Race Recap: Atlantic City April Fools 7k

First things first, if you’ve read our blog for any amount of time, you already know that I love the Atlantic City races. (Swing by our Race Recaps, and you’ll find a whole slew of reports about AC.)

I usually opt for the half marathon at the April Fools race but this year I’ve been embracing shorter distances and Saturday races during Healthy Kids Running Series season.

Additionally, my 14 year old son requested to join me this year so I figured the 7k distance would be the best bet. There’s also a 11k option on Saturday. The half marathon runs on Sunday.

Chrissy and me

For an additional $10 per packet, there was race morning packet pickup. To save myself time and travel expenses (it basically evens out), we did morning packet pickup.

Parking was only $5 with a Resorts Casino card, I picked one up a few weeks back when I spent the day in AC. Lucas and I met up with Chrissy and were quickly able to get our bibs and race shirts. Ladies got pink, men got blue.

A huge draw for the Atlantic City races is that without fail, I always see a ton of friends there. It’s a quick hour drive on the expressway from my house, which means that I can spend the night at home and just wake a bit early and hop in the car.

Run856 Turtles – I love this group of local runners!

The weather was rainy but not too cold, so it was actually comfortable to run in. This was the longest distance for my son so we chose to do 1:1 intervals to keep a consistent pace. After the Star Spangled Banner and a countdown, the race started at 9am.

The entire 7k course is on the boardwalk, which is somewhere I always enjoy running. There was a water station on the way out and back around the 2 mile mark (and the same on the return, not exactly sure of the distance). It’s always a really nice run – despite the weather.

Lucas and I rocked our AfterShokz headphones so we were able to jam out to our music and still chat with each other. He’s been running track at school, where the longest distance is a mile, but we also ran a 4 mile training run recently. The 1:1 intervals helped him feel good and confident the entire time and he stuck with me at my pace for 3.35 miles – the last mile I told him to GO and away he went.

Lucas’ main goal was to finish under an hour, which I assured him wouldn’t be an issue. He finished in 51 minutes while I rolled in at the 53 minute mark.

The finish line has lots of snacks and goodies, which Lucas loved every moment of. He went to get snacks and I stayed at the finish to cheer in friends.

What I love about this particular race, more than anything else, is that I got to run with Lucas. I was having a bit of calf pain in the days leading up to the race and there was a brief moment when I thought I might have to sit it out. Thankfully, he took it easy with me and as much as I was asking him how he was feeling and doing, he was doing the same for me.

Yeah, my kid is pretty great.

And so is this race. I’ll be back to Atlantic City in June for the 2nd Bungalow Beach 5 Miler. Will I see any of you there?

Race Recap: 2019 Allstate Hot Chocolate Philadelphia 5k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate 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!

Ken, Ryan, Joe, me

2019 marks the third consecutive year that I’ve run one of the races at the Philadelphia Allstate Hot Chocolate series. I kicked off my 40th year in 2017 with Christina, 2018 was my friend Ana’s first 5k ever, and this year I ran solo. But I was never alone, I had friends all along the way.

Ana, Dora, Rocky, me

What I think is so cool about this race is the appeal for not only local runners but newer runners, at that. Friends that don’t usually run sign up for this because it’s laid-back and has fantastic swag/treats. Not only did I see adult friends, I also saw a few of my kid runners from Healthy Kids Running Series (or they saw me – I have a few come up to me at our next race to tell me how they did).

While I love visiting Philly, I opted to have my race packet mailed to me because I had a lot going on the week before the race. Along with the super soft jacket, there was also my bib, and a card saying that as a 3 year legacy runner, I was going to get even MORE swag! What? It’s true – I just had to bring the card along with me and I was able to pick up a 3 year legacy medal, pin, and hat.

The course itself is standard Philly running. We chose to take the train in from New Jersey rather than deal with parking and walking from 15th/16th and Locust to Eakins Oval which is where the race began (for those not from around here, right in front of the “Rocky steps” aka Philadelphia Museum of Art).

We got there just before 7am and had time to get a picture with fellow BibRave Pros. It’s always great to see my orange clad team. I’d met Joe and Ryan before but this was my first time meeting Ken!

