Category: Running Tips

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Intensive Yoga Flow & Workout Playlist

Hi there!

I haven’t shared my workout playlist in a while and figured for the next one, I’d share my fave yoga flow playlist. This is for the yogi who likes to get their sweat on through an intensive flow session. The music definitely picks up a bit, so flow to the beat and feel the BURRRRNNN. I’d describe these songs as a mix of being melodic, dreamy, trippy, electronic, dubby, empowering, and so on (you get the idea).

Some of the artists include:

  • Big Gigantic
  • Flume
  • Adventure Club
  • Disclosure
  • Tove Lo
  • Bassnectar
  • Shaun Frank
  • Anna Lunoe
  • Zeds Dead
  • Sevon Lions
  • Kill Paris

…and so many more!

With more than 60+ songs to keep you going all day long – throw it on shuffle and let me know what you think! I love discovering new artists – so please feel free to share & comment!

— Also, feel free to give me a follow on SoundCloud so you can stay updated on new music & check out my other playlists as well!

In need of some inspiration? Do yourself a favor & check out the Rich Roll Podcast!

In need of some inspiration? Do yourself a favor & check out the Rich Roll Podcast!

I’ve been feeling pretty inspired lately and felt it was only right to spread that wealth! For today’s post, I wanted to share with you one of my absolute favorite podcasts – the Rich Roll podcast. For those who are not familiar with who Rich Roll is – let me introduce you. He graduated from Stanford and Cornell Law School. He unfortunately fell into the struggle with drugs & alcohol, among other adversities in which he overcame. He finally made the decision a few years down the road that he would change his life around. He turned vegan and began his journey in pursuing the Ultraman competition. After intense blood, sweat, and tears, he earned the 6th place title overall, among claiming individual victories & insanely fast times in the swim, bike, and marathon races. Rich Roll has become a huge health advocate and motivational speaker to people all over the world, by sharing his life experiences – the good, the bad, and the in between.

Of course my introduction does not even come close to doing justice the amount that Rich has accomplished and how he completely did a full 360 on altering his life for the better. If you want to learn more about him, he’s written a few books, among appearing on a number of blogs, articles, magazines, and more. However, I feel like I’ve truly gotten to understand him more as an individual through his weekly podcasts.

What makes his podcasts stand out more so than others? To quote him directly from his podcast introductions, “Rich Roll discusses all things wellness with some of the brightest and most forward thinking minds in health & fitness, including world-class athletes, doctors, nutritionists, trainers, entrepreneurs & artists.“ I love that his podcasts welcome a diversity of different thought-provokers and people who challenge the norm. It’s clear that Rich is a very open-minded person and you can certainly get that sense while listening to his podcasts and the people who he chooses to interview. His view on the world and how to live life to its fullest truly resonates with me and has inspired me recently to start owning the choices I make and create an enriched and fulfilled life.

So whether you’re looking for a positive pick-me-up or if you’re looking for that extra push to make a change in your life, I’d say it’s worth giving Rich Roll a listen! Here are some of my favorite podcasts from him which I think you’ll enjoy ☺

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If you’re in the mood for a good laugh from hilarious Irish brothers, check out this podcast! → Stephen & David Flynn Are The Happy Pear: Creating a Mainstream Movement to Inspire Healthy Living

If you’re feeling a bit nerdy and want to get into the science behind wellness, here’s a great one for you! → Dr. Rhonda Patrick On Longevity, Epigenetics & The Microbiome or Live Dirty, Eat Clean: Robynne Chutkan, MD on Microbiome Health

If you’re dabbling in veganism or an advocate against meat producers/large fast-food companies, than check out Neal Barnard! → Neal Barnard, M.D. On The Power of Nutrition To Prevent & Reverse Disease

If you’re looking to make some positive changes in your life, give this a try! → Jason Wachob On How To Build A Life, Not A Resumé

Note this is absolutely NOT an exhaustive list! You can scroll through his soundcloud account or do what I do and subscribe to his podcast. He’s been doing it for quite a few years now, so there are a ton of different topics and interviews in his archive! Find a topic that excites or interests you and just “roll” with it…no pub intended 😉

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

An Interview with my Fast Runner Friend – Jackie D!

Hi all!

For this specific post, I decided to switch it up a bit! I’m sure you’re probably sick of hearing about me, so I thought it’d be interesting to start a series where I interview friends who in some way, are just as connected to health & fitness as I am. Some of you likely know that I ran competitively in college and through that, I had the pleasure of meeting some pretty amazing people and not to mention, a few of my best friends to this date! I’ve learned so much from them and I’d say they play a HUGE role in keeping me motivated whether it’s wellness related or just personally.

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So with that…I introduce to you my very first interview with my teammate from college and one of my best friends, Jackie D’Antonio! Since I know Jackie won’t toot her own horn, I’ll do it for her 😉 Jackie still holds the Loyola University Maryland records for the following:

-Women’s Indoor Track 800m with a 2:13:92
-Women’s Indoor Track 1,000m with a 2:52:17
-Women’s Indoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:35.33)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 800m with a 2:14:90
-Women’s Outdoor Track Distance Medley Relay (Team Time of 12:18.36)
-Women’s Outdoor Track 4x800m Relay (Team Time of 9:23.74)
-Women’s Top 10 XC 5K with a 18.05.90
-Women’s Top 10 XC 6K with a 21:34.00

Let’s now fast forward 3 years later, post-college and see what she’s up to these days! Hope you all enjoy and feel free to leave any comments or feedback!

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1. What are you currently training for?

Rochester half-marathon on September 18.

2. What does your average week of training look like?

I typically run 3 times a week (2 workouts, 1 long run) and strength/cross train the other days. I (try to) reserve Sundays for yoga.

3. What is your goal time?

Under 1:30 for the half

4. What advice would you give to someone looking to get into running?

Be patient and be persistent. It takes at least 2 weeks to get in shape so don’t expect to end the first week running a 5k at 7 minute pace. It can be real tough at first, but stick with it–it DOES get easier.

​5. Favorite workout routine at the moment?

HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts are always my go-to; they’re quick and dirty. I find a lot of good strength ones on www.bodybuilding.com

6. Favorite grocery store?

What a silly question. Wegmans, duh.

7. Who is your role model?

My momma.

8. Why is that ^ person your role model?

She’s been running since middle school and has yet to stop. And she’s just overall the best human being I’ve ever encountered.

9. ​​​​​​Name your favorite dessert – doesn’t have to be healthy 🙂

I’m a sucker for a good eclair. Strawberry shortcake is also one of my absolute faves. OR warm apple pie and ice cream. I’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of me.

​10. What does your morning routine look like?​

I usually wake up between 5:30-6:00, depending on if I am running or going to the gym that day. Do my workout, shower, make a smoothie for breakfast, and am out the door for work by 8:15.

11. Favorite drink of choice to enjoy with your lunch?

Seltzer. Also super into the Kevita Probiotic and Bai drinks. I love bubbles.

12. What do you hope to accomplish in one year?

Fitness-wise, I want to build myself a booty. Life-wise, figure out my next (literal) move in life; I wanna explore a new city, I just need to figure out which one!

13. What about 5 years?

To have run the Boston Marathon.

14. If you were stranded on a remote island, name 3 things you would bring.

My brother Joey (good for strength and brains), phone with a portable charger to call for help, and a water filter. Really thought logically about that one.

15. What new food did you recently try and LOVE?

Hapi brand Wasabi peas are bomb.

16. Favorite motivational quote?

“Remind yourself daily that someone is happier with less than what you possess.”

17. How do you recover after a hard workout?

Treat mahself to a yummy meal like my mom’s famous homemade pizzas!

