Monday, May 20, 2019

Product Review: Runderwear!

Disclaimer:  Runderwear sent me a pair of women's briefs to review as part of the BibRave Pro Ambassador program of  Search race reviews and write your own on!

Have you heard of Runderwear performance underwear before?  I was introduced to them at The Running Event in Austin, TX last year and then I participated in their Strava 20 in 2 contest earlier this year. 

When you start talking about underwear on social media, it quickly becomes apparent that their is a group of runners that opts to go commando, and one that does not.  Runderwear has a bit of a cheeky (pun intended) response to that printed on every pair of their undies:

The Runderwear Performance Underwear have

  • Have a Chafe Free guarantee, 
  • They are moisture wicking, and 
  • Are seamless for ultimate comfort.  

I tested them on some regular runs, some trail runs where I had to climb over fallen trees, and on some early hot days that we have had and they pass the test for me!

I like fuller coverage brief cuts for running, but they also have hipster, thong and boyshort options:

While I didn't review them, Runderwear has Men's performance underwear too!

The code BIBRAVE20 gets you 20% off any Runderwear purchase until May 31!

Friday, May 17, 2019

Product Review: Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

Disclaimer:   Orange Mud sent me the Gear Vest Pro to review as part of the BibRave Pro Ambassador Program of  Read and submit race reviews on!

Orange Mud is well known for their packs in the endurance world.  I am definitely on the "newbie" side of pack experience, so I was excited to get a Gear Vest Pro to test out.
Long Run Success with the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

Most of my annoyance with packs has to do with either rubbing or bouncing and I was very happy that the Gear Vest Pro did neither no matter what activity I used it for:

  • I took it for one of my last long runs training for the Illinois Marathon,  
  • Itook it for shorter easy-paced runs during my taper to ensure that I would stay hydrated, 
  • I took it for a recovery hike, and 
  • I took it on some recovery bike rides that I did with my kids.
Mother's Day Bike Ride - Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro Stuffed with Snacks and Water

The Gear Vest Pro has several features:

  • 1 Liter Bladder that fits in the back pouch
  • Shoulder pouches for gels (or my ancient iPod Nano)
  • Front pouches to hold water bottles
  • Back bungee to hold layers
  • A whistle

Not only am I a pack newbie, but I never have had a "bladder" before so this was all new to me.  I found this system really easy to use.  You simply add fluid to the bladder, fold it and zip the darker gray plastic attachment across the top to seal it.  The back of the pack has a velcro piece that you put through the top of the bladder to hold it upright along your back and then you can direct the hose to either side in front of you. 
View of the back and bladder of the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro
To clean it, you can detach the hose to run soapy water through it and turn the bladder inside out to wash and dry. 

I liked that it held a larger amount of water because on bike rides with my kids, all of us could drink from it and then I wasn't messing around helping them get water bottles off of their bikes. 
Will is a fan of the bladder feature on the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro

I found it more comfortable to cross the two straps in front of my chest like an "X" - thanks to another BibRave Pro's suggestion.  I was able to stash enough snacks in the pockets to feed five hungry kids on a recent hike we went on, so yeah - they're substantial!
Wearing the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro on a recent hike

Now that it is getting warmer out (finally!), I have found the Gear Vest Pro to be breathable and haven't had any chafing from it yet, even with just a tank on underneath: 
Wearing the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro on a run

The Gear Vest Pro also has the option to have a trekking pole attachment, which is not something I made use of.

If you would like to order the Gear Vest Pro (or anything else from the Orange Mud website), you can use the code BIBRAVEGVPRO for 15% off!

Have you tried the Gear Vest Pro or another Orange Mud pack before?  What did you think?  

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Post-Marathon Priorities: Recovery, Movement and Reading

I have not gone for a run in 10 days, and I plan to not run for 4 more days to stay true to my "no running for 2 weeks" goal to give my body time to rest and recover from 18 weeks of marathon training and a marathon.  This hasn't been as challenging as it used to be because I know that rest is an important part of improvement.

At the same time, one benefit I get out of running is movement, which in turn helps me feel more calm, relaxed and frankly, helps me sleep better.  I don't recall the exact Work.Play.Love podcast episode that this was mentioned during, but Lauren Fleshman commented along the lines of just because you aren't running, doesn't mean you don't have to have movement. 

A light bulb went off. 

She's right.  Running is my preferred and also default way to achieve movement.  I literally do not do anything else.  Sure I will go for a bike ride with my kids or do yoga every once in a while but I am not very good at incorporating any other types of exercise into my life. 

In response, this week I am trying to get some movement in every day. 

Sunday, I went for a bike ride with my son (on a bike trail - like real cyclists, ha ha ha).

Monday, I went for a mid-day walk.  (Which BTW was mentally difficult! I kept thinking, "If I ran I could go farther/faster.")

Tuesday, I opted to take my bike to my kids school instead of drive.

I'm about to go for another mid-day walk.

I love to read and often, towards the end of marathon training, I am not reading as much, so it's been nice to be able to prioritize that in the last several days.

One book that I read was The Passion Paradox. This turned out to be a good thing to read after a less-than-stellar marathon. Here are the things from the book that resonated with me as I think about my next steps in running.

1. Goals are North Stars to shoot for, a direction, not a destination.

We all know that focusing on the process is better than the focusing on a destination.  This is like the number one mantra of self-help books lately.   Some quotes that I wrote down from The Passion Paradox: 

"Focusing on the process creates daily opportunities for little victories."

"Process spurs progress and progress primes us to persist."

While reading this it clicked.  I do enjoy the process of training, hell I have a Kara Goucher quote about the enjoying the process as my Twitter background.  But the fact of the matter is that this past training cycle, I was much more focused on the destination to enjoy anything about the process.  I was so focused on pace for every tough workout and most of the time, that meant that not only did I not enjoy it, but I rarely had a positive outcome.  Additionally, I was a pile of stress leading up to every single tempo run.  NOT. ENJOYING.

Yes, I still want to run a 2:45 and think I will eventually get there, but if I'm not enjoying the process, it's not worth it.

2. "To learn anything significant, to make any lasting change in yourself, you must be willing to spend MOST of your time on the plateau." ~ {A quote from George Leonard included in the book}

Yep. I'm on a plateau.  It was only be taking a step back and looking at my history in marathons that I was able to see this. In my race recap, I mentioned wanting progress to be linear.  Elizabeth Clor mentioned in a comment on that post that progress is like a set of steps.  When I read the quote above, another click.  Yep.  The PRs and amazing races are few and far between.  Much like enjoying the process, you have to like the view from the plateau. 

My first marathon was in 2002 and I ran a 4:08:36.  I didn't train much and had a very cavalier attitude about it and as a result I had my ass handed to me.  I was "never" doing that again.

Then in grad school, I met some other runners and decided that I wanted to qualify for Boston.  I ran another marathon in 2006 and ran a 3:30:20 earning a BQ and went on to run my third marathon at Boston in 2007 in 3:33:28.

Then, in 2008, came another string of marathons that had some haphazard training.  I ran a 4:04:35 at Disney (damn humidity) and a 3:40:35 at Lakefront and it was there, at the half-marathon mark, I told my mom that I am "really never doing this again." 

Then I had kids.  And I started running more consistently and thought, "Hey, I want to run another marathon."  I ran Kenosha in May 2015 and ran a 3:25:50.  A PR AFTER HAVING TWO KIDS! I ran Boston in 2016 and ran a 3:31:49.  It was a devastating race for me as I had trained for a 3:15 and boy did I let that one fester for months.   I doubled down on training, got a new training plan and ran a 3:11:09 in Green Bay followed by a 2:59:50 at Grandmas.  YES!!!  I thought I had figured it out.  Just keep running this training plan and do the advanced version - that will translate to faster and faster times.  Nope.  Next marathon was a 3:01 and the next one after that?  A 3:01. 

My point in all of this flashbacking?  I spent an inconsistent ten years in 3:30 land.  TEN YEARS.  I don't know what flipped in my head to have a freak out after spending a year in 3:00 land. 

I'm on the 3:00 plateau.  It's time to start enjoying the view.

Sunday, April 28, 2019

Illinois Marathon Race Recap

Disclaimer:  I ran the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews.  You can read my review of this race on BibRave here.

Lesson #10: You're not always going to get what you think you deserve. These trials can help you realize what's really important. 

I ran my eleventh marathon yesterday!  As someone who said she was "really, really never running another one again" after her fifth marathon, I am a testament to 'never say never'.

Let's start this (really long) recap on Easter, shall we?  That day, the Lord rose and brought me a sore throat.  I didn't even have to find it in a colored egg.  I had been waiting to get sick, because both of my kids were sick the week previously.  Every day from Sunday to Wednesday, I progressively felt worse and worse.  And every one of those days I was a crabby toddler, my brain basically living in the petulant "why me" whine.  

I completed my taper training runs, which were all to be done at an easy pace.  Despite running at an easy pace, my heart rate skyrocketed on all of them.  I know heart rate can be a fickle thing, and perhaps I invested too much mental energy into thinking about it.  Eventually I came to have some peace of mind about the whole race - what was going to be was going to be.  I took all the supplements, I got all the rest I could and all I could hope is that I felt ok on race day.

Thursday afternoon, my friend Anne (who was also going to be running) texted me that she had found rooms at a closer hotel than we initially had booked at.  This was awesome because we were pretty far out there.  Our new hotel ended up being two blocks from the start/finish area. 

We left for the race on Friday morning.  My kids were very excited because we let them skip a day of school to go.  The drive to Champaign, IL is about 3.5 hours from our house.  We arrived at the hotel a little after 1 PM on Friday.  We grabbed some lunch and then went to check out the Arboretum on campus.  I had plans to meet up with BibRave people at 4 PM at the Expo so after my kids got some swimming in at the hotel pool, we headed there.

I had applied to be considered an "elite" runner for this race (as had Anne).  This was going to be my first experience with this and you can bet I was REALLY EXCITED about it.  One of the advantages of this program was getting to start right at the start line, having three bottles of fluids on the course, and access to a special hospitality room (with REAL TOILETS) before the start of the race.  When I got to the Expo, check in was easier than ever because I checked in at the elite table where my shirt, and gear bag were already there.  Then I had to put my bottles in special marked coolers for the next day.  I had gotten a bunch of BibRave water bottles that I was excited to use for this purpose as their bright orange color would stand out.  I also had my kids right on them.

After getting my number and gear bag, we headed to the Expo.  The Expo was larger than I was anticipating.  My kids LOVE marathon expos and there was plenty of swag for them to win.  I also had brought a bag of used running shoes to donate so I was happy to clean out a closet at home.

We went to the race's pasta dinner after the expo.  They had meat and vegetarian lasagna, kale salad, cookies and breadsticks.  It was fun to eat with some of the BibRave people, even if my kids were driving them crazy asking questions.

At 6 PM, those in the elite field were strongly encouraged to attend an informational meeting.  I was excited to see Anne there and I got to meet Rachel Schilkowsky ( @rachelandherlaces on Instagram).  She was so nice!  They went over the course rules and made sure we were all familiar with them.  We had to have our bib on all times, we couldn't accept food/drinks from non-official aid stations, we couldn't run with headphones.  Nothing surprising.

We then headed back to the hotel where another pasta dinner was waiting.  Even though my kids had eaten a ton at the race pasta dinner, they wanted more.  So, we grabbed some more noodles and ate...again. More swimming and then we settled in to watch Mamma Mia 2 and get everything prepped for the next day!  I read a chapter in my book and then had lights out at my usual 9:30 pm.

