Make your miles matter: 2021 National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run 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!

Time for some serious and important talk folks. Did you know that #MMIW stands for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women? Until recently I was not aware of the epidemic of violence against Indigenous People. For example, according to CDC, murder is the 3rd leading cause of death of Indigenous Women. In 2016, 5,712 MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2-Spirited People) were reported, with only 116 of those logged in the Department of Justice’s database. The National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run aims to amplify the voices of Indigenous Peoples and bring visibility to the epidemic of MMIW. How can you help stand in solidarity with MMIW and their families?⠀

Run, walk, get active with @native_women_running in support of @mmiwusa – a non-profit that works on the ground with families who are strongly affected by #MMIW #bibchat #mmiwbr #MMIWG2S #MMIR #timetofly #nativewomenrunning

How does the MMIW mission virtual event work?

  1. ❗️ Visit here and register for the 2021 MMIW Virtual Event⠀
  2. ❗️ Wear the 2021 MMIW Run Shirt or the color red on the day of the event (Every registration comes with a red t-shirt; register by 4/28 if you are in the U.S. to get the t-shirt by 5/5)! The last day to register is 5/5.⠀
  3. 🏃🏼‍♂️  Run, walk, hike, or any movement of your choice for any distance May 5-May 8th.
  4. 📸  Share a picture on social & speak on why you are participating.
  5. Use hashtags #nativewomenrunning #MMIW #MMIWG2S #MMIR #timetofly and tag @nativewomenrunning on your social posts.
  6. 💡 Other BibRave Pros including @bluegrassbamr and @vanessajunkin have pledged to run 10 miles for this race to highlight that Native Women face murder rates at more than 10x the national average and I plan to do the same.

Before heading out on your MMIW Virtual Event activity, please consider using this site to learn what native land you are using. My runs in Atlanta, GA are uplifted by the Muscogee/Creek land we occupy.

Are you ready to make your miles matter?

Register now at: https://runsignup.com/Race/MN/Anywhere/2021MMIWVirtualEvent

Read fellow BRP Vanessa and Stephanie’s blogs about their take on this important event.

Make your miles matter: 2021 National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run
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March Running Roundup: Keep Moving Forward

After completing the Atlanta Half Marathon at the end of February, I took it easy for a week and then had some missed/slower workouts after first COVID vaccine. I don’t care; even being halfway vaccinated makes me so happy. Adam and I will be fully locked and loaded by mid-April in time for some in-person bike events, possible graduation (a year late) at Kennesaw State in May, and planned summer travel. That said, we’ll be wearing masks in public places for the forseeable future due to 1) lack of herd immunity, 2) COVID isn’t just going away – it will most likely continue to circulate like the other coronavirus strains, flu, and other respiratory diseases, 3) people suck and are gross, and 4) it’s not fucking hard.

The slow start to the month, hitting the 1 year post-COVID mark, and taking on new challenges at work had me feeling kind of mentally exhausted at first. Having the goal of training for Grandma’s Marathon with a PR goal in mind was really essential to keep me motivated. On the worst days, getting on my awesome Peloton Tread, pounding my brains out, and sweating like a beast was incredibly cathartic. I’m so grateful I’m able to have such an amazing tool in my house that has really helped me improve my fitness and well-being. Peloton is inspiring, empowering, but also an incredible privilege.

Me, Adam, and a small group of our cycling COVID pod tackled the Fried Clay gravel grind last weekend. It was a really fun, and challenging 200k (135 m) event, which we tackled by riding the first 80 miles, camping, and then completing the final 60 on Sunday. The 80 mile day included 10 miles of single track/horse trails, and was overall probably the most difficult 80 miles I’ve completed on a bike. The Whistestop Cafe, made famous in the movie Fried Green Tomatoes, was around mile 50 and we had the goal to get there before it closed at 4. Seems like it should have been a piece of cake, but I was bonking hard and mashing like a fiend in the 40-50 mile section to make it there finally…at 3:45. #WorthIt

