I received some super exciting news the other day – I was offered a spot on a Nuun-sponsored team for Ragnar Colorado!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Y’all know that I am Ragnar obsessed! I applied thinking it was a longshot, since Team Nuun has over 700 ambassadors! But I got lucky and secured a spot.
This road Ragnar race runs from Copper Mountain to Snowmass/Aspen. It’s going to be epic. I don’t know which legs I have been assigned yet, but I can’t wait to meet my teammates and represent Nuun on this incredible adventure!
I have just under 8 weeks to prepare, and I’ll be traveling for work for about half of that time. My husband was thankfully super understanding of this great opportunity and has my back on kid duty while I’m gone.
I've done several races for Team Nuun already this year, but this will blow those out of the water!
This will be the 4th state that I’m running a Ragnar in this year. My new mantra is to #runalltheragnars! Ok, maybe that was already my mantra!
Thank you Nuun for this exciting opportunity!
Going into this Charlevoix half marathon, I was very much looking forward to it for several reasons:
It was my 7th time running the half, but I wasn’t 100% sure what to expect performance-wise. It was my second half marathon in 3 weeks, and I’m still protective of my knee after having surgery last fall. I gained weight around that time and basically never lost it. So I was going into this race a good 7 pounds heavier, and with less mileage since I’m trying to be more conservative these days.
This town is unbelievably charming and breathtakingly gorgeous. It’s like a little piece of cape cod sitting in Northern Michigan. We rolled into town on Thursday after a somewhat rainy day. Forecast looked great for the race though! Packet pickup is just held Friday afternoon and Saturday morning before the race. It’s a small race that also has a full, a 10k and 5k. Friday was spend getting the packet, having lunch and relaxing at the beach.
I had 2 clothing options for the race – a tank or short sleeve shirt on top, and capris or shorts for the bottom. It was going to be 53 at the start which is ideal or almost warm for most people, but in my head, I had settled on the capris and short sleeves. I tend to overdress for races and running in general.
Then as I was trying to fall asleep the night before the race, I had a jolt and remembered that my outfit has no pockets and I forgot my spi belt! Where would I put my id, money, cards and rental car keys? Ugh. I remembered that I had a long sleeve running shirt that has a zipper pocket in the back. So that was the new game plan.
I stayed at a condo about 10 minutes from the start. I like to go in really early and just have coffee and chill before the race. I decided to stash the rental car keys so I didn’t have to deal with those bulky things. I was enjoying my pre race coffee and nuun performance drink, and hoping to meet up with my Insta friend Trina.
In the meantime, I was treated to a stunning sunrise. The drawbridge still gives me goosebumps seeing it in action, even after all these years. So cool.
Mission accomplished, I found Trina and group, and then we were off!
I started out fast but naturally couldn’t keep it up. The first few miles are residential and I enjoyed seeing all of it. The long sleeved shirt was really starting to bother me. It was getting warm and I was feeling like an idiot for getting myself in this predicament by forgetting my spi belt. So after mile 2 I pulled over, came to a complete stop and took both shirts off, down to my sports bra. The long sleeve shirt is very fitted and was already covered in sweat so it was sticking to me. It was hard to get off! Anyhoo, I wrapped it around my waist and put the short sleeve top back on and off I went. I’m not sure how much time I lost there but it had to be at least 1.5-2 minutes. I got back on track and soon (around 3.6) the course turns onto the Little Traverse Wheelway, a paved multiuse path that is lined with trees and comes next to the lake in some parts. Super pretty.
Miles 4.5-6.5 felt pretty good, I had a good rhythm. I brought my bottle of nuun with me so I didn’t need to stop at water stops, but I did need to walk a little to actually drink some. Miles 7-10 were a little more of a struggle. Felt a bit out of gas. I did not use any gels. Once the race turned back off the trail to the residential neighborhood, I was started feeling a little better. I was proud of myself for not walking at all in the 2 hills in the last few miles. I remember looking at my fitbit and seeing that at mile 12 I was at 1:59 already. I thought uh oh. In a perfect world, I would have liked sub 2, but it was not in the cards. Other than my wardrobe change, I am not sure how I lost so much time. I really want a do-over!
I finished in 2:08 and was happy to see my sister at the finish line. After some pizza and local Kilwin's fudge, I headed back to the condo to get cleaned up and chill out.
We visited an adorable little winery nearby (Northern Michigan has some amazing wineries due to it’s location on the 45th parallel.) I highly, highly recommend this race if you like fantastic scenery, small town good vibes and sweet bling!
Who doesn’t need a good pair of sunglasses for summer?
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of xx2i Bahamas1 polarized sunglasses 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 both performance sport as well as casual style sunglasses from xx2i, and I’m never disappointed. I’m really rough on glasses, and I have yet to have a pair break or get scratched.
