Running Rules of the Road

Rules of the road

     Recently while out on a run in my neighborhood I was on a narrow street and there happened to be cars coming in both directions.  One of the cars slowed down and proceeded to yell at me. “You are supposed to run in the grass if there are cars coming. You are going to cause an accident!”  I politely smiled at her and waved.   I think her actions could have actually caused an accident. She slowed to the point of almost stopping which was blocking the car that was coming in the opposite direction. She was also angrily yelling at me and looking at me, instead of focusing on the road.   

     My first reaction to this angry woman was, why is she so upset?  She could have just kept driving because the person coming from the opposite direction was slowing down to let her go. But instead she felt the need to slow down which actually blocked the other car from driving by.  She took a situation that would not have been an issue and made it into a problem situation.  I feel sorry for people that carry that much anger with them. I hope that her pointless yelling at me at least brought her some relief.   

     But then my second reaction was, should I be running in the grass when cars are coming?  Do I have any obligation to move to the grass when there are cars coming?  Or are we supposed to all share the road?  I don’t like running in the grass on the side of the road because it is not a level surface and I always feel like I am going to trip and fall.  

So once I got home, I looked up some rules of the road and I am sharing them here below. There is a lot of information out there, but theses tips come from Road Runners Club of America.  I didn’t find anything about any requirement to move to the grass so that question remains unanswered but I did pick up some other tips.   I think it is important as runners that we are aware of our surroundings and do our best to be safe as we share the road with cars, bicyclists and other runners. So keep running and be safe!


Rules of the road and trails

  • Run against traffic if running on the road. If running on the sidewalk or multi-use trails, travel on the right and pass on the left.
  • Never run more than two abreast if you are running in a group. Don’t be a road or trail hog.
  • Don’t run down the middle of the road or trail.
  • If you are running an out-and-back route, don’t just make a sudden u-turn at your turn around point. Stop, step to the right to allow oncoming traffic the opportunity to pass. Ensure the road or trail is clear of oncoming traffic (runners, cyclists, in-line skaters, etc.) then make your u-turn. Making a sudden u-turn without looking over your shoulder is a good way to get hit.
  • Alert pedestrians when you are passing them – don’t assume they are aware of their surroundings. A simple “on your left” warning will suffice.
  • Be alert on blind curves.
  • Stop at stop signs and ensure oncoming traffic yields to you before proceeding across a road. Don’t assume cars will stop if you are entering a cross walk.
  • Respect private property along your route. Don’t relieve yourself in the neighbor’s bushes.
  • Don’t litter. If you can’t find a trash can, carry your trash home.

Strawberry Overnight Oats


Overnight strawberry oats

I am not feeling super great today so I decided to take it easy and just get some stuff done around the house.  I didn’t feel up to going to the grocery store, so I didn’t get any meal prep done which could mean a not so great week ahead for me.  But I did manage to get one things done. I used some leftover strawberries to make strawberry overnight oats.  I combined two recipes I found online.  Thanks to My Fussy Eater and Dashing Dish for the inspiration.   These oats are currently in the fridge, getting ready for tomorrow morning’s breakfast so I will update you later on how it turned out but I am very excited to give them a try.  Here is what you will need:


1 cup yogurt (I am lactose intolerant so I used Tempt dairy free, hemp seed, greek style yogurt

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups steel cut oats

2 cups strawberries (sliced or diced)

2 tablespoons chia seeds

2 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

Here is how to make them:

  1. First, in a large bowl take 1 cup of the sliced or diced strawberries and smash them with a fork.  This will create some juice that you will also use in your oats.
  2. Combine all the other ingredients into the bowl with the smashed strawberries and the strawberry juice.  Mix well.
  3. Separate out among 3-4 mason jars or other containers.
  4. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy!

These are super easy to make and only take about 10 minutes to make.  Like I said, I haven’t tried these ones yet but the overnight oats I have had in the past have been delicious!  It makes breakfast easy because all you have to do is pull these out of the fridge, add any toppings you may like (perhaps granola or chopped nuts) and enjoy.  A quick and easy way to start your day!

Here are my strawberry overnight oats waiting in the fridge: 20160626_170639


What is your favorite overnight oat recipe?  Please feel free to share it below. I am always looking for new recipes to try!


