Movin’ Out

Movin' Out

That Billy Joel song, Movin’ Out came to mind when I finally got myself to write this blog post. I’ve known for a couple of weeks that this was coming, but it was a shocker at first. I’m moving. By the end of December, I’m going to be moving out of the house I’ve rented a room in for four years.

The decision wasn’t mine, it was made for me. My landlord raised the rent again (was raised a year or so ago), and decided that she wasn’t going to continue our landlord/tenant agreement beyond December. It’s not easy having to move, let alone from an area you like being in.

Not to mention that my Christmas holidays are now about more than holly and jolliness. I’ve got boxes to pack, things to throw away and other things to sell or giveaway. Kind of makes moving a bit more stressful due to the time of the year.

The news also threw my plan to go to Atlanta for Jeff Galloway’s race a no-go. Kind of difficult to deal with a weekend trek up to Georgia when I’ve got moving insanity to deal with. On the good side of things, I will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k on December 18th in Tampa. So, while I miss out on what would have been my only vacation trip of the year, I am looking forward to that race and getting to see a childhood friend at the same time.

The Girl's Got Sole - listen to Billy Joel

Because I’m a single woman with not a lot of income coming in, I have to find a room-mate situation or renting another room somewhere. Trying to find something right now in my price range and all hasn’t been easy. Fortunately, one of my friends and her husband are letting me rent a room in their home for a month or so. The only bad side is that it’s in Kissimmee. Putting me at least 45 minutes from my running group and such.

I’m extremely blessed for this friend and through all of this craziness, she has been so awesome. She even came over yesterday to help me start packing! Did I mention I hate packing and moving? LOL! Honestly, she is like a big sister to me and I don’t know what I would do without her. God truly puts some amazing people in our lives!

Through these changes, my depression issues came out full-force. This especially was true last month even before I got the news about having to move. It really felt like a punch to the gut and I cried myself to sleep more than once, something that rarely happens.

My blogging has gotten a bit behind because of the move and depression. I’m now behind on three race recaps (just did race #3 on Saturday), as well as a few other posts I wanted to get up by now. I apologize for that, as I always do my best to be timely on those and update the blog at least three times a week. I appreciate your patience right now, and I promise January will see things getting back on track.

The Girl's Got Sole - God gives you a new beginning

As I write this blog post, I’m hopeful. This is because of my family and friends who have been there for me. I am doing my best to not stress too much, and to remain positive. I know that sometimes, we have to go through some hard times to get to the better ones. There’s some things I have planned for 2017, and I am keeping my head up right now. God is not going to let me fall, He is right there with me. I have faith that good times ARE coming.

Giving Tuesday

The Girl's Got Sole - Giving Tuesday

After the shopping deals of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, today is known as Giving Tuesday. It’s a global day of giving fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. The day is celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving each year. Giving Tuesday is the ‘official’ kick off of the charitable season.

The #GivingTuesday website provides a helpful directory to help find a charity, organization or event in your local community. The 2016 #GivingTuesday is now in it’s fifth year. It was created by the team at the New York City 92nd Street Y, by the Belfer Center for Innovation & Social Impact team. The day is all about bringing people together through the values of service and giving back.

You can search for an organization via the official website. Search by city and state, organization type, and/or organization name. There are over 3,400 groups listed, thus you can find an organization that is near you or in another location, so many to choose from.

The Girl's Got Sole - Team 413

A cause that means a lot to me is Team 413. It’s a ministry dedicated to sharing the love of Christ with endurance athletes. The goal for this year is 2,500 and every dollar is truly needed to keep the ministry going. Donations help with operating costs for marathon expo events including booth rental and travel costs. If you are able to donate, go here.

A few other causes and organizations of note:
26.2 with Donna (The Donna Foundation)
Farm Sanctuary
261 Fearless
National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association
Second Harvest Food Bank
National Alliance on Mental Illness
Alzheimer’s Association
Humane Society
American Thyroid Association
Feeding America

The Girl's Got Sole - Giving Tuesday

A Space Coast Marathoning Mission

This time five years ago, in 2011, I was preparing to run (well, mostly walk that year) my first half marathon. It was an exciting, yet bittersweet experience for me since I was not able to really run back then due to my back injury. I crossed that finish line addicted to half marathons.

After completing my first half marathon in 2011.

After completing the 2011 Space Coast Half Marathon.

I have been blessed since then in 2012, to start the run/walk method with Jeff Galloway’s training. Almost hard to believe that I’ve been able to accomplish so much in that time. Not to mention that tomorrow’s Space Coast Half Marathon is number 23 for me in the 13.1 distance.

Space Coast Marathon & Half Marathon has become quite a meaningful race weekend for me as I’ve run it going on five times. It was my second marathon in 2013, which was the first year of the current Big Bang Series that ends with next year’s race.

So many memories with great friends at the Space Coast Marathon weekend. It’s a race that so many fellow Orlando Galloway and other runner friends do every year. I’ve got some of my favorite race memories at Space Coast. One of my favorites was 2013 when a number of us dressed up as Star Trek crew members for the race. Was a fun day, and not since it was marathon #2, made it even more memorable.

The Girl's Got Sole - Space Coast Marathon

Star Trek fun at the 2013 Space Coast Marathon

I feel like Space Coast Marathon weekend is one I can see my progress or what have you each year as a runner. Even though I’ve only been running for five years or so now, I’ve learned a lot. As a back-of-the-packer, I run for me. I run for fun, for the social aspect of it. I run for fitness and to see what I am capable of. Running is something that continues to teach me how strong I am and challenges me to push myself like nothing else.

This year’s Space Coast Half Marathon, I only have one real goal for the race. I would really like to get a PR, or at least finish as well as I did last year. Otherwise, I want to get out there and enjoy the race and do my best. That’s all that I ever aspire to do at races.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2015 Space Coast post-race pic

At the 2015 Space Coast Half Marathon.

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Happy Thanksgiving!

The Girl's Got Sole - Happy Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for you! All of you who come by and visit and share your thoughts and comments. The online running community is so amazing and supportive. Thank you for your support!

I’m thankful for my running group, as they are like an extended family and I’ve been blessed to have a number of them in my life for a few years now. Through the dark and early runs; through the good and not-so-good runs, runner friends are the best.

I’m thankful for my family. My mom, dad, brother as well as my Nana, Aunts and Uncles from Florida up to New York mean a lot to me. I just wish I was able to see some of them more often.

I’m thankful for all of my friends, period. Sure, my running friends and I share a special, but crazy bond, but I have a number of non-runner friends who I love very much. They are always there for me and for that I am blessed.

Thank you, God for all of the blessings you have bestowed upon me. I know that despite going through some rough waters right now, it will get better. You are in control, and I have faith that things will work out in the way you intend them to in the end.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

The Girl's Got Sole - Blessed Thanksgiving

Monday Musings 11/21

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

Hey ya! Happy Thanksgiving week! Here’s to a great week for everyone and a blessed Thanksgiving with family and friends. 🙂

I opted to go with a Monday Musings post today rather than my usual Weekly Pursuit. This will make week two of skipping my usual Monday blog post, but I felt that this worked out better. I had a rough last week and a half or thereabouts, and I just didn’t feel into writing a Weekly Pursuit last week.

When depression hits, it’s a battle that can take a lot out of you. My motivation and energy becomes the most affected, and while writing truly helps me deal with things, sometimes, you just need a break. Not to mention I wasn’t sure I could find the words, or at least the words I thought were right to express myself at the time.

On the upside, this weekend has been good. I had a good morning run with my Galloway group. Started out as 6 miles, and I ended up with almost 9 miles after adding on a bit with some other friends from another pace group. Running gives me joy, and being out on the road with my runner friends makes it all the better. So, when I felt good Saturday morning, I was up for another couple of miles.

The Girl's Got Sole - Running group

With some of my group girls after Saturday’s run.

The road and my sole sisters are the best listeners. Our emotions out there are real. Memories and laughter are made through the miles. Nothing like it in the world.

After my running therapy, my mom and one of my friends came over to work on my bedroom. With an impending move upon me, I really need to work on what’s truly important to have around. I admit, I’m a bit of a pack rat (that may be understanding things LOL), so I tend to like to hold on to some things that I really shouldn’t. Not being good at going through things and doing the sorting (keep, sell, give away, trash), it was extremely helpful to have this support. We got a lot done, mostly clothing and we will continue the work in a couple of weeks after the holiday.

Not sure where I’m heading between now and January 1st, but I trust that God has a plan for me and my future. I’ve got a number of things I want to change in the coming months, and this has just become the first step in that process.

