San Diego Hot Chocolate 15k – A Review

Disclaimer: I received an entry into the SD Hot Chocolate Race 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!

Me and fellow BibRave Pro Jenny pre race!

 

This year was my first time running a Hot Chocolate Race! It was the San Diego Hot Chocolate 15k. With my recent goal of training for a new 5k pr put on hold (ankle issues) I haven’t been running as much as I would like. And I definitely haven’t been training to race a 15k (9.3 miles). AND I for sure haven’t been training to do a hilly 15k. With all that being said, I was still up for the challenge. The race started at 7:40am, and my wave didn’t start until about 8:00am. Call me an early riser but I thought that was really late to be starting a race.

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There were 2 distances for this race – 5k and 15k. Obviously still being new to the SD area and this being only the 2nd race I have done in the City I chose the 15k. I want to experience as much of SD on my runs as possible. The funny thing is, that much of this race was in my area of North Park. We started Downtown SD, ran up to North Park, through Balboa a bit and back down into the city. It was such a challenge! None of the hills were particularly steep, but they were long. Mile 6 was downhill which was a nice break at that point, but then around mile 7 was more uphill. It was at that point I swallowed my pride and walked. I always hate when I have to walk at a race, but with the lack of training I had I was actually okay with it this time. I knew I wasn’t going to be fast this day. With that being said I still finished in 1:26:30. I have the hills to thank for that.

SD Hot Chocolate 15k

 I think a lot of people sign up for this race for the perks. Which include:

  • A sweater (pictured above)
  • Chocolate & goodies – pretzels, banana, marshmallows…to dip in the chocolate. It was good!
  • Free pictures. Although, I only found 1 picture of me and it wasn’t crossing the finish. Weird, I swear I had photos of the finish. The photographers were at the finish line and around the corner from the finish. I think they should have been else where along the course too.
  • Cool medal

As long as I have my bf to get pictures of my race every thing is good! He is still the best photographer, in my opinion 😉

This was a great race because of the challenge of it. There were a lot of runners, just over 5,000. I think races like this bring a lot of new runners out. Which is awesome! I am always down for people finding their love of running like I have. My only problem with this kind of race is (and this is just my assumption) I think people don’t know race/running etiquette. If you’re new, how would you know that?? I think it would be great for races to include those kinds of things in their participant emails or even have it on the website. This is not my attempt to be a bitch or act like I am the best runner out there (I think we know that is NOT the case 🙂 ) but it really is for safety. I had a few people stop right in front of me while running. One I ran into the other I was able to run around. It may not seem like a big deal but I could have knocked us to the ground and caused a huge pile up of runners. If you are slow, or need to stop make sure you move to the right of the course. There is my public announcement for the day!

Overall I had a good experience. I would recommend this race to anyone looking for good chocolate and a good time. And a hilly challenge.

You can read my SD Hot Chocolate review, and all my race reviews on BibRave.

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Obligatory picture of my cat with the medal. That is the, “what the hell, I was sleeping” look.



 

 

 

On-Running Cloudsurfer – A Review

Disclaimer: I received the On-Running Cloudsurfer shoes 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!

 I’ve been seeing and hearing a lot about a new(ish) running shoe company recently,  On-Running. I am always interested in learning about running shoes & these have an interesting concept about them, but first the specs:

Runner Profile: All types of runners looking for a cushioned yet highly responsive training and competition shoe.

Goal: Increase performance, train and compete

Category: Neutral

Heel toe offset: 7mm | 0.28 in

Weight: 8.5oz (US W

These shoes are designed with a technology they call ‘CloudTec‘ . The ‘highly adaptive rubber elements’ cushion your landing. CloudTec helps you land softly but push off hard for a powerful takeoff. The rubber at the bottom of the shoes, the ‘Clouds’ act as stability balls and are designed to help you activate your postural muscles and stabilize your foot strike. The goal of these shoes is to help you move freely and run naturally as if you’re barefoot. As a runner, that all sounds great! But when put to the test, do they deliver?

The first thing I thought of when I first put on the Cloudsurfers was I felt like I was wearing cleats. The rubber bottoms aren’t as soft and springy as I thought they would be during my regular run. My first run in the Cloudsurfer’s I ran an easy few miles with some strides at the end. While running strides, I could feel more of the springy-ness, they seemed more responsive. I think these would be good shoes for speed work, maybe even running stairs/hill repeats.