30th Annual Naples Fitness Challenge Triathlon

On Saturday, June 5th, 2016, I participated in the 30th Annual Naples Fitness Challenge Triathlon. It was my first triathlon of the year and the second year in a row that I have participated in this race. This sprint tri consists of a 5K run, 15K bike and 1/4 mile swim.  Race packet pickup was held the day before the event, but if you emailed the race director a limited amount of people were allowed morning of packet pick up. I emailed to request that since the drive to Naples is an hour and twenty minutes long.  The race started at 7:30 AM so I left my house a 5:15AM so I could get there around 6:30AM, which would give me an hour to get my packet pick up, set up my transition area and use the restroom before starting time.  It was a very early morning but I was excited for my first tri of the year. I arrived in plenty of time, parked my car down the street from the starting line (the race directions that had been emailed out had warned about limited parking), and rode my bike into the transition area. I was able to get my packet quickly and a volunteer helped me with my race tattoos – one for each arm with my bib number and one for the right calf too with my age group. I got over to the transition area and set up with plenty of time to get over to the starting line. Here is my transition area:


The race started promptly at 7:30AM and because this was a reverse triathlon, the run was first. I started out strong and steady. I had run a 5K the day before (and gotten a PR) so my legs were a little tight. I took it a little easy and didn’t overdo it.  I kept a pace of approximately 8:30 per mile, which I was happy with and finished the 5K in 25:38.  Up next was the bike portion. Bike is my least favorite. I constantly feel like everyone is passing me because I am so slow!  This was the first race I had done where I wore my bike shoes. I usually just bike with my running shoes because I still get nervous when wearing my biking shoes in a large group, simply because I can’t stop as quickly as I would like to.  But this time i decided to go for it and wear by bike shoes and I felt really good on the bike!  I wasn’t super fast but felt better than I have before. I even passed a few people. I have a bike computer now so I was able to watch my pace and makes sure that I didn’t fall below 16 mph.  I finished the bike in 33:49.  I still need to get faster on the bike but I was happy with this time.

Finally, I made it to the swim portion. It seemed like a long run from dropping off my bike to entering the water. I had to run through the transition area (my spot was all the way at the end), across the street, then all the way down the beach. By the time I hit the water I was really looking forward to cooling down.  I normally enjoy the swim portion but I felt a little discombobulated this time. My goggles kept getting water in them and I had to stop at least three times to clear them out.  One of my favorite parts of this race is that the finish line is just barely out of the water. I swam as far as I could, until the water got too shallow to go any farther, and then stood up, took a few stops and crossed the finish line to collect my finisher’s medal!


The post race party was great! There was live music and plenty of food!  The food ranged from bagels, fruit and granola bars to scrambled eggs, sausage and pancakes.  (The scrambled eggs were a little runny, but for serving such a large group what can you really expect?)   I snacked on some of the food and then made my way back to the transition area to gather my stuff and head home.  I managed to get home right before the rain came in!


Here are my results:

RUN: 25:38


BIKE: 33:49


SWIM: 9:41

FINISH: 1:15:26

Out of 282 females I finished 84th. For my age group I was 13th out of 26.  It wasn’t my best race but for the first race of the season I was pleased with my performance. I need to get back on track with my training and do more on the bike and in the water.  I have about a month until my next sprint triathlon so I have plenty of time to practice and improve!

Publix Family Fun Day 5K

Product Review Template

I signed up for this race on a whim. I had not participated in a 5K in about a year and have been focusing more on distance rather than speed so I was not sure how I would do on a shorter distance.  It was held at Christian Brothers Automotive in North Port. It was a very convenient location for me, only about twenty minutes away from my house.  The parking was in the Publix lot across the street so there was plenty of parking and it was right across the street from the starting line.

The only restrooms were port-o-potties which are generally not my favorite (for obvious reasons) but these ones were pretty clean and there was a portable sink as well with running water and soap, which is better than the typical nothing or anti bacterial hand gel that is associated with most port-o-potties.

The course was an out and back off the main street. Starting time was promptly at 7AM after a few announcements and the Star Spangled Banner.  The course was closed off to traffic and was a pleasant course with some shady spots along the way.  There was a water stop about halfway and plenty of volunteers along the course directing the runners where to go.

Everyone got a cotton gender neutral t-shirt and a finisher’s medal.  The post race food was hot dogs, bratwurst and two free beers per participant!!  There was a bunch of raffles for chances to win gift certificates to Christian Brothers Automotive and Torch Bistro as well as race entries for this race next year and the grand prize of a cruise to Mexico!

At the finish line there was a bounce house and climbing wall for the kids. There was also a DJ and a few booths set up with vendors like an insurance agent, and Shakeology.   The money raised went to the Florida Compassion Foundation which partners with the Florida Gulf Coast Chapter of the Alzheimers Association. 

The awards ceremony started a little late in my opinion. The race started at 7AM but the awards didn’t start until 8:30AM. It was a hot day and the sun was out with very few shady spots which made the wait seem even longer.  But you had to be present to win the raffles and they were held after the awards so you had to stick it out in the Florida sun.  I didn’t end up winning any raffles (I never do) but I did take 2nd place in my age group with a new personal record of 23:02.  It was a small race, but my age group was one of the larger ones – 18 total in the 30-34 age group.  I was very pleased with my time! I was the 3rd female out of 78 and 13th overall out of 119 total participants.  I enjoyed this race and will definitely be back next year. It was a nice course, close to my home and for a great cause.  



What to do with your old race bibs

What to do with your old race bibs


20160501_185621-COLLAGEIf you are anything like me you have a stack of race bibs that you have collected over the years that are sitting in a pile on a shelf collecting dust. I can’t bring myself to throw them away.  Some of them are just generic ones from 5Ks I did years ago that just have a number and others are the elaborate Disney ones with my name on them and color graphics.  Then there is everything in between too.  I have 5Ks, half marathons, sprint triathlons, marathons, even a few obstacle course runs.   They are all a part of my running history and even though I have a general no clutter policy in my home I do collect all my race bibs.  Recently I started looking on pinterest and all around the internet searching for what to do with those old race bibs.  I found a bunch of ideas and tried to pick the easiest one because I am not the most crafty person in the world. In fact my friends give me a hard time for using too much glue with the hot glue gun when we were doing a charity craft project recently.   I found this project that looked pretty easy and decided to try it.  You use your bibs to cover wooden letters and then you hand them up as a decoration.  I chose the letters R-U-N.  I think it came out very nicely and it was relatively easy. (Frustrating at some points, but easy.) Here are my step by step instructions if you want to try to do what I did.

Gather the items you will need:   Continue reading

Product Review – MPOW Cheetah Sport Bluetooth 4.1 Wireless Stereo Headset Headphones Earphone Earbuds

Product Review Template

20160427_074625I don’t know about you but personally when I run without music I feel lost and bored and usually end up turning around and going home to get my earbuds. But when I have my earbuds and some good music pumping I often feel like I could run forever!   Recently, my husband got me some MPOW Cheetah Sport Bluetooth Wireless Headphones.  I had been complaining about the wire from my ear buds getting in the way. (I have actually started tucking the wire under my shirt so it is far less bothersome, but this conversation with me complaining to my husband happened long before I had that genius idea.)   My husband is a bargain shopper and he found a great deal on slickdeals for these MPOW Bluetooth Headphones. I honestly do not know how much he paid for them but I have recently seen the same pair online on Amazon for $27.99.  I am overall, very happy with these headphones and would recommend them.  Here is a breakdown of some of the features of the MPOW Cheetah Sport Bluetooth Wireless Stereo Headset Earbuds.

First, things first these earbuds are easy to turn on.  You just put them on and then press and hold the button on the top right ear piece until you hear a friendly voice that says the headset is on.   They are bluetooth so you just turn the bluetooth on your device and it will sync.  I have never had a problem with these and didn’t have to load anything or configure anything. I just turn the bluetooth on my phone on and it find the MPOW headphones. I select them and they sync within a few seconds.   

There is an option to take a call during workout. I haven’t tried that option. You can also skip tracks and control volume with a quick tap of your headset. Sorry but I haven’t tried that either.  I use these headphones with my cell phone so I just skip tracks and control the volume through my phone. Continue reading

Hello Fresh

Mealtime Monday Template

Recently I tried Hello Fresh.  I had been looking at all the possible meal delivery services – Blue Apron, Plated, Hello Fresh.  They all seemed like good options but I had a coupon code for 50% off of Hello Fresh so they were the lucky winners of my business.   I logged in and scheduled my delivery date. When my delivery date got closer, I logged into my account and selected my meals.   It was a very simple process. 

When the delivery arrived I was pleasantly surprised. The box was large and sturdy. It was insulted and each meal was in it’s own small box. There was a divider so that the meal boxes were on the top and on the bottom in between freezer bags was the meat. It was all very cold so the sturdy box and all the insulation seemed to do the trick. That was something I was very worried about since I live in Florida and the box was outside for several hours until I got home from work.  


