Thursday, November 27, 2014

Give thanks. (#pinspirationthursday)

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May your plates be delicious and your hearts be full today. Give thanks for all that you have, all that you had, and all that is still coming your way. And always, always remember to celebrate the spirit of this Holiday today and every day. #happythanksgiving

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

6 Things I'm Loving Right Now, Vol. 10

So yesterday was my birthday. I turned 34 and ate some delicious chocolate desserts. Do I feel older? No. More mature? Definitely not. Happy to have concluded yet another year of life? Yes. I love birthdays for this very reason because I feel extremely blessed to have experienced the people, places and things that make my years. So here's to this year and beyond.

And the pumpkin bar birthday cake that I'll be eating at my parents' house on Thanksgiving. Because I don't let a birthday go by without pumpkin bars. It's tradition.

But now, since I can't stop thinking about how good they'll taste, I'll distract myself by entertaining you with a few of the things that I've been loving lately. In no particular order:

1) Skoop B-STRONG Protein Powder

A few weeks ago, the people behind Skoop reached out to me on Twitter and offered up some samples. What is Skoop? 100% plant-based, GMO-free protein. At the time, I was out of protein...and I'm a huge fan of delicious plant-based protein...which, in my opinion, is very hard to find. And it's safe to say that Skoop is delicious. The only thing I don't love about it? Super expensive up front. But if healthy protein is really important to you, and if you do the math, then it might be worth the investment. It's not something I use regularly, so I've made the (giant) bag they sent me last—I've still got a ton left and I've been using it maybe once a week for almost two months. I'll be sad when it's gone, but I'm gonna love it while I can. (Note: I'm also kind of obsessed with the Blender Bottle they sent me.)

2) Barre Fit
I've been teaching a barre class at the gym. No, I'm not certified by a specific barre-based organization. I'm going off experience and research. And I'm loving every minute of it. It's a non-traditional barre class in that it fuses ballet with traditional strength training, although my class tends to lean more toward traditional barre exercises. Regardless. I think it's definitely something I want to pursue from a more professional standpoint. Like, a certification of some sort.

3) Runner's World Magazine
I've been reading Runner's World off and on for a few years now, but lately it's been the magazine I look forward to the most every month. Yeah, I bit the bullet and got a subscription.

4) New Winter Clothing

1. Favorite V-Neck Cardigan (Target)
2. Candie's Mid-Shaft Buckle Boots (Kohl's)
3. Coated Jacket (H&M)
4. Muk Luks Sky Boot (Kohl's) (not online)
I've been shopping, friends. I desperately needed a new coat, and my boots were pretty much done for. And while I'm still in need of some clothing, I did find a nice sweater at Target. There will be more shopping, for sure. But I'm being very strategic with my money right now. I want to buy pieces that I can wear this year and next (and next). The term "capsule wardrobe" is floating around the Internet right now. And while I'll never limit myself to just a few key pieces (because that's no fun), I am inspired to shop smart.

5) My 2015 Planner

I know I'm not the only one that geeks out over new office supplies, particularly when it comes to planners and notebooks. I thought about getting one of those major life planners off Etsy or whatever, but I think keeping it simple is what seems to work best for me. So I picked this guy up at Target. Yeah, polka dots!

6) Barbies

My parents are cleaning out their attic and basement, which means they're finding boxes filled with things that belong to me—like my old Barbies. I was obsessed with Barbies. When I stopped playing with them, I evidently boxed up my favorites. And now my daughter is playing with them. When she saw them for the first time, her eyes bugged out of her head. We went from having Anna, Elsa and Ariel "Barbies" to having a collection, including Skipper and Ken. I secretly love it when she asks for help with things like shoes and coats. Once a Barbie lover, always a Barbie lover. At least in my case.

Question: What is one thing you're loving right now?

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Feedly Finds, Vol. 10 / #linklove

Good weekend? It's been chilly up here in Michigan. I'm less than thrilled about it. As my daughter would say, "we need Elsa to bring back Summer." Yes, indeed we do. But since that's not going to happen, we'll just have to cope. And distract. Like, say, with some good articles on the Internet?

1) I am obsessed with the color gray, and I want everything in this roundup. (Except maybe the me some funky, but it's a bit TOO funky for me. And the glasses because I don't wear glasses.)