This coming weekend is one of my favorite races, Space Coast Half Marathon. This will be my 4th year in a row running the race (I ran the full in 2013, then the half in 2014, 2015 and this year) for the Big Bang Series. It was actually my first-ever half marathon in 2011, so it’s a race that has a lot of meaning for me. So many running friends run either the half or full, so it’s like a big party race.

The Girl's Got Sole - I'm a 13.1

Then, the following weekend, I’ll be running half marathon number 24. I was iffy on doing it, but after things changing with my December plan to go to Atlanta for Jeff Galloway’s race (sadly, no longer able to go with my impending move), I have decided to run the OUC Orlando Half Marathon. It’s also been a race I’ve run a few times. My first was in 2012, and then I ran it again in 2014 and 2015. I had said I wasn’t going to run it this year, but never say never when you’re a runner! 🙂

I will get back to my Weekly Pursuit posts next week. I really do like having that regular post and goals. If you are running a race this coming weekend, good luck and have fun!

An A-Z Guide of Running Terms

The Girl's Got Sole - A to Z Guide for Runners

If you’ve been running for awhile, these terms will be familiar. But, if you are a newer runner, I hope this A-Z terminology guide to commonly used runners terms will be helpful.

A is for Aerobic. Refers to use of oxygen. Workout that improves the body’s cardiovascular efficiency when absorbing and transporting oxygen.
B is for Black toenails. If you are an endurance runner, you will likely deal with this not-so-fun nail issue after a long run or race.
C is for Chafing. Another not so fun after effect of running. Usually discovered while taking a post-run shower.
D – is for DOMS or Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. Pain and stiffness that comes on several hours or days after a hard run or race.
E – is for Endorphins. The great feeling you get during and/or after a great run, otherwise known as an endorphin high. A group of hormones produced within the brain creating a positive feeling in the body.
F – is for Fuel. This can be in the form of gels (not always so tasty), chews, or other snacks carried on a run to keep sugar levels up and balanced.
G – is for GPS. Most runners wear a GPS watch to track their runs including distance, pace and time.
H – is for Hill repeats. Workout most runners tend to dislike, consisting of hill running to build strength, improve speed and overall fitness.
I – is for Intervals. Short, intense effort then followed by an equal recovery period. Galloway runners use intervals when running. May run for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds of walking, then repeated.
J – is for Jogging. A form of running or trotting at a slow, leisurely pace.
K – is for Kick, aka finishing kick. Final push in the last 200 meters of a race.
L – is for Long run. Considered the longest run of a runner’s training week. The mileage can vary, as some runners consider a long run to be a run of 10 miles or longer while with others, it varies.
M – is for Marathon. The 26.2 distance which is considered by most as the ultimate endurance event for runners.
N – is for Negative split. Action of completing the second half of a run/race faster than the first half.
O – is for Over-training. Performing more training than your body can recover from, causing a decline in usual performance.
P – is for PR/PB (personal record/personal best). Your best time in a race of a specific distance. A time runners try to beat in each subsequent race.
Q – is for Quads. Group of muscles at the front of the thighs that are crucial for runners.
R – is for Recovery. Resting after a hard run or race, time taken off to let the body feel better.
S – is for Splits. Total time of a particular run or race broken down into parts, usually miles.
T – is for Taper. Reduction of running before a big race like a marathon or half marathon. Tapering is important for a runner to have their best performance.
U – is for Ultra. A run that is longer than the traditional marathon distance. Usually, this is a 50k, 50-miler or more.
V – is for VO2 Max (max oxygen intake). Factor determining a runner’s capacity to perform sustained exercise. Affects your muscles efficiency in utilizing oxygen.
W – is for the Wall. Hitting the wall, or bonking is a condition caused by the depletion of glycogen stores in the liver and muscles causing sudden fatigue and energy loss.
X – is for X-training. Or, cross-training is another exercise such as cycling, swimming or strength training used by runners to supplement their running.
Y – is for Yasso 800s. Can predict you marathon time by doing a workout of 800 meters, 10 times with an equal recovery time.
Z – is for ZZZZ. Or, sleeping! Yeah, bit of a stretch, but hey, it’s a crucial part of running. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Running is life

Any that I may have missed? Feel free to add them in the comments! 🙂

If God Brings you to it…

If God brings you to it, He will bring you through it. This is my life mantra right now.

I haven’t posted since Monday as it’s been a tough week, and I’m trying to avoid posting a lot of depressive things. Then, I thought about it, and realized that this blog, my blog is about me and being authentic. Authenticity means that sometimes, it’s about times of struggle. To stop posting, and then resuming only when things are back on an upswing just isn’t real.

