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Category: BibRave Pro

Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver Half Marathon Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver 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!

This past Sunday I ran my 70th half marathon and my 39th in my goal to run a half marathon in each state.  I was supposed to go last year but had to cancel a few weeks prior to race day.  I cannot remember why I didn’t go but let’s continue with my recap for this year.

My flight to Denver left at 8:35am and I arrived after 10:30am.  While waiting at the airport in Chicago, I did some research on transportation to/from the airport and hotel.  SuperShuttle was $30 each way and the Denver Airport Trail was $9 each way.  Once I landed, I quickly walked to the platform and purchased my ticket.  As soon I got inside the train, the doors closed and I was on my way downtown.  

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Once downtown I walked a mile to my hotel.  Luckily it was ready and I left my stuff in the room and went out to get something to eat.  I ate a burger and drank a beer and felt so much better afterwards.  Then I took a Lyft to the expo.  It was OK.  I haven’t run a RnR race in years so I wasn’t sure what to expect.  I did buy some shoes and socks.

There was a poster and a shirt being sold at the expo with the finishers names.

I like the color of the shirt that was in the goody bag.  Still not impressed with the rest of the stuff.

Sunday morning I got up at 6am.  The race began at 7 and the start line was about 10 minutes away.  I got ready and drank coffee while eating a Clif Bar.  It was in the low 40s and I had debated on whether to wear shorts or tights.  I went with the shorts and compression socks.  I also wore a Oiselle Wazzie Wool layer underneath my BibRave shirt and never got too hot nor cold.

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I had specific instructions from my coach on the paces for this race.  I wrote it down in a piece of paper and also on my hand.  I was determined to stick to the plan since this race was supposed to be a long workout.  I’ve been doing really good in my training and figured that it would be an “easy” run.  Spoiler alert:  It was HARD!  I didn’t realize that the altitude was going to affect me that much.

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The first 2 miles were supposed to be at warm up pace.  I started off faster than I wanted to so I took some walking breaks.  After mile 2, I was supposed to run 4 miles at an 11:50 pace.  I couldn’t do it.  I began to feel very tired and could not pick up the pace.  At one point I accidentally hit the lap button.  I really struggled the rest of the race.  I was basically counting down each mile.  I also felt lightheaded.  

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At one point a spectator told me that I was doing good and that I had 2 miles to go.  I started to cry because I wanted to be done.  I was still feeling tired and struggling.   🙁  I don’t think I’ve ever struggled so much during a half marathon.

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I thought the course was OK.  The weather was perfect for running but it was so sunny and the sun was in my eyes for most of the race.  I was squinting so much and I think that and the altitude are the reasons I got a headache.  It was a bit better when I got to City Park.  It was so pretty there but that got boring after a while.  <<I think I was just in a bad mood.  🙂

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For most of the course there were no spectators.  It was quiet.  There was plenty of water and Gatorade at the water stops.  The course was mostly flat with 2 or 3 uphills.  The best part was getting to the finish line because it was downhill.  As soon as I knew I was close, I took off.  I was so happy to be done!

The medal is pretty cool and I am happy to have earned it.

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Another race done and another medal.

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Thanks to Athlinks for the reminder that this was my 70th half marathon and that I have now completed 162 races.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

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NuGo Egg White Protein Bars Review

Disclaimer:  I received NuGo Egg White Protein Bars 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. 

Thanks to BibRave I was afforded the opportunity to try out a new to me product – NuGo Egg White Protein Bars.  I had never heard of this product till a few months ago.  I received a mixed box with 12 bars in 4 flavors: Dark Chocolate Sea Salt, Maple Pecan, Blueberry, and Peanut Butter.

When I first received my box, I couldn’t decide on a flavor and finally picked Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.  It was delicious!  I shared with my sister and she also agreed that it was good.

So what’s so great about these protein bars?  
• They’re made with real fruits and nuts.
• They’re non-GMO and 180-200 calories.
• They’re certified gluten-free and OU Kosher Pareve.
• Each bar has 12-14g of protein with no soy or dairy!

I don’t exactly have the healthiest eating habits but whenever I can, I try to not always eat junk food.  I actually felt good eating these protein bars because I knew this was better than eating a hamburger, pizza, or a hot dog.  Don’t get me wrong, occasionally I do eat hamburgers, pizza, and hot dogs but I am trying to cut down.  🙂 

Each bar is chewy like a candy bar.  I would enjoy one with a cup of coffee.  They’re tasty and easy on my stomach.  They’re also perfect for post-workout needs as it is a great protein option for fueling your body. 

I am not a big fan of Blueberry nor Peanut Butter and surprised that these were also very good.

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My favorite one is definitely the Dark Chocolate Sea Salt.  I like that this was just what I need to satisfy my chocolate craving.

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If you’d like to try NuGo Egg White Protein Bars use code: “BIBRAVE” for 15% OFF at www.nugonutrition.com.  You can choose a single flavor, or try the variety pack.  This discount is good until August 3rd.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Soldier Field 10 Mile Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Soldier Field 10 Mile 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!

This past Saturday I ran the Soldier Field 10 Mile.  This race is one of my favorites.  The first time I did this race was in 2009 and this year was my 7th time running it.

I had to stay late at work on Friday so I couldn’t go to Fleet Feet to get my bib.  Thankfully my friend, Claudia, got it for me.  I like the color of the shirt.

It was supposed to be a HOT one.  Man, we complained for so long about the winter and Mother Nature came back with a vengeance.

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Saturday morning I woke up, got ready, and drove to Soldier Field.  I love that they offered FREE parking to race participants.  I met Claudia to get my bib and then we used the bathroom.  There were plenty of port-a-potties outside but we went inside the stadium (the start line was inside).  No line…ever better!

