BibRave, Product Review

It’s a Handful

Disclaimer: I received a Closer Bra from Handful 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!

Okay, let’s get honest here- I have a chafing problem. A real one. And it’s bad.

For now, lets talk the dreaded bra chafe.

I have numerous sports bras- some inexpensive, some very expensive. Pull over the head and front zip. The front zips while easier to get on and off rip me up no matter how much I slather up. I’ve used Body Glide, Vaseline, Squirrel’s Nut Butter- nothing works. I end runs and races with severe chafe to the point of slices at the bottom right of the front zipper and top left of the zipper. Any run over 4 miles and I would end up bloody. I’ve shoved my shirt up under my sports bra numerous times just to see if it helped.

Oh and the pull over ones? Chafe all along the back band. Not to mention how next to impossible they are to get off post run.

I had heard good things about Handful so when the opportunity came up, I thought why not? I opted for the Closer version as I really do love the ease of a front zip.

It was cute!!!

Here’s where things get tricky. I am currently up in weight- a lot- but all my sports bras are mediums. According to the Handful website you should choose your shirt size when ordering a bra. My shirts range from mediums to extra large. I chose a large. Once it arrived, I was excited. It seemed very soft and was super cute. Except… it didn’t fit. Like at all, there was no way that was getting zipped up. Nope. So I sent it back and exchanged it for an extra large. Which I won’t lie, stung a little.

Yeah, should have taken a pic of just the bra

Once it arrived, I tried it on right away. It felt big so I tightened the adjustable straps on the back. Took it for an 8 mile run, no chafe! It felt a little loose on the downhills though. So I tightened it again. Better. Took it for more runs. Still soft, still no chafe. Hmmm.

I gave it the ultimate test up in Napa this past weekend. Thanks to the temper tantrum that is my GI system, I was in the sports bra for over 5 hours. 3 of those were running hours… ok trying to run hours. Zero chafe!!!!! I didn’t even think that was possible. Who knew???

I am sold on the softness and the chafe free-ness. I do feel like I need it to be a little tighter but I can’t tighten the straps anymore. Handful does sell extra pads to insert so I could buy some and use those to make it a snugger fit. Or I can finally get my act together and to get to a point where I can buy the large. Plus that way I can get a fun pattern too.

Want your own? Use code BIBRAVE20 for 20% off.

How do you avoid chafe?

BibRave, Race Day, Recap, Run!

Napa Valley Marathon- Half Recap

Disclaimer: I received a VIP entry into Napa 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!

I knew Napa Valley was going to be interesting, I just had no idea how much that was true.

In other words- a new personal worst! And a PR for port-a-potty stops.

Race morning dawned early and a little chilly. I dressed and headed off for the start line. My stomach literally spasmed the moment I got out of the car. Um, what?

I headed to the tasting room at Conn Creek Winery which was the VIP area. People- a warm room and real bathrooms are so worth it. However my stomach felt ok again. Hmmm.

I met up with Stephanie from Run Strong Run and we headed to the start. Actually a little late- most runners had already started- we crossed the start line with the 3:00 hour pacers. We soon separated but it was nice ststarting with someone.

There’s a really tiny balloon in this pic

Miles 1-2 11:35, 12:16
I was feeling ok, but I knew I was out of shape so after about half a mile, I turned on my run/ walk intervals. I was enjoying the perfect cloudy weather and watching hot air balloons rise with the sun over pretty vineyards. Exactly what I had hoped for.

Mile 3 12:49
We had reached the first aid station, water bathroom and electrolytes- but I was fine. Half a mile later I was not fine. Not at all.

This is the scenery I love

Miles 4-6 12:45, 12:27, 17:20
Oh dear lord- where is next aid station?!?? This is a problem. Oh look pretty views, oh, ow, stomach bad. Just before mile 6- oh, hallelujah- an aid station.

Miles 7-8 12:45, 16:45
Ok, that was rough and I’m still not feeling great but let’s keep moving. Nope. Stomach doesn’t agree and now I’m worried there’s not another station until mile 9. Oh lord. Except, wait! Another station just before 8!

Miles 9- 11 12:50, 13:09, 13:51
Again I tried to run on. Nope- mostly walking. Stomach cramped again, badly a little after mile 10. And yes there was a station, but I decided to try and walk it out. I think I walked for 10 minutes straight somewhere in there.

Miles 12-13 13:07, 13:37
I am so close! Oh, here come the first and second marathon runners- ok that was kind of cool. Wouldn’t have seen them if I wasn’t having issues, right??? Trying to find the bright side here. The weather was still good, and I still loved looking at the scenery around me even if we were in town now. Oh— there’s the high school!! The finish!

Finish- 2:58:15

So yeah, that was not my best showing. Oddly enough, as rough as it was, I never once thought about quitting. I knew I was going to finish- eventually- it was just taking more energy than I thought. More energy to move slower but I just kept putting one foot in front of the other and kept moving forward.

