"Disclaimer: I received a supply of ORB Wellness Sleep Complex in exchange for an honest review through my relationship with SweatPink and FitApproach. Learn more about becoming a SweatPink Ambassador at FitApproach.com.
Sleep is such an important part of taking care of yourself. I go to bed early (in bed by 9:30) and wake up early without need for an alarm. This is my busy season at work, so my mind is going 90 miles and hour, and can be hard to turn off. I don’t typically have trouble falling asleep, my trouble is staying asleep. I will wake up and dwell on tasks I still need to complete, ugh!
Because of this, I have been taking Melatonin on and off for the last year or two. I was recently given the chance to try a new product – ORB Wellness Sleep Complex – which combines Melatonin with Vitamin B12 and essential oils like lavender.
The packaging looks like it’s taking us into the future of sleep technology. The capsules are liquid and flow kind of like a lava lamp. Cool!
I have been taking it for a few weeks now. I take 2 capsules 30 minutes before bedtime. Even though there is less actual melatonin in here than what I was taking previously, the combination of the valerian root, and essential oils definitely feel like they have a stronger effect to get me sleeping and keep me there. The first time I took it, I did feel a little groggy from sleeping so hard, but I feel like the more I take it, the better I feel. I wake up ready to get my morning run in and tackle the day.
It was super easy to find at my local Costco. And right now they are packaging a 2 month supply for $29.99, which is a great value.
I’m so glad I was able to try this product at such a critical time in my workload. You just can’t underestimate the power of a good night’s sleep!
"Disclaimer: I am promoting the Missoula 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!"
WEEKEND EVENT GUIDE
It’s almost here! The Missoula Marathon is one of Missoula’s premier events, and it’s only a week away! Here’s what you need to know to make the most of your race experience:
You MUST pick up your race packet and chip on Saturday, July 14th at the Expo, at the Caras Park Pavilion, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. There will be NO packet pick up on race day. You may have a friend pick up your packet for you. For late arrival into Missoula, they have made arrangements for a late packet pick up at the Missoula Airport from 5:00 p.m.- 10:30 p.m.(they have thought of everything!). Please contact email@example.com if you have a flight that is scheduled to arrive at the Missoula Airport after 10:30 PM.
BE IN THE KNOW
Get ready – download the app!
Get everything at your fingertips - download Race App. It is Missoula Marathon 2018 by MyLaps Experience. It can be found on the App Store or Google Play. It has runner tracking, course maps, weekend schedule, FAQ's and more.
FINISH LINE GOODIES
- Half Marathon & Marathon Finishers (>21) receive a free, post-race beer courtesy of Big Sky Brewing
- Half Marathon & Marathon Finishers receive a post-race meal courtesy of the Good Food Store
DON’T MISS OUT!
Haven’t registered yet? Do it now and Save!
Use code BibRave18 for $5 off your entry!
Running an ultra has been in the back of my mind somewhere for a few years, but I wasn’t sure that it would ever happen. It’s never been a big priority. Then, I was listening to a podcast about an ultra and started thinking “hmmm…running a 50k the year that I turn 50, that sounds interesting”. And so it began. Then one of my running besties made the leap to 50k and made it look easy. So I searched for the right one – the right timing, the right terrain, climate, etc. and started to train.
I picked the Titletown Ultra because of it’s terrain (not technical, but still a soft trail), and the fact that 2 of my running friends had already done it and loved it, and would do it again with me. So it became a girls weekend. Renee and Jen were on my Ragnar Michigan team 2 years ago, and Rory and Renee are in BibRave with me.
I approached the training just like training for a marathon, and threw a marathon on the schedule just because I needed it – for confidence building if nothing else.
I was in town for some work events for the days leading up to the race, so I was able to start acclimating to the insane humidity. As race day approached, heat warnings were being posted. Renee and I went and picked up our packet, it was already a heat index of 108 the afternoon before. We walked the first .25 mile of the race course down to the water. At least I’d get a water view for about a minute of each lap!
I met up with Renee, Jen and Rory and we carb loaded and tried to get some sleep before rolling out at 4:15am.
We got to the race literally 10 minutes before the start (something I NEVER do), and picked up our timing chip, aka monitoring device that went on our ankle and made us look like we were being watched by the cops. In my hurry, I realized I had not grabbed my wallet – no ID, no money, yikes! Notice how clean these shoes are at the beginning.