By the end of the month it was time for the BibRave Summit with this year’s theme, BibRave Proud #BRProudSummit . This was the 3rd official summit and the 2nd virtual. I’ve had the amazing opportunity to meet with other BibRave Pros IRL at two previous events, The Running Event conference and the 2019 BibRave Summit in Chicago. Team BibRave has done an awesome job at creating high-value, community centered events even during this time of virtual everything. This year they used platform Hopin, which I’ve used for several virtual professional conferences this year, and it was a great way to engage with other Pros, watch informative content, meet and network with many new folks, and have a lot of fun during the process. We may all be a bit “zoomed-out”, but the BibRave Proud Summit was still a great opportunity to connect with a community that spends most of its time in the virtual/social media space anyway. Even though I’ve never met most of these cool folks, I feel their positive energy in my life on a daily basis. Seeing them virtually just got me even more antsy and excited for the, hopefully near, future where we can all meet IRL again. Thanks so much to sponsors Knockaround and Science in Sport for supporting the summit and sending some great products.

Interested in becoming a BibRave Pro? Applications open up periodically, so I’ll be sure to share info on social media when applications open! Learn more here. You can also learn more about the Summit and the awesome BibRave community on the latest episode of The BibRave Podcast, and you can check out what it was like by searching the hashtag #BRProudSummit.

After the vaccine, and Fried Clay, and improvements in the weather, I found myself feeling much sunnier by the end of the month. Through the highs and the lows of the month, Grandmas Marathon training was there through it all. Marathon training is a steady friend, and dispenser of tough love, exactly when you need it.

ONWARD.

Stats:

  • Running miles : 140.42; year-to-date : 379.92
  • Cycling miles: 155.3; year-to-date : 341.5 –> I’ll be focused on running miles through Grandma’s marathon in June, but March weather had me motivated to get back out on bike more. We also rode an epic 200k (135 mile) gravel event called “Fried Clay”. Spinning my legs is definitely great cross training.
  • Crossfit workouts: 14 year-to-date: 51 -> travel the first weekend, Fried Clay bike event, and reaction after first COVID vaccine had me missing a few workouts. Good news though: I’m doing kipping pull ups with just the smallest band assistance. Very close to consistently getting RX pull-ups.

Goals for April:

  • Running miles : 175 miles
  • Cycling miles: 100
  • Crossfit workouts: 18
  • Yoga: 1 x / week

Current 2021 Goals:

  • Running miles : Still on track for “running the year”. Yay!
  • Crossfit: unassisted pull-ups/kipping pull-ups in all workouts by the end of the year, double unders

Let me know how you’re staying motivated, if you’re training for anything, or if you just need a kick in the butt. I’m here for it all. 😀

March Running Roundup: Keep Moving Forward
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February Running Roundup: winter maintenance and motivation

Even though my birthday falls in February, it tends to be a struggle month for me. The new year has settled in, the late winter, pre-spring blues crop up, and motivation becomes a bit of a struggle. I feel like I’m operating 75-80% on my fitness and nutrition goals, but that 20-ish% of less than ideal nutrition behavior ends up creating plateaus that can spiral into lapses in motivation and loss of fitness gains. Know thyself. I still have progress I’d like to make but it’s very slow going and frustrating, and I feel myself making more concessions and excuses than I’d like. In the end, it’s all completely ok and I’m learning to give myself some grace.

As I’m writing this I’m on a girls beach trip (COVID-safe of course) and getting a much-needed reset, even if a vacation means a small delay to getting back on the nutrition happy train lol. Next week I’ll officially start training for Grandma’s Marathon. I’m really excited for this race and committed to training for it like the athlete I know I am; what would an athlete do, is my mantra for this training cycle. Now I’m ready to take the gains I’ve made in the past year, commit to continued progress (not perfection), and ignite the next phase of my fitness journey. In spite of some lapses I’m proud of myself for maintaining a daily reading habit this year. I just finished reading ‘Bravey’ by Alexi Pappas. It’s an EXCELLENT read and highly recommended. Alexi’s story and writing are funny, heartbreaking, and inspirational. The book is full of amazing quotes including 2 that I’ve added to my vision board for daily motivation:

  • “Before bed, decide tomorrow will be great.”
  • “Good thing I didn’t accomplish all my goals yet, because then what would I do tomorrow?”

