AllState Hot Chocolate Louisville Virtual 15K Race Recap

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the virtual Allstate Hot Chocolate 15K/5K Louisville 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!

Finish line swag after the AllState Hot Chocolate Louisville Virtual 15K

For the first time in forever, Louisville, Ky. served up perfect temperatures for a Hot Chocolate race. While this year was virtual, again, it didn’t make the experience any less fun. While some people are going through “virtual race burnout,” I am quite the opposite. I was a fan of virtual races before they became the norm. And one of the biggest pluses of signing up for the AllState Hot Chocolate Louisville Virtual 15K/5K race is…that since that it is part of Louisville’s very own Triple Crown of Running…you got three races for the price of one. As a bargain shopper…this was winning.

So, in the weeks leading up to the April 3 race day, I also ran the 5K Fitness Classic and the City Run 10K. Any virtual race that I participate in is normally treated like a training run…and these were no different. However, when the 15K rolled around yesterday morning, my coach decided to let me run the first 10K however I wanted to…but that last 5K he wanted me to push the pace a little bit and speed up. He’s been on a “run faster at the end” kick. I don’t know if I like that or not. HA!

A few weeks before the big day, I received my race packet in the mail. This contained my Triple Crown of Running t-shirt, hat and medal…along with the amazing swag that the AllState Hot Chocolate races provide. This year…a nice jacket (with a removable hood and LOTS of zippered pockets), a medal, a Nuun tablet, race bib, chocolate, and the ever-important double chocolate hot chocolate packets. If you have never had this hot chocolate, you’re missing out. The race fee is worth it just for those little packets of chocolatey goodness. Trust me. It’s my absolute favorite. And with a starting temperature of 28 degrees…the perfect weather for a hot chocolate finish line treat.

You can’t top this finish line swag!

My race morning went well. After spending some time with the foam roller and a pre-run warm up, I laced up my shoes, donned my hydration pack, and headed out the door with no route in mind. This worked out great to start with. Since I was just making it up as I went, I enjoyed the peaceful, cold morning weaving through the streets of my neighborhood. But, because I went into this without having mapped out a course, my fast finish 5K at the end of the 15K run…were on hills. Whoops. But, for having to navigate some steep climbs, I was pretty pleased with my overall performance for this virtual race.

Once I was done, back home, I popped a piece of chocolate and made myself a hot cup of that hot chocolate (and added some vegan marshmallows for good measure). This was a pretty big training week for me since getting back with my coach. I didn’t mind it. By breaking up the race, it really helped me have a fun and enjoyable time…even if I was in my own neck of the woods, and not downtown Louisville. Next year!

Never count a virtual race out. The AllState Hot Chocolate 15K/5K people really know how to give you an experience without it being the full experience. I can’t wait to be able to safely race with large groups of people again…and really test these legs for some speed and endurance. I’m very proud of the work I put in yesterday though to earn my hot chocolate medal…and the actual hot chocolate, of course.

Will run for chocolate. Always. Forever. Even virtually.

Thanks for another great year of virtually racing this series! I’ll be hitting those Louisville streets next year for sure!

Product Review: WhitePaws RunMitts

Disclaimer: I received a pair of WhitePaws RunMitts 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!

Bernie was right…it’s all about the mittens. And I love my WhitePaws RunMitts!


As a runner who doesn’t really love running in the cold weather, what I have found is that mittens work better for me than gloves when it comes to keeping my hands warm. As someone with Raynauds, keeping my hands warm in the colder temps can be a task and a half.

Enter…WhitePaws RunMitts!

WhitePaws RunMitts


WhitePaws RunMitts is a women owned/Black owned business and a great company to support. And, honestly, you don’t have to be a runner to use them. In fact, these mittens are probably even better if you do outdoorsy things in cold climates. Or, if you simply need to scrape off your car after a winter storm.

I received the wind and water resistant version of the WhitePaws RunMitts. These mittens are thumbless, which can be a bit offputting at first, but you sort of get the hang of it. And with all your fingers enclosed in the same covering, you definitely get the full warm hand experience. The tops of the mittens do fold over in case you need to cool down your hand, or need to use your fingers for any task.

These mittens come in different colors and sizes to fit whatever your needs may be. Give them a try.


Go to https://runmitts.com/ to purchase them, and use code BIBRAVE5 to save $5. (Good until March 31st 2021) She sells other things as well, so purchase some other stuff while you are there too.

See what other BibRave Pro’s have to say about WhitePaws RunMitts:

Product Review: Buff® DryFlx+ Collection

Disclaimer: I received the BUFF DryFlx+ Collection products 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!

BUFF DryFlx+ Headband & Neckwarmer

Baby…it’s getting cold outside! And, as always, BUFF has your back (or your neck and head, as the case may be). You see, BUFF has always lead the way when it comes to face and head coverings (I own a lot of them!), but they recently introduced a new collection – the Buff® DryFlx+ Collection.

Of course, when the products first arrived to my door, I was still attempting to rest a couple of sprained ankles (that’s going in another post)…and the temperatures were rather pleasant outside. But we all know, the weather can turn on a dime…and that cold weather did, in fact move in. And while I haven’t been able to do much due to my ankles, I did get out for a couple of short runs to test out this gear.

This new collection was engineered to cover the warm + dry winter activity requirements. The neckwarmer, in particular, was knitted in one-piece and designed with technical “smart zones” that increase breathability and targeted warmth while still enhancing an active fit for comfort. The design is an articulated mask design…so it fits efficiently and comfortably over your neck and head.


I opted for the headband over the hat…just because I’m not much of a hat person, and usually rely on headbands first and hats only when the temperatures get to a certain degree. This isn’t a new thing, I’ve never liked wearing hats from the day I was born. I love that the fabric of both the neckwarmer and headband are light and breathable, meaning it doesn’t feel like you’re layering up intensively for any outdoor activity. These products kept me warm without causing me to overheat. And as a perpetual over-dresser…this is a win in my book!

Here’s what other BibRave Pros have to say about the BUFF DryFlx+ Collection:

Randy | Janell | Michelle | Jaimelee | Jessica

If you’re interested in BUFF® products, feel free to go to https://buffusa.com/bibrave: Sign up for BUFF® newsletter & get 15% OFF.

Be sure to follow Buff on FacebookTwitterYoutube, and Instagram for product updates and more.

Pedaling in Place (aka: I Bought A Peloton)

Yep. I bought a Peloton. I had every intention of getting a cheaper bike and just using the app…but I did the research and decided I wanted the actual bike. It had everything I wanted in a spin bike. And, let’s face it…I missed my spin classes.

I am, most definitely, a runner first and foremost. But this season of Covid-19 has brought about a lot of downtime for me. While I was certainly not over training or doing too much…some old niggles and injuries reared their ugly heads. This meant a trip to physical therapy…up to the point my insurance company refused to pay for anymore. UGH. But, I got back to the road and soon…my body was starting to feel itself again. I was starting to get stronger. My speed was coming back (when I opted to push it…which hasn’t been much since the start of the pandemic, to be honest). I wasn’t training for races…and I never all-out push a virtual race because there are no closed courses and things are just…different.

But then, one early morning when…I headed out for a run and my headlamp wasn’t charged. It had been the week prior (which I hadn’t had to use it much due to having time off work for a staycation (because Berlin was no longer happening). Not having to be in the office at a certain time meant that I could run in the daylight. I love doing that now. But the following week, I was back to my office and back to dark runs. When the headlamp wasn’t working I figured I’d be fine. I run these roads all the time. But less than 2 miles into my run, on a dark side road nearby…my foot hit a rock I didn’t see in the road, twisted, and down I went. I didn’t get too scraped up…but my ankle sure was sore. When I got home, my ankle was pretty shads of purple and swollen. Ice, compression, and time off…and a call to my orthopedic doctor. They put me in with their podiatrist…and sure enough…Grade 2 sprain in my left ankle. Good times.

It was that week that my roommate finally agreed to get the bike I had been asking for…every day…for over a year. That’s not a joke. Every. Day. With the pandemic still going, and the likelihood that we will be going back to the gym not looking promising…she couldn’t find a reason to not go ahead and get the Peloton. With winter coming…we’d need something to do in the cardio department if the roads and temperatures were not good for running. We are already doing strength training…but now we also have that option on the Peloton app as well.

Peloton had just put out the new Bike+, which meant they discounted the cost of the regular model. We also figured out that if we got it with the accessory pack that came with shoes, headphones, and weights…without the mat…and bought the mat separately…we’d save another $40. And, my friend had a referral code that got me another $100 off. (I now have a referral code so if you’ve been considering a Peloton…I got your back and will put it at the bottom of this blog). Because we opted for the older model, we also had the bike delivered within 11 days of ordering. No long wait at all. LOVE IT.


So, the bike delivered and we got it placed behind the couch (where it may or may not stay…we’re still playing around with it). My friend, Deana, who has been praising the Peloton bikes for awhile, texted me and wanted to do my first ride with me. She had a Prince ride picked out and I was here for that! So, I got home, got changed, and hopped on the bike for the first time. Clipping in was difficult at first, but I now have that figured out. I still struggle a little with clipping out, but I’ve managed to do it successfully twice. While we did the Prince ride (Warm-Up, Ride, Cool Down, & Stretch)…Deana was texting me with tips, and lots of information about different instructors and rides that she really enjoys. Immediately…I was hooked. I couldn’t run at the moment…but now…now I could at least ride.

I have done over 50 rides since October 13 when I got the bike (the warm up and cool down rides are counted in that…and I do one of those anytime I get on the bike). With so many different types of classes and instructors…you really don’t ever get bored. I even got talked into doing the October PeloFondo with some friends of mine…and so one day I rode 50 miles…only 5 days after getting the bike. If I haven’t been a regular at spin classes 2-3 times a week since 2014…this would probably seem excessive. But…I’ve been using indoor cycling as cross training for A LONG time now. Just this week, I went ahead and did my FTP Test so that I could work within specific power zones should I so choose. And I will retest in a couple of months to see if my fitness has improved any.

Honestly, I don’t know where I would be without my Peloton bike right now. I am going to be easing back into running, but I have no intentions of letting that bike sit. Nope. I am still going to use it…and the app. The app, by the way, has a huge selection of workouts that go beyond cycling. There is running, yoga, walking, boot camp, strength training, meditation, outdoor guided runs and walks (I have done a few of those), etc. I even have started doing 5-10 minute meditations before bed…which has really helped me settle in and get some restful, deep sleep.

Why did I wait so long to do this?! Peloton really is a lifestyle…and I’m so happy to be a member of the Peloton Family. While I have only had the bike almost three weeks, I already feel like I have gotten my money’s worth. I even have started to put together my favorite classes and instructors (but I’m still working through them). That will be for another blog.

So, my Peloton is named Flynn…that IS a TRON reference for all you 80s nerds out there (I am obviously one, HA!). And if you have been wanting to pull the trigger on an indoor bike…you might as well get the Cadillac of indoor bikes, right? No buyers remorse here…I’m one happy girl.

If you have been wanting to pull the trigger on getting a Peloton for yourself…please get yourself $100 off by using my code: