Sunday, October 25, 2015

Weekend Roundup!

Whew! What a weekend! This past Saturday was the goal race for my first ever trail running program: the Lake Hodges Trail Fest, put on by Off Road Pursuits. I trained runners for the past 10 weeks to do the 15K and runners for the past 8 weeks to do the 5K. It was a great day!

Before I get into what happened at the race, I wanted to take a minute to "introduce myself" to new readers. For the next two weeks, I am participating in a Blog Hop with health and fitness bloggers from all over the country. The blog hop is organized by the Runaway Bridal Planner. I participated in a blog hop with her earlier this year and it was great fun! It's a great way to not only get my blog in front of new readers, but for me to see other blogs I haven't yet visited! So, for those of you joining through the blog hop, welcome!! You can read a little about me in the section to the right but basically, I'm a mom, wife, runner, running coach, personal trainer and nutritionist and my blog reflects that. It's a way to share my personal experiences with others, showcase things I care about and connect with people in far away places that I may never have the opportunity to meet in person. Thanks so much for reading!

Back to the race! Man, what a day. This particular trail event had 4 races: a 50K, 15K, 5K and a kids 1-mile race. I trained a small group of runners for the 15K and 5K races. This was the first trail race for everyone but one runner, and for her, it was her first race here in the San Diego area. So it was a big deal for everyone. Over the course of our programs, we talked about anything and everything related to trail running: trail shoes, running form, nutrition, strength training, hydration, trail running etiquette, how to prevent and manage falling on the trails and so much more. Our 5K group was held in the evenings and several of our runs were actually on the trails at night. That brought another level of excitement to the program. Running trails at night is pretty invigorating!
A run on the trails at night is a feeling like no other!
After weeks of training, it was finally race day. From past experience, I knew parking for the race was going to be a night mare (the races are held on a public trail, with the trail head at a very busy community park). We decided to get there as early as possible, which was a good decision. Everything was very well organized and runners were able to pick up their race materials either at a local running store any time during the week leading up to the race or on race morning.

Before too long, it was time for our 15K runners to get started. It was already warming up and the sun was in full force. I was a little worried about the elements for the runners, but we trained for 10 weeks in some pretty hot weather, so I knew they would ultimately be ok. And ok they were!! Everyone finished really strong and one of our runners, Debie, even placed 2nd in her age group. It was a really strong showing for our runners!!

The 15K runners about to start!
Debie placing 2nd in her age group!!

The 5K runners began and finished while the 15K runners were out there. They weren't as familiar with the course as the 15K runners were but that didn't seem to deter them! Our runners did amazingly well and one of our girls, Sue, even finished 2nd among the female runners. It was a great day for all of us!! Saying I'm proud of them doesn't seem like enough. I am ecstatic at how well they ALL did, in the heat and on trails. They are amazing!!

The 5K finishers! 

Sue with her 2nd place award!

To see all of our photos from race day, check out the album on our Facebook page.

I can't even put into words the bittersweet feelings I have when a program ends. Spending weeks with these runners is very special to me and to be a part of their goals is even more special. They trust me to help them, to guide them and support them and seeing them cross the finish line of their race is like watching your children walk for the first time (or other monumental milestone). It's one of the main reasons why I coach: to be a part of someone's dreams and hopes is an important job. I take it very seriously and feel honored to be able to help someone in this way. But knowing the program is over is sad to me. I become very attached to my runners and we spend a lot of time together! Not seeing them anymore makes me sad!! Thank goodness for email, text and social media :)

I would definitely recommend this race to others interested in trail running. It's a pretty manageable in terms of terrain with some hilly and rocky sections. The course is well marked and the aid stations are well managed. The race director is also quite helpful and supportive as he's a fellow ultra runner and knows what runners need out on the trails.

I typically do my own long run on Saturday mornings but because this was a Saturday race, I ran Sunday with a good friend. We're both training for the San Diego 50-miler in January so we have some long, long, long runs ahead of us. We did 24 this Sunday and it was good. We both had our moments of wanting to be done with running, but overall it was a great run with even better company. And right around mile 10, we were treated to the most amazing sunrise I've ever seen! We are lucky girls!

Man! Amazing sunrise! 

Panoramic view of the sunrise. 


How was your weekend? What were some of the highlights?

72 comments:

  1. I cannot believe those sunrise pictures...that might be my FAVORITE part of being an early morning workout gal...the moments with God and peace!

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    1. I know! I don't love getting up early but these beautiful moments really make it special :)

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  2. 24 miles? Wow!! I am a runner as well so I love your race recap. I am getting back into running after having my first baby this past May. One of my goals is to train for a half marathon this winter (I live in Florida so it's the perfect running weather from now-April!) - I just need to find a good race to register for. As for the weekend, I taught BODYPUMP 2x, relaxed with the family, and spent time at Naples' Stone Crab Festival <-- so delicious!

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    1. Congrats on your baby and getting back into running!! I had a hard time getting back to running after my twins, so take your time and be good to your body. It just did an amazing thing that it needs to recover from! Ooh, that crab festival sounds great!! Don't get a lot of crabs out here in San Diego!

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  3. I'm in Iowa, so there are plentiful trails...just not too many are in my immediate area. But, that said, I do LOVE the challenge of trail running. There's nothing quite as engulfing as the slippery grass, bumpy rocks, steep (and dirty) hills and the sound of nature as you search for the next turn.

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    1. You describe it perfectly!! I am from New York (Long Island) where I never had the opportunity to run trails. We then lived in DC for a long time with only limited places for trail running. But here in San Diego, the opportunities are plentiful! I really love it and trail races are by far a better experience than any road race, in my opinion.

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  4. Great recap! It must be so rewarding to see your coaching students do so well with these races! I've never been to San Diego but I hear it's amazing...I would love to run the trails there!

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    1. You have to come out here once! And let me know when you do!! Yes, coaching has been an amazing experience for me. I am truly lucky to love what I do and do what I love and share it with others along the way!

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  5. Visiting from the blog hop-wow what a great experience for you and your trainees! Nice job coach. What a wonderful accomplishment for you to watch them progress and successfully make it through their races. How fun!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's a wonderful experience to help others find their confidence and belief in themselves that they CAN do whatever they want to with the right preparation and effort.

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  6. That's great! I've never actually run a trail run, but I Iook at them all the time and think about it. My weekend highlight was that I ran a 10K on Saturday and PR'd by 5 minutes.

    http://astorybooklife.us

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    1. Congratulations on your 10K finish and PR! Five minutes is awesome!!

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  7. Hey there! I'm so happy I found the blog hop, my reading choices needing expanding!! I think it's awesome you coach. I hired a coach a couple of years ago and it was the best experience every. It helps more than most people think . Congrats on a successful race! Sounds like you had an amazing weekend. I look forward to keeping up with you! Cheers!

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    1. Yes, I think everyone can benefit from having a coach help them through whatever distance they're training for. Coaches aren't just for professionals or elite athletes. Good luck in your training!

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  8. I can't even imagine running 50 miles! I'm training for a marathon so in a few weeks I will have run 26 as my longest :-) Love that you're a running coach, that must be so rewarding.

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    1. It is!! I love that I can share my love for the sport and help people reach their goals at the same time.

      Good luck with your marathon!! Which one are you doing?

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  9. Hi! I'm also visiting from the blog hop - what an amazing experience! Training your team to run that much of a distance must have been such a challenging yet rewarding experience. I am not a runner, so I can't relate exactly, but I teach group fitness classes and totally understand having people trust you to make them better. Isn't it a great feeling?? Gorgeous pictures, too! Those sunsets... ahh.

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    1. We are truly lucky to be able to help others get healthy and reach their goals! I love it!

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  10. First, those pictures are awesome! I've never considered trail running not sure if it is the trail part or just the tripping on roots. If I had a group like yours I might actually consider trail running!

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    1. Trail running is great! It's great for the body, mind and soul! I know it's intimidating at first but once you get more comfortable, you'll never want to go back to road running :) I wish all my runs could be trail runs!

