Your Data, All In One Place – Athlinks Review

Disclaimer: I am promoting Athlinks as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador) and check out BibRave.com to review or find race reviews.

It seems like as of late, most runners are inundated with data. I guess you could say that about people in general, but for the sake of this blog, we’re talking about just runners. It seems us runners just love the data. Data on what you eat before you run, data while running, data after the run, data at the races… data, data, data, data, data!

Some runners love to analyze every little piece of that data they can get their hands on.  Some only look at their race statistics. Some ignore data completely. I am random and in the middle. Sometimes I really delve into it and sometimes I could care less about what my pace is on a random Wednesday training run. What I DO like to look at is my racing data. I typically only race a few times a year, so when I do, I’m usually going for a time goal. In the past, I have kept track on my own excel document. It isn’t pretty.

But finally, there’s an easier (and more pleasing to look at) option, Athlinks! This super easy to use website (and now there’s an app!) finds all your results for you and lists them in a pleasing to view race resume of sorts. The best part: It’s free!

There are a lot of fun features to use on this website:

  1. Gather all your results in one place:
    Athlinks is FREE and all you need your name, email, birthday and location. That’s the info they use to find your results. All your results will start popping up and you can “claim” them. Keep in mind, only races that post their results online will show up. Normally, when you first sign in, it will verify you and your results. Turns out, I’ve already had an Athlinks account, so I don’t have a picture to show what the sign-up process looks like.
  2. See ALL Your PRs
    It’s super easy and quick to look at all your race PRs! Even the weird distances.
  3. View Statistics
    You can view how you rank in each distance or see all of your races from a certain distance.
  4. Be Part of a Community
    Follow your friend’s races to see how they did or follow your rivals and see how you rank up to them; if you’re into that!
  5. Set Goals and Join a “start list” for future races
    You can join the start list for a future race and set a goal. It easily compares it to your best time for that race and your average time for that distance. It’s especially fun when it’s an event that you do every year, like the Bolder Boulder for me!

Personally, I’ll probably still keep track of my results on an excel document out of habit but Athlinks will be a nice reference when I’m wanting to get a quick look at my PRs, statistics and when I want to see all my times for one distance at a time.

I love the search function as well to see nearby events coming up but I think the coolest part about this website is that it found results from races I ran in 2005 and 2006 that I had completely forgotten about! That was pretty neat to see how far I have come.

If you like having your data in an easy to access platform, I hope you visit Athlinks.  If you want to follow me, click here for my profile.


Let’s bring back the conversations:

Comment below: Do you use Athlinks?  What do you think the coolest feature is?

Advertisements

#60HikesDenverChallenge – Rabbit Mountain

(For 2017, I had a goal of getting through all 60 trails in the book “60 Hikes Within 60 Miles: Denver”  While I didn’t make it through all 60 that year, I have carried this goal into 2018.  All the specific trail details can be found in the book or online, but I’ll highlight some things about each trail in addition to including my experience and opinion on the trail here. The numbers below are associated with how they are labeled in the book if you have it.)

Trail #39 – Rabbit Mountain: Eagle Wind Trail
Completed: 4/1/18 | Number Completed: 20/60 (One third done!)
Mode: Hiking
Location:  2 Miles north of Highway 66 and 53rd (north of Boulder and Longmont and just east of Lyons)
Distance: 3.9 miles
Difficulty: Easy
Type of trail: Hard packed dirt with larger rocks, balloon configuration
Exposure: Not much shade
Facilities: Toilets, Pavillion with picnic tables and a barbeque (no water)

My Experience:
We’re already in April of 2018 and I’ve only had a chance to do a few hikes. Easter Sunday arrived and I finally had a free moment and decided to check off a hike from my book. Since I was up in Longmont at my Mom’s house, I ventured to a trail not far from there. About a 10-minute drive led me to Rabbit Mountain. It wasn’t that busy and the temperature was perfect for a quick hike. I chose to do this trail this time of year because I have been warned by my family that there tends to be a ton of rattlesnakes in the summer.

