5 Ways to Love Running in the Dark.

DARKNESS…are you scared of running in it? Do you think the boogeyman will come and get you?! There are many ways to actually enjoy running in the dark, and I am here to provide you with a few tips and ways you can survive it. And not only survive it really, but have FUN and love doing it! Because running should be fun, and if it isn’t then what are you doing it for?

Let’s get to it!

1. Safety in numbers. Really the number one way to enjoy running in darkness is to grab a few of your closest (craziest) running buddies to have with you along for the ride. Whether it is a 5 AM jaunt before sunrise or galavanting in the night after work, you can guarantee you will have 1,000 times more fun if you are with others. I personally love my early morning runs with my die hard runner buds, they are the main reason why I love morning running during the work week.

2. Light it up!! There are so many excellent options for headlamps, you can even buy them super cheap at places like Lowe’s/Home Depot etc. I love my Petzl headlamp from REI, it has endured many a dark trail run. They are especially helpful if you are interested in running ultras, many times these races start and/or END in the dark so you will want to be well prepared. I know friends that like the lit up reflective vests too and also you can put blinky lights on your hydration pack if you carry one on your back.

3. Watch that fancy footwork. Always be sure to watch your footing in the darkness, on the trail and even on pavement. It is easy to miss spots and take a tumble so having lights to see and being cognizant of your foot placement makes all the distance.

4. Stay alert/run against traffic. This is one of the things I love the most about trail running is that you don’t have to worry about traffic at all. But when on the ROAD be sure to stay aware of your surroundings at all times. I do not wear headphones when I run for this very reason. If I listen to music at all it is low volume and I’ll carry my phone. And always try to run in lit up areas that are well populated especially if running alone.

5. Realize that running in the dark will make you super TOUGH mentally. Not many people enjoy running outside when it is cold and dark (and this is without a doubt the time of year that many runners lose focus and/or interest due to lack of motivation) so just you getting out there and roughing it out will make you a total BOSS. You don’t have to go super long, either. Even a quick 3-4 mile jaunt will make all the difference and come spring time you will be totally dominating your races. Believe it.

How is your training going? Anyone have any sweet runner reflective gear they’ve bought lately?

Weekly Running Report.

Well hello there! Happy beautiful Monday to you. I am here to recap some miles from last week – just over 70 miles of running to be exact! Hope you had a lovely weekend. Let’s take a look at how it all went down.

Monday- 7.22 miles after running Rock n Roll Arizona. The legs were stiff after being on a jet plane and I needed to get them moving again! So it was slow, low key, lovely miles. It was super chilly in the beginning of last week and quickly warmed up.

Tuesday AM- 4.12 miles at lunch time. Much needed stress relief break in the middle of the work day.

Tuesday PM- 4.22 evening miles after teaching a class at the gym.

Wednesday AM- The weather was starting to warm up and I was LOVING the sunshine. 4.62 miles done. Back on my double run day game.

Wednesday PM- 5.03 miles on hump day in the hood. Doing some people watching while watching the sunset on the lake.

Thursday AM- Back with my Irving Running Club morning crew! 10.04 miles complete.

Thursday PM- 5.03 miles getting the legs moving after the long work day. Obviously I was feeling spunky. AND trying to hit some numbers before rest day.

Friday- REST DAY

Saturday- I ran the Knob Hills trail 25k with some trail running buds! Really I ran this race to support my homies over at the Denton Area Running Club. Great race and the trail is both challenging and FUN. I loved being back out on the trails again after doing so much road racing in the last few months. And the icing on the cake – a new 25k TRAIL PR!! Woot woot.

You’ve gotta love the trail race swag. They gave us sweet trucker hats and love the wooden painted medals.

Sunday (early) AM- 10.2 easy early road miles in Valley Ranch makes my soul happy.

Sunday AM- 4.1 Sunday funday runday trail miles with these lovelies. Coffee and good eats after. Love love.

And there you have it!

Oh and it would not have been Sunday without a little vino. Don’t you love my wine glass? Run Chelsea Run.

Have a great week!!

Tell me 3 best things about your weekend!

TGIFriday Faves.

Hello again Friday!! I am so happy that you are here. Cannot wait for some fun free time this weekend. Why does it seem like this week dragged a bit? Not sure but very happy to let my hair down and enjoy some fun free time. I’ve got a 25K trail race on tap, good times with friends and loved ones and then a whole lot of relaxing on the agenda!

Let’s get to this week’s faves!!

This cute top…I feel like especially living in Texas I’m always needing more long sleeved tops for winter.

18 strength moves you’ve got to try. Love me some russian twists.

28 ways to never have a wardrobe malfunction again. I admittedly have never tried no-tie shoelaces. Clearly its time.

The Forerunner 645 with MUSIC!? Who has one? Tell me all about it…I kind of want one.

That’s all for this week! Have a marvelous Friday.

What’s on tap for your weekend? Any fun races? Who is venturing out to the trails?!

Random Thoughts Thursday.

You know what time it is…random thoughts Thursday!! This is the day I share all of my confessions and deepest darkest secrets with you. Sometimes it involves running and sometimes it really does not. So let’s get started on the randomness, shall we?

This week has without a doubt been a bit of a shock to the body when it comes to running. It was about 11 degrees Wednesday morning and felt like 5!! That is bone chilling cold for this TEXAN, y’all!! So to say I’ve been loving the sunshine when it does come out is an understatement. The funny part about all of this is the fact that temps will be in the 60s and 70s this weekend. INSANITY. Hello Texas weather, you are forever bipolar. Get with the program.

I have never been more addicted to chapstick. I tell you what if I somehow lose my chapstick during the day I will go absolutely insane. I think probably the most uncomfortable thing to deal with in life is DRY LIPS. Just no.

Although I work in television, I rarely ever watch TV at home anymore. It’s YouTube videos all day everyday. And I’m kind of embarrassed by how many times I’ve looked up old interviews from the OJ Simpson case or Whitney Houston documentaries on there. Kind of obsessed forever in those stories.

Whitney Houston (or Nippy – that was her nickname!!) You will be forever missed.

For some reason I am actually interested in Kylie Jenner’s pregnancy. Like, why exactly is she in hiding? Because she is so young? Also, do you think she will stay with Travis Scott?? Or is the baby really Tyga’s?? OR was she actually Kim K’s surrogate? Also, why do I care so much? SO.MANY. (frivolous) QUESTIONS.

I’ve thought about not racing so much this year and just maintaining my high mileage. It’s tough though because I really enjoy just running for fitness purposes, but I have a wicked competitive streak that needs to be stroked every now and again. You feel me!? So I’m torn. I do have a few items I need to check off the list this year, including my 2nd 100 miler (!!) But it probably won’t be till fall/winter.

This weekend I’m back on the trails – I’ll be running the Knob Hills 25k trail race on Saturday and then playing with trail buds after. I really do feel like trail running has turned me into a stronger road runner in the last year. Something about rocks and roots and all of that damn climbing – will make you tough as nails!! Mentally and physically. Can’t wait to be back on the dirt path.

What are some of your random thoughts this week?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hello! Are you ready for a rockin’ workout playlist today?! I’ve got some jams you will love! And for my fellow fitness/indoor cycle instructors, a speedy spin workout to utilize in your classes!! Hope you do enjoy!

And while you’re at it check out where I’ll be teaching spin class next in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area! Plus, follow me on Spotify: thedancingrunner 

Let’s go for a ride!

She Loves Control- Camila Cabello: Warm up
Savage Mode- KAZZANOVA: Accelerations
Reverse- Sage the Gemini: Rolling hills
Wait a Minute- Ray J, Lil Kim: Seated/standing run
The Party- Joe Stone: Tapbacks
Don’t Tell ‘Em- Jeremih: Hill climb
Oh Lord- Mic Lowry: Jumps
In the Air- Bad Royale, T-Pain: Sprints
Fight Night- Migos: Active recovery
On the Floor- J.Lo, Pitbull: Hill climb
Delirious- Steve Aoki, Kid Ink: Accelerations
Good Feeling- Flo Rida: Rolling hills
Let Me Love You- Zedd, Justin Beiber: Jumps on a hill
Mi Gente (MOSKA Remix)- J Balvin: Team sprints
She Knows- NeYo, Juicy J: Hill climb
Luxury Cococure- Maxwell: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?

Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon Recap.

So, do people even do race recaps anymore? Or do they actually READ them?! Hello…blog reader, are you out there? Well, that is okay, I am an only child and used to talking to myself. So much so, it is quite scary actually. Anyway – let’s do a quick review and recap of the Rock n Roll Arizona Marathon. I actually REALLY enjoyed this race! Much more than I thought I would. It literally was a last minute, impromptu decision on my part to run it. Mostly because it was FREE, and you know how runners like those words. So when Brooks Running granted me the opportunity I jumped at the idea. Even though, I’m still really running high-ish mileage and loving my 70-80 mile weeks. I figured, what the heck, let’s go out of town to run a destination race. Kind of love when that happens.

For this race I also had zero expectations, especially after my marathon PR just a few short weeks ago. I knew sub 4 would be ideal though, and to just go rock it out. So I arrived early Saturday morning, checked into my AirBnB and ventured on over to the Rock n Roll Arizona expo. The sunrise flight was absolutely beautiful. And I got to watch Bridesmaids for free. Sorry folks that were sitting next to me for my obnoxious laughter, that movie never gets old.

Of course I had to do a little photoshoot at the expo. Hello Brooks Running photo booth.

I grabbed my race number and was ready to go. I actually ate dinner super early in downtown Pheonix, laid out my race clothes and was in bed by like 8 pm. I’m an old lady at heart.

Race morning! The race started a tad late for my taste, but it was good because it allowed me to take my time, eat my Honey Stinger waffle for breakfast and ride up to the start. The COOL thing about this race is that the HALF and FULL marathoners started in a completely different location. I thought that was badass especially for a Rock n Roll race. All of the RnRs I have done (Las Vegas, Dallas, San Diego, New Orleans) seem to all just be kind of a cluster in terms of the race start. So to me this felt very organized. I lined up in my corral, corral 2, and we took off.

The race starts in Phoenix, winds around to beautiful Scottsdale and then ends up in Tempe. The whole time you get a killer view of the mountains and palm trees which I loved. HEY, we do not have cool landscape like that in Dallas! So I was in absolute heaven. At the start, temps were fairly cool, 50s and then climbing fast. The high was 80 for the day so you can imagine, the back half of this race was in the straight up SUN with zero shade. It was cool, again with low expectations I was okay with running with the sun. I ended up having to strip down to my sports bra around mile 23 or so on. The race was also mostly flat and fast with a few rollers towards the end. The rolling hills did not bug me at all. There was a LONNNGG stretch of bridge though at about mile 25 (again with the sun) that got me a bit. So it turned into a bit of a shuffle at the end which made me doubtful I would run under 4 hours. But my fairly even splits in the beginning saved me towards the end. I managed to slide in at a smooth 3:53:35, one of my fastest races out of 28 marathons. HEY, for running a last minute marathon with zero tapering involved, yeah buddy – I’ll take it.

After the race, I grabbed my bag from gear check, threw on my flip flops and did some more exploring before jumping on a plane that night. Super fun, super random, and I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

Thank you, Pheonix. You know how to have a good time.

Anyone ever done Rock n Roll Arizona? How did you like it?

Weekly Running Report.

So I’m clearly behind on blog posts this week. Hope you all are having a fantastic Tuesday so far!! I’m here to recap my 70.6 miles of running last week, which included a trip to PHX for the Rock n Roll Arizona marathon! Let’s see how it all went down.

Monday AM- 7.32 lunchtime miles. The weather was actually pretty glorious in Texas. We had plenty of sunshine, especially in the afternoons. Love it.

Monday PM- Quick 3.25 mile warm up before the gym since I had time to kill before 6:30 pm. Getting the legs moving after the long work day.

Tuesday- 10.22 miles with my breakfast club run crew. Running so early + coffee after. Match made in heaven.

Wednesday AM- 7.12 lunchtime miles once again. Love that little break in the work day. Then hit the next door gym, quick wash up and back to work.

Wednesday PM- 4.06 miles with a neighbor. YES I am trying to formulate my own mini running club right on the lake since I have a few friends that live right around me. And well, the ones who don’t run, can just join us for happy hour. LOL.

Thursday- 8.23 miles with IRC. Last big run before my impromptu race weekend.

Friday- Quick 4.12 mile run, getting the kinks out before I had to fly on a jet plane.

Saturday- REST DAY. I traveled in the morning and made it to Phoenix for the sunshine. Thanks to Brooks Running I was able to score a last minute comped entry to this race. So I TOTALLY ran it for a fun destination RACE-cation. No expectations but to just go out there and have a great time. And that I did.

Sunday- Race day! 26.31 miles done, 3:53:35 finish time. One of my fastest times to date out of 28 marathons and of course a sub 4, in HOT temps at the end! I tell you what it felt so good to be in those flip flops after. It was a balmy race with no shade really in the back half but still had a lovely time. You cannot beat 80 degrees in January.

I did a little mingling with strangers and some bar hopping before hopping back on the plane on Monday. Love it love it. I think I’l be back for this race, perhaps to run the half since it got hot later on in the race. But beautiful city and love Arizona, I plan on doing some hiking next time. And perhaps I need to find a trail race out here.

Up next, I’ll be running a 25k at Knob Hills this upcoming weekend. Can’t wait to get back on the trails!

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? Anyone know of some good desert style trail races in New Mexico or Arizona I should sign up for? I need to explore the southwest!!

TGIFriday Faves.

It is Friday indeed. How was your week? Mine was just dandy. I am without a doubt ready for the weekend!

And no, I’m not really off the clock as I type this. HA. But counting down though as I bust out this last bit o’ work!!

Without further ado let’s recap some of my favorite things from the week!!

Why hip alignment for runners is so important. YES, yes and yes. I could not agree more. Gotta love me some yoga in my living room lately and doing lots of hip opener stretches. Pigeon pose is the real MVP.

How to pack your gym bag like a trainer. As a side hustle fitness instructor, I can get behind this. Also, this vest? WANT. Love the color.

Healthy soups to survive winter. I am hardcore eyeing that cauliflower chowder.

Mariah says BRUNCH IS OVER?! Honey, I’ll have to wholeheartedly disagree.

And that is all for this week! Have a fabulous Friday.

What’s in your gym bag? Brunch- yay or nay?!

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Happy Thursday to you! The weekend is getting just a bit closer. I can taste it!! It is RANDOM thoughts Thursday!! AKA one of my favorite days of the week. So let’s get started with the randomness and ratchetry, shall we?

I have been absolutely loving running during my lunch hour lately. I am very thankful I have somewhat of a flexible schedule and I work next door to the gym to go wash up afterwards. It is like my little sanity in the craziness of the day. Of course your girl will always be a morning runner (and lets be honest I run ALL TIMES OF THE DAY) but as of late I think lunch runs are where it’s at. Food is overrated. Just kidding, don’t be all in my inbox talking about I need to eat. I LOVE to get my grub on. Thank you, goodbye.

It is no longer the holidays and I still have BLACK SANTA straight chillin in the office. And I have no plans of taking him down. I like to think he watches over us gleefully while we are working in the office.

I hate to say this but the Real Housewives of whatever is just not doing it for me like it was before. Is it just me or are like all of the housewives hella boring now?? Why is this? Goodness I used to love them. Even Atlanta has me yawning. I need to get back into Vanderpump Rules. I hear it’s really entertaining lately.

I’ve had New Orleans on the brain and so I feel like maybe this is my year to pay Nola a visit. Perhaps for mardi gras or something? I told y’all that mardi gras is like my favorite holiday. Just because I love all of the beads and colors and stuff.

You know what kind of sucks? When you have a bit of a falling out with an overly competitive run buddy. But guess what? The universe has replaced said run buddy with about 20 NEW buddies and I simply could not be happier. So thanks, universe. Good looking out.

I’m loving Soul BPM on Spotify and am trying to figure out how to get all of the songs on my spin playlists from next week. Movin and groovin.

Cardi B is supposedly performing at the Grammys. And I am here for it. I know she has some haters out there but I respect her hustle. And all of her songs right now are on the top of the Billboard charts. Crazy. You can’t help but to like her.

What are some of your random thoughts this week?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hello there!! Hope your hump day is going fantastic! I have some spin cycle jams for your eardrums today!! These songs are also great for any high energy workout – running, HIIT, etc. Hope you do enjoy!

And for my fellow cycle instructor readers, each workout playlist below is 55 minutes to over an hour long to use for your classes!! You can also check out more workout playlists here & follow me under thedancingrunner! I add Spotify playlists on a weekly basis!!

Plus check to see where I’ll be teaching spin class next in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area.

Let’s go for a ride!

Finesse (Remix)- Bruno Mars feat Cardi B- Warm up
Clap Back- Ja Rule: Standing run
Creepin’- CID: Rolling hills
Bicycle Ride- Vybz Kartel: Accelerations
Alright- Pitbull:Tapbacks
Runnin’- Pharrell: Hill climb
I Don’t Like it, I Love It- Flo Rida: Jumps on a hill
Put Your Drinks Up- Kardinal Offishall: Sprints
Tip Toe- Jason Derulo: Active recovery
Rise- Laidback Luke: Hill climb
Just Hold On- Steve Aoki: Accelerations
Man’s Not Hot (Black Caviar Remix)- Big Shaq: Rolling hills
ILYSM- Steve Aoki: Tapbacks
Poison- Phil n Good Remix: Rolling hills
Push It- O.T. Genasis: Sprints
Sky Walker- Miguel: Cool down

Watch Out For This- Major Lazer: Warm up
A Little Party Never Killed Nobody- Fergie: Sprints
Get Up- Bingo Players: Jumps
Naughty Girl- Beyonce: Rolling hills
Love Sex Magic- Ciara: Hill climb
The Anthem- Pitbull: Tapbacks/Jumps
Boom Boom- RedOne, Daddy Yankee, French Montana, Dinah Jane, Tiesto: Accelerations
Swag Surfin- F.L.Y.: Active recovery
Gimme More- Britney Spears: Hill climb
Reverse- Sage the Gemini: Accelerations
Would You Ever- Skrillex: Tapbacks
Truffle Butter- Nicki Minaj, Drake, Lil Wayne: Hill climb
Lover- Tommy Trash, A-Trak, Jesse Boykins III: Jumps on a hill
Can U Werk Wit Dat- DJ Quik: Hill climb
Last All Night- Oliver Heldens: Sprints
Fine By Me- Chris Brown: Hill climb
Don’t Matter- Cherokee: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?