Start off your Thanksgiving with a Virtual 5k!

Disclaimer: I received an 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!

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

With Thanksgiving around the corner, it’s time to think about ways to get into the holiday spirit and get in a good workout at the same time! Join me in taking part in the 2019 NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k! It’s a FREE virtual event that you can run or walk anywhere between November 23rd and December 1st.

I love getting in a nice run on Thanksgiving morning, especially with that big dinner celebration later in the day! In the past, I’ve done a local Turkey Trot, and I love seeing all the runners and walkers of all ages coming out to enjoy the start of Thanksgiving together. I always feel good starting off my day with a run.

The New York Road Runners and Strava are giving everyone a chance to take part in a FREE virtual 5k this year. All you have to do is register on NYRR, connect Strava, and get out and move! This is such a fun way to get everyone in the family, or your friends involved in a fun 5k this Thanksgiving holiday. If you are already doing a local race, you can use that for your virtual race (unless you’d like to do two races 😉 )!

My plan is to run with some of my training group on Thanksgiving morning for my NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot. I hope you too will join me in the fun and sign up to do this NYRR virtual run! 🙂

Catching my Breath

I’ve been dealing with an issue on my runs lately. I have been finding myself getting shortness of breath issues and needing to walk more. It’s driving me crazy, because otherwise, I feel pretty good and want to keep going. Yet, my breathing, or lack of being able to breath well causes me problems.

A good example of a recent episode of this issue is the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon last month. I pushed through the first 6ish miles, and then have to catch my breath. It drives me crazy because I do 30:30 intervals (run/walk), and have been doing that for years now. Suddenly, I can’t always push through a 30 second run. Frustrating to say the least.

The Girl's Got Sole - Catching my Breath

While I do have exercise-induced asthma, it’s never been such an issue. Up till now, I would need to maybe use my rescue inhaler during a colder or harder run, then I’d be fine. Lately, I have used the inhaler 15 minutes before my runs, and then carry it with me for anything more than a 3 miler. If I am running an easy-paced training run, I tend to be pretty good. That all changes though during a race when I am pushing my pace and effort.

After last month’s half marathon, I made an appointment with my general doctor. I was able to get in the day after the race and see the Nurse Practitioner. She recommended that I see a specialist, that way I can get a lung test done to see if it was full on adult-onset asthma.

So, yesterday, I had my first appointment with the Asthma and Allergy Doctor. She was really nice, asked me a lot of questions relevant to my issue. A nurse then did a Pulmonary Lung Test, to see if I indeed have asthma. Results came back a few minutes later, and they were good. Good in that, my lung function is actually very good. It didn’t outright show that I have asthma.

The Girl's Got Sole - Catching my Breath

New medication I’m hopeful about

What does that mean? As of today, I started a new medication in addition to my ProAir inhaler. I am taking Arnuity Ellipta inhalation powder once daily. It’s a corticosteroid used to control and treat asthma. So, while the lung test didn’t show I have asthma, we are treating the symptoms. Should know if this helps in a couple of weeks.

I’m hopeful that the new medication helps, and I can start feeling better breathing when I’m running. Only time will tell. My follow-up appointment with the doctor is after Thanksgiving, so praying I feel better before my next race, the OUC Orlando Half Marathon on 12/7.



Anyone else deal with shortness of breath when running? Or, do you have asthma? What has worked for you?

Recap: TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

The Girl's Got Sole - TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

Disclaimer: I ran the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 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!

On October 31st, I ran my virtual 5k for the 2019 TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k. While I’d love to be running again in NYC, the virtual racing series gives everyone a chance to be a part of New York and the New York Road Runners events from anywhere.

That morning, I was able to run with two great friends, Lourdes and Barbara. We met up at just before 5am, and set out to do a 5k loop that we run often in Orlando with my Orlando Galloway training group. Run/walk intervals were set for 30:30s, which is my usual favored intervals. Garmin and timer set, we were off at 5am.

