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.

How excited are you that its Friday?! I think it calls for a celebration of some sort. Running, brunching and of course Christmas festivities will be on tap for this weekend! Hope that you get a chance to get out and do something fun.

Let’s get to this week’s faves!!

The fact that today is National Cupcake Day!! Do you celebrate?? If so Sprinkles is celebrating with a super special, off the menu cupcake. I’m honestly not a huge cupcake fan but I might have to be today!

Chrissy knows what’s up.

Here’s how to feel like you’re on vacation all year. Let your brain roam free? I am all about that.

Izzy’s 48k trail race recap through the mountains of Chile. That’s GOALS right there!! Girlfriend absolutely rocked it. Love reading about people running races from all over the world.

These new Lululemon Speed Up Tights! I feel like I kind of need them in my life.


Last night’s holiday gift exchange/purse party awesomeness. Yesss I am so in love with this. Nice little change up from my same ole same basic black bag.

That’s all for this week! Have a fabulous weekend.

What is on tap for your weekend? Who is doing some trail running?
My body misses it so after doing road races in the last month. I think I will make some time for that soon.

Random Thoughts Thursday.

Heyo! Welcome to my favorite day of the week. It’s random thoughts Thursday. Where I talk about the most ridiculous (and sometimes inappropriate) parts of my week. And you get to play along and/or laugh at my randomness. AND sometimes it does involve running, because this is a RUNNING blog after all! So hey, let’s get started…shall we?

It has been quite chilly on the run lately!! I feel like I am actually never ready for colder weather when it comes to layering up and such. Simply because Texas weather is so up and down that it almost comes to a shock when it gets crazy cold out. It has been manageable in the last few days for morning runs but last week we were in the 20s! I’m good with 40s and 50s for now. 20 is just…kinda painful. Your hands (and your everything) just get all numb and stuff. I’m sure you New Yorkers are laughing at me bitching about the weather right about now.

The one thing I am happy about since dropping weight in the last year or so (thanks, higher mileage running) is lack of chafing. I really don’t chafe much anymore! It is a blessing. Now I can be cute and wear things like, skinny girl shorts. You know those tight compression shorts because they actually look good on me now. Like, have you SEEN those God awful longer bike shorts? Those just aren’t flattering on anyone.

That being said, it is the holidays and I want to cook and eat things like this?! Someone please send help.

My die hard morning run buds have been everything to me lately. Mind you I only have like 2 of them now that the temps are dropping. But they are my warm fuzzies. And they do crazy things like meet me at 5 AM to run 10 miles on a Thursday. I just love them to bunches.

Tonight I’m going to a gift exchange (purse) party with coworkers and THEN Saturday another holiday party with my trail run buddies!! And they were giving away free stuff at the party like RACE ENTRIES and such. Baby Jesus, please let me win. I like to run races for free, hey what can I say.

And that is all for this week!

Tell me something random about your week!

Weds Spin Playlist.

Hello there! I’ve got some spin cycle tracks for you to party on the bike today!! Hope you enjoy. I’m back teaching classes post marathon this week and it’s feeling good. These songs are also great for running or any high intensity workout!

And come check out where I’ll be teaching spin next across the Dallas area!

Also follow me on Spotify where I post workout playlists on a weekly basis.

Let’s go for a ride!

Tell Me When You Ready- Flo Rida, Future: Warm up
Shine Good- Garmiani, Julimar Santos, Steve Aoki: Accelerations
WTF (Where They From)- Missy Elliot, Pharrell Williams: Rolling hills
Butterfly Efftct- Travis Scott: Standing run
Together- CID: Rolling hills
Turn Down for What- DJ Snake, Lil Jon: Sprints
I Like It- Enrique Iglesias: Tapbacks
The Time- Black Eyed Peas: Hill climb
Rabiosa- Shakira: Sprints
Turn Up the Music- Chris Brown: Tapbacks/Jumps
It’s Goin Down- Yung Joc: Rolling hills
Morning After Dark- Timbaland: Jumps on a hill
S.A.X.- Laidback Luke: Seated/standing run
Surfin’- Kid Cudi: Hill climb
Push It- Salt n Pepa; Tapbacks/Jumps
Drop That Low- Tujamo: Accelerations
The List- Moonchild: Cool down

What songs are rocking your workouts this week?

5 Ways to Make a Comeback After a Running Slump.

So this post today is for all of my runner friends who are going through a bit of a rough patch with running. You know the feeling – your mind wants to run, but your body just isn’t feeling it…OR mentally you just can’t seem to get motivated at all! Well here are a few things you can do to get out of that current funk you are in.

