BibRave

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Turtle Gloves to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

They’re soft, convertible and made in Michigan. What’s not to love?

When I got the Turtle Gloves’ Turtle-Flip midweight winter soft mittens to try because I’m a BibRave Pro, I wasn’t sure if they’d be warm enough for the Michigan tundra. In the end, I added hand warmers and ended up needing the mittens’ convertible features during my runs.

When they’re in their “regular” mode, the mittens have a pocket where you can put the hand warmer, making sure it’s right by your fingers, but not touching skin. This meant that my hand stayed warm when the temperatures were in the 20s. I’m always cold, so I think I need to order the Turtle Gloves’ warmer cousin, the weather protect heavyweight warm mittens for those days when we run in the teens.

The mittens allow you to flip the top, revealing your fingers for some temperature control.

And if you’re really warm, you can even push the mittens up toward your wrist. A fellow BibRave Pro has used them as arm warmers.

I mentioned they’re soft and they are the softest gloves I own. That was especially handy for the constant nose wiping that comes with the lower temperatures. They stayed just as soft after washing in cold water and hanging out to dry.

Because they’re made in Michigan, the company also carries Spartan and Tigers versions. Another set has reflective features and another the U.S. flag.

If you want to get your own set, you can use discount code TurtleBibRave for 15 percent off your order. You might also consider their fingerless gloves and mitten hoodies.

Do you have a favorite pair of gloves or mittens? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the North Shore Half Classic as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Looking for an early-June half? Several runner friends have recommended the North Shore Half Classic in the Chicago suburb of Highland Park, Ill., on June 2. And because I’m a BibRave ambassador, you can use discount code BRNS19 to get a free surprise item.

Fellow BibRave ambassador and blogger Lisa Dretske ran the 5K and gave the race rave reviews.

“I really wanted to do this race initially because it’s in a pretty location,” she said. “You run through pretty neighborhoods. I also wanted a challenge and I heard this race was hilly.”

Dretske gave the race thumbs up for organization, pointing to well-mapped out routes and aid stations.

You can read her race review here.

Other runners have also given the North Shore Half Classic positive reviews on BibRave.com, with high ratings for aid stations, scenery, parking and race management.

One of those runners is Frank Nardomarino, another BibRave ambassador who’s run the race several times. In his BibRave.com review, he says it’s one of his favorites.

“Besides being wildly popular by the local businesses and runners, the course is just beautiful running through the beautiful suburb of Highland Park,” Nardomarino explains. “If you haven’t run this race before, you definitely need to add it to your list of must-dos.”

A few other race details:

  • The race offers pacers for the half marathon from 7-minute miles to 15-minute miles.
  • There is no packet pickup on race day, so plan accordingly.
  • There’s gear check and they even include small zip ties in your goodie bag to secure your bags.

Since I can’t travel for at least the next year (two kids in college at the same time will do that), reading these race reviews has made jealous of those who can make the trip. If you’re interested, check out the race site for more details.

Have you run the North Shore Half Classic or 5K? Were the hills as tough as described in the race reviews? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)

Detroit deja vu

by lachicaruns on

[Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank International Half Marathon on Oct. 20, 2019 as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!]

It was just over a year ago when I was celebrating signing up for the Detroit Free Press Chemical Bank Marathon. I was so excited to finally get to run such an iconic race. In the end, I got hurt and couldn’t even go cheer others on because Dr. Awesome benched me.

But I’ve spent this winter healing and cross training and am excited to sign up for the Detroit International Half. A lot of my runner friends have experienced this fun event and I expect several will run it with me come October.

Perhaps you’ll be joining us? Sign up today and use code 2019DETROCKS for 10 percent off!

Don’t want to run a half or a full marathon? No problem. There’s a competitive one-mile race and a 5K.

Want to really spend some quality time in Detroit? You can sign up to run more than one race during race weekend:

The Temptation: 1-Mile + 5K

The Wonder: 1-Mile + 5K + International Half-Marathon

The Supreme: 1-Mile + 5K + Full Marathon

The 5K and 1-Mile are on Saturday, Oct.19. The Full Marathon and International Half-Marathon are on Sunday, Oct. 20. As with all races, there are also lots of opportunities to volunteer.

I still plan to just run the international half. According to the race’s site, the course traverses “both downtown Detroit and Windsor, Ontario, crossing the border at both the Ambassador Bridge and Detroit-Windsor Tunnel.” It’s the tunnel that most runners remember, with many later posting photos of themselves halfway between the U.S. and Canada.

If you’re considering the race, spend some time reading through the website for FAQs, in particular about the need for a passport since runners cross an international border twice. I already have my passport at the ready and you certainly have enough time to get one. A course map is available here. More information about the international requirements is available here.

Another important tidbit is that there’s a four-hour clock, which should be enough time for even those of us proud back-of-the-packers to make it back on time. The race does have pacers, and since both the half and full start at 7 a.m., you’ll be sharing them, so you can run with friends who are running the 26.2 miles for most of the race.

With such an early start, a lot of runners make a weekend out of the race. There’s certainly a lot to do in the Motor City — from casinos to the Detroit Institute of Arts to amazing restaurants — but you’ll want to make a hotel reservation soon if you want to stay downtown. One way to make the best of your stay is to join Detroit History Tours. I recently met owner Bailey Sisoy Isgro at an event and found her to be knowledgeable about the city — and a whole lot of fun.

No matter what race (or races) you choose, you’re in for a unique experience in an awesome city full of energy and lots of opportunities for fun.

