Rock n Roll Series

Good News! Bibrave has formed a partnership with the Rock n Roll Series! Besides me going to Liverpool for my first Half Marathon outside of North America, check out some discounts we were able to nail down. Keep in mind, more cities to come!

Use code “BIBRAVE15” for the following discounts: 

  • Washington, DC (3/11/17) – $15 off Half/ Full, valid until 3/4
  • Mexico City (3/19/17) – $15 or 270 Pesos off Half, valid until 3/12
  • Dallas, TX (3/18-3/17)- $15 off Half, valid until 3/12
  • San Francisco, CA (3/26/17)- $15 off Half, valid until 3/19
  • Carlsbad (4/1-4/2/17)- $15 off 20k or 5k, valid until 3/26
  • Raleigh, NC (4/1-4/2/17)- $15 off Half and Full, valid until 3/26
  • Madrid (4/23/17)- 3 €/£ off Half and Full, valid until 4/16
  • Nashville, TN (4/27-4/29/17)- $15 off Half and Full, valid until 4/23
  • San Diego, CA (6/3-6/4/17) – $15 off Half and Full, valid until 5/28
  • Seattle, WA (6/18/17)- $15 off Half and Full, valid until 6/11
  • Chicago, IL (7/15-7/16/17)- $15 off Half, valid until 7/9
  • Dublin (8/12-8/13/17)- 3 €/£ off Half, valid until 8/6
  • Queretaro – $15 (270 Pesos) off Half/ Full, valid until 9/24
  • Lisbon (10/15/17)- 3 €/£ off Half and Full, valid until 10/8
  • Merida (11/4/17)- $15  (270 Pesos) off the Half Marathon , valid until 10/28

Cherry Blossom 10 (ish) Miler Race Review

After a day of running, a race to get lunch and on the train to BWI, I finally have some time to recap the 5th Annual family running of the Cherry Blossom 10 miler in DC.  I flew out to DC (via BWI) on Friday night and spent Saturday morning volunteering at the expo with my mom (I can’t argue guaranteed entry into the 2016 race!). We had time for church and dinner last night before my dad took some of the family to a show at Ford’s Theatre.

This year, I had the opportunity to participate as a medical runner. I had emailed back in November to try and get in to be a medical runner (the perks of having a full medical license), but at that point they were full. A few months later, I got an email asking if I was still interested- that was a no brainer! Not only did I get my race fee reimbursed, I essentially ran for $10 (the cost of the medal). This morning, I was up bright and early at 5 and on the metro with my mom at 530ish. We arrived to The National Mall and I went and signed in with the medical tent. It was in the 40s this morning, so the heat lamps in the medical tent and no bathroom line, so point us! We were briefed and hung out in the tent for awhile. about 20 minutes before the race start, we found out that a pedestrian had been hit about 40 minutes prior on the course by a motorcycle and the race would be on diversion from miles 4-6. Try explaining that one to people!

We headed off to the start and waited for the race to get going. The race director was good about announcing the diversion every so often (and really, there was nothing that the race could do since a portion was essentially a crime scene and that’s going to shut things down awhile regardless). I at least got to see the elite men and women take off!

As corrals were started on the course, us medical runners started joining every so often. We were under instruction to not PR and be on the look out for any runner or spectator needing help, so today was by no means a race for time. The first 2.5 miles were good. I made it to just past the 5K when someone saw my medical runner bib from behind and pointed me back towards a down runner. Running against the flow wasn’t the best idea, but when you don’t know where other medical runners are, you have to error on the side of caution. I spent at least 10-15 minutes with that runner and calling out to command central for help. A decreased amount of gators wasn’t the best situation either. 2 other medical runners showed up and we at least were able to get the runner to an aid station. As that situation was dealt with, another runner fell victim to a pot hole and had to call it a day.

The rest of the race was pretty uneventful from a medical runner stand point. After mile 4, miles 5-7 seemed to come quick because of the diversion. Since I was so far back from where I normally run for 10 miles, it was nice to enjoy things from a different perspective! And, the Cherry Blossoms were at their peak for the first time in 8 yrs for the race.

Around mile 8.5, my mom caught up to me and we ran for a bit. We made it through the rest of the race with no problem and got through the finish chute and grabbed some water (a hot commodity).  We headed back towards the medical tent so I could drop off my fanny pack they had outfitted us with. We also went and picked up our medals and then hung out at the finish for a bit waiting for my dad and cousin. We also saw the Kenyan embassy at the finish cheering. I really want to be an honorary Kenyan because they seemed fun!

I finished in 1:59:30. I’m normally about 20-25 minutes faster, but I took today as a medical runner, so time is not really important as much as doing my job. At this point, we’re still waiting for the official course length, as race officials are in the process of remeasuring the course. It’s a guesstimate that the course was 9.50-9.75 miles this year. Despite the circumstances, a great race to run and should be on anyone’s bucket list to do!

Sidenote, did you run today? Head over to BibRave and review it!


Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

The right of Spring in Washington DC made its presence known this weekend with the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler. I flew out from Cleveland to BWI Friday night. I made the mistake of not bringing my luggage with me, a problem when you finish up a late consult and you have a 6:50 flight out of Cleveland Hopkins Airport, which is 40 minutes from your apartment. I got to the airport an hour before my flight and got through security with plenty of time to spare. I got in to DC and to my hotel with the rest of the family.

Saturday, mom and I got up at 7 and headed to the expo to volunteer until noon. We checked in, but my name wasn’t in the master list, but it wrote my name and email down. Hopefully I get my guaranteed entry for 2015! We were in charge of directing runners to shirt pick up (to the left, to the left!). We preached out and met up with my dad, uncle and sister for lunch. After some R&R, we headed to church and dinner and watched some Final Four basketball.

This morning, we woke up earlier than I’ve been getting up to work to head to the National Mall. The standard have Christine check a bag because she’ll be done first was in full effect for post race long sleeved shirts.

After the elite women and men were set off, I crossed the start with the orange corral about 14:30 min into the race. The weather was perfect for running, 40s-50s with no wind, like we had on Saturday. The start was so crowded and I was hoping for things to thin out, but not so much. The crowds were out and cheering. Somewhere close to mile 1, we had the elite men pass us in the opposite direction who were around mile 4.5-5 (speed demons). After a solid first 2 miles, we were met with water and Gatorade. The first bathroom line was a good 20 people deep, time well lost. After some loops, we were running along the river through about mile 3.5. We found miles 4-5 and the first mile of the course was quiet. Around mile 5, the crowds picked back up and we headed out towards Roosevelt Island. The water stations around mile 6 were packed, as was the course. Come mile 7.5, the beer and Oreo stop was set up. You people rock!! I was keeping a steady pace between 9:30-9:45 minute miles. Things were going well until about 400 meters, until I started hacking up a lung. I hit the finish at 1:36:06 according to the Garmin.

I checked my results online and somehow my results came back as 1:50:54. The Race Joy person told me to calm town, but with a 14 minute difference, it’s a big deal. Apparently, all my splits except me crossing the start recorded, so my time defaulted to the gun time. I’ve already submitted my I want my time changed form so time will tell over the next week if it gets fixed….first race in 93 races where my time has been so off!

15,000 Women and a Few Good Men at the Nike Women’s Half

This morning, bright and early at 7 am, 15000 women (and a few good men) took to the streets of DC for the Inaugural Nike Women’s half marathon on the east coast. When I put my name into the lottery over the winter, I was expecting not to get in because people love the Nike SF run and I figured he mass interest would be (and was) the same!

