My First Half-Marathon Experience!

About 5 month ago I signed up for the Air Force Half Marathon because I had been reading a lot of things about half marathons and how rewarding they are, so I impulsively signed myself up for one. Before signing up I had only ever ran a 5k, which if you don’t know is only 3.1 miles. Well I downloaded the Nike+ running app and signed up for the coaching feature of a half marathon under “Experienced” instead of “Beginner”. Having only ever run about 4 miles for soccer conditioning in high school I really didn’t know what I was getting myself into, but I was determined. So June 29th rolls around and my training starts with a 4 mile run. Prior to starting training it suggested I run about 4 miles a week, but I completely disregarded this and decided to hit the gym hard for 3 months and see where that got me. I’m honestly glad I did because I had built up so much muscle in my legs, back, and core the runs really didn’t seem awful. I hit every single run without ever missing a day…. until August 31st…

Once school started I just got so busy I had a hard time adjusting with finding time to study and get my runs in, so I stopped running all together at that point. I was getting really burnt out on running at that point as well. My immune system was starting to fade and I was getting colds and allergies kicked in full force at that time as well so I thought taking a week or 2 off from running was a good idea because I was definitely over training myself with running, the gym and extra races I was doing on my off days. I didn’t feel healthy and I was so tired all the time I could barely stay awake most days, so I knew I had to do something so I could focus in class. Well, taking a week or 2 off turned into completely not running until race day – which actually wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be having not ran in 3 weeks. My longest run I got to was 11 miles, which I thought was good because I was familiar with running long distances without stopping.

My only goals for my half were to 1. enjoy it and the experience, 2. run the whole thing with no stops, and 3. make it under 2 hours and 30 minutes. I didn’t want to put a lot of pressure on myself with my time because I was more concerned with just finishing it considering I was doing it as a bucket list thing and not for time. Well, if you’re not familiar with the Air Force Half Marathon course, it’s like 40% flat, 60% hills. I had so many people tell me that it was one of the hardest courses they’ve ever done just because of the hills and the elevation chart looked like an EKG test. I was definitely nervous, but confident in my abilities to finish it, solely relying on my quads at this point to get me through it.

Race day rolls around & waking up early isn’t my thing so 5a wasn’t a pleasant experience, but I ate my normal breakfast of a whole wheat english muffin, peanut butter, 1/2 a banana and some buckwheat honey and we were all out the door. We got there around 7 for a race that didn’t start until 8:30 which gave me plenty of time to take it all in & realize what I got myself into. Typical me, even being there an hour and a half early, I was late to the start line by 3 minutes, luckily it took about 6 minutes to get everyone through the start line so I was good and didn’t miss anything. Starting was really annoying though because it took FOREVER for everyone to get spaced out and I was running at about a 12 minute mile because it was difficult trying to navigate through all the people. Right off the bat we ran uphill on the Huffman dam which I don’t think my legs appreciated at all, but I muscled through. At about 3 miles everyone was at about their correct spots and it was smooth sailing. The course itself is beautiful and you get to see the base, Huffman dam & prairie, base housing, the golf course and a few other things. The weather was perfect, about 70 degrees and overcast with some drizzles of rain that felt GREAT. So about mile 5 runners high kicked in and my legs started to get the numb feeling and I felt good overall. miles 3-6 were somewhat flat with only small hills that weren’t too awful. Around mile 9 was when the high started to fade and the pain started to take over, which was a REALLY bad time to fade because miles 8-11 were nothing but on and off ramps on the highway, hills and uneven roads. My pace slowed from about a 10 minute mile to almost a 13 minute mile, but I was really determined not to walk so I just slowed my pace, controlled my breathing and took 2 waters and a Gatorade at every station they had. The second to last mile was a downhill, curved street and the inside of my ankle was absolutely fried after that mile so the last mile was just pain. I ran 12 mile with headphones and took them out for the last mile because I knew I needed more than music to get me through it. There were so many people at the last mile & it was so motivating and inspiring to see so many people in uniform & injured veterans there and cheering you on as you ran the last mile. The whole course was filled with civilians, military & people in cars driving by waving and cheering, it was really motivating. The last 1.1 miles though was something I won’t soon forget. Hearing people cheer your name and telling you that you’ve got it and your almost there, made the whole experience really worth-while and rewarding. My parents and boyfriend also came out and made signs which I thought was awesome, especially my mom’s “I’m sure it seemed like a good idea 3 months ago” sign haha.

When I finished I grabbed a water & thought the worst part was over. Well, no one told me about the post-race leg pain you get that’s probably worse than any pain you feel in your legs while you’re running. My legs were throbbing and I couldn’t stand still. My quads felt like they looked like Phil Heath’s quads and every muscle in my legs felt 5 times bigger than it really was. I downed a protein shake when I got back to the truck and I wasn’t hungry until about 3 hours after I finished. I just felt kinda sick and like my stomach was just really angry at me for running that long, but I killed some Chick Fil A afterwards.

Would I recommend this race to anyone else?

YES. The experience alone is something I feel like everyone should experience and it was rewarding at the same time meeting all my goals & getting to check a bucket list item off.

Would I recommend running a half marathon in general?

Yes. If you have a goal set to run a half marathon or you’re even thinking about running a half, do it. I’m 100% not a runner by any means whatsoever, but challenging yourself and pushing yourself to try new things is such an awesome feeling.

Training?

My training for this race was 12 weeks. Training 5-6 days a week with an off day + a cross train day. Increasing my long runs by 10% each week was a good slow way to ease myself into the mileage without injuring myself.

Tips?

  1. Invest in a GOOD pair of shoes. Go to a running specialty store and get fitted. Learn your foot pronation. Get the correct insoles & make sure you train in them before your race. This is very important to having a comfortable race. I recommend the Brooks Glycerine or Ghost, both are great shoes – but again, learn your pronation!
  2. Make sure you cross train and take your rest days. I overtrained myself and burnt myself out before I even got to peak week – so make sure you take time for yourself and listen to your body. If it’s telling you you’re doing too much, take a step back and cut your runs down – don’t push through it because you’ll either injure yourself or you won’t want to run anymore.
  3. Take your diet into consideration. If you fuel your body correctly, your runs will be so much better and you’ll have so much more energy to get your runs in & continue through your days.
  4. Look into energy gels/chews. They saved my life! My favorite was the Shot Blocks Mocha gel.
  5. Don’t try anything new on race day. Not even a new sports bra. I suggest get what you want to run your race in a few weeks before and train in it first, that way on race day you’ll be familiar with everything.
  6. Get some body glide. Unless nothing on your body rubs together, I promise you’ll thank me for this later.
  7. Hydrate like you’ve never hydrated in your life the days before your race. I think this really saved me because I never felt dehydrated or sluggish in my race. I drank close to a gallon a day for 3 days before my race.
  8. Take the water at every station you feel necessary. If you even feel like you might be thirsty before you hit the next station, take some water at that station. I drank water at every station and Gatorade at every other station. I wanted to make sure I was well hydrated & I never felt like I had too much liquid on my stomach – but that preference changes from person to person. Plus my energy gel contains caffeine so it’s good to follow that with water so you don’t dehydrate.
  9. Read. I did SO much research before running this half it was insane. I probably read over 100 articles. But I only know a few people who have ran a half marathon before so I didn’t really have any experiences to learn from, but I’m glad I read so much on it because I learned what to do, what not to do, what to eat, what to buy, what to stay away from.
  10. Foam roll/stretch. I can’t stress this enough. It’s so important not only for injury prevention but to make sure you don’t feel sore for days.

Race Day Pictures:

 

    
    
    
    
   
I hope this helped and maybe motivated you to sign up for a half marathon or any race you’ve been wanting to do. If you’ve got some tips on running I would love to hear them! I also will never be running a half ever again – but I’ve got other things in my plans for this coming year 😉 As always, thanks for reading!

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August Favorites!

The month of August kind of flew by, as expected, being the last month of freedom before my classes started back up again. I didn’t try many new things in August because my month consisted mostly of running and relaxing with a little bit of Netflix binging on the side. I mostly stuck by my tried and true’s this month, which will be the reason for having so little favorites. Hopefully September will be full with all kinds of new exciting things for me to share, but for now – here were my favorites for the month of August (:

Erin Condren Life Planner – $50 on http://www.erincondren.com

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Okay so I had a few friends tell me when I got this I would become obsessive about planning my weeks & I’m the kind of person that really just jots assignments for school down and halfway through the semester – I forget I even have a planner. Well.. I think it’s safe to say I’ve become obsessive about planning every little detail of my week out. Apparently, there is like a planner community & there are stickers specifically for Erin Condren planners on Etsy and all kinds of crazy stuff. I loved this one when I saw it online and I also got it personalized with my name at the bottom. There’s so many cute little stickers and I actually enjoy using it and planning with it. I bought probably $30 worth of sticker off Etsy the other day just for planning out my entire fall semester of college with my assignments due, papers, finals, exams, quizzes – even down to BBQ’s and when I need to go shopping for food or clean & do laundry. It’s crazy how much I’ve gotten into it but it keeps me very organized and up to date with everything I have due, appointments and places I need to be. I highly highly recommend these if you have troubles staying organized with everything or you just love planning. I’ve had the Lilly Pulitzer ones, but these blow them out of the water. You can also get add ons at checkout (which are VERY dangerous may I add) of stickers, paper clips, invitations, glitter bands, and all types of things.

Morphe 35O palette – $22 on http://www.morphebrushes.com (currently out of stock – but will be restocked soon!)

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This palette absolutely blew up and when it first came out it was out of stock for forever, but I got a notification when it was restocked and within 2 hours it was out of stock again – but luckily I got my hands on it and I am SO glad that I did because this is the perfect palette for fall. It has beautiful warm colors and you can do anything from a dramatic smoky eye or a casual everyday look with this palette. Plus it’s only $22 for 35 different shadows – which is amazing. They’re very blend able and very pigmented. They’re great quality for the cost. I would highly recommend getting your hands on this the next time it’s in stock because there’s not much else I’ll be using for fall & I know everyone could get tons of use out of these colors!

21oz Hydro Flask in Arctic White – $28 at Field & Stream or http://www.hydroflask.com

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I sort of have a water bottle/shaker bottle problem. We have about 4 cabinets full of water bottles and shaker bottles, but this one I really like for a few reasons. One being that it keeps cold water cold for 24 hours – which I’ve tested by filling it up with water and ice at 8p.m. one night, I let it sit all day and when I came back to it the next night, the ice was still in there – which I thought was incredible. I’ve used it at school as well and left it in my car in the heat and when I came back out to it, the water was still ice cold. It says it also keeps hot things hot for 8 hours, but I haven’t tested that yet. Another thing I like is that it doesn’t condensate on the outside – which for me is a huge plus because I find condensation to be so annoying when it gets all over my seats of my car or desks at school. I also find that even though it’s stainless steel – it doesn’t give water a weird taste because I guess the stainless steel is different (18/8?) so it doesn’t give a weird taste to liquids like a lot of stainless steel cups & bottles do. The only thing I would change is I would get the top with the straw in it because I’m somewhat of a messy drinker I guess & I tend to spill it on myself with the standard mouth – but they do sell the straw tops online, which I will have to purchase ASAP! If you’re looking for a good water bottle that keeps your water cold literally all day, this is a really good one! Plus they offer many different sizes + have containers for food!

Lancome Grandiose Mascara – $32 at Sephora

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So the other day my dad came home with a ton of makeup for my mom and I randomly and this was one of the things he got. I must add, for going into Sephora and not having a clue what anything is, he did a pretty awesome job at picking things out. I’ve only heard of this mascara a few times but never got it because it’s a biiiiiiit pricey, but when I saw it in the bag of makeup he got me I was super excited because I’d heard good things about it. Well it’s quickly made its way to my top 5 favorite mascaras. It’s very comparable to the Giorgio Armani Eyes to Kill mascara, which is my #2 favorite, but this I think gives a little more length rather than volume. It doesn’t clump or flake on me throughout the day. The packaging alone makes you just want to buy it because it’s so pretty and I’m a sucker for cute packaging. The wand is bent on the inside so it’s much easier to apply rather than the typical straight wand. Overall, I will repurchase this again & I’m still shocked my dad found such a good product haha!

Colorescience Products – I got mine from my esthetician, but you can find them at http://www.colorescience.com

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These products are so amazing and I don’t use them a lot because they’re a tad expensive and they only carry them at my esthetician’s office (they have a website but I hate having to guess my shade). I have the illuminating serum which if you have dry skin – this will be your best friend because it gives you such a pretty dewy glow under your makeup. The face primer I have is skin calming and redness reducing because I have rosacea & sometimes you can see it through certain foundations – this really cancels all my redness out and also fills in my pores very well. I’ve used this product the most because overall it really makes my skin look flawless, which is good to have under your foundation. I have the mineral foundation and the pressed compact foundation, which both have SPF 20 in them and give you such a natural look & they aren’t cakey looking or drying like some powder foundations. Usually I’ll use these for a setting powder or on days where my skin looks like it needs some help before I head out the door. The setting mist is equally as amazing as the face primer because it gives a dewy look as well & for some reason to me it smells like Sprite! Once I put this on, my makeup does not move at all. In my opinion, I think it’s better than MAC Fix+. The best thing about this whole line is that it’s very healthy for your skin and actually helps clear your complexion. They all have vitamins and minerals in them that really help clear your skin and make it look healthy – where as other makeup brands tend to clog your pores and cause breakouts. I have VERY sensitive skin and a lot of products break me out, but I never have any problems with any of these products + they have a HUGE range of products from eyeshadows, to bronzers, to the products I have!

Starbucks Iced Chai Tea Latte w/ Nonfat Milk

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When I don’t feel like getting green tea from Starbucks, which is my usual I’ll get a Tall Iced Chai Tea Latte with nonfat milk instead & it’s easily my 3rd favorite drink from Starbucks (2nd being Pumpkin Spice Latte 😀 ). There are 120 calories, 2g fat, 22g carbs, 4g protein – only downside ? 21 grams of sugar …… But some days I just crave them and I’ll usually only have them on special occasions or cheat days. They’re SO good, but if you don’t like cinnamon, you won’t like these at all. They’re also really good hot too, but in the summer I like them iced!

So again, I’m sorry for the short amount of favorites, but this month I didn’t really try any new things other than the stuff I have been using for a while now! I hope this (short) list of favorites makes you want to try something & let me know if you do and what you think of it!

As always, thanks for reading (:

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OOTN

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TOP: Nordstrom HERE . LOVE these tops & I actually got a few different colors! | JEANS: J Brand Fury jeans HERE (all time favorite! + they’re on sale!) | SHOES: Valentino Rockstud flats HERE | BAG: Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM HERE | JEWELRY: Necklace: BaubleBar HERE . Ring: David Yurman HERE | HAIR: NuMe Titan 3 – 32mm wand HERE | MAKEUP: Lip Combo- MAC Blankety + MAC Whirl liner HERE .

As always, thanks for reading (:

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3 Ingredient Paleo Pancakes!

The Paleo diet has been around since the cavemen, literally, this diet is 100% based off of what cavemen and cavewomen ate when they were around. If you’re not familiar with the Paleo diet, it’s basically you eat as whole as you possibly can. It comes from the idea that you eat food that can be harvested from the ground or hunted. You mostly eat meat, fish, veggies and fruit while excluding dairy or grain products as well as all processed foods. It’s actually a very healthy diet & as long as you’re getting a good amount of carbs in from your fruit & veggies, you won’t feel sluggish or tired. It’s a very hard, very strict lifestyle though because you don’t realize how much processed foods and grains you eat, until you can’t eat them. I did the Paleo diet not long ago for lent and it was actually pretty easy to follow once you got a decent plan and meal prep going. I was trying to come up with some recipes while I was on this diet and came up with these Paleo Pancakes that have only 3 ingredients in them & are pretty filling. I remembered these this morning when I grabbed for a banana and there was two VERY ripe bananas sitting on our countertop – so I thought I would share this quick and easy recipe!

Ingredients:

2 ripe bananas

1 whole egg

1 tsp cinnamon (or to your preference)

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Directions:

  1. Peel the bananas and mash them with a fork until they are as smooth as you can get them. They will act as the water and flour part in regular pancakes & you’ll see once you mash them they almost resemble the color and texture!
  2. Add in the egg. This will act as a binder and make the bananas cook easier & more like regular pancakes. I found they give these a bit of a french toast taste & texture!
  3. Add cinnamon to taste! You can also add fruit if you would like which I would have added blueberries or apples, but I wanted to give the basic recipe first. + I added a bit of Flavor God Chocolate Donut Seasoning as well !

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5. Heat up a griddle or whatever you cook pancakes on to medium/high temps. I sprayed my griddle with coconut oil to make sure nothing in these pancakes were straying from the paleo diet!

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6. Place a small amount onto the griddle & I let each side cook for about 10 minutes. These are a much different texture from normal pancakes and I find they need about double the time on each side to make sure they don’t crumble or fall apart when you go to flip them. If you don’t cook them long enough they will crumble & look like scrambled eggs – but still taste delicious!

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The finished product! I topped mine with some pure buckwheat honey & devoured them! They taste like banana french toast & have a light and fluffy texture. I really enjoyed these and they make about 5-6 pancakes depending on the side you make them (the smaller, the faster they cook). They come in at 60 calories, 1g of fat, 12g carbs, 6g sugar & 2g of protein for 1 pancake.

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I hope you enjoyed this recipe & let me know what you think if you try it out! Also, let me know some of your favorite Paleo recipes because I love trying new recipes! As always, thanks for reading (:

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July Favorites! Or do I just like food….?

I’m very late on getting this up but I lost the charger to my camera somehow & I didn’t want to use generic pictures off of the internet, so I set out on a mission to find it and sure enough I did! Anyway, this month’s favorites consists of A LOT of food. I don’t really know why, but I’ve been experimenting with tons of different recipes, foods and stuff to try and find healthier options to the foods I love & crave. So, without any more rambling – here are my favorites for the month of July (:

Liquid Lipsticks – Sephora or any drugstore!

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So this month I’ve definitely been on the liquid lipstick bandwagon that has seemingly taken over the beauty world. I feel like everyone and their mom is coming out with liquid lipsticks. My 2 specific favorite ones are the Kat Von D liquid lipstick in Exorcism and the Anastasia Beverly Hills liquid lipstick in Trust Issues. The Kat Von D lipstick has a very mousse-y texture and almost feels like you’re putting water on your lips. It takes about 15 seconds to dry and once you put it on it won’t budge for a good 4-5 hours. I had to actually use coconut oil to get it off of my lips because nothing else was working. The Anastasia liquid lipstick has more of a creamy texture but glides on very smooth, and again, is a pain to remove – but that’s a good thing. I do find the inside of my mouth wears off after a while with both of them, but that’s pretty normal I think. They both take a little practice with applying because they are a little slippery, I find using a lip brush helps get an even line along with a lip liner. They both dry completely matte and because of this, they are just a bit drying – but nothing awful to where your lips look gross and crusty. Milani also came out with a liquid lipstick line at the drugstore but I have yet to find it anywhere, but I’ll keep hunting!

Tory Burch Robinson Leather Wallet on a Chain (French Gray) – $295 at Nordstrom

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I’ve been in love with this bag ever since I got it! If you haven’t tried a WOC (wallet on a chain) yet, I highly suggest it. I got this for a baseball game and concert I was going to that I didn’t feel like bringing a huge purse to. It fits all my cards, change, money, my iPhone 6 plus, and a lipgloss. For a WOC, this thing holds a lot. I also loved the color because gray is very in right now with fall coming up & it’s a neutral so it goes with everything. Tory Burch can do no wrong in my eyes & I’m sure there are more affordable WOC’s out there that are just as great! They are so versatile and you can even take the long chain off and throw it in your purse to use as an actual wallet. it’s very roomy and spacious inside + there is a pocket on the backside as well!

Josie Maran Argan Daily Moisturizer SPF 47 – $32 at Sephora

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This has been my go-to SPF for everyday because it’s a moisturizer and SPF in one – so it takes care of 2 steps! I always have an SPF on even if I’m outside for short periods of time because the sun can do it’s damage in any short amount of time. This is also a physical SPF which means instead of how a chemical SPF absorbs the rays then basically sends them back out, a physical SPF blocks them all together so your skin is not exposed to them at all. I usually put this on before I run & even though it says it’s not sweat/waterproof – I find it still does its job. The only drawback is that it is a little bit thick and greasy feeling at first, but once you let it sit on your face and dry for about 5 minutes – that feeling goes completely away and your face just feels nice and hydrated. This also smells AMAZING, per usual for all of Josie Maran’s products. If you haven’t tried a physical SPF, I would highly recommend this one because I love it and it doesn’t clog my pores or break me out at all!

amika: Perk Up Dry Shampoo – $22 at Sephora

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First of all, even if you don’t like dry shampoos or you don’t want to buy one – just please, go to Sephora and smell this product. It smells like heaven in a bottle. I was first introduced to amika by my hair dresser who used an oil by them on my hair which, again, smelled absolutely fantastic. When I saw this at Sephora I had a slight freak out and told my mom to come smell it. After I sprayed it on my hand and the slight alcohol smell went away – it smelled exactly like the oil. I have no clue how to describe how this smells, but it’s easily one of the best smelling hair products I’ve ever used. It also works really well & gets rid of any and all oil in my hair – the only drawback is it does leave a white cast, so if you have darker hair, you may not want to use this. With my blonde hair I find that I can usually buff it out with a brush or my hands and it looks fine. You can also spray it into a brush and then comb the product through your hair which I find works MUCH better than spraying it directly on your hair if you don’t want a white cast! This is probably my favorite dry shampoo I’ve ever used & definitely gets a 10/10 on smell!

LAVANILA Sport Luxe Deodorant – $16 at Sephora

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This deodorant literally changed my life, not joking! So I’ve been reading a LOT of articles about how name brand deodorants having aluminum in them is starting to be linked with breast cancer. I honestly don’t understand why aluminum is needed anyway in deodorant, BUT, I’m not going to go into that. After scaring myself enough with about 5 different articles and one woman’s story – I decided to throw out my old deodorant. I have very sensitive armpits, TMI? Weird? Whatever, lol I’m sure I’m not the only one. Brands like Degree, Secret & Suave always gave me this horrible itchy rash, so I could only ever use the Dove sensitive skin. Well I read on the back that aluminum was an ingredient & decided to go with the all natural ones that don’t have any chemicals or aluminum. WELL, let me tell you how this worked out. I bought TOMS from Whole Foods and then decided it would be a good idea to use it before I went on a run – um… no… this is where I messed up. I feel sorry for anyone I passed on my run because I don’t know how they didn’t pass out. Again, if this is getting graphic or gross – I’m sorry, but these are real world issues here -lol. So I went to Sephora with my mom one day and this LAVANILA product was displayed and said NEW! so I figured I would give it a go. I’ve tried the LAVANILA deodorants before and they never worked.. until this. I can wear this almost all day without having to reapply. I also read that it takes your body about a month to a month and a half to get adjusted to not having chemicals in your armpits. So I decided to bear through a month of just using this and my TOMS deodorant & I’m so glad I did. I can now run with these and everything else without noticing anything. I’m not sensitive to either one of these and they don’t give me any problems. Overall, moral of this favorite – please do some research on aluminum in deodorants. It’s scary that a necessity for women is actually hurting us and can lead to cancer!

Better Bodies Camo Long Tights – ON SALE for $74 at gaspbb.com

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I’ve been dying to get my hands on these for the longest time. If you don’t know who Ashley Kaltwasser is, she is 2x Ms. Bikini Olympia and she’s a huge role model of mine. Well, she wear these all the time & I just loved them and loved how they look but they were 100$… uhhhh, I could buy Lululemon leggings for that much, so I passed. The other day I saw Better Bodies posted on instagram they were having a sale & a small part of me got excited because I was hoping they would be apart of it – well, they were & I finally snagged these and I’m so glad I did. I can totally see why people pay 100$ for these because they are SO comfortable and like most tights *cough cough* Victoria’s Secret *cough*, they don’t make my legs hot, they aren’t made of cheap material and you cannot see through them whatsoever. They also have a zipper at the bottom so you can unzip them and make them into crops. The shape the sides have also gives your butt a nice lifted look – which is always a plus!

P28 Foods High Protein Pancake Mix in Strawberries & Cream – $14 at Vitamin Shoppe

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Let me just start off with saying, I’ve had these for dinner 3 nights in a row….. They’re THAT good. I’ve always seen P28 on instagram & besides pancakes they also make breads, bagels, peanuts butter (which I’m not a fan of) and almond butters. I’ve made protein pancakes in the past from scratch and they were just gross. I don’t know if I just suck at it or what, but I threw them all out and never attempted a protein pancake again. When I saw the pancake mix I thought that would be a better idea than me trying to make some concoction of my own. I was a little disappointed in the flavor selection and this one was really the only one that appealed to me. But they are SO GOOD. They taste just like normal pancakes, no protein-y gross taste to them at all and they’re light and fluffy. It’s simple too, you just mix 2/3 cup of mix with 2/3 cup of water, mix, then cook – easy as that. I usually eat 4 pancakes which is 2 servings which comes in with 320 cals. 5g of fat, 44g of carbs, 2g of sugar & 28g of protein. So it’s a good filling breakfast & it’s really good for those workouts where you need some extra carbs. For one servings, just cut all those numbers in half! These are so far my favorite protein pancakes I’ve tried, but I do also want to try ManCakes!

Lenny & Larry’s Complete Cookie – $2 / cookie at Vitamin Shoppe

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I’ve been on the hunt for good protein cookies ever since I discovered The Protein Cookie Company because I hate having to order them and wait to get them. So I saw these at Vitamin Shoppe the other day and picked up Pumpkin Spice & Snickerdoodle. The Snickerdoodle one is delicious & tastes just like a normal cookie. I’m probably going to eat the Pumpkin Spice after I get this post up because it’s staring at me – lol. These are all natural, vegan, high protein, no dairy, non- GMO, nothing artificial & no nasties. So they’re pretty good for you as far as ingredients goes. Only thing is, one cookie is 2 servings.. so you have to have some self control unless you want to eat 420 calories of cookie haha. But these are VERY good and the fact that I can get them right down the road is a plus. I also like the fact that they’re all natural and I can understand all of the ingredients without wondering what the heck I’m putting in my body. I would highly recommend the Snickerdoodle flavor if you want to just try them!

