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

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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!

Image result for rock-n-roll san antonio

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.

Image result for rock-n-roll san antonio

 
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

Wearable Heaven For Feet – My OOfos OOrignal Sport Sandal Review

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of OOfos OOrignal Sport Sandals 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!”

Whether you run trails or the road and whether you churn out big miles or small one thing is true: your feet deserve some special treatment when you are done. OOfos has a reputation among runners of all types as a shoe brand that really delivers on it’s promises. The biggest promises are comfort and support.

I’ve detailed on previous posts my battles with Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles tendinitis and have been steered away from sandals to reduce the stress on these areas. However, there were fellow runners that swore by OOfos sandals to help with their PF.  So who is right? The honest answer is both parties are right. Regular sandals are not a great idea if you are dealing with inflammation in either of these areas but with OOfos you don’t have to worry about that. The reason for that being OOfoam technology and extra arch support.

OOfoam gives your feet exactly what they need for recovery by abosrbing 37% more impact than traditional footwear. Not only is this good for your feet but it reduces the stress on the rest of your joints as well. The second you put these on you can feel the cushion. It is unlike any other shoe I have ever worn. The OOfoam alone with be amazing but the extra arch support is what does it for me.

OOfos

Just look at the amount of foam where your arch sits! With any shoe I wear, whether it be dress shoes, trainers or sandals I have to have extra arch support or my PF flares up something fierce. When I get home from work all I want to do is take off my shoes and let my feet breathe. The problem is that standing on hardwood floors and tile for extended periods of time doesn’t help my feet feel any better. I am so glad I have the OOfos OOriginal Sport Sandals to slip on after a long run, after a long day at work or at the end of a day where I had a long run and a long day of work.

Even if you aren’t a runner you still owe it to yourself and your feet to grab a pair of these.

Shop for a pair HERE

Follow OOfos on Social media:

Twitter: @oofos
IG: @oofos

Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio – Why You Need To Be There

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!

Image result for humana rock n roll marathon san antonio 2018

I am one of those racers who looks for exciting races to run anywhere I can find them. Living in an area of Texas within 4 hours drive of the state’s biggest cities I am blessed to have lots of races to research and I didn’t have to look hard to find one that stuck out to me. Having lots of races to chose from means I look for things that sets races apart from one another.

The Humana Rock ‘N’ Roll San Antonio Marathon and Half Marathon weekend have several of those things.

  1. The 2018 Remix Medal

San Antonio remix medal

Run the Saturday 5K or 10K and either distance on Sunday( the 1/2 or the full) and you’ll earn yourself this Remix Medal.

2. The Tricentennial Limited Edition Medal

San Antonio Tricentennial medal

If you are up for two races in two awesome cities (New Orleans and San Antonio) then you can get your hands on this exclusive medal! It is available for one year only as the cities of New Orleans and San Antonio celebrate their Tricentennial year. Earn this spinning medal when you complete the marathon or half marathon distance at Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll New Orleans AND Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio in 2018.

3. The Music!

Langhorne Slim and The Law 2

Headlining the Toyota Rock ‘n’ Roll Concert Series at the Humana Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio Marathon & 1/2 Marathon is Langhorne Slim & The Law. “Defined by his reflective songwriting and passionate delivery, Langhorne Slim’s music challenges the idea of social rigidity. Making appearances at Outside Lands, Lollapalooza and on Conan O’Brien, he is no stranger to popular culture and commercial success. O’Brien, a personal fan of Slim stated, “After one listen, I became an instant, almost obsessive fan.”

Click here to check out some of Langhorne Slim’s music videos!

One unique aspect of Rock ‘n’ Roll races is the on course entertainment. Rock ‘n’ Roll believes that “music makes up the heart and “sole” of this event. Live bands perform a variety of music from alternative, classic and punk rock to blues, jazz and soul along every mile of the race course. The bands set the tempo for this running party, where runners and spectators alike will be “dancin’ in the streets” to these mini-concerts.” You don’t even need headphones and a special playlist for the weekend. What other race can say they do this for their racers?

4. Free Stuff

I’ve yet to meet anyone that doesn’t like free stuff. Race swag is an awesome added bonus to this race week. The shirts for Rock ‘n’ Roll San Antonio are brand new and are definitely a one-time only run. These Tricentennial themed t-shirts will only be available this year. It is going to be a while before you are able to find a Tricentennial themed shirt anywhere else!

