I’m back on the radar & wknd recap.

I know, I have been a little bit off the radar for a few days. But I’m back so that’s what counts, right!? Life has been treating me well, and keeping me fairly busy.

My day started off in a typical fashion, with a 4 mile run in my hood. There was a little bit of cloud cover but it was mostly humid and warm out. Just glad to get it done!

After the run I enjoyed my new favorite recovery drink. A yummy mocha iced coffee – delicious.
 
This past weekend was nonstop as usual! Saturday morning I coached my running group, we did an easy 6 mile jaunt followed by some stretching. After the run my partner in crime Ann and I went to check out our friend Brittani’s bootcamp! It was pretty hardcore! We did lots of core work and exercises using our own body weight. I also got to flip a TIRE for the first time in my life! It was super intense but I LOVED it!
I have taken most bootcamp classes indoors, but I loved switching it up and taking the class outside. Just being in the elements and getting some fresh air while you sweat it out makes it just a little bit more fun!
After bootcamp and running, I knew I had to teach an hour long dance class a couple of hours later. So I stretched and recovered with a granola bar and an iced chai from Starbucks. Recovery caffeine in between workouts – oh so important.
 
Dance class was fun. I always enjoy teaching at the Murphy Super Sport gym for the free towels awesome customer service.
 
After the crazy morning of workouts Ann and I went to brunch. We enjoyed mimosas and breakfast on the patio at Main Street Bistro and Bakery. I always love going there to admire their yummy pastries! One day I will actually eat one.
I went home for a nap to recharge my batteries then went out with Ann and some other buddies of mine. Overall it was a packed day full of fun!
Since Saturday was so cray cray, I took full advantage of a rest day on Sunday. I went to church with the boyfriend then did some grocery shopping. I bought lots of great snacks for the week – cherries, watermelon, and some of my favorite hummus!
I love dipping these mini sweet peppers in the hummus.
This week is going to be pretty busy with teaching dance classes (I teach tonight and Wednesday) but I am looking forward to getting an hour long massage tomorrow after work!
Have you ever done an outdoor bootcamp? Anyone race/run this weekend? What’s your favorite thing to eat at brunch? 

Runner’s High.

Hello, good morning! The past couple of days have gone by so quickly. I have been keeping so busy at work I have hardly noticed it’s almost the weekend again!
It has been storming here in Texas for the past couple of days. I took a rest day from working out yesterday since the remainder of the week will be spent teaching dance classes, running, and bootcamp. It felt so good to rest the legs last night since I was on my feet all afternoon running around at work. Nonstop. Typically I take 1 day of rest during my week of workouts so I decided that would be it. This morning I woke up to rain once again so I took it inside my private playground for a 3 mile jaunt on the treadmill.  I also did a few strength training exercises…wall sits, russian twists, then worked chest/shoulders/triceps with free weights. I am hoping the weather clears tonight so I can go to the social run and get some more miles in at Luke’s with my buddies!
Lately I have been thinking about the feeling of the runner’s high. I thought it deserved its own little dedication, its own little post.
I have to tell you that as much cross training/dancing/spin classes that I do, and as much as I love it ALL and I want to do it ALL….that there is nothing more rewarding as a good run. It empties my mind, cleanses my soul, and makes the world a brighter place. I am so thankful for my ability to run and attain that high that gets me through my day. I felt it this morning, even after running on the treadmill. That surge of energy, that calmness early in the day. My time with just me, myself and I. My time with God. It’s all intertwined in my eyes. I just LOVE that feeling. Every time I want to take it for granted, I always remember those who would give anything to be able to have a run like that. Or to be able to run AT ALL. And for that, I am so very thankful.
What are you thankful for today? What’s your favorite time of day to run? 

Memorial Day Wknd Recap.

I am back after my short blogging hiatus! I’ve missed you guys. Hope you all had a wonderful long holiday weekend! Let’s get caught up.
This weekend stayed fairly busy but still had a nice mix of relaxation. Saturday morning I coached my running group over at Luke’s Locker. We did some drills followed by an easy 5 mile run. Still building those miles up for marathon training. After the run I wanted to do a little bit more and added on some miles in my mom’s quiet little neighborhood. There were beautiful flowers blooming so of course I stopped and admired them. I logged a little over 7 miles total that day.
After the run I got all cleaned up and caught up with my friend Natalie for our traditional brunch at Penne Pomodoro. Girl talk and pizza, perfect combination.
Saturday night I turned in early so I could get up the next morning and do some sweaty cross training at 24 Hour Fitness. I went to spin class and then did some Danceaton with Gaby. Always a good 2 hour long workout! I had to make room for all of the barbecue I knew I was going to eat later on.
Sunday evening was fairly low key. Eric and I went to church and basically were lazy the entire day. I went to the grocery store and stocked up on goodies for the week. I also made dinner – lemon pepper tilapia and roasted asparagus. Love cooking on Sundays.
Memorial Day Monday was busy but fun! I went for a run around 7am. It was already quite balmy already outside so I found a nice shaded loop in my neighborhood and logged about 5 miles. I used Run Keeper to log my run since my Garmin watch was dead. I was happy with my pace considering how warm it was!
 
After the hot run I wanted to do a little bit more so I went to the free day of yoga over at Sunstone! I attended the fire series 60 minute class, and boy was it HOT!
I really enjoyed it and felt so amazing afterwards! My arms are still sore this morning after that workout!
Eric and I spent the remainder of the day at the pool with some friends. I made some of my famous skinny buffalo chicken dip for the pool party. I added some crumbled goat cheese on top. It was a big hit!
I enjoyed hanging out in the cabana by the pool and working on my tan.
This week I am going to be doing a little bit more running and I am teaching Danceaton at the end of the week! I am also super excited because I signed up for another race – the Wounded Warrior 10K in June! I will be running this race with a bunch of my Luke’s running buddies so it should be fun!
What did you do over the long weekend? Have you ever tried a hot yoga class? What is your favorite poolside snack?

Foot candy, yoga and 3 days of freedom.

Happy Friday! It’s pretty much the weekend around these parts! So excited for the 3 days of freedom ahead. Hope you are having a swell day and are kicking off your Friday in a grand fashion. I definitely did. See exhibit A – vanilla soy chai with double espresso shots. If that’s not happiness I don’t know what is!
Last night was the Luke’s Locker Thursday night social run! I tested out some new shoes – the Asics Gel Nimbus.
I was excited to try some new foot candy, and they felt great at first fitting. But I will have to say I will be sticking to my Gel Landreth shoes. My foot just didn’t agree with the Nimbus. About half a mile in and I felt like my foot was being squeezed like a sausage in a casing. So I ran back, took them off and put my lovers the Nike Free Run 2s back on.
I love those babies! They fit my foot like a glove and I have lots of pep in my step when I wear them. I ended up hitting just over 4 miles that day, in 90 degree weather no less. Happy and sweaty.
I drank tons of water afterwards and hung out with the Luke’s crew. They had a massage table out there and I got a 10 minute full body massage. For FREE. I don’t have a photo but I promise you it was picture perfect awesome.
This weekend promises lots of running, dancing, maybe a little bit of yoga and some fun in the sun! I plan on signing up for a free yoga class over at Sunstone yoga studio. I love getting my bend on, especially in a hot room!
I also will be doing lots of grillin’ and chillin’ with this fella. Bring on the pool time and the BBQ’n!
What are you doing this weekend? Are you traveling or staycationing it? What kind of shoes do you run or workout in? 

Summer Running Essentials.

