Have you ever signed up for a race and then all of a sudden before you know it the race is next weekend?! I have! With a race around the corner, feeling like you aren’t prepared is no fun. Today I am sharing five tips with you that will help you get ready for are day, last minute.
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!
Disclaimer: I received a pair of pink Aftershokz 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!
Can you believe it is already September?! This year is flying by!! Fall is near and that means October is right around the corner. October is when we bring out all the pumpkin stuff, and it’s also breast cancer awareness month. One of my favorite companies, AfterShokz is joining the fight against breast and ovarian cancer by going (Bright) Pink with some pink Aftershocks headphones!
Aftershokz created some limited edition open ear Trekz Titanium Pink headphones that are only available now thru October 31st. My long time readers know I love the color pink, so when Aftershokz told me about this campaign, I was SO EXCITED! I already have a pair of Trekz Titanium, and love them, I take them on almost every run with me. When I found out they made pink Aftershokz, I was very excited to get some in my favorite color.
Besides being my favorite color, these pink Aftershokz headphones support a great cause. For every pair sold on aftershokz.com from September 1st to October 31st, 2016, AfterShokz will donate 25% of proceeds to Bright Pink, a non-profit that focuses on breast and ovarian cancer awareness. How cool is that?!
The Trekz Titanium from Aftershokz are amazing. Here is what I love:
– open ear design allows you to be aware of your surroundings while you enjoy your music and/or calls – wireless, so you won’t be tangled in cords
– sweat resistant – they don’t go inside or over your ears, so you don’t need to worry about them falling out while running – a single charge gets you 6+ hours of listening time!
– extremely comfortable
– you can turn your jams up as loud as you want without damaging your hearing! Because these headphones are bone conduction and not in your ear canal, it won’t affect your hearing. cool huh?! – added bonus: a portion of proceeds raised from each unit sold will go back to Bright Pink to spread awareness about breast and ovarian cancer!!
For more info, you can read my previous review of them HERE.
Since I love social media, I think it’s super cool when a social media post can help do some good. Check this out –> Every time #AwareWithPink is used on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, AfterShokz will donate an additional 25 cents to Bright Pink to extend the awareness. Spreading the hashtag will fund Bright Pink’s ongoing efforts to educate and drive awareness about how being proactive can make all the difference. HOW COOL IS THAT?!?!
Gift with Purchase
If you purchase a pair of PINK Aftershokz, be sure to use the code “PINK” at check out and receive a free small storage case! This storage case is very nice and not included normally.
If you are looking for a great pair of bluetooth headphones for running, you will NOT be disappointed with Aftershokz. Be sure to check them out!
The inaugural Iron Horse Half Marathon was a beautiful run; I am so glad this was the way I got to celebrate half marathon #10! My two year run-iversary for running my first half marathon is coming up, and I cannot believe how far I have come in just two years. I ran my first half marathon in October of 2014 and just ran my tenth half marathon this last weekend. Another crazy fact: eight of those ten were run within the last year!
The Iron Horse Half was a point to point course on the Iron Horse Trail & the Snoqualmie Valley Trail. What makes this half marathon unique is that the course is nearly all downhill at a steady, gentle grade. I was very excited about this course and will share more about that experience later in the recap.
Because it was a point to point course, the start line was 13-ish miles away from the finish. You were encouraged to park at the finish and take a shuttle to the start line. You could have someone drop you off at the start line, but there was no parking there.
Race morning, I parked at the finish line, picked up my packet and bib number and hopped on a shuttle with zero issues! It was very smooth. Once I got dropped off at the start, I checked a small bag in gear check & headed up a small hill to the start line. I wanted to use the port-a-potty really quick, but the line was UNREAL. I knew there would be a few along the course, so I decided to wait.
They did the race start in waves that were spaced 15 minutes apart to avoid crowding on the trail. I thought this worked extremely well. Before I knew it, I was off and running!
The course was promised to be a slow and steady downhill course, and it was! There were a few sections that were flat and a few that were slightly steeper and allowed you to build up speed. It was not a ton of downhill that causes you to get shin splints or feel uncomfortable, it was very pleasant and made for ‘easy racing’.
The course was also unbelievably beautiful. It was all trails, which was a nice change of pace from a normal road race. It was full of green trees and bushes, rivers, beautiful landscapes and some sweeping views.
The weather on race day was the perfect blessing, especially for August. Slightly overcast and not too hot. The trail had lots of shade, but did have some sections that would have been full sun if it wasn’t for the light cloud cover. I was glad I brought my handheld water bottle, although they did have plenty of aid stations along the course.
Remember how I skipped the port-a-potty line earlier? Well somehow I missed the first port-a-potties on the course, so by mile 5 I was peeing my pants and had to become one with mother nature. Thankfully this was the perfect course to have this happen as there were lots of chances to dip into the woods and take care of business. Of course I didn’t want to have to do that, but you gotta do what you gotta do!
Considering I had been slacking on long runs, it was no surprise to me that the last 3 miles were pretty difficult. I survived, but they felt long. I was so happy to see the finish line in the distance! I was about half a mile away from the finish line & all of a sudden a heard a buzz and a sharp pain in the middle of my back! I thought to myself, ‘did I just get stung by a bee?!’ I didn’t see a bee, but what else could it be?! It hurt so bad!! As soon as I crossed the finish, I headed to the medical tent & sure enough I did get a bee sting. Thankfully I was fine. There is a first time for everything right?! It was quite the memorable finish. 😉 My time: 2 hours 8 minutes.
Run it OR Skip it?
RUN IT! The course is beautiful and the slight downgrade the whole way is so refreshing compared to the other Seattle race courses with hills. Like every Orca Running race, it was well organized and had everything you could want. Amazing post race BBQ, great medals and fun swag. I definitely recommend this race!
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!