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.

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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.

2016 In Review

What a year!  It’s amazing how fast time goes by, I feel like this year just flew by.

I’ve had a fabulous year, running and traveling all over.  I’ve had a blast sharing our adventures with you all and I look forward to some new adventures in 2017.

So let’s recap what happened this year…

January – We kicked the year off running the SD 50 & Trail Marathon before heading to Arizona for Coldwater Rumble.

Sweet M Images, Altra running, coldwater rumble, goodyear, arizona, trail running, lululemon, aravaipa running

February – The big event in February was the Los Angeles Marathon & watching the Olympic Trials for the Marathon.  It was so exciting watching all the big names battle it out to go to Rio.

March – I ran the San Diego Half for the first time and then the next weekend, I had my first double race weekend, with Old West 50k on Saturday & the Hot Chocolate 15k on Sunday.  This weekend was key in getting my ultra running confidence back.

Old West 50k, ultra running, trail running, desert

April – April was the first month we race every weekend. Starting it off with Carlsbad 5000 where we got to see some speedy elites battle it out for cash & prizes. Then mudageddon in Zion before going back to Leona Divide and finishing the month up with the oh so hilly La Jolla Half.

Zion, National Park, XX2i, BibRave, Altra Running, Orange Mud, Lululemon

May – May saw more mud at Whoo’s in El Moro and my first 50 mile finish & Sean’s first 100 mile win! at Nanny Goat.

Paksit Photos

June – June started off with a double race weekend crewing Sean at SD100 before running Rock n’Roll SD.  We headed to Vail Lake for the SoCal Women’s Wine Country Half where Sean volunteered while I ran.  And for my birthday, we took my first trip to Portland where I came really close to PRing the marathon at VUM.

Vancouver USA Marathon, Expo, Marathon

July – July started with a trip up to Santa Barbara for a very HOT SB100.  Then we were off to Tahoe for TRT 50/100.  I got my first mountain 50 finish and didn’t have any issues with elevation! A last minute decision had us running the SF Marathon while visiting family to close out the month & celebrate our first anniversary.

August – I amazingly had no races in August.  I crewed Sean at AC100 at the beginning of the month before we headed over the pond for him to run UTMB.

September – September was crewing and pacing at Tahoe 200 before a last minute trip to Big Bear to run/hike the Kodiak Back 50k.

October – October started with a bang and the Cuyamaca 100k!  We headed to Italy for the second time after I WON a trip to the Venice Marathon from the LA Marathon and I finally PR’d the marathon by 4 minutes!  The whirlwind month ended in Phoenix crewing Sean at Javelina.

Cuyamaca 100k, Altra Running, Orange Mud, Running4thosewhocant, lululemonPaksit Photos

November – The travels continued in November with NYC Marathon followed up with Revel Canyon City and a last minute decision to run Red Rock for Sean’s birthday.

December – December started off with a crazy double-race weekend with North Face on Saturday & CIM on Sunday.  We finished up the year with the San Diego Holiday Half and then some relaxing!

Race Stats: 100k, 2 – 50 milers, 3 – 50k’s, 7 marathons, 9 half marathons, and one each 25k, 15k, 10k, 5k for a total of 26 races this year.

As of today I was at 1,568 miles for the year, my highest mileage year yet – August had the lowest monthly mileage with 98.6 (because of the back issues I was experiencing) and May was my highest monthly mileage ever with 175.5.

Now how did I do with my 2016 goals?

  1. PR the marathon – YES!!! Finally!  I had a slow start, but I ended up with a PR at Venice Marathon and 4 out of the 7 marathons were under 5 hours, which made me really happy!
  2. Really train – For the first half of the year, we trained a lot.  I had the back injury at the end of July that derailed me a bit.
  3. Run in at least one new place.  We went to Tampa, Zion National Park, Portland, Chamonix – Mont Blanc, Santa Barbara & Sacramento
  4. Run at least one new distance this year…I ran 2 new distances, 50 miles & 100k
  5. Keep up with the Winter Strength Challenge – yeah, this went until Valentine’s Day and then died off
  6. Be more timely with writing my race recaps on the blog – ummmm….no comment lol
  7. Write at least 2 blog posts a week – I tried 😉
  8. Drink more WATER!!!  Still a work in progress

Did you achieve your goals in 2016?  And if not, what do you need to work on?  Me, being consistent with my recaps & I definitely need to drink more water ;).

Runtastic Fall Fit! Instagram Challenge & Giveaway

As a runner, I tend to focus mostly on running, but strength training is so important as well.  But if you are anything like me, spending time on anything but running some how gets missed or put to the back-burner.