The Girl's Got Sole - TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

I felt good right out, which I was thankful for. Typically, I tend to go out too fast when I’m not reigning myself in, so I didn’t know if that would happen this time. The excitement of doing a 5k race, even though it was a virtual one had me feeling good.

Mile one came, and I looked down at my Garmin, ran it in 13:21, which was good. Not too fast, and it gave me a chance to go for negative splits. Sped things up in that second mile, and did it in 13:05. Yes, a negative split, I remember thinking! Let’s see what I can hit mile 3 in. As I sped up a bit more, feeling a little more winded, but determined, my Garmin beeped another mile… looked down, 12:26! How awesome is that? The last .2 was in an 11:57 pace. Felt good to get one of my better 5k times in awhile. Finished in 39:54.

The Girl's Got Sole - TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

These virtual races with NYRR and Strava are a great way to stay motivated during your training, and to challenge yourself. This particular 5k gave me just that opportunity, to push myself a bit more than I have been lately during my 3 milers.

Next up for the NYRR Virtual Racing Series is the NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k. Register for free on NYRR.org. The window to run the virtual race is from November 23rd through December 1st. I will be running it down here in Florida, will you join in on the fun?


Helping Out TEAM 413

The Girl's Got Sole - Team 413

On Saturday, after my group run, I headed over to Disney’s ESPN Wide World of Sports to help out TEAM 413. I offered Chris to help out wherever I could during the runDisney Wine & Dine Half Marathon Weekend expo. Due to work, I was only able to do it Saturday, but I felt the need to volunteer my time.

If you don’t know about TEAM 413 – GRACERUNNER MINISTRIES, it’s a ministry for endurance athletes. The mission is to share Christ with any and everyone along our journey. To be a part of TEAM 413, all you have to do is get a shirt, and wear it on your runs, races, whenever! The bible verse on the back, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” from Philippians 4:13, has helped encourage and motivate many runners and other athletes all over the country. I love getting out there during races, and wearing my TEAM 413 shirts. I have gotten taps on the shoulder, and thanks for the message.

The Girl's Got Sole - TEAM 413 expo booth

What you may not know about TEAM 413, is that it is a non-profit and completely run by two awesome folks, Chris and Kiki Gillespie. Neither take a paycheck from TEAM 413, and every product purchased, or donation given goes right back into the ministry. This is why it is so important that everyone who has been encouraged by the TEAM 413 message gives back. Donations keep the good message of God’s grace flowing to endurance athletes all over!

I helped out at the expo booth from about 11am until the event closed down at 3pm. Then, helped them take down the booth, which is a job in itself! Chris and Kiki sure have a method though! Really enjoyed talking to a number of runners at the expo, and many had sort of heard of the ministry, but didn’t know much. It was neat being able to hear some stories of runners seeing the TEAM 413 shirts out on a race course, and being inspired by it. This brought them to stop by the booth. That is so cool, the good word continues to spread through our wonderful community of runners!

The Girl's Got Sole - TEAM 413 expo

Please consider making a donation to this awesome cause. If you have ever seen a TEAM 413 at a race and it motivated you at all, can you give a few dollars? I know money can be tight, because I am in that position myself a lot. But, maybe skip your coffee one morning or bring your lunch to work instead of getting take-out. Give the $5 or $10 you would have spent to the TEAM 413 ministry.

I encourage you to check out TEAM 413’s website and join the Facebook community for daily inspiration from Chris. The TEAM 413 folks will be back at runDisney in January for the WDW Marathon Weekend expo. I hope to be helping out at the booth as much as possible. Such a rewarding way to give-back and meet great folks!


Race Recap: 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

On October 26th, I ran the 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon in Port Orange, Florida. It was my 39th half marathon. I didn’t know it would be one of my tougher ones to date. You just never know what race day will bring.

I woke up about 3:40am on race morning to get ready. The race was located about an hour and twenty minutes from me. Once I got dressed, and grabbed my gear, I was out the door at about forty minutes later. Once I got in my car, I set my GPS and was on my way.

