Things I’m Loving (March 2017)

It’s been awhile since I’ve done a post about things I’m loving lately. So, I’ve decided to remedy that and post some of the things I’m loving right now. 🙂

1. Skirt Sports Skirt Breaker jacket. This has become my go-to light jacket these days with the slightly cooler temps here in Central Florida. It’s a thin pink jacket that’s kind of see through. Perfect when I’m running and just need a bit of warmth. Sadly, this isn’t currently available for sale (unless you find one on ebay or the like), but there are always some great jackets available on the Skirt Sports website!

The Girl's Got Sole - Skirt Sports jacket

Not the best pic, but that’s the pink Skirt Breaker jacket.

2. Smell Well pouches. I’m reviewing these for BibRave (review coming soon!) and I love them. Smell Well makes everything like my running shoes, gym bag and such smell great! They are like little bean bag sized pouches that you can put wherever you need something freshened up. My running shoes have been the most popular location for them, but my running wardrobe closet has benefited too. No more sweaty smelling workout wear!

The Girl's Got Sole - Smell Well

Smell Well makes my running shoes smell fresh!

3. Anything for a T-Shirt. This is the book I’m currently engrossed in about Fred LeBow and the NYC Marathon. As you probably know if you’ve been following my blog for awhile, I’m in love with New York and the marathon, so the book is perfect. I’m learning so much about Fred and the history of the marathon. I will definitely post a review about the book once I’m finished.

The Girl's Got Sole - Fred LeBow book

4. Orgain Organic Protein Bars. I am in love with these bars! Found them at my local Vitamin Shoppe and have been picking up a few every week. The bars are only 140 to 150 calories and have 10 grams of protein. Talk about a good snack loaded with protein goodness. With four different flavors, I can’t pick a favorite (though Cookie Dough & S’mores rank high).

The Girl's Got Sole - Orgain Protein Bars

What are your favorite things right now? Let me know in the comments. 🙂

The Weekly Pursuit #35

Where oh where did my weekend go? Do I really have to go back to work today? LOL! 🙂

I’m actually looking forward to what the week ahead has in store. I am feeling motivated, inspired and rearing to go. My goal of losing weight and being more fit before marathon training kicks off has me filled will passion. I’ve learned that I need something to really be passionate about and then I’m good to go on achieving anything I put my mind to.

The Girl's Got Sole - Bike workout

This past week was good, I got in a lot of bike workouts and one run day. That’s not a normal workout week (as I usually run 3 times a week), but I’m content with how things went. I have been getting my bike workout mileage up, and I’m hitting 9 to 10 miles each workout more easily now. I’ll always prefer to run, but cycling is my next favorite go-to for a cardio workout. Now, I just need to get on regular strength training and I’m good!

On Saturday, I got in 6 miles with a couple of my runner friends in Winter Park. The temps were a bit cooler than anticipated, but less for my hands feeling colder than I’d like, I enjoyed the run. I felt pretty energized and lighter on my feet. Might have had something to do with not running on Tuesday or Thursday, I don’t know. Either way, I was feeling good and could have easily gone for another couple of miles.

This weekend, I’ve got a race, the Winter Park Road Race 10k. I love doing this race every year. It’s through a lot of the area we run on regularly in training, so I’m used to the roads and bricks. My first goal is to get a new 10k PR, that would be awesome. My best 10k time right now is 1:18:27, but that was back in 2012 according to my records. Been awhile since I’ve gotten a better time at the 10k, so going to see what I can do. Otherwise, I just want to run it as best as I can, finish feeling good. That would be my B goal.

The Girl's Got Sole - Saturday run

Need to get new glasses this weekend, so that’s on the agenda for Saturday after the race. I’m way overdue for an eye exam and new pair. I also want to get a new pair of sunglasses, so hopefully, I can get that taken care of on Saturday afternoon. Not a fan of new eyeglass shopping, but I’m going to bring a friend, so maybe that will be helpful in getting it done less painfully. LOL!

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging my food daily. Getting all of my logging done like I should!
2. Hydration, drink up! Doing pretty good, but could do slightly better on this.
3. Write Swamp House Half race recap and BibRave review. Got this done yesterday.
4. Listen to my body when it needs rest. I did good on this, I took off two rest days last week and I need them.
5. Get my taxes done. Not yet, will have to be this week.

This week’s goals…

1. Logging my food intake each day.
2. Hydration, keep drinking water.
3. Get taxes done.
4. Eye exam and buy new glasses.
5. Rest, listening to my body when I need to rest.

What are your goals for the week?

Race Recap: 2017 Swamp House Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - Swamp House Half Marathon

On March 5, 2017, I ran the 2017 Swamp House Half Marathon in DeBary, FL. This was my second time running this half marathon, as I ran it in 2016. It’s actually still my half marathon PR race a year later. Since I did so well last year, I was looking forward to running the race again.

After driving up to DeBary the day before the race to pickup my bib and packet, I was ready to go when I woke up Sunday morning. Since I’m temporarily living in Kissimmee with a friend, it took a bit longer to drive to the race, but I got there with enough time to hit the port-o-let and meet up with some fellow Orlando Galloway running friends.

The Girl's Got Sole - Swamp House Half Marathon

Some of the Orlando Galloway group at the race.

We chatted for a bit before the race began. I headed out with some of my Galloway friends doing 30:30 intervals. Right out of the gate, I admit I wasn’t feeling overly great. I just felt okay and not as energized as I wanted to be. I was happy to be with friends because I was feeding off of their chatter and excitement which got me feeling better and more upbeat.

By about mile five or six, the group was separating from one another. I ended up running with Colleen from that moment onward. We still had some Orlando Galloway folks right in front of us as well as behind, so we were in good company. Love being around my training group runner friends.

Colleen and I chatted about this and that and the miles began to fly by a bit more quickly. The course hit a portion of paved gravel type road and we both joked at how crummy that was. We debated on whether that surface was worse on our feet, or if our usual bricks back in Winter Park got that award. I believe we ended on agreeing that the gravel was worse. LOL!

The Girl's Got Sole - Swamp House Half Marathon

Swamp House rooster 🙂

The final miles, a lot with that gravel road didn’t help when Colleen had an ankle cramping she told me she tends to get on longer runs or races. I wondered if it had to do with her salt and sodium levels, so I gave her a salt stick hoping it might help. Didn’t seem to do much, but she was a real trooper and kept pushing forward.

Seeing a rooster on the course was a fun distraction. He was just strutting along on the side of the road like nothing exciting was happening. He became a photo-op for us crazy runners. We sure love our animals and friendly wildlife seen on the run!

The Girl's Got Sole - Swamp House Half Marathon

Colleen and I after the race.

By the time we were at the last 5k of the race, the sense of relief was felt between both of us. I always try to joke that, “hey, it’s a usual weekday run” at that point, but we all know it’s a mental trick after running 10 miles before then. I’m all about whatever helps you get through a race, so I use it a lot. I’m always feeling the run, but it’s all a mental game during so many of the miles.

Then, there it was, the glorious finish line. I held myself back a bit so I didn’t sprint too soon and run out of steam. But, when I did hit that sprint, I gave it all I had left in the tank. I pushed my legs, my body until I crossed that finish line at 2:57:23. It wasn’t a PR time, but I was proud of that finish. After running the Princess Half the weekend prior, it felt good to get that finish time.

The Girl's Got Sole - Swamp House Half Marathon

I enjoy this race, even through the gravel road stuff. It’s supported well with plenty of water stops along the route. I would do this race again next year, and likely will. It’s a fairly flat course and I can see myself getting a new PR there in the future.

Fit Journey Update

It’s been quite a journey so far, and getting into the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon has really pushed me to get myself in better shape by summer. I was about 8lbs lighter when I ran the 2015 NYC Marathon than I was when I started my Fit Journey this year. My goal is to get back to that point again.

When I got on the scale this morning before my run, I was pleased to see a 1 pound loss! That one pound took a lot of work to get rid of! I have been working a lot harder on losing the weight since March 2nd. So, that focus and drive that getting into the marathon gave me is the best motivation I could have asked for! Amazing what we can do when we have the right mindset and passion.

The Girl's Got Sole - One pound of fat

It may have been a small loss (but hey, one pound is one pound, it’s good!), but I’m feeling a lot better in my clothes and just overall. I feel my body changing and I know that I’m on the right path. I’ve got 7 more pounds to go to hit my goal weight. I know I’m going to get there in the coming weeks!

This is a journey I’m on to get more fit again and to stay that way. While I would love to lose the rest of the weight quickly, it’s just not the best way. It’s not healthy to do that. Through hard work and time, it becomes again ingrained in my brain how I want to live. I remind myself all the time how long it took me to lose my 75+ pounds in 2008/2009, it was a lifestyle change that required months of work. Despite not having that much weight to lose right now, it still takes time. In fact, sometimes 10lbs or less can take quite a bit of time to get off.

The Girl's Got Sole - I will fight for it

If you are on a weight loss and/or health journey right now like me, keep your head up! You WILL get there, just stay positive and remember WHY you are doing this. You are doing this for you, it has to be for you and to better yourself and your overall health.

Me and my Hashimoto’s

The Girl's Got Sole - Me and my Hashimoto's

I’m very blessed in so many ways. I’ve got some of the greatest family and friends around me right now, and there are some great things coming in my future, including running the NYC Marathon in November.

Life is never without it’s battles though, and for me, a big one is my Hashimoto’s Thryoiditis. Lately, the extreme fatigue (the worst issue for me with it) has been testing me. It’s an extreme exhaustion that makes you feel like you can’t function so well. I will get so drowsy that I find it difficult to stay awake at work. Unfortunately, I have even dozed off for a few seconds or so a number of times. Thankfully, I somehow manage to catch myself and jolt awake again. Obviously, this isn’t a good situation, especially when it comes to happening while working.

With Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, I will find myself tired in the morning and afternoon, then oddly more awake when it’s actually time for bed. It’s frustrating when you push through the day and then when you can climb into bed, you find yourself awake, thinking about this and that. A mind that just won’t calm down and wants to consider everything in life. It’s no wonder that I can find myself waking up in the morning not feeling so refreshed.

The Girl's Got Sole - Thyroid tired

Also, if I do a hard training run or race, it’s almost certain that the next day will be a struggle energy-wise. That’s both physically and mentally true. It has happened after my recent half marathons, making that already tough Monday workday even harder. At least it feels as if that’s true.

Right now, the whole Daylight Savings Time change has me feeling out of steam. I know it throws most people off, but I think my thyroid issues make it feel worse, as if I’m holding up a heavier head or something.

With my TCS NYC Marathon training starting in a few weeks, I’m full-on into my weight-loss journey. This has me pushing myself harder in the gym and generally work-out wise. Also, I’m keeping stricter tabs on myself with my nutrition. This kind of gives me a chance to “re-educate” myself on getting through the rougher patches with my thyroid crud.

It’s been just over a year since I trained for a marathon (with 2016 being a ‘no marathon year’), so I know there are going to be times during training that I’m going to struggle. But, I’m ready. Well, I’m ready mentally and emotionally anyway, LOL! My faith in God to get me back to NYC to run those five boroughs is the foundation of it all for me. I completely believe that With God All Things Are Possible!

My favorite Bible verse, Philippians 4:13 is always on my mind.

The Girl's Got Sole - I can do all things through Christ

Tuesdays on the Run: St. Patty’s Day

I’m joining in on the Tuesdays on the Run link-up with Erika, Patty & Marcia. This week’s topic is St. Patty’s Day.

The Girl's Got Sole - Tuesdays on the Run

TOTR Topic: Talk to us about St. Patrick’s day – do you have traditions, a favorite race, a costume you’ll be wearing?

I really don’t have any St. Patrick’s Day traditions. Though, I do enjoy wearing green and all that fun stuff that day if I’m racing or running.

Usually, a local race, the Winter Park Road Race 10k takes place around St. Patrick’s Day, so in the past, I’ve worn festive green and Shamrock fun stuff. This year though, the race is at the end of the month, so kind of doesn’t make the holiday cut-off. LOL!

The Girl's Got Sole - WPRR 10k 2014

Back in 2014, at the Winter Park Road Race with some friends.

This year, my plan is to run 6-8 miles with some of my local Galloway running friends, so I’ll likely wear a green Skirt Sports skirt and a fun top. St. Patty’s Day may be on Friday but I think the day after can be a fun one to adorn some green.

I don’t even know what events are going on around here this week or weekend for the holiday. I’m not a beer drinker, so if it’s just drinking events, they aren’t really my thing. Maybe I will make some sort of green smoothie though. Ha ha. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - St. Patty's Day

How about you, are you big into celebrating St. Patrick’s Day? I’d love to hear if you run a themed race!

The Weekly Pursuit #34

Can I just say that I am not a fan of the whole Daylight Savings Time thing? I did not sleep well last night and have had to incorporate loads of extra caffeine into my diet today. If there was a way to get caffeine via an IV drip, I’d raise my hand to give it a go…and, I am not a fan of needles. Ha!

The Girl's Got Sole - Daylight Savings

We had some new furniture to deal with last night, so I am actually writing this post on Monday after work. This is after re-organizing some things in my bedroom. I now have a neat wardrobe for my running clothes, which is very cool. Still have some tweaking to do, but I’m liking it a lot.

I had a great run with some of my running friends on Saturday morning in Winter Park. With the last few weekends being race-filled, I was happy to get out there to run with them. I hadn’t seen a couple of them, or even run with them in at least a month, so it was great. We did one of our “usual routes,” and just had a nice, easy social run. Saw a few of our Winter Park peacock feathered friends too.

The Girl's Got Sole - OG runner friends

With some of my running friends after our Saturday run.

Spent some time with my parents on Sunday after my gym workout, as today is my dad’s birthday. My lovebird, Indy even came along for the visit. I think he enjoyed seeing Rocket and Blue, my parents two birds (an African Grey & Quaker parakeet respectively), I know I always love seeing them as well. Also got some cuddle time with my mom’s guinea pig, Abby.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sunday bike workout

Sunday bike workout at the gym.

This week, I don’t have much on the agenda which I’m actually grateful for. Will pretty much be about work, working out, blogging and all the usual stuff. My next race is on March 25th at the Winter Park Road Race 10k, so this coming weekend will be another social training run with some of my Galloway friends.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Food logging every day. Got it done, and I am feeling good about how I’m doing eating-wise.
2. Hydration, keep on keeping on. Did okay, could be better.
3. Write Princess Half Race Recap & Swamp House Half Race Recap. One out of two of these got written and up on the blog. Swamp House still needs to be done.
4. Get back to reading Fred Lebow book. Got back on my book reading!
5. Listen to my body when it comes to needed rest. Could have done a bit better on the rest stuff. 🙂

This week’s goals…

1. Logging my food daily.
2. Hydration, drink up!
3. Write Swamp House Half race recap and BibRave review.
4. Listen to my body when it needs rest.
5. Get my taxes done.

The Girl's Got Sole - Team 413 inspiration

How about you, what are your goals this week?

Product Review: BUFF Half UV

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF UV Reflective Half 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!

The Girl's Got Sole - BUFF Half product review

In the last year or so, I’ve become a BUFF fan. It’s because of my ambassadorship with BibRave that I’ve gotten the opportunity to try them out and add them to my runner “must-have” gear list. BUFF invented the tubular headwear category with their original BUFF product. They have since created over half a dozen varieties of BUFF as well as many other trusted multi-functional headwear products for the active lifestyle.

The UV Reflective Half BUFF is shorter than the Original BUFF and offers a stylish option with sun protection and added reflective strips for runners, cyclists, and fitness lovers alike. Perfect for wicking away sweat while keeping you comfortable as you get your workout on.

The Girl's Got Sole - BUFF Half UV

I have been loving the BUFF Half, definitely one for a Florida runner like myself to carry on my runs. It can be worn around my neck to keep cooler, as a headband, or even wrapped around my hand and/or wrist to wipe away sweat from my face. Love how many ways I can use my BUFF Half UV!

Now, many know I love wearing a SQoosh band on my hand when I run, and I still do! I actually find I can use my SQoosh over my hand, and then wear my BUFF Half around my neck to keep cooler. This allows me to get the BUFF wet with cold water and boy is that going to really come into handy during my TCS NYC Marathon training this summer! I am all for anything that can help me stay cooler and more comfortable during my training runs!

The Girl's Got Sole - BUFF Half

The BUFF UV Reflective Half presently comes in five different colors Sport Blue, Yellow Fluor, Citron, Waterfall or Stadi Black. The Reflective Half UV has the added reflective strips making you more visible as you move. The BUFF Half UV without the reflective strips comes in 45 colors/styles for women. There is a style for everyone.

The Girl's Got Sole - BUFF Half UV

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Check out some of my fellow BibRavePro’s product reviews on the BUFF UV Reflective Half!
**The Running Files of T
**Run Away With Me
**Dr. Runner


Race Recap: 2017 Princess Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - 2017 Princess Half Marathon

On February 26th, I ran the 9th Annual Princess Half Marathon at Walt Disney World. I ran the event as a Galloway Pacer for the 3:15 finish time. With over 18,000 runners participating in the race, it was a fun 13.1 journey through Epcot and the Magic Kingdom.

This was my first race as a Galloway Pacer and I was looking forward to the experience. I was supposed to have paced the WDW Half Marathon back in January, but the race unfortunately got canceled due to bad weather. I would be pacing this half with a fellow Galloway runner from Tampa. Melanie is the Program Director for Tampa and had run four other races as a pacer before the 2017 Princess Half Marathon.

The Girl's Got Sole - Princess Galloway Pacers

Melanie & I post-race

I met up with my fellow Galloway Pacers at 4:15am race morning to get our pace flags and all. This is when I met my co-pacer for the 3:15 finish, Melanie for the first time. I was excited to not only do the race (Princess has been on my race bucket list), but to pace it. We would be doing 15:30 intervals which equaled a per mile pace of about 14:53.

Once we all met our co-pacers and got our flags, we hit the port-o-lets before heading to our designated corrals to wait for the start. Since we were in corral N, it ended up being quite a wait. It was about an hour after the actual race start time when we reached the starting mat. But, this gave us time to talk to other runners in the corral who were going to run in our pace group. I always love talking running and all, so I enjoyed meeting folks and hearing about their goals. Some of the runners were even running their first half marathon which is always cool.

The Girl's Got Sole - Princess Half

At about 6:30am, we made it to the glorious start and were off! Disney always makes every corral feel special with their starting send off. Every corral, every group of runners gets a firework show as they are sent off to run their 13.1 miles. I do love seeing all the fireworks when I do runDisney races. We were on our way with our GymBosses beeping!

As a Pacer, we signal and yell out at each run or walk interval. We were running for 15 seconds and walking for 30 seconds. So, Melanie and I were yelling out RUN or WALK throughout the race. We also put a hand up to signal walking intervals to the group behind us. Also, we work to stay to the right as much as possible during our walking portions. With how crowded Princess was, it was a bit more of a challenge to do this, but we made it happen when we could.

Running along, I loved seeing all the costumed runners, many dressed as Princesses with the theme of the race. There are guys that run the Princess Half Marathon, and some even wear tutus! I noticed a few guys with their girlfriend/wife running beside her in support which is neat to see. Whenever you can make running or fitness a family affair, it’s awesome.

The Girl's Got Sole - Princess Half Route

The Princess Half begins near Epcot then heads toward the Magic Kingdom. Time is spent on nearby roads and near Disney resorts. Once inside of the Magic Kingdom, you get to run down Main Street USA where there is a lot of spectators cheering everyone alone which is quite motivating. A highlight of the race is running through Cinderella’s Castle, which I enjoyed doing. I mean, what is a Princess without a castle? 🙂

Despite the amount of runners on the course, I had a great time running. By the time we neared Epcot and were inching closer to that finish line, our awesome pace group members seemed to pick up energy. Chants of “3:15! 3:15!” erupted on our running intervals. Talk about inspiring stuff! It made me smile to think how I was a part of leading these runners into the finish. We had some cool folks in our group!

And, then there it was, that beautiful finish line! We told our runners to go for it as we sprinted in. I heart announcer Carissa announcing our pace group and how big we were as I crossed the finish mat at 3:15:02. A smile crossed my face, we did it. I had just paced my first race and it was awesome!

The Girl's Got Sole - 2017 Princess Half

I had a great time at the 2017 Princess Half Marathon and I can’t wait to run my next runDisney race. I will be running (and maybe pacing) the 2017 Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon in April. Should be another great time, looking forward to seeing what costumes people come up with for Star Wars!

Gone for a Run Virtual Race Team

I’m excited to announce that I’ve been invited to be a part of the Inaugural Gone for a Run Virtual Run Team! When I got the invite, I was excited to be considered for the team. It’s not only fun to do virtual races, but with all the miles I’ve got ahead of me for my NYC Marathon training this year, it will make things more fun.

The Girl's Got Sole - Gone for a Run Virtual Races

Virtual races are great for everyone. You don’t have to be a runner to take a part. Walking is totally cool, just get out there and get moving! That’s all that you have to do. Gone for a Run’s virtual races all support a charity group. So, your race registration goes to a great cause.

The first virtual race I’m participating in as a part of the Virtual Race Team is the Chicks On A Run 4-Miler. This race supports Girls on the Run. If you aren’t familiar with Girls on the Run International, they are an amazing charity. The group is dedicated to helping girls achieve their dreams through running.

The Girl's Got Sole - Chicks on a Run Virtual

The Chicks On A Run 4-Miler is a Springtime fun run/walk of four miles anywhere you want between April 13-19th. The perfect virtual race for you and your girlfriends to get together to do during the Easter holiday. Registering for this virtual race gets you a large 4-inch Chicks On A Run glittery medal and a race bib to wear. Make sure to take pictures during your race and submit a recap for others to check out!

If you want to get more swag, Gone for a Run has you covered. You can add on stuff like tees, knee high socks, shorties, headbands and decals. Completely up to you on what you want to do for your virtual race. Registering for the virtual race itself is $25, which includes the medal and bib to wear during your run.

I’m looking forward to running my Chicks On A Run 4-Miler next month, and would love for you to join in on the fun!



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Disclaimer: As a part of Gone for a Run’s Virtual Race Team, T received a free entry into the virtual race in exchange for blogging about the virtual race series. That said, all opinions and any thoughts stated within this post are mine (as always).