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)!

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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!

 

Bibrave Product Review: Rudy Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rudy Rydon Sunglasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro and the film Godspeed. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

Now that Washington State has decided to skip most of spring and start heading into summer, it mean’s I’m in all out Triathlon Training and spending a bunch of time outside. Earlier this year, I had the chance to preview Godspeed, that was produced in conjunction with the Rudy Project. I also was sent a pair of Rydon Sunglasses, which have been awesome while on the bike training the past few weeks.

 

So far, I’ve used them in quite a few half marathons and on the trails while biking (and attempting to not fall off my own bike). The sunglasses have photochromic clear lenses that adjust to light depending on how bright it is outside. I’ve worn them when it’s partially sunny out vs days where there’s not a cloud in the sky and they adjust. Be prepared, though, that they won’t get super dark though like some other sunglasses

How fast do these guys change colors? Try about 10 seconds. Mine went from clear to grey, though there are others that go to red or brown; just get your tail and sunglasses into natural or UV light!. They’re super light weight, which makes it so you tend to forget about them (until you go inside and you’re looking through something clear and not grey). There’s also a bumper on the lower part of the sunglasses that’s removable. Me personally, I tried both with and without the bumper and am enjoying sans bumper).

Not a runner? Take a look at they Rydon page and figure out which lenses work best for which sports. Who knew different colored lenses worked better for different sports?! Overall, I’m a fan. They’re adaptable and a good investment to have.

Be sure to catch some Godspeed Cycling movie and let me know what you think of the movie and the sunglasses! Want your own pair? 30% off with GODSPEED!

Bibrave Race Review: 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!

First things first, May the Fourth Be With You! This past weekend, I made the trek out to Iowa for Run CRANDIC. Part of my bucket list involves hitting half marathons in all 50 states, and some of the middle of the country states have been hard to get, so I was excited about this one. To boot, it was the inaugural race and fellow Bibrave Pro Ang was part of the set up team (at one point over the weekend, she even said how running Sunday was going to be like a vacation for her).

I got into Cedar Rapids Friday late afternoon and drove about 30 min from Cedar Rapids to Iowa City (staying at the finish seemed easier since I was running the half marathon, rather than the full). After checking in at my hotel (I always appreciate discounted rooms for races), I went out for a run around town. Iowa City is more of a college town (read Univ of Iowa) and classes were nearing the end of term. While running, I ended up passing the packet pick up for Iowa City. Friday, you could a quick pick up in Iowa City with no vendors, etc (think quick in and out), so I ended up getting my packet on my way back to the hotel (only a mile run back of awkward bag holding). Bub numbers were posted on the wall of the Robert Lee Center and pick up was quick and easy. I ended up having to go back though because my number didn’t make it into my bag initially- at least I was only 1/10 mile away!

Saturday, there were shake out runs in Iowa City and in Cedar Rapids. I ended up sleeping later than I expected and missed the group run, so I went out on my own shake out run. After a shower and lunch, I decided to head off to Cedar Rapids to take a look at the vendors and hear about the course. There were some running stores, OrangeTheory, and packet pick up. It was held at NewBo Market, which had food and vendors set up. I ended up getting some throw away gloves because it was going to be chilly at the start. I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Ang briefly and we chatted a bit. Since she was doing the full and I was doing the half and the races had different starting points, we got an early BRP picture before I headed to church, dinner and back to Iowa City.

Race day, I was up early and changed before heading over to Kinnick Stadium, where the finish was. The start for the half was in North Liberty and runners had to be shuttled there if they were parking at the finish. We were given parking passes during packet pick up, but no one checked them at the shuttles. I happened to be on the first shuttle out to North Liberty, so we were waiting for the start for a little over an hour. Part of the downside with where we were is that there was no barrier against the elements. Thankfully, it wasn’t raining, but it was on the colder side. Shout out to Corridor Dental though who opened up their office for runners. Something to think about for next year is tents for runners to gather under depending on the weather, +/- heaters if the area can’t decide what season it wants to be. There was limited packet pick up until 730 AM and bag check that would be shuttled to the finish.

The race started at 815 and had waves go off every minute based on pace (and I was thankful people put themselves in the correct corral). The first mile was around a lake before we went on the sidewalk/ road. The first 4 ish miles didn’t have much incline and weren’t bad overall. We jointed up with the marathon about 4-5 miles in to their race. We had some race on road, though a lot on paved running/bike paths through North Liberty and Coralville. The middle few miles definitely had some hills to it, though they weren’t terrible. I was running on tired legs, so I was slowed down a little bit. Around Coralville, we were funneled to sidewalks, which created a bit of bottleneck and made passing difficult. There were also areas where the mile markers were off, and not by a little bit (mile 8 was placed at 8.5, mile 12 was at 11.75), though at the end, you still ran a complete 13.1 miles. The last few miles, the elevation did let up, which was appreciated. Once we got back into the athletic stadium area, we passed the baseball field, which had Iowa playing and signs out to watch for flying baseballs. Can’t blame the race because the game time got moved up a few hours. Once you got to Kinnick Stadium, you went in part of it, had the chance to wave at the kids in the Children’s Hospital, ran through part of the stadium and finished outside one of the entrances.

Aid stations were well stationed and had a variety of water, gatorade and gels, oranges, etc. What was a good touch was signs saying what was available at each water stop.

The finish itself was pretty crowded. They needed somewhere with some more space where things could be a bit more spread out and less cramped. You were directed to a table to get your medal. Part of what needs looked at for next year is the medal situation. If you registered before a certain date, you were guaranteed a medal, but at the finish, your bib was checked to make sure you were one of those people. This led to some unhappy people (an order was going to be placed for people who didn’t get medals and they were sent out). Something to consider is getting medals in the future that aren’t dated and use them to make sure people get medals on race day. There was water available and organic chocolate milk, but I didn’t see any food. For further Run CRANDIC, I’d stick with something like a TruMoo. I saw so many partially full chocolate milk bottles that people didn’t finish (I felt like there was a huge taste difference from what I normally do and couldn’t stomach the rest of them). More food at the finish would have been a plus, in addition to the post race party they had at one of the local breweries. Kudos for the shuttle back and forth between the finish and the Brewery.

Overall, a good race, especially for it being an inaugural race. Every race has their hiccups, so I think if the finish congestion, medal situation and post race food situation can be hammered out, that would boost Run CRANDIC up a bit. I heard some of those involved with the race speak over the weekend, and they definitely seemed like they’d take feedback into account. If you’re in Iowa next year, be on the look out for Run Crandic and do it! Race this year? Don’t forget to review on Bibrave and look to claim your results on Athlinks!

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!

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.

 

 

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