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!

Race Recap: Utah Valley Marathon

This was my first time running in Utah and therefore was my first time running the Utah Valley Marathon. “Why did you pick this out-of-state race?” you may be asking. Well, I entered Michelle’s giveaway on her blog runningwithattitude.com and I won! After finding a $170 roundtrip flight to Utah, I was in!

I knew that it would be tight squeeze to catch my flight on Friday since this day also happened to be the last day of school.  Fortunately, students were dismissed at noon which gave me the time I needed to make my 1:50pm flight.  I, in fact, had enough time at the airport to enjoy a mushroom pizza and finish my final assignment for an online class I was taking through UC San Diego extension. (Does anyone else take a picture of where they have parked their car so they won’t forget?)

My flight to Utah was short, sweet, and uneventful.  Since it was such a short trip, I had just a carry on and my purse.  This allowed for quick exit once I arrived to Salt Lake City.  I picked up my rental car and made my way to the Utah Valley Marathon expo.  Sadly, my rental car smelled so strongly of cigarette smoke, that I had to stop and purchase an air freshener to help mask the stench.

Due to traffic, it took me a little over an hour to get to the Utah Valley Marathon expo in downtown Provo.  Once I arrived to the Utah Valley Convention Center, it was easy to locate the expo and pick up my bib & race packet.  This was the Utah Valley Marathon’s 10th anniversary and because of that each participant received a race jacket instead of a Tshirt. I still wanted a Tshirt to go along with my jacket, so I bought one at the expo. Speaking of the expo, it was organized, well stocked with great vendors, and had a great line up of speakers!

After leaving the expo, I enjoyed the views surrounding Provo, found a local vegan Mexican restaurant, and checked into my hotel.  My hotel wasn’t anything to rave about, but what do I expect when I book one of the cheapest hotels I can find?  The room looked as though it hadn’t been cleaned (there was still a towel hanging up in the bathroom) and the room felt as though it was 90 degrees!  I ran the window air conditioning unit all night, but it seemed to have little effect on the overall temperature of the room.

I could not get over how majestic the surrounding mountains looked!  I too live fairly close to the mountains in the Sacramento Valley, but not quite as close as Provo’s mountains. As I looked at the mountains I had the revelation, “I’m going to be running those mountains!”

I laid out my race gear, a pre-race routine, and tried to get some sleep since I knew my alarm was set for 2:30am. Yikes!

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The Utah Valley Marathon is a point to point course. Participants load up on buses that take them to the starting line. The bus service begins at 3am and the last bus leaves at 4:15am. I ended up getting on a bus at about 3:30am. I packed up all of my stuff and checked out of the hotel at about 3:15am.  As I took the following picture, my thought was, “Wow!  It’s early!”

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It took about 45 minutes to arrive to the starting line. Once at the starting line, I was delighted to see fire pits in an open field to huddle around to stay warm. There were probably a total of 20 fire pits scattered around an open field and there were volunteers who walked around to make sure everyone’s fires were still lit.


If you’re thinking about doing the Utah Valley Marathon, I recommend taking something warm to wear and/or wrap yourself in at the starting line to help you stay warm. I took a blanket with me to the starting line and was glad I did. At about 15 minutes until the race started, I shoved my blanket in my drop bag and handed it over to a race volunteer. (Yes, it was 48 degrees when I arrived to the starting line at 4:16am and it dropped to 39 degrees at 5:36am when the sun starting rising!)


Before I knew it, it was time for the race to start.  I lined up near the 5:30 fellow Beast Pacer because I knew that with the elevation lack of training, I’d be running pretty slow.  I, however, had no idea how slow I’d actually be going.  Right from the start my stomach didn’t feel right and I was having difficult catching my breath.  I checked my heart-rate on my Garmin Forerunner 235 and it wasn’t too terribly high.  I just couldn’t catch my breath.  At mile 4, I stopped to use the restroom, and again at mile 7, and again at mile 13.  I didn’t mind, however, because I was there to enjoy the views and have fun!

As for the course, it was probably one of the most scenic races I’ve ever ran! Bodies of water (including a waterfall), greenery, mountains, rock faces, etc. With such a wide variety of views, there’s bound to be an elevation change! The race started about about 6,200 ft. and ended at about 4,200 ft. My home is located at 60 ft. above sea level. To say that I was not trained to be running at elevation would be an understatement. Next time, I will train more and get some training in at a higher elevation.


Throughout the course, there were plenty of porta-potties, Cliff gels, water, Powerade, and enthusiastic volunteers. There were even frozen Otter Pops at about mile 24. That was the best tasting Otter Pop EVER!

One of many highlights of the course was meeting fellow Pro Compression ambassadors Stephanie and Holly at one of the final aid stations.  All three of us were wearing the June sock of the month.

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The Utah Valley Marathon’s finish line was one of the best I’ve seen. It was in the middle of University Ave., there were many people cheering, and there were Jamba Juice smoothies waiting for us once we crossed the finish line!  Fortunately, I had some cash in my Nathan hydration bottle because there were cinnamon rolls for sale at the finish line. #irunforcinnamonrolls


Overall, I’d highly recommend the Utah Valley Marathon. Hmm… I may even have to go back and run the race again sometime.  This race was extra special to me, as I mentioned on my Instagram post because it is the end of my running for a while. I’ll still be moving my body and exercising, but I’ve been ordered to not participate in any high impact workouts until further notice. The #utahvalleymarathon was my third full marathon for 2017 and my 15th lifetime marathon. It was an amazing, sole-filling, whirlwind of a weekend, but so worth it!

Do you have any upcoming races that you’re excited about?  If you’re looking for a race to sign up for, be sure to check out my discount page for codes to use for Rock ‘n’ Roll races, wine country half marathons, Rock ‘n’ Roll races, and more!

Check out my Utah Valley Marathon race review and others at BibRave.com

Find me on the socials: InstagramTwitter / Facebook / YouTube 

Be sure to “subscribe” to my YouTube channel so that you don’t miss out!

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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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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