2) Pretzels are amazing, especially when they're soft and warm (and covered with just a touch of salt). This recipe for pretzel bites suggests dipping them in chocolate sauce. SIGN ME UP.

3) "It never hurts to say nice things to yourself," Skinny Sometimes.

4) As a personal trainer and group fitness instructor, I get the biggest kick out of helping people transition from cardio to cardio AND weights. So many people think steady and extensive amounts of time on the elliptical or treadmill (or machine of choice) is enough to lose weight. But it's not, really. And this post puts it into perspective.

5) I work at a gym, so I don't put makeup on every day...but I love makeup. It's so fun to play with when I actually DO get out of the fitgear! But I suck at putting on lipstick because I usually apply it once and forget about it. I splurged on two favorites from MAC: A rose-ish color that highlights my lips, and a nude that makes them pop juuuuust a little bit. But I've been thinking about playing around with a bold lip color. It always looks so polished and fun on other people. Maybe "bold" is what I need to create that apply/reapply routine.

6) I'm such a marketing nerd. I love the industry. It's all about making, selling, being and doing things. It's exciting, and there's a lot to learn from it. Specifically: It teaches authenticity and the importance of it. I recently pinned this quote from a post that will explain everything:

7) My daughter is a great eater. She'll try anything, and there's not much she won't eat. Currently, just raspberries. But she has a huge sweet tooth, no thanks to me because I do, too. But we try to balance it all out. This article gave me some new strategies.

8) "Sometimes it's important to stop worrying about what everyone else is doing and just be you." Sistas of Strength.

And now, elsewhere on the Internet...

1) As we get closer and closer to that time when we all make some resolutions, you should consider making some incremental goals. They're a bit more reachable in almost every situation.

2) My stack of magazines keeps getting bigger and bigger. Seriously, I'm just now getting to my September issues even though the December issues are arriving. But that's not stopping me from putting must-read fitness, health and happiness books on a wish list.

3) I'm absolutely in love with teaching my new Barre Fit class. All those Ballet classes I took in middle school are finally paying off! I'm also turning to Pinterest for some great new exercises to use, which is where I found these 8 exercises you can do with a chair. Love them all!

4) Whenever I get a new client and/or orient a new member at the gym, it's usually one of two people: Someone who knows exactly what they want out of their time at the gym, or someone who has no clue...which can often be a challenge because it really helps if you can verbalize your goals, what you like, don't like in terms of exercise, your schedule, etc. This article explains it quite nicely.

Question: Have you ever worked with a personal trainer? Tell me something about that experience, positive or negative! 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Workout Wednesday: Intervals for Any Cardio Machine

I feel like I'm running aimlessly right now—and honestly, I really am. The Hot Chocolate 15K was my last race of the year. Right now, I don't have anything solid on next year's schedule. I've just got a wish list of potential races that seems to grow by the day. So I'm sort of just...running. Not training And since it's getting colder by the minute, I'm doing my best to accept that a lot of my runs will be back on the treadmill (dreadmill?) again.

That's where I found myself on Monday, on the treadmill, with about half an hour to run.

Here's what that workout looked on my Garmin Forerunner 15.

To track my runs on the treadmill (or indoor track) (or both), I use it with a foot pod on my shoe.
It seems to line up fairly well with what the treadmill reports.

So instead of shooting for a set amount of miles, I decided to play around with my speed to get the most out of my window of opportunity. Because this is what you have to do when you don't have all day to exercise. You have to power up and really challenge yourself, and that's what playing with intensity will do for you. Especially when you're on the treadmill. Or any piece of cardio equipment, really.

So here's my workout:

Let's talk about it.

1) This workout can be adapted to fit any piece of cardio equipment. And furthermore, any individual can adapt this workout to meet levels of exertion that best fit their fitness levels. This, of course, is why I speak very generally in terms of when/how to increase your pace.

2) Each interval is five minutes long. Add intervals as you see fit to create a workout that's long enough to fit your needs. I repeated the intervals five times, plus the 5-minute warm-up and cool-down to get the results you see on my Garmin. Additionally, this is how I set the treadmill for each pace:

WARM UP: 6.0
FAST: 7.5

Remember, you need to exercise at your own risk—so be smart. My numbers might not be right for you, and you might not want to run. Walking is fine. Or rowing if you choose a row machine. It's literally all up to you as this type of interval workout can be adapted from multiple directions.

If this is all new to you, I suggest checking in with your physician first.

If you give it a try, let me know! I'm always looking for feedback on the workouts I provide.

It sure did make me sweat.

Question: If you can't get on a treadmill, what's your go-to piece of cardio equipment? Why? Me, I like the lateral elliptical. What a leg burner!

Monday, November 17, 2014

An Easy Way to Make Iced Coffee

This post is sponsored by my addiction to iced coffee and is not affiliated with Starbucks. I was not paid to promote the following product. In fact, I paid for it with my very own moolah. All opinions, as is always the case, are my own. And in this case, they're backed by creamer, milk and ice. And some jitters caused by too much caffeine.

So I've got this iced coffee addiction. If you've been following me here and on my various social media outlets, this you already know. At first, it was all about the flavor. I would order a decaf and call it good because...jitters. But now, I willingly accept them as a side effect of caffeine consumption. Literally, I go to bed wondering when I'll wake up and how soon I'll be able to drink my cup 'o the day. Because usually, I just drink one cup. I'm not THAT addicted, not just yet anyway (for the most part).

But here's the thing. I've got a Keurig, and there's a Starbucks down the road. My complaints:

1) I have yet to find an iced K-Cup that I really, truly love. And at this time of year, they're hard to find anyway (at least at my stores).

2) There's no drive-thru at my Starbucks, so I have to plan accordingly because I almost always have the kids with me when I go. And we only have one Starbucks in town.

So I've been on this mission to make awesome iced coffee at home. And I think I've finally nailed it, thanks to this little contraption I ordered from Starbucks...

...and some Breakfast Blend, because that's what my barista suggested I try. And yes, she's MY barista and she totally GETS me. (Because doesn't your barista get you, too? Don't deny it.)

Literally, this thing was worth every penny. I concluded that after just one pitcher:

It couldn't have been any easier to make what you see above, and it would have been even easier if my teapot hadn't been full of rust (a testament to my interest in tea these days).

First, you have to put 16 tablespoons of coffee grounds into the attachment that holds a filter:

And then you pour (slowly) the hot water over the grounds and let it drip through. Which, of course, is where the teapot would have come in handy. But almost-boiling water in a basic sauce pot gets the job done (if you can be careful when you're pouring).

It takes a few minutes for the water to drip through, hence the sludge:

But when it's done, you're left with a hot pitcher of coffee concentrate.

And so at this point, you add a ton of ice to fill the pitcher, which then melts to create a perfect batch of iced coffee:

Now, here's where it gets fun. I'm sure you have your favorite coffee additions. Me, I like just a little bit of Coffee-Mate Natural Bliss Sweet Cream and a splash of non-fat milk. And more ice. Because the colder, the better. Sometimes I put caramel syrup in it, too (I know). But I'm out and doing just fine without it at the moment.

Truth be told, it's a bit stronger than what I get at Starbucks, but I think that their iced coffee is pre-sweetened. So, there's that despite my efforts to ask for less caramel (and consequently less sugar) when I order it. Whatevs.

Let's just be straight about one thing: I'm no coffee aficionado. I treat it kind of like wine. If it tastes good, I'll drink it. So your opinion of this way to make iced coffee might be drastically difference if you're in-the-know about coffee more than I am. But if you're like me and you wanna save a little cash (and some calories) (maybe even some time), then you might like this easy way to make your own iced coffee.

Now, if you'll excuse me, I must surf the Starbucks site because I want the entire Dot Collection. Have you seen all the awesome new mugs and cups in the stores right now? Little things like an awesome coffee tumbler have such great power to make me happy.

You see nothing wrong with that, right? Right. Okay.

Question: How do you make your iced coffee? What do you add to it? Do you have any bean suggestions for me? I feel like I need to experiment now that I know Breakfast Blend is good to me.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I registered for #IDEAWorld #BlogFest (and some other weekend shenanigans).

Sometimes my page-a-day is so right that it freaks me out. For example, this weekend's page is all about having fun. And it's pink.