I was placed in D but started in E because I saw some friends from my turtle running group. Love these ladies – always so supportive!

They request that you don’t move up in corrals, only back, which is standard for races. I know at other races there are people there monitoring corrals but I didn’t see that here. The 5k race began at 7:15; I crossed the start exactly 10 minutes later at 7:25.

Running along the Schuylkill river is nice, you get a great view of Boathouse Row and the Art Museum. The other side of the road is 1-76 which is decidedly less pretty.

I don’t love how the road there banks to the sides, it’s not very visible but you feel it in your hips after awhile. This is where I ran my first road race ever so it always takes me back to my roots.

There was water and Nuun on the course, along with one chocolate station. I chose to skip the chocolate and indulge at the finish line.

After I crossed the finish I circled back and cheered for my friends finishing the 5k. We grabbed our chocolate and treats and then cheered for the 15k finishers.

One thing that was disappointing was the photographers. Hot Chocolate always has free pictures for runners (yay!) but this year I didn’t get that many and the ones that I’m in, I’m behind people. There are a few of me running but they’re blurry. This was standard:

I’d say this one is probably the best of me crossing the finish line. Hey, I’ll take it!

The morning was perfect for running and as always, the race was a lot of fun! Communication leading up to the race is always on point and they had some nice little perks so that people encourage their friends to join them in running this sweet experience.

Have you ever run a Allstate Hot Chocolate race before? What treat gets you motivated to run?

Race Recap: Star Wars Rival Run Half Marathon

Here at Scoot we try to keep to a posting schedule of M/W/F but sometimes people (me) are tired (always) and forget (a lot) and don’t do what they are supposed to do (oops). I’m going to blame it on the 2:45AM runDisney wake-up call and leave it at that.

A few months ago I decided to sign up for the Star Wars race because it’s the only runDisney course I haven’t done yet. I’m not a huge Star Wars fan (shhh…) but I did watch all of the movies last summer just in time for The Last Jedi and all that. I started planning my outfit early on in the game because when it comes to runDisney the outfit is important! I decided on BB8 because he’s cute and sassy, then I paired it with my favorite Skirt Sports skirt, the Jette in Temper Tantrum.

 

My family and I went up Friday after school since it would still give me Saturday to pick up my packet and do some park hopping. Being an Annual Passholder definitely comes in handy during race time! We stayed at All-Star Movies because, while I don’t have a problem driving, I’d rather not be responsible for my own transportation at 3:30 in the morning.

On Saturday I talked my family into getting up early for Extra Magic Hours in Animal Kingdom. I’ve only ridden Pandora’s Flight of Passage once and I was hoping we’d get to do it, but no dice. We did get to ride a few things (including a solo Everest trip because no one else would ride it with me), and then we headed to the expo. After picking up my bib I made my sister take a ton of pictures of me in front of some signs that were basically the same because I need choices of what I want to post. She’s always a good sport, though. After I dropped my stuff off at the hotel we headed to Magic Kingdom for some FastPass+ usage and, obviously, snacks.

I filled up on pasta at the hotel and turned in early that night. Sleep doesn’t come easily the night before a race, not because I have race anxiety, but more because I’m afraid I’m going to miss my alarm and be out a bunch of money. All of the race transportation signs suggested being at the bus by 3:30. I’d even asked the cashier at the dining area if they would be open early for runners and she told me they opened at 6:30, which is not early for runners. Thankfully we had a coffee maker in our room, otherwise the morning would have been difficult. Friday I’d had breakfast delivered to school and ordered an extra bagel and peanut butter because those are race day foods and not normally something I have at home. So I got on the bus with my coffee and bagel at 3:30AM for a run with a few thousand friends.

The start line was in the Magic Kingdom parking lot and the party was already hopping by the time my bus arrived. I love the energy of a runDisney race and this one was no different. I sat and ate my breakfast and watched everyone go by in their outfits and costumes, loving all of it! I am not one who can run in more than a tank and skirt, but I think it’s so cool when people go all out for themed races. Eventually we made our way to our start corrals and, of course, the bathrooms.

My corral was pretty full by the time I got there, so I stretched and started my book I picked for the race. I wanted something I loved to keep me occupied, so a friend hooked me up with The Raven Boys (yes, this is the fourth time I’ve read/listened to it now) on Audible since it wasn’t available at the library and I had my trusty AfterShokz Trekz Airs with me. I’ve never run such a long distance alone and was feeling pretty nervous about it, so I needed to have some friends with me. My friends are the characters in the book, okay? I’m a weirdo, don’t act like you didn’t know that already.

Soon enough, our corral was off and by a half a mile in I was sweating. It was unreasonably warm for an early morning jog, but we all persisted! The course for this race was different than what I’d ran before with Disney, so I was excited to see new things! Since the race is a “Rival Run” there were a few different spots with laser lights and pyrotechnics portraying both the Light and Dark side. I ran with the Light side, which I think I picked, but I just can’t remember.

I didn’t really have a goal for this race other than to finish and not get sick or hurt myself, so when the opportunity came for some fun PhotoPass ops, I definitely took it. One thing I love about being a passholder is the free pictures, and with your race bib you don’t have to worry about having someone take a picture with your sweaty phone! I stopped a few times at the character spots and tried to hit all of the photographers on the course as well.

Once we entered the parks it seemed like everything just kind of sped up. The first park we ran through was Animal Kingdom, and it was amazing! We got to run through Pandora before it was fully light out and everything was beautiful. I love that Disney cast members are out on the course celebrating you, even though I’m sure they have to be there. It’s nice to have spectators when you’re sweating your face off at 7AM.

After Animal Kingdom we headed into the back of Hollywood Studios with a pass by Tower of Terror and up Sunset Boulevard to Hollywood Boulevard, then out of the park. There were already guest in Hollywood Studios, so that was fun! I think a lot of people book vacations not realizing that races are happening and then just happen to see a few thousand people running through the parks. It’s always a good time.

As we headed out of Hollywood Studios and to the boardwalk the course got narrow, so there wasn’t a lot of running going on, but we were all still keeping a decent pace. Not a fast pace, though. Just…decent. Of course, the boardwalk means that race is coming to and end because it takes us straight into the United Kingdom in EPCOT and you know what that means? FINISH LINE!

I tweeted Mer a sweaty selfie with BB8 at Mile 11.

Once we got into EPCOT it felt like life was a breeze! There were a lot of guests already making their way around the park, which is fine by me. I like to think of them as our fans! I also love the PhotoPass pics in EPCOT, especially in front of Spaceship Earth. One of my favorite things to do is to tell my fellow runners to “run and smile” when I see those green tents.

As we rounded the final corner into the finish line there was definitely a crowd waiting and making noise. I was still feeling pretty great because I hadn’t taken it easy, but I also hadn’t pushed myself too hard. The weather was definitely warm, but runDisney does well with keeping us hydrated. I also took some Tylenol at mile ten, so life was pretty great! I also got a decent finish line photo which has NEVER happened for me at a runDisney race and I was really excited to see how it came out.

After I crossed the finish I grabbed my medal, snack box, and “I Did It” picture, then hopped on a bus back to my hotel. I talked to a few people out of the course about Skirt Sports and even gave my discount code (SSA101Ash)  to someone and managed to make a couple of friends on the bus ride there and back. This is a big deal for me as I am a socially awkward turtle and do not like talking to strangers.

Snaaaaaaaacks!

At the hotel I grabbed coffee and some doughnut holes because I was starving, then took a quick shower. My sister and I headed back to Hollywood Studios so I could take some Star Wars themed pictures with my medal, but what really happened was that I bought an alcoholic beverage to drink while standing in line for Star Tours only there was no line so I had to chug it.

When your Disney beer costs $9 you drink all of it.

After Star Tours we stood in line for me to get a picture with the adorable BB8, who was happy to hear I ran for the Light side.

We took a quick trip to EPCOT after that, but it was boiling hot and I had been up since 2:45AM and still had a long drive home to the cats.