The course was so pretty, I really do love running by vineyards, I really do. Also this course is very PR-able- flat in a way that didn’t feel flat to me. I kind of feel like I need vindication- this is definitely a race I will run again. There were also VIP perks I missed out on post race- my stomach was not cooperating at all. Boo.

Napa Valley- I will run you again.

Ever had your body completely rebel during a race?

Run!, Slacker, Training

9-Wreck

I am not gonna lie, last week was rough. On most fronts.

My stress level may have hit peak levels. I wasn’t feeling great either.

No running on Monday as I had promised to help my dad with something.

Tuesday saw a nice, fairly relaxing run. I just enjoyed the sky and cleared my head. It was great while it lasted. 3 miles.

We don’t talk about Wednesday. Nope. Nope. Nope.

I desperately needed a good run on Thursday. However, that wish was denied. I headed out for a run after work and it hurt. My left leg was pissed and it would not loosen up. I ended up calling it and turning around to hobble back to the car.

Friday was a compression sock wearing stress ball kind of day.

Road trip!!! Saturday dawned bright and early and I was off to Napa with my mother. A little shopping along the way and then it was off to the expo. Not gonna lie, I felt a little claustrophobic in the expo. It was a snug fit in a tight space. Then we drove to find the race start and then our hotel. I suck at maps. The hotel was over 30 minutes away from the start. Oops. After the draining week, it didn’t take much for me to doze off early. Now if only I could have stayed asleep.

Sunday- Napa Valley Half Marathon
Recap to come.

18ish miles for the week. Could be worse.

How was your week?

BibRave, Race Day

Onward to 40

No, not my age.

This weekend I am heading up to Napa Valley for the Napa Valley Marathon. It should be my 40th half. 40. From a person who said they were a 1 and done. 40.

Disclaimer: I received an entry into Napa 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!

I’m not gonna lie, I am a little anxious. Ok, a lot. If we’re keeping track, 40 should have happened last year. First in San Jose and then at Space Rock. The first became a DNS and the second became a 10k that tried to break me. So that means my last half was in August. That’s a long break.

Long.

And the last few weeks have been … a little rough. In so many ways.

My original plan was to just enjoy the scenery- I really do love running along vineyards- and just finish quicker than half marathon #1 all those years ago. Right now, that looks highly unlikely. Unless this leg pain is all my head??? I would be totally ok with that.

I want weather just like this too

Now, my hope is that I can just enjoy a weekend where I can shut my brain off. Run a few miles a few thousand new friends. Enjoy my first VIP experience (yay!), meet some new people. Bring it 40.

Oh, and a stop at Hobby Lobby.

Hiking-Trails, Run!, Slacker

8-Disappeared

I kind of ghosted social media last week.

I didn’t mean to, I just kind of felt like one day it was Tuesday and then it was Saturday. Woosh.

The week started strong. With Monday off work, I headed down to a new set of trails that opened recently. Holy moly- it was like Disneyland! I have never seen so many people at a trail before. The good sized parking lot was full as well and we had to park on the other side of the freeway about 1/2 mile away. I was with my mother and she was feeling super sore so we picked one of the shorter trails. We ended up with around 3.5 miles.

The trails were very runnable and had gorgeous views. I can’t wait to go back. However, I was very irritated by the lack of trail etiquette by so many people. There were already trampled down short cuts visible and people were climbing all over a tree that clearly has signs saying to stay away. I may have snapped something very not nice at them.

Tuesday was a long day at work but I held strong and changed into my running gear. I headed out for an easy 3 after work. My legs were feeling the previous 2 days worth of running but overall it was a decent run.

After 3 days running, I knew I needed a rest day on Wednesday. My legs are not used to that.

I had planned on running on Thursday, I really did. I told myself if I ran on Thursday, I could enjoy a leisurely Saturday with no guilt. But thanks to some family drama- more ER trips, that did not happen. I did got to dinner with my mother though.

I thought about trying to run on my lunch on Friday but I chose to read a book instead.

Caturday, right?

Despite failing to run on Thursday, I did take the leisurely Saturday. With only a minor built of guilt.

This weekend was supposed to be chilly and rainy so I slept in on Sunday and headed out for my run in the early afternoon. It was not rainy. The run started off very sluggish and rough. I tried to not think about it at all and just keep going. Not gonna lie, I am currently using a run/ walk strategy for my long runs. And the running portion isn’t very long. Like I ran 9 miles in the time it used to take me to do 10. However, it is what it is and I need to stop stressing about or I run myself into a panic attack. So that is what I tried to do this run. I have to say that it ended much better than it began.

15.4ish miles for the week. Better than last week, time to keep moving up.

How was your week?