Tuesday, April 25, 2017

I signed up for Rock 'n' Roll Philadelphia!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia 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: Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia

Where: Philadelphia, PA

When: September 17, 2017

Leave it to me to sign up for the Rock ‘n’ Roll race described as “one of the fastest, flattest and most FUN courses you’ll find in the fall.” 

I love fast.  I love flat.  I also love Philadelphia and I can’t wait to race 13.1 miles there!

You may not know that I lived in Philly for a brief period of time during grad school and I’ll take any excuse to visit to the King of Prussia Mall, run around Valley Forge Park and return to the land of Rita’s Italian Ice.  Philly was the place where I rediscovered running.  I started running to stay busy and I kept running to stay sane.

I ran my first Rock ‘n’ Roll race in Providence back in 2011 and returned in 2013 before they discontinued the race location.  I was excited when I found out BibRave was partnering with the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series in 2017 and I immediately added Philly to my race schedule.  Not going to lie—being injured right now makes it hard to even think about September racing—but summer training is my favorite and I am looking at this as a PR race back up plan if Buffalo does not go well on May 28th.  And what if I PR in Buffalo?  I’ll try to PR again in Philly!

The half marathon course ends at Eakins Oval in Fairmount Park.  If you don’t know Philly at all… this is the location of the Philadelphia Art Museum… aka the famous Rocky steps!

After the race, Big Head Todd and the Monsters will be the headliner act at the finish line festival.  I should Google them…

Participant Perks:

·      Scenic Course
·      Live, Local Bands on Course
·      Brooks Technical Participant Tee
·      Exclusive Finisher Medal
·      Admission to the Finish Line Festival and Post-Race Concert + Free Beer!
·      Admission to the Two Day Health & Fitness Expo

Not into running a half marathon?  The race also features a 5k and just announced the inaugural 10k race—both of which will take place on Saturday, the day before the race.

Want to join me in Philly on September 17th? 
Use code BIBRAVE15 for $15 off the half (valid until 9/10) when you register here: http://www.runrocknroll.com/philadelphia/

Need a little more convincing?  Check out this video of what Shalane Flanagan had to say about Rock ‘n’ Roll Philly…


Monday, April 24, 2017

Weekly Roundup 4.17-4.23

Is there any #MotivationMonday better than Marathon Monday? 

I spent most of Monday in front of the TV at work.  My 10am Monday class participants were all no shows, which allowed me to catch the start of the race and I took an early lunch so I could be home to watch the elites finish.   

Monday Morning No Shows
So for some post-Boston thoughts… Edna is a beast.  Desi is a fighter.  Meb always inspires.  I’m proud of Abdi for placing 6th overall.  I cried with Jordan during her post-race interview.  I felt nerves and anxiety all morning as if I was running.  I also felt the heartbreak that so many faced with the high temperatures and less than ideal conditions.  Those external factors that we cannot control are one of the reasons I hate running… no really, I sometimes hate it.  So many trained so hard for 4 or 5 months and were ready to run the race of their life until they got to the start line and it was 81 degrees.  Chasing the perfect race and perfect conditions is what keeps a lot of us runners running.  It’s out there.  And I’m so proud of everyone that crossed that start line and gave it everything.

As for me… I didn’t run all week.  I didn’t even take Georgie for a walk.  I tried spinning on Thursday and aggravated my hip jumping on the pool deck during Power Water.

The good news of the week is that I started physical therapy with Kathy first thing Friday morning!  I am so thankful to work for such a great company.  Kathy is the co-owner of Cape Cod Rehab and she spent almost two hours with me evaluating and treating with ultrasound, e-stim, massage, soft tissue mobilization and kinesiotaping.

Friday night I went back to work to swim laps.  Kathy told me to do light water walking but I needed to get in some cardio.  I stayed in for 100 laps of our 46 foot pool then went back on Saturday afternoon for 30 minutes of deep water walk/running.  I was proud of my two trips to the pool but Kathy said I overdid it.  Oops!

Other highlights:

·      Georgie and I met my parents at Somerset Creamery for my first waffle cone of the year!

·      I got a sneak peak at the Spring #ShokzBox! BibRave partnered with AfterShokz to put the hottest running gear together in one sweet package and I will be receiving one to gift!  For more info and to get on the email list, visit shokzbox.aftershokz.com.

Upcoming events:

·      4 weeks until the Piggy Trot!
·      5 weeks until the Buffalo Half Marathon!

Monday 4.17.17
Marathon Monday!
6,610 steps

Tuesday 4.18.17
9,351 steps

Wednesday 4.19.17
8,186 steps

Thursday 4.20.17
Taught spin class
Power Water
12,154 steps

Friday 4.21.17
52’ swim (3,066 yards)
7,922 steps

Saturday 4.22.17
30’ deep water running
5,559 steps

Sunday 4.23.17
Burdenko H2O
13,067 steps

This week’s mileage: 0 miles
This week’s G mileage: 0 miles
April Totals: 16 miles
2017 Totals: 300 miles

Saturday, April 22, 2017

BibRave Pro Product Review: Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set

Disclaimer: I was recently sent an Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set 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!

