So yeah, I wanted to wait a few weeks into the new year to get my bearings and let everyone else blab about their resolutions before I came out with my 2020 plans and motivations. 2019 was difficult but 2020 is exciting and full of change. Check it out below and here’s just a preview of plans for the year:
Finish PhD –> Dr. Rudd, I presume??
Start new job –> interviews underway. Where in the world will Jessica Rudd be??
Try some new bike events as member of Sorella Cycling race team –> try some Gran Fondos, timed mountain bike races, and more cyclocross in the fall?
Yeti 100 –> Second time around with an A goal of sub-24hours
NYC Marathon –> It’s the 50th running of the race and I’m planning for an epic NYC weekend!
So much more…
What are your 2020 motivations? Comment below or hit me up on social so we can support each other!
“Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Honolulu 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!”
It’s been 2 weeks since an amazing marathon weekend in Honolulu and 1 week since we finished our awesome adventures on the Hawaiian islands, and my brain is still somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. The fact that it’s been 40s and raining nearly non-stop since we returned to ATL really doesn’t help much either. I never thought I’d be able to cross a Hawaii marathon off my list so early in the 50 states marathon game but I’m so glad I had the opportunity to take this adventure at this time. If you’re thinking about doing this race, or visiting Hawaii in general, then do it! The time and cost involved may seem overwhelming, but I saved money throughout the year using an Acorns account and paid for flights and many of the excursions as I was able. Anything is possible. The marathon itself is the 3rd largest in the US but has a very local community feel to it. If you want all the amenities of a large race but enjoy running through neighborhoods with people camped out in lawn chairs on their lawns, then Honolulu Marathon is certainly worth the journey. For a full, extensive review of the race, check out my review on BibRave. Here’s my Honolulu Marathon Top 10:
International feel without needing a passport
Over 200 hotels in a 1 mile radius of Waikiki so plenty of housing options near the start shuttles and race finish
5am start time is perfect for those of us still fighting jet lag (it’s 10 am east coast time!)
Fireworks! They’re not playing around; 20+ minute firework extravaganza at the start
Shuttles to the start are really easy
Merrie Mile: get a little shakeout run on Saturday and then enjoy watching elite runners blow away the out and back course along the famed Waikiki Beach Kalakau Ave. (The winner finished in 3 minutes 53 seconds!)
Shell necklaces: the medals for all races are quite nice but I was most excited about receiving a long shell necklace at the marathon finish
Malasadas! A Portuguese-style fried donut common in Hawaii. They have a whole kitchen setup at the finish making fresh malasadas for all finishers. YUM!
Cold showers: seems obvious, but yes, Honolulu is HOT and starting at 5am doesn’t actually improve the situation all that much. Right after you cross the finish line, there’s a bank of shower heads for an amazingly refreshing cool down. Also, the finish line is a 5 minute walk from the beach, so a post-marathon Pacific Ocean dunk is a must-do.
Sunrise over Diamond Head: the advantage of starting at 5am means that, depending on your pace, you’ll be climbing around Diamond Head just as the sun rises. There’s not many things in this world better than a Pacific Ocean sunrise.
Finally, thanks so much to the race director for sending this epic pic to Team BibRave.
What’s the most epic race-cation you’ve had? What’s on your bucket list?
Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Aeropex 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! All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given.
The Give Good Vibez campaign I took part in with other BibRave Pros was a really awesome way to test out a new product and give back in the process. For the past few years Aftershokz has had a Black Friday BOGO deal. This year the BOGO deal was rolled into the #GiveGoodVibez campaign, where folks were encouraged to give their free pair of Aftershokz to a friend, family member, or community member in need or who they felt deserved a little extra good vibez this holiday season. As BibRave Pros, we received the new Aeropex model to test and a pair of Aftershokz Titanium bone conduction headphones to share with someone. I sent my pair to my friend Drew and her husband Ramon in a care package with some extra little goodies.
The Aeropex themselves are the newest Aftershokz model, with enhanced sound experience. I’ve found them to be the lightest, most comfortable pair of Aftershokz yet and wore them non-stop on a 10 + hour flight to Honolulu without any discomfort. No more uncomfortable ear buds, no pressure on your head and ears after hours of use, and a great battery life that lasted no problem through the long flight, even though they advertise 8 hour battery life and I watched 5 movies over 10 hours of flight time. From the Aftershokz website, the Aeropex have:
“the widest dynamic stereo sound that bone conduction can offer. Say hello to deeper base, less vibration, and louder volumes.”
IP67 waterproof rating makes them fully sweat and waterproof
Bluetooth connectivity up to 33 feet (10m)
Moisture detection alert for safe charging – the updated magnetic charging port prevents water ingress
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about Aftershokz Aeropex:
Disclaimer: I am promoting the Best of the Bay City Guide 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!
To all of you west coast readers, or anyone looking for a great west coast race-cation for early 2020, consider the Kaiser Permanente San Francisco Half Marathon on February 20! Check out the guide above for all the great places to stay, eat, shake-out run, post-race party, and more! Register for any of the 5k, 10k, or half marathon on https://www.getfitkpsf.com/race/ and use code KPSFBIBRAVE for $5 off! Can’t wait to hear more about this race from all the running fam out there. After next week’s Honolulu Marathon, I won’t be traveling too far outside the southeast for races until a little thing known as my PhD Dissertation is complete. Until then, living vicariously through this city guide and all y’all!
“Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz Aeropex to review and a pair of Titaniums to give as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.comto review, find, and write race reviews!”
It’s that time of year where we all struggle with gift ideas for our partner, parents, siblings, best running friends, dog sitter, etc. 😛 Don’t miss out on this opportunity to be the star gift giver of the season! Aftershokz, the all stars of bone conduction wireless music technology, wants you to brighten someones day this holiday season, and they are once again bringing back their Black Friday Buy 1 Get One. This year the focus of the promo is to #GiveGoodVibez. In order to get exclusive access to the sale, head to https://givegoodvibez.aftershokz.com/ , get your email on the list, and wait for the sale details in your inbox. On Black Friday, use your exclusive sale access to purchase a pair of wireless Aftershokz and you’ll receive 1 pair of open box Aftershokz Titaniums to give to someone else for FREE!
Why have I already converted most of my friends and family to the Aftershokz squad? Aftershokz offers a great family of high quality products but in many ways they’re more than just some snazzy electronic gear. The last few months have been challenging, to say the least, due to pressures of PhD-land, family stress, and personal health issues. It’s definitely hard to stay motivated to keep fit when you’d rather just stay in bed, let alone keep motivated to continue marathon training. At the end of the day, when stress and health have your body craving those extra hours of sleep in the morning, sometimes it’s important to listen. However, finding time to build up some sweat equity is still key to overall health and mental wellness. As you’ve seen in my last few posts, as well as posts in the past, I’ve been an acolyte of Aftershokz bone conduction headphones for a few years now, and have owned several pairs. In the last few months though, Aftershokz have been more than just a cool device; they’ve provided the extra motivation to stay active when motivation was very difficult to come by in my life.
Couldn’t get out of bed in the morning for that early morning run group and now you only have time to fit in a dreaded treadmill workout at the school gym? Listen to pump up tunes ( AC/DC or Led Zeppelin for me!) or an awesome podcast (BibRave Podcast anyone?) on your Aftershokz Titanium. Injury (plantar fasciitis maybe?) and need to take a break from running and do laps in the pool instead? Grab your fully waterproof with 4GB of MP3 storage Aftershokz Xtrainerz to cut the lane line boredom. Just need to talk to your mommy but your only time is on the late night drive home after class? Use your Aftershokz Air for handsfree wireless calls. Yes, I own all 3 products, and yes, I speak from experience.
A brand new pair of Aftershokz Aeropex, the newest model, are headed my way and I can’t wait to try them out. The Aeropex have the longest battery life and best sound quality of any Aftershokz yet with the new PremiumPitch 2.0+ technology and angled transducers for optimal placement “allowing for more dynamic bass range, higher volume, and less vibration.” I’m about to get “Thunderstuck” in the best possible way. I’ll write an updated review once I receive them but you can check out reviews from other BibRave Pros below:
Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Xtrainerz 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! All opinions are my own and no further compensation was given.
The benefit of being in school for my 3rd degree is that I have access to awesome athletic facilities, including a really nice lap pool. When I first started at Kennesaw State in fall 2016 I was in the last 6 weeks of training for Ironman Chattanooga and the access to the pool proved wonders on my swim training. I’m pretty sure I swam more in those last 6 weeks of training than I had in all the previous months leading up that. When I first started triathlon, the swim was my weakest sport. While I’m certainly not fast, the easy access to pool facilities the last few years has allowed me to find a lot of comfort in the swim that I never had before.
Why is swimming awesome?
Great cross-training: this low impact activity allows for a great cardio workout without the stress on the body. I’ve found that any time I’m in a high load training cycle, my fitness and recovery are A+ if I add 1-2 swim sessions a week.
