Category Archives: Running

Success is in the preparation [Half Marathon Recap – Part 1]

Success is in the preparation. Preparation requires dedication. Dedication requires discipline.  

Those 3 things I learned on my journey to running the half marathon. It was quite the learning experience, not only in never giving up, but also in perseverance and looking at the big picture. I trained for 3 months to get ready for this race. I had to put in the work early on and then got to watch it all unfold during the race. It was pretty cool.

I have told some of this story here before, but I have not always been a runner. I actually just started running in May 2014, that was 5 months ago! (watch the end of this video below where I talk about how I got into running & my anticipation of the half marathon – its like 10 minutes long FYI)





I ran the Portland half marathon. I chose this race because it gave me enough time to train, they had some sweet finisher swag and it has been voted the best race to run in Fall. πŸ™‚  We drove down on Saturday morning and went straight to the Expo so I could pick up my race bib and packet.

Photo Oct 04-5
says “entering Portland” – it was SO sunny the WHOLE weekend
Photo Oct 04-2
officially in Oregon!

The city was READY for the marathon, see the below pic, they had all these posters on the light poles…. it made it that much more real!

Photo Oct 05-3
heading into the packet pick-up – I was ready to explore Portland for the day with my beach babe cooler haha πŸ™‚

When we got to the packet pick up I was so intimated because there was barely any half marathon bibs, there were WAY more people running the full marathon! I was like “I’m over here trying to run 13.1 miles and these peeps can run 26.2!??” – woah just woah. Very inspiring to be around so many dedicated athletes and runners considering I have only been at this for 5 months. 

I realized quickly that I had never been part of such a big race. Not only mileage but also number of people. There were like 12,000 people who ran on Sunday!! Once I picked up my bib, I was like “OMG THIS IS REALLY HAPPENING!” 

Photo Oct 05-2

The expo itself was not huge, there were several running companies there and some other random stuff. I was worried that my finishers shirt was gonna be too big (my shirt size has changed since I registered for the half way back when) so I bought a cute pink Portland Marathon shirt as a memory of the weekend. I was so overwhelmed by everything I didn’t take as many pics as I wanted πŸ™

 We looked around the expo briefly and then headed over to the Portland Saturday Market. I was really excited for this as I had heard so much about it. 

Photo Oct 04
ended up in front of Voodoo Donuts and didn’t even realize it until we saw the line haha

We got to the area where the market was and ended up in front of Voodoo donuts. The line was insane. We didn’t have any donuts. We did stop at Stumptown Coffee though…. OMG YUM. You have not had good cold brew until you try the Stumptown Cold Brew πŸ˜€

Photo Oct 04-4
they had these Mexican coffee beans, I wish I would have bought some as you don’t see coffee beans from Mexico very often… oh well next time.

Photo Oct 04-3

I wore my “I Hate Running” shirt around Portland all day on Saturday. Most people got the joke, but others were like “really you hate running?” or “you are brave for wearing that on marathon weekend” –  I was like come on people! πŸ˜› The funny thing as you guys know, I haven’t always liked running, but now I do like it – so this shirt just seemed appropriate for the day. As my sister pointed out, many people were looking at it or laughing about it thru out the day. 

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this is what the tank looks like. Unfortunately it isn’t available from VS Pink anymore πŸ™

 I was filled with nerves… as the day passed I started getting more and more nervous. I thought to myself “why are you so nervous, you know how hard you worked to prepare for this”…. I think the nerves came from having no idea what to expect. This was something I had NEVER done before, that is intimidating! 

After exploring the Saturday Market, we went to get something for dinner.  My sister and her BF went to his BBQ place, I didn’t see anything on the menu that seemed like something that would sit well with my stomach. So we headed over to whole foods to get some grub from their salad bar and hot food section. YUM! 

Photo Oct 05-6
my outfit, ready to go! complete with skittles for #beastmode (seahawks fans will understand)

I set like 10 alarms because I didn’t want to feel like I was rushing in the morning. Well I kept waking up all night haha. So I got up at 445am and ate GF pumpkin protein pancakes, some almond butter and an oatmeal for breakfast (carbs anyone? haha). I downed a black coffee (my favorite pre-workout) and met up with my sister at 6am. 

Photo Oct 05-5
part of my breakfast

It was HILARIOUS because we did not talk about what we were going to wear or anything and we ended up basically matching! Obviously we are sisters!  We did our shopping separately and ended up with the exact same running shoes – model AND color! HAHA. We also both ended up wearing a Nike burn out tank in pink and black bottoms. It was so ironic and funny. I loved it! 

Photo Oct 09
matching and not even on purpose! Obviously sisters!

I started this tradition back in May that when I run a race I like to wear a BOLD lipstick – like HOT pink or red. At first she made fun of me but now my sister shares this tradition with me. It adds a little boost of confidence, try it out! For the half marathon we wore “Girl About Town” by MAC. So not only did we have matching outfits on accident, we also had matching lipstick! haha.

our matching shoes! haha

  We walked over to the starting area…. it was still dark outside!  We were in separate starting corrals (due to different mile times) so we took one last pic together and parted ways… 


 I was in corral E, the 5th group to start the race. There were a total of 8 corrals. You put in your estimated time when you registered. Since I was still new to running, I was pretty generous with the time. I could have been a faster group, but you were not allowed to move up. I wasn’t too worried about it, but later on in the race I was wishing I had been with faster runners. I will explain why later. 

Photo Oct 05
waiting to start!

As we approached the starting line, I was like OMG THIS IS HAPPENING! I was so excited I could barely stand it!

Photo Oct 05
my Nike app ready to go! waiting for the start

Our group started the race and crossed the starting line at 7:10am… 

Photo Oct 05-4
about to cross the starting line!

Tomorrow I will finish my recap of the race & tell you how the race went and what my finishing time was! Stay tuned! 


How I plan to CELEBRATE completing 13.1 miles

keep-calm-it-s-only-a-half-marathon-2Today I am driving down to Portland. I considered going down yesterday (Friday), but it was too complicated with other stuff that was going on – so I decided that going on Saturday would be the best option. 

I have had plenty of time over the past 2 days (it’s amazing how much time those runs started to take up – I didn’t really realize until I had 2 days in a row with no work outs!) to contemplate the race, should I do this, do that…. BLAH! While I am slightly nervous because I have no idea what to expect, I am SO EXCITED! 

What I HAVE been thinking about is how I am going to CELEBRATE finishing the half marathon. I have mentioned this before: it is SO important to celebrate an accomplishment, no matter how big or how small. I prefer to celebrate without food! (free download about it)

Here are some of the things I am contemplating…. 

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Ivanka Trump ‘Sirraly’ Pointy Toe Bootie

 I have been wanting to add a pair of booties to my wardrobe for sometime, I just hadn’t found a pair that matched my style and what I was looking for. These seem pretty perfect…

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a pair of wedge high-top sneakers

I think a pair of wedge high-top sneakers would add the perfect style touch to my Lorna Jane workout clothes when I go from the gym to the street… what do you guys think? Again, I have been looking for a pair for a long time, but hadn’t found a color/style that didn’t make me feel all “ghetto fab”.  I like that these ones are mostly black.. and they are on sale (even better)!!!

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Pair of personalized Nike Frees — possible color combo. Nike ID is way too much fun to play with!
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loved this color combo too!!! so many other possibilities πŸ™‚

 A pair of personalized Nikes…. did you know you can go to Nike iD and personalize a pair of shoes??!  They have almost every shoe model available. I love Nike Free for almost anything, weight lifting, general lifestyle wear, a casual walk or short run… the list goes on. I had WAY too much fun playing with color combos… talk about a hard decision. You can also put words on the tongue of the shoe….it can say whatever you want…ahhhhh so many ideas!

Screen Shot 2014-10-02 at 12.25.23 PMAn iPad air….. I don’t think I need to explain this haha. Sometimes you just need something in between your phone and your computer. Due to the price point I would probably count it as a partial Christmas gift too… 

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iPad case!!!!!!! <3 Kate Spade

This iPad case has my name ALL over it! Gold sparkles!?! Pink accents?!? (insert heart eyed emoji here) Obviously this would be if I got an iPad or iPad mini… but seriously, how cute is this case??

 You know what makes this even better, is since the half-martathon is in Portland, there is NO sales tax! hehe. I will have plenty of time on Sunday after the race to peruse and figure out what I will purchase… 

awesome image from pintrest!

I plan on crushing the WHOLE 13.1 miles and seriously celebrating afterwords. I do not wish to celebrate using food because I personally find non-food rewards much more satisfying. They live on longer than the moment you eat…they serve as a memory of the accomplishment and are, in my opinion, much more exciting to look forward to.  (check out my free download on non-food rewards here)

Be SURE to check back here on Monday because I will have a whole recap of the race, Portland visit and of course I will let you know which of the things listed here I chose for myself! 

