Hot Chocolate Express-Allstate Hot Chocolate Charlotte

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Hot Chocolate Charlotte as being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about becoming a Bibrave Pro(ambassador), and check out Bibrave.com to review, find, and write rave reviews!”

Super excited to be heading back to Charlotte to run the Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K in 2020. I’ve run this race every year since it began so it will be that much sweeter becoming a legacy runner. You become legacy and get a special medal after you run it 3,5 and 10 years.

It most certainly is not a easy course, matter of fact it is rather hilly but still fun. They changed the course between the 1st and 2nd year to help, so interested to see if there will be another change this year. The weather is also unpredictable. The first year it was kinda warm and rainy, and last year it was down right cold. So much that most runners are huddled around heat towers before the start.

Why should you consider joining me?

Distance: it’s only 5K or 15K, so you won’t be super tired like you would after a half or full marathon. Trust me, the 4 less miles make a difference.

Treats: The post race treats are amazing. All the treats you can think of that are good for dipping in chocolate. Rice krispie treats, Graham crackers, and marshmallows to name a few. Not to mention all the other good food available from sponsors.

Medals: The medals are specifically designed for the city, so always cool to see what they come up with.

Swag: Some of the best swag around, usually some type of half zip pullover or jacket.

If you want to join me, use code BRHCHARLOTTE19 to score a free hat. Hope to see you there

Redemption Tour Has Begun

“Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance products 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!”

 

Today officially begins what I have coined “The Redemption Tour”. Each training day will be a different tour date, as I work toward getting my redemption at the Richmond Marathon. The training will be tough, but lucky for me, I have teamed up with Gatorade Endurance to help me reach my milestone.

 

WHAT LED TO MY NEED FOR REDEMPTION
My strive for redemption began at the Richmond Marathon 2018. I had trained my butt off all year, in hopes of breaking the 4 hour mark in my 4thfull marathon. My training leading up to the race went well, I mean not every training run was peaches and cream but I felt strong coming into the race. The day before the race, I followed my usual routine. That routine involves some serious carb loading with some Italian pasta. When I travel for a race, I typically try to eat at a local Italian restaurant, instead of the usual chain restaurants. I did my search and found a local spot with very good rating that made their own pasta in-house. We got there about 7pm and ordered our food, I got spaghetti and meatballs. With the exception of needing a little salt, the food was pretty good.

 

Fast forward to the next morning, race day, and things took a turn. I woke up and didn’t feel great, I had GI issues that were off the charts. I couldn’t figure out what was wrong, then I realized….it had to be food poisoning. It was hard for me to stand, and resulted to me laying on the floor or trying to crawl. I started to drink water and Gatorade, in an attempt to stay hydrated. As bad as I felt, I knew I had to attempt to still try and run the marathon. Anyone besides a runner would probably think this is crazy, but I had trained too long not to at least give it a go. I continue to drink Gatorade as I made the 1 mile walk to the starting line. I felt good enough to make the walk but I still felt the GI issues lingering. Nevertheless, the gun went off and I started out. The first mile wasn’t too bad, but by the time I reached mile 8, I could feel out of sync. Over the next few miles I had to walk a little and then run, but my pace was plummeting. By the time I reached mile 14, I had to throw in the white flag and just sat on the curve. Runners would slow down and ask how I was doing, I just told them I couldn’t physically go another step. Some cops walked up to me and told me they would call me an ambulance. Ambulance arrived and I was put on a stretcher for my first,and hopefully, only ride in an ambulance. They said I was dehydrated, which didn’t surprise me. I just couldn’t replenish my body enough to counter the effects the GI issues had done. So there we have it, my first every race DNF.

 

I was pissed for weeks about this race. Although, about 5 weeks later I ran Kiawah Island Marathon and broke the 4 hour mark, I still didn’t like the taste that Richmond had left in my mouth. I vowed to return to Richmond in 2019 and finish what I started.

 

THE REDEMPTION TOUR BEGINS 
When registration opened for Richmond Marathon, I signed up and marked my calendar. The redemption tour has officially begun, so be on the lookout for the tour dates. Hopefully, with the help of Gatorade Endurance I can make this milestone a successful one. 

Stay Shady… All Shades Aren’t Created Equal-Shady Rays Product Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Shady Rays 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!”

 

All shades are not made equal. What it boils down to is what is important when it comes to a pair of shades. I had the pleasure of testing out a pair of Shady Rays and I am going to share with you the things that made these shades so awesome.

 

STYLE
Let’s begin with how stylish these shades are, and how many colors they come in. I chose the Blackout Incognito color from the Signature Series. I chose this color because the shady rays writing is blacked out on the arms of the shades, which makes people ask you what kind of shades they are. Just a few of the other colors that are available: Black glacier, purple sunset, black infrared and emerald ice. Choose your color and then pick your style from Signature series, aviator, allure and x series. The signature series fits me, but I am sure there are many people that will love the new Allure style.

 

DURALBILITY 
I actually have a fairly easy test when it comes to testing how durable something is…..I let my toddler get ahold of it. After much pulling, dropping and a few throws, these shades held up. There is nothing I can do more intense than what he did, so Shady Rays get a big plus in the durability column.

 

GURANTEE 
One of Shady Rays slogans is “Live Hard, We Got You” and they mean it. Each pair of shady rays comes with a lifetime craftsmanship warranty AND Free lost/broken replacements. What more can you ask for? I can’t think of much. I can’t say I know of many company that will offer free replacement on lost product.

 

PRICE POINT
Usually a good pair of shades will set you back at least a C-Note($100), but not Shady Rays. Check out the price points:

Signature Series          $45

Aviator                       $68

X-Series                     $45

Allure                       $45

 

So for as little as $45, you can grab you a pair of shades…for a lifetime.

 

CHARITY
The last thing that really made me love Shady Rays is what they are doing for the community. With every order fulfilled by Shady Rays, they donate 10 meals to fight hunger in America by way of Feeding America charity. This is AWESOME and makes it even easier to support a company like this.

 

RECOMMENDATION
I will make this short and sweet…YES. Yes for the durability, Yes for the style, Yes for the price point and YES for them giving back and helping fight hunger. Ready to get your own pair, use code BIBRAVE and score 50% off when you purchase 2 pair. Enjoy.

Aftershokz Trekz Airs For All-Product Review

I received a pair of Aftershokz Trekz Airs to review as park 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 know, I know, you have heard me scream my love for Aftershokz Trekz Airs before so I won’t riddle you with information that you have already heard from me before. This time around I thought I would do my review a little different. This time Aftershokz is pushing a campaign for Aftershokz being the perfect mother’s day, father’s day, and graduation gift. I have decided to put together some of the most frequent questions I get from followers regarding the Aftershokz Trekz Airs and hopefully that will make your decision to purchase a pair for your mom, dad or grad, that much easier.

FAQs

They look expensive, how much do they cost.
– The Aftershokz Trekz Airs go for 149.99, but if you use my code you can get extra goodies for the same price. Code: BRBUNDLE, gives you $50 off the Adventurer bundle that includes: a pair of Trekz Airs, a 10L dry bag, stainless steel water bottle and multifunctional headwear. The original price of this pack is $199.99

I like colors, and the slate grey just doesn’t pop enough for me. Are there any other colors?
-of course there are. Right now you can get your pair of Trekz Airs in 4 different colors; midnight blue, forest green, canyon red and of course slate grey.

How is the clarity?
– Before I was introduced to Aftershokz, I had a pair of Bose headphones that I loved. I can 100% tell you that the Trekz Airs can give them a run for the money in the clarity area. Bose still is better for bass, but that isn’t the purpose behind Aftershokz. They give you the clear tunes, with the added ability to let you hear your surroundings.

Can you really hear the music and your surroundings….really?
-Absolutely! The majority of my runs are before sunrise and all back roads and I wear my Trekz Airs every run. I can clearly hear cars approaching or any animals in the vicinity, along with still enjoying my running tunes. Even if you aren’t running, they can be useful. If you listening to an audiobook or Netflix at home, you can hear that and still hear your kids calling you.

What if I am legally deaf in one ear, would I still be able to hear the music since these are supposed to be bone conductive? 
-This is something I never thought about previously but from what I have witnessed, the answer is yes you can. While working Aftershokz booth at a race in DC, a lady walked up and was asking about the headphones. She was legally deaf and was curious. I honestly didn’t know if they would work, but told her to give it a try. She put on a pair of Trekz Air, I started the music and her eyes lit up. She could clearly hear the music playing. I think she bought 2 pair that day, one for her husband.

How heavy are they?
-The Trekz Airs live up to their name and weight. They are very light, so much that you can forget you are wearing them. In most cases, my sunglasses are heavier than my Airs.

How is the warranty and customer service?
-Both are amazing. They come with a 2-year warranty against defect, and if anything happens in that window….you get a new pair. I have experienced this first hand, as my slate grey pair started having issues with sound quality. I contacted customer service via email, did a quick claim and I had a new pair of Airs within a week’s time. Customer service didn’t drill me with a million questions about what happened, just instructed me how to proceed with my claim.

Are they durable?
-very durable. The Airs are very flexible and able to bend without breaking. You would really have to try to break these headphones for it to happen because mine have been stepped on on several occasions and they still look good.

 

Reccomendation
You already know I highly recommend these headphones, I just hope my FAQs helped removed any doubt from you purchasing your own pair.

We Want You: Bibrave May Run Streak

It’s always harder to run once it gets hot, so that’s all the more reason you should run with friends… Bibrave friends. Join us as we streak through the month of May.

Don’t think you can run they many days, no worries, you can walk too. Only 1 mile a day commitment. Find us on Strava and join up! Looking forward to tracking your streak. 🙌

TAR HEEL TOUGH-Tar Heel 10 miler race recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Tar Heel 10 Miler 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!”

As a graduate of UNC-CH, this race will always hold a special place. I’ve run it every year for the past 5 years, so I jumped at the chance to run this race while representing Bibrave.