The Girl's Got Sole -2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

Arrived at the race site parking just before 6am (made a convenience store potty stop a few minutes before hand), and met my runner friend, Jackie. She thankfully was able to pick up our race packets the day before, which really saved us. To get to the race start, you had to walk over a bridge which was over a half of a mile trek. Once we got to the starting area, we lingered a bit, and I found a few Orlando Galloway runners. We took some photos and I did a port-o-let stop before we headed to the starting area.

The race made some announcements (which unfortunately, I couldn’t really hear in the back), and the National Anthem was sung. Then, we were off and running! I headed out with my runner friend, Jackie and we had quite a good pace going right out of the gate. I wanted to tone it down the first 2-3 miles, but that didn’t really happen. The first mile is always fast for me anyway, all the excitement of the race and all.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon recap

Right before mile 3, Jackie took off and did her thing. She was feeling good, and I was happy for her. I tried to keep a steady pace. We were running into a headwind those first 6ish miles, and I felt it. Took a lot out of me energy-wise. And, it was about that time that my shortness of breath decided to kick in.

I hoped walking more for a bit would help, but it didn’t. Seeing the Ponce Inlet Lighthouse ahead, I tried to enjoy the scenery. It is my favorite part of the course. Took a few pictures and hoped to get myself back into my run/walk intervals again. From mile 7 onward, my pace lingered around a 16 minute mile. Not what I had planned at all.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon recap

So, I tried to make the best of it, and get out of my head with my disappointment as the miles went on and my overall pace wasn’t what I wanted. I did get to talk to a couple of nice ladies at different points. I am a social runner, so I do love talking to fellow runners and meeting new people. Runners are a cool bunch. 🙂

Somehow, I finally made it to the bridge, which symbolized the end was near. Climbing it was quite a push, but I dug in and walked up. Once I got to the top, I ran down as much and long as possible. Downhill is always better! Then, it was about a quarter of a mile until that glorious finish line.

I crossed the finish line in 3:31:18, not the time I had hoped for at all. This was just not my race. Between the headwind the majority of the first half, the heat, and my shortness of breath issues, I didn’t do well. I’m glad to have finished, but know I can do a lot better. I’m no fast runner, but I can do better than this time.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

Wanted to note, because of the shortness of breath issue has been an on and off thing for me as of late, I am seeing an Asthma & Allergy Specialist in mid-November. I already have exercise-induced asthma, and now I am thinking it has gotten worse. Maybe I need a different inhaler or additional medication. Thankful that they can do testing the same day, and my December half marathons should benefit from it.

Looking forward to OUC Half Marathon feeling better and finishing in a better time. That said though, I’m blessed that I can run, and I always remind myself of that. Not all races and runs are going to be good. There’s always next time!

The Girl''s Got Sole - 2019 Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon

#AskABibRavePro

The Girl's Got Sole - BibRavePro

I’ve been blessed to be a part of an awesome running community as a BibRavePro for going on 6 years now. I’m sure you’ve seen my posts about races I’ve been able to run, and the cool products that I’ve had a chance to try out as a BibRavePro. Not to mention, the orange swag I’m wearing a lot when I’m running…my local running group sees me in my BibRave shirt and visor a lot. 🙂

Applications open tomorrow, November 1st through 17th for new BibRavePros! YOU can apply to join the awesome orange community! What’s great about being a Pro, besides the great race opportunities and product reviews, is the community. The BibRavePro community is like no other. Our team is full of inspiration, motivation, support and folks of all ages and abilities. It doesn’t matter if you are a fast runner, or a back of the packer, every single person is important and equally valued in the BibRave family.

The Girl's Got Sole - BibRavePro

Let’s not forget the weekly #BibChat every Tuesday night on Twitter! We all meet up on the social platform and chat about a particular topic with a great sponsor. Our Twitter chats tend to serve up lots of laughter and we always end up talking about food, but that’s what makes it so unique. It’s all about having fun, and supporting one another.

I’d love to answer any questions you might have about BibRave and being a BibRavePro. You can message me, or use the hashtag #AskABibRavePro on Twitter. Ask us anything, we love to talk about running, races, products, you name it! I hope you apply to join BibRave in 2020!