The Titletown Ultra is a timed race – you choose either 6, 8 or 15.5 hours. You go as far as you can (or want to) in that period of time. Rory chose 6. I chose 8 and Renee and Jen chose 15.5 as they were shooting for 50 miles. Once we saw the weather forecast, we all started having doubts about reaching our goals.
The course is a looped course through the woods of the Arboretum Trail at University of Wisconsin-Green Bay. Each loop is 4.75 miles. To reach my 50k goal, I would have to complete 6.5 loops. There were 3 aid stations. You could set up a little campsite with drop bags, coolers, etc. and pass your supplies every loop.
The race started at 5:10am, to allow the 15.5 hour runners to finish by dark. We started off and it was already close to 80 degrees. Crowded at the start, but thinned out pretty quickly. The course is a combination of gravel, then packed dirt and woodchips, then back to gravel, and finishing with a little concrete.
My first loop was my fastest, but it honestly felt terrible. Like I was wearing a wet sweater. Most of the course is shaded in the woods and the heat was thick. Lots of ups and downs through the woods. I started having doubts about going all the way to 50k. Maybe a half marathon was enough?
The volunteers were AMAZING. I always had ICE cold water and electrolytes. They were great about knowing what you wanted even before you could communicate it. I started putting ice down my sports bra. It seemed to help. They also had washcloths that they would wet down with cold water, then hang back up with a clothespin that had your bib# on it. Every lap you’d just ask for your towel again.
As the laps ticked off, I was getting a little excited, but also a little concerned about the cutoff, now that I was taking more walking breaks. I got a little extra energy around loops 4-5, but during my 6th loop when I should be on cloud nine, as I approached the last aid station, I started wobbling a bit and felt like I was seeing spots. Then a wave of nausea came over me. I was so close. I had been drinking fluids NONSTOP but didn’t eat anything other than my 3 gatorade endurance gels. Nothing sounded good. I decided to walk, I didn’t throw up, but felt a little scared that I just might fall over on the trail. Walking was eating up my time buffer that I had. I came to the conclusion that I should just end it at 28.5 miles (6 laps) instead of trying to go out for another half lap (2.5 miles) and have to come back to the finish ( I forgot that I could get a ride on a golf cart and not have to walk back). It seemed like the right thing to do rather than to try to push it given that I was so close to the cutoff and was afraid to run again, thinking that would only make me more nauseous. I clocked in at just over 7 hrs 20 minutes. So I did leave almost 40 minutes on the table – but even my walking was more like 17-18 min miles, I just couldn’t guarantee a 50k finish by the cutoff.
So I turned in my timing chip and laid down for a little bit. Heat index was 103! My legs were covered in dirt. I took a quick Ragnar-style bath to clean up and then headed out for lunch with a friend while we waited for our last runner to finish. One of the girls who was going for 50 miles called it quits at 19 due to dehydration. The other called it quits at 28.5 miles after giving it her all. Here’s our squad at the finish:
Overall, I felt pretty fabulous that night and the next day. Way better than after a road marathon. I attribute that to the softer surface I was running on, and also that I was doing a run/walk combo. Looking back at race day now, I am disappointed that I didn’t go out for that last ½ loop. It was mainly the cutoff that kept me back, otherwise I could have just walked it all. I did not want to be a DNF. I knew that 28.5 was enough to call myself an ultramarathoner, but not reaching the 50k mark bothers me. So you know what that means…I have to do this AGAIN!
Despite the intense heat, I did enjoy my first ultra and learned a lot. It’s not as scary as I thought. I finished 14th out of 26 females in the 8 hour time category. Now I have this finishers mug to remind me of what is possible. I'm an ultramarathoner!
"Disclaimer: I received a supply of Gatorade Endurance formula and gels 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!"
As I write this review, I am a week out from my first ultramarathon. Over the course of my training, I have been experimenting with various supplements, gels, powders and just fueling in general to get me through this race. That’s why when I received the opportunity to review the brand new Gatorade Endurance formula flavors, I jumped at the chance.
As part of my training, I decided to run a marathon. For that race, I was using a “superstarch” type of product for fuel. I also used some really thick gels that I picked up at the expo. Well, I got pretty tired of both of them during the race. Once the liquid was warm, it was disgusting since it was a little on the thicker side. And the gels? That felt like a commitment to open one of those thick packets and work on getting it down.
Even though the new endurance formula is specially formulated for well…endurance events…I tried it out for the first time on a shorter run here in AZ. It was very warm out and I was glad that I had it with me. The watermelon flavor honestly tastes JUST like fresh watermelon, maybe with a hint of salt. Really light flavor, but enough electrolytes to carry you through! It has 2x the sodium and 3x the potassium of regular Gatorade.
Ok so now I needed to put it through more of a test. I took it on my last “long” training run – 12 miles. Again, it was a super warm morning and I knew I would need an extra boost to get me through. I brought 2 gels with me – the new Mango flavor. I had been keeping them in the refrigerator ever since they had arrived. I filled two flasks – one scoop each and added water.
I had also ran 12 miles the previous Sunday..I don’t know if it was definitely due to the Gatorade endurance, but I cut out a good 20 minutes from my overall time from week to week. I ended up just using one gel instead of two – didn’t need it. I did not feel the urge to take all the walking breaks that I did before, and I had basically the exact same weather conditions. I would consider that a win for Gatorade Endurance!
Halfway into my 12 miler, I tried a gel. This gel was the polar opposite of what I tried at my last marathon. Really light – actually tasted like mango – and it didn’t have that fake gel flavor or texture. Yesss!
Each serving of Gatorade Endurance formula Thirst Quencher Powder has:
- 22 g carbohydrates
- 0 fat
- 140 g potassium
- 300 mg sodium
- 13 g sugar
Available flavors: orange, lemon lime, watermelon and cherry
Compared to the other product I was using, this has more potassium and more sodium – all good things – but also more sugar. The new formulation contains no artificial sweetener or flavors and has a lighter flavor designed for athletes training/racing for prolonged periods of time. In addition, Gatorade Endurance Formula now offers a multi-carbohydrate blend to help endurance athletes maintain performance and lower the risk of stomach discomfort during a hard training session or race.
Each serving of Gatorade Endurance gel has:
- 20 g carbohydrates
- 0 fat
- 90 mg sodium
- 6 g sugar
Available flavors: mango, apple pear, blackberry and vanilla
A 21 pack sells for $29.99
This was only a 2 week test, but it was enough to convince me to use it in my ultra, and for my long runs in the future. I will definitely be buying more when this runs out! It truly is #FormulatedForFarther!
"Disclaimer: I received an assortment of KT Tape products 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!"
It seems like no one thinks much about getting blisters…until they get one. I have been caught off guard on more than one occasion – with new shoes, new socks or just bad luck! And I have regretted not taking a more proactive approach. For my last marathon, I had a certain pair of shoes that was rubbing my heel in a not nice way, so I threw a band aid on it. Sometimes they stay on, sometimes they don’t. If you sweat, odds are good it will come off.
Enter KT Tape blister prevention tape! The same brand that provides awesome support using kinesiology tape (which I tried and reviewed earlier this year), now makes blister prevention tape AND blister treatment patches!
The prevention tape comes in a roll, pre cut into 30 strips, with an adhesive backing that comes off easily. For my long run last weekend, I put a strip on the back of my troublesome heel and was immediately struck by the incredible stickiness of the tape strip. It wasn’t going ANYWHERE. Love that. It didn’t feel like a bandage, it felt like tape. I ran 12 miles in 90 degree temps and am happy to report it stayed put!
I have also heard of other uses for this magic tape – not just for blisters but basically for anywhere you may get chafing. I definitely get it under my sports bra. That seems like a good spot to try it. Another tip from my fellow BibRave pro Corey is to wear it on your hands when you are lifting weights. It’s a lot less bulk than gloves. I plan on giving this a try in next week’s body pump class.
The other product I was sent to try was the blister treatment patch. How invaluable is this? Without even trying it yet, I already know that BOTH of these products need to be in my race-cation travel kit as well as a must for long runs. I didn’t have any blisters in the few weeks I had to try this product out (because I was using the prevention strips!!!) - but having this on hand is a must.
The patches sell in a box of 6 for $9.99 (but we have a discount below!!!) Here are the product features:
KT Tape is offering a special discount for you BIBRAVE30 - for 30% off! I am going to stock up on some of these essentials for sure! I have my first – and possibly only – ultramarathon in 2 weeks and this is coming with me, ON my person during the race. If anything comes up while I am trapesing through the woods for 5-6 hours, I will be READY!
