there, go check it out on Harmony St, the Pork Belly appetizer was amazing!).

Saturday morning, I drove down to Loveland for the Kickin’ Kawasaki 5K (different blog post for a different day) before heading to the Loveland Outlets to do mandatory shopping. It’s always a plus to find your running shoes $40 off and some running stuff you don’t need, but convince yourself that you do! Afterwards, I headed for a shower at the hotel and to a sports bar to watch some college football.

Packet Pick Up: fairly small and only from 2-7 pm on Saturday at Sierra Trading Post. The location of it wasn’t the best- it was in a mall type location so parking was limited. It reminded me of why I hate mall parking lots. You also had the option to get your packet mailed to you for $20 or reserve your packet for pick up on race day for $10. All runners received a long sleeved 1/4 zip jacket, however, I was seeing some people not get theirs, so I’m not sure if there weren’t enough and they’d get them mailed to them. The one issue I had with the bibs is that the timing chip was literally taped to the bib (and by taped I mean packing taped). When Sunday rolled around, some people found their bib had no chip attached to their bib. There wasn’t a real expo sort of speak, since there was less than 800 runners for the Half Marathon

The swag of @greeneventscolorado fall equinox half #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on


Race Day

Come Sunday, I woke up bright and early and wanted to throw my phone against a wall a few times. After getting changed and ready, I drove over to Pourde H.S. and parked. Since the race is point to point, runners are bussed to the start, which was at the Mishawaka Amphitheater, a good 45 min drive from the High School. Buses ran from 6-630 from the HS for the half marathon and a little later for the 5 K, which started around the 8 mile mark for the half marathon. No one could be dropped off by personal vehicles and one spectators could be on the busses. After arriving, I dropped my bag in bag check (which would bussed to the finish) and used the port-a-potties. There was also water and coffee available for runners. I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Katherine and we chatted up until the start.

The Course

The race started right at 8, no frills or fan fare to it. Katherine and I separated and off we went. The entire race is downhill, which is nice when you have minimal training. ¬†The course is very scenic and I can see why people like it from that aspect. Having no phone service made it nice to get ¬†into the grove of just running. The first 2-3 miles we had one lane of road to work with, but afterwards, it narrowed to something that seemed to be the length of the shoulder of the road. The roads weren’t that busy, but what made me nervous is that there were blind curves where you couldn’t see if traffic was coming. Since it was a one way in/out sort of situation for traffic, the roads weren’t shut down. From a safety perspective, I wish that a lane of road would have been completely shut down for the race. I also didn’t see any medical on course. I saw a few police on motorcycles, but nothing more than that, not even at the rest stops.

Rest stops were every few miles. Primarily, at miles 3.2, 5, 7.5, 9.2 and 11. The last 3 were placed after the 5 mile start. We never saw any of the 5 mile runners (or at least I didn’t).

Scenes from @greeneventscolorado today. No phone service on course! #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on


Post Race

I finished in 2:37, and quite frankly, given the lack of training, wasn’t bad. The finish was at the basin of the Canyon. At the finish, you received a medal and commemorative glass, which was your cup for water post race. I grabbed my bag and went and found food. Donuts, fruit, bagged snacks, etc were available. Runners received a coupon for a free slice of pizza, which was otherwise $5. It looked good, but the line was long for it, and not worth the wait, especially since I had to get back to the hotel and shower. There were tents set up for vendors and merchandise for runners and spectators. They were also doing awards, which included getting a poster and something engraved. Buses were transporting people back to the HS, which was about 15 minutes or so. I was able to get showered and checked out of the hotel.

Overall, I think it was a decent race. I think the race needs to look at closing off more road so runners have more space and for more runner safety. I also think they need to relook the location of the packet pick up. The line was long early on and getting in and out was a mess. However, it’s a scenic race for sure that lets you enjoy Colorado, especially when it’s nice out

Post race swag from @greeneventscolorado #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on



Destination: Santa Barbara

Running and Wine. Two things in my life that should theoretically go hand in hand. Come May, 2017, I’ll be in Santa Barbara for a weekend of running, wine country and everything in between! Destination Races has eight races, which include locations like Santa Barbara, Virginia, Napa to Sanoma, and British Columbia. All include a race in a place with Wine Country galore!

What’s to look forward in just over 249 days? And why should you look into Running for some wine?!

  1. Good exercise
  2. Post race wine tasting
  3. Scenic running through Wine Country California

Destination also provides a whole bunch of race options: run the whole race, or register as a team. Wine tasting or no wine tasting (but why would you go to wine country and not taste wine?). VIP experiences, extras all weekend.

If this doesn’t sell you, join me in the VIP Experience. Whatcha get?

  • Personalized VIP Race Bib
  • Express Packet Pick-Up at Race Expo with VIP Gift
  • Transportation to Race Start from Select Pick-up Locations
  • Pre-Race Energizing Breakfast Items at Start Line
  • Exclusive Warm-Up & Stretching Zone with Private Restrooms at the Start Line. Start line VIP area provided by¬†The Burger Barn.
  • Private Gear Check with Pick-up at Finish Line VIP Tent
  • Access to VIP Tent at Post-Race Wine & Music Festival
  • Complimentary Invitation to All Race Extra Events
  • Private Wine Glass Pick-Up in Festival VIP Tent
  • Complimentary Recovery Brunch at Festival VIP Tent
  • Post-Race Food & Wine Experience
  • Contribution to Local Charity

Hopefully, this floats your boat! And if it doesn’t take $10 off with¬†BIBRAVE10 and look for us in the orange on race day!

