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Grandma’s Marathon: looking ahead to this summer!

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Grandma’s Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

Grandmas Marathon has been on my racing bucket list for sometime. But for one reason or another the timing has never worked out. I have wanted so badly to run the point to point course that runs alongside of Lake Superior! And while heading to Minnesota is still not in the cards for me in 2021, I will still get to participate virtually! Virtual races are gaining popularity and I enjoy the flexibility they provide!

Grandma’s Marathonhas also has a way to bring the course to virtual runners using the Run Better app! You can run part or all of the course for either the half or full Marathon. You tell the app what speed you are running on the treadmill and it tells you what incline you should put the treadmill at. I see this really coming in handy for training!

Once you select Grandma’s Marathon you can choose which portion of the course you want to run!
The Run Better app then tells yon what to set your treadmill to mimic the part of the course you are running
This is what it looks like while you are running!

I think this app is pretty cool and plan to start using it for training! I hope to eventually run the course for the marathon in increments while training!

There are 3 options for the virtual race:

1. Competitive Division: proof of finish time required

2. Recreational Division: No awards, results listed separately. from competitive division

Incremental Division: complete your race in segments and submit cumulative time

Ready to learn more and take on this virtual race with me? Head toTo this registration link to get signed up and use code BibRave2021 for 10% off!,

Follow Grandma’s Marathon on social media to learn more!

Twitter @GrandmasMara

Instagram @grandmasmarathon


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A Christmas Story Virtual Run recap!!!

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the A Christmas Story Virtual Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

My whole family loved the A Christmas Story virtual run!! I did the virtual 5K and walked it this year. Each of my 3 kids did a mile loop with me and we spent the time chatting and laughing! I was so in the moment I forgot pics and to even start my watch!! But this one wasn’t about official times for me… I will cherish the memories we made that day!! Maybe we started a new Christmas tradition?? We will see!! Check out my full race recap below!!

And below is the preview video that I did for the race a couple of weeks ago!

Did you do the Christmas story virtual run?? Leave a comment below abs let me know how it went!!

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Illinois Marathon Virtual Criss Cross Challenge Info and Discount!!

“Disclaimer: I received an entry into the Ilinois Marathon Virtual Criss Cross Challenge to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!”

Check out my video to learn more about this virtual challenge, learn how to post results and to get a sneak peek at the guidebook! Note: In the video I mistakenly refer to the West to East route as the East to West route. My apologies! I am terrible with directions and that is probably the reason why God didn’t make me the fastest runner out there – so others wouldn’t get lost following me in a race!! All other info is accurate!

Now that you’ve heard more about the challenge head to Illinois Marathon Challenge website to register and use code BRP5OFF to save $5 on registration!!

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Taking my running journey International with the Detroit Free Press Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Detroit Free Press Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

This was on of the biggest races in 2020 that I was looking forward to! I had my passport dusted off and was so ready to go so that I could make that trip across Ambassador Bridge and earn my 2020 Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon Medal. Turns out no passport was needed and I earned this one running a virtual course here in Indiana! But as a virtual race the Detroit Free Press International race management team did a fantastic job! First of all the added a premium piece of swag to your race swag if you were already registered for the event! They also created a Facebook group that was super active with participants sharing how they were preparing for and completing their virtual runs! Overall this was one of my top virtual race experiences and I hope to get to make the trip to Detroit in person to run this race!!

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America Runs Virtual 5k: #TogetherWeRun

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the America runs Virtual 5k to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

By now we’ve all grown accustomed to being flexible thanks to Covid. We’ve learned to be flexible and we’ve learned to adapt. We’ve found new ways to do the things we enjoy and in the process it is having a pretty big impact!

I had the opportunity to participate in the America Runs virtual 5K on August 30th. America Runs partnered with the Gannett Foundation to raise money to donate to Covid 19 relief funds with a goal of $1 million!! See what I mean by big impact!

Now lets talk race swag because it’s pretty sweet! A comfy t-shirt, a trucker hat (my personal favorite), a water bottle, and of course an awesome America Runs medal!

Follow America Runs on Instagram here:

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Disclaimer: I received an entry to the virtual Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I ran my first AllState Hot Chocolate Indianapolis Race on March 24, 2018. I had been a runner for about 2 years at this time and was excited to experience a new race that I had never run before and tackle my first 15K. Plus who can resist the promise of chocolate at the finish line right? Well as Indiana weather often does, it threw us a big curve ball! A big snowfall ( I wish I could remember the actual amount of snow we got that day but it was significant) was scheduled to start during the run. The race directors made the decision to drop all racers down to the 5K distance. I was bummed at this decision but would later be thankful for that call!

We lined up in cold conditions with light falling snow. It was so beautiful under the downtown lights in Indianapolis. In fact it is the beauty and peace of that morning that stuck with me the most. I remember doing a lot of praying at the start line. Praying for a family member that was in the hospital, praying for a safe run, praying not to fall. And again I remember a feeling of peace coming over me.

The race itself was pretty uneventful. The snow fell heavier over the 28:05 that it took me to complete the 5K. My family (always the most supportive) was there cheering for me at the finish despite the cold and snow. And as promised there was so much chocolate at the finish line!!! After the race we headed to the hospital to visit family and one of our children left the back car door open without our knowledge. I’ll share the picture of what we walked out to later that day. It’s funny and shows the amount of snow that ended up falling that day!

When your kid leaves the car door open in a snowstorm

This year the AllState Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Indianapolis race will be held virtually on 10/10/20. I am excited to again experience the beauty of running in Indianapolis! I will be running my virtual 15K around the canal while enjoying some of my favorite Indianapolis sights. I love running past the Indianapolis Zoo and through White River State park. I am already thinking about where to grab that post run bite to eat too! But with so many yummy choices it’s gonna take some work to narrow that one down! I may even be able to talk the hubby into a post run paddle boat ride on the canal, what do you think??

My medal from 2018! I love that we still received the 15K medal…. It helps tell the story of the craziness that year!

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Knockaround Sport Sunglasses Review

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Knockaround Sport Collection Glasses to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review, find, and write race reviews!

My current Knockaround collection!!

My daughter recently told me that I have too many pairs of sunglasses. Let me tell you….I had to quickly set this girl straight!! You can never have too many pairs of sunglasses!! Am I right?!?!?!?! So when given the opportunity to review a pair of sunglasses from the Knockaround Sport collection I knew I wanted in!

I was first introduced to Knockaround sunglasses by a friend last year. Since purchasing my first pair, I have added 8 more pairs of Knockarounds to my collection (and may have another pair on the way!) Not only are these sunglasses super cute….they are also super functional! When in comes to sunglasses for running there are a few things that I need from my sunglasses! I need them to stay put, be lightweight, to not fog (especially when worn with a hat) and to not scratch easily (because I often take them off and stick them in my hydration vest or pocket if not needed. Knockaround sunglasses check ALL of these boxes.

Although I have several pair of Knockaround sunglasses, this is the first pair from the sport collection that I have owned. I received the Fast Lane sport sunglasses in Aquamarine/Fuchsia and they may be my favorite color combination so far!

Isn’t this color combo the best??

I have ran in these sunglasses a ton over the last few weeks and they are truly my favorite sunglasses! I even wear them out doing errands or hanging by the pool outside! They are so comfortable that they can be worn all day and the fun color combos make them fun to wear for any occasion! Also you can customize a pair if you are feeling creative! I’ve seen some pretty awesome designs posted from people who have customized their Knockarounds!

I am not the only BibRave Pro hyping these sunglasses! Check out their reviews linked below to see more Knockaround love!

Coach Fischer:
Gear Junkie:

Knockarounds are crazy affordable to begin with but you can try a pair for 20% off with discount code BibRaveKnocks5 today!!

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Virtual Races: A Good Alternative for 2020

By now I would safely bet that almost every runner who has registered for one of their favorite races in 2020 has gotten the news that it has either cancelled, been postponed, or moved to a virtual race. I try to run several races per month and I have received email after email from race directors making the sad announcement that their race has had to switch to the virtual option. And while everything in me hopes that these races are able to happen in 2021, the truth is that we just have no way of knowing what next year is going to look like.

Hospital Hill Virtual Run

Before I even heard the words, corona virus, virtual races were not something that I had ever considered. I had done one or two because I really loved the medal, shirt, or other swag that was offered, but never counted these toward my “official count” of races completed. In my mind they just were not “real races” and I was basically purchasing the swag and getting a training run in. Now I have a much different view on virtual races. The whole world has had to change what “normal” is over the past several months. From how we work, how kids learn, and wearing masks in public, things sure look different. And running and races were not immune to these changes. I know that if we could, we would all choose to get back to running races in person ASAP, but until that time comes, here are MY top reasons for choosing a virtual race!

Virtual Illinois Half Marathon
  • These races often give back! Most live races that have had to make the tough decision to go virtual this year were supporting a charity or foundation through their live event. The opportunity to hold these events VIRTUALLY gives the race directors the opportunity to continue to support the causes and charities that the live event would have supported.
    Other virtual events are organized with the intention of supporting a certain cause. You can search a cause and virtual race and find a race that will allow you to support just about any cause that is important to you.
  • Facebook groups/SM support: Joining a virtual challenge or choosing the virtual option of a large live race usually will give you access to a Facebook group of other people who are completing the same race or challenge virtually. Nothing is more motivating than seeing posts from others that are out there, with positive attitudes, getting it done! Just seeing a few posts in this group will want you to get your miles completed as well!
  • The SWAG! Switching to the virtual option of a race means you can still earn that swag that you have been drooling over (oh that’s just me?) since you registered for the race!
    There are also some new virtual races and challenges that are coming from the changes the country in facing and some of these have really upped their swag game! Check out my Insta/TW @lish_loves_life for some of these races and challenges!
  • Allows you to set a goal! I don’t know about you but I stay more motivated and consistent in my runs and workouts when I have a goal! Having races on my calendar, even if they are virtual, keep me motivated! I still want to share that post race pic and race experience and treating virtual races just like a live race allows me to have just as much fun!
  • Allows you to explore new places…..wait what? So yes, a virtual run can be run anywhere, within a specific race timeline. After taking part in several virtual runs already in 2020, I decided that I needed to find new places to explore on my runs. So I have found places to run in other towns and have a list of other towns to try as well. Use these virtual races as a way to explore places close to home that you haven’t seen before or would like to see again!
Virtual Flying Pig Marathon

As you can see, I believe that there are a lot of benefits in taking part in a virtual race! Next time you are looking at your empty race calendar for the rest of 2020 or another email from a race director informing you of your options because they can no longer hold the race as a live event, consider a virtual option. There is so much to gain from a virtual race and you will be just as proud showing off that race bling on #medalmonday!!