We Love You! Race Codes and Discounts!

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Mushroom Cap 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!

Love is in the air!

First off, registration for the Mushroom Cap Half Marathon opened today! I just registered and I’m super stoked for everything this race has to offer. From the half zip pullover swag to the beer garden at the finish of this SATURDAY race (I love a Saturday race!), this is looking amazing.

Of course, the course description says that there are “rolling hills” and we all know what that means.

Also, they’re funny and I like funny.

They’ve got an awesome one day pricing schedule so if you’re in the PA area, you should seriously considering joining me at this race in Kennett Square, PA.

However, if you miss the fabulous pricing, they’re a BibRave partner so you can use code “brmushroom19” for $10 off! Why? Because we love you!

But wait, there’s more. You can always find race codes and gear discounts on ScootaDoot. But if you’re click shy (I don’t know, is that a thing?) here are the current codes. This list is always changing and updating so if you’re looking to save moolah, that link is a great place to swing by and check before you purchase!

February 2019

2/16/2019 – Hot Chocolate Nashville – Nashville, TN

Use code “BRHCNashville” for a free phone armband!

2/17/2019 – Hot Chocolate Atlanta – Atlanta, GA

Use code “BRHCAtlanta” for a free phone armband!

March 2019

3/2/2019 – Back on My Feet Mardi Gras Chaser 5K/10K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BR5OFF” for $5 off either distance!

3/2/2019 – Scottsdale Giant Race presented by Alaska Airlines- Scottsdale, AZ

Use code “WERUNAZ19” for $10 off!

3/3/2019 – 305 Half Marathon & 5K – Miami Beach, FL

Use code “BIBRAVE305” for $10 off the half and $5 off the 5K!

3/3/2019 – Livermore Valley Half Marathon & 5K – Livermore, CA

Use code “BRLIVVIP” for 10% off!

3/3/2019 – Napa Valley Marathon and Half Marathon – Napa, CA

Use code “19NVMRAVE10OFF” for $10 off.

3/3/2019 – Hot Chocolate Seattle – Seattle, WA

Use code “BRHCSeattle” for a free phone armband!

3/8- 9/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Texas Lost Pines – Bastrop, TX

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

3/15-17/2019 – Portland Shamrock Run – Portland, OR

Use code “SHAMROCKBR10” for 15% off!

3/17/2019  – Tobacco Road Marathon & Half Marathon – Cary, NC
Use code “trmrave19” for $20 off!

3/24/2019 – Oakland Running Festival – Oakland, CA

Use code “OaklandRave19” good for 10% off!

3/24/2019 – Hot Chocolate San Diego – San Diego, CA

Use code “BRHCSanDiego” for a free phone armband!

3/24/2019 – Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle 8K – Chicago, IL

Use code “2019SSBIBRAVE” for $10 at this link: http://haku.ly/66b5ed9c

3/30/2019 – Hot Chocolate Indianapolis – Indianapolis, IN

Use code “BRHCIndy” for a free phone armband!

3/31/2019 – Philadelphia Love Run Half Marathon – Philadelphia, PA

Use code “LOVEBR10” for 10% off!

I’ll be at the Philly Hot Chocolate 5k!

April 2019

4/6/2019 – Hot Chocolate Philadelphia – Philadelphia, PA

Use code “BRHCPhilly” for a free phone armband!

4/6/2019 – Milwaukee Marathon – Milwaukee, WI

Use code “RUN15” for 15% off any of the three distances!

4/6/2019 – Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Run & Mud Run: Phoenix – Phoenix, AZ

Use code “RUN10” for 10% off!

4/6/2019 – Publix Savannah Women’s Half & 5K – Savannah, GA

Use code “BIBSAV20” for 20% off!

4/7/2019 – Statesman Cap10K – Austin, TX

Use code “BibRave2019Cap10K” for $5 off!

4/13/2019 – Tar Heel 10 Miler & Fleet Feet Sports 4 Miler

Use code “TARHEELBR10” for 15% off!

4/13/2019 – Blue Ridge Marathon – Roanoke, VA

Use code “BLUERIDGEBIBRAVE” for 20% off!

4/13/2019 – Hot Chocolate Minneapolis – Minneapolis, MN

Use code “BRMINN19” for a free phone armband!

