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It would snow on the day I leave to Miami

Well last night, after enjoying dinner and a movie with B, I took on the task of packing. You would think after traveling for about 4 races out of state I would be less anxious. Bring on the anxiety! B was really supportive and supervised the packing to avoid any clothes throwing or frustration. I am happy to report that all went well and I am packed for Miami!

Since Bear is still in his sad "Cone of Shame" sleeping is a merely memory. Poor guy turns and hits a wall or turns and knocks himself over. I am so worried he is going to hurt himself so I wake up every 30 minutes to make sure he is breathing. Worried and hovering dog-mom here! So after about 4 total hours of sleep, I woke up excited for the day. Then I looked outside and saw the nice little dusting of snow. So far there is no delay with flying (knock on wood) because I need sunny beaches! 

If you are traveling for a race this weekend be safe and have fun! 

See you soon Miami! 


Garmin Forerunner 220 Review

As some of you may remember earlier in January, I splurged and bought myself an early birthday gift.

I was so excited that I even ordered overnight shipping to take it on my Saturday long run. I was especially excited about the live tracking feature so B wouldn't be too worried during my runs. Well, I am sad to report things did not go as smoothly as I had hoped. 

I set up the watch to the exact specification on the Owner's Manuel. Linked via Bluetooth, time, satellite and downloaded the software to send data to my computer. Even better the data would transfer onto my phone via the Garmin Connect application on my iPhone. 

I went out for my run, satellites were found, but the watch wouldn't link to my phone. So I couldn't send Live Tracking to B. I chalked it up to "I am rushing it, I will deal with it after". The run was great! My laps were excellent and the watch vibrated to let me know when I hit my miles.

After being exhilarated from my run, I couldn't wait to look at the splits on my computer. Well, I had trouble with my phone linking to the watch, again. 

I patiently waited and followed all the direction to pair the watch to my phone. I spent a good 2 hours staring at the screen.

I would then verify the passkey on the mobile app and would wait to pair.

I continued the steps for what felt like forever. I even tried to plug the watch into the computer; no dice. I cried a little, walked away to reset my brain and tried again. 

Sadly the watch defeated me. I had spent a good deal of money, time, and speaking to Garmin support with no solution. I reluctantly returned the watch despite my inner runner screaming at me to just deal with it. 

I have heard other reviews from runners and really expected everything go smoothly. Maybe I got a dud and need to try again. What can I say? I love my Garmin Forerunner 205.

I am sure I will try to upgrade to another Garmin in the future. The brand has been really good to me, so it was hard to write this review.

Have you had any issues with new running technology you were excited about?

Any new watch recommendations? 

Happy Running!


Vet visits and 2015 races already

If you follow me on Instagram, then last night you saw that Bear had to make a visit to the Emergency Vet. He had developed a strange inflammation around his elbow and it wasn't getting any better. So all 3 of us piled in the car and bundled up for the evening visit. 

Since Bear is pretty much still a puppy (5 years young), he was interested in everything! He even gave the desk staff and smile then proceeded to wait patiently for the doctor to see us. 

After about an hour, Bear had been poked and prodded enough. The doctor told us that further tests would need to be done in order to determine whether the mass was cancer or an infection. I know, cancer? Are you kidding me? He has had this bump for less than 60 hours, that escalated quickly.

So we were sent home with the Cone of Shame in hopes that the results would yield only good news! 

We are happy to report, we are in the clear. An infection has found it's way onto my poor dog-son's arm and will be treated with antibiotics. PHEW!

Since we want to make sure he doesn't irritate the area, he is still going to be in the cone for the next few days. Luckily B is staying home with him to make sure he isn't too sad. He even found time to play with his toys today. 

So to deal with my anxiety, I had to do something to take my mind off the situation. 

This resulted in my joining a team for Ragnar: Napa Valley! The best part is that the team is named the Disnerds and we all dress up as Disney characters. I have already claimed Ariel, Cinderella and Minnie Mouse. So excited! 

Oh and did I mention I registered for my first race in 2015!? Crazy, right?

Want to get in on this crazy action? Super duper extra early registration rates for the Half Marathon is $60 until February 1st! 

Now that the crisis has temporarily passed, I will focus on trying to pack for Miami. Also, channeling the snow clouds to avoid my little town for a few hours Friday night, so I can hop a plane to Florida. 

Happy Running! 


Ragnar or Bust!

Hope everyone is having a great Tuesday so far! We are dealing with the Polar Vortex and the temperature is currently -2 degrees! Side note: when the temperature reaches 20 degrees my thought is "Oh it is warm, no jacket needed". I would just like to know when I became a Midwesterner? I am a Texas girl through and through but I am now apparently a polar bear! 

I am preparing to head to Miami this Friday to run in the Miami Half Marathon! I will say I am trying to stay positive but my legs are not 100% ready. I had a great few weeks then the snow started getting to me. I am in a running funk but will not let that ruin a fun weekend with my mom! The plan is to stick with the 3:30 pace group and go with how I feel. The humidity is going to be 99% and my little body has been adjusting to freezing temperatures. Playing it safe and going to have a blast!!

