Race Season 2018: Sponsors

And so it begins, race season 2018! This year my schedule organically evolved into a theme of running, the sport most outside of my comfort zone. I am very appreciative to have secured three company sponsors so far…

Westfields Dental

Westfields Dental in Fairfax, a woman-owned dental practice using the latest technology in their field and very community focused. This is Dr. Whitney Jarrell and her awesome team’s second year supporting me. Westfields Dental is special to me because they have believed in me and supported me from the start, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Downs and Associates

Downs & Associates (who recently merged with HRI Associates) located in downtown Herndon are new advocates of mine. They are an insurance company who don’t typically support individuals but were impressed with my future goal for starting a foundation based of off Gal on the Go. Bonus surprise, their office manager Lana heard about my blog and plight to encourage girls and women to lead fearless healthy lives and sent me a personal check.

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute

Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute in Fairfax and Manassas is another new sponsor of mine. They donated a laser treatment/injectables package for me to auction off and Bitar Cosmetic Surgery Institute goodies for my #galotgo bags. Their life-changing team consists of Dr. George Bitar, an award-winning board-certified cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgeon and member of the prestigious American Society of Plastic Surgery (ASPS), Dr. Larry Lickstein, and a highly skilled crew.

Thank you, advocates, for backing a member of your community who is striving to make a positive difference in the world in her own small way.

I am still in need of additional sponsors, so if you are interested in supporting my goal to have a positive healthy influence on the lives of girls and women everywhere, please give me a shout at galotgo@gmail.com!

SIDE NOTE: Workers recently entered my apartment to conduct an annual dryer vent cleaning. I was at work and had my camera on because as a female living solo you protect yourself the best you can. I have all my race medals and bibs hanging on a wall. One of the guys touched the medals and said, “wow, that’s a lot for a girl!” Another guy looked at the medals and said, “that’s too much exercise for me.” I am sure they meant well but listen up guys, the women of today are a fierce new breed!

Easy on the Eyes … ACTION

My friend Beth invited me to a commercial shoot for an up-and-coming personal product called the Shower Eye. Always open to fun new things, I jumped at the opportunity. Filming took place in a residential home. There were many takes and tweaks to capture the storyboard concept envisioned by the co-creator. It was great being immersed in a lively creative environment. Time flew and before I knew it, Toby, the director was yelling ‘that’s a wrap’!

Afterward, Katherine Pope, the ambitious product co-creator and company CEO, took time with me to answer a few questions that I thought you and future Shower Eye buyers would want to know!

Q: Who or what inspired you to come up with the Shower Eye?
A: My father. He is the idea architect in the family. Then, he asked me to figure out how to get the product made.

Q: How do you foresee the Shower Eye being used?
A: People can use the Shower Eye at home to alleviate confusion and frustration. I also think hotel guests would benefit from using it on the tiny product bottles.

Q: Who is your target audience(s)?
A: The 60 million baby boomers. I am fortunate to have good vision, but six out of 10 people wear glasses or contacts. I also hope hotels carry the Shower Eye and put it in their bathrooms as a convenient tool for their guests.

Q: When will the Shower Eye officially be for sale?
A: Hopefully in June 2018.

Q: Where will people be able to buy the Shower Eye? 
A: Online through Amazon, at least in the beginning.

Q: What do you consider product success?
A: Turning a profit. If I can make a dollar more than what I have invested in it, I will feel successful!

Q: When will the commercial that was shot today launch?
A: Hopefully in June when we have product available for mass selling.

Q: Where will the commercial run? 
A: We will test it on daytime cable networks in smaller cities to start.

I wish Katherine great success with the Shower Eye! Look out for the product online this summer!

ABOUT THE DIRECTOR: Toby Marquez, the owner of STUDIO M Inc., is a producer-director, photographer and writer whose assignments have taken him to 33
countries. He is the recipient of distinguished national awards including Hollywood’s “Directors Guild of America Award,” awards for the documentary “A Gathering in the Desert” and the Cine Golden Eagle Award for the short US Navy film “West Africa.”

Sneak Peek: 2018 Healthy Adventures

“When unforeseen obstacles arise, change your plans for how you will reach your goals, never give up on your goals or yourself.” – Gal on the Go

My healthy adventures schedule may appear tame now, but you never know what’s going to come up, and that’s part of the fun!  😉

DATE EVENT LOCATION
May 6 Race for Hope 5K
http://www.teambt.org/
Washington, DC
May 11 & 12 Ragnar Trail Relay
(Team: All the Good Names are Taken)
Zion, UT
June 2 Bay Bridge Paddle Annapolis, MD
September 22 SeaWheeze Vancouver, BC

 

Shifting Gears

 

Cycling has been a recreational passion of mine since I was a child. I vividly remember the day I got my training wheels off and I biked as fast as my little legs would peddle with a great sense of freedom! This past July, Nicole from the Fairfax County Department of Transportation reached out to me and asked if I would be interested in serving my community as a Fairfax County Bicycle Ambassador. I instantly said yes! … and then um, could you please tell me what I just agreed to? 😉 She explained to me that the Bicycle Ambassador position is for one year and entails:

