Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Tip Tuesday - Race Ready with Flat Me

So this week for Tip Tuesday I have racing on my mind because this weekend I'm running the Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte (see this post for more details). 

Anyway, race day can be pretty crazy. No matter how many times I race (I ran 21 races in 2018) and no matter the distance, I always get super nervous right before. And when you are super nervous, it is easy to make mistakes and forget things. So, to combat this, I am a firm believe in a Flat Me

My Flat Me for last year's Hot Chcolate 15K
A Flat Me is basically where you set out all of the gear that you are going to wear and use during your race and lay it out flat, arranged how it would be worn on your body. This gives you a good physical representation of all of your gear so you can see if you are missing anything. 

And when I say everything, I mean everything including stuff that you will carry in your pack as well. You don't want to get to the start line of a race and realize you are missing something. For example, let's say you get to the start of your Half Marathon and realize you have no gels on you. Trust me, this happened to me last month and it was not a fabulous realization. Luckily, there was a Fleet Feet Sports right at the Start (very lucky) but had I set out a Flat Me, which I usually do, but didn't for some dumb reason, I would not have had that problem. 

What about you? Do you do a Flat Me before your race? If not, how do you make sure that you have everything you need for race day? 

Monday, January 14, 2019

Almost Time To Run For Chocolate!

received entry into the AllState Hot Chocolate Charlotte15K as a part of being a BibRave Pro. Check out BibRave.com to read and write race reviews. 

This coming Saturday I will be running one of my favorite fun races of the year, The Hot Chocolate 15K in Charlotte, NC. Why do I love it so? Here are the top 5 reasons.

1. It's a Great Race for All Levels.
Everything is better with friends! 
The Hot Chocolate races offer 2 distances, a 5K and a 15K which make it a great race for pretty much any level from beginners to more seasoned racers. And because the theme of the race is Hot Chocolate, something that everyone can get behind, it seems just less intimidating that a more traditional race. This year is particularly exciting one for me in that I organized a group from my gym to run the race this year, many of which will be running their first race ever. I helped them by making up 3 training plans**, a 5K plan for beginners (with run/walk intervals), a 5K plan a bit more advanced (all running) and a 15K plan. I cannot wait to see the excitement as these awesome ladies cross the finish line! There is so much excitement from my group that just this morning, we were talking about it and another lady asked us if it were too late to sign up. NOPE! Registration is still open here - https://www.hotchocolate15k.com/charlotte/ (just be sure to read this list all the way through for a coupon code for some extra SWAG if you decide to sign up!) 

2. Free Race Photos! 
FREE PHOTOS! Heck yeah! Free photos is almost unheard of for National Race events these days, but Hot Chocolate races will hook you up! Shortly after the event, you will be emailed a link where you can find and download High Resolution photography taken throughout the event, both on course and at the Start/Finish. So be sure that you bib is front and center, displayed proudly so you can get your FREE photos after the race. 

3. The SWAG is Amazing!
Hot Chocolate races have some of the nicest SWAG out there. Seriously, their participant jackets are worth the registration cost alone! This year, the jackets are a full zip tech in either Merlot or Black. They are pretty true to size, but you are also given the opportunity to try on and swap out if necessary, which is really nice. In 2018, I ran two different Hot Chocolate races just to get one of each color they were so awesome. Additionally, you can typically score some extra swag when you register with a BibRave coupon code. This year, with coupon code BRHCCharlotte you receive a free Hot Chocolate Phone Arm Band. 15K participants also get a super sweet medal that is specific to your city. This year's Charlotte medal has the Charlotte Skyline across the bottom. 

4. 9.3 Miles is a Perfect Distance.
I've run a lot of races over the years, and I've found that a 15K is probably my favorite distance to race. It is challenge, but not too much so. Right around 10 miles is where I start thinking to myself - Why am I still running? Well, a 15K ends right before that, so I feel super strong the entire distance. I wish there were more 15Ks out there. 

Just look at this deliciousness from last year!
You knew this was going to be the top reason, but it is so true. Once you finish the race, they hand you a big bowl full of absolute yumminess! In the center, a steaming cup of Hot Chocolate. Surrounding that, are several compartments packed with goodies including Chocolate Fondue, Banana, Marshmallows, Rice Krispie Treat, Pretzels, and Cookies. It's so freaking good! But, some people may not realize this, but the Finish Line Chocolate is not the only Chocolate to be had. There are yummy Chocolate stations throughout the race giving out M&Ms, Marshmallows and other yummy goodies to keep you going while on the course. It's a Chocolate Adventure from start to finish! 

