Sunday, March 31, 2013

Weekly Workout Roundup 3/25-3/31

This was a good week for workouts, but it wasn't a good week for running at all. After waking up Friday and Realizing that I couldn't walk normally after my workout Thursday, I've decided to take 5-7 days off from running completely. I had already taken off last Sunday-Tuesday, but it clearly didn't do enough.

Here is what I did:
Monday I tried out Pure Barre and liked it a lot. Their slogan is lift.tone.burn, and I could definitely feel my butt lifting, my thighs and arms toning, and everywhere burning. I was honestly surprised by how difficult the workout was. I hadn't been giving it that much credit mentally, but it's a great workout! It's a little expensive at $20 per class, so it won't become a mainstay in my workout routine. I will definitely be going back on certain occasions though. I can tell that it's an amazing fat burner.
Tuesday I did the Bob Harper DVD, which is incredibly intense. I knew it would be difficult, but this makes Jillian look like a kind and caring lady. This workout uses your arms like crazy, and my arms were incredibly sore for several days after the DVD. I loved it. If you're looking for a workout that focuses a lot on arms, this is for you. The DVD has a timer in the corner, and when it starts out at an hour and 6 minutes, it's a little intimidating. The time does go by fairly quickly, but by the end you just want it to be over. It was a sweatfest, and there was literally one 20 second water break. There is a 20 minute intro workout also on the DVD, but I haven't done it so don't know how it compares.

Wednesday I got on the treadmill to test the ankle. I ran 2.45 miles and then stopped because of my ankle. It hurt, and I was so worried that I had a stress fracture that I literally threw on a jacket and headed to the urgent care orthopedic clinic. Though it was a Physician's Assistant who saw me, they did XRays and confirmed no stress fracture. She said it was a Peroneal Tendon Strain and when I asked if I could run through it, that was all I needed to hear.
Thursday I spent most of the day riding test bikes, so I did count that for thirty minutes of activity. I think I rode 6 or 7 bikes, and I rode each one for quite a bit of time. I also rode my bike home and around my neighborhood for two miles, so I think I was actually being quite conservative. That was also the day I had on the training plan four miles at race pace. I warmed up a mile, hit 3.5 at race pace, then cooled down .75 miles. It was with that workout and the pain I experienced then and the day after that I realized I could not in fact push through the pain at race pace. And the day after when I couldn't walk, I knew I had to take time off so that I could at least walk again.

Friday I rode my bike back to the bike shop to change out seats, but I decided to just keep the one that the bike came with since I didn't feel much of a difference. Then I rode around a few of the roads in my area for 20+ minutes.
Saturday I took the bike out for another ride. I knew I wasn't long running, so I thought I'd get in a semi-long ride. The guy at the bike shop had told me a 20 mile route that would be safe to start with, and Tori had confirmed that 20 wouldn't be too much to start with, so I went for it! I had a ball. I had too much fun to take pictures, but I'll share more thoughts about the bike this week. What shocked me more than anything was that calorie burn! I couldn't believe I hit 880 calories and I didn't feel like I worked as hard as I do running. Don't get me wrong; it wasn't easy, and the last 20 minutes were tough, but it wasn't as uncomfortable as some runs tend to be. I love biking!

I don't know what, if anything, I'm going to do today. I may try to go to the pool and swim if the water isn't too cold. Our neighborhood pool doesn't seem to be heated, and I feel like I'm doing a polar bear plunge when I dive in and the water is freezing.

Happy Easter! Enjoy your day with your families!

Linkup with me and Kat with your workouts from this week. You can do so anytime this week! Be sure to grab a button!

Friday, March 29, 2013

Friday's Letters: I got a bike!

Dear New Bike, I love you. You're so pretty and ride so well, and I got a steal of a deal on you, which makes you all the more beautiful and wonderful. I'll share more about you on the blog later, but for now I'm just excited to ride you around this week to get used to you. Now I can really prepare for the Irongirl Clermont Sprint Tri! You need a name...what should it be?!
Dear Bob Harper, Your DVD is insane. I haven't done strength training of that difficulty since the last Les Mills BodyPump class I went to, and even that I'm not sure was as hard as this. The calories burn wasn't that high, but I think it's because it was a lot more arm weights than cardio, though you threw it all in there. Dear ankle, you're still hurting me. I went to the doctor and found out I have a peroneal tendon strain (tendonitis). The PA said I could run through the pain, but after my attempt at four miles at goal pace yesterday...that might be trickier than I had thought. Time for lots of ice, rest, stretching, and elevatioin. Dear goal pace attempt, Hm. I had to stop after 3.5 miles of goal pace, which I've never had to do before. My ankle was killing me, and I couldn't run through it anymore. I have this strange feeling that losing that last .5 miles invalidates the entire workout that I did, but I don't think that's the case... Dear Stella & Dot Hostess order, I'm loving wearing all of my pretty new jewelry! I think I've already picked out favorites, but I haven't had a chance to wear you all yet!

Dear weekend, you're bittersweet for me...I'm excited that it's the weekend and Tim is off two days, but at the same time you signify the end of my extended spring break. I've loved every minute of spring break, but it's going to be slow going getting back to work on Monday... Dear Tim, I love you! I had fun at the Yelp event with you last Sunday, and I'm excited for you to come to the next one with me. I hope you're able to take a little time off from studying this weekend to relax. I can't wait until you're done with school for a two month break coming up! Dear Readers, have a wonderful Good Friday and Easter with your family! Do you have any fun plans?

Did you plan a special outfit for Easter?
What's the hardest workout DVD you've tried?
If a doctor tells you you can try to run through an injury, do you still push it or hold back some?
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Thursday, March 28, 2013

My Bridesmaids' Gifts

One of my most popular posts is the one where I shared bridesmaids' gifts ideas before my own wedding. I've gotten a few requests to share what I actually gave to my girls, so I finally have gotten around to sharing what I picked out in the end. Basically, these were the top things on the list of personalized gifts that I had found while shopping around. 

Bridesmaids gifts are so hard to pick out, and I wanted to make everything personalized, and I wanted it to be done in their favorite colors so they would actually use the items. I asked them ahead of time what their favorite color combinations were, because I wanted to make sure my thoughts were correct.
I had a reason for everything that I picked.

I have more plastic tumblers than one person should own, and I wanted to share that love with my girls.  I thought these multi-colored ones were cute, and I loved that they came with a little matching bow. I bought myself one as well, as I did with all of my gifts. Since it's so hard to pick stuff out, I knew that if I loved it then it at least meant that I put time and thought into picking it out.

The makeup bags were probably my favorite. I bought them a large and a medium sized one that would be perfect for packing their stuff to bring to get ready the next day. Then they could use them for overnights and short trips in the future.

The earrings were what I wanted them to wear for the wedding, and they matched the look I was going for perfectly. I figured if I was going to be specific on jewelry then I should provide it.

And lastly, notepads. Each of these notepads was personalized in the wedding colors and had a magnet on the back. They are the long kind that you can hang on your refrigerator for grocery lists and quick thoughts. I'm a big lover of lists, and I knew that all of my bridesmaids are as well.

I had so much fun picking these items out, and I think my combination of loving the items myself and thinking of ways to make the items unique for each girl helped make my gifts special.

I'm so thankful to my friends for being a part of my big day. 
This post is a bit late, as I got married July 21st of last year, but I did want to share with you what I ended up getting.

What did you get your bridesmaids, or what are you thinking of getting them?
What's your favorite gift you've ever received?

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

What I...Wednesday

Today I have an outfit and food to share, so I decided to linkup for What I Ate Wednesday as well as What I Wore Wednesday. I figure it's a likely pair, since we're always wearing something and eating something else. 

I went to the grocery store last Friday with the intention of stocking up on whole, healthy foods that would be fresh and unprocessed. I loaded up on vegetables, (limited) whole grains, a few fruits, lean meats, and a few other new and health things I'd never tried before like brown rice pasta, flax seeds, and coconut oil. I was excited to try it all, and I was even more excited that I was able to buy it all at one of the Publix locations down the street that has a large Greenwise sections. That meant I could skip the expensive Whole Foods! I always rack up more of a bill in there than I thought possible.

I did things a little differently this time...instead of planning out meals, I bought a balance of meats and veggies that I could put together for meals as they fit. I knew I'd be able to get at least a week and a half of meals out of it, and so far that has be happening. The one exception was on Monday night when I went out for a birthday dinner, but more on that in a second.
You can see above a wrap with tuna and more veggies than would successfully fit inside the whole wheat tortilla wrapped up, a kale salad filled with veggies and avocado, whole roasted almonds, carrots with hummus, and then a chicken and veggie stir fry. I served that with sweet potato wedges that I roasted in the oven at 375* for about 30-35 minutes. They were delicious with just a little salt and sprayed with cooking spray. I didn't take a picture of the brown rice pasta, but we really like it. It was a little chewier than regular pasta, but it was tasty and held the pasta sauce well. 

If you're looking to eat healthier, I'd suggest just doing what I did. Here's the easiest way to explain it:
1. Read healthy blogs for a bit to see exactly what kinds of meals people are eating and what looks good or not so good to you.
2. Start a shopping list of items you see frequently.
3. Check out online suggested shopping lists for healthy additions. I used these two:
4. Modify it all to come up with your own list. What works for someone else won't necessarily work for you!
5. Have fun creating things for each meal. Just keep up with what you bought and when it goes bad to make sure you use it all in that time frame.


