Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Climbing Mental Mountains | Orange Mud Gear Vest Review

Disclaimer: I received the Orange Mud Gear Vest 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!

Last week I climbed a huge mental mountain in marathon training. The 20-miler. Is it really that big of a deal? My mind sure works it up to be. My last marathon training cycle was back in 2016 and now, at 5 months postpartum, my mind was questioning whether I could really do this again.

On Saturday morning, I hung out with the kids for a while before the wild rumpus that is daddy + sons time was about to begin. I loaded my Orange Mud gear vest with two gels, my phone and filled the 1 liter hydration pack.

As a BibRave Pro, I received the Orange Mud Gear Vest to review. I have ran with a hydration pack before but this has been my first ever Orange Mud product. What I love about running with this vest is the freedom to vary my running route without stopping by home for water or more gels.

After loading up in the morning, I'm ready to hit the road for a couple hours!


The vest without the bladder is lightweight at only 8.9oz and, even with the 1L (35oz) bladder full, I hardly notice the weight while running. Compared to wearing our 19-lb 5 month old in the baby carrier, this gear vest is light as a feather!

Front buckle closures are easily adjustable width-wise and adjust vertically on sliders as well. With past hydration packs, they bounced around when the bladder was full but that is not the case with the Orange Mud Gear Vest.

When the straps are adjusted correctly, this gear vest is just the right amount of snug, while staying breathable, and feels like "part of you" on the run.


In the above diagram, see that the hose comes extra long so you can trim it to your own custom length. That is something I love about this gear vest! I trimmed about 4" off my house and then I tuck it under the side straps, eliminating any annoying bouncing.

And did I forget to mention the whistle? The top buckle has a built-in whistle!


Along with the 1 Liter bladder, the Orange Mud Gear Vest has plenty of room for hauling your other running essentials. The two large front pockets can fit a 600 ml flask or a plus sized phone. In front of the large pocket, there is a smaller pocket to store your trash in and two extra pockets are on the shoulders to hold nutrition. This vest is loaded with pockets!

On my 20-miler last weekend, I took off layers as the morning warmed up and wrapped them in the shock cord on the back of this vest. My gloves easily stuffed into the rear bladder compartment.


I will definitely be taking this gear vest on all of my long runs this year and I may look into purchasing Orange Mud's 600 ml flask for extra hydration over the hot, humid summer. I have been so impressed by this product!

The Orange Mud Gear Vest retails for $109.95 and is available in black/orange, black/green and white. Take 15% off your Orange Mud order with discount code "BRGV15" and stop by #BibChat at 8 pm CT on May 1st for a chance to win your own OM gear!



#Gmas18 Training W9 Recap

Follow along the 16-week journey as I train for my 10th 26.2, the Grandma’s Marathon coming up on June 16, 2018. I look forward to running with fellow BibRave Pros Angie, Amy and Jenn!

MONDAY: 

Off. I'm switching around the week to make this my off day again instead of Sunday.

TUESDAY: 

Easy Effort 6.52 mi, 01:02 @ 09:29 pace feeling tired but overall pretty good. Motivation to leave my cozy warm bed was about zero... then I remembered running on the treadmill and got out of bed instead. Core routine following run (1:00 side plank with 10 leg lifts x 2, :30 side plank with 5 leg lifts x 2).

WEDNESDAY: 

(Treadmill) Easy Effort 5 mi, 00:48 @ 09:41 pace because the morning run just isn't going to work three days in a row for now. Baby is an early bird and I don't think my husband wants to be up at 5:30 with him those mornings! (He goes back to sleep for me but is extra stubborn for dad... Core routine following run.

THURSDAY

Yasso 800’s x 7, 7.19 mi, 01:00. This was supposed to be 8 intervals but I pushed the wrong button on my watch... Oh well. My 6:30 am “baby timer” was going off soon anyway so I had to get home! Intervals @ 3:44, 3:54, 3:57, 3:55, 4:02, 3:54, 3:43 ---> A good starting place but it's time to kick the speed training into gear.

FRIDAY:

Off

SATURDAY:

Easy Effort with double stroller 4.39 mi 00:41 09:24 pace. I took the two littler ones out for a ride while big bro and dad did yard work. I don’t think double stroller and “easy” should be in the same sentence! The headwind home felt HARD. P.S. Baby’s first stroller run!

SUNDAY:

(Treadmill) Long Run 7 mi, 01:00 @ 08:34 pace gone wrong starting with running indoors this afternoon due to the 40+ mph wind. After church we went out to lunch to celebrate my husband’s official discharge from the army (woop!) and let’s just say the cheeseburger + sweet potato fries was a bad choice. I felt like a beached whale in the treadmill and cut the run short. I’m ready to start a new week!

TOTAL MILEAGE: 30.10 miles 


What fueling techniques do you use for your farthest run/bike/etc?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

#Gmas18 Marathon Training: Month Two Update

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Grandma's Marathon 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!

8 weeks down, 8 weeks to go in training for the Grandma's Marathon! 

First off. How was that for an EPIC Boston Marathon?! Des Linden pulled off a difficult yet amazing victory in the cold, wind and rain. I love her humble and genuine heart. Her tweet below applies so much to life as well as the marathon. I took a screenshot and pretty sure I'm printing it off and taping it on the treadmill.

Every day, with the strength only God can give, I will keep showing up!


Amongst the cold and flu bugs working their way through our family, I managed to have a doctor appointment for myself. Just a regular ole physical, nothing fancy, but I was so pumped to learn that my new doctor is running Grandma's Marathon, too - for her fourth time. She was amazing to visit with and so encouraging. I wish I would have had her for my first son's pregnancy!

We talked about how running is not bad for your knees. Running during pregnancy is actually good for baby and mama (for regular runners). And I really need to start wearing sunscreen more often... I'll get on that.

For the past 5 full marathons and all half marathons I have been either breastfeeding or (unknowingly) pregnant and my doctor gave me peace of mind as far as diastasis recti (gap in abdominal muscles after pregnancy) and pelvic floor strength.

I want to make sure I’m healed after each baby to have a strong foundation and build from there; whether it’s to be my best for daily tasks as a wife/mom, running or future pregnancy. It’s so helpful to have a doctor who understands runner things!


The past 8 weeks have flown by (not to mention my baby is 5 months old...time slow down) and training for Grandma’s has really been fun! As always, the training runs can be a challenge to fit in but I enjoy the challenge.

With 20-miler #1 under my belt now, I feel like I crossed a mental barrier and I’m really going to do this marathon thing again!

#Gmas18 Training W8 Recap

Follow along the 16-week journey as I train for my 10th 26.2, the Grandma’s Marathon coming up on June 16, 2018. I look forward to running with fellow BibRave Pros Angie, Amy and Jenn!

MONDAY: 

Easy Effort 5 mi, 00:48 @ 09:40 pace with side planks + leg raises after. Frustratingly that right knee has still been bugging me on and off and now I’m wondering if weak quads and hips are to blame. I’m going that route and working on strength! The knee felt great today, so maybe the planks are already paying off. Core strength routine after run (side planks + leg lifts).

TUESDAY: 

Off. Today was supposed to be an early morning run but I skipped it due to the hubs not feeling well. He needed more sleep and I didn't have the heart to leave him with the baby, who tends to be an early bird (like his mama).

WEDNESDAY: 

“Goal Pace” 7.37 mi, 01:00 @ 08:08 pace run early this morning. It wasn’t my marathon goal pace, per say, or 1:30 like the plan requested BUT it was the best I could do today. Personally I’m okay with how it went! I could have kept going but my baby timer went off ;) Core routine post-run.

THURSDAY

(Treadmill) Easy Effort 5.12 mi, 00:45 @ 08:47 pace + core routine on this beautiful morning... Hubs still isn’t feeling well so I didn’t leave him with the baby. Thankfully we played outside a bunch today!

FRIDAY:

Off

SATURDAY:

Long Run 20.02 mi, 02:51 @ 08:32 pace and the first 20-miler I’ve ran since 2016! The time and miles flew by fast today (goal was sub-9 pace) I plan to run one or two more 20-milers before race day. The key is I need to fit them in whenever my hubs isn’t working on the weekend. Today worked great! The core routine is paying off because I had zero issues with runner’s knee. Praise the Lord!


SUNDAY:

Easy Effort + core routine.


TOTAL MILEAGE: 



What are your thoughts on Boston 2018?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Solving the Pocketless Problem | FlipBelt Crops Review

Disclaimer: I received FlipBelt Crops 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!

April is here. Is it time to bust out the shorts? Nah, not yet! I have been able to wear a little less layering than over the winter though. That's been a refreshing change.

Eventually, when we really do get into the warmer temps, I lose my outer layers and there goes my pockets with them! On the run it's basically where I cram everything. My phone, gels, iPod shuffle.

Thinking forward to Grandma's Marathon in June, I was trying to figure out how I will carry my phone and gels on race day. I have stuffed them in my sports bra for past marathons but really that's not the most comfortable and can lead to some unusual chafing. (no kidding)

FlipBelt Crops + Compression Socks so I can wear them on chilly days too!

Then a lovely solution arrived in my mailbox two weeks ago.

As a BibRave Pro, I received FlipBelt Cropsthe mid-rise leggings that offer pockets to your little heart's content. Hop on over to watch my initial review and first ever YouTube video here. Improving my YouTube product intro skills is a goal of mine for 2018. It's about baby steps, people ;)


The FlipBelt crops feature a rear zipper pocket, a large front phone pocket with two openings and an internal key ring. The 76% Polyester 24% Spandex blend material is very comfy and I have worn mine for training runs, cross training and for non-running days as well. I pretty much could wear them every day, all day!

On the run, my phone (an iPhone SE) easily fits in the front pocket with the OtterBox case still on it. According to other BibRave Pros, the larger phones fit in the front pocket without any issues. Just a side-note, the pockets are not waterproof so keep that in mind for long, sweaty runs with your phone. Personally I put mine in a sandwich bag and then into the pocket to prevent moisture (a.k.a. sweat) from getting into my phone.

Along with my phone in the front pocket, I carry a couple gels and I tried out the key ring just for fun (I don't usually bring a key with on training runs). The internal key ring and back zipper pocket will be especially handy on race day to carry vehicle keys and any emergency $$$ or ID necessary. I thought the key would flop around while running but the point is to hook your key and then tuck it in the pocket, making it extra secure.


The length of the crops is very comfortable, coming to about halfway down the lower leg at my 5'8" height (or 5'7 3/4", if you ask my dad... ;). Depending on each runner's leg length, the crops will appear a little longer or shorter. Personally, this length is just right for me.

My Final Thoughts

Overall, I really enjoy my FlipBelt Crops! They are more expensive than running bottoms I have bought in the past, at $89.00 MSRP, but I do believe the product quality is higher at that price. According to the FlipBelt website, they offer easy exchanges for size or color changes within 30 days and products have a 1 year warranty.

I see the FlipBelt Crops carrying me through many training runs, race days and just everyday "normal" days, too!

Take advantage of this great deal: Use code "BIBRAVE" for 25% off FlipBelt Crops.


#Gmas18 Training W7 Recap

Follow along the 16-week journey as I train for my 10th 26.2, the Grandma’s Marathon coming up on June 16, 2018. I look forward to running with fellow BibRave Pros Angie, Amy and Jenn!

MONDAY: 

Easy Run 7.01 mi, 01:07 @ 09:33 pace out this morning and I actually got to watch the sun rise!!!! The morning was still chilly but, wow, a nice sunrise is encouraging. Spring will come. Some day.


TUESDAY: 

This ended up being a loaded day with appointments and errands out of town and then wrestling practice in a neighboring town that night. I chose to skip the run and rest instead, hoping to ward off getting too run down on this mileage cut-back week.

WEDNESDAY: 

Fartlek Run 6.79 mi, 00:58 @ 08:35 avg pace that was originally supposed to be speed intervals. I goofed something on my watch and the intervals never started. This is a “down week” in the training plan and I’m taking full advantage of it. Lower mileage and shorter long run for this week before more building.

THURSDAY

Cross training included cleaning up puke and then puking myself... then being up with the 2-year-old that night when it was his turn. I'm thankful my mom was able to help with the clean up process and I feel terrible that we brought this "gift" of the stomach flu with us to my parents' place. Uffda.

FRIDAY:

Recovering from the flu... Better but exhausted and aching all over.

SATURDAY:

6.2 mi, 00:54 @ 08:40 avg pace instead of a Long Run due to our stomach flu fiesta. I felt pretty good today but am still gaining back strength. I’m SO glad to be done with that mess!

SUNDAY:

Off

TOTAL MILEAGE: 20 miles


How do you haul your necessities on race day?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.

Friday, April 6, 2018

Brrr, It's Cold in Here + GODSPEED Review

Disclaimer: I received a sneak peek of the upcoming documentary GODSPEED 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!

Hey, all! Straight out of the gate, Spring 2018 has been a cold one. I just listened to the weather and apparently we're at near record lows. That seems to be the trend for many of my fellow midwest runners.

This morning the -17°F "real feel" easily persuaded me to pursue the treadmill and with little complaint. Being drenched in sweat feels much nicer than freezing my face off! But, in all seriousness, the treadmill has been one of the most useful tools as a mother runner.


When training for spring marathons in the past, I have told myself that those freezing cold runs will make me all the stronger for race day. It's a nice thought but, honestly, the cold weather training is really not that helpful. Many spring marathons I have ran end up being HOT and HUMID... leaving me flopping like a fish out of water. (What should I do, train in a sauna over the winter?!)

Anyways, on the topic of my weather ramblings, imagine the varying conditions you would run into covering 3,000 miles in The Race Across America. Crossing 12 states and competing 24 hours a day for seven days through deserts, mountains and plains. I can't imagine how they trained to prepare for all of the terrain and weather variables!


As a BibRave Pro, I received a sneak peek viewing of the upcoming documentary GODSPEED that follows two men, Jerry Schemmel and Brad Cooper, along with their support crew on this wild ride from the Pacific to the Atlantic Ocean. Not only is The Race Across America a cross-country adventure, it is also, as the name notes, a race against other 2-person and 4-person teams.


I was inspired by Team Enduring Hope's humble hearts, their absolute perseverance through physical and mental trials, and their dependence on their faith in God. Schemmel, Cooper and their team embarked on this amazing endeavor to raise money for orphans in Haiti.

Do they complete the journey? And how do they fare against the competition?

That's for me to know and you to find out when GODSPEED hits theaters on May 22! Mark it on your calendars and get your tickets now, endurance junkies.

I'm certainly not a biker yet I couldn't resist this amazing story of faith and endurance. For those of you with littles, the documentary is PG :) My kiddos watched the "cool biker guys" for the first 30 minutes... before attention spans wore thin.


#Gmas18 Training W6 Recap

Follow along the 16-week journey as I train for my 10th 26.2, the Grandma’s Marathon coming up on June 16, 2018. I look forward to running with fellow BibRave Pros Angie, Amy and Jenn!

MONDAY: 

Extra Recovery Day. Runner’s Yoga with Elkhart Yoga on YouTube to help with right knee issue. Feels like symptoms of Runner’s Knee coming on... and another cold too (baby has one 😩). I’m guessing the knee issue is from running all on pavement for the long run instead of gravel+pavement and my pink Scott running shoes need to be retired. That’s my hunch and I hope it’s right! Back to running tomorrow.

TUESDAY: 

(Treadmill) Easy Effort 4.13 mi, 00:40 @ 09:41 pace in my Adidas UltraBoost X shoes... not the old(er) Scott shoes I wore for the long run on Saturday!!! The symptoms of Runner’s Knee are gone now and cold symptoms aren’t as bad as yesterday. On the mend!

WEDNESDAY: 

(Treadmill) Speed Intervals 5.38 mi, 00:45 @ 08:21 pace this evening because I needed more rest this morning. 6x800m with 400m rest didn’t feel too bad because this cold is mainly in my head, not chest.


THURSDAY

Off.

FRIDAY:

(Treadmill) Easy Effort 6.2 mi, 01:00 @ 09:40 pace that I finally woke up early for. Snoozed my alarm to 5:15 and then got up. The -17°F real feel outside just wasn’t worth braving. Hope it’s warmer tomorrow! 🤞

SATURDAY:

Long Run 16.04 mi, 02:19 @ 08:40 avg pace in 25°F and 10-ish mph winds. I used the Orange Mud gear vest for hydration and my gels to run an 8-mile out, 8-mile back route. I ran in the Under Armour HOVRs this time and had no knee issues. Praise the Lord! Last week’s long run knee twinges had me a little nervous.


SUNDAY:

Off

TOTAL MILEAGE: 31.75 miles



What is the last movie you went to see in theaters?

Let's Connect!



Linking up with Holly and Wendy's Weekly Wrap Up.