Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Run with me in the Hot Chocolate 15k in Charlotte

I am super excited to share that I will be running the Hot Chocolate 15k in Charlotte in 2019!! 

Woot Woot!!

*Disclaimer: I received free entry to the Charlotte Hot Chocolate 15K race as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out to review find and write race reviews!

I love the Hot Chocolate races and have some pretty epic stories from races in years past. I have historically participated in Atlanta! Last year was the first year for Charlotte but I did not go. I totally skipped the Hot Chocolate all together last year so I am super excited now to be coming back to one of my all time favorite races!! 

I love the 15k distance especially because it is just far enough to feel like a challenge but not so far that you feel completely empty at the finish! Brownie points (pun intended) for all the chocolate you get along the way!! #willrunforchocolate

The Top 5 reasons I am looking forward to this race are:

Chocolate of course!!

Several friends ran Charlotte last year and loved it so I am excited to try out this new course!

I love running in the colder temps!!

The bling is always awesome!

I am certain several friends will run this with me and we are sure to have an amazing time!!

Join me at the HC15K Charlotte!! Use code BRHCCharlotte to score a free Hot Chocolate armband!!

Are you on Athlinks?? If so follow me and I will follow you back! 

In getting prepped for the race, I jumped onto Athlinks and added my name to the start list. It’s a really cool feature that allows you to check out other runners who will be running the same race and you can totally scout out your competition! Head to Athlinks and add yourself to your next start list.

Monday, August 27, 2018

Trail marathon training is underway

Back when I knew I was actually going to run the marathon that I had set out to run since I was turning 40 I decided why not go ahead and sign up for a 40K! A 40k for my 40th year... Sounds good right? 

Then I ran the marathon and thought yep, I can do that!

Then I had my 50K and thought oh no what have I done!!

Summer running has been tough but I am convinced that summer running is a liar. Summer running has whispered it's hard, it's hot, you can't do it...

I think now that the temps are dropping I will get my groove back! I hope to prove summer wrong!

My friend Kim is planning to run the Triple Lakes 40K with me so we are running together to train leading up to the October race!

I have mixed up my weekly routine a bit. Monday's will be rest days, I may or may not walk, Tuesday's will be track days and maybe some speed, Wednesday's will be hills, Thursday intervals and Friday an easy run. Saturday's will be my longest day on trails and Sunday's a middle distance long run of 6ish miles on pavement. 

Kim and I plan to mix up the Saturday runs, alternating weeks of vertical runs and flats. 

This past weekend we decided to run Shortoff Mountain. Shortoff is located in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area in Western, NC. The Linville Gorge is also known as the “Grand Canyon of the East”.

We headed out at 6:00am. It's about a 30 minute drive to the trail head. 

When we started it was dark but the sun came up pretty quick!

I packed my backpack for an entire week in the wild I think! I am sure I took more than I needed and then after reading this sign I started to second guess carrying my fuel. When we camp in these woods we keep our food AWAY from our bodies in case of bears!!! Luckily we did not see any bears, although there were a few questionable prints and rustling noises in the overgrowth around us. 

Within the first mile we had already had an 807 ft gain in elevation and the sun rise was spectacular!

The terrain all along this trail is interesting. In some areas it's solid stone, other parts are the trail varies between loose rock, sand, packed dirt, etc.

Sections of the trail had man made stairs and other sections were stream like.

The run up was a challenge! Much of the way we power hiked but there were some great areas that were very runnable. 

As we neared the top the views were incredible!

(This picture was featured on Trail Sisters Instagram and Facebook pages!)

This route is truly remarkable! There are so many amazing views!

At the top the trail was very runnable and we were loving it!

There is even a pond up there and wild blueberry bushes! I have read that this natural pond is one of two like this in the entire Southern Appalachians region.  

I had measured out in Trail Run Project an 8 mile run out and 8 miles back for a total of 16 miles. 

The trail overgrowth though was getting thicker and thicker the further we went.

At about 5 miles in we ran into a solid thicket of what I though was Poison Sumac!!

As it turns out it was actually Poison Sumac's non poisonous cousin... Sumac... 

Irregardless there is a chance that a poisonous snake lay within that thicket so I am glad we didn't push through. Next time I will take something to push or cut areas like these back!

Luckily for us the only critter we saw was this guy!

On the way back we got in several more great runnable miles. 

I did get reminded of a valuable lesson of the trail... I will share it with you...

Trail Running Tip 317: Head Up , Eyes Down...

If a trail runner girl does not fall in the forest did she even really run the trail??? 

I took a BIG fall on the trail as we were heading back! Like face plant, flat out on the ground... 

It was bad, I looked over to the right and took my eyes off the trail for like a second. I have no idea what I tripped over but I know for a fact that my head barely missed a sharp rock standing straight up on the trail. My right shoulder took most of the impact but I was covered from my cheek to my toes with mud... 

If your trail running partner laughs uncontrollably at you while you’re down should you continue to run with her???  

Kim : “Are you laughing or crying” (as she is laughing at me)
Me: “A little bit of both” (as I’m laying face first and flat out on the dirt single track trail)  

In her defense I was laughing. It took me a minute to self asses and make sure I wasn't dead and nothing was broken. I really was laughing but I did shed a tear or two once I stood up. I was just a little shaken.  

Moments later one of the first sets of hikers we had seen came by and we exchanged a "Good Morning", I'm sure they wondered what in the world had just happened but I sure am glad they didn't walk up as I was sprawled out on the ground with my skirt up over my hiney lol!!!

I then dusted myself off an ran on!

Moments later, however, I ran smack dab into a fallen tree... Hence the Head up part of the lesson... LOL! I'm ok I promise! The only thing hurt was my ego...

I then shook that off and ran on some more! 

What an adventure! We had 1,793 ft of elevation gain and all the gorgeous views! 

I'm already ready to do it again!

Sunday as planned I got in six miles with my friend Carly! I felt a little sore from Saturday's adventure but I'm hopeful that a back to back long run will help workout some of that soreness, keeping it at bay, and make me a stronger runner! 

Here's to many more happy miles!

My must have gear for this long run:

Skirt Sports Gym Girl Ultra - This Skirt is the best for trail and long runs! The shorts are short but not too short and the skirt is light and airy! The best thing about this skirt are the pockets!!! I fill them up!  - Want to try it out? Use Discount Code 37Aver at checkout for 15% off!

Crazy Compression OTC Compression Socks - These not only kept my calves from cramping up but also kept me from getting eaten up by briars!!! Want to give them a try? Ask me to send you a coupon for 45% off!!

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Summer Recap 2018

This summer has been all kinds of hot, humid and very busy! We’ve had some cooler temps this past week and that has me getting super excited for fall!

Looking back through the last several years of my running journey I noticed that I don’t typically run that much during the summer. It has not been easy but if you follow me on Instagram you know that I really have been continuing to log the miles this summer!

After the Asheville Marathon I felt invincible, I had an awesome half marathon at the Carolina Donut Festival and then the summer hit me like a lead wall and it has not been as easy to break through!

I struggled on what should have been an easy run back in May and again at the Downhill at Dawn half marathon. I did pay a visit to my doctor and I was given a rescue inhaler for exercise induced asthma! I was told to use it before my run but instead I am just carrying it with me in case I need it. I don’t like to take medication if I don’t have to so I will carry it with me and I feel safe knowing I have it in case I need it. So far so good!

I turned 40 on June 26th. That was weird. I don’t feel like what I used the think 40 was if that makes sense. I recall my parents turning 40 and thinking that was old... Well I am definitely not that at all lol!! 

The hubby and I took the week off and kicked off our home renovation projects by painting the exterior of our brick house! It was quite the adventure, we had rain every evening and went nearly 23 hours with no power. Thank goodness we have a generator. 

I enjoyed a fun early birthday dinner with the girls and then for my birthday Tess made my family's traditional 7 Layer Cake (ended up 4 layers but was just as yummy)!

(29 is more like it...)

My runner girl group took me out for dinner to celebrate the big 4-0! I am so incredibly blessed by these women who love me, run with me, encourage me and inspire me every single day!

I am so thankful for 40 beautiful, adventure filled, years and I am looking forward to 40+ more

I have enjoyed loads of morning miles with these girls this summer. They keep me accountable and don't let me go too far off track ever!

In July Tess turned 19 and Madie turns 21 this coming weekend! I have gotten in some great quality time with both of my girls this summer!

We enjoyed a week camping at the beach at the end of July/first of August! It was great! 

I got in lots of runs both solo and with my pup! 

I bought a puppy jogging stroller because:

1) he is little and his little legs will only work so hard 

and 2) he is little and according to news reports would make a good snack for an alligator! 

We enjoyed beautiful weather, wildlife, delicious sea food and Tess was able to come down for a few days too!

I logged more great miles with friends in August!

I got to also spend more quality time with my two best girls!

One of my running friends and I also kicked off our first Night of Light Track Club. The track club is free and open to all kids ages 1-12 in our community! It was a blast! We have three more meets over the next few months as we lead up to our Night of Light race in December!

I snuck in a fun dinner date with my forever friend Jenny which is always a blast!

My friend Kim and I are now gearing up for a 40K in October and have started upping miles again for this fall race. This race is a trail race so we are taking to the trails for training. Last weekend we enjoyed a 13 mile trail run by the lake! Only two wipe outs (one each)! The trail was a little slippery from the rain but beautiful none the less! I absolutely love running through the woods along side the streams, rivers and lake. It totally recharges my soul!

“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark.” ~ John Muir ☀️

It's been a busy summer for sure but so super fun! 

I'm anxious to see how trail marathon training differs from road marathon training! Stay tuned...


I am training for and running several exciting upcoming races:

Triple Lakes 40K, Greensboro, NC in October

Hot Chocolate 15K, Charlotte, NC  in February - Use Coupon Code BRHCCharlotte for a free Hot Chocolate Arm Band!

Asheville Marathon, Asheville, NC in March - Use Code 2019AMADEANNE for 15% off

Publix Savannah Women's Half Marathon, Savannah, GA in April - Use Code BIBSAV20 for 20% off!!

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