Run the TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k!

The Girl's Got Sole - TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 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!

I am excited to be running my third NYRR virtual race series event this year! What’s even better is that YOU are invited to run or walk it too! In fact, I hope you and and your friends join in on the fun with me!

I’ve been fortunate to have run the TCS NYC Marathon twice, in 2015 and 2017. That said, I never had the chance to do the TCS NYC Marathon 5k either year I was in New York. This virtual race opportunity is so great. I love that NYRR has brought the virtual race series to the masses. It gives everyone a taste of the Big Apple wherever they are.

The TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k is FREE! All you need to do is head over to NYRR and sign up (create a free account if you have yet to), connect the Strava app and you are ready to go! Run/walk the 5k anytime between October 31st and November 3rd. I also recommend you join the NYRR Virtual Racing group on Facebook, it’s a great encouraging group. And, if you have any questions, there is always someone who can help. I’ve loved being a part of the group.



So, who is going to join me and run the TCS NYC Marathon Virtual 5k?

Monday Musings 10/21/19

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

It’s race week! My 39th half marathon is on Saturday at the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon. This will be my first half marathon since February. Since I did my 14 mile training run on October 12th, I’m as ready as I can be! Would like to be a bit faster, but this year hasn’t really been about breaking any PRs or anything.

My goal is to try to finish the race as close to 3 hours as possible, but will have to see how I feel on race morning. That, and what kind of weather we get. Central Florida is so up and down this time of year, so you just never know what you might get. As of right now, it’s looking like it may be a warm one, so that would slow me down. I’m on weather-watch. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings 10/21/19

My sweet budgie boy was not feeling well last week. He had some issues with his potty being watery and oddly-colored. He got me concerned about him, and I almost took him to see the avian vet. Thankfully, I think I figured out that he was eating pieces of one of his toys. Once I removed it, he has seemed to have gotten a lot better. I also very much believe in the power of prayer, and I know my prayers to God to get my feathered baby back to normal were answered. I just love that little guy so much.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

My workouts last week were a bit off, as I was exhausted and dealing with depression/anxiety. While I’m still tired (I’m never truly not tired with my fibro), I am feeling better mentally. Thinking it may have been the changes in weather or something that flared up my anxiety and all. Hard to say though.

Due to a tropical storm passing through, my run got moved to Sunday morning. We didn’t get anything too crazy, just pouring rain and thunderstorms. So, I hit the gym on Saturday morning instead. It was different to run on Sunday when it’s not a race, but it was nice. I ran 6 miles with some of my group in Winter Park, and despite the humidity, run was great. Makes a great start to the week.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings, Sunday run group


Anyone run a race over the weekend? How did it go?
If not, what race are you training for?

Recap: NYRR Virtual Halfway There 13.1M

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Halfway There

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the NYRR Virtual Halfway There 13.1M race, powered by Strava 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 October 12th, I ran my 14 mile training run, and in doing so, my virtual NYRR Halfway There 13.1M race. It turned out to be one of our better morning’s here in Central Florida, weather-wise, which I was thankful for. During the run, temperatures were about 70 degrees, humidity wasn’t horrible. Started the run at 5:00am with some of my Orlando Galloway training group.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Halfway There

With some of the group during the first half of the run.

The first half of the run seemed to fly by. Lots of great conversation with my group always helps during a long run! I’m blessed to run with a great group of people. It was still dark outside, so that helped with the weather feeling cooler as well. Myself and one of my friends were doing the complete 14 miles for our half marathon coming up on October 26th. We had the company of others in our pace group until a bit after the halfway point of the 14 miles. Then, they headed back to our starting point (and their cars), as they had 10 miles to run.

My friend, Jackie and I continued our long run toward our goal. At this point, we were in Winter Park, and opted to do a part of our run over the Cady Way Bridge. Climbing up the bridge, I imagined the bridges in New York City. Of course, Florida has nothing on New York, but it was a good challenge to add in the bridge. We missed getting the sunrise over the bridge, as it came up a bit before our trek up, but that’s okay. I’ve been able to run up it before with the sun rising, it’s a nice sight to see. I do love being able to see the sun come up on our early morning runs.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR virtual Halfway There

The Cady Way Bridge!