Anyways, I was up bright and early this morning at 5:30 am and changed and out the door by 6:05. Got to love eating a Greek Yogurt while taking the elevator to the lobby of my hotel. I hopped on the Rosslyn Blue line and was at the start by 6:30. After rushing through a crowd to check my bag (hey,I sweat so much, my metro pass wouldn’t survive and I need my chocolate milk at he finish), I headed to the 9-9:59 min/mile corral. At 7:03, we were off and on the streets of DC. We weren’t staggered at all, which I didn’t see as a problem since everyone around me was around my pace. The fans were out in full force cheering for us, a much appreciated plus, especially at 7 am. Shortly after mile 1, we spent 1/4 of a mile under the 9th street tunnel and the poor Garmin lost a signal. Oh well. We kept on chugging and made our way past people dressed up as a playing card and Twister. Around mile 3, we began running on a route that the Cherry Blossom Run takes us on. I was ok with it because I could settle into a rhythm and knew the route. Somewhere before and after mile 4, on part of the route that was out and back, we had some awesome drummers getting us pumped up to keep on going. Miles 6-9 got a little lonely and the Oreo and beer guys who are around mile 7.5 of the Cherry Blossoms 10 miler weren’t at their spot. Sniff. However, a guy was standing with a sign before mile 5-6 which read “single and supportive.” ME TOO!!! I wanted to stop for a picture and his number. We passed mile 10 and began circling back towards downtown DC.

We passed mile 11 and I could feel the I just want to be done thinking hitting home. Being tired didn’t help so a switch of music was an order. We got to mile 12 and the 20K point and had a straight shot to the finish (YAY!). I recorded a time of 2:07:39 per Nike.

Now the real fun begins. The first part of the chute involved bib scanning and getting our bling, a Tiffany’s necklace made for the race. It was all wrapped up too!


The Blue Box


Tiffany’s Necklace, NWM 2013

The beat part (2nd to the necklace) were the men in suits handing out the necklaces. if they see his, 100% dingle and starting residency here!! We hit the food portion of the chute and then got to the T-shirts. I hate not getting the shirts at the expo, because now I have to hunk and compare what size I want. After leaving the shirts, it got real crowded. People were in line waiting to buy finisher’s swag (ran into someone who waited 2 hrs!) and to get pictures taken on stage with their blue box. I browsed a bit and went to look up my results. I wove in and out of people and ended up back at gear check to pick up my bag. A change of shirt and chocolate milk does wonders!!

Overall, this was pretty well done, especially for an inaugural race. I honk a few tweaks for packet pick up might be needed (there was a huge line Saturday around 5) and either relocating of the finisher’s boutique or putting finisher’s swag online would be awesome. Really, though, I had a blast and crossed a race of my bucket list!  If you’re looking for results, head over here.

If you’re looking for some swag, check Nike Georgetown if you’re still in the DC area.  They have some of the finisher gear that was offered today at the finish line.  Nike online and Run also have select NWM DC gear if you couldn’t get your hands on anything in DC.

Now, it’s time for some light reading as I take a 9 hour exam on the computer tomorrow.  Good vibes and juju appreciated!

We Run DC

On Sunday morning, a whole lot of runners will fill the streets of DC for the Inaugural Nike Women’s Half Marathon. To be honest, I never expected to get in to this race, especially the first one. I changed my train to get out here this morning instead of tonight, picked up my bib, utilized a Nike gift card or two to pick up some swag and splurged on a pair of shoes. If you’re heading to the expo tomorrow, here’s some good info:

  1. Shake out run with Joan Samuelson Saturday 4/27 at Nike Georgetown, 8 AM
  2. Expo: At Washington Harbor in Georgetown from 8-6 PM.  Have your confirmation e-mail either on your phone or printed out.  Get it scanned and you’re good to go! If you’re a college student, be sure to bring your student ID and driver’s license, just to be safe. Also be sure to head outside the expo closest to the river: the have some good stuff out there as well.
  3. Getting some swag: You can head to Niketown (right down the street from the Expo), but also try City Sports in Georgetown or The Running Company which is a short walk down M street.  Less crowded and they have some NWM DC gear
  4. FYI, you get a finisher’s shirt on Sunday as you finish the race, so don’t panic when you don’t get one at packet pick up!







