10 Tips for Running in the Heat

*10 Tips for running in the heat originally published in 2016, updated June 2019*

As the weather warms up, it’s wise to take a few minutes to think about how this will change your runs. (because newsflash: it will change them, especially if you live in the south like me!)  If you don’t plan ahead, you may be setting yourself up for failure (or heat stroke!) so be careful and make sure you are prepared. Here are my 10 best tips for running in the heat.

running in the heat

10 tips for running in the heat

1.) Sunscreen sunscreen sunscreen! Also, for really long runs, I reapply after an hour. I try to find more “sweatproof” ones, or ones made specifically for my face or body etc. as I am more prone to breakouts. Not only is not wearing sunscreen setting yourself up for skin cancer, but it sure will make you miserable for a few days!

2.) Wear a running hat or visor. I always feel so much cooler not having the sun directly on my face. Plus it will help fight against wrinkles and sun damage and can help keep sweat out of your eyes.

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3.)Hydrate ahead of time, and bring water with you. Don’t wait until you are already thirsty to start drinking water. Begin hydrating the night before and the morning of your run. I have a small insulated cooler I pack my drinks in with an ice pack so I can grab them at the car as needed. I also like Gatorade/Powerade because I sweat a lot and need to replace some electrolytes. Nuun and coconut water will do the trick as well. I occasionally take gels or Gu’s or straight salt packs.

4.) Wear loose-fitting moisture-wicking fabrics. Cotton is never your friend as a runner, but particularly when you are sweating a lot. Your shirt will get really heavy and may cause chaffing and rubbing. Quite frankly, in the summer I prefer to just wear a sports bra and no shirt, then I can feel the breeze directly on my skin. Don’t worry about who is looking at you, when you feel like you are running on the surface of the sun, who cares right?

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5.) Try to run early in the morning or after the sun goes down at night. Between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM is when the suns rays are the worst, so avoid those times if possible. It will still be very warm in the evening, especially with heat coming up from the pavement warmed all day, but when the sun is down it feels nicer!

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6.) Pace yourself. Don’t expect to have an awesome training run in which you PR at noon in July. Stop or slow down if you need to. Be realistic about your expectations, and live to fight another day. Remember, winter PR’s are made in the summer, so just keep going and don’t stress about running slower!

7.) This goes with number 6, listen to your body! If you start to feel overheated or dizzy/lightheaded, walk, or find some shade and take a break/sit down. One run is not worth your health.

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8.) If you must run in the heat of the day, run short. I know some people may not have an option due to childcare, work, or other obligations, but if you must run in the middle of the day keep it short, or use those days for slower easier runs.

9.) Washcloth trick: Put a wet washcloth in the freezer, then carry it with you on your run. It will keep you nice and cool if you put it on your neck or wipe your face with it.

10.) Keep drinking water after your run. Sometimes if I don’t drink enough during a really hot run, I get a bad headache and am more exhausted later in the day. Be sure to take care of your body AFTER you run, and not just during!

running in the heat

10 tips for running in the heat

RELATED: 4 tips for stroller running in the heat

QOTD: Any tips I forgot for running in the heat? What has helped you?

5 Tips for Working Out Without Breaking the Bank

*Original post date 2016, updated May 2019*

When you think of getting fit and healthy, you don’t have to also see lots of dollar signs. There are ways to be healthy, get fit, and reach your goals without breaking the bank. You only have one body, so it needs to be a priority when it comes to the money you spend in your budget. Check out my 5 tips below for help:

1.) Really do some thinking about your gym membership.

If you go to your gym 4 times a week and use multiple pieces of equipment, the pool, the childcare, etc. then you should probably stick with it. But, if you go to the gym 3 times a month, or only use it for the treadmill, then maybe you should consider alternative means of exercise. If you only go to the gym for a treadmill, consider buying one for your home. You can find used ones on craigslist, or at a second hand fitness equipment store. If you lift lighter hand weights, maybe buy a set or two of lighter and heavier weights and a resistance band (We have had luck on Facebook Marketplace). If you love yoga but cringe at the thought of forking over a high amount for a month at a studio, maybe buy a mat and download some free yoga videos from the internet.

