Onward Shay: Who’s coming to Boise With Me?

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Onward Shay Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Fall’s essentially here, even though the calendar doesn’t say so as of yet. The sun is coming up later in the morning and I’m throwing on sweatshirts on in the morning on my way to work. For me, fall means marathon training of some sort. This year I’m heading back to the NYC Marathon for the Animal Protective League (head over here to donate). As part of my tapering races, I’m running the Onward Shay Half marathon a week before NYC Marathon.

I’ve lived in Washington State for 2 + years and somehow haven’t done a half marathon in Idaho, which is a 40 minute drive away. I actually signed up for Onward Shay over Black Friday last year because it was only $25 or something crazy cheap! Looking for a reason to run Onward Shay?

  • It’s flat and a Boston Qualifier
  • Did I mention it’s a Boston Qualifier?
  • Wide range of races: 5K, 10K, Half Marathon and the Marathon
  • Procedes benefit a whole host of charities, especially locally ones
  • Heck, I 2016 they eve had their own IPA

Onward Shay was started in honor of Shay Hirsch, an avid runner in the Boise area who fought an 11 year battle with multiple myeloma and lost that battle last January, hence a lot of charity work for the race. You get a good run through Boise, plus a whole lot of fun with Boise Football, Steelheads Hockey, the old Idaho Penitentiary and more.

Head over to OnwardShay website and sign up! Save 15% with BIBRAVE15!

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NYC Marathon for the North Shore Animal Protection

This year, I’m running the New York City Marathon for the North Shore Animal League. Moe the fur ball is my mascot, but won’t be running with me because he hates planes and let’s face it, that would be a tad cruel. 

To say this summer was long is an understatement. It’s been pushing 90* degrees in Spokane, we’re in the midst of fire season, a whole lot of work to the point where I pulled out of my ironman that was downsized to a half ironman. I regrouped and now it’s off to Marathon Training. I signed up for the New York City Marathon this year because I was itching for one back east. I did it last in 2011, the year before Hurricane Sandy cancelled it. I ran for charity back in 2011 and decided to do the same this year after I didn’t get in off the lottery.

Enter the North Shore Animal Protective League. It’s a the world’s largest no kill shelter that works on getting all animals adopted. My full donation site and story is over here, but here’s the gist. Moe the fur ball is my cat, otherwise known as Moe, Mr Moe, Mr Fluffy pants, Fluff, Moe the fur ball, etc and He was adopted when I was still living in Cleveland from a shelter. Every animal we had growing up was a pound animal, so I’m all about adopting.

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Welcome home hooomman

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The North Shore Animal League has saved over 1 million animals since 1944, place over 18000 pets per year and does over 58,000 exams and 65,000 vaccinations on animals on average every year. Their work isn’t limited to the New York area. They’ve responded to multiple natural disasters over the years (Hurricanes Katrina, Rita) and has saved animals from mills from the Cayman Islands to Moscow Russia and saving dogs from the Yulin Meat Festival in China. All animals that go through North Shore Animal League receive exams and medical care. Often times, animals needing long term treatment who are adopted out, will be covered by NSAL as well.

My fundraising goal is $3000. Think of it this way, I do all the hard work (including trying to find safe air quality to run in during fire season in the Pacific/Inland Northwest area) and put on a boat load of miles on my legs and in return, I post and send cute pictures of Moe through out the process on social media and to you. No donation is too small! To read more, head over to my personal fundraising site (or check instagram/twitter/here!).

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Moe. All the Moe

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Race The River Race Review

This summer has been the summer of triathlons. I haven’t written on quite a few of them, I blame mostly work. This weekend, I went over to Coeur d’Alene for the Race the River Sprint Triathlon: 1/2 mile swim, 16 miles on the bike and a 3.2 mile run. I decided to stay in Coeur D’Alene for the night since it was a 7 AM race and you had to be done with set up in transition by 630/645.

Saturday, I picked up my gear around 1 pm. It was quick and easy at Northern Idaho University. There was no wait and it was a quick in and out. I went and checked into the hotel and went to Main Street and walked around some. I also sat by the Lake a little bit, a first since the attempted CdA Half Ironman that I pulled out of because I was freezing. I ended up getting a drink before heading to church and then to get a quick bite to eat for dinner and calling it a night.

Race day, I was up bright and early (gotta love 5 AM wake up calls on days you’re not working…) and got changed. After making sure I had all my stuff, which included going back to the room after getting to my car, I was off to the start, about 10 minutes away. After getting parked and unloaded, I found a spot in the transition area (we were set up by color of our swim caps). As I was getting my stuff set up, someone else started getting set up next to me and we started chatting. It was her first triathlon and she was asking questions, which I tried to answer. Apparently by triathlon number 4, you’re a pro. What was odd about this tri is that the number for the bike wasn’t two sided and didn’t stick together. There was a ticket that you tore off your bib and had to pin or tape to your bike. Thank goodness for electrical tape. I ended up sharing with the lady next to me because she was scratching her head too. One thing I was a fan of though was the timing chip. Normally these suckers have to be returned or you get charged anywhere between $100-200. The chips were foam and wrapped around your ankle before sticking one end to the other (yes I taped my on for security). After the race, you threw it away and were done with it. Score!

Around 630, I headed to the start. There was a pre race meeting before the elites started at 6:59. The red corral followed at 7 AM and we were off without a hitch. The first half of the swim was in the lake before we turned onto the river. The lake was choppy and I was trying to not get kicked in the face (or the gut). I ended up swimming the best 1/2 mile of the year (bonus!). It was actually a bit of a hike from the river to the transition (1/4 mile might be overly dramatic). I got out of my wetsuit and changed and got out to the mounting part of the bike course, where there were two people arguing about having not turned on headphones in.

The bike course was out and bake. The first few miles were flat and nothing to worry about. After mile 5, we hit some hills which were not fun. You could see people coming back and you’re realizing you’re having to do the hills on the way back. After 8 miles, you hit the turn around and came back. More hills but you hit flatness the last part of the course. Had it been a 12 mile course, I would have probably pulled my best bike of the year. When I was getting back to the transition, I nearly went the wrong way around the round about, but avoided it. When I was running my bike in a little kid nearly ran in front of me (face palm).

The run was on the Centennial Trail and the first 2/3 of it were out and back on part of the course you had to get from the swim to bike. After you doubled back, and you went out along the lake. It was fairly flat, some minimal hills if anything. What I’ve liked about triathlons is that you (most of the time) have your age on your left calf, so you know if someone ahead of you is in your age group. I was able to pass at least one person in the 30-34 yo women’s age group and an additional 5-10 people, so I knew I wasn’t finishing last. I actually held a decent pace and picked up the pace the last mile. The last .2 miles, you had to go up a little bit of an incline. There was an older guy in his 70s ahead of me that I ended up passing because I’m not competitive at all.

Overall, I finished in 2:12:40. I was 10/10 in my age group coming out of the swim, but by the end of the run, I was 8/10. Overall, I was 147/217 (which is nowhere near last!). Fun race, didn’t finish last and didn’t get hypothermic or penalties!

Bibrave Product Review: Under Armour HOVR Sonics

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Under Armour HOVR Sonics 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!

Running shoes. Something where I have what I like and tend to be loyal to them unless the next generation changes and my feet hate me because of it (yes it’s happened!). I had the opportunity to test out a pair of UA HOVR Sonics after Bibrave paired up with Under Armour. I’d been curious about Under Armour in terms of their running shoes for awhile. In all honesty, I have two other different pairs of UA Running shoes, but I use them more for day to day life rather than running. The HOVRs seemed to peak my interest a little bit more.

 

The Sonics have two flavors, as I like to call it: the connected version (that connects wireless to an app and provides a bunch of good info) and an unconnected version. Mine were a black fabric with white sole version of the unconnected Sonics.

The shoe itself is very light with mesh fabric for the shoe and foam soles to help provide some molding to your foot. If you’re looking for a neutral shoe, this is something to look into. It’s also very breathable because of the mesh, which makes running in ridiculous temps a little more bearable and your feet don’t feel like your dying.

I’ve taken my new friends out for some running and have kept it on the shorter end of things, no more than 3-4 miles. Since they’re 8 oz, I tend to forget I’m wearing them. My only concern is I’m thinking I need a little more in terms of arch support while running, so I may need switch out the soles to help me out a little bit. They’re also good for leg day at the gym and lifting (and may have made my trainer a little jealous).

Price wise, the non connected version of the HOVR Sonics run $100 (connected version is $110). They also come in a wide color range (mine are primarily black with some white). Trust me, I plan on having fun with socks with these guys since the mesh is a bit see through on them.

Overall a good pair of shoes, especially if you’re a neutral foot runner. I may need to tweak the soles a little bit, but they’ll be a good pair of shoes for short runs, cross training and to use while out and about!

Napa Valley Half Marathon…All The Wine!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Napa Valley 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!

Winter is always rough, especially when you go to work when it’s dark and come home when it’s dark. You get no sun and, for my entire life, I’ve lived in places where snow is involved. These days, I try and get out of the cold and to somewhere nicer. Come March of 2019, I’ll be making my way to Napa Valley for the Napa Valley Half Marathon. Somehow, California’s become a hot spot for me in the early part of the year, and next year will be no different.

What I’m looking forward to is a race that’s all downhill (I’m one of those who likes to know what I’m getting myself into). Don’t believe me? Take a look below. What’s more exciting is this is the first year for the half marathon distance for the race.

I’m also looking forward to spending some time in wine country itself. I’m hoping to get to some wineries while there and do some tours.  I’m sure that Visit Napa Valley  will become my best friend come early next year. I’m also taking suggestions if you’ve ever been!

If you register soon, you can get an in training shirt for a limited time. Currently the half is $100 and the full is $125. I’m still waiting on discount codes for this one so hang tight and follow me on social media (CGinPNW for IG and Twitter)!

Bibrave Product Review: Oofos

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Oofos 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!

Pre race and recovery. Something every athlete thinks about on a regular basis, especially if you’re racing every other weekend. When I travel for races, I always tend to be on my feet way too much and walk around wherever I’m at and my feet end up tired and beat up. In come Oofos. I got my first pair of Oofos last year (take a look here) and loved them, so I was more than excited when we were on the board to test them again.

This time around, I had the chance to test the OOlala Orange version (last year, we were in on Oofos’ project pink line). Oofos started up 7 years ago as with recovery in mind. Technology wise, it takes the pressure off your feet, knees, and back, especially when they’re sore on top of absorbing 37% more impact than other foams. Because of this, there’s some faster recovery time.

My trainers will tell you the amount of torture I put myself through with weight training and endurance training (because gaining muscle and endurance totally go together…or not). I’ve gotten to the point where I throw my Oofos in the back of my car to switch into after work outs, especially if I’m going somewhere after a work out. This past weekend, I was walking a whole bunch around Coeur d’Alene and had my Oofos on all weekend and my feet weren’t screaming at me

Another perk about the Oofos is their arch support. They give extra cushion to your feet so you’re feet aren’t yelling at you and if you’re short like me, an extra inch. Even if you don’t need Oofos for some height, they allow for a more natural gait while you walk.

Up until the beginning of this year, I was primarily a runner. I’ve been putting my hat in to some triathlons as well and have been waring my oofos pre race to keep my feet in line. They’re durable and can be hosed off easily (or thrown in the washer). They’re very durable and made to last which is also appreciated.

If that’s not enough, 3% of all sales go to Project Pink for Breast Cancer Research, in support of their Direct of Marketing, who’s been fighting stage IV breast cancer.

Head on over and get your pair. I’m going to be looking at some of their clogs to try and get me through work, where I’m on my feet 12 hours a day 7 days straight every other week. Don’t forget to join us for #bibchat on Tuesday 9PM EST/6 PM PST!

Bibrave Product Review: KT Tape Blister Prevention and Treatment

Disclaimer: I received KT Tape Blister Tape & Treatment 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!

Blisters. The one thing, that along with disgusting toe nails, runners deal with on a regular basis. I’ve had more than a few blisters between toes, on my heels, the sides of my feet, you name it. Back in March, I tested some KT Tape and had seen KT Tape’s Blister Prevention Tape back then. I was more than excited when we partnered again with KT Tape to actually give the Blister Protection and Blister treatment products a try.

The fact they come in their own little containers is fun enough, but it keeps everything together so you can throw it in your gym bag, car, purse, luggage, you name it. I got it just in time for my first triathlon of the year (or let’s face it, ever). It was easy enough to have the prevention tape out and ready from when I got out of the swim and was transitioning to the bike (can you find them?!?!).

 

Most of the time, I used the blister prevention tape for the feet. It actually works well on the toes (even the little toes) and the side of the feet to prevent rubbing against the side of your shoes. My clogs for work are a touch loose, and the prevention tape is a good barrier if I feel like my feet are starting to rub.

I haven’t had any blisters yet, but they happen. KT Tape also has a blister treatment patch. The fun thing about this is it lasts up to a week before needing to change and speeds up healing.

 

Some fellow Pros have given the blister treatment patch a try (head over and read Katy’s Blog) and it blends in with your skin so it’s hard to see! Another perk of the the treatment patch? Water proof and latex free!

Some helpful tips for both of them

  • Apply to dry skin. Pretty sure one of my Prevention tapes fell off during my triathlon because it went on a somewhat wet foot
  • Don’t over stretch it
  • Keep it on skin. If you put the blister prevention tape on skin, it’ll stay on if the ends overlap on each other!

Interested? Get your own for 30% off with BIBRAVE30. Also, join us for #bibchat on June 19, 2018 at 6 pm PST/9 PM EST and get questions answered from KT Tape!

 

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