San Antonio Tricentennial shirt.PNG

There are still 2+ weeks to register for this amazing race. Stay tuned for more updates and reasons why you can’t miss this race. Online Registration Closes on Sunday, November 25, 2018 at 11:59pm PST.

Register HERE before time runs out! When you register use code ‘RNRBRP2018’ and you’ll save $15 on either the Full or Half Marathon. Now that is a deal!

Find Run Rock ‘n’ Roll on Social Media:

Twitter: @RunRocknRoll

IG: @runrocknroll

Now Foods BCAA Big 6 – A New Fuel and Recovery Tool

Disclaimer: I received NOW Foods BCAA Big 6 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!

 

Before my latest Achilles injury I was not someone who was knowledgeable or into any kind of supplements. I would occasionally take some vegan protein powder but only when I was low or out of my go-to protein meals. I have no aversion to supplements by any means. I prefer to get my nutrients directly from my food .

When I was given the opportunity to test a BCAA I first had to learn what they even were. I had seen fellow runners sing their praises but felt so in the dark. I decided to do some digging. I learned that *Branched Chain Amino Acids are essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein, which helps to fuel your muscles during workout and can also help support muscle recovery post-workout. They’re called essential because the body doesn’t make them on its own, so you need to supplement or get from them from your diet. It was that last line that really intrigued me.

After learning what these branched chain amino acids were I realized I wasn’t getting enough from my diet and jumped at this chance.

While I do include some animal based protein in my diet I do tend to eat as vegetarian as I can when I can. The fact that *BCAA Big 6 from NOW Sports, is a vegan, caffeine-free formula of BCAAs, plus betaine to help maintain fluid balance, and taurine, which can further support endurance* is a bonus.

I was really only looking at this supplement from a recovery standpoint and hadn’t thought about the hydration or endurance support side of it until I started using it. The recommended use is one scoop per 16-20 oz. of liquid but I found that even in a little bit more than 20 oz the great taste of both the grape and watermelon flavors stood out.

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I am out of town and doing something a bit different this week at work and it requires A LOT of walking. It's not running but look at that mileage. I knew I would need something formulated to help me with recovery at the end of the day so I mixed up some @nowfoodsofficial BCAA Big 6. It is also formulated for endurance so I'll probably take some in the morning because I get to do this all over again tomorrow. From now through 1-November 15, use code 20NOWBCAA on Amazon.com (or visit this link https://www.amazon.com/promocode/A1G65M39SCQHX5) for 20% off both varieties of BCAA Big 6. Code is limited to one-time use only. *These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.* #NowBR #BibChat #BibRavePro #nowgetfit

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While testing this product I didn’t have any particularly long or strenuous workouts so I can’t say I was able to notice how this helped with endurance in those settings but I did make it a point to drink a little before any runs that were 5 miles plus. If I can take a supplement that is formulated for hydration and to help support endurance then I am going to take it.

From a recovery standpoint I didn’t notice a giant difference in muscle soreness but there were times where I felt like my recovery after harder workouts/runs was a bit easier. For me, it’s important to find a brand you can trust, because many products marketed for sports/sports nutrition may have artificial ingredients, caffeine and adulterants. So bottom line is, I trust NOW Sports to support my active diet.

As my Houston Marathon training ramps up into longer distances and more intense workouts I will be sure to keep my NOW Foods BCAA Big 6 in my shaker and probably in my flasks to drink while on the run. The grape is especially flavorful but the watermelon is a great flavor as well.

Have you tried BCAA’s? If so, I would really love to hear from you as my marathon training cycle continues.

Want to try BCAA Big 6, too?! You’re in luck! Use code ’20NOWBCAA’ on Amazon.com for 20% off both varieties of BCAA Big 6. This code is valid thru Nov 15th and is good for single-use only.

Find NOW Foods on Social Media:

Twitter: @NOWFoods

IG: @nowfoodsofficial

 

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

There is no such thing as too much Chocolate!

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

February of last year I was lucky enough to participate in the Hot Chocolate 15K in Dallas and I had a great time. I signed up on sort of a whim because I heard it was a really fun atmosphere and was very well organized. This turned out to be 100% the case!