My first “Solo” half marathon was fun and not as nerve-wracking as I expected it to be. A lot of that probably has to do with it being a Disney race, however, and not something small or random. I always feel at home at Disney, as cheesy as that sounds! This was a great course and I’m glad I got to try it out. I might even return one day.

Until next time…may the course be with you.

Road Tested: The Closer Bra – Handful

Disclaimer: I received Handful’s The Closer Bra 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 may be showing my age here but one of my favorite movies growing up was Beaches. If you are (old) like me, you might remember the song from it regarding brassieres. If not, you should probably take a moment to visit YouTube. It’s amazing.

Anyway, as I grew up and grew… a chest, I realized quite quickly that not just any bra will do when it comes to working out. When I first heard about Handful bras, I’ll admit, I was skeptical. I have what I consider to be more than just a handful and the first ones I saw were the Adjustable Bra. With the thin straps and product description, I was leery. Could Handful handle me?

However, at The Running Event, I received a Y-back Bra to try. Let’s just say I was kicking myself for not giving Handful a try sooner. I quickly requested more from my husband for the holidays and have since built up quite the collection.

Then word came out that there was a new bra on the block, Handful’s The Closer Bra.

Touted as Handful’s most supportive bra with a front closure, I was 100% in to try this one. And it does NOT disappoint. Things that I love about this bra:

  • Softer than soft material – Seriously, one of my favorite things about Handful is how amazing the material feels. They must be using some sort of magic with it because it’s so comfy.
  • Lights Out™ Pads – These are removable pads that tuck into a pocket in the bra. Honestly, when I first tried Handful I was like – what do I need MORE padding for? But these are great and they do their job.
  • The front closure. – With an S-hook to pull it together and zipper, I am easily able to get in and out of this bra. Because dancing around your bathroom, trying to remove a sweaty bra is NOT a pretty sight.
  • Mesh top with adjustable straps. – Everything about this bra makes sense. It’s perfectly designed.

I’ve worn it for running. I’ve worn it for weight lifting. And honestly, I’ve worn it for just hanging out because it’s that comfortable.

I’m running the Allstate Philly Hot Chocolate 5k tomorrow morning and you can bet that I’ll be wearing this bra underneath my BibRave shirt.

The cut of The Closer Bra gives slightly more coverage than the other bras from Handful, which makes sense with the support it provides. Overall, I like everything that Handful has to offer and I’ve already ordered more that’s on the way.

Have you tried Handful apparel? If you’d like to give it a try, use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off. 

Check out what my fellow BRPs have to say:

Becky
Mai
Christine
Thanh
Jessica
Angie
Lissa
Renee
Stacia
Kim
Stephanie

 

Road Tested: AfterShokz Trekz Air

Disclaimer: I received an AfterShokz Trekz Airs 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 cannot tell you how excited I was to receive a pair of AfterShokz Trekz Airs to try out! I love BibRave and the chance to get to try out new (to me) products. The search for the perfect headphones has been on for years it feels like. Once I discovered Bluetooth and wireless headphones the game changed, but there is always something that just isn’t right about them.

This case is awesome! I’ve been carrying them around for days!

When I first slipped on the Trekz Airs I noticed how light and comfy they fit. I was worried they would be too big and had considered purchasing the mini, but these are perfect! They are smooth, lightweight, and form-fitting, but not too tight.

While I don’t quite understand the science of it all, I was definitely a little skeptical about not having a headphone that actually goes in the ear. I am, however, a fan. A huge fan! I played around with these for a few days just wearing them around the house while listening to books and doing housework. A couple of times, on my Target or grocery runs, I grabbed my Trekz Airs and wore them around the store! I’m a bit of a socially anxious person and having something occupy my mind but still allow me to hear my surroundings was a huge help.

I’ve been running, working out, and listening to my favorite series with these babies. I’m impressed!

I did manage to take these babies to more than just the grocery store, though! A couple of runs and workouts later and I’m totally a believer. These headphones are no-slip and sturdy, but the most important thing is that they allow you situational awareness. I feel safe running around my neighborhood, but a recent jaunt around the park really brought a lot of things to my attention. I could hear everything! From cyclists to fellow runners to every little lizard scuttling around on the ground. Oh, and squirrels!

