Saturday, August 31, 2013

#RaceRecap: Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon

Last night, I had THE worst case of race anxiety ever. Like, ever. On top of being really nervous about my two-week taper, the weather was predicted to be extremely hot and warm with humidity levels at 90%. Not ideal at all. And not what I had been training in. It's been an unusually cool summer which has produced some awesome running conditions. I was able to get myself into a pace that would put me on track for a sub 2-hour finish, which would ultimately be a PR for me. I was excited about that, really excited, but with this new development in the weather...I just wasn't sure. I was literally freaking out about running. I did not want to be THAT runner that ends up on the side of the course with heat exhaustion.

On top of that, it was going to be a special run because I was running alongside some of my best girlfriends. We were "Team Bride" because we are all here in Indy to celebrate our friend's wedding.

The group:

Post-race, obvi.

We had 5k runners, half marathoners and one cheerleader in our group. And we all survived. I survived. All that worrying and I did just fine. More than fine, actually. I finished in 2:05.00.846. Five minutes over my goal, but I'll take it because it's still a PR.

I set a new PR in a race I thought I'd fail.
Yes, I'll definitely take it.


1) I realized a mile into it that I hadn't started MapMyRun. I don't have a Garmin or a Polar, so it's what I rely on to determine pace and distance. I think, ultimately, that this was a good thing. I had no idea how fast I was running. No idea at all, so I just ran according to my body and how it felt. And I feel like this is a smart way to run. Especially when there's a heat factor.

2) There was a group of angels handing out iced towels at the Mile 8 beverage station. I cannot even tell you how awesome this was. I ran the next mile or so with it around my neck after rubbing it on my arms, face and abdomen. Seriously, in combination with the Gatorade, I truly believe this got me through the last five miles because I think the last five miles were the hottest.

3) My friend Maria ran with me the whole way and we both noticed how unusually quiet the course was. There wasn't much for on-course entertainment, no bands or anything, but there was one lady with a cowbell that we ended up seeing twice. She was by herself on a street corner both times. And she was cheering her heart out for anyone and everyone that ran by her. Looking at her, you'd assume she was a runner to, so I think she just understood the importance of moral support. I wanted to hug her, to thank her for cheering for me even though she didn't know me.

4) I had quite the support system at the end. I saw Jason on the sidelines just before the final push to the finish line. I think it's only the second time he's ever come out for a race, and he was right where I needed him to be. He had our camera, which forced me to kick it up a notch...which ultimately got me to the finish line to end it strong.

The rest of my friends were at the finish line, too and I could hear them cheering as I ran by. I really, honestly don't think anyone else's friends cheered as loudly as mine. #theyrock

5) I've never been so happy to cross a finish line. It was the first time I crossed a finish line with absolutely nothing left in me. In fact, I went right to the medical tent, sat down on their cots and asked for some towels. I seriously thought I was going to pass out, but really I just needed to sit. Never in my life have I ever ended up in a medical tent, and I'm glad it wasn't for anything more serious. I was just done. Literally, done.

Not only were the medals sweet, we got roses, too.
I think all races should end with a rose.

And now, here I sit in a hotel room. Watching football, resting up.
Good race, good weekend.

Thanks for running with me, Maria. I couldn't have done it without ya, partner:

Question: Did you race today?

Friday, August 30, 2013

Pinterest Success Story: Hard Boiled Eggs in the Oven

When I was a kid, I used to hate taking egg salad sandwiches to school for lunch. They smelled, right? When you opened that Ziplock bag, they sent a putrid fume of egg nasty flying around your lunch table. And when you're a kid, the last thing you want to do is be the cause of any foul scent. But, man...such a good sandwich. Just not one I ate often. And then I grew up. I started working out and paying more attention to my protein intake. Which made me appreciate the egg even more. 

Read any magazine about health and fitness and they'll talk about how easy it is to make hard boiled eggs. You can make a bunch on Sunday, keep them in a bowl in your 'fridge, and have healthy snacks, sandwiches and more throughout the week. Protein deliciousness, right? Right, except I hate making hard boiled eggs.

