Friday, April 19, 2019

Making Strides with Strava | Strava Review

Disclaimer: I received a Strava Summit Subscription and additional Strava swag 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!

Hey all! Hope spring training is treating you well! The peak of Fargo Marathon training is near and, praise the Lord, I am running healthy and un-injured. I am thrilled to make it this far in the Hansons Marathon Method program without a replay of last Fall.

Let's talk training. 


I have tracked my training over the past ten marathons in various ways, from daily journal entries to blog posts to physical training logs to online logs. I had used DailyMile in the past but they recently shutdown. That was a bummer but, as a BibRave Pro, I was presented with an opportunity to work with Strava just in the knick of time!

Strava is a program that offers tracking for running and cyclists with a "social networking for athletes" appeal. Users are able to track their mileage on Strava.com OR on their Strava app, which is the #1 app for runners and cyclists.


As a brand new Strava user, I signed up for a free account on their website and later downloaded the app to my iPhone.



With my free account, I am able to link-up my Garmin Forerunner which automatically syncs my workouts from Garmin Connect to Strava. That is SO handy because I don't need to physically enter any of my workout data! Though I can log in to add description/workout details and photos if desired.

My Strava account tracks my mileage, saves a map of each workout and includes basic analytics (pace, elevation, etc) all saved on my profile. I am able to connect with other runners and of course my BibRave Pro team, too. We have a Run Club and keep each other on track through that!


I appreciate the ease of set up and syncing workouts. As I continue to make strides and gain experience with this platform, I will share an update with you here on the blog!

Sign up for a free Strava account at Strava.com or download the app in the App Store.

Let's Connect!

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Sun's Out! | Knockaround Fast Lanes Review

Disclaimer: I received Knockaround Fast Lanes in exchange for my 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 sun! It has returned and brought some bright Spring days along with it. Marathon training mileage has been ramping up and feeling the sun beat down on my weekend long run has been so wonderful. Oh how I've missed that feeling over the past long, looonnggg winter months.

In timely fashion, as a BibRave Pro, I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lane shades to review. I have worn Knockaround Premium shades in the past but this is my first pair of Fast Lanes. The Fast Lane style features a clean-cut, rectangular silhouette that is very flattering.


The general rule is to not try anything new for, say, your first 16-mile run in a year. Well, I broke that rule when the Fast Lanes showed up on my doorstep. I am very picky about the sunglasses I wear running, as glasses that slip down my sweaty nose are just plain annoying.

That wasn't the case with the Fast Lanes! They are a perfect fit for my face type and I was shocked to find that they are only $25 for polarized glasses. They feel like high-quality glasses but are affordably priced. LOVE that about Knockaround!


I chose the Glossy Black and Amber Ice/Gold color and of course they come in a whole variety of other colors that Knockaround is known for. My shades are holding up well and I wear them everywhere; on the run, out on errands with the kids, spending time outdoors.

My overall thoughts are: AWESOME shades and great, affordable price. Throw the below discount on that and it's a deal you can't beat!

Use the discount code "BIBRAVEKNOCKS1" for 20% off your entire Knockaround order. This offer is available from 3/25 to 4/18 and is limited to one use per person.


- Knockaround Fast Lane Specs -

  • Clean-cut, rectangular silhouette, ideal for medium to larger face shapes
  • 16 color options listed on Knockaround.com
  • $25.00 for polarized, $20 for non-polarized
    Specs from Knockaround.com
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Wednesday, March 27, 2019

My First Run Happy Experience | Brooks Glycerin 17 Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Brooks Glycerin 17 running shoes in exchange for my 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 snow is gradually melting around these parts, marathon training is speeding by and my shoes are finally able to feel that glorious pavement underfoot. YES, I can finally pack away my traction aids for a few months!