As always, race reviews happen over at Bibrave!


Product Review: What’s Your Buff?

Disclaimer: I received an Original¬†BUFF¬ģ¬†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!

Buff products have become a regular product in my house. So many different options, so many to choose from! Needless to say, when they’re on sale, it’s not good because I find more I like!

Not sure which one to choose? Let me take you on a Buff Tour

  1. The Original Buff: If you’re looking for something long, take a look at this one. Good for headbands, bandanas, neck and ear coverage and for looking like a pirate! Also, good for making hats, and for Moe the cat to get ready for his daily exercise and for you to keep the sweat out of your face!



Check out @buff_usa. It's tried and tested by @life.of.moe. #buffie #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on


2. The Half Buff: Just like the full buff, only half the size! Good for hotter days, or if you don’t like something so long. Easily foldable, washable and based a whole lot of fun designs. Think of 2 of these equal 1 full buff!



3. The Wool Buff: good for cooler and colder weather. Keeps the head and neck warm. Hey, it’s football season, end of biking season and the necks want to keep warm and the sweat off you! Different lengths and different colors to have fun with


4. The Reversible Thermal Buff: Perfect for the Minnesotans, Montanans, Canadians, Alaskans and anywhere with cold, snow and the brave soles who have long, cold winters. Get two fun colors in one, the chance to choose which one you want at any point in time and a warm neck and ears!



5. The Buff Hoodie: Perfect if for some reason your coat is hoodless or it starts raining/ snowing/sleeting/hailing after you’ve gone to work. Even better if you work out after work or lunch and the weather pulled a fast one! Hood with a buff around the neck, that keeps you dry and warm


What’s your Buff??















Happy Fall!

As Fall approaches us, signing up for fall races or finding fun things to wear while working out is always better with some discounts! So enjoy!

Bibrave races I’ll be at!

  1. Equinox Fall 1/2 Marathon and 5 miler (Ft Collins, CO): 10% off with¬†BibRaveRocks: the shirts are fun and I’ll be there!
  2. Honolulu Marathon¬†(Honolulu, HI): $50 off with¬†BIBRAVE.We’re even doing a Bibrave Shake Out Run on 12/9! Learn more here!
  3. Santa Barbara Destination Races (Santa Barbara, CA): $10 off with¬†BIBRAVE10. Who doesn’t like wine anyways?! I’ll be there to enjoy the fun with you!

Some more from around the web

  1. Harvest Marathon: $10 off with BIBRAVE
  2. Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon and 5K: $20 off the half with PHILLYMAG and $10 off the 5K with PHILLYMAG5K
  3. Orange Mud: 10% off hydration packs with DAYOFF10
  4. UCAN Snack Bars: 15% off with BIBRAVE
  5. Jack Rabbit: End of season running sale with extra 20% off with EOSS20. eBates fan? Make sure to go through Ebates or install the cash back button that hangs out next to the browser for another 4% cash back!

BibRave Product Review: xx2i Australia Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of xx2i Australia1 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!

As a runner, you know a good thing once you see it (or run it, try it, etc). When the chance came up to try another pair of xx2i sunglasses, I threw up my virtual hand to volunteer! I’ve tried the xx2i USA¬†and the Hawaii’s¬†and loved both pairs.

My Australia’s showed up in the mail a few weeks ago and was¬†my first official piece of Bibrave Pro mail since moving to Spokane. We had the option of black, black/white and tortoise frames, and I went with the classic black (although the black and whites would have been a good color combination too!).

Decisions, decisions. @xx2i Australia or Hawaii today? #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on

The Australia sunglasses have a polarized lenses, which helps with adjusting to sunlight. It also has a light frame (easy to forget that you’re wearing them), but stay in place the entire time you’re running, running errands or out and about. Additionally, they come with a removal padded insert that can help with extra protection. The insert easily pops in and out (I tried placing and removing the insert a few times, without issue). I haven’t had a need for the insert, so I’ve not used it, but it seems a bit on the bulky side to me (short runner problems!).

I’ve had a chance to wear the Australias¬†on a few runs out in Spokane, where it doesn’t feel like death outside. They really stay in place well and don’t slide around, even without the insert. I’ve also had no issue with lense fogging and the the polarized lenses are spot on! I’m a huge fan of the way xx2i incorporates the light frames and the durability into their products, it really makes them easy to wear and ‘forget’ that you have anything on

Neighborhood run with my @xx2i! Might as well take advantage of heat for @honolulumarathon! #bibchat

A photo posted by Christine (@cginpnw) on

What’s even better about these lenses?? 8K optical technology. In English, it means that you can still get a clear image of what you’re looking at, even with the glasses on (at least that’s what I get out of it :-)).

Taking a rest day or going out and running errands? Feel free to take the Australias with you. They can double as a casual pair of sunglasses that give you the cool casual feel around town (and make people jealous that you have a pair and they don’t). They hold up in the 90+ degree heat in Spokane well and have a good fit to them!

The specifics: they retail for $124.99 and have a lifetime warranty (because xx2i is awesome like that). Also, you get 365 days to try them out and if you’re aren’t satisfied (but I promise you will be), you can return them, no questions asked. And because we love you, use¬†xx2irocks for 50% off (I mean come on, why wouldn’t you want to try them!!).

Join use on 8/16 at 9pm EST/6PST for #bibchat with xx2i! I promise they’ll be around to answer questions and to help you find the best pair of sunglasses for you!




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