Sunday, February 26, 2017

Marathon Training! One Month going Strong!

Marathon Training 2017 (Newport Marathon) started with much intimidation to me. I knew I had a lot of work to do in order to get in shape for my 2017 goals and it honestly scared me!!!  I made a decision to stop
Track work!  I'm learning to like it more and more! #foundchange
making excuses to myself about not having time, being too tired, maybe "failing" again with my time goal and just do it! This was difficult. I had to make a plan.  I took a good look at my schedule and placed training runs in time slots that worked best.  I would wake up each morning knowing what I was going to do each day. Each day, I just give it my best and that's all I could do! 

I've had tired days! 
I've had grumpy days!
I've had days of "why am I doing this?"
I've had good days!
I've had days I was excited to run!
I've had days I wanted to run farther!
I've had days I wanted to quit!
I've had days I felt stronger!
I've had days of feeling very sore!
I've had days I DIDN'T want to run at all!!!
I always would remind myself...what if?  What if June 3rd is a success this year? Not just a marathon finish. What if I actually make my newest time goal...the time goal I once thought was impossible?  
I've had a great training month to kick off my 11th marathon season! 

The month of February I did some pretty hard workouts! I do a weekly speed session on the track, a fatigued ten mile tempo run, a long run, and three easy runs!  I also added HIIT workouts into my 2017 training schedule.  The first time I stepped onto the track to work on my speed I thought, "I don't even know if I can do this?"  I actually hate speed work.  It makes me want to vomit, and I have! 
Part of meal prep today! Healthy cookies.
1 ripe banana - 1 cup Umpqua Oats
1 tea. cinnamon
raw walnuts
dried cranberries
peanut butter powder
Protein powder
Bake at 350 for 10 mins.
Freezer friendly
I do have pace goals to hit for my speed sessions and tempo runs that work together with my marathon goal time!  It's all a big math problem I don't fully understand, but I know it works! As the weeks have gone by, I am hitting my times so far!  I can feel my legs getting stronger!  I am having better long runs than I ever remember having!  It's too early in training for me to get too excited, but I am excited to be off to a good start.  I have a wonderful group I do a lot of my runs with and we all support each other. Especially on long run days.  It's a wonderful thing! 
Group favorite! #fueled by Umpqua Oats
Next week will be a "rest" week! Of course I will still run, but I will also give my body a break from some of the intense workouts. Then, it will be back to business! I need to up the speed sessions to a higher intensity.  I'm excited to see what the next three months of training brings! As much as I hate speed sessions, when I'm done...I feel so alive! It's a pretty amazing feeling! 

Sunday Funday! Had a beautiful snowy run! 
On March 11th I'll be running the Uberthons Luckython 10k! I'm going to run it without watching my Garmin!  I want to really test myself and that's hard to do when you are watching your Garmin every half mile!  Uberthons also has a 5k, 15k and a kids race! Check it out ----->HERE<------ Uberthons welcomes walkers and runners! I'll be helping with the kids race after the 10k.  Bring the kids's a great event for the whole family! 

This week I will enjoy not having to work so hard! I will try to keep away from processed foods, white flour and sugar!  I will try to get 7-8 hours of sleep each night!  I will keep meals prepped so I won't be tempted to grab a bad snack or meal.  

What are you training for? 
 I would love to hear from you!

 Find me over on facebook at ZaoFit
Fueled by Umpqua Oats ~ Fueling all my long runs for Marathon Training 
My Soxy Feet, keeping me blister free from 2017! Check out these high quality athletic socks a Use Promo Code MYSOXYJULIE for 10% off.
Proud to be an UBERTHONS Runner and Blogger! 

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Week Two ~ Marathon Training and the Uberthons Chocolatathon!

Easy run day through Dallas City Park!
Week two of marathon training was a tough week! I wanted to up my track work and add two miles onto my tempo run. I also needed to get a 16 miler in and was going to enjoy the Chocolatathon 10k on Saturday.  My problem?  The 10k was the same day as my long run!  I had to do some adjusting to my week to make it work.

Monday ~ easy day
Tuesday ~ track work 4x800s/HIIT workout
Wednesday ~ 8 miles of tempo work
Thursday ~ easy day/HIIT workout
Friday ~ 16 miles after work 
Saturday ~ 10k
Sunday ~ off

Not gonna lie, by the end of the week I was TIRED! Working full time, and trying to get all my workouts in is a struggle. It's easy to come up with excuses not to run!  I don't do that now that marathon training has started.  After work, I dress down and get the workout done!  It's all a mindset!  It's still difficult, but I am trying not to allow the excuses right now! 

Track work and tempo work was harder this week, but manageable. Thursday it was oddly 61 degrees after work. It made for such an enjoyable easy run through the Dallas City Park. 

Long run (16 miles) through Salem! 
Friday was both good and bad.  I got off work and 2:00 and headed to Salem to run with a friend starting and ending in South Salem (HILLS). The sun was out and I was really excited to get going! The first 13 miles were very enjoyable.  We cruised along the roads of Salem and the miles were passing quickly! About mile 13 we hit South Salem again.  My watch went dead and all of a sudden my stomach wasn't feeling the best.  With only about 1.5 miles to go I had to stop and use a bathroom.  Ugh, the struggle to keep going was real!!!!  I was seriously bummed that such a good long run was ending rotten!  I felt better after stopping and made it back to Kristi's house just fine, but I really slowed down on those hills.  I was so tired!  I was thankful all my hard workouts were done so I could go just enjoy the 10k Saturday no matter the outcome.

Saturday morning I woke up very tired!  The lag of the 16 miler the night before was still there, but I was excited to go meet up with friends for a fun race! I've never ran long the night before a race so I knew this would be interesting! 

Fun morning with Uberthons! Photo Credit:Brian Hartwig Scott
The weather was great for running.  It was a nice 39 degrees at the start of the race.  Cold for standing, but great for running!  No wind and no rain.  I took off with the second group of runners.  The path was mostly paved and mostly wide enough to pass with no issues at the beginning.  There was water on the course, but I brought a small handheld and didn't stop at any water stations.  I felt great the first couple miles.  I had a good pace going the first two miles.  I was even thinking, no way...a PR???  Maybe? I came to the hill and that slowed me down slightly but I was still holding on!  The first 5k was done and I came back around to the start.  I had to do the loop again!  Running back by the start/finish line made me want to stop so badly (this always happens to me) but I knew I needed to finish the 10k!  I didn't sign up for the 5k today!  The lag of the 16 miles the night before definitely was taking a tole on my body.  I slowed down a bit and then a bit more on the second time around that hill loop.  A fellow Uberthons Ambassador Gregg came up behind me and ran with me for a half mile or so before passing me. He was very encouraging to me and others going by in the other direction for the out and back parts.  It really kept me going.  This is one of the things I love about running.  Seeing runners encourage each other!  There is a definite beauty to it! 

I came back around to the park area.  This time around many 5k people who were now done, were walking around.  This did make running difficult.  Many didn't move out of the runners way, so a lot of weaving had to be done.  As I headed out for the final out and back there were lots more people.  There were 5k walkers coming in and some gathering going on at the other end of the park. All of these people were also using parts of the running path.  I almost ran into a couple people and it wasn't because I was running fast!  It was simply crowded in some areas, going both ways! 

I was excited to see the finish line.  I totally didn't PR on these tired legs, but I ran hard.  It was an excellent training week ending with such a fun race with friends.  

I am very excited to get a rest day tomorrow! 

4th female finisher, 2nd in age group 50:28

Register for the upcoming
Luckython 5k, 10k, or 15k HERE!

Get 10% off high quality athletic socks using promo code "MYSOXYJULIE" HERE! 
Marathon Training
Fueled by Umpqua Oats!

Monday, February 6, 2017

Marathon Training ~ Week ONE!

Week one is done! 

I was seriously worried about week one!  I told a friend this the other day and she was surprised! I haven't been in "training" for over four months now.  In the four months I had an injury and really got out of "training" mode.  I still enjoyed running, but going out for a run versus training, are two different things.  I was scared to start training again.  What if I can't hit my times? What if I'm too tired after work? What if I just don't have it in me this go around? I was scared to start up again, but it is time to try!

I ran the Uberthons Winter Half as a warm-up for the season.  It proved I had work to do, but also helped me see where I'm at.  I feel like I'm in a slightly better stop starting than last year.  

I don't know why marathon season scares me but it does.  I think it scares me because I have been through it several times. I have goals and dreams in marathon running and I can't seem to hit the mark after all is done. I really believe I can do it, but so far, I haven't hit the mark I set for myself. Training's not only hard work, but it's a strain on the brain. There's a place you have to go mentally to get through some of the hard training sessions and to get through the marathon itself. Can I go there again???! Sometimes I doubt myself.  I can go there mentally for a training run, but the race ... that's much harder for me.  It's like a test I've studied for and prepared for and then fail!  I don't want to fail again this year. I will not fail this year!

Saturday long run group! 
I try to keep motivated by planning group runs!  I have an amazing group of running friends who keep me going every single week, and I love them! 

 I also run for Uberthons and My Soxy Feet.  I run Uberthons events and they keep me motivated to keep moving forward in my running goals and healthy eating habits.  I do all my running in My Soxy Feet athletic socks! They are high-quality, awesome, fun athletic socks that help keep my feet from getting blisters! 

This last week I received oatmeal from Umpqua Oats! They will be fueling all my long runs for marathon season. I'm really excited to represent them because their oatmeal is so amazingly good!  I can't wait to share with my group for our next long run! 

This week I will be adding on a little more hard work to my track session, tempo run and long run!  I am hoping for another great week of training, ending with a fun 10k on Saturday! The Uberthons Cha' co la' do thon!!!!  I have several friends meeting up with me at Cook Park to run or walk this one!  I can't wait! 

---->You can register HERE!<----

Use promo code "ENJOYANEVENT" for $5.00 off. 
 They are 90% full so don't delay! 

Use promo code "MYSOXYJULIE" for 10% off at

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Uberthons Winter Half 2017 and the Rambling in my Brain

Saturday January 21st I kicked off marathon training with the Uberthons Winter Half.  I didn't know what to expect.  I am coming off an injury. I have been able to run, but my milage has been down that last several months.  My milage has mostly been "easy pace" milage with no hard work.  It's been nice to just enjoy running but it's been frustrating to not be able to do more as my foot has healed up.

My goal for the Winter Half was to to simply run my marathon pace (8:20) for the first nine or ten miles, then pick up the pace for the last 5k if feeling good.  I had friends running too, and that makes races extra fun!

I didn't feel I was in very good shape to be racing.  I did feel like running the half was the perfect way for me to start off marathon training.

As we lined up, someone from Wisconsin recognized my My Soxy Feet team tank.  I am an ambassador for them but not used to being recognized with no stores in Oregon yet. That was fun and as I looked around I started seeing many running friends that I only see at races.  I said hello to several people then started up my Garmin, we were about to start!

The weather was good for this time of year. 41 degrees with no rain, fingers crossed!  The ground was wet and I knew we may get more rain, but for was perfect race weather!

The bell rang and we were off.  I felt trapped behind a few other runners and slowly weaved around them trying to not trip anyone. The whole race was on a very soggy golf course.  It was definitely better to stay on the paved path.  The grass was a mess.  I quickly settled into a pace and realized I was feeling pretty good. As mile one and two passed I realized my pace was faster than it should be.  I knew this wasn't a good idea for my current shape.  I had over eleven miles left.  I tried to regroup and slow down into a smarter pace.  Things went through my mind like why not try to hold onto this pace...what if I can hold it?  What if I bonk and can't finish?  Why can't I settle into my tempo pace?

The ups and downs and twists and turns of the golf course made it hard for me to settle into my tempo (marathon) pace.  Slightly frustrated I just kept going, trying to stay positive.  I was just glad I wasn't behind pace.  I would rather go a little too fast, than too slow.  There were things I really liked about the course and things I really didn't like about the course.  I didn't like having to turn so much.  Lots of sharp turns and it was muddy in spots due to the rain and mud.  I almost fell in the mud a couple times.  There were a few bridges that were slick as well.  I like the safety of this course.  There are no cars at all. I like all the weaving because you can see runners ahead and behind you all the time.  This is a two loop course.  I don't mind a two loop course because the second time around I know what to expect and can mentally go into a good game plan to finish.  I don't like having to go by the "finish" line knowing that people who are running the quarter marathon get to stop and I have to keep going!  I like to see my split time on the clock and for something to do, try to give myself a goal time based on how I did for loop one!

1st half of the race, started too fast.
I know all of this may sound like a bore but I was running for a long time with not many people to talk too, so, many thoughts came to mind. Mile six was hard. There was an uphill, a big puddle, and a longer bridge to cross, causing my pace to slow down.  I got a little frustrated knowing this is going to be the last mile next time around.  I got past the halfway point and looked up at my split!  I was ok with it and thought it would be really great to hold on keep my current pace up.

As you can see from my slits, too fast!  I was suppose to run these miles at an 8:20 pace.

2nd half of the pace slipped quite a bit.
I went on and started to struggle a little.  My pace was showing it! I was getting tired and my upper legs were started to ache.  I was actually thinking of ways to stop. I could walk and wait for one of my friends and run it in with them.  I could just end it all and go back to the starting line. What business do I have even racing right now?  This shouldn't be so hard! I haven't been training! Who's idea was this anyway! 
 These are not good thoughts to have out on the course when you have a good 6 miles left to run!

Olivia is gonna kill the course today!
Somehow I kept at it!  I knew if I stopped and walked it would be over.  I kept talking myself into not stopping and to keep going.  It was a battle in my own mind.  Around mile seven I heard, "JULIE."  It was my friend Olivia.  With all the twists and turns, there she was!  That quick hello encouraged me and I kept at it.  About mile eight my right foot started giving me some issues.  It was aching pretty bad.  It's been an ongoing thing over the last few weeks off and on. I didn't think the pain was going to cause any long term damage so I tried to keep up and keep moving forward.  I could now see, a couple people I had been running with for the last few miles were starting to struggle too. One of us would feel good and get going, then it would switch.  This went on for the last five mile with about three people!

Because Running is better with a friend!!!! 
I've done enough half marathons to not get too stressed about the countdown of miles to the finish line.  Early on in running the countdown to the finish line really stressed me out.  Now, it's not stressful, it's just a simple countdown and trying to hold on.  On a good day, these last miles are the best, it's when you speed up and finish strong!  Today that wasn't going to happen.  I was so tired and my foot was hurting really bad.  I was able to pass one person and another person passed me!  I finished with a course PR from last years same race, but far from a lifetime PR.

Uberthons Swag!
I did finish this race with my tempo goal as the overall pace!  The problem is, I didn't run this race very smart.  I started too fast and I knew today wasn't a good day for that.  I would of liked to have run this starting at an 8:20 and the last two miles between an 8:00 and 8:20.

I know a lot of this proably seems like nonsense babbling, but it is some of what goes on in the average runners head during a race!  I feel I'm ready to start marathon training strong!  I'm excited for marathon training and I'm excited to be more structured with my workouts and eating.
Uberthons Winter Half 1:49:10

Will I finally meet my goal in 2017?  Guess time will tell!  June will be here before I know it!  It's time to get serious!

Use promo code "ENJOYANEVENT"
 on a 2017 Uberthons event and save $5.00

For 10% off at My Soxy Feet use promo code "MYSOXYJULIE"

Next on the race list! Uberthons Cha' co lah' dah thon on Feb 11th.  There is a 5k and a 10k both starting at 8:45 at Cook Park.  I'm trying to decide what distance I should run, and leaning more towards the 10k.  There will be a Kidathon race at 10:15 so bring the kids out for this one!  The kids race is free and open to ages 2 to 11. Parents may purchase a Uberkids medal for $10.00.

-->Register for an Uberthons even HERE!<--

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Warming up with the Uberthons Winter Half

Marathon season is coming soon! Two weeks to be exact! I will be entering marathon season number eleven. I can't wait to see what it brings! I have picked Newport Marathon at my #11! 
This will be my fifth time running Newport.  I know the course and my fastest times have been run there! I actually can't wait! I do have four solid months of work to do yet! But I'm ready to get started!

To start my season off, I will run the Uberthons Winter Half on January 21st! I have friends joining me for the half, and for marathon training!  I'm expecting great things! 

