Orange Mud Ambassador

The Girl's Got Sole - Orange Mud Ambassador

I’m happy to announce that I’m now representing Orange Mud as a brand ambassador! I am a part of the 2020 Orange Mud Dirt Unit, which is what they call their ambassador team.

If you don’t know much about the Orange Mud brand, the company was founded on the premise of the hydration pack. Creator and founder Josh Sprague, created the first prototype for what would be the HydraQuiver pack in his garage. From that, Orange Mud was born! The company’s philosophy is to simply make the most efficient, well-crafted gear.

My first experience with Orange Mud was the Orange Mud HydraQuiver pack, then later the transition towel. What really made me love the gear was my recent experience with a pack I almost never run without, the Orange Mud Gear Vest Pro. I got to review it last year and I run all of my long runs with it. I haven’t gone back to a hydration belt since last May. It was a game-changer for me. And, the transition towel is my other favorite, never leaves my car (except to wash it).

They make awesome gear for runners, cyclists, hikers, and endurance athletes of all kinds. You can check out what they have to offer on their website. Use my discount code, F15SHANNONCHENOWETH to save 15% off! I look forward to a great year with the Orange Mud team! šŸ™‚

I’m a Fibro Fighter

The Girl's Got Sole - Fibro Fighter

It’s time for a bit of a health update. The new year has brought a new challenge with my Fibromyalgia. Due to changes with my medical insurance, the medication I was on successfully was going to cost me over $200 a month to stay on. I ended up being off of any medication for my Fibromyalgia for just over a week.

After appealing with my insurance, and my doctor (who is thankfully really great), even with a copay assistance, the cost was still around $200 a month. There is no way that I can afford to pay that kind of copay. So, the medication I was doing so well on for over a year was no longer going to be an option.

My doctor and I discussed other options during my appointment late last week. It unfortunately came down to Cymbalta (which I pretty much refuse to get back on after how awful it was for me), or a slightly different drug, Effexor XR. The latter is similar to Cymbalta, which I am not too keen about from previous experience, but there really aren’t many options for those of us with Fibromyalgia. The Savella I was on is so new to the market, that it’s almost out of reach financially for most people (guess I was lucky before in only paying $35 a month).

The Girl's Got Sole - Fibro Fighter

So, as of Saturday morning, I have started a new drug therapy. I’m keeping my head up about it, and hoping for the best. My body has been feeling weak and achy since I had no medication in my system for 8 days. I have noticed I feel more draggy and exhausted again. I suppose it’s going to be a fight between me and the fibro. While the disease may bring me down at times, I have no plans to let it win. I will continue to get back up and be a fighter.

My life, my goals are important to me. So important that no matter how I feel, I will continue to show up and get things done. Some days, I may need to rest more, while others I may feel like I can do anything. Going to take it one day at a time and know that with God all things are possible, He makes me strong!

One month until Hot Chocolate ATL!

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate Atlanta

Disclaimer: I am promoting the Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15k/5k 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!

One month from today, the Hot Chocolate series is back in Atlanta! This is a fun 15k/5k race sponsored by Allstate. All participates receive an awesome goodie bag that includes a Hot Chocolate navy full-zip fleece-lined jacket with hood, finisher medal and of course chocolate!

If you’ve never done a Hot Chocolate race, you’re in for a real treat! The race features marshmallow sweet stations along the course, and an awesome Finisher Mug! But, the event isn’t ALL about the chocolate (though, let’s be honest, that’s reason enough), participants get a USATF sanctioned course, preferred start corrals for qualified runners, and wave starts for larger events.Not to mention complimentary training programs powered by McMillian Running, Live Runner Updates for family & friends during the event, and results posted online in real-time. The Hot Chocolate Atlanta race benefits Make-A-Wish which creates live-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate Atlanta

All 15k and 5k finishers receive an official Hot Chocolate Atlanta medal to celebrate your race achievement. The 15k medal features a chocolate bar lookalike, wrapped in silver with a shimmering finisher ribbon. The 5k medal features the race’s silver mug, on a matching finisher ribbon.

Head over and register today for the 2020 Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15k/5k races! Price increases in two weeks. Use discount code BRHCATL20 to get a free Hot Chocolate running hat!

One Word for 2020

The Girl's Got Sole - One Word for 2020

Do you have a word for 2020? One word you can focus on each and every day? This word helps center your goals, both long and short term for the year.

Last year, my word was FAITH. I wanted to work on making my faith in God be the center of everything in my life. It was about listening to Him, and His path for me.

This year, it took me some time to decide on a word, but I’m going with STRONG. It is defined by Your Dictionary as The definition of strong refers to someone or something who can exert a lot of power or force, or is the ability to do a task very well. And, defined by Dictionary.com as having, showing, or able to exert great bodily or muscular power; physically vigorous or robust: mentally powerful or vigorous: or of great moral power, firmness, or courage.

For me, being strong is a mental and physical thing. Right off, I think of the word as being strong in my running and being able to do hard things. It’s a combination of physical, mental and emotional strength. This will go well with a number of my goals for the year.

The Girl's Got Sole - One Word for 2020

Do you have a word for 2020?

Goals for 2020

The Girl's Got Sole - 2020 Goals

Wow, it’s hard to believe that 2020 is right around the corner! I’ve been thinking about my goals for the new year, and while some haven’t been completely worked out yet, I have a basic idea of things I want to do/accomplish.

1. Start a vlog. I’ve been a bit nervous about getting myself on video, but I’m going to work on getting through that next year. I’m going to start a vlog/youtube channel where I can chronicle on video some of my running musings, product reviews, and talk about other running and fitness stuff. Working on a name for the vlog, so suggestions are welcome!

2. Read regularly. This has been something I’ve been so bad at all year. My goal is to read every single day next year. Going to schedule in the time to begin with, so that I get back into the habit of reading books again. My stack of to-be-read is way too big right now.

3. Speed work for running. Because of my shortness of breath issues, my speed work basically came to a halt this year. My goal is to get back onto the track and get speed workouts going again so that I can work on my speed.

4. Continue my Intermittent Fasting. This has worked well for me the last 5 weeks or so that I’ve been doing it. I’, already down 3lbs! I average 12-13 hours of fasting daily, going to work my way up to at least 14, though I’d love to do 16 hours in the future if possible. I feel better doing IF and I like that.

5. Strength training. Another fitness-related goal for 2020. I want to get in strength workouts regularly again. Also, doing a plank a day would be great. I love what it does for my core strength.

6. Drink more water daily. I feel like I can ALWAYS be drinking more water. So, I’m going to shoot to drink at least 60 ounces of water per day. Always makes me feel better when I’m well hydrated.

7. Listen to more podcasts. I’m fortunate in that I work from home, so listening to a good podcast when I’m not making phone calls is possible. I also got an awesome blue-tooth speaker for Christmas, so perfect chance to utilize it more!



What goals do you have for 2020?
Any suggestions for a name for my new vlog?

Race Recap: 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon 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!

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon

On Sunday, December 22nd, I ran the 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon. It was my third year running the race, and was probably the most challenging year for me thus far. The reason I say that is because it rained almost the entire race. Made for a bit of a challenge, but that didn’t stop me from getting it done.

The day before the race, I drove over to Mount Dora to pick up my race packet. It’s about a 35 minute drive, so it’s not too far away. When I arrived, I easily picked up my race packet and then ran into fellow BibRavePro Samantha. We then had the opportunity to chat a bit, and met Olympian Bill Rodgers who was at the event. He was so great to talk to!

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon 2019 recap

When race morning arrived, I hoped the rain in the forecast would somehow take a hike. Unfortunately, that didn’t happen. When I arrived, I easily parked in a nearby parking garage which was great. It worked out not only because it was close to the start/finish line, but that it was covered. This ended up being where a number of us hung out before the race so we could stay as dry as possible.

About 15 minutes before 7am, we walked over to the start line. Made it over in time for the social media group picture which was fun before the race began. I then walked toward the back of the starting corral with a couple of my Orlando Galloway friends. We decided to start together and see how it went.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon recap

I ended up running most of the race with my runner friend, Meg. We used 30:30 run/walk intervals and I was feeling pretty good. Despite the rain, we kept a decent pace and chatted to keep one another motivated. I had hoped we could finish in 3:15, but figured we’d see how it went.

Because of the rain, I have to be honest and say a lot of the miles during this race blend together for me. We did have periods of time when it was barely raining/drizzling thankfully. The worst moment was when it practically down powered for a few minutes and the wind picked up. But, that passed fairly quickly which I know I was grateful for.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon recap

The last 5k was a mixture of a bit of exhaustion at first, then I felt a bit better and was able to push myself to the finish. I finished in 3:20:43, which while not what I had hoped for, I was pretty good with. It was 5 minutes slower than my OUC Orlando Half Marathon time.

