Saturday, January 31, 2015

Sunshine and Summer-like Running

It went from feeling cold and wintery just a week ago to feel like the middle of summer today! It's a stunningly gorgeous day here in San Francisco, and tons of people are out and about making the most of it. I took advantage of the day to get in my Week 5, Day 3 Couch to 5k run. For those of you who have done C25K before, you know this day is where things really start to amp up. It goes from 8 minutes as your longest running interval to 20 minutes in just one workout! Every single time I've done C25K, I've ended up having to repeat this day a few times because I couldn't get quite to 20 minutes.

But not today!

 Tank top: Nike [similar]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

Today was the first time I ever made it through the dreaded 20-minute run without stopping on my attempt! It was pretty warm outside (around 70 degrees), so I opted for my tank top from the Nike Women's Half Marathon. Although I don't love the way to tank fits, it did do a great job of wicking away sweat on a warm day like today. I'm continuing to love these pants, particularly how they look. The fit wasn't quite as good today as it was the first time I wore them (guessing they stretched a bit in the wash), but they still got the job done. All in all, a good day!

With it being so beautiful and sunny out today, it was also pretty fun snapping photos post-run. I wandered around a bit and tried out some new photo spots. If this weather holds up through tomorrow, I'll probably run and try to get some cool shots again! Nothing like good photography weather to motivate me to keep running ;)

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Giving Barre a Shot

My friend Crystal has been talking to me about her barre classes for months now. Any time I mentioned feeling out of shape, she's quick to suggest joining her at her Dailey Method classes. Since I run a few times a week, I always felt like I was fine. However, I've started noticing my lack of core and upper body strength lately. I know core strength is important for runners, but because I don't particularly enjoy doing crunches in a gym, I neglect it.

So, I gave in. I finally agreed to give The Dailey Method's barre class a shot tonight.

Tank: Forever 21 [similar]
Pants: Yogasmoga [exact]
Sports bra: Lululemon [similar]

First thing's first: this is definitely a good workout. I discovered muscles that I didn't know existed several times over the course of an hour. However, I also had a few moments that I had absolutely no clue what we were even supposed to be doing in the class. I'm not sure if that was a reflection of the teacher or the way the classes work in general, but it was a bit frustrating. But, regardless of what I was doing, I was sweating quite a bit by the time I left. Only a few hours later, I'm already super sore and somewhat scared about what I'll feel like tomorrow! I can't say I'm sold on The Dailey Method yet, but I'll definitely give it another shot.

Yesterday, I went for my Wednesday running club yet, but neglected to take any photos. I promise good photos this weekend to compensate for it!

Saturday, January 24, 2015

Running and Rock Climbing

Despite the cold weather this week, today was much nicer! So, I decided to head down to the water for a run in the sunshine. I even busted out a tank top for it! Before I headed out, though, my friends Kim and Brent texted, asking if I wanted to join them at a climbing gym nearby. I hardly ever get in upper body workouts and had been wanting to try climbing for awhile, so I figured why not?

Tank top: Under Armour [exact]
Sports bra: GapFit [similar]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Running Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

I found this sports bra at the Gap Factory Outlet last weekend, and I love it! It is reminiscent of Lululemon's Energy bra, but at about a fifth of the price. I particularly loved how it looked with the backless tank top I wore. These pants are also part of my latest Under Armour haul. The fit was fantastic! They're very compressive and completely opaque. Even when I was crawling up these walls with my legs all over the place, they stretched well and I didn't have to worry about anyone seeing anything I didn't want them to see. Between these and the C9 pants I shared the other day, I think I've found my new go-to running styles.

Friday, January 23, 2015

Summer Clothes, Winter Temperatures

Like I mentioned the other day, I got a new batch of Under Armour clothes. I had to do a treadmill run the other night because it was already dark when I got home from work, so I figured it was the perfect time to try out the tank top and shorts! With San Francisco being a little on the chilly side this week, I doubt I'll be wearing them outside for awhile.

Tank top: Under Armour [exact]
Shorts: Under Armour [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

Apologies for the poor quality photo. The lighting in my gym isn't exactly the greatest, and there's only so much I can do on Photoshop. Now, onto the clothes... I absolutely love the color of these shorts (I have a soft spot for neon workout apparel), but they fit a little big. I've since washed and dried them, so we'll see if that improves the fit at all for me. Otherwise, I may size down if I buy them again. The tank top is just another color of my backless blue tank top that I've shared on here before. I really love these Armour Vent tank tops. I actually wore this one to work with a cardigan the other day and no one had any idea that it was a workout top! I highly recommend this one as a multitasking piece of clothing.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Beautiful Day, Beautiful Run

Since I was working from home today, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful day and go for a run at lunchtime! It was my first run in a week, mainly due to my gym being open weird hours for the holiday weekend and a generally busy schedule. It ended up being a great one, though! My Couch to 5k run today (week 4, day 2) had a five-minute run interval right when I got to the start of a long, tall hill on my typical loop (and finished right when I hit the top of the hill). I figured I had earned the downhill, so I kept running through the end of the hill.

Shirt: Columbia Sportswear [similar]
Pants: Under Armour [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]

After my frustration wearing my Yogasmoga pants while running, I decided to order some new pants from Under Armour. I'm generally a fan of their clothing, and they're one of the only big workout brands that hasn't gone completely to triangle gussets (another thing I've voiced my frustration about before). These particular pants are designed for yoga (they're part of the UA Studio line), but they held up great throughout my run. It's a nice change having some fun patterns in my workout clothing mix, too!

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake

This morning was an early one for me — and I am not a morning person! One of my clients at work had a launch, which meant I started working at 5am to ensure everything was ready to go. So, I was in bed chipping away at launch-related work until about 9am.

At that point, I decided it was time for breakfast. I had already decided to work from home since I knew I wasn't likely to get a long enough break in my work to physically make the trip into the office, so I got ambitious. Also, my two weeks of no gluten recently ended, so it was a perfect opportunity to throw gluten back into the mix. My housemates and I get weekly produce from a local farm, and this week's items included a few Meyer lemons. So, I decided to whip up a Meyer lemon pound cake!

Meyer Lemon Pound Cake
Adapted from Martha Stewart

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups flour
1 teaspoon salt 
2 teaspoons baking powder 
1 1/4 cups sugar 
4 eggs
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract 
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

Juice from 1 Meyer lemon
Powdered sugar
Zest of 1 Meyer lemon

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Grease one standard-sized loaf pan. 

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time. With mixer at a very low speed, add flour, baking powder and salt. While the dry ingredients are being incorporated, slowly add in the milk and vanilla. Add in lemon zest.

Pour the cake batter into your greased loaf pan. Bake for 1 hour to 1 1/2 hours, checking at regular intervals. Test the cake's doneness with a fork or cake tester — it should come out clean. 

While the cake is cooling, combine the ingredients for the glaze in a bowl and whisk together. Use as much or as little powdered sugar as you'd like for consistency (I used about a cup and a half). Pour the glaze over the still-warm cake. 


For those of you looking for a cake recipe that isn't overpoweringly sweet, this is for you. The glaze is nice and tart, which offsets the mellow, vanilla flavor of the cake itself. It's great as a breakfast bread or a dessert. This recipe is definitely a keeper for me. I'm looking forward to seeing how the leftovers go over at the office tomorrow!

Monday, January 19, 2015

Skiing Northstar

Reunited and it feels so good :)

I was back on snow this weekend for the first time this season! My friend Julia (who I worked with at the USSA and skied with all the time over the last two years) recently moved to South Lake Tahoe to work for Heavenly Mountain Resort, one of the resorts Vail owns in the Tahoe area. I've already been up to visit her once since she moved, but we weren't able to go skiing that time. This weekend, though, we went up to the north side of Lake Tahoe and spent a day on the slopes at Northstar!

It was an absolutely beautiful day! Unfortunately, there hasn't been a ton of snow in the Tahoe area yet this season so the conditions weren't perfect, but it was still a lot of fun. As the odd skier who enjoy groomers, it was great for me. I did have the challenge of skiing in skis that were in desperate need of a tune up (the edges were pretty much nonexistent), but that was fine! My legs were another story, though. Running clearly does not work the same muscles as skiing because I was hurting by the middle of the day.

Northstar itself was a great resort. It definitely had some Deer Valley vibes to it (in a good way). The groomed runs were very well done, the lake views were stunning and the on-hill staff were incredibly positive and friendly. Even with it being a busy holiday weekend, we were still able to find plenty of runs to ski that weren't crowded or chewed up. Both my morning coffee and afternoon Mexican food were delicious (although, as with every ski resort, they were overpriced). I love the fact that all of the Vail-owned resorts give you your on-hill photos for free, too! It's a nice touch.

It was an awesome day and I can't wait to get back up to Tahoe for another day on the snow! There's no such thing as a bad day when it involves skiing :)

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Running Club

Today was just one of those days where the absolute last thing you want to do after work is lace up your running shoes and put in a workout. However, it was also the first meeting of our brand new running club at work, so I sucked it up and joined my coworkers for a short run around the neighborhood. Everyone ran at their own pace, but we all met up at the end and had a nice little stretch/debrief after! Despite generally preferring to run solo, nights like tonight are when I understand the value of having others along with you!

T-Shirt: GapFit [exact]
Pants: C9 [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

Remember how I was complaining about my Yogasmoga pants not holding up well with running anymore and wanted to find a new brand to wear? Well, I think I found it. My cousin got these running crops for me for Christmas and I love them! I didn't have to stop to pull them up once during my run. They also have reflective patches on the side, which is particularly nice with it still getting dark early. And my favorite thing about all of this? They're from Target! They're priced far better than virtually every item of workout clothing I wear. This girl's gonna be heading to Target soon to stock up!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Breaking the Monday Cycle

Mondays are not my favorite day of the week. I usually have pretty busy Mondays at work because of my clients, and it's just rough getting back to work after the weekend! This weekend, I went to Sonoma for some wine tasting and had an impromptu Golden Globes viewing party, so it was particularly challenging to get back into the swing of things.

