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?

Ho-Ho Holiday

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!

Just like that, it’s race weekend.  

Wow, time flies when you’ve been sick.  😛   I have managed to get in a run but as you may know my training has been conspicuously absent these past 2 weeks.    Oops.

So, with that being said, what am I thinking?  I have run races on uglier month’s than these (looking at you Carlsbad).  I realize this will not be “raced”.  Likely, this will be barely run.  Run/walk intervals will be used and if that doesn’t work, walking it is.   I know part of the course takes runners on the Pomona raceway and I am looking forward to that.

And all the festive-ness!  I get the feeling that everyone is going to be wearing their holiday finest in running wear and I can’t wait to check it out.  I actually owned nothing festive so I took myself to Wal-Mart to remedy that situation.   I feel like I need more though, I didn’t get very much.  I still have time to look for more.   Hmmm.

This is my last race of the year and I just want to have fun.   And stay warm.  The 8AM start time will help but I am getting there early for packet pickup.  #allthelayers

What are you doing this weekend?


Third Try’s the Charm?

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!

You could say that Surf City was my spring board into half marathons. 

It wasn’t my first half marathon, not even close.  It wasn’t even my first travel race.  However it was the first time I spectated an event that didn’t involve working any water stations.  Prior to Surf City 2011, I had volunteered numerous times at water stations for the local fun run and even the Master Elites didn’t inspire me to run.  They also never wanted my water but that’s not the point. 

I drove NikeC down to Huntington Beach to run Surf City back in 2011.  I remember standing on a corner with her aunt and now uncle and watching all the runners run past feeling a little lazy.  I thought to myself- I can do this.   So I started training (sort of) for my first half and ran a local one a few months later. 

It took me years to get myself back to Surf City.   I ran it for the first time in 2015 and then again in 2016.    Now, full disclosure, I love Surf City but it doesn’t love me.    The course is fairly flat and the humidity runs pretty high.    To some that is PR ready and the first two times I ran it, I attempted to run it fast and my lungs pitched a fit by mile 8ish.    This has always colored my view of the later miles which bites because you run along PCH and the beach is right next to you!

Which is why I am looking forward to going back in 2019!  Time to live it up!

It’s Elvis!

So this time, I plan to have no plan.  Well, that’s not true.  I still remember the really good breakfast place we all went to after NikeC’s race years ago so I want to run the race leisurely, enjoy the party atmosphere, the beach and then walk all over until I find it again!  #goals

Want to join me?  Use code SCMBR10 to save 10%!

Ever run Surf City?