REVIEW: JORD Watches Cora Series & Giveaway

I received a Cora Series Watch from JORD Watches in exchange for this post, as always all thoughts and opinions are my own.

My dad has been into wood working since I was a little kid.  I remember when he got his Shopsmith and when my parents planned vacations around finding a Shopsmith store, haha.  I’ve been the go-fer in the shop for as long as I can remember and occasionally I’ve made a few things by myself, with dad’s help of course.

So when I was given the opportunity to test out a wood watch, I was so excited.  I took a look at their website and I knew immediately which watch was my perfect fit.

Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

They are all beautiful, but I knew that the Cora series was so me.  First off this series had some beautiful colored faces, like turquoise, coral & lavender.  I was drawn immediately to the Zebrawood & turquoise and the small section of the gear showing on the front is super cool.

From the JORD Watches website the Cora watch has awesome features like a Sapphire crystal glass (no scratches!!), Swarovski crystal hour markers, it’s a self-winding automatic watch, which means NO BATTERY!!! How cool is that?  I have a lot of watches but I always stop using them when I have to get the battery replaced because it’s so annoying to get it changed.

Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

FEATURES:
Sapphire Crystal Glass, Deployment Buckle with push button, Swarovski Crystal Hour Markers, Screw-down crown
MOVEMENT:
Sea-Gull ST6103K, Displays hours, minutes, seconds, 21 jewels, 36 hour power reserve, frequency of 21,600 Beats per Hour, is accurate +/- 3 seconds/day (if worn often), with a self-winding automatic drive system which means no battery
FINISH & CARE:
Hand finished natural Zebrawood & pretreated with tung oils. The Cora is splash-proof but should not be submerged in water.
Avoid extreme hot, cold & excessively dry or humid environments when storing your watch and use Lemon or Orange oil extract to clean the natural wood.

  • Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watchJORD watches come in 8 different types of wood from all over the world to give a lot of variety.  You can find watches in Ebony (East Africa/Mozambique), Koa (Hawaii), Purpleheart (Solomon Islands), Zebrawood (West Africa/Congo), Sandalwood (East Africa/Mozambique or Argentina), Maple (Northeast North America) & Bamboo (South Asia).There are a number of different style for both men and women, each style is available in a few different types of wood.You can find more info on the women’s styles here.  And men’s styles here.Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

    A lot of JORD Watches, including mine from the Cora series, are have automatic movements, which means you don’t need to change the battery.  It also means that if you don’t wear your watch often it might be off since it is charges with the movement of your body.

    Another awesome feature on a number of JORD watches is the Sapphire crystal glass. Second in hardness only to a diamond, it’s colorless, clear to the eye and one of the most scratch resistant materials.  I’m so happy my watch has a Sapphire crystal because I’m always scratching mine because I like to wear my watch face on my inner wrist.

    I did have to take my watch into a local store to have some links removed and all 3 of the people in the store said that this was the nicest wood watch they had ever seen.

    It comes in a very nice wood box on a little pillow, with a cleaning cloth to keep it nice and pretty.

    Unique Watch, Woodwatch, JORD watch, womens watch

    I love my cool new watch and have been wearing it everywhere (outside of on my runs) because it’s super comfortable, looks cool on and is so bright and colorful which totally fits my personality.

Want a JORD watch for yourself?

I’m giving away a $75 e-gift card towards your very own watch!

You can enter here.

And if you don’t win the $75 e-gift card, don’t worry, you’ll still get a $20 e-gift card just for signing up!  With the holidays coming up, this would be a great gift for yourself or someone special in your life!

Winner will be selected and emailed by JORD Watches.  Contest ends on October 2, 2016.


Luxury Wooden Watch

Crewing at UTMB

This post is super long & also way over due but with all the traveling, I’ve been exhausted, it took a lot to even get my sponsored posts up, but I know this could be interesting to a lot of people so here we go.  On Friday, 26 August at 6:00pm Sean stepped to the line in Chamonix, France to run 170k and I was there to support and “crew” him.

Start & Finish Line UTMB

If you’ve been following either of us, you would know that Sean has run a lot of 100s this summer, in fact this was his 8th 100 of 2016.  All of which were building to this race, and of course Tahoe 200 in early September.

I’ll admit after AC100 a few weeks prior, I was burnt out on crewing and as we got closer to the race, I realized that there was no way this trip was going to be anything other than about the race.  Which meant I got more and more stressed out.

Honestly I’m not sure why I thought it was going to be different, but somehow, ever since we booked the trip in January, I had it in my head that we would actually be doing some sight seeing, etc. before the race and that it would be a vacation with the race in the middle. Unfortunately, this is not the type of race that you just show up for right before the start, get your bib and go run.  With over 2,300 runners in the UTMB race along, it’s quite a production and requires a lot more time than a race here in the states.

As soon as we made it to Chamonix on Wednesday, we were starving so we headed to eat and then check out the Salon (what they call the expo).  It was fortunate that we did because there were specific times that you had to check in for each race and you had to take your pack with required items with you when you checked in to get your bib.  When we walked by the line was enormous so we decided to come back the next day (Thursday) to take care of everything.

When we did come back the line was much much shorter and it only took Sean about 20 minutes to go through the line.  First they check you in and give you a check-list of all the required items with 5 items that you have to take out of your pack.

UTMB Required Items

After you take the items out, someone checks them and then you sign off that you will have all the required items with you at all times.  From there you get in another line for your bib and then shirt.

Bib Pick-Up UTMB

As Sean waited to get his shirt, I went to get my bus pass validated. Since the race was going to go around the mountain into 3 countries, they said it was best if you just took the shuttle buses instead of driving around.  It was 30 Euro and you just needed to get it validated at the packet pick-up.

Another San Diego runner, Matt Whalen, was also running so Sean & I met up with him, his wife and dad.  They were super nice to let me join them for the start of the race on their balcony and then hang out with them (along with SD100 RD Scott Mills) for the first half of the race.  We met up after packet pick-up, had lunch and then watched some of the final TDS (another race of 119k) finishers come in.

Since the race started on Friday night, Sean slept as long as possible on Friday and then got ready so that we could get over to Chamonix at a decent time.  We were staying in a neighboring town called Les Houches (actually the site of their first aid station) so we had to take the bus over to Chamonix.  It was pretty crowded so we wanted to make sure we had enough time to get there and we did good, getting on the 3:30pm bus.  Buses came every 30 mins.  I was hungry and not in the best of moods so I was definitely anxious about getting on the bus and getting to Chamonix.