YES…we all feel like this sometimes with running, don’t we?

Start easy…start slow…you have to start somewhere. I think sometimes we as runners tend to get in our own way. Running, especially racing, is OH SO MENTAL. I’m learning this more and more the more I start to want to improve. But know that running and training is all about building blocks. You have to have a solid foundation to stand on.

Sign up for a local, small race. You don’t have to run a marathon! I know, everyone is running freaking marathons nowadays! I think this generation really is always all about doing MORE MORE MORE. It’s always about being the best, going longer and harder. Well guess what? You don’t have to be that hard on yourself. A 5k or 10k as your goal is just as good as an ultra marathon if that is where your head is at right now.

Make it social. If you’ve been reading here a while you know I’m a big advocate of joining running groups. Sometimes that is just what you need to make a comeback. I run solo often as well but I got to a point with my running where running alone got boring to me. I lost my spark because running started to become somewhat of a chore. Now I mix it up with running clubs, and I hop around the local ones in the area. We have trail groups and road groups around here. Find one that works for you and make some friends. You will be glad you did.

Volunteer! This is something that I do not do enough. I am going to make it my mission in 2018 to sign up to do more aid stations and such at local races (it’s hard when you’re always racing! HA). I also would love to do some crewing and pace at some trail races. But volunteering is a great way to get out into the running community as well and get that passion back. You see others running and doing well and it may make you want to get out there and do the same. Plus, volunteering at races can have its perks! Often you will get discounts (or even free entries!) for future races if the race is small enough. This is especially true with trail races.

Realize that a comeback takes time. Especially if you are coming back from an injury or something like that. Don’t expect to jump back in and start killing it at races. Injuries take time to rehab but often if you give it enough time to heal you will come back stronger than ever. Believe it.

What are some ways you’ve made a comeback from a running slump?

2017 BMW Dallas Marathon Recap.

Happiest of Mondays to you! Hope you all had a wonderful weekend. I ran the BMW Dallas Marathon this past Sunday!! And I have lived to tell you all about it. I’m a tad sore today, but hey I survived. Let’s get to the nitty gritty, shall we?

Although I’ve completed this particular race series many times over the 8 years I’ve been running distance, this was the 2nd time I had run the full marathon course, and my 27th 26.2. I actually think the course makes for an excellent half course, providing just enough of a challenge with some rolling hills mixed in, but mostly flat and fast and showcasing many Dallas gems. This was the 2nd year in a row I had run 26.2 as a BMW race, which was super cool and I really felt like BMW as a whole did a fantastic job with many perks that made the race special (pancakes, wine tastings and beer at the finish, and pretty medals this year). The expo was super organized too. I arrived on Saturday to get my race swag and of course had to take a quick photo.

I had dinner and then was in for the night. Race morning I took the DART rail straight downtown, which was nice since the rail system is literally right in front of my apartments. I can literally hop on and I’m there (or anywhere, it even takes me straight to the airport terminals!) within minutes. This was so nice not to have to stress and worry about logistics and parking. I got there about an hour early and had time to stretch, use the ladies facility and such. They had the OMNI hotel open for the runners so it was nice and warm inside and folks were having coffee and taking photos.

The race started at 8:10 AM with a corral start, and I was in corral B. Shalane Flanagan and Meb Keflezighi were both at the start to wish us well which I thought was super cool – that they would go out of their way to be present for such a local fantastic race like Dallas! After the countdown we took off and were good to go! I felt SO good at the start and took off with guns blazing. I ideally wanted to BEAT my time of 3:47 from last year, but with the course changes and added hills in the back half of this race I wasn’t quite sure of how I would handle things that day. So I just honestly ran by feel and held on as long as I could. I saw a ton of dear running friends from over the years at this race, and my mama even showed up as a spectator along the course. That is absolutely the great thing about local races, support all the way around. As someone who often travels to races without knowing ANYONE, this meant a lot to me to see my family (including runner family) and friends everywhere.

After the half marathoners split off the race ends up going off towards White Rock Lake, a lake where I’ve done many training runs over the years. The temps were cool that morning but then ended up heating up with highs approaching the 70s. Bipolar Texas weather I’m tellin ya! I honestly would have preferred more cloud cover that day and for it to have stayed cooler much longer. The breeze coming off the water with the lake did definitely help.

