It’s Ragnar Los Coyotes Week!!

This post is a part of my collaboration with Ragnar Trail & FitApproach for Ragnar Los Coyotes.  All thoughts & opinions are my own.

This year, I was asked to captain the Sweat Pink Team for Ragnar Los Coyotes & I’m so excited to get to run another Ragnar Trail event & Sean will be running with me.

Our team is amazing, we’ve got a good mix of women & men, with the following runners on board. Of course there is Sean @ultrarunnersd & I @runnylegs then Jamie @jamiefitking, Kristina @ocrunningmama, Jared @jaredsblank, Debbie @coachdebbieruns, Sandra @organicrunnermom & finally Michael @thebrosh.

We’re all so excited to get out there & run!

Want to read more about our team?

Check out our runner profiles:
Jenny
Sean
Jamie
Kristina
Jared
Sandra
Debbie
Michael

A little background on my Ragnar experience, I ran my first Ragnar Trail event back in 2013 at McDowell Mountains in Arizona with my then running group.  I’d seen people run the road races. I wasn’t really interested in sleeping in a van and running in the dark on the road, but when I found out that there were trail races, it was like mind blown, this was my kind of event!

After that first race in 2013, we went on to run the inaugural Zion race in 2014 & then McDowell Mountains again that fall.  We had a great group that was a mix of slow & fast runners and we had such a blast out there!  Then I moved to San Diego and was interested in running another one, but they are a little shorter in distance from what Sean likes to do and we already race a lot so we kind of put them aside.  This opportunity kind of fell into our laps and I am super excited to get back out there and run green, yellow & red loops!

It was so long ago, I couldn’t really find many photos from my previous races, it was before my instagram days really kicked off 😉 lol.  This is a snapshot of the inaugural Ragnar Trail Zion in 2014.

So what makes Ragnar Trail so unique?

First off, it’s a loop course.  Regular teams are made up of 8 team members and everyone runs the same 3 loops.  Which is awesome, unlike the road Ragnars everyone does the same thing!

Secondly, the whole team gets to stick together at camp. We set up camp with all the other teams and everyone can hang out together.  No vans & no split teams like on a road Ragnar.

Third, It’s Trail!!  Trail races are the best & doing these different loops gives everyone a chance to try the different parts of the course.

Forth, the camp energy! It’s great, there is an exchange tent where you meet your runner to head out & seeing all the runners there, waiting for their team mates, it’s just a really awesome, positive energy.

So how have I been training for Ragnar? Well if you follow me, you’ll know that I am an unconventional runner, I run a lot of races & that’s pretty much how I train. In the five weeks, I have run a 50k, marathon, Runner’s World Grand Slam (4 races adding up to 26.2 miles), a 100k & a 5k this weekend. The Runner’s World event was probably the best training. Running so many races back to back was a challenge, but it has me ready to run multiple loops over a short period of time.

I’ve also been staying up quite late lately with red-eye flights, early morning wake-ups to volunteer & 2 trips to the east coast.

Now to get packed & get out there!

Need packing tips, check out these blog posts & get packing! 1, 2, 3 & 4

Anyone else have an unconventional way of training for Ragnar races?

I’ll be sharing our day out at the race on my Instagram stories on Friday/Saturday so get ready!

2018 Tahoe 200 Crew Recap

I love Tahoe 200 – it is one of my favorite races of the year & I don’t even run it LOL.  This was Sean’s 5th time running and the first time that they have done the race in reverse.

I recapped my first time crewing Sean at Tahoe 200 in 2015, which you can find here if you want to see how things have changed ;).  That recap & this one are quite long (it is a 206mile race so there is a lot to say, lol) so I won’t be offended if you just scroll through the photos ;).

This year, we had a whole new #TeamSexyCalves because our old crew was busy crushing their own races.  Greg (@gregknottlemond) was going for his Western States qualifier up in Canada.  Maili (@mais_runs_trails) was going for her first official 50 mile finish,  Eric (@aspireforlife) was also running and Joyce (@flyjoyce) was crewing & pacing Catra.

We had talked to our friend Josh (@jwanders11) at SD 100 and he was willing to come up and help crew & pace with us.  And then after TRT, Sean & I thought we should ask Kristina (@ocrunningmama) to come with us too & she jumped on the chance to come back to Tahoe!

About 2-3 weeks before the race, we found out that Spooner Lake was no longer going to be crew accessible and so I was pretty worried that we needed to have another pacer who could go the first paceable 36 miles with Sean.  Enter our friend and amazing runner, Jake (@ultra_trucker).  Interestingly, I found out after he ran that Jake had never been to Tahoe before.

Sean, Kristina & I headed up to Tahoe on Wednesday evening. We got to the B&B around 11:30p or so.  Had a little craziness where the door to our cabin was locked when it was supposed to be open and had to call the owner to figure out how to get in.  We got it sorted & were able to head to bed.

As per usual, I had to work on Thursday and so I did that while Sean slept in.  We hit up some groceries for supplies to get his drop bags ready for the afternoon.  I worked while Sean & Kristina worked on them.  They finished up & we headed over for the mandatory pre-race meeting at Homewood Resort.

It was a huge group of runners, I think they had 230 people start the race.  There were not that many people who had done the race before and Sean was the only person to have done it every year.  Candice made an announcement that there would be a special award for him when he finished the race and she was super excited about it.

I stopped to say Hi to Catra, who was selling & signing her book onsite.

Then Kristina wanted to say Hi to Courtney Dauwalter who would end up leading the race for pretty much the whole time before being passed by Kyle Curtain, who none of us had heard of before, but I’ve since heard he’s won Run Rabbit Run previously.  Courtney is seriously one of the sweetest people, she remembered me from Coldwater Rumble when Sean introduced us.

We dropped the drop bags & then headed to dinner at the pizza place down the street from our B&B.  Since the race didn’t start until 9am, we had some time after dinner for Sean to finish getting his gear together before heading to bed.

And then before we knew it, it was go time. We all got ready & headed to the start.  Sean got his bib, he picked to be 1 & his tracker, we got that sorted, found Josh, chatted with some friends, got some photos and then it was time.

As per usual Sean took off up the hill which is his traditional way to start the race.  Since the race was going to be crew accessible on Friday, I took the day off from work.  I normally work all day Friday before meeting the first pacer at Sierra at Tahoe & then crew from there on.

When we were leaving, I ran into Jay, Joyce’s brother and Catra’s head crew & TruMan.  He was a little nervous since his momma was gone, but he let me hold him & eventually drooled all over my arm so I think he relaxed a bit ;).

We got packed up & checked out before heading to the first aid station at mile 10.4.  Kristina & I stopped to take a few photos by the lake, it was a beautiful day & looking like it was going to be quite warm.

Courtney came into the aid station first, looking great as usual.  We waited for about 10 runners or so and then Sean came in.

He was just kind of chilling, taking his time.  He got some water from the aid station and then he was off.  We wouldn’t see him again for 20 miles.

While we waited, we headed to breakfast & then climbed Eagle Ridge (a short .4 mile hike with breathtaking views).  Kristina convinced Josh do his first insta story (and he’s now hooked LOL).

We made it to Tahoe City just in time to see Courtney come in and then speed out.  A bunch of other runners got there not to far after her, but I realized about 20 minutes later that no one else had left yet.  Most of these runners had done about a 6 hour 50k which seems waaaay to fast for most people in a 200+ miler.

Sean came in around 7h44m saying it was HOT out.  We got him cooled down & ready for the next section.  It was going to be dark by the time he got to mile 50, Brockway so we made sure he had his headlamp & then sent him on his way.

In the meantime, we checked out Kings Beach, had dinner and then hung out at Brockway.  All the while it was so weird to me going backwards to these aid stations.  It was super fun having other people to hang out with and doing things I would normally never do, like go to the beach, but it felt really weird.

While we waited for Sean, we were standing next to another runner & her crew.  They were totally stressing me out because they had binders and all sorts of papers telling them what to do, but when it came to actually doing anything they just didn’t seem to have a clue.  I really thought that the poor girl was going to end up going out without any hydration at one point.  I literally had to get up and move away because  they were totally stressing me out, lol.

Sean made it to Brockway around 11:30p. we got him food, energy drinks, extra headlamp batteries, etc. etc. and he headed out to Tunnel Creek.

We too headed that way, we managed to get a little sleep before we met up with Jake. Sean came in around 3am & I was asking him how he liked going down PowerLine vs going up & he said it was pretty slippery.  He got some food & then he and Jake were off heading up Tunnel Creek to Spooner Lake.  I’ve run this section with Sean before going in the opposite direction and it’s spectacular, it’s always been a fun section because you get to run down to the cafe, but this year they were climbing up instead.

Once they were on their way, it was time for us to get some more sleep so back to the car we went.  I think I woke up around 6:30a & Tunnel Creek Cafe opened at 7 for breakfast. I got a yummy granola with soy milk.

I wanted to go and cheer on some of the other runners.  I saw Catra @dirtdiva333 who looked super fresh.

I helped Mark Tanaka who was running solo get ready for the next section. He was a little out of it when he arrived so I helped get him some food & get his pack ready.  He said that someone told him that Sean had dropped, which was kinda weird, but who knows.

We ran into Robert Villani when we were heading to the car, he was doing great waiting for his wife to bring him some milk shakes, which is his secret weapon for getting in lots of calories. He told us about  how awesome the Kogalla light was (I asked Sean to pick one up in Moab & he did so I’m excited to try it out).

We still had a bit of time before we had to meet Sean at Heavenly so we decided to go to Sand Harbor for a bit.  Sean & I always pass by when we are in Tahoe but it’s always packed so we have never stopped.  We were able to get in and go explore for a bit.  I was climbing all over the rocks and in the water having a great time.

Once we got to Heavenly, it was soooo windy. Sean came in with Jake around 2:30p.  He wanted shade & to change so we got him all ready to go.  He and Kristina would be going from Heavenly to Armstrong, another section I have done with him.

