2017 NYC Marathon Training Update #3

16 weeks until the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon! It sure is getting closer. Yesterday, I ran 14 miles, and boy was it a hot one! The summer is tough here in Florida when you are training for a marathon. Always a steamy humid time for running down here.

The Girl's Got Sole - Orlando Galloway 4am group

The 4am group

We started at 4am, and it was already 86% humidity. I was already dripping with sweat within the first half mile. Had a variety of miles that morning for my group. Some needed 6 miles, others 8 and 10 miles, and myself and one other runner friend, were out there for 14 miles. So, we had two start times with a drop-off/pick-up after 6 miles, then returned to the school (our meeting location), and went back out for 8 more miles. There were break-offs for the 12 milers once we hit one of our water support stops.

On a cool note, when I was heading to the run, the song, Fearless by Jasmine Murray came on the radio. Truly a sign from God, I believe that. Brought a smile to my face. The song has become a favorite, and even more meaningful right now since I’m running NYC with Team 261 Fearless.

The Girl's Got Sole - Cady Way Bridge group

6am crew on the Cady Way Bridge.

I used Generation UCAN almost exclusively on this run. I really wanted to see what it can do for me on a run. Following the directions, I had a scoop 30 minutes before the run, and then had another bottle mixed up with a scoop and a half of SuperStartch in it. I put half of that in my bottle to sip on during the run. I felt really good during the first 6 miles drinking it and some water at our support stops.

On the second portion of my run, I refilled my belt bottle with the remaining UCAN and continued sipping it. During those 8 miles, I was still feeling good. I did eat half of a Bonk Breaker once I hit 9 miles. When we finished all 14 miles, I felt like I fueled well. Didn’t need anything else (note: I did have 3 salt sticks during the whole run).

My only issues on this run were the heat, which while I don’t like, I am getting more and more used to as it happens each summer. The other issue was I got a nasty blister on my left foot. Despite following my normal long run prep that morning, a blister formed on the bottom of my foot between my big toe and second toe. Those last 4 miles with the blister were anything but fun.

Girl's Got Sole - Group shoe shot

On the blister front, I rarely get them anymore since I started using 2Toms Blister Shield. My routine has been to put on Sports Shield, then the Blister Shield powder in each sock before a long run or race, half or full marathon. I also am sure to wear Feetures socks, which have proved successful for me. Unfortunately, this time, despite my best efforts, a cruddy blister happened. What I think happened, was wearing new shoes (my usual Brooks Adrenalines, but only having put 3 miles on them before my long run) accompanied with newer Feetures socks and the heat may have caused just enough rubbing. No good for sure.

Another thing I have noticed marathon training in the Florida humidity is that I tend to get heat rashes from my calf sleeves. Happened when I training for NYC in 2015, and it happened again this past weekend. I’ve come to just accept it’s an issue I’m just going to have to deal with training this time of year.

Girl's Got Sole - Jenny & I post-run

With Jenny after we ran our 14 miles.

Finishing the 14-miler, I felt good (minus the blister LOL), and was happy with how the run went. Even more thankful that I have such a great running group to train with. I’m definitely a social runner, and these friends help keep me going out there on the roads.

Next up, I’ve got 17 miles on July 29th. Miles are going up!

Product Review: Brilliant Reflective

Disclaimer: I received Brilliant Reflective to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!

The Girl's Got Sole - Brilliant Reflective

Are you being seen on your dark and early (or late) runs? If you aren’t wearing some sort of lights or reflective clothing, vehicles as well as others can’t see you. It’s so important as runners that we are visible on the roads and trails during those dark hours.

This is where Brilliant Reflective steps in. They have taken 3M Scotchlite Reflective Material and applied a patented process of colorizing the reflective without having the material lose it’s reflective strength. The strips are highly reflective and colorized material that allows you to use to customize your clothing or gear for maximum visibility and protection. You create your own look with Brilliant Reflective strips.