Leaving the lake at mile 20 something, we were faced with a big hill that kind of came out of nowhere. And of course this is always tough to endure with already tired legs. That hill really did knock the wind out of me and I ended up having to walk a bit at a couple of water stops. Slowing down that much made me doubtful that I was going to PR. My heart sunk in disappointment. I honestly used to NOT CARE that I didn’t PR, but after seeing so much improvement this year with my running (going from nearly 5 hour finishes, to consistent sub 4) I kind of expect to go into a race to have my best time. I chalked it up to it just not being a good day for me, and told myself I’d still be happy with whatever my time was. I’ve accomplished so much this year, from running my very first 100 miler to winning overall female at a few ultra races. I knew regardless of the time, I would be proud and it would fuel the next race to perform even better.

We circled back into downtown and I looked at my watch which still had a little wiggle room away from last year’s 3:47 time and from my recent marathon in San Diego. After seeing this I perked up a little bit and moved a bit faster, my legs honestly felt like they could not move any faster and I just felt gross and dizzy. But I pushed it in and made it happen. 3:45:31 official finish time, seconds faster than San Diego and 2 minutes faster than last year! Hey, a PR is still an PR baby. I will take it, especially after feeling so off towards the end of this race.

This race really lit a fire in me to find a solid course to really knock it out of the park next year. I’m thinking of running a spring marathon, it could be somewhere in South Texas before it gets too warm. And of course, I will be back to my trails and ultras in 2018!! Cheers to a new PR and getting a kick in the pants to kick things up a notch in the coming year.

2018, I am ready for you.

How was your weekend? Anyone run a tough marathon course lately?

TGIFriday Faves.

Yaaas!!! It is Friday! I think that deserves a festive thumbs up don’t you think? Hope you all have a fun weekend planned! I’ll be running the BMW Dallas Marathon on Sunday. I’m ready for the 26.2 mile joyride!!

Courteney Cox Friends GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

And oh yes, I’ve been checking the weather for this weekend, and it is looking oh so glorious. I’m loving some chilly Texas weather.

I really wanted to use the above gif just because it is oh so awesome. And now I want ribs.

Anyway, let’s get into this week’s faves!!

Tips for motivating your 2018 racing season. I am eyeing some pretty awesome races (including trails) for next year. I’m definitely ready to get back on that dirt path!!

-Loving this look. I am in need this fall of some more dark denim.


-Naughty and nice coffee mugs. I want both.


Mistletoe ‘ritas!! I love festive drinks with fresh cranberries involved.

-Obsessed with all coasters from the South Austin Gallery. Aren’t they fun?! I have one in my office with the skyline of Dallas and now I want more.

Have a great weekend!

What are you up to this weekend? Is it snowing where you are?!
It was 28 DEGREES this morning! I did a chilly morning run and I am still thawing out.

Random Thoughts Thursday and Giveaway Winners Announced!!

I’ve got some Brooks Running promo code giveaway winners to announce!!! Thanks to those of you who entered my promo code giveaway yesterday. Here are the lucky two!

Jodi at My Kind of Fit

Randy at RunEatRalph

Congrats to you both and happy shopping! Please send me your email address at chelshu02@yahoo.com and I will reveal your exclusive 40% off special codes!

Let’s get on to the random thoughts for today, shall we?

I’m running the BMW Dallas Marathon this upcoming Sunday! Yes, I can’t wait and I think the weather is going to be pretty much perfection. Temps at the start close to the 40s? HECK YES. I am all in.

I don’t do very well with cutting back on miles leading up to race day. I’ve been scaling back which as someone who runs higher mileage is like pulling out my eye lashes one by one. My body is kind of enjoying the break though. But mentally it is tough. And I’ve got all the attitude and sass in the world this week. So DON’T COME FOR ME. LOL. Watch out, I bite.

But hey, I can chillax and do things like read books, catch up on TV and…dare I say, eat CARBS?! Hallelujah.

I’ve officially been listening to Christmas music and slowly getting into the spirit lately. Plus I’ll be going to my favorite gift exchange/purse party with coworkers which is one of my favorite holiday parties of all time! Lord knows I am in dire need of a new purse.

Do you make cookies/Christmas treats for people as gifts?! I have been thinking about what I will make lately. I kind of love doing Christmas baking. I think this year I will do my puppy chow and throw some Christmas M&Ms in there. Also, what a terrible name for a dessert right? But they are oh so good.

What are you looking forward to this holiday season? Any Christmas races?

A Christmas Run Playlist and Brooks Running Promo Code Giveaway!

Happy Wednesday!! So I’ve got a rockin’ Christmas RUNNING playlist as well as an exciting giveaway today!! TWO lucky readers will get an exclusive 40% off code to use over at brooksrunning.com! All you have to do is comment below to be entered into the giveaway. Only one code may be applied per order. The winners will receive a special code to enter at checkout for 40% off items, valid through December 12th.

The winners will be announced tomorrow!

Until then, enjoy a jammin Christmas run playlist with some old holiday jams and new! And follow me on Spotify where I post updated playlists on a weekly basis!!

What do you want for Christmas?
An instant pot, and and an abundance of new Brooks Running shoes!!

Running Group Etiquette.

Running clubs and groups are such a fantastic way to develop accountability. For those of you that train primarily solo, it can definitely be a great way to shake up your training and stay motivated during times when you’d rather be sitting on your couch eating popcorn and watching Netflix!! Here are a few pointers when dealing with running in social groups and ways to get the most out of being involved in a runner tribe.

Yes, Karen from Real Housewives of Potomac said it best.

Leave the headphones at home. Or if you must keep one in one ear and not both. Get to know the people you are running with. Chatting with runners especially during a long run is a great thing and you don’t want to be distracted by music blaring in your ears. It’s best to stay alert and aware of what is going on.

Be familiar with the route. If there is a route that is posted online or something ahead of time try to familiarize yourself with it. That way in case you get disconnected with the group you are aware of things and you can get yourself back safely.

Establish a general pace prior to the run. Running groups are great for this typically because usually there will be someone out there that goes at your pace. Be sure that the folks you are running with run a similar speed as you, or if they’re faster that you are able to adapt and keep up. It can be to your advantage to run with faster friends sometimes too. Try it.

Running talk. Try not to be a BRAG-alicious runner. We get enough of that on social media. We are all on our own running journeys. Honestly unless someone asks, I don’t bring up the fact that I’ve run 100 or 50 miles. It’s generally not relevant to the conversation. Ask people about themselves and learn about what makes them tick.

Run opposing traffic. This one is so important. Especially in the morning and with blind curves in the road. A lot of drivers just simply are not paying attention. Always assume that they aren’t and do what you need to do to stay safe.

Any more rules of running etiquette to share with the group?

Weekly Running Report.

Hi, hey and hello! Hope you had a wonderful weekend!! Let’s recap some weekly miles, shall we? I was able to get in just over 71 miles of running last week, including the Rock n Roll San Antonio half marathon! Let’s see how it all went down.

Monday AM- 8.12 miles before the busy work day. Last week was fairly warmer and a tad on the humid side! It kinda felt like springtime which was pleasant. But we are back to some cooler temps this week so I am super pumped for cooler running leading up to this race! Woot woot.

Monday PM- 2.32 miles. Quick warm up before gym.

Tuesday AM- 11.15 miles with the Irving Running Club. I host the early group during the work week. Sometimes it can be hit or miss but lately there have been some stronger runners in the mix. I love me some dedicated morning running peeps.

Tuesday PM- 3.02 evening miles before teaching a spin class. Just warming up the legs after the long day. It has been super dark out after work!! It’s so funny because 6 pm rolls around and it feels like midnight?

Wednesday AM- 8.1 hump day miles. Gotta love solo moving meditation.

Wednesday PM- 3.22 evening miles with some speedy strides thrown in. Felt good to go faster.

Thursday AM- 11.37 run club miles. I started early with one of the gals and we finished up with the group.

Thursday PM- 3.2 quick miles around the park. Had some time to kill.

Friday- Normally my rest day, but since I knew I’d be traveling on Saturday I did a quick run before I hit the road to San Antonio. 7.12 miles done.

Saturday- REST DAY. Road trippin’ to SA! It’s around 4 hours and some change give or take of a drive without crazy traffic. I stayed at the most wonderful AirBnB. I tell you what I have been SO spoiled with AirBnB in the last few trips, I don’t think I’ll ever stay at a hotel again. Fresh Trader Joe’s Coffee and a french press for the win. They know the way to my heart.

Sunday- Race day! Woke up, had some of that incredible coffee and made my way to the Alamodome! Truthfully this race was just a quick tune up for next weekend’s race. (And thanks to Brooks Running for the comped entry) I felt super good the whole way through despite the fact that it rained pretty steadily towards the back half! BMW Dallas Marathon I am ready for you.

13.1 done plus the quarter mile that I ran back to the car. HA. You know I had to record all of it.

And there you have it!

How was your weekend? Have you stayed at an AirBnB? How did you like it?!