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Browsing Tag: half marathon

Embracing the Benefits of Clean Eating: A Nutrient-Rich Journey

In a world filled with processed foods and tempting indulgences, the concept of clean eating has gained significant traction among health-conscious individuals. Clean eating involves consuming whole, minimally processed foods that are rich in nutrients, providing the body with the fuel it needs to function optimally. This approach to nutrition offers a myriad of benefits, ranging from improved overall health to increased energy levels. Let’s delve into the advantages of clean eating and explore a delicious recipe that exemplifies this wholesome lifestyle.

Benefits of Clean Eating:

Nutrient Dense

One of the key benefits of clean eating is the emphasis on nutrient-dense foods. Whole fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains provide essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support various bodily functions. These nutrient-rich foods contribute to overall well-being, boost the immune system, and promote optimal organ function.

Weight Management

Clean eating encourages a balanced and sustainable approach to weight management. By choosing whole foods over processed options, individuals can maintain a healthy weight more effectively. Whole foods are often lower in calories and higher in fiber, promoting satiety and reducing the likelihood of overeating.

Increased Energy Levels

The nutrient-packed nature of clean foods can lead to increased energy levels. Unlike the temporary spikes and crashes associated with processed sugars, clean eating provides a steady release of energy throughout the day. This sustained energy helps improve focus, productivity, and overall vitality.

Improved Digestive Health

Whole, unprocessed foods are rich in dietary fiber, promoting healthy digestion. Fiber aids in maintaining regular bowel movements, preventing constipation, and supporting a balanced gut microbiome. Clean eating can contribute to a healthier digestive system, reducing the risk of gastrointestinal issues.

Enhanced Mental Clarity

The connection between nutrition and mental health is gaining recognition, and clean eating plays a crucial role in supporting cognitive function. Nutrient-rich foods, such as omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts, have been linked to improved concentration, memory, and overall brain health.

A Wholesome Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing

Now, let’s explore a delicious and nutritious recipe that exemplifies the principles of clean eating: Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

For the Lemon-Herb Dressing:

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, combine quinoa and water or vegetable broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa is cooked and water is absorbed.
  2. In a large bowl, combine cooked quinoa, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, bell pepper, red onion, and parsley.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the ingredients for the Lemon-Herb Dressing: olive oil, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, minced garlic, salt, and pepper.
  4. Pour the dressing over the quinoa and vegetable mixture. Toss gently until well combined.
  5. Serve the quinoa salad chilled, and enjoy a nutritious, flavorful meal that embodies the principles of clean eating.

Embracing a clean eating lifestyle brings numerous benefits, from improved nutrient intake to enhanced overall well-being. By choosing whole, minimally processed foods, individuals can nourish their bodies with the essential nutrients needed for optimal health. Incorporating wholesome recipes like the Quinoa Salad with Lemon-Herb Dressing can make clean eating not only beneficial but also delicious and satisfying. So, take a step towards a healthier you by making clean eating a part of your daily routine.

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Transform your Health: Ultimate Whole 30 Meal Plan with Recipes!

With Grocery Lists and Recipe Links!

Truth be told, I failed my first attempt at Whole 30 two years ago, (eek, shamed face). Now you may be asking, why in the world would I start by saying that?! That’s not encouraging at all! But that’s just the opposite. We are all on our own Whole 30 journey at different stages. For some this is your first try too, and if you’re in that category I am so happy to share what mistakes to avoid. Some of you have completed several Whole 30’s before and you’re here for the most simple and elaborate whole 30 menu with grocery list and recipe links from start to finish. No matter your reason, I’m glad you’re here!

The Whole 30 Recipes

There are SO MANY amazing Whole 30 recipes! So I’ve actually spent the past few months taste testing dozens in preparation for my next Whole 30. That leads to recommendation #1 for success- plan your meals! My first attempt at Whole 30, I planned only a few meals, and then thought I could just ‘wing it’ for each additional meal based on what I felt like eating. Well what I felt like eating was Dr Pepper and sourdough bread, duh! haha Lucky for you, I’ve done all the hard work for you with this complete Meal plan.

This Whole 30 meal plan is unique in that it doesn’t have you cooking every night. Which leads me to Recommendation #2- set your expectations realistically! Ideally, I’d love to make a home-cooked meal with fresh diced vegetables and slow cooked meat everyday. But that time-consuming plan doesn’t exactly fit in my daily Full time work and two busy kiddos schedule! This Whole 30 meal plan focuses on prepping wholesome delicious meals every 5 days, with grocery lists to accommodate every 10 days. I know that every 5 days is a bit odd and will land on some weekdays of meal prepping, but as a Nurse Practitioner working 12 days on and 9 days off, making three meals every 5th day is doable for everybody! (even on a weekday). So without further ado,

A Complete Whole 30 Meal Plan

Click on each meal for the recipe link!

Know that you won’t be alone on this journey, there are so many wonderful resources out there to support you, myself included! I am starting my second attempt at Whole 30 in TWO days, eek!! I’ve signed up to run a Half Marathon in March and this time around I’m dedicated to Whole 30 for that ‘TIGER BLOOD!’ Which leads to Recommendation #3- know that Whole 30 is temporary! The first time around my goal was to quit sugar, (primarily my addiction to Dr Pepper). And although quitting sugar for good is an honest goal, it was not a goal I could sustain for the rest of my life. So I figured, what’s the difference of no sugar for 30 days vs the 16 days when I quit.

Look at this Whole 30 adventure as a new discipline

Let me explain. Ever since my two year old first tried Halloween candy he asks me daily, “I wan canne mama” and most days I have to tell him “No” and endure the 10 minute temper tantrum to follow. But when was the last time you or I told ourselves no? If I want Halloween candy, I eat it. This upcoming 30 days we get to enjoy delicious food that nourishes our body, but that comes with discipline for our mind! So help yourself out just a bit more to ease your mind, Recommendation #4- Eat food you normally eat! Our family eats Tacos and spaghetti (Yum!) nearly every week. So that’s what we get in our Meal plan, delicious Spagetthi squash with meat sauce and Taco Salad!

The Grocery Lists

How the Meal plan works

As mentioned above, we’ll be meal prepping three meals every fifth day, and then making one dinner in between. All the meals on the plan have a link to the recipe if you click on them! (That’s my favorite part of the simplicity of the plan! 🙂 The grocery lists are broken down so you’re only going shopping 3 times during the 30 days- that way your veggies are still fresh, but you’re not spending all your time at the store. The first ‘Stock your pantry’ day I’d like you to CHECK your pantry first! I had nearly every one of these spices already in my cabinet, so please don’t spend the extra money if you don’t have to. And if you happen to have a deep freezer, make one big trip to Costco before you get started and you can have all your meat ready to go also.

So here we go! God give me the strength to be mindful of what I eat and drink and enjoy this journey of Whole 30!

I’d Love to hear your comments on which recipes you enjoyed and tips to your success of Whole 30 below! Also Be sure to subscribe and follow our journey as We Run the States!

15 of the Most Inspiring Running Quotes

I am so Thankful to be able to run! Whether you’re a seasoned marathoner, a casual jogger, or someone just lacing up their shoes for the first time, there’s something undeniably transformative about hitting the pavement or the trail. With that being said, there are many times where I lack the motivation to just get up and go! Here are 15 of the most inspiring running quotes to help keep you motivated!

In this post, we’ve curated a collection of 15 inspiring running quotes that encapsulate the essence of why we run, the challenges we overcome, and the triumphs we experience along the way. From world-renowned figures to everyday enthusiasts, these quotes serve as reminders of the resilience, determination, and joy that running can instill in us.

Looking for a Half Marathon training schedule? Got ya covered!

  • “Everything you ever wanted to know about yourself you can learn in 26.2 miles”
  • “The race always hurts. Expect it to hurt. You don’t train so it doesn’t hurt, you train so you can tolerate it”
  • “There will be days when I don’t know if I can run a marathon. There will be a lifetime knowing that I have”

In essence, running quotes serve as catalysts for inspiration, motivation, and reflection, empowering us to push past our limits, embrace our potential, and find joy in the journey, one step at a time.

  • “There is something magical about running; after a certain distance it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul”
  • “The person who starts a race is not the same person who finishes”
  • “That’s the thing about running; your greatest runs are rarely measured by racing success. They are moments in time when running allows you to see how wonderful your life is”
  • “While I was running today I heard someone clapping, it was just my thighs cheering me on”.
  • “Wake up and go to work on yourself, before you go to work for anyone else”.
  • “One day I won’t be able to do this. Today is not that day.”
  • “If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run”. – John Bingham.
  • “Run the mile you are in”

Running quotes offer a source of motivation during challenging times. When the miles seem endless and the finish line feels out of reach, a well-chosen quote can reignite our determination and push us forward.

  • “Years ago, women sat in kitchens drinking coffee and discussing life. Today they cover the same topics while they run”.
  • “Running is a grownup’s lost link to playing outside”

So, whether you’re seeking motivation to tackle your next race, looking for a push to start your running journey, or simply in need of a dose of inspiration, we invite you to join us as we explore the profound impact of running through the wisdom and words of others. Lace up your shoes, hit the pavement, and let’s dive into these uplifting running quotes that remind us why we love to run.

BONUS: “Do not regret getting older, it’s a privilege denied to many”.

These 16 inspiring running quotes keep me motivated, and I hope they motivate you as well!

Looking for a Nutrition plan to Fuel your running? This Whole 30 Meal plan is complete with grocery List!

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Run to the Stars: Boston bound, NASA unbound

Hey fellow running enthusiasts! Lace up those running shoes and get ready for an out-of-this-world adventure in Huntsville, Alabama. This charming city is not only a haven for avid runners who are Boston bound, but also home to the iconic NASA Space and Rocket Center. This makes it the perfect destination for a weekend full of fitness and cosmic exploration.

Location: Huntsville, Alabama

Date: September 11, 2022

Distance: 13.1 miles

Lace up for the “Boston or Bust” Half Marathon

The Boston or Bust Half Marathon is not just your typical race; it’s a celebration of determination and the pursuit of personal goals. The fast and flat route winds through the picturesque trees of Huntsville. But beware, the humidity was pretty intense and took time to adjust to. Another race that guides you through the overarching trees that I highly recommend is the famous Idaho potato half marathon. This run offers runners a unique blend of southern charm and urban beauty. The camaraderie among participants with the small intimate race created an uplifting atmosphere that fueled my every step.

As I approached the finish line with the iconic Boston Marathon qualifying goal in mind, I couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. Although I am nowhere near a Boston qualifying time, I still completed race through the tough humidity and continue on the Boston bound journey. The support from both volunteers and fellow runners made the experience unforgettable.

NASA Space and Rocket Center

Exploring the NASA Space and Rocket Center: No visit to Northern Alabama is complete without a trip to the NASA Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville. Just a short drive from the marathon venue, this iconic space exploration facility offers an immersive experience for visitors of all ages. From awe-inspiring rocket displays to interactive exhibits detailing the history of space exploration, the center provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of astronauts and the marvels of outer space.

Travis in his Astronaut suit

Highlights at the Space and Rocket Center:

  1. Space Shuttle Pathfinder: Get up close and personal with the Space Shuttle Pathfinder, a full-scale model used for astronaut training.
  2. Saturn V Rocket: Marvel at the Saturn V Rocket. The iconic vehicle that carried astronauts to the moon during the Apollo missions.
  3. Interactive Exhibits: Engage with hands-on exhibits, simulators, and educational displays that make learning about space exploration a fun and enriching experience.

Soak in the local experience

Huntsville isn’t just about running and space exploration; it also boasts a vibrant local scene. After the race and museum visit, unwind at one of Huntsville’s charming local eateries or craft breweries. The city has a burgeoning food and beverage scene, offering a variety of culinary delights that cater to all tastes.

