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Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist

So story time after a two-month hiatus from posting. Sorry about that.

Anyway, I created the *perfect* Spotify playlist (located at the bottom of this post!) for the Army Ten-Miler Race in D.C. last October. And guess what? The race “rules” online said headphones and electronic listening devices weren’t allowed on the course.

Say whhhaaaat? Run 10 miles without any music?!?!

Inside I was like “Well sh** sh** sh**. I don’t know how well I’ll run it now…”

I had only ever run 2 miles without music a handful of times for the Army’s PT test. And with that run, I never think about music. For PT test runs, I’m always waaaay too focused on not dying or puking since I’m running full throttle. So I’m kinda like this photo minus the sitting down and hammock part.

As you already know if you’ve read my previous posts, I finished the Army Ten-Miler Race, and I ran it really well for me (an 8:16-per-mile pace). And now with this story, you know I did it without any music whatsoever. Just me and my thoughts for 1 hour and 22 minutes. Good times.

To be honest, although music would’ve been nice, I didn’t need it. Racing past the monuments and the thousands upon thousands of other runners gave me such a cliche runner’s high that I didn’t even think about music. It’s a really unique, patriotic experience that I encourage runners and non-runners to do at least once. It’s definitely a bucket-list type item. 🙂

So after hearing my story about how I didn’t need music for the race, I’m sure you’re ready to listen to this playlist!

Army Ten-Miler Race Playlist from Hungry Gator Gal

Just kidding. I really do prefer running with music, and this playlist contains some recent hits and really solid motivational throwbacks. <— I’m talking to all of you 90s kids.

So if you’re doing longer runs for race training or if you’re running distance just for fun, feel free to give this playlist a try. I still use it when I feel like doing a long run. I’m on a more strength-focused routine and have turned to cycling and swimming lately more so than running for cardio. But the reason for that switch is the topic of an entirely different post.

More to come on (1) preparing for a ten-mile race and/or a half marathon, (2) workout playlists, and (3) my favorite workouts lately (cardio and strength). Stay tuned!

P.S. Follow me and my playlists on Spotify here. Oh, and did I mention how everyone on the course had their phones, headphones and music? So much for “rules.”

Also, early registration for the 2016 Army Ten-Miler Race opens May 11 for service members and for persons who have run the race seven times or more. Mark your calendars!!!



  1. Do you prefer to run with or without music? <— With music for me, for sure.
  2. What’s your current favorite running song? <— Mine has been any remix of “Roses” by The Chainsmokers for like a solid 6 months now, haha. 


Related Posts:

Running, Surprising People and Surprising Yourself


Fast-paced Fall with SOS Rehydrate

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

10 Goals to Improve Overall Fitness in 2015

What’s one way to ensure you achieve fitness goals? Share them with thousands of people . . .

Below you’ll find 10 goals I’m pursuing to improve my overall fitness in 2015, in no particular order of importance. Some goals are easy “check-off-the-list” things or habits I plan to change. Other goals are HARD and are going to take serious commitment.

These goals are personalized to my life, but please tweak them to fit YOUR life, whether you’re a seasoned fitness fanatic or an exercise newbie. No two persons are at the same fitness level, and you should be realistic when setting goals.

I’ve explained why I’m pursuing the goals below. If you’re an athlete, training for a specific event or just a fitness geek, I HIGHLY suggest reading the reasons why I’m pursuing the goals because they’re probably applicable to your life too.

Click on the links within this post to learn more information, such as where body composition assessments are offered near you.

You now have permission to call me out if you see me slacking! Feel free to let me know what your 2015 fitness goals are in the comments section. 🙂


Goal #1: Complete a functional movement screen (FMS)/mobility assessment.


  1. Identify and assess muscular imbalances.
  2. Correct my form.
  3. Prevent injuries.

Yes, I am damn proud of my ability to squat four or five rounds of 10 reps at nearly 200 pounds. Yes, I can do 60+ perfect-form push-ups in 2 minutes. However, if I’m doing these moves incorrectly, I’m putting myself at risk for an injury that I literally cannot afford. If I can’t perform physically as well as mentally in the next 2.5 years of law school, I put myself at risk for losing my scholarship.

I think anyone, whether you’re a seasoned lifter or just learning how to strength train, can benefit from a mobility assessment. Identifying and correcting muscular imbalances allows you to strengthen weak muscles and prevent injuries from happening. You can visit the FMS website to find a professional near you who gives the assessment.


Goal #2: Complete two body composition assessments (one in the January/February, one in August/September).


  1. Determine my body fat percentage.
  2. Assess how my nutrition and exercise habits are impacting my athletic performance.
  3. Improve my athletic performance.

I’ve suspected for a year or so that my body fat percentage is in the female athlete range, and I want to confirm or deny this suspicion. Depending upon the number, I may or may not pursue, in a healthy way, a goal of dropping a few percentage points to improve my speed and endurance.

UF offers a BodPod test, one of the most accurate body fat assessment tools, for $50, and the follow-up test months later costs $35. Click here to see where the BodPod test is offered near you. I’ll be sure to write about the experience when I do it.


Goal #3: Complete a running assessment and possibly a few coaching lessons, depending upon the cost.

Why: Analyze and work on correcting my running form.

I’ve been dealing with shin splints on and off since August, which I’m attributing the fact that I literally never ran before joining the Army ROTC program.

It was probably too much running too fast and not with proper form. I’ve recognized and corrected some of my own problems, like my tendency to heel strike, which has allowed me to increase my speed and endurance. However, I know I may have a muscular imbalance that’s contributing to my shin pain.

If you’re a running coach or know of a good, reasonably priced running coach in the Gainesville, Florida area, email me at!


Goal #4: Complete at least one 4- to 6-mile run per week.


  1. Increase endurance.
  2. Mental relaxation.

Endurance is NOT my strong point. I LOVE sprints, HIIT and basically any short, intense workout. However, I’ve recognized that completing even one moderate distance run per week at a moderate pace makes the short intense workouts easier and totally relaxes me.

In other words, I think I’m actually enjoying running now?!?


Goal #5: Complete a sprint workout at least once per week.


  1. ABS baby!
  2. Increase speed.

Read this article about the benefits of sprinting and you’ll be on your way to the track . . . like now.


Goal #6: Commit to writing down the weights used during strength workouts.

Why: Track my strength increases.

I write down workouts in terms of what I did and how many reps, but I’ve never tracked how much weight I’m using to see if my strength has increased.

I know I’m stronger than a year ago, but I want to be able to look back at 2015 to see exactly how much my strength has increased. I’ll start putting the weight amounts on my workout log.


Goal #7: Compete in at least one obstacle course/tactical race.


  1. To have FUN with friends.
  2. To say I did it!

Do I really need an explanation for wanting to complete a Spartan Race Super and/or a Tough Mudder?


Goal #8: Foam roll for at least 10 minutes every day.

Why: Benefits of foam rolling. 

P.S. I own a ProSource Ultra Deluxe Revolutionary Sports Medicine Roller.


Goal #9: Go to two yoga classes per week.


  1. Prevent injuries.
  2. Improve flexibility and balance.
  3. Maintain my sanity.

P.S. Read Pro Athletes Turn to Yoga.


Goal #10: Earn a 300 on the APFT.


  1. To earn the badge!
  2. To say I did it!

I’m SO close to maxing the test. <— I earned a 292 out of 300 on November’s test.

If I follow through on all of the aforementioned goals, there’s no reason I shouldn’t be able to earn a 300 by August.

P.S. You can train for the test, even if you’re not in the military, to assess and track your fitness progress.



  1. What are your 2015 fitness goals and why are you pursuing them?


Related HGG Posts:

Tips for Setting Realistic Fitness Goals in 2014


Jacksonville Challenge Giveaway

Jacksonville Challenge Giveaway

As you may know, I believe exercise should be both enjoyable and challenging. Working out should be something you look forward to doing, which is why I constantly vary my routine by trying new classes, facilities and workouts.

Given this philosophy, I’m excited to announce a giveaway on HGG that truly makes fitness fun. Keep reading for a chance to win two registrations to the event described below.

Photo courtesy of Challenge Nation 

Jacksonville Challenge is an urban adventure race that will take place Sunday, October 6 in Jacksonville, Florida. Teams of two or more persons will compete with one another by racing around the city to “solve tricky clues, strategize the best route and explore undiscovered corners of the city,” according to the event website.

In other words, you’ll need both your legs and your brain to compete with other teams for cash prizes during this fun-filled 5K.

After spending the afternoon with friends and family, you’ll enjoy food and drink specials, music, a  costume contest and an awards ceremony. The top 25 teams will qualify for the $5,000 National Championship race that will take place in November in Las Vegas. The top five teams will win free entry to this national event.


Photo courtesy of Challenge Nation 

I cannot attend the Jacksonville Challenge due to a prior school commitment. However, the event organizers would like to give away two registrations to the event (a.k.a. one for the winner and one for his or her friend!)

To enter this giveaway, simply leave a comment on this post that tells me how you make fitness fun. Also include your email address in the comment so I can contact you if you are the winner.
You must be 18 years of age or older and a United States resident to enter this giveaway. Also, please leave only one comment. Duplicate comments will be deleted and will disqualify you from winning the prize.

Please add your comment to this post by 11:59 p.m. EST Monday, September 30. I will choose the winner using a random number generator following the deadline. I will email the winner and announce his or her name in a new post Tuesday, October 1. The winner must respond to my email by 11:59 p.m. EST Wednesday, October 2 in order to receive two registration codes. Otherwise, a new winner will be selected and contacted. 

Be sure to visit the Jacksonville Challenge website and the Challenge Nation Facebook page for more information about this event and additional events being held across the United States this fall.

Good luck! I’m already jealous of the winner who will enjoy this event without me. 😉

Note: I am not receiving compensation for writing about this event and hosting the giveaway. Transportation to and from the event is not included in this giveaway.