Have you run Detroit? Any tips? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)

We plan, we train, we sacrifice. For months at a time, we make races our priority, making sure we get our miles — and cross training — in while taking care of our familias, work and other responsibilities.

Reaching that finish line makes all of the trouble worth it.

But what happens when you do all the things…and can’t do the race because you’re injured?

Just three days before the Detroit Free Press Marathon, I got benched. I pouted.

My right calf had felt tight until about a month before when I had to walk quite a bit of one of my runs because it just hurt. The pain subsided and I was able to run the rest of the way and I did the whole rest, ice, compression and anti-inflammatory routine when I got home. I babied the leg for a few days and got back to training.

About three weeks later, the same thing happened the weekend before Detroit, except that the pain got worse and didn’t really go away. I walked a couple of miles back from the day’s long run. I did all the things again, but didn’t get better, so I called Dr. Awesome and he was able to squeeze me in.

Boy, was I relieved. He can fix it, I thought, and then I can run 26.2 miles. After all, I had plans to go to the expo, meet other Bib Rave Pro ambassadors and spend the night in a hotel with my runner friends.

Not so much. Instead, I was diagnosed with a micro-tear in my right calf. A very minor injury — but only if I took a short break and allowed it to heal. Running the marathon, Dr. Awesome assured me, would mean a much-more-serious injury and longer recovery time.

I did the math and sat the race out. Sure, I’ve been injured before and have spent many a week wishing I were running. But this one was extra painful because I have been looking forward to running Detroit for so long. And I had plans, dang it!

In fact, it was my goal race for 2018 and my whole training plan revolved around it. I also got to train with Gatorade Endurance because that’s what was going to be available on course.

What’s a chica to do?

Suck it up, butter cup.

As with all other injuries, I went through the stages of grief and moved on. This time, I listened to the doc right away and did what was best for my body. (I also talked to my sports med doc at Dr. Awesome’s suggestion and he, too, agreed with the protocol: no running or walking; avoiding stairs and anything that makes my calf hurt in the least. If things don’t get better, I’ll have to wear a — gasp! — boot.)

After resting for a week, I’ve been riding the Peloton bike, which helps a bit with my stress levels, tho I am most-definitely noticing that I am more jacked up than normal and I’ve not slept well since I stopped running.

On race day, I made sure to keep myself super busy with chores, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing my friends’ accomplishments on social media. So many did their first full or achieved personal records that day.

Now a few days later, I’m still mourning a bit. But I’m moving on. I start physical therapy on Monday and am considering swimming lessons once a week at a local gym to increase my cross-training and, possibly, doing a triathlon next year. Because I may be mourning not being able to run, but I’m also realizing that I’m going to have to take care of my body if I want to keep racking up those miles.

Have you had to forego a race because you got injured at the last minute? What did you do? What type of cross-training do you do? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)

Review: Gatorade Endurance

by lachicaruns on

[Disclaimer: I received Gatorade Endurance formula, energy gels, energy chews and a squeeze bottle plus a free race entry 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!]

While I certainly trained for months for the Run Woodstock 50K in September, my goal race for 2018 has been the Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon. It’s such an iconic race that I’ve been wanting to run for years, and my friends have suggested it several times. Plus, I get to say that I ran to another country. (Read the race reviews on BibRave.com and use code 2018 DETROCKS for 10 percent off race registration).

All of the items on the Gatorade Endurance trial pack.

Training for the Detroit Free Press Marathon has gone really well, even though I had to take a break after having my fourth shoulder surgery about six months ago. I’ve certainly taken things slowly and have been working on both my cross training and on my core.

I’ve also been taking better care of myself overall, even getting seven-to-eight hours of sleep most nights, eating better during the week (weekends are for donuts and pizza!) and making sure I’m properly hydrated.

Enter the opportunity to try out the Gatorade Endurance products because I’m a BibRave Pro (ambassador). I’ve certainly been using all of the items in my trial pack because they will all be available during the Detroit Free Press Marathon:

  • Endurance Formula
  • Energy Gels
  • Energy Chews
  • Carb Energy Drink
  • squeeze bottle

Watermelon? It’s actually pretty good.

I’ve been adding the powder to my water for most of my runs and even some of my longer bike rides at home. I really didn’t expect to like the watermelon flavor, but it’s mild enough (and sweet enough!) that it’s been working great for me. I do want to see if I can find it in a sugar free version, eventually.

I got to try the vanilla Gatorade Endurance gel.

The gels are super handy and easy to open. The consistency is much more liquid than what I’m used to with my other gels.

I used the Gatorade Endurance chews during my recent 50K.

As for the chews, they’re by far my favorite product in the trial pack. I had used these before and find them easier on my stomach than just about any energy product I’ve tried before. I found the packaging super easy to open, even on the run, and the chews are small enough that they don’t take a lot of work to consume. I can even chew and run, even though I often just wait until a walk break to pull them out of my luggage.

I’m getting a ton of use out of the water bottle.

While I don’t expect to carry the bottle on race day, I have definitely gotten a ton of use while I’ve become reacquainted with our Peloton stationary bike and, often, while I run on the treadmill at home. It’s been helping me make sure I’m really drinking enough, even when I don’t really want to.

I’ll continue to train for the Detroit Free Press Marathon using the Gatorade Endurance products, since they’ll be available on the course. So far, they’re working out great and it’s been a great relief to know that I won’t have to carry a bunch of fuel and fluids on race day — especially since the race discourages big hydration packs because of the international crossing into Canada.

Hope to see you at the starting line!

What are your fall race plans? Is Detroit on your list? (You may have to click on “Continue Reading” to leave a comment.)