5 Friday Favorites- Running Gear

Happy Friday! I can’t believe how quickly the week flew by. It was so, incredibly busy and the weekend is going to be 10x crazier, but it’s making the weeks fly by. It’s almost February, which is almost summer. You like that logic? 😉

In keeping up with my new “structure”, I am introducing 5 Favorites Friday! It’ll be an opportunity to share some of my favorite things.

Since running is obviously my fave I decided to start with some of my favorite running gear.

1. Brooks Ghost 7

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I was definitely a Mizuno girl before, but these shoes changed me! I love how much cushion they have in the heel. I think it’s really helped with my knee pain and it doesn’t hurt that they come in the cutest colors. I recommend buying from a running store so they can properly fit you in the right shoe and style, but if you have a neutral foot but like more cushion I recommend trying a pair of these babies!

2. Yurbuds Earbuds

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I’ve never been in love with an inanimate object so much in my entire life. These headphones are absolutely amazing. There’s something about adjusting your headphones every 5 seconds that makes a run feel 100x longer. These stay in place and I don’t even notice them in my ears. If you invest in only one piece of running gear I recommend these time and time again!

3. Pro Compression Marathon Socks

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I just invested in a few pairs of these socks within the last couple of months and they have been great for recovery after long runs. They come in a million cute colors and patterns and have these long compression socks, compression sleeves and regular running socks, in addition to compression pants and other gear. I put them on after long treadmill runs, but I can’t wait to run with these in the summer.

4. Brooks Infiniti Skort

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If you read this blog over the summer you already know that I am borderline obsessed with running skirts. Thanks to my wonderful parents and husband for feeding this obsession on my birthday last year. I got two of these skirts, one in black and the other in the color and pattern above. These things are amazing and so, incredibly comfortable to run in. I love the fit of the shorts underneath, which have a sticky elastic band to keep them in place so they don’t ride up. I ran both half marathons in this skirt last year and can’t wait to break them out again this summer!!

5. Camelbak Hydration Pack

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Last, but definitely not least, is the hydration pack water bottle from Camelbak. I had a terrible run last summer and have refused to do long outdoor runs without a water bottle ever since. It was the middle of summer and HOT and humid. We went for a 7 mile run on the streets around our house, which is farm fields. Aka not shaded. I reached the 6 mile mark and am pretty sure I was fighting a heat stroke. I was lightheaded and dizzy and just wanted to crawl into a ditch. I realize how irresponsible it was to run without water in that kind of heat and refuse to run longer than 3 miles outside without water. I love that you don’t actually have to hold this bottle. It slides on and adjusts to your hand size so I never have to worry about dropping it or having it slide around.

There you have it! Some of my favorite running gear. I think that you should definitely find the gear that works best for you, because everyone’s running gear preferences are way different. I know some people who hate running in skirts (those are the people I like to refer to as “crazy”). And some people swear by hydration belts. Finding the right gear for you can make all the difference in a comfortable and happy run. The longer distance you run the more uncomfortable it can become, so making sure you have everything you need makes a world of difference.

Have a great weekend!

Weekly Recap & Miles Monday! Let’s get structured!

Last week (much better than the week before!):
Sunday- Rest
Monday- TIU workout
Tuesday- TIU workout
Wednesday- TIU workout and 4 mile run
Thursday- Leg day (ouch)
Friday- TIU workout
Saturday- 8 mile run!

I’ve decided to set some weekly guides to make staying consistent with blogging a little easier. I’ll share them with you throughout the week as a daily debut.

Miles Monday will be devoted to all things running and training! There are a couple races that I still have my eye on, but I haven’t officially committed and signed up yet. I will probably only do 2-3 runs per week for the next couple weeks until training officially begins to give my legs a little bit of a break and try to prevent injuries from unnecessary overuse. Overall, my body is loving running on the treadmill. I watch movies on the weekend during my longer runs, which makes them 10x more enjoyable. I’ll be sharing more about what I’ve been doing to fuel before and during a run at a later time, but I think I’m starting to figure out an actual science to this whole running thing as it relates to my body. Imagine that!

Hope you had a great weekend!

