Monday, July 6, 2015

St. George Marathon Training {Week 5 Recap}

I forgot to post about last week's training (oops!) so I'm getting back on the bandwagon. I write these posts mostly for myself because it helps tremendously to look back at what you did to see what worked and what didn't work. It's super helpful in creating a plan for the next race.

Week in Workouts (June 29-July 5)

Monday: Rest 
Tuesday: 6 miles
Wednesday: 5 miles ... at like 9pm - woof
Thursday: 7 miles (5 @ 7:10-7:24 pace) felt freaking fantastic
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 16 miles (1st 8 miles @ 8:29, 2nd 8 miles @ 8:12 pace)
Sunday: 5 miles 

Total: 39 miles

Once again, I completely failed at fitting in yoga and spin. I need to start adding it to my Mondays and Fridays but this past week I overbooked myself with social stuff ( and by Sunday I wanted to do nothing and see no one. #SecretlyAnIntrovert   

I saw this on the Instagram and thought "yessss" - totally me.

But sometimes my post-long-run eats aren't all that exciting. 

Green smoothie + eggs = the perfect protein and carb combo.

I ran my 16 miles on Coronado Island which was insanely festive and patriotic. Everyone was already lined up for the parade when I got there and the energy was off the charts for such an early hour. 

I ran the first 8 miles of my long run with a co-worker and it made the miles fly by. The second half was solo and much faster because the wind was finally working in my favor. I felt strong the entire run and wasn't even fatigued by mile 16. Hungry? Yes. But fatigued? Not so much.

Brittany and I spent the Fourth with her family, some BBQ, hot tub action, apple pie and ping pong madness. It was the perfect 4th of July - which happens to be my favorite holiday.

Sunday was all about rest and eventually watching the USWNT win the WORLD CUP which pumped me up enough to make it out for a 5 mile run... eventually.

How'd you celebrate the 4th of July? Did anyone race?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

When your vision board comes to life

Several weeks ago I sat around with a group of some the coolest women I know making vision boards. Mine is marked with signs of change and words like “fresh start.” It displays images symbolizing financial security and growth. It’s covered in messages of stability and balance. I stuck my busy, and slightly ambitious, vision board on top of my dresser where I can’t help but look at it as soon as I wake up and before I go to sleep at night.

vision boards + wine
Fast forward to this past Friday. The day started with incredible news from the Supreme Court: Marriage equality in all 50 states! I was overjoyed and had chills all day as I scrolled through my Facebook newsfeed and saw nothing but positive reactions.  To make things even more exhilarating, I then received an offer for a job I’ve been vying for. It’s an incredible opportunity and it’s been quite a process getting here.  It must be the vision board! ;)

Located in Encinitas, the job is wonderful but one of the perks for me was the location itself. Encinitas is a coastal beach city in north county San Diego and I’ve wanted to live there ever since I went for my first coastal run down the 101 over five years ago. Finally, I can be a part of this beautiful, health-conscious, active community by the beach that I’ve only had the pleasure of running through.

To make this whole situation even better, and even slightly miraculous, I went for a 14 mile run up in Encinitas early Saturday morning with plans to check out an apartment afterwards. Within half a mile of my run I ran into Sheri, my adorable running friend, and she tagged along with me for a few miles. Her energy is contagious and she’s one of my favorite people on this planet. This run-in made my day and reinforced that this place already feels like home and that I’ll have plenty of people in my circle up there.

Anyone who has looked for an apartment in San Diego and has tried to find a normal, like-minded, down-to-earth roommate knows how challenging it can be.  I was prepared to be on a long search for the right place with the right person in the right location, but as fate would have it, I found my new home immediately. Literally less than 24 hours after receiving the job offer. My new roommate is amazing and we hit it off immediately. She’s fun, fit, super sweet, beautiful and warm. Her apartment (soon to be “our” apartment) is 1.7 miles from Moonlight Beach and 1.6 miles from my new job. 

Coincidence? I think not. My commute will be a whopping 4 minutes and my daily runs will be on the beach or along the coast.

Needless to say, time’s they are a changin’ (for the better) and I am moving on up (to Encinitas). Heck yes! I hope this post encourages you to map out your desires, goals and aspirations and start believing in them. Figure out what you want. Visualize it. Believe it. Go after it. And I promise you, the universe will conspire to make it happen.

And in other news, my sister got a pig.


Have you ever made a vision board?
Let's get deep: What are some of your aspirations? 

Friday, June 26, 2015

The Things I Do Before (Almost) Every Run

This post is sponsored by LARABAR. 

I am definitely a creature of habit when it comes to running, eating and, well, just living. I love having a routine and it helps me to feel sane. For instance, every Sunday morning I need to relax with a book or magazine and drink at least 2 cups of coffee in my jammies before I do anything productive. That’s just part of my weekend routine. I also have a little pre-running routine that gets me all ready to nail my runs. I just can't get out the door without doing a few things first.

Here is what my pre-running routine looks like:
    Drink coffee (AM) or water (PM). Morning runs definitely require caffeine and evening runs, water. I am terrible about getting enough H20 throughout the day so I quickly try to make up for it the hour before my run.

    Pick a podcast or a playlist. I like to have my listening entertainment ready to go on my phone to save time. Favorite podcasts: Rich Roll, Fresh Air (NPR), and Tim Ferriss

    EAT! Whether it’s first thing in the morning or after a day of work, I need energy prior to every run. Favorite snacks: LARABARs are perfect because they are made with real food and don’t upset my stomach. 

    Look for some RUNspiration. I usually find myself scrolling through Instagram checking out inspiring photos of my favorite runners before I head out for a run. It gets me pumped up and excited about running. Favorite Instagram accounts for inspiration: @robinnyc, @speedymama, and @angigreene

    Complete a dynamic warm-up. I may skip stretches afterwards but I always try to warm up before a run. Favorite warm-up:  Here

    All of those little pieces make me feel nice and ready to smash a workout whether it’s a long run, speed work or just an easy weekday run. These little habits of mine get me energized, warmed up and keep me entertained.

    When I was asked to participate in a campaign for my favorite fruit and nut bar, I was stoked. I love LARABAR’s commitment to using non-GMO ingredients and providing food in its most natural state. LARABAR has been a part of my pre-running routine for awhile now and I am super brand loyal at this point.

    I so appreciate the convenience of having real food in a handy little package that I can stick in the pocket of my shorts or my gym bag. We all know processed foods are not good for us and this is one of the few foods I feel good about eating that comes from a package – because it’s REAL. It’s natural. And it tastes delicious!

    I was even able to eat some of the flavors while on a sugar detox which says a lot about the ingredients and the nature of the product. My favorite flavor is Cashew Cookie and the ingredients list is two items long: cashews and dates. The end! That’s it. Just food. The fruit is perfect for a little energy boost and the nuts add a little protein. Voila!

    I also have the pleasure of running with the SoCal LARABAR running team which has been a total blast! The people behind the brand are just as authentic as the product itself and I dig it. Big time.

    I’d love to hear some of your little pre-running rituals or habits. 

    What helps you to have a killer run? 

    At LARABAR®, we believe that the foundation of a sound mind, body and spirit is derived from what you eat - and what you eat is most delicious and satisfying when it's in a whole, natural state.

    Thursday, June 25, 2015

    Adventures in the Midwest

    I survived the Midwest which usually consists of predictably unpredictable weather, lots of unhealthy food and a ton of family time. It was actually the perfect visit home with Brittany by my side.

    Our flight was inevitably delayed so I decided to indulge in a glass of wine at 2pm. When in Rome the airport...

    We eventually landed in Chicago and my mom and little sister picked us up and hauled us all the way to northern Illinois (practically Wisconsin) for my sister's wedding the next day.

    We had a decent sleep and I went for a run first thing in the morning with Brittany in tow on a bike. The weather was surprisingly perfect that day (and only that day) so I took advantage of not having to run indoors on the treadmill. 

    After some relaxing time, I finally threw myself together and it was wedding time!

    my mom and niece, Gianna

    The wedding was a total blast and it was great to hang out with the entire family in one place. The next day was all about rest and relaxation and let's be honest, recovery.

    I am happy to report I ran every single day I was home (except Monday, my rest day) and I tried real, real hard to avoid some of my old Midwestern favorites like pizza puffs, milkshakes from Oberweis Dairy and hot dogs. I think I did ok.

    I also got some strength training in that looked a little something like this...

    Had some really deep and meaningful conversations that looked like this...

    And stole a few french fries from small, unsuspecting children. 

    It was really great to be back home with the little people and all of my amazing family. I am so lucky to have a family I can actually stand being around (except when we get into religious or political discussions). It's amazing how your perspective shifts when you inch closer to 30. I am more grateful for that crazy family of mine than ever before.

    And before I forget...

    Last Week in Workouts:
    I purposely planned a cutback week while I was back in Illinois because I knew the weather would be intense and I'd want as much time with my family as possible. It worked out perfectly.  Now back at it!

    Monday: Rest
    Tuesday: 5 miles
    Wednesday: 6 miles
    Thursday: Rest (travel day)
    Friday: 5 miles
    Saturday: 3 miles
    Sunday: 6 miles

    The weather back home was either horribly hot and humid or raining with thunder and lightning so most of my runs were on the treadmill. 

    My big question of the day:
    Who knows what a pizza puff is?
    I grew up on them but realized they're a total Midwest thing. 

    Also, after living out in California for many years, I realize that a lot of people out here consider Illinois to be part of the east coast. I make it a point to say "the Midwest" every time I mention where I'm from. :) 

    Tuesday, June 16, 2015

    St. George Marathon Training {Week 2}

    Another week of marathon training is in the books and I'm already enjoying a cut-back week. Why so soon? Because I'm headed back to Illinois for 5 days and it will be nothing but wedding festivities for my sister and tons of family time. This means minimal running time plus the weather is kind of dreadful in June so I'll pass on any double digit mileage. Lucky for me, everyone in my family has a treadmill at their house, so no matter where I am, there's an air conditioned run awaiting me. Fun fact: I'm the only one in my family who actually runs and the only one without a treadmill. ;)

    Here's what this past week looked like in running...

    Monday: Rest
    Tuesday: 6 miles @ 8:00ish
    Wednesday: 4.5 miles easy
    Thursday: 6 miles 6x800 @6:40
    Friday: Rest
    Saturday: 13.5 miles @ 8:35
    Sunday: 3 miles easy

    Total: 33 miles

    I am off to a great start but I am already slacking on strength training, yoga and cross training. This always happens but usually not right out the gate. My goal is to hit one yoga class a week and throw in two strength training sessions each week. We'll see how that goes.

    june gloom means business in san diego

    My weekend was lovely. I started Orange is the New Black Season 3 along with the rest of the world, had some great meals, saw Heather McDonald's stand-up act (she's the comic who was always on Chelsea Lately) and I had a totally lazy day on Sunday. I am fully embracing the June Gloom that hits every year in San Diego. It was nice to be a bit lazy for one day before I head back home for a bunch of family shenanigans which tend to be anything but relaxing.

    favorite eats from the weekend

    I can't wait to see my family and all my adorable nieces and nephews in the burbs before I spend a couple days in Chicago. Brittany made me promise her we would see a Cubs game the next time we were back home so I am staying true to my word (despite how much I hate sports). She just has to buy me a cute t-shirt and a beer and we call it even.

    just two of the kiddos I get to hang out with in a few days...

    How was your weekend? 
    Is it hot and humid where you are?
    I'm kind of dreading the heat and humidity back in Illinois!

    Wednesday, June 10, 2015

    How to Ditch Fear and Get After It | Tips from a Mindful Entrepreneur

    Since moving to San Diego and starting this blog, I have connected with so many incredible people who are truly changing and shaping the world we live in. These game changers are totally fascinating and inspiring and I’m proud to know a few – like Keith Donohue, a guy who exudes warmth and good energy at all times.

    Keith, a self-proclaimed “Type A hippie” is the founder of kevala, a sustainable athletic apparel organization that gives back to 50 non-profits. This aspect of his business model immediately piqued my interest along with the affirmations printed across the soft, eco-friendly kevala shirts. Affirmations like “breathe”, “love”, “get after it” and “let go” are purposefully printed backwards so you can read them when you look in the mirror. Occasionally, my yoga instructors will wear them while teaching or I'll wear my own to class -- it's a pretty powerful reminder while practicing.

    After a serious car accident, a sudden end to his pro soccer career and countless failed relationships, Keith realized it was time to “flip everything” in his life. He left Corporate America began to explore the non-profit world. He fearlessly said aloud, “I’m going to volunteer in every state, D.C., Canada, and Mexico – all of North America” and he did it through what he came to call the 50Give Tour. Keith volunteered at 54 nonprofits over 4 months, spanning 23,000 miles, and settling into a new location every 70 hours!  This journey led him down a path of self-exploration and discovery where he decided to live in the present and choose joy. How cool is that!? 

    I did a little Q&A with Keith and was blown away by his responses. This dude needs to write a book, like pronto.  The biggest challenge was attempting to whittle down all of his words of wisdom to fit into one blog post. Since many of my readers are bloggers and entrepreneurs themselves, I thought this would be interesting for all of you coming from a successful, mindful entrepreneur.

    I asked Keith what his best advice is for those who want to pursue a dream but are held back by fear. Take note.

    Keith’s thoughts on “getting after it”

    // False Start //

    What holds people back from achieving their goals is usually that they never start, or they quit. Whether it’s diet, business, relationships — people think they have time to start later in life.

    // Leggo My Ego //

    Try defending your ego less, and instead WATCH your thoughts. Your ego is protecting some image created by society – let it die by observation.

    Let go, move forward. Repeat.

    // Starving Lion //

    If you are PASSIONATE about something, then DO it. If you create excuses and begin to complain – STOP immediately…you don’t want it bad enough and, not to be negative, but you’re just not hungry enough. Be okay with that, and find something you are passionate about.

    A lion knows it has to eat to survive -  make your dream about survival. Execute your dream, get out of the way, or help others make their dreams reality.

    // You’re a B*tch! //

    When you stop taking everything so personal, then you live from your true nature of joy…no more masks means authentic living and work.

    // Perfect Unicorn //

    She, he, it - doesn’t exist. I’m a recovering perfectionist - this is my kryptonite…I want everything at kevala to be the best, and I am learning to focus on the QUALITY of a product or service…make quality perfect, and have compassion for yourself when you fail.

    // Dream Inking //

    A dream doesn’t mean being the best at something, or acheiving grandiose goals. It’s anything inside you asking for attention (and won’t shut up). Things like: become yoga certified, get married, go back to school, raise a dog, adopt a child, read a book monthly, learn guitar, attend two social events a week, meditate daily, take a vacation, quit a job, end a relationship, kiss daily, start smoking (stop judging), ask for a raise, ask them out, no cellphone after 9 pm, move cities, become a vegetarian, see a therapist, laugh more often, volunteer – whatever!

    WRITE your goals out with timetables and POST them in a visible spot to be read daily. Why? Numerous studies state that writing and reading your goals significantly increases chances for success. Write in the present tense and take action.

    Example – February 2016: kevala receives $250K in funding.

    // Love Suicide //

    Live as if you’re already dead. Yes, it’s graphic, but imagine if you didn't care about the outcome of actions and words – if you didn’t hold back love.

    Inject love more often in everything do. People will remember how you made them feel. Love yourself first, and become your biggest fan – you are with yourself 24/7!

    // Lost My Keys //

    There are 805 million starving people in the world. This isn’t a guilt trip – it’s a wake-up call to serve “others.” If you are feeling lost, have no purpose, or need a starting point to do EPIC SH*T – then volunteer.

    Open yourself to the possibility that you could have been born into another body – a child in Africa. A mother in Nepal. A fly with the lifespan of a single day.

    // Zen Mountain //

    This thought will ruin you: “I will be happy if only ____ happens.” If you get the perfect partner, a better job, a nicer car… but then what? The mind will continue wanting, it will keep climbing for some unreachable peak. Instead make the present moment and happiness your only priority.

    What if something bad happens? The question is simple: Do you, or don’t you, want to be happy?  Decide you’ll stay happy. Decide you’ll never close your heart.

    // WORK. //

    Weekends don’t exist as an entrepreneur, you work every day. If you take a vacation – you are usually unplugging electronically to reboot spiritually.

    You celebrate obstacles as ways to improve, you don’t resist reality; and procrastination leaves the building or your dream will become extinct.

    BLEED your mission to the point where you become delusional. Praise others; hate is meaningless. Become so focused and committed that work becomes a lifestyle of serving others.

    Most importantly, if you don’t feel LONELY then realize you’re not on the right track…yes, you heard me correctly. You will feel PAIN because you are sacrificing everything to better yourself and the planet. If you quit, the pain will stay. Do the work.

    // Where to get your hands on some kevala //

    kevala is sold across the globe in fitness boutiques, and can be found online at their website:

    You can also follow kevala for updates on new products, events, and giveaways...

    ** HUGE thanks to Keith for imparting some droplets of wisdom on all of us. 

    What is your favorite mantra? 

    Monday, June 8, 2015

    Marathon Training, Kevala Party + Other Scenes from the Weekend

    Week one is done! I started training way earlier for the St. George Marathon than I normally do because I'm just super excited about the race. I jumped right in with 18 weeks of training ahead.  That might not be the smartest idea for an injury-prone gal like myself but it will also give me a lot of flexibility to take cut-back weeks whenever I need without getting off track.

    Here's what Week #1 looked like:

    Monday: Rest
    Tuesday: 5 miles (@ 8:05)
    Wednesday: 6 miles (with 4 miles @ 7:24) + Strength Training
    Thursday: 5 miles (easy)
    Friday: Rest
    Saturday: 12 miles (@ 8:35)
    Sunday: Barre class + 3 miles (easy)

    Total Miles: 31 (plus lots of walking miles over the weekend)

    (I'm running St. George to raise money for Girls on the Run. If you'd like to help out, click here. I so appreciate every dollar!)

    I had the most lovely vacation-like weekend and I felt like a tourist in my own city. Brittany and I stayed at her dad's condo down in the Gaslamp District of San Diego. It's full of out-of-towners which can be slightly annoying at times but it was fun for the weekend. We walked everywhere, ate at some new (to us) restaurants, had some delicious gelato and enjoyed morning coffee on the balcony while people watching and reading.

    I finished The Girl On The Train and whoa! Crazy! I won't spoil it for you but that book was a total page turner. I couldn't put it down.

    Saturday night, Teresa and I went to the Kevala KV Lux Party at one of my favorite places in the world: Trilogy Sanctuary in La Jolla. I wrote a whole post about Trilogy herewhere I describe it as the most magical place in San Diego (because it is!)  It's a yoga studio and cafe with rooftop views of the ocean. The food is phenomenal (100% organic and vegan) and the people are lovely. The party was hosted by Kevala; a sustainable athletic wear company that gives back to 50 non-profits. I love what they're doing and it was such a fun event. Stay tuned for a post on the founder of Kevala and some words of wisdom from him. He's awesome! 

    Kombucha was flowing, live music was playing, people were throwing fire, there were some acro yoga performances and lots of good vibes. That's how yogis party and I can get down with that!

    photos by Namaste Media: 

    I enjoyed some ginger kombucha on tap and the most insanely delicious vegan tacos. To die for! The place was full of so many awesome people from the San Diego yoga and fitness scene. I must say, San Diego has some real pretty people!

    So that's my weekend in a nutshell. 

    What did you do this weekend?