Once we got to Chamonix, we made our way to drop off Sean’s one allowable drop bag, which would be available at the halfway point in Courmayeur and then made our way over to Matt’s place so I could hang out with his family.  We eventually headed back over near the expo and met them there.  After a short while, we headed to their house and the guys headed to the start line.  It was already crazy and we still had about an hour until the actual start.

Sean & Matt before the start

Once we got back to their house, SD100 RD Scott Mills came over and was giving us some insight into his race the day before, he ran the very challenging 119k TDS.  We watched the actual start on his iPad and then ran to the balconies so we could watch everyone run through Chamonix on their way.  It was pretty cool to see all the runners come thru.  It was also funny because with 2,500(ish) runners they would run for a few steps and then be forced to a walk by the crowds.  I was fortunate to see Sean and he saw me as you can see in the video.

Once the last participant when through we packed up and headed out to catch the first bus to San Gervais, which wasn’t an official aid station, but the first on the route to the first assisted aid station at Les Contamines.  We didn’t have to wait too long until we got on the bus and then we were off.

The interesting thing about these buses is that they were run by each of the 3 countries, France, Italy & Switzerland so you never knew which bus you were going to get.  Some were definitely nicer than others and having air conditioning was a huge plus.

Once we got to San Gervais, we made our way into the town to look for a place for dinner & watch the runners come in.  We were super lucky to find a spot for 6 and close to the runners too.  This part of France there was a lot of beef and so many french fries, which I love, but it was so fascinating that everywhere you went they served french fries at practically every meal.  I had the  special with a very yummy steak, fries & a salad.  I felt 100x better after eating dinner.

French fries everywhere!

We were able to see Zach Miller, the lead American come through and then finally, Sean passed us without a glance, he didn’t realize we were going to be there.  The tracker showed Matt had come through already, but he took his time in the aid station and stopped to chat with us a few minutes later.

Then it was time to move on to the next aid station in Les Contamines.  This station we would be able to “assist” our runner.  Here, the aid stations are relatively small and in most cases, you are allowed inside the aid station to fill up bottles, grab food, etc. for your runner. At UTMB, the aid stations were like mini cities.  You had to show and in most cases hand in a ticket that had the runners name and number on it.  They wouldn’t let you into the area until 10 minutes before the runner was supposed to arrive, according to their tracking. There were 5 “assisted” aid stations where I could see & help Sean.

Once inside the assisted area of the aid station, there were 2 parts, a section where you could assist the runner and then the food & beverage area.  At this aid station, I wasn’t allowed in the food & beverage area, which was really the only spot Sean wanted/needed to be.  They were heavily guarding the entrance to this section and I was told to move back by 3 people even when I was just trying to go behind the line.  It was crazy!

This particular aid station, Sean got his bottles refilled, did what he needed to do and made his way out the were I was.  I chatted with him for a few short moments and then he was off.  Matt wasn’t too far behind, although he was staying in the aid stations a bit longer than Sean.

After both of them came through, we waited for the buses to go back to Chamonix.  The way the buses worked was that they all originated in Chamonix.

There were 3 main buses, one going to San Gervais & Les Contamines, one going to Courmayeur and then a last one that went to Champex Lac (with a transfer in Orsieres), Trient & Vallorcine.

Since we were staying in Les Houches I had already decided that it would be best to just following the course and sleep at the aid stations.  I bought a fancy Helinox chair from REI and a waterproof Northface jacket and had super heavy backpack full of gear to keep warm.

UTMB Crew Gear

Probably the most important piece of equipment I had was the Tep Wireless mifi device that I had brought with my from the states.  I’ll do a full review shortly but it was amazing and so helpful!

In any case, I had decided to head to Courmayeur after getting back to Chamonix.  Matt’s family was staying in Chamonix so it was pretty easy for them to just go back and get some real sleep, but it was definitely going to be more of a challenge for me so this was easiest.  The first bus left at 1:00am and I was on it.

The aid station at Courmayeur was at the Forum Sports Center, which was very nice.  They had a nice indoor area where we could rest and a cafe that was literally open all night long, it was quite nice.  Also in the morning I watched speed skating & figure skating practices and there were real bathrooms.

I saw Zach Miller come speeding through around 3am, I think, and then some of the others before heading inside to get some sleep.  Unfortunately my back was in really bad shape (from my pelvis tilt issue) so I was in significant pain most of the trip and sleeping on the floor didn’t help.

Once I got up, I went outside only to see the best views.  It started out a little foggy and then as it cleared up the view of the mountain was spectacular.

Courameyer

I kept tracking Sean and he eventually came in around 10am, I believe.  He was happy to see me but not super happy overall because he had fallen around mile 40 and hit his knee on a rock.  It was really making it difficult for him to run the downhills.  He took a bit of time to get himself together and then got some food before heading out again.

Sean coming into Courameyeur

Side note: this was the most challenging aid station to get into.  Since it was inside there was a huge line of people waiting to get inside.  I finally pushed through and was like my runner is here.  They still had to do the whole computer thing and then finally I was able to get inside.  This was probably the most challenging aid station to get in to.

I waited with Matt’s family for him to come in and then we watched runners come in/out and the kids races while waiting for Matt.  He eventually came out about 45min – 1hr later.  After which we took a very long, hot and not fun bus ride back to Chamonix.  I seriously thought I was going to pass out on this bus, it was that bad.

We finally got off the bus and I was like if I jump in the river will someone catch me at the next bridge, LOL.  We ate a quick lunch and then we went back to their place.  I emptied out some of the stuff from my backpack, put in some new things from Sean’s drop bag and then we all took a nap.

Brooke & I then headed out to get some Gu for Matt and just happened to see the top 3 Americans, Tim Tollefson (3rd), David Laney (4th) and Zach Miller (6th) come in, which was super cool.  I got a great video of Tim Tollefson finishing in 3rd place.

Once we got back, I checked the tracking and Sean was coming much faster than was expected and it was going to take approx. 2 hours to get to Champex Lac so I very quickly made my way to catch the 5:30pm bus.

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There was a bus change in Orsieres and we had to take a city bus up a very steep & windy mountain road.  When we finally made it up to the aid station, it was going to rain so I took a quick walk down to some trails opposite of the race course.  I eventually walked down to get some dinner because it showed I had a few hours until Sean would get there.

Champex Lac at dusk before the rain

As I was eating my salad before my amazing pasta with chanterelle mushrooms, I was chatting with another runner from Thailand and then I refreshed the tracker and saw Sean was there! OMG I was going to miss him.  I went to the servers and told them Sean was there and I could pay them now and then come back but they were super nice and allowed me to just come back once I was done.

