UnderArmour HOVR Sonic NC

“Disclaimer: I received a pair of UnderArmour HOVR Sonics NC shoes 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!”

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So first thing is first, I really did not expect to ever own a pair of white running shoes but here we are and they are very white! The color aside I was not sure how I would like them. It did take a few runs before they felt broken in for me, which wasn’t too bad but I have been spoiled by some other running shoes that felt broken in out of the box. I think also it might have been my feet had to get used to the higher drop on these shoes. I am used to a 4 mm drop and these are 8 mm drop but after a couple of runs in these I didn’t even notice it.

These shoes are made with a lightweight fabric upper and lots of ventilation holes on the sides so they are perfect for warm climates like Miami. I have never felt my feet heating up in these shoes like other running shoes I sometimes wear. I do not like feeling sweat in the bottom of my shoes after a long humid run, worst feeling and good way to get some feet blisters, something I have definitely never encountered while wearing these shoes!

Responsive ride and neutral shoe so perfect for those who do not over pronate and are looking for something with some bounce but still want a firm running shoe. I will admit they felt heavy the first few runs in them, but that may have also been that sometimes I wear them for my 2nd run of the day and at that point my legs are pretty tired from early morning runs and working all day.

I would have brought them on my recent vacation but decided against in so that I could keep them white as long as possible. When running in Aruba white does not stay white for more than a few seconds, half of the roads I ran on were dirt so basically trail running most of the time. Dust is everywhere so I didn’t bring them with me but I did miss them which surprised me a bit.

At this point I have put in between 50-100 miles in these shoes and they are still remarkably clean but maybe that’s because I tend to not wear them on rainy days. Either way these shoes really have changed my mind about UnderArmour running shoes. So if you are looking for a quality running shoe with a low break in period of time, snatch these up.

Also there is a connect version of this shoe, which basically means you can track your steps, pace, stride length, distance and cadence with the connect version using the map my run app. Pretty cool and that version of the shoe only costs $10 more dollars if you are into all the tech and like to run watch less but want to know all the stats.

 

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Run for cover

The last 3 weeks have been a whirlwind of activities, tragedies and low mileage. About 3 weeks ago I ran over to the neighborhood nearby mine to see the FIU bridge be brought over and placed over the road, 5 days after it collapsed taking 6 lives. I traveled under that bridge 4 of those days, each morning with my toddler in the backseat of my car. It could have been us kept going through my head when I heard the news, it was a bridge to connecting my work place to the city of Sweetwater. For a few days I really had a hard time sleeping and I think that my stress from it was affecting my toddler. I know the miles could’ve helped but I required more sleep and no long run that weekend. The following week started out okay and was able to start my week full of running but by that Thursday I just wanted to rest. I was starting to get a sinus infection and did not run at all that weekend, the next week brought on all new challenges. Phoebe ended up getting a very high fever last Tuesday night and my next couple of days were spent trying to get it down and a mix of urgent care/children’s hospital visits. Now she is doing better and I have a little less stress about her health this week and starting to ramp up my mileage again.

Life sometimes gets in the way of your plans, fitness goals, workouts and as hard as it is to wake up early after slacking off for a few weeks due to a lot of stressful situations I am happy that I am feeling better and getting back to my mileage goals. I started out the year hoping to run 40+ miles each week to be able to hit 2018 miles before 12/31/2018 and even though I sort of see that goal slipping away I know it’s still possible with some determination. I also wanted to run the Keys 100 50k this year but I’m not really sure that I want to this year. Maybe next year I will be ready for it, I don’t want to slack off this summer or anything, in fact I want to work harder and work on my speed for the fall season of races. I plan on doing the Space Coast Marathon this year and that means that marathon training would be starting again in July! Summertime marathon training, that should be fun, I know this humid/hot hot heat running will make me stronger when the weather gets a little better. I plan on getting serious too about my strength training too which I have not been serious about in a very long time, probably contributing to my slowing paces.

Socially the last few weeks have been pretty busy, Phoebe has met and took pics with 3 different Easter bunnies and did an egg hunt and even rode down a large slide ride with my sister and her cousin, Logan. Despite my exhaustion and our rounds of illnesses in the past few weeks it hasn’t been too bad lately in gaining lots of experiences and adventures.

Also something that I have been involved with lately is helping train some of my workplace’s employees in running a 5k race. I jumped at the opportunity to help with pacing duties for the program and have really enjoyed helping others conquer their goals. We are about halfway through the program right now and they are training for the Corporate run 5k at the end of this month and most of the runners are doing very well. Most of them also are not new to running but a few are very new to run, a couple are just getting back into it and want the accountability of a group run session to help them stick with it. Just 6 years ago I was training using a c25k training app on my phone, it would’ve been more helpful if I would’ve had a group to train with. I have been running/pacing with the group 2 days a week now and get in a few miles beforehand because driving home to change and back would take at least 30/40 minutes. It’s a nice and easy way to give back to the running community by helping others become better runners.

305 Half Marathon – A Race Recap

Disclaimer: I’m promoting 305 Half Marathon 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!

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Race day attire (arm sleeves were not required)

Going into this race morning I was a bit tired, had ran the DRI hope for a cure 5k on Saturday morning and ended up taking my daughter into a pediatric urgent care later on for a fever after coughing for a week. Spent a few hours there and ended up leaving with antibiotics and nebulizer liquid for her with instructions to give her treatment every 4-6 hrs and bring her back immediately for anymore fevers. Exhausted and not going to sleep till closer to 10:30pm, I woke up at 3:30am to get ready and head to the 305 Half Marathon. Luckily I had laid out my clothing/shoes and race bag was ready to go so I basically just got up, jumped in my clothes and ate some cereal before heading out.

 

By some miracle we had cool weather at the start, I was debating on checking a bag or not but ultimately changed my mind, also changed my mind about needing arm sleeves for the race (good choice!) I did sit in my car for awhile in my Every Mother Counts hoodie to wait as long as possible before heading out into the cool weather. This wasn’t the 55 degree weather was predicted originally on the weather channel app but rather 60-62 degrees. Not bad but when the wind whipped through the buildings/hotels on South Beach it could feel quite nippy. Not bad though as usually this race is quite warm or even kind of rainy, in the past 6 years, this has been the coldest it’s been for this race. So I basically walked quickly to the port o potties and peed before meeting up with another running friend, Stephanie (TheCookieRunner) at the Miami Beach clock and she gave me a cool Momentum bracelet that would remind me later in the race to Just Breathe. We talked for a little bit and then I headed into the starting corral, where it was warmer with all the people crowded in. Talked to my friend, Carmen before the start and vowed that I would try to stick with the 2 hour pacer as long as possible. Starting I felt fresh and the cool air helped me in staying ahead of the 2 hour pacer at least for the first 7 miles of the race. They gave the pacers speakers filled with Miami/running related songs and just general anthems to pump you up: PitBull, Enrique Iglesias, Beyonce, Cake, AC/DC to name a few I heard while running with the group. At mile 6 I saw our Every Mother Counts South Florida ambassador, Esther and was cheered on by her. I think the ascend up the MacArthur Causeway slowed me down a bit but then a friendly cheer from my friend/mayor, Harolyn around mile 10 helped me get back out of my head and speed up a little for the final 5k of the race. Along the way lots of iRun runners were cheering us on and at the end Frankie Ruiz was running back to find his fiance to cross the line together, got a high five from him as I passed. Then Hector from iRun was about half a mile from the finish line and urged me to go faster, so I followed his instructions and sped up to even kick it up a bit and not let some other runner (guy) pass me at the finish line!

Something I did different during this race that I haven’t done before in a half marathon was not take in any nutrition. I think it helped that I had half of a bowl from Chipotle the night before and cereal race morning that helped fuel my race. I brought my Honey Stinger chews with me but never took them out of my back pocket of my awesome pocket full Oiselle pocket jogger shorts. So weird but somehow it worked, I do train with them generally and use the starting at mile 6 but this time I just didn’t need them.

