Setting Goals for August

C came over last night and we had some quality girl time involving Catfish, dinner and wine. I was going to take a pic of our deliciousness but I was so hungry I forgot!

Have you seen this show on MTV? Major guilty pleasure. The host, Nev, helps people figure out if their online love interests/friends are really who they say they are. Some of the relationships covered have been going on for years without the people ever meeting or video chatting. The episodes can get a little cuh-razy, like this one and this one

The concept for the TV show came from a documentary by the same name, in which Nev figured out he had been the one being deceived. Not only was the girl he was developing a relationship with fake, but the real woman behind the girl had created a whole cast of supporting characters. It was fascinating.

Anyway! Before I jump into goals for August, let’s recap July:

July Goals

  • Work back up to my regularly scheduled running program. What does that entail? 3-4 runs each week, slow and easy, 4 miles and under. Incorporate long runs back into my rotation by the end of the month. Review Anatomy of a Runner. Accomplished! I’ve been keeping track of my runs in my Weekly Workout Recaps and have been consistently getting in three runs a week under 4 miles. This week I have my first run over 4 miles planned.
  • Sign up for a Fall half-marathon (it’ll be my first!), and find a training plan. Sorta Accomplished. I’ve researched local half-marathons this fall, but I haven’t taken the jump and signed up for one yet. I’m not worried about finishing, but I am worried about how long it will take me. Still debating if I want to wait until Spring to give myself time to build a better base.
  • Start putting together Shutterfly photo book project. Negatory. I could make excuses like my computer with all the pictures on it died, but really I’ve just been slacking.
  • Explore two new recipes and new healthy snacks. Accomplished! I made this pasta salad and experimented with a cherry-orange compote.

cherry orange compote

  • Help a friend set up their Etsy shop. Negatory, I just didn’t make this project a priority this month.
  • Get more involved with a cause I believe in. Negatory. I think this was too vague for me so I never really went anywhere with it.

Since I started setting monthly goals in June, I’ve learned a few things. If the goal I’m setting is too broad, chances are I won’t get started on it. The goals I’ve been most successful with are the ones that have been the most specific. If the tasks aren’t specific, they’re much easier to put off because I can’t estimate exactly how much time it’s going to take so I think I’ll need large chunks of time which can seem impossible to find.

Another thing I’ve learned is that a lot of my goals tend to involve projects (Shutterfly photo albums, setting up Etsy shops, getting involved with causes), but within a single month if I try to focus on starting all of them without a plan of action then I feel overwhelmed and start none of them.

Going forward my goals for setting goals (hahaha, couldn’t resist) are to keep them specific, break broad projects/tasks into smaller bite-size steps, and think critically about what I want to accomplish for the month so I’m not listing ten things I have no chance of completing.

August Goals:

  • Incorporate hip strengthening exercises into workouts at least 2-3x a week.
  • Add three new items to the Etsy shop. Research two venues for marketing outreach.
  • Select the best pictures from Hawaii, and get through editing each one.
  • Critically evaluate my morning routine: what do I currently do, what could be improved, what could be added to get my day off on the right foot. By the end of August, incorporate one new thing into my routine that adds value to my mornings.

I’m the type of person who loves to-do lists, especially the part when you get to cross things off. Most of my lists are task-driven, however. This is the first time I’ve made an attempt at formally writing down goals and trying to keep a bigger scheme in mind. I’m not adding it to this month’s list, but at some point I think I might be working on some type of short-term, long-term, and longer-term goal planning. It sounds positively riveting, right?

Always, Sierra

What’s your favorite guilty pleasure?

What are some of your goals for August?

July Goals

I already know I’ll be stuffing my face with deliciousness this month, because it’s what I do best.


But I have a few other things in mind that I’d like to shoot for too.

July Goals

  • Work back up to my regularly scheduled running program. What does that entail? 3-4 runs each week, slow and easy, 4 miles and under. Incorporate long runs back into my rotation by the end of the month. Review Anatomy of a Runner.
  • Sign up for a Fall half-marathon (it’ll be my first!), and find a training plan.
  • Start putting together Shutterfly photo book project.
  • Explore two new recipes and new healthy snacks.
  • Help a friend set up their Etsy shop.
  • Get more involved with a cause I believe in.

