Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tip for Tuesday

Monday, December 10, 2012

Back on track

It has been a crazy few weeks. I know I keep saying that without giving too much away but to sum it up: I left my old part time job and got a brand new job in a field I know nothing about working full time. I lost some friends, but gained some more in places I least expected. Plus, this time of year just seems to be a little hectic anyway with all of the holidays but I am FINALLY getting a solid hold on my schedule. FINALLY running again and FINALLY feeling like me again. Funny how change can teach you so many things.

Some other just as dramatic changes were switching from Blackberry to iPhone. 
Are you a crackberry or an apple?

Any cool apps you guys have? We've been having fun with some at work.
Such a great look for me, don't you think?

Santa to the Sea

After yesterday's race I felt pretty sore this morning but as the day went on it faded away. Tomorrow I'll  be back to pounding pavement again. My plan is to stick with low mileage for the next week and see how I feel. Running three days a week has been working well for me so I am going to try and stick with that.

I am looking to get some blog work done! I am looking for a blog re-design and possible host conversion. If you or someone you know may be interested please e-mail me ASAP! Thanks!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

No brainer

With the craziness that has encompassed the past few weeks it didn't even dawn on me that in order to do well in a half marathon you do, in fact, have to train. Especially if you're someone like me who has absolutely no genetic build to be a strong distance runner.

I finished. I'll give myself that because 13 miles is 13 miles. And I'll give myself credit that I ran both hills strongly. Other than that, I had a crappy attitude and the race kicked my butt. I deserved every bit of that bad race. 

While I was having a pity party for one during the race I started to think. A lot. I felt frustrated because people kept passing me but you know what? I deserved to be passed. I know there are people who put in months worth of training to run only one half marathon a year. This was my 7th and I had only run three times in the past two months. Keep in mind, all of these runs were under 5 miles.

Sometimes I think it's good to be humbled and reminded that 1. running is a gift. and 2. things worth having are worth putting in the work for. If I want to improve my times I need to put in the work and there's no way around it. 

At the end of the day, it's always fun to get out there and race. It's a fun atmosphere and I truly enjoy it but I think I'll enjoy it even more once I get back in a training routine. As unbelievable as this may sound, I'm glad this race kicked my butt because I think it was just the push I needed to get back on track. 

Santa to the Sea Half Marathon
Finish time of 2:19

Friday, November 23, 2012

Thanksgiving Treasures

Whether we succeed or fail at something is directly proportionate to how badly we want it. It all boils down to how much time and dedication you are willing to invest in order to reach your goal. Excuses are cheap and easy. Devotion, persistence, and time are valuable and hard. It tends to be the "hard" stuff that builds the most character. The hard stuff also teaches us to see and cherish what is worth treasuring. Never let moments, people, or places worth treasuring go to waste. Hold on tight and don't let go! I hope that you all have a few treasures during this weekend of Thanksgiving.

Monday, November 19, 2012

More reps, less benefits

Most people I talk to are aware of the benefits to strength training but the questions are always the same: how many reps should I be doing? Will I bulk up if I lift heavy?

Typically, according to most personal trainers, high reps are between 12 and 15 reps. Reps beyond 15 and closer to 30 can actually increase the likelihood of joint injury depending on the movement.

I really like this Livestrong article because they hit a lot of main points so clearly:

"Workouts consisting of two to six repetitions are considered low-rep, high-weight training. This type of workout is best for building muscle and developing significant increases in strength. Workouts consisting of 10 to 15 repetitions are best for developing muscular endurance. The 7- to 10-rep workout is a moderate repetition range, which represents a compromise between building muscle mass and developing muscular endurance." 

Here are a few more pieces of advice:

"A number of factors should be considered when choosing between a high-rep or a low-rep/heavy-weight workout. Your training goals are an important consideration. For example, if you are training for an endurance sport, you should consider a higher-repetition workout. If you are training for a bodybuilding competition, go with the low-rep, heavier-weight workout. Keep in mind that the ability to build or define muscle is often genetically predetermined. Some people will build muscle after performing 10 push-ups, while others can work out for years and show only minimal muscle gains.