Maybe it's because I can't shake the smell of that Ziplock bag in my lunchbox. But most likely it's because I can't make a hard boiled egg to save my life. I know, I know—it's so easy. Feel free to laugh at me. I laugh at me. But I seriously can never remember how long to boil them, whether they go in before the water starts to boil, and for how long they need to sit in cold water post-boil. Do they even need to sit in cold water post boil?

Seriously, I don't know. Which is why this pin made me so happy:

The link in the pin leads you to nothing, but everything you need to know about making hard boiled eggs in the oven is in the corresponding description. 

I've seen so many pins and have read so many blogs about this technique, but you know how it goes...half the stuff you read and/or pin, you leave in The Land of Never-Do-It. Right?

Well, I did it. And it works.

30 minutes in a 325F oven grants you perfectly hard boiled eggs—without having to boil them. And they did seem pretty easy to peel. 

Now, if you're an egg snob (and I use that term affectionately), you might want to be aware of the possibility of that green layer between the yolk and the white part. I read on Cooking Light's website that this can be eliminated when you run the eggs under cold water when they're done. I tested that theory with a second batch and still got the green layer, but the eggs tasted the same and, you know, smelled the same, too.

I haven't had an egg salad sandwich in years, but I love putting hard boiled eggs on my salad:


In case you missed my other success stories:

Question: Have any Pinterest success stories lately?

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Pinspiration Thursday

It's at about this point, usually two days or so before a race, that I start to doubt myself. I start to feel like I haven't trained enough, or that I could have done better, and I start to convince myself that I am going to have an awful race. Which is so stupid. It's just nerves, I know. I mean, I ran 8-minute miles this morning. Come on. So it's also at about this point where I really try hard to kick the confidence up a notch via self-directed pep talks. Because if I continue to believe in myself, then I'm halfway to that finish line.

Pin / Source
Shannon from Skinny Sometimes made the above. You really should check out her blog. It's so real, and genuine. You believe everything she says, and you can tell she isn't hiding behind any need to be perfect. She's human, just like the rest of us, and isn't afraid to show it. I had the privilege of getting to know her at BlogHer. She's very normal in her approach to health and fitness. "Sometimes I make healthy choices, sometimes I don't," she admits, which is awesome.

I added her to my Link Love page.
I haven't updated it in ages, so check it out.

Question: Do you get nervous before a race or fitness/sporting event? How do you deal?

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

10 Reasons to Strength Train (#Infographic)

Someone recently asked me about the classes that I teach. They wanted to know which one was my favorite. It was such a hard question for me to answer because I love all of my classes. I currently teach Circuit Sculpt, Kettlebells, HIIT and Spinning. And I've taught TRX Bootcamps, Foam Rolling and classes that have targeted kids and older adults. But when I really give it some thought, I think Circuit Sculpt remains at the top of my list. It's a strength-based class. The people in it are great...the people in all of my classes are great...but it's the traditional strength training that gets me excited. I like a good bicep curl or bent row. If only I could drag all the heavy cable machines into the studio, then I'd be one happy instructor!

Moral of the story: Strength training, friends. You really should be doing it! If you're a cardio queen or king, this will hopefully help you understand the benefits:

Oh, and while we're on the subject—Smart Strength Training Tips you might find useful!

Question: What's your favorite strength training exercise?

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Today #2

This post is dedicated to my good friend Meganne, who casually reminded me this afternoon that I hadn't posted anything in a few days. Sorry to send you into withdrawals, gurl. And thanks for being my #1 fan, yo!

This is happening right now:

I'm blogging in the dark with a single glass of red, my house completely silent except for hum of our washing machine and the very distant rumblings of a busy interstate. So distant, I almost forget that it's even there. All of this noise calms me. In some way, it even inspires me. And the wine, well...creative juice? Antioxidants? Regardless, it's been a week so I'll update you on the past few days in one fell swoop. (I did this once before.)