1/11-1/17 Weekly Review

Welllll nothing about last week went according to plan. It’s ok, but I have been having a heck of a time playing catch up *takes deep breath*.

On Sunday, I decided at the last second to switch my classes around for the semester. The cutoff was Monday at 5pm to drop classes and add new with no penalty. Luckily, Thursday the week before we had a crazy snow storm and the university was closed. So I could add a Thursday class without missing an actual class session (score!!) but this meant I had to expedite new books in and email the prof to see what needed to be completed for class on Thursday (ok, not so bad), which happened to be reading an entire book (ok, that wasn’t really what I had planned on doing). So that’s how I spent Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday nights in addition to reading the finance book that didn’t deliver until Tuesday night (for class on Wednesday). I was a good student and bought my book at the beginning of December, but as luck would have it I accidentally bought the super special Indian edition, which happened to be in rupees….

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It just wasn’t good school-wise last week. =\

Let’s see how the workouts went…
Monday started off great with a sweaty 5-mile run.

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I was up LATE reading Sunday-Wednesday night, so morning workouts did NOT happen. I figured I would just get my runs in for the week and catch up on the weekend. On Wednesday, I was beyond exhausted and did not feel like running. Thursday came and went and I was so, unbelievably busy with back to back meetings that I couldn’t run (and had class that night). I am definitely not happy with my lack of workouts last week, but I knew school was more important and I was just not in it so I’m just going to say it is what it is and move forward. It’s certainly not the first time that I’ve missed a week of workouts and I know it won’t be my last. Friday got here and I felt terrible and had zero energy. I know that working out gives me 10x more energy throughout the day and it’s nice that missing workouts reminds me how much I hate missing workouts! 🙂

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Saturday I even put on workout clothes and then decided to go shopping instead, so I then pretended they were just real life clothes.

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Sunday I finally drug myself to the gym and got in another 5-miler. And boy did I feel amazing.

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Followed by iced coffee, oatmeal and paper writing.

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I prepped food for the week and made the best dinner I have eaten in a long time.

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Grilled chicken and avocado on toasted gf bread with sweet potato fries (addicted). So basically I want to eat this every day for the rest of my life.

It wasn’t exactly the week that I had hoped for, but I got in 10 miles and am ready to head into this new week refreshed and recharged (I think/hope/pray).

Happy, happy Monday!!

3 Foods

Wow, it’s been even harder coming back to reality than I thought. I just really need to learn what my optimal amount of sleep is and stick to it. I try to guess and end up either getting way too much or way too little sleep. I think Sunday night I had it down and then went to bed way too early Monday night so I spent Tuesday morning in a fog. Maybe by my 28th birthday I’ll learn how to sleep properly… Maybe. 😉

It felt great to get back to a somewhat normal workout schedule on Monday. I was up at 6 for my TIU workout, which was arms and abs.

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That’s my ‘I don’t want to be awake’ face with no makeup and extra sweat.

I hit the gym at lunch and did 30 mins on the elliptical, which I hate. I’m going to need to figure out a way to make myself like that machine!

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Inhaled a kale salad:

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And braved the snowpocalypse for an hour of core strengthening yoga with some friends.

Tuesday I definitely hit snooze but was looking forward to running for the first time in a week and a half!

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5 miles on the good ole treadmill and my legs were jello. My feet felt really heavy yesterday like I was wearing lead shoes. Other than just needing to get back into my groove I felt great. It takes me a good 2 miles to warm up now and the last 3-5 that I run feel great! 🙂 This run was powered by kale, so I’m thankful that it helped power me through.

I got home and did the new Tone It Up workout, which was arms and abs and ate more salmon than I thought humanly possible followed by a new favorite:

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I have never had Quest Bars before, but holy crap are they good! They’re not 100% clean, but I think it’s ok to ‘cheat’ every once in a while (at least for me it’s a must), and they are wayyyy better than a candy bar in my mind. So far I’ve had the cookies and cream and the cookie dough bars and neither have disappointed.