The Girl's Got Sole - Brilliant Reflective

When light shines at the strips, it reflects off and goes directly back to the source through it’s retroreflective material. This material is made out of millions of tiny glass beads which are coated with aluminum on the bottom half of the bead. It allows the light to come back from any direction and reflect back to the source rather than bounce off at an angle, similar to a mirror.

There are four types of reflective material, all varying as far as how visible they are:

1. Cosmetic – No visibility at 10-50 feet (most casual apparel).

2. Low Brightness – Low visibility at 100 feet (typical running/cycling gear).

3. Medium Brightness – Moderate visibility at 100-300 feet (running/cycling vest).

4. High Brightness – Significant visibility at 300+ meters (Brilliant Reflective strips).

Girl's Got Sole - Brilliant Reflective review

Brilliant Reflective strips come in two different types, stick-on strips and iron-on strips. They also come with the option of black, blue, red, and purple so you can choose which one fits you best (or matches your favorite gear).

I chose the blue strips for my review and I like them a lot. The stick-on strips are my favorite, you can easy apply them to your handheld water bottle, running belt, hats, shirts and more. Then, you can take them off and reuse them again on another piece of gear or shirt. I left the strips on my gear, as that’s where I found them to be of best use for me. It gave me that extra “be seen” on the roads.

Girl's Got Sole - Brilliant Reflective BibRave review

It’s amazing how much these strips stand out and how well you can be seen as soon as a light source hits them. With most of the clothes that I do have with reflective areas don’t even compare to what Brilliant Reflective strips can do. Adding it to a favorite skirt helped my visibility increase on my 5am morning runs.

Get some of your own Brilliant Reflective strips! Use discount code “BRP35” to save 35% off your order. And, don’t miss this Tuesday’s Twitter #bibchat at 9pm Eastern on 7/11/17. Brilliant Reflective is sponsoring, and you could be one of two winners of reflective strips!

Girl's Got Sole - Brilliant Reflective review



Five on Friday: 7/7/17

Happy Friday! It’s been a crazy week, despite having Tuesday off for the 4th of July. I think the move last weekend drained me out both physically and mentally. Trying to get back into my zone and all again.

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

1. Move Update. So, I’ve now been living in Apopka for almost a week. Pretty happy about the location overall. I do wish I was closer to Winter Park, but I’m not too far away. I’m also about 15 minutes from a lot of things in Altamonte, so that’s a plus. Still using my GPS though…hoping I can get off of that in the next week or so. Funny how I kind of know where I am, but I’m also never really been in Apopka more than for a few runs in the past.

2. Food Accountability. It’s been a roller-coaster for me in regards to my eating lately. I tend to stop being as accountable to my plan and/or allotted calories at times, and that has to stop. I’m putting that to and end today. Getting with some fellow runner friends to be accountable in this area. Once I can get through a month, I know I will be back on track again and good to go. Just gotta be right on it! No more letting my rumbling tummy dictate my eating. No, I don’t need that cookie, put it down.

Girl's Got Sole - Slap food out of my hand

3. It’s hot out there! It always feels like every summer here in Florida is hotter and more humid. But honestly, I think we just block out the fact that it’s so darn sticky! Or, maybe it’s all the sweat, it drains our memories of it every year… LOL! This makes it oh so important for those of us running outside to hydrate all the time. Of course, that just means I pee all the time too, but better to be well hydrated than rick heat stroke. That’s dangerous.

4. Sling TV. My new place doesn’t have cable, so I signed up for Sling TV. I’m splitting the cost with my parents, so it’s a good deal. Thus far, I like it. I didn’t realize you can watch some TV shoes on demand now with Sling. Nice addition. Now, if the Roku Express I got for pre-paying for two months would arrive, I would be golden. It’s so odd, tracking tells me it shipped out of CA on 6/30, but here it is a week later, and no further tracking updates on USPS. Fingers crossed it comes today or tomorrow! (UPDATE: It arrived today!)

