Red, White And Boom (fireworks I hope?!)

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Red White and Boom 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!

It’s 4th of July week, which means it’s Red, White and Boom Half Marathon week!!! This is the first time I’ve done a half marathon during the week, and it’s throwing me for a loop (on top of not having a working microwave and a surge that I’m pretty sure blew as well). I leave tomorrow for Minneapolis and am praying to the weather gods that what ever thunder storms are happing can kindly hold off, or just leave the area all together. Fingers crossed!

Still haven’t signed up yet? Hurry up and use 18RWBBIBRAVE for 5% (good up until 6 pm TOMORROW or 50 uses for the 5k and 50 uses for the half marathon)!

If you’re traveling like I am to the race, be ready for some humidity and possibly some rain so hydrate, hydrate, hydrate! This morning, race staff emailed out about starting the race at flag condition yellow, so take a look at the EAS System of what to expect at each color flag


Wondering how much fun the race is?? Take a look at what happened in 2014 on their recap video too (credit: Twin Cities in Motion)

Wondering what type of 4th of July fun is going on? Head over to the Parks and Rec website to figure out what other fun is happening after you race

 

Bibrave Race Review: Napa Valley Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Napa Valley Half Marathon 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

Race weekend has come and gone and this was probably one of my favorite California races to do! If you’re looking for something with great scenery and downhill, definitely look into the Napa Valley Half Marathon and Marathon. This year was the 41st running of the full marathon, but the debut of the half marathon, which made the trip worth it.

I flew out Thursday afternoon and ended up delayed an hour and change out of Seattle due to maintenance issues. I made it to Sacramento in one piece, picked up my rental care and drove just over an hour to Napa. If you have a choice between SMF and SFO, flow into/out of Sacramento over San Francisco. Less of a head ache, same amount of time to get where you’re going. I got to the hotel somewhere after 9 pm and got checked in before finding some food. After getting some sleep, I spent Friday getting a much needed run outside, as I’ve been cooped up on the treadmill much of February due to snow and ice in Spokane. I’ll take a cloudy, nearly raining run any day! Got to run on the Vine trail, which started just outside of my hotel and have some fun with it.

After getting a shower in and some shopping, I went into downtown Napa for some lunch and spent most of the day hanging before heading down to happy hour at the hotel and then on to dinner.

Saturday morning, the marathon had a shake out run that started at 830 AM. It started with a raffle, in which I won a hat! You could also win wine and KT Tape, which was fun. We had the option of 3-4 miles on the Vine Trail and after finishing up, could head to the expo. I met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Brenda, who flew in from Massachusetts for the full (it’s always fun meeting up with other pros!). I picked up my bib, shirt and bag, walked around the expo a little bit before heading back to the hotel for a shower. I found some lunch and then went off the Hendry Winery for a tour and wine tasting (do it if you can, ended up getting to taste quite a few different wines!). After getting to church, I went to the Pasta dinner where we had some pretty fun speakers. At that point, I called it a night and changed into my sweats at the hotel.

Race morning started early. I was up around 430 to change and make the shuttles to the start. The half started at 7 am and the shuttles left at 5:10/5:15 in the morning. The start was at the Coon Creek Winery and having VIP access was helpful. Had some breakfast to munch on and indoor bathrooms to boot. Weather was overcast, but in the 50s, which I’ll take any day. If you checked bags, there were busses to take them to the finish. We started right at 7 am and were at the half way point of the marathon (they started further up and at 730 AM). The course was pretty much all downhill. One kind of hill close to the start, but really nothing after. Nice change for me after the amount of California races I’ve run with hills all over the place. The first 10 miles or so were on the Silverado trail before we turned off a few times to some other roads and finishing at Vintage HS. One thing that needs looked at is the amount of water stops. I think there were only 15 total between the half and full and the first one on the half didn’t come until 3-4 miles in. They were pretty spread out and I don’t know if it was planned like that or something happened with volunteers. I feel like they could have had some more, especially towards the middle/end.

The race finished at Vintage HS. You were greeted with medals and water, led to some food and then could go find some soup (which was much appreciated!). At the finish, you could search results, listen to some live music and hang out. There were shuttles back to the hotels and another area HS if you parked there or were staying at the Marriott/Hilton/Embassy Suites. The one thing that needs looked at is the post race shuttles. There was at least a 30-40 min span with no hotel shuttle. I ended up getting an Uber back to my hotel because I was getting cold, and it showed up as one of the shuttles was showing up. I think there was a communication issue or something, but people going back to the hotels were getting frustrated for sure.

Overall, a great race. I’m glad there’s now a half marathon option to go with the full. Fun race and definitely a must do. The few things to work on is making the half/full marathon shuttle buses pre race more spaced out to account for anyone who might miss the first string buses. Also, more aid stations and fixing the post race shuttle bus situation back to the hotels. If you’re looking for an excuse to get to Napa, here you go!

Napa Valley Race Week!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Napa Valley Half Marathon 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!

I’m heading back to California! Over the winter the past few years, I’ve noticed increased California trips to get out of the winter weather, and the snow that is taking over my yard in Spokane (I’m running out of places to put it! I just finished a 10 day stretch at work and the Napa Valley Half couldn’t come at a better time!

This year, the half marathon is in it’s first year for Napa Valley and I’m so looking forward to it. The course (between the half and the full) has something like 6 wineries on it. Is it wrong to hope they have wine at some of the aid stations?