We got a (full) team photo and then they were off.  I can’t remember exactly what Josh & I did in the interim, but we eventually made our way over to Armstrong Pass and he got his stuff ready to go out and pass Sean to Housewife Hill & then on to Sierra at Tahoe.  We ran into Schuyler from Mountain Outpost fame – Run Flat, Stay Low 😉 and Jamil’s son, who is super cute!  We chatted with them for a while since we were all waiting on our runners.  I think Sean was in the top ten during this stretch.

Sean got in around 8p just after dark.  We got him some food, a long sleeve shirt & then he was off.  But then, he came back a few minutes later shivering from having gotten too cold while at the aid station.  We got him wrapped up in a blanket, put on his warm jacket, got him some hot water to drink & I gave him my insulated water bottle full of hot water so he could use that when he headed out.

Next stop was Housewife Hill.  Somehow we ended up going into the aid station from the back, that was a first, but it ended up working out so it was all good.  This aid station is one of the best, they are always dressed up & so energetic.  When speaking with the aid station captain, she was saying that going this direction meant she had to take a few days off work in order to be there for the whole race.  I didn’t even think of that, but going in the opposite direction means a lot of changes for everyone.

In any case, Sean came in around 2:15am looking pretty good.  We got him some food & refilled his bottles.  He and Josh set off for the 7 miles to Sierra at Tahoe where I would pick him up to go with him for the next ~40 miles.

We got over to Sierra at Tahoe, I think I slept for maybe an hour before getting changed.  I originally had on shorts & then at the last minute decided to grab a pair of capris & I’m glad I did because it got warmer during the day.

When Sean got to the aid station I think he was in 6th place.  Jamil was still up in the aid station.  Sean changed in the bathroom, we got him food & refilled his bottles.  He doesn’t like going upstairs at this aid station so we always just stay at the entrance.  Interestingly the aid station was unmanned when he came in so we kept asking people where he checked in & finally as we were leaving, a few minutes after Jamil & Skylar left, someone came by to check him in.  The guy had been sleeping since so few people had come through & said, oh, you don’t really need to be checked in. Um, say what? I’m pretty sure someone always checked him in there in the past, but whatever.

So off we went.  I had this idea that we could finish the 40 miles in about 12 hours which would put us at Loon Lake about 5/5:30pm.  From Sierra at Tahoe, you take the road down to the trail, which is initially a fire road.  Last year, Greg & I did a little shakeout down this section so I was familiar with it.  After a while we turned onto a single track section.  Sean was moving pretty good in this section.

I had never been in this section of the course because typically they do this section on day 1 when crew isn’t allowed and I have to say, it’s not the beautiful rim trail.  The trail was not nearly as well maintained as the rim trail and there was so much poop on the trail we started calling this section the Pooer line trail, instead of Power Line ;).  We were like they obviously didn’t read the section of the handbook where it said you can’t just poo anywhere because it was literally like every few feet, sometimes less.

The section to Wrights Lake requires a 3ish mile climb up a road, which Sean did amazing at, he was chugging along, click, click, click of the poles.  It was really cool to see.  But, once he got to the top, he had a hard time going downhill, his hips were not happy.  We eventually made our way down to the trail again.  At this point, we had to take a few breaks & I was digging in to find his psoas muscle to try to get him a bit of release.

This section seemed to go on forever, we finally made it to Wrights Lake, I think there was one other runner there at the same time, got Sean fueled up, got us more water & then headed out.  We were coming up on the Rubicon Jeep Trail.

We started out fine, there were a few jeeps coming down to where the aid station has been in the past.  Sean was moving good, we had a little discussion about him moving a touch faster so we could make up some time & he was trying so hard! Then it happened.  We were following the markers and then all of a sudden there were no more markers.  We had crossed over this bridge & were climbing up rocks looking for the trail.  There were no markers.  Eventually we turned back and tried to see where we got off trail.  Sean ran into another runner & his pacer and we finally had to go to the GPX track to find the trail.

Turns out the track showed the trail to be this random grassy section with logs at the start, which in most races is an indication not to go that way. So weird.  Anyways we went relatively slowly for the next 2ish miles following the GPX track and finally after about 2 miles saw a marker.  I don’t know what happened, but whoever marked this section did a horrible job, because after this, the next marker was at least a 1/2 mile away.  We lost a lot of time in this section to Tells Creek because we literally would come to a dead stop looking for the next marker.  They were not in our line of sight like they should have been.  It was a really frustrating section.

But eventually we made it to Tells Creek.  We got veggie burgers and coke and filled up.  I changed back into my capri’s because I accidentally spilled my drink on my chair and soaked my shorts, oops. But I was glad I changed because once the sun went down, it got cold!

We were moving really well on this section the first half, I think that the veggie burger gave Sean & me a nice energy boost!  I was having a hard time keeping up with Sean the first part of this section, he was moving fast & it was probably the only time that I got my heart rate up during our day together.

We saw the most beautiful sunset, stopped to take a few photos and then we were on a downhill section.  This section was pretty rocky so I took the lead and would go slowly down.  We made a pact that I would stay ahead of him, but not too far ahead so he could feel like he could catch me.  By this point it was getting colder but we were getting closer.  I asked Sean if he would want to take a nap, at this point he hadn’t slept at all and he was past his 60 hour threshold.  He said he would see, but he seemed like he was in decent shape.

