I’m a BibRave Pro!

You may have already seen on my Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook, but today I am officially announcing on my blog that I am indeed a BibRave Pro. I know some of you already know what a BibRave Pro is/does, but there may be others of you who have no idea what exactly I’m talking about. Let me tell you.

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BibRave.com is a website to write and read race reviews.  As a BibRave Pro, I receive races and products to review.  Have you heard about a particular race, but you’re unsure if it’s exactly the right one for you? Then make sure you head to BibRave.com to read the review written by someone such as myself or another runner somewhere around the world.

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When I first joined the online running community about a year and a half ago, I knew right away that I wanted to be a BibRave Pro. Yes, I wanted to don the bright orange BibRave shirt and proudly let everyone know that I was a BibRave Pro. I must have applied to be a BibRavePro three times or so. Finally, I got the confirmation email that I was accepted into the BibRave Pro community and I was so ecstatic! I knew that I was joining the ranks of some pretty amazing people such as Melissa, Emily, James, Erin, and many more! Be sure to check out #BibRavePro on Instagram or Twitter to follow some of the awesome BibRave Pros. 

Stay tuned in the coming months as I write some reviews for the San Diego Craft Classic, Rock ‘n’ Roll DenverAdidas Ultra Boost shoes, Buff arm sleeves and Brilliant reflective safety strips. I am quite excited for both the San Diego Craft Classic as well as Rock ‘n’ Roll Denver because it’ll be my first time running in these two cities!  Also, RnR Denver will be my first Rock ‘n’ Roll event! I can’t wait!

Where do you normally find your information about races and/or running gear? Have you ever written a race review?  I’d love to hear from you!

Until next time, 

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Race Recap: Rina’s Run Half Marathon

May 13th, Mother’s Day weekend was my third weekend in a row to race (or pace). This time I was pacing the 10th Annual Rina’s Run.  After a busy Friday evening at a work related event, I got home and set my alarm for 2:55 AM.


Because I was waking up so early, I decided to sleep in another room so that my husband could sleep in. After getting up, taking a shower, and getting ready I finally left the house at about 3:40 AM. According to GPS, it was going to take me about an hour and 40 minutes to get to Ripon High School. I knew that would give me a few minutes to stop and get a coffee along the way. My favorite place to stop for coffee is Starbucks. Unfortunately, Starbucks was not open because it was still too early in the morning.

After driving in the dark for an hour, I was in desperate need of some coffee and so I finally found a McDonald’s that was open to get coffee and some breakfast.

I arrived to Ripon high school at 5:30 AM to pick up my bib and to meet my fellow Pacers at 5:45 AM near the starting line. After picking up my bib and goodie bag (which check out the awesome goodie bag) I really needed to use the bathroom! I asked where the nearest restrooms were and the ladies pointed to a small building.

I walked over to the building and found a man trying to open the restrooms. He was unsuccessful in opening the restrooms because he didn’t know which key (out of the million on the key ring) opened the bathroom. At this point I was getting pretty desperate to use the restroom. Fortunately, there were a line of Porta Potties across the football field and so I quickly made my way over there.

At this point it was 5:45 AM and I was supposed to meet my fellow  beast pacers near the starting line. When I walked over to the starting line, there was no one there. It was cold and I needed to put away my goodie bag,, so I headed back to my car.


On the way to the car I texted our pace leader to see where she was at. She said that she was about 10 minutes away so I took my time getting my things ready in my car while appreciating the warmth of my car.

At 6 o’clock I headed back over towards the starting line to meet up with the pacers. I found our pace leader and she asked if I wanted to switch to the 2:45 pacing time from the 3 hour pacing time since the 2:45 pacer wasn’t going to be there. I happily accepted the faster pace time and then found a paper to hand write out my new mile splits. I then went back to my car for a SECOND time to tape on my new mile splits. Note to self: always bring extra tape.

At 6:30 am we gathered for a group picture, I made one more trip to the bathroom, and then we lined up in our corrals to start the race.

Lining up in the corral and getting to meet new runners is one of my favorite parts to pacing a race. I like to try to ease their nerves because perhaps they are first-time half marathoners or I have those who are trying to go for a PR. This is also a good time to talk about my strategy and how I’m going to get us to the correct finishing time.

Before I knew it, we were off and running. One of the tricks to racing is not starting out too fast. It’s very easy to do because at the start you feel great! Running slow at first may not sound difficult but it can be quite difficult. At the 1st mile marker I was already 15 seconds ahead of pace my average pace per mile of 12:35. By mile 2, that doubled to 30 seconds. I was going to try an interval strategy where I’d run one minute walk two minutes, but since I didn’t really know the how that would work for timing, I decided just to keep with running slowly.


From the start to mile eight, I had two girls behind me. One of the rules as a pacer is that we are not supposed to listen to any music. We’re supposed to be there for encouragement and to give updates to those around us. Since I didn’t have anyone running next to me and talking to me, the two girls who ran behind me for 8 miles provided me some entertainment. I didn’t really mean to eavesdrop into the conversation, but it was very difficult to not listen. I finally told them that I was listening in on their conversation at about mile seven. They laughed and said it was fine. I was sad when they started walking at mile eight because that meant that I was losing my entertainment. I tried to get them to keep a running slowly with me, but neither one of them had trained for this half marathon and I could tell that they were done.

For the next 5 miles I basically ran on my own. There were two ladies ahead of me that I tried to pass at one point but the one woman said, “Oh no! Please don’t pass us!” I laughed and replied, “Ok. I will stay behind you.”

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From mile 8 until mile 10.5, I stayed behind them until they began to slow down. During the final few miles I took selfies, took in the sights, and appreciated the signs on the road.  When I passed by aid stations they would laugh and say, “I think you lost your group.”

I smiled, looked around me, and replied, “They’ll catch up.”  Sadly, that never happened.

On the bright side, however, I came in at my assigned time!  Even with changing times at the last minute, I was able to stick with my pace and finish with a gun time of 2:44:38!  As a 2:45 pacer, it is acceptable to finish between 2:44:00 – 2:44:59.  I took some finish line pictures, grabbed some post-race grub, and headed to the car.

After making a quick detour to Starbucks to finally get my venti iced coffee and to change into some dry, clean clothes, I drove to church to catch the tail end of the ladies tea my mom was hosting.  Yes, I most certainly attended the tea with my Pro Compression neon socks!

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Have you ever packed a change of clothes and forgotten something important?  I’d love to hear about it!
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Transformation Tuesday #24


Happy #transformationtuesday! 7.5 years and 50 pounds separate these two pictures, but the real difference is the mindset. I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again… to make a lasting change, there has to be a lifestyle change. See the food that sits in front of me in the recent picture? It’s eggplant. The food in the other picture? It’s something fried.

Don’t think that I have it all figured out because I don’t. I still have my days (and weeks) where I struggle. I, in fact, have recently reached out to Christa of Sweating Awesome to be my accountability partner.  She has lost over 100 pounds and is now running 5ks!  She inspires me to move more and to make better food choices.

I will always have to carefully choose the foods I eat and as much as that sometimes really stinks, it’s okay. I refuse to diet. To me, the word “diet” is a four letter swear word.  When one of my students brings me a maple bar, I will allow myself to enjoy it. When my pants start to fit a little snug, I will exercise more. Life is about balance and living it to the fullest!

To read more about my lifelong struggle with food and how I changed my lifestyle, check out My Weight Loss Journey.  To read about how I went from a couch potato to a vegetarian marathoner, check out The Journey to Becoming a No-Meat Athlete.

Until next time,

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May Mayhem 

First, let me preface this by saying that I pride myself in being a fairly optimistic person. I also pride myself in being someone filled with activities and keeping my time filled with productivity. There comes a time, however, that my life starts to become chaotic. To put it another way, filled with mayhem. Yes, a “violent or damaging disorder; chaos”. I was clued in to this chaos after waking up Monday morning in extreme pain.


When I woke up Sunday morning I felt like my neck was a little stiff but as the day progressed it got better. I had no idea that the next morning I would wake up in excruciating pain. At first I just tried to shake it off and figured it would get better. I donned my running clothes and headed outside for a run. I only got about 1/10 of a mile down the street when I realized that I was in too much pain to continue on. I thought maybe I would go for a walk instead, but even that proved to be painful.

When I got to work later in the morning, my coworkers encouraged me to perhaps call and make an appointment to see the chiropractor. Being my stubborn self and one who likes to avoid doctors, I decided to wait. I figured my pain would feel better the next morning. Sadly, that was not the case.


Fast forward to today, Thursday, and I finally went in to see the chiropractor. The verdict? A stiff neck and stress. Go figure.

Right now I am juggling:

  • a full time job teaching 5th graders
  • a husband, a teenager, and a pre-teen
  • training for marathon #15
  • a part time job grading state tests
  • a part time job as an influencer
  • helping to plan an event
  • the precipice of a BIG family change

I totally understand that I’ve brought a lot of this extra “stuff” on myself, but I enjoy “doing”. Rarely am I idle. You will never hear the words “I’m bored” come out of my mouth.  For the month of May, however, perhaps I’ve bit off a little too much. I keep telling myself that June will be better. Once school gets out and it’s summer break I’ll have more time to run, to blog, to clean the house.


Lesson learned here?…  Not every single moment of every single day must be filled.

Until next time,

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Race Recap: Downtown River Run

The last weekend of April started with a drive to the biggest little city in the world, Reno, Nevada, for a gig pacing the Downtown River Run marathon. While crossing the Sierra Nevada mountain range, I stopped to take in the incredible views of Donner Lake.


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