FlavorGod Seasonings in Chipotle – $20 at Flavorgod.com

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FlavorGod Seasonings are the only seasonings I’ve used ever since I discovered them. If you don’t know about FlavorGod, they are all natural seasonings that are diet friendly, pale & nothing added besides pure ingredients. He has a main group of about 5 seasonings he has all the time & will occasionally release limited edition seasoning like Pizza, Chipotle, & Pink Salt. Well, last year he released Chipotle & I didn’t get my hands on it because it sold out so fast – well he just re released it & I grabbed it as soon as I saw it. I’ve used it on bison, eggs, on avocados and just about anything I can find. His seasonings are SO delicious and knowing you’re only using natural ingredients is a big plus because some of the store bought ones have some WEIRD stuff in them, plus these bottles are about twice the size of Mrs. Dash! There are 0 calories, 0 fat, and only 35mg of sodium (1% DV) – which is amazing. If you haven’t tried any, I suggest getting garlic lovers or this one to start (before it sells out) and getting more as you go! I have every single one of his flavors, limited edition and normal, and I don’t have one that I dislike! You won’t be disappointed with these!

Deer Creek Honey Farms Buckwheat Honey (Ohio Local) – Purchased at Jungle Jims, not sure on pricing!

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This honey is my addiction right now. I haven’t gone a day since my mom brought it home without eating some. I’ve almost gone through a whole container in a month – THAT’S how good it is. If you’re not familiar with buckwheat honey, here’s a little info: healwithfood.org . It’s much darker than normal honey, which also gives it more anti-oxidants and a much more rich flavor than normal light honey. It’s taste honestly is 100x better than normal honey and it almost has like a molasses taste which I really love. My favorite way to eat it is with a whole wheat english muffin, organic peanut butter, a banana and this on top. I used to eat that before early morning soccer games & one day decided to try it again with the buckwheat honey & I eat that for breakfast about 6/7 days a week, especially before runs because it gives me a ton of energy! I would 100% recommend getting this honey because I promise once you try it you will never go back to original honey, it’s just that good!

Buff Bake Snickerdoodle Almond Butter – $14 at buff bake.com or Vitamin Shoppe

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I’ve mentioned Buff Bake in the past when they had just come out with their to-go packs but I never really talked about a specific one. The Snickerdoodle flavor (can you tell I like snickerdoodle..?) is by far my favorite, but just barely beating chocolate chip peanut butter. Buff Bake makes some seriously good nut butters and at 190 cals, 14g fat, 4g sugar & 11g of protein, you can’t beat it. It gives such a fun twist on normal peanut butter or almond butter & they just released red velvet peanut butter which I’m really anxious to try! They used to be an online only order, but just recently started selling their products in most, if not all, Vitamin Shoppes. They also made with chia seed & flax seed which are so beneficial for your health! On my jar of snickerdoodle there are only 7 ingredients and I can find all of them at my local grocery store, which I really love. If you haven’t tried any of them I really recommend them, I haven’t tried one that I don’t like!

CLIF Shot Energy Gel in Mocha – $2 at Kroger/Fresh Thyme/Whole Foods

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These are like crack for runners I think. Seriously, I’ve never had a product give me so much energy before like this does. These are easily my favorite gels before really long runs or races. The mocha flavor honestly to me tastes like chocolate syrup you put on ice cream with a tiny hint of coffee (I hate coffee and I don’t mind it). They are 90% organic, 100 cals, 85mg of potassium, 12g of sugar + 50 mg of caffeine, which is about half a cup of coffee. I’m not a coffee drinker so I’m not sure if these just give me a ton of energy because I’m not used to that much caffeine or what, but they definitely get the job done. I’m also very sensitive to caffeine and these don’t give me jitters or shakes or anything like that. Just good continuous energy. I ran 9 miles last Friday and this gave me good steady energy for about 7 of those 9 miles which is about an hours worth! If you run & are looking for some good gels or if you just want a pick me up – give these a try!

I hope some of these products were helpful & made you want to try something new! I’m sorry most of them were food but I’ve really been trying to find some good products lately! What are some of your favorite products you’ve been loving? As always, thanks for reading (:

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Nordstrom Anniversary Sale Must-Haves !

With today being the last day of the Nordstrom Anniversary Sale I’m sure a lot of you have seen some things you may have liked, put them in your cart, then closed out of your tab – we’ve all been there, I did the same thing. Well, Nordstrom had some GREAT deals this time and there were a lot of things on sale that I believe would be worth the investment & would transition well into fall & winter! So I rounded up a few of my favorite pieces that I either own or would totally buy! A lot of pieces are very universal and can be worn for more than one season/year/occasion/ etc. Here are my favorites!

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1. Tory Burch Joanna Riding Boots $319 on sale HERE | I love the Coconut Leather color!

2. Voluspa Maison Jardin Candle Trio $30 on sale HERE | These really smell amazing!

3. WILDFOX More than Pizza Pullover $72 on sale HERE | So adorable & cozy for a cool fall day with a good book

4. BP. Rope Trim Floppy Hat $18 on sale HERE | Very universal & cute for the fall with a big sweater & boots!

5. SONIX cases $23 on sale HERE | They have the CUTEST cases!

6. BP. Stripe High/Low Tee $12 on sale HERE | If you want a comfortable, universal tee – this is perfect & only 12$!

7. Tory Burch Plaque Satchel $318 on sale HERE | Tory Burch makes grew purses & this one will be great for fall!

8. BP. Perfect Roll Tab Tunic $28 on sale HERE | This is a shirt that will be great with leggings & riding boots!

9. Sonya Renee Oval Drusy Pendant $38 on sale HERE | Her jewelry sparkles from miles away & I love the stone on this!

10. Sam Edelman Paige Fringed Bootie $110 on sale HERE | Fringe is on trend for fall & these are just too cute! + More colors!