We eventually got to where we could see the aid station! YAY!! Finally, 16 hours after we started we were there! Mile 180.  Sean’s mom, Josh & Kristina were there.  Originally Kristina was supposed to run this next section with Sean, but I guess during the day it was decided that Josh would do it instead.  So instead of taking a nap, with all the craziness that was going on, we pushed him out instead.  In hindsight I should have pushed for him to sleep no matter what, but I was so happy to be done & he seemed fine.

I had no idea, but Loon Lake is 2.5 hours from Lake Tahoe!! OMG, that’s a 5 hour round trip drive! Yet another reason why the original direction is soooo much better, that’s a crazy long drive, especially in the dark.  Kristina was a total rockstar driving us back while I was half asleep.  We finally made it back to the B&B, I was able to shower off all the dirt & sleep for a few hours before we headed to Barker Pass.

I would wake up, check the tracker, see Sean was moving really really slowly & go back to sleep for a little while longer.  I was stressing out a lot because I knew he was sleep deprived & sleep walking.  Everyone of these 200 mile races is around a work event that I have to be at, my job is very flexible & I can work from anywhere, except when we have events, I obviously need to be at them so I had to fly to Phoenix that afternoon & I was very concerned that I was going to miss Sean finishing.

We eventually drove over to Barker Pass around 6/7am .  I would try to work & keep checking the tracker, the cell signal up there wasn’t great & it seemed like he was just so far away.  I was incredibly frustrated & in tears by the time he got to the aid station for a variety of reasons.

He got there and we had a little chat, I told him that if he didn’t get to the finish before noon, I was going to have to leave & wouldn’t see him finish.  I was so upset & even now it makes me want to cry a little (and it’s about 6 weeks later).  After last year’s absolutely perfect race, it was heart-breaking to see him struggle this year.

But he & Kristina headed out & he rallied.  I took Josh back to the B&B so he could shower, we got some food & then we checked & Sean was moving quite well so we headed to the finish.

Two hours after he left Barker Pass, he got to the finish line! 74ish hours after he started with no sleep.  I was so happy for him & so relieved that I got to see him finish.

And as the only person to finish Tahoe 200 five times, that’s over 1000 miles on the TRT, Candice presented him with a special award.  He got a custom buckle & belt. It’s really nice!

What a weekend!

My final thoughts, as crew & pacer, 200s are so challenging.  They are all this hurry up and wait, being patient, stressing but not allowing your runner to see that.  While I absolutely love this race, it’s 1000x better in the original direction.

First, the runners get the really remote sections out of the way on the first day so crew doesn’t have to drive 5 hours to Loon Lake. Second, by the time you get to Sierra at Tahoe the runners have spread out a lot. Third, you don’t really have super long paced sections – the 15 – 20 mile section is really ideal for both pacer & runner so that neither gets burnt out.

Tahoe 200 is one of the most beautiful courses around so I’m sure we’ll be back, but I need a little break from 200s for the time being :).

Huge Thanks to our amazing team #TeamSexyCalves.  Kristina, Josh & Jake, we are so grateful for your help & support on this amazing adventure!

 

 

2017 Recap

It’s been months since I’ve even come on here.  2017 was an interesting year.  It started out continuing on the high from 2016 and then my hamstring tendonitis brought my year to a halt.  After taking a little break, I lost my run motivation and got into a bit of a funk.

I wanted to recap how things went as far as my goals for the year.  Most of them were put to the wayside with my injury, but I’m interested to see if I achieved any of the others.

  1. Drinking more water is always a goal, I think I did ok on this but it’s always a work in progress.
  2. Strength Training – I did work on this a lot this year and with the help of Crystal Seaver I think I really did well on this one, once I got the go ahead from PT.
  3. Hill Training – This one didn’t really happen.  My injury meant that it was painful climbing so I didn’t do nearly as much as I would have liked.
  4. Speed work – Again, my injury was aggravated by speed so that kind of went to the way side as well.  I have done a few speedier workouts in the last month or so and felt decent.
  5. Run streak – That was dropped around 140 days and it might work for Sean and other runner streakers, but running every day doesn’t work for me or my hamstrings.  I won’t be starting another one.
  6. Mileage: I wanted to run 2,000 miles in 2017 and I fell very short, I only got about 1,150 for 2017.  With my injury and my lack of motivation, I had a hard time getting myself out the door.
  7. Long Run Nutrition – Still a work in progress.  I have found that I really like a mix of Skratch Labs & Carbo Pro.  I’m still working on this and since I didn’t do a lot of long runs this year, I didn’t really have much time to practice ;).
  8. Eat smaller meals – I don’t know that I succeeded at this, but after a lot of bloating and stomach pain this year, I finally in November made the decision that something needed to change.  I’ve been transitioning to a vegan diet, specifically eliminating all dairy & eggs from my diet.  It’s been helping a lot and I’m looking forward to keeping it up in 2018.
  9. Eat More Vegetables – This I did work on a lot. I still don’t love salad, but I’m working on it.
  10. A speedy marathon – Yeah, this didn’t happen, although I am really happy that I had 2 decent races at SF Marathon & then in Chicago with barely any training.  Not recommended but it worked for me.

