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.

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