Monday Musings 3/1/21

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

Happy first day and Monday of March! It’s been way too long since I did a Monday Musings post, so I decided today was time that I got back on it. The first two months of 2021 were busy for me, mostly in regards to work. I’m now working toward more of a balance so that I can get the things I enjoy like blogging to be more a part of my days and weeks again.

1. Health Journey. I’m still on my health journey adventure. It’s not been an easy one, but overall, I think I’ve done well. As of Saturday morning, I am down 3.6 pounds! This has me just 2lbs away from my goal. Going to keep pushing onward!

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

2. Running and racing. Feeling blessed that I’ve not only been able to keep running, but that I’ve done one in-person race so far this year, two virtual races, and have more in-person races coming up this month and next month. Covid isn’t keeping me from getting out and getting my endorphins on. 🙂

3. WandaVision. So, I am soooo into this series! The first couple of episodes had me scratching my head, but now I’m constantly looking forward to when Disney+ is going to release the next one! Definitely a show to watch if you are a Marvel fan.

The Girl's Got Sole - WandaVision Monday Musings

4. Weight Watchers chips. I found them at my local Vitamin Shoppe, and I love them. You don’t have to be on the Weight Watchers program to enjoy them, as they fit into just about any plan. I usually eat a bag of the BBQ or Hummus flavored chips with my sandwich at lunch. They are under 100 calories a bag, which is great.

5. YouTube vlogging. I’ve been dipping my toe into doing YouTube videos this year, and vlogging. It’s teaching me about not being so nervous about being on video, and I’m also learning about things like how long a video is best, and such. Hopefully, I will get better and better as I go along. It’s definitely a fun thing for me to do.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings vlog

How has your start to 2021 been going? Are you able to do in-person running events yet?

Race Recap: 2021 Hot Chocolate Atlanta

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate Atlanta

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the 2021 Hot Chocolate Atlanta 15k 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!

Who doesn’t love to run for chocolate? I know I LOVE chocolate, especially when it’s dark chocolate or combined with peanut butter. Yum! When I was given the chance to run another Hot Chocolate race, I was definitely in!

The 2021 Hot Chocolate Atlanta race became a virtual event due to the ongoing pandemic situation. While some in-person race events are happening, a number of larger events are being more cautious. While it saddens me that more race events can’t take place in-person, I understand that the safety of the participants, race staff, volunteers and spectators needs to be priority one. So, I’m happy to be able to continue to be a part of large races like the Hot Chocolate events virtually until things improve.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2021 Hot Chocolate ATL virtual

I ran my 15k with some of my runner friends on February 6th. It ended up being a decent morning for the run, at 58 degrees when I began. Would have been nicer for slightly cooler temps, but I was just happy that it wasn’t hot! The weather is so up and down this time of year in Central Florida, so you just never know what you might get from week to week.

During my 9.3 miles, I was feeling pretty good. Kept a happy pace, that is, didn’t really push and just enjoyed the morning and great company. The best thing about the morning was getting to run with a friend I don’t get to see as often as I’d like. We then enjoyed breakfast together afterwards. It was a good run and morning!

The Girl's Got Sole - 2021 Hot Chocolate ATL

The swag for the Hot Chocolate races is always on point and awesome. This year’s jacket is all black with a removable hoodie, probably my new favorite of the three I have. If you haven’t run a Hot Chocolate race yet, sign up for one soon! Do one now virtually, and then when the in-person races return, get out there and enjoy everything about this fun race series!

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 2021 race swag

Check out my YouTube Channel!

I’ve been focusing on doing videos and vlogging lately, so that means I’m not blogging here quite as much. I will be updating the blog soon, but I’d love for you to check out and subscribe to my YouTube channel!

My hope is to get up to 100 subscribers in the near future, as that will allow me to choose my name that’s included in the link. It would be great to have girlsgotsole instead of all of the letters and numbers in the link as it stands now. I’d love for you to let me know what you think, and what you’d like to see on the channel.

THE GIRLS GOT SOLE ON YOUTUBE

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Race Recap: 2021 Bahamas Half Marathon Virtual

The Girl's Got Sole - Marathon Bahamas virtual

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Marathon Bahamas Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

On January 16th, I ran the virtual Marathon Bahamas Half Marathon. I ran my 13.1 miles in Orlando and Winter Park. Was joined by four of my runner friends, two of which completed the 13.1 full distance. The neatest part, was that one of my friends is from the Bahamas and she usually runs the half marathon there.

The Girl's Got Sole - Marathon Bahamas virtual race

The day we ran the virtual race, it was pretty chilly out. Cold enough for layers and gloves. The temps were in the 40s, and just a bit colder than I’d like to run in. I’m definitely a Florida girl, that’s for sure. 🙂

I did enjoy the company, running friends always make the miles more fun and go by faster. We started at our usual starting point, which is a local school. We then did an 8 mile loop, returned to drop off two of the runners not running the half marathon distance. The three of us then headed back out to complete the final five plus miles.

You can check out my video shot during those last five miles on my YouTube Channel. I’ve really started to enjoy taking video during long runs and races, there’s something great about being able to re-live the run later on.

Marathon Bahamas is a race I’d love to run in person, hopefully in 2022, if not 2023. With a friend who has family there, I’d love to not only be able to experience the race event live and in person, but get to see Nassau with a knowledgeable local friend.

Race Recap: 2020 Mount Dora Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - 2020 Mount Dora Half Marathon race recap

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

On December 20th, I ran the 2020 Mount Dora Half Marathon. It was my 4th year running the race. While this race is quite hilly for Florida runners, I really do enjoy doing it every year. It’s such a great race to end the year on.

This year was a bit different due to the whole covid pandemic, so we had to wear masks before and after the race, as well as maintain social distancing. While that isn’t fun, I was happy to get to run another in-person race and see some friends. Safety needs to come first.

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon

On race morning, I arrived and immediately spotted some runner friends. Talked with them for a bit, then I went over to meet up with my fellow BibRavePros who were also running the race. We chatted for a little while, took a few pictures and then headed off to get to the race starting area.

The race released us in waves, to help with social distancing on the course. It didn’t take long through before we were off and running. One of my fellow Orlando Galloway friends was also running the race, so we decided to enjoy the race and run together.

I felt a bit winded the first half mile or so, but I think I just went out too fast. It wasn’t long before I got into a good pace groove though and was able to enjoy the scenery and race route. Mount Dora is really a great place to run, and despite the toughness of the hills at times, I do like running it.

I had gotten a new handheld camera before the race (an Akaso Brave 7 LE), so I ran with it. Helped me really capture the route well. You can check out my race video on my YouTube channel. If you are a fan of YouTube, please subscribe to my channel. (You can check out the video below)


The Mount Dora Half Marathon is a race I highly recommend running if you are local or want to travel down to Central Florida in December. They put on a great event, and the medal is always a fun one. This year, Rudolph had a mask on! So fitting with the pandemic! And, you get FREE race photos, which is always a plus! I hope you will join me and run the race in 2021!

Bahamas Marathon Goes Virtual

The Girl's Got Sole - Marathon Bahamas

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the Marathon Bahamas Half Marathon 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!



Have you ever wanted to run the Marathon Bahamas? I know it’s been a race on my bucket list. A friend of mine is actually from the Bahamas and she travels there every year to run the half marathon with her family.

This year, we all can run the Bahamas! Well, we can run it in our own location, that is. The Bahamas Marathon & Half Marathon has gone virtual for 2021. And, I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of the virtual race experience.

You can sign up now, and run your chosen race distance between January 9th and 17th. I will be running the half marathon in Orlando on 1/17 with some friends. Including the friend who usually runs her race IN the Bahamas. I look forward to hearing her stories of past races as we run 13.1 miles.

Use discount code MRBVIRTUAL to register for the marathon, half marathon or relay and get $10 off. Registration includes a finisher medal, gender-specific tech shirt, race bag, digital bib and a finisher certificate. The medal and shirt look awesome, so get on it!

The Girl's Got Sole - Marathon Bahamas

Marathon Bahamas virtual race swag.

See Ya 2020, Hello 2021!

The Girl's Got Sole - See Ya 2020, Hello 2021

Happy New Year! I am welcoming in the new year with open arms and a open heart. While 2020 was full of many disappointments due to a pandemic, I believe good things still happened during the year.

For one, I was able to take my RRCA Running Coach Certification class and become a running coach. Something I’ve been wanting to do for a few years now. Because of the availability of virtual learning, I was able to take the course from the comfort of my own home. It was a great experience and I can’t wait to take on clients in 2021!

While most in-person races were canceled from late March onward, running itself was not canceled. I was able to keep running with a few of my close running friends, we just kept our safe distance. It hasn’t been easy not being able to run as socially as usual, as I’m a social runner.

I was able to run two in-person races in December. My first one being the OUC Orlando Half Marathon, which Track Shack handled amazingly well. Masks and social distancing protocols in place, it was great to be able to “line up” for a race again. Major props to the race event staff and volunteers for everything they did so that we could again run the streets of Orlando in a “real” race.

Then, on December 20th, I closed out the running year with the Mount Dora Half Marathon. Again, masks and safety procedures were in place, and I felt so happy to get out and run another in-person race.

Many things didn’t go even close to what any of us expected in 2020, but I will always feel blessed for my family, friends and the fact that I have been able to keep healthy and not get Covid-19.

I’m not completely sure what the new year will bring, but I know that I can get through anything with God and the love of family and friends surrounding me… even if they have to stay 6 feet away.

Now…when can I start collecting hugs again? 🙂

Race Recap: A Christmas Story Virtual 10k

The Girl's Got Sole - A Christmas Story virtual run

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the A Christmas Story Virtual Run to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

I’ve wanted to run the A Christmas Story Run for years. But, I just haven’t been able to travel to Cleveland to do it. Enter the virtual A Christmas Story Run 5k/10k for 2020. I was so excited to be a part of the race experience, even if it was running here in my own state of Florida.

The Girl's Got Sole - A Christmas Story Run

A Christmas Story is my favorite Christmas movie, hands down. It is one I have to watch every year with my family. A tradition we have had for years now. It’s just a fun movie, based upon the stories of Jean Shepard. When the film was released in 1983, it quickly became a classic that has a huge following and love to this day.

I ran my virtual 10k on December 12th with my running group. The weather was in the mid-50s when I started, and was actually appreciated with weather being in the 40s the week prior. I suppose the 40s would fit the theme a bit better, but what can I say, I’m a Florida girl!

The Girl's Got Sole - A Christmas Story virtual run 10k

During the run, I got to enjoy the Christmas holiday lights and decorations that many of the houses in the neighborhood had up that we ran through. I love seeing the holiday lights during Christmas time, and since we run in the dark most of the time, it is definitely a perk this time of year. Unfortunately though, I didn’t see any leg lamps in the window of any of the homes.

The race swag for A Christmas Story virtual run was really nice. Participants got a nice green hoodie with the A Christmas Story Run logo on it, a nice red beanie, a medal and of course, a race bib. I didn’t get to wear the bib or the gear until later however, since it arrived after I completed my virtual 10k run.

The Girl's Got Sole - A Christmas Story virtual run

Virtual Race swag

This was definitely a fun themed virtual that I enjoyed doing. With 2020 basically becoming the “year of the virtual races” for runners, the themed races like A Christmas Story were among my favorites. I don’t know if they will offer a virtual option next year if the actual race takes place in Ohio, but I recommend the virtual race experience if you are unable to do the in-person race.

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like…

The Girl's Got Sole - It's beginning to look a lot like

Christmas? Or, is it?

For me, that answer is maybe. In the year of the Corona Pandemic, things just haven’t been the same. Or, typical in the slightest. It’s all such a blur of days rolling together. I work 5 days, then have 2 days off, then it’s lather, rinse and repeat.

That’s not to say that things have all been bad. In fact, I wouldn’t say that at all. Things are just different. I’m blessed in that I have a good job, a nice place to live, and surrounded by family and friends. I would never even suggest that my life is bad, because it’s anything but. Instead, I would say that there have been disappointments and a lack of any real plans to look forward to this year.

The new “way of life,” as they call it of social distancing and mask-wearing depresses me. I’m a social person, and yearn for hugs and high-fives. I hate that I can’t tell if someone is smiling or grimacing when I’m out in public due to that stupid mask. Not to mention that I can’t see what the heck I’m doing half the time with my face covered and glasses fogging up.

The Girl's Got Sole - Covid Grinch

While I’ve tried to embrace the Christmas spirit this year, it’s been a hard thing to do. I just don’t feel really festive. The magic of this time of year has faded because of that darn Covid crud. It’s become a real-life Grinch trying to steal any amount of joy we may have left. I’m all for keeping people healthy and safe, but 2020 has proved to be so exhausting. Mentally, physically, and emotionally.

So, in these last few days leading up to Christmas Day, I’m going to try to escape the grasp of that sour green guy, and remember what the true meaning of Christmas is. It’s about the birth of Jesus. His birth brought great joy to the world, and you know what? I believe it can bring us joy once again.

The Girl's Got Sole - Tidings of joy