I could hear…Every. Single. Critter.

AfterShokz has done a great job with this product and I’m thankful I got to try it out. The search for the perfect headphones is over! Check out AfterShokz and use the code “BRBUNDLE” for $50 off!

Scoot’s Most Popular Posts

Sometimes, it’s hard to believe Scoot A Doot has been going strong for six years. It’s fun to take a look back over all our posts and remember the race destination or recipe that inspired us to share a post with you. It’s also fun to take a look at the stats and see which ones are the most popular over time. Today, I thought I’d share a look at our most popular posts. The top five posts on our blog cover everything from food to costumes to inspiring a positive body image in our kids.

The Color Run vs. The Color Vibe

Far and away our most popular ever post is retired Chick Victoria’s comparison of the Color Run and the Color Vibe races. When theme races were in their heyday, everyone wanted to know which of these two packed the biggest colorful punch.  Vic dishes on her experiences at both, and reading this brought back memories of my own Color Run. We all need a little nostalgia sometimes.

Costume Tutorial – Running Skirt with Pocket Waistband

When Meridith and I ran the BOLDERBoulder together in 2015, we knew we needed special costumes befitting the 3rd largest road race in America. Going with the whole rock theme, we settled on Wilma and Betty from the Flintstones. I decided it was the perfect chance to try making a running skirt with a pocket, and an even better opportunity to document the whole process so you can make one, too.

Ready for a nap. And beer. Maybe beer, then nap.

Product Review: Buff Butter

Retired Chick Bec was a nut butter nut, and got everyone excited to try Buff Butter. The company is  now called Buff Bake, and Bec gushed over three of the four flavors she tried. To quote her, “If you haven’t heard of Buff Bake’s butters, it is a line of high quality nut butters with added whey protein. Depending on the flavor, you’ll also see things like hemp, chia and flax seeds and organic coconut palm sugar. And, it comes in awesome flavors like Snickerdoodle Almond Butter and Cinnamon Raisin Peanut Butter, just to name a couple.”

 

Road Tested: Sweaty Bands

once upon a time, Meridith had a MAJOR problem with headbands. Her thick goregous hair (trust me, I’ve braided it) could not be contained by just any headband. She gave Sweaty Bands a run way back in 2013 and she was a big fan. I later bought one at a RunDisney expo and loved mine, too.  Skeptical? See for yourself in Mer’s review!

The Most Important Thing About Me

One of my favorite posts is from retired Chick Cam, and some insight she gained into the mind of her then eight year old daughter. If you’re a parent, especially of girls, this post will speak to you. Even if you aren’t a mom, you’ll remember being easily manipulated by society’s expectations of what’s healthy and beautiful. It’s a reminder to jump off that bandwagon.

We are the champions!

 

With nearly one thousand posts on the site, there’s quite the archive to browse through. I hope you find a few more things that speak to you. Be well, friends!

 

Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon, Part Two

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 305 Half Marathon 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!

Earlier this year I was looking into races to prep for my season. I say “season” like I separate running into different parts of the year, but I really just like to have a race every month. It’s fun to earn bling each month, don’t you think?

So. I didn’t have anything for March and had my eye on a BibRave race for awhile. I texted Mer to get some ideas on how to sign up, as I’d only done other campaigns with BR, not races and that kind of got the ball rolling for this. Mer said in her post that she didn’t think I was invited her well, jokes on her because it’s fun to talk people into running races with you. Really, though. I was worried about running a half on my own and was super relieved when Mer said she was thinking about joining.

After I signed up (using the super user friendly Athlinks), I started with some light training. As you know, my goal is to love running again so I’d been going out and having some fun on my own without having a goal or something to work for. I did pretty well with training for this race because I ran a 15k the weekend before and just considered it my last training run.

When race weekend came, everything still felt too laid back, if that makes sense. I wasn’t worried about running or PRing or anything. I got up on Saturday morning and went through some of my weekend routine before heading over to the east coast. It’s about a two and a half hour drive for me so I sort of took my time. I was excited to spend some time with Mer because it had been a couple of years since we’d seen each other. I was also excited because we’d be in a condo and not sleeping in a van together.