The weightlifting tempo, otherwise called "time under tension," has a profound influence on the efficiency of the workout. Momentum is always discouraged. People who perform heavy-weight workouts sometimes have a tendency to "throw" the weight into position, whereas people who perform high repetitions often perform the exercises too quickly. For maximum efficiency, the exercises should be performed in proper form. The core muscles should assist the movement, but there should not be any superfluous movement in the lower back. While there are many workout tempos, some trainers advise a 4-count lift, a 1-count pause at the top of the movement and a 4-count return. When using this technique, you may discover that you cannot lift as much weight or perform as many repetitions. The benefits, however, will be much greater."

So in summary, focus on lifting a challenging weight while still being able to keep proper form. Once form begins to falter the benefits become compromised. Injuries are NEVER worth getting in an extra set or lifting a heavier weight.

How do I select the proper weight to use?

This varies depending on the chosen exercise, body parts involved, etc. When I interned at a local gym we would ask people after they finished the first set, "how many more reps do you feel like you could do?" If they said that they could have done 1-2 more reps we kept them at that weight. If they felt as though they could have done 4+ more reps we increased the weight. It will be slightly trial and error at first but you'll quickly be able to gauge for yourself the proper weights to use. 

What about the "bulk"?

That "bulk" most people are referring too is typically from an improper diet. The quick and dirty for getting rid of the "bulk" or just to simply lean out a little is to drink lots of water, limit salt, starchy carb and sugar intakes (this includes high glycemic fruits). It's obviously not fool proof but will definitely get your body transitioning in the right direction.

Overall, I think it's best if people devise a plan of attack based on their own individual goals. If your goal is just to lean out and lose fat (this is probably the majority of people who e-mail me) focus on improving your diet before worrying too much about weight training. When I was my leanest I didn't even go to the gym! Proper diet will lean you out quicker than exercise hands down.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Food for thought

Don't let your problems dictate your life. You don't have control of every situation you are presented with but you do control your reaction to it. It's never too late to sculpt your life into exactly what you want it to be! Have a great weekend! :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Unplanned hiatus

That hiatus was completely unplanned and unusual for me. Over the past few weeks I went through some rough patches. I think it's hard to do what's best for you and your body when your mind is so heavy and distracted.

Fortunately, the storm has settled. I'm over the brunt of it and see only good things on the other side. The best thing I can do is learn the lessons and keep moving forward. I think the smartest people are the ones who are always willing to learn and continually keep their eyes open. One thing I took from this experience was seeing the importance of not being a slave to your thoughts. Meaning simply, don't live in your head too much. If you live in your head you can't see the good things that are right in front of you. If you have something good in front of you always make sure you treasure it for it's worth. The best things, people and experiences come when we least expect them.

Thank you to all of you who e-mailed and messaged me to check in. You have no idea how appreciative I am of your concern! Thank you for trusting me enough to reach out to me. I am almost caught up on e-mails, if I have yet to get back to you I will be doing so as soon as possible!

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Road is Long, Heart is Strong

A good friend told me this quote: "Nothing worthwhile comes easily. Work, continuous work and hard work, is the only way to accomplish results that last."

On that note, it's time to go out and get it done. 

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Marla Runyan Half Marathon 2012

Remember how I wasn't going into this race with any expectations? This was mostly because my expectations tend to lead to disappointments and disappointments tend to lead to eating too many cookies so I took the "let's just see what happens" route.

The Marla Runyan Half-Marathon took place on Sunday October 21, 2012. This was an inaugural event so quite honestly I wasn't sure what to expect. Since I was out of town Saturday during the packet pick-up I had to plan on getting to race early to pick up my race bib.

It was a breeze picking up my goodie bag, race bib, and timing chip. After I downed 2 bottles of water and hit the glorious port-a-potty I headed to the start line.

We actually started on time! It was scheduled to start at 7AM and I think we took off around 7:03AM. For an inaugural small event this was a major plus in my book.

I'd guess there were only a couple hundred runners at most. I could see the front and back of the group from where I started in the race. Maybe it's just me, but I like the smaller races. There's a lot more breathing room especially near the beginning. In the Disney Half I was weaving through people for at least a few miles since it was so congested.