Ironic why? Because I just registered for next year's Sweat Pink Blog Fest and IDEA World Fitness Convention. #bucketlist

Ever since I joined this crazy fitness industry, attending the IDEA World Fitness Convention has always been at the top of my must-do list. 1) I've never been to California, and 2) It seems to be one of the best fitness conventions in the world, so...I mean. Hello, gotta go. And then the girls behind Fit Approach and Sweat Pink joined up with IDEA to add on a fitness blogging conference to the weekend. I heard about it when I met up with them at BlogHer in 2013, but ultimately couldn't attend this year's inaugural conference because it was right after Evan was born. So, we're shooting for next year. And I'm so excited.

Also beginning right now, a new relationship with a local running group. I love running with people, and I especially need the motivation at this time of year because temperatures are dropping and conditions are less than ideal. I met up with them yesterday for a nice 6ish-miler.

I would have taken pictures during the run, but I was too busy running. And I didn't exactly want to be the newbie that couldn't keep up or the weirdo snapping pictures.

Maybe next time.

Do you follow me on Instagram? Did you catch my post-run coffee selfie?

Yeah, hot coffee. I'm still loving my cold coffee, but I needed some warmth after that run. Man, the winds off the lake were pretty cold.

So today, we got ready for the week. Meaning, we did some laundry and went grocery shopping.

I made chili and some blueberry bread. And these little snack packs of almonds, cashews and chocolate chunks:

I purchased a bulk bag of snack packs just like this from Trader Joe's a few weeks ago. Ate my last one this past week, darn it. So I got creative and made my own since the closest Trader Joe's is at least two hours away. Which, clearly, is a major bummer...and also probably a very good thing.

Question: Have you ever been to a Trader Joe's? What's the one thing you always buy when you go? I always...always buy the peanut butter pretzels. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

#RaceRecap: @HotChocolate15K in Chicago

Chocolate and running. Two things that don't necessarily go together. Except they do, thanks to RAM Racing and the Hot Chocolate 15K. I ran it this past weekend in Chicago. I had fun back in 2012 when I ran it for the first time, and with the addition of some serious bling, I just had to run it again this year (because I'm a sucker for good race bling) (and chocolate).

Good race bling:

I absolutely love running in Chicago, but I detest race day traffic because (seriously) every street is basically closed off and in the city, this makes for some frustrating travel conditions. Long story short, we barely made it to the start line on time.

What. Is up. With my hat? #conehead

At least we didn't have to stand around too long before we started running. That's always the worst. Especially when it's cold outside, which it was (hence the awful hat).

If you run a Hot Chocolate race, beware that it brings out the crowd. There were a ton of people involved, which is both great and annoying at the same time. Great because the vibe is always decent, which can be very motivating and entertaining. Annoying because it makes it hard to navigate the route (and the post-race activities). Would I recommend this race despite that? Yes, definitely. I mean...chocolate.

Anyway, I didn't really take too many pictures along the way. But here are some highlights:

1) Garmin fail. It turned on in my bag, and stayed on overnight which mean that I had little to no battery power. I think it lasted all of three miles, if that.

2) This was the first time I've ever stopped at the potties in the middle of a race. I didn't have time to go before we jumped (literally) into the corral. I'm pretty sure it added some time to my finish, maybe even ten minutes? I don't know. But I had to go.

3) I wish I would have snagged the chocolate bar at the first aid station. So I definitely ate a chocolate marshmallow when they popped up at an aid station later on. I skipped the Tootsie Rolls, though. I might be the only one in the world that doesn't like Tootsie Rolls.

4) I carried Cocogo with me in my water bottle. And a packet of applesauce for mid-race fuel. I didn't eat the sauce but downed the Cocogo throughout. I much prefer it to Gatorade. My sister asked for a drink at one point. I think she was pleasantly surprised by the deliciousness of it.

5) My IT band flared up again. It did so good when I ran my half marathon, but then...I don't know. It was cold outside again. So maybe that's why. I really hope it's not my shoes. It's been fine ever since, so that's promising. I won't be able to run again until Saturday morning, so we'll see.

The best highlight of all?
Crossing another finish line with these two:

And the finisher's mug, of course:

There was a banana in it, too, but that got unwrapped, dunked in chocolate and consumed in less than five minutes. I mean, we pretty much just dove headfirst into all that melted chocolate.

And then we got coffee. #postruntradition

Final time? 1:36:37

Better than last time, but I'm a stronger runner now and probably could have done better if my IT band would have behaved. And if I hadn't stopped to pee. But it's all good. I still had a great time.

