Race Recap: Virtual Hot Chocolate 15k

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 15k virtual

On May 2nd, I did my virtual Hot Chocolate 15k race with a few friends. Don’t worry, we were responsible, and remained at a social distance. I signed up for the race because a good friend (who I ran with), asked me to. With virtual races being a fun way to get the miles in, I told her that sounded like fun.

We met at 6am at a local trail, the Seminole-Wekiva Trail, otherwise known to locals as the painted trail. A good portion of it has neat painted fences done by a local artist and some friends of his. It’s also a beautiful trail on it’s own.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 15k virtual run

The awesome Hot Chocolate swag!!!

It turned out to the a great morning for a run, we had a temperature of 60 degrees at the start. This made running 9.3 miles a lot easier, as I recalled the previous weekend’s 7.5 mile run that was extremely hot and humid. We rarely get 60s this time of year in Central Florida, so it was appreciated.

As we headed down the trail, we saw a runner or two here and there, as well as some cyclists. Everyone for the most part was keeping their distance, following the guidelines. Every once in a while, we did deal with a cyclist not informing us of his/her passing.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 15k virtual run

The painted trail, some of the art.

The run was enjoyable. We chatted and enjoyed the weather, and beautiful trail. My favorite parts were definitely where the painted fences were. I love seeing the creative art panels. Some are from movies, TV, and entertainment, while others are animals and inspirational. There is something for everyone to enjoy and appreciate.

We even ran into some fellow Orlando Galloway runner friends on the trail! They were heading in our direction, and us in theirs. We all may not be seeing each other much (or at all) these days, but it was nice to see them for a moment and say hello.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 15k virtual run

Some social distancing photo ops on the run.

Once we hit the 4.6 mile mark, we turned around and headed back toward our cars and where we started. With it being more light out, this gave us better opportunities for a few painted fence photos, as well as a group shot. The remainder of the run back continued to be good, and I felt blessed that it was such a good morning.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate 15k virtual

I was happy to finish the Hot Chocolate 15k virtual run. I really love the hoodie jacket that is a part of the swag. I will wear it later this year once it cools down again here in Florida. While I earned chocolate at the end of my run, I opted to treat myself to a smoothie instead. Though, I will admit, I had some chocolate chip cookies later. 🙂

There’s still a chance to register for the 2020 Virtual Hot Chocolate 15k or 5k. The race charity is Make-a-Wish, which creates life-changing wishes for children with critical illnesses. Head over to their website to sign up soon, as I hear there’s only a few openings before they sell out.

The Girl's Got Sole - Hot Chocolate virtual run

Post-run smoothie!

My Upcoming Races

The Girl's Got Sole - My Upcoming Races

By races, I mean virtual…because, as we all know, unfortunately actual races are on hold. I’m REALLY hoping by October we can line up at the starting line of races again. I SO miss it!

I have posted about two virtual races I will be doing as a BibRavePro, the Cinco de Miler and Hospital Hill Run 10k. I added another to that list as a BibRavePro, Carmel Marathon 10k. They have a few distance options, and I will be blogging about that one specifically this week. All three are still open for virtual registration if you’d like to join the fun.

The other virtual I have signed up for is the Hot Chocolate 15k. A runner friend asked me to do this one with her, and I said yes. We will be running it this coming weekend. I have only done Hot Chocolate once before, and it was in Tampa back in 2016, Had a great time, less for the heat. This one will be a bit different since it’s virtual, but I plan on making the best of it and having a good time.

While I know some runner friends are on the fence with the virtual races, I think right now, they are a great way to keep up motivation during this unprecedented time. It gives me something fun to keep my training runs more exciting. And hey, maybe you’ll like a race swag or medal so much that you’ll want to go run it in person next year!

Are you running any virtual races right now? Let me know if so in the comments and which one(s)?

It’s My Birthday Week!

The Girl's Got Sole - It's My Birthday Week!

My birthday is this coming Saturday, and this year is going to be different, that’s for sure. Having a birthday while in quarantine (or, as they are calling it, “safer-at-home), is like nothing I’ve experienced before. I’m sure it’s going to be one to remember.

While I am not necessarily keen on getting older anymore, it’s a bit sad that my birthday is happening during this corona virus pandemic. There won’t be the typical going out to dinner or hanging out with friends. What I think I’m going to miss most though is all the love and hugs I look forward to. I love hugs from my family and friends. Miss that so much.

I’m doing my best to keep my head up though, as I do get to be with my sweet budgie bird and a couple of friends whom I live with. I’m so thankful for them in my life. It’s a blessing to be able to live in a home that truly feels like home and that there’s happiness and laughter in.

I am also blessed that I am in good health and have some amazing friends in my life. Even if we all can’t see each other right now. Great friends mean the world to me. Most are running friends, who have become like family to me over the years we’ve run together.

So, things may be different right now, but it’s about being safe and healthy. In the end, that’s more important than celebrating another birthday.

The Girl's Got Sole - It's My Birthday Week!

If you would like to send gifts, I do have an Amazon wishlist (link in my About section). Or, what I’d love this year is donations to TEAM 413. You can make a donation or sign up for the virtual event on their website in the online store, at https://team413.org.

Cinco de Miler Has Gone Virtual!

The Girl's Got Sole - Cinco de Miler virtual 2020

Disclaimer: I received an entry to the virtual Cinco de Miler 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 last few weeks may have been tough, but here’s your opportunity to take part in a virtual run celebration all over the country! Chicago’s Cinco de Miler is going virtual this year! Due to the COVID-19 virus, everyone in cities all over the country now have an opportunity to take part in the 5-mile race!

RAM Racing, the great folks who put on the Cinco de Miler (along with many other races), are proud to offer the race event to runners and walkers virtually. Registration gets you a long sleeve tech tee, an awesome finisher medal and a few extra surprises mailed right to your doorstep.

The Girl's Got Sole - Cinco de Miler virtual

This is another great way to keep your motivation up with all of the race cancellations and social distancing due to the corona virus. Any bit of motivation right now is a plus in my book! Even if you aren’t normally a virtual race kind of person, maybe taking part in one or two right now will keep your spirits up. Add some fun to your training runs. Who doesn’t love awesome bling, right?

The race has a new official charity for 2020! RAM Racing will donate $5 from every registration to the Chicago Community COVID-19 Response Fund which helps get needed resources in the hands of organization on the front line of the pandemic. Run a race with great swag, and support a needed charity at the same time!

Sign up soon, so that you can get your race packet and gear! Head over to https://www.cincodemiler.com/ and use BRCINCO20 to get a FREE trucker hat in addition to the included race haul! Let’s get May started off with a fun race event. I know I’m excited to do this one!

The Girl's Got Sole - Cinco de Miler virtual

Vlogging Ideas

I’ve finally started to do some short videos lately on Instagram and Facebook. Hopefully, some of you have been able to catch them. Mostly, they are updates about training and such. That said, I want to start doing some vlogging on topics or subjects that YOU would like to see.

With this whole Covid-19 “stay at home” stuff going on, I realize motivation can be less than easy to find these days. I know I’ve had my ups and downs in that area. What’s interesting is that the days when I’ve run or been active in some way have really helped my mood. This has helped me get myself going on doing some videos, even though they are short and basic.

What topics would you be interested in hearing about? I can also do Facebook Lives for some discussions if there’s interest. We can talk about training, both physical and mentally, as they are both important. Or, we can chat about cross-training, weight loss, maintaining a fit lifestyle… whatever you would find interesting or fun.

If you want to talk about something else, feel free to mention that too. You can comment below or drop me a message if that works better for you. I’d love to get this started this weekend. Let’s have fun and motivate/inspire one another! 🙂

Today is TEAM 413 Day!

The Girl's Got Sole - TEAM 413 Day

Today, April 13th is TEAM 413 Day! Each year, this is the day TEAM 413 GRACE-RUNNER MINISTRIES designates as a day of prayer and fundraising for the ministries. The organization counts on donations to keep it afloat. This year is especially difficult due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. It has taken away running event expos that TEAM 413 counts on each year.

This year, TEAM 413 is doing a special event for runners, walkers, and athletes (or non-athletes) of all ages and abilities. For $30, you can sign up to STAY THERE & SHARE the great love of Christ right in your own neighborhood. You will get a mens or womens short-sleeve shirt to commemorate the event. If you’d like to opt for a sweatshirt instead, you can do that as well for a $50 donation.

TEAM 413 exists to share the love of Christ in the athletic arena, promote the physical, mental, and spiritual health of the athlete, and compete in road races across the country. We believe that the truth of “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” in Philippians 4:13 is our call to serve Christ in ALL we do.

The Girl's Got Sole - TEAM 413 Day

While the “Get There & Share” mission may have slightly changed with the current state of the world, that doesn’t mean we can’t share right in our own backyards. Wearing a TEAM 413 shirt while you run on the roads, trails, as you take a walk, or whatever you may do, gets the message out there.

I’d love for you to join me and sign up today for this fun event for an awesome ministries. Then, invite your friends to join in! Let’s STAY THERE & SHARE all over the country and world!

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Like the TEAM 413 GRACE RUNNER Facebook page! Daily inspiration through Grace Words and more!

Join the Virtual Hospital Hill Run!

The Girl's Got Sole - Virtual Hospital Hill Run

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

Hey runner friends! I’d like to invite you to join me in a great virtual race opportunity. COVID-19 may be canceling (or delaying) many of our races, but I love how many virtual options have opened up. Some that we’d never get to run virtually before. The Hospital Hill Run is one of those opportunities.

On June 6th, the 2020 Hospital Hill Run was scheduled to take place in Kansas City, MO. This is a Kansas City race tradition, now in it’s 47th year. You can run one of three distances, half marathon, 10k, or 5k virtually through July 1st. This gives runners and walkers the chance to run their race of choice, at home on the day of their choosing during that time frame.

The Girl's Got Sole - Virtual Hospital Hill Run

With all the virtual race options popping up, Hospital Hill Run is making this one special. There is a Facebook Page where you can share your photos, videos, and race experience with everyone else running. Also, hopefully you are on Instagram and Twitter, so you can use the hashtag, #HHRVirtual2020 to follow and continue the sharing and virtual event excitement!

