Tuesday, April 18, 2017

illinois marathon race week

Disclaimer: I received an entry for Illinois Marathon 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!

I can't believe that the big day is almost here. It seems so long ago that I chose my spring marathon and registered, and now suddenly, it's days away. You may or may not have noticed that I, as usual, fell off on my training recaps. I was doing going for the first few weeks, up till November, and then it went downhill. December was a a trip to Mexico, and then I was sick for basically the entire month and I did very little running. January came longer mileage, and suddenly here we are, at the middle of April. Anyway, all of my training runs were recapped on Instagram, so I don't feel too bad about not writing blog posts about it just repeating myself haha.

Overall, I am very happy with this training cycle, and I think if all goes well, I'll be getting a new PR on Saturday. My main goal is 6:10, but I would be so ecstatic if I could hit a 6 hour finish time (which is sort of the pacing requirement, but they say the finish line will stay open for 7 hour finisher, you'll just need to follow pedestrian laws as I think the streets open back up). I just finished my last training run and I'm feeling good.

I of course started looking at race weekend weather about a week ago. Yes, I know everything can change by the time the race appears, but I like to have a general sense of what we might get. And even a week later, it's still saying rain. Oh well - if it's warm that might feel good. I'm just hoping for light rain and not downpours, because squishy shoes are annoying haha. Also, it's calling for 20–30mph winds, so I might change my race goals a little. If I'm pushing against winds I think 6:10 will be what I'm chasing. Whatever comes, I'll make the best of it. Weather cannot be controlled, but my mindset and how I choose to deal with the hand we are dealt on race day can be. And I'll choose to be positive and happy. I did the training, now I just need to run the race. 

Here's some information you might find useful come race day.

Official Race Guide:
Basically, you'll find anything and everything you need to know in this guide.

Thursday, April 20, 4 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Friday, April 21, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. 

The expo will take place at the University of Illinois Activities and Recreation Center (ARC - 201 East Peabody Drive, Champaign, IL 61820) and feature national and local vendors, as well as national organizations and prominent running events. Most importantly, the expo is where you pick up your packet (race number, goody bag, and race shirt). Parking for the expo is at the State Farm Center, bordered by Kirby, First, and Fourth.

I received an email with my unique QR code today. If you haven't received yours yet, just keep an eye on your email (and check that Junk Mail folder). You'll grab your race number in Gym 2; you'll grab your race shirt and goody bag in Gym 1.

Guest Speakers:

Pasta Feed:
The awesome Biaggi’s Pasta Feed will be held on Friday, April 21, in Gym 3 at the Activities and Recreations Center (ARC) on the U of I campus. The pasta feed will run from 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. Come any time during that window to enjoy your meal.

Purchase a Pasta Feed ticket here.

  • House Salad
  • Bread
  • Choice of Meat Lasagna or Penne Marinara*
  • Iced Tea / Lemonade
  • White Chocolate Bread Pudding or Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

$16 for adults, $7 for kids. (Note: The pre-race pasta feed is not included in your race entry fee.)

*If you need gluten-free pasta: Send Jan Seeley (jan@illinoismarathon.com) a note to reserve a gluten-free meal.

You can pick up pre-purchased tickets in the lobby of the Activities and Recreation Center (ARC), where the expo is located. Additional tickets will be available for sale in the same location on a first-come, first-served basis.

Pasta feed speaker 
We are thrilled to welcome Marathon champion Dick Beardsley as our 2017 guest legend. Dick will give a brief talk at the pasta feed at 6 pm on Friday, April 21. Learn about Dick’s visit here.

Track your favorite runner(s): http://illinoismarathon.com/logistics/tracking/

Course Maps
All the maps you need for race weekend can be found here: http://illinoismarathon.com/course-info/

We will have free parking for runners and spectators. See the map.

Hydration Stations/Gu & Snack Stations
There are 16 hydration stations on the course. Hydration stations will be stocked with water (all stations), Lemon-Lime Gatorade (most stations), and GU (at mile 6.7, which is shortly after marathon relay exchange zone A; mile 13; mile 17; and mile 21). Each GU station will have the following flavors of GU: vanilla bean, strawberry banana, and chocolate outrage. All flavors of GU have caffeine except strawberry banana.

Fruits on the course
There is also an official oranges stop (thank you, Meijer, for the oranges) at approximately mile 6, hosted by The Atkins Group. There is also an official oranges and banana stop at mile 21.5 (thank you, County Market and Meijer).

Relax. There will be plenty of portable toilets at the start and even more along the entire course than in 2016. Course Porta-potties location/quantity map

You will not be able to run more than a couple of miles without being entertained by musicians, cheerleaders, or other performers. Check the entertainment page for more information as it develops.

Race Photography
Our official race photographer is MarathonFoto, the leader in sports photography around the world. Photos will be available for purchase shortly after the completion of your race.

ARC Day Pass
You can buy a day pass for ARC ahead of time online, or at the ARC lobby during expo hours. This pass gets you a locker and access to the facilities – pool, showers, weights – for $6. I'm very tempted to get one of these so I can shower before driving back to Chicago. The thought of being in the car two hours after running a marathon without a shower makes me feel gross haha.

Honestly, all of the information you need to know can be found on the website and race guide, but I thought it might be helpful to go over the main pieces you might want to know about. I am very impressed with how much info is provided online – not all races are as organized and communicate as well. Not to mention the emails keeping us up to date.