I swore that I was going to see how long I could last without music this race. I swore that I didn't need music. I swore I'd last at least a few miles without it.

Turns out I'm a wimp and had the ipod on about half a mile in. The first mile flew by but I knew I was starting out way too fast, of course. The announcer even reminded everyone minutes before that at the start, "pace yourself!"

The start of races can be so tricky sometimes because your trying to find your pace but you almost can't help but pace with those around you. Anyone else fall into this trap? Maybe it's just me.

Oddly enough, mile 4 was my slowest mile in this race. Usually this is where I pick it up but I think it might have had to do with the incline during this part of the race. You don't really see it, but you feel it. Or, maybe I really am just a wimp again and prefer to run only music filled, easy, flat courses. Either way, it kicked my butt.

The middle was unscenic and kind of boring but I kept trucking along. Felt pretty strong miles 5-8. I actually passed people. Usually people pass me by this point. Then at 9 my legs were starting to feel that incline and by 10 I felt pretty tanked. I kept going though, even talking to myself (out loud at times):

Don't you dare give up

You made it this far, keep going

Come on, do you want this or not?

Please tell me I'm not the only one who talks to herself out loud when it gets tough in a race! When it becomes more of a mental race I tend to pick a song and stick with it, even repeat it a few times just to keep myself going. It's always a song I least expect too! This race it was "Hall of Fame" by The Script.

Even though I felt pretty tanked, I finished up at 2:05 which was a 5 minute PR for me! I haven't run that strong (for me) in months! My last few races were in the 2:11-2:16 range.

Since this was my 5th half-marathon, I finally feel like I have a better handle on what I need to do to stay healthy while slowly improving. Drastic improvements aren't worth it to me because when I run too hard, I get injured. I'd rather slowly increase my pace, be able to run more miles and keep the chance of injury at bay.

Recovery wise...
I'm taking 2 days off of running and see how my body feels on Wednesday. If it feels good I'll probably do some recovery miles. Definitely no speed work just yet. I'm feeling sore but its symmetrical. Always note whether your soreness is felt the same on both sides of your body. It's obviously not fool proof but that's just a tip when noting whether you have an injury or not.

I received a bunch of questions about speed work so I'll do my best to put together some tips for you this week!

Also, thank you to those of you who recommended I switch to Hammer gels. They were so much easier on my stomach! 

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Two half marathons

For yesterday's run I played the game of how many different colors can I wear at once. Anyone ever play that game? I think it's time to do some laundry.

I received a few e-mails this week requesting that I document what exactly I'm doing to prepare for my next race:

*Since I'm 4 days out I am upping my water and aiming for at least 3L of plain water per day. I don't count other liquids such as juice, coffee, etc. in the 3L.

*I am starting NOW to transition to bland foods. My body is very sensitive and I'm hoping that switching to blander foods now will set me up for a stomach issue free race.

*My last workout will be Friday morning (2 days before the race) and won't be too leg intensive.

*RELAXING mentally is something I'm really trying to focus on doing. If I turn into a head case and obsess over every little aspect of what I should still do, shouldn't have done, etc. it never does any good. I'm working on finding the balance between being competitive and enjoying the race.

*I've already accepted this won't be a PR (or at least the odds aren't in my favor for one.) My shins have been acting up periodically and I've been getting in too many "junk miles." I need to be more disciplined about training if I want to seriously improve.

But, this doesn't mean I won't give it my all! Just because I'm not in my best shape doesn't mean I can't do well. Plus, I still have another race next weekend at LA Rock'n'Roll so I need to factor that in there. Two half marathons on back to back weekends could be a little interesting.

For more information, here's an article with 5 tips for running your first half-marathon incase you're interested.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

You have a choice

You have value beyond measure. Don't let things or people rattle you. Stand firm in your goals, dreams, and beliefs. If you have a dream, chase it. The size is irrelevant. Why not you? The only thing standing in the way of your dreams are your own doubts and fears; you are limiting yourself. Choose to see beyond the self made barriers.