4/14/2019 – Hapalua – Hawaii’s Half Marathon – Waikiki Beach, HI

Use code “BR-HAPALUA” for 10% off!

4/14/2019 – Rutgers Unite Half Marathon & 8K

Use code “UNITEBR10” for 15% off.

4/20/2019 – Rugged Maniac 5K Obstacle Run & Mud Run: Florida – Dade City, FL

Use code “RUN10” for 10% off!

4/25-27/2019 –  IL Marathon- Champaign-Urbana, IL

Use code “bibraveillinois2019” for $5 off!

4/27/2019 – Hot Chocolate Brooklyn – Brooklyn, NY

Use code “BRBKLYN” for a free phone armband!

4/28/2019 – Ravenswood 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “RAVENSBR” for a FREE item!

4/28/2019 – New Jersey Marathon – Oceanport, NJ

Use code “NJMBIBRAVE19” for $5 off any distance (5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay).

4/28/2019 – Silicon Valley Half Marathon – San Jose, CA

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off!

4/28/2019 – Delaware Marathon – Wilmington, DE

Use code “DelawareRave19” for 10% off!

May 2019

5/3-5/2019 – Wildflower Experience – Bradley, CA

Use code “WILDBR10” for 15% off with these links:

Run Link: https://wfexp.com/bibrave

Tri Link: https://wfexp.com/bibravetri

5/4/2019 – OneAmerica 500 Festival Mini-Marathon – Indianapolis, IN

Use code “JoinMe2019” for $5 off (good thru 4/5/19).

5/4-5/2019 – Eau Claire Marathon – Eau Claire, WI

Use code “Bibrave10” for $10 off the Marathon, Half Marathon or 4 Person Marathon Relay

Use code “Bibrave5” for $5 off the 5K & Kids’ Run

5/4-5/2019 – Cinco De Miler – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCINCO19” for a FREE ITEM!

5/10-11/2019 – Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon (Destination Races) – Solvang, CA

Use code “SBBR10” for 15% off!

5/18/2019 – Harper’s Ferry Half Marathon – Harper’s Ferry, WV

Use code “BIBRAVE5WV” for $5 off!

5/19/2019 – Byline Bank Chicago Spring Half Marathon – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCHISPRING19” for $10 off half/$5 off 10K!

5/25/2019 – Run Madtown presented by SSM Health – Madison, WI

Use code “RAVENSAVE” for 10% off (excludes kid’s race).

5/25/2019 – Soldier Field 10-miler

Use code “BRSOLDIER19” for a FREE ITEM!

5/26/2019 – Vermont City Marathon – Burlington, VT

Use code “BibRave10” for $10 off!

June 2019

6/1-2/2019 – North Olympic Discovery Marathon – Port Angeles, WA

Use code “BibRave629” for 5% off!

6/2/2019 – Run for the Zoo – Chicago, IL

Use code “BIBRAVE” for 10% off!

6/2/2019 – North Shore Half Classic – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRNS19” for a FREE ITEM!

6/8/2019 – The Governor’s Cup – Helena, MT

Use code “GovCupRave19” for 10% off!

6/22/2019 – Grandma’s Marathon – Duluth, MN

Use code “BIBRAVE10” for $10 off!

6/22/2019 – Big Foot Tri – Lake Geneva, WI

Use code “BRBFT19” for a FREE ITEM!

6/28-30/2019 – Missoula Marathon – Missoula, MT

Use code “BibRave19” for $5 off!

July 2019

7/20-21/2019 – New Jersey State Triathlon – West Windsor, NJ

Use code “NJSTBR10” for 15% off.

7/24/2019 – Life Time Torchlight 5K – Minneapolis, MN

Use code “RUNWITHFIRE19” for 10% off registration!

August 2019

8/11/2019 – Oaktown Half Marathon – Oakland, CA

Use code “BROAKVIP” for 10% off.

8/17/2019 – Madison Mini-Marathon Half Marathon & 5K – Madison, WI

Use code “BIBRAVE5” for $5 off.

8/24/-25/2019 – Santa Rosa Marathon – Santa Rosa, CA

Use code “SAVE10″ for 10% off!

8/25/2019 – Fort2Base – Fort Sheridan, IL

Use code “BRP19” for 10% off (effective 2/1)

September 2019

9/6-8/2019 – San Francisco Giant Race presented by Alaska Airlines – San Francisco, CA

Use code “WERUNSF19” for $10 off!

9/8/2019 – Run Mag Mile – Chicago, IL

Use code “BIBRM19” for a FREE ITEM!

9/14/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Great Lakes – Lake Geneva, WI

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

9/14-15/2019 – Nautica Malibu Triathlon –  Malibu, CA

Use code “MALIBUBR10” for 10% off.

9/21-22/2019 – Surf City 10 – Huntington Beach, CA

Use code “SC10BR10” for 15% off.

9/29/2019 – Chicago Half Marathon & 5K – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRCHIHALF19” for $10 off the Half, $5 off the 5K.

9/29/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Cape Cod – Falmouth, MA

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

October 2019

10/6/2019 – Bucktown 5k – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRBT19” for a FREE ITEM!

10/6/2019 – Freedom’s Run – Shepherdstown, WV

Use code “BIBRAVE5WV” for $5 off!

10/11-13/2019 –  jetBlue Long Beach Marathon & Half Marathon – Long Beach, CA

Use code “LBMBR10” for 15% off.

10/19/2019 – Pumpkins in the Park – Chicago, IL

Use code “BRP19” for a FREE ITEM!

10/19-20/2019 – Urban Bourbon Half Marathon presented by Jim Beam – Louisville, KY

Use code “BourbonRave2019” for 10% off (starting Feb. 1)!

10/19-20/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Amelia Island – Amelia Island, FL

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

10/19-20/2019 – Detroit Free Press/Chemical Bank Marathon – Detroit, MI

Use code “2019DETROCKS” for 10% off!

10/19/2019 – Kansas City Marathon – Kansas City, MO

Use code “BIBRAVE2019KCM” for 15% off!

10/20/2019 – Bull City Race Fest and Food Truck Rodeo – Durham, NC

Use code “BCRFBR10” for 10% off.

10/20/2019 – First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon – Sarasota, FL

Use code “BRSARASOTA19” for $10 off half and relay and $5 off 10K!

10/26/2019 – Healdsburg Wine Country Half Marathon (Destination Races) – Geyserville, CA

Use code “HEALDSBR10” for 10% off!

November 2019

11/2/2019 – Mushroom Cap Half Marathon – Kennett Square, PA

Use code “brmushroom19” for $10 off!

11/1-2/2019- Zooma Women’s Race Series  – Texas Wine Country – Fredericksburg, TX

Use code “ZOOMABR15” for 15% off race events!

11/10/2019 – Madison Marathon – Madison, WI

Use code “BRMSN19” for 10% off the half or full marathon!

11/28/2019 – North Shore Turkey Trot – Highland Park, IL

Use code “BRNSTT19” for a FREE ITEM!

Gear Discount Codes

Zwift – Use code “BibRave15” for 15% off the cost of the Zwift RunPod at Zwift.com. It is good for 1000 Pods.

Food Groove Mission – Use code “BIBRAVE15” for 15% off an entire order. One use per customer.

Go forth, save money and run happy! Happy Valentine’s Day!

Does This Spark Joy?

You can’t go anywhere lately without hearing about Marie Kondo and the KonMari minimalist method.

My husband and I have started applying it to everything in life. We jokingly ask “Does that spark joy?” while holding bills (they don’t, by the way), snuggling our dog (she definitely does), and we literally spark joy in our dry house when we give each other hugs and kisses.

You know what else has been sparking joy for me?

Running.

Team Run856 – photo credit Chad Finley

This is so, so important. I’ve been running for 8 years now and you know, there’s nothing like a new running relationship. 8 years ago, everything was brand-new and exciting.

I talked about running non-stop.

I was overly cautious when registering for races but quickly got over that.

I asked a million questions and looked for my niche in the running community.

I encouraged everyone to join me in running because running brought me such a sense of accomplishment and I wanted them to experience the same. (Spoiler alert: It doesn’t/didn’t spark joy in all of those people.)

My first run, the Down n Dirty 5k. While being with friends sparked joy, being muddy did NOT.

But like so many things in life, after a certain amount of time, that brand new feeling wore off. It would have been very, very easy to say thank you, next.

However, lately it’s been good. It’s sparking an incredible amount of joy. My runs have been going well and I’ve been healthy, both mentally and physically. *knock on wood*

This past weekend, I did a 2 mile race known as The Chili Run. I’ve done it for the past three years and while it’s challenging because it’s hilly, it’s also incredible because it’s ONLY 2 MILES.

You guys, I PRed by nearly 2 minutes. It’s amazing what a PR can do for your confidence levels. I’ve been on cloud nine since Saturday.

I’ve had the opportunity to run with one of my favorites, Rachel, for a few longer runs. She’s a friend that works with me, pace wise and connection wise. Being together, running or otherwise, sparks joy!

The long runs help because I’m gearing up for spring races representing Team BibRave:

305 Half in Miami on March 3rd
Allstate Hot Chocolate 5k in Philadelphia on April 6th
NJ Marathon 5k on April 27th

With my buddy, Heather, at the HKRS Conference in January. She received Best New Series and I got the Social Media Presence award!

Furthermore, I’m returning for another season as the Healthy Kids Running Series coordinator for my local series which starts at the end of March. I love this non-profit so much; it’s a great way to motivate children and to be active in the community.

I’m surrounded by so much good and all of that goodness sparks joy! Everything is going according to plan, nice and tidy.

Have a great Wednesday!

Relocating and Recalibrating

It’s been about a month and a half since we landed in California and, well, it’s been an adventure. I’ve been thinking about a lot of things (life, work, happiness, gratitude) in the time since we left Virginia and some days have been easier than others. It’s been a huge adjustment being out here, which is no surprise – that was known before we even moved. I knew that everything would be different – but I don’t think I quite realized what the magnitude of that difference would feel like.

Before living in Virginia, I had moved almost every year for about three years – from Wisconsin, to Alaska, to Minnesota, to Alaska, back to Minnesota, to DC, and finally Virginia. I could fit my life in my little Ford Escape and because I wasn’t really living in any one place for very long, I didn’t feel so much sadness at leaving it behind. But then I settled in Virginia, fell in love, got married – we made our little space there a home, and made good friends. We established a comfortable routine. It wasn’t “home” in the way that Alaska will always be, but it was a home for us. 

When we first discussed the possibility of PCS-ing, I was a little apprehensive. I knew it would mean big changes for me, and selfishly, I wasn’t sure that I was ready to give up my job and my independence to the Marine Corps. But, I knew that PCS-ing also meant greater opportunities for growth and advancement for Clay, which was something he likely wouldn’t have had if he stayed put. I was also excited about the idea of moving somewhere new, especially if that somewhere new was back to the Western US. California was the most likely place we could end up and in my head, that was probably the best option for me: close to some of my good friends, lots of job opportunities, lots of outdoor activities… it made sense.

I’m thrilled that we’re out here now – but I’d be lying if I said that it has been easy. I miss all of the things that were easy about Virginia. Making friends as an adult is HARD. I’m working from home for now, so I don’t get a ton of interaction with other people. I haven’t found a gym that’s a good fit yet. Things are just *that* much unfamiliar and I don’t have the self-confidence I’m used to feeling. I’m always thinking about the long-term and what that will look like for us and I’m really having to work hard on actively maintaining perspective in all things.

It would be really easy to let my fears and insecurities get really loud and drown out the opportunities. Some days, I just have to buckle down and focus on work (and there is a lot of that going on at the moment). Other days, I need to spend an hour or two in the gym – because in that space and time, I am in control of all of the variables. Which is more than I can say for life outside the gym sometimes.

I find myself leaning on my support system to help keep the anxious monsters quiet. I’m grateful for Clay – and I have to remind myself that he’s experiencing even more newness and unfamiliarity than I am as he settles into his new job and new leadership roles. Like I said, so much of this transition is about maintaining perspective.

I’m looking forward to feeling truly settled in, removing some of the uncertainty of life here, creating more stability, making new friends and connecting with old ones. I know things will even out over time and that I just have to worry about what I can control. It’s a process, but I can only take it one day at a time.