One of my blogging buds Amanda asked me a great question recently and I thought I would share what I have learned about running in the summer heat with you. I know some of you are lucky enough to live in an area where the climate is not mucho caliente in the summertime, and to that I say LUCKY you! Running in the summer Texas heat with close to triple digit temps pretty much all season long, especially when training for a marathon, is far from easy. It is definitiely something I have had to get acclimated to over the years, and I can finally say it is something I kind of look forward to! Is that kind of sadistic? Maybe so, but I think being prepared and having the right tools can equip you to handle anything. So here’s what I do in preparation and during summer marathon training.
Hydration – this is so very key to a successful training season in the summer weather. I am very blessed to run with a group every Saturday mornings and we put out water stops at various locations..typically every 2 or 3 miles along the route we will stop for water. If you don’t already, invest in a hydration device. You can purchase this at just about any sports apparel store. They have handheld devices that attach to your hand and also fuel belts.
I have many friends that wear the fuel belts but I love the handhelds and have been training with them for years. I also think that electrolytes are CRUCIAL especially during LONG runs! If you are running for more than an hour you need some type of electrolyte beverage. Gatorade is my go to, I also like G2, but everyone is different. I’ve also tried Accelerade and Cytomax. A little bit of gatorade mixed in one of your water bottles will go a long long way.
Lightweight, breathable clothing – also another thing that some may often overlook, but oh so important! I would start investing in some light tank tops and running shorts. I love the entire Nike summer line of shorts, they are breathable and have some great colors!
I would stay away from cotton clothing in the summer. You want to be able to move about and sweat comfortably without anything weighing you down. I also love the North Face line, they have a great line of lightweight tops and skirts. I plan on definitely investing in more of these during the summer months.
 
Headbands/hats/visors – So I live for sparkly bic bands and wear them just about everywhere. They are great for pulling the frizz and abundance of sweat away from my face. In the summer you will sweat gallons and will love every minute of it, right? So you need something to keep it away from your face. I love bic bands, and also love wearing the Nike visors in the summer months. The visors are great because they keep the sun and the sweat from out of your eyes. When I ran the Hottest Half last year (which was featured in Runner’s World a while back) I wore this visor and it really made a difference! I would definitely recommend rocking the Nike visor.
Sunscreen – Buying sunscreen does not mean you have to shelf out tons of money to buy some expensive brand. I have discovered my favorite sunscreen at CVS…yes I said CVS, as in the drugstore! 70 SPF active sport.
It is awesome and is less than $10! When shopping for sunscreen I would definitely look for one that says something about it being for active individuals. You are going to need something to protect you from running for hours in the sunshine, not for laying out by the pool. Although, that is lots of fun too…I totally recommend dunking yourself in a nice cold pool after a LONG run! It feels so amazing.
Fuel – Fuel largely depends on the person and what your tastes are. Personally I like to have something I can easily throw in my spi belt. I love the Powerbar energy blasts in strawberry banana flavor. I have pretty much tried every energy chewy across the board and I have found these as one of the easiest ones to consume when you quickly need to whip out something to eat mid run. I like to take in some fuel along my longer runs that are over 10 miles or so. Everyone is different. You should be taking in fuel about every 45 minutes to an hour into your run. Again everyone has different opinions on this and I’m not an expert, just telling you what I have learned from experience.
Expect your pace to slow a bit – I’m the biggest fan of winter weather in Texas for the simple fact that I like to run. FAST. Chilly weather allows you to do just that. Run and warm up and fast as you can. It’s a little different when you factor in the heat and humidity. Your body temperature warms up much more quickly and you have to learn to train SMART. Training smart means setting your ego aside and slowing down to make sure you do not overheat.  In the summer months, I typically slow my pace down to at least a minute per mile slower for my longer weekend training runs. You will still get the miles in and you can do your tempos and speed work during the week. Conserve your energy for those long training runs. Being smart is the name of the game. Plus the best part is when that marathon comes in the fall or winter that you are training for, you will be READY and like a caged animal ready to get out and crush your race!
Get up early! The earlier you can get up and knock that long run out, the better! The night before your long run, eat a sensible meal and get some good rest so you are up the next morning ready to go. Friday nights for me are not for boozing. They are for getting some good rest so I can get up Saturday morning at 4 something am and be ready to rock our 5:30 AM run. We are usually done before 9 am, and before some have even gotten up you are DONE with your workout! Such a feeling of accomplishment.
So share with me some of your summer running tips? Do you train in the summer with friends, in a running group or solo? What is your favorite summer running or workout accessory?

What I Want Wednesday.