18. What is your favorite strength routine in the gym?

I like picking about 8 exercises and doing a circuit of 1-minute on/45seconds off of various strength workouts. Some exercises I like to do are pull-ups, box jump burpees, renegade push-ups, deadlift to squat press, wallstand push-ups, weighted running arms, etc.

19. If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?

Greece.

20. Last question, ​what keeps you motivated?​

Truthfully, food. Knowing that if I workout hard, I can (hopefully) continue eating whatever the heck I want.

Top Fall Jamz

Top Fall Jamz

No, I’m not referring to the kind of sweet, fruitful jams that are oh so perfect on a slightly browned piece of toast…no, I’m talking about music jams. Just as good, right?!?
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Anyway, nothing like some good pump up music to get you motivated as the temperature begins to drop and hibernation slowly but surely, becomes more tempting. For those that are familiar with my blog, likely know how obsessed I am with dance music. Whether it’s trap, big room, or deep house – I love it all and therefore basically eat, sleep, breathe it.

Now, don’t knock em till ya try em!

Scrub the Ground – Tommie Sunshine & Chocolate Puma
Won’t stop rocking the beat – R3hab & Headhunterz
90’s by Nature – Lucas and Steve Remix
Crunk – Siege
X – Dyro
Save Me – Keys n’ Krates
Wombass – Oliver Heldens & Tiesto
Ready to Fly – Mr Belt and Wezol
Split (Only U) – Chainsmokers & Tiesto
Sky High – Firebeatz
Deeper Love – Jauz
Squad Out – Skrillex & Jauz
Boss Mode – Knife Party
Odesza All we need remix – Dzecko and Torres
Jewlez and Sparks – Dope
Give me some – Fedde Le Grand and Merk & Kremont
Devotion – Bingo Players Jewlez and Sparks Remix

What’s so great about ClassPass anyway? A lot.

What’s so great about ClassPass anyway? A lot.

So just over 2 months ago, I signed up for a new subscription called Class Pass. I was introduced to this by a friend and instantly was drawn to the idea of what this subscription model could offer. For just $99 a month, I had the opportunity to attend up to 3 classes PER fitness studio a month. So for example, in my “neighborhood” alone, I have about 8 or so cooperating studios (this doesn’t even include the amount of studios that are along my commute home from work). This means I can go to 3 classes per studio. You do the math. I essentially could attend 24 classes in a month at that same $99 rate. Though $99 MAY sound like a lot, consider how much I was spending at other chain studios?? Now, I’m not trying to put down any of these studios down, but for me, switching up my fitness routine daily is normal. Having the option to try out new studios, different workout regimens, and all the while, feel like I’m getting my money’s worth is a BIG bonus in my mind.

Oh and did I mention that you not only get access to studios in your city, BUT when you travel, you can attend any class for NO additional charge. WHAT!? This means that when I go visit my boyfriends family in Long Island, I no longer need to worry about where or what I’ll do for my mini make-shift workout. Or when I’m traveling to visit friends in Baltimore, I can just search local studios on my app and BAM I’m set for the day! For me – this is a game changer and I’m obsessed.

But oh you must be thinking …this is just another one of Calli’s short-lived obsessions. You could be TOTALLY correct. But hey, if I’m using this in the summer and into the fall – just imagine how handy this will be in the winter when I’m REALLY not down to go for a run in 5 feet of snow. Just think of the possibilities!!

Want more of a reason to join class pass? Well, new studios are joining left and right. Just when you think the yoga studio conveniently located next to your apartment will never join, you receive an email the following day with new studios added to the portfolio. I’ve been to a whole variety of studios from small boutique-like pilates classes, spin classes, chain yoga studios, and even free gym time at nearby gyms! The funny thing is that I’ve now started seeing a pattern of the same people at all these different studios in the area. It may be because I’m in a big college city, but that certainly says something about this app and it’s attraction to fitness-obsessed locals!

Here’s the fun part – you can even test this subscription out for a week free of charge to decide if you like it! If you do, great, you’ll be charged 99 for the month …if not, then you get your money back after after the week is up!

My Top Workout Jamz

My Top Workout Jamz

So for those of you who may not know me well, music is literally everything to me. I try to surround myself with music 24/7. If you discover what you like – music can be so powerful. I know I sound ridiculous right now, but if I’m feeling tired/sleepy/sad/happy/excited …I can literally always find something on my playlist to enhance that mood. It’s such a game changer. I’ll listen to some super upbeat, heavy bass music for my workouts, then switch to calmer, deep house music in the AM, then I’ll move back to some more upbeat jams to get me through the work day, then I’ll likely progress into some more flowly/groovy/house jams at night – especially, If I end with some relaxing bedtime yoga. Make fun of me all you want, but music is what makes me happy. What works for you?

As you can see, music defines my day. Given that, here are some of my favorite jams to get you pumped for workouts. Enjoy!

Running/Barre/Cycling/Weight Room/HIIT (Most Big Room House, Tech House, Progressive House, and Some Trap)

Bourne – Will Sparks
Hey Mama – David Guette ft. Nicki Minaj & Afrojack
The Dance Floor is Yours – Hardwell and W&W
Momementum – Hook N Sling
Against All Odds – Dyro
SuperWave – Ummet Ozcan
Savior – Bassjackers
Wait for you – Dannic & Shermanology
Calabria – Rune RK (Firebeatz Remix)
Black Betty – JL & Afterman Remix
We Make it Bounce – Dillon Francis (Ft. Major Lazer & Stylo G)
Red Dawn – Knife Party
404 – Knife Party
Heroes – Alesso ft. Tove Lo
United We Dance – Vicetone
Burnin’ – Calvin Harris & R3hab
Bootcamp – Jay Hardway
Resistance – Knife Party
Boss Mode – Knife Party
Somehow – Dash Berlin ft 3Lau ft. Bright Lights
Runaway – Galantis (Kaskade Remix)
Virus – Martix Garrix & MOTI
Pulse- Daddy’s Groove ft. TeamMate
Deja Vu – (ft. Delora) DVBBS & Joey Dale
Burn – KSHMR & DallasK
Like That – Bassjackers
Don’t Stop the Madness – W&W, Hardwell (ft. Fat Man Scoop)
Tokyo By Night (Axwell remix) – Hook N Sling ft. Karin Park
Recess – Skrillex (Bone N Skin Remix)
Up All Night – Arty Ft. Angel Taylor
Never Dies – Yellow Claw (ft. Lil Eddie)

Yoga/Flow/Vinyassa: (Mix of House, Deep House, Indie/Nu Disco, Tech House)

Firestone – Kygo
Faded (Big Gigantic Remix) – Zhu
Piano Weapon – Shadow Child
Everybody be Somebody – Ruffneck ( Lucas & Steve Remix)
Let her Go (Kygo Remix) – Passenger
Koala – Oliver Heldens
In the Air – Morgan Page (SNBRN remix)
Outlines – Mike Mago & Dragonette
Sunlight – The Magician (Blonde Remix)
Wiggle – Lizzie Curious
Prayer in C (Robin Schulz Remix) – Lilly Wood & The Prick and Robin Schulz
West Coast (Krooked Remix) – Lana Del Ray
Ultraviolence (Hook N Sling Remix) – Lana Del Ray
Stay – Henry Krinkle (Justin Martin Remix)
Beating Heart – Steve James Remix; Ellie Goulding
Heartbeat (Bentley Grey Remix) – Childish Gambino
Fade (ft. Zak Waters) – Adventure CLub
A Little More – Kaskade ft. John Dahlback ft. Sansa
Fade out Lines – The Avener
Do you Mind – Christian Nielsen
Push the Feelings – Criminal Vibes (Club Mix)
THIS – Oliver Heldens and Sander Van Doorn
Colour – Felon (Club Mix)
Walking With Elephants – Ten Walls
We Were Young – SRTW (Sascha Kloeber Remix)
Sweets (Soda Pop) – Fox Stevenson
Feel Good – Robin THicke (Oliver Heldens Remix)
A lot like Love – The Voyagers (Oliver Heldens Remix)
Kuaga – Pierce Fulton

My Take on Barre

My Take on Barre

Over the past few weeks, my friends/family/boyfriend have likely heard the following phrases come out: “had a great morning, hit the barre first thing” or “can’t meet after work, heading to the barre” or “the barre has GREAT music and energy” or …you get the picture. I’m not an alcoholic I swear. Okay okay, jokes old, I’m lame – but sorry, can’t help getting a kick out of it still! Yes, I’ve become completely obsessed with barre class. Particularly, I’ve been hitting up the Pure Barre studio – a chain of boutique barre studio’s across the country. To my luck, one studio is located 5 minutes down the road from my office and is conveniently the same distance to my apartment…how can I say no?