Race Day
My son woke up around 1 AM because my daughter had rolled on him in her sleep.  He quickly returned back to sleep and surprisingly, so did I.  My first alarm went off at 5 AM.  I shut it off and feel back asleep so when my second alarm went off at 5:15 AM, I had to get up.  I grabbed my cold Picky Oats and chocolate Gen UCan from the fridge and went to the bathroom where I could eat in the light without waking anyone up.  I was pleasantly surprised that my throat felt pretty good and I didn't have to cough out any phlegm immediately upon waking like I had in the previous days.

After I finished my breakfast, I started getting dressed.  We were going to have excellent race day weather - cool and in the 40s to start.  I wore my usual race outfit - Oiselle distance shorts, Oiselle crop, Balega Silver socks, and because I was running this race for BibRave, my BibRave Rabbit tank.  I had made the decision not to run in my VaporFly 4%s well before race day.  I ran my last two marathons in them and both times had a lot of foot pain.  Instead, I was going to wear my Nike Zoom Pegasus 35s.

I braided my hair, took my allergy pill and Flonase and then both kids were up.  My daughter gave me a big hug and told me, "Good Luck" and my son gave me a big wet kiss before crawling back into bed with my husband.  I had made a plan to be downstairs in the lobby by 6 to meet Anne.  I headed downstairs around 5:50.

I sat in the lobby and listened to my montage song (Satan Pulls the Strings by the Avett Brothers) and then used the bathroom.  Then Anne and her husband, Sean, came down and we were off!  Even though our hotel was close, Sean offered to drop us off right at the hotel so we wouldn't have to cross under train tracks.  He dropped us off and we got to the hotel and headed to our elite hospitality room.

It was a larger conference room with circular tables set up and they had coffee, bottles of water, bagels and fruit for us.  The tables were all already occupied so Anne and I headed over to some chairs on the side.  We were being a little self-deprecating saying that people were wondering who those 38 year old moms were over there.  I definitely had imposter syndrome sitting there among tiny people talking strategy and wearing buns.  Anne and I made sure to take our picture to document "that one time...when we were elites....".

I went to the bathroom three times while we had access to it.  We could leave all of our gear in that hotel room - they were going to have someone stay there and watch it while we were all running.    Anne asked me what my plan was for the day.  I said that I planned to run by feel for the first half as I was unsure how I was going to feel.  [My original race plan (prior to getting sick) was to start at 6:40 and see how it felt.]  If by some miracle 6:40 felt comfortable in the beginning, so be it.  I decided to wear my Knockaround sunglasses and my BibRave visor as well.

At about 6:55 AM we headed outside for the start and walked right to the start line.  I saw Tim, the co-founder of BibRave, and we hugged and took a selfie.  And then the gun went off!

Miles 1-5
The half marathon and marathon started together so there were a lot of people in the front running fast.  I stuck to my plan of running by feel and Anne stuck with me and while it was tempting to race up with all of the herd, I also knew that the marathon rewards patience.  I did feel good during this section.  My heart rate was already high but I didn't let that bother me.  I actually didn't even check my pace very much during this part, relying on Anne to call out our mile splits.  

Mile 1: 6:43
Mile 2: 6:42
Mile 3: 6:48
Mile 4: 6:44
Mile 5: 6:44

Miles 6-10
I took my first gel (a Maurten 100) at mile 5.  While I felt good during the first five miles, I also knew that I would not be able to push the pace much beyond where I was at this point.  I wanted to try to stick in that 6:45-6:50 zone and help get Anne her first sub-3 and get a sub-3 in the process.  We got our first bottle in between the 6th and 7th mile and I held onto mine which was filled with Tailwind orange.  Around mile 8 we were on a path through a park and it was a little congested.  I did not appreciate a group of guys making gross sexual remarks about a nude statue that we passed on this section.  During this section, we also caught up with Ben, another BibRave Pro who I knew was trying for a sub-3.  I told him to try to stick with us and offered him some of my Tailwind bottle.  I took my second gel at mile 10 (Gu Roctane in vanilla orange) using some of my bottle to wash it down, giving the rest to Anne to use for her gel and then threw it.

Mile 6: 6:38
Mile 7: 6:53
Mile 8: 6:47
Mile 9: 6:53
Mile 10: 6:55

Miles 11-15
By this point the 1:30 half pace group caught up to us and I was not happy about this.  I thought we were running faster than a 1:30 half.  Initially I thought maybe their pacing was off, but then the pacer said something about being right on.  The half marathoner's split right after the 12 mile mark from the marathons and then Anne and I were with some guys.  I remember thinking at the halfway point, "Ok, that first half wasn't so bad.  Just pick it up and run another one of those." Someone came up and was telling this detailed story about how the wind was going to pick up in the second half and to be psychologically ready for it and that there were a lot of turns.  Anne commented, "I could have done without that whole speech" and I agreed.  It was super annoying.  I remember running by a band playing that Wagon Wheel song and throwing my arm up and cheering for them as I ran past.  During this section, I lost Anne.  At one point I saw Sean on his bike and asked how far back she was and told him to tell her to get up with me.  I was trying to yell for her but don't know if she heard me.  I took my third gel (a Maurten 100) at mile 15 with my second bottle of Tailwind.

Mile 11:6:51
Mile 12: 6:48
Mile 13: 6:54
Mile 14: 7:02
Mile 15: 6:53

Mile 16-20
I was sometimes running these miles with a guy named Jim.  Sorry Jim, but he was annoying me so I was glad that we weren't running together the whole time.  I remember thinking that I was tired but not totally out of it and I was determined to not blow up at mile 16 like I did in Madison.  I remember being very very tired of turning so much.  I had a burst of excitement at mile 18 which didn't last long.  I don't remember why I had so much energy but I do remember Jim consulting his pace tattoo at Mile 18 and yelling (out loud) to himself that he should not have ran a 6:38 mile.

Mile 16: 6:55
Mile 17: 6:55
Mile 18: 6:40
Mile 19: 6:46
Mile 20: 7:00

Miles 20-26.2
Mentally, it took everything I had to hang in there through this last 10K.  I know you run the last 10K of a marathon with your heart but even my heart wasn't in it at this point.  I could not make my legs go.  At mile 20, I saw that I could maybe push and get under 3 hours... at mile 24, I realized this wasn't happening. I did the tricks of "just get up to that tree ahead", I kept telling my brain that it was not really tired, I took a gel (Gu Roctane) at mile 20 WHICH NEVER HAPPENS and had my third bottle of Tailwind around mile 21.  Although I took a few sips, I was not interested in the contents much and it felt like I was carrying a 20 lb. weight in my hand so I tossed it very early.  [Funny enough, Ben told me he saw the bottle laying in the grass and was tempted to pick it up when he saw it! I wish he would have - 20 oz of Tailwind, just went to waste!]  At this point, I was coughing more and while I did a good job of clearing my throat and nose (hello snot rockets!) while running throughout the race, I did stop twice during this section to really hack and try to get the phlegm out.  This section was made more difficult for me for the simple fact that I was running completely alone.  At mile 25.5 a woman passed me and I just yelled at her to GO GO GO.  My brain wanted to go with her but my legs weren't having it. I saw Jen, an IL Oiselle bird right before I turned into the stadium.  I gave her a wave and mustered everything I could to stadium, where I knew I would see my kids and husband.  I looked right as soon as I got out there and there they were!!! I was excited and waved before heading into the finish.  It was here I saw that I was approaching 3:02 and thankfully finished at 3:01:52 - six whole seconds faster than my finish at Madison in fall.

Mile 21: 7:06
Mile 22: 7:23
Mile 23: 7:25
Mile 24: 7:34
Mile 25: 7:34
Mile 26: 6:56

First half: 1:29:08
Second half: 1:32:44

I stopped running, took a moment to find my breath, and continued to get my fleece blanket and medal.  I wasn't upset, but I did want to try to see Anne and get to my family.  I ran into the stands to them and my kids immediately ripped open the blanket and wrapped up in it.  I cheered Anne to a finish and then ran back into the field to give her a big sweaty and salty hug.  

We walked out of the field and to our cars to go back to the hotel to pick up our pre-race gear.  I grabbed one of the free beers on the way out but it didn't taste very good.  I didn't eat any of the huge variety of pre-race food available because my stomach wasn't having it.  I saw Rachel again at the hotel where she told us she got 2nd and also had a PR (she has great recaps on Insta!) and then it was to the shower for me.  My face was covered in salt.  I had some bad armpit chafing which thankfully I didn't notice until I went to take my clothes off.  I stopped by Anne's room to say goodbye and we were off to try to beat the SNOW that was headed our way on the drive home.  


I do wish I was going into the summer coming off of a PR race.  Throughout the last 18 weeks of training, I was hoping to be in the 2:50-2:55 range in this race.  I think an OTQ is really out of reach for me this year and that's ok...for the most part.  It was a bit of a crazy dream anyways.

I did get caught up in the thinking that putting more work in would translate immediately to faster and faster marathon times, even though I know it doesn't usually work like that.  The marathon is a fickle beast.  I had a lot of 3:30ish marathons before I got a 3:11 and then a 2:59 and now two 3:01s.  When I started this blog back in 2015, if you would have told me I would someday run a 3:01 marathon, I would have told you you were crazy.   And here I am four years later sorta kinda disappointed with a 3:01.  It feels a little snotty...and yet, honest, to admit that.

I am now going to take my standard two weeks off of running.  I am registered for the Chicago Marathon in October, which will be my 12th marathon.  And though I've been dedicated to Hanson's Marathon Method for the past 4 marathons, (and credit it for taking me from a 3:25:50 PR to a 2:59:50 PR), I am ready for a change.  Even saying that makes me excited to get training again!

DON'T WORRY!  I am not going to run!


Though I have to admit this is probably the BEST I have ever felt after running a marathon....


:) Thanks for reading and for the cheers.  There may be a lot wrong with social media and the Internet, but I have gotten a lot of love in the past few days and every single message felt like a big hug.

Friday, April 26, 2019

Final Thoughts - Illinois Marathon

Disclaimer:  I am running the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews

I just returned from my last training run - a simple 3 miles. 

I have logged 841.28 miles over the last 18 weeks of training. 

The hay is in the barn as they say!

I kicked off this training with a fractured rib and am leaving it with an upper respiratory infection.  

Yeah.  So this cycle wasn't perfect!

I'm not going to lie, I wish I was feeling good.  I am still congested and coughing up phlegm and my heart rate has skyrocketed on every "easy" run I have had this week.  Regardless, I am trying hard to maintain the excitement for the race because even when I'm sick, I'm lucky to do this.

This will be my first race running in the elite division which I am pretty excited about, sick or not.  The standards to apply for the elite start for this race are 3:10 or below which is pretty fun!  With this, I get three bottles placed along the course and a warm-up/holding room within a hotel at the start.  

At this point, my race plan is to run by feel.  I went to a networking breakfast earlier this week and one of the speakers talked about how she re-frames periods of doubt in her mind as "montage" scenes - as if her life were a book or a movie.  I liked it and have adopted it this week.  Additionally, Blair Braverman's reflections on her first Iditarod made me feel like a marathon is a piece of cake!

The weather looks like rain and wind.  

Anything can happen out there!

You can download the marathon app here to track.  

My family and I are about to pack up and hit the road!

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

Illinois Marathon Training - Weeks 15-17 Recap

Disclaimer:  I am running the Christie Clinic Illinois Marathon as a BibRave Pro, which means my entry fee was covered for me. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out to review, find, and write race reviews

It's race week!  I had some really good weeks leading into my taper which make me excited!

Week 15

I had to do two-mile repeats and the first ten mile tempo run this week.   I've come to think of week 15 in the Hanson's program as the very last hard week because it is the longest mileage week of the plan.  It was windy outside and my tempo sucked big time.  I had no gas and managed a 6:47 average.  I was totally bummed about this and really not able to reframe one bad workout in the context of MONTHS of workouts.  I had a rest day after the failed tempo and decided that I needed to focus on my external environment a bit on my runs because I was getting way too in my head so I created a hashtag - #FridayRunJoy - on Instagram and it made for a good run.  I ran a mile longer than intended because I was having a lot of fun AND my hamstring didn't bother me at all.

Oh yes.  The hamstring is still doing it's thing, although it comes and goes more often than anything.

I had my last 16 mile run during week 15 and it went really well.  I felt relaxed and decided on my race day fueling strategy - Maurten 100 gels and Tailwind.

I also had my LONGEST MILEAGE WEEK ever.  In my life.  66.4 miles for the win!!!!  

Week 16
This week was 1.5 mile repeats and it was one of those idyllic workouts where you just feel on and flying.  I finished all of my repeats ahead of the scheduled pace and didn't feel completely gassed at the end either.  After that workout I was excited to face the 10-mile tempo again.

And again.  FAIL.  We had some snow and sleet this week which caused me to shuffle some workouts around so I did my tempo run on a Saturday and it was just a mental bomb.  I may have cried during it out of frustration.  I ended up even worse off than week 15 - 6:48 average and several stops.  ARGH.  

The hamstring was sore this week, which I was expecting after the previous week.  I ended the week with 53.2 miles, which was slightly under what the plan called for (56 miles).

Week 17
I watched the Boston Marathon this week and felt so inspired.  After bombing at Boston in 2016, I was ready to be done with that course for a while but I'm kind of starting to get the itch to go back.  We will see.

Anyways, I channeled all of that run love into my final strength workout of the plan - six 1-mile repeats.  I wanted to really focus on staying relaxed and running with effort but not killing myself and I definitely succeeded and still ended up ahead of pace for most of them.  

So that left the last ten mile tempo.  The weather was amazing the morning I set off.  Nice and cool and for whatever reason I felt relaxed.  I did really well with this tempo and ended up with a 6:31 average and a negative split over the ten miles.  

After that ten mile tempo, I was officially in taper mode.  I celebrated by getting a deep tissue massage with felt great.  I mean...afterwards, i felt great.  There were a few moments during where it didn't feel so great, ha ha ha.  I ended week 17 with 54.56 miles, two sick kids and a sore throat myself. 

Yep. I'm sick.  I'm hoping it all clears before Saturday morning!

Sunday, April 14, 2019

Product Review: Knockaround Fast Lane Sunnies!

Disclaimer:  I received a pair of Knockaround Fast Lanes in exchange for this review as part of the BibRave Pro ambassador program.  Find more about BibRave Pro here and review all races at!

It's been a few months since I did a product review so I was excited to test out the Knockaround Fast Lane sunglasses and review them here.

Knockaround is a sunglasses company from San Diego, CA and features 8 different frame styles at very affordable price points (think $10-$20 each).   The Fast Lanes are one of the eight frame styles that are made for medium to larger faces.

Raise your hand if you have a huge head and face!!

Since the Fast Lanes landed in my mailbox, they are the only sunglasses I have worn during my runs - easy runs, 1.5, 2 and 3 mile repeats, tempo runs - all of it.  They even celebrated my LIFETIME HIGH MILEAGE WEEK with me. 

I love how big they are because they block all light from my eyes and I don't have to squint, nor do I get headaches on really long runs from the sun.  They do not bounce or move at all and I have had no issues with them pinching my head or feeling too tight!

Unfortunately we have had some sleet and snow in recent days here in Wisconsin and they even held up while being pelted with ice balls during a recent run:

I love them so much - they're running the Illinois Marathon with me in less than two weeks!!!! 

If you're curious, head to their website.  You can get 20% off your purchase (any frame/style) with code BIBRAVEKNOCKS1.  This code is good until THURSDAY 4/18 so don't delay! 

In all of the photos above, I am wearing the Knockaround Fast Lane in the slate tortoise shell with sky blue lenses.