Even though 2017 didn’t go exactly as planned, it wasn’t all bad.  I still managed to run or walk 15 races, a 10k, a 30k, a 35k, 5 Half Marathons, 4 Marathons & 3 50ks.  I volunteered at a bunch of races in the spring & summer.

I supported Sean at a bunch of races this summer including his “perfect” race at Tahoe 200 that resulted in a course record & huge course PR for him.

I went to Maine, on my first trip to the Northeast, for a fabulous retreat & met a bunch of amazing women.  We adventured around Vancouver & Kauai and spent a lot of time out on trails. All in all, even though it wasn’t the year I wanted, it was a pretty incredible year.

What were the highlights of your 2017?  Did you achieve your goals?

Athlete Inside Week 1

I’m participating in a challenge sponsored by Designer Protein & Vitamin Shoppe hosted by Zorn Fitness through my FitApproach.  This is a sponsored post.

I was so excited to be a part of this challenge, if you follow me on Instagram, you know that I’ve been down and out with chronic high hamstring tendonitis that has been plaguing me off an on for the last 5 years.  I was excited because while I haven’t been running, I’ve still been eating like I was running and as I turn 40! tomorrow, I needed a way to kickstart a healthier diet.

How did week 1 go?  Well honestly, it didn’t go great for me.  I started the week off on a high after walking the San Diego Rock n Roll half in a pretty decent time.  I was super excited because while I had some pain while walking, as soon as I stopped speed walking the pain disappeared! YAY!! Progress.

But then I took off for Phoenix the next morning for work and boy did all my good intentions fly out the window.  I was so crazy busy the whole time I was there I didn’t even have a chance to look at the website.  Then I headed home just in time to spend the day crewing Sean at SD 100.

So unfortunately week one was a bust for me, but we all have weeks like that, we can always start again.

Even though I wasn’t able to do the challenge exactly, here’s what I did do in week one:

  • Up my water intake
  • Drink only 1 cup of coffee a day
  • Continue drinking a smoothie every day (I went to Nekter the day before my session started and got a Pitaya Bowl and 2 bottles of green juice for during my event)
  • I cut back on the amount I ate during my event, I always overeat.
  • And took a walk or did weights every day.

Now that I’m back home this week, week 2 should go much more smoothly.  I’m still only drinking one cup of coffee and Sean makes me a smoothie every morning.

If you missed last week like I did, it’s not too late to get started.  Head over to Designer Protein’s blog to get the scoop on week 2.  Share a photo on Instagram or Facebook tagging @designerprotein, @vitaminshoppe and @zorn_fitness and #athleteinside and you can be entered in to win some amazing prices.

  • Grand prize is a prize pack valued at $1200: 1 $100 gift card to The Vitamin Shoppe, custom fitness/nutrition plan from Zorn Fitness (valued at $900) and a 6-month supply of Designer Protein products (valued at $250)
  • 10 mini-winners: 1 $50 gift card to The Vitamin Shoppe, + 3-month supply of Designer Protein (valued at $150)

And remember, just because you have an off week doesn’t mean that you can’t start at any time.

Shock Absorber Sports Bras Review + Giveaway

Disclaimer: Shock Absorber USA sent me 2 sports bras in exchange for this review.  As per usual all opinions are my own.

When Shock Absorber reached out, I was intrigued because I have been needing some new sports bras.  I’m pretty picky about them and have been wearing a few different styles from Lululemon & Oiselle and while I liked them, I sometimes notice they either feel too tight or sometimes I have to mess with them during a run so I was interested to try them.

They sent me 2 different bras, the Ultimate Run Bra & the Active Zipped Plunge. Both of which are more coverage than the bras I normally wear so I wasn’t sure how they were going to fit.

What makes Shock Absorber unique? From their website:

They are fast drying, durable, breathable and moisture wicking.

"

So how does all that play out in reality? Well I’ll be honest when I first tried on the Ultimate Run Bra, I was a little concerned that it wasn’t going to fit properly.  I could barely get it closed and am already at the last set of clasps.  However, once I had it on, I actually forgot it was on, I didn’t have any issues with it being too tight or moving around at all.  I even wore it while running stairs when I was definitely breathing hard and on the 19 miles I ran at Gorge & had no issues whatsoever.

I’ll even go as far to say that even though it was soaked after my 19 miles, yes, I sweat a lot, it didn’t feel quite as wet as my other bras do so I’ll attest to their quick dry assertion.

For reference, I am wearing a 34B.  They have a huge range of sizes, everything from 30A to 40DD with E, F & G cup sizes.  They do follow the UK sizing, but I’d say that it was pretty accurate to US sizing as I wear a 32C/34B in normal bras when I’m not wearing a sports bra, which is practically never these days :).

When I got opened the Active Zip Plunge, I was a bit concerned that this was going to be some racy bra that’s showcasing the cleavage.  On me it wasn’t, it was definitely full coverage, but it was a slightly bigger size, 36B so it wasn’t quite as snug as I probably needed.

I liked the style and it was pretty comfortable, my biggest issue, outside of the wrong size, was that the bra I received had a piece of fabric at the bottom of the zipper that pushed into the bottom of my ribs, it made it very uncomfortable and didn’t look quite right.  I’m not sure if I received an older version of the bra because the photos on the site & Instagram don’t show that extra piece of fabric.