Last summer, I shared a personal story on my blog about how a lifesaving blood donation helped my dad, who was suffering from Multiple Myeloma, on my wedding day. You can read more about thathere.
Since then, I made a commitment to start donating blood. I made an appointment at my local center and was surprised at how easy it was and how little time it took to make such a difference. I even received a text message a few days after one of my donations that totally made my day.
Blood donation helps so many people. Did you know that:
I hope you join me in making a difference!
II thought after 10 full marathons that I was officially in “marathon retirement”. I transitioned to half marathons and Ragnar relays and was happy as a clam. In the back of my mind I had considered doing a 50k someday, but wasn’t sure that would ever happen.
As I watched one of my running besties easily make the leap, I thought “ok, maybe this is a possibility”. Then I realized It would be a cool tie in for me to run my 50k the year I turned 50. As I planned out my training, I thought I should probably cover the marathon distance as part of my training. The Marathons2Beach marathon in Ventura, CA fit the timing and was the easiest for me to get to. So I went to sign up, and it was sold out with a waitlist. I decided to join the waitlist. Less than 2 weeks later, I got an email saying I had gotten in off the waitlist but would have to confirm my very expensive spot within 48 hours or so. I took it as a sign that this was meant to be.
Another reason I chose this race is because it has a net downhill. I needed all the help I could get from gravity! A month or two later, my friend Connie saw me wavering on making this trip by myself and agreed to do the half and join me on the road trip.
We made the 6 ½ hour drive to Ventura on Saturday morning. It was long. We headed straight to packet pickup at the fairgrounds. Small expo. No gear check bags! Say what? We were told you can get them at the start line. After that we walked around, had lunch and checked out the boardwalk and beach.
Because I registered so late, all the later shuttles had been taken, so I was stuck with a 4am shuttle to the start in Ojai. This caused me much stress. Worrying about getting downtown, and finding parking in time for the shuttle. We decided to uber which was great. The alarm was set for 230 am (yikes!) and after heading to dinner, I actually got a decent night of sleep! As I was fairly quiet the night before and lost in my own thoughts, Connie noted “you’re so much different than during a Ragnar”. Well duh! Ragnars are all about fun and no stress. Marathons are serious business, whether it is “just a training run" or not.
We caught our shuttles in plenty of time. Ojai is a very pretty, laid-back town. The temps were low 50’s at the start and would warm up to low 60’s. I ended up with almost 2 hours to kill at the start, but was happy to meet up with my fellow BibRave Pro James for a nice chat
Then it was finally time, after finding real coffee and a real bathroom (yay!), to head to the start. I ditched my throwaway jacket and felt ready.
The first 6-7 miles were a loop around Ojai before heading down the mountain. Very scenic and easy running. First few miles were fast. For the first hour, the 4:10 pacer was behind me. It gave me an unrealistic sense of confidence. I’m like “maybe I could actually PR!” Finally around Mile 10 or so we started heading downhill. For about 5 miles we were on a shaded trail which was great. Around the half way point I felt very fatigued. I clocked the first half at 2:06, but every mile was taking progressively longer.
I alternated between sport beans, my honeystinger waffle, some Ucan, and a gel. During the second half I stopped at every single water stop and took in both water and electrolytes. The breeze was amazing. Plenty of shady parts. It became harder to push forward during the straightaways and I longed for more downhill. I ended up not using music and kind of regret that decision – I could have used the inspiration.
I was taking more and more walking breaks, and that 4:10 pacer long since passed me by. My running turned into an awful shuffle that came in around 11 minute miles. I had a lot of conversations with myself along the way and each mile passed was one mile closer to the beach and finish line. After a long section on roads, we were back on a trail again, but this time fully exposed and through a more industrial area. The last 2-3 miles were through downtown Ventura full-on into the sun and it felt like a death march. I stopped caring about my time.
I rolled in at 4:39, and felt strong at the finish. Connie was there to high five me.
Finish line food was not good. We had some local post race beers that I had pre-purchased, and the breeze from the ocean was great. We ubered back and headed to lunch, then hopped in the car for our 6.5 hour drive home. Ugh.
While I’m glad I got the miles in by doing this race, I’m quite nervous about the 50k in 5 weeks. I won’t have the benefit of a downhill course to help me. I’m happy to have finished with absolutely NO knee pain whatsoever, and happy to know that I can still do this, even at the ripe old age of 50!
