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.

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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.

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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!

REVIEW & GIVEAWAY: SKINS DNAmic Women’s Speed Crop Sports Bra

Disclosure: I received a SKINS DNAmic Women’s Speed Crop from SKINS through my partnership with FitApproach.

I am always on the hunt for a good sports bra and when I had the opportunity to try the SKINS DNAmic Women’s Speed Crop, I was super excited.

What makes the SKINS DNAmic Speed Crop different?

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From the website…with medium impact support and smooth elastic straps that won’t dig into your shoulders, the SKINS DNAmic Crop Top is built to take the discomfort and distraction out of your workout.

The fabrics are warp knitted to give superior performance and mixed with spandex to for a controlled compression.  The fabrics also have a UV protection of 50+ and keep you dry through advance wicking properties.

Probably the biggest difference between the SKINS DNAmic Speed Crop and a normal sports bra is their muscle focus.  Uniquely wrapping and supporting your key muscle groups to reduce movement and focus direction for less vibration in your muscles, less soft tissue damage and less soreness after exercise.

And the fact that in order to get the full benefits of the compression element you have to get the proper sizing use a BMI algorithm.  Which means what exactly?  Well basically you have to take your measurements to make sure you get the proper size.

They have both a size guide and a calculator on their site which makes it really easy to determine your size.  I do recommend measuring yourself around the largest part of the chest because most women wear the wrong size sports bra and if I had ordered my bra size I would have had the wrong size and the Speed Crop would have been way too small.

SKINS DNAmic Speed Crop Review & Giveaway

So now that we’ve gotten through all the technical stuff, how does it feel on?

First off, I got the size medium and it was a perfect fit.  I don’t feel like it’s too tight or too loose and when running I didn’t really feel like I had it on.

The elastic straps really don’t dig into the shoulders and I felt supported but not suffocated like I have in some compression sports bras.

The Speed Crop comes with removable cups for modesty.

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How does it perform?

I ran in the Speed Crop a few times and I wore it while traveling.  I didn’t have any issues, it kept me supported and felt great on.

My only complaint would be that the straps are super wide so it doesn’t fit well under my tanks and tees.  If the straps could just be a little more narrow, I would say it’s perfect.  I’m sure it would be fine if I was a sports bra only girl.

I personally like my Lululemon tops for their cooling properties, see I sweat a lot and for me, when my CRBs and Run Swiftlys get wet, they actually keep me cooler than skin alone.  I have tested it out and this is what works for me.  If you are a sports bra only girl, more power to you!

Now that I’m off my soap box, lol, let’s get back on track.  As far as colors – the Speed Crop comes in currently comes in 6 colors: Black, Black/Limoncello (what I have), *Living Lines, *Midnight/Sage (both of which are on sale), Junkyard Geo, Lampone & Cerulean.  The last 3 are new & very pretty shades of pink and blue.

So now that I’ve told you all about the SKINS DNAmic Speed Crop and how it worked for me who wants to win one for themselves?
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Rules: Contest runs from July 22 – 25, 2016 at 11:59pm.

1 Winner will be selected via Rafflecopter – One prize per person. If you win this giveaway, and have already won another prize from SKINS through another blog, please disclose that you have already won so we can choose another winner.

Winner can be from USA, Europe or Australia.  Once the winner is chosen they will be emailed and will have 24 hours to claim their prize or an alternate winner will be selected.   Product will be shipped by SKINS and may take longer than normal due to shipment from Australia.

Race Recap: Vancouver USA Marathon

Sean & I headed up to the Pacific Northwest to run the Vancouver USA Marathon for my 10th marathon.  This was my first visit to this area, I’ve been to Seattle for Rock n’Roll in 2013 but I’ve never been to Portland & southern Washington.

We headed up on Friday night, and after a long flight delay, we finally made it to our hotel around 1am.  We hit up the expo early on Saturday morning right as the skies opened up.  We hung out in the car for a few minutes before braving the weather to pick up our bibs.

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The expo was interesting, it is in conjunction with a Brewfest, which didn’t mean much to us, since we don’t drink, but that took up half the expo area.  The actual expo was mostly local companies, I don’t recall seeing any recognizable companies.

This was a pretty small race, there were only 459 marathon finishers and a little over 1100 half marathon finishers. Bib numbers were listed on the website.  Sean & I were 227 – 228.  We grabbed our bibs and then walked through the expo to get our shirts & a goodie bag which was at the exit.

We got blue marathon shirts, a bag full of snacks, laundry detergent and some pamphlets.  We took a few photos by the VUM sign and the 5k finish line before heading out.

We got in a quick shake-out run by the river later that afternoon.  This run did not go well for me, I was having some pain in my lower abs and my calves were sooo tight.  I jogged or rather walked most of these 2 miles.

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We had a traditional Italian dinner at Mamma Mia, lasagna for me & linguine carbonara for Sean before heading back to the hotel.  I was so exhausted, I took my flat Jenny photo(s) but totally fell asleep before I posted it, oops.

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The race didn’t start until 7am and it was only 15 minutes from our hotel so we got up at around 5:30ish I think and then left the hotel about 6:10a.  We got there around 6:30a, found a parking spot on the street just down from the start.  There were a bunch of lots for parking but since were there so early (and the half marathoners didn’t start until 9a) there was plenty of street parking.

First thing we did was head over to the port-a-potties.  Coincidentally, and this was really not cool on their part, there was a guy there cleaning the port-a-potties as we were all trying to use them.  With 450 marathoners and less than 20 minutes until the start, that really wasn’t a great time to be setting things up.  I feel like that was a major fail on the part of the race.

But regardless, we did our business and then dropped our gear off before heading to the start area.  Based on my run the day before, I wasn’t sure how my race was going to go. However we had a nice little bonus with temps that were much cooler than we are used to at the start so I figured I’d give it a go and see what happened.

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So I turned on my Aftershokz so I could listen to my audio book and I took off with the 4:30 pace group.  I quickly moved up and ended up running near the 4:15 group for the next 8 miles.  In looking at my splits I ran the first 9 miles at sub 10 min paces, which considering my lack of speedwork, I’m pretty happy about.  It might not be fast for some, but for me it was a nice consistent pace.  One day, I’ll will run the whole race at this speed :).

The first half of the race was an out and back west of the city.  It was flat and really pretty for most of this section.  The only thing that was a bit odd was that we were on the side of the road for the majority of this part of the race with cars able to come down both sides of the road in some sections.  But I guess with it being a pretty small race it wasn’t a huge deal.  We had a short area where we went through a small patch of gravel trail and then on to little bit of a nicely paved path.

I spent this time listening to my audio book and trying to keep up with the group.  At mile 7 I think they must have sped up because I was still around the same pace.  I hung on until mile 10 when I had to refill my water bottle.  I was so thirsty.  I added in my mix to the bottle and continued on.  I think this is probably when I started taking walk breaks as this mile was quite a bit slower than the previous ones.  Although, part of that is the aid station stop to refill.

So I continued on at a slightly slower speed but I hit the halfway point at about 2:06.  By this point my Garmin was off by about .2 miles so I’m not sure what I did, because Sean was only off .01.  I’ve been to races before when this has happened and it’s made up by the end so I wasn’t sure where exactly I was.

Once we hit mile 14 there were a few hills, in the scheme of things they were very minor, but after 13 flat miles, they felt like mountains, lol.  It was also around this point that we met up with the half marathoners.  By the time I got there, I was met with a lot of walkers, I trudged on, walking if needed up the hills, passing the 3:00hr pace group.

One nice thing about this race was that the half marathoners started 2 hours behind us at 9am so when we got to the half way point, unlike in other races where the marathoners are all by themselves, we had the half marathoners to keep us company.  That was a pretty cool idea especially since the first 13 miles were separate from the half course.

I was still so thirsty, so I refilled my bottle with just water around mile 14 or so, the girl was a little stingy with the water but I was able to get a pretty full bottle.  I only had one more bag of my calorie mix so I waited until I got further along to use it.  I really think if I’d had an extra bag, it would have made all the difference.

I think it was around mile 17/18 as we were heading downhill, the 4:30 pace group passed me.  I was kind of disappointed but I just kept chugging along. At this point I was mostly run walking until I got to mile 19 – 20 when I started to feel a bit sick from the lack of calories and I know from my times that I was walking a lot more during this part.  There also was more climbing in these miles.

I refilled my bottle once more and then just kept run/walking, passing a lot of half marathoners.  I heard one guy saying that they were looking at about a 2:30 half and I kept looking at my watch trying to figure out how much time I had in order to still PR, even by a small amount.

Time was going faster and faster and I was going slower, having another hiccup around mile 22 with the sick feeling.  I started running only to feel like I threw up a little in mouth, YUCK! so I had to back it down again.  At the next aid station, I got some Gatorade and that helped.

This section was really pretty, we were on a nice path by the water before we headed inland again.  I noticed as we got to miles 24 – 26 that the half marathon mile markers started getting further away from the marathon mile markers.  I wasn’t sure what was going on and being so close to my PR time, I was confused as to if I was even going to be anywhere near it because of the mixed up mile markers.

I finally made it to the last aid station, probably less than a half mile from the finish, but I didn’t realize that because the 12 mile marker was right before it, there was another hill of course, lol.  I looked down and saw 4:34 on my watch and was like where did the time go – I guess I hadn’t been watching as closely as I should have.  I grabbed some more water and kept moving, heading down a slight descent and then making a turn trying to pick it up because I was almost there.  Unfortunately I couldn’t go as fast as I wanted to because the sick feeling came back so I just kept moving, finally turning the corner and seeing the finish line, I ran across, arms high to Bart Yasso congratulating me by saying my name and where I was from.

The time on the clock was just over 4:36 minutes and once I had the official results, I knew I missed a PR by 25 seconds.  Of course initially, I was disappointed, for about a minute and then I was super happy to even have gotten that close.

I don’t talk about my times very often, just in the context of the race, but not on a daily basis, mostly because I run a lot of slow miles in training, which is good for my endurance and staying injury free.  But I haven’t had a sub 5 hour marathon since LA Marathon 2015, 15 months ago.  Which is why even though I was 25 seconds away, I’m not upset or really that disappointed, because this race gave me back my marathon confidence.

With no formal training plan and no nutrition plan I ran 25 seconds slower than my PR, which I ran after following a very specific training plan, with a coach, and an incredibly clean diet for 6 months.  The fact that I was able to get close without doing those things was a huge boost to me.

I trained for this race by running longer races, back to back semi long run and a lot of miles, including my biggest (ever) mileage month of 175 miles last month.  Since March, I’ve run 11 races, including 2 50k’s and my first 50 mile race along with logging a lot of trail miles.  It wasn’t a traditional training plan by any ones standards, but I think it worked for me.

Vancouver USA Marathon, Expo, Marathon

Now back to the race.  They gave my medal to Sean, who gave me a kiss and put the medal around my neck.  My legs were so sore, but from the inside, it was almost like they were seizing up because I had stopped.

We took a few photos but I needed food.  They had mini Jamba Juice smoothies, corn thins, fritos or other chips, bottles of Coconut water & gatorade, bananas and Kashi granola bars.  We grabbed a few snacks and then headed over to the park so I could sit down for a few minutes.

After a few minutes of walking around and sitting, my legs felt a lot better and I was walking normally again.  We took a few more quick photos and then headed back to the hotel to clean up & eat!!

Overall, I would say that this is a very well run race.  They were organized and outside the port-a-pottie & half marathon mile marker issues I think everything went really smoothly.

I’ve written about it before that I’m not a huge fan of small races preferring to have more spectator support & people around, but I didn’t feel like this at this race.  I know it’s not feasible in most races to have the half marathoners start 2 hours later, but I really thought this was an awesome idea.

Overall, I enjoyed this race and I would recommend it for those who want a beautiful, smaller race.

Doughnut or Donut: Portland Edition

I was super excited to go to Portland for the Vancouver USA Marathon and one of the reasons for that is that I’ve always heard about Portland’s foodie scene.  I love food and trying new things.

We didn’t have an opportunity to try as much as I would have liked because we had so much to fit into our 3 days, but we did have time to try both Voodoo Doughnuts & Blue Star Donuts.

A lot of people have heard of Voodoo Doughnuts.  With lines that can go down the block, they are known for their outrageous, crazy flavors & sizes.

We went to the Original, Voodoo Doughnut One on 3rd Avenue in Downtown Portland.  Sean had been there before and we made it our very first stop (after a stop at Barista, which is just down the street, for some coffee).  As we were walking down the street, he was like oh, good the line isn’t too bad.  There was a line, but we only waited maybe around 15-20 minutes.  Of course we realized as we were in line that it was cash only so once we got inside, Sean headed to the ATM while I waited in line.

Voodoo Doughnut, Portland, OR

There are over 90 different doughnuts on the menu so it was a challenge to choose.  They all look so cool, but ultimately we decided on the following:  Maple Bacon, Memphis Mafia & the Old Dirty Bastard.

Voodoo Doughnut, Maple Bacon, doughnut, Portland, OR

Maple Bacon bar doughnut
Raised yeast doughnut with maple frosting and bacon on top!

The Maple Bacon was my favorite of the 3.  Always a great combination, I was surprised at how crisp and crunchy the bacon was, just like we like our bacon, but it didn’t just fall apart.

Memphis Mafia doughnut
Fried dough with banana chunks and cinnamon covered in a glaze with chocolate frosting, peanut butter, peanuts and chocolate chips on top!