When we hit just over 11 miles, we began to head back to the school, where our cars were parked. On the run back, it was great seeing some of the resident peacocks near Genius Drive. They are protected, and I love being able to see the birds on most Saturdays. A lot of them recently had babies, so the parents are walking the neighborhood with their juveniles this time of year.

I’ll admit, those last two miles felt like forever. My body yearned to walk, or better yet, stop running or moving at all. I also had to take a few extra or longer walk breaks, as my chest was bugging me a bit for some reason. I didn’t give up though, even if I had to walk a bit more, I pushed myself to run as much as I could. Jackie and I were encouraging each other to keep going. We kept each other motivated through to the end.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR virtual Halfway There

Love the Winter Park peacocks!

Seeing the school, which counts as our finish line was a great sight. My Garmin hit 14 miles, and I was happy, even though I was tired. The two of us ran just over a half marathon before most folks even got out of bed!

I wasn’t fast on my virtual race, as I treated it as a training run. Didn’t set out to complete it in a certain period of time. Would it have been nice to be faster? Sure, but in the grand scheme of things, not every run is going to be fast. You need to do what’s comfortable for you, and listen to your body.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR virtual Halfway There

Thumbs up, we are done!!!

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR virtual Halfway There

After the run, we headed to breakfast to celebrate. I’m not normally a drinker, but mimosa’s were definitely in order after 14 miles. And, breakfast always tastes better after a hard, long run or race. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Halfway There

Celebrating with breakfast and mimosa after the run!

The NYRR Virtual Race Series is a fun way to keep yourself motivated as you train for other races. I love being a part of them. NYRR and Strava have come together to give runners a chance to do something different and fun.

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Check out the virtual racing series through NYRR and Strava. You can sign up for the virtual TCS NYC Marathon, TCS NYC Marathon 5k, and the Turkey Trot 5k! Next up is the TCS NYC Marathon 5k, head over to NYRR and register for FREE! I love how many options they offer!

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR virtual race

Fibro is a Thief

Fibromyalgia is a thief. It has stolen my energy, my fun, the person I used to be. I can’t tell you how much that sucks. My long runs lately remind me of how much the disease has stolen from me. Fibro is a thief.

Yesterday, I ran my last long run for the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, my next half marathon. Those last couple of miles were not easy. Mentally, I felt good, ready for anything, but physically, not so much. My body just seems to struggle more than it used to during the long runs. And today, I am having to take a rest day to recover from the run. Those 14 miles took a lot more out of me than they used to. A couple of years ago (heck, even a year ago), I used to be able to go to the gym for my cross-training on the bike the day after a half marathon. This time, my body is just too exhausted.

The Girl's Got Sole - FIbro is a Thief

I came to a realization during this long run. That my marathon days were really, truly over. Sure, up till now, I had been telling people that I was “retired” from full marathons. Secretly though, I had hoped that I would be able to do another 26.2 again. But, unless some great treatment comes along, and I can feel the way I did in 2016, early 2017, that is just not going to happen.

I hate that it takes so much out of me to run a half marathon distance now. Honestly, it sucks. Unfortunately, that’s just how it may be going forward. I’m upset by it, but am not going to give up on doing something that I love doing. Running has given me so much the last 8 years, and I am a better person for it. I’ve learned how truly strong and capable I am at doing hard things.

The Girl's Got Sole - Fibro is a Thief

There is no cure for Fibromyalgia, and those, like me who have it, have to learn to live with it. I’ve been blessed that my fibro isn’t as bad symptom-wise as others. I choose to acknowledge that I have the disease, but that it won’t run my life. It can feel like pacing a race, dealing with how much I can do in a given day. Do too much, and I can experience what is called a Fibro Flare. In the little over a year since my official diagnosis, I’m learning how to better manage and pace myself. It’s an ongoing learning progress, that’s for sure.