ONWARD

Stats:

  • Running miles : 173.9; year-to-date : 339.5
  • Cycling miles: 66.8; year-to-date : 186.2 –> weather is getting better but still really focused on running – will need to find a better balance even while training for Grandma’s. 
  • Crossfit workouts: 21 year-to-date: 37

Goals for March:

  • Running miles : 175 miles
  • Cycling miles: 100
  • Crossfit workouts: 20
  • Yoga: 1 x / week

Updated 2021 Goals:

  • Running miles : Still on track for “running the year”. Yay!
  • Crossfit: unassisted pull-ups/kipping pull-ups in all workouts by the end of the year, double unders

February Running Roundup: winter maintenance and motivation
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January Running Roundup: Habit Building and PRs

In spite of the unsurprising continued and worsening national crises, the world of Fun Size Athlete kept moving forward in January. I feel quite fortunate on many fronts. I joined the Ox100 fitness challenge at the CrossFit gym I belong to, hoping to continue giving myself goals and motivation. The challenge was adjusted this year to be a bit more flexible but the first 30 days was still limited to “detoxing” with Whole 30 or Paleo diet. While Whole 30 has worked well for me in the past (when I have actually needed a good food detox), it kind of backfired for me this year and I found myself feeling pretty terrible for the first few weeks of the month. I had already started focusing a lot on nutrition last year and following macros. Also, Adam and I have shifted to a mostly plant-based diet at this point, so suddenly going back to a very heavy meat-based diet had me feeling slow, bloated, hungry, unsatisfied (insert additional negatives here). I learned that everything has it’s time and place, and I needed to just stick to (and improve) what had already been working for me. By the end of the month I switched back to 90% plant-based, counting macros, etc. and felt better within a week. For the next 2 phased of the challenge I will try to maintain 100% plant-based and hit my macro requirements as much as possible (with special focus on hitting the protein goals). I’m glad I learned to listen to my body.

In spite of not always feeling great, I hit over 100 Peloton runs, and completed 90% of the prescribed workouts (including speedwork!) in the Atlanta Track Club half marathon training plan. I complete most of the workouts on the Peloton Tread+ inside and the benefits have quickly translated to improvements in my outside runs and races. In fact, I PRd the 5k and half marathon distances this month without even planning on it! Every time I head outside for a run I notice changes to my steady state/”easy” run pace, to the point where I’m not even sure what my “easy” pace should even be at this point. Always a work in progress, and I’m here for it.

Stats:

  • Running miles : 167.6; year-to-date : 167.6
  • Cycling miles: 119.4; year-to-date : 119.4 –> it’s too damn cold!
  • Crossfit workouts: 16; year-to-date: 16

Goals:

  • Running miles : 170 miles
  • Cycling miles: 100
  • Crossfit workouts: 20
  • Core: Complete Matty Maggiacomo’s enCORE28 challenge

Updated 2021 Goals:

  • Running miles : 2021 –> yup, I’ve decided to “Run The Year” and I’m currently on track
  • Crossfit: unassisted pull-ups/kipping pull-ups in all workouts by the end of the year, double unders
Roundup of January fitness stats, goals, activities, and accomplishments!
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BibRave Race Review: Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta 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!”

Many of us may be fatigued by the thought of ANOTHER virtual race, but the Hot Chocolate 15k race series kept things sweet and safe. Running isn’t cancelled for sure. After taking last year off from the Hot Chocolate Race in Atlanta, the virtual race this year had me excited for my 4th running for chocolate. It was an amazing present to myself to be able to run the race on my birthday, from my front door, while still sleeping in!

I signed up for the race about 6 weeks ago and immediately started receiving helpful emails with training schedule and tips for race day. Even though the race would be virtual, it was nice to feel like I was actually training for something. Even better, I live close to the real course and was able to create a modified course from my house that included a warmup mile and most of the actual course, while cutting out the parts I don’t like anyway. Win!

We experienced most of the real course simply from a door-to-door route!

About a week before the race date I received my swag bag package with all the famous Hot Chocolate series goodies: chocolate (of course), hot chocolate packets, medal (with a secret chocolate compartment, and the cozy hoodie. Every year I think Hot Chocolate series does a great job improving on the swag based off of participant feedback. The hoodie this year fits and looks great (my husband very much approved). It also has a detachable hood which I think is an amazing improvement as I don’t like to run with a hood flopping around. I think in the future, I’d love to see them offer a vest option and maybe some gloves.

Overall, I really enjoyed being able to run a “race” without having to travel from my house. I also very much enjoyed sleeping in, as well as being able to choose the best day to run based off of weather (a true bonus for those of us who know that the ATL race has some notorious weather patterns lol). Having taken last year (2020) off from the race, being able to do the virtual race this year really got me excited for prospect of racing Hot Chocolate 15k in person next year, and maybe traveling to a new city for it instead. Aren’t we all ready to travel?!

Have you run a Hot Chocolate race in the past? Did you run the virtual race this year and what did you think? Are you ready for racing IRL??

Be sure to follow Hot Chocolate 15k Race on all your favorite social media channels below to keep posted about future race opportunities.

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | YouTube |

You can find my review of the Virtual Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta on BibRave.com here.

Will run for chocolate! Even during COVID, a virtual race experience can still be a SWEET experience. Here's my review of the Virtual Hot Chocolate 15k Atlanta #bibchat #runchat #hc15k
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5 Reason I LOVE My Peloton Tread+

When that slightly off, possibly body shaming but not really body shaming, Peloton commercial came out around Christmas 2019 many of us stuck up our noses at the bougie-ness of it all. However, when COVID closed down our favorite gyms (which we pay for but rarely attend) in March 2020, I think all those same judge-y folks (myself included) were wishing we had at least bought some Peloton stock when it went public in December.

For myself, owning the bike itself was never really a need or interest. My husband and I almost exclusively ride outside all year round, and if I’m really desperate I’ll throw my bike on a trainer. Plus, spin class was never really my think once I started to ride “real” bikes outside. I did appreciate from early on how the Peloton bike was a game changer for giving folks, especially women, the confidence to change their fitness, and the content seemed fun. While I did not want a stationary bike I was pretty jealous of my friends who were enjoying some cool themed rides. This recent YouTube parody video from The Holderness Family really sums up the Peloton fervor accurately:

In the first few months of COVID I downloaded the Peloton app (3 free months) and really enjoyed the content. I used it for some outdoor runs, stretching, yoga, and core work. As someone who works in tech as a data scientist, I think the app and the content are incredible, diverse, fun, and highly effective. In my opinion, Peloton is a CONTENT company more than a fitness equipment company. After many months of running on a $400 Amazon treadmill and jealously watching more and more friends get their Peloton Bike delivery, I was determined to join the Peloton cult…I mean community with more than just the app membership.

While many women may buy themselves a nice pair of designer shoes when they get a new, fancy job I went out and ordered myself a fancy treadmill….the Peloton Tread+. I’ve had the Tread for over 2 months now and here’s my top 10 reasons why I LOVE it:

I don’t just run…sometimes I stretch/yoga too lol!
  1. New content every day. When I wake up for early morning run every day, there’s always a new selection of content to choose from to get me through whatever workout on my schedule for that day. I can choose by length of time, focus (endurance, speed, hills, etc.), music, instructor, etc. It never feels repetitive…unlike running the same 5 or 10k loop around my neighborhood everyday. In a COVID world where every day feels like Groundhog Day, fresh content to start each morning is key.
  2. Effective and efficient speed work. Depending on my prescribed training workout I either follow the Peloton instructor queues or just use them as motivation while I follow specific workout queues on my Garmin watch (i.e. hitting interval or fartlek sets). Either way, setting a speed on a treadmill and then committing to it is a really great way to work on cadence/turnover, form, and maintaining a steady pace. I’ve noticed my cadence and pace on outdoor runs in particular have greatly benefited from all the time on the Tread.
  3. Less decision paralysis. Getting up at 5am when it’s cold and dark and trying to figure out where to run is really daunting. Add in the challenge of figuring out what to wear and the likelihood of just staying in a warm bed increases. Now, I get up, throw on shorts and a singlet, and head down to the garage to run “nowhere”. #NoExcuses
  4. Say ‘no’ to cold, dark mornings. So much less gear and clothes required == much easier convincing myself to get out of bed.
  5. Safety. Continuing the theme from #3 and #4, as much as I love my neighborhood, no matter where you live I think most folks, women in particular, are not super excited about running by themselves in the dark at O’dark thirty. One thing that I think cannot be understated about Peloton is its effect on empowering women to feel safe running and cycling. That said, I’m acutely aware that the bike and tread are expensive, luxury items to which many people do not have access. Considering what we’ve seen in the last year, I think Peloton can be an even more powerful tool in the homes of more women of color. In their recent “Peloton Pledge” the company stated a goal of “increasing accessibility to our products and content in underserved communities,” although it’s unclear how they plan to achieve that, I’m interested to see what happens moving forward.
Yeah…I even started getting the apparel. Basic Bitch Level 100 achieved lmao.