Big things to look out for this weekend:

1. Follow Napa Marathon on Social Media (Facebook, Twitter and http://www.napavalleymarathon.com) because we’re looking at rain this weekend (seems to be recurring theme for my CA races this year!). Hopefully no course changes though

2. Bib look up: be ready for the expo!

3. Shake out run: good way to get the legs loose: meet up is on Saturday Morning at the Marriott. RSVP here!

4. Don’t forget your bib. Expo happens from 9 am to 8 pm with a whole bunch of fun stuff. Check out what’s happening!

5. Pasta Dinner: get some good carb loading and hear from some awesome runners on Saturday night!

Things to do in Napa:

1. I’m probably spending most of Friday finding some wine in the area, not going to lie

2. Hot air balloon rides

3. Wine train, this sounds kind of fun!

4. For more, head here http://napavalleymarathon.org/race-information/

Hope I catch up with anyone running while there and look for the Bibrave orange!

Bibrave Race Review: Onward Shay Half Marathon

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!

One would think that living on the west side of the country and 30 (ish) minutes from the Washington/Idaho boarder would mean I’d hit a half marathon in Idaho before now. believe it or not, I was suppose to do a half marathon in Coeur d’Alene a few weeks ago, but dropped down to the quarter marathon. This weekend I flew out to Boise for the Onward Shay Half Marathon. I signed up for it last year (a whole $25) on Black Friday. I was so excited when Bibrave partnered up with them so I hopped on board.

Boise is a quick 45 min flight from Spokane if you can get a direct flight from Spokane. I’d take that over a 6 hour drive. I flew out Friday night and took an Lyft to the hotel. I ended up booking a hotel that was about 1/2 mile from the start/finish line and the expo. I spent most of Friday night trying to (and failing to stay up all 18 innings) watch the World Series. I ended up sleeping until 9:45 am before waking up. I headed over to the expo and picked up my bib. It took all of 5 minutes. When you walked in, your bib was assigned to you at check in (although there was one runner race morning where there were mishaps. Whoops). Some of the sponsors had tables set up at Payette Brewing and there were plenty of shirts to go around.

After getting my bib and shirt, I hit up 2 different farmer’s markets in Boise. The weather had stayed nice though the weekend and people were still out with produce, meats, home grown stuff, etc. At the second market, there were around 40+ vendors and an opportunity for trick or treat with the kids. I even found a place that did rolled ice cream. In the words of mom, I run to eat (partially true).

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Round two of rolled ice cream!

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I hung out most of the day, watched football found dinner and mainly chilled out after going out for a shake out run.

 

Sunday Morning, I woke up just after 7 AM. The race had a 9 AM start time, which was probably a good thing since the sun was still coming up. I had my clothes set out from the night before. After multiple trips to the bathroom and stalking up on tissues (I’ve been dealing with a URI and a cough for the past week) and throwing cough drops in my Spibelt before heading out to the start (an easy 1/2 mile walk). I even met up with fellow Bibrave Pro Bridget, who came out from Oregon! Bart Yasso happened to be at the race, but a Bartie (selfie with Bart Yasso) wasn’t in the cards today.

The full and half marathon started at 9 AM (followed by the 5K at 915 and the 10K at 920). The course itself is fairly flat, though some minor bunny hills going under underpasses. The first 5 miles was a loop that took you along the Greenbelt running trail. The first mile took you past the Boise Zoo before crossing the Boise River and through Boise State. We passed by Ann Morrison park and went to Bernadine Quinn Riverside Park. We headed back and around mile 5 passed where we started. We continued on, crossed the Boise River again before taking a left and heading along the river. We past more of BSU including the football stadium (couldn’t see the blue turf however) and more of scenic Boise. Just past mile 9, the half marathon turned around, while the full marathon kept going. Just after the turn around, I passed Bart Yasso and I got a wave out of it. The last 4 miles (10-13) were essentially unmarked for the half marathon. The course itself is fairly scenic, which is kind of nice. There were people out cheering and a good amount of direction on course, especially around areas that could have been confusing. Water stops ever 1.5-2 miles with water, gatorade and gels. The finish ended up being right at the start with some good announcing going on. Fun thing about this race is it’s Wizard of Oz themed, lots of Dorothy with Toto, the tin man, witches and fun costumes to see.

Post race, there was food (hamburgers, hot dogs, cookies and beer if you’re a fan). I hung out for 10 min or so, before rushing back to the hotel to take a shower and head to the airport for my flight home. Plenty of water, though I would have loved some chocolate milk (I always wonder why chocolate milk isn’t a post race must).

Overall, a great race in Idaho. The course this year was all on the Greenbelt Running path, which takes out the issue of closing down streets. It’s on the bigger side of small, but still plenty of people involved so you don’t feel left behind or lonely. It’s a good scenic race in a decent size city that is overall flat (coming from Spokane, this is a welcome change). Don’t forget to also go claim your results on Athlinks, they’re already up to claim! Good nuts and bolts race, I just wish that we’d have some chocolate milk at the end!

 

Onward Shay Race Week!

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!

It’s race week for Onward Shay! It’s my last long race before the NYC Marathon in 2 weeks so taper time is setting in at it’s finest🙌🏻. Didn’t have a chance to register? Limited registrations will be available at the expo.

Some things to keep in mind for race weekend:

The Expo: Takes place Saturday morning from 10-5 pm at Payette Brewing (733 S. Pioneer St in Boise). Gear, packet pick up, speakers, The Run Toto Run Kids Fun Run. wThere’s even a VIP Cocktail event at Powerhouse (621 17th St, Boise)

Race Day: Gear check will be available, but the race will provide clear bags to use. The half and full marathon start at 9 AM, the 5K at 915 AM and the 10K at 930 AM.

Things to Do: no home Boise State Football this weekend, but take advantage of the wine and food scene, the territorial priosn, the Basque Museum and the Cultural District. Nature fan? 16 miles from town is the Center for Birds of Prey

Any Idahoans have any additional suggestions? Let me know and see you race weekend!!

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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