SoleMates – Find Your Happy Pace

SoleMates – Find Your Happy Pace

Happy Pace-1Want your next race to help change lives?


SoleMates is the charity running leg of Girls on the Run.  Runners can sign up for any event — runs, walks, bike rides or triathlons — and raise funds that will support Girls on the Run of Alachua County.   Individuals may register and raise funds as a SoleMate for any race/event of any distance.


Whether you are participating in your first or fiftieth marathon, by becoming a SoleMate you are doing much more than achieving your personal fitness goals. By asking friends to support your event training and participation with a donation on your behalf to Girls on the Run, you are showing your true commitment to the values we are instilling in girls everywhere to celebrate their physical and emotional health.


SoleMates funding provides scholarships for any girl who may need financial assistance in order to participate in the program as well as program supplies and running shoes for girls.  100% of the funds raised through SoleMates directly supports participants in the Girls on the Run of Alachua County.


Ready to Run?


If you are ready to sign up to run for a cause and become a SoleMate or would like additional information, please contact Emely

SoleMate Stephenie Completes Week Two of Official Half Marathon Training

SoleMate Stephenie Completes Week Two of Official Half Marathon Training

“Life is a story, make yours a bestseller!”

StephenieBlog8-14Since my last post, I have raised a little over half of the fundraising goal for this half marathon! I am beyond grateful to Genevieve and Sharon for your support! As I continue on my training journey, I am aware of how important it is to keep a positive attitude towards reaching my goals and being happy with me. Some days don’t turn out exactly how you plan, but it’s what you do the next day that counts! I am beyond grateful for such a strong support system and also for the women in my life that taught me about valuing myself and trying to be the best version of me. I am so happy that I found out about Girls on the Run!

Week one was somewhat of a flop for my first week of a 12 week training program.

Here was my “Plan”:

  • Monday: Stretch & Yoga –DONE!
  • Tuesday: 3 mile Run –DONE!
  • Wednesday: Cross training & Toning – Here’s where it got rocky. I caught a cold, stayed home from work, and just slept it off.
  • Thursday: 3 mile Run – More sleeping to get over not feeling the greatest.
  • Friday: Rest – Done? Lol.
  • Saturday: 4 mile run – DONE, plus some! I started feeling so much better and I finally had some energy! I ran my 4 miles and walked another mile to stretch out my legs. It felt so good to get back to my training plan.
  • Sunday: Outside Walk with my little Family – Done! We took our puppy out for a long walk on the golf course between thunderstorms. We got in a good 30 minute walk as well as some relaxing, much needed family time.

What I realized the most about this past week was that timing isn’t always perfect, but as long as you keep getting up and starting each day fresh and with no regrets, you can still accomplish your goals. I didn’t plan on getting sick last week, but I still managed to get in two runs, a walk, and some yoga and toning. For my first week and getting a cold, I’d say I’m proud of what I accomplished. I also wanted to make sure that I took time out on Sunday to spend time with my husband and pup. We get so busy during the week with work, school, and general life stuff, that there needs to be one day where we spend some quality time as a family. We always hope we get more than one day a week, but it’s a good goal to strive for. Now, here’s what I hope will be a plan I stick to this week! Only 11 weeks to go until my half marathon!

This week’s “Plan”:

  • Monday: Stretching and Toning – DONE! I have a final, so I’m trying to relax as much as possible before so the stretching definitely helps!
  • Tuesday: 3 mile Run
  • Wednesday: Cross training & Toning
  • Thursday: 3 mile Run
  • Friday: Cross Training
  • Saturday: 4 mile run
  • Sunday: Outside Walk with my little Family (Active Rest Day)

To support Stephenie on her journey, please visit her SoleMates fundraising page.

What is SoleMates?

SoleMates is the charity running leg of Girls on the Run of Alachua County (GOTRAC). SoleMates provides adults an opportunity to raise money for GOTRAC while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon, half marathon, or 10k event to raise money for GOTRAC. SoleMates raises critically needed funds that help our council to serve more girls in our community.

For more information or to become a SoleMate for GOTRAC please visit our SoleMates page  or contact Emely at

July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014

I’ve started writing this post a few times, but life, being sick, and of course the World Cup (Go TEAM USA!) seems to have gotten in the way. So, now is the moment when I will finally finish my post! Whoo Hoo! Yay! So, I wanted to write about how I’m going about figuring out my pace. It started during my first long run on the weekend. I wanted to give myself an opportunity to finish the run without feeling completely drained. I have a habit of just trying to run and pushing myself towards my mini goal during the run, and ignoring the fact that my knees are probably going to be screaming at me when I’m done. While I know that my muscles are going to be sore, I made a promise to my mom before I started training for my first race that I would make sure that I took care of my body, in particular my knees. So, since that day, I’ve been trying to stick to my word. I make sure that I invest in the proper running shoes and that I spend time stretching to make sure I’m concentrating on my form.
july11-blogMy form has become one of the key points to figuring out my pace. I was lucky enough to live with a high school track coach and athletic trainer when I first began running. There were some key lessons I learned that I remind myself of when I’m running. The first is that my arms should move front to back as I run. I have a hard time with this because for some reason, they always want to sway across my body as I run. The next tip I received was to simply relax as I ran. I have a tendency to over extend my stride as I run, trying to run faster, but I usually end up hurting for a few days when I do this. When I relax, my stride is shorter, my foot placement is done properly, my arms move the way they’re supposed to, and I have more fun. All of these things add up and it can seem like A LOT to think about. While working on finding my pace for the race, I am trying to make sure that I find a pace that makes it easy to maintain the correct form when running.

july-11-blog2It doesn’t make any sense to sacrifice my form and possibly the health of my knees to finish a race faster. I make sure that I stay within the limits of the race, but I also want to make sure that I finish the race standing tall and able to walk the next day.

So far, I’ve been fortunate enough to get in my miles with a great race pace that includes intervals. I made an interval workout on my running app and do 1 min slow jog, 1 minute medium pace, and 1 minute “fast” (or at least what’s fast for me). This routine is working out pretty well! I love that when I finish, I feel invigorated and not like I’m going to pass out (even when running in this Florida heat!). I imagine as I increase my miles I’ll get to a 1 minute medium, 1 minute slow pace for my race day. Overall, I’m really enjoying the first weeks of training and getting into a schedule. I’ve even found a 5K to run before my half marathon so that I can practice a race since it’s been so long since my first one. I even convinced a friend and my brother to run this one with me!

I hope everyone is having a FANTASTIC week!

To support Stephenie please visit her SoleMates page

SoleMates is the charity running leg of Girls on the Run of Alachua County (GOTRAC). SoleMates provides adults an opportunity to raise money for GOTRAC while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon, half marathon, or 10k event to raise money for GOTRAC. SoleMates raises critically needed funds that helps our council to serve more girls in our community.
For more information or to become a SoleMate for GOTRAC please visit our SoleMates website

Stephenie Begins Her SoleMate Journey

Stephenie Begins Her SoleMate Journey

Hi Everyone!
My name is Stephenie, and I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am that I have officially become a Girls on the Run Alachua SoleMate!

I’m a newer member to the city of Gainesville, and I was so happy to have stumbled photo (1)upon GOTR! This program is something that I want to invest my time with. I’ll actually be running a race in Orlando, FL this fall, and I’m filled with a mixture of emotions. I have been looking forward to signing up for another race since February 2012. *I can’t believe that’s the last time I ran a race!* My last race was the Disney Princess Half Marathon, and I told myself at that point that running the half marathon was a goal that I wanted to reach within 5 years of completing my very first race, the Disney Royal Family 5K. I just made the cut off! I participated in the half marathon on its 5th anniversary. While it was a great accomplishment, I have wanted to dedicate myself to completing another half marathon before my husband and I decide to start a family. The Lake Nona Inaugural Half Marathon is the perfect opportunity for me to complete this goal. With Girls on the Run, I feel like I’m getting to contribute to the success of the women that will be leaders to my future children. My hope is that by running this race as a SoleMate, my children will later be influenced by the positive influences of GOTR.
Why the Lake Nona Half Marathon, you ask? My husband and I were high school sweethearts that reconnected after 9 years apart. Our first home together was in Lake Nona, so that part of Orlando will always hold a special place in my heart. I started running when I lived in Orlando, and it has been the best way for me to think through my day to day life. When I first started running, I have to admit, it was to lose weight. But, through running, I have fallen in love with the person that I am. I have become a lot more comfortable in my own skin. On the pavement, I can feel myself working hard to reach a goal. Every time I lace up my shoes, I set a mini goal for myself. If haven’t run in a while, I like to start with a 20 minute jog – no breaks. When I finish and I’ve reached my goal, I can feel myself smiling ear-to-ear. There has never been a day when I looked back at a run and been disappointed. Everyone has their own ways of achieving this feeling, and it’s always fun to meet new people to discover what they’re passionate about. Lake Nona is a budding medical community that I believe will be a huge influence to medicine! I love that community, and even though we no longer live there, I want to see it grow and succeed.

I’m gearing up to start my training. My *goal* is to write at least one update a week! I can’t wait to share this journey, and I hope that you enjoy reading my posts. For now, I hope everyone has a FANTASTIC week, and God Bless!


“You’re off to great places. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting, so …get on your way!” – Dr. Seuss


To support Stephanie please visit her SoleMates page


SoleMates is the charity running leg of Girls on the Run of Alachua County (GOTRAC).  SoleMates provides adults an opportunity to raise money for GOTRAC while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon, half marathon,  or 10k event to raise money for GOTRAC. SoleMates raises critically needed funds that helps our council to serve more girls in our community.
For more information or to become a SoleMate for GOTRAC please visit our SoleMates website

Love Note to my Nose

SGT-ProfilePic-2501-150x150Dear Nose,
When I was a teenager, I learned that noses that were too big, too flat or crooked were not pretty. I examined my nose often, and I thought it was just right – not too big, too flat or too crooked. People used to comment how I looked like my Dad and Grandmother because of my nose. I thought my Dad and Grandmother had wonderful looks, so I was proud of you.
When I reached my 30s, a friend of mine joked with me about my nose saying it was spread out and flat when I laughed or smiled. She didn’t mean any harm by this. We were in a crazy mood and saying crazy, funny stuff. But from that day forward you looked different! I couldn’t believe it. How did you change without me noticing? You were not small and perfect. You were flat and spread out. I was devastated. Every time I saw myself smile, I hated you!


I am 48 years old today, and I have not yet performed surgery on you. Nor will I ever. I have grown to love you. I am sorry for not loving you always. You are a great nose, and I love you because


  • You look like the nose on my Dad and Grandmother’s face, two people I love very much.
  • Many people on this Earth have flat, spread out noses – I am in good company!
  • You remind me of the fun time I had with my friend when we were joking about you. I love her a lot and cherish all my memories with her.
  • You allow my face to have originality. I love original looks, personalities and spirits.
  • You have helped me actively “do the work” of body acceptance. Thank you for being a great teacher.



Your Face and Body


Stephanie G Travis is a board member of GOTRAC


How You Can Use Comparison, Instead of Letting It Abuse You

NahaMarathon3-150x150Our very own Program Director Amy D. Hester recently published golden words of wisdom at – it was so good we couldn’t help but share! Hoping it encourages you as much as it encouraged us. -Girls On The Run of Alachua County Board

After reading a Facebook status you berate yourself because your friend’s twenty-month-old potty trained herself, while you sent extra clothes to school with your child until he was six, just in case. And due to a Tweet you saw, you’re eating celery and carrot sticks for lunch because your friend lost two pounds this week and you’ve been on a plateau for almost a month. When we are all constantly connected by social media, it is difficult to not compare ourselves to others.

We’ve all seen the meme, and I guarantee that it’s true – you will never be satisfied with your life when you are comparing it to someone else’s highlight reel. When we compare our everyday life to the polished highlights that people are willing to share with the world, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. The key to keeping our sanity and loving the lives we lead depends on the comparisons we allow ourselves to make.

Nobody Really Looks as Good as Their Facebook. Keep reading more.

Love Letter To My Caboose

Love Letter To My Caboose

photoDear Caboose,

I’ve despised you since you showed up at the age of twelve, and I want to apologize. It took many years of mocking and torture on your behalf before I could see the value you add to my being.

See, few – if any – of the models in the magazine and the beauties in the movies sport the rear I do. For years, you were a source of pain as I tirelessly, and unsuccessfully, sought the perfect pair of pants and proper length shirt to try to shrink what you grew to be. See, “skinny is pretty,” and the curves you have graced me with don’t fit into that mold. Yes, you caused a great deal of pain that can’t adequately be expressed in this letter, but I want to apologize for years of disregarding your worth. What I know now is the strength and speed about myself I love comes from you. In case you don’t know, the glute muscles are among the largest and most powerful of the body, so the squats and deadlifts and sprints I love to do are powered by your size. And would you guess that curves are so in right now? It turns out the friends and family (and bullies) who mocked my shape have later admitted they wish they had the definition with which you have blessed me. My husband doesn’t think you’re that bad, either. Major sporting brands actually search for women who have what you have given me.

Turns out thanks to you I’m pretty hip. (Pun intended!) Sure, I spend months searching for the right pair of jeans that can actually fit both hip and waist, and there are women who mock me even as I approach 30, but if that’s a necessary trade-off for the signature stamp that follows me (literally) I’ll take it. Because of you, I am unique and individually beautiful. I have the fibers to grow stronger and faster and excel at the things I love, and while that may not always fit into the “look” I want, I’m learning that it isn’t looks that makes a person, but the heart within. Thank you for teaching me the value in being different, in being confident and in being strong. You’ve certainly endured your share of verbal torture as we stand together in front of the mirror, and I appreciate so much you sticking around. Here’s to another many decades of growth and strength to us both!


With love,


Love Letter To My Thighs

Love Letter To My Thighs


Dear Thighs,

I know you are strong for supporting 140 pounds of my frame, carrying me for four years around rubber-made surfaces, and ensuring my jeans never fit just right, but now that little bit of you that sits right below my bum seems tired and bored.

I know you were used to two workouts a day, constant squats, and bonds, so I’m sorry to let you down, thighs–my calling isn’t making you “perfect” anymore. Instead, I have cheated on you to make my mind expand and now hold it to a higher esteem because brain power is just as good, just as beneficial as you are.

Now, when I need a break from the mundane, I will take you for a jog around town, give you the attention you deserve, and I feel you tighten up in appreciation–when you’re strong so am I. If you think I’ve let you down, just recall how you supported those little girls at practice as they jumped on my back–you helped hold them up. Recall the power you gave me in my stride when I finished a race, or a sprint in the game tag–it was you who held the power.

So, Thighs, please don’t droop in dissatisfaction anymore, or become wrinkly in your ways, because I still see and know your strength when I walk past the hallway mirror, before I take a shower, and when I’m lacing up my shoes for another race with you.

Love Letter to My Postpartum Belly

noorielDear Postpartum Belly,

 Welcome, new friend. Though society would have me believe that you should have left me by now, you, belly, are with me still.  And I am so very grateful you are. I actively refuse to be ashamed of you, or speak ill of you. You are to be celebrated, to be loved. 
I love you because…
  • You are amazing!  You housed my beautiful baby daughter for 10 awe-inspiring months
  • You felt every kick, every movement of her as she grew within me
  • You stretched beyond measure, contracted for 22 hours to bring baby into the world, and retracted again (how?!)
  • You are womanly/motherly
  • You are evidence of my miraculous accomplishment – childbirth
  • You prove I am a healthy weight
  • You give my baby a comfy seat while nursing
  • You remind me of my baby girl even when she is not with me
  • You ARE ME, newly formed
So, stay a while longer, if you like. For you are postpartum perfection. You represent the unconditional love of mother & child, the silver cord that bonds us at our cores, the very center of our beings. You are like my mother’s belly, my grandmother’s, and all the glorious mothers of the world – linking me to the greater circle of motherhood. And that is the most precious gift anyone has ever been given.
The Smiling Mama you made me
Written by Nooriel Nolan, board member GOTRAC
Our Spring 5k Was A Success!

Our Spring 5k Was A Success!


We want to personally take the time to say “Thank you” to everyone who made our spring 5k fun and run (no pun intended) so smoothly. To all of our lovely coaches, parents, friends, supporters, and last but not least, our wonderfully strong Girls on the Run. It is very apparent that GOTR of Alachua has lots of support; and the donors presence felt at Jonesville Park made it evident.

Our girls trained hard, mentally and physically, for the 5k and we couldn’t be more pleased with the results, sportsmanship, and cheers everyone received. Each girl finished her race and had the encouragement of running buddies and teammates to push them to the finish line–we could not have asked for a better group!


If you are anxious to get your GOTR registered for the fall, or to see if your school/site will be offering it next season, please keep visiting our website,, for more information to come.



To enjoy more photos from the race, click here. To view results/times, click here