Tuesday, September 29, 2015

bibrave pro spotlight: jeremy

Hello and welcome to the fifth installment of BibRavePro Spotlight! If you missed the first few, catch up here: firstsecond, third, fourth. Here's a little background info on the series:

I'm excited to introduce a new series on the blog – BibRave Pro Spotlight! Each Tuesday (or at least, most Tuesdays) I'm going to feature a different 

BibRave Pro. The program is thriving, and new Pros are joining the team everyday. I've loved my almost year of being a BRP, and have gained some great friendships through it. It's super awesome that so many new people are being added, but with a large group, it can be hard to get to know everyone as closely as I'd like. Hence, the idea for a blog series developed. I'm thrilled to get to know each Pro a little bit more, and hope you enjoy it too!

Jeremy and I haven't met in person yet, but I am SUPER DUPER excited to knock this off my checklist this upcoming weekend at The North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin! Whooo! So many Pros are headed there, and I can't wait to hang out with everyone.

Jeremy has always been so kind, friendly, helpful, supportive, and easy to talk with. We joke around all the time and it's been a pleasure getting to know him over the past year+. And of course one of my favorite things about him? He's a fellow dog-lover. 

I'll obviously be writing a post about the weekend, so look for some mentions of this guy. Also, keep an eye on our twitter and instagram feeds for some fun photos most likely starting on Friday. 

I'm so happy with the way life has been going for him and am excited to hear more about his new job as time goes on (read below!).

Name: Jeremy Heath
Location: Phoenix, AZ

Gotta admit, I'm a little jealous of his scenery sometimes...

When did you start running and why? I wanted to LOSE the Freshman 15 instead of gain it. So I started running in college as a way to lose weight and get healthy. I’m not very good at any other sports so I figured running would be easy enough and little “skill” involved. I quickly fell in love with it and began running in a local race series. I was hooked.

Jeremy takes great photos. Make sure to follow him on IG.

What is your favorite race distance? Probably the full marathon. I know, crazy, right? Not to down play any other distances, but when you run a marathon you’re entire life revolves around your training. You become obsessed. And when race day finally arrives, and you cross that finish line, it’s that much more rewarding because those months of obsession have finally paid off.  
{I can vouch for this… marathon training pretty much IS your life. I sort of love it :) }

Do you have a favorite race? I’d have to go with any Ragnar Relay. I’ve done quite a few now and they’re always amazingly rewarding and spectacular adventures. Trail or Road, whatever challenge you choose, it’s going to be fantastic.

Jeremy with Team Nuuniacs at Ragnar Wasatch Back.
How about toughest race you've ever done (because of weather, distance, injury, etc.) ? The SF Marathon. Great race, incredible scenery... but I was running through injury. The hills took their toll on me and I struggled through to the finish. I want to return one year soon for a “redemption race”.  

Do you have any race day traditions? Coffee. I can’t run without my morning coffee. And after a race I always love going out for pancakes. 

The most important lesson running has taught you? That there’s no better competition than yourself. 

Some of your favorite running products – for running or recovery? Recovery/Compression: I love 2XU and Zensah. For Hydration: I’m a huge believer in Nuun.  

What are you currently training for? I have the North Face Endurance Challenge Series-Wisconsin this weekend! After that, the Rock n Roll Las Vegas Half. These I’ll just run for fun. I’m recovering from injury and am eager to start training for my first 50k.

What's one item you can't go on a run without? My Orange Mud hydration pack. Never leave for a run without it! {I also have an Orange Mud hydration pack and it's been awesome for both of my marathon trainings}

Do you prefer to run in a group or alone? Depends. Sometimes I like to just get out and run on my own or with my dog. But other times I crave the companionship from running with friends. Plus, friends can help push me when I need it most. 

Are you a morning runner? Any tips for those of us who have trouble getting it done in the AM? I always feel better when I run during the morning, but if I had to choose I’d prefer to run at night. There’s just something about running in the moonlight while everything around you is winding down and the world is going silent that helps me to focus inward. 

What are some of your other hobbies? I’m a big movie buff, but also enjoy reading books (mostly thrillers). {I love reading thrillers too!}

What's your day job? I’ve actually just been hired as the Marketing Manager for Gemini Virgo Productions, Inc., a local racing company that organizes several races from marathons to 5ks. It’s a new company and I can’t wait to help it grow and be doing exactly what I’m most passionate about! It’s a really exciting chapter in my life! 

Any big running/athletic goals for the future? (i.e. ultra, triathlon, etc) I would like to break into the ultra running world! My goal is to run my first 50k sometime in 2016. After that, a 50 miler… then on to tackle a 100-miler! :D 

How long have you been a BibRave Pro? I was around when they first opened up the BibRave Pro program. So, over a year. Man how time flies! 

What's your favorite thing about being a BRP? The camaraderie we share. We’re not just some ambassador program where we sit around and wait for free stuff. We share stories with each other, turn to one another for advice, and then share that collective knowledge with our followers and the online running community. We make a difference in each other’s lives as well as others around the globe. 

Any other fun tidbits about yourself you'd like to share? I strongly believe in the power the running community and the influence we have on one another. And I believe ANYone can be a runner… no matter what they’re ability, age, or experience. My own mother is in her 50s and just started running! 

So let’s share the adventure together. In my area? Let’s go for a run! Got a gear/race/training/etc. question? Shoot me a message on Twitter or Instagram! Together we can motivate and inspire the world! :D 

Social Media accounts to follow:

Twitter: @runblogaz
Instagram: @runner_blogger_az
Facebook: facebook.com/ConfessionsofanAmateurAthlete
Blog: http://confessionsofanamateurathlete.blogspot.com
BibRave: http://www.bibrave.com/users/168

Follow me during my day job on twitter (@GVPruns) and on Instagram (@GVPruns). Got a question about any of our races? Shoot me a message! :D 

Make sure to stop by #BibChat tonight at 8pm CT and join in on the fun conversations! Follow @BibRave and the hashtag to chat with other runners about Running Inspiration… and a whole to of other things! The sponsor tonight is Motigo – a fun app where you can get personalized audio messages from friends, family, and/or strangers during your race. I wrote a two-part review on it a while back, if you are interested in reading more about it: Part I and Part II. Three lucky winners will win a Motigo t-shirt :) Hope to 'see' you then!

Monday, September 21, 2015

the original buff: review + discount code

Disclaimer: I received an Original Buff® 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!

Hunter Orange Buff. Or what I like to call BibRave Orange.

Testing gear is one of the perks of being a BibRave Pro. Some of you may have already read my UV Half Buff review, but if not, take a quick look.

I love the Half Buff, and still use it on my Chicago Marathon training runs - especially the long ones. I use it to wipe the sweat off my brow, and cheeks, and under eyes ;) In fact, I just used it yesterday for my last long long run (20 miles) until the big day.

This time around, the good folks at Buff gave us the opportunity to test out the full, Original Buff. It's much larger than the half, and is a bit thicker of material. I received a bright orange guy in the mail (name: Hunter Orange). I am a HUGE fan of neon/bright colors, not only because they are fun, but for their added safety value. I think someone would see you coming from a mile away with this color on.

The size difference in the UV Half and the Full Buff.
Photo credit: Angie

Just a FEW of their fun color/pattern options.
Which one would you choose?!

I have to be honest with you - I haven't worn it on any runs yet. The weather here in Chicago is still summer (a few fall-like days have come and gone), but that is still too warm for me to wear the Full Buff. There's just too much fabric. Even at 50 degrees, you'll find me in a tank top, shorts, and a visor. I overheat super quickly, and I can't even stand to have a hat on because I get too warm. So that extra fabric, which is thicker than the Half Buff, just won't do for this time of year. 

A few ways to wear it.

I can tell you that it's fun to wear around the house while I clean to keep my hair out of getting into the toilet or other gross things. It's also helpful for this asthmatic girl to use when dusting so that all of the dog hair doesn't go into my nostrils. 

I'm SUPER excited to test it out once winter arrives. I like to use gaiters to help keep me warm and breathing in warmer air when outside running on those cold, frosty days. I'll be writing another review when that day comes so you know how I liked it for running when it's more useful to me. Promise :)

Some specs for you:
• 95% UV Protection
• CoolMax® Extreme Performance fabric (moves perspiration from the body and through the fabric, where it can evaporate quickly, which in turn helps keep the skin temperature low.)
• Soft, breathable 100% microfiber polyester
• 100% seamless
• 12+ ways to wear
• Polygiens® Active Odor Control
• Moisture-wicking
• Thermal protection from cold & wind
• Quick-drying
• 2-way lateral stretch
• One size fits all adults
• 20.8" h x 9.75" w
• 2.9 oz

MORE ways to wear it.

Washing Instructions:
• Hand or machine wash in warm water with mild soap
• Do not use fabric softeners
• Do not bleach
• Do not machine dry (I put mine on the drying rack with the rest of my running clothes)
• Do not iron

I know a lot of my other Pros were able to wear it running and loved it. Check out their reviews:

Connect with Buff:
website | facebook | twitter | instagram | youtube | pinterest

You have until 9/30 to get your own Buff products - stock up for winter (they also have some super cute hats and scarves) or, maybe you live somewhere warm all year round - get yourself the Half to protect from the sun or use it as a sweatband like me. Code BIBRAVE10 gets your 10% off your order.

A fun collage I made with all the Pros wearing their Half Buffs.

I love this hat.

Join us for #BibChat tomorrow evening where Buff is sponsoring. It starts at 8pm CT and lasts an hour. Always a fun time, plus some cool prizes to be won by a lucky runner or two. Don't miss out!

Sunday, September 13, 2015

sweat tracker review

Disclaimer: I had the opportunity to sign up for Sweat Tracker Performance Package 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!

As most of you already know, I am in the process of training for the Chicago Marathon. I was quite anxious about figuring out a plan (since my first marathon was part of the Dopey Challenge back in January, and I just followed the Galloway runDisney plan for it). I could have tried to put something together, but really... what do I know about putting together a plan for a marathon?! Nothing.

In comes BibRave and Sweat Tracker. I was SO thankful to receive the chance to work with Sweat Tracker as part of the BibRave Pro program, and it came at the perfect time. Obviously, the marathon hasn't happened yet (it's in October), so I'll have some more to write once that's over. Receiving a custom training plan was a fantastic way for me to train for the marathon and improve on my running (my speed for short runs has improved drastically). Not that we were focusing on speed at all, but it was a great side effect.

A little background about the company: They are based in California, and offer online coaching and training plans for all types of runners. They can help you with a training plan to improve performance, or to help with coming back post-injury. Their goal is to help you with YOUR goal, and to keep you injury-free while doing so. You have the option (for an extra cost) to provide video of your running form so your coach can help you improve. You're also encouraged to interact with your coach often - via text or email.

Ok, now on to my experience...

First off, I filled out the questions on the Sweat Tracker website to help them figure out the best way to approach the plan. I specified how many miles/days a week I was currently running, what my longest run or race has been, what my goals for the upcoming race were, pace of my last race, etc.

Next, I was introduced to my coach, Val. I emailed her some questions so I could get to know her a little more, and so that I felt we had more of a connection. I thought without knowing anything, that i would feel weird texting, in a way, a stranger who was giving me tips. I wanted to feel like I knew her more. She willingly answered, and it helped me to feel more comfortable. She was a dog person too, so that always helps ;)
Larry, the owner, has also been very involved with the process. He emails to check in and make sure everything is going ok, and he is always interested in what I have to say – he wants all feedback, whether positive or negative (I honestly have nothing negative to say about any of it). I've really appreciated how active he's been with keeping in contact to see how everything's been.