I got to the other coast in the early afternoon, so Mer and I hung out and then went for dinner and ice cream. Carb-loading is a real thing, okay?

Since we had a drive in the morning, bedtime was an early one. My anxiety usually kicks in the night before a race, so I didn’t get a lot of sleep. When the alarms started going on at 3:30 I tried to deny it. We got dressed quickly and made our way. We still had to pick up our bibs and that turned out to be no problem. There was even a little coffee cart for me to visit because I don’t function well without, to be honest. Soon enough, we had found our place.

I was feeling great when we started. As a native Floridian, this is the type of weather I’m used to. It was nice and cool…and then the sun came up. It definitely got warm, but thankfully the course had a nice breeze and plenty of places with shade. I mean, there were also BRIDGES, but I digress. The race was well organized and a lot of fun, too. I’m used to Florida, but sometimes it’s just really pretty to me. I love the ocean, palm trees, and all kinds of random things you might find along the way. The course was great because it showed some beautiful sights and the little quirks of Miami, too!

Aid stations were at every mile along with porta-potties and everyone stayed well hydrated. There were a few DJs out with music, which was great since Mer and I didn’t run with headphones. The best part, to me, was that even though we are kind of the “back of the pack” runners, there were still police officers at every intersection and they kept the roads closed for runners. I know it probably takes a lot to do that, especially in a city as big as Miami, but it was much appreciated.

It was pretty warm by the time we reached the finish and it felt like we were never going to get there! They even announced our names (though pronounced mine wrong) and said that we were part of BibRave, which was cool. The after party was hopping when we finally made it there. I got some free shaved ice and had a tasty croissant, which hit the spot pretty well.

And then I carb-loaded again.

Free race photos were an absolute plus and I was so stoked that they turned out so well! I feel like I always struggle with pictures that I have no control and these turned out cute! (Very Instagrammable!)

This was a great race and I’m glad I got to share it with Mer. When’s our next one?

 

Race Recap: Miami’s 305 Half Marathon

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the 305 Half Marathon 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!

Pair the beginning of the year with the craziness of New Jersey winters and it can move someone (aka – me) agree to anything.

I’ve been saying for the past few months that I want to focus on shorter distance races. However… when fellow BibRave Pro/ScootaDoot chick Ashley, mentioned that she was interested in signing up for the 305 Half Marathon in Miami I immediately started looking at flights.

I’m pretty sure she wasn’t suggesting that I join her but hey, this is how I operate.

My parents live about an hour outside of Miami and I knew that a break from the cold New Jersey winter would be just what I needed at the beginning of March. Sure enough, they’re always ready for me to visit.

So let’s review.

  1. Get out of the cold.
  2. Visit my parents.
  3. Get taken care of for a few days. AND NOT TAKE CARE OF ANYONE.
  4. Hang out with Ashley (whom I haven’t seen nearly 3 years – unacceptable).
  5. Run Miami!

Where do I sign up?

Athlinks – that’s where! Registration was quick and easy. Just as easy was claiming my race results after the race. I think it’s funny looking at all my of results on there because you can tell which races I ran for time and which ones I was running for fun. Our plan for this race was to PR in FUN and I’m happy to report that it did not disappoint!

There was no expo but there were a few opportunities for bib pickup prior to the Sunday morning race in Miami Beach and Miami. They also allowed for race morning pickup and since we were driving from a distance, that’s what we opted for. We woke up early allowing us plenty of time.

We found a parking garage a block away from where we needed to be. After turning into the lot we saw that it was a steep $50 for 5 hours. Yikes! Any additional time meant an additional $50! (We actually arrived back right at the 5 hour mark and the machine tried to charge us but thankfully the attendant fixed it.)

Shirt and bib pickup was quick and easy. The start and finish village were right next to each other and there were plenty of portapotties. There was a coffee bar in the start village and just beyond that area was the beach.

Shirt sizing is my nemesis so if you’re like me and have sizing issues too, the shirts are men and women’s cut and they were Sport-Tek brand this year. I ended up getting a shirt that’s too large but oh well, you win some, you lose some! The shirts were a bright turquoise with purple lettering – very Miami!

The course was a big loop through Miami Beach and Miami. The corrals we well marked with the paces and there were pacers placed throughout the corrals as well. They had the music pumping, a fun light up guy on stilts and after a beautiful rendition of the National Anthem (seriously, one of the best I’ve ever heard) we were off and running just after 6:15.

The sun started to rise and it got hot quickly. Thankfully there was a breeze and well spaced aid stations throughout the course. While we were running we realized that some of the 5k runners somehow started running early with the half marathon runners – whoops! They stopped at the aid station near mile 3… not sure how they got back to the start.

For those thinking that this course is entirely at sea-level (like me, I don’t always read the race guides like I should), think again! The causeways over the water are pretty steep on both incline and decline and there were about four of these throughout the race. However the sights were gorgeous and there was actually a rainbow that draped over the entire course for the first 5 miles!

No crowds to speak of but the volunteers and police were supportive. There were also about 4 DJs along the route. Ash and I didn’t bring music but we were jamming to the beats as we went by them. We also ran right near where the cruise ships were docked, it really was a scenic event!

The last few miles my hands were swollen and I was feeling a few blisters on my feet. I’m pretty sure I told Ash that I was ready to be done no less than 10 times. Finally, it was finish line time!

We finished the race with a BibRave shout out from the announcer. There were free pictures from the course and even a video from the finish!

There was a shipping snafu with the medals, which we learned about 2 nights prior to race morning. I appreciate that they kept runners informed of how things transpired. We were given a temporary medal and a Starbucks gift card from UPS. The actual medals are going to be shipped to each runner within the next few weeks. Mistakes happen and I appreciate that they made every effort to make it as close to right as possible.

The finish area had a great assortment of snacks, choice of Bloody Mary or beer, and other fun stuff! Everyone was in good spirits and it was exactly how a Florida race should end! Ashley and I took a few minutes to walk over to the beach, take a few pictures, and then headed out.

My Florida trip was a whirlwind and while I’m sad to be back in New Jersey and ESPECIALLY sad that we are supposed to get snow today, I’m so glad that I had a few days in Florida!

Check back – soon Ashley will be sharing her thoughts about the 305 as well.

When Instagram Doesn’t Let You Say Everything You’re Feeling

It’s still only about 6:30pm on Wednesday as I’m writing this, so technically, I can still get it under the wire for a Wednesday publication date. WHEW. I wasn’t sure where to start with my post for this week, but I wanted to revisit some thoughts I started hashing out on instagram earlier this week. Sometimes, you need more than a caption to articulate the full breadth of what you’re thinking.

I’m in a weird season of life where things to be simultaneously moving very quickly and at once not at all. I feel busy, but then I also feel… bored? (The boredness, I’m certain, comes almost entirely from the fact that I am still struggling to find people here, so I have full on conversations with my cat.) I’m also grappling with a lot of anxiety about what the next few months of life will look like as we continue this transition to life on the West coast.

This past week has been an emotional one for me, in a way that I haven’t quite felt in years. The last time I can remember feeling this “whelmed” by life was maybe after finishing my undergrad, but coming to terms with the fact that my law school dreams weren’t going to come true in the way I’d pictured them. Over the course of about two months, I completely changed my life path: I went from planning my Fall matriculation as an 1L, to moving home, working two jobs, deciding not to shoulder another $120 thousand in student loans, and then moving again to work on a political campaign. 180 degrees from where I thought I’d be, but all the while I managed to stay positive and felt secure in my decisions.

But there’s nothing quite like moving across the country and completely upending your life to give you ample time for reflection. The last time I moved across the country, I was excited and hopeful and looking forward to the opportunities. This time? I tried to find that same sense of optimism. Before we left Virginia, we did a lot of talking about the ways in which our lives would change – the opportunity to learn and grow in a new workplace, the freedom to put our finances in a comfortable place, to build a new community. We talked about the challenges associated with those things, too, but we were confident that we could handle whatever arose.

What we didn’t talk about as much was how we would cope if things weren’t what we had prepared for. What if Clay’s new job wasn’t better than what was left behind? What if opportunities were extraordinarily difficult to come by? What if it just wasn’t at all what we had hoped and this big change felt like a colossal mistake?

Two months in to this adventure has us asking some of these questions and really leaning in to some of the fear and insecurities that were a bit easier to quiet before we left our comfortable bubble. In this moment, I’m experiencing an enormous amount of vulnerability. I feel a lot of fear about things that I can’t really articulate at the moment. There has been a lot of reflecting, along with lots of tears, frustrations, and fears that have been given space to be felt and (hopefully) learned from. I’m grateful to have a partner that values communication and deep thought about the things that challenge us and our relationship.

This move has been harder on me than I expected. I don’t admit to defeat or weakness easily, but it would be disingenuous of me to say anything other than the truth: I’m well outside my comfort zone and adjusting to this new place is more challenging than anticipated. I’m anxious about a lot of things. I’m scared about others.

But. But – after this weekend, though I’m still feeling scared and anxious, and emotionally exhausted – I feel better knowing that we’ve put words to our fears and concerns. We’ve given them names and now we can start to tackle them one by one. It will take time, it will mean being uncomfortable. It will also give us space to grow – like a lobster shedding its shell. Still feeling anxious and fearful, I’m working on releasing the tensions of the weekend and breathing in some resiliency. One step at a time.

Road Tested: Turtle Gloves

Disclaimer: I received TURTLe-FLIP Running Mittens, Turtle Gloves 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! All opinions are my own and no further compensation is given.

Winter running is always a challenge in New Jersey because you just never know what to expect when it comes to weather. We can go for days without seeing the sun and frankly, it can drive you bananas.

Fortunately, we’ve had some spring-like days thrown into the mix this winter, which helps me conquer my self-diagnosed SAD (Seasonal Affect Disorder). As long as there is no ice on the ground, I have been opting outside for my runs, which also helps keep my spirits up.

At the moment, I’m visiting my parents and preparing to run the 305 Half Marathon in Miami with my fellow BibRavePros. Yep, I’m getting my dose of sunshine (and humidity)!

However, I had the opportunity to try out my new Turtle Gloves for a few runs before hopping on the plane to Florida. Because trust me, they’re not necessary here!

Limited edition Orange Turtle Gloves, which I’m totally digging it!

Usually I wear gloves that have the touch-screen capabilities because I use my phone during a run to listen to music/take selfies/take pictures/look at my Garmin app (the list goes on). After washing the gloves a few times, the touch screen area diminishes.

A few of my BibRave Pro friends have talked about their love of Turtle Gloves in the past so when I heard about the Turtle Gloves opt-in I was all in. I was looking for something different and that’s exactly what I got with these.

As you can see in the pictures above, Turtle Gloves are convertible. There’s a mitten which flips over the hand to change to fingerless glove. Taking it one step further, you’re able to roll it down to a wrist band option.

I never have to worry about where to stash them with the wrist band option, I just roll them up.

During my first run wearing Turtle Gloves, I took my trusty sidekick, Gemma, for a quick mile near our house. I run with her on a Stunt Puppy waist leash however, it’s always good to have a hand to guide her when necessary.

Additionally I stuffed a few clean poop bags into the folded mitten area of my glove, which worked out really well. (Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do! Hello convenient.)

I also love the functionality of the Turtle Gloves. During this group run, I was able to flip my mitten multiple times. I was playing the Goldilocks game of too warm, too cold.

I love them because they’re extra snuggly and warm. They’ve stretchy and they’ve got a nice amount of material at the wrist; I’m able to easily cover my watch and stay warm. Turtle Gloves are made in the USA, Michigan, which is the Mitten State! Coincidence? I think not!

The kind that I have retail for $28.99. Right now code TurtleBibRave” will save you 15% off at https://turtlegloves.com/. And, if you’re on Twitter, join us for #BibChat on Tuesday, March 5th at 9pm est because usually there are some sweet giveaways!