Knuckle Lights COLORS – Initial Impression

“Disclaimer: I received a free pair of Knuckle Lights COLORS 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!”

I do a lot of my runs early morning or right at dusk and most of the time I’m wearing darker clothes.  Being safe was always an afterthought.  This was until I was given the opportunity to try out the Knuckle Lights.  I’ve only had a few runs in with these lights and not sure why I hadn’t given them a try earlier.  They are ergonomic and comfortable to carry and pretty lightweight.  The high beams on these lights are just impressive.  I’ve run a few times with only a headlamp and it just didn’t hit the area in front of me unless I turned my head the right way.  The Knuckle Lights lit up my path much brighter and I could aim them with ease!

I look forward to more thorough testing in the coming weeks and will write up a full review with all of the great features.

 

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Which Orange Mud Pack Should I Get?

Orange Mud makes the best hydration packs out there. I own most of them for a multitude of activities like running, hiking, and biking. They now have a great photo of the different vests and sizes to help you decide. Scroll through some of my previous posts for photos of the various packs!

Orange Mud

2017 North Shore Turkey Trot

“Disclaimer: I’m promoting the North Shore Turkey Trot 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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Register HERE now before the price increases!  Use the code BibraveTT17 to get a free gift when you pick up your packet!

This year the North Shore Turkey Trot is proud to be supporting a North Shore family in need with Love for Landon. Meet Landon Dragicevich: an energetic 10-year-old who loves his parents, step-brother, friends, school, all animals, especially dogs, swimming, and of course running track and cross-country.

After months of suffering from seizures with no definite diagnosis the Dragicevich family received an inconceivable diagnosis, Landon has brain cancer. A rare Grade 11 brain tumor, Anaplastic Astrocytoma, affecting only roughly 50 kids a year. Surgery is unfortunately not an option. He will however, begin chemo and radiation therapies in the coming weeks.

Please consider helping this phenomenal little boy and his family during an unexpected time in their lives. Donations will go directing to the Dragicevich family.

 

Garmin Forerunner 935

“Disclaimer: I received a *Garmin Forerunner 935 Multisport GPS Watch* from Garmin 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!”

I was extremely fortunate to be given the opportunity to test out the Garmin Forerunner 935 thanks to Garmin and Bibrave this past week.  While I’ve run with a Garmin watch for years, my old running watch was a basic, no-frills, simple 220.  It did what I needed but after using the Forerunner 935 for the past week during my runs and biking, there was so much data that I was missing that opened my eyes to where my training was.

What do I mean by that?  Well, some of the features that I’m really paying attention to are:

  • Sleep activity – Shows how much rest I’m actually getting and how much deep sleep versus how much moving around I do while trying to sleep.  Rest in incredibly important for recovery and giving the body what it needs to repair itself.
  • Heart Rate – This is one of my favorite features considering I have SVT and can keep an eye on the heart levels I should be training at.  It tells me my peaks and my resting heart rates and shows me how much time it takes to recover.
  • Steps per day – I love how I can set a goal for how much activity and movement I should get per day.
  • Race predictions – This is such a great way to see how effective my training is going if I expect to have realistic goals when I race.
  • Recover time – This is a great feature to let me know what the proper length of time it will take for my body to completely recover from my recent activity.

I’ve learned so much in a short time using only a small portion of what this watch does.  I look forward to more time using many of the features I have yet to dive into to.  Stay tuned to more evaluations in the near future!

 

2017 North Shore Turkey Trot

“Disclaimer: I’m promoting the North Shore Turkey Trot 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!”

The @RamRacing North Shore Turkey Trot is coming up on November 23rd and there’s still plenty of time to register for the race.  When you use the code BibRavTT17, you will get a free gift from Ram Racing!  Prices go up on November 6th!

The race is held in Highland Park, Illinois and you have the option to run the 5K at 7:30am or the 10K at 8:10am.  Parking is plentiful around the downtown district in plenty of covered lots or street parking.

Packet Pickup:

Fleet Feet Sports Deerfield
800 Waukegan Rd.
Deerfield, Illinois 60015

Tuesday, November 21, 2017 – TBA
Wednesday, November 22, 2017 – TBA

2017 Chicago Marathon

2017 was the 40th anniversary of one of the most incredible marathons in the world.  It was a special year and I’m glad I was part of it.  This was supposed to be my redemption race after last years injury and surgery.  Sadly, I ended up running slower than last year but to be honest, I’m okay with it.  There were so many special memories from the weekend and having that medal placed over my head still is emotional.

I’ve always been an early bird to these races and the anticipation of the weather on race day was on my mind.  Thankfully, the morning weather was a bit chilly and learning from last year, I brought a throw away jacket.  I froze last year waiting to begin the race.  This year, I was so glad I brought a long sleeve warm sweatshirt that I knew would go to a good place after I was done wearing it.

I was sad that I didn’t get a chance to meet up with some out of town friends but with so many runners, it isn’t always easy.  I instead got into my corral to get my head straight and mentally prepare for this long 26.2.  The corrals are always so huge in this marathon and that makes it more exciting.  The fences of the corrals were painted with throw away jackets, blankets, and long sleeve shirts.

Not unlike last year, the course has incredible crowds and support, even with those of us near the back.  The volunteers were amazing as always and there were tons of them.  The individual neighborhoods  kept you motivated and while I appreciate all of the people on the course, there were a couple that just stood out.  Boys Town and Pilsen really do make this race special.  Everyone on the sidewalks had treats or drinks or candy for the runners.  They were supportive and the energy didn’t dissipate.  Though Pilsen is near the end of the race, I look forward to it and that second burst of energy.

While my running itself wasn’t what I hoped for, the experience made up for that.  Yes, I ended up going into the medical tent when my knee swelled up around mile 17 again.  After a little ice and rest and a shot of Biofreeze, I trekked back out there to finish.  Though I haven’t decided if I’ll run another marathon, if I do, Chicago is on top of that list.

Post Marathon Blues

Why would I want to run another marathon?

I always said when I began running that I would never run a marathon.  I vividly remember crossing the finish line at my first half marathon and saying to myself, “How do runners double this distance?”  Well, needless to say, I trained hard and pushed myself through many half marathons and wanted to challenge myself to something different.  I ran my first marathon in Chicago in 2016 and ended up rupturing my quad tendon around mile 17.  To be honest, I probably tore it partially while hiking in Colorado a couple of weeks before the Chicago Marathon and finished it off during the race.  I finished that race (barely) around 5 1/2 hours.  That was far from my unrealistic goal of 4 1/2.

Proper rehab for my knee after surgery was at least a year.  I wanted revenge on that feeble marathon attempt.  Of course I signed up for the 2017 Chicago Marathon to best last years experience.  Sadly, my results were even worse.  I thought I was ready and trained properly but deep inside, I knew I wasn’t.  I ended up stopping at a first aid tent with swelling to my right knee.  Pain wasn’t excruciating but it was a nuisance and I didn’t want to ignore it or push through it.  For once, I decided to play it smart and just take it easy.

So here I am, one week out from the 2017 Chicago Marathon and find myself feeling empty.  Another marathon wasn’t supposed to be in my future but I want it.  I want to run another one.  I need to run my best at my best.  I haven’t yet decided on if and when I’ll be back at it, but should another marathon pop up in my social media feeds, it’ll be when I’m at 110% both physically and mentally.

The support I’ve had over these years cannot be measured and I continue this running endeavor because of that.

 Bravo

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