Speaking of kale and yoga above (how’s that for a transition?!), here are my new recent ‘back to school’ purchases:

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The kale one is for me and the yoga one is for my bf for her bday (she knows about it because we like to ruin surprises). She is the one who has me hooked on Monday night yoga, so it seemed fitting for her. 🙂

I also bought these from Albion Fit, which I will be living in (I need everything that this company sells!!!)

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Yes, I buy myself presents when I start school. I plan on living in the shirt and pants all weekend while I study. Plus, I had a gift card! 🙂

So I didn’t include this in my resolution post, but there are 3 new foods that I don’t frequently eat that I really want to try and incorporate into my meals.

1. Tofu-

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Don’t ask me why. I tried it once in South Korea and wasn’t a fan of the texture, but I was also pretty closed minded about the food there in general (I have a tough time not knowing how things are prepared, especially meat) so I’d like to give it another chance. This pic is bbq baked tofu. I love all things bbq, so I figure that may be a good recipe to help ease into it. My friend, Meghan, eats it and has cooked it before so she’s offered to help me out my first time.

2. Brussels Sprouts-

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I think my fear of brussels sprouts comes from just not knowing how to cook them. I’ve never eaten them before so I don’t even know what they’re supposed to taste like. I’ve seen some maple recipes that have intrigued me, but I’ll have to find someone (*cough cough Meghan*) who has cooked then to help me.

3. Artichoke-

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I’ve definitely eaten my fair share of artichoke in the oh so healthy spinach and artichoke dips in the past. I’d like to try to incorporate it in a healthy way into my diet.

I am not super adventurous with food, so I would like to figure out a way to make myself love vegetables! Any of you ever cooked the 3 foods above? Any good recipe recommendations? What foods are on your ‘to try’ list this year??

I have my first class of the semester tonight, which is finance, so I’m actually looking forward to it (I’m a math nerd)! Wish me luck!

A Long Weekend

Hi there!
What a weekend! I worked last Friday but it was so quiet and slow (1 day out of the year… I’ll take it!) that I felt like I have had weeks off! While I do love my time off, the inconsistent schedule makes it 10x harder for me to stay on track, so I am really looking forward to my structured weeks again. School also starts up again this week, although my Tuesday class is already cancelled because my professor is out of town on university business, so I only have to trek across town once this week! My Wednesday class is at the campus here in Holland and is so close I could bike there. Let semester 3/5 begin!

I had an awesome time celebrating the end of an amazing year with some great friends. Here are some pics from our night.

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We had dinner at a restaurant downtown and then decided to have everyone back to our house because it was taking FOREVER to get drinks at the bar. Not ok for a New Year’s Eve! I had more fun than I can even begin to explain and even got to talk to my parents after midnight, a tradition that we have kept strong. 🙂 I paid the price the next day with a fuzzy head- 4 glasses of wine sure does go to your head when you aren’t a big drinker.

I think I am slowly starting to talk myself into training for a full marathon this fall. I have talked about it, and REALLY want to do it and I just feel like now is the time for me. I have never been this excited or motivated EVER.

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My rough plan:
Increase my cardio starting this week:
Monday, Wednesday and Friday will be spent on the elliptical
Tuesday and Thursday and Saturday or Sunday will be spent on the treadmill

I will start officially training for the 1/2 marathon mid-February and use that training to just push me through the 25k (the race is only a couple weeks after the 1/2). I want to use the Tone It Up Love Your Body series to lose weight and get myself into shape so that it’s less weight on my knees. It ends mid-February so timing is pretty perfect!

Once those are done I will assess how my body feels and how I feel mentally and figure out the best training plan for me based on when the race will be.

The one thing I know that I NEED to do is get outside and run. I wanted to yesterday morning, but then this happened:

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ALL THE SNOW!

Instead, Bear and I grocery shopped and then I food prepped the day away.

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Quinoa, broccoli, cut and bagged veggies, made chickpea burgers, made my smoothie for this morning, prepped my kale for salads, washed all of my fruit and even went so far as to fill up 3 water bottles for my morning workouts so I can grab them and go! 🙂

My weekly workouts are planned and my bag is packed for the gym and today’s yoga class. I am feeling SO ready to get back into the normal post-holiday swing of things. I am just praying the gym isn’t packed with ‘resolution-ers’.

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Happy Monday!