Friday, May 1, 2015

When Running Works Miracles (and it's My Birthday Weekend!)

Happy May!  I am off to Palm Springs for the weekend to celebrate my birthday. I plan to read, relax, run, do some yoga, drink margaritas, and come home with a killer tan. The end. Perfect birthday weekend: check.  My actual birthday is on Cinco de Mayo which is fitting for someone who loves margaritas and fish tacos as much as I do. I think I came out of the womb like “Tequila!"

Our colorful hotel for the weekend
I wanted to tell you the latest in running news because I’ve been having some of the BEST runs ever! Some runs have been incredibly therapeutic and others have been joyful. Every single one has reignited that spark that's been missing for a few months. Running is once again a core part of my daily life and the familiarity is comforting and grounding.

I had a mini mental breakdown over the weekend because life is super stressful right now. I sometimes wonder how I would handle stress, sadness, grief, without running.  Because lately, it is just the therapy I need. After some tears and the maximum time allowed for feeling sorry for myself (about 15 minutes) I knew I needed to change my attitude and my outlook so I laced up my pretty new running shoes (thanks, New Balance!) and hit the road. 

I had no plans for distance or time. My only plan was to run until I felt better.

10 miles later, I felt like a new person.

It was my first double digit run in months and it was raining. P.S. It almost never rains in San Diego. There was something beautiful and sort of miraculous about it. The rain was a strange, cleansing gift and I ran with it -- literally.

While I ran, I did some positive thinking, visualizing and asked the universe for exactly what I need.  Then get this, on Monday, some really cool shit happened. Like crazy cool. Weird. Amazing even. We’ll talk about it all later – but once again I am reminded of the power of positive thinking and prayer and asking for exactly what you need.

We should go out for coffee sometime because man do I have some crazy stories of manifestation. Like whoa. Call it “the secret,” or positive thinking, prayer, or whatever the hell you want – either way, it works. Believe it and receive it.

Before I convince you I am a totally weird, new-age hippy, let’s stop talking about me. 

What epiphanies have you had while running? 
What crazy stuff have you manifested into your life? 

** Don’t forget I’ll be hosting a $50 Road Runner Sports giveaway on my birthday so come back Tuesday!

Monday, April 27, 2015

Mother's Day Gift Ideas for Mamas Who Run

Mother's Day is right around the corner and I thought I'd honor all of the mamas who run out there with a gift guide just for them!  Husbands, sisters, friends, and daughters of runners: this list is for YOU! I'm not a mom but I sure as heck know what runners like. And my birthday is just around the corner... in case you were wondering what to get me. ;)

I put together items ranging in price from $15 to $250 so there's something for everybody on here. All of them can be found at your local Road Runner Sports store or online. They're all listed and linked for your convenience. 

1 | Brooks Bring It Racerback
Super cute tank with bright colors that are perfect for Spring.

2 | R-Gear Come To Grips Bottle
I personally LOVE handheld water bottles and absolutely hate fuel belts. This is perfect for the mom who goes on long runs (or hikes).

3 | Moving Comfort Momentum Short
So stinkin' cute and super flattering on the booty.

4 | Trigger Point Foam Roller
This sucker makes it into just about every single one of my gift guides because it is truly a must-have.

A cute little wrap for your yoga mat. Affordable, cute and totally functional. Also a great reminder to your runner to get her stretch on.

This jacket is form fitting and looks almost identical to my favorite lulu jacket but for a fraction of the price.

The mac daddy of all GPS watches for the serious runner in your life. You gotta really love her because this one is pricey...

8| Nike Runner's Republic Tank
I need this! It's cute for any runner but if your runner lives in California, she'll appreciate it even more.

9 | Women's Nike Epic Run Capri
Your mother runner will dig these super fun capris and will likely want to live in them.

What would you add as #10 to this list? 
Are you a Mother Runner?

P.S. I have an awesome $50 Road Runner Sports giveaway coming up next week in honor of my birthday! 
Stay tuned...

** This post is one in a series of posts sponsored by Road Runner Sports. As always, all ideas are my own. Links to products are not affiliate links, they're simply for your convenience. :)

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Comparison Thief

First things first, I loved your comments on Friday's "20 Random Facts" post. You are all very interesting people if I do say so myself. One reader met her husband aboard the Love Boat - literally. And someone else is in a cover band. You guys are rad. 
Good luck to everyone running Boston today!! Enjoy every magical moment! 


It's Sunday afternoon and I'm just sipping on some coffee and people watching in one of my favorite coffee shops down by the harbor.  Yet again, the weekend is wrapping up and it felt like a couple days of vacation. I feel relaxed, content and totally at peace. I have truly mastered the art of relaxation and pleasure. But sometimes I catch myself wondering if maybe it's a bad thing that I live my life in vacation mode most of the time.

I drink coffee leisurely for hours on the weekend, sleep in, lay on the beach, exercise as little or as much as I want and enjoy a few glasses of wine without doing much else in terms of productivity. I have a whole lot of me time come Friday, Saturday and Sunday. That just sounds selfish when I say it. Because that's what we're taught right? 

As I'm getting closer to turning 30 I suddenly feel all this pressure to be at a certain place in my life and I am questioning everything. That stupid little comparison devil sits on my shoulder speaking in "shoulds" and "shouldn'ts" and it's super annoying.

Maybe you should be more focused on your career. You should probably be more productive on the weekends. You should have accomplished more by now. Shouldn't you be married, or at least engaged? Shouldn't you be popping out a baby really soon? Shouldn't you be ready to buy a house like any minute now? Shouldn't you be more financially secure?

Excuse my language but fuck all the shoulds and shouldn'ts. Where do these ideas even come from? I recently started reading "The Untethered Soul" which explains that those nagging little voices aren't our true selves. They aren't even us. But that's a whole other layer of depth that we aren't going to dive into in this blog post. This is a running blog after all. I'll keep it light.

But back to comparison - why do we compare ourselves to other people when we're all so different? And isn't it a wonderful thing that we are all different? The saying that "comparison is the thief of joy" could not be more true.

So, here's what I'm thinking: We need to stop thinking of where we "should" be versus where we are.

My advice: Just be unapologetically you. Be unapolegitcally authentic.

We are all doing the best we can with what we've got. Life is way too short to live by someone else's standards and expectations. Find your own definition of happiness. As one of my favorite yogis says, aim true. Happiness is most certainly not one size fits all.

Don't let the comparison thief rob you of your joy.

I may not own a house and I haven't created a human and I am definitely not a successful executive pulling in six figures. Okay, let's be honest, I don't even have a penny put away for retirement (scary, I know). But I am living as authentically as I know how to and damn it, I'm happy! Truly, genuinely, wholeheartedly happy. The kind of happy where almost every single day I look around and think "this is my life! I am so lucky!" 

I find so much joy and pleasure in a great cup of coffee, watching waves crash, running during sunset, writing, traveling to new cities and countries, and even just laying in bed with a good book.

These things do it for me.

They fulfill me.

Maybe one day I'll own a house and have a baby or two, but regardless of if and when those things happen, I've found happiness and I will not let comparison rob me of that.

Here's a Monday Mantra for you: Be authentic, create your own happiness and live a life YOU love. And remember, it doesn't have to look a damn thing like anyone else's.

How do you find yourself getting caught in the comparison trap? 
How do you get out of it?

Friday, April 17, 2015

20 Random Facts - Jumping on the Bandwagon

I've been tagged a couple times on Instagram to play along with the 20 Random Facts. Then I saw Christina's post today which reminded me to get on it! 

Here goes some useless information - Happy Friday, guys!

1 // I was born in Florida, grew up in the suburbs outside of Chicago and now I live in San Diego (obvi).

2 // I moved to San Diego without a job, a car or even a place to live. I'd never even visited San Diego but moved out on a whim with an ex. Everything worked out seamlessly and I'm still here 5 1/2 years later.

3 // My favorite foods are pizza, broccoli (random, I know), and watermelon. I can eat an entire watermelon and I've done it way too many times. Hello, tummy ache!

4 // I qualified for Boston during my first marathon ever and it was a complete shocker since my goal was to finish under 4 hours (I ran a 3:35). My PR is now 3:29 but I really want a 3:23 in Boston next year. :)

5 // I love games (CatchPhrase is my absolute fave) and I get ridiculously competitive. I think I scare people a little bit.

clearly i won this round

6 // I've been in 5 car accidents and they were basically all my fault. I've even broken a small bone in my back and was hospitalized from one wreck. It was kind of a miracle I was alive actually. 

7 // Because of #6, I decided to forgo driving for awhile when I lived in Chicago and relied on public transit for over a year.

8 // I work for a non-profit that helps seniors living in poverty.  I write grants, blog posts, newsletters and handle the social media. Lots of writing in my life!

9 // Here's a fun one: I met my current girlfriend Brittany at a pool party but we already knew of each other because we dated the same girl previously. 

10 // My little cousin is coming into town for the next four days and I get to show her all around San Diego! We grew up together and lived together in a tiny little Chicago apartment for awhile.

11 // Before the days of being a health conscious runner I was a pretty big party girl. Now, I prefer to be in bed before 11 on a Friday night.

12 // I was vegan for about a year and a half and eventually transitioned back to my omnivorous ways. I still believe a plant based diet is probably one of the healthiest ways to eat but I love eggs (all the time) and red meat (occasionally) so I just go with it.

cooking back in my vegan days in my first San Diego apartment!

13 // I have made a ton of friends through blogging and it's actually not weird at all.

14 // I've struggled with depression for as long as I can remember which people always find surprising. I am a genuinely happy person but it's just something I deal with. Running helps tremendously (but is definitely not a cure). 

15 // I've been a book worm since childhood and I could happily waste a weekend away reading.

16 // I eat dessert almost every single day. I factor it in so I am not over-consuming.

17 // I am actually so happy not to be in Boston this year. I am just not feeling the marathon distance lately.

my first Boston - 2013
18 // I truly believe in the power of positive thinking. It can change your life.

19 // On that note, I have a really hard time being around negative people.

20 // I've donated my eggs three times - to a couple in Georgia, New Zealand and Australia. So there are little Kates running around down under! 

Your turn! Tell me one random fact!

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Top 10 Fit Chicks to Follow on Instagram

Hi guys! Busy does not even begin to describe the state of my life at the moment. So rather than catch you up on the gazillion things going on, I thought I’d post something way more important and informative, like who to stalk on Instagram -- if you don't already.
As you probably know, I’m kind of obsessed with Instagram. It is by far my favorite social media platform and I find so much inspiration, humor and other good stuff on there every day. I devised a list of THE TOP 10 FIT CHICKS TO FOLLOW ON INSTAGRAM.  All of these women have something in common: they’re total babes, they’re bodies are insanely fit, they post good shit and they post it often. Some are semi-normal people like us (doing amazing things) and a few are freakishly beautiful models, but they're all fun to follow. Now get to stalking...

1 // Angie Greene @angiegreene
Fitness model, mother, athlete and fellow SoCal gal. 

2 // Beth Gerdes @imbethgerdes
Professional triathlete, blogger and new mom. She is ridiculously inspiring and she lives right here in San Diego.

3 // Rebekah Steen @goldfishkiss
Graphic designer/art director/actress/model/creative gal and total beach babe. She basically lives in a bikini.

4 // Karena & Katrina @karenakatrina
Otherwise known as the Tone it Up girls. They have built an inspiring community of women working to be stronger, fitter, healthier and happier. They seem like two chicks you'd want to be friends with.

5 // Rachel Brathen @yoga_girl
Rachel keeps it real and won't stand for negative BS. She posts insanely cool photos of her in amazing yoga poses and causes her followers to have serious wanderlust as she galavants around the globe.

6 // Algarve Zaggora @fitnessontoast
Swedish personal trainer and fitness blogger based in London’s West End. She shares inspiring workout pics and yummy food grams.

7 // Ellie Goulding @elliegoulding
A total rock star who loves running - what more do I need to say? She's adorbs in every way.

8 // Izabel Goulart @iza_goulart
Brazilian babe with a bangin' body and lot of fitness photos. 

9 // Kate Hudson @katehudson
Actress, mama and creator of the Fabletics fitness apparel line. She is a cutie pie who I like to believe is very real and down to earth. Like I could be her BFF.

10 // Gisele Bundchen @giseleofficial
I don't really know if it's possible to be more beautiful. Her body is like a miraculous freak of nature and never would I ever try to attain it but it's still fun to look at. 

Who's your favorite babe on Instagram?

Do you follow me? Um, you definitely should -> @socalrunnergal

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

#IGNITESanDiego | Puma Gear + Running Shoes

I have always been a huge fan of PUMA so needless to say, I was thrilled to try their active wear and the new IGNITE running shoe. Let's do this thing from head to toe.

Pure Fitted Tee // I don't typically work out in anything but tanks but I've now worn this for two workouts and I love it! The top is made with highly functional materials that actually draw sweat away from your skin and through some badass technology it offers temperature regulation. I don't understand all the scientific details of how it works, but it does! Just trust me – I don't lie.

I love how form-fitting and flattering it is for a t-shirt. That is hard to find and usually the reason I wear tanks.

Essential ¾ Tights // These bottoms have the same technology as the tee and I also find them super flattering. They have a pocket for your fuel, keys or whatever you carry which I find essential. I won't even buy bottoms at this point if they don't have a pocket. Way to go, PUMA. They've definitely thought of us runners with this line.

Onto the best part of all – the shoes!

IGNITE Running Shoe // This is PUMA's most responsive running shoe ever. The IGNITE has high rebound cushioning which makes the shoe extremely comfortable. They're also super flexible which I find to be important in a running shoe. The IGNITE also has a really sleek, sharp look and totally different than your typical running shoe. The first time I wore them I was walking into my Pilates class and the instructor immediately commented on my sweet shoes. Two thumbs up for looking cool in front of my teacher. ;)

Join the IGNITE movement by using the hashtag #IGNITE + your city to represent.


Are you a PUMA fan?
What's your favorite running shoe?

This post is sponsored by FitFluential on behalf of PUMA.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Catching Up + That Time I Met My Favorite Blogger

Wow, I haven’t blogged in about a week and a half and that is just bananas! Work has been utterly insane with non-stop writing so the thought of composing a blog post after a full day of writing for my “real” job just seems ludicrous. I thought I would at least pop in and let you know I’m still alive and well and hopefully life will return to normal very soon.

so much yes.
I had a very exciting blogger moment this past Sunday when I met a fellow blogger who I’ve been following since the birth of this here blog. I have always adored her (from afar) and finally had the chance to sit down and have a cup of coffee with the one and only Beth from Shut Up & Run. She is like the original gangster of running blogs. I even got to meet her husband and I kind of adore him too (he’s the sweetest). We only had about an hour but it was so great and now I need to go visit Colorado.

Bloggers Unite! SoCal Runner Gal, Shut Up & Run, and Eat Drink and Be Skinny!

So what’s up with my running? I’m sort of easing back into things and it’s been feeling pretty great actually! I am still being a little fitness whore and making my way around to basically every boutique studio in San Diego (thanks to my ClassPass and Fitn memberships). But when I don’t feel like taking a class I just go for a leisurely run of 4-6 miles and it feels pretty damn good.

I’ve also been taking yoga (YogaSix), barre (Studio Barre Mission Hills), Pilates (Core40 and Club Pilates), and of course spin (Rush and SparkCycle).

took a barre class this weekend with Brit and Whit (7 months preggo)

My weekend was fun and filled with friends, family (for Easter), live music, workouts, great coffee and all that good stuff. What more can you ask for? Now it’s back to the grind at work. Hopefully I can come up for air soon.

Do you celebrate Easter or Passover?
What are your favorite fitness classes?