I could probably write a much longer list but I’ll continue my Peloton Tread+ sing-a-longs/sufferfests for a few more months before coming back with a part 2 of this list/review. If you have any questions about the Peloton Tread or Peloton in general, please chime in. If you end up joining the Peloton community with either the Bike or the Tread (or both!) you can enter my referral code: BZCYNU during purchase, and get $100 towards bike accessories.

Have you experienced the “5 stages of Peloton”? Chime in with your favorite Peloton classes, stories, instructors, etc.? Plus, find me and follow me: FunSize_Athlete. Happy Running/Pedaling!

10 Reasons I LOVE My @onePeloton Tread+ #bibchat #runchat #treadmill #marathontraining #runnersafety #inhalethegoodshit #exhalethebullshit #pelotontread
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December Running Roundup: 2020 Year in Review and Moving Forward into 2021

I’ll avoid using one of the overused adjectives used to describe 2020, but yeah…it’s been a bit of a year to say the least. Considering everything going on in the world, the end of 2020 has me feeling extremely grateful. In many ways, some of the negatives one can attach to 2020 actually benefited my personal life, health, and professional life. My husband and I cook together 3-4 times per week. The forced work from home, lack of social distractions, and end of in-person school requirements freed up my time from a terrible 35 mile one-way commute to school just in time for me to hunker down at home and focus on finishing a dissertation. Starting in March, the only things for me to do with my life were work/PhD dissertation and workout. This led to me finishing my PhD in July and getting in the best shape of my life, resulting in getting a new and awesome job as a Data Scientist at a startup company and crushing a 100 mile race in 22 hours and 48 minutes (goal was sub-24 hrs). I am forever grateful and humbled by my circumstances and the people in my life, and in awe of the parents, teachers, healthcare workers, food service workers, etc. who are the true rockstars of 2020 and beyond. I strive for better knowing that the challenges in my life are mostly by choice, while many others do not have that privilege. #NoExcuses

Here’s a wrap-up of December, the best of 2020, and looking forward to 2021:

Embracing all that is 2020. If you can live your best life in 2020, than surely anything is possible?

Stats:

  • Running miles : 168.6; year-to-date : 1,754
  • Cycling miles: 172.2; year-to-date : 3,451
  • Crossfit workouts: 21; year-to-date: 205

Peloton Tread+: While some women buy themselves a pair of Jimmy Choos when they get a new, fancy job, I bought myself a treadmill. Of course, go big or go home, so I bought the Peloton Tread+ with the slat tread design. It’s amazing to run on, provides great motivation to get in my early morning workouts, and eliminates many choices I really do not feel like making at 5:30 am each day, i.e. what to wear, where to run in the dark by myself, etc. It’s an amazing piece of equipment. I was definitely a bit judgy of the Peloton crazy but I totally get it; yes, I’ve even had a cry session one morning while running Bec’s 60 minutes NYC Marathon simulation run. I’m not the only one! P.S. If you get a Peloton bike or tread, use me as a referral and we’ll both get Peloton store credits. 😀

Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run: My December daily running average was 5.4 miles, keeping me over my goal of running an average of 4.3 miles per day (Tony’s daily average during his run-streak). I’m really glad I had the motivation to keep up the miles during the holidays. It also gave me the confidence to commit to the 2021 goal of “running the year”, i.e. 2,021 miles in 2021, an average of 5.5 miles per day.