11. Zella Live In Leggings $34 on sale HERE | Perfect for boots & a sweater or just lounging in the house!

12. Kate Spade Thermal Mug $18 HERE | Not on sale but a perfect price for a mug to keep coffee or hot chocolate warm!

13. Sonya Renee Drusy Stud Earring $45 on sale HERE | Perfect match for the necklace & a gorgeous gold color!

I hope this list gave you some ideas of some last minute sale purchases or just something you want to buy to treat yourself! As always, thanks for reading (:

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Fitness Update!

This month has been rough, I’m not gonna lie. I’ve been running A LOT & it’s been very hot or very rainy where I live which has made this training even harder. I find myself watching the weather more than normal and planning time frames to get a run in. It’s been hard, my knees hurt, my hips hurt, my ankles are getting weak – but the other day before I started my longest run I had a come to Jesus meeting with myself a little bit. I had lost the drive and excitement I had when I first signed up for this half marathon and my attitude about running was becoming more negative every day. I realized at that moment how absolutely blessed I am to even be able to run 8 miles. My dad always says “You don’t have to, you get to” & I’m starting to realize what that really means as I get older. I used to dread going to soccer practices when I was younger, but I’m looking back now wishing I could play one more High School season or one more Club season. I didn’t have to go, I was fortunate and lucky enough to be able to go. I had worked my butt off to be on Varsity as a Freshman & a very good Club team. I was fortunate enough my parents gave me the best training & extra help to be in the situation I was in. I now know I need to keep that mindset towards everything I do, not only fitness but school, work, everything.

I know there’s a lot of people out there who would love to be able to run 8 miles in one period of time but for one reason or another, be it physical or mental, they can’t do that. I knew when I signed up for this half I was going to be tested, not only physically but mentally as well. Your mental attitude is half the battle.

“Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.”

Breaking past the wall of “I can’t go anymore” is a huge step in the right direction if you want to be successful in anything. You are capable of so much more than your mind tells you you are & you really have to learn to tell that voice to shut up because that voice isn’t telling you that you can go that extra mile, it’s telling you your legs are burning and it would be much easier if you quit. Breaking past that point is the moment where you can find what you are truly about to do.

I had a 6 mile run as a long run a few weeks back and I made the mistake of waiting until about 12:30 in the afternoon, dumbass, and try to run my longest distance yet in about 92 degree weather with the humidity at almost 100% in full sun…. not my smartest idea yet. Needless to say, I only finished about 2.5 of those 6 miles. I felt really shitty that day, I felt like I let myself fail because I could’ve woken up earlier or waited until later that day to run. The next week rolls around and my long run increased by 2 miles to a huge 8 mile run… Up until that point I had only ran 5 miles & thinking, holy shit, that’s 3 extra miles, was running in my mind. So that night I was determined not to let myself fail again. I set my alarm for 7 am, got up, ate my breakfast, waited an hour & I hit the road. The 8 miles actually seemed relatively easy & despite the fact that I fell and busted both my knees and rolled my ankle at mile 5 (I know..), I got right back up and kept running. It would’ve been easy to quit & I’m sure there’s people who would’ve understood if I would have stopped and went home (especially the people who kept staring at the blood running down my leg 0_0), but I wasn’t going to quit & I wasn’t in any unbearable pain – so I continued and finished every single one of those 8 miles, bloody, swollen and all.

The next day I had a 5k to run & I had an ankle that was the side of a small orange, one knee with an incredibly swollen bursa sac & another knee that had a strawberry on it that kept oozing blood and pus (sorry for the visual). Again, I was determined to finish & finish well. It was just another test for me to overcome in my eyes & I did by placing 2nd in my age group and setting a new PR for my 5k time.

Basically this month was a huge wake up call for me. I’ve tested limits I’ve never been to before, but now I know what I’m capable of & I have learned to trust my body when my mind is screaming STOP. Moral of this post is, don’t give up. Never think just because you haven’t been over a hurdle before that you can’t jump it now. Don’t be afraid to try and fail. Learn from that failure & do better the next time. Never listen to that person in your mind telling you that you’re tired & it’d be easier if you stopped because that voice will always keep you mediocre & life isn’t about being mediocre – you’ve gotta push your limits and test your mind to be great.

As always, thanks for reading & good luck to everyone on a fitness journey (:

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My favorite healthy meals when I’m out and about!

So let’s face it, we all like to go out and treat ourselves with a huge piece of cheesecake from Cheesecake Factory every now and then as a cheat meal, but what if it’s not your cheat day & you have to go out for a birthday, celebration, work party, etc? Below I’m going to list my favorite HEALTHY meals and options when I’m out to eat at some of my favorite restaurants!

Cheesecake Factory: So God bless Cheesecake Factory for making the Skinnylicious menu because it takes the guess work right out of trying to find something healthy to eat – although the salt content is pretty high in some of these items (ya gotta make it taste good, right?) you can always ask to have you item cooked with minimal salt! So here’s a few of my favs!