Part of the changing process is owning your CHOICES, both good and bad. Life presents you various situations but you CHOOSE your response to them. You are in the driver seat, the author of your own story... if you don't feel that way, it's time to make a change.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

I signed up for a marathon

Well, this happened.
That's right. Danielle is doing her first full marathon May 2013.

I'm still trying to find a good training plan to follow. I've been considering this one. Any suggestions?

My biggest fear with tackling a 26.2 mile race is to acquire some kind of injury during training. We already know I'm susceptible to shin splints so I need to be very proactive about stretching, icing, and listening to my body when it needs a rest day. I can be horrible about stretching post workout! How often do you stretch? Before, after, or during your run?

Questions From You

"How many times do you run a week?"
I generally run 3 times per week. Usually two "shorter" runs (3-5 miles) and 1 longer (7-10 miles). 

"Is it okay to stop during your run?"
I'm not afraid to stop in the middle of my runs especially to stretch. I used to be paranoid about stopping but now I don't take any chances. I'd rather stop than increase my chance for injury. I always advise people that it's best to listen to your body. Stopping or slowing down may also be an effective form of interval training that will help you in the long run. 

"Why do I feel like I'm going to DIE the first mile every time I go running? How can I get over this?"
This issue may have to do with how often you're running. If your runs are schedule too far apart your body can't successfully adapt and your endurance and overall fitness may be hindered. A second possibility may be that you're starting off too fast. Let your body ease into the run. Another issue may that your body still need a better warm up. I'm an advocate for dynamic warm ups to get your muscles warm and heart rate up.

 If you have a question about running or any other topic shoot me an e-mail and I'll do my best to get it answered for you! E-mail: danielle@fitgirldaily.com

Thursday, October 11, 2012

The moment you flip a coin

I am the type of person who can get overwhelmed if I have too many options - especially if none of the options seem that bad. I'm very forward minded but sometimes that backfires on me. It backfires because I think of all the possible scenarios, both good and bad, then shy away from following through in fear that it won't work out. I'm guilty of dwelling on the past and trying to pointlessly rewrite it all while trying to isolate the moment it all went awry. 

I've been so guilty of this lately. I keep looking back in a negative way wondering, "where did it all go wrong?" and "how did I end up here?" Instead, I should be focusing on the exciting and promising hope of the future. I get to write the story MYSELF. It can be overwhelming at times but liberating nonetheless. I need to work on taking a leap of faith.

I saw this quote today and wondered if you guys had any thoughts about it,

The moment you flip a coin, you know what your decision is. Not because of the side it landed, but because in the few seconds the coin was in the air, you knew what you wanted. 

Monday, October 8, 2012


Excess sugar may be one of the biggest reasons that people gain weight so quickly. Sugar is an readily used filler because people like the taste, it's a acts as a good preserver, and it also serves as a bulking agent so it's easy to see why it's in everything. (source) While your taste buds may enjoy the taste of sugar, your waist line surely does not.

When you eat sugar it causes an insulin spike. Insulin is a hormone (chemical messenger) that tells your body to "store" carbs (among other things.) So, imagine that if you're eating something that is loaded with sugar (doesn't matter if you taste it or not) it's telling your body "store" the food you're consuming. Not only does that have adverse affects on someone who is trying to lose weight, it can also lead to Type II Diabetes. The more frequent you have insulin spikes the more "wore out" the receptors get; they are essentially getting desensitized. When you have receptors that are not responding to glucose levels in the blood it can be dangerous.

When I'm talking about "sugar" I'm referring beyond table sugar. Check out this list of the top sources of hidden sugar from Dr. Oz's website:

Breakfast Cereal
Toasted rice flakes contain 10 grams of sugar per serving. Instant flavored oatmeal often has 16 grams of sugar per serving. Instead, go for sugar-free, high-fiber cereals or plain instant oatmeal that you flavor yourself with blueberries and cinammon.

Protein Drinks
Popular pre-packaged weight-loss drinks pack 35 grams of sugar per serving. Homemade smoothies made with skim milk can have up to 80 grams of sugar depending on how you make them. One cup of skim milk has 11 grams of sugar. Most soy milk brands have 12 grams of sugar per serving. Once you add in juice and fresh fruit, you’ve made a super-sugary concoction. Instead, choose a low-sugar protein shake by reading the label.