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  11. Sounds like you're a great running coach to have such great results out of your trainees (is that what they're called??)! Beautiful sunrise the next day too. I get annoyed driving 50 miles sometimes so I can't imagine running/walking that distance.

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    1. Thank you! Yeah, running 50 miles is definitely not an easy task but it's a great experience.

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  12. As a runner myself I love race recaps! I haven't done a trail run yet but it is on my list of races. I think it is awesome you are a coach! I have finally found the right coach for myself, so I know what value you can provide! I feel like finding a coach is like finding a partner, when it works it really works!

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    1. Yes!! Your coach is more than just a coach but someone to guide you, be your friend, cheerleader and your parent all at the same time!! I'm very lucky to be able to do this!

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  13. Hi! I'm coming from the blog hop. It must be very fulfilling to coach a group and see them realize their goals. But I can understand the sadness of it being over too. I've participated in a few trail races. I enjoy being out in nature and the change of pace from a typical road race. However, I can't even imagine running a 50 miler. But you know, never say never. Good luck as you continue your training!

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    1. Thanks! Yes, always a bittersweet moment for me when the program ends. My little birdies leaving the nest and all of that :)

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  14. Hi! I'm so excited to be a part of the blog hop this round! I love your passion for running, and that sunrise sure makes those long morning runs totally worth it! Before I started bodybuilding, I was a runner, and competed 5 half marathons (no comparison to ultrarunners) but it's such a good bonding experience. I hope to run another next Summer. Also, trail running in the dark must be exhilarating!

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    1. Hey, completing 5 half marathons is a great accomplishment!! Looking forward to reading your blog!

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  15. Wow! what gorgeous scenery in your photos. :) I'm Lisa, and I'm participating in the blog hop (got2runnow.com). I'm also an avid runner/marathoner (no ultras though), and running coach. I enjoy trail running, but, tend to do more road racing. Next spring I'm looking forward to Big Sur Marathon, which will be my first west coast race!!! I'm in VA outside of DC. Look forward to following your adventures and blog! :)

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    1. Hi Lisa! We used to live in Montgomery County on the MD side of DC. I'm from New York originally but lived in the DC area for over 10 years, so it was definitely home for me for a while. I miss it. Good luck with your training for Big Sur. I hope to check that one off at some point too. Too many CA races to choose from!

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  16. Also here from the Blog Hop, also a runner and also love race recaps! Sounds like it was a great day. Congrats to all your runners. It's always bittersweet when something you've put so much work, time and passion into comes to an end.

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    1. Exactly! I will miss seeing them each week! Looking forward to reading your blog through the hop!

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  17. Wow, I have to say I have always had so much respect for runners! Do you listen to music on trail runs? I have been told that sometimes it is a bad idea for safety reasons. Any tips for someone who hates running? I am really fit, but mentally get really antsy when I run, and end up getting winded for some reason!

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    1. I don't usually use music when on the trails for safety reasons. If I do, it's only with one ear bud and the volume is pretty low. How have you gone about running in the past? Have you run with a group or alone? Running with a group or just one other person may help you mentally because you have someone to talk to and focus on mentally, rather than just the run. But I always recommend starting with a plan of some sort that has you starting off gradually and slowly building up in pace and/or mileage. Sometimes without a plan, we do more than what we're ready for or run faster than we should and we have trouble keeping up, get discouraged and stop. Small steps can lead to big goals! Maybe start out with seeing if your local running store has group runs and/or running programs and go from there!

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  18. You are an amazing coach as is shown in how your runners performed, good job!

    I am so excited to do this blog hop with you! I am getting back into running after battling Thyroid Cancer this Summer, for right now I am doing more walking than running.

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    1. Thanks so much, Kelli! And congrats to you for beating thyroid cancer! That's awesome. I have a client now that just went through it and she's also taking it very conservatively as she adjusts to the new medication, varying levels of energy and everything else. Hang in there!! Looking forward to "hopping" with you :)

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  19. Oh my goodness - those sunset pictures are AMAZING!!! I've never tried trail running before but it looks like you had an amazing race! Thanks for letting us live vicariously through you! :)

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    1. It was an amazing race! And I still can't get over the sunrise!

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  20. Yay for the blog hop and meeting new bloggers!!
    That sounds like such an amazing weekend! I can tell you are an awesome coach by the way to care for your runners! Looks like it was a beautiful day to race!
    I have only ever done 2 trail runs (5k and 10k) and I have to say I am not super fond of them...Yet...I need to get more practice in and not be as scared.
    Way to go on the 24 miler too! Impressive! Will be cheering you on for your training runs and the 50 miler race!!!!

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    1. Thanks for the kind words, Esther!

      I think comfort on the trails makes a huge difference in how you feel about trail running. Fearing falling, critters and other things can definitely deter one from giving it a go. I say keep trying! Maybe run on the trails without a race situation, when it's less stressful and you can take your time.

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  21. Hi there! I'm visiting from the blog hop.
    Congrats on what sounds like an awesome, successful race. It must be so rewarding coaching for something like this. I've never done a trail race, but it's definitely on my bucket list.

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    1. Thanks! Yes, it's really rewarding for me. I feel really grateful I get to do this for my job! You have to try a trail race! They're the best!

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  22. Pretty nice race you did out there. Definitely making me more curious about trail running. Haven't gotten into it but is one of those things I want to try once and who knows.. .maybe more

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    1. If you have the chance, I'd give trail running a try! I didn't really get into it until we moved to CA but I love it now.

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  23. What a fun race event/series. I can only imagine what it would be like to end something like that, but that is the great things about memories and who knows maybe you'll all do it again:)
    Love all the photo's, so much fun. I love that you got to run at night in the dark too, I ran once in a Ragnar in the dark and it was my favorite thing to just be me and my headlamp in the mountains, LOL. Looks like you had some beautiful trail running.
    Great job to you that is so awesome!

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    1. Thanks! Running at night on the trail is definitely an experience! Don't know that I'd want to do it for a super long time, but a quick jaunt through the woods at night is fun!

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  24. Congrats on the race! I have yet to do a trail race - very intimidating but definitely intriguing! Nice work :) Lovely to meet you via the blog hop! www.obsessedbyportia.com

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    1. Yes, trail running can definitely be intimidating. Like everything else, though, the more you do it and practice, the more comfortable you feel. Give it a try if you ever have the chance!

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  25. It sounds like you had a wonderful weekend of running! I've never coached but it sounds like such a rewarding feeling to see your runners cross the finish line. Maybe some of the same ones will come back for another training program :)

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    1. Yes, it's definitely rewarding. Many of my runners come back to other programs, so I'm lucky to coach/run with a lot of the same people.

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  26. That was a great event ,love the pictures.
    I did some trailrunning in the Winter.
    My weekend was about mountainbiking and a private duathlon :)

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    1. Sounds like a great weekend! Mountain biking totally intimidates me. I can't even imagine how scary it is to descend some of those mountains. It's scary for me on foot - on a bike I would totally wipe out!

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  27. Hi there! I'm also a part of the blog hop, and am so excited to get to know all of you lovely bloggers! I absolutely love running myself, and this post has inspired me to get a friend to go for a run on a beautiful trail near where I live this weekend! I love how you incorporate your Nutritionist work into Run Coaching, as I want to do something similar in my career field but with POP Pilates! Its so rewarding to help people reach their goals and find true happiness in what they can achieve if they believe in themselves! As much as it gets a bad rep, I am truly thankful for social media in the respect that it helps us to create bonds with people all over the world that we may have never met, as well as keep in touch with those who come into our lives! Have a great day :)

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    1. Yes it's so great to be a part of someone's goals and achievements! And you're right about social media! It's a pain but without it, we wouldn't be nearly as connected with people around the world!

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  28. Hi! I'm stopping by from the blog hop and it's great to meet you and your blog! I love that you're a running coach and that you are so invested in your runners! I'm thinking id like to be a running coach for couch to 5k some day. :) Congratulations to your runners who placed!! That's so great. And best of luck in your 50k training. That's awesome.

