Let’s Do This Monterey

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Monterey Bay 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 weekend has arrived.

Ya’ll I really need to get better at looking at calendars.  🤣  I am so tired.

Timehop to the rescue!  I’ve wanted to run Monterey Bay again since I first ran it back in 2015 but I’ve been so tired this week post work trip.  Thursday marked 3 years to the day since I last ran Monterey Bay and the memories popped up.  I was reminded of everything I was looking forward to again- party tunnel, Cannery Row, ocean views and how close can I get to the elites????

Let’s do this!

That said, this is my last half of the year.  And let’s be real, I haven’t had a good race all year.  By good- I mean a race without some form of malady or another.    So this race will be a little different.

I REALLY will have no time goals, in my previous posts I always had one in mind even when I said I didn’t; if this takes me 3 hours, so be it.   I am going to take all the pictures.  Thank all the volunteers.  Listen to all the music available on course.  Take more pictures.  I’m probably going to wear something different than my more standard race outfit.  I may leave the pack behind.  I am doing race day packet pick up.   In short, let’s embrace all things different and just enjoy a nice stroll along the bay.

This will be half #34, I mentioned that at work today and my coworkers found that to be pretty cool.  Not because I’ve run 33 before this but because 34 is our office designation.  I hadn’t thought about that before- that has to mean something right?

All right, Monterey Bay, let’s do this.

Let Me Sleep On It

Disclaimer: I received a Bedgear Level 2.0 pillow 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 love sleep, sleeping in, naps- love them. Problem- I’m a total night owl who often struggles to fall asleep. This can be caused by a variety of things on a nightly basis but it makes for a sleepy Slacker.

I upgraded my bed last fall which a fiasco in its own way as I ended up returning the first one 90 days into 100 day trial but I never upgraded my pillows. Change is hard! And who is to say that what I bought would be any better than the current 3 I used or tried to on a nightly basis?

Then, Bedgear presented itself. I thought the name sounded familiar and oh, hey they made my mattress protector! Which I love so I was optimistic. The pillow choice started off with a quiz. Wait- I didn’t study!😂

The Pillow ID is designed to find the right pillow for you- the one that fits your body temperature, size, and sleeping position.   Based on my answers, I was recommended the Level 2.0 pillow.    The 2.0 refers to the pillow height- 0.0 being the thinnest and 3.0 being the thickest.

Some pillow specs from the website-

  • Dri-Tec® fabric to continuously wick away heat and moisture, stabilizing your temperature so you can get your most solid sleep.
  • React® foam has all the perks of a memory foam, without the sad sag or heat build-up. Designed to move with you, it cradles your head while supporting your neck, shoulders, and spine.
  • Air-X® Panels
  • Flexible, three-dimensional material vents warm air away from the body.
Yes, I use satin pillow cases

But how did it feel?

Game changer people, seriously. I’ve gone from 3 pillows and sometimes a stuffed animal (like I said- it was rough) to just 2 pillows on a nightly basis. In fact I tossed one of the older pillows completely. I feel like I fall asleep quicker and I don’t toss and turn. Which is how I used to sleep when I was younger- I’d burrow into a spot and not move all night. I haven’t done that in years. The bump out on this pillow is perfect for my shoulder as I always start out on my left side. Even if I do turn to my back, it still supports me well.

The pillow is awesome by itself too and I did try that for a few nights but unfortunately my GERD wasn’t too fond of that so the second pillow came back.

I’ve even been going to bed a little sooner these days. I choose to believe it’s because the pillow makes sleeping so nice and not that I am getting older.😛 My only issue is that my pillow cases are a little big for it, so now I’m on the hunt for smaller sized satin pillow cases. They have to exist somewhere.🤔

If you love sleep like I do, I definitely recommend checking out Bedgear. I even have a discount! Use code BIBRAVE15 to save 15% on your purchase (excluding Wow deals).

How do you sleep?

Rock n Roll San Jose Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Jose 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!

After the worst night of sleep or lack thereof, I was up and getting ready for the race.  I was also regretting the Spaghetti Factory dinner from the night before.  😛  I got ready and headed off to the start line.

The race started at 8 and while the Slacker in me liked that, every other part of me was worried.  That is late.  I knew I was going to be slower than planned.  I still had to check out of my hotel.  Rock n Roll had sent out a heat advisory email the night before.  Let’s get this show on the road!  Except we didn’t.  I can usually guess exactly what time my corral is going to start for Rock N Roll races but I would have been so wrong this time.  There was some delay for the trains? Buses? I don’t know but I was confused.   I didn’t cross the start line until almost 8:30 and it already felt warm.  I hate humidity.

Miles 1-3 9:58, 10:42, 10:21, 11:05
Irritation fueled the first mile.  I had a feeling I wouldn’t be able to maintain that.   My legs felt ok but the rest of me felt off- just kind of not present.    I was running and felt like I was pushing but I knew I really wasn’t.  I was realizing just how many turns this race course was going take.  We turned so many times.   We ran through the San Pedro Market area which brought us past the Spaghetti Factory- nope, nope.  Then it was another turn and we were coming back towards the start line.  I heard a woman tell her running partner that it was too hot for her.

Miles 5-8 11:05, 11:21, 11:31, 11:23
So much flat road.  We were running towards the SAP Center and into an area of apartments and strip malls.  I found the perfect apartment complex- an Orange Theory and Papa Johns were across the parking lot.  Replace the Papa Johns with Domino’s and I am sold!  The things we think about when trying to not think about running.  😜  So many more turns and we were in Santa Clara.   I felt like we were so far away the finish line.  I needed a hill.  Why was it so warm, it’s October!   There were some damn nice houses we ran by during this block as well.

Miles 9-12 12:58, 11:33, 12:26, 12:02
Oh, what the hell?  My right hip/ sciatica seized and I ground to a slow crawl.  I spent mile 9 mostly walking and punching myself in the butt.  🤣  I kind of wonder what I looked like to the runners behind me.   I ran more in mile 10 but 11 was more of the same.   Grrr.  My stomach cramps from the morning also returned.   Really?? What else?  I was taking more walk breaks trying to loosen up my hip area.  I was drinking water and Gatorade at every station and dumping water on my Buff then shoving it down my shirt to cool off.  Classy, right?  This course had an abundance of cheerleaders and they were needed as I was fading.

Mile 13 11:15
Around mile 11.5, the 2:30 pacer passed me.  Umm, excuse me?  I know they started after me and I was on pace for a 2:30 so they had no business passing me.  I picked up the pace a bit because I was so ready to be done.  Sure enough I passed the pace group in the last stretch to the finish line as they slammed on the breaks.

Finish – 2:30:00 on the nose

I was done, I was hot and my hip hurt.  I made my way through the long finisher’s chute, getting my medal and food before finally making my way out and meeting up with my mother.   In one good thing, the finisher chute pretty much dumped us out right at my hotel parking lot so I didn’t have far to hobble.

If you love flat, this is the race for you.  I did like running through the neighborhoods of San Jose and course support- aid stations, music and cheerleaders.   But I need hills.  I don’t know if they would have made much of a difference that day but I missed them.  Also, I haven’t been that sore post race in years- even after both marathons.  😛

San Jose- Ready or Not?

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Rock n Roll San Jose 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!

How is it race weekend already?  It just can’t be.

Don’t get me wrong, I am excited but I am also in denial because I don’t feel ready.   I missed a few runs and few miles along the way with this training plan.  I did well with the first 8 weeks of cross training then stumbled for 3 weeks.  This week has been strong again but is it enough?  I’ve been feeling poorly for 2 weeks now and stressed at work.  I haven’t run a half marathon since June and this is the longest race break I’ve had in years.

Ok, that sounds like I am freaking out.  Maybe I am.  Which is why I am reassessing that big goal I laid out in my first San Jose post.  And that finishing time goal I claimed on Athlinks.   I didn’t run enough flat.  I have a lingering right leg issue.  Work has become crazy (lost 2 employees in the last 3 weeks).  I am not canceling my PR goal just pushing it back a few weeks.

A bear!

So new plan- do what my legs and lungs want to do.  Take in the sights of San Jose- all I have seen before is the airport.  I am sure the city has more offer than that and what better way to see it than by running with a few thousand other people?

I love Rock n Roll races and what better way to shake the cobwebs loose than with some miles and good music along the way.   And for once the race doesn’t start at the crack of dawn.  Great news for a Slacker.  😛

So, here’s to a 4 day weekend (did I mention I took Friday off?) to decompress and run it all out.

Wish me luck!

Flipping for Luvo

Disclaimer: I received Flipped Bowls from Luvo 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!

Food! My second favorite subject after running!

Except, real talk- I can’t cook.  And I am lazy, I eat out way more than I should because by the time I get home from work I just don’t want to do anything else.  As for lunches? I usually only get 45 minutes and sometimes that doesn’t happen uninterrupted.  I like my lunch to be something that is easily prepped, easily cleaned and I can eat quickly.  Anything that fits my issues doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthy.   I’m the first to admit I need help.

When I read about the new Flipped Bowls– where 1/3 of the protein comes from plants- that Luvo was rolling out, I was intrigued.    Pasta, chicken meatballs and good mix of veggies?  I could get behind that.  Plus, the convenience factor was so up my alley.

So I went online on a Monday, placed my order and by Friday, a big white box showed up at work.    Everything was nice and frozen, in fact the dry ice was so cold I almost burned my hands.  😛  Which would not be the first time I’ve burned myself with ice so maybe it’s just me.

So what did I get?

  • Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Pesto Sauce
  • Chicken Meatballs in Stroganoff Sauce
  • Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Wine Sauce
  • Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce

Beef Stroganoff (my mother’s recipe) is actually my favorite meal ever so I really high hopes for that meal but it also had really standards to measure up to.😛

I loaded them all into the work freezer and planned for some healthy lunches the following weeks. So what did I think?

Like I said, the Chicken Meatballs in Stroganoff Sauce was my prime choice- in fact I ordered more of that one with high hopes and just paid extra.   I followed the directions on the back and less than 5 minutes later, I had a steaming bowl of pasta and veggies in front of me.    I liked the taste of the sauce, the chicken meatballs had a good kick to them and I was eating kale!  The only downsides were that I realized I needed to add about 15 seconds to the cook time for the noodles and Luvo adds legit mushrooms to their Stroganoff.   *My mother does not- I hate mushrooms!  So I was eating around those.  😛

Next up was the Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce.  Holy, yumminess.  And my 5 year old palate didn’t have to avoid any ingredients.  I adjusted the microwave time and the whole wheat penne pasta noodles were perfect.  Plus I was still eating veggies!

The Chicken Meatballs in Garlic Wine Sauce is pretty good too but like I had to avoid the mushrooms in the Stroganoff, I have to avoid the white beans.  I did mention I have the taste buds of a 5 year old right?  As for the Chicken Meatballs in Creamy Pesto Sauce?? Well, those juvenile taste buds are too scared to try it.  I’ve eaten everything else-only have 1 left of the Tomato Basil, which makes me sad- but I can’t bring myself to push that far out of my comfort zone yet.   Why am I writing this review before eating it?  Well… I am hoping for some good old online encouragement to make me branch out.  So…help?!

Overall, I am definitely ordering more.  The Chicken Meatballs in Tomato Basil Sauce ended up being my favorite which made me glad that I had ordered more of those as well.  I loved that I could pop one in the microwave, go the restroom and get a few things done while my lunch was preparing itself.    Plus, I was getting protein and more veggies than usual.

Now, there were a few downsides–  Mushrooms.  Sorry, I hate mushrooms so to me that’s a downside, but I’ll keep eating around them.    Lastly, I never received an email notification that my order had shipped so I had no idea when it was coming.   As I was having these meals shipped to work, that could have been problematic as there is no one there to receive packages on Saturdays or Sundays.   I was surprised when they showed up on that Friday- glad but surprised.  Right now the Flipped Bowls are only available to order online but I am hoping that they will soon be in stores too.  That said, shipping is very reasonable.

Have I made you want to order yet?Use code BIBRAVE to get 1 free when you buy 7.**This works for everything on their site!