Pacing the Dark Side

I’m excited to again be a pacer at the Star Wars Half Marathon – The Dark Side. This year, I will be pacing the 3:30 finish time in corral F. I have usually paced the 3:15 finish time, but I’m looking forward to the slower time. With Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville the weekend after Star Wars, my body will appreciate that. 🙂

The Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon was a blast last year, I really enjoyed the race. runDisney always puts on great events. If you are running this year, consider using a pacer. All pacers at runDisney events use the Jeff Galloway run/walk/run method. Pacers are all veteran Galloway training program members.

If you would like to try out a pace group at the Dark Side, just find us and join the fun. We all wear bright yellow shirts and have pacer flags. I guarantee you will have a great time if you join our pace groups!

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 Star Wars Dark Side Half Marathon pacers


Disclaimer: I received a complimentary entry to the 2018 RNR Nashville Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

The Girl's Got Sole - Rock 'n' Roll Nashville

With less than 24 days until the 2018 Rock ‘n’ Roll Nashville race weekend, it’s a good time to check out the event perks. The Music City has an incredible amount of stuff for runners to enjoy between Thursday, April 26th through Sunday, April 29th. All you have to do is show your bib or finisher medal.

You can check out the complete list here, but highlights include $3 off general admission to the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum, a free appetizer with purchase of an appetizer of equal of greater value and $4 Bloody Marys all day on Sunday, 4/29 at Honky Tonk Central, Rippy’s Bar & Grill and Tootsie Orchid Lounge. Get a $3 discount on the Old Town Trolley Tour for any of their daytime hop on/hop off tours on Saturday or Sunday. As well as 2 for 1 beer all day and night on Sunday at Mafiaoza’s Pizzeria & Neighborhood Pub.

The Girl's Got Sole - RNR Nashville Marathon & Half Marathon medals

And, if you haven’t seen the course for the RNR Nashville 26.2, 13.1 or 5k, you can check them out now. This year, the course is improved with more road width and less turning at the start of the half and full marathons. Half Marathon runners pass through Bicentennial State Park before crossing the Woodland Street bridge into the finish line at Nissan Stadium. Marathoners experience additional highlights through historic Germantown, MetroCenter, East Nashville, and Shelby Park. The top highlight of the 26.2 course is the opportunity to run on the field at First Tennessee Park. Everyone gets to enjoy an awesome finisher party with Michelob ULTRA, food from local food trucks and the Finish Line Festival concert.

If you are still interested in registering for one of the races, there is still time! Online registration cut-off is Sunday, April 22nd at 11:59pm PST. There is no race day registration, so sign up before race weekend. Use code RNRBRP2018 to save $15 on the marathon and half marathon!

Hope to see some of you in Nashville later this month!

Workout Recap W/E: 3/31

Wow, kind of hard to believe that March is over. The month seems to have flew by. Last week’s workouts were good. I ended up spending more time in the gym than usual due to my plantar fasciitis flaring up. At least I was able to get in workouts. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Workout Recap 3/31

Sunday, March 25th – Bike workout at the gym. After Saturday’s 10k, my PF flared up. Took it easy the rest of the weekend, but made sure I got in a workout.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 25th bike

Monday, March 26th – Back in the gym before work in the morning. My foot was still unhappy, but got in just over 7 miles on the bike.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 26th bike

Tuesday, March 27th – Was disappointed having to sit out from the morning’s scheduled run, so I slept in. Then, after work I hit the gym for another bike workout. Lots of cross-training happening.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 27th bike

Wednesday, March 28th – Typically a rest day, but I decided to get in a workout. Back in the gym for 8 1/2 miles of cross-training on the bike.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 28th bike

Thursday, March 29th – My foot was a lot calmer, so I was able to lace up and get in a run! It was also my first run with my new Garmin watch. Happy to be able to see my running friends.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 29th run

Friday, March 30th – REST DAY!

Saturday, March 31st – 6 miles of running in Winter Park with my group. Was feeling a bit tired, and by the end my PF was bugging me a bit. Still, I was glad to have gotten in a run.

The Girl's Got Sole - March 31st Sat run

How were your workouts last week?