The Girl's Got Sole - If God brings you to it

Most of the time, I feel extremely blessed and life is pretty good. I’m fortunate in a lot of ways. But, my strength and growth comes from those hard, tough times. We need to go through storms so that we can appreciate the sunny days.

My depression has been rocky, so when I received news that I would have to find a new place to live as of January 1st, it hit me hard. I don’t cry much these days, but the tears flowed. I cried so much that by the time I was dried out, my eyes hurt. I felt as though someone had stabbed me in the stomach and it was as if all of my recent tension and distress came to the surface. While normally one piece of bad news would be upsetting of course, with everything going on, it pretty much multiplied in this case.

I am thankful for amazing family and friends, because they helped calm me down and from the edge. Their comforting words and prayers meant the world. I awoke the next morning feeling more content and stronger again. I remembered the previous evening very clearly, but God was there. He was right by my side, and I knew while there was going to be a challenging road ahead of me, He was in control.

My faith sustains me, and while I’m not always the best disciple of God, I know deep down He will never forsake me. Psalm 16:8, ‘I know the Lord is always with me, I will not be shaken for He is right beside me.’

The Girl's Got Sole - All you need is hope & strength

The Weekly Pursuit #23

As I write this post, it’s about 8pm and prime-time television is about to come on. Specifically, it’s Dancing with the Stars night. While I’m not a huge fan, I’ve enjoyed watching this season since Olympian Laurie Hernandez is on. I’m more of a drama and sit-com fan when it comes to television series and shows these days, but Dancing with the Stars is fun to watch.

The Girl's Got Sole - Trust God

I’m starting to think about next year a lot. 2016 hasn’t been a horrible year, but it also hasn’t been a great year either. I’ve not felt overly excited about much, and my generally motivation has been lacking, especially the last few months. I know it’s partially due to my thyroid and depression, but I don’t know…I suppose it didn’t help that I felt as though I didn’t have any big goal of some sort this year for myself. That’s going to change in 2017.

This past weekend was motivational. Motivational mostly because I was able to watch the TCS NYC Marathon on Sunday and live track a number of friends running the five boroughs. It made me really anxious to go back up to New York to run again, if I wasn’t already antsy enough to do it.

The Girl's Got Sole - Running group

Running group on Saturday morning.

Saturday was good because it was a run day. I always love my running days, even when the run may not go well, I never every regret a run day. It was a pretty easy one for the group, as we had six miles on the schedule. I did end up with 7 miles of running and one mile of walking at the end, for a total of 8 miles. We had great weather, and that always makes me feel better after the crazy humidity we usually are dealing with here in Florida.

The whole time change thing threw me off Sunday. To be honest, I’m still off. Even though the clocks went back an hour, I’m STILL tired. I didn’t sleep well the last couple of nights, so hoping for improved sleep this week! With a 14 mile training run coming up on Saturday, I need some quality rest!

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Logging food daily. I’d give myself a 4 out of 5 on this one. I mostly logged, but not every single thing like I need to be doing. I find that I got really off with it over the weekend for some reason.

2. Hydration. Let’s keep this going! This one gets a 3 out of 5, I can definitely do better.

3. Daily Devotional reading. Still not completely caught up, so 4 out of 5 for this goal.

4. Listening to my body. Well, I’m resting and napping when I feel like I should! I’m just not happy with the fact that I feel my energy is still lower than it should be overall. Give it a 4 out of 5.

This week’s goals…
1. Logging food daily.
2. Hydration. With a 14-miler Saturday, very important!
3. Daily Devotional reading.
4. Working on my motivation. 🙂

 

What are your goals this week?
Anyone run long or race this past weekend?

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Ultimate Coffee Date – November 2016

It’s time for another Ultimate Coffee Date! I missed last month’s virtual fun, so I wanted to ensure I was prepared for November. If you don’t know about the Ultimate Coffee Date, let me enlighten you. 🙂

The Ultimate Coffee Date was created by Deborah and Coco to bring us all together virtually the first Saturday of each month. It’s all about enjoying a cup of coffee, tea, or your favorite beverage and just catching up on this and that with one another. Definitely jump in and join the fun, as we’re all friends here!

