Race Registration: Freedom’s Run Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Freedom’s Run 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!”

Well, I’m super excited to announce, that come this October I’ll be running in the Freedom’s Run Half Marathon! 2019 is going to be a great year for running, and my race calendar is slowly filling up.

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Just Announced: BOCO Gear And Nuun Team Ambassador!

Have you ever associated a brand with a good time, maybe an awesome experience, so when you see that product or brand it brings back an outpouring of amazing memories?! Can you say the same for your sense of smell or taste? Certain things just take you back, right?

This may sound silly of me to admit, but honeysuckle reminds me of my childhood, when I had summers off from school and was just having fun being a kid. When I get a whiff of honeysuckle it floods my brain with awesome memories and gives me an endorphin rush and relieves the stress of being an adult.

Would you believe me when I say these two brands (BOCO Gear and Nuun) offer me the same overwhelming sense of assurance?

BOCO Gear is based out of Boulder, CO and when I think of Colorado I think of the amazing adventures my Brother and I shared driving across the US. It was an epic road trip I’ll remember forever, I even had his Colorado license plate tattooed on my leg!

You might be asking yourself; what does this have to do with running?

Here’s why: during that trip during overnights at hotels, I would lace up and go for a run in a new state, a new town, and a place that was utterly unknown to me. It was euphoric to say the least, catching a runners high in uncharted territory is crazy good.

Fast forward to the Ragnar Relay and I found myself in a similar circumstance. I was running off little sleep in an area unknown to me, but at the same time was catching a buzz off running in a new and exciting place. Call me crazy but it was a flood of emotions I’ll soon never forget.

At the completion of Ragnar I spotted the BOCO logo on an hat that just called out my name. Call me crazy, but that BOCO Gear hat just opened the flood gates on my memory banks and every time I place it on my head, it takes me back. When I’m rocking a BOCO Gear hat, you know I’m living in the moment and soaking in as much experience as my brain will allow. Since Ragnar I’ve purchased 3 more BOCO Gear hats, their fit, quality and feel really appeal to me as a reputable and dependable brand. Among so many things that’s why I’m proud to join the 2019 MVP Team of Ambassadors!

I was first introduced to Nuun right before the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate 15k. My Mom said she saw some at the race expo and decided to give it a try. As a World Champion Dragon Boat Crew Member, I take Mom’s word when it comes to hydration. So I remember I popped the tab in my water and letting it fizz away into tasty goodness.

That was my first ever race I had registered for following my epic weight loss of around 60 lbs. and it was my first experience running a 15k. The crowd and the excitement of race day in the City of Brotherly Love was beyond memorable! I recall almost every moment of that race and remember how overwhelmed I felt, and yet oddly empowered seeing the miles go by. You always remember your first race, and I’m so happy that Nuun was a part of such a great time.

Every time I taste Lemon-Lime Nuun it reminds me of the excitement of running and the enjoyment this community brings.

Cheers to a new year and new opportunities!

Just Announced: BibRave Pro

Guys I’m super stoked to share that I’ve partnered up with BibRave as an ambassador for 2019! I can’t wait to dive in and really put my talents to work.

I’ve got a lot of plans for 2019, and I’m really hoping to kick things off on the right foot! What you can expect to see from me in the near future:

  • Race Reviews and Promo Codes
  • Product and gear Reviews
  • Interactive Runs
  • Podcast updates
  • And much more!

To all my friends and family: Thank you all for your support! And to all my runner friends and fellow BibRavePros here’s to a successful and wonderful year ahead! Also, if anyone wants to collaborate and join in the podcast, the more the merrier!

My BibRave Reviews

September Miles! Triple Digits

Welp, I did it again! I got my monthly goal of 100+ miles in a month… and it feels awesome. It might seem like I’m going backward, but October I’m going to reel things back and reduce my mileage.

And here’s why.

As you can imagine, after increasing my average monthly mileage from 70 to 100 miles, I was bound to find new injuries along the way.  Calm down Uncle Jim, my knees are fine – what I did discover:

I was having issues with tenderness in my plantar fascia.  Plantar fasciitis is a fairly common ailment among runners and easily treatable.  I won’t go into all of the details (Google is your friend), but I found my heels and arches were often sore following a long run. After a quick YouTube search, I was able to pinpoint that the issue is in the calf-muscles and not properly stretching AFTER my runs.

I found that giving myself a somewhat painful and deep tissue massage along my calves and plantar fascia, I was able to reduce and relieve the pain.  Also, foam rolling after runs has helped drastically reduce soreness and tenderness.