Girl's Got Sole - Florida heat

5. Video blogs. So, I did one at the beginning of my training, as well as one not long after that. You can find those videos on my channel here. I’ve been on the fence about doing more. While I am not shy of selfies anymore, there’s just something different about a live video….or, any video. Should I continue the video posts? Thoughts are welcome, as I may do them more regularly if people are interested in them.

#31DaysofSkirtSports on Instagram

Are you on Instagram? For the month of July, it’s #31DaysofSkirtSports! If you haven’t participated in this fun annual photo-gram event before, you’ll want to jump on board this year.

Every July, Skirt Sports does a fun month where every day is Skirt! There is a suggested topic/theme for each day, but feel free to do your own thing. In the past, there has been a posted daily theme, but this year, it’s been opened up to post whatever you’d like. The only real rule is to hashtag your posts with #31DaysofSkirtSports as well as #REALwomenmove.

And no, you don’t have to be wearing Skirt Sports in all of your photos. Although, it’s totally suggested and loved if you do! The bottom line is to just have fun and keep moving! Oh, and you could win some prizes! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - #31DaysofSkirtSports

If you are in need of some new Skirt Sports goodness (and who isn’t?), there is a sale going on right now! Through July 13th, you can save 30-70% off almost every product on SkirtSports.com! No other discounts apply during this sale, so my code cannot be used until the sale is over.

Be sure to join in on the #31DaysofSkirtSports fun and follow me on Instagram @GirlsGotSole.

Weekend Wrap-up

The Girl's Got Sole - Weekend Wrapup

Whew, what a weekend! From the moment I woke up Saturday morning, I was on the go. So glad it’s finally winding down and I can get a blog post done.

My alarm clock went off at 3:10am on Saturday morning, and it was time to get ready for my long run. I had 12 miles on the schedule for NYC Marathon training. The run itself began at 4:30am, and I was surprised that 14 other runners came out that early. I had one of the longest miles to do, and others had 10, 8, 6 and 4 on the schedule. The plan was to go out for 6 miles, then come back to the school where we start our runs to drop off/pickup for 6 more miles. So, when some of our runners showed up for their 6 miles early, it was nice to see.

On this run, I decided to try out Generation U-Can SuperStarch. I made about 10oz from a packet I bought from Track Shack, and mixed it up in one of my shaker bottles. I then filled up my belt bottle with 8oz of it at the start of my 12-miler. Before that, I had a Chia Squeeze packet on the drive over, and that was my ‘breakfast.’ During the 6 miles, I sipped on the Ucan and felt pretty good. I did take a couple of chews about half-way in, but that was it. When we hit that 3 mile water stop, I put a bit more water in my bottle, which did dilute the Ucan a bit, but it continued to work well.

The Girl's Got Sole - 12 miler

When I got back to the school, before heading out for my last 6 miles, I topped off my bottle with the remainder of Ucan in my car and put some ice in it as well. On that part of my run, I continued to feel pretty good, but I opted to take a Cliff Mocha gel around mile 8 1/2. I ended the run still feeling good, just a little hungry in the last half mile or thereabouts.

Later, I was talking to a fellow runner who told me how to better utilize Ucan on my next run. She told me to have a serving 30 minutes before my next long run, then mix a second serving like I did this time. However, I should probably not take or use any gels on the run, as it changes how my body reacts to the ingredients in the Ucan. I can take an energy bar or pretzels with me, which I am going to do. Bottom line, I am impressed with Ucan and can’t wait to try it again.

After my run, I went home to my parents where I’ve been living for the last month and got showered and ready. A friend and her husband were helping me move to my new digs in Apopka. During the drive over, it rained. And all of my stuff on my friend’s trailer wasn’t under a tarp (not sure why it wasn’t brought, but yeah) got a very unnecessary shower. I cringed as I drove over near them thinking how my work desk, chair, and all would fair in the rain. Fortunately, the worst of it was a warped desk (which honestly does stink), and my boxes of clothes were soaked. The clothes at least were easily tossed in the dryer. Don’t get me wrong, I’m appreciative of my friends help, but getting your stuff soaked in a Florida downpour is no fun.

