The Girl's Got Sole - Unfinished

Have you ever heard a song and completely related to it? Like the song, the lyrics were pulled from your own life somehow? That’s how I felt when I heard Mandisa’s new song, Unfinished.

…No, my God’s not done
Making me a masterpiece
He’s still working on me

I’ve been in that place, feeling like I was lost… as if there was nothing left with my life that really mattered anymore. It’s a dark, dark place to be. Depression brings the darkness, covers you with doubt and fear.

So, when I learned that one of my favorite Christian artists, Mandisa had been through a depression of her own, it hit close to home because of my own experiences. Her song, Unfinished is the story of her battle and how her faith and trust in God brought her back into the light.

Even the strongest people, the ones we love and inspire us aren’t immune to the darkness of depression. It’s hold on you is tight, pulling you away from the life you know into one where you don’t recognize yourself. Your mind begins to believe things that aren’t true… that no one loves you, or at least that they would be better off of you were gone.

The Girl's Got Sole - Mandisa unfinished

Back in 2007, I lost someone close to me. One of my Aunts became very ill and eventually passed away. The experience of it all, seeing my loved one go from a healthy person to one extremely sick and then gone was very difficult for me. I entered a deep depression and came close to suicide. All I wanted was to go “home,” I wanted to be up in Heaven with Jesus.

I’m thankful that my mom got me the help I needed, because God was not (and still isn’t) done with me. It was a rough time for me, but I came out the other side a stronger person who has gone on to do amazing things with my life.

I urge everyone to listen to this song. Whether you have dealt with depression yourself, known a loved one with depression, or are someone who hasn’t had much experience with it… this song is so impactful that it needs a listen.

**If you are dealing with depression, or feel like hurting yourself PLEASE get help. Call 800-273-TALK and speak to someone at Mental Health America.**

Age is just a number

I started out the day in sort of a weird mental state. There’s just something about a birthday that feels a bit less exciting as you climb the age ladder.

The Girl's Got Sole - Life your life, forget your age

Why can’t I just be say 30 years-old forever. Okay, okay, that’s just not possible. But, the closer I get to that next decade (the 4-0 next year), the more I want to back it up and stop the age clock.

Feeling-wise, I don’t FEEL I am thirty-nine. 39 years old. Sure, I’ve had lots of life experiences, but how the heck did I make it 39 years on Earth? Wasn’t it just yesterday that I was in college? Yicks!

Maybe that’s just how it is for a lot of us. We see an upcoming big age number like 40 and we are like, WHOA! Slow down there, buddy! Where the heck is my Delorean time machine when I need it?

The Girl's Got Sole - Growing old

On the bright side, I believe my 30s have been some of the best years. I started finally getting healthy and fit in my 30s and began running. Heck, I became a marathoner when I was 34 years-old. Never thought that I would run, let alone become a marathoner before my 30s came along.

As I close out the day after enjoying an evening with family and friends, I realize how great being 39 is. How every moment, every year leading up to now has brought so many blessings into my life. Sure, there have been some ups and downs, but God has always provided for me.

Besides, age is just a number. It doesn’t mean I have to act or feel as though I am getting old. I am going to make m 39th year a great one. šŸ™‚

The Girl's Got Sole - Age is merely the number of years

The Weekly Pursuit #40

Happy Medal Monday! Yesterday, I ran my last race of the season (well, less for a 5k coming up) at Walt Disney World. It was a very hot and humid day and that made for a tough race. I enjoyed the route and pacing the race, but the weather conditions really beat me down a lot. I was definitely happy when I saw that glorious finish line!

The Girl's Got Sole - Melissa & Shannon at the race expo

I will be posting a race recap soon, but I will say that I really like the medal a lot. It’s really big and quite cool. The whole Star Wars theme of the race brought out my inner geek! But know that I recommend this race, as it was a great route.

This past weekend was all about runDisney and running. On Saturday, I met my friend and co-pace group leader Melissa at the race expo. After picking up our bibs, we had a bit of fun checking out some of the vendors and talking to Jeff Galloway a bit. Then, we parted ways as I was heading to the We Run Social meetup at Disney Springs.

The Girl's Got Sole - WeRunSocial meetup group

The #WeRunSocial meetup was awesome! I got to see some blends I haven’t seen in awhile, and meet some new ones. Running and We Run Social friends are the best. I had some fun conversations with folks about races and of course runDisney.

Sunday morning was that early wake-up call. Fortunately, since we sometimes run so crazy early here in Central Florida, I am sort of used to that. Getting to a race at 4am isn’t ideal, but with runDisney, it’s a must. The race itself kicks off at 5:30am, and with being in further back corral, I tend to start 40-60 minutes after that. I met up with my co-pacer in G corral and we ended up starting the race at about 6:10am.

The Girl's Got Sole - Post-race with Melissa and Billy

After pushing through a hot and humid race, I was so happy to cross that finish line. The cool towels the medical staff were giving out as well as the ice were heaven. Ate a bit of the snack box as I relaxed for a few minutes with my friends who came in a bit after my pace group. That post-race smoothie was as good as I imagined it to be when I finally got it in my hands. šŸ™‚

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Daily food logging, keep keeping on! Less for one day I didn’t track everything, did okay.
2. Hydration, important with Dark Side Half on Sunday! Got it done.
3. Read devotional each day. Nope…so bad. šŸ™
4. Workout 5 days this week. Got my workouts done!
5. Continue to work with Toby bird on training. We are still working on it.

This week’s goals…

1. Food logging everyday.
2. Hydration especially with the heat now.
3. Listen to my body, rest if/when needed.
4. Continue to work with Toby bird on hand training.

The Girl's Got Sole - God of hope fill you with joy

What are your goals for the week?

Boston Marathon Documentary

The Girl's Got Sole - Boston Marathon documentary

On April 19th, for one night only, Boston: An American Running Story documentary hit select theaters nationwide. The documentary focuses on why the Boston Marathon attracts all levels of runners from across the globe. It also captures how the city and it’s athletes come together to rise above adversity.

Boston: An American Running Story truly shows how the iconic Boston Marathon continues to inspire runners worldwide who seek to run the race. The documentary captures the true spirit of the race event, sharing some of the most memorable and inspiring moments that make up the race’s history.

Beginning with just 15 runners, to the present with over 36,000 runners, the Boston Marathon paved the way for the modern marathon. Boston looks at the 120+ year history of the marathon, including the 2014 race and how a city and running community came together after the horrific bombings the year prior. This documentary worked with the Boston Athletic Association to produce the film, and was granted exclusive rights which included use of an incredible archive of Boston Marathon video, photos and memorabilia.

The Girl's Got Sole - Boston Marathon documentary

I was able to go see the Boston documentary on Wednesday evening, and I LOVED it. Talk about an amazing, motivational and moving film. I found myself going through all the emotions as I watched, from laughter to tears remembering the horrific events of 4/15/13, to feeling inspired yet again re-watching Meb win the 2014 Boston Marathon, I felt it all. It can only be compared to actually running a marathon, you feel every feeling possible. I walked out of the theater ready to lace up my running shoes and again hit the streets.

The interviews and stories of Boston Marathon legends like Bill Rodgers, Kathrine Switzer, Amby Burfoot, and Bobbi Gibb, not to mention Race Director, Dave McGillivray are amazing. I loved learning so much about the history of the marathon, especially about the legacy of 58 time Boston Marathon finisher, Johnny Kelley. Kelley won the race in 1935 and 1945. The man was beyond awesome. I was also amazed at the shoes runners used to run in, they offered no support or tread!

The Girl's Got Sole - Boston Marathon documentary

I hope you had the chance to catch the documentary this week at your local theater. Hopefully, we will get a DVD release of Boston later this year. It would make a great Christmas gift for the runner in the family!

The Dark Side and #WeRunSocial Meetup

The Force is strong with excitement, as it’s race week! This weekend, The Dark Side races converge upon Walt Disney World here in Central Florida.

I will be running and pacing the half marathon on Sunday, and I can’t wait for all 13.1 miles of fun! The Dark Side Half Marathon is a race I’ve been looking forward to for awhile now, as it brings out my inner geek girl. I love the Star Wars movies, and to be able to combine it with my love for running is awesome.

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

While I won’t be able to dress up, since I’ll be wearing a Galloway Pacer shirt, I am excited to be able to see all the costumes and fun themed outfits other runners will be wearing. I may even try to sneak in some photos with Han Solo…well, that is if I can find him. šŸ™‚

The day before the half marathon, I will be co-hosting a #WeRunSocial meetup! I love the #werunsocial community, and I am thrilled to be able to be a part of hosting the meetup at Dark Side! If you are running the race(s), or will be in the area, you definitely need to come by and join the fun!

