BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Kick the Dust Up

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Horizon RTT  from Under Armour 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!”

Surprisingly enough, dirt and trails are a few of a my favorite things.    I say surprisingly because in some ways I am a huge germophobe and if I’m not in running gear, odds are high that I’m in a dress and heels.    Get me on a trail though and I turn into a 5 year old and run free.  Sometimes a little too free but that’s another story.


When I had the chance to try the Horizon RTT’s from Under Armour, I almost jumped for joy.   My current trail shoes were trashed and it had been way too long since I had run recklessly down a mountain.  I needed it.    Then they arrived and they were so pretty.  But hopefully they wouldn’t stay that way for very long, I wanted to get them good and dirty.

Ok, let’s cover the technical details first-

UA Snip
from the website

Ok, first impressions.

This is a serious shoe.  So much sturdier than my previous trail shoes.   How was that going to feel on my feet?  Ok, where’s the dirt? 😀  My first run in them was a couple laps around the lake.    Not bad, nice traction, good grippy feel, I never felt like I was going to skid out in the loose dirt.


Next adventure- 3 Bridges Preserve, a new trail with a little more zig-zag up than I was expecting.  😛     The shoes felt good, kept me sure footed on the path and helped me explore a little more of what run town has to offer.


Other adventure- An unexpected illness turned a planned Bishop’s Peak hike/run into a calmer ocean trail adventure where I took the shoes over paved paths, hard packed sand,  sandy dunes, boardwalk, gravel and roads.    No problems at all.  And something else I noticed that day?  This hike was done with my mother and she had just purchased a new pair of trail shoes that day.  Her shoes and socks were full of dune sand when she took them off but mine weren’t!

Overall, I wore the shoes for about 20+ miles of mixed routes and surfaces since I received them.  Full disclosure, that unplanned sickness kept me from testing them in my favorite way.   My favorite part of trail running is careening wildly down a mountain side in a barely controlled fashion.  Yes, people usually look at me like I am crazy but I love it.  I need a trail shoe that grips tight so I can run free.  Being sidelined kept me from 2 planned mountains.  Boo.   So as soon as I can run crazily down a mountain, I’ll be back with an add on to this review.  And probably a big smile on my face.  😛

That said, I do have some thoughts on the shoe.  While the outsole is great for traction, I feel like it is very stiff on your foot.   Now maybe I have just become used to a more cushioned shoe lately thanks to my everyday running shoes.   I have a tendency for taking the wrong turn on trails and turning a 5 mile run into 9 or 10 and I think more cushion in the sole would be nice.  This can also probably be corrected with a good pair of inserts, I’ve just never had any luck with those. We shall see.   However I plan on putting in many more miles in these in the months to come.  😀

Want to hear more? Check out these thoughts by other Bibrave Pros-

TedrickLindseyJessicaCasey

How do you run on trails?

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Salinas Valley Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Salinas Valley 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!

The morning dawned dark and early.  With the race starting at the Soledad Mission, I was up early and heading north.  After getting a little turned around (all my fault- it was literally straight up the freeway) I arrived early enough to pick up my bib, debate what pack to use and use the port a potties.    I had woken to a very angry stomach and had to use the facilities a few times before the race.  Lovely.     I headed to the start line to the beat of an ipod and an upbeat announcer.   The weather had been predicted to start in the 70’s and be in the high 80’s by race end so I was very excited to see a heavy cloud cover that kept the temps about 10* cooler.


Miles 1-3- 10:01, 10:07, 11:04

The course started off nice and flat.  Which I appreciated for about 1/2 a mile.  My legs were already fussy so by mile 2, I was running in the dirt on the side of the road.   If there’s dirt, I will find it. 🙂    My shoelaces on my right shoe came untied in mile 2 as well.   I was moving surprisingly faster than I thought I was going to be though.    Mile 3 saw my first walk break as well as my shoelaces coming untied again.  What gives?!  I was enjoying the scenery.  We ran past crop fields of Cauliflower and Peas.   I was taking pictures while running.


Miles 4-6- 10:44, 11:01, 10:45

Here’s my main gripe- the first water station wasn’t until mile 3.3.    For a race in CA in August, I thought that was too far in.  I carried a larger bottle of BeachBody with me but I still like water at each station.   We started into a little rolling section of the course which was giving me slight downhills which was slightly helping my pace.  This was cool because the walk breaks were becoming more regular.   My legs were starting to get super stiff though.   My brain may have seen the road as slightly rolling but legs were telling me it was flat.  I needed a hill!


