Race Recap: 2018 Mount Dora Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - Race Recap: Mount Dora Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received entry into the Mount Dora Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. (Ambassador) Check out BibRave.com to find and write race reviews.

I ran my last race of 2018 on Sunday, December 16th at the Mount Dora Half Marathon. This was my second time running the Mount Dora Half, and my 36th half marathon overall. I was looking forward to running the race, and taking it a bit easier after running the OUC Orlando Half a couple of weeks prior.

Since the race was on Sunday, I was able to drive over on Saturday to pick up my packet, then take it easy for the rest of the day before the race. Mount Dora is about 36 minutes away from me via toll roads, and I got there pretty easily. Took a couple of minutes to find parking, but once I did, it was a fast and easy packet pickup!

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

On race morning, I got to Mount Dora around 6am, and was able to park in a garage that was overlooking the finish area. Definitely a good thing! Once I parked, and gathered up my gear, I walked over and hit up the port-o-lets. As I did, I ran into fellow BibRavePro, Kim, aka BarkingMadRun.

We chatted as we waited for the race to start, then headed over to the starting area. As it turned out, her goal for the race wasn’t far off from mine, so we decided to start the race running together. I had my Aftershokz headphones with me, so I was prepared to run solo, so it was nice to at least get going with a friend!

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 Mount Dora Half Marathon

Starting the race with Kim (photo cred: @BarkingMadRun)

As the race began, we had a pretty decent pace out of the gate. According to my Garmin, we hit mile one at 13:48/mile, then continued to stay under a 14 minute pace through mile 4. My basic goal for the race was to keep an easy pace, and try to finish in 3:15. This is my usual pacer goal, so I figured it would be a nice, manageable race for me.

Those hills in Mount Dora are no joke though, and you can see some of that in later miles. I will say, it was easier than the Atlanta 10-Miler back in October! I was thankful my legs seemed to be doing well through the ups and downs, and while I still need more hill work in my training, I felt pretty good.

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon

Mount Dora is a very pretty little town, the big old trees with Spanish moss are a trademark of the area. I especially love the back side of the route, against the waterfront. It’s hilly, but very scenic.

Kim and I stuck together until about mile 10ish, when she decided to slow down a bit. I was feeling good, so I took off. It was about that time that I put on my music. I did really enjoy running with Kim, it was nice to get to know my fellow BibRavePro and Skirt Sports Ambassador sister a little more through the miles. I’m also a social runner, and boy does running with friend make those miles fly by!

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon

When I did put my music on, it was a nice experience running solo along the waterfront. This is probably my favorite part of the course, I love running along the water!

When I turned the corner and saw the finish line (and the huge blow up Santa), I was happy to see that I was ahead of my 3:15 finish goal. I ended up crossing the finish in 3:09:41.

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon 2018

After the race, I was able to take advantage of a cool perk! Physio Med Inc Rehab had some staff on hand to provide free chiropractic adjustments. I had never had a chiro adjustment before, but since my right leg has been tight since running in Atlanta a couple of months prior, I decided to give it a try. It definitely wasn’t without some discomfort, but the girl who worked on me, Melodie helped loosen my legs and shoulders. I will have to look into doing it again for future races. I noticed my legs, especially that right one she focused on were better the next morning.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 Mount Dora Half Marathon

I loved seeing a number of friends at this race, as local races are some of my favorite because of that. Nothing like seeing a familiar face on the race course, or before/after the event!

The race also offers free photos, so I loved seeing the few the photographers got of me on the course, and finishing the race. They actually didn’t have me looking so bad. LOL! 🙂

Overall, it was a fun race. I do think they need to work on a few things like making sure the course truly is closed off to traffic (had a few close calls with cars on the back side), update the website to be a bit more clear on information information (changes being made to 5k race day and such not so clear to participants), and would have been nice to have a Christmas themed shirt per previous years. That said, the volunteers were awesome, and the course itself beautiful. I look forward to returning to run this one again.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 Mount Dora Half Marathon

#MondayMotivation: I Run

The Girl's Got Sole - I Run

The neatest thing happened to me yesterday during my half marathon. I hadn’t used my music most of the miles because I had the opportunity to run with a friend during most of the race. But, during the last 2-3 miles, I turned on Pandora music. The second song that came on, was one I hadn’t heard before. But, it was so incredibly perfect, I knew it was a sign from above.

It was I Run by Brandon Heath. The lyrics are so amazing, and resonated with me. On the surface, the chorus was perfect for the race, but it was so much more than that.

Some days I feel I got nothing left
Like I’m running on empty down to my last breath
My feet are so heavy, don’t wanna carry the load
But then I think of You standing there at the end of the road

I’m in this race, in this race
In this race to run
I’m in this race, in this race
In this race to run

When the miles come slowly, putting my heart to the test
And the wind comes blowing down against my chest
I’ll lean into the burning, press in to the strain
And I’ll know it was worth it all when I see Your face

That’s the first two verses and the initial chorus. Talk about some awesome words! With how tough my life’s journey has been this year, it’s only because of my faith, because of God that I’ve been able to push through.

The lyrics of the song made me really think, and realize how strong I am because of God. My favorite Bible verse comes to mind, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Hearing this song, which felt so perfectly timed, was the extra motivation for those remaining couple of miles to the finish line.

God is so amazingly cool in the ways He communicates with us! I love how He uses songs to help us see, help us realize so many things!

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon finish

Finishing the race on Sunday morning.

Product Review: WIN Detergent (and giveaway!)

The Girl's Got Sole - WIN Detergent product review

Disclaimer: I received a bottle of WIN Detergent 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!

As runners and fitness lovers, we all know the struggle of smelly workout clothes. No matter how well we think we washed them, there always seems to be a slight dingy smell that lingers. It’s as if our sweat is no match for our laundry detergent.

The Girl's Got Sole - WIN Detergent review

That all changes when you use WIN Detergent on your workout clothes. Even the smelliest shirt comes out of the washer smelling like roses. Okay, well maybe not roses (that’s not a scent option, at least not at this time), but you’ll get a fresh, clean smell! WIN Detergent gets out stinky odors like nobody’s business! It’s amazing!

From the moment I opened my bottle of WIN Detergent, I loved the smell. It’s a fresh scent that is pleasing to the senses. After the wash cycle, my running clothes came out with a light, fresh smell. I enjoyed it, it signaled to me that my clothes were finally TRULY clean and without lingering funky odors!

Our running/workout gear is made from wicking fabrics, and that’s what attracts the salts, bacteria and oils, thus creating that sweaty smell we are all too familiar with. What makes WIN different than regular detergent is that the active ingredients in WIN Detergent separates the oils from synthetic fibers. This makes your workout apparel smell and perform like new. WIN is designed with the active person in mind.

The Girl's Got Sole - WIN Detergent review

I LOVE the Fresh Scent of WIN BLUE. It’s not overly empowering to me, and just smells nice. That said, if you prefer non-scented detergent, WIN GREEN is for you. It’s a fragrance-free, dye-free, and better for the environment. It’s all in what you prefer, as both options work the same as they break the bond between the oil and fabric of your technical workout apparel.

Now that I’ve discovered WIN Detergent, I will never wash my running clothes with regular detergent again. No more lingering sweaty odors for me! WIN Detergent will be a forever addition to my laundry regime.

The Girl's Got Sole - WIN Detergent review

Get your own bottle (or two, or four), and save 20% off with discount code RAVE4WIN! Offer is good through 1/15/19, so start your new year off smelling great!

Head over to my Instagram page for a chance to win a free bottle (look for the below photo)! This is one giveaway you’ll want to get in on! Head over to Instagram and enter to win!

The Girl's Got Sole - WIN Derergent

Join #bibchat on 1/1/19 with sponsor, WIN Detergent. You’ll have another opportunity to win a bottle of WIN during the chat.

Five on Friday 11/14/18

Happy Friday! Can you believe there’s only 11 days until Christmas? Have you finished your Christmas shopping? Because I sure haven’t. Ha! Hopefully in the next few days I’ll be all done.

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

1. Mount Dora Half Marathon. My last race of 2018 is this Sunday. I will be running the Mount Dora Half Marathon. This is the second time I’ve done this race, as I ran it last year as well. It’s a fun race, just very hilly. Yes, we do have SOME hills here in Florida. LOL!

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday 12/14

With friend, Natalie at the 2017 Mount Dora Half Marathon.

2. Toby Mac bird. My sweet budgie bird is doing so well! After dealing with some kind of infection back at the beginning of November, and then another feather molt, he is back to his happy self! He is singing, talking and dancing around like crazy! He also looks super cute right now, of course, I know I’ve a bit bias on his good looks. If you’d like to follow him online, Toby has his own Instagram account! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

3. Weight loss journey. This week has been going well. Yesterday was a rest day, and so my calories were lower, and I was more tired, but I pushed through it. It’s only been five days (going on 6 today), but I am feeling better already.

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

4. Plantar Fasciitis. My PF in my left foot has been acting up a bit lately. As I write this blog post, I’m soaking it in an Epsom salt bowl bath. Time to give it more TLC again. I wear my PF sleeve every time I run, but I’m going to start wearing it when I go workout at the gym as well. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m open to hear them. Thanks!

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

5. Zwift. Have you heard of Zwift Running? It’s an app that allows you to virtually run with other runners on virtual roads and courses all over the world. I’m going to be doing a couple of virtual runs/races with it through BibRave, and think it’s looking fun from the posts I’ve seen so far from my fellow BibRavePros.

The Girl's Got Sole - Five on Friday

Zwift run pod on my shoes

Have a great Friday and weekend, everyone!
I’m linking up with Fairytales and Fitness for the Friday Link-up. Be sure to check them out! 🙂

Race Recap: 2018 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 OUC Orlando Half race recap

On Saturday, December 1st, I ran my 35th half marathon. The OUC Orlando Half Marathon is one I’ve run four times prior (2012, 2014, 2015, 2016), so it was not only number 35 overall, but the 5th time I ran this particular hometown race. The only other race I’ve run multiple times to this degree is Space Coast Half Marathon. I ran that half a total of five times as well (2011, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017).

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

This year was also a big year for the race, as they changed the route. Previously, the route had taken runners through a lot of brick roads. The race was updated with a route that only had about 1.6 miles of brick within the first 5 miles. Previously, there was close to 2.5 miles of brick throughout the route, so it was definitely better! I also liked how it changed things up a bit from previous years.

I started the race with Jenny, one of my friends in my pace group, and a few others in Orlando Galloway from a pace group right below us. It was nice to chat with them for the first 4ish miles, and we kept a nice pace. But, Jenny and I wanted to shoot for a 3 hour finish, so we started to increase our pace between miles 4 and 5. I was feeling good, so was happy to push a bit.

The Girl'Got Sole - 2018 OUC Half Marathon

We hit a 13:33 pace at mile 5, after doing a 14:02 during mile 4. So, we definitely got moving! By mile 6, we were doing a 13:18 mile. We did slow a bit by mile 7 though, did that one in 13:50. The last half of the race fluctuated a bit, between the mid-13s to 14:10 per mile. I guess realizing I had to pee, but not wanting to stop for a port-o-let kind of had me varying things, yet trying to keep it moving! Ha!

I’m glad that Jenny ended up taking off from me in the last half mile or so, because while I hit mile 12 in 13:41, my body was not having it. I did notice my heart rate increase in that last mile, not sure why. But, while I wanted to push myself, I played it smart and slowed it down. This is why I didn’t hit that 3 hour finish that I hoped for. But, hey, 3:01:46 isn’t too bad. I was good with that all things considered.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 OUC Orlando Half

What made this race great for me was that I got to run it with one of my best running friends. For me, that’s a big part about running, the social aspect of it. I am a social runner, and I love running with my friends and running group each week. There’s nothing like running with friends.

My friend, Jenny getting a PR of 3:00:34 was so cool to find out. She hadn’t hit that 3 hour mark yet, and she got her best half marathon finish time that morning. She was a bit disappointed that she wasn’t at 3 hours, or just under it, but hey, 30 something seconds is still 3 hours! I am so proud of her.

The 2018 OUC Orlando Half Marathon was a blast, and I loved the new course. I definitely will be back to run the half again next year. It’s always a fun race, and now with less bricks, it’s even better! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - 2018 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

#MondayMotivation – Week 1

While Sunday is the official first day of the week, there’s just something about Monday. Most of us feel as though it’s truly the start of the week since the majority of us have to go back to work. So, it’s pretty common for us to need a boost on Mondays. Let’s get our motivation on!

Since I’ve rebooted my weight loss journey and goals, this week’s #MondayMotivation is going to focus on new starts, and visualizing where you want to see yourself in the future.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Motivation

When I think back at how far my health/fitness and weight loss journey has taken me, the year 2015 stands out. I felt my best in 2015 while training for my 5th marathon, my dream race at the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon. I felt healthy, fit, happy and overall great. My faith in God was also at an amazing place. I knew He was doing amazing things in my life.

I’m praying and working toward feeling as awesome as I did overall that year. It’s my ultimate goal for my life in 2019 and moving forward.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Motivation

What about you? What is your #MondayMotivation this week? Is there a word, quote or bible verse that resonates for you right now? I’d love to hear about it!

Restarting my weight loss journey

The Girl's Got Sole - Restarting my weight loss journey

It’s time. Time to stop letting my autoimmune diseases dictate my life, and for my mental strength to power through the challenges to strengthen back up. It’s time for me to stop making excuses, health-wise or not, and get back on track. This time, it’s for real. This is a true restarting of my weight loss journey.

Today, I got back on the weight loss train. As of today, I have 9lbs to lose to hit my goal weight. This is the weight that I felt happiest and healthiest at. I weighed in at 125lbs back in 2015 when I trained for my dream race, the 2015 TCS NYC Marathon, and so that’s my goal weight.

It’s the nutrition, food-intake that’s generally my weak spot. So, it’s vital that I log EVERY.SINGLE.THING. in MyFitnessPal all the time. I learned from my initial weight loss, when I lost over 75lbs in 2009 that a food diary is vital for me. It keeps me in check and it’s all about calories-in, calories out!

The Girl's Got Sole - Restarting weight loss journey

Workout-wise, I want to continue my regular regime, but I’d like to add in some strength training again, and hopefully, some workout DVDs again. I’ve got a nice collection of Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and The Biggest Loser workout DVDs, so need to put them back into the mix.

I appreciate any support you can give me along the way! The first few weeks are always the hardest. So, if you are willing to cheer me on virtually so to speak, through encouragement and prayers, that would be awesome! I will continue to post all of my workouts on my Instagram account, so if you follow me, please comment if you have a moment. I’m also going to start doing some videos, maybe Facebook Live or on Instagram. Need to learn to embrace myself again, and I know being on video is not my most comfortable format. But, I can work on that. Thanks for any support! 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Restarting weight loss journey

I Miss You, Pop-Pop

The Girl's Got Sole - I miss you, Pop-Pop

Today has been a little hard for me. I’ve been thinking of someone who went home to Heaven, 23 years ago, my Pop-Pop, Lyle Morse Chenoweth.