Second, I’ve been experiencing some tenderness in my lower left shin, almost like a wicked bruise that won’t go away.  I’m not sure if this is a stress fracture on my lower leg, or if a tendon is just bruised and needs to heal. Either way, I’m taking it easy to hopefully not exacerbate any injuries, I don’t want to take any chances.  Also, I don’t know how to describe exactly what I’m feeling other than the pain is similar to a bruise.  I don’t experience pain when I walk or put weight on my leg, so it doesn’t seem like a fracture is an issue, again just soreness.

The Hershey Half Marathon next weekend, and for the most part, I have only logged 18 miles in the last 11 days.  This upcoming week (before the half marathon) I’m not going to run at all, maybe a slight jog around the neighborhood – like I said, I just want to take it easy.

Hot Chocolate 15k – Race Recap

Before we start, can I tell you how much I love this race? The Hot Chocolate 15k is just an awesome race all around.  The only complaint is finding a parking spot around the city, but hey, par for the course.  This year I hit another PR, beating my previous runtime by around 8 minutes.  I felt strong the entire race, and get this – NO MUSIC.  I decided to ditch the headphones and listen to myself breath, and it was an amazing experience.

Running without music really heightened my other senses and I felt like I was sincerely listening to my body.  It also afforded me a chance to really take in my surroundings and hear what was going on around me.  Life can be pretty crazy, and it’s almost sad to say this, but you never know what’s going to happen at an event like this.  There were over 5,000 participants in the 15K, plus spectators, staff, and volunteers – it was crazy busy!  So being alert and knowing my surroundings was extremely comforting.  Another comforting sight was seeing the sheer amount of awesome volunteers, police, fire, ems, and sanitation crews.  Major kudos to the men and women of the Philadelphia Law Enforcement, First Responder, and Public Works Departments.

The first half of the race takes you from the Philadelphia Museum of Art toward Center City and then loops you back around to cross over the Susquehanna into Fairmount Park.  You run up Martin Luther King Drive and catch the wonderful sights of Boathouse Row.  It’s an amazing sight and such a beautiful landscape.   The Philadephia Hot Chocolate Run is an Out-and-Back Course, so once you run the entire length of the Park, you turn around and come right back.

I didn’t carry much on me during this year’s race, last year I carried Sport Beans and two water bottles with Nuun in them, this year a single Stinger Gel Flask and one Orangic Honey Stinger Waffle was just enough.  Heck, I even forgot to eat the waffle until the very end!  The entire race was enjoyable, it wasn’t until mile 8 that I noticed some discomfort.  I’m not really sure what triggered it, but I decided to check my heart rate at mile 8 and noticed I was at my max threshold (red area for those Garmin users).  Maybe it was a lack of glucose in my bloodstream, but I just felt a little off.  I decided to walk for 1 min, and see if my heart rate would drop back to my Anaerobic zone (Orange) or if I could manage to calm myself my Aerobic zone (Green).  I chugged the rest of my gel flask and nabbed a Nuun water from the last aid station – I checked my watch and saw that I had managed to bring my heart rate into a comfortable zone, so I picked the pace back up.  I finished feeling pretty good with my average pace around 9:30 min/mile.  Could I have gone faster? Maybe, but let’s save that for next year!

Finish Time: 1:29:41

It’s a GIVEAWAY! (kinda)

Honey Stinger Fans rejoice, I have coupon codes worth 37% off your total order when you buy all your favorites from http://www.HoneyStinger.com!  This is a one-time coupon, to be used at checkout, for 37% off your entire order so STOCK UP!

I’ve given away one coupon code to one of my amazing Instagram followers, and he’s also a pretty cool dude to boot, for correctly guessing the make of my car (Subaru). That leaves me with two remaining coupon codes left to share with the masses!  So if you aren’t following me on the Instagrams, I suggest you do, have a look at my latest post and keep those guessing rolling in!

Official rules:
1. Enter code at checkout to receive 37% off
2. Codes good for orders on honeystinger.com only
3. Codes valid for non-Hive athletes only
4. Codes must be used before April 1st, 2018

These are a few of my favorite things – Part II

Race day is a very exciting day, in my early experience I would show up, dressed and ready to run.  Part way through the race, I was itching for an aid station for a drink, or some boost to keep me going.  This would often slow me down – ever try to grab a water from an aid station with hundreds of other runners?  Yeah, no thanks.  It wasn’t until I started to prepare for my races that I really started to enjoy the process.  Arriving prepared, not just in gear alone, can make a race day experience so much better.  5K races I generally treat as fun runs without much fuss, but on long-distance runs, and races over the 10-mile mark I generally start to think about fuel on the go.

Please keep in mind these product reviews are entirely my own, my own experiences, tastes, preferences, and do not express the views of the manufacturer. Please proceed with caution, individual results will vary.  While I have an ambassadorship with Honey Stinger, the best in sports fuel in the industry, I developed this list prior to joining them so there is a bit of a variety.

In this post, I want to focus on two things: Gel and Hydration Race necessities.
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