My left leg had been bothering me so I wasn’t sure how do running 10 miles.

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The race began at 7am.  I was in corral K but moved to L to start with Claudia.  We had to wait about 15 minutes before we could start running.  It felt good inside because it was shaded and there was a slight breeze.

As soon as I got outside, I could feel the heat. I knew it wasn’t going to be a good race.  I don’t remember it ever being this hot on race day.  I was feeling OK for about 3 miles and then it went downhill.  The sun felt so hot and I took my time by walking and running.

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At the runaround point the announcement teased us by saying that we looked like we could use some ice (while the song “Ice Ice Baby” was playing).  I thought for sure we would get some ice at the next water station.  Nope.  It was Nuun and water.  I did get an extra cup of water to pour over my head and that helped a little. 

At this point my goal was not to pass out and just to finish.  I didn’t care about my time.  My left was hurting even more but I kept running and walking.

Did I tell you how hot it was?  I was happy to cross the finish line and to get my medal.  It was cool to finish inside Soldier Field. 

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I stayed for a little bit to see Heather and Claudia by the finish line.  Then I went home.  I was hungry and tired.  In the past I’ve stayed a bit longer to hang out with friends and enjoy my free beer.

Love that Athlinks provides FREE race photos.  However, I will admit that I cringed when I saw the photos and almost did not post the one below.  All I see is my big, bloated and round stomach.  🙁2018SoldierField10Mile-18

My finish time is 2:17:21.  That is definitely my worst Soldier Field 10 Mile race.  According to Athlinks, my worst time was 1:55:45 in 2017 and my PR is 1:41:56 in 2015.  

Facebook reminded me of the first time I did that race.  I was thinner back then.  Sigh.  

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Another race done and another medal.  I have now completed 160 races.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun

Friday Five 2.0-Yes to Athlinks!

Disclaimer:  I am promoting Athlinks 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’ve been running for over 10 years.  Thanks to Athlinks, I have a record of every race (159 races) that I’ve done.  

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I also have a record of my PRs in all race distances.

Athlinks-2.jpgWhat is Athlinks?  It is a database that houses results for all athletes.  These include pretty much all timed endurance sports (running, swimming, and triathlon).

I don’t know how long I’ve had my account.  It is a FREE account so if you haven’t set one up yet, do so right now.  You can sign up with an email address, Facebook, or Google Account.

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With Athlinks:
1. See your most recent race results and your upcoming races.  This is in the Overview tab.
2. You can check your race results.  All of these races are listed in chronological order so the latest one is on top.  This is in the Results tab.
3. Search and be friends with other runners.  This is in the Following tab. 
4. See how you did compared to your friends that also ran the same race.  This will be shown by either a “Win” or a “Loss”.  This is in the Rivals tab.

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5. Find all of your personal records.  This is in the Statistics tab.

I use Athlinks mostly to keep track of my races and my PRs.  Maybe once in a while I’ll also check out how many wins or losses I have compared to my friends.  In my case, I have more losses than wins.  🙂  I also like filtering by race distance or a specific race and compare how I did.

Here are my results from the Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle beginning in 2006.

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There is also an Athlinks App you can download to your phone.  

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I am pleased with my experience with Athlinks.  It has been a positive one since the beginning.  It is FREE and EASY.  <<Nothing to lose.  If you don’t have an account, set one up right now.  Don’t forget to follow me on Athlinks.

I’m linking up with Running on Happy and Fairytales and Fitness for Friday 2.0.

fridayfive

Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Spring Half Marathon & 10K 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!

On Sunday I ran my 159th race!  I did this race mostly for fun and am glad I did it.  

The forecast mentioned rain on race day.  The weather continues to be ridiculously crazy here.  Even with that forecast, I planned to wear a singlet, shorts, and compression socks.  Not sure what I was thinking.  🙂

I signed up for the 10K but got a bib for the half marathon.

On Sunday morning it was in the mid 40s so I wore a long sleeve underneath my singlet, a jacket, and tights.

It was cold and cloudy.  The half marathon began at 7am and the 10K at 7:45.  I arrived at 7:30 am, dropped off my gear, used the port-a-potties, and got in line for the race.  Per my Garmin, I started running at 7:58 am. 

I ran by feel and paid no attention to my watch.  I would only look down when it would vibrate with my mile splits.  I wasn’t cold and was feeling pretty good.

For the most part I was consistent with my pace.  I HAVE no idea how I ran mile 5 that fast.  At least it is fast for me.

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The 10K started on Columbus Drive next to Maggie Daley Park.  We ran there for a little bit and then ran along the lakefront path.  I found the path to be crowded since there were the 10K runners heading back along with the half marathoners.  

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When I was done, I got my medal and then went to get my gear.  I got there just in time because after a few minutes there were a lot more people waiting in line.  I felt bad for the volunteers because they were working as fast as they could but could not keep up with all of the runners.

Post race there was a hot breakfast, Lagunitas beer, and a spring flower station.  I wanted to take part in it but I was just too cold.  I hanged around for a little bit and then went home.  But before I did that, I checked my finish time courtesy of Athlinks.  Not my best and not my worst either.  My last 10K was the Run Mag Mile in September 2017 and I finished in 1:07:09.  However, my PR is 1:04:02 from September 2010.  

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The medal is pretty cool.  It has a spinning Navy Pier ferris wheel.

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I wished the weather would have been nicer and for sure I would have stayed longer and enjoyed the post race activities.

Overall, I enjoyed the race.  I love the distance and the medal.  Many races do not offer food (only beer) and it is nice to see this offered to the race participants.

Linking up with MarciaPatti, and Erika for Tuesdays on the Run.

TuesdaysOnTheRun