I am excited to announce that I have joined a team to run Ragnar: Northwest Passage!

The race will be start from the Canadian Border all the way to Langley, Washington! I am trusty Runner 12 which means I will get to finish the final leg of the race! Training started yesterday, which will include tons of strength and hill training! 

Don't forget to check out the Running with Soul featured runner Kelsey! She is such a positive and fearless runner! 

Have you ever participated in an overnight relay race?

Any advice? I need all the help I can get! 

Happy Running! 


Running with Soul: Meet Kelsey (#9)

Featured Runner: Kelsey

Name/Nickname:  Kelsey aka Go Girl

How many years have you been running?

  On and off for 3 years.  It has been a process.

Little bit about yourself:  

I am from a small town in East Tennessee, I lost 57 pounds through eating better and exercising, I am a graduate student working for my teaching license, and I love to run!  Also, I despise ketchup, love red velvet cake, and cannot stand cold weather.

Who or what inspires you to run?  

The feel-good feeling you get after a run is what makes me keep on running.  My biggest inspirations are the people who are considered "back of the pack" runners. They are the inspiring ones and it doesn't matter if they are walkers, joggers, runners, overweight, skinny, or whatever...they are the ones that bring inspiration to running and racing and oftentimes I find myself in the back right there with them.  I've seen many people degrade them for being "too slow" or other various things but back of the packers are honestly the most inspiring thing about running. Seeing people post their running or race pictures on Instagram and Twitter is what gets me out the door and is my motivation.  I love seeing other people be made so complete by the sport.

What is your running mantra?    

 "Can't stop, won't stop".  When I feel like taking walk breaks (which I take a lot of) I say this to try to keep me going.  It may not always work, but the times that it does is what makes it worth it.

 What is your favorite running/fitness blog?  

Well, my favorite blogger actually stopped blogging but there are so many other wonderful bloggers that I keep up with and love to read on a daily basis.  I would say two favorites are Hungry Runner Girl because she is so talented and every time I send her an email or have a question, she is so nice!  Also, Lisa from Because I Can  ( because she is from Tennessee and is only 2 states away from completing a half in every state which is one of my lifetime goals.

 What has been your most memorable race?  

I did a 5K on my birthday almost two years ago and I set a PR that was way out of what I thought I was capable of doing.  I remember every step of the race and how it felt.  Not only did I give myself the best birthday present ever but I ran with confidence.  Oh, and I also won a door prize so that made it awesome!

What is your dream race? (Besides Boston)  

I would love to do Eugene because it seems like that is where the big running boom started and where the famous Pre ran.  How could I not want to run on the same paths that the best runner of all time also ran?  Little Rock Marathon also has the ultimate medal so I would love to do it one day and snag that baby.

What are you currently training for?

 I am planning on PR'ing the 5k distance in June.  It is a long way off but it is a race and I plan to really work hard for and set a good time.  Plus I need that much time to train.  I also am signing up for a sprint triathlon on my birthday weekend.  It will be fun to add biking and swimming to my running workouts.

What one piece of running gear can you not live without?  

My Garmin.  Not only because it tells me my pace which I tend to obsess over but I mostly care about the distance.  Having a Garmin makes it easy to run on back roads in my little town so I don't have to drive a long way to find a marked greenway.  It is also helpful since it records splits so that you can go back and see your mile times.

If you could share any words of advice/encouragement to a new runner, what would it be?  

Learn to enjoy it.  When I first started running, I did so because I wanted to lose weight.  Getting wrapped up in long term goals took away the enjoyment for me and I ended up hating it.  Now I run because it makes me feel good and I love doing it.  Also, once you get past the "newbie" stage, don't forget where you started.  So many people I know have gotten significantly faster and now have a "I'm better than you attitude" because they forgot where they started out.  Don't be one of those people.

Be sure to follow Kelsey on her journey:

Thank you so much Kelsey! I have been following your blog for a while and love your positive attitude toward getting healthy and running! Us "back of the pack" runners have to stick together. I sometimes get discouraged not being able to knock out 9 minute miles during training, but running is running. Every person who has the courage to get out there is a champion in my book.

Be sure to check back each week as another runner shares their story of running with soul.

Happy Running!


Running with Soul: Meet Jenna (#8)

Featured Runner: Jenna

Name/Nickname: Jenna/ Fitness and the City (blog)

How many years have you been running?

 I have been running organized events for about 4 years now and addicted!

Little bit about yourself:

I am a full time working gal and absolutely LOVE my job in the cosmetics industry. I live in the beautiful city of San Francisco and when I'm not working I spend every moment I can dedicating myself to all things health and fitness. I love running through my neighborhood to the golden gate bridge, hitting the gym with my amazing gym buddy and boyfriend, exploring new restaurants and living life to the fullest. I love to travel, write, shop, the usual girly things. :)

Who or what inspires you to run?

I inspire myself! It's up to YOU to find your own motivation.

What is your running mantra?

 I don’t stop when Im tired, I stop when Im done.

What is your favorite running/fitness blog?

 Mine ;) no just kidding; I love MizFit, Fitnessista, FitSugar, Blogilates and many many more.

What has been your most memorable race?

 My first marathon- San Francisco Full this past year!! I will never forget it. I went into the race only planning to run the half. I didn’t even train for a full (nowhere near!!). I ran it with a close friend who was running the full and said to her in the 3rd mile or so "How amazing would it be if I ran the whole thing." And that's exactly what I did. I decided when I got to mile 13 and took the full marathon route. Called my boyfriend and told him I was running the full and of course he didn’t know what to say. The motivation from my friend Luba was incredible. I couldn’t have done it without her! I was hurting in the last few miles, but we made it and got extremely emotional as we were approaching the finish line. We both finished our first marathon, with an amazing time. It was the best experience of my life so far!

What is your dream race? (Besides Boston)

Paris Marathon...and I'm running in 2014!!!

What are you currently training for?

 I will start training for Paris in January. Can't wait.

What one piece of running gear can you not live without?

 My compression sleeves!! I use them on my legs and would not survive a long run without them.

If you could share any words of advice/encouragement to a new runner, what would it be?

 KEEP GOING. Don’t give up. It takes time to reach any fitness goal and nothing happens overnight. Be consistent and you will see results. Start now and a year from now you can look back and see how far you've come.

 Be sure to follow Jenna on her journey:

Thank you so much Jenna! Congrats on completing your first full marathon! We cannot wait to hear all about your training and marathon in Paris. It is so amazing all the places running can take us.

Be sure to stop by next week as another runner share their journey of running with soul.

Happy Running!


Weekly Recap: Tackling the icy roads

Happy Sunday everyone! 

The week is over and I cannot believe we are already 3 weeks into 2014. Time is flying by! The treadmill and I had a bit of a rough patch this week. So I decided to hit the icy pavement regardless of how long it took me. 

Another awesome week is in the books! 

Monday: 5 easy miles on the treadmill
Tuesday: 12.7 mile bike ride
Wednesday: 5 speedy miles on the treadmill
Thursday: 5 super easy miles on the snow/ice sidewalks
Friday: 6 mile bike ride
Saturday: 10 mile long run in the snow
Sunday: Stretching and rest

Since school started on Monday I haven't been able to blog nearly as much I wanted. The goal is to get back into a routine soon! 

I also got some new gear this week:

Giveaways and reviews will be coming in a few weeks! 

Still rocking' my #Plankaday streak! 

How was your week?

Have you bought any new gear recently?

Have a great week all!


Running with Soul: Meet Nicole (#7)

Featured Runner: Nicole! 

 How many years have you been running?

About 2 years

Little bit about yourself:

I live in NYC - land of the fast paced, so it's really no wonder why I started running. Back in January 2012, I found myself feeling sluggish and full of excuses not to workout - so I challenged myself to live a healthier life. At the time, I could barely run a mile, so I started running with a friend of mine who I compare to the Energizer Bunny - he could just keep going and going while I was huffing and puffing. But that little bunny helped me push myself, and now I've completed a half marathon and am training for my first full marathon! I used to hate running, and now, I don't think I could live without it!

 Who or what inspires you to run?

So much. I'm inspired by the feeling I get after completing a great run. I'm inspired by the ability to explore new neighborhoods, parks, beaches, and paths. I'm inspired by the sound of my feet hitting the pavement and the music driving my pace. I'm inspired by other runners and the people that cheer on the sidelines. But most of all, I'm inspired by the fact that I have the ability to simply run.

What is your running mantra?

Just keep going! (Energizer bunny inspired)

What is your favorite running/fitness blog?

There's no way I can just pick 1, so here are of few:
No Meat Athlete
The Lean Green Bean
Better With Veggies

What has been your most memorable race?

My most memorable race would have to be my first half marathon, the NYC Half in 2012. I worked so hard and learned so much while training for that race. The crowd and the other racers were incredible, and crossing that finish line was the most amazing feeling. I don't think I've ever felt so proud of myself :).

What is your dream race? (Besides Boston)

My dream race is the Walt Disney World Marathon! I'm running it in January, and I can't wait!!

What are you currently training for?

I'm currently training for my first full marathon (Walt Disney World Marathon)!

What one piece of running gear can you not live without?

My running shoes! I'm currently running in Asics Gel Cumulus 15s, and they are amazing. I loved my old Adidas, too. I couldn't run without my shoes :).

If you could share any words of advice/encouragement to a new runner, what would it be?

When you're just starting out, don't try to do too much too soon. Aim to do a mile with run/walk intervals (run for 2 minutes, walk for 2 minutes) until you can build up to running a mile without stopping. Once you're comfortable running one mile, try to keep going! Do a mile and a quarter, then a mile and a half, etc. Give yourself a mantra or something you can say to yourself to stay motivated. When you feel like you have to quit, repeat that mantra to yourself (Just keep going, one more minute/mile/lap, you can do this!, etc). Running is a lot more mental than physical sometimes!

Be sure to follow Nicole on her journey:

Thank you so much Nicole! CONGRATS on completing the WDW Marathon! Such an amazing accomplishment. We look forward to a recap of the amazing experiences you had in Florida!

Be sure to check back each week as another runner shares their journey of running with soul. 

Happy Running!