As in the last couple years, I choose to partake in the Double Down Challenge. The challenge involves running the 4 miler and finishing it before the start line of the 10 miler closes, then running that as well. The 4 miler started at 7:15, and the starting line for the 10 miler closes at 8:00.

The race management was exceptional when it comes to the double down challenge, the had a dedicated lane for the participants as they finished the 4 miles, so they weren’t held up getting to the 10 mile start.

This year’s race was a little different, as I was crazy enough to register for a half marathon the day after this race so I had to control my effort. Weather was not kind as it rained all morning and half way through the 4 miler. We all know what happens after the rain, that’s right, humidity skyrockets and it did just that.

4 Miler

My plan going in was to semi-race the 4 miles and then take it easy on the 10 miles. If you take out the humidity and hills, the 4 miler pretty much went as planned. I finished in 32 minutes, which have me more than enough time to walk back to the 10 mile start.

10 Miler

The 10 miler was rough. The humidity wasn’t letting up and there were 3 times as many hills, including the dreaded Laurel Hill. Yes the hill that is so bad that they time you to see how long it takes you to reach the top. I didn’t even bother trying to run up it, I like many, choose to just walk up. I actually walked up the majority of the hills just so I could save my legs for the following day. I finished around 1:30, with a total Double Down time of 2:03.

Medals

For completing the challenge, you receive medals for the 4 mile and 10 mile, along with a double down Medal.

Recommendation

Despite the hills, I still 100% recommend this race. It is well managed, beautiful course through campus, great shirts and amazing medals. Put this one on your calendar for 2020.

Join Me in the Fast Lane-Knockaround Fast Lanes Product Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lanes sunglasses 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!”

SUNNY DAYS
It’s spring time, so you can never have enough sunnies to protect your peepers. When the opportunity to test sunglass brand Knockaround’s newest product, Fast Lanes, I jumped at the chance. I have tested the Knockaround brand previously, and came away impressed. I was anxious to see if Knockaround could catch “sun in a bottle” twice.

ENTER THE FAST LANES
How are fast lanes different from the other Knockaround sunglasses?
-clean-cut, rectangular lenses
-available in wide range of classis and vibrant colors
-designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes
-FDA-approved; impact-resistant lenses with full UV400 protection
-embedded “K” logos on the arms 

STYLE 
The color I received was the Grey Monochrome w/ Smoke lenses. To be honest, I was not sure these sunglasses would work out for me. If you look in my description above, you see mention that Fast Lanes were designed to look great on medium and larger face shapes. I personally think my face is on the smaller size, so not sure how they would look on me. Turns out I was worrying for nothing because the Fast Lanes look pretty snazzy on me. I think the slightly larger lenses, are more stylish for casual wear. My Knockarounds are now my goto shades when I am driving.

DURABILITY
Fast Lanes are being marketed as “durable and strong enough to stand up to your fast-paced lifestyle”, so you know I had to test that out. I let my little one hold on to them for about an hour. They were dropped, thrown, grabbed, etc but they held up. I will agree, they are durable. 

PRICE
The Knockaround Fast Lanes sale for $20, that it! You can grab you a couple of pair for that price. If you choose the polarized lenses, they are only $5 bucks more at $25.00. A great price for a quality product. You can even save an extra 20% using my code BIBRAVEKNOCKS1

RECOMMENDATION
If you want some good quality sunglasses that won’t break your pockets, these Knockaround Fast Lanes are a no-brainer. Ample color options, durable and most of all, stylish. Use my code and grab yourself a pair OR two.

Tar Heel 10 miler (Double Down challenge) Prep

Looking ahead to Tar Heel 10 miler, the countdown is on. I’ve run this race the past 4-5 years and always enjoy it. Training thus far has been going pretty good for most part. I’ll mentoring a group of runners in the PR Squad, so I’m training along side of them. PR Squad is a subpart of the larger Fleet Feet half/full marathon training program. We have done a lot of hills and Interval work during the session. The hill work so definitely help when it comes to tackling the monster known as Laurel Hill at the Tar Heel 10. Just think of a mile long 45 degree angle hill.

There has been one hiccup during training, I caught a stomach bug the had been going around. My whole house had it at some point. Not fun and it derailed one of my long runs. I did go back a few days later and try to do the run. I cut it short because although my pace was ok but my heart rate was high, so I knew I was working harder than I needed to. Aka i wasn’t fully recovered. ALWAYS LISTEN TO YOUR BODY AND BE MINDFUL OF YOUR HR. Majority of your training runs should have your HR in Green or orange zone, of you’re in red, slow down/stop.

That’s it for now, stay tuned when I post my post TarHeel 10 miler recap.

Tar Heel 10….Again

Disclaimer: I was given entry into Tar Heel 10 as part of being a Bibrave Pro. Learn more about being a Bibrave Pro (ambassador) visit Bibrave.com.

Excited to be given the opportunity to run the tar heel 10 miler for yet another year. I don’t exactly know how many consecutive years I’ve done this race, but it’s definitely more than 5 years. This year will be my 3rd year doing the double down challenge, which requires you to run the 4 miler and then run the 10 miler right after. It’s challenging and fun at the same time. Stay tuned as I prepare for this race in April.