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of Rydon performance glasses from Rudy Project NA 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 have reviewed Rudy Project sunglasses in the past and was eager to try another style. If you are not familiar with Rudy Project, they make incredible eyewear and cycling gear. Top quality. The Rydon model is my first experience with photocromic lenses – basically “transition” lenses that can adjust with the light. They came clear, but as soon as I step outside they are brown. Cool!
The legendary Rydon performance sunglass is Rudy Project’s all-time bestselling sunglasses model. Incredibly lightweight, stylish and completely adjustable via a flexible nosepiece and temple tips, the Rydon sunglasses can be configured in thousands of ways and customized for any face shape. They were comfortable enough for a 17 miler!
As with other models from Rudy Project, These sunglasses also utilize an interchangeable lens system, an optics solution for managing various weather and light conditions, and are available with durable ImpactX-2 lenses. With rapid activation, increased photochromic range, and the ability to automatically lighten and darken from a semitransparent tone to a specific color (Red, Black or Brown) according to light conditions, these are some of the most revolutionary lenses on the market. The Rydon sunglasses come in a variety of colors, and can accommodate prescriptions.
They come with a hard impact case as well as a soft case which doubles as a lens cleaner. Rudy also offers a 2 year warranty. You can save 30% off with the code GODSPEED, which is the name of the inspiring cycling documentary they were featured in.
"Disclaimer: I am promoting the Missoula 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!"
A perfect summer race
Who wouldn’t want to come to Montana in July? Cool, starry nights – picturesque sunny days? I personally visited Montana many summers ago, and can’t wait to go back! I was blown away by its natural beauty. If you are looking for a great “racecation”, look no further! And if you’re on the hunt to run all 50 states, this is the biggest race you’ll find in Montana. This year’s race weekend will take place July 13-15.
The Missoula Marathon is one of Missoula’s premier events. It has twice been named as the Best Marathon In The U.S. – in 2010 by the readers of Runner’s World Magazine and in 2017 by The BibRave 100. Runner’s World has also named the Missoula Marathon as a Top Marathon For Back-Of-The-Packers (2017) and a Top 10 Bucket List Marathon (2018).
A distance for everyone
There is a 5k, kids marathon, a half marathon, full marathon, and a wheelchair half & full. Also a free beer run on Friday night. Now that sounds fun! It’s a 3 mile social run, all along the river! Entry is free, but beer is available for purchase at the finish.
Register now and Save!
Use code BibRave18 for $5 off your entry! Visit http://www.missoulamarathon.org/ to register today.
"Disclaimer: I received a private screening of the documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America 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!"
The inspiration to overcome is the backbone of “GODSPEED” as it chronicles a first-time race team – Jerry Schemmel, noted author, speaker and sportscaster for the Colorado Rockies and Brad Cooper, a eleven-time Ironman triathlete – as they compete 24 hours a day for seven days covering 3,000 miles of deserts, mountains and plains overcoming physical exhaustion, sleep deprivation and extreme mental anguish competing in the world’s most difficult cycling race – The Race Across America.
The duo Cycled 168 hours non-stop across 12 states coast to coast, on the journey of a lifetime - a race that would provide an extreme test of physical endurance and dependence on faith, all for the greater purpose and personal calling to raise money for the orphans of Haiti.
I will admit, it is kind of cool to be one of the FIRST people to see something. I received a link to watch the documentary, and wow the time flew by.
I’m not a cyclist, but I can appreciate the amount of sheer determination/insanity/heart that went into making this a reality.
The documentary Godspeed: The Race Across America showcases the journey of two athletes with inspiring and tragic stories who come together to compete on a 2-person cycling team to bike 3,000 miles from California to Maryland. Nonstop.
It is a faith-based movie, which the title eludes to. The duo and their dedicated crew do rely on their faith to get them through the hardest part of the journey. The documentary chronicles two men, who both have had their own tragedies in their lives. They relied on each other with strength and grit to pedal 168 hours nonstop across 12 states from the west coast to the east coast. All in an effort to raise money for orphans of Haiti.
This documentary will appeal to your competitive side, but also provide endless inspiration for when times get tough. Godspeed: The Race Across America is in theatres for ONE DAY ONLY – May 22. Visitfathomevents.com to find a theatre near you and pre-purchase your tickets! Below is a trailer for the movie, check it out!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!