I tried out my first Barre class last winter and LOVED it, however, I was still so stuck on ONLY cardio at that point. I felt that running was the only way to stay in shape. However, lately, I’ve realized that running is not the ONLY answer and quite frankly – I think I just need a long break from running. And coincidentally, this realization could not have come at a better time. Winter hibernation is the perfect time for this! Now don’t get me wrong. I still love running and it is TOTALLY a great workout. I’ll still do 3-4 miles at least 3 times a week. But, I’ve cut back a lot. Honestly, my plan is to take off the winter and then start up training again mid-spring.

Anyway, given this – I’ve found other ways to stay in shape and really work on toning and strengthening my body. Barre has been a fitness routine that I really enjoy and am ACTUALLY seeing results from after just a few weeks, which running has never done that drastically. I loved my first class at Pure Barre so much that I purchased a 1 month unlimited sign up for new clients and jumped on that ASAP. I can tell you I have taken full advantage of this – literally, I go almost every other day possible…
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For those of you who still may be wondering what exactly barre is, let me give you a run down of what a typical class at Pure Barre would be like:

The studio is fairly small, there’s just one large room carpeted and surrounded by mirrors and of course, the barre that wraps around the room. The studio is welcoming and the fitness trainers there are all super upbeat and friendly! One thing I noticed at my first class and all of them following, is how tentative the fitness instructors are. I arrived a few minutes early to my first class and they walked me through some beginner tips. Come in, grab a ball, a strap, and 2 sets of weights. Pick an area close to the mirror, in the front of the room so that you can easily pay attention to your form. Take the class at your own pace, you know your own limit. And most importantly, when in doubt, ALWAYS tuck (essentially, act as though someone is constantly punching you in the stomach!)

On the dot, the instructor comes in – the class room is filled with no more than 15 people. The music starts up – AH – upbeat house and dance music – I could get used to this. Let me tell you – this music is so crucial for a class like this – so many of the moves go exactly to the beat and the music will push you through the pain. We begin right away with the warm up – the fitness instructor coaching us all the way through, whether you’re a regular or brand new to the class, the instructors will coach you through every move. Not only that, but they are really good about paying attention to your name as you arrive to the class. Which is so nice, because throughout the class they’ll say your name with encouraging comments or coaching tips – I find this aspect so important and I really appreciate how personal they are with the class!
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Now after your warm up, you go straight into working your arms. You have the option of using no weights, 2 lbs, 3 lbs, or 5 lbs. Don’t let the amount of the weights fool you! Your arms WILL be shaking by the end, I promise you. Once you are done with arms, you’ll do a quick stretch and move into working your “seat” (the outer part of your bum, aka the Bikini target zone, aka every women’s goal for the best summertime bod) 😉 Again, they will work you until every inch on your body is uncontrollably shaking. After this workout, you’ll then get a really nice stretch in. Another thing to note here is that this brief stretching actually Really pays off. My yoga instructor even commented on how much my splits have improved…wooo!! Progress!!

After your seat and stretching, you’ll then progress into outer/inner thighs, then slow done a bit into core. Then the fun begins as you wrap up the class with a VERY intense core session. Again, the goal here is to get you to the point of shaking for every muscle. So you can bet your core will be worked to the bone!

Quickly, the hour flies by and you’ve made it to your final stretching stages. Lastly, you’ll wrap up the class with a group applause and I can guarantee you’ll never feel more accomplished than after this barre class!

Last bit of advice – drink a lot of water before hand and make sure you dress appropriately! See below for advice on what to wear:
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Similar to yoga attire…

– Long spandex/leggings/capri spandex (don’t suggest wearing shorts as you do moves and stretches that may show a lot…if you get the point…)
– Any type of tank top – highly suggest a tight one for flexibility with movement
– You will need special socks with a grip texture on the bottom – you have the option of purchasing these there for $3

Feel free to leave comments and let me know if you’ve ever tried Barre and if so, what’d you think?!

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

When in San Francisco, do as the San Franciscans do…

First let me just start off my saying…how fricken cool are these boxed waters??? And no, I’m not cool enough to “promote” the company. I just am a SERIOUS fan of this! I mean super green and eco-friendly plus you have to admit, they’re kind of really trendy. Don’t even deny it.

Ayywayyy, since I’ve moved to San Francisco, one of my number one “To Do’s” on my bucket list was to run over the Golden Gate Bridge. I knew signing up for the San Francisco Half Marathon was a MUST if I wanted to achieve this. Sunday, was RACE DAY. Was I ready? Nope. Was I excited? Kind of. Was running over the Golden Gate Bridge amazing? Definitely.

So I may not have had my best race and finishing, I was definitely very disappointed in myself. But after an hour or so of eating (had to), grieving and blaming my poor training and commitment, I finally appreciated the run for what it was. A year ago, I would never have thought I’d be running through the streets of San Francisco or blazing over the Golden Gate Bridge. The fact that I completed that Sunday morning was truly incredible and I realized that I really needed to be more grateful for that opportunity.

Now for the fun stuff – Saturday was the expo held at Fort Mason. I stupidly decided to take the train in, walk 30 minutes to the shuttle that brought us to the expo, and then spent the rest of my day walking and shopping around the city, when I FINALLY decided to walk back to the train by 6 PM…bad call. Regardless, the expo was awesome and you can betttt I hit up all the free food vendors. SUPER BIG THANKS to larabar and cliffbar who never fail to disappoint with their free bars and tastings. I also hit up every flavor of NUUN, the electrolyte company, helped myself to Kale Chips, Wasabi dried Green Beans, Sweet Potato Chips, and the list could go on. Additionally, I obviously had to purchase a new pair of neon orange shorts and hot pink compression sleeves from the “MASSIVE BLOWOUT SALE” that was occurring – ugh, those always get me. Oh and we also got SUPER cool long-sleeve shirts as part of our SF half marathon swaaag.
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Though I always enjoy walking around and exploring the city, I definitely was not smart about resting the day before my race. Plus, this race was different than most I’ve ever run as the gun went off at 5:30AM for the start!! Given that, I “woke up” at 3AM, left my apartment by 3:30AM to drive into the city, and began my warm up run at around 4:45AM through the city. Thank god my 5:50AM runs paid off for this crazy start time. Anyway, around 5:25, I found my way to the starting line. The race went off at 5:30 and it was still dark as the night. That was a first for any race I’ve ever run. I actually REALLY liked starting at this time. The race went off, all the way down the pier, towards Chrissy Fields and all along the water. Eventually we hiked up yet another hill that opened out to the Golden Gate Bridge. The bridge was a decent length and half way through the first place runners were leading the pack making their way back across the bridge. This was exactlyyy the kind of motivation I needed to keep going. To be honest, I was REALLY hurting at this point. At last a bit of drive and determination settled in, however, this unfortunately only lasted for a short period of time. As Iooped around and made my way back over the bridge, I could hear my mind yelling at me to stop and eventually I gave in a few more times. This was possibly the MOST frustrating race for me. My mind and my body were speaking in two different languages. Part of me just wanted to go for it, but every time a new hill popped up, I instantly let go of that drive.

{so KIND of cool that they give us FREE photos….if only I was as photogenic as the MOST photogenic guy in last years marathon…}
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I contribute part of this to my lack of hill training, in addition to lack of mileage, and lastly I just did not start the race in a positive mindset. I already had the feeling that I wouldn’t be able to compete and break, nonetheless run my PR. Finally…the race ended…on an uphill stretch – GO FIGURE. Though the race was tough and I was HATIING myself after…looking back it, I’m proud that I even ran what I did given the serious elevation in that race and given how many times I stopped. I’m just happy to say that I finished the race and conquered the brutal hills of San Francisco! Lucky for me, my next half marathon in October should be MUCH less hilly. And lesson learned – TRAIN PROPERLY CALLI!! Oh, and don’t psych myself out.
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^^ just me struggling over the golden gate! GTZ!!!

Finding Motivation Between Balancing Work and Exercise

Finding Motivation Between Balancing Work and Exercise

Ahh…the question I get all the time AND the question I’m constantly asking. Unfortunately folks, there is no correct answer to how exactly I or others consistently succeed in balancing work with exercise. For me, this is an area I’ve found to be the largest challenge so far since I’ve graduated college and become a “NARP” (Non-Athletic Real Person). For those of you who are still feeling the struggles of becoming a full on NARP, I feel ya!! It’s quite a challenge going from having a structured practice time in place, with dedications and commitments to the sport, to having a full days of work and no one jumping down your throat to get a workout in. Either way, for those who are ex-college athletes or for those who are just athletic, yet have trouble finding the time to fit in workouts post-college, then I’m here to offer my own advice and assistance!

I wish I could say I had this work-life balance down pact, but unfortunately I’m no master at this. Each day is a struggle and each day, I find myself fighting the urge to sleep in or attend a happy hour after work instead of getting the workout in. There are a FEW tricks I try day-by-day to overcome these “speed bumps” that I’m willing to share with you for a SMALL fee.

Just kidding, all my advice is free! My only ask of you is to not judge me on these as some may sound slightly insane. But, hey, I’m okay with that. You got to do what you got to do, right?!
Below are a few mechanisms I use to get me back on track in a time when food, drinks, and One Tree Hill (my latest Netflix binge obsession) is calling my name!
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– Personalize iPhone alarm label. When you set your alarm on the iPhone, there is an area you can edit and input a small personal message. Usually my messages to myself vary depending on events that may be coming up or just inspiration to myself! A few examples of messages I’ve used have been:
-Current Message: “Get in shape for EDC.”
-Previous Messages: “__ Days until Spring Break!”
-“Get that beach bootay!” (like I said, no shame in these messages)
-“It’s a new day”
-“WAKE UP. WORKOUT. NOW” (sometimes, you just got to be blunt)
-And sometimes, you just need to break out the bitch mode: “RUN, bitch. NOW.” (excuse the profanity, please)

– Lay out your workout clothes the night before…or better yet, WEAR those workout clothes to bed. This way, you have no excuse to not wake up and get that workout in for the morning.
– Don’t shower before you go to bed. This way, when you wake up, you may as well workout before getting a shower in for work. Unless of course you don’t shower…that’s fine too.
– For my running friends out there who may just be into running for fun, training for a 5k, half marathon, or a marathon…put a plan together. Recently, I created an excel worksheet using the McMillan Running Calculator and laid out my running/workout plan for all the weeks leading up to my next half marathon race on July 27th.
– Once you’ve created this workout plan, the important part is holding yourself accountable. In the past, I’ve used sources like running2win.com. Currently, I’ve added another column in my excel sheet where I fill out the actual amount of mileage I do on that given day. I also have printed out my overview week-by-week plan and hung it up at my desk, which I’ve found to help as well!
– If you can, plan on biking to and from work! Now I realize this is not always possible and it actually works out in my situation, but any extra movement you can get throughout the day pays off!
– If you can’t bike, take a local commuter rail to work. Why? If you are in walking distance to the train, this again, adds extra exercise to your daily routine!
– Use the stairs throughout the day!
– Get up and walk A LOT at work (I drink A LOT of water throughout the day so I’m constantly getting up)
– Create a standing work station at your desk or sit on a stability ball like I’ve been doing!
– Find a workout buddy! I have running “appointments” with a few co-workers automatically saved in my calendar.
– Attend a workout class with a friend!
– Come prepared with a healthy lunch and snacks for the day. Trust me, if you eat better, you’ll more likely be ready and motivated to workout.
– GET ENOUGH SLEEP!! You need energy to work out and to be healthy!
– Sometimes, you just need a little coffee in the AM to get you going and motivated 
– Allocate a “day off” once a week, that way you can look forward to some resting each week, which in turn will keep you on track for the rest of the week days.
– If you missed your morning workout, bring your workout clothes to work that way it taunts you until you get your workout in!
– With that, try using your lunch break to get a workout in…throw in some dry shampoo and you’re good as new!
-Find out if your company offers workout classes either for free or at a discount. You’d be surprised what may be offered that you didn’t even know about!


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Now, I know I just listed quite a number of ways I practice a balance with work, fitness, and all the other good stuff, but that’s what works for me! Most of the time, I try and get my workout in early before work so I can go on with my day and not stress about when I’m going to run. But, sometimes it works out that I just want to sleep in! So, on those days, I try to make sure I get my run in during my lunch break, or I hit the roads right after work when the sun’s still shining. And, of course, some days, I just ditch the run. I hate these days, but my thoughts on this is that it’s really my body and mind telling me I need a rest day. So, I quickly give-in and know that tomorrow is a new day!

Santa Cruz 1/2 Marathon Recap

Santa Cruz 1/2 Marathon Recap

So I have to admit I’m entirely guilty of procrastination from writing my blog. It’s frustrating because this is something I love to do, however, I find that after a long, crazy work day/exploring the streets around me/enjoying this warm weather…my blog quickly has dropped to a lower priority. However, that’s not something I want/nor am I proud of that! Now, I may not blog as frequently, but I have tried to keep up with my instragram (@eatrunandallinbetween) which is more up-to-date then say, my blog for example. Either way, I’m really going to make it a habit to change this and attempt to blog more regularly. As I said before, I know it’s not possible to get a blog out EVERYDAY but I do want to commit to a post at least 2-3 times a week. My ask of you is to PLEASE HOLD ME ACCOUNTABLE OF THIS ☺

Anyway, I’ve been meaning to update you on my half marathon I ran a few weekends ago! This was my very first half marathon that I’ve done on the West Coast…I can promise you it will be the first of MANY! Anyway, as I had spoken about previously, this was a kind of a spontaneous race that I decided to sign up for. To be honest, my training was sub-par and I hadn’t run anything over 7 or 8 miles since my last half marathon in the fall. But if there’s one thing I’ve learned from my high school and college years…eventually the run all comes down to a mental game between your mind and your body. Yes, the training part is essential, but knowing and believing you CAN do it is what makes or breaks you in races like this.