“Don’t Sweat it. Pack-It.”

Let me just start out by saying that this is not a typical product review that you would find on Run Jen Run.  Most of the products I have tested for BibRave have been shoes, compression gear, sunglasses, dog leashes and even protein powder—all products I use WHILE I am running and recovering.  This product—the Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set—is about organization, odor control and containing your sweaty wet workout clothes.

Have you ever heard of the brand Eagle Creek?

Eagle Creek is a travel outfitter company.  They are packing experts who believe that an organized traveler is a happy traveler.  From luggage to duffle bags to briefcases… Eagle Creek makes quality products built with proven durability. 

“The smart way to get your smelly, wet, scattered gear from here to there.”

The Pack-It Sport line was designed with the athlete in mind.  The Active Set comes with a Large Shoe Locker and the Wet Dry Fitness Locker.  Both of the bags have a loop at the top to grab or hang them by but I don’t think the shoe locker and fitness locker were designed to use as a stand-alone bag.  Instead I see them more as organizational tools—smaller bags that can be placed into larger bags!

The Large Shoe Locker fits up to men’s size 13 shoe and features a U-shape zip opening that can be partially unzipped at the top for ventilation.  After one of my Falmouth runs that ended with a stop at the beach, I was a little hesitant to put my sandy sneakers back in the shoe locker—until I realize that all Pack-It Sport products are completely machine washable!  So silly me, it would be so much easier to throw my bag in the wash then it is to vacuum out my car.

The Wet Dry Fitness Locker is a little bigger in size and designed to separate clean clothes from sweaty workout wear.  With two pockets, you can stuff clean and dry clothes in the front and put your dirty and damp clothes in the back.  It’s pretty cool!

Some of the Pack-It Sport key qualities:

·      Antimicrobial
·      Odor Control
·      Water Repellant
·      Ventilation
·      Washable
·      Grab/Hang
·      Ultra-Light
·      Clothing Management/Travel System
·      Wet/Dry Separation

So when do I use my Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport Active Set?

Pretty much anytime I go anywhere to workout!  They are easy to grab, easy to pack and keeps everything organized.  I am constantly packing bags for work because I teach classes, shower after class, run after work… and lately I have been getting in the pool too so you can pretty much always find the Fitness Locker in my work bag.  Instead of using a ton of plastic bags from the grocery store, the Pack-It Sport collection is great because the fabric holds in any funky, embarrassing post-workout smells and I love that the divider keeps clean clothes totally separate.  I usually would end up washing clean clothes even if they weren’t worn because everything would get mixed up in my gym bag.

Other bonuses:

·      There is a lifetime warranty!
·      All Pack-It Sport products come in 4 colors: Black, Blue/Black, Fuchsia/Black and Tennis Ball Yellow/Black.  I personally think it would be fun to color code by activity.  For example, one color could be for running clothes, another color for my spin stuff and one more color for all my pool gear…


·      Not really a con but I just found out I’ve been using my Shoe Locker wrong!  Eagle Creek suggests putting the toe in first.
·      I was really hoping for the set in Tennis Ball Yellow.  I love bright colors and it would have made for better pictures!  Guess I’ll have to place an order BUT…
·      Some of the colors in the Active Set are SOLD OUT at the moment! Boo!

Happy running!

Join us on Twitter for the Eagle Creek sponsored #BibChat on April 25th at 9pm EST!

And use code SPORT15 for 15% off any of the Pack-It Sport products!

P.S. Georgie totally gives Eagle Creek “2 paws up!”

Want to read more BibRave Pro reviews?

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Weekly Roundup 4.10-4.16

So guess what… I’m still injured! 

This week featured a lot of walks with G, a few short runs and a half marathon attempt in Newport.


Upcoming events:

·      5 weeks until the Piggy Trot!
·      6 weeks until the Buffalo Half Marathon!

Monday 4.10.17
30’ walk with G
10,433 steps

Tuesday 4.11.17
Taught spin class
30’ Intro to Spin
10,873 steps

Wednesday 4.12.17
2 miles (16:04)
11,127 steps

Thursday 4.13.17
20’ walk with G
Power Water
13,732 steps

Friday 4.14.17
30’ walk with G
3 miles (23:28)
12,983 steps

Saturday 4.15.17
Newport Rhode Race 4.13 miles (29:41)
20’ walk with G and mama
20,435 steps

Sunday 4.16.17
Happy Easter!
15’ walk with G and mama
7,639 steps

This week’s mileage: 9 miles
This week’s G mileage: 0 miles
April Totals: 16 miles
2017 Totals: 300 miles

Monday, April 17, 2017

Race Report: Newport Rhode Race

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Newport Rhode Race 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!

Not my medal.
My first DNF.  Yep, you read that right.   

Did Not (effing) Finish.

I went to Newport optimistic.  I was really looking forward to going with my dad and seeing my coworker Eric in his BQ attempt.  Training since Miami had been going well.  I ran some solid long runs and got back to speed work and strength training.  The goal was never to race Newport but to use it as a training run with some tempo miles at half marathon goal pace.