Verdict: not for me. It is possible I wasn’t able to break the shoes in because I was only able to wear them for about 3 or 4 runs. Reason being, I have been dealing with an ankle injury since last year. With my recent increase in mileage my ankle has been hurting again and every time I ran in these shoes my ankle became very painful.  On one hand I kinda feel like I wasn’t able to give these shoes a fair try, but on the other hand, in the past when I find shoes I like I know it after the first run. Unfortunately, this shoe didn’t work out for me, but my fellow BibRave Pros Sarah and Angie loved them. Here are their reviews:

Sweet Blondes Fit Life

Angie Runs

Pros: comfortable fit, breathable, good for speed work or stair/hill repeats.

Cons: a little heavier than I would prefer, not as responsive during regular runs.

 

2XU VECTR Sock and Performance Run Calf Sleeve – A Review

Disclaimer: I received the 2XU VECTR sock and Performance Run calf sleeve 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!

If you have read any of my previous 2XU reviews then you know I am a huge fan of their products. The Racing Vectr Sock and the Compression Performance Run Sleeves don’t disappoint.

These will now be my go-to racing socks. They have a cushioned heel and forefoot for support, and have 2XU’s “X:Blend fiber formula” for breathable & supportive socks. The VECTR Socks stay in place while running, and leave my feet blister free.  Read there product details info from their website here:

“Engineered for faster performance than ever before, this impressiveRace VECTR Sock is designed with 2XU’s X:LOCK support system powered by 2XU’s Compression technology for a secure, ergonomic fit to the foot and stabilization of the ankle and arch. Delivering maximum abrasion protection, extra heel and forefoot cushioning, dry mesh panels for ventilation plus a linked toe cage for comfort, theRace VECTR Sock is ideal for racing and training alike.”
The other product that came along with the socks is the Performance Run Calf Sleeve. This is the first pair of calf sleeves I have ever tried. I usually do socks but wanted to see what sleeves would be like, and if I ran in them I wanted to be able to choose my own sock if I wanted. My only issue with the sleeves is that they are a little too big. In the left picture here I have them scrunched down. In the right picture I have the left one pulled up how they are supposed to be. You can see that they are long for my stumpy legs, despite ordering the extra small. However, this is not really even an issues with me. They are still comfortable, they stay in place when I run (huge plus) and they help with recovery of my tired muscles.

Read the product details of the calf sleeve here:

“The 2XU Compression Performance Run Sleeves feature zoned breathability panels for maximum airflow and comfort. Seamless, graduated compression zones for increased blood flow and maximum muscle containment for increased performance and enhanced recovery times.

  • Graduated compression to promote increased circulation for recovery
  • Highest power denier targeted support to calf + shins
  • Reduced fatigue in lower legs through less muscle oscillation
  • Reduced muscle soreness
  • Greater power output”

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I am not a big fan of running with compression sleeves.  They make me hot, and I feel like I run slower. But I think it is mostly in my head because looking at my pace when I am wearing the sleeves vs when I am not, the pace is basically the same. That being said, these were comfortable, breathable and did not slip when running.

I also like the sleeves  and socks when strength training. I usually run before my strength training sessions so wearing the sleeves while lifting helps with recovery after my run, and helps me when I am deadlifting to not scratch up my legsies. I like dual purpose products 😉

I would definitely recommend the 2XU calf sleeves and Vectr socks. Thanks 2XU and BibRave for the opportunity to try them out! If you would like to get your hands on some great compression gear go to 2XU’s website and use code TRAIN15 for 15% off your order. Good until April 30th.

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Join My Challenge

We are pretty fond of challenges, aren’t we? And that can be a good thing. We should challenge ourselves, experience things, learn and grow. I am all for that. What I am not for is the idea that some how a challenge to your “perfect body”or “bikini body” is something worth working towards. Weight loss challenges need to stop. I have seen first hand how these kinds of challenges are bs.

When I decided I wanted to become a coach/trainer I was an “apprentice” for a local gym (in quotes because an apprentice is someone who learns a skill from a master of that trade. I didn’t learn shit, and these people weren’t masters of the trade of movement). I learned of a weight loss challenge they had, with a very restrictive diet, and an incentive to get the money back that you paid if you loose a certain amount of weight. Now, I didn’t know much about training at this point but I knew this wasn’t for me and I soon left. I could’t stand behind a program that promoted your worth based on the weight you lost.