Near Champex Lac

I ran over to the aid station and made it just in time to see Sean walking to a table.  This aid station was pretty big in the back with a waiting area for the families and then you would hand in your ticket before going inside to see your runner.  It was really easy to see your runner.  I made my way over to him and we chatted for a bit, he had made a friend, Jan, who is from Slovakia but lives in North Carolina, and they were going to run together.  Since it was starting to rain we had to get his new Ultimate Direction waterproof jacket out.

When they were ready to go, I walked with Sean & Jan to the lake (my dinner was next door lol) and saw them off.  By this point it was dark, thundering & lightening and would be for a few more hours.  I ate and then raced over and just made the bus before it left to head down the mountain.

Pasta with Chanterelles

I eventually made my way over to Trient, which was the next assisted aid station.  It was raining when I got off the bus, I pretty much slept from the time we got on the nice bus until we got to the stop.  Once I got off the bus, I had to walk for a bit through the town to find the aid station, it wasn’t immediately clear but I figured it out. They had some nice portable bathrooms outside the aid station, they reminded me of some that we had on set of Dolphin Tale.

Once inside they too were having a bit of a party, with a vendor for beer & coffee and then you could order some food as well.  I was sitting there watching these guys with big wheels of cheese.  They heated the cheese and then scraped it off.  I found out it was a Swiss specialty called Raclette and they served it with some small potatoes. When I told them it was my first time trying it, they were like you have to try it because it’s a local speciality.  It doesn’t look like much but it was really yummy.

Raclette

It took Sean a bit to get there and when he did, he didn’t really need much, just to refill his bottles and then get some food.  He and Jan didn’t spend much time here – I went outside to see them off & get a photo.

Trient

Next stop was Vallorcine and it was the last station I could assist him at.  I met a few other American’s in the bus on the way there.  One of them was the wife of a guy who had also run Tahoe 200 and his sister.  We chatted on the bus and in the aid station until her husband came in. Sean & Jan were about a 1/2 hour later.  This station didn’t go quite as well for Jan.  He was having a lot of stomach issues and was struggling.  I got Sean all set up and then we waited so Jan could get a few minutes of sleep.  I told him he could have 5 mins & I think I gave him 3 before we pushed him to get some food and then get out.  Eventually I was like Sean needs to go, you either need to get ready to go or he’s leaving you and that got him moving.

After they left, I made my way back to the bus to head back to Chamonix.  Once in Chamonix I knew I was going to have a few hours until Sean came in, it was maybe 4:30am.  I went to a hotel near the bus station and asked them if I could get a taxi to our hotel.  This is not a big place where you can find a taxi easily.  And there is no Uber.  Fortunately I was able to find a kind soul who took me back so I could get a short rest before heading over to watch the finish.

Sean coming towards the finish

The first bus back to Chamonix was at 6:30am and I was intent on being on that bus.  I made it and into the city.  A cappuccino & croissant and I made my way to an area where I could see Sean come in and then be at the finish line quickly.  I watched a bunch of people come in, run to the finish with their families and and then finally I saw that familiar gait coming towards me.  I got a few photos and then headed over to the finish line where I was able to get a pretty decent video of Sean crossing the finish line.

And then 39 hours and change after he started he made it across the finish line. It was pretty awesome to see!

We took a few photos at the finish before heading over for a coffee to celebrate with Jan.

Treats at the finish

Now that we’ve been back for a few weeks, I have had time to reflect on it and I was really fortunate to be able to be able to support Sean in Chamonix, I would do it again, hopefully not as our main vacation of the year though, unless we could stay for longer.  I also would want try to run one of the races, most likely the OCC, myself so I could experience the trails as well.

It’s time to get our #sparklingdetox on!

**I am participating in the Gerolsteiner #sparklingdetox as part of a partnership with FitApproach, I was given a case of Gerolsteiner Natural Sparkling Mineral Water to participate in the detox. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.**

 It’s time!  Gerolsteiner’s #sparklingdetox began today! If you haven’t signed up yet, there is still time. Head over to and join the Facebook Group and check out the store locator to find Gerolsteiner in your area.

All the racing, traveling, & French fry consumption (I swear every single meal in France included French fries lol) has taken its toll and it’s time for me to get back on track.  As I’ve mentioned before, I love doing little detoxes here and there and I’m so excited that this detox doesn’t restrict food, but I will be making a concentrated effort to find more healthy options and to limit my French fry intake significantly, which in itself will be a challenge, lol.

img_9117 I mentioned in a previous post that I’m going to be crewing for Sean at Tahoe 200 for the first few days of the detox so I’m interested to see how that goes with no coffee and little sleep, but I know after traveling so much in the last month I really need to make some changes with my diet. I’ve noticed that when I travel, I tend not to drink enough water so having to drink 2.5 liters per day is going to be interesting.

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Since I’ll be away from home and a kitchen, not that ours gets much use when we are home, I’ll be on the look-out for healthy options vs. the normal fast food fare. If you read my (very long) Tahoe 200 recap from last year, you’ll know that it’s a pretty easy race to crew and while there is a lot of driving & downtime, there are also quite a few spots around the lake where I can find decent food options. The detox doesn’t require any specific food choices, but since I’m using this as a way to kick-start a healthier diet, I’m going to look for better choices, even if it’s not super easy.

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Are you ready?  What’s your #sparklingdetox plan?

 

 

AfterShokz Trekz Titanium is #AwareWithPink

If you remember a few months back I had the opportunity to test out the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium bone conduction headphones as a BibRavePro – you can read a full review of the Trekz Titanium here.

Now AfterShokz has now gone PINK!  And I’m happy to be collaborating with them and FitApproach!

What does it mean that AfterShokz has gone Pink?

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They literally have gone pink, with new Limited Edition bright pink colored Trekz Titanium headphones.  These seriously are my favorite wireless headphones because they allow you to be aware of your surroundings because you don’t wear them in your ear, but instead they sit on the bone in front of your ear.

They are sweat-proof, light-weight and stay put pretty much no matter what.  I’ve got about 10 hours on one charge when I wore them at Nanny Goat 12 hour listening to audio books.

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With the purchase of every pair of the Limited Edition Trekz Titanium headphones from now until the end of October 2016, AfterShokz will donate 25% of the proceeds to an organization called Bright Pink.  Bright Pink is a non-profit organization that brings awareness & action to breast & ovarian cancer.

I’m excited to see AfterShokz partnering with a non-profit like Bright Pink, because I truly believe that being proactive and advocating for your own health is super important. Especially in light of my brother-in-law’s fight with cancer right now as well.  As they say, hind sight is 20/20 but if he had sought a second opinion in the early stages, his treatment might be very different right now.