Stay sweet!

In it for the Long Run….

Yesterday marked the final day of my peak week for half marathon training. I ran the longest I have ever run in my life: 10 miles. At the beginning of training when I looked over the plan I thought “OMG 10 miles?!” I dreaded the thought. I worked my way thru the training plan and made to 10 miles yesterday…


I survived the run(thank God). Some things happened on the run that made it interesting, but I made it and I feel ready for 13.1 miles this coming Sunday. 

  1. my phone died at the end of my run…I was at 8.5 miles and then BAM my phone just turned off 😐 it was a solitary final 1.5 miles with no music. Thankful I know roughly where the mileage marks are so I was able to finish and know I ran the full 10 miles – this happening made me feel like I needed a running watch, that may be my next purchase. 
  2. I finally reached over 200 miles on my running app (woohoo!!) I only use this when I run, not when I walk or do any other exercise so these are all running miles. I never thought I’d reach 200 and here I am πŸ˜€
  3. It was a beautiful fall afternoon. I loved it – perfect running weather. I need to check the forecast for next weekend, but I hope it is similar because it was awesome.  The shoes passed the test, I think. They were really comfy. I’m still slower bc of my hip but it’s getting improved thankfully.
  4. I did something everyone says not to do – I tried new things the week before the race. I experimented with GU Gel and took my new running shoes out for a spin. I had to get new shoes, the Nike’s I was wearing are awesome for shorter runs, but as I was getting into the longer distances, I needed something for the “long run”. I got a pair of Brooks Ghost 7s. They seemed okay yesterday, I am going to try them tomorrow too and see if they can really win me over. 
  5. I took the GU gel with me on the run intending to use it only if I felt I needed it. Well, I ended up eating the gel – the taste was interesting, not horrible, just interesting. I was worried it was gonna make my mouth all slimy and it didn’t thankfully. It did help me power thru the end of my run but I’m gonna have to find something that isn’t gel. My peeps on Instagram suggested blocks and some other products. I am going to look into that because I want to have something for the race just in case I need it. I am not a huge fan of the ingredients in some of the products, so once I make up my mind I’ll be sure to let you know what I decide. 
Photo Sep 28
overview of my run

SO – my “peak week” of half marathon training is over, and this week I get to taper off to the actual race. Tomorrow is 4 miles, then 3 miles, 2 miles, 2 rest days and then the race on Sunday! Right now I am feeling confident, I’m sure the nerves will build as the week goes on. 


Have you ever run a race (any length)? What were your feelings before it? Let me know in the comments below!

Stay Sweet!

Next Week – Sugar Series & Running

I am super excited to announce that next week on my blog I am going to be featuring a “sugar series” here on my blog. We will talk about sugar, its effects, why you should consume it wisely, nutritional tips and some of my reflections on my history with sugar. I will be featuring content from my fellow #fitfriend and blogger, Kylie (LittleMsFitness) – get excited!

My (first) half marathon is coming up NEXT weekend, so I will be reflecting on that as well and talking about running.  You can expect a few recipes to be sprinkled in too (pumpkin related possibly?) πŸ˜€

I hope that you will join me for this feature week! You will not want to miss a post!
 If you are not already subscribed to my blog, CLICK HERE to follow me on Bloglovin, or you can SUBSCRIBE to my blog HERE

Happy Weekend! 

sugar series week-2

Running, Cooking Class & Sunshine: What do they all have in common?

The weekend!!! That’s what they all have in common!

I have decided (after much experimentation and personal experience) that good sunny weather causes procrastination, especially in late summer/early fall. 
Seriously, this is for real, at least here in the PNW that is the case. Considering that summer is close to an end, when it is 85 and sunny, you DO NOT stay inside. You just don’t! Especially because when summer goes away here in Washington, it leaves for a long time, and we don’t see any sign of it again until April.