Then a dull ache started creeping up on me in training.  It was never enough to make me stop running and by the end of the run I usually forgot all about it.  That dull ache lasted about two weeks before turning to sharp pain on a easy run day.  The sharp pain had me stop immediately and start bugging my PT coworkers for advice.  At first we were thinking bursitis but decided on tendinitis.  Either way the recommendation was to cease the activities that cause pain.  I rested.  I stretched.  I iced.  I took ibuprofen.  For a week it hurt so bad I couldn’t even sleep.

Race week it was feeling better.  I wasn’t very confident but I had hopes that I could still get in some good miles at the race.  I had told myself if it hurt, I would stop.  I asked Eric what I should do and he confirmed—stop if it hurts.  He’s a PT.

So what was the worst part about race day?  My 4am wake up call!

Dad picked me up at about 4:50am and we were off to Newport.  I’m not going to lie—sitting in the car was really aggravating my hip/glute.  My whole leg became numb and I was so happy to get out of the car… before sitting again on the shuttle bus to the start.  Luckily, it wasn’t a long ride.  And there was a cute pup on our bus.

We grabbed our numbers and met up with Eric.  He was running the marathon, which started a half hour before the half.  He needed to run a 3:15 to qualify for Boston.  He was either going to play it safe to get the BQ or try to break 3 hours.  He ran Boston two years ago in pain then went in for abdominal surgery a few days later so he’s had his eye on qualifying again and actually running well.

Even though it was 50 degrees, it felt cold.  The race started at the beach and the course lined the coast with a ton of water views—so we knew it could potentially be windy, which it was.  Walking and standing around before the race definitely helped loosen things up so I was feeling pretty good when the gun went off.

The course started with a wind in your face uphill climb.  I put my head down and tucked in with some taller runners and cruised up.  I had started right at the front so there were only a small number of girls around me.  I went through the first mile in 7:36.  It felt very easy and smooth.  I could see the lead girl not far away and the second place girl was only a few strides ahead of me.

About a mile and a half in I noticed that dull ache.  The rolling hills of Newport were a challenge and with every uphill and downhill that ache ached a little more.  My watch beeped 7:08 for mile 2 and 7:08 again for mile 3.  Right where I want to be in Buffalo.  In terms of cardiovascular fitness, I felt great.  Those comfortable 7:08s gave me confidence.  I knew I had a long way to the finish line but I was relaxed and comfortable.  My mind on the other hand was all over the place.  I was running with the second place girl thinking about pushing through the pain and seeing if I could maintain this pace to a good finish and PR.  At the same time I was looking for the next water station or medical support crew.  I remembered a blog post I wrote last week about “Is it worth it?”  I knew what I needed to do.  My watch read 6:52 for mile 4 and 0.13 miles later I came to a quick halt when I saw an aid station.

The volunteers at the mile 4 aid station were awesome.  I later found out they were from the Rhode Island Galloway group.  I asked if there was a shortcut back to the start line and they immediately called for a ride and offered me food, blankets and a warm place to wait.  I was all for the ride but declined the other offers because I wanted to see if my dad would run by while I was waiting!

My dad set up GPS tracking with his RoadId app so I knew when he was getting close.  He was in the zone listening to his music and almost missed me jumping up and down yelling his name.  I later found out something happened to his “Houston Marathon Running Playlist” and it was playing the same three Bruce Springsteen songs on repeat.  He said it was horrible!

I actually picked a good spot to stop because a few minutes later he circled back on the other side of the road.  I was able to tell him I was ok and to keep running.  Right after he passed my ride showed up.  The driver was Susan—who I found out later in the ride is co-owner of Rhode Races and the one in charge of Social Media for the company.  It was fun to meet her and chat about running and racing in Rhode Island.

4.13 miles – 29:41

Average pace – 7:11

Susan dropped me off near the finish.  I grabbed my bag from bag check, threw on my sweats and headed up the hill along the course to the Cliff Walk entrance.  If you’ve never been to Newport, the Cliff Walk is awesome and you get to see all the famous mansions.  I found a bench to sit on and hung out for about an hour watching the runners go by, admiring the pretty daffodils and listening to the waves.

When I knew my dad was getting close to finishing, I went back down the hill to all the action.  I got a slice of pizza and found a spot right next to the finish line to wait.  It seemed like my dad’s tracking was slowing down so I started to get worried that he was not having a good day.  He finished but it wasn’t pretty.  He was having stomach issues and hurt himself when he took a misstep in a pothole around mile 9 but he finished—and it was his 10th half marathon finish!

Not long after my dad finished, Eric came blazing in and crossed the line in 3:02:58.  He was pumped.  It was awesome to watch and he looked great.

Did you run the Newport Rhode Race? Head on over to BibRave.com and post your race review!

Up next:

Piggy Trot
Osterville, MA
May 21, 2017

Buffalo Half Marathon
Buffalo, NY
May 28, 2017
Use code 2017-BibRave-JS for $5 off registration!

Until then, I’m going to get in the pool and try to kick this injury.