Five on Friday 3/30/18

The Girl's Got Sole - Good Friday

I hope everyone is having a blessed Good Friday. Jesus was crucified on the cross and sacrificed himself for our sins on this day. He gave it all for us when he was beaten and nailed upon the cross. Jesus gave his life to save you and me.

1. Family time. I’m looking forward to going to spend time with my family this weekend. I will also be finally seeing the movie, ‘I Can Only Imagine’ with my mom and one of my best friends. It should be a wonderful Easter weekend, as family is very important to me.

The Girl's Got Sole - New Garmin

2. New Garmin. Last Saturday, I bought myself a new GPS watch. I’ve been wanting a new Garmin for awhile, and getting my tax return was a good time to get it. It’s the one thing I bought for myself (the rest is going to bills), and I’m liking it so far. It’s the Garmin 35 and while it’s no Fenix (way out of my price range), it’s a great watch. It will be nice to have my runs on Garmin Connect.

The Girl's Got Sole - CTM Band

3. CTM Band. Speaking of new things, I’ve also got a new recovery tool. As a BibRave Pro, we get the opportunity to review products, and I’m excited to check out the CTM Band. It was created by a fellow runner, who wants us to change the way we rehab our muscles and joints. It’s definitely a different kind of tool, and I’m excited to have the chance to review it!

4. Plantar Fasciitis woes. After last weekend’s local 10k, my PF flared up. Taking most of the week off from running helped as well as some TLC of my left foot. I was feeling so blessed to be able to get back out on Thursday morning for a 3 mile run, and am happy it seems a lot better now.

The Girl's Got Sole - Vegan Halo Top

5. Vegan Halo Top. I’m becoming quite obsessed with the vegan Halo Top ice cream lately. Each pint is 360 calories or under, and I’ve been able to work it into my daily caloric goal. It is a great end of the day treat! My favorites right now are Candy Bar and Peanut Butter Cup.

Have a great weekend, everyone!

Race Recap: First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the 2018 First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half Marathon

On March 18th, I ran in the 2018 First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon. This was actually my second time participating in this race, as I ran it back in 2013. I don’t recall much from that year, as it was one of my early half marathons. I did go out there and run it with some of my Orlando Galloway group.

This year’s race experience was different. I felt very prepared going into race week, as I had done a long 13 mile training run a couple of weeks prior. Unfortunately, my grandmother passed away the Saturday morning the weekend before the race. I ended up attending the wake on Friday night, then the funeral the day before the race. This put me in a completely different state of mind. Not to mention the long drive from Orlando to Sarasota (which took an hour longer than it should have due to horrible traffic).

The Girl's Got Sole - Flat runner

Flat runner for the race

I headed out to Sarasota with an Orlando Galloway friend that Saturday afternoon. We called the running store, Fit2Run during the drive over, and were extremely thankful that they agreed to hold our race packets beyond the 5pm pickup time. While we could have done race morning pickup, being able to get them the evening before made a big difference. It was very helpful and relieved some stress off of me.

After easily getting our race packets, dinner and checking into the hotel, my friend and I were finally able to relax. It had been a long day for me, and having a friend there with me meant a lot. We shared some laughs as we ate dinner and watched TV. Once we set up our flat runners and all for the next morning, off to bed we went.

While I wouldn’t again stay at the hotel we booked, it was conveniently located less than 15 minutes from the race start. Once we were ready to go, the only snag during race morning was a traffic backup when it came to parking. I’m not sure why it took so long to park, but it can and does happen on race morning. It wasn’t my first, nor while it be my last having to wait in a traffic backup to park.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half Marathon

Pre-race with runner friend, Michelle.

Once parked, I was able to use the port-o-lets and walk over to the race corrals with a few minutes to spare. I felt okay, and fairly energized after drinking my Generation UCAN during the wait to park. My friend and I discussed starting together, as we are in the same pace group, but once we crossed that start line, I lost her in the crowd within minutes. No matter, I planned for that to happen since I knew she would be chasing a PR. I rarely wear headphones when I run anymore, but I did bring my ipod nano and headphones this time. I put on some music and got moving.

It didn’t take long for me to have an issue however. The sock on my left foot felt as though it was bunching up in the heel of my shoe. What the heck was going on? I ended up stopping and trying to fix it, realizing that running for 13 miles like that wouldn’t happen. It took me stopping briefly like 3-4 times before I got it in a position that I could tolerate. Having never, or not that I can recall having trouble with a sock like that during a run, I could not fathom what happened. All I knew was, it was annoying and I disliked my sock during that time period.

