Thursday, September 27, 2018

Bring On the Fall Running

"Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Bellin Women's Half Marathon race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews."

In a little over a week, I will be running the Bellin Women's Half Marathon in Green Bay, Wisconsin and I am so looking forward to a nice, fall run. 

I participated in the Detroit Women's Half a couple of weekends ago, but I am ready for a real fall half!  Please do not misunderstand, the half was a wonderful event, but it was hot and I am ready for a crisp fall morning half, which is what I am hoping for in Green Bay in a week(ish).

I convinced a friend to fly to Wisconsin with me and run the Bellin Women's Half.  I am so excited for her as it will be her first half marathon and she has been training (completely without me) like a champ.  Her name is Becky and you should know that she, like me, was not a runner, growing up.  She started running in 2007, after her mom passed away and she realized that she needed to get healthy for her three kids.  She started walking on her treadmill and, as a result of thinking it would take forever to get stronger just by walking, started running.  In 2008, she ran her first 5K.  She credits running with saving her as she raised three kids and survived a nasty divorce.  She has since participated in many 5K runs, the 10 Mile CRIM, and, just last week, a team half marathon.

Becky recently got a new job, which now puts an hour and a half of drive time each weekday into her schedule.  I know that she has been struggling to get the miles in, but I also know that she will be fine on race day!

Becky and I met a little over a year ago, while we both served on the board of Girls on the Run of Mid Michigan.  Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy and confident using a fun, experience-based curriculum that is creatively integrated into training to run a 5K.  I still serve on the board, but Becky is now the Program Coordinator.  What is going to make our weekend even more fun is that the night before we run our half, at the pasta dinner, we will hear Molly Barker, the founder of Girls on the Run International speak! 

This year’s finisher medallion:  A custom two-part piece highlights the Bellin logo, as well as this year’s theme, “Determined.” An awesome way to celebrate our accomplishment — long after we cross that finish line.

Interested in joining us for the Bellin Women's Half Marathon?  Just visit this site and use "Bibrave5" to save $5.

Monday, September 17, 2018

Review: The Great Pumpkin Run Lansing

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to The Great Pumpkin Run (Lansing) as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find and write race reviews.

It was an absolutely beautiful and cool fall morning, on September 8, 2018, when I ran the Great Pumpkin 5K at Uncle John's Cider Mill in St. John's, Michigan. The cider mill offered a nice cross country style route over grassy areas through apple orchards, cornfields, pumpkin patches, woods and across the finish line. 

As a result of peer pressure, I decide that I would join my fellow BibRave Pros and run the Tough Pumpkin, which was the Great Pumpkin 5K with the additional challenge of carrying a pumpkin, during the run. Online registration was smooth ( and packet pick up was a breeze, because I arrived the suggested two hours before the start. The race email indicated that lines would get long an hour before the race so participants were encouraged to get to the location early to obtain their bib, race packet and pumpkin (if applicable). I am glad I followed this warning as I did notice that the registration tent did get a little congested, closer to the race.


Tough Pumpkin participants had the choice between a small, medium or large pumpkin to carry while running the beautiful 5K course. I carefully chose a "small" pumpkin, it was weighed and I was on my way to the start line. One would not think a little 4.5lbs pumpkin would be too bad to carry for 30 minutes (generally, what it takes me to run a 5K), but I struggle carrying my phone for a mile so I knew I had a challenge ahead of me!


I wore my FlipBelt Crops, which allowed me to stash my phone in my front and secure my keys with the inside clasp, while I carried the pumpkin. I tried to switch arms, but I carried the pumpkin in my dominant, right hand. The next day, my bicep was screaming at me! 

The completion lightweight tech hoodie that runners received with their bib will serve as a great addition to my fall wardrobe and a fun conversation starter. 

The Tough Pumpkin 5K is probably the closest to an obstacle race I will ever run and I had a blast! The environment was so supportive and friendly and once I completed the race, I ran up to the mill to purchase a gallon of cider and 1/2 a dozen donuts to take home! This is a must do race to start fall racing season!

REVIEW: Buff USA EcoStretch

Disclaimer: I received a Buff USA Original EcoStretch to use and review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRav...