The Weekly Pursuit #21

Hey friends! How was your weekend? Those of you that run, anyone do a race or long training run? I would love to hear about it, let me know how it went. I’ve actually got my first race of the Fall season this coming weekend. I’m looking forward to getting the race season started!

This past weekend included running, vegan eats, friends, naps and animal loving. Saturday started out with the usual group run. It was a short weekend, so we did 6 miles. What was nice is that we had cooler weather here in Florida! The temps were around 65 when we began at 5:30am. I do like the 60s, but it takes some getting used to when you are used to like the 90s. I always appreciate it when the humidity calms for us Floridians, it just doesn’t seem to stick around consistently enough so we can get used to it. By that, I mean it will be 90s today, then 60s tomorrow…or, we may have two or three days of the 60s then we get our humid weather back.

The Girl's Got Sole - Running Agents group

The run itself was good, all three of us (group leaders for my pace group) were present which hasn’t happened for a few weeks. Always fun when we can all run together. Considering I’ve got a half marathon on the 30th, I knew 6 miles was a good number of miles during the taper period.

Post-run, I went home to shower and have breakfast. I then took a much needed nap (I sure do love my naps these days) with Law & Order: SVU on in the background. Around lunchtime, I woke up and texted my friend Terrie about meeting up. We were going to check out the Central Florida Veg Fest. Less than an hour later, I left to meet her near the event.

Since it cost to park, we left my car in a nearby shopping plaza so we could split the cost. As it turned out, it was crazy getting to actually park, so having to park two cars would have been nuts. Before-hand, we stopped by a local coffee shop, Drunken Monkey to get some needed caffeination. Mmmm hemp milk mocha was sooo good!

So yeah, parking was nuts. Stopped cars, other cars trying to cut the line and there was even a guy who got out of his car and yelled at the ladies in the car in front of us for honking at him. So rude people are pretty much everywhere, even at a Veg Fest! I was pretty chill though, as I’ve been learning getting stressed does no good and it only gives me a headache and other unnecessary woes.

Once we finally got a parking spot, we headed in. By that time, we both needed a restroom stop. That coffee just goes right through you! Thankful to have found that the restrooms at the nearby skate park were open, so we went there (I tend to avoid port-o-lets unless it’s a race or emergency). Then, it was Veg Fest fun time!

The Girl's Got Sole - Love Orlando Vegans

The Central Florida Veg Fest was great. I have been every year since 2009, even when I’ve not stayed for long due to other commitments. The nice weather really helped up the great turnout I think. There are booths there for organizations, companies that are vegan-friendly, animal sanctuaries and of course food! Everything at the Veg Fest is geared toward vegans, but of course everyone is invited, it’s a family event.

Terrie and I checked out the many booths and spent most of our time with the animals. Hey, you can’t keep this animal lover away from those sweeties! The Florida Parrot Rescue was present, and I got to talk a bit with them and meet some of their current fostered birds. After that, I met a cute silver-haired guinea pig at the Guinea Pig Rescue. I didn’t even realize there was such an organization in Florida, so that’s nice to know. And, of course there’s lots of dog adoptions from the different rescues (pugs, boxers and many puppies).

With so many food vendors, it was not an easy decision choosing! We sort of tried a couple of things. We split a Grilled Cheeze sandwich from Leguminati first. It was SOOO good! I will definitely get it again. We then went different directions when it came to what to get next. We had hoped to hit up the Vegan Hot Dog Cart, but there was an incredibly long line, so that will remain on my “to-try” list. I got a BBQ Chikun Sandwich with caramelized onions from Ethos. It was delicious! And, Terrie got tempeh tacos from Infusion Tea and she really liked them. We split a cup of Ginger Berry Kombacha as we headed out of the Fest. The remainder of my Saturday was spent doing a few shopping errands before heading back home to get some things done and spend time with my birds.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sunday workout

Sunday became a bit of a lazy day, or at least it started out that way. Since I had stayed up way too late Saturday night, I slept in. Mind you, I tend to wake up a few times as I’m not the most restful sleeper these days. So, I recall seeing 5:30am, 7am and then 9 something before I forced myself into an upright position around 10am. I figured I should probably get up. Now, that didn’t mean I accomplished much…it took me until around 12ish to get my workout clothes on and get out the door. I may have my “lazy” moments, but I know that I need to get my workout on. It’s something I don’t feel complete without no matter how tired or lacking motivation I might be.

