Gearing Up for the Allstate Hot Chocolate Tampa 15K

Disclaimer: I received free entry to Allstate Hot Chocolate 15k 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 am so excited to be representing BibRave at this year’s Hot Chocolate 15K in Tampa on December 15th! I’ve never ran one of these races before, but I’ve seen so many of my friends on social media and it looks amazing! I’m running the race in Tampa, which is just a couple of hours away from me, so I’m definitely stoked for a little mini-vacation in December!

Recently I’ve started training for the Sarasota Half Marathon at the end of October, so being in training mode will hopefully beneficial! The course for the Tampa race is right on the water and it looks similar to the Gasparilla 15K I’ve done in the past, which is a course I love!

If you haven’t ran a Hot Chocolate race (like me), you are seriously missing out on some swag! I’m seriously excited for some of this stuff!

I cannot wait to snack on this!

Check out this tasty medal!

 

This fleece is adorable!

 

Like I said, I’m really excited about this race and I hope people in the Tampa area are ready to party in December!

Use the code BRHCTAMPA19 a free Hot Chocolate running hat

Road Tested: FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters (Part Two)

Disclaimer: I received a 16 pack of FBOMB Macadamia Nut Butters to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Hey, you’re not seeing double! Like Mer said in her post about the yummy FBOMB Nut Butters, I had the pleasure of testing them too. Let me tell you, if you’re looking for something quick and tasty, you need to check this product out.

I’ve been back at work for just over a month now, so that means I’m just really tired and cranky. It also means I’m not really working out or running because of the aforementioned tired and cranky stuff. I got FMBOMB at a perfect time because I’m back to meal prepping and getting back on track with eating at designated times. Summer kind of leaves me to my own devices which is basically crunchy snacks, okay?

The FBOMB came in four flavors, all with the macadamia base. I’ll admit that the coconut one was definitely my favorite, but I adore most things coconut. At first I was trying them with simple things: on fruit and rice cakes. Eventually I branched out and tried a smoothie bowl like Mer, but I’m not big into blending my fruit so it turned out to be more like “FBOMB cereal”. It was still tasty, however. No complaints from me.

I love that this is perfect for on-the-go snacks. It doesn’t have to be a big production. My drive to and from school can sometimes be up to an hour long and a little FBOMB is a great way to keep me satisfied on the long ride. I also showed up to a few meetings at school with a little FBOMB because snacks are almost always needed when I have to sit, be good, and listen.

Lesson planning with a little Macadamia Pecan!

I’ve totally enjoyed grabbing one of this tasty things whenever I’m in need of a pick-me-up or just need a quick snack. No prep required! Like I said, if you’re into something tasty and quick, give FBOMB a try!

*If you’re interested in trying these out, use code BRP10 to save 10% off the 16-count FBOMB Nut Butter Variety Pack on their website.*

Looking Ahead (At Races)

I loved reading Mer’s post about writing her actual post and how she finished it on Monday morning instead of Sunday night like she usually does. I’m sure I’ve said it before, but we usually have a “schedule” for posts. It’s pretty simple, really. Of course, when you’re like me and you literally have no schedule…the schedule kind of gets away from you. Point being: I’m a day late. Oops?

Summer, for me, is kind of coming to a close soon. I’m heading off on vacation next week and I’m already itching to get back to my classroom and start setting up my room for the new year. My official start date is the first week of August, only I know I’ll be in way before that. I procrastinate on a lot of things (this blog post) but my classroom set up is not one of them.

This year has been about loving running again and so far it’s been okay. I know, that doesn’t sound very promising, but I’m working on it! So far this year I’ve done a race every month and that’s really helped to keep me accountable. Here are a couple of things I’m looking forward to for the rest of the year!

July

I’ve actually already done a race for the 4th of July, but I’m looking forward to completing the Eagles Lakes 5K as part of a summer series that I ran one of the races for last year. My running buddy and I did the first one on a whim toward the end of June and are ready to sign up for the next one. It’s a series of 5Ks in some of our beautiful parks in Southwest Florida and it’s definitely worth getting out early in the morning for. The views are great. Just stay away from the water, you never know what lives in it!

August

The Rampage 5K is the final race of the series, the one I ran last year. I actually managed a 5K PR with this race, my best time in the six years I’ve been running. It’s difficult to get hyped up about these races because it is so hot down here right now. On the plus side the company that runs the races, Elite Events, have begun starting the races earlier in the morning and for that we runners are grateful!

September

September is up in the air right now, just because there are a few races to choose from. So far I’ve done a lot of 5Ks and that is a-okay with me! Last year this was peak Chicago Marathon training time and there was really no way I was doing any extra running. Life was hard enough as it is! I’ll be on the lookout for something fun, though!

October

“Disclaimer: I received free entry to Sarasota Half Marathon as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review find and write race reviews!” Use the code BRSARASOTA19 for $10 off the Half and $5 off the 10K!

I’m excited to run this race with some BibRave Pros and my BFF. The course is beautiful, right on the water, and has a pretty lengthy bridge run. Those can really be bad or good. Either way, I’m excited!

November

I usually reserve November for runDisney’s Wine & Dine 10K, but I was too late for registration this year. It doesn’t help that runDisney raised their prices and I’m a teacher in Florida. (Woe is me, right?) I’m still considering this one with a charity team because it’s one of my favorite races. Plus, it gives me an excuse to visit Epcot’s Food & Wine Festival one last time before it ends.

December

December is where it gets tricky. Last year we planned on running Ragnar Alafia Trail but had trouble getting our team together. We transferred our registration to this year in hopes of making it work. I’m excited to do another Ragnar, HOWEVER, I saw people posting pictures from last year’s race and the GIANT ALLIGATOR on the trail made me glad I missed it.

That’s what I’ve got up my sleeve for the rest of the year. I’m also hoping to do a Hot Chocolate race with BibRave (fingers crossed) and I’m sure there will be a Girls on the Run 5K in there somewhere. Who knows!

Do you plan your races in advance?

Celebrate Your Independence

With tomorrow being Independence Day in the good ol’ US of A, I thought I’d take some time and think about about how we can celebrate our own independence. Right now I’m on summer break, so most of my days are spent alone. It’s not so bad, but sometimes I get bored and sometimes there is only so much TV I can watch. Obviously I sometimes do other things, but right now I’m really into the “relaxing” part of summer. It’s hard because I feel like I’m on for nine months out of the year, so the change to summer is always an interesting transition.

If you don’t know what it’s like to be a teacher on summer break: sometimes I have to force myself to leave the house at least once a day.

Some days are more productive than others, obviously. I’ve managed to workout or run almost every day which is kind of a big deal for me. Sometimes summer brings a twinge of depression which basically stems from me not having anything to do and my mind getting away with me. It’s fun finding things to stay busy, though, and here are a few things I’ve been doing.

Crafts

I don’t tend to be a super crafty or patient person, but I’ve recently been in the business of making little button portraits of my favorite characters. I can listen to a book or binge watch a show while I work with tiny buttons and a lot of glue.

Thrift Stores

I’ve been in the market for a new bookshelf for my classroom and I’d rather grab something secondhand than something brand new. Of course, when I can’t find what I need, I find things I want. Like some cute new shoes or a final book in a trilogy I was collecting.

Workout

I touched on this earlier, but I’m having a lot of fun with the Nike Training Club workouts in my garage. They have a great variety of different workouts for different levels of athletes.

Movies

The only movie I’ve seen this summer is Avengers: Endgame and I’m okay with that. I love going to the movies alone and matinee prices are always a little bit better than regular movie times.

Parks/Beach

Living in South Florida we had no shortage of nature preserves, parks, and beaches. The heat index has been at least 100-110 these past couple of weeks, so I haven’t really been outside much.

Reading

Last summer I started an book club on Facebook and picked that up again this summer. We’ve already read one book together and are getting ready to start a new one. I read a lot of books during the summer and I usually blog about them over on my book review blog. It’s nice to have someone to talk about the book I’m reading with.

Those are a few things that I’ve been trying to work on.  I’m  still managing to be lazy and not do much of anything, however!

Oh, and naps. I take a lot of naps.

What are some things you do alone or to take care of yourself?

Road Tested: BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband

Disclaimer: I received a BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband 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!

Being a BibRave Pro has such great perks, especially when it comes to testing products. I live in south Florida, where it’s basically summer year round and I’m always looking for ways to keep cool when I’m running or working out. This summer has already proven to be a scorcher and technically it just started!

I was super excited to receive my BUFF Coolnet UV+ Headband and thankful we got to choose the style and color. I chose the headband because it was less material and seemed like a better fit for me. I have short hair and headbands don’t always work out in my favor. I think it’s the shape of my head, IDK.

Just leave me in my driveway to melt, y’all.

I’ve basically used my new BUFF for everything. Last week I started some new workouts and ran a couple of times (including two 5Ks, go me) to try and restart my fitness regime. I wore it with every workout and, for lack of a better term, it “worked out” great.

The material is super lightweight and stretchy, so I never felt like it was too tight or uncomfortable. One of my issues with head wear is that it has to feel comfortable with my glasses or sunglasses as I need to see things. This BUFF headband fit the bill and held my glasses in place during sweaty workouts or runs.

As far as the UV+ and cooling is concerned, I’ve definitely noticed both of these while using the product. My moisturizer has an SPF, but I don’t tend to put sunscreen anywhere above my eyes when I’m running. Last time I did, I spent the last two miles of a 15K in terrible pain because I was sweating sunscreen into my eyeballs. The material has definitely protected my forehead while out and about. Too bad it can’t do anything about my sunglasses’ tan on my nose.

Hats and other heavy head wear make me extremely hot, but I didn’t have any issue with this BUFF product. It was just the right weight and has magical cooling properties! This is definitely a great product to grab, whether you’re running, working out, or just running errands. It’s versatile and conducive to all your styling cooling needs.

You can get 15% off one of your own by visiting BUFF USA and signing up for their newsletter. Check out the hashtag #BUFFBR for some other great reviews!

This pattern really goes with everything.

Do Good, Feel Good: World Refugee 5K Recap

Disclaimer: I took part in the World Refugee Day 5k as part of being a BibRave Pro in conjunction with our good friends at Soul Focus. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find, and write race reviews!

Like Mer wrote earlier this week, some BibRave Pros have partnered with Soul Focus for a virtual 5K in honor of World Refugee Day, which is today! This is a great opportunity to help raise funds for the American Refugee Foundation. It’s so cool to think that not only are there over 1,000 people running in Uganda to support this mission, but also (hopefully) people around the world, too!

I started out my morning by mapping out a route in my car that would take me the 3.1 I needed to go to complete the 5K. I’ve done virtual races before and it’s nerve-wracking because the only person to hold you accountable is YOU. I’m not always good at holding myself accountable.

In true Florida fashion it was sweltering before 8AM. I tried to represent in my BibRave orange, but ended up ditching the shirt halfway through for a little bit of relief. It’s been hard for me to keep on a schedule since I’m on summer break, but I’ve really been trying to be active this week. I started out strong, but I haven’t been in the best mental state with running lately.

With the heat and me just feeling meh, I ended up walking the rest of my 5K and, even though I though about quitting (a lot!) I still managed the full distance. I’m excited to see other people’s posts about their own “races” and hope that we here at Scoot have inspired someone to sign up and run for a cause, too. If you’re running share on your social accounts using the hashtags #WorldRefugeeDay5k #WRD5k and tagging @worldrefugeeday_5k, too! I’m sure they’d love to see your pictures!

Did we mention you get a really sweet BOCO Gear hat with your registration? Because you do!

BOCO Gear World Refugee Day 5k Hat

Registration for the World Refugee Day 5k has been open since May 20th and will remain open through this Saturday, June 22nd. As a little something extra, code BR5 will get you $5 OFF registration.

There’s still time to take part in this virtual race, so check out the link above. You can check out Mer’s post for some other tips, too!

Happy running!

Road Tested: Ultima

“Disclaimer: I received Ultima 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!”

Y’all. It is h o t.

As most of you know I live in Southwest Florida where it is perpetually summer, except that one day in January or so when it’s like, thirty degrees. Then it’s summer again. Forever.

I was stoked to get a shipment of Ultima to try out since even the trip from my front door to the car causes me to break out into a sweat. I’m gonna need all my electrolytes if I’m going to survive the end of the school year, ya feel me? Now, I know that Ultima is probably used best to hydrate before and after workouts, but if you watched my vlog last week, you know I’m struggling with that. Mostly I’ve been using it to keep me hydrated during the school day.

Thanks, Ultima!

Often times I get so wrapped up in what I’m doing I don’t even realize that I haven’t been staying hydrated. I’m always usually chugging coffee, of the hot or cold sort, so adding Ultima to my daily routine has really helped.

Ultima is a great supplement for hydration and it’s got some excellent flavors. So far my favorite has been the lemonade and the cherry pomegranate. I also appreciate that Ultima is a powder that you can easily shake into a bottle or stir into a cup. And it’s ZERO CALORIES. How amazing is that? Some of the flavors definitely had me side-eyeing my shipment, but I’ll make it a point to try them all out. I like to be fair, after all.

This has been a great product to help keep me healthy-like during a regular day. I’m looking forward to getting more use out of this summer when things slow down for me and I’m able to get those workouts in, too.

Do you Ultima? Do you have a favorite flavor? 

I Thought They Said Slurpees?

Hello, I am tired. It’s the end of the school year and it’s getting to me. Check out my vlog for the scoop and I apologize for my awkwardness. Also, I picked the title of this blog because in my workout I had to do burpees and it was very difficult. Send motivation. (I also don’t know why that’s the screenshot for the video.)

 

 

Race Recap: Turtle Trot 5K

This past Saturday I got to run one of my favorite races that I’ve probably already told you about here. The Turtle Trot 5K is a perfect race for me because I’m slow AF and turtles are fave. This was my 5th year running this beautiful course and, honestly, it wasn’t my best. I claimed my results on Athlinks and was able to compare my past races, which is a pretty cool thing that Athlinks can do! This race was just a couple of minutes under my slowest, but that’ all on me, y’all.

I haven’t been running or working out lately and I definitely felt it on Saturday. The last time I “ran” was probably sometime early last week and that’s just real bad. The end of the school year is already kicking my butt! I started out strong, staying close to my two friends that also signed up for the race. (Was missing my favorite running buddy, though!) We met up for a few minutes before at the start line because I’d stopped to go to the bathroom before the race started. The three of us went with matching shirts for the race and, yes, it was absolutely appropriate!

My first mile felt good, but too fast. It was humid and hot already, with an 8AM start time. I prefer my races to start earlier, especially if I’m racing in Florida. Which I always am. I finished the first mile in under twelve minutes and was feeling okay until I got to an incline. I run mostly on flat roads so, yes, little hills are hard! It’s also difficult when it’s been over a month since you’d ran, but I digress.

One thing I love about this course is that it really is so, so pretty! I love Florida and, while I’m not always a fan of nature, I do know how beautiful it can be.

It is also hot and full of bugs. Welcome to Florida.

I slowed down significantly on the other two miles. I tried to do intervals, but I was having major stomach cramps. That, on top of the heat, and the lukewarm water from the water stations was not a good mix for me! I decided to take it easy and just enjoy the view. Everyone around me or who passed me was drenched and breathing heavily. As the morning went on the humidity had really only managed to get worse.

As few times I saw some park goers on trail hikes wondering what in the world was going on and that’s always fun. It reminded me of park goers walking through the crowd of runners during the Star Wars half trying to get into Animal Kingdom. That was pretty hilarious. Anywho, like I said, this is one of my favorite races and I’m glad I took it easy and got some great pictures of Lovers Key. The trail is mostly shaded and hidden from the sun, but I’m still sporting a nice burn on my face right now.

 

4

 

Welp.

After I crossed the finish line I met up with my coworkers and we took some pictures in front of the water and grabbed our snacks. The finish line is probably a half a mile from the parking lot, so we still had some walking to do. I was definitely missing my run buddy for this one and I know she would have pushed me for a better time. Plus, we were planning on twinning, and that’s always fun!

They said “do something weird” but I’m already super weird, so there’s that.

Turtle Running Team!

The only thing I dislike about this race is there are no medals. Man, I love bling. BUT – the proceeds of the race go to the park and I can’t complain about that. If you’re in the Southwest Florida area, you should definitely check this race out next year.

What’s a race you always do? 

Race Recap: Girls on the Run 5K – Spring Season

This weekend my second season of Girls on the Run finished off with a fun-filled 5K!

We started our season in February with twelve girls from 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade and at least half of them were returning from our fall season! If you don’t know, Girls on the Run is a program for girls between the ages of 8-12 that teaches them about positive body image, friendship, and community service. It’s an amazing program that we were able to bring to our school at the beginning of the year and I’m so glad I get to be a part of it.

We finished up our season with a community impact project, that involved our girls cleaning up during lunch duty for some of our younger grades. They chose to bring our project to school and to help out our custodians during the busy lunch waves. The girls loved taking part in the cleanup of school and even created a video after to thank our custodians. Girls on the Run girls are so amazing!

During our last practice we decorated our 5K shirts. A parent graciously volunteered to put all of girls’ names on their shirts as well as our school logo in beautiful sparkly pink. The girls were thrilled with their upgraded shirts and you could just tell they were excited for our race.

The race started early, as most races in Florida should, because it’s starting to get warmer here. We got to the venue around 7AM with our girls, their families, and their running buddies. Each girl is assigned a running buddy. The buddy is an adult they can choose to run with. It can be a family member, older sibling, teacher, or coach. Each of us three coaches had a buddy to run with and we were also lucky enough to recruit some of our fellow teachers for the race too.

Girls on the Run does an amazing job of basically throwing a party for the girls. There was a hair station, manicure station, as well as crafts, tattoos, and a place to bling out your bib. The girls had a great time pre-race and didn’t seem to have any nerves at all!

 

Blinging our bibs!

 

Everyone and their buddies!

We took our group pictures and got ready to get to the starting line. Our group ended up being closest to the start line (not something I ever do), but the girls were still having a great time. Some of our new girls starting to share their nerves, but our veterans were quick to reassure them that everything was going to be fine!

Once we started the girls and the buddies split up. Each of the girls learned to run at their own pace so they were prepared to not run with each other like they’d been during practices.

The morning was definitely warm and there wasn’t much cover on the first part of the course. My running buddy and I started out strong, but started to slow down after about the first mile. We try to tell the girls to pace themselves, but it doesn’t always work! The heat also didn’t help, but we were able to see all of our teammates on the course and cheer for them as we passed by.

My buddy standing strong at mile one!

We caught up with some teammates after mile two and ran the rest of the way with them. It was slow going, but our girls were having fun with each other and we were having fun cheering for them and embarrassing them like good buddies and coaches do. When the finish line came into view, we could hear everyone cheering and our girls recognized their families, too. At one point my buddy said “I wish my mom would stop yelling!”

Crossing the finish line with the girls was a lot of fun. All of their friends were waiting for the at the finish line and they were thrilled to finally finished. After the finish we took our group pictures, sweaty hugs, and parted ways. It’s so amazing to see how the program brings girls and their families together, as well as giving the girls new friends. They hugged and laughed and took pictures and just had fun. We coaches loved celebrating the girls and their accomplishments. GOTR is such a fun program and I’m so glad I get to be part of it.