Race Registration: Freedoms Run Half Marathon!

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Freedoms Run 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!

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Holy Hannah, it’s that time of the year! My race calendar is starting to fill up and I’m super stoked to announce that I’ll be returning to West Virginia to run the Freedoms Run Half Marathon on October 3rd, 2020!

Just a quick recap of how I discovered the race, and last year’s review:

“If you know me, I’m a history nut, and we discovered the Freedoms Run on accident when we planned a family vacation to Antietam two years ago. During a tour of the battlegrounds, we noticed runners (okay, I noticed runners) trotting down the roads toting a bib which only meant one thing! Later in our hotel room, I googled “races near me” and the Freedoms Run popped up.”

Linky link: https://kenstandsonthings.wordpress.com/2019/10/08/race-recap-freedoms-run-half-marathon/ 

I love Freedoms Run and love the area the race is held, especially since October is the perfect season for beautiful sights along the racecourse. I’m looking forward to soaking it all in again!

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You can sign up too, using code BIBRAVE5 will save you $5 off your race registration! Visit HERE to Register!

Hope to see you there, it’s going to be an awesome 2020!

Mushroom Cap Half-Marathon: Pre-Race Checklist

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Mushroom Cap Half 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!

Here we are the night before the race, and here I am frantically putting together tomorrow’s kit.

1. Let’s talk tech: My Aftershokz Trekz Air headphones are a MUST! I’m not sure if this is a sign that I’m getting older, but I love listening to podcasts or audiobooks on long runs. I find that conversations help the miles pass and sometimes a good story carries me through the tough parts of a run. Tomorrow I’ve got the BibRave podcast lined up to keep me company (I’m behind purposely by 4-5 episodes). Throw in my trusty Garmin watch and I’m all set!

2. My Ultimate Direction vest to tote my stuff is also at the top of my list. I have been able to reduce my nutrition for a half marathon to a single Hydrapak(R) water bottle filled with Tailwind Nutrition and one or two Stinger Gels. I have found that most race courses provide enough hydration and gels for those who don’t carry their own supplies, but I like to be self-sufficient.

3. It’s going to be COLD tomorrow so as far as clothing: gloves, my orange lightweight windbreaker, shorts and leggings are a must-have. Throw in my trusty BocoGear BibRave hat, BibRave Buff, and of course my BibRave shirt. GO TEAM ORANGE!

4. I’m going to coat myself in BodyGlide, no joke. Actually I’m going to hit a few target areas: collarbone, shoulders, neck, inner thighs, hips, nips, pretty much all areas where friction can and will ruin a day.

5. Not shown are my Feetures Socks and Brooks Ghost Running shoes.

Tomorrow’s race has other things to look forward to as well, like the post-race after party at the Creamery and of course spending some time with my BibRave buddies!

The course sounds like it’s going to be a challenging but good time! The few people I’ve talked to over social media mentioned the hills…. repeatedly, so I guess I’ll know what to expect.

Lately I’ve been leaning into my training and knowing that I can run comfortably at a 10 min/mile pace without feeling uncomfortable or like I’m going to bonk. And I suppose that’s what it’s all about, running a race comfortably and enjoying the course and scenery without focusing on time and “beating” those imaginary demons in my head.

I’m going into tomorrow’s race with an open mind and sticking to my plan of just enjoying the course… and of course having a good time.

Pre-Race Checklist

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Freedoms Run Half Marathon race 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!

With race-day begin tomorrow, I thought I’d share my pre-race checklist for my typical half marathon race! This isn’t an all inclusive list, but it chock full of my “go-to” race essentials that help me power through race-day.

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The added benefit of having a Trainer

Make no mistake, you can find just about everything on the internet. So it should come as no surprise that when looking for a run coach, the internet has that too!

But who can you trust? If you search for an online trainer you’re bound to be flooded with results, each and every one claiming a specific speciality or goal pace they can help you achieve. When I first started looking for help, I found countless training plans and all sorts of conflicting advice. The process was overwhelming.

Enter: The Power of Social Media

Just when I had basically given up in finding a trainer, a fellow BibRave Pro Janell reached out to me through Twitter and offered to take me on as a client.

It was during a weekly Bibchat where a lot of the questions were based on goals and how we work on achieving them. I saw a few of Janell’s replies and got the immediate vibe that she knew what she was talking about.

After a quick email exchange we got setup and within a few weeks training began.

Personalized Training Plans

One thing I noticed off the bat was the personalized training plans that actually made running really fun and enjoyable. Gone were the days of me hitting the pavement and just running as hard and as fast as I could. With structured plans I was hitting the road with purpose and a set goal in mind.

For a beginning runner the tactic of just going hard every time will yield results… but also lead to injury and burnout. Speaking from first hand experience, the all-out method I employed before coaching made running more about punishment than accomplishment.

Lesson learned: Get a trainer and get specific plans just for you that make running fun again.

The Importance of Rest Days

Resting wasn’t a concept I was familiar with, even though it’s covered in the numerous running books I’ve poured over during the last 4 years. Rest was a concept that I thought only elite athlete’s required, surely not a novice runner like myself.

When I saw “rest” on my training plan I struggled with not being able to run, but after a few weeks of training, rest days were a reminder that everyone needs a break now and then.

Lesson learned: Everyone needs rest, not just the elite.

Accountability is Paramount

If anything else, having a trainer carries the added level of accountability. There were days when the sun was blazing and the humidity was oppressing and I would look at my training calendar and frown.

It wasn’t that I didn’t want to run, it was just easier to sit on the couch and procrastinate. But when I would wake up before the sun, or decide to run later in the evening I would notice the cooler temps that came with it, and I knew I could tackle my workout. Most importantly, I couldn’t let my trainer or myself down for not getting in that workout.

Throughout the entire process Janell would check in and it was a much needed boost to keep me going!

Lesson learned: find a trainer that’s encouraging and supportive, but knows how to push you to achieve your goals.

So, Now what?!

Anyway, by now you’re probably wondering where to turn, and you’ve probably got a ton of questions. First and foremost, where can you find a trainer?

Well that’s one question I can answer! Janell is a wonderful trainer and she cane get you on the right track! You can find out more by visiting: https://runcanvas.com

Oh, and tell her Ken sent you!

Race Registration: NYRR New York City Marathon Virtual 5K

Disclaimer: I’m running and Promoting the NYRR Virtual Race Series 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!

Looking for a FREE virtual race and a good challenge?! The New York Road Runners have paired with Strava to bring you their awesome virtual run series!

I signed up for the New York City Marathon Virtual 5K… as well as a few other races that looked appealing!

Catch all the details here, it’s super easy, just sign-up, link your Strava account and run!

Link: https://www.nyrr.org/races/tcsnewyorkcitymarathonvirtual5k

Join in the fun! I’ll see you out there!

Race Recap: The Great Inflatable Race:

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It was HOT!

As a runner, I’m willing to accept that most race conditions come as they are. The weather being the one major thing that no one can control. So when we found out the July temps were going to +96°F with high humidity and a warning for an excessive heat index, we dressed appropriately and decided to roll with the punches. After all, what did we expect for summer weather in the NorthEast? So for this review, the weather (even though it was as hot and humid as the sun) won’t be the focus.

The Good Stuff

I feel like I should start off with all the good stuff about the Great Inflatable Race because I love the concept and it genuinely got the kids fired up for race day.

Despite the hot hot heat, the kids gave it a hearty thumbs-up. Even though the sun-scorched the slides into lava rocks, and we all experienced brush burns from hell, a hyper-extended/rolled ankle, and sweat beyond belief, we had a good time. After all, it’s the GREAT INFLATABLE Race, how cool is that?!

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Race Recap: Gettysburg Blue-Gray Half Marathon

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My friend refers to me as the “Mayor of Gettysburg” since we travel to this town a handful of times each month. No joke, my wife and I were married in Gettysburg and it’s a family favorite destination anytime we’re looking for a quick getaway… which happens to be a lot.

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Race Recap: Rutgers Unite Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I’m promoting the Rutgers Unite Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!

Who doesn’t love a course that boasts a great time? This year’s Rutgers Unite Half Marathon and 8K was like no other, and I had the awesome pleasure to interview fellow BibRave Pro: Lacey Timony about her race day experience!

Read more to watch our interview and hear Lacey’s thoughts!

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Race Recap: Hot Chocolate Run 15k Philadelphia 

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There is something exciting about race day, and there’s nothing better than sharing that excitement with friends (and family)!  This year’s Hot Chocolate run was made even more exciting by not only getting to share it with my family, but this was my first race with fellow BibRave Pros!

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Race Registration: Farmer’s 5K New Holland, PA

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When it comes to supporting local running clubs, and local running school programs, I’m all in! April 13th marks the 15th Annual Farmer’s 5K in New Holland, PA!

The overall course seems fairly easy and runs through beautiful New Holland, Pennsylvania. See the course map HERE.

Registration can be done in the mail, on online HERE. All the details can be found on the race website: GSRunning.org