It was the first 15K I had ever done and if it had been any other race series I might not have thought about doing another afterward. The swag consisted of a very nice 3/4 zip up pullover, which I used very frequently while training this past winter. The awesome pullover has returned this year and they’ve added a hood!

The goodie bag is not the end of the great stuff this race provides. The post race chocolate treat bowl is the kicker to an awesome race experience. There is even chocolate along the course of you get a mid-race craving!

The medals are unique, fun and make for great photos once you’ve conquered this course. The course itself last year was a good mix of challenging with some hills and steady with plenty of flat straightaways. There is support along the way with locals and volunteers cheering you along and the volunteers handing out the goodies after the race are really enthusiastic and dedicated to make sure you are taken care of.

If you aren’t convinced yet you can sign up using promo code ‘BRHCDallas’ at checkout and receive a free armband for your phone!

You still have time to sign up but don’t wait too long. This is a big event and I wouldn’t want you to miss you chance at some free chocolate and a fun race!

You can follow the Hot Chocolate Racing Series on social media at the links below.

Also, check out their website and register today:

https://www.hotchocolate15k.com

Facebook: @hotchocolate15K

TW: @hotchocolate15K, #hc15K

IG: hotchocolate15k

What a Summer it has been. Thank You BUFF!

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF® Pack Trek Cap, UV Arm Sleeves and UV multifunctional headwear 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!”

My big adventure for the summer has come and gone. I can’t believe that it has been almost two months since I started this journey. The culmination took place on June 16th at AT&T Stadium on June 16th. The atmosphere inside the stadium was absolutely incredible. Being inside the stadium it hit me that there was nothing left I could do to prepare. I had done all I could to prepare myself for the unknown challenges of the Spartan.

I took my time to fully take in my surroundings, hydrate and check my bag before finding the course map and get the scoop on what I would be up against. An important part of my prep for this race was researching previous stadium events both here and elsewhere to see what I would possibly be up against. I was also lucky enough to watch a live feed of a portion of the elite race. I knew I would be outside a couple of times and knowing that it would be in the full afternoon sun I was going to be up against it.

The obstacles slated to be outside were the military hurdles, Atlas carry (w/ 5 burpees between carries), the barbed wire crawl, the spear throw, the Z wall, and the Hercules hoist. In total not a lot of obstacles out of the total number but enough that it made my heart sink a little. Not because I was scared of the obstacles but by the potential amount of time I would end up spending outside. The large portion of the outside obstacles were early on so that was  the silver lining. The military hurdles weren’t bad, the carry portion of the Atlas carry wasn’t bad. The burpees between carrying from one side to another were another thing. Going straight from that into the barbed wire crawl. Ugh.

The unexpected upside of having my UV arm sleeves, outside of the UV protection and looking cool) was the protection from the scraping my knees suffered during the crawl. The length of barbed wire meant more time in the sun and more exposure to the heat and the temperature was already in the low 90’s at this point. The crawl did allow me to recover my breath a little before heading into the spear throw. The spear throw isn’t a feat of strength but instead requires skill. Having done well at my previous sprint race I gave myself a 50/50 shot. Unfortunately for me a miss is still a miss and I owed 15 more burpees. The Z Wall and the Hercules Hoist did not take long and thankfully so because any more time in the sun and I would have been toast.

Spartan Gauntlet

I will spare you the details of the rest of the race as there were nearly 20 more obstacles and my memory of them isn’t crystal clear. The face is that this race was hard. Even in the AC it was hard. My lack of running during this training cycle nearly doomed me. I thankfully was able to do enough cardio that I pushed through this race. If I had to have trained any amount of this in the sun and heat without BUFF® gear I think the results would’ve been a lot different. I certainly wouldn’t have looked nearly as cool as I did crossing the finish line too. That is 100% for sure!

Spartan Results

I was honestly so thrilled to finish this race and feel as good as I did. This was the adventure I needed this summer. If you plan to spend any amount of time in the sun, whether you’re being active or spending leisurely time with family and friends, look no further than BUFF® for your clothing and accessory needs. It is durable (it held up to a Spartan training cycle and race), lightweight, washes easily and is incredibly effective.

You can follow BUFF® on social media using the links below.

Twitter: @buff_usa

Instagram: @buff_usa

Shop BUFF® Here