I crossed the line in just under 2 hours, like literally 40 seconds or so before the 2 hour mark, I pushed at the end a little and my splits show it but I did not feel totally depleted. The course was slightly different at the end, which I did not realize until we were running it, I’m glad because that running straight into the blazing sun at South Point Pier is no fun after 12 miles!  Right after the finish line after collecting your medal and water there was a pots and pans PR station where you could hit the pots and pans together in celebration for a new half marathon PR. I had no PR but saw a couple people taking advantage of hitting the pans. It’s been a couple years since Miami has celebrated in the streets with pots and pans from a Heat championship win or Castro death, haha So some folks were very eager to hit them. After that was a long line to take pic in front of the official finisher backdrop, but I had no time to stand in the line but I think it would’ve been nice to get that free photo. I got some pretzels and the food tent had the regular runner food: bananas, fruit cups, pretzels, cookies, bagels and then pastelitos, empandas and some other little hispanic dessert cups. Very cool but I was not really in the mood to eat anything and no sweets after the race. I really just wanted to get home to my sick toddler and get some rest time. I went to the Storm Series tent and collected my category 4 medal before looking around at the other sponsor tents and then heading back to the car. Took a couple pics first and headed back to the finish line for a cool pic of my medal when Frankie Ruiz and Carla Duenas were crossing the finish line together, caught a few pics and then headed back to the parking garage. The weather was awesome for the cool down walk back to the parking garage, almost a mile away. Did not have the extreme soreness when I got home and got out of my car after sitting down and driving for 25 minutes from South Beach like I was expecting.

Great race and afterwards got an email from Athlinks to remind me to claim my new half marathon result and check out my pictures later on that evening. If you do not already use Athlinks, you need to get create a profile and add all your race results from the past. You can have all your race results on one site incase you ever wonder what was your PR for a certain distance or how fast/slow you ran for that race. You can also add friends/rivals and see what races others in your area are doing, so cool. Plus the Athlinks people are super helpful and only a tweet away from solving any issue you may run into.

If you are interested in doing this race in 2019 right now the prices are the lowest they will EVER be. Register in the next 2 days and only pay $60! That is extremely low for a half marathon! I am posting below exactly how affordable prices are for the next week or so for the half marathon and the 5k option. So hurry so you can get your 3-0-5 medals and oh if you somehow missed this race but want the whole set of medals you can purchase your 3 medal when you register for the 0 in 2019!

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pjuractive 2skin – anti chafe gel review

Disclaimer: I received some samples of pjuractive 2skin 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!

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I used to be shocked about chafing issues before I had a baby and then after I learned really quickly how horrible chafing really was. I also used to wear capris for running before I was pregnant so that probably deterred some possible chafing. I learned postpartum what kind of chafing could happen when running in the hot, humid nearly year round Miami weather. Not sure what changed post baby besides my body but possibly the fact that I was exposing more skin than before. Either way I discovered it a few months after having my daughter on a particularly toasting late summer/early fall morning run. I always wear Oiselle bras and decided to wear the team bra for this 13.1 training run to see if I could wear it under my singlet for an upcoming half marathon. I had not had any issues prior with my Oiselle bras and chafing but when I took off my tank top I could see raw red skin and when I jumped in the shower, ouch! It was then that I discovered I had to do something about this chafing thing that I never had experience with before.

 

Of course I tried all the typical stuff that I could find at Target or the pharmacies but everything would rub off or sweaty away after more than 5 miles. I was really beginning to think that perhaps I was stuck just incurring under bra chafe scars forever, and in Miami there is rarely a cool weather run where you don’t sweat. I don’t have chafing issues when its cold out but this fall/winter there was only one week of 50 degree weather here and even then I was sweating. I do a lot of treadmill early morning runs so I can keep an eye on my daughter while she is still sleeping and the treadmill is outside on a patio. So I get all the warmth of humid mornings and sweat more than running on the streets so I was starting to get some crazy chafing from my armband where I keep my phone to track my miles.

Then this January I got the opportunity to review this anti chafing product so I jumped, or really ran at the chance in hopes that I could finally be pain free in the shower after a training run/race. At first I was very skeptical about how it would work and if it would work but I am happy to report that it does work, better than anything I have used in the past.

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First trial run – a short 3 miler in the late afternoon – figured I should try it a few times before I used it for Miami Marathon a few weeks later. Worked well for the warm day.

Second trial – humid morning treadmill run – 7 miles – longer run than usual wearing a singlet/tank that usually can get pretty chafe friendly when it is warm, finished with no arm chafing and no thigh chafing.

Third trial –  Miami Marathon, basically 26.2 miles of warm and windy running conditions. I failed to realize that I needed to put the 2skin under the bottom of where my phone armband lies and missed a spot under my opposite arm and boy did I realize it on that post race shower! Oooouch! Everywhere else that it was applied had no issues and no chafe burns but those spots that I missed did. I also let my boyfriend use some of my small trial pack on his chest, men get the bloody nipples issue during marathons often and especially in the humid weather. He usually uses medical tape because the other anti chafe stuff does not work well for him either, anyways he did not have any bloody nipples at the end of the race and he was out there on the course even longer than I was. So men, it works for preventing the bloody nipple thing too!

 

Fourth trial – A1A half marathon this past weekend. I hadn’t really been running too much in the past few weeks so for the short runs sometimes I would skip using it but for this race I knew I had to apply it liberally. The weather report was showing 71 at the start and quickly getting warmer as the hours passed so I applied the 2skin to my arm where I failed to for the marathon a few weeks earlier and under my arm where I had gotten chafed also. This half marathon was even warmer than Miami Marathon and super humid at the start with some drizzly weather in the first couple miles and I got no chafing whatsoever! Hooray! Finally found the winner for anti chafe gel that I have been looking for now for almost 3 years! I brought the small pump bottle along with me in my race bag for this race and I will keep that bottle in my race bag until it runs out and I have to buy more! Luckily you do not need to use a lot to get the job done 🙂

I haven’t ever done a triathlon but from what I have read on the pjuractive website and other reviews about this product is that it is great to use for this multi sport event. Maybe one day I will do one and would definitely be using this product for that kind of race.

This is how it works! It’s long lasting and does not block your pores and all that is required to remove it from your skin is soap and water and most likely you will be using that after a run/sweat session/race anyhow! Want more technical info, check this link for more info about 2skin.

3 Or 5 reasons why you will want to run the 305 Half Marathon on March 4th!

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the 305 Half Marathon 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!

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First

1. #3 medal with a Cuban link printed neck ribbon with moving jewel – the first of the 3 year medal series, for 305 half in 2019 you will get the 0 and for 2020 you will earn the 5, ending with the complete 305 series of medals that connect with magnets! How cool is that?! I definitely will be doing it all 3 year as this year is my 6th year running this race anyways 😉

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2.  Cafecitos will be provided on race day! A very typical Miami morning beverage to help wake you up.

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3. iRun pacers, the best pacers in Miami! The iRun Army will get you to the finish line in exactly the time you need/want! If you need a pacer, they will have about 11 pacers available for this race according the to RunMiami facebook video.

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Oh

5 more!

1. 305 Drive Ignited by Athlinks – a 400-meter speed challenge within the half marathon course starting at mile 3.05. Earn a cool 305 Drive hat for all 1st in AG winners!

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2. Eppa Sangria SupraFruta Bar, refreshing sangria post race, yum! Awesome upgrade from the typical post race Michelob Ultra beer from the past,  don’t worry if you’re into beer, it will be available too!

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3. Frankie Ruiz, Baptist Health Run Club leader/Miami Marathon co-founder will be celebrating his upcoming nuptials with his lovely bride to be, Carla Duenas by running the race and partying post race with all their run club/running family.

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4.  Miami inspired post race food like pastelitos and croquetas.

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5. Complimentary (FREE!) race photos courtesy of Athlinks! If you don’t already use Athlinks, check it out now and find and claim all of your past race results! Add race rivals and friends and find out about the hottest local races around.

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If you need anymore reasons, here’s a bonus one: Register and use the code BIBRAVEMB18” which gives $5 off!

305 Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I’m promoting 305 Half Marathon 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!

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I really like this pic because my friend, Vivi is the pacer shown.