Since I’ve been dealing with with my shortness of breath/asthma issues lately, I’m okay with how this race went. I didn’t experience any shortness of breath issues the entire 13.1 miles. Not sure if it was because the rain kept the allergens down or what, but whatever it is, I’m happy about it. Despite the rain, this race was a great way to end my racing in 2019.

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon 2019 recap

Product Review: Aftershokz Aeropex

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Aeropex product review

Disclaimer: I received Aftershokz Aeropex 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 was excited to be a part of a unique campaign with Aftershokz. The Give Good Vibez promotion allowed those who provided their email before the Thanksgiving holiday to have access to a special Black Friday deal. Buy one Aftershokz wireless headphones, get a refurbished pair of Titaniums to give to a friend. They are the perfect gift!

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Give Good Vibez

Due to the promotion, I was sent a pair of Aeropex to review, and a pair of Titaniums to give away. I don’t know what I was more excited about, that I was getting a new pair of Aftershokz Aeropex (I have the Airs which I love), or that I was going to be able to share my love of Aftershokz with a friend! Guess it may have been a toss up, because I was so excited to give my non-running friend the Titaniums!

My friend, Pat does so much for everyone else, that I knew instantly she was the perfect person for the headphones. She puts everyone first, one of those people that is just so giving all the time. I was enthusiastic about meeting up with her to surprise her with the Aftershokz.

We met for coffee, and I told her how much her friendships means to me, and how I wanted to give her something that she likely would never think of getting herself. Pulling out the Aftershokz Titaniums, I explained the Give Good Vibez promotion, and told her all about Aftershokz. Pat has been wanting to get back into walking again, and she said the headphones would be such a great motivator. We hugged and she couldn’t wait to try out her new tech “toy.” šŸ™‚

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Give Good Vibez

My friend Pat loves her new Aftershokz!

As a bonus, I decided to gift the other pair of Titaniums I had on hand from a a couple of years earlier to another friend. I gave those to my runner friend, Colleen. She has been raving to me how awesome they are ever since she has run with them in a recent race. Love that I was able to give her a pair as well!

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz review

My friend, Colleen with her Aftershokz Titaniums.

If you aren’t too familiar with Aftershokz, they work through bone conduction technology. This technology uses transducers to send mini vibrations through the cheekbones that deliver sound directly to the inner ear. You can not only clearly hear your music, but your ears are open to listen to your surroundings. This makes Aftershokz perfect for runners, as they allow you to safely stay aware of your surroundings while enjoying music or podcasts.

The Aeropex has amazing sound with it’s deeper bass, less vibration, and louder volume compared to the Airs headphones. Aeropex has an 8-hour battery life and are fully sweat and waterproof. Utilizes PremiumPitch 2.0+ sound preservation which allows for powerful bass and higher volume. The Bluetooth connectivity is up to 33 feet.

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Aeropex review

I am LOVING the my Aeropex! They are more comfortable then the Airs in my opinion, and the sound quality is the best. They are a bit lighter than the Airs, and I appreciate that while on a run. They are also awesome in the gym, I get great quality music while still being able to hear my surroundings.

If you are a runner who likes to run with headphones, you owe it to yourself to get a pair of Aftershokz. I recommend the Aeropex, but the Airs and Titaniums are also great choices. Check out the Aftershokz website to compare them.

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Aeropex review

Race Recap: 2019 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

On Saturday, December 7th, I ran the 2019 OUC Orlando Half Marathon. This was my 40th overall half marathon, and my 6th time running the race. It is my favorite local half marathon, and I love running it every year if I can.

The great thing about running OUC is that there is a lot of my Orlando Galloway training group running the race. This makes the race so much more fun. As I’ve said in the past, I’m more of a social runner, so running with my friends is something I love doing. This year, we had a great showing, there were easily more than 20 of us between the half marathon and 5k distances.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

Race morning, I met up with my friend, Colleen, and we headed to park in a nearby parking garage. We arrived quite early, so we had time to sit and chat before walking over to the race starting area. Once we headed over, we quickly spotted a number of our Orlando Galloway friends. A lot of us were headed toward the VIP Porto-Potties, which is another great perk of running this race.

Brooks Running sponsors the VIP Experience each year at the half marathon. This includes access to the VIP porto-potties, and a nice after party area. I’ll be honest, my favorite perk is the porto-potties. Brooks Running calls this their Royal Flush! These are a step up from the usual port-o-lets runners are used to. They have a couple of trailers that have about 6 toilets in each one, as well as sinks. Once you go VIP, you won’t want to go back. Ha!

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Half Marathon

(photo by Track Shack)

We all met up for some group pictures about 15 minutes before the race start, then we all headed to the start to line up for the race. There were a lot of runners; according to Track Shack, there were 2694 finishers of the half, and 840 5k finishers. This year, both distances started the race together. The 5k then split off at the 1.5 mile mark. That first mile is always pretty crowded, so I admit I was a bit concerned how that would play out adding another 800 runners to the mix. Looking back, I think it went okay, wasn’t too bad.

Once the race started, I was happy to be off and running. I was with a few of my runner girls, there were four of us. Others were close by during that first mile. All of us were doing 30:30 intervals, though we did go out running a full minute before getting into our intervals. I was feeling good. Ended up running that mile in 13:51, which would end up being my fastest mile.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

I kept a fairly consistent pace throughout the race, until mile 8 where I slowed and hit a 15:12 mile. Not specifically recalling why my pace slowed, but after the 15k mark, I did speed up a bit to a 14:39 pace for mile 10. What I do remember is the last 2-3 miles were back in the 15s because I was feeling like I was teetering on my breathing somewhat. I never had trouble like I did when I ran the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon back in October thankfully. But, it did slow me down slightly.

Crossed the finish line in 3:15:32. I was proud of this time after what I’ve been dealing with. This whole shortness of breath/asthma stuff is no fun. This finish time is a great improvement from my last half, which I finished in 3:31. So, I know I’m on the right track with my treatment. It’s just going to take some time and tweaking.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

Bottom line is, I love the OUC Orlando Half Marathon. If you want to run a half marathon here in Central Florida that’s not runDisney, I highly recommend it. Track Shack is the best in race management and their races are the best.

Next up for me is the Mount Dora Half Marathon on December 22nd.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

NYRR Virtual Racing Series 2020

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR

The NYRR made some awesome announcements today in regards to the virtual racing series for next year. Volvo Cars is now a sponsor of the NYRR Virtual Racing Series 2020.

The first virtual race to kick off the new year will be the NYRR Virtual Resolution Run 5k. Finishers of the 5k will be entered to win one entry into the 2020 TCS NYC Marathon as well as a NYRR One-to-One Coaching session. How neat is that? Definitely worth running that Resolution 5k early next month for!

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Racing

There will be two options for the NYRR Virtual NYC Half Marathon in 2020. One will be limited to a set number of entries for a guaranteed, non-complimentary entry into the 2021 United Airline NYC Half Marathon! The second option is the virtual half for free or as part of the virtual 6 credit. Those finishers will be eligible for a chance to win 1 of 10 guaranteed, non-complimentary entries into the 2021 United Airlines NYC Half!

The third virtual race is the NYRR NYC Half, Virtual 5k. Finishers of the 5k will be entered to win a round-trip flight on United Airlines to fly and run anywhere in the world! Another awesome opportunity for running a NYRR virtual race!

Find out more about the 2020 NYRR Virtual Racing Series here: https://www.nyrr.org/run/virtual-racing

Have you run any of the NYRR Virtual Races? Do you plan on running any next year?

Recap: NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

Disclaimer: I received entry to the NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k race 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!

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran my virtual race for the NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k (sorry this is a bit late in posting). While I usually love running my local Thanksgiving 5k, as it benefits a great cause, this year I just gathered some friends and we did our own little trot fun run.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot

I love my local running training group, Orlando Galloway. We typically run 3x a week, but holidays are usually OYO runs (on your own). That said, getting a few friends together for a run before enjoying the Thanksgiving festivities was pretty easy. I’m blessed to run with some awesome folks.

Wet met up at 6am, at one of our usual running meet-up spots. There were 8 of us, which was great. Got our watches ready, lights on, and headed out for a fun run. And, that it was! We enjoyed great conversations, laughs, and talked about what everyone’s plans were for the holiday.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

Before I knew it, we ran 3.5 miles and we were done. It was definitely one of those runs that you wonder where the time went! I love starting off my day with a run, and this one was awesome. I love that the NYRR virtual races allow you to run wherever you are, and you can get your friends involved too!

I look forward to being a part of future NYRR virtual series races in 2020. They help give me that extra motivation and add fun to training runs!