What are your goals for July?

Always, Sierra


Let Me Be Brave in the Attempt

This past weekend I volunteered at the aquatic events for the 2013 Special Olympics Northern California Summer Games.  The games took place at UC Davis, also known as el fuego.

July 29th Davis{source}

By the time we got there to check in around 9am, it was already 88 degrees! Over 700 athletes competed in the Games, and some of them got to hang out in the coolest place in town.



The Special Olympics is an awesome organization that seeks to help athletes with intellectual disabilities prepare for life through sports. In the weeks leading up to the Games, the athletes participate in regional qualifying competitions. The different events at the Games include Aquatics, Bocce, Tennis, and Track and Field. The athletes are as young as 8 with no upper age limit, and each event’s heats are arranged so that athletes of similar abilities are competing against one another.

20130629_111240I’ve volunteered at the Summer Games for the past few years, and find it an incredibly inspiring and rewarding experience. Being able to connect with the athletes, to hear their stories, share their joy in victory and their determination to compete with their full heart, has been a gift and a lesson in what overcoming obstacles really means.


The Special Olympics Athlete Oath is is how we should all approach life, shooting for success but acknowledging that true value lies in the attempt and approach just as much as the final outcome.

We stopped by Sonic on the way home. So many delicious choices, so many opportunities for my stomach to be brave. 

SonicAlways, Sierra

What has been your favorite volunteer experience?

What’s your favorite Sonic menu item?

Do you have a favorite motivational quote? Share it below!

Weekly Workout Recap and How About Those June Goals?

I was hoping to wake up early this morning (6:30) for a trail run to beat the heat that’s struck California in the past few days but that didn’t happen. Instead, I moseyed out of the house around 9, and the weather was already brutal.


I know, I know, I’m a wimp, but it was in the 80s by the time I finished! I debated about skipping the run, but knowing I had a draft of my first weekly workout recap waiting for me pushed me to stick it out. Accountability? Thank you blog!

I headed to Crockett Hills Regional Park. It seems to be one of the more unpopular regional parks in the East Bay (you mean you don’t like refinery views and the sound of traffic when you run?), but it’s got a lot of gently rolling hills which make for good training.

Crockett Hills Regional ParkCrockett hills trailCrockett Hills trailCrockett hills trailCrockett Hills trailCrockett Hills trail

It also has a special place in my heart because it’s the first place I had a Shut Up + Run moment. TMI?

What I had planned on being a trail run ended up being a hike/trail run combo because of the heat. That’s okay with me though. When things get warmer than what I’m acclimated to, I switch to running on effort instead of running for pace. Mostly because I like to avoid things like chills, dizziness and fainting.

The smartest decision I made was wearing my Brooks D’Light Mesh Tank. I was worried that it was too thin when I first got it but today it really helped to keep me cool. I know your day wasn’t complete until you saw my fancy hair and flared nostrils.

trail run

Even though it wasn’t the run I had planned, any run is good in my book. Here’s what my week looked like.

Monday: 1 mile warm-up on the treadmill (5.5 mph @ 2% incline) and 45 min strength

Tuesday: 3.55 miles street running, 11:21 average pace

Wednesday: Unexpected rest

Thursday: 3.93 miles street running, 12:54 average pace and an exercise in getting comfortable with being uncomfortable. It was so freaking hot!hot

Friday: 35 min strength

Saturday: rest

Sunday: 3.22 mile trail run/hike

Total Mileage: 11.7

Overall: The past 2-3 weeks were scaled back in terms of mileage due to travel and general life busyness. I’m working on building my mileage back up, so I’m good with these numbers. Especially since two of the runs were in weather  hotter than I’m used to running in. It’s the summer, time to suck it up and acclimate!

And what about those June goals? How’d I do?