AfterShokz’s open ear design was created to allow users to be more aware and this campaign brings that full circle.  They are not only bringing awareness of what’s around us, but also bringing breast & ovarian cancer awareness to the forefront.

So what does that mean for you?  First off, if you are interested in purchasing a pair of the awesome Trekz Titanium Pink, you can receive an awesome storage case.  I absolutely love mine.  It’s so much nicer than the original case that came with the yellow/blue Trekz Titanium.  I took it with me to Europe and it was jam packed with cords, cables, jewelry and of course my new hot Pink headphones.

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The Titanium Pink headphones retail for $129.99 which is comparable to similar wireless headphones and if you use code PinkGift you’ll receive a small portable storage case ($11.95 value).  **To receive the case for free, you’ll need to add it to your cart and then use code PinkGift which will apply the discount.  The code won’t work without the case in your cart.**

And from here until the end of October, use the hashtag #AwareWithPink on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter and AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink everytime the hashtag is used.

Pink is not only one of my favorite colors, it’s also a way to give back and I’m happy to be partnering with an company that cares in so many ways.

Sparkling Natural Mineral Water Taste Test

**This post is sponsored by Gerolsteiner through a partnership with Fitapproach, as always all thoughts and opinions are mine.**

Gerolsteiner’s #SparklingDetox is going to be starting in mid September and I’m so excited! I just spent a week in the Alps and boy are mineral waters popular in Europe.

Gerolsteiner and I want you to join us for the #SparklingDetox Challenge from Sept 12 – 15. Don’t forget to join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group so you can meet other detoxers. Fitness Expert & Nutritionist, Ariane Hundt (link to page about Ariane http://www.gerolsteiner-usa.com/enjoy-life.html) will be sharing tips and guidance during the detox.

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Also, check out this link to a cool Mineral Calculator, http://www.mineral-calculator.com/the-mineral-calculator.html, that is on Gerolsteiner’s website. Before I left, I checked out what sparkling natural mineral waters are in that area.

Gerolsteiner’s mineral calculator compares the amount of calcium, magnesium, bicarbonate, potassium, sodium, chloride & sulfate in the water and gives you a total mineral content for 1 liter of water.

Having lived in Italy in college, almost 20 years ago, yikes! I am familiar with some of the brands that I could compare in the calculator.  I picked 3 other brands that I felt like I could find in France, Italy & Switzerland and then set out to find them and do a taste test.

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 I decided to go global since we would be visiting 3 countries during our trip.  I tried Gerolsteiner Sparkling (German), San Pellegrino & Perrier.  I wanted to try a few other brands but they weren’t readily available in Chamonix – Mont Blanc.  There were however a lot of other brands of both sparkling & flat mineral waters that were sold in various restaurants.  Surprising to me, San Pellegrino was quite popular in this area of France.  We were served it at every dinner.  Perrier was also quite popular – I saw it in all the Casino’s (grocery store).

According to the Mineral Calculator here are the mineral contents of the different waters.
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Could I taste the difference? Oooh….interesting question.

I moved to Italy when I was 22 as part of a consortia program with Indiana University, 9 other US universities and the Universita di Bologna for a year of study abroad.  Do you believe I’m pretty sure when I moved to Italy I had never had sparkling mineral water?

I have cousins that live in Rome and showed me around the city and shared their favorite meals with me.  It was interesting that at restaurants, they don’t give out glasses of tap water like we do here, you would ask for either acqua naturale or acqua minerale or frizzante.  I quickly learned that naturale was flat mineral water and frizzante/minerale/gassata was sparkling and my family, at least at the time, drank a lot of acqua gassata.

I remember when I moved back to the States for my last semester at IU, I was craving acqua minerale, but mineral water here is way more expensive than it is in Europe & as a poor college student, I was buying 2 liters of sparkling water, which I later found out was nothing more than carbonated water. Insert sad face emoji here lol.

When was the first time you had Sparkling Mineral Water?  And did you notice a difference?

prAna & the #WeirdWorkout

I’m super excited to be partnering with prAna and Fitapproach as they debut their new fall line.

To kick off fall, prAna has teamed up with Organic Valley for a super awesome contest surrounding #WeirdWorkout.  You’ve probably seen a few of my photos on Instagram and some other on Instagram & Twitter.IMG_5429

So you say you want a chance to win $300 worth of prAna gear & a 2 month supply of Organic Fuel?

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Head over here to enter.

There are six ways to play and 10 people will win.  The contest runs from August 15 – 31, 2016.  Ten winners will swing away with some awesome Organic Fuel swag, a two month supply of Organic Fuel and $300 in credit to use on prAna.com.

Don’t forget to post your #WeirdWorkout photos on Instagram – we want to see too!  Use the hashtags #WeirdWorkout, #SweatprAna, #sweatpink AND #prAnaFallStyle.

In September, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on 2 new fall pieces, both of which are made with organic cotton, the super cute Yarrah dress that I’m excited to wear it for work & London Jean (shown on the far left model in the second photo) if they are anything like the Meme Pants I already own, I’m going to be super happy.  If you’ve been reading my blog, you might remember that I’ve had the opportunity to review the Meme Pant & the Prism Capri, both of which I really like.

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Want to get some pieces from the new fall line?  Use code PFS16LEGS to save 15%.

Don’t forget to enter the contest and tell me what’s your favorite #WeirdWorkout?

Gerolsteiner #SparklingDetox

I am super excited to be partnering with Gerolsteiner & FitApproach for the #SparklingDetox Challenge in mid September.  I received a free case of water for the challenge, however as always, all thoughts and opinions are my own.  All information on the actual water is from Gerolsteiner.

First let’s talk about who Gerolsteiner is.

Bottled in Gerolstein, Germany directly from the Volcanic Eifel since 1888, Gerolsteiner is know in international markets as the “World’s No. 1 Sparkling Natural Mineral Water”.  It is sold in 40 countries.

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What makes Gerolsteiner mineral water so special?

From Gerolsteiner: With many waters there are two criteria that are mutually exclusive. Either the water tastes neutral but contains only a small amount of minerals, or the water is full of minerals but tastes salty or bitter due to the sodium chloride or sulfate content. Gerolsteiner mineral water combines the best of both. It has its origin in the Volcanic Eifel – an area that offers soil conditions unique throughout the world: Gerolsteiner’s well-balanced water is the result of the carbonic acid of volcanic origin and the region’s dolomite rock, which is exceptionally highly mineralized. Thus Gerolsteiner neither tastes bitter nor salty – but pleasantly neutral and refreshing naturally. Not many waters contain essential calcium and at the same time essential magnesium as well.

The unique source, the Volcanic Eifel, with its naturally high mineral content means Gerolsteiner has almost 2,500 mg of mineral content per liter which is quite a bit higher than other brands.

Interestingly, the mineral water is bottled with carbon dioxide from natural springs.  This means there is no need to artificially carbonate the water.

Now that we’ve introduced Gerolsteiner Sparking Natural Mineral Water, I know you are interested in what the #SparklingDetox is.

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It’s super simple, which is great for someone like me.  I love pre-packaged juice cleanses & trying new things that are easy.  Between all the travel, work and running, I just don’t have time to do anything complicated.

So basically all you need to do is, commit to drinking Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from September 12 – 16.  You can eat your normal meals, exercise like normal, but you’ll give up soda, juice, alcohol and coffee (insert crying emoji here, lol) &/or tea.

When I first saw the info on what was required for the #SparklingDetox I almost started crying because I’ll be in Tahoe crewing Sean at Tahoe 200 and I was like oh, no! I’m not going to be able to eat for 3 days I’m there? But then I read a little further and found out I can eat whatever I want, I just can’t drink anything else, super easy :).

Why do I want to do the #SparklingDetox?  It’s so easy, just drink Gerolsteiner water then eat & exercise like normal? How can you go wrong?

As an added bonus, Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water not only tastes good, it also contains 33% of our daily requirement of Calcium and 25% of our daily requirement of Magnesium (per liter), which means for all of us that don’t really drink a lot of milk or don’t want to take a supplement, we can get a good amount of calcium just from drinking Gerolsteiner.

I have always been a fan of mineral water and have always known that not all waters are created equal.  It’s fascinating to me that depending on what region, what type of bedrock the spring comes from, can really have an effect on the taste.  And let me just say, I am super picky about my water and always have been.

Partnering with Gerolsteiner has really educated me on how different water can be.  There are 3 different types of water, mineral, sparkling & purified.   So what does that mean?

Want to join me in the #SparklingDetox?

A How To in 3 easy steps.

  • Check out the store locator to find a store near you that sells Gerolsteiner so you can make sure to have a minimum of 1 case to drink during the week or sign up get the chance to win a free supply of Gerolsteiner Water http://bit.ly/SparklingDetox.
  • Commit to drinking only Gerolsteiner Sparkling Mineral Water for 5 days from Sept. 12 – 16.
  • Join the Sparkling Detox Facebook Group to meet others participating in the detox and hear their experiences.

How much easier can it get?  I’m so looking forward to how easy this detox will be and how good I will feel drinking a lot more water!

REVIEW: XX2i Australia1 Sunglasses

Disclaimer: I received a pair of XX2i Australia1 sunglasses 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!”

My collection of XX2i sunglasses continues to grow with the addition of the Australia1 that came out in mid July.  I have previously reviewed the USA1, the Hawaii1 and the casual Bermuda1.

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With all those other glasses, what makes the Australia1 different?

From the XX2i website:  Equipped with the tools for a variety of adventures, the Australia1 is XX2i’s only performance sunglass featuring an interchangeable temple arm / strap system for intense activities. The Australia1 also incorporates a removable padded insert for extra protection against the elements, and a sturdy frame with a unique wraparound style for enhanced peripheral vision. This model comes standard with polarized lenses that employ 8K optical technology, ensuring the utmost lens clarity and frame durability.

The Australia1 comes in 3 different colors, Matte Black, Matte Black & White & Matte Turquoise.  I choose the turquoise because I really liked the Brown lenses on the Bermuda1 vs the grey lenses on my USA1 and Hawaii1 and wanted to try something different.

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When I first opened the glasses, I was a little concerned because unlike the USA1 & the Hawaii1, they don’t have an adjustable nose piece.  It looked similar to the Bermuda1, but I was pleasantly surprised that it fit much better than the Bermuda1 and the temple pieces are adjustable.

The padded insert and action strap that are included with the Australia1 are super easy to use.  The padded insert clicks right into an open area above the nose piece and then you just fit it with the glasses.  The arms pop out easily to put on the strap.  This is so much easier than changing the USA1’s interchangeable arms.

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While I don’t participate in activities that require these additions, it is nice to know that if we ever decide to run in a windy desert or participate in water sports, these glasses will help to protect our eyes.

I don’t have any major complaints about these glasses.  The fit is decent, although I do feel like they can be a little tight if I put them on top of my head.  I like the color of the lenses and that the arms are easy to remove.

Want a pair for yourself?  Join us at #bibchat on Tuesday, Aug. 16 to win a pair or use code XX2iROCKS for 50% off the Australia1 or other styles.

Race Recap: The San Francisco Marathon 2nd Half

This was my 3rd year running The San Francisco Marathon and Sean’s 5th time.  I have run the first half twice and if you’d like to read those recaps, they are here 2014 & 2015.

This year we weren’t going to run the race, but then in June, Sean asked me if I wanted to go, since this is our anniversary race and he’s done it so many times.  I agreed but we did end up paying a lot more than normal due to the lateness of our entry.  I paid $135 for the second half.  To put that into context, we signed up for the marathon at the expo this year and it was $110 with a $25 discount so we ended up paying $92 with the fee so it’s definitely better to register early for this race.

We flew up on Saturday morning, took a very long BART/bus ride to the city (they were doing construction on a station on the way to the city), got checked in and then immediately ran down to the expo at Fort Mason, which is where the expo has been the last few years.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Expo

We got our bibs, shirts, Sean’s loyalty gift for running 5 years in a row, a travel mug, some snacks and wandered for a few minutes just to see what was there.

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Afterwards, we made our way to Fremont via the BART to see my sister and my brother-in-law David.  We got a bit more information about how David, who is fighting cancer, is doing.

Sidenote: If you have a few extra dollars, even just $5-$10 (the cost of approx. 1-2 days of Starbucks), please consider helping Sean & I raise money for the James Blake Foundation to run the NYC Marathon for David.  You can donate here.

David was in amazing spirits, he is so incredibly positive and has a huge will to live.  That being said, his condition has not improved a lot, the cancer in his leg is growing so fast that the many chemo treatments he has already received are only able to attack the new growth vs the original cancer.  It’s a very serious situation but he and my sister, Diane, are doing well considering.

After our visit, we headed back to the city, had a little dessert from world famous Ghiradelli’s.

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I got my Flat Jenny ready and headed to bed, it was going to be an early morning.  Sean’s race started at 5:30a, I wanted to go to the We Run Social meet-up and then needed to take a shuttle over to the 2nd half start.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Glukos, Altra Running, Garmin

After seeing Sean start, I saw a few other friends and then headed over to the shuttles which were a few blocks from the marathon/first half start.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon

There were a ton of school buses there to take us over.  I got in line to wait until 6am when they would start taking us over.  I think I got on the 2nd or 3rd bus.

