I honestly can’t even believe 2014 is almost over. It literally feels like it was just this time last year!

IMG_0148

2014 brought a lot of changes. Some of which I could hardly anticipate, but I’ve become a firm believer in “everything happens for a reason.” I don’t stress about things I can’t change, and don’t waste time dwelling on “what could be,” or “what if.” That being said I also read 3 sources of horoscope weekly (Refinery29, Free People blog and The Cut) hahah.

Life is great, and I’ve been the happiest I think I’ve ever been (while at the same time I never thought I was unhappy). I feel so at peace with everything in my life, and just enjoy each and every day and what it brings.

Enough about me, on to my year of running:

IMG_0048

Best race experience? The Chicago Marathon was the best first marathon experience I could’ve asked for. And I’d have to say, in terms of half marathons, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon with Finish Line was an unforgettable weekend experience!

Best run? Any of my 20 mile marathon training runs. I approached them like explorations and literally enjoyed the journey. Or any of my runs out my door lately—I love where I’m living now and every run out the door is a great reminder of that!

IMG_3332

Best new piece of gear? Just in time before the cut-off of 2014, I’d have to say my new HOKA running shoes I got from Graham for Christmas. And Injinji running socks (also via Graham).

Best piece of running advice you received? “Never outrun your joy of running.” – the Seaside Striders Running Club motto and a constant reminder from my coach Jim, who always pushes me to do my best, while reminding me that I never want to deviate from my goal to always keep running fun.

IMG_2408

Most inspirational runner? Seriously, anyone on my running team. From Justin who ran a 3 hour marathon his first marathon, to Gary who just completed his first Ironman, to Trina and Z who climbed ++++ feet at the Hoover Dam Marathon (also their first marathon), the number of people who inspire me on my running team is endless!

If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Change, growth, and friendship (for all aspects of 2014 — not just running).

In just a few words, how would you sum up your year of running?

 

signature

My year of running from 2013

photo 3_13

I feel like progressively more and more, my days have become packed, my weeks have become busier, and my months become the next before I know it.   Somehow, I’ve managed to keep everything a priority, from working, to working out, and even maintaining a blog.

Here’s how I’ve been able to “do it all”:

  • Sleep! – I try to get adequate, restful (for the most part) sleep.  My biggest goal is still to get back into the routine of getting into bed at 10pm and waking up around 6am.
  • Schedule workouts – on days that I don’t run with a group, I try to do my recovery runs in the morning.  I find it easier to get it over with than have it hanging over my head after I get off work (especially during the warmer summer months!). Figure out when you enjoy working out — and if there’s a certain time for a specific class you like going to.  Schedule it like an appointment and stick with it!
  • Drink coffee – where would I be without coffee? I swear it runs through my veins, and I probably wouldn’t be a functioning human being without it.  Coffee over everything.
  • Organize – spending a little extra time preparing ultimately saves me time in the long run.  This includes prepping my meals for the week and laying out my workout clothes for a couple days in advance. This way, I won’t forget!
  • Eat! – eating adequate amounts of nutritious food and intaking enough calories to compensate for my caloric expense helps to keep my energy levels up and keeps me moving.
  • Get an extra boost – ever since my Advocare cleanse, I’ve been using Spark. It’s provided me with a more subtle yet refined boost of energy. I makes me feel focused and it really helps me to power through an intense yoga session followed by a hard run.
  • Sleep! – rest and repeat.  It’s all a full circle.

When it comes to blogging, I find a couple things help:

  • Make a calendar – I use the Editorial Calendar plug-in for WordPress, and it helps me visualize what I’ve planned for the week. It also lets you move around your drafts and posts, so nothing is set in stone until it’s published.
  • Think ahead – I am constantly looking ahead, figuring out what content I want/needs to be published down the line.
  • Draft posts – when I get an idea in my head and a few words to follow, I like to jot these down. Maybe I don’t have the inspiration or motivation to write a full post all at once, but keeping these few bits helps me to get going when I come back to it.
  • Utilize Siri – and notepads on your iPhone.  Sometimes when I’m driving, I’ll come up with an idea, so I’ll recite it to Siri.
  • Write tired – I always feel like I’m the most creative late at night, when I’m too tired to think too much about what I’m writing. Pros – gets the job done. Cons – too tired to proofread.
  • Stick to a routine – I try to post 5-6 times a week, with 4-5 posts on week days, leaving the weekend flexible and open for my weekly recaps whenever they might happen.  Sometimes life gets in the way/just happens, or I feel uninspired, but I try to not let 2 or more days go by without a post.
  • Create deadlines – another thing I find is that I work better under deadlines.  When I set a post date in my editorial calendar, I try to stick with it, to the best of my ability.  Promising to have a post up, even if it’s just a promise to myself, helps me stay punctual and on top of my deadlines.

Happy Friday!  Have a great weekend, friends.

signature

1599253_659621260750998_1253749463_o

Today’s Fit Chick is Katie Yip, a 24-year-old Pilates instructor and Master’s candidate at Columbia University studying Kinesiology and Exercise Physiology.

I know Katie, because once upon a lifetime ago, were both DG’s at UCSD.

Exciting things have been happening for her ever since she moved from San Diego to NYC to pursue her training in Pilates as well as further her education. After Katie moved to New York, she held her second apprenticeship at re:AB under Brooke Siler, a celebrity trainer associated with names like Kirsten Dunst, Zooey Deschanel, Liv Tyler and Madonna, just to name a few.

 

10531080_2427973253142_446522513_n

If that’s not cool enough, Katie’s also in the running for Women’s Health Next Fitness Star (<— go vote for her!) You might have also seen her if you’ve ever looked through the Women’s Health Big Book of Pilates.

Although I have yet to try Pilates, I learned a lot through this interview with Katie, and will hopefully go into it a lot less intimidated!

Introduce yourself:  My background is in Pilates – to me Pilates is a solid foundation of movement. Teaches you how to find your core, or “powerhouse,” and use it in different kinds of movement. Pilates provides a fundamental base in any exercise you do and helps to keep you injury free.

Tell me about all of the different types of equipment in Pilates:  There is not just one piece of equipment…there is a whole system! Different pieces of apparatus have different exercises you perform on them. Your teacher should watch how you move, see where you have problems, and take you to another piece of apparatus to work on that specific area.

There’s the reformer, the carriage with springs. The Cadillac, the bed, that was created when Joe Pilates (founder of Pilates) would attach springs to military bedposts. The Wunda Chair actually flips over into an actual chair. It is considered the “most advanced piece of apparatus.” Joe wanted people to exercise no matter where they were so he made this piece of equipment that could function as a chair and also for exercise. The foot corrector teaches you how to connect your foot to your bottom (e.g. for runners, really teaches you to connect your foot to your glutes).

And a lot of them sound like torture devices: electric chair, guillitone, pedi pole.

10533578_2427973533149_384354541_o

How did you first get into Pilates? My first teacher was in San Diego (Chris Robinson). I decided to try it out, since all the models were doing Pilates and getting amazing bodies in just a couple weeks.

What was your workout history prior to Pilates? I have always been pretty athletic, I used to do soccer and track. I’ve always exercised, and it was never really hard for me.

However, I was incredibly humble after my first Pilates lesson. My first thought was, “god I can’t do anything.” Because it was such a challenge, and I wasn’t used to being challenged in exercise, it got me hooked.

Weekly workout schedule? I really believe in doing everything and not limiting yourself to one exercise. However, with my background in Pilates, I try to do some kind of it everyday. It gets my body back into alignment. It’s also a good warm up. Before I do weight lifting or before I go running, it helps me find my core and apply it to different kinds of movement.

A typical week looks like:
Monday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Tuesday – Strength Training and Pilates
Wednesday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Thursday – Strength Training and Pilates
Friday – Pilates and Vinyasa Yoga
Saturday – Rest
Sunday – Restorative Yoga or Rest

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? Right now it’s roasted Brussels sprouts, grilled salmon, avocado and butternut squash.

