BibRave Pro Insight: How I Learned to Like Virtual Races – Run Eat Ralph

With all of our favorite races being cancelled, deferred, postponed, and moved around it’s no surprise that we’re going to see a surge of virtual race options.

After the stay at home orders are lifted how soon will you feel comfortable engaging in: A run with a close friend? What about your willingness to participate in group runs with your local running club or group of friends? Finally how about retuning to races after the stay at home orders are lifted, with the large mass of crowds they draw, will you be comfortable?

Virtual race options provide an opportunity for us to run our favorite race in the comfort of our own environment. Most virtual runs are DIY from the day, time, and setting. This DIY approach provides you with the ability to pick what day you want to run, what time suits you best, and where you are going to run that’s more convenient for you.

But don’t just take my word for it.

What are the BibRave Pros saying?

Fellow BibRave Pro, Run Eat Ralph, shares his insight on how he’s grown to like virtual races, read more on his blog for inspiration on how you might enjoy them too!

Virtual options starting popping up and at first I wasn’t all that excited about the thought. Running a run on my regular routes and calling it a race seems funny to me. There are plenty of good reasons though…

How I Learned to Like Virtual Races

Be sure to show Ralph some love! Cheers!

Pete’s Scratch Pancakes: A Love Story

The best pancakes you’ll ever eat.

Pancakes. A history.

I’m not sure what time of the year it is, but I recall the warmth of the morning sun beaming into our small kitchen. The room just felt inviting, cozy, and safe. I don’t recall what is being said or if there is music playing, it’s all background noise anyway. All I know is there is an aroma in the air of something sweet.

To my delight, a plate of pancakes awaits me, covered in rich syrup. Although, the pancakes are delicious enough without it, the cake is light and fluffy. There is a sweet yet slightly salty taste to the pancake, as it melts into mouth. I’m in love.

Pancakes have always been a part of my life. I recall fond childhood memories of Mom grilling up little “baby” pancakes for me, barely the size of a quarter dollar (feel like I’m showing my age). When’s the last time you’ve seen a quarter dollar?!

Anyway, the long and short of it is, I freakin’ love pancakes. The emotional, sentimental, and family connection is unbreakable: the very definition of comfort food. When I eat pancakes, an imaginary blanket is wrapped around me and my memory is flooded with Saturday morning cartoons, blanket forts, and a happy and carefree youth.

For years the box mixes haven’t been cutting it, the pancakes are too thin, the batter doesn’t taste like my childhood. So I ventured off to find the best homemade recipe I could find to mimic that classic comfort food I adore.

Enter Pete‘s Scratch Pancakes

An internet search for “the best homemade pancakes” yielded many results. All failures. I must have went through several batches before the angels in heaven brought forth: Pete’s Scratch Pancakes.

This recipe is simple, easy to make, easy to tweak, and downright delicious. I’ve committed the ingredients to memory, and have included some of my own that have turned these already awesome flapjacks into something legendary.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of flour
  • 3 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs (beaten separately)
  • 1/4 cup of butter (melted)
  • 1 3/4 milk (we use almond milk)
  • 1 orange (for as much zest as one can yield)

Mix your dry ingredients, then add your wet ingredients, saving the orange zest for last. The zest is my specially added ingredient that takes these pancakes to the next level! The orange zest gives it a little zing and is like a secret treat for your taste buds.

*For an additional sweet treat, include semi-sweet chocolate chips!*

Serve with a syrup of your choosing (ours is all natural Maple Syrup). You’ll devour as many pancakes as you can, they are that good.

Sorry Puppers, no leftovers this time.

Race Registration: Run for the Zoo – 5K and 10K Virtual Race!

Disclaimer: I received free entry into the Run for the Zoo Virtual Race 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!

Most races have gone virtual this year, in light of the pandemic, which has opened the doors for those of us that live out of the area to participate without the added costs of travel. This virtual race option is also beneficial to races, allowing them to expand their reach in the market.

Take the “Run for the Zoo” in Lincoln Park (Chicago, IL) for example, this race is 11 hours from my home and completely out of my radar. In fact, prior to the race going virtual, I wasn’t even aware of its existence. Now with the registrations going virtual and allowing runs from all over to participate, they’ve increased their races awareness (and ultimately their cause: to help raise money for the animals).