Got in 8 miles on the bike for just over 40 minutes of workout time. I then grabbed a smoothie for a late lunch, then got my last couple of grocery errands done. Remainder of Sunday was spent getting some online/blog-related things done. I didn’t get to a couple of things I have been putting off (like cleaning my bedroom), but that will happen by mid-week. I definitely need to get that done before Sunday’s race.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging my food daily. Check! I may get things logged late in the day (stays in my brain until then), but it’s all getting logged into MyFitnessPal.
2. Read daily devotional. Ack, I’m behind on this one, need to step it up!
3. Hydration, drink 64oz a day. Doing better, but didn’t hit my goal every day last week.
4. Listen to my body. I did good on this one, resting last week when I needed to.
5. Blog hop! I am loving the hop! It’s another thing to do every day, but I love reading everyone’s posts!

This week’s goals…

1. Logging food daily.
2. Hydration!!!
3. Read Daily Devotional.
4. Blog Hop.
5. Clean Bedroom.

Girl's Got Sole - Live Your Life

What are your goals this week?

Dear NYC Marathoners

The Girl's Got Sole - Dear NYC Marathoners

The TCS NYC Marathon Class of 2016, in two weeks, you will be lining up on Staten Island for an adventure like no other. You will stand side by side with fellow runners from all over the world and hear Frank Sinatra crooning the theme from New York, New York as you start your 26.2 mile journey on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The moment you start the race will forever be embossed in your mind. It’s an whirlwind excitement of mixed emotions and senses. Almost a year later, I recall all of those emotions inside of me, the smells in the air, and the wonder of it all. In front of you is the greatest marathon journey in the greatest city in the country (and world if you ask me). You WILL become a very different person at the end of the NYC Marathon.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYC Marathon start

As soon as the gun goes off, you head over the amazing Verrazano Bridge. You are surrounded by fellow runners all around you irregardless of what position you are (top of the bridge or bottom). The beauty of the New York City skyline is ahead of you. Take it in, take every moment, every view as you run. NYC Marathoners are the only pedestrian traffic ever allowed on the Verrazano, so it’s most definitely a rare view of the Big Apple.

After a couple of miles on the bridge, you’ll enter Brooklyn. This is the most thrilling borough, at least it was for me. The crowds of spectators are so incredible and will really get you pumped up. Take in these awesome people, high-five the kids and adults, embrace it. Enjoy it to the fullest.

The Girl's Got Sole - Wear your name!

Oh, and wearing your name on your shirt or bib is something I highly recommend. The cheers directed at me by name were exciting, I almost felt like I was someone famous! The crowds really support the runners and it feels so thrilling to be called out by name! You’ll be New York famous!

Once you get into the next borough, which is Queens, you will be about halfway done with the race. To get to Queens, you will encounter bridge number two. The Pulaski Bridge, which I know I felt since the Verrazano didn’t feel so bad being at the start back in Staten Island. I remember being told by friends who had run the NYC Marathon previously to watch my pace around this point. That’s also because the third bridge is very close ahead.

The 59th Street Bridge, or Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge is the toughest of all five bridges that you run. Not to mention how quiet the bridge becomes, less for you and your fellow runners. No spectators are allowed on this bridge, so it’s oddly kind of quiet for the always busy, bustling New York City. I found this part of the race (which is about 15.5 miles in) to be a bit mentally challenging.

The Girl's Got Sole - On course

Thankfully, before you know it, you are over the 59th Street Bridge and onto First Avenue. It’s the section that has been nicknamed, “the wall of sound.” The yelling, cheering and excitement of the marathon comes alive as you enter Manhattan over that quiet bridge. Spectators make you feel like you are a celebrity, it’s a rush of adrenaline that makes you feel like a rock-star.

