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Category: BibRave Pro

Chicago Half Marathon & Life Time 5K Recap

Disclaimer:  I received a free entry to the Chicago Half Marathon & Life Time 5K 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 had originally signed up for the half marathon.  However, with the unusually high temperatures in Chicago, I decided instead to run the 5K.  

After my run on Saturday morning, I went to Soldier Field to pick up my packet.  Parking was a deal for $5!  Names were printed on the letters but I didn’t find my name.  In fact many names were missing because I didn’t see any names with last names ending in A, B, C, D, or E (just naming a few as I know there were more but cannot remember).

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Bib pickup and switching over to the 5K was fast and easy.  Not much in the goodie bag.

I do like the shirt.

A reminder that it was going to be warm on race day.

Chicago Half 2017-5It was a good size expo with many vendors.  

I tried Rx bars but did not like the texture.

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Almost bought these shoes.

Saucony Kinvara 8

Walked around a bit more and left to meet my friend, Claudia, for lunch.

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I woke up early on Sunday morning to get ready and eat something.  I also had some coffee.  Then I drove to the race location.  I got lucky and found parking right away. However, I was there very early so I still had to wait.  The half marathon began at 7 am and the 5K at 7:45am.

I found my friend, Claudia, and we use the port-a-potties, took some pictures, and I wished her good luck as she was running the half marathon.

I hate it when vendors take advantage of the situation (I know they are there to make money) and charge a lot for food.  That slice of pizza is very small which is the same one runners got at the end of the race.

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I was planning to meet Heather prior to the race but that didn’t work out.  I did see her once the race began and she was walking to start running.

Then I had to wait again.  By this point I was hungry.  It was also warm.  At least now there were no lines at the port-a-potties but they were also SMELLY!

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Finally time to run.  It was nice to run in the shade.  Miles 1 and 2 went by fast.  There was a water/gatorade station a bit before mile 2.  I drank some Gatorade and ran again.  I was surprised there was a station so late into the race.  I didn’t care too much for me because I was running a shorter race.  The half marathoners still had a long way to go and shouldn’t have had to wait till mile 2 for water and Gatorade.

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I saw a cute Mexican family with less than half a mile away.  I could hear the music and the race announcer.  I picked up the pace a little bit and finally crossed the finish line.  

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Done.  Got my medal and some post race goodies.

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Love free pictures.  The bottom one cracks me up.  I almost didn’t post it because my eyes are closed.  But there is a story behind it.  Next to me is my friend’s dad.  At the beginning he told me he was going to beat me.  Throughout the race I would pass him and then he would pass me.  Around mile 2 was the last time I passed him.  He surprised me when he caught up to me as we got closer to the finish line and I ran as fast as I could.  We crossed the finish line together and I was laughing!!  I still beat him by 7 seconds.  🙂

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Free pizza.  Would you pay $6 for that slice?  I am a big fan of Home Run Inn pizza and realize that that picture of the pizza doesn’t look tasty.  However, my complaint is the cost for that size.

Are you a fan of 5Ks?  Why or why not?

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5K Crate Product Review

Disclaimer:  I received a 5k Crate 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!

What is 5K Crate?  It is a quarterly subscription box ($59.99) that has premium apparel and accessories for runner of all types and fitness levels.  Each box is carefully hand picked to include 5-6 items that you will use over and over again.  You can select a women’s or men’s version and shipping is FREE.

I was excited when I received my box.  Inside my box were the following:

  • Mission VaporActive Alpha Running Shirt- $35.95
  • Mission VaporActive Cooling Towel- $19.99
  • Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones- $45.00
  • Zensah No-Show Compression Socks- $19.99
  • (2) Epic Full-Size Body Wipes- $2.50 each
  • (3) La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples- $1.00 each

Total value is $128.93.  

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Mission VaporActive Alpha Running Shirt – I wear short sleeve shirts for running.  However, I like the color and the fit.  This shirt is supposed to dry up to 5 times faster than the leading shirt.  I really didn’t notice this but it could have been that when I wore this shirt it was mostly for shorter runs.

Mission VaporActive Cooling Towel – It is a soft towel that keeps you cool for up to 2 hours. All you do is wet it, wring it, and snap it.  I didn’t take advantage of it during these 90 degree days because all I wanted to do after a run was jump in the shower.

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Spigen Wireless Bluetooth Headphones – I rarely run with music.  It depends on my mood and run.  However, I have two pairs of headphones with wires that when I do use them, the wires drive me crazy.  Enter wireless headphones.  I wear these mostly for when I am working on my laptop entering grades for school or writing blog posts.  These were easy to pair up with my iPhone and the sound is clear and crisp.  