Yogurt and Yogurt Drinks
If your yogurt or yogurt drink isn’t sugar-free, it can have anywhere from 27-60 grams of sugar per serving. Aim for the sugar-free variety.

Dried Fruit
People tend to overeat dried fruit because they think that it’s good for them. But dried fruit is not as nutritious as fresh fruit. A 1.5-ounce box of raisins has 30 grams of sugar! Instead, grab fresh fruit like a green apple.

Fruit Juice
Juice can have anywhere from 30-80 grams of sugar. Many processed juices also lack the fiber whole fruit or fresh juices provide. Drink water instead.

When reading nutrition labels, here are a few added sugars to look out from a Livestrong article:

high fructose corn syrup, syrup, raw sugar, syrup, cane sugar, brown sugar, dextrose, fructose, glucose, corn sweetener, molasses, honey or fruit juice concentrates.

The American Heart Association recommends women to have no more than 100 calories or 6 teaspoons of added sugar per day while they recommend men no more than 150 calories or 8 teaspoons of per day.

If you're struggling to achieve the weight loss goals you're after, I challenge you to note how much sugar you're taking in per day and to think outside of the box when it comes to what you view as "sugar." As always, contact me with questions!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Is it okay to call someone out?

Over the past few days there has been a lot of buzz around this story. This story has sparked quite the controversy over what hurtful remarks he said and how she gracefully handled the situation. Many have been saying that she is doing a great service by calling out the man she calls a bully. However, others disagree. They think he is right by saying that as she is a public role model, she should strive to be in a healthy weight range. People are also saying that he is being too critical and assume he "must be one of those health nuts."

This is how I see it: yes, we want to encourage healthy behaviors and self esteem but we do not need to put down others in the process. His words were not encouragement at all. If anything, his words were a calling out. To get through to people you can't just expose their faults. That's the quickest and surest way to turn someone into defense mode.

We all battle something whether we want to admit it or not. Just because someone's battle is more pronounced that yours does not give you the right to "weigh in" your opinion. Your negative opinion of someone else is literally worthless. It adds nothing to the universe. It astounds me at how many people think they can put someone else down "in the name of health."

What do you think? Do people have a right to call out someone if their lifestyle isn't considered "healthy?"

Monday, September 24, 2012

Top 5 Mistakes New Runners Make!

Running is an empowering, exciting and liberating form of exercise! However, running can also end up being a long journey of misunderstood injury. As much as I think everyone can be a runner I believe its best to take every precautionary measure possible to ensure that both novas and experienced runners alike do not get injured. Here are my tips for those interested in starting to run!

1. Don't just grab your old running shoes or gym shoes and start running - Depending on how old your shoes are and how many miles you've already put on them its really best to start with fresh shoes. Gym shoes and running shoes are not the same! Go to a running store (not a general sports store) and get your feet fitted for the best shoe for you. It's best to save your running shoes exclusively for running. A mile in your shoes is still a mile in your shoes no matter if you ran or walked it.

2. Do not ignore the importance of form! To make this as simple as possible, make every effort to follow these simple guidelines: 1. "Lead with your knees" to prevent heel striking. 2. Do not overstride; it leaves your knee and hips vulnerable for injury! 3. Swing your arms forward and back, not side to side.

3. Don't do too much, too soon - Many new runners are so excited and inspired to get out there that they put their body through too much too soon. Start by just getting out there for 20 minutes three times a week. This will not only get your body prepared for running consistently, it will help you be consistent about running. A 20 minute run sounds much more doable than a 5 mile run.

4. Don't forget to ice and stretch - A dynamic warm up is best before running followed by stretching and icing post run if necessary. Really focus on proper warm up and cool down to lessen the likelihood of injury.

5. Don't forget to listen to your body - Just because a certain training program says you should be able to run a certain amount of distance it doesn't necessarily mean YOUR body is ready for it. If something doesn't feel right, take a break. Try your best to isolate the issue, ice, stretch and rest as necessary. Common culprits for running issues are: shoes, terrain, not resting enough, muscle imbalances, tight muscles, not stretching enough, heel striking and improper form. Running an extra mile is not worth setting yourself up for a long term injury!