  • teaching and promoting cycling safety to Fairfax County residents in a fun way
  • giving presentations upon request on a variety of bike topics (ex. Bike to Work Day) at local businesses and organizations
  • handing out materials and assisting residents with basic bike maintenance issues if needed at local events

Things quickly got rolling! I enthusiastically shifted gears into my new position and became certified in First Aid. In August, I took part in a fun photo shoot in which the images will be used in various bike safety print collateral and on the coming soon website bikefairfax bikesafe.bikesmart. On September 20, I completed the required Fairfax County Bicycle Ambassador Program Orientation course with two other representatives. They gave us official ambassador T-shirts donated by Ben & Jerry’s that we must wear to all county activities we work.

In October, I attended my first local outreach event at the Providence Community Center in Vienna. I had a great time handing out the informative and detailed Fairfax County Bike Maps, safety literature and bike lights. The kids there were open to learning and very excited about riding the trails with their parents. My next appearance will be on December 4 at an outreach event in Tysons. I cannot wait to share my bicycle safety knowledge and spread the word about current resources available to bike riders and the awesome new county bike services on the horizon!

I just found out that one of the photos they took of me made the cover of the Fairfax County Bicycle outreach brochure! It’s been a great experience serving as a Fairfax County Bicycle Ambassador and promoting the safety of a sport that has nostalgic meaning to me.

Until their new website is ready, check out Fairfax County’s current bicycle resources web page.

Stairway to Heaven

2017 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, Oxon Hill, Maryland
110 Flights of Stairs
320 Climbers
*This is not a timed race event; it is a way for firefighters and the community to honor and remember the 343 FDNY firefighters who selflessly gave their lives. We were kindly given commemorative in memoriam coins for our participation. 

My friend Sarah knew of an annual event where participants pay tribute to FDNY firefighters by climbing the equivalent of the 110 stories of the World Trade Center. She asked if I wanted to participate with her and a few of our other friends. Of course! My friends Sarah, Leslie, MaryKate and I gathered outside the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center to check in. There were badges scattered on the table of FDNY firemen who died on 9/11 during rescue efforts. Each of us selected a badge, clipped it to our shirts and climbed in their honor. I proudly wore the badge of…

 Jeffrey Palazzo, Age 33, FDNY Firefighter, Member of Rescue 5


 

This has been an eventful summer! My “race” schedule is starting to wind down, but I hope you will continue to be inspired by my healthy adventures and try new things.

Independent Ride

13 Colonies Ride (part of the 50 States Ride, 62 miles), Washington, DC
15 Miles
700 Cyclists (Sold Out)

I heard about this fun annual cycling event last year, but before I could sign up, it had sold out. It’s hosted by the Washington Area Bicyclist Association (WABA), which I am proud to be a member. This year, I noted the registration timing of the event and entered The 13 Colonies portion before it sold out! The 13 Colonies is a 15-mile hilly ride through every Ward of the District and on every avenue named for the original 13 Colonies. Roads are open to traffic as usual and there are a lot of stops along the city blocks, which is probably why it’s an event rather than a race. The lunch pit stop took place under a tented area next to Eastern Market, located in the heart of the historic Capitol Hill neighborhood. The lively marketplace has been around since 1873 and features a variety of produce, handmade crafts and more. A bonus, there are also many delicious mom and pop restaurants and coffee shops in the neighborhood. It’s one of my favorite non-touristy places to wander around in DC.

FUN FACT: Can you name all 13 Colonies?
(Answer: New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia) They are significant because these Colonies coming together formed the United States.

Street Cred

Philly 10K
4,500 Runners (Sold Out)
Bib #1221

My friend Tracy from high school, aka #somekindarunner, and I made plans to meet up at a halfway point over the summer and do a fun race together. Enter the Philly 10K, a 6.2-mile loop through South Philly and Center City along 76 city blocks. This annual race has been going on since 2014, hosted by a group of proud Philadelphians to celebrate the history and diversity of the city. The race entry fee includes a finisher T-shirt and keepsake, but no medal. The robust crowd was very friendly and the race was well organized. Even if medals aren’t involved in a race, I still try to do my best and use the opportunity to compete against myself and put my training efforts into practice. My end time was 1:05 with an average pace of 10:28. After the race, we enjoyed the street festival, headed to the hotel to clean up, and then went for a delicious meal before parting ways on our mini road trips back home!

Take It to the Limit … One More Time

VA Momentum: SUPTri (first annual), Bridgewater, Virginia
25 Miles Total  
140 Participants
Bib #46

The day came for me to participate in the last of the three big races I set as my healthy comeback goals for 2017. My mind was in overdrive thinking about the bad weather, the nervousness of doing my first triathlon, and a sadness that the major fitness ambitions I had been working tirelessly to achieve were coming to an end. My friends Beth, Sarah and Leslie were with me to also compete in the triathlon. We arrived at the starting point, and got our bikes and other gear situated in the transition areas. Then, we put timing bracelets around our ankles (which looked like house arrest devices).

Beth, Sarah and Leslie had an earlier wave, so they got on their paddle boards and lined up at the starting point for the first leg of the race. The Stand Up Paddleboarding (SUP) portion was one mile on a section of the North River in Bridgewater. The flash floods the previous night caused the water level to be high. I did my best to focus on paddling my arms off, instead of being distracted by the intimidating rough waters.
SUP Completion Time: 16:22, 1 Mile

I hustled to the transition station to dry my feet, put on my socks and sneakers, and hop on my bike as fast as I could to start the cycling portion. This leg of the race was described as a “beautiful ride through the countryside”. The scenery was indeed beautiful, BUT the hills were arduous and the rain was relentless. I never biked for that many miles in that bad of weather before. It truly tested my spirit. At one point I saw a massive brown cow along a fence line and I swear it was giving me the side-eye. That’s when you know you’re tired! Finally, I saw a woman waving in the distance, and as I approached, she yelled: “good job, you’re in the homestretch!” I felt like crying tears of joy.
Bike Completion Time: 1:30:09, 20 Miles

I made my way to the transition station, threw my bike up on the rack and started running. It felt like an out-of-body experience; my legs were still in cycling mode. This final portion of the race was a technical run, described as a one-of-a-kind run on farm property with switchbacks on rough, hilly terrain. The rain finally stopped and I tried to take in my surroundings and appreciate the experience. I kept repeating to myself, you did it, it’s almost over! When the finish line was in sight I booked it with every last bit of energy I had left. As I reached the end the announcer said, “here comes Kimberly Evering from Fairfax, Virginia, way to go!” Then a girl placed a medal around my neck. Beth and Sarah were there waiting, and greeted me with big smiles and hugs. The best way to end a tough race is to have great friends by your side!
Technical Run Completion Time: 45:16, 4 Miles

My overall finish time for the race including transitions was 2:35:58. I am very proud of my time, given the country hills, pouring rain and fact that it was my first triathlon. There was a charming building on the property called Valley Pike Farm Market, where we could go inside to claim our free finisher beer. I opted for a huge hot chocolate instead. We hung out in the market for a little while decompressing and being goofy, before making the drive back home.

Remain fearless and never say never! My big planned races for the year may have come to an end, but I am not one to say no when my friends invite me to join them for a physical challenge. Sooooo I signed up for …

  • Philly 10K, Aug. 27 
  • 13 Colonies Ride, Sept. 9 
  • 2017 National Capital Region 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb, Sept. 16

I hope you will keep following my journey and that you are encouraged to live a fearless life, doing healthy things outside of your comfort zone!

OrthoVirginiaWestfields Dental

Get a Clue

My friend Jenny asked me in June if I had plans after work on July 17. I said, “no.” She said, “Good, we’re doing something, so mark your calendar.” I didn’t ask her what we were doing because I trust her and I knew that whatever it was, it would be fun. The mystery around the activity intensified as the date grew closer and she began sending me clues as teasers.

The first set of clues she sent me…
Pale as driven snow,
On a wintry morn.
Pure as a crisp new tee,
That has never been worn.
Springy like Santa’s bowlful of jelly,
Stretchy like Spanx that suck in his belly.

My Guess: Taffy Making

The second set of clues she sent me…
Deliciously smooth and cool to the touch,
You want to dive in and just swim through so much.
Unless it’s a hot toasty blanket of ooze,
You pull into strings of long luscious moos.

My Guess: Ice Cream Sundae Festival

The final set of clues she sent me…
It can stretch from your lips to the sky,
Where it makes up the moon or a big pizza pie.
Fit for Little Miss Muffett or Cinderella,
Whoever invented it is a pretty good fella.

My Guess: Bubble Blowing Festival

The evening of the event finally arrived. We met outside of the movie theater, where Jenny revealed that we were attending an Italian Cheesemaking Class. Reflecting back on the clues I thought ohhh cheese, it all makes sense now!

The class was hosted by Caputo Brothers Creamery, led by a husband, wife and their two sons. The event kicked off with a brief movie about Caputo Brothers Creamery. Next, Rynn, the matriarch, gave a dynamic presentation on the history of mozzarella cheese and explained that in the U.S. there is no such thing as authentic “mozzarella”. In 1996, the European Union granted it Protected Designation of Origin. Genuine mozzarella must be made using a traditional recipe that includes water buffalo milk from only the region just south of Rome to just south of Naples. What we eat in the U.S. is actually called fior di latte, which is made from cow’s milk. It is a semi-soft cheese made in the style of Italian mozzarella.

Caputo Brothers Creamery produces the country’s only fermented cheese curds that can be stretched into mozzarella-style cheeses. Rynn taught us how to cook, stretch and make one of the mozzarella-style cheeses using curds from their creamery. Her husband Dave sliced the glorious cheese mounds and their lil helpers, Giovanni (7) and Matteo (5), aka the Caputo Brothers, passed around samples of the incredibly delicious fresh cheese to everyone. At the end of the event, we were all given a bag of frozen cheese curds to take home with cooking instructions. An educational and filling evening!