Miles 7-9-  12:47, 11:59, 10:48

A hill!  My legs were thankful, the rest of me not so much.  I walked all of it.  No shame, I knew this was going to be a slower race so there was no point in making my heart rate go crazy.  🙂   That climb started in 7 into 8 and partly into 9.  Honestly it wasn’t even a big one, I just took it easy.   The sun had also come out and temp instantly jumped 10*.  Yikes!  Water!   I was still taking in the sights of the course and enjoying the music stations along the course.  Then in mile 9, I got a little downhill to enjoy.


Miles 10-12- 11:58, 11:49, 11:36

The sun was shining in full force which made the scenery awesome but did no favors for my pace.   I started rocking out.   Literally.  We came upon a hill the race calls the “Beast of Eden” and I ran up it playing an air guitar the whole way.  It was also the only hill I ran up.  😛   I then sang and played an air guitar or drums for the next 3 miles.  I gave thumbs up to race photographers (which actually turned out to be a terrible picture).   There was a strawberry station at mile 10.2 and while they looked amazing, my stomach was starting to cramp up and I passed on them in fear of a repeat of the morning.

Mile 13- 11:42

Ok, I was done.  I felt like this mile took 20 minutes.  The finish line was never getting closer.   I was hot, thirsty and tired.   We ran past the buses to take us back to the start and man they looked tempting.  I was walking so much.  We turned left but still no finish line.   Just an uphill.  Waah.   I was walking towards the last little turn to the finish and the announcer called me out!  Seriously!    Just make it obvious when I start running.    Thanks dude.

Finish 2:28:44


Considering how I thought this race was going to go, hell yeah!  If the sun had stayed away, I think I may have been about 5 minutes speedier.    It warmed up really fast once the sun came out and I wish there had been another water station or 2.    I drank water at every station and had my bottle.  Once across the finish line, I downed a chocolate milk and a bottle of water.  Normally drinking that much that fast would have me feeling very ill but I felt fine.   Like I said, it was kind of warm those last miles.

Overall, I really enjoyed the race.   It was kind of nice to go into a race mostly relaxed and barely even glance at my watch.   I enjoyed the backroads, and the crop signs and Steinbeck were an added touch,  The only thing I would change is more water stations.

Half marathon #27 done.  😀

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

Running for Salinas

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Salinas Valley 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 race weekend!

Man, that one came up fast!  Well, actually, how is it August?  😛

It’s time to head on up to Salinas and meander my way through back roads enjoying the sites of crops, check another Mission off the list, and enjoy half marathon #27 in Steinbeck country.

My training has been ummm, a little absent this month.  With work going through a conversion, I tried but my running took a hit.   As did my sleeping.


So with that in mind, I have zero goals for this weekend other than to have a good time.  I plan to just go out there and enjoy the views and the course.   I know I will be slower than normal and that’s fine.  More time to enjoy the course, right?   I here there’s a great BBQ at the finish- I think I’ll finish just around the time a BBQ craving hits.  😛

I am hoping this odd heat wave with mugginess breaks though.   The weather stalking has commenced and right now it’s looking like a warm morning.   I will be drinking lots of water.

What are you do this weekend?

 

 

BibRave, Run!

To Sur….with Hills

We interrupt regularly scheduled programming  for a little announcement.  😛   My workout recap will be up on Wednesday.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Big Sur International 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!

I thought it was fitting that I drop the news about marathon #2 on the anniversary of marathon #1.

One year ago today, I crossed the finish line of my very first marathon.  Unlike some, I hadn’t planned on running a marathon, in fact when asked, I usually said “oh hell no”.   It was never a goal of mine, it just kind of happened.   All of sudden I was registering for it, training for it, hurting over it, and then running it.   And I didn’t hate it.  😛

I kind of always knew I was going to run another one but nothing ever seemed right.  Every time I looked at websites or checked dates, it all seemed too forced.  Nothing clicked for me.   Then a chance to run the Big Sur International Marathon came up.  Once again, it just seemed to happen.

Views along Highway 1

Big Sur is an amazing race that runs point to point along Highway 1 in CA with some of the most amazing views.    It offers a marathon, 21 miler, 11 miler, 12K, 5K and 3K.  You name it and there is a distance that will work for you.  It is also is extremely popular and registration for the marathon runs by lottery system, the remaining distances are first come, first served.    A few years ago, I ran the Monterey Bay Half Marathon (then named the Big Sur Half) and the loved it.  We drove Highway one home and the scenery is just amazing.