Huntsville, Alabama, provides a unique blend of physical activity, intellectual stimulation, and local charm. Whether you’re conquering the Boston or Bust Half Marathon, exploring the NASA Space and Rocket Center, or savoring the local flavors, this destination promises an unforgettable experience for runners and space enthusiasts alike. So, lace up those running shoes for your last opportunity before the Boston marathon cutoff. Get ready for a stellar adventure in the Rocket City!

Looking for more Out of this world runs? The Zion at night half marathon, Great Ferry Race and Happy Girls Run are all beautiful, highly recommended runs along the West coast. Check ’em out!

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Avenue of the Giants Marathon

I’ve always been a runner, and haven’t spent much time on the sidelines cheering others on. This past weekend at the Avenue of the Giant’s 50th anniversary, I got the opportunity to cheer my brother-in-law on to finishing his first marathon. This accomplishment was absolutely huge! Both for Jav, as well as celebrating a decade since finishing this very same race for my first marathon. I almost preferred the race on the sidelines, but events like this have me excited to jump back in racing!

YouTube player

California hosts many, many, many great opportunities to run a half marathon, including Avenue of the Giants. So California may become my largest category of runs. (Of course that isn’t a bad thing as there are many things to explore on this beautiful west coast).

If you ever get the opportunity to run anywhere, choose here. Located in Northern California, this run is absolutely perfect. https://www.theave.org

Avenue of the Giants was my first (and hopefully only) full marathon. To be honest, I couldn’t have asked for a better location or weather. I think fate was in place on that day, because if the conditions weren’t as perfect as they were, I don’t know if I could have finished those 26.2 grueling miles. And yes, that many miles in my experience is definitely considered grueling. I remember by mile 21 my sister and I were throwing pebbles at the beautiful redwoods, as we spitefully yelled “stupid tree! I’m here running these terrible miles and all you’re doing is growing and photosynthesizing!” Let’s just say your mind grows weary after 4+ hours of physical activity. Best advice is train for your run!

THE RUN- Avenue of the Giants

This is a double out and back run on paved roads that is covered by redwood trees providing stable shade the whole course. Since it’s an early run, the temperature was about 50 degrees Fahrenheit, but as you can see in the picture, I wore shorts and a tank top and never once remembered being cold. One of the perks of this run is how remote and beautiful the location is, but at the same time somewhat of a downfall as there is not a whole lot for lodging or food. The run is located about 5 miles from Sacramento and San Francisco.

THE SIGHTS AND FOOD

You actually can’t miss the sights of this race, as the Humboldt Redwoods surround you as you drive to and run this course. But please take the opportunity to stop and appreciate just how BIG these redwoods are! It’s an absolute amazing experience to stand underneath a forest of trees. Most of which are over 300 ft tall and over 1000 years old! As for recommendations for food and wine, uh pack a lunch! There aren’t a whole lot of options that I even remember. But if you head up highway 101 you can find a good chocolate milkshake within 30 miles or so.

Overall recommendation: This race is for you if you’re looking for a run to appreciate nature or a pretty flat course with stable weather. This may not be the best choice if you’re looking for busy city life with lots of food choices.

The Great Ferry Race Seattle

From the iconic Pike Place Market to the Space needle tower; from the Great Ferry Race to Bainsbridge island and Ballard lock salmon runs; Seattle is absolutely unforgettable!

The Run

The Great Ferry Race in Seattle, Washington is an unforgettable course! The best part is, I got some video footage throughout the entire run so you can see the terrain change! You board a ferry in the chill of the morning, despite being middle of June; so pack some warm clothes for the ride over, in which you have plenty of time for a warm cup of hot cocoa riding over to Bainbridge Island. The start of the race sounds and a wave of runners exit the ferry onto the course. This race is a blend of road and trails entering the Grand Forest and Battle Point Park.

The Great Ferry race hyper speed

As stunning and unique as this Ferry run is, be forewarned. There are HILLS! I was spending much of my time finicking with my GoPro in order to get great documentation of the course, so I didn’t realize how SLOW I was running, whoops! I wouldn’t attempt a PR on this course, unless you’re one of those savage hill runners, but the experience alone could not be traded. (Notice the mindfully placed “2 Legit 2 Quit” encouragement sign, as many of us walked up this steep hill). Orca running company also has an epic medal with a ferry that actually slides from Seattle to Bainbridge Island!

Running brings many obstacles and personal accomplishments, but I’m repetitively impressed with the ease of making a new friend along the course. After 13.1 miles of running beside somebody you’ve never met, it’s pretty easy to just say, “Hi”. 🙂 Along this course I met a new great friend who met her personal accomplishment of running a half marathon each month this year! (So impressive!) Now to the Yummy part.

The Food and Drinks

I’m a novice at eating Seafood. I enjoy your traditional basic cooked shrimp, but I’ll happily admit, my palate has slowly been expanding through the years. I have NEVER been brave enough to order Cioppino. Enter, the Pink Door restaurant. My husband ordered this dish filled with prawns, rock fish, mussels, clams and calamari in a spicy tomato and white wine broth and I nearly devoured his entire meal! I’ve tried multiple copycat recipes at home of this Cioppino since then, (and although delicious) this restaurant takes the cake. If you’re in Seattle, go to the Pink door.

Ray’s Boathouse dining was a special treat shared with family members we hadn’t seen in years. We were graciously toured around Seattle by my husband’s cousin (who sells real estate, thus knowing the history and BEST places to visit in Seattle); and his ‘special treat’ was Ray’s. And It was just that. A special treat including incredible food, a mean Bloody Mary and you really can’t get any better than waterfront.

Things To Do

Pike Place Market

This next one should be in a category all by itself. I truly wasn’t sure whether to put the infamous Pike Place Market under ‘food’ or ‘things to do’- because it is ALL the above! My husband has been anticipating going to Pike Place Market for over a decade, and it did not disappoint! Let’s go through a day dream together.

You live in a cute downtown home in Seattle. The fog is still hovering over the bay and you take a short walk to the Pike Place market for that morning’s fresh catch off the Pacific Ocean and a strong brew of coffee. There’s actually a mix of fresh and salt water catches to choose from thanks to the ballardlocks. You stroll through the farmers market and pick up some cheese churned in front of you, and of course a bouquet of flowers to brighten your home. You realize you’ve taken up most of the morning tasting local honey, jams, lemonade, nuts and olive oil tastings and it’s now midday. So you stop at the local pub and order a flight of handcrafted brews of character at the Pike Brewing company.

Ok, now wake up. Just kidding, you don’t have to. That scenario is LEGIT what the Pike Place Market has to offer. Go there.

Ballardlocks

The Ballardlocks were a surprise treat for me, I had never known of their historical significance. The locks serve several purposes to maintain the water level of FRESH water from Lake Washington and Lake Union, to prevent mixing of SEA water from Puget Sound and course to move boats between the two. Our very personal, previously mentioned cousin realtor, opened our eyes to this intellectual way of “changing the tides” so to speak. I couldn’t help but accompany this video by sitting on the dock of the bay, watching the tides roll away. Watching history is inexplicable, go see it.

If you’ve ever seen Grey’s Anatomy, you’ve seen the Seattle space needle. I’m a Nurse Practitioner, bred through the era of medical drama. Unbeknown to me, I was influenced by this picturesque image of Seattle. It signified accomplishment that I didn’t even recognize I was achieving- both in my career and by completing another Half Marathon. Retrospectively, Seattle meant a lot more to me than I realized.

Seattle Space Needle

The Seattle Space needle’s top house sits 520′ above ground and let me tell you, it’s a bit nerve racking! I have no fear of heights, but this testest me just the slightest. Go ahead, lay down on the GLASS rotating sphere. I dare you. Long behold, they serve a few mixology cocktails and brews so your nerves may be calmed.

Little Red Day Spa

I will recommend time and time again, schedule a stretch or massage after your run! It is worth every penny. You’ve already completed weeks of training and Thirteen. point. one. freaking. miles! If you’re like me, you’re sore; knees in particular. I remember there was a physical therapy tent after our Tucson Arizona race offering free stretches; and that intensive stretching made all the difference in the world with muscle soreness the next day. This Seattle local, Little Red Day Spa combined both a stretch massage and romantic getaway that you should not miss.

where to stay

Motif Seattle- a Hyatt Hotel

What do you look for in lodging when booking a half marathon? Me? I look for a safe location closest to my running event. Preferably a hotel that has transport to and from the race. I look for notably clean and welcoming. Motif met almost every single one of my requirements, only excluding transport to the race. (Nobody likes to walk far after running a half marathon haha). I hobbled around after the half but our hotel was so centrally located that despite my short lived bicker and fuss, I was overly impressed with their hotel.

Seattle overview: 1) Washington is SO green, The Pacific Northwest’s beauty is. remarkable. 2) WOW: the things to eat and see- Pike place market, ballardlocks, 3) I am not sponsored by any of these places mentioned, I just enjoy sharing experiences so that you can enjoy yours!

Follow along as We Run the States!

Napa Valley Run: The wine, the run, and more wine!

I had you at wine, didn’t I? That’s usually what catches my attention! And it sure did when my new running friend mentioned she was signed up for the Napa Valley Run. Mercedes was traveling all the way from Texas, so I figured I could make the short three hour drive to Napa. Since the race was only a few short weeks a way, the half marathon was unfortunately sold out; but I WAS able to snag a spot in the Rose 5K!

Napa Valley Run

California boosts for it’s clement weather, thus making it a great place to run most parts of the year. Check out Avenue of the Giants California run also for perfect weather. This run did not disappoint. The event was held in mid-summer and the weather had a slight chill in the morning. But it turned out to be a beautiful day. The Rose 5K was scenic (as I expected from a Napa Valley Run!) and went by very quickly. Sebastiani winery hosted a rest stop close to mile 1 that poured hearty ‘tastings’ of sauvinon blanc that was surprisingly refreshing during the run.

Although we could have continued mingling for hours, we proceeded with the easy run. We were definitely excited to get to the next part of the day, the wine!

Destination Races, Napa Valley run sells out quickly each year, so plan ahead and book early!

The Wine

I never realized how close I live to Napa Valley! For as much as I enjoy wine, I hadn’t been to Napa in 8 years! (insert shamed face here) We visited Artesa for a tasting and the views were stunning! Although Napa valley was hosting a half marathon weekend, we were the only ones silly enough to wear our running clothes wine tasting. Attire is business casual-formal amongst most of the valley; so dress accordingly. There was even a bachelorette party in very formal prom dresses.

There are countless INCREDIBLE options of wine tasting in this region, all of which can be explored here: https://www.visitnapavalley.com/wineries/winery-map/.

When you make the trip to California to visit wine country, I HIGHLY ENCOURAGE a few extras stops. Take an extra few days to travel north to Lake County and stop by Gregory Graham wineries. Or head East 2 hours to Shenandoah valley. The wine is less expensive in these areas, but still produces the highest quality that the California sun has to nurture.

I fully anticipate more of my Destination runs to include wine tasting, and I can’t wait to share them with you here!

Running Through the Neon lights of Las Vegas Half marathon

‘What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!’ Except when it comes to sharing all the deets on running a half marathon along the strip at night! Rock n’ Roll series is the only race that shuts down Las Vegas boulevard to put on a spectacular run to experience all the lights and magic that Sin city holds. 

 I made SOOOO many mistakes on this run, so I feel this Nevada run is my most informative blog. I hope that you can successfully complete your run and enjoy the night life after!

The Run- Rock n’ Roll Las Vegas

This race takes place in mid-November each year and hosts more than 40,000 runners! As naive as I am, I assumed that since the run was in the Nevada desert, it would therefore be HOT! So I came to the race in a cute tank top and little booty shorts. Well, long behold, it is (more often than I realized) cold in Las Vegas, and in November 2014 I stood outside in tiny little runner clothes while the clouds spit out snow (mistake #1). Luckily I found a long sleeve shirt.

Advice #1- ALWAYS CHECK THE WEATHER FORECAST BEFORE YOUR RUN! Duh, right?

Rock n’ Roll half marathon series holds true to it’s name and puts on quite a pre-run entertainment show! This year Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the start line on Las Vegas Blvd between Harmon and Park avenue. However, before we get to the main event, you have to actually GET to the venue (mistake #2). We stayed at Caesar’s Palace (as it was closest to the finish line) which is a 1.1 mile walk to the start. I learned after the fact that there is a monorail that can get you closer to the venue. However we heard this was also quite packed full of runners, so plan ahead.

We had also planned on eating a big, carb-loaded lunch at the venue once we got there, so we passed many opportunities to eat along the way (mistake #3). Well there is NO food at the venue. so we started our half marathon at 5 pm with only eating half a bagel for the entire day!

Advice #2 ALWAYS PLAN YOUR MEALS AHEAD AND PRACTICE RUNNING THE TIME YOUR EVENT WILL BE HELD

Again, duh, right?! But I had never practiced running a long run at night, despite signing up for “run the strip at night”! It never occurred to me that running 13.1 miles at 5pm would be any different than running 13.1 miles at 7am (mistake #4). Well it is a LOT different depending on the time of day, so train your body accordingly.

This brings us to the start of the race, the corrals. This was my least favorite part of this grand event. Hosting 40,000 people, I’ll admit the rock n roll series does a fantastic job organizing that many runners; but that will never take away the fact you honestly feel like cattle. It took 35 minutes shuffling along, just to START the race!! The only benefit of these corrals was the warmth that they provided in the surrounding freezing weather. To be completely honest, I was already physically and mentally drained before I even started the run.

The run itself was quite incredible; it truly is amazing to run the infamous Las Vegas strip with all the lights, with you being the main attraction.

But remember the strip is only a couple miles long, the rest of the run is through residential (slightly sketchy) neighborhoods. There were many times during this long run that I was ready to quit and call a taxi back to the hotel, but I was forced to finish due to the fact that no street traffic was allowed so I couldn’t get a car and Jenn would not let me quit.

It finally came time to cross the finish line. I was overwhelmed with feeling proud that I actually accomplished this run (5 months postpartum and still breastfeeding I may add), and joy that it was FINALLY over! My legs seriously ached and all I wanted to do was to sit down, yet as we crossed the finish line there was no exit for another half mile!! (1.1 + 13.1 + .5= at least a million miles that day). We were again corralled to where we could finally exit and I nearly wanted to cry as we limped back to our hotel and crawled into bed. Needless to say, we ordered room service dinner and did not get to experience the night life of Vegas. Our husband’s joked that next morning, that was the most sober they had ever left the Las Vegas airport!

Advise #3 DON’T MAKE PLANS AFTER YOUR RUN

Being that this was my husband and my first trip away from our 5 month old daughter, we had planned a fun ‘grown up only’ dinner, dancing and gambling in fabulous Las Vegas. Well I was quite disappointed when I couldn’t fathom getting out of the warm bed and went straight to sleep at 8.

The Lodging, Nightlife and Food

I.e. The REAL reason we came to Vegas!! Although I did not get to experience many of these on this trip, I have a few recommendations that are definitely worth mentioning.

Lodging: Stay on the strip! There are many off the main strip, discounted hotels that are worth the savings with a quick taxi away, however I recommend actually staying on the strip- it’s worth the experience.

Nightlife: The Foundation room on top of the Mandalay Bay. A cocktail, dancing and spectacular views! This lounge was nothing short of incredible.

Food: There are SOOO many great restaurants in Las Vegas, which I will share on my next adventure. But if you make the trip, there’s one stop you cannot miss. M&M world! FYI: Running a half marathon burns at least 337 M&M’s 🙂

Overall Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon, Las Vegas is a once in a lifetime experience! And by once, I truly mean that will be the one and only time I will participate in a race that large! But hopefully you’ve learned from my mistakes and enjoy running the strip at night!

Top 5 reasons you haven’t Run a Half Marathon and how to overcome them!

1) You’re not a “Runner”

I’ll tell you my secret, I’m not a runner either. Whew! Glad we got that out of the way! I’ve completed 7 half marathons, one full marathon, many fundraiser 5K’s, and started a running blog, yet I still don’t consider myself a “runner”. I think I set my expectation of a runner too high. I see on social media these really fit icons, and hear my friends talk about how easy running a 9 minute mile is; well that’s not me.  I consider myself a ‘participation medal’ type of girl 🙂 I sign up for a race for the adventure and travel opportunity and keep a goal to cross that finish line!

2) There’s not enough Time

Well that’s true, there really isn’t enough time for all the tasks we have in a day! Between getting kids ready for school, trying to get them in their darn carseats, working full time, (maybe working a little overtime), picking kids up, making dinner, piano lessons, then there’s dishes, laundry, pajamas and bedtime routine, and if you’re lucky maybe a little bit of sleep! (That may have been a run on sentence) but hey, It seems the American dream is usually an over run life! So where is there time to run? I hear ya. Well there’s 1,440 minutes in a day, find 20 minutes for your health 🙂 done. (We’ll work up from 20 minutes a day).

3) Kids

yes, this deserves it’s own category. This section is similar to above, not having enough time, yet there’s also the dilemma ‘who will watch the kids while I take 20 minutes a day to myself’?? And here comes the solution that I still cringe at, wake up a bit earlier. If I am up and out the door by 6am then I can take one hour of uninterrupted time for myself on a run. Although getting out of bed early does not sound appealing lying under my cozy down comforter, the surge of energy I get after my run is well worth it. If you’re the only one home in the morning and evenings to watch your kids, I would definitely recommend a gym with a daycare or perhaps go for a run during school hours. Everybody needs “me time!”

4) You don’t have the energy

As you read above, my day is jam packed with errands, to do’s and work and by the end of the day I am TIRED! Why would I want to go for a run after work or set my alarm clock earlier for a morning run? But as you may have heard, exercising gives you more energy than you can imagine! Running releases the hormone endorphins which trigger a euphoric feeling as well as acting as an analgesic, thus diminishing your perception of pain. Hence, a 30 minute run literally rewards your brain and tells you that it didn’t hurt! (Notice that I increased your 20 minute run per day to a 30 minute run very slyly. I just added one mile to your long run to prepare you for that half marathon 🙂

Another way to increase your energy is to eat well. Use food to fuel your body. I struggle with good food choices daily also, but Skinnytaste and Clean Eating magazine have helped me make delicious recipes even my kids crave!

5) Money

Let me explain. I’ve made running a half marathon an extravagant event. I pick a new state for each run, book a flight and a hotel for the weekend; then there’s the half marathon entry fee, paying for the best food in town and the bill quickly adds up. But this adventure is worth every penny!! I would love to see every state in this beautiful country regardless, running just gives me the excuse to actually book it! Plus, what better way to see the country then to actually run across it! 🙂 Anyhow, yes you’re right, running is FREE! you can leave from your front porch and run 13.1 miles and not spend a dime, I just prefer the fancy medal. haha

There you have it, all my excuses for not running a half marathon. Make the  TIME for a FREE run that will give you the ENERGY to love on those KIDDOS who will be proud of their mama who (even though may be slow) is a RUNNER! (I suppose I could have just shortened this whole post with that one sentence haha)

Join our adventure as We Run the States, Subscribe now! We’d love to hear from you on your favorite runs and best US destinations to visit! Here’s a list of half marathon’s in each state for 2020.

I use these cookbooks daily, and I’m so excited to share them with you! But for complete transparency, As an Amazon Associate I may earn from qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

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