June Goals

  • Set a PR in See Jane Run 5K – Accomplished!
  • Find a one piece bathing suit so I can start swimming laps again – not accomplished but really I’m fine with that. Rocking a few new two pieces though!
  • Try to get a little ahead of the game with my blogging content – not really accomplished. I was hoping to generate content a little more ahead of the game than the day of, but time crunchiness hasn’t allowed that to happen…yet!
  • Experiment with 2-3 new recipes (probably some type of vegetable/bean/grain salads) in prep of July camping trip – I’m calling this one done! I’ll be making them this week and telling you all about them soon enough.
  • “Break in” my new hiking boots (I’ve taken them out once and they’re so comfy I don’t think they’ll need much breaking in!) – My hiking boots have been lonely and neglected. Moving this one to July.
  • Stay active on my girls trip to Mexico – Accomplished!
  • Volunteer at the Special Olympics – Accomplished, post coming soon!

Always, Sierra

Are you facing the heat where you live too?

What did your weekly workouts look like?

Do you set monthly goals? Yearly? Not a believer in setting goals?

Healthier Living Goals: Staying Active on Vacation

I had three goals for Cabo: have fun, get some quality girl time in, and stay active.

Oh wait, make that four goals.

In the past, my vacations have been all about the food…

donuts in seattle

{donuts in Seattle}

Leonard's in Hawaii

{Malasadas in Hawaii}

…and the drank.

beer in seattle

Kona brewing company

Going from a lifelong “I deserve to indulge and relax on vacation” to a shiny new “It feels good to work out anytime, vacation or not” is a work in progress. Sometimes I struggle, and sometimes it’s almost effortless I struggle less.

Our recent trip to Cabo was a big success for me, especially because I had some great workout partners.

Cabo gym time

The first and biggest hurdle was just packing running gear. I used to question whether it was worth bringing the running shoes along when I wasn’t sure I’d even use them. I could be using that precious space for two clutches and a pair of heels!

The thing is, if I don’t pack the shoes, I’m already giving up.

When we went to Cabo, I traveled there and back in my running gear. I didn’t have to worry about cramming the shoes into my carry on, and I was super comfy on the plane. Just walking around in the stuff made me feel like I was a bad-ass, one step away from pro athlete status.



(Sidenote: I took a pair of running capris for travelling only to make sure I didn’t stank up the plane on the way back. You’re welcome, fellow passengers.)

I also brought some running focused reading material for the plane ride there to keep me motivated. I managed to get through at least two articles between daydreams of margaritas and lounging in pools.

My whole goal in wanting to be active on vacation is to explore new places by foot, but that doesn’t mean it’s always going to work out that way. I knew that the location of our resort wasn’t going to be conducive to outdoor runs, but I didn’t want to sacrifice my bigger goals because I couldn’t do exactly what I wanted. That meant some gym time.

Too bad my regular gym doesn’t have this view.

Riu Santa Fe

Everything on the treadmill was in kilometers. Now, I know I should be able to figure out km/h relatively easy and dial in my pace (hello 5K and 10K). My brain, however, refused to do math on vacation, so that meant I bounced around a bit and probably settled for something on the slow side.

Another down side? Apparently three treadmills going at the same time was one too many for the resort gym. A power surge caused all the treadmills to stop with no warning and I almost bit it hard. I think we recovered well, don’t you agree?

Working it out

Since the cardio equipment was a little spotty, I switched things up and focused more on strength. I have a small, free gym at work which is convenient, but it only has dumbbells and medicine balls. It was nice to use some of the strength machines for a change and push my body a little harder and in different ways. Because I stayed flexible in what I wanted to accomplish, I never got discouraged by the limitations I couldn’t control.

Before we left, I didn’t talk to any of my girlfriends about working out while we were there, but I knew that at least a few of them would pack their gear. It’s so much easier to take time away from drinking and sunning when you’re not doing it alone. Y and C were my workout partners at the gym, but all of us also took a water aerobics class together, danced up a storm, and had long walks escapades on the beach. It’s crazy how much of a workout you get just walking in loose sand!

We were in Cabo for about four and a half days, and we were at the gym on two of those days. Trying to build new habits is all about thoughts and intentions, and I rocked it on this trip!

Always, Sierra

Do you have any active vacationing tips?

What are your favorite workouts when you travel?

How do you plan for working out on vacation when you’re the only one who wants to?