Best of 2020:

  • Cookie baking class with awesome friends at Haute Cookie for my birthday
  • Volunteering at the women’s personal hydration station on Peachtree Street for the US Olympic Marathon Trials.
  • Defending my dissertation and earning a PhD in Data Science
  • Getting a new, custom gravel bike and then riding said bike on rail trails all over Georgia, Virginia, Tennessee, and New Hampshire
  • Joining OxFit Crossfit gym and learning that my body is capable of even more than I had imagined
  • Crushing my sub-24 hour goal at the Yeti 100 in 22 hours and 44 minutes
  • Starting a new job and new career!

Ahead in 2021:

  • If/when in person-IRL-chip timed races happen I’d like to keep the PR train moving. I’ve already accomplished more than I expected by Jan 2 with 5k, 10k, and half marathon PRs this morning at the Atlanta Track Club Resolution Run this morning. I went with the goal of running as a fun run/training run for 10 laps/13.1 miles around the track club offices and ended up running my first sub-2 hour half marathon, with most at conversation pace. Whoopsies. Between strength training, Peloton workouts, and continued changes to my body composition, I often have no idea the true state of my current fitness until things like this happen. Just means I need more aggressive goals for 2021 I guess lol.
  • Publix Half Marathon Covid-friendly edition, Feb 28, at the Atlanta Motorspeedway. Another half marathon PR perhaps?
  • Bike Ride Across GA (BRAG), June 5-12. The 2020 event from Chattanooga to Columbus, GA was canceled obviously, so hoping for take 2 this year, same route.
  • Grandma’s Marathon – June 19. I’m registered to run this iconic race in Duluth, MN (new state!) as a BibRave Pro. They’ve limited the half and full marathon fields to 50% capacity so I’m hoping the event is able to take place, although I’ll feel much better about it if I’m able to get a COVID vaccine before traveling there.
  • KSU Graduation? – May 10. I technically earned my degree last July but never had the full graduation/PhD hooding ceremony experience. As of now, they’re saying that graduates from spring, summer, and winter 2020 will be able to take part in official graduation ceremonies this Spring. I want to wear my fancy pants regalia, dammit!
  • San Juan Hut System Bikepacking trip? – August. There’s tentative plans to do this 6 day bike traverse from Durango, CO to Moab, UT with a small group of friends. It’s definitely a bucketlist trip, but feels relatively COVID friendly, so hoping this one can happen as well.
  • NYC Marathon? – Nov 7. I was supposed to run the 50th edition in 2020 but, as with everything else, that didn’t happen. In fact, I’ve now been part of not one, but TWO, canceled NYC Marathons. SMH. Those of us who were supposed to run last year will be randomly placed into one of the events between 2021 and 2023.

It definitely feels like a privilege to be able to plan ANYTHING at this point. However, my attitude is that it’s likely 50/50 any plans actually happen so might as well keep moving forward, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and embrace anything in between. How are you tackling 2021??

Peace, love, and many happy miles. ~Jessica “Fun Size”

Check out my December Running Roundup and 2020 Year in Review: Keep Moving Foward!
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BibRave Product Review: Running Winter Warmer with Buff® DryFlx+ Collection

Disclaimer: I received the Buff® DryFlx+ headband and necker warmer 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! 

Every fall when BibRave starts to offer winter gear review opportunities, I’m always hesitant to apply because it usually still feels like summer in ATL. Without fail, every year I’m glad when I decide to give winter gear a shot because it always seems that ATL summer turns to winter in the blink of an eye. This year has been no exception; as soon as I received the new BUFF DryFlx+ Collection headband and neckwarmer, enough winter had arrived in ATL to make me cranky. Thanks to being a BibRave Pro, I now have some gear to make me a little less grumpy about running and cycling outside this time of year.

One of my biggest issues each winter is that, no matter how cold, I still sweat like crazy resulting in the worst possible scenario: cold + wet. Finding gear that keeps me warm AND dry is the key to continue outdoor training and not getting sick (or just seriously uncomfortable). The Buff DryFlx+ Collection aims to cover the warm + dry winter activity requirements. BUFF describes the DryFlx+ neckwarmer, for example, as:

BUFF DryFlx®+ Neckwarmer is engineered and knitted in one-piece. Designed with technical smart zones that increase breathability and targeted warmth, while enhancing active fit and comfort with an articulated mask design – so you can focus on what matters.