Fortunately, though, I was feeling pretty energetic when I got home from work and headed straight to the gym to knock out a Couch to 5k run. I didn't experience any of the usual aches and pains during the first few minutes, which was refreshing. My long intervals didn't feel that bad, either. Considering how much I hate the treadmill, I was pretty shocked! Overall, it was a good night at the gym!

Shirt: Under Armour [exact]
Sports bra: Lululemon [similar]
Pants: GapFit [similar]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

I always intend to wear this shirt more often than I do. It's one of my favorite tank tops that I own! The vent in the back is both a fun design feature and useful when things start getting sweaty. I always seem to sweat a lot more on treadmills than I do outdoors, so it was perfect for today! These pants always seem to stay up pretty well, too. I wish GapFit still made their crops like this. They've redesigned them in the last year or two and, unfortunately, they don't seem to fit me very well anymore.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Friday Night Run

You know how most people spend their Friday evenings letting off some steam? Well, I've apparently officially become someone who unwinds by running because I spent my Friday evening doing just that. Some karaoke bar action may have happened after the fact, though ;)

Whitney joined me for my post-work run! I typically won't run outside after dark unless I have someone else with me, so I was pretty pumped to avoid the treadmill. We did a nice little run along the water. She's also joining me in our newly-formed work running club. It'll be nice to have people to run with every Wednesday moving forward!

Shirt: Nike [similar]
Pants: American Eagle [similar]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

This was one of the most comfortable running outfits I've been together in awhile! I always get tons of compliments on these pants. Sadly, American Eagle discontinued their very short-lived workout line. I wish they'd bring it back! 

Gluten-free life is surprisingly easier than I was expecting. I've been eating a lot of quinoa, rice and vegetables. I'm not noticing any major changes in my energy levels, though, and I feel like the little bit that I do notice can be attributed to just eating healthier overall. I've still got over a week to go, though, so we'll see what the rest of the time holds!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Gym and Going Gluten-Free

I decided to meet with a nutritionist the other day after my doctor suggested it. I've been struggling with low energy levels and brain fog for awhile, which has been incredibly frustrating. The nutritionist's first suggestion? Cutting out gluten for two weeks and seeing how it makes me feel. 

Now, I absolutely love my gluten-filled baked goods and pasta and all of those wonderful things, so this is not exactly something I'm super happy about. But, on the other hand, if it gives me some answers about the energy issue, I am pumped about that. So, I'm two days in. It's been interesting so far...fortunately, I have a gluten-free roommate who keeps offering me advice!

Onto the workout for the day...I had originally planned on running at work so I could get outside during daylight hours. However, it ended up being a pretty busy day at the office, so I had to drag myself to the gym and finish today's Couch to 5k workout on the treadmill. It was a bit painful, but I did it!

Shirt: Running with Ed race shirt [similar]
Pants: Yogasmoga [exact]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]

I was having a shockingly good hair day at the gym. I don't think I've ever had my hair look that nice post-workout! I had a few issues with my Yogasmoga pants today that I wasn't thrilled about. I had to keep pulling them up (despite the fact that I definitely haven't gotten smaller since purchasing them) and there were some pretty intense sweat marks (notably in the crotch region), despite the fact that I don't sweat a ton. I think it may be time to start crowdsourcing suggestions for new pants brands to try out...

Sunday, January 4, 2015

Feels Like Winter!

After spending a week in 80-degree weather in Florida, San Francisco feels cold! It took me a few days to finally kick the rest of the flu out of my system, so I laid low and didn't do much in the way of exercising beyond some strolls on the beach. When I got back to SF, it was sunny and beautiful outside, but I was a little hesitant to jump back into running right away because I didn't want to chance getting sick all over again. But, after doing some digging for of my skiing layers, I opted to suck it up and get in a short run.

Side note: I am totally a wimp who wore skiing baselayers to run in 50-degree weather.

I was feeling pretty happy about the run at this point!

I switched up my usual route a bit, going uphill instead of down along the water. It was a little more challenging, but I got the reward of great views at the top! I walked for quite awhile, too, because I forgot to turn around at the halfway point of my Couch to 5k run. Oops.

Shirt: Bjorn Daehlie [similar]
Leggings: H&M [similar]
Shoes: Newton Running [exact]
Sunglasses: Oakley [exact]
Headband: U.S. Ski Team [similar]

My headband and half zip are both items I received back when I was working with the U.S. Ski and Snowboard Association. I absolutely love Bjorn Daehlie's stuff, but, unfortunately, not a ton of places carry it in the USA. Cross country skiing specialty shops are your best bet for finding it! A lot of alpine ski shops will carry a limited selection, too.

Speaking of skiing...I'm hoping to get back on the slopes sometime this month! A few of my friends are looking to get up to Lake Tahoe and one of my best Park City friends, Julia, now lives there. I can't wait to get back on snow!