We had the privilege of hosting Billy Blanks, Jr. and Sharon Catherine Blanks at the gym on Thursday. They were in town and stopped by to teach Dance It Out, which is the cardio dance program they developed. Truth: These two are awesome. So positive, so inspiring and completely motivating. The crowd was pretty great, too. So much booty shakin' going on, I almost forgot that I was in a dance fitness class. Because really, I felt like I was on a dance floor with some of my best girlfriends. That's how awesome the energy was.


It was a pretty standard day, honestly. I taught my 6AM class, had a few clients, then hung out with my girlie all afternoon until the husband came home early from work. He wasn't even supposed to be at work, but it's been a week for him, too. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen that I inhaled this on my way home from the aforementioned 6AM class:

A few weeks ago, I attended a "health starts here" event at   the Whole Foods in my neck of the woods. And after the event, I shopped around for a bit. One of the employees caught me checking this bad boy out and so graciously gave it to me for free. I expressed my hesitation about the coconut, to which she replied with the assurance that I'd love it.

And she was right. Dang good, this bar was.
Speaking of bars. Friday marked the end of my GoMacro giveaway. Susan won:

Two of my favorites, girl. Especially the peanut butter chocolate chip because, let's be honest, you can't go wrong with peanut butter and chocolate chip anything, right?


I got through seven miles, but here's the thing: I'm not sure how I feel about this two-week taper. Friendly reminder: I'm training for the Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon, and since this is the second half marathon I've run this summer, I decided to try the long-taper route this time around. 

I just...mentally, after I ran my 12-miler, I was ready. I wanted the next weekend to produce race day. Don't get me wrong, I was happy with my seven-miler this weekend, but was hard. Like, I was supposed to run nine but I only ran seven because I just couldn't. Maybe it's because I had a busy week and by the time my alarm went off...maybe I just couldn't. But I did. For seven miles at least. 

So this week, I've got a few short runs on the docket and then race day will finally be here. If I can keep my pace around 9:30 with a few faster miles in between, my shots at hitting that two-hour mark will be pretty good. Any tips, send them my way (please). I really, really wanna make this happen.

This also happened on Saturday:

Progress on the deck. I can already envision what it'll look like finished, complete with a nice table and some comfy chairs. Now I just need a laptop so I can blog in the glow of a sunny afternoon.

(Seriously, this pic makes our deck look massive. In reality, it's actually perfectly proportioned for our back yard. Big enough for a table and some chairs and breathing space, but it doesn't take over the yard. #perfect)


We took the girl to the splash pad here in town, which is fancy talk for a really big fountain you can play in. Best ever. You bet I walked around that fountain with her. And now I'm drinking wine. This girl doesn't have to work tomorrow. It's a lightweight work week for me because the husband is totally off. But I do have to run. Perhaps I should stop it with the wine?!

Question: What are your tips for picking up speed during a race when all you wanna do is slow down? You know, just in case this happens to me this weekend. (Hope it doesn't.)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Slim without the gym?

Indulge me while I step on a soapbox for a second.

I'm an avid magazine reader. They're just too fun to ignore, and while I read my fair share of health and fitness magazines, my ultimate favorite will always be Marie Claire. I'm a girl, I love fashion. They do it well with an awesome mix of current events and entertainment, too. They also talk about health, and while I realize they aren't the experts—and by that, I just mean that they don't focus on it like SELF or Women's Health—I appreciate their efforts to promote healthy living. Except they sort of missed the mark for me in the July issue. (Yeah, I'm just now reading the July issue. So behind.)

Notice the headline next to Lauren Conrad's (love her) face?

"Score a Beach Body ASAP," it says. Gosh, that's what we all want. Right? A quick fix for looking like a sexy beast in a swimsuit? If I could just snap my fingers, I'd do it. But I can't so I choose to stay realistic about my appearance in a swimsuit. It's not perfect, but it's me. And let's be honest: What IS perfect anyway?

So, the only quick fix I really believe in is a hefty dose of confidence.

Because confidence is sexy, obviously.
But this article doesn't really talk about confidence.
In fact, it sort of feeds into the idea that we're never good enough.

