Thursday, December 31, 2015

Gonna #keepittight in 2016!

If you've been following me for awhile, you know that I love me some PRO Compression socks-

I had the honor of serving as a 2015 PRO Compression ambassador, and I am excited to announce that I have been selected as part of the 2016 PRO Compression ambassador team!
Last year was a blast with my fellow ambassadors - it was so much fun sharing the PC love on our social media outlets and our friends and meeting up with each other during race weekends.  I've managed to turn my coworkers at OTF onto PC socks, my husband now likes the low trainers, and I'm even known as "The girl with the tall socks" by one of the trainers at our sister OTF studio :)

I am so appreciative and humbled to be asked back for a second year - I know it's going to be epic!  Be on the lookout for lots of posts, pictures, and maybe even a giveaway...I can't wait to share the PRO love with y'all!

Until next time,

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Holiday Gift Guide For Runners

‘Tis the season, right??

I love buying gifts for my family and friends.  There’s something so satisfying about picking out a gift for someone and seeing them light up when they open it.  There are so many fantastic products out there for runners, and I wanted to share some that are on my Christmas list with you!

PRO Compression socks

This is my go-to brand of socks…whether I’m out and about running errands or I’m sweating it out at OTF or the open road, I always have a pair of PRO compression socks on.  Not only are they great for your feet both during workouts and for recovery, they also have super fun colors and designs!  I’m loving the December Sock of the Month – they will be perfect for those holiday runs and workouts!  Unfortunately these sold out in about 3 hours!  Make sure to subscribe to their emails so that you won’t miss out on the next “Sock of the Month”

Sparkly Soul headbands

These are so fun, versatile, and go with ANYTHING in your closet.  I love them because, for me, they actually stay on my head and don’t move during my workouts.  They have no piece of black elastic in the back either.  They’re always coming out with new designs and colors, and the ladies who run Sparkly Soul are AWESOME!  They truly love what they do and you can definitely tell.  What girl doesn’t need a little more sparkle in her life?  Oh…and they were named as “The Best Stocking Stuffers of the Season” in Women’s Running magazine!  Now how can you argue with that?


If you love standing out during races and wearing something unique, InknBurn is the answer!  They come out with such beautiful pieces of clothing, ranging from bottoms that look like denim to shirts that look like a holiday sweater – they have something for everyone.  Not sure what the recipient might like?  Get them a gift card and let them pick it out themselves!  They have camisoles, tees, tanks, long sleeves, shorts, capris, and pants/tights to choose from.  All made in the USA by a small company of less than 20 people.  The quality and art you’ll find here is hard to beat!


 I absolutely love my RoadID.  I actually wear mine everyday and not just when I run or work out.  If you’ve never heard of the company, they make identification both for your wrist as well as one you can wear on your shoe.  You put any vital information on them so that in case of an emergency where you’re unresponsive, the people caring for you are able to contact your loved ones.  I know I’m guilty of not always filling out the form on the back of my race bibs, so having this guy on my wrist is not a bad idea.  They also have a service you can pay extra for that has a number to call that gives any allergies or other vital medical information.

A Race Entry

 If you know of a race that someone wants to run, a race entry could be the PERFECT gift!  Back at Christmas 2013, the hubby gifted me the 2014 Wine and Dine half marathon weekend, complete with airfare, hotel, race entry, and park tickets!  Now, yours doesn’t have to be as elaborate as that, but it could be a great idea…maybe find a race that you can run with them!

Those are just a few things on my Christmas list…please feel free to leave any additional suggestions in the comments….I would love to see them and maybe even learn of a new product to try out!

Until next time,

Monday, December 14, 2015

Esprit de She Atlanta 5k recap

I have had the privilege of serving as an ambassador for the Esprit de She Atlanta race since it first came to Atlanta in 2013.  That year it was chilly and SUPER windy!  In 2014, I was unable to run as I was at Walt Disney World for the Wine and Dine half marathon.  But in 2015 I was ready to run again!

The awesome people at Lifetime and Gildan sure did know how to treat the ambassadors.  A couple of months before the race, I got a surprise pink package stuffed with shirts, socks, a hoodie, water bottle, and other goodies from Gildan!

Race day came and I wasn’t feeling super confident.  The weather was a little dreary but luckily, it ended up being a great night!  I recruited one of my OTF friends, Kimberly, to run the race “with” me (she’s faster than I, so we started together and she waited for me at the finish).

We arrived with time to spare before the race, so we checked out all the pre-race areas – they sure know how to make a girl feel special!  There was a “marketplace” full of vendors…Gildan, Girls on the Run, Aspire Beverage, Yoplait, Sunset Grown, and a beauty bar where you could get a mini massage, a manicure, and/or your hair done for the race!

They also provided a super easy and convenient bag drop off inside the Southwest Porch at the Park Tavern, which was great as it was nice to have something a little warm to put on after the race was over!

I got the opportunity to meet Abby, the National Brand manager and one of our ambassador contacts for the Esprit de She race series!  It was great talking to her and hearing her passion for the race as well as to hear inspirational stories of women who had participated in their various events throughout the year across the country.

Before we knew it, it was time for the race to begin!  Esprit de She brought in a very entertaining Zumba instructor to lead us in a warm-up.  I most certainly do NOT have the moves he does, but I had fun attempting them :)

After warm up was done, we lined up in the corral.  There were a lot of women who were running their first 5k!  It’s such a great first step and a huge accomplishment.  I remember running my first one and am thankful for taking that step in life.

Soon, we were off!  The course was fairly well lit…there were a few dark spots but I just slowed down when I felt like I needed to…my biggest fear was slipping on wet leaves as it had rained the entire day before.  I stuck with my intervals and felt great during the whole race.  The course winds through Piedmont Park with very little incline.  It’s mostly on a paved road/trail but there is a small part of it on a gravel/dirt trail.
I kept going back and forth with a woman in front of me and made it my goal to finish before her.  As I approached the finish line I kicked it up a notch and managed to pull ahead!

After crossing the finish line I went to turn off my GPS and noticed my time…could it be?  Did I just PR?  WOW!

Considering the conditions I was crazy proud of myself!  It was the 2nd time I’d PRed the 5k in 3 weeks!  This called for a celebration, so Kimberly and I headed into the Southwest Porch to grab some food, take some pictures and redeem our free drink from the bubbly bar.

We also walked around a little more and checked out some of the awesome vendors they had.  Those tomatoes were AMAZING!  They also had a pizza but we missed out on trying a slice of that.  Oh well!  I highly recommend checking out Aspire Beverages…it’s a sports drink with much less sugar than Gatorade or Powerade…I loved it and will be getting some of my own soon!


We had a great time at this year’s Esprit de She Atlanta 5k/10k race!  It’s a great event to get a bunch of your best running friends together, run a race, and party it up afterward!

Next year’s race will be on Thursday, November 3rd, at Piedmont Park again.  Mark it on your calendars and sign up today!  Use my referral code “EDS015” too for $5 off any registration in the United States!

Thanks for another great race, Esprit de She…see ya again next year!

Until next time,

Friday, December 4, 2015

Atlanta Halloween Half Marathon & 5k

Just a week after the Fast Pace Race I was set to run the 5k portion of the Atlanta Halloween half marathon and 5k race.  This race was also about 1.5 miles from my house (it starts and ends at the Cumming Fairgrounds) so getting there didn’t take long at all.

Ramona and I spectated the race during its first year in 2013, and I was familiar with the half marathon course as I used to drive most of it to and from work.  I was unable to run it in 2014 since it was the same day as the Atlanta 10 miler, so this year I decided to give the 5k a whirl.

Halloween race 3 Decided that since it was Halloween weekend that I would rep Orangetheory Fitness Cumming (after all…their signature color is…well…orange)

I headed down to the race and hung out with my OTF friends who were working our table.  Coach Fox led the pre-race warm up and got everyone loose and ready to run.  I was able to meet up with my friend, Kristen, and her mom, Jackie, and catch up with them for a bit.  We watched the half marathon runners start their race and hung out for a bit before lining up for the 5k.

About 30 minutes later it was our turn to start.  This was another course that I knew fairly well since we drive it frequently.  I had also done some training runs on it so I knew what to expect…a nice uphill start!  I felt strong and stuck with my intervals.  One thing that keeps me engaged while I run is to pick a person in front of me and make it my goal to pass them.  Once I’ve achieved it, it’s time to pick another.  I spent the race doing just that.  The turnaround point for the 5k was actually at the front of my neighborhood.  Oh how tempting it was to run home, but I kept going.

Halloween Race 12Halloween Race 11 
                              (photo credit to Becky)

This race was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be for me…I was worried that the hill would wear me down fast and I would be slow for the rest of the race, but I felt great and was even 6 seconds away from a PR!  It was fun to come up on the finish line and see Coach Fox cheering me on – I think he might have told me I was at an “All Out”?

Halloween race 2                                                   (photo credit: True Speed Photo)

It was a fantastic race for me!  They gave out medals for the 5k as well as the half marathon -

Halloween race 9 Halloween race 10

I joined Coach Fox and we cheered as more runners came to the finish line….the race photographer even got a picture of us :)

Halloween raceWe were super excited to see one of our OTF Cumming members, Debbie, finish her first 5k!  She placed 3rd in her age group and she credits OTF for helping her prepare for the race.  We were crazy proud of her!

Halloween race 6
I also got to see Kristen and Jackie finish the race :)

Halloween race 7 Halloween race 8

I thought the race was well organized, it started on time, and the shirts were super cute!  i didn’t stay for too long as I had to get to Orangetheory Fitness for work, but I cheered on the half marathoners as I drove home from the race….that course is not easy but they were doing a great job!

If you’re looking for a fun Halloween race next year, check this one out!

Until next time,

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Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Fast Pace Race 5k

My friend, Ramona, had been persistently telling me I should run this race, insisting that I would get a PR.  I hadn’t PRed at the 5k distance since 2012 (the first year I started running!) so it was definitely time to see what I could do.  I was a little worried since I hadn’t really done any training runs with the exception of the Paws in the Park 5k the weekend before.  As it turned out, my husband’s company was one of the race sponsors so it all worked out!

Fast Pace Race1 Lucky for me, the race ended about 1.5 miles from our house, so I didn’t have to get up super early.  They shuttled runners to the start line.  The course starts at the top of a “hill” and you slowly make your way down (hence the name of the race).  For the 5k, 2.29 miles of the race was downhill, and 0.28 miles were flat.  That only leaves about half a mile of hills…not too shabby for a race in Georgia!

The Fast Pace Race benefits prostate cancer awareness, education, and treatment options.

I met up with Ramona and another friend, Paula, at the starting line.  We all run different paces but it’s nice to start the race together…gives you a chance to chat and get rid of any pre-race jitters as well as to pass the time.

Fast Pace Race2 Fast Pace Race3

They played the National Anthem and the race started!  I went out WAY too fast in the first mile, so my second mile was definitely slower.  I picked it up during mile 3 and flew into the finish line with a 14 second PR!  (Thanks to my husband and Ramona for the pictures)

Fast Pace Race7 Fast Pace Race10

I was super excited…14 seconds isn’t a lot, but it’s a PR, especially considering I’d done little to no running outside.  I have to credit Orangetheory Fitness Cumming with that…my endurance is so much better and I feel stronger when I run!

Fast Pace Race4 Fast Pace Race5

We hung around for the awards and Ramona as well as some of her other friends placed in their age group.  Super proud of her!  We were also sporting some InknBurn, so we had to document it.

Fast Pace Race9
After the awards, we headed to Cracker Barrel for food and laughs.  it was a great morning and a great race for a great cause.  I’ll definitely put this race down on my calendar for next year!

Until next time,

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