The FASTer Way to Fat Loss has a “home” version of workouts, so if you join one of my rounds, you can workout at home with just dumbells and lose fat!

2.) Set a budget for races and make finding good/cheaper ones a game.

Let’s face it, racing, especially destination racing, can be pricey! One option is to set a yearly or quarterly racing budget that includes not just entry fees but also what you would spend at a hotel or on transportation, food etc. as well. A lot of times, you can find fun races that aren’t publicized on the big race websites if you do a little digging (hello Google!)  Trying to fit races into your budget is like putting together a puzzle, and can be fun if you are a planner like me. Also, try to find things to help your budget, like run a destination race close to where your aunt lives, and ask if you can spend the night at her house to save money on a hotel. Yes, you may end up sleeping on her couch with a cat on your face, but it’s better than forking out 150+ dollars for a hotel room. Maybe you can find a friend online running the same race as you and share a hotel, or a cab from the airport. Every little bit helps!

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3.) Think of things around your house that could be considered cross training.

Look around you, there are plenty of things you could probably do or that NEED to be done that would work up a sweat and be considered cross training. Some things to do are work in the flowerbeds pulling weeds, scrubbing wood floors on your hands and knees, raking leaves, wiping down baseboards, painting your dining room, scrubbing the shelves in your refrigerator, vacuum/mop, walk the dog, stain the deck (no…I am not listing all the things I need to do…yeah…of course not). Not only will you work up a sweat, but your house will look awesome! Put on some music and maybe add in some lunges or squats as you go.

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Painting a fence counts, too!

4.) Be Social and know your city.

If you did a little research, you may find a hiking trail you didn’t know about or a walking club for moms that meets every Tuesday morning. Being in the know will help you to make decisions that are right for you and your family. Do you know an elderly lady with a big dog that needs some exercise? Volunteer your time to get to know her and her dog and then take it (the dog, not the old lady) for a run. Introduce yourself to the neighbor who just moved in and ask if they want to go on a walk around downtown with you and you can point out things like the best stores, restaurants, etc. as you go to help them learn their new town. Join a local mom’s Facebook group and start your own running or walking club! Getting exercise but also helping out someone else makes you feel good. Bonus points!

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I found a trail!

5.) Don’t spend a fortune on fitness gear.

This one is hard for me because I love cute running gear! Wait for sales or free shipping for online products. Hit up the outlet mall. Sometimes you can find affiliates who are offering discounts on products you love online. Buy the model that is not in production anymore and they are usually cheaper (for shoes at Runningwarehouse.com). I also take good care of my fitness gear. I wash it every time I sweat in it (totally can’t imagine re wearing sweaty workout gear. ew.) I hang dry everything, and it lasts a long time. Also, when people ask what to get me for Christmas/Birthday, I often tell them running gear,  or a running store gift card.

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QOTD: What is your best fitness on a budget tip?

Buy One Give One With Aftershokz

Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Aftershokz, however, all opinions are my own. Affiliate links may be present, where I get a small commission if you buy through my link.

It’s now November, and the holidays are upon us. It’s my favorite time of year, with all the beautiful decorations, movies on TV, parties, and events. However, there is one aspect of the holidays that can sometimes get overlooked, but it’s a really important one to me. The holidays are a time to give. To give of our time, our resources, and our love. It’s a great time to show your care for friends and strangers alike and recognize people for the goodness in their hearts.

This year, Aftershokz has made it super easy to give something to a deserving person, without it costing you anything extra. Were you maybe planning to buy some amazing wireless headphones this year? First, let me tell you why you need them, then why you need them specifically to give back to someone else with the buy one give one promotion.

In case you aren’t familiar with the brand, AfterShokz is a sport headphone company. These specific wireless headphones are amazing because they allow you to gain motivation from your music without blocking out your surroundings. They rest outside of the ears and use bone conduction technology to transmit sound. Also, AfterShokz headphones are extremely lightweight, and comfy. I usually forget that I am wearing them!

Now for the special promo: This Black Friday weekend, Aftershokz will be offering their wireless headphones at a discount along with a buy one, give one deal. For every order of wireless headphones on the website, they will be adding one FREE open boxed Trekz Titanium headphones, while supplies last.

The goal here is to pay it forward to someone else this holiday season, and Aftershokz is making it easier than ever.
In the pictures in this post, you can see me with my dear friend Kelley. She is such a wonderful, deserving friend and I knew immediately when I heard about this promotion, that she would be the recipient of my extra set of headphones.

Here more about Kelley, the promotion, and why she deserves this special gift in the video below.

Be sure to follow the hashtag #GiveGoodVibes, and use it as well as @aftershokz to show you giving your second pair of headphones to someone else. I can’t wait to see your photos. Happy giving!

8 Tips for Running in the Rain

Update: This post originally appeared in August of 2011 and has been updated for October 2018.

I have run several races in the rain, including the inaugural Rock ‘n Roll Providence half marathon, where there were torrential downpours the entire race. I definitely did some things wrong in that race in regards to running in the rain, but I learned some lessons and tricks to help you survive a rainy run.

8 tips for running in the rain

Remember, it’s just rain. It won’t kill you, so go running anyway! (Unless there is lightning or a tornado…then you are on your own!)

8 Tips for running in the rain:

1.) Wear a hat. This will help keep your head drier and help to keep water drops from pelting you in the face. Not getting water all in your face will make it not so bad.

2.) Waterproof your phone/iPod. No, you don’t have to have some expensive special case, a ziplock bag will do! I kept my phone in my Ziploc the whole race and it was fine afterward! Also, I could still type on the touch screen through the bag.

3.) Body Glide.  Even if you don’t normally chafe or blister, use Body Glide anyway. I don’t normally chafe badly but I did under ONE arm and on the outside of the leg  where the pocket was I kept my phone in. I heard people saying they usually don’t get blisters but because of squishy shoes, they did during this race.

4.) Wear moisture wicking fabric/clothing. Honestly, you should be doing this ANYWAY, but it will help keep you from chafing more than cotton will, and it will keep you more dry.

5.) Dress warmly. The rain will most likely make it a few degrees cooler than you anticipated, so take that into consideration when planning your race day outfit.

6.) Get out of your wet clothes ASAP! Prior to the race, use the gear check if there is one available, or run back to your hotel to shower and change, but don’t stay in your wet clothes! You need to dry off and get the chill out of your body.

7.) A garbage bag makes a great poncho. Seriously. Been there done that. Even if you don’t run in it, it can at least keep you dry while you wait for the race to start.

8.) Evaluate and possibly change your expectation. If you were thinking you were going to PR in said rainy day weather you still can, but don’t be hard on yourself if you don’t. There are other things to consider besides the actual rain that can slow you down. For instance, in Providence, at times it was raining so hard the drains in the streets couldn’t keep up with it, so there was standing water RUSHING over the street knocking your feet out from under you. Also, there were puddles everywhere and I couldn’t tell how deep they were, which could have caused me to twist an ankle. I treaded a lot more lightly than usual because of this. There were also several steep downhills I was afraid of slipping on in my wet slippery shoes. Take precautions and watch your footing. There will be other races! Think of it as an experience, and as a “mental PR!”

tips for running in the rain

QOTD: Do you have any other rainy day running tips?

Related: 5 Tips for running when you travel

*This post may contain affiliate links, meaning I make a small commission if you purcahse through my link.

5 Tips for Running When you Travel

Update: This post on 5 Tips for Running When you Travel first appeared in 2015, and I have now updated it, in October of 2018. 

If you are anything like me, you might make excuses when you are traveling for why you can’t go for a run. I have used every logic possible to talk myself out of a run, but in the end, I always regret not running when I travel. When I’m traveling, no matter if it’s by car or air, I always tend to eat more unhealthy than I do at home, and I’m sitting more than I do at home, so if there was ever a time I needed to run, traveling is when it is! So below I have compiled 5 Tips for running when you travel. Enjoy!

5 Tips for Running When you Travel

1.) Research the area: It’s not wise to just take off running from your hotel without knowing a bit about the area. Maybe you could even try to connect with local runners on social media and ask them their favorite routes. Traveling is a great time for exploring a new place! Maybe find a route that has a convenience store you can stop at along the way for a bottle of water, or a park with a scenic trail. Remember, knowledge is power!

2.) Pack well: I know there are a million thoughts going in and out of your head when trying to pack for a trip, and thinking about running gear may be the last thing on your mind. However, if you have everything you need all together in one bag you may be more likely to actually go for a run when you reach your destination. I bring a drawstring bag with my GPS watch, headbands, GU, body glide, sunglasses*, etc. whenever I travel so there is no excuse and no rummaging around in my suitcase. Then it’s just a matter of throwing in a couple running outfits and my shoes!

3.) Be safe: Always tell someone where you plan to run and what time you will be back, even if it’s a text to a friend or a front desk worker at the hotel. Be mindful of your surroundings! If you listen to music, make sure you can still hear your surroundings. You need to be on the lookout, especially in a bigger city where you may be crossing streets or around a lot more cars.

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Stopped at a crosswalk on a group run in Boston at the Healthy Living Summit.

4.) Make time: This is a big one for me! Travel wears me out y’all. The last thing I want to do after a long day of driving or flying is lace up my running shoes! It is important to look at your schedule and pencil in a time to hit the hotel gym or run the roads, or it may not actually happen. Sometimes the only available time is late at night, but it’s a good excuse to get out of your boring hotel room.

5.) Call the hotel: Hotel workers are your friend! Usually, they are super knowledgeable of the area, and can hopefully tell you areas you should probably avoid, or a place where runners go on the weekend to log some longer miles. They may even be able to give you the number of a local running store you can call for help as well. It never hurts to ask!

Thanks for checking out my 5 Tips for Running When you Travel.

QOTD: What is your best tip for running in a new place? To you venture outside or stick to the hotel gym?

*This post contains affiliate links, meaning if you purchase through my link I receive a small commission.

Activewear Made in the U.S.A

I am and always have been very patriotic. When possible, I prefer to buy things made in the USA, and I shop local a good bit. That’s why I was super excited to learn about Vast Terrain, which takes “A different approach to premium activewear”.  They stand on these key principles:  (1) a transparent model of both pricing and supply chain, (2) made in the USA, (3) being sold “direct to consumer” without the retail markup and (4) using only proprietary technical fabrics.  

Vast terrain activewear made in the USA

I wanted to know more, so I dug a little deeper. Their website has a ton of info, so it was easy to see their transparency, which after talking to the owners, is very important to them. 99% of their production value is sourced in the USA!

So how did they get started? “The Gillerts, both 47 years old, were inspired by their own outdoor adventures, including scaling Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa and Mount Elbrus in Russia. They wanted activewear that was made in the U.S., but couldn’t find it.” (Currently, their office is right here in Tampa!)

The fabric was also of great importance to them. They wanted it to be soft (which it really is!), protect from moisture buildup, and provide odor control. It was time-consuming and tedious to find what they were looking for, but after research, trips to factories and hundreds of phone calls to mills, they were able to create a game plan.

To give you an example of all that goes into the clothing, check this out: “The fabric is woven at a plant in Roanoke, Virginia. They work with a company in Los Angeles that is one of the most technologically advanced circular knitting mills in the world. There’s a cut and sew facility in San Francisco, zippers come from Los Angeles, and trims from Pawtucket, Rhode Island. The design is done in Santa Cruz, California.” WOW! I love that these clothes all come from so many different places in the USA. You can see the transparency here because the supply chain and each factory is on their website!

“We’re on a first-name basis with the owners. They know who we are. We get responses more quickly, and we’re not tied up in customs,” Says owner Carrieann. “We’re also keeping jobs in the U.S.” <—LOVE this so much!

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Remember guys, premium technical activewear doesn’t have to cost a premium price. Keep in mind traditional retailers mark their products up by at least four times their cost. (Sometimes a lot more!) By selling directly to you Vast Terrain eliminates this retail markup and passes on the savings to you, the customer.

I can attest to the softness, durability, and comfort of the fabric. I have a tank top and pair of shorts from Vast Terrain, and I am loving running and working out in them. I highly recommend supporting them, men and women, and supporting our great country as well.

How the Fabletics VIP Membership Works

Hey guys! I posted on Instagram recently that I will be working with Fabletics again. I truly love this brand! I love that they have extended sizing and that they show photos of women of all shapes on social media. Also kinda have a girl crush on Demi but whatevs.

How the Fabletics VIP membership works and how you can get two pair of leggings for $24!

Anyway, I get a lot of questions about how the VIP membership works and if its too good to be true that you get 2 pair of leggings for $24. (It’s TOTALLY true, I promise!)

Watch this short video if you are curious about the details. I will also make some notes underneath. Let me know if you have questions!

Fabletics VIP

Link to shop my looks. I hope you join as a Fabletics VIP!

-Sign up and get 2 paid of leggings for $24
-Every month you can purchase an outfit for $50, or skip that month
-No limit to the number of times you can skip
-Cancel at any time
-If you forget to skip, your card will be charged $50 but you can use that money as a CREDIT for another purchase
-Their clothes are awesome! I run in them, do Orange Theory in them, and they last FOREVER!

-Here is the link again to shop my looks and join as a VIP.

Fabletics VIP

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase through my link I may get a small commission.

The 8 Best Tips for Beginner Runners

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. Please see my disclosure on the bottom right sidebar for more details.

Running is a great way to stay in shape or even lose weight if you wish, but a lot of people just don’t know where to start. I have been distance running for eight years, and while not the fastest person ever, I do have some words of wisdom to share for beginners. Check out my eight very best tips below.

 

1.) Start slow: One of the reasons people think running is such a daunting task is they feel the pressure to run a marathon–like tomorrow. First of all, that would be crazy, and second of all, you may never run a marathon, and that’s totally fine! Starting out slow will give your body a chance to adjust and help you avoid burnout. I don’t suggest running every day to start (or ever really!) Try once or twice a week and see how you feel. The last thing you want is to get injured, so a gradual go is best!

2.) Go for distance first, then speed: I am a huge fan of the Jeff Galloway run walk run program, as well as the Couch to 5k program. Both will get you going but in a safe way. So many people think they aren’t truly a “runner” if you aren’t running the whole time, and that is simply just not true. Starting out with a run/walk is not only safer for your body, but will enable you to go further distances and build up your confidence.

 

3.) Get some gear: When I first started running, I ran in cotton t-shirts and socks, which was not a pretty site in the hot and humid south. I chafed, got blisters, and was generally a miserable person to be around until I discovered the magic of running gear that fit well and helped wick sweat away from my body. Game changer! If you are comfy (and think you look awesome, too) you are more likely to stick with it! Here are a couple of my current favorites: Mizuno shorts , Mizuno top, Mizuno socks.

 

4.) Plan for before and after: Keep in mind that as a runner, there is more to it than just the run itself (say what?) you need to plan for your before and after, meaning what are you fueling your body with before you run, during, and after. I always eat before I run, but I give my body time to digest. I personally prefer these protein bars or a banana and peanut butter (depending on the distance I’m running I may eat more). If I’m running over five miles I always carry hydration, and typically fuel like a GU as well. Also, you will need to warm up properly before you run, cool down after your run, and stretch/foam roll.

5.) Hydrate: I already mentioned hydrating before a run, but also make sure you are drinking enough before and after your run. Especially if you live in a hot or dry climate, if you are dehydrated you won’t be able to run as far or as fast. I personally get headaches when I’m dehydrated, which isn’t fun when running. If you need to carry water on a run, consider a hydration belt or handheld water bottle.

6.) Find an accountability partner/group: Fun fact: I actually started this blog when I wanted to train for my first half marathon. I wanted an accountability journal of sorts, and knew if I started blogging and people saw it, then I would HAVE to follow through. (Psssst. If you want to start a blog too, I have a free email course that can get you started!) Anyway, look around locally for a running group to join, or ask a friend to hold you accountable at work.

 

7.) get fitted for proper shoes: When I first started running, I wanted to wear whatever shoes I thought looked the prettiest on the shelf in the store. I knew nothing about my gait, what size I should get or the specific needs of my feet. I am much wiser now and know there are certain brands that just don’t work well for me. Currently I am loving Mizuno, and more specifically the new Wave Rider 21. They have a premium sock liner, a re-designed mesh upper, and a softer heel counter than previous versions. I hate tight fitting middles and toe boxes, and I feel like I have plenty of room in these shoes. They are breathable and great for the neutral runner. (If you don’t know if you are a neutral runner or not, I highly recommend going to a local running shoe store and getting a gait analysis). These are my new favorites, not to mention they come in several cute colors!

8.) Don’t quit! It’s tempting to give up when you are tired, sore, and not seeing progress as quickly as you would like. This is where a lot of people will give up and say they hated running or that it was too hard. What’s sad is if they would have held on just a bit longer they probably would have been happy with their results. We live in such an instant society everyone wants things to happen RIGHT NOW but becoming a runner takes time. I can attest to the fact that it may not always be fun, it is however, totally worth it, so don’t give up just because you are one of the beginner runners!

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of Mizuno. The opinions and text are all mine.

runDisney Wine and Dine 10K Recap 2017

At the beginning of November, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Two Course Challenge, made up of the Wine and Dine 10K and half marathon. I registered last minute and was under trained, so I just had fun with it, and fun was definitely had!

I didn’t take many photos during the race since it was dark when I started and dark when I finished, but I did take some video, which is at the end of this post. I will give a brief recap though.

I woke up at 3:00 and met my friend Amanda to go to the bus at 3:45 (last bus is at 4:00 and we were at the back of the resort). We were on a bus within five minutes, and got to the start with TONS of time to kill. (Side note: notice how straight and thin my hair looks here? Remember this for later).

This is one thing I dislike, that you are forced to arrive so early if you use Disney transportation. It was a few minutes after 4:00 when we arrived and the race didn’t start until 5:30. We hung out at the start and just chatted, went to the bathroom, etc. and then said our goodbyes and headed into our respective corals. I got as close to the front as I could and sat down. This is where I stayed for about 40 minutes waiting for the race. I didn’t want to play on my phone too much as I didn’t want the battery to die, so it was honestly pretty boring, heh. Finally they started moving the corals up, and then the race started. I was in coral B, so thankfully didn’t have to wait too long.




I started running and immediately remembered something about runDisney races, you get zero time to warm up since you are sitting in a corral for so long, then you take off on cold muscles. By the time I realized it was happening, my leg that has been bugging me tightened up like crazy and I knew I was in for a long weekend. It wasn’t bad, but I could “feel” it if that makes sense. My quad tightened then it worked its way down to my knee by mile three and was hurting a little.

Honestly, the first 3 miles were really boring until we got into Hollywood Studios. I only saw I think one character in the park, and the line was super long so I passed. We then headed across the way to the Boardwalk It was so humid the decking was slippery so I had to be careful.

I saw the line for tourist Genie, and it was long but not SUPER long, so I hopped in line because, why not? I don’t know if I have ever taken a picture with him. (Notice how wavy my hair is now!)

It was nice to take a little breather in the super thick humidity, and then I moved on to EPCOT.

I saw these guys in Canada (do you think they wold be upset if they knew I never saw their movie?)

I then knew I was in the homestretch. It was so weird running here in the dark, it’s usually daylight by time I get to this point, and think I have only run in the dark here the year I did Dopey.

I made it that final familiar stretch I have run so many times, and crossed the finish line somewhere around 1:04. Not bad for all my stopping!

wine and dine 10k

I was smiling when I finished, which is all I cared about. I was so thankful to have the opportunity to run so last minute, and in my favorite place. It’s often during races I am reminded how truly blessed I am.

wine and dine 10k

Now on to the half marathon recap! But first, in case you missed it, here’s my expo recap, and don’t forget to check out my video below:

Wine and Dine Half Marathon Weekend Expo 2017

Last weekend, I had the opportunity to run the runDisney Wine and Dine half marathon weekend two course challenge. I have not run this race since it was at night time, and since it added a 10k, so I was pumped to get to experience a new to me race.

I love race expos, especially runDisney race expos. Amanda and I went after lunch and it wasn’t bad/crazy at all! We got out bibs and shirts and did a little shopping. There was still plenty of merchandise left (it was Friday) but I know some sold out by Saturday.

I will say I missed the memo that the race merchandise would be where you pick up your bibs, so we did have to go BACK over there to do our shopping. However it was nice that they had more room and could spread out more!

I didn’t take a ton of photos, however I did take some video, so be sure to check it out below!