Both the neckwarmer and headband are soft and cozy, without being heavy. It’s a really nice balance between keeping you warm without overheating. I’ve been on a few long runs or rides where the temperature differential between the start and end of the activity was nearly 20 degrees. Whether on the run or bike, both products kept me warm without getting soaked with sweat, and I never felt overheated as temperatures rose.

Great on the bike too!

An added benefit of the neckwarmer was its use as a makeshift mask in a pinch, i.e. running on a crowded trail or needing to go inside a building to refuel. Note however, the neckwarmer has vents in the front for airflow during activity, so it’s primary purpose should definitely not be as a mask, and if you have to use it this way, turn it around so the vented side is not in front of your face. It’s definitely better than nothing for this purpose though. Side note: BUFF makes a line of face masks with filters. 🙂

Thanks to BUFF DryFlx+ Collection I can be a little less cranky about winter.

Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about the BUFF DryFlx+ Collection:

Randy | Janell | Michelle | Jaimelee | Kristi | Krista | Jonathan | Chris | Ken | Lissa | Karen | Chris Lee | Scotty |

If you’re interested in BUFF® products, feel free to go to https://buffusa.com/bibrave: Sign up for BUFF® newsletter & get 15% OFF.

Be sure to follow Buff on FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Instagram for product updates and more.

BibRave Product Review: Running Winter Warmer with Buff® DryFlx+ Collection
Posted in Product Reviews | 4 Comments

November Running Roundup: Maintaining pace with a new career

Inspired by my fellow BibRave Ambassador, ‘She Runs By the Seashore‘ Vanessa, I plan to start a monthly blog roundup as a way to keep motivated and document progress, setbacks, and everything in between when it comes to fitness. In spite of (or maybe thanks to) COVID, this year has seen my highest run mileage yet, and most success on my fitness journey. With little travel, pressure of social gatherings, and work from home, I’ve been able to focus on fitness and school/work with much better results than any previous year. Everyone is different, but for me as much as this year has been challenging, the “great pause” if you will has allowed me to focus on things that really matter: health and quality relationships. So, without further ado, here’s my November stats roundup:

Starting the month strong at the Atlanta 10 Miler: Extreme Hill Edition!
  • Stats:
    • Running miles : 159; year-to-date : 1,587
    • Cycling miles: 271; year-to-date : 3,278
    • Crossfit workouts: 19; year-to-date: 180
  • Atlanta 10 Miler: Ran the modified, COVID-safe Atlanta 10 Miler on November 1 at Road Atlanta racetrack. The race was deemed the “Extreme Hill Edition” due to the insane, sweeping turns and hills on the track. The normal Atlanta 10 Miler course is already considered a difficult course so, hearing that this would be even more of a doozy, I wore a Halloween costume (Rey from Star Wars) with the aim to “just have fun”. Famous last words: I PRd the 10 miler big time with a finish of 1:31:59.
  • Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run: Tony Banovich, a good friend of Team BibRave, race director of the Missoula Marathon and Run Wild Missoula, and a seemingly awesome guy (I never had the pleasure to meet him), passed away suddenly in October due to complicationns from a heart condition. As a way to honor his memory and support the Run Wild Missoula mission, “an industry coalition led by BibRave, Event Southwest, and the Louisville Running Company created The Tony Banovich Roads, Tracks, and Trails Memorial Run presented by AfterShokz, with all proceeds benefitting the Montana nonprofit.” The virtual event challenges participants to run or walk 4.35 miles, the average daily distance of Tony’s 1,731 day run streak. Since I already run that distance regularly, I decided to use Tony’s memory to add a bit more of a personal challenge: run an average of 4.35 daily miles through the end of the year. I’m not doing this as a run streak, although I do run 5-6 days per week. My overall daily average through the end of the year will be at least 4.35 miles per day. My November daily average was 5.3 miles. P.S. you can still register to run through December 11 and have until December 31 to complete the run. 😀
  • Professional Changes: Perhaps the biggest change this month which, although not directly fitness related can have an impact on how I structure my fitness routine, is the fact that I started a new job in a completely new career! After completing my PhD in Analytics and Data Science in July, I set the goal to pivot from federal service/public health into a private sector technology job by the end of the year. I made that goal happen and started at a small, startup Data Science consulting firm, A42 Labs, on November 16. Consulting can be a very busy, challenging career, but I was really motivated to get a position that I knew would be a challenge and allow me to learn a lot! I also knew that taking on a challenging new role could risk disrupting my fitness and nutrition routine. I made the personal goal to prioritize my health during this change and be diligent about scheduling my days around workouts. I wake up every weekday morning to run, and then have breakfast and coffee before 8am. Running before works gives me a great boost of energy and focus for the rest of the day. I then bookend the day at OxFit, usually at 5:30. It’s a great way to get my mind away from work and programming code before dinner and bed. So far the schedule is working really well, and has also been super helpful for keeping motivated and efficient while still working from home. Schedules and checklists are your friends folks!