After the sock fiasco, I began to feel as though I had lost steam somehow, and was moving at a snail’s pace. My mind played games with me causing me to wonder if I’d be finishing last or almost last. This bugged me, and I questioned myself. I’m nowhere near a fast runner, but I was feeling as though my pace was worse than what it should have been.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half sunrise

I also became emotional a few times, and had to stop myself from crying. Thoughts of my Nana being gone kept crossing my mind as I ran. Constantly, I had to remind myself that she was in a happier place, that she was up in heaven. There was definitely a regular mental and emotional battle within myself the entire race.

What was a memorable moment for me was coming back over the bridge, the John Ringling Causeway as the sun was coming up. It was between miles 3-5, and there is nothing like the beauty of a sunrise. I feel like it’s always a highlight and gift for getting up so early as a runner. I love it.

Other highlights for me were seeing my two other fellow BibRavePros on course. Both are faster than me, so I was able to see one of them twice, and our fastie, once during the out-and-back portion. Getting those high-fives gave me motivation and helped me push through. I love seeing runner friends when a race is an out-and-back event. I think those are really my favorite.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half signs

There were also some fun motivational signs during the last half of the race. Some were food-related (after all, First Watch is the sponsor), and others were just great running sayings. I’m a sucker for great motivational signs on a race course. If nothing else, they can put a bit of a smile on your face.

Finishing this race, I was proud of myself. Not all races are going to be a PR, or one that you were able to perform your best. I finished in 3:09, and I felt good about that time. The race was an emotional and mentally challenging one, so the finish line signified a success. And, it was a better time than I thought I would be doing. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half Marathon

The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon requires that participates maintain an 18 minute mile pace. The course was open for 3 hours and 30 minutes. This makes it a great race for a variety of paces. The support was still out there when I passed through each mile marker, so that was awesome.

The post-race finish festival was in full swing when I arrived. There was a great variety of snacks and food for everyone. There looked to be plenty for everyone. The Beer Garden was definitely popular. Personally, I’m not a drinker, but for those who appreciate a beer after a race, they have it covered.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sarasota Half Marathon

I really did enjoy the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon. The water support stations and volunteers on course were amazing. Always smiling and ready to go with water. The route is fairly flat, so it’s not hilly (less for the bridge). Beautiful course, especially that bridge with the sunrise coming up as you come back over. Would run it again for sure.

If you would like to sign up for the 2019 First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon, early registration is now open! The date is set for March 24, 2019. Snag your spot, and best pricing here.

Workout Recap W/E: 3/24

With last week starting off with half marathon #32, I’d say it was a pretty good week. I did feel like I was a bit off the first couple of days, but I got back into my regular routine. I also began seriously watching my eating again as of Monday…so far, so good!

The Girl's Got Sole - Workout Recap

Sunday, March 18th – Good workout day with the First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon. It was a bit tough with some minor issues getting on my nerves during the race, but happy to have finished better than I thought I was doing all things considered.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sunday half marathon race

Monday, March 19th – While I would have preferred to have done nothing all day, I hit the gym. Got in a bike workout for just over 8 miles. Legs were feeling the 13.1 miles and all of the driving to/from Sarasota.

The Girl's Got Sole - Bike workout

Tuesday, March 20th – Was happy to be able to get out and run 3 easy miles with my group before work. My legs still felt sore, but I knew the run would help get the remaining lactic acid build-up out.

The Girl's Got Sole - Tuesday morning run

Wednesday, March 21st – REST DAY!

Thursday, March 22nd – When you don’t sleep well the night before, you end up skipping your group run. But, I made sure to get in a bike workout at the gym for cross-training.

The Girl's Got Sole - Gym bike workout

Friday, March 23rd – REST DAY!

Saturday, March 24th – Winter Park Road Race 10k race day. I love doing this race every year, because it’s always a good time with friends. I had some issues on the bricks as my PF decided to act up, but I still had a good time.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sat 10k race

How were your workouts last week?

Product Review: KT Tape

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape product review

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

When I heard that BibRave was going to be working with KT Tape, I was excited. After getting Plantar Fasciitis late last year, I’m always looking for ways to ease my pain. I have been wearing a sleeve when I run, which has helped, but I’ve been interested in trying kinesiology tape.

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape

KT Tape helps by lifting the skin, which decompresses the layers of fascia, which allows for greater movement of the lynphatic fluid. This fluid builds up when you are injured due to over-use or impact causing inflammation and swelling. Correct taping aids in reducing pressure on an injured area, relieving discomfort and/or pain.

There are five main types of KT Tape, as well as limited editions and other products in the KT Tape family. I was sent four different types, KT Tape Pro, KT Tape Cotton, KT Tape Pro Extreme and KT Tape Pro Wide. (Note: I was supposed to also be sent KT Tape Gentle, but I did not receive it in my package. Other BibRave Pro’s will have reviews of the Gentle tape as well on their blogs.)

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape

KT Tape Pro is made of synthetic tape fibers that lasts longer than cotton, and more durable. Comfortable to wear for 4-7 days and stays on in water. Is the best-selling 100% synthetic kinesiology tape. Can be used for dozens of applications. Available in 10 different color options.

KT Tape Cotton is made with all-natural cotton for everyday wear. Comfortable to wear for 1-3 days, and stays on in water. Comes in 8 different color options.

KT Tape Pro Extreme is the strongest adhesive for use in the most extreme and humid conditions. Made with synthetic fibers, so very durable. Can be worn for 4-7 days and stays on in water. Currently only available in the color, black.

KT Tape Pro Wide is specifically designed for the lower back and large muscle areas like quads, calves, and shoulders. Made with synthetic tape fibers making it more durable than cotton. Can be worn for 4-7 days and stays on in water. Comes in one color only, black.

KT Tape Gentle is made with gentle adhesive for easier removal for anyone with sensitive skin. Can be worn comfortably for 1-3 days. It’s a latex free 100% cotton tape.

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape

My favorite of tapes is the KT Tape Pro Extreme. It really impressed me with how well it holds up on my foot. I always applied it the night before a run or race and slept with it on. No issues overnight, stayed on well through my tossing and turning as I slept. The tape felt comfortable and kept my PF in check through runs up to 13 miles. I also showered with it after my runs, and it held up in water as promised.

My second favorite would be the KT Tape Pro. It also held up well for me when applied the night before a run. Always kept my foot comfortable as I ran, and I barely knew it was there. Showering with it on is also not an issue, holds up great! I love the color options the Pro line gives you, so this would be one I would definitely keep in my race bag.

The KT Tape Cotton was good, but I wasn’t as excited by it. It held up for runs and through a shower like the PRO line, but I felt more irritated by it. I think it may be a bit rougher for sensitive skin due to the cotton material. But, I also have light skin that can tend to get rashes more easily than others. It holds up, staying on through a run, so if you aren’t dealing with sensitive skin, this will also likely work well for you.

I also want to let folks know that at first, even after watching the videos (over and over LOL!), I had some application issues. But, the more and more I use the KT Tape, the easier it gets to apply! So, practice truly does make perfect! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape

I didn’t get to test the KT Tape Pro Wide since I don’t have a large muscle area to use it on. However, I do have a runner friend trying it for me. I will add her thoughts on this post as soon as she let me know what she thinks! I am also curious on her opinions on it.

You can head over to KT Tape and save 30% off your next purchase by using discount code BIBRAVE30! It’s an awesome deal that I plan on taking advantage of so that I can be sure to have a good supply of KT Tape Pro on hand for upcoming training and races!

Be sure to check out all of the KT Tape application videos. They will help ensure you get the best results when you use KT Tape. They truly do help you out!

The Girl's Got Sole - KT Tape

Check out my fellow BibRave Pros KT Tape reviews:
Adventures by Katie
Run with no Regrets
The Swag Mama
RunNerd Girl
Organic girl runs
Miles of Sunshine

A Life Update

Sorry for the lack of posts in the last week. Since my Nana’s passing, I’ve been busy and spending more time with family. The days have been a bit of a blur. Hard to believe that tomorrow marks two weeks since Nana’s passing. There feels like a hole in the family with her now gone. I’m thankful for the memories that we shared over the years.