I got my clothes unpacked and all, then did a bit of setting up in my new room, then ran out to the store and to grab some food. My body, mind and all were exhausted and I think I finally passed out around 6pm or thereabouts. It was a long day, and I was happy to be able to get off my feet and go to sleep.

The Girl's Got Sole - Little Miss Busy

On Sunday, I woke up early, but ended up falling back to sleep. Once I woke up again, I had some breakfast and got the rest of my room situated. I debated on going to the gym for a workout, as part of me wanted to veg out, but part of me wanted to get in a workout. I guess I’m not so good at the rest thing. Ha! So, a bit after 12pm, I went out, got in a short 30 minute bike workout, and did some errands.

Once I got my work at home equipment setup and connected, I was able to hang out with my bird, Toby for the rest of the evening and get this blog post written. 🙂

How was your weekend? Anyone else do a long training run?

Product Review: 2Toms FootShield

Girl's Got Sole - 2Toms FootShield

Disclaimer: I received 2Toms FootShield 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 am a already fan of 2Toms products. I already use SportShield, BlisterShield and have tried ButtShield, so when BibRave offered an opportunity to review FootShield, I was most definitely interested.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2Toms FootShield

FootShield is a perspiration barrier for your feet and helps keep them dry and odor free. The roll-on applicator contains a blend of natural anti-fungal ingredients and moisturizers which reduce and prevent sweaty feet. It also helps prevent the growth of bacteria, athlete’s foot, blisters and smelly shoes.

It is easy to apply FootShield. Shake the container well before use, then apply it to the bottoms and tops of your feet, as well as around your toes. FootShield will air dry pretty quickly, and then you can put on socks, or just slide into your favorite sandals.

The Girl's Got Sole - FootShield

I learned from trying it out that it’s great for applying before a run or workout, as well as after. I like rolling it onto my feet before I put on my flip flops. It keeps my feet drier in the crazy Florida humidity. I toss FootShield into my post-run recovery bag so that I can put some on my feet when I take off my running shoes. It feels refreshing on my tired feet.

Bottom line is, FootShield is a product you will want to check out for yourself. 2Toms makes the highest quality products for endurance athletes and it shows. Right now through September 30th, you can save 20% online with discount code ‘2Toms20’ online at http://2toms.com!

Girl's Got Sole - FootShield

And, be sure not to miss this week’s #BibChat on 6/27/17 with sponsor 2Toms, they will be giving away some FootShield! #BibChat is every Tuesday night at 9pm Eastern on Twitter.

#261Fearless for NYC

The Girl's Got Sole - 261 Fearless

As I previously announced, I will be running the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon as a part of Team 261 Fearless. I feel blessed and honored to be able to be a part of such an amazing group of runners. NYC means so much to me, and adding in 261 Fearless is only going to make it that much more special.

I’ve been fortunate to have been a 261 Fearless Ambassador since the program launched in 2015, and I love it. 261 Fearless was created by running pioneer, Kathrine Switzer. 261 represents the bib number she wore at the 1967 Boston Marathon. When the race director realized that a woman was on his race course, he attacked her, attempting to tear off her bib number. He didn’t get his way though, thanks to the support of her boyfriend who helped her get past the angry race director and continue on. It was then that Switzer realized she needed to finish that marathon, no matter what.

The Girl's Got Sole - Kathrine Switzer running NYC

261 Fearless is all about connecting active women of all levels through running and walking. It’s about using the sport to discover their fearless side which empowers them into realizing that anything is possible. Women supporting women to be fearless. 261 is the symbol that unites us all as empowered runners and walkers.

A donation to 261 Fearless, Inc. helps break down barriers of geography to create a global community for women runners of all abilities to support and talk to one another, encourage healthy living and a positive sense of self and fearlessness. Funds raised aid in setting up global 261 Clubs, training programs, a powerful communications network and events. This allows women, many in fearful places to be made fearless by your efforts, your donation.