The ride was actually pretty long, I think it was about 25 minutes until we got to the start line.  I was super tired so I was half asleep for most of the ride.

Once off the bus, I headed over to the starting area.  The 2nd half is much smaller than the first half/marathon.  I hit up the port-a-potties as soon as I arrived so I would miss the lines, then I checked out a few of the sites, there was a huge Dutch style windmill near some rose gardens, before heading up towards the gear check area to hang out for a bit before checking my bag.

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It was sooo cold.  I’m glad that I had my hoodie and track pants because I would have froze if not. As I was waiting, I ran into fellow BibRavePro, Bradley.  We, of course, got a photo. (photo courtesy of Bradley)

BibRave Pro, Bibrave, The San Francisco Marathon, 2nd Half Marathon, We Run Social, Running4thosewhocan't, Orane Mud

I finally found out that the line I thought was for the port-a-potties was actually for the drop bags.  It was not well marked that you had to go to just one table to put your number on your bag and then you could drop your bag at your UPS truck.  Compared to the main start area, this was a bit of a mess.

I felt like the 2nd half start line was kind of an afterthought.  The girl who was the announcer seemed really nice, but was not the right fit for this event.  She wasn’t really very energetic and focused more on things that aren’t really important.  I was not impressed.

The race finally got its start at 7:30a and I was in wave 3 so I started at 7:45a. By that point it was starting to rain a little and I just wanted to get started.

Unfortunately for me, my legs didn’t feel great from the get-go.  I just tried to focus on being in the moment, listening to the end of my Daniel Silva audio book and run/walking the majority of the race.

This part of the course didn’t have the huge hill up near the Presidio like the first half, but it was a bit hillier than I was expecting.

I just did my best to keep moving through Golden Gate Park for the first 4 miles, hoping my legs would loosen up.  It was pretty, we ran around a lake, saw a pagoda, ran past the first half marathon finish line before heading into Haight Ashbury and through the city.  Obviously I didn’t see this photographer because I appear to be “in the zone” lol.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social

Interestingly in the part of the course that was the least exciting, between 6 -9,  was the part of the course where they would periodically close the course to help with traffic flow.  They don’t do this in the first part of the course so I’d never seen it happen before.  At one point I was coming up just as they were closing the section so I saw it first hand.

Finally around mile 11 we headed towards the Embarcadero and around AT&T Park.  It would have been nice to go on the field, but alas, no go for that. 🙂

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco

We made our way down towards the finish line.  As we got closer to mile 13, I could feel that I was getting tired so I actually drank a Glukos gel in the last 1/2 mile.  I literally couldn’t move any faster, I could see all the people gaining on me and running past me but my legs were just not having it.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social

I made it over the finish line in a not horrible 2:16 and I immediately saw Sean waiting for me :).  We went to get our medals and food.  Yet again, the actual race food sucks.  There were bottles of water, think thin bars, bananas and muscle milk drinks.  The only one of those 4 things that I like is the water.  It was pretty disappointing because I was really hungry.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, San Francisco, his & hers

But that being said, after we got out of the race finish area, by the Ferry Building there were a ton of vendors giving out snacks.  We got 2 different types of greek yogurt, vegan Ben & Jerry’s ice cream, Lara bars, these amazing Coconut chips from Dang.  I’m not a fan of coconut normally, but these were amazing!

Since I had run the first half last year and then the second half this year, I earned a 2nd challenge medal, The Half of It All medal, which is pretty cool.  It has the Golden Gate Bridge on one side and the Painted Ladies from Haight Ashbury on the other.

The SF Marathon, Running4thosewhocan't, Orange Mud, XX2i, Lululemon, We Run Social, ProCompression, San Francisco, Half of it All, Challenge, Medals

This race has soooo many challenges.  The Half of It All, California Dreamin’ (SF Marathon & Surf City), SF/Berkley, there is another challenge where if you run the 1st half, 2nd half and marathon in consecutive years you are part of the 52 club and you get a special hoodie.  I’ll earn one of these next year :).

This is an interesting race, because of the weather in San Francisco during the summer.  In the 3 years that I’ve run this race, it’s been pretty cloudy & humid during the actual race, it’s always cleared up afterwards but it can be pretty brutal during the actual race.

Now that I’ve run both halfs, I would say that the first half is definitely more exciting.  I mean a lot of the more iconic spots in SF are in the first half of the course.  It was pretty cool though going through Haight Ashbury & by AT&T park, you could see into the stadium when we got closer.

I still say, SF Marathon needs to step up the post-race food game, and I definitely think that they need to step up the announcing at both start lines, but especially the 2nd half.  But the free photos and a decent expo kind of even out the bad things.

Outside of those things, I think it’s a pretty good race.  I liked that they upped their game on the race medals this year.

Do you have any races you continue to run every year?

TRT 50…A Taste of Heaven…A Glimpse of Hell

Seeing as it’s Throwback Thursday, and I’m so far behind on my recaps, I figured it was time to recap my experience at the Tahoe Rim Trail 50 miler.  Just an FYI – this is going to be a long post!

Spoiler alert…it was the best race ever. I had a blast!  But if you want more detail than that keep reading.

First off, a little background on how to get into the race, there is a lottery on January 1 for spots in one of the three TRT Endurance Runs, 100 miles, 50 miles & 55k.  There are some requirements for the 100 mile race but none for the 50 & 55k.  There is also a waitlist for all 3 races for those who don’t get in via the lottery or decide, like me to get on the waitlist months after the lottery.

I initially put my name on the wait list for the 55k but then after signing up for Cuyamaca 100k, I decided to add my name to the 50 mile wait list as well.  I started the wait list at 103 for the 55k and I think somewhere around 90 on the 50 mile wait list.  I think I signed up back in May? I can’t remember exactly, but I would periodically check Ultra Signup and the 50 mile wait list moved a lot faster than the 55k one.

It was a little nerve-wracking because Sean was also on the wait list for Hardrock 100 and as a lot of us know, it’s almost impossible to get into Hardrock so if he got in we would have definitely gone to Silverton.

Fortunately when I got the notification that I was in for TRT, on June 30th, it was a real long-shot for Sean to get into HR, he was still 8th on the list and no movement so I registered.

So then WOW, I needed one last weekend with decent mileage to make me feel ready and fortunately we had the 3 day weekend since it was the 4th of July, so from Friday – Monday, we ran/hiked a little over 40 miles.  The next weekend, I paced Sean the last 17 miles of the Santa Barbara 100 and I felt ready.