This year I will not only focus on a decent training plan, but also taking time to meal prep and make a weekly plan. I am now working full time. I think this will be key to making sure I am able to keep myself true to training and eating well.  A little planning each week goes a long ways! 

I will again be posting my workout schedule on my facebook page ZaoFit.  Many of my local running friends keep me motivated by meeting up each week and I love it! We all keep each other going, there is such a beauty to it! If you don't have a training buddy, I encourage you to find one! There is magic in meeting a workout buddy!  You will push each other and make each other get up and move on days you would otherwise skip! DO IT! 

I am excited to represent Uberthons in 2017 as an Ambassador.  If you have never run an Uberthons event, please message me!  I would love to hook you up!  Warning~~~once you go to one event you will be hooked for life~~~They are awesome, family friendly, for all ages and fitness level events!~~~~~

Check out Uberthons

I will also be representing My Soxy Feet for 2017!  They make awesome, fun athletic socks for men, women and children.  Check them out
Use promo code mysoxyjulie for 10% off your order!
What are your fitness plans for 2017? Any new goals and dreams?  I would love to hear from you!

Happy Running!

Follow me on Facebook at ZaoFit
Twitter at @jerrysgirlruns
Instagram at jerrysgirlruns_zaofit

Monday, December 26, 2016

A New Year! What Next?

2017 is right around the corner! New goals. New dreams, putting 2016 behind us! Moving on!
What's your 2017 going to look like? 

I'm looking forward to some running and fitness goals that I have already been working on!  I'll be fine tuning yet again! It seems like it's a never ending process, but as long as I keep myself surrounded by positive, like-minded people, I can keep moving forward.  Even if I've stepped back for a bit! 

My running buddies are a constant help in moving forward.  Group runs, early morning runs, evening HIIT workouts.  This group is so much fun and a lifesaver for getting me up and moving.

  I don't have to be "in training," they motivate me to keep going in training or not! It's a lifestyle afterall! 

Run Oregon is doing a run streak that started during my 3rd annual November run streak.  A friend of mine encouraged me to keep it going for one more month (Nov and Dec).  Run Oregon streak is bringing me into the new year ready for marathon training.  The goal has been simply to get a mile in every day. Most days I run more than a mile, but often I am tired from work, home duties, taking care of the family and such.  Then I don't run! I have learned that no matter how tired I am, I can at least get a mile in on the treadmill.  My streak will end on January 2nd.  

I have also been doing a challenge with a running/facebook friend.  Amber, has been keeping me accountable for meal prepping and planning my week ahead along with planned workouts!  It's just a fun facebook challenge, but I love it!  Sometimes just having a friend doing this with you is what it takes to keep going! Now, as Amber's challenge is ending, my friend Kristi and I will be keeping each other accountable through marathon training.  

Uberthons has kept me moving forward too!  I am an ambassador for Uberthons and I get the honor of running their races and representing them.  Running races can get very spendy. I would not be able to run very many races if it weren't for my blogging and Uberthons letting me represent them. 
 I plan my race schedule out with their races first. I will then add a

 few races that work with
 what my goals are for the year.  Uberthons cares about everyone being active, from little toddlers on up!  Walkers and runners are welcome! They have helped me help others be more active and I love them for that! I have also met some of the most awesome people via Uberthons! 

2017 races aren't all planned out for me yet, but I do have some on my calendar. I will run Newport Marathon in attempt to qualify for Boston Marathon.  This has been an ongoing dream of mine for the last few years that I just haven't quite got yet! Is 2017 my year?  I did just turn 40, I think it's time!!!!!  I will also be running for Uberthons! My first 2017 race will be the Uberthons Winter Half on Saturday January 21st.  I don't think I'm in shape enough for a PR (personal record) yet, but I'll give it a go! Right after the Winter Half I'll be going into training for Newport. I won't be doing much racing during training.  I do plan on running Uberthons Luckython 15k on May 11th. I love the Luckython.  There is also a 5k and 10k for anyone interested! 
After the Marathon I will look at my schedule and go from there.  Depending on how I do at Newport, I may run The Oregon Marathon on July 22nd.  If I run a BQ, I will run the Half on July 22nd.  Uberthons has a whole Series of Half marathons I'm looking at for 2017.  One for each season. You can register for each one $60.00 or save $10.00 for each race by registering for the series. 
------->Oregon Half Series info HERE! <-------
They offer a Winter Half on January 21st
A Spring Half on May 27th
A Summer Half on July 22nd
A Fall Half on September 9th

What are your goals and dreams for the coming year? I would love to hear from you!

Follow me on facebook at ZaoFit HERE
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Instagram HERE

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Safety on the Run! ~ National Running Safety Month

 November is National Running Safety Month.  As an avid runner for the last eight years I have done my fair share of learning to be safe while out on the road, trail, and even while traveling. I am sharing my personal safety rules with to help runners stay safe while visiting the Strip to participate in upcoming races!

I live in a smaller town, but even small as it is, I have been spit on by a passing truck, had a car zoom up next to my leg (appeared to be on purpose), been whistled at, had many dogs come at me, had people pull over next to me and ask me questions (in a "raper van"...more coming on that), and had times I needed a bathroom...NOW! I've also had yogurt tossed out of a moving car at me, ran out of water on a long run, and got lost on a trail with no cell service while by myself. So bear with me and learn from my mistakes! 

Rule 1:
 Run with friends Whenever possible, run with someone.  I do enjoy a "lone" run once in while, but I try to run in groups whenever possible.  I post most of my runs on my fitness page ZaoFit, or message others to join me.  This keeps everyone in the group safe and accounted for.  If one of us has a problem, the rest are there to help.  My group has been known to share water, share toilet paper, and share a walk if someone is struggling that day.  In my larger groups we have never had a stranger try to approach us and everyone is always accounted for.  I feel safe on these runs most of the time.  We have had dogs try to take us on a few times, but that's another story! If you're going out alone, always tell someone about how long you will be gone, and your route.  It never ever hurts to tell someone and it may save your life!

Rule 2: 
 Carry a phone  Always take your phone on a run, even if it's only one mile.  You never know what may happen. There are many ways to carry your phone.  I wear an EAZYMATE belt.  There are many more options to choose from. Phones are good to have if you ever need to be picked up during a "run gone bad."  Sadly I've had to use my phone for this.  Maybe you need to call a friend to talk you through a bad spot during a long run.  My family uses the app called Funa. It's a family locator with GPS Tracking.  It has a handy SOS button too, but beware...I accidently pressed this button a couple weeks ago and it really does work!  And lastly, a phone comes in handy when you want to take a quick running selfie to post when you get home! 

Rule 3:
 Wear reflective gear and lights   I live in Oregon.  In the summer we have lots of daylight.  This time of year (Fall/Winter), not so much!  Sometimes I do need to run in the dark.  If alone, I will sometimes just run in my garage on the boring dreadmill.  Most of the time, I will go out into the dark.  I like to wear a reflective vest and take my Nathans running light.  I have tried headlamps, cheap small hand lights and knuckle lights.  The Nathan's is by far my favorite. It straps on your hand, white light in the front.  It's very visible to oncoming traffic and helps you see the road in front of you, no problem.  It also has a red light in the back.  You can pick your setting to keep in on, or make it flash.  It also has an emergency siren button to press if you are in danger or need help of any kind.  It's isn't super loud like an air horn, but it is loud enough to get someone to come over to you. The Nathan's light is rechargeable (no batteries) and is waterproof!

Rule 4:
Bring water If we are talking just a few miles, I don't necessarily think it's necessary to bring water.  Anything over six miles for sure.  I have a smaller hand-held water bottle and a larger one I use depending on how warm it is that day, and how far I plan to run.  If I come home with extra water, no big deal!  It is no fun to need water so bad you steal it out of someone's water hose (yes, I've done this).  So just be safe, take the water with you! 

Rule 5: 

Carry pepper spray or mace  I don't always carry pepper spray, but there are times I feel it's necessary.  If running alone and if running out on a country road (even in groups).   Running alone is always a good reason to carry pepper spray.  You just can't be too safe. While running out on a country road you may encounter a farm dog. Farm dogs seem to be very protective of their land.   This has happened to me and my friends more than once.  I happen to love dogs, but I've also had a dog bite me before.  I am also a mother to three and have no problem speaking in a "MOM" tone.  Four times I've had a dog (sometimes two) come running at my friends and me.  This is terrifying to my friends, but I will look the dog in the eye and yell at him to go stop and go home.
raper van

 This has always stopped the dog(s) and we are able to safely walk past out of harm's way.  I do not guarantee this will work, so I recommend having pepper spray as a back up.  Pepper spray is my number one for creepers.  I once was running with my friend on a very warm day a couple miles out of town.  We had stopped to walk and catch our breath after running a hill.  A "raper van" (large van with no windows) pulled up beside us and asked if we needed water?  I gladly raised my hand showing the man in the van that I had a water bottle AND pepper spray.  He nodded and drove on his way!  He may not of meant any harm to my friend and me, but that wasn't something we needed to test. 

Rule 6:
Ask for advice  While traveling I like to get a good run in.  It's a fun way to see a new city on foot too.  Usually my husband will join me for a run while traveling but occasionally I will go out alone. I will ask a local(s) for a good/safe route in the area and let my husband know the details before heading out with my phone.  If ever in doubt or if it's dark and we are at a hotel, I am quick to just get my run done on the dreadmill.  I do like to take advantage of a gym if needed.  I typically will get some weights in too while staying at a hotel. You can check out some great Vegas hotel deals here!

Rule 7:
Wear identification I highly recommend Road ID or taking your driver's licences while running or hiking.  It just may save your life! I also like to tuck a few dollars in with my identification too.  Never know if you may need to stop and buy water, a band aid, gu, ice cream??? Also, tuck in some toilet paper with that money.  Toilet paper can be a life saver out on a long run, just trust me on that one! 

Rule 8: 
No cell service? Don't go out alone! Once while in training for a trail run, a group of friends were picnicking at the park I would later be running my trail run at.  I thought it was a good idea to get in a good six or seven miles on the trail while we were there. It seemed safe enough.  I took off with my phone and sadly, seven mile turned into eleven mile when the trail didn't circle around like I thought it would.  When I took my phone out to call my husband, there was NO service on the mountain.  I was safe but when I came running in, my husband look terrified.  He was getting ready to call me in as lost.  I will never run on trails again alone with no cell service.  

Rule 9:
No headphones I rarely wear headphones. I have bad things happen when I do.  I once had the little round piece of the headphone get stuck in my inner ear because I was so sweaty.  My friend tried to get it out but with no luck, I had to run home with it in my ear.  I drove to my husbands work and he was able to get it out with some tweezers.  My head sweats so bad, once my headphone popped out of my ear and started bouncing around on my arm.  I thought a bug was attacking me and started jumping and screaming while traffic went my.  Nobody stopped to help me!  I haven't wore headphones since!  I either talk with my friends or if alone, enjoy the beautiful city I live in.  I like to be very aware of my surrounding while running.  I like to be able to hear if someone is coming up from behind me or if a car is coming. Many of my friends do wear headphones, but they will turn them down low or just wear in one ear.  

Rule 10:
Run towards ongoing traffic and always make eye contact
I always like to run going towards the flow of traffic, opposite of what bikers do.  I like to be able to see traffic coming.  I will move out of the traffics way as I run by.  I feel this is the smartest way to run, be safe, and also respect the flow of traffic. When running in town, there is always a chance of a car backing out of a driveway.  I always assume they don't see me.  I stop and wait to make eye contact before crossing the car. Sometimes they don't see me and they back up!  Also, never assume traffic pulling out of a parking lot/road sees you.  Often drivers are in a hurry and just don't realize you are there.  It's no need to get angry, just don't cross in front of the car until the driver looks at your face. Eye contact is always key!  Once my rule didn't work, my friend and I were running through town and a car was pulling out of the DMV.  I made eye contact with the driver and we both crossed in front of the car.  As we got right in front of the car, the driver pressed the gas (seemed to be on purpose).  The car drove right up next to my leg.  It put me in total shock.  I couldn't believe someone would be so mean.  The driver was right next to my leg, another hair and I would of been hit!  That is the only time making eye contact didn't work. 

Bonus Rule:
Always eat after you run! It's good to refuel after a good workout!  Here is one of my favorite things to eat after a good run! 
                ------>coconut blueberry chia muffins<------
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