Tag Archives: runners

Friday Feels: Nerves + Playlist for My First Marathon

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.marathon playlist

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. 12c3e22b57bf46e7139d1c9ade584c2b

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. 

I'm coming for your Seattle!
I’m coming for your Seattle!

Marathon Playlist

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!  FullSizeRender

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. b6a61c52def53b113b7830901a446254

Follow along for all the marathon & race day fun on Instagram (@sweetblondesfitlife) and Snapchat (@sweetblondefit)!! 

3 Reasons Why You Should Absolutely Visit a Race Expo…

whether you are running or not. If you are running, you probably have to go to the expo to pick up you bib and you race packet. It is easy to bypass all the booths and make a b-line for the door. Why deal with the crowds? And if you aren’t running the race, why bother going to the expo? Today I am going to give you 3 reasons why you should visit a race expo whether you are running or not.

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend the Portland Marathon expo even though I was not running the race. Ultima Replenisher, a brand that I love and became and ambassador for, invited me to come be at their booth over the weekend. Being there showed me all the benefits of attending a race expo even though you are not running the race. IMG_7089

The 3 Ws

When: Most races, especially larger ones, have an expo that takes place a day or two before the actual race. Entry to the expo is usually free and open to everyone. I’m sure there are some exceptions to this, but in my experience this has always been the case. Race expos want people to come, so they allow everyone in whether you are running or not. If your city has a large or semi-large race, check out the race website for the expo days and times.  

What: The race expo is usually full of booths from different vendors offering everything from running accessories to massage chairs. Some races list the vendors on the website prior to the expo, others only show you the title sponsors of the race. If you can’t get a list of vendors prior to the expo, it is still worth the trip. I’ll explain why below.

Where: Expos are usually in a banquet room at a hotel, a convention center or somewhere close to the starting line. It depends on the size of the expo and where the race is held. Check the race website for the specific location details. 

Photo Oct 05-2

3 Reasons You Must Visit a Race Expo

1. Discounts

The number one reason to visit a race expo, running or not, is the discounts. Not every exhibitor does this, but most booths/brands will offer a special race expo discount on products or services that is not available anywhere else. This means if you need a new pair of running shoes, some compression socks, body glide, electrolytes or a foam roller, the place to get them is at the race expo! 

new shoes with a discount!

Another common ‘discount’ you find at race expo is a discount or incentive for entry to other races. For example, at the Portland marathon expo, there were races from both Washington and California that were offering a discount on race registrations. This is a great way to save some money on upcoming races you want to run.

some of my loot from the expo, which included discounted race entry to Seattle half marathon

2. Samples

‘Try before you buy’ is always a good idea which is why product samples are another reason to visit a race expo. This is a great way to try new products with no strings attached. I have sampled some products at race expos that I probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. An added bonus? If you like it, you can probably buy it at a discounted price! (see previous point) 🙂 The most common samples are food/beverages, but it could also be trying on a new running belt or demoing a new pair running shoes.  

This last weekend there were samples ranging from oatmeal, protein bars and electrolyte beverages to hummus and energy gels. 

enjoyin my sample of hummus
samples of ultima!! (bonus: free yoga) 😛

3. Free stuff

Who doesn’t love free stuff? I mean seriously. Free stuff is extra cool when it is useful, and at race expos it usually is. In the past I have gotten things like chapstick, a cowbell, a sweatband, food and even a shirt.

got a whole bag of free stuff and a sign at a race expo back in May
Bonus — meeting people! 

This hasn’t happened for me at every expo, but occasionally you can meet the president of the company or the creator of a product at the booth. When this happens, it is super cool because if you are unfamiliar with the product, you can find out a lot about it and why they created it. On the other hand, if you love the product, you can share your love with the person who created it! Bloggers, this could also be a networking opportunity. If you go that route, be professional. 
Precaution: meeting the founder of a brand or product you love can lead to speechlessness or feeling starstruck. 

met Tim, the founder of BibRave.com (which I am also am ambassador for). This was unexpected and I was seriously so excited I was speechless.
also met Eric, the founder of Pro Compression.

Brands sometimes will also bring an athlete or ambassador which are great to connect with because they share the different ways they use the product and how it has helped them which can give you ideas and inspiration on how to use the product as well. 

I had so much fun meeting blog readers and other Ultima ambassadors at our booth!

While each expo is different, they usually don’t disappoint and almost always have something for everyone, runner or not. Next time there is a big race in you city, be sure to check out the expo, you will be so glad you did!

Tell me: What is your favorite part about race expos? Discounts? Samples? Free Stuff? All of the above?

Stay Sweet!

Connect. – Blogfest 2015

Today I would to introduce you to 10 fellow bloggers I connected with at Blogfest this year. They are all super fit, fun, loving, inspiring and hard working women. I am so thankful to have met each of them.

connect at blogfest 2015
all of us after an early morning workout at blogfest!

Not only is Blogfest super fun and full of all my favorite things (sweat, learning and friends) it’s also an awesome way to meet new people. Sometimes the people aren’t new, it’s just the first time you have met them IRL (in real life)! Some of these women I connected with on social media and we had been ‘friends’ for some time, and then at Blogfest we were finally able to connect!

connect blogfest 2015
all of us before a presentation (can you find me?! hehe)

We are only together in Blogfest sessions for 2 out of the 4 days of the conference, and while it feels like a lot of time, I always find myself wishing it was longer. I got to connect with A LOT of people, but there were still plenty I didn’t meet (do you see how many people are in this room?!) Regardless, the people I did meet and connect with are amazing; let me introduce you to a few:


I found Deanna on Instagram and we were kinda insta-buddies, so when I met her at Blogfest, it felt like we were already friends! Deanna, like myself, runs her own business and has big dreams and goals. She also makes amazing workout videos. I didn’t get to actually chat with her until the end of the second day, but I am so happy we connected. I really look forward to chatting more and exchanging biz tips/tricks with her in the future! IMG_0110


I met Tiffany for the first time last year at Blogfest. We connected over Ink n Burn workout pants. (it’s always the clothes for me haha) However, I didn’t stay in touch with her much after the conference was over. When I saw her at Blogfest again this year, it was like seeing an old friend!

Tiffany doing giveaways at the run she organized the first morning of blogfest!

We totally connected on another level AND super cool update, we both bit the bullet and signed up for NASM personal training certification. More on that later… 

Anyway, Tiffany isn’t far from me, she is just down in Portland. She is a runner as well as a running coach and loves all things Lorna Jane. (can you see what we have in common) I am excited to blaze the trail of personal training with her and thankful I got to connect with her more this year. IMG_0104Here we are getting our booties kicked with Flexline, a cool new workout. More on that in a later post, I’m pretty pumped about it. 


Like I shared in my last post about Blogfest, Jaime is one of the founders of Sweat Pink. She, along with Alyse, are the brains behind Blogfest and the people who make it happen. Boy am I thankful for them! (they also know how to have fun! see below. hehe)IMG_0135Last year I didn’t know who Jaime was really, I just knew she seemed to be in charge. Then when I got home from Blogfest, I became a Sweat Pink Ambassador and I quickly figured out who she is. This year I got to know her a bit more at Blogfest and she is such an inspiring woman not only with her yoga poses and trail runs, but also because of her entrepreneurism. She is down in Portland too! Does anyone else foresee a meet-up in the future?!


Like me, Jill was a Blogfest veteran. She was there last year, but we didn’t get to meet. I knew who she was because of social media, and this year on the first day, we ended up sitting next to each other! She is the kindest lady, I felt like I could have talked with her all weekend. She is all about inspiring & empowering others to be the best version of themselves. I great tips from her about the NASM certification as she is getting ready to take the test very soon. Good luck Jill! IMG_0132  Jill is on the far left in this picture. I could have swore we got a selfie together, but I couldn’t find it 🙁 and BTW – she shares great recipes on her blog!!


She is the yoga queen! Her blog is called ‘The world is my yoga mat’ and IT’S THE TRUTH! This girl is so inspiring with her yoga poses. Just check out her Instagram, it’s amazing. She totally inspires me to try and get upside down more often.IMG_0087Liz is super sweet, she is also a blogger and she works for Sweat Pink. Oh and guess what?! She is in Portland too!!! I’m telling you guys, it’s about to get real sweaty in PDX with a meet up 🙂

Jessica Joy

I met Jessica the first day of Blogfest. She was sitting in the same row as I was and we just sorta started chatting. She is a super fit mom of two and the coolest gal! It seems like her and I have similar style tastes. For example, we both like the color magenta and gold.  Check out her blog, it’s beautiful! She also shares amazing workout videos and has a very fun personality.  AND, she is in Oregon too! I am seriously so thankful to be finding more PNW #fitfam! IMG_0082


I met Kasey last year at a bootcamp she did as part of Blogfest. I didn’t really know who Kasey was at the time. Katie invited me to the bootcamp and we definitely got our sweat on. I also met my amazing fit friend Melissa at Kasey’s bootcamp last year. Crazy right?! Anyway, long story short, I saw Kasey again this year at Blogfest and got to know her more.  She has an amazing story, she is a strong woman and super inspiring. She also loves green smoothies and superfoods like I do. She impacts many peoples lives and I am thankful to have her as a friend. Check out Kasey’s blogfest recap.IMG_0092


Let me tell you, it doesn’t get much more real than Tasha aka Hip Healthy Chick. This girl is inspiring. She inspired me from afar via social media, and she kept inspiring at Blogfest. She is so kind and genuine, and she lives her life with SO much passion. I wish you guys could have seen her workout, she brought so much energy. I loved it! She was a lighting round speaker (it’s an event that is part of Blogfest) and I will never forget what she said, “the minute I decided to stop pretending, everything changed”. This resonated with me because I used to put TOO much value on what other people think. That’s not who I am anymore, but it’s always good to be reminded. Be you, don’t pretend to be someone you are not. IMG_0111


I saw Kayla at the early morning run the first day of Blogfest. I thought I kinda recognized her and it was because she was a Blogfest veteran too! However last year we didn’t really get to connect like this year. She blogs over at Blondes Have More Run. (Seriously, how creative is that name?!) She is a runner, personal trainer and fellow blondie. She puts together awesome bootcamp workouts that she shares on her blog as well as running tips.  Maybe we can team up for a future workout Wednesday? We’ll see 😀IMG_0109Also pictured here is Jenn! Really looking forward to connecting more with her post Blogfest 🙂


She runs the beautiful blog, Running with the Sunrise. Beth and I connected over social media before the conference and I was so excited to meet her! She told me at Blogfest that the reason she wanted to come was because of reading my recap last year. Thanks for sharing that with me Beth! She is such a sweetheart and it was so nice to finally meet her. (and, how gorgeous is her dress?!) She just started teaching Barre classes, does yoga and also runs. Check out her Blogfest recap too!  IMG_0105




Last, but not least, we have Carleeh! She is from Seattle too, so we have some fit friend dates planned up here in the PNW. IMG_0101She was my roommate this year and it was great getting to know her. She is super passionate about fitness and helping to inspire and empower women. She very genuine and loving, and really wants to help others. We are planning to team up on a few giveaways, etc so watch out for that in the future! IMG_0098

It was awesome being reunited with the super awesome girls I met last year, Kylie (top pic) and Nicole (bottom) and being in a room full of people who love fitness and selfies as much as I do. Image

Blogging, the internet and fitness has allowed me to meet and connect with SO MANY amazing people. I am so grateful for the new friendships and connections made this year and for those made in the past (one of which is now one of my closest friends, Katie). 

One of the greatest parts about Blogfest is all the people that you meet. That is why I will do everything I can to make it to a conference like this once a year. I’m excited to see where all these new beginnings lead, and I hope you enjoy getting to know some of my fit blogger friends 😀 

I’ll see you all back on Monday for an ahhhhhmazing recipe. Seriously, I’m kinda obsessed with it! It’s gluten free and it has the word ‘protein’ & ‘cake’ in it, so you know it’s gonna be good. Make sure to check back Monday or subscribe so you don’t miss it!!!

Stay Sweet!!