Is it any wonder I'm excited for this weekend?! I will be at the packet pick up at the Charlotte Convention Center right when it opens at 10:00 am on Friday and will be wearing an Orange BibRave shirt, so, if you see me, be sure to say HI! I'll also be racing in BibRave Orange on race day, so feel free to flag me down there too if you see me! 

**If you are interested in checking out the custom training plans I made, let me know in the comments and I am happy to pass along to anyone. 

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

#TipTuesday - Easy Speed Work

So on this blog, I mainly post about my own training experiences, how things are going and the occasional review of awesome races and gear. One of my 2019 goals is to mix it up a bit more here and start posting some quick training tips to help other runners out there. So, without further ado... Introducing my very first #TipTuesday! 

I run with several local groups and a question that I hear quite often is: How do I get faster? The irritating short answer is - You run faster by running faster. The slightly longer answer includes training your body to become used to faster speeds by incorporating various forms of speed work into your regular training. The faster you push your run, the more that your body will get used to going faster, and your speed will improve in time. 

There are several different types of speed workouts that can be incorporated into your training. These include intervals, fartleks (fun to say), tempo runs, track work, hills, progressive runs, sprints and I'm sure even more. Today, I wanted to share with you my favorite way to add a bit of speed work into an otherwise regular run. It's a fun trick that I recommend especially for beginners who may be intimidated by traditional speed work. 

First off, let me say, I run with music. Like every run, even those with other people (I wear Aftershokz Trekz Air bone conducting headphones so I can hear everything going on around me - safety first). I typically listen to very upbeat songs while running, either a playlist that I have specifically made, or I will turn to Spotify for running playlists. It's important to mention this because this speed tip requires the use of music. It's part of what makes it fun! I call it - Musical Sprints

Musical Sprints is where you run normally during the verse of a song, but during  the chorus, you run all out, 100% effort. Song choruses typically last between 15 and 30 seconds which is plenty of effort for beginner sprint work. Plus, the chorus is typically repeated 3 or 4 times per song during an average 3 minute song. By running with cues from the music, you are not having to discipline yourself as much as far as keeping track of distances, times or having to set your watch or phone app, which frankly can be complicated. Plus, song choruses can be naturally energizing, especially if you populate your playlists with songs that you love!

Music makes me smile!
Let's do the math. So during a 30 minute run, let's say your listen to 10 songs. Assuming that during the first song you are warming up and do not incorporate sprints, you will sprint along with 9 songs. This gives you about 27 sprint intervals during a 30 minute workout. Not to shabby! And running along to the music makes it way more fun! And anything to make speed work more fun is a big plus in my book.

So, what do you think?  Do Musical Sprints sound fun to you? Do you have any unique or fun things that you incorporate into your training to make it more bearable? Let me know in the comments! 

Monday, December 31, 2018

2018 Recap

So here we are. The end of another year. Time for a final look at 2018 and see how things went as far as meeting my goals. But first up...

2018 Setbacks

I'll be honest, 2018 was a pretty great year for me overall. I didn't run into any real illness or injuries that kept me off the road. I owe a lot of that to an increase in cross training with Burn Boot Camp. Overall, going 2 or 3 times per week throughout the year I think kept me pretty healthy. If I had to pick a major area that I struggled with, it would have to be nutrition. I got what I felt was pretty lousy advice near the end of 2017 that set me on the path of some pretty unhealthy habits for weight loss (too few calories, too drastic loss). Right before the end of the year, I had lost 12 pounds in just 3 weeks while maintaining full activity. I felt like my body was shutting down. I think I kind of rebelled against that by not following any kind of plan once I realized that I could not keep going like that. Anyway, I need to be more sensible about watching what I eat and making better choices. I will be posting my goals for 2019 later this week, but you can be sure that nutrition will be a big one. I've been very lucky not to bounce back and gain a bunch of weight back, but that won't last forever, plus, esp with heavy training at the beginning of 2019, I just need to eat better to perform and feel better. Again, more on this soon. 

The most frustrating thing that I think happened to me in 2019 was missing hitting a new 5K PR by 3 seconds at Rock n Roll Savannah. 3 SECONDS! And yes, I know I had just set a new Half PR the day before, and I know I ran a good race, but missing by that little is super frustrating. And now that I've switched focus away from speed training, looks like that 5K PR will hold for a while. 

I also did not follow a regular planner like I had set out to do. This is one I am going to try as a do over goal for 2019, so I will be talking more about this in my upcoming 2019 goals. 2019 is going to have a pretty consistent theme of getting organized. I seriously cannot keep going on like a chicken with my head cut off. The chaos will be tamed in 2019! 

Otherwise... 2018 was kind of awesome! 

Let's take one last look at my goals and how I did. (Goals are listed in orange). Less than a month to get everything checked off! 

  • Run 1009 miles - me and a friend are splitting 2018 miles
    • BOOM! Mission accomplished a full MONTH early! I ended the year with 1,140 total miles! 

  • Run 18 races
    • Grand total of 21 races for 2018! Wow! I'll admit, I kind of got carried away at the end of the year. I will not be racing this much in 2019, but I do have a few important races lined up (see below). 2018 was EXHAUSTING! Here's what I ran - 

Baxter Trail NYD Gnome Run 5K, Joe Davis Run for Recovery 10K, Hot Chocolate 15K Atlanta, Hot Chocolate 15K Charlotte, Tobacco Road Half Marathon, Come See Me Road Race 5K, Kings Mountain Half Marathon, Warrior Dash 5K, Moonlight Bootlegger Trail 5K, Insane Inflatable 5K, Common Heart Firecracker 10K, Summerfest 5K, Color Me for Life 5K, Great Pumpkin Run 5K, Rock n Roll Savannah Half Marathon, 5K, and 1 Mile races, Run Hard Lexington 10K, Gobble Wobble 8K, Huntersville Half Marathon, and Santa Run 8K. Whew... 
  • Place in 4 races
    • Y'all this is one goal that I was super excited about exceeding. I managed 7 placements in 2018!! Here's the stats - 
      • 3rd Place Baxter Trail NYD Gnome Run 5K
      • 1st Place Come See Me 5K
      • 2nd Place Kings Mountain Half Marathon
      • 2nd Place Mooonlight Bootlegger Trail 5K
      • 1st Place Common Heart Firecracker 10K
      • 3rd Place Summerfest 5K
      • 1st Place Great Pumpkin Run 5K
Here's a quick visual of all the medals and awards I brought home. Missing is a pint glass for the NYD Gnome Run 5K because the decal washed off.

Bling for days... 

  • 1200 Twitter followers
    • Done and Done! I just surpassed 1500 followers! 

    • 1000 Instagram followers
      • Did not make my original goal, but in my last update post, I said I would be happy with 900. I hit that. Currently at 926. This will be a bigger focus in 2019.

      • Run 4 Half Marathons with a new PR in at least 1
        • 4 Half Marathons accomplished. And 2 new PRs! Here's what I raced:
          • New PR at Tobacco Road - 2:07
          • Kings Mountain Half Marathon (no PR, but improved over previous year)
          • Even newer PR at Rock n Roll Savannah - 2:05
          • Huntersville Half paced a friend who got a new PR for her!

        • Do an Obstacle Race (Warrior Dash) 
          • Done and done! This was a total blast. So much fun! I can't wait to run it again Although one of my friends is trying to convince us to upgrade to the Spartan. We'll see...
        Our crazy messy crew
        • Renew as BibRave Pro
          • So exited to say that I have achieved this goal! I have absolutely LOVED being a BibRave Pro and am stoked about being on board for another year. I've been able to test out some really amazing items this year (my favorites probably being Aftershokz and OOFS) and run some really fun races (2 Hot Chocolate races, Tobacco Road and Rock n Roll Savannah). But more than that, I am so thankful for the community of runners that I have gotten to meet over the past year. I cannot wait for the amazing opportunities that 2019 will hold for me with BibRave. I already have my first 2 2019 BibRave races scheduled, Hot Chocolate Charlotte on Jan. 19 and Tobacco Road Marathon (my first ever) on Mar. 17. Check out the notes at the bottom of this post for details on how you can join me at these races including discount codes! 

          • Blog more - 4 per month at least 
            • Some month's have been better than others (I'm looking at you, May and August) but I can say that I have overall done a much better job of blogging than in 2017.  This post will bring me to 50 for the year, which averages out to 4.2 posts per month which is so I'm calling it a win. I am going to be focusing even more on Blog building in 2019.

            • Keep a consistent training plan/journal (Using the Believe Training Journal) 
              • As you read above. This was a big ol' fail for me. Hey, if you met all of your goals, that means you didn't aim high enough, right!? That's what I am going with at least. This year I am trying the Simple Elephant planner. I have it already set up, ready to go. 
            Here a a few other 2018 Successes that I did not specifically have as goal, but wanted to mention:
            • New PR in every distance I raced in 2018 - 5K, 8K, 10K, 15K and Half. Now I didn't PR every race, I did at one point in the year PR each distance
            • Was consistent with Burn Boot Camp. Sure, I may call it Torture Camp, but it is all with love. I have gotten loads stronger, which has really helped my running and made some amazing friends. Love my #BurnSisters
            • Also, earlier this year, my Burn Boot Camp Rock Hill location had a location shirt design contest, and I won it! In fact, that pictured to the right is me wearing the shirt that I designed! 
            • Signed up for a Marathon. I may have mentioned this one or two (or a billion times). Signing up was one of my scariest moments of 2018. So far, I am on track with training. I just started Week 8 of 18 of training. 

            Looking Forward - Join Me on the Road in 2019

            As I mentioned above, I already have a few 2019 lined up. 

            I'm so excited about running my 3rd Hot Chocolate 15K (2nd Charlotte one) on January 19th. Not only do I think that 15K is the perfect distance (right around the 10 mile mark, I start to think to myself - Why am I still running? - but there is CHOCOLATE at the finish. Not just Hot Chocolate mind you, but all manner of yummies! Plus, their swag is legit some of the best race swag ever (see the pic to the right) Join me and register with discount code BRHCCharlotte and you get not only the medal, the jacket (so worth the registration fee alone) the chocolate and goodies (YUM), but also a really cool branded arm band for holding your phone while running. There is also a 5K option, but heads up that you do not get a medal for this. You still get the jacket, goodies and the arm band (with the discount code). 

            Tobacco Road Marathon on March 17th will be MY EVER FIRST MARATHON at Tobacco Road!! I have already started training with the BibRave and Aftershokz #262Squad and am on Week 4 of training. You can join me at Tobacco Road, register with discount code trmrave19 for $20 off either the Half or the Full - https://tobaccoroadmarathon.com 

            You can also join the #262Squad Marathon Training Program here: 262squad.aftershokz.com/
            Download the plan on the Motigo App and join in anytime. You will receive a full 18 week training plan that consists of 4 running days per week, many of which have helpful audio cues that play throughout your run. I'm loving it so far!. 

            How about you? Tell me how your 2018 went. What were your major accomplishments? Feel free to follow me on Twitter or Instagram if you haven't already.

            Are you looking at 2019 yet? If so, what do you have planned?

            ** Do note that I am right on schedule for the 2018 recap, unlike last year when was 3 days late 😊 See, already getting the jump on that getting organized thing for 2019. 

            Thursday, December 27, 2018

            WIN Big with WIN - Review and Giveaway

            Disclaimer: I received a bottle of WIN Sports Detergent to review 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! 

            While running and working out make me feel really great, all that hard, heavy activity also makes me smell not so great. It's cool, it happens to everyone, that's why showers and washing clothes are things. But have you ever noticed that after a while, even when they are freshly washed, your favorite workout clothes never quite smell nice anymore?

            I've found this happening especially with my Sports Bras. See, I only have 3, so they get a lot of use. I wear and wash each one at least 2x per week and after awhile, even though I know they are clean, they don't exactly smell it. This is because moisture wicking clothing tends to attract oils. The same properties that make your favorite workout clothes perform, also makes them more likely to be stinky!

            My clothes from my afternoon lunch run lay waiting.
            This is a common for 2 or 3 of my 5 day work week.
            I also have a pretty busy schedule, which means I am often packing and carrying my workout clothes in a gym bag (I will run or go to Burn Boot Camp first thing in the morning and then go straight to work where I can shower, change, and bag my sweaty clothes) where they... fester I guess is the best word... all day before I bring them home and hopefully (but let's be honest, sometimes I don't) take them out and dump into a laundry basket where they continue to ripen. Or, I think my worst recently smelly clothes transgression was earlier this month, when I ran and 8K in the pouring rain. After the race, I changed out of my soaking wet (both sweat and rain) clothes in the parking garage and threw them in my floor board where they sat for 4 days!!! Not proud of that, but being it is what it is.

            Anyway, I don't have to worry about that anymore, because I now have WIN. WIN is a High Performance Sports Detergent that targets oils and bacteria that get trapped in performance clothes and removes them. It contains specialized chemicals that are not found in general purpose laundry detergents that specifically target oil removal from synthetic clothing. For more information on how WIN works, check out their website for the details, including adorable infographics - https://www.windetergent.com/pages/how-it-works

            WIN comes in 2 different varieties, Fresh Scent and Fragrance + Dye Free. This is greatly appreciated in my household as my husband and little one I swear are allergic to basically every perfumed scent ever created, so the Fragrance + Dye Free is perfect for us.

            So how much am I digging Win? Well, my Sports Bras no longer smell like they could run down the road on their own. And those clothes I left in the car, they smell so fresh and clean that I wear the shirt often as a regular everyday shirt, not a just workout one. And, not only have I been using it with great results, but I also got some for my Mom. And if that is not a ringing endorsement, I am not sure what is. She's excited to use it on my Dad's gym clothes, which, WHEW, could use it (sorry Dad).

            Would you like to try it out WIN for yourself? Well I have fantastic news the, because I am GIVING AWAY a bottle for one lucky person to WIN (get it)!

            To enter to win a bottle of WIN Sports Detergent and get those smelly workout clothes smelling fresh and clean again just follow these easy steps:

            Go to my Instagram here: https://www.instagram.com/runnerdgirl
            1. Like this post:

            2. Follow both me (@runnerdgirl) and @windetergent
            3. Tag a friend in the comments. You and your friend will both entered to win (winner must be in continental USA). You will receive an entry for each person you tag (ie: tag 3 friends, they all get one entry and you get three!) I will do a random draw on Dec. 30 from all entries and notify the winner via DM. 
            Only 1 lucky person will win, but everyone can save 20% with coupon code RAVE4WIN on your WIN order through 1/15/2019 when you order on Amazon here: BUY NOW ON AMAZON

            Friday, December 21, 2018

            From Dreadmill to Treadmill with Zwift Running

            Disclaimer: I received a Zwift RunPod to review as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.comto review find and write race reviews! 

            So let me go ahead and put this out here. If you've followed my blog for any amount of time, or my socials, you may have noticed exactly 0 pictures of me running a treadmill. I legit don't like them. To me, it is mind numbingly boring. I have only ever run treadmill if I had no other choice. Even then, when given the option, I would usually choose the elliptical over the treadmill. It's just not my thing. 

            BUT... I may actually have learned about a new product that just may convince me otherwise. 

            Zwift Running

            What is it? Basically, it is a way to make the treadmill fun by watching a cute little avatar of yourself go on virtual runs in fun places with other people while you chug along on the treadmill to power them. Think Sims, that you power with your feet. You run in the real world, and virtual you runs across virtual courses. 

            To try it out, I met up with some of my BibRave Pro buddies to do a Virtual Race. It is super easy to set up and join events. There is even a companion app that you can download to your phone in order to chat during an event. 

            The Run Pod clips right onto your shoe
            There was just a bit of set up pre-event. First, to power your little cutie, you need to download the Zwift app to your laptop, phone or tablet. I used my iPad since I thought that it would be a bit easier to see on it than the phone and didn't want to try to prop up a laptop on the treadmill. You also will need a Foot Pod or a Bluetooth enabled Treadmill. I used the Foot Pod, which you can get online (stay tuned, at the end of this post there will be a discount code for ordering one). I connected my Foot Pod to my shoe and synced it with app and in no time I was ready to go. 
            Rare shot of me SMILING on a treadmill

            Since I don't have a Treadmill or a gym membership, my Mother In Law was kind enough to let me hang out in her workout room and use hers. (Thanks again). I did a quick pre-event workout to make sure that everything went smoothly and it all went off with no problems. Which, with my level of comfort with technology (practically non-existent) I was sure there would be issues, so I arrived pretty early. Next thing I knew though, it was event time and I had already run 3 miles. 

            Let me repeat... I ran 3 miles on a treadmill without hardly realizing it. It was so fun watching my cute little me running around. You get to choose your route by picking the direction you want to turn and there were so many cool things to look at like hot air balloons floating around and a volcano. It even started raining on my little virtual me for a bit. 

            Virtual me, happily running in the rain

            5 minutes before the official BibRave 5K event started, I got a notification that my event was starting and just had to click it to join. I was then taken to the start line with my fellow BibRave Pros. 

            And the BibRave 5K  is ON!
            It was super fun to see everyone's little avatars rearing to go at the start. There was a count down at the start of the race and we were off. I started running on my treadmill and my little virtual me started running her little virtual heart out. Every so often, you got asked which direction you wanted to go, left or right. I pretty much stuck to the routes along the beach, but at one point, I swear I was running underwater. It also started raining at one point, which I thought was pretty funny. All and all, watching little me run around kept me pretty distracted, but not so much that I couldn't keep a decent pace.

            I must have had a connection error at some point while running because I kind of lost my BibRave Pro friends and somehow ended up running with a bunch of people on bikes, but it was still pretty neat. Since I had come to put in 5K, that is what I did. Well, actually, I put in just a bit more than that. And after your run, you get all kinds of cool stats about your activity. 

            Overall, I actually enjoyed running on the treadmill. In fact, between the pre-workout, the 5K and a bit after, I put in 7 miles on it, which was a record for me (previous record being 6 miles). It was fun to look at all the neat things on the screen while running through the little virtual town of Watopia. I'd love to try out one of the other areas in the future: Central London and Richmond, VA. 

            If you would like to try out Zwift for yourself, they are running a deal currently - purchase a Run Pod at www.zwift.com and the first 1000 people to purchase get 15% off with discount code: Bibrave15. 

            Also, be sure to follow me on Zwift if you try it out, just download the Zwift Companion and search for me: Lissa Nypaver. Hopefully I will be able to get treadmill access again soon and put in some more runs. (OMG, did I just hope to run on a treadmill?!?!) 

            Maybe I'll run into you somewhere out there in Virtual Watopia! 

            Tuesday, December 18, 2018

            Marathon Training Update: Week 6 with the #262Squad

            "Disclaimer: I received access to the AfterShokz #262squad Marathon Training Experience on Motigo to review 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!"

            Well, I am officially on Week 6 of my Tobacco Road Marathon Training using the Aftershokz and BibRave #262Squad Marathon Training Plan powered by Motigo. And so far, so good. I haven't actually gotten into unfamiliar distances as I am still in the base building portion of the program, but so far, everything has been going quite smoothly. 

            The first few weeks saw me putting in very familiar distances. So far my longest run on this plan has been 10 miles while my longest run ever is 15. Well technically, I did a Half Marathon one week, so that was really my longest run in the training thus far, but that was me overachieving a bit, not the plan. What I love about this plan is that I have been able to modify it to fit my needs, so when the random race does pop up (like it did last weekend) I feel like I can easily swap out workouts.  
            Successful Half, with a new PR for my friend of the right!
            For example, last week, when I ran the Huntersville Half, was supposed to be my cut-back week where I drop down from 10 miles to just 6 for my long run. Instead, I switched it up a week and used last weekend as my cut-back week. I also didn't race the Half, but instead paced a friend, so as not to overexert during training. This week I will jump back into 12 miles, which again for me is not a new distance, so I feel pretty confident playing around with the schedule a bit. 

            Here's what the actual workout looks like -
            Each entry includes distance, tips and # of messages
            As for the actual audio recordings that I get to experience during the run, I've been loving them. The recordings come every few miles, at least once per week, during the long run, but on occasion I have had a recording during my Thursday training as well. These recordings have been everything from tips about practicing nutrition during the run, to fun stories that the trainers share to keep the mood light and fun. Some even give me tips while in the moment, like urging me to sprinkle in some strides throughout the run. Each message is preceded by a tone that allows me to turn up the volume if need be so I can hear more clearly if I have my Aftershokz turned down for whatever reason, like when I'm chatting while running. 

            All in all, I have been very thankful that I have gotten to experience this training plan. Marathon training can be pretty lonely if you are on your own. For some reason, unless they are in training as well, no one else really jumps at the opportunity to join you for a 20 mile run, lol. But sharing my training on socials and being a part of the #262Squad I am able to connect with others going through the same challenges, even if they are not physically with me. Also, seeing the success that Kim Fassetta recently had completing the same program for her first ever marathon - the Honolulu Marathon 2 weeks ago has given me a huge boost of confidence. You can read more about her journey here - https://aftershokz.com/blogs/news/join-me-in-hawaii-for-my-first-marathon 

            If your are considering your first marathon, and are interested in checking out the AfterShokz #262squad Marathon Training Experience, you can find out more by heading over to their website here - https://262squad.aftershokz.com/. The plan only costs $34.99 but the #262squad Marathon Training Experience is FREE with the purchase of Trekz Air or Trekz Titanium headphones!! It is perfect for training for your first Marathon, or any Marathon.

            Or, if you'd like to join me specifically at the Tobacco Road Marathon, you can register here: http://www.tobaccoroadmarathon.com/ and use discount code:  trmrave19 for $20 off your marathon or half marathon registration.