How Do You Choose a Race?

I’m going over 2018 plans and it got me wondering how everyone else chooses races? I’m especially curious how you decide on out of state races.

Do you do only local races? If you do some that involves travel out of state, how do you determine what race to register for?

Anyone else big into reading race reviews? They’re usually pretty accurate. For example, we knew going into the Nashville half the first time it was going to be very hilly and weather that time of year was risky. But, the atmosphere was supposed to be electrifying…and it was!

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Do you talk to other local runners? Look at possible weather issues (like training in cold temperatures but racing in potentially hot?), or just high risk of thunderstorms?

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The past 4 years my family and I have done one out of state race. Next year is no exception, however it will be one we’ve never ran before and it will be just my husband and myself this time around. I’m so excited for it already because the race course covers a stretch that I’ve been dreaming about running for YEARS! Talk about the anticipation! 🤗 We are making it a kid-free date weekend, so I’m looking forward to the time together just us! But more on that another time!

I like to do the bigger local races because the energy at the starting line is always unreal! And, you just can’t beat sleeping in your own bed the night before a race.

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For out of state races, I generally look at if it’s a place I’d like to vacation. Often I’m first planning the vacation before deciding to make it a race-cation 😉.

Do you have a bucket list of races? I have one but it needs to be updated since I have dropped long distance races.

Note: I’m working on my 2017 goal review / 2018 goal list post. Should be up soon!

My “Ask a Cardiologist Anything About Running and Heart Health” Appointment

After getting a referral due to my dad’s heart attack in February, I was able to talk to his amazing doctor about running and exercise in general as it relates to the heart.

I had an EKG and he said it was normal. He listened to my heart and said I have a flow murmur but it’s not anything to be worried about (I knew this…it was discovered when I was a kid). 


I’m SO happy I was able to take some of his time and hear straight from a cardiologist what he recommends. Basically, he just cemented my decision to cut those runs over an hour for my daily activity.

  • Running for 60 min. or less is perfectly healthy.
  • Running more than 60 minutes puts you at risk for atherosclerosis. But, he said he’d still put money on the distance runner over a couch potato for living longer.
  • Running for an hour and then doing something like weight lifting or yoga is fine because your heart rate wouldn’t reach those levels it does during a run.

His view on all this though is, “If you love running marathons…do it. We’re all going to die. You should have a good quality of life. If you’re running marathons to increase your lifespan, you’re not doing yourself any favors. And runners aren’t bullet proof. I’ve put stents in marathoners.” The fact that I can still get enjoyment from running shorter distances really made me happy I cut the long distance runs because my main reason for running is HEALTH! (Of course I love it too! But health, both heart and mental health, drives me).

He also said a mediterranean diet is the best heart healthy diet out there. I looked up some more info on it and found, “Fresh, nonstarchy produce is the main part of this diet, along with fish (low mercury, wild caught only), legumes, seeds/nuts and healthy oils. Lean meats and poultry are ok in moderation.” <– this is me! I’m eating mostly vegan, but more fish and less chicken and turkey these days. I don’t eat beef at all and once in a blue moon will have pork.

So I’m just going to keep doing my thing as far as diet and exercise go! I feel like I’ve got my new normal figured out now, and I feel good about it.

I asked him about the chest tightness I experienced AFTER the Gazelle Girl half marathon and he said he is more worried about that symptom if it comes DURING a normal run (one you’re not pushing your pace). If you’re pushing your pace and you get the I can’t breathe feeling, but it quickly goes away when you stop and doesn’t return when you start running the next day, that’s fine. I told him I had the same thing happen after I did a super fast treadmill workout (it was speed/recovery). He asked if I had my heart rate monitor on (no ☹️), because he said chances are you were in your anaerobic state and that’s just your body telling you that. So, no need to worry thus far for me.

Just continuing with 3 runs a week (30-60 minutes), 2-3 cross training days (HIIT, cycling, weights, yoga).

Sunflower Blogger Award

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I was recently nominated for the Sunshine Blogger Award by Chelsea of Just Me, Chelsea B. —Thanks, Chelsea! It’s a kind of a neat thing where our fellow bloggers nominate their favorite bloggers and do a Q&A, so you can get to know them more. I love the idea! I’ll fully admit that I haven’t been reading blogs a lot lately so I don’t feel right just listing random blogs ;). But, I will most definitely participate in the Q&A from miss Chelsea! 🙂 And, I’d love to hear YOUR favorite running or fitness blogs in the comments!

“The Sunshine Blogger Award is awarded to bloggers by other bloggers who believe in their gifts and talents. This award is given to those who excel in all that they do and go above and beyond to reach their dreams and goals. Your passion matters and we want to cultivate that passion within you!”

Here’s the Questions that Chelsea asked me:

1) When did you start blogging and why? After I had been using Instagram for a while tracking my training I decided I wanted to start a blog to expand my thoughts that I’d put on IG. So one of my first posts was my Country Music Marathon race re-cap.

2) What is your favorite hobby? Besides running? I love music (I was in choir junior high through college), so I enjoy going to concerts. I’m a big country music fan, but I enjoy a wide range of other genres too.

3) Are you a morning person or a night owl? I was 100% a morning person before I became a mother haha…now I feel like I’m neither! Probably still more morning than night owl, but it seems to be harder to get up early now than it did back then.

4) Sweet or salty? I’ll say sweet…but I don’t get to eat much of anything sweet these days as I am on-again-off-again battling Candida.

5) What’s your favorite quote/scripture that you live by? My grandpa gave all of his grandkids a copy of The Desiderata, a poem with thoughts of how to live the best life. We all love it! Some excerpts from it were actually read by my grandpa at my sister’s wedding.

6) What are you currently reading? Nada. The last book I read was The Haywire Heart. I used to read a lot of chick-lit / beach reads, but I’ve never really been into reading. I wish I was! I read stuff online about health a lot though. If I had it in book form, I’d read it haha ;).

7) What is your biggest passion in life and why is it important to you? Health and fitness, an obvious no-brainer! But to live a longer happier life is important. I want to be around to see my daughter grow up and have a family of her own.

8) Who inspires you the most? Honestly this one is a tough question! I admire and respect many people and they inspire me (both in running and personal life), but I think I’d say my grandpa as he has always been a great role model. He is very much an anti-quit kind of person, which I know has rubbed off on me. He was a very successful businessman who encouraged and supported me through college. He always has wise words to say when we are together and I love that about him!

9) What is a daily ritual that you absolutely can’t live without? Being active, even if that means just going for a walk. Getting in that daily movement is what makes me feel good and always makes me happy!

10) Describe your perfect day from start to finish. I have two scenarios! One is a wakeup without an alarm clock having to be set, getting a good workout in, and spending the rest of the day with my family on the beach! Maybe a bonfire at home that night too 🙂. Scenario two is simple….A day in Disney World with my family (that includes some running too haha!). We need another trip soon!

11) What are the top 3 things on your bucket list? Visit the Grand Canyon, helicopter ride over volcanoes in Hawaii, and attend the Country Music Awards.

Since I’m not listing 11 blogs, what are some of your favorite running / fitness blogs you follow that you think I should make the time to read?

Product Review: C3fit Arch Support Short Socks

Who doesn’t love a comfy pair of socks? Upon first look at the C3fit arch support short socks I was a little unsure of how well I’d like them. The little pad on the heel looked a little funny, but I kept an open mind. I knew what the ultimate goal of it was….arch support and heel comfort. It’s a similar style to the Pro Compression PC Runner socks, as far as the heel comfort goes. The heel pad design is different though.


The pad gets flipped up (as shown in the photo above) when wearing it. It’s almost like an appendage coming out from the heel. It’s fantastic! I love them! They’re super comfortable and you don’t even know it’s there when you’re running.

The socks retail for $14.00. Here are some product features:

  • Unique structure to support 3 arches of the foot.
  • Support arches that are shock absorber and drive force to push the feet forward.
  • Stronger yarn at the toe for durability.
  • Pile structure at heal and toe for cushion.
  • Mesh material on the instep for breathability.
  • Tab on the Achilles to prevent socks from slipping inside and protect ankles from shoes.
  • Rib at the opening for better fit.

I wear a 9.5 in running shoes and the size L socks were my size in these socks. They come in a variety of fun colors too.My only slight negative is that they are a little thin on top (this is the mesh material for breathability) and I had one toe nail that probably should have been trimmed before putting them on, and I did manage to slightly snag the fabric when putting them on. So, just beware of that. My own fault for missing that one nail haha!

Overall, very happy with these socks and they will be getting a lot of use! If you struggle with heel pain while running from shoes/socks rubbing, or need arch support I’d definitely suggest giving these a try!

Website:  http://www.c3fit.com

Thoughts on “Milestones Every Serious Runner Should Reach”

Recently, Active.com posted a slideshow article titled Milestones Every Serious Runner Should Reach. I nearly threw up in my mouth a little reading it.

I realized early on that by ‘Serious’, they may have meant ‘Competitive.’ But even then, this article seems so backwards from what I have always loved about the running community….we are accepting of EVERYONE. To make the assumption that you’re not a serious runner if you don’t run a marathon, run X number of miles, etc. is just ridiculous.
What is a serious runner? To me, a serious runner is someone who feels so connected with the sport that it has become part of their inner being. They can’t imagine life without running.

  • Your pace doesn’t matter.
  • The distance you run doesn’t matter. Most of the points this list went over made it sound like if you’ve never run a marathon, you’re not serious about running. 🙄
  • You don’t need to have black toe nails, but if you do you might want to get re-fitted for a new pair of shoes.😝
  • You can be competitive with yourself or be a serious runner and never do ANY of the things on the list. Don’t let anyone convince you otherwise.

To me if you run, you’re a runner. If you can’t imagine life without running, you’re serious 😜. Yes, some of the “milestones” listed most people would consider a big deal. However, it doesn’t make someone any more or less ‘serious’ of a runner.

Product Review: Believe Training Journal

I have been eyeing the Believe Training Journal by Lauren Fleshman & Roisin McGettigan-Dumas for a while, and had the opportunity to review it so I was excited to get a chance to use it and see why so many people enjoy it.


First impressions: it’s beautiful! And I was surprised by all the bonus content. I wasn’t expecting all the extras like detailed workouts, recovery strategies, a pace chart, a section on defining goals, etc.


I also enjoyed reading the pages from Lauren and Ro’s own training journal. It was very cool to see that they’re normal people just like you and me, even though they’re professional athletes. They still have workouts that they struggle with, and they still feel tired and unmotivated at times just like anyone. Here are some pages I filled out from the past two weeks. I have learned my lesson to use it like a journal and not a planner, because I switch things up sometimes and then have to use whiteout haha! 😜 So my next week should look a little nicer.

Week 1:
Week 2:
The pro athletes created the journal when they couldn’t find one that made them want to keep journaling. I have high hopes using this journal will help me achieve my goals and it will be a good thing to do at night to unwind and refocus. It will be interesting to look back at certain workouts that went particularly well, and see what I did around that time to get those results…Ideally I’d like to start noting how much sleep I got, and what I ate all week to see if there are any patterns to how I feel during my workouts.

I’d suggest this journal to anyone who is interested in looking back at their training for sentimental purposes, or to learn from your past and improve.