Wednesday, October 24, 2018

BCAA's Have you tried them?

Disclaimer: I received Now Foods BCAA Big 6 to review 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!

I am the anti supplement and medication girl. I tend not to take a whole lot of things as a general rule. 

My doctor told me years ago when I was diagnosed with Osteopenia that I needed to take Calcium and so sometimes I take that lol!

My girls grew up with me prescribing lots of water and rest for most every condition they ever had unless it was so bad I felt there was no choice but to go to the doctor. I did get them vaccinated but aside from their required check ups for school they hardly ever saw a doctor. As a matter of fact they were still patients of their pediatrician when they went off to college. They do now have a family doctor since they are adults lol!!

All this to say that for nearly 18 years or so we lived very holistically. We used oils and food as medicine but really and truly hardly ever took anything for anything. I still will barely take a Tylenol. 

We have however always taken vitamins and supplemented micro nutrients. Maybe that's why we stayed away from doctors, we were just healthy!  

I am very aware of whats going on in my body. I pay close attention to changes or things that seem different. Through my journey of running and wellness I absolutely noticed many changes. Mostly good changes and a few not so good.  

I learned that by hydrating more/better many of the not so good side effects subsided. I also paid close attention to my electrolytes and saw immediate response from my legs and feet in their reduced swelling.

All this to say I don't take things just to take them and I certainly don't try things just to try them. 

I had been hearing a lot about BCAA's for quite sometime from several folks I follow and trust. One in particular Serena Marie RD who has a great video in her group Real Foodies about the best supplements for athletes.  

Serena did an entire live stream on supplements for runners and she specifically discussed BCAA's for those engaging in athletic activities. It was shortly after watching her video that I had this opportunity to try them out my self!

I was super stoked!

I have been using the Now Foods BCAA Big 6 mix on and off for a couple of weeks now. I mix up a 16 oz bottle of water with one scoop. The directions say use 14 oz but I track my waters using Nalgene bottles and 16 oz is half a bottle which is easy to remember. I quick take a big gulp before heading out the door for my morning run putting half back in the refrigerator for after the run. So far I am really just experimenting with this and because I was training for the trail marathon I just completed I was not using this for my long runs but rather my week day runs only. I wanted to be sure I didn't have some strange adverse reaction while out on the trail 10 or more miles from civilization! So far so good. 

*BCAA's, Branched Chain Amino Acids, are essential amino acids that serve as the building blocks of protein,
which helps to fuel your muscles during workout and can also help support muscle recovery post-
workout. They’re called essential because the body doesn’t make them on its own, so you need to
supplement or get from them from your diet.*

*BCAA Big 6 from NOW® Sports, is a vegan, caffeine-free formula of BCAAs, plus
betaine to help maintain fluid balance, and taurine, which can further support endurance.*

I have tried out both the Watermelon and the Grape flavors. Both are yummy but Grape is my favorite. I personally prefer it more cold than room temperature so the after run drink is the best and super refreshing!

One of the things about wellness is that it is not as easy to see. For example you don't tend to notice when you are not sick but you do notice when you are sick. 

With the BCAA's I have not noticed any super human enhancement in my day to day life or runs however I did have my very best trail run ever since being on BCAA's and I completed a Trail Marathon 2 hours faster than I thought possible. Could this be because of the BCAA's? Maybe. 

I am curious to know if you have tried them and how they have helped you?

I am planning to use them throughout my training for the Asheville Marathon coming up!

Want to try BCAA Big 6, too?! You’re in luck! Use code 20NOWBCAA on for 20% off both varieties of BCAA Big 6. (Now through November 15, 2018 and limited to one time use only).

Or, use the store locator at to purchase the product at a health food store near you.

*These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. These products are
not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.

Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Triple Lakes Trail Race Marathon Race Recap

It was not my intention to run two marathons this year. My plan for turning 40 was to run a marathon, meaning 1 marathon. 

I do always try to sign up for the next big race before completing my upcoming big race and I happened to run across the Triple Lakes 40K in Greensboro. 

Perfect I thought. That’s less than a marathon so I can do that and how cool to run a 40K for my 40th year! 

I immediately signed up. 

I quickly thereafter did my best peer pressure work of all time. 

I managed to convince my friend Kim, her husband John and my friend Meredith to go along with me on this crazy journey to 40k!! 

We developed our training plan and got right to it. Running more trail miles than ever before and getting more vertical gain than ever before! 

In the midst of our summer training I was diagnosed with Asthma which is exacerbated by exercise. I am so glad I went to have my breathing situation checked out though! Having my inhaler now makes my run so much better. I no longer feel like I’m sucking air through a flattened straw! I no longer run scared that I will pass out or worse on the trails a million miles from help. 

Through the summer training we had some of the hottest most humid days ever! It was tough but we were tougher!

 A few days before the 40k the race director announced that the 40k course was going to change. Unfortunately the area had been severely affected by the hurricanes that came through and many of the trails were impassable. 

In addition to the 40k the race also had a half marathon and a 40 miler.  The race director had to make last-minute changes to the course so that the all the races could still go on. The half marathon course was passable and so they made the decision to have the 40k run the half course twice making it a marathon and to have the 40 miler run the course three times!

Of course this sent us into a silly frenzy. We started bantering back and fourth about how we did not train for 42k but only 40k and what in the world would we do! A 40k is 24.85 miles whereas the marathon is 26.2. That mile and a half roughly was sure to get us lol!! We were kidding of course. I was already pretty mentally prepared for a marathon. Most places I looked listed this race as a marathon while others did say 40k. Either were really fine with me. 

I laid out all of my clothes in advance for the race but totally forgot to take a flat runner pic as I usually do!! In hind sight I am not sure if hardcore trail runner girls do this or not so good thing I didn't. Make no mistake I am a hard core trail runner girl now!!

I decided to wear my Skirt Sports Spanky Skirt, a black tank top from WalMart, the Skull and Bones OTC Crazy Compression Socks, of course my Brooks Cascadia shoes, a baseball cap, my Nathan VaporAiress Hydration vest and last minute I picked up some Nike Sleeves at Dicks Sporting Goods.

The sleeves were the best decision ever!!!! I knew I would be cold starting out and I don't love being cold. I love being cool but not cold. If I wore a jacket I would have had to remove my pack to get the jacket off once I warmed up. With the sleeves I could peel them off mid run and they are so thin I could easily stuff them in a pocket of my pack! That's exactly what I did. Within the first three miles these puppies were off and tucked away for the rest of the race! 

I had a busy weekend and so there was no good way for me to get to Greensboro the night before the race. I would instead make the two hour drive the morning of the race. Kim and John drove down that morning as well. We all got up at 3:30 am and met up at the interstate at 4:30 am to caravan down together. We had a 2 hour drive ahead of us and we needed to get there about 6:30 for packet pick up.

We stopped just into Greensboro to take a quick potty break and I ran to the convenience store for some last minute fuel. The night before the race I realized my hubby had eaten all of my mini Payday's (trail running fuel of the Gods lol). I had to be in Boone Friday night for a Gala with my youngest daughters sorority and so after she and I went to Walmart to buy another bag of mini Paydays. As I was heading down the mountain after dropping her off she called to tell me she had the Walmart bag with my PAYDAYS!!! So.... I grabbed what they had at the store which was a sword sized Payday that just barely fit into one of my side pockets in my pack lol!! 

We got to the race Saturday morning just as packet pick up started.  We were able to meet the race director which was a lot of fun. We had been bantering back a fourth a bit on Instagram as we prepped for the race. We then we met up with Meredith and loaded up our packs. We were lucky enough to meet in person Jacky Hunt-Broersma aka ncrunnerjacky who is an ultrarunner also from North Carolina. She has an incredible story of surviving cancer and now running as an amputee through the toughest trails you can fathom. If you don’t follow her you should be, she is incredibly inspirational and her journey is unlike anything that I could ever imagine. Jacky was there for the 40 miler!!

The race started in waves with the first wave being the half marathoners. A bit later the marathoners lined up and the 40 milers would start after us.

The weekend before this race Kim and I ran 13 miles on the Fonta Flora Trails. Kim is a stronger trail runner and much better pacer than me and last weekend I decided to run behind her the entire time. That run was probably the best trail run ever and so I decided I would do the same, run behind her, for as long as I could at this race. 

I made her swear she'd not hold back for me and that if I fell behind she would go on. She promised and I promised her that even if by some miracle I felt like a rock star at the end I would not pass her and instead push her to the finish!!! I did not feel like a rock star and instead let her drag me behind her to finish lol!!

We ran the first half of the race almost non stop. We power hiked maybe twice on two steep climbs.

Training for a trail race, especially a trail marathon is a challenge in and of itself. Training for a trail marathon that you have never been able to test out is even more of a challenge. 

All I had seen were these two videos of the course. 

For a road race a pacing strategy or a run walk strategy is doable. For a trail race with varying terrain not so much.

We ran so strong for the first half and slowed down a bit for the second. We decided we would try to do a 3:1 run/walk for the second half and for the most part stuck to that!

My legs were heavy by the time we began loop two. I had mentally planned to fall behind but decided I would work as hard as I could to keep up with Kim. 

The trails were challenging and the terrain was ever changing.  The rooty areas very rooty where it felt like we were we were doing some fancy footwork you see in those football player drills. There were areas where it was very packed dirt which was great and there were areas of super slippery mud because of all the rain. The trail had sections where boardwalks had been built in the woods, these areas were low spots that most likely got the wettest. The course also had a few short spurts along the road and dam of the lake. 

It rained almost the entire day but that tree cover and canopy kept us from getting soaked. The temperature was perfect, it was nice and cool. It really was the perfect day! We have some great trails in western NC but this trail in Greensboro makes me jealous!

We gained about 1,800 feet of elevation overall which was not too bad.

The aid stations were well stocked and well supported. I did not take a lot of pictures on this route. I normally am the picture taking queen but I was focused on running instead and did not want to slow us down. On the trail I have to focus on maintaining my footing. If I take my eyes off the trail I tend to find myself in a face plant position on the ground lol!  

I took in fuel about every 30-45 minutes and sipped on my Nuun Water in between that as needed. I had Gu, Salt Sticks, Peppermint, Gummy Bears and my giant Payday as my fuel sources and alternated between them throughout the race. At the aid stations I grabbed a cold water which was refreshing! This fueling and hydrating strategy worked well for me this race! 

A few times during the race Kim was in it to win it and I thought I might die in the process. If there was another runner on the trail we'd suddenly speed up to pass, most of them out for their morning run and not part of the race lol!! Once she did ask a lady behind us her age group, when the reply was 45 buddy we picked up the pace again lol! Turns out she was running the half dang it lol!! 

After the race we ran up hill to the finish and we received our race awards from the race director and were directed over to the post race food. They had a fully catered hot meal ready for us at the finish!! They had Beer, BBQ,  Rolls, a  big salad and so much more!! I grabbed a water, roll and some veggie straws and collapsed. The spread was very impressive but I had Pizza on the brain!

I finished in 6:15 which was way better than I expected! I didn't exactly know what to expect so I had just planned to finish before the eight hour cut off. Kim and I came in fourth and fifth in our age group woot woot!! Next year we are gunning for a place now that we know what to expect!

Oh yeah! We will be back! This race was awesome!! Well organized, well staffed, well supported! Not one single complaint or critique! 

We hung out for a little bit after the race took a few more photos and then left to go get some pizza!

This race is hands-down one of my all-time favorite!! I want to do it again and again and again and again! Kim said she felt like she could have gone on to do a third loop! I did not feel that way lol. I however would love to have felt that way and so one day maybe I will give that a try!

As always I did have a good long clensing cry on the course. I tend to do that. At about mile 21 I was overcome by emotion. I had never gotten farther than 20 miles on the trails before and here I was going farther! I felt so small in this big ole forest yet I felt so alive, my spirit totally revived by the cool crisp fall fresh air, the gentle rain shower washing over me and the beautiful woodsy scents dancing along with me on the course! It was trail magic and God for sure!

I can not recomend this race enough and I sure can not wait to do it again!! 

The weekend was busy and wonderful. In addition to the race we had family weekend at App State. So Friday I drove an hour north for a Gala with Tess. 

I came home after the Gala for a few hours of sleep. Woke up super early Saturday to make the 2 hour drive east for the race. I missed the App Game on Saturday due to the race but after the race got to go meet Madie's new Puppy! I am a PuppyGram!!

I drove the two hours back home later Saturday evening and went to bed. Then up again Sunday morning to drive back an hour north to Tess for Family Weekend Brunch! We had planned to go to the Woolly Worm Festival while up there but it was cancelled. We then came back home and I went straight to bed to rest up my tired body!!

Whew what a weekend!!! 

Now I plan to take two weeks off from running! I may go stir crazy but I believe that recovery and rest are super important and will help me be the best runner I can be!

Right now the next race on my schedule is one I am Directing the Night of Light Race on December 1st! Come on out and run this fun and festive 5K if you are in my neck of the woods!

I am looking forward to some more beautiful fall running this season! (After my period of rest of course!!)

Wishing you many happy miles!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

How do you BUFFer your runs?

Did you know that BUFF®  is short for bufanda, which means “scarf” in Spanish?

I did not. I thought BUFF as in buffer... Ha Ha! That is how I us the BUFF anyway....

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF to review 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!

I however have a long standing relation ship with BUFF. I began using a BUFF for camping. We camped through some pretty cool nights and having this extra layer of warmth for my neck and face was essential!

After James and I were engaged and I began running I started to depend heavily on the BUFF for all of my runs. The BUFF is one of my running must haves!! I have one with me for every long run!! 

In the summer I wear them as a wrist wrap and it serves to keep my face (and nose (yes gross I know)) dry!! 

I love my @buff_usa Originals the best!

The weather is starting to get just a tad bit cooler now and in the winter the BUFF keeps my neck and face warm on my runs!! 

The fabric used by BUFF is soft and breathable and also moisture managing!

There are a slew of way to use the BUFF and wear the BUFF. A lot of people wear them as head wraps but my preference is around my wrist or neck and I seriously almost never run without one!!

Our pets are even big BUFF fans!!

Tess is steady rockin' a BUFF too!

BUFF has so many new colors and styles!! They are environmentally conscious too! Each of their wraps are made from two recycled water bottles! I encourage you to check them out! They are hands down the greatest! 

Monday, October 15, 2018

It's Scoobtober!!!!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Run Series 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!

Woot Woot!! It's Scoobtober!!! 

LeRoy and I are participating in the Scooby Doo Virtual Run Series!

In September we participated in the Doo Good Virtual 5K and had so much fun!

It was so much fun watching all these silly pups do their 5K's!

Up next in the series is the Scoobtober Run!

Grab you pup and join us!!! Use code BIBRAVE for 10% off registration!!

Look at all this great swag!!

We hope to see you out there at the virtual run! 

Join in on all the fun using hashtags #ScoobyDooRun #DooGood

Friday, October 12, 2018

Scooby Doo Virtual Doo Good 5k Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Run Series 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!

My little puppy and I had so much fun gearing up for this Scooby Doo Doo Good virtual 5K. What a fun way to ensure that I am keeping him active and getting him out for his morning runs! 

Alright so he's little, he runs and I walk lol!!

We have been meeting up and walking with friends on Monday mornings and he has actually gotten in several 5k workouts!

He has loved so much running along with puppy friends. He seems to know Monday's are the days he gets to go with mom! He is usually up and ringing his bell to go!

I have been taking his stroller because he tires out quick!

He just turned one on September 20th!

He ran his little heart out for his 5K! September was the perfect time for this, the cooler weather and all the fun leaves to chase too!

He was so excited when his bandanna and medal came!! 

He loved it so much!! He liked playing with it too!!

He finally calmed down enough for me to grab a photo of us!

He's already looking forward to finishing his Scoobtober Run this month!!

There area  few days left to join in on all the fun!!

A friend and fellow BibRave put together this super cute Collage of all the Bib Rave Pups completing the Doo Good 5K! I can't wait to see pictures from the next one!! You can follow her adventures on Instagram @runkatyrun

It's been so much fun being a part of this puppy loving community! Be on the look out for more cute puppy pics to come!

Monday, October 1, 2018

Pacing The Goose Chase Bluegrass Half Marathon

I have never ran as a pacer before although I am pretty consistent on my pace for nearly all the half marathons I do. I have one speed and my body just naturally settles in for the run within the first mile or so. 

My friend Kim S asked me to pace with her at The Goose Chase Bluegrass Half Marathon. She actually paced me in the half that I got my PR! I of course decided to join her but I was a bit nervous. Suddenly there was a bit of performance anxiety that I felt. I MUST maintain the pace because there will be others counting on me. 

I have been training for an October 40k so I am feeling pretty good with my fitness level but we would be out of town the week before the race (on the go, go, go) and flying back home late the night before the race. 

As you know leg cramping is one of my main #runnerprobs so I was especially worried with all the travel and very little sleep. Saturday we drove to the Milwaukee Airport at 2pm, waited on our plane until 4:00pm, flew a short flight to Chicago and boarded another plane to Greensboro at 6pm (7pm NC time) and arrived in NC at 9pm. We then had a two hour car ride home. I walked in my door at 11:30pm and was in bed by 12am. 

I set my alarm for 3:30am and was up and at it with 3.5 hours sleep. I was meeting my friend Kim A at 4:30am to make the two hour drive to Johnson City, TN. We stopped in a neighboring town to pick up another runner friend Morgan and headed to the race!

I did deliberately count my ounces of water consumed on Saturday so I could at least be sure I was properly hydrated. I also had laid everything out before I left for my trip so that I wouldn't have to do any of the race prep when I got in from my flight. 

We met up and made the windy two hour drive to Johnson City, TN for the race. We would meet my friend Kim S there!

We got there with a little time to spare and quickly got changed into our pacer shirts!

Snapped a few selfies and headed to the start line.

The pacers all met up for a quick group photo and then we were off!

The course was pretty flat for Tennessee with a few small hills. It felt like home. The course was also spread out well throughout the town and very very well marked! There was plenty of support and aid stations along the way with water and Gatorade. Most of the aid stations also had music!!

We were supposed to run a 12:00/mile pace for a 2:37 finish. We stayed pretty consistent throughout the race, pulling back a couple of times and finished at 2:35

Pretty darn near spot on!

The course was beautiful and took us all over town. We ran through the East Tennessee State University Campus, through Veterans Park, by the Hospital, and through the quaint downtown. 


It really was a great day! The weather was perfect and I had great friends to run with! I am so glad I did this with friends!!! Running with friends is always awesome!! 

We had so much fun and I am already looking forward to the next one!!

We grabbed some lunch after in Johnson City and then made the two hour trek home. I then showered and crawled in to my bed where I stayed the rest of the day!! 

It's always an adventure and I love it! On to the next!!!

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