So while this weekend was not as low key as I imagined it being, it was a TON of fun. I am not complaining about the sunshine one bit! I need to keep this tan going as long as I possibly can πŸ˜‰

pic courtesy of Hillary’s Instagram

The weekend started out with a wonderful brunch with my friend (and fellow blogger) Hillary. We have been friends for decades. Literally since we were 2 years old. I am so thankful to have her in my life and that we are still friends! We decided after having lunch together last month that we would meet up once a month for lunch or brunch and talk friendship and blogs! So, this time we went to a cute little cafe called St. Dames. They have lots of vegan and gluten free options, and are usually only open for dinner but do brunch on Saturdays. It was delish!
Photo Sep 06I had a vegan scramble with GF bread and potatoes. This was my first time having a legit tofu scramble, where it is tofu instead of eggs. It was really good and full of veggies (as you can see). I really enjoyed the bread and took advantage of it to carbo-load a little for the race I had on Sunday. 
Hillary and I had a lot of fun trying this new place, and of course spending time together. Check out her blog HERE

That afternoon I shamelessly sat out in the sun in my bikini and sunbathed. It was glorious. I also did a little bit of swimming. Like I said earlier, you have to enjoy it while you can here in Seattle!

LATER that night, I thought we were going to a get together….but instead my husband took me to a cooking class!!!

our amazingly huge work station

 I was so caught off guard, I didn’t take as many pics as I normally would have. AND my hands were covered in stuff most of the time so no camera or phone! It also wasn’t a selfie friendly zone haha πŸ™

shrimp & chorizo skewers we made

The class we went to was at Sur La Table and it was all about the Latin Favorites. Latin food is my FAVORITE kind of food, so I was pumped! My husband doesn’t even like to cook, so the fact he was taking me to this was mind-blowing! I was so excited! 

pork medallions with orange-habanero mojo we were making (YUM!)

The menu for the night was shrimp & chorizo skewers, pork medallions with orange-habanero mojo, grilled corn with chimmichurri sauce and coconut flan(!). Everything was SO good. I think if I had to pick, my favorite were the skewers.  The pork was a close second, they showed us how to make our own spice rub and then sear the meat, it tasted like it was breaded, but it wasn’t! So delicious. 

pork, mojo sauce and corn with chimmichurri

I did not expect to actually get to eat a big serving of the food, I was expecting little bites. Nope, we got to actually eat – that was cool.  I got so many little take aways and cooking tips. 

coconut flan
coconut flan after removing from ramekin – so pretty!

The coconut flan was so good. I didn’t want to try it because of the “sugar-LESS September” challenge I am doing, but I decided to count it as one of my treats… so I tried it. The coconut milk and flavor was soooo yummy. I have a coconut obsession right now too, so it just totally hit the spot.

This class confirmed for me (again) that cooking at home is a million times better than eating out. Of course it is more work and requires more effort, but the more you do it, the better you get. The food tastes so much better! You can control the ingredients, the portion sizes, the way it is cooked, etc. This food was MUCH tastier than food I have ordered at most restaurants & totally worth the effort.  Do you like to cook at home? I do, even though sometimes it is a pain in the booty, I always feel better when I do.

Photo Sep 07-2

On Sunday, I ran the Women of Wonder 10K with my sister and mom. I wore one of my favorite Lorna Jane “mantra” shirts – “get up, dress up, show up and never give up”! I started running because running was hard for me, and while it is easier now, there are still times it is very hard. I ran this 10K for fun, but also to help prepare for my upcoming half marathon. My sister and I don’t run at the same pace, so while we were running “together” we weren’t together. There were moments I really wanted to quit, but I thought to myself, “I can’t quit on my sis.”

Photo Sep 07
#selfie: my sexy sis & I in our pink lipstick and finisher shirts!

 My sister is such a warrior, and she really doesn’t give herself enough credit. She just recovered from a back injury & a cold and while she really wanted to sit the race out, she ran it. She also has asthma and while it makes it harder for her to do cardio activity, she doesn’t let it stop her. She finished the race yesterday and was like “omg I can’t breath”, almost started crying, quickly took her inhaler and was better. Being starved for air is so unpleasant and scary! Yet she doesn’t let that fear keep her from being active or reaching her goals. My mom, who has Multiple Sclerosis (MS) walked the 5K yesterday. Talk about inspiration!  

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I was really happy with my time, I finished in under an hour. I also got my *first* finishers medal! I have run in races before but none that handed out a medal. I felt like I was gonna puke when I crossed the finish line, the medal was a great reward for the pain and suffering πŸ˜›

Photo Sep 08

It was a fun race, empowering to run with a bunch of other women, beautiful weather, and so much fun to be able to do it with my sis and my mom. It was a very busy weekend, but like I said, it was a lot of fun. The next race I have coming up is my half marathon in October, and then who knows. I want to do the Hot Chocolate 15K next year in March. What races are you guys participating in? 

Stay Sweet!



We CAN do hard things! [7 mile run]

Yesterday I ran 7 miles. With this half marathon training I have been doing, Sunday’s are the days that I have my “long” run for the week. The mileage has been slowly creeping up week by week. We really eased into it at first and now with the half marathon getting so close the training is full-force! As you all know, I have been out of town the last 2 weekends, so I slacked off a little bit. Well, this last weekend I did do the long run in Santa Clara, but we were only supposed to run a 5K (3.11 miles). The longer distances I run, the more challenging it becomes to find routes, especially in areas I am not familiar with. Anyone have suggestions to help with this??

Ok, back to yesterday’s run. This week the mileage was up to 7 miles on Sunday.Β I was feeling pretty nervous about the 7 miles for a few reasons:

  1. I have never run 7 miles at one time in my whole life! (well now I have but before yesterday I never had)
  2. I wasn’t sure what route to run that would be 7 miles, I was dreading boredom
  3. I wasn’t sure that I could do it
    horizontal-running2Running is still mentally difficult for me. At this point, anything past 4-5 miles is ALL mental. I actually own a shirt that says “I hate running” because I really used to hate it. Now I have come to enjoy it, although sometimes it’s a love-hate relationship. Running challenges me and pushes me to new limits, so while it is uncomfortable at times, its making me better πŸ™‚
so true – not only for running and exercise, but for life in general – it takes courage to start

So – yesterday morning I planned on running first thing so it was done and out of the way. Well…I forgot that we had plans with my parents to go to a blackberry festival, so I didn’t wake up early enough to run 7 miles before hand. I knew that if I got home by a certain time, I would still be able to fit my run in before it gets dark. I was NOT procrastinating and switching rest days again…

Photo Aug 31
here I am with my sweet potato at the blackberry festival (can you see the sign for deep fried twinkies behind me?? eww!)

I somehow forgot how nasty fair and festival food can be… A stand that had corn on the cob also had sweet potatoes, so I ate half of one of those. Yummy!

As soon as we got home, I changed clothes and went out to run. I decided to just out “out and back” – meaning that I would run 3.5 miles, turn around and run 3.5 miles back. Not the most interesting run, but easy to keep track of and not as mentally challenging. Nothing is worst than feeling like you are running in circles to meet your mileage goal. A little over half way thru my run, my husband showed up on his bike and rode next to me the rest of the way home. I had never run like this before (with someone next to me on a bike) but I actually really enjoyed it. It helped the last 2 miles as it took my mind off the actual running.

I was SO happy when I finished the 7 miles. I wanted to jump for joy and yell “we can do hard things” from the rooftops haha! It was OVER and it wasn’t as bad as I thought! I was able to keep a good pace the whole time too. I wasn’t sure I would be able to maintain 830-9 min/mile for 7 miles, but I did.Β Photo Aug 31-2

I wore my new Armour 39 heart rate monitor (seriously the most comfortable heart rate monitor I have ever worn) and I had a crazy calorie burn, like woah! Almost 900 calories! Sheesh. My motive for running isn’t the calories burned, but it is a nice benefit πŸ™‚

So after basking in my accomplishment of finishing 7 miles and barely having to walk at all Β – I walked in my door, had a snack and started to get ready for dinner…. shortly after I started to feel REALLY bad. I was sick to my stomach, felt like I was gonna hurl, felt super tired, fatigued, it was AWFUL. I hadn’t felt this bad in a long time. I thought maybe it was because I needed to eat something more substantial, so I tried to get something together quick, I couldn’t eat anything. Protein shake tasted bad, raisins were gross, spit them out, I couldn’t even eat a spoon of peanut butter – you know something is wrong when I can’t eat peanut butter! I sipped on some coconut water to try to get some electrolytes and potassium back in me, and laid out on the couch for a little bit. I was finally able to pull it together and eat some dinner. We were going to go out, but after that episode it just wasn’t Β happening.

Since I am still new to the longer distance running, I realized I need to do some research. My fellow runners, what do you eat after a long run? Do you use a recovery drink??

I don’t know what happened to make me feel so horrible, but I really would not like to experience that again.

Happy Labor Day!!!
Stay Sweet!