About thedancingrunner

Marathon runner & group fitness instructor at 24 Hour Fitness. Passionate about family, friends, traveling. Loves destination races. Loves dining out, cooking in, being around down to earth people, writing, sunrises.

TGIFriday Faves.

Happiest of Fri-yays to ya! Hope you have some fun weekend plans in store. It has been a long week of work and I’m definitely ready to let a little loose! Let’s get to my faves from this week.

The thought of ALL THINGS FALL. Oh, and it is the day before the fall solstice!!! A.k.a. “fall eve”. So, even better.

Although it is basically fall, I’m still not over summer clothes. And I don’t think Texas weather is either. We may have a little cool down next week so I think I’m going to pull out my maxi dresses. I am a girlie girl at heart.

Running is a relationship with yourself. Could not agree more.

YES…I know I posted this yesterday but I’m going to post it again. Because it deserves recognition. Wine Wednesday with neighbor friends by the grill. Oh. And chicken jalapeño sausage is EVERYTHING.

-And this. Because it is a big mood. Today.

Have a great Friday!!

What is on tap for your weekend?
Running, friends, good times, repeat.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Hey there! Welcome to the randomness that is random thoughts Thursday. I have a few running (and non-running related) rants, raves and confessions this week…so…read on!

I am getting back into ultra training mode…and LOVING it. I think for the rest of this year I will focus on what I love the most. Running ultras! And then next year work on getting faster and the whole BQ thing. The GREAT thing about that is that next year I turn 35 and my BQ qualifying time will go up. So, hallelujah for that. Now I have to pick a solid 2019 marathon.

-If I can be honest though, I really think ultras are where my strong suit is at. Plus, I love me some trails and just getting lost and all hippy trippy dippy on them. Can’t wait for this race and then the 100 miler oh so soon.

Work has been absolutely cray cray and there is nothing more that I want NOW than the weekend. And grilling and chilling and all of that that comes with it.

That I do, Mila Kunis.

Speaking of grilling we did a bit of that last night on Wine Wednesday. It is becoming a thing. Gotta love my friend’s Halloween wine glasses.

Is is just me or is it something so PEACEFUL about getting to work early? Like when no one is there to catch up and check emails and such. I need a bit of quiet time before the hectic 9 to 5.

What are some of your thoughts this week?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hey there! Busy day but thought I would stop in and drop a spin cycle workout playlist on ya! Hope you do enjoy!!

Without further ado let’s get right to it! Check me out on Spotify and see where I’m teaching spin class next in the DFW area.

Let’s go for a ride!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/03AkpUvpnXI259diEmAtT5

Reverse (James Hype Remix)- Sage the Gemini: Warm up
Dose- Ciara: Rolling hills
Where Have You Been (Paperchaser Remix)- Rihanna: Sprints
Hype- Dizzee Rascal: Tapbacks
Waiting for Tonight- Jennifer Lopez: Hill climb
Take Back the Night- Justin Timberlake: Jumps on a hill
Dynamite- Quintino: Accelerations
Turnin Me On- Keri Hilson: Rolling hills
Body Operator- DJ Spin King: Accelerations
Around the World- Natalie La Rose: Active recovery
Would You Ever- Skrillex: Tapbacks
Time Of Our Lives- Pitbull: Hill climb
Show Me- Tiesto: Sprints
Fight Night- Migos: Hill climb
Mi Gente- J Balvin: Team sprints
Cococure- Maxwell: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?

10 Sassy Ways to Explain “Why You Run” To the Non-Runner.

So for those of you that may get a bit of sass from friends and family regarding why you run so much…well I’ve got the best blog post just for you! I came across this topic online and decided it would be fun to write about it because it is something we all deal with from time to time! So, here are a few light hearted, fun ways you can explain your addiction to your non-running buds. In no particular order.

1. Because races are like BIG PARTIES…except usually they are early in the morning, you drink electrolytes and water on the course instead of cocktails, and you likely get a medal off some sort at the end for doing it. Oh, and then sometimes there is music on the course to dance to. So, who wouldn’t love that?

2. I do it for endorphins…which is also like a party drug. Except it lasts much longer and just a little better for you…in the long run. Pun intended.

3. Contrary to popular belief, it does not “mess up my knees”. I am very thankful that I have strong ones.

4. Because you don’t, and someone’s gotta do it.

5. Running makes me feel young, lively and free. And I actually have a lot of running friends who are in their 50s and 60s and that look not a day over 40. That in itself is incredible to me. Hashtag goals.

6. So, I guess you could call it a youth pill.

7. Because it is the best way to make friends that like to get up at the crack of dawn and run in the dark with me. It’s called a win win situation.

8. Which brings me back to endorphins and the “runner’s high”. Purely magical.

9. I also think the runner’s high is all natural, organic. And probably gluten free.

10. Because I love it. And that is all you need to know.

What are some ways to explain “why you run” to your non running friends?

Fall and Winter Races on Tap.

So while I’m still in recovery mode from my mountain marathon I thought we’d chat about the few races that I have coming up for fall and winter! It is going to be a wild season of training and I’m totally looking forward to getting my miles back up leading into some ultras. Including my 2nd 100 mile trail race in December! Woot woot.

October 13th- Orion Ultra: 50 miler, Freeport TX. I’m super excited for this race because it will be my very first BEACH ultra! I have several off roadie friends that did this race last year and absolutely loved it. Also apparently they have a BEACH RUNNING championship that will be here as well! So I’m excited to see all of that go down and of course get in some good training for the hundo.

November 22nd- Chelsea Trot, Irving TX. Okay so this one is not officially a race. haha. BUT it is my annual selfish Thanksgiving long run! Run lots of miles and eat lotsa pie. LOL or something like that. I usually do anywhere from 15-20 miles before the big dinner. We shall see what happens this year.

December 8th- Brazos Bend 100: 100 miler, Needville TX. SO VERY EXCITED for this one. It will be one big trail runner party. And of course I’m hoping to snag a sweet 100 mile PR since I’ve done this distance before. Woohoo.

January 26th- Urban Ultra: 50k, Dallas TX. I am missing the 50k distance so it will be fun to get back to this one. And also I love the company that puts on this race so it should be a good time.

February 2nd- Panther City Half Marathon: 13.1, Ft. Worth TX. One of my favorite breweries in DFW, Martin House will be putting on this one! It will be a great time to get my run on and hopefully do some fast running and then enjoy some cerveza. One of the main dudes that works here is also a badass trail ultra runner in one of my clubs. He put on this run in his backyard if you recall me doing that one. Can’t wait to check it out.

February 24th- Cowtown Marathon: 26.2, Ft Worth TX- So usually I am a pacer at this race but in 2019 I am doing the FULL! This past year I was a pacer for the 50k and had an absolute blast. But I’m thrilled to return to get back to some marathon racing.

What races are on tap for your fall and winter?

TGIFriday Faves- Pinspirations.

Heyyy there happy Friday! Hope you have some fun plans in store. I am super excited about all of the fun fall festivals just around the corner. Grapefest is this weekend and it will without a doubt be a good one! Running and vino…heaven.

So today I thought I would share some Pinterest-y things I’ve been loving lately! I’ve still been pinning things that I love and things that inspire me. My favorites. You know me I am all about the faves.

HAVE A GREAT FRIDAY!!

Tell me what things are inpsiring you lately? One Pinterest or elsewhere!! 

Random Thoughts Thursday.

It is random thoughts Thursday today! Today promises to be a busy day work wise so I just have a few thoughts for this week. I’m also just kind of over this week in general. Because of post marathon soreness and just really kind of on autopilot all week long. Give me SUNSHINE and weekend, please.

BTW Kameron from the Real Housewives of Dallas is starting to grow on me. She’s a hot mess but good tv I have to say.

Post marathon recovery I have to say is just going suuuuper slow. You know what’s funny, after most marathons (and even some ULTRAS) due to running high mileage for the last couple of years – it literally takes me maybe 2-3 days max before I start feeling like myself again. Y’all I am still sore from that dang mountain race last week! Why why why. Give me my legs back.

I’m still running though – I’ve done it every day this week. Slow, but getting it done. This morning I ran strides at a 7:30 pace at the end so that made me feel like kind of a rockstar.

No more downhill full marathons though for me. For a WHILE. I actually have a friend that is wanting me to run another downhill one- Revel Mt. Charleston in the mountains near Vegas in April. But…it is too close to my birthday and you know what I like to do for my birthday anyway so I’m thinking NO. Revel and I just don’t really see eye to eye at the moment. Maybe I could go run the half…??haha…who am I kidding.

This weekend is one of my favorite festivals – Grapefest wine festival in good ole Grapevine, Texas!! I am invited some friends and running buddies and we are just going to have a good ole time. I can’t wait for Saturday. We signed up for the VIP tasting and everything.

#tbt. I haven’t missed a year.

I am in love with being able to use the mobile app version of Starbucks. How on earth am I just now discovering how awesome this is? Being able to pay on your phone and just pick up your coffee with little to no interaction with the baristas is kind of the best thing ever. Especially on busy workday mornings. No more wasting time in the drive thru. Just give me my java and go.

What are some of your random thoughts today?

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hey there and happy hump day! We are back on that spin cycle playlist groove! I’ve got some great songs for your workout/running/spinning pleasure today!

And be sure to check me out on Spotify- thedancingrunner and see where I’m teaching classes next in the DFW area!

Let’s go for a ride!

https://open.spotify.com/playlist/0jrzpq3YWxZ3WykAcycStf

Taste- Tyga, Offset: Warm up
Kalifornia- South Rocketz: Accelerations
Dame Tu Cosita- Pitbull: Rolling hills
House Work (Carnival Mix)- Jax Jones: Tapbacks
Go to Work- Tim Omaji: Seated/standing run
How Deep is Your Love- Calvin Harris: Hill climb
Level Up (Remix)- Ciara: Jumps on a hill
Tip Toe- Jason Derulo: Hill climb
Hit It!- GTA: Sprints
I Like It- Cardi B: Active recovery
Just Got Paid- Sigala: Rolling hills
Chun Li- Nicki Minaj: Hill climb
Run the World (Kaskade Mix)- Beyonce: Tapbacks
Werk- CID: Accelerations
All Over You- Majid Jordan: Cool down

What songs are you loving this week?

Back into the Running Groove and a Fall Bucket List.

So this week I am slowly getting back into the running groove post marathon! I will say I haven’t been this sore after a race in quite some time…my quads really took a beat down!! But, thank you for your KIND well wishes and thoughts regarding my somewhat emotional marathon post yesterday. That was a tough one to write but hey…we all have our good and not so good races, yes? I do have my eye on some other races in between training leading up to my 2nd 100 mile race in December! Because fall is my favorite time to RUN. So stay tuned, we shall see how that goes.

Since it is not quite as insanely hot down in Texas today…and with the fall JUST around the corner…I thought I would go ahead and create my favorite list for the season! Oh yes, that would be the official FALL bucket list.

Here are a few things I am looking forward to along with the yummy cooler running weather (yes I said YUMMY) and the leaves changing. Yes yes yes.

The State Fair of TexasThose of you that have been reading this biog for a while know that this is hands down one of my most favorite Texas events! I’ve been loving our massive, famous state fair since I was a child. I honestly just like walking around…checking out the exhibits, wine garden…maybe getting a TX sized smoked turkey leg. And who on earth can forget our favorite. BIG TEX. Basically it’s a giant cowboy statue in the middle of the fair that actually talks and everyone loves him and takes pictures. It’s…just…so…Dallas. And we love it.

His look has changed a bit over the years, but you get the picture.

Pumpkin butter. To be honest I’m really not a pumpkin spice latte fan (but I do like autumn flavored drip coffees) but I will tell you that I’m all about making decadent fall treats and such. So I plan on getting this one from my local farmer’s market. And eating it by the spoonful. Yum. It’s so good on toast too.

Roasting pumpkin seeds. Pumpkin carving is definitely a lot of work, so I may be buying my seeds from my local farmers market and then adding spices to them and roasting them. But I just love pumpkin seeds in general. Such a good healthy snack.

Running a fall themed race. Okay…so I am going to try and see about running a fall race this season because it gets me super pumped up about running when the temps are dropping. So I’m going to try and maybe run one of those. A few years ago I ran a Halloween half marathon and I was a leopard. Fun fun.

Fall boots and scarves. OH YES. I need to buy some at a discount though. There are also all kinds of great ideas on Pinterest. I really need to start stocking up. This grey one is always a fave.

Cozy up the home and stock up on yummy fall scented beauty products. I get this pumpkin lotion every year at a fall festival and I think this year I’m going to have to buy at least 5 bottles at a time. It is pure heaven.

What are some items on your fall bucket list?

Revel Big Cottonwood Marathon Recap.

Picture this…you’re running a marathon while surrounded by big, majestic trees…on a canyon…with waterfalls sprinkled throughout. It’s fairly quiet, and everywhere you look just takes your breath away. You’re literally flying down the canyon for miles and miles and your feet just cannot stop going. Sounds incredible, right?! Sounds like simply the most PERFECT race scenario. Right? Well, in theory…absolutely. So, allow me to tell you about my experience running the Revel Big Cottonwood marathon. Grab a seat, and a snack and I shall tell you the tale.

I arrived to Salt Lake City on Friday night…the night before my race. I stayed at a beautiful AirBnB…a historic cottage in downtown Salt Lake. This was probably one of the most eclectic AirBnBs I’ve stayed at, and I’ve stayed at a few across the U.S. The bathroom had a clawfoot tub and a shower with shower heads that came out from different directions. To say I took the most heavenly shower that evening is just an understatement. The host even had epsom salt bath products and all kinds of lovely amenities. It was the most perfect situation after dealing with a flight delay and long travel.

I woke up SUPER early Saturday morning feeling relaxed and rather well rested. I grabbed my things and headed over to Cottonwood Heights, where the race was held. Thankfully since I arrived late Friday, the race staff so graciously let me pick up my race packet the DAY of. This was so awesome and I was so very grateful for their kindness. I got in the shuttle with my things and took a quick pic of my race bib for social media since I knew my friends would be tracking my progress.

Just after 6 AM we arrived to the top of the canyon where the race would start – at over 9,000 feet of elevation! There were tons of folks lined up fired up and ready to go. The gun took off, and we were off down STEEP canyon as we watched the sun rise.

The first few miles were quite lovely…I enjoyed bombing down the hill and it felt like that first drop of a roller coaster. There was a quick incline up mile 3-4 or so that sorta kinda slowed me down…but then we continued firing down the canyon. Man…this is awesome…I thought to myself. I turned my music up as we continued on down the drop. This continued on and I continued feeling alright towards the half marathon mark. I finished the half at 1:56 and felt okay. Not amazing, but okay. I also kind of felt like the altitude was starting to do something to my body. I couldn’t quite put my finger on what was happening. But…at a few points it felt like it was a struggle to get my breathing straight and I just felt winded. Like my mojo was slowly slipping away. And that, it was indeed.

We reached about mile 16 or so, continuing to bomb down this same mountain. My legs started talking back to me angrily. Calves, hamstrings…everything just started to NOT feel good. I never had them seize up or anything. It actually just got to a point where I didn’t feel like I could go any further. This was here that I wanted to find a sag wagon and for real call it a damn day. Why was this happening? It made me mad. It made me feel defeated. I had trained my tail off for this race. Granted…we have no real mountains in Dallas and training for altitude changes is not really an option. But. This year, I took a different strategy. I focused more on the marathon distance (as opposed to my usual ULTRA stuff), speed, hill repeats. Everything a good lil marathon runner is supposed to do. Rest. Recovery. Cross training. A tad…less mileage. Last year around this time I was running 90-100 mile weeks. It was starting to feel like I did the hard and fast work for nothing. As I watched pace group after pace group pass me…I knew that this wasn’t going to be my best day. We kept bombing down the hill until we reached mile 18. And then. This was where it got REAL.

The course kind of bottoms out to the canyon floor and then starts going through the city. We do this out and back that is in the straight up SUN. Temps were close to the 90 degree mark that day and the sun was in absolute full effect. The out and back apparently is where everyone just kind of falls apart. It becomes a walk-a-thon of sorts. I have honestly never seen SO MANY people start walking during a marathon like I did here. And also it was here that I started walk/run/shuffling. I stopped to use the restroom twice and really just tried to keep my legs going as much as possible. The legs were toast after flying down the canyon.

I reached mile 23, I started wagering with myself. From now on…don’t stop running. Even if the run is slow. Go. It’s a 5k to the finish and you have no excuse. I also knew that I would never forgive myself if I let my marathon time creep to the 5 hour mark. You are not a punk ass. You are not a quitter. Go and when you see the finish. Go harder. Relentless forward motion.

When I saw that finish I was overjoyed and relieved. It took me back to the days where, when I would see a finish line, I would literally start crying as I ran towards it. It was a somewhat emotional finish. NOT because I ran a PR. Not because it was some strong monumental finish time.

Because I talked myself out of quitting this race. Because I traveled all the way to Utah from Texas, alone.

I did not have a cheer section or a husband that greeted me with flowers at the finish line. I did not have a pacer or someone on the course kissing my ass and telling me how amazing I am. I did what I went there to do. I gutted it out. I finished a hard ass race. At high elevation and altitude. Something I’ve never done before. I’ve run 50ks, I’ve done 50 milers, 100k. 100 miles. None of these races took out of me, what Big Cottonwood did. And, it truly gave me the mental fortitude to know that when the chips are down- when shit falls apart, that I can tough it out and finish what I started. Even if it hurts. Even if the outcome is NOT AT ALL what I expected. There will be another day for a PR and a chance to brag to my friends and social media about what happened. And when that comes, it will be lovely. The rough days are what makes the good days even better.

There I am, smiling when I felt like absolute shit. Sometimes you have to smile, through the bullshit.

So. Thank you, Revel Big Cottonwood! Thank you for showing me what I’m made of. And thank you running, for continuing to show me that I’m stronger than I think I am. Hey Revel. I can’t say I’ll be back for your race anytime soon. But you did show me what you needed to show me at the time and for that – I am absolutely grateful.

So now, it’s time to go back into the ULTRA training trenches. Brazos Bend 100 miler. Get ready. I’m so coming for you in December.

How was your weekend? Is anyone else running a hundo/mountain race/ultra this year?! Tell me about it!