Hot Chocolate 15K Countdown: RACE WEEK!

It’s here! The Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas is this Saturday!

Thank you Lifelong Endurance for coaching me to the Start line and beyond. It’s not just race day that counts – it’s the journey to the Start line. All the days you put in work even when you may not feel like it. The amazing group runs, fun runs with friends, tough track workouts, sweaty runs, runs where you freeze your butt off at 6:00 am just to get it done. It’s the journey that counts.

So let’s see how my journey went last week!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy + functional strength workout

Ran: 4.01 miles/38:18/9:33 min/mile

This one felt nice! The weather was just perfect. I felt a bit sluggish but enjoyed the beautiful outdoors. Can’t complain!

Tuesday

Plan: Speed – 7 miles – 2 miles easy, 6 x 800m with 2:00 rest in between, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.00 miles/59:09/8:27 min/mile {splits: 9:09, 9:21, 7:33, 7:08, 7:20, 9:12, 9:25}

It felt good! Seriously PERFECT weather! My 800 meter repeats were in the 7’s and I even looked down at my watch a few times to see a 6:xx pace! My toe/foot is feeling fine (YAY) in my Asics – not great shoes for speed (my workhorse shoes) – but I think the culprit of my hurt foot may have been transitioning to shoes too quickly that weren’t a great match for me. So, playing it safe and sticking with what works. I will be adding in the New Balance 1400’s for my speed-work shoe once I feel confident that my foot is 100%.

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.01 miles/46:22/9:15 min/mile

Another feel-good run! Perfect weather (again!) and foot still feels fine! This one felt nice and easy as it should. Happy runner here!

Thursday

Plan: 5 miles easy with 5x100m strides + Cross-training

Ran: 5.35 miles/51:20/9:35 min/mile + spin class

I did an early morning run and got my 5 miles in before 7:00 am! It felt good! It was cold but felt really nice to accomplish something before anyone else was even awake! 🙂

Friday

Plan: Tempo – 7 miles – 2 miles easy, 24:00 progression 8:00-7:45, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.01 miles/59:37/8:31 min/mile {splits: 9:12, 9:01, 7:46, 7:45, 7:32, 8:57, 9:21}

YAY!!! My foot (still!) doesn’t hurt at ALL!!! This one was NOT easy but I got it done! AND I discovered an actual literal physical Struggle Bus that lives in my neighborhood! So there’s that!

Saturday

Plan: 8 miles – 6 miles easy, 2 miles hard

Ran: 8.01 miles/1:12:40/9:04 min/mile {splits: 9:31, 9:30, 9:35, 9:39, 9:50, 9:31, 7:31, 7:29}

TOUGH! I had to stop a few times and just collect myself. I think a lot of it was mental – I decided to “sleep in” (until 7:00 am) and do this run on my own rather than run with my usual Saturday group. This was my first solo “long” run in… forever. I figured since it was a short-long one, I’d be fine. It was tough but my toe felt fine and I got it done!

Sunday

Rest!

Will you be running the Hot Chocolate 5K or 15K Dallas this Saturday?

What is your favorite running temperature? Cold? Hot?

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Review: AfterShokz Trekz Air

Disclaimer: I received AfterShokz Trekz Air Wireless Headphones 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!

What is an “AfterShokz Trekz Air?”

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AfterShokz have been creating the amazing OVER- the-ear headphones that allow you to hear your music beautifully WHILE allowing you to hear ambient sounds – cars, screaming neighbors, etc. – while running or doing your favorite outdoor activity. These wireless headphones are called the AfterShokz Trekz Titanium. Well, imagine this headphone, but LIGHTER. Light as AIR.

The AfterShokz Trekz Air have been born. They use the bone-conduction technology to prive amazing sound quality but keeping you safe in your surroundings, all in a light-as-air package. As AfterShokz puts it:

“The next generation of bone conduction technology is what’s inside our lightest and most organically designed open ear headphones to date. We cut the bulk and used titanium everywhere possible to ensure they not only fit more securely but sound better too. Trekz Air are inspired by the demands of elite and aspiring athletes motivated by their music and their world.”

I will vouch for the light-as-air feeling, but before I spout my opinion, let’s go over some specifics.

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Features:

  • Bone conduction technology delivers music through your cheekbones, ensuring ears remain completely open to hear ambient sounds
  • A 20% lighter build than its counterpart
  • A new organic design delivers increased comfort
  • Complete wraparound titanium design provides a flexible fit for unnoticeable all-day comfort and stability
  • OpenFit™ design ensures maximum situational awareness and comfort during long-term wear
  • PremiumPitch+™ guarantees a premium audio experience, including wide dynamic range and rich bass
  • Bluetooth® v4.2 connectivity and convenient multipoint pairing
  • LeakSlayer™ technology significantly reduces natural sound leakage
  • IP55 certified to repel sweat, dust and moisture, from workouts to wicked weather
  • Enjoy six hours of continuous music + calls on a single charge
  • EQ presets boost bass and reduce vibration on the go
  • Dual noise canceling microphones exclude surrounding noise, effectively enhancing speech
  • Audrey Says™ voice prompts guide users through power, pair, play and talk
  • Hassle-free 2-year warranty

Specs:

  • Speaker type: bone conduction transducers
  • Frequency response: 20Hz~20KHz
  • Sensitivity: 100 ± 3dB
  • Microphone: -40dB ± 3dB
  • Bluetooth version: v4.2
  • Compatible profiles: A2DP, AVRCP, HSP, HFP
  • Wireless range: 33 ft (10m)
  • Battery: rechargeable lithium ion
  • Continuous play: 6 hours
  • Standby time: 20 days
  • Charge in: 2 hours
  • Weight: 1.06 oz (30g)

What’s in the box:

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Just upon opening the box, I was really impressed. The headphones are nicely packaged. You can tell they are extremely lightweight just upon taking them out of the packaging. The material is light, yet durable and flexible. They don’t feel fragile, like they’ll snap when bent or dropped. In fact, for your convenience, I have dropped mine several times (totally on purpose for this review…), and they’ve survived.

The case it comes with is nice and compact, and you’ll also get a nice charger (any micro-USB that you already have will also work), and ear-plugs which can be used if you don’t want to hear your surroundings (think: mowing the lawn).

I turn the headphones on and hear the nice voice “Welcome to Trekz Air.” This voice will also let you know when the headphones have connected to your device, when you’re battery needs to be charged soon, and when you battery is really low. Yeah, these are the real deal.

I’ve been wearing them for my runs and the sound quality is just AMAZING. If you’re wondering if the sound quality is compromised because of the fact that you can still hear your surroundings, it’s NOT. I like my music loud, and I like to hear the bass. Music is a must-have for me on runs. These would also be great for podcasts, phone-calls, and books on tape – you’ll hear every word.

As for durability, you may be wondering some of the same questions I was:

Will they withstand sweat? Yes. Lots of it. I live in Texas and have poured sweat while wearing these babies and haven’t worried a bit. I just wipe them off with a dry cloth (usually just a T-shirt or whatever’s nearby) after running so they don’t get grungy.

Can you wear them in the rain? They are water resistant, not water proof. So, you can use your best judgement but I have worn them in the rain and nothing bad happened to them. I think that as long as they don’t get drenched, they are OK. Don’t wear them to swim laps.

How is the battery life? Amazing. I find myself charging these about once a week or less. On a full charge, they will run for 6 hours straight (music and phone calls!). Plus, the nice voice will tell you when they’re about ready for a charge by saying “battery low.”

Is the music quality still good/loud enough since they don’t go IN your ear? Yes. I don’t know how. But yes. I was skeptical of this one, thinking there’s no way it will sound as good as ear bus… but I was proved wrong. The sound quality will not disappoint.

How is the fit? Do they feel weird? The fit is great. You just place them over your ears, and you’re good to go. No bouncing or falling off. It might feel odd at first to have them NOT shoved deep into your ear hole like most headphones, but you quickly get used to (and fall in love) with it.

These headphones are sure to impress. Dramatic but true, these headphones are a must-have for me now that they’ve changed my entire running experience. Order yous at

What other questions do you have? I’m happy to answer!

Hot Chocolate 15K Countdown: 2 Weeks (Things Don’t Always Go As Planned)

Just two weeks until I run for chocolate! I’d say that’s running for a good cause. 🙂 In all reality, though, the official charity of the Hot Chocolate 15K, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, which benefits children with severe illnesses. What better reason to run? I can’t wait for a fun run with friends!

Thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through each of my races and continuing to help me grow as a runner. Let’s take a look at how last week went…

Monday 

Plan: 4 miles easy + functional strength

Ran: 4.00 miles/37:56/9:28 min/mile

I’d previously been dealing with a sore toe/foot, and today it didn’t hurt! (YAY!) I took it easy and really focused on a soft landing. I think cutting Saturday’s long run short and then having the entire day Sunday to rest really helped. I am hopeful that it’s nothing!

Tuesday 

Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy, 10 x 400m as 2 (5 x 400m) with 4 minutes between sets, 60 seconds between reps, 2 miles easy

Ran: 3.03 miles/27:40/9:09 min/mile

Sad face. I had to cut it short. I could feel the toe/foot again (Turf Toe?) and was worried it was going to be a problem, so I stopped. It hurt to walk afterwards, which was really discouraging.

Wednesday 

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 0 miles

I opted to rest my foot today and not continue to “test it.”

Thursday 

Plan: 5 miles with 5 x 100m strides + cross-training

Ran: 0 miles + spin class

I rested again (hoping a few days rest now will save me in the long run) and did a spin class, which didn’t hurt at all because of the low impact.

Friday 

Plan: 6 miles – 2 miles easy, 3 @ moderate progression (8:50-8:35), 1 mile easy

Ran: 6.00 miles/52:38/8:46 min/mile

I talked to Coach and he recommended the last few days off, with this day being the determining factor in a doctor’s visit. If my foot hurt today, the plan was to get in to a foot doctor. So, I was very hopeful that today went well and… it did! IT FELT GREAT! My toe/foot didn’t hurt and it felt nice and easy as it should.

Saturday 

Plan: Long run – 10 miles – 3 miles easy, 3 miles @ 90 seconds @ 8:15, 90 seconds @ 9:15, 2 miles easy, 2 miles hard like a race!

Ran: 10.01 miles/1:30:11/9:01 min/mile

I was excited for this one! I mean, look how fun this one sounds! So, I’m really glad those few days of rest did me some good so I could get out there and run. And I DID IT! I was a little worried the foot would act up, but I got this run in with no problems! It wasn’t an easy one – especially those last two miles in the 7’s, but I felt accomplished.

Sunday 

Rest!

So! I’m hopeful that my foot doesn’t act up (EVER) again, but will be sure to update! Wish me luck so I can run for chocolate in 2 weeks!

If you register for The Hot Chocolate 5 or 15K Dallas, use code BRHCDAL18 for a free hat and be sure to check my Race Discounts page for more race promo codes!

What are your (running or non-running) goals this week?

I’m running the Statesman Capitol 10K!

Disclaimer: I received a free entry to the Statesman Capitol 10K 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!

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The Statesman Capitol 10K, known as the “Cap 10K,” is an iconic race in Texas’ Capitol – Austin, Texas. If you’ve ever been to Austin, you know the city in itself is fun and unique. So, what’s so special about this race?

  • The Cap 10K is the largest 10K in Texas (6th largest in the nation!)
  • The race takes place in Downtown Austin, starting on Congress Bridge and heading straight for the Texas State Capitol Building
  • The 10K crosses over Ladybird Lake, has live bands, and an epic post-race party

So, will you be running the Statesman Capitol 10K? I’m excited to see what the “best 10K in Texas” is all about!

Use code BibRaveRunsCap10K for $5 off your race entry! For more race promo codes and discounts view my Race Discounts page!

Hot Chocolate 15K Countdown: 3 Weeks

Only 3 weeks until my first race of 2018! This is going to be a “for fun” one (aren’t they all for fun?!) so I’m especially excited to meet up with friends and just have fun… and eat chocolate!

If you aren’t familiar with the Hot Chocolate 5K/15K series, they take place all across the US and are known for their awesome swag. Every runner gets a long sleeve quarter zip and the most DELICIOUS post-race goodies you could ask for. You get a big bowl of warm chocolate and dippers! Banana, pretzels, marshmallows… you know. The good stuff. You can still register for the Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas before the price increase on 1/21! Use code BRHCDAL18 for bonus swag!

Huge shout out to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me to the start line of all my races and helping me continue to grow as a runner.

I had a little setback this week but wanted to share how it went, so let’s dig in!

Monday

Plan: Cross-train (no run!) + functional strength

Ran: It’s good to switch it up sometimes. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE running, but I was excited to see that I had cross-training on the schedule today. I was eager to get up for a 5:30 am spin class (yes, I do question my sanity sometimes) and it felt great! I was, though, ready for a run tomorrow since this was my second no-run day in a row.

Tuesday

Plan: 6.2 miles – 2 miles easy, 20:00 progression (8:10-7:50), 2 miles easy

Ran: 6.5 miles/57:20/8:49 min/mile {splits: 9:30, 9:30, 7:53, 7:50, 8:40, 9:17}

This run felt pretty good! My right foot was sore afterwards, though. It felt OK during, but had me a little worried afterwards. It’s never fun wondering “what’s wrong” as a runner.

Wednesday

Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.03 miles/37:34/9:20 min/mile

This one felt just OK. I was tired. And stressed. I have an interview tomorrow and these types of things always stress me out. My foot actually felt OK, though, which was something to be relieved about!

Thursday

Plan: 3 miles easy + cross-train

Ran: 3.03 miles/27:32/9:06 min/mile + kickboxing!

I ran RIGHT before the cold front came in! It got extremely windy towards the end and I could’ve sworn I was running in the middle of a tornado. After my run it dropped about 20 degrees! So I had that nice feeling of “just in time!” The run itself felt AMAZING and easy – and no foot pain!!!

Friday

Plan: “Out and Back” – 6 miles – 2 miles easy, 4 miles @ 3:00 hard, 1:00 easy + functional strength

Ran: 6.00 miles/49:10/8:11 min/mile {splits: 9:06, 9:17, 7:43, 7:47, 7:39, 7:37}

This one felt really good! I was surprised at my speed during the “hard” paces considering my general lack of motivation today. I think I was mentally drained from work, my interview, and just life. It happens. So, this run was a nice confidence booster. I felt great afterwards, except for my FOOT! It felt OK throughout the run, but I could just start to feel it towards the end and it felt sore afterwards. Hopefully a good night’s sleep does it some good!

Saturday

Plan: Long run – 12 miles easy

Ran: 6.01 miles/55:47/9:17 min/mile

So, as you can see, this one didn’t go as planned. I woke up at my usual 5:30 am, drank my coffee, got all bundled up and met my group for our Saturday long run. A few miles in, I felt my foot yelling at me a bit. Around mile 4, I knew that a 12-miler was not happening. I needed to cut my route short. I was bummed out watching my buddies run off in the distance as I turned around and went the short route back to my car. I made it 6 miles. I knew that pushing it any further was doing more harm than good. So home to rest, I went.

Sunday

Rest! Since cutting my run short yesterday and with the entire day of rest today, I’m in hopes that my foot will feel better. I explained all my symptoms to my coach, and we suspect it’s Turf Toe. Has anyone ever dealt with this?

So, despite a (hopefully minor) setback, I still had a solid week’s training and am excited to run for Chocolate on February 3rd! Let me know if you will be there!

How do you determine if something is an “injury?” vs. normal soreness? 

Have you ever had a major injury that set you back? How did you cope? 

Training Update & 2018 Goals!

The first week of 2018 is in the books! This week I continued my training and working towards getting faster and becoming a stronger runner in general, as well as reflected on my personal goals. I don’t do “New Year’s resolutions.” I am supportive of anyone who does, though, because – let’s face it  – working on yourself and your goals takes commitment, time, and dedication – no matter what time of the calendar year it happens to be. So, I think any time is a great time to decide to put in work.

I’m happy to say that I have now accomplished being a “runner” for a whole year! 2017 was my first full year of running! It is neat to look back at how many miles I ran, PR’s, and how much I’ve improved. It certainly acts as motivation for the 2018 year.

A few goals for 2018:

  • 1:30’s Half Marathon
  • 1,800 total running miles
  • Improved nutrition
  • Strength train a minimum of 2 days/week

I’m thankful and excited that I have Lifelong Endurance on my side, helping me train for my races, stay healthy, and become a stronger runner. In fact, they put together this amazing read to help YOU set your 2018 goals. We all know that reaching your goals takes effort, but sometimes setting attainable, practical, yet challenging goals can be difficult. I really recommend checking it out: http://lifelongendurance.com/setting-goals-smart-way/

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So! Let’s see how the first week of the new year went!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy

Ran: 4.01 miles/37:27/9:21 minutes per mile

Today’s run felt just as intended – nice and easy! It was COLD! Definitely my coldest run yet at 15 degrees. But, like I tell all my Texas friends, “gross” weather is usually PERFECT running weather! It felt amazing!

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Tuesday

Plan: 6.2 miles/ 2 miles easy, 10 x 20 second hills, jog down recoveries, 2 miles easy

Ran: 6.22 miles/57:51/9:18 min/mile

It was another great one! The cold weather is doing wonders for my running efforts – not as enjoyable the rest of the day 🙂 I found a nice hill for quick intervals in my neighborhood and had fun with it.

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.00 miles/47:36/9:31 min/mile

This one felt nice, too. Really nice. EXCEPT. Some discomfort in my foot. It was a little sore a few days ago but today I was slightly worried about it. I will let Coach know and try to be easy on it. It feels good to stretch and massage it, which is a good sign (it’s not broken!)…

Thursday

Plan: 3 miles easy + Cross-train

Ran: 0 miles + spin class

“Listen to the whispers before they become screams.” I did an early morning spin class (didn’t hurt the foot at all) then decided to call off my easy 3-miler. My foot was sensitive to walk on and it just didn’t seem worth getting injured. I’d rather take one day off than one month.

Friday

Plan: 6 mile “Out and Back”/3 miles easy, 3 miles @ 8:30 or faster

Ran: 6.01 miles/51:30/8:34 min/ mile {splits: 9:19, 9:10, 9:02, 8:07, 8:01, 7:47}

My foot felt better than yesterday – not quite 100% – but well enough, so I went ahead and went for my run. It felt really nice. My foot was sensitive here and there but the run itself felt effortless and focusing on a faster cadence and softer landing helped the foot issue. I’ll continue stretching it and rolling is as suggested by Coach.

Saturday

Plan: 10 miles easy

Ran: 10.01 miles/1:34:18/9:25 min/mile

The weather was PERFECT this morning. A bit colder than expected, so I did find out that socks make for great makeshift mittens… but once I got going the weather couldn’t have been better! I felt good and it was enjoyable except the discomfort in the foot the last few miles. I am hopeful that an FULL rest day tomorrow will do wonders (I’m amazed at what ONE day can do!).

Sunday

Rest day!

I took a FULL rest day today as per usual on Sundays. I’ve noticed that in the running community, “rest” can many many different things. Some people consider a spin class rest. Or yoga. Or gym time. I consider it sitting my happy butt on the couch. 🙂 And what do you know. My foot didn’t bother me at all. We will test it out on a run and keep you updated! Stay tuned!

UPCOMING RACES FOR 2018:

  • Hot Chocolate 15K (February)
  • Rock n Roll NOLA (March)
  • Rock n Roll Dallas (March)
  • Statesman Capitol 10K (April)

What are your goals for 2018? 

How long have you been running? When did you first consider yourself a “runner?”

Training recap: last week of 2017!

My next run will be in 2018! It seems so crazy to say that. Time really flew this year. It was my first full year of running so I had more adventures, health, happiness, and made more amazing friends than I ever imagined possible. Thank you to everyone who has followed my journey and thank you for allowing me to follow yours as well. You are all so incredibly inspiring.

Huge thank you to Lifelong Endurance for coaching me through my 2017 races and helping me improve as a runner while keeping me injury-free!

Monday

Plan: 4 miles easy + functional strength at home

Ran: 4.01 miles/38:21/9:33 min/mile

Today was Christmas! I spent time with my family but got my run in first (of course!). It wasn’t the BEST run but I got it done. The weather was perfect, cool running weather but My shin muscles were a bit tired (happens sometimes) so I stopped and walked a few times.

Tuesday

Plan: 6.2 miles – 2 miles easy, 2:00 @ 8:00-8:30, 3:00 @ 9:30, 2 miles easy

Ran: 7.0 miles/1:02:56/8:59 min/mile // splits: 9:35, 9:20, 8:25, 8:24, 8:47, 9:06, 9:16

Today’s run felt MUCH better. No soreness at all, which I think may be due to adjusting to new shoes. This run just felt downright AMAZING. It was 40 degrees (F), cool, crisp, and drizzly. “Yucky” weather to everyone else, perfect weather for runners. My legs felt 100% today, which made me feel great!

Wednesday

Plan: 5 miles easy

Ran: 5.01 miles/47:46/9:32 min/mile

I ran with a great running friend of mine and the miles FLEW by. We had a great time chatting and before you knew it, we’d hit 5 miles. The run felt good and effortless. Running with friends is the best!

Thursday

Plan: 3 miles easy + Cross-training

Ran: 3.01 miles/28:55/9:37 min/mile + spin class

I got to run with my friend AGAIN! (Hooray for being off work for a week for holidays!) The run felt pretty good, not as “easy” as yesterday but still not a tough one. I just wasn’t quite as peppy, but the miles still flew by. The spin class felt really great – lots of energy and got a nice sweat on, which is nice especially in the winter when I don’t sweat much while running.

Friday

Plan: 5 mile “Out and Back” – 3 miles easy, 2 @ 8:30 or faster + functional strength at home

Ran: 5.00 miles/44:02/8:48 min/mile // splits: 9:23, 9:29, 9:23, 8:01, 7:44

I did the strength moves first before the run, which felt nice because it warmed be up (literally) before getting out there in the cold to get my miles in. The strength session is still pretty tough for me (this is week 2 of consistent strength for me) – especially tricep dips and push ups. The run felt really, really nice. I used my new New Balance 1400v5 for the last two miles and I felt like I was flying. I LOVE them. Definitely my new race-day shoes.

Saturday

Plan: 10 miles easy

Ran: 10.00 miles/1:37:58/9:48 min/mile

This run felt just OK. I was really tired afterwards and my right foot is aching. I was also really hungry and ate everything in sight today. I just went with the flow. Hoping my foot feels better after tomorrow’s rest day! Looking forward to the new year and crushing some major goals in 2018!

Sunday

Rest!

Happy New year and here’s to many exciting running (an non-running) journeys in 2018!

Upcoming races in 2018:

  • Hot Chocolate 15K Dallas (Feb 2018)
  • Rock n Roll NOLA (March 2018)
  • Statesman Capitol 10K (April 2018)

How was 2017? What are your 2018 goals? Resolutions?Upcoming races?