Who else is running a race that weekend? You'll find me at the expo Friday, the pasta feed around 5, the 5k Friday evening, and the marathon Saturday! I'll probably be in BibRave orange everywhere I go, and with my pal Angie at all times (except for racing, because she's faster) ;) 

Friday, April 14, 2017

peace of mind: wrist id elite review

Disclaimer: I received the Road ID Wrist ID Elite 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!

All the bright colors! Clearly I enjoy neon orange and lime,

No one likes to think about bad things happening when we are out running, but the reality is, there's a lot that can go wrong. We won't go into the depressing details (and how unfortunate and frequent they are), but we all need to do as much as we possibly can to stay safe on our runs. And for those time where we can't speak for ourselves in a medical emergency, your Road ID can speak for you. 

The top left and bottom left photos show the inner clasp closed and opened.

I've loved Road ID for quite some time now. I honestly don't remember how I first came across their products, but I purchased pretty much immediately. They have a variety of different IDs, including shoes, slim bands, neck, etc. I was able to order/customize the Wrist ID Elite.

I went with the Black edition badge (other options are classic or rugged) and the  lime badge. I love bright colors, and thought that black would look cool on neon (which I still think now that I've gotten it). The band color was tough - lots of fun choices including: black, grey, blue, lime, red, and purple. The Black Collection colors: black grey, black blue, black lime (almost went with this one), black red, or black purple. Or Leather: black or brown.

And then you can choose some badges to add on to your band. I bought the 26.2 and 'Shut Up Legs' black badges to match my black name badge (note, I paid for my badges on my own). They have a ton of options for badges including black editions, distances, sports, etc. You can also customize a badge (limited to 15 characters). You can order other band colors for $4.99, an elite clasp for $8.99 (if you don't want to swap the clasp you already have), or the elite clasp black for $13.99. There are 100 badge images available for $4.99, or you can do your custom for $5.99 (regular or black edition).

Always part of my race gear! In addition to filling out the back of my bib,
I also write on there 'see Road ID on left wrist'.

Once you have your strap and badge options chosen, you fill out the information you want on your band. For the Wrist ID Elite, you have 6 lines available. Typically, you'd put your first and last name on the top row (perhaps adding your birth year as well since it's helpful to first responders to know your age), second line can be your city, state, country, and then you can have four emergency contacts, or maybe you only want two or there, in which case you can add some of your favorite short quotes or inspirational lines (never give up), and add any medical information (such as asthma, allergic to bees, or whatever).

OR you have another option. Go with an interactive ID (which I did), and you have 4 lines to personalize and then the last two lines are for 24/7/265 emergency response support info (FOR ID INFORMATION and then there's a phone number and website. On the back of your ID is your serial number.). Included is a 6 month membership, and during the customization period, you can extend your membership to a year for $9.99, 2 additional years for $18.49, 5 additional years for $44.99, or 10 additional years for $87.49.

Featured in my post-race Chi Town Half Marathon photo.

Use the checkbox towards the end for free text proofing (recommended). I always like someone else to proof read, so I checked that. When you receive your interactive ID in the mail, you'll want to go to the website on the packaging to set up your profile – you can fill out everything or just some, but it includes Doctor information, emergency contacts, health information, insurance information, as so much more. It's nice to know that if I'm at the hospital and can't speak for myself, they can get all the information they need just off using my ID and either calling the Road ID response team or going to the website to get everything needed. 

Arm candy on point.

Once your Road ID Wrist ID Elite arrives, you'll need to cut the band to fit your wrist (and specifically, where on your wrist you'll be wearing it). I left mine much larger than my actual wrist, because I'd be wearing it on the inside of my watch, and therefore a larger part of my arm. I measured it out twice, checking which number I should cut at each time (and maybe even a third time), and then made the cut. Having the numbers on the back, along with slits, made it easy. If you are unsure, start out a little big, and then cut one at a time until you are at your desired size. Measure twice, cut once!

Once it is to your desired size, put all of your badges on, then you'll slide the end that isn't connected to the clasp into the clasp. Line it up so that you bend down the clip into a slit so it's secure. Boom. All done. It may seem more complicated than it really is. They have a video you can watch too, if you are confused. 

There are those bright colors again.

I seriously recommend that EVERYONE have a Road ID. Cyclists, runners, walkers, hikers... anyone that spends time outside. I even wore mine for Lollapalooza in case something were to happen. One year I was having a sinus infection (before I knew what all the symptoms were for me), and I felt lightheaded and dizzy, and so knowing that was on me if I needed medical attention made me feel better. It calms the anxiety a little bit. They aren't that expensive, and if you read any of the stories on their website, can see that the small price tag can save lives. So just do it. 

If you need more incentive (but seriously, do you?!) - here's a $5 gift card to use on your next purchase. You'll fill out the quick form, receive your code in an email, and it is valid for 2 weeks. Enjoy the options! 

PS They just came out with badges for Garmin watches! I might be investing in one for my Fenix 3 ;) Also, can we just say, how beautiful the rose gold badge is for the Slim2? It also has some cute limited edition color bands. I need them all haha. A girl needs to accessorize, right?

Connect with Road ID:

What other Pros had to say: