I’m Back! Wish me luck!

After an 11 hour over-night layover in Charlotte, North Carolina, we made it back from Aruba safe and sound. The layover made for a long trip home, but we managed to entertain ourselves.

Waffle house

A post all about our trip is on the horizon. Also on the horizon for tomorrow is Run for the Seals, a 4 mile run in the beautiful Marin Headlands. Due to diligent tapering vacaition-itis, my legs are going to be super fresh. I haven’t ran since last Friday. Wish me luck!

Some Things I’m Loving Right Now

1. Buying Activewear at Marshall’s

If I had it my way, I’d have an unlimited budget to buy all kinds of fun activewear like the Reebok Strength is Beautiful tank, this Run Pretty Far tee, and this Nike Dri-Fit Knit Short-Sleeve, but it doesn’t quite work that way. I spend most of my budget on running capris (hello chub rub) and quality shoes (because you can’t run without healthy feet), but I still want to look cute and Marshalls has been coming to my rescue lately.

Marshall's running tops

All of these tops were in the $7.99 – $12.99 range. The black one is a basic New Balance tank, and my favorite to run in by far. It fits well and keeps me cool. Both the purple one and the light green one are Avia. I am in love with the back of the purple one, but I wish I had taken the time to try it on. It’s a little too big and flops around a bit in the front when I run. The light green one is super soft and has been my go-to tank for barrelates and yoga.

flax seed and chia seeds

I also scored a great deal on flaxseed and chia seeds at Marshalls, who would have though?! That bag of flaxseed was only $3.99.

2. Infused Water

Infused water is one of those healthy living tips that everyone suggests, and that I’ve always passed over as being too simple. I can’t believe I wasted so many years of potentially delicious water! My co-worker brought in a ton of oranges and lemons and I thought I might as well give it a shot. I haven’t looked back since.

Infused water combos

I’ve tried a few combos: orange lemon, strawberry mint, orange mint, and lemon ginger (using a ginger pack from my sushi lunch…keeping it classy lol). The strawberry mint was my favorite by far, but the lemon ginger is a close second.

I usually infuse the fruit over 2-3 days, refilling the quart jar as needed. If I notice the mint turning brown, I’ll take it out. Strawberries are a little pricey to be using for this, so I usually use the ones that are starting to get a little mushy.

3. Finding new tasty treats at Trader Joe’s

I don’t shop at Trader Joe’s very often, mostly because the few that are in my area are always super crowded. When I do go, I never fail to find new things to try.

Trader Joe's snacks

The Herbs & Spices popcorn has a strong dill flavor, and I can pretty much eat the whole bag in one sitting. The tomato-basil hummus has been a long time favorite, and the reduced guilt Spinach & Kale Greek Yogurt dip is okay but not as good as the full guilt version. The standout winner of this group are the Toasted Coconut Cookie Thins. Ahhh-mazing. The crunchy texture and coconut flavor are a satisfying and delicious combination.

What have you been loving lately?

Always, Sierra

Motivation Monday

Gibson’s Daily Running Quotes is one of my favorite sources for motivation! (Follow on Facebook.)

“This past weekend I ran my first 5K of the season… I looked at all of the ladies and realized that they all looked like what you expect runners to look like. They were all compact and muscular, with flat stomachs, visible abs, sinewy thighs. Probably they all had body-fat percentages in the teens.And then there was me.

I don’t look like a runner… I look solid and sturdy and thick. I’m tall – taller than most women and even most men. My stomach isn’t flat. It hasn’t been since…actually, I don’t think it ever has been flat. My thighs are muscular but not lean. And ‘compact’ is a word that describes my car, not my body. When I sign up for races, I qualify for the Bonnydale or Athena weight divisions – the female athletes who weigh over 150 pounds.

I don’t look like a runner.

And yet there I was, the third woman across the finish line. My body was slick with sweat, my face red with exertion, my feet barely touching the ground because I was running so f****** hard. I may not look like a runner, but I am one – a good one, too. And I’m only going to get better…

When I thought about the results of the race, I had to laugh because it all seemed so ridiculous. ‘I’m like walking proof that you don’t have to have visible abs to be fast,’ I said.

The more I thought about this, the more pleased I was. I hoped other women saw me and thought that they didn’t have to look like ripped fitness models to run fast. I hoped they understood that having a flat stomach or fat-free thighs were not a prerequisite for speed.

We need to talk about how the world is filled with runners who do not ‘look like runners.’ There are triathletes who do not ‘look like triathletes.’ There are dancers who do not ‘look like dancers.’ And yet we’re all out here, running and competing and dancing and doing all kinds of things with our bodies, things our bodies look like they should not be capable of doing, and yet there we are, doing them.

I don’t look like I should be a fast runner, and yet I am.

It’s not about what we look like. It’s what we do that counts.”

-Caitlin Constantine, Fit and Feminist

 
I am definitely solid and sturdy and thick…and short! I will never be tall and lean and 10% body fat. But I am a runner, and I will be faster, because I love it and I work at it, and I will continue to do so.
 
if you have a body, you are an athlete
 
Always, Sierra 

Weekly Workout Recap, 8/5 to 8/11

I tuned this week down a bit, I think higher mileage plus new shoes have been making some of my joints twingey.

Monday: 35 min swim, 5 sets of 5 x 25 meters.

swim selfie

Pre-swim selfie! 1. I get my swim on in a Target one piece, 2. I have to wear my glasses until the last possible minute because I’m blind, 3. swim caps are for professionals

Tuesday: 4.25 miles, half trail half street, 11:47 average pace. I did some informal hill work. Dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip strength 3 x 12 each move, clamshells 3 x 20 each side and bridges 3 x 20.

Tuesday elevation

Wednesday: off

Thursday: Yoga Zone Yoga for a Strong and Healthy Back Part 1: 18 minutes, Yoga Zone Evening Stress Relief Part 2: 21 mins. Hip strength 3 x 12 each move, 3 x 20 bridges.

Friday: Two miles on the treadmill

Saturday: Off

Sunday: Hopefully a 6-8 mile run to the California lighthouse in Aruba! OMG, that humdity got the best of me. I did get an hour of snorkeling and a half hour of rope swinging off a catamaran in! My body definitely felt like it got a good workout in on Monday.

Run: 6.25 miles

Swim: 35 mins, 1 day

Overall:  I focused less on mileage/intensity this week, and more on incorporating some healthy habits like yoga and hip/glute/hamstring strength work. I met my goal of getting a yoga day in and of increasing mileage of one of my runs even it was only a bit. This is the first week in a long time that I’ve ran on the treadmill, and it wasn’t horrible but I did miss my birdwatching.

How was your week?

Always, Sierra

Weekend Reading: Have a Lovely Saturday!

have a lovely saturday

Health/Fitness

A recent observational study has tied high blood sugar to an increased risk in dementia. While this is a good starting point for further research, we should keep in mind that causation was not established and that there is no current explanation for the linkage. There is no proof that if you lowered your blood sugar levels you would also lower your dementia risk. Still, if it’s got you thinking about making some healthy changes and reducing sugar intake, here are 7 tricks to quit sugar.

I ask myself all the time, what makes a good running blog? And how can I keep the quality of mine improving? Take home message:

In fact, the researchers’ message to health bloggers is: combine storytelling with concrete health information.

Healthy Tipping Point has a great post up with tips from a Tri Coach on how to incorporate strength into your other fitness goals.

New York will be prescribing fruits and vegetables to patients struggling with obesity as part of the FVRx program. The program has had success in California and Texas, but $2 coupons for use at Farmer’s markets doesn’t add up to very much. I’d be curious at how many coupons are prescribed and how often.

Social Psychology

I’m an introvert, which does not mean that I hate being around people or am antisocial. It does mean that on occasion I need some downtime to process all the fabulous happenings.

Want to encourage follow through in your colleagues, employees, kids, etc? Encourage behavioral changes. Make the projects well-defined and easy to carry out.

You were busy yesterday, but were your productive? I’m definitely guilty of living for the fire drill.

Food/Recipes

One Pot Wonders: Pork Chops with Fresh Peaches and Basil

I’ve got a bag of coconut in the cupboard that is just asking to be used in this recipe with carrots and figs.

Simple snacks are my favorite snacks. Check out Julie’s Peanut Butter Fingers recipe roundup for some inspiration.

I wish I had never seen these totchos. Fivetenburger has some of the best tots ever, and I might have to make these happen.

DIY/Decor/Fashion

This kitchen is amazing. Black, brass and white make for a bold combination.

I’ve been wanting a gold and natural stone necklace for a while but have yet to  swipe the plastic. This blog post is full of DIY inspiration.

Lisa Congdon’s pictures of Paris storefronts are so pretty. They make me want to fly to Paris on a cloudy day, grab a cup of coffee and go wandering.

Ashley Adores Fancy Things Friday included this necklace from Zara and I had instant want syndrome. I’ll take this, these and these too.

Miscellaneous

This surprise water balloon fight might be the best idea ever.

Robin Thicke’s summer hit, Blurred Lines, is all over the place right now. Here’s a gender reversed version that has been making the rounds. Did you know Robin Thicke’s dad was an aspiring singer at one point too? Check him out at a Crystal Light National Aerobics championship. Love that 80s workout gear!

Breaking Bad starts up this weekend, here are 20 random facts about the show to bust out at your viewing party.

A Craigslist missed connection worth reading.

What would all the unwritten words of your life say? Don’t let the important things go unsaid!

Have a fantastic weekend!

Always, Sierra