Race Recap: 2019 OUC Orlando Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

On Saturday, December 7th, I ran the 2019 OUC Orlando Half Marathon. This was my 40th overall half marathon, and my 6th time running the race. It is my favorite local half marathon, and I love running it every year if I can.

The great thing about running OUC is that there is a lot of my Orlando Galloway training group running the race. This makes the race so much more fun. As I’ve said in the past, I’m more of a social runner, so running with my friends is something I love doing. This year, we had a great showing, there were easily more than 20 of us between the half marathon and 5k distances.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

Race morning, I met up with my friend, Colleen, and we headed to park in a nearby parking garage. We arrived quite early, so we had time to sit and chat before walking over to the race starting area. Once we headed over, we quickly spotted a number of our Orlando Galloway friends. A lot of us were headed toward the VIP Porto-Potties, which is another great perk of running this race.

Brooks Running sponsors the VIP Experience each year at the half marathon. This includes access to the VIP porto-potties, and a nice after party area. I’ll be honest, my favorite perk is the porto-potties. Brooks Running calls this their Royal Flush! These are a step up from the usual port-o-lets runners are used to. They have a couple of trailers that have about 6 toilets in each one, as well as sinks. Once you go VIP, you won’t want to go back. Ha!

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Half Marathon

(photo by Track Shack)

We all met up for some group pictures about 15 minutes before the race start, then we all headed to the start to line up for the race. There were a lot of runners; according to Track Shack, there were 2694 finishers of the half, and 840 5k finishers. This year, both distances started the race together. The 5k then split off at the 1.5 mile mark. That first mile is always pretty crowded, so I admit I was a bit concerned how that would play out adding another 800 runners to the mix. Looking back, I think it went okay, wasn’t too bad.

Once the race started, I was happy to be off and running. I was with a few of my runner girls, there were four of us. Others were close by during that first mile. All of us were doing 30:30 intervals, though we did go out running a full minute before getting into our intervals. I was feeling good. Ended up running that mile in 13:51, which would end up being my fastest mile.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

I kept a fairly consistent pace throughout the race, until mile 8 where I slowed and hit a 15:12 mile. Not specifically recalling why my pace slowed, but after the 15k mark, I did speed up a bit to a 14:39 pace for mile 10. What I do remember is the last 2-3 miles were back in the 15s because I was feeling like I was teetering on my breathing somewhat. I never had trouble like I did when I ran the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon back in October thankfully. But, it did slow me down slightly.

Crossed the finish line in 3:15:32. I was proud of this time after what I’ve been dealing with. This whole shortness of breath/asthma stuff is no fun. This finish time is a great improvement from my last half, which I finished in 3:31. So, I know I’m on the right track with my treatment. It’s just going to take some time and tweaking.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

Bottom line is, I love the OUC Orlando Half Marathon. If you want to run a half marathon here in Central Florida that’s not runDisney, I highly recommend it. Track Shack is the best in race management and their races are the best.

Next up for me is the Mount Dora Half Marathon on December 22nd.

The Girl's Got Sole - OUC Orlando Half Marathon

NYRR Virtual Racing Series 2020

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR

The NYRR made some awesome announcements today in regards to the virtual racing series for next year. Volvo Cars is now a sponsor of the NYRR Virtual Racing Series 2020.

The first virtual race to kick off the new year will be the NYRR Virtual Resolution Run 5k. Finishers of the 5k will be entered to win one entry into the 2020 TCS NYC Marathon as well as a NYRR One-to-One Coaching session. How neat is that? Definitely worth running that Resolution 5k early next month for!

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Racing

There will be two options for the NYRR Virtual NYC Half Marathon in 2020. One will be limited to a set number of entries for a guaranteed, non-complimentary entry into the 2021 United Airline NYC Half Marathon! The second option is the virtual half for free or as part of the virtual 6 credit. Those finishers will be eligible for a chance to win 1 of 10 guaranteed, non-complimentary entries into the 2021 United Airlines NYC Half!

The third virtual race is the NYRR NYC Half, Virtual 5k. Finishers of the 5k will be entered to win a round-trip flight on United Airlines to fly and run anywhere in the world! Another awesome opportunity for running a NYRR virtual race!

Find out more about the 2020 NYRR Virtual Racing Series here: https://www.nyrr.org/run/virtual-racing

Have you run any of the NYRR Virtual Races? Do you plan on running any next year?

Recap: NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

Disclaimer: I received entry to the NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k race 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!

On Thanksgiving morning, I ran my virtual race for the NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k (sorry this is a bit late in posting). While I usually love running my local Thanksgiving 5k, as it benefits a great cause, this year I just gathered some friends and we did our own little trot fun run.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot

I love my local running training group, Orlando Galloway. We typically run 3x a week, but holidays are usually OYO runs (on your own). That said, getting a few friends together for a run before enjoying the Thanksgiving festivities was pretty easy. I’m blessed to run with some awesome folks.

Wet met up at 6am, at one of our usual running meet-up spots. There were 8 of us, which was great. Got our watches ready, lights on, and headed out for a fun run. And, that it was! We enjoyed great conversations, laughs, and talked about what everyone’s plans were for the holiday.

The Girl's Got Sole - NYRR Virtual Turkey Trot 5k

Before I knew it, we ran 3.5 miles and we were done. It was definitely one of those runs that you wonder where the time went! I love starting off my day with a run, and this one was awesome. I love that the NYRR virtual races allow you to run wherever you are, and you can get your friends involved too!

I look forward to being a part of future NYRR virtual series races in 2020. They help give me that extra motivation and add fun to training runs!

The Biggest Loser Rebooted

The Girl's Got Sole - The Biggest Loser Rebooted

The Biggest Loser returns to television on January 28, 2020 on the USA network. While the name remains the same, this Biggest Loser is a reboot of the original prime-time TV series.

The revamped weight loss show will now focus on a healthy lifestyle that they can work to maintain in their everyday lives. This time, it’s going to be so different, according to host Bob Harper. “It’s not about getting skinny, it’s about getting healthy,” the former series trainer, now show host told People magazine. The series will focus on a whole-body approach with the contestants.

Some of the classic aspects of the original series will remain, like weigh-ins, team competitions, and daily workouts with the trainers. But, the previous temptations challenges are gone, which used to give contestants opportunities to sabotage their diets with things like junk food to win things like calls to family back home. Instead, there will be a team of nutritionists and doctors available in addition to the trainers. Every contestant will also get a free membership to Planet Fitness, win or lose on the show. And, access to a nutritionist and support group in their hometown.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Biggest Loser Reboot

Bob Harper comes on board this time as the show host, and he brings with him a wealth of knowledge and expertise. Two new trainers, Erica Lugo and Steve Cook will help motivate and inspire the new group of contestants. Lugo knows what it’s like to be unhealthy and overweight, she used to be over 300lbs. She made a decision to change her life and dropped 160lbs in 2 years. Cook comes from a bodybuilding and fitness modeling background. He has a large following on social media with his fitness, nutrition, and lifestyle content being viewed over half a billion times. He owns a gym and a fitness-based app, called Fitness Culture.

I’m excited, and looking forward to the new, rebooted series. If you have been a reader of the blog for awhile, you will remember my regular blogs about the show. I plan on following along starting in January, and see how things go. I’m definitely thrilled to see Bob Harper returning, as he was/is a favorite of mine.

While the series had it’s controversy in the past, it always inspired me. It got me moving to lose weight and get healthier over ten years ago! The new style sounds like they have a good handle on helping the contestants both on the ranch, and once they get back home. Losing weight is hard, but keeping it off can be even more difficult. It’s important to make the process full circle, as it’s not just a physical journey.

What do you think about the return of The Biggest Loser in 2020?

Race Recap: 9K for K9s

The Girl's Got Sole - 9K for K9s race

On November 9th, I ran the 9K for K9s race in Apopka, Florida. The race benefited the K9s United organization. The non-profit organization helps support K9 officers in whatever way it can. K9s United is committed to supporting and honoring K9 law enforcement officers by providing them the best equipment, amenities, and quality of life both during and after their service.

I was excited about being able to actually run in the event this year, since it took place last year on the same date as another race I had previously committed to. Two of my runner friends, Jackie and Colleen were also running the 9K, so it would be a fun one with friends.

The Girl's Got Sole - 9K for K9s

With Colleen & Jackie before the race start.

Race morning, I arrived early as did my friends. We picked up our packets and then headed out for a mile warm-up run before the actual race. There was a sprinkling rain during that one mile run, but it cleared up by the time the race itself started. Overall, I felt good coming into the race, and was looking forward to it.

Once the race began, I took off with Jackie and Colleen. Felt pretty good for about halfway of the race, when I slowed down and the two of them went off ahead of me. I was dealing with the shortness of breath issue, and while I knew it was an issue for the Lighthouse Loop Half Marathon, I had hoped the 9K wouldn’t be an issue. It was an issue after all, so slowing down was the way to go.

The Girl's Got Sole - 9K for K9s race

During the race with my friends.

I kept on chugging along though, even though I slowed down at times, I was not giving up. Did try shorter intervals for my run for a bit, but I didn’t end up liking doing a 20:30 interval too much. It felt as though it was slowing me down. During a walk break, I reset my GymBoss and went back to my usual 30:30 intervals.

Was definitely happy to see the finish line! Though, I have to admit, I probably always am happy for it! I didn’t do a great time, but I finished the 9K in 1:14:03. That gave me a 13:24 pace. Honestly, I was pretty happy with that. I know I could go faster when I am feeling better, but it was a pretty good time.

The Girl's Got Sole - 9K for K9s race

The event was very well put on. Not only did the 9K have good support (they also have a 5k), but the amount of law enforcement presence was impressive. After the run, they did a K9 demonstration which was awesome. Really enjoyed seeing that. They had a few related vendors on hand, and we got some cool photo opportunities with the helicopter and some officers.

This is a race I enjoyed, and plan on running again next year. They put on a few runs a year in Florida, so check out the K9s United website for more information.

The Girl's Got Sole - 9K for K9s race

Post-race with Jackie, Colleen and Liz.

Product Review: ROAD iD Wrist ID

The Girl's Got Sole - ROAD iD product review

Disclaimer: I received a ROAD iD Wrist iD 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!

When BibRave had another opportunity come up to review ROAD iD, I knew I wanted in. I had been wearing a ROAD iD from years ago, and desperately needed an updated one.

I loved being able to create a new iD on their website. The first step is to choose the type you want. Offerings include, wrist iD (5 different band choices), Sidekick iD, Apple iD, Kids iD, FIXX iD, and Pet iD. From there, you start customizing. Decide what color band you’d like, size of the band, and if you’d like access to an update-able Emergency Response Profile. Then, you personalize it. You can then add on fun badges if you’d like.

The Girl's Got Sole - ROAD iD product review

Once I placed my order, I was kept in the loop through the entire process. As soon I placed the order, I got a confirmation emil to tell me they received my order and will let me know more soon. A second email was sent to inform me that my order was engraved. Finally, a third email told me that my new iD was shipped and headed my way. It included tracking information to track my new iD’s journey to me. Not only are these emails informative, but they are entertaining to read. They put fun into each email they send out.

Having had a ROAD iD previously, I knew how awesome they were, but I was still excited when my package arrived on my doorstep. I chose a blue wrist iD and added on two badges, a 13.1 one and one that says believe. I previously had 26.2 and a I love NY badges. All four badges are now on my new ROAD id and I love it. The badges help remind me of what I’ve accomplished with my running. It’s nice being able to look down at them when I need a little motivation.

The Girl's Got Sole - ROAD iD review

If you’ve never heard of ROAD iD, here’s what you should know. They have been around since 1999 and are all about safety. The founders, Mike and Edward want everyone to easily carry ID with them while they are out on the roads or trails. Proper ID ensures that family members/friends can be contacted in case of an emergency if you are unable to speak. Accidents happen more than we’d like, and wearing a form of ID gives you and your loved ones peace of mind.

The Girl's Got Sole - ROAD iD product review

I wear my ROAD iD 24/7. I never take it off. Mine has my name, two contacts in case of an emergency, a note on a possible allergy, and my favorite Bible verse. I barely know it’s there most of the time. For me, the slim Wrist iD works perfectly. The added badges are a favorite part of the iD for me, they make it fun and inspirational.


The Girl's Got Sole - ROAD iD review

Now is the best time to get your own ROAD iD! Their Black Friday Sale is on. You can save up to 60% off site wide! Get yourself an iD or get one or more for friends as Christmas gifts. Head over to https://www.roadid.com/ to get shopping!

Happy Thanksgiving!

The Girl's Got Sole - Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family & friends! I hope you have a wonderful day spent with loved ones, full of good things.
I’m so thankful for loved ones, both family and wonderful friends. My day will begin with a 5k for the virtual NYRR Turkey Trot with some running friends. Then, the rest will be spent with my family, having a nice Thanksgiving dinner. I’m looking forward to a nice day. 🙂

The Girl's Got Sole - Happy Thanksgiving

Healthy Journey Update

The Girl's Got Sole - Health Journey Update

With 6 weeks left of 2019, I thought it was time to update where I am right now. Honestly, I’m not where I’d like to be. At least not with my weight. But, that always seems to be a work-in-progress or one I’m working to maintain at the very least. No, that number on the scale isn’t everything, but I know the range I feel best at, and I’m a bit above that by 6ish pounds.

On the positive side, I’ve now been off of energy drinks for 105 days. That’s over 3 months staying away from the sugary stuff. I’m proud of myself for that. I know not drinking them has made me healthier, and I feel better not using them.

I’ve decided to try intermittent fasting. Some of the girls in my running group were talking about it during our Saturday long run. They say it can help you lose weight, improve brain function, heart health, and protects again chronic disease. One of the girls has lost 12lbs in 4 months, and she says she feels so much better overall. So, I figured I’d give it a try and see if it can work for me. So, I’m going to start it off slow, with how many hours I fast in hopes of getting to a 16:8. That’s 16 hours of fasting, 8 hours of eating. We shall see how it goes.

The Girl's Got Sole - Health Journey Update

Speaking of running, my last long run before the OUC Orlando Half Marathon was on Saturday. I ran 13.6 miles and felt pretty good. Didn’t have any shortness of breath issues, so I’m really hoping this new inhaler is making a difference. So far, so good! The half marathon is on December 7th, so I’m praying I will have a great race.

Otherwise, I’m just trying to get my workouts back to where they should be. I’ve been getting bad about not wanting to get up early for my gym workouts the last few weeks. And, when I tell myself I will go after work, that rarely happens. I just get too tired by 5pm. It’s definitely a goal of mine to get my regular routine back in place asap. I don’t feel as good overall when I don’t get in my five days of working out. It’s funny how it makes a difference mentally and all.

Have you tried intermittent fasting? How has it worked with your running/working out?

Give Good Vibez with Aftershokz

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Give Good Vibez

Disclaimer: I received a pair of Aftershokz to review, and a pair to give away 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!

Are you extra thankful for someone this year? Then, you need to get in on this awesome Black Friday deal from Aftershokz!

If you purchase any wireless headphones between 11/28 – 12/2, you can get an Open-Box Titanium headphone set for FREE! Such a great deal for you and a family member, friend, or someone special that you’d like to gift a pair of Aftershokz! These are the best headphones out there for runners, fitness lovers, and those who want to enjoy their music but still be present and remain aware of their surroundings.

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Give Good Vibez

Aftershokz uses bone conduction technology that sends mini vibrations through the cheekbones which delivers sound directly to the inner ear, bypassing the eardrum. This leaves your ears open to experience your surrounding environment.

*** To get in on this exclusive Black Friday deal, you have to sign up to gain access. It won’t be available unless you get on the email subscriber list. Don’t miss out, sign up now: https://givegoodvibez.aftershokz.com/ ***

The Girl's Got Sole - Aftershokz Give Good VIbez

1 Month Until the Mount Dora Half Marathon!

The Girl's Got Sole - Mount Dora Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Mount Dora Half Marathon 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!

Just one month until the 2019 Mount Dora Half Marathon & 5k here in Florida! I’ve got the OUC Orlando Half Marathon on December 7th, so this race is great timing for me. And, it will be my last race of 2019!

My goal as of right now is to run it in 3:15, but going to see how the OUC Half goes before I make a real goal expectation. Because of my shortness of breath issues, it’s been hard to know how each long run/race will go. Definitely can’t wait until I get that better under control again.

Meanwhile, you can join me and run the half marathon or 5k. Head over to the Mount Dora Half Marathon website and register today! Use code BBRAVE to save 15% on registration!