Hey there! I hope your day started off on a happy note. And if it didn’t and you don’t do this already, I suggest you take up drinking coffee. Coffee is the cure all for pretty much everything.
My morning started with best endorphin rush. 4 mile run with my friend Elyse in my hilly neighborhood. I live in a part of Irving called Las Colinas, which actually means ‘the hills’ in Spanish. I know, I didn’t learn that in Spanish class either! I felt like I was running strong though, maintaining just under a 9 minute pace. Such a great way to start the workday!
Elyse is tapering for the San Diego Marathon which is just in a little over a week! She is going to crush her current PR. I am so excited for her! She ran the Heels and Hills 10K a few weeks ago and got 2nd place in her age group!
Tonight I will be teaching dance class, subbing for a friend at the 24 Hour Fitness Super Sport gym in Murphy. 
I love teaching at this club for the free fresh towels! Take that, laundry!
I have a heart pumping playlist on deck too. I love teaching this class, it’s like one big sweatfest party. I like to call it my version of a ‘happy hour’.
So, back to the actual topic of this blog post. There are so many things I want right now. Being on Pinterest all the time sure isn’t helping…
I want to make these cookies. For no particular reason but to eat them. Okay, maybe I’ll share. They look so festive and easy to make! Maybe I’ll find an excuse to make them for a bbq or pool event this weekend.
I want these glow in the dark cups! How amazing would it be to have a night time pool party with these. So fun.
I want to go see Jill Scott in concert already! They have moved the date of this concert TWICE to accommodate her tour schedule. Looks like Eric and I will finally get to go June 28th. She is so amazing in concert. I am looking forward to jamming out with her!
I want to do a relay race! I was so inspired reading about some of my buddies like this girl and this girl running relays with their friends. I think it would be fun to do a crazy race and run at 2 in the morning! Yes, I am one of those crazy runners and I LOVE it.
I want this breakfast pizza from one of my favorite restaurants Penne Pomodoro. Yes, the whole thing.
This place has an amazing brunch with dollar mimosas! Good thing I’ll be going there this weekend with this girl…
My homegirl Natalie. Love her.
I want to be laying poolside right now soaking up some sun. Hopefully this weekend.
I want some bright and colorful jeans. Some yellow ones. Anyone know where I can get some? 
I will end this with a Danceaton video, because that’s what you do at the end of a blog post, right? Right.
What is your favorite thing to bake? Favorite summer accessory? Did you run this morning, if so how many miles?

TGIFriday Faves.

TGIF! It has quite possibly been the longest week ever! I am looking forward to some serious fun this weekend. Saturday morning run, then date night with the boyfriend, then church and the Taste of Addison on Sunday! I hope you have some great weekend plans in store as well.
As most of you know around here on Fridays I tell you what things I’m watching/wearing/eating/loving this week. So here we go…
Yoga on Demand
I think doing yoga in your living room is a genius idea. I am very fortunate that my cable provides workouts that you can easily access and take advantage of. The ones I have been doing lately are the Gaiam yoga workouts that anywhere from 15 to 20 minutes long. They have specific yoga workouts designed for anyone from beginners to athletes that are looking for a good stretch. I enjoyed getting my bend on this week!
Fun coffee mugs
I love having a fun coffee cup around the office. It makes doing my job a lot more fun when I’m sitting at my desk slaving away writing promos. Especially this one:
yes it does.
Ab workouts
So, since yesterday I taught my very first abs class at the gym, you know I have to share with you. Except that I don’t have much to share. Both the stereo and mic were broken last night when I came in to teach the class, and the manager had to come in and fix it. It took about 10 minutes to fix, leaving me about 5 or so minutes to teach before I had to teach dance. Ha! We still did a few moves, planks, mountain climbers, and the like. My class was very understanding thankfully since most of them were there to dance so we kept it moving. You live and you learn.
I have to say my favorite abs workout right now is the scissor kick. I can definitely feel my abs burning after this one!
Blogging buds
I am so happy to have so many sweet blogging buddies, including the sweetest Jen who sent me a little care package full of goodies. Cake batter fudge, oreo covered brownies, cookies galore! Girl after my own heart.
I will definitely be sharing these with the coworkers today. Confession – I had cake batter fudge for breakfast. With coffee. Perfect healthy living blogger over here.
Funny stuff
I’ve seen some pretty funny ish this week. One of them was this abs workout from Jersey Shore’s Mike ‘The Situation’. I came across this on youtube while researching some ab workouts for my Crunch Time class at the gym. If I had a penny for every time he says ‘OK’ I think I would be a billionare…
Also, this is my new favorite song…Rickey Smiley is a fool but he is hilarious. Sorry not sorry if this offends you but I just had to share. Ladies, sing it with me now…
Oh, and if you didn’t already know…I’m a runner.
Ever been guilty of the camel toe? What is your favorite abs workout? Favorite naughty dessert? What are you up to this weekend?