Excellent workout option if injured: adding to the first bullet, swimming is a great workout, and allows you to keep moving even if an injury has sidelined your run or bike workouts. Case in point, I’ve had plantar fasciitis since June and have traded 1-2 of my mid-week runs for a swim instead. I’ve been resting my foot, but still keeping strong cardio, and allowing the foot to recover and be ready for the long weekend runs.
Cathartic and quiet: there’s something very calming about being alone underwater just methodically swimming back and forth following a line on the bottom of the pool.
What sucks about swimming?
Cathartic and quiet: for those of us with an excessive noisy, sometimes self-harmful brain, the quiet methodical following of a line is also extremely tedious, boring, and opens the squirrel brain up for anxiety inducing thoughts.
Enter: Aftershokz Xtrainerz
I’ve used waterproof headphones before but they were generally uncomfortable and the sound would be garbled like…being underwater, duh. Also, the in-ear design of most headphones means you can’t also wear ear plugs. For me, having ear plugs while swimming is the key to avoiding ear infections; I’ve had several while training for Ironman and they all suck. I even ended up with a perforated ear drum from one particularly bad infection.
Aftershokz are already well-known for their amazing open ear, bone-conduction design. With the new Xtrainerz, you get the open-ear design and can still wear whichever ear plugs you choose. I’ve used wax plugs in the past, but the swimming specific plugs the Xtrainerz come with are the most comfortable and effective ear plugs I’ve used. In addition, continuing the magic that is Aftershokz, the Xtrainerz produce amazing sound quality both in and out of the water, with specific settings for both environments. Using the bone conduction technology under water means that the sound quality is excellent, with none of that underwater garble effect.
Since Bluetooth technology does not work through water, and I don’t know anyone who’d swim with their phone anyway, the Xtrainerz are an MP3 device rather than a Bluetooth device. This means you actually store the music directly on the device, no phone required. The setup is really easy. If you use iTunes, set up a playlist and then use the convert to mp3 menu option (File –> Convert –> Create Mp3 Version). You’ll then be able to copy these songs from the iTunes folder on your computer directly into the Xtrainerz. Note: you’ll only be able to do this with music you own, not streaming music subscriptions. So far I’ve added over 5 hours of music to the Xtrainerz, which has been more than enough distraction for hours of back and forth, following the lane line, entertainment. And as always, Aftershokz are great for outdoor runs and rides where you need a little entertainment but still want to maintain situational awareness. I particularly love how I can listen to music without relying on my phone. This is a great benefit for treadmill runs and gym sessions where I don’t want to carry my phone around with me (I’m prone to leaving it behind on the gym equipment).
Here’s some device specifics directly from the Aftershokz site:
Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds.
4GB of built-in storage to hold up to 1,200 songs with full track and volume control at the touch of a button.
Supports MP3, WAV, WMA, AAC, and FLAC files (not Bluetooth compatible).
Enjoy eight hours of premium audio stroke after stroke.
Fully waterproof (IP68 rated) to withstand complete submersion in up to 2 meters of water.
Simply connect to a computer via the USB cradle to drag and drop your favorite songs.
The Aftershokz Xtrainerz finally dropped in the US last week and the BibRave Pros are getting in all the musical laps fun. The same great open ear comfortable design has been made specifically for your underwater enjoyment with 4GB of mp3 storage, IP68 waterproof rating, and an 8-hr battery life. The unboxing was definitely like early Hanukkah for me! So far, I’ve had them on one swim session and they’re even more magical than I had imagined. I’ll be back with more details after a few more swim/run/bike sessions, but I can already tell you that these are life-changing. Grab a pair yourself using code BRBUNDLE for $50 off the endurance bundle at www.bibrave.aftershokz.com. And don’t forget to join BibRave and Aftershokz on #BibChat TONIGHT, September 17, at 8pm ET for your chance to WIN a pair!
So, I may be an “adult” but I still live life like a child in need of a sippy cup. Every time I try to cut back on plastic use, the straw thing always gets me. You’d think I could just drink out of a cup like a normal human being, but without fail I’ll end up covered at some point during the experience. I guess my brain is just so focused on all the other life-changing calculations it handles on a daily basis that sometimes the drink like an adult executable fails to run. Alas, straws re-enter my life. As such, I was really excited to try Go Sili reusable silicone straws as part of being a BibRave Pro.
I feel like the “war” on plastic straws has become viewed, particularly by my parent’s generation, as an inconvenience thrust on them by us “snowflake” Millennials. Can we really blame them when the paper/cardboard imposters that have replaced plastic straws in many places are, quite honestly, absolute shit. Drink your smoothie fast enough kids before your paper straw just gives up on life! No worries folks, there’s an answer to your fake rage; fun colors, easily portable, silicone Go Sili straws!