Washington DC, Some Cherry Blossoms and a 10 Mile Run

I’m back in Kansas exhausted and listening to the beginning of a storm, which is very calming amazingly enough.  Friday, I headed back east to check on my place in Philadelphia, deal with too much mail and get walked in on by a realtor showing my place before heading to DC on Amtrak.   DC always has the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler and this was year 3 or 4 of my family heading out for it.  I got in around 9 and my parents around 11.  We stayed just off the Rosslyn stop which is a nice walk away from Georgetown and by the metro. Perks? Free parking at the hotel for my parents and us not spending an arm and a leg in downtown DC.

Saturday, I woke up early and spent the morning volunteering at the expo.  With 4 hrs of volunteer work, I had guaranteed entry into the 2014 Cherry Blossom Run and no worries about the lottery (yay me!).  I spent time in the t-shirt exchange.  Words of wisdom, ladies, don’t let the men sign you up for the lottery.  They know nothing about your sizes.  my mom came over later and spent the afternoon working at the bib hand out for the 10 miler.  My dad?  He had the easiest job of all.  He was a running medic (how did I not see that on the volunteer sign up list?  I have so done that).  By the time  I got off, I met my dad and sister for lunch before meeting up with my mom for church later on.  We of course had to watch some Final 4 action before heading off to bed.

This morning, we were up bright and early.  Poor mom ended up sick and somehow still came out (she’s related to 2 docs so really, we had her covered).  My dad headed out early to be briefed by the medical director of the race and my mom and I headed out shortly after.  A 10 minute metro ride later, we were off at the Smithsonian with 17,000 of our closest friends.  Normally, I don’t check bags, but when people I’m running with want to, I will.  It all goes under my since I tend to finish first.  After checking our bag, we headed off to our corals, me to orange and mom to green.  After the elites went off, I waited for the orange coral to leave and was enviously watching tweets about the elite women having 5 miles up on me before I even started.  I was too far back in my coral (or so it felt like) so I was weaving in and out of people trying to get on some sort of pace.

The first few miles, it didn’t feel like I was running, but I apparently was.  I was also looking to see if I knew anyone (which hardly happens)- I later found out my mom had seen me while I was passing her by one of the out and back sites.  We saw the elite men coming through while I was around mile 1-2 and of course we all cheered.  We kept on chugging along and the pace brought us back to the halfway point and the Washington Monument.  So many people and I saw one of my favorite signs of the day:



We then headed for the running path, which tends to be a lonelier part of the race, but is where most of the Cherry Blossoms are.  Thanks to the climate not knowing what it wants to do with itself, the Cherry Blossoms weren’t fully out yet.  I’m convinced they’re having some PMS issues, but what can you say.  We kept on going and I was getting text updates on where my parents were (thanks tracking!!!). Around mile 7, we passed a beer and oreos station- too bad they were out!  Come mile 7.5-8, there was the volunteer banana handing out water in a TNT shirt.  Mile 9 never looked so good and I appreciated the count down of how much further I had to go.  Not so much appreciated: the pot holes of DC.  I always forget about the little hill at the end and not being able to see the finish right away, but once I saw where I was going, I was off.  Officially, time was 1:37:15 and I held a steady pace.

Afterwards, I picked up some food, my bag and my medal and waited for the rest of the family.  After grabbing some showers at the hotel, we were off to brunch before we all had to head separate ways (me to Kansas via BWI, my sister to Baltimore and my parents to Ohio).  As always, a great race that’s well organized and run.  You can tell it’s well put together!!  Kudos to the dude who’s run all 41 of these things.  That’s impressive!!  Sleep well tonight runners, I promise I will

Pacers Jingle All the Way 8K

I had no intention of doing another race until the Emerald Nut Run on NYE.  I decided to do a last minute trip to DC this weekend for a Living Social event at 918 F street.  Being the runner I am, I looked for a race and found one put on by Pacer’s.  The Jingle All the Way 8K is an event benefiting Habitat for Humanity in DC.  When I got in yesterday, I stopped my hotel and checked in (about 3 hours before check in started, but that’s besides the point) and headed over to the Pacers Logan Square location.  One of new things that they’re doing is assigning runners a bib as they pick up their packets instead of prior to the race.  I think it works for smaller races, but for bigger races, I’ve heard of there being issues with it.  I enjoyed me some DC, found a holiday market and found a Holiday Market where some Christmas shopping occurred when I went on my afternoon run.  While taking advantage of the nice weather and on my run, I was attacked by some sidewalk and landed flat on my side.  No injuries except to my ego and some bruises.  I’d expect that to happen to me in heels, not in my running shoes.

This morning, I got to sleep in until 7:30 as the race didn’t start until 9 and, as it turns out, was about 1/2 mile from my hotel. As I was leaving, one of the bell hops told me he expected me to win.  All with a laugh.  I left around 8:30 and used it as a warm up to the race.  Prior to the start, I enjoyed a banana and a chocolate carmel santa clause (breakfast of champions, I know).  I ran into some reindeer, a gingerbread man and some people who happened to be from Ohio and knew my neck of the woods (that rarely happens).  We got lined up and instead of starting of 9 like we were suppose to, we ended up starting at 9:10.  Shortly after the start, I found a running menorah.


Happy Hanukkah!


We somehow ended up running the flat part of DC, which I have absolutely no problem with.  We passed mile 1 and about 9 minutes in, we saw the lead pack passing mile 2.  We’re all jealous at the point (who wouldn’t want to run 5 minute miles?), but cheered them along because that’s what we do.  The race had loop turns but people would see friends running the opposite direction and give them high 5s or hoots and hollers.  It’s always good to have races where people are out enjoying themselves.  After mile 2 came in went, I was keeping a good pace and we found some water.  Since the leaders hadn’t hit the second water stop yet, those volunteers were bringing some of their cups over to help the first water stop. We kept on chugging along and I found people I wanted to pass and not let beat me.  Hey, you can’t let the 10 year old kid beat you, ya know?  The streets were quiet, unlike a morning race in NYC, Chicago or Philly.  Not complaining about that one.  We passed miles 3 and 4 and you knew you were close to being done.  We had one last loop turn before arriving back at Freedom Square and crossing the finish.  My official time was 44:00 flat, a PR of 2 minutes.  Not expecting that, but I’ll take it!

My friend the Garmin broke my splits down as this:

Mile 1: 8:51, Mile 2: 8:42, Mile 3: 9:03, Mile 4: 8:57, Mile 5: 8:19

I finished 215/979 of 25-29 year old women and 1,391 of 4,702 overall.  It was cloudy, damp and about 52*, but I’ll take it for Winter.  A good race to do if you’re ever looking for a December race!

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler

March has gone and April is here in full force.  This past weekend was the 40th running of the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler in DC.  I’m currently rotating in Renovo, PA which is up a mountain with no cell phone service unless you’re in the ER or standing on the helicopter pad (I kid you not).  We have no MRI/CT scan at the hospital I’m at, no respirator and everything serious is transported to Williamsport or Geisinger.  Anyways, I digress.  Friday afternoon, I left at lunch and headed to Philadelphia to pick up some stuff I forgot at my apartment and then headed to DC.  I met up with my parents and some friends of the family after parking at the hotel for dinner.  We ate at J. Paul’s in Georgetown (good food there btw!!) and then headed to the hotel.