Pros:
-Close to the city
-Great for families – there are a ton of benches and educational signs along the way
-Bathrooms and a pavilion with a barbeque at the trailhead

Cons:
-Not much shade
-Lots of rattlesnakes in the summer

Overall:
While I did enjoy my hike, I probably won’t be too eager to come back. Would I come here just to hike? No. Might I come here to get a run in? Yes. It’s a relatively easy trail and would be great for a trail run. I also don’t think I would come here in the warm months since I was warned multiple times of snakes and I’m terrified.

So, was it worth it the one time? Yes, but I’m not jumping at the opportunity to come back and wouldn’t necessarily recommend it for out of town guests.


Get the book

Check out the trail

The CTM Band – A Screen Play (Product Review)

(Disclaimer: I received the CTM Band to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews!)

CHARACTERS

WHITNEY – a busy, multi-job runner that needs more time and less to do
BIB RAVE – a place to read and write race reviews
CTM Band – a recovery tool
WHITNEY’S ATHLETES – the Green Mountain HS track and cross country teams
BEN – Whitney’s unsuspecting boyfriend

ACT I

SCENE 1
EXT. FRONT OF HOUSE, END OF DRIVEWAY

MONTAGE: We see a series of video clips of a girl running over trails and streets followed by her rubbing her aching muscles….

We all know that you don’t become a better runner by JUST running. You have to change up your running workouts, add some strength training in there and maybe a stretch or two (or 20). Ah, that generic RECOVERY term that we all hear and know we should do more of but it’s time-consuming and maybe a little boring. It’s usually the step that most runners skimp on or even skip altogether. Personally, I’ve added little tricks to my routine to keep that recovery in there, but honestly, I could probably be better about it. I usually stretch, wear compression clothing while going about the rest of my day, and try to eat the right things after completing a workout (i.e. protein). For years, I’ve struggled with plantar fasciitis, tight hamstrings, and shin splints. It’s definitely time to change it up.

SCENE 2
INT. THE LIVING ROOM – DAY
Enter CTM BAND

I have only been a Bib Rave pro for about a month now, and the first product I got to try is the CTM Band. So what is it? This stretchy band with golf balls looking knobs attached to it looks like some sort of medieval torture device, but The CTM Band is a tool to help you recover faster from running and exercise in general. It can help relieve muscle spasms, knots, speed up muscle recovery, ease muscle soreness and increase range of motion. And let me tell you, it works!

How do you use it? Luckily the CTM Band website has plenty of informational videos on their website, but basically, you just adjust the band if needed by removing one or more of the knobs, place the knobs on your afflicted muscle (never on any bone), wrap the strand around, tightly, and then move around, stretching the muscle while it’s wrapped for no longer than two minutes. Easy-peasy!

SCENE 3
INT. THE LAB – NIGHT

For the science nerds out there like me: the CTM Band is different from other recovery tools like foam rollers and compression bands. Foam rollers only apply tension and compression bands only squeeze. But the CTM Band uses Compression, Tension, and Movement…hence the name…as forms of Self-Myofascial Release or SMR, to help break up the muscle adhesions you get after working out.  Once the CTM Band is removed, blood rushes back to the area bringing nutrient-rich fluid and recovering ensues! Bringing compression, tension and movement all together can help increase range of motion and decrease pain. You’re essentially combining the use of foam rollers, trigger-point bands, compression tools and stretching all in one.

SCENE 4
INT. THE LIVING ROOM
Enter WHITNEY

Like I wrote earlier, I regularly struggle with plantar fasciitis, tight calves, and tight hamstrings. If this product can help with those, we’ll have a winner. I was also intrigued by the idea that it could help with shin splints, sore muscles and DOMS (delayed onset muscle soreness) for those times in my life when I experience those things.

The week following the arrival of the CTM Band, I purposely went out for some harder workouts. I ran the hills in my neighborhood, worked out at Red Rocks Amphitheater (think LOTS of stairs) and upped my mileage on “long run” day. In general, I just wore out my legs.

After watching all the “how to” videos on the website, I was ready to try it. Being a science nerd (I do have a Zoology degree after all), I performed an experiment on myself by only using it on ONE SIDE of my body so I could compare.

