Back In The Game In A Very Fun Way – My DC Wonder Woman Run Series Review

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Run 5K/10K Dallas 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!”

WW Pre Race

This inaugural running of the DC Wonder Woman Series 5k/10k in the DFW was run no where near a new race to the area. Management was on their “A” game with this one. From registration, to communication, expo offerings and packet pickup things were managed very well.

You can see by the free race photo with the themed border that the runners were the priority. Everyone enjoys free race photos and with a themed race like this giving the photos some extra flare is a nice touch.

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The expo was held in the outdoor pavilion area just outside of Texas Live! in Arlington right next to where the start line was situated. The packet pickup process went very smoothly and people were helped very quickly. The lines were non-existent because the volunteers worked so quickly. They were also extremely friendly and helpful. The coolest part for me and my kids was the opportunity to take photos with Wonder Woman! My oldest daughter loved this part so much and even got a high five from a super hero!

 

 

Parking for the expo and race day were free in the lots adjacent to Texas Live! and the ballpark. The walk on the morning of the race was extremely short because the lot was that close. Considering the number of racers there I was surprised I got as good of as a spot as I did. Having two large lots was more than adequate for this race.

Any time I get to meet a fellow BibRave Pro is a good time. This time was no different as I was able to meet and hang out with Erica, who was awesome to talk to and she rocked the 5k!

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The starting area was in the same area that the expo was held in the day prior and without any real corrals to speak of. This made things a little confusing before the race but communication about where the 5k racers should like up versus where the 10k racers needed to be cleared up any confusion on my part right away.

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Course support was pretty good once the 5k and 10k courses merged as there were far more 5k racers than 10k so naturally there were more people out watching the 5k course. Everyone was in great spirits on the course and there were lots of people decked out in Wonder Woman gear. It was a nice change of pace to see everyone dressed so spirited instead of normal race day gear. There were 3 aid stations that I can remember for the 10k, which was a smart idea. The morning wasn’t too warm but it was a bit humid and temps in the mid sixties felt a little warmer than normal. There was water and Ultima Replenish at the aid stations I saw.

The course was moderately challenging for a 10k course with a large(ish) hill between the 2.5 mile and 5k mark that took the wind out of my sails a bit and another moderate uphill climb was a good challenge. That large hill was a bridge climb and on the way down I was able to get a really good view of AT&T Stadium, which was really cool! I got the chance to run much closer to the stadium around mile 5.

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The post-race snack was a cup of mandarin oranges, a lil’ cutie orange, a small protein bar, a bag of chips and a bottle of alkaline water. I thought this was a solid collection for a 5k/10k race. The medal is a hefty chunk of hardware with a cool spinning Wonder Woman symbol in the center. Paired with the Wonder Woman tech shirt and wristbands I got with my swag bag it was a nice haul.

WW Finish Line

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I would be more than happy to run this race again next year and hope that they bring back the DC Wonder Woman Series run for another year!

Follow DC Wonder Woman Run Series on Social Media

IG: @dcwonerwomanrun

Twitter: @wonderwomanrun

Facebook: @DCWonderWomanRun

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A DC Wonder Woman Run Series Dallas Update

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Run 5K/10K Dallas 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 has been a hot minute since I announced that I would be running the DC Wonder Woman Run Series 10K in Dallas. What have I been up to? Well, in short I have been training! I haven’t put in a ton of miles but I have gotten some in, which has made a world of difference in my life. Not running during the months of February and March was difficult for me because of how I sometimes define myself as a runner. Without running I don’t always feel like my best self. Thankfully I still worked out and build a good base for when I started pounding the pavement again.

I’ve averaged two runs a week since the start of the month and while I would prefer to be putting in more miles I have had to build my mileage up slowly so as to not get injured again. My Achilles has been holding up well so far and (knock on wood) I haven’t had any discomfort while running. I’ve needed CBD, anti-inflammatories, stretching, icing and rolling to keep it that way but so far so good!

Not all of my miles have been great. I’m actually happy about this though. I got my bad run out of the way this training cycle. At least this way I know how well I am able to cope with it in case it happens on race day. I have averaged between 6-12 miles per week with mostly easy runs but I have managed to get in two speed workouts, which included some 400 repeats this morning and cardio wise I am feeling great going into race day. I’ll throw in a couple more miles on Thursday and then shut it down until Sunday.

Ultima WW

One bit of cool news that I got last week is that Ultima Replenisher will be on the course on Sunday. My wife turned me on to Ultima and I am glad she did. She doesn’t workout without it pre and post-workout. I just happened to sneak a little from her stash this morning after my 400’s and I am a fan. I’ll probably bring a bit of my own to hydrate before the race and I know I will have some after.

There is still time to register using the link below. When you register you can use this extra special code “WWBIBRAVE” you can save 10% off your registration (which is already a reasonable price if you ask me). The code is good for 10% off across all of their events so even if you can’t join me in Dallas then you can use it for one of their other races.

If you are there on Sunday you’ll see me wearing my BibRave orange and I hope you’ll come find me to say hi!

Register HERE

Follow DC Wonder Woman Run Series on Social Media

IG: @dcwonerwomanrun

Twitter: @wonderwomanrun

Facebook: @DCWonderWomanRun

One for the Women in my Life – The DC Wonder Woman Run Series

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the DC Wonder Woman Run 5K/10K Dallas 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 has now been almost 3 months since my last race and I am so very happy to announce that I have found my next one: The DC Wonder Woman Run Series 5K/10K Dallas on Sunday, April 28th! So many things stand out to me as to why I decided to take part in this event. Lets talk about them, shall we?!

1.  Inspirational stories from the @dcwonderwomanrun women in our lives/ Wall of Inspiration—your turn to write down why you are a Wonder Woman.

WW race wall

This is actually a combination of two unique things about this race that really stood out to me. The women in my life, namely my wife, inspire me to be the best person I can be both daily and throughout my life. I want to hear amazing stories from racers and the women in their lives! Who doesn’t love to be inspired? The second part is the wall. It is one thing to see these stories on social media but seeing them before and after the race, written by that person is soooooo cool! I can’t wait to read all about the amazing people I will be running with.

2. Location. I got really lucky here. The packet pickup and start line are centered around Texas Live! in Arlington. It is 15 miles from my front door, which means I can wake up at a normal time (normal for me) on race day and not feel rushed. Not only that but Texas  Live! is a really fun area. There is lots of awesome dining options. Family Events and Live Music during the week and on weekends. I highly recommend you check out the calendar of events for race weekend. I’m guessing you will find something you like. Texas Live! Events.

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3. The Gear. The DC Wonder Woman Run Series has a leg up on the competition when it comes to race gear. They offer two choices when it comes to racing shirts (a women’s cut tech tanks & a unisex tech shirt) and each of these kits comes with a commemorative tote and some rockin’ wrist cuffs. The youth kit is extra cute as it includes a cape with the finisher’s medal. If you want to upgrade your race day kit you can snag a visor, some tattoos, a car magnet and a pair of Wonder Woman cape socks, which I think are extra freaking cool!

WW Race Gear

4. Photos. If there aren’t photos then the race never happened! In this case that also includes video. That’s right, video! After you are done conquering your 5 or 10K on race day you can expect to relive your experience with free photos and video, which are made available for download after the race. Paying for race photos is never fun so getting them for free along with video is a big perk in my book. Especially when there will be opportunities to get photos with Wonder Woman herself!

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When you register you can use this extra special code “WWBIBRAVE” you can save 10% off your registration (which is already a reasonable price if you ask me). The code is good for 10% off across all of their events so even if you can’t join me in Dallas then you can use it for one of their other races. This really will be a fun race day experience and I can’t wait to see you all there!

Register HERE

Follow DC Wonder Woman Run Series on Social Media

IG: @dcwonerwomanrun

Twitter: @wonderwomanrun

Facebook: @DCWonderWomanRun

Total FOMO – My Hot Chocolate 15k Dallas Review

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k 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!”

Most of you know this already from my social posts but this was a race for which I never made it to the starting line. Both of my Achilles tendons were severely inflamed after the Houston Marathon, I was in a lot of discomfort generally and running was painful. I ran the Dallas Hot Chocolate 15k last February and I absolutely loved it. Because of that experience I was even more disappointed about missing a race than I normally would be. My training for this race coincided for my marathon training, because that race was 3 weeks prior to this one. I have to say that I was feeling quite good for the majority of my training and knowing that this course is on the easier side my training wasn’t too intense. That was until 2 weeks before the marathon when my inflammation forced me into cross-training workouts only with no running.

Thankfully the one part of race weekend that didn’t require actual running was the race expo. Since I’d been to the expo last year I was really looking forward to seeing what treats they had set out for us. I say us because I decided to bring along my son to share in the chocolate and give him a taste of what race expos are like.

As I expected the packet and swag pick up were very smooth processes and the staff members/volunteers were very friendly and helpful at every turn. I started wearing my Hot Chocolate hoodie right away. It is perfect for running. Lightweight and a little warm yet it has good ventilation and thumb holes in the sleeves, which are a big plus for me.The vendors were all smiles and treated my son as though he were racing too. They answered his questions and the Nuun booth was very interactive with him as he was taking samples.

My friends from Aftershokz were even there and both he and I got really excited! The chocolate treats table run by the Hot Chocolate folks didn’t disappoint. The treats were delicious and the Hot Chocolate was divine! It was very welcomed on that day because it was actually quite chilly.Sadly that is where my Hot Chocolate 15k race weekend ended. There are usually so many smiles on race day from runners and volunteers that you can’t help but smile yourself. Course support is great and the post race goodies are second to none. There isn’t much better on a cold race day than hot chocolate and treats to dip in more chocolate.

Here is a link to my Bibrave.com review from last year’s race so you can get a better idea of the full race weekend experience is like: Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas – 2018

You can follow the Hot Chocolate Race Series on Social Media below

Twitter: @HotChocolate15k 

IG: @hotchocolate15k

I Will Never Forget That – My Chevron Houston Marathon Review

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Houston 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!”

There was lots to unpack from this race so it has taken me a while to compose all of my thoughts and feelings about this race.

We will start with race management. In my mind the race management for the Chevron Houston Marathon knocked it out of the park. There was ample pre-race communication  that was excellent and timely without being over done. The website include all of the information a first-time and veteran racer would need for race weekend and didn’t make this information hard to find.

I traveled from Dallas and stayed two nights at a hotel a few blocks away from the convention center. My wife booked this hotel so I can’t take credit for how smart this choice was. They were not only located in a great spot but they offered a very late checkout on Sunday for all of the racers. Thank you to the Homewood Suites Downtown Houston!

I attended the expo on Friday afternoon and it was packed with racers. All of the vendors I spoke with were very friendly and there were tons of deals to be had. The Fleet Feet booth at the center of the expo was quite large, had a wide variety of gear and brands represented and if I had brought more money with me I’d have gone broke! The Packet pick-up prior to entering the expo floor was super easy. All I needed was my ID and the QR code sent to me the week before and I was done with that process in less than 5 minutes. I meet with my fellow Bib Rave Pros, Juan, Jenn and Brenda after packet pickup and I couldn’t have been in better company. Juan is local to Houston and was the very best host. He was introducing us to people that he knew at the expo left and right!

 

On to race morning. Spoiler alert: The race itself was awesome! I found my fellow BRP’s in the pre-race staging area inside the convention center, got a little more advice, lots of encouragement and some hugs. Since I was in Corral A I needed to leave a bit earlier than Brenda and Jenn, who were also running the full. Being in a downtown area that I am not familiar with I was a bit discombobulated. The volunteers outside the convention center were abundant and very communicative before the race about where each corral was and when they closed.

It was pretty chilly,  air temperature in the low 30’s, at the start of the race but a base layer under my shirt and tights under my shorts was sufficient. It was the perfect running weather.

Here is where I need to give a huge shout out to Juan. Without this guy I can honestly say I wouldn’t have finished the race. I came into the race having taken about 3 weeks off from running due to an Achilles injury so while I wasn’t feeling great physically during the run I was never once worried that if I couldn’t continue I would be in a bad place. This injury flared up just before mile 2 and I knew I would be in for a long day. I have pushed through runs with injuries before and I ended up doing a lot of damage. This was my first marathon and I am really stubborn so, as you can guess, I didn’t stop. Even though I felt like I was going to several times I didn’t. Juan met me three times along the course (all after the first half of the race) and I needed him each time. He paced me, he talked me up and coached me. When I thought about giving up I remembered all I had to do was make it a little further and I would get a boost. Thank you, brother, for getting me through this race.

The amount of volunteers and spectators on the course blew me away. I heard cheers that included my name from countless strangers. If you have run a race with good crowds you know how good this feels. Even with a windchill in the 20’s early on the crowds were nuts. I saw lots of great signs and there were plenty of high fives to be had along the way. Volunteers for this race were the best I have ever experienced. The aid stations were absolutely loaded up with water, Gatorade and Gatorade fuel. The medical staff along the course were very attentive to the racers who appeared to need help.

I did plenty of walking between miles 16 and 26 to get me through this. I want to say I would’ve done a lot less if not for my Achilles but I will honestly never know. What I do know is that the cheering coming down the home stretch was amazing. Another shoutout to Juan, whose voice I picked up over the crowd with less than a quarter mile to go.

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I somehow found the energy for a kick at the end and the feeling I experienced once I crossed that line can only be described as wow. I cried, I laughed and I smiled. I was stripped down completely on an emotional level. I’ve never been so proud of my accomplishment. And never more physically spent.

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Everything after this was a blur for a hot minute. I received my medal, snagged some photos and a couple of bananas and headed inside the convention center. I was very happy to find Jenn just after finishing and gave her a really big hug. Then things went downhill a bit. After the race I had a little bit of trouble warming up and was having a hard time standing. Jenn flagged down a medical staff volunteer who got me back to the first aid tent. There was a perch set up inside the convention center that was looking for anyone that might need help so it was easy for them to spot my friend flagging them down. I spent quite a bit of time in the tent and I was well taken care of. They got me a under a heat sheet ASAP provided me with warm water to drink and a banana for my blood sugar. Since I was cramping up and still quite cold and shaky they had some sports massage therapists come by to help me keep my leg muscles warm and got me under a heat sheet ASAP. They checked my vitals several times to make sure there was nothing serious going on and they were incredibly friendly. They kept me smiling and laughing, which was important because I was not feeling well at all. I can’t speak highly enough of the medical staff at this race. They and the volunteers were OUTSTANDING.

After I was released from the tent I found Brenda and Jenn, who was thrust into holding onto all of my stuff, which included my phone. My wife sent me the sweetest text when I crossed the finish line telling me how proud she was of me. I meant to answer her as soon as I got settle inside but that didn’t happen before I was taken back to first aid. They walked with me to get the post-race meal, which included a hot breakfast sandwich, which was exactly what I needed, and then to collect my finisher’s shirt and sweet glass finisher’s mug. I didn’t expect either one of these things after getting a shirt with my packet so I was very pleasantly surprised.

The course, the weather and the people make this a great race for potential PR’s and for great spectating. I highly recommend this race.

Post-race, I was able to jump on Athlinks.com and claim my race results. You can check out how I did it here, and while you’re at it, jump on and make an account too. Don’t forget to add me as a friend so we can go head-to-head in future races! 

If I haven’t mentioned it enough yet I can’t thank my BRP fam enough for this experience. Brenda, Jenn and Juan, all of the advice, laughs and hugs got me through this and you are the reason I will remember this experience forever. Thank you all very much.

Follow Brenda, Jenn and Juan on Twitter and check out their reviews for this race using the links to their blogs in the story above. Don’t forget to check out my race review on Bibrave.com as well as the Chevron Houston Marathon on Social Media:

Twitter: @HoustonMarathon

IG: @chevronhoustonmarathon

Run Globally From Anywhere – My Zwift Run Review

Disclaimer: I received a Zwift Pod 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 treadmill is one of those tools that many find necessary for their training and yet not nearly as enjoyable as being out on the open road. One can see why though. Treadmills aren’t out in the fresh air, the scenery is always the same (unless you like to move your treadmill around) or it requires a trip to the gym. Sometimes it is a combination of all three. Luckily, I was able to test out something that is a partial solution to those problems and makes the treadmill experience A LOT more fun.

What is this magical solution? It is Zwift Run. Zwift Run is a way for you to connect virtually with other runners, from around the world and knock out those treadmill miles. All you need for Zwift Run to work is a treadmill, a footpod and a device (tablet, phone or computer) to run the Zwift app. You can use Android or Apply and it is recommended that you use a tablet or a computer for optimal results. I used my phone and while it worked there were some things I didn’t get the full benefit of because of that. You can also hop on a Bluetooth treadmill and do it without the footpod and device.

The first step is to check what equipment works best for your Zwift run experience here.  Then, if need be you can purchase a footpod from their shop here and then setup an account at https://zwift.com/en/run/. Once you have your footpod there is a very quick pairing process with your device through the app that leads you to calibrating the pod to your treadmill speed. This is a very important step as not calibrating the speed can lead to some funky results. In fact, the more times you do this calibration the better your experiences will be. I paired it the morning before a BibRave 5K virtual run for the first time and it worked, for the most part, quite well. I had a few hiccups during the run with the speed being off but was told that more calibrations would get the two to sync better.

Zwift Pairing

Now to the running. Zwift Run has created virtual routes in places like Richmond, New York and London for you to run alongside strangers or friends either on your own time or during a specific even setup within Zwift. The main screen on the Zwift Run app has a calendar that shows the events for the day and where they take place. You can literally (virtually) run through the streets of London without leaving the comfort of your home on a Tuesday afternoon. If you are the kind of person who happens to love group runs but are out of town and away from your group or most of your running friends are spread across the country you can set up virtual events to get together with them anyway!

I am, quite honestly, the latter. Almost all of my running friends (and fam) are all over the place so this is the only way I can run with them without traveling. Running on the TM is also something I do out of necessity but don’t enjoy because starting at my garage wall is not a ton of fun. When I have Zwift open on my phone and I hop onto one of their courses while on the treadmill then the garage disappears around me. The best part about Zwift Run is that the app is free. All you need is a connected device, a treadmill and the app. Don’t be afraid of the treadmill anymore or let it be an excuse to skip a training run. This app adds a little bit of zest to your TM runs!

Right now code “BibRave15” is good for $15 off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com.

Follow Zwift Run on social media:

IG: @gozwiftrun

Twitter: @GoZwiftRun

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Race Week!

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Humana Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and 1/2 Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

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Some weeks are just more exciting than others. Race weeks are those kind of weeks.

This Saturday and Sunday, December 1st and 2nd the Humana Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and Half Marathon will take place along the historic and beautiful streets of San Antonio and I hope you’ve chosen to be there. If you haven’t you can actually still register on the Rock ‘N’ Roll website.

If you are still on the fence and need some extra convincing or if you will actually be there then you can look forward to forecasted race-time temperatures in the 60’s on Saturdays and the 50’s on Sunday. That is something I think none of us could complain about this time of year.

If you aren’t able to spend much time in town during your visit then you will still be able to see things like The Alamo, the Riverwalk, Menger Hotel, and the Tower of the Americas as these important historical landmarks are on the marathon race course.

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If you are able to spend a little more time in the city on your visit then there will be no shortage of things to see and do while you are there. Being the holiday season and the city’s 300th anniversary there are lots of events going on. There really are too many to list all of them so I will highlight a few for you.

 
The Destino/Destination San Antonio Event – BRISCOE WESTERN ART MUSEUM, 210 W MARKET ST, 78205

Destino San Antonio presents, for the first time, selections from the Briscoe Museum’s collection of over 600 stereographs of San Antonio, dating primarily from the 1860s to 1930. Inspired by the structure of the stereograph, which is composed of two images of the same scene taken from slightly different points of view, artist and guest curator Anne Wallace incorporates multiple perspectives on the image and identity of San Antonio during a time of profound transition after the Civil War and the final days of the “frontier.” Through the integration of commentary, historical analysis, provocative juxtapositions, and playful inquiry, Wallace invites us to consider narratives that complete a whole. She invites us to engage with the past and consider the future of San Antonio.
This experiential exhibition will include:
• over eighty stereographs of San Antonio, accompanied by hand-held 3D viewers
• a replica arcade with period-style multiimage viewers
• maps, diaries, and city directories from the turn of the century
• video documentaries of personal accounts and interviews with scholars
• an immersive projection space, serving as a backdrop for exhibition programming
• hands-on activities through which visitors can respond to the imagery presented

 

Ford Fiesta De Las Luminarias – November 30 @ 6:00 pm – December 16 @ 12:00 am

Experience the holiday serenity of the River Walk as you stroll along the lush banks of the San Antonio River guided by more than 2,000 Luminarias at night. This century’s old tradition begins at dusk Friday through Sunday only, November 30-December 2, December 7-9, and December 14-16. Luminarias are a traditional Mexican Christmas lantern originally consisting of a candle set in sand inside a small paper bag. Our River Walk Luminarias are a little different in that the flame doesn’t go out. Enjoy the Holiday lights overhead, the luminarias along the banks of the river, and the Ford Holiday Boat Caroling floating by while you stroll or as you enjoy a frothy hot beverage or exquisite meal along the River Walk.

 

Rock ‘n’ Roll Health and Fitness Expo

The Expo’s put on by Rock ‘n’ Roll Racing are really not to be missed. The best part is that they are free and open to the public. This expo features the latest in running technologies, fitness apparel, health & nutrition information and interactive displays.

Pick up some last-minute essentials before race day and be sure to visit the Brooks Official Merchandise Store. All runners must visit the expo to pick up their race number, gear bag and t-shirt.

  • Date: November 30 – December 1 , 2018
  • Location: The Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center Halls 4A & 4B
  • Expo Hours:
    • Friday, November 30: 12:00pm – 7:00pm
    • Saturday, December 1: 9:00am – 5:00pm
  • Directions: For directions, please visit the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center website
  • Free and open to the public

 

If you make it to the race or any of the events listed above share your photos with me on social media!

Happy Racing!

Find Run Rock ‘n’ Roll on Social Media:

Twitter: @RunRocknRoll

IG: @runrocknroll