TGIFriday Faves.

Hi there and happy Friday to you! Hope you have some fun in store for the weekend!! There should be some running, holiday festivities and such on tap for me. Should be a good one! I am definitely looking forward to celebrating my epic 100 mile finish with good friends and fam. Plus, finally my legs are starting to move like normal. LOL so that is good.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!

A morning run with the Christmas lights. They are really doing it up in my hood with the festivities. I just love it.

My top songs from 2018 on Spotify. It is kinda fun to go back and reminisce. I could listen to pretty much all of those songs 100 times in a row each. Plus some good gems for teaching my spin class in there.

White chocolate peppermint pretzels? Oh this is going down. And soon.

This roasted broccoli recipe tastes kinda like Doritos. Now that I can get behind.

15 favorite running products of 2018. I do own some Brooks Levitates and I have to say they are excellent kicks for sure.

Have a great weekend!

What is on tap your your weekend? Any snazzy holiday parties?
Gift exchange party tonight, long run tomorrow AM, trail run club party tomorrow. Road runner club party Sunday.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Hello and welcome to another episode of Random Thoughts Thursday! We are talking all things running, non running, whatever related today. So, let’s get straight to it.

Thanks again to all of you for your well wishes and good vibes concerning BB100. Honestly it was such an incredible experience and I think out of both 100 milers that I’ve done this course was my favorite. Even with the mud and messy terrain, the trail is super runnable and I think on a dry day it would be perfect for some fast running. They do have a 50 miler in April too – and since it is warmer that time of year there are lots of alligator sightings!

(source)

Can you imagine running past those big ole things?

Full disclosure I was slightly disappointed I saw ZERO gators during my 100 mile run. It is funny because I thought since you’re running on the bayou, you would see them everywhere? But apparently they don’t like the chilly weather and they only come out to get their sun tan. Figures.

Upon finishing a 100 miler, you simply cannot just tell people, “Hey, I just completed a 100 mile race” without folks giving you a reaction of confusion. Like, IT IS KIND OF A BIG DEAL that you did such a feat. They first look at you like you’re a complete psychopath, and then ask you to repeat yourself as if you misspoke. Then they say something to the effect of “so, all at once?” “When do you sleep?” in sheer bewilderment. And it is not just your non runner friends.

-You know you’re a crazy runner when even your RUNNING friends think you are crazy.

-And I’m very aware and fine with that. Crazy is my gift.

Post race eats- Popeye’s popcorn shrimp with rice and a biscuit. Okay, I had TWO biscuits y’all. Can we just talk about the amazingness that is the Popeye’s biscuit. Good gracious alive.

I have a ridiculous amount of holiday parties to attend this weekend that just thinking about it makes me cross eyed. It all starts tonight.

Also, I’ve gotten ZERO Christmas shopping done. I guess I had better get to it. Maybe I can do some on my lunch break today.

In other news, my pink Christmas tree makes me happy and like all is well with the world.

How is your week going? Are you finished with your Christmas shopping? (you overachiever, you.)

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hey there! It is Weds Spin Playlist time! I am only teaching 2 cycle classes this week due to some holiday festivities and of course a bit of recovery after BB100 (catch up HERE if you missed the race recap!) such but I thought I’d still hit you with some tunes! Hope you enjoy.

And as always be sure to check out where I’m teaching classes next and follow me on Spotify: thedancingrunner

Let’s go for a ride!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3MsoPkhDX7nqiF8F4AWUSi

Uptown Vibes- Meek Mill, Anuel Aa: Warm up
Bling Bling- Malaa: Accelerations
Wait A Minute- Pussycat Dolls: Tapbacks
Satisfied- Galantis: Rolling hills
Jump- Rihanna: Jumps on a hill
Dose- Ciara: Hill climb
Pills & Automobiles- Chris Brown: Seated/standing run
Never- Chace: Sprints
I Like It- Cardi B: Active recovery
In Those Jeans- Herve Pagez: Tapbacks
Turn Me On- David Guetta, Nicki Minaj: Jumps
The Way You Make Me Feel- Michael Jackson: Hill climb
Shine Good- Garmiani: Accelerations
Be My Lover (Zerb Remix)- Sam Feldt: Rolling hills
Run the World (Kaskade Remix)- Beyonce: Sprints
Day and Night- Majid Jordan: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?
Tell me something random about today!
Bath and Body Works coconut lime verbena lotion that I stole from my hotel room last weekend is everything today.

Brazos Bend 100 Mile Recap.

Hey ya’ll- I’m back from Brazos Bend 100! That’s right, I have lived and survived another ULTRA race. My experience was definitely one with a lot of ups and downs but absolutely incredible and I’m super eager to share it with you! Let’s backtrack a bit to the night before.

I arrived to Brazos Bend State Park in the evening and got all settled in the shelter. They are like mini cabins, with electricity, a fan and we had showers and restrooms nearby. It was SO nice to have a lodging area right at the site of where the race was. This made for a stress free morning and I was fired up and ready to go for the 6 AM start. This was my 2nd 100 miler so for the most part I knew what to expect, I had my nutrition plan/hydration dialed in and ready to go.

The 100 mile course itself is a 16.74 mile loop a total of 6 times. It winds around through the state park and into the woods a bit, which is a totally dirt trail with lots of mud. Since it rained pretty steady down in the Houston area, the ground was super saturated. Which proved to make for an interesting terrain! There was a LOT of mud on the course that was super deep, and almost sucked your shoes right off of you. So, that was quite interesting.

The beginning of this race, I started out pretty conservative and felt rather good. Energy wise, I was feeling great and so very happy- a few of my friends from the Dallas Dirt Runners were even there to join the party. I also know a few people from the Trail Racing Over Texas clan (which is mostly based out of the Houston area) so it was nice to see SO many familiar faces. And unlike at Rocky Raccoon (my 1st 100 miler last year) the loops were short, and with nearly 900 RUNNERS (!) you never felt alone on the trail or anywhere along the course.

The entire day mostly was just trucking along in the mud and me constantly assessing how my body felt running through the muddy terrain. Going into this race I did know that I wanted to run a fairly faster race than last year, but with the course being so messed up due to weather, I was starting to feel like this was not within reach. We also saw a TON of folks drop out in all distances (ranging from the half marathon to 100 miles) really due to not being able to run the course because it was so muddy. But I knew I did not come here to sell myself short and quit early. Because if there’s anything about me that stands strong it is the fact that I am stubborn as all hell and I WILL NOT let my brain tell me that I cannot do something. Where there’s a will, there’s a hell of a way.

So I kept on trucking until my pacer, Kevin joined me for my 4th loop. For those of you that have been faithfully following along this was my pacer that ran with me at Rocky last year. I knew the minute I signed up for this race that I wanted Kevin to run with me through the night. Sometimes in life you just meet those people, who just kind of GET you. And get your crazy. I feel like Kevin is one of those people. So…we went through the night, and talked and talked and laughed and hallucinated together in the dark and he literally kept me awake when I wanted to sleep run/power hike. I did reach a few low points during this race, and Kevin was right there to talk some sense into me. I knew with Kevin there, there was no way I was going to quit. Sometimes you just need those people, to remind you of your incredible strength and power.

As far as the aid stations on the course, again this time I just took advantage of everything on the course. I was so thankful this time my body never felt weak and my tummy didn’t give up on me. I think I ate and drank at appropriate times and the incredible volunteers made sure we were so well taken care of! Rob Goyen, the race director definitely makes sure all aid stations are well stocked and it is honestly one of the best run trail racing situations I’ve seen in my years of doing this. I honestly want to run more of his races now that I know how organized everything is. It definitely makes for an incredible race experience despite the conditions.

So, we reached loop 6 (MY LAST LOOP! Hallelujah) and I was able to grab a 2nd pacer since Kevin had run with me throughout the night. My friend, Robin who is a very seasoned ultra runner, got me through the morning hours. At this point, my legs were absolutely trashed. There’s just no way of getting around that fact, at mile 80 something, when you want to throw in the towel the most. I mean I think I power hiked a majority of that loop because I just felt like I could not go anymore. But she made sure I kept going, and distracted me with talk of her current races and just life in general. It was fun having that “girl talk” coffee chat in the morning- to get me through it as the sun was starting to rise.

The last stretch I started to become worried that I may not beat my time from last year, simply because the mud was so relentless that entire course. My calves were starting to give out completely on me, and a few times I needed to stop and stretch and reassess. Robin told me she had done a 100 mile mountain race recently that she had to back out of and DNF (did not finish). She quit because the weather conditions were tough and things just weren’t going well. She said “I had to DNF and it is still something that’s staying with me and I can’t shake to this day. If you feel like you can keep going, do it.” The words she said, stuck with me. I didn’t care what the outcome was going to be at that point or if I PR’d. I wanted that buckle more than anything in the world.

The buckle represents so much literal blood, emotions, and strength that the day holds. I wanted to go home with a sense of proud accomplishment, something that no one could take away from me. It is something honestly that you can’t explain in an Instagram caption or Facebook post. Or to a coworker who asks you what you did over the weekend. It stays with you, and in the weak moments in life, it’s there to remind you of that day you overcame weakness, tears and just continued to press forward when hope was lost.

And when it was all said and done, I finished the mission with a finish time that I was super proud of. I set a PR, a personal record and slashed off 20+ minutes off of my last 100 mile finish.

I absolutely loved this course and will definitely return. It was funny because I think around 1 AM or so I told Kevin, “I don’t think I’m cut out for 100 milers. This is just not my thing”. But now, I’m thinking of returning to the distance, in some capacity. Isn’t that how it always happens? Except, us 100 mile runners, we have a few screws loose. That is for sure.

“I’m convinced that a lot of people run ultramarathons for the same reason they take mood-altering drugs. I don’t mean to minimize the gifts of friendship, achievement, and closeness to nature that I’ve received in my running career. But the longer and farther I ran, the more I realized that what I was often chasing was a state of mind – a place where worries that seemed monumental melted away, where the beauty and timelessness of the universe, of the present moment, came into sharp focus.”
― Scott Jurek, Eat and Run: My Unlikely Journey to Ultramarathon Greatness

How was your weekend? Any more ultrarunnner unicorns out there? Share your battle stories with me!

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Hello! Lots of randomness to discuss today…non running as well as running related! So, let’s get straight to the point…

I am starting to get a little nervous/anxious/excited about BB100. I think it will be a trail party extravaganza though and also a tad rainy as there is a little rain in the forecast. But these legs are ready to put in some work. Let’s do this.

I had a lavender latte after my run this morning. It was glorious especially with the almond milk in it. Is it STRANGE that I felt a sense of calm after drinking it? Legit I think it was the lavender that made me all chill. Haha.

I have a strange obsession this week with Justin Bieber songs. This one is a serious BOP. Throwback Thursday.

-Speaking of pop artists. I don’t know what everyone’s obsession is with T. Swift. Is she still a thing? I’ve never really liked her music like that. I had a few friends that went to her concert in Dallas recently. I don’t think I would be able to sit through it.

Y’ALL-JAPANESE RICE CUBES– is this real life…WANT. Someone make this for me or teach me how to make it, STAT. I imagine it couldn’t be that difficult. lol.

Tell me something random about your day!

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hey there! Hope your hump day is going lovely. I’ve got a spin cycle playlist for your eardrums today! Hope you do enjoy.

As always follow along on Spotify under thedancingrunner and see where I will be teaching spin cycle classes next in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area!

Let’s go for a ride!

I Can Make Ya- Fingazz: Warm up
Fuego- Skytech: Accelerations
Pinata- Throttle: Tapbacks
Crazy Kids- Kesha, Juicy J: Rolling hills
Swalla- Jason Derulo, Nicki Minaj: Jumps
This is What You Came For (Dillon Francis Remix)- Calvin Harris, Rihanna, Dillon Francis: Sprints
My Love is Like…Wo- Mya: Active recovery
No Letting Go- Wayne Wonder: Hill climb
Breathe (Boston Bun Remix)- Jax Jones: Accelerations
Disco Inferno- 50 Cent: Hill climb
The Anthem- Pitbull, Lil Jon: Jumps on a hill
AGEN WIDA- Joyryde: Sprints
Higher- Taio Cruz: Rolling hills
Oh Lord (Swifta Beater Remix)- Mic Lowry: Tapbacks
Pump It- The Black Eyed Peas: Hill climb
Bad Habits- Maxwell: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?

Holiday Gift Ideas for Your Favorite Runner.

So today I thought we’d talk about some gifts you can give to your favorite runner this season! Whether you are going to your running group Christmas party, or you simply want to give YOURSELF something (hey…you are allowed to be your favorite runner – just saying) here are a few ideas you can have handy on your gift giving shopping list.

Runner sunglasses. Some sunglasses that are all the rage in my area right now are Goodr Sunglasses. They come in some pretty fancy colors too and they name all of them different fun names (“Flamingos on a Booze Cruise” or “Breakfast Run to Tiffany’s” for example). Check them out here, I am sure you will fall in love.

Running cookbook. “Run Fast, Cook Fast, Eat Slow” is a great buy and includes things like post workout meals you can put together in 30 minutes or less! Sounds like a win/win to me.

Recovery sandals. There are lots of ’em on the market, PR Soles specifically are great at absorbing impact and include acupoint massage triggers that work your feet as you go. I can get onboard with that.

Thermal vest. Brooks Cascadia vest looks comfy and fashionable, I’ve also found some great thermal vests at places like Ross and TJ Maxx if you are looking to save a little money. Check the Brooks vest out here.

Massage gift card. This is always a great option for the runner in your life that does not get massages. I personally have benefitted from them greatly over the years and attribute being injury free to my monthly massage fix. Your favorite runner will love you forever.

Headlamp. I personally like the Petzl brand, also check out different brands from places like Academy or REI.

A box of GU energy gels. My personal favorite is the salted caramel. You can purchase an assortment 24 pack on Amazon or usually go into any of your local running stores to grab a box.

What are some other gift giving ideas for your favorite runner?

Weekly Running Report.

Hi, hey and hello there! Hope your week is off to a smashing start. I am here to share some of last week’s running workouts with you! Brazos Bend 100 is right around the corner and I could not be more pumped up. Let’s recap and see how last week went down.

Monday- 7.20 miles watching the sunrise. Great way to start Monday, on my favorite lake enjoying the view.
Tuesday- 10.03 miles with my early run crew, again starting at the track with them and then ending the run solo. A lot of them are training for different races but I love being able to find a group that runs early and knowing they are out there and we are all getting it done. Miles for breakfast.
Wednesday- 8.12 miles of hills in the ‘hood. I kinda forgot how my neighborhood has some hills hidden in it. It was so nice mixing up my usual neighborhood route and doing some exploring.
Thursday- 10.21 miles, again with a beautiful morning RUNrise. RUNrises equal a happy Chelsea.
Friday- 7.32 miles. Running on my rest day, always fun. Actually I’ve been playing around with which rest day that I like better. I think Friday still wins because it gets me ready for a weekend of long running. But sometimes Sunday can be a nice rest day option too. Anyways, I just felt like running through the entire week. LOL. This week leading up to my race I will take Friday off.
Saturday- Back with the WRRC run club. 16.01 miles done and we changed up the route a bit again which I always like. Our run club is pretty big on Saturdays so I always like running with different people and learning about them and what makes them tick. Fun fun.

Post run obsession. Tuna poke bowl with all of the good stuff. I could eat this every day. But especially awesome after a long run.

Sunday- 3.21 nice and easy miles. Actually this definitely felt like a rest day. The weekend was absolutely beautiful. This time of year down in Texas is my favorite. Highs were in the 70s. Patio weather at its finest.

And there you have it!

Plus, we ended the month of November last week with a whopping 330 monthly miles. It has been a great few months of training as you can see. Keeping those miles high and legs fired up for what is to come.

How was your running week last week? Any races coming up?
BB100 – my 2nd 100 miler and I am super stoked.

TGIFriday Faves.

TGIF and happy Friday and all that jazz! I don’t know about you but I need me some weekend fun in my life! This weekend will be filled with running, some yoga-ing and lotsa friend time!! We are in for another pleasant weekend down in Texas. It kinda feels like springtime down here. Loving it while it lasts.

Let’s get to my faves from this week!

Obsessed with this song still. Loving this remix for spin class. My fellow instructors you must use it, it’s amazing.

Apparently the cleaning ladies at work are some Christmas loving savages. I threw this old holiday décor in the trash and they proceeded to take it OUT OF THE TRASH and back on my desk which I found this morning. Straight savages I tell ya.

SAD that this go round of The Real Housewives of Dallas is ending. I have to say though that Kameron really grew on me this season. Ha. She is soooo DALLAS it is just funny. I think the Dallas girls are my new favorites. Sorry RHOA.

Where are my vino lovers at. THIS WINE you must find. Apothic Inferno. I have looked for Inferno months and I found it you guys. Highlight of the whole week.

My pretty pink Christmas tree. Yes you are seeing double. Loving it! And yes I put my ultra runner buckles on there. Buckles are the new ornaments. Believe it.

Happy feel good shoes. Aren’t they the greatest? I am in love with booties of all kinds right now. Booties as in the shoes. LOL.

Have a great weekend!

Any fun plans this weekend?
Hopefully some brunching…running…you know the usual.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Today is another random episode of random thoughts Thursday! This is the day where I share all of my random rants and confessions with all of you. Because sometimes I like to be a totally open book. I’m not always like that but I guess this can be a great form of therapy, yes!? So grab a cup of joe and let’s get to it.

-For some reason my alter ego “CC” has made a couple of appearances this week…I’m mostly a happy go lucky person both on the blog and in real life. But- Cranky Chelsea sometimes happens. It is funny though, because most people that I work with say that they’ve never really seen me upset. So, maybe I don’t look as cranky as I really am? Well I guess that is good.

One of my coworkers has finger puppets in her office that she brings out to play whenever things get hectic. I think I need to get me some finger puppets. That could be a fun thing.

I will say that Black Santa always makes me very happy. He is kind of my version of finger puppets.

Do you like smooth jazz? For some reason smooth jazz always makes me feel calm. That and ocean noises.

-I used to go to my dad’s office when he had he practiced medicine in Dallas (he is a retired doctor) and in the waiting room he would always have smooth jazz playing. So I think that is where it comes from.

Also, running calms me down quite a bit. Yes, it is and always will be my therapy.

I’ve signed up for the Hachie 50 miler again next year! This will be the 4th year in a row I’ve run it and my FIFTH 50 mile race! A little humble bragging there. It will always be my favorite ultra.

It has been rolling around in my mind that maybe I’m done with running marathons for a while. Marathons are boring to me right now. Maybe I should just exclusively run ultras. But then I know in the spring I’m going to want to run shorter races again. Shorter races means 26.2 miles. HAHA. I feel like I had this same exact feeling about the marathon distance last year. It comes and goes. But really I simply enjoy ultras more than I do marathons. That fact has never changed. I am an ultrarunner unicorn, what can I say.

-Here is a fun game! Ask me if I feel this way in the month of April of next year. No lie I will email you a Starbucks coffee if you are the first one to ask and my answer changes. Mark my words.

Speaking of java, had a MAPLE CAYENNE latte with almond milk this morning and you guys it was absolutely everything I could have ever asked for. You must check this place out if you are in DFW it is phenomenal. They also have a LAVENDER latte and some other things I plan on trying.

Tell me something random about today!
Coffee lovers, what is your favorite coffee right now?
Usually I would just say an Americano or just plain black coffee but almond milk lattes are taking over.