The Perfect Morning & Tasty Eats.

My morning started just perfectly. I would not have wanted it any other way honestly. Bright and early run, great conversation with a running buddy, beautiful sunrise off in the horizon. My endorphins tank has been filled for the day. Thankyouverymuch.
The last couple of days have been busy both at work and at home. I have been so wiped out in the evenings but manage to get it together somehow and prepare some tasty healthy meals. One of my favorites this week was whole wheat spaghetti with kale sauteed in garlic and a little olive oil, topped with feta cheese.
I have found cooking to be quite therapeutic lately after a long day at work.
I also discovered a yummy smoothie they make at the Starbucks at my job! (yes we have a Sbux at my job…hate on me) The barista whipped me up a protein smoothie with mangoes, bananas, soy milk and whey protein powder. No syrups, no sugar! The bananas gave it just the right amount of sweetness. The perfect blend. Now all I need is the ocean side and an umbrella to put in my drink.
Oh how I would long to be here right now…
So anyway, back to my morning run. I ran with my neighbor Elyse who is tapering off for the upcoming San Diego Marathon in June! She is super speedy but was gracious enough to let me run with her this morning. We kept it real easy, finishing 4 miles in just under a 9 minute pace. And of course I logged it on Daily Mile…
I really enjoyed running this morning with a buddy. Since I ALWAYS run solo during the week before work it was a nice change of pace and made the miles whizz by quickly! The strain that was once in my hip has dissipated and I honestly felt stronger than I have felt in WEEKS! Taking some time off definitely does a body good. It just goes to show how important resting your body in between training seasons REALLY is.
My week of workouts has looked something like this:
Monday – Sharanda’s Danceaton class, 1 hour. Yoga On Demand 16 minutes
Tuesday – OFF
Wednesday – 4 mile easy run, Yoga On Demand 20 mins
Thursday – Teaching 15 minutes of abs ‘Crunch Time’, then an hour of Danceaton at 24 Hour Fitness – This will be my FIRST time teaching an abs session! I am so nervous!! Wish me luck 🙂
Friday – Easy recovery run
Saturday – Early Marathon training begins at Luke’s Locker. TIME TRIAL for the participants to put everyone in pace groups. 6 mile run
I am so excited that Early Marathon training is starting! I have never been more ready. I am looking forward to meeting some new running faces this season and getting reacquainted with some older ones. We have lots of people training for various races in the fall season, including New York, Chicago, Marine Corps (which I will be running) and San Antonio. Bring it on baby!
If you are in the Plano area and want to check us out, we have an orientation this evening at 7PM. Come join us!
 
Anyone training for a fall marathon? Do you practice yoga? What is your favorite kind of smoothie?

Why I Do This Thing Called Running.

