Guest Post: Softball, Trail Runs & RAGBRAI

Below I have a wonderful guest post for you. Brandi Jones, a member of my 2015 Miles in 2015 Team wrote another great update on her recent fitness, health and volunteer experiences. Enjoy!
We are over half way done!! Miles as of July 31st  428.52/672. I logged 65.49 miles in July. Which means I only have 248.29 miles to go!
In May I volunteered as a Pee Wee girls softball coach (1st and 2nd graders).  My town recreational league runs from mid-May to mid-June. I didn’t have too high of expectations besides having fun and teaching the girls something along the way. When I was younger I loved playing town ball and continued playing till my Sophomore year of high school, when I focused more on golf.  I have to say I had a great team this year. They amazed me every day by their progress. Monday–Thursday we either had a game or practice so I stayed really busy.  I’m glad to pass along my joy of softball and love continuing to support our town’s league. These girls have brought me such joy and I already miss them.  We will see how my schedule looks next year. Maybe I’ll be on the fields coaching again! J

In June I FINALLY  and successfully connected my Garmin  watch to Map My Run and My Fitness Pal. It was consuming a lot of time entering my exercising, running, and food into each program, then each one had you burning different calorie amounts. This way all I do is put on my watch, run, get home, download it to the computer and everything transfers over. You can get a more expensive Garmin watch that sync’s wirelessly but I don’t mind hooking a cord up. Plus wearing my iPod and watch is a lot easier and lighter than strapping my phone to my arm. Oh, and no nasty tan line! 
My husband and I have been doing a lot of camping. It’s neat to get out and explore some new trails. Recently we stayed at Wilder Park in Allison, IA. It is part of a great paved trail system. When completed it will be around 80 miles along and connecting four counties (Rolling Prairie Trail System).  Dedicated paved recreational trails are becoming more popular around my area. I still do have to drive about 14 miles to access a paved trail, otherwise it’s all locally paved roadways for my runs. Sometimes I do take a gravel road or two.  So if you have nice sidewalks and trails to run, be grateful every day you’re on them!
Brandi's running trail.

I had a good laugh a few days ago. I was running and a guy asked me “What are you training for now, Brandi”. Keep in mind I live in a small town where everyone knows you. My response was “Nothing”.  In return he says “I see, you’re taking it easy this year”. I thought for a second…..”Yep” and kept on running. I didn’t have 15 minutes to stop and tell him that I’m still running/walking 60-75 miles a month, taking 2 weekly boot camp classes, and trying to ride my bike 50 miles a week. Yes, I’m not training for any races this year, but I wouldn’t have any issue signing up for a 5k, 10k, half marathon, duathlon, or triathlon. I know my body is well conditioned and I would succeed any at any of those races. It is very rejuvenating to just get out move, enjoy the run, enjoy the outdoors, and being able to help and encourage my fellow friends/runners. It’s amazing! I can finally say I find the joy in running. I have always found running my way of de-stressing. Don’t get me wrong it still sucks sometimes. J
I also just got back from RABGRAI. I was only able to go two days but we covered 131 miles and I was able to go with a good friend and fellow runner. We had a blast! Anyone who enjoys biking needs to experience it at least once. I guarantee you will want to go every year after.
Brandi and her friend Tiara at RAGBRAI.
Speaking of bicycling what do you use for a GPS tracker on your bike? I’m looking into different Garmin trackers as I already have my watch with Garmin Connect. Comment below if you have any suggestions.
I hope everyone is having a great summer, I will update again in September.

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