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!

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
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.

Monday Musings 03/30/20

The Girl's Got Sole - Monday Musings

Anyone else feel like the days are all dragging and running together? This month has seemed so long, and it looks like April will be a repeat of the same. I’m really hopeful that the corona pandemic improves in the next 2-3 weeks and we can get back to normal in May. If that’s possible and the right thing to do.

1. I’m thankful to still be able to get out and run. My race schedule may be up in the air, but I can still lace up my shoes and get out for a run! I’m working on keeping a mileage base of 6 to 8 miles, which will keep me fit and training consistently. Also, getting back into my speed work again, trying to hit the track at least once a week as long as it remains open and available.

The Girl's Got Sole - Social distancing run

Run a couple of weeks ago while practicing social distancing.

2. Since the gym closed, I knew I’d miss getting in my twice weekly bike workout. Yes, I can take out my actual bike (which I hope to do soon), but I do like cross-training indoors when possible on the bike. I was able to get a folding exercise bike for just over $70 and it arrived on Friday. Did my first ride on it yesterday. Not completely the same as the gym stationary bikes, but I’m happy to have the option.

The Girl's Got Sole - Exercise bike

The new exercise bike.

3. Keeping my fitness going and food as much in check as possible are so important for me. While losing weight may be more difficult having to be inside so much right now, my goal is to at least maintain my weight. I’m keeping up my intermittent fasting, and fast 14 hours a day on average. Going to try to push myself in the coming weeks to keep up those good health habits and try not to have too many extra snacks outside of my plan. It won’t be easy, but I’m gonna try!

The Girl's Got Sole - Sidewalk chalk messages

Sidewalk chalk inspirational messages.

4. Anyone been watching the new The Biggest Loser on USA? The finale is this week (tomorrow, Tuesday at 9pm), and I’m looking forward to seeing how well all of the contestants have done. As well as find out who the Biggest Loser will be for this season. I’m honestly rooting for everyone of these folks, so it’s been hard to pick and choose a favorite. I just hope the new tools they have been given of gym memberships, nutritionists, and support systems will help them with the mental and emotional aspects of weight loss. It’s definitely all important, because you have to be so strong all around to not only lose the weight, but to keep it off as well.

The Girl's Got Sole - The Biggest Loser on USA

Some of the awesome contestants from this season of The Biggest Loser.

5. I’m starting to do regular videos! While I did a couple at the start of the year, I haven’t been as consistent as I’d like. So, I’m letting this whole corona ordeal get me into posting some kind of video a few times a week. This will expand into other videos about running, working out and other things. I’d love to hear thoughts on what you’d like to see video-wise if you like watching vlogs!

The Girl's Got Sole - Videos

Videos on the GirlsGotSole instagram account.

Hope everyone is staying healthy. I’d love to hear about what you’ve been doing to stay active. Are you getting out for runs in your neighborhood? Let me know in the comments.

Product Review: NOW Foods BCAA Blast & Effer-Energy

The Girl's Got Sole - NOW Sports product review

Disclaimer: I received NOW Foods BCCA Blast Powder and Effer-Energy Tablets 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!

I’ve been pro-BCAA supplements for years now. When the chance to try a new kind of BCAA from NOW Foods presented itself as a BibRavePro, I was raising my hand.

The Girl's Got Sole - NOW Sports BCAA product review

BCAAs are branched-chain amino acids, which are essential nutrients for building muscle and promoting post-workout recovery. BCAAs can be taken before, during or after a run or workout. NOW Sports BCAA Blast powder gives you 5 grams of BCAAs and contain 100mg of natural caffeine per serving. The supplement assists in maintaining physical energy and focus during workouts and aids the body’s natural recovery process. In addition, each scoop has electrolytes to replenish what is lost during strenuous activity.

The Girl's Got Sole - NOW Sports review

NOW Sports BCAA Blast is available in two flavors, Natural Raspberry and Tropical Punch. I opted for the former, and have been happy with the taste. I’ve used it before a run or workout, as well as during my gym workouts and for recovery. When it comes to a powdered supplement, taste definitely makes or breaks it for me, and this one hit the mark. I find myself looking forward to drinking it after a morning run. The raspberry flavor is not over-powering and seems just right combined with 16oz of water.

Using BCAAs has helped me in the past recover better from hard workouts, and NOW Sports BCAA Blast did not disappoint. I felt less soreness after my longer training runs and races where I pushed myself. The BCAA powder easily dissolves and there isn’t a gritty taste like I’ve experienced with other powders in the past.

As far as the other product, the Effer-Energy Effervescenet Tablets, I had a different experience with them. I wasn’t a big fan of them. They come in a Tropical Punch flavor, and the taste was just a bit too overpowering for me. Had a hard time enjoying my drinks when I added a tablet to my water. The tablets didn’t seem as thought they dissolve well enough for me. Breaking the tabs in half did seem to help the taste, but I have to admit, they just weren’t my thing.

The Girl's Got Sole - NOW Sports product review

Both products are vegan/vegetarian friendly, soy free, nut free, and the powder is gluten free. Each scoop of the BCAA Blast is 30 calories, while the tablets are 10 calories each. So, neither supplement is good for a low-calorie diet if you are watching what you are taking in. You can check out the complete nutrition information on the NOW Foods website.

If you are looking for a great BCAA Powder, check out NOW Foods BCAA Blast. You can save 20% off your own container of BCCA Blast, Effer-Energy, or any other supplements with discount code NOWSPORTS20 now through 4/30/20.

The Girl's Got Sole - NOW Sports review


“Offer valid 2/1/20 through 11:59 PM Central Standard Time 4/30/20. Offer valid only on products found at https://www.nowfoods.com/sports-nutrition/sports-nutrition-all-products. Prices are as shown. Some exclusions apply. Must use coupon code NOWSPORTS20 in the Promotion Code field at checkout. While supplies last at nowfoods.com. This offer does not apply to applicable taxes or shipping and handling. Offer cannot be used on previous purchases. NOW Health Group, Inc. has the right to end any promotion at any time.”


Check out my fellow BibRavePro reviews of the product:
Stephanie (BluegrassBAMR)
Sarah (Running for Beers)
–Erica (Another Half Please)
–Michelle (Running with Attitude)
–Adventures by Katie
–Kim (Kooky Runner)
–Emily (azungoddess)
–Evan Reister
–Lacey Timony

Race Cancellations All Over

The Girl's Got Sole - Races Cancelled

Late this afternoon, I found out the Shamrock Race Weekend was canceled due to COVID-19. This was a race I was excited to go run, as it was also to be my first BibRavePro Summit. It is a big weekend gathering of lots of BibRavePros from all over.

While this entire situation is disappointing, I know the decision is for the best. The Race Directors have to follow what the local governments are advising, and as runners, we have to respect that. We can be upset and annoyed, but there is a greater purpose behind the cancellations.

Experts say we need to limit large gatherings so we can flatten the curve. This is a great article on why events being canceled and self-quarantines save lives. With limited large gatherings, the rate of an epidemic can slow down.

The Girl's Got Sole - Cancellations Abound

Flatten the curve.

Not only are most major marathons and half marathons getting canceled, but other events in big venues are as well. As I write this blog post, dozens of races are canceling their events. This includes NYC Half Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Washington DC Marathon & Half Marathon, and Marine Corps 17.7. The Boston Marathon has been postponed until the Fall, likely early September. And, both Disneyland in California and Walt Disney World in Florida will be closing for the remainder of the month.

So, as runners where do we go or do from here? While we can’t do large gatherings like races, we can run in our own neighborhoods. Some of my running group is already planning on doing our own half marathon next Saturday since a number of us are missing our events. Just a few of us banding together to run and keep our spirits up (hello endorphins!). I think getting together with a few running friends and running your race virtually is a great idea. Take your own water and fuel and get out and run. Don’t forget the hand sanitizer in your gear bag. 🙂

America’s Toughest Road Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - Blue Ridge Marathon, America's Toughest Road Race

Disclaimer: I am promoting the Blue Ridge 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!

Are you looking for a challenging marathon? Then, The Footlevers Blue Ridge Marathon may be for you! It challenges runners with over 7,430 feet of elevaton change, which is more than any other road marathon in the country! Runners get to run along the beautifully scenic Blue Ridge Parkway, with proceeds from the non-profit event benefiting the parkway and local charities.

If the 26.2 distance isn’t your thing, the race also offers a half marathon and 10k option. With all finishers receiving a unique finishers’ medal, tech-shirt, live music, and a festival-like finish with local craft beer.

The Girl's Got Sole - Blue Ridge Marathon

America’s Toughest Road Marathon is limited to 750 runners and has a 7.5 hour cut-off time, with runners having to make it to mile 22 within 6 hours. That gives participants a generous 16:20 min/mile pace for 26.2 miles. The half marathon has a 6-hour cut-off time, making it very friendly for back-of-the-pack runners.

The Blue Ridge Marathon is now in it’s 10th year, having been founded in 2010 by a group of local runners and volunteers with a goal of crafting one of the most beautiful and difficult marathons in the US. The event is owned and operated by the Roanoke Outside Foundation whose mission it is to make outdoor activity and environmental stewardship a core component of the Roanoke Region of Virginia’s lifestyle hy promoting a “conservation through recreation” philosophy.

The marathon, half marathon and 10k take place on April 18th, so register today! Use discount code “BRMRAVE” to save 20% off distance of choice. There’s a distance for everyone at the 2020 Foot Levers Blue Ridge Marathon.

The Girl's Got Sole - Blue Ridge Marathon

Race Recap: 2020 DONNA Half Marathon

The Girl's Got Sole - DONNA marathon weekend

On February 9th, I ran and paced the 2020 DONNA Half Marathon in Jacksonville, Florida. This was my 6th time running a DONNA race, and 2nd time pacing at the race.

I headed up to Jacksonville on Saturday morning with my mom. It’s about a 2 1/2 hour drive from Orlando, so it’s not too bad. I always stay the night before the race, because I can’t imagine trying to drive up on race morning. It would be way too stressful for me.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2020 DONNA Half Marathon

Race expo at the Morrocco Shrine Auditorium.

This year, the expo was at a different location than it was last year. It took place at the Morocco Shrine Auditorium, which was the original home of the race expo. This was a new location for me, as I had done in the race when the expo was at the Convention Center, or last year, at the old Kmart.

The expo seemed pretty small to me this year. Not a many vendors as past years. Packet pickup was easy (especially since my packet was at the Galloway Pacer table), and I got to see some familiar faces. It was great talking to John from sQoosh, as well as Amanda Napolitano, the race director. I also saw Donna Deegan briefly on my way out, which was nice.

After the expo, mom and I headed to the hotel to check in. That went well, and they were even great about allowing me a late checkout the next day. We did run back out to grab some dinner to bring back to the hotel. Nothing like a spaghetti dinner from Olive Garden to carb up! 🙂

Everything seemed to be going well until I tried to get some rest. There seemed to be a family/group of friends staying across the hall and next door to that room that had no respect for others needing to sleep. Their loud talking, laughing and slamming doors woke me up repeatedly through the night. Calls to the front desk didn’t help either unfortunately.

The Girl's Got Sole - DONNA Half Marathon recap

Trying to stay warm before the race.

Somehow, I got some rest (not much), and when my alarm went off at 4am, I was feeling okay. I suppose there wasn’t much else to do but make the best of it. I got dressed and headed out. I drove to the Morocco Shrine Auditorium, where race parking was this year. They had buses to take us to the Runners Village and starting area.

That went smoothly, and I arrived at Beaches Town Center with time to spare before I had to meet my fellow pacers at 6:30am. I went inside the One Ocean Hotel and stayed warm for a bit while I waited. During that time, I got to chat with a fellow runner also staying warm while waiting for friends.

After our group pacer photo, I met my co-pacer for the 3:20 finish time for the half marathon. Sherry was great, we chatted as we hit the port-o-lets and found our spot for our wave. As we waited, a few folks joined our pace group. One guy was running his first half marathon, and others it may not have been their first half, but they each had a story.

The Girl's Got Sole - DONNA Half Marathon recap

With my co-pacer, Sherry before the race.

The National Anthem was sung, and before long, we were headed to the start. I love the start of the DONNA race. So many cheering faces! That first half mile is full of great folks! We settled into our pace and the miles began to fly by. Okay, maybe not all of them, but they sure went well. Sherry and I had a great group of folks in our pace group.

The only thing I regret is not getting more mile marker pictures and other fun photos on the course like I did the year before. Nonetheless, we had a good time. I love the DONNA because the miles just seem to be glide by with all the spectators cheering and the motivational signs.

The Girl's Got Sole - 2020 DONNA Half Marathon

On course for a quick photo opp with some of our pace group.

We crossed the finish line in 3:19:17, which is a few seconds faster than we should have been, but great. With a 3:20 finish time goal, we did pretty well.

The highlight for me is the thank yous we got from some of our pace group. One really stands out though, the gentleman who was running his first half marathon asked if he could hug us. He then asked for a photo. He was all smiles about his new accomplishment. That made me feel so good. Like warm fuzzies good. That’s why I love being a group leader and pacer, helping people achieve their goals. There’s really nothing else like it. 🙂

I hope to be back in 2021 pacing the DONNA Half Marathon. It truly is one of my favorite half marathon events to do.

The Girl's Got Sole - DONNA Half Marathon recap

Happy Pacer Finishers!