Tag Archives: rock n blog

It’s a Winter Runningland! Virtual Run Series with Rock ‘N’ Roll

It’s winter, it’s cold… It’s the most runderful time of the year. haha! It can be challenging to run or do anything active this time of year due to busy schedules, crappy weather and the short days. However, I always feel so refreshed after a good sweat, so I try to make things fun and prioritize runs. This is where doing a virtual run series comes in. cyngmtdukaacj7n-jpg-large

Rock ‘N’ Roll has announced a Winter Runningland virtual run series that takes place in November and December. The great part about virtual runs is they can be walked or ran ANYWHERE. You can run Continue reading It’s a Winter Runningland! Virtual Run Series with Rock ‘N’ Roll

How to Pack for a Race like a Rockstar! Starring Eagle Creek

I haven’t always loved running, but I have always LOVED traveling. Now that I can combine running and traveling for a ‘race-cation’, it’s been a ton of fun! I don’t know about you, but I tend to be a last minute packer. I put it off till the day before and then my suitcase can be a real mess. The Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport bags are a game changer for packing, especially when packing running/workout clothes. 

IMG_0732I hate that feeling you get when you are on your way to the airport and you know you forgot something. I can’t always pinpoint what I forgot, but you know an essential is missing. Then it drives you insane until you figure out what it is. That is the WORST. Vacation is supposed to be relaxing right? One of the reasons I love the Eagle Creek bags is because they make it easy to make sure you have everything. You put it all away into the nice little compartments and you know it is there. You won’t forget to put it in your suitcase! 

Another reason I love them is because it makes transporting sweaty clothes and dirty shoes much easier. One time when I came home from a race in Mexico, I had to wash EVERYTHING in my suitcase because my sweaty clothes left everything damp. That would not have happened If I had used Eagle Creek bags. 

There are so many ways you could use these bags! Watch the video below to see them in action. I show you what I pack when I am planning on running on vacation and you can see how these bags all fit into my carry-on suitcase! 

Pretty cool huh?! 
How would you use these bags? What packing tips do you have for a race or a trip? I would love to know! Please share in the comments below.

One more thing: if you would like improve your fitness or running, I can help you! Loose weight,  improve your mile time, or even work up to jogging your first mile! Email me and I’ll fill you in on all the options to work with me. I only have a few spots open for the month, so hop to it! thesweetblondesfitlife (at) gmail (dot) com

Disclaimer: I received a set of Eagle Creek Pack-It Sport bags as part of my association with the RockNBlog team. I was not required to review them, but I loved them so I wanted to share with you. All opinions are my own.

All Day 20K, All Day Fun: Carlsbad 5000 Recap Part 2

I had a fun weekend of running planned at the Carlsbad 5000 in Southern California. On Saturday, I ran the 1-mile race, and then I was back on Sunday to run the All Day 20K which is about 12.5 miles. 

What is an all day 20K? It is an event unique to the Carlsbad 5000. Basically, you run the 5K (Carlsbad 5000), 4 times. The 5K is split into age groups, Males 40 & Up, Females 40 & Up, 30-39, and 29 & Under. If you are participating in the All Day 20K, you run with every age group. 

I picked up my bib and shirt on Saturday, so Sunday I just had to get there, check my gear bag and run. Parking on Sunday was not as easy as Saturday. There were many more people participating in the 5K, so parking was scarce. Had to park much farther away & barely made it to the Rock N Blog meet up before the first 5K.IMG_3519

It was so great to meet some of my fellow Rock N Bloggers in real life! DianeSmitha, Debbie (who I had met briefly at Blogfest), & Kristin. 

It was off to the first start line! I was trying to run the first 5K slow. I wanted to run negative splits, meaning I wanted to run each 5K progressively faster. I figured that having a break every 3.11 miles would make me less tired. 

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at the first start line of the day!

Wrong. The break every 3.11 miles actually made me feel more fatigued as the day went on. It was nice though because you could get fluids, use the bathroom and grab a snack every 3 miles, so I was well hydrated and fueled! 

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course view – as you can see the sun was just coming up

Crossing the first finish line, I grabbed a water and a snack and headed back to the all day 20K tent. Thankfully we had our own area that had port-a-potties just for us, snacks & water (incase you didn’t grab any at the finish line), tables, chairs and our own gear check. 

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all day 20K lounge

I loved that we had our own gear check because you could access your items in between each race. I kept taking off layers in between races. The port-a-potties were also nice because it kept you from having to be in huge lines. 

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ready for race #2!

Between races, I had anywhere from 5-30 minutes. It all depended on how quickly you ran the 5K. For me, the quickest turn around between 5K #2 and #3. I only had about 5 minutes between those two races. I literally went from finish line back to the start with no time in-between.  

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finish line #2

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About a mile into the 3rd race, I saw a gal ahead of me in a really cute outfit. I thought, “she has a pink hat like Jenny!” Then I realized, it was Jenny!! I was so excited. I sped up to say hello and take a runfie! 

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I spotted Jenny and her cute outfit!

Jenny (aka @runnylegs) is a fellow BibRave Pro and an Insta-friend. I love her outfits, she has the sweetest husband (more on that later) and her runs and posts really inspire me. It was so great to finally meet her!IMG_352212439184_10209587502994213_1278341234095093026_n

As I was going thru race pictures, I realized I ran right by fellow Rock N Blogger, Carlee! She was in front of my on the course and I didn’t even realize it.

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how did I miss that sparkle skirt?! 

I felt great all day. It was warm but not unbearably hot. The last 5K was the hardest of them all; the finish line felt so close yet so far. The last 2 miles were mentally hard. My legs were tired, I was getting hot, and I wanted to finish that last 5K fast. I wasn’t running as fast as I had hoped, but I stayed strong thru the finish. When I crossed the  finish line for the last time, it felt so good! IMG_3549

I checked my stats, and I achieved my goal of running each 5K faster than the previous one. While I didn’t finish in the top 250 of my age group like I had hoped, I still had a great race + lots of fun. The fun factor is what really matters. Carlsbad was beautiful, I got to meet a lot of running & blogging friends, and the swag was awesome. IMG_3536

I loved the course. We ran through downtown Carlsbad, right by the iconic ‘Carlsbad’ sign, along the beach for at least half the course, and had a downhill finish. The views were great. I was concerned about getting bored running the same course 4 times, but it was so beautiful I was glad I got to see it 4 times because you could really take it in.

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views from the course

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Crossing 4 finish lines in one day was such a crazy and cool experience. You got the race day adrenaline four different times instead of just once. There is no other way that I know of to be able to run that many races in one day! We got a 5K medal, and we also got a HUGE All Day 20K medal. Not only is it huge, but the detail is amazing. It has real sand!
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At certain races, Rock N Roll will bring out elite runners. This race is one of them, and the elite runners get their own heats which take place after all the ‘regular’ runners are done racing. The women race first followed by the men. I grabbed a coffee and met up with Jenny and Sean to watch the elites run. Getting to spend time with this adorable running couple was so great. You know those ‘best friends’ you have on social media, but they don’t know they are your best friend… that is how I felt. Only thing that would have made it better was if Andy was there. Jenny & Sean (@ultrarunnerSD) are both awesome and inspiring people! So glad I got to connect with them in person. Made me wish I lived in San Diego so I could run with them more. 12963852_10209587503034214_40629760095393671_n

Watching the elites race was so cool. They are so fast!! The Carlsbad 5000 course is referred to as ‘The World’s Fastest 5K’ because it is where the world record for a 5K road race has been set multiple times. 

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elite women lined up at start

Jess O’Connell, a fellow Ultima ambassador, was racing in the elite race. It was SO cool to watch her do her thing and cheer her on!IMG_3567

I even got to meet up with her after the race. I was totally fan-girling when I met her. I can’t wait to watch her at the Canadian Olympic trials this summer. IMG_3571

I had an awesome weekend out at the Carlsbad 5000. It’s a great race, in a great location and totally worth running. I highly recommend the 5K or the All Day 20K if you are looking for a unique experience or more miles. 

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pint glass is what you got if you ran both Saturday and Sunday

I can’t wait till my next Rock N Roll tour stop: SEATTLE! Join me! There is an 8K, half marathon and full marathon. Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT for $15 registration (any Rock N Roll race).rock n blog red

My First Mile Race: Carlsbad 5000 Recap Part 1

Traveling and running are two of my favorite things. When I get to combine them, it’s the best! Running is a great way to see new places, and I got to do just that this last weekend.

As a part of the Rock n Blog team, I was able to go down to SoCal to run the Carlsbad 5000. There were 3 events to pick from, the 1-mile race on Saturday and a 5K or 20K on Sunday. I signed up to run both days. I had never run a 1-mile race before, so I was pretty stoked about that. I wanted to see just how fast I could ‘race’ a mile. More on that later. IMG_6483

I was so excited to get down to California. I wanted to eat all the smoothie bowls, drink all the green juice and soak up the sun. I had spring fever so bad that I was dreaming of sunshine. Of course, the weekend I was gone to sunny Carlsbad, Seattle decided to show off with 70 degree weather. Oh well 🙂 IMG_3437

One of my college roommates signed up to run the 1-mile race with me on Saturday. I was really looking forward to running with her. Saturday was all kids races except for the adult 1-mile race at 9:15am.  IMG_3435

We got up early and headed over to Carlsbad to be sure that we had enough time to pick up our bibs before the race. Parking was not nearly as bad as we thought it would be, so we had plenty of time to walk around the expo and watch some of the kids run. It was the sweetest thing ever. They had 1/4 mile to 1 mile races depending on age. IMG_6488

The expo was awesome, lots of fun stuff to look at. We got to sample Glukos, the race fuel that is on all the Rock N Roll race courses this year. I was pleasantly surprised. I don’t use gels because I can’t stand the texture and I’m not a fan of the ingredient list. However, Glukos is much different, it’s not a gel, it’s a liquid and the ingredient list is much better! I liked the gummies too. Looking forward to seeing these out on the RNR courses this year. IMG_3440

Sambazon was there with smoothie bowl samples too! I am obsessed with smoothie bowls, so I got pretty excited about this.IMG_3441IMG_6485

At the start line, they had us line up by what we thought our mile time would be. It was one big wave, but the people who were going to run faster were in the front. I lined up with the 8 minute milers. I wasn’t sure how fast I could race a mile. In longer distances I run 845-930/mile so I figured I could at least run an 8 minute mile.IMG_6492

The race started and we took off fast. 1/4 mile in I started to feel nauseous. I started too fast. (When I looked at my times after the race, I was running a 6:00/pace, and my stomach wasn’t having it!) I slowed myself a little bit, and after the next 1/4 mile, I was able to turn up the speed again. Before I knew it, we were passing the 3/4 mile sign. WHAT?! We just started! It was all downhill to the finish line.

I was still a ways away but could see the clock and it said 7:15, I thought, “come on, you can get in under 7:30”! I tried so hard to make it, but missed it by 1 second. I am very happy with the results considering I had zero expectations. I am excited to see how my mile time improves.IMG_6520

The finish line was amazing! They had all the goodies, even for a 1 mile race. There were snacks, water and gatorade if you wanted one.  Everyone also got a medal!IMG_6494

Once I was out of the finisher area, I found some shade to cool off a bit. Then we headed over to get our shirts. I really appreciated that we could pick them up after the race so we didn’t have to find somewhere to stow them while running. IMG_3453

Since we were already there, I picked up my bib for the all day 20K the next day. The race is super close to the beach, so soaked up some waves before leaving. IMG_3457 IMG_6518

The one mile distance is a lot of fun. I am totally new to it, but I can’t wait to run it again. It is such a fast race and over before you know it. I am so glad that Rock N Roll added this to the Carlsbad 5000 line up. It’s great for racers and a less intimidating distance for new runners.

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Have you ever raced a mile? 

Tomorrow I’ll be sharing about my race on Sunday, the all day 20K. Be sure to check that out!