So, what are you waiting for? Join me and let’s run Hospital Hill virtually! Head over to https://virtual.hospitalhillrun.com/ and register for the distance of your choice. Use discount code BIBRAVE1 to save 15% off! Then, be sure to join the Facebook Group to join in the fun conversation, motivation and photos! Then, run your race! Once you’ve crossed your finish line, submit your results!

Once your results are submitted, your awesome swag pack will be headed your way! You will get a digital finisher certificate to your email, race bib, Charlie Hustle Finisher shirt, and Finisher Medal!

The Girl's Got Sole - Virtual Hospital Hill Run

The awesome race swag!!!

I’m running the 10k virtually, and I can’t wait to see who is joining me and my fellow BibRavePros in running this virtual event! I’ve never run a race in Kansas City, MO (never been there either, LOL), but I feel like this is a great way to be a part of a fun race tradition in Missouri!

#ReleasetheRunner Movement

The Girl's Got Sole - #ReleasetheRunner

Why do you run? With races being canceled since last month, and into the foreseeable future, we all know motivation can be hard to find right now. Go back to what got you started, why you became a runner. What is your why?

My why began as an extension of staying fit. I had lost 80lbs in 2009/2010, and wanted to find activities that would help me maintain my weight loss. I met running in late 2010, when I decided to start doing a Couch to 5k plan. Unfortunately, weeks into my new training plan, I injured my back. This was a set back, but because of my stubbornness, I didn’t give up.

The Girl's Got Sole - #releasetherunner

After finishing my first half marathon at the 2011 Space Coast Half Marathon.

In 2011, I decided that if I couldn’t run, I would walk. I trained to walk my first half marathon. Along the way, I did my first 10k, and later crossed the finish line of the 2011 Space Coast Half Marathon in November. It was one of the hardest things I had done up until that point, but after crossing that finish line, I was inspired.

A high school friend introduced me to the Jeff Galloway method after my first half marathon. She thought maybe I could try that since I still wanted to run somehow. After speaking to a specialist, who told me a run/walk program wouldn’t hurt my back injury anymore than it already was, I felt good about giving it a go.

On March 4, 2012, I ran/walked my first half marathon, and finished my second overall half marathon. It was a wet, windy chilly day, and while I don’t recall all the details 8 years later, I do remember it was a great experience in the end. I crossed the finish line in 2:59:42, which was a great time.

The Girl's Got Sole - #releasetherunner

Crossing the finish line of the 2012 Orange Blossom Half Marathon.

In June 2012, I joined the local Jeff Galloway training program in Orlando. From that point on, I was hooked on running. Running with a group was something I grew to really love. I trained my first year in the program to run my first marathon in February 2013. The first year of marathon training was both hard and fun, quite the combination of emotions, but I wouldn’t have gone back and traded it for anything.

Running may have began as a way to stay fit, but it has evolved into so much more. I run to challenge myself, I run to be with friends, and I run because it makes me feel more alive. There’s truly nothing like the feeling of finishing a run after giving it your all. It’s a feeling that I have been blessed to be able to experience for going on 9 years.

The Girl's Got Sole - #releasetherunner

During the 2015 NYC Marathon

What’s your running story? What is your why? Join the #releasetherunner movement and share your story! Let’s inspire each other, and others who have maybe considered running, but have never thought they could be one. I believe just about anyone can run, they just need the right encouragement and support.

Join the #ReleasetheRunner movement with BibRave and 49 other partners all across social media! I’m excited to be a part of this awesome project, and I hope you join in! 🙂

Working Out During COVID-19

The Girl's Got Sole - Working out during COVID-19

Being a runner and working out during the Covid-19 pandemic is different. It’s now been almost three weeks since I’ve been in the gym, and it’s the longest I’ve been away from it since I got fit joined 8 years ago.

I’m fortunate in that I’m still running three days a week, and I was able to get an exercise bike to use at home. But, I’d be the first to say, I miss the gym and the way things were in early March. There’s just something about getting up, dressed and out the door for a workout.

It looks like we’ve got at least the month of April to get through before things maybe get back to “normal,” or the way it used to be. Thus far, I’ve remained optimistic about the future, and hopefully, I can keep that up. It’s all about faith and positive thinking.

The Girl's Got Sole - Working Out During COVID-19

(credit: Gone for a Run)

I am loving how many virtual races options that have come up to keep motivation going while we can’t run actual races. There are so many out there now that it’s hard to keep up. Makes it easy to find out that fits just about any runner. I especially love the corona virus themed races like the Corona Busters 19k. Another favorite is the Running is Not Canceled races, one is being organized by Fleet Fleet, another by Gone for a Run.

Not to mention the variety of local races put on by running stores. Track Shack’s virtual racing series gets my vote of course, being it’s my local running store. You can run their virtual races anywhere though, you don’t have to be a Central Florida runner to take part. There are 8 medals/races to choose from, from 5ks to 10k distances. There’s a race for everyone.

How are you keeping active and running during the pandemic? Are you signing up for virtual races? Would love to hear about it, post in the comments.