Saturday morning, I headed out for an early morning run since I was stiff from sitting in the car all of Friday.  Needless to say, I took a little bit of crap from the Cherry Blossom Run Twitter team, but hey, when you’re stiff, you need a run.  We then headed out to the expo to pick up bibs and to volunteer.  Guaranteed entry for next year, check!  I also was able to get Joan Benoit Samuelson’s autograph.  Definitely a cool person to meet and very down to earth.  I mean the woman won the first women’s Olympic Marathon in 1984 and ran in 1:01 on Sunday!  After heading to church, I went to get some work done while the rest of the family headed to dinner at my dad’s cousin’s house in Alexandria, VA.

Sunday morning, we were up bright and early at 6 AM.  We were staying close to the Rossyln metro so we hopped on and headed to the Smithsonian stop.  My parents headed off to the bathroom, I headed to check a bag that we had extra shirts and powerades in.  I jumped in the blue corral while my parents ended up in the orange corral.  The elite women started off and soon after, the rest of the elite followed by all of us mortal runners.  I unloaded a throwaway shirt right before crossing the start.  The first mile or so was really congested with runners and I’m not entirely sure how fast I ran that mile.  Things spread out some and I got into a groove.  It was in the high 40s, low 50s at the start of the race and the cherry blossoms had actually peaked the week before due to the warm weather and spring deciding to show up early (hence the “There may be no blossoms, but you runners are awesome” sign).  We pounded some pavement and hit some fans set up around one of the out and back pieces of the course (which we shouted for some more cow bell).  As we were heading out, we saw the lead women pack (that’s kinda discouraging actually) and everyone else in front of us.  Oh well.  We ran over some bridges, passed one of DC’s airport and took our time along one of the bike/run trails.  At mile 4, I took a bathroom break that wasn’t worth waiting in line for at the start.  Other than that, I took advantage of the water every 1.5 miles or so.  Around mile 7.5, our guy from last year with the beer and oreos was at his spot.  Nothing like oreos dunked in beer for some runners.  Truck on some more and with less than a mile left, we passed a guy pouring Miller Light (because regular Miller would have been too much to ask for) for runners who wanted it and there was definitely at least one toast that happened in front of me between runners.  What I conveniently forgot about this race was the hill it decides to end on.  I mean, what’s more fun than a hill when you’re tired?!  I finished in 1:32:07, so a good 6 minutes better than last year.

I hung out and waited for the rest of Team Guenther at the finish and then caught up with my parents about 25 minutes later.  I was cold and as we were heading back to the metro, I decided to have the breakfast of champions, diet coke and a hot dog.  Hey, it sounded good and I needed food.  My mom got a laugh (and a picture) out of it.  I got first dibs on the shower and finished packing my stuff.  I headed back to lovely Renovo PA and headed to the hospital to do laundry because I wasn’t smelling my running clothes all week.  Looking forward to it next year, as always!!

Cherry Blossom 10 Miler Inspiration

In one week, the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run will sound off with it’s 40 th run in history.  Need some motivation???  Here’s a video that might help out.  Enjoy!!


Will Run for Hot Chocolate

Hot Chocolate is every kid’s favorite thing over the winter.  I would always throw in the mini marshmallows on top and then eat them before they melted.  When I was living in Chicago, before the days of me liking a run of over 4-5 miles, I had heard of the Hot Chocolate 15K which is usually held in November.  Besides getting awesome JACKETS (instead of t-shirts which I have more then enough of), the post race party gives out HOT CHOCOLATE!  What’s even better is that it’s Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate.

Fast forward to this weekend.  I was searching for races for later on this year and typed in the Hot Chocolate 15K and by golly, they have a 15K in Washing DC!!!  A racewhere I get a jacket and hot chocolate at the end :-).  Granted, we’re talking 9.3 miles in 35 degree weather on December 3 and the run is along the National Harbor.  A December run along a body of water means a bitterly cold wind effect.  Did I mention there’s hot chocolate involved? And that it’s Ghirardelli?

I’m thinking I need to form a Hot Chocolate Run team.  Team Marshmallow, Team Snow Day, maybe even Team Snowball.  Anyone interested???  Awesome Jacket included!!

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