We will be meeting at 1pm in Disney Springs by the carousel. It’s the best time to get to meet other runners and make new friends! The running community is so great, and #werunsocial helps gather us all together.

The Girl's Got Sole - We Run Social Dark Side meetup

Boston Fearlessly Strong

The Girl's Got Sole - 2017 Boston Marathon

Today is a big day in the running community. It is Marathon Monday!

The 121st Boston Marathon takes place today, with 32,000 runners hitting the streets from Hopkinton to Copley Square. This year, the marathon has a deeper meaning for many.

The Girl's Got Sole - K.V. Switzer 261

The 2017 Boston Marathon represents an anniversary for women’s running pioneer, Kathrine Switzer. Fifty years ago, in 1967, K.V. Switzer was the first woman to run the Boston Marathon as a register runner. Her bib number that year, 261 has become iconic since that day.

Kathrine is not only running the Boston Marathon today, but she has invited a group of women runners, the 261 Fearless team to run along side her. The 261 Fearless team has worked to raise money for the 261 Fearless Organization. The doors that Kathrine’s courage at the 1967 Boston Marathon opened up for women in running has made so many things possible.

The Girl's Got Sole - Boston Strong

This year’s marathon is also the fourth anniversary of the Boston Marathon Bombings. It’s always such a bittersweet day, as we remember the lives lost, as well as the amazing closeness the attack brought to Boston and our country. As runners, we will forever be #BostonStrong. It’s something that united us all in such a great way. Boston’s Marathon Monday, otherwise known as Patriot’s Day is forever Boston Strong day, a day in which we are all one, irregardless of whether we are from Boston or not.

Personally, I’m excited to track many friends today, as well as watch the elites racing toward that finish line. It’s a race that so many of us will be a part of in some way, and I’m excited to be able to track and cheer on many from down here in Florida. The race starts at 8:50am.

**Watch the Boston Marathon Live**
**Track a runner(s)**

The Girl's Got Sole - Boston Marathon

The Weekly Pursuit #39

Happy Easter, my friends! I’m actually getting this post up a day early! With tomorrow being Marathon Monday, I wanted to dedicate my blog post to Boston tomorrow. It’s such a big day not only for Boston, but for the running community as a whole.

The Girl's Got Sole - Happy Easter

My weekend has been pretty good. Yesterday was actually a busy one with a couple of appointments I had on the schedule. The day started off with a run as per usual, with my Galloway girls. We ran 8 miles out on the Seminole-Weikiva Trail. It was a nice morning weather-wise. The temperature was about 67 degrees and felt nice. This seems to have become a favorite trail for a few of us. We are already talking about coming back out there in a couple of weeks for another 6-8 mile run.

After my run, I headed home to clean up and shower. I had a lunchtime appointment to get my oil changed at the local Honda dealer. I actually tried to get the oil change done after work one evening, but the place I went to wanted to charge me like $80! My Civic has never been serviced by anyone but Honda, so with the dealer continually offering a $35 oil change for the type of oil my car needs, looks like I may be going to them every 5,000 miles. Unfortunately, as they always tend to do at the dealer, they tried to sell me some other services. Just an oil change please, thanks! šŸ™‚

The Girl's Got Sole - Saturday run

Saturday run with the girls

Then, I had to hurry over to America’s Best for my eye exam appointment. I had been putting off getting my eyes examined for way too long, and I desperately need new glasses. The staff and everyone I dealt with there was very nice and great. The only thing is, that whole $59.95 deal you hear about on the TV commercials? Yeah, that’s not really likely to happen for anyone. Totally a ploy to get you in the door. I walked out after paying over four time that amount for the exam and two pairs of glasses (one being sunglasses). Ouch! No such thing as a deal that seems too good to be true! I should have the new glasses in a week and a half or so…hoping by week’s end, but could be next week depending upon how fast they get to my order.

The Girl's Got Sole - Cross at Northland

And finally, I went to the Easter service at Northland with my mom Saturday night. What a wonderful, powerful service! Since I’ve been living in Kissimmee, I’ve been watching mostly online this year, so I really missed being actually at a worship service. Pastor Joel had a great sermon message that I really loved. It was about moving forward with faith and enjoying life with God now, not waiting for the day you die and go to Heaven. Pastor Joel is one of, if not my favorite preachers, he really communicates the Word in a way I can understand and can relate to.

