BibRave, Product Review, Run!

Haul it All

Disclaimer: I received an Eagle Creek Cargo Hauler Duffel 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!

Traveling to more races farther away means carrying more stuff.   I have a tendency to over pack.  I like to be prepared for all contingencies you know? 😛  However that would usually leave me with a few bags.  I would try to fit it all in one but would generally fail.    I had no idea how I was going to handle packing for my trip to Las Vegas.

Then I found the Cargo Hauler Duffel from Eagle Creek and I had a solution to most of my problems.  I don’t think I’ll ever stop over packing.  😛

I admit I was a little confused when it first arrived.  It was so small!  I had somehow missed the part where it zips into itself for convenient storage.  Then I opened it up.   It was like a TARDIS moment- it’s bigger on the inside!!!

Some technical specs from the website-

  • ULTRA-LIGHT  (the 60L weighs only 1 lb 12 oz)
  • Made with an extra-durable, water-repellent coated Bi-Tech™ Armor Lite fabric: a fusion of technology that merges max abrasion-resistance with ultra-light carry
  • Bartack reinforcement on all high stress points for maximum schlepping
  • Carry by its removable backpack straps, padded top haul handles, or side grab handle
  • U-shaped lid for easy access to main compartment
  • Sizeable easy-access zippered end pockets for gear organization
  • Six heavy-duty lash points for attaching this bag to a roof rack
  • #10 lockable zippers with storm flap shield zipper from rain
  • Bottom is foam padded to help protect contents against impact
So how has it held up? I used it for local races where I was finally able to take a change of clothes, toiletry bag, and ALL the water in the same bag.  No, seriously, prior to that I would be lugging around my gym bag, a large lunch bag, and a reusable bag.  I mentioned over packing right?  I love that I can keep my toiletries and shoes separate from the main compartment by using the end compartments.   The back pack straps are actually super comfortable.
Beyond that, I lugged it all over airports and planes and taxis to Las Vegas and back.  And it performed beautifully.  At full capacity it is actually slightly too big to be a carry on which is why I was concerned about leaving extra space when I packed for my flight to Vegas.  Only to find out that my flight back had even tighter carry on restrictions.  Why?  The plane was TINY!  Like they were force checking baggage at the gate for free because it wouldn’t fit in the overhead compartments.  What airline checks baggage for free??  I was scared mine wouldn’t pass, I had bought a few things in Vegas and did not pack things anywhere near as tightly but I passed!!!  Whew.
Even better- for a germophobe like me, I was able to literally hose it off before I packed it up to store it for my next trip.  Now I want to take that trip.  But where to????
The only thing I wish the duffel had was some way to cinch tight the parts you weren’t using.  So if you weren’t using one of the end compartments it wouldn’t even have to be opened.
So now really, where’s my next trip?
How do you travel?
For more thoughts on the Cargo Hauler Duffel, check out other BibRave Pros-
BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Rock n Roll Las Vegas 13.1 Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock n Roll Las Vegas 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!

Race #2 for the weekend!

I was feeling a little of that leg pain from last week on Sunday morning when Mai and I were walking to and from the BibRave brunch.  So after getting back to the hotel, I rested my legs until it was time to head to the start line.  I still cleared my daily step goal well before the race started.  😛

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Learning from the previous day, we left the hotel with plenty of time to walk to the start line area giving us time for gear drop, bathroom stops, the We Run Social meet up, and whatever else we needed.    And unlike the previous day, we accomplished it all with time to spare! And I met Helly! If you look really close in the We Run Social pic, you can see my hat in the back.  😛    Then we separated and Mai made her way to her corral and Kate and I went to squeeze our way through the people towards our corral to wait.

The second I knew I had convinced Kate to fly to Las Vegas from Texas and run her very first half marathon, I knew I was running it with her, no matter what.   In the week leading up to the race, she was worried about slowing me down but I said to not even worry about the pace, we were aiming for ‘party speed’.  😎

With an impressive fire show for each corral start, we were off!  That said this is going to be a little different from my usual recaps.   Mile 1 was our fastest, mile 2 was our slowest and everything else fell in between.

Recent events moved the start line up to New York New York but the course still went south towards the Las Vegas sign before turning around and coming back.  These miles were quiet and dark as a moment of silence for Las Vegas.  Which made the cheaters we observed just past mile 1 even worse.   The course was an out and back and this part of the street had a large center divider.  Just past the first water station, 3 people just jumped on over to the other side and joined the runners on the way back into town.  WTH????!  Kate and I and 3 runners behind us were like did we really just see that?

Then came mile 2.  We both admitted we could use a bathroom.  Waiting in the corrals had been long and there were no port-a -potties near the corrals.  So we stopped.  And waited forever.  Seriously…this was a 20 minute mile.   7 of that was non moving time according to my Garmin.  The bathrooms were set up in an odd way that both sides of the course could access them but it didn’t make sense for lines and was causing serious confusion.  And apparently we picked the wrong line because the person before me took forever.  To the point where the lady in line behind me wanted to knock on the bathroom door.    And can I just say that entering a port a potty in the dark is like entering a scary unknown land? 😛

Finally, we were on our way.  We were running 1 minute, walking 1 minute.  Hit the 5K mark and all was shiny.   A little past that I told Kate she officially had less than 10 miles to go.  Another runner near us thanked me for saying that. 😀

3.6 is when disaster struck.   I heard a very verbal inhale, saw a wince and then Kate was limping.   Her right shin was not happy and not happy in a very bad way.  We started walking.  I said let’s walk to 4.5 and see how you feel.  The answer was no better.  I actually tried to get her to stop but she was having none of that.   All right, then let’s go slowly.

So we walked.   We embraced the party speed and took in the sights of the Strip.  All of the casinos and all of their lights.  Counting the CVS’s and Walgreens turned into our version of the license plate game.  No, seriously, why are there so many within such a short distance from each other? And why were more people cutting the course?!?!😡

I took a ton of pictures.  Except the sketchy mile.  The Fremont area was awesome and worth the sketch mile to get there though.  We got water at every aid station and Gatorade.  We stopped at a medical tent and Kate had them apply some Icy Hot to see if it would help.   Every now and then I would jog in place just to reset my feet.  I had worn my old Adidas and they’re too big, not exactly built for walking, my feet were sliding around.  Jogging every now and again helped ease some of the pressure my feet were feeling.

We had a Ghost bride moment too.  I looked up to see a runner dressed like a bride just standing forlornly all alone up ahead.  The way the light was hitting her, she looked a little ghost like.  So then we starting cracking jokes that we needed the Winchester boys.

We were walking, we were slower than planned and Kate was hurt but if you look at the race pictures the photographers took, we’re smiling in all of them.    Kate kept telling me to leave her behind and run ahead and I kept saying hell no.  We started together, we’re finishing together.

And we did- 3:27:49🙂 We collected our awesome spinning medal and went straight to the med tent so Kate could get ice on her leg.  Then we headed out through the long staging area getting the goodies.   Once again, no bags were provided to carry everything but I had come prepared- I had shoved 2 dog bags (clean of course) into my belt so that way we could shove the snacks all in those.  Then we headed for our Remix medals and then found a spot to rest before beginning the walk back to the hotel.  Where was a taxi when you needed one?

So this wasn’t the race we had expected but it was still an awesome race. 

BibRave, Race Day, Run!

little less conversation, a little more action

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Rock n Roll Las Vegas 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!

Holy crap people, it’s Vegas weekend!!

How did that happen?

My bags are packed, I’ve purchased my monorail pass, my race confirmations have been printed- twice, once for each bag- I’ve checked into my flight, I’ve charged all my devices.

What have I forgotten?😛  How did I pack wrong?

I am heading into my first double digit double race weekend- while I’ve run 2 races the same weekend before, once I ran 3, but I’ve never crossed the 10 mile mark when combining those races.  This weekend I will run 16.2 miles along the Las Vegas Strip. And I recently discovered that the Strip is not flat.  Not sure why I thought it was.😛   Oh well, I don’t like flat anyways.


This will also be my first time in Las Vegas so this will probably be very much “small town girl lost in the bright lights” situation.  Whatever am I going to do with myself?  Luckily Kate is coming in on Saturday.  Yay!!!  Follow along on Instagram as we run 13.1 miles of lights and sounds and Kate runs her first half marathon!

I am also having a shoe dilemma.  I think my Ultra Boost are dead.  But I’ve never run more than 5 miles in any other pair of shoes.  Do I take 2 pairs of shoes?  Can I fit two pairs of shoes? Even then that would leave me running the half in the Ultra Boost.  My last 8 miles in them left me with screaming shins for 4 days.  More on that in my weekly recap.  Or lack there of.  😛 So do I wear old shoes that definitely hurt me or newer shoes that could hurt me?

I am looking forward to the expo.   However I am hoping to not spend too much.  Rock n Roll knows how to do an expo and I can be very easily tempted.   Shiny new gear!  Except I have to remember that I have to be able to pack it all and bring it all back.   Bummer.

Plus I get to meet more BibRave peeps!  Yay!  And hopefully some blog buddies too!

Any tips for Las Vegas?

New shoes or old shoes?

BibRave, Run!

Best Dam Race

Disclaimer: I am promoting Run Laughlin 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!

Ever run a race in 2 states?

How about 2 times zones?

I first heard about Run Laughlin about 2 years ago.  It first jumped out at me because it was one of the places we would vacation or drive by as a child.  If there was a lake nearby, odds are we spent some time there at some point.  It sounded like a great trip for me and my dad for memory lane but I couldn’t make it work with my schedule for 2016.   Boo.  Sadly, it’s not in the pocketbook in 2017 either- but I can dream right?

LAUGHLIN

I mean the race boasts views of Lake Mojave, the Colorado River, the Heritage Trail, the Davis Dam and the Black Mountains.  Lake Mojave and the Colorado River take me right back to childhood- I grew a up a lake baby- swimming before I could walk.   Family vacations were spent in Nevada and Arizona but I haven’t been back in years.  More like decades.  😛

The race starts and finishes in Laughlin, Nevada but miles 8 and 9 take you over the Davis Dam… and into Arizona.  How cool is that?   And because Arizona remains on Mountain Standard Time all the time- the time on your watches and phones may get screwy.  While I think this is equally cool- the mileage data nerd in me wonders what it does to your mile splits? 🤔  But it gives you an awesome story to tell!


Even better- if you are looking for a last minute half marathon PR for 2017- this course boasts a net elevation drop of 433′.   Now there’s a good hill in the beginning but that just makes things fun right?

Dang, now I wish I was running this even more.    Hmmmmm.

Want to run it?  Use BIBRAVE20 to save 20%!  Then tell me all about it!

Where did you vacation as a kid?

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

2017 City to the Sea 13.1 Recap

What do you do when need to run a long run and need the motivation to get up early? Sign up for a race!

Let’s count the things that did not go like planned-

  • Had stomach issues on Saturday but hoped they would go away by race morning.
  • It didn’t, it was even worse.  To the point where I had a complete change in wardrobe plans.  If I could have run in a dress I would have.  I needed the least amount of pressure possible.
  • Ran in a skirt I haven’t worn in 2 years, probably qualified as something new on race day.  Ditto to the Camelbak I decided to use.
  • I was late leaving the house, then spent too much time at a Chevron station using the facilities due to above mentioned GI issue.
  • Lost one of the zip ties for the timing chip.  Found it again after tearing apart car.
  • Strolled up to the start with 3 minutes to spare.
  • Ran the race on Zero calories.
  • With my back issues, I was thinking this would be slower than long run pace.  My parents were meeting me at the finish line- I told them over a 2:30 finish.

And yet-

Miles 1-4 9:38, 9:39, 9:44, 9:58


The race starts off downhill so I figured the first few miles would be my fastest but I had been thinking high 10’s.  Mile 1 clocked in and I remember thinking “what the hell legs? We can’t maintain that”.  Then mile 2 took freakin’ forever.  I’ve run this course 5 times and I couldn’t figure why the hell it was taking so long so I finally looked at my watch.  Mile 2.86.  Oh I missed the mile marker, good to know I am not crazy.   I was trying to not look at my watch but I knew my legs were still running a pace they had no business running.  My friend Bix came up behind a little after mile 3.  We chatted a bit before she pulled ahead a little after mile 4.  I had to crash soon right?

Miles 5-8 10:20, 10:44, 11:13, 9:34

Mile 5 starts a long slow climb which I like as it loosens up any leg tightness I may have.  I also took my first walk break as my back gave a tiny twinge.   Mile 6 saw lots of walking as those stupid stomach issues came rearing back.  Are you kidding me?!?!  The last aid station at mile 4 and the next one wasn’t until past mile 7.     I also was suddenly surrounded by people.  What the hell?   It was the 2:15 pace group.  Wait, I was in front of the 2:15 pace group for 6 miles?  What year is this? 2015? 😛   They pulled ahead but I kept them in my sights until the bigger hill on mile 7- more walking thanks to a cranky back.  I wasn’t worried as I knew there was a downhill coming and I love downhills.  As you can see by that mile 8 up there.

The Garmin makes it look scary😂

Miles 9-11 10:48, 12:34, 10:26

Catching up to the pace group was short lived.  I lost them on the Bob Jones Trail.  I was slowing down but what else do you expect when your longest run in 2 months has been 8 miles?  I ran on the dirt on the side of the trail hoping it would lessen some of the pavement pounding but by mile 10- the biggest hill- my back was very not happy.  I walked a lot and it shows in my mile time.   I tried to stretch it out as I walked.   Mile 11 was pretty good actually but I felt like I was crawling.


Miles 12-13.1 10:51, 11:40

Come on back, I’m so close!  2 miles to go! Run til I feel a twinge, walk it out, repeat.  Ran alongside a woman for a bit, we commiserated over pains.  She was having Plantar issues.  She pulled ahead.   Finally I hit mile 13 and all I had left was the longest .1 ever.  Seriously- I swear this .1 is longer than any other race I have other run.

Finish- 2:18:59


How, now?  Under trained, messed up back, hot mess of a morning and I finish my fastest race in 2 years?  In fact, my fastest race since City to the Sea 2015?   How does that even make sense?   I just decided to let my legs and back fight it out.  I took my head out of the equation.

Maybe I need to try that more often? 😛🙂