This bra, while cute on, wasn’t as good of a fit for me as the Ultimate Run Bra, which ultimately is the better choice for me, as an avid runner.

Shock Absorber also has a few other bras like the Active Multi Sport Bra that has sizes from 32B to 40HH.  The Active Shaped Push-Up Bra, which I thought was really cute, that comes in more standard sizes from 32A to 38D. And then there are 2 more Active Classic Bras to choose from as well.

Prices range from $59.99 for the Classics to $79.99 for the Ultimate Run Bra.   That’s a lot for a bra, but if it can truly help the bounce and you don’t notice that it’s on, it might be worth the price tag to find a good one.

Are you in Boston for the Boston Marathon?  You can find Shock Absorber at the Expo at Booth 2042.  They’ll have some awesome discounts for you there.

Not in Boston? Me either.  So here’s the part where you can win an Ultimate Run Bra.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Giveaway runs from 12:00am Apr 14 to 11:59pm PST Apr 18, 2o17.

No purchase necessary.  Void where prohibited. 1 winner will be selected via Rafflecopter.  Open to US residents 18 years of age or older.  Must have a valid email address.  1 winner will select a Ultimate Run Bra from Shock Absorber USA in their size.
Winner(s) will be notified via email (if available) and/or blog post, and will have 24 hours to claim prize.  If original winner does not claim prize within 24 hours, an alternate winner(s) will be selected.
Contestants must comment on this blog post in order to win.
Runnylegs is not responsible for the failure of sponsor to deliver product or user error.

Griffith Park Trail Marathon – Wisdom Tree Loop

I’ve been procrastinating long enough and I’m now 3 race recaps behind with another race this weekend so I better get a move on!

Sean & I have headed over to LA to run in Griffith Park, in downtown Los Angeles 2 out of the last 3 weekends.  Our first jaunt up there was with a small group of friends for an informal marathon.

I found us a cool historic hotel about 15 minutes from the start in Koreatown.  We got there around dinner time and just decided to grab dinner in the cute burger place below the hotel called Cassell’s since we had already valeted the car.

You’ll see that eating burgers before a race is now becoming a trend, which is interesting. lol

These burgers were super yummy, we also got some amazing sweet potato fries that were covered with cinnamon sugar. I’ve eaten a lot of fries, but none that were like dessert, lol.  I also ordered a ginger beer that Sean & I shared, it was homemade and huge! Like 2x the size of the water glass.

Of course we couldn’t resist getting some pie.  Personally I prefer fruit pie, but Sean is more of a chocolate person so we decided to try the chocolate peanut butter, which was good but the back crust was a little tough, I kept clanking my fork on the plate.

After dinner, we got our gear ready and then hit the sack.  I’ve been so exhausted lately, I sleep but yet it doesn’t seem to be helping me to feel rested.

We were meeting at 6:30am so we got up around 5:15a and left the hotel around 6:00am.  It was raining as we were waiting for the car to pull around and it was a little chilly.

We got to our meeting point a little bit before 6:30a, we got our gear ready, chatted with some of the other runners and then after the last runner arrived, we got started.

The loop started out with a tough technical climb up to Wisdom Tree.  We got a quick photo and then headed out to the next spot, above the Hollywood Sign, we would only go to the top the first loop.

After another quick group photo there, we headed down the road to the next set of trail. Up a steep section that reminded me of a slip & slide.

From there we took an overgrown & muddy single track trail to a fire road.  When we got down, we ran down the road to the horse trail, which was like a fire road.

We took the horse trail down for a bit and then we were at the bottom of the Hollywood sign.  We got a few photos and then headed on.  The next section included in a little more downhill fire road and a bit more road before turning onto a dirt sidewalk and heading back to our car.

Sean & I stuck together the whole “race” for the most part.  He is a bit better than me on the uphill, but with his knee still getting back to normal, I was a little faster on the downhill.

It was not an easy race and I struggled up the hill to Wisdom Tree on the 4th loop. I really wanted to quit, but I pushed through and we made it finishing 4 6.2ish mile loops for a total of 26.4 miles & somewhere between 5-6,000ft of climbing and earned this amazing medal!

Afterwards we went to Howlin’ Rays Tennessee Chicken with our friends, where we stood in line for 2.5 hours to order our chicken sandwiches.  They were good, but I’m not sure if they were 2.5 hour wait good, lol.

We did have a great time and of course watching Andrea eat the Howlin’ chicken was very entertaining!

Next up, I’ll recap Keira Henninger’s Griffith Park 50k.

What is the longest you’ve waited for a post race meal?

A Double FriYay Five

Today’s Friday 5 is a double.  I’m going to not only share with you 5 more exercises that you can do with the Kamagon Ball & Surge from Hedstrom Fitness but also 5 of my favorite things right now.

So let’s get started.  First up here are today’s 5 exercises using my Kamagon Ball & Surge.  I love the Kamagon Ball, it’s seriously one of my fav new things.

Now on to Five of my favorite things.

1) GoMacro macrobars – I’m so excited to have teamed up with Go Macro to be an ambassador & to be using them for my SD100 training.  I have been a huge fan since I first tried the Cashew Butter Macrobar back in 2012. I love that they use Certified Organic ingredients, all of which you can understand and don’t use dates as the base in their bars.  And they taste amazing!

2) I talked about this in my goals post, but I know that I haven’t been drinking nearly enough water, mostly because it’s so cold right now, I don’t feel as thirsty, but I’ve also partnered up with Essence pH10 water to help me get my daily water intake up, which as an ultra runner is so important.

From the Essence pH10 website: Essence pH10 is a premium alkaline water that contains 10% of the daily recommended allowance of calcium, magnesium, and zinc acetate. Additionally, we add organic hibiscus making this the only nutritional water on the market. This patented formula is designed to produce a sustainable pH10 that helps to restore the bodies pH balance. Essence pH10 is 100% sodium free.

3) My Momentum Jewelry sparklets & motivate wraps.  When you are training for a 100 miler or anything for that matter, it’s easy to get discouraged if a run feels super hard or doesn’t go the way you’d like it to.  I know that I look down at my wrist often during these runs for that extra mental push and to remember why I’m out there.

4) Altra Running Torin 2.5s – I am an Altra Ambassador and I’ve tried pretty much every Altra on the market, with the exception of the Provision & the Golden Spike.  I resisted trying the Torin 2.5s after the 2.0s just literally slipped off my feet the one and only time I wore them, but then they brought out the NYC version of the shoe and I thought, maybe the 2.5 was different.  Well I’m here to tell you, it is my new favorite road shoe.  It’s cushioned just enough to help me not pronate, which was causing me ankle pain during marathons, but not over cushioned.  I absolutely love them and if you follow me on instagram, you’ve probably seen me wearing them almost exclusively on the road since I got them.

5) My lululemon align yoga mat.  I don’t think they sell this one anymore, I’ve had it for like 6 years, but it’s a thin but cushioned and perfect for doing not only yoga but stretching and also strength training.

What are your favorite things right now?

Friday 5 Workouts

As I mentioned in my goal post, one of my goals is to work on strength training and so I am happy to be working with FitApproach & Hedstrom Fitness on their Surge/Kamagon Ball campaign.

From the Hedstrom Fitness website: The Surge® is a specialized training device that utilizes fluid to create a “dynamic” form of resistance. This forces the user to challenge both traditional exercises, as well as sport and activity specific movement patterns. As a result, this training apparetus provides a very unique challenge to the joints and stabilizing structures to resist and control the unpredictable nature of the shifting water within this device.

The Kamagon Ball was designed to bridge the gap in functional fitness training. Most exercises target only an isolated muscle group and seldom teach the body how to utilize the core. The Kamagon Ball automatically eliminates both issues. The Kamagon Ball does more than simply train a group of muscles; it also teaches you how to use your body in the most effective and efficient manner. The Kamagon Ball is a destabilized weight that uses the principle of Hydro-Inertia™ to work your muscles while simultaneously training the nervous system. This is a key to strength, speed and overall fitness.

I just started testing out both the Surge & Kamagon Ball after we got back from Hawaii earlier this week.  I really like the Kamagon Ball, it’s kind of like a kettle bell but a little bigger and you can adjust the weight by adding water.  The ball I have goes from 1 – 13lbs.

Every Friday for the next few weeks I’m going to be sharing a few exercises that you can do using either the Surge or Kamagon Ball.  Since I wasn’t home last week this week you get a bonus video! I know you are super excited!!

In the first Friday 5, the moves I’ll be attempting to do are:

  • Squats with Overhead Press
  • Reverse lunge with oblique twist
  • Standing rows
  • V-Ups
  • Bicep Curls

And for video, the moves I’ll be demonstrating or attempting to demonstrate are:

  • Jump squats
  • Side Lunges
  • Tricep extensions
  • Russian Twists
  • Side Planks

Want to get a Surge or Kamagon Ball for yourself?  Head over to Hedstrom Fitness and you can get a 25% discount by using code: SPHF25 starting today, Jan 20 – Feb 28, 2016.  This discount is valid in either the US or Canada.

Dream Big: 2017 Goals

We are 2 days into 2017 and I’ve already got a lot of things planned for this year.  2016 was a great year and I tested myself by trying new distances like TRT 50 and Cuyamaca 100k.  We traveled all over the place including a few new places, like Chamonix, France & Portland, OR.

What’s in store for 2017? And what do I want to accomplish?

First off, I’ve signed up for my first 100 mile race, San Diego 100 in June.  Yes, I’ll be running 100 miles on June 9 – 10! I am so excited! And so nervous but more excited!

Here’s what is on the schedule for Jan – June (so far, I might look for one or two more short races)

January – Crew Sean at HURT100, Pasadena Half Marathon
February – Sean O’Brien 50k, Black Canyon 100k
March – Griffith Park 50k, LA Marathon
April – Gorge Waterfall 100k, The Canyon Endurance Runs 50k
May – PCT 50, Crew Sean at Cruel Jewel
June – San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half, San Diego 100

That means, I’ve got two half marathons, one full marathon, three 50ks, one 50 miler and two 100ks before the 100 miler = 315 race/training miles. The weekends when we are home I fully intend to be out in Cuyamaca/Julian/Cleveland National Forest to train on the race actual course.