Today, Easter Sunday has been spent so far mostly relaxing at home with my bird, Toby. I slept in a bit and hit the gym before lunchtime for a bike workout. I’ll be heading over to see my parents for a bit around dinnertime. All in all, it’s been a good weekend with a mix of things going on.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Daily food logging. Another week I can check off!
2. Hydration! Did okay with this, not as well as I could have though.
3. Get WPRR BibRave review written. Just got it done! šŸ™‚
4. Read new devotional each day. Eh, admit that I’m starting it today…
5. Finger/hand training with Toby bird. We are sort of getting there, working on it with him.
6. Get my eyes examined/new glasses. Done, got it done yesterday.

This week’s goals…

1. Daily food logging, keep keeping on!
2. Hydration, important with Dark Side Half on Sunday!
3. Read devotional each day.
4. Workout 5 days this week.
5. Continue to work with Toby bird on training.

The Girl's Got Sole - Not enough room in your mind...

How was your Easter? What are your goals for the week?

Run the Rock ‘n’ Roll Races

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

Did you know that BibRave is a partner with the Rock ‘n’ Roll race series? As an Ambassador for BibRave, this was exciting news. I have yet to run a Rock ‘n’ Roll race, but it’s only a matter of time before I do, as they have been on my race bucket list!

What’s great for you, fellow runners is that you can save when you register for your next race with the Rock ‘n’ Roll series! Saving money on a race registration is always on my mind when I am looking for my next race(s), as I know it is for you if you are running for that bling!

By using discount code, BIBRAVE15 at registration, you can save $15 off your next half marathon with the Rock ‘n’ Roll series! Here are some upcoming races you can sign up for right now:

Liverpool, UK 5/20: 3 ā‚¬/Ā£ off Half and Full, valid until 5/20
San Diego, CA 6/3-/4: $15 off Half and Full, valid until 5/28
Seattle, WA 6/18: $15 off Half and Full, valid until 6/11
Chicago, IL 7/15-16: $15 off Half, valid until 7/9
Dublin 8/12-13: 3 ā‚¬/Ā£ off Half, valid until 8/6
Virginia Beach, VA 9/2-3: $15 off Half, valid until 8/27
Philadelphia, PA 9/17: $15 off Half, valid until 9/10
San Jose, CA 10/8: $15 off Half, valid until 10/1
Denver, CO 10/15: $15 off Half, valid until 10/8
St Louis, MO 10/15: $15 off Half, valid until 10/8
Lisbon 10/15: 3 ā‚¬/Ā£ off Half and Full, valid until 10/8
Merida 11/4: $15 or 270 Pesos off Half, valid until 10/28
Savannah, GA 11/4: $15 off Half and Full, valid until 10/28
San Antonio, TX 12/3: $15 off Half and Full, valid until 11/26

The Girl's Got Sole - Rock 'n' Roll race series

There’s a race for you somewhere across the U.S. or even UK with the race series (with more discounts to be added as registrations open). Don’t miss out on an amazing race that comes with great perks and awesome medals. The Rock ‘n’ Roll series has some of the best medals out there, I know I can’t wait to add one to my race collection soon!

*****Sign up for a Rock ‘n’ Roll race*****

The Weekly Pursuit #38

Hey, hey it’s Monday yet again! It’s also Passover week, with Easter this coming Sunday. I’m considering going to the Easter Sunrise Service here in Orlando. It’s a annual tradition for a number of families and I’ve wanted to check it out, just never done it. Sure, it’s early, but I get up early for runs, and God is much more important than a run!

The Girl's Got Sole - Galloway Victory Breakfast

Orlando Galloway Pace Group Leaders at our Victory Breakfast.

This past weekend, we had our Galloway training group annual victory breakfast. Always a fun time, an event I look forward to ending each season with. This time around, we had the breakfast about a month later than usual, but it worked out pretty well. Everyone brings in food (and there ends up being tons), and we all have a great couple of hours hanging out together not running, but talking about running. We also do awards and have a great slideshow featuring a lot of photos from the season. It was a good morning with fellow running friends.

Since I didn’t run on Saturday morning, I met up with some fellow Orlando Galloway folks on Sunday morning for a run in Winter Park. Ended up doing about four miles with them, and finishing with 6.2 miles with my friend, Susie. It was a nice morning for a run, the weather was cooler than it usually is this time of year in Florida. I know we will be wishing for those 60 degree temps in the coming weeks!