On Sunday, I ran my 32nd half marathon. The First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon was a bit of an emotional one for me after dealing with my Nana’s passing. I surprised myself in finishing a bit better than I thought I would (still not the time I’d prefer for a half) through it all, and that made me happy. My race recap will be coming this weekend on the blog, so stay tuned!

The Girl's Got Sole - Everyone wants happiness...

I’m back on my healthy journey again. I admit, it’s been a lot of ups and downs staying on target. Not to mention the added difficulty of having Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis, which has contributed to my 10lb weight gain. I’m determined to get back down weight-wise though, as I don’t feel as good as I did when I was 8-10lbs lighter. It’s all in the tummy section too, so that’s always fun.

I’ve lost 80lbs back in 2008-2009, and then went on to be runner and 6x marathoner, so I know I can accomplish this. It’s a mental game as much as it is anything else. Believe in yourself and you can do it. I know it’s the truth. I am now 5 days into food tracking and keeping my nutrition in control. I’m drinking a lot more water and it’s helping. My short-term goal right now is to make it through 21 days successfully. Then, it will become easier day by day. April 8th is the day I need to make it to to hit that 21 day goal. So, that’s what I’m shooting for right now.

The Girl's Got Sole - But the Lord stood with me

Tomorrow morning I’ve got another race. This is a local one, the Winter Park Road Race 10k. I love doing this race every year. It’s through a lot of areas we normally run on during training, and a lot of local runner friends come out for it as well. The 10k distance is a favorite of mine, and I’ve typically done well at it. I look forward to running it, and seeing how I do!

That’s a bit of an update on things. I will have a number of blog posts coming up starting this weekend. I am happy to get back into my usual routine again. Thanks so much to everyone who has reached out about my Nana, it means a lot.

My Nana

I’ve been trying to find the words to express how I’m feeling since hearing the news. Deep down inside, I knew it was coming, but you can never truly prepare yourself for it.

The Girl's Got Sole - Nana family

My Nana was always there. I look back at my 39 years on this Earth, and I can’t recall a moment that she wasn’t there. While I can’t remember those very early years, from being born and being a young New Yorker, I have seen many a photograph with Nana holding me. The bond between a grandmother and granddaughter solidified right from the start.

Nana and Pop-Pop (who passed in 1995), moved down to Florida in 1980. My dad has audio tapes of our phone conversations from over a 1,200 miles apart. In those days, our talks consisted of toddler-things like baby dolls and Sesame Street.

Dad moved my brother and I down to Florida. The visits to Nana & Pop-Pop’s house became highlights of many a weekend during my childhood after that move. I recall going to church on Sunday mornings, then loading up the car for family time. There was no place like Nana’s house.

The Girl's Got Sole - Nana family

Nana always had all the good stuff, like cookies and ice cream. Not to mention summers spent in the pool at the house. So many memories of sticky hands and wet swimsuits.

When I got the opportunity to attend Daytona State College for photography, I moved in with Nana. The two of us enjoyed dinners together and watching Jeopardy on weekday evenings. Our bond as granddaughter and grandmother grew during that period of time.

As I got older, I still enjoyed going over to see Nana as much as I could when I wasn’t working. It still remained a visit I loved to make over to “Grandma’s house.” She never let you go hungry, and was always willing to make you a sandwich of some sort, always keeping her family’s stomachs full.

The Girl's Got Sole - Nana & me

In the last year, with Nana’s health deteriorating, I knew time was ticking away. Deep down inside, I may not have wanted to admit to it, but Heaven was starting to call her home. Nana was ready, and she made that known.

On Saturday, March 10th, the Lord called my Nana home to Heaven. I can only imagine the wonder and beauty she encountered at the gates. Her pain and discomfort were gone. Before her, were my Pop-Pop, Aunt Carol, Aunt Mary and all those family members and friends who went before were waiting. How wonderful that moment must have been for her!

Knowing that has kept me filled with a peaceful feeling inside. Yes, I am sad that I will no longer be able to hug my Nana, or smell the sweetness of her perfume. But I know she is there, above me in the Heavens. She is happy again, and has a smile on her face. One day we will meet again… I just know she will be waiting for me inside those pearly white gates in Heaven.

The Girl's Got Sole - Angel in Heaven