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    1. Thanks so much! If you think you'd like to coach, you should definitely look into getting certified. If nothing else, it will help you as a runner!

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  29. I love trail running. Sure I'm a lot slower on trails, but the journey is so much enjoyable.
    You're race sounds fantastic. The terrain looks similar to some trails we get out here.

    Last weekend I did my 4th tough mudder, had a blast, I'm hopping to have my blog post about it up later this week.

    Thanks for blog hopping.

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    1. Congrats on your tough mudder! That is no joke of a race!!

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  30. First of all, I should probably say, I'm not a runner at all! But I really enjoyed reading this. Maybe I should look into a running coach because that might spark that motivation/passion I have found through lifting. A view like that might help too!

    Sarah
    www.amodernshorelife.com

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    1. A running coach can definitely help you not only get into running the right way to minimize injury but also help you stay on track and motivated. And the view doesn't hurt :)

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  31. This sounds like such a fun race. It's awesome that you were able to help other runners reach their goals through the training programs. Good luck with your 50 miler! It's such a fun distance. :)

    Aimee
    www.fortybyfortyfitness.com

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    1. Thanks! Yeah, 50 miles is fun, as insane as that sounds! I still don't have the desire to do a 100 miler but I'm considering a 100K next year. The time commitment is tough.

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  32. awesome!!! You make me want to dust of my Running Coach Certificate that I've done NOTHING with, since earning it. It sounds so rewarding. I love being a part of people's journeys. I've never done trail running...I don't know...guess i just kinda scares me. I was planning on doing a 50 miler next year but after being down for 2 months, recovering from a blood clot in my lung, I'm regrouping. Highlight of my weekend was cheering at the Marine Corps Marathon. It was my first marathon and my thought process is...if you can't run it...cheer it. :-)

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    1. Wow, I can't believe you had an embolism. I hope your recovery continues to go well. And those runners definitely appreciate your cheering!! And when you get up for it, think about trails. The slower pace and softer surface may be helpful as you build up strength and endurance. Most 50 milers (and ultras in general) are on trails, so getting comfortable on them will help you tremendously! Looking forward to reading your blog!

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  33. The trail race sounds fantastic and just the sort of run I like to do.

    I'm a qualified leader for running (like an assistant coach) and really love watching people gain more confidence as they start running. My group at the moment ate just starting out and we have a 5k parkrun in a few weeks time but already one of the group has signed up for a 10k!

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    1. I hope your group does well at their 5K and that's awesome someone is already up for the challenge of a 10K!

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  34. Hi Jenn! How are you? Found your link thru a blog hop. <3
    I really like this line: "It's one of the main reasons why I coach: to be a part of someone's dreams and hopes is an important job." I used to suck at trail running until my coach pushed me to do better (literally and figuratively lol). Then when it was my turn to train runners, I realized how tough it is to train and push people to their limits but seeing them beating their PRs makes me happy. Thank you so much for sharing, I enjoyed reading this! And good luck with your 50-miler! :D

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    1. Thanks, Polly! Yeah, coaching isn't easy. You're more than a coach, but also a counselor and need to figure out ways to motivate people to push through their struggles. Sometimes that's really difficult. But when they push through and reach their goals, it's just amazing to see and be a part of. Looking forward to reading your posts through the blog hop!

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  35. I have sort of an obsession with sunrise pictures. You can't get too far into my instagram feed without seeing one and I love yours! How awesome is that! Great race too congratulations and good luck on your upcoming one! :)

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    1. I will check out your sunrise pictures!! I love them too. Thanks so much for reading!

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  36. Wow, I recently just got into trail running so will be looking at your future posts for some guidance! I am looking forward to following your posts though this blog hop!

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    1. I am so excited for you to get into trail running. I truly love it! I have a few of my more recent posts you can read about trail running:

      http://runwithsole.blogspot.com/2015/06/i-heart-trail-running-and-why-you-will.html
      http://runwithsole.blogspot.com/2015/09/wanna-hit-trails-you-must-have-this-gear.html

      Thanks for reading!

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