Girl's Got Sole - Switzer quote

Because I was blessed to get into the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon through the lottery, I have pledged to raise $2,261 for 261 Fearless, Inc. Your help is greatly appreciated to help me reach my goals before race day on November 5th.

Girl's Got Sole - 261 Fearless Team NYC

Run With Me 5k Virtual Race

The Girl's Got Sole - Run with Me 5k virtual

Looking for some extra shiny bling for your collection?

As a member of the Gone for a Run Virtual Race Team, I love being able to share all about the virtual fun. The latest in Gone for a Run’s Virtual Race Series is the Run with Me 5k.

This virtual race is all about getting out the door with your favorite four-legged furry friend for a run or walk. If you don’t have a canine partner, you can hit the road in support of furry friends all over the country. The time window goes from June 22nd – July 31st, giving you plenty of time for this fun run.

What’s awesome is that this virtual benefits the Animal Help & Wellness Foundation, a non-profit focusing on rescuing abused dogs as well as dogs from the meat trade throughout Asia. As an animal lover, this is an organization I am happy to see a portion of this virtual going towards.

The Girl's Got Sole - Run with Me 5k

Want to get in on this virtual race? Head over to sign up, then the race packet will be mailed to you. It includes an authentic numbered race bib, official race tee, and a finisher medal with removable charm.

Once you receive your race packet, get out there and run/walk your 5k on the route or location of your choice! Sharing photos and a race recap on Gone for a Run’s facebook page is very encouraged! Most important thing is to get out there and have fun!

***Are you taking part in Gone for a Run’s Virtual Race Series? I’d love to hear your thoughts and about your race in the comments.***

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

NOTE: As a member of Gone for a Run’s Virtual Race Team, I receive a free race entry to each virtual race. No other compensation was received, and all opinions that are stated are my own.

2017 NYC Marathon Training Update #2

The Girl's Got Sole - 2017 NYC Marathon Training Update

20 weeks until the 2017 TCS NYC Marathon! Seems this is the point that things begin to speed up a bit…or, feel as if they do training-wise.

This past weekend, I did my first double-digit run of 10 miles. After struggling with a 6-miler the weekend prior, I was happy to have gotten through the miles feeling pretty good. I’m sure it helped a lot that we made sure to slow this one down both pace-wise and with our intervals, especially with the last 6 miles.

It was still very hot and humid when we started at 5am. Summer Solstice may officially begin today, but here in Florida, we’ve had summer temps for quite some time. I was dripping with sweat within the first mile and by the end, I felt like I had taken a shower in the heat. Ick.

That’s really the only thing I dislike about marathon training this time of year in Florida, it’s so darn hot! That’s why our runs are so dark and early, we do our best to avoid the sun coming up. We don’t completely avoid it, but we can sure get in a good number of our miles before it does.

The Girl's Got Sole - Marathoner in Training

July will bring three more long training runs. July 1st has 12 miles on the schedule, July 15th is 14 miles and then 17 miles on July 29th. So, next month truly kicks my training mileage into gear!

Because of that, I’ve been a bit concerned about my energy-levels. Lately, I’ve been overly exhausted and just feeling blah a good deal of the time. I don’t feel like myself overall, and my motivation is lacking on most things I usually love. So, I went back to the doctor today and questioned if it was all my Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis or something else.

The doctor and I chatted for a bit, and she noted that my recent blood work showed my blood sugars were at 55, way low. Surprised me because I had not been told this when they got the labs back a couple of months ago. She said that I could have Fibrogycemia, but she is suspecting that it’s hypoglycemia that is causing further issues. Going to see if improving my sugar intake and carbs will make things better. Hoping that’s the case.

I’m praying that my July training goes well, and that my energy and motivation improves during the next 2-3 weeks. Definitely not helpful being exhausted all the time when you are marathon training.

Anyone else training for the NYC Marathon or another Fall marathon?