I remember hearing my name being called and spotting friends as I ran. Talk about awesome, it put a huge smile on my face. No matter how tired and sore I was feeling then, it seemed to be erased, at least temporarily. If you can get family and friends to be in this area, it’s something I highly recommend.

Bridge number four is coming up, the Willis Avenue Bridge. It will take you from Manhattan to the Bronx. You’ll be at mile 20, which is the infamous “wall” for some marathon runners. I didn’t personally hit a down here, but the spectators and taking in my surroundings helped get me through. I have found that mile 20 isn’t horrible for me, but it varies from runner to runner.

The Girl's Got Sole - Last bridge

What’s great is that the fifth and final bridge is coming up! Yes, the last bridge! If nothing else, knowing that it was number five and seeing the banana guy holding the sign (yes, there was a man in a banana suit…your experience on who is holding such a glorious sign may vary) made me so so incredibly happy. Madison Avenue Bridge takes you back into Manhattan and onto 5th Avenue.

This stretch can feel daunting, because there’s spectators lining the streets, but it just felt long to me. I was anxious for Central Park! It was during these final fourish miles that I found myself talking more to fellow runners. Helping encourage one another and get to that finish line that is oh so close!

Entering Central Park, it gave me a bit of a kick, just the excitement. Running in Central Park was smooth going. Sure, there are hilly parts of the park, but the NYC Marathon doesn’t go through any of them. You will actually come out of Central Park, then go around a bit near the infamous hotel seen in Home Alone 2 before you re-enter the park.

Then, you can get your final finishing kick on! I heard the finish line ahead of me and I recall somehow getting a boost. No clue how or where it came from… all I can say is it’s the finish line of the New York City Marathon! How can you NOT be excited and give it all you’ve got?

The Girl's Got Sole - Finish it!

Crossing the finish line feels empowering. The 2015 NYC Marathon was my fifth marathon (my recap here), but it felt like I became a marathoner all over again. Let your emotions release themselves. Cry if you want, believe me, the volunteers are used to it, and they were incredibly great and sweet. It’s another reason why I had to get a picture with the volunteer who gave me my medal.

Once you get that beautiful, well-earned medal, you’ll be wrapped in a heat sheet and get some finisher photos taken. You’ll remember these things, but it’s also a bit of a blur. All of those emotions are coming out of you and it’s like nothing else in the world.

As you walk, or limp, or shuffle along toward the exit (they make you walk a ways to either baggage claim or to get your finisher poncho), take in what you’ve just accomplished. You are a superstar. Marvel in what you have just accomplished. Not only have you run 26.2 miles (a feat that only 1% of people can say they have done), but you ran THE NYC MARATHON! Wear your medal with pride!

Remember, you can and will do it! There is no question. Trust in your training and just go out there and do it. You will do yourself an injustice if you don’t enjoy New York City and take in every breathtaking mile. I recommend NOT wearing headphones (unless you want to use them on the 59th Street Bridge), because you will really lose the awesomeness that is the NYC Marathon. You need to use all of your senses and live in the moment.

Good luck, and get out there and just run New York! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - 2015 NYC Marathon medal

Blessings Through Depression

The Girl's Got Sole - Blessed

It’s funny (not in a haha funny, but in a funny ironic sort of way), how sometimes great things happen just when you need them to.

Let me explain.

Last night after work, I was driving to Whole Foods when I began to feel depressed and sad. I’m not exactly sure what caused this sudden down, but I basically had a crummy state of mind. I felt like I didn’t care about anything at that moment.

As someone who deals with depression and anxiety on a regular basis, these sorts of moments happen. Sometimes, I can’t put my finger on what triggered the emotion, but it’s real and there.

The Girl's Got Sole - Psalm 37

Now, I wasn’t in a desperation mode or anything, just a depressed mood all around. It’s like I begin to wonder if I care about this or that. Or, get the feeling I might want to hide under the covers and cry.

Arriving at the store, I parked the car and headed inside. Part of me wondered why I even bothered to drive to the store, but alas, there I was (I actually did have a mental list of things to pick up). As I made my way around the aisles, a familiar face spotted me and smiled.

