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.
I’m seriously having a really hard time believing that fall race season is here! October is when #ALLtheRaces happen and there are some pretty awesome ones coming up. If you wanted to, you could run a race every weekend in October. I have to admit there were a few I had to turn down that I would love to run. There is always next year right?! Today I am sharing with you some of the Fall races I am really looking forward to and which ones you should be sure to have on your radar!
I shared why I am so excited about this a few days ago. Basically you get to explore colonial Mexico, eat all the tacos and run a super fun race. Doesn’t get much better than that does it?! This race weekend features four distances and has something for everyone – 5K, 10K, half and full marathon.
This race will always have a very special place in my heart as I ran my very first half marathon here. I like to say this is what started it all. I had the option to run the full in Portland this year and had to turn it down. I was not going to be trained enough and didn’t want to push it too much. This full marathon is a GREAT one and definitely one I want to run. Put this one on your bucket list!I will still be down in Portland that weekend working at the Portland Marathon expo, so if you running, be sure to find me at the expo and say hello!!
Rock N Roll Vancouver
If you are up in the PNW, this is a must run! If you run the 10K, you get to run around the beautiful seawall in Vancouver. I have never run this race, but I am really looking forward to it this year. They offer a 10K and a half marathon. Vancouver is a beautiful city and a short drive up from Seattle. Join me there this year! Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration!
Rock N Roll Merida
This was my very first international race last year. It coincided perfectly with a family vacation to Cancun, so I made the drive over to Merida and ran the half marathon. It was SO humid, even for a night race, but when I crossed that finish line, it was ALL worth it. Such a fun race, super amazing medal and a fun way to experience Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration! Get race info HERE.
Rock N Roll Los Angeles
This is known on ‘the streets’ as the Halloween half. Get your costumes ready!!! This race is huge, lots of fun and while costumes are not required they are highly encouraged. I am not sure if I will be at this race this year or not, but it is definitely one worth running! Use code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save $15 on registration! Get race info HERE.
Lake Washington Half Marathon
This will be my first year running this Orca race, and I am looking forward to it. Their races are well organized & always have amazing swag! Lake Washington is one of my favorite places to run in the PNW, so this race should be beautiful. There is a 5K option available as well. Get 10% off any distance with code: SWEETFIT & join me at this race on November 5th!
For now this is all the races I have on my radar for the fall. It’s enough don’t you think?! LOL. The fall is such a fun time to run, you get the sunny weather with cooler temps which is why it is such a popular time to race. I love it, but it is also hard to pick and choose sometimes!
What races are your going to be running this year? Which ones of these will I see you at?!
The Rock N Roll Queretaro weekend is almost here!! I cannot believe it. I have been looking forward to this race ever since they announced it. Most of my fellow RockNBlog buddies are going to be running Rock N Roll San Jose this weekend, and I’ll be running here in Queretaro.
Queretaro holds a very special place in my heart. This is the city where I did my study abroad during college. I lived in Queretaro for 7 months and had the time of my life. Being here again brings back a lot of amazing memories. I am so excited to run my second international race in this city.
In Queretaro, Rock N Roll is going big!!! The weekend features all 4 distances, a 5K, 10K, half marathon and a full marathon. The 5K is on Saturday and the other 3 races are on Sunday. I will be running the remix which is the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon on Sunday.
The 5K course is the one I am most excited for – it goes thru all the historic parts of downtown Queretaro. I am gonna be stopping for all the photo opps of the pretty churches, the plazas and the gorgeous views.
The half course looks alright. It’s not quite as scenic, but it looks like it will still be a lot of fun. The altitude is definitely going to be the hardest part of this race. Queretaro sits at about 6,165 ft — more than a mile above sea level. I didn’t train for altitude, this race is for fun, so I will take all the walk breaks I need. With the high altitude, there is less oxygen, so my body starts to hurt after a few miles. I take a walk break, recover, and then do it all over again 🙂
The infamous Rock N Roll after party looks like it’s gonna be pretty amazing. They are having not just one headliner, but 3 – Fobia, Miguel Mateos and Kinky!!! I am not familiar with all of them, but I do know that Mexicans throw amazing parties, so it’s bound to be a ton of fun. I can’t wait to run this beautiful city!
If you want to follow along for all of the fun during Rock N Roll Queretaro, be sure to follow me on Snapchat and/or Instagram. My snapchat is @sweetblondefit or you can use the snap code below to add me. My Instagram is @sweetblondesfitlife or click here
Why not run another Rock N Roll race this year?! It’s not too late to join in on another tour stop. There is Denver, Vancouver, Los Angeles, Merida,MX and even VEGAS coming up! Use my rockNblog discount code SWEETBLONDEFIT to save on registration fees!
My first marathon is tomorrow. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t freaking out a little bit. Today I am sharing with you my playlist I use while running! Music can make or break a run. Before, I could not fathom running without music. Now I can run without it, but I rarely do as it definitely adds some extra mojo and fun to the runs.
As you will see from this playlist, I love to run to mostly upbeat music. There is a mix of top 40 hits as well as a few old school jams in the mix. Music makes any workout, including a run, more fun! You can run to the beat, zone out and enjoy the song, or head bang and lip sync while you run. (yes I have done that!!)
We all have experienced how music can instantly improve our mood or take a workout to the next level. In my playlist, I like to have a good mix of ‘fast songs’ that inspire me to run faster as well as some good tunes to make the run fun.
This playlist is what I will be listening to during the marathon tomorrow. You may notice this is not a 4 hour playlist haha. I plan to just cycling thru these songs. On long training runs or in half marathons, I normally listen to a Pandora station. However, tomorrow I feel that there are so many unknowns that I want to be able to count on my music.
Click the song to view on iTunes. Or use the search below to find your favorites!
Or search iTunes for your fav song(s)!
What songs would you add to this list?
This afternoon I’m heading to Seattle to the Rock N Roll Expo to get my bib, have some expo fun & see all my running friends at the We Run Social Meet Up. I cannot wait!
I feel both nervous and excited for tomorrow. I am really familiar with 13.1 miles, I kinda know what to expect for 20 miles, but the last 6.2 miles is unknown territory. I know I will finish, I just am not 100% sure how I am going to get there.
Follow along for all the marathon & race day fun on Instagram (@sweetblondesfitlife) and Snapchat (@sweetblondefit)!!
This Saturday, I am running my first FULL marathon. 26.2 miles. This was not a last minute decision, I have been planning on doing this for some time. If you follow me on social media, you have noticed I’ve been running longer distances and more days a week. I have mentioned it a few times, but I never really formally announced it. I’m not sure why I wasn’t shouting it from the rooftops. I am excited about it, but I think I avoiding announcing it because I was worried that I might not succeed. I wanted to see how the training went before making it official. I also wanted to keep in mind the real reason I am running this race. I’m doing this for myself, not for anyone else. I am all for sharing goals on social media & using it for accountability, but I also think that sometimes it can lead to forgetting why you are doing something. So, it’s official – on Saturday we RUN!
Why Run a Marathon?
I wanted to run a marathon to prove to myself that I CAN run a marathon. I wanted to challenge myself. I had gotten really comfortable with the half marathon distance, and decided that 2016 was going to be the year a ran a marathon. I may not run another full marathon after this, but I need to at least try it and see how it goes.
The marathon is this coming weekend, 26.2 miles of rockin’ miles at Rock N Roll Seattle. I choose Seattle for a few reasons. First, I think it would be extra awesome to run my first whole marathon in Seattle. Second, I will be running this race with a TON of my friends. Lots of them are running the half marathon, but running with amigos makes the experience that much better.
How is Training Going?
Training has been going okay! There have been a lot of fun races and a few grueling training runs along the way. Honestly, the long runs are what I was dreading the most. The thought of running anything over 15 miles is intimidating, but they have not been that bad. The worst part about them is how time consuming they are. In half marathon training the most you run on a weekend is 10 miles. Taking 2-3 hours to run on a weekend can be harder to schedule than you might think.
Unfortunately I have skipped a few runs along the way due to trips or other plans. I tried to prioritize running as much as I could. I feel like I’m going into this marathon prepared enough to finish, but not prepared enough to run it strong the whole way. I feel okay about it, but I know I could be more prepared.
If I run another marathon, I want to find a plan that allows for more cross training and other workouts besides running. I do love to run, but lately I feel like that is ALL I have been doing. I like more variety in my training, it feels more well rounded & my body is happy. Don’t get me wrong, I love to run and have enjoyed this marathon training journey, but I’m ready to run a little bit less and have more time for the other workouts that I love.
Race Day Goals
I have two goals for race day. The first goal, which I am 99.9% sure is going to happen, is to finish the marathon. I feel ready to do this! The second goal, which I am less confident about, is to finish in 4 hours and 30 minutes. I am not sure that I’ll be able to maintain that pace, we will see how things go on race day.
Running predictions are tricky; so many factors go into how things pan out on race day. When I did my 20 mile training run, I took plenty of walking breaks and maintained about a 10 minute pace per mile. My legs felt like they were going to fall off at the end, but overall it wasn’t so bad. However, this last weekend, by the end of the half marathon I couldn’t imagine running 13.1 more miles.
So, honestly I have no idea how things are going to go on race day. All I know is I’m nervous, excited and ready to ROCK! This week I will be sharing more about the marathon, like some must have accessories and the playlist I plan to use. Stay tuned for those posts & let’s connect on social media as I’ll be posting updates there first!
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.
I 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.
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.
It was so great to meet some of my fellow Rock N Bloggers in real life! Diane, Smitha, 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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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!
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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).