In the past this race was called the Michelob Ultra Miami Beach 13.1 and Miami Beach 13.1 This was actually my first half marathon ever back in 2013. I have been running this race every year since! This race actually held my half marathon PR for about a year in a half at 2:03:34. Here are a summary of my experiences over the years:

2013 – My first half marathon ever – ran it only using my Honey Stinger chews, did not drink any water on the course, crashed pretty badly at the half way point. Cooler weather also, probably high 50s – low 60s.

2014 – 4th half marathon at that point – slower than my first time on the course – forgot my honey stinger chews in car. I carpooled with my aunt and her friends who were doing the race. Did okay but did not drink nearly enough water for the warm day.

2015 – 8th half marathon – ran it while almost 4 months pregnant with my boyfriend. We took it easy and I made sure to drink lots of water on the course, even stopped for a bathroom break at mile 10 – Slowest time on the course that year.

2016 – 12th half marathon – Course PR – It was a warm day but I fueled right and my boyfriend helped push me to a new PR. We actually started this race at the back of the corral because I wanted to use the porta potties and didn’t realize that the race was already starting! So started in the back and still earned a new course PR.

2017: 16th half marathon – Weather was on the cooler side of high 60s and did not warm up too quickly but the wind was intense 20 mph. Stuck with pace group, crowded in and stuck with the group nearly the whole time. At the end started to fade due to the wind and previous cold I had been fighting for a few weeks. Hector from iRun, pacer for the 2:00 group did not let me give up and almost pulled me to the finish line to get my under 2 hr finish. 2nd fastest time on that course.

Hoping for some cooler weather with no wind this year, crossing my fingers for another under 2 hr finish.

I have a discount code to share, use “BIBRAVEMB18” which gives $5 off half marathon race entry.

 

A few reasons to run A1A Marathon or Half in 14 days!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to A1A Half marathon 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!

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So last year I had a bit of bad luck and was unable to run this race but this year I am crossing my fingers that no bad luck will get in the way.

Here are some reasons why I think YOU should run this race:

1. Location: Fort Lauderdale Beach, starting in Downtown Fort Lauderdale and then running straight to the beach front. I have done other Fort Lauderdale half marathons that weave and wiggle through a bunch of Fort Lauderdale neighborhoods but this one is great because it skips all those turns and goes straight to the beach. This is a pretty beach and you get to run beside it along A1A plus as an added bonus you get to run around Hugh Taylor Birch State Park also! What better way to hang out after a race than at a beer tent on the beach with a cool medal around your neck?

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2. Weather: usually it is nice around Valentine’s Day, in the past few years (excluding last year) the weather has been cool, as in 40-60s. I just checked the weather app and it looks like it will be in the high 50s-low 60s for race morning.

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3. Race Expo: This is a good one, comparable even to Miami Marathon’s expo. This one is sponsored by Publix so you know people are going to like this one. I went last year and had a really good time, even my toddler adored it and she didn’t even talk much then. No doubt it will be good with lots of good foods/drinks/things to try out and cool gear to buy before the race.

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4. The Medal: last but not least this is not the reason why most runners run races, or maybe I am wrong, maybe a lot of us secretly run races to get these cool ass medals. Who doesn’t like bringing their race medals to work on Mondays to show their coworkers, who are secretly jealous because they don’t run races too? These are always pretty unique medals and every year they choose a different ocean animal. This year’s medal is really spectacular looking,  it’s a jelly fish and has long dangling tentacles.

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5. I will be there: In case you want to meet a real bib rave pro and ask me questions about bibrave and how you can review and check out reviews for other local/national races. JK, I know you will choose reasons 1-4 on why to sign up for this race, but maybe you will see me on the course, rocking my BibRave orange tank and give me a little shout out, I will wave 🙂

Ready to sign up? Use the code below and save $$$ ! A1A Marathon and Half  will take you directly to registration. Check out the official page for more details.  Hurry, online registration  closes on 2/10 and the code “BIBRAVE” gets you 15% off both distances! If you are just not a distance runner/walker you also have a chance to run/walk the 5k on Saturday morning.