That’s a wrap for November. I plan to keep the same work/workout schedule in December and hit at least 150 miles running for the month as well. There’s nothing else special planned since we’re staying home for the holidays.

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BibRave Product Review: Rock your recovery with Science in Sport (SiS) REGO Rapid Recovery

Disclaimer: I received the Science in Sport REGO Rapid Recovery in chocolate and strawberry 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! 

Since getting serious about my strength and nutrition journey this year, I’ve realized that 1) I don’t consume nearly as many calories as I assumed, and 2) I definitely do not consume enough protein. As I’ve increased the quantity and intensity of both strength and cardio sessions since the beginning of the year, the necessity to track my macros intake and make sure I’m covering my nutritional needs has been key to maintaining energy, improving performance, and finally seeing changes in body composition. Since I have a very busy lifestyle I manage personal, work, and physical activities by planning ahead as much as possible. Many of you may know, once life gets very busy, nutrition is often the first thing to fall off the wagon. For that reason, having easy and quick access to quality nutritional choices is extremely important. In order to hit all my performance and protein intake goals, I’ve found it necessary to include protein supplements in snacks and meals whenever possible. That means high protein overnight oat bowls for breakfast, protein smoothies for lunch, protein cold brew coffee mix as a late morning/early afternoon pick-me-up, and high protein snacks within 30 minutes of strength sessions or hour plus long cardio sessions.

Science in Sport (SiS) REGO Rapid Recovery is a great post-workout recovery mix that includes the right blend of carbohydrates (23g), protein (20g), and electrolytes. According to Dr. Stacy Sims, PhD in her amazing book “Roar”, while men need to consume about 20g of protein in the 30 minute post-workout recovery window, women need 30-40 g. That’s A LOT of protein. I’ve been running about 60-90 minutes every morning, and crossfit every evening. After my morning run, I quickly grab SiS Rego (it comes in tubs or single serve, easy travel packets) and mix it in a shaker bottle with some ice and 500ml of water. It mixes up smooth (no weird chalky flavor) and is like starting my day with a tasty milk shake (it comes in strawberry, chocolate, and vanilla). I drink that before and after my shower and while getting ready for work. Then I start my day at my desk with high protein overnight oats for breakfast. This whole post-morning workout routine gets me about 40g of protein within 30-45 minutes. Evening workouts are similar in that I drink SiS REGO immediately after the workout and then have dinner within an hour.

Maintaining this regimented workout and nutrition practice has me feeling full and energetic all day, and I wake up the next day without feeling depleted or starving. In fact, most of my morning workouts are completed in a fasted state and I never have that yucky empty stomach feeling. According to Science in Sport website, REGO Recovery also includes 2g of amino acid Leucine, which aids in muscle tissue recovery and repair. REGO Recovery is a soy-based protein, gluten free, wheat free, and nut free. This has been one of my favorite, effective post-workout recovery mixes. Head over to the Science in Sport website and check it out for yourself!

Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about REGO Recovery:

Nicki | Katy | Becky | Shravan |

Be sure to follow Science in Sport on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, and Instagram for product updates and more.

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