It focuses on the aforementioned quick fix. Like at-home microdermabrasion or cellulite creams and avoiding salty foods that cause bloating (or, what they call "false fat"). And then there's this:

"Slim Without the Gym," it says. And herein lies the issue I have with this article. The one thing they should be talking about is casually dismissed in favor of supplements that promise to fix the fact that "you might not have time for" a workout. Supplements that, mind you, have something to do with botanicals that mimic lobster hormones (ew).

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm no expert on lobster hormones or these pills they speak of. Maybe they really do work. But why casually dismiss physical fitness like that? I realize that hitting the gym is not the ASAP type of solution. But when it comes to being healthy, exercise is one of the main solutions and should always be mentioned in any article that speaks to healthy living.


Can we just stop dismissing it in favor of the quick fix? Because really, the quick fix would be to take five minutes to look at your schedule in an effort to find some time for the gym. Because I bet if you do this...if you're really honest with yourself about how you're using your time...I bet you'll find that there IS time for a workout.

And, seriously...isn't working out more fun than taking pills?

Forget about pills that promise rapid weight loss. Reminder: Rapid weight loss is not sustainable weight loss. Slow and steady wins the race, and this is one case where that's very true. If you want to experiment with microdermabrasion and cellulite creams, that's your thing. Whatever. Just keep working out. Do the work. Sweat like hell. Make the effort. Then throw on your swimsuit, some SPF and a hefty dose of confidence. You don't need a pill to prove that you're one sexy beast. You don't even need a quick fix.

You just need to be you.
Happy, healthy you.

That's sexy, for sure.

To Marie Claire:
Thank you for promoting a healthy lifestyle! I love that you find ways to include this in your magazine. But please, please be careful with the casual dismissal of exercise! It is a very important part of everyday life. Won't you join me in reminding others of this fact?
Your loyal reader, 

Stepping off the soapbox now. Thanks for listening.

PS: I would have loved to share with you my own bikini picture, but I honestly don't have a current shot! I've been to the beach a small handful of times this summer, but the camera is typically focused on my daughter instead of me. Or my daughter is in the picture with me, and y'all know how I feel about putting her on Daily Dose. Not something I do.

PSS: Don't forget to enter my GoMacro giveaway!

Question: Thoughts?

Monday, August 19, 2013

Win a case of @GoMacro bars! (#Giveaway)

Months ago, I discovered a new-to-me snack bar at Whole Foods.
I'll admit—It was the packaging that originally caught my eye:

The list of ingredients is what sold me, though:

So few of them, all recognizable. I bought two bars, devoured them (not at the same time), then contacted the company to see if they'd be interested in sending along a few samples in exchange for my review. Needless to say, I'm a lucky girl.

You guys, GoMacro bars are ridiculous in the best way possible.

They are so good and so good for you. With 11 different flavor combos to choose from, you're bound to find at least one (probably more) that interests your taste buds. Some are higher in protein than others, which is great for when you need some sustenance in between the gym and your next engagement. And for those of you that eat a gluten-free and/or vegan diet, you're in the clear with these guys. This company practices the "eat food, not too much, mostly plants" principle. Which then lends itself to the whole macrobiotic thing.

What is a macrobiotic diet? According to Wikipedia, it is "a dietary regimen which involves eating grains as a staple food, supplemented with other foods such as local vegetables, and avoiding the use of highly processed or refined foods and most animal products." To me, that just reiterates the fact that these bad boys lack all the gunk commonly found in protein and snack bars.

Hello, yum:

That right there is the Granola Coconut bar. It's not necessarily one of the added protein types, but I wasn't in need of added protein at the time. Just a snack and this super-dense, totally delicious bar served it's purpose. I wasn't sure how I'd feel about the coconut (because you know how I feel feel about coconut), but it didn't bother me. In fact, I have yet to eat a GoMacro bar that I didn't like.

I'm not kidding. They're all good. I'm getting hungry for one just telling you about them.

But, to be honest, one of my most favorite things about these bars has nothing to do with eating them. I love that they come from a family owned business built to promote a healthy, sustainable lifestyle. One family member developed breast cancer and subsequently turned to the macrobiotic way as a means to combat the cancer. So what started as a kitchen experiment blossomed into an awesome business. Yay for the little guys making it big in this food industry world we live in!

With that, I offer you a box.

Well, one of you.

GoMacro has so graciously offered to give one Daily Dose reader the sampler pack that I received. Use the Rafflecopter below to secure your entry:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, August 17, 2013

#IndyWomensHalf Marathon Training Update, Week 6 (and other things)

My kiddo is far too young for school, but that doesn't mean we aren't feeling the effects of a summer that's winding down. The mornings are already getting darker and the temperatures are falling just a touch. Will we have a warm September? That's always the question at this time of year. Fingers crossed it'll happen. I don't quite feel like I've soaked up enough sun, sand and sandals. Then again, can one ever really do that?

Answer: No.

We had a week over here. Work is busy, Hannah is busy...we're just busy. I'm sure you know how that feels. To add to it, we've started this project. And by "we," I definitely do not mean me:

Our backyard is perfect. It butts up to property that will never be developed. It's quiet and fenced in so Hannah can run free. But our deck stopped us from really enjoying it. The bees built homes in our benches and the wood itself was splintery and gross. So we're getting rid of it. We're rebuilding it from the ground up. I'm looking forward to new patio furniture. Translation: Deck parties, sunbathing, reading magazines to the sounds of chirping birds. <— Super cheesy, so what. It's the truth.

Speaking of truth: I have been feeding myself some serious deliciousness as of late. Did you catch the following salad shot I posted on Instagram?

I'm obsessed. I recently turned to canned salmon, whether or not that's a good thing. It works for me because I'm the only one that likes salmon in this house. (Hannah is still unsure of it, and Jason prefers manly meat like steaks and brats.) Straight out of the can, the stuff is primed for the top of my salad (see above).

Speaking of being "primed," I'm feeling good about the Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon. It's in two weeks, and I just ran 12 miles. Good scenery...

...and decent songs got me through it. Is anyone else totally jamming out to Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" right now? I love that song, and I don't love much on the radio these days.

Post-run happy face:

And here's the breakdown of my run, which is the real reason why I'm smiling above:

I'm so close to hitting my goal of a sub 2-hour half marathon. Total time for today's run was 1:55:56. All I can hope for at this point is some good energy on race day—honestly, I think I can do it. Today's path took me on a few different hills, and I believe the course for the race is relatively flat. So maybe that'll work to my advantage. Fingers crossed.

After my run, I got the obligatory Starbucks drink. Had a bowl of oatmeal. Decided I was still hungry. And then munched on a GoMacro protein bar.

You guys. GoMacro bars are delicious (and Saturdays are for comfy sundresses and no-fuss hair and makeup). I'll tell you more on Monday (because I'm hosting a giveaway). For now, I'm off to study my ACE books. Yep, still studying.

Question: Did you break a sweat today? How?

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

What I'm Loving Right Now

"Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens..." Someone in our house is totally captivated by The Sound of Music these days. OK, two people. Back story: I needed a break from Dora, so I broke out a classic that never gets old. Hannah loved it...well, the songs at least. She's not quite ready for the entirety of the movie, but if I flip through the songs, she'll sit and watch them. And now she's asking for them, so quite frequently I bounce around the house singing "Do, a Deer" or "My Favorite Things." And because I happen to have the latter in my head right now, I thought I'd share with you "a few of my favorite things" in no particular order:

1) FILA Fitness Tops
There isn't a lot of shopping where I live, so when I need a quick fix, I typically hit Target and/or Kohl's depending on my needs. If I need a fitness top, I go to Kohl's because they've been killing it lately it with the FILA gear:

These tanks run long, they're fitted and they come without a shelf bra. And they wash really well, too. I'm not sure you'll find the stripes in-store anymore, but the other is still on the website if you wish to own it yourself. I found mine in the store a few weeks ago and have been wearing it constantly, proof of which has been on Instagram lately:

2) Artisan Nut Thins from Blue Diamond
As a member of the Naturally Savvy blogging program, I am often presented with opportunities to review certain products. Most recently, it was Artisan Nut Thins from Blue Diamond. I received three boxes free of charge in exchange for my opinion.

My opinion is this: They're good. Crunchy, salty...totally flavorful and not so bad for you either. Usually, I get some Wheat Thins when I need a good crunch, but these guys are going to give 'em a run for their money, that's for sure. I can't decide which is my favorite. I've been enjoying them all.

3) Benefit "Hello Flawless" Powder Cover-Up and Liquid Foundation

A month or two ago, my mom gave me some samples of what you see above. Ultimately, the color she gave me was not right for my skin, but the makeup was. I've always been a MAC girl and I still am, but I love this stuff from Benefit. It's light, goes on really well and covers up where I need it to.

Let me tell you: I hate when I can feel makeup on my face. HATE IT! I like a natural look, one that's easy to apply, which is why I love my MAC tinted moisturizer. And that's how I wear this foundation—like tinted moisturizer. I put it on with my fingers, whether or not that's right, and finish it up with a light dusting of the powder. I mean, when I wear makeup. I've got no problem walking out the door without it. But when I do wear it, It's nice to know that I won't necessarily FEEL like I'm wearing it.

4) High Intensity Interval Workouts
I am totally enjoying my Wednesday, 6:00AM class. It's listed as a High Intensity Interval class, and that's how I approach it every week—40 minutes of HIIT work, followed by core and/or hip work. Every week builds on the previous week, we hardly use any equipment and we sweat our butts off. Last week, I posted a HIIT workout with my favorite move: Plank-to-Frog Pushup.

5) Coconut Chobani and Tootie and Dreamer's Granola
I have a longstanding relationship with Chobani. Every month, they send me a case of yogurt to eat. This past month, they included a selection of their new flavors. I had already purchased a few on my own, but was excited to find Coconut in the case because that's one I couldn't find in my store.

I love coconut, but I don't love the texture of coconut. Gotta admit: Slightly bummed to find the texture present in this little cup of Cho, but that's where the granola came into play.

Once I mixed in a scoop, I couldn't even feel the coconut flakes. All I got was the coconut flavor. If you're wondering where this granola is from, I picked it up at the Farmer's Market this weekend and it's phenomenal. Definitely a new staple in my market bag.

And that's the list for today...just a few of my favorite things. Add to it snuggles from Hannah, jokes from the husband, more yogurt and even more granola and I'm one happy person.

Have a Tuesday, friends!

Question: What are you loving right now?

Sunday, August 11, 2013

#IndyWomensHalf Training Update, Week 6

Before I talk about this weekend's long run, I have these to give away:

Congrats, June. You'll be able to try the Lemongrass Salmon now!

Moving along.
Here's where I stand with my Indy Women's Half Marathon training plan:

Guys, I'm feeling really good about the race. It's still three weeks away, and I still have a 12-miler to knock out next weekend...but my long runs have been feeling really good, and I'm hoping this tradition continues to continue. At this point, I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sub 2-hour race. When I say "sub," I'm thinking it'll literally be by a minute or two, but still. I'll take it if I can make it happen. And I'll take this, too:

Seriously, I feel like all these races are secretly competing for "coolest medal status." I'm not sure which medal I'll love more, this one or my Chicago Women's Half medal. So dang cool, right? I think I'll love them equally, actually.

Can I tell you a story?

I literally got dive-bombed by a bird yesterday while I was running. Like, it swooped down after me. Twice. I run on some pretty open roads... it's not like I was trampling down it's nest in a forest of trees or anything. Seriously, WTF. I thought for sure it was going to peck my eyeballs out. I thought for sure I was going to have a heart attack, too. I had to walk for a minute or two to get my heart rate below max range. I'm not even joking. Has this ever happened to you? Twice this has happened to me. Yesterday, and then years ago when I was running through the apartment complex I lived in at the time. One dumb bird came at me from underneath a carport.

Do I have a target on my forehead?

I hate birds.
Alfred Hitchcock, you were on to something.

Question: What's your strangest encounter with wildlife while exercising?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Go ahead, HIIT it.

Friday. Best word ever, eh? The weekend is here, even if you're at work right now. Pretty soon, you'll have a few days to do as you please. So maybe you want to work out? Just in case, I've put together this quick total-body blast for you. It's a bit HIIT, a bit traditional. For some moves, you'll watch a clock. For others, you'll count reps. I've noted which is which. As always, be sure to warm up first. And when you're done, you'll want to stretch.

Wait...hold up.

What is a plank-to-frog pushup?

Start in a straight-arm plank position.
Jump your feet to your hands, landing in a low wide-leg squat.
Jump your feet back to a plank position.
Do a pushup.


What is a low plank hold?

Just hold the down portion of a pushup. See, I'm doing it in the photo above. If this is too much for you, modify to a regular plank position. Hands or forearms, it's totally up to you. But however you do it, keep those hips in line with your shoulders. No sinking down to the floor! (Protect your low back.) No bums in the air! (That's cheating, friend.)

If you can only do this workout three times through, that's cool. Work yourself up to five. Or more. This is an adaptable workout, so feel free to adjust times/reps to fit your fitness. Always adjust times/reps to fit your fitness, no matter what the workout.

Question: Do you plank? Favorite way to plank? What is the longest you've ever held a plank for? Don't be shy—Brag about yourself! 

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Pinspiration Thursday

"Don't obsess about the number on the scale." <— If you've ever tried to lose weight, and if you've ever talked about it openly, you've no doubt heard this phrase in some way, shape or form. It's true, really. The number on the scale is all-encompassing. But it does not reflect the entirety of your health story. It can be used to judge progress, sure. But it should not be a measurement against which you judge yourself to be strong, beautiful, smart, worthy or [insert positive adjective here]. Again, the number on the scale does not reflect the entirety of your health story.

So don't obsess about it, or your weight loss journey.
It's not about losing. Losing something seems so negative.

Spin it positive:
Pin / Source

Make the number on the scale about gaining health.
Make it about gaining fitness.

And make it but one part of your health story.

Don't forget: My Lean Cuisine giveaway ends tonight, August 8, at midnight EST. Want six free Honestly Good meals? Click here to secure your chances

Question: How many times a week do you weigh yourself? What is your reason behind that number?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

How Organization Affects Health

I should have been a professional pile maker. Like, someone who makes piles for a living because I'm quite good at it—before you get the wrong impression of me, you need to know that I'm a fairly organized person. I know where everything is, where everything needs to be and my house is pretty clean. But there is always a pile of something somewhere. Granted, it's a well-organized pile. But it's a pile nonetheless. And it might remain as such for days on end. For example:

These two piles have been in existence for, oh...just two days or so. But still. It would take me a whole of five minutes to address them. But I don't.

And then there's this:

A single coupon on the table. Right now, it's a small pile of one single thing and I just put it there. But the problem is that this spot on our table seems to be the catch-all for things we don't want to deal with immediately. So the pile grows. And crowds out the table. And inevitably just drives us (me) nuts.

You might think that these piles are mild in comparison to yours or others you've seen. But there are at least three more piles in my house. Piles that should never be. Piles that wouldn't be if I would have dealt with their contents when they first came to my attention.

Now, how is this affecting my health? What does this have to do with fitness?

One of the sessions I attended at BlogHer addressed this. It was called "Health Habits That Will Change Your Life." It was all about making little improvements that would ultimately lead to big changes. Panelists included Dr. Travis Stork of "The Doctors" (and yes, "The Bachelor"), Andrew Mellen (a professional organizer), and fellow bloggers Kymberly Williams-Evans of Fun and Fit, Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food and Erika Nicole Kendall of A Black Girl's Guide to Weight Loss.

SUCH a good panel! Some quotes:

"Small steps lead to big changes.
—Dr. Travis Stork

"What is your stay fat strategy?
—Kymberly Williams-Evans

"Every time you sit down to eat, you're making a conscious choice.
—Dr. Travis Stork

"The best kind of movement is the one you actually enjoy." 
Kymberly Williams-Evans

"The thing that we want least is the thing we inevitably keep
the longest because we don't deal with it." 
Andrew Mellen

This is the quote that really hit it home for me:

"A pile of things is an accumulation of decisions you haven't made."
Andrew Mellen

Now, let's get back to organization and how it affects your health—because it does, both mentally and physically. Think about it. An unorganized house drives you batty. It takes away your concentration...your ability to focus on and/or see the things that really matter. Like your health. 

Yep, it's really that simple. 

Unlike staying organized, and that's where this panel came into play. Specifically, everything that Andrew Mellen had to say. Professional organizer...who would have thunk it?! Dude knows his stuff, though. Before the hour was up, each of the panelists dished out their most important words of advice. Health habits to enforce that just might change your life:

Dr. Travis Stork, on healthy habits:
1) Cut back on sugar.
2) Sit less, stand more.
3) Control stress.
4) Get sleep.
5) Keep it simple.

Andrew Mellen, on organization:
1) There should be one home for everything.
2) Put like with like.
3) If you bring something into the home, get rid of something.
4) Urgent trumps important if you don't know what should be important.

Kymberly Evans-Williams, on fitness:
1) Improve frequency.
2) Improve intensity.
3) Improve time.

Lisa Leake, on eating healthy:
1) Read labels, look for a small number of ingredients and/or things you recognize.
2) Start with small changes.

Erica Nicole Kendal, on developing healthy habits:
1) Realize that it takes time takes time.
2) Don't be so hard on yourself.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I have a few piles to address (otherwise known as decisions that need to be, he hit it home with that one).

Question: Do you make piles? What keeps you organized?

Sunday, August 4, 2013

#IndyWomensHalf Training Update, Week 5

Before I get to it, I gotta remind you to enter my giveaway. Honestly Good food is up for grabs from Lean Cuisine. (I don't do frozen meals, but this's good. Go enter.)

Ah, Sunday night. How quickly you sneak up on me. Time to tie things up with the hopes of starting a new week off on the right foot. Literally. I have to wake up and run five miles tomorrow. Guess what I've noticed: My morning runs are getting darker. I wake up to start my runs at 6:00AM so I can be back and in the shower at 7:00AM, which gives me just enough time to get Hannah and myself out the door before check-in time at the gym. Boo to the impending arrival of Fall and the shorter days it brings with it. I'm hoping I can make it just a few more weeks with the whole running-outside-before-work thing. At least I don't have to worry about the clock on the weekends. There's no way I'd survive long runs on the treadmill.

I wasn't even sure I'd survive this weekend's long runs on the road.

1) I only ran 5.5 miles last weekend when I was supposed to do nine miles.
2) Dang, it was foggy out. Like, I couldn't see ten feet in front of me foggy.

But neither of the above made a difference. This happened:

I will be one happy runner if I can keep this up through race day. So what happened on miles one and seven? I started off slow because I wanted to push it, and because I had to get over a hill. During mile seven, my shoes came untied. Twice. #annoying

Anyway, I guess I'm on track with the training again after two weeks of being a little off And the knee is fine now. I probably just needed to really break in the Mizunos.

Question: What is your ideal race pace?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

#BlogHer13: #SweatPink Bootcamp with @FitApproach

If you're a fitness blogger at BlogHer, you might feel as if there isn't much to offer in terms of fitness content and/or brands. But that doesn't mean the conference is entirely void of all things fitness. There's the unofficial 5K. And when Jamie and Elyse attend, there's a SweatPink bootcamp. The Sheraton was this year's hotel of choice, so the girls decided to hold their bootcamp in Ogden Plaza which is right across the street. (It's also right across the street from the NBC building, if you need another landmark to judge location.) A few pics:

Question: Where is your favorite place to do an outdoor workout?


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