Photo credit: Brigid Gallagher

I’m pretty excited to continue to race this year and building my calendar full of partnered virtual races in conjunction with BibRave. I’m even more excited to run this race June 7, 2020 virtually with the rest of the BibRave Pros! I guess you could say that the silver lining to the pandemic is that local races can expand their awareness and clientele to a broader audience by offering virtual races.

BibRave fans, use discount code BIBRAVE10 to save 10% off your race registration!

My family and I love to travel every summer, and once the pandemic has passed and travel is again promoted, the Lincoln Park Zoo has been added to our families destination vacation spots!

BibRave Pro Insight: How To Create Multi-Frame Run Photos — Alastair Vance

Have you ever hit a rut with your Social Media posts? I know I have gotten tired of posting the same look over and over again on Instagram, despite having a signature theme. The minimal movement in regard to likes and follows, after a while can be discouraging and the appeal to post in general falls away. Do you follow other accounts that make you wonder how they achieve stunning photos, or effects that really make their posts stand out? They must be using some fancy expensive apps and computer programs, right?!

Wrong: There are simple tricks you can do to improve the look of your social media posts. Simply adding text, graphics, or an effect to your photos can be used to your advantage to really pull in the likes and followers. And you can achieve all this with FREE apps available on the Android and Apple platforms.

Check out fellow BibRave Pro Alastair Vance sharing his secrets on how to create awesome multi-framed running photos!

I’ve been creating running photos like this for a while now and recently people have been asking how it is done. It started off with a fascination with floating photos, where both feet are off the ground. I expanded this to pull multiple frames from the same video and stitch them together to create images…

How To Create Multi-Frame Run Photos — Alastair Vance

Video Collaboration!

It’s been a fun quarantine, and being ordered to stay at home with my besties is even better. This lockdown has brought our family closer and has provided us all an opportunity to “stop and smell the roses” if you will.

In our downtime, me and the lovely Mrs have joined creative forces and have produced this short video. No talking, just sounds of my beautiful wife in our country kitchen making a delicious meal for our family.

 

Quaratine Life: Food Edition

There’s a lot going on in our house since the beginning of the stay at home orders issued for the State of Pennsylvania. Although, my lack of posts may convince you otherwise.

I guess you could say the quarantine life has taken some time getting used to, and if you’re like me (always on the “go”) it can be hard to develop a rhythm from scratch. When your normal routine is no longer “normal”, you gain a new perspective on life. I have exhausted my thoughts about the new normal in my life and going forward how I’m seeing things from an all new perspective.

All this new quality time has reinvigorated our love for food. That’s why I’m super stoked to share some awesome meals from the past week!

Grass-fed Beef Samosas

We’ve dabbled in the fine arts of Samosa-making in the past, so when we found an old recipe for beef samosas, we jumped at the chance to make them again.

Korean Turkey Bowls

Since most of the takeout and delivery places are out of our area, and we’re trying to reduce our exposure, we’ve been finding new inspiration to make takeout meals at home! Introducing this amazing recipe we found for Korean Turkey Bowls!

Butter Lentils and Potatoes

Craving some serious Indian food lately, and since we have a ton of homemade chapati dough ready to go, we thought this recipe for Butter Lentil and Potatoes was a fitting match!

Now, I know what you’re thinking and the answer is: No, I’m not a culinary genius. I leave the cooking and recipe sourcing to my amazing wife and she does a great job keeping our family fed! Be sure to follow along our food jounrey on Pinterest and our Website!

Series: Release the Runner! Part 3, Running Responsibly

So now that you’ve had time to get out and about, you might be wondering how you can run more responsibly. Today I’m going to cover the basics, some simple steps you can take to make sure you are a responsible runner!

Step One: Be Vocal

Getting out and logging miles is always a great way to exercise, but you might have some concerns about getting too far from your home (or starting point, stay place, etc.). Running out of your comfort zone helps break those barriers, but to make sure you have some peace of mind during your run I always suggest telling someone.

Before heading out I am vocal about my plans, and you should be too! I’m not saying tell the entire world, but would encourage you to tell your spouse, significant other, family, or close friends (what I refer to as my immediate circle) what your plans are, I call it “Sharing the Big Three”

A. Where you are going to run. Share details about where you are physically running (around the neighborhood, out on the trails at the local park, etc.), so your inner circle know where you’ll be.

B. How far you plan on running. Share with your inner circle how far you plan on running and give them a sense for how long you’ll be gone. Sharing your goal also helps with accountability and may increase the likelihood of you achieving what you set out to do.

C. Who you are going to be with. It seems so elementary, but let your inner circle know if you’ll be running solo, with friends, a running group, etc.

Step Two: Run Defensively

Always run defensively and never assume other runners, bicyclists, or motorist can see you and are aware of your presence. If you are taking to the street, running against traffic is the best way for you to always be aware of what’s coming, and affords you the ability to get out of harms way. I stress you because as a defensive runner, it’s on you to take action.

Another topic which I didn’t cover on social media is running with tools to keep you safe, or at least offer you a peace of mind. Carrying your phone, pepper spray, etc.

Step Three: Choose LOUD Clothing

I always wear bright and loud colors on my run, especially when it’s early in the morning, or in the evenings when visibility might become an issue.

I have a lot of bright colored gear that is essential for running year round not just in foul weather! Remember to be seen! Again, this ties into running defensively, but you want to make sure you are wearing loud colors to be easily recognized and seen!

Series: Release the Runner! Part 1, Welcome to Running

The teams at Aftershokz and Bibrave have joined forces to announce a new series entitled: “Release the Runner”. During this series runners are asked to share their running story, and help encourage those interested in running to lace up and join the movement! That’s why I’m exciting to get on board and share with you an awesome challenge you can do from home, as well as offer my story and some of my tips and tricks I’ve picked up along the way!

Why I run!

I think I’ve shared this story on most social channels, so I’ll try not to bore you with details. In fact, to save you time, check out my ABOUT page where you can read my story.

Let’s get on with it!

This month comes to us during an unprecedented time in history. Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, the Pennsylvania Governor [Tom Wolf] has advised many of us to stay home to help prevent the spread of this new novel disease. While we aren’t confined to our houses, many of us are unable to return to work. I am one of the lucky individuals who just so happen to make a career change at the start of the pandemic, only to find myself out of work. Since not every profession is deemed “essential”, we’re seeing a lot of individuals from all walks of life finding some extra time on their hands.

What’s one to do with all this new free time?

The running community is always ready with open arms to welcome new runners. Believe it or not, there is no special talent required to start your new running hobby. You just have to be willing to move.

What do I need to start running?

Running is easy, but people tend to make a lot of excuses. One thing to keep in mind is that there really is no standard you have to meet to be considered a runner… other than the obvious “yes” answer to the following question: Do you run?

If you are hesitating to answer it’s important to note that everyone runs their own race, everyone has their own pace, and anyone that considers themself a runner, is a runner. It’s that easy. How you define “run” is entirely up to you. Like I said, there really is no standard that says you have to do X, Y, Z in order to be considered a runner.

What you do need: comfortable shoes (sneakers), and a persistent positive attitude.

I’ve got my shoes, now what?

With your shoes laced up, get outside and get moving! Don’t worry about distance, or pace. Depending on your abilities it’s important to just get moving at a pace you feel most comfortable. Whether that’s walking, jogging, running, or a combination of all three, focus on just being active and logging time on your feet. Start off with a goal to get moving for at least 30 mins.

Remember to take it easy!

Check back in for more updates, tips and tricks on how you can start running!

FitnessBank Spring Step Challenge with Des Linden!

Disclaimer: I received a financial incentive (gift card) to review and promote the FitnessBank Step Challenge with Des Linden as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learning more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Lockdown doesn’t mean sacrificing fitness!

The Covid-19 virus has shutdown a lot of races, and running events, and most platforms are turning to virtual runs for a solution! Just because we’ve been given orders to stay home, doesn’t mean we have to give up on our running fitness.

I’ll admit, when my spring races started cancelling and dropping off one-by-one, I immediately started to lose hope. All of the training, all of the time (and not to mention money) invested was being thrown out the window… or was it?

Most Spring race events are being cancelled, with no virtual run being offered in return, but what if I told you that you could enroll in a virtual challenge in a race for awesome prizes? How about the added bonus of getting to compete to Des Linden?

Enter the FitnessBank Spring Step Challenge!

So, you are probably wondering how you can complete? It’s super easy: Download the App – It’s FREE! – FitnessBank Step Tracker App. Sync the App directly with Garmin and FitBit apps, or to Apple Health and Google Fit connected other activity trackers.

Then get out and MOVE! The best part of this challenge is being able to compete right where you are, and the app is easy to use and you can follow along to see how you are stacking up!