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! 

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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.

 

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!

It’s race week and I’m ready for my first race of 2018 (and first race since the Dallas Marathon a month ago)! I did the Hot Chocolate 15K in SF last year, only to have it cut short by sideways rain, wind gusts and crummy weather.

This year, the expo is Friday and Saturday again at the South San Francisco Conference Center.

  • Hours: Friday, Jan 5 from 12-7, Saturday, Jan. 6 from 10-6

Still haven’t gotten your shuttle tickets? Save yourself the pain of driving and parking race day and have someone else drop you off at the race. Get tickets and print them off before hand!

The race takes place at Golden Gate Park, so take a peak at the course while you have the chance. Don’t forget, sweetness and chocolate are on course!

Traveling from out of town? Here’s some things to do this weekend in San Francisco

  • France is a Feast: the Photographic Journey of Paul and Julia Child at the Napa Valley Museum
  • The Holiday Ice Rink at the Embarcadero Through January 7, 2018
  • The Safeway Holiday Rink in Union Square
  • $5 First Sunday at the Oakland Museum of California
  • Visit Pier 39 or Fisherman’s Warf
  • Take a visit to the Golden Gate Bridge

Curious about places to eat? Check out Eater SF

Here’s to hoping weather reports stay consistent with partly cloudy and 50s for this weekend and see you there!

 

Hot Chocolate San Francisco

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Hot Chocolate 15K San Francisco 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 trying to figure out where 2017 went! I spent my first weekend off of work of the year (all the way back in January) in San Fransisco for the Hot Chocolate 15K. Forgot about that race? Read about it here. The weather got bad enough on race day (gusts of wind, rain, craziness), that the race was shortened to just over 5 miles. I’m hoping for this year, that the weather cooperates and I get the full 15K in. Honestly, I’m hoping to get a PR for the 15K distance (I’ve been chomping at the bit for that one).

Here’s some need to know stuff:

Shuttle tickets: spots are limited, so if you haven’t gotten tickets, hurry!

Still haven’t registered?? Time’s running out so chop chop! BRHCSF18 even gets you a free hat!

Check out this year’s bling, because it’s awesome!

Also look over the Pre Race Guide, especially if you’re coming from out of town!

Take a look at the course beforehand so you can be prepared ahead of time!

Bibrave Product Review: Weav App

Disclaimer: The WEAV Run app is currently free but I will be receiving a lifetime subscription in January 2018 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!

If you’ve been in a situation where you’ve been trying to adjust your tempo while running, here’s something new for you. Weav Run is an app that’s fairly new on the market that was developed to adapt songs to your cadence or whenever your foot hits the ground to match the beat to your step. Pretty fancy huh?

Weav itself has beats ranging from 100-240 beats/minute, which works out to be perfect for remixing music. Within the app, you can either have the app detect your tempo and adjust the music based on your tempo or you can adjust the tempo yourself depending on how you feel. Being a few days post marathon, I’m in the adjust your own tempo ballpark.

Indoor vs Outdoor runs: initially, the app was only programed for outdoor recorded runs. Within the past week, magic has been done and there’s now an option for indoor runs on the treadmill…or dreadmill! This is a win for the people of the Inland NW!

Music Availability: currently, 25 songs are available with more in the works. Part of what’s being worked on is comprehensive licensing for more songs. What would be awesome if there was some way for the app to read your own playlists to remix songs already downloaded

iPhone vs Android: currently only available on the iPhone, sorry Android users! The hope is to get the iPhone app ironed out and have an Android app down the line

Recorded RunsI haven’t tried this part out yet, but it definitely works. You also can connect your runs to Strava. Like they say, if it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen 😉

Subscription: Currently free, though after the new year, will be subscription based

I’ve tried the app a few times on the road and a few times on the treadmill. Be sure to try outside first so the app can detect your tempo. They have some catchy songs already on board, but I think it’d be fun to be able to use the app the mix up your own songs on the app. I feel like it can drain the battery a little bit on my phone, which can limit how far I run with it, but that’s a minor detail. The app can be running and you can be answering phone calls or getting directions, etc pulled up on your phone. I also feel like I have to set the tempo faster to get the speed effect I want, but I’m all for that. Overall, It’s a fun app to have. I’m hoping I can use it for shorter runs and come up with my own interval type thing for the app. There’s also some fun stuff for the app coming down the pipe, that’s currently getting the kinks worked out.

Sound interesting? Join us for Bibchat with Weav on Dec 26, 2017 at 9 EST/6 PST! Also see how they come up with their music here

Bibrave Product Review: BOCO Head Gear

Disclaimer: I received an BOCO Gear Visor 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

Hats and visors. I’m usually not a fan, just because I usually feel like I get a headache or some sort of odd sensation around the band site. That and I’m of the ‘less is more’ mindset, so the less I have to take with me and/or wear, the better. We were given the opportunity test some BOCO Gear Products so I figured I’d give it a shot. I ended up opting for the Visor, just because hats and I generally don’t get along.

Earlier this summer, the PNW was dealing with fires, which meant in the Inland NW, we were dealing with all the smoke. It definitely prevented me from getting out and trying my visor initially, but once things cleared a bit, I was glad to be able to get some good runs in. The visor itself is light weight so you tend to forget about it. It’s also good if you wear sunglasses, because I found that it would hold them in place behind your ears. This last weekend, I was in Seattle for the Seattle Half Marathon and whenever people think Seattle, they think rain. We got rain at least 8 miles of the race and my visor did a decent job of keeping rain out of my face. I’ve done a few other races since having my visor and some have wind. My only concern is when there are wind gusts, I worry about it flying off (felt like at one point I was going to be chasing it across the street while running in Tucson and Phoenix).

Curious about the specifics of BOCO Gear Visors?

  • Lightweight wicking woven or dry tech polyester outside
  • wicking internal sweatband on the front inside to help with sweat
  • Soft elastic band back
  • Relaxed fit
  • If you’re looking to do custom designs
  • Black underside of the bill prevents glare

I’ll also say they’re quick to dry of sweat (or rain) when left out to dry. The website says that they can be machine washed, though the tag on mine says hand washing cold. The 360* visors have the soft elastic band in the back and can’t be adjusted (which is the one I have), though the run visors have the adjustable velcro in the back, which is a plus if you want to adjust sizes.  I didn’t test the trucker hat, but there were definitely pros that did. Still not convinced? Check out what some other Pros thought and join us for #bibchat on December 5th at 6 PST!

Jeannine     Lindsey      Amy W.

Check out BOCO Gear online as well!

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Happy Thanksgiving to all those who celebrate! Take advantage of all the family time and some deals and steals on top of it!

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