Race Recap: San Diego Craft Classic 

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Craft Classic San Diego race 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!

As stated in my Friday Feels blog, this was my first timing running a race in San Diego.  I, therefore, didn’t really now what to expect when I signed up for the Craft Classic half marathon.  Now that I’ve completed the race, I’m ready for more San Diego races and perhaps a relocation down to Southern California! 😉 

Our first stop upon arriving to San Diego was Road Runner Sports, the location of the race expo. Bib pick up was well organized, quick, and easy. My race swag included a pint glass, a racer back tank top, and a customized bib!


One of the things I was looking forward to about the race was the Green Flash Brewery beer at the finish line!


Since I was on a family vacation with the husband and two kids, they all got to join me at the expo. They enjoyed trying all the Nuun flavors and the Honey Stinger waffle and energy chew samples. 

Earlier in the week, while on Twitter, the Fat to Finish Line gang reached out to me and told me to stop by to say hi at the expo. So, that is just what I did! It was so wonderful to talk about weight loss (since I too have gone from fat to finish line) and Ragnar races. I have yet to do a Ragnar, but it is definitely on my bucket list. 


That evening, I prepared myself for my half marathon (as best as I could since I had recently taken a month off of running). One of the things I do in preparation for a race, is I lay out everything for a #flatrunner picture. 


The next morning, I woke up at 3:30am. My goal was to leave the hotel at 4:15am so I could catch a shuttle to the starting line at about 4:45am. (The shuttles ran from 4:30 – 5:30.) I ended up being right on time, got a front row view on the shuttle, and made it to the starting line with a little over an hour to spare!


I had the pleasure of meeting up with my fellow BibRave Pro ambassador, Mai, at the starting line.


I also got to meet up with some fellow ProCompression ambassadors too! 


In no time at all, it was time to line up at the starting line. There were two waves of runners: the under two hour group and the over two hour group. Maria and I waved goodbye as Mai and the other Pro ambassadors started in wave one. A little less than 1.5 years ago, I earned my half marathon PR of 1:52:32. I will get back there someday, but today was not the day. 

 

Maria and I ran together for the first couple of miles and then I began my walk/run intervals for the remainder of the course. Taking a month off of running really takes a toll on one’s ability to run. 😂 

The aid station at mile 3 was probably one of my favorites since they had popsicles! Yes, popsicles at 7am when you’re hot and sweaty are the BEST!


From that point on, the race was fairly uneventful. I had the 2:30 pacer come up behind me at about mile 6 and two thoughts came through my mind, “Ugh! Am I really that slow?! Hmmm… can I keep up with him?” Sadly, yes, I really was running that slowly and no, I was not able to keep up with him. Don’t be fooled by the smile on my face… yes, I was having fun, but my body was revolting against me! Side note: way to go 2:30 pacers! 


The next notable event happened sometime between miles 9 – 10. This is where we approached a monstrous hill. It was steep and long. This hill even has its own split on the race results! It’s the King of the Mountain split. The hill may not look that scary in the picture, but it was a beast! 


Slowly, but surely I finally made it to the finish line! I stocked up on some Honey Stinger waffles, filled up my water bottle, and made my way to the Green Flash beer garden. 


I walked around and took a few more pictures before heading back to the hotel. 


Interested in seeing more of the Craft Classic San Diego course? Be sure to check out my Craft Classic San Diego 2017 video! While you’re at it, please also subscribe to my YouTube channel by clicking SUBSCRIBE. 

Overall, I’d highly recommend the Craft Classic San Diego race! You can read my full race review at BibRave.com and while you’re at it, read other reviews and/or write your own race reviews! 


Until next time,

Review: Healthy, Quick, and Delicious Luvo Meals

Disclaimer: I received Luvo Meals 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!

As a full time teacher, wife, mom of two, and runner/blogger, I am often on the lookout for quick and nutritious meals.  I and my colleagues often pack frozen meals to heat up and eat during our lunch break. When I was offered the opportunity to try a new brand of frozen meals, I said, “Yes, please!”  I was quite stoked when my package of 10 Luvo free meal coupons arrived!


Prior to accepting the offer to try and review the Luvo meals, I went to the Luvo website to see which of my local stores sold Luvo products and to also see if they had vegetarian meal options. (Check out my journey towards becoming a no-meat athlete HERE.)  I was pleased to find that several stores in my area sell Luvo meals AND Luvo has many vegetarian options. 

Here’s what I found when I headed out to purchase my Luvo meals:

Safeway – $4.99

Whole Foods – $5.99 with a $1.00 off coupon taped to the box

Walmart – $4.42

Bel-Air – regularly priced $5.99 on sale for $4.99

Raley’s – regularly priced $5.99 on sale for $4.99


Nugget Market – $5.99

Sadly, when I traveled to six stores within a 40 mile radius to my house, I did not find any vegetarian meals. I still purchased a few meals, however, since the rest of my family are not vegetarians. The first meal I prepared for my husband was turkey meatloaf and mashed potatoes.  

The first thing that surprised me about the Luvo meal was that it was “steamazing”. It steams perfectly in the paper pouch. There’s no puncturing, no mess, and it slides out easily when it’s done cooking! My husband’s first comment after tasting his meal was, “It tastes homemade.” 


After trying hard to find some local vegetarian Luvo meal options, I contacted BibRave to let them know I wasn’t able to find any. They ended up contacting Luvo. Luvo was kind enough to send me not one, not two, but eight vegetarian meals to try! So awesome!


The first meal I decided to try was the  quinoa and vegetable enchilada meal. Again, it steamed nicely in the pouch, and tasted great! If I could only eat one type of food for the rest of my life, it’d be Mexican food. Seriously, I am always in the mood for Mexican food! This quinoa and vegetable enchilada meal not only helped to give me my Mexican food fix, but it also had a little spice to it which made my taste buds dance!


As I began to do some more research in the Luvo brand, one thing that caputured my attention was their 3-2-none promise. The three things they focus on are: fruits and veggies, whole grains, and quality proteins. The two things they limit are sodium and added sugar. None. The things they leave out entirely are artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners. (Read more at http://luvoinc.com/blog/fighting-obesity-basic-nutrition/


One of my fellow BibRave PROs, Lindsey, posted that her favorite meal was the steel cut oatmeal meal, so that was my next meal to try. Oatmeal is not a food that I eat vey often. This Luvo meal, however, tasted so good that I think I could eat this every morning for breakfast and not grow tired of it! (As you can see from the pic collage below, it smelled so good that I didn’t even take a before pic. I only got the after pic.)



I recently spent an entire day eating only Luvo meals! I ate a steel cut oatmeal for breakfast, a so cal kale and bean bowl for lunch, and a quinoa and vegetable enchilada for dinner. I felt full, energized, and even ran 3.1 miles that evening for the first time in a month! 

Overall, I’d recommend Luvo meals if you’re looking for a quick and nutritious meal option. The only con I’d comment on is the lack of variety found in my local stores. Perhaps it’s due to brand being fairly new in the market? Perhaps it’s my area? Not sure, but what I am sure about is it’s true… Luvo meals are healthy, quick, and delicious! 

What are you favorite healthy, quick, and delicious meals? Have you tried Luvo meals before? Have you seen them at your local grocery store? 

Until next time,

Friday Feels

Happy Friday friends! This week has felt like one ginormous roller coaster ride and I don’t know about you, but I am ready for the weekend! I’m so stoked because on Sunday, I am running the Craft Classic half marathon in sunny San Diego! This is actually the first Craft Classic race of 2017 in their Craft Classic series. 


Here are the races in the series:

Craft Classic San Diego – July 16, 2017

Craft Classic Atlanta – September 9, 2017

Craft Classic Seattle – September 10, 2017

Craft Classic Phoenix – October 15, 2017

It’s not too late to join in on the Craft Classic fun! When you register, use code BIBRAVEHALF for $10 off the half and BIBRAVE5k for $5 off the 5k. (Looking for other race & product discounts? Check out my discount page at https://runstrongrun.com/discounts/)

I’m actually writing this blog post while in the car with the hubby and two kids. We’re headed out for a week long vacation. Yes, I was able to slyly sneak in a race while on family vacation. 😉

Here are a few reasons why I’m looking forward to the Craft Classic half marathon on Sunday:

  • This will be my first time running a race in beautiful San Diego
  • Race giveaways for all participants include a commemorative event shirt and beer glass, special finisher’s medal, a free beer at Green Flash and free race photos (who doesn’t love FREE?!)
  • This is my first official BibRave race. I’m looking forward to proudly wearing my BibRave gear. 