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland, OR, Memphis Mafia

The Memphis Mafia is HUGE! Seriously, look at it, it’s almost as big as my head!! I was impressed with this fritter type doughnut.  The banana wasn’t overpowering, the dough was moist and not the toppings weren’t overly sweet.  I really thought I would be biting into a sugar bomb and that wasn’t the case at all.

Voodoo Doughnuts, Portland, OR, doughnuts, maple bacon, memphis mafia, dirty old bastard

Old Dirty Bastard doughnut
Raised yeast doughnut with chocolate frosting, Oreo’s™ and peanut butter!

This was probably my least favorite of the 3.  I again was surprised that it wasn’t overly sweet, but I thought it was kind of blah, nothing to write home about.

After posting about our Voodoo visit, we were told that Blue Star was where all the locals go and since we saw it on our way to Vancouver on Saturday we knew exactly were it was so we could try them out too.

We made our way to Blue Star on Monday morning before heading over to Mt. Hood for the day.  Blue Star is different from Voodoo in a lot of ways.  First off, there wasn’t a line, second, their display is super clean and you are in the kitchen where you can watch them preparing the donuts.  I thought I had a photo I could share but I couldn’t find it in my photo album.  Lastly, they accept credit cards, while Voodoo is cash only.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR

From the Blue Star website: Our donuts are made from a classic brioche recipe that originated in the south of France. The dough takes 18 hours to make and is made from scratch every day; we start with a sustainable bread flour from Shepherds Grain, add cage free eggs, whole hormone-free milk, and then fold in a European-style butter. Our donuts, glazes, and fillings are made fresh throughout the day, and we only cook our donuts in rice oil. Selections change daily and sell out quickly.

Because I lost my photo of the display case and they don’t keep their donut list on their website, I’m hoping I got the flavors correct. I scoured their Instagram for the flavors. First off, they are a much more modern, clean and artisan style of donut where as the Voodoo doughnut is a more in your face and crazy.  It was hard to choose, but ultimately we went with the following 4 different types and flavors.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Blueberry bourbon basil, donut

Blueberry, Bourbon, Basil – Sean asked about which donut was the best seller and we were told this one was.  I feel like this was more cake donut than brioche like the Raspberry Rosemary below but I might be wrong, since there was frosting on it, it was hard to tell.  But it was definitely tasty.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Peanut Butter & Jelly, donut

Peanut Butter & Jelly – I had to try this one because I love PB.  This was I believe a raspberry or maybe blackberry (I can’t remember) filled with peanut butter powder and I believe a little cayenne pepper.  There was definitely a little kick in the back of my throat with this one.  Super yummy, I enjoyed this one.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Hard Apple Cider Fritter

Hard Cider Apple Fritter – I like apple fritters so I picked this for our fourth choice.  Made with apples, cinnamon and raisins and a nice glaze it was good, but in comparison to the others, it was probably our least favorite.

Blue Star Donuts, Portland, OR, Raspberry Rosemary, Donut

Raspberry & Rosemary – Sean also asked the guy helping us what his favorite was and he pointed to this one.  We were super lucky to get to try one that was still warm.  This was by far our favorite, warm and crunchy on outside while still remaining soft inside with a super yummy raspberry glaze.

After hearing about these amazing doughnuts and donuts which do you think was my favorite?

Drum roll please…

They were both good, but I have to say Blue Star was by far my favorite and the place I would recommend to anyone.  I think you have to try Voodoo because of what it is, a destination, the maple bacon was yummy, but for an amazing & unique artisan creation, I’d pick Blue Star every time.

Have you been to Portland and gone to Voodoo &/or Blue Star?  Which is your favorite?

Review: Bull & Cleaver Biltong & Chili Bites

The nice people at Bull & Cleaver gave me the opportunity to try out two of their products, Bitlong & Chili Bites in exchange for this review.

When I first heard them say Biltong I didn’t know what that was, I’ve heard of and eaten different types of jerky, but I haven’t heard of Biltong before. But being a foodie, I googled briefly, found something that looked tasty, read a little about it and then was like uh Yum!

Bull and Cleaver Biltong

So then what is Biltong?  From the Bull & Cleaver website:

Biltong is a form of seasoned dried meat similar to jerky made exclusively from fine cuts of all beef steak. Even though biltong and jerky are both dried meats, there are a few differences that give biltong a fuller and more flavorful taste preferred by carnivores and omnivores all over the world. It really all comes down to how these two dried meats are prepared.