The results came in fast and STRONG! Literally.  The moment after taking the band off different parts of my body, my muscles felt relief. I felt like there was definitely more range of motion, I could stretch them further and the pain and soreness were significantly less. I don’t know if using this tool by itself saves me time, but it definitely reduces the amount of equipment I need to bring out to recover.

ACT II

SCENE 1
EXT. THE TRACK AT GREEN MOUNTAIN HIGH SCHOOL – AFTERNOON

Overall, I’m extremely happy I got to test this product. It will be making a regular appearance in my training and recovery. I can’t wait to try it out on my high school athletes when they complain of shin splints at the beginning of the season or sore muscles as the season is well underway. I’ve already tried it on my boyfriend after he told me his shoulder hurt from climbing. The CTM Band now travels with me when I travel and comes with me when I meet my clients.

I think this product is genius, unique and effective. It is definitely a game changer. I’d like to see other personal trainers, athletic trainers, and physical therapists add this to their repertoire.  While it should never replace a doctor’s visit when the need arises, I think this can help aid in faster recovery time and maybe prevent some serious injuries from forming. It is a much-needed invention for our running community.

Trying it on my boyfriend


ACT III

Check out the CTM Band for yourself: WEBSITE | INSTAGRAM | TWITTER
Use coupon code: CTMBIBRAVE to save 20%!

Check out BibRave where you can Find & Review Races! Join us on Tuesdays at 8pm CT for #BibChat, a twitter chat with running-inspired conversations.

 

Running in Fayetteville, Arkansas

Me running in Arkansas, circa 2013

You wouldn’t think that a farm country, southern state city like Fayetteville, Arkansas would be all that runner friendly, but you’d be wrong. It hasn’t always been runner friendly, but It has come a long way! I even think there’s been a Runner’s World “rave run” article from the area (but I couldn’t find it by google-ing it; so maybe not).

I’ve been to Fayetteville my fair share of times. My extended family lives there, my Dad lived there for awhile a couple years ago. Recently I had to go back for a funeral, 😥 , so I brought my running shoes with me hit the familiar trails.

As I grew up and became a runner, I watched the city (and surrounding areas) expand and change. One year, I ran the winding country roads near my Grandparent’s farm as huge pickup trucks weaved around me, looking shocked to see a tiny girl running along the road.

Another year, I ran a Turkey Trot 5k in a suburb of Fayetteville! I never ended up publishing my race recap for whatever reason (I probably got busy and blogging got pushed to the back burner and when I finally came back, I thought it was overdue and irrelevant) but it was a fun race and a PR at the time.

NWA (North West Arkansas) Turkey Trot

If you live there or are ever visiting, check out these awesome places to run!

1.The University
Located in the heart of Fayetteville, I think the University of Arkansas has a beautiful campus. There are plenty of sidewalks and a lot of shade trees. I recommend running over to Senior Walk where every graduate’s name is carved into the cement.

2. Meadow Valley Trail
Running east and west, I could access this easily from where my Dad lived and my Grandma currently lives. This section of trail runs behind the Agriculture centers of the University and is surrounded by fields of greenhouses and cows. Doesn’t sound appealing? It’s actually pretty relaxing to look at. The best part about this section of trail is that it connects to the main Razorback Greenway that runs north and south to even more places to run.

3. Scull Creek Trail
This trail is part of the Razorback Greenway (basically it IS The Razorback Greenway). This north and south running trail is a safe and scenic as it follows the creek. If you run north, you eventually connect to Lake Fayetteville and if you run south, you can get to the University. I remember running this trail and discovering where the cross country meets take place (as a newbie coach at the time, I was enthralled and thought it was so cool!)

4. Lake Fayetteville
I have not actually run here but it looks amazing! There are concrete and dirt trails for runners and bikers to use and runners for the area rave about it!

——————————————————

Whether you plan on running in Fayetteville or not, you HAVE to check out this awesome video made by the City!


Races in/near Fayetteville, AR by RunningInTheUSA.com

City of Fayetteville Parks Website – they have an awesome interactive map of all the areas trails and bike paths.

Trail Running Near Fayetteville, AR