PictureMust. Cross. Finish. Line.
Have you ever looked through the photos from a race and thought "Those are all the best pictures I've ever seen!"? No? Me either. Race photos usually suck! Well if you are me, that is, they usually suck. You can see what I'm talking about here

Recently The Hubbo and I traveled to California and ran the Ventura Half Marathon. You can read my recap here. One of the cool things about this race is that all the race photos are free! But! (There is always a but.) Not all race photos are created equal. I've been lucky to get a couple good ones and then I've been unlucky and got a bunch of weird ones. 

I'm glad these were free because some of them were so awkward and bad, there is no way I would pay $20-$40 or more for these! But since they were free, and I'm always happy to make fun of myself, I thought I'd share them with you. 

I tried to be all cool and take a photo of me rocking my BibRave tat, but it just turned out awkward so it didn't make the original post. 
But since I'm always willing to make fun of myself for a good laugh, here you go! #YoureWelcome
I look like a have some weird farmers tan going on but really, Gingers don't tan! 

I look like I'm about to throw a right hook at George! I don't know why my arms are all weird and defensive looking. I guess I'm just ready to knock-a-sucker-out at any moment during the run! Run boxing...Is that a thing?

No punches were thrown at this race!

This one isn't the worst. If you want to see the worst race photo I've ever had, click here and scroll to the bottom of the post.
But don't say I didn't warn you!

I look like I am drooling over the finish line being so close! Truth be told, I probably was. I was glad to be done. 

And why is my head cocked back like that? Am I trying to run like a gangster?
No. Just no.

Leave a comment! Are your race photos good, bad, or just ugly?

Every Saturday morning, the Hubbo and I get up freakishly early for our long training run with our group. We are currently training for the Honolulu Marathon in December so I guess it's all worth it. Just kidding! It totally is!  This weekend on my long run I was thinking about my morning routine and realized I've never blogged about it. So here we are. Here's my rundown (ha!) of my Friday/Saturday routine for our long training run. 

Friday Night

My long run preparation really starts on Friday night. As soon as I get home from work I start a load of laundry (boring!) of all our running gear we might want to wear the next day.
Then I start laying out all of the gear that doesn't need to be washed into a pile so it will all be in one place and easy to find. You know, because at 4:45 in the morning you resemble drunken zombie more-so than peppy runner! 

Here's a run down of everything I do Friday night:
Lay out the right pair of running shoes. 
Put my Garmin on the charger. If you didn't record your run with your Garmin, it doesn't count!
Find my running belt because I clearly haven't seen it in a week and there is no telling where that thing ended up. Behind the TV? Oh perfect place for it! 
Stuff  said running belt with my fuel, ENERGYbits, and my car key. 
Once the load of laundry is done, get all running clothes out of the dryer, throw them into a pile on the floor next to my shoes. (So adult of me, I know!) 
Spend 10 minutes trying to find a pair of matching running socks because the dryer likes to play tricks on you and they are never easy to find.
Foam roll while checking the Social Medias.
Eat dinner and try to be in bed by 10:00.
10:30 tell Hubbo we should go to bed.
11:00 finally in bed trying to sleep.

Saturday Morning

4:45 AM - Alarm Goes Off. Hit Snooze.
5:00 AM - Force Myself Out of Bed.
5:01 AM - Zombie-like Stagger to Kitchen
Make oatmeal. While oatmeal is cooking, eat a banana. 
5:07 Bathroom - Brush Teeth and put my hair up. 
5:12 Eat cooled off oatmeal and post to twitter it's time for a training run. 
5:15 - While eating oatmeal, tape feet, get dressed and put on shoes. (Remember this step. It's important for later.) 
5:30 - Wonder why it took you so long to get dressed and start to hurry with the rest of the routine.
5:31 - Foam Roll legs, calf muscles, and trigger point roll feet.
5:45 - Put shoes back on because I am dumb in the morning and put them on before I rolled my feet out. 
5:50 - Grab all my gear, water, and take my first serving of ENERGYbits, and I get in the car. 
5:50 - 6:00 The Hubbo drives to the store where we meet up with our group and I try to stay awake. 
6:00 - 6:15 Time for one more quick bathroom break, talk to half asleep runners, and try not to fall asleep myself. 
6:15 - Run! Also - promise myself that as soon as I get home, I'll take a nap.
Later that day- No naps taken. 

Leave a Comment! What's your routine like? How early do you get up  before your run?

This weekend the Hubbo and I took a trip half way across the US and ran the Ventura Half Marathon in California. This was my 10th half and the Hubbo's first visit to Cali! Even though the trip was really quick we had a great time and got to meet new people and see some friends!
We started our trip by getting up way to early for a vacation day (4:30am) to catch our flight out of Tulsa. We landed in LA around lunch time on Saturday, rented a car, and drove on the 405 towards Ventura in the middle of the day! I was more excited about it than the Hubbo was which was weird because I was driving! For a girl from a small town with one stop light, that's a pretty big deal! The race was on Sunday and then we got up on Monday and made the trip back home. Here's how it all went down.

The Medal

Picture2014 Ventura Half Marathon Medal
You guys know from reading my previous race recaps that I always start with the medal. One, because it's my favorite part and two, if you don't read any further I want you to check out this bling! The 2014 Ventura Half Marathon medal was voted on by the runners a few months ago. I'm super excited because this is the one I voted for! If you look closly at the left hand side, you can see that they added a bottle opener. I love it and it looks really good on my medal hanger. 

The Course

If you are looking for a PR for the Full or Half Marathon, this is the race for you! The course is flat as a pancake! In one of the emails I received from the race, they listed facts about the finishers from last year. In 2013, 21% of the full marathon finishers qualified for Boston
I'll just let that soak in for a bit....
Here's the elevation map for those of you who would like to verify for yourself that it was, indeed, flat. The course is basically an out-and-back for the full and for the half. It's not too scenic though. I thought we would be running right on the ocean side, but I understand that this is the better option for a safe race and I like to keep living sooo...

The Expo/Beach Party/Swag

This was the first race that I've been to that had an outdoor expo and I loved it! The beach party was in full swing on Saturday when we arrived to pick up our packets and was a little different than I was expecting. They had vendors at the expo, a live band, beer for sale, and of course, packet pick up. Picking up our packets was super easy, we just had to look up our bib numbers ahead of time and get in the right line. They emailed us a link to look up our bib numbers in the days leading up to the race. The expo was small but super convenient being as it was right by the starting line and right by the hotel we stayed at. If you do this race next year, definitely stay at the Crown Plaza right by the pier. It's perfect! 
According to the race the race photos are free but they haven't been released yet. That is an amazing perk for a race since the photos are usually super expensive! 

The People

PictureGeorge, Me, Hubbo, Clarinda, Katie
You guys! This was the best part of the whole weekend! We got to meet up with our friends from Twitter that we first met up with at the Mustang 50th Anniversary Half Marathon this April in Las Vegas! 
Here is a fabulous picture of all of us that George managed to get. You all might remember George since he was the RunGingerRun Buddy of the month of August.
Also in the picture is Clarinda from Enjoyingthecourse.com who manged to get a PR in the half this weekend! Congrats!
Katie is the one rocking the cute outfit with the lei and super fun skirt that she made herself! She always has the best running costumes and makes her own skirts! You can see some of her other skirts here. Oh and Katie got a PR too! 

PictureShane + Sarah = Race Twins!
I also got to meet a new Twitter buddy, Shane, who was running the half. It turns out he's running the Honolulu Marathon in December too! It's like we are race twins! Can you see the resemblance? 

Shane is awesome because he just celebrated his birthday this week and ran 41 miles in honor of turning 41! Just days after the Ventura Half! 

Happy Birthday! 

I also got to meet an Instagram buddy, Mr. Eddie, who lives in Ventura! He said he can practically see the finish line from his house! How cool is that?

I don't know what's going on with my eye in this picture. I promise I'm not trying to be a member of KISS and no, Mr. Eddie didn't punch me in the eye either. 

My Stats/The Weather

PictureMid-Race Selfies are the best!
Going into this race I knew I wasn't in PR shape. I only had 9 weeks to prepare and I ended up missing almost 3 of those weeks. I definitely don't mind running a race just for fun. You can see that George and I managed to have a little fun on the course! 

Time: 2:21:26
87th out of 172 in my Age Group
Average Pace: 10:48/mile
Overall Place: 513
Total Women: 1048
Total Men: 606

I was doing pretty good until mile 11. The sun was really shining and there was very little shade. We all know I'm not a hot weather runner so between the heat and lack of shade, I started to get goose bumps which is a bad sign. So between the bathroom break at mile 3 and walking a little in the last two miles, I'm still really happy with my results! My goal going into this race was to be under 2:30 and I did it and had fun! Boom! Done!

After The Race

After we were done visiting with everyone at the finish line, we went back to our room rested for a bit and showered. Then the Hubbo and I set off on our adventure to explore the beach and downtown Ventura! After lunch we went to the beach and took some pictures then decided to head into downtown which wasn't far from our hotel and we stumbled upon a local shop called Very Ventura. I chatted with Angela who owns the shop with her husband. They were really nice and gave us recommendations for a good place to eat for dinner. I bought a cute tank top that was printed by a local artist and the Hubbo bought a wooden decorative piece that spelled Ocean or Beach depending on which side you are looking at, which were also done by a local artist. We found so many cute things and if we had checked luggage instead of just carry-ons, we would have come home with a lot more stuff!

50 States Map

The Hubbo and I have a very relaxed goal of eventually running a race (half or full marathon) in each state. Here is a map of what we have accomplished since we started running in 2012.
This year alone we will have ran in 4 new states,
Kansas, Nevada, California, and Hawaii!  

Question! What race is next for you? How many states have you raced in?

Take a good look at the picture on the left. There's something wrong with it. Can you see it? Before I explain what's wrong, let me tell you a little about this picture. Even though it's not perfect, it's my favorite race photo! 

This photo was taken by a local race photographer Dr. Chris Barnes at the Jenks Half Marathon in November 2013. I barely remember seeing him around mile 4 of the race but flashed this quick smile and wave and kept going. Later this photo popped up on the media and I fell in love with it! (That sounds so vain but it's hard to get a good race photo!) I use this photo for all of my AVIs for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc. So if it looks so familiar to you, that's why. 

Okay, let's talk about the problem with it. Look at my fuel belt. Can you see next to the 6 on my bib that I wear an iPod Shuffle? Better yet, can you tell that my ear bud cord runs up my shirt (don't get weird), out the top of my shirt, and into my right ear? Of course you can. Ugh! Talk about ruining my favorite photo!

I always have music playing for my long runs and all my races. It helps me get through those miles that are really tough. But all my race photos have that silly white cord hanging around in them. Am I the only one that has this problem? Or that thinks it looks silly?

This problem is about to change. As part of the perks of being an Ambassador for Bibrave.com or as we like to call ourselves, BibRavePros, I was sent a pair of the Jabra Rox wireless ear buds to try out and review and they sound amazing! I can't wait to get on the plane this weekend and fly out to California for the Ventura Half Marathon because I'll be taking these with me to listen to my music on the plane to help the time go by.

Here's what I like about these:
1. They are wireless! Hello new race photo!
2. They are small and travel easily. Look at the photo below. 
3. They sound amazing! It's easy to get lost in your  music when you run if you have good sound and then the miles will just tick by! At least for me, that's how it usually works and that's why I love running with music.  
4. Rox Wireless has power-saving magnets - when you’re not using the ear buds, simply clip them together around your neck and the magnets will activate the power-saving mode.
5. Battery Power For Days! Literally! And it tells you via a verbal cue when it's time to recharge the battery. 
  • Talk Time: Up to 5.5 hours
    Talk Time is the maximum time you can talk before a device runs out of power
  • Standby Time: Up to 432 hours
    Standby Time is the maximum time a device can remain powered on
  • Music Play Time: 6 hour
    Music Play Time is the maximum time you can play music before a device runs out of power

6. I love not being tethered to my phone/iPod. I typically wear my iPod on my fuel belt and that can be tricky when you are trying to take it off to hit up a quick bathroom break during a race but your wires are laced through your shirt! Now that problem is solved. I can take off my belt, not be tangled, and hit the bathroom and go. 

If you are interested in buying your own pair, click here
They sell for $129.99 which really isn't bad considering how many other running items we buy that don't last long or we only wear for a few months. My example is the custom orthotics I had made for my feet to help with my plantar fasciitis. They cost over $100 + the cost of a Dr's visit and I wore them for two weeks and quit.   
The website says they offer free shipping to orders over $99 and orders ship within 1 business day. 
Still need more info? Check out Jeremy's review of the Jabra Rox Wireless Ear Buds here and you can read Angie's review here

Tips for Using Your Jabra Rox Wireless Earbuds

1. Since you'll be using your phone you probably are worried about your phone battery life playing music and using the Bluetooth feature, right?
Don't worry! Just turn your phone to Airplane mode, then connect via Bluetooth and you can still use your Jabra Rox ear buds and your phone battery won't drain as fast! I do it all the time with other Bluetooth devices and it's great! And it's not like you need to be sending emails in the middle of your run anyways. 

2. I always have my phone with me and my iPod Shuffle. Now I only need one. The Bluetooth set up is super easy. When you turn on your ear buds there is a voice that walks you through the process or you can just read the directions. 

3. Since the good people at Jabra know that all ears are not created equal, they offer three different sizes of buds and three sizes of the little wings to help you get the fit just right. So the first time you open up your new wireless ear buds, give yourself plenty of time to play with the fit to get them to stay in. It takes a little time to get the hang of getting the fit since you may need to try a few different combinations of buds and wings until you get the custom fit you need. 
Also - watch the video below for help.

If you are looking for a new pair of ear buds or looking to go wireless, I suggest these! 

Questions! Do you listen to music when you run or workout? What do you do on the plane to pass the time?