On Monday, though, I met up with some girlfriends for a birthday dinner and a local German place called Mr. Dunderbaks. 
The menu was filled with all kinds of fried deliciousness, and I was so torn between ordering a salad and something more German traditional. I did end up getting the potato pancakes with sour cream and homemade applesauce, which were delicious, but then I decided on the cheese tray with summer sausage as my main meal, and though pretty good, it was neither that authentic nor healthy. Wrong thing to order! Oops. I ate about half of it and brought the rest home for Tim and to add to lunch the next day.
That was also the day that I took some mirror selfies to share for an outfit of the day. 
In my outlet haul, I picked up the sweater and shirt above. I love that shirt and have it in the neon salmon color and cream. The sweater and shirt are JCrew Factory, the pants are cords from LOFT, the necklace is JCrew Factory, and the leopard loafers are Steve Madden. I wore the cream top to the Yelp event I attended on Sunday; it's making me think I should pick up another color or two. 

For a game night with friends we went to on Saturday night, I wore some of my new Stella & Dot jewelry from my hostess order as well as the new dress from Gap Outlet. I luckily found my light violet sweater to pair with it, because it matched perfectly with the lines that you can't really see because of this shot. 
And because I don't think I shared my Stella & Dot hostess haul with you, here that is:
I had a trunk show in October and earned all of that for free or half price. I still have two half priced pieced left to use. I'm thinking of buying a statement necklace or two. 

What have you been wearing lately that you're loving? 
What's on your menu for this week?

pleated poppybutton

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Yelping! + Yelp! Elite

I've been using Yelp! for a little less than a year to find places to eat and thoughts on businesses around me, and now I've been to two of the CMYE events! I got an email from the Tampa Bay community manager inviting me to the Sunday event at Burger 21 because I had recently been there and written a review about it. I was so excited to be included in one of these fun meetups. I see so many of my Tampa blogging friends attend the Elite events, and I'm always a little jealous of the fun they get to have! 

The last Yelp! event I attended was at Datz in November, and it was a Livin' La Vida Local event. I don't know all the differences in the events, but I know there's always free food and fun people to hang out with!
This event was particularly fun because Tim was able to come with me to meet a couple of my blogger friends. Because of his working schedule and MBA course load he's often busy during my events, but I was excited that he was off and able to come on Sunday. 

The event was at Burger21 in Westchase, which isn't far from where we live. We arrived and checked in, and we found a seat on the patio. Though it was muggy out, it never rained and made for pleasant temperatures to be sitting outside.
When we sat down we found all of the condiments on the table. I'm a sucker for sauces, and this little spread made me want to create something like this at home. I seriously don't forego condiments on anything I eat.
I learned that at CMYE events, much of the food is comped, but not everything is free. We paid for our sodas, but my goodness there was so much free food we were satisfied and didn't even end up eating dinner Sunday night. They were offering cheesy sliders, black and bleu sliders, chicken tenders, and the turkey skinny in terms of main fare. They also were bringing around cups of sweet potato and regular fries. 
We knew we liked the food because we eat at Burger 21 a lot, but I'll say I was surprised about how delicious the turkey patty was. It was creamy, moist, and flavorful. I use turkey meat a lot at home, but it always seems to get dry while I'm cooking it. This definitely wasn't dry. 
They also brought little milkshake samples, and I tried the strawberry. Tim had one of each, because he loves milkshakes, and his favorite was the bananas foster.
We had so much fun at the event! There wasn't quite enough seating for everyone to have their own table, and we ended up sitting with a couple I'd never met before. We had so much fun talking about their favorite places around Tampa. They're both Yelp elite, and we added each other while we were talking. They've got some serious reviews! I will definitely be checking their profiles next time we're looking for a new restaurant.

Our favorite part of sitting with them was learning about their restaurant crawls they do. They take weekend days and just make their way around different parts of town to cover new restaurants they've never been to. Just the Saturday before they said they had hit up 6 or 8 places in one fowl swoop. I told Tim afterwards that I wanted to plan one of those days!
I also saw Nichole and Jen; Nichole won a free burger a month for the rest of the year because of a tweet during a contest for the event!
And then I had to get a picture with the Yelp sign with Caroline! She and her husband were celebrating exciting news (I don't want to say it here because she hasn't posted it on her blog yet), so she was excited to be out and enjoying the day. 
And then, Caroline nominated me for Yelp! elite! I found out yesterday that I was accepted! Now I'll be able to attend all the amazing events they plan around Tampa for the elite crew! I can't wait to be part of the group. To be elite you have to have written 30 reviews, but I don't know what the other requirements are.

Yelp is such a neat website and phone app. If you want to go to these events in your city, just create an account and get writing reviews on their site! They have no idea whether you publish blog posts about your events or not, because a lot of Yelpers aren't bloggers. They just want you to stay active reviewing places and checking on on their site and on the app. The events happen quite frequently, and they're so much fun! The next Tampa one is going to be for anyone with an active account, and Brett (the Tampa Bay community manager) said they're expecting somewhere around 600 people! Isn't that crazy?! I can't wait to find out where it's going to be!

I just feel like I need to mention that this event isn't sponsored or required or paid or anything. I just had fun at the event and feel like it's worth sharing since you can all go to events like this in your cities!

Do you use Yelp for find businesses? Do you write reviews? Have you been to a Yelp event?

Monday, March 25, 2013

What's in my (fitness) closet?

Though it would have taken me all day to share my entire workout selection with you, I thought it'd be fun to linkup with Pavement Runner to share my workout favorites. I can't tell you that I'm very brand loyal, but it does seem that Nike, lululemon, and Asics can be found in a lot of my workout options. 

First, how do I store my workout clothes? It isn't pretty. I started a drawer a year and a half ago after I'd gotten into running and had run my first or second half, and since then I've collected much more than will fit here without finding anything else to do with it. Most of the time, though, my workout clothes are either being worn, are in the washer, or are hanging in the laundry room.
Without further ado, here are my favorites that I go to most frequently to race, run, or workout in. 
Socks
It all starts at the base! My go to socks are definitely the Feetures! that I own many, many pairs of. I like thorlos sometimes, but they are very padded and I don't always like the padding. On long runs and to race in, you'll always find me in my ProCompression Marathon Compression socks. I got them on LeftLane sports at a great price before Christmas, so check for deals and coupons if you're looking to purchase them.

Shoes
As it's now clear to me, my go to shoes are my Asics GT-2000. Though I tried to switch to Brooks like so many people seem to love, I'm sticking with these after trying something else unsuccessfully. I just ordered my third pair. 

Sports Bra
I definitely own more than one. I wear a lot of the Target C9 bras with thick and thins straps, but my recent favorite is this Moving Comfort Bra for the support. When I'm running long or racing, this is my go to. When it's clean and I don't have one of those coming up soon, I'll definitely pick this over any of my other bras.

Running Skirts
My favorite thing to run in are skirts. I don't do other workouts in them, but I love wearing them to run. I have four of them. I love my lululemon pace setter skirt the most of all because of the band of rubber at the bottom inside of the shorts that keep them from riding, but I love all the patterns of the runningskirts.com skirts. The chevron one that I have I love wearing on mid distance runs, because once the shorts settle into place they don't ride up anymore.

Shorts
These Nike Pro shorts are the only shorts I run or workout in. They're definitely not forgiving, but they don't ride up on me and they stay out of my way. For most races you'll find me in these because they just feel like I'm not wearing anything, and for many workouts in my house with DVDs I'll wear these as well. I'll also be wearing these for the triathlon I signed up for. 

Tops
I have more tops than anything else, but I think these four have been the most worn and loved lately (besides my recent I run this body one). They're all over the board from lululemon, Old Navy, and Nike. I like tank tops more than sleeves, though I'll wear sleeves if I feel like it, though I can't explain what makes me feel like it one time over another. Being in Florida means it's not too too often that I need long sleeves, but I have a race tee from Gasparilla last year that I wear when it's cold here

Crops
These crops are my two favorites, and they're both lululemon. I run in them, do yoga in them, crosstrain in them, and wear them on a lazy day. They're so comfortable, and I love that I feel like I'm not wearing anything when I have them on. They're also pretty slimming.

Jacket
I own one jacket that I wear frequently for running (mostly because I do have another one but leave it at school all the time for when it's cold there). This on is from H&M, was an impulse buy, and was definitely one of the best purchases that I have made impulsively. I wear it a lot, and I'm sure it's something you've seen in Instagram photos from after recent long runs.

Are you brand loyal? 
What makes up most of your fitness closet? 
Is there anything that you won't wear?

And I'm going to address it more later, but thanks so much for your thoughts on my post regarding my attempt at switching to Brooks. So many of you said that you have had issues after switching shoes, whether to or from Brooks or another brand, and I think it's the perfect point to prove that the right shoes matter! If you're a new runner or want to try running and bought shoes without consulting an expert, check out the comments from my post yesterday, and get fitted! You'll notice the difference!