Zensah No-Show Compression Socks – Is it possible to have too many socks?  No way!  I own about 20 pairs and pick a pair depending on the shoes I plan to wear (I have 3 pairs in rotation).  I love that they’re thin, soft and comfortable.  No blisters either.  I didn’t think I would like the ankle height because I prefer no show socks.

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Epic Full-Size Body Wipes – I didn’t use these wipes but I know they’re big enough to wipe off the sweat and smell when you need to go somewhere else after a run and you don’t have time for a shower.  

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La Fresh Travel Sunscreen Samples – I’ve never heard of sunscreen wipes.  They’re the perfect size for a bag or even short pockets.  The lotion isn’t greasy and I didn’t notice any scent.

Final thoughts:  I like trying out the different products.  Most of these were new to me.   The one item I didn’t care for is the shirt but that is because I have enough in my drawer and I prefer to run in short sleeves.

Is all of this worth $60?  Definitely!  As you saw above, total cost is about $130 so you get all of this stuff for about half price. 

You can sign up HERE and every 3 months  you will receive a new shipment with 5-6 items. Join today as the Octobe boxes start shipping on October 16th.

Lola likes the box.  She says it is the perfect size and sends her thanks to 5K Crate.

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Have you tried any of these products?  Have you tried a 5K Crate subscription? Thoughts?

Friday Five 2.0-Luvo Frozen Meals Product Review

Disclaimer:  I received Luvo Frozen Meals 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 to eat but don’t like to cook.  My mother makes the best Mexican food and I look forward to it everytime I see her.  

I have a hard time deciding what to take to school for lunch.  I only have 30 minutes to eat and in that time I also have to finish up some work for the next two hours of class and use the bathroom.  Enter Luvo Frozen Meals.  The past few weeks I had the opportunity to try their products for a quick, easy, and healthy meal.

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Luvo’s philosophies for their meals consist of :

  • The right balance of protein, whole grains, and veggies
  • Not too much sodium or added sugar
  • No artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners

There are so many meals to choose from – either in a pouch or a bowl.  Below are the ones I was able to sample.

Kale Ricotta Ravioli – This one had a great smell!  Teachers asked me what I was eating because it smelled so good.  This bowl is nut free and vegetarian with 12 grams of protein, 14 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables

Hawaiian Un-Fried Rice-I didn’t think I would like this but it is actually very tasty.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 42 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables. 

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Quinoa & Veggie Enchilada Verde-My sister and I both enjoyed this bowl.  I love green enchiladas as well as quinoa.  The salsa verde was tasty and definitely not spicy at all. This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 10 grams of protein, 37 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

Great Karma Coconut Curry-This is another bowl I did not think I would like.  I like coconut but not a fan of curry.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 16 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of vegetables.

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So Cal Kale & Bean-I know Kale is good for you (don’t eat it as much as I would like to) so I looked forward to this meal.  It was sweet which I liked.  This bowl is vegan, gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian, dairy free with 10 grams of plant protein, 23 grams of whole grains, and 1 cup of fruit and vegetables.

Luvo Frozen Meals 5

Roasted Cauliflower Mac & Cheese-I loved the brown rice noodles and the panko style topping on top made it crunchy!  This bowl is gluten-free, nut free, vegetarian with 11 grams of protein, 55 grams of whole grains, and 1/2 cup of vegetables.

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I know frozen meals are never a substitute for real food.  However, with so many choices of frozen meals out there, I didn’t feel guilty having one of these for lunch.  Here are a few reasons:

  • A few have a high number of whole grains and/or protein.  I was able to stay full till dinner time.
  • Most frozen meals have a high number of sodium.  However, the meals I tried had sodium in the 300s.  The Great Karma Coconut Curry has the highest number with 390 milligrams.
  • A variety to choose from whether you are looking for a vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, nut free, or dairy free meal.
  • Great taste!  Seriously, I was surprised at how good they were.  I tried 6 different meals and I liked all of them.
  • They’re inexpensive!  I went to my local Jewel-Osco and they were on sale for $3.00 (regular price was $4.99) each which is affordable.  Click HERE to find out if they’re available at your local grocery store.

Have you tried Luvo Frozen Meals?  Which one did you like the most?

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

Hoping everyone had a good week!

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Friday Five 2.0-Run Mag Mile Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I received free race entry to the Run Mag Mile 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 a 10K.  And it was so much fun!

I picked up my packet after school on Friday.  It took me one hour to get to Fleet Feet in Old Town and then 1 1/2 hours to get back home.  Definitely not happy about it but all of that went away when I saw the hoodie in my bag.  🙂  It fits well and I love the color.

Run Mag Mile 1

The race began at 7am so I woke up early to get ready and drink coffee with my Clif Bar. Usually when there is a race downtown I drive to the train station, leave my car there, and take the train.  This time I drove and parked about half a mile from the start line.  Now I have a new parking spot and it it FREE!!

On my way to the start line.  It was a bit chilly in the morning but then it was perfect for running.  I never got hot but just felt very comfortable.

I saw Heather, a fellow Oiselle girl and BibRave Pro Ambassador.  I also saw a couple of other friends before the race.

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Then it was time to run!  Part of the course was running down Michigan Avenue.  This reminded me of Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas where you also run down the strip.  

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Saw this along the course.

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Even though I was feeling great, I did think about switching to the 5k.  Glad I didn’t.

Run Mag Mile 9

I enjoyed running along the lakefront except for the wind.  Gosh, it was terrible but surprisingly I kept running and stopped for a few seconds at the turnaround point.

Run Mag Mile 10

Run Mag Mile 11

Run Mag Mile 12Done.  I checked my splits and was surprised because I ran faster than I thought I could run. It isn’t a PR but I definitely enjoyed this race.  Official finish time is 1:07:09.

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Post race every runner got a box with food.  The chicken sausage was delicious!

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Can you tell I am happy to be done?

Would I do it again?  Absolutely!  And here are 5 reasons.

  • The hoodie.  I like how it looks, fits, and feels.
  • The medal.  And it is a big one!
  • The food and beer.  I enjoyed everything in the box.  Also, I didn’t take a picture but each runner had a ticket for one drink, Revolution Brewery beer or a Moscow Mule (I picked the beer).
  • The course.  It was never crowded.  Plenty of room for everyone.  The best part was running on Michigan Avenue.
  • FREE race photos.  I love a race that provids free race photos even if many times we don’t like how we look.  🙂

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

Hoping everyone had a good week!

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Brilliant Reflective, my latest favorite running song, and I am still running.

Disclaimer:  I received Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips to try and 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 rarely run when it is dark.  During the summer it is bright as early as 5am and doesn’t get dark till about 8:30pm.  The few times I run while it is dark, I wear a reflective vest and a headlamp.  I was more than happy to test and review Brilliant Reflective Safety Strips.  The company sent me both Iron-On and Stick-On strips.

Brilliant Reflective 1

So what exactly are these strips?  They’re pieces of tape that you can stick on to your gear so that when light hits you, you are seen.  They’re easy to peel and can be placed on pretty much all of your running gear such as shoes, shirts, hats.  They’re available in black, red, blue, and purple so they either blend in or stand out.

My niece liked them on her shoes.

I used them in my shirt, shoes, and running hat.

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I will admit that I removed them from my shoes to put on another pair and somehow one of the strips fell off during my race.  However, they stayed on the shirts even after washing them.

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I haven’t used the Iron-On strips but am excited to use them on my Oiselle Power Stretch Beanie and Softshell Gloves.  <<Definitely not ready for cold weather as I am enjoying the cool and fall like weather we are having in Chicago.

Join us on Tuesday, September 12th as BibRave and Brilliant Reflective will be hosting a #BibChat at 8pm CST.  Come by and chat with us about this great product and you’ll have a chance to win some of your own.

My latest running song is “Mi Gente”.  Have you heard it?  Not a big fan of the video but I do like the beat and it makes me want to dance too.  🙂

I had some great runs this week.  Monday and Tuesday was 5.02 miles.  Fall weather is here and that makes the runs much more enjoyable.  I was pleased and surprised with my negative splits!

On Saturday I ran the Run Mag Mile 10K.  It was so much fun!  The weather was perfect and it was fun running down Michigan Avenue (it reminded me of RnR Las Vegas when the strip was closed for the race).  I didn’t get a PR (old one is from 2010) but I ran faster than I thought I could and also had a blast.  I think that definitely counts more than a PR, right?  🙂

So what did you think of the song “Mi Gente”?  What is your favorite running song now?

I’m linking up with Holly and Tricia for their Weekly Wrap.  This week’s host is Sara @ Sara Runs This Town.  Please stop by her blog and show her some love!

Hoping everyone had a good week!

WWGuest