Rock n Roll NOLA: the 30 Day Count Down

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Rock n Roll New Orleans 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!

30 Day Alert!!! We’re just 30 days from RnR New Orleans, and I’m beyond excited about going back. I’ve actually done NOLA before, last in 2012 and enjoyed a flat and fast course. It actually was my PR course up until last summer for the half marathon, so I can’t wait to go back to see if I can get under 2 hrs (fingers crossed!).

This year, Rock n Roll has some changes, which sound and look like they’re awesome. First and for most, NO MORE D TAGS! The time chips have been on the shoe for years for RnR events, this while other events have gone to Bib Timing chips. This year, RnR has finally joined the Bib Time Chip clubs. Woot Woot! We’re also getting blown up Corral signs and mile signs, so it looks like things will be easier to see and find. We’ll see how that works out, but I’ve heard good things. Also, Pizza and Messages at the finish…HELLO?!?! I’m already looking forward to that.

Need a better reason to sign up??? Take a look at the Bling for New Orleans! You can walk away with 2 medals if you do the 5K on Saturday and a race (10K/Half or Full marathon) on Sunday.

I’m guessing 6 years is too long to go between trips to New Orleans. It means I have to go back to Cafe Du Monde for beignets, take some time around the French Quarters and hopefully catch up with friends of mine from college and residency. We’ll see!

Interested in running? Hurry and register, as a price increase happens tonight at midnight! Save $15 off the half and full marathon with RNRBRP2018 to knock down the price more before it goes up! 

 

Advertisements

Race Review: F3 Lake Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the F3 Lake Half Marathon 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 made it back from Chicago thawed out and with some more bling! I was excited to go back to Chicago, as the last time I was there was May, 2015 for a friends wedding. I spent 4 years in Chicago for college and consider it a second home, so not being there for 2+ years was rough!

I flew in Thursday night to O’Hare, where we had to sit on the runway until our gate opened up. Normally, I don’t mind taking public transportation, but I really didn’t feel like taking the Blue Line at 10 PM. I took a Lyft to my hotel and got a few things done before calling it a night.

Friday Morning, I headed off after breakfast to pick up my packet. Packet pick up was done throughout the week around Chicago. Fleet Feet and another local running store had various times and packet pickups for people, so race day wouldn’t be chaotic. I was able to take the Brown Line to Old Town and get my Bib at the Fleet Feet there, with no line. It was a race where they assigned your bib as you picked it up. If you got your gear race day, it was a $20 extra charge.

After getting my swag, I walked around some before heading back for a run at the hotel. I went and wondered around downtown, found another base layer at Under Armor and ultimately had dinner with my sister before heading off to see Hamilton.

On Saturday, I was up around 8 AM. I had a light breakfast, changed and headed out to Soldier Field. It tends to be hard to get to, so I caught a Lyft there. We were dealing with increased traffic/road closures because the Women’s March happened to take place the same day as the race, only 2 miles north. After getting to Soldier Field, I went into the United Club and hung out for awhile. I also had the chance to catch up with some other Bibrave Pros before the race.

IMG_6942

Mark and I ended up doing the half and headed out to the corrals at about 945-950. It was separated by times, though some of the volunteers were unhappy when people were trying to get into the faster corral to get to the pace group. We started right at 10 AM (and I semi thought an 11 or 12 start time would have given it a little more time to warm up). The first part of mile 1 was around Soldier Field before it became an out and back course down the Lake Front Path. Even though there was a race going on, we still were running into non racers enjoying the path. The course was relatively flat, though some areas had some slight inclines. Lots of mud and construction areas this year. Another downside was there were areas that got congested, either with too many people around the pacers or having runners going both directions, which slowed me down some.

Aid stations were every 1-2 miles (7 total). All had water and some new/odd sports drink that I didn’t care to try. My thoughts are why stray from Gatorade/Powerade? Didn’t see any gels or anything on course though.

Post Race, you were greeted with fans and volunteers, your medal, water and bananas. I wish that there was a little bit more in terms of the food options though. As I was coming through, I met Andy, who’s also a Bibrave Pro and we chatted shortly. I had to pass quickly through the United Club (check my time, etc) before heading out, as I was meeting up with some friends for lunch in Wicker Park.

There were plenty of vendors set up in the United Club for people to hang out at and get more information from. Additionally, you could check your race results on site. There was also stretching areas and photos being taken (that you can download for free!). F3 also works with Athlinks, so you could claim your results on Athlinks (website or their app) right after the race! I was able to go on the Athlinks App as I was heading back to the hotel and check my results and claim them on the spot (haven’t done it yet, get on it!).