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The nice thing about the workouts on the Runtastic Fitness Channel, which you can subscribe to here, is that they are super short and really do work.

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Not only are there actual workout videos, there is a whole series of how to videos demonstrating the proper way to do different exercises.  Have you ever looked at a workout and wondered what’s a V-Up or what’s a Superman Pull?  Lunden shows you how to do both in easy to understand videos.

I love to do plank but it’s always good to do an exercise to stretch/workout the reverse muscles and Superman is a great one to do.  I’d never heard of a Superman Pull but it sounds pretty cool.

I’m working up to this since I’ve been dealing with a back injury this position is really challenging for me, but as I get stronger I’m looking forward to doing this like Lunden does.

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One of the best things about these videos is that Lunden is super easy to understand, she explains everything clearly and there are even a few moments in the videos where she gets off balance or loses her form, just like we do so you feel really comfortable knowing everyone has trouble with different exercises.

I’d love for you to join me for the 5 day Instagram Challenge starting tomorrow to kick off November.

Post a photo or video of you doing a part of each workout using the following tags: #RFCFallFit #RuntasticFitness #SweatPink @Runtastic @FitApproach @LifeLikeLunden and you’ll have a chance to win a Premium subscription to the Runtastic app.

I’m also giving away 4 Premium subscriptions for iOS or Google Play right here on the blog!

All you have to do is comment below telling me which of the 5 workouts above you want to try or you liked best.  I’ll choose winners via random.org on Friday, Nov 4.

I can’t wait to hear what you think about these workouts and which is your favorite! Mine?  Well I’m going to say anything that you need a pumpkin to do is pretty fun.

This post was sponsored by Runtastic through my partnership with FitApproach.

 

Five Things Friday with Aftershokz & FitApproach

Disclaimer: This post was sponsored by AfterShokz in an effort to spread awareness about their new Pink Trekz headphones, in partnership with Bright Pink to support and spread awareness around breast cancer awareness. All opinions and words are my own. I truly appreciate all of the brands the support the Sweat Pink community. 

I don’t think I’ve done a Friday Five before, so no time like the present to start, right?

So here we go…My first Friday Five

1) Tunes that inspire! Oh boy, I don’t listen to music much anymore when I run, but when I do, I love anything by Pit Bull & Elie Golding is a fav too.  I actually prefer to listen to audiobooks on super long runs, they keep my brain off the pain and keep me entertained.  I listened to Daniel Silva’s The English Spy during Nanny Goat & TRT 50.  I got a new book for Cuyamaca 100k last week by Cleo Coyle called the Billionaire Blend.  I like to listened to them on my AfterShokz because I can still here everything around me.

2) Giving back. I’m giving back to a very important person in my life, my brother in-law, David.  David was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called rhabdomyosarcoma, which affects the skeletal muscles, and in his case, his leg.  Please help me to fight cancer and work with Memorial Sloan Kettering & the James Blake Foundation to research early detection. You can read more about David here and donate here. I’m raffling off some awesome prizes too. Your support is appreciated.

Cuyamaca 100k, Paksit Photos, Running 4 Those who can't, orange mud, lululemon, xx2iPhoto by Paksit Photos

3) Be a self care advocate: How do you practice self care?  I run and run and run…  It’s my stress reliever and time away from the hustle and bustle of life.

Altra Running, Aftershokz, running 4 those who can't, trigger point therapy, prana, procompression

4) My favorite products: Oh boy this is tough one, but right now, I think I can come up with 5 things for this question alone.
#1 my Pink Running 4 Those Who Can’t Hat – Not only is it my signature, it is true.  I run for my brother-in-law David.
#2 my Altra Running Lone Peak 3.0s (mine just happen to be Pink;)) so comfy and grip so well.
#3 my prAna London jeans for those days when you need something other than yoga pants or running shorts ;).  You can save 15% by using code PFS16LEGS on anything prAna sells.
#4 – my Trigger Point Therapy foam rollers they have been my go-to’s lately &
#5 – of course my AfterShokz! I’ve got a lot of marathons coming up and I love that I can still hear everything around me while wearing them.

Running Friends are the best

5) Friends who inspire! Well this one is super easy.  Of course my girls Smitha & Jenn!  They inspire me everyday and I’m glad we have the opportunity to run together often.  And my girl Kristina – Thank you Thank you Thank you for pacing me at Cuyamaca! Love you guys!

Runlove

I’d love to hear one or more of your answers to the Friday Five!  Tell me in the comments below!

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.

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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.

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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)

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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.

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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. 🙂

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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.

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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.

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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?