It was one of my running friends who has been out for a week with an injury. We chatted for a few minutes about running (of course), how she was doing, and such.

The Girl's Got Sole - He fills my life with good things

Amazing how great things happen when you truly need them to. My mood was instantly turned back around and what do you know, a smile back on my face. Nothing like seeing a friend to brighten up your day.

I fully believe that seeing my friend was a blessing from above. God put her there in that moment because I needed a boost. Isn’t it so awesome what God does for us?

He hears even our silent prayers and requests to Him. I know He is always by my side and there when I need Him. He blesses me with some great people that have come into my life. He blesses me more than I deserve.

God’s blessings are so great!

The Girl's Got Sole - My God is always faithful

The Weekly Pursuit #20

It’s that time again, time for another Weekly Pursuit post! I’m participating in a blog hop the next couple of weeks, so welcome to all you new readers! On Mondays, I post a blog about how last week went, and my goals for the coming week. Sort of a recap post sort of deal.

Girl's Got Sole - love, laughter, friends welcome

A bit about me, I’m a marathoner out of Orlando. I ran my fifth marathon last year at the TCS NYC Marathon. It was my dream race, and I really want to run it again. I actually never thought it was possible that I would love running, that is before I lost 80lbs and changed my life. It’s not always easy to stay active and healthy, but it’s so worth it. I wrote an ABCs about me post for last year’s blog hop, so if you’d like to learn more about me, that’s a great post to check out.

This past week was pretty good. I’m still dealing with the sinus crud, but I finally got on an antibiotic on Friday for it. Hoping it kicks the rest of the stuff to the curb, not wanting to deal with sinus problems for the rest of the month, especially since I’ve got a half marathon on the 30th.

Girl's Got Sole - swallowed a bug

On Saturday, I had my long run. It was the longest so far of the season. I had 14 miles for the Lighthouse Loop Half. After many miles with the girls, swallowing a bug (a first, and it was not a good experience let me tell you), spotting a creepy Halloween statue from the Exorcist, being yelled at by a Park Ranger to get on the sidewalk…it was a quite the 14 mile training run. Never boring with my group. 🙂

After enjoying breakfast with my friend who just ran the Chicago Marathon, so I could hear all about the race, I headed to my parents. My mom has been pretty sick with a horrid cold and laryngitis and was finally feeling better. She is still a bit congested, but she is sounding 90% like herself again. It was nice relaxing and having some family time with my parents and the creatures (birdies and guinea pigs).

The Girl's Got Sole - running group

Sunday morning, I woke up sore. Now, I expected some minor soreness in my legs from the long run, but this was pain in my butt, literally. Piriformis Syndrome, it’s a common issue for runners. My hip abductor muscles are likely tight causing this not-so-fun pain. I am taking it seriously because it’s so close to the sciatic nerve and with my back injury history, it’s best to play it smart. So, Sunday became an unplanned rest day while I let things relax. Hoping I can get back at my regular workouts as of today. But, I’m going to see how I feel. While I hate taking rest days, it’s much more important for me to prevent it from getting worse.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging my food daily & staying on calorie target. I logged my food each day, and stayed on track. 🙂

2. Water intake, hydration. I did okay on this, but didn’t hit my intake goal every day.

3. Read devotional each day. Got my reading done, which is awesome.

4. Workout 5 days (3 running, 2 cross-training). My workouts were right on point last week.

5. Listening to my body. I’m going good on this since I did take a couple of post-work naps last week and am listening to my body after Saturday’s run.

This week’s goals…

1. Logging my food daily.
2. Read daily devotional.
3. Hydration, drink 64oz a day.
4. Listen to my body.
5. Blog hop!

The Girl's Got Sole - quote

What are you goals for the week?

Five on Friday: 10/14

Girl's Got Sole - Friday Five

Yay, it’s Friday! Happy happy day! It’s my favorite work day of the week. I mean, it’s the day before my long runs, and days off, so it’s awesome in multiple ways.

That said, a couple of weeks ago, fellow blogger Carlee McDot did her Friday Favorites post about things that weren’t her jam. I liked the idea, it changes up the post a bit! So props to Carlee for the great inspiration! 🙂

So, without further ado, here’s five things I’m not really into right now…

1. Being tired a lot. It’s like I get this weird alertness or second wind in the evenings and then during the day when I’m working, all I can think about is my soft and oh-so-comfy bed. Thoughts of sleep take over and I dream…or wait, is it DAYdream of taking a nap. My body is so weird sometimes, and wanting these naps make me feel old. I mean, I know I’m no spring chicken, but jeez I’m only in my thirties!

Girl's Got Sole - 2016 Presidential Election

2. Election TV ads. Ugh, soooo over them! I cannot wait until this election season is over. All this mud-slinging and crud is just driving me up a wall. They are always a pain to deal with, but this election year is just worse in my opinion. So much dirty laundry being thrown all around.

The Girl's Got Sole - Criminal Minds' Hotch

3. Hotch gone from Criminal Minds. If you are a fan of Criminal Minds like I am, you probably heard about the actor who plays Aaron Hotchner, Thomas Gibson being fired from the show due to an altercation. The actor and his character appeared on the first two episodes of the new season, but this week’s episode was the mention of his character’s departure. For now, they are stating he is gone (his character) on special assignment, but that is all. With all the fan backlash on social media about Gibson being let go, I’m still hoping they being him back.

Girl's Got Sole - Pumpkin Spice

4. Pumpkin stuff. I’m just not into all the pumpkin spice this, pumpkin that all over the place this time of year. Too each his own, but it seems like people get pretty crazy about it. Ha! I much prefer cinnamon spice. I could eat and/or drink cinnamon spice and cinnamon sugar stuff all the time! Bring it on!

Girl's Got Sole - Road closed cartoon

5. I-4 Project Road Closings. So, the big expansion project for I-4 here in Orlando/Central Florida has been going on for awhile now. While the noise nearby (I live right near the interstate) can get annoying, it’s the road closings that bug me. Specifically, the road I use to get in and out of my neighborhood. It’s been closed since the beginning of the month, and it looks like we won’t get it back again until the end of October. Having to go around and hit the other side, which is a main road to getting on and off of the interstate takes longer. Guess, I’ve learned to appreciate those “lesser popular” streets. 🙂

The Weekly Pursuit #19

Another week has come and gone. An exciting week for sure with Hurricane Matthew hitting Florida. It was a nerve-wracking couple of days once it became clear that it was a storm that wasn’t just going to pass us by. Florida has a history of close calls, but Matthew proved to be a real threat.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sinus infections suck

On Wednesday, I called out of work and went to the doctor for my sinuses. It seems that this time of year is when I get dreaded sinus infections. I’m now a chronic sinusitis sufferer, so I suppose I should expect the crud by now. It seems I forget about the timing each year that I get the sinus headaches and all, but I immediately remembered that it was early October last year that it hit me. I only recall that because it was during my taper period for the NYC Marathon.

The doctor told me that despite an awful sinus headache and inflammation on my right side (and in my eye), I had caught it fairly early. So, she told me to use Flonase spray, Musinex DM liquid as well as pain reliever as needed for my headaches. Then, if I wasn’t feeling better in a week, she would call in medication for me. These sinus infections are such pains and I know they can be difficult to treat, so I’m hoping for the best right now. Thus far, I’m feeling better. But, let me tell you, having to take liquid medication is no fun. Gotta have a good chaser ready to go. LOL!

Girl's Got Sole - Hurricane Matthew Meme

It was that day, Wednesday, that folks including myself, began to realize Hurricane Matthew was the real thing. So, after my doctor’s appointment, I picked up some supplies (extra water, snacks, filled up my car with gas) so that I was prepared in case we lost power and what have you on Thursday evening through early Friday. Traffic was crazy and it didn’t help that I still had a lingering headache. When I got home, I immediately laid in bed and just took the rest of the day to rest.

Thursday began the Hurricane Matthew madness. I logged into work that morning and by lunchtime, the management had decided that they were closing the office at 4pm. So, that didn’t mean anything for work-from-home employees, but they did request us to make sure our personal contact information was updated and that we knew what to do if we woke up the next day without power or internet access.

It was Thursday that began my emotional eating. While on the outside, I thought I wasn’t nervous about the impending storm, but I was. Thus my extra snacking. It doesn’t excuse matters that a number of others were or would be doing the same thing, because I knew I needed to keep on track. Unfortunately, my nerves and emotions won over.

So, as people know by now, we got lucky here in the Orlando area. Hurricane Matthew slowed down and my area didn’t get much more than some windy and rainy conditions. There were some trees down and some minor damages, but we truly lucked out. Not to mention that my place never lost power less for a couple of brownouts. So, I worked all day on Friday per usual. Some friends in other parts of town did lose power and/or internet, so I felt blessed that we didn’t. Ended up being a bit of a crazy work-day, with only three of my team logged in, but we managed.

The Girl's Got Sole - Doug & Renata Storer and me

With Doug & Renata Storer at the Shark Tank viewing party.

The hurricane ended up canceling our scheduled Saturday long runs due to safety factors. That meant that it changed plans for many. We did have a curfew in place, but once it was lifted at around 2pm Friday, people began to wonder out of their homes. It was that afternoon that I learned the canceled Shark Tank viewing party that night for fellow running friends, Doug and Renata Storer’s NightRunner 270 shoe lights was back on. That was good news because I was able to go now that I didn’t have to run at 3:30am on Saturday morning. I also got an unofficial run set with some friends for the next morning because I NEEDED a run at that point. 🙂

I plan on writing a blog post this week about the NightRunner 270 on Shark Tank, but just know that it was a great time. So glad that I got out of the house and went. Very happy for my friends who did get a deal with one of the sharks. If you missed the show, and/or want to check them out, here’s my blog post I wrote up last year when I reviewed the shoe lights.

The Girl's Got Sole - Apopka run trio

Apopka run trio

On Saturday morning, I headed out the door to meet a couple of friends for a hill run in nearby Apopka. We don’t have many hills in Florida, but Apopka and Clermont are the closest areas for our hill work training. After not being able to do my 14-miler, I figured a good hill workout for almost 7 miles would be good. And, it was a good workout. We did have to jump and dodge some branches and such as we ran, but otherwise, it was an enjoyable run. We didn’t have a breeze the entire time, so it did get hot, but even slightly cooler temps are appreciated.

After a whirlwind last few days, it was time to seriously get back on track. I did a lot better with eating on Saturday, but it was Sunday that I woke up knowing it was time to stop letting my emotions win and to stop overeating. As far as the snacks go, if I don’t bring certain trigger foods into the house, I won’t have trouble resisting them. That for me means no more cinnamon cereals. For some reason, they are a trigger. Now that they are gone, I’m not going to let them enter my cart at the grocery store. No more junky food around! Has to be kept away until I can get myself truly back in control.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

So, that all said, let’s look at my goals for this week.

1. Logging my food daily & staying on calorie target.
2. Water intake, hydration.
3. Read devotional each day.
4. Workout 5 days (3 running, 2 cross-training).
5. Listening to my body.

How was your week(end)?
What are your goals for the week?

Run Boston 2017 and Be Fearless

Girl's Got Sole - 261 Fearless

Are you fearless? Specifically, 261 Fearless?

The 2017 Boston Marathon is a landmark year. 50 years ago next April, women’s running pioneer Kathrine Switzer was the first women to run the Boston Marathon. If you don’t know the story (and you should if you are a runner), Switzer registered for the race as K.V. Switzer and lined up with all of the other runners at the 1967 Boston Marathon. During that time, women were not allowed to run marathons, and the angry race director chased her down two miles in trying to rip off her race bib. Kathrine Switzer wouldn’t let an upset race director stop her though, she went on to finish the marathon, while wearing the bib number, 261.

261 Fearless has become Kathrine’s flagship organization that’s all about empowering women to get out and run or walk. The global community is all about strong women who are fearlessly overcoming doubt and adversity in their healthy life pursuits. I’ve been blessed to be a 261 Fearless Ambassador since the start of the program just over a year ago.

The Girl's Got Sole - Kathrine Switzer

Because of this big milestone with the 2017 Boston Marathon, Kathrine Switzer is inviting YOU to come out and run with her! That bib number she wore, 261 has given so many of us women strength to pursue our dreams because it shows that we too can be fearless! “It was YOU who told me that my old bib number, ‘261’ made you feel “fearless in the face of adversity.” Kathrine states in her post on why she is running the 2017 Boston Marathon.

Kathrine is thrilled that the Boston Athletic Association believes in the 261 Fearless mission so much that they have alloted a number of charity bibs. “We have your opportunity to be there, as part of our 261 Fearless Team, whether you are fast or slow, Boston-qualified or not,” Kathrine explained in her post. The perks of being a part of the team include great Reebok gear, gala just for the team pasta dinner, private busses to the start, a post-run party, gifts and so much more.

Best of all, you will get to stand side-by-side at the starting line of the Boston Marathon with Kathrine Switzer! Talk about an amazing opportunity that is truly once-in-a-lifetime! You will never get such a chance ever again!

So, here’s the details, head over here to apply to be a part of the 261 Fearless Team at the 2017 Boston Marathon. If you are accepted onto the team, you agree to raise a minimum amount of $7,261 for the 261 Fearless charity. If you have already been accept into the 2017 Boston Marathon, you can also apply to be a part of the team! Those who have a time qualified bib can enjoy the team perks by raising $2,261.

The Girl's Got Sole - Kathrine Switzer

I love everything that 261 Fearless stands for and only wish I could join the team and especially Kathrine Switzer on April 17, 2017 in Boston. I can’t wait to see who joins the team, so I can cheer you all on!

Are you going to apply to run with Kathrine Switzer and 261 Fearless?

The Weekly Pursuit #18

I feel like I should call this Monday Musings instead of my usual Weekly Pursuit. That’s because this post is going to be just that, some musings…on a Monday.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

After my post about my struggles with weight and eating the other day (specifically Saturday), it’s at the forefront of my mind. Yesterday began my reboot. It was actually a bit of a harder day too, because I had family in town. Going over to visit my grandmother and see my Aunt and Uncles brought out all sorts of temptations in the food department.

Two things helped me get through it. My stubbornness for getting this fit journey reboot off to a great start for one. Secondly, most of the junky food options weren’t vegan. That is definitely a good thing for me at times. I finished the day out within my calorie allotment and was happy with that.

The Girl's Got Sole - Nana & Shannon

Nana and I on Sunday.

Speaking of my family, it was great seeing not only my Aunt Kyle who is in town for a week, but my grandmother especially. She is 89 years-old and despite only living an hour away, I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like. My two Uncles who live near my grandmother also were there. I haven’t seen either one of them in a few months at least, likely more than that. My family used to be so close when I was growing up. It seems we don’t get together like we used to. Not sure when things changed, but I suppose it happens as we get older sometimes.

I just remember all the fun times my family had when I was a kid and even in high school. We used to drive over on Sundays after church and spend the day with the family. Splashing in the pool, BBQs and spaghetti dinners were a regular thing. Kinda sad that things have changed so much, but I’m happy for the memories.

The Girl's Got Sole - running group

The girls after our first run of October.

So, it was a pretty good weekend. Saturday was a run of 9 miles with my fellow Galloway girls and it was great. Dare I say that we had a bit of cooler temps in the air even! Don’t get me wrong, it was still warm, but even slightly cooler is oh so welcome. It’s been quite the extremely hot and humid summer here in Florida that I have been looking forward to any drop in the temperature.

And, I did get in a good cross-training workout at the gym on Sunday morning before heading to see my family. Getting my workouts done first thing works out best for me. Now, if I can just get myself in bed and asleep earlier and get 7-8 hours of sleep. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Strength shows

How was your weekend? Anyone have a race?

Mental Illness Awareness Week

The first full week of October is designated Mental Illness Awareness Week. It’s during this time, October 2-8 that NAMI along with partners all across the country are raising awareness of mental illness. A mental illness is a condition that can affect a person’s way of thinking, feeling or mood. The condition can impinge upon someone’s ability to function each day as well as relate to other people.

Girl's Got Sole - National Mental Illness Awareness

Nearly one in 25 adults, or 10 million adults in the United States are living with a serious mental illness. This illness substantially interferes with or somehow limits at least one major life activity for the individual. Half of mental health conditions begin by the age of 14, and 75% of mental illnesses develop by age 24. In addition, 13% of children between the ages of 8 and 15 experience a mental health disorder.

— 6.9% of adults in the U.S. or 16 million had at least one major depressive episode in the past year.
— 2.6% of adults in the U.S. live with bipolar disorder.
— 1.1% of adults in the U.S. live with schizophrenia.
— 18.1% of adults in the U.S. experienced an anxiety disorder.
— 50.5% (10.2 million) of the 20.2 million adults in the U.S. who experienced substance use disorder had a
co-occurring mental illness.

Knowing the facts about mental illness can help you reject stigmatizing stereotypes as well as aid in educating others. A mental health issue is not the result of a person’s lack of character, personal weakness or poor upbringing. Having an understanding of mental health isn’t just about being able to identify symptoms, but also about dispelling the many false perceptions about mental health diseases.

You can help take action on mental health issues. By lending your support to the #stigmafree cause, it helps show that understanding of mental disease is important. Our current mental health care system is unfortunately often keeping treatment and recovery out of the hands of many people who really need it. Better legislation and policies are needed to improve the lives for everyone.

Sign the stigmanfree pledge today and help promote acceptance of mental illness and challenge social stereotypes. Take the pledge and raise awareness.

The Girl's Got Sole - stigma free

(NOTE: Numbers and statistics taken from the National Alliance on Mental Illness or NAMI website.)

Putting It Out There: My Struggles

I’ve been struggling.

For some reason, this year has been more difficult for me in the weight loss maintenance zone. I have been doing well over the last approximately five years since my weight loss of 80lbs in keeping it off. Sure, I did have a brief 5lbs to deal with last year before I began marathon training, but this has felt different.

I’m up 8lbs right now from where I was when I ran the 2015 NYC Marathon and it upsets me. I want to put it out there because I need your support and motivation while I get back on track. I’ve typically been pretty good on my own with my weight loss maintenance, but this time I need help.

Girl's Got Sole - struggle today, strength tomorrow

My eating is the main issue. I’ve been emotionally eating more than a few times. Sure, it’s about 200-300 calories more a day each time, but that eventually adds up. I need to– I want to get back to the old me. The old me meaning the me that was confident and felt good about my level of health and fitness.

I never ever want to be the person I was before my weight loss and before I became a runner. It’s because of that and knowing that I’m having struggles that I need to put it out there. I suppose it’s an accountability sort of thing. Just like when I post my workouts, I feel as though I need to be accountable for my weight.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not about being skinny, because it’s not. It’s about being the healthier me that I know I can be. I’ve long ago realized that I’m never going to be (nor do I want to be) a teeny tiny skinny girl that has a flat stomach. I was born with a bit of a tummy and it is going to be a part of me forever. And, that’s okay. It took me some time to get to that mindset, but I love the me that was 125lbs. Yes, I am putting my goal weight, the weight that I was this time last year out there.

Girl's Got Sole - working on myself

That is the weight that I have learned my body is happiest and healthiest at. I have been as low as 119lbs, but it didn’t really stick once I got more active. That 125lbs point is my comfortable weight point. It feels good for me and when I’m maintaining it with my good eating and regular workouts, it’s great.

So, there it is, something that has been on my mind the last couple of weeks. It’s during that time that I’ve felt discouraged and a bit lost. It’s time to get over those feelings and start believing in myself again. It won’t be an easy road, but it’s through challenges that we become stronger.

I’m going to believe in me starting now.

Girl's Got Sole - Believe in myself