The week before the race, I had to be in Phoenix for work, so I tried to hydrate as much as possible, being at elevation can dehydrate me even more and it has been pretty dry there the last few times we’ve visted so I wanted to make sure I was plenty hydrated.

We flew up to Reno on Friday morning, I worked most of the day, but we had time to get our packets and then get our drop bags ready before the mandatory meeting for the 100 milers. Sean was running his 3rd straight TRT.

They do some nice swag at this race, the women got an super cool Patagonia tank in a mint color with purple details (two of my favorite colors!), a bottle opener, a cup and a photo/map of the course.

TRT Race Swag

After the meeting, we still needed to get in our shake-out run.  We just did a quick out and back in the neighborhood by our hotel.  It was sooo hot out that I had a really hard time, this seems to be a trend for me lately having horrible shake-out runs lol.

I set up my Flat Jenny to make sure I had everything I needed and then we headed to an early dinner.  We had to get up around 3am to drive over to Spooner Lake, where we would take a shuttle over to the start line so I wanted to get a decent nights sleep.

TRT 50 Flat Jenny

I think I was asleep by 7:30pm and with the exception of waking up around 10p to go to the bathroom, I slept pretty well.

We got to the parking lot around 4:15am, caught the first shuttle we saw and were at the start area within minutes.  It was a lot colder at the start than it was in Reno and I was a bit nervous because I was only wearing shorts & a tank top.  I really wished I’d brought my arm sleeves but I unfortunately hadn’t even brought them with me.

Chilly at the TRT start line

Sean started his race at 5am so I wished him luck, watched the start and then headed over to the “Ultra Lounge” to sit down and wait until it was closer to my start to get out of my warm clothes. I chatted with a few other runners and then about 20 minutes before the start, I packed my jacket and track pants in my finish line bag to get acclimated to the temps.

Side note…funny story, I remember last year when I just crewed for Sean, I was like why do all these people have finish line bags?  Well went you are a mid/back of the packer like me it’s going to be dark and cold when you finish so you’ll definitely want warm clothes to put on before heading to back to your car.

Near the start, I saw my friend Fern, who is crazy fast and totally killed it coming in 3rd overall in the 50, I chatted with him for a few minutes before making one last visit to the port-a-potties.

Both the 50 milers and the 55k runners started at the same time.  The 55k runners would go to the Red House Loop and then turn around, while we would do a complete loop, the 100 milers would do 2 complete loops.

I started about 2/3s of the way back, I really wasn’t sure how this was going to go.  In the back of my mind I thought about the experience I had in Utah, when I got elevation sickness and I didn’t want that to happen here so my plan was to go slow and steady the whole way.

In the materials, there was just one major cut-off that we needed to worry about.  We had to get to the Diamond Peak aid station, mile 30 by 3:45pm. And then it said we had to be done by 10:30pm, but it looks like they were a bit lax on that because I saw in the results that there were about a dozen people who finished after the 16.5 hour cut-off.

Off we went, on a fire road up to the Marlette Lake Trail, where we would start our climb.  I was in a pack of other runners and I followed along running/hiking on the uphills, just taking it nice and easy.  A few miles in, we got to this amazing downhill, Tim got this great photo of Sean there last year, where you can see the lake.

Marlette Lake Trail

All this way, there was a cold breeze and it was just overall much cooler than I was expecting.  But I think the worse part was my hands were really cold, I had gloves in my suitcase but that wasn’t going to do me much good was it?

After a serious climb, we made it to the first aid station Hobart.  They had whiskey shots and the aid station was inside a decent size tent.  Little did I know that when I returned hours later it was going to be super windy.

I knew from crewing Sean that it was best to get in and out of the aid stations as quickly as possible, so I tried to just fill my bottles, eat a few orange slices and get out fast.

Heading out of Hobart Aid StationPhoto from I-Tao Tsai

I had my trekking poles velcro’d in the middle of my Orange Mud VP2 and I asked them to take them out for me.  Of course this section we didn’t really need them, but I didn’t know that, oops.

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As I ran this section to Tunnel Creek Aid station, I realized that Sean & I had done a bunch of this section during Tahoe 200 last year.  It was nice to know I recognized a portion of the course.

IMG_3423Photo from Facchino Photo

There was a nice downhill section during this part, little did I know I would have to go back up later in the race, oops. I made it to Tunnel Creek in pretty good time, saw our friend Noe, who told me that Sean had already come and gone both times.  He refilled my bottles and filled my Running Skirts neck gaiter with ice.  I moved through here pretty quickly.

And down I went towards the Red House, this is the section of the course that is considered the taste of hell because you go down to the lowest part of the course and then have to make your way back up again.  It’s about a 10k loop before making your way back to Tunnel Creek Aid.

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Fortunately for me, I had my poles so the steep downhill wasn’t so bad.  I made it down, talking to other runners, a lady who had just taken a survival first aid course, a guy who was telling me about some bears they’d seen in that section earlier in the week, really? I didn’t need to know about that, lol.

During this section there were 2 water crossings which I didn’t know about.  I used my poles to try and keep my feet dry because I didn’t even think to put another pair of socks in my drop bags so I didn’t want to destroy my feet.

I eventually started walking and chatted with another runner for a while, before we made it to the Red House, which was a really nice aid station.  They said it was about 3 miles back to Tunnel Creek.  I think it was a little less, but it’s possible my Garmin wasn’t accurate during this part of the course.

I personally didn’t think this loop was that bad, it was steep in the last mile, but other than that, it wasn’t too bad.  It was probably a lot worse in the dark since it’s pretty shaded in spots.

I slowly made my way up the hill and eventually I could hear the music from the aid station. Yea!! I made it out of the taste of hell! lol

I debated about taking a 3rd bottle when I left Tunnel Creek because it was getting warmer and they recommended it for the 8 mile section between Bull Wheel & Diamond Peak, but in the end I decided against it because I wasn’t drinking a ton.

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During this section, I saw a lot of the lead 100 milers and 50 milers on their way back to Tunnel Creek. I walked a lot of this section and it was beautiful.  I eventually got to Bull Wheel, I was keeping an eye on my watch, just to make sure I wasn’t going to miss the Diamond Peak cut-off.  I had plenty of time.

At Bull Wheel, another runner happened to take my photo, which was really cool.  I refilled my bottle, big mistake, the water there tasted horrible and ate some orange slices.   I took off up the hill only to be yelled at saying I was going to wrong way, thank goodness because I was heading up to the top of Diamond Peak when I needed to go around!  Oops! And huge props to the people at the aid station for letting me know quickly.

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This section was pretty hot, there were 8 miles between aid stations and I had to go to the bathroom.  Of course in this section there wasn’t a lot of tree cover so I walked a bunch until I could find a semi private place.  I hadn’t seen another runner in what seemed like forever, until I stopped…Murphy’s law right? Haha.

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And then I was able to run the nice downhill.  By the time I got to the Tyrolean Village neighborhood near Diamond Peak, I was with a bunch of other runners.  We all made it into the aid station at around 2:20pm so I was a bit ahead of the cut-off.  I took a bit more time here, drank some broth, ate a bunch of orange slices, refilled my bottles, used a real bathroom.

When I checked out of the aid station, I asked them if there were any other aid station cut-offs.  They told me I had to make it to Tunnel Creek by 5:11p.  As I climbed Diamond Peak, I was thinking, that wasn’t a lot of time to make it about 5 miles with a 2 mile 1,700ft climb up the Crystal Ridge ski run.

You know how people ask you what you think about when you are running?  Especially when you are running that far?  Well I’ve never done this before but I spent a lot of time counting steps.  I have no idea why or what I was doing but all of a sudden at one point, I realized I was counting.

Diamond Peak Selfie

I very very slowly made my way up Diamond Peak, it just seemed like it kept going up and up and up some more.  Finally after what seemed like hours and a few photo breaks, I made it to the top and then down to Bull Wheel again.  I didn’t need much in terms of water so I grabbed a few orange slices and kept moving.

By this point, I was exhausted, I had to stop my Garmin because it was low battery and I didn’t want to have to keep pulling my phone out so I turned off the GPS to be able to see the time.  I had no idea how far I had to go which probably didn’t help.  At one point a guy ran past me going the other way and told me I only had 17.5 miles to go so that told me I had 2.5 miles to Tunnel Creek.

I finally made it there, around 5pm, I was kind of nervous because I just made it before the supposed cut-off. Noe asked me how I was doing and I said I was tired but ready to go after a quick refuel.  I grabbed my headlamp, even though it wouldn’t get dark for hours, I was going to need it eventually, and my Lululemon swiftly long sleeve since it was cold in the morning, I figured I might need it night I’d need it.

Before I left, I asked the guy at the check-out table if there were any other cut-offs, just in case and he said that there weren’t any more for 50 milers, thank goodness so I didn’t have to worry about that.  Just finishing the last 15 miles in less than 5ish hours.

I had to go back up the part that was so fun to run down at the beginning.  It sucked, I was so tired, I was walking really slow, like really slow.  Finally, I was like that’s it.  I moved off the trail, sat down for a minute, drank one of my Glukos gels and got my Trekz Titanium headphones out.

A few people asked me if I was ok, and I was, I just needed to regroup for a minute or two before continuing on.  After this, I turned on my audio book, Daniel Silva‘s, The English Spy, which I’d been listening to for a while.  I swear as soon as I turned that on, it was like a switch, I felt a 100x better and not nearly as tired as I did moments before.

As I made my way back to Hobart, it started getting windy! Seriously there were some spots that I couldn’t hear the book because it was so loud.  I made my way down to the aid station, following a few other runners and took my longest stop of the day.

After getting my bottles refilled, I sat down to have them take a look at my foot, I felt like I was getting a blister on the midfoot.  Turns out it was just a hot spot, thank goodness, so they put a little bit of something like glide on the bottom of my foot.  Then it was time to go.  They told me I was going to have a 3 mile 1,000 ft climb up to Snow Valley Peak before a 7 mile downhill to the finish.

So off I went, I thought I might see Sean before I took the turn but unfortunately I missed him.  I slowly made my way up to Snow Valley Peak, which was a 9,000 ft.  I wanted to make sure I didn’t have any additional elevation issues so I made it up slowly.

It was really pretty once we got closer to the top, with a lot of greenery.  They had a sign out saying food & lodging in 1 mile and then little signs with funny sayings as we made our way up the last mile.  I had stopped to put my jacket on, I wish I had gotten my Altra Stash Jacket at Diamond Peak, but I forgot to grab it, because then I could have put my jacket on without taking off my pack. But then I followed this girl and her pacer up to the top of the hill.

We finally made it to the aid station, I again refilled my bottle, got some more orange slices and then got out of there quick!  There were a lot of runners sitting down and I just wanted to be done!  So off I went, attempting to run, it was very rocky at the beginning of this section so I did my best.  Not that I cared what place I was in, but when I looked at the tracking afterwards, I was in 123rd place when I left this aid station.

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They told us that it was 5 miles to a water stop and 7 miles to the finish.  I just booked it as fast as I could down.  I stopped to turn on my headlamp and one girl passed me, which actually was a good thing because I could see her ahead of me for quite a while.

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After a while I caught up with 3 other runners, I chatted with them for a few minutes and then had to pass them, I was so ready to be done!  Just a few minutes later there was a guy standing on the side saying that it was a 1/2 mile to the water stop and then 1.7 miles to the finish.  Sweet!

I passed the water stop and just kept moving, at this point, you could see the aid station from across the lake, it was pretty cool.  We crossed over a few wooden bridges during this section and I just kept moving.  Eventually we would get to the other side of the lake and the it didn’t take long to get to the finish line, in fact it was a lot sooner than I was expecting.  I thought the start & finish was in the same place, but was closer to the water.

And then I was done! I had finished my first 50(.48) mile mountain race.  This was not an “easy” 50 miler, with 9,000 ft (although when I checked the website before & after the race, it said that it had over 12,200 ft of ascent & descent so I guess it was wrong). The min elevation was 6,800 and max just over 9,000.

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By the time I had finished, I had somehow managed to move up 12 spots and I finished at 111 overall, with a time of 15h46m49s, which was under written cut-off of 16h30m and I wasn’t DFL, which I totally would have taken, my main goal was to finish under the cut-off.

I actually felt pretty good after I finished, a little sore, but not bad.  They gave me my finishers cup and a finishers plaque, that’s pretty cool.  Instead of a medal they gave 55k & 50 mile runners a plaque with the logo and the race on it.

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They had a taco truck there were we could get a hot meal and hang out in the ultra lounge. I had tacos, which were good, but I couldn’t eat that much at that time.  Sean had a rice & bean burrito the next day that was really good.

I’ve run a lot of races, most of which are just training for something else, this was one of my proudest running moments, because even though I was super slow and probably walked 75% of the race, I did something that I never in a million years would have thought I’d do, I didn’t ever think about quitting, and even though I was tired, I never once gave up on achieving my goal.

I’m positive I could have run/walked/hiked certain sections faster, but I’m happy with my time, how my race went and I learned a lot about myself & 50 miles.

Thanks for reading along, I know it was a long recap, but it was a long race, lol!