Elevation

That said, I had my hesitations before throwing my name into the hat.    I know I say I prefer races with hills but this has HILLS.  It took me 5+ hours to run San Francisco, could I do this?   But it was calling my name, so I took a chance.   When I found I was in, I was torn between jumping up and down in excitement and wondering what I gotten myself into.😛

But self doubts aside- I am so looking forward to this race.  My hotel is already booked and I have a starting day for marathon training- Christmas Day. 😂     Now I just need a training plan.    I got this.

Have you ever run Big Sur?

Training plan suggestions?

BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Cross my Heart

 

Disclaimer: I received a Phone.Flask.Vest from Orange Mud 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!

I have a couple of Orange Mud products- the handheld and the Transition towel.  I love them both but I’ve really had my eye of their hyrdation/ gear packs.  Have you seen them?? So pretty!  You know runners love their gear right?  Then I saw the Phone.Flask.Vest and was like- wait, what?

PFV
source

I mean logistically how was that going to work?   Don’t get me wrong, looked awesome but that mannequin looks noticeably flat chested- I may not be Dolly Parton but I’m also not flat chested.   I was confused.  At the time, they weren’t any pictures of the pack on women on the site either (there are now).     I was intrigued enough to want to try it.

It arrived and it was even smaller than I thought it was going to be.  However there were plenty of pockets.  On the front side- there was the flask packet, another pocket directly in front of that, a key pocket, and a pocket on the shoulder.  The entire back was a pocket complete with an extensive shock cord.    The included flask was 450ml.  Which if you’re like me, I had to look that up-15oz.  😛


Getting it on was a little tricky- silly me forgot to loosen any of the straps, ha!    Once I did that it just a matter of finding the right fit.  Which, I am not going to lie- I have to adjust the fit every run.  However, the fault for that lies purely on my abnormal upper half- most of the time I’m a Cish cup, however there are times I’m above a D cup.  Yeah, it’s fun, but I guess you could say I tested the pack in a variety of ways?😛


Ok- now for the running with it part.  As long as I had it tightened properly- I never had any bounce.  It only moved around on one run and I think I was just too tired to get it properly situated.  Either that I was freakishly small that day.   One quirk about the straps is that they tighten towards the back- so to tighten it- you pull it to the back.  It was a little awkward at first but then I adjusted.    It’s super lightweight and I can barely feel it when it’s on.


A full flask fits perfectly in it’s pocket and it worked great but to be honest I didn’t use it much.  There were a few reasons.  I kept forgetting it, I was only running a few miles and didn’t need water or I needed more so I carried a handheld too.   My phone was also problematic.  I have Iphone 7+ and the thing is huge.  It does fit in the front pocket with flask in place but it’s a very snug fit.  I preferred to run without the flask and put my phone in the flask pocket.  Then I kept my pepper spray and chapstick, sometimes and entire body glide in the front pocket.    My inhaler went in the shoulder pocket for easy access.  The only pocket I had issues with was the key pocket.  It’s small- very small.  But then my new car key is huge- I was bemoaning that fact while buying the car.   I didn’t even have the pack yet.  😛   Instead I keep a little hook on my key and attach it to the shock cord and place it in the pocket on the back.

Not only have I run with the pack every run since I got it, it has so far stood up to my treatment of it.  I am hard on gear.  I have a tendency to toss things around and I expect them to be able to handle that.  For example- when I run after work, I am often parked in odd locations.  The only door I open is my driver side door.  I won’t open any other doors or the back of the car.  I don’t want to dump the sweaty pack on the passenger seat post run ( I need another transition towel!) so I slingshot it from my seat to the back of the car.  With all my stuff still in it.  I don’t care how it lands as long as it’s on the very back of the car.  😛  So far, this hasn’t hurt it!

So a few things that could make it better-

2 buckles.  There is only one buckle on the left side.  While I can now get it on and off without taking my hat or glasses off, it would be a lot easier with 2 buckles.  Sometimes it’s like taking off a sweaty sports bra.   I also have a small head, so this would a very snug fit for those with more of average size head.  Hmmm, that sounded odd.

I’ve got a theory (it could be bunnys) While I have plenty of leftover space on the straps, I wonder about the sizing.  I measured multiple times and ordered a S/M because according to the site that’s what I needed.  However I’m kind of wondering if the L/XL would have made the pack itself fit even better due to my ummm, upper half.  It makes me wonder if the sizing for woman should be more like S/M for those who wear A/B and L/XL for C and higher.  But again that’s just a theory and not one that I could test out.

Want to your own or anything at Orange Mud?  Use “BRPPFV” for 10% off.

Want to read more thoughts on the pack?

AngieBradleyCaseyJamesHeatherMai

Ever used a pack like this?

What do think?

Anyone catch that reference?