Let’s Go Oaktown~

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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!

While I love running some of the same races over and over again, I like branching out too. I almost ran Oaktown half last year but didn’t for some reason. Right now I can’t remember what that reason was but I do tend to be forgetful like that, so…

Oaktown Half works in partnership with the people that organize the Oakland Turkey Trot. I was super impressed with that and I just participated in the virtual option, I am super stoked to experience all they have to offer in person on race weekend.

The race offers a children’s race, 5k and half marathon. They offer a challenge for the speedy as well- run the half at 7:00 AM and the 5K at 9:45 and earn a challenge medal. While I think that is awesome, I am not sure I can pull that off on race day. Last year the 5K was on Saturday evening and that seemed much more doable. This is still pretty cool though, gives me incentive to work on my speed between now and August 11. 🙂

There is also a challenge medal offered if you complete the Livermore Half in March as well. #allthebling!

The race even offers an expo-in-a-box option. If come July, I realize that race weekend travel may not be my thing, I can opt in for my bib, shirt and expo goodies to be mailed to me. That way I can just drive up on race day if needs be. Now that would be a 3 hour drive for a 7AM start so that doesn’t sound great but I love knowing that I have that option.

Want to join me in Oakland on August 11?
Use code BROAKVIP for 10% off!

Get Your Zwift On

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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!

Did you know I have a gym membership?

Yep, for the last 7 years or so. I’m the type of customer they love, I pay monthly but only show up 4 or 5 times a year. Luckily my membership is less than 20 bucks and work reimburses it so it makes it really easy to ignore it. But I hate the treadmill, only need it for emergencies i.e. weather above 105. At least that’s what I thought.

I received a Zwift foot pod to try out through Bibrave and it turns out I like the treadmill- I just hate the gym. Who wants to hook me up with a treadmill?

Zwift is an app built for cyclists and runners to liven up their time on the bike trainer or the treadmill while getting in training miles that they can’t do outside. The app creates virtual running routes where an avatar version of you goes for a run. You can go solo while others are out for rides and runs around you. You can join planned events. You can plan meetups with friends across the country. It’s like a video game where you are the main player.

Now here’s where it gets tricky- there are actually two apps. Zwift and the Zwift Companion. The main Zwift app shows the route and metrics as you run. You can use your phone, tablet or laptop. The Zwift Companion app shows all the upcoming events you can jump in on, runners/ cyclists you can follow and gives you ways to chat or cheer on other runners while they run. However that might require 2 devices.

I have run virtually around London, through a volcano in Zwift world of Watopia and around beaches and mountains in Watopia. Other famous cities are also available. I have run more on the treadmill in the last month even being sick than I have in the last 2 years.

I love the app. That being said, it hasn’t been all smooth sailing. My foot pod and I don’t always see eye to eye. On one run it will be fine and on the next run, it’s about a mile behind. I’m not using Zwift to track my overall mileage so it’s not a deal breaker it’s just kind of frustrating when your pace is right there in front of you and so off what the treadmill says. Sometimes my avatar just stops and chills for a bit. I may take photo breaks on outdoor runs but not treadmill runs! I did notice on my last run that my shoelaces bounce off the foot pod sometimes. It made me wonder if the pod was sensitive enough to be confused by my shoelaces. My run this week will have me lacing my shoes in a different way.

Another thing that didn’t really work for me was the timing of the group runs. There are a variety of group runs and workouts available but with me being on the West Coast and my work schedule, most of them happen when I am at work. The ones that don’t happen during work hours happen around 3:00 AM in the morning and I haven’t started liking the treadmill enough to give up sleep. I did try to jump in on a Zwift Academy Tri 5K race but I was 10 minutes late and no hope of catching up with the speedy folks. A few more later options would be nice.

I really do like using Zwift. I have big plans for this year so anything that gets me running more in the dark Winter months is a plus in my book.

Want to try out Zwift? Come run with me!
Use code BibRave15 for 15% off (valid on first 1000 pods only)

How to WIN Laundry Day

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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!