20160404_174800 20160404_174850


Each meal came in it’s own box and each meal came with it’s own recipe card, which had step-by-step, easy to follow instructions. Continue reading

Harbour Heights Half Marathon April 2, 2016

Harbour Heights Half Marathon April 2, 2016


This past week I participated in the Harbour Heights Half Marathon. Despite the hot weather, it was overall a very nice race.   

Pre-race info:

There was a pre-race packet pick up which was really nice this year. Last year, because of the parking situation (which I will discuss below), it was stressful to get my packet the morning of the race. So when I heard there was a pre-race packet pick up I was very excited.  It did happen to be on a day that I was busy but my friend was able to pick mine up for me.  The “swag bag”  wasn’t really that “swaggy”. Other than the race shirt, bib and granola I’m not even really sure what was in there because I threw the rest away.  I think there were some flyers for other races and perhaps a chap stick.   Nothing terribly exciting.

Parking was much better this year than it was last year.  Last year the park was being remodeled, so we had to park far away and take a trolley to the start line.  There was also only one or two trolleys out there so it took a little while to actually get on a trolley due to the long line of participants that were waiting. But, this year the remodeling is done and you could park much closer to the starting line. I was still about a half mile away but that was a nice warm up walk for me.

Registration started at $65 and went up to $90 the longer you waited to sign up.  They offered a $5.00 discount if you were a member of one of the local running clubs. (Which I am, yay Zoomers!).   The half was limited to 800 people but there was no where near that many people there for the half.  I think there was only maybe 200, so it was a smaller race, which is actually nice.  I love the Disney races but you can never get a good time because they pack you in there like sardines and you can’t move around the slower people very easily.  This course was wide open and due to the low amount of people I could easily maneuver around other runners.

The restroom facilities were pretty good. There were two restrooms open each with three stalls and there were also some port-o-potties.   There was, of course, a line for the women’s restroom but it moved pretty quickly and it was well stocked with toilet paper.

This race is put on by Harbour Heights Charities, Inc. The do a 5K and a half marathon at the same time with the half marathon starting 15 minutes before the 5K.   They have done this 5K for the last ten years and just added the half last year.  They have raised more than $145,000. That money raised goes to schools in the community who teach autistic children.   So not only is this a local race for me, but it also goes to a really good cause.  I participated last year in the first half marathon and had to come back this year too. I hope to make this an annual event.

The race started promptly at 7:15AM after a few announcements and the national anthem.  It was a chip timed event with finisher medals for all participants and medals 3 deep in each age category.

The Race:

The course was along the Peace River and the surrounding neighborhoods in Harbour Heights. It was flat (you have got to love Florida) and was all on paved streets.  It started and ended at the park.  It was very well marked with signs and lots of volunteers pointing you in the right direction.    Continue reading

Starting the Week Right with a Healthy New Recipe – Paleo Chicken Broccoli Casserole

new recipe

Starting the Week Right with a Healthy New Recipe – Paleo Chicken Broccoli Casserole (*New to me Recipe, that is.)

Today I got out of work a little bit early so I took the opportunity to go home and cook dinner. I scoured the internet for a recipe that fit what I was craving. I wanted something with chicken and vegetables – either sweet potatoes, broccoli, or butternut squash.  Perhaps some kind of a casserole. But casseroles are hard for me because they frequently contain ingredients that I generally try to avoid, namely cheese and other delicious dairy products. As much as I love dairy, it does not love me so it must be avoided whenever possible.  I also try to eat, what I call, “quasi-paleo”.  By “quasi-paleo” I mean that I try (try being the key word there) to avoid processed foods and most gluten.  That means I eat a lot of meat and vegetables. But sometimes I get bored of just eating meat and vegetables so I search the internet for recipes and there are a HUGE amount of paleo recipes out there on the internet. When I googled chicken, vegetable, paleo casserole I found the following recipe from the Grass Fed Girl Blog – Chicken Broccoli Casserole.   It’s paleo, gluten free and looked easy and delicious so I decided to give it a try.  


As a side note, Grass Fed Girl seems to have a lot of very interesting information. She writes about natural home and beauty ideas as well as paleo recipes and exercise.  I was very happy to have stumbled across this webpage and plan on going back and reading more in the future.   


So, now back to the recipe.  It’s very basic ingredients – chicken, broccoli, onion, mushroom, chicken broth, nutmeg, eggs, and coconut milk. Since I just decided to make this recipe today and it calls for cooked chicken, I cheated a little and bought pre-cooked chicken at the store. I just didn’t have enough time to buy chicken and cook it and then make the casserole. I wanted to jump right into making the casserole.  In the future, when I make this recipe again (which I definitely will since it was a hit with me and my husband) I’ll probably make chicken in advance and then use the leftover cooked chicken for this meal.



  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 4 cups fresh broccoli florets
  • 1 medium white onion, diced
  • Sea salt and pepper
  • 8 oz. mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups cooked chicken
  • 1 cup chicken bone broth (I used chicken broth)
  • 1 cup full fat coconut milk
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ teaspoon nutmeg (I went a little heavy on the nutmeg, probably closer to 1 teaspoon)



  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Grease a casserole pan coconut oil and set aside.
  • Steam the broccoli until just barely cooked and set aside, uncovered. (I ended up just putting the broccoli into the saucepan with the onions and mushrooms in the next step, rather than steaming it.)
  • In a sauce pan melt the coconut oil, brown the onions and season with salt and pepper.
  • Add the mushrooms, saute until cooked and move the pan off the heat.
  • Transfer the broccoli, mushroom, onions, and shredded chicken into the casserole pan distributing evenly.
  • Mix the bone broth, coconut milk, eggs, nutmeg with salt and pepper in a bowl with a whisk and pour it over the contents of the casserole dish.
  • Make sure the mixture is spread evenly and all the contents are covered.
  • Place the casserole in the oven and cook for 35 to 40 minutes until done in the middle.
  • Remove from the oven and let it cool for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.



I served this casserole with rice pilaf. Both my husband and I enjoyed it very much.  The coconut milk, broth, eggs and nutmeg combined to make a creamy sauce with a nice but not overwhelming flavor.  It was a little liquidy but that could have been from the coconut milk I used (I used the coconut milk I had in my pantry which was not full fat like the recipe called for). This was an easy recipe to make with healthy ingredients.  It didn’t call for a million ingredients and the ingredients were basic everyday items, nothing hard to find like some paleo recipes – like the nutritional yeast flakes I recently had to buy online because I could not find them in the grocery store. This made enough for us to have multiple meals. I love leftovers so that was a plus for this recipe as well!  There are only the two of us but this would have been plenty to serve a family of four with large portions and probably still some leftovers. Overall, I would definitely recommend this recipe and will absolutely make it again  in the very near future.   

My Week In Review Featuring Rock My Run

My Week in Review February 22, 2016

week in review

This was a good week for me!  I was out of town with the high school mock trial team that I help coach at their regional competition.  But I didn’t let the break in my normal routine stop me from my new crusade to eat healthier and work out more.   Saturday there was a free breakfast at the hotel and it was loaded with carbs! Which is one of the big things I have been trying to cut back on.  It was tough but I had plain oatmeal and added some raisins and cinnamon. I also had a hard boiled egg and took a banana for mid-morning snack.  I was very happy with myself for resisting the bagels, english muffins, bread, muffins and especially the cinnamon buns!


I also stayed on track with my goal from running at least 15 miles per week by getting in s workout on the treadmill in the hotel fitness room.  Here is  look at my runs for this week:


Tuesday, 2/16 3.25 treadmill

Thursday, 2/18 2.39 treadmill

Saturday, 2/20 4.5 treadmill

Sunday, 2/1 8.15


18.29 total miles for this week Monday 2/15 – Sunday 2/21.  The new addition to my running repertoire was an app call “Rock my Run”.  I had heard of this app before but I thought you had to pay for it. So when a friend of mine mentioned it to me last week and told me she had been using for free I decided I had to check it out.  It’s a really great app and I would highly recommend it.   It has thousands of mixes of all kinds of music.  One song streams seamlessly into the next.   All of the music can then be personalized based on your steps per minute, heart rate or ideal cadence.  (I haven’t figure that part out yet, so that might be part of the pay option, I’m not sure yet.)  You can search by activity or genre and once you find a station you like you can mark it as a favorite so you can get back to it quickly next time.   With the help of this app I ran on the treadmill three times this week and didn’t want to kill myself while I was doing it!  In fact, if I had enough time I would have run longer.  I’m hoping that the newness of the app doesn’t wear off and I can keep my miles up next week.
What’s your secret to keeping your weekly mileage up? How do you survive those boring “dreadmill” workouts?