Friday Five 8/5: Let the Games Begin

Good morning and welcome back to the Tale of 2 Halfs. Today we are concluding our drive to Michigan and are looking forward to some relaxation over the next week. After arriving tonight, you can bet that we will be watching the opening ceremonies of the Rio Olympics. With the world’s eyes set on Rio, we thought we would share five things we are most excited to watch. 

1. Michael Phelps: What an amazing athlete! Phelps is younger than Travis, and we have been watching him for over 16 years. We appreciate his success for Team USA, but more significantly, we recognize that he is in fact an imperfect human being. He has been down, in trouble with the law and retired from the sport. He was selected by Team USA to carry the US flag in the opening ceremonies, a tremendous honor for the greatest Olympian of all time.

2. The Marathon: What kind of Olympic fans would we be without watching  the signature event of the modern Olympics. There are numerous storyline of interest – including the suspicions of Kenyan athletes drug use, the last Olympics for Meb Keflezighi and also the emergence of Galen Rupp on the men’s side. With Amy, Shalane  and Desi representing the American women hopefully we can pick up a medal.

3. Beach Volleyball: A favorite for Jen, this Olympics marks the end for Kerri Walsh-Jennings. A three-time World Champion and undefeated in the Olympics, having never lost a game in 2004, 2008 or 2012 with former partner Misty May. A fun sport, with a great location on the famous Copacabana Beach.

4. Utter Domination: Some times you have an individual or team come along that is leaps and bounds (Olympic humor!!) above the competition. We look forward to the USA dominating in Basketball, Women’s Soccer, Women’s Gymnastics, Women’s Volleyball, and Women’s  Water Polo with outstanding individual performances from Ashton Eaton, Simone Biles and Katie Ledecky to name a few. This year’s women’s team is crazy good!

5. Different Sports: The great part about the Olympics is the coverage of “other” sports that we may only get to watch every four years. Personally my list of different sports I love watching include all thing Archery and Shooting, Rowing and Canoeing, Track Cycling and BMX. With good medal chances in all except Canoeing, these events should be fun to watch.

We hope you take time to support Team USA as they Go for Gold and represent the very best of the United States athletically. These athletes have trained for years, decades for some, and have earned the right to be called an an Olympian. Best of luck to all!

Friday Five 2/5: Virtual Races (Giveaway!)

Good morning! TGIF! Travis will be home this afternoon after 2 weeks of work travel, we can’t wait! Unfortunately he’s only here for 2 days before hitting the road for another week but we will take what we can get! This week was pretty uneventful for us minus a random “snow” day in the middle of the week. We woke up to everything covered in a thick sheet of ice and by early afternoon it was 55 degrees and all of our snow was melting. I could handle a winter like this every year!

Today’s post is sponsored by Level Up Runs (as always, all opinions are our own). Level Up is a company founded by two brothers with the idea of helping keep runners motivated while training for larger races. Proceeds from their races go towards helping schools that don’t have the funds to keep their athletic programs running- what a great cause!

Today we’re talking virtual races. A virtual race is exactly what it sounds like- you register for a race and participate on your own time. They can be done outside or on a treadmill and most will have options for distance as well. Here are some reasons to do a virtual race:

  1. Motivation to train: If you don’t have an actual race coming up virtual races can be a great way to keep your motivation up! For most virtual races there will be a spot to submit a time, that is usually done on the honor system, though sometimes you may have to submit Garmin data.
  2. Difficulty finding races: We live in a small area and there aren’t that many races that are available to us without having to travel at least a few hours to get to. Virtual races give the ability to run a race without having to travel.
  3. The bling: I’m sure you’ve seen some of the awesome medals that virtual races put out! The race usually has a theme and a medal to match!
  4. Charity: Nearly every virtual race that we have done has been to benefit a charity. It’s a great way to give back and have fun doing it!
  5. Create your own competition: Why not grab a few friends or family members and have some fun with it! If there’s a certain theme to the race you could come up with awards for costumes, etc.

Level Up has a Star Wars themed virtual race running February 15-29 called “The Runner Awakens”. The cost of the race is $25 and in addition to the medal you will also receive a gift certificate from their sponsor SLS3. If you’d like to register you can use the code SAVE15 for 15% off of your entry!


We love when companies support other companies – SLS3 has offered a giveaway of one of their dual pocket run belts to our readers (keep an eye out for a full review of the belt coming soon!) Just click over to  rafflecopter to enter. Good luck!



We’re linking up for the Friday Five with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar!


Do you participate in virtual races?


Friday Five 11/6: Five Best Race Signs

TGIF! Is it just me or did it feel like Friday took forever to get here?

Getting back into the usual routine, were linking up with Cynthia, Courtney and Mar for the Friday Five. This weeks topic? Race signs.

Reading signs during a race is a great way to help the miles tick by and we’ve seen plenty over the last three weeks between the Chicago and NYC marathons. Here are a few of our favorites! We had a surprisingly hard time remembering the wording thinking back from the races. It’s easy to laugh at them in the moment though!
1. Remember: You PAID to do this! A nice little reminder that running is something you actually enjoy even if it may not feel like it at the moment.

2. 175$ for a half marathon? Smile, only $37.40 to go! I saw this one towards the end of the Princess Half Marathon at Disney

3. You think this is hard? Try Growing out bangs. Seriously, is there any bigger struggle?

4. This seems like a lot of work for a free banana! No joke!

5.  Smile if you’re not wearing underwear! Guaranteed to get a chuckle even if it’s not true!

We love that people take the time and effort to make signs and get out there to cheer at races. All of the races that we have participated in have had amazing crowd support and it makes a race all the more enjoyable!

What’s the funniest sign you’ve seen during a race?

We hope you’ve had a great week!


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