As for my training leading up this race? That’s a whole other story! If you’ve been following me on Insta, Twitter, or Facebook, then you know that I just started running again three days ago after taking a month off of running (not due to personal choice nor an injury). My last race was the Utah Valley Marathon on June 10th. I definitely am not feeling prepared, for Sunday’s half marathon, but two things I am sure of:

  1. I will finish. 
  2. I will have fun!

Are you running one of the Craft Classic races or have you run them in the past? Have you ever gone into a race feeling unprepared? If so, how did you cope?

Until next time,

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Craft Classic San Diego race 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!

Giveaway & Review: Smell Well

Disclaimer: I received two Smell Well packages to review (and giveaway) 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!

Stinky shoes and gym bags are two of the worst smells ever!  If you’re like me and travel for races, then you’ve probably thrown your sweaty shoes / clothes in a bag after a hard workout.  When you’re back home and ready to open your bag back up, you plug your nose because you know the bag is about to reek!  Guess what?  Those days are now over!

I recently traveled for the Utah Valley Marathon and had to throw my stinky, sweaty clothes in my suitcase after the race because I had a flight to catch.  When I got back home, much to my surprise, my suitcase smelled pleasant and my clothes weren’t moist since I used Smell Well.

Besides making your clothes / shoes / gym bags smell fresher, here are the other benefits of using Smell Well:

  • Moisture absorbing
  • Removes nasty odors
  • Free from hazardous chemicals, non-allergenic and environmentally friendly
  • Available in a variety of colors and patterns.

After seeing one of my posts about Smell Well, a friend texted me and asked, “Does it really work?”  I told her yes, it really does!  I will confess that I sweat a lot.  My feet sweat all the time, even in sandals!  I like that Smell Well doesn’t just cover up the smell, it eliminates it while absorbing the moisture!

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On Smell Well’s website, they have 7 ways to use Smell Well:

  1. Everyday shoes / work-boots
  2. In your training / gym bag
  3. In boxing gloves
  4. Sports / Fitness footwear
  5. In the car
  6. In Motorcycle Gear
  7. In the house

Here are some other possible uses:

  1. In your teenager’s bedroom
  2. In your child’s sports bag
  3. In your swim bag
  4. Near the litter box
  5. In your classroom (shout out to all my fellow teachers)

As stated previously, I’m excited to giveaway one package of Smell Well to one lucky person!  Enter the giveaway below:
Smell Well GIVEAWAY

*No purchase is necessary. Odds of winning are based on number of entries. Ends 07/07/17 at 11:59pm. Log back in to Raffle-copter daily for additional entries. Prize valued at $9.95.  Entries open to US residents 18 and older. Winner announced on Instagram stories and this blog post on 07/08/17.  (Congratulations to Katrina B.!)


Looking to buy your own packages of Smell Well?  Buy 3 for 2 using code BIBPRO10 on Amazon.  (Add three products to your cart, use the code BIBPRO10 at checkout, and the cost of the third package is deducted from your total.)

Still not convinced?  Check out the following video.

 

If you won a package of Smell Well, were would you place it?  Which do you think smells worse: your running shoes or your friend’s / spouse’s gym bag?

Until next time,
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Happy Global Running Day!

Yes, it’s true. Today is Global Running Day!  As a 5th grade teacher, I thought what better way to celebrate than with my students.  So, I went to globalrunningday.org, printed off bib templates, and all 70 fifth graders decorated their own #globalrunningday bib.   This wasn’t my first time celebrating with my 5th graders.  In fact, here’s a picture from last year’s Global Running Day.img_3419

And here is this year’s group picture.

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This year, instead of telling students how many laps they had to do, I instead set a time goal.  I told students that they were to run or walk for 20 minutes.  There were a few who tried whining and griping, but I quickly shared with them about the 94-year-old who just set a new half marathon record.   Needless to say, I didn’t hear any more griping.

I happily ran around the track in my “I run like a girl” shirt and Adidas Ultra Boost X shoes.  Happily, I gave encouragement as I passed each child.

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Going out to the track is nothing new with my students.  We regularly head outside for a quick lap around the track for a “brain break” in the middle of our school day.  The rule for the “brain break” lap is that the students have to stay in front of me.  (I walk the lap.)  Students will sprint ahead of me, walk, and then as I get closer to them, they’ll scream and sprint ahead again.  Throughout our 20 minute track session this morning, there were quite a few screams and statements such as, “How do you keep on running?”

I responded with, “It take dedication and practice.”

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How did you celebrate Global Running Day today?  If you didn’t celebrate this year, what do you plan on doing next year?

Until next time,

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