This month I have hit the road and occasional treadmill in a fancy new shoe style, also worn by the 2018 Boston Marathon Ladies' Champion, Des Linden. I wanna be like Des — that's right! As a BibRave Pro, I received the newly released Brooks Glycerin 17, my very first pair of Brooks shoes, to review:


Right out of the box, I will say these shoes are sharp! The purple/black shoe looks great on the run and nice for casual everyday wear as well. They're stylin' ;)  The Glycerin 17 does have five color options, so everyone's personal taste should be covered.

Let's Get to the Run

I started with a few low mileage easy runs and then worked up to the long run with the Glycerin 17's. The DNA LOFT technology made each stride feel smooth and the landing soft, even while running on the road.

The Glycerin 17 shoe is on the heavier side compared to my usual shoe style but the cushion benefit is worth a little extra weight. Brooks' motto is "Run Happy" and that cushioned feel definitely keeps my joints happy!


As you cover the long miles on hard surfaces, the Glycerin 17 feels like a gentle way to break some of that road-pounding impact. I thought these shoes felt too heavy for interval/speed efforts but they shine on long, steady workouts and even my strength training workouts.


My Final Thoughts

The Glycerin 17's are everything I hoped my first Brooks Run Happy experience would be! Though they are heavier and more cushioned than my usual running shoes, the neutral fit was perfect for me and that DNA LOFT cushion makes for a soft, smooth feel. That makes my legs happy.

I'm considering wearing these for my upcoming road marathon because these shoes really do shine on the road and my body will thank me for the extra cushioning at mile 26! (Isn't that last .2 mile always the hardest?!)

Do you have a favorite Brooks shoe? 


- Brooks Women's Glycerin 17 Specs -

  • Support: Neutral
  • Weight: 9.2 oz
  • Midsole Drop: 10mm
  • Arch: Medium, High
  • Technology: DNA LOFT
  • NEW OrthoLite sock liner offers a plush feel
  • $150.00 on BrooksRunning.com
    Specs from BrooksRunning.com
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Thursday, March 14, 2019

Calling All Super Heroes!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Half Marathon - Fargo 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!

Life has been very exciting lately, to say the least, as we moved to a new town on March 2nd. As I write this now, we're in the middle of a blizzard in our new-to-us house. Surprise, surprise, more snow and wind (and rain) to finish off the cold weather season.

Along with all of the excitement lately, I was able to add a new race opportunity to my calendar - the DC Wonder Woman Half Marathon in Fargo, ND. Fitting in time to train for the Fargo Marathon in May and then the Wonder Woman Half following in June has been tricky, but that comes with the territory and crazy business of uprooting one's life and moving. Things will mellow out, I tell myself. Some day I will even be able to run outside again. Yeahhhh!!!

Looking for another race to pencil in on your calendar?

First Thing: Save the date for the DC Wonder Woman Run in Fargo on Friday, June 28th & Saturday, June 29th.


Second Thing: Register with discount code "WWBIBRAVE" for 10% off across all DC Wonder Woman Run events. The Half Marathon is currently priced at $94 so catch it now before a price jump and be sure to apply the above discount code.

The race swag is epic (see pics below!), this running community looks so full of energy and they are coming to Fargo, North Dakota for the first time in 2019! I'm looking forward to it and hope to see you there.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

For The Dogs & Their Running Humans | Stunt Puppy Review

Disclaimer: I received the Stunt Puppy Stunt Runner Leash in exchange for my 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!

Just in time for Valentine's Day, a little something arrived in the mail for our special four-legged family member:


Our border collie, Saul, has been my running partner since he joined our family in 2014. Granted, he was running a lot faster four years ago. Now at 12 years old, running slowly around the block or a nice long walk is his exercise of choice.

The old retractable leash we used was guaranteed to wrap around either his legs, the stroller or one of the kids on our family walks or runs around the neighborhood. As a BibRave Pro, I was then introduced to the Stunt Runner hands-free leash from Stunt Puppy and it has been a game-changer!


Hands-free? Really? YES!

The Stunt Runner connects human to dog with a strong yet stretchable bungee connector  (strength from 42" to 66") allows for differing strides, speed or direction. Saul, a border collie, is a medium-sized dog and this leash would easily work for dogs smaller or larger than him as well.

First things first, I clip on the waist belt which that easily adjusts from 28" to 49". After adjusting the waste belt, I clip the hook onto Saul's leash and we're off.


Saul and I both hardly notice the leash is there on our walks or runs! The Stunt Puppy Alpha™ hardware is very lightweight without sacrificing strength. The floating D-ring on the waist belt allow your dog to move at their own speed without tugging on the waist belt.


The leash material is a soft to the touch, strong and durable tubular webbing that is fit for a king (or queen) pup. Saul is a pretty modest guy but he knows he looks handsome in his red Stunt Runner! We are able to cover the miles together while keeping my hands free to grab the mail, push the stroller or just enjoy a relaxing quiet stroll.

Stunt Puppy is a Minnesota-based business that understands dogs and their running humans. I have been so impressed with all of their products and highly recommend them!

- Stunt Runner Hands-Free Leash Specs -

  • Duraflex® Buckles
  • Biothane® Waterproof Material
  • One-Hand Swivel Snap Hooks
  • Available Colors: Silver, Orange, Black, Blue, Red
  • Made in Minnesota!
  • Price: $44 on Stunt Puppy's website


Let's Connect!




Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Super On-The-Go Snacks | Food Groove Mission Review

Disclaimer: I received a variety box of Food Groove Mission's Super Food Bites in exchange for my 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!

Life seems to be always on the run doesn't it? The kids and I are often grabbing a snack to take with in the car here or there. Sometimes it's crackers and peanut butter, other times it's granola bars or dry cereal. Planning ahead with a snack for the road is smart though these snacks seem to lack much "substance".

As a BibRave Pro, I received a variety box of Super Food Bites from Food Groove Mission and they happened to arrive just as we were off to Urgent Care when our middle son was sick (he's 100% recovered now, no worries!).


After reading the nice little note from the FGM Team, I grabbed a bag of the "Nutty Adventurer" flavor and ran out the door, Kleenexes and all. This combo of dates, peanut butter, and variety of other nuts and seeds held me over through the afternoon, as we ended up sitting in the waiting room and pharmacy for quite a while. Turns out the 3-year-old likes super food bites, too!


The variety box came with a few samples of each flavor: four Mother Earth, three The Nutty Adventurer, and three Holy Truffle Punch. The super food bites are full of ingredients that provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants while still being "free" of gluten, dairy, soy, grain and added sugars.

Dates are the main flavor that I notice in the super food bites which I like in moderation. The Mother Earth flavor with a blend of berries, seeds and nuts tasted the best in my opinion and I could see myself enjoying super food bites as an occasional snack.
The quality of ingredients is super, that's for sure: *Dates, *Pumpkin Seeds, *Goji Berries, *Golden Berries, *Cacao Nibs, Almond Protein (Non-GMO), *Unsweetened Coconut Chips (Coconut), *Almonds, *Almond Flour (Almonds), *Açaí Powder, *Chia Seeds, *Rooibos Powder, New Zealand Manuka Honey UMF 16+ (*denotes organic ingredient) (Ingredients listed for the Mother Earth bites on Food Groove Mission website)

The Super Bites Variety Box is $39.90 and shipping is free on orders over $39. Use discount code "BIBRAVE15" for 15% off an entire order (one use per customer).

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Race Report: Frozen Feat 10k 2019

When I find a race I like, I keep coming back year after year. The Frozen Feat 5k/10k in Grand Forks, ND is one of those races!


I returned to run this race for my third consecutive year because it's close to home (only 45 minute drive), parking is easy, the race is well-organized and the weather in February is about as close to gambling as I ever get.

The 2017 race was around 40°F, making an icy, slushy mess. The 2018 race was about 18°F above zero; just right if you ask me. And this year... the 2019 race ended up being -16°F actual temp with a windchill I'm not sure of. Though that didn't set any race day temp records. It has been colder!

