Why I Gave Up On My FitBit

 

After much love for my Fitbit Blaze, I decided it no longer met my needs. I’m actually sad about it. After the 408K race in San Jose, I checked my time, like every runner does and discovered that my pace was off by 0.7!! That was a big error margin. How did I know I was that off? Well, first my husband was running a different app on his phone and he ran by my side the entire race. Second, I started my watch at the same time he started his app, and third, the final chip results were better than what my app gave me. I was totally blown away.

When you are a runner, you depend on the accuracy of your watch to keep your training on track. While I have not tried some of the other running watches my friends own, I decided to make a new purchase. I opted for a Series 3 Apple Watch in pink!

We will see what I think of this watch. I’ll give it some time before I draw any conclusions.

IMG_7875

San Jose 408K 2018 Race Review

img_7783.jpg

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Jose 408K 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!

Expo
The address for the expo and bib pick-up was an address with no location landmarks, like for example, in front of the restaurant or next to, … Maybe for next year’s bib pick-up instructions, the organizers can be more specific. It was not easy to find where to go. Google Maps put me two blocks away with a lot of stores and restaurants in between. I didn’t have to wait in line for my bib. The bibs were handed out by number so you had to come prepared with your bib number. We received a few emails warning us of this, so it was not a surprise. There were two other tables that were promoting other Bay Area races and that was it for the expo.

IMG_7780

Swag
For the race entry fee, I received a technical short-sleeve shirt and a finishers medal at the end.

IMG_0676.jpg

Course

IMG_0555.jpg
The course was on pavement and flat the entire way. It was obvious where to go and there was always someone along the route making sure the runners stayed in the right lane. The route started at the SAP Center in Downtown San Jose and finished at Santana Row.

There was a sweat check provided by UPS. You could hand off your jackets and other items and the UPS employee would put a label on it with your bib number and hand it back to you at the end of the race. I was impressed with how many UPS trucks were present. There were also a lot of porta-potties at the beginning of the race. Along the race, I only saw two porta potties on two different stops.

temp.png

This race has two key mile marker events. One is Memorial Mile and the other is Mariachi Mile. Memorial Mile depends on Veterans to volunteer their time and come out and cheer on the runners. I thought I would see more Veterans present, but I only counted a mere 4. Mariachi Mile was towards the end of the course. There were several mariachi bands playing along that mile. It was great fun to see the different costumes, the various age groups of the performers, and of course, the wonderful music. It was a great photo opportunity. Where else do you get to run past mariachi bands?

img_0655.jpg

Aid Stations
The aid stations were weak. There were two along the 8K route and they only had water, no electrolytes, or snacks. Also at the beginning of the race Amazon had a booth with hot coffee, pastries, snacks, and fruit, but it was only for Amazon employees. The race itself had nothing other than water to offer runners to fuel up for the race.
I did see a blind runner being guided by a race volunteer. It warmed my heart to see that the organizers are providing opportunities for everyone.

IMG_0581.jpg

Atmosphere
It was a fun atmosphere. Many people were running with at least one other person, if not a whole group. It was a timed race, but I didn’t feel like its anything more than a fun run, where people could take their time and go as fast or as slow as they wanted.

Post-race
At the end of the race, the volunteers handing out the medals weren’t ready. I had to wait a few minutes for them to get more and walk over to where I was and hand me one. After the race, I walked over to the Lululemon store that was promoting that they had custom 408K merchandise on sale. I noticed as I was leaving that there was a group of Mexican dancers posing with runners and there was a long line to get your photo taken with them. I didn’t walk to the end of Santana Row, so I don’t know if there were any snacks at the end.

I met one of my Instagram followers, @dzny_girl. She was very nice. We had a nice little chat about runDisney and local races. I always invite my followers to run with me. Click on this link to see where I will be running next.

Parking tip: I parked at Santana Row early in the morning. I then took a Lyft ride to the SAP Center. This worked out well for us as our car was waiting for us at the finish line and we didn’t have to wait for the bus to take us back to downtown San Jose.

San Jose 408K Here I Come!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the San Jose 408K 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!

It’s the 7th Annual San Jose 408K and it’s the first time I’ve heard of it. This race will be my third race this year as a BibRavePro. Go team orange!

408 is our area code in case you are wondering what that’s about, and no it’s not a 408K in distance, it’s an 8K. An 8K is not a normal distance like a 5 or a 10K. This race has other special things as well. For example, it has a Mariachi Mile. At this mile marker, you will see and hear a live mariachi band performing. Talk about inspiring music!

img_6729.jpgThis race benefits the Pat Tillman Foundation. This foundation helps veterans and their spouses to become leaders in both the private and public sectors of our community.

Something else that makes the San Jose 408K a special race is that it honors Veterans. All active and former military are encouraged to attend and cheer on the racers as they run by. They call this Memorial Mile. Some veterans take pride in being there every year to represent and support others. Let’s see how many vets I can high-five on Sunday.

memorial-mile-2015-5-e1474578495432-1024x1024.jpg

Interested? Register here. Use code “BibRave” for a $10 off discount.

Product Review: UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes

Disclaimer: I received a pair of UA Horizon RTT Trail 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!

IMG_7378.jpg

My first trail shoes! The shoe box came with black and white shoelaces already laced on the shoes and an additional pair of matching light-blue laces. I liked the blue shoelaces more, so I quickly switched the laces. The color is subtle.

First thing I noticed from wearing the UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes was the grips on the soles of the shoes. Running up a steep hill or down a large incline, it’s hard to get traction with normal running shoes. I felt like this shoes allowed me to better grab onto the terrain, which in turn kept me from falling or hurting myself.