On Sundays, I receive an email with my weekly plan. Then, each day, I receive an email with the days running or activity along with the next day's plan. They have a link to stretches and foam rolling exercises, which I found helpful.

Once I would get my emails on Sundays, I would put the schedule into my calendar, so I knew by looking at iCal what the plan was for the week. I wouldn't say that I need a daily email, but it is a helpful reminder (as well as motivation). 

I found that I didn't want to skip runs or be lazy, because I didn't want to let my coach down. I wanted to work hard and was being kept accountable by having someone to answer to.

That being said, I also found her to be very understanding. If I cut a run short because I couldn't stand the heat any longer, or because it was dark out and I couldn't see the sidewalk - she wasn't blasting me for being lazy or anything like that. Honestly, I was always a little down on myself if I couldn't finish the scheduled mileage, but she always made me feel better. She was all about being safe and running smart. If my knee was hurting, better to stop than to keep running and injure it further.

Speaking of my knee injury, it was getting worse, and I had trouble with my long runs (I couldn't finish them due to pain), she asked me how I felt about taking a week off. Like her, I thought it would be a good idea. She assured me that we were far enough out from the marathon that a week off wouldn't harm the training, but give me the time to heal. It was an EXCELLENT idea, as I came back the following week with little to no pain, and have been doing well since (this was approximately 3 weeks ago). I even managed 19 miles today, and though I was quite tired by the end, my knee was feeling good.

My training began with 2 miles on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and Conversation Pace, 10 miles on Saturday for my long run, and then resting/stretching/rolling on Monday, Friday, and Sunday. The long runs would increase by 1 mile each week. 

I wanted to incorporate some cross-training as well, so Larry and Coach Val adjusted my schedule to 3 miles at CP on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Elliptical on Wednesday (beginning with 15 mins and increasing 5 minutes each week), and core workouts on Fridays. My gym didn't have any core/ab classes on Fridays, so I downloaded an app, had Coach take a look at it and approve, and used it for my workouts on Fridays.

Sometimes I had to switch long runs to Sunday due to scheduling conflicts or I would have a race on Sunday and then finish up my miles afterwards. You know me... a girl's gotta race ;)

We are about a month out from the marathon, and while I am feeling a bit anxious about finishing 26.2 miles, I feel like my training will get me to that finish line. I really appreciate all of the support Coach Val and Larry have given me - when I've had an off day or am just feeling down, they have such encouraging words that help lift me up and help me to believe it's an attainable goal. I'm mostly nervous about the weather... Chicago is notorious for being all over the place for the marathon weather wise. Some years it's freezing, others it's so hot a lot of people don't finish. Keep your fingers crossed we get 50s like last year! I'm also nervous about keeping that 15 minute mile pace. I did well being under that today until the last 3 miles, but I'm hoping that on race day the adrenaline and cheers from the crowd help push me forward. One foot at a time, right?

Some scenes from today's 19 mile trail run.

I am so happy to have had the opportunity to work with Sweat Tracker and one of their awesome coaches. Her support has really helped me to keep pushing myself to be a better runner. My short runs have definitely improved my speed, and I KNOW it's because of my training with Coach Val. She's the bomb.

Also, Larry sent me a New Balance Sweat Tracker tech shirt. I think that was super cool of him.

My new shirt!

Also, on their social media accounts, they do these fun little tiles for your races - congratulating the runners they work with on their races. I think that's really special and cool (even though none of my races had finish times to write home about, I'm hoping it helped inspire others that might be slower like me to feel proud of themselves - we are out there getting it done the best we can! I'm doing better than I used to (unless it's 90 degrees outside, then I just take it easy) and I'm proud of my hard work and accomplishments.

If you're looking to work with a coach (which I highly suggest you try if you haven't yet), I would of course suggest the good folks at Sweat Tracker. They're looking our for your best interested, keeping you injury free and helping you to reach your goals. I seriously am so happy to have worked with them (and will continue to until marathon day, which is rapidly approaching! Eeks!). Thanks Sweat Tracker for being awesome! I'm certain that I'll be using them again for another training cycle (perhaps to PR my half marathon time...).