Pretty much all my goals are geared towards getting me to the San Diego 100 finish line.  And then after I’ve accomplished that, I have a few other things I want to work on, but the 100 mile finish line is the ultimate goal for the year.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, what are some of my more specific goals?

  1. Always a big one for me, drink more water.  I’m teaming up with an awesome company to help me reach this goal. I’ll share more about this in a coming blog post.
  2. Strength Training.  Yes, I know I say this every year, but this year it’s more important than ever.  I need to work on my glute strength & hip flexibility in edition to my core.
  3. Hill training, hill training, hill training.  I am not a strong uphill runner so I definitely need to focus on this and getting faster at power hiking.
  4. At least one speed workout a week.  When training for endurance, I tend run a lot of easy runs and while I don’t want to injure myself, pushing myself in at least one run a week isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
  5. Continue with my run streak.  I started a run streak on November 20, I’m up to 43 days so I might as well keep it up and see what happens, right? :).
  6. I ran 1,589 miles/avg. 132.4 miles per month in 2016, I’m setting a goal of 2,000/avg. 166 miles per month for 2017.  That’s a small increase over this year and with 100 mile training, I definitely things it’s doable.
  7. Continue to work on my long run nutrition, I love using CarboPro for the majority of my calories, but I’m hoping to incorporate more real food, like GoMacro bars, potatoes and experimenting with other things.
  8. Eat smaller more frequent meals.  I used to follow a plan religiously, last year, I was pretty lazy, I stopped eating breakfast, started drinking too much coffee and not enough water.  First order of business, start eating breakfast and healthy snacks.
  9. Eat more vegetables.  I’m not a huge fan of cold food, except ice cream, Jamba Juice Smoothies and popsicles of course lol.  I have a hard time choosing a salad over something hot, but I will start to do so.
  10. After SD100 I definitely want to work on my speed on both the trail and road.  I’m targeting the November Revel Canyon City Marathon for a new marathon PR.

That’s a lot of things, most of which I should be doing already, but sometimes you need a little push to get back to basics.  Basically it’s time to get comfortable being uncomfortable!

And away we go! Let’s do this!

What are your goals for 2017?

Rabbit Conejo Review & Instagram Giveaway

Happy New Year, friends!!  Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

To kick off the year, I’m reviewing the new Conejo crop pant from my friends at Rabbit!

A few weeks ago, I reviewed the sleevie wonder, Rabbit’s super soft long sleeve shirt.  Which I liked so much I’ve already gotten a second one.

This time I’m talking about the Conejo, Rabbit’s long awaited crop pant.  Rabbit is a Santa Barbara based company founded by 2 amazing women & runners, Monica & Jill. Rabbit gear is manufactured in Los Angeles, CA.

From the Rabbit website:

Crops are pretty great as-is, so we didn’t really reinvent the wheel here.  But, we did make a perfect fitting, moisture wicking, flattering, uber comfortable, and cute as can be crop that you will love. The conejos are made from material that’s the perfect weight, so they’re great for almost any running or lounging scenario.

– Magical combination of 87% poly/ 13% spandex
– Medium weight fabric (370gm) to wick away moisture
– Rear zip pocket located in mid-back of waistband
– Dual front internal pockets
– Crop; designed to hit at the calf
– Four way stretch for maximum comfort – rabbitMESH knee venting
– Reflective rabbit logo detail
– Machine wash cold, tumble dry low, don’t bleach, mmkay?
– Made in California, USA

I got the all black pair so I could match them with anything, but the Conejos come in several color combos. Black & Cabaret (Hot Pink), Black & Charcoal Heather (grey) and Dress Blues Heather & Black.

The all black has rabbit mesh on the waist band and the knee venting. The Conejos have a decent sized zippered back pocket and 2 front pockets. There’s even a reflective little rabbit logo on the right leg. I love these little details.

It doesn’t get horribly cold down here in San Diego so I don’t need to wear crops very often, but the Conejos are super comfortable, you barely feel like you are wearing anything at all.  They are super lightweight, but can also keep you warm.  I wore them in the snow & 30 degree temps last week and didn’t feel cold at all.

I got the size medium and for the most part they fit perfectly.  I feel like I might be in between a small & a medium because the legs fit absolutely perfectly and when walking around the waist fits great.  When I run, I do on occasion have to pull at the waist.  After I washed them, it seemed to be a little better, but the only downsize to the Conejos is that there isn’t a drawstring at the waist to prevent this.

All in all, this isn’t a huge deterrent because they are so comfortable and the fact that they kept me warm in the snow was such a plus.

Now for the fun stuff…Want to try the Conejos or other Rabbit gear for yourself?  Head over to https://www.runinrabbit.com/ and use code runnylegs to save 20%.

Want to win a pair of Conejos?  Check out my Instagram post from today.  Make sure you follow me and @runinrabbit and tell us in the comments your what your 2017 goal is.  That’s it, super easy and my friends at Rabbit will pick the winner.  Contest will run until Friday, Jan 6, 2017 at 11:59pm.