The Bahamas 1 are the latest casual style from xx2i. They come in 4 different color combos, and use the same materials as XX2i’s performance models. I chose the Matte Tortoise with Polar Brown lenses. Bahamas1 comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 8K optical technology, ensuring the utmost frame durability and lens clarity.
Since these are casual not performance, I did not wear them for any runs. However, any day that I’m not running, I’m out walking, running errands, walking the dog, and more. Plenty of opportunities to test these out!
These glasses have a relaxed but not loose fit. There was no slippage. Everything turned a brighter shade when I put the glasses on, got to love the polarized lenses.
I threw these glasses in my backpack when I traveled to San Diego for the Rock n Roll Marathon weekend. I was hoping for beachtime, but the sun never came out. These glasses were still great for cloudy days to cut down on the brightness.
WARRANTY: Lifetime Warranty! No questions asked, you break or scratch them, send them back to be replaced for a nominal shipping and handling fee!
RETURN POLICY: 365 Days! We know it may take some time to try on and get comfortable with a pair of sunglasses bought online so that's why we give you a full year to do so! That's right, take up to 365 days to determine if you want to keep them and if not, send them back for a full refund less any shipping fees.
The glasses retail for $99.99, but BibRave has a special HUGE 50% discount using code "xx2irocks"! Because they really do! Visit xx2i.com to find the pair for you.
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of Adidas Ultraboost X from Adidas 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!"
First impressions: I immediately loved the color of these shoes. I thought they didn’t look super cushiony but was anxious to give them a try. As you know, I had knee surgery last year and still have osteoarthritis in my knees. Cushioning is the most important feature that I look for in a running shoe these days.
When I went to put these shoes on for the first time, I really struggled to get them on. There is a very stretchy and form fitting upper on this shoe. I liken it to putting on compression socks. Thankfully, the more times I put them on, the better I got at it.
It is such a snug fit, you definitely feel supported. I can’t say that I felt the extra cushion (compared to my Hokas), but they were comfortable. I would say that they run a little on the small side. This is considered a neutral shoe.
"UltraBoost X is designed to respond to the way your foot moves through each stride, the shoes feature a floating arch and an adidas Primeknit upper that hugs and adapts to your foot throughout the gait cycle. boost™ delivers maximum energy return, and a stretchy outsole flexes to adapts to the way your foot strikes the ground."
I took them out for several shorter runs, including a 5k race (below) and got a faster finish time. I even got compliments at my ladies 5am run club run (see "shoefie" above). I ran on a variety of surfaces from concrete to gravel, dirt and asphalt.
These shoes are very lightweight (8.3 ounces). There's a high arch with a gap underneath, I'm not sure what that does, but it looks cool :)
I also tried running in them sockless, since the upper kind of feels like a sock. You totally could do that, but it just felt sweaty. After all, I live in Arizona where it is 100 degrees. So, yuck.
Bottom line is that I like these shoes for shorter distances. They have such a snug fit that when my run is done I am usually anxioius to get them off. After my race they kind of became uncomfortable to leave on. I need to lace them a little looser next time. I tried thin socks, thick socks and no socks, but I just came to the conclusion that they run a little on the small side.
Retail price is a bit steep - $180 – but you can find them at your closest Dick’s Sporting Goods.
"Disclaimer: I received a complimentary race entry for the Rock n Roll San Diego 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 recently ran the Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon, celebrating 20 years of the Rock n Roll Marathon series. As I mentioned in my previous post, I have ran the RnR San Diego full marathon twice, and it is my current PR. So I kind of already have a special place in my heart for this race.
Fast forward 15 years later, here I am running the half marathon as an almost 50 year old! This was my first half marathon since having knee surgery in October. I had a lot of anticipation and uncertainty as the race got closer…would I be able to do it after everything my knee has been through?
I made this trip a quick getaway, just in on Saturday and out on Sunday to save on hotel expenses. I knew lots of other people doing the race, so that made it even more fun to look forward to.
After landing and dropping off my luggage at the hotel, I walked over to the convention center for the expo. Rock n Roll expos are known for being huge and having a fun atmosphere. I was looking forward to finding some new products to try. Pickup was quick but the actual exhibit area was quite crowded when I was there.
Next up was lunch. I was staying in the Gaslamp Quarter, where there are tons and tons of bars and restaurants. I found this really cool neighborhood pizza place where I chatted up some locals. I may or may not have tried some delicious local San Diego beer as well…
I had a meetup scheduled to meet 2 other BibRave Pro ladies – Mai and Fallon. I picked a fountain in seaport village for us to meet at but had trouble finding it in person – people were giving me conflicting directions, and even google maps sent me the opposite way! I hopped a pedi cab who got me close to the spot. The weather was cool and was “june gloom” – foggy cloudy overcast that just stayed there the whole time. I never saw the sun once in the 30 hours I was in town!
After the expo and meetup I wandered over to Seaport Headquarters, a little area with shops and restaurants I had been to last fall. I found this cool chalk drawing from a local artist that serves as a fun photo opp.
Restaurants were getting crowded so I grabbed some dinner and headed back to my room. I was so exhausted from walking all over town.
Shuttle buses started running at 4:30am, and it was just a 10 minute ride to the start. It was $5 for a one way shuttle ticket. Tons of porta potties, they were well prepared for the massive crowd. I had 3 photo opps I was trying to make on race morning, with 2 of them being at the same time, so that was going to be rough to coordinate. There were tons and tons of photographers, I almost felt “assaulted” by them there was so many. It was still dark out and I was getting stopped every 30 feet by photographers to take a picture. Enough, already!
I met up with some former Ragnar teammates for a photo, that was fun. I missed my Moms Run this Town Photo opp. I made it to the We Run Social photo opp where I met Runny Legs and saw Carlee McDot, Mats Miles Medals and Pavement Runner. The race had over 30 corrals, I was in #5. We basically started on time, with little fanfare. Within the first 2 miles, the hills started. I did zero hill training for this race, which was a mistake. I used nuun performance for the race, and carried a bottle with me for most of the race. I took breaks every few miles to walk and drink.
I had heard there was going to be a moving experience around mile 4, and it didn’t disappoint. There were around 100 photos of fallen military lining the roads, plus American flags. I'm an emotional mess during a big race anyway, so I started tearing up when I ran through all of it. It was really cool.
The thing that impressed me the most about this race was the amount of spectators. From start to finish, there were crowds lining the road and lots of cheering. It was much appreciated! Hills, hills, and more hills. Most were manageable – until one right after this Rock n Roll guy at mile 10. It was a punishing hill. I had read that much of the 2nd half of the course included downhill, which it did, but plenty of uphill too! I actually never looked at the elevation chart ahead of time, which was probably a good thing!
Going into this race, my first half marathon post surgery, my goal was to just “have fun” and not worry about time. This was honestly a test to see if my knee could do it. I am happy to report that my knee felt as normal as could be! The rest of my legs felt shredded by those hills though! I was discouraged to have a slower time than usual, but I can fully accept it!
The medal is nice, the inside spins like a record. Unfortunately, my D tag on my shoe malfunctioned and I have no official time results (hoping it gets corrected soon). My fitbit said 2:11:59. Not quite the sub 2 I had hoped for, but again, I had to put all that pressure aside...or at least try to.
San Diego is a fun time, I highly recommend this race for a racecation destination!! I’m looking forward to my next Rock n Roll half in Savannah, GA in November. I’ll earn this special double bling award, the Double Beat!!
"Disclaimer: I received a pair of UV arm sleeves from BUFF USA 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 been a fan of BUFF USA for a while now. I’ve tried out both their half buffs as well as the full merino wool buff in the winter time and haven’t been disappointed. They recently came out with UV arm sleeves and I was excited to grab a pair!
The sleeves arrived in mid-April, when it is starting to warm up in Phoenix, but the mornings are still “cool”. To me, sleeves are such a versatile option, as they can keep you cool and you can take them off when you warm up, or – you could use them to keep cool and keep from getting sunburned in full sun exposure.
Even though they come in 11 colors and wicked cool designs, I chose white. I knew I would be racing in them, and that I wanted something that would blend in and go with everything. I would have loved to pick one of the other designs though.
I wore these beauties on my birthday run, and they worked out perfectly. They stay put, don’t slide or roll down. They are a tiny bit on the long side (on me, at least). They are available in 3 sizes. I wasn’t sure how high up to yank them because they were so long. They felt cool the whole run.
I took them out on a couple more morning runs. Comfortable and kept me just the right temperature.
Another cool feature, UV Arm Sleeves have reflective elements strategically placed for better visibility in low-light conditions. Put them on in the morning to fight the chill, and comfortably leave them on all day for UPF 40+ sun protection. The highly breathable polyester material wicks moisture, is comfortable next to the skin, and blocks harmful rays.
I threw them in the washing machine, since I wanted to wear them at Rock n Roll San Diego half marathon. They washed very easily and turned out beautifully! The true test will be wearing them for 2 hours in the Rock n Roll 1/2 marathon this weekend. It will be quite humid, hopefully that won't affect their ability to stay in place.
They make 11 styles for UV protection, plus several other for us as “insect shields”. Who knew??! The one test I did not try was wearing them in very hot conditions for cooling. I've been told you could wet them and put them on to keep you cool, but that sounds a bit uncomfortable for me.
They retail for $24.99, check out all the patterns here! If you are someone who likes the versatility that arm sleeves provide, I highly recommend giving these a try!
Hi, I'm Emily! I'm an avid runner in Arizona with a passion for travel and racing around the country!