Nobody likes to smell… Or at least I hope not.

There have been a few times I have finished a long run in the middle of summer and kind of scared myself. I only do laundry once a week so I always tried to plan my long runs around laundry day but sometimes life happens. As I only have space for one laundry hamper everything goes into the same one which then makes me wonder what kind of cross contamination is going on with my laundry.

Plus I have a tendency to only wear the clothes that are on the top of drawers so that means the same shirts, shorts and pants. Over and over and over again. Anyone else do that?

Like this- 4 different runs, same pants

So yeah, sometimes I was concerned about how clean my clothes were. I always follow all the directions- wash on cool or cold, inside out, gentle cycle, line dry, etc. but still I wondered.

Enter WIN Detergent.

WIN is specifically designed for the materials found in active wear. Most laundry detergents are designed to be multipurpose. Which is great but sometimes our running gear could use a little help.

From the website-

  • The very properties that allow fabrics to wick moisture away cause them to attract oils.
  • As bacteria from your skin consume those oils, they create gases which give synthetics that telltale sweaty smell.
  • WIN has ingredients not found in most supermarket detergents that are optimized to remove oils from synthetics.
  • Not only do those oils cause odor, they impede performance. By removing them, WIN makes your apparel wick better and last longer.

I’ve been using WIN, the scented version, for about a month now. It has a very light scent- in fact I can barely smell it. But then my nose doesn’t always work so well. But I can say that my clothes have no lingering running funk smell on them! Woo hoo!

I really gave WIN a test when I left my race clothes from Holiday Half in a plastic bag for the next few days because I was still traveling. Oh boy. It passed the test!

Now the directions say to use half a cap for regular loads and a full cap for large loads. I tend to use more than directions call for. That’s more due to my brand new piece of crap washing machine than anything about WIN.

And WIN is available on Amazon and you can ship it with Amazon Prime! Sorry, joined the Prime crowd this past month and may love it a little too much. 😛

Use discount code RAVE4WIN to save 20% off any WIN purchase through January 15, 2019.

Do you wash your gear right away or let it wait?

Follow Me to Wildflower

Disclaimer: I received an entry to Oaktown Half 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 bet your thinking of flowers right now. Pretty colors lining the roadways and filling fields. But if you’re from my neck of the woods, Wildflower means something else.

Wildflower means triathlon.


Even before I was a runner, I knew what Wildflower was. Well, let me rephrase- I knew of it but had no real cognizance of a triathlon was. Even once I did pick up running, it was a little hard to grasp. And people think runners are crazy. Even once I fully understood the concept of a triathlon, it was another few years into my running adventure before I really grasped just how big Wildflower really was. This thing pulls a huge crowd and some big names.

Now, we live California and drought is a problem so Wildflower didn’t happen in 2017. Then in 2018, I saw that it was back, advertising as being bigger and better than offer. And they offered a 10K trail run- no swimming or cycling- where do I sign up???? Oh wait, it was only a week after the Big Sur Marathon. Dang, probably shouldn’t be registering for races 5 days after a hilly marathon. So I just had to hope that all the extras were here to stay for years to come.

Cue 2019- Wildflower is looking more awesome and it partnered with BibRave. Yay, happy dance!



So what does The Wildflower Experience have to offer? How about these race options?

Triathlon-
Long Course
Aquabike Course
Olympic Distance Course
Off Road Sprint
On Road Sprint
Trail Run ( 10.7 miles(
5K Run
10K Run
Stand Up Paddleboard
Open Water Swim

Want to embrace the “Woodstock” of it all? They offer camping packages. Tent or RV? Sure. Don’t want to bring your RV? They can supply one for you. Want a pre- set up tent with a legit bed in it? Yep, got that too. The cutest thing was the retro tin trailers but wow those sold out fast. 😀

As for what race I am doing, well, that’s the 10.7 mile trail run. Let’s do this! Don’t worry, haven’t gone crazy- I know I would fall off a bike.

Want to join me?? I’ll drive!

Register for running events here*- https://wfexp.com/bibrave

And triathlon events here*- https://wfexp.com/bibravetri

No codes needed, the discounts are built into the links.

*only applies to races not camping

Holiday Half Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Holiday Half 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 start was a leisurely 8 but after a night of utterly horrible sleep, there was no need for my alarm and morning came too early.   I knew I needed to get my bib before the race so we checked out first thing and headed for the Fairplex.    The Pomona Raceway and Fairplex has more than enough parking but getting in was more challenging than I anticipated and took longer than I planned for.   Once we finally parked, we booked it down to the race start where everything was clearly labeled and picking up my bib and race shirt was easy-peasy.  

Then the clothing debate was on.   I was cold so I was wearing a long sleeve with my BibRave tank over it and my black fleece vest over that.  I had my beanie or trucker hat to choose from and had gloves.   I still wasn’t feeling great and tend to run cold so I was thinking all the layers.  My mother ended up taking the beanie and talked me out of the vest as well although I was whining about it the whole time.  I ran with my old waist belt instead of my pack as well because I didn’t want anything heavy on my chest.   So still feeling cold, I lined up at the start and under a dusting of fake snow, we were off!

Miles 1-3- 10:03, 11:33, 12:05
I knew this was going to be slower, I was thinking around a 12 min pace likely and figured I would pay more attention to my heart rate than my pace.  First mile- oops but I was feeling ok as we wound out of the Fairplex and into the surrounding neighborhoods.  I knew from the race website, it had some rolling hills so I made the early decision to walk them just because I had been sick.  Then I had to forcibly remind myself of that on the first one.  Mile 2, I was already tired, haha!  And mile 3, I was overheating.  The weatherman lied- how the hell do I get this undershirt off? I am going to melt!  We also hit the actual drag strip which was cool and the main reason I slowed- I took a lot of pictures.  😛

Miles 4-8- 11:12, 11:34, 11:48, 12:12, 12:16
The track actually gave me a little bit of a second wind so I was moving a little faster than I had originally planned.  Not exactly speedy but better than I had predicted.  The course was winding us through neighborhoods and parks and campgrounds and I was just enjoying the view.  We ran passed Raging Waters so that was kind of cool.  There was a lake on our left for a good chunk of the miles so there was always something to look at.   The pacers were making me mad though.  At this point the 2:20 and 2:15 pacers passed me, which would have been fine, except they were running together! Ummm- that’s not how it works!    Mile 8 brought us down into a park that we looped and then back out.

Miles 9-12- 11:32, 12:37, 12:27, 13:12
Things were going good until 9.5.  Then my body was done.    My legs and hips started talking back about the lack of miles in the last 2 months and I felt an asthma attack coming.   I came to a halt and then walked.  A lot, all the hills, most of the flats and only really ran the downhills.  Bummer as this section leveled out and brought us back to the race track.   Here another pacer ticked me off.  At mile 11.75 and 2:18 in (yes, I checked my watch) the 2:40 pacer passed me- running.  Wait, what?  I know they started after me, what the heck are they doing??

Mile 13-11:29
This mile drove me crazy.  I was trying to not have an asthma attack but I wanted to run and be done.  This mile was mostly S-curving through the race track parking lot to pick up mileage as we headed back to the Fairplex and it was in full sun. Why????? I still walked portions but finally jogged it in to the finish. Where’s my snowflake?  Oh wait, it’s a wreath.😛

Finish 2:36:34

I met up with my mother at the end of the finish chute and we hung out for a bit.   It was a little bit of a party going on but in the end I was sore and wheezing and needed to sit so we headed back to the car.   

I knew I wasn’t trained or fully healthy going into this race so I am A-Ok with my finishing time.  It was even a little better than I thought it might be and still not my slowest.   This was a great course though and I wonder what I could do healthy- those hills spoke to me.  

Oh and the 2:40 pacer? Finished before me. 🤨

Oh- and I got a fancy finisher’s certificate from Athlinks!