10528537_2427975773205_1792951425_o


When I wake up I… turn my alarm off. Make a protein shake. Lately I’ve been using hemp protein (an acquired taste). I usually like to workout in the mornings but I don’t like having something really heavy before. A protein shake is perfect for this.

What are your goals for this year?  Finish my masters and thesis. And every day I try to be better than I was the day before, in terms of goal. Also, read more books by the end of the year (hopefully 3 more!).

Biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? For other people – it’s being consistent. A lot of people have a tendency to make a lot of changes at once. If you make too many changes at once, it sets you up for failure. If you’re going to try and change, you’ll have a better success rate of making 1 change instead of 10.
For me – It’s not really a struggle because it’s something I enjoy and it really makes me feel good. I feel good when I eat well and get in exercise. I feel like I have control over my life.

Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? It’s hard to actually do it. Everyone knows to eat your fruits and your vegetables. My advice, similar to above, is make one small change at a time. And make it a positive change rather than negative (instead of don’t eat donuts, make it eat 5 servings of vegetables a day).

Something you want everyone to know about Pilates?  Pilates isn’t intimidating, it’s a great system of exercise. More often, we try to jump into technical activities – for example, cross fit, intense weight training, running marathons -without a solid foundation of fitness. People neglect the fundamentals, such as basic core strength, moving without pain and having a full range of motion. And I think Pilates will give you that.

10397841_2413442569884_4706586591844323914_n

I hope Katie’s interview was informative to you as it was for me! For more of Katie, you can check out her blog and instagram, and don’t forget to vote for her for Women’s Health Next Fitness Star here!

signature

10252140_10202541146904873_5078068811218077297_n

Or what is but shouldn’t be there?  Maybe some Trefoils/Girl Scout Cookies, some Hershey’s Cookies ‘n Cream drops?

I remember when I first started my job I thought it was completely acceptable to walk down to the liquor store every day and buy a pack of candy.  What a bad habit!  But working is work and it deserves a reward, right?

Instead, what should be in there are some POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by Nature Box!  You get a wide variety of healthy, nutritionist approved snacks delivered right to your door, every month.  Some salty, some sweet, some all mixed-in for those days when you feel in-between.  Plus, what you receive is always a mystery, so it’s just like the fabulous grab bags you used to get at Hello Kitty (or am I the only one?)!

This month I received lemon pucker pistachios, seaweed rice pops, dried peaches, blueberry almond bites and POPSUGAR Must Have Trail Mix.  My favorite snack was probably the blueberry almond bites that I used to top my healthy pro-yo up above.

MHNatureBox_550x550-1

For a limited time, the POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox are 50% off when you sign up here.

Have you ever signed up for a monthly subscription box?
The only subscriptions I’ve had were for Piper…lucky dog.

Disclaimer: POPSUGAR and NatureBox provided me with a complimentary POPSUGAR Must Have Snacks by NatureBox box. The opinions I have shared about the box are my own, and POPSUGAR and NatureBox did not tell me what to say or how to say it.

Coincidentally I’m on the plane with this chick right now, as we make our way to RUN DC! This will be her first half marathon and I’m so excited for her!  Regardless of what happens at the race, we’re bound to have a great time.  P.S. special thanks to Kimmy, my intern turned personal assistant, who made my ridiculous DC restaurant list in a specific format, and Madelynne for her off-the-charts, insanely helpful recommendations.  We’re so excited for our trip!

photo-31

Introduce yourself: I’m Devon, or Dev, a 22-year-old, senior at UCSD, living in PB, lover of hairless cats.
How/when did you first get into working out? My freshman year in college I moved away from the Central California corn-fed/farm lifestyle and moved to Southern California, where fitness is like “the thing.” I also stopped swimming when I moved away and instead started going to the gym and lifting heavy weights.

photo-32 Weekly workout schedule?
Monday & Friday mornings I do Core, Cardio, and More at 24 Hour Fitness. Wednesday mornings I do cycling. Tuesday’s & Thursday’s I work out on my own.  I usually run night-time, like 8:30pm or 9pm, and usually Monday, Wednesday or Friday (not Tuesday or Thursday because I have school).
Favorite workout at the moment? Stair Master, oh yeah! I’m so good at it now. When I started out I could only do 10 minutes, but now, I can do 45. Boxing is also a close second to the Stair Master.  And maybe “Flirty Girl Fitness.” 😛

photo-30

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? Recently I’ve been really into ground-turkey stuffed peppers.
Favorite indulgence? Chocolate milk and late-night drive-thru mexican food, Vallartas.
When I wake up I…hit the snooze button 5 times. Eat a Nutri-Grain bar and drink a big glass of milk (after, of course, I greet “Muscles,” my stuffed cat/pillow from Ashleigh).
What are your goals for this year? Run outside with a sports bra on and feel comfortable.
What’s your biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? Probably living with a roommate that doesn’t care about being healthy. Who makes good food like pot-pies. Working at a restaurant.
Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? Don’t give up when you don’t see instant results.

photo-29

afterlight-20 Hello.  Have you heard my cries/tweets for help? For the past 2 weeks I have been a victim of juvenile acne, searching for a cure.  It is true. My skin is so embarrassing, I’m so thankful “pizza face” is not a thing anymore, or that I’m an adult so it’s inappropriate for anyone to call me that.

Screen Shot 2014-04-15 at 9.03.02 PM

Anyways, I desperately bought everything (meaning 2 products) at Brazilia that the girl who shaped my unruly muppet eyebrows suggested for my poor skin.

So with all this new product, I thought I’d show off what’s in my makeup bag.  Now that I look at it, this looks like a lot of stuff.  But mostly I’ll get into something, think it’s a great idea, stick with it for a while, and then just get tired of how cumbersome it becomes (or just seems to me).  I’d much rather be running and/or cooking!  Honestly, if I could (and if my skin would clear up and allow), I’d go makeup free every day. This portion of my “getting ready” takes so long because I dread/dillydally putting on makeup. I get so easily distracted.

Anyways, I do not claim to know anything about makeup or beauty. I’m more of the drug-store kinda girl, who actually just recently graduated (as in, last weekend when I splurged on some “department store makeup” essentials).  I finally have a full set of “big girl makeup” because last Christmas I also decided I wanted to stop looking 16 years old, and that makeup was the solution.  So I dropped some $$$ at Sephora for a few staples that I had been missing – e.g. eyeshadow palette, decent blush, bronzer, etc.

Here’s what I use, morning – day – night. I basically look the same all the time. Except for when I have zit cream smeared over the entire surface of my forehead 😛 Then, as my bf likes to say, I look like an “Indian going to war.”

whatsinyourmakeup

  1. Acidophilus Probiotic Facial Cream- said to replenish good bacteria back into your skin. Thing one from Brazilia.
  2. CND Solar Oil – for my horrendous hang-nails.
  3. Clinique Almost Powder Makeup – my first powder compact that actually matches my skin…what a concept!
  4. Covergirl LashExact Mascara – cuz I’m a basic betch.
  5. NARS Blush in Orgasm – it’s so pretty.
  6. Dermalogica Skin Smoothing Cream – I was using this before I got the bacteria cream.
  7. Clinique Stay-Matte Oil-Free Makeup – again, first lotion to match my skin.
  8. Sephora Brushes – “PRO Angled blush” and “must-have powder shadow.”
  9. Slanted Tweezers – my favorite for a good grip.
  10. Two-Faced Natural Eye Palette – the only eyeshadow you will ever need.
  11. Sephora Baked Sculpting Trio – for bronzing and highlighting, when I feel like it.
  12. Tom’s Honeysuckle Deodorant – the scent is pleasant and doesn’t remind me of BO the moment I put it on (like baby powder).
  13. Tweezerman Rose Gold Eyelash Curler – so I could feel fancy.
  14. CVS brand eye makeup remover -cheap.
  15. Revlon ColorStay liquid liner – an easy-to-use eyeliner.
  16. Dermalogica mediBac clearing skin wash – I actually got this stuff at FitBlog LA last year, but then unknowingly bought the same stuff at Brazilia.

 What’s in your makeup bag?  One thing you can’t live without?

photo

Today I am so honored to share this month’s Fit Chick, Savannah.  We both grew up in Modesto and went to the same high school (2 years apart), but we never hung out and were always just acquaintances.  Recently, I’ve been following her amazing fitness journey and realized our common interest in fitness/working out.  Since she now lives in San Diego, I put the dots together and realized we could meet up and hang out.  So a few weekends ago I introduced her to Yoga Sculpt, followed by breakfast at one of my favorite places, The Naked Cafe.  She is an amazing  source of inspiration, especially in how far she’s come.  Check out her instagram (and read more below) for motivation and positivity towards learning to love the process of working out and achieving your goals!

1452037_715869518434930_1042415727_n

Introduce yourself: Savannah Powell A.K.A @savsmiles123

How did your fitness journey start? Honestly? One day I was SO fed up with being uncomfortable with my body and not FEELING great that I turned the negativity into pure motivation, I ran two miles that day with ease and that’s a struggle even today for me, hah!

Weekly workout schedule? Typically Monday-Thursday boot camp from 730- almost 9 and then a switch up of Saturday boot camps on the beach at 9am in Oceanside (come join me! Rain or Shine!) Or a new start of Sunday Yoga classes at yoga six studio so far I have only tried a sculpt class that has kicked my butt! :)

1661002_707574115931137_596495710_n

Favorite workout at the moment? Anything that gets blood pumping to that booty, but at the moment I am learning to master weight training to the best of my 5’2 abilities!

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? Garlic and lemon chicken with Brown rice and asparagus, I could eat that everyday… I almost do! Lol that’s my “mindless” prep.

Favorite indulgence? Anything with Nacho cheese? Oh god that hurts just saying that ha-ha

When I wake up I… Usually look in the mirror, best time to see any changes!

1898186_712513078770574_1289008912_n

Motivation to stay in shape? The way my body feels now in comparison to the way I felt 6 months-a year ago is CRAZY even my mindset on how I handle certain hiccups in my life has changed, fitness has molded me for the greater good! So thankful!

What are your current goals? I’m hoping to put on some weight! I really have a small stature and it’s been cool seeing my muscles but it’s time to BULK and that’s my current goal/setback.

1964982_704478269574055_1024036235_n

What’s your biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? Constantly reminding myself that it’s about balance, and to eat enough you can hurt yourself just as much but not eating ENOUGH food when working out. It can really set you back, not taking any shortcuts would be the conclusion of that I guess. :)

Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? Consistency, trust the process. I used to work out for 3 weeks and stop for two, do it all over again and wonder why nothing worked for me… keep up the hard work it will pay off if you don’t stop! I’m not saying it will be easy… but it will be worth it :)

1901407_710806195607929_2096114664_n

Today I’m introducing Stefanie, my Fit Chick for February!

Stefanie is a So-Cal native (also a UCSD grad) currently living and attending med-school in Chicago.  She is one of those people that I always see pop up on my Facebook feed, completing another race, another distance.  Just recently I saw she just signed up for her first 50-miler!  I’m so excited to follow along and see how her training goes.

Last year Stefanie and her boyfriend set a goal to run 13 races in 2013 (half marathon distance and up only).  This proved to be a lot harder than they thought as they were entering their 3rd year of medical school!  To date she has run 16-half marathons, 2-full marathons, 1-50K, and the 50 miler is coming September 2014!

906829_10101514309398654_1512509839_o

Introduce yourself: Hi! I’m Stefanie, avid runner/yogi/gym rat. I am currently wrapping up my 3rd year of medical school in Chicago, where I’m training to be a surgeon (hopefully specializing in athletes).

77659_10101308335656684_1583970630_o

How/when did you first get into running? I first got into running when I was about 10 years old. I grew up practicing ballet, jazz, and modern dance – then cheerleading in high school and into college. As girly as all those sound, I looked up to my dad, an all-American collegiate basketball, soccer, and track star, so incredibly much. He had been running every day since I can remember growing up, and I started throwing on my sneakers and going with him. He has also been running a consistent 7 minute/mile pace on literally any type of terrain from then until now…talk about inspiring!  (her dad is in the blue RnR singlet above)

Weekly workout schedule? My weekly workout schedule lately has been varying a lot due to crazy hours at the hospital, but my New Year’s resolution for 2014 was to keep things consistent even when exhausted 😉 I like starting Mondays off strong with either speedwork (400 m sprints) or a fast 5K followed by strength training. Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday I will combine 4-8 mile runs depending on what I’m training for, with strength training and yoga. I like to rest 2 days out of the week to avoid injury, and these normally seem to fall on Fridays and Sundays. I like to get my long run (depending on the season these are anywhere from a 10-20 mile run) in on Saturdays in case there’s inclement weather or another running SNAFU, I get a 2nd chance on Sunday :) Strength training consists of whole body work-outs, usually grouping shoulders/chest/arms and legs/abs/back using weights and machines.

Favorite workout at the moment? I never thought I’d say this because I normally loathe the treadmill (but unfortunately it’s essential in the nasty winter state of the Midwest right now), but lately I have been loving a 45 minute Alpine Hill work-out on the ‘mill while watching the winter Olympics…followed by a 15 minute core yoga sequence :)

What’s your favorite go-to healthy meal? I love sauteeing frozen wild salmon burgers in garlic and Cajun spices, then chopping them up and throwing them into a frozen quinoa mix that contains kale, tomatoes, and low-fat mozzarella. 10 minutes tops!

Favorite indulgence? I just can’t say no to a really good burger after a long run :)

When I wake up I…drink organic juice and do a few sun salutations.

What are your goals for this year? My goals for this year are to run a full marathon in under 4 hours and get closer to that 3:35 Boston qualifying time, run a 1:45 half marathon, and to finish the North Face Endurance Challenge Wisconsin 50 Miler strong and healthy.

902598_10101901139987054_1557852262_o

How do you decide which races to run each year? I am usually pretty tied down to a certain area due to school with limited chances to travel, but I am always looking ahead for unique, local races that fit within my busy schedule. For instance, my boyfriend and I happened to have a Monday off from school so we decided to drive out to Indianapolis for the Indy 500 half marathon where part of the course was a lap around the famed race track. On a smaller scale, we fit in a local half marathon in Ft Worth, TX while visiting his family, and actually ended up snagging 1st places in our categories. The moral of the story is, wherever you go…find a race to run :)

What’s your biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle? My biggest struggle in living a healthy lifestyle is fighting the temptation to relax on the couch with Netflix (and goldfish or some other less than ideal snack) after being on my feet all day in the OR.

861311_10101444967315744_717855673_o

Best tip for leading a healthy lifestyle? It takes a lot of time, energy, and planning to lead a healthy lifestyle, especially if you are often time-crunched. But whenever I’m feeling lazy, I remind myself of how amazing I feel after a run, workout, or even after a healthy vs. junky meal or I stare at my goals for 2014 that I have strategically placed on my refrigerator for motivation. I try to conquer all negative thoughts, whether it be about fitness or life, because it’s astonishing how much you can accomplish just by being positive.

Mine currently looks like this:

photo

I recently cleaned it out completely.  But now I’ve been adding things of necessity, like a lint roller (why I wear black with a white dog?), snacks (just in case), and Werther’s (because I’m really 80 years old).  Unravel everything else and it’s just a bunch of junk I probably don’t need in there.

Exhibit A: Race Medals – from my past 2 races, because I secretly wear them every time I drive so I can always feel like a winner (jk I’m just too lazy to take them out).

Exhibit B: Running Lights – instead of packing and unpacking these I just leave them in there.  I guess it’s just a factor of “always being prepared.”

Exhibit C: Tangled Wires – headphones in case I ever want to run with music, and I couldn’t live without my auxiliary cord (how else would I max out listening to Drunk In Love on Spotify?).

What’s in your middle console?

 
 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox

Join other followers: