Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Goodbye sweet friend.

I've been dreading writing this post but I know Clare would want me to be strong and continue on with my blog. Unfortunately my beautiful friend lost her long battle with cancer on August 1st. I will miss her so incredibly much but am also thankful she is no longer in pain. Thank you to everyone who contributed to her fund as her parents are forever grateful that her last months of life were as comfortable as they could have been.

Clare & I 

Her family asked me to update her blog and you can read the touching post here. I miss and love you my sweet friend. xoxo

Friday, July 25, 2014

Fit Friday: Group Workouts to Gain Fitness

We all know working out with a group helps with accountability but I think the biggest benefit is a harder workout. More often than not when I ride/run/swim with others I go farther and/or faster than I otherwise would on my own. That means a group workout = more calories burned & fitness gained. I'll take that!

Below is a great cycling workout to do with a group of about 3-5 riders. The time will fly by as you catch up with your friends but you'll also get in a tough workout too!

Happy riding!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cancer sucks!

It's been awhile since my last post and I promise to get back to blogging more regularly soon. I decided to take a bit of a break due to life getting busier for a few months but also because of lost motivation due to a friend being sick. Blogging about apparel and fitness just didn't seem all that important when one of my good friends whom just had a baby was fighting for her life. Yes, cancer SUCKS! I can't help but write this with tears streaming down my face.

It's hard to feel helpless in her battle so I am doing whatever I can to help the family in any way that I can. I set up a fundraiser on YouCaring.com to help with the overwhelming costs that a chronic illness brings with it. Please contribute if you can as any amount, even $5 will help ease the burden that this young family is going through.
You can donate HERE 

Baby Sidney is truly Mom's Super Hero



Clare's father wrote a very touching letter as to what the family is going through right now...

The cancer that my beautiful daughter Clare has been fighting for the past eleven years is now winning the war.

Five different rounds of chemo drugs, months of radiation, and 6 major surgeries have taken their toll on her once beautifully healthy body. She can take no more, and the cancer knows it. In its insidious way, it has now cut off all motor control to her legs, so she is either in bed or a wheelchair, and is pretty much unable to move on her own. She is now on a 24/7 morphine pump, and Yolo County Hospice has been superb for medical and spiritual care. If the World consisted only of Hospice people, we could rename Earth 'Heaven'. Well, almost. 

It's the inability to move herself that has necessitated our getting some in-home care. Marie, David, and I just could not handle it all on our own, in addition to taking care of Sid and keeping our own selves healthy, and enabling David to keep working.

Right now, Clare's comfort and quality of life are priority number one. So without knowing how we'll ever afford it, we went ahead and hired the wonderful Fijian In-Home Care people to come in from 10:00pm to 10:00am each night. The Fijians are another beautiful group of people that we now have the pleasure of knowing and working with. 

I'm sorry, but it's come to the point of requesting financial help for the in-home care so that we can make sure that Clare is as pain-free and comfortable as possible. That is our one-and-only priority in life at this point. 

Anything that you contribute (help with) will go to the In-Home Care group so that we make sure that the rest of Clare's life is as peaceful as possible here at home.

The words "thank you" seem inadequate, but I don't know what other words to use. Thank you.

-Steve Long 

Friday, January 24, 2014

New Year's Resolution Motivation

New Year's Resolution Motivation


1. Namaste Seamless Bra - soft, comfortable and a fan favorite
2. Space Dyed Workout Capris - pretty print at a bargain price
3. Magic Carpet Yoga Mat - love these gorgeous work of art yoga mats made by my friends daughter
4. Nike Gym Vintage Capri Pants - lightweight, comfy, relaxed fit pants
5. Chi Top - made with a special un-stinkable lightweight fabric
6. Roper Flower Print Zip Vest - keep your core warm with this cute printed vest
7. FitBook Fitness Journal - Track your nutrition, fitness and weight loss goals. Research shows that people who write down their goals are more likely to stick to them!

Saturday, January 11, 2014

Slow Cooker Savior: Quinoa, Chicken and Kale Soup

I mentioned in my post "Changing How I Eat" that I would share some of the healthy recipes that I've been using.  The first one I wanted to share in 2014 is a delicious quinoa, chicken and kale soup.

I knew this week was going to be a tough one for us cooking-wise so I wanted to find something that was easy to cook and would also last a few days for lunches. I found this recipe from Cooking Classy and since we had most of the ingredients I thought I'd give it a try. It turned out great, was very healthy and best of all so easy to make. I hadn't cooked with my crock pot in a while but thank goodness for a slow cooker! The only thing I left out was the lemon juice simply because we didn't have a lemon on hand.

Here is the recipe again - I highly recommend it. Enjoy!



Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Top 10 Gifts For the Triathlete in Your Life - 2013

1) Transition Bag: It will carry all of your triathlete's gear and then some. This is a lifesaver when packing for a triathlon and comes complete with helmet pocket and waterproof compartment. The blueseventy Transition Bag is the top of the line and probably the most popular bag out there but if you want something a bit more affordable, the TYR SPORT Transition Backpack does a great job too.



2) Injury Prevention: Anyone who runs will likely experience an injury at some point. The book, Anatomy for Runners is a must have reference for any runner as a guide for injury prevention, rehab and improving your running bio-mechanics. Recommended by many elite runners, this one is definitely on my list this year!




3) Massage: The Grid Revolutionary Foam Roller (available here or here) is way better than your typical foam roller, it features a three dimensional surface to help break up those sore knots. It also comes in a travel-friendly size (available here or here) that you can fit into your transition bag or suitcase. Every triathlete should have one of these to help combat injuries.



4) Smart Training: First Time Triathlon or Triathlon Trainer iPhone Apps- Whether they are training for their first sprint triathlon or are training for an Olympic Distance, these iPhone apps can help. The number one ranked training Apps in the iTunes App store, they have helped countless athletes reach their goals. Disclaimer: These were designed by me so of course I think they are great! (Learn how to gift an App to someone here.)




5) Tri-Bling: Congratulate your triathlete on an amazing accomplishment with a dog tag style triathlon necklace hand stamped with the 3 distances of each discipline.




6) Biking Shorts: You can never have enough biking shorts- especially a comfortable pair. Being a triathlete myself, I can tell you that we spend a lot of time training and log many hours on the bike so its important to have well padded shorts. Pearl Izumi makes great shorts and the Elite In-R-Cool Short for men and the Symphony Short for women come highly recommended.



7) Chain Cleaner: Keep that motor moving smoothly with the Finish Line Bicycle Chain Cleaner. Not your typical gift but your triathlete will wonder why they never had one before! This easy to use tool will save them time, greasy hands and money.


8) Pretty Prints: Why not gift your triathlete with an elegant gold foil endurance print that they can frame and put up in their house to help motivate them. Available in my new Etsy store!




9) Functional Fitness: Functional strength training is an important part of any successful triathletes training and the TRX Suspension Trainer is the most popular tool to help them build strength, power and flexibility. Best of all its so easy to use and portable so whether you are a newbie or an experienced triathlete it can help you bring your training to the next level.



10) Race Ready: These are the latest and greatest race day helpers - skip the long lines to have someone write your race number on your body with these professional looking numbers. The TriTats Pro Tattoo are easily applied the night before with the box containing 200 numbers for countless events that are both USAT and ITU compliant.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Fit Friday: Changing How I Eat.

While most of us stuffed ourselves on Thanksgiving (myself included!) this post is not meant to make you feel guilty but perhaps help you to start thinking about a few things you can change in your diet before another holiday onslaught of food is upon us.

A few months ago I went through a period of time where I just wasn't feeling good. It started with a bad cold that just wouldn't go away but I also felt lethargic and unmotivated day after day. My energy levels were just sapped and while I could use the excuse of having small kids I knew it was more than that. Something needed to change but I wasn't sure what.

After chatting with a friend about it she convinced me to change my diet for just a few weeks to see if it would help. She had a similar experience and found that changing what she ate made a big difference. So, for two weeks I ate gluten free, sugar free and dairy free. I have to admit I was skeptical but within those two weeks my cold was finally gone and my energy levels returned.

Since then I have adjusted my diet to include dairy again - mainly yogurt, cottage cheese and occasionally cheese but I now drink unsweetened vanilla almond milk instead of non-fat milk. I also must confess that I am not completely gluten free as I don't consider myself to be allergic but have severely cut the amount I eat. I feel more balanced as I don't feel deprived so I can have the occasional piece of pie or bagel with friends. I just don't eat it on a daily basis and so far my energy levels have remained high. (I still buy wheat bread, etc. for my kids and husband but many meals are replaced with gluten free versions which they enjoy and overall are healthier.)

One of my favorite easy lunches, salad mixed with quinoa and topped with tofu.

What foods have you added/increased? I'm eating a lot more fruits, veggies, and nuts so instead of grabbing my typical snack of crackers, I'll grab an apple with some almond butter or some veggies and hummus. In addition, I also eat more quinoa, rice, legumes, buckwheat and healthy fats such as avocado.


Quinoa salad with green beans and tomatoes.

What foods have you limited? Sugar, white flour, wheat and easy to grab snacks that were around for my kids. Less processed foods overall which I feel so much better about as I was finding that I was just grabbing easy to eat foods for convenience rather than for the nutrition.

I'm not going to say it was super easy to change how I eat as it did take time to figure out different recipes to cook but it is definitely worth it. I'm starting to have a pretty good set of dishes to cook and often just make extra to have for lunch or dinner the next day. I'll try to share some of the recipes on my blog in the near future as many of them my kids love as well.

I'm not posting this to say everyone should eat less gluten but more so to encourage you to take a look at your daily diet and see what changes you could make that might help you to feel better or just eat healthier.

Wishing you all a happy and healthy holiday season!

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Victoria's Secret VS Sport Review

I have to admit I was skeptical at first when Victoria's Secret first came out with a fitness line. However, after trying a few items, I have to say the quality, fit and price are right.


I bought the cutest pair of VS Knockout Capris (see above pic) with a sheer polka dot window on the legs and I get compliments every time I wear them. I've run many times in them and even did a fast-paced 10-miler with no chaffing or having to pull them up as I ran. While the above style isn't available anymore, the same capri is still available and they always have cute prints and great colors that you can see below along with more on their website...

black & white polka dots
bright violet
I also tried on a couple of the sport bras and they were both very well made and supportive. The first one was the VS Runway Sport Bra and I absolutely loved it. It is supportive, sexy and has slight padding which is always a plus for us smaller-busted ladies! The padding does, however, make it a warmer bra so I would probably only wear it for indoor activities during the summer but it's perfect for the fall and winter months.

               

The next bra I tried was the VS Sport Bra but it just wasn't for me. It is better suited for a larger-busted woman as it has underwire and is super supportive. Below are two bras by VS Sport that work well for larger-busted women...
And how cute is this brand new bra they just came out with called the VS Angel Sport Bra. I may just have to try this one too!


Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Race Report: Missing My Munchkins

I knew I wanted to do one more triathlon before the season was over and so decided about four weeks before to fly to Oceanside for an Olympic Distance race that would help me qualify to race pro again. I figured it wasn't too far away and I could go solo in order to focus on the race. I also thought a bit of a mommy break might be good for me as I hadn't been away from my girls for more than one night since they were born. It all seemed like a good idea...

However, I forgot what a pain it is to travel with a bike, it must have been humorous watching me trying to fit my huge bike box into my rental car by myself. The first day and night in Oceanside were fine as I was busy prepping for the race and I got to sleep in which was absolute bliss! That hasn't happened in 5 years!

The second day was lonely though and I missed my family like crazy. Admittedly I was miserable, truly miserable and just couldn't get psyched for the race. I guess it was a bit of a reality check in that if I'm going to try and race pro again there are going to be many times when I have to leave my family and for longer periods.

My heart just wasn't into racing and the fact that it was freezing didn't help either as I don't do well in cold. My fingers were so frozen in the second transition that I could not for the life of me get my helmet off. It was also hard not having anyone at the finish line for me as I really didn't know anyone at the race. I managed to finish though but didn't push myself and just raced comfortably thinking the entire time that I couldn't wait to be home. Made me realize how much I love those little girls, drama queen antics, mess makers and all. ;)

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Nike's Printed Kicks

Nike is just killin' it right now with cool printed kicks. I can't decide which pair (or two...or three!) to get:



Colorful Wild Prints 
(Available here or here)






(Available in lots of colors here or here)



Fun Chevron Print

Monday, September 9, 2013

Race Report: What Not To Do In A Triathlon.

That's me in the middle!
This post is WAY overdue but better late than never right?! Life and work have been a bit overwhelming so my blog has taken a back seat. Here (finally) is my race report:

My first triathlon race since I retired many years ago was a comedy of sorts just to get to the start line but I can't complain too much as I was happy with the result. I ended up third woman overall, which isn't too bad for this mom of two and with only seven weeks of official triathlon training in my back pocket.

Why a comedy? Well, I pretty much did everything I tell my athletes not to do. (Why not get all the kinks worked out in my first race back right?) Well, it wasn't exactly planned that way but this time around things are a whole lot  different with a lot more on my plate. It used to be all about me when I was single without kids and now my family comes first and foremost. I decided to do this race a bit last minute and didn't have all the equipment necessary so most of my failures were due to this.

What not to do:

1) Put triathlon aero bars on your bike the day before the race. (Yup, guilty, I scrambled around to borrow a pair to put on my road bike as I wasn't ready to invest just yet.)

2) Get a wetsuit the morning of the race and try it on for the first time. (I had borrowed a wetsuit that I thought would fit but lo and behold two days before the race it just wasn't going to work. I ended up borrowing a male friend's wetsuit who brought it to the race and squeezed my hips into it. Yup, there is a reason there are female specific wetsuits, lol!)

3) Don't warm up before the swim start. (Guilty but it wasn't exactly my fault. The race director decided to change our start time to 10 minutes earlier and failed to tell about a third of us women.)

4) Underestimate your caloric needs and bonk on the run. (I was so focused on getting my equipment together that I completely forgot that I recently switched to a sports drink that had almost no calories. Doh! I had forgotten what it felt like to bonk and kept thinking I was just hot as the temperature was supposed to rise up to 109 degrees that day.)

I'm certain my next race will go a bit smoother. I will also hopefully have a triathlon-specific bike, race wheels and my own wetsuit but it just felt good to race again. I am thankful my body is letting me race - as I described in an earlier post, at one point I thought I'd never run again let alone be competitive.

Thanks to my sponsors Moo Motion Sports and Fleet Feet Sports Davis for helping me get back to it!

Friday, June 14, 2013

So far so good.


I'm on my fifth week of training with Purple Patch Fitness and so far so good. I can feel my body remembering what it used to do and I'm improving each week. Of course I didn't come into this schedule completely out of shape but I certainly wasn't doing this kind of intensity or volume. I definitely found some muscles that had been hibernating!

I have to say though, it feels really good to be getting back into race shape. I've given (willingly) so much of my body to other things these last years (two babies, breastfeeding, hip surgery & recovery) that it's nice to focus a bit on me these days.

I was admittedly pretty tired this week as the training was starting to catch up with me but reminded myself that rest days can be equally important. It was clear to me that I needed to back off for a day or two and let my body absorb all the hard work that I have done. I'm glad I did as I'm feeling rested and ready to go back at it tomorrow!

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

The Best Workout Skirts

I finally bought a running skirt and love it! I've wanted one for a while now and just couldn't pass up this adorable skort from Zella. It's called the 'So Sweet' skort and the flirty ruffles give it an extra girly look. I had to have it!

I ran in it yesterday and it was very comfortable so I'm hooked now.  I've already been picking out which ones to buy next. :)
 More fun workout skirts:

Friday, May 31, 2013

Fit Friday: Running Music Playlist - Dance Edition

While catching up with a high school friend recently at lunch she mentioned that she'd like to start running but found it boring. I suggested finding a local running group to join for a bit of motivation and then we started talking about music and how it can motivate you especially when running alone. I run with music a lot and definitely use it to help push me on long runs or torturous speed days. And I'll admit it, I like booty shaking music to run to as I used to love to go out dancing but now that I'm a mom that just doesn't happen anymore. So, when out on a run, in my mind, I really think I'm doing this...



I know she likes to get down too so I'm hoping some of these songs will help to motivate her and perhaps you too!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

A box of cereal can make your day.

It's true, buying a box of cereal can make your day and someone else's too.

With all the bad things that have happened recently (Boston Marathon bombing, the Cleveland kidnappings, etc.) I had been feeling pretty bad about this world and had to stop watching the news for a few days because I literally couldn't stop thinking about all the innocent people that were affected. Soon after, I read an article somewhere about a blogger that had started doing random nice things for strangers as a way to spread some positivity.

So, I decided a few weeks ago that I would start to do some unexpected nice things for total strangers too. Why not? It reminds myself and others that there are good people in this world. And that those people can be total strangers. The first thing I did was pay for someone's Starbucks behind me in the drive thru line and it felt great even though they hadn't even seen my face.

Just today I was at my local grocery store and noticed a young woman (a college student as far as I could tell) in line behind me with only a box of cereal. I remember being a college student and not having a lot of extra cash for food at times. Pay it forward right? So I told the checker to add her cereal to my bill.

The young woman was of course very surprised and kept thanking me and said yes, she was indeed a college student. Even the checker was a bit shocked as he started to pack the cereal into my grocery bags and then realized what he was doing. For only about $3.50, I'm sure both the student and the checker will remember this small act of kindness and hopefully do something nice for someone else as well.

Of course there are so many other ways to show random acts of kindness and they don't have to involve money at all. What will you do this week?