Medal Monday + VLOG: Scooby Doo Scoobtober 10k

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

A big hello from me and a big WOOF from Gemma! We completed our Scoobtober 10k throughout the month of October and earned our virtual race bling!

Our race swag arrived promptly on November 1st and we were both excited to check out what we got. I might have been slightly more excited than Gemma, who’s to say?

Human swag! The bag is a great material and the medals SPIN!

I’ve got some other great opportunities coming up through BibRave too, which I’m really excited about! That’s right, I’ve already got some races on my calendar for 2019. I love a good plan.

You’ll see me wearing my BibRave orange and representing at these races in 2019.

April 6th is the Philadelphia Hot Chocolate race and I’ll be returning for a second year at the 5k! Ana and I ran this race together in 2018 and we are returning again, along with her sister.

If you plan to join us in Philly, use code “BRHCPhilly” for a free phone armband like mine!

Toward the end of April, I’ll be doing the New Jersey Marathon 5k! This will be my first time participating in my home state event and the 5k is on Saturday, which means I can do it and be home in time for Sunday’s Healthy Kids Running Series event on Sunday – I have to think about these things as race coordinator.

I’ve heard great things about this event and I can’t wait to personally check it out! Want to join me? Use code “NJMBIBRAVE19” for $5 off any distance (5K, Half Marathon, Marathon, Marathon Relay).

The BibRave fun doesn’t stop there and I’ve got some good stuff in the works for the next couple of months so stay tuned!

Also, if you have considered becoming a BibRavePro, applications are open now through November 14th. If you have any questions, feel free to give a shout in the comments or on Twitter.

Race Recap: Atlantic City 10k… no, make that 5k

Anyone who has been reading Scoot a Doot for awhile knows just how much I love the Atlantic City Race Series races. I usually participate in at least one race during their spring and fall series and I enjoyed doing their inaugural Bungalow Beach Run this year too.

I registered for the Atlantic City 10k back in 2017, right after registration opened. The 10k distance is one that I love and I got my personal best at this race in 2016 so I was looking forward to returning again.

However, in the past 6 months, there’s been a shift in dynamics in my house. My 13 year old son, who once upon a time only ran when “forced” during a Mother’s Day 5k, has come around to enjoying running. As you can imagine, I am shedding proud tears!

Lucas’ cross country season just ended and he’s been asking to run more races. It was a no-brainer to register him for the AC 5k because I’ve run these races many times and I knew he’d be good on the out and back course solo. Since he was going to be there and doing the shorter distance, I decided to switch down to the 5k at morning packet pickup (which we opted for during registration). The process was surprisingly easy and we quickly had our shirts, bags, and bibs.

Usually I run these races with friends and my family opts to stay home. However since Lucas was running the race too, my husband and younger kiddo decided to join us for the morning as our cheerleaders.

Atlantic City races don’t have corrals so lining up beforehand is always a crap-shoot. I looked for people who looked like they’d run around the same pace as Lucas and sent him up ahead. I asked the people I was standing near what pace they expected to keep to find my spot. The 5k and 10k runners start together. After the singing of the National Anthem, we were off.

The out and back was comfortable for me because I’ve done so many training runs along this boardwalk. My time was a consistent 12 minute mile, not my best or worst. A friend from the gym and I were chatting about how I have one speed, no matter it being a 5k or a half marathon. It’s something I need to work on but I wasn’t going into this race thinking that I’d be breaking any personal records so I’m pretty content with what I did.

Lucas looked strong when I saw him while I was on the out and he was on the back but he said that he got a cramp soon after we saw each other. He still finished strong and sprinted to the finish.

We joined the finisher’s party and grabbed the most delicious bagels (holy moly, they were so good!), snacks, goodies from vendors, and beer at 10am.

Well, I grabbed beer at 10am. Lucas got Gatorade.

Next on deck for me is the Rothman 8k in Philly. In December, we are doing the Light Run together (which is a local untimed night event to see the holiday lights). And then while I represent Healthy Kids Running Series, Lucas is going to do the Elf ‘n Cocoa 5k.

This year is flying by. I hope you have a very happy Halloween and I’ll see you in November!

Big Life Update!

It’s official. We’re moving.

When Clay left for MOS school, we knew that the likelihood of us staying in the DMV was slim – we thought maybe there was a chance he could get assigned to Quantico, but we weren’t counting on it. Truthfully, though, we were excited about the opportunity to go somewhere new.

And now? We’ll be packing up our little home in Virginia and making our way across the country to Camp Pendleton in Southern California just in time to ring in 2019!
We have two months to get all of our things in order before we hit the road and our schedule is already packed. The next couple of months are full of fun and fitness and packing. Lots of packing. And then lots of driving.

The last time I moved cross-country, I had no furniture, one car, Alaska plates, and way less STUFF.

This is the first PCS for both of us, so there’s a pretty steep learning curve involved. I’ve moved myself across the country three times, but never on military orders (and all that goes with them) and never with a pet. Or with actual furniture for that matter. This time is definitely going to be a bit of an adventure.

My life has become focused on getting over one hurdle at a time. This week is work travel and once I get through that, it’s just two more weeks until Clay gets home, and then we’re taking it week by week, going over our lists, making new ones, checking things off.

Until Clay gets home, though, what I’m mostly doing is purging junk from our house and making LOTS of lists. It’s soothing. Keeps my brain from getting cluttered and helps me remember all the little random tasks that cross my mind when I’m trying to fall asleep at night – lists also help keep me out of the Panic Spiral. Most of the time anyways.

All I can say is thank goodness for FaceTime and regular calls with my PIC, because otherwise I’d be going a little nuts.

Boyfriend, husband. Same same.

Here’s to new adventures!!

On Wednesdays We Do Wellness

Every Wednesday, I tag up with my nutritionist, Dr. Kyle. I’m at the midway point in her six-month wellness program and now is a great time to check in and share what’s working, and what’s been challenging.

The hardest thing so far is a lack of variety in my diet. I’ve always been on the picky side of eating, and veggies were not my favorite things. That’s all still true. If I eat hummus and carrots again for lunch I. Will. Scream. The solution here is to experiment more with new recipes. I admit I’m not a great cook so this one scares me a bit, but onward I must go.

Cutting out sweets has also been hard, but has gotten easier over time. Instead of craving the triple chocolate layer cake, I’m going for pumpkin spice scones. I’ve swapped out ice cream for vanilla honey Greek yogurt. Things like cheesecake and Starbucks drinks are WAY too sweet and I can’t eat them anymore. Sadly, my sweet tooth is still not satisfied and temptation is hard to fight. My solution here is to try my hand at paleo baking and treat-making. Wish me luck!

Part of the Wellness journey with Dr. Kyle is to learn how to do self-care right. Making time for myself has become a priority instead of a luxury. When I make time for self-care, I find I don’t need or crave the bad foods, like baked goods and candy, as much. I’m being fulfilled in other ways, whether that’s reading a book for fun, painting my nails, or taking a bubble bath, my soul is getting time to rejuvenate as opposed to my seeking refuge in sweets only to still feel depleted of energy. I’m loving this new perspective.

This might be my favorite place in my new house.

The best thing by far about this whole journey is the fact that I’ve lost 7 pounds. Once I cut refined sugar and gluten almost completely from my diet, the pounds fell away. My clothes are fitting better, and I’m able to squeeze into pants I wasn’t able to before. It feels great!

The goal with starting this journey was to learn how to eat properly to avoid diabetes. My blood sugar levels were high and I really don’t want diabetes. Since I’ve changed my diet, my sugars have dropped from consistently between 130 – 150 to 95 – 115. While I’m not at my target of 60-90, I’m getting closer and that is a huge win.

I’ve learned tht it’s not an all or ohiotng game, either. I’m shooitng for 80/20 where 20% of my calorie intake a week is sugar and complex carbs. While it seems like a big number on the healthy side, I’m learning it’s totally doable!

What’s your favorite self-care activity? DO you have any paleo recipes for me? Extra credit if they are Instant Pot friendly!

VLOG: September Doo Good Swag

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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. Love. Animals.

And I love running. Animals rank higher in the order of things I love but let’s just say that it’s a close call.

Look at these amazing BIBRAVEPUPS! Thanks to Katy over at Run Katy Run for creating this awesome collage!

When our swag from the Scooby Doo Good Run arrived I was so excited! Naturally I used by best PUPPY VOICE to get Gemma hyped up about the unboxing. Was I successful? Well, you can see for yourself…

But that’s not all because during the month of SCOOBTOBER, we get the choice of doing either a 5k or 10k. Now Gemma isn’t ready to do either of those in one shot but we got out there yesterday for our first portion of the run and she was feeling the colder temps! We’re going to continue doing our run over the next week to earn this month’s swag and help out Best Friends Animal Society.

Human swag for October

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on

I am SO excited to put that purple bandanna on her! Purple is her color, after all.

There’s not much time if you want to join in this virtual fun race! Registration for October closes TOMORROW (zoinks!) so be sure to scurry over and register with code BIBRAVE to save 10%. A few people from my local running group are doing the virtual series as well and I’m LOVING seeing pictures of their dogs in their swag. If you are participating too, drop a comment so I can swing by and check out your pups.

 

Race Recap: Chicago Marathon

So. Last Sunday I ran a marathon. This shouldn’t really come as a surprise as I feel it’s all I’ve been able to talk about for the past few months. When I signed up to run the Chicago Marathon with a charity team, I knew I had to do something different than I did when I ran the Space Coast Marathon in 2016. Basically I knew I had to train. If you’ve followed my journey you know I started training earnestly this summer. I live in South Florida, so it basically sucked. I learned so much about myself, what I could do, what I needed to do to take care of myself, how hard marathon training is.

BUT – it definitely paid off.

 

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Post race pic, but I thought I’d start with something happy.

 

Last Thursday I took a half day off work and my mom, sister, and I got ready to fly to Chicago. It was typical hot weather here on the Gulf Coast, with a few showers. Our flight was scheduled to leave at 5:00 and we ended up being delayed until 6:50. It was about 8:30 Chicago time when we landed and we ended up taking a shady cab to the city. I’m not going to go a lot into the city and trip because I feel like there’s so much of the race to talk about, but we had a great time. It’s been sweltering down here recently and the change of weather was nice. Even if it was rainy and cloudy, it was better than suffocating in the heat. A true testament to my taper diet was the fact that I had to try on all my jeans before I packed to make sure they fit. Don’t worry, I also packed leggings…just in case.

We did the sightseeing thing Friday and Saturday, making sure to see the good stuff. We walked the streets, rode an architectural tour boat, and ate some good food. On Friday I met Michelle at the expo so we could pick up our packets. We also picked up some t-shirts, headbands, nuun – the essentials, ha! A lot of you also know that I signed up with the American Heart Association and I finally got to meet the team leaders at the expo. It was nice to talk to them about my story and to finally put a face to their names. I reached my fundraiser goal a week before the race, so that was a huge weight off my shoulders!

Saturday night Michelle and I planned to meet at the hotel restaurant for some last minute carbs, only to find it was closed for a private event. We took the opportunity to go to a pizza place around the corner to grab a slice (okay a whole pizza) and drinks. Beer and pizza seems to be our pre-race ritual, so this was spot on. (We did not get deep dish as it would have taken an hour to cook and I was starving.)

After dinner I went back to my room to prep and make sure everything was ready to go. And to set up my Flat Ash pic, of course. I went to be early, knowing I wouldn’t sleep well. Every time I woke up it felt like I’d been asleep for hours, until my alarm finally went off at 5AM. We’d planned to meet at 6 for breakfast and a walk to Grant Park. Our hotel was full of runners doing the same thing so we hung out a little bit in the warm breakfast area before getting ready to brave the cold.

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I know I said the cold was a relief, but not really when you’re running in a skirt and tank top. Michelle’s brother walked with us to the start line and we parted ways as we got ready to enter our corral. The crowd was already huge and it was only 7AM. Our start time was 8:35! We filed into gear check with everyone, sloshed through the mud, stood in line for the porta-potty, and finally shuffled into our corral. The energy just waiting to start was intense. Everyone was in sweaters and ponchos, taking pictures, and having a good time – in the rain, by the way. I met two Skirt Sport Sisters and chatted for a few minutes before we got shuffled up to the start line.

Our wave finally let out at almost 9AM. It had stopped raining by this time so I’d shed my poncho but kept my sweater for a while. We started out slow and steady, keeping a good pace with everyone around us. I chucked my sweater around Mile 1 because I was starting to warm up. About that time I – literally – ran into my Internet Friend Maura. We’ve known each other on Twitter for years and had been keeping up with each other’s training these past few months. I joked that we would “run” into each other and we did! (She also crushed Chicago, by the way.)

I’m not sure when it started raining again, but I seriously regretted throwing my sweater and poncho when it did. It got cold quick and didn’t let up for a while. Besides the rain, the course at the beginning was great! When you read that there are 1.2 million spectators you can’t really visualize that. But when you finally see all the people on the sidelines it gets a little overwhelming! The first few miles seemed to go pretty fast, even if my running wasn’t that fast. We made sure to stop for water and Gatorade and kept up with our fuel. Seeing so many different parts of the city was so much fun and the people at each turn were different in so many ways.

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At Mile 8 I met another Internet Friend with her amazing sign. We hugged for like two seconds then I ran away.

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By this time it had stopped raining, but I was definitely starting to slow down a little. We’d been running full (kind of ) speed and my body just wasn’t used to it. At Mile 13 my mom and sister were on the sidelines with hugs and a super fun sign for me. (Captain America is my favorite superhero so my mom had a nice Chicago resident make a sign for me.)

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Technically this is an after pic, but whatever.

A little after 15 I started to slow down a lot. I told Michelle to go on without me. I was sad we were getting separated but I just couldn’t keep up with her pace. My hips were killing me and there wasn’t enough BioFreeze in the land to make it stop.

Going on by myself was tough, but I managed. I set my phone to do intervals so I could take some walk breaks. I knew I had to keep a 15:00 pace so every checkpoint I peeked at my app to make sure I was scheduled to finish on time. We had chosen not to track through any running app (I usually use Nike Running) because we were told the GPS would mess up and we didn’t want to kill our phones, knowing we’d need to find everyone at the end. I let my sister and Mer know that I was on my own (and Twitter). Everyone’s encouragement was amazing and I knew that I had to get through it, if not for me it was to not disappoint others. I hate doing that. As we continued to move through the neighborhoods some of the crowds got smaller, but they were still enthusiastic. By this point pedestrians were trying to cross the street in the middle of runners, which I didn’t really care for. I know that life must go on, but some of them were a little reckless. My legs weren’t working that well and I didn’t want an injury when I was so close!

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I remember texting Mer when I was close to the end and visiting one last BioFreeze station. It was basically something like “I just BioFreezed my butt” to lather up my hip. I’m usually pretty modest, but I was dying. At some point it started to sprinkle again and I’d kind of lot track of where I was, mileage wise. There were bananas on the course and I ate a couple in the last few stretches. My friend Lily was tracking me and tweeting my progress, and Mer was texting me encouragement. Without them I probably would’ve ended up walking and not caring about my time. People around me were struggling, but there were still so many people behind us. I always makes me feel better knowing that I’m not the only one suffering!

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When I hit the Mile 26 mark I almost cried. Mostly because there was a big hill at the end and I wanted to die. But also because it was over. As I rounded the hill to come into the finish a girl next to me was crying. I told her “You got this!” and she said “I know, I’m just so happy!”

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That’s a marathon, y’all. It hurts and it sucks. It takes six months of your life and then suddenly none of it matters because you’re there and you’re trying not to cry or throwup or quit. It’s hard. I admire people who do more than one every couple of years. Whether you’re Sir Mo running your sub 5 or you’re me and my crew struggling to keep your 15 minute mile. You’re awesome.

So, back to the race. Coming across the finish line I felt a lot of emotions. I felt strong, tired, hungry, and delirious. Michelle was waiting for me right after medals, so we took pics and got our free beer. We sloshed our way through the mud to get our gear and WALKED DOWN THE STAIRS to get out of Grant Park. My mom and sister were waiting with the crowd outside and we grabbed and Uber with Michelle and her brother. It was fun piling into someone else’s car all gross and smelly for once.

Everything after that is kind of a blur. I took a nice Epsom salt bath while my mom went across the street to grab me food. It was still early in the day, but I stayed in my pajamas and ate a cheeseburger and fries in bed. I answered all my texts and tweets, assuring people that I was still alive in some way. After it all I managed to pack my suitcase to prepare for leaving the next day. I even walked to the Nike store the next day on my own, albeit slowly. My flight was excruciating to say the least. I got stuck with a middle seat and we were pretty much confined to our seats due to turbulence the whole flight. There were some inhuman noises from me once I was able to stand up.

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Once we got home Monday afternoon I didn’t move from the couch. I elevated and binged Brooklyn 99 while my sister brought me things so I would stop moaning and groaning every time I got up.

Everyone at work this week has been amazing. They are all so congratulatory and don’t care how long it took you or if you walked any of the race. Sometimes the kids ask “Did you win?” and you just have to laugh. This past Wednesday my class talked about setting goals and it was really perfect timing! They’d known all year that this was my goal and it was something I got to share with them. As far as my race goals are concerned, I was really hoping for a sub 6. I ended up with a final time of 6:26 and some change. While I didn’t reach my goal, it was still a 33 minute PR! I’m pretty proud of that.

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BioFreeze cheers from my people.

If anyone is thinking about running a marathon, I’d definitely look into Chicago. The course was amazing, the people were great, and the city is beautiful. Even if the runners totally destroyed it.

Thanks to all of you for following this journey and all of your kind words!

Don’t ask me if I’m ready for another one.

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Take Joy Where You Find It

This year, in many ways for may people, has been the worst. As Kyle pointed out on Monday, most of us are in need of a little pick-me-up. Some happiness. Some good cheer. I’ll continue Kyle’s theme, by sharing what happy plans are occupying my thoughts when I’m not yelling at the news, my elected officials, my general acquaintance to vote, or my contractors to finish my house. In other words, I’m almost never not yelling, but still.

Also, PLEASE VOTE.

Aaaaanywayyy, right now, my thoughts are consumed with planning for the Holidays. I know, I’m not usually one of those people, but here we are. Take joy where you find it. And reminder, Christmas is a mere 77 days away, people. I have kinda been prepping for this Christmas since last Christmas when I went a little nuts at Michael’s post holiday sale. Plus, my family has been not so casually mentioning how they can’t wait spend Thanksgiving and Christmas in the mountains at the new house. I say FINE WITH US!

Luckily for them there are TONS of Christmasy activities around the mountains where I live, and my husband and I are going to do alllll the things. When Meri came to visit in August I told her ALL about my plans, of which there are many. It’s a month-long itinerary where folks can pick and chose what they want to do with us, if anything. No pressure, of course. But who could resist stuff like:

  • Holiday Parade the day after Thanksgiving to start things off right
  • Tree cutting and sleigh ride high in the Rockies – I dare you to come up with anything more Christmasy than that
  • Holiday Hike to the Boulder Star – I’ll bring along adult hot cocoa for the top
  • Ice Skating and Pond Hockey – We’ll hike a mile to the pond near the house and pack spiced rum wassail and pasole. (Mine is a hiking/hockey playing family)
  • Cookie Decorating contest with rotating trophy

 

  • Last year’s Boulder Star hike with my sister.

I have more, but I thought I’d start slow. I’m most looking forward to the sleigh ride, tbh.

 

 

Things to Do When Everything Feels Terrible

If you’re like me and have been living in the sadness –> outrage –> dumbfounded –> rage –> sadness cycle for the last couple weeks, this past weekend has probably felt like the worst cherry on top of the shittiest sundae in hell.

Everything is just awful.

I’ll be honest – I thought I’d felt the worst of it after election night in 2016… boy howdy was I wrong. I suppose that, as bad as 2016 felt, there was still a sliver of hope that perhaps our elected officials would protect us from the inevitable insanity of the incoming administration. Now, it’s evident, that they will not – and we will have to live with those consequences for decades. I am incredibly disappointed in the shortsightedness of the leadership in Congress, and my heart is broken for every survivor who has put his or her story into the world and hasn’t been believed, has been laughed at, and has been told their trauma doesn’t matter.

Getting out of this rage cycle has been difficult – and isn’t being made better by the fact that everything else this weekend seems to be imploding too (I’m referring to the Packers, because good grief this game is painful to watch). Football is usually a good way for me to distract myself… but apparently not today. THANKS, GREEN BAY.

So, instead of football, I’m relying on a few other tried-and-true things to help me feel a little less despairing about what is happening in the world.

Baking

This is an easy one – I’m tapping in to my sourdough recipes and making some loaves to share. This particular recipe is actually one from my mom, so it’s special in that way, too. Anything that reminds me of my mama is a good way to make me feel better. Since I’m still alone for another month and half, I can’t eat two loaves of bread by myself in a timely enough fashion, so I’m sharing the fruits of my frustrations with my coworkers. Few things are better than fresh, home-baked bread. That’s a fact.

Westworld

Clay and I watched season one of Westworld when it came out last year (or the year before? I can’t remember.) but when season two started, life was just a bit too hectic to find time to sit down and watch it. I’ve found that’s generally the case with most shows on tv – I’m either too busy, or I’m prioritizing sleep, but I don’t have (or make) time to watch tv when it’s on. So. Clay and I decided to “watch” Westworld together while he’s gone – though he finished season two this weekend, so I’m currently working on catching up. It’s not exactly and uplifting show, but it is REALLY good, so it works for the distraction-from-reality thing.

The Gym

This should come as no surprise to anyone, but the gym is the place I go to take a break. Nearly every day, I know I can go in there and just focus on the work I need to get done. Each workout is a task – and I can just put my head down and grind until I get every task completed. This past week, the gym and the people I work out with have been necessary in finding something positive in every day. Lifting heavy things and getting my heart rate up are also just really good outlets for the aforementioned rage – it’s pretty good fuel when you need it.

Registering to VoteI’m registered, but I’m doing my damnedest to make sure everyone around me is, too. Helping people make a plan to get to the polls or securing their absentee ballots if they will be out of town. Election Day is less than a month away. The only hope I have to hang on to now is that come November, we will see some big changes in Congress. Something has to give – where we are right now is untenable. It won’t happen without people actually showing up to the polls. If we want change, we have to make it ourselves.

Anyways. This post has little to do with running – and I’m sure plenty of readers aren’t interested in hearing (reading) my politics, but avoiding what’s happening right now is a pretty privileged position. I’m not going to give up, even though right now it feels like we are in the darkest timeline.

We may very well be, but to quote Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found in the darkest of times, if one only remembers to turn on the light.”

I’m choosing to find and be a light.

Scooby Doo Good 5k September Recap

Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Scooby-Doo Virtual Race Series 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!

The month of September was packed with adventures and while I accomplished a lot (Bird-in-Hand half, start of Healthy Kids Running Series, getting my children off to school, seeing my parents off to Florida) one of the things that helps to keep me motivated/grounded is getting outside with my best girl, Gemma.

Nearly five years have gone by since we adopted Gemma and one of the main things we looked for when were searching for our new family member was that we wanted an active pup. We definitely got that with her; anytime you even utter the word “walk” or she hears the jingle of her leash, she come flying.

We had mucho amounts of rain in New Jersey the month of September but then the skies finally cleared and we had some nice fall weather. The Scooby Doo Good 5k was the perfect way to welcome fall! With a portion of each registration going to Best Friends Animal Society we were ready to get out there and get moving.

Rather than do the whole 5k at once, we chose to split up the miles over 3 days. And when I say “we” I mean that she did. She’s very good at being the boss.

Kisses after a Scooby Run!

Naturally, we had the best time out there together. We also do! I was rocking my BibRave shirt. I attempted to put my BibRave BUFF®️ on her but she was having none of that. I think she’s holding out for the Scooby bandanna that’s coming her way soon!

While we are done with our September Doo Good 5k, we have more on our agenda with the Scoobtober 5k/10k!

With the start of the spookiest month of the year, Gemma and I are ready to rack up the miles! The swag is looking awesome for this month and we can’t wait for it to arrive. The purple is going to look amazing on her black fur!

Dog swag for October if you choose the add on

Human swag for October

Want to join us in October? Registration is open now through the 20th! I’ll be checking back in over the next few weeks to let you know how it goes for us and maybe even a short video from our run. Oh, and if you register you can use the code “BIBRAVE” to get 10% off registration!

Lots of awesome runners heading to Chicago for the marathon this weekend, including our very own ASHLEY! So excited for you all!

What is your favorite month? Have you ever done a virtual run? Are you running Chicago? Drop your name in a comment and I’ll send you a message!

Girls on the Run is So Much Fun!

At the end of last year I was out on a run (and probably complaining about it on Instagram) when I got a message from a parent from my school. She mentioned that students in her class at the local university were coaching Girls on the Run as part of a class project and thought it would be something I’d like to do at our school.

I had heard about GOTR through social media and a few other things, but hadn’t really thought much about coaching or getting involved. I coached Cross Country at my school last year and that was my first experience with coaching anything, so I was interested to see what GOTR was all about.

We got in touch with the director, met with my principal, and applied for our school to become a site for GOTR over the summer. I also learned that a new teacher we’d hired was previously a coach and would also be interested in coaching…and Girls on the Run was born at my school.

Coach Ashley and Coach Randee in our matching shirts!

There were some logistical things to work out (still are) but we wrapped up our first week on a positive note and I’m really looking forward to the rest of the season!

If you’re wondering what Girls on the Run even is, here’s a little information for you about their core values:

  • Recognize our power and responsibility to be intentional in our decision making
  • Embrace our differences and find strength in our connectedness
  • Express joy, optimism and gratitude through our words, thoughts and actions
  • Nurture our physical, emotional and spiritual health
  • Lead with an open heart and assume positive intent
  • Stand up for ourselves and others

Now, I’m a second grade teacher and the program is for 3-5 and 6-8 grade girls. I love these values and everything GOTR stands for. I believe it’s something my school tries to instill in all of our students and I’m so glad we got to bring this program in to help empower some of our girls.

I was nervous about whether or not we would have girls sign up, but we actually had so many that we had to bring in another coach and waitlist some girls for next season. A lot of these girls I’ve known since they were either in kindergarten or second grade, and some of them are my former students. I love the fact that some of my girls signed up because I was the coach, but I truly hope that they learn and grow from this program. What we’ve seen so far has been a lot of fun. The girls are eager to learn and participate in the lessons (even if I’m still learning them too!), they are already helping us problem solve (because it rains in Florida every afternoon), and they are learning how to encourage others. They had fun running inside last week when we had to move for rain and made the most of it!

It’s been one week. Two days! I am so looking forward to seeing these girls grow. I know there are some who will only enhance themselves and their own values, but there are also those that struggle. The older girls are getting to points where everyday is a challenge and there’s always something new to discourage them. Some of these girls are doing a lot of activities and are already learning to make choices about what they are good at and what they want to do. Some of them just need to know that someone is there for them to lend them a positive outlook on life.

The program allows girls to set their own running goals each week as they increase their time spent running and build up their stamina. So far our running has been minimal, but the girls are still having fun and setting goals for themselves.

Kyndall kept us (me) entertained while running and exceeded her run goal.

Presley set a goal and exceeded it. She’s a rockstar!

I’m already loving seeing these girls and their passion for running and fitness, and it’s only been one full week. Like I said, I can’t wait to see what these girls can and will do. I feel privileged to be their coach.