On race morning, I took off at 7:45 am and drove to Grand Forks by myself. Whoa. My husband and the three boys had some "man time" at home while I was off for a "relaxing" mom's day out. Relaxing ;)

I cranked the tunes on the way to the race while sipping coffee and enjoying the absolutely perfect driving conditions. While it was very cold, there wasn't a blizzard in sight for the first time in a long time. This race has a public parking ramp nearby for participants and when I pulled in, the temp in my van said -12F... even sheltered in the parking ramp. Oh boy, here we go!

My running attire for the day included layers and lots of 'em. About three pairs of tights topped with sweat pants, a few shirts of different sleeve lengths, my running jacket, a vest, two pairs of gloves, two neck gaiters, one pair of normal socks, one pair of compression/taller socks, a hat and the trendiest ski goggles I could pawn off my husband.

Warm enough? For sure! Overdressed? Likely.

After an indoor National Anthem, the 10k-er's proceeded outside to dance around at the starting line before taking off. We took off in a herd that thinned out very quickly. The course was icy but well-cleared of loose snow; runners were all warned to wear appropriate footing for traction. I used my trusty YakTrax that haven't let me land on my butt yet.

My goal for this race: Beat last year. Considering I was 3-months postpartum after our 3rd son in 2018, this goal wasn't overly ambitious.


I always take off too fast but gradually fall into a more realistic pace after a mile or so. Running in all of these layers made me feel so slow and sluggish!

As I glanced at my watch 1-mile in, I thought I saw "8:19/mile" for the pace and thought to myself, this is going to be a rough one. Not that 8:19 is a bad pace to run, but because 8:19 shouldn't feel as hard as it did. Turns out that was a 7:07-mile... that's why I was tired. Were the fogging goggles messing with my vision already?!

Mile 1 - 7:07
Mile 2 - 7:20
Mile 3 - 7:46

Finally half way. Good. Because I can't see through these fogging goggles and the ice on my gaiter is blocking my breathing! Thankfully the man in front of me had a red jacket on, so I followed him as the foggy goggles continued to narrow my vision.

Mile 4 - 7:51
Mile 5 - 7:45
Mile 6 - 7:50
Mile .19 - 7:09

My pace was anything but consistent in this race but I was surprised to finish in 46:56 (7:36/mile avg). This ended up being my personal fastest Frozen Feat 10k time thus far, though I felt like a (blind) polar bear barreling down the path! This course was an out-and-back and WOW did I see some frosted, frozen faces on the home stretch.

In hind sight, I would have ditched a top layer and bottom layer. And the goggles? Well, my face and eyes stayed quite toasty, so maybe I would keep those. The style points for being one of the few goggled-nerds on the course were just through the roof!

I ran straight from the finish line directly to my van to grab dry clothes. Changing into them before sitting down was awesome - because, seriously I was drenched. In sweat or condensation or who knows what? (probably sweat)

Yes, there is a person under all those layers.

The post-race food included a couple warm soup/chili choices along with the holy grail of carbohydrates: the Texas Roadhouse BUNS and large amounts of that special cinnamon butter. Amazing. Delicious. Awesome.

The soup warmed me up and then I ate three buns. I probably could have eaten a half dozen!


Race swag this year included a pair of Frozen Feat Fitsoks (my favorite!), gloves, and a neck gaiter along with the finisher's medal. A Finisher's Shirt was optional this year for an additional cost. They also present mugs with gift cards to the Top 3 male/female finisher and the age group winners for for each distance along with flowers for the "Love Birds" couples winners at the end of the race festivities.


I ended up finishing 4th female overall, missing that top-3 spot, though I did manage to snag a mug for winning my age group this year. I was happy to grow my mug collection as they have such cool designs each year! And I love coffee.

The Frozen Feat 5k/10k is the perfect pick-me-up after a loooong, stinkin' cold Midwest winter and a great one to kick off spring marathon training! Speaking of marathon training, I should probably get on that...

----------- Welcome to the Weekly Wrap -----------

I have the pleasure of guest co-hosting again this week at the Weekly Wrap, a weekly fitness-related blogging community headed up by Holly and Wendy!


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