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Now typically before big races, I make sure to take all precautions, i.e. staying off my feet the day before, easy training, early nights sleep, healthy/hearty meals. However, given HOW many times I’ve continued to meet these pre-race expectations, I decided to spend my entire Saturday walking around San Francisco. When I say my entire day, I literally mean from noon until 8 PM, walking…all day…in new sneaker flats that left me with brutal blisters. Of course, I have no one to blame but myself! Anyway, regardless of the aggressive walking I did on Saturday, I managed to do everything else right, including an early nights rest! 5 AM Sunday morning quickly approached.

I prepared my bowl of race day oatmeal, geared up, brewed some COFFEE (I can’t go anywhere without coffee these days…), and packed all racing essentials. The drive was about 50 minutes long, down extremely hilly, winding roads that led me to the coast of Santa Cruz. The morning started out fairly gloomy and around 50 degrees…perfect racing weather if I do say so myself! Anyway, this didn’t affect me as I was completely taken aback by the beautiful coastlines, the active boardwalk, the hundreds of runners, and of course, ALL of the seals squealing away as they slouched along the rocks of the shoreline.

I did an easy warm-up run, peed several times (sorry if this is TMI but any runner can surely relate), peeled away my multiple layers of clothing, and approached the starting line. I didn’t exactly have much time to stretch or do a decent warm-up run, but hey, mind over matter right? My plan for the race? Go into it with the mindset that I was the best and I would be in the top of women’s pack. I didn’t care that I hadn’t trained properly. I knew nothing about the other competitors. I didn’t care that my warm-up wasn’t perfect. All of those factors disappeared as I got into my competitive race mode.

5,4,3, 2, 1 and we’re off! Of course, I somehow pushed my way up to the front with the more legit competitors and start off running the first mile in under 7 minutes. You’d think I would learn my lesson by now! Oh well…anyway, the first few miles were gorgeous and all along the coastline with a few rolling hills throughout the course. I remained pretty consistently in the top half of the group and continued cruising along, trying to ignore the pain that was beginning to creep up on me. Anyway, fast forward to the half-way point, where we then turned around and headed back along the course. I kept telling myself, just look at this as an easy 6-7 mile run (except without the “easy” part factored in). There was a point as we got to about the last few miles where the 1:36 pacer passed me and I knew at that point I just had to hold on to that group if I wanted to maintain my goal of staying under 1:36. So, I did exactly that and held on for the last 2 miles. As we cruised into the finish, just half a mile or so to go, I began turning on my speed and powered through any other pain I could feel yelling at me. As I ran onto the beach, ready to cross the finish line, I could see the clock just about hitting the 1:36 mark.
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I finished the race exactly with a time of 1:35:58, placing 3rd in my 20-29 age group. I was absolutely, pleasantly surprised with how my race went. As I had mentioned previously, I’m 100% honest when I tell you my training was not consistent whatsoever with mileage, NOR had I done a single workout (i.e. a tempo, intervals, etc.). This race just comes to show that I had it in me mentally, yes physically, I was in shape, but in my mind, I was not in 1:35 shape. Regardless, I went into the race with a positive, competitive mindset and as soon as I began feeling comfortable with hitting a 7:19 mile pace, I knew I could just keep going if I put my mind to it and ignored the negative voices in my head. So, next time you think you’re not prepared or “ready” to race a certain goal time…you are SUPERMAN and can do it (or at least get pretty damn close) if you focus on mentally preparing yourself for the challenge and ignore the negatives.

Yes, I’m a Tourist.

Yes, I’m a Tourist.

So it’s now officially been a week here in California and I think I’ve expanded my bucket list to at least 3 more pages….

I don’t hate it at all though…I have a lot to conquer! This morning I actually finally ventured off to a new running location (not that I’m getting sick of my current location by any means)! But, I’ve been hearing a lot of talk about this place called “the dish”. My first thought was food. SHOCKER that my mind instantly goes to food….

However, I quickly found out that it’s home to a large radio telescope (used to detect ALIENS!!!!….just kidding…I wish) on the top of a beautiful, mountainous terrain. This place attracts people from all walks of earth, from hikers to runners, families to Stanford students. Though it’s not your typical dirt road, over-grown trail, it was a windy, hilly paved path that extended 3.5 miles from the start of the path, to the dish.

I was feeling slightly ambitious this morning after getting 2 cups of coffee into my blood stream and decided WHY NOT go for a solid hill run on this beautiful Sunday morning? My thought was AH perfect training run for my San Francisco Half Marathon in July…oh and not to mention that half marathon I signed up for next weekend….

Also, let me just add the fact that I ran 9 miles yesterday…THIS is big for me seeing as I’m pretty sure the last time I got my mileage that high was training for my half in the Fall. So, all in all, some part of me thought that this hill run would be a PERFECT recovery/training run. HA clearly I was wrong.

First of all, I stuck out like a sore thumb trying to navigate my way to the start of the trail. I spotted some empty spots on the street and sniped one of them instantly. Yes, I thought…getting lucky with a PRIME parking spot! Little did I know….I had parked just over a mile away from the actual start of the trail. Of course, I found this out after walking awkwardly around; asking random people walking by, where the heck this so called “dish” was located. I can only imagine how much of a tourist I looked like.

Anyway, eventually I was pointed in the right direction and made my way down this little path which brought me to the start of the trail, of course after already adding a mile to my run. Of course, silly me, being ambitious and all, started booking my way up the initial start of the trail, which was entirely up a steep hill. YAH look at me go! That must have been comedic for all the walkers I passed, when not even half way through the run, I too, came to a halt.

My run continued as such…walk, run, walk, run, and so on. Either way, though I was not pleased with the fact that I couldn’t complete this entire hill run without stopping, I quickly accepted the fact I was SLIGHTLY over ambitious this morning. Anyway, the view was worth it and totally paid off. It’s just funny because I honestly never pictured parts of California to look the way this scenery depicted. It was like I was living in a combination of the rolling hills of Ireland combined with those LA instagram pictures every celeb posts, of course with the RIGHT filter!! Anyway, once again, the touristy part of me came out as a started snapping pics while joggin along. Anyway, sadly, I did not make it to the very end and decided to cut my run at 5 miles. It was a solid workout nonetheless, I accomplished my main goal, which was to see what the “the dish” was all about it, and of course, I captured some pics…because what’s a hike without actually instagramming about it?! Right?!
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I will conquer the DISH soon enough! Anyway, following my oh so adventurous run, I made my way to breakfast, soaked up the rays, and continued on my way enjoying a whollllleee lotta ME time.

Speaking of running…check out my best friends story as she preps to take on the Boston Marathon for her second year! It’s a great cause and I encourage you all to check out her donation page! Boston Strong allllll the way (sending my love from Cali)!

http://www.crowdrise.com/MGH2014BostonMarathon/fundraiser/elizabethshea

How to Successfully Run in the Dark

How to Successfully Run in the Dark

It’s getting to be that time of year again when the mornings are still dark by 7AM and the sun sets before you’re even out of work. Ahhh why is daylight savings still a month away?? Well, because of this I’ve found myself caught in a number of dilemmas lately. I’m either A) waking up later because it’s pitch black at 6AM in the morning and I’m not a fan of running outside in the AM, in the dark, in the cold, in the fog/haze/etc. Or B) I find myself running after work, just as the sun is setting, or sometimes even in the dark. I know I just said that I don’t feel “comfortable” running in the dark in the morning, but for some reason running in the dark at night is totally okay by me. Don’t ask me why…something about the morning is just sketchy and too quiet. As you can imagine, I’ve been opting for option B lately. I actually have enjoyed running after work, just as the sun is beginning to set. Especially this time of year, the air is brisk, the ground is buried in crisp leaves, houses smell like fireplaces and other warming fall scents, you can bundle up in all of your favorite fall running clothes, there’s just so much to enjoy…you may even catch a glimpse of a pretty sunset!

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So lately, I’ve doing my runs at the track two times a week to get my workouts in, which actually works out well for a number of reasons. The little league football team is always practicing there after 5:30 so the big lights go on over the field as soon as it starts to get dark. Additionally, the coach is yelling his brains out at these small children to work harder and not to give up, sooo I just pretend he’s yelling at me as I “sprint” around the track…it certainly helps for the motivation and encouragement! Also this helps especially because I don’t have to worry about cars, traffic, sidewalks, etc.! Unfortunately, when I do run at home, in the dark, it’s not as “safe” as running on the track. I live in a heavily populated area; right off the highway so there’s typically a lot of people driving through my town. Also, there’s a good amount of highway and not enough sidewalks!
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The other night I thought it was a good idea to go for a run and MAYBE just maybe, try out the trail. I figured eh, I have my flashlight on my iphone (fail) and plus what could go wrong, I know those trails like the back of my hand (ultimate fail). Within a minute of running on the trail, I’m almost CERTAIN I saw a fluffy tail and what looked to be the shadow of a coyote in the distance. Now, I swear I’m not crazy. There are 100% coyotes in my area, as the majority of it does revolve around the woods. My dad has spotted a coyote and/or heard one a number of times in the past month! Anyway, I wasn’t in any mood to try and fight off a coyote, so I slowly backed away and continued my run on the non-existent sidewalk. I’m not really sure what option would have been safer…
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Running against the ongoing traffic, with no sidewalk or trying to successfully pass the coyote? This is a tough one seeing as I did almost get hit by a car going double the speed limit on a back road. Granted I probably went about this all in the wrong way. So here’s what I’ve learned…!

What not to do when running in the dark:

1.) Don’t run with an ipod, aka earbuds in your ears. Probably a bad idea seeing as you should be paying attention to the sounds around you if you can’t physically see anything in the dark. Whoops, my bad…already made that mistake!
2.) Wear bright clothing, particularly anything that has a reflector built in! Exhibit A, don’t wear what I wore…black spandex, and a dark blue long sleeve. It is a fact that you will not be seen in this dark attire.
3.) Run against the traffic if there is no side walk. Yep, I found myself guilty of this as well. Hey! It’s hard to cross the street when the traffic is never ending and I was in too much of a groove to stop! But, for future reference, it helps to go against so they can see you and you can see them (and hopefully jump into the bushes worst case scenario).
4.) Be knowledgeable about where you’re running. Oh look, one thing I did right!! It’s definitely important to know/be familiar with the area you’re running in. Luckily for me, I know these roads well and know where the ditches are to avoid! One spill could lead to a realllll bad accident and probably leave you in the hospital.
5.) May I suggest a dorky headgear flashlight? Okay, I’m being hypocritical hear because I can honestly tell you I’ll never wear this…BUT if you don’t feel comfortable enough running in the dark then make this a part of your attire!
6.) My last suggestion is to enjoy the run!! I LOVE running in the dark for the reasons I mentioned above and especially because I feel like I run 10x’s faster! Does it have that effect on anyone else?? I literally feel like I’m just cruissinnn on my runs and the biggest advantage?? You don’t even see the hills coming so you totally don’t feel the pain of them like you normally would! It doesn’t get any better than that.
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What to Wear when the Temperature drops…

What to Wear when the Temperature drops…

It’s that time of year again…cold weather running clothes! What to wear, what to wear…ohhh the decisions to be made! We’ve been in the clear this month so far EXCEPT for the few recent mornings where the temperature has been about 35 degrees!! Yet, by the afternoon, you’re stripping down to shorts and a t-shirt, soo what do you do in this case??

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First of all, I will be honest. I really do enjoy the fall running weather, however when it drops below 50 degrees, that’s where my desire to run outside diminishes. For the most part, the Fall weather stays above 45 degrees in the afternoon time, however, I find myself stuck in a dilemma now. I’ve gotten surprisingly SO used to running in the morning. This is great and all, however the only downside is that the sun is just rising and the frost is still in the air.

So, what do you wear at this point? Well, whether this is a good or bad thing, I’ve gotten into a full habit of running in the mornings and therefor, I’ll need to dress the part as well. This also means, time to revaaaamppp my winter running wardrobe!!
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Okay, probably not, I need to get out of this “I work now, I have money to spend” mindset. But, I really am lacking in this warm running clothes category. Although, I do have a few pieces buried somewhere that I could scavenge up…

So what would my typical running attire resemble?

I tend to wear very “whacky” outfits when it comes to running, as I talked about in my first running wardrobe post that I’ve written about in the past! My attire really can change depending on the day.

Option 1)
Weather: Sunny, 55+ degrees, ALMOST warm enough to wear shorts
What to wear: Shorts, LONG, KNEE-HIGH socks, t-shirt
Why? The shorts and t-shirt give you that breathing room for when your body temperature quickly adjusts to the slightly cooler temp and begins to sweat up a storm. However, the long, knee-high socks, give you that warmth for the first few minutes you step out the door and begin your run. It’s ALMOST as if you’re wearing pants, but the second you start to overheat, all you need to do is roll them down!

Option 2)
Weather: Sunny, 40-50 degrees
What to wear: Capri Spandex, t-shirt, MAYBE a light long sleeve over (can tie around your waist if you get hot…and YES I know that’s the “mom look” and YES I rock it all the time. NO SHAME GAME.)
Why? Although it may be sunny and the air is just beginning to warm up, it’s still 40 degrees, which means its 8 degrees away from it technically being cold enough to snow! This means, regardless, you have to keep your body loose and warm! SO as much as you hate layering, it’s worth it in the long run (no pun intended… -_-)

Option 3)
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 40 degrees, brisk air
What to wear: Not going to lie, this is the nippy fall weather I actually really enjoy running in! So throw on some capri spandex, wear a long sleeve, and if you’re the type who tends to always be colder than everyone else, try adding some long running socks to your attire!
Why? The high socks are a great go-to…that way, if you do warm up, just pull the socks down and show off your toned calves! Again, for the long sleeve, I’d personally stick to something slightly heavy, but also something that’s not skin tight so that you could potentially roll the sleeves up if you warm up!

Option 4)
Weather: Sunny, 30-40 degrees
What to wear: long spandex, long sleeve shirt, short socks
Why? This is the type of weather that FOOLS you. You look out your window and see the sun shining bright and you think, maybe, JUST maybe it’s one of those weird days in the fall where global warming effects the climate and it’s warm enough to throw on some shorts! HA, Mother Nature got you! It’s COLD and you will freeze your bum off if you step outside in shorts! As an FYI, I’d suggest a long sleeve that’s neither too light, nor to heavy.

Option 5)
Weather: Partly Cloudy, 30 degrees and under, brisk breeze
What to wear: long spandex (on the thicker side), long sleeve shirt (2 depending on the material thickness), medium length socks (to cover the ankle gap between spandex and shoes)
Why? Say hellooo to winter and goodbye fall, the temp just dropped and you need to prepare yourself! I wouldn’t settle for anything less than keeping your body totally warmed up and covered! Stick to semi thick long spandex. Depending on the long sleeve top, you may want to throw on 2 long sleeves (on the lighter side) or 1 thick long sleeve. I like to wear medium height socks to pull up over the area where my ankle is exposed to the air due to the length of my spandex. Personally, I’m not the type to wear gloves or a head piece unless it’s REALLY cold, but if you need, that would be a good option for this weather!

Option 6)
Weather: FREEZING (i.e. 20 degrees and under, brisk winter breeze, no sun!)
What to wear: Long spandex (thick material), 2 long sleeve shirts (thicker = the better), knee high socks (thicker), running gloves/mittens, winter hat or running head band (to cover ears), optional: windbreaker jacket, winter neck cover-up)
Why? It’s COLD and your body will thank you AFTER the run if you bundle up properly!! Definitely wear a thick pair of spandex! If you don’t’ have a thick pair then layer them! I’ve even worn normal, day leggings over a pair of thin long spandex. For the top, layer up! Layer up with some relatively thick long sleeves. For example, it could be a long sleeve Under Armour top, tucked into your pants, then layer that with a long sleeve, quarter zip (to leave some room for comfort), you could EVEN layer that with a free-moving running sweatshirt or a nice windbreaker. As for the accessories, running gloves are good, BUT mittens are better because all of your fingers can be warmed up in one centralized place, where sometimes with the gloves, your fingers being individually covered can tend to lose circulation!
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Finally…here’s a list of some of my FAVORITE running apparel. FYI these are my preferences, but everyone has their own opinion, so go explore and see what fits and is most comfortable for you!

Pants:

Company: Lululemon
Style: Long Running Spandex, LOVE their colors, patters, and style! I know they’re pricey but honestly I just bought my FIRST pair and I love them. They’re great for running, just the right amount of thickness, they’re breathable, durable, and they neither ride up or fall down!

Company: Under Armour
Style: Nothing wrong with the classic Under Armour running spandex. These are and have always been my go to! They have a variety of thicknesses to choose from which is great when your changing from the fall to winter seasons. They have pretty basic colors, BUT they’re so durable (have had mine for years) and they’re flexible, yet form fitting!

Company:
Nike
Style: Long Running Spandex, Nike Pro, I personally just LOVE their fun colors and patterns! They’re also pretty thick and cozy on the inside! ONLY complaint is that sometimes they tend to fall down because they don’t have a tight band at the top.

Company: Brooks
Style: Long Running Spandex, w/ flexible breathing vents, and back pocket zipper. Only issue is that I’ve had a pair rip soon after purchasing them…

Tops:

Company: Under Armour
Style: Again, these are a classic and have ALWAYS been a go to for me. Whether it’s the thick turtle neck that I can never get over my large head in the winter time OR the lighter version to wear as a first layer under a cotton long-sleeve t-shirt. Additionally, they have GREAT long-sleeve, quarter zips that are super comfy, light weight, and breathable (we had these for our track team in college and we loved running in them)!

Company:
Nike
Style: Nike has some great long sleeve t-shirts and quarter zips that are made in a really nice running, light weight material. Again, we used some of their apparel for our track team.

Company:
Lululemon
Style: They have great moveable, breathable long sleeves, of any thickness and color/patter! Again, they tend to be a little over-priced, but it’s worth investing in just ONE go to as a basic running top.
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Others: Obviously I just mentioned big name brands above. Now hear me out when I say that probably 1/8 of my fall/winter running wardrobe is made up of these brands. I typically like to have a few nice running spandex that I can rely on so I have at least one of each brand. So that leaves me with 4 durable spandex to wear on my runs every day and switch between them. As for the tops, I usually stick with 3 or 4 really nice quarter zips, varying in material thickness. For the extra layering, I have SO many long sleeve cotton t-shirts and to be honest, I really don’t mind running in these as well! I’ve collected so many throughout my track high school and college careers from meets that it would be silly not to wear them!

So with that, if you are looking for additional running clothes and are on a budget, here are some places to check out!
-TJ MAX
-Target
-Marshalls
-GAP
-Forever 21
-Dicks Sporting Goods
-Sports Authority
-Amazon
-Aeropostal (I know, I know…but they have a good, cheap selection!)

Feeling a little unmotivated lately? Read what drives my runs in the AM!

Feeling a little unmotivated lately? Read what drives my runs in the AM!

So, over the past few years, especially with running, I’ve come to find that my drive and passion evolves from many different forms of motivation. Often times, what motivates me are completely different than what motivates my teammates, friends, family, etc. It’s funny too because certain things that used to motivate me in high school, no longer motivate me in the same way now! I suppose as you grow older, (I’d like to think wiser and more knowledgeable as well☺), your sources of motivation change. In high school, my motivations were mostly driven through competition within my team, my coach, college goals, status, and unfortunately through social media and the desire to be thin, rather than healthy and strong. These motivations I feel were almost more selfish and vain, rather than positive and aspirational. Yes competition IS a good thing within the sport of track and cross-country, however it shouldn’t be against your teammates in the same sense. It was always fighting for that ONE spot on the top seven spot or striving for the 4×800 relay, often times letting it come down to a practice time trial where one girl’s in and the other’s out just like that. Regardless of what the motivation was, I’m certainly glad college opened up a new light for me.
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Now don’t get me wrong, I certainly wasn’t perfect going into my freshman year of college. My motivation was still relatively similar to high school. However, as soon as I was introduced to parties, college food, and late night study sessions, my performance in XC and track quickly diminished. I somehow created other priorities and lost my motivation to compete. Eventually, as I’ve mentioned in the past, I quit XC the following year. However, this only lasted for that one season and with just a few months, I was begging my new coach to be on the track team. Thankfully, I was granted back a spot on the team and my drive and determination were completely altered. As much as I didn’t enjoy that one season off, I don’t regret the decision I made to not compete in XC that fall. Honestly, realizing how real my love and passion for running was, made me appreciate the sport that much more during the few months of no competition.

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Just like that, my motivation completely changed from competition within the team and through social media, to really focusing on my own self-development. I focused on taking care of myself first, knowing that the running part would follow suit. This meant eating healthy, committing to the proper workouts (aka not going over mileage or overtraining), strength training, using the ice baths, wearing compression sleeves, getting proper rest, cutting back on the partying, and so on. This self-motivation was also driven by looking back at POSITIVE and monumental points in my running career. Since I didn’t have much to be proud of from my freshman year, I often looked back at old pictures and track results from high school that I could certainly be proud of. Looking back at prior accomplishments and successes and seeing the impact I made on my teammates, was the biggest motivator for me at that point in my college running career. I knew that I wanted to be back to that point of feeling joyful and accomplished after a workout or race, I just needed to hold myself 100% accountable for that and drive that inner motivation.
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Now, fast forward a year and a half to the beginning of my senior year. I had just spent the summer getting back into shape and training after being abroad in Spain from January to May of my junior year. I had a good few months of summer base training under my belt, but I still felt that I needed another kick. Hence where my blog comes into play. While I was abroad, my healthy eating habits fell apart a bit and my training was not consistent. I felt that this blog would be A) a great way to help other college students avoid the pitfalls I fell into and hopefully inspire people to make healthy choices and B) I wanted to use it as my own form of incentive in order to hold myself accountable to the public eye. I was able to express my own personal experiences, cross country/track successes, fitness related posts, and finally, discover a new passion of mine, healthy cooking. This blog was a constant reminder to me on why I committed such a huge chunk of my day-to-day activities to being healthy and training hard.

Personally, I think this blog is what got me through my final few seasons of college XC and track. For one, I finished my XC season without any injury (this was a HUGE accomplishment for me seeing as I’m typically injured at least once every season). Secondly, I actually finished XC on a high note, making the top seven and competing at Regionals for my first time EVER. And finally, I was able to run consistently throughout my winter track season. Although I didn’t see my best times during track, the fact that I was able to compete all three seasons without taking any time off due to an injury or a negative mental drive was BIG for me! For those reasons, I really do contribute my blog to my motivation and successes.
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Though the previous are more “deeper” drivers of motivation, other simple forms that anyone can use can be seen through many different platforms. Personally, other influences of mine include:

Instagram (Just a few months after I created my blog, I decided to start up an instagram account to reflect my blog. This was another great way to hold myself accountable to working out and eating right, while posting to the rest of the “fitfam”! Not to mention, there’s also some AMAZING fitness inspiring accounts out there to follow as well!)

Tumblr (Okay, so none of you know yet, BUT here ya go! (link to my page) I’ve started a tumblr as part of another form of motivation! Sometimes, just a simple picture or a quote can motivate you enough to get you up early in the morning to start out with a workout! Try starting one for yourself! It’s also a great place to collect all the quotes and pictures that motivate YOU the most. Like I said before, everyone’s different and your tumblr reflects YOU! The best part? It’s completely anonymous if you’d like for it to be that way!)

A rockin’ playlist (Sounds so simple, yet for me, the second I put ‘Warrior’ on, I’m dying to get out and bang out a hard run. Mostly because that song used to by our high school XC “theme” song and ever since, has always reminded me of racing.)

New Workout Clothes (umm…self-explanatory! Refer to a post from last fall to read more ☺)

A Motivating Movie or Book (My friend Margaret and I always had TWO go-to movies when we needed a good pick-me-up! “Stick it” and “Never Back Down” have always worked as great motivators for us when we’re feeling a little down in the dumps before a big race! A few other favorites include “Million Dollar Baby”, “Prefontaine”, “St. Ralph”, and “Rocky”.
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If you haven’t caught on yet…GO FIND something that motivates you! There are so many inspirations out there! Who knows, your motivator could be a significant other, a family member, a new dog, a new job, it literally could be anything! Once you do find that motivator, take it, love it, and RUN with it (no pun intended☺)! Of course, as I’ve shown over the years, your motivator can change constantly, so if you’re beginning to feel a lack of drive, find a new motivator, test it out, and if it works for you, just go with it! Finally, if reading this motivates you, then YAHOOO I’ve done my job!

Be sure to check out my instagram account as well @Eatrunandallinbetween or my Tumblr for extra motivation 🙂

The Skinny on the Falmouth Road Race

The Skinny on the Falmouth Road Race

Sooo let’s see how do I wrap up all of my feelings on the Falmouth Road Race (7.1 miles) from this past weekend? First off, I honestly don’t know how I managed to PR in this race. Granted, I hadn’t run the race with an official number since 2007 and I was able to run 50:42 then. BUT, here’s the catch, I was a high-school junior training for cross-country at the time. I was at my prime; I was in great shape, committing my time to tempo runs and interval training, strengthening sessions, eating well, etc. However, that all backfired when I completely died mid-way through the season. Clearly I was training too hard and putting my body through hell, something it was certainly not used to yet as far as “serious” running goes. From there on, I’ve had up’s and down’s throughout my entire (8 year) running career. I’m sure many of you can relate at one point or another. Running is easily the one sport out there where I’m at a constant love/hate battle with it. I’ve had times where I was in all my glory and then there have been moments where I thought I’d never want to run again.

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Take for example that time I quit my college cross-country team. Yet for some OBSEEN reason, I continued to train every day and was only able to stay away from the sport for just one season. It took me just a few months after quitting to realize I just couldn’t resist the joy AND the tears that this sport ignited in me. Give me a few days off of running and I will literally be fighting tooth and nail to get back at it and truly realize how deep my love really is for it. Now don’t get me wrong, I obviously LOVE the physical part of running, but there’s SO much more to it. There’s the teammates, coaches, friends, significant others, family – all that support for you throughout every moment, good or bad, over the time of your running career. That to me has been the most obvious factor in motivating and inspiring me every day to get my act in gear and train. Lastly, it’s the thrill and excitement of finishing a race that you’re actually happy with that brings joy. Truth be told, runners are the toughest critics out there on themselves. Runners tend to establish high expectations and goals for themselves. This can be good and bad. Personally for myself, I’m an EXTREMELY mental person. If I’m having a bad day and go into a race with a negative mindset, that will almost 100% of the time reflect in my race. However, the Brightside of runners setting these high expectations is that you certainly don’t take a fast race for granted. That one moment every now and then becomes the ultimate feeling of achievement and only pushes you to get to that point of satisfaction once again shortly down the line.

{haha that blur is ME in the pink shorts, left side of the line! -- Photo Courtesy of Rachel Tuleja}
{haha that blur is ME in the pink shorts, left side of the line! — Photo Courtesy of Rachel Tuleja}

So, where am I going with this and how does this relate to the road race? Well, my point is, I finished my LAST college spring track season this past May and decided why not just sign up for the Falmouth Road Race. Who knew if I’d even make the raffle!? To my surprise, I was able to get a number out of the 13,000 participants who ran it this year. However, knowing I’d be racing in front of friends and family come August, I knew I had to continue my training without much of a break. So, I pushed through it this summer. And not going to lie, I honestly had no idea what kind of shape I was in. I hadn’t done a single “workout” per say. Sure, I did fast runs, but to my knowledge I could have been running 8 min pace or 7 min pace, I really never can tell! I also may have snuck in a few fartlek runs here and there, but I was really just winging it. I didn’t set any expectations for myself, I had no goal or idea of what I wanted to race in the road race seeing as I couldn’t even base where my training was.

So, come race day around 9:40 AM, I hopped into the second corral, new hot pink running shorts on, hair in my typical high pony tail, awkwardly pushing my way through to the front, waiting for the gun to go off. Before I knew it, I was passing the first mile mark at 6:58, then the 2nd at 13:55, then the 3rd at about 21 minutes, and then the fourth at about 28 mins flat. I was shocked, never in any track race had I ever hit laps as consistently as I hit my first four miles of the road race. How was I possibly doing this?? I hadn’t even taken training that seriously! Of course, the one time I don’t really “care” I run spot on. Hmm…at this point I was beginning to feel incredibly dehydrated, but I knew if I started overthinking it, my negative mindset would have taken over.

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So, I continued to trek on. The water hoses, the water cups, the music, the beach, the live bands, the crowds all really became a blur during the last 3 miles as I just tried to focus on staying as consistent as possible. By the beginning of mile 6, I was realllyyy beginning to feel the impact of the heat and dehydration. Quickly, goose bumps and chills whipped across my body. With a few 5-second stops along the way, I knew I had to just brave the last mile and kick. Plus, I couldn’t possibly stop with the hundreds of supporters that came to cheer on the road race! Finally, I’m making my way up the last hill almost completely defeated, when I looked down at the end of the stretch by the finish and realized the clock was rolling through at 49:40. NOOO! How was I this close to being under 50?!? I didn’t even think it was possible! The kick I threw in for that last 100 meters was something that caught me completely off guard. I ended up coming into this race with 0 expectations or goals, and ended up PRing by 30 seconds rounding my time out at 50:12. (FYI, I’m blaming the slow crowded start on those extra 12 seconds -_-).

At first a feeling of frustration hit me finding out that I was THAT close to breaking 50 minutes. But then I realized that I had to be proud of myself. That feeling I talked about before came back to me and I stood there appreciatively knowing that I had successfully ran 7.1 miles at a 7:04 mile pace. I could FINALLY learn to be happy with my race. I pushed away those negative thoughts and finally took it for what it was. I can finally race without the added pressure I’ve put on myself throughout so many years of competitive track/cross-country competitions. Those days were over (or so I hope).

My hope is that after a few months of cross training and partaking in other forms of exercise, I will rejoin the world of running once again and compete. But this time, I’ll attempt to go into with a new mindset, I won’t let the added pressures or negative thoughts get to me. Only I have control over what I do and what I make of a situation. If I go into a new race like I did this past Sunday, it’s going to be to ENJOY my run and truly appreciate why I’ve committed so much of my time over the years to train like I do. It’s truly for moments like Sunday, after that race where I can feel accomplished and find pleasure in the sport of running. This will be a new chapter of my running career and I couldn’t be more excited for it.


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