What was the best advice you ever got as a runner?
Mine has to be that it gets easier over time. The more your put into it, the more you get out of it. I never imagined I'd actually enjoy hauling my body 13.1 miles and would look forward to a momentous 26.2 miles someday! 

Friday, September 21, 2012

Skora FORM

You know how people tell you that some things in life should just feel right? As clique as it may sound, that was my initial reaction to these shoes!

I was given the opportunity to review Skora's FORMS. Here's a little about the shoe from their website:

  "FORM is definition of premium performance. Featuring a full-leather upper made of Pittards Goatskin leather with WR100X leather lining, FORM is designed with asymmetric lacing and no-tongue construction to provide a glove-like fit in combination with stitch-down construction and an Ortholite sockliner."

The shoes really do fit like a glove. I like shoes that give my foot enough room but not so much room that my foot can't feel the shoe. The more I ran in them, the more my foot seemed to "mold" with the shoe.

The Ortholite sockliner was really comfortable. In other shoes I've tried the liners have sometimes dug into the side of my heel or felt too hard on my foot. This liner is shaped just right and never gave me any type of irritation. 

"FORM is built on the R01 platform composed of the REALFIT™ last. The R01 platform also features a zero-drop outsole/midsole with minimal cushioning and a curved section profile in both the forefoot and heel. This allows for optimal natural movement and performance."

REALFIT™ is designed to compliment the natural shape of the foot. I didn't have to "work these shoes in" whatsoever. The Goatskin leather really allowed my foot to move naturally and didn't "fight" my foot. I was also pleasantly surprised that I never got one blister! Like I said before, these shoes just feel right.

I like that the shoes were enhancing my running instead of changing my running. In other running shoes I've tried I felt like the shoe was separate from my foot which caused me to run and land in different ways (aka increased my likelihood of injury.) I didn't run into that problem with these shoes at all. I was able to land properly without fighting the shoe.

As stated above, these are zero-drop shoes. I was surprised at how easily my foot adjusted to the zero drop since I had never run in zero-drop shoes before. I really thought it would take a few runs to get used to them but I honestly only had to go a few miles before I felt normal.

The shoes are lightweight, have a good amount of flexibility and are very breathable. They are so breathable that you have the option to wear socks in them or not. I was unsure if I'd like wearing the shoes without socks but it was actually way more comfortable than I expected. I did the majority of my runs in them sock-less because it felt more natural that way.

One of my favorite parts about the shoe is the wide toe box. I do have wide feet in general but this was really the perfect amount of space for my toes. I hate when my toes are cramped especially when I'm running since my feet swell up. My toes could move freely without feeling cramped for the entire run. That has never happened in any other shoes I've worn before!

I am very honored to be reviewing these shoes because I'm not an elite athlete or an ultra marathoner, I'm just your average runner with a long road ahead. I think this is proof that these shoes are suitable for all levels of running. Overall, the shoe felt natural and comfortable to wear. The condition of the shoes has stayed very well so far. I think I've put about 40 miles on them. I plan on using them in my next half-marathon so I will update you on how a race goes in them. I would definitely recommend them to anyone who wants to move into zero-drop. The adjustment process is fast and very doable in these shoes. If you have any other questions about the shoes please let me know! For further information about Skora and their products check out their website here. Thank you to Skora Running for this opportunity, I am so very grateful!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Skora Running!

I am so excited to introduce Skora Running to you guys! After attending the DHP running clinic a while back I really started to understand the importance of not depending on a shoe to do the work for me. Skora emphasizes the importance of running biomechanically correct and makes shoes that allow runners to do so most naturally. They are not trying to sell you a shoe with unnecessary bells and whistles; their products are quality, simple and effective at what they do. Their philosophy is to "Run Real" and the science behind their shoes reflect just that.

Founder and CEO David Sypniewski, a long time runner, set out to create a shoe that would lessen the likelihood of injury by allowing the foot to run more naturally. Skora prides themselves on the fact that their shoes are made by runners, for runners. Although Skora is still relatively new, they've already made Complex.com's list of Top 25 Independent Sneaker Brands of 2012! I have a feeling this is only the beginning we are seeing from them.

Skora is all about Running Real. What does that mean exactly? Well, if you check out RunReal.com Sypniewski explains what running real is really about.

In his letter to both runners and the running industry, Sypniewski proposes the argument that the running industry should not only run real, but be real with consumers. From the letter: "We can differentiate in design, specifications, materials and features. We can argue if 8mm of cushioning is better than 9mm or 6.5oz is better than 7.2oz. But, for the benefit of all runners, let's agree on something -- let's use labels to inform, educate and communicate rather than obfuscate and confuse."

He continues, "How can we expect the consumer not to be confused when some brands tell them the "best" shoe for them is one with maximum cushioning and support, and yet offer another shoe that proudly proclaims that a "barefoot feel" is "best"? Let's end the hypocrisy, take a stand and show respect for runners. Healthy running is more than trend or the latest marketing bandwagon to join"

RunReal.com also has straight forward advice for all runners on how to correctly run real.

In my honest opinion, Skora is not about a gimmick sales pitch but rather a calling for straight forward communication and quality products for the benefit of all runners. It's not enough for a brand to just provide a shoe anymore; runners need to be equipped with knowledge. It's time to debunk the junk and focus on healthy running.

They offer shoes for both men and women
Click here to find out more information on both the FORM and BASE models.

They are also very interactive on their Facebook page which I really appreciate. I think it shows a company's true character in how much support and interaction they have with customers. I don't think I've ever seen a question from a potential customer unanswered.

Here's a sneak peek at their 2013 line! They are expanding their line with the PHASE and CORE models. I LOVE how they are sticking with bright colors. Keep an eye out for these shoes February, 2013.

Guess who will be posting a review on the Women's FORM soon!

I cannot wait to share my shoe review with you guys! I will post that this Friday, September 21.

If you would like more information on Skora you can visit their website here. They also have a Facebook page and twitter account.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Quick tips for eating out!

I've heard so many people say that they just throw in the towel when they go out to eat because there's "nothing healthy on the menu." Eating out does NOT have to be detrimental to your fat loss goals!

Don't be afraid to customize your order anywhere you go! I guarantee you won't be the first or last person to put in a request.

Here's a few tips for eating healthier anywhere:

1. Ask for sauces on the side so that you can use them minimally if at all
2. Go bun-less (order lettuce wraps)
3. Hold the bread basket
4. Drink water or iced tea instead of soda
5. Get a side salad instead of fries
6. Share your meal with someone
7. Drink at least one glass of water before your meal comes
8. Limit alcohol or skip it completely
9. Ask for brown rice or cucumber wrapped sushi rolls
10. Eat strategically by going for your veggies first, protein second and save the carbohydrate portion of your meal for last.

Are there any strategies you use when eating out to ensure that you don't go overboard?

Monday, September 10, 2012

Motivational Monday #1

When things go wrong, as they sometimes will,
when the road you’re trudging seems all uphill,
When the funds are low and the debts are high,
And you want to smile, but you have to sigh,
When care is pressing you down a bit,
Rest, if you must, but do not quit.

Life is queer with its twists and turns,
As every one of us sometimes learns,
And many a failure turns about,
When he might have won had he stuck it out;

Don’t give up though the pace seems slow—

You may succeed with another blow.

Often the goal is nearer than,
It seems to a faint and faltering man,
Often the struggler has given up,
When he might have captured the victor’s cup,
And he learned too late when the night slipped down,
How close he was to the golden crown.

Success is failure turned inside out—
The silver tint of the clouds of doubt,
And you never can tell how close you are,
It may be near when it seems so far, 
So stick to the fight when you’re hardest hit—
It's when things seem worst that you must not quit.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Advice for Over Night Races

Reader Jess asked, "any advice for over night races? I seem to always be frantically looking for something race morning!"
I hate to pack almost as much as I hate to unpack. I am also notorious for forgetting something every time I go out of town or forgetting where the heck I packed it! So, ziplock bags are my BFF and seg-way into becoming more organized.

I try and keep all of my electronics and chargers together.

(I forgot to snap a picture of just the electronics but they have their own little bag, I promise!)

As well as my hair accessories, bobby pins, back up hair tie, etc.
I even put my pre-race food and Gu's together just for convenience. 
Inside the Lululemon bag is my race outfit (top, sports bra, bottoms, socks and underwear.) I do this so that in the morning while everyone else is still sleeping I can just grab the bag, sneak into the hotel bathroom and change quickly.
Do you guys have any tips for traveling?

Just got this sample pack in the mail! Can't wait to try all of the flavors out. So far I'm all about the lemon lime flavor. Have you tried Nuun before? 

A few thoughts...
I loved what you guys said in this post!
When you decide to commit to a healthy lifestyle do it for you, not because someone tells you to. Be confident in the direction you're going. Don't let people's negative comments get you down. You will find that many people don't understand this "lifestyle" but its only because they're so accustomed to what society has told us a diet should be not what our bodies actually need. Always remember that you're doing this for YOU! Many people will question what they don't understand but don't be disheartened. Your body will be your biggest feedback tool for if your lifestyle is healthy or not. Trust me, if your body wanted more food, less exercise, etc. it will let you know in more ways than one!

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Disneyland Half-marathon

I was so ready to go and so excited for this Disney race but I had to wait for Eric to get out of work since he's an accountant and it was month end. Boo! The life of an accountant's girlfriend Eric's girlfriend... always waiting.

Anyway, we arrived Friday to the Paradise Pier Hotel. 
I really like this hotel! I thought it was super cute inside!

When we got there we essentially scarfed down some food, watched the fireworks from Downtown Disney and went to bed. Real party animals we are!

Saturday morning...

Eric's aunt, cousin, and sisters were running the Cars Land 5K Rally so we went to watch it. It looked really fun and ideal for all ages - but not if you actually cared about your time. They didn't have individual timing and it looked pretty crowded so I wouldn't recommend this 5k if your taking it seriously.

After the 5k race we headed over to the expo to check in and pick up our bibs. I love race expos! Some people hate them but I enjoy browsing around.

The rest of the day we hydrated, walked around Downtown Disney and just hung out. That night as I was getting ready for bed I got a bunch of good luck texts from my friends and family wishing me well for the race; even from the most unlikely people. Maybe it's just me, but having support like means the world to me. I don't know if they'll ever understand how much I appreciate it.
My stuff all laid out and ready to go for that 4:45AM wake-up!

The Race!
Luckily, I was in corral B so I got to start pretty quick! Is it just me or are huge races (17,000 runners) like this hard to start off strong in? I felt like I couldn't get in a good rhythm the first few miles because there were just so many people running at different paces and stopping right in the middle of the road.

By the time we got into California Adventure I was over my annoyance and just started to enjoy the race. I wasn't running the apex, I wasn't really even looking at my Garmin I was just trying to soak it all in.
My pictures from inside California Adventure are just as blurry as my memory of running through it, though. There are just so many things to look at (and people to avoid bumping into!)

Same with Disneyland. Clearly I have yet to master picture taking while running.
This one of the castle I literally had to stop to take the picture to ensure that it wasn't blurry. 

After the first 4 magical miles it got a little tougher mentally and physically. We were now just running on streets and overpasses (FYI: I hate running overpasses!) and it was starting to get hotter.

Running through Angel Stadium was pretty neat at mile 9!
But the path up to Angel Stadium but pretty un-neat
No Disney magic at this point in the race. Boo!

The last few miles were also pretty un-scenic 
...but that didn't stop me from snapping pictures of myself! 
I was also texting during the race too. Shows you just how distracted and unfocused I was!
For how unfocused I was I'm happy finishing with a 2:16. Oddly enough, I wasn't even sore the next day. That just shows you how much I didn't push myself. I know I am better than that and I know next race I will PR (this is positive self-talk, people!) It was a great race to jump start my training for next race on October 21st. Camarillo Half, I'm comin' for ya!

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