I'll check back in with you all post-marathon to let you know how training finished up and how the race went. Wish me luck!

Connect with Sweat Tracker:
website | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest | blog | tumblr | google

Check out what other Pros had to say:
Erin | Krissy

Monday, September 7, 2015

zensah thigh compression sleeve review

Disclaimer: I received a the Zensah Thigh Compression Sleeve 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!

No such thing as too much Zensah. I just need to get another
thigh sleeve for the other leg...

If you follow me at all on social media, I think you know how big a fan I am of Zensah compression leg sleeves. I honestly believe they are the reason I was able to complete training and cross the finish line to become a Dopey Challenge Finisher + the Castaway Cay 5k a few days later. I wore them for long training runs, and then the ultras for post-run recovery. My muscles always felt good the next day, as to before I used them I was usually pretty sore after long runs. Anyway, the point to this is that when I was presented with the opportunity to try the thigh sleeve, I jumped at it. 

Unlike the calf sleeves, the thigh sleeve doesn't come as a pair, but as a single sleeve. I think this sleeve would work great for you if you are experiencing any hamstring issues.

Recovery post-Fort2Base. Icing the knee and using Zensah
Compression (thigh and leg).

I never wore the sleeve for running, but would put it on after my shower for recovery. I was experiencing knee pain that might have been IT Band issues, and tossing the sleeve on post-long runs helped alleviate some of the pain. I was weary of wearing it for running, as I felt it would cause some serious chafing on my thighs... something I sometimes experience without the help of extra materials, if I'm being honest with you.

I also have a bit of a night before the race routine - which is to toss on my Zensah compression and roll out my muscles with my Addaday Pro roller. I tried this out for Foret2Base, which is when I was experiencing some of my knee problems, and though I still had some pain while running, it wasn't nearly as bad as it had been on previous runs. 

Resting up before Fort2Base.

I got the L/XL size, which fit me well. I was initially concerned that it was on the large side, but after wearing a couple times and noticing the recovery, I knew I had chosen well (and accurately, really – I went by the sizing on the website). I found it easy to get on and off. I would suggest measuring, per their instructions, and use the sizing chart provided to select your size. If you have measured, use that as your guide. They provide a height for those that don't have a measurement for their thigh, so it's more of a general guideline. At the moment, it only comes in black and the size choices are S/M or L/XL for $24.99 a piece. 

The compression technology helps to stabilize and support the quad and hamstring muscles, as well as improve circulation. It has a no-slip gripper (a bunch of grippy dots at the top), which is supposed to ensure that the thigh sleeve stays in place. I did, find, however, that it rolled down a little once on, but this didn't bother me at all. I found I still got the recovery magic needed for my thigh to feel refreshed the next day.

Some key features include:
• moisture wicking and anti-odor
• full range of motion: seamless design and compression technology provides a second-skin fit.
• targeted quad and hamstring support: features pin-point compression to stabilize muscles in the quad and hamstring areas. Support is provided exactly where you need it most. The compression technology also helps to reduce swelling and ensures the thigh sleeve keeps its shape.

I would seriously check this out if you are a fan of compression, and definitely if you are experiencing any quad or hamstring problems. It might even help with your IT Band issues, like it did with mine. 

I'm no doctor, so I can't really get clinical about the effects of compression gear, but I am a believer. It works for me, and so I continue to use my sleeves all the time. I wake up feeling better the day after a long run, my legs feel less tired and sore, and this makes me happy. I ran 18 miles yesterday, and wore it post-run and today to help with blood flow and muscle recovery. Compared to how I used to feel before I wore compression, I'd say it's much better with it in my life.

Check out Zensah:
website | twitter | instagram | facebook 

Want to know what the other Pros thought?

Join us tomorrow night at 8pm for #BibChat, which Zensah will be sponsoring. I don't know the details yet, but there's usually some cool prizes and/or discounts when they sponsor - so make sure to follow them and BibRave on twitter and join the running community for some fun chit chat :)

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

bibrave pro spotlight: erica

Hello and welcome to the third installment of BibRavePro Spotlight! A little bit behind the series if you missed the first or second one: 

I'm excited to introduce a new series on the blog – BibRave Pro Spotlight! Each Tuesday (or at least, most Tuesdays) I'm going to feature a different 
BibRave Pro. The program is thriving, and new Pros are joining the team everyday. I've loved my almost year of being a BRP, and have gained some great friendships through it. It's super awesome that so many new people are being added, but with a large group, it can be hard to get to know everyone as closely as I'd like. Hence, the idea for a blog series developed. I'm thrilled to get to know each Pro a little bit more, and hope you enjoy it too!

Erica is another BibRave Pro I have yet to meet (these days, there are a lot that I haven't met yet!). She's a bit farther over there in Texas, so I'm not sure when we'll have the pleasure of meeting in real life, but there is the hope that one day we'll be in the same place at the same time :)

She's newer to the group, so there's a whole lot I don't know about her, but I certainly got a good glimpse into her life with this post. I love that she makes her own medal hangers (can you send one my way? Mine are all sitting in a box…) and she isn't kidding when she says her shoe game is ON POINT. Whoa. Just seeing the photo of her shoes tells me that we'd get along quite well haha. We also have something else in common: the medals for finishing races was a big motivator in getting involved with races in the first place.

Name: Erica!
Location: Dallas (McKinney-suburb North of Dallas), Texas

When did you start running and why?
I wish had some awesome life changing story but I don't. Basically I initially saw an ad on Facebook that showed the swag the Hot Chocolate series offered. I decided then that I wanted that to be my first race, I got lazy and it didn't happen. Two people from work did a 5k and I thought if they can do it, so can I. From there I was a bit more motivated, but not motivated enough, until I saw a 5k with a medal and the rest is history. Now that I have acquired a good chunk of medals, I've scaled back on the number of races and focus on the quality. 

Right 2012–2014, left on the star 2015 medals. The piece of wood sitting on top of the blue medal holder is the next one I am making for 2015+ medals. I make my own racks and this one I decided to get a wonder woman graphic made with my favorite scripture that I recite with every run.

What is your favorite race distance?

The Half Marathon of course! I've realized that it takes a me a good three miles to really get into the groove of a run, and the half allows me the distance to get into the groove while still having enough miles left over to make it challenging. I purposely ran my first half (race) by myself because I didn't want anyone to be there in case I didn't finish, now I want everyone to run half marathons with me!

What are your top 3 races (these can be running, triathlons, whatever you want)? Why?

Rock N' Roll Dallas - My first half marathon 
Hot Chocolate Dallas - It got me out the door the very first time
Anything by the Active Joe - It's a local race that's done right, the price is perfect, bundt cakes at the end, and the half course takes you pass a llama ranch!
I'm also gonna throw in the Spa Girl Triathlon because the food was super good at the finish.

What's the toughest race you've ever done, whether because of distance, injury, weather, mental fatigue, etc.?
OMG! I'll never forget the time I thought I could do an Obstacle Course Race. The Gladiator Rock N Run kicked my behind. I had bruises and scrapes in places I didn't know could bruise and scrape. It's a different kind of physically demanding challenge as it requires all of your body and not just your legs. I was also fresh off a shoulder injury from falling from a bouncy slide at a previous OCR the month before. 

Do you have any race day traditions?
Race day not so much, I'm pretty chill about it. Breakfast varies but it's always super light: yogurt, cuties (clementine), squeezey apple sauce. The night before... that's a different story. I MUST get spaghetti from a local pizza place Angelo & Vito's and I put the final touches on my flat runner, I'm very serious about my flat runners.

She wasn't kidding...

The most important lesson running has taught you?
That's it's okay to not be the best, and that if I actually try I can achieve some amazing things that most people never do. 

Some of your favorite running products - either for while running or for recovery and why are they your favorite? 

I could go on and on about my favs but currently in my rotation are the Plantronics BackBeat FIT headphones, it's nice to not have to deal with accidentally unhooking my headphone cord every time I take my phone out of my belt. I'm also loving my flip belt, because it doesn't give me a kangaroo pouch and holds a bunch of stuff, Addaday Pro Roller because it got my through my achilles issue, Huma Chia gels because they've fixed my mid-run crash and lastly Pro Compression socks because the fun colors and designs make me and my legs happy. 

What are you currently training for?

I had this great idea to run a marathon for my birthday weekend, because "it will be my last race at 26 years old and I will be running 26 miles!" yeah... I didn't think about the whole running through the heat of summer part. 

Are you a morning runner? Any tips for those of us (i.e. ME) who have trouble getting it done in the AM? 
I am a morning runner, I like to get stuff done and I dislike the feeling of having a task lingering over me all day and not being able to handle it until after I leave work. Also, running in the summer in Texas demands that you get out there early or face the heat, I don't like the heat and I especially dread the feeling of the sun on my skin. One of the things I do to make this easier is I set everything that I need out the night before, it's less guesswork in the am and you've already completed the hard part of "what to wear". 

Other than running, what are some hobbies you enjoy?

Eating, I really like food, riding my bike, and good drink on a patio with amazing friends and family. I'm also a huge nerd and will spend a lot of my downtown over breaks playing Grand Theft Auto or The Sims. Two total opposites but my favs. 

You've completed two triathlons. Was finishing a triathlon always a goal of yours? Any more in your future? Tell us a bit about your training/experiences doing triathlons.

Nope, I never pictured myself going past a 5k to be honest. I was at the point in which I had completed many 5ks, trained for a half and ran it (not in a race) and needed my next challenge, therefore the only thing left was a triathlon so I did it. I do plan to do more, it has just been a bit difficult with the whole shoulder thing, but I absolutely love the sport. Triathlon training seems to be very intimidating because when you look at the schedule you see all these days with different activities listed and it's easy to get overwhelmed. The truth is, training for a sprint tri is much easier than training for a half marathon. For my first tri I wrote the training plan for our group, I found different books and just sat and studied it to build something that would work for each of us, and it worked. The tri community isn't much different from the running community, it's a heck of a lot more expensive, but each athlete is there to support their fellow athlete and just like on the race course no triathlete is left behind. 

How long have you been a BRP?
Since early May of 2015

What's your favorite thing about being a BibRave Pro?
The fellow Pros. Yes, the products and races are great, I love them and each one has made an impact on my training but it's more than that. The sense of community that the Pros have with one another is amazing. It's like having an encyclopedia of runners, social media experts, triathletes, beer lovers, donut lovers and more at your fingertips. Each Pro is unique and brings a different dynamic to the BibRave Pro community, it's something that cannot be explained easily or replicated. We're not all about products and race reviews, we're about running and the running community.

Any fun tidbits about yourself, running, etc that we should know?
Well, this kinda goes along with my flat runner and compression sock obsession, but I love shoes. I will openly say that my shoe game is pretty strong, every spirit Friday (I work as a Primary Montessori Teacher) I'm able to perfectly match my shoes to my shirt regardless of what color shirt I wear. Kids and parents know me for my shoes and I'm okay with that. 

You can follow Erica here:
Twitter: @anotherhalfpls
Instagram: @anotherhalfpls


Make sure to join us tonight for #BibChat – follow BibRave on Twitter and use the hashtag BibChat to converse with other like-minded folk. It's always a fun time, and the hour flies by. It's at 8pm CT, and the sponsor this evening, September 1, is Plantronics. They are giving away a pair of BackBeat FIT headphones, so you don't want to miss out! Erica and I both had the chance to test these headphones out, so read up on them before #BibChat tonight: Erica's review | Heather's review.

Interested in becoming a BibRave Pro? Fill out an application here.