So last night as I drove home from work, the sun was setting off in the horizon…and it was SO cool and breezy. I stopped to get some frozen yogurt (dulce de leche with chocolate sprinkles…no photo, but I promise you it was amazing) and as I sat there eating, I pondered on going for a quick run before the sun went down. The weather was so nice, with just the right amount of chill in the air. Nature was calling me. So I had no choice but to answer to it.
After taking the past few weeks off and simply cross training I have been feeling a pep in my step. I could feel it in dance class on Monday. We were doing some high knees (a move that I had been modifying) and all of a sudden, I could feel myself doing them. It was an exciting feeling, but I tried to hold back a bit and not go all out. So I took that little spunkiness out last night for a 2 mile shakeout jog. Very easy, relaxed loop around my neighborhood. I had done an early bird spin class + strength training that same morning, so I knew it needed to be a quick and easy run. Of course, the sunset and flowers looked beautiful, and reminded me of why I run in the first place.
I came across this blog post not long ago about remembering just WHY I do this thing called running. Sure, awards are fun to hang on your bedroom wall, PR’s can be a natural confidence booster, paying for and entering just about every race can give you something to do with yourself on the weekends. But some of the real reasons why I run in the first place, have nothing to do with that. My little run last night reminded me of that. I felt the cool breeze on my face. The sound of my feet hitting the pavement. Took time to see the colors of nature. Saw other runners getting their evening miles in. Just embracing everything around me. All of those things just bring a smile to my face. Running makes me feel free, alive. Like I can be a better person when I go out into the world because I took the time to make myself a priority.
Don’t ever forget why you started running in the first place.
“We run, not because we think it is doing us good, but because we enjoy it and cannot help ourselves…The more restricted our society and work become, the more necessary it will be to find some outlet for this craving for freedom. No one can say, ‘You must not run faster than this, or jump higher than that.’ The human spirit is indomitable.”   Sir Roger Bannister, first runner to run a sub-4 minute mile
What are some of the reasons why YOU run? 

TGIFriday Faves.

Hello and Happy Friday! I am so very thankful that the weekend is near. Plus it’s CINCO DE MAYO WEEKEND! Yes, the whole weekend. I live in Texas. That’s how we do things around here.
Soo it has been a minute since I have done a favorites post so I figured I would let you in on what I am loving as of late. Let’s get started.
90’s music on Pandora radio
Listening to music helps my brain flow – some days I’m in the mood for more mellow music, other days hip hop…lately I have really been into corny 90s music…some of these songs make me laugh and reminisce on the old days. Don’t act like you are too cool to relate. Remember this song?
Stainless steel water bottles
I just got a new water bottle from the bookstore at my job…excited to use it in my next spin class. I love the stainless steel bottles that are environmentally friendly.
 
Massages/the stick/compression = anything related to recovery
I have said it before but I am a big fan of getting monthly massages. I can definitely tell a difference and know my tired runners muscles really need it. I am so thankful for Everett at Massage Envy, who understands what my needs are as an athlete. I have a little bounce in my step after each session. I have also been doing lots of rolling with this little doodad
Meet my new best friend.
And wearing compression sleeves to bed and to work. Compression all day everyday. 
Unsweetened Almond Breeze Vanilla Almond Milk
I am in so much love with this stuff. It has totally replaced my desire for real milk in my cereal. Why do such a silly thing when you can put delicious almond milk in there? It’s also great if you are allergic to dairy or you just like to pretend you are vegan/vegetarian sometimes like me. I don’t even miss the cow. My favorite thing to use almond milk in lately is the Puffins peanut butter cereal. I hear it’s also great in smoothies, but mainly I use it in my cereal in the mornings.
Starbucks Americano
My favorite drink hands down at the bux. Also another dairy free option since it’s just Espresso with hot water. I like to add a splash of cream…especially good with caramel syrup. Pure yumminess.
Qunioa with turkey meatballs
I made this the other night and could seriously eat it every night for dinner. So good…especially with sauteed kale. Qunioa (pronounced keen-wah) kind of has the texture of rice, it’s a complete protein and is very tasty, filling and quick to make. Move over pasta…quinoa is taking over the world.
Instagram
I am so excited that they have the Instagram app for Android phones now. I got this on my phone not long ago and ever since I have been pimping pretty much every photo I can get my hands on. Wall art, sunsets, my dinner, my treadmill, you name it. It is also fun to check out the ‘news feed’ and share your photos with your friends. Another great way to waste time. Good times.
Pinata Cookies 
I found these cookies on Pinterest. Seriously need to figure out how to make these. This weekend. It.will.happen.
Danceaton
This is always a favorite and will remain on the list, along with running. I will have to get my Latin salsa dance on this weekend, obvi. 
On that note, how about another Danceaton video…well ok!
Ole!
How are you celebrating Cinco de Mayo this weekend? What is your favorite drink at Starbucks? How are you breaking a sweat today?