Winter Solstice Virtual 5K

Happy first day of Winter!

This morning I ran the Winter Solstice Virtual 5K, hosted by Kristen who blogs at Run Away With Me.

This was my very first virtual race and it was so much fun!  I found it to be a no pressure, laid back kind of run since I didn’t have to wake up at the asscrack of dawn to be at the start line (not that I dislike that ;).  Nope, Tyler and I woke up around 7am, took the dogs for a long walk then donned my Hokas and headed out to the neighborhood to run 3.1 glorious miles.

best shoes ever #hokas

best shoes ever #hokas

This run was more than just a fun 5K to me, this was a test to see where I was fitness/running-wise after taking 7 weeks off for an injury.  This was my first real run (not just run/walking) since August.  So that said, I went in with a very conservative goal pace of sub-35 minutes, unsure if I would have to take a walk break.  Secretly, I wanted to see sub-30 minutes (spoiler alert–sub-30 happened!).

at the start

at the start

We ran around the neighborhoods of Kiln Creek, which is a perfect 3.26 mile loop on asphalt.


We started off at a 9:30s pace and held it until hitting mile three and feeling good, so I decided to speed up my pace just a bit.  We dipped into a neighborhood to finish to avoid running on the concrete sidewalk (ouch!).  As usual, when my Garmin hit 3 miles and I only had 0.1 to go, my finishing kick exploded and it was an all out sprint to the finish.


I finished in 29 minutes, 11 seconds and I was so excited to have gone sub-30, with negative splits!

My splits:

Mile 1  9:38

Mile 2  9:35

Mile 3  9:12

Final 0.1   7:28!!

I was so happy I jumped for joy and likely looked like a crazy person to the people who lived in the surrounding homes.


So now that I am able to run a 5K with ZERO shin pain, now I know I am ready to start training for my 2015 races! Thank you Kristen for hosting, looking forward to doing it again next year!

Have you ever participated in a virtual race?

Holiday Fit List: Stocking Stuffers for Runners

Today’s post is sponsored by #sweatpink and FlipBelt.  I received a free FlipBelt in exchange for a review.

I love opening my stocking on Christmas morning and finding all the little goodies inside.  While I’m no longer getting Little Mermaid stickers and giant lollipops, my mom (yep, I still get a stocking from my mom) does a fun little stocking of hair ties and some nail polish.

Here are my five picks for stocking stuffers for the runner in your life:

1.  A FlipBelt!  As I mentioned above, this post is sponsored by FlipBelt, a tubular waistband that holds all of your essentials when you are out on the road or trails.


All you do is place your items in one of the slits in the belt (there is even a hook to attach your keys) and then flip the belt to secure your items.


I found it very comfortable to wear and run in (it doesn’t budge, even with a phone, keys, a little granola bar and lip balm inside) and the size chart on their site was true to size.  Bonus:  no more heavy pockets weighing you down!


Readers:  you can receive 10% off the FlipBelt with code SWEAT10 at

2.  Hair ties.  A gal (or some guys) can always use hair ties, because who wants hair flopping around in their face when they are going after that PR?  My pick?  I like the Goody Ouchless Hair Elastics.  They are the only hair ties I use and actually hold my hair in place.

3.  Lip Balm.  It’s almost winter and between the wind and cold temps outside or the dry air in the gym, you are bound to end up with dry, chapped lips.  I’m not too picky when it comes to lip balm, but I do prefer it to smell good (or no scent at all) and to have a little SPF in it.

4.  Nathan blinking lights to make you visible.  It’s winter, it’s dark and you need to be seen when you are out running.  You can clip it to your FlipBelt!

5. Fuel.  Nuun, Gu, Bloks….whatever you like to fuel with during workouts is always a good option…it’s like a runner’s version of that giant lollipop or candy cane we all received as kids :)

Today I’m also linking up with April, Erika and Patty for another edition of Tuesdays on the Run.  This week’s topic was writer’s choice :)


Have a great day!


Friday Five: Favorite Winter Activities

Happy Friday! I’m currently in northern Virginia visiting my mom for the weekend and I’m loving the running here! Today I’m talking about my favorite winter activities with Mar, Courtney and Cynthia.


  1. Running in the evening amongst all the Christmas lights. Yes, this is only for the month of December, but there’s something about seeing all the houses lit up that makes it an even better run.


  1. Playing in the snow. It doesn’t snow too much in southeastern Virginia, but when it does we bundle up and take the dogs out to a field and just run around like kids.
after a race earlier this year

after a race earlier this year

  1. Having cocoa or tea after coming in from the cold. Yes, this counts as an activity.


  1. Walking at the beach. Okay I like this all year round, but in the winter it’s not crowded and you can just enjoy the quiet.
Yorktown beach

Yorktown beach


  1. I love eating a warm cup of soup, especially tomato or some sort of chowder, when the temperatures drop.   It’s just so cozy.
chicken tortilla soup :)

chicken tortilla soup :)

What is your favorite winter activity? 

TotR: Race Bling!

It’s time for another Tuesday on the Run with Erika, Patty and April!   This week’s topic:  race bling!



I have certainly accumulated a number of medals from racing over the past 3 years, and I used to have them all on my little medal holder (from Etsy) on my wall–which I currently share with Tyler.


About a year ago, I was trying to declutter and only save my favorite medals but I didn’t just want to throw them away (though, some of the 5K and 10K medals found themselves there), so I found a place to donate them: Medals 4 Mettle.

Medals 4 Mettle (M4M) is an nonprofit organization started in 2005 by Dr. Steven Isenburg after he realized the impact he had on a patient he gave a race medal to, who was fighting his own battle of prostate cancer.  M4M collects and distributes race medals to those who are unable to run a marathon, but are certainly doing their own marathon of treatments for life-threatening illnesses and severe disabilities.

An excerpt from their site:

Medals4Mettle’s mission is to provide an opportunity for endurance athletes and runners to pay it forward by enabling the gifting and awarding of earned medals to others who demonstrate similar mettle, or courage, as they face life’s challenges.

Yes, our medals our precious memories of races we have run, but for some of us they eventually end up collecting dust on our wall, in a box or just taking up room somewhere else.  So if you have some half marathon, marathon or triathlon medals that are just taking up space, consider donating to M4M.  Find out more about donation here.

medals I donated earlier this year

medals I donated earlier this year

I was able to drop mine off at a local running store, but there is also an option to mail in your medals.

All that said, I did keep a few favorites:


Virginia Wine Country Half Marathon (2013)

One of my favorite medals-ever.

Mount Desert Island Half Marathon (2013)

2014 Medals (a year that came up short on medals–only 3 and I can’t even find one of them!):


Mud in Your Eyes Series finisher medal


Shamrock 8K finisher medal

Now for my favorite piece of bling:

My first running trophy!!


2nd place age group trophy for the Mud in Your Eyes Series

What is your favorite piece of bling?  Have you ever heard of Medals4Mettle?

Workouts {12/1-12/7}

Good morning!

Last week’s workouts (well, the ones that I did) were great.  I felt strong on the runs and have remained pain free after two weeks, so I think I’m in the clear in regard to the stress reaction.  I’m having the hardest time getting my strength workouts in, so that, along with running, will be my main focus for this week.

Monday 12/1

Both Tyler and I had the day off so we decided we wanted to do something outside because it was 70 degrees!!  Since we ran the day before, we decided to hit the battlefield on our bikes.


This was my first ride since the tri and boy was it tough!  We rode just under 12 miles in 54-ish minutes but it felt so nice to be out on the bike!


Tuesday 12/2

Run/walk intervals after work, alternating 2 minute walks with 8 minute runs x3.  Total of 30 minutes, 2.69 miles.

post run happy face :)

post run happy face :)

Wednesday, Thursday, Friday 12/3-12/5

Work was a nightmare, does that count as a workout?  I missed a running workout that was to be done on Thursday/Friday but three really busy/stressful/frustrating days at work did me in.  The bright side?  I didn’t have to use any PTO for my day of on Monday ;)

We also decorated our Christmas tree on Friday after I got home from work :)


Saturday 12/6

Nada.  We ran errands and walked the dogs through Colonial Williamsburg.

Sunday 12/7

The best run of the week!  Run/walk intervals, alternating running 10 minutes with walking 2 minutes, ending on a 10 minute run.  Total of 36 minutes, 3.47 miles (my longest run since the summer!!).


How did your workouts go last week?