Press Pause

It’s Friday! I know for some people who don’t only work during the weekday or who have kids who are busy, that doesn’t really mean anything. Hopefully you’ll get a chance to relax over the weekend and take some time for yourself. A few weeks ago (I think?) I posted some “self-care” ideas, so I’m going to try not to write the same thing here. Of course, it’s Thursday night and I’m kind of tired, so…

Okay, but really. How often is it that we get to press pause on our everyday, busy lives? Never, right? The school year is always busy and with Girls on the Run and my other school duties, it gets hard. Granted, I don’t have kids, so it’s a little easier for me to take some time during the weekend for myself. There are so many things that can happen during the week to bring us down or set us off, so it’s important to decompress every now and then.

A lot of people have their own ways to celebrate me time. If you know anything about me, you know that I’m an avid reader and any time I’m alone I’m usually reading. Or binge watching TV shows. That’s it. That’s my me time.

Kidding. A little. One thing that I wanted to focus on this year was journaling as a way to jot down ideas and feelings. It is (every year) a goal of mine to read my Bible and journal with it. It’s a goal every year because it’s one I struggle with. This is definitely a way to get in time by myself, but it’s not something I love to do. I know that sounds terrible, but I’m a work in progress.

Sometimes taking that time to yourself might make you feel selfish, and I think that’s okay. Maybe it shows that you care about things more, I don’t know? I know I feel guilty about binge watching television all day if I have papers to grade. BUT – it’s important to separate yourself from your work or whatever stresses you out.

Sometimes fitness helps, when I’m not doing it to train. Before I decided to sign up for marathons I would just come home from work and run. I used to love seeing how fast and far I could go within those first couple of years of running. Often times, though, it’s the fitness or training I need a break from. That’s where the lazing comes into play.

During the summer I like to spend my days at the beach. Oh, who am I kidding, I live in Florida and go to the beach year round. The beach is peaceful for me and I know a lot of people find their peace in nature. Something about the great vastness that helps us escape.

There are so many ways to unwind or decompress and these are a few of mine.

What are some of yours?

PS – Oh, and sleep. I friggin’ love me some sleep.

Scoot a Doot’s 6th Blogaversary (+giveaway!)

We are so pumped to be celebrating 6 years of Scoot!

We’ve got a vlog, we’ve got our four pillars: fitness, food, friends, and fun… AND we’ve got a sweet, sweet giveaway! Watch the video to see what’s in the prize pack for one lucky winner (trust us, you’ll want to win).

After you watch us chat with you, click on the image below to enter! We’ll check to make sure the entry is legit and then announce the winner via social media channels on 2/6/19: Facebook, IG stories, Twitter.

 

 

Back at it Again

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 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!

Look, I’ve been watching fellow athletes killing it on social media this week with their runs in the frozen tundra or wherever they are from and I commend them. Me? I don’t like to run if it’s under 60 degrees because that’s just not Florida weather, y’all. I ran yesterday and my fingers just about froze. Good thing I don’t really need them for running!

I’m slowly trying to get back into the training process (mostly because I’m running a half marathon with Mer and I don’t want it to be bad!) but also because it goes with some of my new year’s goals. It’s been a process, but I’m getting into some workouts and making sure I’m running a few times a week. This weekend my run buddy and I were supposed to do six miles, but there was a 100% percent chance of rain on Sunday so I stayed on the couch and reread some of the The Raven Cycle series. (My buddy did a treadmill run. She’s more awesome than I.)

I don’t have a gym membership, mostly because I waste the money, not because the gym is a waste of money. When I did have a membership I never went, so we have a little setup in our garage that works out well. Also, I don’t feel self-conscious when no one is watching me struggle to do push-ups.

This will be my first time running the 305 Half Marathon and I’m really excited about it! The course looks amazing and, being the Floridian I am, I love the beach. The race starts on Ocean Drive and ends on South Beach and is full of Miami flair, so I can imagine it’s going to be like one big, sweaty party.

It’s been almost a year since I’ve done a half marathon and I’m over my Chicago burnout, so I’m ready to do this! Mer said we’re hoping for PRs so, hey, let’s get a PR. (Or maybe just have a lot of fun!)

You can use the code BIBRAVE305 and take $10 off the half or $5 off the 5K!

Where do you like to workout? 

Race Recap – Run to Home Base 5K

Last Saturday I ran my first race of the year, as I posted in my races for the new year. It was a 5K benefiting the Run to Home Base organization that helps veterans and their families. From what I’ve read about this program, it’s based out of Boston, which is why there is a Florida race – at the Red Sox Spring Training center! JetBlue Park is a fairly new facility (I don’t know, I’m not big on sportsballs) and is kind of surrounded by a school and some office buildings. Not the best scenery to run in, but it was still nice.

My alarm went off on Saturday morning and I was immediately exhausted. I never sleep the night before any race, so this one was no different. I had coffee and oatmeal for breakfast, but took some water for my drive since I was pretty sure hydrating at happy hour the night before wasn’t going to be good enough. I was very right about that.

I got the field early for packet pick-up since I wasn’t able to do so the night before and I live about thirty minutes from the park. It was a cold morning, meaning it was less than 60 degrees. I’d chosen my Skirt Sports Pocketopia Capris and a Captain America tank (because heroes), but I also left the house with two jackets on over my tank because, hello, I’m a born and raised Floridian and I’m cold.

After I picked up my packet I warmed up in the car and listened to one of the books of The Raven Cycle that I had been listening to (hey, read these books). Opening ceremonies were held before the race with different speakers inside the stadium.

 

 

It was truly a beautiful morning, perfect for a little race! The start was late. Well, later than scheduled but I got off to a pretty strong start. I’d ran a couple of races since Chicago but nothing too intense. I felt like starting the year with a race and having a few more planned for the year would help with me wanting to train and run more. I had a solid 11:00 mile for the first mile, which is pretty much my best mileage, haha. I’ve got little legs and they just don’t go very fast sometimes, but I was really happy with that time! Once I hit the mile mark I started to feel a little dehydrated and stopped for water. I took some walk breaks after the first mile, so my time definitely suffered.

Sometimes it is so apparent how your diet plays into your performance. I ate terribly the night before, even though I knew I had a race, and I definitely suffered after my first glorious mile. On my walk breaks I texted with Michelle because she was out on a little training run, too. It had started to warm up and I was absolutely regretting eating ice cream the night before!

This summer when I was training for Chicago and struggling I started listening to books instead of music, so that helped me stay focused on the task at hand. The race was small, but there was never really a lag in the crowd where I wasn’t alone.  The course was nice and shady and by the time we’d looped around to come back to the stadium I didn’t even realize we were almost finished!

Coming into the stadium was fun. As much as I’m not a huge sports fan, I still like to see cool stuff. We came in behind second base and ran up the length to third to the finish line. There were cameras there so I put on my best “I’m not dying, I’m having a great time!” smile and prepared to cross the finish.

 

I love free race photos!

My overall time wasn’t my best 5K, but I was still pretty proud of myself for getting out there on a Saturday after a long week of wrangling children. After we crossed the finish line we had a chance to take a picture running over home plate. It happened quickly and mine turned out pretty cheesy! I’m not even close to home plate in it and I just look silly.

Since I ran alone I asked a random girl to take my picture after and a stranger made a comment about it being a “Facebook/Instagram post” which it, of course, was. That comment kind of put a damper on my whole experience because it felt so negative about sharing your accomplishments. Sure, people don’t have to know every little thing you do, but I had a lot of people text and ask me how my race went. There are so many people that have been part of my “learning to be an athlete” journey and I love to share my wins. I posted it, of course, but then took to Twitter to complain, as one does. We should be proud of every little accomplishment, from marathons to 5Ks to getting out of bed in the morning. Heck, I know I’m always trying to do better with that last one.

Yeah, I posted on Instagram, so what?

Have you done any races to far this year? I’d love to hear about them! 

Chick Chat – Where We Play

Growing up in Alaska taught me a lot. Primarily that being outside is better than being inside about 98% of the time. Like, inside is literally only better when its so cold outside your body parts freeze, but even then… just put on warmer clothes. I don’t know.

Alaska is full of so many cool things.

Consequently, I enjoy being outside for nearly all of my fun activities. Hiking, running, working out – you name it. If I can be outside, I’m a happy camper, in some cases literally. There’s really not a better place to start a conversation about where we play than The Great Land. In Alaska, I was lucky to have a mountain to climb literally out my front door and plenty of other trails to explore just minutes away.

In fact, one of my favorite training runs ever was back home. I did a 20-miler around Eklutna Lake, a glacial-fed body of water not far from my parents’ old home and a frequent recreational area for us. The park has a campground, biking trails, hiking trails, cabins, kayaking… you name it. I did my run in late August (early Fall in Alaska) and the weather was absolutely perfect. Sunny and cool but not cold. My parents rode their bikes alongside me. I put my feet in the icy water when I finished.

20 miles around Eklutna Lake? #AlaskaFTW

In Virginia, I tried to take advantage of our proximity to Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge mountains. Clay and I went hiking as often as we could when we still lived out east.

Having recently moved cross-country to Southern California, I’m finding myself taken by how beautiful this area is. We are maybe 15 minutes from the beach and I can see the coastline from our house. We haven’t been able to get out and hike here at all yet, but we have gotten to workout outside, which is something new!

Lifting barbells and doing burpees outside in the sunshine (when it’s not oppressively hot) is pretty amazing! I’m looking forward to exploring more of what SoCal has to offer in the years to come.

As a born and raised Florida girl there are a ton of places where I love to workout and play in, but also a lot of places I’ve yet to see! Most days I tend to be a homebody. I like the comfort of my couch, books, and cats. When I’m training or need to go for a run, my neighborhood works pretty well. I lived in an apartment for over ten years, but bought my first house almost two years ago. My neighborhood is a quiet little place that’s perfect for late afternoon runs. It’s fun getting to know new routes and waving to all my neighbors. And also meeting new friends.

I love this guy.

I spend a lot of time at school, teaching and coaching, and the rest of the time commuting. I live in Southwest Florida and, well, snowbirds. A lot of the time I get home too late to run so I like to find little parks or areas to pop into for a quick couple of miles. It’s fun and gets the job done. Also, when I’m out in “in the wild” I can’t just walk home. I’ve got to finish what I started.

  

 

Palm trees and sunshine for days.

School is definitely another place I workout and play. I play everyday with my students, but also with my Girls on the Run girls. They keep me young and I get to yell at them and pretend it’s motivation!

My classroom is one of my favorite places.


I try to always be on the lookout for new places in the area to workout or play in. My family frequents Disney and Universal parks, too, though most of the working out there is walking, dodging other park goers, and standing in line. Oh, and eating ice cream. Obviously. (Okay, and posing for silly pics.)

With Grete in Epcot.

I try as hard as I can to take advantage of all the amazing places to play near me. The Intermountain West has SO MUCH TO OFFER that it’s sometimes hard to choose where to go. Whether I’m running or hiking, I’m all about scenery and luckily scenery isn’t a problem here in Colorado. Most recently, I hiked a few miles of the Sourdough Trail with my sister as part of our #52HikeChallenge goal.

It was a perfect day for a hike. The temp was around 42, and the trails were not too snowy, icy, or crowded. Even though I had my microspikes sitting by the door I forgot to grab them, but I was fine with snow shoe poles.

The view from the top.

It is always so quiet and peaceful, and that is what I love about being on the trails. All you can hear is the wind blowing through the tops of the pine trees. It’s incredibly therapeutic. So much so that I forgot to turn on my GPS until we turned around, so double this and reverse it. Technology seems out of place here.

I love playing in the mountains because sometimes you also see cute animal butts and jaw-dropping sunsets.

When we first started discussing this “where we play” post, I was excited! During the warmer months, you’ll find me outside more often than not. I’m a fan of fresh air and the wind in my hair.

In my neck of the woods, New Jersey, I’m really lucky to live in a development that’s surrounded by farmers fields. If you walk out my door and head down the road a quarter of a mile during the warmer months, we have corn, squash, and a variety of other crops.

Not even two miles away is a vineyard. I have yet to run there but that is on my bucket list. (Maybe I’ll Uber home.) Good Day for a Run holds a Run the Vineyards race there each spring and I either run or volunteer each year. With it being so close to home, how could I not?

Last winter and this one, I’ve been hibernate. I actually love running in the cold weather and one of my favorite places to run is the boardwalk. But I’m still a bit of a Nervous Nelly with winter and ice after breaking my arm last January.

So yeah, lately where I play has mainly been inside. I’ve been sticking to treadmill running in my basement and training at the gym. It doesn’t produce nearly as interesting Instagram photos as the great outdoors but it works for me!

Tell us about where you love to run/hang out!

What to Pack for a Hike

My new hiking pack, something I’ve desperately needed if I’m going to do the #52hikechallenge, arrived this week! I’ve been so excited about it that I’ve spent far too many hours gathering and packing and repacking it with all my gear. Then I realized this is information worth sharing, so here we go with what to pack for a hike!

First, let me give a shout out to a very important list you should refer to if you’re planning your own forays into the backcountry. The National Parks Service has posted this 10 Essentials to pack when you #optoutside.  I don’t quite have everything on this list, but I’m working on it and plan my hikes accordingly.

The spread. It’s very purple-y.

Here’s what I never leave home without:

  • Day Hike Pack – This pack from Camel has a space for a water bladder, has an internal frame, and is intended for day hikes. It’s a bright color (I love any shade of purple) so I can’t mistaken for an animal.
  • Water – In addition to my water bladder, I carry two, 32 oz bottles of water, too. Tip, if you store them upside down, they won’t freeze at the mouthpiece. 
  • Map & Compass – It’s important to know how to use them, too. Many local wilderness rescue groups offer classes on this topic, often for free. Always remember to tell someone where you’re hiking, how far, and when you expect to be back. Check in with that person when you get home.
  • Extra Clothes – Because I’m prone to blisters, I bring a pair of toe socks, as well as an extra pair of dry wool hiking socks. I also pack a down vest, an extra thermal beanie, extra thermal gloves, and a Buff.
  • Survival Gear – A lighter or matches, a headlamp, a basic first aid kit, a knife, some handwarmers, and an emergency whistle are what I keep in my pack at all times. On day trips I keep my survival gear to a minimum because I’m careful to follow the trail and be super aware of my surroundings and map.
  • Personal Gear – Sunscreen, Lip Balm, my asthma inhaler, my TomTom GPS watch, and sport sunglasses are all essential for a comfy hike at high altitude.
  • Snacks – The most important things! I’ve always got a nut based snack and an apple at minimum.
  • Fun Stuff  – A small notebook which is my Trail Journal, a pen, a selfie stick, and my #womenwhohike patch.

I hope that helps you decide what to pack for your hikes!

What gear is essential for you when you #optoutside? 

sNOw Problem

Disclaimer: I received free entry to 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!

I knew it was too good to be true. Here in New Jersey, our mild winter has shifted right into the cold weather we are used to having this time of year.

Not only did we have snow over the weekend but this coming weekend’s forecast predicts not one but TWO more snowstorms headed our way.

No, thank you.

What’s a girl to do? Oh, that’s right, have a warm weather contingency plan!

As Ash alluded to in her post, it was not very difficult to talk me into coming to Florida to run this race. In fact, I think she just said, “I’m considering the 305 Half Marathon in Miami with BibRave.” That’s all it took; I immediately started looking at travel plans.

My parents live in South Florida so it’s very convenient for me to fly down there and stay with them (And they love having me – even though I’m not bringing my kids along.) (…I think).

I’ll be down there for a long weekend and back in time for family activities up yonder way. I’m hoping that I get the chance to visit with some of my Florida family as well. Even though it’s a short visit, I have a ton of extended family down there.

Registration was quick and easy through Athlinks. I’m automatically added to the start list, which is pretty cool and I’m looking forward to getting my results through them as well. Always nice to have things organized in all one spot.

Of course this means that I probably need to start getting some more long runs in. I’ve been running every day between 1-4 miles. But I’m thinking a couple of longer runs will only help matters when it comes to a half.

Ashley and I are ready to PR in fun with this one and with a generous 16 minute mile pace, I’m more than confident in our abilities.

This was the last time we ran a race together but we didn’t actually run together. It’s been a hot minute!

Want to escape to the warmer weather too? You can use the code BIBRAVE305 and take $10 off the half or $5 off the 5K!

Are you a fan of snow or would you rather be basking in the sunshine on the beach?