What's next? Not sure. For now, I'm in maintenance mode as I contemplate my next move. There's a local running group that does long runs every Saturday morning. I've been trying to get more involved with them, so hopefully I can kick that off this Saturday. We'll see. But right now, it's late and I'm scheduled to teach my second-ever Barre Fit class in the morning.

Better get to bed.

Question: What's the best piece of race swag you've ever received? Medals don't count. Go...

Monday, November 10, 2014

5 Ways to Stay Healthy Over the Holidays #KohlsFitHoliday

This post is sponsored by Kohl's. Regardless of free product or compensation, all opinions are my own, as they always are in posts that are sponsored in some way.

Have you heard it yet? It's playing all over the place now. I'm talking about Christmas music. "Jingle bells, jingle bells..." and various versions of it. I've been hearing it for a few weeks now. Like, before the Halloween stuff went on sale. Ready or not, the Holidays are here. And all that stress about Holiday weight gain and "falling off the wagon" and, know. But there's still time for you to jump ahead of all that. You've got enough to think about at this time of year: Gifts, parties, meals and more. Think about your health right now, first and foremost.

Nike Club Fleece Hoodie
1) Beat the resolutioners and join a gym right now.
Sure, there might be more membership discounts in January, but do yourself a favor and jump start your fitness journey right now. Because when it comes to exercise, there's no better time than now to begin. And if you can get yourself into a comfortable routine before all the parties (and apps, drinks and desserts) come crashing down on you, you'll be one step ahead of the potential for weight gain.

ASICS Favorite 1/4-Zip Running Top / FILA SPORT Printed Racerback Performance Tank
Be Up Keyhole Yoga Capri Leggings
2) Find a new at-home workout, or try a new group fitness class. 
If you spend money on a workout program or new piece of exercise equipment, you'll use it. Who likes to waste money? "I do," said no one ever. I recommend PiYo from Beachbody (nope, not a coach). And remember, gyms get seriously packed after the Holidays which can make it difficult to attend group fitness classes. So claim yours now. Maybe a barre-style class if yours has one? If it doesn't, here's something you might try at home. I recently started teaching what we call a Barre Fit class, which combines elements of a traditional barre-style class with some basic non-barre strength moves:

Soybu Allegro Printed Yoga Leggings
Note #1: Please speak with your physician before trying this workout if you have any concerns whatsoever. I am an ACE-certified personal trainer and build my workouts accordingly, but I don't know what your medical history is and cannot, therefore, say with certainty that this particular workout is right for you.

Note #2: Barre classes are meant to be done slowly with supreme emphasis on the expression (and perfection) of each movement. In other words, channel your inner ballerina and move through each exercise with precision. Really extend and flex throughout to gain the most from the workout. Any questions? Email me: tara (at) adailydoseoffit (dot) com

3) Sign up for a Winter fitness event with friends and/or family.
Turkey Trot? Frozen 5K? Season passes to the nearest ski hill or ice rink? Find something that gives you a reason to stay active this season. Let it and anyone else involved hold you accountable for participating because, well...if it's outside and you live somewhere lucky (unlucky?) enough to experience true Winter weather, then you'll need the motivation to get up and go. For example, I just ran the Hot Chocolate 15K in Chicago this past weekend and it was fa-reezing along the lake. Of course, I had my best running buds by my side so I ultimately survived to get another post-run coffee:

Champion Absolute Workout Double Dry Fitted Tights

4) Mentally accept that which is the Holiday season (and eat the damn cookie).
Physical and mental health go hand-in-hand, so it's equally important to address your mental health at this time of year. It's the "most wonderful time of the year," but it's also the most stressful because you just gotta get that shopping done, right? And who's coming over for Thanksgiving? Where is Christmas this year? How many of those cookies did you just eat? And now it's time for that second Christmas dinner? Explosion. You can't handle it all. But really, you can. You just have to accept that this time of year is crazy and go forth. Enjoy it because (whether or not you wish to admit it), you've been looking forward to it. And the cookies. Oh, the Christmas cookies.

5) Treat yourself to new fitness gear.
You're buying presents for everyone else, right? So why not treat yourself a bit early to some new fitness gear? It might be clothing, it might be that treadmill you've been saving up for. Splurge on yourself because you deserve it. You deserve the extra motivation, and you probably need it. Just like the workout program or new piece of exercise equipment, you wouldn't let a new pair of running shoes or a sleek new tank sit in a drawer, would you?

Bottom line, it's the Holiday season. It comes every year and you know exactly what it's going to be like. So this year, I challenge you to focus a little bit more on yourself. Because if you take care of yourself first and foremost...seriously, you have to make time for'll be in a much better position to handle that which is the glorious chaos of Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve (or whatever holidays you celebrate). You deserve a little extra attention, it's not a selfish thing. Its called health. And good health brings great happiness.

Note #3: When Kohl's reached out to me for help promoting good health over the Holidays, I jumped at the chance because Kohl's is one of my very favorite places to shop for activewear. Seriously, if you haven't discovered that which is the Kohl's activewear department, you really need to start the car up right now. They carry a TON of brands in-store and online, and their prices are totally affordable. You know Kohl's, everything is always on sale (or so it seems). Most of the clothing you see on me above is from Kohl's.

Question: How do you stay healthy over the holidays?

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Cold Weather, Iced Coffee and November Goals

Yikes, it's nasty out. I'm headed to Chicago for the Hot Chocolate 15K tomorrow and if that side of the lake is like this side of the lake, I'm in for a bitter cold race. Needless to say, I packed my running coat, hat and gloves for extra warmth.

You'd think I would have chosen the warm Snickerdoodle latte from Dunkin, but you might recall that I'm addicted to iced coffee. So, cold it was. With a side of pumpkin donut:

I took my little out for a mommy/daughter date this morning, which was really me just taking her with me to run some errands. She doesn't know the difference, which is awesome because I'll take whatever time with her she's willing to give me. She's just too much fun.

We stopped to get the oil changed, too. This is a task I hate, and it usually shows:

She, of course, loved it. A totally new experience with much to observe and, consequently, much to ask about:

"Mommy, who's that guy?"
"Can we go now?"
"What's he doing, mommy?"
"Does green mean go?"
"Is he fixing our car?"
"Where are we going next?"
"Mommy, look! A dolphin..."

I don't know why, but they have a fake (and huge) dolphin hanging on the wall. #random

Anyway, we're home now.
And here's my list of November goals:

1) Meal plan every week and make a detailed grocery list.
2) Perfect the art of pour-over iced coffee.
3) Find a new Winter coat. (And some warm clothes, too.)
4) Contemplate some Spring races.

I only came up with a few goals this month because we're entering Holiday season. Which is never a busy season, right? #sarcasm So we'll keep it easy and manageable. And you should, too.

More tips on staying healthy throughout the Holidays will be forthcoming. Stay tuned?

Have a weekend.

Question: How do you feel about cold weather running? Do you take your runs indoors at this time of year? Or do you bundle up? What's your favorite piece of cold-weather gear?

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Run a #HalfMarathon by Yourself (, it's #pinspirationthursday)

Can I just say: I absolutely hate the flu. With a passion. Because it's so annoying. It's one of those illnesses that has such great power to make you feel like crap. And even though it's not typically life-threatening and is almost always manageable, it has this power over the body. Almost like the little virus enters your system with an evil grin, totally excited to just mess up you and your week. And after it does, it moves on to your family. Maybe even your friends. And probably some other people, too, despite your best efforts.

So yeah, we had the flu this week. But I'm trying not to dwell on it anymore because there are so many people out there suffering from such greater, incurable, unimaginable things.


I ran a half marathon on Sunday.
I did it all by myself. Literally, all by myself.

No race signs. No fuel stations. Just me and my gear.

I really didn't think I could do it. But I did:

A few months ago, I worked with Jost Running to promote their virtual races. Specifically, the Beat the Heat 5k and the Home Run 10K. I had an unused voucher for one of their half marathons, and since I ran a little over 11 miles at the Grand Rapids Marathon relay—I mean, I couldn't let it go to waste. What's two more miles, right?

Shoot, those two miles were hard! Not physically, but mentally! If you train for marathons, you might think this post is silly because a solo 13-miler might be a walk in the park for you. But it wasn't for me because I don't train for marathons. I train for half marathons, and I prefer to run them with a ton of people. Would you believe I've only gone the distance three times previously?

1) Chicago Half Marathon, October 2009
2) Chicago Women's Half Marathon, June 2013
3) Indianapolis Women's Half Marathon, August 2013

No recap on that first one. Daily Dose wasn't up and running (ha!) yet.

Add this one now:

4) Jost Running Strength In Numbers Virtual Half Marathon, November 2014

But anything is possible if you put your mind to it. I'm a firm believer in that, so I sucked it up...well, laced it up and got my butt outside. And I ran. I ran 13.1 miles on what might have been the last sunny Fall day of the season.

It was perfect.
Again, the last two miles sucked.
But it was perfect.
(And then I got the flu.)

If you're thinking about running 13.2 miles by yourself, you should consider the following:

1) Register for a virtual race and earn that proof. Because, #bling.
2) Be very strategic about your fuel—remember, no aid stations.
3) Pick a path that travels close to home, just in case you (insert problem here).
4) Be your own cheerleader. Literally...out loud.
5) Stay safe, aware, and let others know where you're going and when you might return.
6) Believe in yourself. #mostimportant

Pin / Source
You can be sure I'll share my medal when it comes. Are you following me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram? You might see it there first.

Tomorrow, November goals. I've been thinking about them...

Question: What's the furthest distance you've ever gone by yourself? How did you get through it?

Saturday, November 1, 2014

My Day: Errands and Goals

It snowed yesterday. Like, big huge flakes of bitter cold. I'm not even joking. I told my daughter that we needed to find Elsa so she can bring back Summer. She looked at me like I was crazy. I'm not. I much prefer warmer temperatures, and I am ill prepared for the cold. Since I was pregnant last Winter, I relied pretty heavily on what I had in my closet. So all my Winter clothes remind me of being pregnant, and some of them just truly need to be replaced (like most of my boots and jackets, all key items for this time of year). So I left the kids at home (with Dad, obvi) and went shopping.

We don't have very many options in my town, and I didn't feel like driving, so I went to Target (of course) and Kohl's. (Note: I am working with Kohl's on a sponsored campaign. This is not the official post, however I did use some funds gifted to me to purchase two items I am about to speak of—disclosing that to you for what it's worth.)

Does this happen to you? You go out to shop, ready and willing to spend money, and then you find little to nothing. You strike out, for the most part.

This happens to you, right? Because it happens to me all the time.

I took so many things into the fitting room with me, all of which were cute. None of which felt right on me. Except for the purple Nike sweatshirt you see above. It'll be great with jeans and leggings...I keep it really casual these days. Maybe too casual (I do tend to live in fitgear).

Anyway, I also found some things for my feet:

Slippers, because I buy them at Target at this time of year every year. And sneakers, because I need more shoes like my Skyscapes. Casual, comfortable. I ordered a pair of brown boots, too. We'll see if I end up liking them once they're actually in front of me.

Also purchased: Iced coffee, even though I had some at home before I left.

It's become a problem, for real, this whole coffee thing.
Also, can we talk about the fact that October is over?

I'm still mulling over my November goals, so we'll officially welcome the month in a day or two. For now, let me recap my October goals (mostly for my own benefit).

1) Successfully complete (and enjoy) my first marathon relay race.
So much fun. Did you read my race recap? I'd do it again.

2) Introduce new segments to my PiYo Live class. 
If you're familiar with PiYo Live, the first half of my class is now Lesson 35 and the back half is 33. (I don't have 34...if you do and it's good, let me know.) Teaching this class is, arguably, the best part of my work week. I'm having so much fun with it! And it's getting easier and easier for me to learn new segments. I just got Lesson 36 (but it's still shrink wrapped.)

3) Continue making efforts to reduce sugar intake. 
Meh. I've been reading. Still no solid plan.

4) Read a book.
So I started reading Tana French's new book. I got it at the library and because it was brand new, I only had so much time with it...which means I had to return it before I could finish it. Currently on the waiting list for it (and contemplating just buying it, but I'd rather have the paper back, which isn't out yet).

5) Add some clothing to my fall wardrobe. 
See above. Ugh. What should I buy?

6) Celebrate 5 years of marriage with a great, no kids date night.
OMG, best dinner ever. Scallops, shrimp, steak...oh my! Plus, we love our new babysitter.

And, there you have it. A brain dump about my day, interesting or not. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to catch up on this week's episode of "Scandal."

Question: Is there anything you're coveting for your closet this season? Do you have a hard time saying "no" to fitgear when you need to dress for activities outside of the gym? Or do you rock the fitgear as much as I do?


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