Biltong originates in South Africa and involves a specific recipe and process, whereas jerky has its origins in North America and has had a mixed reputation over the last couple years. Jerky is a dehydrated meat usually cut into small pieces dried in a dehydrator or oven and flavoured with sugar based sauces and marinades. Biltong on the other hand is air dried for a minimum of 7 days and always starts with a full cut of steak which encourages an aging process that gives the meat its unique flavor. The process of making biltong also includes seasoning the meat in vinegar and rubbing it spices such as pepper and coriander to bring out all of the delectable flavors of the meat. 

One of the benefits of air drying and the simple use of spices is that biltong retains more protein, contains less salt and uses no preservatives.

The Biltong has a very meaty yet mild taste, it’s lightly seasoned with vinegar, salt, coriander & black pepper and is incredibly high in protein.  One 4 oz bag has only 320 calories, 60g protein, 10g fat & no carbohydrates.  It reminds me of a beef proscuitto.

Let me tell you, I’m a little sad I only have one bag, I seriously could have eaten it all in one sitting but I’ve been good & only eating a little bit here and there to save it.

I also got a bag of Chili Bites, which also taste amazing with a little spicy bite, but I did feel like they were a bit tougher to eat.

Bull and Cleaver Chili Bites

The Chili Bites are made from beef, salt, coriander, black pepper, red pepper, chili powder, garlic, paprika, onion, tumeric.

For a quick, tasty and protein filled snack, Biltong is definitely something that I’ll be reaching for.

Want to try Bull & Cleaver’s products for yourself?  Head over to their website and you can get 15% off using code RUNNER.  And let me know what you think.

Have you ever tried Biltong?

Race Recap: SoCal Wine Country Women’s Half Marathon

When our friend Matt from Athlete IQ asked me if I was interested in running this race, I thought it would be a fun time and a good way to get in another longish run for my marathon on June 19 & a second birthday race :).  Athlete IQ and Paul Jesse from Off Road Pursuits gave me an entry to the race.

This was the 5th year for the SoCal Wine Country Women’s Half & 5k.  Paul Jesse is the race director and he is a fellow Orange Mud Ambassador, local San Diego runner and race director for the San Diego 50 mile & trail marathon that we did back in January.

A few days before the race Paul asked Sean if he could help volunteer because someone backed out so we headed up near Temecula to Vail Lake early so we could help out at packet pick-up.  Temecula is about 70-80 minutes from us so we would need to leave around 4:30a to get there by 5:45a to help out.

The day before I had a few extra bottles of juice and tried to hydrate/eat the best I could.  I headed to bed at a decent hour after posting my flat Jenny photo to be up by 3:45a to get ready.

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On the way to the race, I ate a container of instant oatmeal and drank some water.  We made it there by 5:45a and immediately headed over to see where they needed us.  I got my bib first and then helped Sean & Carrie Jesse hand out bibs and race shirts until it was time for our race to start.

Start Line Photo

The half marathon started at 7:00a and it was mandatory to pick up your bib before 6:45a.  We all gathered around for a quick briefing and then we off.

From step one my legs were not happy.  I was having a lot of issues with pain in the glutes and hamstrings. I kept waiting to warm up and have the discomfort go away.

The weather was a bit humid and very overcast.  While I didn’t have the best of races, the course was beautiful.  There were a lot of little hills but it was a very runable course.  I kept thinking that Sean would love these trails.

After a few miles I would start hiking the hills and then running the downhill & flats as much as I could.

There were a three aid stations on course we hit twice. I remember joking with Scott Mills (SD 100 Race Director) that I needed new legs when he asked me what I needed at mile 6.

After a few miles heading back the way we came, we eventually hit the lake and were treated to some amazing views.  I ran as much of the downhill as I could before we hit a steep uphill to an aid station, which I hiked up.

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I finished strong and crossed the line in 2:41, which for a trail half and the fact that my legs were just shot from mile 1, I was pretty happy to just finish in a decent time.

I came up to the finish line, saw Sean and was like uh, where’s the camera lol.  He ran over and grabbed it so he could get a few shots of me crossing the finish.

Flat Jenny SoCal Women's Half

He then gave my medal, which our friend Eric made, which is super cool.

I got changed, enjoyed some orange slices & a half of a subway sandwich and then helped Sean hand out medals and wine glasses.

Swag: An awesome purple T-shirt, medal, wine glass, post race food & wine sample.

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Medal: From Elevation Culture

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Course: A challenging but runable course around Vail Lake

Price: It was $90 for the half marathon and I don’t recall the price of the 5k

Photos: They had a photographer on course and at the finish line.  And they offered a code for one free photo.

All in all it was a great time and I think that Paul and Carrie did a great job putting it on.  I would definitely check this one out again, preferably with fresher legs ;).