Athlinks App

Overall a good race. I wish there was a little more space to spread out on the Lake Front Path and Gatorade/Powerade over the energy drink that the race provided. Additionally, a little more variety in terms of post race food would have been helpful. I’m glad the weather was nice for January in Chicago (I’ve seen wind chills to negative 30*F in January). A fun race if you’re looking for something to do!

 

The Hoopla over the Hapalua

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 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!

Right now the Eastern Washington can’t make up it’s mind about weather. We’re in some cycle of 40 degrees, some rain thrown in and then hey let’s get cold enough for some snow. Couple that with being in Chicago over the weekend for the F^3 Half Marathon (another post for another day) and running in 30* weather, means I’m ready for some sun, Vitamin D and warmth. Come first weekend in April, I’ll be in Hawaii for the second time in less than 18 months for a racecation and I can’t wait!Boards. I met up with some fellow Bibrave Pros that race and had a blast!

The Hapalua takes place April 8, 2018. I’m guessing some warmer weather will be happening this time around. I’m even more excited that it starts on Waikiki Beach (boom!). I’m also looking forward to Malasadas at the end. We had them at the end of the Honolulu Marathon and they’re to die for!

The course itself starts in front of the Duke statue and goes out Ala Moana Beach towards Honolulu Harbor and Aloha tower before coming back along the beach. Afterwards, you get a chance to go up and around Diamond Head and back down to the start/finish area.  Word of warning. It’ll be flat and fast a majority of the race until you get to Diamond Head. Then you get some hills, so you’ve been warned!

This trip is going to be a shorter trip for me as I’ll leave late that night (I found really cheap tickets to Holland from Seattle, what can I say). However, I would like to hike Diamond Head this time around. In 2016, I was trying to not beat myself up to badly before the marathon (the marathon beat me bad regardless). If you have a chance, go visit Pearl Harbor. I had a chance to visit and go out to the Arizona during the 75th Anniversary events back in 2016, and it’s something to see.

Local to Hawaii? Register for the King’s 10K as a training run. This happens on March 4th, so chop chop to get signed up! Looking for a Hawaiian get away in April? Sign up for the Hapalua and save 10% with BIBRAVEHAPALUA. Price goes up at the end of February for the Hapaula, so there’s still time!

Run CRANDIC

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Run CRANDIC 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!

New year means some new races and knocking off some new states off my half marathon state list. Considering I’m from the Midwest and spent a whole lot of years between and Ohio and Illinois, I’m surprised I haven’t made it out to Iowa for a race. That changes this year with the Run CRANDIC Half Marathon! This year is the inaugural year for this race, which makes it even more exciting.

What do you have to choose from? A 5K, Half Marathon or Full Marathon over what I hear will probably be some hills in Iowa. The Full Marathon starts in Cedar Rapids, while the Half marathon starts in North Liberty, at about the half way point of the Marathon (makes sense right?). Both end in Iowa City at Kinnick Stadium (yes, I’m an Ohio State Fan, but I’m always a fan of visiting different stadiums regardless of teams :-)). How does the race get it’s name? It Starts in Cedar Rapids and (AND) ends in Iowa City.

Since it’s a point to point race, there’s shuttles to the start (one to the half, one to the full). Be sure to get on board for this now (it’s free!) to get your spot saved! Did I mention it’s a free shuttle?!?

Be sure to follow Run CRANDIC on Facebook, IG and Twitter. Head over to the registration page to get signed up for the party and save 10% with BibRave18! 

F3 Lake Half Marathon: Race Week!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the F3 Lake Half Marathon 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! I feel like I just had one :-). I’m heading back to Chicago for the first time in 2.5 years and it happens to be in the middle of winter. Not like I’m not getting a bunch of winter in Chicago.

Here’s some good pre race week tips!

  • Packet Pick up is happening all this week throughout Chicago. Typically at a Fleet Feet! For the full schedule, check out the pick up link
  • If you’re driving in Race Day, on 1/20, check out directions on how to get there or where to park. If you’re in Chicago, take the CTA. It’s probably the easiest outside of Lyft/Uber!
  • Swag, It’s awesomeScreen Shot 2018-01-13 at 9.53.31 PM

After living in Chicago for 4 years for college, there’s also plenty to do. Needless to say, when you’re a poor college student, you take advantage of the free stuff, however, no matter your budget, take advantage of the city

Things to see and do

  • Millenium Park and the Bean
  • Broadway Shows. A Christmas present for me is finally being able to see Hamilton. Wicked is another option (we somehow mustered discounted tickets in college, which was awesome!)
  • Comedy: Second City
  • Sports: The Bulls and The Blackhawks are in season currently!
  • Museums: The Art Institute, Museum of Science and Industry, Loyola Univ. Museum of Art (LUMA, Go Ramblers!), Adler Planetarium are just a few
  • Visit the Water Tower
  • Look around Navy Pier
  • Looking for more? Check out Choose Chicago

Still looking to register? Hurry before it closes!  Save $6 off the half with bibrave13 and $5 off the 5K with bibrave5!

Race Review: Hot Chocolate 15K San Francisco

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate 15K race 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 weekend, I found myself in San Francisco for the Hot Chocolate 15K. Last year, I was in SF for the race and weather made it interesting. Interesting enough to where it was only a 5.9 mile race, instead of 15K.

I flew into SF Friday afternoon after adulting Friday morning. I got in around 530 PM and took a Lyft to the South San Francisco Conference Center, the same place where the expo was held last year. It was easy enough to get in, get my bib assigned, pick up my pull over and to search the expo. It was on the smaller side, same as last year. Plenty of local Bay Area races were there, as were supplements, etc. RxBars were there with free (full sized) samples and discount codes (score!). There was an area to try on spare HC15K pull overs and if you wanted to exchange sizes. I ended up going from a medium to a small. I spent 30 min total in the expo before heading off to the hotel.

I spent time at the hotel, got dinner and caught an early night. Saturday morning, I was up bright and early at 630 with no alarm and ended up going for a quick breakfast a small (think 5-10 table) restaurant across from the hotel I had found last year in SF. I ended up going to an Orangetheory Fitness class, coming back to shower and then going down to the Piers. I went around Fisherman’s Warf, The Ferry Building, Ghirardelli Square and watching some street shows while I was at it. After going to church and having dinner, I went and watched some good basketball. I also checked out Athlinks to see who else was running the race and what their goal times were to see if I’d be able to beat them (not competitive at all!).

Sunday morning, I woke up and got ready fairly quickly. I couldn’t decide what I wanted to wear since it was suppose to be 40s-50s, but I opted for long tights and a long sleeved base shirt underneath my Bibrave Tech shirt. I walked over to Union Square and the Westin, where there was a line at 620 for shuttles to Golden Gate Park. I probably waited 20 minutes total to board the bus. At one point, they were calling any 5k runners to get on (since their race started at 720 AM) so they could get to the start in time. My thoughts are it’s not my fault if you can’t time manage. It took 15-20 min to get to the start. After unloading I walked over to gear check and ended up meeting fellow Bibrave Pros Barb and Steph. Steph happened to be pacing the 15 min mile runners

I ended up adding some arm warmers, stopping for a bathroom pitstop and checking my gear before heading to the start. I was in the first corral so it wasn’t that bad of a wait. The 15K had corrals H-N (A-G was the 5K) and were let out ever 30-60 seconds to space things out. Pacers were in each corral, though got confusing because you could get pacers of the same time in different corrals (9 min/miles in H and I corrals for example). Race got started on time and off we went. The first 5K or so was in Golden Gate Park and on paved trails. A little bit of hill, but not anything terrible. after 5K, we headed out along some of the neighborhood roads with the outer portion being the ocean. Only in a coastal city can you say you have to watch for surfers crossing. It was a straight shot out before we U Turned and came back towards the park. After the 10K mark, we had a little bit more along the ocean before cutting back into Golden Gate Park for the last 2 miles and change. I can see why the course got shorten last year, because the winds at minimum would have been rough. The last 5K, my legs were tired and done. Not enough pasta the night before is what I’ll blame it on. Regardless, I ended up finishing in 1:25:51, which was a 4.5 minute PR for me. Too bad my trainer didn’t bet burpees with me.

On course, aid stations were every 1.5-2 miles. Water and Nuun were at every station. Not going to lie, not a nuun fan and wish it were a gatorade or Powerade. Also some sort of chocolate (chips, M&Ms, Marshmallows). Downside to aid station set up was they were only offered on one side of the road. I missed the first two chocolate stations because I couldn’t get over to get them.

IMG_6803

Post race, you were directed from the chutes back to the initial gathering area. Some vendors like Rx Bars, Make A Wish and some other tents. The only down side of the expo was the Gear Check and the Finisher Mugs were completely opposite ends of each other. I feel like I should have done the finisher mug first and then gear check, since gear check was closer to the exits toward the shuttles. Lines were quick for the finisher mugs. Be prepared for bananas, Rice Krispies, pretzels, hot chocolate and chocolate sauce.

Swag: Everyone got a pull over from the expo and then a HC medal post race. Not a fan of the medal this year. Last year, the city was incorporated more on the medal. This year, it was a generic HC medal with a key chain attached. Almost felt like a way to ‘save money’ without personalizing the medals. I’ve done HC races in Minneapolis, Columbus, Seattle and San Francisco and medals were more city specific in years past comparatively speaking

Overall, glad the weather behaved this year.  Had a good time getting a new PR and meeting up with some Bibrave Pros. I was able to compare my time from prior 15ks (whether it be Hot Chocolate Series or other 15Ks) on Athlinks based off what I knew my time from this year to be. I could add my own time, but I’m still waiting for my results from this year to post (hang tight, sometimes it takes a bit for results to show up!). I really wish you’d get a good tour of San Francisco with this race. All I feel like we got was Golden Gate Park and the Ocean. There’s a lot to see in SF that you don’t get to see on this race if you’re coming from out of town. Also wish they’d have Powerade on course and go back to fun medals for each city like they have in the past.

 

Dallas 10K

It’s been just over a month since the Dallas 10K and Marathon. I had a blast of a weekend, but never wrote about my 10K experiences. I arrived in Dallas the Friday before race weekend and was able to beat weekend traffic. I took an Uber to the hotel, got checked in and robbed off my bags. I ended up walking over to the expo to pick up my bibs, shirts and all that fun stuff. The Convention Center was about 1/2 mile from where I was staying, so it was a quick trip. I found the expo on the second floor of the Convention Center. I got my marathon bib and 10K as well as my shirts, poster and socks for doing the challenge. I as I was wrapping up, the fire alarm started going off. Not going to lie, we kind of ignored it at first. Convention Center personnel started coming through the expo and having everyone evacuate. We headed outside where we waited. And waited. And waited some more. I headed over to a restaurant that was attached to a near by hotel. I could see people being pushed back some more and then police showed up. Turns out, there was bomb threat in the convention center, leading to the evacuation. I hung out until about 530, when it was ultimately closed down for the night.

There were people who were on their way in for the expo, especially since if you were running the 5K or 10K on Saturday, you had to get your bib on Friday at the expo. What ended up happening was the Dallas Marathon organizers had bib pick up race morning and post race shirt pick up at the Expo. Then again, some people weren’t thrilled with this, but it was something.

I worked my way into the corrals, which wasn’t that well marked at the back in on where to go. Once you were in, the 10K could go to either side. The race itself started at 8 with the 5K following at 820 AM. Shalane Flanagen was at the start and gave us all a pep talk before joining the 10K. We were off and running and at some point during the first mile, I was side by side with Shalane for a whole 1/10th of a mile. Before I was next to her, I had seen someone pass me bringing out their phone, which should have been my first clue to pull out mine. Though I didn’t get a picture, I can say I ran with Shalane. I’ll take it. We went out about a mile and a half before doubling back into town and going down Main Street. We turned on Walton before coming back on Canton and Commerce Street.  The course was flat overall, and I ended up finishing under 56 minutes and PRing by 20 seconds without trying.

After you finished, you were sent to medals and water. If you were doing the weekend series (a race on Saturday and a race on Sunday), you stopped by a tent in the chutes to pick up a wrist band to present on Sunday for your extra medal and your jacket. You then were directed to food boxes and then towards the exit.

Overall, a good race I think. Pretty well run for a first time event and weekend series. I wish they’d let other people pick up bibs for other runners at the expo, as I think that’d help with some of the pick up frustrations some people had. If you’re ever in Dallas, look this race up for sure!

50 in 50 Marathon Quest

A fun look at life and running in the Pacific Northwest and my journey to run a marathon in every State.

Daddy, Did You Win?

Juggling being a husband, a father, work, and running

franklyrunning

Follow my journey in running, hiking, biking, and the outdoors!

Out Running

outrunning our goals together

athlettuce

Eating Plants and Running the 50 States

Mountain Maven

My outdoor adventures in the Last Frontier

Angie Runs

3.1 - 6.2 - 13.1 - 26.2 - 50k

for the love of nike

for the love of nike

The Fit Wanderer.

forever wandering

Kara Runs

Wellness. Happiness. Balance. Motivation. Encouragement.

Keny'inz 2012

"Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied." Matthew 5:6

the fight and flight response

running through the wall, one goal at a time

Simple Speedy Snacks

Recipes and stories about snacking

bearrunner

Just another WordPress.com site

Fear The Hat

Because I don't just report the news...No, actually, that's it. I just report sports news.

Run The Long Road

hard work, determination, and a little luck...

f my injury [dot] com

Screw being hurt. It's time to get healthy.