Personalized Workout Outfits from Fabletics

Happy Friday everyone!!

I have some awesome goodies to share with you all today, but I need to start off with a completely unrelated story.

So as I was finishing up work yesterday, I was feeling focused and productive and made myself a little To-Do list for when I got home. It’s nice having Thursday nights free now that I’m taking a break from dodgeball! The list included “write blog post”, “clean room”, “prep lunch”, “look into plane tickets for BLEND“, “re-arrange Pinterest boards”, etc etc.

Anyway, it was a beautiful Spring day (the recorded high was 84 degrees!) and I was wearing a new brightly colored dress and blazer, walking home, listening to music on my headphones and feeling like a pretty fortunate SOB.

Wanting to keep that good feeling going, I arrived home, promptly poured myself a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, then went to turn on my computer to bump some more feel good tunes…ONLY TO SEE A GIANT COCKROACH SCURRY ACROSS THE FLOOR UNDER THE COUCH.

In the two years we’ve been living in our apartment, Hanna and I have come across a handful (maybe 5?) of these guys, and it never gets easier having to deal with them!

Hanna arrived home about 10 minutes later to find me standing – petrified – on a chair in the living room and we tag teamed the crap out of killing the guy. Special shout out to RAID and a large heavy pot.

ANYWAY, it goes without saying I decided to pour myself an extra glass of wine and push aside the To-Do list till another night! However, I did manage to re-organize all of my Pinterest boards and start writing this blog post…. #priorities

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Now, on to the subject at hand: workout clothes!

Does anyone else pretty much live in workout clothes? My days pretty much go like this: 1) sleep in workout clothes. 2) wake up and run…in workout clothes. 3) go to work in business casual. 4) come home and IMMEDIATELY change back into workout/lounge clothes.

It’s a tough, yet extremely comfortable, life I lead! 😉

A few weeks ago, I shared with you all that I was eagerly awaiting the arrival of my first Fabletics outfit. When you sign up for a VIP membership, you get your first outfit for only $25.99! Holla!

Spoiler alert: I loved my first outfit! However, sista is on a budget, and can’t drop $50 on a new outfit every month.

Thus the beauty of the Fabletics VIP program: even though you get an e-mail each month with a list of outfits, you can opt out and not have to pay a dime! All it takes is one click. So I opted out for March and got another outfit in April. Let me show you what I’ve scored!

OUTFIT 1: Bridge

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IMG_4582Bridge came with the Norwalk TankMoro Shorts, and a Headband

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I love these shorts. They’re basically like leggings (which I live in during the colder months), but more appropriate for warm weather! The material is soft and breathable, and there’s a hidden pocket in the waistline. I was slightly worried about the quality when I noticed some unraveling strings, but they have definitely held up through quite a few washes and workouts.

The top is a lot like one I got from Target last year (kinda like this), except BETTER because it has an adjustable drawstring at the bottom. I never have to adjust this shirt while I’m running!

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I tested out the shirt the next day – I had to color coordinate! The bra part of the shirt provides support, but the rest of it is nice and airy. Perfect!

I actually wore the shorts and headband for my half marathon:

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Don’t worry, that face is not me reacting to a wedgie! They actually don’t ride up too much while running. They do, but it’s not at a level that feels uncomfortable. I only adjusted them a few times during the race, mostly for vanity reasons (shorts riding up on your inner thigh = sausage legs. not a good look!) and I knew the cameras were watching! 😉

Total price (separately) –: $69.85

Total VIP price (separately) — $55.85

Total VIP price (as an outfit) (first time buyer) — $29.99! (and FREE shipping)

OUTFIT 2: Lateral

I bought my next outfit exactly as pictured on the site. I splurged a little because I realized I didn’t have any waterproof clothing for running in the rain, so I decided on an outfit that came with a windbreaker. I figured if it was something I needed anyway, I might as well get it affordably priced through Fabletics!

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IMG_5387Lateral came with the Oula TankSuki Shorts, and the Yalu Jacket

I’m still on the fence about the tank – the material is extremely soft and thin, but it’s also pretty staticky and it’s stretchy and oversized. However, I haven’t worked out in it yet, and I think it will be perfect for running on hot days!

IMG_5392The shorts are very similar to the other ones, except they’re technically bike shorts and are a bit longer. I’m cool with this. Both legs have that semi inconspicuous pocket!

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The jacket is very lightweight and looks super cool… It has tons of pockets with zippers, plus a hood and thumbholes!! (2 of my favorite things!)

IMG_5399Plus, another cool adjustable waistband!

Total price (separately) –: $99.85

Total VIP price (separately) — $79.85

Total VIP price (as an outfit) — $69.95! (free shipping)

This was probably a little more than I would have liked to pay, but as you can see, the VIP membership gets you a pretty good discount. Plus, for what you get it’s a steal! A windbreaker plus a good quality tank top and shorts?

Overall, I am happy with the Fabletics service and will definitely be sticking with it! I think it’s really worth it if you are (like me) someone who has lots of workout clothes! Plus, you can get your first outfit for only $25.99 and see if you like it. What’s there to lose?

Click here to check out Fabletics!

 

(Note: I wasn’t compensated to write this post. I’m just a girl who likes workout clothes! All opinions are my own!)

 

Do you live in workout attire too?

Ever tried any online subscription services? What’s your favorite?

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Spring Weekend in Photos

Spring has frickin’ sprung, people!

In true Sacramento fashion, we went from 2 straight weeks of rain and chilly winter-like weather…to pretty much SUMMER overnight.

You won’t hear (m)any complaints from me, because I’m a sun-lover through and through. I had a nice mix of relaxation and exertion this weekend, and lots of it was spent outside. Perfection!

On Friday evening, I decided to grab a glass of wine (thus ending my 5-day alcohol “cleanse” lol) with colleagues at a wine bar right by our office. I can’t think of a more perfect way to cap off a tiring week: with a nice glass of Sangiovese and hilarious conversation!

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I headed home soon after to have dinner and wind down from the week. It was still breezy and a little chilly at this point, so I spent the evening in fuzzy slippers doing things aroudn the house.. My brother FaceTimed me later on in the evening and I played him a few ditties on my keyboard. “Hold on Andrew, don’t hang up yet! I have the sheet music to Let it Go too!!!”  — his annoyed face says it all 😛

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After a few weeks of frequenting the giant Sunday Farmers Market, I revisited my favorite (smaller, more close by) Midtown Farmers Market on Saturday morning. I bought some gorgeous rainbow chard, carrots, and beets, and then splurged on a mason jar of kombucha. The kombucha stand that originally got me hooked on the delicious rotten tea drink was selling re-purposed mason jars from Discarded Designs…I couldn’t resist.

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I hurried home and stashed the ‘buch in the fridge for later, because I had a long run planned! I very quickly regretted having waited until 11:30am to start my 8.5 mile run, because it was H-O-T. It only reached about 70 degrees on Saturday, but I was feeling it by the end. Check out the before and (sweaty) after! It was a beautiful day on the river as you can see, so I can’t really complain too much!

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I lounged around for the rest of the day. I painted my nails and needed something to “watch” AKA listen to in the background, so I threw on RENT. Classic! After a quick grocery trip, I caught a Lyft over to my friend Fresh’s house where we played games and celebrated Yvette’s birthday a few days early! We played King’s Cup, Mad Gab, and Taboo…such good times!

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To cancel out all the lounging I did on Saturday (minus the 8.5 mile run 😛 ) I had a seriously active day on Sunday. I corralled a few friends together to join up with other XOSO players and play Ultimate Frisbee for the cameras- we were on Good Day Sacramento! You can check out video #1 and video #2 online.

As soon as we finished, I saw a text from Chris saying he saw me on TV dropping the frisbee. D’OH! Of course of all the moments they could have captured…

Next up, we went to Pour House for brunch. No mimosas for me (shocker, I know) but I did taste Stone Brewing’s EnjoyBy 4/20 IPA. They come out with a new “Enjoy By” every few months and I’ve loved all the ones I’ve tasted!

Next on the schedule was another Ultimate Frisbee session with my team. CJ, Matt and I were pooped from playing earlier, so we were a pretty sad sight scrimmaging against Mikhail, Landai and Chris. Plus the temps had risen to almost 80 degrees by the afternoon!

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We cooled off afterward on the patio at Beach Hut Deli while I killed some time before my dodgeball game.

We won our game 7-2 (the usual!) and I was POOPED by the end of it. My Fitbit said I only logged 12,000 steps, which seems low… Regardless, it was an action-packed day! And the best part was…no sunburns! Woo hoo! #palepersonproblems

Have a fantastic week!

How’s the weather in your neck of the woods?

Team sports- love em or hate em? What’s your favorite?

If We Were Having Coffee…

Hello, my little long-lost blog… it’s been a while!

After being blown away by all of your support about my half marathon, then getting my act together and posting my first recipe in months…..I went radio silent.

I’m not one to post religiously regardless of whether I actually have anything interesting to say; I like to go for quality over quantity, you know?

Sometimes, a girl is just busy. Said busy-ness can take shape in the form of working late, or running around to different meetings every other night…And sometimes after a long day at work, being ‘too busy to blog’ just means I need to veg out while watching How I Met Your Mother and Parks & Rec for 4 hours.

Let’s catch up, shall we? Let’s go on a virtual coffee date.

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If We Were Having Coffee…

…I would tell you about the afterglow of my half marathon.

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Even weeks later, I’m still trying to hold on to the feeling of accomplishment and elation that I had after the race. This is the best solo picture I got from the race photographers- can you tell I was approaching mile 13 and desperate to finish? Ha! I was super impressed that there’s even video of me finishing – I come in on the right side of the screen around :20 then cross the finish line and pretty much bounce right back off screen.

…I would tell you how excited I am for spring & summer.

Although I got really lucky that I trained for my race from December-March in mild conditions with barely any rain, I am more than ready for some spring weather! During race weekend and the weekend after, we had beautiful 75 degree days, but it’s been rainy and cold ever since.

I’ve been pretty lucky with my seasonal allergies this year (knock on wood)…Sacramento is NOTORIOUS for being terrible in the allergy department. Hopefully my luck holds up, because I’m making the switch from indoor Dodgeball to outdoor Ultimate Frisbee next month and I can’t wait to run around outside!

…I would admit to you that I totally went over budget last month.

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Just like in February, I was really close to breaking even during March. However, my monthly budget is actually $300-$400 less than I make each month, so ideally I should be saving that much. I spent a little bit more this month than last…Regardless, I am still $1,000 less than the levels I was spending in November-January.

Hosting Tyler during race weekend definitely meant dining out more often than usual. Plus, I have been really busy at work, which means that some days I don’t have time to go home for lunch. ALSOOO, the rainy weather has made taking Lyft a much more desirable option than walking or biking in the rain lately. Good thing it’s affordable! (especially if you sign up using my code 😉 )

I’m hoping that cutting out one night of dodgeball from my weekly routine, as well as drinking less and avoiding more than one Chai Latte splurge per week will keep me on the straight and narrow budget-wise!

…I would ask you which race I should run next!
rainy 9 miler / sunny 8.5 miler!

rainy 9 miler / sunny 8.5 miler!

I have been keeping up with the same running routine as usual- I run 3-4 miles on Tues/Thurs, and I don’t know if I will ever give up my Saturday morning long runs! I ran 8.5 miles last weekend, and 9 rainy miles this past weekend.

I want to run another half marathon in the fall, and the top contenders at the moment are all in October: the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in SF, and two possible Rock n’ Roll Half Marathons – in San Jose and Los Angeles. HMMM!

The only downside of doing a race in October is the fact that I’ll be training in the Sacramento heat in August and September. Typically, we get a good dozen or so 100+ degree days during the summers here…training in that heat would definitely present a challenge!

…I would probably talk your ear off about boys.

I’m not gonna lie – I talk about boys a lot. (Just ask Carly and Becky!) But for the sake of my own privacy, and that of any guys I date, the most personal details you’ll get on this little bloggy blog are about my black toenails from running or how much I pay for rent each month. 😉

Anyway, I had a realization last week: I have been single for 9 MONTHS now. For the first year+ that I had this blog, I was in a serious relationship. My ex was a big factor in why I started blogging, and a lot of my early posts involved meals I made for us.

I’m proud to say that I’ve achieved a lot of personal growth in the last 9 months. However, like any single girl in her mid 20’s, I often have frustrations about guys and dating…

Why do they ALL send mixed signals? Why is every guy on Tinder revolting? That text was totally flirtatious, right?! I mean, he used a winky face and everything. Is there a real Ted Mosby out there, and if so, why haven’t I found him yet?

IMPORTANT QUESTIONS, people.

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So that’s a little of what’s been running through my mind lately.

If we were having coffee, what would be on your mind?

St Patrick’s Day Weekend in Photos

So when I typed in the title of this post I thought that it sounded a little familiar… Turns out I did this same post exactly one year ago with the same title.

One difference? In that post, in my description of my Saturday morning run, I boasted that “I was running at a really slow pace (9:57/mi), so I decided to go for extra distance and broke 3 miles! For the first time since before Thanksgiving! :-D”

I ran a FEWWWW more than 3 miles this weekend…

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13.1 to be exact…

And I averaged 8:59/mile!!

I am definitely planning on posting a complete recap of the race itself, but it wasn’t the only great thing that happened this weekend! I had a serious case of the Sunday blues last night, and if Mondays weren’t my busiest day of the workweek, I totally would have taken today off to ice my legs/cry myself back to sleep because the best weekend ever had to come to an end.

It all started on Friday evening – My brother spontaneously texted me and asked if I wanted to check out our family friend’s food truck with him. They were parking at Bike Dog, a local brewery I’ve been wanting to check out anyway!

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The food truck, Slightly Skewed, has some awesome skewers. I got bulgogi beef and brussels sprouts, and split an order of smashed fried potatoes with my brother (they’re smothered with sriracha and an tangy cilantro sauce). Our longtime neighbor Ben came too and got pork belly…omg.

I also tried a half pint each of their Pale Ale and IPA. I decided to buy a half growler of the IPA to share with Tyler once he arrived!

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Tyler arrived from SoCal around 9:30 and I took him out to meet up with my friends, enjoy some beers, and see a couple of my regular Sacramento spots. It was nice to catch up since I hadn’t seen him since 4th of July when we both visited our former housemate in San Francisco.

The next morning, Chris picked us up to head to Old Sacramento for a surprise birthday brunch! My friend Danny surprised his girlfriend (our friend) Courtney. She had no idea that 20 of her friends were waiting for her at Rio City Cafe in matching TEAM COURTNEY shirts!

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I got the brisket hash and it seriously hit the spot. I was on the fence about whether I’d indulge in bottomless mimosas the day before our race, but my love of the orange juice & champagne drink got the best of me and I caved. Slow and steady was the name of the game 😉

It was an absolutely gorgeous 75 degree day. We were seated outside with a view of the river, the Old Sacramento St Patty’s Day  Courtney’s Birthday Parade came through, and we all just laughed and enjoyed ourselves all afternoon!

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Tyler and I walked the mile and a half back to my apartment (umm, maybe an even worse choice than bottomless mimosas the day before our race) to hydrate and take it easy before meeting up with more friends who were on a St Patty’s day pub crawl.

We didn’t partake in many more drinks, and split off from the group to get burritos (last minute carb loading!) and rest up. We had an opportunity for a quick reunion with our college friend Lindsey who was stopping through town, so I took them to LowBrau and we all drank ice water and caught up 😛

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We were home by 10pm with a 6:45 wake up call, so after pinning our bibs, it was off to bed!

I woke up at 6am and was too excited to go back to sleep, so as soon as I heard Tyler’s alarm go off in the other room I sprang out of bed and yelled “IT’S RACE DAY!”…I’m sure he was pleased.

After some toast, peanut butter, and bananas, Chris picked us up and we headed to Raley Field. I don’t know how the guys were feeling, but if they were nervous they weren’t showing it! I was bouncing off the walls with excitement and nerves…and also because I was freezing.

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13.1 miles later…we made it!

I’ll save the nitty gritty details for another post, but suffice it to say the race went extremely well. We stayed together most of the race, then broke off at mile 13, but we all finished within 1 minute of each other. Chris led the pack at around 1:57:08 and I followed at 1:57:37, with Tyler at 1:58:10 (major props toooo ChronoTrack).

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That being said, miles 11-13 were hard. Like, insanely hard. I knew I would finish, but I was so exhausted (probably because we were averaging <9 min/mile!) and I was convinced I would never regain feeling in my legs. Two things got me through that last mile: 1) motivating words of encouragement from Chris, and 2) a high five from my mom with about a half mile left. Even though 95% of my training runs were solo, I seriously don’t know how I would have done this without the boys. We were in it together!

After our finish line beers, KIND bars, and bananas, we went home to shower and recover. Luckily, Chris’s apartment complex has an [unheated] pool, which we lounged by while sticking our feet in. It was like an ice bath, and it was probably the best recovery tool I used all day!!

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The next best recovery tool: an end of season dodgeball/St Patty’s day barbecue! A few guys on my team asked me (the team captain) to organize it, and it was the perfect way to cap off my half marathon day. We drank straw-ber-itas, ate lots of meat (PROTEIN!) and veggie kabobs, played ladder golf & cornhole, and Yvette even brought a pinata!

I seriously couldn’t have imagined a more perfect day, and more perfect weekend.

I hope you all had a great weekend! Congrats to everyone else who completed the Shamrock’n!

For half marathoners- what was the highlight of your first half marathon?

What is your favorite drinking holiday? St Patty’s actually ranks pretty high on my list!

Fitness Friday — FINAL Half Marathon Training Update!

It’s here you guys…my race is THIS WEEKEND.

holy shit

CUE MAJOR FREAK OUT

After 14+ weeks of training, buckets of energy supplements and protein powder, hours of knee brace wearing, and many many early mornings…my half marathon is here!

To see why I chose to sign up for a half marathon, click here… and also be sure to check out training updates #1 and #2 and #3!

On Wednesday during my lunch break, I went to pick up my race packet (I knew they’d be slammed later in the week so I went as early as possible), as well as Tyler’s and Chris’s…

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forgot to customize my bib…. #fail

As I picked up our shirts, bibs, shamrock tattoos, and all.the.safety.pins, it really started to hit me. I’m running a HALF MARATHON this weekend.

I’m not going to lie to you guys- I’m really really nervous. I have had crazy dreams every night this week, which I’m convinced are anxiety-fueled.

But as I’ve talked to more friends who have run half marathons, my nerves have been calmed little by little. I know that I’m ready for this. I’ve been training diligently since December, and I’m on track to hit my pace goal. Here’s where I was last time I checked in:

Half marathon progress 2014-02-11

And here is my completed training plan!

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It was so weird only running 2 miles yesterday, you guys. I really wanted to go 3, but I convinced myself to stop at 2 because I knew I would be walking to work and that I had dodgeball later in the evening. Tapering is important!

Thoughts on my Last Weeks:

aches & pains

I’m happy to report that my knee pain has been minimal these last couple of weeks. It gives me a bit of grief from time to time on my shorter runs — probably because I’m running faster and on pavement — but otherwise it’s all good in the hooood. There were a couple of times where I was a little sore on Friday/Saturday or Mon/Tues from dodgeball on Sunday or Thursday evenings, but that’s nothing a little stretching can’t help!

This week, I ran a super speedy 5K (26:57, a new PR!) on Tuesday, skipped my Wednesday weight work out in favor of 45 more minutes of sleep and 8 Minute Abs, and a quick 2 miles yesterday. I’m hoping the extra rest will be a good thing come Sunday morning!

I’m thinking about taking Tyler on a bike ride tomorrow so he can see the course (it’s on a bike trail), but I’ve been reading that vigorous activity is to be avoided the day before the race. Any insight??

lifestyle changes

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I have been consciously trying to put only good things into my body for the past 2 weeks, and I think I’ve done a good job. I ate lunch out again (see bottom left) at a new vegetarian restaurant in town, but chose a grilled cheese with garlic & swiss chard and a side of beans. Protein! Fiber! It could have been worse 😉

There may have been a couple of orders of fries in there (and more than a couple of spoonfuls of Nutella…), but hey, I’m not super woman! Nor do I claim to be. I feel much stronger and healthier knowing that I’m not restricting myself. Plus, lately I’ve been rationalizing any extra food I consume during the day as HALF MARATHON FUEL.

As much as it pains me to not celebrate St Patrick’s day this weekend (my Irish grandma would be ashamed), especially with Tyler coming to town to visit and run the race…Abstention (or at least moderation) is the name of the game today and tomorrow.

I did indulge in some drinks last night after dodgeball because it was the last night of the season and I’m taking next season off- but I am so glad I did, because I had a great time with my friends as always! And I was home in bed before midnight 🙂

Plus, how could you say no to hanging out at the bar with that adorable minion face?!

race day

We are in Wave #2 starting at 8am on Sunday. Not too early, which is nice! The high temp for the day is going to be 80 degrees (yippee!) but I’m anticipating it will be high 40’s-low 50’s when we run. Regardless, I’m probably going to run in shorts and a tank top because sista gets sweaty!

I think the race is going to be extremely fun, with 13 live bands playing all over the course. So much for that running playlist I made, right? The reason I signed up for a half was in large part due to how much fun I had doing the Run to Feed the Hungry on Thanksgiving- it was an extremely popular race with tons of onlookers, participants, people cheering, live music, mimosa stations… I’m expecting this race to be a lot like that 10K. There are 4 waves worth of runners, so it’s going to be a packed course!

Here are some things I’m going to try and remember for race day:

  • Don’t start too fast– this was a problem for me in my 1st 10K because I wanted to pass everyone up
  • Use the aid stations– I’ll also have some PROBAR energy chews, but dehydration is no joke
  • Focus on finishing, not the time– Though my goal is 2:00:00, I know that the real accomplishment is just finishing. I’m also going to have to try not to push myself too hard to race the boys I’m running with, haha.

Since I didn’t customize my bib, I’m also planning on writing things on my body…Possibly some kind of mantra on my hand, maybe my name on my arm/shoulder. We’ll see how I feel on race morning 🙂

Wish me luck!!!

For those in Sacramento wanting to watch the race, there’s a great page on the Shamrock’n website listing all the best places to spectate. Hope to see you there!

Any last minute advice?

Do you have any good (succinct) workout/running mantras that inspire you?

Weekend in Photos

Happy Monday! First of all, thank you all so much for your nice words on my last post. It was really encouraging to hear that other people have gone through the same struggle with seeing gains on the scale, especially while training for half marathons.

On to my weekend!

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It got off to a pretty amazing start, if I do say so myself: I stopped at Groce Out on the way home and got some wine cheese and crackers (my usual Friday night routine…I’m so predictable) and vegged out all night watching House of Cards Season 2 eps 5-8. So so so good!

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Saturday morning, I was up and out the door before 9am for my first long run in a couple of weeks (No long run last week since I was in NYC, but Joanna and I did fit in a 6 mile run one day which is better than nothing!)… It ended up being a beautiful 70 degree day! I ran 11 miles again and was SHOCKED that I ended up averaging 9:09/mi, which is my goal for my half marathon pace!

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Something happened and I totally just kicked it into gear for my last 4 miles or so. I think that might have been the point where I ditched my shirt! Haha EVERY week I’ve run more than 10 miles, I’ve taken my shirt off. Sista starts to sweat! And 8:28 for the last mile?! WTF?!

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Since I woke up so early, I actually had time to make it to the Farmer’s Market for the first time in weeks. I splurged and bought myself some daffodils and a chai latte because I was feeling so happy about my run. Treat yo self!

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After 4 more episodes of House of Cards (that’s 8 total for the weekend now, for those of you keeping track) I headed out to celebrate a friend’s birthday. Good times had by all as always!

photo 5The next morning I woke up and went to Davis to hang with Roger, and more importantly his pug Pierre, my favorite little gremlin 🙂 Look at those ugly teeth! It was another beautiful day and a perfect one for a nice long walk with the pups!

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After one last episode of House of Cards (the finale! AAHHHH) and a few other various tv shows, I headed over to dodgeball where I actually got a great workout in..and looked real cool wearing my new tube socks 🙂 We played a bit of water pong at the bar and then I came home to slow down, send my BFF a weekend update email, and mentally prepare for the week.

Another good one in the books!

Do you watch House of Cards? What do you think of Season 2? I liked it a lot more than Season 1!

How was your weather this weekend? We seriously lucked out!

Confession Time: Why the Scale Sucks

Today I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons and her Thinking out Loud link-up!

Rather than simply thinking out loud like the topic suggests, I am taking a page out of my dear friend Becky’s book and using the link-up as an opportunity to reveal a confession or two.

My confession: I am insecure about my weight.

When I started running in January 2011 (just 1.8 miles 2-3 times per week, mind you!), I was unknowingly embarking on a ~1 year long weight loss journey. That increase in cardio activity, paired with calorie counting/nutrient tracking, was definitely the key to my weight loss success.

I reached my ideal weight a little over a year ago. When I say ideal, I mean it was the weight I was at when I realized I had lost 2 pants sizes and was truly happy with how I looked (and more importantly, how I felt!). Starting at 136 pounds and a size 8, I plateaued at about 119 pounds and a size 4 sometime in 2012 and stayed there for most of 2013. I was coo with that, and I feel like it’s a pretty good size and weight for my body type. (P.S. Here’s my before and after pics just for funsies!)

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at the color run in august 2013 looking quite svelte!

Since so much of my weight loss success was tied in with my running, when I decided to run a half marathon a few months ago, I figured, if anything, I’d lose some more weight.

WRONG!

Over the past 3 months, I’ve gained about 8 pounds. For those of you keeping track at home, that would mean that I have gained back half of what I lost after college. At first, this felt like a huge setback. Some part of me (brainwashed by society, no doubt) kinda liked the fact that I was under 120 pounds. Anything with a ‘teen’ in it sounds skinny, right?

But the reason I decided to run a half marathon was not to lose weight. Upon further reflection, the main reason I signed up to run the half was to feel strong. The question I’ve found myself asking myself is: What makes me feel stronger: a number on the scale, or being able to run 11 miles without stopping?

after my sub 60 min 10k!

after my first sub 60 min 10k!

Um, NO BRAINER people. I feel like a bad ass any time I run for over an hour. Every hill I climb, every curb I hop over, and every mad dash to the end of my run…makes me feel amazing.

One of the most recent times I was able to weigh myself, I looked in the mirror first. Was I happy with what I saw?

fun story: i took this picture last thursday, then took a picture of the picture on saturday to send to my BFF and pretend i wasn't on a plane coming to see her!

fun story: i took this picture last thursday, then took a pic of the pic on saturday to send to my BFF on snapchat to pretend i wasn’t on a plane coming to see her! #SNAPCEPTION

The answer was still yes. Since I don’t have a gym anymore, I do a lot of ab work. My legs are freakin’ tight and lean from all that climbing, hopping, and mad dashing. I proceeded to step onto the scale, see that I was still 8 pounds heavier than “normal”, and….did not really care.

The problem with relying on the scale to track my progress is that as my mileage increases, so does my muscle mass. Most of my weight gain is muscle. The only clothes that fit differently are my jeans around my thighs — which are HUGE and hard as rocks now, by the way.

What really put everything into perspective was the realization that even though I am only about 8 pounds away from my 2010 weight, I am still 2 sizes smaller. Basically, all of my weight is compacted into a smaller package than before, even though I weigh more now than I did 4 months ago.

There are other added benefits to building muscle that outweigh any disadvantages (pun intended). According to a recent issue of Women’s Health, one of the biggest misconceptions about women and building muscle is that if you stop weight training, it turns into fat. The fact is, muscle tissue and fat tissue are two completely different kinds of tissue: muscle by nature requires more energy to metabolize, meaning the higher ratio of muscle-fat your body contains, the more energy (calories!) it will have to expend to keep things running.  Sounds like a good thing, right?

This is a big reason why, though I still track my food pretty often throughout the week, my focus is less on calorie counting to lose weight and more on replacing all of the calories I lose on my workout days with calories from healthy protein sources. I am trying to teach my body to run 13 miles at once…the least I could do is properly fuel it!

So that’s my confession: I am not always happy with the number I see on the scale. But I am happy with what my body is capable of, and I feel so great physically most of the time that it is hard to let a big little number keep me down. 😉

How do you track your fitness progress?

Have you ever experienced muscle weight gain?