They do feel heavier than my normal running shoes, but then they are meant to be that way so that can endure rugged conditions. I first wore them when it was 48 degrees Fahrenheit outside. I wondered if my feet would get cold, and they didn’t.

IMG_7379.jpg

There’s a trail I like running on that is all dirt. When it rains it turns into a muddy mess. My UA Horizon RT Trail Shoes were able to help me through it. They were also easy to clean afterward because of the outer fabric of the shoes.

I wish I had these shoes when I did the Brazen New Year’s Day Half Marathon. 2,400 feet elevation gain at Lake Chabot would have been so much easier! The UA Horizon RTT Trail Shoes are perfect if you’re doing the Copper Mountain.

Any trail runners doing the Under Armour Mountain Series? Promo code BIBRAVE20 gets you 20% off the race series.

Keep All Your Racing Stats In One Place With Athlinks

Disclaimer: I reviewed Athlinks 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!”

After one of my races last year, I got an email asking me to claim my race results. I thought, what’s this? So, I clicked on it and it took me to the Athlinks website. Once there I created an account and to my surprise, Athlinks already had the results of several of my previous races. I did some weeding through the results as not all the results listed were mine. From what I can tell, when you run a chipped race the results automatically show up in Athlinks within a couple of days. Races that are not chipped will require you to upload your results manually.

Why would you want to use Athlinks?

  1. Well, I like that Athlinks keeps track of my personal record (PR) for each distance. I do a lot of races and I often forget what time I’m trying to beat. Athlinks keeps all this information together for me in one spot.
  2. It also shows me the upcoming races of my friends. It’s a reminder to cheer them on and encourage them to do their best.
  3. It’s free!
  4. If you’re really competitive, you can see who else is running the same race. If it’s a friend of yours, they will show up as a rival. Athlinks will keep track of your time and your friend’s time and keep a win or lose point system.  You can see that RunStrongRun, a fellow BibRavePro ran the Hot Chocolate 15K with me in San Francisco and I have 1 loss to her. By clicking on the arrow on the bottom right, I am able to see the next screen which contains the exact time difference.I’ll undoubtedly have other races this year with RunStrongRun and I always reference back to our wins and losses by logging into Athlinks. She’s a better runner than I am, so it will probably mean more losses for me, but that’s okay.

Race Review: Sedona Marathon

IMG_9903

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Sedona Marathon 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!”

Expo
The expo was in a big open location under a tent. I appreciated that it was open until 8 pm on Friday before the race, however, it would have been nice to know ahead of time that you can pick-up your bib on race day. I flew in on Friday and almost didn’t make it to the pick-up. A stressful experience that could have been easily avoided.

There were a handful of vendors selling everything from Sedona socks and t-shirts to runner specific gear like recovery sandals and hydration packs.

IMG_7108

Swag
Swag included a t-shirt, bib, and finishers medal. I learned that the medal we received is actually part of a 4 piece set. So, I will definitely need to come next year to claim the next piece of the puzzle.
Course

The 10K course was not too hard. There were some hills, but they were doable. I just made a point to go faster downhill and take my time going uphill. The course was on a paved road the entire time.

Sedona is at a high elevation, so the air is thin with no humidity. I actually got very dehydrated after the race. I know now to drink more water. The scenery is the best part, it’s breathtaking! I kept looking around as I ran and being amazed.

Aid Stations
I felt like there were plenty of aid stations throughout the course with both electrolytes and regular water. There were also many volunteers along the race cheering runners on with both handmade signs and cowbells.

There were a lot of portapotties. No long lines waiting to use the restroom, like in other races!

IMG_9748

Atmosphere
Everyone was so nice! It was a friendly environment. Many tourists came in that weekend just for the race. The locals were very kind and welcoming.

IMG_7126

Friends

I met up with two other fellow BibRave Pros, @rundeweyrun and @azsungoddess. Dewey did the full marathon, Emily did the half, and I did the 10K. BibRave was well represented that day. It’s always nice to meet and connect with Pros in-person.

IMG_7128

Post-race
There was a beer garden available. I’m not a beer drinker, but there were many people enjoying having a cold beer after the race. There were vendor food trucks available, for those that had worked up an appetite. Some food options that I saw available were pizza, loaded fries, and pork sandwiches.

After the race was done there was plenty to do, since Sedona has been rated as one of the top 10 most beautiful locations in the U.S. There’s a lot of opportunities for sightseeing before or after the race and even if you don’t have the time for that, you will love just looking around at the beautiful red rocks that surround the town.

Run-cation

I made this race a weekend trip. I flew with Jim and Chiquita, our 4-year-old chihuahua to Phoenix. We then rented a car and drove to Sedona. We stayed at the Sedona Rouge, which is a pet-friendly hotel.  There was a potty area for her right outside our room, which was very convenient. Chiquita stayed in the room during the race but was otherwise with us. The stores and some restaurants in town were pet-friendly, so it made it easy for all of us to walk around town.

IMG_7208

Chiquita has her own Instagram account. Click here to take a look.

 

Be A Safe Runner With Brilliant Reflective, Plus Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective 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!

BibRave is celebrating Safety Month and our friends at Brilliant Reflective have authorized me to give 1 lucky winner a pack of both their iron-on and stick-on strips. Open to U.S. residents only.

Some of the best safety tips will be shared on social, so stay tuned!

Code ” BRP25″ saves 25% off of all Multi/Assortment Packs.

How to Apply Brilliant Reflective Strips

Brilliant Reflective Giveaway