Of course they will tell you it is to get healthy, feel better about yourself, to become empowered. But what do you do after that challenge? 1 week, 2 weeks, 30 days…okay you’re challenge is done, now what? Do you go back to your bad nutrition choices, stop with the workouts, and back to your old routine and wait for the next challenge to come around? What did you learn from this challenge, what new abilities did you gain?

I saw this picture recenlty and I was pissed. I don’t need a man, yes, this post was from a man, to empower me to do anything. Let alone anything to do with my body. Along with this picture was how to get a “sexy & stunning body”. This is where we go wrong.

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What is an ideal body? To me, an ideal body is a body that is capable of day to day activities with out getting injured. An ideal body, to me, is capable of running marathons, hiking mountains, swimming in oceans. I try not to let my idea of my ideal body be based on looks. Of course, living in the culture that we do, I can’t help but focus on how I look at times. I used to wish I was skinny, now sometimes I wish I was more muscular or stronger. Sometimes I think I look stumpy and I hate it. But I  realize these thoughts make me so unhappy that they are not worth my mental time. Instead, I continue to focus on my training and celebrate my little victories as they come – I can lift my bike off the bike rack, I can get my 80lb bag off the baggage claim, a new running PR…None of this is meant to put anyone down, I write this in hopes that people will start to think differently about why we do what we do as humans. What benefits do you gain by focusing so much on your weight? Compare that to the benefits you would gain by focusing on your abilities, your strength, trying new things, learning about yourself. Which would bring you more fulfillment, more purpose?

So all of my ranting brings me to this: I challenge you to be a capable human for the rest of your life. I challenge you to find a bunch of different movements you love (there are so many ways to be active!), eat well because you care about yourself, and I challenge you to be happy when you look in the mirror. You won’t win any money or prizes but you will gain a new perspective. And yes, this will take the rest of your life. There is no quick fix to anything worth having. Above all, don’t take for granted all that your body is capable of, because as I always say, there are others who do not have the abilities that so many of us take for granted.

 

Run For Those Who Can’t

Recently I was offered an amazing opportunity – I was offered a coaching position with the  Muscular Dystrophy Association‘s Team Momentum. Team Momentum is MDA’s running program/running team. They run races all over the country and San Diego is one of their new locations! We are training to run the San Diego Rock ‘N’ Roll Marathon/Half Marathon.

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I am so honored to be apart of Team Momentum. My running journey began in 2011, and there were 2 reasons I started. The main reason I started, why I continue to run and why I love it so much is because I am able to do it! Some runs are harder than others, but I am so, so fortunate to be able to call myself a runner. This fits in perfectly with the mission of the MDA and Team Momentum. We are literally running for those who can’t. Words can’t express how much it means to me to be coaching runners who are devoting their time to this cause. It has always been a goal of mine to promote running, get others to start running and fall in love with it like I have.

If you are not familiar with muscular diseases, you can read about them here. “Muscular dystrophy, ALS and related muscle-debilitating diseases take away physical strength, independence and life. Find out who gets these diseases, what causes them, what the symptoms and life expectancy are for people affected by them, and how MDA research is leading the way to treatments and cures.” – mda.org

There are many benefits of running with Team Momentum, here is a list of some of them:

  • Membership in the best nationwide endurance program dedicated to supporting the fight for muscle health
  • World-class customized Half or Full Marathon training for all levels and abilities
  • A community of support from your teammates, volunteers, coaches and mentors
  • Invitations to exclusive social events
  • Exclusive MDA Team Momentum training and racing gear
  • Race-weekend VIP amenities, such as access to an MDA Team Momentum tent, gear check, private changing areas, facilities, cheer teams to inspire you, and more
  • Easy-to-use online tools to make your fundraising easy, fun and successful
  • A personalized fundraising Web page
  • The opportunity to honor or remember a loved one affected by muscle disease

Finally, I want to say this is a great program for every one. New runners to experienced runners. If you have thought about starting running, this is a great way to start! You are getting everything you need to train for and run a successful race. Be thankful for what you have, your ability to be free, move and run! If you are interested in joining our San Diego Team you can register here.