The Girl's Got Sole - Gilmore girls coffee

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

That I’ve had my share of ups and downs lately, but I’ve still got my head up! I don’t want to let my depression/anxiety and thyroid issues win and take over my life. It’s MY life and I have so much more to do and more dreams to chase!

I’m working on something big that I will be pursuing in 2017. It’s something that is deep in my heart and has been there for some time. I truly believe the things you can’t stop thinking about and are passionate about are your calling. So, while I may not know where it may completely lead me in the next year, I am very much optimistic and excited. 🙂

If we were having coffee, I would tell you…

My racing (well, races since I’m not out there for any kind of speed awards LOL) is finally kicked back into gear. And, while I struggled with Sunday’s race, I know it’s just one run. With Space Coast Half Marathon coming up at the end of the month, followed by the OUC Half Marathon, and then the Jeff Galloway 13.1 race weekend, I’ve got a few running events right around the corner.

In all honesty, while I’m registered for the OUC Half Marathon, it’s the weekend after Space Coast and the weekend before Jeff Galloway’s race in Atlanta. So, I’ll likely just run the 5k and add in 2-3 miles before or after it instead to ensure I am recovering well for Atlanta. I’ve run 3 half marathons in 3 weekends before, but it’s not easy.

Also, I’ve got a race I’m very excited about the weekend after Jeff Galloway’s race, the Hot Chocolate 15k in Tampa. I’ll actually be running that race for BibRave, and I’m looking forward to it almost as much as I’m looking forward to going up to Atlanta for a weekend.

Much more is happening after the holidays as well, this is a great time of year for us half and full marathon runners!

Confessions of a Mother Runner

How about you? If we were having coffee, what would you want to share?
Please comment, and let’s chat! Also, please be sure to visit the other bloggers in the virtual link up!

Questioning My Running

So, I guess I’ve hit that point in my running journey where I question myself. I question if I’m starting to lose something.

It all came out of this past Sunday’s half marathon (race recap is coming soon). I was feeling okay at the get-go, but by the halfway point, the wheels felt like they were beginning to fall off. My legs hurt and I started to question myself and why I was running the race.

The Girl's Got Sole - stumble in journey

What was the deal with that? Why did the race feel so tough? I’ve done 21 half marathons before that one, and did my training, up to 14 miles two weeks before the race. So, why did I feel like 13.1 miles was such a difficulty?

This mindset started to get me wondering about my future races. Not to mention my plan of training for marathon #6 in 2017. Would it be too much? Were my marathon days over? Was marathon #5 truly my last 26.2?

That’s where I had to pull out my bag of tricks. It was obviously a mental game in progress and I had to overcome those negative thoughts with positive ones and win with my mantras.

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

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me…” my favorite Bible verse that was emblazon on the back of my shirt immediately hit me. I CAN do the race, and I WILL do it. Stop questioning and believe in yourself.

Having been through a lot over the years, this was just a stumbling block. I was a marathoner and I have pushed through this sort of thing before. I overcame not running even a mile almost six years ago, this was just another challenge I would have to get through.

Finishing the half marathon, I could not have been happier for it to be over. Part of me wondered if the heat and all was the issue, and I was just overthinking things. So, I told myself, forget about your finishing time and just be glad you were able to get out there and run with friends.

Questioning my running, a mental challenge through the miles. #runner #werunsocial #runchat Click To Tweet

It took me a couple of days to realize something. It wasn’t that I wasn’t a good endurance runner anymore, no it wasn’t that at all. It was that I wasn’t training for a marathon this season. Every other season of my Galloway training since 2012 had a marathon involved. The 2012-2013 season I was training for my first marathon, 26.2 with Donna. Then, four more marathons followed between 2013-2015.

My endurance is just not at the level that it was used to being. Training for a marathon makes half marathons feel a bit less difficult. Not that the half marathon isn’t a challenge, on the contrary! When we run more miles and are able to run 20+ miles, that 13.1 distance just doesn’t seem as much of a push.

This season, I took off from marathons. I knew that my body needed a break from that distance, and so my goal for this training season was the half marathon. It also helped me realize how much I truly miss training for 26.2.

The Girl's Got Sole - Me and Running

I’ve got half marathon #23 in 25 days at Space Coast Half Marathon. I’m going to work on my speed-work between now and then, and my mental training. I guess keeping our mental training sharp is just as important as our physical training.

I love to run, so irregardless of how much I disliked how I performed during that race, I refuse to give up. The experience will only make me stronger.

Have you ever questioned being a runner?

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