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4 Secrets of Fitness Motivation x Giveaway!

May 20, 2015

I really can’t complain when it comes to the weather around here, but last week was downright cold here in San Diego. It even rained, bringing this beachside city in a perpetual drought to a halt. Honestly I would rather drive during a blizzard back home in Colorado than with San Diego drivers in a sprinkle of rain!

When the skies are gloomy and gray, it can be hard to remove myself from the couch and our current obsession of Greek reruns on TV.

But truth is, I always feel better after getting outside, even if it is just for a little walk around the neighborhood to grab a Starbucks or take a quick stroll on the beach.

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So whether it’s the weather getting you down, or just daily struggles, here are four secrets to fitness motivation that will have you moving in no time.

Start Small

I get it. When you’re exhausted at the end of the day, it is completely understandable throwing around dumbbells and busting out sprints for an hour sounds worse than taking a trip to Antarctica in a bikini.

Instead, focus on quality rather than quantity when it comes to the time you spend working out. Many boutique fitness studios offer shorter class times that still pack a punch. Bang out a Pilates set in 40 minutes at Core40 or spin for 45 minutes at The Rush.

Still sound too ambitious? Download the latest Serial podcast episode and walk around your neighborhood until it’s over.

Chase Progress, Not Perfection

If you are just getting into fitness or finding your way back after a hiatus or injury, the pressure to get in shape can sometimes crush even the most carefully laid plans for success. We strive to get in shape as fast as we can, landing us either discouraged or injured and back to square one.

While bouncing back, be sure to give yourself some grace. Strive for imperfect progress, taking little steps each day toward your goal.

It doesn’t matter how high your RPMs get on the spin bike, or how many miles you run. What matters is the decision you made to lace up your shoes and take those steps out the door.

Find Your Balance

One of my favorite analogies about finding wellness balance is this: it is a lot like a bank. Each time you make a healthy choice, like giving your body ample rest, eating your greens, making it to a workout class, and taking a jog, you’re depositing funds into your account. It grows stronger and more stable.

On the reverse, each time you skip a workout, indulge in a sprinkle donut, or stay up wayyyy too late, you withdraw funds from your bank.

And the part we need to remember? Withdraws are fine. That’s life. Enjoy the non-skinny margarita! Just remember not to overdraw your account to keep yourself well-balanced.

Dress Like You Mean It

Gone are the days of ratty gym shirts (though I am a huge fan of soft, comfy T’s!). Let’s all be honest- sometimes all it takes to get us to Pilates or out on a hike are some sassy new threads or high-tech performance wear.

Though summer is near, don’t forget to dress for the weather! I’m currently crushing on this EIGHTYONE20 fleece pullover. I carry it with me for a pre- and post-workout class coverup and stuff it in my backpack for hikes and camping trips.

This sweatshirt’s temperature control technology and wind-blocking is ideal, and it’s soft flexible fabric is cozy and moves with my body. You don’t want to be constricted during your quest for the top!

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Good news! I’m partnering with EIGHTYONE 20 to give one lucky person a gift card redeemable for an apparel item on their website! Enter below. Winner will be chosen next Wednesday 5/27, and you have multiple entry opportunities each day!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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EIGHTYONE20 uses smart manufacturing and design practices, sourcing materials from the best mills in the United States. They are in charge of every step of their production process, which allows them to produce quality apparel for a groundbreaking price. Check them out!

**This post is written in collaboration with Eightyone 20. As always, thoughts & opinions are my own! 

Photography by Angie Afman

Simple Summer Beauty x Blink Lash Boutique

April 26, 2015

So I don’t usually blog about beauty tips, but every now and then I have to make an exception.

My baby sister has the longest, fullest lashes you’ve ever seen. Blame it on genetics, but my face never got the memo. As a natural blonde, my eyelashes (and brows) are practically invisible. While I don’t like caking on the makeup, swiping mascara on has always been my go-to.

But let’s be honest- between multiple spin classes per day, (yea, I sweat. A lot!) and my love of swimming in the ocean every chance I get, I’m tired of the raccoon-eye look that usually follows.

I had the opportunity to visit Blink Lash Boutique a while ago and give one of the latest beauty trends a try: eyelash extensions. Blink added a natural look to my eyes, opening them up without the need of make-up on a daily basis.

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Eyelash extensions do more than define your lashes, they add length and volume. Janelle, owner of Blink Solana Beach, was gracious enough to explain the process of applying the lashes to me and apply a basic set for me back in November.

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Wellness Wednesday x Finish Line Women

April 15, 2015

A few weeks ago, the Finish Line Women’s team made the trek out from Colorado for a little photo shoot. A handful of us bloggers met one Saturday morning to test out the new Brooks Vivid Pack, a bright array of run sneaks releasing this Spring.

Led by my good pals Fit Andy and AsheeJojo, our group set out for a fun run and photo session in the San Dieguito Lagoon before meeting back at Sea & Smoke for some dang good brunch. (Cinnamon roll bar anyone?!)

Here’s a peek into our day and a quick review of the Adrenaline GTS 15 I put to the test:

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With my pronated feet and tendency for shin splints, having a stable & supportive running shoe is key. The Brooks GTS offered plenty of cushioning in my run without a lot of the added bulk.

I even wore these sneaks on my 4-mile Stonewall Peak climb when I forgot hiking socks for my hiking boots during our camping trip. They were a light- yet secure- footwear option that kept me on my toes and slip-free the whole hike.

Side note: I’d have to say the teal-on-teal color scheme grew on me!

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Andy led us through a warm up of lunges and dynamic stretches before we set off on the short run through the park.We kept it at a nice even pace, perfect for chatting and catching up.

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After pausing for a few more photo ops at the turn around point and waiting for a massive “Save the Boardwalk” rally to pass through, we ran back to Sea & Smoke in Del Mar for a delicious brunch spread.

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Out on the patio, rounds of mimosas, plenty of giant cinnamon rolls with build-your-own toppings, and delicious dishes kept us full and happy.

My favorite part of the day was definitely the ladies around the table with me. I loved hearing about their individual stories and backgrounds during the shoot and our meal. Many were creative entrepreneurs and professionals themselves with huge dreams and ideas. What an inspiring group!

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View a recap and our compiled Brooks Vivid Pack reviews over on Finish Line Women blog!

Special thanks to Finish Line Women and Ron Holden Photo for making this day extraordinary!

California 10/20 Race Recap

February 16, 2015

Yesterday marked my re-entrance into racing with the California 10/20. This ten-mile running race began at the Del Mar Fairgrounds before following Highway 101 up toward Encinitas with a halfway point turnaround at the Cardiff ‘Kook’ statue.

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I was invited to be one of the Cal 10/20 ambassador bloggers this year and jumped at the chance to get back into racing. 10 miles seemed like a good distance that presented both a challenge and awarded with a sense of accomplishment. With the help of my favorite run buddies and fellow bloggers (thanks, Ash & Andy!), I slowly started back into running after a stress fracture kept me sidelined for the past year and a half.

I quickly fell back in love with the mind-clearing routine of short, quick weekday morning runs, and long Saturday routes. Running is really the perfect way to explore an area. I found myself seeing even the most familiar of neighborhoods from a new perspective on my own two feet.

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My race day essentials: my favorite Lululemon Run Inspire crops & blue tank, and my ASICS GT 2000. Of course Body Glide is a necessity to avoid any chafing! I kicked off my morning with a Honey Stinger waffle 15 minutes before the start and tucked a vanilla Gu + caffeine away in my FlipBelt for Mile 7.

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Starting line

The course was familiar and close, something I appreciated when my alarm clock went off early on Sunday morning. While I love the idea of traveling to a new city for a race (which I plan on doing in the next few months!), the Cal 10/20 course was literally in my own backyard. It was nice to feel like a local and see some familiar faces in the race and along the route, which followed along many of my favorite streets and beaches.

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My favorite part of the course was this stretch between Solana Beach and Cardiff

The course was pretty basic, an out-and-back on the 101 with a stretch of gorgeous ocean view. While I can’t say running through Del Mar Fairgrounds is my favorite, it granted us a spacious start/finish line area and plentiful free & close parking- which is a huge bonus.

There were only a couple of gentle hills on the course, like the incline leading back up into Solana Beach from Cardiff, but nothing killer. Enough to keep it interesting! Even though I had my headphones in with my pump-up playlist bumping, I loved the bands every half-mile or so. They added some flavor and brought a few more spectators out to the event.

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Jessica’s fiancé brought her puppy Gracie to the finish line! What a treat.  

I thought the event was very well managed for a relatively new race. Their community outreach was well done, as residents in the Del Mar/Solana Beach/Encinitas neighborhood received detailed road closure information and a registration discount on a flier in the mail. After working on an event all of last year, I know community support is key! The personalized bibs and announcer shout-out at the finish line was another great touch.

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Asheejojo spotting at the finish line

I surpassed my goal time of 1:30 with a finish time of 1:21:30, placing 10th in my age group. I felt pretty solid the entire run, and just focused on letting my excitement, the music, and a few prayers carry me through. I’m already on the lookout for my next race… Anyone have any half marathon suggestions?

Huge thanks to Cal 10/20 for having me out! 

Wellness Wednesday: Your New Favorite Spin Outfit

December 24, 2014

Spin has come a long way since the days of padded bike shorts, much to my parents’ & doctor’s dismay (we build up a tolerance, I swear). When I’m on the bike or teaching a class, staying cool and keeping my bits & pieces covered is the number one outfit priority.

The last thing I want to think about when cueing into my music is tugging my pants or top back into place, or wondering what the mirror behind me is revealing.

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head to toe: Elastic Tank Top, Sun Ray Bra Top, Spin Capri

Meet Onzie. Originally started by a Bikram Yogi, Onzie pieces were created to take yogis and active ladies alike from the studio, to the gym, to the sea, and back again.

Onzie’s unique styles and patterns originally drew me in, but once I actually tried them on, the fabric, fit, and functionality completely won me over. The material of each piece is super smooth, skimming your body in all the right places and not stretching out during class. It dries quickly and is even said to hold up in chlorine and saltwater.

I’ve been testing this outfit for a couple of months now and I’m officially in love. These pants are my absolute favorite.

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the mesh panels wrapping around the front and down the sides of these crops adds a sassy edge while keeping me cool teaching back to back classes

When shopping for spin clothes, be aware of tops that gap in the front, as you will be bent over the handlebars during class. Higher neck styles have quickly become my go-to, otherwise supportive, full-coverage bras are where it’s at.

Pants should not chafe or loosen up during class. Flexible crops (or bike shorts if you must) that move with you and keep you cool are key. Consider waistlines cut a touch higher to stave off any accidental booty-revealing mishaps.

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You won’t go unnoticed in the vibrant pink of the Sun Ray Bra Top- and it glows in blacklight. 

I’m a strong believer in investing in quality workout clothes you can look and feel good in. For some, that makes all the difference in workout motivation.

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Each piece is 100% made in the USA.

This New Years, I have a challenge for you. Resolve to find a fitness activity that you love. If you do, you’ll never have to make another fitness resolution again. I promise!

Find your favorite outfit over at Onzie, and I’ll see you in class!

Photo credit: Angie Afman Photography

*Sponsor disclaimer: While I was not paid for this post, I received these products to review. As always, thoughts & opinions are my own.