I’ve honestly loved how convenient and plain awesome it is to carry my own silicone straw; they come with an awesome tin carry case that slips easy into any bag, purse, pocket, etc. Waitress walks off and disappears before dumping straws on your table? Pull out your own. Your favorite cat cafe only uses paper straws? Pull out your own. Want that brunch time mimosa without screwing up your amazing new tinted lip gloss? Add some color to brunch with your own brightly colored straw. And yes, I have tested Go Sili straws in all the above scenarios to great effect.
As if that doesn’t convince you, Go Sili straws are:
dishwasher safe (although I just rinse mine in warm soapy water quick after use and let them dry)
free from BPA, BPS, PVC, lead, and phthalates
available in a multitude of fun sizes
available in 3 different convenient sizes including regular (I keep one in my purse always), extra wide (extra yum for bubble tea or smoothies), and extra long (you ever see one of those hurricane drinks in New Orleans??)
One of the cool side effects of carrying my own straws around is that I’ve started thinking about/implementing what other reusable products I can carry around conveniently. After years of going through travel coffee mugs I hated, I finally found an awesome glass coffee mug that I love, and I’ve made sure to always carry a reusable water bottle. Now, if only I could find the time/interest in food prep I’d probably cut way down on food storage waste as well. This fun size “adult” needs one small step at a time.
I think it’s pretty obvious that I’m officially on the Go Sili straw train. If you want on the train, head to Target.com and use code GOSILI1OFF for $1 off at checkout.
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about Road ID:
Disclaimer: I received a RoadiD Sidekick 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!
Road ID may seem like a really simple product but they make safety fun, affordable, and have a little fun along the way as well. The website is fun, their products range from stand alone wrist options, shoe and watch add-ons, medical bracelets, kid bracelets, and even pet identification, with TONS of customization. From the moment you click purchase, Road ID does a great job keeping you up-to-date about your order status and makes it fun along the way as well with hilarious emails and “quotes” from customers. 😛
My training for marathons, triathlons, bike races, etc. often takes me all around town, at various times of day, sometimes by myself. In a busy life training happens whenever and wherever you can make it fit. I try to be as safe as possible during all my adventures and have owned multiple Road IDs for various pairs of running and cycling shoes. However, the diversity of activities, equipment, gym bags, schedules, etc. has often meant losing or forgetting to wear the Road ID. With the Road ID Sidekick, my identification and contact info is now attached to my daily wear watch so it never leaves my wrist except for when the watch is charging. The benefit of not having to remember ANOTHER piece of equipment for each separate activity means that the Sidekick is a no-brainer for my busy, diverse active lifestyle.
When I was selected to test a Road ID product, I actually received enough credits to purchase the Sidekick for myself as well as the PetID for my 4-legged running buddy, Batoot. The PetID provides a jingle-free pet identification option which simply adds to any collar. Even better, for every Road ID purchase a donation is made to 4 Paws for Ability, which provides service dogs for children in need!
I highly recommend both the Road ID sidekick and petID as worry-free and inexpensive safety/identification options for both you and your 4-legged kids. Save even more on your next purchase by visiting the following link for 20% off: http://road.id/BibRave
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about Road ID:
Danielle F | Amy P | Andrea | Christine G | Corey | Dane | Didi | Erica | Fallon | Christine N | Jeremy | Juan | Kim P | Lisa | Lissa | Michael |
I was super happy to test my 3rd Stunt Puppy product so it’s great to be fully embedded in the Stunt Puppy family of products at this point. You can check out my reviews of the Stunt Runner leash and the Nano Bowl. Adding the Go Dog Glo harness rounds out the complete package for my run/walk buddy.
The harness certainly looks snazzy on Batoot (yup, my kid is cuter than yours 😛 ) but the true benefits of the harness come from the combination of the breastplate with the martingale-style leash attachment. The breastplate is ultra durable and reflective while also being soft and comfortable for doggies, with no pressure points. It’s also really easy to get on, even with a very high energy pup; just slip over the head and then two clips under the front legs. The martingale-style leash attachment glides as you loosen and tighten on the leash which helps check pulling behavior. Batoot also has an impressive ability to back out of other harnesses (maybe he was a contortionist in a previous life) but the easy adjustments on the Go Dog Glo harness have so far thwarted any escape maneuvers.
Check out the Go Dog Glo harness in action!
Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about the Stunt Puppy Nano Bowl
Emily | Ken | Brenda | Brittany | Cassie | Deanne | Eddie | Fallon | Christine | Jen Z | Kim P | Lindsey | Matt | Meridith |