+ Greek Salad as a starter

+ Skinnylicious Caesar salad (TO DIE FOR!)

+ Chicken lettuce wrap tacos (Mexican style w/ no crema)

+ Skinnylicious grilled salmon w/ asparagus

+ Skinny Margarita if you’ve had a rough day 😉

Panera Bread: Panera is iffy with me because some of their stuff isn’t necessarily the freshest of ingredients, but I guess that’s to be expected when you’re out to eat, unfortunately. Plus their menu is seasonal which irritates me & they get rid of some of their menu items randomly, BUT, nonetheless, I usually order one solid meal every time I go and it’s actually really delicious!

+ Pick two of: Greek salad w/ chicken + a cup of black bean soup + an apple instead of bread or chips!

+ Their steak and egg power bowl was my all time favorite thing to order for breakfast there – BUT, just like Panera does, THEY GOT RID OF IT?! I believe if you go there, you can still ask for it and they’ll make you one – but it’s not on the menu any longer which is a shame.

BJ’s Brewhouse: BJ’s also has a healthy menu option called the BJ’s EnLIGHTened Entrees and if you can resist the temptation of their delicious root beer, you’ll be pretty set as far as eating a decent meal there!

+ BBQ Bison burger (all time favorite!)

+ Hawaiian Mahi-Mahi

+ They have a new Fire Roasted Barbacoa chicken there that also looks really delicious, but I have not tried it yet!

EO Burger: EO Burger has some seriously delicious food, but they aren’t necessarily the healthiest of burgers out there. I normally only get one or two things whenever I go there because everything else is pretty much a heart attack on a plate + they don’t really have any healthy side items.

+ Gobble burger with no cheese or cranberry mayo on a whole wheat bun w/ no fries.

+ They have the option to “Cluck It”, which means you can make any burger a chicken sandwich – but I’m not entirely sure if it’s grilled or fried chicken :/

BD’s Mongolian Grill: Hands down my favorite place to eat out when I’m watching my diet because you basically control your entire plate – salt, seasoning, veggies, meats, EVERYTHING.

+ Chicken + Sirloin w/ broccoli, green onions, yellow onions, green bell peppers, tiny amount of red potatoes, w/ mongolian ginger sauce + 1 egg. BOOM. seriously, the sauce makes it & it’s pretty clean.

Olive Garden: I know, the breadsticks – but you can easily eat 5 in one sitting and meet your entire DRV of calories, salt, carbs & fat with one food item & who wants to do that? 1 breadstick is 140 calories & 460 mg of sodium………….

+ Baked Tilapia w/ shrimp + asparagus (also some salad they give you, because yum).

+ Sometimes I’ll have a glass of red wine because as we all know it’s heart healthy & delicious!

Chipotle: Everytime I order this certain bowl they give me the strangest looks & I don’t know why because it has a name so I’m sure people other than me order it?!

+ Steak 3- pointer bowl which is simply just brown rice & steak. It’s really filling & good as far as macros go!

+ I never get their chips because HOLY SALT. Their corn salsa is also loaded with salt unfortunately 😦

BW3’s: Their wings are just heaven, but believe it or not there’s actually some pretty decent options there as well as far as healthy eating goes or if you just don’t feel like running to the bathroom 4 minutes after you pound 8 wings.

+ Naked Tender with desert heat seasoning (if you don’t like heat, DON’T get this seasoning because it will light you up!)

+ Sometimes I get a small garden salad with no dressing & cut my naked tenders up and put them on my salad for a healthier chicken salad! + I take my favorite healthy salad dressing with me so I can use them instead of the fatty ones they have at most restaurants!

Starbucks: Basic. I know. But Starbucks has some really delicious & healthy food + drinks!

+ My go to drink: Trenta iced green tea w/ no sweetener. I actually hate coffee, so I never order anything but teas or refreshers when I go there!

+ Hearty Blueberry whole grain oatmeal w/ honey. SO good & actually perks me up quite a bit!

+ Fresh berries & honey yogurt

So, I hope some of these options may help you next time you’re out to eat or you just want to try something I mentioned! I usually only drink water with all these meals because I try to stay away from pops (I’ll drink green tea too!). Let me know if you’ve tried any of these & what you think of them or what some of your favorite options are at the restaurants I mentioned! As always, thanks for reading (:

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OOTD!

Yesterday I went to see The Gallows & it was easily one of the scariest movies I’ve seen in a long time, but if you love scary movies – I definitely recommend seeing it! It’s from the makers of Insidious and Paranormal Activity & it’s a movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat and makes you jump every 10 minutes. I had chills & the ending threw me for a loop – but without ruining the movie, just go see it. Other than that, my weekend was full of running and relaxing with family. So here’s my outfit from Saturday because I haven’t done a post like this in a while and I miss doing them! Thanks for reading (:

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TOP: Haute Hippie here! Says “One must learn to take life with a grain of salt, slice of lime and a shot of tequila”. Favorite. Shirt. Ever! | JEANS: J Brand here | SHOES: Steve Madden (old). Also love these ! | PURSE: Louis Vuitton Neverfull MM here | JEWELRY: David Yurman ring here / Tiffany Infinity bracelet here | SUNGLASSES: Valentino Aviators here | MAKEUP: Lip Combo is MAC Blankenty & Chanel Rouge Allure Gloss in #15 Sensible (LOVE)

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