The Girl's Got Sole - Susie & Shannon

Susie and I atop the parking garage at the end of our run.

Last week ended up being a more restful one for me than usual. Due to feeling worn down and my stomach not being so happy, I took three rest days, and didn’t even get a run in at all (until Sunday’s run). Definitely an odd week workout-wise for me, and while I tend to dislike resting a lot, I suppose sometimes it’s good to take some extra down time and allow your body not to workout. With NYC Marathon training starting to ramp up soon, I’m happier to do that now rather than later. šŸ™‚

The Girl's Got Sole - The Weekly Pursuit

Looking back at last week’s goals…

1. Daily food intake logging. Got this accomplished!
2. Hydration, drink 60oz a day at least. Did well hydrating, just not always 60oz daily.
3. Write WPRR race recap and BibRave review. Got my WPRR race recap up, working on BibRave review.
4. Rest when needed, listen to my body. Definitely nailed this goal last week! šŸ™‚
5. Start reading new devotional each day. Negative, didn’t start this yet.

This week’s goals…

1. Daily food logging.
2. Hydration!
3. Get WPRR BibRave review written.
4. Read new devotional each day.
5. Finger/hand training with Toby bird.
6. Get my eyes examined/new glasses.

The Girl's Got Sole - Search for the Lord

How was your weekend? Any goals for the week?

Race Recap: 2017 Winter Park Road Race

The Girl's Got Sole - Winter Park Road Race

On March 25th, I ran the Winter Park Road Race 10k. It was my 5th time running the race and it’s one I look forward to every year. It’s a popular 10k race in the area, so it’s also one many local runners love to run each year.

I met my weekly runner friend, Annikki at her house on race morning, and we headed to Winter Park. We made good time with traffic, and parked and walked over to Park Avenue with about an hour until the start. As we were making our way to the port-o-lets, I spotted a number of other running friends either getting in line, or just hanging around.

The Girl's Got Sole - Winter Park Road Race 10k

Winter Park Road Race group before race start.

After the obligatory port-o-let stop, we converged with some of my Orlando Galloway friends. We chatted about this and that for a bit before we began to head over to the starting area.

Before long, the starting gun went off and the 10k had begun. There were four or five of us that started the race together. I had set my GymBoss to 30:30 intervals, as that’s my favorite these days. My first goal at this year’s race was to try to get a new 10k PR. I was feeling pretty good, so I though that just might be a possibility. The only issue was that the first half mile or so was pretty crowded, making it difficult to get a good pace going. I knew the first mile out would likely not be so great.

The Girl's Got Sole - Winter Park Road Race

Annikki and I post-race.

By mile two, I was with Melissa and Colleen (who I found just after we began the race), and two other friends, Barbara and Annikki were just in front of us. They decided to do 60:30 intervals, which was funny when we ended up playing “leap frog” for awhile with one another. Goes to show how great the 30:30 interval can be compared with a 60:30!

I hit the halfway point feeling pretty good about how I was doing. I was settling into a pace that felt like a push, but I was okay with it. It was about a 12:45 average pace per mile and pretty good for me these days. I just hoped that I could maintain that the next half.

The Girl's Got Sole - Winter Park Road Race

Some of Orlando Galloway post-race.

A mile or so later though, I started to experience some soreness/uncomfortable feeling in my right upper arm and shoulder. I guess I was holding my hand-held water bottle in such a way that it was bothersome to my body. Or, maybe it was just that I wasn’t used to running more than three miles with a hand-held, but either way, it was bugging me.

Pushing through the soreness, I tried to loosen up my arm and it only sort of helped. By the last mile and a half, I was feeling the push I had been giving my legs. It was also getting a bit warmer out, and that didn’t help. I told Colleen who was with me to keep going and I was going to be right behind her. I knew she seemed to have more left in the tank that I did and I didn’t want to hold her back.

Turned out though, that I was still able to push myself to stay right behind her through the last mile. Melissa even caught up to me as we hit Park Avenue and the final stretch of the race. I crossed the finish in 1:19:20, which while not a new 10k PR, was a time I was proud of. I pushed myself and powered through, so that made me happy. Will be back in 2018 to run the 10k again!

The Girl's Got Sole - Winter Park Road Race 10k