I remember being a senior in high school then, it was about 7 months before I was set to graduate. My parents were up early that morning when I awoke for school. They didn’t tell me, or my brother anything, just that they needed to go see my grandmother and grandfather. They lived in Volusia County, so it was an hour and a half drive or so. They told me to please pickup my brother after school that day (I was driving at that point), and they would be home that evening.

The Girl's Got Sole - Miss You, Pop-Pop

I remember feeling as though something was wrong, but kind of shock it off while I was in school. After school, I got my brother, and we went to Target. It’s kind of funny to me now that I still recall this stuff. While we were in the store, I happen to walk by the men’s department, and spotted a sweater with a golf design on it. Something, a feeling came over me that it related to my grandfather. Somehow, deep down, I knew he was gone. This feeling overcame me, that he was telling me he was no longer here on Earth. I didn’t know what to think of the feeling, so I tried to shrug it off.

That evening, when my parents got home, I learned it was true. My Pop-Pop was gone. He had passed away. I still can’t explain how I knew deep down inside of me that he was gone. The only explanation is that God, and my grandfather were speaking to me from above.

The Girl's Got Sole - I Miss You, Pop-Pop

23 years later, it still stings. That loss of my Pop-Pop. I think about him a lot. He was a special guy. My Pop-Pop used to call me The Rose, and it’s been a nickname that has stuck with me.

Back in March, my Nana, his wife went home to Heaven and joined him. I do feel good knowing that they are back together again. She missed him a great deal, and she lived almost 23 years without him. I’m sure he was smiling so big when she entered those pearly gates of Heaven.

Pop-Pop, you are missed so much, today and every day. I look forward to one day being able to see you again! I love you!

The Girl's Got Sole - Miss You

Workout Recap W/E 12/1

Last week was a good week workout-wise. It ended with my 35th half marathon, so that’s a good thing. Just one more race left for the year! Mount Dora Half Marathon is on 12/16, so less than two weeks away.

The Girl's Got Sole - Workout Recap 12/1

Orlando Galloway at the OUC Orlando Half Marathon.

Sunday, November 25th – Bike workout at the gym for 7.5 miles.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sunday bike workout

Monday, November 26th – Cross-training workout at the gym. Bike workout for 8.5 miles.

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday bike workout

Tuesday, November 27th – Run with my group, nice weather morning! Felt good and got in a nice pace of 12:31 for 5k.

The Girl's Got Sole - Tuesday morning run

Wednesday, November 28th – REST DAY.

Thursday, November 29th – Hit the gym for a bike workout. Got in 9.7 miles in just over 52 minutes.

The Girl's Got Sole - Thursday bike

Friday, November 30th – REST DAY.

Saturday, December 1st – OUC Orlando Half Marathon, my 25th half. Not my best time, but pretty happy with it nonetheless.

The Girl's Got Sole - Sat run, OUC Orlando Half Marathon

How were your workouts last week? Did you have a race?

#GivingTuesday 2018

The Girl's Got Sole - #GivingTuesday 2018

It’s that time again, it’s #GivingTuesday! It’s a global day of giving that is fueled by the power of social media and collaboration. #GivingTuesday is always celebrated on the Tuesday following Thanksgiving in the United States and kicks off the charitable season.

There are so many amazing charities out there that you can support in some way. A lot of people donate money, but you can also donate your time by volunteering for an organization in some way. Find a charity you believe in, that you are passionate about, and get involved!

The Girl's Got Sole - Team 413

This year, I’m advocating for one of my favorite charities, TEAM 413 – GRACERUNNER MINISTRIES. I believe so much in the work that they have done already, and the work that is ahead in 2019 and beyond. The ministry relies on donations to be able to get out to marathon expos to get out there in the running and athletic community.

I’m also running my 35th half marathon this Saturday, December 1st for TEAM 413. Please, if you are able to give anything, even $5 to support TEAM 413, this is the time to do so. They need your help! Head over to the TEAM 413 – GRACERUNNER MINISTRIES GoFundMe page and make a safe, tax-deductible donation. Thank you for your support!